Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Too Often to Notice

There’s some effort it demands – self-love is never easy. There she goes, loving herself to perfection. There’s so much to look after, after all. The hair, the skin, the teeth, the nails… the list never ends. If done continually, self-love seeps into one’s lifestyle to become a habit and there you go, practicing this as a mundane task to the extent that you hate any aberrations from what you termed as ‘perfect’.

She was a goddess to an onlooker, a masterpiece, someone who was just flawless the way she was. It was hard to take eyes off her, her looks and her style was too ideal to be true. For herself, she had forgotten how amazing she looked. She seldom realized what impact she had on the people she worked with. The goddess that she was not just made hundreds turn heads for a second glance, but also made several skip their heartbeats when she giggled. The fragrance she wore added magnetism to her aura, almost like giving her mysterious powers. THIS man who she lived with had to be the luckiest for getting her for life. He couldn’t have complimented her enough, for his appreciation would have been the real fuel to her smile.

Snap out of this to another land of male charmers. This boy here could well be touted as the dream man for any girl. It seemed as if God had taken a few days off work to sculpt his physique. He, honoring the blessing he had received, took special care in building his body, presenting it the way it was meant to be. He redefined masculinity, giving a fresh benchmark to millions of women to look up to in a male. He didn’t know how women around her sighed imagining him around them, all alone. He, indeed, put in great efforts to keep his best traits up. He was someone, who would be a pleasure to look at, let alone the thought of having him over you. THIS woman who has his to keep should have been forever grateful to him for have chosen her over others. She would have sung praises, cherished him forever and pampered him to happiness.

Alas, we see these diamonds we live with every day, but we see them too often to notice their charm, their sparkle. What if we get to know that our souls are like those tiny plants, vying for love and appreciation? What if we saw that the auras shone brighter when they were caressed and treasured? What if every day was not treated as ‘ordinary’? Woah!

Hold that special person close, praise them for what more or little they do, pamper them with what they love the most, notice their quirks and manners and give an ear to what they say. You never know, this might just change your equation with love forever!  

Sunday, June 17, 2018

I will pass through this, O Lord

I will pass through this, O Lord, 
I will play along all through.
I will stay strong and smile,
Never surrender, repent or rue.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
For I look forward to what this will lead to.
I will stand through the storm,
For I know there’s a lot still left to do.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
For I trust in your game plan.
I will stay determined and focused,
As I know I will and I can.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
I know I am your favorite child.
Seldom would you let your fans down,
let alone testing a Godchild.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
for while you look at the bigger picture,
I get anxious, jittery and what not,
Narrowing my vision to pixels.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
For patience and perseverance are my virtues to possess,
And I know I am in safe hands,
while you carry me through stress,

I will pass through this, O Lord,
For I’ve heard your best warriors last the longest,
Diamonds are a result of tough times,
Turmoil, pressure and pain at their best.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
Because I know I am made for big things,
And while ordinary living is easy,
Your love for me will be the wind beneath my wings!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Where are All the Good Women at?

They say everything goes redundant with time, but the flavor of the past remains as classic as that of a vintage wine. The generation which usually bears the brunt of the passing time is most often the one which has seen the old and the new enough to be able to compare.

Back in time, unlike the twenty first century, a woman would grow manifolds having passed any age milestone. The wisdom in a young, a teenage, a married, a mother or the eldest woman in the family would eventually ripen with time. You could always bank on any advice you would receive from a woman who read good books, including mythology. They commanded respect, never having to demand it. Seldom they would have been fit for the corporate world, but running a house was no less an art that they excelled in.

In my late twenties now, I miss meeting that breed of women. The gravity they acquired in their persona with time, the influence they had on anybody they met and the unique life manuals they designed around their existence was akin to bible for anybody looking for an inspiration. Having learnt from life first-hand and developed a judgment powerful enough to be challenged, these ‘ammas’ or ‘akkas’ belong to a genus close to extinction.

There was a lesson with every experience, a reason behind every custom, a practice for every ritual and a discipline set by that woman in the house – this discipline was what kept the family running like an institution, a clear role for each member.

Two viruses, in my opinion, contaminated the DNA of the new generation, low thinking and shallow living. This is where we lost the battle – blame it on the reasons like social media, a mockery called equality or a habit of changing skin with the modern time – the character is now open for sale. Modern women need to catch up with what the benchmark foremothers have set, for the damage has already been done by the estrogen-fueled, post-feminist mess and the result is out for everyone to witness – frigging women are laughing over serious issues and crying over petty matters. Where have all the good women gone? 
Read more here: That One Lady in the House

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Somewhere in the Progress, Evenings were Lost

Also published on Women's Web at: When The Evenings Are Lost On Our Road to Success!

Talk about the era of empowerment, women standing shoulder-to-shoulder with men in every sphere possible and the increasing competition in the corporate environment. The will to succeed, earn more and lead a comfortable life ‘in the future’ has left little in hand for the time called ‘now’ and the phase called ‘youth’.

Back in the 90’s, per a 90’s kid, there was a clear definition and purpose attached to each portion of the day, be it morning, afternoon or, my favorite, evening. One was supposed to get up, perform daily rituals, including praying, and report to work in the morning, work till evening and head to home by the later part of it. The latter leg of the evening was a time for pure pleasure, to be spent doing things which brought delight of the ‘company’ back home. It also marked having five-o-clock tea along with light supper and talking all sort of things, which happened by the day.

Evenings have been such an understated part of the day that the role they play in toning a day down to the ground level has always been overlooked. Thanks to the shift timings most of us have to work in today, in order to stay aligned with our Western counterparts, reaching home by evening seems like an unrealistic dream, which is leaving us with dreamless slumber to be had in the night. The night, which is meant to take the ground level of the energies to the top-most notch in order to carry the progression of the next day, is now overburdened to encompass the supper time, the talking time and the leisure time. Therefore, this poor chap does nothing and even eats up the sleep time, which is often spent idealizing the day in retrospect or just playing with the technology.

If you’d ask an ambitious male or a female if they would be willing to work till late in order to get more in terms of professional fulfillment, I bet you’d seldom hear a ‘no’. Thus begins the clichéd saga of the modern day professionals and their idea of ‘success.’ So, today, we don’t talk unless necessary, eat unless required and, of course, sleep until we are compelled to by our bodies. In all this daily grind and hunger for more, we have lost an asset, a blessing, the evenings.

Welcome to the new age of ambiguity, we do whatever whenever whatsoever.     

Thursday, March 22, 2018

You would never say.

They say that your happiness knows no bounds when your home is not a place, but a person. How true; one could almost feel her adrenaline gushing at a mere sight of him. Their love story was no ordinary, for he defined love for her and he hardly was friends with words.

 She didn’t know if love ever existed in words; for her, it was a feeling, euphoria, a lot of warmth and him. Yeah, pretty much. No festivals, occasions or conventional times of the year would bring enough happiness to her more than the tip that he was standing outside her office to pick her up. In the distance of close to fifteen minutes back home, their conversations would range from the happenings in the day passed without each other to what they plan to do once they'd be home. A lot of times, a song one would have been vying to make the other listen would fill the silence and thus would commence the sweet nothings.

She knew his existence revolved around her and how she was oxygen for him. Each day was a battle for him and she knew how strong a support system she was. You don’t calculate love, you don’t measure the conditions, you don’t draw the perfect map and you surely don’t write down the T&C's – when you love someone, you BELIEVE – in dreams, aspirations and life together.

She knew how a perfect team they both were and how he would always need her for every big or small decision he would ever take. She knew their love was a melody, a song they both loved humming to and a dawn turned to dusk while talking.

Their love was the wind beneath their wings and she loved how God made them dance at the twilight, in the sheer ecstasy of each other's company. She knew, for a fact, that they were inseparable and, also, that he would never say. 

Their love story might appear a little vague to the world outside, but on the inside, it was clear and complete and that’s what made them stand out – they were not ordinary, but complementary.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

An Unplanned Date in Bhubaneswar

This is how it goes: there’s a Plan A and a backup Plan B and, then, God would tear your script apart and instead handover His plan to you, the best that could ever be.
We set out from home to catch an early morning flight to Vizag and, alas, could only manage to bid it adieu from the shore.  This is how our next, one-stop flight landed us in Bhubaneswar, steering our journey to a land I couldn’t have ever imagined visiting otherwise.
We quickly browsed through the Internet for the places we could possibly visit in the next three hours we had at hand and here I am listing what all we did in this brief span.

Lingaraja Temple: This is one of the oldest temples in the city and would look so through every aspect. We could almost feel as if summoned from Lord Shiva, for we had no plans to meet Him here till morning today. Photography is not allowed inside the temple premises and you are not even allowed to wear caps, sunglasses or any footwear. Trust your cab driver enough to hand over your every belonging to him before you rush to the temple. The temples in Bhubaneswar have a unique style of architecture and this would be prominent in almost all the temples that you would visit. The temple is huge – it has 50 shrines and each holds scores of stories within. One unique thing that should stay wary of while in or around the temple is nosy and ‘super obese’ priests!

Dhauli Giri Hills: This place where Kalinga war was fought would surely appear to be the most interesting place in Bhubaneswar. Located on the banks of River Daya, which is said to have turned red with blood after of people deceased in the war, Dhauli Giri is an important centre for Buddhist activities. There’s a huge, white “Shanti Stupa” at Dhauligiri, which would drive you back to the old, Ashoka days. Like any other historical place would have, you would find a lot of local photographers, ready to click you for as low as INR 20.
Brahmeshwara Temple: Most of them temples in Bhubaneswar are either dedicated to Lord Shiva or Lord Sun. This one is for the former. Sporting beautiful architecture, this temple is, undoubtedly, managed really well. There’s a quite, small pond within the premises and we found people taking a dip in the water. The condition of the water and the overall heat discouraged us to follow the suit and, therefore, we moved on from there to our next stop. One more thing, you would find a lot of great inscriptions of Lord Shiva, Goddess Chamunda and other tantiric-related images.

Rajarani Temple: You would see a reflection of Brahmeshwara temple here and you might want to give this a miss, considering the fact that you’ve already had too much of the temple flavor, but here I would ask you to stop and think. This one temple is also called ‘love temple’ and has beautiful, erotic carvings of women and couples on the outside. This would also give you a glimpse of Khujuraho temples and might also fuel your curiosity and interest. So, don’t miss giving this temple a visit and, also, praying here.

Food at Dalma: Our brief visit ended with a delectable meal at this famous restaurant, which serves authentic Oriya food – Dalma. For a person like me, who embraces spicy food like a long-lost cousin, Oriya food might not tantalize the taste buds, but I had to try and I did. I might never again, but who cares?
Authentic Oriya Food
With our tummy full and eyes comfortably satiated, we bade adieu to the land of Patnaik and his scion and moved on to Vizag – the place where my heart lives.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Waiting for Him

The windows had been set open. After all, he could be here any moment. Other days might not have had that effect on her, but it was just a different day. Maybe it had set differently or progressed so, she was able to feel each moment passing by today. The ticking of clock was giving wings to the butterflies in her stomach. She was actually looking forward to her husband coming back from work and her holding him in her embrace.

While the rest of the days were a part of the routine, these days were especially earmarked as festivals. Rains cast that spell on you; they make you happy from inside and this happiness just spreads on to everyone around you. She prepared the snacks they had almost forgotten they used to have after their marriage. Things were definitely different that time. The desire to know each other and get close was such that it superseded every other desire the mind ever conceived. She set the snacks on the table placed in their courtyard which was covered in a way that they could still feel the raindrops falling on the ground. Even the winds seemed to be dancing along with the rain drops, splashing some on them while twisting and twirling along. Meera was reserving this pleasure to be had with her husband, Karan. Till that time, she was making sure that Karan forgets all his worries the moment he enters the house she was so endearingly decorating today.

Flowers in the brass vase, incense sticks lit in the small temple hung on the wall in the study room, fresh, washed curtains and the cleaned linen on the bed, all were creating a beautiful aura in the home, the home she lovingly called her masterpiece. For the first time in months, she was feeling like dressing up in a saree, that red one which was his favorite. She couldn’t help but wear the anklet her mother-in-law had gifted her after her marriage. She remembered how Karan used to love its tinkling and how it was often the start of tickling nothings between them. Kohl, bindi and gajra, she wondered how she had almost forgotten these friends of her she adored seeing adorned on her mother.

The sky was covered by dark, grey clouds and raindrops were hugging the ground, almost as if answering its prayers. The cool breeze was bringing back the memories of everyone from their childhood. Even Meera had a lot of memories of playing with her brother in the rain when she was young and, then, of waiting for someone special in life to cling on to during such weathers when she was an adolescent. She wondered why she never told this to Karan, may be because they never sat down to talk anymore. 

Today would be a different day, she thought. She had been living her dream ever since she got her marriage arranged, a caring husband, a house to call her own, the liberty to take decisions and a loving family, she could have never asked for more. She wondered why she never expressed her gratitude enough. She thanked rains for bringing a sense of happiness and a desire for her to stop for a moment and feel herself, her body, her mind and her senses. Passing a flying kiss to the sky, she set her one foot in the rain while sitting on the recliner in the courtyard. She thought she would sit down to talk, spend some time listening to him and caress him out of his worries. She had so much of love to share with him and the rain had been a perfect buoyant force to bring all of it out. She set the teapot on the table along with their favorite mugs and played the music they both loved listening to; after all, every couple had those special love songs which they called their own, the ones they played to cheer the other up and the ones which were timeless. Ah! She felt the freshness of the old times and the bloom of a newlywed bride. 

Knocking at the door and noticing it open, Karan entered!
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