Prayer

Many many times

My tongue gets tied, and

My mind goes blank

When I pray for

something I want

Later realise,

Maybe I Know not

what I Truly want

Maybe it’s best

I Don’t ask

Something that’s wrong

Not Quite just right

In the long run.

And maybe it’s just best,

the Future unknown,

To walk a blind path

Without a fear.

Mai shayar toh nahi

आप जैसा होनहार काश हम होथे

भरी महफिल को सुना देते

अब इन्तज़ार और कितना

दिन से हफ्ता हो गई महीना

महर्बान कीजिए, शायद हम

शायरी आपकी,सुनने लायक हो

बस इक छोटी सी आरज़ू

लंबी जो है, जिन्दगी की सफर ।

Persuading a shy friend to reveal her talents

My Fancy DEGREE

Your breakfast ready

In a jiffy, and lunch

Fit for a king, so

You will not miss

Office, school nor

College bus.

And dinner, Always

On time, and waiting

Piping hot in a

Hot box, in case

You are late.

Her grocery list

Timed to perfection

To meet the stringent

Demands of a

Store Manager.

FIFO, LIFO, EOQ,

Reorder point,

She knows it all

Without knowing

Thr expansion of it all.

The kitchen rack and bin

In perfect order,

What comes front and

What behind for

Easy reach.

The monthly budget

So well planned

To stretch to the Last dayAnd yet, a penny saved,

To surprise you,

For a rainy day, when

The budget overshoots.

Yet, you think, you

Know it all and better,

With a degree in Economics

Or Statistics and even

Software, Engg or MBA,

At IIT or IIM.

Ah, wait for the day

When she is sick

On occasion or away

For a day or week.

You know not what is

where and wonder

What Magic wand

She had, that she

Did it all without

A murmur or a word

Of praise from you.

And still you think

Your theory is worth

More than her practical

Work, day after day,

Year after year.

*an ode to the unsung homemakers

Diet

Diabetic? No sweets for you

Even if it be your birthday.

BP; beware of salt  and chips,

A bland diet is good to

Live healthy and long.

Cholesterol, oh No!

Keep away those

Tempting fried crispies.


For whom do I cook

Those delicacies when

Festivals come and go.

Why this contrast

To cook and diet?

Better still to have

A kitchenette and

Not stress about

A festival feast

That few can eat.

Appreciation

A smile,a clap,

A thumbs up, or

Better still a word

Well said, can

Make a person’s day

A better world,

To egg them on

To dizzying heights or

Maybe inspire, to

Make this world

A better place

And leave lasting

Footprints, for

Another to follow.


Let not ego or

Jealousy stand

In your way

Holding you back

From a pat on the back

For someone who needs

Just one more chance

To prove their mettle.

God

Rituals galore, oh my God!Superstitions, oh too many

Blind beliefs,don’t even ask

Places of worship, unlimited.
But still can’t find the One

So elusive,slippery

Like an eel.

For the path to him lies not, in

Such meaningless stuff.
And one fine day, I realise

He is in every breath I draw,

Every single second of my life.

In my eyes that see the world

In ears that hear the music in it

In my tapping feet, dancing to it

In nature so beautiful.


Now I no longer need

The meaningless rituals

Nor blind beliefs or

Superstitions nor even

A special place of worship.

For He is there in my joyous heart

In my dancing feet and

my singing lips,

as an ode to Him.

Dance waltzed into my life

Rewind to Feb 2016 and my post on Facebook ..My Musical Journey..a chapter in my life and now .. yet another fresh journey.

October 2021,  a game changer in my life.  Health problems that put me into deep depression adding to my already anxious, worried mind.

2019 ..Two girls who have grown and flown the nest at last, but no regrets. Yet their independence not full and the umbilical cord still holding by a fine thread.

The pandemic brought with it more anxiety, losing the fallback of catching up with friends to unburden my fears and anxiety, as a small solace.

And 2 years of intermittent lockdown,  and living in such a historic time, did  not help in bringing sanity.

But yes, nagging health issues, not able to pinpoint problems, made me introspect. Is my constant negativity playing havoc with my physical health? I have always considered myself a positive person and a fighter with a never say die attitude. When did I change to become someone I  didnt recognise.

And I concluded, I have forgotten all the things that kept me happy and engaged..books, poetry, debates, podcasts, music, travel etc ..

Instead, I was caught in the everyday humdrum of cooking;..not exactly my fav pastime; obsessive cleaning and throwing out clutter, and clutter that I am unable to throw out that gets on my nerves..a never ending spiral.

Introspection and Nostalgia…to the times when my mind and heart would be buried deep in some book, ears closed to the outside world. And sometimes ears open, but eyes closed as I had listened to favourite melodies and recall a peppy dance number in my mind.

The child in me so positive never believing anything negative would touch me ..where and when did I lose that innocence and happiness.

The burden of of years of marriage, holding the responsibility of family, children, finance,etc had slowly left its mark on me stroke by stroke. And still not finished, as I finely balance finances and household expenses and yet try to think of lessening the burden of my grown up kids.

Introspect..Will I ever let go of the reins that have chafed my hands and bruised them. Will I ever be able to be rid of such burdens.

And suddenly like a flash, it strikes me. Why worry what happens after I am dead and gone. Those who survive after me will have to manage and whether they do it well or fail at it,..thankfully, I will not know . And isn’t that just great.

And suddenly the chains of bondage fall away and I feel free to fly, to do whatever I want.

WHATEVER I WANT

Hakuna matata

The child in me wanted to skip and dance and I didn’t care if no else liked it.

And a new journey began. Dance waltzed into my life.

I have always enjoyed watching dance videos on the Internet. Waltz and ballet, thanks to English movies,along with bharatanatyam and freestyle that held me spellbound. But shyness and social circles held me back in tapping my feet in public. But dancing at a niece’s wedding evening gave the first push towards change.

But many things also played a part in bringing me closer to dance.

Out of touch with longtime friends in the pandemic made me search for new friends to expand my interests and I began the search for online friends in unlikely places, Groups and and apps.

Facebook the first social media platform had become passe.

Instagram ..my account idle for so long.. was a first choice. As I browsed and followed mental health issues on it, I clawed my way back to positivity.

And lo and behold there was someone offering a free one week trial for freestyle dance . And I was hooked for life.

Hands and feet and hips moving to a peppy number brought untold joy and a physical workout that kept the blood coursing afresh through my viens, and a happy smile throughout the day. What joy!

And poetry came back too, as I began to pen them as fast as they flashed in my mind.

The dance group brought me so many friends with varied interests and talents. And now my circle of friends is ever expanding.

And yes this post would not be complete if I forget to mention my entry into Tinder and Bumble app trying to make friends! Of course hiding my face and name under a pseudonym! A safety net indeed.

And the inspiration to restart ..writing poems and blogs .. came out of this daring entry into these so-called dating apps!

And now here I am, having found the child in me, Always positive, joyous and ever eager to learn, ..New hobbies, new books, new music, new tech and new friends. No longer afraid of present or future.

16.2.2016

MY Musical Journey

6.30AM As i get up, my mind is set on switching on the TV for Chennaiyil Tiruvaiyaru. And I smile to myself that I could have become so crazy about Carnatic music that it has become as vital as breathing..that too ME.

I grew up in the old Bengaluru, in the sixties to eighties..schooled in the gentle atmosphere of a Christian convent first and then high school in a CBSE Kendriya Vidyalaya, a total contrast.. a melting pot of different languages and cultures from all over India..the only common factor being Hindi film music..so melodious in the voice of late Mukesh and Mannadey and Kishore Kumar and Lata and Asha.

Though I come from Tambrahm family, I did not know my own mother tongue, Tamil, until I reached the age of 25. Schooled in English medium, and Hindi as second language, it was natural to be a great fan of Hindi cinema and music and of course the few select English movies that we got to see rarely…Sound of Music, ABBA etc which was all the rage then..and of course the local kannada films with music in the voice of PB Srinivas and Susheela and only the radio for our entertainment..it was a world that we were totally content and happy to be in.

Though I did go for some carnatic music classes with my younger sister,who was very keen and dedicated,..with my nature of urgency and impatience, I could not get passionate about it.

Still remember though, ..my sister playing the Veena and recall the melody of its sound in the background..that stilled my restlessness at times.

But my first brush with Carnatic music came with the release of two pathbreaking films..Shankarabharanam and Salangai Oli. I still recall how we got the music cassettes for these and repeatedly played it..so much so my youngest sister aged just 7, I think could sing the songs almost perfectly.

But then we did enjoy the English songs from Sound of music and ABBA equally well.

But I still loved my old hindi film songs and Hindi ghazals of which I had quite a few collection which I carried with me when I got married. These were my favorite late night melodies that soothed a turbulent mind.

Tv and marriage brought Tamil tv channels into my life to show me a glimpse of tamil literature in the old tamil which I struggled to understand initially. My mom played the first and major role in my learning tamil. Being a voracious reader of English since a kid, and later Hindi and Kannada too, my moms bait was that I was missing out on tamil literature. And I was hooked into learning Tamil before I got married. But after marriage,Visu’s Arattai Arangam every Sunday morning, helped me to get into groove to a large extent.

Everything played its part in slowly moving me towards carnatic music which I had found difficult to fathom all these years.

And slowly and finally, my move towards spirituality in a big way in 2006 plummeted me headlong into the world of carnatic music. I started hearing more and more of it but sporadically. My interest was still on music whose lyrics caught my attention especially in Bhakti Bhava.

As I could understand only Tamil Kannada Hindi and Sanskrit, I was still at a loss to appreciate the music of the Carnatic Trinity in Telugu. I so much wanted to learn the language of the composers especially Telugu but could not succeed. I was still at sea where Raga was concerned. If the melody was pleasant to hear, I heard it inspite of the language barrier.

In those days, I was not into Internet browsing to the extent I am today. If I had, maybe my progress would have been way more. Today I only have to Google the composition and I get the lyrics with meaning..so convenient..thanks to Internet.

Ten years down the line to 2016, my journey towards carnatic music had been through so many twists and turns, ..I think, sometimes, the Supreme Power above,was truly holding my hand and guiding an errant child towards a beautiful and magical world of music and devotion.

Today I am just a rasika of Carnatic music with no indepth knowledge..but my day begins and ends only with this divine music. The background score of this divine music to my daily chores make them so much lighter that I wonder how I survived all these years without it.

Let the whole world be as blessed as I am to discover and appreciate this divine music.

2.11.2017 Belief and Faith, a personal experience

When I was young and innocent, my Faith and belief was complete trust. I believed that faith can move mountains. And it worked like magic everytime. When I asked, I was given.

When I grew older and I started the so called process of education, my Faith wavered as scientific enquiry questioned my beliefs. And the path of disbelief and distrust naturally removed all the magic of faith of my younger days.

I grew up to be an adult and my education, learning etc completely distrusted the so called blind belief and faith. What was left was a mechanical empty shell of rituals that I adhered to out of compulsion of society.

Success added arrogance that made me think I am the creator of my destiny hundred percent and nothing can stop me from getting what I want.

But slowly, and surely, when unexpected failures, ..where I was cocksure of success,…put roadblocks in my way, and I wondered why I am dogged by bad luck, inspite of doing everything right, I started to understand that hundred percent is not in my hands.

At least a small vital percent, mostly the veto power, the final say, is in the Hands of the Almighty.

Most of the times, I am a puppet whose strings are held by the unseen omniscient power that teaches us hard lessons of life, to show us the path of faith and humility.

And I then understood why great scientists down the ages are such great believers in their faith!

Today when I am past my fifties, I have come full circle. I know only faith can move mountains. But that illusive faith that comes from complete innocence of surrender is hard to grasp and now out of reach.

I have to unlearn all my scientific education which is a difficult and immense task. An empty vessel can be filled but how to fill a vessel already brimming over.

Maybe another birth, another age, a other time…a second chance, I wonder.