The Plain Janes

Image result for girls clip art

Never underestimate

the plain Janes

Some of them are miraculous

Others are meticulous.

But for sure,

they are not ridiculous

And all of them are real,

not fake even an inch

Some of them are real and raw

like the unpolished diamonds

But diamonds are diamonds

Solid, Real and Intriguing

and others are pristine and true

like dark woods or

unfathomable seas

Deep, awesome and curious.

But for sure,

they are not phony,

no, not even an inch.

So,

don’t misunderstand the plain Janes.

 

 

 

The Choice

Three Red Hearts Hanging With White Flowers

I had to choose between

Him and my dreams

Obviously I chose him

because,

Once upon a time

He was my biggest dream

And I knew

If he is with me

I can see many new dreams.

 

I had to reshuffle my priorities

so that I could stay close to him

And every time  I did it happily

I changed with the changes in his life

Because I knew

Once upon a time

He was the only change

I wanted in my life

And I knew

If he is with me

I can change every change

into a new opportunity.

 

So I deconstructed myself

again and again and again

Just to be with him

I know loving someone this much is strange

but

He is my happiness

He is my love

And you know

Love is blind

happily blind…

 

 

 

The Atta Crisis (The Expat Life)

Published in The Daily Post on Feb 24, 2019

http://epaper.dailypostindia.com/imageview_16421_69240_4_71_24-02-2019_i_1_sf.html

Part I -The Atta Crisis

It was around midnight when exhausted and anxious Sia opened the door of the posh apartment in North Jakarta for the first time. Aditya showed her the place enthusiastically and waited eagerly for her reaction because the apartment was his choice. Sia liked it at once. It was spacious, airy and fabulously done. Every room was decorated aesthetically. She went out to check the immense terrace. The warm and amiable September breeze welcomed her. The view of the city-lights and skyscrapers at the horizon delighted her. She peeped down and a green luxurious golf-course excited her. She heaved a deep sigh. A smile came on her tired face when she thought that she would also be described as NRI now onwards. Shranya, their seven year old daughter was thrilled to see her comfy room, round fancy bed and a balcony of her own. Aditya was glad that Shranya and Sia liked the place. Relocating to a completely new country at the age of forty-two was tough, but he had to take this huge step because career-wise it was essential. He felt contented. That night they all slept like babies in the extra-soft beds of their new home.

Sia got up next morning with a mild headache. The long journey and hot humid climate were the culprits. All of a sudden she became nostalgic and homesick. Aditya made masala tea to cheer her up. Sia liked the gesture, but the comfort provided by the tea was short-lived. After finishing her tea Sia asked for the wheat flour. She wanted to make aloo parantha for breakfast for Aditya. Aditya got up confidently and gave her a one kg packet. Sia opened it and was flabbergasted to see the brownish coarse powder inside it. She checked the name written on the packet. It was written bogasari. She looked at Aditya and Aditya looked back at her in all despair.

“This is not atta. I can’t make aloo parantha with it. Hmm, Welcome to expat life!” she muttered to herself.

Anyhow Aditya told Sia not to worry much and they would have bread for breakfast. Aditya had come to Jakarta one month prior to Sia and Shranya beacsue he wanted to initiate the paperwork and settle down a bit before both of them arrive. He shifted in the apartment when Sia was about to come and brought some basic things from the nearest Indian shop. Though he had realized during his stay in hotel that food was very different in Indonesia, but he did not anticipate this kind of atta crisis.

That evening they tried all the three shops in vicinity to buy the correct atta but the only option available was bogasari. They were very disappointed. When they went to the third shop, the boy in the shop noticed their misery and told them that atta was not available in entire Jakarta. He also informed them that this kind of scarcity was a common problem for Indians staying in Indonesia. He laughed and said, “Madam, This is Jakarta. It’s not like Canada or USA here. To find Indian food items in the local market of Jakarta is as difficult as finding Indian news in Indonesian newspapers because market and newspapers both are filled with Chinese maal”.

Sia understood very soon that the boy was right about both the things. She also realized the peculiarity of Indian, especially North-Indian, food while wandering around Jakarta to buy groceries. She was not able to get all the items in her grocery list even after spending almost thrice the amount she would have spent in India. Gradually, she got to know about the quirky things people do to solve this crisis. One of the women in her apartment complex told her, “You know dear, we all buy atta in bulk and store it in refrigerators for next few months. It looks odd and ugly but what to do? Some rich Indians send their servants to Singapore by air every month to bring comparatively fresh groceries, but we can’t do that. Whenever we go to India we bring as many things as we can in our overly-stuffed suitcases, and the last option, that never fails, is to mix a little salt and oil in bogasari to survive”.

Sia got scared listening all this. She did not have any option so she somehow spent almost one month eating bogasari at the place of atta. She lost five pounds because of those hard and brown roties. She didn’t know whether she should be happy or sad.  On the other hand, Shranya was happy because she got full supply of biscuits, chocolates and cakes as rotis her mother was making those days were really bad. Little Shranya thought that perhaps Sia had forgotten how to make proper rotis after coming to Jakarta.

However, after a few weeks atta came in the market. Women hastily informed each other on WhatsApp about this awesome news with pictures of brown and blue sacks of white atta. Sia also bought it in bulk and filled her refrigerator with big sacks of finely crushed white atta. Her craving for aloo parantha had become boundless and borderless by now. She felt ecstatic the next day when the first bite of delicious aloo parantha melted along with butter on her starved tongue. Thank God the crisis was over at least for a few months.

 

 

Our Snail Connection (Full Poem)

assorted color of snails
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Everyone needs that perfect protective shell,

Where we can live, breathe, grow and excel,

Without having the fear of the predator’s gaze

Where we can hide, retreat and rejuvenate.

 

Where we can shout, roar, giggle and wiggle

Be a dumb-head who fails to solve even a simple riddle

Without being conscious, like clown dwarfs,

Of those watchful eyes of hunter sharks

 

Yes, all of us need love, care and protection

Of that defensive shield which saves us

From the maddening, haggling, narcissistic rush

The egoistic  selfish materialistic slush

Underneath which, I can be me and you can be you.

The real ME and the real YOU

The Real YOU

 

assorted color mask
Photo by hitesh choudhary on Pexels.com

The Real YOU

 

Oh, so desperately I want to see the real you.

Oh no, not the facade, the real you.

No,not the fake you.

The unpretentious, unpolished you.

 

The YOU, with whom I can talk without being conscious

The YOU, to whom I can bare my vulnerable heart

The YOU, with whom I can take a leap of faith

The YOU, to whom I can talk about my hidden fears

 

Please be that YOU

Please . . .

 

 

 

 

 

The Rain

Water Droplets on Gray Textile

 

The gentle pearl-grey wind entangled my hair a little more

The sparkling moonlit raindrops drenched me and my soul to the core

That ecstatic moment on a sandy shore

I love, I cherish and really adore.

 

I loved the aroma and loved the touch

The sand melted under my feet as such

But I felt peaceful inside and outside

That beautiful night I really adore

When I walked with him in rain on that sandy shore.

 

The Scary Mirror . . .

pexels-photo-1380914-e1549306570394.jpeg
Photo by Christopher Hiew on Pexels.com

We fear what we hear

We cringe and try to disappear

 

We fear, What we see in the mirror

The scary lousy (un)truthful  mirror

 

Prisoners of our own reflection

We fear the rejection

Why?

 

She did it

You did it

Even I did it

Why?

 

You are FAT like a filthy pig

You are THIN like a stingy pin

You are FRECKLED like a dirty frog

You are PLAIN like a useless board

You are BLACK like a sweaty buffalo

You are BROWN like a clumsy gruffalo

And You, You are WHITE like a soggy marshmallow

 

Abusing, blaming and needless naming –

this is what if not body-shaming?

 

A thought-provoking article on body shaming:

https://magdalene.co/news-2045-mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-the-perennial-problem-of-body-shaming-.html

 

A Mother Never Dies

A Mother Never Dies

 

Close Up of Leaf

 

She only leaves the mortal body

to go to the heavenly abode

She only shifts from here to there

But it is true that a mother never dies …

 

You have seen the pyre

You have felt the numb coldness

You have done the rituals

You have heard the puraan

But it is true that a mother never dies …

 

Because the next day you wake up

You go to her room as all the other days

You see the empty bed, then you look at her photo on the wall

Her smile in the photo makes you smile

As it is true that a mother never dies …

 

Because after a few days while cleaning a shelf

You find a letter she wrote much ago to ask “Are you fine?”

You mumbles gently, “Ya, I am doing fine”

You heave a deep sigh, clutches the letter tight and smile

As it is true that a mother never dies …

 

Because after a few months while rummaging an old drawer

You find the red bangles she gave you on your first Karvachauth

You sit there for a while caressing those memories in your hand

You wear those bangles once again and smile

As it is true that a mother never dies …

 

Because after a few years while resetting an old cupboard

You find your first silk saree that she bought for you

You admire that saree once again and wrap it around you

You get lost in the memory lane and smile

As it is true that a mother never dies …

 

Because after a few decades while visiting your daughter’s house

Your daughter looks at you lovingly

Hugs you tightly and whispers in your ears

“Mamma, you resemble grandmaa so much!”

Her words make you smile

As it is true a mother never dies …

 

Moreover …

Many times when life becomes tough

And treats you rough

You can’t take it anymore and cry

Sad and shattered, you look at the night sky

A star shines on you, and twinkles a lil more

In those moments you are sure

That it is true …

A mother never dies …

 

P.S. – For all who lost their mother.

******************************************************************************

 

The Visit

via Daily Prompt: Trill

Trill

Image result for orphanage clipart

 

The trill of their voices still on my mind

Though I had left them a fortnight behind.

Neatly combed and properly tied-up laces,

Taught to be quiet, those dressed up faces.

But those eyes …

Those eyes I can’t forget.

Emptiness and longing in there

I think is beyond repair.

Today in the cold morning holding each other’s hands

Tied by many unseen strands.

Once Abandoned and deserted on garbage loads

Born behind closed doors then left to die on roads.

Curiosity flickered in their eyes for a while

Two or three in fact happened to smile

A few tried to break the monotony of standing in a line

When I extended the gifts in a pile.

They are the ones who know how to survive

Even in utter dejection and incessant strife

Some of them,  I BELIEVE, will eventually shine,

Will rise above the stigma, their lives almost fine

This sums up my visit to an orphanage

But …

What remains …

The echo of trilling and tweeting in the haze?