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

 

Yup, all of us need love, care and protection

Of that defensive shield which saves us

From the maddening, gaggling, 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.

 

Baby: A Game Changer

via Daily Prompt: Baby
Baby

Life changes the moment the news is confirmed that you are going to enter the next stage of life i.e. Parenthood. Your mind becomes a battlefield of opposite thoughts. If you are the gonna-be-mother, then even your body becomes strange to you. You feel happy as well as quirky. The thought that somebody is inside your body and that is not going to stop there as it will soon start moving and kicking inside you scares you. When you are hungry, you can’t eat; when you eat you want to puke. If you are the gonna-be-father you feel even worse. The first thought comes to your mind is: Will you be able to pick up the baby in your arms without hurting it; and uncomfortable, sleepless nights is the other thought that troubles you. As the times passes, you wonder, though you don’t want to, whether your spouse/girlfriend would ever be in the same perfect ten shape again.

Finally the bundle of joy arrives after lots of screaming, bloodshed and anxiety. If I dare to speak the truth: the truth is that for first few days you really don’t know what you should do with this bundle of joy. It’s not that you don’t love your baby but because you feel that your baby is totally unpredictable ( in fact it means that your baby is quite normal). Somehow days become weeks and weeks become months. You don’t even change the page of the calendar on the side table. Sometimes you can’t even see it as its hidden somewhere under the heap of the nappies and diapers. Already as a couple you have had a few serious fights and sweet patch-ups as you know that the new mother is experiencing the postpartam depression (though it is not grave) and the new father, though he is trying to play the Knight in the shining Armour, is entirely clueless what to do.

One evening when the baby is around three months old, the still-new-father hears a loud shriek while he is enjoying his evening snack trying to understand the dialogues spoken by the hero of his favourite action movie (No. He has not become deaf after the child-birth. In fact, the volume of the T V is very low as the baby is sleeping in the other room). He runs to the bedroom thinking that something has happened to the baby; but sees that baby is sleeping and the still-new-mother is standing in front of the mirror staring at her reflection and crying.  The still-new-father holds the still-new-mother in his arms tightly and try to console her and tells her that she would get her figure, hair and swollen eyes back to normal again. The wife smiles after a few minutes and they remember the time when they met each other for the first time. They realize that life will not be the same again as it is going to be a more beautiful and thrilling roller-coaster ride with the baby held tightly in their arms right there where the heart beats. They have heard their hearts beating together and now as parents they can hear their hearts singing in unison, wishing ‘the wonder they created together’ a happy life. Suddenly, they come out of their sweet moment as they feel that their is a foul smell lurking in the air and they know that it is time to change the diaper. First they look at each other and then at the baby and laugh loudly (their first laugh together in last one year) and they wonder again at the capabilities of the little Game Changer.

“Child Is the Father of Man”: wrote Wordsworth centuries ago, but it holds true even today as some truths never change.His implications were philosophical. However, even in today’s scenario a baby changes the game of life altogether as it gives new meanings to the life of the parents and teaches the mankind the true meaning of pain, patience and happiness.