Thursday, March 25, 2010


The moon is breathing down my neck
A slender piece of moon
Like a half eaten slice of water melon
White, snowy, sliver of icicle
Slides down the cheek of the sky
Closer to me, so that
I can lick it drop by drop
With my tongue of flame
Till I burn it down to ashes
And make her mine
So that there is no disc
Of silver
Tickling me from atop
And breathing down my neck
So says the Sun of the North Pole

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


When RM lost his mother he howled like a child over phone. I was “pleasantly” surprised as I could never associate crying with men folk. The patriarchs of my family are generally the undemonstrative kinds reticent in their grief and super dignified n composure under bereavement. The ethos of my family ethics is never to show any weakness in public especially tears. Breaking down or talking about one’s woes is simply something which can at best be done behind the closed doors of the bathroom with one’s “ownsome lonesome” self with the tap opened in full force. Being the product with such familial traits I have a natural (genetic?) tendency to recede into a shell when I find myself in the “anguished” mode.

It was therefore a novel experience for me when RM spoke to me at length about his mother, how kind and affectionate she was, the large number of people who came to pay their condolences (half of whom he did not even know) on hearing about her demise, the incidents of her kindness and affection that they recounted which made him proud of his parentage and at the same time remorseful and repentant that he could not spend some more time with her when she was alive, the stray moments when he had been a little impatient with her, the last hours when he incessantly chanted prayers for peaceful departure of her soul. He said he was sure his mother must have found space at the feet of Lord Krishna (RM is a staunch Vaishnavite now). He was glad too that during her last hours she was surrounded by all whom she loved dearly and who loved her dearly in return.

The usual thoughts which give solace to a grief stricken soul. But how important these thoughts are! How important it is to vent out your feelings of guilt, pain and pathos. How important it is to emote and express and accept the irreparable loss one has experienced even if it is to a chance acquaintance.

I was surprised at myself too. Generally, I am completely at a loss for words on such occasions. What to say to ameliorate such unbearable pain and isolation that passing away of a near and dear one cause? But here I was soothing him, consoling him, saying the right words which flew out as though an experienced adult was speaking to a child. We spoke for fifteen minutes, nay, exchanged grief for a quarter of an hour, at the end of which he said he felt relieved and unburdened. He cried unabashedly and confessed he felt better after the outburst; he said he felt nice talking to a person with whom he had had a long association (truth is I can count on my finger tip the number of times we have even nodded a “hullo” to each other) and shared lunch (extremely infrequently).

I was touched that he could relate to me at a time like this. In our family grief means presenting a stolid façade and pretending that everything is perfectly normal. While talking to RM I realized that it is extremely important to accept and embrace grief and loss; it helps one to get over the chasm more easily. Nurturing pain does not help and the “getting over” process becomes more painful and takes a lifetime. Though habits die hard, one can always pick up wisdom whenever life is kind enough to distribute some and mend one’s ways little by little.

RM’s outburst made me realize that there is nothing shameful in tears. Rather it is the need of the hour. I am sorry that RM has to go through this unavoidable pain which is an irrevocable truism of life. At the same time I am glad that I could touch his heart and reach out to a stricken soul when it needed the balm of consolation the most.


Evenings like this are very common in Kolkata. …suffocating, hot, humid, muggy, sweat dripping down in streams drenching dehydrating, de-energizing …clothes sticking to the body, have to be wrenched out to let the scanty air, blowing as per Nature’s whims and fancy, pass through, marginally cooling the skin scorched with heat and clammy with perspiration. An indefinite stranded existence on one of the thoroughfares of office-pada.

Never ending queues of black and yellow taxis, hordes of dilapidated almost pre-historic looking buses emitting black smoke, trams - the modern-age dinosaurs still marauding the metroscape, now standing silently bumper to bumper, and then suddenly the engines are revved up and the wheels rotate a few inches and then again stop dead. Clutch, gear, brake, neutral…………..the caricature of movement goes on interminably. Evening gives way slowly to night. The handkerchief is too wet to absorb any more water….

The engine starts again. A slight change. Clutch, gear, a soft foot press on the accelerator. Passage at last!! A few inches gap between our vehicle and the cab next. Our driver swerves the car neatly towards the left and takes a short cut to circumvent the congestion. We enter a side lane. At the entrance there is an ancient Shiv Mandir. The lane is narrow. Only one vehicle can pass through at a time.

People…..people……people… everywhere. Strange people. People who shun daylight. Weird, scarred faces, ogling eyes, dark demeanours………night creatures. We are told to pull up the window- screen. Some pedestrians, taking a short cut through the lane, walk by with their heads held down.

The serpentine lane is flanked by windowless structures which seem to be housing innumerable faces and bodies. Lean, lithe, thin, fat, beautiful, grotesque, old, middle-aged, young, teenaged, children, infant. Figures, some with babies in the crooks of their arms, stand expectantly at the threshold of their doors beckoning, smiling, luring, cat calling. Faces caked with make up. Eyes thickly lined with kajal. Lips dripping crimson. Huge daubs of red on the cheek. Foreheads, cheeks and necks plastered with white powder. Short skirts…tight bodices, exposed thighs, skin, arms, legs…….many clad in six yards.

The lane is brightly lit not by the street lights but by the stalls and shops bordering the street. The drive seems never ending. Suddenly there is a bend and the lane gives way to a circular opening. An opening with rows and rows and rows of bodies standing with feet apart,, hands on their hips dead pan faces ………….an amorphous, infinite parade of young, juvenile, old bent bodies, toothless smiles, shrewd eyes scanning the passers by………. they don’t speak or call out, they don’t breathe, they just stand there watchful, silent, still. I look on as the car moves past slowly. I look on………… till my limited retinal capacity allows,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I look on………….as I can’t take my eyes off the children…………..the infants…………..the babies……..the new born………….

I close my eyes ……….and see them there………the dead soldiers of Inca guarding the residual treasures of their plundered lives………. …………..they stand there embalmed………..entrapped………….waiting………….still.


The other day I walked onto my sun-filled terrace………..

It was a glorious afternoon and a soft breeze blew languidly. The leaves of my potted plants danced to the rhythm. I fingered my wet, tangled tresses absently, trying to set them in some kind of order. My dupatta flew happily around my shoulder. Idea was to laze around in the sunny afternoon.

I looked up to the bright blue sky dotted with soft, white clouds. Everything was placid and peaceful around me. Even the birds did not chirp loudly.

A happy…..sunny…lazy…carefree…idle afternoon.

In the evening, I had a date with friends. We went window shopping…freaking out actually in the busy traffic of the Capital.

Ice cream cones in hand, we waded through the maze of cars and crowds, laughing loudly at each other….cracking PJs, browsing through the shop windows and making elaborate, expensive plans of future purchases.

Cars honked past us. Happy faces…cheerful, well dressed crowds…haggling customers…harassed shopkeepers…blazing neons…windows proudly displaying glittery, glam things.

A perfect scene of a flurry of activities in an over-crowded market on a hectic weekend.

That night we had a family get together in one of the upcoming chain of hotels….

A table laden with mouth watering dishes, flowers, candles, common place talks, friendly jeers, whispered snide at the occupiers of the next table…

Scurrying waiters…hurried orders…aroma of delicious food…perfumed air…tinkling of glasses and cutlery…muffled laughter ….dimmed lights….

A pretty picture of a happy family…

And then there was this other morning in some place else…..

A burqa clad figure walked out of the house to meet another day of uncertainty. She was not sure of the next minute…whether she would be able to cross the very road in front of her in a casual, sedate pace…or she would have to break into a sudden run and beg for shelter in one of the half closed shops or in the backyard of some not-so-unkind neighbour…or whether she would be able to come back home safe and unscathed in the evening after a hard day’s toil…she really did not know what lay ahead……

A plain face hidden behind a burqa…shuffling feet…diffident gait…she could still not make up her mind whether the burqa was an imposition or an adornment. It was the acid attacks which made it mandatory….a safety cloak to keep her face intact….

Suddenly there was a distant commotion….an uproar…cause unknown….gradually coming closer, becoming more distinct…louder…the spiteful mob voicing angry opinions all together creating a confusion of noise, running feet, shouts, calls of alarm…all at once….peltering stones…anger…hatred…dread mixed with fury…..and then the counter attack….impatient rounds of firing…the bullets whizzing past…increasing chaos …running feet…jostling bodies…helplessness…fear….despair….all mixed together….

Everybody ran helter skelter. She ran too, but not so fast. The dark, heavy fabric of the burqa kept flapping around her knees and getting caught in between her legs making it difficult for her to run. She kept on tucking at it with one sweaty hand and tried to run as fast as the clumsy burqa would allow her. She wanted to throw it aside. But that required a moment’s halt…and that one moment was so precious and unavailable…..dangling precariously between life and death that priceless moment slipped out of her hand. Her chappal caught into something on the pavement and she fell. It was then that the bullet hit her….piercing through the ominous burqa…tearing past the soft fabric of her kurta…it finally settled down on the left side of her chest…comfortably ensconced into her heart…

The swaythed figure, bathed in a pool of blood, lying face down on the sidewalk, was unceremoniously carried by uniformed hands and dumped into the morgue where other such countless, nameless, unidentified bodies lay stacked one on top of the other.

The next day….the story occupied a small corner of the left hand side column of one of the inside pages of the daily. The event was termed as a “minor skirmish” and the casualties were coined as “soft targets” “Soft” because the carcasses did not belong to the rich and powerful. Nor were they celebrities. They were plain, ordinary, mundane people leading lackluster lives…a bunch of weeds in the overgrown jungle of humanities, best forgotten after a minute’s mourning.

Coming to think of it…what their lives would have been, had these insignificant non-entities not died such “significant” deaths?

Take for example, the plain-faced girl in the dark burqa…she would have led a routine life alternating between Madarsa preaching and dull domesticities…would have eventually got married to an ordinary looking man…bred a pack of rowdy kids and dealt with the day to day drudgeries of domesticated life in her own quiet manner. Only once in a while she might have so called “enjoyed living” in her otherwise dreary, stereotype existence.

At least, this “unusual” death brought her posthumous fame…the event got recorded in history in indelible prints…the city dwellers read and sighed…so what if the men in uniform callously left her body in a remote dump yard to stink and rot…and her identity was left un-established…name unascertained…still she had the “crowning glory” of being a Martyr in the JEHAD for rightful independence….it was SOMETHING!!! …wasn’t it?

Or….was it…..?.....really?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Mr. Boots has lately got into this very irritating habit of waking me up at odd hours (somewhere between past midnight and early hours of dawn) and insisting on going for a round. Sometimes he will paw me awake in the midst of deep slumber; sometimes it will be an insistent appeal when I get up in the middle of the night to visit the loo and some other nights he just sniffs close to my nose persistently as I try in vain to cover my face with the quilt. He knows all the techniques of beguiling me. I am not left with much choice but to follow his beckoning. So night after night I prowl through the half lit, deserted pathways meandering through the rows of silent buildings when everyone else is snoring peacefully in bed.
It is winter. The streets look discarded. As a result, these night trips are spiced more with uneasiness than the wiggly excitement of a clandestine adventure. In the beginning, I have this nagging thought of what my neighbours will think if they see me stalking in the dead of the night. I soon realize that there is no one around at such God forsaken hours to pole an opinion about me. Even the chowkidaars are fast dozing in their little cubicles next to the main gates. I keep to my block as I feel safer inside. Outside bordering the service lane is the external Ring Road lined with heavy vehicles sometimes trudging doggedly along and some other times zooming past throughout the night. Sometimes I meet a lone figure coming back from work (Call Centre, most probably). But he is too tired to even figure out whether I am actually there or is just a figment of his overworked cerebrum.
Mr. Boots is unusually quiet on these occasions looking for cozy corners to relieve his bladder. On New Year’s night I see a drunken soul staggering home. But he is quite far and his back is turned. Anyway he is too high to make out that somebody’s behind him ( I am sure he will die of fright if he turns around and sees this heavily hooded figure with an equally monstrous looking canine just tiptoeing right behind him).
It is not that I like these walks but I have come to accept them because Boots is suffering from UTI and needs to relieve himself more frequently. I surrender, therefore, to the inevitable i.e. toeing Mr. Boot’s line.
Winter night has a beauty of its own - a lonesome pathos on the threshold of melancholy. The capital is known for its smog or fog or whatever the climate experts prefer to call the haze that surrounds the cityscape like an opaque shield. Sometimes it is so thick that things right in front of your nose can not be seen. Sometimes smouldering shades are added to the colourless quilt by a burning fire of stray twigs and branches which the road dwellers build to keep themselves warm. The bare scraggy branches of old trees lining the alleys add to the barren isolation. Some nights are surprisingly clear and a deep electrique blue sky with winking stars and a moon with a doting smile keep you company.
These are the nights when I learn that the acoustics of nightlife are digitally more precise than the Dolby surround sounds boasted by PVRs. So many nights I stand alert listening to scurrying, running feet on dry leaves. A rodent hurries past. Sometimes a deep cackle from among the foliage of a tree gives me goose bumps. (I have not been able to make out the source yet!). And sometimes it is just the soft sound of footfalls on pebbled street which has made me look back suspecting a skulking shadow in the darkness. I find no one.
The rows and rows of flats which look warm and inviting in daylight stand like forlorn figures waiting for some catastrophe with bated breath. Every mildest of sound ricochets and reverberates in the deathly stillness around. My own footsteps scare me at times. A hiss of my own breath sends a chill down my spine. Boot’s paws on a stack of pebbles trips a heartbeat. The clanking of his chain on the asphalt many a times startles me. And sometimes it is just a contemptuous flighty cat which scares the wits out of me.
Apart from my flights of fancy, these nocturnal prowls have more or less been uneventful. But for one incident.
It is way past midnight. We stride past the sleepy structures of bricks and mortar, the drowsy trees and the dreamy clumps of bushes and come to an opening in the middle of the road which branches off in three different directions. Mr. Boots sniffs the ground, his ears pick up in alertness and his hackles rise. He moves further down and I glide on with him. The road sidelines a cemented strip of land which may have initially been envisaged as a sort of sidewalk for the pedestrians but now serves as a parking lot for the increasing number of vehicles per flat. The side wall next to the parking lot separates the block from the MCD Park. The park is big and well cultivated with trees and bushes and flower beds. But in the darkness everything is sinisterly silhouetted against the night sky. The parking lot is therefore overshadowed by the dark silhouettes of the trees of the park, on one hand, and, on the other, the vehicles parked on the sides. Boots finds his cozy corner and relieves himself.
As we come out of the shadowy corner we are suddenly accosted by a pack of snarling, growling pack of four legged brutes. I do not know from where they emerge They are all around us six of them with green, glowing eyes. They growl softly. A low pitch admonish which may strike higher chords if instigated. They silently watch us. Their strong, lithe bodies poise to hurl. Boots is taken aback. Physical discomfort rendering his reflexes weak. I look for a safe exit. But the monsters have gheraoed us in such a manner that we cannot move out of the circle without pushing past them. The strategy seems to have been carefully planned and the anticipated attack almost premeditated.
I brandish my stick ( a short one which I usually carry not as a weapon but as a protective armour for such occasions) in the air. Lame, frightened gesture. Boots stamps his feet with all the fierceness that his weak body allows him to muster. Ineffective. The pack slowly closes in on us. I can see the cavernous gaping holes of their mouths bordered by strong, red jaws and the sharp-edged molars shining white in the darkness. This is the end, I think. Boots seems to think so too. His body sags, his ears droop and tail drops – he submits to what now seems like a carefully hatched conspiracy. The brutes must have been watching us these previous nights and have decided to have it out with us once and for all.
Thak….thak….thak! A faint sound invades the silence of the night. I peer through the half lit, half shadowed street. It is misty but not so thick. I can see a tall, dark figure heavily clothed in a dark over coat and hat with a coarse blanket thrown on top. He has a little thicker than the usual, baton like rod in one hand. He walks with a limp. The heels of his shoes make an odd clattering noise on the road, echoing through the otherwise noiseless surround, as he walks towards us. He takes sometime to reach the spot. Somehow he seems to be in great pain. But he walks on and as he comes closer, he can make us out. The pack has also noticed him and there is a shift in their posture. They are no more confident and their focus waivers. Before I can call out to him, he gives a tarzan howl (I am really surprised why the neighbours have not woken up!!!) and circles his baton in the air with such a force that it seems as though it is going to slip out of his grasp and come hurling at us. But I am wrong. He holds on to the rod and just gesticulates as though he is about to strike. The pack disperses. I thank him. He gives me a mock salute. One of the night guards, I believe. A muffler is woven around his neck and hides the lower half of his face. The upper half is hidden by the hat. I don’t blame him. It is so hideously cold out here!!! Though I can still feel a clammy stream of sweat slowly sliding down my back.
I expect he will leave. But he continues to walk by our side as though he is fearful that the pack may attack us again. I somehow feel comfort in his presence. Boots goes on growling softly and at times just stops midway with his ears picked up as if he is trying to catch a muffled sound. I am slightly surprised because Boots generally does not take to strangers easily. But he may have recognized a saviour in this man. As we near our flat, I thank him once again. He nods and walks away.
From now on there are three of us. I invariably meet him at the same spot where we have been attacked. He appears all of a sudden from around a bend or just round a corner of one of the by-lanes. He salutes me and walks on with us. He has an odd kind of quietness about him which I find quite unnerving at times. But at the same time, it is comforting to have a strong person around me in the dead of the night who has once saved us from getting attacked by six four legged brutes and I am sure he will do the same again if such a need arises. Sometimes, I hear the echo of his footsteps before I can spot him. His limp seems to have increased and with it the pain also. I can make that out from the way he pulls his left leg with all his might. Or is it the figment of my imagination?
I think of asking him his name or the village to which he belongs. Small pleasantries. But then I just keep quiet fearing my initiating a conversation may perhaps encourage him to be familiar with me which is not at all desirable given the situation. He seems to be in his fifties, though I have never seen his face clearly. But I can recognize him by his limping gait. As I near my flat he walks on and disappears in the fog. A lone figure with an odd dissipating quality about him!
Sometimes I stop him midway and tell him that I am okay and can manage on my own. Boots gives me strange look and a surprised whine and often a sarcastic snort. I choose to ignore that. The night guard gives a dry chuckle, nods and disappears down the temple lane (there’s a temple down the lane). I hear the thak thak of his boots echoing in the stillness long after he is gone.
Boots health has picked up slowly and he does not require to visit the corner so often. It is almost a fortnight after that mishap. It is around midnight. I and Boots walk down the lane quietly. Some of the flats have their lights on still. So it is not so desolate. As we come near the temple lane, our night guard appears quietly and starts walking side by side. This side of the block is always quiet and deserted even in the evenings. The flats are mostly habited by retired people who believe in retiring to bed early. I nod at the guard and tell him that Boots is well now and does not require to be taken out in the night so often. I thank him profusely for his help and company. He nods quietly and gives his smart mock salute. There is an odd kind of finality in that nod and salute. He says nothing and turns around to leave. As though leaving for good.
Sometimes there is an unreasonable kind of sadness which envelopes the heart. Sometimes there is a hollowness in your insides. Sometimes you want to hold on to a particular moment as though it will never come back again. I have the same feeling standing next to the locked gate of the temple lane. The man is gone. Now he is just a speck in the thickening mist. Boots gives a tug and we move on.
A week later I find the guards have had a shift of duty. The day guards have been given the night shift while the night guards are enjoying the day shift. I look for my good Samaritan. But he is not to be seen. I ask one of the guards whether he has seen the man with a limp. He has not seen him he says. There is no man with a limp in the group. I am slightly surprised.
A few days later. Early morning. I pass the Dairy. A few people have grouped in front of the shop and talk animatedly. I stop to have a few words with Mukesh, the Dairy owner. Snatches of conversation flow past.
Robbery in the block next… family…..daughter’s marriage…..jewellery, gold, money, all taken…..a fortnight back. The night guard fights valiantly with the hoodlums. But the robbers are well armed and the guard only has a baton to protect himself. They beat him up so badly that he has to be hospitalized. He lies in comma for a week or so. Gangarine. The robbers bludgeon his left leg to a pulp which has to be amputated. Old man in his fifties but what courage!! Fights till the end. But poison spreads to his whole body……he dies last week.
My throat chokes.
My eyes burn.
I say a silent prayer.

Wish I knew his name and the village to which he belonged.

Monday, March 22, 2010


The news is that I have chanced upon a fantastic maalish wali (though she says she has been frequenting our block for the past fifteen years!), who is now a regular to my household. Fantastic because she is a rare combination of soft hands, breezy smile and a voice that seems to be coming out of the wilderness (though the voice part has nothing to do with her proficiency), She comes between 3 and 5.00 in the afternoon for my mother, does a half to one hour job, and has a fixed rate (hourly) so there is no khich-khich over payment; besides she doesn’t mind doing other odd jobs too like washing the utensils and cleaning the house in case the house maid has taken a day’s off or played truant. She comes in the morning and walks back home late into the night. Her jhuggi is around one and half to two kilometers further away from our block.

I see her only on the weekends. While her soft hands play music on my overstrained muscles (most of the times I doze off), Premwati confides her woes in me. She hails from a remote village in Satna district, Madhya Pradesh. It takes two and a half days and innumerable switch-overs from train to bus to tempo to reach there. She has one cow, who if fed sufficiently, gives two litre of milk a day; two buffaloes are used for harvesting; and an unmanageable calf which she had to ultimately sell off. While her eldest son, who doesn’t keep good health, tills the land, her younger son is good for nothing and stays mostly with his wealthy in-laws. Her youngest son is studying. Her brother-in-law (her husband’s younger brother) is the Sarpanch and therefore better off than her husband. The sister-in-law, though younger in age, is a big bully.

Premwati’s aim in life is to build three pucca floors for her three sons so that there is no squabble over property once she departs to the other world. She has built one already for her eldest son. Rest two remains to be built. Her only lament is that she does not get enough time to meet all the demands in the block. Sometimes she runs short of time and has to say ‘no’ to many which pains her.

Bits and pieces of drab, dreary, mundane information signifying nothing in particular to urbanites but put together present an insightful earthly portrayal of rustic lifestyle, thoughts and aspirations. Down-to-earth, basic and universal!

I admire her dedication. Her proficiency. Her single minded focus on what she wants in life. Her hard work and patience. Her honesty, her soothing presence and smiling efficiency. An illiterate woman hailing from a remote village of Satna toils day and night so that she can provide permanent shelter to her children.

Admirable!!! Who says one needs a string of big fat degrees from elite institutes to be labeled a “pro”?

Friday, March 12, 2010


She welcomed me to the seat next to her in a smart, friendly way and helped me stow away my overnighter.
Youth is always engaging in its vigour and vitality!!!
Long, striaight, silky hair.
Honey-brown eyes.
Arresting face.
Attractively dressed in blue denim and grey-blue body hugging T-shirt.
A picture post card of gen-now.
The added bonus points - courteous, intelligent, very quick on the uptake, considerate.
What else did you need in your co-traveller for a two and a half hour air borne status.
She was ready to exchange seats when she realized that I and the person seated on her right were known to each other.
"No", I declined, may be a little too strongly.
"No?", Surprise shone in her eyes with a glint of understanding.

Besides destination, we had one another thing in common...........Eckhart Tolle.
She was reading his latest bestseller.
I asked her how it was.
She was all praises.
"It is all about the ego and the illusions which we are comfortable living with," She explained.
"How true!", I remarked.
She asked me whether I had read the book.
I said no but I had read his other bestseller "Power Of Now", which actually changed my life.
"How could you?", She was amazed,"Its real hard read!"
"Read it in installments and let the ideas slowly seep in and get embedded in your mind," I explained.
She nodded understanding.

I slept for the next two hours.
When the wheels touched the tarmac, my acquaintance (actually, my boss!) sprinted out of the craft without a second's look back.
She helped me with my luggage and promptly stopped the Governor's entourage for me to disembark first.
I was happily embarrassed.
"Ma'am! Nobody has manners here. Nobody gives way to a lady. If you stand by they'll make you wait forever".
I thanked her.

We boarded the bus to the departure lounge together.
She stood scanning her mobile while I took a window seat and gazed out.
I was the first to get down.
It was almost dusk and the lounge was empty.
Half way down, I turned around to thank her once again for all the help.
Unfamiliar faces stared back at me.
She was not to be found.
I was surprised. perhaps a little sad too.
How could she leave so quickly without a notice!

There was not much time to ponder.
The protocol was waiting to greet us.
Soon we got busy....a lot of hand shakes, back patting, namasteys.
First time intros........luggage check on and so forth.......

There are very few people in this world who have this extra ordinary capability of making you feel special. My co passenger was gifted with that quality. She was one of those very few who left behind a sweet fragrancefull memory which you could muse over in your leisure.

"Oh! yes I shall remember you for a very long long time", I thought. You do not need a whole life time's association to remember a person. Sometimes a moment's notice, a passing nod, a casual touch or a sudden catching of the eye can be enough to make a lasting impression.
And I had spent a whole two and a half hours with her!!!!!!!!!!!
If only I had her address I coud have posted her a "Thank You" Card.

I looked back once again to see if I could catch her sight and call out to her perhaps.
Call out ? That requires a name, doesn't it?

As I stepped out of the airport it struck me that I did know her name.

In the limited periphery of time, when two souls with a common chord had intersected each other's paths, identity, nomenclature and other mundane material attachments had lost significance. What had assumed greater importance was the comfort, warmth and empathy that we shared in each others company even if it was for a few hours.

May be some other day some other time, we'd meet again!!!!!!!!!!
And it would be then that I'd find out what name the kind hearted ones are called by!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, March 02, 2010


26 degree celsius. Time evening 5.00 ish. A day rolling surruptitiously into dusk. Cool air. Quiet roads. A range of green hills giving company from afar.
When the aircraft was hovering close to Mother Earth just before touch down, I saw a silvery yard of silk with silent ripples embroidered on it sashaying through the green forests. I wondered whether it was the Brahmaputra.
The car whisked us past the outskirts of the city. Tall trees. Setting sun. Barmy breeze. A hush of the nightfall.
A white intricately sculpted monolith. A half lit sacro sanctum. The blinded eyes of the Lord. The impish glitter of gold and silver. A chant of prayers. A lot of blessings. Cold marble under the feet.
Late evening. A sea of faces. Unfamiliar, unknown, friendly and smiling. Late dinner.
A quiet night.
Early morning. Hurried departure to workplace. Busy day.
Mellow afternoon. Slanting rays of sun on swaying foliage. Winding roads. Birds chirp. Soft gold sunshine. Peaceful. Laid back. Unhurried.
Try though I hard, failed to trace the grains of dissension.
A quick peep into the Far East............Hmmmmmmmmm once is not enough


Tut...tut....tu....Somebody's knocking on my window pane. I lift the curtain to find a grey-white baby pigeon trying to perch on my window frame. Tut...tut...tut. It flaps its wings in distress. Goes and sits on the hanging pot. Doesn't find it comfortable and tries to get a grip on the frame again. Too narrow for a stronghold.........

Baby, look for some other branch, tree, log, hold....This one's too slender to give you a grip. Explore some more. Look around a little. Open your eyes. Come out of your comfort zone. Look around more. Open your wings wide. Fly high. Do not be scared of new horizons. There may be something waiting for you. Something more strong, beautiful, secure and permanent. Though nothing is permanent. Still look around. Do not give up. Do not close your wings. .........Do not be blinded by fear of the unknown..........Fly high and afar and find your new horizon................