X Ray

You can see all your bones.
even the spinal chord.
But which X Ray
Human with spine
yet a spineless soul


Where there is Smoke...

In deep dark valley
There's an engine 
That pulls the strength
of a gigantic train
and it goes......

Up above the convoluted bridge
a vehicle makes its way
through the narrow path,
fighting the darkness of night
and steepness of valley

Below that blue sky
a machine chug it's way
releasing smoke in air,
leaving back, what is left behind

Where there is Smoke
There is indeed fire
What if it does not burn outside
The fire is within our bellies

There are paths 
constructed in even, the uneven valley
For there is sky
just above your head.
For your machinery will work
Just keep the fire in heart intact

"For God will make a way"

Let's walk down the beautiful memory lane

Old Bank Street, Manchester, UK by R.A.D. Stainforth 
Let's walk those lanes again
where the seeds of our friendship were sown
Let's visit that era bank
street where we meet before

The streets soaked in rain
The streets kissed with glory in vain
Let's trot those quiet streets again
towards the toll booth pane

A lot of water passed through bridge
differences developed and drifts came within
Let us not re open the scar
Let us neither take the grief any far

Time to open up and absorb
let go of past be-wilderness and recall
the lovely times that we had together
the moments that we spent with each other

Let's take a stroll towards all happiness
lets come forth and clean our mess
Life is all about walking alone
Nothing makes is better, like a friend who comes along

Let's take a walk and rebuild
let go of your umbrella
and that protective shield
for you fear no harm
I will come with you
with open hands
and open arms

Do me a Favor, lets Play Holi

Housing.com cover
Optimism is inimitably powerful and infectious too. However, it keep changing hands often and often in bargain, it falls off our hands. We need to open our fists of self defined notions, our fears and let them slip away in search of that little optimisms. Stretch your hands and allow to grasp another hands so that optimism could not just slip away but cupped between those two palms that fist into one and called unison. I call it love and togetherness. And in today's world of "me first" and "I, me,myself", it is together-ness that is most cherished and sought after. After all synthesis and symbiosis is the essence of life. Had it not there, the sun would not give us life nor does this land, water or air.

Love is many a splendid thing and gives birth to togetherness.
I have a homing bird, a homely pigeon who had traveled around a lot. No matter where I have gone, places I visited, people I met, for me Home is where heart is and family is my top priority, my finding. I love spending time with my family. More the merrier. Off late due to my education outside and work, I missed visiting home that often and in bargain stopped celebrating festivals as much as I did with my family. That sense of bond and togetherness was missing, and it resisted me from celebrating my festivals in absence of family. It was not that I was alone. In fact, I would have multiple invitations from friends and colleagues. I really admired they way they would bond as family esp on those occasions and started missing my family more. The desire to be with my family on festivals as well grew deeper in me.

Let's play Holi
Ok ok, I love Holi but not great fan playing one. I do not recall when I last played Holi and these years, playing holi became a non existing choice for me. Well this was my first Holi post marriage. As usual, I did not have any plans. The building I stay in does some Holi sessions every year and this year was no different. 

I saw the notification near the lobby while returning from office. When I reached home, my mom who was visiting me, handed me the leaflet that society people handed her, insisting us to come. I was like- I barely know them and given they know each other much better, it will be quite awkward for us, so lets skip. Yes, being alone in the crowd always scared me rather repulsed me. Nevertheless, I was not comfortable playing holi and that too with so many people? Naah! I said- Skip

The ring on door made me changed my mind when society secretaries came to personally invite us. After some dilly dally, we decided to go down for breakfast only and come back as quick as possible after the cursory visit. 

I was in my jammies when my mother summoned me to get ready. I went to washroom to brush my teeth and found my hubby suddenly coming and standing behind me, holding his tooth brush as if brushing his teeth. little did I realized that my unassuming hubby was hiding lots of Red color in his palm. It was his optimism. Before I could turn and resist, the entire colors were smeared on my face. I was caught unaware. I did not expected my husband, my usual serious husband to do all that.

What followed was, remains unexplained. From my way to home till venue, I was all smeared in colors, left right and center. AS we entered the arena where holi was being played, I grew apprehensive. There were people with packets of colors, pipes and shower fittings for rain dance. I love getting soaked in rain but normally avoid as it makes it very uncomfortable for me. 

Suddenly I saw two hands coming forward, taking my hands in them. It was my hubby and my mom, who took my hands in theirs and nodded me to march forward with a smile. It was their way of saying- Do not worry, We are together in this Journey. As the hands entangled in to each other, optimism was exchanged and sense of togetherness over powered. 

We had a wonderful time, making that day memorable and cherish-able for me and my family. We pranced, danced and had too much of fun. 

Ahem do not ask me for Holi pictures, I am not that optimistic to share my pictures looking like a riot of colors ;)

Start a New Life with a Single Step

A Single step of a man, was a giant leap for mankind.

Could not agree less with this statement that Neil Armstrong made post his historical trip to Moon. His words have made huge impact on generations that came and will keep making impact to the upcoming generation as well. And Nina was no exception.

Nina was this little girl from small town who wanted to make her mark on the world. She was 12 year old daughter of my house maid Basanti Mai. Nina, unlike her mom did not wanted to end up being a house maid but she had dreams in her eyes. She wanted to study and become something, someday. Yes, that is what she told me when I asked her what is her aim in the life. She said- Didi, I am not sure what is aim and how to achieve it. All I know is that I do not want to step in shoes of my mother and do the house work. Rather I want to work hard and become "Something", someday.

I asked her what is that "something" she wants to become. As it would be a vague aim and given an inclination, right approach could be taken in the right direction. So she said that she wanted to work in an office wherein the people would say "Good morning madam" whenever she enters the office. So you want to be Politician? I asked. She said no but she wants to be a simple officer but do not know what officer. May be like the one "saheb" and all are. And she would soon figure out.

Nina was studious girl and was keen on her education. She would often look at my books with an undefined curiosity and ask questions about them. Given her curiosity, I picked my old school books and gave it to her for reading. She would diligently read them all and share her queries on it with me. One day I needed to go to bank for some transaction and I took her for company. It is then she decided, she wants to be a bank officer someday. I was happy that she finally found her calling.

Well life is not as rosy as we think. Nina belonged to a poor family. Her father was a drunkyard who would often beat her mother for money. One night, we were woken up with some screeching noise at the backyard. I realized it was her father who was having another brawl with her mother. I could not stop myself but reached to my window to get the details. It was Nina who getting beaten up by her father. He was so thwarted for money that he decided to marry his young teenage daughter to an elderly man against some money exchange. I could not stop myself and rushed out. My mother got worried and tried to stop me but seeing the situation, she could not help stepping out.

"Stay out from this memsahib, it is my matter, my personal matter and I shall deal with it" the man screamed. He then reached out to a big wood log to hit his wife. I do not know what inspired me that moment and rushed ahead and pushed that man behind. He was drunk and he fell down on uneven ground. My mom took the log in hand and asked him to move out of our premises or we will call the police. The man murmured something amounting to separation with Nina and his mother for lifetime and rushed out.

Nina's mother broke down and pleaded my mother to bring him back. She said, she will be broken without a man in her life. We consoled her and Nina and told her how her husband did no good to them but was mere a namesake "stamp" and how she needs to hold her life from there and step ahead.
Good sense prevailed. Nina and her mother vowed to start their life afresh, Her husband left them and married some other woman. His access was denied to our premises and nor did he bothered to disturb Nina and her mother again. Nina with a little help from us, pursued her studies and sat for bank PO. Today is working as a "cashier" in a good government level bank and working for her PhD. Her mother need not have to do the dishes at other's home anymore. She thanked my mother profusely for her guidance and support.

You must be wondering that how this brought "a change in my life". Well Let me tell you that when we move ahead and do something good for someone else, it brings back a lot of good yield to us. Here's how this brought a change to my life-

1) I was quite a timid girl but with that incidence, I realized my potential and rather my strength to give back to a bully and not feel threatened. 
2) The whole instance made me stronger to voice my opinions against something that was socially not acceptable. Nina' father's attitude was unacceptable and had many a times caused me agony over their plights. I saw the woman bruised several times but could not gather courage to confront. That moment, I could gain the power of "confrontation".
3) Helping Nina was like helping self. My friends admonished me for not spending much time with them but with my maid. I could not explain them the joy it brought to me.
4) I learnt to voice my opinion towards attaining results.

What more do we need but such little motivations and baby steps at a time to bring "big" changes in our life.

If you are unable to see this video, visit this link- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FXdCjk505w&t=29

This post is inspired by https://housing.com/.

In Pursuit of a Child's Happiness

Pampers India cover

If you follow my other blog- Haute Kutir, I have written about Baby Bed Time Rituals with Pampers and things that makes bed time, a fun time for baby. Continuing the series, Pampers and Baby, lets discuss few things that makes a baby happy and comfortable. Or the things that you can do to make a baby happy.

Before we talk about different sweet, silly and fun things that makes babies happy, let us not forget the importance of using a right pant that keeps baby happy.

Babies are bundle of innocence and love all tender love and care that you bestow on them. You need not do big things to make baby loved but even simple things can make a baby giggle with joy.

1) Tickle-wickle woo- I use a mild tickle at baby's tummy or chin as an age old tool that always helps in ringing that happiness bell in a baby. A little nudge on chin, the baby smiles at you.

2) Little song and dance routine- Believe it or not, babies these days have become very smart. Nursery rhymes and lullaby is fine but plug in a filmi song and you will find babies gyrating those little moves. Last when I visited a friend, I was surprised to know that his 1 year old responds magically to this song- Baby Doll mein sone di. So when I played this song for the child, he smiled and giggled in joy.

3) Tender love and Care- Babies have this magical ability to acknowledge love. You take the baby in your arms and cradle him a bit or take those little feet in your hands and caress or just plant a kiss on the forehead. It will sure make the baby happy

4) Tummy Full of Happiness- No I am not talking about feeding a child. Off course every mother takes a good care of the baby's appetite. However, it has found that a lot of time babies find it difficult to digest their food, which leads to little gas in their tummy and makes them cry. Giving a baby a prescribed spoon of gripe water not just keep their tummy pain free but smile in tact also

5) Dry Pants- One of the major reason for child's agony is wet diapers. Babies have this tendency to pee often and the normal cotton diapers, are though comfortable to wear, still could not absorb wetness and cause redness and allergy to baby. Keeping them clean, well powdered and dry is important and that's where a good diaper comes handy. If you are taking your baby out for any function or travel, do ensure that you use a good diaper that not just help keeping baby dry but also comfortable. Pampers is a highly trusted brand by many mothers worldwide, who use it for keeping that lovely' toddler's helpless smile going.

6) Bathing Bubbles- My Nephew loved his bubble bath as toddler when I would add bath toys in his tub. He would play with the toys and the water. Soon after the bath, he will sleep and wake up happy.

To keep a baby happy is not a simple task but is not that tough too provided you understand the baby and use right techniques. There is nothing like true love. Show your love to baby and baby will happily reciprocate.

A #LookUp Story to Share

Optimism is a lovely word, it is a lovely feeling that has power to fill your world with great hope and happiness. Optimism is my side of glass and I always see it full with contents. What is missing is acknowledged and worked towards attainment and that's it. What is there is celebrated, cherished and valued.

I would take up a moment of your time and tell you about this lovely girl Gitika. Gitika was a girl whom I met in train during one of my journeys. When I first saw Gitika, I saw a bright, a bubbly face that was full of happiness, cheer and positivity. Gitika was a bundle of energy. The way she moved around, helping her family and others was commendable. I said commendable cause I Found Gitika with some walking difficulties and learnt that a deformity at her childhood required her to use some plates in her bones, hence causing a walking deformity. I could not stop admiring her energy, her goodness and her keen interest on studying advertising. 

I was an advertising aficionado and had my bits about the industry including the courses, qualification, good agencies in reckoning and some contacts. Gitika's mom was very keen that I help her with whatever guidance I can as they were from the small town where Internet was still a challenge and a career in advertising was seen as a Taboo for women. We exchanged our contact details and I promised Gitika to come back with good data on the institutions along with application form.

A couple of weeks later when I, after having sufficient materials and info, tried reaching Gitika on her landline asking for her postal address, I was shocked by a rude reply in a harsh baritone from other side. It was Gitika's father who was against her idea of pursuing a career in advertising. He told that they are poor people and advertising is a career for riches or girls who have highly outgoing personality. While this career was not right for Gitika who was partially handicap and walked with the help of crutch. 

But then, Gitika was highly creative and had a things for advertising. Given an opportunity and right qualification, she can make her own place under the sun, Handicape or no handicap, I debated with her father. The man was adamant, and along with help of my uncle I have to visit them. I handled the papers to Gitika's father and told him that deformities do not decide our personalities and capabilities. If Gitika has will, she can succeed. rest is her choice and should remain her choice. I said and left.

Years later I was watching this advertising award and was surprised to see this face receiving the best "copy writing award for the year". It was Gitika, who paved her way to the stage with limp in her heart but great confidence in her eyes. Unlike others, she could not run to her coveted trophy but she walked and attained it right under the nose of all physically fit stalwarts.. And that made all the difference to me. 

Gitika not only had optimism to see optimistic dreams but had enough courage and optimisms to pursue and achieve them. If you could have seen that smile on her face, that day, you would know what I am talking about. She is a #LookUp icon for all of us who often let go of our dreams thinking about negativity around. Gitika was optimist. Her optimism about life, about world and her dreams, yielded her rewards. She is truly a #LookUp Story for me and many such people, who makes this world, a beautiful place to live in.

For more Look up stories, visit-  https://housing.com/lookup.

The Great Indian Dilemma

Lee Miller in Adolf Hitler's bathtub, Munich 1945, by David E. Scherman
She soaked herself in bath tub
her eyes wide open
blank and staring to the wall

As she stepped in shower
sans bath cap
sans foam,
her mind continued to roam

Her thought fixated to door
she has a lovely figure
'that you may adore

she turned no knob
plugged no Jacuzzi stopper
nor let any faucet pour

the Venus on her table
and the men in frame
pondered over her pondering tame

She shift no gaze
They got more amaze
may be just wall to ceiling
and what really is she thinking
rather than her
Spa and beauty indulgence.

The suspense unfolds ahead
read again whatever you thus read
cause Spoiler alert caution
Here's what that we got for nation

Not men, nor jewelry
her thoughts dwell greater
She was wondering
whats Tastes better?
Round Rotis or
Non Round Rotis

[Roti= Indian puffy wheat bread, tawa baked over flame and served during the main meal]
Linked to
Magpie Tale
Indi Spire

In India, a woman' culinary expertise is quite measured by the way she makes the "Rotis". A round rotis is considered to be aesthetically and technically better than the the less rounded ones. Taste wise, the difference may not be greatly germ from the shape but the quality of kneading, rolling and baking.

Often, mothers in India would be found lecturing their "marriageable aged" daughters on the importance of making perfect round chapati, linking it to the "sanskaar" [culture] given by parents to their daughters as acknowledged at her in-laws house. It may sound funny but making rotis ic not rocket science and could be easily perfected with little bit of practice, some sincerity and logic.