Happily Married

He is dark. She is fair. The quintessential Mills and Boon romance.
He is haphazard. She is very organised.
He is from a loving family. She is from a loving family which lives apart.
He has had past relationships. She has none that mattered.
He is lazy. She is prompt.
He thinks with his heart. She thinks with her mind.
He is messy. She is meticulously clean.
He loves a crowd. She is a one to one person.
Both are creative.
Both are happily married to each other.

He is cool. She is hyper active.
He wanted to marry for love. She to get out of her parents home.
He is diplomatic. She speaks her mind all the time.
They are happily married to each other.

He met her in an arranged marriage meeting.
He liked her. She liked him.
He is fair and so is she.
He is calm. She is peaceful.
He is a good host. She is a loving host.
He is always there for friends. She is generous in her love for people.
He stands with her. She is a stand for him.
They are happily married to each other.

He was ageing. She was growing fat.
He was poor. She came from a rich background.
He was classy. She was far from subtle.
He was chilled out. She was a wanna be.
They are happily married to each other.

He lived off his father s money. She was striving in her finances.
He was with family. She had never been with them.
He liked nursing his daily drink. She came from a family of teetotallers.
He was hep. She tried real hard to be.
They are happily married to each other.

He was educated. She was barely.
He was quiet. She was gregarious.
He liked a quiet dinner at home. She liked being amidst people at a party.
He loved sports. She could barely differentiate between a goal and a run.
He liked all. She was critical of everything.
He had seen the world. She hardly knew her country well.
His family voted for Congress. Her family voted for BJP.
They are happily married to each other

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Encroachment

I am always shocked how the temples in Mumbai start occupying more and more space and more and more followers. The one at Shivaji Park one of the rare open spaces in the heart of Mumbai has one such temple. It started as a real small shrine then a bigger one. Some years back more renovation and more garden space encroached into. Then they cemented the area around.Then shoe racks were added, then some benches and area to sit with potted plants. Now you have hawkers selling flowers and prasad. Shivaji on the horse is confined to a dark iron railing,hardly seen with all the temple expansion.
Near my house at the turning, we have a small Shiva temple under a tree. Now it is marble, it has four large pillars, a red and white fancy canopy. When they celebrate Shivratri, politician s sons come to attend it. The whole street is lit up in fairy lights. Temple decorated with orchids, gone are the days of gende ke phool or marigold. Dinner is provided to all who visit.Forgot to mention, the chawls near it are now SRA buildings. The nice thing is lets be grateful people are praying. The corner could have been infested with drug peddlers, consumers or God knows what. So am I supposed to be grateful for this encroachment for a good cause and who decides which cause is good?
Did i tell you that Tesu flower, the holi one, is called Palash in Hindi. An Aunt who read the blog in Dhanbad said so. Thank you. I liked Palash Sen music when he launched.
Mothers dont come to fetch their small children on time at the building gate when the school bus comes. I wonder what mettle are these mothers made of.
There are so many muncipal and convent schools on the way to Pranaya s school. All children look so happy when I see them from the bus. What happens to adults? Where does the smile, the playfulness and the bonhomie go?
Children talk of making a house bigger than Abhishek Bachhan s. They want to be chidren s doctor, swimming teacher, astronaut and pilot. Mine wants to be a stuntwoman and teach art to children.One of them asked me , what does Pranaya want to be when she grows up. That got me thinking…….Finally, I said an entrepreneur a business woman. Saara apna , apne bacche pe thop diya.Is that encroachment?
What do I really want to be????????????

Pure

A New born Child is so pure.
If you carry the baby,you will have only good thoughts. If you are with the baby asleep in your arms, you experience bliss. If you walk into a house where the baby is born, you experience calm and peace. If the baby wakes up in your arms, you worry and then the baby stretches and yawns and looks at you , your world becomes alive. When the baby listens to you calling him and smiles , you feel sublime. When the baby smiles in his sleep, you experience joy.The baby s family is cool with the baby in your arms , you experience freedom.
A new born baby is all love.
I have not yet stopped smiling after meeting the baby. I am surrounded by love all around me.

Thailand

Prateik Babbar is hot. Check him out in the new GQ magazine. The shoot happenned in Phuket. Phuket is such a lovely place. I think whole of Thailand is beautiful.
Amazing people and really beautiful place. My experiences of Thailand are all due to a very close friend who lives there. I have been with her family and friends and all were so welcoming. So Bangkok,which the world knows for different reasons is one homely place in my mind.I have been really lucky to know such a wonderful friend from there. I met her in my first year of the college. We were hostelites and took time to know each other. Once the bond was formed, there was no looking back. With her I got a whole fresh perspective in life. How they were Indians who had moved from Pakistan to Bangkok during partition.When all girls were thinking about marriage, she was talking about going to a Thai university and starting her own business.So much clarity and what a vision in such a young person.
They all almost talk Thai at home and love Thai food.We had attended a wedding there. Watching Thais of Indian origin and the Indian Thai mixed children dancing to the beats of the dhol in the temple compound with the Baraat arrived was a sight firmly etched in my mind.
So the reason I went to this college was because of an my mother s friend s sister in law who had visited from Mumbai and told my Aunt and my Mom to send me to Mumbai for further studies and this college in particular. She had explained all the advantages of making me see the whole wide world.
Last night I met that Aunt at a wedding and I thanked her for recommending me the college twenty years back. She was shocked and said’ Really????’ When I thanked her again she said ‘I must have suggested so many things to so many people and no one has ever thanked me for anything till date.’ I felt so complete acknowledging her for the contribution to my life.
Someone wrote That recession is a chance to reconnect with what we need rather than what we have been conditioned to want.

Summer

Summers are here. Today I was planning to make black chana and had asked the maid to soak it last night. As soon as I opened the lid in the morning the smell transported me back to good old Jharia.
Our hardware and paints stores was in the centre of town at the T junction where three roads met. One led to the market, the other to the vegetable and whole sale grain market and the third went towards the temple , station and Gujarati school.
On Diwali our Puja used to be the first to happen . It started at Godhuli bela ie when the cows come home between four thirty and five pm. All my grand father Uncles and cousins used to come for the Puja. The night before on Kali Puja the shop cleaning started. It was not just a shop it was a full one storeyed building with a godown. The upper floor had a staff room, room for the Gods, room for My GranPa , toilets etc. All walls were blue or green. The windows were painted bright green. The out side wall was white and the main door was green too.

Grand father was really a grand old man. We called him Bha. He was Dad s Tauji who had raised Dad when he lost his father at one and half years of age. All women in the family covered their head when he was around. He ate only nutritious food. I remember him having chvanprash and ghee in the mornings.He wore very smart bandhgalas.In winters he had some brilliant woolen scarves. In short he was a man of style and substance.He read some amazing books by great authors and philosophers.I remember the brown cloth covered books lining his living room cabinets.No one dare talk with a loud voice when he was around.He took my Dad and Uncle on long vacations . They used to drive around in cars with driver and all the kitchen stuff. He donated a lot to the temples where the money was used to build rooms in the name of his parents and brother.
On Diwali evening we all wore ghagra cholis and brothers in new kurta pajamas. Then Granny would take us to the shop and before that we took a small stopover at the photo studio and all six children got a group photo clicked. Then one with two boys and one of the four sisters. Standard pattern for so many years.

While the Puja was on , mom and Granny went to the temple to light diyas near all the Gods.When we could write we were given a red register to write Goddess Laxmi s name with red ink. You know the pen had to be dipped in the red ink and written with. they were sharp long pens with pointed nibs. After the arti, we all got lots of money from Bha, Uncles and Dad. They stood in a line and all staff went in a queue for blessings and were given gift money. No one took a holiday for diwali. Then was the cracker bursting time. By now the coloured zero watt bulbs were lit on the shop windows. Dad loved buying crackers so cartoons of them were opened and burst in the centre of the road while the passerbys watching the spectacle. Then we al went to the temple and then more cracker bursting at home. Next day was new year and we had to wake up early.
In summers , we put up a panshaala outside the shop. It was a small room created from bamboo sheets. New big earthen pots were bought. One man was hired for the four months to serve water to all walking on the roads in the hot . He did not get the afternoons off when the shop closed for siesta as it was the hottest then.All workers, passerbys, nearby vendors used to drink water from there. On fridays, black chana soaked overnite was given to all wanting to drink water.Earlier water was poured from an aluminium container directly on to the palms of the drinker.Later we had some coloured plastic glassed to serve the water.We as children used to go on holidays to serve water. No, there were no bisleris or restaurants the or twenty five paise a glass water. It was just plain cool water in the hot summers.

Feelings

How does it feel when you sit to write and your mind is blank?
How does it feel when you walk into the kitchen and dont know what to make for dinner?
How does it feel when you ask family what should I cook and they say kuch Bhi?
How does it feel when you sit near the spouse to talk and he says pass me the remote?
How does it feel when you call someone and they bark call you back and you know the call will never come?
How does it feel when you get upset when the maid doesn t come and land up shouting at your children?
How does it feel when your Mom hangs up on you?
How does it feel when your child becomes a teenager?
How does it feel when you are hailing a cab and someone climbs into it?
How does it feel when you you have a surprise visitor at home and you have good food ready?
How does it feel when someone is a friend but your family is not too fond of the person?
How does it feel when you gossip with your building friends and you know when you go up they will gossip about you?
How does it feel when for parties men sit seperately and you are expected to chat with women and help your children eat?
How does it feel to have worked for ten years and then chit chat with people who have no clue about corporate life and vice versa?
How does it feel when youngsters walk up to you and give you fashion tips?
How does it feel when you watch colleagues talking about their bosses?
How does it feel getting a huge bonus in today s times?
How does it feel not looking like D Quaid or Penelope Cruz all the time?
How does it feel when your child says if you love something you have to marry?
How does it feel when everyone gets gifts but you find yours the worst?
How does it feel when someone keeps giving gifts to you and you dont know what to buy for them?
How does it feel when trees are cut for road widening?
How does it feel when you dont know who to vote for?
How does it feel when you bump into a friend at the supermarket and her one year old is now thirteen?

Happy Holi

Holi is a new start of the new year. For me it truly is, as Pranaya starts school the day after Holi. It is a momentous step in my life. I feel like a huge parting is coming my way. Once a child starts school , he/she never comes back. The umbilical cord breaks not at the operation table in the hospital but when the child starts school. I remember crying on the steps when Devika had joined Sunflower Nursery.

Sunflower Nursery was such a lovely name for pre school. I could imagine the children being nurtured and ready to take on the world garden.The teacher was this old catholic lady running it in her huge house. She only had old wooden toys (no plastic or lead “lets get you intelligent now” toys). There was a grand old Piano sitting in her living room which she used to play everyday and sing with the children. I had walked into their singing time when I first visited the Nursery. Family photographs, victorian furniture and school chairs sat comfortably around the whole house. There was a pet bull dog who was so loving. Children loved having him around. So all those pet therapies, loving your animals etc was taken care of. Only difference was, all this came naturally to the lady running the school. Not those schools run by these young dynamic women who want to give it all to my child- education, motor skills, social manners, trips to supermarkets and all things about festivals.
This Nursery took your child to the post office that too walking. They bought a stamp and posted a card drawn by the children to their mothers. I was so so thrilled to receive that in post as the only things we see in post now a days are bank mailers.

One thing fascinating about Jharia holis was Paani Puris and dahi wadas made at home. It was all prepared the day before so the mothers could also be free from the kitchen.Moms didnt play holi , fathers did. Children got a tub full of water in the aangan.All fathers went to damodar river for a bath after playing holi.

One year we were back from a long two month trip to gujarat by car. We had done lot of Darshans at all temples and washed our sins away in every river possible in the winters. My younger sis was just six months old that time. She loved river bathing the most and she was given dips even in streams. We never caught colds and never ever carried medicines on any trips.Mom taught me- We never plan for calamities only good things in life. So on every trip of hers to any city , she carried some really heavy sarees. Pata nahin kab kiski shaadi fix ho jaaye aur hamein attend karni pade. For years I was always so irritated with her packing these jari waali sarees. Now I really get the point – Living in abundance and celebration.
Ok so on our way back from this gujarat trip, all roads were lined with orange flowers. We called them ‘ Kesuda na phool’ and a friend just informed it is called Tesu. Krishna Bhagwan played holi with these flowers. So lots of flowers were picked from the road and put in the car boot. We called it the dicky those days. Mom and Gran told me all stories about Krishna Leela.
That year we played holi with kesuda na phool. Au Natural….