Beautiful is ‘YOU’

To her with dancing eyes

a lilt in her voice

and twinkle toes

said the universe.

“There’s nothing you need to be more beautiful

coz beautiful is  ‘YOU’.

It does not matter how fair others be

or how long or thick their hair

or how well they speak

or how many friends they count

coz honestly, beauty is truly just ‘YOU’.

Believe me , when I say

you need no validation

nor approval, nor proof

just the smile on your pretty face

keeping you the most beautiful thing

in the whole world- it’s just ‘YOU’.

If you ever doubt that

look closely

into your own eyes so bright

for the fire that burns

for the dreams you turned true

for the friends you helped smile

and how you stood by each time.”

Let nothing more be said.



Blossoming In love

Her wide bright eyes sparkled in a light of its own in spite of the heaviness of the pain she must have borne when she went through it all. It’s her, my mother, she said almost casually. She has left our home in anger. She does it regularly. My father had to call up the police to trace her.

When I was young, my mom often branded me with hot iron for a grade missed or a rank lost. I, for one, never knew one could have friends. I did not know that it was ok to go out with friends. It was good to have friends even. I was told it was bad. A lot of things I thought were  bad, deprived me of fun while I grew up. I was a good student, a topper all through and a most obedient one.Yet, there was no way I could convince her that I was capable and confident.

Then I met him, this shy yet confident man, my fiance’, my lover. Over the past three years of our relationship, he led me through experiences of sharing, of meeting others, of laughing. He told me constantly, it’s ok to laugh out loud. It’s ok to go out with friends. It’s ok to be the way you are.

He is my blessing, my pillar and my strength.

The beauty of our love is that it is not insecure.

He asked me to go abroad to study, I didn’t want to, leaving him behind. His reasoning was simple. You, he said, are far more intelligent than I am. Had I been the topper at college, I would have gone abroad for the PhD but between the two of us, you are the smarter one. I want you not to compromise on your dreams.

She laughed giggling at his weird, funny expressions of love for her. It’s a gift not many have, he, that is, she said, now almost shy. Then she sat quietly, spent of the exuberance her love for him brought into her.

Her curly hair dancing, her lovely eyes twinkling, she was a picture of quiet happiness.

Something tugged my heart, at the greatness of the emotions these two young people shared for each other.

A silent prayer went up and we sipped our coffee.

As fulfilling as love itself is, so is the joy of watching others give and take love freely, generously, allowing space and growth. I felt sad for the mother, whose insecurities kept her away from the brilliance of her beautiful daughter. Well! insecurities or lop-sided notions? Now who can answer that???

സംഭവിക്കാത്ത കഥ

തിരക്കേറിയ ട്രാഫിക് ജംക്ഷൻ.

അയാൾ അവിടെ ഒരു പോസ്റ്റിന്റെ താഴെ സ്ഥലം പിടിച്ചു.

സമയം 9 മണി.സൂര്യൻ ഒരു പക പോകലിനു തയാറായി പുറത്തേക്കിറങ്ങി.

അപ്പോഴാണ് അയാൾ അവളെ കാണുന്നത്. തല ചരിച്ചു പിടിച്ചിട്ടാണ് നടത്തം.

നീണ്ട ഇസ്തിരി ഇട്ട മുടി ഒരു ചൂലിന്റെ അറ്റത്തെ ഓർമിപ്പിച്ചു . ഒരു മഞ്ഞ വട്ടം മുടിയുടെ ഇടയിൽ നിന്ന് പുറത്തേക്കു പൊന്തി നിന്ന്, ഓ , ലോലാക്ക് അയാൾ ചിരിച്ചു.

പച്ച ഉടുപ്പാണല്ലോ . പിന്നെ എന്തിനാണ് ഈ മഞ്ഞ ലോലാക്ക് ? ഇത്തിരി ബുദ്ധിമുട്ടിയിട്ടുണ്ടാവും ഇതിൽ കേറി പറ്റാൻ. ശരീരത്തെ ഇറുകി പിടിച്ചിരിക്കുന്ന ഉടുപ്പ് അയാൾ ഒന്ന് കൂടി നോക്കി.

കുട്ടി അയാളെ ശ്രദ്ധിച്ചതേയില്ല.ശ്രദ്ധിക്കാൻ മാത്രം തന്നിൽ എന്താണുള്ളത്?

ആ! ഒരു പത്തു കൊല്ലം മുന്നേ ആയിരുന്നെങ്കിൽ ഒരു പക്ഷെ അവൾ ഒന്ന് തിരിഞ്ഞു നോക്കിയെന്നെ .

അന്ന് അയാൾ ഒരു സംഭവം ആയിരുന്നു.

ചുരുണ്ട മുടി ക)ട്ടിൽ പറത്തി. ചെക് ഷർട്ട്, മാച്ചിങ് ട്രൗസേഴ്‌സ്, ലേറ്റസ്റ്റ് ഫാഷൻ, ഷൂസ്, പെർഫ്യൂം, എല്ലാം കൊണ്ടും താൻ ഒരു  സംഭവമായിരുന്നു.

അത് അന്ന്. ഇത് ഇന്ന്.

A Moment of Sunshine

I am pushed and pulled

and then thrown around

back and forth

back and forth

till I am dying in my living body.

I am pinched of the last iota of strength

draining,bleeding of whatever spirit that holds me together.

Then I am angry shouting,shouting

screaming silent in my dreams.

Burning then within is a soul

boiling inside are feelings of disgust, of anger.

Too busy to look around

I only look inward

as the volcano bursts forth

a lava of vengeance.

And I fold my palms to gather it in love

to build something positive of anger, of hatred

and then this came! A verse, coz, I have heard him say

in words most eloquent

in ways only he could speak

“In the midst of hate, I found there was within me, an invincible love

In the midst of tears, I found there was within me, an invincible smile

In the midst of chaos, I found there was within me, an invincible calm

I realized through it all that..

In the midst of winter, I found there was,within me, an invincible dream

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger, something better, pushing right back- Truly Yours, Albert Camus, The Stranger”








Enna Thechu Kuli! Oil bath,the panacea for all illness!

Enna Thechu Kuli! A Panacea for all illness!

Every time I take a day off, my mom panics “ayyo, why? “as if I were a school girl missing an exam. A stickler for rules, amma takes dereliction of duty very seriously. If I call her up hoping to be pampered and praised, for being the super woman, that I think I am, I am certainly barking up the wrong tree. Her advice would be “Go take a hot bath. Apply that “pinda thailam” before you take your bath. You will feel fresh and then you can get back to work. Why take leave?”

In fact, the hot water bath after applying warm “pinda thailam” or “murivenna” is the panacea for all illness according to her and I would not blame her.

She grew up, as one of the 11 children to an ayurvedic physician, in a household where ‘enna thechu kuli’, or taking bath after applying oil is nothing short of a ritual, a supplication and a custom!

The earliest memories I have of my grandmother is watching her in awe as she carefully, and most leisurely, applied that warm”neelibringadi oil ” (which it was said was specially prepared by my grandfather) to her locks which reached way below her waist coiling into a thickness of silvery gracefulness.

Well! there I would stand admiring Raghu mama, one of my 7 uncles, who was easily the tallest and the most hand some of all, combing his thick black heavily oiled hair, splashing oily wetness on to the walls marking them for years to come.

Or there was my grandfather whose evening bath was a daily event. Preparations for which were closely monitored by my grandmother. A tub full of hot water with neem leaves swimming in it. Fresh water drawn from the well to fill another tub. The mysore sandal soap which only grandfather used. (The commoners in the house used Life Buoy, the red bland variety!)

As my heavily oiled grandfather would pace up and down the verandah, chanting some mantras, preparations for his “japam” would begin. A mat would be spread in the “nadupura” or the central hall and a small wooden container of “bhasmam or vibhuthi” ,that was home made, would be placed next to the mat.Post” japam” and after anointing himself with “vibhuthi” grandfather would open his eyes, and the ladies of the house would move quietly to the kitchen to serve dinner.

Dinner was always simple, “kanji” or rice porridge with lentils and a dish of the seasonal vegetables. Drawing in food perched on our separate raised wooden seats or “palakas” we would slurp and gulp kanji in almost a synchronized manner. The leaf spoons made of the ripe jack fruit leaves or ‘pazhutha plavila’ pinched together with a piece of “eerkila” or tendril of the coconut leaf called for special handling skills. Often gentlemen and ladies visiting us from farther places had to be taught this delicate art of using the “plavila”

One of the jokes that run in the family, is of Baby mama complaining that his wife, Jaya chechi, never gave him enough oil read ‘pinda thailam’ to apply on his body, as any ways it was to be washed off!

New born kids were always allowed to lie on the mattress or “pulpaya” after they are given a good massage using warm oil. If the rays of the morning sun fall on the kid so much the better. The oil used for applying on the body was usually plain coconut oil or the “kachiya enna” ,  the seasoned one my mom used to prepare, spluttering a few grains of rice, a few curry leaves and tulsi sprigs in coconut oil, would be ready to use when the aroma spreads in the room.When there was enough time and coconut at hand, coconut milk would be extracted and this would be applied on the body. This, however, was a rarity.

In his book called “Ayurveda Dinacharya” or the “The Ayurvedic Lifestyle”, Ashtavaidyan, Brahmashri. Vaidyamadam Cheriya Narayan Namboothiri, emphasizes that “abhangya snanam ”or “bath after applying oil” strengthens all body parts. He adds that oil should be applied on the scalp, in the ears and on the feet. Application of oil on the body has many benefits which include reducing fatigue, boosting immunity, ensuring good sleep and improving appearance.

In these days and times with shampoos have taken over the traditional “champi” and oil on hair is a big no, no, does anyone still think of a good “enna thechu kuli” as the elixir of life? I wonder!




Preparing the child for THE entrance exam

My good friend “S” is blessed with 2 very bright and beautiful kids, the radiant girl “S” and a tiny brat called “S”.

Smart mom that she is, “S” spends enough time with her children, helps them in their home work,monitors their school work and discusses with other moms about what more she could do for her kids.

Interestingly, her daughter “S”is a gifted child. A young lady who has a mind of her own and is determined to do nothing short of the best. “S”, the son is not too keen to impress teachers but is definitely capable of doing great at school.

Now what troubles, “S”, the mom ? Like every other mom, S after doing more than her bit for her children, is always worried of not doing enough. The question that taunts her is what more should I do for my children?  There is something about moms that make them guilt-factories….

Well! guilt-ridden thoughts like was the break fast good enough? Am I taking care of my children in the right honorable manner? Perhaps I should find time and money to take her to that dance class? Or may be chess in the evenings? Should I arrange tuition for her?Should we shift our residence to a better locality, may be nearer to school? Is there enough protein in the diet? Is the hair strong and black enough? May be I should tell them more stories, well! for that I have to read them first! Or mathematics, should I give them interesting puzzles to improve their memory skills, along with soaked almonds, but then I don’t know what 2+2 is !

God! there is not a moment of dullness in a mother’s life!

When “S” asks me what she should do to prepare her smart wiz kid for an entrance exam to a school, I am stumped!

As it is schools are dying for students and will welcome them with open arms. Secondly, “S” will easily stand out in any group with her quiet confidence and abilities.  Thirdly, what can schools ask a 7 year old,more than the regular math and spellings?

But yes! some schools can go crazy with their entrance tests. Since proving their market value and standard is so important, they can come up with absurdly difficult and complicated questions even for a  7 year old.

In an age when information is free for all to find and use, its only attitude that schools should concentrate on.Strangely, schools would’t agree and if they did, what happens to their haloed existence in public minds as the be-all and end- all of knowledge?

But since “S” insisted here are some sites to look up for fun!



PS: Trust your child and his/her abilities. Trust yourself. You are doing the best you can for your kids! Kudos to all moms and dads across the globe!



Growing a thought

Growing a thought

is much akin to growing potatoes

in your own garden.

You bury the seed deep

very deep

you water it

tears and smiles

and the inimitable sun,your soul

and then you wait

till the first shoot appears.

You are not sure of the crop

but you have put in sweat,time and a lot of love

so you sit waiting on your haunches

oscillating between sure and unsure.

Scared, you to think of the form,the pallor, the tone.

Does it speak, does it say what it ought to say

or does it betray, leading a thought astray?

Does it wrangle with the reader in mumbo- jumbo

making him give up weary  of  your artistry?

In the eternal scheme of things

you have your place, so does he, the reader!

(Dance as if no one is watching you,

Write as if no one is reading you! )





Whither sail the clouds!

Whither sail the clouds

pristine white against the blue

loftiness  in the skies

sailing across with the winds

oh, so magnificent a sight!

Arching, twisting, twirling

more than a handful of fluffiness up there.

The sun does his bit

turning on the light

from behind to perfect the glow

Ethereal, the sight

the joy, so immense.

Have the skies been so always?

or is it just me

crisscrossing from cubicles to cubicles!

A honking at the back

and I rushed to race

to another cubicle.




Leech Like

Something there’s in me that makes me a leech

the cot,the chair, the man, the friend

that I latch on to almost desperately.

Leech-like I hang on to a word

to a touch or a hope or strangely even my  work!

Or my Cosmopolitan mixed as it is

in tenderness of coconut and the lightness of vodka.

What’s is it in me that makes me the leech

clinging to my wife’s pallu

holding on,when she is furiously storming out

or that particular adhesive that makes me see her

a girl I knew once, now old and faded

or those various opinions I hold on to

as if it were my lifeline.

They call me adamant, well !I would not say that

yes, I am a bit of a leech

a bit leech-like that’s me!