Children of the rainbow, you and I

children of the rainbow

you and I

inked different

but all the same

the same heart beats

the same blood flows

the same air we breathe

we dream the same

we love the same

in hatred we are rarely different

nor in jealousy nor in sins

our virtues same, our vices same

you and I

the children of the rainbow

we bleed alike

we feel alike

the pains and pleasures of love

life and living

we, children of the rainbow

you and I.

Of(f) FB!

My best friend and my confidant is my girl, my daughter, my pride and reason for joy. A young woman of accomplishments, beauty and grace. One who speaks as good as she moves to dance tunes. One who can lead and one who can assert herself when needed. A child and a woman, a girl and a lady all at once. Sometimes I wonder at the fierceness of her independence when she surprises me with her care and the innate child that she is.

Well, one such evening, my lady did me a favor. She removed the Facebook app from my mobile and said, “Mom, you love writing, don’t you? Now you will have more time for it”. I turned to argue but decided to give it a shot.

Can I live with out FB? I mean, can I exist without checking the FB, almost frantically as if my very life depended on it? I am not great at making new friends, though I am kind of pleasant and all to stay my friend for a long haul is an uphill task.I ,for one may not respond. I might  reach out and ask about my friend’s whereabouts but to expect me to wish someone on birthdays, to reach out with niceties on  regular basis is too much to expect. I might just read the message and go into my day dreams, that happens a lot with me, and age has not dulled my dream-abilities!

Given this situation, it is clear that there are not many people remembering me or trying to connect with me. There are not many people constantly updating me with valuable information. Yet, there I was hanging on to the app that told me who is doing what, which places they visited and what they ate and did not and I hanged on to each update as if it were my life line.My chief excuse was that the FB helped me connect with my students, which it did. Apart from checking FB I also like to or have to work, write, clean, cook, read,drive and teach for survival yet I was a parasite living on others’ happiness, their intimate moments of joy and sorrow.I derived some sort of  voyeuristic pleasure out of their existential pleasures and pains to overcome my own.

I am still on face book and I am still not very infrequent but dislodging the app was a boon to me. It has been my effort to decide upon on particular time in the day to check the social media and I am struggling to implement it.

I used to write lots of letters to my friends and again there were not many of them, Suvedi, Naveen,Soniya then Bindu and Sudha and some times to an uncle or aunt or a sister, that was all. I wrote regularly and enjoyed sharing what I felt until the business of living got the better of me and my writing abilities. Sending greeting cards was in those times a regular annual event. Achan would get me and my brother new year cards of our choice and we would sit down to write to all those distant and near cousins, relatives, family friends,elders. I remember how I used to send the best greeting cards to my home from my school hostel. It was this year, when she visited me that Soniya told me that the sisters who ran the school themselves sold us the cards they had received! Oh! I never knew that. I had a huge collection of letters and greeting cards which I preserved with a lot of care.

I remember how thrilled I was when I got to social media like Orkut and then Google Plus and then Face book. It was great to see all my school and college mates,my teachers, my students active on it. It is still wonderful to be remembered and to be thought of . It is great to greet someone and be greeted in return. But as my wise girl says, “mom, it is a gossip engine and see how hooked you are to it” “True” I have to agree. It’s not just me but  my father and other elders in the family who are out there battling it out on FB for a few seconds of attention like me! It is that we are all hooked eternally, inescapably in the tentacles of social media. Yet, my father sits down everyday at sharp 5 pm on his desk top to check the online world, the rest of the day he is free off it and rarely bothers about it.

I don’t know if  I will be entirely off the FB. It does not look achievable to me at this point in my life, maybe some time, I will have enough things interesting in my own life to bother about peeping into others’ for life-worthy moments!

Identity?

“Your identity?”

I slurp my tea

look up

look down

to pick up

from my own pandora’s box

the one piece of paper

that will define me

 

the woman who is taught to keep quiet

the woman who nurtures, no,there is no card for that

the woman who loves, nopes none for that either!

the woman who pays the bills, yeah, here’s one!

the woman who hopes, mends and cares, hmmm…none for that

the woman who gives strength and support, not a single one

the crooked, crazy, cairn-like-all-women-in-me-types, not yet

sorry  I say

and then I pick up one

that shows me as the woman who rides and drives

the woman to teaches

A  sigh of relief later, they said

“Open the doors, let her go.

There is no danger from her!”

 

It does me good.Period.

Sometimes

you would find me sauntering

aimlessly

casually walking the by lanes

of forbidden lands

mind-scapes

to see what I wish to see

not what is there

nor will be

yet, it does me good

wishful thinking.

It’s pure indulgence

of a different kind

no bills, no dues, no reminders

just me

in a world of my making

waking up to what is not there

will never be

yet, it does me good

wishful thinking.

When did solitude become such a solace

when did loneliness become bliss

when did silence start to speak

when did dreams dance in daylight.

I see you nod, wink and turn again.

It’s I know wishful thinking

but it does me good. Period.

Swan Song by A Lake in Bangalore

I wail  in agony

living  half dead

while you walk about

or sit on your haunches

puffing  in venom

waiting for my last breath to expire.

Yet,  you came to me time and again

to ensure that I am done for good

so you can

pick my bones

needle my flesh

look for my soul.

The reeds and the weeds

did me no harm

nor the  dirt you ditched in me

it still meant my relevance to you

or so I thought.

I lived for others

even you

your fathers, your mothers

revered me

trusted me

valued me

helped me be

and many like me

to quench the thirst of the eternal mother

yours and mine

who shares her bounty with your kind

through me!

Yet you live only to kill

thriving in the death of

my surroundings

my bosom friends

then me,mercilessly

you plunder

ignorantly leading to your own very end.

Bring, bring in those machines

monstrous, macabre

let the dance begin

my death and then yours!

May your home prosper on my corpse!

(Said the lake to the man, here in Bangalore!)

 

 

 

 

 

A Polite Petition to the Indian Street Dog

Sir

I said polite, humble, mindful of my status

of being one so meagre

so utterly inconsequential in the scheme of things

forever caught in fears profound

averse to risk and dangers of all kinds

one who on all fours

begs  favors

for an extra piece of pizza

or a piece of land

some more broth

or other such things mundane

like love and living.

What makes  you so

proud, strong and fearless?

for often I see you

sun bathing in the moonlight

just by the road end

unafraid of the rushing vehicles

threatening to cut into your paws

where you stretch out in leisure

refusing  to budge

and glance lazily

or even snore?

What gives you the confidence

If I may ask to cross the roads

when the maddening pace

of man-run machines

heading to god knows-where

rush past as if hungry for a meal

to wander in to the middle of the road

ever so casual ?

Or sometimes

you just move your butt a bit

not worried of your tail even

to make way for a lorry or so

why sir?

Should I call it bravery, or stupidity or courage

I cannot seem to decide?

You, I have often seen

rule the land

which you roam

and with a keen eye

watch every stranger

in the dead of the night.

I admire you much

for such nonchalance.

But so often as I caught in the web of living

rush to a place to stick my butt to earn my bread

attempting to meet my  never meeting -ends

and just about survive, forget living!

I have often wanted to stop

to confer this piece of advice

call your brood, Sir

counsel form committees and send declarations

but for god’s sake stay away from the road side

some of my kind being dim wits, half wits and no-wits

can be pretty threatening to the safety of your life.

Live long, Sir.

PS: Tired of seeing dog corpses strewn on the roads across the city! Can the dogs not learn to communicate the dangers of straying close to the roads to their kith and kin? Or can we drive more mindful of them?