Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The blood on your hands

Not very far from the border which was once manned by many, then my father, now my brother
Dreams were killed, bullets were sprayed, life of one was claimed by another
Little hands of a great tomorrow are no longer busy and no longer pink
They lay in coffins of wood and cotton.


One like the many was woken early by a mother ‘you must go to school, my dear”
“Ma, just one more wink, please can I stay back today”, said the little one and let slide one tear
No my child the sun is up, the future is yours, the canvas is white for your paint
So wake up, walk out, and embrace the world.


Another one asked a father, can we draw the sky and in them some birds
Yes my child, why not said he as he laid out for the little on some bread some yogurt
While the mother was laying out the clothes for the shrine we all call school
You see she is a teacher of those little souls to guide them through


O believer what is your belief that makes you wake up one fine day
Not to serve humanity but to slay
If you were not wronged, then how could you so many innocents to death lay?
If you were, was there no thirst to heal, to love, to live, to stay?


You of my belief, you so called Muslim, what is this god you pray
I don’t know because the one I do says love and prosper, give and take
You chose to be blind you chose to be a blot
You have no Allah you have no god

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

May god bless you and keep you mahfooz

My Dear Darling Arisha,

You turn one. What a milestone. What a year. Motherhood feels as ancient as much as it feels novel. You dear girl have filled my life in ways I did not think was even possible. For that I thank you.

I can pick for you a million blessings. And I do. But I will tell you this ... Just be!! Live and love and do both well.

Right now you have two teeth half erupted in your lower gum. You look
adorable. One day you will have a full smile. You will look beautiful then too. And the secret is ... Just to be.

Your skin is what you live in. Get comfortable in it. It might be fair or mocha or dark. It's yours. Keep it healthy.

Your heart is another matter. It's hidden. That is that would guide you. Render it  limitless. Love your self because when you have enough of something you can begin to share. Sharing is beautiful.

Moral high horses neigh about. They are from great varsities, from affluent families,  from poverty, from struggle, from mediocrity. They are everywhere and from everywhere. If you ride all of them at once you won't get anywhere. Ever. So it's better to let them neigh. You walk on. Do your business.

Giggle as much as you want to. Frown little and alone. Long faces look terribly pathetic.  And laugh full heartedly.

Do eat cake and sip tea. It's soulful. Do eat spicy bhujia and sip tea. It's soulful. Basically eat anything and sip tea. Sorry it's a family norm. No negotiation there. And yeah I will not be kind if you come home crying when things don't go your way. Sissy girls are utterly tedious. Sip tea and think of how to wade through the mess. It helps. It helps when you cut your self very little slack. Be on top of your game girl.

Read. A lot. Everything. From Kafka to Mills and Boon. Yes right now we are at Splish Splash Dog Bash. But that's a great start. You will travel with wonderful companions. You will never be lonely. Inshallah.

Finally don't let anyone tell you that fashion is for blondes!!!  Fashion is how you are when no one watches you. And your fashion defines you. Be highly fashionable. Classically fashionable. I just don't mean clothes here. But that too.

Happy birthday toffee. Happy life. Fly high but soar light!!!

All my love,

Ps: continue your life long affair with your father.... He is hopelessly in love with you...

Monday, December 01, 2014

Wafting through alphanumerics

F10 smells of Maggi. Orange blossoms on the two trees flanking F10 do nothing about the instant noodle smell. They look nice but are very reticent about fragrances, these orange blossoms. At 7AM this waft of instant noodle wreaks assault on my olfactory sense. I turn away disgruntled. One morning I saw a small boy running near F10 in his school uniform. He was being chased by a man.
I think it was his father. I have not seen anyone after that one time. The two St. Bernards tied opposite to F10  are a different matter. They go wild everytime I pass them. Well, someone does. I wish men frothed in their mouths for me. But ...Cest la vie !!

E2 houses a beehive. The sweet sick smell assaults my nostrils each time. The untidy approach is replete with 3 weird sized trees: neither bonsais nor full grown. It's as though the dwellers of E2 wanted bonsais and got distracted by the many shrubs on pots and the trees grew beyond the respectable bonsai size. But when you start out to do something you justify the end. By any means. So they must have cut off the primary roots of those unfortunate trees, freezing them in time.

C8 is one of the 8 Gargantuans as I like to call these huge 5 bedroom homes. Tucked away in a corner, it shows-off shamelessly the 5 shades of Bougainville. Neatly trimmed. Rattan chairs adorn the top floor balcony. A life size portrait of the seer Sai Baba at the doorstep transforms the edifice to a shrine. The ones who inhabit this shrine though are very robust. God had surely blessed their bellies. With enviable geometrical rotund shapes.

T3 has three identical tricycles lined outside. There are odd assortment of tiny footwear. An upturned plastic basket ball net is unceremoniously ignored. Eggs fry inside.

R3 is a gardener's paradise. The 10 feet by 15 feet kitchen garden has neat arrays of tomatoes and coriander and chilly and turnips and broccoli. My earlier gardener , a 12 year old lad with many pimples, was forced a pilgrimage one unsuspecting morning by yours truly. Needless to say that was the last time the poor chap was ever seen. I hope he shows up to collect his wages. I will be humane and fair and so I will pay him his dues both in money and verbal spanking. For taking off and denying me turnips. Which I hate.

O10 has an annoying Dachshund hybrid. A runt if you please. He runs away and defecates on well manicured lawns. I am safe. His name sounds fierce. Gunda. In colloquial  Hindi it means a "goon". He is too. At odd hours I hear whistles of a pressure cooker go off.

M1 is somber. Mr. C looks gaunt. Mrs. C is a very private lady. And a very practical one at that.
It has been a few full moons now since I have seen Mr. C setting out for his 6 AM and 6 PM steady walk. Mrs. C has been of late planting a lot of tall palm shrubs barricading her portico.
There are hanging horizontal  bamboo shells, cleverly morphed into plant tubs, that dot the awning of her portico. Once upon a time Mr. and Mrs. C could be seen sitting on their dining table and holding rendezvous. Now the peek into their dining area stands obfuscated. The waft from the kitchen is not strong. Some mornings, when the light within is stronger than the early morning light, I just see a faint outline of one head instead of two sitting on the dining table.

M8 has squeals of a toddler reaching my ears. I enter the portico. Black gram is cooking on a sonorous pressure cooker.  I open the door gingerly to be greeted by a little girl with pudgy fists. This morning's run has ended. I did not hear the niggardly calories suffer. I sure am sore. I am happy