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A New Start…

This is the post excerpt.

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Everything is new and happening when we are young but as we age we not only gain maturity and experience but are also laden with apprehensions and the increasing ‘what- will-people-say’ syndrome.  I still remember the craze we had for online chats and sify cafes when I had just stepped out of school. It was a mandatory requirement for every college going kid to have an account to chat. Oh the excitement of those Yahoo and Gmail chat rooms ! But as all things do, this passed too. Online accounts became a normal thing. A plethora of new websites cropped up while a few old ones met with their natural demise  (R.I.P. Orkut).

The blogging sites too came and went, and I kept thinking of creating an account. But the thought of my own insufficiency as a writer always stopped me. Writing for me is an art that needs perseverance, proper time and dedication. I did not wish to create a blog just for the sake of it and then find myself incapable of doing justice to it. I kept on putting off this task under the garb of a busy schedule. But I guess this procrastination had more to do with my low self assessment of my own writings. But inspite of these misgivings, my wish to write stayed a constant. From my pen and paper, the pages of my notebooks, a diary to my laptop… all became witnesses to my humble thoughts. But after years of writing just for myself I feel the need to express myself in front of a larger audience. Self criticism, though best in form, can sometimes lack proper channel without any external feedback. Thus I decided that why not give blogging a try. Here my musings can float around, open to  interpretation, criticism and constructive feedbacks. 

My blog would give me a chance to reach out to my friends, family and the world at large…here’s to new starts again!  

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Charni goes to the jungle again.

Last time had been fun and nobody had caught on to her absence in the farm. This made Charni more confident about a second trip to the woods. The leaves there were greener than any she had seen on the farm. And so soft…just melted under her tongue. Yes. Charni had made up her mind to repeat her adventure. And maybe she’ll bring back some token for the little sheep as well. He would love to munch on those softies she was sure. She had seen how he loved the soft candies and marshmallows that Master Shaurya gave him everytime he got them from the market. Thinking about the happy little sheep prancing around the farm, she filled with joy.

Such was the little goat, Charni. She found happiness in other’s happiness. And this little sheep was the only friend she had on this farm, which had mostly elder sheep, some hens and chicken and her mother. Papa was yet to return from the other farm they had taken him for the season. The little sheep was her best friend and also confidante. She might just tell him about her little escapades some day, just not now. After all he was too small. What if he insisted on going along? She had been lucky this time but might not be the next time. What if they encountered a lion or a leopard in the jungle? What if a mad dog took after them on the way? She was quick and might escape. But the little sheep with his soft pudgy legs would surely be caught. He’s safest as Master Shaurya’s companion, she decided.

She could tell him that she found the leaves dropped near the fence. He was such a sweet little naive creature. He’d surely believe. With such thoughts in her mind she went to bed and waited for the sun to rise. She’d set out early morning, she planned. Everyone would be busy in the morning and would not notice her gone. She’d be back soon just like today. She smiled in her half-dream and pulled the blanket closer. Charni drifted into a sweet sleep dreaming about the lush green leaves and fresh damp grass. Sunbeams strained through the leaves above making small bright circles on the ground. The birds sang the sweetest songs and she slept.

The little goat…Charni!

There was once a little goat who refused to be a kid. She wanted to wander far into the jungle, to taste the bright green leaves that looked so beautiful from her farm on the slope of the hill. But the jungle went deep below and beyond into the valley. Mumma goat would never want to hear of her going into the dense jungle all by herself and having so much grass and plants here on the farm all to themselves, she saw no point in walking to the jungle. Papa goat had been taken long ago one early morning to some other farm on the third hill from theirs on the right. They had not seen him since. The little sheep who accompanied young Master Shaurya everywhere had however ensured them that Papa goat was fine there. And that once this season got over, they’d bring him back here. But it had been weeks since Master Shaurya had gone to the other farm and thus there was no recent news of Papa goat.

Little goat Charni was getting bored all by herself on the farm when she noticed that the fence on the left boundary had broken a little by the strong winds last night. Mumma goat was busy eating grass with Sheep uncle and aunty. They were perhaps talking about Papa goat too. She could see Mumma goat and Aunty sheep sniffing from time to time. This was their daily routine, sighed Charni and looked longingly at the bright green leaves on the distant tree tops.

Maybe I’ll just take a stroll to the edge of the jungle and come back before someone notices my absence, thought she and slid quickly through the bent stick on the fence. She knew it was dangerous to venture alone even during the day, yet she could not stop herself from following her heart and before she could have any second thoughts, she was already prancing and tumbling down the hill. Her heart danced while her brain warned.

It could be tricky to climb back in time she knew, but right now, already near the jungle, she saw no reason to not enter it. There were no creatures around. No wild animals. No dangerous men. Charni capered into the thick of trees and saw the rays streaming through the thick foliage, trying hard to brighten up the life within.

She danced in joy and ate the soft luscious leaves to her fill. Some birds were chirping up in the nests on the branches, a squirrel ran up on the tree next to her. She munched and munched and felt her tummy fill. Charni was happy. Her dream was fulfilled. She saw up and realized that the rays were weaker now. Perhaps the sun was going to set. She hurried out of the jungle.

Charni saw all around her and still could find no one. Every one was busy, doing their own little things, she thought. With happiness in her heart and relief on not being caught, she smiled and thought, ‘I’ll never let anyone discover my little secret.’ Singing to herself, she danced up the hill, sometimes running, sometimes walking, she soon reached the fence and slid back in.

Was Charni able to hide her little adventure?
Did she go back to the jungle? What did she face?When and how did her Papa return?

We shall keep an eye on Charni and her little adventures ❤️❤️

On smiles and tears…

Pictures can be deceptive they say…and rightly so. You can never really guess the pain hidden behind a flashing smile or the constant wait behind those twinkling eyes…for all you know, the shine is a reflection of the moist pearls contained therein…

How do you react when someone lists out all the things that your parents should have done for you, according to them, mind you (for such petty thoughts never enter our own little minds), and tells you that the home you have always known as your own is not really yours, and this ‘Truth‘ will dawn upon you in ten years’ time. Wait? Is that what you do? For either of you to be proven wrong?

There are such trying times in life when all you want to do is shout against such nonsense and yell your heart and soul out…to logically answer each nonsense that’s dished out to you, but all you really do is seethe within and smile without. Just bending your neck and staring down at the earth wondering if it ever really opened up to take its daughter back…was she also asked if her parents ever came to her new ‘home’ after marriage, to take her back to her own parents’ place, was that why the Mother Goddess had come to take her own?

But such wanderings of the mind and stray thoughts are all that keep you sane in the midst of utter mindlessness. Useless formalities, illogical rants, some vague hint at dowry that never came along….such is the life that hides behind that smile, with the belief that it’ll all be over soon. The bird shall take its flight. The eyes shall twinkle without the pearls. Smile will not be faked. All will be good in reality, not just perfect for the picture.

Disclaimer: The smile in the picture above is absolutely genuine and unaffected. 😊😊😊

On le langue…

I am a true blue Ranchiite. Yupp. That’s how I would describe myself if anyone were to ask. A Ranchiite forever. A smooth blend of Chhotanagpur, Bengal and Bihar with the metropolitan element added without the tag. And this is best reflected in the language I use. And I definitely am quite proud of it. But I do get rattled when censured for it. No. I refuse to believe that just because I live in Delhi or Pune I should stop talking in the typical Ranchi lingo that I’ve developed over the years. Yes, for me ‘I’ is ‘ hum’ not ‘main’. It’s not like I do not know the proper bookish language. But that is not the language I like to use in an informal setting.

As an Antonian, I have always felt that we were lucky to have attended a school that stressed on proper language development, both English and Hindi. Then as a Xaverian I got to interact with the more local languages and developed this amalgamation of all languages as my informal speak. Of course I’d take resort in English where academia was concerned, or shift to Hindi or Maithili when talking to family. When I shifted base from Ranchi, I got more and more attached to this special language that was my own, that best expressed my innermost thought, my strongest feeling in the most apt way.

This day was just like any other when eyebrows were raised at my ‘desi’ language. Something about ‘bhaujayi’. Now, what a simpleton like me fails to understand is that why would a person from a purely Hindi-speaking belt, not unaware of the Bhojpuri/Magahi/ Maithili language smirk at me for using a term as this? Yes. I talk in this way. Yes. I am desi to the core. The fact that I am a post graduate in English literature, pursuing a doctorate has nothing to do with the language I choose to express my feelings in when in an informal environment, as long as I know for sure that the person I am in conversation with understands my language and I am not using any kind of abusives.

So sorry, but I am not sorry. I am the person that I am. I have no pretence. I have no qualms about the way I speak. And I will continue to do so, perhaps using more of those typical words like ‘ghar sariyana’ and ‘batiyana’ just to see those eyebrows flying out of the window. Haha.

To the Child in all of us…

And it’s that day again that celebrates the children in our country, those innocent bubbles of energy that have the potential to move the world. A day dedicated to emphasising the importance of giving love and affection to children and ensuring their bright future. When we were in school I remember the celebrations that used to make this day extra special. Teachers used to perform special programs — songs, dance, skits etc to entertain us. There were chocolates and games for us. I especially remember the excitement that we felt as little children on this day, for we were allowed to wear casual dress to school instead of the regular school uniform. Things changed with each year… Cultural programs gave way to speech in the assembly. School uniform was made compulsory on this day too. Yet the deep sense of feeling special on this day didn’t change, nor did our request to replace regular classes with some fun activities at least for a period or two.

With time I got to the other side of the desk, but even then as I wished my students a ‘Happy Children’s Day’, not once did I feel like this day didn’t belong to me any more. For me, this day is not just about children as in age, but about those qualities in them that made them so dear to Chacha Nehru, our first Prime Minister, whose birthday is fondly celebrated as Children’s Day in India. One look at the Wikipedia would tell you that we are not the only country to have such a day dedicated to the little saplings. Children’s Day is a day dedicated to celebrate children across the globe, on different dates in various countries.

So what is it that makes children so endearing to everyone that people across cultures have days alotted to celebrate them? Well I guess it is so because of their innocence as well as their tremendous potential. They have a clean, positive mind, and have the power to do absolutely anything given the right training and opportunity. This day is a reminder to all of us to facilitate their minds with the right platform in the correct direction. And this is one quality that we should all preserve in us. A belief that we can be positively motivated to do anything we want, for a better world, no matter what our year in numbers be.

I read somewhere that we’re all children at heart, irrespective of our age. We simply learn to behave in public. Well, there is no harm in this learning as long as we also can give up this pretence when in our own company or the society of our near and dears. So that we can once again take joy in the simplest of things and look at that sparkling stream or the bursting bubble in awe every time. As these things never fail to charm me inspite of three decades of bearing witness to these wonders, I feel this day belongs as much to me as every other individual who has the child still living inside.

Happy Children’s Day!!!

That little corner ❤️

My balcony is becoming more and more my go-to place these days. It’s just the right balance between the real and the artificial. At once it allows me to stay indoors yet have my time breathing out in the open air, under the vast vast sky; albeit with a little craning of my neck. After almost two years of confinement within the house, of course shuffling around cities and states, I find this space the most liberating.

Looking out into the distant blue sky, the not so distant green hills, listening to the birds chirping to their delight and mine, my balcony relaxes my nerves, it soothes my soul like none other. By and by I have come to realize that there is no joy comparable to a little time spent in a quiet cosy balcony, with a book to read and some plants to look over.

I’m sure all those mommies out there, with a little one-year old would agree to the benefits of having such a personal place for oneself to preserve one’s sanity. No doubt you go on to love your child a little more every day. What with the little monkey learning new antics everyday, reaching new milestones almost every day! You cannot help but fall more in love with the little being each moment. But then there comes the flip side. With every step that the child learns to take, it also learns new ways to drive the mum crazy. And I’m told this is just the beginning. Lord save me and mine!

In all this bedlam-like scenario, where Shaurya is constantly trying to test his height — what is the next level that he can reach up to, to pull down things, to yelling and crying to grab attention and have his wish fulfilled, to hugging and smiling, showing his two sets of teeth in order to dissolve my anger and irritation ( yupp… he’s learnt this trick quite fast ) , to refusing to sleep on time on some days….well….this balcony is the place I run to, to calm myself, to remind myself that I am a mummy now, and can’t run away and sulk like a kid all day and night. I need to brave up, put on that smile and pick up my little one once again from amidst the mess that he invariably gets into in the meantime.

So yeah… This balcony is my favorite place. My confidante these days, where I can dream away, talk endlessly to myself, maybe scream and cry a little at times, but one thing’s for sure. This little space never fails to soothe my soul. I’d love some day to just sit here for hours, with a nice book, sipping hot tea, swinging happily by myself. Till I find those long hours, which for now seem a really distant possibility, I’ll maybe look up some swing options, to spend some quality time with my boy out here, without trying to run away from our little mad lives.

P.S. – I hope my flowers keep blooming!

On Missing…

I miss you in waves ‘and today I am drowning’… I don’t miss you always…not every moment of the waking hour …when there’s noise all around and a million little things to grab my attention…the baby who’s hungry or the husband who needs a coffee, a call from home or in-laws(cuz my home is still my home in my mind)…a neighbor who wants to chit chat comes along and then another stops by for some other little gossip…or the maid who wants to leave early as she has some other concerns to attend to. No. I don’t miss you always. It’s only when I stop to hear the silence within and without…when I notice that the heart that used to beat is muted for ever…in that heavy chained breathing of lonely days and empty nights a pain shoots from some dark recesses of my being… creating a hollow… expanding till I feel my whole being is engulfed in it that I feel perhaps this is what was missing. That this feeling is what is missed in the general drama of scripted days…the cooking…the cooing…the lullabies and talking…and yes….there’s still no missing you. If I’d really miss that what was, I’d try and get it back… wouldn’t I ? And here I lie dormant not thinking once that I have to go back to myself…so yes…these waves need to be dyked…I must not miss you. Never.