Saturday, May 2, 2015


Shefali stood under the shiuli tree outside the orphanage, looking at the sprinkling of white-and-orange blossoms on the carpet of grass. She shared her name with these blooms of the tree of sadness, and they had been the only constant in her turbulent life.

For as long as she could remember, this had been her favorite spot. She'd come out here, sneaking away from under the not-so-attentive eyes of the warden. She used to laugh here, and cry here, and spend hours hoping to catch a glimpse of that cute, shy neighborhood boy in those topsy-turvy teens.

She had nobody in the world. All she remembered was her mother's face, and her lost battle with a terminal illness. Shefali did not really know her, still missed her a lot. She could remember the day she read Tagore's poem in college and grieved for her mother for the first time. Even that sudden floodgate was opened by shiuli,
I cannot remember my mother,
but when in the early autumn morning
the smell of the shiuli flowers floats in the air,
the scent of the morning service in the temple comes to me as the
scent of my mother.

Shefali smiled a little to herself as she remembered all the long walks with him when he used to get her a handful of Shefali blooms, teasing her all the while, 'a phool (flower) for a fool.' Couple of young fools they were, too. Idiots in love, drunk on youth and the romance from books. When reality stuck suddenly, when misunderstandings, fights, jealousy came a-knocking, she was completely overwhelmed. Days of introspection, 'Is he the person I fell in love with? But then, am I the person he loved? What have we done to each other?' She thought they'd never get out of this together, so did he. They met under this very tree and were going to part ways, when a sudden gust of wind tumbled some flowers onto their laps. They reminisced, they laughed, they cried, and they made up. They were now happily married for years.

This little flower had given her so many wonderful memories, including today. Any minute now, the paperwork for adoption will be complete and warden will bring out her little bundle of joy. She'd already decided what to call him: Parijat.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Music close to my heart

Rushing around for exams, projects, applications, reports, deadlines, (printouts :P). Gosh! What to do when you feel like ditching everything and running away? Listen to a ditty to give you a rhythm to work on, or maybe a sad ballad to make you feel better (or worse, depending on mood) about your own miserable life. Or maybe reminisce about music and write a long overdue blog post, like me.

Thinking about music, I got into this internal dialogue about the importance of technology and accompaniment for a melody. Details of that debate aren't of essence here.  But, here, I would like to tell you of some beautiful music, sung by my friends, and remind my friends from NISER of those days of a song and a dance, long past now...

All these people are talented singers. But, the particular performances I speak of here, those particular renditions, are very heart-warming, to me.

First of all, Preeti. Over the years, her humming and singing in room has become a very soothing part of an otherwise hectic life at NISER. Her early morning wake up call with Ramraksha definitely is the best rendition I've heard. What her 'Vaishnav Jan To' may lack in technique, it is more than made up in the sheer emotion, lending weight to the lyrics. She seems to be a jogan at heart, and is at her best while humming spiritual verses.

Kavya, another of the staple singers in NISER. Her rendition of 'Ae mere watan ke logon' made us all a fan. The power of live music, sung from the depth of the heart, moved us all. After that, she just had to sing in every program. However, her rendition of 'Teri galiyan' in 'Koffee with Kishore' is beautiful and particularly poignant. Though her accent appears in this song, that doesn't hinder the melody from  strumming the strings of our heart.

Lasien's song about mother's love didn't even need the lyrics to reach me. Her rendition of an unknown song, unknown words and unaccompanied lay kept a very big audience captivated. The distance from our own homes seemed so accentuated in that moment.

Lastly, RSVP, the band with Preet, Vishal and Rishi have been entertaining us for a long time, and will hopefully continue to. However, Preet's rendition of Aadat is really deep, passionate and intense. You can hear the struggles in that broken heart. Vishal's performance of 'Here without you baby', unlike many live performances, holds its own in a video recording. A melodious voice, well set on the guitar accompaniment by Rishi, and oh so much emotion.

Wish you all many more melodies, friends.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Battle with belief...

Truths vs lies, love vs hate, honesty vs dishonesty, black vs white....

Not as easy at it seems.
Its gray everywhere.

No one is perfect. Even then, we label people, inflict our stupid stereotypes, prejudices onto humans which cross our way...

Not thinking for a moment, the belief we are holding on to, crablike, is maybe too judgmental. If I don't chant, don't put tilak on my forehead, don't believe in existence of a god, its a taboo.

'Hush!' says society, 'Hush or our youngsters will listen your heresy. Hush, or they may start thinking about what we have hammered into their heads since their childhood. Hush, or we may start thinking too. Just keep quiet!'

Everybody is entitled to a belief, of course. You believe in deities, I don't. But I'm not here to persecute you for that. Just leave me and my faith alone, too!

When I hear a science graduate talk about how rashi bhavishya (horoscope) is scientific, without being able to address scientific queries regarding the same, I weep for future of science.
When I hear a PG from IIT Mumbai say, only the people who are good at heart have a sudden death (without long term illness etc) and no others, I'm speechless. So suicide bombers are good at heart and people who fight a losing battle with cancer, or children affected by polio, are not?

Nothing I say can cause any permanent change, I realize that. But if a single person sees what I'm trying to say, even for a single moment, I'll be happy... 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Her hair

(Its a short story I wrote one sleepless night...)
She woke up dreamily, drool stains all over her mouth. Weekday, school
again, her bittersweet thought. She liked school, but waking up from
sleep was horrible.
Yawning, she went to mom's room. Mom was still sleeping. Nothing
astonishing. Dad had explained to her, how mom works hard at home
every day. So, she deserved this right to late rising and dad made
breakfast. Lucky her!
'Now brush, bathe fast, little kiddo. No time to waste! Hurry!' Dad
called out from kitchen.
Once inside the tiny bathroom, she couldn't, as always, resist playing
with mom's wig. Grandma always lied to her about this. 'Your mom
hates her hair. So, she's gotten this false hairdo.' Lame excuse! They
thought she was stupid. She could guess what this was about. Pakka.
Her mom had some hair loss condition. She even took medicines for it
all the time.
A quick sip of milk, a quick hug to dad. Mom was in washroom. It was
getting late. She rushed to bus stop.
Mom came running after her. Panting, in her night suit.
'Thank god! I thought I missed you. Go carefully. Be a good child. God
bless you.'
Waving at mom from school bus, she thought, 'She keeps doing this, all
the time, be it school time, or playtime. as if she won't be able to see me
again ever. Come on! I'm eight. I'm a big girl now!'
Her mom smiled, waved, kept looking at bus till it turned. A silent tear
escaped, narrating an epic...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fish of universe

It is a mobile note written by me in a bus journey when I was travelling alone.

Looking at the starlit sky passing by,
through the window of a bus full of people,
menacingly looking at a girl,
who takes the liberty to be alone and safe and happy...
Wondering about life, the silly superstitions, customs, prejudices and the fish of the universe in general.


Sing a lullaby to my tired soul
I just crave a blissful sleep,
Uninterrupted by nightmares that creep.
Pain isn't relieved, hard as you try.
Its better that I peacefully die...
-A silent crusader

Dedicated to the brave souls who fight incurable diseases for the sake of their loved ones

Hi there!

Myself, 18 year old girl, studying in a science research institute, NISER.
Shabby, talkative and optimistic in general. Something you'll call, 'a bubbly spirit'.
But everything said and done, at the end of the day, my pains lie in the deepest core of my heart, all the 'uncool' thoughts unexpressed. Somebody said to me the other day, in another context, "its never too late to pursue it". So, here I go...
Its random, its gibberish but its me. :)