Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Children who were coldly rebuked the minute they were born, who felt the meaning of ‘unwelcome’ as soon as they took their first breadth were the ones who ‘ welcomed’ me with a warmth. 65 young girls full of life filled the campus of ‘Love India’- a charitable organization for young girls where I had gone to give unwanted warm clothes.

Parents who left them due to dire constraints, relatives who abandoned them when parents died and some who just gave up on them because of convention that cage a girl child, were responsible for the existence of these 65 bright young girls. Housing girls in the age group of 5-20, the organization supported the livelihood of each girl. From basic need of food and shelter to studies and preparing them to earn a livelihood,  ‘Love India’ helped this unwelcomed bunch of girls to stand up and make space for themselves in a society that said ‘sorry we are closed’.

They sat around me, greeted me, and excitedly spoke about their daily chores. Each voice was pleasantly calm and content yet had a happy and courageous tale of survival share. It was heartening to see how these children can be so spontaneous with their warmth and love.

As I distributed the clothes to them, a  jigsaw puzzle, in my head, with blocks named ‘unwanted’,  ‘clothes’,  ‘children’,  ‘warmth’ got completed and I smiled like a victorious child!! 

Friday, September 09, 2011


When expressions speaks louder than words and when life is captured in a moment- this is what I call a breathtaking picture. If you closely observe any form of art, a brilliant piece of photography or a near real painting, each has a story to tell. In its own subtle and colorful way it uses a tiny window of reality to communicate with us.

Imagine a gallery full of images and paintings, each representing a different aspect of faith. One showing Ganga Puja at Rishikesh, the other showing a girl sitting on the floor in a mosque and the third showing the vast expanse of the Golden temple at Amritsar. Each picture is a depiction of faith, of belief in an unknown power. While there might be a common thread of faith that connects all of them, yet each has its own story to tell. Each has a vibrant history attached to it and conveys volumes about the present.

Most people who view a picture analyze it from two extremes. One who would look at the technical aspect and say the light is perfect and the angle is great. While the other would be layman’s view which will take an instant in saying it’s a nice picture just like they would say nice to a dress or a movie.

Most of these look ‘at’ the picture but only a handful will look ‘into’ it. An old man with a wrinkled face and eyes that have seen the world is sitting with his hands on his lap. He is wearing 32 rings in his fingers. To some this will be a boring picture but to some it will be an image that conveys rustic belief. An image of India as a land of snake charmers, elephants and people who believe in the power of the supernatural. A picture that speaks volumes of what our predecessors believed in. It is a story of blind faith.

You might say that the beauty with which a picture conveys a story lies in the hands of the artist and on how well he is able to capture it.

This brings me to conclude with the fact that while talent might lie in skill of the painter or photographer but the ability to truly comprehend and appreciate it lies in the wisdom of the onlooker.

Friday, July 01, 2011


“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;"

Shakespeare said it years back and I remember it even today. After fifteen years of reading these lines, today I sit down to deconstruct them a little differently. A thought that has been lurking in my head for the past few days is that, while we all have a role to play in this world , we have a role to play in each other’s life too.

Every person’s duration in the other person’s life is predestined and he or she is in our life for a reason. Till the time that reason / goal is not met the person keeps walking in and out but does not disappear.

We might play the blame game all our lives but every person teaches us a lesson. A lesson for life. The only difference is some teach the hard way.

The sad thing is, we are too busy to comprehend what the person has taught us. How he or she has made us a better person? Sometimes we are so preoccupied with what I call the ‘blame game’ we cannot pause and reflect to see what I learned from this person. We might misconstrue the word learning and still get nasty and say ‘I learnt never to trust’ but again that cannot be the ultimate truth because there has to be and always is a positive learning even from the nastiest and the most painful relationship. Again the difference is in the way we decipher or want to comprehend the situation.

The beauty of it all is that, there are times when people just walk in and out of life all the time and you are left amazed, viewing your life as a thoroughfare. The reason why this happens is because the mission with which the person was made to enter your life has not been completed. Till the time that objective is not met, he or she will keep reappearing and you can do nothing about it. The difference is that while all this is happening we remain baffled, we never know why it’s happening or what the mission is. We see it only when the person is gone.

Some of you might contest what I say, but it just might be worthwhile to sit down with a cup of coffee, in you balcony. Looking at the glistening rain drops, slowly walk down memory lane and think about what were the good things each person who came in your life taught you. Before you know it, you would be smiling seeing the miles you have travelled.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Often I have heard people say, man is a social animal. We all need relationships in life to survive, but am not too sure if that holds true in today’s day and age. All around me I see relationships on tenterhooks. Growing impatience, greater insecurities and people gasping for breath. I begin to wonder if man is truly a social animal or a being resorting to isolation misconstrued as ‘freedom’.

He says, ‘she is too demanding and nagging and am done trying to make up each time’. Someone else says ‘he is too insecure about me I feel tied down.’ Later another one says, ‘He is seeing someone else’.

We all proudly say, our generation is much better that that of our siblings and parents but the issues we grapple with today is still the same. Insecurity, intolerance, jealousy, curtailing freedom – relationships all around are still maligned with the same age old issues. So how are we better / different from our older generation?

Our personal relationships today are just like our jobs sometimes. Unpredictable, demanding and performance oriented. If you were to draw a parallel there is not much of a difference. We need to innovate to survive both at your desk and at home - In office to stay ahead of the rest and at home to add the spark and the fun. You need to give it time, be it your wife or you file. Yes, the truth today also is, there are no loyalties. We all move for better jobs, and the sad truth is, the growing intolerance in relationships is reflective of a similar movement there.

While I do know some of you will refute saying, sanctity of relationships exist and somewhere I would not doubt that. However, I do believe that its takes two to tango and it’s up to the two to not just know about the sanctity but also apply it.

Now when I see a Mills & Boons in a book store, I just stop by and smile at the make believe world of it and I hear a girl at the counter say, which is the latest Khushwant Singh or Shobha De novel? New age realism I guess.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It was a star lit night; the cool breeze was romancing with the jasmine flowers. Far away I could hear someone play an old favorite track of mine and within seconds it took me down memory lane and before I knew something trickled from the corner of my eye and stumbled upon a smile on the lips.

I was blissfully sleeping in the cozy comfort of my bed when my slumber was gently rocked by the melodious tune of a song that took me back to my childhood and I got up and called up my mom.

In the afternoon I bumped into a friend I had an estranged relationship with. We both came face to face accidentally after years and did not have much to share except a strange awkwardness. To our surprise, someone in the hallway started playing the song both of us used to love. Silence gave way to a smile, and a warm glance and awkwardness was substituted by conversation.

The power of music is such that it can heal wounds and soothe ruffled nerves. The power of music is not curtailed by language, geographic boundaries and even time. It not only connects people but also connects the threads of one’s own life. Connects the present with the past and also the present with the dreamy future.

There is always a song we can associate with some or the other instance in life. No wonder they say there is a song for every occasion. It hard to say what about music moves the human soul. Is it the lyrics or the mere musical melody?  Whatever it might be it is a form of art which everyone can relate to.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


It was early morning; I could hear the birds chirping in a distance. The soft sun was showing signs of arrival and the warm golden beams were illuminating the earth.  The gentle winds made the grassland sway with joy as if welcoming day break and exuberating happiness. The soothing breeze, the delicate scent of the earth and the cheerful chirping of birds conveyed a sense of how peaceful nature was with itself. The peace of the environment was such that it could soothe a person with ruffled nerves.

source: http://grahamettridge.blogspot.com/
Man and nature have a stark resemblance. While we have mood swings like rage, sorrow, happiness; nature too exhibits itself through storm, cold winter, parched summer & a warm morning. However serenity and peace lies at the heart of existence. 

We need to look inwards to find peace and solitude. Calming the rage within, sorting the internal strife sometimes of the heart and mind. Being at peace with your soul.

 Just as we chance upon a perfect morning that leaves us mesmerized, similarly we come across some people in our life who radiate peace. The look of serenity on their face leaves us awestruck. That is perfect harmony! Perfect peace!

The serenity within, creates an atmosphere of its own. The brightness in the eyes, the glow of the skin and the warmth of a smile is quite like the ‘The soothing breeze, the delicate scent of the earth and the cheerful chirping of birds.’ of a warm early morning.

Semblance between man & nature to find perfect harmony within.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Anna Hazare.. Lokpal Bill..Corruption! The Root Cause Is Way Deeper

It only takes determination followed by action to start a movement. Anna Hazare as we all know is a perfect embodiment of this. While a lot of us supported the movement and have been plagued by the menace of corruption but the root cause and problem is much deeper. While we all suffer from corruption, at a more basic level, we are the ones who in our small way, have also fed the menace.

Giving Rs 5000 to get passport renewal in a week without standing in queues, using contacts to get a driving license, paying donation for school admissions; whilst such means made tasks quicker and hassle free, it has acted as fodder for corruption. While people in power made more money and we made our life simple, the foundation of corruption grew stronger.

We might play the blame game and say politicians are corrupt, but when we look inwards this vice lies in all of us. We have been a lucrative audience that has let this disease proliferate.

We tend to garb it with fashionable terms like ‘incentivizing’, when we are actually bribing. ‘Leveraging relationships’, when we are actually cutting queues. You might say am on a moral brigade here, but the truth is that corruption is a way of life.

While passing a bill is a step in the right direction but the success of the movement lies in our hands. We can gather at India gate and pledge support but if you truly believe that corruption should stop then the clean up starts with you!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The conspiracy theory revealed...

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. A line we have often heard. Am sure if this statement has come true for you , it has made you feel overwhelmed and you almost believe that miracles happen!

However the truth is that it is not a miracle that has happened. It is you who has created the universe for what you have wanted. Thoughts, words, actions – call it the harmonious trio that has led you to your victory.
The thought of goal creation and the dream of achieving it, followed by words that motivate and urge you to move forward and finally lead to action to take concrete steps to achieve your dream. This is the universe that you have created that has resulted in victory.

I know I make it sound logical and simple, while it might not be all that easy. But if you carefully observe, you will see that there is almost a mysterious yet beautiful synergy that exists between thoughts, words and action. How one leads to another tells the story of success and struggle. The convergence of one with the other is almost like the journey of a river from its inception in the hill to its final submission in the sea.

Just like our environment is a reflection of ourselves, similarly the universe is a reflection of our thoughts, words and actions. If the three are disjointed then there will be no harmony in the universe too. If we dare to dream but suffer from negativity and procrastination, our universe will throw the same vibes back to us. However, if we want to soar high , equip ourselves with positivity and the courage to take action, the harmony will be created. We would have pulled the right strings to produce the perfect music.

Thursday, March 03, 2011


He was soft spoken, meek and seemed like the most harmless person you would have ever met. She was petite, innocent, and was a gentle dainty darling. No one could ever imagine that such calm and tender looking people could have a  raging bull taking shelter in their soul.

People might look calm and tender on the exterior but the truth is all of us have a bull hiding in us. A bull that makes us range between strong and stubborn, firm and inflexible, headstrong and insensitive.

The stronger the bull more extreme is the predicament in which we can be stubborn, insensitive and inflexible. However, the power we give to the bull is in our hands. Time and life teaches us how to control the bull. If we let the animal loose it will push us to the extreme.

We all have a bull in us, sometimes dormant and in some cases predominant.

We can control it but not kill it because at the end of the day, the bull has its virtues. It helps us be strong during rough times, be firm when circumstances are making us weak and be headstrong to achieve our goals.

While the dainty darling weathered the storm and learnt to pull the reins. The soft spoken guy meandered now between the bullish extremes, unable to use the leash.

Monday, February 21, 2011

MOTHER: The Creator Who Cannot Tailor Make

She was soft like silk and harmless like a feather quilt. There was a glimmer of innocence in her eyes and her soft voice reminded me of the delicate sound of the wind chimes. Carefully etched fingers would clasp round my grown up finger and she would, joyfully play in the air with her arms and legs.

A miracle of God, healthy and bright, a bundle of happiness, called –CHILD. I am amazed to see how beautifully we have been given the power to create life. But the strange part is that we might be endowed to create life but God did not give us the power to customize it. To all the mothers out there, you have given birth to life but have been fortunate enough to be blessed with a happy, healthy and normal child.

I sit down and think about those mothers who gave birth but were not blessed with normal children. Some born with deformities and with mental disabilities are permanently handicapped to lead a normal life. The happiness of giving birth clouded by the sadness of seeing your child leading an incomplete life is heart wrenching.

While we get the power to give birth but it is mysteriously shrouded by forces unknown to us. Call it past karma or destiny. We can create life but not define its composition.

Monday, February 14, 2011


The water in the river was gushing with a passionate fury. The bright blue water, running down continuously with the same force and pace.  From where did the water come?  No one knew. I looked up at the bright blue sky; it enveloped flora, fauna, me (the mere human being) and my race. Where did it originate from? No one knows.

Under the bright blue sky, I sat on a rock near the river, the water hits against the rock and softened it too.  I looked at the rock, the sky and the river and realized that the most bountiful things in life have no source no origin and yet are so powerful that they can soften a rock.

Love, compassion , strength might be mere words but  if you really think are as vast and as bountiful as the water gushing in the river and the bright blue sky that encompasses us all.

Strength again is just like the river, which has so much power that it can help us overcome any rock like obstacle that comes our way. The power of the water is such that it overpowers and subsumes.

And finally the amalgamation of all. Strength to give love and compassion despite all odds continuously and passionately. As bountiful as the skies and as consistent as the everflowing water in the river. Where it comes from no one knows, where it goes too is unknown, but in its journey from birth to final conclusion all it does is GIVE!!

Monday, February 07, 2011


Ever thought about a simple action, innocent and pure, with effects that are universal? 

It was a bright winter afternoon. The sun mischievously playing hide and seek from behind the clouds. The breeze was gently warm, heralding the onset of spring. Lost in my thoughts, I was walking towards the park, when my eyes stumbled upon a beaming face. My reverie was shattered, my eyes widened with surprise. In front of me was this strange lady, flashing a warm million dollar smile at me. Strange because I didn’t know her. Surprised because the 1st thought that came to my head was, ‘she doesn’t even know me and she is smiling like she’s known me forever?’  In my lost and found state I just looked back, and before I could realize, I had a warm smile on my face too.

Sometimes in life you come across these unknown angels who without knowing you touch your lives in a strange way. A friend of mine says, it’s all about the energy. An energy that surrounds you and the same you exuberate. The smile of that lady touched something deep inside. The warmth of her being was transmitted by her smile. The vibes she gave not only comforted me but made me reciprocate as well.

I come to believe that a happy person emits happiness not only to people he knows but to everyone around him. Something as harmles as a smile can make someone’s day, can communicate without words and in a flash of a second can give happiness which is priceless. 

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Between the devil and the deep sea

I walk down memory lane and stumble upon these lines I once crammed

“How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought
And simple truth his utmost skill!”

The tranquility in me is perturbed by a question in my head ‘ if you were to choose between professional success with fame and recognition for the work you do and a simple life of a middle class person who lives with a utopian belief of simple living high thinking what would you choose?’
It is easy for most of us to say ‘simple living and high thinking’ but the truth is quite different. The urge to make it big in life is so powerful that sometimes it can drown the simplest and basest of values we used to read about.

This urge, which some people define as ‘my dream’ and some say ambition is by far one of the most powerful tools our mind has that drives our lives. ‘I want to be a star performer in my company.’ ‘My business is my life. I want to be the best in my profession and I want to be a name, people recognize and swear by’

The adrenalin rush to get somewhere to achieve something in life sometimes saps out the simplicity we are born with. The simple core that all of us have is not just hidden but somewhere is lost by the hardened layers of ambition.

Success is intoxicating. Especially when it is in its nascent form, it bedazzles you. The appreciation, the love and the recognition that you get from this newly found audience is overwhelming. The glare of success sometimes blinds you and you are unable to see or remember those moments when you struggled. Those people who held your hand when you were struggling. Simple values of humility that we all know and supposedly believe in, get faded.

Hence passages from a poem that we all crammed at one point in life sometimes emerge like a blast from the past and we all get stumble. Pull the reins, do a reality check, the passage of the poem you once crammed mindlessly will eventually make sense.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


It’s a cold winter night- must be around 1 am. She is rushing towards the car. From behind, she hears her mum call, “Get back here..you are not going in that car!” Flustered by this remark she looks back and chides, “Why mum?  I want to go with all the cousins!” Her mom asserts, “Just get back!” and the conversation ends.

4am: Her blissful slumber is rudely disturbed by a frantic call. “They had had an accident!” The cousin driving the car was horribly hurt.

There are indications and signs planted in our life- famously called coincidence or luck. Signs and indications that have a language of their own. They subtly warn us, protect us and always bless us. Most often, we are too busy in our lives to notice these small hints or think about them. We let them pass us by and go unnoticed. We think they are trivial and we have ‘better things to do in life’. If you carefully pause and think, and travel down memory lane you will notice that there are numerous hints that life has given you. A faint glimpse of what lies in the future or a soft  whisper offering a solution.

A thoughtful message from a long lost friend, especially when you are down and out, subtly giving you a solution. A call from nowhere that cheers you up. A stranger offering you a helping hand when you are lost. Instances which we all say are just a coincidence. It is actually a beautiful indication; a conspiracy of the universe giving an assurance that there is always a way out.

These hints are like elves surrounding us whispering to us and putting their hand on our head to guide us in life but we have too much noise around us to hear the whisper and too many people pushing and shoving us all the time to feel the guiding touch.

Monday, January 17, 2011


We all wear masks in life. A mask of being prim and proper at work or a mask of being a socialite in a party- these are all layers that hide the core. Call it entrapments of the social world that define or dictate how we should be in a situation or at a place. But the truth is that there is always a place or a space where we are ourselves. A place where we live and breathe without inhibitions and apprehensions of being judged.

The faint glimpses of this place in her mind were: a small piece of land traditionally enclosed with red brick walls. Aroma of freshly cooked rajma chawal, garish sound of the television, a male authoritative voice, a warm caressing touch, flowers in the garden and the incessant bark. She visualized herself coming back from school, studying for her exams, dancing at her sister’s wedding and sneaking back from a late night party.

No matter where she would go- place, geography and distance would not matter. She would always come back to this small piece of land traditionally enclosed with red brick walls. It was her shell where she would sleep like a child. It gave her the protection from the so called ‘big bad world’ out there. A fortress that gave her strength to face what the world had to offer. A fence from where she could easily distinguish between the pure and the tainted.

We all have this shell in our life where we get a feeling of security and protection. In this rat race of life, we all tend to go back to that shell. Sometimes to replenish our stock of strength and sometimes to hide from the ‘big bad world’.

Our shell which resembles a small piece of land traditionally enclosed with red brick walls – WELCOME HOME!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The sun was pushed in oblivion by the menacing fog. The icy cold winds were unnerving and merciless. Everybody seemed to shiver in the unrelenting cold wave.

I walked down the street loaded with woolens, yet shivering. I could barely keep my head straight or eyes open. The cold wind was  freezing my senses.  I saw the watchman huddled in front of an ‘angeethi’ trying desperately to get some warmth. For a minute I gave him company. Looking at him, my shivering stopped.

I moved on, near my lane, my eyes stumbled upon a dog. Crouching in a corner, beneath the fur the skin was cold. Coiled on the ground, I heard his silent plea for warmth and his tale of survival against all odds. My fists opened and my hands were less cold.

The fog thickened and the vision got blurred with each passing minute. I was rushing back home and just before I took the stairs, I saw a small girl, sitting in the corner. Tattered clothes, boney hands, teeth chattering and a helpless look in her eyes; she sat there just fight the cold. My eyes were wide open and my senses thawed.

Looking at them, took away the chill.

All wrapped up in woolens we all truly become cold. Despite the icy wind, I was warm. I ran upstairs and got some woolens to share.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


It’s dark all around. The skies are over cast and look menacing. The wind is gathering steam and the silence around is indicative of a storm. The stage has been set, the cause has been made and the effect of it will be a torrential downpour.

He walked down the road. A spoilt brat with a brash gait kicked the dog who was harmlessly sitting in the corner. The dog got agitated; he got up charged towards the boy and bit him in his leg. And the brash gait reeking of arrogance was tarnished in a way.

She was a warm person, genuinely cared for everyone around her. Care that was given not only through comforting words but also translated into actions and gestures.  One day, anger overpowered her senses and she rubbed a friend the wrong way. The cause was made, anger led to an effect - an argument & a fight between the two friends.

From science to philosophy there are instances of cause & effect everywhere around us.  From nature to mankind, it is a theory that seems to have universal application. You make a cause and the effect is generated simultaneously and comes forth either immediately or subsequently in the walk of life.

This theory has not only been propounded by great thinkers like Aristotle but also is beautifully embedded in nature. The Lotus flower is a clear example of how intrinsically the law is embedded in flora & fauna. The lotus flower produces flowers and seeds at the same time, indicating that the effect is simultaneous with the cause.

Cause as we all know simply means words, thoughts or actions which creates a response or an effect in our life. Cause can also be understood as an indication / action which is going to lead to an effect. For example warning call by animals in the forest denoting that a predator is around or is on the lookout for the kill is a cause that will lead to an effect.

Seldom do we pause and think that such causes and its effects are all around us. While they create our environment, we (all creations of God) create them.