Tuesday, December 31, 2013

And a new month, a year and a decade begins

In a few hours, a new day will dawn, bringing with it, the promise of a new year. And in a few days, a new decade will dawn in my life as I bid goodbye to the vibrant 30s of my life. Personally 2013 was mired in disappointments. I spent much of it in pain and in dealing with pain. I also spent much of it fathoming the meaning of the words, "helpless" and "futile." But among other things, as I went through the throes of pain, I saw the superficiality and hollowness of people close to you- those whom we call family and friends. But I also learnt that its the best way to deal with them as well . I cut them from my life, without any remorse, without any conflicts, without any emotion. There was no hurt. Just a quick realization and an immediate action post the same. However, what caused me immense pain was not just physical or about people. It was the realization that certain decisions made or not made a few years ago had led to certain irrevocable personal decisions. I also felt for the first time, an absence of a guiding force and I felt the need to surrender to the higher forces in search of answers. I also realized how cocky we are in the face of success and how insignificant we are when faced with adversity. And I learnt to accept. That certain problems have no solutions. That certain wishes cannot be fulfilled. That certain phases of life has to be lived and dealt with and that one has to move on, keep trying and give up when the spirit gives up.

I am learning the art of silence , to staying focussed and disciplined. To cutting off all the frills from life. To chop off all the pseudos and pretentious folks from my world. To read and realize the immense potential in life. To try new things. To let go of fear. To keep smiling. To being minimalistic. To persevere. And to acknowledge that there is a force above you watching over your tiny insignificant ego.

Wish you all a very happy new year. And wishing myself a happy birthday in advance. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Life comes full circle - what I learnt in 2013

Another four days to go for this year to end. I am not really sad to see it go, but it taught me a few things about life, people around me and about myself. I confronted some of my darkest thoughts, disappointments, failures and fears this year and yet, I have learnt to live with them. I saw life come full circle this year and it made me realize that we all sail through life pursuing just materialistic and traditional pleasures only to realize that fate can cruelly ensure that you never get to experience them. I saw one upmanship in its worst form, threatening to destroy fabrics of relationship that have been around for years. I saw at one end people climbing up the social ladder, both online and offline and kicking out people who do not matter to them. I saw at the other end people fighting for their lives, dodging death and defeat and surviving. I saw pain and pleasure as my bed fellows, taking turns to occupy my mind. I saw the dirty face of insecurity when its mask slipped away from the faces of people . I saw the smirk of ego, causing chaos everywhere.  And yet, I was at a strange phase, learning to accept and trying hard let go. I tried to remove the negativity around me - in my head, in my area, in the family, in the social circle. I was learning the art of silence, the ability to float through various phases of emotions and the roles they played in our lives. I was learning to be a recluse in a crowd.
I was sometimes the participant, sometimes the observer.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hello darkness, my old friend

"Hello Darkness, my old friend, I have come to talk with you again.. "

Listen to S&G,  I realize I was in that phase again. The laughter, the sunshine, the burst of energy, the monkeying around, the lively trips - suddenly they all seem to be locked inside a kaleidoscope which is visible only if I look at it. And then when I shut it, its just the Sound of Silence.'

No wonder my mind resonates with that song.

I am not depressed or exhausted  . But just in a withdrawal phase. Silent. Inactive. Words cannot express my state of mind. Its when you feel everything stands still and yet you move along with the phase of life, doing the things you have to do, saying the things you want to say..yet there is a part that is cocooned and silent and still. The word is stillness not even silence, because even in silence there is music, but in this phase, it just stands still.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bangalore Diaries - The premonsoon frenzy

When you come back home after a week long holiday, all you want is your own little pillow, a good book, a cup of chai in your hands and some blissful sleep. But the skies in Bangalore are determined to keep me awake all night long. The skies open up, there is thunder everywhere, flashes of lightning and the rains tumble down, their decibel levels shutting out all other sounds for the night.

I lie in bed listening to the rain, a constant companion in the dark, drumming its way on the balcony, shaking the plants out of their reverie . In the morning when I wake up, the sky is still wrapped in the shades of night. The downpour is a drizzle, but the clouds look smug as if they are hiding in their layers, an entire thunderstorm, which they will let loose when it pleases them.  The bamboo plants are all dancing, showing off their new coat of green. The asian koel has not stopped calling . And even the usual morose rock pigeons are showing some signs of emotions. I hear a medley of various sounds, all from the comfort of my bed.

A new month, a new season begins. Growing up in Madras, monsoons to me have always been cyclonic in nature. The trees dance to the cosmic drama and the rains rip through the city, leaving their mark everywhere. The seas snarl, the clouds threaten the earth - nature seems to be fighting its own private battle.

But to me, as a child, cyclones were all about rain holidays. As soon as the water flooded the roads, I used to look eagerly from my window and see if  a board announcing a holiday was put up outside my school located next door. It was only during the monsoons that I felt important . The phone calls would never end . Everybody called me to ask if it was a holiday and I used to feel smug, even proud that I had a wee bit of information that no one else in my class had and I was the first to pass them around. Cyclones were also about endless power cuts, water flooding inside the house, colds and coughs, but then to us kids, it was about watching a paper boat float or get crushed by the coconut tree drowned in a puddle of water.

I went to Mumbai to study and monsoons took a whole new meaning. The drive from Marine Drive to Worli Sea Face to Bandra in the night,  just to see the sea getting wild, throwing its waves up on the rocks, spraying us with its white foam on the first day of the rains is a memory that I hold close to me. The rest of the memories are all about offices and roads getting flooded in the monsoons as we hurry home and watch the fury from the windows.

In Bangalore, however the rains are more romantic. The drama starts sometimes in my own room . Its mid afternoon and the walls suddenly darken. The light fades away and shadows of the plants dancing to the tune of the winds indicates a change in the mood of nature. The balconies and the windows open up and the premonsoon jugalbandi between the winds, the clouds, the rains begin. Thunder and lightning joins in , raising the tempo as hails take over sometimes from the rains. It's a theatrical performance, a musical that steals your blues away and a dance that keeps you on your toes.

I love the pre-monsoons to the monsoons. Its unpredictable, uncontrollable and the energy rubs on to you. Sometimes there is no foreplay. The frenzied passion from the skies just flows and it just bursts out on to the earth. It ends as abruptly as it begins, but it leaves you with a sense of anticipation . The monsoons on the other hand are more staid, predictable and constant and lacks the drama of the premonsoon and hence, I just wait for it to finish its routine and leave.

Rains in the plains, cities, seas, forests and hills are all different experiences. A month ago, I was in kashmir, taking in the onslaught of the rains as they drenched me even as the gentle snow fell into my hands at Gulmarg. Sitting on a pony and climbing a slushy alpine forest in Yousmarg, the rains were far more gentle here as my pony stopped by at a little stream to quench its thirst, even as it nodded in approval to the drizzle. Soaking in the moment, my mind wandered to various destinations where rains have brought in various connotations to emotions - from love to anger.

The breeze visits me as I finish writing this. The birds and the squirrels are all enjoying this morning after. A light drizzle still continues. The traffic on the road steadily increases. I need another cup of tea now. The pre monsoons will soon give away to the monsoons and the drama will end. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bangalore Diaries - Walk the talk

I have been going on long walks for the last few days. My health fluctuates and on the days I can walk, I walk. I sing to myself as I walk. I talk to myself as I walk. I often smile to myself as I walk. And sometimes I observe life around me as I walk. Today I went for a walk at the Sankey lake. Yesterday it was around my local park . And the day before, I went for a long walk in the evening combining some grocery shopping as well.

The trees smile at me as I walk past . They are blushing with flowers of various colours. I learnt a few names recently. Besides the copper pod , the gulmohar and the flowers of the rain tree, I saw various shades of pink and purple in the Java Cassia, in the Pride of India or in the Jacaranda. The tabebuia was in bloom a few months ago, but then the flowers were soon shed and the tree is barren again, waiting for the next flowering season. The law of nature is very simple. They move on from one season to another, from one cycle to the other. Transience is their way of life.

I saw the black kite with nesting material in its mouth. The cormorants were sunning themselves on the top of the trees. A bright blue kingfisher attempted to dive inside the waters of the lake, but realized it was a false alarm. It tried again after a while and returned with a fish. A little later, a green barbet was right atop my head, furiously knocking at a branch of a tree, oblivious to life around it. It had its priorities right. Work. survival .It just carried on from one branch to another, trying to fulfill its needs. Self reliant, independent, knowing what it needs and a focussed search for it, without getting distracted by people, their voices, their opinions and their judgements around - the bird helped me get my priorities right too this morning .More work. Silently. And less noise.

Reminds me of a little poem my dad told me when I was a kid

A wise old owl sat on a tree,
The more he sat, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why arent we like the wise old bird ?

Coming back to the walk, there were more observations - of people, of activities. Some disturbing, some amusing, some touching..but that is for another post..have a great day !

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bangalore Diaries - The winged drama from the balcony

My life in Bangalore revolves around my balcony. It seems to be the only place I can relate to in the city. Of late, I prefer to shut myself up in this ivory tower and observe life as it happens here. The need to socialise, to indulge in polite conversation has gone and I am perfectly happy to be a recluse, connecting only with those that matter. In a larger context, the balcony has become my metaphor for Bangalore and I am happy and contend with it. I have no interest or willingness to explore a facet of the city beyond this boundary except maybe the park and the lake sometimes .

Today however the balcony is very silent. The oppressive heat has driven the birds away, including a pair of oriental white eyes who have been tirelessly building a nest for the last few days. These little green birds with a white ring around the eye came chirping in rather loudly sometime last week. I was watching them, pretty excited as they kept calling repeatedly to each other; communicating in their birdie tongue. And then I saw one of them with a nesting material in its pretty beak. Soon a bush started shaking rather violently as the birds started working very hard, building a little hammock like nest between the forked branches.  I watched them from afar but even a slight movement would send them flying them away and so, I decided to leave them alone. They were a regular for the last few days, but today, they haven't come in. Maybe, one of the birds did not like their new home or their owners or that they just wanted a break from the hard work. I hope they havent abandoned their new home. Perhaps, its the pigeons that made them feel unwelcome or maybe the black kite that keeps hovering here all the time.
A  little further away on the neighbour's terrace is the bathing beauty dipping its head in a little puddle of water all the time. A few days ago, the black kite was sitting on the parapet holding a prey in his claws. The crows flanked him accosting them, cawing continuously as the kite tried to maintain its balance . It called too, a more piteous cry and in scooped a hero, another black kite to the rescue. Our birdie flew away simultaneously to a quiet corner to enjoy his breakfast, while the hero shooed the crows away and waited for a while on his perch. In a few seconds the drama was over and the black kite flew away in the opposite direction . There was no quid pro quo between the two black kites - no deal or thanks ; probably not even a question of sharing the breakfast. They just flew in different directions. Perhaps they will catch up later in the evening for a quick chat or would just fly their separate ways..Yet they were around when one of their species needed them..

This set me thinking. As humans we are very rarely there for another, be it family or friends, as we have our own lives to think of. And when we are there, we often expect something in return - a sense of obligation, a gratitude or even barter .. Is that what separates us from the birds ? And we call ourselves more evolved as a species..just wondering..

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bangalore Diaries - Of caterpillars and butterflies

I wake up to a dark room. The curtains are drawn and the room is so dark that I can barely see my phone next to me. I open one eye warily and look at the time. The power nap has become a snooze. And in that one hour - a lot of changes have happened in my universe. The sky has changed colours and the yoga teacher has cancelled her class.  But the stillness in the air has given way to the bustle of the breeze.  I open my balcony door to let the weather inside the room.  Maybe the Rain Gods had heard me.

The birds are confused. The black kite sits on the sloping curve of the coconut tree's branch and observes the scene . A mynah is walking on the parapet wall of the neighbour's terrace. The pigeons are as usual expressionless. And the red whiskered bulbul has not come today.

But the bamboo is very happy. He is chatting with the breeze, rustling with the palm that does a slow dance when compared to the lively bamboo. I look at the leaves of the palm. A friend had pointed out to me earlier that there could have been a caterpillar feeding on them. The leaves have been chopped or rather cut symmetrically in half but the mysterious caterpillar that has been feeding on them is missing. I look around my little garden but there is a pact among the plants - they won't tell me anything.

 Months ago, I had noticed a caterpillar - somewhat like layers of white thread knitted together feeding on the same plant. I learnt from my Guru, a naturalist that its that of the giant red eye butterfly. I was hoping that I would see it grow into a beautiful butterfly. I watched it everyday but one day it vanished. Maybe it became a pupa and a butterfly and disappeared into the vast universe of birds and butterflies while I was busy doing mundane chores in life. Its one of the many mysteries of life that I will never know . Yet I think everyday about the fate of that one little caterpillar which got fat under my eyes and then just vanished into thin air.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bangalore Diaries - Maid in Bengaluru

The swallows are returning home. They are in such a large flock that you cannot miss them. The sky is a beautiful orange today. And I love that crimson glow reflecting on my doors and windows, walls and glasses and the streaks that fill my flooring. For a moment, the house is filled with such loving warmth and vibrant colours. In a moment, it will all be gone . Reminds me of some friendships that I had made in this city.  I love the twilight hour - there is something so melancholic and yet so beautiful about it.

I have been on a writing spree. My day begins and ends with deadlines. I can hear the weird noises from upstairs. The maid is trying to be too friendly. My mother has just given her a saree for Ugadi but she says its not from me. Suddenly she asks me if Madras and Chennai are the same. I tell her yes. Then she asks me if Karnataka and Bangalore are the same. I try explaining the difference. She does not understand. I draw concentric circles to explain concepts of continents, countries, states and cities. She pretends to understand. Says her son is annoyed with her ignorance. I don't have a globe - so I show her the atlas. She says she has heard of America and it is very far away. I show her America on the map. She wonders if that is how the world looks . I explain its a circle. She gives me a blank look. She sees America again on the map.  Almost every household that she works for has someone living or studying there . But she has not heard of India. I ask her which country we live in. She says Bharath. And then suddenly she gets up and prepares to go to the next house . It is her fourth from morning . She drinks some tea and eats a dosa, collects the money for the milk that she bought me and moves on. That is her world - not the one on globes and atlases.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bangalore Diaries - Birding from the balcony

It's been a quiet morning. The usual high pitched red whiskered bulbul has not come visiting me today. I can hear him distantly but not from my balcony. Sipping my morning cup of tea, I see the black kite enjoying his bath on my neighbour's terrace. His entire head is dipped into the water, while he does a little jig showing his big behind, ruffled up with feathers that stand a little pointedly. The water tank on my neighbour's terrace had overflowed a bit, forming a bit of a puddle and it becomes the bath tub for these birds. Another black kite suns himself on the branches of the coconut tree. I sip my tea and watch these birds in amusement. The crows are waiting for the black kite to finish but the mynahs are in a hurry. A flock of pigeons watch them, disinterested . I shoo them away as they come near my balcony looking for nesting spots. I am tired of their intrusion and the advantage they take of my hospitality.

I have never seen the red whiskered bulbul taking his bath. He has been visiting me for over a month now, hoping from one branch to the other. He prefers the balcony attached to my bedroom than the one to the living room.The branches of the hibiscus are more comfortable to him than the thorny ones of the rose. Recently he brought a mate with him - possibly to check out nesting spots. They were calling to each other and having private conversations and then they decided to go away. Maybe they didnt like their prospective new home. So, I havent seen him today ..maybe, they are househunting.

I have been house hunting too for a while, looking for a bigger house in the vicinity, but the prices are going high. The husband was quite taken in by a newly contructed house, but I was appalled to find that there was just one balcony there - and that too an apology for one. But the trees around the house and on the road made up for it. However the negotiations came to a standstill.

I have loved my balcony ever since I moved in here seven years ago.  A number of visitors flock here. If they don't visit my balcony, they are normally around my neighbour's terrace. The sunbirds, the tailor birds, the tits, even a stray kingfisher came here for a week. I miss the magpie robin which was quite a regular and the rose ringed parakeets which used to hang up side down from the terrace. The spotted dove is missing now though I have seen him at the park recently. A couple of ashy prinias came here chasing each other once and I have seen some wabblers fly past.

I know its winter when the grey wagtail visits me, shaking its pretty tail, looking lovely in a coat of yellow and grey . I know its summer when the barbet whizzes past me in its coat of green. I am missing the asian koels. They normally bring the roof down, crying out piteously.The garden is quiet now but for the multi coloured butterflies that just troop past. I have just had my third cup of tea from morning, listening to these calls and waiting for the red whiskered bulbul - will he come today ? There, I can hear his call..

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I can hear my heart crack into pieces silently , a tear trickle downs, the eyes are misty. The mind lies in a cloud of confusion, moving between cold, hard moments and soft, vulnerable feelings. The silence weighs upon me, as I lie cradled in my fragile thoughts, tearing upon my insides. I let out a silent cry to the universe. Is this what disappointment feels like ?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bangalore Diaries - The stories of Beku Mia - Part 1 and 2


I am not a cat person. I have never have been one since childhood. We lived in a sprawling house in Madras in a big joint family and the gardens, the garages and haystacks were always full of animals. When I was probably two or three years old, there was a dog, a very old pom called Teddy at home but it died when I was very much a kid. That was the last pet that was at home. We had a cow shed for a while but that too seemed very long ago. And then there were the unwelcome guests - cats, monkeys ..why I had even seen a mongoose as well besides the rats and the other rodents. The cats used to frequent our place very often . Even today I can hear the squirrels send out an alarm call when a cat prowled in the neighbourhood. The cats and us - well. we had an arrangement. The gardens, the compound wall, the terrace, the outside staircase - they could roam freely all over these areas , but they were strictly not allowed in our house. And thus we had a live and let live relationship and my indifference to them continued and they ignored me. But marriage eventually changed all that.
Part One

My in laws in Bangalore are however deeply attached to cats. And one cat was part of the household. I was initially a little annoyed to find that their cat refused to accept boundaries as the ones in Madras had done. This one was always on my favourite couch or sitting on my chair at the dining table, or even worse, used my rug rather happily. The cat was faithful to my inlaws, curling at their feet and listening to their commands , while my mother in law insisted that it called her " Maa". instead of " Meow."

The cat, I called it Bekku Mia, as it received the maximum respect in the house. And its favourite duty was to follow my father in law downstairs to the road, or to accompany him all the way up the stairs inside the house, if it spotted him in the distance entering the building. We learnt to leave each other alone ; later tolerance turned to mutual liking and then we learnt to appreciate each other's finer qualities. Beku Mia was a funny guy and he often tolerated the other members of the house, including my husband and played pranks to keep us entertained. He would never enter the kitchen, never create a mess and would announce his presence only when he was hungry. He was lazy and was happy being fed than chasing rats. And his favourite activity was to snooze the whole day long. My mother in law was the first to support him. " Papa, he would be hunting all night long, let him sleep now..do you want some milk now ?" she would ask him lovingly .

 One fine day, he brought another guy to give him and my inlaws company, as if he knew his days were numbered. The camaraderie continued for a while, but Beku Mia would clearly indicate to the other guy that he was the pet and hence special attention was reserved only to him.

Soon time passed by and Beku Mia fell ill. The family recounted the many days he had survived after a spate of ill health, but it seemed like his nine chances were over  . One sad day, he succumbed to his illness and departed  Beku Mia had come home as a kitten in 1998 and he was with us until 2011, the longest stint that a cat had ever stayed with them.  His friend left us as well , leaving my inlaws mourning.  A photograph was left near the mantel piece which was his favouite place.

Part 11
A year went past us and not a day passed without a reference to Beku Mia. My father in law missed him the most but he was averse to more pets, lest attachment took over his life. And one day, we heard a little " Meow" near the window sill. A carbon copy of a younger version of Beku Mia stood before us. A kitten, barely a few weeks old which looked exactly like Beku Mia had found its way home.  The eyes were different said my inlaws, but I am no judge of identifying resemblances among cats. So, we had our new Beku Mia who was well on his way to being pampered and spoilt.

He played his cards well. He knew his masters were my inlaws and would only listen to them. He would run away on seeing us and would shyly avoid any new comers. He entertained us with some new tricks. Playing with a ball was one of his favourite antics. But what fascinated us was that he would accompany my father in law everyday to the door, when he saw him leaving the building. He would stand on his hindlimbs, reach out the latch with his forelimbs and open the door for him  And this privilege was only given to my father in law. Six months passed and Beku Mia became a fixture in the house.

However tragedy struck again. My inlaws had stepped out for a few hours and only a kitchen window was open in the house. When they returned, all that they saw was the scene of a battlefield. It seemed like Beku Mia was hunted down by an older cat and there was blood and hair all over. There was no sign of either cat. We looked around, checked with neighbours, visited vets, looked at every starving, battle weary cat and kitten and wondered if Beku Mia had left us again . Theories flooded . Some said that cats had nine lives and so it was nursing itself somewhere in its own haven. We waited with hope. Months passed.  The yoga teacher offered to give us some kittens from home. The maid brought another wild kitten which looked similar to Beku Mia. It jumped from table to chair to mantel piece to the window, drank the milk and jumped out of the house. And four months went past us.

And suddenly, out of the blue, a Meow was heard from the window sill.  Beku Mia had returned home after four months. Plumpier, braver, he was still the kitten that had fought valiantly against the older cat. And it barely took him time to find his way around his old home. He seemed to have licked his wounds and nursed himself back to good health. He rallied around my inlaws as always, opened the door for my father in law, allowed my mother in law to ruffle his head, but stared at us with his big innocent eyes . We were amazed that a cat, often not known for his loyalty and attachment would find its way back home to those people who had taken care of it as a young kitten. Beku Mia has grown up today to fight his own battles, but he still remains pampered in my in laws house. At this point, he must be enjoying his afternoon siesta.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What is the real issue ?

I do not know who Honey Singh is. I have never heard of Asaram Bapu . These are men who have been hogging the limelight in media for all the wrong reasons,  along with a multitude of politicians who have suddenly realized that they all have their views on rape and that needs to be shared with the nation. 

 I am not into politics. And I do not usually watch TV news. I hardly read the headlines as well. However the last few days, news- hard and gruesome news have been published, telecast and bombarded upon us. While the nation rose in protest against the gang rape , the media found in it fodder for weeks. It helped initially as the media was rallying around the people and demanding for justice and a stronger law against rapists.

And yet with the death of the tragic victim, the issue is, in my mind being diluted and lost in a cacophony of voices of people who have their two bit to say . And that in turn is being debated and discussed by another cacophony of voices.

Are we losing sight of the real agenda here ? Rapes have been on  in the country for ages and yet they were considered yet another casualty. It took a brave girl who fought until death a gruesome gang rape to awaken the people. The media took up the issue but instead of focusing on the real agenda here is quoting every Tom, Dick and Harry and their opinions on rape. And then there is outrage.

The entire issue is being diluted and lost in the clutter. Do we really need to know their views? Cant the media differentiate between need to know, nice to know and not nice to know information ? Can we stop giving them airtime as well and focus on just one single thing - a strong law and even a stronger enforcement of it against the rapists ?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Grow old with me in a cynical cruel world

I am a year older now.  Living my last year of the 30s. I often wonder if growing old is just about grey hair and sleeping early or is it just the way one looks at and reacts to life .

I do not attach much importance to brands . In a way, I look at people in the same vein. I have no space or time for people who are just badge value and are hollow beyond that.

I live in a cloistered world. It scares me to think of the women who fight for their lives everyday. While the entire country is still shocked, confused, angry over the brutal rape of a woman last year, I read today on twitter about a lady who does not have money to even  drink a glass of milk as the mother in law controls her drinking habits. In other words,  she controls the household budget and therefore the amount of milk every member of the family is entitled to

In another family, in laws want their daughter in law to quit her job, while some want their daughters in law to work and contribute to family income. Why is it that we women have no decision making power in our own homes ? We are controlled by family and society at every phase of our lives. We are told how to dress, when to step out of the house, whether to work or not and what to do with our lives.And worse, we let them do it, because that is what becomes a "good " girl.

Our abilities are scrutinized , our looks are criticized, our careers are shortened, our lives are compromised. We are judged all the time - by what we say and do and by what we dont say and do. If we question , we are rebels and are identified as elements not to be emulated. And a lot of women are conditioned to accept this as it is written so in their code of conduct to be a good daughter and a good daughter in law.

My father taught me years ago to not suffer fools. I fight my own battles. But today, I am very scared as I think about the battle the girl fought and lost inside a bus. She paid not just with her life, but died in agony and humiliation. And it is a pity that one of her murderers will walk free because of a statistic..he is underage. Does that give him a right to kill someone ? To violate and inflict violence on someone ?

I have lost faith in our country to some extent - in our leaders and protectors. Above all, in people who gossiped and refused to help those young battered people who lay naked and bleeding in the bush after being assaulted. It could have been me. Is it a crime that I choose public transport over private transport ? Or should I just abide by these codes of conduct and say a grateful prayer everyday , thanking God for keeping me safe ?

I enter this year very insecure . I am very very afraid not just for me, but for a whole lot of us women who wake up and walk into the world confident, ready to face the day and hope to return home safely.. A routine habit that we take so much for granted..ironically may not be so anymore..

Or maybe there is hope somewhere..or did I hear that Hope is a dangerous thing ?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A new year yet again

Of late I seem to lack the urge to write ; some thoughts however force themselves out in the form of words. As I write this post however, it is about 24 minutes to go for the clock to announce that we have a new year on us. And does that really matter ? Well, yes and no. As humans, we need to live on hope and hope we shall that the coming year will undo the ills of the last year.

2012 has been a terrible year in terms of health. And I have fought a barrage of emotions in my head - from anger, cynicism, fear, lack of faith, insecurity. Sometimes I would prefer to just shut myself from the outside world and just maintain pretenses for the sake of it. However, as the year moved on, I learnt to fight my own battles. I learnt to let go of most of the negativity and accepted the bit that still floated around. I am/was no saint, but today there is a sense of quiet as I write this post.

This phase interestingly has made me more of an observer than a participant. I have been quiet and pensive and listening, reading and watching more than screaming my lungs out . I did speak about my ill health to some people, but some of these well meaning folks were rather bored to hear about it and advised me to think "positive" . Well, that was a week after my second surgery and my third hospitalisation, with the doctor announcing that I had at least another aurgery to go. So, I decided to shut up; however am grateful to a few friends and family who have been with me .

The problem has not gone away ; it wont - its a chronic issue but I am pretty much as normal as I can be; except when the pain strikes every month. Travel gave me back my strength and confidence and also a realistic sense of how much I can push myself.

But something has snapped inside me. I do not know what it is but I have no space , emotionally or otherwise inside me to fight any other battle, but my my own. Thankfully, I just have to deal with the pain and the uncertainty of when it would strike and I need to understand my body and go with the flow.

I am absolutely blank when it comes to any plans, mantras , resolutions or aspirations this year. Frankly I have none. I am just taking each day as it comes and hoping it will keep me busy and chirpy.

The gang rape of the Delhi girl has shaken the entire country and the nation is finally seeing a war cry from its citizens. I have lent a silent voice to the protest but I do hope 2013 will see us women being secure and stronger with a responsible government at the helm. I have very strong views on this subject, but that is for a different post.

Its six minutes into 2013 already and I wish you all health, strength and power. Above all, a clarity in thought and purpose, which is what I am wishing for myself.