Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Banyan and the Shoot

Once upon a time, there grew a Shoot, under a Banyan tree
It sprouted - and 'coz it was loved, protected and nurtured for -
The Shoot grew tall and carefree...

Growing up, in the Banyan's company -
the Shoot learnt happiness - to smile, laugh and be merry
To face the storms, the fires; and even when its leaves got plucked without a reason;
It learnt there's magic in all of life's seasons...

Then there came a time, there grew another Plant, under the Banyan tree
It was also loved, protected and nurtured for
And started growing tall and carefree...

The Shoot resented, grew agitated and threw tantrums,
For it had to share - the love, the protection and the care -
Of the Banyan it so adored, admired and considered its very own claim
The Shoot grew angry with jealousy, feared it would be ignored and may have to lie bare...

The Banyan said nothing, stood tall - peaceful, calm and serene
It continued to spread its branches far and wide - making a green canopy...
The Shoot looked around and about - across the green terrain
It saw a multitude of Shoots, Plants, Blades and Flowers -
Resting, growing, caring - all nurtured by the Banyan's hospitality...

Eventually there came a time, when the shoot said to itself -
The Banyan is not mine to lay sole claim to
It has had and will always have, a life - beyond me too...
I guess I should be grateful and happy -
someone I love is capable of being a canopy
A Banyan - everyone looks up to...

~Written on 22nd September 2016 #Original



Monday, April 18, 2016

आजोबा...

आजोबा - आमचे नाना आजोबा
उंच, ताठ, सदपातळ बांधा,
पांढरे शुभ्र केस - अन् पांढरे शुभ्र च धोतर.
Extremely disciplined.
आई म्हणते - "भाजी कितीही आवडती असो -
रोजची त्यांची ठरलेली - अर्धीच खायचे भाकर..."
काका म्हणतो - "आमच्या लहानपणी खूप होते ते रागीट...
पत्त्यांचा डाव दिसतच - टाकून द्यायचे बम्बा च्या आगीत!"
मला मात्र आठवत नाहीत कधीच ते चिडलेले...
मला आठवतात - शांत आबा - मला फिरायला घेऊन जाणारे...
शाळेतला result घ्यायला जाता जाता - हात मी पटकन दिला सोडून...
अन् येणार्‍या बाइक सोबत accident बसला होऊन...
तेव्हा सुद्धा आठवते - केला नाही त्यांनी त्रागा -
शांतपणे जवळ घेऊन म्हणाले, " खूप लागले आहे का बाळा? "

माझे आजोबा - आमचे आण्णा
त्यांच्या साठी अन् त्यांच्या बद्द्ल लिहावे तितके थोडेच...
मला ते फारसे आठवत नाहीत - पण त्यांच्या गोष्टी ऐकून वाटते -
खरच असणारच ते इथे - आमच्या सगळ्यांसोबत!
प्रत्येक decision - as if - guide करत...
आणि ते असतील बघत - म्हणूनच जाणवते एक अनामिक बळ...
एक अनामिक ओढ - दिलखुलास जगायची - खूप खूप शिकायची!

आजोबा - उगार चे आजोबा
हसत खेळत - जोक्स सांगत - chess च्या moves शिकवणारे...
दर सुट्टीत - ह्या वेळी हरवणार का मला - असा challenge देणारे!
रोज लाइब्ररीत जाऊन पुत्सक बदलून आणणारे -
अन् मला - कोणते नवीन पुस्तक वाचलेस - सांग बघू -
अस excitedly विचारणारे!

आजोबा - अनू चे आजोबा.
बॅडमिंटन चा आमचा डाव चालू असताना -
असायचे ते बाजूला फेर्‍या मारीत - अंगाणातल्या बेंच वर पेपर वाचत...
संध्याकाळ होताच - "लवकर आत या पोरांनो, नाहीतर डास येतील..." अशी हळूच हाक मारत.
पण आम्ही काही जायचो नाही लवकर - तेथेच असायचो खेळत दारात ...
मग काय - डास यायचेच invariably त्यांचा घरात...
आजोबांना asthma, आजी स्वयंपाक घरात -
मग आलेल्या डसांशी आम्ही करायचो दोन हात - त्यांच्या वर मारायचो आम्ही 'Flit' मन मुराद!
खुर्चीवर, कॉट वर, पन्ख्या च्या पात्या वर - दारात अन् खिडकीत -
"We made sure every mosquito was hit!"

आजोबा - अदिती चे आजोबा
बुधवार दुपार चे आजी चे दासबोध मंडळ
सगळ्या आज्यांचे चाले मनोभावे भजन - वाचन...
आम्ही मुले मात्र करत असू अजोबान्शी संभाषण...
आजोबांचे श्रवण यंत्र कसे चालते याचे वाटे - त्या वेळी भलतेच attraction!
खूप खूप गप्पा, खूप खूप गोष्टी - यात मस्त पैकी रमायचो -
आणि पुढया वेळी पुन्हा येऊ म्हणत - दर बुधवारी घरी परत निघायचो...

आजोबा - लट्टू आजोबा.
सुरांची अजिबतच ओळख नसलेल्या मला - पेटी वाजवायला शिकवणारे...
S/W Engg शिकते म्हणल्यावर - त्यांच्या संस्थेचे 'project' करून बघा सुचवणारे...
Second year च्या आम्हा मुलांवर केवढा तो विश्वास दाखवणारे!
"भातुकलीच्या खेळा मधले" गाणे शिकवणारे - आज सुद्धा भेटले की -
Conveyance Deed & Society bylaws हे माहिती हवेच असा आग्रह धरणारे...
दर वेळी भेटले की नवीन काही positive शिकवणारे!

ह्या सगळ्यांचीच आज कुणास ठाऊक का -
खूप खूप आठवण आली ...
आणि आजोबांची काठी घेऊन - हळूच एक चक्कर मारली -
आठवणींच्या गावी...

~Written on 17th April 2016 #Original

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Of Dreams, Wishes and Curses

Yesterday one of my favourite people told me, "Be careful what you wish for - it might just come true...it is a Chinese curse."
That conversation started me off to write this post...

Well, my birthday (a milestone one this year) is still quite far away (and thank Goodness for that! :P ). But often, when people wish me a happy birthday, they also add a wish that "May all your dreams come true..."
A pretty harmless thing for someone to say, but, it really really gets me thinking when someone wishes me that.

How awful it would be if all my dreams came true!
Well, not necessarily because I would not have any "ambition" left in life (actually, that too, but I would have no complaints with a zero ambition, lazy life I believe ;) )
But it scares me because it means I would have to dream "carefully".
I can't give a free reign to my mind, I can't let it wander into uncharted territories, I will have to think twice before letting it off to unknown places, for fear that it may take me somewhere unwanted - and since the dream will be coming true - I would land myself in some place I never wanted to be in.
I will lose the freedom of dreaming!
Also, most people forget that dreams often involve nightmares. And if some one (or even myself) wants "all my dreams to come true", I should run away as fast as and as far away as I can! Scary, scary, scary like hell!

Which is why I am careful not to wish people "May all your dreams come true", or even "May you get all that you desire". And I never even pray that for myself...

These are scary wishes to make (for others as well as for ourselves!). Wish people (and yourself!) happiness, wish them success, wish them peace, wish them joy, wish them sincerely and wish them well - but for heaven's sake, please don't wish for their dreams to come true...

Which gets me to the something my mentor mentioned yesterday and got me googling for "Chinese Curses"
Turns out that there are three Chinese curses (Click for the  source  )
1. May you live in interesting times.

2. May you be recognized by people in high places.

3. May you get what you wish for.

And like the author in the link rightly mentions, a fourth one - "May all your dreams come true..."

Don't worry, dear friend,  I will never wish that for you.
I will send good old simple, heartfelt good wishes your way for the new year!
Happy 2016! :)



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Of Anchors and Horizons...

Who do you like the most, the Sea asked the Ship :
the Anchor or the Horizon?
The Ship thought awhile, and smiling said,
But ofcourse the Anchor.
For it gives me the Freedom to be free;
The Freedom to be me.

The Horizon will always tempt...
With dreams of distant lands and unchartered realms.
And whilst in pursuit of the Horizon,
There will be times when I need to seek shelter -
shelter from storms and shelter from the unknown.
And then I will always need an Anchor;
For it gives me the strength of familiarity -
and Acceptance and Guarantanee.
The Freedom to be free;
The Freedom to be me.


The Horizon will always beckon...
- and I - true to my calling, will always seek it out.
and steadily, slowly keep moving in the direction of my dream.
But without the Anchor;
I would not have the courage to conquer.
For because of it, I can stop awhile - I can renew, I can rest.
For it always gives me what I need the most;
The Freedom to be free;
The Freedom to be me.


And although it seems counter intuitive,
For an Anchor to be a symbol of freedom,
Strength indeed is oft times derived,
From the most familiar and oft 'taken-for-granted'.
In their own special way, Anchors do make lives enchanted.

And hence I was not suprised;
For when the Sea asked the Ship :
Who do you like the most,
the Anchor or the Horizon?
And the Ship smiling said,
But ofcourse the Anchor.
For it gives me the Freedom to be free;
The Freedom to be me.

~Written on 29th Dec 2015. #Original

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thou shalt not judge...

Thou shalt not judge
is what you often repeat
But sometimes, just sometimes
Its tough to practice what you preach

And so you judge the traveller sitting right next to you
for no real fault of his,
Just because his belongings seem slightly askew...

Thou shalt not judge
is what you often repeat
But sometimes, just sometimes
Its tough to practice what you preach

And so you judge that friend who's now far far away
Yeah, the one who wasn't embarrassed to join you in singing songs out of pitch
Just because you weren't the first to know she's in love and getting hitched...

Thou shalt not judge
is what you often repeat
But sometimes, just sometimes
Its tough to practice what you preach

And so you judge a super woman colleague who's a real good Samaritan
For a cause greater than the two of you.
Just because she pinged in the middle of a Christie marathon...

Thou shalt not judge
is what you often repeat
But sometimes, just sometimes
Its tough to practice what you preach

And so you judge your little bro who you simply cannot do without
For something you've probably done many times too!
Just because he chose to celebrate his bday with a night out...

Thou shalt not judge
is what you often repeat
But sometimes, just sometimes
Its tough to practice what you preach

And so you judge your well meaning senior who's job it is to drive your project
For something that's just a part of who he is;
Just because his solution was something your logic asked to reject...

At times like these, know it isn't wise to set up a fight
When there's not much that crib chats and ice creams cannot set right :-)
And, thou shalt not judge is what you should often repeat...
Especially when it's tough to practice what you preach...

~Written on 28th Oct 2015 #Original

Friday, July 17, 2015

Random Thought #12


Learn to trust.
Have faith in the 'good'.
Let your default setting for any person be to "trust", unless that person proves otherwise.

~Life Lesson on a Friday afternoon by CG.
Danke girl, you rock!

PS: A series of original random thoughts that are concise...or may be I am just too lazy to follow up with longer text...

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I remember...

I remember her when I get up, look at my hands and say the "karagre vasate" prayer and the teaching of being grateful for yet another new day - yet another beginning - that she taught us as kids.
I remember the times she taught us - lots of things - simple things about good habits, discipline, to more complex stuff (Well, stuff that seems complex now, in hindsight) - stuff that we never thought would be so important in life...
I remember those - and appreciate how the little things ingrained over the years have made me who I am today - and I am proud and grateful that I have the privilege of being her grand-daughter.

I remember how she used to scold me for being forgetful and absent minded with school books and stationery. The way she disciplined me when I forgot to keep my bag and books at proper places.

I remember the afternoons spent sleeping next to her - she in her warm, soft cotton saree - well oiled pleated hair, and the soft touch of her hands as she ran them over our foreheads...
I remember her soft yet strong voice as she wove stories for us - stories of heroism - stories of Ramayan, Mahabharat, Krishna - stories of Aesop's fables and Hitopdeshi - sometimes stories from her and grandfather's lives - sometimes completely original stories too - extra-ordinary tales of extremely ordinary people. Stories that sometimes still resonate - that I can still recreate from memory when some DejaVu feeling strikes...
The times spent with her have the power to transport me back to childhood - instantly - and create a warm, soft, very very protective bubble around me - a world I can go back to, whenever the real world becomes a bit too much to handle.

I remember how she taught us to appreciate every day "poli + bhaji" for snacks after school and how "poha/upma" @snack time were "special" occasion dishes - and I can't but appreciate that wisdom - especially now - when eating out/eating special food has become so common in my life, that every day "poli+bhaji / varan+bhaat" seems like a treat...:-|

I remember the times she used to cook my favorite "Golyachi Aamti" - the elaborate way in which she used to make the dough balls and fry them (and I used to hover around the kitchen and wait eagerly to sample them) - and then make the dal to put the balls in.
I remember the spicy comforting aroma that enveloped the kitchen when she added tadka  making the "every day" dal that much more special.
I remember the extremely hot, finger-burning "varan+bhaat" and the super cold dahi she used to mix together - hastily - lest I get late for school.
I remember her urge to make us drink buttermilk - every single day.

Ajji and I :)
I remember the evening ramraksha stotram she used to sing in tune as she went about her daily chores - the tune, her voice, still resonate with me - it is my goto strategy even today, whenever I need "peace".

I remember the long iron scissors with which she used to ask us to cut her nails - how she never trusted a nail cutter - and I remember my apprehension and fear of hurting her as she insisted I always cut a little bit more deeper...

I remember how soft her hands are - just like wisps of cotton - and how she says that's because her आई used to put oil on them.
I remember her smell - warm, comforting - with a mixture of Parachute + Hamam + some kitchen masala.

I remember how her eyes light up whenever she talks about her parents - her childhood home - times spent with अण्णा (my grandfather), and the times मावशी, मामा and आई were growing up.

I remember her strength - strength of character - strength amidst all hardships life hurled - strength to not become bitter - strength to keep helping people - strength to not conform to society's views of things - of strength to bring everyone together - strength she gave us, just by being there - a rock solid support.

I remember all this - and a lot more - and pray that she gets well soon.

I love you very very much Ajji :)
You are my rock :)

PS: I had always wanted to write down the thoughts inside my head - ever since Ajji started keeping unwell - but could never bring myself to do it.
The other day, some writing workshop @office gave us this writing prompt - "I remember..." and I decided to finally pen down all those memories floating around in my head.