Wandering With Words

Random musings of a reckless soul.


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Everyone should have a Hobbes!

Calvin and Hobbes is the only comic strip I have read that discussed philosophical topics in a humorous and relatable manner.

I love the story telling, the art, the wit, the subtle and sophisticated humour, the wisdom but most of all I love the characters – Calvin, the parents, Susie, Moe, Stupendous Man, Spaceman Spiff, Tracer Bullet, the teacher, the Babysitter and of course my favourite, Hobbes!

Every time I read it, I am reminded that we all have a Calvin within and we all need to let our imagination run free once every while.


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Happy Women’s Day!

cake.

 

“Beti” means daughter in Hindi. My uncle and aunt got this beautiful cake for us a few weeks ago.

Letting the daughters of the family feel special and loved without any occasion is such a beautiful idea. 

I believe we do not need a particular day to make our loved ones feel special… but still, a very happy women’s day to all the women out there! 

#betisareindeedbeautiful


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How I met my…. lover cat.

olaf-frozen-summer

People often ask me how anyone could ever welcome the Indian summer. Well of course, there’s the scorching sun, the sweltering heat, the hot winds, the humidity, the unwanted tan and the long, loooong power cuts. But my answer is always simple – ice creams, ice candies, watermelon, mocktails, lassi and faluda !!!

Yeah, well, that’s me. th (1)

The summer before last, I happened to read somewhere about the countless birds that die due to heat and dehydration. The Indian summer is indeed brutal. Something had to be done. On my brother’s suggestion, we bought a shallow clay pot, filled it with clean and cool water and placed it in the courtyard of my house.

Trust me, the pleasure of watching all kinds of birds visit the pot is priceless. 

That year, a cat had visited. I tried to shoo it away – maybe it was too thirsty or just too stubborn – but it stayed and lapped the water.

And so the love affair began. 😛 Everyday, I noticed the cat and it noticed me. We smiled and things seemed so much sweeter. It came under the pretext of drinking water and that’s how we became friends. The rest of the story is boring and predictable. 😀

Of course, it didn’t last more than a year (not even more than that summer actually) between us. 😛

My point is, besides the joy and entertainment, you may also find a friend or a P~ wait-for-it ~ET. Pet!

So please, let’s get an earthenware bowl, fill it with water and place it on the terrace, in the balcony, veranda, garden or outside the window and save the winged friend of ours.

 


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Madness… is like gravity.

image ***The drivel that follows was born when I was on the brink of slumber (Hypnagogia? :P) last night. I have debated much with myself whether to post this stuff because it’s against my blogging rules but then a friend always keeps saying, “The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules!“***

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The doorbell rang. Jasmine looked at the door with a frown. She wasn’t expecting anyone. Pausing the movie where Woody and Buzz tried to escape, she walked to the door. Just as she unlocked the door, somebody pushed it open and she was thrown inside her own house.

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment!”

The man who walked in had a pale skin, ruby red lips and … a red sponge for a nose. Clown’s makeup. And a Glasgow smile.

“Oh. Hi.” he said.

“What do you want?” Jasmine asked recognizing the man.

His Glasgow smile faded, somewhat.

“Why… so… serious?”

The Joker walked into the living room and turned off the television. Jasmine reached for her phone but he was quicker.

“How about a magic trick? I’m gonna make this phone disappear.”

He dropped the phone to the floor and kicked it with his leg so that it slid under the sofa. “Ta-daa! It’s… it’s gone!”

Jasmine rolled her eyes. She sat on the sofa and looked at him with a smile.

“I know who you are. But you, you do not know who I am, do you? If my Batman finds out that you were here… and you harm me even a bit, oh boy, you’re dead!”

The Joker seemed amused.

“I don’t want to harm you! What would I do without you? No, no, NO! No. You… you… complete me.”

“Then what’s your plan?” Jasmine asked.

“Do I look like a guy with a plan?” he said.

He giggled. “You know, I may look like a  monster, but I’m not. I’m just… you know… ahead of the curve.”

Jasmine stood up, agitated. She walked up to him and picked up the knife from the fruit bowl and pointed it at him.

“Then what is it that you want?” she asked.

“Well, you look nervous. Is it the scars? You want to know how I got ‘em? Come here.”

He grabbed her wrist which made her drop the knife and twisted her hand behind her back.

“You see, I had a wife. Beautiful, like you. Full of life. Always smiling. Speaking of whom… I think you and me, you know, we are meant to be!”

Jasmine tried to push him away.

“Hmm… a little fight in you. I like that!” he said and laughed.

Jasmine smiled wryly, relaxed her body and said, “Well then you are gonna like me even more!”

She kicked his shins and tangled her leg with his and performed a sweep that tripped him onto the sofa. Laughing, she sat on his legs disallowing him from moving.

The Joker chuckled too. “This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible, aren’t you? Huh?”

“Well, I like you, but I will also have to kill you.” said Jasmine.

The Joker sighed.

“But you won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.” he said.

Jasmine laughed and said, “Haha. You know, I think you are right. If you’re ever lucky enough to find a girl who is a hopeless romantic with a dirty mind, you should hold onto that. Because she’ll be yours at two in the morning and at two in the afternoon the following day. She’ll kiss you where it hurts and until it hurts. And that’s important. She will love you even when you are Batman and even when you are the Scarecrow. She is worth a little something…and a little more than usual.”

With that Jasmine leaned in to kiss the Joker and reveal her husband -her Batman- behind all that make up.


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Night and Delight.

image

Sigh, oh heart, as you marvel at the moon again,
Along with the pleasant sight, comes a sweet pain.
Jewels in the sky, they speak in mimes,
I bade my heart build poor rhymes.
Dread has followed longing,
Ah, lost love will always be haunting.
Look! The sky shares your tears,
It has come to wash away your fears! 


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Nazm.

O. Henry was known for his strong portrayal of simple things in his stories.
For those who know Gulzar – legendary Indian/Urdu Poet – here’s his outstanding poem from the movie, Raincoat which is
loosely based on “The Gift of Magi”. It’s a simple story of two people who meet one rainy afternoon and reflect back on things that could have been.

This nazm evokes a lovely imagery of lonely, rainy afternoons. There’s an English translation for those who do not understand Urdu but needless to say, Gulzar Sahab’s version remains unmatched.

~ Kisi mausam ka jhonka tha jo is deewar par latki
hui tasweer tirchi kar gaya hai
gaye sawan mein ye deewarein yun seeli nahin thi
na jane kyon is dafa inme seelan aa gayi hai,
dararein par gayi hain
aur seelan is tarah bahti hai jaise,
khushk rukhsaaron pe geele aanso chalte hain.
ye baarish gungunati thi isi chath ki munderon par
ye baarish gungunati thi isi chath ki munderon par
ye ghar ki khidkiyon ke kaanch par ungli se likh
jaati thi sandese
girti rahti hai baithi hui ab band roshandano ke peeche.
dupehrein aisi lagti hain,
bina muhron ke khaali khaane rakhein hain
na koi khelne waala hai baazi
aur na koi chaal chalta hai
na din hota hai ab na raat hoti hai sabhi kuch
ruk gaya hai
wo kya mausam ka jhonka tha
jo is deewar par latki hui tasweer tirchi kar gaya hai. ~

Translation:

~ Was it a whiff of the season
That skewed the portrait hanging listlessly.
Last season, the walls were not so moist
Who knows why it’s moist now…
Why the cracks appeared…
And the damp shows
Like the tears on a face so blank.
The rain once sang on these
rooftops,
It used to write on the windowpanes.
Alas it weeps away behind a cage now.
And the afternoons are so
Like a chess without the pieces
There’s no one to play , no bets laid.
Neither the day breaks, nor night snows.
Everything seems forever stopped.
Perhaps t’was a whiff of the season,
That skewed the potrait on this wall. ~


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The Book Bucket Challenge.

The challenge is to list ten books that have stayed with you for years / changed your perceptions / are simply great pieces of literature.
Here are my ten books :

1* Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
– Mark Haddon.
Because seeing the world through the eyes of someone else is a rare experience.

2* The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway.
A book you could not fall out of love with.

3* The Famous Five – Enid Blyton.
For these were the very first books I read and, still read. They introduced me to the world of books and I am ever grateful.

4* Collected Poems Of W.B.Yeats.
Because, Yeats! The man who stirs storms in heads, hearts and souls.

5* The Fault in Our Stars – John Green.
This book made me cry and cry until I learnt to live life and enjoy every moment. Also, because I am an emotional fool.

6* The Shadow Lines – Amitav Ghosh.
Childhood, growing up, unrequited love, violence, internal struggles and forgiveness. I highly recommend this book.

7* The Book Thief – Markus Zusak.
There are many things in this book that hits you, hard.
“Even death has a heart.” and “So much good, so much evil, just add water.”

8* Coasting – Jonathan Raban.
“I hauled up the anchor and moved on with the tide and let the winds guide me.”
This books makes me want to do the same.

9* Who Will Cry When You Die – Robin Sharma.
~Too many people die at twenty and are buried at eighty~

10* Watership Down – Richard Adams.
It is not a children’s book. It’s everyman’s book. Every animal, too.

*11* Almost anything by P.G. Wodehouse and
Kurt Vonnegut!


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Dear me.

Dear twenty-years-ago me,

I am sorry. I have lost everything you had. I was helpless.

You lived the life of a queen, I do not.

I have to look after myself. No one takes care of me anymore. I do my own chores. Nobody changes my clothes anymore. I have to be neat and clean and make sure nothings messy anymore! You may not believe me but I even have to eat by myself! I even cook for myself by myself!

Back then, when I was you, people were of two kind – good and crazy. The kind who gave us chocolates and the other who made faces and pinched our face and stopped us from having fun.

Now, people have become complicated. They say Santa isn’t real. Love hurts. You would not believe how hard it is to survive, without losing most of the innocence we possess as a child. That’s a part of growing up.

But have I grown up? I still do, secretly, enjoy melting chocolate on my fingers and licking it. I still play in rain puddles, sleep sometimes with my shoes on, and try to count stars, eat maggie masala, fight for swings and get scolded for having fun.

They say I need to be responsible. And more civil. They tell me that when I go to parks, I can’t play in the mud. And guess what, school has finally ended! Anndd I miss it!

Well, life has changed. A lot. I can’t tell you how and in how many ways. Dad isn’t around anymore. His princess is no longer a princess. But life isn’t so bad. There’s family, there are friends. Real ones. There are memories and there are adventures waiting ahead. There are aims, there’s hope. There are sunrises and sunsets, there is beach and sand.

But you wouldn’t understand all this. Your world was very different from mine. You loved yours, I love mine. Sometimes I hate it, but then I learn to love it again.

So yeah, when someone tells you that you have a lot to learn, believe them. But when they tell you that it’s a dark world out there, don’t believe them! Remember, you could always be the rainbow in somebody else’s life.

Love,

Me. 🙂


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There’s rain in my head!

This poem summarizes everything I feel. 🙂

image

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand–
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said–
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.

~ Shel Silverstein


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Born to Live.

She woke up, rubbed her eyes, realized what day it was and smiled. She hurried up to the terrace and watched the stars fade away and the sun pierce the darkness. The sky was filled with light, and she felt confidence and unbridled joy bubbling in her. As the sun conquered the sky, a smile spread across her face. Would the sunrise ever fail to awe her?

She turned around, feeling special and noticed that the earthen pots of water for the birds were now dry and empty. She filled them up, watered the plants and traipsed back to her room. Her phone lay by the side of her pillow, silent. She had switched it off last night. Leaving it on charging she went to freshen up.

While she made breakfast, she thought about what she would do that day. Mother was happy to see the breakfast ready and blessed her profusely. There was still time to pass before she stepped out of the house, so she went about doing daily chores and reading passages from one of her favourite books.

Finally she left the house. The first place she drove to was the café that served her favourite fudge. She ate it alone and knew that her friends would be so pissed off. But she had to do it- she needed this day to herself. She stayed in the café for another half an hour- watching the traffic outside steadily increase.
There was only one other customer in the café. A young man who sat at the other end, with his back towards her. He had a canvas bag with him – probably a college student. When she went to pay her bill, she paid also for whatever the young man had ordered.

On her way to her next destination, she stopped by a grocery store and bought a pack of toffees and two packs of cream biscuits. When she reached the Jamat khana, she paused. This was one of her favourite places on earth. It was a small building that housed orphans. She hesitated before entering. She hadn’t come there since her father had left. She hesitated because she knew she was now one of them. But she encouraged herself – if not today, then when?

The caretaker hugged her and spoke words of consolation. The kids were in Arabic class. It was a small orphanage cum school managed by an Islamic scholar. There were only fifteen children and each one’s story was unique.
When the class ended the children were just as happy to see her as she was to see them. Perhaps even more. They rarely had any visitors. Sure, the orphanage received generous donations – food, money, clothes – but seldom one’s time.

The caretaker brought tea for her and they all shared the toffees and biscuits. She listened to all their stories, ramblings and their wishes – some of which she would soon fulfill and some which she knew she may never be able to. Soon it was time for her to leave. They asked her to come again and she promised she would. And she meant it.

It was almost evening and she was to return home before it was dark. There was only one place left to go to. The Library.

She went around the aisles searching for a book. She had The Sheltering Sky in mind and was looking for it when something else caught her eye. It was ‘Five Go on a Hike Together’ of The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. She loved The Famous Five, having read those in school. It was perfect for reading that night. She got the book issued and left for home.

On her way she met a woman selling glow-in-the-dark-star stickers at the traffic signal. She bought two sets. After all, a gift was overdue. 🙂

On reaching home, she found her sisters waiting for her with a cake. They had done it in spite of her telling them not to. Family! She cut the cake, exchanged pieces of it and they handed her a list of people who had called on their numbers since her phone was switched off.
By seven in the evening she had retreated to her bedroom and changed into comfortable night clothes. She switched on her phone and started thanking everybody for their wishes.
Friends called up as soon as they saw her online on Whatsapp and told her how she was a mean bitch before wishing her lifelong happiness.

It pleased her most when she saw that among those who had wished her at the strike of 12 were some of her students. Their messages made her feel old but it also made her feel blessed.

After she had returned the wishes, she had a quick supper and sat down with her laptop to watch Rio 2. It made her day!

By the time the day came to an end she had snuggled into her bed with the book from the library while texting a new friend she had made.

She realized that this day – which came only once a year – was done. No celebration. No friends. No innumerable cake cuttings. No cream on the face. No long talks on the phone. No presents.
She did miss talking to those friends who called only once a year (which showed that they cared enough to remember her special day) and catching up with them. They must have called and given up.

But that day, in a unique way, in that quiet celebration, she had found peace and comfort which she hadn’t since a month. She slept feeling happy and contented. It had been a good day!

Until next year.


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Book falls open. I fall in.

Image

A book and a cup of tea. Isn’t that a delectable combination?  A book and a cup of tea, or coffee, or hot chocolate …On a sunny day or a sulky one, a windy day or a wintry one, a book never says goodbye.

It’s raining today and I am ensconced in that warm chair-swing in the balcony. I watch the sky celebrate, extend my hand and feel it on my palm and smile as a few raindrops caress my face.Opening my eyes, I watch the steam from the cup of tea, rising with eagerness, forming shapes, trying to reach for the sky but then slowly it gives up and accepts its fate.

Finally, as if following a sacred ritual, I turn my attention towards the book in my lap and run a hand over the cover. It wasn’t a new book. Rather, a very old one. Borrowed from the British Library.

Turning the book over in my hands I wondered how many people must have handled it. To the unseeing eye, it was only an old, tattered book, unworthy of any praise. But a lover would know its worth. I wondered how many stories it held, apart from the printed one.

How many moments it treasured?

I loved reading for all those well known reasons- for visiting unknown places, for the new eyes, new adventures, new friends, the knowledge, the wisdom. I loved the musty smell, the sound of a flipping a page, the feel of a book in your hands. I love it all!

But I love reading a borrowed book most. I love reading the tales hidden in them. Faded covers curling at the edges, browned papers. Finding a dried petal or flower in between the page reminds you of some stranger-friend. Words scribbled on the edges and careless doodling. Favorite passages marked and dog eared pages!

A stain here and a stain there, telling stories within a story. Chocolate marks, candy wrappers, names of lovers scribbled in tiny hearts drawn at the corner of a page. How many stories could a book tell? And how many could you read?

 

And then as my gaze wander, so do my thoughts. I look up at the clouds and start giving wings to their shapes. Then, I wonder about you.

Do you love the rain as much as I do? Do you too like saunte
ring empty roads? Does the sunset leaves you awed too, every single time? Do you love making castles in the sand? Do you enjoy talking to the birds? Do you find humor where most people don’t? Are you as crazy as I am? Do you too hate the world at times? And then learn to love it again? Do you like to eavesdrop on the wind whispering to the trees or pen speaking to the paper?  Do you sit alone and relive memories? Do you get goose-flesh when you see the rainbow? Do you ever feel lonely in the crowd? Can you too sea the fire in the sea? Do you feel the evening breeze caress your hand? Does spending time with people below seven and above seventy mean anything to you? Do you look at the stars and wonder…?

Poetry? Long walks in the rain? Dancing? Calvin and Hobbes? Kishore Kumar? Clapton? Dcfc? Star wars? Beaches? F.R.I.E.N.D.S.? Duck tales? Fox’s wedding? 

The rain has stopped and the scent of earth pulls me out of my thoughts. Petrichor! Sighing deeply, I look at my book and smile. It had waited patiently for my return. My companion amidst lonely crowd. 

So would you still ask me why I find in it my solace?


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Which poetic form are you?

free verse

 

I found this quiz on PlayBuzz called “Which Poetic Form are You?”  http://www.playbuzz.com/jjsaddress10/which-poetic-form-are-you

I decided I would take the quiz and whatever my result was, I would try to write one. I challenge you all, whether you consider yourself a poet or not, to take this quiz and write whatever style you get. Just give it a try. 

Btw, this was my result and its description:

You appreciate the wild and wonderful, the wily twist, the winsome word. Instead of conforming to expectations, you let yourself loose on the open world. You think beyond the normal. You draft with difference. You sculpt anew.

You are: Free Verse.