Then I meet you!

 

I stood there contemplating the crowd. It was a motley group of people, no similarities on the outside, different hair colour, skin colour, shape and size. I belonged to that crowd now, so i thought. I was there to further my skills and so were they………that was only the similarity i felt on the first day.

As days rolled by, time flew and work became intense. Its hard to be a matured student as anyone would vouch. The motley group started feeling familiar, feeling like long lost friends. We journeyed forward and at each juncture as each one shared a bit of themselves, the dissimilarity receded a bit. The different outward appearance seemed to blur and melt. Similarities rose to the surface, as I realised that life treats everyone fair and square and all are carrying their little sacks of burden along. It does not matter where you belong, how you grew up and your journey so far. So, in all this trying to make sense was me, I was there all along but you seemed to frequently disappear. Through this motley group, I discovered you, who had been hiding all along, right at the back of the class. Nobody saw you, you were shielded by bravado.

Apart from the professional skills that we were honing, I also got a glimpse of the world. The world right there, shaped by experiences, shaped by individual stories. Stories that underline resilience, positive outlook, compassion, and strength, the one of the quiet variety. As the people in the east say, yin and not yang.

You were nicer, kinder, had a free laugh, felt vulnerable and was lovable. I on the other hand was aggressive, moody, non-empathetic and full of regrets. It was tough for me to like you, to be with you and accept you. The world is a harsh place and you were a misfit. This motley group taught me to like you, accept you and most importantly to understand that your qualities place you higher than mine, in this world.

Some qualities seem to vanish from this world. Qualities like empathy, compassion, humility, gratitude. Along my journey so far, people who possess abundant doses of these are actually the ones who are most successful. What is my measure of success? House, car, land, money? No, success for me today is to be in a position in your life where you are doing something which feels so correct and good, through your profession or otherwise. To be surrounded by meaningful people, from whom you can imbibe positivism, from whom you do get inspired. To feel and be there and that’s it, just one’s presence matters really. These people are actually rich, loved and are true beacons of inspiration.

I was lonely, very lonely, trapped in my own misery and thoughts, you came and liberated me. Differences that appear on the surface are just that…on the surface, inwardly we are all the same, same emotions, same needs, same wants.

That you is in all of us.

 

 

 

 

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Passion for your thoughts

Classic sunset silhouette of couple kissing with sea wind frizzing their hair

 

She waits in the shadows of her sleep for her man to arrive,

to take her in his arms and enamour her with lost kisses.

The shadows depart as the sun streams in and a new day begins,

same old, same old, life without those stolen kisses!

The man next to her is not the one in her dreams.

 

He finishes work to rush to his new bride.

Wraps her in his arm and floods her with love.

Time spent always seemed less.

It flows by and he is off to work again as she is to hers.

Work which takes away most of their time.

 

A coy look, subtle glances and then the first kiss.

They were first lovers to each other.

They were the first ones to experience a real kiss.

Age however leads them on and sets them off into different paths.

Life does have a way to nudge things on differently.

 

Lovers change, kisses melts from the first to many, age puts its mark.

Yet, passion is the reason for existence.

Passion makes life a bit more meaningful.

Passion is also the cause of war and crime.

Rocking on her chair in her retirement home,

Maria has experienced it all.

 

 

The Daughter

Eyes wide, she stood clutching her mother’s sari.

Unwilling to let go.

Unsure of her surroundings.

Loving hands took her in, smoothed her hair down.

Tears however, poured fast and furious.

Fast forward a few years later, she is a bright, confident and a bubbly girl.

She is full of stories, and character.

She loves to sing at the drop of a hat.

She aims to be a vet.

The hands that took her in then, shaped her, gave her an identity and aspirations.

She was now the future, her family was looking at, to save them from grinding poverty.

She was a daughter.

Such are the examples of transformed lives, if everybody is given a chance, an equal footing.

Times have changed and yet our mindset towards girls are mired in the Victorian age.

They are still epitomes of family values, an object to be parted off with, by paying dowry, her virginity still an issue of immense importance.

As Durga descends on Earth, one more time, we welcome the Goddess, signifying power and strength.

We draw energy from her.

How about taking a step back and revering the girl standing right next to you, or in your home, by giving her a chance to live, to aspire, to dream and not be treated any differently

The queen

She was the queen.

Strong.

Beautiful.

Powerful.

Confident.

She was his world.

The kingdoms clashed and the war raged on.

Envy, jealousy, hatred, revenge….

Strung together on a single thread.

Separated the queen from his prince.

Rest as they say, history was created.

Lives were lost and battles were won.

Love, is the key, the doer and the reason.

Strange this emotion.

Unsolved yet so important.

 

 

shallow

 

It was a shallow sea,

the floor was visible, the fish could be seen,

the plants waved back.

Life imitated nature,

lacking depth, leaving nothing to imagination

clear, obvious, out there!

Shake out, or fall off on the wayside.

Nothing left to identify the mind, which once had clarity and confidence.

join the flow or get out of the way!

The message was loud and clear.

Small Celebrations!

It has been quite an upheaval, as I sought to move homes, countries and continents. In this journey as I stuttered and stumbled to find my own in a new place, I had to let go of many things old, some clothes, some trinkets, some fond memories and of course some fond places and spaces.

All throughout constant, was my desire to not let go of my online baby, my magazine Festive Riot. It was started as a part of a conversation, last year in October, and even though it was created as a platform to spread happiness and cheer, in this era of doom and gloom, it stretched out to touch humanity!

In this issue, it strives to do just that, making us a little bit aware, as we indulge in the spirit of celebration. A little way to give back to the world.

Here, I share the fifth issue of Festive Riot.

The path cycled!

cycle

J cycled to work everyday. She cycled everywhere mostly, ever since she learnt how to manage the two wheeler, which was quite late in her life, late by normal standards!

The distance she cycled to reach her workplace was no more than 10 kilometers, not too much, considering she used the traffic-free cycle paths.

The cycle path was lovely, shaded by trees on both sides, sometimes snaking under an overhead bridge , under archways and past green, open fields. It was the lovely part of the city, J loved it. As she cycled she heard birds chirping, saw squirrels crossing the path and an occasional house cat, out for its morning jaunt. When the sun shined through the trees, the whole place lit up! That path was used by pedestrians too, and so there were joggers, walkers and even dogs out with their owners.

However, in spite of all this, the path was relatively quiet and empty, sometimes there would be no soul for a kilometer, the emptiness was inviting, warm and safe. J never felt threatened, frightened, or even panicked when she never encountered another human being for a long time. This was a new feeling for J, she never grew up here, she migrated to this part of the world due to her work.

freedom

She grew up in a busy corner of the world, teeming with people, yet amidst so many, she never felt safe on the streets, in deserted stretches and pathways. A footstep behind would mostly imply someone was following her, the trees on the deserted path could be used by a person with evil intentions. Dusk and eventually night, would imply she had to hurry back home, as darkness gave the man power, to do or to be anything. The woman is never safe.

Ever since she had learnt to step out alone for her college, university or workplace, J observed and understood simple rules of survival in this crowded world. She dressed shoddily to avoid attention, she kept to group travelling after sunset and she always stuck to busy routes. This last one meant she had to factor in that time, to reach her destination. The feeling of insecurity pervaded everywhere, outside the four walls of her home.

J felt frustrated at times and she never understood the cause, just then her workplace shifted her to this new location. It was far away from home, from family, from everything familiar. However, it offered something new, J was always ready for some adventure, the spirit had remained dormant due to being born in that teeming world.

The new place was beautiful, less crowded and offered more. J discovered her new passions, she learnt cycling, she learnt to be herself and more confident. Fear took a backseat, freedom took the forefront, a world of possibilities opened up before her. J was exuberant, her joy knew no bounds.

J knew she was lucky, she had experienced freedom, something rare in the world she was brought up in. The path she took everyday made her realize that over and over again. In this world there are so few places where a woman could feel safe, the cycle path was a piece of heaven.

Sometimes all a woman needs is a small stretch of place where she can be, who she wants to be……………very few are lucky to get that! Most are drowned beneath societal demands, man’s hungry eyes, and prejudices in this world.

Holding hands

holding hands

I walk down the street and the sun is shining bright, I see them, their brisk walk, their grey hairs, but what I observe most is the holding hands! The hands are joined in a confident clasp, secured and yet relaxed, there is no tension. The hands reflect their relationship, the love and security in their autumn years.

I walk into a shop, the shop window had a dress which enticed me in, I see them immediately. They are shopping, happy in each other’s company, a day off from kids, maybe. They are a sophisticated pair, I notice all that, but foremost I notice the holding hands. The grip is firm, exuding power, exuding a sense of belonging, the fingers latched on tightly. The hands reflect their relationship, in control, successful and in the prime of their lives.

I sit in the park, tired after a long walk. Soaking in the quietness of the place, they walk  in, a happy walk, a giddy-feeling walk. I see them in their air of complete seclusion, they are there yet completely aloof to their surroundings, eyes dancing and all smiles, coy ones, seductive ones! They are holding hands, I notice that, the hands are loosely held, fingers interlaced casually, some are free, some are together. The hands reflect their status, young, free and life is calling!

I walk down a mountain, after a long climb onto the top, it was tiring yet exhilarating! The walk down is tricky, a wrong step and I could fall hard, suddenly I hear a shout ‘Help me!’, I turn around to see a hand extend, as a small hand slip into it and the words echo ‘Don’t worry, you will be fine!’. The hands are tightly locked, the small hand completely covered by the big hand, the hands reveal a bond of trust, complete and secure.

This is a saga of holding hands, hands which scripts a million tales and fingers which traces many paths! At each stage the hands clasps differently and each clasp is unique, definitive and so vital. The crucial thing is to have another hand to hold, always!

 

Homecoming

kevin-fernandez-37634

 

‘Home’, the word evokes a thought,

it brings comfort to your spirit and solace to your mind.

‘Home’ for me is where my ma and baba lives,

not because I am still a child but because they alone, live in the house which treasure my childhood memories, they are the only known keepers of little me, the real me!

Ages ago when I was a child too, laughed myself silly, played pranks and dissolved into tears.

‘Home’, where my thakuma lived, my loving gran, her stories shaped my life, her hands caressed every hurt and wiped away every tear.

She is no more but yet she is there, each day as I cook my meals and tell stories to my little ones, never very far away!

I visited my home, time stands still there until broken by a tug at my arm, as my little one wants my attention.

There is nostalgia, memory, little me and little them, there is a confluence of sorts.

There is home cooked food, prepared and served with care by my ma, who still knows what I like best. I get that nowhere.

There is peace and quiet, as slumber descends upon me every sunny afternoon. Something that I don’t do elsewhere!

There is the urge to retreat back into the haven of carefree childhood, not a care, knowing my parents are watching my back. Something I have to do elsewhere!

The mind connects with my heart and soul, and celebrates homecoming!

‘Home’, how much I miss this feeling, now again thousand miles away!

 

Holi

So there was a girl and she dreamt of a world….a world filled with colours and fun. She wanted to be the princess there, have her say, do her thing with no one to give orders and steal her creativity. Festive Riot is one such place , created to celebrate the joyous moments in life, it is already in its fourth issue and the girl is happy. Splashed with colours, this issue celebrates Holi!

What are you waiting for? Click on the link and enter this magical world, full of colours and nice things!