Friday, December 21, 2018

Erma Bombeck Special

My mother has elevated revenge to an art form.

Oh, i used to be naive about animals.  I thought they are male, unmarried, and travelling alone. 

It amazes me how every year, a childless writer will set down suggestions on the joys of travelling with children.

I wondered if she married a man who considered asking for directions anywhere as a genetic weakness. I wish I had a dime for every cloverleaf that we circled for 8 days.

We explored every dead end road in the United States, blazed trails where only covered wagons had been, and discovered maternity homes for bloodsucking mosquitoes.

Children do not go on a vacation to have a good time. If the parents really wanted them to have a good time, they would leave them at home.

No self respecting family would think of going on a vacation without the 'seat-kicker'. The seat kicker is a fore runner of the bionic leg. He positions himself just behind daddy's seat and has been clocked at 200 kicks per minute for as long as 400 miles. The motion affects his hearing.

Kids haven't been home unless they have pawed through their old sports trophies and ribbons, 2080 friendship pictures from grade schools, rubber worms, dolls with no eyes, graduation tassels, rugs from Disneyland, pennants, report cards, sand-filled cameras, basketballs, kits, dog-eared letters, college catalogs, and licence plates.

"Mom, this is our history. It shows that we were here."
"Your father and i live at poverty level. What more proof do we need that you were here?"

Clean underwear does not reproduce itself.

Students who write to their parents get remembered in the will.

Look, son, ever since you graduated from college you've been trying to find yourself.  You wanna know where you are? You're somewhere between Clearsil and bankruptcy.

"I take care of the car. "
"Pouring Orange crush in the radiator when it boils over is not taking care of it. "

It was always understood that my husband, Darth Vader, would be the custodian of the television tuner.  He regarded the electronic device as his personal "force" of good over evil TV shows.

Ten children... thats a lot of shoes, a lifetime of overbites, an eternity of 'Can I..'s, endless evenings of PTA, years of slammed doors, and an uninterrupted spam of "we've got the kids to think about.."

Every time mom said, "I'm doing this because i love u. ", i knew it was going to be something rotten.

We have an entire generation of kids growing up who have been told that work must be 'fun, relevant, and meaningful. ' it's actually discipline, competition, and repetition.  They're confusing work with success. Success is fun, relevant and meaningful. Work is just plain dogging it.

- from Family- The ties that bind, and gag. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Mann Ki Baat

नेकी इक दिन काम आती है, हमको क्या समझाते हो,
हमने बेबस मरते देखे, कैसे प्यारे प्यारे लोग!
- जावेद अख्तर 

'Health is Wealth' is an adage that is learnt in school but understood at the hospital check out counter or the Old Age home.
- this is mine.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Katranein/ कतरनें

नुन्नी, तू कविता लिखती थी न?

अब कहां लिखूंगी मां? घर, बच्चे, असबाब..

कविता, धमनियों के रक्त सी होती है। हममें ही बहती है।
जब तक तन की धमनियों में रक्त है बच्चे,
तब तक आत्मा में कविता बहती है।

Monday, December 10, 2018

Today's gratitude

Today's gratitude is for 2 things:
1. Ice cream on winter nights
2. A free sky above my head.
3. My friends.
4. Chhangu baba 

Friday, December 07, 2018

Poetry / Kavita

पहले कविता,
मेरे घर ही रहती थी
झूले पर
लड़ाइयां करती थी,
उन्मुक्त हंसती,
बेबाक रोती
कभी झरने सी,
कभी अल्हड़ लड़की सी
कुनकुनी धूप में
सुस्ता कर निखरती थी,
और सख्त गर्मी में
अपनी सख्तजानी जताती थी। 

फिर वही हुआ
जो हर बढ़ती लड़की
और नदी के साथ होता है
धीरे धीरे
लड़कियों पर अंकुश
और नदियों पर बाँध

मैं भी बन गया
मीत से
उसका साथ देना छोड़ कर
उसे गढ़ने लगा

जब मैं बना सवार
तो वह
घोड़ी नहीं बनी
तब वह
देवी बन कर
अंतर्ध्यान हो गयी, बस.

तुम्हे यकीन ना आये,
ये सहज ही है
पर ये सच है,
पहले कविता,
मेरे घर ही रहती थी। 

Lived here
Once upon a time..
We fought for the swings
She laughed with gay abandon
and cried without shame.
Like a young girl,
she met the world
with unbridled passion,
not unlimited wisdom.

She faced
what all rivers
and girls do
- dams
and Damns.

I went from
being her friend
to being her conductor.
At that point,
she did not mature into
a horse
She became
A Goddess

I understand
You will not believe
But Poetry
lived here
Once upon a time..

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Observations on life..

My jokes are delivered with such a straight face that they always fall flat.

As grammar rules go, I spell hyphenation as n-e-m-e-s-i-s.

My ability to offend people is exceeded only by my ability to remain completely oblivious to the fact. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018


He was happy for her. But sad for himself.

She was happy for him. But sad for herself.

The weddings were a month apart.

On being a dead person

It hit me, I think, on Halloween. Why were the kids dressed up all scary? Someone said that we dress up like the dead (technical word: zombies) to honour the spirits of those who have passed.

Is death really that scary? Why do all these people assume that all deaths are violent, gory and blood stained?

In the Tibetan practice, there is a practice by which a senior monk guides you through the process of leaving your body... gently, slowly, and painlessly. It is a conscious practice. When a monk is ready to go, the senior monk is called in to guide the entire process.
Imagine the difference!

Because we associate death with violence and gore, the idea of dying fills us with fear. Death is a natural progression is a spiritual journey. When the time is right, the soul will discard its cast and move on.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Palayan/On Leaving home

जब से मुल्क से निकला हूँ,
और भी मुल्क का हुआ हूँ मैं 

घर से ये कह कर निकला था 
जाने किस ओर चला हूँ मैं.

धरती गोल है, ये बात,
परदेस में घर बना कर समझा हूँ मैं. 

मैंने सोचा था बहुत दूर चला आया हूँ,
आँगन के नीम तले ही खड़ा हूँ मैं. 

आँगन में, उसी जगह ही खड़ा हूँ मैं. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Review of play Marnoparant by Barefoot theater

There are 2 areas in Delhi that I patently avoid: Shahpurjat and HKV. Not because one has something against new age posh, but because one just loves open spaces. So events at these places are politely but firmly declined. Before you ask: Yes, I have lost friends owing to this hesitation.

But when a play is about the husband and the lover of a woman meeting after her demise, the premise is enticing enough to travel one hour and brave Shahpurjat. It was worth it.

A simple, one act play that eliminates all things unnecessary and focuses on.. i don't know.. The emotion that is after a demise...somewhere between anger and loss and grief.. like a Venn diagram whose intersections change every minute, hour and day.

The setting is a beach - half wet, half dry. So you can make sand castles, and let dry sand go through your hands - whatever you want, darling. That setting was pure genius.

The fishing net in the backdrop.. the tiny exhaust window that looks out into god knows what. I loved that window.

The characters are well etched but not fleshed out enough. The actors were great in their respective places, but for some reason, I kept switching them in my head all the time. I have no idea why!! But all the time, I felt that the husband was the lover and the lover was the husband.

The person who played the husband appeared to be grieving a lot more than the lover. I guess the only explanation is that after your wife dies, she goes from being a piece of furniture to being all the pieces of furniture in the house.

How does the lover feel when someone he loved but could not have, passes away? The husband has had a sense of closure.. but the lover? That question remained unanswered at the end of the play.

The husband's sense of betrayal is immediate(because he only discovers the affair after the death) and cannot be remedied... because the woman is no more.. but the lover's sense of betrayal? Does he feel cheated out of a future he could have had with her? SHOULD have had with her?

The sound effects, though overall good, faltered at some places. Quite a few times, the sound of the waves was so loud we couldn't hear what was being said. But at one place, there was a significant silence, and sound was used to perfection in that moment.

The lights were perfect.

The performance was intimate and very..i don't know.. straight from the heart. It did something that made u think of the play even a day later. (And it did get a standing ovation from the full house on that day).  There was a small chai and chat session later that i quite enjoyed too.

There are some plays that change how you see life. Of course, you don't know that until much later.  This play is very likely to make that list for me.

If u do get a chance, catch this play. And in exactly this kind of a setting. This is a play that demands a certain intimate exchange between the audience and the performance. A play that, I think, requires the viewer to get as naked as the performer.

Friday, November 16, 2018


मुझे नहीं पता
कि दुनिया कैसे जीती जाती है

मुझे तो
ये भी नही पता
कि दुनिया
किसने जीती है जग में..

I confess,
I have no idea
How to conquer the world.

I dont even know
Of Anyone
Who has conquered the world! 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

On being a quiet person..

 थोङे शब्दों में ज्यादा कहना
मुझे अच्छा लगता है
और चुप में सब कुछ कह जाना
उससे भी अच्छा ।

I like it
When a few words
Say a lot
But to be silent
And say everything..
Is to have
Metamorphosise into

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


मुझे धूप
अच्छी लगती है।
 नर्म, रौशन, कुनकुनी,

दिखने में कुछ
होने में कुछ
लोगों जैसी

पर अंधेरे से फिर भी
सौ गुना अच्छी ।

अच्छी लगती है

Monday, November 12, 2018

ON holier than thou attitude

You can't lift other people, or even bring them down. You are not a crane. Every person is at the level meant for them. Just like you. There are millions above and millions below. Always have been. Always will be. So please wipe the stupid grin off and put the smugness away.

Friday, November 09, 2018


अरे! तुमने पाजेब नहीं पहनी? तुम्हे कितनी पसंद थी!

नहीं । अब नहीं पहनती।

तुम लङकियां भी अजीब होती हो। कोई शौक पालती हो, और कुछ साल में  ही उस से, इतनी विरक्ति भी हो जाती है!

हाँ । पर हम लङकियों के शौक, कुछ साल तो चलते हैं। 

Sunday, November 04, 2018


बङा होना
किसे अच्छा लगता है?
सिवाय बच्चों के?

Sanskrit Lokokti and Hindi Doha

श्व: कार्यमद्य कर्तव्यं

Do tomorro's work today. Don't leave it to tomorrow.

Kabir Das' Doha which says the same thing:

काल करे सो आज कर, आज करे सो अब 
पल में परलय होएगी, बहुर करेगो कब 


जब तुम बङे हो जाओगे
तब जानोगे
कि उम्मीद
बङी होकर
बनती है अपेक्षा;
और नाउम्मीदी,

Friday, November 02, 2018

Why India's educated are the World's greatest hypocrites

Ab mujhe samajh aaya ki Burj Khalifa Hindustan mein kyun nahi bana.

Ek kahani hai.

Once upon a time, on a ship, some scorpions were placed in an open bucket. A passenger on the ship complained to the Captain about keeping poisonous scorpions in an open bucket. They might get out and sting someone!
The captain replied, "Don't worry sir. These are Indian scorpions. The minute one of them tries to make any progress, the rest of them will pull him down and punish him for even trying. Not one of those scorpions will escape on this journey."

Aaj apna facebook wall dekh ke, kasam se kahaani yaad bhi aa gayi aur samajh bhi.

I am proud(not) to belong to a country where the world's tallest statue in the honour of the world's tallest statesman (show me another example of peacefully uniting over 580 princely states into a single country in world history) opens to .... this!


Thursday, November 01, 2018

Hindi Muhavara/ हिंदी मुहावरा

चोर चोर मौसेरे भाई

Thieves are usually related/alike.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


And that time comes again. October 31 - Nov 3. For most people, the year on the calendar changes. For some of us, it will always be 1984.

Sanskrit Wisdom and Hindi Muhavara

ज्ञानं भार: क्रियां विना

Having knowledge(Gyaan), but not acting like one is an aware person, makes the knowledge as useless as a burden. (Even if you are very knowledgeable, if you don't act, what use is all that knowledge?)

हिंदी मुहावरा: एक पंथ दो काज

To kill two birds with one stone - when one action meets two needs or two goals.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tara - Childrens Poetry in Hindi

एक थी तारा 
खाना खा गयी सारा 
भैया आया घूम के 
उस से पूछा झूम के 
"रखा कहाँ है खाना?"
"खा गयी मैं तो सारा!"
भैया हंसा ज़ोर से 
साथ में हंसी तारा।

Love/ प्रेम

मेरी इच्छा है
कि मैं इस जीवन में
बस एक बार ही सही
तुम्हे जीवंत भी देखूं।

It is my desire
that in this life
May I see you come alive
just once.

Saturday, October 27, 2018


"तुम्हारी मृत्यु पीङादाई नहीं होगी ।"
- मिलता है ये दिलासा
हर उस को
जिसका जीवन अत्यंत पीङादाई हो ।

"Your death will not be painful "
Is the standard placebo
Handed out to everyone
Living a tortured existence.

Sarmaya mere hone ka

 वो जगह जहां आसमां
मिलता है ज़मीं से ...?
वो उतनी ही सच है
मृगतृष्णा ।

ਓ ਥਾੰ
ਸਬ ਠੀਕ ਹੋ ਜਾੰਦਾ ਹੈ?
ਓ ਭੁਲੇਖਾ ਹੈ
ਅਸੀ ਝੂਠ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਸੀ।

That pot of gold
At the end of the rainbow?


ਤੈਨੁ ਆਉੰਦਾ ਹੀ ਨਹੀ
ਕਤਲ ਕਰੇਨਾ
ਏੰਵੇ ਉਲਜ਼ਾਮ
ਮੇਰੀ ਬੇਸ਼ਰਮੀ ਤੇ ਲਾਈ ਜਾਨਾੰ ਏ।

तुम्हे आता ही नहीं
कत्ल करना
यूं ही बदनाम
मेरी सख्तजानी को किये जाते हो।

You just don't know
How to kill
Why are you trying to
Blame my resilience? 

Happy Diwali - Baal Kavita

छोटी छोटी बातें 
बड़ी बड़ी  कनातें 
छोटे छोटे दीप
भरते ले कर कीप 
बड़ी सी रंगोली 
साथ में खेल ठिठोली!

Thursday, October 25, 2018


सबसे बड़ी गलती मैंने ये की मेरी जान
कि  तुम्हे
अच्छा इंसान समझा


कुछ होने से
कुछ होने का डर
ज़्यादा बड़ा है

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sanskrit Lokokti, Hindi Muhavara

 यज्ञो वै श्रेष्ठतमं कर्म.

The best offering/prayer (yagya) is (good) action.

जाकी रही भावना जैसी, प्रभु मूरत तिन देखि तैसी
This quote first appears in Ram Charit Manas. It is said that when Shri Ram returned to Ayodhya, all the residents rushed to the gates to welcome him, and each one desired that the Lord should meet him/her first. Shri Ram divined this desire in the heart of every devotee, and accordingly, appeared in front of everyone. To each, he appeared as a reflection of their own selves. The quote means that the Lord is nothing but a reflection of our own intentions, desires and motivation. As one feels, thus the Lord appears. Those who see him as benevolent, find him benevolent. Those who see him as a fair and just king find that he is indeed, just that. The quote has a much wider application. What it really means is - We see the world not as it is, but as we are.

Monday, October 22, 2018

ਇਕ ਦਿਨ
ਲਿਖ ਕੇ ਜਾਂਵਾਂਗੀ,
"ਹੁਣ ਹੋਰ ਨਹੀਂ ਜਰਿਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ"
ਤਦ ਤਕ
ਜਰ ਲਾਂ ਥੋੜਾ ਜੇਹਾ ਹੋਰ.

एक दिन 
लिख कर जाऊंगी,
"अब और नहीं सहा जाता।"
तब तक 
सह लेती हूँ थोड़ा और. 

One day I will write
"I just couldn't do this any more."
Until then,
Let me do this
Some more.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Booti/ Intoxication

कुछ लोग 
शाम होते ही 
बूटी लगाते हैं 
तब, उस समय,
जब तक बूटी का असर रहता है 
उन्हें गुमान रहता है 
कि दुनिया 
और उस में जो कुछ भी अच्छा है 
उसके रखवाले 
बस वे ही हैं
और कोई नहीं. 

उनके भीतर का उन्माद 
उत्कर्ष पर चढ़ आता है 
 किसी की 
किसी भी बात पर। 

उन पलों में 
उनकी न सुबुद्धि होती है 
न दुर्बुध्दि 
सच कहूँ 
तो बुद्धि ही नहीं होती 
न चेतना, न संवेदनशीलता.

सदियों से साथ मिल कर रहते हुए भी 
वे उस समय किसी बिन पिए इंसान को 
अपना दुश्मन समझते हैं 
और जो उनके साथ 
दो दम भर ले 
दो घूँट चढ़ा ले 
वह बन जाता है "भाई!" , सहोदर, चिरप्रिय,
उन क्षणों के लिए। 

 कुछ लोग 
ऐसी ही बूटी 
चुनावों की भी लगाते हैं. 
(जाकर दोबारा पढ़िए)

Some people
at dusk
get high
on their poison of choice
While the intoxication lasts
They believe,
truly, earnestly,
that they are
The Saviours of the World.

Passions peak
And anger is duly expressed
at anything random
said  or done by
anyone random.

In those moments
they are neither insane
nor wise.
They are in fact, just,
devoid of judgement. All judgement.
All consciousness (as we well know)
flies out the door.

People they have spent years living with
sworn enemies
if they are sober.
And the ones who drink alongside
become brethren.
During those moments
of insanity.

Some people
get similarly intoxicated
from the time the elections are announced
to the day they happen.
The madness of passion
every decent human emotion.

Friday, October 19, 2018

On Sabarimala Temple

I have no view on whether or not women should enter Sabarimala. I don't know enough to even think, much less opine on the subject.
This, however, i do have a view on:
A temple is not a tourist spot. It is a place of devotion and prayer. When you approach a temple, it should be for one reason only - to offer your prayers, and with utmost devotion. Not to create a news story.
That much respect, i think, we owe to all places of worship.