My moon

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How subtle is your glow

How soft your charm

When the clouds darken

You are still and calm

How effortless it is

To gaze at you

You appear unarmed

And yet remain unharmed

Is there really a flaw

In your silver shimmer

Or is it the beholder

Who is the sinner?

 

 

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Nitu and Bablu

So Aditya Chopra and Rani Mukherjee named their daughter Adira, which I think, has a nice sound to it. This piece of news in the morning papers got me thinking on the importance of names, especially in India. People spend considerable time these days on choosing names for their children, a lot of thought and foresight goes into it, and in some cultures there is a whole ceremony attached to the naming of a child. Very cool! And before you know it, you also have a nickname. Yes, we love being cute, don’t we?

Like there’s my name, which anyone would know is impossible to shorten, because then it wouldn’t even be a name, just a sound! But even apart from the endearing names (sigh!) that the elders bestowed on me –  Tinu, Chotu, Chintu, Chakdi, etc. – some of my friends too managed to find a nick. My school gang call me Nits. To be honest, it is difficult to even pronounce that, but there it is. One of my ex bosses who has an Australian accent also preferred ‘Nitzzz’ to sweet and simple Niti. Some of my college gang went one step ahead to turn ‘Nits’ into ‘Nuts’, and let’s not go into the reasoning behind it. They weren’t happy with it for too long, so one of them decided to desi-fy it: nuts = peanuts = mungfali. And that stuck with me. One of the others who was a fan of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers like me, thought I was very much like Ms. Potts and I will never tell you the name that was derived from it for me.

There are so many of us who are Cheekus and Babloos and Pinkies and Gudiyas when we are kids, and then those become our names, and the ones on the birth certificate are forgotten. Sometimes people stare at us in surprise when we tell them hesitantly, “Erm…auntyj… actually my name is Nisha, ‘Nonu’ toh sirf pyaar se bulaate hai”, and Auntyji, after recovering from the initial shock goes, “Arey beta, sabko pyaar se hi bulana chahiye”. Beat that. Someone very dear to me is Babloo, and then everyone has their own variation for it. Bubbly and Bubbles. The cousin who wants to keep it cool with ‘Bob’. Cute.

My best friend has a very pretty name. But I swear to God, I don’t remember why I call her Bums or Bumsie, but I am sure there is a very valid story behind it. And then another friend, whose name was shortened to ‘Aloo’, but went on to be called ‘Bataku’ and ‘Bataki’ and even ‘Bataks’, which sounds like… never mind 😛

Believe it or not, there are some who prefer the nicknames to the originals. Like Suyash Sharad Pandey became Chunky Pandey. Such stuff happens, don’t ask why. Maybe Shahrukh Khan has an affectionate nickname amongst his close ones, but imagine if the leading lady in one of his movies, where he is named ‘Raj’, calls him ‘Rajoo’ while romancing him! That he did a ‘Raju ban gaya gentleman’, is a different matter altogether. I am quite certain Mogambo’s mum didn’t name him that either, and must have turned in her grave every time the guy went ‘Mogambo Khush Hua’! But look at the effect the name had, it was such an integral part of the film’s USP. And I can never forget the scene in Hum Tum when Kirron Kher asks Rishi Kapoor to call her Bobby as it is her ‘pat name’ (Kirron Kher’s acting brilliance and my love for her deserves a separate blog).

So the next time you’re looking up names, would be a good idea to also think of potential nicknames. You never know which one you might like better 😉

Today is a special day

I wanted to play doll doll

But you taught me cricket

I was a really bad student

But you seldom took my wicket.

I grew up watching you brother

Until I realised

Like you, there could be no other

Sometimes you were my friend

Sometimes my father.

When you got married

I knew I would miss you a tad

But you proved me wrong there too

Got me a sister I never had.

You two are so special

Your bond created a miracle

I couldn’t thank you enough

When with all her chutzpah

Came Kaira!

After 10 beautiful years of marriage

Dear bhai may you always be

The prince who charmed bhabhi and Kaira

Swept them off their feet in a horse carriage.

I raise a toast to your friendship

Cheers to your companionship

The world is blessed to see

The love in this family

The names in our prayers, today and always,

Kaira, Tanmay and Silvi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spare me the horror!

There is a theme

Oh yes there is

They are all against me

Plotting a scheme.

And they just won’t give up

Till I yell and scream.

 

Why else would it be

So difficult to understand

I just need to activate my SIM

Mr. call centre Ji.

I’ve submitted all documents

Can’t you see?

 

I’ve called you up 10 times by now

But your record still says

The SIM belongs to Ram Bhau!

Dude, it really doesn’t make me go WOW!

 

Surely the cabbie

Is in this too

My humble pickup point

Can be found by a baby

But the landmarks are not good enough

And he won’t use his 3G!

Suddenly the very helpful app shows

Your booking is canceled

How about I deliver a punch on your nose?

As if I asked you to find the crows!

 

“The cheque issued is dishonoured”

I am told very solemnly

“Your signature is wrong ma’m”

That’s how I am cornered

“It doesn’t match our records”

And I surrendered.

 

Rushed to verify the records at the bank

Who cares if the signature was the same

They still confer on themselves the no. 1 rank

“Don’t behave as if the titanic sank”

 

Glitzy online shopping

Is yet another gamble

Same day delivery

Is always their preamble.

When questioned on being late

‘5-7 working days at least’ they mumble.

 

It doesn’t matter that I needed the dress

On a specific day for a specific reason

You can hardly call this a mess

If you do, you’re just being a pest!

 

Efficiency is out of fashion

Avail any service with caution

This is not issued in public interest

But only ’cause my patience has been put to test!

 

Tolerance

A kind word;

A hesitant smile

From that stranger on the road

After just a little while.

 

Did he merely tolerate?

Or was it something more?

I can never be too sure

But it was better than before.

 

‘Cause it was then that I realised

There was goodness in me too

A reflection of what I had received

Just before we bid adieu.

 

The colour of his skin I did not notice

His name I did not seek

The symbol on his tattoo meant nothing

Intolerance; it did not reek.

 

I had lost my way

Not just on that lane

I was unable to reason

My fundamentals gone down the drain.

 

Perhaps I appeared fragile to him

Which is why he extended his hand

It made me stronger to accept;

I could then stand.

 

I decided not to discriminate

I decided not to merely tolerate

I understood the need of the hour

Was to appreciate;

The beauty of our differences

And the story of our journeys

To let go of the hatred

Like the smoke that went up our chimneys.

 

I will no longer question his Gods

I vow and the sun shines bright

‘Cause as they say

I have loved the stars too fondly; to be fearful of the night.

My life I hear

 

The sound of the door bell

As it chimes where I dwell

A song of hope I hear

It brings home someone dear.

 

The waves that shape the shore

Splash melodies galore

As my eyes absorb the infinity

My feet tap

To the rhythm of divinity.

 

The chant of om

On my lips and inebriated I roam

As a symphony of understanding fills my soul

To be compassionate with integrity is the ultimate goal.

 

The voice of an angel

Nurtures and enhances my potential

She blesses me even without words

The lord sent my ma

To be my shepherd.

 

I witness music all around.

I am incomplete without these sounds.

Eat, pray, love

I fast on Mondays. That is, I skip breakfast and lunch – I have my first sip of tea after sunset, after which I thank God even for the lousy snack they offer at office in the evenings because I feel so grateful for it. This blog is not about why I fast and whether I believe in fasting spiritually or otherwise. I am writing this merely because I want to share my fasting experience per say. It is about 4-5 weeks now since I started this and it does get better with each week. By better I mean it is getting slightly easier for me to go through the entire day with only water intake as each week passes.

But I still crave. It starts with a craving for food in the morning – a slice of bread, a bite of a hot parantha. I brush the thoughts away. By lunchtime, all I crave for is a cup of tea or coffee. By tea time, a dull throbbing builds itself in my forehead and my tummy starts grumbling. It becomes difficult for me to concentrate on work so I walk around a bit, chitchat with friends and try to divert my mind. It works – for a while. By 5pm, I feel the existence of each muscle in my body. As I walk I feel a low pit in my abdomen and my heart starts pounding. I get highly restless but I keep fighting the feeling and avoid thinking about it. By 7pm I start relaxing a bit as I know that the evening tea is just 30 min away. By 7 20, I almost stop bothering – I almost feel like it won’t make much of a difference if I skip dinner too.

But when I go to the dining room of my office with my friends, pour a cup of tea, take a snack from the sweet bhaiya who always serves it to us with a smile, I feel overwhelmed. The relief I get with the first sip of tea is so immense I feel tears prickling my eyes. I bow my head and thank the heavens – feeling eternally grateful for every drop of tea and every morsel of food that I get each day.

I come home and light the diyas in the little mandir of my home. I sit there for a while chanting the shlokas – almost mechanically, yet feeling the peace around me. As the shlokas come out of my lips, always the same tunes at the fast pace, I become the kid who sat on the floor with mummy and babu, sincerely singing the hymns along with them. I cannot muster that sincerity anymore no matter how hard I try. My mind wanders here and there now… and I bring it back each time. I have a soft voice that used to get buried in my mum’s chants. Even today, I hear my mother’s voice in my head as I pray. I think that is what brings me the peace.

With all the load lifted off my shoulders, I have dinner with my hubby. With a light heart and a heavy stomach, I end the day by watching some old sitcom or reading a book or playing candy crush. I eat, pray and love – that is how I spend my Mondays 🙂

My first post!

I have been putting this off since yesterday… I wanted my first post on my brand new eighties template based blog to be striking! So I thought and thought… and thought some more..  but ‘striking’ only brought images of kohl lined eyes, Chinese lamps and Arnab Goswami’s newshour. None of this inspired me enough to write. I only kept thinking of so much more that I could include in the ‘about me’ section of my profile and how 1200 characters was just way too less to accommodate stuff about moi.

Hence this is a not so striking post, just some family news to start off.

We are expecting a little baby in the family soon 🙂 My brother is going to become a dad! I am the one younger to him, but I always picture him as the kid who asked me to convince our mum to let him play cricket or fly kites or go for a party.  This is true, he really did. And boy, is his kid going to give him back or what!

I look quite a bit like my dad’s sister so I assume my brother’s kid would be like me. But even if it isn’t, that’s OK.

I’d like to click pics of the baby, and snuggle next to it. I’d like to hug the baby and touch its cheeks… yes I’d like that very much.

The first baby in the house after me… I think I love it already. We are waiting for you sweetheart, you will bring the sunshine to the family… my little sunflower. I love you.