Saturday, July 23, 2005

Creativity Curbed

Teaching. Doing that for 14 years now. Love it. Or rather loved it. Love children. Teach to students from 11-16 years old. In a Government school. To the so-called lower strata. Mostly first generation learners. At times results are up to the mark. And at others they are not! Depends on the batch we get. Teaching depends on various factors, mainly on the kind of students and the syllabi, which keeps changing after every few years.

While teaching we need to be flexible, depending on the time and the topics to be covered. Some take a while and some finish fast. And then feedback is by taking tests. These need to be evaluated, time consuming! But has to be done. Then class work, homework to be checked. Shortage of time. But we do cope and keep teaching as our main priorities. As long there was flexibility, coping was no problem. We could teach in our own pace!

But it all seems to have changed. The administration is planning for us what to teach! Weekly syllabi to be followed. Can we do it? How can we? If on a certain week there is a holiday or holidays, it slows down. And we cannot take topics at our own behest. We are used to alternate difficult topics with easy ones. Which keeps student interested. But now with all this binding, our creativity is curbed. Spontaneity is barred. Practically not feasible. But who is listening? Not the department! How can one teach with this kind of stress and tension?

And suppose I take leave. How do I finish my course? How do I deal with the backlog? And most important, do I get blamed for my illness which I might have had and hence the leave? Or what?

What is the higher up thinking while making such atrocious policies?

Love for teaching? Getting eroded slowly. Am I to be blamed? And how do I function in such a situation? Change my job?

Is there any solution?

How can I leave something which I have always loved and always will??

So painfull to comprehend!

Reflecting in the middle of the night

Unable to sleep. Sitting here in front of this computer I am typing away to glory!
Reflecting on my life at 3.02 am. Why? What? How?

Do I have answers? Will I ever have? Don't know.

Why is it so difficult at times? Why do I have this unsettled feeling? Maybe because it is so very late. But then I have been like this for some days now. Depressed. Morose. For no apparent reason. Or there is? The questions I do not want to answer for myself, how do I expect others to understand? Can anyone? And why not? Maybe I am rambling? Maybe I want my mind to be read. My problems to be solved without my uttering a word! Arn't I expecting too much? Am I?

Remembering Dad

In our hearts, you will always remain
In our memories and all moments that are sane
Looking back, we see you everywhere
In every nook and corner you are there
You held our hands and wiped our tears
Always caring for us all those years
Maybe at times we felt stifled
But at no time you were ruffled
With your patience you made us feel loved
When by very life we were shoved
There are feelings we cannot describe
In our hearts and minds those are inscribed
Although in spirit you are always there
Oh dad! We will miss you forever.

The other side

There is so much truth in the saying “what goes around comes around.” Never was it true as it is now for my life!!

I have been educated in one of the famous all girls in Delhi. I was a fairly good student. Though not exactly the teachers pet. Never could be! I was one of those students who could never sit still and always asking questions. At times disrupting the class. My hand was up even before our teacher asked any questions. I was scolded most of the times for my antics but it did not affect me at all. But I was never rude, not at that stage! My dad was not aware of my doings till I was in the 12th STD!

I did very well in my 10th board. Was forced to take up science. Wish I had not done so well! I had wanted to take up humanities but dad insisted I take science! So here I was studying Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and English. I was only interested in my English and Mathematics classes! (Now I am thankful to my dad though. I am deeply interested in the Physical sciences!)

To cut a long story short, we had a very boring Physics teacher. He used to talk nonsense and never encouraged any questions in class. Pretty difficult for me. I found a perfect solution.

Right in front of him, I used to take out a Mills and Boon romance and my lunch box. So here I was busy reading and munching my food nonchalantly! For a few days I did not get caught but for how long? When he did see me, I was thrown out of my class. My dad was called. He couldn’t believe I could do this. Needless to say, my dad was angry with me. He stopped talking to me for a couple of weeks. I was not sorry for what I had done but I sure did not like my dad going silent on me! Very painful 15 days. But he came around eventually.

But did I change? No. Only thing, I became a backbencher and got on with my novels and food! But in retrospect I think my teacher let my by.

Now that I am a teacher, it has come a full circle! I have to deal with precocious kids, though not bad as I was.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hooked to Haikus!!

Adorning my grave

Blooming, blossoming
Flowers from the bough
Adorn my grave

Calming Sounds

Hustle bustle
Sounds of the bazaar
Calm me down


Hot winds
In the middle of summer
Melt my ice cream


This news item in the newspaper deeply disturbed me. I am unable to get it out of my mind.

A businessman (32) shot his wife (30), (she has survived) with a country made pistol. After that strangled his seven-year old daughter before throwing her from his seventh floor balcony. He threw his sleeping nine-year old son too from there.

His sister and mother too were staying with him but he did not harm them.

According to him, he tried killing himself but the pistol jammed.

He sites financial difficulties but his family and friends say it was not apparent to them.

The big question is, what motivated him? And why? Why didn’t he jump after throwing his children? And why did he spare his sister and brother?

Will these ever be answered? Will he be able to live with himself? What about the mother of the children? Why? How? What?

Deeply unsettling.

Not So Short Poems

Girl in the rain

Waiting by the tree
In the pouring rain
Saw her finally come to me
Walking along the terrain

Water streaming from her hair
Visage shimmering in the rain
Attitude of not a care
Oh! Wasn’t she vain?

Craving for the sea

Roaring, frothing wild sea
Oh! How beckoning to me
Rising, swirling waves
Make my heart crave
Sailing in there forever
And come out? No, ever!
Wishing the sea to be my watery grave
It’s the only thought I save

Life and Death

At her birth, smiles around
And she was crying her heart out
Smiling now, heavenward she is set
Those around her have their eyes wet

Lost innocence

Lightly on the eyes and lips
And on all the other senses
Feeling and touching so sweet
No regrets for lost innocence

Conquering the world

Visible the world to us
That was indiscernible
Tangible the world to us
That was intangible
Know the world we do,
Which was unknowable
Understand the world we do
Which was inapprehensible
Conquer the world we have
Which was unconquerable


Saw you sitting on the sidewalk
Something drew me, made me talk
In no time we were friends
Unknowingly we held hands
Wistfully you touched my hair
I looked into your eyes without care
Embracing and kissing
Did not see the world passing
It went on for a while
Felt as if the heavens smiled
Suddenly you walked away
Shattering my dreams
And in the process smashed
My heart to smithereens

Soulful Haikus II

Drowning sorrow

Swirling, whirling
Rains in the by lanes
Drowns my sorrow


Rays of the sun
Unknotted my thoughts
As thick as sin

Spiraling Waves

Snaking, spiraling,
tormenting ocean
bows at my feet


Tangled, entangled
Creepers in the vineyard
Follow our lead


Melodious songs
Of the birds
Shame me to silence

Monday, July 18, 2005


Haridwar. The very name evokes the Holy River Ganges. Faith. Devotion. Belief. Piety.

Har Ki Pauri. That’s where the Ganges flows. Walking on the riverbanks, with Sadhus, Sadhvis and people from all walks, rich, poor, different cultures, regions, religions, but with a common thread. Reverence, veneration for the Ganga.

As the sun sets slowly, the evening starts at the river bank with oil-lamps, earthern-lamps and drumbeats. Crescendo.

Indescribable feelings. Beyond anything.

The river. Flowing, fast, furious. Icy cold.

When I took a dip there, my mind went completely blank. No thoughts. No reflections. No musings. Revelation.

Does everyone have this feeling? Is this what is spirituality? Thoughts becoming no thoughts? No questions in the mind. No answers. Abstemious. Ascetic.

The Ganga does this to us. Strengthens. Rejuvenates. Restores devoutness, piousness.
Washes away ……more than our sins. Makes us aware of our own mortality.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Soulful Haikus

Leisurely, cunningly
Flee the bucketing storm
the besieged soul.

Invigorated, liberated
Yesteryear’s convoluted past
a fresh beginning.

Poignant reminiscences
Veil underneath the setting sun
Silhouetted in the dark.

Oh! It's real

I had this thought
About love,
Never escaping my mind
A fantasy, a sham

But then I met you
I set off to think
Maybe love was real
Maybe it was for me.

You brought feelings
Into my heart that
I had never known before.
You gave me hope
and showed me
The meaning of love.

Why, when, how
I will never know
I fell in love
Fervent and intense
with you

It is for ever
the feelings that
are intangible,
Only for You


Drops of dew
Shimmer on the leaves as

Raging, pouring rains,
Cascading down the mountains
Like my love

Scorn, disdain
Shown by the enraging tempest
Soothes my heart

Wandering, meandering
Winds in the surroundings
Uplifting my spirits

Fall is yet to be
Leaves in the gust of wind
My thoughts soar with them

In split of a moment
during a long drawn breath
I inhale a fly

Friday, July 15, 2005

My conversations with my cow

My favorite cow started to chaff
Why I wanted to retail her calf
I was miffed how dare she
She and her calf belonged me
Holding her eyes, I outdid her stare
She kept right on, not playing fair
I moved my eyes to dispel the sight
She seemed to say, go fly a kite
Ok, I said, I would go
But before flying a kite, I needed a bite
With skin looking like silk
She offered me her milk
I was grateful, said my thanks
Afterwards took her to the river banks
She was pleased to come out
Harmony restored without a shout
We came way half and half
Finally I decided not to sell her calf

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


With all powers curbed till date
It had been a never-ending wait
Maybe the world at large
Had been able to barge
The state had to give in
Though it had not been keen
Veiled and Chadored
They came out in droves
With so much smile and joy
No one seemed least coy
Woman; young and old
It was a sight to behold
Unmindful of the serpentine queues
They held on to their own views
They wanted the state to note
Their rights by their vote
So finally they exercised
………..Their Franchise


Life filled with myriad colours
Imbued by varied hues, intensity and ardor

What heart craves, yearns, desires
May not be always what it acquires

Maybe less, maybe more,
Life has got for us so much in store

Interesting with its quirks and surprises
Either apparent or in disguises,

Must face it squarely,as it comes
Is there any need for questions?

Rancor about life? Inquisitions?
Does life need any interrogations?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Short Poems


Pond; Still, calm, serene,
Plonk!! Pebble thrown in


Poem; simile,
Metaphors, symbolism
For a novice, layman…
Utter confusion!!


Wealth, possessions, power,
Pleasure unmeasured
But dreamless sleep
…Sheer bliss!!!!


White sheet of paper,
Unmarked, unblemished, chaste,

………..……………..And barren.


Bush attacking
Iraq for WMDs
At his own whim

But how will he
Escape the demon
Inside of him???


Mind, body, heart, soul
Makes as whole
But who is going to plug
The Ozone hole?


Strangers across the table
Studiously ignoring all ongoing babble
…………..Playing footsie….!!!

Frog song( A poerm written for a small child!!)

Come rains;
On my lawn
I observe
Frog spawns

Under the water
Behind the poles
Jumping around
tiny tadpoles

Here and there
Hop the frogs
Chasing around
Does not rid the rogues!!!


Angst, grief, misery
Beyond these,
I could not foresee

Finally he was gone
I had lost,
Fate had won

Prepared I was not,
As the heart has
A mind and wont

Glancing at the
Vast emptiness,
I comprehended living death

Hugging my
Children at last,
Tears fell furious and fast

Go on living, I must do
No matter what,
No matter how

Accepting at last
His parting as real,
I arranged for his funeral………


Different cultures
Different background
We were yet to
Find a common ground

I had felt him here
But how could he
He never intended
To be with me

He holding me
With passion and ardor
I giving it all back
Finally mindless surrender

Had I imagined
Was it my whim
Was it my illusion
Was it a dream

Looking around
I knew I was wrong
My feelings had come
So very strong

He was standing there
Love shining through
With tears in my eyes
I could barely move

We had walked across
Life’s mazes and mires
Will take a lifetime
To douse all that fire

Friday, July 08, 2005


After a long harried day at office, I was negotiating the traffic with impatience. I had worked so hard on that particular presentation to pitch our sales, which had been sliding downhill. Despite my best efforts, the buyers were not convinced. There had been series of meetings throughout the day to discuss the ways and means to save our company. We tried negotiating with the bank. But for no avail. If this continued we would go bankrupt. Not a nice prospect. Finally we decided to call it a day at 9.30 p.m. It was a long drive home for me. I was not looking forward to it.

Here I was waiting for the lights to change, tapping at the steering wheel, the day’s event passing through my mind like a bad movie. Lost in my thoughts, I did not notice the lights changing. The car behind me honked. I moved, slowly turning towards the left. A yellow Chevrolet, followed behind.

It started to rain yet again. It had been raining intermittently for 3 days and had stopped for a while. The dark clouds made my mood even bleaker. Barely glancing behind, I kept on my lane. Rains make it so difficult to drive. I felt my car lurching. The yellow car was still behind me. I kept driving straight ahead. The car behind me turned right and disappeared from sight. But after some time, I noticed it following me. May be it had taken a wrong turn before.

But it was uncanny; the Chevrolet followed me closely wherever I turned. I too noticed the driver of that car making wild gestures. It was unnerving. I accelerated, so did he. I slowed down to let him pass but he too slowed down, waving at me to stop.

Without warning I swerved to the middle lane, but so did he, waving menacingly at me. I shook my fist at him and accelerated away. But there he was, faithfully following me, shaking his head and pointing towards me.

I again felt my car wobbling but as it was raining I did not give it much thought. Now my mind was on the car following me. I kept changing lanes, without notice. The car followed me wherever I turned. I speeded up and took another detour. But there it was behind me. I was getting scared by this time. It was pouring. Not another vehicle in sight. Occasionally, a car passed by. No one had any time to glance what was going on. I tried calling the police but no network on my phone.

Suddenly I felt my car shaking. I must have drove over a pothole. Before I could react, the Chevrolet speeded up and stopped in front of my car. I had to brake suddenly to avoid hitting him. The driver got down. He looked so forbidding. He came towards my side of the window. I kept it close, stared ahead resolutely, avoiding looking at him. He tapped and said something, pointing towards the rear end. I could not hear him in all that rain. I saw another car stopping behind. A woman got down. Came and tapped. But I did not want to open the window for her either. They looked at each other, shook their heads and then kept looking at the rear of my car. Throwing caution to winds, I opened my window and asked what was wrong. She said my left rear wheel was on the verge of coming out. Then she drove away. Getting alarmed, I got down with a jerk and checked it. It would have come out in a few more minutes if I had been driving. And if I had not stopped when I did…………!!

I kept staring at the wheel like moron, my mind blank… Without asking, he got down to the business of fixing up the wheel. That made me break away from my stupor. We both worked at it, without exchanging a single word. I was grateful for his help. I wanted to thank him but he brushed aside and drove away, taking a U-turn, without glancing at me.

I started the car, changed the gear, and progressed slowly. My grim mood had disappeared. I was lucky to be in one piece. Switched on the radio. Suddenly interrupting the song, there was an important announcement……….. I braked, went numb and sat there for a long time, my head on the steering wheel, thinking, thanking my stars and that man in the yellow Chevrolet. The old bridge ahead had partly washed away some time back taking a few vehicles with it……...

What if?


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Her World......( Short story)

Reshma checked herself in the mirror. Having scrubbed her face clean of make-up, she looked like an ordinary girl. None could think, let alone say, she worked as a bargirl.

"Reshma, your taxi is waiting," her friend Khushi called out.

"Coming," she said, stepping out of the bar and hurried into the taxi.

"Andheri," she told the driver. It was almost 2.00 a.m. She wanted to get to Aditya fast. He had been restless and restive lately. The very thought of Aditya made her smile. Soon she was home. She paid the cabbie and without waiting for him to give her the change, rushed into the lift and was in the flat in a jiffy.

"Mallika.." she called out. Her friend came out of the bedroom. "Aditya is sleeping, he has no fever now." Mallika, who lived in the flat next door, left Reshma alone to be with Aditya.

Reshma went inside her bedroom and checked on Aditya. He did not stir. She showered quickly, getting into her robe. Before getting into the bed, she loosened her robe and lay down beside Aditya. She put an arm around him. He stirred, smiled and nuzzled her breast, latching on to one. Utter bliss, she thought, her love flowing through her, sharing an intangible feeling with Aditya. She kept caressing his head and smiled contentedly. He was the very core of her existence. She could not imagine her life without him. She held him closer... he had come into her life only a short while ago......

………………………………………………Aditya was her four-month-old son.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Aaye Nahin Tum.....................

AAYE NAHIN TUM.............(Hindi translation of Ashilena Tumi.........)

Yug beet gaye, rahte tum antarman mein
Aaye nahin tum………..

Palkon ke pichhe, sirf tumhe dekhti hoon
Aaye nahin tum………

Sabhi palon mein, tumhe chahti hoon
Aaye nahin tum…………

Kab aayoge, man se poochhti hoon
Aaye nahin tum………….

Khamosh raton mein, kitni akeli hoon
Aaye nahin tum…………..

Bole the tum, saath leke jaaoge
Aaye nahin tum.

Aayoge ya nahin, aake hi kaha jaate
Aaye nahin tum…………..

Christina's World


Looking up the manor
With thoughts of injustices done to her

Battered, broken and bruised
She lay there angry and sad

Sudden hatred sweeping through her
She violently wished the Lord of the manor dead!!


Another take on CHRISTINA’ WORLD

“Christina……….Christina…” She broke off from her reverie. But did not get up. It was her favorite spot lying on the grass and look longingly at the villa far away.

“ Christy, my sweety, your mama is gone. You will live with me now.” She had distant memory of her aunt Caryn telling her when she was four years old. Unable to comprehend, she had snuggled into her aunt and gone back to sleep. She barely knew her mama, who was sick and was in a sanatorium. Aunt Caryn had always been around and loved her.

Now eleven years old, Christina was a happy enough child. But felt something vital missing from her life. Her papa. No one talked about him. In her mind, she conversed with him all the time. She wished for him to come for her.

“ Christina? Where are you?” She heard it again and turning back saw her friend, Timothy, running towards her.

Without a pause, he said, “ there is someone at your place. You better come fast. Aunt Caryn is crying.”


“ Don’t know.”

Both trudged along to the village without saying another word. There in front of her tiny house there was a bogey standing. Timothy ran back to his house. Christina entered inside and saw a tall gentleman holding her aunt. Hearing footsteps, they broke apart.

Christina looked at him. He was a pleasant looking man with kindly eyes. “ Who are you?” Christina was not one to mince her words.

“ He is your papa, David Thorndike.” Caryn replied just as directly.

“ And she is your mama,” he said looking at Caryn.

“ How?” My mama is dead.”

David and Caryn had been childhood sweethearts and wanted to marry each other. Both their parents disapproved of their relationship. So David married Caryn secretly and before he could tell anyone, he was sent on a secret mission to a far off place. While coming back, he was ambushed and left for dead. The local people had taken him in, cared for him and saved his life. As he had lost his memory, he could not tell them about his background or his family. He, with his good bearing and pleasant manner, had endeared himself to those village people and had been with them, working for their betterment for so long. While working one day, he had fallen down a horse and regained his memory. And he was back for Caryn as soon as he could.

As no one was aware of the wedding, Caryn had to pretend Christina was her sick sister’s child.

Christina ran towards and hugged them both.

As it turned out, David Thorndike was the owner of the villa.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Jab Pehli Baar

Jab pehli baar dekha unhe
Kaise kahen kya hua
Zubaan par lafz sil se gaye
Kuch bhi bayan kar na sake
Nainon se nain jaise mile
Dil ke gulshan mein phool khile
Yeh kab hua kaise hua
Waqt ko naa ehsaas tha
Kaise, kab kareeb aaye
Lamhon ko kuch pata nahin
Saanson ne saanson ki toh li
Phir aapas mein mil se gaye
Ab dil ka haal kis se kahen
Jab khud hi khud se kho gaye
Jagne ki chah hi nahin
Aise hi ab ji lenge hum

Student's Musings

Why do I have to ask?
What to do and what not?

Growing up is all I want
Without pressure and instance

Why can’t I learn naturally?
Do I have to memorize all fully?

Please let me grow in my own pace
I do not want to be a part of the rat race!

Don’t live your dreams through me
Whatever comes I will still be me!
…………………I will still be me!!
…………………I will still be me!!