pride

i attended a pride walk yesterday in new delhi! it was an experience like no other; every body was happy, crying, hugging each other as they shared a day that was only theirs. it was so beautiful and i want to share the pictures (and this clumsily-made video with you) here for all of you to see and love

 

ps: here’s a little summary of a dream i had a couple of weeks ago

one holy night
she dreamed of clouds and skies
and someone else’s starry eyes
a freckled valley flowing
down between the stranger’s chest
she explored a body not hers,
under the moonlight.
a pause of maybe seconds ten,
and in the next moment she wasn’t afraid
to dig her fingertips into the supple skin
of this other woman,
the only actress in her dream

 

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poor mr. cabbie

hey mr. cabbie,
what’s on your mind
is it the family of three
that you just saw passing by?
is it maybe the little sparrow
that’s been a stranger to your eye?

hey mr. cabbie,
what are you thinking about,
is it your favourite tree,
that you recently saw cut down?
or is it the grey cloud in the sky,
its shape akin to that of a dead butterfly?

hey mr. cabbie,
how are you doing this fine day,
do you feel the toxins whispering your name,
revealing that your future is about to die?
do you hear the choking breeze,
and the greens on your usual route cry?

hey mr. cabbie,
you better watch your step,
the war is coming, and this is your warning
the wheels of your car will screech in worry,
the roads will crack, the building will fall
and the earth will sneer, bulls-eye.

remembering grandness

there are a lot of things i remember about my grandmother – her crooked smile, her soft cheeks, her basin ke ladoo infamous for inducing a greed in me i wasn’t quite acquainted with, her colourfully simple sarees, her sharp fingers tickling me every time she passed by, but most of all i remember her beautiful long, brown hair.
i have always had short hair, never longer than the length of my back. but i have always loved my nani’s hair, who cut it as infrequently as possible. when i was small, and she was younger, her hair exemplified the advertisements on hair serums; to be able to sit behind her petite frame and have the length of her hair all to myself – to carefully brush, to patiently braid or to just be able to run my tiny, pudgy fingers through the silky, soft strands was an absolutely delight.
i grew older but nani’s health refused to keep up; one of the consistent symptoms of her deteriorating health was loss of her hair. i distinctly remember that each time she came home for the holidays, there seemed to be lesser hair to braid and play with, but more hair to sweep up. before nani’s passing away, i had the opportunity to be able to say goodbye, i just didn’t know it was forever. i was leaving for a camp in the mountains, i knew i wouldn’t be able to visit her in the hospital for another two weeks.
the day i returned home, i received the news. today, when i recall the image of my fragile but still smiling like the happiest and most satisfied grandmother, i remember her hair. no longer the thick, brown braid it used to be: her mostly white hair greasy with hospital grime, thin like the width of a rope, splayed across the white bed sheet. her face tired, but her smile radiant. her grip on my hands weak but her loving words whispered to me straight from her failing heart. it pains me that i don’t remember the last words she had said to me just before i left. but i do remember her tight grip on my hand, her happy sigh when she felt the presence of her youngest grandchild near her bed, and her relieved sigh when she knew i was there to stay a little while longer.
next week my grandfather, an absolute gem, is hosting a memorial award ceremony marking one year since he lost his beloved. he will be awarding the students of the school where my grandmother studied – for their meritorious performance throughout the academic year. my entire family is going to be there. i am expected to talk on stage about nani. while i haven’t gotten to the formal script of the speech yet, i know that despite my stage fright, i will do a good job because there is just so much to talk about her. so much to share, while remembering her grandness.

Opposites attract… trouble

despite what she thinks, my friend is quite wise and you should definitely read this and also definitely follow her, ok?

I'm slightly hedonistic and writing makes me happy

They say opposites attract, and when I think of all those iconic duos (where one is shy, the other is outgoing; one has a personal rain cloud over them and the other is the human embodiment of sunshine) it seems right. They appear to work in tandem; what one lacks, the other makes up for. A constant state of perfect equilibrium,  balance.

What I’ve come to realise is, if you’re opposites, you’re bound to be curious about the other and in turn be interested, but when it comes to the long haul, you’re probably not meant to be. It isn’t the extremes of the spectrum that complete each other, they seem more likely to cancel each other out! I assume that means maintaining a constant state of nothingness. In fact, such a couple would have to work twice as hard to meet at the middle.

The reality of the…

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specks of dust

we are the forgotten comma,
and the neglected semi colon;
we are like words of gratitude
not conveyed, never felt.
we yearn for a moment of glory,
a touch of honour and a whiff of fame,
but we forget to be happy,
what a terrible shame.
we are all specks of dust
floating upward, frontward
in the light,
while our life takes off,
and we miss the flight.

about my parents

i am eighteen years old and only in the past couple of years have i realised how utterly grateful i should be for my incredible parents. there have been days when i wasn’t an easy child to deal with, but all i ever received from their end was love. their parenting has been blood, sweat and tears, in the purest sense.
my parents have raised my sister and i gently and patiently, appreciated our every achievement, no matter how small the scale and acknowledged our every effort. their upbringing has got me well acquainted with the feeling of being loved unconditionally, sans any terms and conditions.
in my years as a pre-teen, my relationship with my mother wasn’t as healthy as it is today. but since the past decade she has grown along with me, even more so. she has always been a kind and loving woman, there’s no denying that. but since her indulgence in spirituality, my mother has transformed into the most calm and collected person i know. her mental and emotional strength has sky-rocketed, so much so that she can not only bear the weight of my father’s, my sister’s and my burdens but become the unexpected sunlight during rainy season. to see my mother radiate positivity under dire circumstances and spread comfort to everyone around her is astounding. there are days, however, when her unfailing optimism irks me, because on sometimes i just want her to agree with me and say, “that sucks, my dear”. but after all that she has done for me, i would do whatever it takes to see her happy and proud. now that i’m leaving for college, she’s been remembering my childhood days, when all it took to make me giggle and gurgle was raspberries on my stomach and tickles on my chin.
my father is a gentle man, especially when it comes to me. it makes me a little sad that he’s not around as much as i would like him to be, but that’s okay. i understand his commitment to his work; being a doctor isn’t easy at all, particularly not when you’ve got hundreds of patients lined outside of your cabin, waiting to share their troubles. he may be seated on the sidelines, but he’s the best cheerleader i’ve ever had. he is easily swayed by others’ opinions, but he also gives a lot of importance to what i have to say – which i appreciate so much; and he always prioritises my happiness. no matter how many birthdays i celebrate, my small hand in my father’s soft and tender hand will forever be one of my favourite feelings in the world.
parenting is a mammoth task, but massively rewarding if done right. but here’s the thing – you don’t raise your child with the goal getting something in return. that makes your child a liability waiting to be balanced out. my parents have given me the freedom to do study what i enjoy, pursue what i’m good at – no matter the scope. i can’t ever thank them enough; my happiness is linked with theirs, there’s no otherwise. i aim to please my parents.

italy

once upon a time,
in the year Two Thousand and Seventeen,
on the Seventh day of May,
a fair, young maiden voyaged
to a land far, far away.

she was spirited and eager,
because never before had she journeyed
to the strange and vast expanse of the west;
an impromptu plan at it’s finest,
the dame found the news hard to digest.

art, history and breathtaking beauty,
few words used to describe this land of Italy;
to breathe in the unfamiliarity of a nation
the girl had only read about in tales,
was an experience not nearly justified by this narration.

in truth, the trip’s primary purpose
was to make her grandfather forget
the sombre memories and to help him remember,
the sweet tales of his beloved darling
and the time they spent together.

the adventure was to cover cities three:
Venice, Florence and Rome
over the span of one week;
planned with guided tours and trips,
every day they got to see something unique.

in the city of canals she walked on water,
tasted the temperature drop from day to night,
she sailed the open sea and heard the waves call;
between narrow streets she skipped and observed,
always in awe of the unusually plump pigeons perched on the wall.

Florence was the city where history came alive,
a certain Leonardo telling the girl of the tales of his city;
she drank wine and tasted pure cheese,
and gave in to the illusion of the leaning Pisa,
all the while grateful for the blue skies and cool breeze.

the eternal city was architecture at its ancient best,
ruins she had never seen so grand;
she savoured silence in the chapel Sistine,
and devoured the beauty of the Vatican,
but before she knew, it was already day Thirteen.

next day, she was on the voyage back home
with a second case overflowing with memories,
her grandfather’s heart was content, it was plain to see.
a scrapbook filled with tokens of the city,
her lips stretched wide, saying a heartfelt grazie.