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What gives?

Also published by North BangalorePost on June 29, 2018,
in light of WHO declaring gaming a mental disorder.


Two media reports on WHO including 'gaming disorder' in its International Roster of Disease, a school advisory and a massive hoarding for an online coaching course, got me thinking on my way back from school-drop. 

My Son is high on the success of a social media campaign which he believes has given him purpose in life. He is 16, runs his own not-for-profit website and does a lot of his homework on the laptop. But he is a kid at the same time and sneaks in the extra wandering in cyber space.
He is far from addicted to any sort of gaming, but when on a digital high, he will not accept that his sudden bouts of unexplained irritability, fatigue or even a dull throb in his head could be related to prolonged screen-time. He will not consider, without a fight, that football on the field need not be followed up with team-trading on the gaming console. Or, that keeping messaging apps…
Recent posts

The Whole Nine Yards - 8

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Sari-telling be like...



Wedding season is here and everyone is looking at the best sari buys. What is really heartening is the trend among younger and younger girls wanting to don the drape. They are spoilt for choice too, of course, as the sari’s pedigree has gotten younger as well and more versatile to suit the eye that seeks it. 
You want a Kanjeevaram but don’t want to carry its traditional weight in kilos? Ask for modern feather-light weaves and wish for a colour-block pallu too – the southern traditionalists won’t disappoint. Or, are you contemplating an ikkat with a touch of kantha on the pleats? The looms are already at work! Madhubani has long since found plush homes in tussar dreams as has jamdani warmed to gota-pattion edge.
Strange though these story-boards may seem to the purist, it is the cocktail that walks the talk now. Your Parsi gara is impressive, sure, but is it a Tahiliani? And that lace number your nemesis from school was wearing at the premier? Did it really tru…

The Whole Nine Yards - 7

~It's the saritude, girls!

In my hunt for a fitting end to March, imagine my delight when today’s Google Doodle showed a sari-clad icon of mid-nineteenth century India! Well done Kashmira Sarode, for depicting an event of national honour from a time when women were not even allowed to be seen, let alone heard. 
The first lady doctor of India, Anandibai Gopal Joshi, earned her degree in America, at a time when women everywhere in the world were discouraged from aspiring beyond domestic excellence. To then wrest not just an education, but a full-fledged medical degree and stand among accomplished men of the world, was nothing short of a miracle. To cap it, she did this while hailing from a conservative community where crossing the seas – for anyone, man or woman – was the greatest religious taboo. 
Married at nine to a progressive man many years her senior, she learnt to read and write. The trauma of losing her 10-day old baby to scarce medical care when she was only 14 years old, mo…

The Whole Nine Yards - 6

Stand up for your sari!

Wedding bells are ringing for another pretty young cousin of mine and while we swooned and sighed over her beautifully coming-along trousseau, memories galloped to our numerous please-tie-my-sari deliriums as we realised that even today, even after all these years of loving our lovely six yards and wearing them ever so often too, draping them well is quite another, rather arduous, tale.  
The complications come in as numerously in styles as in technicalities. While the light and lush brocades of Benarasi looms prove too short for the taller Indian femmes born this side of the river, the modern extra-wide and heavy weaves of luxurious Kanjeevaram tend to add girth to the less leggy, at tuck-point. Add global warming to the equation and it's more than just ice you will need to combat the warmth of yarn and layer, be it an airy sheer or drier Chardonnay. But when it comes to fall, or the distance of the drop from the floor or the kick-and-flair of the pleats or …

The Whole Nine Yards - 5

Blue
It’s been a while and 2018 begins with many contemplations on days gone by, moments lost and found, courses re-calibrated and a little Utopia that I know is hiding somewhere deep within spools of fleeting trepidation. 
My wardrobe took me into such a contemplative space today when a forgotten bit of joy tumbled into my hands. 
We can be such suckers for nostalgia, can’t we? And as a nostalgic Indian, I stepped right back in time on seeing my humble mulmulemboldened with aristocratic Indus histories of 5000 years ago. It’s hard not to reminisce less ancient hues of colonial Bengal, whose memories are as indelible as the dye that wrought them. It’s hard too, for an imperial heritage, not to reincarnate its stoic stance, despite divergences into denim diaries and other such, reminding us, while it reinvents itself, of our identities that stand their ground, proud in traditions that remain ever in vogue.
The tireless sari triumphs again, imprinted with another timeless legacy – the indi…

झलक

⚡मुखोटे पर मुखोटा चढ़ा कर,
यार, तुम क्यों थकते नहीं?!
खुद कि नहीं तो उस परेशान आयने की सोचो जो तुम्हें पहचाना ही भूल गया!

फिर, कुछ दोस्त ऐसे भी मिले
जो शिकायत से शिकायत रखते हैं।
खुशनसीब हैं हम की चंद लम्हे उनके साथ भी गुज़ारे। 

पर बयान-ए-नज़राना कह लो या गुलाम-ए-वक़्त,
शायर बना ही देता है शातिर जमाना।
ज़हन में जुनून लिए हमने भी मोर्चा निकाल लिया। 

त्योहार आते रहे, मौके मिलते रहे
कि अब कहीं शिकंज दूर होगी।
पर इनसानियत की बदकिसमती कह लो या इनसान की फितरत, खुशी से कोई खुश नहीं।

दो पल जो बक्शे  हैं बनाने वाले ने, यार, उन्हें गवाना नहीं।
खुद की रूह जिंदा रहे ना रहे,
हवा सबूत रखती है हर सलूक की।

हर बेग़र्ज़ कोशिश में खुदगर्जी ढूंढने वालों,
वक़्त- बेवक़्त साज़िश की तलाश छोड़ो अब।
धोखा हम भी खा चुके हैं बहुत, धोखेबाज़ को पहचानते हैं अब।

उम्र गवाह है कि उम्र टिकती नहीं,
तारीख बंधी नहीं है, वह भी रुकती नहीं।
ज़्यादती वह हद ना पार कर जाए कि हर्ज़ाने का ही वक़्त फिसल जाए।

जान है, जिंदादिली से जियो,
दिल खोलकर आहें भरो, दिल खोलकर जीने दो।
ख़ुदा कहो या भगवान, वह नज़रे गाड़े बैठा है...
इतनी इज्जत रख लो अपनी कि ऊपर मुंह दिखा सको।

A city, lost.

_____________________________ Published in Bangalore Mirror as, 'A paradise lost, forever '. http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/resident-warrior-a-paradise-lost-forever/articleshow/59312030.cms
The rainlashes against my windscreen as Axl Rose hits high decibels in praise of a ‘paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. I join in to celebrate namma own paradise city when the radio crackles and utter chaos unleashes outside.  
Barely a few yards out of a blissful, tree-canopied avenue with golf greens to my right and heavily guarded colonial buildings to my left, the cacophony of traffic violently shakes me from my happy place, launching me into my aggro-best to combat the arrogance of a dark-tinted monster-vehicle bullying its way into my lane already compromised by a police barricade. Everyone is rushing and not one will spare a second to give way to, well, save time! As for space, it costs an arm and vital organs these days, so, no one …

The Whole Nine Yards - 4

~Draped by the River
“Promise never to leave me alone and I will marry you”
“I promise”
“But if I ever find that you are not by my side, I will leave you for ever”
“It will never be so”
And the beautiful Cauveri, daughter of Kaver Muni, the benevolent sage of the Brahmagiri forests, was married to the powerful Rishi Agastya, besotted by the enchanting vision of Cauvery the moment he laid eyes on her.  

But this marriage, made in heaven, had a destiny to fulfil on the blessed land of Kodagu. The very first morning after their wedding, Rishi Agastya realised what he had got himself into. As usual, he was awake before the Sun and his prayer ritual needed him to take a dip in the mountain spring. He would fill his little kamandal (kettle-like container to carry holy water) and take it with him for his prayers. But Cauvery was still asleep and he didn’t want to wake her up. So, he used his powers gained from years of tapasya (penance), collected her in his little kamandal and took her with h…

Serendipity

Give it up indulgent Sun,
you've parched the land aplenty.
The mountains beyond pull their misty curtains tight
and a million greens dance in glee.
You've been harsh but Mercy's time has come.
Retreat. Desist. You're undone.

Hear the Thunder roll - heed its word.
Even Lightning streaks its say.
The Clouds have broken their pregnant pause...
how long would you bind them away?

Ah! The joy of sun-kissed trees,
that flash of gold in grey when
the clouds part just to let you in
so your presence still holds sway...
If only you knew your place in time
your glory could still reign.
Alas! You lost your plot today -
Depart. Stay sublime.

The mountains crave a drink of life.
Begone and let them be.
The rain is come and the land is numb...
in relief, in respite and peace.
It's kept its promise to its lot.
It's kept the Earth here green.
The Sky will testify to your ills,
the Winds will heave a sigh.

No thanks to you, the soil will sing
as Hail raises a toast.
Fog's b…

App Review - ABC MULTILINGO

ABC MULTILINGO
Language Learning App for Pre-schoolers Review



Languageproficiency is important today with travel starting young and global experiences becoming an integral part of growing up. Knowing multiple languages and speaking them comfortably help the dynamic process and build confidence. As children begin to recognise faces, places, things and their differences, they begin to imbibe nuances in speech and phonetics as well. Educators believe that multi-lingual children have a cognitive edge over others and tend to be better adjusted socially and emotionally.
Though language skills are a natural process of development, today, children are exposed to a much wider spectrum of languages at a very young age – it is essential that teachers and parents provide the right tools, at the right time, to hone their natural abilities so that the static of multiculturalism serves to homogenise, rather than ruffle the learning experience. Being a hands-on mum, I personally prefer outdoor and invent…