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Give it up indulgent Sun

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 blanket spreads its span a…
Recent posts

Child forever

First posted in 2016.

Does a fish catch cold?
Can a Sun ray turn to gold?
What if the sky turned green
and stalks grew inside the bean?
Where do all the colours go
when the lights are out and candles blow?
Who made the smile, ma?
And why does it tickle so?
How do you know my bruise will heal?
Kiss it better, seal the deal.
Why is a cuddle the best of all?
When will the kitten call?
Will the Sun always shine so bright
so every misty morning turns out right?
Tell me what is yet to come
Let me in on the fun.
My curious mind will always seek
and keep me young and on a peak.
My wings will always stand to fly
down valleys lush, up endless sky.
Because that's what you taught me, ma.
To be, to live, to ever see.
So my heart is warm
and mind is free.

Happy Childrens' Day :-)

Diwali, as dazzling as ever.

Also published in The Better India

With Diwali round the corner, asthamatics already wheezing at the mere thought of smoggy air, green warriors raising their heckles for a pollution-free festival and the Supreme Court of India also throwing in its weight for good measure, saying 'no' to fireworks is the best way forward. But if you simply cannot give it up, at least minimise the pollution this season creates. Here is a long-pending blog on how to enjoy the most famous and looked-forward to element of Diwali, in the greenest, safest and guilt-free manner possible. 

Eco-friendly fireworks! Yes, they exist and are easily available too. 

A grand, community fireworks display was personally initiated five years ago in my residential community. Eco-friendly fireworks were introduced and only non-toxic crackers were allowed for individual celebrations too. The response was great and has been followed by successive teams since then, every year. 

Most important takes:
1. Purchase of firecra…

A flood of hopeful relief

A flood of relief from North Bangalore - Kodagu shall overcome.  





Over 2000 houses are lost, entire villages are wiped out, around 5000 acres of plantations stand destroyed and as many residents have been displaced in the rains, floods and landslides that have ravaged Kodagu over the past few days.

While the hilly district reels under the aftermath of the worst natural disaster in the region since 1924, the situation has been expertly managed by volunteers on ground zero and around. They have made it their mission to provide maximum relief to the affected, and aid restoration efforts. 
Though the government machinery has now kicked in, voluntary work remains indispensable. To support the heroes on ground, along with many others in the city and beyond, some citizen groups of North Bangalore have been an inseparable part of the ongoing relief operations in hilly Kodagu - the source of the river Cauvery. 
From mooting relief funds to material supply and logistics, here are a few glimpses of …

In light, there was darkness

VS Naipaul departs, leaving a legacy that reflects, in its melange, wondrous worlds known and unknown, lived and untried, and explored and unmitigated by his readers.

A writer who became a part of my journey through the pages he vicariously took me along in his early works of fiction, remains dear for those accounts. In those words of fiction, lay truths of lands and longings that gave his craft, credence. These hard truths, entwined with other assimilations of birth and descent, reflected worlds that fascinated and stoked the initiated and not, alike.

I am in a quandry, though, with his commentaries. There is a lot of dark disdain and a disconnection typical to those who left before India became what it is today. A lot comes from obvious disappointments of lost lands and what was lost with them, and despair at what can be seen today - this seems true of the Trinidad and Tobago narrative as well.

To have consistently moved away from his ethnic origins into more convenient idioms of g…

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 and app 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 messag…

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…