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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 …
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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 today 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, n…

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…

The Whole Nine Yards - 3

Six Yards of Simmering Svelte



I am planning my outfit for a friend’s twins' meet-and-greet luncheon and a soft silk with an exquisite multicoloured Bandhini looks perfect. It promises to be a sweltering Indian summer’s day and though classic Chandheris or comforting MulMuls are tempting, my darling mother’s exclusive collection has entrapped my heart. I find it hard to find such designs easily today, and have decided to gradually usurp her entire wardrobe, starting with this one.  
If the Indian loom is renowned for anything, it is for the plethora of Saris gifted to world fashion. There isn't a fabric invented yet that the garment has not embraced and there isn’t a nook on the globe that the Sari has not trot upon. It naturally follows that many design houses have sported a Sari line. Very few are yet to dabble with the six yards in any form – the trepidation, if that, is understandable because the Sari does evoke such reverence as to demand a very sound creative faculty to jus…

On World Poetry Day

Stand up and take a chance -
leave no glimmer without a glance.
There may be a pothole,
there might be a ranch -
you'll never know for sure
till you reach out and branch.

Never say never,
the Sun will always shine.
If yesterday was yours to keep,
tomorrow could me mine. 
Fear the thought of fear itself -
conquer what it stalls.
Life brings us sprouts anew
with every rain that falls. 
The wizened tell of daring feats -
listen to what they say.
Their ghosts won't come to change our fate -
their wisdom, though, will stay.

Trust, but keep the blindfolds off,
see what lies ahead -
For every brilliant light you see
there is a shadow shed.  Fret not the shadow that evades
your quest for what you seek.
Fret neither the time delays -
in your own time, you'll peak. 
In verse, I speak my piece today -
it's poetry's own good day.
And while I labour, still at it, I have but this to say:
Try, strive and give it your all;
when opportunity strikes, say, Hey!
I am not old, but t…

Wicked Game

Video for representation only. Courtesy YouTube. What is this curse
that your beauty shall not be seen
by those who know not to seek it?
Your fragrance fills nocturnal light
and your vision mesmerises sight;
yet before dawn you beat it.
Which immortal wish fulfilled
makes your magic rare?
Why do you hide, consort of one night?
What latent sorrow will you not share?
Why are you shy of the Sun, Earth's own star?
What unspeakable secret do you bear? Why do you tease the longing few?
Why do you make us wait?
And when we rejoice upon your blooming gait
why do you never stay?
Or is it your wait for that elusive mate
which makes you glow so bright?
Is it those wondrous dreams you weave,
which unrequited, leave you sedate?
Could it be too that you get what you seek?
That rare, unseen, in a moment so tender,
your glorious face gushes with grace ...
and spent and content you surrender?
Beauty is selfish. I have heard them proclaim
that it appears, and leaves, so it is yearned for.
Are you …