Monday, December 31, 2012

एक बंधन

एक था वक़्त
जब मैं लिखा करती थी

आसमां मैं उड़ते
अरमान पकड़ा करती थी

अनजाने मैं मुझे
एक बंधन मैं पिरोया गया
मुझे उम्मीदों की लहरों मैं
छोड़ा गया जब

उसने ऐसे जकड़ा मुझे
पकड़ा, तोडा, मरोड़ा मुझे
आसमां से पिंजरे मैं
छोड़ा मुझे

पंख कटे, अरमान मिटे
दुनिया मेरी सिकुड गई
अंगडाई भी  लेने से भी
मैं कांप गयी
बोलने से पहले
मैं संकुंच गयी

अब सिर्फ डरती हूँ मैं
सब करती हूँ
पर यहाँ रहतीं
नहीं हूँ मैं

माँ के आँचल को
खोजती हूँ मैं
गुमशुदा ही सही
पर घूमती  हूँ मैं

तलाश मैं हूँ मैं
एक किनारे की आस मैं हूँ मैं
उन हवा के झोकों की
फ़िराक मैं हूँ मैं
थपकियाँ जिनकी
झपकियाँ देती मुझे

थक गयी हूँ मैं
थम गयी हूँ मैं 

A light celebration

We will have
candle lights
all get their own

They will arrange
for music system
green carpets
chairs and in-house DJ

We will have
light snacks
all come empty stomach

They have cancelled
carnival, yesterday
to honor the brutal killing

Post light dinner
We can shake a leg
twist and turn
to latest Bollywood numbers
and do little dance

A nation soon forgetting
in disguise of concern
creating a mockery of celebration
making the shame
an act of past
to welcome the new year

we sit on a time bomb
waiting it to implode
in our neighborhood
until then
we ignore

the sick body and mind
are the common man
part of your support system
a driver, a guard, a gym instructor
a relative, anybody

but we continue to make believe
the tragedy was theirs
we are safe
the needle did not prick us
so we ignore

waiting until
the blood spills
here and now
only then we scream foul
blame the society and system
cry innocence
we are victim
we are victim

until then , we continue
our light celebration

What can you do?

We have been brought up with this question.

तुम क्या कर सकते हो?
छोड़ो यार, फालतू मैं परेशान होते हो ?
अपने काम से मतलब रखो न यार
देश की तो ऐसी तेसी वैसे भी हो रही है
तुम अकेले क्या कर सकते हो
मीडिया कब तक इस को पकड़ के रखेगी , कल शाम के साड़ी चैनल्स पर क्रिकेट का विश्लेषण चालू हो गया था
सारकार क्या करेगी, जो अब तक सोते रहे उन्हें हकीकत से क्या वाकिफ करोगे
क्यूं हताश होते हो
तुम्हारे आस पास भी सबको अपनी नौकरी और बीवी और बच्चों  की पड़ी है, जब तक उनके सर पर शैतान नहीं हमला नहीं  बोलेगा  तब तक वो तस से मस नहीं होंगे
इस देश मैं ज़माने से होते आया है और होता रहेगा
रावन भी सीता को ले गए थे

So you see there are many reason to sit on the couch and wonder at the failure of system and society.

What can the politicians do?

  1. call parliament session
  2. introspect and discuss with open mind 
  3. pass laws that restore confidence in citizens
  4. laws that are clear and easy to implement
  5. debar any MP/MLA with criminal record against women
What can the police do?
  1. Reach out to all sections of society 
  2. Arrange for an open hour in every police station when any women can come and discuss 
  3. Videograph the event and post it on internet
  4. Publish the active cases against women with the action that they are taking 
  5. Make their friendly faces appear in every public face with the attitude of "May I Help You?"

What can the judiciary do?

  1. Start special session for all pending cases against women
  2. publish the progress on the internet 
  3. disallow appeals by convicts from lower courts

What can you do?
  1. Keep the issue alive
  2. keep lighting candles 
  3. open helplines, NGOs, volunteers who can prevent recurrance
  4. keep writing, talking, walking the issue
  5. Sex educate schools and children
  6. Spiritualize all sections of society 
Did I or You miss anything?

A nation weeps

From the rustic village
a hope was born
with little wings
she left her home
to find life in the city
a capitol for hundreds of years
saw many dynasties rise and fall

a young bud
adjusting in the city's darkness
hoping to blossom
grow and expand
earn some and give some
back to the village

little did she realize
about vultures in darkness
sick minds , weak bodies
were gathering
around her

engulfed and suffocated her
killed her body
removed her spirit
the will to live
kept fighting for a while

the end came , offshore
the spirit was free
the body was back

rest of the nation wept
promising action
politicians and police slept
avoiding action

for in their fold
there are many
who commit similar crimes
even they are headed by women
but lack the spine
for spirit of power
is all consuming
relieving them of the morality

a change we hope
and a change must come
for fighting through winter
there are some
who walked the street
and lit the candles

a nation moves
from living room
to protest on streets


for every tear
wipes the shame
will earn its place



Friday, December 28, 2012

train robbery

They are old couple
moving around
in indian railways
post retirement

having served the
Indian Railways
all their lives

they travel
second class
got confirmed berths
in two compartments
from dadar to jhansi
settled their bags
and lying to sleep

into the reserved compartment
at eleven in night
a crowd of bhaiyyas
going to Gorakhpur alight

they fight, scream, shout
for their berth rights
with utter disregard
for the rest of confirmations inside

the husband concerned
exchanged seats with the wife
took a bag along
that was settled inside

someone would have noticed
the bag moving
alongside the wife

in the middle of night
took the bag to toilet
took out the shaving kit
took the new saree and blouse
it was a gift
worn only once
the thief
packed all in little kholi
left the bag

in the morning a little boy
wondered
Aunty, is the bag in toilet yours

They could only wonder
the Railways they served
had become a safe haven
for taking away
the little things


Bangalore to Shimoga - christmas vacation 2012 #Malnad - the start

Christmas 2012 was on the horizon.
The children's earnestness was glaring from their eyes, where will we go and what will we do?

We were late but then +Mayank Sharma shared few ideas. The second one looked feasible and we decided to tag along to a homestay somewhere in Shimoga, Karnataka.

A day before the departure the packing was in full swing. 2 of us were sick so the family discussion began with a concern from head of family. The head of family thought that the cold and cough will deteriorate as one was hardly able to talk and other's nose was running. The discussion was thought as an attempt to hijack and call off the travel plan. There were tears and accusations. In the end the family discussion fell apart and nobody knew if we were really going. We just hoped to get up in morning and go.

Fortunately, we got up the next day and slowly it dawned on us that we were indeed going.

We hit the NICE road from Kanakapura and for toll of INR 84 came out near Neelamangala. We hit NH4 and went into a toll for INR 20. We continued on NH4 to get into another toll for INR 31. We reached the next toll and luckily the receipt from the previous toll worked here.

We saw Kamat and stopped to have breakfast. The place was overcrowded, understaffed and chaos written all over it. We were standing on people's head to help them vacate the table so that we could get some sitting place. People were scampering on seeing the food coming on buffet, they fell on each other when a chair inside was emptied. After enough wasted time we left with half filled stomach.

Then we saw another Kamat on other side of the highway, just a few kilometers away. It was empty and inviting but we went along.

At Tumkur, we took the bypass. Its a slender exit away from highway. Once on bypass it looks like a normal city road and is mostly straight before it merges into the state highway to Shimoga.

The road to Shimoga is straight. Just before the city is a deviation that goes towards Mangalore. It goes to a bridge and a left has to be taken immediately after to take the road to Tirthahalli. This is the point were we discussed where were we exactly headed to.

The journey was helped along with just enough sun that relaxed the cough and cold of the sick people. As the wife suggested the winter here is different from that of Bangalore.

The road to Tirthahalli meanders besides Tunga, with thick forest on the right. You get a bird sanctuary, an elephant camp and wildlife sanctuary. At Tirthahalli you take the road towards Sringeri. After 8.5 kilometers is Bananki Home stay.

The winter was humid, cool and on hills.A place where we were to spend the next three days of our lives.

Thank you +Mayank Sharma for organizing such a beautiful trip.

sunset in rear view mirror

a speeding car
darkness catching up
light is losing space

a glance at the horizon
through rear view mirror
a setting sun
and reddish orange sky
beautiful in-sight

attention to the front
a swift overtake
in a straight line

a relief
a turning face
to have full view
back again
as traffic snarls
negotiate trucks
overtake little ones
humbled by big wights

meandering in dusk
like a snake
finding ways
to move along
scared of being trampled
some oversight
mine or theirs
lives at stake
on the evening highway

some give in
some push hard
some dont even
leave a inch

some cruise
some rush
some bruise
some crush

while the sun sets
on the evening highway

kuvempu's koppali

A poet born in wilderness
in remote rustic village
in the only house
that lies on foothills
with open arms
embracing the mountains
and a little hillock beside,
a poets seat

He would sit there
on top of hillock
wonder and meditate
compose and deliberate
on human values
and dying society

from his study
the sun would sink
into the mountains
leaving a red orange trail
across the skies

in the silence
on the hillock
many a melodies
will find the words
as he let them flow

volumes of poems
some plays and few novels
some brief and some epics
typical of malnad

a literary giant
on feeble feet
graced the planet
and left a trail
of words


TeleVision and children

What is the right time for children to get exposed to TV? What type of TV content is appropriate and at what age?

TV is a passive medium which dulls all minds. Any multimedia screen stops the mind from functioning and stops its growth. All senses are engaged as you sit and watch. The engagement is not productive. After few hours of TV you feel dull and irritated.

With nuclear families its easier to dump the child on the bean bag in front of TV as you go back to your chores and computer.

Some parents have attached the eating habits of the child with TV. Its common to hear deals like this

  1. "If you want to watch Tom and Jerry then you will have to finish the food."
  2. "If you don't eat food then I will switch off the TV"
Some children have got into the habit and use it as a bait for their parents
  1. "TV song and milk"
  2. "Chotaa bheem and roti"
In the night when children characters apparently go to sleep kid as young as 2.5 years have been seen to say this
  1. Now you can watch your TV, mine is slept.
  2. Mahadev might be coming now
I was going through an old article from New York Times which mentions that pediatrics have agreed on one thing and which is that no screen is good for child growth. There is no excuse in terms of educating a child or making your child compatible with peers or this is the age of computers.

This is also been heard as a common comparator 
  1. My child is 1.5 years and s/he can browse YouTube
  2. My child is 2 years and s/he knows where angry birds is on the iPad.
Angry birds is a destructive game, and you are proud that your child enjoys breaking glasses and killing animals. 

Sensitivity and sensibility is a dying form, do your bit to decelerate its growth in the children in your house and neighborhood.

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