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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Silent Conversations



Sometimes in between our conversations

Deep inside, in those little pauses

Lies a whole new dimension

Where the silence speaks

A language of it's own

Whispering all that is left unsaid

You just need to stay quiet and listen

To the language of my heart

That only your heart can understand...


By Renu Vyas

Non Resident Indians and Indian Politics



With all respect to those Indians living abroad – this post is not to condemn their going abroad or challenge their right to speech or expressing their views, it’s about what I find absurd. You the reader, have a right to agree or disagree with me.

Was talking to a NRI friend today who lives abroad on WhatsApp (or rather, hearing her crib about how bad the new government there is and how they the minorities were treated shabbily at times).

My reply was that maybe the changes they are making are for the good of THEIR people ? Her response totally shocked me. She said that for a person who was NOT living in that country I should not make any such statements. I was told that only a person who has to go through the day to day problems of that country has a right to speak and that I should not go by what the media shows as most media houses just give paid news.

I kept quiet but my mind was thinking of all those messages she had sent in support of the ruling government in India and criticizing the other political parties. I thought of all those messages that were totally false in nature, full of hate for other religions and against certain minority communities.

It is funny really how those who shifted abroad BECAUSE they could not get opportunities in India, or they did not earn as much, or they wanted to live that foreign dream..those who so gladly accepted a citizenship abroad for their benefits ..those who earn in Pounds and Dollars and live in cushy organized neat little houses give gyan about how India should be and what is good for India.

They come once a year for a few weeks, travel in planes or 1st AC coaches if there are no flights available and they talk of how Bullet Trains will benefit India. I would like to ask them to travel in a second class coach just once NOW that they are so used to their comfortable lives and see if India actually needs a bullet train or if we need to first give better facilities to the common man. I would like to ask them to give up those mineral water bottles and see what the common man has to drink.

It is so easy to quote patriotism from the places they have settled down at. They do not vote in India, they do not pay taxes here yet they feel  they are the talented ones who have the moral responsibility to preach about what is right or wrong in India. They praise the current government with such conviction and praise the way how India has changed. My question to them – If the last 3-4 years have been so good, if there really has been such development, why are you still there ? Why do you not come back to your own country ?

What they should understand is that they adopted a different country out of choice or whatever reason and I do NOT condemn them for that, but they should give up meddling in the internal affairs of India and live like good citizens of the country they live in.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Amaltaas Tree



Proud and strong
There's a tree that stands tall
I gaze at it in wonder
Amaltaas it is called

Defying the heat
It's flowers bloom
Their mild pleasant smell
Like a heavenly perfume

They sway here and there
In the gentle breeze
Attracting all to it
Always ready to please

A sign of nature's beauty
And a symbol of grace
The Amaltaas never fails
To bring a smile to my face

Renu Vyas


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Rain - Showers of Blessings




It is raining in Pune today. A much needed relief after the hot spell we have had.
I have always loved rains. I know a lot of people who say they feel depressed when it rains. The grey clouds seem drab to them but to me they add an element of mystery.  I absolutely love it when it rains. For me, rain means rainbows, long drives on deserted roads away from the chaos of the city, paper boats and the laughter on children’s faces as they jump and splash around in the puddles. It means hot “Pakoras” and some ginger tea as I sit by the window watching the water run down the window panes.

I love the sound it makes.. the constant rhythm that is regular only in its randomness  fascinates me. After a while you cease to notice the noise that surrounds you and realize that rain has its own kind of silence, the kind where you can get lost in your own thoughts..the silence that invites your imagination to wander to all those places.. there is a privacy in rain..one just has to connect with it to feel it.

I love being out in the rain too. That soft satin touch on my skin invigorates me and I love the way it envelops me in itself, washing away the negativity and debris of daily life. The world seems so much more cleaner after the rain. The colours become more vibrant and alive, the landscapes get that surreal quality that is so appealing and the heavenly smell of wet earth.

For a person like me, who appreciates the beauty of nature, and all the blessings that comes with it..rain  is life in all its varied forms. It is sheer poetry and the nostalgia of all that was or could have been.

I know it may sound weird to some but I love thunderstorms too. They give me this euphoric emotional release. They make me feel alive.

Yes, I love rains.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

कल रात वो लड़की बहुत याद आई...



कल रात एक सांवली सी लड़की बहुत याद आई 
मैं चुपके से फिर एक बार अपने बचपन में लौट आयी. . 

मिली मुझे एक बार फिर  वो मासूम सी परी 
थोड़ी शरारती , थोड़ी नादान , पर बातों की खरी 
बुनती थी सुन्दर सपने , रहती खयालों में घिरी

ज़माने की सच्चाई को वो कहाँ कभी समझ पायी 
कल रात वो सांवली सी लड़की बहुत याद आयी.. 

मन हुआ उसे झंझोड़ के मैं हकीकत को बताऊँ 
आँखों पे पड़ा सुनहरा पर्दा  खींच के हटाऊँ 
ख्वाबों की हसीं नींद से उसको मैं जगाऊँ 

पर लाचार, ठगी सी, मैं कुछ भी तो ना कर पायी 
कल रात वो सांवली सी लड़की बहुत याद आयी.  .

दिल चाहा कि उसे मैं अपना परिचय दे आऊं 
उसका हूँ मैं ये आज, ये उसको भी बताऊँ
कब होता है सोचा हुआ, उसको ये समझाऊं 

ना कह सकी कुछ भी तो फिर इस आज में लौट आयी 
कल रात वो सांवली सी लड़की बहुत याद आयी.. 

© Copyright Renu Vyas
  

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Port Moresby – My Home Away From Home

My School Photograph

I have written about so many places and things here on my blog, but for some odd reason,  I had put my memories of Papua New Guinea on hold. It was as if my mind had somehow blocked them.

Today I came across a few old photographs from my life in Port Moresby and it was as if a floodgate had opened. I felt like a fragile sand castle on the beach, that’s carefully built walls crashed and got carried away with the high tide of memories. My brain working overtime remembering all the lovely moments from that time back home..hold on..did I just say back home ? Yes, however much I might deny it, deep down the only place that ever felt like true home in my heart is and always will be Port Moresby.

I remember our house in Boroko. The houseboy Penny who defined the word loyalty, his wife Lucy who was a wonder at most things and a very gentle soul. I remember  the Hibiscus, gorgeous bougainvillaea, stunning sunsets, moo moo parties,  long dresses with bright big colourful floral  prints, the bird of paradise , the women always carrying their little babies in slings with baskets on their heads, Pidgeon English, beetle nuts,  red teeth and warm smiles..

I remember Skyline Drive In and seeing Clint Eastwood on the big screen for the first time and falling in love with him (that is until I saw John Travolta In Saturday Night Fever and Grease at Wards Cinema..sneaking off with my friends from school).

I remember Paga  Hill and Koki Market.  Shopping at Steamships and Burns Phillips, the long drives, the curves at Three Mile, Crystal Rapids, Brown River and Sunday outings to Ela beach..the heavenly smell of low tide..collecting shells on Taurama beach and putting the larger shells to my ears to hear the sound of the sea in them..
Mr.Riles

I studied at Port Moresby High School and made some great friends. I remember our Principal Mr. Terry Riles ( who I connected with once again after some 30+ years ). I remember how much I hated my French class though loved the English one with Mr. Jackson (and I had a secret crush on him too..haha), always looked forward to the school trips to Pari Village with my favourite teacher Mrs. Carol Kidu. I remember the lovely school dances, the plays, and the horrible detentions, and the awesome meat pies at the school canteen (and the tolly ice). I remember the 3 day school camps, the long hikes and being stung by Jellyfish.

Whenever I think of Port Moresby, the two songs that come to my mind are “Pearly Shells” by Nora Aunor and “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” by John Farnham. I would give anything to go back to that time in Port Moresby, but like everything else in life, times change..thank god I have these great memories  that no one can take away from me..

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Winter Morning


I wake up in a slow daze
Expecting the morning to be bright
But it is grey, drab and uninviting
And it feels just not right

My bones groan in protest
My body registers pains and aches
My mind says "get up and get ready"
Yet heart whispers "let sleep overtake"

So I snuggle back in my blanket
Wondering why the day is so cold
Then I shrug and tell myself, maybe
The Sun too like me, is getting old

© Copyright Renu Vyas

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Housewife


Once there was a woman who hardly existed. Her presence was so ubiquitous that people always took her for granted. She fought to give herself some visibility but slowly and gradually she became invisible. Her personality slipping slowly into obscurity.

She was the woman who gave love, and cared for all unconditionally and yet she was never the center of focus. It was as if she was meant for the sidelines. The person your peripheral vision could see but you never really noticed because people prefer to stay focused on the center.

Her efforts more often than not went unrecognized and yet she chose to put others physical and emotional needs before her own while remaining invisible all the time.

She was a housewife.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ruins of Dreams



In a life full of demolished dreams
I find myself
Among the ruins

© Copyright Renu Vyas

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Perfectly Imperfect Me



I log onto my Face book page and see a friend’s photographs that she has posted while on vacation to some place that looks great. My eyes stray to the comments section below.

“Such a beautiful couple…made for each other !” writes someone.
 “Aww..adorable children..such a perfect family !” writes another.
"Gosh, you guys have such a perfect life !" comments another.

I sit here and wonder..is there really such a thing as a perfect person or family ?

No, let me clear this, I do not feel any kind of jealousy or inferiority towards that friend, but I would never want to be called perfect. To label me as perfect would be to burden me with expectations that I would have to live up to. It would be saying that I am flawless and without any fault whatsoever. I have no wish to be put on a pedestal.

I refuse to believe that any person can be perfect. Everyone has some flaw or another. I am certainly not perfect nor do I aspire to be that. I have my flaws and my scars. I have my share of skeletons from the past and issues in the present, and who knows what the future holds in store for me ?

I have come across people who will go to any lengths to show their beautifully decorated perfect homes. They will post pictures of their vacations at exotic destinations. Those awesomely edited perfect poses. An image of an impeccable, perfect family and life. And yet, I am well aware of the insecurities, the internal struggles, and the pressure of living up to social expectations that they hide behind their “perfectness”.

I am not a perfect woman. I do not have a perfect life, family, home or career.

Instead of a pristine wonderfully decorated house, I would rather have a home that makes me feel comfortable, where I can put up my feet and curl on the sofa with my favorite book in hand. A house with an orderly chaos. A family that would laugh and yet argue and cry together. A life that would be blissful, joyous, and yet beautifully messy.

I do love looking good, what woman doesn’t ? but I would want to look good for myself, wear the clothes that I feel compliment my personality rather than what the latest fashion or trend is.

I would prefer to share my insecurities and vulnerabilities rather than keep them all buried and hidden inside to keep up with that perfectly happy look. I am happy with my flaws, my scars, my differences and my imperfections because they make me who I am, and make me unique in my own way.

I am not perfect but I am perfectly imperfect and I would not want to be any other way. This is the me I love and this is the me I would want the world to see.

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Witness



The moon is a witness
Of our love
And our denial  
       
       - Renu Vyas.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Appearances



I fake all my smiles 
As I stand tall and proud
Yet only I can know 
How alone I am in the crowd
My feelings hold no meaning
My voice is seldom heard
All my internal anguish 
Cannot be described in a word
I long to be accepted
And I yearn to just belong
Yet I remain that wrong note
In life’s beautiful song
But I refuse to be pitied
So I always laugh out loud
I fake it and I fake it
Till I make it in the crowd 

© Copyright Renu Vyas

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Widow



She is scorned and looked down at
Always disgraced and stigmatized
Treated as a worthless woman
Who failed to save her husband’s life

Never invited to religious events
And often shunned from social life
Her presence considered inauspicious
Isolated, with no one to hear her cries

She has so much to share and say
But her views are just not heard
So she stays a sad and lonely figure
And swallows back all her words

They treat her shabbily forever
And restrict and confine her life
All through this they calmly forget
That she is still very much alive

© Copyright Renu Vyas

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cassata Ice-cream and Memories

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers




Hubby: Let us order some ice-cream after dinner.

Son: Sure, Mom..What flavour should I order for you ?

I am about to say “cassata ice-cream” but then I stop and wonder..where did that name come up from ? do they even serve the cassata anymore ? I grab the menu card and take a look and with a pang I realize that the cassata is not even on the list. There are so many flavours listed, an assorted array of bewildering yet glamorous sounding names that I do not even understand. And so I finally end up muttering feebly “Vanilla or mango”…

But as I eat my ice-cream, my mind is flooded with my childhood memories and the emotions attached to them. Back in the 70’s and 80’s, the cassata was the most expensive ice-cream on the list and it was every child’s dream. The mere thought that we would have a cassata after the dinner at a restaurant (which in itself was a rare treat) would be the highlight of the evening.

The cassata ice-cream moments are as clear as yesterday in my mind. It is a memory indelibly etched to remain forever. I remember the huge servings of the three layers of the tutti-frutti, strawberry and vanilla sprinkled with assorted nuts, the shutting of my eyes as I felt the sweetness melt in my mouth….

Those were the times of a less complicated era and the simpler pleasures of life. Nostalgia..how it hits us when we least expect it..

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Woman That Was

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers



Forgotten by all, lost and lonely
She became invisible and unseen
 People would look right through her
But not hear her silent screams

They talked to her, they passed her by
But failed to see her tears
They talked of all the comforts she had
Yet never noticed her fears

So she donned a mask that always smiled
And hid all that she really had been
She retreated deep down in herself
And the real “Her” was never again to be seen

© Copyright Renu Vyas