Friday, November 21, 2014

My Facebook Woes

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Facebook – A lovely place where I can connect with my family, friends and all others I may wish to connect with. We can share photographs and keep each other updated. At least that is what I thought it was all about initially until I experienced certain other things that started irritating me and it got to such a point that I decided to write a post on it and rant !

The “Poke” tab. I truly wonder what purpose it serves and why do people feel the need to use it. I don’t know about others but I hate being poked. It puts me off and it is simply not acceptable to me.

The “Like” tab. Ok I do use the tab when I really like something or photographs my family or friends post. But I have an issue with people who send private messages complaining about how I forgot to like each and every thing they post. And yes, let us not forget those who post their own pictures and are the first one to like them too..I mean..if you have posted a picture of yours you must have liked it to post it in the first place right ? Liking your own picture is the height of desperation.

The posts that ask me to repost. People, I love my Dad, Mom, Husband, Children and all my family. I have full faith in my religion. Do not post pictures of various gods or about family and ask me to repost them with words like “let’s see who loves them enough to repost this” or photographs of terminally ill people with messages like "like this picture to save his/her life" blah is extremely irritating.

Tagging. Do not tag me along with 50 other people in photographs that have nothing to do with me. Trust me..Everything you post is automatically visible on my timeline..You do not need to tag me in all the nature/religious/political/cartoon etc. etc. pictures that you post.

I enjoy using Facebook. I truly do..and I do not mean to be rude to anyone..but.. is my humble request to not poke me, ask me to repost stuff that is not important etc.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Candy Floss Man (Budhhi Ke Baal Wala)

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While I was out this afternoon, I saw a lone man on the footpath trying to sell candy floss. He would call out every time a child walked by, he would try to get the child’s attention but alas..not a single child stopped or even glanced his way. Most children preferred going to the big shop nearby. I saw one walk out with a packet of Choco pie and yet another with a packet of Lays chips. One child who did look at the candy floss seller was pulled away by his mother who muttered “it is not healthy !”

I remembered my childhood. I remembered a similar candy floss seller (or rather the “buddhi ke baal wala” as we called him) who would come to our street ringing a bell that he held in his hand, and all my cousins and I would wait eagerly for him. For us it was a great treat. I remember how instead of cold drinks, our mothers would serve Rooh Afza..sometimes mixed with cold water and if you’re lucky, an ice cube or two (yes a house with a fridge and ice was considered wealthy, neighbors coming around for ice was routine), and sometimes mixed with cold milk. And yes, the occasional “Gold Spot” (wonder if it is still available in the markets today..).

 The Lays, the Kurkures, The Choco Pies and the Pringles are all good for sure but sometimes my heart still yearns for the Budhhi ke baal, the kulfis and the simplicity of my childhood that seems to have died in today’s modern world.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Aayushi My Grandchild

© Copyright Renu Vyas 

A charming irresistible smile
And a voice like honey so sweet
Soft small pretty hands
And tiny lovely feet

Mom says “she’s my darling”
Papa says “she’s daddy’s girl”
Nanu says “hey she’s mine”
But Mimi knows she is hers

She is like the sunshine
Warm, bright and clear
Her dimpled sunny laugh
Brings such joy and cheer

The stories she and I share
Each and every night
The cuddling and cozying
And the hugging so tight

In this life of mine
She plays a special part
Spreads happiness all around me
And fills love in my heart

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tonga - The Lost Shahi Sawaris

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These days having a car (the more gadgets in it the better) or an expensive motorcycle, is considered fashionable. It has become a status symbol of sorts. Roads in Pune (or for that matter my hometown too) are crowded with fancy cars, bikes, and the three wheeler taxis that zoom past at neck breaking speed. I often see children of around 10-15 years, zooming around without fear on bikes and wonder how their parents allow them.

There are very few bicycles and the Tonga rides that I loved have become relic of the past.

I grew up in Papua New Guinea and came back to India at the age of 16 in 1983. I remember the lovely Tonga rides from my childhood. There was a time when my hometown had a lot of Togas and it was the most common form of transport. I remember going to school in Usmaan Uncle’s Tonga. All the children sitting together, chatting, giggling, laughing..the water bottles hanging on a hook at the side..

Tonga rides for me were a unique experience. I always felt like Cinderella. The rides had a romantic feel to them..the tap tap of the horse’s hoof..the conversations with the tonga-wala bhaiyas..and the tinkling of the all took me to a totally different realm. .the nawab-like feeling was amazing.

Togas were once considered a shahi sawari (a royal ride).  Alas..gone are the days of the Tongas. The Tongas are fast dwindling..restricted mostly to tourist spots.

The ever-growing population, the fast pace of modern life, the fancy cars, buses, bikes and auto-rickshaws have forced  the Togas off the roads into oblivion. The pollution of petrol and diesel, the smoke of burnt tyres, and the fear of being run over by maniac drivers are all we are left with.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Never Ending Performance

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तुम इतना जो मुस्कुरा रहे हो 
क्या ग़म है जिसको छुपा रहे हो 

Her: “All these lively happy poems on nature, love, moonlight and all..I envy you ! You are always so happy, always smiling..its amazing how someone can always smile so much ! “

I hear her and smile, wondering if she has never heard the famous phrase ‘’smile and the whole world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone. ‘’

Fact is people do not want to listen to somebody else’s problems. People do not share grief..they pass judgments. It is so easy to look at another and make quick judgment and jump to your own conclusions. Most people do not take the trouble to look beyond the smiles and laughter; they do not see the pain and tears that the smiles hide.

I have always found it difficult to share my grief and pain with others and so I mask my feelings. Smiling is my way of dealing with my pain and fears. Silence is my armor. I have become so good at masking my feelings of pain that I sometimes feel as if I am in a never ending theater performance. I guess that is what we all are at the end of the day – actors on the great stage of life. It is the price of living in society. It comes with the package.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Drives That Lead To Nowhere

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I love long drives. Drives that lead to nowhere.

The time of the day does not matter to me, be it at sunset when the setting sun casts reflections on the greenery around me creating a magic aura, or early morning drives down the quiet suburbs, before the chaos of the day life takes over, or the night drives when the roads are all mine..the windows rolled down letting the gentle songs of the wind lull my senses..the city lights enveloping me in a whirlwind of color. And yes, let us not forget the drives in the rains..the sight of the city looking fresh, or the wet green countryside and the stops at the small roadside tea stalls.

For me it is not about the destination, it is about the journey, just an aimless drive to enjoy the beauty of the world around me and be at peace..just my drive, my music, my thoughts and a contented smile on my face.

I love long drives. Do you ?

© Renu Vyas. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Taking A Break From Life

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Sometimes I wish I could pause the world and life and just enjoy the moment I am in.

I am aware time does not stop and wait for anyone but I truly believe that life in modern times is so hectic and fast paced that we spend a large part of it rushing around trying to achieve things, making ends meet, or going about life living up to other people’s expectations. It’s a whirlpool. We forget that we are humans and not machines. We just go about life on auto-pilot. Performing, achieving, delivering…and in the process, we forget to live. We miss out on the beauty of the moment we are in.

Sometimes we just need to pause, stop and breathe, to let time pass, to shake the weight of life and routine off our shoulders.

Sometimes we need to just be.

© Renu Vyas. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, August 17, 2014

E Rangrez Mere

Been listening to the song “E Rangrez Mere” from the movie Tanu weds Manu. One of the most intense songs that I’ve heard in a long time. I am totally in love with its lyrics, the music and the singing. Both the Wadali brothers version and Krsna’s version are beautiful.The song tends to grow on you..the lyrics “Par mue kapas pe rang na ruke, rang itna gehra tera Ki jaano jigar tak bhi rang de..”  (the color of love doesn’t remain fixed on cotton chunni, but stains the whole life and soul ) suits the mood of the song..yes..the song truly colors my soul.

I thank Krsna for the lovely English translation of the lyrics.

Ab tumse kya main shikwa karun,
Maine hi kaha tha zid karke, rang de chunri pi ke rang mein
(rang de, rang de chunri pi ke rang mein)
Par mue kapas pe rang na ruke
rang itna gehra tera Ki jaano jigar tak bhi rang de..
Jigar rang de…

English Translation
How am I to complain of my tale?
I like a stubborn asked you to color my veil,
Oh! Your colors penetrated my fabric, insane,
Deep within my heart ‘n soul everything’s dyed of your stain,
Color my heart away, Oh this feelin’…

Rangrez tune afeem kya hai kha li,
Jo mujhse tu ye pooche ke koun sa rang?
Rangon ka karobaar hai tera,
ye tu hi to jaane, koun sa rang..

English Translation
Dyer, Are you so intoxicated on Opium!
Why ask me, what shade now to come undone?
Color and stains is your business of things,
You only know, what should you be coloring…

Mera balam rang, mera saajan rang,
Mera katik rang, Mera aghan rang, mera phagan rang,
mera saawan rang,
Pal pal rangte rangte, rangte mere atho pahar manbhawan rang
Ek boond ishqiyan daal koi tu, O…,
Ek boond ishqiyan daal koi,
Mera saaton samandar jaye rang,

English Translation
My beloved hue, My soulmate shade,
My spring , my autumn, my rainfall,  you color all my seasons with your pallette
A single drop of your love ingredient
Just a single drop of your romantic blend
Colors up my seven seas in a second,

Meri hadd bhi rang, sarhad bhi rang,
Behad rang de, anhad bhi rang de,
Mandir masjid maikad rang,

(Rangrez mere, Rangrez mere)
Rangrez mere do ghar kyun rahe,
Ek hi rang mein dono ghar rang de, dono rang de,

English Translation
Color me off limits, Color my boundaries,
Color me extreme, color my unceasing infinities,
My temple, My mosque, My entire world indeed

Oh dyer, why must we be separated by two different spaces,
Paint just one single shade to both worlds with your embraces, 

Pal pal rangte rangte rangte rangte naihar peehar ka aangan rang
Pal pal rangte rangte rangte rangte mere atho pahar manbhawan rang
Neende rang de, karwat bhi rang,
Khwabon pe pade salwat bhi rang

English Translation
Paint every moment, 
The courtyards of my maternal and marital heavens
Drape in one single shade all my 24 sevens
Color my sleep, color my peace,
Color even the creases of my dreams,

Ye tu hi hai, hairat rang de,
Aa dil mein sama hasrat rang de,
Fir aaja aur vaslat rang de,
Aa na sake to furqat rang de
Darde hijra liye dil mein darde, hijra liye dil mein darde main zinda rahu,
Zinda rahu, zurrat rang de.

English Translation
Color my amazement of you, 
Come paint the desires of my heart too, 
Color away our union, 
And if you can’t, forget not to paint our separation, 
Even with the pain of being apart, i must live on, 
Color my dare to carry on,

Rangrez mere, Rangrez mere,
Tera kya hai asal rang, ab to ye dikhla de,
Mera piya bhi tu, meri sej bhi tu,
Mera rang bhi tu, rangrez bhi tu,
Meri naiyaa bhi tu, majdhar bhi,
tujhmein dooboo, tujhmein ubarun,
Teri har ek baat sar aankhon pe,

Mera malik tu, mera sahib tu,
Meri jaa meri jaan, tere haatho mein,
Mera qatil tu, mera munsif tu,
Tere bina kuch sujhe na, Tere bina kuch sujhe na,

English Translation
O dyer of mine,
What’s your own real color? reveal your shine,
Oh you’re my lover, my resting ground is you,
My color and my colorful dyer too, 
My sail,  my center of ocean,
I sink in you, I come afloat under your beacon 
Your every word is my supreme given 

You are my owner and my dearest freind,
My breathing soul is in your able hands,
Oh my murderer, my justive giver
I’m clueless without you forever,

Meri raah bhi tu, mera rehbar tu,
Mera sarvar tu, mera aqbar tu,
Mera mashrik tu, Mera magrib tu,
Zahid bhi mera, murshid bhi tu,

Ab tere bina main jaun kahan,
Ab tere bina main jaun kahan,
Ab tere bina main jaun kahan,
Tere bina tere bina tere bina……

English Translation
My journey, my travel mate in sight,
My riddance, My genesis, My guiding light,
My lord is you, my disciple too,
I found a sage and divine signs in you,

Where could I go without you,
Where could I go without you,
Where could I ever go without you,
Without you….

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Happy Friendship Day

Happy friendship day to all my friends :)

The Gift of Friendship 
By Helen Steiner Rice

Friendship is a priceless gift
That can't be bought or sold,
But its value is far greater
Than a mountain made of gold.
For gold is cold and lifeless,
It cannot see nor hear,
And in your times of trouble,
It is powerless to cheer.

It has no ears to listen,
No heart to understand.
It cannot bring you comfort
Or reach out a helping hand.

So when you ask God for a gift,
Be thankful that he sends,
Not diamonds, pearls, or riches,
But the love of a real, true friend.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Cookie Monster

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I am in love. He has given me reason to live. . He gives me a reason to get up every morning and a reason to smile throughout my day. Yes I’m in love all over again – With him – the cookie in my jar.

Lately I have been obsessed with cookies. A cookie while watching the TV, another while I read blog posts, and yet another in-between house hold chores..and so on and so forth. It has come to such a state where my family has started having serious discussions whether my name should officially be changed to Cookie Monster.

I don't know what it is about cookies, but I am literally in love with them ! Homemade cookies are life. Especially when they are still fresh and warm from the oven..
White chocolate macadamia nut cookies, peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, jam thumbprint cookies, sugar cookies, mint chocolate chip cookies, coconut cookies...

I'm so in love with cookies that I honestly believe I'll die with a cookie in my mouth some day. I love all types of cookies except Oreos. I simply hate Oreos !!
What are your favorite cookies ?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Smell Of Hope

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Sometimes when it rains
I just feel so safe
The world a see through veil
Of quiet - Erik Hassle

It has been raining in Pune for the past one week. An on and off drizzle that has washed off the city, leaving it clean, refreshed and green. I love the feel of rain on my skin, making me feel strangely alive. The sound of the raindrops drowning out the voices in my head, clearing the chaos of everyday thoughts, leaving me feeling calm and peaceful. 

Everything feels clean and new, the air smells of hope.
An awesome video to define what I feel :)

Monday, July 07, 2014

Airports And Railway Stations

I love airports and railways stations. I know it may sound weird to most people but I do love these places. I love the smell, the noise and the whole atmosphere. I love seeing the people rushing around tugging their luggage, while others browse books at book-stands or buy food and drinks.

Airports and railway stations are places that echo with memories. Memories of tearful goodbyes and happy reunions.

I love watching people there. I watch those who are leaving for vacations and I see the excitement, the anticipation, and the thrill of adventure on their face.  I look at those who have come back from some other place bringing back memories - some good ones, some not so good. I love witnessing the joyful reunions of family members or friends - the husband returning home to his wife, the joy of a grandparent hugging the grandchild, or friends connecting again after a long time.

Yes, I get to see the separations too - the worried parents sending their children away to study or get jobs, the wives waving goodbye to husbands with tears in their eyes, the parents who watch their daughters, who after marriage leave with their husbands.

Yes, I love watching people. I'm deeply intrigued by them. I love trying to guess what brought them to the same place in life that I am, who they are, what the rest of their life is like, etc. I like trying to pick up on clues to this in the way they dress, the way they talk, the things they have with them, bits of conversations I overhear, etc.

I feel one can learn so much at airports and railway stations about someone without even speaking a word to them. There is so much you can feel and learn from just being there, en route to your next destination.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

अलाव (Alaaw)

I am a big fan of Gulzar Sahab - a poet par excellence. Every-time I listen to him recite his poems I get so mesmerized by his voice.He is a magician of words. His soul stirring poetry never fails to evoke unknown dormant sentiments..

रात भर सर्द हवा चलती रही
रात भर हमने अलाव तापा
मैंने माज़ी से कई खुश्क सी शाखें काटी
तुमने भी गुज़रे हुए लम्हों के पत्ते तोड़े
मैंने जेबों से निकाली सभी सूखी नज़्में
तुमने भी हाथों से मुरझाए हुए खत खोले
अपनी इन आँखों से मैंने कई मांझे तोड़े
और हाथों से कई बासी लकीरें फेंकी
तुमने पलकों पे नमी सूख गयी थी सो गिरा दी
रात भर जो भी मिला उगते बदन पर हमको
काट कर डाल दिया जलते अलावों में  उसे 
रात भर फूकों से हर लौ को जगाये रखा
और दो जिस्मों के ईंधन को जलाये रखा 
रात भर बुझते हुए रिश्तों को तापा हमने..... 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Picnics And Family Bonding

A family that eats together stays together

When I talk of family, the words that come to my mind are – love, laughter, bonding and sharing meals. 
Family life for me is all about making memories and I feel a family that eats, laughs and spends quality time together creates such memories ..Sometimes magical moments just happen, the family gatherings, the merry making, the friendly banter etc. get stored away, to be treasured and cherished forever..and sometimes, a little thought and planning are required to make those special moments.

I feel picnics are a great way to spend quality time together and strengthen family bonds. I love the family picnics that I plan every few months. The excitement of cooking/packing of food to take along, the drive out, the giggling children, the laughter..the sharing of those’s what families are all about. 

Unfortunately, these days I see a lot of people around me who are so caught up in their fast paced lives that though they live under the same roof, they have no time for each other..and the rare free weekends are spent at shopping malls staring at products and strangers, having loveless meals prepared by professionals at food courts. It saddens me.

I would much rather spend a day out in the country side surrounded by nature, or on a beach with my family, away from the crowds, away from the cell phones, computers and technology in general..a day of relaxation, a day of family bonding.

When was the last time your family enjoyed a picnic together ?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

If A Tree Falls In A Forest...

There has been an ongoing everlasting debate on the philosophical thought that “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound ?”. The internet is full of all sorts of theories regarding this question. I truly believe that yes it does make a sound, it’s just that there is no one there to hear or react to it.

Sometimes I feel as though I am like that tree. I make the noise, but no one is there to hear it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Refreshed Soul

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"Some people feel the rain, others just get wet."-Bob Dylan.

Its raining today in Pune. I love the rain. I love it in all its moods, be it the soft drizzle that whispers mysteriously..the gentle drops that fall on my face like soft cool kisses, or the heavy downpour accompanied by thunder..beating against my window pane..creating a music and beat of its own.

It washes away all my fears and tears, cleanses my mind, quenches my emotional thirst, and renews my tired soul...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

इस दश्त में एक शहर था वो क्या हुआ ...

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Lately I’ve realized that as I grow older, the passion, the excitement, and that enthusiasm that I had regarding things or situations or life in general is ebbing.  The 'been there, done that' attitude is slowly taking over. No, I’m not going through a mid-life crisis, neither does my age bother me. .On the contrary, I feel I am more at peace with myself and the world now. Experience has made me wiser and I feel after all the struggles I have faced in life, I have earned my wisdom. I am more comfortable in my skin.

But what I do miss is the ability to be exited at small things, I miss the innocence (yes with age we become somewhat cynical towards life). I miss the joy in small things, and most of all I guess I miss the imagination of the youth..with age, the material world closes in and the realm of imagination takes a backstage…

The poet Mohsin Naqvi expressed it well:  इस दश्त में एक शहर था वो क्या हुआ ...आवारगी ....

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

वो फिर नहीं आते... वो फिर नहीं आते ...

It takes a lot of courage to face your past and to admit your failures.. and however much we may want to, it can never be possible to go back in time and do things differently. The past remains just what it is meant to be – the past. All we can do is learn from it and move on. I’m reminded of Kishore Da’s song:

सुबह आती है , शाम जाती है 
वक़्त चलता ही रहता है रुकता नहीं 
एक पल में ये आगे निकल जाता है 
आदमी ठीक से देख पाता नहीं 
और परदे का मंज़र बदल जाता है 
एक बार चले जाते है जो दिन -रात सुबह -शाम 
वो  फिर नहीं आते ... वो फिर नहीं आते ... 
ज़िंदगी के सफर में गुज़र जाते है जो मक़ाम 
वो फिर नहीं आते... वो फिर नहीं आते ... 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Even This Shall Pass Away

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Often when I feel low, I end up reading Theodore Tilton’s poem “Even This shall Pass Away”. It always gives me the strength to go through the difficult times in life. I guess once we realize and accept the fact that nothing in this life is permanent, life and its ups and downs become easier to deal with.

What is life ? The life and world as we see it is an illusion. Nothing is permanent. Climates change, our body changes with time, the material things or possessions in our life increase or decrease, success and failure come and go, people in our life come and go. We cling on to our possessions, our youth and our relationships, which ultimately causes suffering.

Happiness is the acceptance of impermanence, for we need to understand that we are made of nothing, created by nothing, and have come from nothing. Life is nothing and death is nothing. Our thoughts, our body, our surroundings are ever changing. Nothing in life is permanent.

Once in Persia reigned a king,
Who upon his signet ring
Graved a maxim true and wise,
Which, if held before his eyes,
Gave him counsel at a glance
Fit for every change and chance.
Solemn words, and these are they,
“Even this shall pass away.”

Trains of camels through the sand
Brought him gems from Samarcand;
Fleets of galleys through the seas
Brought him pearls to match with these;
But he counted not his gain
Treasures of the mine or main;
“What is wealth?” the king would say;
“Even this shall pass away.”

‘Mid the revels of his court,
At the zenith of his sport,
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests,
He, amid his figs and wine,
Cried, “O loving friends of mine;
Pleasures come, but not to stay,
‘Even this shall pass away.”

Lady, fairest ever seen,
Was the bride he crowned his queen.
Pillowed on his marriage bed,
Softly to his soul he said:
“Though no bridegroom ever pressed
Fairer bosom to his breast,
Mortal flesh must come to clay
Even this shall pass away.”

Fighting on a furious field,
Once a javelin pierced his shield;
Soldiers, with a loud lament,
Bore him bleeding to his tent.
Groaning from his tortured side,
“ Pain is hard to bear,” he cried;
“ But with patience, day by day,
Even this shall pass away.”

Towering in the public square,
Twenty cubits in the air,
Rose his statue, carved in stone.
Then the king, disguised, unknown,
Stood before his sculptured name,
Musing meekly: “What is fame?
Fame is but a slow decay,
Even this shall pass away.”

Struck with palsy, sore and old,
Waiting at the Gates of Gold,
Said he with his dying breath,
“Life is done, but what is Death?”
Then, in answer to the king,
Fell a sunbeam on his ring,
Showing by a heavenly ray,
“Even this shall pass away.”

- Theodore Tilton

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Beauty Funda

“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a Woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.” ― Audrey Hepburn.

While shopping yesterday, I came across a new beauty product. A sun block cream for the nails. I was like “huh..? Didn't I read somewhere that nails are dead why would they need a sun block cream ??” First there was a sun block lotion for the face, than came one for the body, than a sun block lip balm and now nails?!!

The cosmetic industry has become very innovative in its marketing ways. Earlier the products were simple with names of the ingredients we could understand e.g. Almond oil, Aloe Vera, Lime etc.
Now the cosmetic companies have come up with new marketing formulas. There is the scientific formula where products come with ingredient names like stem cells, hyaluronic acid, and hydrolyzed collagen and SPF 50+ UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum.

And then there is the medical formula with ingredients like bi molecular eye cream, micro technology bio active foundation, pro-collagen serum, micro smoothing face serum, and a bio-stimulating night cream with micro lift.

And of course there is the herbal line of cosmetics with ingredients like  Tea Tree and Rosemary, Orchid and Coconut Milk, Acai Berries and Satin, Coco Mango and Pearls, Honeyed Pear and Silk. In fact, one of the scrub I recently bought boasts of having pearl extracts and diamond dust ! The thought of washing my face with diamond dust was very tempting (though I have no idea what the stuff even looks like !) And there is another product that claims to have French Lavender with Jade Extracts and Caribbean Frost (gasp..faints in ecstasy) I mean just imagine to what lengths the company went to give us that perfect glow :P

On a serious note, ladies please be careful about the cosmetics that you buy. Taking care of your skin is important and I do not deny that, but do not get carried away with all these fancy exotic sounding names. It is great to have healthy glowing skin but a healthy diet, exercise,  good sleep, and staying happy can do a lot more than most of these cosmetics can.

And let’s not forget - Outer beauty pleases the EYE. Inner beauty captivates the HEART. So stay healthy and stay beautiful inside and out :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pamper Therapy

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Today, while going through my belongings, I came across a pair of silver payal (anklets). As I held them in my hands, the small silver bells made that soft sweet tinkling sound..taking me back in time..

I remember the first few years of my marriage. I loved wearing payal..I loved the soft melodious tinkling sound they made as I went about the house doing my work. Around than I had a variety of payal, the traditional thick ones, the golden multicolored ones, the delicate chain ones…how I loved wearing them !

I don’t know when or why I stopped wearing them. Maybe as I grew older it just seemed a bit of a mature thing to do..? But than what does age have to do with wearing what one likes ? Why give up something due to age ? These days a lot of the women I know don’t wear them..some would probably love to but their office dress code does not allow them to and some because they find it old fashioned and uncomfortable or boring.

I feel payal not only makes our feet look more beautiful, they add that sensual and feminine touch too. Age be damned, I’m going to pamper myself today by having a pedicure and then I’ll wear my payal and walk around hearing that long forgotten “chan chan” !!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Once Upon A Time...

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I am a member of a library that provides the option of books delivered to your home. While going through its website to choose the books I wanted, I ended up ordering a book of fairy tales.

Hubby upon seeing the book: You’re reading fairy tales now ?!!
Me: (mumbling) Yeah..just thought I’d read the stories again..
He rolls his eyes and leaves me to my reading.

Yes, even at this age, I love reading fairy tales. I love the magic they create. The moment I read the words “Once upon a time…in a place far far away…” the magic kicks in. The castles, the prince and the princess, the evil witch, the fairies, the magic wands…all those childhood tales still have a hold on me.

I remember when I was a kid, my dad would tell me stories (most of which he made up) where I would be the one who saves the world by slaying the evil monsters or dragons.
My holidays were spent at my grandparent’s place where my grandma would tell me religious stories of Krishna and Sudama etc. which in turn I narrate to my grandchild Aayushi, who like me, absolutely loves fairy tales. I feel the art of storytelling is a wonderful legacy that grandparents leave us.

I guess deep down most people love fairy tales. Fairy tales give us this alternate world where anything can happen. Or if the stories are personalized (like dad’s were) they give us a chance to be triumphant, they let us be what we secretly wished to be. I always did dream of being a princess with long hair, with a wardrobe full of  satin, silk and velvet dresses, glass slippers… the one whom the prince pines for (haha).

I loved them for their concepts that love conquers all and the good always overcomes the evil.
Call me naive and mushy but I loved them for their happy endings.
My favorite ones were:

Snow White And The Red Rose
Beauty And The Beast
Hansel And Gretel

What are your favorite stories ?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Nostalgic moments

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Change is often good... and yet....

These days we get to see/hear non-stop songs 24/7 on TV
A variety of music channels and FM radio
But I miss my week long wait for that half hour of Chitrahaar and Binaca Geetmala…

These days there are malls with all kinds of branded clothes
Unlimited choices, and shopping all year around
But I miss excitement of the days when Diwali meant one set of new clothes…

Winters mean Raymonds, Monte Carlo, Benneton and the likes
Overcoats, blazers, sweatshirts and jackets
But I miss the warmth of mom’s handmade blue color sweater…

Comics now are named Iron Man, Hulk, Bone, and Calvin and Hobbes
And children mostly read them on the internet
But I miss my Chacha Chaudhary, Chanda Mama and Nagraaj…

Books have now gone digital and become “e-books”
To be downloaded as PDF or read on Kindle or I-Pad
But I miss my old favorite books that smelled like a loyal and trusted friends…

For kids today holidays mean packaged tours and Disney worlds
Time spent on the Internet, play station or playing games on the mobile
But I miss my holidays playing chupa-chuppi, gilli-danda, spinning lattus and flying kites with cousins...

Meeting friends and relatives now means phone calls and prior appointments
Gatherings are planned and parties are arranged
But I miss the unannounced visits of friends who would raid the kitchen and the hearty laughter that followed…

Change is often good... and yet....

Thursday, May 01, 2014

My New Friends

Made some new friends on my trip to Pavana Dam - Lonavala.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Rajasthan Mharo Rajasthan

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Rajasthan Anthem - Here's one for all us Rajasthanis out there..we rock !!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ek Cup Chai Ho Jaye

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Every time I cross Café Coffee Day, I read its caption “A lot can happen over coffee”.  It’s a good ad line, a catchy one.

And yet it is Chai (tea) that is more popular with us Indians. There has to be a cup of Chai when we wake up, another with breakfast. You reach your work place and work starts with a cup of Chai, meetings are never complete without Chai. You get home from work and you finally have that much awaited “Ghar wali Chai”.

Exam times heighten the need for Chai, and when guests drop in there has to be a round of Chai. Chai in India is a convenient excuse for any and everything. Marriages are arranged over Chai and politics is discussed over chai, arguments about cricket matches are over Chai and distressed ones are consoled over a cup of Chai.Victories are celebrated over Chai and defeats are faced over Chai.  And let’s not forget those “cutting two by four chais” shared with friends and the sweet memories attached to them. The “Chal chai peene chalte hain” moments.

There is “mom ke hath ki bani adrak wali Chai” and “Ali ke tea-stall ki Irani Chai”. Nisha’s favorite “Elaichi wali Chai” and “Train ki kullhad wali Masala Chai”. There is “light Chai” and there is “kadak Chai”.

For us Indians, Chai is an excuse for getting together, for bonding with family and friends. There is never a reason nor a season for Chai. A lot can happen over a cup of coffee for sure but everything can happen over a cup of Chai. I value my Chai and for all those who agree with me..aaiye ek cup Chai ho jaye :)

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Item Songs

Lately everywhere I go, be it a marriage function, a party, a restaurant, a hotel or even annual functions at colleges, I hear these so called “item” songs playing. Songs with lyrics that are not only offensive and vulgar but which portray women as objects of desire. Words such as “maal” and “cheez” are used to describe women.

I see people gyrating to these vulgar songs. I see small children glued to the television sets viewing these songs and wonder what effect it will have on their delicate minds. Songs that show women in skimpy clothes, winking, showing cleavage, with lecherous gangsters AND policemen (yes them too) staring, touching and dancing around them and literally drooling like hungry dogs. Songs like “Munni badnam hui”, “Halkat jawani” , “Fevicol” etc. are not only annoying to listen to but torturous to look at as well. It makes me cringe every time I hear them. I truly feel that songs endorsing brands such as Fevicol and Zandu Balm sound overly cheap and tacky.

What really amazes me is the way the leading heroines today are all falling over themselves to be an “item” girl in an “item song. They count the so called “item” songs as feathers in their caps.  I sit and wonder..why would any respectable lady be ready to be addressed as an item ?

Apart from the item songs, there are songs with the most bizarre weird lyrics. There is “Sari ke fall sa kabhi match kiya re” or “I got rocket in my pocket Oh baby come & launch it” from grand Masti, or Anarkali disco chali” or “Dhating Naach” or “Gandi Baat” etc etc. Surprisingly, a lot of these stupid songs have Sonakshi Sinha in them. I wonder if she writes them herself…

We did have an occasional weird song like “Telephone dhun mein hasne wali” or “Jab tak rahega  samosa mein aloo” earlier too but the last few years have taken the stupidity to a different level altogether.
Maybe I’m old fashioned or whatever one would like to call me but I seriously dislike these embarrassing dim-witted meaningless songs.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Thank You !!

Overwhelmed and touched by all the warm birthday wishes on FB and mail, It means a lot to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all for your love which keeps me going.

Love You All !