Saturday, April 30, 2005


Mermaid's comment to my last post reminded me of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi's Poetry and so I visited today this site on Rumi, again after quite a while. While going through it, I came across the following poem and it reminded of English, August's post, The Answer.

in an ocean of spirit,
yet our lips are always parched.
That thirst is the flawless scheme.
A lack that leads us the way sun
nudges shadows along.

- Duane Tucker from Reflections on Rumi

Only sweet-voiced birds are imprisoned.
Owls are not kept in cages.

Friday, April 29, 2005

I feel good aka James Brown

Riches are not from abundance of worldly goods, but from a contented mind. Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him)

Abundance= An overflowing fullness; ample sufficiency; great plenty; profusion; copious supply; superfluity; wealth.

I am probably as materialistic as anybody else and enjoy the good life too. However one word occurred to me yesterday, abundance but its source was not green in color. It came to me at the end of a simple, satisfying day while having dinner with my family.

I felt such abundance thinking about greetings from those I am only beginning to know. Phone calls and messages from friends who want me to stick around for more years. Emails, from those who care but don’t bother expressing it often. Hugs and Kisses from my family. Sharing cakes and sweets with strangers amidst shy smiles. Gifts bought with the thought of making me smile.

I want to cherish this feeling of abundance and to remember it, to make a souvenir out of it, to visit it at those times when I might feel shortchanged or forgotten.

Thank you god and bless us all.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Muchos smooches

The sweetest smile in the world, pitter-patter of busy feet and a big soft tummy, that’s my mommy. She believes everything in the world can be handled, with a cheerful smile and brisk action. A beautiful woman, she has given so much of herself to her family, that I don’t think she has anything left for herself. There is so much I love about her and so much which she has taught me.

Its my parents wedding anniversary tomorrow and its followed by my b’day the next day. I would always tease them saying, look god has given you a wedding gift in me but to be honest they are my most special gifts.

My dad: shaved, showered dressed every morning, early, ready to work, ready to take on the world…every day of his life. Struggling, grappling with problems, sour but always trying his best. His naiveté, his simplicity…oh I could go on about my parents endlessly. There are many things we don’t agree upon but I love them so much! God bless them always!

My life is not what I wanted it to be but my parents are all that parents could be…. providers and nourishers…. selfish me.

Friday, April 22, 2005

From an earlier journal

curled yellow leaves,
scattered on the still wet ground.
remains of the storm last night.
sunflowers in a vase,
catch the falling sun through the window.
while she sleeps at her desk.
early spring morning,
rustling leaves and dancing sunbeams.
kitty goes looking for breakfast.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Family Ties

saturday night
the train leaves
another goodbye.

words held back
emotions reined in
see you again

fumbling growth
bonds weaken
ties strengthen

new moon
a sliver of silver
another begining

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Groggy Thoughts

I have felt crappy the entire day today. Of all the things I could have done today, I have done none. My mind just did not say 'good morning' today, perhaps because it slept, somewhere in the early hours of morning only to wake up at noon. It was that rare deep sleep. When I woke up, I had to mouth a plea for tea from someone; even my vocal cords did not get up. Is it some new disease, where my entire being has gone to sleep? Well I had been having some trouble with sleeping lately but this is too much of a good thing.

The day is over now; has ended, is history is no more and I am so glad. I don’t like myself when I feel like this. I am off to make myself another cup of tea…then try to go for a walk…hey k saved me that trip to the kitchen, she got me the tea…god bless her. heart too has gone of too sleep. Perhaps I'll catch a late-night movie on TV tonight. I saw 'The Others' day before yesterday, it was a spooky movie with Nicole Kidman in it...very nice, spooked me out a little, in a nice way.

There is something I want, there is something I need and its the same song every day and I’ll be damned if I go to seed. can see the frame of mind I’m in.

PS: I made pancakes a little while ago and my mother has been trying her hand at making Jalebis, a terribly calorie-laden Indian sweetmeat to which my youngest bro, who should be in the movies, says that all the wimmin of this house should make a video "Who's Fat!' and sing it to the tune of Who's bad by Michael Jackson. Hehe...

How come I did not inherit the its-fun-to-do-difficult-things gene from mummy?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Color me least for now.

Colors surely tell some part of our story. As a kid, I use to love red. My first school bag was a letterbox red. It was a hardtop box; square like a tiny valise and it had a scratchy surface, the way my knees use to feel after school. I use to wear red ribbons in my hair then and red blooms from my garden were my preferred, shy offerings to my favourite teachers. However somewhere down the line, although I still liked red but I no longer felt comfortable wearing it. I started believing that I looked silly in it. That it was too bright and flashy for me.

Its funny how seriously we take our silly notions about ourselves. Around this time I became a serious-minded girl, with scary glasses and untidy hair. I use to look down upon make-up, refuse to wear it because I believed it would be like lying to the world. I was deeply attracted to beige and went on to graduate to all shades of browns. I was the girl, who would walk around the school grounds with hands dug deep down in my blazer pockets, sleeves pushed back to elbows and down-cast eyes. I was painfully shy around this time and had a lot of issues but I was a sweet girl then.

A change of school made me overcome my shyness and the pastels entered my life but before long I fell in a deep long affair with peacock blue. That was the only shade of blue which I liked, rather if I saw anything in that shade, be it a glass vase or a dress, it was sold…yea…to me. Life went on merrily with blue for a long time but quietly crept in a pale green, the shade of a new leaf when sunlight falls on it, this color entranced me. Now these two together ruled my heart. I wore the darker greens but rarely.

Then couple of years back, it was yellow, the color of the sun and I worshipped it. If it was yellow, it was mine. I loved its brightness. It was never a jaundiced hue for me…. it was the color of beaten gold, the color of endless mustard flowers and of fried eggs, sunny side up. Teamed with silver-gray it was sharp and bright, with a pale green, fresh and dewy.

I was happy in my world of gold, when gradually red started seeping in. It nudged its way into my heart, a book here, and a dress there and soon enough people were asking me if it was my favourite color. That’s when I realized Red had stolen my heart without my even realizing it. I wear it now without being embarrassed or feeling silly now. I even look good in it and to imagine that I was scared of wearing it at a time. Bah! I like most of its shades too and Pink; both the soft baby pink and the bright fuchsia make me drool.

Though the constant ones all along has been white and to a lesser extent Black. I have come to appreciate gray now. The only colors that don’t appeal to me are the ones that don’t say much or speak in pretentious or sad tones. I like shades and I like combinations of various colors now, not just with the perennial black and white. The funny parts is that none of them have stopped being my favorites, its just the play list has gotten longer with time. All of them are parts of me.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Dry wind
swirling motes of dust
Cover me

Rustling silk
She leans forward
He murmurs

Pale fingers
counting prayer-beads
Sins un-numbered

He watches her,
Storm rages at the window
She turns over

Friday, April 08, 2005

Don't lose it.

Not just a four-letter word
Originally uploaded by gulnaz.

guilt is the cause of more disorders
than history's most obscene marorders

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Torn Wings

She sat at the edge of the water, kohl streaks smudges across her cheeks, just above her swollen, trembling lips. Her face felt sticky with tears and grime. She had run away from all those people and now she sat by the river, her broken wings lay across her lap. She plucked at the bird feathers of the wings. They had all laughed at her. She, a butterfly, with her dark complexion and heavy hips, sniggers and taunts, till the tears came out and she ran away, so that nobody could see them.

It had taken her almost a week to prepare for the fancy-dress party. She had made her wings from feathers she had been collecting for the last many years. Each morning while waiting for her school bus, she would pick up the feathers, which often lay tangled in the bushes or lay by the dirt road. Mostly white but a few gray and black ones too. She would clean and dry each one of them and store her treasures in a box lined with tissue, under her bed.

Carefully she had painted the feathers in all the colors of her paint-box and glued them on the cardboard wings to wear over her white frock. Only her mama had known about her wings and she had smiled and kissed her when she was all ready to go. She remembered Mama had said, that she was her beautiful butterfly, the tears began to roll down again. It did not make sense. She had been so proud of her wings. She had wanted to dance and laugh with them. The river surged through her wiggling toes

Many years later

She is all grown up and pretty now and she does not need them. She does not run away anymore but stands her ground; firm and strong and looks them in the eye. Sometimes she can even laugh at them though mostly she could not care less. But some nights she can still hear them, feel those hot tears welling up in her eyes, after all these years. Somewhere deep down her wings are still soiled and torn.

What will it take to mend them?

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Yellow Roses 'n Time

Yellow roses, dry as paper, I stuck them around a small, circular wicker candle stand. The faded yellow of the roses looks good against the rich brown wicker. Then I added a small white candle, which K made from used candles on top of the arrangement. Now every time I pass it, sitting pretty in the drawing room, it reminds me that creativity is about playing with things and ideas. It tells me how things new and old can come together, to form something altogether different. K is my sister-in-law and neither of us believes ourselves to be particularly creative, yet we managed to put together something sweet. K and I are on a creative trip nowadays, she has started sketching and drawing on tiles and fabric and using M-seal to make tiny objects. I am doing some embroidery for my mum and some more such stuff.

I had bought those roses from a florist, almost a month back, I was longing for yellow roses. I was longing to see sunlight fall on them from a window. I had bought some tiny white flowers too, they almost seemed like a spray of mist around the yellow roses. I had enjoyed drinking tea and Kahwa while looking at my yellow roses. The wicker stand was from Orissa, a coastal state in Southern India, bought years ago by my parents when they had gone there with a friend and his family. The friend is no more and their family has developed new and strange values.

The intricacy of the folds of the flowers is heightened by their fragility. There is a meaning here, which I am not being able to grasp right now. The only lesson coming to my head is, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize and drink more water, to keep my skin looking young and fresh. Most of the times I cannot be bothered but then suddenly somewhere, on a day like today when I have not even washed my face, I will start worrying about stuff like wrinkles and growing old. There was an article in the newspaper today about how living healthy can make our bodies biologically younger than their chronological age. Don’t smoke, exercise, sleep on time, don’t fret and don’t stop learning that was the gist of the article. Hmmm…sounds good and do-able.

Hmmm, fretting I thought only dad does it, but I have noticed I too fret rather more frequently than is good for me. Its scary how we pick up our parents bad habits, while all along swearing we would be better. So much, for good intentions, makes me feel like a fraud now for getting angry all those times with him for worrying too much. He has mellowed over the years. As kids we were scared stiff of running into him when he was in a bad mood, as we would end up making it worse for him. Growing up taught me how difficult those years were for him, makes me appreciate and respect him more than ever now, yet we still have a reserve between us. I am still the scared girl trying to stand up to him but now he doesn’t seem like the giant that he used to be and I feel mean and nasty when I reply back sharply. Perspectives change with time.