Showing posts with label Ramblings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ramblings. Show all posts

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Riot Room

A place so lovely and full of joy that once a child enters, they don't want to leave. That is what "The Riot Room" is. The place exudes joy, childhood, adventure, excitement and utmost care. There are many soft play areas in the city which are designed to entertain and engage kids and I have been to almost every one of them. Each one of them fulfills one criteria or the other. Some are more suitable for my younger one and some are more suitable for my older one. Some have latest slides but hardly any space. Some are spacious but not well maintained. Keeping this experience in mind, my expectations from TRR (The Riot Room) were similar. But I was proved wrong. It is not only the largest soft play indoor area I have ever seen, it has the best entertainment facilities for the kids. It is designed from the point of view of kids. It has age wise engagement area, extremely polite and helpful support staff and it is very well maintained. I was surprised by how clean and hygienic every corner of the place was.

Not only does the place keeps the kids engaged, it has a mouth watering selection of snacks. A parent can sit and enjoy their food break while keeping an eye on their kids. Each corner of the place is designed to gain maximum fun and efficiency. I was lucky to spend some time with the owner. Her passion and love for her work and the place was evident. She seems like the driving force behind the success of the place. I took a tour of the place with her and her love and care for the place was quite evident. 

As a mother of two growing up boys, keeping them engaged for a longer period of time is my biggest challenge and TRR seems to be the most suitable answer. 

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Krishna- Our Beloved


fear smeared on face
happy but not
caught red handed





#Haiku
Linking this post with BarAThon Day 4: Caught red-handed. I am with Team #CrimsonRush

Image credit here


Monday, 1 August 2016

Unrequited

His eyes followed Lata’s curvatures. She was looking ravishing as always. Her dress was well fitted and accentuated her perfect figure. He gently touched her light brown eyes. They were the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. Every time she had looked at him, his heart had melted into a puddle. He moved his fingers to her soft pink cheeks, gently caressing them and then to her perfect lips. They were slightly open. This was the first time he was touching them. He bent down and gave her a long kiss. She tasted just like a glass of the most intoxicating red wine. He had dreamed of their first kiss since a few years but this was a little different.

He sighed and backed off. She felt a little cold. She had always been a little cold towards him and would only talk when she had no one else to talk to. Only yesterday, she had shared how she was scared of the threatening letters she was getting almost daily from a guy and no one else was believing her. He remembered how he had reassured her.

Ram gave a suppressed laugh at the thought. Lata had believed him when he had told her he was taking her to a friend’s place. And then upon reaching this place, this home that he had built especially for her,she had tried to run.

“What option did I have then?” Ram thought to himself. This is the only way we will always be together. One last time he looked at her or what was left of her, took the gun and aimed at his temple.










Linking this post with BarAThon Day 2: What you don't know. I am with Team #CrimsonRush

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Share The Load


When I look around I find most women over worked, doesn’t matter if they have a career or they stay at home. But I hear almost everyone complain about how hectic their lives are. Some go to an extent and even say that their husbands have it easier, so much easier. Men just have to come from office and their work is over. That is what always makes me uncomfortable. Women work through the day too (either in office or at home), then why don’t they relax when they reach home? Why is it that their work is not over at day end?


I saw this advertisement on social media and instantly liked it. As parents we are empowering our daughters but are we also setting an example for them? Are we setting gender neutral examples at home? Children learn the most by observing. Are we good examples for our children?

I see so many educated women around me, trying to give good education to their daughters, teaching them equality; wishing wings for their daughters but is that enough? Is it enough to know I can be whatever I want when I will grow up; that I am no less than a man, when I am subconsciously believing that the housework is primarily mine, or even if I have a career outside my house, I will be the one taking care of everything in the house? Why? Because that’s what my mother does at home!

Is it enough if we teach our boys, girls are equal to you; there is nothing that girls can’t do; you shouldn’t judge a person’s efficiency by their gender etc , when subconsciously they are believing that when a man comes back from office, he takes a break while the woman runs around finishing all the chores! Where is the equality in this system?

Children learn more from observing! They are like sponge; everyday is a new learning for them. They take subtle clues; they pick nuisances from their parents. It is time we step back and think, are we a good example of gender equality? Do we practice it at home? If not, it is time the changes are made. It is time we lead as example, so the coming generation is free from gender bias of any kind.

It is time the household chores are divided basis availability and efficiency and not gender. Let’s start this from today. Let’s be a good example for our kids!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

The JNU debate- What Is Democracy?


In a general sense democracy is freedom, right? So If we are in a democratic country, we are free. We are free to live where we want, free to take the job we want, study what we want, follow the religion we want and we are free to speak our mind. There are no if-s and but-s in freedom. If you are free, you are free. There are no conditions apply.

Dissent is the backbone of freedom I would say. If we can’t disagree, if we can’t stand against something we find wrong, if we can’t questions laws, if we can’t shout at the system, are we truly free?

In my mind a strong democracy is based on free flowing opinions. If a democracy can’t stand opposing views, by definition does it still remain a democracy? If I stand against the system, do I become anti-national? What does my disagreeing with any system, any law or any decision has to do with my love for my country. It still remains my country. I still love it. Do we never disagree with our parents? Have we never spoken against our parents? Have we never walked out of a room following a disagreement with our parents? Or even with our friends, or anyone else? Does it mean we don’t love them? Does it mean we don’t understand what sacrifices they have made for us? Does it mean we don’t want to live in the same house? Does it mean we don’t cherish the relationship? No it doesn’t!

Then why when we express dissent against any decision by law, we automatically are labelled as anti-national? Then why if we stand merely for freedom of speech, we are told we are not patriotic enough?

I love my country. I am a concerned citizen. I know my rights and my duties (At least some part of it). I am thankful for the freedom my constitution and law provides me. And I still don’t agree with so many things happening in India. I will question it and I will fight for my right to question and as a matter of fact, I stand by anyone’s right to speak. So I stand by JNU when it comes to freedom of speech. They have the right to question and show dissent. By questioning a decision, they don’t become anti-nationals and neither do I, by simply being on their side.

But I also believe there is a line which is drawn by every individual even when exercising their democratic rights. I believe Afzal Guru was a terrorist and whatever happened was right. I don’t care if his family couldn’t meet him. I don’t care if he was made a scape goat. I just don’t care! I care about the innocent lives lost. I care about what the attacks did to my country. This is where I draw the line. If the person standing against me still calls him a martyr, I will get angry. I will be furious. BUT I will walk out of the discussion. Why? Because my opinion is based on my experiences in life and I believe anyone else’s opinion would also be based on their experiences, which will be different than mine. I don’t think opinions are driven only through religion. I will always give anyone benefit of doubt; at the least I won’t question their love for their country just because of one opinion or their religion. Why is it so difficult to understand and follow?

India is a country of Indians, not hindu, not muslim, not any religion. If we are Indian citizens, we have the same rights. We belong to the tri-color, not to saffron, not to green!

Note of caution: This is my opinion about the issue. Readers are welcome to share their opinions but I have low tolerance for rudeness. Please be polite! Thank you

Read more about the JNU controversy here

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Never Too Late!

Getting to a place of comfort can be uncomfortable who would have known, thought Rashmi. It was the same place where her life had started some 40 years back. The memory was quite vivid in her mind even after so many years. She had worn a red sari as customary even for a church wedding. She had told her mom that she hated sarees and wanted to wear a blue dress. Sarees had never been her thing. She had always been in love with long fitted dresses. How pretty her friend Cherry had looked at her wedding she had thought. But obviously who would have listened to an 18 year old then. She had worn the red saree and the heavy makeup, against her wish. She was told what to do and she had done it. Everything had gone as planned. She didn’t even remember looking at Prateek during the whole wedding ritual. It was not important. Where she was looking was important. She was told to look down, so she had looked down. When she was leaving her parents house, she was told by her mom to follow her husband’s orders like she had followed her parents’. She was told that the house she had grown up was not hers anymore. She had soaked up every word like a sponge.
That is what she had believed for next 22 years. She had a good marriage. She had followed Prateek like a shadow; hardly ever did she speak up. They had a picture perfect family, till the day of the accident. Prateek was crossing the road when the truck came from the wrong side. He had no chance. He had left behind a successful business and two kids who were living abroad. They had come and left within a few days.
Suddenly Rashmi was all alone for the first time in her life. She was 40 years old and she had never stepped out of her house alone. It was a tough fight after that. She took her time. Of course she was scared. Everything was new but everything was exciting. She took charge of the business. People around her were surprised at her business acumen. Within a few years the business was making more profits than ever before. She had wings. She was flying. And that’s how she met Raman. He was working with one of the competitors. They met during one of the pitches. She immediately liked him and had her HR poach him to her company. This was some 12 years back. They had been working together since then. She didn’t remember exactly when she fell for him, especially because he was 11 years her junior. Only thing she was sure was that they were perfect together; like two pieces of a puzzle who belonged together.
And after living together for a decade they had decided to take the leap of faith. Now she was standing at the altar, waiting for her cue. Soft breeze was blowing; it felt like heaven was singing for her. The white of orchid around her was filling her with a sense of tranquillity she had never felt before. Her fitted, long, blue dress was something she had fallen in love with at the first sight. It was just right. Everything was just right. It didn’t matter if her children were against her decision. They were living their lives and she was living hers. It didn’t matter if more people were against it than in favour of it. It didn’t matter that she was 58. Nothing mattered except what she felt in her heart. She knew this was just the first day of the rest of her life. And suddenly the church band started playing “here comes the bride....”
This was her cue. Her cue to get busy living or get busy dying!
 

Monday, 18 January 2016

A Homework For Every Parent


Every day of my life as a parent starts with a long list of things that my kids are supposed to do and don’t do. The thing that tops the list most of the time is homework. We can’t ignore the homework. It has to be done. Few days back my elder one who is in second grade and who likes to question everything before adhering to it, asked me “Mom, why are we supposed to do the homework? Why is it important?” I was taken aback. I had never thought about it. We were given homework and we did it. Of course, the key was that we were learning from it but that we do even in school, so why homework?

It took me some time but I realised why we must do the homework. I sat down with him and explained, “We must do our homework because it is a part of the overall learning. Learning doesn’t end in classroom, it is a continuous process. Homework prepares us for the exam. If we don’t do it, how will we revise everything that we have learnt, how will we be prepared for the final exam? “

Thankfully my son understood it and went to study, but as usual he was back with his next question. He asked, “Mom, do you also do your homework? What is your homework? When is your exam?”

By the time he had finished asking his questions, I had already lost my patience and I told him I will tell him in detail later. But his questions had gotten me to think. What is my exam? When are my exams? Am I prepared for them?

Just as I was mulling over these questions, a new campaign from Axis MF caught my attention. Some of my friends were talking about it, so I went online and checked it. It gave me the answer immediately. What can be the biggest exam of a parent? It will be when my children grow up and they step outside the comfort of our home. They will take on the world. It will be my responsibility to fulfil their aspirations, to plan a better future for them. Am I ready for that?

 I don’t know if I am, and I don’t know if I will ever be, but it is my job to make the process as smooth and as hindrance free as possible. When my kids grow up, they should have the ability and grit to choose what they want to do. Nothing should stop them. This will be my exam and I have to be prepared for it. I have to do my homework, just like my son. And one of the first subjects is financial planning. I will start by evaluating Axis MF’s campaign since they gave me the idea.


And I urge every parent to get out of their comfort zones. Start communicating with your children, understand their aspirations and start planning towards it. It is the need of the hour. You have to start preparing now, for your children’s future. You have to do your homework.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Look Who Is Cooking!

A casual discussion for a meet up with blogger friends turned into an awesome opportunity when lovely Rushina threw open her heart and the doors of her cooking studio for us. I couldn’t have been happier. I have picked up cooking as a hobby only recently and I had wanted to learn from experts. I knew Rushina as this fabulous food blogger with an awesome space to cook APB Cook Studio. So I lapped up on the opportunity. It can’t get better than this! (Or so I thought)

But it did get better; we were going to not only meet Rushina, we were going to cook Italian food with her. Italian food is my recent obsession; me and my 7 year old love to work on Italian recipes. (What we finally come up with is a different question altogether). I wanted to learn! I had to learn for the poor souls I experimented on.

So I crossed my fingers and left for APB studio with a lot of hope and zest in my heart and some emergency chocolates in my bag (We were going to eat only what we would cook and I don’t have a perfect track record you see)

As soon as I reached the place I knew I had reached the right place. The place was a perfect blend of kitchen warmth and restaurant finesse. Rushina and her team led us, taught us, tolerated us (Well, we were a group of giggly women bloggers who were high on life :P) to some really yummy food.

From the lovely Aglio Olio to focaccia, from loud chatters to loud thumps of kneading bread, from yours truly mixing up sugar for salt to some crazy selfie taking students in the middle of the session, everything was handled beautifully. Everything that we made turned out beautiful. The session ended on a beautiful sweet note with Tiramisu. What more could a girl ask for? Learn and cook her favorite food, from one of the masters, in the company of friends.

This wonderful session was courtesy of JAMMs. It is a wonderful group led by Ritu Gorai. Did you ask what the group is about? Well, wait and watch out this space for a detailed insider review of this rocking group. It’s a secret and sacred space. I will be back soon with a detailed account. Till then here’s a glimpse of all the fun we had!




Monday, 2 November 2015

The Wait

It is the 9th night. She had counted. This is the place; this is the exact spot where she had lost everything. This is where her life was. Chitra walks on her foot prints again. She likes doing that; walking on the same footprint again and again. It feels like she is living in her past again. Like everything is the same; nothing is changed.

What has changed anyway? The moon is still effervescent, glowing in love. The soft waves are still touching her feet. She wishes she could feel the soft, warm touch of the waves again. The sand castle that they had built was not there but the memories of it were still fresh. Her hands over his, his hands over her’s, their laughter mixed with the fresh scent of salty water. It is all fresh in her mind. She remembers how it was and how it had all changed.  That day was as beautiful as this night is. It was full of promises. They had walked hand in hand, laughing, playing and talking about how wonderful their future would be. The two souls lost in each other.  They had built a sand castle, their dream home. It was the starting of a dream; a dream both of them were sure would come true.

Aditi

Lost in her dreams, she had walked towards the ocean. Lost in her thoughts, she had ignored the warning sounds. She didn’t see him yelling and coming towards her. She just remembers he was calling her name. And then she remembers floating on water, feeling light and light and then feeling formless. The feeling was surreal but she knew it was true. She had seen her body; the body that had betrayed her. Each and every part of her body had betrayed her except her heart. Her heart is still throbbing in love. It now shines red and blue. It is red when she sees him and blue when it weeps. The red and blue both glow, reflecting her love for him. There are days when the blue completely engulfs her  and there are days when she bleeds red in love. This beach has seen it all; the red and the blue. The past and the present. It bleeds and throbs red in her love and it cries and weeps blue in her pain.


She had tried leaving the beach a few times but she keeps coming back here. Her life or her afterlife is here. Her soul is still entwined with his. She can’t go anywhere, for her dream home, her heart; a piece of her soul is here. She can’t leave without collecting all her pieces. She can’t leave without feeling complete. She can’t leave without him.



bar_ww_badege

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Scream

“Stop it” Maria screamed.

“Who are you? Stop following me. Stop screaming in my ears. Come out if you need help but please those screams are breaking my heart. Who are you?”

She waited for the answer but no one replied. It was white all around with snow. There was no one in sight as far as she could look and suddenly the screams started again.

“Help me. Help me”

Covering her ears with her hands tightly, Maria ran towards her home. This had been going on for weeks but she had no idea who was following her and screaming for help. As soon as she reached home, Maria went about her routine like normal, trying to forget the screams. She had been thinking about telling Elan about it but it looked like he was not in a good mood and she knew it better to irk him more. His fist prints still looked fresh on her cheeks. She made coffee and then dinner, just like Elan expected her to do. Later at night she laid herself down on the bed and let Elan use her body in every unthinkable way. It was normal for her. There was an acceptance between them. He had accepted her dark past and she had accepted his dark present.

Sometime around midnight Maria got up startled. She was sweating. At first she thought she was dreaming but then she heard it again, the heart rending, tragic scream. Someone was screaming for help in her ears loudly. She turned around and saw Elan. He was sleeping peacefully, looking like an angel. If only our inner demons would show on our face, she thought.

And then she heard it again. Afraid that she might wake up Elan, Maria ran out to the drawing room but the scream followed her. It was getting louder and louder.

Maria didn’t know what to do, so she started running. She was running as fast as she could, bare feet and in only a T-shirt. The scream was following her and was getting louder and louder.

And then suddenly, just like that she started screaming with the scream, saying it over and over again “Help me”

It was only then she realized the screams were always her’s. It was her. She had been without a voice for so long that she didn’t realize when it came back; her voice of reason. It had been her all the time, screaming for help.

Maria finally realized; it was time to get help. And she screamed “HELP ME”

Image source here






Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Tomatoes




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Shama was walking fast. It was already dark and she still had a lot of work to finish. If only she had not forgotten to get tomatoes in the morning, she would have been done with dinner by now. She wiped the sweat off her forehead and a smile lit her face, as she thought of her two little bundles of joy at home. Her younger one had made a tomato train in the morning and she had ended up spoiling all of them.

Shama still couldn't believe they were already 6 and 9 years old. It seemed only yesterday Saurabh and she had gotten married. She was a Muslim and Sauarbh was a Hindu Brahmin. Both of them were ousted by their families but they had not cared. They had settled in this new city and before they knew it, they were a family of four. Life had been like a dream for her till that dreadful day; the day Saurabh left them forever. She shivered as she thought of his last day. How he had hugged them before leaving and how his last words were “I won’t take too long”. He took long; he never came back and since then life had been really difficult for her.

Somehow in last 4 years she had managed to get a job inspite of her lack of any professional education. Slowly but gradually their life was getting back on the track. They didn’t have everything but they had enough to survive; above all they had each other.


Lost in these thoughts Shama was waiting for the traffic light to turn red. As soon as the light turned red, she started to cross the road. The windows of her home were visible. She hurried looking at them. Her girls would be waiting for her she thought. Lost in these thoughts she didn’t notice the speeding truck. Shama was flung high in the air. Her clothes went hay wire and she could feel the strength of the moving beast over her; she could feel the mush of her skin and bones; her bones crushed into her heart; she could feel her heart breaking into million pieces literally, as she thought of her daughters and then just like that she felt nothing. The dark took over. She laid there still holding the vegetable bag in her hand. The red of tomato was blending with the red of her.



Linking this to Wordy Wednesday at Blog-A-Rhythm

BAR_WW_Badege

Monday, 19 January 2015

Ram Sita

Sita was late again. She saw the railway track “In a few seconds I can be free.”

But the milk came rushing to her chest; where she had nestled together the pain, the joy, and the duty of being a mother.

At home Ram waits with a stick in hand.






Image credit here

Friday, 12 September 2014

Perspective

Heads down in fear,o
bowed to the almighty

Hands tied, Held together
By force, or 
in prayers

Dead silence
As they wait
Three in a row

Silence of death
As they break free
Three in a row




Linking this post to The Fiction Challenge: From 15 to 50September. Hosted by Shailaja V of The Moving Quill.

Image source here


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Reunion


The urge to reunite with her core was stronger today. Siya knew she didn’t belong here; her true self was inside. With a swift motion she dug the knife inside her and touched her bones. She reached the skeleton of what she was. She will never be incomplete again. 







Image Credit here

Friday, 8 August 2014

Dear Old Man

Dear Old Man,

Torn faded clothes, full of mud and dust
If I saw you elsewhere, I may have looked away in disgust
But that day I needed you
You were my last hope

For a second I resisted
I didn’t even look at you directly
You did all the talking, and
Didn’t even try to bargain
I was ready with my speech
But I suddenly realised
There is no need
You agreed for the bare minimum

Just then I noticed the smile
Red, white and yellow
But still so honest and warm
Not for a second,
I could look away
Where did the ugliness go?
I didn’t know

Just then I noticed your voice
Oh so mellow and full of wise
The warmth filled my core
And made me glow
I forgot the suffering
And went with the flow

You did your job
Job that needed no talking
Work that needed no personal touch
I extended the money, but
You folded your hands and refused to take it
That second you were richer, than
the richest person on earth

You came forward
Extending your hand towards my head
A gesture to pass on blessings
I nodded with tears in my eyes
I didn’t know why I cried
Only thing I knew was
Just then I was the richest person on earth
Just then I had met my angel

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I was 9 months pregnant and was supposed to travel to my parents’ place. I was heavy and due to various reasons I could barely walk. We reached the station late and at the last moment our train had changed tracks. We were to cross over to the other side of the station, through a foot over bridge but it was impossible for me to do so. The only other way was to cross over through the tracks at the back but the distance was too long for me to walk. We needed a wheel chair. It was late in the night and there was no one around to help us find a wheel chair. Suddenly an old man appeared with a wheel chair who agreed to help us. We discussed the money and he readily agreed to what we offered. I agreed to go with him alone through the other side, since my husband had to carry the entire luggage; we decided he would cross over through the bridge.  It has been almost 6 years but I still remember his face. I was scared of him initially. But within a few seconds he started talking and I was at ease completely. We crossed the track and I didn’t even realise. I said thank you to him and took out the money to give him. Not only did he refuse to take the money but he also extended his hands and with a very gentle voice blessed me. Even before I could say anything, he left. After a few months, my husband went back to the station to look for him. He wanted to pay him his dues. But no one had heard of him or seen him there ever. It was like he never existed. Many may not believe me (like my husband) but I know he was my angel. He was my Govind.

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I am participating in the 30 Days Letter Challenge where you write one letter each day. The 6th in the list is a letter to "A Stranger"

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Dear Dreams


Dear Dreams

You have a life of your own
There are multiple me living somewhere
With lovers and alone

Remember the time,
You let me fall, in the deep dark ditch
Naked and broken
My pieces falling and
Talking to each other
Each is a me
Crying and weeping
For everything lost
Everything died

Remember the time
You let me fly
High up over the mountains
Sitting on a feather
Through the most gentle breeze
Singing lullaby
To every passerby
Who were they?
Why were they flying with me?
All pink and blue
All nice and new
Full of life

Remember the time
When you went from flying,to
dying in a split second
Then getting up
And talking to me
Asking me to get up
Telling me it is just a dream

I got up talking to you
Who is one more me
Leaving a dying me behind
Holding your hand
When you pushed me again
In the deep ditch
And I started breaking in pieces
Even before I could reach the dark
Each me trying to get up from the dream
And each me failing
Each me falling

Remember the time
One of us survived
And got up from the dream?
Yes that’s me
I always survive you
Come back, live, and
Test you again

(C) Juztamom

I am participating in the 30 Days Letter Challenge where you write one letter each day. The 5th in the list is a letter to ‘Your dreams’