Thursday Thoughts…

Here’s a thought…I am so much more regular when I’ve got a theme going or a challenge. Are you like that? Can you be regular and diligent without a deadline looming? Even if it is a passion? I mean I love to write and take pictures and I like to write poetry too but of late it has forsaken me. I say this because I never seem to be able to think up a poem on my own…as in, when something, anything really, affects me deeply (whether at a conscious or sub-conscious level), I let it stew for a while…ruminate in my soul as it were and see if something emerges. It used to be that a poem would often emerge…scattered words and thoughts that would wander into my consciousness and coalesce gently into an idea and birth an emotion that felt ‘right deep down in my gut’. That’s when I would sit down and put pen to paper and eventually they would flow and make sense.

These days however that happens less and less frequently. I always seem to be ‘doing’ and never taking time out to just ‘be still’. And although I’m doing things I love to do, I crave the stillness that births my poetry and so this morning when a thought came into my head, uncalled for, sudden and persistent, I felt fulfilled…like when you find that elusive piece of the puzzle, that puts everything in the right perspective? Just like that 🙂 It’s just a couple of lines but it helped me understand what’s been going on underneath all that ‘doing’. My family is ageing…everyone I love is growing older, and age brings with it a unique set of circumstance and issues – most of which have appear to have no solutions. And while for the most part I can cope, lately I think the worry & concern that’s never far below the surface must have increased ever so slightly tipping the scales, so that it finally ran over into my consciousness. Well that’s what I think anyway.

And for some reason the first thought that then popped into my head was of this picture of a leaf in it’s final stages that I took ages ago. It’s a favourite of mine…because of the intricate patterns that a bug has created, delicate and fragile like Life itself. And so it is with Dementia…as Time eats away some parts of the brain and spares others, creating patterns that change the very essence of who we thought we once were. So relentless, so merciless, so final. It’s hard to watch the people who were pillars of your world fade away and slowly disappear, while you watch on helpless. It is hard and hurtful and tremendously scary, coz through the constant concern for their well-being, there’s a little anxious voice that whispers, “Will this happen to me too? What if this happens to me?” and “What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?” in a never-ending loop.

And because it is so scary, we push it deep down and cover it with all the ‘stuff’ of Life, until we feel insulated enough to go about our routine as normally as we can. And we get pretty good at the cover-up, so that we begin to believe that things will indeed be alright, until Wham! One day – a thought emerges…


P. S. I’ve decided to make ‘Thursday Thoughts’ into a weekly thing…just one more attempt at being regular at writing and a place where I can lighten my load by sharing it with you guys! And don’t worry…not every Thursday will be dark & heavy 😛 It’s not in my nature to stay that way long! What do you think? I’m game if you are.

NaPoWriMo – Day 26

My trusty shoes! Old now, but it’s like wine with shoes isn’t it? The older the vintage – the better the fit, that kind of thing?! No? Is it just me with my weird feet that take their own sweet time to get friendly with their footwear?! But once they do…Oh the JOY 😀 The comfort of a well-fitted shoe is one of the best feelings in the world! They slide on and off your feet like a second skin – cushioning, painless and easy. They make you feel like you could walk to the Moon and back and be none the worse for wear 😉 Oh well, to the Market down the road then 😛

This well worn pair has traveled with me on many journeys and walked down many exciting roads! They’ve stepped in puddles and worse, been stamped on, drenched in the rain, splattered with mud, served as bug-home on occasion – and survived! They’ve jumped for joy and danced to music and on occasion have caused painful blisters (but that was when they were young and immature ;)) – rather like the feet in them 😛 Today, almost 5 years after I first bought them – they are still my favorite, trusted travel shoes. I have others, (Of course I do! Girls and shoes – you get the picture ;)), but none that fit or feel quite like these – good, solid, with a rubber sole and a steady grip, they make me feel like I could walk forever. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a better companion on my journeys! So a trip around the world or a walk in the park – I say…Bring it On!


NaPoWriMo – Day 7

We don’t really have a Spring here in India. The cold in December and January melts directly into the humid heat of a March summer! And Summers are a time for Bubbles!! I remember being fascinated by them as a child and I’m reliving my memories now with my son who loves them just as much 🙂

Chasing Bubbles is a favorite summertime activity for us both! Whether it’s their transient nature or their rainbow colors as they dance in the sunlight or the reflections on their plasticky surfaces – there’s just something childishly alluring about them. They symbolize simplicity yet hint at promised luxury (think lavender bubble baths…sigh :))!

A toast then – To the humble Bubble with a glass of your favorite Bubbly 😉 (Oh I know it’s corny 😛 It’s Sunday – corny’s allowed ;))

Week 42_1

Have a Bubbly Sunday People 😀 (No I couldn’t resist :P)

NaPoWriMo – Day 5

My son turns 5 today on the 5th of April and it’s the 5th day of NaPoWriMo!! Almost a week done and I haven’t quit yet…a miracle in itself 😛 I thought of sticking with the haiku theme I’ve chosen, even wrote one, and then I came across the poem I had written some time ago for this very day! Of course I had to find it after I’d already done the hard work of writing another haiku 😛 Still, since today is a Happy Day and all – no complaning 😉

So here it is – my Ode to the “The Boy who Makes Me Smile!”



This is how I love you…

With a primal love,

Raw, naked and drenching

Like a waterfall

That drowns me in its waters

And brings me dreamless sleep.

This is how I love you my sweet.


With a mellow love,

Soft, gentle and rich

Like the smoothness of silk

That blankets my soul

In a cocoon of joy.

This is how I love you my sweet.


With a riotous love

Boisterous, mirthful and gay

Like the whimsy of bubbles

That shower me with constant joy.

This is how I love you my sweet.

And I know you love me too.

–          Harsha

Happy Birthday Darling & God Bless 🙂

HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who have sent him love and blessings, from Mother & Son 🙂 


NaPoWriMo – Day 2

As I went through pictures to use for my Haiku today, I came across this one of flowers taken last year on the annual family getaway at Mahabaleshwar! Brought back such happy memories 🙂 What can be better than being surrounded by love and laughter from a caring family? Nothing quite compares 😀

And that’s what made this picture perfect for this particular poem – so many colors, each unique, each separate and yet coming together to make a wonderful garden, just like us humans! The Melting Pot of Life 🙂


To Goddesses Everywhere…

My favorite poem on women is Phenomenal Woman by a truly phenomenal woman herself, Ms. Maya Angelou 🙂 Every time I read it – it makes me sit up straighter, my held held high, my gaze clear and my heart thumping! How lucidly she gets to the core of us women – WHO’ we are and ‘HOW’ we are, amazes me.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, I don’t go for the frantic ‘Day’ commemorations that have mushroomed over the years. It seems like there’s a ‘Day’ for everything these days – probably even a ‘Doing Nothing Day’ for all I know 😉 Still although we women are awesome as I said in my Facebook status today, 24/7, 365 days a year – I don’t see how a little more adoration can do any harm 😛

So here is my homage to all you Phenomenal Women and also to you the Magnificent Men who recognize and cherish these women in your lives 🙂 You thought I forgot about you guys didn’t you?! Didn’t you?!! And to go with – a collage I made of Indian Goddesses that to me live in every woman on our Planet. They symbolize the many incarnations women undergo at various times in their lives and shed some light on the ‘GODDESS WITHIN’ 🙂 The artwork is by animator Sanjay Patel – whose books I came across and instantly loved, while browsing a while ago. I love the illustrations for their originality, although the high ‘cuteness’ factor only adds to their appeal 😉 Hope you like!

“I’m EVERY woman! It’s ALL in ME!”

And here is the poem!

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me. 

Maya Angelou
A Happy Women’s Day to each one of you Phenomenal Women out there 🙂 

Women: Burden or Backbone – A Personal Reflection (For the Indusladies 4th Annual International Women’s Day Blog Contest)

This is my entry for the Indusladies 4th Annual International Women’s Day Blog Contest. It’s the first time I’ve entered a writing contest and although I’m excited, I’m also happily nervous! I’ve chosen to write about Women: Burden or Backbone, and my view on the matter is crystal clear – we are NOT a burden. We are strong, proud, gentle, compassionate, resilient, courageous, selfless – fiercely loving mothers, devoted daughters and sisters, passionate wives and lovers, and caring friends. We are many-layered and multi-textured and we carry within us the origins of our World and its history!

History is abundant in strong women role models – women have pioneered & served in every walk of life and excelled in them – Government, Literature, Movies, Finance, Media, Entrepreneurship, Teaching, Research, Science and so on and so forth. Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart, Jane Austen, Helen Keller, Marie Curie, Maria Montessori, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Margaret Thatcher and scores of others have left indelible marks in their chosen fields and serve as inspirations to the millions of us who follow in their wake. Closer to home, we have Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi, Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, Sarojini Naidu, Vijayalakshmi Pandit and more recently Kiran Bedi, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Anjolie Ela Menon, Anita Desai and youth icons like Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza; all trailblazers in their chosen paths! And while I salute all these women and their contributions, my own role models are closer to home and no less revolutionary! They are my intimate soul mates – women who have known me and influenced me since birth – My Mom, naturally; My aunt, whom I call ‘Didi’, who is my alter ego; but most of all my Grandmother – my ‘Nani’, the proud matriarch of our family and perfect example of a strong, independent woman – her delicate femininity camouflaging her steely resolve.

She’s a beauty and a survivor if ever there was one. In her 86 years – she’s survived an abusive marriage, single-handedly raised her two daughters to be strong, independent, good women like herself, battled a continuous stream of health problems, managed financial crunches and coped with the loss of her only & beloved grandson – my brother. Through it all she has managed to be a rock of support for my Mom, who has her own battles to fight – the loss of a child and a husband afflicted suddenly and cruelly with Parkinson’s disease. Her story and suffering are not perhaps unique, after all India has millions of women who have been abused and discarded by society in one way or another and who continue to suffer, but for me – her grand-daughter, it is special and precious, because it is also my story. I come from her and through her and in that way we are inseparable and intertwined forever.

When my Granny ended her bad marriage and decided to move back to Bombay (It wasn’t Mumbai then), she had two little children along for the ride, her self-respect, a willingness to do battle, a backbone of steel and little else. I wonder how she found the courage to make such a radical decision in a time when divorce was unheard of and frowned upon. But that’s Granny – at once, rock hard and soft as daisy. She doesn’t like to talk about those days and the subject of her marriage is a closely guarded secret that I’m sure even my Mom only knows bits and pieces of. None of us have ever asked her either, because frankly it doesn’t matter. What matters is that she survived and more importantly she beat the odds in a spectacular fashion! With her family’s support, especially her brothers, she moved in with them and took up the challenge of running the ever-burgeoning household that was the traditional joint family. She managed the servants, the budget, the kitchen and the children – with equal parts of an iron fist and gentle words. She had a reputation of being fair, of standing up to injustice and doing the right thing. She was a seamstress extraordinaire and must have saved a lot of money by tailoring clothes for the large brood of children under her care. She stitched a lot of my childhood dresses too, which were coveted for their fine sewing and cuts. She may not have worked at a job but she was certainly no burden on the family that sheltered her in her time of need. She earned her keep by devoting her life in their service, a fact that in their wisdom they appreciated and cherished.

She’s always battled health problems as long as I’ve known her but I’ve never known her spirit to buckle under the stress of the fight. She’s had thyroid surgery, suffers from an inherent steroid deficiency that almost killed her when I was still a child, has had her bones broken in a traffic accident, and most recently has been battling heart disease and the side-effects of long-term steroid use. At 86, she walks with the help of a walker, has to take a million tablets a day for all her conditions, struggles with hearing & memory loss, but she is one of the most ‘robust’ people I know. And by that I mean she still retains a ‘joie de vivre’, which makes me envious and which eludes me at half her age! Even when old age and disease have ravaged her body and left her physically frail, her spirit is indefatigable. There’s a ancient strength in her bones that is secret and elusive. She still manages to make herself useful in the kitchen and I know my Mom will be lost without her when she’s gone. They have lived together now for almost 21 years and my Mom relies on her companionship and advice even today, more so today than all those years ago, when Granny first came to Goa to look after me when my parents moved to Singapore for a few years and I stayed behind to complete my Medical Studies.

Perhaps it is only fitting that I call her ‘Aai’ – for that is what she is, the quintessential ‘Mother’, fiercely devoted to her family and passionately protective of us all. When I was born – her first grandchild, there was rarely a moment when we were apart. I was forever to be found perched on her hip and Mom says she took me with her everywhere 🙂 We have a special bond – a bond that has always made me feel a little distant from my own Mom, because I was so close to Aai. She was my confidante when I fell in love and stood by me when my parents were skeptical. She organized my marriage with the aplomb of an event manager and gave me a book of her home-cooked Goan recipes, to see me through my first months of marriage because she knew I couldn’t for the life of me boil water! She stood by us through my brother’s devastating diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy – a death sentence that would have been the undoing of our family if it weren’t for her spirited support of my Mom, her courage in standing up to my Dad and her unstinting love for me. She showered tiny gold flowers that she had custom-made, on Ishaan before he crossed the threshold to our home the first time ever as a baby, a symbolic gesture of her warmth and love and blessings! He is her only great grand-son and for him she reserves a special kind of affection that he happily reciprocates. When he’s older he’ll understand better how blessed he was to have met her and to have been loved by her. I will make sure he remembers.

Indusladies Contest Collage

How can a woman of substance like her be anything but a backbone around which our family assembles and finds succor? I believe it is her love and sacrifice that keep us safe from harm. And again isn’t that typical of all women the world over? This is what our societies are built on – the sacrifices of countless women like my Granny all over the planet. Their love, compassion, compromise and selflessness form the steely backbone on which we lesser mortals build our little utopias. We rise on the back of their labors and once raised we rarely acknowledge their contributions. And still they labor on and love us because that’s what women do. They nurture and nourish and educate, and in doing so they attempt to better a World that often treats them unjustly, judges them harshly and at every turn attacks them and diminishes their worth. How easily we dismiss their contributions! How casually we sweep away their pain! The men they raise and support and suffer & even us daughters – receivers of their boundless benefaction – how easily we forget…until we in our turn become grown men & women, contributors to society, until we ourselves face their same challenges, until we ourselves become mothers of thankless children! Then we remember, and although it’s never too late, I think the fault is ours for ever forgetting. For what would we be without them? And where? So let us remember them and salute them, these women that are an inspiration, these women who are the backbone of our country’s spiritual, financial and mental well being. These women who give freely of themselves that others may prosper and ask in return only the love and respect that is their right and that they have earned.

I’m not a great believer in celebrations restricted to particular days on the calendar. The whole approach strikes me as shallow and self-serving, as if the celebration is for us to feel good about ourselves for remembering and not for those that are the reason for the celebration! I think the world would be a much better, gentler place if women were celebrated everyday as they deserve to be – not in grand gestures and extravagant tokens but in quiet sincerity and consistent regard. If they were always treated with respect and cherished by the ones they love rather than celebrated with token gestures on a particular day in a year. The sooner we start, the faster we can expect our worlds to improve. On this Women’s Day, let’s resolve then to honour all women – our own unique tribe – by gifting ourselves and the women in our lives, the gift of respect and of time. Perhaps we can volunteer in an old age home and read to the women there or just sit with them and hold their hands. Perhaps we can connect with a long-lost relative, a forgotten aunt or cousin whom we lost in the chaos of our daily routines. Nothing is more precious than the gift of time and we have received it in abundance from our mothers and grandmothers and our caretakers who have spent lifetimes in our care. Let us begin to give back – and as always in giving we shall be enriched!

As for me, I dedicate this poem I wrote on women to my Granny and my Mom – the two women who are my World and without whom quite literally – I wouldn’t exist! They are my backbone and when they need me to be – I am theirs!


Today, I met a woman,

Her head was bowed in grace,

Quiet eyes and gentle sighs,

Solitude lined her face.

I watched her faith move mountains,

Her back straight and proud,

Her long and restless fingers,

Often caressed my brow.

Marriages and children,

Family and friends,

Shadows on her gentle face,

Alone in the end.

Years of wisdom wrapped in love,

Journeying the seas,

Courage on the wings of doves,

Her spirit forever free.



I never thought I would be writing a post like this ever.  But just when you think you’ve seen all there is to see, Life throws you a curve ball that might as well have come on from another planet for all its suddenness. But I will be honest, this post is more for my own sanity than in memoriam…I just don’t know how else to deal with all these crazy emotions right now. So I’m doing the only thing I am half decent at – writing – and hoping that somehow it will prove therapeutic.

We lost a family member this week – unexpectedly, tragically & horrendously at the hands of another. I’m not getting into details about how and what and when, coz this isn’t about that. Nor the why, coz frankly all we have are theories none of which I want to discuss here. Suffice it to say that we have now lost two family members through a senseless, heinous act of violence. We, none of us, saw this coming, although in retrospect, we feel we should have done something, could have done something. Retrospect, I’m beginning to hate the word. Why does everything have to be so much clearer in retrospect when what we really need is clarity in the present? Why?

I heard about what had happened yesterday morning, and last night, after an endless day of phone calls and discussions, I found myself all keyed up, a nervous wreck, wide awake until at 3.30 am, when I forced myself to try and get some shut eye. We were never close, the two of us, but we were family and that means something. I close my eyes and I can see her face and feel her pain. Everything seems so unreal and bizarre; it’s hard to believe it ever really happened at all. How did things come to this? How did we let this happen? Did we let this happen? Was this our fault somehow? Why couldn’t we save her? And the other? Both. Why? Why? Why? Surely, surely there must have been some way we could have prevented this double tragedy? The questions just run in an endless loop in my head, and there are no answers. None that make any sense anyhow.

The first thing I did when I came to know is call my Mom of course. Who else would I call? I had to break the news to her, and she was stunned and shocked and we said the inane things people say to each other on such occasions – empty platitudes to comfort ourselves, to trick our minds into believing the world is still a sane place. But try as you might there are some things that defy rational thought. They are inexplicable and secretly I think we would prefer them to stay that way – coz if we can actually rationalize them, isn’t that the scariest thing? What does that say about who we are? Am I rambling? Of course I am. Forgive me…it’s just…it is what it is and I’m just exhausted from all this thinking.

I’m not sure what I’m feeling at the moment…there’s a toxic cocktail of emotions – grief, rage, frustration, despair, an immense sadness and exhaustion that I feel deep within my bones – and all of it weighing down on me, crushing my spirit. There’s a restlessness that makes me want to pick up the phone and talk to Mom mingled with the need to forget the whole thing ever happened. There’s so much confusion in my head – I don’t know what I believe any more. I understand that this too will pass. I have my own little family to look after and eventually the acuteness will give way to a dull, ever-present ache. But this will never go away. Ever. And the fact that it happened at all has changed something within me that I can’t quite define. Perhaps I will trust less – in people and in my judjment of them, be more watchful, if I’m lucky I’ll stop before the paranoia sets in…but things will never again be quite the same. I never imagined in my most horrific nightmares that my family would have to go through such trying times. The media circus, the brutal nature of the crime, and ultimately the utter waste of two lives ruined for no good reason – this is not a good time for my family.

We need prayers. We need calm. We need some semblance of normal. We need for all of this to go away so we can get a good night’s sleep. All I can think of to say to the one who is gone – Rest in Peace. May you find happiness now wherever you are and know that you will be remembered always in our hearts.

Here is something I wrote last night when I couldn’t sleep…

griefDarkness falls,

The sun eclipsed,

The moon in shadow,

Dreams lie doomed,

On the stone cold floor.

How quiet she lies,

Unheard, unsung,

Voice forever silenced,

On the stone cold floor.

Lifeless she lies,

No  breath, just death,

Still and icy,

Heart  lies bleeding

On the stone cold floor.

Crushed to the bone,

Deathly still,

Spirit rising immortal,

From the stone cold floor.

Rest in peace now Gentle one,

Freedom awaits…

Beyond the stone cold floor.

Silence is Golden

Munira, this poem is dedicated to you, coz it came to me after our conversation yesterday 🙂 It’s a thought that repeats itself to me ever so often, in the midst of the busy days and overwhelming events that threaten to run riot. Silence IS truly golden. Essential, life-saving, energizing and rejuvenating! We could all use a bit of quiet in our lives, nah?

So here goes! It’s the first time I’ve abandoned rhyme and not been disgusted with the result 😛 Hope you like 🙂

Image from

Silence is Golden

Buzzing like bees in my head,

A million thoughts,

Like scrambled eggs and mindless static,

Bubbling white-hot, in molten frenzy.

Amidst the chaos, a slippery thread…

Slim & tenuous…of sanity.

My own personal SOS to the cosmos.

Help it signals, Listen…

Help me unscramble, cool and simplify

this anarchy.

Breathe, it says. A voice or is it just sound?

Inhale! And I do.

Deeply, without reserve, with confidence.

As if my breath were a cleansing breeze,

A luminous zephyr piercing the dark.

At first, Nothing.

No sudden bursts of clarity,

No jagged bolts of enlightenment,

Again. Breathe. Deeper, with abandon.

Watch. Wait. Surrender.

A slow shimmer on the horizon,

Dream or reality?

A gradual glimmer of hope,

Illusion or fact?

The beginnings of a magical dawn? Perhaps.

Watch. Wait. Surrender.

Yes! Yes, I do believe!

Silence. Golden. Peace.

– Harsha

Munira is a fellow Sagittarian & a sensitive, talented, witty writer! In the words of Anne, ‘A Kindred Spirit’ 🙂 She lives in Karachi, Pakistan and offers a slice of her life and times through her blog Munira’s Bubble. I love her tag line – Have fingers, Will Type! Enough said. Do check her out at the link above 🙂

Happy Weekend People!

Liberty: A Poem by Amey

As you can see, am still stuck in Freedom 😉 But it seems only fitting this week, and after tomorrow, I promise, I’ll be done! This post is about freedom too, but of a different kind, the ‘permanent’ kind, ‘Freedom of the Spirit’…

Its been 19 months since we lost my brother to DMD and have been dealing as best we can, with the empty spaces he left behind. I have now reached a place (I like to think, with his help, ‘coz how else?), where I can remember him without falling apart. Instead, though the inevitable pain of his absence remains (as it always will), I choose to remember him with joy. Joy, that he brought so much of, into our lives. I know that although he spent most of his life, physically confined, he was always a free spirit! I salute that spirit, sometimes envy it and always, always aspire to it 🙂

He was a completely audiovisual media person – my polite way of saying he watched TV 24/7!! That’s where he got his vast stores of knowledge from! Sometimes it seemed like he knew everything about everything…in that annoying way that brothers have 😉 We shared a love of wildlife and nature and music and movies, although our tastes in the latter tended to differ! He wasn’t crazy about books though, the way I am. Literature was never quite his thing, although he read his monthly copy of National Geographic from cover to cover! So I was pleasantly surprised, when he presented me with this poem he had written, after I shared my first one with him (He was my biggest fan! Completely biased in my favor!). As far as I know, it’s the only poem he ever wrote and while it’s not Wordsworth or Browning or the rest…it’s very very special to me, because it’s so like him – direct, to the point and profoundly simple 🙂

This is my tribute to my brother’s ‘Free Spirit’, on the eve of my Country’s Independence day. Here is to you, Bro! May you stay forever as you were here on Earth – Happy, Independent & Forever Free!