A Village woman cooking courtesy www.theguardian.com

To the Women of My World – On Women’s Day

Their veil of ‘protection’

forcibly keeps out ‘our’ light

darkening our worlds

Against all odds

we dream

The shackles of ‘tradition’

stifle us

authoritatively dictating our lives

Against all odds

we breathe

The menacing shroud of  ignorance

violently wrapped around us

entangles us

not allowing escape

Against all odds

we hope

The fear of reprimand

ties us down

intimidating us to  tow the line

Against all odds

we assert

The danger

of being mutilated, burned, violated, killed

scares us

smothering us to silence

Against all odds

we speak

The violence we face everyday

intimidates us

terrorizing us to tears

Against all odds

we smile

The world

we were born into

stands against us

up in arms to defeat us

Against all odds

we live.

‘Women’ of the world and specially the women of my country, whose woes I know more intimately. Everyday in our lives is a struggle. one day for us is not enough. Lets pledge to claim the year!

Murderous Dream

I had a dream

It shimmered and shone

beckoning me

to touch it.

As I reached out

It embraced me

so hard

my ribs hurt.

I strained to be free

but the grip tightened

the more I tried to get away

the tighter it clutched me

crushing me.

Till I could breathe no more.

Pushing, screaming

I scrambled to disentangle myself

begging to be liberated.

But the dream clung on.

I wanted to let go.

To run.

So far that it would never grasp me again.

Never entice me with its false gleam again.

With all my strength

I pushed it.

And somehow

managed to escape.

Only to realize

too late.

In my struggle to be released

I had left behind

my soul.

Held fast in the dreary dream’s deathly grip.

I existed but I lived no more

talked but  spoke no more

touched but felt no more.

Now I wait

with breathless anticipation and gloomy dread.

For my soul to come back to me

For the murderous dream

to clasp me  again…

The prompt on Daily Post was Dreams… There are dreams that nurture us . There are dreams that soothe us. There are dreams that motivate us and then there are dreams that kill us. This is my interpretation of a dream that break!. Prose or poetry, I do not really know. I have taken liberties with the punctuation too. Apologies to the grammar police!

visiting the past

visiting the past

A reader reminded me of this post I had written last year in July. I don’t have a very good memory and sometimes when I look back at my own writing I do so with a sense of deja vu. Does this happen to you? How do you feel when you look back at pieces you wrote a while back?

Learning from Britain

If I could learn anything

from Britain

anything at all.

I would like to learn

from it – confidence and the power of resolve.

A tiny little country

smaller than the state of Oregon

dared to dream big

and conquer the world

one-fourth of the Earth surrendered

and as more colonies were formed

Britain’s power evolved.

For over a century

the ‘Brits’ ruled the world.

Though there is no denying

the loot and violence they unleashed

but it is also true

that they heralded a new era of being.

Judicial systems, railways and education institutes were born

civil services, postal systems and  armies were built.

And when the time to withdraw came

in their wake they left.

The league of Commonwealth nations

that spoke English, played Cricket and drove left!!!

When I checked my mail early in the morning today, I was greeted with a reminder for the Knowledge is Great contest. Now I do not do contests! Not because I am above them but just because…Well I don’t know!  I guess because I don’t like to feel shackled when writing. And contests by their very nature (Time limits and subject specifications) bind! Anyway, I saw this mail and wrote the above. Surely, not the kind of post the organizers had in mind. But what the heck ;)

On a more serious note. Knowledge truly is great. It ‘un-binds’ people. Setting them free. Giving them  imagination and dreams and also  the skills and power to achieve those dreams. Knowledge is not always acquired while pursuing ‘formal education’. Many great minds have acquired their knowledge outside the traditional systems of learning. In India it is our failing that we often neglect to acknowledge forms of knowledge that are gained outside the traditional ‘school’ and ‘college’ systems. The intimate knowledge that a farmer has of his land. The in-depth knowledge that a village woman has of her customs. The knowledge that a carpenter has of his tools or a potter has of his wheel! Each type of knowledge is to be cherished and valued.  All forms of knowledge deserve to be respected, enshrined and passed on to the future generations. But this can not be done till we learn to respect and value the carriers of this knowledge today. Dignity of labor, is a principle that many western countries observe and implement including Britain. And we should too.  I believe that while most educational courses offered in countries like UK are also available in India today. Studying  abroad can teach a sensitive student much more important stuff – How to do ones own work, respect workers and support staff like cleaners/ drivers/ guards, value money, follow civic rules, stand in queues etc.

What do you think is the biggest gain of an education abroad?

The Mirror Beast

The mirror on the wall


Tired eyes

Wrinkled skin

That crinkles and folds

A weak body

Slightly bent

Grey hair

Thinned at ends

Frail limbs

With little strength

But fails to behold

The soul within






Filled with hopes

Aspirations and dreams

Oh mirror!

You heartless beast

You only see

The senility

But fail to


 The memories

That bring

Pride, joy,

Hurt, laughter

Love, sadness

Glorious snapshots

Of a life well lived

The prompt at The Daily Post was “Mirror Mirror” . It had caught my attention immediately but ‘stuff’ kept me away from my desktop! So here it is my take on the “mirror”. Late but Present!!! Isn’t that what counts?

Bookworms In Italy

A  Long time ago, in Italy

Lived a bookworm , who was such a “Cutie”

That whenever, ‘it’ crawled from his vicinity

The duke of Pisa, leaned out to pet at  it

Soon, the duke’s  tower began to lean dangerously

So he asked the worm to stay in with him

The worm thought long and deep

If I stay with you my majesty

What do you think will become of me?

Books, I need to eat alas

A novel for supper

a mystery or two at lunch

and sometimes I even like to munch

on a light comedy for my brunch

 “Eat books” – the duke was aghast

Why? books are hardly a thing of repast

Difficult to digest to say the least

Streets of Italy offer so many treats

Pizzas, Pastas made of the finest yeast

To you with my own hands I will feed

But I love books, the worm did plead

Their smell, their sight I always need

Well then the smart Duke replied

Why don’t you read them instead?

And thus a happy truce was struck

Between the cute bookworm and the duke worm- struck

From that day it was decreed

To every chef in  Italy

That they must every bookworm feed

Fresh Pizzas and endless books to read

Since the day the tower of Pisa stands still

And bookworms in Italy eat and read at will!

The prompt at  The Daily Post  was   BYOB(ookworm) . Though they meant books and blurbs for books. I decided to use just the bookworm!

The Umbrella Holder

old_man_holding_umbrella fir blog by graememitchell.com -

The umbrella holder mumbles as he hangs his dripping fishnet

strings of cold wet rain  fall on his oft mended shoes

directed there by the iron spokes of his weathered black umbrella

nearby, windows of an abandoned home rattle in beat with the siren of a passing boat

from the vast grey sea a cloud of darkness floats in, enveloping the empty shore

the angry hissing of the wind stirs the branches of a vast tree

transforming their gentle whispering into loud roaring thunder

the old man drops himself to the cold wet floor

aware that he should run else be caught in the  storm

but his feet don’t want to move…

its easier to lie here and dream of a  sunny dawn,

of hot bread and sugared strawberries – her favorite brunch

he had promised  to bring them today

she had smirked and moodily gone back to her scrubbing

she wanted to believe him

but she was too wise to fall prey to  false hopes brought by

glorious sunny mornings.

I have been on a hiatus. Drawing a blank each time I thought about ‘writing’. But today this lovely prompt from We Write Poems broke the dry spell for me. The prompt gave thirty words of which any number could be used to write one’s own verse. I challenged myself to use all thirty. The verse above uses the following words (in some form or the other)

umbrella, whisper, hang, strawberry, mood, bread, thunder, home, running, fishnet, sun, smirked, sugar, storm, wanting, floor, hissing, rain, rattling, siren, window, mumble, strings, stirs, abandoned, dawn, floats, scrubbed, morning, glorious

Go ahead and check! Let me know in case you find I missed one!!! Thank You We Write Poems

The Insanity of Dreams

Another night falls

Another moon

Crosses my dark Blue skies

The moonlight – An old forgotten friend

Piercing my dead slumber

Lets out a cry

Wake up! it says

Follow me

Together we can

Still catch that dream

There is time still

Dawn is yet far

Nothing is impossible

In these surreal hours

I wake not

I have sunk too deep

Now I too

Have begun to believe

In the rationality of day

And insanity of dreams

The miracle of faith

There’s an abyss that exists

in the middle of me

ever widening

it threatens to engulf me

to swallow me whole

As I go hurtling

down this hole

my lips part

to let out a scream

but no words form

freezing they fall into the darkness beneath


I throw out my hands

but grab only  air

faster and faster I go

towards emptiness

seconds away from annihilation

my eyes close

in a last prayer of hope

Softly I land

on a bed of dreams

saved once again by……….


Just A Rhyme

When I was a little child

barely five

I got a slap

the first one of my life

my mom was raving mad at me

servants are like our family

you never speak with them badly

he is more than your dad’s age

apologize immediately and don’t ever disrespect

so what if he works for you

ordering him around, will never do

after she had properly admonished me

she bent down to touch Mohan ‘kaka’s’  feet

I lost my mum soon after that

but I never forgot that slap

and the lesson that went with it

I pass it on to my kids

as their late ‘ nani’s‘  precious gift

As I grew up and saw the world

the more I watched the more I learned

there’s a special lesson that comes to my mind

the one I learned at a traffic light

of begging rackets I had heard many  tales

to give or not, doubts  always assailed

one day, a car just ahead of me

rolled down  its window in the  afternoon  heat

I watched as all the beggars ran

to get their packs of ‘Parle G’

the packets were opened with such glee

even before the light turned green

since then  ‘gur’ ,  biscuits or small bottles of milk

by my side  you will always find

From elders we learn all the time

but there’s a special lesson of life

that I have learned from my child

once as I picked veggies with ‘K’ by my side

he tugged at me with all his might

mom, can I too have some greens

of course I said extremely pleased

you can take what you need

promptly he picked a bunch of  spinach  leaves

and proceeded to the other side of the street

there sat an aging cow

‘K’ kept his bundle at her side

I could only smile with pride

stray animals now I make sure to feed

whether ‘K’ is or not with me

These are some lessons that I have learned

by watching others who are sensitive and  concerned

they have helped me be a better human being

I hope this silly  rhyme

will help them reach many more like me.

Kaka:A respectful term for older men

nani: Maternal grandmother

Gur: An unrefined healthier form of sugar. Rich in Iron, often used as a sweet treat for children.

I am sharing what ‘I Saw and I Learnt‘ at BlogAdda.com in association with DoRight.in.