life

5 things I learnt from my fish

1. We all die

Our first Beta named Vishnu, lived with us for over a year. He was the lord of his little bowl fish heavenkingdom. He swam with a purpose and flashed his royal blue fins at us whenever we dared enter his field of vision without his permission. He ate heartily and pooped earnestly. One day we found his highness floating like a common dead fish stripped of his glory. We gave him a royal flush and said our good byes humbled.
Life is short and we realise the value of important things often only when they are taken away from us. We resolved to take stock of people and things that make us really happy and spend time with them.

2. The world is oddly misshapen

Ill and confined to the couch, I found myself wondering one day, how does little Fawkes experience the world. Now Fawkes is our current betta. Bright red and feisty, he lacks the regal air (or water) around him, but makes up for it by being cheery and active.

watching fishbowl

We had washed his bowl and set it out to dry. So I dragged by feet to the balcony, picked up the bowl and angled it so I could see what Fawkes saw. It felt like I was in the house of mirrors – strange shapes and colours with no semblance of order.
Life is like that in many ways. People and things may not be clear or make sense but that doesn’t mean life is as lopsided as we sometimes think it is. Things might look stretched beyond our field of vision and overwhelming in reality it might just be a trivial thing if you break it down. So yeah I learnt to live with the quirks and that made my days much more productive.

3. You don’t need a lot to be happy

Vishnu seemed infinitely happy in the little bowl. He swam round and round. He surveyed the land and took stock of the jokers outside. He picked a spot to rest his sapphire head for a while and

Courtesy:pininterest pattie's passion

Courtesy:pininterest pattie’s passion

then resumed lording over his land.
Fawkes on the other had is always exploring. He puts his head between the stones and tries to move them around. You could hear him click clicking away. I felt that maybe he wasn’t being fed enough, but well he just was content rearranging stones and making himself a nice bed to curl over and snooze.
Learning to live with what we got has become more of a challenge to our generation than it has ever been in the history of evolution. Social Media is full of people trying to prove how their life is flashier than others, threatening non ‘likers’ with dire consequences and others decide that we need to offer opinion on their bowel movements updated on the status. Credit culture has turned households into little sweat shops. We’re not the epitome of perfection.

But when I hear click click click I tell myself – We have everything we need and more 🙂 Eventually it should help!

4. Don’t poop where you feed

Courtesy: groupthink.jezebel

Courtesy: groupthink.jezebel

Well when you come home tired and see the bowl decorated with party streamers, you know someone’s been in a feeding frenzy.

While Vishnu used to merrily swim around in filth, Fawkes tries to shimmy away in embarrassment perhaps.

Whether it is work or family, leave the bullshit elsewhere. I can’t stress this enough don’t hang your dirty diapers all over social media for everyone to shake their heads at.

5. The glass is cleaner on the other side

Unequivocally true. The glass is cleaner on the inside or so it seems… and the glass looks cleaner on the outside, so it must seem to the betta.
Cell phones, gadgets, cars, spouses, ice cream, in-laws, cocktails, hairstyles, shoes… there are grass is greeneralways things we wish we had, the could’ve beens and should’ve beens. It’s tough but possible to live without coveting and being happy for others and their success. If it gets too tough, I should learn to shut my gob and move on.
Fishes are fishy in their own way. They seem stupid and unassuming; rolling their eyes around in chlorine induced vacant haze, much like I do during Trigonometry finals. However, they are silently teaching you, sending out their message, a silent presence in your living room, swimming around when you are asleep, watching your convex movements with practised ease… you know what I’m a little creeped out.

To sum it up:

Learn from betta
Fishes can be creepy

Advertisements

Of friendship and hope

It has been so long since we spoke that I’m concerned. If anything’s the matter I trust that you will let us know so it can be resolved.

You know how to reach me, us or…

Take Care 🙂

Hands shaking, she hits the ‘send’ button and feels her throat close, enveloping the light

around her.

‘Message sent View or undo’?

She blinks trying to get her eyes to focus. Undo… Dear reader,  if only it were that simple, you and I would have found a cure to cancer . If only she knew what the hell there was to undo. (more…)

Seeking Zen

Hmmm keeping an even keel. I thought there was no such thing as an even keel 🙂

Courtesy: ask dot com

Courtesy: ask dot com

 

Come to think of it, I’ve been struggling to find a sure fire way to balance life. 

The jury will please note that a sincere attempt to list events in chronological order has been made.

Here they are:

  1. Writing poetry – that red diary went with me everywhere
  2. Burning written poetry – that red diary just went away
  3. Working for social causes – a positive channel for all that rebellious energy, but eventually burnt out
  4. Reading voraciously – anything except romance was welcome. I read everything from Dostoevsky to unpublished regional authors…
  5. Lazing around in coffee houses (Cafe Coffee Day) – with friends, so nothing exciting really came off it like writing a book or witnessing a fist fight (wait I take back the last one)
  6. Road Trips – there is something about an open road and a mo
  7. torcycle… just soaking up the warm sun and insistent wind till your soul feels as light as feather and you wonder when it will just slip away to join the clouds. Till you feel the world slip by taking your baggage with it, till a smile starts to creep up from the bottom of your heart… till a friend pulls up and grimaces at the stupid expression on your face
  8. Blogging
  9. Playing Farm ville on Facebook
  10. Rediscovering the love of writing
  11. COFFEE – The tried and tested method that has worked for me is to just unwind with a cup of coffee on a weekends (in UAE the weekend starts on Fridays).My hair looking like tumble dried cat fur and wearing unflattering pyjamas, I stumble out of bed and stagger into the living room and to the balcony it’s obvious he deliberately left a trail of coffee aroma. How does J manage to take my breath away every single day? Maybe I’m a sucker for his goofy grin and sparkling brown eyes, . You’d think it gets old or boring… It’s the one thing that tilts my world the right way up. Coffee with a heaping dollop of the husband.

So in retrospect, whenever there is a need to unwind people usually find an outlet. You know it is time to discover your soothing agent when you just don’t want to wake up in the morning and go through the day.

In my case it is on days like yesterday… there was no problem getting to work and all that, I just left my phone in the freezer – Go Figure

The Three Friends Song

The Three Friends Song. That’s the topic I ended up with after scribbling down ten words that came to mind. (Friends, Gum, Water, Tired, Song, Life, Books, Work , Three) This has been one of Daily Prompts most creative challenges.

Here is my article with a haphazard rhyme.

The Three Friends Song

Walking down the crowded street

I smell chaos and decay

The putrid stench of a loveless world

People cowering in dismay

I seek a simple light to turn to when it gets too tough

Someone to cherish, to laugh and fight with and make up

A person who’ll walk with you when others shall point and jeer

To spoil and laze around with, I seek my other musketeer

Cut the Crap Karen picks me up and shakes me up

“You gonna mope all day?” she asks with her damned half full cup

Dusted off polished and primped, we’re feeling pretty good

These two friends set out to live life as properly as they could

The tide of life swept them along, tired as they got

Of pleasing every person and giving everything their best shot

Sit back Jack found us with baggage and a frown

He bid us put our feet up, just let our hair down

Checks and balances are important, but there’s so much more to life

Than being a mother a husband, or some body’s wife

“We need another friend” I said, “to complete this circle”

“Your fierce love and loyalty” they said “round off this miracle”

Home… Dream Home…

Home — that blessed word, which opens to the human heart,

 The most perfect glimpse of Heaven,

And helps to carry it thither, as on an angel’s wings.

– Lydia Maria Child

It was January 2009, my mother’s birthday was coming up in May. There was nothing special about the year or anything. Owing to mortal fear of my soul burning for ever in hell, I cannot tell you how old she turned that year. My younger brother A and I liked to surprise mom now and then.

When I was in the 11th grade, we surprised mom by inviting her estranged niece over, I still remember the pineapple cake – all mom remembers is her niece walking into the living room. She still can’t remember the cake…

She is a single parent. She balanced her job, running the house, us… Completely brought back to the verge of bankruptcy thrice by people she trusted, she never let her children go without food or education. Our small apartment was pristine, we had nutritious food and went to  top schools in the city. We counted our blessings and thanked God every day.

As we sat thinking back on all the things she had to forgo for us, we realised how blessed we were. The people who stood by her were her friends. They never asked anything in return, they protected her, loved her, supported her, told her off, put up with her and were there for her in every step of life. In doing so they kept her focused, determined and strong. In doing so they also had a hand in creating the beautiful life we have. All these thoughts were swirling around in our mind… So… we made a plan.

It was 11.55 pm; we could hear the air conditioner in mom’s bedroom humming. We had this tradition, every birthday at midnight; A would wake mom up and play this movie he makes using all the pictures he took of her during the course of the previous year. Like a photo memoir if you will…

“Happy Birthday Ma!” we woke her up. Excited about the photos as usual, she rubbed her sleepy eyes, and sat in front of the computer… Picture after picture ran past her and as the screen faded to black A said “Surprise”… And there they were all of her friends, wishing her good luck, recounting old memories, telling her how much she meant to them. A and I had labored over the past two months, gathering information, visiting her friends and filming them, friends from other cities had their videos recorded in mobile phones and e-mailed to us. It was beautiful, she was beautiful, my mother sitting there her humble self, only thinking about what others meant to her, hadn’t stopped to think that she had enriched people’s lives too.

When morning dawned we spent the day with her and packed her off to visit a few churches with her mother in the evening. We had planned to have a surprise dinner in the terrace. So we made some paper lanterns and set up the terrace. She came home to an empty house and called us “Come on up to the terrace ma!” we said.

She was over joyed looking at the paper lanterns and rushed to hug us, but stopped in her tracks. She could make out some other shapes in the dark, dull lit terrace and there was a blur of saris and colognes and jasmine… Pandemonium- Friends meeting each other after a long time some of them after decades, laughing crying hugging and talking all at the same time. I would like to believe we found most of them and brought them together that day.

This is my home, built with tough love, some TLC and a lot of friendship. These memories are my dream home and every single person who touched our lives with love and friendship lives there with us and there is room for more…

Dinner was sponsored by my mom’s cousin. There was ice-cream and cake … maybe there was a pineapple cake, but I can’t remember.

 Thank you DP for the writing prompt!

Raining Colours

There is that phase of life that revisits you ever so often

That phase where you talk a million syllables of silence, where there is a profound meaning to a leaf drifting in the wind; where every second takes on an divine mission; And in a neon moment, the banal act of the spider lunching, mutates to a tale of survival, instinct and the way things are…

There is that phase of life that revisits you ever so often

That phase where your intellect craves like a hungry child for a bosom, where there is a dearth of opulence in the crowd around you.

There is that phase of life that revisits you ever so often

That phase where you repress the urge to break into fragments, where you find yourself alone in a crowd…And in a flash of wisdom you see everything blazing sulphur brilliance-It’s raining colours…

The only thing…

Courtesy Anne Geddes

The only tears worth shedding are ones when you are laughing hard.

The only song worth singing is the one that puts a smile on your face.

The only thing worth your disaapointment is the absence of hope.

The only thing worth dying for is your country.

The only thing worth killing is an innocence hunting predator.

The only thing worth stealing, is a kiss from a sleeping child.

The only life worth living is one where you leave the world more beautiful than you found it.

We get one shot, one time to live it right… to love as much as you breathe, to laugh like it sustains your life, to say “I love you” as much as pleases or thank you s…

We get one lifetime to walk in the rain, to hear the crickets at nights, to fall asleep in someones arms listening to the pitter patter of rain on the window sill, to wake up to freshly pressed coffee and sleepy lips in search of yours.

We earn one set of close friends to travel the world with, to stand by you when the world thinks you are wrong, to drag you out of your shell kicking and screaming, to share the last bowl of soup you can afford, to take the buses with you when your mercedes breaks down, to share your silence as much as your tears…

The only thing worth your indomitable spirit is to live like you deserve it all 🙂

Men – 101 (Lesson 1)

Raj walks into the lobby of the famous interior decorator’s office.

“This is a nice place Archie. Let’s just pick a color and get out. There’s a match on ESPN I have to catch”

Sigh!

“Allo! Bonjour… How are you? It eez nice tho meeeth you Cherie!” A very french and a very gay designer welcomes us into his beautifully furnished office space.

“It ees vonderful no?” His cheerfulness is catchy. A definite positive and joyous vibe surrounds him…

My friend Raj looks over at me. Raj is not homophobic. Thank God for that!

Homophobia has become a fashion statement for testosterone deprived, fickle minded men and women on a gossip diet these days. It’s a relief to be around someone who doesn’t need to pick on someone’s sexual preference to make himself look macho.

“Hey I have to get back home to watch the match. Can we rush through this?” Raj fiddles.

“Oh Oui, but ufcourse, let me ge ze color palette and ve can v0rk on eet”

“Actually I just wanna make it cream colored or something”

Our designer flinches like someone sand papered his behind.

He walks over and hands us one of those circular color pallets each.

“this ees a color veel. Diametrically opposite colors are complimentary colors. They give bold…err… contrasting…ze brilliant” Raj ducks, the flailing arms barely missing him.

“like…er… Amber and India Green, you kno, dark lava and perzian blue”Picture from: keenviewdotcom

His fingers are a blur as he points to diff fuzzy patches of color on a giant multi colored barcode kind of art work behind his desk.

“Colors that are ze voisin…er.. ze neighbor no? Next to next. Zey are pleasant…relaxing. Like ze salmon,orchid and eggplant make ze nice scheme. You take your time and come to me no? You speak in ze next room sil vous plait?”

Mr.Fancy colors ushered us into another room where Raj sat in shocked silence.

“Well I’ll be fucked!”

“Hey!”

“Sorry boogs… but what the hell was that? India green? Persian something? That racist bastard. I don’t get it”

“Dude, you’ve been watching Russel Peters”

“Screw that… He is talking about A FISH-A VEGETABLE-AND-WHAT I THINK IS A FLOWER. Do YOU know what he is talking about? What’s with this wheel?”

“Relax! There are instructions behind it… “

“Instructions?” waving the sheet at my face, “Men don’t read instructions…Our colors are programmed like windows default.” Counting out with his fingers “Red, blue, green, yellow. Fruits and animals have their own damn names. I got a game to watch. You and Monet here finish up”

Lesson 1 – He may have all the colors of emotion, but a little over 14 basic colors might actually piss him off

Height of Recycling!

I came across a picture in an e-mail forward and it got me nostalgic!

Back in high school we were discussing about a project, that we were supposed to present on Nov 15th: World Recycling Day.

Disclaimer:

The following conversation is a true. All similarities to people, expressions , stupid ideas and rude gestures are by law of nature. It is designed to offend people whom it is targeted at and if you can’t handle it, go play with your Cinderella glow in the dark pumpkin carriage. The names are changed to protect them from total social ostacrization and widespread pointing and laughing in the street.

Here goes:

Hari  : So back to the topic guys.. what do we do?

Seth  :Recycling day? What do we recycle?

Jigu  :My mom recycles food everyday macha…

Evie : So… tell us already!

Jigu : The chutney I had for breakfast turns into a gravy for dinner! he he

Me    : Evie don’t throw chalk at him, here take my math book. It’s heavier.

Seth :C’mon man, we have to beat the other sections

Hari : Macha I have an idea! recycled condoms!

Dresses made from recycled condoms!

Can't think of an appropriate caption!

All :huh? what?he he he! Condom na yenna? (What’s a condom?) I’ve never seen one before, I think my brother has them, Waaaaccck! Chiiiii!.. etc, etc. Some walk out.

Seth :Wait wait, let’s see what he has to say.

Hari: Ille macha, we can use plastic wrap instead of condom na? My auntie came from America, she brought this saran wrap which she wraps food with.

Seth : Fucken retard!

Jigu : So you’ll collect used ones?

Me   : Retching sound

Hari: What like y’all had better ideas!

Seth: It’ll break you idiot.

Evie : I still don’t know what it is!

Jigu : So you’ll collect used ones and wash them? (bewildered expression)

Hari : ok ok… how about gloves? 5 in one !

All     : (@$%^ #%&^>R@&M&^*^^****$#@#!!?)!!!!

Hari : A genius is never respected in his generation

Evie  : But we don’t know what a condom is!

Lucy: It’s like a sweater for the penis…

All : ROFL!

Footnote:

Evie now an expecting mother. She is 7 months along and has been married for 8 and a half months (arranged marriage ofcourse). Guess she didn’t have sweaters on her shopping list!

Hari works for a medical supply chain (Irony of life! Who knows he might be stealing a couple of latex gloves now and then)

Lucy teaches middle school… Sweaters indeed!

Saturday comes when I want it to!

‘Where the hell are you?’ demanded a harsh voice over the phone.

‘Who the F***k aaa yew?’ I slurred.

‘Huh? You overslept you cow’ Sounded like nails on a chalk board.

‘Whaazure prablem biAtch?’

‘We had to shop at 6’

‘I’ll be there in an hour’

‘It’s 1.30 in the morning’

‘Oh fish’

That’s how I lost my saturday.

Saturday morning was spent watching Underworld and Without a paddle. I slowly drifted off to sleep mid-afternoon and lost my entire day.

Sunday proved to be a different story though. Thomas and I had plans for a play that Sathish had invited us to. We learned that Sathish wasn’t feeling well and decided that it wasn’t fair for us to watch the play without him.

Missed the Bloggers meet, missed the play and somehow ended up in Funk n Jazz with a carnberry drink…

Cranberry Crush

Cranberry Crush

It being a Sunday, I suggested we go to Church. Thomas decided to take me to one of the oldest churches in the city.

This church was built in 1512!It is also the final resting

LSS Church

LSS Church

priest of one of the kindest and most generous priests, Fr.Joseph.

Darkness had decended upon the cemetary and we stood there looking at the final resting place of man. A stange sense of peace settled into my weary bones. I stood there thinking about all the nameless strangers who helped me in life. How often will I get a chance to thank them? How many times HAVE  I thanked them? Promising myself that I would be greatful for small things in life, we went in search of coffee.

We also got pulled over by cops (He was riding without his helmet and had a cigarette lit up. We were on his motor bike). He talked his way out of it!

Our quest for coffee landed us @ Karma Cafe a quiant little place. Unfortunately they did not have my favorite drink called ‘marijuana’ (Trust me it’s awesome!), so I settled for a regular drink with some amazing Pasta.

Their German Chocolate Surprise was the next best thing to… ahem! I went home laden with food and a brand new T-SHirt that says “Eat Healthy – Stay Fit – Die Anyways”!

Crawling into bed, I began the long night of texting and talking to two of the most important men in my life (BPC and My brother). Once we were all talked out, I cussed Monday and went to sleep.IJ with the virgin... Mojito :P

Little did I know that Monday morning would bring me a pair of pink shoes, afternoon some lovely candles and evening dinner at KFC (Anna Nagar) – Please Oh please try the Sparkling Virgin Mojito!!! Check out Inder on this third refill! I had quite a many too—–>

We were high on chicken and refills of our Mojitos!

Then like all old friends do, we went for a walk (stuffing ourselves with ice creams) and I went to work feeling petty damn good.

That’s the story of how I lost my saturday but found out that I didn’t give a damn  coz with friends like mine, Saturday comes when I want it to!