Friday, October 17, 2014

Bringing about the change that rests on our fingertips

This summer vacation, I decided to help children who never knew their parents, or those who, by a one day freak accident, have lost them. These youngsters, being no different from me, are pushed to the helpless-sounding status of an orphan. In an amazingly unmatchable experience, I served at an orphanage, which was just a simple large hall, with all kitchen materials, including a stove and vessels one side,  a medium sized TV on top, and the daily Tamil newspapers (which I later found, the kids read) stacked outside, where there was a pet-dog, and a washroom. That was all- the home to forty kids, two helping ‘mothers’ and a founder.
You wouldn’t even imagine that such simplicity can produce such happy kids- I didn’t. When I entered the room, to start my program, however, I was overwhelmed by the overflowing fun and life, loud laughter and games of a motley bunch of kids, from three to fourteen, girls and boys, of different looks and origins, all welded into one family by mutual love.

As they saw me, by what told me was instilled discipline, they ordered themselves into neat rows, the little ones and the teens, and all of them wished dad and me as we entered, with a loud, “Vanakkam ayya, Vanakkam amma” (Welcome Sir, Welcome Madam) I was humbled and wonderstruck: I was hardly a year older to some of them, and yet all of them had such respect I was yet to learn from.
When I launched into my talk, they surprised me as very attentive, responsive, agreeable listeners. I could see fire in them; great determination and even greater capacity. I could almost see many as the future leaders they would become. Not one mocked at another for a bad answer to a question I’d ask; they helped and empowered each other, and many of the older ones listened as if they really were impacted. In the course of my volunteering there, I helped them learn Basic English, and update their general knowledge, apart from giving an SS talk and in the end left them with two dictionaries. They didn’t regret their having no parents, in fact I noticed they had everything, and love, so their condition was not shameful.
My other endeavor this year was spreading awareness on environmental issues to at a small school, to gaping kids knowing for the first time the problems facing our planet, but who soon converted wonder to understanding and innovation, coming up with creative solutions in a ‘save environment’ writing contest held following the session.
Every one of these experiences, and every other bit of volunteering I do, makes me feel blessed about what I have. Social service is thrilling. Drawing smiles is a beautiful art that we all ought to try, artists or not. For me, my family has been the greatest support.  I have learnt that middle class students like me are in the best position to uplift others. 
When I told kids “You’ve got it already- food, clothing, love and education. If you make the best use of these precious resources, you can climb to any height. Achieve anything.  You are not alone, never. You’ve got each other, a loving family, and the whole world willing to help. You are the great leaders of tomorrow. Believe in yourself.” It made me believe, too. Change is at the tip of  our fingers.  It is our responsibility to bring it on for the better.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

About me

“Tell me about yourself” he asked.
Ah, if only I knew enough of myself to say that
Or words enough colorful and imaginative
To put into language 
The spirit, character, attitude
(Or those disgusting attributes)
that sustain me.

The universe of memories that sew
Up the fragile, yet powerful sinews of my existence
The uniqueness, the boldness of 
The lattice that forms this confused bundle of cells
Carefully calculated with an ulterior motive;
The tears that heal my invisible scars, 
The warmth that welds the 
Million brittle pieces of my heart intact
The thoughts that wrought my significant position as an
Insignificance among a billion similar, all 
make me too
Complicated to be put in words- After all, My dear,
I’m a being.

Living like bubbles

Struggle, struggle
With toil and trouble
Go through it all, then
Pop like a bubble
(Inspired by Macbeth. Of course

When a writer's pen stops working

That was my pen, before.
Lapped up every last drop of ink hungrily
And spewed them all out in just the right
Shape, the right amount, for the right meaning,
Blowing life into its royal blue color recipe
To craft breathing alphabets that animated 
Into words that I remember
Were mischievous, but adorable babies:
They used to talk, walk, play, cry and sleep;
Oh, they used to live on their vast white landscape,
Reviving my memories with their 
Own connotation- my innovators.

But my pen is a teenager: unpredictable and moody,
It now creates stubborn, sterile letters that just want to besiege
The tip, clog right there and not drop out.
Even if I jerked it awake now, my pen would just puke some 
Little droplets shaped like letters that would
Blot the paper ugly, or, the words would exit deformed, like
Their genes had gotten affected by a nuclear bomb.

Oh, what have I done to enrage you, my love?
Did I over-feed you, or under-appreciate you
That your self-esteem decided to turn upon me,
Or become so dependent on you that my mind has dulled
Its imaginations far too dry now, 
For you to shape them well?

My verses now wilt and die, 
New lands in the paper just get wasted, alarming me
For land is a limited resource in my house, the earth.
But land is not the ultimate problem,
For there are a thousand landscapes I could pull out of my imagination;
Only if my pen would love me once more 
And reproduce my ink faithfully,
I could be a writer again.

Letter to ‘Mr.Right’ From ‘The Modern Indian Woman’

Hey fellas! Here's another one, as published on women's web! See it there with many other awesome articles at !
Dear ‘Mr.Right’
This note to you is all about some demands and requests that have come from many hopes, expectations and experiences; this letter is for you, so that you don’t get surprised by my expectations later in life, and so that you remind me of when I’m neglecting my own rules, because this note is for both you and me, for the ‘us’ to work without wearing out.
I know everything may seem just perfect in the initial stages of love. I may look like the most beautiful thing to us, the most perfect, and ideal. But time is not so kind for we may have to gradually witness terrible shades of each other revealed, those ugly truths that may emerge from the inside and outside. Tough situations may remove the illusion of love, but I hope you’ll still accept me. These tests will run every day for us; right from waking with messed up hair and groggy eyes in the morning, which is not a most aesthetically pleasing sight- which is well when we may come to realize the harsh truth, even ‘the right one’ can be imperfect.
modern Indian womanThere are some things I’d like to let you know. I feel it’s important to reinforce this because there will be so many stones to tumble upon in the way of our ‘perfect’ relationship.
I’m a modern woman.
The first thing is that I will not change who I am, not for you or anyone. Only after loving myself enough will I have the strength to love you, because I believe dignity is most important. I am also an independent woman. This, you may be unfamiliar with, as many are in sexist India(which is sluggishly but definitely trying to change), but you must get used to it. I will respect you as an individual, and I hope that’d be reciprocated. We do not own each other; we are complimentary, yet free.
I don’t follow what others do. There could be a thousand ‘inescapable’ trends, but you’ll find me fight many of them. I don’t care what path the others may choose, but I’ll take that one which will suit me best, a way that’s may be different from yours. But I ask that you hold my hand to support me even as we experience our the different adventures that come along our own way, and not try to push me over the stumbling blocks or hope that I’d never dare venture individually, myself. I wish that you will care for me and protect me, and also accept when I may do the same to you.
We belong to the same species- Homo sapiens – which means that you are in no way superior; neither am I. I expect that you take equal responsibility in every stage of our life together- housework, child upbringing, because these and a thousand other Indian misconceptions are not equal to ‘woman-work’; because actually, they are ‘human-work’.
I may seem tough but I have my fragile points, and hazy times, just as you. I hope our arms will be open to comfort one another when we’re low.
We may get frustrated a thousand times. The voyage of love does not come easy.  There may be frustrating times when the relationship feels unbearable, broken, times when love turns to hatred and anger, when the future looks bleak and dark, but know that, with optimism, courage, trust, and the power of both of us, we’ll somehow manage to light a candle. Please don’t ever lose hope or faith in me. True love, I know will never die. Please remind me when I forget, that silly fights, vague outsiders, stupid situations, none of these, nothing, is worth our precious bond.
I hope you’ll see right through all my defenses and understand me. I hope you’ll confide in me, and listen to me when I’m low. I hope you will be not just a lover to me, but a best-friend, a protective father, and a complimenting brother.
Most of all, I want you to recognize me as a unique personality with flaws and pluses, and love me for just that.
The modern Indian woman

Sunday, March 9, 2014


flourish like wild fire,
Fuelling Some-
                  Burning many.