Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy Raksha Bandan!

Today was Raksha Bandhan. And it slipped my mind.

For those who dint know, Raksha Bandhan is an Indian festival, which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. It is marked by the tying of a Rakhi, or a holy thread, by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her as she presents sweets to her brother. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

We are 3 kids at home. The eldest being my sister, Smitha whom we call Chechi. Next comes my brother, with whom I share a great bond. His name is Prem Raj, and I fondly call him Unnietta (Unni being his pet name and 'Etta' the Malayalam word for elder brother). I was the youngest and was often pampered to the core.

As kids, we used to fight a lot. Right from the time we opened our sleepy eyes, early in the morning, to the time we shut them tired from fatigue in the night. It was fights always. Fights round the clock.

I remember as kids, we used to have weird games and rules, which each one was bound to follow. For e.g., the first thing we did when we woke up in the morning was to scream "Me third". The next person would say "Me second" and the most unfortunate last one, "Me first". And the first person would have to do everything first, from brushing his/her teeth, to having a bath. While the other two got time to sleep more.

I, being the wicked soul I am even then, always managed to scream "Me third" most often. And just in case I missed and Unniettan managed to call out "Me third" before me and snicker, I would just say "Me Last". That naturally entitled me the right to have shower last (in a family of 5 members). And Unniettan would have to go reluctantly have his bath before me. (I told you I was wicked, dint I?)

Then as we headed for the dining table, we fought over milk and breakfast. Everything would be measured. With our palms. The glass with more milk was passed among us in rounds and rounds, till mommy screamed at us for spilling it all over. For fruit juice, it was vice-versa. Our mother never understood why.

Our prayer sessions were perhaps the only time we bonded. Mom ensured we prayed every evening before the sacred Nilavillakku (lamp). We never found it sacred. It was an obstacle as it always collided with our cartoon timings. Slokas which usually took half an hour to recite used to be done in a span of five minutes and no one could make out if we were chanting in Sanskrit or German. We always backed each other, persuading mom that we sat for over half an hour praying.

Birthdays gave reasons for world wars. I insisted on getting a new dress for everyone else's birthday. The cake was also a reason to fight. The cause: the sugary rose topping (usually one) on the cake. Before long, Dad ensured that each cake had at least 3 or more roses each.

Our play sessions used to be equally bad. We enacted our classroom. I was the teacher always and my siblings the students. I used to hit them with their wooden scale, below their knees and the poor things used to bear it all. Until one day Mom saw their bruises and found out, only to smack me tight. I deserved that.

I remember when we used to buy candies or ice creams, Chechi and Unniettan would devour it on the spot, while I brought them home and stored them. Only to pull it out later and lick it away to glory with them looking on. That ended the day Dad found out and chose to share my ice cream amongst the 3 of them, with me crying and watching on.

I was such a naughty snob. And I had such wonderful siblings.
They cared for me.
Shared with me.
Fed me.
Brought me up.
Loved me.

Raksha Bandan is just another day. To me, I am bonded with my Chechi and Unniettan for life. Even in the many more births to come, I'd prefer to say "Me third" and go in as a younger sister to such lovely siblings.

Sunday, August 22, 2010



Drops of salt stayed on
Un-wiped on her hollow cheeks
As if to bear down her overburdened life
With the load of un-shed tears.

Her trembling hands, were weak from work
Her palms felt heavy, as her kids held on
Her chest was filled with love and warmth
Her eyes kept winking, as if to keep away fear.

Her kids - her treasures, how could she preserve
Her only refuge now was her mother's lap
And that was where she headed now
To mark an end to the troubled souls.

She bought them balloons, candy and ice-cream
As they walked towards the welcoming beach
She walked slowly, clinging tiny arms
And soon the salty waters, were licking their feet.

(Found this one hidden away in one of my old diaries. Felt a lil' depressed reading it though).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dudu's corner

3 year olds can be talkative.

I have a niece, Dudu. She is also 3 years old. And man! She is talkative! Quite humorous too. Have a few classic quotes from her. Sharing a few random ones, I remember.


You are walking in a forest. A monkey steals your stuff. You have a banana with you. What will you give the monkey to get your things back?
Dudu: "Manda meley randu kottu".
(Rough translation: "2 tight smacks on its head!")


"Ini engittey school'kku poka sonnein, ingey nadakarathey verey! Naan Karthikeyan koodey odi poyiduvein."
(Rough translation: "If you ever ask me to go to school again, I will elope with Karthikeyan.")
Karthikeyan happens to be her classmate, another 3 year old boy.


Dudu to her cousin sister Nandu, who blew Dudu's birthday candle "Nee cotton pants pottirukkein, naan thaan pattu paavadai kattiyirukeein. Athanalley naan than candle oothanum"
(Rough translation: "I'm wearing the silk skirt. You are in cotton pants. So I think I should have blown the candles.")


"I want a RED maapillai" For those who dint understand that, please learn Tamil.


"I getting up & banana is eating" (Overheard, as soon as she woke up from sleep. Looks like she was craving for bananas. The new school she joined, seems to encourage conversing in English!)


My friend Priya, was shocked hearing her 3 year old Tarunika, learning the names of months,


My cousin Gayathri was trying to teach a 3 yr old American kid her name.

"Gayathri, G for Gayathri".

The kid, "But I know only G for Gorilla!!"


Thats all I can remember as of now. However, I am sure there will be loads more to come. Keep reading Dudu's corner! :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

For you my Friend!

Dedicated to Shalomie Xavier, my friend for life!

Not related through a chord
You are a friend, nothing more!
Yet became a part of me,
Like a seldom gift from the Lord.

When I was, to pieces torn
When I cried hard, from my core
More than kin, more than foes
You stayed with me through high and low!

I don't remember how I came.
How I'd go, I wouldn't know.
Yet, for the many more births to go,
I want you with me - through and fro!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why me?

When my mom swallowed that pill,
Knowing the harm. Knowing it will kill.
I never asked you Lord, I never once did -
I never asked you why. I never do, still.

Even when he kicked her, and left me feeling numb.
That night when he hit her, just for fun.
That dawn in the labor room, as they waited for me to come.
I never asked you why. I never do, still.

When misery and hatred added more spice -
To an already poverty and sorrow filled life.
Even amidst arguments and never ending strives,
I never asked you why. I never do, still.

When I came first every grade,
Yet was kept out of school every day,
For our fees hadn't been paid.
I never asked you why. I never do, still.

When friends ran home, after a long day
When I lingered in the corridor, hoping to stay away
Praying that back home, everything should be okay
I never asked you why. I never do, still.

When every night we were awaken, hearing mom's scream
When a peaceful house always seemed a distant dream
When violence prevailed, some days extreme
I never asked you why. I never do, still.

When we confined life to two small rooms
When laughter gave way to faces filled with gloom
When hunger and pride - took turns to loom
I never asked you why. I never do, still.

When our good friends turned foes
When our relatives chose to keep low
When suddenly we had nowhere to go
I never asked you why. I never do, still.

When as children we were asked to abide
And be silent viewers at our dad's funeral pyre
When tears stayed in, no mater how hard we tried
I never asked you why. I never do, still.

When my graduation dreams were fulfilled,
Thanks to the acres of land sold at mom's will
When all our gold was gone, and we sought refuge in gild.
I never asked you why. I never do, still.

When my sister found love and got engaged,
When my brother grew tall, and handsome by the day,
When my first job offer came in, happy and gay
When life bloomed again and smiles filled our day.

When I turn back today, living life at my pace
When I hear out people, whose sorrows I cant erase
I remember those days when misfortune chased.
To realize I am at loss for words at your never ending grace.

I am thankful that you chose me. I am lucky that you did.
For if you had spared me then and kept me in bliss
It would take me another life, to know what I missed.
For today's smiles are born from yesteryear's amiss.

How you wouldn't!

You wouldn't hear -

The songs,
That I sing alone, by my window sill
And keep singing, I will.

You wouldn't wipe -

The tears,
That have been shed
And sleepless nights that still await ahead.

You wouldn't know -

The moments,
I count through days and nights
Waiting for the hour that will bring my knight.

You wouldn't feel -

The love,
That keeps me alive, the desire
Within myself, like a burning fire.

You wouldn't smell -

The flowers,
I grew with care, in our garden
To decorate your path as you near abode.

You wouldn't ever see -

The day,
I'd choose to be free
When I'd let it be, let you go and be me!