Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Will "IT" pass???

I waited for “it” to pass…! A strange feeling that had crept inside during the recent floods…!  
A feeling born out of the face to face dialogue with bitter truths about life which had directly or indirectly affected us. 
The permanence of change, the uncertainty of the so-called reality, the fakeness of put on smiles… all these and a lot more made me realize the Shakespearean words, “all worlds a stage, all men and women merely players…”

I was not a direct victim of the flood, but in many ways I have not escaped it;
 I am in many ways a flood victim…A flood victim with a dry home, a safe roof, a loving family, and enough supplies…but still a flood victim.
 I am still waiting for “it” to pass…! Unable to decipher what that “it” is.

Opening my heart and hearth for the flood victims has made me one among them…! 
“It” has urged me to raise many life questions…Questions on what has to stay, what has to pass, what has to be valued and what has to be ignored! 
My answers to these and many more are evolving with each passing day!

Life is moving on… Schools offices resumed! I even gave two performances, my Center is back on track…
But inside I am still the flood victim who is waiting for “it” to pass…

 Will "IT" pass???

Saturday, October 10, 2015


I love change. Not a day in my life is similar. The transience of Life and permanence of change helps me to embrace life with thrill that I look forward to everyday. I was able to find meaning and joy in even the mundane things in life. In folding clothes, cleaning my cupboard, sipping tea, early morning walks.

I have always been aware of the changes and shifts that occur within me as an individual. Though it might not be visible to the outside world, I was able to experience ripples in the calm and serene waters of my mind. The change came after I owned my smart phone. Smart phones are no more a luxury today. They have become an extension of our hands. What was developed as a pure business tool in 1973 by Dr. Martin Cooper has today brought about a lifestyle shift.

I remember, fifteen years back, during my two year stay in Japan, I was surrounded by people who were addicted to their gadgets all the time. It was a time when mobile phones were still unknown to me. I kept wondering, how anyone could keep staring at these gadgets and not see the world around. There I was in another part of the world, among strangers, and I still did not feel the necessity to update my parents on my daily pursuits, my whereabouts.  Life was simple, when fortnightly phone calls satiated the moral needs of dear ones.

Today life has changed… Sigh!!! Communication has improved they say! Has it? You save time they say! Do you? You are smarter with a smart phone they say! Ehh??

Phone to me was only to make urgent calls and sending necessary messages. Ownership of a smart phone and exposure to the various apps saw a shift in my mindset. A touch on the phone was enough to bring home my groceries, to replenish my wardrobe, to update my library, to hire a cab, to find a new address. Life suddenly became a luxury and my smart phone suddenly became an extension of my hand. This was not just my story, but the story of every other person I encountered. Life started and ended with the phone. It brought together many old friends and together with it many old memories. The simultaneous presence in the real and virtual world made life more complicated. My thoughts bombarded with the outpourings and thoughts of many others who were so far away from my real world. The love, care and attention from this virtual world became suffocating. Putting my phone on silent mode did not help… as I was searching for the silent button to my thoughts. The smart phone had stolen my ‘me’ time and I already felt like a stranger to me…!!! My walking time, my reading time, my cooking time, and my family time was all interrupted. I knew what I was missing as I had already tasted the joy of simple living, the joy of starting my day with a walk in nature and ending my day with a quite book.

I have almost lost touch with myself… How then has Communication improved? I am unable to devote my time fully to anything… How does it save time! A walk in the vegetable market, bargaining with the vendors and auto rickshaw drivers and finding my way on my own through the meandering city roads are only memories, I wish to relive… how does this make me smarter??? Points to ponder indeed!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bird and the Wind

Once there was a daring bird, who soared up in the sky,
With hopes and dreams of days unseen, with faith; She did fly.

The joy and bliss of freedom, she loved its very taste
Higher and higher, further and faster; She flew with urgent haste.

As she perched, lazed and wondered; Whoop! Came a wind strong,
It brought with it a fragrance- sweet; from lands far and beyond.

An urge in her to soar with the wind, to soar to lands unknown…
To smell, to taste, to see it all… Hopes of future sown.

The sturdy wind then sang to her, It’s audacious life, it’s song…
Its vibes did spur a chime in her; And She gently sang along.

Songs of Hope, songs of faith, Songs of friendship strong
They sang in tune, songs of love, and they gently flew along.

They crossed the oceans, they crossed the seas,
They flew up mountains, they flew with ease.

As their voyage went on; and many years passed by,
“I need my nest, I need some rest!” Chirped the birdie, to her guy.

The gusty wind and the chirpie bird, flew down to build their nest
Two tiny eggs she laid in them, they hatched and they felt blessed!

“I need to move,” said the wind, “to soar, I was born!”
“I’ll tend our nest and the little ones!” said the birdie, “Please move on!”

The wind and bird went different ways, still singing songs of love,
To unravel destinies, to meet their fates, to receive what life endows!

Their hope did live, to sing in sync and soar up side by side,
To feel, to live and love their life, and through it gently glide!  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

She danced for Her Lord!

Yes, she was a Devdasi…And she danced for her Lord!
As the clock struck 12 and the temple grounds welled
As Bells went DONG, and each heart swelled
Bejewelled, bedecked she danced for her Lord.

The sky looked down with its twinkling eyes
 The crowd watched her, that moonless night
 The haunting rhythms, the swaying gait…her search was on
 As she danced for her Lord, that sleepless night!

She spoke aloud with her language soft…
Could anyone decipher...? She knew not…
She looked past them, and still went on…
With each spoken gesture, she was reborn!

Awesome! Wonderful! Enchanting! … They said
 Bouts of jubilation, she hardly felt
For she had already entered that zone
Of blissful existence, a dancer adorns!

Then, she walked in the temple corridors,
Towards her Lord with her bells still on...!
He stood there vibrant, energetic, and complete
Fully awake, as the next day dawned!

Chants, hymns, bells and aarathi…
She stood gazing at Him for long
As she gently closed her eyes,
She felt Him within, his magic was on…

She felt complete, filled to the brim
With something, she knew not what…
“Yes! I am a Devdasi”, she felt…
And how can I not dance for my Lord?

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I have always been intrigued by Kannagi, the epitome of womanhood, endurance, patience, faith, power. I have preferred to stare in awe and wonder at the idol of Kodungallur bhagavathy, the Pratishta of Kannagi, than to bow down in veneration. The image of Kannagi haunts me… She visits me every now and then… through stories, images, books, temples, rituals, dance….She keeps reminding me that I am one of her tribe…”Am I?”, I wonder!
On this day, when my inbox, mails, and newspapers are filled with glorified stories on women and their achievements, when women find a reason to applaud themselves and the leaps and great strides of their peers…,Let me tell you the story of Kannagi! Not the Kannagi of the Tamil epic Shilappadikaram, or the Bhagavathy for Cheranadu, or the Kannagi who burnt down Pandya desam….! This is the story of Kannagi, who inspires me every day, who brings a smile on my face, who cleans and cuts, and dries and folds for me, who brightens up my day!
I have never seen her cry, complain or brood. One day she came with a swollen face, but her smile was still on. When I asked her what happened to her face, she said, “My husband came drunk and hit me”. I couldn’t believe she was still smiling as she said, “All this is nothing akka!, its over…I have to work.. it gives me peace of mind and I am happy!”
The other day, she came late for work, still with her smile on… “Sorry Akka! My tenth standard daughter has failed. I had to go to her school. She has got herself into some affair with a boy in the neighbourhood. She wants to quit schooling and get married. What can I do? I hoped she would study well, and do a decent job.”
I wondered how she kept smiling inspite of all these problems. The next day I enquired about her situation at home, and she said still smiling, “I am telling myself not to worry. Every problem will have a solution. And I am waiting for mine.’  Having said this she resumed her daily chores with enthusiasm.
During those times when I have my face in books, and when my mind yearns for a dose of caffeine, she comes...”Akka, have this coffee...”
During those times, when I have to leave my family behind , she says,”Akka , I am there, don’t worry!...”
She is a mother, sister, friend, caretaker…
I have never seen anyone loving her job the way she does, nor have I seen a more sincere, open, down to earth person, a loving human being…! She might not be known to the world… but she is an achiever, a leader, a mother,... who stands up each time she falters with a smile of faith , hope and dreams…! To this spirit I salute…!

Monday, February 18, 2013

There She was : my Goddess!

There she was, my Goddess… She came without a knock
She scanned me with her intense glance, I shuddered… a pleasant shock
With those kindly eyes she spoke: Not words, but vibes of love…
A gentle touch:  She held on… A BLESSING! She did endow

She sat amidst the swelling crowd… still holding on to me…
Still gazing in my empty eyes, she gave it life and glee…
Before I knew they all had come, all without a clout…
Some faces, I knew: Some, far in time, All came in without a doubt.

With them came a sound... a sound of music soft…
It wafted into space and time… I sat there almost lost!
“What was this?” I probed, “Was this my inner song?”
“Who are they?” I delved, “Are they those souls, lost long?”

I knew not what it was; I knew not who they were…
I only knew her, My Goddess!  Her look, her touch, so real, so sure!
Then a bugle went on... my hand knew to snooze it off…
SHE WAS GONE… , the crowd, the song too… for me they didn’t stop.

It was dark outside, and in the room, But I did find my way!
For HER gentle touch, HER tender glance … Will not let me astray!
She was my Goddess, My Lotus!  She glided in that stream….
She held me close with her loving hug! Though it was in my Dream….

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Day to remember!

My mind has refused to grow up beyond my college years. Chronologically, though my age graph was rising, psychologically it was static. My body gave gentle reminders, now and then that the only permanent factor in life was change.  A few twists and turns in my life also nudged me to grow up.
My phone rang …….
“Hey! Would you mind being our chief guest for Arts club inauguration in our college?” It was a family friend P.
“ME? Why me? Didn’t you find anyone else?”  This news, in fact amused me.
“What will I have to do?” I asked
“Just light the lamp and wish them luck!” P was cool.
“Ok!” I said as I was unaware of the real situation.
Things were quite different when I landed at the college grounds. The function was in the open air gallery and there were around 1000 carefree souls, hooting, dancing, howling, whistling and greeting me. My heart missed a beat. Where was I? This isn’t going to be easy…! .
As I was sitting on the dais along with the Principal, professors and union members of the college, I tried to mentally write my speech in my head. One professor gently whispered, “Could you speak in Malayalam?” “Sure”, I smiled hiding my apprehension.
The next moment I was standing in front of the microphone, trying to translate my thoughts in Malayalam. Though I could speak the language, I was not confident in using the right words. My multi-lingual existence had left me speechless during such occasions when I needed to do justice to one language. I started my extempore in Malayalam… “ Malayalam is not my mother tongue ….” I said this in Malayalam and was received with applause from the students.  I told them how this moment takes me back to my college days… and the activities like these fill our memory banks than the time spent in the class rooms.. (loud applause again)… I knew I had caught them right.. I told them about my confused existence in my growing up years, about not having a clear goal and not knowing where my future lies( applause again)… When I asked them whether there are any poor souls among them like me I got the whole lot of them raising their hands… I knew they were listening and that I had scored.
They wanted me to perform and I enjoyed performing for these students who were rapt with attention than for any elite, knowledgeable group of artistes. I could clearly experience the vibes, the positive energy.. And I once again experienced the power of tradition, power of culture, power of art.
They were eager to listen to the rhythms of our soil… each one holding the rhythm in their palms as I explained them about the connection between the heart beat and the rhythms in dance. Most of them were not initiated into any art form, they had not even seen classical performances … but they were ready to listen, see and understand… By the end of the talk and performance, the ovation I received was indeed a moment to treasure.  A moment I wanted to revisit, so that I am empowered and inspired.
The transformation in the audience at the end of the lecture was a proof that spoke volumes about the positive impact of art. For a moment I felt blessed to be an artiste, to be an instrument in the hands of the Divine.
Even though I had stepped out of my college days as a confused soul, with blurred vision about my future…, as I stepped out of the stage that day, I knew I had a purpose, and that it unfolds at various stages of my life… I only needed to recognize and accept to experience it!