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Bahut si chahtein dabb se gayi kuch siskiyon mein

Bahut si khushiyan thum se gayi inn hoton pe.

Akele chal pade hai ab jiss rah pe hum, bey parwah,

Bahut se khwaishein badal si gayin un rahon pe….

 

 

—-Rough Translation of Hindi – Urdu in English

 

 

So many wishes drowned in the silent sobs

So much happiness stopped at the trembling lips

(wanting to move on, in a loveless relationship…)

The roads that I now walk on, without a care,

So many expectations have changed on this new path/journey

 

I am…!

For every woman who silently stand behind the ones they love and are the source of their strength. For every mom, every sister, every friend, every daughter, every wife….

I am not your damsel in distress

I am not a weaker sex

Don’t mistake my tears for my weakness,

I am stronger than U or I know

A fighter with a loving heart and a caring mind

I am all this and much more

I work to support my family

I can cook; I can take care of your house

I can single-handedly do more than the most

I am an inspiration to many who have lost hope.

I can move on from the hurt and forgive

I have the courage to help you collect your shattered dreams

I am a daughter..I am a wife.. I am a mother.. I am a friend

I am your silent and an ever willing companion.

I am a pillar of love on which your family stands

I am Me

I am here

I am NOW

I am my own destiny

I am…. a Woman!

Building Noah’s Ark!

Pic courtesy -Philosophies of Men Mingled with Scriptures Blog

Pic courtesy -Philosophies of Men Mingled with Scriptures Blog

This is one story we all have heard so many times as kids. Like everyone, this was just that, a story for me! Noah was instructed by God to build an ark and invite every species on board in pair. As he began this Herculean task, animals came in to help out. Help poured in quick and finally days before the said prophecy; the ark was built and filled with a pair of every species of animals. When the said flood destroyed the cities, only the ark floated on water and everyone on that ark survived. The story ends, stopping the pondering thoughts about the story in our young minds

It was only after completing few years in my first job and recession hit us, that I actually remembered the Noah’s Ark theory. It is something I came up with so will explain what actually it is. During recession, though I was not hit or affected by it, I saw many people getting laid off from jobs. A man in his 40’s got laid off, another man who had only few years left in retiring and had EMI / Mortgages to take care was laid off too; among the others.

These guys must have thought – they will retire in the same organisation, get a good send off and must have even adjusted their EMIs / Mortgage payments with bank accordingly. One fine day, they were told that they didn’t have a job. Financial crisis would have shattered their family; and the kid’s education that depended on their hard earned income was another reason why my heart went out to them.

Anyways, I decided that if I can’t change fate, I can at least prepare when I sense a fall. At that point, Noah’s Ark made sense to me more than ever! As soon as I started foreseeing any upcoming problems and started to prepare myself to face the issue, I simultaneously built a Noah’s Ark for myself. It was simple;

i)    If you think you might be without a job soon (for whatever reason…either by choice or otherwise), start saving 4-5 months in advance keeping in mind your current expenses.

ii)   Downsize the expenses to half.

iii)  If you know a friendship might turn sour, keep your distance, take time out till both or one of you’ll see things clearly.

iv)  If you sense any trouble brewing in your personal life, start preparing for the worse while trying to work things out.

Now, it is not certain that everything you are worried about will happen but knowing that if it did, you will sail through, gives you immense strength. I have realised that we worry when we think we will be helpless when some problem strikes and in that very moment we give up! Give up the fight to work things out, give up the need to ensure that we have a firm footing if we have to move on.

Remember all the time when you were down, someone close to you put their hands around you and said, ‘Everything will be fine. I am there’? Building a Noah’s Ark is same – here that someone is you. Building a bridge, a firm ground, a nest for yourself for the rainy days so that if, what you fear happens, you have cushioned your fall and are not shattered and helpless.

You will always have you – you best friend, your confidant, your strength, your motivator. So just have faith and build your own Noah’s Ark!

Pic Courtesy : - www.guardian.co.uk

Pic Courtesy : – http://www.guardian.co.uk

‘You should cover it in a brown paper, so that no one sees,’ my friend instructed before handing over my first ever copy of Mills and Boons, to me. Is that the norm you have to follow? I asked rather amused. ‘Yes, everyone knows that Mills and Boon should always be covered in a brown paper so that others don’t realize what you are reading! ’ she exclaimed. She was right, its ‘objectionable’ and the so-called ‘culturally questionable’ covers, have always raised many eyebrows. So off came one of my brown book cover to mask the sensual, romantic novel in a false sense of hypocrisy and mediocrity.

This was however the first of the many M&B books I read, that effortlessly built up a fairy tale about relationships. A world of fantasy in thoughts and a world of glossy romances that was unreal to the real world! Every story it talked about, was intriguing and engaging to a wide eyed and impressionable mind of the young readers.  It is as good as it is bad. To begin with, it talks about ‘happy forever’ ideas. It encourages you to slip in fantasy while being blissfully away from reality. It talks about perfect bodies and deep rooted sensual feelings that cruelly stomp on the idea of embracing ones imperfections. Not to forget setting unrealistic expectations about ideal relationships.

While every word engages you and fires the emotions you never thought existed, it even questions your choice of being single. The writers go all out to sensationalize even the tamest feelings.

Some of the typical Mills and Boon-ish expressions that still makes me chuckle:

  •  Her bare leg slid across his abdomen, her knee nudged his groin…’
  • And the rumble deep in his gut, trickling down toward his groin, could only mean   one thing
  • The carriage moved forward and his groin swelled in anticipation of the night ahead.
  • Fabric rubbing against her already excited *****

Well you got the hint right!

I blissfully devoured books after books mindlessly for months. I was intrigued and walked in this wonderland of M&B for a long time, until one day my mind woke up from this romantic slumber to reality and I thought – WTF! That’s when I moved on from M&Bs and the brown cover that followed it.

Years passed and this phase was easily forgotten. Some weeks back while travelling in the train, I saw a teenage girl quietly tucked in a corner, lost in her own world with a book (novel) in her hand that was shielded in a familiar brown paper cover. When our eyes met, she just glanced away smiling sheepishly at the realization of the book she held.

….and I knew the brown paper was passed on…!

Turning 30…!

My sketch, my interpretation of turning 30 :P

My sketch, my interpretation of turning 30 :P

I am one and a half month away from turning 30 – a big milestone for some who had their to-do-list ready at 25. I have never been a to-do-list kind of a person, simply because my plans start going astray starting with losing my to-do-list sheet. (Yes for some reason I always write it on the paper)

I have a job, I am married, can cook and adopted pets; so according to the nosy people who our parents keep referring to, I should have be taken care of, for the rest of my life. Right? Wrong! What about seeing the world, meeting new people, growing old with the love of your life, living an illness free life?

I have always believed that petty people have petty thoughts. Ask them about their best achievements and probably they will ponder for a while only to retort – I got married at the right age. This will be coming from someone who did not see the world and their idea of vacationing would be to get up from the comfort of their own home and plonk themselves at their relatives’ house.

As I turn 30, I want to promise myself to do everything my heart desires, go visit new places, make new friends and spend time with my family. The dream does seem farfetched, but what the hell! If it was easily achievable, it wouldn’t have been a dream – that would be just another goal! So striving hard to achieve my dreams starts now……….

Happy (soon-to-be-30th) Birthday to me!

Well, the resolutions listed below have either failed before it started or got lost in translation one month down the line!

1.       I will lose weight this year – 

Sometimes even the weighing scale sympathises
Sometimes even the weighing scale sympathizes – Pic Courtesy – http://www.examiner.com

Classic me! I can’t even count the number of times I have decided this during the year and then some more on the 31st Dec. The proclamation is generally rather profound and thus begins a journey that is doomed to fail at the first sight of burgers and lip smacking cheesy delights. And knowing the ad world, the perfect shot of food plastered all over the papers brutally attacks the cravings and kick starts right after binging on my own words.

 

2.       I will learn a dance form –

Oh I love dancing! I have joined all possible dance classes only to leave it after a month. Bharatnatyam, Salsa, Jive, Waltz, Free style, Belly Dancing – I am truly a jack of all trades and the master of none. The relentless dancer in me has still not given up. Next I think I will try hip hop! :D

 

3.       I will start using the oven-

My innate ability to blow things out of proportion includes my worry that the oven, that lies idle from the past 3 years, might just blow up. Yes I have tried using an oven and failed miserably. I feel it will blow up even before I start baking or heating stuff. This resolution almost always fails at the site of the beautiful white oven that sits atop my shelf waiting to die of old age than being mis-handled.

 

4.       I will run the marathon this year –

Diminishing_Intent-1

Pic Courstesy – takethestairs.wordpress.com

This is one resolution I love the most! All this while I have been sprinting in my dreams waiting one day I will fill up the form and begin the long gruelling routine to prepare my body for a 21 Km run. How I fail you ask? Well, to begin with, I always miss the last date of filling the form waiting for someone to accompany me in taking part in the run. Lame as it sounds; I have already crossed the 21 km mark in my head.

 

 

5.       I will be thoughtful when I shop -

 

Homer_Simpson_Facepalm

Face palm – Pic Courtesy – http://www.craigboyce.com

Before I start, this is not about watching the expense. That is simply an unacceptable virtue in my world. The ‘thoughtfulness’ mentioned here is w.r.t shopping for a perfect attire and accessories to go with each one of them. It just doesn’t work because when I start shopping, I begin acting like a kid in a candy store and end up buying 20 things I don’t require instead of the 5 things that I need.

 

 

 

 

 

Probably next time I will be less drunk when I make them….! **Thinking!!!!! ;-)

 

 

 

The Write Thing.....:

Rape is just the beginning of the ordeal! – Well Written Article

Originally posted on British Asian Woman:

*Trigger warning* This post contains potentially disturbing material of rape

Picture the scene. A woman in a bar. Dressed up for a night out, drinking and having fun. A group of men at the other side spot her. She leaves her drink on the table with her friend and goes to the toilet. She comes back and finishes the drink. Gradually she becomes more and more giddy, as if going under an anaesthetic.

She wakes up in hospital with sharp stabbing pains in her groin and pelvic area. Her legs and arms are covered in bruises. Her left eye is so badly swollen she can barely see out of it. She has no recollection of the night before, what happened to her or how she ended up in hospital.

It transpires that her drink had been spiked. She was taken outside and gang raped by the group of men that…

View original 496 more words

Zoey (in black harness) playing with her friend

Zoey (in black harness) playing with her friend

“Uncle Zoey neeche khelne ayegi?” A kid inquired after ringing the door bell one Sunday evening! Since we don’t have kids, a request like this did amuse my husband and I. Zoey is our Labrador pup. Her idea of playing is clenching her favourite colourful squeezy ball and playing hard to get. The kids simply find it amusing and enjoyed running after her one evening.

With Zoey playfully barking as the kids requested her to be sent with them, we suddenly felt like parents to a growing kid who was grounded and her friends have come to plead her case. Some days later, a kid brought all his friends wanting them to show a dog living just below his apartment. Such incidents remind us how kids treat dogs just like one of their friends.

Our well socialised Zoey stays calm and is accepting of kids and is an absolute fun to watch with other dogs. There is a huge play ground right in the middle of the chaotic suburban traffic, where she can be off leash, chase birds, play fetch and even football every day. The place in the evening is full of kids playing and running around. The moment I reach the place and leave Zoey off leash, I hear a loud ‘Zoey Aa Gayi’ (from one kid to the other). This echoes twice or even thrice and within a matter of seconds, my lab is surrounded by kids happily running behind her and playing fetch.

Zoey’s presence often intrigues new kids who come to me with their innocently put questions like “Why are you cleaning after Zoey? Will she bite? Why doesn’t she play with me? Why is she so attached to her squeezy ball? Can I snatch the ball from her mouth?” With their endless curiosity come their tiring questions.

On day one, I found it rather annoying to answer all questions but as days passed, I found myself answering questions about handling a dog and the things you have to do when you get a dog home. In the coming days, the questions increased and moved on to random topics from  washing hands after playing with dogs, to avoid snatching anything the dog is playing with, to asking for permission before petting someone’s dog, just to name a few.

Months have passed and now kids and my pup are well acquainted with each other. I hope I have helped the kids be less frightened of dogs and more understanding of how to treat them. Hope this helps these future adults to treat animals with compassion.

As I pen down this article my pup is already nudging me with her leash in her mouth asking to be taken to the playground where I will again hear the loud yet unmistakably excited and familiar scream, “Zoey aa gayi, Zoey aa gayi”!

Not literally! Don’t get defensive reading the title. The stress was not because of my beautiful female pup. It was because all the male dog owners knew I had a female pup. The endless probe – about her health, her liking, her well being, which felt so overwhelming at first, became increasingly suspicious. Our walks were interrupted by strangers with male Labradors. They would stop to give their mobile numbers and every conversation ended with – ‘do give us a call when you want to mate her’. Interesting!

As she neared her heat, we became increasingly sure that we will want to neuter her. This was less of a sudden decision as we had read extensively about the same, had thought over hundreds of times, consulted experts and other female-pup parents and then made up our minds. We did face some reluctance but what shocked us was our vets’ behaviour. Vets get a cut from the sale of pups through them – I had always known this fact. Our vet simply went a step ahead and refused to neuter her, saying that he will ensure all pups are sold. But when I asked what if there is a birth defect with a pup and no one wants to buy it, he replied nonchalantly, “aisa kuch nahi hoga”. He refused to accept anything bad will happen.

Sensing the obvious apathy, we knew what we had to do next – change the vet! The answer was simple and so was the reasons a) I am the pet parent – I will think about my baby first b) if you wanted a female so bad you shouldn’t have bought a male dog. We met up another doctor who was recommended by some close acquaintances and he shared the same views as us. The date was set and the surgery was a success! Her recovery was quick and my baby was raring to go (and play). She is healthy and braved the surgery.We are happy parents now as we ensured that we commit to what we can handle.

On the contrary to all the mild threats about how neutering alters their behaviour I would only say – if anything, it made my naughty puppy, naughtier! :)

PS:- Neutering is solely the responsibility and decision of a well informed pet parent. This article is about my experience. I don’t support or oppose the procedure; it is completely the pet parents’ prerogative.

 

 

Dog Lost Snout - Pic Courtesy WTF pic

Dog Lost Snout – Pic Courtesy WTF pic

‘A dog loses his snout while trying to save kids’, read a news paper article. My heart broke as I scurried through the article feeling choked. As if the state of the homeless animals were not enough I heard another lady who bought a female lab absolutely unaware of the dedication that will be needed to take care of the new addition.

On probing the lady a little more I realised her complete lack of understanding on how to take care of the pup. The pup lacking direction and someone to help, has become a complete brat and bites everyone on whim. Her distress call woke me up in the middle of one night as she desperately wanted to know why her pup is biting everyone so much on that day. My ‘I don’t knows’ were unacceptable to her. She insisted I help and after trying to make her understand the possible problem I reluctantly pushed her away suggesting she consults a pet behaviourist, a doc or a trainer for the right advice.

Zoey time - Ritesh and Our baby Zoey

Zoey time – Ritesh and Our baby Zoey

Such instances question my understanding of being a responsible pet parent. Even after reading so much about bringing up a pet and talking to so many people about the right behaviour that should be encouraged and what should not be, I am still learning new things about my 14month old Lab. It is such people, who buy a dog because they like to play with them but are completely unaware of the responsibility that comes with it, rattle my concern for the pet.

Pic Courtesy - www.petfinder.com/

Pic Courtesy – http://www.petfinder.com/

When they lack the understanding and the pet goes astray, they are ready to abandon the animal and run at the first sight of problem. Ask them if they will abandon their own child if the child becomes unruly and they will find your idea preposterous and unacceptable to even listen.  It is responsibility that bridges the gap between a “can buy” and a “should buy”. My only advice to such people – Just coz you can buy a pet doesn’t mean you should! Think twice and be well read before you take such responsibility!

Pic Courtesy - https://www.facebook.com/thewoofilicious
Pic Courtesy – https://www.facebook.com/thewoofilicious

Dogs have time and again proved how caring and comforting they can be in the time of our need. Sacrificing a little bit of our time to read up, learn about how to take care of them and following it can be the least we can do for them in return.

 

 

 

 

writesaidlaila

Lawyer, Writer, Lover of big heavy quilts and cushions, Armchair philosopher, Backyard Dreamer, Soul Hippie, Resident Agony Aunt, Karma conscious Believer

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My goal with this blog is to offend everyone in the world at least once with my words… so no one has a reason to have a heightened sense of themselves. We are all ignorant, we are all found wanting, we are all bad people sometimes.

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