Friday, September 29, 2006

for the dancing queen and her sharaabi

thank you,

for helping me see what i was missing,
for reminding me of who i am
and pushing me to ask why.
for unshaken support across the seas.

but most of all,
for your truth and faith rooted in love.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

blind but luminous

meri aankhein dekhein tum mein
kabhi antariksh kabhi diya

woh sab jo dhoondke bhi
mujhse hamesha tha chupa
yehi tho tha, yehi tho hai
jo maine tha jaan-na chaaha

meri is duniya mein tum
mujhme ho aur main tum mein
kahaan shuru aur kahaan khatam
sab hum mein aur hum sab mein

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


an invitation to dinner at the ambassador's place took s and me by surprise...we know almost nobody at the embassy and i have seen the ambassador (we will call him dc) only twice, unimpressively delivering excerpts from the PM's Independence and Republic Day addresses.

anyway, we arrive at the venue exactly 30 min late. s had got stuck in traffic returning from the netherlands, one of those unavoidable delays. we walk through a long-ish corridor into a lobby and find ourselves standing on a landing, a few steps below which is a large drawing room. as the ambassador's wife (to be called kc) comes up to receive us, about 15 heads below look up curiously to see who dare arrive so late at the ambassador's dinner. i pretend nobody but kc exists in the room and after a courteous hello and a genuine and embarassed apology, s and i follow her down to the 15 waiting heads. kc leads us a bit towards the centre and grandly introduces me first, "This is X, she is a danseuse, and (turning to one young man in particular), like you, they have just had a small baby.'

I tried hard to suppress a giggle...kc had been wrong on all 3 counts! so i just looked at all the faces around me and calmly announced, "Actually, I am Y, a psychologist (though i'd have given ANYTHING to be a dancer), and (patting my tummy) our little baby is still really little". kc responded pormptly, "Oh...a psychologist..even better! and you havent had your baby yet?". no auntyji, in case u had forgotten, babies take their own time coming :)

with this grand start, we are off on a rollicking ride. here are some snippets of the unusal conversations i had.

conversation 1
with a prof. of cultural studies in university of ghent (originally from Bangalore):
"so u are pregnant?? congratulations. u know, you must now drink trappiste beer, it is very good for lactation. for the next 3 months, and then for the first 3 months after the baby is wife did the same and it really helped her",
me trying hard to stop my eyes rolling heavenwards at the unsolicited gyan and simultaneously really surprised, "oh really, i had no idea that beers had such properties."
"oh yes, but not any beer...only trappiste beer. do u drink?".
me, smiling, "no". (the rheingau wine-tasting some months ago was an exception!)
"oh but you wine is very good for you and the baby, especially while you are pregnant...and now, u must have trappiste beer !!".

once i decided to take charge and ask him about his work, i had the best 20 min of the evening. after really long, i met someone who was not only into academia, but aware of and interested in the very authors that i referred to for my dissertation. really rejuvenating.

conversation 2: (actually, monologue)
with ab, orig. from del.
me: "you mentioned you have a old is he?"
"3 yrs.....and u cant imagine how smart kids are nowadays. my wife and i decided to leave him for the evening with our very good friends, whom he is very comfortable with. but his anticipation...unbelieveable. he realised we were both going out, and said that if we were going to leave him behind, he would run away. that we would come back to an empty house and never see him again. (tone: strange mix of amazement and pride, expression: half amused, hlf admiring). so we said (folding his hands in relief), 'achcha baba, mama will stay with dont run away ok!!! and u know, my son, he is a leo, he'll do what he says...baap re. so we thought my wife better not come"
me, incredulous: "OH!"
"i mean, the kind of anticipation abilities the kids have...i was nothing when i was 3"
while i still attempt to come to terms with what i've heard, s asks, " so what do you do?"
"i work at intel...know, until i went to b-school, i only focussed on studies. double promotions in school, nothing but studying and topping ever single exam. then the best b-school in india...and there i got involved in drama and other things, and going to the US made me get into sports. u know, i am going to let my son do what he wants...he can become an artist, a sportsman...not going to make him top his exams like i did, or get double promotions, or go to the best B-school in india."
he continues, "double promotions in school is ok, but all-round development is very important. thats why the best b-school in india was good for me".
s finally concedes and asks, "which b-school?"
the reply, "iim- I. we were the first batch".

conversation 3: with kc, the ambassador's wife.
me: "how do u like brussels?"
kc: "i decided to like every place i go to."
"oh, cool"
"you know, i am the president of three clubs here, and i like to be a president that really does things rather than sitting around. that keeps me busy. and this afternoon iwas at lunch at the pakistani ambassador's place, and the princess was there"
i look blank. which princess?
she reads my blank look. "u know, the princess of belgium. she has even called me twice, but i never recognise her, i am so bad."
i nod, expressionless.
me:"i believe your son was visiting? or is he about to visit?"
"yes. you know, he and my daughter-in-law are both from cambridge. and that photograph he took it and won an award for it. "
me, "oh, nice."

isn't the world a fun place :)

Friday, September 01, 2006


since as long as i can recall
my teeth have been a pain
too many cavities and root canals
and brushing twice? all in vain!

now two of my wisdom teeth
happily lie in the dentist's bin,
to suffer such a gruesome fate
i must have surely sinned

the more i try to escape
the dentist's dreary lair,
the more i am laughed at by fate.
who said life was fair?

but my woes don't end here,
for other than the dentist's breed
there exists a ruthless type
equally painful, indeed.

this is the techie brigade
who can fly me to the moon
but they can't fix my laptop
clearly, i am doomed.

my pictures and my music
and all my data, gone.
without my on-blog radio
i feel quite forlorn.

they called it melodrama
when i shared my calamity.
but i've lost a part of my being.
life is one big travesty :(