HABITS TOXIFIED

The strangeness fortified

Our habitats all toxified

The potbellied man walks ahead with his loads

On the awesomely crooked potholed roads

We could do with reducing the bulge from his affair

Balance out by adding that size of bulge elsewhere

 

The smoke and smog causing illness

The gaseous nature causing distress

Being cured by yet another gaseous element

With the combined hydrogen and oxygen segment

A pollution that occurred by the air

Is now to be treated by another air

 

The noxious pollutants rising all around

Choking and breathlessness on the ground

Nitrogenous waste and sulphur dioxide pair

Combination of smoke that fills the air

The heavy, ugly  and dark chemical fumes

Photochemical haze appearing like sand dunes

 

Mankind is climbing the illness stair

Having ignored his environment’s care

He realizes not that he has no part spare

The end to his wellness he doth prepare

Creating missiles and ammunitions under safety guise

Causing calamities untimely only to later despise

 

Luxurious comforts of his earthly life

Loss of activity and a digital lazy strife

The rape and abuse of resources upscale

Degradation of humanness on the humanity scale

Terror and politics that strive to rule beings

Killing ambitions of simple childhood dreams

 

Uncommon becoming simple life and death

The cancers, corruption and wickedness hath

Abusive is becoming the saintly pure mind

Polluted is becoming the mind of mankind

Warfare and terrorism becoming mainstream

Corruption and hatred have taken the cream

 

Disguised are relationships by motives

Perfection giving credit to web additives

Lost is the simplicity of kids’ innocent charm

Toddlers play games on phones that harm

Busy is parenthood in more than livelihood

Busier young generation to brandhood

 

The strangeness fortified

Our habits all toxified

The necessities have graduated from luxury life

Luxuries have up scaled their standard strife

Pollute the environment at future’s expense

We live a life of lies and fake pretence.

 

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A letter for the old, fragile me.

Reposting this as a follow up on my work “Shame and guilt” when the #Me too seems to making rounds. There are so many victims and so few voices.

mendingmc

You are going to get through this. In 2 years time you’ll be sat on your bed writing a blog post on how you conquered inpatient, are in a home of your own, and can finally close your eyes at night without seeing the devil in the darkness of your eyelids. Your going to be get through this, You won’t have to worry about those ‘how are you feeling? Don’t answer that. I will tell you how you are feeling because you can’t tell me.’  you won’t have to think about the constant darkness surrounding you everyday of your life, tell someone, tell them now, sooner rather than later because they will believe you M, they really believe you. They support you, they’ve held you up, they’ve got you help, they love YOU. Not him. HEs lying, everything he says is a lie. You need to ignore who he was and…

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Shame and guilt

This story is inspired by the trending topic #ME TOO addressing the taboo topic of our sick society where women are being treated as objects of pleasure by some. It is a pity that they are victimized and go through the shame and guilt of something beyond their doing. Thanks to Alyssa Milano this campaign lifted off to give at least a segment of women their voice to speak up about the naked atrocities.

Appreciative are the efforts of Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi at saving and providing protective care to the children (both male and female) who are either the victims or targets of sexual abuse and assault in many parts of India. 

Mira the shy introvert and the only girl child in the family was overly protected and pampered by all around her. Her simple demands of getting new glass bangles were met with gifts of beautiful gold bangles. Such was the affection and adulation that she was addicted to.

She left for school every morning along with her elder brother and returned home under his protective care. Life was simple, chores were basic and time a plenty. The siblings had a set pattern throughout the day.Going for their showers, getting dressed for school, having a freshly prepared breakfast along with a cup of milk ( Mira didn’t quite enjoy that cup of milk but had no guts to refuse it afraid of her dad’s annoyance). Spending till afternoon at school and returning to rest a bit and get done with the Homework. Once the Homework was done, they had all the time to play around.

Whilst the parents thought Mira was very docile and well protected with the whole family around her including a grandmother and a great grandfather who was always at home she became a silent victim of abuse at a very young age. In the early 70s speaking about Love and sex was a taboo topic in most Indian households. Funnily, if you heard a girl even uttering those words she was labelled as an immoral.

She was barely nine years old( or so she would think) when a far relative more than double her age came to stay with them. He appeared ugly to her from day one but she thought nothing much as he would stay a few days and return home. Alas! this so called far cousin was there to stay longer than weeks and months. He was there to stay for some years on the pretext of better schooling. Mira and her brother Mohan were not very happy with this but their parents seemed to be in a habit of having people stay over. Earlier it was an uncle of theirs who took away more affection from their mother than he deserved while staying over for a few years.

Mohan had detested the very time when an aunt had moved over from another town along with her family and they had to put up additional seven members besides seven of their own in that two bedroom house for several months till their father managed to get them a house to move into. Each time the relief of seeing someone move out from their house was short lived as another relative would move in.

The far cousin Dinesh came to the city from a small town and appeared a simpleton initially but soon had a corrupt mind and attitude. He was overly protected by grandma for all his flaws as she covered them up quite smartly. Little did grandma realise that Dinesh had his lecherous eyes upon her own daughter Ganga. Dinesh and Ganga went to the same school and she often had to put up with his suggestive behaviour. Knowing grandma’s fond attitude towards Dinesh, Ganga dared not mention about his behaviour to anyone at home.

Dinesh meanwhile became bolder having understood her dilemma and his naughty gestures and teasing touch became frequently repetitive. One day when grandma was away for prayers and the two siblings were busy playing Dinesh forcefully slid his hands into her clothes and pressed her breasts hard. This was disgusting for Ganga and though she pushed him away, she cried a lot. Mira tried consoling her but the nine year old couldn’t have understood the sentiments of her young aunt. She was disgusted. She felt like she had been raped. No man had ever touched her body like that. She thought she was to be blamed for this violation of her piousness.

When grandma came home Ganga wanted to cry out loud and tell her about it all. Grandma was in her own world, singing away, not even noticing that her youngest born was going through trauma. Ganga couldn’t dare to talk about it eventually as she was ashamed of what had happened. She took the shame upon herself as if she was a sinner. Dinesh was all smiles appearing victorious and his moves became worse by the day.

He started grabbing her in his arms at any given opportunity. He would pinch her on the breasts, kiss her and pass obscene remarks. In a conservative Indian family all this was considered extremely shameful and Ganga was suffering this shame so much that she lost her concentration on her studies. It made her into a very reserved person who found no solace with anyone as she couldn’t talk to anyone about the mental agony she was undergoing. The disrespect to her body not only caused shame in her but affected her health too. She started sleep walking and wanted to kill herself one day. Thankfully her brother Inder caught her in time and saved her but no one ever understood the cause behind all this. All she deserved was a comedy of scolding coming from all elders.

Ganga tried to gather some courage and speak to her mother once at least but without hearing her out she was shut down by praises of Dinesh coming out from her mum. Grandma had surely been charmed up by this guy.  His sexual urge was outgrowing his pants and one day as great grandpa was having his afternoon nap Dinesh grabbed little Mira in his arms and started fondling her. Mira was scared of him, she didn’t know what to do. Then as he continued to cuddle her like a baby he unbuttoned his pants and placed Mira’s hand on his private part.

Mira was astonished. She tried to run away but he held her tight and threatened her that he would call her parents. She wasn’t committing a sin but was made to feel guilty and ashamed by him. Lifting up her frock, he placed his member inside her panties. She was utterly confused in her innocence as to why would he do that. In a matter of minutes the ultimate happened right in front of great grandpa who was enjoying his blissful nap unaware of the disgusting act.

Mira was scared about what she underwent. She still hadn’t understood what the ugly act meant and why. She wanted to cry because her panty was wet and she was in pain. He explained to her that this was normal and she was supposed to wear wet pants as a sign of growing up. He further explained to her that her mother must be wearing wet panties too. She hated to think like that about her mum and worst even that her dad Inder could ever behave so badly ever.

Her dislike towards Dinesh turned into hatred after that episode as he started frequenting his act. How she wished she could tell mummy about it but was full of shame to even speak about it. She had understood what sex meant pretty early, in fact earlier than puberty. Now she could understand what her aunt Ganga must be undergoing as he claimed proudly once that she was not her only victim. How she wished she could run away somewhere as she was full of disgust by his acts. Surprisingly her parents and Mohan never realized all the nonsense going on right under their noses.

What a lovely protective care she had where she and her aunt were abused during the day, in the evenings and at night. Ganga was happily married off in a couple of years and Dinesh’s  gazing eyes were watchful of Mira’s pubic growth. How could she ever tell her mother that long before she got the first bra for her little girl, her tiny breasts had been pinched and bitten onto. How could she ever explain her pain and to whom when right there in front of her sleeping grandma she was made naked, fondled and acted upon.

Such behaviour is found in nearly eighty percent of overprotective conservative Indian families where men of all ages are thought to be guarding the females in the house. Unfortunately it is those very guardians like fathers, grandfathers, uncles and cousins who break their decency barriers and victimize young women and girls again and again, yet continue to enjoy the privilege of being their protectors giving no voice to the female members. This kind of shame and guilt cannot be justified by any means.

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS : Celebrating the birth of Christ

 

December’s unique celebration

Hearts full of worship and jubilation

A family time for the entire clan

Their celebratory customs need a plan

Involving heightened economic activity

Christmas celebrated as per one’s Nativity

The songs pre-Christmas get played plenty

Origins of customs and themed music gaiety

The bringing in of the Christmas Tree

Adornment with mistletoe, garland and Holly

Commemoration of the birth of the Child Divine

Born in Bethlehem to Joseph and the Virgin Mary

The twelve days of Christmas and Caroling popular

Lighting the Christingle and humming the jingles

A gifting galore alongside lights and ornaments

Concentric assortment of leaves evergreen

Traditional colors of red, gold and green

Characteristic songs unique from the middle Ages

The Yule Logs famous and Turkey with sages

The giving of greeting cards to Biblical messages

The Romans and Pagans passed on through generations

A worldwide Holiday marking the auspiciousness

Communal Mass in each Cathedral and Church

Midnight prayers on the Eve and preparedness

The ringing of the bell comforting

To Jesus the Lord is  all worshipping

Sikiladi

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In The Media:

Published in the Coffee Table Book- “Diwali and Beyond” 2017 by  “The Asian Weekly”:

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PLASTIC BAG BAN

 

The plastic ban in Kenya has occurred

A step towards safe environment structured

Banish those pollutant plastics deadly

That chokes the streets and gutters filthy

PLASTIC WASTE

 

The educated man needs a re-education

Of the pros and cons of waste reduction

Increase not thou unfriendly sophistication

That not only demands but breathes in pollution

 

The new age takes a reference from the old

Grandma’s days were smarter, we are now told

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Using re-usable resources with a spirit bold

When the sensitivity for future wasn’t so cold

 

Plastics that pollute to be used sparingly

Durability of products spelt of their quality

Be it metal containers and Tiffin boxes plenty

Or even the now near extinct fountain pens greatly

 

The one pen owned by one lasted years so many

The one basket for groceries used, re-used uncanny

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When the bicyclists hanged baskets of shopping fancy

And the grandmother stitched colourful bags lacy

 

Carcinogens then did not create illnesses and kill

Rubbish then did not strangle fish for some thrill

 

Whales never died then from consuming plastic frill

And the rivers and seas didn’t need clean up drills

 

When food and drink was pure and heavenly

And was cooked with love environment friendly                       bottles

Without microwaving the fire grilled food patiently

And consumption was just a mark of sufficiency

 

Awareness now created more so in Kenya country

Pollutants emerge as micro-, meso- or macro-debris

Unfavourable to land, waterways and atmospheric space

NEMA shuns usage of plastic bags by human race

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Limiting the manufacture, usage and incineration

Of the synthetic product that has toxic degradation

Enhance thy use of biodegradable production

And contribute thy effort at the planet’s conservation

paper packs

 

Your wasteful indulgence of this chemical contamination

Poisons many a species to their precious life’s termination

Plead dear Man do not cause this destruction escalation

Wildlife shall bless thy for bringing in plastic reduction

 

 

The modern man that grew from the past ages

Be it Ice -age, Stone-age, or many vast ages

Has unpleasantly been titled the man of Garb-ages

He needs to return in sanity to be counted among sages.

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—————————————————————————————————————————————–IN THE MEDIA:

Published as Poem of the Month October in The Asian Weekly edition 373 – 13th to 19th October 2017

BAG BAN POEM

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MEMORIES: A Father’s exit

Losing a parent is never an easy scenario. The very parent whom one takes for granted at most times leaves behind a gaping vacuum in one’s heart . Acceptance! yes of course! one does accept the death of a parent and moves on in life having no other option. Grief! yes that too. Grief plays up a big role in slowing down one’s progress in the material world but in a hidden manner it enhances one’s progress of the spiritualist manner.

Having lost my father in 1995 I have well lived a life till now. The initial sentiment of shock is still fresh in my mind to this date. Daddy was a very prominent person in my life. I couldn’t imagine a life without his physical presence. Not only was I under shock, saddened and worried about my elder brother and mother who lived with him I found myself staring into a stark reality.

Upon receiving the news of his death I first felt cheated. Cheated! yes I did feel so. I felt cheated by mummy, my brother and my uncle who had been assuring me of his recovery . They meant well of course as they did not want me to travel to see daddy in the hospital during my pregnancy. I felt cheated by the Mother Goddess whom I had worshipped ardently. Couldn’t she save him for me? I sat afront her idol to question and found an answer almost immediately. Before I could even cry in sorrow I heard an inner voice telling me, ” did you not learn that all earthly relations are temporary. The only permanent relationship you have is with God”.

This hit me hard. Yes, my grandmother (whom I called Amma) had emphasized on this statement in the hymn she often sang aloud ,” matlab ji  atheyi dosti, matlab jo parivar. matlab ja sab maaet, matlab jo sansaar…..”. It meant that all relationships, friendships and society is there for a purpose only. Did that mean daddy was my father for a purpose? I wondered as I looked up at the idol of the goddess expecting some comfort from my newly discovered true relationship.

Grief was beginning to set up space in my heart when my son came up to me. In his little effort to divert my attention from the sad occurrence he pointed out towards the glowing moon in the sky which in his words was, ” a very big golden moon”. It was indeed Sharad Purnima the next day and since our childhood (my two brothers and I) mummy had laid utmost importance to the full moon of Sharad Purnima.

Along with the grief came in flashback of beautiful memories of the whole family on the terrace of our house in New Delhi. Mummy would make us all thread a needle in pure moonlight as she believed in it to enhance our eyesight. Why, I had even forgotten all about it till my attention was drawn towards the moon that night. This was an evening of revelations and realizations. I was now fatherless yet I found I had a greater Father who would never abandon me. I looked up towards the sky expecting some sort of a signal from daddy.  Perhaps he could say a final bye, pass on a final kiss. All i saw was a plain moonlit sky. In my grief I don’t remember if I saw any stars.

We prepared for our travel to Dubai from Nairobi – Myself accompanied by my husband and our daughter and son. How I regretted not having travelled a few days earlier. It would have been better to go and meet him in person rather than meeting his lifeless body that ironically lay there at mercy of others for its disposal. In his life he was a moral and financial support for many that we knew and many that we never knew. Death can be such a robber, stealing away all of one’s attributes and possessions.

I looked in my elder brother’s face. He seemed to have matured within a couple of days. There were those visible stress lines emerged on his forehead from somewhere. I looked up at my mother. Though broken down by emotions she was the strongest person around. She kept guiding us all. When daddy’s body was being prepared for his last journey out of the house she dared the crowd that had gathered, went to give her last respects and love to daddy. Someone from among the gathered relatives tried to stop me from going near daddy in my pregnant state. It was a silly belief that a pregnant woman may not go near a dead person. I protested and mummy supported me at that time. She had dared the people once again and allowed me to touch my father one last time.

A chest full of questions were emerging in my mind. How will mummy live without daddy?How will my brothers manage such a big business spread in various countries? Who will look after them all? How will the properties be managed without him being around? Yet, in his death, he left behind his strength as a legacy. Within days the emotionally drained form of the entire family turned stronger as each one of us picked up our threads and took upon new responsibilities.

It was a silent power that had gradually lifted its head in each one. My uncle who until daddy’s death hadn’t taken any major decisions became the head of the family. He suddenly seemed to have gathered a new wisdom that helped him manage the business and family affairs with enhanced maturity. No longer was he concerned only about his wife and children. He took charge of his brother’s family too.

Mummy found it harsh living without her partener but in a couple of years she accepted her widowed status with utmost grace and smartness.  Being prudent about her financial status and dominance in family matters she carved a significant place for herself as the maternal head of the entire extended family. She found solace in her spiritual findings without letting it overpower her lifestyle. Although she couldn’t be labelled a fashionista, she draped herself stylishly and poised in elegant grooming skills.

We siblings gradually found our own strengths taking birth out of our grief. Our spiritual connection gained intelligence sense and we all began mastering our skills in various fields. My brothers never mentioned about visits by daddy in spirit form but I was constantly guided by him. To me it seemed he became closer to me in death than in life.  Death had cleared away the physical distances of the living world. He teased me frequently, played the naughty angel tricks, warned me of forthcoming happenings.

I felt privileged and very special by his visits of which some were not at all visual. At times he came as a voice in my head (not in my ears), at times he came as a thought and sometimes he came as a smell. I often felt him by his perfume that he used while alive, and that usually happened while I was praying. Then one fine day I decided I must not be selfish and revel in this pleasure. I told daddy in my mind that he was free to move on and I would be fine without him. Yes, I am fine indeed but I miss him dearly even after twenty two years.

My passion for writing took birth after daddy’s death as I wrote his eulogies and poured out my grief as poetry. I never knew I had the talent. Gradually I started getting my write -ups published. My entry into the world of journalism had begun thanks to the inspiration that came as grief. Daddy made an exit but stays on with me through my thoughts, deeds and words.

 

PRAYERS

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Prayers thine keep you going strong
Abandon them not for time so long
In distress and in thy times great
Its prayers that help you pull along.

A silent conversation with head bent
Communication of your heart strand
Needs no words outwardly heard
When in prayers you firmly do stand.

A story of the ultimate trust you hold
In faith your unheard tales are told
To the One that is for one and all
With his moral strength you turn bold.

An earnest word shared of inner desire
When in wants and failures you perspire
The withholding grip it passes on to thou
Prayers help you balance and doth inspire.

As life drowns with unhappiness shoals
Make gratitude and forgiveness your goals
Living in acceptance and simply moving on
Prayerful comfort becomes live saving floats.

A celebration and a life’s moment of pride or joy
When you are not so timid, shy, reserved or coy
Prayers enhance thy treasured happiness
When you treat it with respect and not unholy ploy.

A grief and a loss of your loving dear one
In sadness makes your heart painfully churn
Praying to the Almighty for loved ones soul
Soothes your sentiments in a satisfying turn.

A man of sharing and caring for whoever
Liveth in eternal peace and bliss forever
For selflessness being a form of prayer
Shakes up no faith come situations whatsoever.

A candle, an incense or lamps how so many
An altar, a mat, a monastery or the bells uncanny
All symbols of sacred serene perfection
Prayers lead from falling and end your tyranny.

A devotion that silent worship thine demands
Bound by none of the many religious commands
A relationship with the Supreme doth play
The rules of the inner self lay your aura surrounds.

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IN THE MEDIA:

Poem of the month: September 2017

published in The Asian Weekly : Edition 367: (September 01st – 07th, 2017) 

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TAW PRAYERS