By Sikiladi

Mom, mother or simply mum
Closer to my heart …..
Than teeth to chewing gum

Mama, Amma or say it Ammi
Cannot resist the charm……
When fondly, snuggly she hugs me

Giving birth and bringing up
Was no mean chore…..
Flowing with love was her cup

Being far away in alien land
Grateful to her……
My each nerve, each hair strand

Sparing her time with equal care
Belonging to us siblings…..
In an undisputed uncounted share

Raising with added value education
Her guidance to me……
Has turned like a precious benediction

Being the light in unknown ways
She led my path…….
Letting me fall to rise in various ways

Playing Ludo game just for fun,
And Snakes and Ladders……
She taught life skills can be hard fun

Acceptance of my many traits
She experienced……..
Like unkempt hair tangled in braids

Taking tough decisions in her stride
She taught me…….
Perseverance can mature to be of pride

My first teacher, she became
Speech and walking…..
She taught me like a playful game

Being helpful and charitable was natural
Sharing and caring……
These traits became her precious jewel

Mother, mama, mér, maman or mummy
Titles may be many……
By any name she remains a dear mummy.


In the media:

published in The Asian Weekly- Edition 351 – May 12th to 18th 2017

Mother’s Day Feature

asian weekly 2017 Mother




I am sorry mum for your suffering!
I am sorry for your pain bearing!
Having lost you to illness left me hurt….
But having lost you to wounds has injured me.
A brave warrior you fought till the end…
….Although the suffering saw no end.
The pricks and piercing here and there…
……And ugly jabs almost everywhere …..
…The uncouth handling of your care….
By the staff of Apollo’s nursing care.
The Intensive care forced upon you,
By the doctors of Apollo whilst their pockets
……..were fed by you.

The painful expression coming from your eyes,
Questioning me everyday,” why O! why?”
Docs pushing you away from the comfort of home,
To leave you alone at a time whilst sickness had grown….
The loss of the vital body fluid….
that should have run smooth and rapid.
Leaving you feeblest like never had….
Causing fevers and tremors of shivering ….
All so firmly accepted and borne by you.
The unethical morals rule medical fraternity ……..
The dirty tricks layered by ego between medics…
Cost me dearly a life that was precious and pure.

I am sorry mum for your suffering!
I am sorry for your pain bearing!
Having lost you to negligence by specialists….
Who forgot to check on you but checked pockets.
To them of interest were the results on charts,
They noticed not the inflicted painful darts.
Causing infection and then finding the cause,
Causing blood loss after blood loss to fulfill the loss….
By hundreds of syringes that extracted your blood……
…..To them it was a mere routine job.
Did they notice ever those shabby helper boys….
Contaminating the samples on the way to pathology lab ?
Holding trays full of samples, with samosaed oily hands,
Stopping on the way satiating their gossipy glands.

I am sorry mum for your suffering!
I am sorry for your pain bearing!
The legs captivated by that DVT pump….
Made you feel imprisoned on the hospital bed.
I should have understood your agony oh mum,
Please do forgive me for the ignorance mum.
The mouth went dry and you felt to cry…..
…..Neither a sip of water nor tears to cry.
I was shocked by that condition and wanted to pry…
Your hands too were bandaged under a pretext oh my!
Your own beautiful, glowing body ……
Turned to emerge a burden or a sort of cage….
Was it your illness or the hospital that laid the trap?
To squeeze out the life force out of you….
……Giving it wings of air to fly far away.

I am sorry mum for your suffering!
I am sorry for the pain bearing!
No apology ever came from them……
They found excuses to give you the run.
Their options all were fatalistic eventually,
They love the game called Life that ends in Death.
The Apollo Hospital at New Delhi,
To me appeared to be a death sanctuary.
I am bitter, yes very bitter at the way things worked,
I lost you at a place where lives are meant to get cured.
You said not a single formal goodbye
You spoke not a word in days lying masked.
You neither hugged nor were allowed to be hugged….
…….In life at hospital or even in death.
I miss by big motherly hug dear mum,
I miss you each day my dear mum.
Now memories alone shall hang on
Of the immediate past and years of past
Like a jigsaw puzzle unfolding on mind screen,
I wish I could get you back my own royal queen.


Discarding her dreams half way,
She gets up to boil that cup of tea.
One eye observing children’s’ uniform,
Another monitoring the boiling milk.

A hand on the pan frying the breakfast eggs,
Another brushing away their unkempt hair.
Toasting the bread and spreading the jam,
Packing the lunchbox with sandwiched ham.

Adding some and a cucumber salad,
Balanced meals she prepares for she cares.
Attending to ageing grandma on the sick bed,
She helps your old grandpa to get up from bed.

Her frets and fumes form daily routine,
Perfection is played as biscuits with cream.
Unending tasks with diligence all fulfilled,
Never seen her kids with crumpled clothing.

Cooking some porridge, visiting the physician ,
Picking up grocery, working like a magician.
Watering those dainty flower pots on window sill,
Sweeping away the dust giving home a clean bill.

Laundering the shirts, pants and dress skirts,
With a thousand odd chores she takes a flirt.
Enjoying her taste of music, twisting to tunes,
Attending the church, mosque or temple she blooms.

Paying courtesy visits to those that need a care,
Forgetting her own needs, she churns with a flair.
Pleasing a husband & kids & parents his and hers,
Smiling away she nurses the wounds inflicted on hers’.

Timid as a dove, and raging as a storm,
This one woman carries wondrous charms.
Her gentle soft hands work as a healing balm,
Amazingly in thunderous moments she acts calm.

This awesome human is a super woman,
A daughter, a sister grew up to be this woman.
Gaining motherhood needed no introduction,
A caring attribute God gifted to each woman.

A responsibility big on slender shoulders,
Nurturing a new healthy, able generation.
Educating moral values being her certification,
Becoming a mother, cook, nurse and academician.




The Winged Invader

by Monica Gokaldas

The tale of The Elephant and the Ant might not be the most popular one but it sure came to my mind during the flight from Dubai to Hongkong. A small little creature of God became mighty enough to force all passengers on the flight to disembark from the flight that they boarded within few tens of minutes. Here’s how the story goes.

I was waiting at the Business Class Lounge at the airport along with my family. The announcement came in a bit early, at 9.15 am as a final call for the passengers bound for EK 380 to proceed towards the boarding gate. We were lounging peacefully expecting to proceed towards the boarding gate at 9.30am thus the announcement startled us. However, the haste went to a waste as our boarding gate was unmanned at the time. In a while, as the staff emerged, they weren’t really looking forward to boarding the passengers. Upon questioning they politely told us to wait for about 10 minutes.

Needless to add that given the comfort of the lounge, everyone retired back to the couches closer to the gate. Little did we all know that the promised 10 minutes would extend to 70 minutes. Phew! Finally we commenced boarding from 10.30 onwards. Excitement followed by delay was soon overcome by further delay as after having settled down and having sipped on the welcome drink in the business class we spotted a bird flying from nowhere. No sooner had that happened one could see the crew members, the service staff running towards the front cabin on the upper deck.

Hilarious as it sounds, were the passengers at witnessing these grown ups holding their weapons of assault ( funnily enough those were mere blankets and fabrics) attempting to chase or trap a cheeky little bird. It had to be arrested. It had boarded the flight illegally! It was without a so called legal document of the world of humans called a passport. It hadn’t obtained a visa permit to visit Hongkong! It hadn’t even cleared through a physical security check. What an audacious behavior it displayed.

This little and often ignored creature had for once decided to make headline news and gain significance. And that it managed pretty well as the efforts of the staff at apprehending this illegal passenger on board failed. She hid! ( by now I had developed enough bond with her to not address her as it).Coming from nowhere, going to a nowhere this chirpy terrorist bird found a hideous pleasure giving them all a run. Well, I guess they assumed it had escaped them and made her way out in the fresh air rather than choosing to breathe the air exhaled by us.

By now, a half of an hour had passed since everyone had made themselves comfortable when to their utter surprise the bird was sighted flying backwards in full speed. Her flight within the cabin was amusing us so much that for a few moments we all forgot our ICE entertainment and gained interest in something which was a common scene when not inside an airplane. The chase had begun once again and the frantic run that we witnessed was quite a scene as the crew members quickly barred off the Business and First Class area by drawing in the curtains and plugging them securely at both the right and left ends .

This tiny winged entertainer in all its might had terrorized the Emirates staff. “Oh! What a winged pleasure it must have gained”, thought I. But the very next minute I started sympathizing with her for she had unknowingly, in her simple innocence entered a forbidden enemy territory. The humans who rarely appeared friendly to her kind and creed were usually very big enemies. Ahem! Some of them have a pretense of being kind and caring , they trap them and keep them as ‘pets’ too. Some of them being part of bigger organizations claim to protect, conserve and upkeep their kind and creed in sanctuaries and parks after being the cause of bringing them steps closer to a downfall in their numbers. And now! Now here they were, trying to give a chase to one of them who couldn’t be accommodated among the large numbers who wanted to travel to Hongkong.

Yeah! Yeah! We claim security measures. We claim hygiene. We claim comfort. We can go on and on about our claims but the fact remains we couldn’t have this unwelcome guest on board. We joked about her not having a passport. We joked about it not taking the effort to fly herself till Hongkong thus choosing to board the Emirates plane. We laughed at the whole scenario and disembarked the plane thus boarding another one totaling up the delay to nearly six hours and several failed attempts at catching hold of the little visitor.

We were exhausted and wanted to shut off our eyes the minute we had re boarded our airplane . I wondered how terrified and tired the bird would have been. Perching on trees being its nature, how harsh would it have been on her to be escaping into the tiny dockets of space it would have discovered under the seats or maybe inside the folds and curves in unimaginable places. Did she get injured? Did it find food in the pantry? Were her wings intact?There was an influx of many such questions running through like a film in the camera of my mind. I was attempting to visualize the various scenarios resulting from the traumatic hide and seek game that was played around this dainty being whom I had started sympathizing with.

Unbeknownst to this invader, she had now found a place of love within a somewhat curled up, rolled up piece of feeling that lay in my heart. Yes, the heart: an abode of unconditional love. But what did I do to express my love. I harshly walked away and out like any other passenger but I prayed for her. I prayed for her escape. I prayed for her safety. I prayed for her to meet her fellows out there : maybe her mate or her siblings or her children. I enquired the air hostesses about the bird if she survived, if she was caught and released. The response that left me stunned was , “I don’t know ma’am but you don’t worry, this is not the same plane”. I silently forgave her as she was simply performing her duty to her best. The professional attitude of Emirates is par excellence and it left no doubt at that even once.

It was all about us humans, has been the case always since we humans became insensitive in our run for professionalism. The fault lay not in the airport nor in the airplane. The fault lay not with the staff and attendants nor with the crew on board. The fault, my dear readers is in our attitudes of the modern day world. We deem ourselves most significant as compared to other creatures who often pay a heavy price for our modernized, educated behavior.
Disclaimer: the views expressed above are in no way meant to harm any individuals or airliners but to bring awareness of the lack of a simplistic holistic human trait in today’s world.


by Monica Gokaldas

It squeaked, it chirped!
Behind the seats it smirked,
Flying and perching in enemy territory,
The tiny little bird was churning inventory.

They gasped and they gaped,
Its movement they caped…
Giving them an adrenaline rush,
It gave their expertise a crush.

A tiny feathered thrush,
Whisked past them a-brush…
Leaving a trail of their failure,
On board the Emirates it found air.

With its measured moves light,
It challenged the mighty ones’ might..
Chasing them out before the flight,
Unfastened the seat belts fastened tight.

It caused quite a delay and fright,
To the schedules that run so tight….
Lounging and duty free turned boring,
While they wanted to rest and go snoring.

The amusement of a bird on board,
Caused fidgeting mind and feet cold…
The wait seemed unending,
The bird had found a new landing.

The power game went on,
The struggle too caught on…
It escaped all their moves,
By displaying its feathery grooves.

EK 380 to Hongkong…
Turned out to be epic history…..
When one boarded and re boarded,
Yet none angry nor being scolded.

They waited with patience,
They waited in exhaustion….
The passengers and the crew,
Hungry and tired albeit they grew.

The struggle was immense,
Yet for some it made no sense…
All the flight’s daring and caring,
Couldn’t help the fluttering bearing.

Meanwhile it felt so lost,
And wanted to fly out at any cost…
It braved the masses a couple of times,
Attempting to save one of its precious bird lives.

Uncaged yet far from being free,
Liberty it needed in a soaring spree….
The duty hours of crew ran overdue,
The families in Hongkong waited without a clue.




Northern Kenya has been facing a severe drought situation. In this poem a fraction of a the suffering of the drought affected is mentioned.

Those hollowed eyes narrate a tale

Of nourishment gone down by the scale

Dual seasonal spells of awaited rains

Have given us a Kenyans too big a fail


Rugged yellowy ground now dirty pale

Missing are the vibrant greens that hale

Baringo, Mandera, Marsabit and Turkana

All on gloomy, ugly, dry, withered trails


Boreholes broken down to over usage

Many gone silent leaving the body cage

The livestock, the crops and the men

Each heart suffering an unspeakable rage


Faced by imminent death that nears

The starved three millions dropped spears

No time left to fight or quarrel anymore

The crop failures made them change gears


They call these times a real period of Lent

Looking for aid in food forms and monies spent

Communities have gathered to help their bit

The millions spent are a mere narrow vent


The effects of desertification are harshly felt

The climate change, shortage of rain is spelt

Those who reigned supreme when in greens

With malnutrition are weakened and bent


The little ones of many no more so gay

With hunger pangs no energy left to play

Walking far and wide in search of water

Eagerly await the Almighty’s clouds to spray


A boiling pot on the charcoaled fire

To their lost eyes is hopeful desire

Unbeknownst to the little mind frame

It’s tubers or worse, dying animals on pyre


Dried up are all rivers, dams and pans

The drought has appeared in timely spans

That smell of death hangs heavily around

Lake Turkana receded to dryness plans


————————————————————————————————————————————————– In The Media:

Published in The Asian Weekly : Edition 345 (31st mar – 06 apr 2017)


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World Poetry Day


21st March: World Poetry Day

Flowing through the pen
Running through the page
Thoughts that take shape
Crooked, rugged, festive
And most times ……
Sensitive word frames
That is poetry my friends
When a feeling is placed
In ink it crawls up mind sleeve
Rolls up, curls up or even
Folded in dainty pleats
The expression of words
That is poetry my friends.