Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Food For Thought Or Thought For Food?

Have you ever craved for something in the middle of night; I have seen most of my friends craving for some or the other food. I had always considered myself a creature with no such instincts. Until one fine day, when in a land far away from where I belong, I suddenly wanted to eat those things. Things, that just a short time back were just a block away from me but today are not even available in the city I live.

 Food is one of most important needs of survival on earth. But had food been only the basic necessity we would still be digging out the roots, hunting animals and eating all of it raw. But with the progression of technology, sciences food also has developed over centuries. And today can be categorised in various segments to suit to everyone’s need.

I have been wondering that with time, in our fast paced life have we forgotten the importance of food.
The famous saying of “Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, Dine like a Pauper” is may be followed by the very few cautious and lucky individuals. In our running schedules chasing our bread and butter we have may be shifted the saying totally opposite in some cases and in others no such saying exists.

Most of us have a quick breakfast, a negligible or may be whatever is available in lunch and an elaborate dinner. The reason could be because it is only in evenings that we have ample of time enjoy our meal, eat slowly and taste the food we eat. This is the same reasons why so many fast food joints work so good on weekdays and most restaurants are busy for dinner. And especially need reservation for their Friday to Sunday dinner.

Unlike many I see food as the most important way to connect.  When I remember my childhood days it flushes so many things. I still remember the peas fry my grandfather made for me, the wild berries I use to eat in summers, the butter my grandfather made. The memories not only remind me of the place or the people but in fact it reminds me of the taste which is as fresh as if I ate these yesterday.

Food is such an important part of our system that we tend to forget that when we talk about a place to also recall the popular food. I would call myself a global foodie; however is that what I prefer to eat every day of my life perhaps not. Tasting different cuisine, eating different flavours and different food is something most people do, but there are rarely any who make these cuisines part of their everyday meal. Beside my pan Indian cuisine list I don’t think I can eat any other cuisine every day. I may like to eat pasta, pizza, fajita or fish and chips as and when I want to but it is long before they make it to my craving or everyday meal menu.

Most people, who don’t live in their own country and are far away from their homes, will often realize that they crave for the food from back home. Despite the fact that people back home may be so bored of routine that they often prefer to go with the other food choices available. This may be explained by basic human nature after all “Variety is the spice of life”.

The need of variance in taste may differ individual to individual, but the fact remains that taste is associated with memory.  The important part is which kind of memory? Despite the fact we might have had many horrible experiences with taste we most often recall the good ones. And something which leaves a bad taste is best forgotten.

Food well cooked, well served and matching to the taste is something worth a kill. It’s not strange that how finally how everything boils down to the essence of life “FOOD”.

Monday, 19 January 2015

It’s time to go back there again.

Dew on the grass, moist ground,
Monsoon rain, Roaring Ganges,
Grounded ginger and pepper,
Hot tea in kettle.
Narrow road, long mountain trail,
the wide deep valleys.
The old house with stone roof,
Mud walls and wooden pillars.
Sitting by the fire place,
Turmeric milk in winters.
Walnut tree across the house,
Garden with plum and peaches.
The fresh smell of pine trees.
In summer the wild flowers,
Raw mango on the roof top,
Wild berries,leeches
Lime and mint juice

It’s time to go back there again.

Friday, 27 June 2014

नींम का पेड़

नींम का वो छोटा सा पेड़,
उग रहा था आँगन में !
उस में ना सुंदर फूल थे,
ना कड़वी मीठी  निम्बोरियाँ !
थे तो बस कुछ कड़वे पत्ते,
और भूरी सी शाखायें !

माँ ने कहा इसे काट देते हैं,
इस का क्या काम है ? इस ने बड़ा होना है,
और घर की दीवारों को करना है कमज़ोर !
पर कुछ था, जो उस पेड़ से डोर से जुड़ी थी !
मैने कभी उस से दान्तून बनाया,
और  कभी पत्तियों को पानी मैं उबाल के नहाया !

फिर एक दिन दिखा मुझे एक अनोखा सा दृश्य,
छोटा सा घोंसला और दो चिड़ियाँ,
उन के तीन अंडे और चेह्चहाने की आवाज़ !
फिर क्या था मैने उन्हे रोज़ देखना ,
और इंतज़ार करना कब आएँगे चूज़े !

नींम थोड़ा बड़ा हुआ और चूज़े भी आए,
वो बड़े हुए और उड़ भी गये !
नींम मैं फिर सफेद सुंदर फूल आए,
और फिर छोटी छोटी निम्बोरियाँ !
अब तो मैं उसे रोज़ देखती और खुश होती,
कभी उस से बात करती कभी उस की डाल हिलाती !

देखते हे देखते नींम ताड़ सा हो गया !
दीवार में जैसे ही एक दिन दरार सी दिखी,
सब ने कहा नींम को कटवाओ !
बस मैं अकेली नींम के पक्ष में रह गयी !

क्या कुल्हाड़ी क्या दरांती नींम पर सब चली,
मेरी ज़िद में माँ ने नींम का ठूंठ भर रहने दिया !
अब वो कद मैं उतना ही था, जितना मैने पहली बार देखा था !
बस ना पत्तियाँ, ना शाखायें, ना फूल !
नींम था ,पर बस नींम सा ना रहा !

मानो एक सखी की विदाई आँगन सूना कर गयी !
कड़वे नींम की मीठी कुछ यादें ही रह गयीं !
मौसम बदला,गर्मी आई धूप अब कुछ तेज़ लगने लगी,
नींम की छाया की कमी सब को खलने लगी!

नींम के उस ठूंठ को देख देख मौसम यूँ ही बदल गये !
एक दिन सुबह सूखे से दिखने वाले ठूंठ पर,
अचानक मैने देखी दो नन्ही सी पत्तियाँ !
बसंत आया और नयी कोपलें,
नींम का वो जीवट पेड़ फिर हरा हुआ !

Friday, 20 June 2014

The White Bed Sheet

It is neither cream nor light beige,
It is just white.

It spreads just fine on my bed,
And looks even finer, making my room look wide.

The sun makes it look brighter yet cool.
The clouds make it look lovely and warm.

I start my day in it and rest on it at night.
I spread it wide to the corners and fit it just right.

Having kept it away from spots or stains,
I feel the delight.

It is no silk and it is not satin
It is pure cotton with high thread count

It’s got neither flowers nor any embossed lines
It is just simple plain and white.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Big Leap

My sleep broke sometime in the morning and I tried closing my eyes to get back to sleep. After a while of trying I wasn’t still able to sleep. So I stretched out and grabbed my mobile, and without looking at the time started playing candy crush thinking it will put me to sleep. I was wishing if I had few more lives or crossed a level, as then I could have played until I fell asleep but no luck.
When I finally noticed, it was 4.40 AM and despite trying for another 20 minutes I wasn’t able to go back to sleep. I got up and went out to the adjoining room to realise that it was dawn already, pristine sun rays bringing life to everything they touched.

As I looked out at the avenue, from my window I decided to go for a run. “Yes A Run”.

I wouldn’t call myself a lazy person, because I am not one. However would have to admit that when it comes to any physical workout I have never been the most enthusiastic person around. For the past few days I have been trying running, and every time I did reasonably for a small distance before giving up.
Today I wanted to make sure that I stick to a discipline and not do things on and off as I had been doing so far.

I have been physically active but it does puts me to a little shame that I am the odd one out at my home. My father even in his late forties used to play football with boys half his age. My sister has been a gymnast in forming and while she would easily spin on tree branches, I could hardly hang in for a couple of minutes. My brother is a fitness freak and can’t live without a gym to work out even during his vacation

But it is not the case that I have never done anything at all. As a kid I practiced yoga, karate and have been doing gym and yoga in the past. But what I perhaps always lacked was discipline and consistency.

Once in school when my team was lagging at third position and I was the last person in the relay team of four, I ran so fast that we got gold!!

Another time during college, I happened to reach Delhi train station just 2-3 minutes before departure.  To add to my misery my train was on platform number 13 which was farthest from where I was standing. I had a big bag and a back pack with laptop; I grabbed both and ran like I had not run in years. I climbed the stairs, got down and started running towards my compartment, while the train had already started slowly. I am thankful to those passengers who held my big bag through the door closest to me as without their help I wouldn’t have got in. It took me five minutes to catch my breath at the end of that mad run with 20kg luggage. 
This episode made me believe that may be when it would matter I will give my best and do the undoable.

However today I wanted to do something I have been planning for so long. I quietly pulled my track suit from cupboard, wore my shoes, as it was cold outside I wanted a jacket but didn’t want to risk waking up my husband with screeching noise of drawers or make any possible noise to wake him up (to wake someone from sleep is like crime). I saw his Liverpool jacket lying handy so I grabbed it and wore it half heartedly, sipped some water and left home quietly with my set of keys.

Unlike in the evening I saw no one running outside. It was around 5.30 in the morning, as I stretched and started running. Having escaped the inertia, I felt a sense of accomplishment. As I reached closer to the distance I had run in the past, I again felt tired and slowed down. But unlike before, I picked up my spirits to stretch another 100 meters. Despite moving above my previous distance I am still ashamed to hardly to make it a mile.
Walking back towards home, I gathered all my energy and sprinted for 100 meters. When I stopped I could see my home across the boundary and wished I could jump across and did not have to walk around to reach there.

As I entered, I wondered if my husband would be awake. In that case by now he would have already realized that I have been missing and I would surprise him. But I opened the door only to find him still deep asleep. 
As I changed I hoped he would somehow find out about my great deed and applaud me. So for him to find out, I left some hints like leaving his Liverpool jacket in the drawing room and keeping  my shoes in the top most rack (which I normally insist to be kept vacant).
When my husband woke up, he was already in a hurry to get ready for his office. I hoped he would notice the puzzle I had created for him to solve. But I was not amazed that he did not. Because perhaps it is only me, who has this super observation to interpret from the position of his shoes, socks or clothes had he done something similar.

I was happy, but wanted someone to appreciate my efforts. So I ended up in writing this note just to tell my husband, how I went up against all odds and took a big leap today. 

But then I realized that when I managed to catch the train, won the relay race, left my job to get an MBA, it was not for somebody to appreciate me, or even take a note of what I did.

Because may be some times what matters is what you do for yourself and not to showcase to anyone or prove any point. And this was one amongst them where I came over my apprehension and self imposed constraints.

I very strongly believe that once you take a big leap towards something for yourself you would always land doing way better than you would have expected.

Saturday, 31 May 2014


दो  मुट्ठी आसमान भी है,
थोड़ी सी ज़मीन भी है,
फिर भी सभी को,
संगेमरमर की चाह सी है !

शरीर से जुड़े छोटे से पंख भी हैं,
उड़ने की शायद क्षमता भी है,
फिर भी लंबी उड़ान के लिए,
साहस की अभी कमी सी है !

रोज़ वहीं जाना , रोज़ वहीं से आना !
इस रास्ते के तो अब पत्थर
भी पहचाने से लगते हैं !
कहीं किसी अलग जगह  जाना तो है,
बस मन बनाने की देर है !

रंग और भी होते,
संग और भी होते,
दोस्त और भी हो सकते हैं,
बस दिल मिलाने की देर है !

हम भी कुछ कर गुज़र जाएँ,
कुछ बड़ा शायद, सबसे अलग !
ये सोचते हो उमर भर तुम,
पर शायद एक शुरूवात की देर है !

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Only For You

If strength is what they call it, it will be strong.
If referred as love, it will be true.
You will be mine and I shall be yours,
till the sun glows in sky and night is lit by moon.

I will be holding the candle of light,
when there is no brightness, and there is no sight.
When you are sore and your shadow shies,
in the darkest of days, in the gloomiest of nights.

There is no vice and there is no virtue.
But only people by you, or on the other side.
But there will be a wall, in your defense
and it will be guarded, by this soul forever.

There is no reason, why bother to mention.
No one has inquired and none dared to question.
As reasons are for others, and for those who treason.
The ones who are in love, need  no explanation.