It had come to him prematurely. He shone in an area which was dreaded by others, who wondered how he could be so unaware of his achievement. His Mother thought he looked more like his father now. He wondered why his wife seemed disgruntled with him lately. He liked the shine of his Bald head.

Written for The Daily Post prompt; Shine

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Your strength is in being together! You are nothing on your own! Some of you will leave us, most of you will stay, while still others may move on to be part of bigger things.Thus started every morning, with the Head Particle of Sand shouting out this message, to the Millions of particles listening.

Written for The Daily Post prompt, ‘Millions’

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The Good, the Bad & the Quirky sides of Me!:)


I saw this post on fellow blogger Vasantha’s blog and knew I wanted to write my version of 21 random Facts About Me. for FridayReflections hosted by Corinne and Sanch

1) I am not a fussy eater. I can be force fed food I hate, brinjal, bhindi, karela and the like, with emotional words, gory reminders of world hunger and a chocolate bribe for later.

2) I am grateful to God for NOT answering all my prayers!:)))

3) There are times I lead life, then there are times I let life lead me.

4) I need to wash my feet before I go to bed, else I can’t sleep.

5) I love buying colorful ankle socks, all types of cookies and kitchen accessories.

6) I’m the last person in the world you should ask for directions. If you’d follow mine, you’d most probably reach Afghanistan, and come back just to shoot me dead.

7) No matter how long they are, I cannot sleep on flights. After a long flight I stagger out of the aircraft looking like a zombie/sleep-deprived madwoman.

8) I roll my eyes, a lot. I occasionally wonder if they’d probably fall off their sockets someday (Yes, I am a Stephen King fan)

9) I have developed selective amnesia, hearing and sight.

10) The penny drops in R.E.A.L.L.Y late sometimes.

11) I like making my own bed. Army style, bounce-a-bloody-coin-on-it perfect!

12) I hold the credit for inventing some unusual dance moves. Take your pick from corpse-forced-onto-the-dance-floor, epileptic fits, woman-in-excruciating-pain. I can’t dance. Period.

13) I absolutely abhor it when people I barely know abbreviate my name. Or people I know mispronounce it. Which is why I now refer myself as a single syllable, ‘M’

14) I am a late bloomer and compensate for it by being a swift learner.

15) I cannot comprehend the toilet-seat-position man-woman debate. Really.

16) I’d rather walk barefoot on shards of glass, than speak in front of a crowd.

17) If you are cruel to children I will most probably hate you.

18) I believe that if you want God to laugh you should tell him your plans.

19) I also believe that the wheels of justice grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine.

20) I get all irascible and mopey if I’m idle for too long.

21) 21 points is too little, I could write a book on Me.

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The Writer


I see
I observe
I feel
I absorb

I write

Some of my own
Others I borrow from your life

An actor
A spectator
Sometimes a playwright
I play various roles
In this movie called life

A silent observer
An emotional voyeur
An active participant

Your emotions are my need
A thought springs from a seed

I haven’t been abused
Still I feel the pain
No spouse who cheats on me
But for you I weep rivers of rain

The good. The bad. The ugly
All shades my words portray

From the crimson of passion
To the doubts of grey

All colours on my palette
Not just Black or White

For isn’t what we call Fiction
But a fact of life.

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Viren was your quintessential Late Lateef.

Late for appointments, late for work, late for everything.

Why, he was even born two days AFTER the due date given to his mother for her delivery!

It was a long-standing joke among friends that Viren would even be late for his own wedding and funeral.
Well, at the wedding he did prove them right. He arrived a full two hours late!
He was welcomed by a bunch of laughing buddies wearing identical ”we-told-you-so” expressions on their faces and his fuming, not blushing, bride Neha who muttered under her breath “You better have a damn good explanation THIS time!”
The explanation was good enough. He had overslept. On his wedding day. If anyone could do this, it had to be Viren.

Arriving late had become a habit and try as he might he just couldn’t mend it. Sometimes he even secretly prided himself for it. The thrill of arriving after keeping everyone waiting gave him a perverse sort of a pleasure.
He did feel guilty about it yes, but sometimes; just sometimes he reveled in it too.

Neha’s constant refrain to him was “The day you arrive on time for anything, will be my biggest present” and on their first anniversary he decided that, that was what she would get.

He ordered her favorite flowers, got her the earrings he knew she had been eyeing for sometime and decided he would surprise her.

He took a half-day off work and set about collecting all her gifts and headed home.
There was a smile on his face and a spring in his step as he imagined the look of surprise on Neha’s face.
He wondered what would shock her more. His ‘timely arrival’ or his extravagant gift.
He reached home and silently slid his key into the lock and opened the door as softly as he could.

To a shocked Neha, intimately embracing an unknown man.
And for once in his life Viren wished he had been…late.

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The night was balmy and stars studded the velvety darkness of the sky. The women were gorgeous, bedecked and bejeweled. They looked at each other, exchanging stories within those seemingly casual glances. Their eyes searched for him once more, with their husbands by their side. The Moon was being elusive again on Karwa Chauth night.

Written for The Daily Post prompt: Waiting

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Why I keep Karwa Chauth, and why should you keep your opinion about it to yourself.

Karwa Chauth is an annual festival largely observed by women in the Hindi-speaking Northern and Central regions of India. It usually occurs 10 days before Diwali, and on this day women fast without food or water from dawn till they spot the moon, as they pray for the long and healthy life of their husband.

My very first memory of Karwa Chauth is that of returning home from school to see Mom, my aunts and their friends sitting around having Mehendi being applied on their hands and feet, in preparation for Karwa Chauth the next day. It was such a fun atmosphere, with chatter, the fragrance of henna and endless cups of tea and snacks and we kids being asked to help them eat and drink.

screenshot_2016-10-13-10-47-22My Mehendi

We woke up the next day to see a platter of Mithai’s kept aside for us, from the Sargi that mom had eaten before sunrise that morning, and Mum readying her Thaali for the evening Pooja. The rare occasion that it was a holiday on the same day we rejoiced, as the aunts and their friends would troop in from morning and the ladies sat together to watch films on video. What a treat that was for us!


My Pooja Thaali

Come evening and the ladies started dressing up, and how! I remember Mom looked, and still does, like a Goddess, in her saree, jewelery and bangles.

We sat for the evening Katha and Pooja with the ladies. After which the Husbands returning from work joined us. There were stories, teasing, bantering and gossip galore! As a teenager my favourite bits were hearing how the couples had met and when the ladies recounted their experiences of their 1st Karwa Chauth.
As kids it was our duty to run up to the terrace and spot the moon, so that the ladies could break their fast. The Moon always troubles women on this day, by hiding behind the clouds and refusing to make an appearance. When the moon was finally spotted, the women prayed to it and broke their fast, by being made to sip water by their husband’s. After which there was a feast! With everyone sitting down to a sumptuous meal together.

I am married into a South Indian family, where Karwa Chauth has zero significance. My Husband didn’t ask me to observe it, nor did my mother-in-law. For that matter, nor did my Mom.

I chose to keep it.

Logic, education and exposure to life have given me enough sense to realize that one person abstaining from food and water will surely not extend another’s life. Just like taking a dip in a holy river will not ‘wash away your sins’ or fasting for any number of days will not ensure a place in heaven. Or that candle marches will do nothing except bring in business for the candle maker.

Nor do I think I hold the kind of power to grant someone a long life.

I fast because I choose to. Because I love the significance of it, and the romance around the thought. Because like all the festivals we may follow, this too brings with it happiness and creates memories. And because I love my Husband and this is one way of showing it.

Karwa Chauth is a day like any other. I am not treated specially nor do I treat my husband specially, on this day.

Each Karwa Chauth I see women posting anti Karwa Chauth messages on all social media, some going so far as to verbally attacking women observing the fast. Shouldn’t you be respecting another woman’s wish to do as she pleases to with her priorities? Imagine, if a teetotaller like me attacked your choice of enjoying your glass of whatever spirit you choose to sip on or smoking your lungs away with cigarettes? That too just because I choose not to, which is why I don’t think you should either? Weird right? My life, my choices, and all that? Exactly!

If YOU think keeping Karwa Chauth makes me regressive, that is YOUR opinion, not mine.
If YOU think it is ridiculous, that is YOUR opinion, not mine.
If YOU think that I am being subversive by ‘going hungry and thirsty for a man’, that is YOUR opinion, not mine.

And I only respect opinions I ask for.

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The words still reverberated in Nishka’s ears as she remembered her last day at home.

‘Gosh! It’s been 5 long years’ she said to herself. Like she did every time her memory pulled her back into the past.
Nishka Kapoor. Young. Beautiful…correction….Gorgeous. Supermodel. Based in Paris.

She was 19 yrs old when she secretly submitted a form entering a ‘Model Hunt Contest’ without her father’s knowledge and with the excuse of visiting an Aunt, she traveled from Delhi to Mumbai to participate in the same.

When Arjun Kapoor saw his daughter being crowned ‘The Face of The Year’ on the 9 ‘o’ clock news, wearing a slinky gown that was being held up only by God’s grace and little else, and air-kissing the current heart-throb Farokh Khan, who had his hand around his daughters waist, he was livid.

Before he could react any further, congratulatory calls started pouring in and when at last Arjun got through to his daughter on her cell phone, she was too drunk to talk sense.

He was on the next available flight to Mumbai and at his sister’s house demanding an explanation.

‘Since Smriti passed away, you are too strict with Nishka, Bhaiyya’, said Jayati his sister to him.

Smriti. His lovely wife. Nishka’s mother.

She passed away suddenly in a freak hit-and-run accident. She had called him in the morning to say she was going to pay the telephone bill and an hour later he got a call saying she was dead.

Just like that. Suddenly. Without a warning.

Nishka was just 12 yrs old when she came home from school to find a crowd of strange people in her house. Bewildered, she didn’t know what was happening. Only when she saw her father standing at the far end of the room did she relax a little. Her father looked at her and opened his arms, and she ran to him, not knowing what was wrong, but definitely knowing something wasn’t very right.
After that day Arjun became both, her father and her mother. Yes. There were relatives who were around initially, and his sister Jayati who stayed with him for some months.But after that father and daughter were on their own.

Although very, very difficult, Arjun thought he was doing a good job of bringing up his only daughter.

Until Nishka turned 15.

She became sullen, withdrawn and all she ever said was ‘Gimme some space Dad!’, a concept very alien to parents of teenagers worldwide. She locked herself in her room the moment she came home from school. Answered in monosyllables, and talked to her father only when she needed something. Confused, Arjun did not know what to do. Until her found a couple of cigarette butts in her toilet.
He took charge immediately.
Curfew. No pocket money. No telephone-calls after 8 p.m.
And Nishka withdrew even more.

The chasm of silence between father and daughter grew and grew till it was too wide for either to cross. They just ‘existed’ separately in the same house. They didn’t ‘live’ there.
A year later, things started improving gradually.As she started college, Nishka changed. She became more responsible and got a part time job.Arjun knew she still smoked but it was never mentioned.

As she entered her senior college Nishka spoke to her father about her dream of becoming a model.A flat NO was the answer she got.She tried to convince him in many ways but he was adamant. Nishka never spoke about it, and Arjun was glad she had changed her mind.

‘Bhaiyya, don’t be so harsh on Nishka’ said Jayati getting her brother a cup of tea.

‘Where is she? I want to speak to her’ asked Arjun.‘She’s not yet home Bhaiyya. The organizers of the event have put up all the contestants at a hotel. Nishka will be home later in the day’ Arjun didn’t know what to say. No words came to him. He left the room abruptly, seething with rage. He showered and changed and was about to sit down to lunch when Nishka walked in.

She hugged her aunt, showing her the crown, the trophy and chattering nineteen-to-a-dozen.She saw her father at the table and stopped mid-sentence.

‘I can explain Papa. I really can’ she said to Arjun, walking towards him.

‘I’ve been wanting to do this for sometime…I knew I had it in me…it’s been my dream for the longest time ever… and I finally see it happening…I mean Papa…look…I won this contest and the organizers are grooming me and I am being sent to Paris!!! I mean…can you believe it Papa??!!! PARIS!!! They told me I am a natural and I’ll be a big hit on the Parisian modeLling scene! Gosh Papa! I am so, so excited!!!’

‘You are not going Nishka.’

‘Paris Papa!!!! I still cant believe it I am going to be living there for a year…what? Excuse me!!! What did you just say? I am not going???!!’

‘Yes Nishka, you are not going. I shall not allow my daughter to go and live alone so far away. Modeling is a profession I do not think highly of and if you remember, I was always, and still am against it. Besides, you still have to complete your Graduation. So it’s ok that you won this contest. I couldn’t do anything about it, but that’s where it ends. The only place you are going right now young lady, is back home with me’ Arjun had given his final verdict.

‘You cant do this Papa!! You know how much this means to me!!!! You can’t do this!!! I am sorry I did this without your knowledge and permission but please Papa I beg you, don’t do this, I wont get a chance like this again!! Please, Papa, Please!!!’

‘Pack your bags Nishka. We are going home’ said Arjun and walked away.




Said Nishka, to Arjun’s retreating back before he closed the door on her.

When he came out to leave for home sometime later, Jayati told him Nishka had left.

Too stunned and angry to react, he slumped on the sofa, not knowing what else to do. They tried to call her on her cell phone but she did not take their calls, they called up her friends, trying to get through to her, but they were no help either. They found out where the contest was held and went there but no one would help them.
Late in the evening when one of her friends found out hotel that Nishka was being put up at, they drove there as fast as they could, to be told that the entire entourage had just left for the airport.

At the airport too they drew a blank, because security wouldn’t let them get past the gate.

Dejected, tired and still shocked, they made their way home.

A week later Jayati received a brief mail from Nishka saying she was all right and very happy here. That’s it. Emails sent to her were never answered.

A few months later they saw her picture splashed everywhere, being heralded as the ‘New Super Model’.
They tried contacting her in every possible way, to no avail.

Occasionally she did drop in an email to Jayati, and that was it. She never asked about Arjun and never replied back.

As Nishka blossomed in her new career, Arjun withered away. He worked longer and longer and withdrew from everyone he knew. Always a man of a few words, he stopped speaking altogether.

‘Five years is a long time’ thought Nishka to herself, on her flight back home.

As she achieved all that she had set out too, her childhood memories pulled her closer to home, and now she could no longer deny them.

Her anger and resentment towards her father was slowly abating, and somewhere deep inside she did have regrets at the way she had behaved. Not keeping in touch with anyone at all for so long…how would they feel when she walked in to surprise them?

Dear sweet Jayati Bua. She regularly emailed Nishka about the goings on, whether she replied or no.
‘Little did Bua know how eagerly I awaited those mails no matter which part of the world I was in’ smiled Nishka.

Her timing for a surprise homecoming was perfect. In her last mail some weeks ago Jayati Bua had mentioned that Papa was in Mumbai on work and would be here for a while.

As the wheels of the aircraft touched the tarmac, Nishka couldn’t wait to leap out of her seat.

She urged the cab driver to drive faster and generously tipped him when he got her to her destination in record time.
She ran up the stairs to Jayati Bua’s home and kept her hand on the buzzer till someone opened the door.

‘Bua!! Its me!!’ she hugged a surprised Jayati, who was looking at her as if she had seen a ghost.

‘Where’s Papa Bua? Wake him up! Tell him I am here!!’ grinned an exited Nishka.

Jayati stood mutely and when she stepped aside, Nishka saw her Papa.

A picture on the wall with the garland around it still fresh.

‘He died 4 days ago Nishka, of a broken heart, all he asked for was you’ said Jayati.

Nishka walked towards the picture, all her memories flashing back to her, including those of the last day, and feeling her Papa’s face with both her hands through the cold glass, she said the words, which she hoped, would erase these 5 years.

‘I love you Papa, I really do’

‘I love you!’

‘I love you!’

‘I love you!’

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The Ragpicker

With each new day I start once more the salty sea air my perfume my riches strewn on the shore Your waste is my treasure your thrash brings me pleasure You use and throw my mountain of joy grows Crumpled candy wrappers like diamonds they shine the candy, your child’s reward the wrapper, mine A broken pen I use to write letters never known A string of beads I carefully put away something to call my own The sun shining down on me as I go through the day wading through the debris of your discard I make my way Picking and choosing what I deem fit Weighing, measuring, what I’ll get for it This is my kingdom I am the queen this is where I reign Unknown. Unseen

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No Dairy Ice-cream : Recipe included

I have a sweet-tooth, with a special weakness for Ice-creams. But we know that eating Ice-creams too often is not such a great idea, for your weighing scale. A few years ago when I came across this recipe for ‘ice-cream’ I was skeptical, and though I did save the recipe I never tried it out. Till I has some slightly over ripe Bananas on hand and didn’t know what to do with them. This recipe has been a favourite since then, with seasonal fruits like Mango, Strawberry and Chickoo’s being added to it, and experimenting with various Fruit Crushes/Sauces and even Jams. The recipe is really simple and here I share step by step pictorial instructions. Hope you try the recipe and enjoy it too!

Slightly over ripe Bananas work best. You could choose the regular Bananas or the small (Elaichi) ones, which have fewer calories compared to the regular ones. Peel, chop and freeze Bananas overnight, in an airtight container.

Add flavor(s) of choice. I added Salted Caramel Sauce and a dollop of Peanut Butter here.

Blitz in the blender, until smooth.


Transfer to an airtight container


Freeze overnight, or until set.


Scoop out and garnish as desired


If the Bananas used are not naturally sweet, I add a dash of honey while blending them. Let your taste buds and imagination guide you as you flavor this ‘ice cream’. Enjoy!

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