p for paradox.

"I'M SIGNIFICANT!!!…screamed the dust speck."

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

i want to play the hug o’war

When we were kids,
we played dog & the bone
and tippy tippy tap
with the colorful cone
they told us about hopscotch
and the tug o’war
i wonder
why didn’t they tell us about
the hug o’war.

i want to play the hug o’war
so whenever i feel sad and sore
i don’t think
& hug the first person i see
and here! you just shared a glee!

& they would run & hug the next soul
hold him or her around as a whole!
the only rule,
it must be a bear hug not a shy embrace
wouldn’t the world be a happier place?

oh they say you are mad
it’s not discreet it’s really bad
people will shoo u away if you do this
keep you at bay and not even miss.

but am i the only one
who likes this game, or is there none?
will they flee
away from me and away from the hug
think i am crazy and treat me like a bug.

what if that man in the corner also needs a hug
but all he gets is a cold shrug
& that sad one
wouldnt she be thinking the same
about the time when wisdom came,

we lost the kid in us
became super pretentious
we grew smart
so we smile less and we cry more
all we need to do is play the hug o’war!




I have three motivations behind scribbling the lines above. The first one is of course the dire need of a hug. In times of a solitary lifestyle, this is a frequent visitor, But yes, it’s just a phase. The second is the beautiful piece by Shel Silverstein, a gem of a poem. If I would have read his poem ‘hug o’war’ when I was a kid, I would have been a different person altogether today, and am sure, for the better. Thirdly, the striking realisation that the writeups I personally enjoy most are (incidentally?) the ones that are the most simply worded. Wishing for the only war this world should have ever seen, the hug o’war.



strange bed-fellows

I visited Sunday Scribblings after a bit of a break, and must say, am glad I did! Beautiful prompt! While writing The Tempest, Shakespeare wouldn’t have thought that centuries later,an amateur like me will be writing about this term! ūüôā


what is the strangest thing? he asked
when paradoxes become compatible, I said
like in a soft sunset
the sun and the sky in a duet
the blue wooing the yellow
yes, these are strange bed fellows


but is there something stranger?
well, yes there is
when beauty is killed by gun
when many run and others stay mum
when life is deep but death is shallow
the past and the future become strange bed fellows.

5 things I learned while backpacking with my Father.

1. You are never too old to try new things.

When we decided to start gathering stuff for the 2 week vacation across various corners of switzerland and paris and berlin, I must admit, I was¬†quite frightened with the primary ideas my parents had regarding packing. A big suitcase?! Are you kidding me! We are not at one place for¬†more than 3 nights. That means 5 different locations!!! There is no way I am portaging that humongous suitcase everywhere. And then, in¬†a humorous attempt, I showed Dad my smaller backpack and told him to use that. In the funniest of scenarios, he would pick it up, spin around his hands in all its pockets, maybe even wear it for fun and then say ‘No, thank you very much. I think I am good with the strolley!’

But then, I had ignored a very hard fact. He is not the very usual of those Dads approaching sixty. For someone who thought till a year¬†back that backpacks are just bigger school bags, and for someone who doesn’t have the best of muscle pull records,it was quite alarming when he said – and I remember it¬†clearly. “Ya!!This is good! Perfect”

What, really?!

And as they say, the rest is history.

We are back from the holiday of our lifetime and he has been more successful in handling the backpack than me. He is a pro at it and I¬†wont be surprised if he decides to take a backpack for his official trips now! It might be the sheer excitement or the fact that¬†he did actually find it comfortable, I¬†don’t¬†know. But he for sure looked cool. But the diligent daughter in me was so concerned in the first few days of holiday that I actually¬†suggested we buy a big suitcase with 4 wheels! But then he said, it is just my delusion. And he was right.


2. Take responsibility for your own stuff

Having a backpack (& obviously on your back), it becomes a¬†part of you when you travel. ¬†And quite literally. Unlike a bag or a strolley, you are not carrying an extra piece along which you have to take care of all the time. Like a pet. Yes, the protruding back can become around 20 kgs heavier, but then, we as humans are used to carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. ūüėȬ†As Dad would have it, the backpack¬†goes to exactly the same places as you do, touches the same¬†ground when you are on a break, sees the world from the same angle as you do! Well, and if you love your freedom, you have 2 free hands all the time! Buying tickets,¬†checking timings on bustops, getting on trains with the luggage, or even shopping for souvenirs, no reason for no backpack till now!

3. Settle your things first before offering to help others

Our last night in Berlin before we get back to Amsterdam and Dad was the first one to start packing. We were back from the day long trip at the Concentration camps at Sachsenhausen, which is outside the main city. Looking at the mess, we were in dire need of hiring some consultancy firm to tell us what strategy to use for the packing.¬†But he knew that. We had a lot of adjustments to make, and couldn’t really leave anything to luck because of our carrier’s real¬†strict luggage policies. You cannot get leverage by just smiling and talking to them nicely. So as Mom and I are almost snoring in the cosy mattresses, he¬†is packing his way through. I cannot believe that at the end of a 2 week holiday, and with a pretty decent shopping spree, he comes up¬†with more free space in the backpack than he originally had! (when I had helped him pack). Unbelievable! And as Mom starts struggling with¬†the zips of her bag, he comes to the rescue and added almost one-third of her stuff in his backpack. There is definitely something wrong I¬†thought to myself. Maybe he has donated a few of his clothes? Or forgot some of his stuff at previous locations? What is it?!!!!

4. You don’t need to iron clothes on a holiday!
Well, I take credit for this one. I think a lot of people don’t like using backpacks because clothes get squashed in there. I am sorry, clearly, when I say we are going to Davos, we are not going to the World Economic Forum to address international media. Keep the steam iron where it belongs!

5. Be prepared for Surprises – even from the things you thought you knew in and out!
We are loitering around at the airport at duty-free when my dad comes up to me fiddling with the strings of the backpack. “Did you know¬†there is a small pocket in here too?”, he said. I replied, “No its just a belt, to tie around your waist. Its ergonomics” and started giggling! And then we both looked closely.


It is of course a pocket. The pocket that was destined to be my Father’s find. Something I had not managed to explore since its inception! It was too late to be used for this trip, but it will surely be over utilised in the next!


As I sit back and think about the trip we had, I wonder how exciting it would have been if my Mother also joined in the gang. I don’t see that happening though, but I am not complaining. If being with my Dad gives us the license to go crazy and try untried things and make funny noises to¬†annoy strangers, it is the Mom-effect that brings everything back to senses. You can joke around with her, but the dad-daughter duo will¬†always know – got to listen to the woman!

death no danger

i keep saying its abstruse
like that chase of the wild goose
the over dramatic three act play
balancing things in a funny way…

makes you deal with everything
sometimes in line of fire, others as a king
and ruthless
all in one
but all inspiring
like the midnight sun…

what you take of it
is what makes or breaks you
what it demands is the toughest
to smile, even when feeling blue…

and when you had plans
but they topple like a domino
you have to know the truth of the twist
it’s an unending learning list.


rip, papaji. 23mei’12.

back to the familiar pillow

Thirteen days. And after a long while I feel I deserve this sleep. That moment when you realise the truth in Tolkien’s words – “Not all those who wander are lost.”
The feeling of learning about a new reality reminds me of an older me. I am talking about the fabulous concoction of cultures, the random stopovers at streets and the beautiful league of languages – all in those last thirteen days. Yes, culture is a generalized word. But not too overstated. It’s a way of living. It’s not about blind faith, it’s about living those strong beliefs. Whether its taking your new-born on hiking trips or just not seeing the need of breaking traffic rules. It’s all about culture.

When one moment you feel like a stranger with a map and the other moment you are chatting with that 90-year-old chap on why he decided to spend his life in this country. The feeling of being just a small speck in the bewilderment of the universe is not new to me. But when this feeling does not discourage you, but instead makes you yearn for more, see more, observe more, learn more – you know it’s worth a travel!

When we are open to this interpretation, our journey will take us to destinations that we did not mark in our map. Those mystic destinations. And a traveler will know, these destinations are everywhere. In every country, in every canton. But you can never plan them.

Starting off with Switzerland, 8 out 13 days. And I could stay for more. The only country I am extremely biased towards. 3 visits in only the last year and now technically having covered the entire geography and corners of this country, it has still not managed to bore me. And somewhere I know it’s full of those hidden moments of beauty. In the form of pure surprises tucked away in those mighty mountains. No, I am not that fan who is awed by the trains running at the perfect second and my personal authentic swiss knife, though they are surely in the love-list. It is something bigger. Respect for Nature. Mountains inspire me. Something goes crazy inside me when I am standing in front of those huge giants covered with sheets of wrinkled snow. The only place that comes close is Kashmir. I have given up on my debate with the inner voice on which place scores more. There is no need. But it’s that rise in entropy levels and that state of denial of the possibility of such beauty. But then, with the realisation that these natural skyscrapers have the most authentic history inscribed in them, I feel at peace. They make me feel humble, and it’s a big deal. Apart from this, it’s the definition of responsible freedom in this country. In very simple words, it could bring the world’s largest democracies to shame.

Paris, where I had a rather awkward time last year, was facing my brunt of hate till now. But I realised how wrong I was. I just had to give it another chance, and a little bit more time. This place is the perfect example of a balancing act. Fashion and design – not just in attire, but in architecture as well. As if the entire population knows there is some rather flexible force that can accommodate everything and everyone. Image

Last stop, Berlin, for the love of irony, this city is the epitome of abstract. And for that soul in me who had lost faith in abstract since long, this city has revived that love all over again.


Will be scribbling about my experiences in each of the cities soon. I have started scribbling about each country and city in detail here! For now, ghar ki adrak wali chai and that pillow needs to be given personal attention. Have rejuvenated respect for these things now!

these things.

Let’s waste time,

chasing profiles
and updates

and timelines
and pokes
around our heads.

back to (literally) wasting time. On FB :O.

Why I left anyways.

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