Time to picnic

As children, one thing that stands out most in my memory is the times when we planned to go out for picnics whether from school or with family. A mere mention at home of the thought of an outing spurred us into a fervent activity itself as we all participated in deciding the date, the place, the number of people, music, games and of course the food that’d be a part of this exciting event going to happen. Many a birthdays were celebrated thus and many memories etched along with each outing.

By definition, a picnic is a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors (al fresco or en plein air),  ideally taking place in a beautiful landscape such as a park, beside a lake or with an interesting view and possibly at a public event such as before an open air theater performance, and usually in summer.

Hamper n Fun

Hamper n Fun

An open ground, a park, a riverside, or even a zoo made for an outing we looked forward to.  There was a lot of anticipation about the new sights and sounds we would see or hear and of course, papa explaining the whys and the why fors, as ma laid out the goodies for us- something special that we’d not get on a regular basis at home. The chats would be unhurried discussions about school problems, pesky relatives or the boss at office. Everything would be resolved or even if not; it’d be something off one’s chest. Everybody was everybody’s punching bag, the music, games, banter acted as distraction from the daily worries. We learned conversing taking into account the other’s feelings however uneasy that made us in process. Any hard feelings were set right by the elders in the group (and it never used to be a small one mind you. Family had more to it than the alphabets in it). A visit to the cinema hall was the owner’s delight as he would get a whole ‘balcony’ seats sold in one go! But that’s another thing…..

I noticed my daughter chatting, pinging replies, playing games and scouring for information online that takes up so much of her time that she spent most of it inside her room. She has total of 205 friends whom she engages with every alternate day (my curfew :I). But her own relatives she is not very well acquainted with. Some she knows by face and some just names, her cousins form a big exception whom she does know well. And I am scared of the line doing the rounds that this is the age of smart phones and dumb people!

So I am now inclined to rein in the damage by going the traditional route. I have now decided to have at least two family outings if not every week in a month. We’ll decide together on which place to go to (I have a sneaky suspicion that it’ll be a vote for the malls or the cinema hall). But it’ll be a joint exercise that may become a rite in time. 🙂

So hey! Am looking for friends to join the group coming weekend. Game?

Pleasure /Sonnet/Anaphora


Lets go and throw pebbles in still,still waters

Lets call on ma-pa & throw our arms around

Lets go to the fields & fill them with laughter

Lets grow ourselves big, in a love that’s new found

Every sunrise & sunset is uniquely born

We do things as only we do

Whether climbing mountains or eating cob if corn

We only need to ask if we made that moment true

A seed that burst forth out the soil

Or a bird bird that learnt to chirp n fly

Are a sight to behold in any turmoil

To bring deep pleasure to a selfish ‘I’

Cold/Concrete poem/Anaphora-Epistrophe


The oldman retreated

For the way he was treated

Back to his car

Lugging his tote bag

Hanging crestfallen from

His aged shoulders

His papers & pins & clips & pen

All packed safely, neatly, serially

Like his pompadour from where

An errant silver strand had come free

And he flicked  it deftly in; strictly

Observed by keen eyed dour face

On the other side of the screen

Of men who love the facade

Their counter gave them

The glass pane that gave them the

Distance between a servant & client


He’d waited in the queue

Till his ego allowed

Why don’t you sit down for

A while old man? A concerned

Had called aloud. Yes, yes  why

Don’t you sit down  for a while,

While we’ll keep your place in the line.

He’d conceded after a while,

While the dour face blinked.

He blinked while he typed some

Important things on the computer.

Then he mulled and frowned at the

Difficulty of his chore

Then clicked some more while the

Line shifted from one leg

Onto another

‘Pay attention! ‘ He screamed

All of asudden

His voice trembled as he stared

With cataract eyes

‘File my bills! Its close to closing time.

I….AM close to closing time.’ And rubbed

His fingers across his temple

Squelching the sweat between his fingers

The face looked back coldly this time

His eyes like a line, as a feline

Turned his lips upturned for a while

While all others gazed at such

Huge waste of time. And then he turned

Back to his official business on the

Computer, as he completed the row of

Spades of Solitaire.

The oldman retreated

For the way he was treated.

Flavour /Elegy/Enumeratio


Have you ever tasted

Smoked potatoes?

That smelled the greatest

With smoking tobacco?

When the sun rose up

And pine air madly ran about

Collecting graces from lunch n sups

And fragrances from chimney came out

On yearly visits to the hilltown in summer

When grandkkids wrapped around everything

Grandma’s kitchen ran fuller

With food, people, joy & zing

She cooked potatoes  with salt & spice

While grandpa arranged parts of his hookah

Transforming its spirit to something nice

Working in tandem amid clouds like loofah

Grandpa cooked tobacco on coal

Grandma sprinkled a pint of Ganges

The magic made the the dish come whole

And the humble became sacred vegies!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 hookah

Images courtesy cookinggames.com and colourbox.com


Neighbourhood /Ballads /Assonance



The place hasn’t moved as much as I

Looks like its stood in the groove

Trying to lose its sleep to find its buzz

Mooning o’ er a past looming sans moving


Distance doesn’t matter, if you don’t lose focus

I move up high but… not the mountains

The mountain ‘s a jot of a dot in my steep ascent

Ah! The travails of traipsing the plains of childhood


The nostalgia of routes I travelled loooong ago

The narrow alleys & gullys of my green valley

They remember me too in a corner or two

I visit them often in the time warp within me


Journeying the winding neighbourhood

On dreary, sunny, sweaty summer day

Clutching tightly onto papa’s fat middle

While speeding by on an ancient scooter


Unseen by the shopkeepers whom WE saw

Selling their sundry wares to warring women

Watching through the slats of my hair

Buildings once clay & wood now cemented


A sweetmaker boiling milk in open pan

While exchanging how the health’s been keeping

Had now shifted work in back of shop

So no one can spy on recipes or flies






(Rhyme scheme:ababcdecde)

Those tatters hold some signs, some letters

With sharp tipped arrows pointed a-right

Dulled from the days they’d seen better

  Showing quick turn where a lamp shone bright

Some other tattoos etched in sombrely

A house, a temple, a banyan, a T-junction

Faded inscription hiding a mystery

Perched above a way bridge, what tells that star?

A bunch of asterisks with an ear like interrogation

Familiar like a family you know from far


What secrets you hold Old grandfather?

Mysterious in your ways that young won’t fathom

You hold me spell bound you practised charmer!

I hug and kiss fondly to your bosom

Urging the secret you hold to secrete without?

Your lines meld the longis into lattitudes

The mountains hang half & rivers run into a hole

The contours simulate a nuclear blowout

Waiting upon the gnarled roots on the three roads  it obtrudes

Am trying to figure a way to make the dice roll.

Imperfect /limerick /enjambment

Who’s Imperfect?


Don’t harshly judge that undulating line

Though imperfect, but that’s fine; For straight

May be perfect -the considered ideal

Be the painter of your scene, that’s the deal

An undulating heart do I pine.

Blogging U.


There was a man world thought imperfect

He had funny manner and dialect

He cared not two hoots

All against him in cahoots

Saying I M just too Perfect.


Skin/Prose /Internal rhyme



I turn the page and find previous page ‘s imprint. A dyslexic, incoherent, illegible scribble. Why isn’t there sense in this nonsense? The ink’s too deep n dark, imaging sharp. The paper’s the blotter and the medium to express. Suppress the urge to make a new definition. You’d need wrong kind of knack to read what’s at it’s back.

What ink pours on the baby’s paper? The deep, dark ink leaches on the epidermal scroll. Oh my goodness! That’s droll. Gather, go, manufacture- home grown or factoried- the lotions & potions andwhat all. Fair packs for fairness it lacks. Bereft of any sign of ink- not even a mole. Erase, till its only pink. Let the world unite I so declare; if not as nations then as all skins fair.


Image courtesy tumblr.com



Brazen; like waves thrashing the shores

Lifting up my ante, to return your calls

Erupting charged dialogues; some weak, some strong

Stopping the quietness, disturbing the molecules

Smiling intermittently; Brownian motion upheld

Involving me in your recklessness

Nagging, boasting, demanding, giving; You’re there

Gifting me your company

Saying thanks to you, for being there.

Image courtesy of angelicraftacademy.weebly.com

Poem: Haiku

Here are a few haikus I wrote. Give them your own headings. I have mine! Lets see if they’ll match. 🙂


Belief hangs suspended

words caught

walking on suspension bridge.


Rows of perfume factories

Spring surprises

Bee bumbling for choice.


So many tales dammed

squirming gated

words tangled to freedom


Seeking answers to 4 W’s

trees are bonsai

I am Buddha revealed.


Do you know togetherness?

conjoined twins

or iron, continuous rail tracks.

image courtesy- haiku.org

Book Review: The Rozabal Line


Well! This is the Indian version of the famous Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. The discerning point here is that what Mr Dan Brown indicates not very emphatically, Mr Ashwin Sanghi bases this book on that very premise namely that Jesus  came to India after the crucifixion and lived as a messenger of God among the local people and in fact died here too. Mr Sanghi’s book begins by detailing a crypt in the depths of Kashmir mountains that is believed to be the grave of Jesus and is known by the name Yuz Asaf locally.

In fact the whole book is a continuation of factual details mixed with some fiction and simultaneously concluding how all religions are actually a derivation or have been linked to each other in some form or other. The prophecies at various times of the world coming to an end, the bloodshed, murders and all good or bad things are a consequence of one’s karma, is all interconnected with all the peoples of the world– is what Mr Sanghi tells us in this very descriptive and interesting book.

There is no single hero or heroine but the various characters whether a murderer or a priest in distant parts of the world, find themselves coming face to face as a natural process of their karma and actually a one and only one shared history that we have with each other although some links have become blurred with time.

I found the book quite engaging, well paced, and well researched work of historical fiction, one that will make you like history if you’d never liked the subject in the past.

Short story: Staying Relaxed

This is a scene I’d witnessed some time back and stayed in my mind. Here goes:

The old man sat in the corner of the small squat verandah of his house, a glass tumbler in his right hand from which he sipped something from time to time.

“Aha…ha….hhaa….” he cried out suddenly, his eyes glazed some place beyond in the distance and a smile played beatifically on his lips. A folded newspaper with a pair of reading glasses sat on the old wooden stool whose chipped paint told its own story. He had been sitting there for almost two hours having finished reading the paper end to end and forming his opinions on most of them. Most of the time he ended up ranting against this or that person, party,  prejudices, policies, poverty etc to his own predilections which he thought were valuable mainly owing to his having seen eighty and still going strong on years, on this earth. His wife had just given him a fresh sortie of tea- his third since the dawn while he grappled with world affairs.

“Ahhhaaa….hahhaa..” he mumbled again, eyes closed, his smooth forehead falling up and down in small waves- of contentment and general happiness.

“Uncleji…..!!!” a voice rang from outside his home followed by the speaker who entered it, hands folded in a namaste.

“Who is it? Oh, Anand? Come in come in. Have a seat.” the old man offered a chair next to him. “So what brings you here?”

Anand was the neighbour who regularly dropped in for a free cuppa, the newspaper or any delicious food the old lady gave him. Unemployment had its pluses. In return he ran errands for the old couple.

“Oh I just brought you milk packets. Ah thank you aunty!” He said as the woman handed him a cup of tea. “All well?” he asked as he slurped loudly.

“What can be wrong with me? I am always well. It’s the people that are not okay with the world. They always find life hard and I want to ask them, why should you take on any tensions that others give?”

“But how can you help not getting affected uncle? If someone says or does something bad or wrong about you won’t you get affected? It’s only natural.”

“Why of course it does. People, especially my relatives, are fools to be getting into all kinds of situations and that really irritates me. You know……I am a heart patient for the past thirty years. And their callous and irresponsible actions really perturb me at many times but I…..Its only due to a scrupulous minding of my health that I am able to keep my heart beats going fine and have complete peace of mind.”

The woman took away the empty tea tumbler and cup and gave money to the boy to pay the electricity bill. She checked her stock of food items to be replenished and prepared tiffin to be given to a sick relative in the hospital. The boy would take it there.

“You read newspaper in the morning and feel your spirits sag. What’s become of this world I ask?  But there are ways to stop all these things from disturbing you. I do it all the time.”

“What do you do uncleji?”

The old man smiled indulgently as he was about to reveal his deep secret.

“I lose myself in dreams.” Anand gaped at him and waited for more to come. The old man obliged. “I try to distance myself from whatever is upsetting me. And the best way to do that is by losing self in dreams. They take you far from harsh realities.”

Anand is no stranger to free time but he has tended to fill it up by being useful elsewhere. He is jobless but not workless. His time is not straitjacketed and he is a freelancing chore-worker. That’s how I see him and in a small town that he inhabits this is a welcome virtue although he is constantly in need of money there being no regular source as it is.  So he is quite taken up by the prospect of shedding some tensions just by dreaming.

“What do you dream of uncleji?”

A smug smile and a pause later the old man said- “My girlfriends. Houris. Beautiful things.”

Anand is startled by this revelation and he looks towards the old woman warily. She was as usual busy fretting and finishing off the day’s work unmindful of the two seated there.

“Oh she knows of it. Every time I get upset, I think of my young days, my escapades and a couple who I almost got married to, of course not all at once….at different times!” He continued with a smile.

Anand silently contemplated the scene unfolding in front of him- a very normal everyday household and two different ways of dealing with things.

He can be inspired by either of them.

Image courtesy http://www.shutterstock.com