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What is that trends tonight?

The ROYALE WEDLOCK ---!!
Whose food comes from 'Leyshon'
And the dress is split A-line.
HYPE, that is what gives direction.

Guidance quaffs tonight
For those who idly lay.
Well, it’s a change, the flight,
That hauls millions at bay!!

Why this sudden drift?
The commotion is what desires.
Nah… It’s the strongest tattle spreading
Like wildest dry bush-fire.

“Nowales journey back”.
The craze, the bias in theatres.
13 nominations and 5 awards
And still leaning for features.

Why this phone misses feed?
Abyss with she who sent.
I need myself enlightened
Ahead of every nook… each bent.

The country won 3 gold.
Olympic is in motion.
And then the worst coverage
That says our best man’s down.

The night was sleepless.
Wait for the next recovery.
#ashtags tend, our best man
And then a sturdy win. That's TRENDY!

Each night a new movement.
An ecstatic course, that builds on virtual networks.
Roars and bellows around,
Until a new trend rocks.

And now that we are trendy,
To past, last night d…

Unfamiliar Friends

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There are many friends around us. We are unfamiliar with them. Let’s unravel them to appreciate their importance.

As I was browsing through the chapters of my childhood, one of them stood out. "Friends." Perhaps due to its peculiarity and distinctiveness. Coincidence, if you may call it, around the very same time, the celebrations of 'Friendship Day' were going on in full swing. My daughter was coming home every day, almost for a week, with 10-15 friendship bands and rings! Happy to have so many friends and hell-bent on making more. Good for her, I thought.

My chapter on friendship is, I must admit, a little different. Of course, it includes my friends from school, neighbourhood, college, tuition, university and so on and so forth. But it reaches beyond that. It is inclusive and expansive in its own way. It nourishes and nurtures itself out of every life experience that it encounters. And before I sound poetic and redundant, I’ll try to explain what I intended.

I wou…

Chapters from Childhood

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When did you last visit your childhood?

Last Friday, I went to an exhibition. I had read about it in the papers. It promised fun and nostalgia but with a difference. Conceived and created by an aspiring artist, Aahel Iyer, it was called the 'Playschool'. What a memory-inducing name, I thought!

The moment I entered the hall, a splash of colours, bright colours dazzled my eyes. I’m sure you’ll agree that colours have their own way of affecting the mind. Mine was immediately swept away from the subtle shades of my present to the effervescent and energetic hues of my childhood.

There were quite a few interesting installations, coloured art pieces and impressionistic presentations, if I may call them, in the exhibition. I was very keen to know the story behind each one of them. A tag, which included more than just a name or a title, was attached to every exhibit. The purpose, I believe, was to offer a vignette of that particular memory of the artist.

Another thing that intrigued me…

Without Water

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Are we heading towards the Third World War?


What did I see? An arid land, dry and dusty. The brown predominates the landscape and the lustreless green is hardly there at the fringes. Right in the middle is a bottle, announcing itself as the elixir of life - “water”. Next, I see a giraffe, necking in, as if, to get a hold of the bottle. But immediately, by suggestion, is contested by another animal, an elephant.

What follows is a remarkable replication of the finest move of a game called soccer. As the bottle is flung high in the air, my mind, almost spontaneously, gets ready to relish some more excitement. But oh! The very next instant, I am flustered. Taken aback to see the game turning brutal. The ghastly grip of the giraffe on the trunk of the elephant is gruesome to the point of being monstrous. Wasn’t a giraffe a harmless, peaceful neophyte animal? My school-book knowledge was getting all mixed up and thwarted! A giraffe puts up a fight only to defend or when attacked. Shockingly…

My Dot

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I am happy the way I am. I will not let others decide how I should look or appear.

"Badi mushkil baba badi mushkil
Gore gore gaalon pe hai kaala kaala til" ~ a song from the movie Lajja, (a 2001 Bollywood drama) in which Madhuri Dixit had performed.

I am a big fan of Madhuri Dixit. Her distinctive dance moves and animated expressions seriously make many skip a heartbeat. This song from the movie Lajja, is even more special. Because there’s Me in it somewhere.

My parents were ecstatic to have me as their firstborn. "How gorgeous she is... and her dot... the most heavenly brown that can ever dwell on an earthling!" Conch shells were blown as Baba picked me up towards the slit of light from heaven to declare… "She is a princess, born to live happily ever after!" The breeze slightly ruffled the curtain to ratify the blessing that imprinted itself on my heart.

Well, that’s the dramatic start that my dot had! Adorable, in the eyes of the happiest parents on ea…

Emptiness

She woke up feeling something wrong...
'Maybe I feel too much'... She thought...
Or maybe I harp on the wrong ones all along...

She tried to overlap her insides with the exuberance outside...
But she failed to latch... There was a weird mismatch...

Maybe she was a little too sensitive...
The feelings were a little paralyzing...
A little gnawing...
A little igniting...
And a lot perplexing...

But the emptiness was a little obvious...
Is emptiness really empty? Or is it the completeness crying out for fulfilment...
roaring acoustically...

She tried to outline the human-shaped emptiness inside her...
Trying to sense the aura...
Was it really inside her...
Or an abstract outside her world...
Chasing her all-over...

Was it really the shape of a human?...
She agreed to disagree...
She dived deeper and said...
'Maybe these are the unhealed parts of me'......!!

© Quotidian Tales

Mummy

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The indefatigable human spirit can conquer any opponent. You just need to believe in it.

She is my Mummy. She is a Mummy to many more. She is not my biological mother. And that makes the relationship beautiful and unique.

She is a cancer warrior. She knows that cancer will defeat her soon. Any day, any moment. But until that moment comes, she will fight it with dignity and grace. Looking at her medical condition, I feel even breath has fallen in love with her. And just wants to keep her alive. It's indeed difficult to defeat someone with so much love and positivity.

She is alive, throbbing and thrusting. Embracing every minute with the intensity of conquering it. And everything she does is nothing short of a celebration. Be it her love for nature or her desire to dance in the rain. Seriously, she becomes a kid when she sees the skies open up! She gets drenched to the bones whenever she gets a chance to do so.

I vividly remember how I had pulled her leg on her shower cap idea. Beli…

Children are Special

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Every child is special. Do we have the heart to feel it?

These days my 9-year old seems to be obsessed with Ninjas. She loves to watch their movies, read about them and even use the primary karate moves (picked up from weekly lessons in school) to emulate them.


Last night as she was intensely watching an animated Ninja episode, she blurted out a phrase. Without any conscious effort, it caught my attention. ‘Ninjas never quit!’

As I moved out of the room and into the verandah to take off my daughter’s uniform from the clothesline, my eyes fell upon the ‘Niketan’. The school-cum-residential that stands just across the street.

It is a home in which, not one, two or even a few children live. It is one which accommodates 150 - 200 children. They live there, not with their parents or relatives but under the supervision of caregivers and special educators. Though they are like us and our children, they are often referred to as ‘special’. Apparently, they have physical, mental or sometimes eve…

Self realization

The desire to cross paths ceased...
She realized the presence was parallel all along...

Doting faces encircled her...
But it's not where she truly belonged...
Struggling in the darkness of the exile... she made every effort to reconcile...
But her soul was wrapped in someplace else...
In a distant world... less complex...
There was restlessness like a bothersome child...
Yearning for an escape... A grand beguile...

And then it dawned... she had it all wrong...
The presence had indeed been parallel all along...
She gave up the strife...
Conceived the cosmic design...
'Self-realization'... is the other name of 'life'

© Quotidian Tales

Do you know A Mrs Sen?

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With years of roles foisted upon her, she has forgotten what it is to be herself

A certain Mrs Sen was staring hard at life. Four decades of scathing remarks and constant belittling had reduced her to an entity she could hardly recognise as being her true self.


Irritable and lost, all that she could remember of her past was the warmth of her childhood home and the amassing accolades for her performance.

Marriage had bestowed on her, activities and engagements, but untimely and unknowingly, halted the flowering of the self. Doing the chores and tweaking her life in the larger interest of the family soon became her habit and the only way to be.

And then one day, life seemed to have passed by in a whiff. With her fledgelings flying out of the nest, age and ailments catching up on her, the gnawing presence of the spouse and every morning a span of twenty-four long hours hurled at her, she barely knew what to do.

In those yesteryears, she never had the time (though she did nurture a sec…

I Love My Body

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Body-shaming is the weapon of the weak….Shun it to emerge stronger and beautiful.

The video above has gone viral in social media. Vidya Balan (Bollywood superstar well known for her iconic presentations) has poured her heart out. She is dealing with a topic that screams for attention from society. Provokes it to think and feel. Perhaps not for the first time.

It is a collaborative effort with radio station 92.7 Big FM. It is streaming across the internet with the catchy hashtag #DhunBadalKeTohDekho.

It is about body-shaming. No...not just that. Something that goes way deeper and diffuses through the untouched. An individual, even if a child, is never spared. Every breathing moment of her life, she is judged for her looks. She is ridiculed and rebuffed for something she has no control over. And who does that? The society. That uncountable mass that has the power to not let the ‘she’ admire her reflection. But look forward to external approval.

"Don’t your parents give you enough t…

My daily dose of dawn

As I witness the grey dawn break out into streaks of gold...
I smell the bitter-sweet air and let my heart
unfold...
I wonder if it fuses our worlds or does it cruelly divide...
As I slip into the day and you into night...
The mighty fireball cleaving our skies...
And still the misty air...stirs up thoughts very
fond...
I bask in this tranquillity...my daily dose of dawn...

© Quotidian Tales

Upside down

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The mind’s eye can yank you from reality into an alternate world in seconds.

The mind is a magician. It harbours the special but mysterious power of imagination. When it gets to work, it makes us see more than what could possibly meet the eye. A stage show with the world’s finest conjurer will pale in comparison.


Take, for example, the stunning photo here and what my mind made of it. To borrow the name Netflix gives the alternate reality in its runaway hit, Stranger Things, I went ‘upside down’ with it.

As my mind’s eye zoomed in on the photograph, I was left staring at the vast blue sky. One fine line was scoring it -- a jet plane -- piercing through the light, fluffy clouds that punctuated the brilliant blue.

And then...in the blink of an eye, I was on that plane. No more gazing up through the photographer’s lens but looking down. I saw the calm ocean, peeking from under the clouds. A tiny speed boat grazed the water like a flying fish. I was completely ‘upside down’, immersed mind, …

Nurturing beyond AI

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Teachers and parents have their work cut out to shape our kids for an AI world.

Children are the future. Shaping them, along with their parents, are their teachers. But when Sophia, the world’s first humanoid, grabbed headlines three years back, it threw a challenge to the teachers of today.

Among the various areas where Sophia could be of use, forecast by creator Hanson Tech, education was one.

Artificial intelligence (AI), of which Sophia is one of the finest examples, is permeating every sphere in our lives. Its expanding reach is shrinking the scope for human employment, through automation. Teachers could soon find themselves replaced by AI.

IBM’s AI tech, Watson, is famed for being able to beat human intelligence. AI’s appeal lies in being super-fast with 100 per cent accuracy, an enormous memory and malfunctioning that is logically deducible, unlike a capricious human temper.

People will have to come up with new ways to add value to their profession to stay on the top. Science f…

May-craft with my son

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Making a craft with your child is a meaningful way to engage him...and much more...

It is always difficult to spend quality time with your kid. I make sure, I never miss one such possibility. I usually take up a tiny project with my son every month. I plan it so as to distribute the activity almost through each day of the month. This allotted task gives us a new topic to discuss and work on, together.

My takeaway. The happiness and enthusiasm that fills the tender one during the conversations that go along with the creation. My son was actively involved at every step… his ardent love for this simple craft (that) filled me with a sense of accomplishment. Our May project was to fill a glass jar (a long-forgotten gift from an old friend). How should we fill it was the main challenge the two of us faced. A two-day long rigorous discussion followed. It looked like a professional team doing a much-needed requirements analysis prior to a project. Of course, it was mellowed down to match up to…

Eternal moments…

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Reward yourself as a parent. Happiness begins with you.

It was an unusually busy day. Working on a gruelling assignment, I was engrossed in the editing process of the photographs. It had to be furnished to the client the following day. A rather pesky nudge distracted me. I turned around to notice my 7-year-old (but threatening to pose as a grown-up) daughter standing right next to me. She was beaming as she broke out the headlines of her day, “I have something for you.” Seconds seemed an eternity to the little one as she struggled with time to divulge the surprise she had in store for me. Hurriedly, she took out a notebook from her school bag. Deftly flipping through a few pages, she halted only when she arrived at the one, the one that was meant for me.

It was not a school exercise or some graded sheet. It did not boast of her exceptional performance or clamoured for my attention and appreciation. It was just a few words, randomly chosen by her to express an emotion that she nurtured…

Beauty on the other side

There is something unexplainably beautiful about
walking around with a broken soul...
Like the entire existence offering you help
to become whole...
A little bit of everything comes
and tries to fill the crater...
From all the whispers in the air... to the music in the ripples of water...
So much of the magic has so far been unnoticed...
They say it's my lowest... but am grateful...
this is the best I have seen...

© Quotidian Tales

Oxygen for my soul

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Impromptu plans with friends provide a breather amidst life’s crushing pressure.

The other day, I was supposed to meet two of my friends for shopping. One among us took the meeting time a little too seriously. She was there on the dot. Frantically, she kept calling us as two of us were travelling together. My travel buddy kept reassuring the restless one that we were just about to reach. Actually, we were far from the destination. What a smirk she had each time, thinking she had narrated a convincing tale! I sat and wondered how much was being bought of what she sold that day.


Oh, by the way, did I tell you what prompted us to shove aside our work and arrange for an almost impromptu coming-together that afternoon? The pursuit of some perfectly-fitted, voguish good-to-go-with-almost-anything blouses. Yes, you read that clean. A blouse is an upper garment that accompanies and complements the traditional Indian garment called the saree.
The mentor knew which style, pattern, colour...textur…

The endless wait

Never exhaust yourself through waiting...
The truth is in crystal view...
All you own is the present moment...
Nothing else ever belonged to you...

Time neither flies nor sleeps...
Can't hurry or hasten... Not for yours to keep...
It is just shaped by your mind and lens... An illusionary accomplice...
Calling for your soulful attention... Never biased nor clear malice...

Be awed by the red and the amber... And not just wait for the colour green...
The small spaces too make up life... There is a lot happening in-between...

Not just the yearning or the end that defines us...
But the way we grow through it...
Permit the wait to craft you...
And patiently garner the benefits...!!

© Quotidian Tales



Let's talk

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Engrossed in our gadgets, we now find it intimidating to have a real chat.

Words, words and more words. Not just feed, I feast on them. But communication today is being threatened and usurped by addictive, numbing and readily-available audio and visual entertainment. We just have got to do something about it.

Conversation is crucial. Be it a coming-back-from-school story session between a child and a parent, a sweet (and yet-to-become-bitter) têt-à-tête between lovers, a storytelling stretch between an indulgent grandparent and a little one or even an unabashed venting-out bout between friends, such exchanges are the lifeblood maintaining the essence and integrity of relationships.

It was only last weekend when I had gone for brunch, a hybrid meal meant for leisurely days, that I distinctly noticed one thing - people were hardly talking!

They were immersed in their gadgets. Shockingly, even children (at least one in all but a few tables) were using a virtual portal to shun the fun an…