A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)




Her mother loved that name, that sound, that sigh, literally, ever since she’d seen Aishwarya Rai (sheesh, she’s not that beautiful, especially now!), and that song, in Devdas. And  so the obvious happened, when she was born.

She despaired, however, of being called that – that was her name. Ishsh. On her birth certificate, in school, and God-help-her, it made her the butt of all jokes, in school and college. Really. It was made all the worse, as she was ‘cute’.

Finally, she was in a position to do something about it. She had the wherewithal, so to speak. She’d graduated, despite all odds, with that name, and secured a ‘Government Job”. At, happily enough, The Department of the Registrar of Births and Deaths. And that, even more happily, was close to the Department that published the Gazette Notifications.

At 24, newly-employed, determined to change her fate, that lay entrenched in her name, she marched into a notary’s office to prepare the necessary documents. She saw him, seated at the far table, young, unusually kindly-looking, serene, welcoming, and well, easy on the eye. She presented her problem, with the necessary indignation; he listened patiently; waited for her to finish.

“Mishh Ishsh…” the way he said it, for the first time, before hastily correcting himself, was most appealing. Strange.

“Yeshhh… errm… Yes?”

“Why would you want to change such a beautiful name?” Earnestly.

That floored her. For the first time, her deep-seated animosity towards her name wavered.

Ishsh. Hmmmm …. maybe she’d keep it after all.

Moony-eyed, she walked out.

8 February, 2014


The How of the write above: 🙂

The Hindu In School, dated 10 Dec. 2013

The Team “Zing’in”, from my school, my kids,  comprising of students from Class 9, five of them, won a chance to attend a story writing workshop, yesterday, in Coimbatore (info in pdf file above). It was great fun, and educative with it. One of the activities was to write out a 25o word story, or part thereof, fleshing out a character, with the Hook, Hold in it… 🙂

I’m not sure if any of the teachers present tried to write, but I sure did. This is the result of that experiment 😛


Stewed :D

Will you not give me of your time?
A moment, that is all I seek.

Oh! I am, as you can see, tied up.
And bowed though not quite cowed, said she.

I do, I see, said he. But a moment, please?
It would, it would certainly set me at ease.

Seeing that as you are the one, the only
Who can best decide, how it shall be …

I really need to know, I do
If it’s fine, with you, that I use two

Eggs in the recipe you showed me yesterday
Or would you really have it the eggless way

The way you told me, given your propensity
For the heath food crazy stuff, that too with tenacity

When I’ve told you, endlessly, I love you,
Only because, you, you’re just beautiful as YOU.

Well, said she, now that you put it so lovingly
I guess those eggs’ll do just fine,

And anything else you’d like to add as well
So long as you’re the one in charge

Of Kitchen Duties, now, and all the times ever 😀


1 July to 10th July 🙂
It took a while to stew this one. The flavour hasn’t quite got itself write, as you can see 😛
Pic: Google Images Search 😀


The Compromise

Theirs was an arranged marriage. Whenever she saw the advertisements for Platinum Jewellery, that showed a svelte silver couple finding ‘their’ day of love, she most often gagged. No matter how glorified the Indian Tradition was, and no matter what statistics they had to offer on the success rates, she still questioned it. Which was why she sat there soberly, thinking of how she was a living epitome of irony.

It was a classic manoeuvre, with a text book quality about it. Emotional blackmail, mildly conveyed. She admired the deft way it had been administered. And feeling like the proverbial fly in a spider’s web, had allowed it to happen. Ten years later, as she sat and pondered on that moment, she wondered how she could have been so naive, so gutless. However, having been tutored in the ways of being an ‘accepting’ young lady, she made her peace, and made friends with her ‘would-be’. She laughed then, thinking back on how she hoped against hope that she’d find someone mildly interesting.

Their first meeting, arranged, of course, at the ‘look-at-the-girl’ was a quiet and personal disaster for her, who loved to talk and meet new people. That bloody man was so taciturn you could simply feel the ice of his silence. She did manage to goad him into saying something though. This was role reversal of the most absurd order.

But later, the fates smiled. They began to write to each other, for that was the way she could best express herself, and that was how, she found to her delight, how he did too! The very first letter was sent, as he wrote, via ‘air-male’, along with her father who flew down to his city, on some official work. That clinched it. She knew this would work. Humour like that spoke of possibilities!

She built her castles in the air, donned rose-tinted spectacles and waited to get married. Surprising how easily she slipped into ‘tradition’. Insidiously she justified each thing she did, that otherwise went against the grain, in honeyed hackneyed clichés. And so, they grew into each other. Taciturn and talkathon – neat pair. The one area they were matched was in the letters they wrote.

One meeting, several scores of long letters, and a few telephone calls later they did get married. And stayed so, despite the way that all was not as it seemed. They could hardly write letters to each other in the same house. They seemed to communicate best when they had distance between them. She despaired and removed those rose tinted glasses, and quietly blew away those castles, and came back to Mother Earth, who would not swallow her up. Still, the steel of tradition, dammit, refused to let her quit. Marriages needed to be worked upon did they not?

Why was she such an intense person, she berated herself! Why could she not simply go along, and play along with the role that seemed to be already in place? What happened to all those laughs she thought she’d be fed on?

But slowly, surely, inevitably, life happened. The days merged into each other. She wanted to study further. He supported that, and got her into a college for her Masters’. She wanted to work, and he had no objection. She wanted to drive, and he made it easy by getting her a second hand scooty for starters. Life, and living each day with someone like that could not but wear her down, those walls she had decided to put up.

And of course, they shared the same bed. Which, surprisingly, on some nights did fulfill promises she had made to herself. She ought to be happy. Indeed she thought she could be. She made herself. For there was much in the space he gave her to grow into whatever she wanted to be. Contrarily, she wished that he wasn’t so; that he show her another side to him that would make her rebel against him. Of course, that wasn’t to be.

Ten years was what it took. Ten years to know how her comprise had compromised her. She could not help it. There was no other way, as she saw it.

She fell in love. Finally.

30 April, through to 1 May, 2013, Online
In honour of niggling words that have been hounding me all day 🙂 Raw, and unhesitantly absurd, for sure 😀



The pearly glow of dawn trickled in through the gaps the fluttering curtains made. Craning her neck backwards she looked at the clock. Nearing six. Should she or not? She gave up and got up anyway. It was too early, and too new a day to lend it to heaviness.

Her husband shifted, groaned, when she got up. Missed her warmth, more likely. He lucked out, she decided. She wasn’t going to cuddle him this Sunday. She cleaned up and made tea. Left a cup for him, to warm in the microwave later. Then she wandered out into the balcony. Her favourite time of the day. The nip in the air, the tang of a freshness that  never duplicated; each day’s flavour was unique. Or perhaps she had simply forgotten the previous day’s? Whatever.

Today was Lazy Day. She wasn’t going to do a THING. Anything that needed to be done would be done, however. She stopped short of making herself that promise. She knew how promises were with her. They reneged, each and every darned time. Today she would play the hours without the page, or the page turner.

The newspaper boy, earphones plugged in from his mobile, expertly threw her three sets of dailies her way. Ah. Bliss. An hour later, and she was leisurely reading though some interesting features in the magazine section, smiling at some genial jibes on the state of affairs in the virtual world, when she felt a tickle on the nape of her neck. He had bent over to blow on her neck, followed by a light peck.

“Ummmm….” she said.

“You’re heartless, d’you know that?” He grinned at her.

“Of course”, she smirked.”Your tea is the only thing I’m going to cater for today. You need to warm it up.” She poked her tongue at him.

“Careful darling, Don’t get all decisive on me. You know how you get undecided really fast.”And he stuck his tongue out at her.

She giggled. He trailed his fingers over her shoulders and hair, on the way out of the balcony, to the kitchen.

Ten minutes later he was back, on his chair.

“So what’s new today?” He picked up one of the dailies that screamed of scandal, of a Minister and his domestic troubles. “Oh him.” Cuckoo. Mainstream news was so cynical. Nothing ever was sacrosanct either. He suddenly started laughing. She kicked out and wanted to know why.

“Here’s a feature- an ode, I’d say- about how women can never be lazy.” He continued to laugh intermittently.

“Oh? I’m not going to read it, but I’ll show you how I can. ME.” Ignoring the bad grammar, which he would not notice anyway, she was determined to show him how a lazy day is spent. He only rolled his eyes at her.

She finished her tea, nice and cold though it was, dumped the rest of the dailies on his lap, ruffled his hair and went inside. Switched on the TV. 9XM had some crazy songs playing. Music? She gave a shudder! Switching channels, she came across a favourite. Goodtimes, the NDTV; a sure-fire engaging channel. She’d just watch some mouth-watering recipes and cooking, and then hope he’d go out and get something. Already she was regretting the “I’ll show you” she threw at him!

There went Vicky, the egoistic charmer, with his dashing style. Wait a minute, why was he up so early on the channel? Oh, a re-run. She sat through it, drool collecting by the drop each moment. Automatically she went over the ingredients she might just have. The episode was over, and now came some dessert suggestions. Oatmeal cookies with whipped cream. Ah. Ah. Aaaah. She changed channels, and caught a favourite playing on HBO. Before Sunrise. She practically sub vocalized each bit Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke said to each other. The tantalizing lingering feeling of love, of anticipation, of desire… it seeped into her, all over again. She felt warm and marshmallowy, just as he came and joined her on the couch, wrapping his arms around her.

Nine in the morning, and her lazy day was hotting up. She gave in, to the surreal way he always made her feel. She did not question, just savoured the magic. Till her stomach wanted her to pay attention.

“Baby, me wants food” Petulantly, as a child would. He loved it when she was that way.

“Mmmmm… Me too.” He got up and fixed breakfast, which he brought her to the couch, and joined her. They talked, laughed a lot, ate, watched TV, in between, and did not stir out of the couch. It was a perfect Sunday. That was yet to get over.

A while later, sated with food, sleepy, she went back to bed and curled up with a book. She was re reading The Alchemist. There was something about a Sunday, and re reading that made her feel good. You knew what was coming, and you did not need to be unduly anxious about the characters doing strange things. She wondered what he was doing, and could not stay there.

Getting up, she peeked out of the bedroom. And heard noises from the Kitchen. Uh oh. A Lazy Sunday meant a Manic Monday if he was loose in the Kitchen. She sashayed in pretending to just potter around. He quirked an eyebrow at her questioningly. She shrugged her shoulders.

What was he doing! Chopping the spinach that way, or shredding the cabbage with  the scissors! And why did he need that amount of green chilly? Was the chicken fully thawed before he put it in the microwave? He hummed a tuneless sound, obviously enjoying himself. When she tried to do something, he sent her off, promising delicacies never heard of.

She went back to the book. The Universe, she decided, had conspired to make her break her promise, the one she refused to make anyway. Closing the book, she picked up her towel and clothes and headed for the bathroom. Half an hour later, refreshed, happy, she came to the kitchen, and cheerfully ordered him out. Took over from where he left off.

“It’s only self-preservation” she defended.

“I know. Those instincts of yours are really good you know. You sure you don’t want me to do anything?”

“Baby, just go. You’ve proved your point”

He grabbed her, twirled and set her down with a quick peck.

The I-told-you-so was clearly superfluous. And they giggled together.


2 April, through to 3 April, just after midnight
The Experiments are simply getting crazier, aren’t they? The muse is manic. 😛


The Unbearable Lightness… (due apologies to Milan Kundera :) )

The trembling within
Knowing, just across the room
You look at me
With smoky warm eyes
Oh! Oh my!
Why does it feel like
I’m mere molten mass?

It’s like our fingers simply brushed
Walking alongside;
Whisper soft brushing,
A sleeve here, a wrist there
And fingers – Oh! Oh my!

And then we stop
Together – unplanned
Seemingly deliberately.

The world fades
Into that poetic moment
That the mad crave
That delicate, perfect solitude.
Of us.

And I don’t need more
Just the cloak of your arms-
As I do – you.
Toes touching
Wrapped in feeling feather soft

And we become
This poem.


21 September 2012

(Mush and goo; blame it on a playlist that made it happen :D)
And the icing was that wonderful link that Shilpa shared that says more than this write will!