CONFUSION CONFOUNDED

They say nobody is like anybody else. Yet, everybody is the same.

Nobody wants to be a nobody. Everybody wants to be a somebody. When somebody becomes a somebody, anybody and everybody want to become like the somebody.

Anybody could be a somebody. That somebody could be anybody. But being a somebody means they’re not one of the anybodies, nor are they nobodies.

And in this confusing attempt everybody makes, nobody knows what they will eventually end up like.

FOOD II – Mop up Mushrooms

Another simple one, vegetarian this time, and fun to eat, hot or cold. Not as quick as two minute noodles, but far tastier. And dare I say, healthier. Win-win all round.

Get yourself a couple of packets of regular button mushrooms, nothing fancy-schamcy. Halve/quarter/dice them and keep aside. (Us Indians need to take care to wash them under running water before we cut them, please!)

Now get some garlic. Correction, a serious lot of it. Don’t be scared, it’s good for you, ask any Italian or health site. Peel and chop it, very fine. Continue reading →

APARANTA (Beyond the Beyond)

This phantasmagorical world we live in
Full of wonderment
Sparking the imagination
Captivating the senses
A mirage of moha* and maya^
An experiential delight

The things we do
In pursuit of challenge and achievement
Elusive dreams and obsessive desires Continue reading →

SIMPLE PLEASURES

There’s something about…

…the scent of monsoon in the air

… the wind in your hair

…the breeze against your face

…the sun on your skin

…the grass beneath your feet

…a book in your hands

…a dog cuddled in your lap

…a melody playing in your ears

…a song in your heart

…a prayer upon your lips

…happiness in your mind

3 x 1

I’ve been spending a lot of time recently hanging out with my oldest buddies. We’ve been sitting hours. No phones, no iPads, no books even! Music’s okay, as long as it’s not too distracting. But, outsiders – no way! It’s almost like a very exclusive club, a band of brothers, a secret society. One for all and all for one kind of thing.

We’re thick, the three of us. Often chilling together. Making small talk about anything under the sun that catches our fancy, sometimes engaging in deep, meaningful conversation, laughing at a private joke. Of course, we don’t talk talk, as in don’t actually speak aloud, no words are said, but each one seamlessly understands what the other is saying. Telepathy, you know? It’s cool most times; we enjoy our days. We’re pretty sync-ed. We’re easy going. Since we’ve been together long enough, we know who’s what.

Of course, there are squabbles, disagreements. Strong ones. Then it’s hell. Because, you see, we occupy the same space. So I can’t get away from them even I wanted to. Impossible! And then it becomes too much – three cantankerous, intrasingent voices inside one head! A ménage a trois of temporary frenemies in the mind. But it’s good that way. There’s a pushback, “naaah, doesn’t work!”. Alternate points of view. Different opinions. And once the confusion and din fades, oh, the clarity!

Our best times are when no one’s around. Early mornings, late nights, a few moments during the day. We do a quick catch up and run through things. See how it’s going, help things along, share stuff, secrets, disappointments & delight, pull the other guy up if he’s feeling down, or simply spread the cheer. Could be anything. Work, issues, botherations, or like I said, even happiness!

And I am happy. Real happy to have Me and Myself around as my BFFs. Because if we stick around as one triptych, ain’t nothing that can shake us.

Go ahead, try it. I insist… you really must! Just ask Yourself and You to spend more time with You. And you’ll never ever be alone.

Love, distilled.

So it’s 5478 days today for her.

What should I call her? I have many, many different affectionate terms for her over the years – some of which she would cringe at today, and it being her birthday, I won’t embarrass her.

But she came into my life one night in May. Tousled hair, red cheeked, chubby in the ways most babies are. To grow into the fine young woman she is now. Shapely, if I may say so. Gangly, in a teenage kind of way. Pimply, temporarily. Pretty, permanently (but then I’m biased!). Moody. Confused. Stubborn. Sensible. Sensitive. Alternating between dependence and eagerness to be set free. Itching to find her place in the world. Utterly loveable as only a daughter can be to her father.

We’ve been through it all. From the early, reaching out, “papa, papa”, clutchy-feely-cuddly days to the present “go away, people are looking” days. From the times spent teaching her to swim or ride a bike to today waiting for her to get back from a friend’s. Dropping her off to nursery to picking her up from teenage parties. Worrying about what now seems like completely nonsensical trivia to currently more important things like college and boys.

Shorts have given way to even shorter shorts and the occasional skirt. Unkempt hair to ironing and straightening. The chess board to Snap Chat. And dad to other boys, who hopefully will love and care for her as much. We’ve had the parent-child conversations. On values, expectations, responsibilities, shortcomings, goals, the future. And we’ve not really reached a full understanding. Perhaps, we never will.

There have been the usual tears, temper tantrums, threats. Scoldings and punishments. But also fabulous moments, etched forever in my memory. Of time spent in the magic of Disney, at McDonalds, the park, at home… Just the two of us. At other times, with mama also alongside.

She’s still my little girl. And even when it’s time in a couple of years to let go of her, she still will be. Always and forever. My only advice to her today is to set her mind on something solid, give it the thought it deserves and then just go out there and kick ass big time, whether it’s in the remainder of her formal education, her career, her choice of life partner, whatever. And I have immense faith that eventually everything will turn out perfectly right for her. Because I believe in her hugely.

Taarika, as you turn 15 today, this is my public present to you. A piece dedicated to you, from your father. Who’s proud as heck of his daughter. And who’s brimful with emotion as he writes this.

Bless you, darling! Love you to bits!