Saturday, October 18, 2008

In Wrong Hands

Have you ever had a cut
Have you ever seen the blood
Have you ever let it flow
Let it mix with that of the man next door?

Bring the men all together
Cutting the barriers of religion and color
Cut each hand with a tiny tear
And let a drop of blood mix here

Now I will give you this little jar
Separate the drops will you dear?

Separate the black, white and blue
And that of the Christians and Muslims too
Separate the East and West from each
And show me the difference will you please?

Have you ever squirmed in shame?
When on God you lay your blame?
Years have passed and millions lie dead
And yet we cannot stop this dread

The world is in wrong hands I say!
For while we roam clothed and free
The ones in the forests live in perfect harmony!

For Matinee Muse - In the wrong hands
Re posting for Writers Island - Controversy. This is not very controversial I agree... but I think this is something to think about and ponder on!!

(c) Preethi @ Creative Outbursts, September 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

The woods are lovely dark and deep!

(c) Preethi @ Creative Outbursts, September 2008
Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WW: Shining through

(c) Preethi @ Creative Outbursts, September 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I dream

(img courtesy :
I dream...
Of a bright blue sky and clean air to breathe
Of sparkling waters that flow in the rivers beneath

Of lush green trees that have fruits so ripe

And as I look around I feast with my eyes!

I dream...
Of rainbow colored men, no more barriers of color and race

Of people who believe in one God and one faith

Of a world where the word war has ceased to be

Of one where people live in peace and harmony!

I dream...
Of a world where man knows no greed or hunger
Of a world where there is richness and splendor
In the hearts of those who wield the power
Where the greatest are those that do hard labor!

I dream...

Of a world where the ozone was rich and complete again

Of a world where nature no longer rages and wails
Of a world where cars are sparse again
Where its cool to walk and curb the weight gain!

I dream...

Of the day when you and I will join hands

And take it upon us to clean the world

To get on our hands and feet and scrub out the slime

A little sweat it all it takes to make this a better place
For both your children and mine!

(c) Preethi @ Creative Outbursts, September 2008
For Heads or Tails - How would you change where you live

(img courtesy :

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday Invite

(Image :

Roll out the red carpet, sound the drum roll
Drive the limousines to my door!
For today is the day I am turning four!

Come to my home will you?
And lets have some bouncing fun
Lets rock and roll to puff the magic dragon!

Lets eat some gold fish and cakes
Lets drink loads of pink lemonade
Lets roll out some play doh and have a great day!

I will pack you some crayons and some toy trucks
Some tiaras for you girl you can take from my turf!
And at the end of the day we will all be cranky
Then that just means we had a great party!!

My almost 4 yr old likes this invite!!! Sunday Scribblings - INVITATION
Stay on to read my Matinee Muse Fantasy - Beyond the Bridge

(c) Preethi @ Creative Outbursts, September 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beyond the Bridge

(c) Preethi @ Creative Outbursts, September 2008

Along the road down that winding path,
Beyond the dense trees if you do walk;
On a bridge you will tread
That lies on the rippling creek!

Walk along will you, till the trees you pass
And there in the distance at last
There amidst flowers in the lovely clearing
Will rise, the house of your dreams

It will be as big as you want it to be
Or if you prefer it small and cozy
It will be as rich as you want it to be,
Or simply a little house on a tree!

For my friend you have just crossed
The bridge that fills the gap
Between dreams and reality
Between life and fantasy!

Matinee Muse - Bridging the gap
(c) Preethi @ Creative Outbursts, September 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Culinary Chronicles

I skipped, I jumped, I ran away
I dodged and talked out my way...
I hid out in the attic all day
When my mom begged me to stay!

Learn to cook a little she would say!
Learn to hold the ladle..
But I felt truly liberated to dodge away,
And claim to know no culinary way!

But then I went away to stay, in a land far far away...
With no mommy to answer my whims and fancy!

So with reluctance in every move
I decided to make some stew!
I cut and minced , tossed and cooked
But when I put it in my mouth, spit it right out

I called my mom and ate my words
I asked her to teach me the ropes!
And hand me the recipe passed down the years
So my experiments would save some tears!

Years have passed and cook I do
And the flavors in my food play peek-a-boo
But to dinner if I do invite you
Do remember to bring a dish or two!

Heads or Tails - Recipe

(c) Preethi @ Creative Outbursts, September 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Who's there?

I remember those months long ago,
When the tummy had begun to show;
And the little kicks would appear,
"Who's there? " they made me whisper!

Now he has a lovely name
One look and he lights my face!
But every morning he leaves me here,
To wait for a knock and say "who's there?"

And I know the day will come
To reach him I have to pick up the phone
And as it jingles on his busy day
My heart will turn warm as I hear him say,
"Who's there?" it will make my day!

Weekend Wordsmith - Who's there?

(c) Preethi @ Creative Outbursts, September 2008


I drag myself out of bed
I walk out with a groggy head
The kitchen is the first place to tread
To flip the switch of the magical pot!

The aroma fills the air so soon
The spirits perk and eyes open
The feet do a sprightly dance
The brain comes out of the trance

And when the rainy day is here
I grab a throw and sit to stare
The steaming mug in my hand
The wonderful smell fills the air!

The elixir I sip and smell makes me smile,
Makes me live and dance every day!
The magical gift from heavens I am sure,
That I welcome night and day!

And when I am off on a drive
My eyes search in frantic fear
For if I don't find a cafe near,
We will just have to head back home my dear!

I need my pot of COFFEE every day,
To keep me active, to keep me gay!
For Sunday Scribblings - Coffee

(c) Preethi @ Creative Outbursts, September 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Runaway Words!

I open that blank page, And bring out my pen
In my shiny blue book, I am ready to write again!
But as I look at it silently mocking me,
The words just flew right out, no more muse!

I put on my writer's hat and begin to think
But the haze still filled my brain, in a trance!
I pull the feathers from my brain and dig deep within
I would like to see if I can find words well hidden!

I look at the hat again to see if its right,
Not on the cook or mommy's head it sits on tight!
I go sit at my desk to see if that will help
If the words will come out now, from the deep dark well

But all I can see is the big black void
Strangely silent are the voices in my head!
So I flick off my hat now and go for a walk,
The birds are chirping bright and gay, sitting on a bark!

The water runs through the brook gushing away,
The breeze picks a leaf here and another on the way!
The rabbits scurry past in their haste
And I sit there on the bench watching them play!

As I look around me I can hear them again,
The voices in my head are laughing aloud!
I grab a flying paper and borrow a pen
As the words begin to flow from my brain!

Now that I know I have found it,
My writer's state of mind
I can still not tell you where to look
If you ask me for this mysterious find!

For Write on Wednesday - In a writer's state of mind. (Img Courtesy:

(c) Preethi @ Creative Outbursts, September 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A chip off the old block!

I hide a grin I want to smile
When I should be looking grim
I turn around and bite my tongue
To stop the laugh about to come

I look so stern sure to scare
But the little eyes back they stare
And refuse to back down yet again,
Are my admonitions all in vain?

I sneak a look at the big burly man
Standing there with a grin
He seems to talk with his eyes
But I must still hold my stand and not sway!

Being a parent is a work so hard,
More so when my past is still so fresh
Much as my mind tries to forget
The same stern looks on my parents face!

But as my mind sways such,
I give up yet again and concede
Defeat of wills to the wee thing
He is after all, a chip off the old block!

For Matinee Muse - Conflicting Emotions! (img courtesy:

Just a dream

I have been haunted by images all night
I am peeping from between the boxes again!
I woke the man smiling in his dreams
"Is it time to move again?"

Its been a few months since the boxes came
A few months since I looked for homes
A while since I slept on floors
And called the truckers every hour!

Its been a few months in this new place
And I can feel the itch again
Starting to form beneath my feet
"Is it time to move again?"

Is it time to bring out the big brown monsters
That gobble up all my belongings
Is it time to roll in the wheels of change
And haul and load my life yet again?

I woke up with a start and hit the switch
No brown monsters lurking around,
The closets still stayed stocked to the brim!
Aah I heaved a sigh and rested my head again,
Just a dream.. Just a dream!

For Head or tails - Box

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Summers of my past

(Pict Courtesy:

I can still taste the salt in the breeze,
And the feel of sand beneath my feet
I can still feel the cool waters running so clear,

And can taste the sweets by granny dear.

Hiding away, all the ice creams and pops

I dare to smile at the stern Grand pop

Forgotten the day spent rolling in sand

"Take me along to the beach" I sang!

The uncle arrives and I scream in joy,

He is back from work, but no time to rest!

Now is the time to take me to the zoo

To the park and ice cream place, and the beach too!

The weekend arrives and it is the aunts turn
Off we go to tempt a sun burn!

And on other days, there was soft cuddly grand mom

Who filled my tummy with candies and sweets,

And at night told me many many fun stories!

The summers of my past where sweet as can be,

But now they are but a distant memory!
Summers are still fun, with the holidays they bring!

But now I am the one taking the imp out for a spin!

**The topic TAILS - Share a Summertime memory at Heads of Tails - The Skittles! **

Friday, June 27, 2008

May I ask you a question?

May I ask you a question?
One I have never asked before?
I will promise that will be my last
But will still ask you another four!

Why did humpty dumpty sit on the wall?

Did he hurt his head on his fall?

Did the ambulance come to get him at all?

Do you know who made the 911 call?

I just want to know.. how tall trees grow?

I just want to know... what makes the rainbow?

I just want to know ... where the bird flew?
I just want to know ... the names of the neighbors too!

One moment of silence is all I ask
Just a moment to pen a thought!
One moment of no questions at all,
Just a moment to give my brain a rest!

But all I have to do is look at your innocent face,

All I have to do is look at you my curious imp

All I have to do is see your bright smile,
And I am ready to answer the questions!

Bring them on you little curious child of mine,

And let me bask in your innocence!

The story of my life.. in response to Writer's Island prompt Curiosity.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fun day!

I was walking along yesterday, without a thing to do
I walked up to the park and took my dog too!

I walked a little slowly humming along
As my IPOD played my favorite song!

Then I saw in the distance a gleaming light
I thought it was a treasure shiny bright!

I walked a little closer to take a better look,
But all that I found there was a man with a book!

Around him little children looked up in awe
As he read them the tale of the pig and the cow

He sat there quietly reading and talking in rhymes
And then I saw the gleam, his receding hairline!

I played a little drum beat on his smooth head,
And the children joined me in a dance around the flower bed!

What a really fun day it turned out to be,
I thanked the man and his hairline profusely!

The topic over at Heads or Tails was Line. Unfortunately what came to my mind (a little skewed that it is) was a receding hairline. So tried my hand at a rhyme, hope you like it!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Ends and New Beginnings!!

For Writers Island prompt reaction go here - First Impressions

The wee sounds fill the night so dark
The eyes of the waiting fill with joy,
The end of a long wait at last,
A new life to look forward to, a fresh beginning

The bag is packed and the shoes are tied
And as she stands the bus arrives
Mommy waves with tears in her eyes
The end of babyhood, or of childhood the beginning?

The bird has grown and ready to fly
The car loaded to brim stands by
Teary farewells as she steps to new shores
A fresh new life to begin, the end of this old!

Hand in hand they stand demure,
Dozen fond smiles as they look on
The vows exchanged, they turn around
A life together, a new beginning!

The wee sounds fill the night so dark
The eyes of the waiting fill with joy,
The end of a long wait at last,
A new life to look forward to, a fresh beginning

Life is full of endings happy or sad and fresh new beginnings every time around.
This was a prompt reaction to Sunday Scribblings - Happy Endings

First Impressions

(Pict Courtesy:

Aaw where are you taking me?
Why are you setting me free?

What is happening to my little house,

Oh give me back my peaceful cocoon!

Don't Push I say, don't you dare
Don't you push me out of here!

Ouch, the light on my eyes they glare

And the sounds around me won't cease to be!

Hey put me down right now will you,
You there in the gown so long so blue

Don't peer at me with those big eyes of yours

And don't point and prod, aw that hurts

I want to roll up and just sleep,
So tired I am can't you see?

Just leave me be and don't you coo at me!
Put me back in my home I am hungry!

Now who is this person picking me
She looks so lovely with her sweet smile
And how she warms me as she cuddles me close

Finally some milk for my parched throat

Thats so much work I have to do
My life has turned Topsy turvy too

From my peaceful life there inside,

Here I have been rudely pushed ,
to a world so large in size!

I have to work so hard just to eat
And amidst the noise try to sleep
Now I am so tired, let me snuggle up close
Keep me warm while I try to doze!

What a rude shock for a new born to be born in this chaotic world. That was quite a rude awakening don't you think? In response to
Writer's Island prompt Awakening!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Nighty Night

The sky turns down the light
And the noises slowly cease
Brushed and bathed, story read
My little imp has been tucked into bed.

The fire is kindled to give some warmth
And a pleasant glow that gives the room
I curl up with a book so fond
While the CD still plays my favorite song!

And on the nights when he is in town,
We curl together with the TV on
To catch a laugh and share a smile
To share those moments of peace

For we know, that soon very soon
It will be morning again
And the moment will soon be lost
Replaced with sounds of pattering feet and baby laugh!

There are nights when we cant sleep
Not just yet when the night is so young
And on nights so beautiful
We take a stroll just the three
And I share the beauty, with my lovely family!!
Read other Sunday Scribblers on the prompt My Night!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Extravagance called Life

I jumped and ran and frolicked about
When my mom yelled "Time to come home"
I closed my ears and hid about the lot
When my dad returned after a long long day
I hid behind the house and pretended not to see
Extravagant play you say? That was just me!

I ranted and raved and had unhappy days
On others I plotted and planned
To escape the parental gaze!
I talked all day and night on the phone
Dieted when it came to food, but ate endless chocolate
Extravagant trouble you say? A regular teen says I

I dreamed and gazed with a far away look
I pouted and waited for the phone to ring
I spent days and nights in eager anticipation
For the perfect day that I take off with my perfect knight
Extravagant dreams you say? Love says I

I showered him with kisses and toys unlimited
I stayed home and gave him the gift of time
I worried all day and stayed up at nights
I celebrated little triumphs with all my might
Extravagant love you say? Motherhood says I

I brought trinkets aplenty and spread them around
I put up paintings on every bare wall
And rich plush rugs on every bare ground!
I made expensive portraits and had them strewn around
Extravagant adornments you say? Home says I

I have always weeped too loud and cheered too hard
Be it when I was a child or considered grown!
When my parents ruled the roost or one I call my own
In this country or the next I always will be
Living life to its fullest, extravagant me!
To read more takes on extravagance go to writers island

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

And so I quit

(For Writer's Island prompt The Return - go here)I loved it there I really did
The rush of excitement I would get
As I sat in front of my desk
I enjoyed every minute of my day.
Then I married and managed it all
Work, home, hearth and life
The fun never ceased,
Even when it moved across seas
And then I added another role
I chose to be a mother now
And this time when I went to work
I left my heart and mind at home
I rushed to work and rushed back home
I rushed in between to see my son
I got up early and slept so late
And yet my heart was never so light
And then one day I sat to think
To make meaning of my tangled life
And soon it all became clear
My priorities had shifted over the past year
I did what none thought I would
A first in my lie so far - I quit
Time ran by and I traveled afar
The wee little thing grew so tall
But through the years no regrets
I am glad I quit when I did!

Thanks Sunday Scribblings for this prompt on Quitting.
Quitting my job has also led me to take up on my long forgotten hobby - Writing!!

The Journey Home

The sweltering heat, the rivulets of sweat
The humid air that hit my face

This is what greeted me first

As I walked off the airplane

The gushing crowds, the happy faces

Tired yet eager to be back home
Returning home from a distance

As the stealth of night crept around.

And as I entered the cities so merry

It seemed like there was always a fest
The colors so vibrant at every corner
The lilting music on every radio...

The sweet aroma of home cooked food

The rush of relatives far and near.

The children running between your feet
The spicy food that makes you weep.

The elephants decked up with cheer

The cows and calf's roaming near

The India of the villages so bright so dear
I lost myself in the beauty I fear

The time ran by as fast as it could

And soon I got back on the plane

To turn around and fly across miles
Back to my home away from home

Greeted by order and decorum I was
Of Subdued colors and muted voice

A contrast so vivid just miles apart

Yet there reigns a peace at heart
As the chaos kept me excited.

Glad to be back that I am
Yet it is with a heavy heart I return
From my sweet yet short vacation.

I am also back from my break at Writer's Island. Its good to be back!!
This was my take on this week's prompt Return
(Pict Courtesy:,

Friday, March 7, 2008

Dear Son

The day has come much awaited
And amidst the pain I hear your cry
Rising louder as the time goes by
And my heart fills with immeasurable joy!

Crawling along on all fours
There you are on the floor
And as the table looms near
You hold on and rise up without fear
The pride in my eyes shining through
I watch as you take the first step and two.

Oh there you are running in circles
As you talk on, I can almost hear
Your brain going whirr whirr whirr
And then in your hurry to get to me, you fall
And even as I reach out, you rise up again
Brushing off the dust in nonchalance!

No time for me I can see
You are now off chasing your destiny
To rise high up the ladder is your goal
And in this race I am but a blur

Go my boy rise up high, stand up straight
And reach new heights
And as I look on with a heart full of pride
Let me see you conquer your destiny!
This week's writers island prompt is Rising and Destiny. Read other islanders and their lovely takes on the topic.

Monday, March 3, 2008

My time capsule

For Writers Island prompt Empowered - go here
(pict courtesy

I carried the step stool, held it close
And stacked it up on the chair
I climbed up on my precarious perch
And into the heights I did reach

To peer into the oblivion of the dark dark loft
And find the treasures of the past untold
As I was rummaging through, Down it fell to the floor
As it lay there open to see, I let out a shriek of glee

There she stood in her innocent beauty,
While he sat the young majesty!
Newly embarking on wedded bliss
Looking at their smile a beat my heart did miss!

And as I turned the pages, there were three
One in her arm and another in his lap
While the third stood there fumbling with his cap!
And still further the family grew and grew
Till there were seven little faces smiling through.

The little faces grew bigger and bigger
And soon there were more little faces to admire
The lady still stood plump and grayed
While the man sat still majestic and frayed.
But their faces were a sight to see
For the happiness shone through oh so brightly.

And then there was one with the same wedded bliss
I was the one who shot it so I remember this!
It was the 60th year of the marital bliss
And there they gathered family and friends amidst.

I fly to see them soon oh so soon.
The lovely couple who I love to bits!!
My grandparents as they walk
into the 68th year hand in hand, heart to heart!!

The prompt at Sunday Scribblings was time machine.. but decided to paint a time capsule here!


Talk of empowered woman today?
But thats no surprise is there.

Here is a woman of yester years
Who was the true liberator

Married at 14 to the King of Jhansi
She was renamed to be known as Lakshmi Bai

The greatest revolutionary that ever was

The bravest queen that she was!

To the courts in London she ran
When her adopted son wouldn't be considered heir (to the throne)

Banned from her kingdom was the ruling

But that did not work to deter!

She assembled an army of men and women
Trained them to fight and win!
And sitting on a horse in all her valor

She led them in a rebellion battle of honor

The personification of empowered women
The start of a big revolution
And when she breathed her last still at war

The words she uttered "Jai Hind!" (Jai Hind means Long live India)

This week's topic at Writer's Island was Empowered. Today empowered woman are no wonder. But this tale happened in 1857. Rani Lakshmibai as she is called and worshipped now, led the revolution of men and women to fight against the British. All she asked for was the right to rule her kingdom Jhansi! Read more at wikipedia
I know the poem is not very rhythmic as I like poems to be! I think this story is so close to my heart there is no rhyme or rhythm there just the naked truth!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I live on...

We roamed the world where mammoths tread
The ice age left us undeterred!
We flew around where dinosaurs loomed
And to buzz around their ears we knew no fear!
We went along to the unicorn land,
And as they flew we flew beside...
When Dumbo flew with his big floppy ears
We were there buzzing sing song in the air
We went to the land of the terrible tigers
In the marshy plains of the Sunder bans
And to the land of desert storms
Amidst the tall camels.
We hopped along with the Kangaroos
And did a dance on the elephant backs
We flew across the river Nile
And beyond the Rockies we passed.
Far along the forests of the Amazon
And the colors of Hong Kong
To the land of the ancestors
In the ancient Greek land.
Wonder who I am don't you?
I am your house guest cockroach,
Who torments you every day!

And today I have come here to say...
I have traveled far and beyond,
To places man never tread on!
And as we flew through the ages

Time has traveled on!

This is in response to Writer's Island prompt Time Travel!
There are more than 4000 species of roaches in the world and it has lived on for the past 320 Million years... They have seen the world like none of us ever have and they live on without evolving .. they are perfect as they are!
{Edited to add.. I feel like I have to apologize for the final let down... many have commented on how after all the beauty comes the revelation of the disgusting cockroach... sorry about that.. but thats the fun of it.. and the twist in the tale!!}

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Life is like that - 3

College was so much fun... he could now smoke without worrying about his parents finding out. The lingering scent in his clothes would bother no one.. and there was no nosy villager around to carry tales! There were the Friday night booze parties that were so much fun.. and living with friends. Checking out the lovely girls, and bunking classes to go to the movies. College life was so much fun!
He studied hard during the study holidays though and made average marks. Soon the first year was over and he went home for his summer break. Only to be treated like royalty. His mom and grand mom waited hand and foot on him.
"This feels so good" he thought.
But Ranjit was not easily fooled, he had an inkling of what went on in college and he wanted to give Ajay an awakening.
"We are going to Chennai tomorrow" he told Ajay "Pack your bags".
"But why dad?" asked Ajay
"Your cousin is leaving to the US and I want us to go see him off"

At Chennai Ranjit went to his sister's place where her son Ramesh was packing up to go to the US. He was an IIT pass out and was going to the US to pursue his higher studies. Ajay was in awe. He asked Ramesh all about the exams he had to pass to do his higher studies in US. Ramesh offered him his books that he had used to prepare for the exams. Ranjit on the other hand was interested in the financials
"How are you paying for all this" he asked his sister.
"Oh he has got aid. Which means his fees is fully paid by the university. Apart from that if he gets a part time job, he will be able to support himself. I just have to pay for the tickets and the visa formalities. They are all arranged by an agent" She said.
Ranjit sighed a far away look in his eyes. Ajay smiled to himself .. his eyes twinkling with dreams of the future.
Later that day Ranjit took Ajay to his cousin's house. His cousin's son had done his engineering too .. but worked as a sales representative in a computer hardware sales firm. He had to go to houses everyday to sell computers.
"Take Ajay along with you today" Ranjit said. Ajay went with his cousin Prakash on his bike to sell computers. It was hard work and very frustrating. The door was banged on their face ever so often. And the heat was sweltering...Ranjit did not understand why Prakash would do this.. after all he was an engineer.
"Why don't you apply to some IT Company and take up a job there" he asked
Prakash answered "As if I want to do this. But who will give me a job?"
Ajay was bewildered "Why you are an engineer aren't you?"
Prakash "Yes but I barely made it through my engineering, and over the years I had many arrears. The major IT companies require a minimum of 70% to get in. They also require that we clear the exams without arrears"
Ajay was thoughtful and did not say much for the rest of the day. This was a rude awakening for him, he realized that this was where he was heading.
Back home he started getting organized and began to study the material given to him by Ramesh. Ramesh had also encouraged him to open an email account and send regular emails to him.
Through the next three years, Ajay was more cautious in his wayward ways and made sure that his studies were not affected by his partying and fun time with his friends!
At the end of the four years, he gave the entrance exams for doing his masters in the US and got through some good universities. But there was still the matter of paying for his travel.
This time though Ranjit was overjoyed and quickly arranged for the money for his visa, travel and initial months of stay. But he had to tell Ajay "Son, I know it is not easy to work and study at the same time. But I just can't send you any more money. Your grandmother's medical bills are so high nowadays that I just don't have money to spare"
Ajay replied "You don't worry dad, I will get a job like Ramesh. Ramesh's friend is in the same place and he said he will help me get a job"
He also said "I will finish my Masters fast and start paying back the loan quickly like Ramesh is doing"
Ranjit was overjoyed at his son's responsibility and drive. The trip to Chennai long ago had reaped its fruits and Ajay had turned over a new leaf since then. It was with tears of joy that Ranjit and Radha saw off their son Ajay as he embarked on a journey to new frontiers.
(to be continued ...)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Life is like that - 2

Years have passed.. Ajay is now no longer a young kid, but an all knowing teenager. But financially nothing has changed. They still live in the same house, in the same village. Its evening and music blares down the street.. some melodies to please the deity residing in the temple down the road.
In the foyer (front room - with a steel grill covering the side facing the road), Ajay's dad Ranjit rests in an easy chair (a recliner of sorts, made with a cloth loosely wrapped around a steel frame), a book lying open on his chest, his eyes closed, legs stretched out on a stool (wooden ottoman).
Beyond the foyer is the living area, with a bed, some Almira's and a television. Ajay's mother and grand mom sit on the floor watching a daily soap along with the next door neighbor. They have cranked up the volume to drown the music blaring outside. Ajay walks in to get a glass of water from the earthen pot and shakes his head in disgust.

He goes back to his perch on the bed in the adjoining room, which is essentially a bedroom but doubles as his study. With the balls of cotton stuffed in his ears not doing much to drown all the sounds, he returns to his books. But not before he stops to think "I need to get out of this god forsaken place.. I need to go far away!!" With a heavy sigh he returns to his books...

The exams come and go, and its now time for the results. Ajay has done well, but not well enough.. He knows his marks will get him an engineering seat in the city, but will his dad be willing to pay tuition which will be rather expensive? Ranjit has drilled it into Ajay that it was just not possible, and unless Ajay got into a Government Engineering College with lesser tuition he could not afford it!! But Ajay is hoping he can depend on his mom to influence his dad.

Ranjit comes home from work... Radha is waiting at the doorstep for him
Radha: Ajay has got admission in KG college of Engineering
Ranjit: Whats the point, if he had got admission in Government Engineering College, I would have been happy
Radha: But think about it, if he studies Engineering he will be settled in life
Ranjit: A science course is not bad, let him do BSc (Bachelor of Science), I spoke to my friend Govindarajan, who teaches at PS Arts and Science College. He says that if Ajay studies hard, even after BSc he can come up in life.
Ranjit's Mom has been listening all this while. She speaks up in support of her dear grandson
He is only asking money to study, why cant you give that.. he is not asking for money to blow up like other kids!

Ranjit: Amma, you don't understand anything.. where will so much money come from
Radha: Satish's dad took a loan for his son to study.. maybe you can do that?
Ranjit: Let me see

Ranjit arranges for a loan using his house as collateral. Ajay gets his admissions in the KG College of Engineering. He promises his dad that once he starts earning he would return all the money.

Ranjit: You need to study very hard and concentrate on just that. Wrap up your play for a while till you finish your education.
Ajay: Yes dad
Ranjit: I will send money for food and boarding, spend the money very frugally.
Ajay: Yes dad, don't you worry I will be very careful.
Ajay runs out of the house to meet his friends!!

Ranjit turns to Radha :I am not sure he understands how much we sacrifice to give him all these luxuries he asks for.
Radha: You don't worry, I know my son he understands our difficulty.
Ranjit: I hope he does, and studies hard to prove that the money we are spending is not wasted
Radha: You keep doubting your son.. he is a gem!! You can't find anyone like him
Ranjit: I do hope you are right.

A month later.. Its time for Ajay to leave for the city. Ajay's grand mom has packed boxes of delicacy for him to carry with him.
Grand mom: Take care of your health. Eat well.. don't study too hard.. eat and sleep well.
Ajay: Yes Patti. I will
Radha: Ajay be good, and make us proud of you!
Ajay:Yes Amma don't you worry.. I will study hard and make all of you proud!
Ranjit is very quiet.. He just says : God bless you son.
Ajay touches the feet of all the elders and leaves. His friend is waiting with a cycle outside the house and loads the bag on the back of the cycle, and rolls the cycle along. Ajay walks with his friend to the bus stand where the bus will take him to the City.
He leaves with excitement in his heart, a little fear in his eyes.. and thinks to himself "I will study hard and get a highly paid job... I will never be poor again"

(To be Continued...)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Treasure

Not so long ago, On a warm and sunny day
My father took me aside and told me a tale
What a tale it was, of a long lost treasure

Listening to it made me tingle with pleasure

He said: In the depth of the forests

Beyond the bushes and the tall trees

Covered in sand, beneath the Pipal (Bodhi) Tree,
Is a treasure chest as shiny as can be
And when the sun sets it shines through the leaves

On the ground where the chest lies beneath.

With a bit of fear and lot of thrill, I set to venture
On a journey to uncover the coveted treasure
I walked beneath bushes and bore the scar(s)
The reptiles lurked but did not (me) deter

I searched far and near, I searched high and low ,

Beneath each rock and below every bough..

Rivulets ran down my face and spine

My back did ache but never did I whine

As dusk set in, I saw the gleam so near

And tripped and fell as I rushed to the clear (ing)

And there I beheld the Giant Pipal Tree

Beneath which the promised treasure would be

I dug with the shovel and with my arms bare
My eyes lighting up at the sight of the chest so dear

I opened in a hurry and was surprised to see
A palm leaf scroll with words wise as can be!

" Things not your own will yield no good, however you guard with pain;

Your own, however you scatter them abroad, will yours remain."

-Thirukural (Chapter 38, Verse 376) (Source - Wikipedia)

The last couple of lines are that of the famous tamil poet Saint Thiruvaluvar. Tirukural was written 2200 years ago and consists of 1330 couplets divided into 133 chapters. They teach you the philosophy of life.. an attempt at translation has been made on Wikipedia The tamil kurals can be found at Tamilzone
In those days , in India the scribes were recorded on the readily available medium of smoke-treated palm leaves (olai in tamil)

The reference to the Bodhi/Pipal tree is intentional. Buddha got his enlightenment under a Bodhi tree.
This poem (cum short story) is in response to the prompt from Writers Island this week, I had fun writing it... hope you enjoyed reading it!!

Life is like that

It was a warm and sunny day and the kids were playing a game of cricket. Little Ajay's dad couldn't afford cricket gear in his meager income. But he would have loved to have a bat for himself. He was having to borrow the bat from his friends. And most days he never got a turn at batting.
Rohit called out : Ajay pick up the ball fast.
Ajay picks up the ball half hearted and throws it to Rohit. Meanwhile the batsmen Krishna and Sanjay have run 4 runs. Rohit is mad at Ajay for being so careless.
Rohit: Don't come to play with us if you wont pay attention.
Ajay: I want to bat too
Rohit: Then get a bat of your own.
Ajay walks away dejected. His mom has been watching all this from a distance. Ajay walks home and sits down on the doorstep. His grandmom sees him and approaches
Grandmom: Ajay why aren't you playing?
Ajay: I don't feel like playing
Grandmom: Why? Are the other boys troubling you?
Ajay: No no.. its too warm to play out.. I am tired!
Grandmom: Oh you poor boy, come let me get you something to drink.
Ajay follows his grandmom into the house.
That evening, his dad Ranjit comes home from a long day at work. Ajay rushes to greet him.
Ajay: Daddy did you have a good day
Ranjit : Yes Ajay I did, how was your day
Ajay: I played cricket and then played at home for sometime
Ranjit : Did you not study today?? Go pick up your books and read for a while before dinner
Ajay walks away looking forlorn
Ranjit : Radha do you know whats wrong with this boy. Why is he looking so upset today?
Radha (Ajay's mom) narrates the whole incident to him.
Radha: I think you should get him the bat. Poor guy!!
Ranjit : Do you think I don't want to buy him a bat. It will cost 200 bucks, I can't spare that much cash.
Radha: You call yourself a teacher at a govt school and if you cant spare that cash who will? The dhobhi next door buys so many toys for his son, and you can't buy anything for yours.
Ranjit : Don't say that.. you are being unreasonable....
Radha (interrupting him): I have work to do..
She the walks away!
The next day as Ajay returns from school, there is a shiny new bat waiting for him. He is so excited. He runs to his dad and hugs him, thanks him and runs out to play. Radha is also beaming.. neither notice the missing watch on Ranjit's hand.
(To be continued ...)