Sunday, January 24, 2016

Some of my Old Poems- Manoshi


My Best Friend

Awaken from dreams
Woven in golden thread
With silver bells twinkling
Wrapped in velvet
With a touch of a wand
Disappears the magic
The sand slips through
My clenched tight fist
I watch amazed
My old friend childhood
Passed by me waving...


The beautiful moments float
My youth smiled at me
Today from far away
I am walking slowly
On the path created yesterday
I am not alone
I will never be
I have a friend
Who won't leave me.

I speak to him
In my distress, in agony
He doesn't let me down
He guides my way
The world left me alone
Time flew away
My best friend lives with me
It's in me, my Self always.

November 13, 2005

Someone told me Today

I know today
I am not perfect
The golden illusion
Disappeared but
A ray of light
Reached me today
To show the right path
And I know now
I am not supreme
I can be defeated
The path showed me
There are pits on the way
But falling gives a hope
you will rise one day
When I fell I knew
There is someone to see
That I get up to walk
There is someone to
Give me the hope
And I know now
I am not supreme
I am not perfect
But I am me

Someone told me today...

August 2004





My Search


I wanted it for long
I wanted it to happen
I see it happening
And I cry with joy

How is life so beautiful
As beautiful it was
But I wander in search
Of beauty again

I would like to have it all
I look for the pearl
In the vast ocean of pearls
I have it, but I don't

Do I have it? Or I don't?
I don't have that silk thread
Or the pin I yearn for so long
My never ending search

I am still looking for...

May 29 ,2005

HAPPINESS

Tears come rolling down
Remembering those beautiful days
I knew somewhere deep down
It wasn't true anyway

I never though believed myself
Now with my shattered faith
Deep within when I delve
I see nothing but only pain

Those moments will not come back
It was a pure illusion
A mirage I thought to be real
In my state of delusion

That strong mind of mine
Is not strong anymore
Lesson that pain has taught
Every part of my being is sore

Still I cannot give up though
My strength to fight the truth
Why is reality so harsh
So hard to accept, so crude

Why was it so beautiful
Why it all seemed that way
All wrapped up in velvet
Reality cannot change, they say

Accepting the harsh truth
Though is not an easy game
However hard it must be
Time changes when nothing's the same

So why to cry why to yell
I look within myself to see
The happiness is right here
It's me who has got the key.

February 27 ,2005


CLOUDS

The dark clouds
That pass by
I wonder sometimes
How fast they fly?

A bright sunshine
Suddenly they cover
And in minutes
The darkness is over

Sometimes they give
The feeling of a chill
And without pouring
They go on their will

Sometimes they pour
And after they go
The beautiful sunshine
People enjoy more

Sorrow is like clouds
The darkness it brings
Doesn't stay for long
It flies away on wings

To enjoy the beauty
Of our beautiful life
One has to go through
The suffering of life

That's how one becomes
More pure, more true
That's the test of life
One has to go through.

July 11 ,2004







Thursday, September 24, 2015

My Dog Ate My Homework

"Why didn't you do your homework, Hun?", I asked.

The seven year old replied,"  Ummm....ummm...On Sunday, I had a short term memory loss, so I forgot to do my homework."




Friday, February 21, 2014

Another One

Here is the latest: We are learning to write biographies in class. Kids are researchnig and finding information about Martin Luther King. An 8 year old in my class wrote: Martin Luther King’s mother’s name was Alberta Williams Queen (of course, a king's mother can only be a queen) 

My Birthday Present

"Close your eyes, Mrs. Chatterjee; I have a surprise for you". It was my birthday. I knew she must be having a card or a present for me. So, I closed my eyes and said excitedly, "Really? You do? I can't wait to see what it is." And then she gave me a box of chocolates. Before I could even thank her, she started narrating, " Yesterday... Yesterday, I asked my mom if I could give you a present for your birthday and she said 'no' because you know how we need money to buy everything...so I said - please, please, please... and then you know, I had saved two dollars from my pocket money...so I gave it to my Dad, and we got you a gift..." I was speechless. Finally, I said, "Aww...Hun, you didn't have to do this". And she said, " But I wanted to". I gave her a hug and told her that those were my favourite and the best chocolates in the whole wide world. Could I have got a better birthday present? I love you my little angels!

My Little Angels - there is always something which brings a smile on my face

Trust me, they actually write with this :)


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Short Story - The Psychic

            The pouring rain was making it harder. Nothing could be seen on the road. The sound of the fast moving wipers was becoming annoying and the meandering countryside roads were making it impossible to see what was on the other side of the turn. It was exactly a year ago. It was pouring heavily. As per the norm, she was driving and Raymond was taking a nap. Raymond always feared of falling asleep while driving, as it had happened once before. She was the careful driver, who Raymond depended on for these trips, as he would for any other job that he found challenging.

           The huge crashing rain drops on the wind-shield had suddenly splashed and the car had taken a 180 degree turn, making a screeching sound. She didn't remember what had happened after that. She had woken up in a hospital, only to find that Raymond would never be accompanying her on any long drive anymore. 

            Today she had gone to see a psychic. He had come all the way from Scotland and her friend wanted her to visit him. She did not believe in the spirit world.  She wanted Raymond to be back the way he was, in flesh and blood, and she knew it was not possible. Her logical and skeptical mind did not see any point in seeing a medium. If Raymond’s soul existed, she would know. She would feel him. She never had a dream about Raymond in her sleeps. She had never felt his presence in the house after he left, where they had lived together for some 10 odd years. But her friend insisted her to see this medium. Her friend thought the baggage that she was carrying would be lifted, once she talked to Raymond’s spirit.

           They were newly married at that time. She had met Raymond at a wine store. He worked there and she was looking for something Australian, preferably red. She was a party animal. Her friends described her as rebellious and wild. She had not hesitated to invite Raymond to the party at her small two bedroom apartment that night. He didn't talk much and remained in a corner of the room reading a book during the party. Some of her friends had made fun of him too. She had felt a strong urge to defend him and stand by him. He was the quiet one who would not talk unless talked to. He stammered a little while talking and had a limp when he walked. After a few meetings she knew she had to decide and save this man from his loneliness. The overwhelming pity for him had made her propose to him, which he had accepted apprehensively. The wedding was a simple affair. He did not really want a grand wedding, nor did she. She did not want many people to meet her husband who really wasn't the man she wanted; the dashing, hot, young man who would lift her in the air and kiss her. After a long year of marriage, she knew she wasn't happy. She did her duties and wished secretly in her heart to be free someday from this tie. After 10 years, Raymond hadn't changed; he was still the quiet one who did not like parties and would read books in corners. He would let her do the socializing and driving.

                     Going to Banff was her idea. A long drive through the scenic roads was what Raymond would love and she would enjoy too. She loved driving; however, ten days of long driving had made her tired. The scenic beauty was breathtaking. However, she hadn’t enjoyed the trip as much as she had thought she would. There was nothing to talk about or discuss with her husband during or after the trip. She knew Raymond loved her but they did not have a match. His expression of love was different, or was there any expression?  

               The church was beautiful. The paintings and the stained glass were as bright as they probably were when the church was built, hundreds of years ago. Tears had rolled down her cheeks as she had offered her prayers. She didn't know why she was crying, but she had cried and watched Raymond looking at her with love in his eyes. She had looked away from him and then they had started for the fateful journey back home.

The psychic had asked, “Who died in an accident?”
He knew!!!  
“My husband”
“He says, you didn't kill him, it was an accident”
“He says, your prayers were granted, but it wasn't you, and he is happy where he is”.

--Manoshi 



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Every night before going to bed, there used to be a story...the same stories again and again. Every Sunday I would hold his hand and go to the HaaT (the local farmers' market)...every evening I would go for a walk with him...and how I hated him when he dropped me to school on his scooter right in front of the school gate..."Can you not drop me at the 'moD'? I am not a little girl anymore...", but he never listened...! He knew every spelling in the world and he could solve any Math problem...! I have the best childhood memories...and PAPA you made it the best...Happy Father's Day

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Beginning


I was reading this poem of Rabindranth Tagore the other day. Tagore's poetry amazes me. He was a lover, a mother, a father, a naturist, a what not...He could spy into people's minds and write their thoughts down. That's what he did in this poem years ago when I was not born.


The Beginning

“WHERE have I come from, where did you pick me up?” the baby asked its mother.
She answered half crying, half laughing, and clasping the baby to her breast,– “You were hidden in my heart as its desire, my darling.
You were in the dolls of my childhood’s games; and when with clay I made the image of my god every morning, I made and unmade you then.

You were enshrined with our household deity, in his worship I worshipped you.
In all my hopes and my loves, in my life, in the life of my mother you have lived.
In the lap of the deathless Spirit who rules our home you have been nursed for ages.
When in girlhood my heart was opening its petals, you hovered as a fragrance about it.
Your tender softness bloomed in my youthful limbs, like a glow in the sky before the sunrise.

Heaven’s first darling, twin-born with the morning light, you have floated down the stream of the world’s life, and at last you have stranded on my heart.
As I gaze on your face, mystery overwhelms me; you who belong to all have become mine.
For fear of losing you I hold you tight to my breast. What magic has snared the world’s treasure in these slender arms of mine?”


That Magical Bag of Ice...



Teaching the little ones, and to be with them for the whole day as a home-room teacher has many such moments, which bring a smile to my face everyday.

My mornings start with a 7 year old's loudest singing voice. He sings "O' Canada" at his best everyday. His face shines with pride when he hears,"You rock, John" and the singing is even louder the next day. :)

I have discovered that Band-Aid and ice are the best inventions that have ever been made. They are definitely the best friends of a teacher. A small bruise or an invisible cut can make little Johnny look at it  teary-eyed the whole day and not work at all but that small thin beige piece of strip can do the magic. "Are you feeling a little better now?" The nod is in a big "YES" always. Almost everyday there is a child who comes complaining after recess, "I got hurt in the yard. Can I get some ice from the office?" "I don't think you need ice for this honey" is the worst comment I can ever make. No! How can I? It is always, "Oh! how did that happen? Okay, go get some ice", and the 7-year old with that little zip-lock bag with two cubes of ice in it sits on the carpet, with it on his head or shoulder until the ice turns into water and leaks on the carpet; and finally, after throwing it away in the garbage, he feels better.

The other day the kids were writing recounts. This little girl in my class had visited India during summer. She was writing about her favourite vacation. She is a great writer. She included all the 5 W's (if you don't know- they are the what, where, when, why and who) in her recount, used all the transition words like first, next, later etc. and followed the 'success criteria' of writing recounts perfectly. A beautiful recount it was indeed. Then she had to draw a picture and write a caption about the picture. So she made a beautiful drawing with a girl in braids playing soccer alone. The caption said, " This is me playing soccer with my brother in India. My brother has gone to drink water in the picture. This is one my personal favourites.

And here is the classic - So I saw this new cool i-phone on the librarians desk. I was signing out books for my class and the kids were lining up in front of me. I asked one of my students (a second grader), "Hun, will you buy me a cell phone like this when you grow up and start earning?" He looked at the phone, took a moment and then said, "Yes, Ms. Chatterjee, I will, if you are alive".

What can be more enjoyable than to be with these little ones and be a part of the world of their imagination? I feel I am one of those very few blessed people who love their job. I love being a primary teacher.

Monday, February 8, 2010

You Live On...

You live on...


One night you are left alone
Like a stranger, on your own
You know well how  true it is
But you don't want to believe
Love dies, yet hope survives
.
And you live on... 


The lovely dreams do not dance  
Anymore in your eyes 
Every moment in the past
Happiness slowly dies
Hopes leave, yet life survives


And you live on...

--Manoshi

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thought for the Day

Sitting on the floor in front of the school office, he was waiting for his mom. I could see tears trickling down his eyes.  I do not teach him, but I know him, of course. So I went and asked him, " What happened, Hun? Are you okay? Your mom will be here any minute." He spoke, slowly, without looking at me, " I smiled at you, and you did not smile back".  "Oh! I am so sorry, I did not see you " I apologized and played a little game with him, " Let's smile together now...1...2...and 3..." We both smiled together and I saw his mom smiling behind us. A child can speak, can we?

The other day one of my seniors from school posted some pictures on Orkut. He visited the place where Mahatma Gandhi was kicked out from the first class compartment in South Africa for being a brown. That incident changed his life and he changed the world.  I suddenly started to admire this lean, simple, dark man more... how many people have the courage?

I did some work on bullying prevention in my school last year.  I learned during the workshops about the different kinds of bullying happening in schools among kids. Most often among girls is the psychological bullying which prevails, especially against the newcomers in the school.  And I wondered how is the adult world different...

'The thought for today' on the PA system said today, " I will treat everyone with respect".

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

DIFFERENCE




Streets- summer/Fall/Winter
========================














Lovely Summer/Confused Winter





----------------------------------------------------------



Snow White and the Bride in Red
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Fairy Tale Night/Reality



-------------------------------------------------------------
Down to Earth (from the top of CN Tower through the glass floor)


Piercing the sky (CN Tower)

Monday, May 25, 2009

With You



Sitting in the dark
Alone
I felt you
You were not close
Nor far
I smelled you
I touched you
I laughed
I cried
I wiped the hot burning tears
I hugged myself
I felt better
And passed another night
Without you
With you

--Manoshi

Saturday, February 14, 2009

To be in Love


On Valentine's Day
.
A silver beam of moon light
Pierces through my heart
The twinkling stars send me
Millions of little sparks

Happiness dancing on toes
And sometimes the pearls of tears
I have been collecting
These priceless gifts for years


I bathe myself
In that light divine
My inner being screams
With joy and I shine


The world today seems
How so beautiful I wonder
I never noticed the beauty
How does life bewilder


How wonderful is, I realize
To be in Love
I found it after all
The priceless treasure trove


--Manoshi

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire- the winner


Slumdog Millionaire won four Golden Globe awards today, a movie which made me come out of the cinema hall hanging my head down. The picture of India portrayed in the movie is probably a reality, but an outsider, filming and flashing only the dark side of the Indian society and comparing the so called REAL india with the great other countries (literally in the movie) just could not allow me to appreciate the movie. In any case, I was proud as it won the best music original score award. I am proud not because Slumdog Millionaire won the award but an Indian won the award. Congrats! A.R. Rahman.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Journey of Music... resumes...

Today I met Sohail Rana Saheb, the renowned music composer from Pakistan (he is the original composer of the 'aaj jaane kee zid na karo' sung by Fareeda Khanum). It was an hour long session, and I learned some of the minute technicalities of the art of rendering a ghazal. An amazing teacher...! He will be giving me music lessons every week. I dont want to jinx it. It has always been something or the other that I could not continue learning music in the past. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping to continue my journey of music again after a long halt.

Friday, December 26, 2008

It's only words...

those words really had taken my heart away...I loved the song which they would show on MTV again and again, in those days (1996)...K was listening to his favourite oldies today, and this came up...



and this was my favourite when I was 16...mere rang mein rangne wali...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wish You a Merry Christmas - Christmas Songs


Here are some of my favourite Christmas songs. Click on the songs on the player to listen to them individually.

Wishing the world a Merry Christmas and a very very Happy New Year 2009

12 Days of Christmas
Silent Night
Let it snow...
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Santa Claus is coming to Town...
Jingle Bell Rock



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I love snow...

"It is a fort Mrs. Chatterjee. We are fighting a battle. Look at this...this is a secret door."

"Oh Wow, looks good"

" Mrs. C, the grade 7 students took our snow ball."

"What do you mean, they took your snow ball? They can't take it home..."

" We made a huge one yesterday there, and the grade 7 boys rolled it over to that spot and it is too heavy now to roll it back to 'our place'. "

"OK, so now what should you do? Guys! share and play"

"I love snow Mrs. Chatterjee"

"Me too."

It snowed heavily yesterday. In these last 5 years, I have got used to the snow and the horrible driving during snow, and in fact I have started loving it...will post pictures to this post later...

Friday, November 28, 2008

We can only feel helpless...

Another day of terror in Mumbai, 150 people killed and so many injured...Hotel Taj... India... died... injured... killed... terror... attacks... the radio is constatntly announcing and breaking news. A few TV channels in India are covering this story all along, without any break. Well, the world has stopped... has it really?

My heart goes out to those people who are facing it, who have lost their family or friends in these attacks. I can only feel helpless... what a destruction! What a shameless act! A landmark of Bombay, Hotel Taj has felt the terror many times before. We all have the same question, " When is it going to stop? When will we feel safe to walk on the streets? When...?"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

those days...

I got this as a forwarded email, but this made me so nostalgic. I am unable to post the full email, needs a lot of cutting and pasting and uploading, but a part of it is here...


How did one survive growing up in the 70's, 80's and 90's?

We had no seatbelts, no airbags and sitting in the back of a truck was a treat…

Our baby prams had the most gorgeous lead based colours…

No such thing as tamper proof bottle tops…

Opening kitchen cupboards was a breeze… as safety locks were unheard off…

Cycling was like a breath of fresh air… No safety helmets, knee pads or elbow pads, with plenty of cardboards between spokes to make it sound like a motorbike…

When thirsty we only drank tap water, bottled water was still a mystery…

We kept busy collecting bits & pieces so we could build all sort of things … and we were fearless on our bikes even when the brakes failed going downhill…

We were showing off how tough we are, by how high we could climb trees & then jumping down….It was great fun….

We could stay out to play for hours, as long as we got back before dark, in time for dinner…

We walked to school, or sometimes we even rode our bike.

We had no mobile phones, but we always managed to find each other…. How? No one knows… We lost teeth, broke arms & legs, we got cuts and bruises and bloody noses…. nobody complained as we had so much fun, it wasn't anybody's fault, only ours

We ate everything in sight, cakes, bread, chocolate, ice-cream, sweet sugary drinks, yet, we stayed skinny by fooling around. And if one of us was lucky to find a 1 litre coca cola bottle we all had a swag from it & guess what? Nobody picked up any germs...

We did not have Play Stations, MP3, Nintendo's, I-Pods, Video games, 99 Cable TV channels, DVD's, Home Cinema, Mobile phones, Home Computers, Laptops, Chat-rooms, Internet, etc ... BUT, we had REAL FRIENDS!!!! We called on friends to come out to play, never rang the doorbell, just went around the back…

We loved being let loose in the big bad world…without bodyguards…

We played with sticks and stones, played cowboys and Indians, doctors and nurses, hide and seek, soccer games, over and over again…

When we failed our exams we were given a second chance by simply repeating the same grade…without visiting psychiatrists, psychologists or counselors…

Such were the days… We had freedom, success, disappointments and responsibilities. .. Most of all, we learned to respect others… Are YOU from that generation??

I am...and I grew up in India...and it was fun...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Some Pictures from Pujo here...

at Bengali Club
at Vedant Society (Ram Krishna Mission)

at bharat swvashram

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pujo




...days fly by...today is Vijaya Dashami. The pain of Ma Durga leaving on Vijayadhashmi is not that intense anymore, as it used to be when I was a child. We had a small Pujo in Balco. Just one Pujo and the whole Balco would gather to celebrate. Shankh vaadan, dhunuchi naach, cultural functions... I miss all that. Life is different now, of course. Now I have to go to work during pujo, if it falls on weekdays. Well, this time I did take a day off on Ashtami, wore a new sari, offered pushpanjali at one of the temples, sang in the evening during a musical function. It wasn't zero 'pujo anand'. K and I celebrated Pujo in our own way too. Instead of having 'bhog prasad' at the temple, we prefered not to wait in line but eat in a restaurant, The Host. We have another puja during weekends here, for busy people who could not attend the Puja during the weekdays, so one more halla gulla is coming up. Kind of looking forward to it..,

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another Day

Today was a day filled with happiness and satisfaction. Right in the morning, as I opened my mail box, I saw a message from Raju Dada. Raju Dada used to be my neighbour in Balco. His sister and I were the best of the friends. Piu is in Australia with her husband and son now. We could not live without each other or live with each other. We fought like cats and dogs and played together like innnocent kittens. The email had her phone number. I called her right away and talked to her for half an hour. We talked after fifteen years.

After work, I went to a book sale with two of my colleagues. This book shop is closing down so they were selling a book for a dollar. I needed resources for my classroom. Reading is must in my class, every day. Every child reads silently for 20 minutes during their Language period. So I bought 40 books. My class is richer now.

My colleague, who is quite senior to me had her Birthday last week. We went out for lunch together. She has been one the sweetest persons I have met at work. We had Indian food at Tikka Tikka. Came back home earlier than other days. Two more days to weekend. Have to attend another kavi sammelan. K may not accompany me there. But that's ok, I cannot torture him more :-) Have a lot of things to do in my to do list. Have to write an article for a magazine, create an invitation card for our school alumni meet to be held in December this year etc. Let me see when can I get to all this. Signing off for now...chao...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hindi Writer's Guild Launched in Toronto

Yes!!! It was me. I was at the beauty-parlour waiting for the beautician to finish with her customer. And all of a sudden I see a picture on the local newspaper lying on the table in front of me. The face was familiar and...oh my! It was me. Hindi Writers' Guild was launched 3 weeks back in Toronto. Renowned Hindi story writer Dr. Mahip Singh was the chief guest. I was a participant in the function held during the ceremony. It was a pleasant surprise. Anyway, here is a cutting from the news paper...

second sitting, right

Back to School

The noises, the laughter, the conversations and everything else was so familiar. I loved it. This was my first year in this country when I was going to the same school as I did the previous year. It felt amazing. I did not have to introduce myself to everyone again, did not have to bother so much about my first impression, everyone knew me in the school and I could talk to my students about their vacation effortlessly. The so very familiar 'Hi Mrs. C' made me feel at home again. This summer I did not take any courses. I had just finished two courses back to back in June. I have always learned from these courses so much. The last course I took was for the students with special needs. Every teacher has a student or two in her classroom with special needs and it is always good to have some sound knowledge and professional training to help include these students in the class. I will be teaching English as a second language this year. I am still going through the students' files and records to know them better. This is what I have learned from my previous experience. It is extremely important to know your students before you actually start teaching. It is all about kids, they should feel safe and comfortable in the class and should be willing to take risks. It is important for the child to have the sense of belonging whether be it at home or school. I will be conducting one on one interviews with the students in a few days time to know more about them and connect with them. I am looking forward to the year ahead and learning more. Learning never stops. I am sure this new year will give me many more opportunities to learn and apply at the same time.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rishte (relationships)

I met him online. It was 4 years back. He had joined one of the online poetry groups where I was the moderator and he was a good poet. So when he contacted me online to chat personally, I was not too much worried. I kind of knew him through his emails and his poetry. I started talking to him assuming he must be younger to me. He always added 'ji' (a word of respect) with my name. We chatted for a few days when one fine day I found out that he was actually quite older than me. So now I started adding 'da' with his name (a word of respect for elder brother) and he started calling me 'tum' (a word used to address someone younger). That is how it all started. He lived in the States and he would call me often. I started talking to his wife calling her 'bhabhi' (sister in law) and they would talk to my husband once in a while too. Time passed by and one fine day he said, " I might visit your place". He was visiting Buffalo for a poetry seminar. I invited him for lunch and he drove all the way from Buffalo to see us. Next, when we visited the States, we stayed at their place. His children called me ' bua' (aunt). And now we are almost a family. I ask for any help I need any time, and he is there. He is not my real brother but he is. Bhabhi is not my real bhabhi but she is. Last week went very fast. They were with us this week. They left yesterday. It was like my family coming and spending time with us from India. I wonder sometimes, how relationships are formed and how beautiful they can be at times. I love you 'da and Bhabhi.

रिश्ते बन जाते हैं
अनजाने ही कभी कभी
बिना सुलझाये कोई कठिन गुत्थी
सरल से सुंदररिश्ते बन जाते हैं

दूरी की सीमा बाँधते बाँधते
अपने आप कभी
खुल जाती है एक गिरह
और बंध जाता है रिश्ता
कभी उस बंधन से बँधे
कई और सिरे
खिंच जाते हैं
अनायास ही
इस बंधे डोर की ओर
फिर बन जाते हैं कई और
सरल से सुंदर
कच्चे-पक्के रिश्ते
अनजाने ही कभी कभी
बिना सुलझाये कोई कठिन गुत्थी
रिश्ते बन जाते हैं...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Martyrs' Shrine Midland

My aunt who lives in Missisauga wanted to visit the shrine in Midland. Today we took her and my uncle there. We attended the mass. This was my first time attending a mass at any church. I have visited the beautiful Vetican and other churches but had never got a chance to attend such a ceremony before. Singing the carols and saying the prayers with the Bishop were such beautiful experiences. Here is a picture of the shrine.


ज़रूर कुछ ग़म है 'दोस्त' तुम को

ख़ुदा के घर से जो आ रहे हो

meaning

what is troubling you my friend

you visited the shrine today...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Unastrology"

Astrology has been one of my favorite subjects. I love the Science/fiction. I developed the interest when I was in University and gave it up recently. But it is like the subject Chemistry to me. Though I am completely out of touch, I cannot forget the resonating structure of Benzene or Toluene. I still remember the full Periodic Table with the atomic numbers and masses. Same is with astrology. I am not in touch any more, but I cannot forget the ascendant and moon signs and the significance of different planets etc. As soon as I come across a combination of planets in a chart in a conversation or a write up, my mind starts calculating. In the past, I have done many correct predictions. And I used to be amazed myself but then I realized, if fate is all decided already, why do we have to know it? And why do we have to work hard then? Planets may work but we certainly have a lot in our hands. I gave it up because I was a bit scared. I did not want to be completely dependent on astrology. I still love the subject but I do not do it anymore. I want my life to unfold naturally. Astrology may work, but 'unastrology' works better.

Live Now...

Never complete
Always looking for
A choice, the best
To fulfill the unfulfilled
Never true
Always in a world of illusion
Wearing a mask.
Try once
Stand naked
Bare without make up
And you know yourself
In this vast world
Totality is nothing
But completeness
A destination
Which you don't go after,
A period after any dream.
Don't dream and that is
The destination
Live now...
Now or never,
Feel now, fulfill now
Or never, ever

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Butter Chicken

We had guests for dinner tonight. It took me less than an hour to cook for them. I tried cooking western food. Our friend is from India but his girl friend is from Austria, living in Canada. So I did not try cooking the hot spicy Indian food tonight. I had baked vegetables, stir-fried French beans, baked chicken, baked prawns, pasta salad and bean salad. Had it been an Indian menu, it would take me 2 days to prepare the items. The food would be cooked with a lot of spices and tons of different types of ingredients. The whole house would have smelled curry and all my oven burners would be occupied. I would be running around cleaning the mess and lighting scented candles to get rid of the smell. Indian food tastes yummy but it is not easy to cook. The most important ingredient which goes in the food is 'patience'.


Here is the recipe for the famous Indian butter chicken. I make it the most simple way. It really works well. Spices are available at any local Indian grocery store.


1 pound chicken breast cut into small cubes (serves two)
5-6 sticks of cinnamon
1 big tomato (made into puree)
a pinch of garam-masala ( ground cardamom, cinnamon, clove)
kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
dry corriander powder (1 table spoon)
red chilli powder
garlic-ginger paste (1 teaspoon each)
chicken tikka masala or chicken tandoori masala (3-4 tea spoon)
plain yoghurt (2 table spoon)
whole red chilli (1-2)
salt to taste
sugar (a pinch)
termeric powder
cumin seeds (1/2 teaspoon)
35% cream
cooking oil (1 table spoon)
butter melted ( 2 table spoon)
corriander leaves to garnish

Method:

1) Add yoghurt, ginger-garlic paste, chicken tandoori masala to the chicken and leave it aside for 3 hours.

2) Take a wok, add 1 TB butter and cooking oil to it. Add cinnamon sticks, cumin seeds, red chilli, tomato puree and fry till the tomato puree starts getting thicker.

3) Add termeric, chilli powder, corriander powder, garam masala, salt, sugar, kasoori methi. Fry for a while and then add the chicken to it. Cook until the chicken is tender.

4) Beat 35% cream (3 Table spoon) and add it to the chicken.

5) Boil for 5 more minutes and add the rest of the butter to the chicken from top (if you do not want to use this butter, you may not).

6) Garnish with corriander leaves and serve with naan (Indian bread) or rice.

Enjoy...

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Pursuit of Happyness- an amazing movie...

Just a few weeks of my vacation are left.. after a long time I got my real summer vacation where I would not work or think about anything else but relax. I would have loved to spend it with my parents in India but it didn't happen. I am still enjoying, watching movies, going to different places with my husband, talking to friends and writing poetry :-) Today I watched 'The pursuit of Happyness'. What a beautiful movie it is! It is a must watch for everyone. I could literally feel the 'happiness' while watching it. My struggle to get a job in this country was nothing in comparison, not even a bit of what Chrs had, of course, but the little struggle I had, the hardwork I did, and that special feeling of achievement when I finally got to the goal, can not be compared to anything else in the world. I have learned that one has to have his/her goal set and not allow anything to come in its way. Hardwork and determination are the steps to success.

watch a part of the movie here

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Editors' Choice Award- To be in Love

Another letter arrived yesterday..."We are delighted to inform you that your poem has been awarded the prestigious Editor's Choice Award..." hmm...I have been receiving these letters through emails and mails for last 3 months. My email box gets filled with these emails everyday with praise and some kind of award. Oh well, I am not a great poet...it is just that I had submitted one of my poems to the 'abcdy.com' (...let this be anonymous). So after a few days I start getting emails about the selection of my poem, about getting its selected, its scope of being read at some international poetry function and so on almost everyday. Each email at the end has something to do with my paying them to publish it, or record it or frame it or...Wow! what beautiful ideas they have...so now I have stopped wondering howcome no one ever recognized my talent before. Well, I ignored all these emails and yesterday finally I got the letter about the poem being given the Editor's Choice Award. So now I can pay them again to get this certificate typeset and mounted on a plaque...blah blah...

Anyhow, here is the poem...

To be in Love

The silver beam of moon light
Pierces through my heart
The twinkling stars send me
Millions of little sparks
The happiness dancing on toes
And sometimes the pearls of tears
I have been collecting
These priceless gifts for years
I bathe myself
In that light divine
My inner being screams
With joy and I shine
The world today seems
How so beautiful I wonder
I never noticed the beauty
How does life bewilder
How wonderful is, I realize
To be in Love
I found it after all
The priceless treasure trove



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

some old postings...short story in hindi

Sunday, January 13, 2008

बदलाव-लघुकथा

ज़िंदगी चलती जाती है। हर साल कुछ नयापन सा लिये होता है, हर किसी के लिये, मगर मेरे लिये नहीं। कभी कुछ नया सा आता है और फिर उसी पुराने रास्ते पर चलने को मजबूर कर चला जाता है अपना नयापन वापस अपने साथ लिये। पिछले साल जो किया, वही इस साल भी, उसके पिछले साल भी, और उसके भी। हाँ कुछ अगर बदला है तो भौगोलिक स्थिति बदली है। पुराना शहर कभी नये में बदलता है और कभी पुराना घर नये में। मगर ज़िंदगी जैसे इसी जमाव में खुश है। इत्मीनान आराम की ज़िंदगी का आदी हो जाता है इंसान। बदलाव चाहता है पर फिर नयेपन से घबराता भी है। नींद और ऐसी सोचों का पुराना रिश्ता है। सुबह अलार्म की आवाज़ से नींद खुलती है। मशीन की तरह उठ कर अपने आप ही पैर किचन की ओर बढ़ जाते हैं, चाय बनानी है, रमेश के कपड़े इस्तरी करने हैं, मुन्नी को तैयार करना है, और खुद आफ़िस जाना है। ज़िंदगी है, वही पुरानी, आराम कहाँ है।

आज मिस्टर मेहरा का फ़ेयर्वेल था। रिटायर हो गये हैं। अब घर पर आराम होगा, कह रहे थे। बहुत खुश दिख रहे थे। मगर आखें छलक भी रही थीं। बदलाव आ रहा है ज़िंदगी मॆं उनके, तो खुश हैं कि दुखी कहना मुश्किल है। मैं रो पड़ी थी। मेरे आफ़िस जाइन करने से लेकर आज तक मिस्टर मेहरा ही ने मुझे सब कुछ सिखाया। बड़े भाई की तरह ही हमेशा डाँटा, समझाया। कुछ खाली पन हो गया है अब यहाँ। मगर ज़िंदगी चलती रहती है। कुछ भी नहीं बदलेगा। कुछ दिनों से यही सवाल खाये जा रहा है, क्या कुछ नहीं बदलता? बोर हो चुकी हूँ इस ज़िंदगी से। लगता है कभी कभी कि एक ज़ोरदार कुछ हो कि मायने बदल जायें ज़िंदगी के। मिस्टर मेहरा की जगह खाली हुई है। कल उनकी जगह कोई और आ रहा है, सुना है कि चयन तो हो चुका है। खैर, कोई भी हो, ज़िंदगी वही रहेगी।

कुछ बदलाव आये हैं। मैं ज़्यादा सजने सँवरने लगी हूँ आजकल। कोई कह रहा था आजकल ज़्यादा खुश भी दिखती हूँ। आजकल सब कुछ अच्छा लगने लगा है। रोज़ सुबह उठना बुरा नहीं लगता। ज़िंदगी बदल रही है या बदलाव का ढोंग है पता नहीं। पर नयापन अच्छा लग रहा है।

आज मुन्नी से मिलने का दिन था। कोर्ट ने सप्ताह में एक ही दिन मिलने के लिये दिया है। सच बदल गयी है ज़िंदगी। अकेले रहना आसान नहीं। ज़िंदगी गवर्मेंट के क्वाटर्स की पुरानी एकरंगी दीवारों से बदल कर चमकते फ़्लैट की दीवारों की ओर रुख़ करने की कोशिश में बदरंग तो नहीं हो गई? मुन्नी से मिलने की आस में ही सप्ताह गुज़र जाता है। एकदम नया रंग है ज़िंदगी का। मगर बदलाव कहाँ है। भरे पन में भी खाली पन था और खालीपन में भी खाली पन है। अभी भी वही है ज़िंदगी। चल रही है। सुबह उठना, अपने लिये चाय बनाना नहीं बदला और न ही आफ़िस जाना। हाँ, भूगोल फिर बदला है, आफ़िस की चारदीवारी बदली है, घर बदला है। मगर और सब कुछ वही है। ज़िंदगी इस मोड़ पर आ कर पीछे ताक रही है। सच कुछ भी तो नहीं बदला।