Monday, December 18, 2006

The hollow and hungry media has ripped apart the dignity of Santhi Soundarajan. She won a silver medal for the 800m run at the Doha Asian games. Soon after headlines ran screaming that she had failed the gender test, hyping and sensationalizing the fact that she lacks female sexual characteristics.

Why does this make front page headline news? Because she is of ambiguous gender? Because she cheated (if she did)? Because the Indian sports council or whatever it is that decides which athletes represent India deliberately hid facts? ……the only thing that seems to be highlighted is that she has failed a gender test ,leaving the rest to everyone’s imagination.

It appears that she studied in a girls school and college. She has lived all her life as a woman. This is possible in certain genetic disorders where the sex gene combinations go haywire eg xxy ,xxyy, x0 etc. Such people may be intersexuals.

I do not dismiss that Santhi knew she was not a woman, she preferred to be a woman due to a combination of genetics, hormones and perhaps some external attributes. If that is so, then we need to rethink our outlook to people with gender ambiguity and find a way in which they can be equal participants in events such as this. Unless it is a clear cut case of cheating, I think no one has the right to strip her of her medal. More importantly no one had any right to strip her of her dignity.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My determination to gym can qualify as the newest DSM entry. Gymming can be great fun on some days and a complete torture on others. The weighing scales in the gym are rigged..always!!!.....the gym instructor has a new challenge for you everyday…but at the end of that hour I feel great.

Recently I have tried out running sideways on the treadmill. When I first tried it, I was sure that I would get hurled out of the window and land on the branch of the tree outside. With practice, it has become my favourite form of treadmill exercise.

Does anyone have challenging exercises to do on the treadmill? If you do…do post them!

Monday, December 11, 2006


So the exam corrections have begun…..

Some answers….

Science grade-8

1.Define population:

• A place where there are people or cars.
• A non renewable resource

2. Business Studies grade-9

What is a franchise?
When KFC opens many branches or chains.

………………..more to come…………….

Animal cells dont have animal cells (bio answer grade-11)

an answer to "Explain how HIV-AIDS can affect the economy if the government does not take measures to prevent it"

HIV-AIDS is a commodity. It is good for health. (grade-12)

Monday, November 13, 2006

If the legal system in India flushed itself down the loo, everyone will clap their hands and be happy.

A recent verdict spared a rapist from the death sentence by saying that he had a momentary lapse seeing a girl alone in a field. The girl was eight and she bled to death.

A senile lawyer, rotting in the body and brain now tries to bring Jessica Laal’s character into question by saying that she refused a sexual favour because she preferred someone else.

Justice for Hetal Parekh, raped and murdered, came after 14 years.

The parents of Priyadarshini Matoo still wait………

And along with the judiciary the media and human rights activists can become a part of the sewage.

The media simply loves to give long sleazy insights into “a day in the life of the rape victim”……………………mostly she is a woman of loose morals………so , that being the case, implies our puritan media, she asked for it……..

Poor guy…all he had was a momentary lapse…..

The human rights activists meanwhile hold candlelight vigils to prevent the hanging of rapist-murderers. While the victims families suffer through agony the HRA holiday in Hawaii…………when Dhananjoy Chatterjee was sentenced to death, the media and the HRA’s went to every extent possible to make him out to be a poor bloke who was wronged……….

We can protest, cry, scream, blog, get violent…..but it is that minority that wins…Vox Populi??!!………….as if!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Reading blogs here and there, about this thing and that, annoys me even as it amuses. But I must not rush to type out hard hitting adjectives and nasty things that my brain is throwing up at a speed that frustrates my fingers. They are being held down, each on some letter on the keyboard, while a diplomatic discussion via my nerve impulses goes on between them and my brain. The brain trying to work out the best way possible to communicate its (imagined) excellent analysis, and if I may add ,superior view of the
mangled and confused (though excellently worded) , highly opinionated and sting ray venom loaded rambling on these blogs. The fingers tap their impatience. Diplomatic dialogue is the same everywhere.!

Ah! But I ramble myself…….

Clothes, jewels, houses, cars and gadgets…….the labels of snobbery for the intellectual's poor country cousin……… and identity, political alliances, religion and such stuff, the shredding and salad making of which, the status symbols of the imagined intellectual elite.

As far as I can see, their arguments stand only on the debris of those they have verbally destroyed. Certainly not on their own merit. What good an argument is that? The school bully is happily fed with the snack time munchies of other children, is he not?

With so many examples that I want to give to substantiate my haphazard thoughts, I feel limited by saying “Now take for example what the rag and tag girl said about designer jeans”………….so…….I will allow my thoughts to jumble and tumble and occasionally my fingers may outsmart my brain and quietly push in some evil refreshing thought, well camouflaged .

And….may I add…kind of you dear reader for still reading on……

So why must the priestly caste be shredded in order to make the non temple inheriting, non thread wearing but otherwise perfectly normal multicellulars feel good about themselves as they sit shaking their heads over cups coffee and deep fried things?

……………if you stand tall on debris, you will crash right through and the splinters will cut you and the ash will blacken the many parts of the anatomy that hit it……………….

Besides all that is achieved is another layer of cement to strengthen the granite stone strong dividing wall…………

Actions, I was taught in my Human Values class, a century ago in school, speak louder than words. So list 5 people ( non kudumbi) whose standard of living , education, health and general well being has improved thanks to consistent hands on effort and struggle by the eminent authors of such blogs………………….list 1.

………………and now as my lunch bell rings……I must go…..more later…..

Friday, October 13, 2006

Yes! Pamuk wins the Nobel Prize...

and please do not miss the white fluff on his worktable!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Living in the eternal hope that there might be some truth…...just some in the Bermuda triangle well as so many others ......Easter Island, Atlantis, the Aztecs, the Myans….. I wonder with cat like curiosity about the things people believe in totally or at least secretly hope might be true………aliens….yeti…..vampires……timetravel……..

Do write in……..

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My cousin Lars and his wife Anna...more pics later!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fear freezes us into inaction. As a defense mechanism, inaction works quite well. What fear also does is fills the silences that it creates with despair. Despair fills everything with everything unsaid. Words, chiseled and polished in the mind, in the hope of the sentence being perfect, come out instead haphazardly and strew themselves around, so that all one ends up doing is hurriedly gathering them up and trying to string them together again.
Fear. That is what it does to us.

And so it is the fear of loss that causes the loss. We go back to our fetal self . Close our eyes, curl ourselves into that state of being which was the safest. We weld slowly and surely each link of the chain that we allow to rest on ourselves, cold. What is that strange comfort that we find in allowing ourselves to be so bound?

Inaction the conjoined twin of Fear freezes us.

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea


And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,


Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all
already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

Extracts from the love song of J Alfred Prufrock-TS Eliot.

And so fear prevents us from feeling, from believing, from accepting want.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

Extracts from the love song of Alfred J Prufrock-TS Eliot.

Bleak?....defeatist?....yes…but also true?.....

I am not talking here about having the will to conquer fear, nor about being able to pull together and all the talk that accompanies such thoughts. I am limiting myself to understanding Fear and its possibilities……and I am still groping….

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

CUPA-Large animal urban camp

Last month I helped out in an large animal camp near mysore road. CUPA holds these camps every month. One camp is held in a village and the other in the city. All kinds of animals are treated free of cost here. Horses, bullocks and cows form the majority of the animals who are treated.You can sponsor a camp..Rs 5000/- for a ruralcamp and a little less for an urban camp! help.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Cat went hop hop hop….flew up the curtain, hid behind it…and no..she does not care if you don’t come to look for her. An occasional paw , a careless tail , grins and says she is still there incase you forgot……

Soon enough she gets bored…hops out…strolls…no…blinks past….gives a quick lick to an already gleaming coat….(ye she says, I know I am beautiful)…….lands on the bed…and purrs…talk of seduction! Learn it from a cat!

Naturally when you pick her up and cuddle her, she, queen like, tolerates it…and when she can take it no more flies off…leaving you with shredded hands and a bleeding heart…

Monday, August 07, 2006

The not so pretty always have it hard. Try as we may, it is difficult very often to shake away the sheer physicality of a person. More so if that person is us. Superficial? No.
Even our folklore tells us that it was the beautiful one who got it all. The ugly step sister always lost everything. Besides being ugly, she was a wicked conniving vengeful creature, as opposed to the simple lovely well meaning beauty. Thus pairing up beauty with virtue and ugliness with all that is bad.

I wonder if we have the courage to look within and honestly say that physical attractiveness or the lack of us does not affect our relationships with people. In a group of people with everything else constant except that one is a stunner and the other has some form of physical drawback, a person is very unlikely to get attracted to the ugly twin. True?......

So then what happens to the ugly twin? With society reinforcing constantly her limitations, she withdraws. What is the use anyway?.....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What stuff are we made of?

Alice Sebold’s Lucky made me sad, angry and strangely happy. Rape is a difficult word. Difficult to say, difficult to discuss and indecently invading to read about.

Alice, who was raped when she was 18 tells her story in a language that is simple, straightforward and uncomfortably honest. The world for her is divided between those who have been raped and those who have not. She speaks of her anguish at being treated like something no one knew what to with, of her humorous tolerance towards those who tried to be nice to her, of her having to become her family’s emotional crutch post her rape and her relentless battle to get her rapist convicted .

Makes me question empathy. To what extent can we truly claim reach out and feel another’s pain as our own? A pain that we may never have experienced? “Oh I know how exactly how you feel!”……empty even if well meaning.

The fumble, stumble of words. “Just give me a call if you need me”….., the discomfort of hanging around the person, not knowing what to say. The intellectualization, or worse, the “it could have been worse” cliché….(someone had told Alice she was lucky that she had not been killed), the pity, the deep sighs and the whispering of “poor thing” compound an already terrible situation.

Perhaps sexual abuse is the worst of traumas that a person can experience. Even as I type this, I am already dividing and distancing myself from those who have experienced such abuse. I wonder how I would feel if I were to read this if I had been abused. Would my mind replay the trauma each time? I do not know.

And what about life? Is it ever the same again?.....relationships? will they ever be the same? The way a person is perceived?...what changes?....

We are a cowardly lot, we humans. We cannot deal with our own discomfort. And don’t we feel a guilty relief at not being the person we cannot suddenly deal with?

Disillusionment….that’s what I feel…with myself and with the way we have turned out to be.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

One essay I was reading says “Our Sun is one star in a Galaxy of a hundred thousand million (100,000,000,000). That is 20 stars for each person on the Earth.”

I am disappointed! I get to have only 20 stars?!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

School School!!!

One week of school ….almost done…..mostly a good week. Loaded with extra work this year…hmmm…

An interesting bunch of new colleagues… of who promptly came up to me , struck up a 2&1/2 minute conversation, mostly hers, and told me that I seemed to be the kind who will not settle for just anybody….whatever that meant!.....further to that she said she could just see it……right away…the moment she saw me….and went on to add something that was supposed to be a compliment about the way I was dressed…..did not quite come out that way…..hmmm…

And…..yesterday I had a chaat orgy at school……lunch had chaat added to it…so yum yum yum!

Meanwhile our school….getting their documentation perfect …are making us do the following….

1. Curriculum overview- something that spells out all we will do this year….
2.Scheme of work.. something that spells out all we will do this year..
3.Lesson plans…. something that spells out all we will do this year
5.Level-1 Planning.. something that spells out all we will do this year
6,Level-2 Planning… something that spells out all we will do this year
7.Level-3 planning… something that spells out all we will do this year
8.PBL-Problem based learning.. something that spells out all we will do this year

Apart from lots more….join to find out.

……and…..when we get out teacher hand books….this is hand written once again in the form of Daily Planning….

Now beat that!
And we get chocolate chip cookies everyday….

I miss the kids….badly!
I want Brandon George!
I do not want to get back to regular classes…..

I am currently bunking the IT workshop……never thought that the staff room, that I avoid totally, fully and completely will be my refuge!

My colleagues look at me with holy horror ( how can she dare to bunk?!)

Ah! Dear ol Meenakshi joins me!

Bunkers love company!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The world of the Dream

"-People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes."

- John Dee, in Preludes & Nocturnes

So I am all excited once again about interpreting dreams. Just for the fun of it. I am re reading Ego and Archetype as well as a few other books on Jungian Psychology and find that even commonplace dreams can be great fun to interpret once I have got all the symbols in order.

Some are as simple as reminding me that I have a dental job to be done to far more complex ones. The unconscious can be quite funny and often gives you a comical angle to an otherwise annoying situation and even offers solutions.

We are the best interpreters of our own dreams. Symbols are not standard and any dream dictionary that tells you otherwise is not near the truth. Basic archetypal symbols are universal however, but will vary in each culture in the way they manifest themselves.

Once the dream is written out, the associations made with each symbol in the dream and applied to the waking life of the dreamer, the interpretation is absurdly simple. I would recommend the for a basic guide.

Currently I am having tons of fun noting down the archetypes in the Sandman comic books and applying Jungian interpretations to them….verryyyy nicee!! Neil Gaiman has consciously or who knows unconsciously used superb archetypes in his books.

Also, it is very interesting to note that people who may not necessarily have had an exposure to a particular archetype specific to their culture, still have that as a symbol in their dreams. Collective unconscious at work!

Of course all our myths, legends, fairy tales etc are excellent studies in human behavior and human interaction. Read the interpretation of Snow White to know how a woman can consciously ruin herself because of allowing herself to think about herself in a particular way. ….yep….the step mother and snow white is the same person!

And…meanwhile…tell me your dreams!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Jecic has achieved the impossible…taken pics that I actually approve of…

Ye ye I am a narcissistic brat

Monday, July 17, 2006

Shiva…God with the dancing locks….wild Lord….wanderer in the cremation grounds, Bhairava, … the greatest lover, the most innocent, bindingly blindingly powerful, fascinatingly dark……

Some of the Shiva Chants I love…..

Sri Lingashtakam

Brahma Muraari Suraarchita Lingam
Nirmala Bhashita Shobhita Lingam
Janmaja Dukha Vinaashaka Lingam
Tat Pranamaami Sadaa Shiva Lingam


Chidananda rupas Shivoham Shivoham
Manobudhhi ahankar Chitta ninaham
Nacha Shotra jive nacha ghrana Netre
Nacha Vyoma Bhoomir na tejo na vayu
Chidananda rupas Shivoham Shivoham –1


Tridalam Trigunaakaaram Trinetram Cha Triyaayudham
Trijanma Paapa Samhaaram Ekabilvam Shivaarpanam.
nainam chindanti shastrani nainam dahati pavakah
na cainam kledayanty apo na sosayati marutah

"-You are mortal: it is the mortal way. You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell.
You grieve. Then you continue with your life.
And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on.
She is dead.
You are alive.
So live."
Dream to his son Orpheus, in Brief Lives

Still.......I miss you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Any Takers!!!?????

I have always wanted to write something that combines myth, fantasy, history, altered states of perception, altered, not necessarily by the use of drugs, but perhaps on the strength of will, the concept of parallel dimensions layered indefinitely within our world as well as infinitely in the universe, stringing in the unsolved mysteries of our world-the Stonehenge, Easter Island, Bermuda Triangle, the myan temples, the Incas, Atlantis, Egypt, …….all into one huge or maybe many bits of story……….illustrated or otherwise…though I think illustrated will be great…..

Jellic keeps telling me to do at least some, any writing once a week. I must.

Anyone who thinks the story idea is exciting enough…please do write stories that include all or most of the concepts mentioned above and perhaps then we could just have fun exchanging them……


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Then winter gave way to spring......

Monday, June 26, 2006

summer laze

So it a nice long summer holiday…….
Will do…
Renew the house
Gym myself silly
Walk around the lake at sunrise
Try to be social and politically correct
Give Freddie a haircut.
Get more books.
Music. (non funeral!)
Work in the garden.
Cook! Yes Cook….eeep..cook.
Eat loads of calcium for broken bones and nails.
Watch some real nice movies at home!
Get off my teacher mode with my friends.
Try to live down to my image of a snob.
Scowl less.
Drink more water….
Sleep even if it is after 5:30 in the morn….

Sunday, June 25, 2006


On one windy mournful October forenoon, while the kids sweated away carving answers in unending white sheets, we decided to throw 5 minute poetry challenges at each other.
1.On the husband we would meet….our message to him.
2.Based on a pic of a woman looking at a couple…….speaking of sadness..
So…well…very mediocre….not meant to be a poet…5 minutes or otherwise….

poem to an unknown husband.

I am the person I warned you about my dear,
Crazy, quirky, moody ,sulky, distant, bossy,
My list is quite endless I fear,
Passionate too,and very blue,
With a cherry merry smile.
I’m Hamlet, Eliot, Plath and Keats,
I dance with Cummings dine with Yeats,
With my 11 jumpy dogs and 10 haughty cats,
All that is missing are black pointy hats.
Yet, while I dance a jig , shout and scream,
I’ll hold your hand, I'll build your dreams.
Each morn I’ll look at you and smile,
I’ll be with you every rough mile.
Though life it’s seasons will bring,
I’ll make yours an eternal spring.
All then that I ask of you,
Is love me as I love you.

Chocolate Eyes

Because of you someone smiles,
Remembering chocolate brown eyes,
Eyes that looked into my soul,
And tossed me into the wind.

And spring sings as she dances,
Dazed mesmerized by those glances,
Glances that chilled me,thrilled me,
On hot summer days,

She must live a hundred lives,
Lost on those smiles,
Smiles that fell on me,
Like Aprils hasty rain.

I must walk away,
From a world that is not mine.
A world of chocolate brown eyes,
And summer rain smiles.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ah Friends!

Being asocial, as I am well known for, comes with the tag of being an ultra snob. As far as I can remember, to those who do not know me well, I am a snooty, spoilt show off. Great. A colleague recently commented that the reason why I was hesitating to come to the ‘bonding’ exercise organized in a resort, for the teachers of my school as that I was way beyond their league and how can someone like me mingle with pool ol’ people like him and others.Well.

And anyway all I did when I went there was sit on a beach chair next to the wave pool and read…..something that has been recorded for all time to come by my well meaning colleagues. Will post the pic.
But my point is not to highlight how asocial I can get. I want to try and articulate how grateful I am to have my small group of very dear friends. Since I can get horribly and repulsively mushy…forgive…

Order random….not alphabetical…

Anushya a has known me from my college days….seen me through CUPA volunteering on Sundays, mended my broken heart over not worth breaking heart guys, my mom’s passing, my pets passing, my annoying girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead who can be horrible days, everything. Huge hugs to her …….. she never gives up on me.

Amruta…who knows me inside out in a way that is frightening. Who has been for me a sister…who, without needing words, has comforted me. ,who has done her best to make me a social creature.With whom I can spend hours just being myself and loving every moment of it….who, I know, will be by my side anytime I need her, no matter how far away she maybe.

Agnes…..who I worked with in my first job and who has steadfastly kept in touch with me, always been optimistic when she has called me out, even though I am sure she knew that my answer 11/10 times would be no. Whose idea it was to begin the cat blog. Who has been so loving , understanding and patient with me. We have had many laughs over many things. A brilliant writer and so well read, I love talking to her and can do so endlessly.

Pummy…friend, philosopher and guide…. She has held my hand literally and metaphorically. Advised me like a mother would. Helped me with my gang, supported me and Leela through Leela’s darkest days. Helped me heal over a terrible heartbreak. Nurtures me, encourages me, wants me to conquer the world and will make sure I find someone who loves cats and other animlas the way I do.

Lalitha…clear minded, level headed, intelligent, beautiful. First time I meet her I faint, fall and hit my head bang on the road. She was with me through all the tests, scans and results which made me think I would die in the next few months. Passionate about cat welfare, she has some of the best ideas for our cat brats welfare. A friend, she has seen through my thick brick wall and has pointedly given me some matter of fact practical talking to. She is dear to me and I value everything she has been for me.

Shibani…. a wonderful support system who is there in any time of need and even when there is no need. Silent and subtle, she has helped me in more ways than I can recollect.

Mimi…. who just order me about and makes sure I do what she wants me to do. I have no choice. So whether it is a toned body by killing myself in the gym and living on air…I have to do it. She will continue calling me to her lovely get togethers in the hope that I take a fancy for one of the array of men she has on display. Will always scowl at me when I combine a classy wrap around with gym shoes in school..never mind the huge distances in school that a dainty sandal wont take….her ultimate agenda….a makeover for me…!

Sonya…my HOD, sister figure, long sufferer of my total lack of adherence to deadlines, completely believes I can handle pretty terrible cases and has the confidence in me that I sometimes don’t.

Pamela….ah Pam!….she spreads joy just by being there, makes me laugh, and is very dear to me. Fav, bus conversations…her massacre of the ex-men in our lives.

Jyothi….patient long suffering friend….who loves me.

Misch..who though we have met only a few times..i know will be a great friend….

Anirudh who loves Leela and has always been there to help.

Mrs. Benjamin, colleague Ex-principal of Indus, the closest to having a grandmother. We have spent hours in her office talking about everything…..who worries herself sick about me. Who dotes over me. Believes in me. Wants me married. Thinks I am wonderful. Who thinks I am mad as a hatter but tolerable nonetheless.

And of late my wonderful cat blog people…..
JP…who is talented, intelligent and funny…!
George who is funny, intelligent and talented..!…
I enjoy talking to both of them…..and think that they are lovely gentle souls with soft as butter hearts, no matter what they may think they are projecting otherwise.
Ok now I am going to cry….

Friday, June 16, 2006

Give me my dream....

Someday I will run away, far into the hills. Sit by the window sill in a cottage where fiery yellow flower creepers have mingled with calm watery blue ones. There my cats will purr by an old fireplace. There will be books, maybe somewhere a guitar will play, and I , I will watch the rain make the landscape into an impressionist painting. The kettle will bubble merrily, tea will linger. ……and then………. of what would I lack…..?!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Sun ripples on blue........I must begin my walks drift away....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wish List-2

Give me

Evenings with sunsets on fire…
Hot (chocolate crumbled) coffee with garlic infused cheese toast…
An old yellowing book with old forgotten tales….
Turquoise wrapped in silver….
A water chiseled river pebble…
A song that rips my veins apart…
Old creaking guitar melodies…
The stillness of 3am in a musical box……
The tickling tingling chill of stream water….

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Dearest Leela

She is in doggie heaven now and I know that even from there she is keeping her bossy eyes on me. Perhaps there is even a Kookai or a Lea there for her to tease. Maybe someone groggily wakes up and stumbles down the stairs in unearthly hours of the morning( it would be unearthly, wouldn't it?) to make her her favourite breakfast while she snores, snug in her bad. Who is she giving a telling off to now in her loud firm voice?

My Leela fought death with her spirit and will for a year after the doctors had struggled twenty days to save her life. She came back home with twice the energy she had before she was admitted into hospital. She bossed over me, my friends, the house helps, the gardener, everyone. People she did not like were not allowed in the home I shared with her. She took on the role of guardian of the cats and me , who she viewed as a human who had no idea of how to look after herself , and therefore, she had to do the looking after.

Five times after that she had to go into hospital for various medical problems, and each time she returned, bursting with energy. I had to stop going to visit her in hospital because she would rip apart her drip and begin yelling at me, demanding to be taken home. She would bark orders to the CUPA doctors, cleaners , visitors, everyone. Everyone in CUPA knew her. She was notorious and loved.

The one year that the doctors had given her ended this May, and I thought she had beat all odds. However, I had to be realistic. With cancer, kidney failure and cataract, I was being absurdly optimistic be thinking she had many years ahead. She went down suddenly over the weekend and died on the 7th of June. The pain of not being with her at the moment of death will remain.

I am grateful to have been loved so deeply and unconditionally. I have been looked after and protected. My need for her exceeded her need for me.

Death is just a new beginning and the spirit that is Leela is forever young, happy and full of life. Our sorrow over death is for our suffering thereafter. It is our loneliness we mourn, it’s the blanking out of our life that we fear.

Leela will always be the happy bossy girl she was in my memories and I know that she will always keep her eye out for me from way up. It is only the physical Leela who has gone. My Leela never really left me.


Kipiling.....on his Dog.


I have done mostly what most men do,
And pushed it out of my mind;
But I can't forget, if I wanted to,
Four-Feet trotting behind.
Day after day, the whole day through
Wherever my road inclined --
Four-feet said, "I am coming with you!"
And trotted along behind.
Now I must go by some other round,
Which I shall never find
Somewhere that does not carry the sound
Of Four-Feet trotting behind.

Rudyard Kipling

Sunday, June 04, 2006

My Leela

Eyes…..she did not need anything else to call me to her…the eyes were enough. 8 am on a Sunday morning in May, three years ago, I went to adopt a dog. We had lost Tipu, a mad black GSD, a month ago in a most terrible way and mom and I were missing having him tear down the house every 45 seconds. The cats were missing having dogs around too.

At 8 am the dogs in CUPA were still in their kennels and as I went from one to another, there she was , sitting quietly, staring fixedly at me. I asked Sudha, the trustee of CUPA if I could adopt her. Sudha was uncertain because no one knew her history, there was no record of who had left her and why, besides, she bit anyone who tried to be friendly with her.

I kept going to CUPA for a few Sundays after that, and no matter where she was tied during the day, and no matter where I was, she would fix me with her stare. I told my mother about her and about why no one was adopting her.

Animals have always loved and trusted my mother. I have grown up with her looking after birds who were injured, cats, dogs, even a blind elephant from a circus loved her and went trumpeting towards her in the ring when he was supposed to be ‘performing’.
She wanted to see this dog who stared at you unblinking and bit anyone who wanted to take her.

She, as always when she went to CUPA, took along bags of food. I did not need to point out the dog to her because my mother had been fixed with the stare. We went down to feed the dog and I went up to her but dared not pet her. Mr. Lingrarj , the shelter manager, also told me to be careful. Just the other day a couple tried to take her and she snapped at them , he told us. My mother took a fistful of food she had brought, and put her palm to a big black mouth. I froze. Next thing I saw was a wagging tail and an empty palm. My mother told me to untie her and take her to the car. I shook and trembled as I untied her,expecting any moment to be bitten. Nothing happened. She walked with me to the car park, went to the correct car, jumped in and sat down to wait until we finished all the adoption formalities.

So that was that. Mom named her Leela , and Leela settled in with us and the cats like it was the most natural thing to do.

Two months later my mother passed away and my life as I knew it ended. I have never been the same person again. I aged years both emotionally and physically and shut out the world and have lived in a dark limbo since then. Only recently have I tried to pull myself together. Leela took on the role of protector, friend, family, everything. Thanks to her, I had something to look forward to in an otherwise huge empty house, full of memories that gave me nothing but anguish.

Leela fell very ill a year later and was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder along with kidney and liver failure. She had always been incontinent and now I knew why. She was not expected to survive the night and I sat inside her ICU cage in CUPA till the wee hours of the morning. I had never seen her so limp and unresponsive. The CUPA doctors worked a miracle and she lived and lives to her fullest. She was notorious in the shelter. She would bark orders to everyone. Sudha told me she had never seen a dog more expressive with her eyes. Whenever I go to CUPA, the animal care people ask me “ What is Leela….still shouting at everyone?”……..

An excellent judge of the character of people, she is never wrong. Friends of mine who she has loved, have turned out to be wonderful people who I treasure, 'friends' who she hated, over time proved that they were only out to take advatage of me. If Leela does not bark at people who come home, I know they are great human beings, having passed the 'Leela test'. If she barks the first time and welcomes you the next, she was just teasing the first time!

She was given a year more to live
by the doctors, given her medical status. It is one year now. Saturday night she was vomiting the whole night. She could not retain anything I gave her, medicines, soft boiled egg, nothing. I called CUPA immediately.

She is in CUPA now. A blood test will give her status. I am frightened. Frightened in a selfish way as well, not being able to think of my life without her. Yesterday I was in and out of tears, missing her presence in the house. Habitually calling out to her and getting no response.

My Leela is a fighter. One day , I know I will have to face up to not having her, however, today I want her…jut for a little more time…….

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

War Poems

I love war poetry.....and here is one of my fav by Wilfred Owen

Strange Meeting.

It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile I knew I stood in Hell.
With a thousand pains that vision's face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
"Strange friend," I said, "here is no cause to mourn."
"None," said the other, "save the undone years,
The Hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world ...
I mean the truth untold:
The pity of war, the pity war distilledd
Now men will go content with what we spoiled,
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery,
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not at the cost of war.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this death; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now ...."

Monday, May 29, 2006

Dreams and ESP

Dreams are the theater of the unconscious mind. They constantly tell us who we are, show us the situation we are in, give solutions , add comic relief to the heaviness in our life besides being so much more. Sometimes they are pre-cognitive and show what is to come in terribly frightening detail.

I have had pre-cognitive dreams more often than I can count. And each insignificant detail, right to the colour of the clothes worn has eventually happened in reality. Not all of my Pre-C dreams were of bad things to come, some have been pretty routine, such as what a friend would say to me the next say, the clothes worn etc..some have been terrible….and I wish I had never had them.

Years ago, I dreamt that I was by the seashore. The sea was beautiful , calm and somewhere between the rocks a small pool had formed in which school children were playing. They wore white uniforms with dark blue and while striped ties. I went up to them and sat down in the sand, to watch them play. They invited me join in the splashing and sea shell collecting. In the distance was the school. Two huge white buildings that seemed to be joint together in the upper floor by some kind of corridor. It was called the Sea School.

The school children came up to me and invited me to play with them and soon I began to have a lot of fun in that little sea and rock created pool. Suddenly the bell rang and they told me to run into the building as fast as I could as this was a tide drill. A tide drill was done every day to teach the children to keep themselves safe from the tide.

As I ran with them I could feel the sea closing on us and the bright sunny day seemed to have gone overcast. Lead on by the children I ran into the school building and up the stairs. I had the feeling that I was running up a narrow staircase and then we were finally in a huge hall with very big glass windows. The whole school was there. Children sitting around , some sleeping, some talking, some looking out of the window. Looking outside I froze. Never have I seen a sea so angry. The waves were huge. They were a wall of angry blue and green. The sky was dark grey and black. The waves seemed to touch those clouds and as they ran towards the shore I screamed. I could only see water. Walls of water and angry rain. The children told me not to be scared and that I was safe , so high up. I asked them how it was that they were not sacred. “Oh”, said a girl “That’s is because we are already dead, a huge wave came one day ad killed all of us”……

I woke up after that with every detail of the dream etched into my dreamscape.

A year later the Tsunami came. Watching a program on TV on the Andaman and Nicobar islands, I saw a school girl narrating how she had been afloat at sea and had lost her family. Her school was near the sea and most of her friends had died.

The pictures of the Tsunami, of which I had no conception of and the girl in her uniform tallied exactly to my dream and the sheer terror I felt then was replayed.

Has anyone had pre-cognitive dreams?..Want to share?

......I like.......

some poems of ee cummings....


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat

he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

who knows if the moon’s
a baloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky—filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should
get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their baloon,
why then
we’d go up higher with all the pretty people
than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody’s ever visited,where
Spring)and everyone’s
in love and flowers pick themselves

Friday, May 26, 2006

Travel Times

Travel to and from my school can be quite a torture. For one thing, Sarjapur road does not exist. Some tar is thrown in here and there and is generally accepted as a road. Over the last two months however, some attempts are being made to tar the road so we go through a storm of dust and breathe in tar. Also, we take one and a half hours each way so that at 5.30 I look like something my cats would not bring in.

What makes it bearable are the kids and what they have to say. I sit next to a gang of five primary kids(four girls and Brandon) and sometimes their games can be a source of continuous mirth. Not always though, especially when, hard as it is for me to confess, they begin their girlie games like Doctor doctor, or Barbie (ugh!)…..

One day they were playing “doctor-patient”

Drisya: Iee will be nrse, you be docter .

Mayura: But I want to be doctor.

Sarah: don’t fight, I am patient.

Drisya: Nooh…you ar mama with a baby.

Maryra: Then I will cut open the tummy.

The operation begins..

Brandon George is silent….(suffering this silly girlie talk?)


Brandon: I am the shelf!!!!

Hands outstretched he tries to push himself between the operating team.

Amruta and I look a each other, sure we have heard wrong.

Brandon: I am the shelf!!!!

No one pays attention….

“Cut no..”


“Now the baby is to be born”

Brandon: I am the shelf!!!!

Amruta: Brandon, what are you?.....

Barndon: (indignant) I am the shelf…the shelf where they put all the surgical instruments. (cannot replicate the perfect pronunciation) I am the shelf, he wails.

No one listens….

Only Brandon can think of something so totally different.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The daughter of the associate principal of a very well known school killed herself. Since she had got only 85% , according to the standards of that school, she must have been a

dull student. Not at all in the league of the 99% kids they breed there.

The head of t he institutions actually conducts a cleansing out of students he considers dull. Dull perhaps being below 80%. Naturally then, how could the daughter of the associate principal bring such shame to the institution and her family. I have visited that chain of schools when I was with my pervious job. The students move silently in the corridors like robots, hands behind their backs, looking straight ahead, unseeing. Part of the discipline he says.

He does not believe in helping average and below average students, filth in his hands according to him. No time to deal with the likes. Students with special needs, learning disability, dyslexia etc have no place in his hallowed institutions. They are kicked out, dumped like trash. He does not believe in progressive educational methods, learning labs, resource rooms etc that cater to the different educational needs of students.

Disgusting and horribly ironic that this girl, the principal's daughter paid a price for the pathetic philosophy of this school.

Exam laughs

So it is revision time in school and tests and pre-exams are doing the rounds....some interesting answers..


Implantation takes place in girls, not in boys.
The girls have the uterus, not the boys.


The Battle of Buxar

They fought a mini series because the British wanted money and the Indians did not want to give it.

And then something and all happened and Mir Jafar beacme king because he was a puppet.

Hindi oral exam

Mera Naam Rohan Desai Hai

Main paagal nahi hun

Mujhe garam kutta pasand nahi (I do not like hot dogs)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

If wednesday comes....can the weekend be far behind?!

We had a talk yesterday, while going back in the school bus….about Wednesdays. Till then I had kept hidden in me, my crazy logic on why I love Wednesdays….

So…when Wednesday comes….it is not counted coz well, it has already come…then we only have to wait for Thursday….and then Friday is not counted coz it is already the weekend…so, for me, the weekend kind of begins on Wednesday….

Shibani said we were cukoo and nearly fell off her seat laughing…Pam totally agrees with her.

Mohua and I heartily agree on the Wednesday theory having discovered that we both have kept this hidden from the world.

Aditi loves Wednesdays for the same reason…..

Everyone else thinks we belong in the madhouse.

Monday, May 22, 2006 I am really tired of being told that I am a psychologist and so I should not

Get angry
Get ‘emotional’

And being a psychologist I must

Have answers to everything
Read peoples minds
Be constantly analyzing people




I want rum truffles.....

Mystical Paintings

Some wonderful paintings by Rassouli (

Mystical Paintings of Freydoon Rassouli

Mystical Paintings

Fredyoon Rassouli's mystical paintings.......


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Entering the Circle

Entering the Circle by Olga Kharitidi, M.D. is an absorbing account of a psychiatrist’s introduction to Shamanism.

The Shaman is there in all the cultures of the world. The witch doctor, the wise man etc are all different names for him. Jung would call him the personification of the Self. He is indeed the archetypal Self , the higher spiritual aspect of our personality.

I am just one chapter into it and already I feel like I am part of this strange journey Olga is making.

Also fascinating is The Sorcerer’s Crossing : A woman’s journey by Taisha Abelar speaks of a woman’s initiation into the powerful and bizarre world of the Yaqui Indian philosophy and practices. Of course Carlos Castaneda’s books give us the best insight into that world that I would so want to be a part of and yet be so frightened of becoming a part of.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Today I am
I want to scream
I want to cry
I want to yell
I want to howl


No it is not lunar!

Monday, May 15, 2006


Jung’s analytical psychology is what appeals to me the most. His theory of archetypes and dream interpretation is completely fascinating and I have to a large extent used them to interpret dreams with a modest amount of success.

Read "Man and His Symbols" and ALL the books by Marie Louise Von Franz. Best reads-Feminine in Fairy Tales, Interpretation of Fairy tales as well as books by another analytical psychologist whose name I forget- Ego and Archetype.

Jung interpreting art, culture and myths is also awesome…someday…someday…someday…I want to write a story on that…..pref. a graphic one…but sigh!!! Thatz just a dream!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The barn

Here is the story to the pic JP posted... 15 minutes...not exactly but somewhat.

“Oh ,once you get used to it, its not so bad” she said sipping chamomile tea, “Makes the neighbourhood more interesting you know.”

“So like him, anyway, to leave a thing like that. Deliberate, wanting to shock, wanting to set tongues moving , I can almost see his smirk, the gleeful rubbing of his hands , his sure confidence in making people squirm in disgust as they pass by. Must be stemming from his childhood dear…these kind of things stick on. Fixation, Freud called it. Some unfulfilled desire from childhood.”

“Speaking of which” she continued , “How is that mother fixation of his. Still tells you that you cannot make beds as nicely as mommy dear?”

“If it was just that”, she sighed deeply, “ It is always my mother said this , she made Sunday lunches like that, you do not seem to care for her feelings, the last time you spoke to her you hurt her, but even she, it seems cannot make him get rid of this horrible fixture”.

“Wont he even paint it? I mean a lot can be done with a splotch of paint. At least it wont look so terrible. You poor dear…having to look at that each time you sit down for tea” And she took a long sip from her hand painted china teacup.

The half demolished barn stood defiantly surrounded by the villas of the rich. Mocking them it seemed, by the sheer challenge it gave them by just being there.

Every thing has its story and the barn had one too. Not that anyone believes in these stories these days, much easier to think that such things are the indulgence of eccentrics.

Long before the villas came up, he had visited this site. Once long ago it was a 100 acre farm with a rambling house, outhouses, barns, animals, songs of farm workers, mooing of cows, snoozing of cats, bleating of sheep, barking of dogs, the smell of fresh baked bread and all that is farm.

When he saw it, it was overrun with creepers that had claimed all of the buildings; angry undergrowth tripped him as he walked, no matter how careful he was. Sunlight dared not creep thorough the broken tiles in the barns and the windows in the house were boarded up.

This is it, he thought happily. My dream. I will build at least 50 villas here. Develop the area and then retire. She always wanted a Villa, tired of city life she says. Well here she has her desire. Make a good bargain with the estate agent and get going, he thought as he kicked at the dust in the moss and creeper caked barn he had just entered.

What he thought was probably an animal turned out to be a man sleeping on a pile of discarded wood, rubble and other odds and ends. Some drunk he thought and began to walk out of the barn. “Oh you must be the one who has come to buy the farm” said a voice. Startled he looked to see the man awake. “Well, yes” he said. “It is a good farm, this one”, continued the man. “Has all a man can want. Once you see it, you want it”. “My feelings exactly,” he replied.

“Been empty a while I am told, nearly 20 years? Owner made a bad investment and lost all? Had to leave? Could not afford to run the place? No buyers at his price?”.

“He did not leave.” said the man. “He stayed right on. Oh yes they did not allow him to stay, family begged him to come along. Then they left him. Mad the called him. Mad. Is a man who wants to save his home mad? Is a man who does not want to leave what he created mad? But he stayed on. Taken over by the bank they told him. They could not get him out could they? Oh no they could not. Oh no no they could not.”.

“Why here I am. Twenty years on am I not? Old farmer Briganza. Mad farmer Briganza.
The mad old man of Goa. Why here I am fresh as I was always. I have lived in this barn twenty years because they locked the house. Could not lock a broken wall could they? Am I mad? Do I look mad? Tell me tell me.”

He stumbled out into the daylight leaving the ranting man to his sorrow.

‘Touch of the Goa sun and Bibinca sir, Maybe you are not well, old farmer Briganza has been dead 30 years.” Said the estate agent. “Don’t believe what those village folk tell you. No ghosts, sir, he committed suicide, yes, he will answer his God, but you don’t lose such a good deal.”

“No, that barn will not be taken down” he told his architect. “It lends a certain old charm and anyway these outlandish things always attract buyers.”


Posting an article I wrote in 2004.

Fearless Freddie!

Ebony licked her little kittens proudly. “What a fine lot I have!” she said as she purred with delight. Cuddled around her were 5 kittens, four of them a beautiful ebony black just like her and one tortoise shelled one called Buttons. She looked at Freddie, feeling a little worried. “Why are his hind legs bent that way?”, she wondered. “Well. I love him just the same and he will be fine” she purred, as she licked him.

Pammi, Ebony’s human mom was also concerned when Freddie was born. She realized that Freddie was born with deformed bent hind legs and she would sit every day for hours giving him physiotherapy hoping that his legs would become normal. As the days passed both Ebony and Pammi realized that Freddie would always have deformed hind legs. Pammi felt very sad and wondered what the future would hold for her little Freddie.

Well, Freddie did not know what all this fuss was all about. Yes it was great that his mommy and human grand mommy were giving him much more attention than his brothers and sisters! He could hardly wait till he was grown and strong enough to begin venturing out of the cozy room that he lived in. How exciting the world beyond his bed looked all waiting to be explored.

So one morning to the great surprise of Pammi and Ebony,Freddie raced out of the room. Ebony gave a surprised mew and ran after him.. “Freddie! come back, come back…Oh dear!” she said, “he will fall!…he cannot walk!…Oh Pammi mom please help” she mewed. Pammi was looking at Freddie with amazement. “Look Ebony,” she said, “How cleverly he is using his bent hind legs and is hobbling along. Don’t worry Ebony dear, your son will be just fine.”

The days passed and Freddie soon outraced all his friends, brothers and sisters. It was a delight to see him fly up and down the stairs with no problem at all. Freddie of course had no idea that he had a deformity. As far as he was concerned, his legs were just fine. He was very clean and tidy as all cats are but what is so noteworthy is that all during his toilet training he never dirtied his bottom though it was very difficult for him to climb into the litter box. All his brothers and sisters had dirty bottoms. “Can’t you be like Freddie?” purred Ebony to her other kittens as she cleaned smelly dirty bottoms “Have you ever seen him dirty like all of you?”

It was on one such day that I visited Pammi because I am quite cat crazy and Pammi being as cat mad as me has lovely Persians Ebony and Freddie included. “Look at Freddie.” Pammi said…..and I saw a little black fur ball fly by. “Oh he is so adorable!.” I said. “How fast he is”. “Yes,” Pammi agreed ,“but look his legs”. It was only then that I saw that Freddie had bent hind legs. “Oh poor thing!” I said… “No No” Pammi said. . “he is just fine”…, “look” she said. “He has no idea he is disabled, and he is doing fine, so don’t worry about him”.

I asked Pammi if I could adopt Freddie and she gave it a thought and agreed. I was so delighted. I took Freddie home and introduced him to the cats at home. Krishna and Khushi were nearly the same age as him and they became pals instantly. Leela my dog was completely bowled over by him and would take any chance she got to nibble and clean him up.

Today Freddie is 6 months old and he is a very handsome cat. He is on the run all day .He races with the other cats and can give Formula-1 a lot of competition. He also loves to cuddle up and purr on the lap, but will be gone in a flash if something more interesting than your lap catches his eye. Leela whines and drools over him and is the happiest when he after a long day at play, goes to sleep next to her. He is totally fearless and is ready for any adventure and has been the cause of my heart stopping because of fear several times. All my fears being unfounded of course because Freddie knows what he is doing, no matter how dangerous it looks to me.

Animals like Freddie teach us that a disability only exists if we look on something as a disability. All of us, Pammi, Ebony and me were worried how Freddie would live in this big dangerous world but Freddie has no fear. His super confidence in himself makes me believe in him totally and I know he can look after himself. If Freddie says he is not disabled, I agree with him.

Friday, May 05, 2006


I found this poem one day while I was drifting randomly on the net...

Sigh!! they really make men like this one these days?

The Bee Box

In this small box, my love
you'll not find a ring,
but instead, a brave little bee.
He'll be dead by morn, having given his life
defending his flowers against me.
I felt his sting
while picking the small, purple pansies
growing wild along the roadside,
in hopes of an afternoon bouquet for you.
And I grieved the sting,
more for him than me,
knowing full well the price he paid
for my small pain.
And I allowed him his victory,
leaving his flowers as a memory,
and brought you instead
this brave little bee,
who proves there is love
even in the smallest
of things.

Lowell Parker

My boarding school.

Kaavya Viswanathan’s story reminds me of one of my own. From the fifth to the tenth grade I was in a boarding school. According to my teachers and principal everything about the ‘outside world’ was bad. Books, movies, clothes, powders, perfumes, soaps….everything!...(those!!! are stories worth a read!!..will post them by and by)

Enid Blyton was bad….very very bad. It was only in hushed whispers at night that I would tell stories from the books I had read during the holidays to my friends who in exchange took my brinjal curry that was forced on us every Wednesday.

On one such night, four of us decided to write a book of our own. There we would have all the fun the Famous Five had, we would pack picnic baskets full of currant buns and ginger beer and cherry pie and strawberry shortcake and …..oh so much more! Then we could run away to an island right in the middle of the sea…after that we would discover a secret passage when one of us stumbled over a rock that turned out to be covering a rusty iron ring that opened to reveal a deep gaping hole.

So every night we wrote out a chapter. Soon we found that at least two pages per chapter were devoted to the food we ate. Was it enough? Janani could come up with at least ten more dishes that could be included. Between mouthfuls of lemon pie we found treasures long forgotten by pirates. We made campfires and dreamt of the many adventures that awaited us the next day.

In the English class , one day, Lakshmi wanted to add a new twist to the story and began to write when the teacher demanded to see what was being written in a notebook half covered with her uniform and half under another book.

Fear they say motivates. It motivated us to tear the book apart before she saw it. Once she knew what that notebook as all about , she was furious. Furious because we thought she would punish us and the principal would throw us out of the school. ‘You did not even give me a chance to have a look at it, silly girls” she said…..

That was long ago….today I hear that she alone, in her class library has a row of Enid Blytons. Otherwise my school is just the same….

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Brandon on Jack

Jack is a three legged brown devil who lives on my road. When he was very little, an auto ran over his leg and it had to be amputated. Anushya, his godmother, and I sat with him in the kennel in CUPA post op, and watched with every bit of our heart breaking while he whined in pain.

Today Jack is a total rascal who outruns all his friends-Tiger, Becky and Uruly and takes part in the local indo-pak war between Becky& gang and Blackie & gang.

One day when Brandon and I were waiting for the bus to come Brandon said “Miss Jasmine, can I ask you something?” . Jack and Tiger, more or less his height were standing next to him. “Yes, sure Brandon” I said. “Why does Jack have only three legs?” ..oops… Now Brandon cannot be fooled into believing stories …only the truth.

So I told him about what happened when he was very little. Brandon’s eyes grew round and began to get a little watery. Now, Brandon is a child who is allergic to everything under the sun including the sun. Very often his eyes water and it can be because of dust, the sun, dog fur.. anything….

I concluded Jack’s story by assuring Brandon that Jack is much better than any normal four legged dog and there is no need to worry.

Brandon walked away some distance and kept looking down. “Are you crying Brandon?” , I asked…..wrong question….boys do not cry….

“No..okaay…!!! I am not crying…. okaay……it’s the sun…… okaay…..I am allergic to the sun….okaay……can we give Jack a wooden leg?”….

I wanted to hug him…but remembered once when his mom had given him a goodbye kiss before he got onto the bus, he told her… “Don’t kiss me okay!!”…

Thank God I was saved by the bus coming….

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

When my mother was a little girl.

My mother was Swedish. When she was three, she, looking at an encyclopaedia picture of the river Ganga , pointed it out to my grandmother. My grandmother looked at it and said “Yes, I know you will go there one day and never come back.” My mother left Sweden when she was 20 , came to India and visited Sweden only once after that.

She would tell me stories of her childhood, of how she and her brother had to go through a wood to reach their school, of how she would go skating down streams at a speed I could not imagine, of how in the summer holidays she earned pocket money by picking berries…I forget which kind, of how she would sit for hours in farmhouses of friends because kitten had fallen asleep on her lap and she could not bear to wake him up, of how her uncle had brought up a moose baby, of the night her father encountered a ghost and several times after that, of Christmas nights when a bowl of porridge and milk was left in the barn for the elves to eat, of the Christmas baking that would begin late much more...

Then she would tell me stories of how her family sent gift parcels of food, clothes, books, crockery, cutlery and what not to war devastated Germany and of the many friends that were made because of.

So many stories….I will try my best to recall them and write them down….I hope I remember them all.

Gift Day!


Brandon came running up to me this morning holding a bag bigger than him.

"Miss Jasmine, Miss Jasmine...this is for all your cats and dogs!" he said giving me a bag full of tinned cat food and dog biscuits .

Later in the day my student who has just finished her tenth grade gave me a pretty glass ballerina as a goodbye gift.

Then Preetha, my friend, the art teacher gave me a huge towel with a cat printed on it!..just like that!

All in one day!

I want more!!!!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Fuzzy Wuzzy

the prep kids in school are learning this..

Fuzzy wuzzy, creepy crawly Caterpillar funny,
You will be a butterfly When the days are sunny.
Winging, flinging, dancing, springing Butterfly so yellow,
You were once a caterpillar,
Wiggly, wiggly fellow..


Friday, April 28, 2006

Leave Kavvya Viswanathan alone!

Ok so….her book sounds like someone else’s…At 17 is not everyone trying to imitate someone…

All those sniggering, “I knew it would happen’… “ohhh she copied!!”…. ‘thought she is too great eh” people kindly shut up!

Besides, what I have learnt from random readings in my school's library..ALL american teen lit sounds the same!

All of us, it looks like ,are holier than thou and just waiting for someone to have a downfall so that we can tear them apart bit by bit in all our conversations..

Imagine for a moment what she is going through…this moment..just now…all eyes at her college, in her neighbourhood, the TV the newspaper…imagine the misery, imagine the emotional scarring…and all this at the age of 19…no she does not deserve it.

The blame should go to the publishers for doing no homework, to the parents who pressured her and goodness knows how many other people who raised her to an unrealistic level.

So what about Mistress of Spices…now that sounds exactly like Joanne Harris in Holy Fools and in Chocolat… about it eh…shall we begin to rip apart Chirta Divarakuni?......or Paul Mayeda Berges?

And while we are at it let us rip each other apart and those on this planet who are totally original, immune to imitation please be the referees!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I was a kid then...

I grew up in a huge rambling bungalow….with huge gardens and orchard…my very own outhouse that was my dollhouse, I had my own pond complete with lotus plants and frogs.

Summer evenings meant making mud pies and chasing my dogs. Summer afternoons were for sitting in the guava tree and winters were made delicious my mom’s Swedish fried potatoes and Enid Blyton.

At some point I had a huge stuffed frog. Long legs, big bulging eyes, and greeeennn!. Deep in thought one night with the frogs in the pond singing merrily, I suddenly thought about how lonely my little frog must me and how mean I was for keeping him in my room when he obviously belonged in the pond with his family. So pushing away my fears of going out from the warmth of the house to the long walk down to the bottom of the garden where the pond was, I ran out and very gently put him in the pond, said a small goodbye and told him to be a good boy.

He is still there I hope … merrily among his friends.

Brandon George

Brandon loves amphibians, reptiles and all that comes under swiggly wiggly….
Brandon wants to live in a rainforest someday in a house made on top of a tree.
Brandon loves the blue poison dart lizard.
Brandon will choose a rubber spider over a remote controlled car.
Brandon reads books like The Amazing Amazon, Book of Reptiles, Snakes of the World.
Brandon told me he was moving from the apartment next to mine. He added that he would write me a letter when I told him I would miss him terribly.He said that whenever I missed him, I must take out that letter and read it and I would not miss him anymore.
……….Brandon…….all of 6 years…….and already a heartbreaker.

Will the following people please get out of our planet!

Ø People who rip off leaves of a tree/plant/bush they are passing by.
Ø People who chop down trees for no reason (no reason is good enough anyway).
Ø People who are cruel to animals.
Ø People who employ little kids to do work they should well be doing themselves.
Ø People who make a profession of delighting in other peoples sorrow
Ø People who make it their profession to character assassinate.
Ø People who can only yell at their subordinates.
Ø People who hurl away their juice/coffee/pepsi cups, paper napkins etc anywhere they please.
Ø People who tear out pages from books they borrow.
Ø People who try and often succeed in controlling and destroying the lives of others.
Ø ….not done yet……..will add more……

Friday, April 21, 2006

Do I look all right?

Stumbling across something old and forgotten can be a very strange experience…..clearing out a cabinet a few days ago I found pictures from my 20th birthday…..the girl there was not bad looking at all….so why had I at 20 obsessed over the way her hair was unruly curly and not silken straight? Why had I imagined her to be an obese thing? She was slim and trim… think of all the stress I went through imagining someone who I was not…

Not that things have changed at 28…..they are very much the same….my hair still could be more like those sunsilk ads..I can be that much more trim…I can never be gorgeous enough…not even gorgeous.. let alone gorgeous enough…

The amount of stress we give ourselves obsessing over the way we look must be the biggest contributing factor to rapid physical degeneration…not to mention emotional.

Then think of those who go great lengths to maintain what the imagine to be an ideal of beauty…perms, bleaching, starving, surgery…..60 going on 20…

Imagine those who do not confirm to the fair and lovely ideal….and now the fair and handsome ideal…(whatever happened to tall dark and handsome man…went away with the knight in shining armour?)

Anorexia, bulimia, bleaches, cuts, tucks, folds,…..

When nothing else works…


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Oh Help…

Now I sound like Jeanette Winterson in Lighthousekeeping when I wrote Many Soul. Many Voices is an attempt to form a story…..with many people speaking……each trying to understand their story and at the same time trying to tell it..not really knowing what to hide..what to reveal…..

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I Wiccan

If there was anything more my friends needed to prove that I am a witch in disguise, they got it. I succumbed to Taro cards and spell books in a bookstore recently. They say that the Taro deck chooses you as much as you choose your deck. So while I did buy the standard Raider Whaite taro deck I was drawn to the Merlin Taro deck. I ended up buying beautiful Taro guide books as well.

Laying out and interpreting Taro cards is easy as it is difficult. I found that I can completely relate to the Merlin Taro. According to the Merlin Taro, I am the Queen of Serpents. Amazing coz her spiritual animal is the cat and I am a snake according to the Chinese calendar. Her personality also closely matches mine…..

Divination, Wicca , nature worship….all that has been called pagan is beautiful. Witchcraft is not the evil black art we imagine it to be. A witch is a wiccan…witch came about the the middle ages when they burnt any woman who they thought practiced black magic. Magic is magick….pure and white….and beautiful!

Here is an extract………

Contrary to what those who choose to persecute or lie about us wish to believe, Wicca is a very peaceful, harmonious and balanced way of thinking and life which promotes oneness with the divine and all which exists.

Wicca is a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day. It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face. Wicca is the fall of colorful autumn leaves, and the softness of winter snow. It is light, and shadow and all that lies in between. It is the song of the birds and other creatures of the wild. It is being in the presence of Mother Earths nature and being humbled in reverence.

…………so if that is Wicca…….I am a Wiccan!

Friday, April 14, 2006


All our life we try to create ourn own reality....
and so we run from what is real.. is a huge driving force....and that mild unease somewhere between the rib cage and abdomen whispers....and makes us flee...and we run run and run until we are so far away that turning back frightens even more


The eyes were not red with sorrow and pain..Radha cried tears of rage….!
Not once did Krishna turn back and look at her…
He could have atleast done that.
Yes, they would for centuries forever be remembered as the most beautiful of lovers…..the most passionate, but somewhere deep within Radha knew this was not true…
Krishna forgot Radha…..
and that was the truth.


Like the moon, I am in day I am all emotions..approach me on that day with your intellectualism and you will get singed


Yesterday a monkey died...she was pregnant and her mate sat by her helplesly crying....
We could do nothing...he was sad, confused, kept touching her, lifting her hand...confused he tore at leaves and ate them...
He had lost his hand a long time ago when his band of monkeys were trapped, and only he and his mate escaped...
he lost his hand...
They would eat together, hug each other and sleep...
and now he is alone, lost, sad,...
how do I help him..there is nothing I can do..

I see him sit listlessly on the tumbledown and then he apples and oranges sit by him untouched...
Yesterday he did not let us bury she must have been buried by my friend....
He begins life alone....
Dear monkey...if I could hug you and hold you tight I would...I know that it is not going to be all right...I know you will be alone....I will watch you every day...give you all the things monkeys love to eat....and think of you for as long as I can when I pray.

Many Voices...contd...

This story begins in the hills .The hills of my memory. Mingling with lost hopes and dreams they form a patchwork blanket that like a shroud, wraps around me.

It begins with the feel of rock sprouted stream water flowing over my feet and the feel of smooth cold pebbles under.

My world was different then. I believed that magic could happen in the hills. The mist, the moss, the brown rocks, the old forgotten temples, all whispered messages to me. If, that long time ago, someone had asked me the meaning of happiness, I would for sure have told them. But no one asks a 17 year old the meaning of happiness.

Lying on my back at night, feeling the chill creep up my spine through my sleeping bag, I reached out and held the million stars that filled every inky black apace above me.

……..and so those memories wind themselves around my present , as I flip through albums of photos you have taken of your beloved hills. You go there often and speak to me of the hills as if it is I, not you, who went there.

But I am not 17 anymore and sorrow has replaced happiness. Silent tears fall into the streams you speak to me of. You bring back with you the heady scent of the pine trees but I am unable to take them in. The stars you traced patterns out of have forgotten that I once held them. Only the chill remembers and makes me tremble with an unbearable grief.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Many Soul....

We all have our stories.You have yours, I have mine. We, with the flare of a soap opera writer write them out and watch them grow, change, evolve and trace out in our evolution our many childhoods , our varied youth and perhaps even our winter.
My story is frozen in limbo.I have refused to let time move on….or so I imagine.Time has long moved past me.I stand, one foot forward, but my head is turned backwards, my arms reaching out, calling out to a past that, like a dry leaf on a windy day,is drifting further and further away.I cannot run after it nor can I move forward.
So where did my story begin?…All stories begin where another ends……..mine….it never really began……

The Sacred Feminine

Adore me, I am Shatki, fear me,I am Kali.
The skulls I hold drip with your blood, without me your dance is incomplete. Ash smeared one, your locks do not trap me nor does your eye burn me.You are my slave, the universe resounds with my name (who are you without me).

I am Radha, I need no walk in the fire to prove my love.You dance…..for me… play your flute…..for me…..the world knows you because of me…

I am Sita, daughter of the earth, I hold in me more suffering than you can ever bear.

Maha Kali, Bhava Bayankari, I am destruction. I created myself to destroy you.On your destruction I shall dance, on your flesh I shall feed of your vital sap, I shall drink.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Disassociative Identity Disorder

Do you have disassociative feelings? Like you are watching yourself live your life?.....and do you then laugh at yourself or get angry with yourself as you would seeing an actor play her role?.....hear yourself talk and say the things you never would?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Walking in and out of the hundreds of clone like shops in a mall the clone of another mall I stumbled upon a dress shop. I was looking for a simple black top…no glitter….no strange cuts…just a short black top…..(I am still to find one)

Instead I found a LBD…, small, with a seductive neckline. I pushed it away with a sigh. My friend who’d have none of it and more or less forced me to try it on. There I was in the trial room wondering what would happen if it tore, if it id not fit, if I ended up looking like a sausage…..horror..terror!!

As it slid down my neck I knew I was wrong……what a perfect fit…..I had to make sure the person in the mirror was me….oh! no wonder they go into raptures over a LBD.

With a price tag or 3k I was not going to buy it…..still…for that one moment I was a queen…..!

Monday, April 10, 2006

I feel like a total plagiarist. My random thoughts in I goddess match Rumi’s verses as well as the Hymn to Isis……..
So is that proof that I am genius? ..hheh!! or is this one more instance of Jung’s collective unconscious at play…..or as a friend once said….It is the goddess archetype!

Friday, April 07, 2006


Do you have hidden away..forgotten..that card you got when you were 10? It ..spoke about roses and violets???……
an old tattered doll ……..
the tea set on which you daintily laid out mud pies???
………..Trolls? green, pink and blue?
Enid Blyton?.....
10 minute tales???...........


Trapped by that moment of passion…the insect cannot move…resin immortalizes forever the beauty and cruelty of love.

Wish List

Give me old musty dusty books that speak to me of those who turned their pages……
Give me pine scented candles that carry with them tales from the hills….
Give me the shiny pebble, the rivers child…..


Not a sound on the pavement!Midnight………..(Eliot was right)……..does strange things…..As witches fly in the moonlit sky….my cat awake watches with me…the silence…..I will wait here till the dew comes…..


Soon chocolate coated coffee pangs will hit me......melting dripping cheese coated toast would go well with Life at Blandings.


Cat smashed lovely crystal vase….turned around.. surprised at the noise. .hopped…licked paw and went on her way……..oh yes..the tail was in the air....and no.. she had nothing to do with all that scattered glass!!!

...Lady...looks on in quiet horror as the two kittens rip apart a steamed sardine undignified!....these uncouth ruffians dare to share space with me...the beautiful Persian?

Bounce………..bounce………kittens find the tummy the ideal spring board. Especially at 2 in the morning….of course they love you….after the bounce game is over…they will sit , one on tummy one on chest and begin a duet of the low rumbling kind…..a lick…a sniff….a ‘I love you’ claw dug deep into soft tissue….and… there!! they are sleeping as only a cat can!

I Goddess!

I am the beginning of time, I am the end…I am the cosmic dancer …I dance on the Milky Way…..I swim among the stars…I am in the depths of the ocean….I am the purple in the sunset lit sky…..I am the Goddess you worship….I am the temple bell….I am in the hills….in the dew lined ferns ..that mark your way….I am the tree you leaned against…I am the winged splendor your eye caught…….I was the pebble you picked up in the ankle deep stream….I am that flash that pang you felt….I am the tear, that breaking the dams of your whites, fell…..I am in the book you chanced in the store,…..I sung that song you played again and again……,…I am hidden in the truffles that melted in you,….the dog on the road gave you a message from me, ……… are the musk deer……..stop searching……..the musk is me…
Metamorphosis……I am becoming at 28 the girl I should have been at 21……….