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: Ok.ok..now 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

Ok..so 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 (http://www.rassouli.com)

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!!....do 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 October....so 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..