CHENNAI TALKS!

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I was a kid when I visited Chennai. I spoke Hindi at home and English at school. The concept of learning more languages wasn’t popular till then. And even if it were, I would have never learned Tamil.

My father had tight business connections with Tamilians and visited Chennai twice a month. I was a Daddy’s Girl through and through, but the thought of learning Tamil out of sheer curiosity never appealed to me.

I have stayed in Chennai for three months, not in one go, but three month-long trips in three consecutive years. The adventures were as colourful and varied as an artist’s colour palette. The first time we stayed in a spatial guest house by the beach. Next to the house lived a rich neighbour in an exquisite bungalow. His name was Mr Kartik Narayanan. I don’t remember if he had a wife or kids, but he knew…

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THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIEND

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Where shall I begin? Let’s begin at the beginning. The first things a child falls in love with are toys and games. In my case, dolls too.

Lovely Couple, aren’t they?

I loved my Barbie, and my brother loved his G.I. Joe. I must have married my Barbie to his He-Man every summer. Sadly, it always ended in an instant divorce because I wanted my doll back.

He even used to mimic their catch phrases. It was scary.

Then came the Hot wheels car we used to get free with packets of Maggie. It couldn’t get any better than this. I still remember my brother forcing me to play with his WWF cards till I fell in love with Undertaker and Hulk Hogan. He used to have a bag to keep all his beautiful array of stickers. I remember stealing a whole strip of his Mickey…

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MERCI BEAUCOUP MON AMIE!

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Dearest Shruti,

Hi. Won’t ask you about your well-being and the quintessential things people ask in a letter; we have smartphones for that. But I would say things that are difficult to speak on the call, but they are simpler to write.

We are school friends and are still going strong, despite the miles spread out between us, you are closer to my heart than most people living near me. I am writing today to thank you for being my friend.

We don’t call each other for months on end, but your welfare and well-being are always on my mind. I know the same goes for you. We belong to the era when we didn’t need FB or Insta or WhatsApp to stay in touch. We used to visit each other.

You have stood by me through my thick and thin. You were always so easy to like, love, be…

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Happy Father’s Day

पापा को शब्दो में बांधना समुंद्र को अंजलि में भरने समान है मेरे पिता का जीवन, प्रेरणा और दृढ़ निश्चय का स्तोत्र महान है चश्मे के पीछे उनकी वो आंखें बड़ी भोली भाली थी और व्यक्तित्व कि गहराई, कपट से बिल्कुल खाली थी आत्मा और सोच से बोहोत उजले और तन के सांवले थे सबको खुद सा अच्छा सच्चा समझते थे, कैसे बावले थे सरल आचरण, अखंड गुण और साधारण जीवन शैली थी उनकी प्रतिभा और गरिमा की गाथा दूर-दूर तक फैली थी उनके जीवन में बोहोत दुख, बोहोत कष्ट थे आशावादी थे, और इरादों के बिल्कुल स्पष्ट थे मेरे लिए तो वही आदि, वहीं अंत, वही अनंत थे मन, कर्म, वचन, धर्म से मानो कोई साधु संत थे तीखा पसंद था, समोसे बोहोत भाते थे Diabetes थी ना, मीठा कम ही खाते थे प्रभु भक्ति और काम में बराबर विलीन थे मूझपर वात्सल्य की वर्षा करते समय असीम थे मानवता, दया और सहानभूति का उच्च उदाहरण थे उनसा नहीं कोई पुत्र, पति और पिता, वो असाधारण थे उनके बारे में मैं जितना भी लिख डालू वो कम है और आज भी उनकी स्मृतियों से मेरी आंखें नम है बड़े मीठे, सुहाने, प्यारे प्यारे नामों से पुकारते थे वो मुझे और कभी कभी तो बस बैठे बैठे यूहीं निहारते थे वो मुझे जाते जाते वो मुझे विरासत में अपना सब कुछ दे गए पर अपने साथ वो मेरे अस्तित्व का एक टुकड़ा ले गए

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WHAT DREAMS MAY COME

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I heard the calm sea even before I tasted it. Yes, I relished the moist, dense, salted air with mouthfuls of breaths. And there was that smell, that raw, seaweed aroma that brought with it another kind of scent; a scent too familiar, too nostalgic—the fragrance of my fathers’ heady cologne.

I opened my eyes; a seven-year-old me was holding my father’s hand, the ankles of his trousers rolled up to his calves as he held my hand while I pulled him towards the sea. I laughed as the waves rolled under my feet, and the soft sand slipped, squishing between my toes, creating an illusion of the moving Earth.

Papa laughed along and picked me in his arms, taking me back to the resort, where the Flamingos strolled around the lagoon. I look at him and sulk, making a pout he adored.

You have been gone so long…

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MEMORY GAME – III

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Dr. Rajan didn’t allow her to speak anymore and when she was a bit stable, he drove her home himself.

After sometime, at home, Neha was lying on her bed, in her bedroom pretending to be asleep. Her family surrounded her, asking Rajan about her health, her well being and yet she was pretending to be asleep. She was not ready to say she was fine, not yet.

Rajan reassured his concerned family and ushered everybody out, to let Neha rest a while. They filed out one by one, her Grand Mother-in-Law, Mother-in-Law, Father-in-Law and Sister-in-Law who carried her 18-month-old nephew, Neeraj with her.

Rajan was the only one left behind, he kissed her forehead and whispered in her ear, “Sleep, I have important surgery scheduled, I will be back soon.” with these words he left the room after closing the lights and shutting her door.

A couple…

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My Disney Princesses

Not every knight has a shining armour
Not every Damsel is in distress
Love stories are no more simple
It’s time for fairytales to Digress

Cinderella wants more than just a Gown and Carriage
Prince Charming doesn’t need to hold balls for Marriage

Snow White is brave and not the fairest of them All
Her stepmother no more says ‘Mirror Mirror on the Wall.’

Aurora is much more than merely a Sleeping Beauty
Maleficent and she have formed a harmonious Treaty

Merida wants no Tiaras but favours a Bow and Arrow
She is wild and brave to fight monsters that Harrow

Belle isn’t the one who needs saving from the Beast
She can face the demon, be headstrong at the Least

Elsa isn’t ashamed of her powers this day On
She won’t shy away, the time to hide is Gone

Moana takes her boat past reef to seas Ahead
She can save the day and earn her daily Bread

Rapunzel needs not hair that long or Sing a Song
She fights the witch alone, for now, she is Strong

Today’s Princess sure want a man to fall in Love
But they own it all and stand up for self all above

ERUPT – XI

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Reeta turned baffled. She was face to face with a woman of her age who was saying something that Reeta couldn’t hear in all the noise around her. She was scared that this woman was a worker for her husband’s political party and experienced a fight or flight moment. The lady could see the uncertainty in Reeta’s eyes and immediately showed her the ID around her neck. Reeta read it “Meenakshi Maan, Reporter and Journalist, Satyamev Jayate News”. Reeta let out a breath she didn’t even know she was holding.

Meenakshi held Reeta’s hand and took her away from the crowd, Reeta allowed herself to be steered, but her eyes were searching for Rex, still doubtful of his presence here. Meenakshi took Reeta to her car, and they both sat inside while Meenakshi drove her to a more deserted street and parked there.

She turned to Reeta, “Hello Ma’am, I…

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