Ten jamuns for 50

As a kid I reckon eating jamuns straight from the trees. So when I last saw ten pieces of Jamun for 50Rs in Mumbai, I was in a state of culinary and monetary shock. My desire of celebrating to the purple sweetness faded. And I and my daughter, standing next to the vendor, waited for our turn for our limited source of joys.

A locale with her daughter inquired the rate and looked at the jamuns thoughtfully. Her daughter was about six years old. Like my daughter, her daughter had also pulled her to the vendor. Mumbai shopping culture is not very bargain friendly, so the delay in purchase convinced me, that the lady was short of money. She looked at her daughter who was still admiring the purple beauties. Just like my daughter. For a moment I thought to share ours. But the vendor agreed to give a few pieces for ten Rupees. The little girl carefully cupped the berries and smiled content.

I wanted to write so, but in fact the vendor offered something in Marathi, the lady denied and before I could offer, the lady and the girl where lost in the crowd. Those I bought that day where the most bitter jamuns of my life.

That whole evening I only wondered about my childhood and the beautiful trees around our house.  Amrood, imli, Ganga Imli, aam, jamun; we had grown up with them. I reckon, we never bought Amrood or Ganga Imli from market. They were just next door. And aam was always stolen. It was a popular belief that stolen and parrot bitten mangoes are the sweetest.

How can a childhood exist without these sweet pleasures of nature. Shouldn’t Such joys be uninhibited……… Free?

Trees are sources of livelihoods and not business growth modules. We don’t need to be great social workers to provide happiness to our kids. But our passive attitude towards deforestation is limiting lives. Fruits from a mall can never inculcate nature love. Only one who has spent himself in the shades of a mango tree and sucked the heavenly yellows right from the tree can understand the precious ness of these trees. Lets bring back trees to childhood. Let them have them for free. The decor plants or Palm trees alone can never serve the purpose. Let’s bring jamun, Amrood, Aam back for our kids. Let’s do it!

A friend asked me “so how was it in London”

Here’s my reply.

It was good. It’s one of only few countries that has done what is read. Mainly because most books we read have come from them. It’s an organization obsessed city. Everything is organized parks, schools, Libraries, garbage ….  to an extent I had started loving my messy room sometimes.

London is actually a city of dreams. We find those fairy tale beautiful people, well mannered and we’ll kept. However much overwhelming it felt at times, I cannot deny they identify beauty in simplicity. Coz I many a times came across women with just no make up. They had Perfect brows, not an extra hair on skin, well groomed hands, brushed hair, not too much color but bright enough to go with the hue. They were simply beautiful!

Houses built right out of those English novels and parks with infinite love trails. I bet you’ll come up with a symphony or a poem if you cross them. Nature thrives in the middle of a busy city. And sometimes it’s difficult to believe so.

Museums of what not. You can spend a lifetime exploring. I must say, they are the man made architectural possibilities of understanding the world. You want to understand digestive system? Skip the book and walk into the science museum. You’ll get your score. The museums are like alive books.

For libraries I would only say…. Unlimited! You gotta go there. Specially with a kid. My kid loves reading books because of London Libraries and I am indebted to them.

One day I saw a tall, very fair Lady. She wore a scarlet dress with matchi…. (Will be back.)

Periodic Tales

Someday I want to right on how bad it gets during periods post pregnancy. The phase embarks upon how well you have been eating all those years and resting. Hair falls like it always hated you and pain or numbness rules the pelvic mound.

You realize you were never in race. And the peace of stillness is most desirable.

Even if I look for the most painful words to define how it feels. They fail. It zeroes down to nothing. Understanding its movement doesn’t seem less then meditation.

Let’s go stone for a moment, wonderous is happening. May be something is sitting inside clearing and carving a new home for a new life.

Budapest winters

I have to pen this down, before it goes away.

The snow the, the chill, the dryness.

The winter is looking for its way out. It will be off soon without a trace. Seems like it’s the cleverest of all seasons. Nothing remains of it. Unlike Summer and  Rains….which always leave some life behind. Winter will vanish like it never was … Cruel love.

I reckon, trees had shed all their greens. Many braved and even gave away their skin. With open arms, barest of bare they waited for the snow to fall.

Was it love?

May be an act of bravery. Like the trees stood in a symphonic melancholy and assembled to take the cruel.

Like they sang out allowed ‘show us how cruel can you be……… Show us..’

And unlike us when the spring arrives, the trees won’t crib of harsh snow….but boast of how they survived. Gentle life will spring and so will new tales of flowers.

There is so much to learn from a tree. They are very very quite teachers.

The missing kids

It really feels sad sharing pic of kids gone missing. It’s so frequent, it can’t be blamed to parent’s alone. Kids vanish like magic, fly away like birds, turn around the pillars, in the crowds sometimes parents just turn their heads and kids are gone. My heart cries out to them. As I clutch my kids hand in public , my eyes screw on her when i free her…. She has be on her own one day… I panic infinitely when I don’t see her.
The world has really become big, and as a parent we can now identify the loopholes.

-Please don’t walk between a child and parent. Strangers help strangers. So please help. Don’t touch others kids however cute he is. You don’t want others to touch your kids. Don’t give chocolates to any, even relatives should not, without asking the mother or father. Let the child understand he can’t have a chocolate without parent’s consent.( There should have been a law laid out on this). I fail to understand, even educated us cannot get this. We have so many relatives hanging around, ready to feel bad all the time. Please understand, we have to do this to ensure child’s safety. I met one old couple in train, very stubborn to give my kid a chocolate. I had to be stern and rude. They thought I don’t have manners as I am not submitting to their demands. Please make grandparents understand, their world where everyone new the other is not the case now. Parents have to travel places. Kids are surrounded with strangers. Let them develop the talent of following what their parents tell.

-Don’t touch others kids, in anyways. You will never need to bother about teaching them what is a bad touch. Coz if a kid has only been touched by his parents and in the right way, he doesn’t need to be told about a bad touch. He already knows it. Kids are purest of souls. They are energy sensitive creatures like other animals. They know when something is wrong, just like that. If they say no. Please listen. You keep wearing them clothes, feeding them, doing things when they say….. No mumma. You are teaching them no means yes, do it, and we later make a movie saying “when a girl says no, it means a boy has to stop”. Please!

-Let the child sleep, let the parents sleep. I read somewhere, ” in Delhi a kid was stolen from next to a mother sleeping by the road.” Dear, the lady was a worker, working hard, without rest during the day. How could she be vigilant at night. These people don’t even have day cares or helpers like we have. Still they travel to remote places for work. They have to let their kids play around in the safety of strangers. I reckon the women folk in our town would bring kids with them and we wouldplay on the sand. It dznot happen now. Sun has been cruel on us, it has helped us differentiate between rich and poor….you can’t deny.

-Now we have networked water to our homes and societies so well that these people have no natural water supply left for them… not to bath or drink. We have taken many things without knowing. We as self contained families, societies or middle-class or rich folks have gaped ourselves enough from cobblers, sanitary cleaners, small workers. How can we imagine turning to them for our help? Still we find instances of public and strangers helping on roads. This is a proven fact, however many contacts we make or friends we have, we stand alone in difficult situations, and strangers come to help. (I know it’s long but….)

-Please open your eyes to the world culture. In many developing countries Kids under 5 sleep by 8. Parents come home by 5/6/7pm. Parents have their Saturday and Sundays off with kids. What are we competing against. Kids are mostly with their parents after school. Some Mothers do work, but unlike here where she is trying to catch up career after motherhood, she works from home or takes breaks or just stays at home. (And this ‘she’ is also a maid. If by chance a day comes when every individual is educated, there will b no maids or toilet cleaners). She dznot have to worry for the towel lying on the bed. She dznot worry about liberation. She z liberated enough to decide that ‘She dznot want to work’. But when she dz, father has to share the responsibility. Fathers take father’s leave and look after the kids. As individuals we see mothers working in other lands, standing on the same platform as men. Feels good. But please look, she is there with either a family/husband/govt support. And the child is never left unattended. These mothers live around folks who know when to knock at the door. We are not that culture…. Seriously! So if at anytime if the child goes missing in all the chaos, it’s everyone’s responsibility.
When a parent has slept well, and is available for the kid all the times, still if the child is missing. Then it’s a problem to handle.
This is difficult to imagine when we have a pm who works really hard, but remember he dznot have kid. He has made us his family.

– Some of my friends instantly share missing kids pics. They are tender hearted people who believe in magics… No one wants kids to go missing. No one’s kids should go missing. May the missing kids find their way back home. May the path lit up with moonlight pebbles and your kids come back. Amen..

Happy Valentine’s day…. with a tiffin

Valentine’s day has grown up to become Deepawali for lovers. At least there is Spark that doesn’t cause pollution. Never mind, there is this lot of woman whose indian husbands wait for that special day to make them feel special, but when that special day arrives they are reminded how special every day is. I belong to that lot and understand that ” on this 14th I am going to cut heart shaped carrots and fix them in the cucumbers.” (😅Thank u facebook)

There’s more. I would like to share with you the love story of our watchman. At least I believed so. Three years ago, when I was in Mumbai, every night at about 8 pm, our watchman’s wife brought him a tiffin. She would stay for an hour and leave. She religiously followed the schedule every season. And anyone who has survived, or not, in Mumbai rains could understand the height of her diligence. She was always there. Right there, rain flowing down her saree, winter giving the chill and summers….I, without fail, found her seated on that stone chair with the tiffin.

I gradually developed deep respect for them. They reminded me of my parents. Either papa would come for lunch or mother would take the tiffin for him. These days we are so busy we can hardly have our meals peacefully. Our education system has taught us one wrong thing “it has to be used to earn, even if we don’t need it.”Seriously, we don’t have time for us.

I really don’t know about the watchman and the lady, may be they were related in different ways. But they were having a lifetime. I take tiffin for my husband these days. It seemed funny and stupid first. With all those restaurants around, why bother? He can even carry his tiffin… Can’t he? And yes, where is the special day, gifts?………..

Life is too short to spend in what we don’t have….. So let’s have a tiffin and bless the watchman and the lady….and we have a happy Valentine’s day.

Lake Balaton

This Sunday we went to lake Balaton. I am not really a travel freak like those who wish to see the world in a day…. If they got wings. But may be I’ll prefer circling over one spot or two. And lake Balaton was like that.

Pristine…. Quite… Frozen. I could feel my spirit breathing. I could see every shade of blue …. Like someone painted it across the sky…. Blue blue and blue. It was the most uplifting blue.

There were about 40 ducks sitting on ice… I wonder y they were not moving. Did they freeze to death? A few blinked though. Little of  Balaton was melt towards the land. A few swans and ducks shrieked and quacked here. A beautiful sight!

It felt tiny, being part of such a big phenomenon….the power of nature.