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!

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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.

यूरिनरी सिस टम

With age and time so many changes happen in our body, as if it has a laboratory of its own. For women this change is very quick and definite, specially after pregnancy. For example Hairfall, it is so common that many accept it as a norm. Symptoms whisper ‘hello, may be you have thyroid, bp, arthritis…. ‘ But gets a voice only when it screams.

Here is a small story about a woman who postpones her nature’s call for house work and suffers. Its so common that I did not name the characters.

अपनी भीगी साड़ी को चुपचाप समेटके वो कमरे में आगई। आँगन में बच्चों की आवाज़ उसे परेशान कर रही थी। ह्रदय चक्र में एक सुई सी चुभी। पलकें कई दफे फड़फड़ाने के बाद आँसू संभलगए लेकिंग रुंधे गले के भंवर को निगलना बहुत मुश्किल लग रहा था।

“ऐसे कैसे” उसने सोचा।

बच्ची से नानी बनने के इस सफर मे कितना समय निकल गया पता ही नहीं चला। घर की रखरखाओ में खुद की देख रेख करना कोई कैसे भूल सकता है।

एक एक करके कई पल उसे याद आने लगे।

अभी कुछ दिन पेहले उसकी नींद देर से खुली थी, और एक के बाद एक सबके नाशते बनाते बनाते उसे बाथरूम जाने की फुर्सत हे नहीं मिली। लेकिन ये तो हर दिन की कहानी थी। कभी मार्किट में बाथरूम नहीं मिलते, तो कभी रोटियों से फुर्सत नहीं मिलती। उसने एहसास ही नहीं किया कि उसकी लापरवाही से वो एक नयी बीमारी का घर बन रही थी।

और आज, आज तो दीवाली थी। अब दिवाली के दिन कोई भला पडोसी को बम फोड़ने से रोक सकता है क्या? सब के साथ वो भी खड़ीं थी, फुलझड़ियां और अनार, चक्रियआं के टीम टी माते सुख में डूबी। उन्हें पता ही नहीं चला , कब पडोसी के बच्चे ने एक बेम फोड़ दिया। बम बहुत दूर था, बच्चे ने संभालके समझदारी से बम लगाया था। लेकिन ये सुख समाधी में कुछ यूँ लीन थीं की ईन्हें दायें बायें का कुछ पता न चला। ये यूँ हाकबकाईं की ईनकी साडी भीग गई। एक श राराती बच्चे ने अपनी हंसी रोकी और वो चुपचाप अपनी साड़ी स मेट के अ न्दर आ गई।

बुढ़ापा सबके जीवन के रिपोट कार्ड के सामान होता है। जवानी में क्या खाया, कितनी कसरत की, सब इस चलती फिरती ढांचेनुमा डिग्री में दिखता है। खुशी और दुःख चेहरे की झुर्रियों से झांकते हैं और सुकून की नींद आँखों पर लगे चश्मे से।

और इन्होंने तो अपने लिए एक नयी मार्कशीट तैयार कर ली थी। खैर, वो कपडे बदल के लेट गयीं। अब इस उम्र में कौन सी शर्म, सोचते सोचते दवाई के असर में वो सो गयीं।

………

‘डाक्टर! कोई ज़रूरत नहीं है। मै ठीक हूं,’ विज्ञानं की किताब से यूरिनरी सिस्टम रटवा दिया था बाबूजी ने, लेकिन वो टस से मस न हुयीं।

‘शर्म नहीं आती तुमको….. बच्चों के सामने ये क्या बकबकाये जा रहे हो’

लेकिन बाबूजी, बाबूजी तो बाबूजी थे ‘ वो अम्मा जी को लेके गए डॉक्टर के पास’ आखिर उनको भी उनकी गलती का एहसास था। जाने कितनी बार कभी उन्हें समय से खाना देने के लिये तो कभी सिर्फ उनके साथ के लिए अम्मा समय टाल दे ती थीं।

थो डा असर आयुर्वेदिक दवाई ने और बाकि घरवालों के प्यार ने दिखाया। लेकिन ये सब के नसीब में नहीं होता। इसलिए समय पर बाथरूम जाएं। एक रोटी बनाने के लिए आप अगर आज बाथरूम रोकेंगी तो आने वाले समय में बहुत सारी बीमारियां आएँगी। सबके साथ बाबूजी और घरवाले नहीं होते।

The statue of freedom

Despite some interesting episodes, this one came in late.

-I discovered, my kid had the power to turn our downstair’s neighbor into a monster, simply by stomping.

-Met two inspiring travellers who appeared more like saints in skiing suits.

-A father, brother and a son who wanted the world to think positively about organ donation.

-A woman who could have chosen SPF 30 with the perfect shade of foundation over road dust and icy winds…. inspired me with her simplicity and humbleness.

-I was overjoyed to find coriander in The great market hall after a search of two months. And instantly ‘I love you-ed’ the shopkeeper. Love at first bite!

-And the statue of freedom that stands upright on gellert hill in the Buda side of pest. This blog is mostly about this statue.

She is bronze and lifts up a palm feather. I always see her from the great market hall or when passing through the bridge. There is something very special about her. Just stand still or get that moment when you can see her….. only her.

You will actually feel her hair and her dress flowing with the wind.

Get the chill.

You know she looks like a sunrise to me and I can watch her for long, admiring, feeling.

It must have felt zealous, people would have cried and cheered when she was raised. I wikied, the palm leaf was not the first idea. There should have been a baby. Nevermind, the leaf has done the justice. Now she z not just a mother but a girl and a woman…. most of a man.

While most of the other statues one can find across Budapest symbolize power or grief, coz of the sufferings, people went through. She stands tall over others inspiring to rise….

‘O…………. hope is gentle as a feather, let it fly in the winds

Coz freedom, is not a matter of chance, but a consequence of blood and minds’

She is special to me coz she was raised in 1947, the year India became independent. Miracles happened at two place at the same time. Don’t call me maniac…. I am in love with a statue.

I haven’t yet clicked her so please help your self.

The good day

The little girl was very angry. She frowned and stomped every where.

Her teacher called her. “Why are you angry dear”

“My puzzle is broken,

Jimmi hit me,

And no one is playing with me.

It’s a bad day” She replied.

The teacher held her hand and told her that they will make it a good one.

“Just close your eyes and take a deep breath in……… and breath out the broken puzzles,

Take a deep breath in ………breathe out Jimmi,

Take a deep breath in…….. breathe out the playing,

Take a deep breath in…….. and breathe out the bad day”

Now  open you eyes….. Hurray it’s a new day”

A simple story to encourage meditation and Breathing and handling anger for kids. My daughter loved it.

Dancing Girl

Lost last four posts to low battery, now I am writing something else. Its a short story. Also working on a hindi story in my head. It’s good to give some task to the brain. Helps through the day.

The story

” The little girl tipped and toed and tapped, through the mornings…. Afternoons…… Evenings and nights. She didn’t even stopped at night. Her feet danced even in her dreams.

But,

One day, she hurt her ankle.

While climbing down the stairs she missed a step……”ouch”

That evening she couldn’t tip or toe or tap. That night she lay motionless on her bed , wondering what to do.

‘How about using hands’ her mum gave an idea with a warm glass of milk. And she took them both.

She stretched her hands and found them beautiful. She danced them around.

Left and right, up and down.

She danced her hands in the mornings… Afternoons, evenings and nights. Until one day when her legs were fine.

I did this story with my daughter, using my fingers on our tummies, but when the girl used her hands, my daughter too began dancing with her hands. She loved it. I have not copyrighted any story in this blog. I believe in karma and yes stories are for everyone. Feel free to use them in whichever form.

Happy story time!