Chores

Why can’t laundry do itself,
And fold itself and put itself away?
Why do we have to wear clothes at all?
Laundry takes up half my day!

Why do we have to ‘make the bed’,
When it’s going to get unmade anyway?
Why fluff the pillows or fold the quilt,
When it’ll be messed up again at the end of the day?

Why do we have stomachs that need to be filled,
When they’re going to get empty again?
Why does our brain remind us of pizza,
When we’ve sworn ourselves to fresh fruit and grain?!

And how I wish we didn’t have to clean
Or dust or wash a plate ever again!
Day in and day out, the same old chores
So mindless, it’s driving me insane!
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Happiness is … A balcony garden!

As you can probably tell by now, if you know me personally or have read my recent blog posts, I love the spring time in Delhi. The weather is just perfect, and flowers are in full bloom everywhere I look. The sky is just the perfect shade of blue interspersed with fluffy white cotton candy clouds.

This year, I got myself a few potted plants to keep in my balcony. Little did I realise how much they’d brighten up my days!

My in-laws, who are passionate about gardening (their home balconies are full of beautifully maintained potted plants and flowers of all colours and varieties), were kind enough to give me a few plants, and the rest I picked up from a nursery nearby. But my favourite by far this year have been the lilies.

When I first brought all my potted plants home and spread them out in the living room balcony, there were yellow chrysanthemums, orange marigolds, yellow and purple pansies and a pot of little pink flowers. Then there were a few green plants like crotons and a plant that looked like a lily plant, except it was all leaves and no sign of any flowers.

I was most curious about this plant, because I was felt it was going to bring forth lilies soon, yet I wasn’t sure. I pointed it out to my husband and he suggested it might be another green plant and not necessarily a lily.

Weeks went by and I kept watering and nurturing my plants. The flowering plants were already doing well, and looked pretty. But there was no sign of any new buds on the green ‘supposedly’ lily plant.

Yet I kept nurturing it and looking for signs of flowers each morning.

Every morning I’d wake up, get out of bed and go straight to the balcony to see how my plants were doing.

And then one day, I saw this!

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I was so excited I squealed with joy, and my husband came running to see what had happened! I started doing a happy dance and pointed excitedly at the new buds that had sprung up seemingly overnight.

“I told you they were lilies!” I squealed.

Now that I knew my lilies were on their way, I couldn’t wait to see what shade of red they would be.

Every morning the first thing I’d do was step out on the balcony to see my flowers and check on the lilies.

After a couple of days, this happened!

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Bright red lilies!

Believe it or not, I’d never seen red lilies before. At home we’d always had white lilies. I could hardly believe my eyes at this beautiful pop of colour!

As the days went by, my lilies grew and I’d wake up every morning to go check on them. It was a very exciting time!

And then the flowers bloomed in all their glory!

 

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It’s been a new experience for me, growing and nurturing my plants. I loved the fact that the lilies took their own sweet time to grow, and yet when they did, their beauty was so majestic and outshone the other perennials. The joy of watching your plants grow, buds sprouting and flowers blossoming – I felt that for the first time this year. I found my very own little happy place, both in my heart and in my balcony!

An Ode to Love 

(I wrote this poem over 10 years ago, and it was first published in The Teenager Magazine in their June 2007 issue.)

It was autumn all around;
The trees shed their leaves and they fell to the ground.
The lovers stood beneath, while from above,
Quietly fell the leaves of love.

He gazed at her and she heard him say,
“My love, I must go away.
My duty calls, though I’d rather be with you;
But I have no choice, it’s something I must do.”

She looked up angrily and began, 
“Why must you fight a war started by another man?
If this war’s so important to him,
Let him fight, why are they sending you, Jim?”

Tears welled up inside and she could go on no further,
Jim’s strong arms reached out to comfort her.
They sat there, lost in each other’s embrace,
With sadness and sorrow on each other’s face. 

It was finally time for Jim to leave,
He kissed Katie and said, “Dear, do not grieve,
For soon I will be back to stay,
And then I shall never go away.”

Winter came and went, and summer too,
And Katie thought of Jim all the year through.
Then one day Katie saw something that made her heart leap for joy,
She stared down the road – it was an army convoy!

Filled with hope she searched for her love,
Beneath the autumn sky above,
And as she stood there, lost in the sea of faces,
She felt her whole world crumble to pieces.

She turned to go back, and then she saw him!
He looked tired and pale, but he was her Jim!
Her heart leapt for joy as they ran towards each other,
They hugged and laughed and cried, glad they were together.

They stood there lost in each other’s embrace,
With joy and happiness on each other’s face,
Beneath the autumn sky above,
As quietly fell the leaves of love.

Not Meant to Be

“I’m leaving”, he said angrily.

She turned and looked at him, blinking her sleepy eyes. “Not again!”, she groaned.

She knew he was hurt. Last week, she had promised to give it another try, she really wanted this to work. She knew it was really important to him and he really wanted to share this part of his life with her, but she just couldn’t do it.

She looked at him wishing she could be what he needed. But there was nothing she could do.

“Fine!” she replied indignantly, “I’m sorry I can’t be what you need!”

She heard the front door close as he left.

With a sigh, she turned over and snuggled in her warm blanket. No matter what happened, she would never be able to get out of bed before 7 am.

And she could never be his gym partner. She just wasn’t a morning person. 


Forever

It was an icy winter day.

 

“Will you love me forever?” I asked.

 

He blinked.

 

And in that moment I saw,

Hesitation in his eyes.

 

“Of course!” He replied.

 

And I knew, he wouldn’t.

 


 

Winter turned to summer, and another winter went by

The seasons changed and so did I

Lovers changed, and the meaning of love did too

And one beautiful autumn day it was time to ask you

 

“Will you love me forever?” I asked.

 

You blinked.

 

And in that moment I saw,

Hesitation in your eyes.

 

“I don’t know about forever”, you replied.

 

My heart sank.

 

“But I do promise to love you everyday”, you continued

“I will make you coffee every morning
And help you as you work towards your dreams
But in return I want you to promise me
That you will never settle for less than you are capable of.

If that takes forever, well, then I’ll be there with you, forever.”

 

And I knew that you would.

 

I had found The One.

 

If I were a poet

If I were a poet, and could paint pictures with my words
I’d paint you a lovely picture of a forest full of birds
Where birds of different feathers flock together
And live in peace and harmony, come fair or foul weather
My picture would show you all the lessons we could learn
From these birds of varied feathers living together as one

If I were a poet, and could write lyrics to a tune
I’d compose a love song and sing to you about the stars and the moon
The stream gurgling over pebbles and the river rushing to the sea
Would be the perfect background music for me
I’d sing of beauty untold – green fields, brown cliffs, and skies – both blue and grey
And heaven would send rain, that would pitter-patter on the roof all day

If I were a poet, and could tell a story with my rhymes
I’d write a novel about the mysteries of our times
How we’ve taken leaps and bounds ahead in the sciences
Yet we wage wars, hold prejudices, and struggle to build alliances
We’ve been given a beautiful world, with landscapes of all kinds
Yet we pollute the air, the waters and the soil, and even our own minds

But I am not a poet, and my thoughts remain without words or rhymes
My unspoken dreams for my world remain hopes and wishes in these uncertain times
I dream of peace and harmony, respect, unity and love
Gratitude for the grass beneath our feet and the sky above
I wish we’d remember we’re here together on a short journey just passing through
For if we did, we’d all become poets – look around, we’re living in a paradise, me and you.

Becoming a morning person

I’ve never been much of a morning person. Getting out of bed before 9 a.m. has always been a serious struggle. In spite of the fact that I grew up in household where people would start waking up at 5 a.m. to enjoy a cup of tea before facing the day, somehow the habit never grew on me. 

However, lately I have begun to realise the importance of a daily routine (and exercise). And therefore, I have decided to go for a walk every morning! 🙂 

When I walk around my society complex downstairs, I usually have my earphones plugged in and listen to my favourite songs. I also tend to observe people. The guards at the gate, young people jogging or stretching in the park, older people walking. I smile and say good morning. Makes me feel good. I love talking to older people. 

Today there was some activity going on in the park. Tents were being set up, probably for some party tonight. A lady was giving instructions from her first floor balcony to the caterers carrying in the food supplies. I enjoyed being a part of the activity – a silent spectator, walking, minding my own business, but seeing people live a fraction of their lives in front of me. I was also doing the same. 

I’ve begun enjoying these morning walks. It’s lovely to see people up and about, people leaving for work in their cars, the grocery shop and beauty parlour downstairs starting to open, the milk truck arriving. And of course I love the greenery. We have 3 lawns in our society and the flowers are blooming – its springtime. Every corner I turn I see greenery with different shades of red, yellow, orange, white, purple and pink. It’s beautiful! 

I’d say that it’s worth trying to be a morning person. There’s something about mornings that makes me feel hopeful, happy and alive.