Two black bugs and sixteen red ants

Frank went deep into the bush

Hiding from his father’s stare

Saving himself from Amanda’s eyes

Amanda is more a mother than sister

And he finds her more intimidating

Than the wild bugs in the bush

He eyed two black bugs crawling chameleon

Frank picked one by one balancing in his two wannabe fingers

Dropped them immediately into the empty jam bottle

Then, he looked for preys here and there, all around and over

Not finding anything interesting and little upset

He settled for the tiny red ants on the tree above him

Sixteen red ants, venomous and perfect

Then closing the bottle lid quickly

Frank lounged quietly as he shook the bottle intermittently

The two black bugs and the cavalry of sixteen red ants

Fought historic epic battle till they all tossed for life

And eventually died to the eight year old’s whim.

 

 

 

 

 

Know your skin type – know yourself

True beauty is the reflection of our inner and outer self. Which largely include our body cells, our skin types and our personal health and habit. Nurturing and nourishing ourselves can bring immense boost to our self esteem, confidence level and general health.

When comes to skin health, it would be sheer foolishness not to take the basic care. Skin acts as a barrier between the outside world and our interior organs. So, it’s time we realized the implications of the changes of our skin.

First and foremost, we need to understand our skin types so that we can take proper care and nourishment. Coming to it, there are 5 major types of skin types.

What are the 5 major skin types

Normal skin:

Normal skin is most desirable since it requires minimum nurturing. It is toned vitalized with the right amount of oil balance.

Oily skin:

This skin type appears greasy and tends to attract dirt, dust and grime easily. If not taken proper and timely care, this may lead to black and white heads, pimples, spots and eruptions.

Dry skin:

This type of skin appears dry and flaky due to lack of moisture due to inadequate secretion from the sebaceous glands. This skin type tends to age fast.

Combination skin:

This type of skin appears dry at the cheeks, around the mouth and the eyes and appears oily at the forehead, nose and chin (the T zone).

Sensitive skin:

This type of skin has a nice texture and is sensitive to climatic changes and chemical ingredients present in cosmetic products.

 

How to know your skin types

When you wake up in the morning, wipe your face with a facial tissue. If it gathers greasy patches then it is oily skin. If the oil is only in the T zone then its combination skin. If it feels very dry and parched then it is dry and if your skin feels neither too dry nor too oily then you have normal skin and something to be proud of.

Stringless love

You go love bird, go off the strings

And explore the colors of the world

I am letting go you of my true love

I know that you know I love you true

I know that you know you are my life

You are my world, my life

But today I free you of the chains

Fly off to green lands not trodden

Discover the newness, color of life

Fall in love with the beautiful world

Explore the hills, springs, the land of sun

Live life stringless

Know you true love and then come back

I will wait.

Sparrow on my window

It was a sparrow

Yes, a little sparrow

All set to keep me on my toes

When the world slept in dark and peace

It would nibble, nick and flutter on the AC sil

It would shake me off my warm sleep

At the dead of the night

The starry nights are not so pleasant

When you are clumsy, have deadlines to catch

The sparrow all set to plot against me

It stroked the tin sil as if there is no tomorrow

As if he met his long lost lover after a war

Everyday, all through the winter month, all night

I would wake up at midnight and come out

To fly off the little plotting creature, with a dead twig

So that I can sleep in peace

And can reach in time prim and proper

And then one day

I woke up to silence

No picking, no flutters, no signs of existence

I opened the window and sneaked out

But no sparrow, no life, no plots against me

All night I tossed on bed thinking of the little bird

A lost little bird that strayed to bad weather, fog and cold

To some distant world, far off, far away.

Of family, love, life and tea drinking legacy

I woke up to a beautiful day, unlike the past couple of days when the sun did not wake up at all and the rains were having a ball. Not really a rain girl, I would rather laze in my warm settee than to enjoy the rhetoric of the rains.

It was early in the morning and the sun was already looking so beautiful. Series of memories visited me and made me unusually nostalgic. I handled my white and gold rim ceramic cup just filled with semi fuming Darjeeling tea with little milk and sugar. I like it with milk, I always have. Over the years, my taste for tea has changed, grown and have substantiated me. I have been a tea drinker ever since my late teens. My grandma, an addict and a beautiful heart, was the first to rise and make her and the family the first cup of tea. She only used to get going after her first cup. I, essentially being her flower child, used to love the little sips that would made me feel like her, more than anything else. Tea got me to its clings, literally, much later. I would love the masala chai loaded with sugar and milk. That was a phase which had its lovely moments. As I grew up, I found tea more enigmatic. The flavors are variant, distinctive and appealing.

Grandma left the legacy of tea drinking to me. In my family, now, it’s only my father and I, who relish the idea of morning and evening teas, teas for different occasions and weathers. We love everything that is good tea and how it is served. I believe in that the flavor changes or enhances with the right kind of serving containers. So, I stress on the right kind of cups for a different kinds of teas. My mother hardly drinks tea but has specializes on the art of making it on my insistence. I am picky when it comes to tea. My sisters and their family are occasional tea drinkers – something I appreciate. But when they are visiting us, I manage to tempt them to some relishing cups of tea. The idea of having it all together is really alluring and great fun. We serve it with lots of cookies, Indian snacks, love and gossips.

Things have changed over the years, we have metamorphosed, father has gone more bald, I have had my first grey hair sneaking out every now and then and grandma is no more. But our love for good tea is one good constant factor that has still gotten us all together to the morning tea table over a beautiful tea drinking ritual.

May your dreams come true

Eleven months and four seasons ago I had a dream

I have many dreams

But that was special

I dreamed of a rainbow world

With multitude of people

With cascade of colors

They speak different

Wear, eat, sing different

But all are united in their thoughts

They have the same red blood

The same tears, the same laughters

The same hopes, dreams, aspirations

The same dream of peace and love

I had a dream

That was a simple dream

And as I usher in the new year

I am one more year older and more hopeful

I still have the same dream

 

//

My specs! Oh my specs!!

I felt something not so right with my specs and as I tried to adjust the alignment, I realized that the screw of right handle was about to come off. I dodged and faltered but somehow managed to reach the workplace. It was terrible as I fumbled my way to my office. What would have happened if the screw came off completely! All the way I was apprehensive. The right glass would have come out, fell somewhere on the road and the people would have found me groping on the road trying to find something that they would have no idea about! That would have been bizarre!

Anyway, I reached hospital (my workplace) and as I was preparing to start off the day, the screw came out completely and fell down. I couldn’t find it anywhere. It was useless to search for it more since the screws are really small. Dejected – I decided to do without the glasses for the day. But being short sighted, it wasn’t easy. First time I realized how inconvenient it is to do without something you are used to so much. My glasses are my best buddies since middle school and I just cannot survive without them. They are indeed indispensable.

My boss, a cardiologist, came to my rescue, as he always does. I got him a suture needle, thread and a surgical blade from the OT and he most dexterously sutured the broken parts. In a matter of 10 minutes the operation was over. The glasses were fixed to a virtually new one! The stitches were neat and invisible, and it was a successful operation. (I had no doubt though).

 

Color my heart

The sky splashing colors

Blue red, oranges

Dark green, light green, purples, pinks

 

The best is the not-so-red color

The virgin red is very close to my heart

Full of hope, power and love

 

So what it’s not-so-red?

Difference between red and not-so-red

Is just a shade or two

 

You give the not-so-red

And I will color my heart a shade darker

A perfect virgin red.

 

 

Who are you?

Who are you?

Who really are you

You find more happiness in my pains

Than in your own happiness

You await my sad moment to be happy

You highs do not seem to amuse you anymore

You find solace in my humiliation

You stalk me instead of contemplating your life

You smile when I cry

You hate it when I laugh

Who really are you

Who are you?

 

What is a balanced diet?

Mrs Mehta was worried over her son’s health. Her 6 year old son is a fussy eater and refuses eat every time he is asked to eat. As a mother, she was concerned and was trying her best to make things work. She is not alone. Many parents face this and do not know how to go about.

If fussy eating behavior persists in children, they may end up having health hazards.

  • Nutrient deficiencies leading to improper growth
  • Weak immune system
  • Long term health issues

The importance of balanced diet is not unknown and most know the benefits and the ill effects of it. To make it simpler here is an overview:

What is a balanced diet?

We all know that the right kind of balance containing the right amount of carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fibre in our daily diet comprises of what we call a balanced or healthy diet Each of these nutrients has a vital role in the all round growth and development of children. It is important for all nutrients to be present in the required amount in a balanced diet.

What are the nutrients and their functions?

1. Carbohydrates: these provide a source of energy.

2. Proteins: these are required for growth and repair.

3. Fats: these provide a supplementary source of energy and are required for absorption of fat soluble vitamins

4. Vitamins: these are organic substances required in very small quantities

5. Minerals: these are required for healthy teeth, bones and muscles.

6. Fibre: this is required to help digestion by helping intestines function correctly.

Happy birthday my girl!

The hand pulling rickshaw puller

Struggled his feet through the

Hot and burning stone street

The lady sat fat with lot of extra shopping weight

Her right hand never stopped feeding her mouth

She ate as if there would be no tomorrow

And the puller pulled like there would be no tomorrow

His feet all bare and rough

The soles tough, distracting the stones

The sun was merciless

He eyed a bunch of young people

Gorging on the colored drinks

Two children playing with ice cubes

The lady still munching the snacks

The puller rode like a horse now

He can’t waste any time

He has to meet his little girl

Who’s been waiting since forever

He needs 20 rupees more

To buy her a birthday gift

The gift she’s been wanting since last year

The puller got the fat lady down safely to her house

Took  the money, sidelined the rickshaw

He went to an ever old, shabby shoe shop

Shopped for a couple of chappals

Bought his choice and came home

Wearing the sandals in blue straps

His girl gave him a big hug and a tearful kiss

He finally made her day.

 

 

The long, strong hair of Rapunzel and poor me

My favourite fairy tale has been the beautiful story of Rapunzel. I loved every thing about Rapunzel. I was enthralled by the enchantress who wanted the unborn child to be surrendered to her at birth because the man had scaled down the wall to her garden to collect the rapunzel plant for his wife. I loved how Rapunzel grows up to be the most beautiful child in the world with long golden hair. When Rapunzel reaches her her teens the enchantress shuts her away in a tower in the middle of the woods, with neither stairs nor door. When the witch visits Rapunzel, she stands beneath the tower and calls out: Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair.

What could be more exciting than this! I was mesmerized by the beautiful braided hair – long and strong and everything that perfect hair should be.

Then the prince charming appears. He too climbs up the tall tower with the long hair, where Rapunzel was captivated. The together plan means of escape.  However, the poor sweet girl asks the witch in a moment of forgetfulness why it is easier for her to pull up the prince than her and in anger,the witch cuts short Rapunzel’s braided hair and casts her out into the wilderness to herself. This was horrifying for me. I used to get so upset every time I came to this part of the tale. It was hard for a child who has dreamed of braided hair like that since forever. The next part of the story was more saddening, and I used to weep a lot. When the prince calls that night, the enchantress lets the cut braids down to pull him up. To his horror, he finds himself staring at the witch instead of Rapunzel. The prince was blinded by thorns, how I can’t remember, but that was disheartening to the core.

Who can forget the long beautiful hair tied in beautiful knots. To have long, beautiful, strong hair like Rapunzel. I have dreamed of the same since forever. More than anything else, the prince charming was more fascinating by the way he climbs up the tower with the help of Rapunzel’s strong and lovely hair. Not to forget he was chivalrous and all that it takes to sweep you off your feet.

So did I work onto to have a hair like that? Well, I tried every means on earth. I tried home remedies, I went for extravagant professional helps, I went for five star salon treatment but the secret formula that the enchantress used to caress Rapunzel’s mane seemed utopia. Lastly, I cut my hair short. Wearing it short seemed to be a much better option, and I am smarter than my friends think.

Finding the right words at the right time for the cancer sufferers

Reality bites and having to face your loved one who has just been diagnosed with cancer is pathetically hard. We are at loss for words, tongue tied and do not know what to and what not to speak. However, each word coming out of our mouth have intense implication. We must be careful while choosing the right kind of words and when in dilemma it’s better not to speak at all than to hurt his/her sentiments.

According to LA Times, several peer counselors at ‘National Breast Cancer Organization’ offered the statements they found most and least helpful to hear during their own breast cancer battles.

Right words:

“I’m here for you, and we’ll see this through together.”

“I’ll organize your friends to make dinners, drive car pools, shop, etc. — whatever would be helpful.”

“I know this is difficult for you, but please know I will do all I can to support you.”

“I’m so sorry you have to go through this, but I’m here to help in any way.”

“Would you like to tell me more about it?”

Wrong words:

“You’ll be fine.”

“You poor thing.”

“I know how you feel.”

“I know someone who died from that.”

“Call me if you need anything.”

“Will you be OK financially since you won’t be able to work?”

“I think you should ______ .”

 

Among many, one change that  all cancer patients undergo is having to fight the ongoing battle emotionally and physically. They become way too sensitive even to normal words or the words that haven’t had hurt him/her before. Even the people who  had the ability to laugh at themselves before start to count on words people around them speak once diagnosed with cancer. ‘ I can’t take the call. I have cancer.’ ‘ I can’t pass the remote. I have got cancer.’ – silly stuffs like that goes to show the terrible agony that he/she is going through.

The psyche of cancer sufferers are hard to understand. You never know what turns their emotional switch on. We must not say things like, “You look healthy,” when they are not, or give instances about those who had cancer and how pathetically they suffered. We should not tell them that we’ve never known anyone who was cured of cancer by using chemo, radiation, etc. Nothing would be more helpful than to be in their shoes and be empathetic.  Render the right kind of words at the right time.

Caregivers can make a difference.

Festive newness

The cumulonimbus sky beckons

The concrete nature turning lucid

There is something in the air hard to define

The fun frolic newness

New clothes, new plans, new hopes

New sky, new color, new love

The old Durga – in this new world

Live the festive newness

 

 

 

Friendship

Friendship is beautiful

It makes me see the tears when you smile

I can feel the love in your anger

The reason behind your silence

I know why you talk so much or don’t at all

I know what makes you blabber like a child

I can see the happiness behind your tears

The love behind the hatred

And the care when you are shouting

Friendship is beautiful

It makes me see beyond

What you are wearing

What you are speaking

What you are showing

It makes me believe you

Even when you are faking

If makes me see inside you

It makes me feel your soul

 

Water water everywhere

Water water everywhere

Water on the trees

Water on the leaves

Water on eyes, lips, face

Water on you, water on me

Water water everywhere

.

Water water everywhere

Water on the fields

Water on the terraces

Water on ponds, rivers, marshes

Water on water

Water water everywhere

 

 

So what you didn’t come?

So what you didn’t come

I sat by the window

Looked up to the silver, playful sky

Flirted with the stars

Winked at the crescent moon

The moon was decked in glitters

Just ready to have a ball

We exchanged glances

With throbbing hearts

Told our endless stories

Held hands, tickled and tapped

We went for a never ending ride

The stars sneaked and giggled

Made the night mysterious

Endless and loving

So what you didn’t come?

A few tips on password strength…

We all know how important it is to secure our identities online. It’s just a matter of decoding the passwords since the world is full of unpredictable stalkers. At the end of the day, no amount of blame game would going to secure our important info online. So, it’s better safe than sorry. Over the years, my affair with internet has taught me a few things about passwords, which I going to share with you here.

1. Anything on the dictionary can be deciphered. So, its wise to punctuate the passwords with dots, commas. Make it long and complex.

2. Birthdays, phone numbers, addresses, spouses’ nick names – all are very weak passwords. We need to change them to stronger ones by using abbreviations like, I LOVE PAUL becomes ILP and so on..

3. The security question are generally weak. Anyone close to us,would know the answer. We need to change the spellings or customize our own questions.

4. Create strong passwords by using the whole keyboard. Use a mix of upper and lower cases. Use a mix of alphabets , numerals and special characters.

All in all work your brains to create strong passwords for secure online transactions and safe personal info.

No good deed goes unpunished!

Sometimes however good we try to be, however good we try to do for others, we end up hurt and sad. Even with the best of intentions, we can have the worst of ordeals. This is something, we have no control over.

Last week, when a patient was counting money again and again for the diagnostic tests advised by the doctor, he looked broke and perplexed. He certainly looked shattered both from within and without. Long term illness has made him frail and the expense involved in his healthcare has made him lose his self esteem. This was not the first time that I met someone like him. I knew exactly what to do. I have the privilege of waiving off the consultation charges for my boss, a senior cardiologist in the country. I did exactly, what I was supposed to. I sent the patient to the billing counter asking him to do the minimal billing for the non-invasive tests at a reduced rate. The patient didn’t know what to do but his eyes glittered telling me a lot. It felt good.

I expedited the procedure and tried to wind up things for him since he had a train to catch. He is living in a remote suburbs that takes him nearly five hours to reach. The examinations went passed fast and even faster he got the reports. Even the ones that was supposed to be delivered the next day.

As I forwarded the reports to the doctor and guided the patient to the office, I was complacent. It feels good when you genuinely do something from your heart. The patient came out after a short while with a comprehensive prescription and guidelines. I explained to the patient the whole thing again. When and how to take the medications and what and what not to do for a better living. It was a long counseling, but I never felt bored. I never feel actually. As a matter of fact it gives me immense pleasure to have people understood me. The challenge still lies in their conviction to imbibe those in daily life though.

The patient smiled at me – his way of thanking me and went off only to return after half an hour. Now, he asked me something that took me by my feet. He told me that the doctor hadn’t seen him properly. When asked the reason, he told me that why else he didn’t charge him! I was taken aback by his question. did not know what to answer. Couldn’t even blame him since the healthcare industry everywhere has been so commercialized today. No one can imagine having complimentary visits to doctors’ offices.

That day, I realized something. Somethings in life never change. Who you are, some people with good values and ‘no good deed goes unpunished’.

Reinman

The blue kite flies high on the sky

Moving aimlessly, carefree and beautiful

Going up, coming down, twirling and twisting

On the blue vastness he claims his own

Another kite comes from no where

Swirls round him like divine providence

Twisting his lustrous string to complicated knots

He cannot fly high now, cannot sway to his wishes

He is knotted and tucked by a reinman

He is tucked to an endless story

The story of aches, pains, humans

The story of life.