Feeling Blessed!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! All of you! I am so overwhelmed by the response to my last blog post ‘When’ Dreams Come True’ that I am still a little teary eyed. So many of you responded on Facebook itself, where I had shared the post, and so many more sent me personal messages and even called me up to congratulate me and ask me for signed copies of my book. And my book isn’t even out yet!

This outpouring of love and genuine happiness on the part of all of you my friends actually had the effect of making me cry. I sat down and wept. I wept out of gratitude. I wept because I felt so humble, that so many people loved me enough to feel happy for my success; to take the trouble to tell me so! I wept because I felt so blessed! So blessed!

And in that moment when I was crying my heart out, I realised that it doesn’t matter if my book does well or not (Of course I know it will :P), but at that moment the fact that so many people were cheering my achievement of a goal, was the greatest OMG moment since the birth of my daughters!

It’s like reaching the finishing line and realising that the crowd is cheering for me. For ‘ME’! And as I look at the crowd, I see lines of my poems in the faces of the people there. And I realise every one of my friends and family has been part of this journey of mine helping me become who I am today, helping me know myself better, helping me write better, grow into myself, till I had the courage to put together these poems to show the world.

When I read my poem ‘Painting over memories’ I see my house in Vashi, with its walls covered in childish scribbles and the friends who shared my life then as a young mother, many of them young mothers themselves.

‘My first day in school’ brings to mind my students and all the teachers I worked with, so many of them who are still in touch with me and from whom I learnt so much.

My family, both the one I was born in and the one I married into is part of almost every poem; supporting me, wiping my tears, helping me get up again, celebrating life with me.

And I realise that this book, ‘Who Shall I Be Today?’ is not mine. It can never be mine. It belongs to everybody who has been part of my life. Everybody has in some way been woven into the poems, bits of my heart and soul.

When dreams come true

Book-Cover-1How many of you have had one of your deepest dreams come true? Isn’t it one of the headiest feelings in the world? Something that makes you want to dance and sing and yell and cry with happiness at the same time?

In a previous post, ‘Being Awesome in 2016’ I had written about this year being my year of awesomeness and guess what! It’s got AWESOMER!

My book, my first book, is going to be published! Yes! My book, “Who shall I be today?” is going to be out in March! I am so super thrilled about it; I just had to share it with all of you!

When I decided that it was time to put my fears aside and put my writings out for the world to read, I had to take a call on what kind of book I wanted my first book to be. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I wanted to write a book of poems.

Why? Well because I have always loved poetry. I love stories and essays too, but poetry tugs at my heart that little bit more.

I can’t remember when I fell in love with poetry. Maybe it was as a baby, when Mummy read to me out of that fascinating book with all those animals and fairies in it and I would listen to her voice lilting as she read, “Here comes the pony, his work is all done, down through the meadow he takes a good run, up goes his heels and down goes his head; it’s time little people were going to bed”

Through the poems I heard from her, I learnt of fairies and witches and magic and naughty kids and good kids. Stories came alive and created a wonderful world of rhyme and rhythm.

As I grew older, I read and fell in love with the brave Lochinvar, and cried over Bess and her Highway man. I realised how one mistake in a war can cause so many to lose their lives in ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. And I guess it was inevitable that this passion would make me want to write my own poems.

“Who shall I be today?” is a collection of poems that I have written as I have travelled along life’s paths, experiencing the different roles of a woman. Somewhere in the book you will find a woman in love, somewhere you will find a mother, somewhere you will find a housewife going about her daily chores.

A human being feels so many emotions and you will share some of these as you turn the pages of “Who shall I be today?” Love, Fear, Loneliness, Despair, Hope, Anticipation, Longing, Nostalgia… It’s all there.

If today this dream of getting my book published is coming true, it’s to a large extent due to the likes and shares I’ve got from all of you on Facebook and on my blog. Everytime you told me you liked something I wrote, it made it a little easier to share a part of my soul with you and that is how “Who Shall I Be today ?” was born.  I am so glad that you are a part of this dream of mine! And I really can’t celebrate it without you! So THANK YOU everyone! From the bottom of my heart!

P.S. If you want to see a jhalak of my book please send me a mail at [email protected] and you can let me know what you think of it.

Aata Majhi Satakli

Sometimes I wish I could leave well alone. I wish I could be indifferent to things and the actions of people and just walk away! I tell myself that my life would be so much less complicated, if I could do just that, if I could just ignore stuff instead of letting it get to me till something inside me yells, “Aata majhi satakli!”

A couple of months ago, I had gone to the bank for some work. By the time I came out, the entrance to the bank had been totally blocked by bikes. There was absolutely no way to get out. An old man stood there on the steps looking utterly confused and bewildered.

I took one look at the bikes and went back into the bank. “Can some of you please move your bikes?” I requested, “There is no way for people to go out.”

One of the customers leered at me and said in a hearty voice, “Then you will just have to wait till we finish our work, won’t you?” This was said in Marathi, in that typical condescending tone that males reserve when they are think they are dealing with helpless females and it evoked a round of smug laughter. I don’t what it was , but something inside me snapped.

I looked around with narrowed eyes and without a word, calmly walked out.  I went to the line of bikes and gave the one nearest to me a hefty shove to the right. It toppled on to the bike next to it, creating a domino effect. I turned to the left and repeated the action with the bike there too. Oh it was so satisfying to see all the bikes go down!

Feeling terribly pleased with myself, I dusted off my hands dramatically as I ignored the yells of “Oh Madam, tumhi kay karta ahat?”, as people rushed out of the bank.

I held out my hand to the bemused old man, gave him a cheeky smile and helped him out on to the main road. “Thank you madam!” he said with a chuckle, “Oh, the look on their faces!”

Two days later when I visited the bank again, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had created a pathway to the entrance lined with potted plants on either side, with a big ‘No Parking’ sign prominently displayed. When I commented on it to the Manager, he said, “What to do, Madam? If we have customers like you, we have to do things like this no?”

So I guess it was worth losing my cool after all.

Have you ever lost your cool? I’d love to hear what it takes for you to feel, “Aata majhi satakli”. Do tell us about it in the comments on the website.

A Mother’s Fears

Ever since my parents have moved back to within a few blocks from me, I make it a point to visit them as often as I can. I must admit, I enjoy bouncing ideas off them and getting their opinion about what I should write about. These are pleasant evenings spent in their company and I treasure them.

So I was a little surprised last Wednesday when mom grabbed hold of me as soon as I entered and said, “There is something I must show you. I want you to write about it. It is very disturbing.”

“Whoa! Slow down! What happened?” I asked worried.

“This!” she said, pushing the newspaper into my hand and giving me the article to read. “Why are they doing this? Can’t they leave the babies alone? Why drag them into it?”

“I want you to write about this. It isn’t right. I know that they believe that the IS has been training kids as well but this is not the way to retaliate.”

“Just because you think somebody is evil, does that mean you have to be eviler?”

“Won’t that mean that it will just spiral downwards into being more and more evil till the only thing that is left is evil?”

“And what happens to the kids? Why aren’t their parents saying anything against this? Where are their mothers? Do they really want to send their kids to their deaths?”

“When will people realise that religion, no religion ever has been created by God, any God?”

“Can’t someone do something? Can’t someone put an end to this madness?” she cried finally ending her tirade.

I tried to calm her down and we had to admit that we were just two helpless mothers in a world gone mad with hatred. And as we wondered what we could do, I remembered the words of a poem by Israeli writer Prof. Ada Aharoni

 

How do you know
Peace is a woman?
I know, for I met her yesterday
on my winding way to the world’s fare.

She had such a sorrowful face
just like a golden flower faded
before her prime.
I asked her why she was so sad?
She told me her baby
was killed in Auschwitz,
her daughter in Hiroshima
and her sons in Vietnam, India, Pakistan,
Israel, Palestine, Lebanon,
Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur and Chechnya.

All the rest of her children, she said,
are on the nuclear
black-list of the dead,
all the rest, unless
the whole world understands –
that peace is a woman.

A thousand candles then lit
in her starry eyes, and I saw –
Peace is indeed a pregnant woman,
Peace is a mother.

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