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Monday, May 2, 2016

Longest Bus Ride Ever

I am not possessive-dramatic-psycho, but when it comes to men in my life, I can smell a fish swimming merrily 1000 miles inside the Atlantic. I unearthed this side of me on a CTU bus when I was a little girl. I was coming back from Chandigarh with my dad. The bus was crowded. My dad fitted me on a seat with another family - one girl, two boys, and their fat mother. I squeezed in and made a tiny space for myself in the pea-pod. Like a hero, my dad stood and smiled. His princess rode with the general public. Daddy was proud of his courteous and down-to-earth girl. I sang ‘Ringa-Ringa-Roses’ in my head and dreamt about the 5-star chocolate he promised me. It went like a middle-class fairy tale till Zirakpur. Then, a life altering event changed the dynamics of my family.

Some idiots got off, few seats became available and daddy, my very own daddy, sat next to slim-trim-sleeveless-wearing-hottie. Devastated, short-of-breath, wide-eyed... and, tiny drops of tears later, I braced myself. I had a bigger responsibility. I had to break the news to my mother - your husband sat next to another woman. How could he do this to her? He broke the eternal vows of marriage. He indulged in adultery in front of his daughter. He smiled. I pouted my lower lip out. It was a bumpy ride with many accidental shoulder and leg brushings. Highway 22 was leading to a broken marriage.

I was restless. There was nothing I could do. I peeked now and then to witness the growing intimacy between my father and Miss-Flicking-Hair. I held on the handrail and got up to measure the distance between their ankles. I made a mental note - whenever daddy would ask me how much I love him, instead of expanding my arms in Shahrukh style, I would make a tiny pinch with my adorable fingers and tell him - This tiny much, daddy! I wanted to give him a slice of his own behavior. While I was doing the investigation, that fat mother pushed me little further on the seat and made herself comfy. Now, my socks covered legs were dangling and cute little bum was on the edge of the bus seat. That made me very angry! I pushed myself inside and rested on her cushiony tummy.

We reached Ambala. I didn’t say a word. I planned to break my silence in front of my mother. I kept rehearsing a few sentences in my head.

‘Daddy sat with a hottie!’ - No!

‘Daddy doesn’t love you, mommy. He sat with aunty in the bus.’ - Better to take the hotness factor out, but it still hurt.

‘Daddy is not a good person.’ was the one I finally settled in.

Composed, my mother said while serving us Nimbu Pani, ‘Chocolate nahi di isko?’Oh, bhool gaya!

I got up, hugged my mother and then, expanded my arms wider and wider and consoled her - ‘I love you this much, mummy.’ Later, chin up, I gave my father the ‘Mother-of-all-Stares.’

But I had to share it with someone. It was too heavy a burden for a Kindergarten girl. I went to school on Monday and narrated the story to my best friend. She didn’t say anything. She just opened her mouth wider and wider, placed her turmeric stained fingers on it... A big Hawww’ followed later. Oh God, that ‘Hawww’ killed me!

A few weeks later, I took revenge. My friend’s father gave lift to our teacher, Ms. Singh. He told my friend to stand in front of their Priya Scooter as sleeveless wearing Ms. Singh sat behind. She held her purse and my friend’s schoolbag in one hand, and put the other hand on her dad’s shoulder. My friend could do nothing. But, I did something. I opened my mouth, placed my cute little hands on it... but a silent ‘Hawww’ came first in my case.

P. S.  It’s not a work of fiction, but exaggeration.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

thin waistline and a fat stack of memories


it began on the terrace
with lousy poetry, cold tea, and playful eyes
you unravelled a mystery
to my utter surprise

i am not sure how it started
it sure ended on that auburn paisley sheet
in-between sweet moaning
i felt complete

i dressed up in front of you later
dabbed kohl, tied my hair into a messy bun
draped that cotton saree
playfully making the pleats one-by-one

then you asked graciously
if you could tuck those pleats in
i felt knots and butterflies come alive
the moment your fingers touched my skin

you stood behind as i adjusted the pallu
it was a bout of nervousness for me
to make a lady uncomfortable with silence
was your idiosyncrasy

a million moments i've lived since
moving my fingers on that paisley print
like my life, that sheet, and cotton saree
are immortally linked

the mystery you unravelled
sometime in april noon
a dry-dead day can lit up
without a shower or monsoon

draping saree is an art, they say
undraping too is an art
only a special someone can touch your skin
and leave an indelible impression on your heart

image source - here

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Cool Summers: How Not to Let the Holidays Tear Through Your Budget


As parents are gearing up for the summer vacation and making plans to keep their kids busy and entertained, overspending is a major concern. We want to do the best without burning a hole in the pocket. So, the question is - how to make the best of holidays in our budget? The good news - it’s possible and all it takes is a little preparation and a lot of creativity. With these and following some simple tricks, we can make this summer a memorable time.

Book Tickets and Make Reservations in Advance

After Christmas, summer is the busiest time of the year. The knack of getting a good deal on hotel, flight and activities - start looking for deals in January. Even if you are looking for activity classes for your children, book early. In case you have missed the chance this year, don’t worry! Here’s one trick - try weekdays and skip weekends or public holidays while looking for deals. Another way to get great offers - look for last minute deals online.

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