Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

My daughter, 300819

August 30, 2019

She was a helpless, mewling little scrap when I first saw her. She’s now grown into an independent adult. We laugh (and hopelessly giggle) at a lot of things together. There are many things on which we don’t see eye to eye, too. Once in a while the disagreement gets heated. Sometimes she thinks I am criticizing her, and sometimes I feel she is too critical of what I think or do….neither of us is a conventional person.

But through all of it runs the bedrock of deep affection and mutual respect. She’s stood by me through the worst moments of my life, not been judgemental, accepted me as a person in all my facets..good,bad and ugly. She’s wise beyond her years, and a very good mother (in fact, I sadly think she’s a much better mother than I ever was.) She did a lot of her growing up far away from me…but the UC (Umbilical Cord) is strong.

It’s just an ordinary day, but I join many other mothers who love their daughters deeply and unconditionally. If I’d gone to a supermarket to select a daughter, I could not have done better than the model I’ve got.

And if she makes another crack about Nityananda after she reads this I will kidnap her children.

The difference

February 9, 2019

Some people string together words.
They write well, and their prose
Makes one think, and muse
Upon their meaning, and one’s own opinions.
But others…they pull words together
Like notes of music, and create poetry.
There may be no rhyme or prettiness…
But the words bring a fullness to one’s heart,
And, sometimes, moisture to one’s eyes.
What is prose, what is poetry?
The eyes and the mind may not know the difference.
But the heart knows
Poetry from prose.

Stages, by Herman Hesse

October 24, 2017

As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.
–Hermann Hesse
(translated by Richard and Clara Winston)

Memories, and feelings

October 13, 2014


How to take the sting
Out of sad memories?
How to prevent the thoughts
From running down one’s cheeks
In pearls of relived emotion?
Perhaps, one should store memories
Consciously; peel away the layers
Of emotion that make them memorable.
Leave the facts–what happened…
Like flowers laid away in books,
Which have no fragrance, no roundness,
But still bring back the remembered time,
One’s memories can then take one back
To relive the times, without the wracking feelings
That wrenched at one’s heart then,
With deep pain and gut-wrenching agony.
Can one sanitize memories?
Or will they, as a friend says,
Always be associated with the emotions,
And shake one deeply each time
Those days pass once again before the mind’s eye?
Is a sad memory always a living thing
That brings back those feelings
That have been lying, forgotten, but present?
Or…can one mummify memories
And make of them life-like things
That yet have no pain…
Nor the power to bring agony to life afresh?

Families, and distances

October 17, 2013

I squeeze his little body to me
In an involuntary cuddle.
I smile at his sister in the morning.
We enjoy our time together, giggling and cuddling.
I’m leaving a happy family
To go on with their lives
While I pick up the threads on mine,
Across the world.
Why, then, should separation
Be such a heart-wrenching ache?
Why should I mar moments of happiness,
When I am watching brother playing with sister,
With thoughts of not being able
To see the minutiae of daily life
In their home, and share them?
All too soon, I will be back with them;
I am sure that the bonds will remain strong
And I can take up where I left off.
Let me take an aspirin
To cure my aching heart…
Let me not dwell on the days
That we will have to spend apart.

Kucch nagmE (some poems)

September 20, 2013

Thanks to Santosh Oak for these.

yehI wafA kA silA hai, tO kOI bAth nahin.
yeh dard thum nE diyA hai,tO kOI bAth nahIn.

This is the reward for loyalty. It doesn’t matter
You’ve given (me) this pain; it doesn’t matter

yehI bohot hai ke thum dekhtE hO sAhil sE.
safeena doob raha hai, tO kOI bAth nahIn

It’s enough that you are watching from the shore.
The boat is sinking; it doesn’t matter.

rakhA thA makAn-e-dil mEin chhupA kE thumkO.
Woh makAn tumnE chhOd diyA hai,tO kOI bAth nahIn.

I’d hidden you in the house of my heart.
You broke that house; it doesn’t matter.

thum hI nE AyInA-e-dil mErA banAyA thA
thum hI nE thOd diyA hai,tO kOI bAth nahIn.

It was you who made a mirror of my heart.
It’s you who broke it; it doesn’t matter

kis kI majAl kahE kOi mujh kO dIwAnA
agar yEh thumnE kahA,tO kOI bAth nahIn

Who has the courage to say I’m a madman?
If it’s you who say so, it doesn’t matter.

therE husne kE hum dIwAnE hO gayE
thuhjhE apnA banAthE banAthE hum khud sE begAnE hO gayE
na chhOdnA mujhE thU, aey zAlim
therE karIb Akar hum duniyA sE dUr hO gayE

I’ve gone crazy over your smile
In making you mine, I’ve become a stranger to myself
Don’t leave me, O cruel one
I’ve come close to you and left the world far behind


milan kI rut sE mohbbat kO tarasnE wAlOn,
akElE baitth kE rOnA bhI pyAr hOthA hai.

To those who are thinking of love as the moment of meeting,
Sitting alone and weeping is also love.


jab dEkhA unhOnE tirchI nazar sE,
kasam khudA kI, madhOsh hO gayE ham

When she looked with that sidelong glance,
By God, we were entranced

par jab pathA chalA, nazar permanent tirchi hai…
thO wohIn khhadE-kbhadE behOsh hI gayE ham.

But when we realized that she’s cross-eyed…
We fainted as we stood there!


AnkhOn mEin namI thI,
aur vitamin kI kamI thI..
jis sE rAth bhar chatting kI
wOh girlfriend kI mummy thI..

My eyes were moist,
And weakened with a lack of vitamins.
The one I’d chatted to all night
Was my girlfriend’s mother…


kOI patthar sE nA mArE
mErE dIwAnE kO…
nuclear power kA zamAnA hai,
bomb sE udA dO sAlE kO.

(2 lines from a famous movie song from “jawAnI dIwAnI”:

let not anyone stone my love:
It’s the day of nuclear power, kill the sob with a bomb.


tAj mehal kyA chIz hai,
issE badi imArath banAUngA.
Mumtaz thO mar kE dafan huI thI.
tujhE thO mein zindA dafnAUngA.

The Taj Mahal is nothing great.
I’ll make a bigger monument than that for you.
Mumtaz was interred there after she died:
I can inter you alive.


hasIn kE liyE gam kurbAn,
khushI kE liyE AnsU kurbAn,
dOstb kE liyE jAn bhI kurbAn,
aur agar dOstj kI girlfreind mil jAyE thO…
sAlA dOsth bhI kurbAn.

Pain can be sacrificed for one who smiles;
Tears can be sacrificed for happiness;
Life itself can be sacrificed for a friend;
And if one can get the friend’s girlfriend,
Then…the friend can also be sacrificed.



February 26, 2012

“Journeys end in lovers’ meetings”, goes the saying…but journeys also start with lovers’ partings! I watched two lovers parting today, dealing with their joy in each other (no, I was not eavesdropping, they were in plain sight until the bus came to the bus stop!) , and their pain at parting…human emotion is so incredibly complex…I’ve not seen anything as sweet as the smiles they gave each other. Each smile was a kiss, and the moisture in the woman’s eyes at the end, hurriedly wiped away, spoke poetry to me. Love, in joy, in pain, is a magical thing.

The Deepest Sorrows…

September 12, 2011

The deepest sorrows are those that one cannot share with any other person….they are the private wounds, that bleed into one’s heart and soul, opening up now and then, in spite of our best care….. for glimpses into one’s own personal hell.

A woman loses her husband. Six months, or two years later, the world …even her own children, perhaps…have moved on. But she is pierced by the intensity of the grief, still. She cannot tell everyone, “I feel this sorrow as intensely as the day it happened, my wounds have not healed.” So…she suffers in the silence of loneliness and alienation.

A friend of mine once lost a boyfriend…before their relationship was “official”. She suffered all the grief and agony of a wife…without ever being able to express it openly.

Then there are the wounds that our own family may inflict on us. When someone is close to your heart, you are very vulnerable to the shaft that drives straight home, and cannot get dislodged easily. You have no armour against the people who are dearest to you. Sometimes, I see children who do not want their parents too near them; I see parents who have “disowned” their children for choosing life partners on their own… a chasm that cannot be bridged, appears, and sears the heart. One cannot complain about one’s own family, so the tears flow into one’s heart instead of on to one’s cheeks.

A child is abused by its parents, or relatives…and often cannot express what s/he has undergone. The scars never really heal…not for a lifetime.

Why such a morbid post? I don’t know…this thought just occurred to least I can share the thought.

Grief that cannot be expressed is the deepest grief of all. and often does not heal through one’s lifetime.

Departure looms…

July 18, 2011

I know I have to go back home, and in many ways, I am looking forward to it; there is a lot of work (and life) waiting for me back home. I normally have a fairly neutral frame of mind, accepting the fact that my child, her spouse, and their child live very far away from me…and that when they lead happy lives of their own, we are both fine.

But it is the parting-after-being-together that seems to throw this equilibrium off completely. When the time comes to leave these three, why can I not preserve the same calm frame of mind, and part equably? Why must these tears spring unbidden to my eyes at odd moments? Why is this emotional umbilical cord so very strong? Why is the “grand-umbilical cord” that ties me to KTB)…even more strong? When will I ever control my heart and my emotions?

This time around, A is still having difficulties with her health, and that bothers me a lot, too. But…I know I cannot stay on indefinitely….so I must leave her to her own, hoping that she and her spouse will take care of themselves and their child, evenwhen they also have full-time careers, and other demanding voluntary jobs to do….trust that they will manage. On this thought, I will lug my suitcases out of the door….

All this lachrymosity when departure is still a few days away! I don’t know whether to smile or weep.

Oh well, going to see “Singing in the Rain” at the Muny this evening, hope I’ll feel less as if my heart has been put through a food processor…

Songs the Nations Sing

July 15, 2011

Sometimes I feel that patriotism, or its negative form, jingoism, causes a lot of strife in this world. We are , I think, now so interconnected that surely we don’t belong to just ONE country any more? I feel just as comfortable in Europe or the US or in Africa, because I do feel that people are the same everywhere…it’s just that customs may differ, and appearances. But the emotions and ties that bind us, the thoughts and ideas that move us, seem to be much the same all over the world.

However, the love of the county one was born in (or more importanly, grew up in) seems to be such a lovely thing, and nowhere have I seen a better demonstration of it than here in America, when their

National Anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner

is sung….

In vocal, here:

(several celebrity singers have sung can google for them)

and with instrumentals here:

The not-so-good part about the lyrics, of course, the references to war and rockets and perilous fight and bombs bursting…in this sense I love the Indian anthem, which is more exalted and which rather pragmatically describes the diversity of India.

Most public gatherings still start with the rendition, and it is moving to watch the entire audience on their feet, singing. The wonderful part is that almost every American places hes hand over hes heart as s/he sings. I cannot sing this anthem, but I am moved by the rendition each time, as I am by the love of the country that I see all around me, as the Americans sing.

Now this is definitely a practice that, I feel, should be re-introduced in India. For many years, we had

Jana Gana Mana

played at the beginning or end of plays and movies.

Here’s the version (instrumental) that used to be played (with that billowing flag!):

When did we stop the practice? I used to feel unhappy at seeing people walking and sidling their way even though the anthem was playing. Perhaps the lack of respect given to the anthem was instrumental in its rendition being stopped?

Here is one rendition:

One by various musicians, with A R Rahman:

If we truly do love and respect our country of birth and life, surely we can take three minutes to stand respectfully when the anthem is sung, and reflect on what our mother has given us. Patriotism is not only cheering the cricket team on… consists also of these moments of silent reflection, of these occasions when the person sings with the heart as well as the voice, praising the nation and revering its flag.

I wish there were now a global song…perhaps We Are The World would be a fitting World Anthem?

Here’s a rendition by some well-known singers, including the two who wrote the song

It moves me without fail. I don’t propose to go into the issues of different countries, different languages, different cultures. Each national anthem is so beautiful, and surely no one could ever choose one above all others…so I feel a global anthem would be best.I would love a global anthem that exalts what is good, without referring to strife or war or poverty, or need…. just as the Indian anthem does.