Saturday, June 29, 2013

'Bitter Fruit : The Very Best Of Saadat Manto'

This book is absolutely unputdownable and is a must read for anyone who is fond of reading short stories or is keen to know about how the times used to be during the Partition era. It has got some really wonderful stories that will leave the reader completely spellbound. The stories have been translated into English from Urdu by Khalid Hasan and he has done a wonderful job at that. Manto is regarded as one of the best Indian writers of short stories and rightly so. Hard-hitting stories written with so much of conviction. I wish more people knew about Saadat Hasan Manto.

I have written a detailed review of the book here

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Together we shall dance...

Let's dance together, just You and Me
but two as One,
Forgetting all else, Buoyant and free...
Twisting and twirling, Spinning and turning, 
in this starry night, 
to our very own music - the music of our hearts, 
as they beat as one -,
Swaying to its melody, in such perfect harmony...

Hands entwined, never to let go
Me sinking into your eyes and you into mine,
Contented as we dance, 
I with you, and you with me
Let's soar on the wings of these emotions
You be my ballerina and I will be your ballerino...
May we remain in this trance, immersed in this moment of infinity,
wanting never to be awakened
as we float on our feet,
Let our souls be unchained...
swaying to our wordless tunes
Let's dance together like butterflies,
painting a rainbow colours around...

Tum jo sang ho laage hai mujhko saaraa jaahaan apna mujhe
Milke chalenge hai yeh kasam jo saath teraa mujhko miley

Raahon se kaante hum chunn lenge
Dhoop mein chaayaa banke chalenge
Jag se niraalaa hogaa saath piyaji
Maare sapno ki tu parwaaz piya
Thaaro maaro milan aiso laage re sathi jaiso
Diya aur baati... ho diya aur baati hum

Take me as thy Popeye and be thou my spinach,
Vivify my each day with your smile...
and help me navigate through life
We shall grow old together,
ascending the stairs of Love...
loving and being together, for eternity
so that our dance lives on, forever in harmony 
We can be whatever we want to be,
when it's me and you, you and me...
Diya Aur Baati Hum 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Live well, Laugh often and Love much...

Inhale the Blue
Katra katra milti hai, Katra katra jeene do,
Zindegi hai, Behne do
Pyaasa hoon main, Pyaasa rehne do

Live fully, Laugh along and Love...
The Journey, not the Destination

So much focused on the road and on our stride(s),
we remain, in pursuit of our dreams,
we miss out on enjoying the ride
A lifetime isn't as long as we may think...
It will whisk by before we can blink,

Dance off in life, to taste yet another miracle,
All joys are not found at the pinnacle...
Build memories with rain’s echoing footsteps,
Let every drop fall into the puddle,
to make our significant splash...
'Nothing' will keep morphing into 'something',
If all else fails, try yet again...

Inhale the blue and enjoy the ride...

Choti si kaahani se, Barisho ki paani se
Saare waade bhar gayi...
Na jaane kyon... dil bhar gayaa,
Na jaane kyon... ankh bhar gayi

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Freedom in Music

When the pieces of me choke,
I return back to my muse ~ Music
to silence the echos within...
Putting on my headphones, I fall into an abyss,
A little paradise of a world that is sweet bliss
where the music cascades over me like a waterfall,
nothing stops its embrace,
as if it whispers, silkily seducing,
and I surrender to the summoning!
Swaying smoothly in its breeze,
facing skyward, slowly swooning,
I let myself soar aloft into the new sky,
like floating feathers...
into an euphorically blissful state
Nothing holds me back.

All fatigue lifts,
Emotions get restored and revived,
My Soul gets soothed,
and I am refilled afresh to my soul's content...
Supreme satisfaction.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Will Paint It My Way...

A palette of colours,
A freshly-dipped paintbrush,
and a virgin white canvas...
My picture I will paint...

Yearning for a rainbow world,
My imagination is my canvas,
And emotions are my colours,
I will paint my world the way I want it to be,
forever gleaming and glistening...

If the bristles of my brush become worn and frayed,
I will dip my fingers into the multitude of colours
and will keep spreading colors unrestrained...
a medley of blue and cream and lush green,
yellow and crimson and also pink.
My palette will never be empty...

A new set of dreams to achieve,
My exuberance be my fuel...
My wings I have unfurled,
and now I will remain skybound...
I will paint it my way
And will create my own gallery.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It was all for my Good...

I cried out to God in disdain, when my dreams were shattered
and my wishes weren't fulfilled
I questioned God's intention... His grand plans...
I never understood why God would let me feel such pain...
Why would He sit by
And let me cry again and again,
I could not comprehend His ways
Why was I to be in such torturous pain every day,
Tears flowing every night and yet
Why would He ignore my pleas...
I cried, God remained silent (so I thought)
I thought He had turned away His eyes,
as if He had forsaken me
but no...

Then I heard His answer "I have always been with you...
in your dark times and in your good,
My son, I always had a perfect plan for you
and she never was a part of it
So do not be grieved..."

And as days passed on, the clouds before my eyes started drifting away,
The haze cleared, the tumult died down and the limpid truth unfolded...
I finally realised that I wouldn't have been as happy as I am today, had my wish been granted...
God had actually saved me for life!
Now I realise God You are truly there,
You love me utterly and You really do care for me...
When God answers us with a 'NO', His 'NO' is not a 'REJECTION', but a 'REDIRECTION' to the best deserved answer...

Sometimes God upsets our plans,
to set up His own plans...
but God's plans are always perfect and infallible

What I was craving for was so very ephemeral...
It would have been a fatal mistake had my wish been granted
and I would have cried all my life...
I wasn't able to foresee that... but He was :))
When we start trusting His plans, we won't ever have to worry,
I trusted Him
And He granted me perpetual happiness...

He held my hand and I held onto His,
And now I am at peace :))

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

'Where Rainbows End' by Cecelia Ahern

Though sometimes I love recommendations and sometimes I do pick up books reading their reviews, but mostly when I choose a book, I try my best to remain unswayable to all preconceived opinions formed by previous books of the author or his/her reputation from the recommendations. I would rather find out for myself and form my own unbiased impression about the particular book.

While going through another blog, reviewing this same book, one particular line had caught my attention there - "Imagine having to wait until you are 50 years old to be united with your true love!" and instantly I chose to order this book on 

It took me almost four days to complete this book (the book is quite voluminous and the story did make me feel like lacking pace at a few places) but it was worth it... The book mayn't be a life changing experience but surely a charming, light yet heartwarming and engaging read :)
The most interesting and endearing charm that I found about this book is that the entire story is narrated (impeccably presented at that) through a series of emails, text messages, chats and letters between the novel's characters ~~ all about long distance relationship, long emails and online chats.

A cute story about two childhood best friends Rosie and Alex who have strong feelings for each other and this love does pop up time and again. But FATE always seems hell-bent on bringing something or someone between them!
They grow up together doing all silly things, through school, through teenage and then into adulthood until they are separated when Alex and his family move to Boston (U.S) and Rosie is left behind at Ireland. 
But they keep in touch with each other through letters, emails and chats as they move on with their own lives, with different partners, have kids, show dislike for the other's respective partner, finding faults in them. But they never could confess their true feelings for each other. Not until almost the end...
And when they do, ...starts their new beginning....

The book kept me engaged all these four days simply because all the while I was curious to find out "if now is the time when they will be united together forever. Or not? :o "
By the time, I reached the last page I felt contented. :)

My Rating : 3/5

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Reclining on my cozy bean bag near the window with a warm cup of coffee and watching the tranquil downpour,
The first rains of the summer...
slaking Earth’s thirst and so also mine...
The pitter-patter of raindrops, as if knocking on my window asking me to come out...
The dripping window panes, little streams and drops of water,
one drop, two, many more follow down... each one set on a journey,
A calming sight...
Like an assuaging emollient to everyone, nature has reworked her magic.

The feel of the soft breeze and with it the earthy smell of fresh clean rain...
Sliding my hands out of the window, I try to count each raindrop that falls,
as the raindrops kiss and caress my parched skin with their cold soothing touch.
Humming at first, then breaking into a quiet song, I lift my face into the rain, feeling the joy of freedom....
opening my mouth to taste the rain, submitting myself to the solace of simplicity.
I wish to stand here by the window all evening till I could be soaked to the skin...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Being Original... Being Oneself...

Perhaps it's the inherent human nature to try to fit in with the multitude and so we all wear masks in this masquerade party to conceal our true selves underneath, sometimes deliberately, trying to embellish ourselves in the eyes of the world and the milieu. We act like mirrors reflecting to the desires of others, of what they want to see. And sometimes we allow ourselves to be bullied into silence, just to be accepted into their group.

But sometimes we wear our masked face for far too long that we soon forget who we truly are.
Being bewildered by our dualities -- wearing one face to ourselves and another to the multitude --, we may, one day, even fail to recognise which one of the two is the real one!
To keep the mask on is like deceiving not just others but also ourselves.
We forget that we all are so disparate; we forget that each one of us is unique.
Each one of us has some flaw or imperfection and it's no shame to accept being oneself and no one else.
Everyone fits in somewhere. It is a possibility that we mayn’t fit in with some people ... but then, in the words of Andre Gide ~
“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not...”

Why can't we just be ourselves? Doing our own thing and not worrying about others judging us? Why can't we just dance like no one is watching, or sing like no one is listening?
If we could just be ourselves and not follow the crowd..., bringing forth our true selves, not trying to assimilate ourselves into the crowd... instead, just being ourselves...; accepting no one's definition of our lives, rather defining ourselves! That would indeed make life worth living :).
After all there is only one unique "I/Me" in this world!

"You were born an original. Don't die a copy" ~ John Mason

Monday, April 18, 2011

Is Life Really Unfair?

So often we ponder over "Why me?"
... as if we were being victimised by Life arbitrarily, unjustly.
Whether to ourselves or to others or to God, but how often have we not grumbled about Life being unreasonably unfair (particularly to us) saying -- "Why am I in this situation when others are in a better one?”

But in reality, each one of us gets his fair share of sunshine and so as the rain, in his life, depending upon his karmic deeds.
Different people define "Life" in different ways and each one of us is unique. Perhaps that's why, we all have different lessons to learn to grow.

"Some flowers grow best in the sun while others do well in the shade.
God always knows what is best for us ... so He plants us where we would grow best and accordingly gives us the situations to grow with...."

And that's how life goes... not always will it turn the way we would want it to. Some days will be better than the other ones.. and some won't be....
Not all the time will we rejoice... Sometimes we will be made to weep. That's how Life balances out.
Some times we will make mistakes, sometimes we will stumble, sometimes we will be taken by surprise, being knocked down hard when we would be least expecting it. Sometimes we will be hurt... sometimes we will be scarred. But that is perhaps God's way of letting us explore every corner of ourself, leaving no spot uncovered. So instead of comparing and complaining, if we start viewing the obstacles, the adversities in life as speed-breakers which were meant to save us from the bigger accidents ahead, our ride on the path of life (though mayn't become smooth enough thereafter, but) won't be that uncomfortable or won't seem that bumpy and rough.

An arrow can be shot only by pulling it back. So when life is dragging us back with adversities, it means that it is going to launch us to victory.
Accepting that everything happens for a reason and that I will never be finished, rather I will always be "a work-in-progress", I will henceforth never ask Life “Why me?... instead I will say “Try me”.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Saying "YES" is easy, saying "NO" is a harder skill...

"No" is so often hard to say.. because mostly, people on the receiving end tend to take a "NO" for an answer in a disrespectful, disappointing way.. and the person saying the "NO", more often than not, is concerned with the fear of having alienated the person on the receiving end and jeopardising the relationship.
But one should not err in prioritising... There is no reason to comply with the wishes or requests of someone who is undeserving of it all!
It is great to help others and not leave them in the lurch, but only if they are worthy of it.
Considering the needs of others is important but only if they are deserving of it...

Saying "Yes" to people who didn’t respect my time or took me for granted or were just taking advantage of me, by complying with their requests, I was actually, in a way, being unfair to myself ...
Then I realised that every time I said YES to something, I was actually saying NO to something else (and that "something else" might have been more important and more rightly deserved my attention). But now, I have learnt a very good lesson that "to be able to say YES to the rightly important things/people, I have to say NO to a lot of other unimportant things/people". More importantly, I have now learnt the skill of correctly prioritising the right things and the right people in my life...
I still firmly believe that "in LIFE, the letter 'I' comes second..."
but now I have added a special clause to it -- I will come second but "only for those who are deemed worthy of it".. and never for the undeserving ones ever again.

One shouldn't be tempted to say a YES to someone's request, if he isn't genuinely satisfied for having said so...
Keeping it simple... One should say YES only where he/she feels he/she genuinely can/should
or else should say an honest NO... :-)
“A 'NO' uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a 'YES' merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.” ~~ Mahatma Gandhi 

I have now understood that saying NO is okay .. I might disappoint the one on the receiving end but I have to be clear and honest in my answer... and I should say it sincerely. If the person on the receiving end is open-minded, he/she will understand the genuine reasons for the NO and will gracefully accept it.
I have now learnt how to say a respectful, decisive NO.... and saying it effectively...

Whether to say YES or to say NO?? The question might seem to be tricky... but the key to its answer (becomes simpler and) lies in GETTING THE PRIORITIES RIGHT.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Life as a Game...

Like in the game of Snakes and Ladders,
Sometimes we rise up and sometimes we fall,
Sometimes it's hard, but we can always stand tall...
Or like in the game of Chess,
Sometimes we move forward and sometimes we fumble,
But if we play smart, we will never stumble...

Like in the game of Cricket,
Sometimes it's easy and sometimes we are made to sweat,
but till the last ball is bowled, why should we fret?
Or like in the game of Soccer,
Sometimes we may be challenged and sometimes we may as well falter,
But if we play fair and with fervour, the situation we can surely alter...

Like any other game, in LIFE as well,
Sometimes we will lose and sometimes we will win,
Sometimes we will earn fame and sometimes not even a pin :-D
Sometimes it's like a riddle.... there will be twists and turns,
Taking Life as a game, we need to play it bearing a grin,
If we lose..., Picking up the pieces, we can always re-begin :-)


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