थोड़ा सा horlicks

दरअसल horlicks मेरे  लिए  बहुत  खास  है . 

अब  यूँ  तो  horlicks बहुतों  के  लिए  बहुत  खास  है , खासकर  कि बढ़ते  बच्चों       
के  लिए , पर  मुझे  तब  भी  ऐसा  लगता  है  कि  मेरी  और  horlicks की  दोस्ती 
अनोखी  और  दूसरों  से  ज्यादा  गहरी  है . अगर  आपको  मेरे  इस  दावे  पर  कोइ 
ऐतराज़  हो , तो  बेशक  न  मानें , फिलहाल  तो  मैं  अपनी  दास्तान  सुनाऊँ , वही 
बेहतर  है .

बचपन  में  जब  जोरों  की  भूख    लगती  थी    और  बिस्कुट  नमकीन  से  ऊब  
जाते, तब  कुछ  मीठा  खाना  एक  वाजिब  सी  बात  थी  . 
उन  दिनों  न  तो pocket  money मांगने  की  उम्र  थी  और  न  ही  दुकान पे उधारी
की . ऊपर  से   माताजी  भी  chocolates छुपा  दिया  करती  थीं . अब  ऐसे  में 
अगर  एक  बढ़ा चम्मच  भर  कर  horlicks खा  लिया  जाये  तो  क्या  बुरा  है ?  
पर  असल  मज़ा  तो  इसमें  था की  जैसे  ही  पहले  चम्मच  वाला  horlicks मुंह    
में  घुलने  लगे  आप  झट  एक  चम्मच  और  डाल  लें , और  फिर  आराम  से ,
dheere dheere, छत  पर  धूप  में  बैठ  कर , उसका  आनंद  लें .
सर्दियों  में  तो  इसका  मज़ा  दुगुना ही  हो  जाता  है .

कभी  कभी  अगर  मैं  खुद  को  बहुत  दिलदार  महसूस  करती , तो  अपने  पालतू
दोस्त  cheeku को  भी  थोड़ा  horlicks दे  देती , आखिर  जानवरों  को  भी  तो 
calcium वगैरह की  आवश्यकता  होती  होगी , ऐसा  सोच  कर  मैं  अपनी  उस  श्रद्धा 
को  बढ़ावा देती . लेकिन  सच  तो  यह भी  है , कि  अगर  कोई  चीज़  आपको  बहुत 
बढ़िया  लगे  तो  अपने  मनपसंद  मित्रों  के  साथ  तो  बंटनी  ही  चाहिए , उससे  प्यार  
भी  बढ़ता  है , और  आपके  dentist  साहिब  के  यहाँ  जाने  की  नौबत  भी  घट  
जाती  है .

यही नहीं , मेरे  पिताजी  तो  आजतक  अपने   दूध  में  horlicks डाल  कर  पीते  हैं , 
और  कंजूसी  से  नाप  तोल  कर  नहीं , बल्कि  दिल  खोल  कर  डालते  हैं . 
और  क्यूँ  न  डालें , आखिर  horlicks बनाया  ही  लुत्फ़  उठाने  के  लिए  है ! 

हमारे  देश  भारत  के  अनेक मासूम  बच्चों  को  अपने  जीवन  में  board की  परीक्षा 
नामक खौफनाक  दौर  से  गुज़ारना  पढता  है . उस  समय , chemistry और  physics 
की  खतरनाक  किताबों  के  सामने  एक  बड़ा  mug horlicks वाला  दूध  पेश  किया  
जाये  तो  ज़िन्दगी  कितनी  सुहावनी  सी  लगने  लगती  है . 
यकीन  मानिये , maths के  सवाल  भी  बेहतर  सुलझने  लगते  हैं , 
कमज़ोर  आँखों  की  रौशनी  बढ़  सी  जाती  है , और  तो  और , थकी  हारी  उँगलियाँ
खटाखट सुन्दर  handwriting में  essay लिख  डालती  हैं .

पर  इसकी  असल  चमक  मैं  तब  परख  पाई  जब  मैंने  घर  से  बाहर  कदम
रखा . अजी  horlicks तो  छोडिये , दिन  भर  में  ढंग  की  चाय  मिल  जाये  तो 
गनीमत  है .

इसलिए  जब  भी  छुट्टियों में घर  आती  हूँ , खासकर  की  सर्दियों  में , तो  रात  में 
horlicks वाला  दूध  पी  कर  बहुत  सांत्वना  मिलती  है , ऐसा  लगता  है  मानों , 
कुछ  खो  गया  था   जो  फिर  से  पा  लिया .

प्रिय Horlicks तुम  सच  में  बहुत   खास  हो .
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To Travel is to Learn

To travel alone is to have all strangers as fellow travellers.

It gives you the benefit of interactions, spontaneous and unforeseen to the point of being magical.

You feel closer to life around you, and exude warmth that fetches smiles, conversations and memories (unless you are a nervous wreck and feel lost)

 

When in Goa, I took a bus ride to Colva. Amidst smell of fish and joyous music, the bus window opened to markets, green interiors and cool breeze on the bridge, which freshened my senses and pampered my eyes. I reached my destination in an hour and a half, and was delighted to find the beach not as thronged by crowd as I had feared it might be. On the contrary, it was peaceful and relatively quiet. I could stand in the water, close my eyes and hear the waves in their majestic splendour. These are times when the vanities of life seem so petty and trivial and the soul craves for a better thinking and happier existence.

 

I spent quite some time walking around and collecting shells, which attracted a lot of attention and once I got tired of answering to the most mundane questions as to which country I belonged and why only women who are not from Goa seem to be collecting shells etc. I decided to sit in a corner and choose from my newly acquired treasure.

 

I was spreading the shells on the sand and categorizing them when I realized that through them I had captured the very colors of Goa. The houses, the ornamentations, everything I saw around me was there in those shells. I could relate them to all the lovely imagescapes I had had the pleasure of viewing from the bus. Occupied and exulting in my discovery I barely noticed a father and his daughter approaching me until the girl exclaimed in delight at my collection.

She told me about her own collection and admired mine. I smiled at her and asked her purpose of visit. She turned out to be Mysore’s Chess Champion who was there for an International Chess Championship. Her father took great pride in discussing his daughter’s achievements while she merrily showed me her shells.

 

It was a happy conversation post which they left. I suddenly felt shallow and small, I could have given her some of my shells and wished her luck, but I was so preoccupied in my quest for solitude that I did not allow them a proximity that were to be.

 

I got up and started walking towards the bus when someone came from behind. It was the little girl. She dropped two big shells and said, “You can keep these”.

 

Lazy art thou?

I respect Laziness, I feel it makes life simpler and more beautiful.

If you don’t feel so, trust me you are lying to your own self.

Laziness brings about a certain charm to all that is otherwise ordinary and mundane. It adds your own pace to that which is unnecessarily predefined.

How lovely it is to slow down and be observant of every breath, of heavy eyelids and relaxing muscles. (Observant is not equivalent to being agile) How very objective it is to be able to watch others run while you live the day in all its grandeur.

Oh I certainly adore Laziness, for it embraces you as its own, with no intention to mould or reprimand.

Laziness lets you be, it encourages you to stick to what you believe in (which is of course laziness) and enables you to be a strong individual. It also develops a spirit of inquiry as to the relevance and need of performing a certain task or any task for that matter. Laziness gets you thinking, as you search for easier alternatives to almost every doing.

At times I feel that Laziness is also an art. Not everyone can be perfectly Lazy you see. Most of us are gauche at it, it takes years of a meditative approach towards Laziness to master it in all its delicacy and hedonism. Nevertheless one must not give up and keep at it, unless you feel too lazy to do even that.

 

 

A man lazying in the park- Poornima Sardana (Ahmedabad)

 

 

Mornings, Myths and Poppins

To wake up late has been the most frequently occurring and unfortunate event in my life. To wake up late is like having missed a train to home or perhaps having lost your wallet during travel. It makes me feel vulnerable and slightly out of control. It causes me to stumble, rush and eventually forget what was to be remembered.

A little insight: Hair Damage control is indeed an irregular fad in the myths of this universe. It just doesn’t work.

And so a day when you got up late and the damage control seemed to be all in vain, you feel the shower would cheer you up.

Now let me bestow upon myself the honour of introducing our shower. Years of experience and dealing with limited amount of water has accustomed this experienced one to offer scanted droplets but to spread them in the widest area possible. As a result though you hardly feel the water on your self, the floor underneath and the walls around confirm to the contrary.

So as I pretended to be drenched and happened to look around, I witnessed the dreadful sight of my hung trousers and t-shirt dripping away to glory.

Nevertheless one should overcome such mishaps and move on. And thats precisely what I did. A breakfast that was cold and tea that was burnt, followed by collection of a medical report which I eventually lost and I am only midway through (the day).

Though some days are just not what they should have been, some things are just as they should be, like Poppins. Colourful, sweet and sour, these sugar boiled candies are one of the most gratifying and cheapest sources of joy. If yellow doesn’t cheer you up, there is red, and Oh did I mention orange, purple and green?

Mornings in Ahmedabad

I wake up to the sounds of my landlady admonishing her children, for crimes probably more heinous than those imaginable.

With eyes shut, I try to calculate the approximate distance between them and the angles this furious triumvirate must form.

It varies on a regular basis, depending upon factors such as the level of anger, the quanitifictaion as to how heidous they seem to each other and so on.

 

This is followed by a bath in a  cramped washroom where one can witness the glorious remains of all the habitants. The lack of a flush is more than conspicous.

 

Leaving the house is like leaving another planet altogether, for the moment I step outside, I finally breathe in air, let alone the fact that it is supposedly fresh.

 

Earlier my mornings used to be greeted with the happily wagging tail of the excited dog who resides on the building’s staircase. Unfortunately having met with an accident, he is the one who now awaits my happily nodding head (I wish I had a tail to cheer him up though).

 

I have to walk for hardly five minutes, I exchange smiles with the hopeful AutoRickshaw wallahs, most of them having given me some advice or the other on different occasions. They seem to be really concerned about their customer’s well being and leave no stone unturned in warning against possible mishaps (drugs and alcohol being the most favorite topics of discussion, I wonder why, ahem!)

 

What really makes my day though is the face of an elderly lady who sits on her charpoy playing with her grandson. She inevitably nods and  looks at me, beaming as if she has no worries, whereas behind her is the exhibition of life’s disparities and harshness in the tiny settlement with minimal resources to survive. Many a times I have this impulse to speak to her, go close to her and once when I was missing home, I felt like hugging her. Her warmth is like the need to see sunshine and it rejuvinates me despite the odd beginnings for the day.

Music

To listen to music is to open the senses to a reality beyond the tangible.

It is to locate the I in the mysteries of existence. It is the celebration of sound, of life’s wonders that though man is blessed with, are not his sole creation.

Music can connect without homogenizing , music can reach without travel and music can remind without being visual.

The headphone is a transition into a parallel existence, it is being able to look through that which is visible, from eyes that respond to aural stimuli.

Music plays with nostalgia and teases when with words.

Music reinforces aesthetics and when experimented with music gives the courage to be free and enables one to feel the thrill of life.

Music is trust and music is collaboration. Music can soothe and music can disturb.

Music is in the breeze at the bridge and the waves on the beach. Music is in the chants of the Lamas and in the purring of the cats. Music is in the offset press and music is in the falling utensils at Cafe Coffee Day.

To sing is to speak from the heart, to create music is to make love.

Music shall save us always.

 

 

 

 

Them and Us

For they are not us ,

Those who do not look like us;

Yes them, the ones who do not talk that sounds as us,

The ones who wear what cannot dare to touch me and you for you and I, at the same places we go to buy;

What worth is it that does not belong to a name that is known?

Why should we use colors that are used by them, why not spend on something different, unique, maybe consult a guide by Pantone?

They don’t breathe as we do, for we need the special air that is stale,

You and I, we do not walk, at Windows we stare,

They express while we bank on emoticons,

I’ll ping and poke when you are far, when next to me, I shall be busy on blogathons, 

Oh! They are so not like us, look at you and I,

Popping pills and sweating on tread mills, speaking the language Internationale, we, the glorious ones, are speeding by;

They cannot match our pace you see, how backward and crass!

Its so lowly and  human to sweat, to wear no shoes, to sleep on grass, tsk!

You and I are made of the costliest plastic, sheen and aroma, forbidden for the rest,

Moulded in Factories, You and I…

slaves of our own making, You and I…

Unlike them, of course we are the best…sigh!  

Aasman mein behti macchlian udayein bulbule, suraj mein chamchamte, sunhare bulbule

Par usse kya dekhna jo ho khule aasmaan ka mehmaan?

maza to tab aye jab bana sake use koi Flash mein ;

Parindon ki udaan ka kya jab dekhein baadal hum aeroplane se,

Hum un jaise nahin, jo hon vastvik…