Monday, August 27, 2007

Keep Walking!!

I walk my way out of sleep
And I walk into the morning
I walk away from idle sloth
I walk with the birds chirping
I walk with music in my ears
And I walk for all I have got
I walk to make Peace with Anger
and I walk for a merry Thought
I walk to the Dry Cleaner's
and I walk to the Newspaper Stand
I walk on pebbles in a waterfall
and barefoot on the golden sea sand
I walk with my best friends
and sometimes I walk alone
On crunchy Autumn Leaves
Contemplative and Wind Blown
Sometimes eclipsed by too much food
and sometimes plagued by too much rain
My walks indeed are a stronger lot
for they keep coming back again..and again!
So much for two little feet
that seem to speak without talking
Destination is an excuse to catch your breath
And then you just keep on walking!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dreams and Work.

I wear a purple Dream
And look into the glass
Does it make me look fat?
Or maybe shorter than I am?
And then I move on to something else..
Crimson,Creme and Lilac
Try on a pin with a dainty Dolphin
or switch to the loyal,slimming Black!

Some Dreams refuse to flatter my wrists
Strong, deceptively petite
Some overwhelm my tiny frame
or insult my pretty feet

And then there is a rare solace
Of fitting into an old one
Finding happiness in smaller space
That overlooks a wider horizon

Sometimes they become too much squander
Chiffons,Silks and Gold Brocade
Across glass windows I stare and wonder
If I am right in hoarding them..

Then I close my fragrant closet
And get into shirt sleeves and cargoes
My Dreams asleep with a scent of Lavender
while gladly off to work I go!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Candid Cat.

I was in the habit of bringing home stray cats and dogs as a five year old. My baby-sitter used to throw them all back to the streets as soon as I fell asleep. Now, about 19 years down the line ( yeah! I agree 20 is a round figure, but I choose not to lie about my age on either side) I still attract a few stray cats into the house. :)
One of these street friends is a shameless, self-proclaimed guest in the balcony attached to my room. It is one of those standard yellow cats. The ones that are produced on a staggeringly large scale and look exactly like each other. They look the same unless you get to know one particular personally and spend enough time to make out its high pitched meow from the others.
This one is ,by no special efforts from my side, one of those personally known standard yellow cats.
It is ensconced on top of the old steel cupboard meant to store the linen and when you leave it slightly ajar in a hurry to tidy up the place before guests show up, you can find the cat gleefully snoring inside the cupboard camouflaged in a yellow rug.
It does have the "thief reflexes" for it would not continue sleeping if you try to shoo it away. It would get up and run before you blink but it is not out of shame or guilt. It is the kind of reflex that says, " I will use all your things and not let you catch me too!"
It dips its whiskers in freshly boiled milk almost every other day and mysteriously I am held responsible for the theft for encouraging it and sent out to bring a fresh stock.

About two days back as I was busy packing, ( I seem to do nothing else these days) it came up and peeped through the door that leads to the balcony. We had the following dialogue

Cat: What's with the bag Missy? Did they finally decide to get rid of you? It was long overdue. This bed looks too warm and too inviting for someone as jumpy as you.
Me: Shut up!! I am not going forever you know. I will be back now and then and dare you enter my room after I am gone. I have had enough of you already.
Cat: You amuse me..( and then it casually licks its paw). You see, you are the weirdest of your kind. Sometimes I wonder whether to laugh or sympathize.
Me: Oh yeah!! At least I am not a thief. And I don't claim other people's beds.
Cat: It is not really about the bed, or the milk is it? What if I have a sip or take a nap. They real problem is jealousy. I have watched you get up at ungodly hours and then run around the block wearing funny pants. I have watched you waste your Sundays with the broom and talk endlessly on the phone while I doze off. You are jealous that you cannot be me.
Me: Please!! I would never want to be you. There are better cats in this world. Cats that measure higher than you on the ethics scale. Cute, black and white cats. I'd rather be them than you.
Cat: ( Coming inside and sitting inside my bag turning its back into a ball) My dear friend you boast of knowing cats in vain. For if you know cats, you must also know that there is nothing like an "ethical cat" in this world. Ethics are just rules made by the majority of weaker human beings to save themselves from getting wiped out.
Me: Philosophy comes easy when you have free food and free bed. I would rather take this from a hard working cat than a trash-bin loafer like you. How many female felines have you taken for a ride? huh? Just get off my bag now I don't want my shawls smelling like you.
Cat: Ha! There is no chance that they smell like me after you pour litres of perfume over them. My physician blames my recent bouts of asthma to the particularly citrus spray that you keep on splashing on your shirts like it comes a penny a litre.
Me: Excuse me. I work hard to deserve that..and why am I even talking to you..the next thing I know you'd be rubbing your back against my calves to get a full meal.
Cat: Damn right you are!! But somewhere in the mean corners of my mind I like you too. I mean not in an obviously devoted way like a Dog would, but I think you are sensible and so much like me.
Me: What!! How am I like you?
Cat: You let me stay in your balcony for about a year now. Without shooing me away. You persistently ignore me and I like that. I do that to people all the time. Just like me, you are selfish too. Like how you do not like anyone messing with the contents of your dressing drawer. Or the way you snarl at people at the hint of an offense. The way you refuse to go out of your way to help people you do not know. The way you doze off with a book on your nose on Sundays with two blankets, socks and specific instructions to people to refrain from disturbing you. Ah! And your baths..two times a day for a quarter of an hour..all of it reminds me of us. And I have also caught you leaving anonymous bowls of milk and cookies in my way. But I like it that you do not wear your affection on your sleeve.
Me: Well, if that analogy makes you feel good about yourself..go my guest! But could you please get off my shawls now!! I can see yellow fur all over them already!
Cat: Certainly Miss!Only as long as you get up and follow me into the kitchen. I can smell something delicious over there. Rasgullas eh? It is strange that no one seems to notice the extra baggage you have started accumulating all over you. Are you sure they don't have a weight limit on board?
Me: Make it fast smarty pants. Your free food coupon expires in three minutes.

..And this is how we manage to live happily ever after.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In Doubt..

What is it like to be sure?
Of what is yet to be..
Or to calmly endure
The ill-fitting pieces of Reality

How does it feel to be Certain?
of being completely right
and not have eyes for the Grey
Between the Black and White

What would it be like to make friends
With the Road and walk alone
and trust it to give a dream
across the seas and the timezones

What is it like to know
That even in this man-made Reality
of Planes, Borders and Passports
There is still much room for Uncertainty!

Monday, August 06, 2007

To Friendship

On a cold lonely night as the goofy owl sings
With a dream shattering din
My antique cell phone Rings

Out of a dream or a nightmare
As you make me walk
Stiffly aware
For my best Pep Talk

Or break into my solitudes
Dragging me out of half written preludes
Confirming, without my consent that poetry just deludes

Come to say hello on a crisp rainy eve
And past midnight over me loom
As pajamas and socks for you, I retrieve
You blissfully litter my freshly laundered room

Different hearts with one soul
Digging ice cream from one messy bowl
Unaware of Lifetimes, Oblivious to the Whole

Is it you, or just that I forgo
The critique and the doubt in me
Spring clean the vaults of my Ego
And laugh a laugh of Eternity?

What makes it so deep, really doesn’t matter
That is not what I would like to go after
As long as this moment keeps getting better!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The outcome of my Fitness Quest. ;)

When I was in school I always fell into the category of girls who are labeled “chubby cheeks” even when they turn sixteen. I was in the top order of the roly-poly members of the class. (Not that I am Angelina Jolie NOW!!) . It was unbelievable, for every five-centimeter increase in length I used to put on a staggering three kilos horizontally.
When I look back now, I feel like exclaiming like those wishful English Poets

“Ah! For all those skinny legs and pretty faces
And big brown eyes set aflutter
Making me Olive Green with Envy
As they plaster their toasts with extra butter”

My skinny friends used to celebrate food every waking moment with no visible effect on their physique and all I had to do to gain weight was miss my despondent walk one evening. I could have been the most likely candidate to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show specially produced for dealing with “Teenage Obesity and Depression” but I am glad that the Indian media had a lot of other important issues to deal with back then.
I was encouraged into exercising from a very young age, being born to fitness conscious parents.
It took me a while to make peace with the fact that life is not fair to everyone. Just like Destiny, everybody is born with a different BMR and that threw me into a lifelong research project. Fitness!
I have done almost everything that people usually do to stay fit. Swimming, Gymming, Running, Skipping, Dancing, Aerobics, Brisk Walks, Trekking and even Yoga!
I have tried all kinds of diets, given up milk, then given up sugar, lived on fruits, skipped dinners, optimized my food intake in a zillion ways, tortured myself with cruel detoxifying diets and even tried some really stupid things.
I am completely over the “Why me?” feeling now. I take great pride in the fact that I know so much about how to stay fit and eat healthy food but I also learnt some really important things as a side effect of my “Fitness Quest”

1.Regularity: I accept that I tend to be obsessive sometimes, but because of regular exercise, I am comfortably regular in all my other resolves too. I don’t give up on something very easily

2.Patience: I have tried and proved to myself that Instant diets do not work. Nothing that has the “Instant” prefix is really effective except Instant Coffee (and I know that the filter coffee fans would still disagree). That kind of makes it easier to wait for other things too.

3. Awareness: Every bar of chocolate makes me wonder if I have the energy for a forty-five minute jog the next day. I tend to cross out unnecessary options by imagining the outcomes.

4. Knowledge: It started with turning around mayonnaise bottles to check the calories per serving and now it extends to anti-oxidants, heart-friendly oils, anti-cancer fruits and skin friendly nuts. =)

Working to stay fit makes us realize that to achieve a larger, concrete goal we need to optimize a lot of smaller variables, even though you run the risk of turning into a scary control freak. It teaches you that if you invest your energies in controlling all the controllable parameters of your life, you have little time left to complain about the uncontrollable, helpless realities! =)