Monday, June 26

Naked Illusions - A Short Story

It was just another of those several uneventful nights. But, the same couldn´t be said for the secretive lives people led and the tragic choices they made. One unfortunate victim of such a tragic choice was a tiny baby, left to wither and putrify naturally to her death, among the trash cans in Mumbai city.

The baby´s no fault - Chromosomes XX? Or was she a bastard child? Or perhaps a kidnapped victim? No one would ever know the truth!

For now, she was yet another trash bin baby left to her own fate. She had to pay a heavy price either ways - Death or Life. In fact, the odds were stacked up more against her if she were to leave unscathed without a brain injury from being flung mercilessly or left disfigured after being gnawed by filthy, ravenous stray dogs, rats or flies.

They say time heals wounds. But some of us remain scarred for life. Physical scars are easily visible,calling for sympathy and compassion. What about the emotional scars that come with being abandoned by your own…..father?… and mother perhaps as well?…..Society? …God?

As afternoon approached the next day, Munni, the rag picker went about her usual business, looking for her day´s treasure at every trash bin she could find en route. She found Society´s trash, peering at her with the most divine and beautiful eyes as she gave out a little gurgle. As she came nearer to have a closer look, the baby held a tight grip on her little finger and something about that touched the deepest core of Munni´s heart.

Indeed, one man´s trash is another´s treasure!

Munni took her little treasure home and spontaneously named her Rosie. For she was of the rosiest pink hue in complexion and soft to touch and cuddle! The next ten years of Rosie´s life were spent in the Mumbai shawls. Munni, however, was as straight-forward as one could be, making it clear to Rosie how she was found among the city´s leftovers.

Rosie was exposed to the dirty secrets of Mumbai´s underbelly. There was nothing unapologetic about her adopted mother, Munni. She earned her money and made her livelihood by working hard and sincerely. Munni was a rag picker by the day and a bar dancer cum prostitute at night. Every evening, she would come home and get dressed for her business at night, hoping to make a quick moolah by satisfying her customers. She would go dressed in her most brightest and shiniest sarees which left nothing to imagination. Her blouses were seductive displaying an ample amount of cleavage and her underskirt rested at the ´lowest of the low´ part of her waist, showing off the maximum area of her midriff and navel. She decorated her hair with jasmine flowers and confidently strutted out in her brightest red pout.

For Rosie, Munni was a huge source of inspiration as she had never met anyone as yet so kind, so gregarious and unpretentious. She was aware of Munni´s reputation in the neighbourhood early on. Initially, it disturbed her when they called her mother all sorts of names ranging from ´Randi´ (whore), Kutiya (bitch) and more. But, seeing Munni indifferent to such cat calls and names slowly made Rosie understand that there was no place for emotions in this world. As for her, she admired Munni for her grit and courage for holding her own in a world filled with big, bad wolves in sheep´s clothing.

´Yes, I am a prostitute!  This is my fate. But, it is also my choice as much as it is some of the men who want me for the night.´

´Then, why are you the only target of hatred and judgement by Society? Doesn´t it take to two to tango?´, Rosie asked earnestly.

´Hmm! I leave that answer to your own discovery, interpretation and judgment of life itself as you grow and learn along the way.´, smiled Munni.

At that instance, when Rosie thought she couldn´t love her Mum more, she fell in love a whole lot more with her Munni. She found Munni´s trust and confidence in her to find her own answer to this perplexing question highly reassuring of her own self-worth and value. She learnt that day sometimes the most wise and evolved minds came from the most unlikely people and places.

But, Rosie´s happiness was short-lived. One day, Munni came up to her with the most shocking news.

Ít is time for you to leave, Rosie!’, said Munni one day, matter-of-factly.

´But Why, Amma? You promised me we would be together always.’

´Well, Rosie! There is no such thing as always. Someday, we have to part. This time, it is sooner than expected.´

´But why? Am I a burden?´

´No, Rosie! You are no one´s burden. But, let me put it this way. I am no saint and I am way more flawed than you can imagine me to be. I got a very lucrative offer that is hard to deny. I have a choice to keep you with me always and letting you never fly away on your own or to give us both a better life.’

Á better life? For whom? Not for me, Amma! I cannot imagine a life without you.´

´See Rosie! I have been honest from you from day one. And, it is because I wanted you to understand that there are no obligations between us. Whatever I did in the past, I did it on my own will and choice. I decided to bring you home and give you the best I could offer at that time. But, the time has come for us to part. At the end of the day, opportunities like these don´t come knocking on our humble doors everyday. It is hard to say no when there is so much money at stake here. But, I leave it to you now to go or stay here with me.’

This came as a rude shock to Rosie. But, it was true that Munni was clear from day one about Rosie´s origins. Whatever said and done, it was Munni who rescued her and gave her a home, some food and a place in her heart. She even took the place of a mother and father in her life. Albeit, for a while! If Munni wanted her to go now, how could Rosie hang around?

´You have rescued a bright gem of a piece, I mean girl, I see.´, gleamed Aunty.

It didn´t take much for Rosie to figure out that she was in a brothel and that her mother had pimped her for a secure future for herself. While she felt the cores of her stomach churn in disgust and sadness, Rosie mustered the courage to hug Munni one last time and give her flickering peck on her cheek.

´Rosie! You will have a big family now. Another mother in the form of Aunty and many sisters to live with. I understand how you feel betrayed by my decision. And, I hope you do forgive me. Poverty is hard, my child. And we are all victims of our own circumstances. But, I know you will survive like you did as a baby. I know that nothing can break you however bad the situation might be. You will somehow find the light at the end of this dark tunnel. I will keep you in my prayers always.´, said Munni regretfully before the final parting.

As Rosie watched Munni´s silhouette gradually disappear into nothingness, she realized the sad truth that she was all alone in this world again.

However, the shock was nothing compared to what lay in store for her that night. Before she knew it, there was an old burly man in her room, who couldn´t contain his excitement on seeing her.

´This Maal is perfect. I will have her for the night.´, as he informed Aunty of his decision.

´She has just started puberty last month and it is her first night here. This Maal is as fresh as fresh can be, Saheb! He-he!´

The lusty old man couldn´t be any more pleased. By the looks of it, he seemed easily around 65 years at least.

´You better be good and obey his orders. Saheb is a very great and kind man.´ warned Aunty to Rosie on her way out the door.

It was her worst night ever. She had no where to escape and there was no one coming to rescue her from this hellhole. When she tried resisting the old man´s advances, she was pinned down onto the floor even more violently. There was no way she could match the towering six footer. His age belied his manly strength. She gave up after a desperate fight and let him feast on her till his satisfaction. While he snored to glory after having sex with this girl who was younger in age than his own grand-daughter, Rosie didn´t catch a wink of sleep trying to make sense of what just happened to her. She felt violated and wronged. Before she even knew what rape meant in theory, she fell a hapless victim to it.

The next morning, as the old man buttoned up his shirt, he found traces of blood on the bedsheets to his delight.

´Ahhhh! The bliss of making love to a virgin. Here is an extra Rs.500, Sweetie´ Saheb muttered as he tucked a bunch of notes between her budding bosom.

Rosie looked away in disgust as the old man planted one last slurpy wet kiss on her lips. Aunty walked in very pleased to find a handsome amount stashed with Rosie.

´I will give you your share at the end of the month. You are under probation for now. Learn the tricks of the trade as much as you can. It will help you tremendously in the future´

The rape left Rosie in a state of chronic depression over the next couple of months. She attempted suicide not once but several times but each and every time, she was rescued in time. She felt like she was in a bottomless pit where there was no way up. She just kept falling and crumbling emotionally with every sexual encounter with a random stranger.

She felt dead for the longest period of time. Until one day, she decided to gather all the strength that she could muster and face life . However, cruel and lonely it was!

Rosie realised that there was no escape from the brothel at least for now and that she had no family other than its inmates. She decided to come face-to-face with reality and soon started forging bonds with other girls caught in a similar situations like hers. She realised that some of them had been through worse situations than her. Some of them were molested by their own uncles even before puberty. Some were physically beaten by own father and made to work as child labourers or beg on the railway platforms. Some of them were sold by their own father and mother to rich old Arabs and ultimately found themselves in this dingy brothel.

It was an unfair and mean world. Sometimes, Rosie wondered if would have been better off if she was left to die in those trash bins than to face this living horror day in and day out.

But, whenever she felt disillusioned with life, Munni´s parting words always came to the rescue

´But, I know you will survive like you did as a baby. I know that nothing can break you however bad the situation might be. You will somehow find the light at the end of this dark tunnel. ´

And Rosie would immediately realize that she had come this far and she couldn´t lose hope despite her situation. On the brighter side, she had more company than she had ever had. All the girls were her sisters now and they confided all their thoughts and fears with each other.They would all laugh at the various stories that they had to share with each other - from their poverty ridden past to some of their most funniest clients to the monstrous Aunty! They managed to find humour and maintain their sanity even in the most darkest place. There was this beauty of sisterhood and friendship that she had missed out while living with Munni. She felt like a child all over again in their company.

Of course, it was business as usual at night. Her clients ranged from businessmen to lorry drivers to adolescent boys to politicians to cops to lawyers. Everyone wanted a piece of her meat for the night. Very soon, she became the most sought after whore in the red light area. It wasn´t just her physical beauty, immense charm and her flexible moves that made her famous, but also her innate ability to make every man who slept with her, feel loved and most special. For Rosie, all this was not an act but an earnest need to bond, empathise and please even these brutes! She had the natural gifts of empathy and intuition.

In many ways, she saw life in its myriad forms through her male clients and their stories. She listened intently to their fears, conflicting thoughts and masked words.

´Are you crazy? My wife and kids think the world of me. I am their Parmeshwar.’

‘My wife doesn't need to know. Sex is something that we just don´t discuss.´

´I have no sexual desire at all. Is something wrong with me? Help me.´

Í just like older women.´

Í like younger women.´

Í get bored of the same type. I need some fun and variety in my life.´

Óf what use is money when one cannot enjoy.´

Through them, she learnt about the unbelievable ways of the Society. She realized everyone around wore masks to conceal their true thoughts and feelings. Feelings of extreme lust, shame, lies and guilt! What was more unbelievable was the hypocrisy that was ingrained in Society and was actively perpetrated to be the absolute norm.

She never understood the hypocrisy that surrounded the whole basic act of sex. Everyone thought about it, desired it, looked for it, indulged in it and yet, talking about it openly was strictly taboo. Uncultured!

What was the most painful was the fact that women were targeted and judged harshly in any sexual encounter, be it out of consent or otherwise as in rape. Even in a strictly commercial business transaction like prostitution which was like any other trade, where there was mutual consent involved, it was she who was perpetually the bad woman who Society looked down and frowned upon.

Yet, they were blind and unashamed of the baby who was discarded as trash, or killed in the womb owing to either its gender or being born out of wedlock. They were unashamed if she was raped by her own family or anyone for that matter. They were unashamed if she was sold off to a brothel..she lived or died. Who gave a damn!

They were highly ashamed and judgemental of her existence though. For them, she was the Randi. The ultimate evil bad woman who corrupted and polluted the innocent minds of the morally cultured and traditional society.  The great ancient moral culture that needed constant policing from lusty temptresses like her!

Isn´t it ironic that the men who slept with her, ranging from politicians to godmen to business tycoons and more were considered to be highly respectable and honourable people by the very same moralistic Society. Forget Society and its naysayers, the very men that she had slept with had no respect for her even though both of them were involved in the same amorous act. Falling in love was not an option for women like her. Men only loved her body and nothing more. However, genuine was her love or concern for them, she failed to earn their respect or love simply owing to the profession that she was in or the fact she chose (or did´n´t did´t matter either ways) to get laid.

She was just an object to be used and thrown. Objects were not supposed to have feelings or emotions. This objectification was perfectly convenient for the men and less painful for the women involved.

´Then, why are you the only target of hatred and judgement by Society? Doesn´t it take to two to tango?´

´I leave that answer to your own discovery, interpretation and judgment of life itself as you grow and learn along the way.´

She finally found the answer to her question when she became pregnant with one of her well-connected client´s child. He refused to acknowledge it was his baby after all, owing to his social, economical, political and marital status. He offered her an exorbitant fee to abort the baby. Even though, Rosie had undergone abortions earlier in the past, this time her natural urge to be a mother were much stronger than any money proposition. She decided to go ahead and have the baby with or without a father.

After she came out her shower, she looked at her naked reflection in the mirror in deep admiration and gratitude.

´How beautiful nakedness was!, ´she thought. We come into the world naked, procreate and bring forth another life in our naked being and we leave this world behind in our nakedness. Yet, we all live in our grandeur naked illusions!

Society would rather appear to be spotlessly clothed with their reputations intact in their illusionary virginity of body, mind as soul. Their skewed sense of morality reflected the deep sense of shame and honour that they attached to the naked body. If only they attached honour to the soul and mind instead of the mere body alone....!

In many ways, women like her reminded them of their own weakness that they found hard to resist. The world would rather be comforted with hypocrisy and lies rather than the stark naked truth. The truth was like a bitter pill to them that they did not want to gulp. It reflected the Society´s cowardice to face the naked reality. Women like her reminded them of their own disease of casting and shunning out many innocent lives to die, get raped and prostituted only to uphold their honour and cover their naked shame. Women like her were called all sorts of horrid and unmentionable names only to save them of their own embarrassment and judgement.

As she lovingly caressed her growing baby bump, she smiled wondering how could anyone fall in love even before first sight. Did her own biological mother feel the same way she did? She was curious but flashes of her abandonment into the filthy bins came to mind. She shut her eyes tight enough not to let the warm tears escape her lids.

But, she decided to bury her demons once and for all.

No matter, how life treated her in the past, she was glad to have been rescued, being able to live and experience every flavour that Life had. Sweet, bitter, dark, salty!

Rosie had decided that her child would learn her naked truth. Indeed, she was an honest, dignified, brave and a proud woman. Damn the world and their pitiable honour!

This was her opportunity to change over a new leaf. To make new beginnings and to let go off her past. At last, she was going to have her own family. She would be the mother that she never had. While she would not dictate or impose her values on her child, she would teach one important lesson on leading the most authentic life. To always have the courage to walk in the path of Truth and Truth alone! Even if it meant standing up lone against the whole world!


The doctor walked in and smiled at the new-born nestled cozily in his mother´s arms.

´Congratulations, Rosie! We need to take your baby´s name for the record. So, take some time and think of a nice name.´

´Thank You, Doctor! I have already thought about it. Please note my son´s name. First Name - Rajan. Surname - Rosie. His name is Rajan Rosie.´

´That´s an unusual but nonetheless a lovely name. You will make the most wonderful mother..and father…and grandparents, indeed!´,the doctor smiled.

It surely was an eventful day when one immensely brave and revolutionary woman decided to make a conscious choice and own up to its responsibility despite the fact that all the odds were stacked up against her. But, again when were the odds ever in her favour.

It did´t matter.

Rosie was beyond the shackles of society´s naked illusions, cowardice and masked lies.She was not afraid hiding anymore from the world because she had the powerful weapon of the naked truth on her side.

Oh Yes! She was more than prepared to face and take on the world singlehandedly and RISE from her past ashes! 

Wednesday, June 7

How Ebook carnival has changed me and my life´ #BlogchatterEbook

I take on the baton of Blogchatter Ebook Carnival from Mayuri (hyperlinked to ) whose Ebook " 26 Favourite Foods and A Little Bit of Me " is also a part of the mix.

About Mayuri's Ebook"There is no sincerer love than the love of food, said George Bernard Shaw and I couldn’t agree more! Food is a nourisher, food is a celebration and food is a memory that connects us to people and to our past. Everybody has a list of food they love and so do I. Come along with me as I share my 26 Favourite Foods and A Little Bit of Me, and attempt to recreate the flavours my palate has tasted, through my words for you, as I walk you down memory lane sharing my moments associated with each."


Now, let me share some of my thoughts and experiences about ´How Ebook carnival has changed me and my life´.

Firstly, a big shout to Team Blogchatter for making this long time dream possible. Publishing any kind of book this year was not on the agenda this year. Mainly, due to the ignorance on my part about the whole Ebook Carnival.

It was only at the start of this year when I decided to go on full gear when it came to my writings. The fact that the relatively inactive blog of mine made it to the Top 5 finalist at the first Orange flower awards conducted by Women´s Web gave me some serious fodder for thought. While I was tad disappointed that I didn´t win this time, I was still quite happy that despite the long gap in blogging, I still made it to the top 5 amongst nearly thousands of entries. So, that was purely by the merit of my writing alone. This was definitely a huge encouraging sign for me to actively pursue writing.

I realised today writing is so unlike it was in the olden days. No longer, can a writer be cocooned away from the rest of the world and just write endlessly. Today, a writer is definitely still all that, but needs to really step up and be out there for the world to recognise and read. I realised the need for social networking and being active on various social media platforms. I also realised the importance of being part of an active blogging community. And, I started to make my first baby steps in that direction.

So, I logged into my old rusted Twitter account which I abandoned many, many years back because I really detested it back then. And, started to get active around the months of Feb-March 2017. It was during this time, that I saw the #AtoZChallenge  related posts by Blogchatter. What got my attention was the opportunity to have your own E-Book published. That proposition got me sold right there. And so, I jumped onto the bandwagon without really knowing what to expect or do.

Like a novice thrown into the ocean and asked to swim, I found my way through the whole #AtoZChallenge with Team Blogchatter as my life-saving float and support. The challenge got me to think fast and spontaneously and everyday I learnt something new and surprised myself altogether. Another wonderful outcome was the chance to engage with like-minded people with a common passion for writing. I met so many varied men and women from diverse fields and thought processes and yet we felt connected with our common passion.

Finally, the icing on the cake, my first Ebook ´Soul Sojourn´. What can I say? This would not have been possible with you guys, Team Blogchatter. Their passion, patience and commitment to get the best out of their writers is remarkable and encouraging.


"I pass on the Baton of Blogchatter Ebook Carnival to Sneha Saikumar whose Ebook "Potpourri of Emotions & Moods"  is also a part of the mix.

About Sneha's Ebook: "Every living creature goes through a roller coster of emotions in their lifetime, some that lift up your mood, some that make you happy, some that makes you sulk and feel bad about yourself. From being affectionate to happy, from being in rage to simply feel nothing there is at least twenty six emotions that we human beings for sure experience. Potpourri of Emotions & Moods is one such book which makes you experience these emotions as you travel through the pages one by one. Experience emotions through stories and experiences and many more such surprises.".

Monday, May 1

Z is for Zap #AtoZChallenge

Zap is to destroy. It is a powerful thing to destroy someone….or something. Crush it!

´Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.´

There is an apt saying about how one can gauge the character of a person by the power they possess. It is not trying times or setbacks that test the character of a person as much as the power that they hold. In fact as Lincoln holds the view, most people have the sufficient resilience to get by adversity.

But Power is lethal…it´s intoxicating. It gives any person a high…a false high…a false heightened sense of importance over another person.

Men feel more powerful than women owing to the gender attribution of physical strength and place in society. Elders feel more powerful than children owing to their age and experience. One country feels more powerful than the rest owing to their economic and military strength. A boss feels more powerful than his employees owing to his hierarchal position. A rich person feels more powerful than the poor owing to his bank balance and assets.

A person´s real strength and character is tested when they have power. Most people are blinded by  power to see their real selves anymore. They misuse their position of power to zap other people of their energy and strength.

Even in today´s times, there is a certain section in the society that believes domestic violence is perfectly okay and an integral part of the certain cultures. Nothing to make a big fuss out of it. Like a parents hits a child to correct...likewise the husband hits his wife to keep her in check.

Any sort of violence (physical or emotional) and crafty manipulation is a gross abuse or misuse of power.

Yes, at the end of the day, we are all human beings and we commit mistakes. But ultimately, we have to learn coming terms with our inner demons. We have to be aware of our position of power to make or break another person, life or thing. And despite how much power we hold, when we choose to zap someone else, it speaks a lot more about our character flaws rather than the one we zapped with our physical or emotional blows.

The power we hold comes with an added responsibility to inspire through words or action and build someone else's life. And definitely not to zap them of their powers.


Y is for Yonder #AtoZChallenge

I love to yonder both literally and figuratively. Yonder is the far distance. I love going to faraway destinations and discovering something new. It could be as simple as a new dish or new sights or something as complex as learning a whole new philosophical bent of mind.

Figurately, I love to yonder using the power of my imagination. If there is one single powerful thing God has blessed us with, it has to be our imaginations. If we can imagine it, we can do it.

Through Yonder, we tap into our subconscious state and unleash our inner power. We stay attuned to our intuition and dream the impossible. We imagine, we dream and we create something extraordinary.

To me, when I think of the word Ýonder´, I visualise the dark night skies with sparking twinkling stars in the backdrop. Our aspirations are like that far night skies…..its endless and its gorgeous. We aspire to reach there someday..somehow. And that´s what keep us going and moving.

It is wonderful to dream big. Because that´s where all great things begin. What we imagine, we become..we achieve. Even if we don´t go the yonder, we will reach way much farther than where we currently stand.

We will not be stuck in one mode…one way of thinking. When we have to go the yonder, we have to keep moving to reach our destination. All that movement translates into wonderful mistakes made, life-altering failures, crucial lessons learnt, startling achievements won, glorious memories made and a constant evolution of our whole self.

So, tonight just take a walk outside before you hop onto your bed. Watch and gaze endlessly into the night sky. See what patterns of constellations you can spot. What aspirations you can find up there in those endless, countless faraway stars?

Once you find your Yonder…your faraway aspiration, keep and treasure these wonderful words by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a proponent of the power of Positive Thinking, ingrained in your heart as you set on your grand journey -

´Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you´ll land among the stars´

Always always aim high. There is nothing to lose really and all to gain!


Saturday, April 29

X is for Xenophobia Everywhere! #AtoZChallenge

I hate Muslims.

I hate Christians.

I hate all non-vegetarians who kill innocent animals.

I hate all beef eaters.

I hate Hindus.

I hate idol-worshippers.

I hate Trump.

I hate Obama.

I hate immigrants.

I hate patriots.

I hate Pakistan.

I hate India.

I hate Americans.

I hate black people.

I hate white people.

I hate fat people.

I hate feminists.

I hate women who have no spine.

I hate that new co-worker.

I hate Biryani.

I hate Sonia Gandhi

I hate Narendra Modi.

I hate ....I hate....I hate....this thing or that person....I hate ...I hate

The dictionary meaning of Xenophobia is dislike or prejudice against people from other countries.

Politicians use it to fan the fires of the sheeple against the enemy - The Foreign One.

Whether it is the Hindus or Indians perceived as the enemy in Pakistan.

Or the Middle East terrorists or Indian techies or Mexican workers or Russian spies perceived as the enemy in United States.

Or the British or Italian or Christian or Muslims perceived as the enemy in India.

Or the American or all whites or all infidels perceived as the enemy in the Muslim countries.

The real life cases of Xenophobia is sadly everywhere. In fact, it exists even in our own homes, work places, class-rooms etc.

A daughter-in-law is perceived as a foreign element in her husband´s home. A revolutionary person is considered foreign at a workplace. That odd student who is so different from the rest of the class is considered foreign in the classroom. A transgender is foreign to the society. Family or group politics are the outcome of Xenophobia - foreign ideas, thoughts, tastes and distastes.

Xenophobia is everywhere and we are all knowingly or unknowingly participants of it. I firmly believe all of us are racists in varying degrees, including me.

Someone foreign is our enemy.

And we are the foreign enemy of someone.

Saturday, April 22

W is for Writer Impressions #AtoZChallenge

‘Why do smile so much in the pictures?’, my girlfriend remarked.

What´s wrong?, I said.

´Well, you don't look like a writer from your pictures?´, she said.

´Really! What is a writer supposed to look like?´, I enquired with a hawk-like interest.

´Well, you know…Messy hair, lousy clothes, geeky glasses,…a look and expression that screams .that they don't give a damn to the world and what it thinks. They don't even give a damn about themselves. And, they are serious….dead serious…like they mean business…to change the world or something on those lines. Not, smiling happily and contented like you and looking all pretty and nice in some great outfits.´, she said.

´But a writer is real right. I am not faking happiness and this is me. I like to dress and express myself through my outfits too. Fashion and style is not always frivolous you know.´, I enlightened her.

´´Well! You and I know that! But try telling that to strangers who read your articles. Fashion and style is frivolous to writers. They just don't give a damn.´ she argued. ´Let me show you.´

And she took me to her room and opened her laptop. She browsed through google images and showed me several pictures of Arundhati Roy.

´Look at her! She doesn't care about her messy unkempt hair…the silver strands in them or her wrinkled up saree with mismatched blouse. That´s the look of a writer. Bingo!´, she screamed in euphoria.

So, we went around discussing and arguing more. Well! She was a very good friends and so we both had the liberty to disagree with each other´s views.

My argument was do I have to mould myself to fit a certain impression of the profession that I am in. Whatever happened to bring Ýou´ to the table wherever you go.

The fact is I write well. Nothing can change that fact whether I look or don't like a writer.

Recently, Sania Mirza came to the ´Koffee with Karan´show. Karan Johar asked her whether it doesn't bother her that her dressing style might alter people´s impressions about her as a serious tennis athlete and clothes send a message of frivolousness unlike other sports stars.

She justified her stance that this is who she really is. She loves fashion, glamour and style. And she is also a Tennis sports champion having won many world titles. She agreed that most sportsperson were simple but that was their personality. And this is hers. She wasn't unapologetic about it and she said people´s perceptions didnt bother her because she was focussed on doing what she needs to.

Isn´t there a saying on the lines of ´you make the outfit and not the other way around´? So, is seriousness ascribed to only professions such as medicine, teaching, writings and the likes and frivolousness attributed to the fashion and glamour industry?

Aren´t there glamorous doctors just as plain jane actors?

What about the popular adage - ´Don´t judge a book by its cover´´?


V is for Vacations #AtoZChallenge

“What we want out of a vacation changes as we age. It changes from vacation to vacation. There was a time when it was all about culture for me. My idea of a real break was to stay in museums until my legs ached and then go stand in line to get tickets for an opera or a play. Later I became a disciple of relaxation and looked for words like beach and massage when making my plans. I found those little paper umbrellas that balanced on the side of rum drinks to be deeply charming then. Now I strive for transcendent invisibility and the chance to accomplish the things I can’t get done at home. But as I pack up my room at the Hotel Bel-Air, I think the best vacation is the one that relieves me of my own life for a while and then makes me long for it again.”

Ann Patchett, “Do Not Disturb,” in This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

This quote, by far, is my most favourite quote on Vacations. Nothing bonds people more than a vacation. I remember my childhood days were filled with family vacations and those memories are timeless. The hangover of those vacations, some of them decades back, still remains.

The childhood memories of Kerala remains a strong memory. The fresh lush evergreen beauty of it doesn't fail to charm me every time I go there. I love going on a slow boat ride in the backwaters and gorging on the super delicious cuisine it offers.

My husband is an adventurous soul. He loves the great outdoors and ever since our marriage, I have travelled like never before. That is one of the wonderful things about marrying someone who has completely opposite interests and tastes as your. We do share the same value and belief systems though.

I remember our first vacation together to his hometown, Goa. I fell in love instantly with the place. It was similar to my town, Kerala yet there were stark differences. I wished how I could have spent my childhood years studying and growing up there. The colourful Portuguese style houses, the food, the culture, the beaches and the lifestyle stole a big part of my heart.

Anyway, for me I love my vacations to be amid mountains. Even better, if they are snow capped! I absolute love the huge mountains in California. It always felt like the mighty arms of God himself. Every time I was there, I actually felt hugged in a big warm embrace by God. Everywhere you look in any direction, you see mountains. I cannot explain the feeling of love, warmth and security I experienced by just being in the midst of the mighty mountains. I remember the beauty of the silence in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I absolutely adored those red mountains at Sedona in Arizona. The snow capped mountains with innumerable pine trees at Lake Tahoe took my breath away. And the best thing I loved about Vegas was the road that took us there. The mountain landscape looked straight like a scene out ´The Wild Wild West´ genre of movies.

What are your happy memories of a vacations?

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