Mourning the Dying Art of Storytelling

Stories 2This appeared in Hindustan Times on 26.10.2017

As children, we were brought up on a heavy dose of stories including fables, fairy-tales, anecdotes, and religious/mythical tales by our mother, grandmother, aunts and teachers. They  had a huge treasure trove of stories, one for every occasion and time of the day.

So we listened to cute stories, funny stories, frightening stories, moral stories and what not. We opened our eyes to the likes of ‘The Greedy Dog’ and ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’ and later ‘Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’ But ‘Tammak -Tu’ from Geeta Press, Gorakhpur was an all-time favourite. To our young innocent minds, these stories were not merely fiction or fantasy, but fantastic realities that shaped our innocent world. Our hearts went out to beautiful Cinderella – ‘Oh! the poor lil thing’; and every girl would dream about her own ‘Prince Charming’! Mothers could easily lull their babies to sleep with scary stories of giants and spooky monsters. In summer, sleeping on the roof, we could actually ‘see’ the old woman spinning her wheel in the moon. Such was our faith in our mothers that everything coming from them affected us so deeply. Read More…

Posted in Article, Causes at October 26th, 2017. No Comments.

Caring But Interfering, Moms Will Be Moms

Moms

My ‘Spice of Life’ Article in Hindustan Times today (29.8.2017)

Just think of the mother and a myriad of emotions come to your mind – loving caring and pampering. But try to read between the lines, you’ll find a few more qualities of the mother popup – overindulgent, interfering, nagging, sixth-sense and snooping. Their sixth-sense is so strong that in childhood, our mother could make out from a distance whether we were reading a novel or a textbook from the tone of our answer. Read More…

Posted in Article, Just for Laughs at August 29th, 2017. No Comments.

Why Chandigarh Roads Are A Rage No More

Chandigarh Article

My ‘Spice of Life’ Article published in Hindustan Times today ( 21.8.2017)

Long before the open-hand monument perched itself as the symbol of Chandigarh, we – a handful of families of the Punjab Govt. employees – shifted from Shimla to this upcoming state capital in 1958; and witnessed it blossom into the city-beautiful that it is today. The new surroundings; new people; new houses; the intoxicating smell of freshly whitewashed walls, and grey door-paint – the heart still remembers! Read More…

Posted in Article, Causes at August 21st, 2017. No Comments.

The Tomcat

IMG_20170810_104816

I can’t agree more with Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, President Kennedy’s mother, and a philanthropist herself, when she says, “It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

So true! Many a times we feel that with the passage of time, we overcome everything that has troubled us over the course of our lives; but no, time may make us forget things for a while, or new event and new memories may bury them in the deep recesses of our mind, but they are never gone forever. How hard one may try, every now and then, sleeping or awake, the painful memories come and stand in front of us, reopening old wounds. Read More…

Posted in Article, Causes at August 10th, 2017. No Comments.

60 and Growing Younger by the Day

Neena Article

My ‘Spice of Life’ Article in Hindustan Times Today (8.8.2017)

So much has been said about ‘age’ or ‘old-age’ per se. ‘Age is just a number’ or ‘age is an issue of mind over matter’. It depends upon how you look at your own age, your own mindset and your own circumstances, but there is no denying the fact that a sea-change has taken place in people’s perception about old age.

These days, the 50 to 60-year bracket is not at all considered ‘old age’, thanks to the medical science and health facilities available. Instead of ‘bazurg’, one is called a ‘senior citizen’. However, there are more of impelling circumstances than any hype behind this change. Read More…

Posted in Article, Causes at August 8th, 2017. No Comments.

A Journey Through Nothingness

Clouds 1

Recently, while aboard a flight, for once I felt like a lost soul, disconnected from all and sundry. Felt like a bird who having lost its way to its nest, keeps on roaming in the sky unable to find any foothold. This flight – a passage between two destinations – life and death – is what we all undertake. A passage that is unknown, unseen, untried, suspended in the air like an obscure future. As we embark upon this journey of life, we are clueless what this voyage would be like! Growing up rudderless, without any direction, we keep drifting in nothingness, with no boundaries acting as a road-map of our life’s journey. Don’t we keep on strutting from aim to aim; objective to objective, changing directions, fine-tuning ourselves to the best-suited situations, ultimately landing at the final destination that life takes us to, accepting it as our destiny! Did you, as you started this journey of life, dream of becoming what you ultimately became! Perhaps not! Even if we may decide our destination, it is the Pilot (the Providence) who knows the route – the ups and downs that we’ll encounter during this journey.

Then….can I boast of my ‘achievements’ in life! No…these are not my achievements, they simply came my way, and I grabbed them!

 

Posted in Article, Causes at June 5th, 2017. No Comments.

The Stories We Whisper into Stygian Darkness

wait 2

Stories have always been an inseparable part of human life; we all enjoy telling stories, listening to them; writing and reading them. We have stories coming down to us through centuries either in oral or written form; these are anecdotes, experiences, simple incidents or figments of one’s imagination. Sharing stories is the biggest human passion. Each and everyone is a story-teller. A child is initiated into the magical world of stories through fairy tales; and as soon as he is able to think and imagine things for himself, he creates his own stories – excuses for not going to school or for incomplete homework – and then it goes on for the whole life Read More…

Posted in Article, Causes at April 24th, 2017. No Comments.

Mastering the Fine Art of Dealing with the Babus

Babus 1

Dealing with the government officials in our part of the world, is an art in itself. An art which is not everyone’s cup of tea. It requires a close study of how government offices work; how many people you’ll have to deal with while tracking your case; which day of the week, and what time of the working hours you should go there.

One should know how to gauge the mood of the official concerned at that particular moment, and the pitch of voice one should use as not to offend him/her. And above all, one needs to practice the art of stoic acquiescence of whatever response you receive from the other end. A strong heart, lots of patience and a permanent smile on the face (even though you may be boiling with rage inside) are the first requirements for the job. One must also be prepared to come back empty-handed, not once but umpteen times. Read More…

Posted in Article, Just for Laughs at April 17th, 2017. No Comments.

Nostalgia

Nostalgia

Birthdays are great fun. More so today, because you have your birth date announced on social media and then there is a continuous flow of good wishes trickling in the whole day! Each message brings a smile on the face and a feeling of gratitude in the heart. A cake or two and a bouquet, and your day is made. And there is no harm if the gifts from expected quarters knock at your door. In our childhood, birthdays never created such hullabaloo, as these do now. No doubt everyone in the family acknowledged it was your birthday, but we hadn’t heard of cakes and candles. The maximum concession you could enjoy was going to school without uniform i.e. in your choicest frock. Read More…

Posted in Article, Causes at March 15th, 2017. No Comments.

New Year Resolutions

New year

Life always flows in a flux, but we tend to view it in man-made linear units – year to year; event-to-event per se. Each New Year indulges us to look at life both backward and forward. We introspect about what is gone; and mull over what our life would be, or should be, in the days to come. Every year we make new resolutions or a wish list of ‘things-to-do’.
But nothing changes – you as a person, your dreams, your aspirations, your fears, your reservations and apprehensions; and there’s nothing wrong to be your natural self! Rather be proud of it! Let people accept you as what you are – with warts and all. Nothing – no person, no words, no incidents, no setbacks can take away the very essence of your being! Don’t change yourself for others; and don’t try to change others for you! This is the mantra of being happy and making others happy, which I think tops everyone’s wish list.
Social-networking site is a very easy, very instant and very handy way of interaction; yet it is so impulsive and thus so dangerous! Let our pens flow with the ink of positivity, empathy, grace and gratitude. Let’s choose our words cautiously and diligently; as each perceptive eye can go beyond the written word and capture even very dim thoughts lurking somewhere deep in our minds. Never let our stray thoughts hurt someone for life! Why rankle others with our personal rancour! Give each one his space; we can always agree to disagree, and move on!
Life is beautiful; life is precious; and life is a celebration particularly for people like me, for whom the ‘journey down the hill’ is almost here! Let’s accept each coming day, each coming year as an extra bonus, as an additional opportunity to make up for the lost opportunities to live life as we have always wanted to live; and which perhaps the drudgery of responsibilities didn’t allow us.
This is my wish list for the year 2017!
LET THE CELEBRATIONS BEGIN!

Posted in Article, Causes at March 11th, 2017. No Comments.