The Silent Warrior

The train was already in the Huballi platform.

It was almost an hour more before the train left for Ahmedabad, they would reach Ahmedabad early next morning at 7am not a bad deal, the afternoon would go in a much needed nap, and then of course the book, by the time the train reached Panel it would be dinner.

Jay and she had the side berths, which were comfortable, and in the compartment beside them was a very shabby looking couple.  With bags and things put in place, Neeru felt very much in control.

Her husband her come to see her off, he ensured that the usual requirement of water, some soft drink and munchables were there, the train chugged out, there was always something very alive about that moment when the train moves out of the station. – A kind of anticipation, a promise of adventure. Neeru liked the rhythm of the train, she liked the freedom of being suspended between two places all anxieties of purpose taken care of for the moment she knew where she was going. Her husband reduced to a tiny speck on the platform walking towards the ramp.

“Mama, I will go up to sleep” Jay declared. Neeru nodded absently setting her bunk arranging the pillow given by the railway, meticulously covering it with a bed sheet of her own. She settled down for her nap.

She gave cursory look at the couple in the next compartment, very traditional looking couple probably in their late fifties, typical Rajasthani married before the hormones could kick in, and kids the minute they did. Neeru had an impatient disdain to the crowd. With them was a younger couple, who got off the train as the train moved.

“Roti hai aap loge,” the woman asked, politely Neeru refused.

The train reached Gadag, when another young couple entered, touched the feet of this couple, gave them some bags that obviously had food, left a 5yr. Old with this couple, the boy had a back pack with toys in it.

“Daadi aur Naani ko thang mat karna” the mother instructed.

“Amma, school se kuch likhne ko diya hai likhwadena.” The girl was telling the older lady about work that the school had given, Neeru found it amusing, and what would this uneducated woman teach the kid. She hid her smirk… “tu chinta na kar, mein karwadoongi” the older lady was reassuring the younger one and advising her that with the kid gone she and husband should find time for each other,”Bahu, picture-victure le ja” she was instructing the man, Neeru figured that it was the son and daughter-in- law. The train moved out.

The woman, whom Neeru had mentally labelled “guggu” the Kannada word for a muff, was trying to make conversation.  Neeru side stepped it neatly by taking a nap.

Later when the tea vendor came in, the couple bought tea, they hosted one for Neeru too.

The man then went up for his nap.

“Hindi?” the woman asked Neeru checking if she could follow Hindi.





“Naa Ahmedabad… aap” Neeru replied having no way out,

“Bikaner.” The women seem to relax for while and Neeru dived right into her book. The Tea vendor turned up again, the lady looked at him and declared

”aap bakwaas chai banate ho,”   the vendor took her criticising the tea he sold in his stride and gave her a cheeky smile.

Neeru picked up two disposable glasses, cut up a premix sachet of tea added hot water and gave one cup to the Lady, the lady was very impressed. She immediately wanted to know where it was available and that it was a good idea to carry these sachets. All you had to do was add hot water.

She pulled out a small bag with strings that looked like the battered purse that Marcinabhai the vegetable vendor would carry and pulled out a mobile, Neeru wondered who this woman would call.

“Woh packet zara dikhayenge” she asked wanting to look at the sachet, she then clicked a picture, explaining to Neeru that it would be easy to go the shopkeeper and show him what she wanted.

After a while the Guggu tried again,

“Aap dakshin ke ho?”

Neeru accepted that she was from the south, the lady then unfolded her saga.

That she had got married at the age of thirteen because it was their tradition, and she knew no better. By twenty she had four children. When it came to her older daughter, the girl got married as per the tradition at thirteen, but was sent to her in-laws place when she was fifteen after she had matured physiologically.

The daughter’s in-law ‘s were in Gangavati to Neeru was backwaters, but to Guggu it was opening of new vista’s she was amazed that girls of her daughter’s age went to school studied and were not married. She saw the tremendous respect that economic independence gave the girls.

She said she had to manipulate things so that her older son went to Gangavati, she then created a pretext that he was finding it difficult so she had to shift to Gangavati to keep house for him. The next thing was the younger kids would find it difficult to fend for them so she got them down to Gangavati too… while her husband travelled between

“Naanu ree, maaglu school bheji.” She declared with a sense of achievement, she had got her daughter to school. Of course the community was quite displeased that she was not getting her kids married at the right time, her in-laws were worried that if the kids were educated it would be difficult to find spouses for them. But Guggu stuck to her guns.

When the older son was to get married she told her future daughter-in-law you study whatever you want to study, I will tend the house for you. She told her younger daughter-in-law the same.

She told her daughter-in-law and daughter that have one account for yourself and put aside some of your earnings. She says the older daughter had felt very bad that she was not educated.

“naanure,masternige keli, avaru heli, tappal school madidlu noodi.’ That was an interesting way of summing, tappal is the kannada dialect for post, so what this lady did was she asked the local teacher who suggested correspondence course, the daughter would visit the mother each afternoon study for two hours, then pick her kid up and return to her in-laws. The girl completed a diploma in nursery teaching and teaches a nearby school. Older daughter-in-law is physiotherapy technician, the older son works for the govt, after completing diploma in electrical engineering, the younger daughter is certified nurse, so is the younger daughter-in-law while the younger son has a diploma in civil engineering and he works for the government too.

The family also helps in the furniture outlet that Guggu’s husband had set up.


write over weekend badge.

Now she was travelling to Bikaner to their family house. The lady had spoken to someone who would come in everyday for an hour and ensure that the grandson’s school work was done.

Walking in Guggu’s shoes humbled Neeru, so much we take for granted people have to struggle for,

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’



A Drift

I returned to Shantala’s after a long time, and met Arundathi, a school friend,

“Hi” she said,

“Hi”I replied

“Hi, nice to see you”

“Yeah nice to see you too” I flashed my best smile, that didn’t reach my eye and hot footed right out. It is rather sad when after the few moments of conversation you nothing to talk about. Of course we carry on the façade most of the times, while wondering what would be the politically right exit line. More

Seven Pointers to my younger self.

Truth be said, no matter  who doles the advice, my younger self would definitely not listen.  Like all teenagers, I knew I was invincible think of it, a teenager cannot be born  a teenager cannot die  a teenager is essentially a bundle of confused energies shooting all around the place and like all energies teenagers can only change shapes, sizes and manifestation to become jaded sedate middle aged men and women..  It is only then the fear of failure and loss emerges, as for the teenager well they have not yet started … that puts failures and losses for a distant future.


My 5 point template to deal with failure.

The cool shades of the Drone’s club, the rustle of leaves, the waft of very strong Coffee and Golibhajje. This is the right time to contemplate.
Actually Siddaramaiyya Bellad and his wife Sarasvati (Sid and Sara to you and me) had got me into this thing called Landmark Forum, a place where seasoned coaches would pull out the roaches from the deep hidden annals of your forgotten inner self, air it, and let go back to that blissful state of being unperturbed with happenings outside, with the gratifying knowledge that you have done your best and are now a better version of yourself.
One of the exercises we had there was to ask 10 people to share what they think is the best trait in you. When in Rome do as the Romans do… I put the Bolo on that one and the majority of my friends and family seem to think when it comes to bouncing back I could give the rubber ball a run for its money, mind you not a boomerang.
By this time my second coffee had hit and the spirit of that fellow Socrates must have seeped in, I kind of contemplated … Here is an excerpt from that internal conversation.
“How do I deal with failure or disappointment?”
“What do you mean by failure or disappointment?”
“I dunno.”
“What does Merriam-Webster say?”
“About failure… ” my conscious mind needed to ponder,”omission of occurrence or performance, lack of success, falling short.”
“What about disappointment?”
“It is failure to meet a hope or expectation.”
As this conversation was going on, for some unearthly reason I remembered a priest telling us about snakes, how the deforestation and construction work has confused the snake, their paths are blocked and destinations inaccessible. Many snakes have perished because they do not know how to find their way to their destination, while many snakes survived because they could navigate through a new path.
It was a like a thunderbolt…without the third shot of coffee…I had an epiphany that is what disappointment or failure meant to me… not reaching my destination and what I did was to find the new path.
Let’s be honest, at that moment I was only fit for the loony Dr.Glossop’s diagnosis of “Denial”. According to him, there are stages like denial…
Anger of course; in my teenage years I have planned elaborate execution procedures on people who got better of me.
Bargaining…I shall light 12 candles at mother of all sorrows if I can sit on my butt with out it hurting.
Depression… the sun will never shine again since the love of my life has gone away.
I think Dr. Glossop has taken a franchise on this — he doles it out for handling grief and what not — but we being groomed at the Drone’s club acknowledge that failure and disappointment are matters of grief. Each of those have been effected only when I took the next step…this was handed down to me by my immediate ancestor, my grandmother … she would brew me a great cuppa of Theobroma. I think she put in a drop of brandy and let me sleep it over next morning. She had a ritual called “Stock taking” which began with putting down on paper:
  1. What is the result I am looking at?
  2. What is the current state?
  3. What have I done that has worked?
  4. What are the other options?
  5. Take that step right away.
Somehow the process of grieving, shedding tears, venting my anger, would drain me, and it was as if the hot chocolate triggered the rejuvenation and I am back navigating.
And sometimes during the candid stock taking the truth hits you: your destination is warped.

This is written for Indispire#187



The Nations within the Subcontinent.

Yes it is time we understand and accept that India that as we know it today is only yrs old.

Yes we are a land of diversity, of food, culture, thought. Time and again we are told of the great tradition that we come from. But history is always the story of the winner. It the narrative of the most powerful or the loudest bully in town.

When it comes to India, I do not know when we will understand that we are not ONE nation or ONE country we are a subcontinent ofnationalities. There are multiple identities and layers, multiple loyalties.  Sometimes I wonder if “my country” is only a place I make up in my mind. Something I dream of and sing because it is being marketed to me full throat. More

A Peek Into The Past.

If I could bring back someone from the other side of the rainbow bridge just for one day would I do it? and who would it be…?

Haa! A tough one, imagine being peaceful some of them even in new bodies and hey presto, I decide to bring them back, it would be like the Harry Potter spell ridikulus!!  JKRowlings didn’t attempt it either, she talked of the stone bringing people back and they being shadows of their old selves. Maybe it is a better to invite the ghost.

After all ghosts are energies of the people no, actually ghosts are the energies of people as we have perceived them. so here is where I come to death… when does a person really die when he is forgotten when there is no one to remember them. Those are the very people who come alive in their astral or energy form in my clinic.

Like Neville poor guy was not even aware that he was dead, he was living in Mr.S’s life for almost 15rs. Mr.S could only feel the burden, in the trance when requested any presence other than Mr.S to come up Neville said hello, his language was crude and he was very rude and aggressive, eventually he trusted us to guide him to the light. but the entire hour was quite difficult.

When NR was dealing with health issue it was time to look into her space, there were no extra energies, but hallelujah it was her own past life we had call from beyond the rainbow for about 2hrs. We had to understand her life and journey as Channa, who witnessed a murder at the Haldighat war, it resulted in her being thrown into a well and the consequences of that she was dealing with a estranged marriage and poor physical health.

Then there was SG again the story of estranged marriage and poor health, here we had to go into her past life, invite her own avatar as a warrior, who was awaiting his lady love, to apologize to, in that life she had chosen war over her spouse, that was scary.

Yes these are people we got back from the beyond and guided them to where they had to go. Despite of understanding that the souls leave the earth when their journey is over, it is best to leave them at peace, if they are not at peace we need to guide them to a resolution blah!blah! in my secret wishing well I have a person that I would like to call from beyond the rainbow, but I do not know who , I am not even sure if this person is male or female, this person holds the key to a story narrated by two of patients who do not know each other and are from absolutely different locations.

It is the story of temple in remote hinterlands of Goa when the Kadamba kings were on a conquest there was a cave temple where fire worship and rituals were going on, the Brahmin priest was very devout. The first patient saw the priests wife going to the river that flowed by as she filled the pot, she saw somebody swim by or so she thought, it turned out to a body floating she saw six more, when she tried to investigate, she saw an royal looking woman on the other side, who spotted her and shot her with an arrow, the last thing she could see was the woman scrambling up.

The other patient, said, he was on the banks of the same place, but on the other side he was the Kadamba Prince and he was awaiting his lady love a princess who belonged to this mysterious land. He called the princess Kamala, though he did not know her real name. The princess had given him access to the secret pathway which lead to the cave where the royal family was doing the fire ritual.  He had sent his soldiers ahead they had entered the cave and beheaded the priest and the royal family there were seven bodies in all that were thrown into the river.

The realized there should have been eight, the priests wife he could see her at the river bank, she had spotted Kamala, the princess to keep herself safe killed the woman. She scrambled before the defending soldiers could arrive,

At this point he came out of trance, but I would definitely like to know more both about what happened to Kamala, for the Kadamba Kings ruled Goa for long the royal family still resides at Ponda. It would be interesting to track this story.

written for indispire 179 edition, prompt by Nabanita who blogs at

Revisit Destination

This weekend really seemed idyllic with MrD in far away Bhubaneswar attending one of those events where people with cranial cavities enriched with grey matter met, to let other people with similarly filled cranial cavity know how much more they know and of course intercepted with loads of food that is created by fusion of local food and the Punjabi cooks know how learnt when his mother dandled him on her lap. So at the end of the day all food across the country tastes the same.

When Anita from BNLF club decided to whip some frenzy about the place that I would like to revisit… like all Indians who have had formal education my English is challenged and so is my kannada, I have no recourse other than to consult Messrs. Merriam-Webster and then Messrs. Wren and Martins.

One does miss Jeeves at times like this when I could get all feudal and ask for his opinion or instead of “leave it Psmith” I do the normal Ekta Kapoor daughter-in-law and proclaim, “Leave it MrD” well that is not to be either, so I have to answer this..

Place I would like to visit.. What do I answer? At one point in my life I used think I know all the answers, and then I thought maybe a few answers, and now that I have finally reached dotage I am not sure I understand the question… Nobody seems to know anything… okay lets take a grid analysis that might help me answer the question.

To revisit is visit again  it could be a place, an incident.

While place is like an onion with many layers, when to add revisit to a layer we might land up with different flavours, I know I have the look of Stunned Simple Simon, well it is just because Messrs. M-W have let me down rather badly I am placed in such a situation that I do not want to revisit the homepage of M-W for a while.

Sometime back I met up with a friend who told me about a Buddhist writer, who lived of course after the Buddha but BC—I mean before Christ and not Before Coffee who said reading a book for the second time is a new experience altogether, for the second experience comes with the your first experience, like wise no matter where you go, and how you go that is walking or going by train the experience is different beginning with the journey seeming shorter the second time than the first… and you realize that we are measuring distance by time and miles and yards.

Through my life I have been to lot of places, some historic places, some romantic places, some depressives places, then are places full of new developments with double car garages and characterless flats with its underground parking and over head pools, surrounded by pastorally trimmed lawns and dotted laughing children, the town have lost their unique identity.

Then when we revisit a place there is this confusing development in the geographic expanse called “Development” things that changed seem out of place, and the things that have remained the same make us feel out of place!

We’ll make mistakes but one of our biggest mistake is continually to revisit the past, for when we revisit a place we are revisiting our past in that geographic expanse, at is bound to change, for we have we are older, the town is older too.traveller

If you ask me the place I would like to revisit, well there can be no other like the Castle of Blandings, the residence of Lord Emsworth and his prize Pig the Empress Of Blandings.

Like Dejan Stojanovic —

“I visited many places,
Some of them quite
Exotic and far away,
But I always returned to myself.”

written for Indispire edition 175 proposed by Anita


Kuwabara —

Incandescent rains, warm cup of coffee, a plate of banana chips, my feet firmly tucked under the cushion of the living room, I was lost in the land of intrigue and murder,

My right eye began twitching; now every blighter and blighteress in town knows that the right eye twitching means stressful situations ahead.  That’s when aunt Rajini’s favourite black cat crossed Paddamma’s path, and Paddamma the resident authority divination screeched….”apashakuna!!!” again apashakuna as all diligent viewers of Hindi TV series know is a bad omen.

One can’t help feeling sorry for the black Cat, I don’t mean the commando’s I mean the four legged feline, having to check out for screeching Paddamma’s before they go anywhere, I like to keep it simple,

If your nose itches it means it wants to be scratched there

if a black cat crosses your path its going somewhere.

I was told by relevant authorities that old wives tales need not be superstitions, for old wives tales sits deep in folk wisdom, while superstition emerges from ignorance or fear of the unknown.  I have the authority of Bertrand Russell to say so, not to mention the stringent training by Merriam-Webster.

Now there is Stuart Vyse PhD actually calls superstition, Magical thinking , you check out his book Believing in Magine: Psychology of Superstition. Back to his authority, most people touch wood, believe in witches and ghosts, daayan’s and chudail in India. I do some unguarded moments, when thoughts like what is the psychology behind magical thinking, is it good or bad, do  we suffer more when we don’t understand or is understanding in itself a challenge!! Touch wood those moments pass over quite fast.

Taking a deep breath before I start doing something is a ritual that calms me, If I take only six deep breathes with counts in place then that becomes obsessive compulsive disorder,(OCD) and if I believe that my work will be doomed if I do not do the ritual that becomes superstition.

Probably the need for certainty is the driving force behind most superstition.  At times I wonder if keeping my fingers crossed, is just positive re-enforcement and an affirmation that I have placed my faith universe, maybe the sheer discomfort of keeping the fingers crossed keeps me focused on the goal.  This maybe an emotional placebo that allows for belief enhancement.

Then there are those superstitions that trigger phobia, if hand a broom to someone you will have an argument with that person ; of course you will, I doubt if any one will appreciate being asked to do a clean sweep… or clean dirty bins superstitions can lull you into false security ask the gambler who lost the last poker game… I know of girl who stayed indoors an entire day because she sighted a single mynah when she went out and the school ditty was

One for sorrow

Two for joy

Three for a letter

Four for a boy

Guess as we grow older, along with elves, and Santa we lose faith in superstitions.  Vyse is gender biased he says women are more superstitious than men. What I understand is– People prone to anxiety disorders tend to attract superstitions. People who believe they are He-man (he is the master of the universe) tend to be less superstitious, as compared to the “Oh! The World is out harass me” believers.

Just because you rub the feet of John Harvard statue at Harvard for good luck does not make you the next study material for Sir Roderick Glossop, chill,  it could just be your source of comfort,  a way of connecting with the greater community, your loved ones whatever

When my  right twitches I know it time to quit, that is quit worrying for  my stress level are probably heading to the nearest Kanchenjunga or at least Sonsogor (highest peak in Goa.) but of course if the twitching persists, then into my mind creeps the monster called “What-if” and we are back on our way to Sonsogor, then I deliberately identify something that is out of balance in my zone, attribute the twitch to the that, cut cords, thank  Archangel Gabriel for the annunciation and move on.

But again when afflicted by the thinking disorder, I do wonder what sustains the superstitions to linger generation after generation…I have recently been told by Emma Goldman that, patriotism, is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and false hoods, a superstition that robs man of his self respect and dignity and increases his arrogance and conceit” it’s time to ponder on this Kuwabara1superstition

Kuwabara is the Japanese/Chinese slang for superstition. Kuwabara actually means Mulberry tree forest and it is believed that the Mulberry tree cannot be struck down by lightening so saying Kuwabara; Kuwabara protects the speaker from being struck down by lightening.

This blog is written for the #172 Edition of Indispire prompt put forth by R.Ramesh who blogs at

When You are Happy and You Know it

I am happy when…

After consuming dollops and gallons of Sir Roderick Glossop’s books and detailed gossip sheets that he calls case history of patients, I am at crossroads, what is it that want to know, unlike Amitabh Bacchan on KBC I can give you two options, do you want to know how do I know I am happy or do you want to know what makes me happy.

When people are sad they seem to recognize a coldness within themselves, and a heaviness and lot of other Monster-Ness, but when it comes to happiness one has to follow the path of Don Quixote and go on a quest in the ashram of  Swami Instantjoymixs,  we were told that when we are truly happy, that is the time we connect with out higher self, the great spirit and the universe.

I actually saw images of my silhouette, rhombus shaped radiating powerful waves into the universe, it was too tiring the image fades a mite too quick.

My understanding is if I need to Castlerock I need to recognize Castlerock and like most of humanity, I do not know how to recognize happiness, after closely observing the antics of Pop Glossop one bright way I realized was to put together all the words that could lead to the state of no agitation or helps to tame the Monster-Ness, here is what I learnt from Guru-Glossop

Happiness is elusive; because there is no Betty Crocker telling you add a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of pepper, we go quintessential… we know when it happens.

Of course happy ancestors make happy progeny this what the Gregory Mendel guy proved, the fellow who rolled the stone up the hill, said it was a moment before the stone rolled down, the wicked stepmother of snow white claimed it was the moment of relief when she was sure that snow-white was history. My nephew tells me it is the moment before we walk into ice-cream parlour and my mother tells me it is moment when someone massages her scalp. To Charles M. Schulz happiness is a warm puppy, while for George Burns it was having a large, loving, caring, close knit family in another city.

After all this serious fact gathering of society and real and fairy tale I can say I am happy when I have one of these symptoms.

Amused Joyful
Anticipated Kindness
Awestruck Lively
Balanced Love
Blessed Mellow
Celebrate Motivated
Cheerful Optimistic
Confident Peaceful
Content Playful
Giving Relieved
Helpful Satisfaction
Honourable Social
Hopeful Spiritual
Humour Thankful

Of course nature wants us to be unhappy once in a while, so we remember to thank her for the joys of life.

PS Sir Roderick Glossop the who adorns the Drone’s wreath of top-notch loony-catchers, and the slayer of happiness snatchers recommends  a safe method of dealing with Monster-Ness,

  • Print the 31 symptoms of happiness.
  • Tick all that happened to you during the day.
  • Repeat for next 21 days.

I am assured by the experienced clientele of Sir Roderick Glossop that with each passing day, the things we are happy about increase…

As for what makes me happy… well someone to love, something do, and something to hope for.

It’s a BlogAdda WOW post




To Decree or Not?

When people Judge, they are going through a process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing. That is quite an acceptable process, isn’t it a scientific process to come to a logical conclusion. There is also a capacity that guides these judgments.

Maybe what we are talking when we say people judging us—we are talking about utterance of an authoritative opinion, there is a decree that is pronounced… a label that gets attached. This label could influence the way people react to us.

Yes people who have judged me in the past do adorn my hall of monsters today. I did walk to through the corridor saying I don’t care a fig about what you call me, “Noodiswami naavirode heege” despite that deep within it did count, I felt victimized, until I attended the landmark curriculum for living where I realized people may judge you or may not judge that is their prerogative, then others may accept that judgement or not that is their prerogative, the only bit that you can control is your reactions and your judgement.

It does however take tremendous effort to forgive myself for being affected by those judgements, but EFT, cord-cutting does help me over come my belief in a judgement decreed upon. Sounds clichéd right that is how this works though.

I remember my mother and her friends talking about Mrs. Talbot, who used be quite bizarre by those days standards she wore sleeveless blouses apparently had affairs with prominent powerful men, would not cook, and make her young kids do the house work etc. etc. thirty years later during a casual conversation her daughter lets on that Mrs. Talbot was diagnosed Bipolar and was under medication.

There is this beautiful concept in the Landmark forum it is called already always listening, that is I pass a judgement on a person, let’s say I take a stance that Dr.G   thinks I am dumb blonde, then all my  interactions with Dr.G will through this filter, no matter what communication he puts I will tend to wrap it in the Dr.G thinks I am dumb filter!! The minute we take that filter out the quality of the interaction and communication varies.

To me judgements says more about the labeller than the labelled. It is not about what they call you it is about what you answer to.

Coming to do I judge people, I must be how else will I interact with someone, even when I say I am judging it means I have relevant information, I have come to a conclusion the conclusion may favour the person in question or may not but I do go through the process, what I mean is I will not label you. And I may not depend on this set of information and conclusion for any other interaction we may have in the future.

It is an effort each time, to step back and take a call, when I am dealing with people my labels for them does pop out, what helps is dialogue, an opportunity for people to communicate from outside the limitations of their points of views, when we enter a circle of dialogue, judgements could alter, labels could falter, only humans are in the conversation.

Before I declare,”it is like that only” have you noticed, people who talk about detachment, and religion tend to point their fingers instead of extending a helping hand? I am being judgement here am I not?

written for indispire edition 172  #judgingpeople

Posted by pranju chakrapani under Memoirs

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