Touched by Seven.

If the essence of existence had to take the form of seven words, what would they be?


Because if I wasn’t here, nothing else would either.

Because when I rise, the world rises with me and when I fall, the world falls too.

Because when I look up I see the cosmos and when I look down I see solid earth.


Because I would be nothing without you.

Because you created me.

You taught me to love and you also taught me to hate.

You taught me to trust and you also taught me how to break.

You picked me up when I fell down and held my hand when I cried.


Because it makes us who we are.

It is all we have and the only time we have it

It is going to take back everything it granted us and we may never know why.


Because the only way we have of knowing anything at all, lies in this one word.

Because whatever we know and understand about ourselves is restricted to what science has taught us.


Because we would never think beyond the bubble in our head if it weren’t for literature.

Because the world of imagination and creativity is confined within the bounds of literature.

And these bounds can be as endless as we make them.


Because we’re lost without it.

We can be swayed without it. We can lose hope and our senses.

Because we need reason to understand, to function, to apply.


Because it’s just this once.

Because it’s transient.

Because when we sink into the ground and are lost forever, it won’t matter anymore.

But right now, in this moment, it does.

Morning After



A picture I took of the sun rising on the only day in a very long time where I was up early enough to see it after a night involving a pigeon and The Conjuring like hysteria induced due to watching the movie a couple of days ago.

So no, I’m not a six am person. No no no.

Daily Prompt- Golden Hour

Breakdown- More Pop Culture References

This pair of unabashedly good looking and very humorous Norwegian brothers have taken the world by storm with one simple question.

What does the fox say?

Nonsensical lyrics and satirically lit-up eyes add to the charm of a YouTube video that is raging world over, much like Gangnam style did. Though there is something appealing about looking at stupid self-mockery of this form, the Ylvis brothers have, in my opinion, a gem of far brighter and better gigs and bits and acts up their sleeves (if only it were all in English). Without denying the ultimate talent, credibility and  much-deserved rise to fame of these two, I feel a slight sense of quizzical wonderment at what makes stuff like this go so viral?

Is it because our real lives are so packed with banal work and monotony that silly stuff makes us laugh? Do we feel a certain amount of awe for these harbingers of pop culture who rise to the occasion by turning their one life around without choosing to be an investment banker or a general manager; another cog in the machines of our industrialized and digitized lives? Or is it because we’re constantly running, running, running from the ultimate truth: we’re all going to die and we don’t know what happens afterwards, if anything at all?

The point I am driving at, with reference to today’s Daily Prompt is that I would like to cut away from this urge to appreciate the truly silly things in the world and give it power over me the way it does. Don’t get me wrong, fun is important and I know it. But I’m sure you’ve seen this or something similar somewhere:

Maybe if the kind of things that go ‘viral’ all the time were a little more intellectually driven or even some form or the other of infotainment, once in a while we could actually pick up something worth knowing, instead of being completely familiar with all the things a fox says and even being aware of how it will need to use Morse code to communicate with a horse (yes, I’m sorry I know they lyrics. Kind of drives my point right home, doesn’t it?)

Food for thought. 🙂

PS: Writing this post made me think of one of the characters from this book I read, The Name of a Rose by Umberto Eco. He keeps trying to make everyone stop laughing and giggling because he believes it is unnatural and unbecoming. If you read through, I hope that’s not the conclusions you drew from this post!

What You Don’t Know- A Short Story

The same story can be told from different points of view. Here’s my story, explanation follows:


Wanda was overworked that day. Her job at the diner was a hectic eight hour shift, after which she picked up her ten-year-old son from school. It was only at night when she finally tucked him into bed, did she get any time to pick up her books from where she’d let off the previous day. Night school was brilliant; she loved it because she was passionate about studying and had never had the chance or the money to. But watching her son play with numbers and letters and discover new things on those inanimate pieces of paper that made up a book, urged her to take up some books of her own. So she got together a bunch of women who, like her, wanted to learn but did not have the means and they shared their sons’ and daughters’ books every night and lay down the foundation, slowly. It was her secret. It was all she wanted.

It did make her sleepy in the mornings though, she realized as she served coffee to one of her regular customers. She liked this old man; he was always quiet and unassuming and he left her a good tip everyday. She yawned and tipped the mug a little too much, spilling some coffee on the table in front of the old man.

‘Oh I’m so sorry’, she said, feeling flustered and apologetic. Her night life was making work so much harder. ‘I’m really sloppy today’.

She gave him her best smile as she attempted to mop up the mess. The old man just smiled at her, somewhat sadly, she thought. It made her feel worse. As she turned away, she could feel his eyes watching her and it made her slightly uncomfortable. She could not understand why. But she shrugged it off and decided to throw in a muffin for him, on-the-house .


The cook watched his waitress approaching. He felt his heart swell once more.

He had admired her for so long but hadn’t realized what he was feeling until recently, when she told him she had set up a sort of night school for some women in her neighborhood.

So kind and thoughtful and sensitive she was! He wished he could tell her that. He wished he could help her out but she would never listen. He was chubby and balding and although he could whip up the most sumptuous desserts, that just wasn’t what she wanted. Once bitten and twice shy, he supposed. He hadn’t had no chances at love. Or luck, either.

He watched her take down an order or two before making her way over to him. She flashed him her gorgeous smile as she shouted out the orders. He nodded back at her and prepared to watch her turn around and return to her post while the oven warmed up for the morning, but instead she stayed.

‘I feel really bad, Herb’, she said. ‘That old man looks really sad, don’t you think? Can we throw in a free muffin for him? I mean, I know you don’t do that unless it’s a special occasion, but…’

She waited for him to reply.

He looked towards the old man, who was staring intently at a piece of paper on his lap.

He did not like that elderly man. He could not place it. He never saw that man, except for an hour everyday when he came in to sit in a corner and eat poached eggs and drink his coffee. But there was something there. Herb knew he shouldn’t judge strangers and it was important to be kind to the elderly. He did not want trouble.

But he did not like that old man.

‘Sure’, he said, smiling back at the waitress he madly loved.


The old man stared intently at the letter he held in his hand. His wife was dying. She probably wouldn’t make it through another week.

He wasn’t sure whether he should be happy or sad. On one hand, cancer was a slow, painful way to die. And that was quite a way for her to go. He did not want it to end so soon. On the other hand, he would finally be free of the burden that kept her clinging on to him, holding for dear life while he tried to pry her fingers open so she would just let go.

It had always been like that. He had regretted her since the very first day of their married life. He hadn’t thought marriage could be so nasty.

There was no love, no support, absolutely nothing. Just an empty expansive hollowness and wanting to hurt each other all the time. Through the decades of their childless, unromantic union, he had prayed for a savior. For something to make the torture go away, without the accountability.

If there was a God who answered prayers, he would have to be half-deaf. His prayer had been heard but too late. What’s a seventy year old man supposed to do as a widower? He couldn’t think of much.

Then again, he thought as he watched the perky little waitress returning with his breakfast, a muffin perched on the very top of her tray, smiling kindly at the elderly man she saw in front of her, he could always find ways.

He smiled back.

I suppose this theme was meant for a  heart-warming story but I prefer to add a spin in the end. And I’m sorry for turning the old man nasty, but the first idea that popped into my head when I read through the Weekly Challenge, was to flip it all around. If you read through and liked it, please let me know! Thank you. 😀

Gravity. The Movie*

*Does not contain spoilers

We all know how vulnerable human life is. A single snap and it’s gone forever. That’s why we fear for ourselves and our loved ones.

Questions of morality and existence always set up fireworks of colliding thoughts in my head. What are we? And why? And where? And these questions have only begun to emerge in abundance in my head recently; in the past year or so. But because I cannot quench my satisfaction on trying to figure out what life and space and the universe is really like, unassumingly walking in to watch a movie like Gravity was quite an experience in itself.

Now obviously, since it was a movie it took certain liberties that real astronauts cannot take. Gravity took great leaps in making its characters move around in space as if it were a piece of cake. I don’t believe walking about and moving from one shuttle to another in outer space could ever be so simplistic. But I don’t want to look at this movie critically.

The best thing about Gravity was the job it does of making you believe, real hard, that you’re actually in outer space. Yes I was transported into Sandra Bullock’s shoes; from the floating debris almost flying into your face to the tiny drops of her tears coalescing into glob and moving in space, the movie’s 3D effects were breathtaking. It was like literally taking a hike in space yourself and at some points I realized I was holding my breath as though I needed to cut down on my oxygen intake as well.

But when I walked out of the theater an hour and a half later, I was still deeply IN the movie-zone. Why?

Because this isn’t some half-concocted adventure of fairies and hobgoblins. No, this is very real and very out there, surrounding us. And at some point in our future space might be our only chance of survival. It is a dangerous, bizarre and cruel place and we are just tiny dots in a large spectrum. And so who knows? Some of our future generations might have to face everything the movie portrayed and a lot worse. And that is why the effects of this movie had such an impact on me. It was the closest I have ever come to experiencing what being in space could ever be like.

When you think about your transience as much as I do, a movie like this could give rise to a great deal of awe in you. For the vastness of the cosmos, the reasons or lack thereof of its creation, for the cruelty of space and nature and life in general.

So many questions, so few answers.

Watch Gravity and see how small our worlds actually are. You’ve probably never seen space up close and personal like this, unless you’re an astronaut!

Speaking of, here’s an actual space-walking, spacesuit-wearing, shuttle-hopping (nah kidding about the last bit) astronaut’s version of Gravity:

What a real NASA astronaut thinks of the film Gravity.


Facing the Terror

Ever since I can remember, terrorism is something we’ve heard of in the news and far off and away. When 9/11 hit USA, I was nine years old. I remember my dad coming home from work and going, ‘Turn up the news, something big has happened.’ I could not comprehend the magnitude of what had happened completely, though I did watch the towers collapse in horror, replayed a million times on a million different news channels.

Manolis Demetzos • 9 weeks ago 9/11/2001 ~ Never forget…i ll never forget that day….

A few months ago, I developed a sort of curiosity that made me delve into the 9/11 footage on the net. Separating fact from fiction is difficult and falling deep into the world of conspiracy theories such as Loose Change much easier, but no matter what your take on the whole situation, the thing that I could not deny as I watched footage on YouTube is that lives were lost in a horrifying way. Thinking back to or trying to put the pieces of this mystery in any way, takes a toll on my mind. Thinking of the implications and the experience of everyone who was caught in that nightmare gives me shivers. I stopped exploring only because it gave me goosebumps to think about the whole thing.

When terrorism hit closer home in November 2008, I was old enough to follow the whole thing on television and watch the reports with my own eyes. That was, I think, the first time my eyes opened to the possibility of getting unfortunately caught in a situation for which you are not responsible in any way and out of which you may never come out alive. If there is a God somewhere, why will he blindly sit and accept the sacrificial murdering of innocent men, women and children for a cause that ultimately makes no sense whatsoever? The 26/11 attacks were India’s own version of 9/11. They were an attack on the Indian elite, in the swankiest parts of Mumbai through the renowned Oberoi Trident and The Taj Mahal Palace hotels, as well as on Nariman House, the Jewish community center.

India News • 3 weeks ago 26/11 attack: Pakistan panel to cross examine Indian witnesses

Terrorism awakens communities to threats that are global, perceivable and very hard to fight. How do you threaten someone who is not afraid to die? Is there any way to do that? Terrorism makes us question our safety, the safety of the people we love, the sanity of bringing a new person into this world when life is so harsh and cruel.

It’s not easy to think of these things and not be affected. Last year when a girl in Delhi got brutally raped and it was all over the news, many of us treated that as an eye-opener. Rape cases abound but some hit you straight in your heart and it hurts when you confront the reality of the reasons for certain restrictions being placed on us girls everywhere. But the alternative is so much more horrifying.

Anyway, the point I am trying to drive home is that no matter how much we separate ourselves from the history that shapes a country, we’re all prisoners of the times we live in. No matter how progressive our personal belief systems and thought processes, we cannot ignore the world we grow up in. Not one hundred percent. Not all the time. We all surrender in some way or the other.

A few months ago devastating floods hit North India, causing countless deaths and a lot of destruction. We were passing through my hometown that week, on the way to New Delhi to catch a flight back home. Just as we were exiting the city ,a bunch of policemen started hailing taxis to the side of the road. They said they’d been instructed to enroll all available taxis for service in getting the stranded tourists back from the higher flood-struck regions of . So they were emptying all the people out of pre-scheduled taxis and very rudely instructing the families within to find their own means of transportation. Now we had a flight in the evening and though we had a few hours margin, we definitely could not afford to trudge around with our luggage and find alternate transportation.

We did manage to get through finally and the taxi driver was instructed to report back for duty at the earliest possible time the next morning. However, the incompetency and absolute inability of governments to provide adequate relief work came glaringly to light for me through this incident. What kind of a relief operation enlists commercial taxis on a moment’s notice? Where are the funds going? Where is all the tax money being fed? Questions we’ve always asked take on new dimensions when we face such incidents up close and personal.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Living History

Mix Tape Me

Make a mix tape/playlist that let’s people know who you are through songs!

Music is like a window to a soul. It’s the truest statement there ever was because very often the music we listen to, defines us. Or rather, we may use it to define ourselves. So if you’ve been asked to introduce yourself to someone new through music, consider it a wonderful thing because the person in front of you is probably going to end up seeing a large chunk of your heart.

So what music defines me? Here’s a list. Feel free to browse through these tiny pieces of my soul. 🙂

Defining me:

Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson

I still remember the first time I heard this song on MTV. I was small but a song that talks about breaking out of your small-town life and making it big in the world appealed to my dreams.

‘I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly,

I’ll do what it takes till I touch the sky and I’ll

make a wish, take a chance, make a change and breakaway.’

I will never tire of this song, it will never stop inspiring me. It will always carry a part of me around in it because it’s beautiful. It’s about hoping, dreaming relentlessly and pursuing your dreams even if you have to move away. And it’s about retaining your identity and staying true to who you are, inspite of it all.

Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift

In this song, Taylor Swift talks about her little brother. That is what makes this song so special; it is addressed to her baby brother and this song can tear anyone up. It’s about the regrets of growing up and wanting to be big but not knowing how life is going to change and how much you’re going to miss the things that are gone.

Your little hand’s wrapped around my finger
And it’s so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause you’re dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you everything’s funny, you got nothing to regret
I’d give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that
Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
I won’t let nobody hurt you, won’t let no one break your heart

We never want the children in our lives to grow up and I’ve been fortunate enough to watch my little brother be a child. So has Taylor Swift. That’s why this song is so easy for me to relate to.

The Best Day

This beautiful song, dedicated to her mother, is another one that can tear me up. Nostalgia, gratitude, love and a deep sadness all engulf you at once as you think about your parents. And this song has the tendency to make you do that in a very emotional way.

“I don’t know why the trees change in the fall

I know you’re not scared of anything at all

Don’t know if Snow White’s house is near or far away

But I know I had the best day with you today”

PS: This particular version that I have shared here collects clippings out of home videos made by Taylor Swift’s parents when she was little! Fair warning: It is precious and can make you cry.

Lightweight by Demi Lovato

This song defines me. I can feel it, I can feel everything in it. It’s a beautiful song about being sensitive and how painful it can be. What makes this song extra special to me is that I know Demi Lovato is singing her heart out, talking about her own life here.

Skip Along by Lenka

How to make it through the bad days of life? Well, just skip along!

For the First Time from The Script

When it comes to love, nothing beats this song!

Other favourites:

White Flag by Dido

Halo by Beyonce

Red by Taylor Swift

That’s the way I loved you by Taylor Swift

Naked by Avril Lavigne

Your Guardian Angel by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Pretty Baby by Vanessa  Carlton

Hindi Songs:

Chahoon Bhi from Force

Mere Sang from New York

Khwabon ke Parindey from Zindagi na Milegi Dobara

Tum Ho Toh from Rock On

Teri Yaadein from the TV series Love Story

Sadka Kiya from I Hate Love Stories

This is probably my favourite Daily Post yet, even though I am almost a week late in posting. Thanks if you got through till the end. I feel like I still managed to touch only a fraction of the songs that I can use to define me! But oh well, the post cannot go on forever!

No, Not My Child! Birds and Bees for the Indian Parents

Advice from a twenty-something who has no experience with kids. Cheers.

Let’s just talk about the elephant in the room for a bit. No please, I insist. 

If you’re a young adult in middle class India, chances are you know you are suspended in this world that’s neither here nor there. In short you’re in this zone where you are privy to all this Western stuff over the Internet, through the TV and through books but you live in a country where certain things that you’ve accepted and see as normal, aren’t really conceived to be that way by others. Mainly grown ups, yeah.

The Birds and Bees

So Indian parents have this thing. I know I’ve mentioned it before but they are grossly uncomfortable with having that talk. Yes, I mean the birds and bees talk. They seem to think that if they don’t talk about it for some reason, it will just go away. Haha. Well that’s a nice state of denial to live in. But it doesn’t happen. Kids are smart and information is at their fingertips. Here’s an option. Choose one of the following: I’ll leave my child in the hands of the internet and expect him/her to surf through the multitude of sexual information they find their and somehow know everything there is to know and then conclude that they don’t want to have any sort of relationship until they’re twenty seven and I tell them who they should marry (and it will probably be some random stranger or a far-off acquaintance they haven’t exchanged five words with but they should then spend the rest of their lives together and do intimate things. Whatever, it’s all cool. At least their heart never got broken.) Or you find an appropriate time to get over your own discomfort and sit them down and take them through the paces of love and life and relationships and sex and let them know they can approach you with related problems so you can provide them with necessary guidance, but at the same time you tell them to exercise prudence.


Let’s face it, if you go with option one, your child is going to go out there and do his or her own thing after a while and you won’t have a clue. After all, you cannot monitor a twenty-something 24*7. But if you choose option two, chances are they’ll trust you enough and see you as a friend they can approach before they do anything stupid. Don’t kid yourself. Your child is going to experiment. He is ultimately going to dance to his own beat and if you put a full stop sign in front of him, he is going to turn and find a way around it. But if you channel his path and give him gentle nudges, he’ll come around to your point of view more easily. You know how tempting the forbidden fruit is. Everyone wants a bite.

So. Even though I have absolutely no authority to do this, I’d like to lay down some ground rules for how to go about this whole process. Many Indians want to shut their eyes and ears to what they see as the ‘Western influence.’ Yes, Western divorce rates are at an all time high. Yes,  Indians generally respect and care for their parents more than Western children do, even though these relationships may sometimes border on the psychotic. Yes, rebellion is less of an issue here. But let me tell you something, all these things will turn right around if you turn your back to it. If a song is playing on the radio and your close your ears and mumble to yourself, you won’t hear the words but your child in the backseat still would. So embrace the fact that you can find a point in the middle. Taking in positive Western influences that make our society more open as a whole and empower individuals IS possible hand-in-hand with keeping with the values and ethics that Indians take so much pride in. So here goes. Grab a cuppa.


1) When  your kid starts to ask the questions you dread, don’t try to deny them the answers. Start with a very simplified, kid version of the truth and stick to it until more questions start to come around. Go one step at a time and it’s okay if you don’t prod too much. Keep a straight face and be gentle with reality! But please don’t go with a stork-equivalent tale. That will just make them sense your reluctance and find alternative methods to seek the truth.

2) You know what, the media these days is full of stuff you wouldn’t want your children to see. We Indians are bashful about kissing or any sort of gentle intimacy in public. Even grown-ups prefer making crass jokes as they skirt around about the truth instead of going with a simple, ‘Aww, that’s adorable’ once in a while. So when you watch that movie which seemed so family-friendly at first and a kissing scene inevitably crops up, don’t change the channel. I know you want to, but just hear me out.

If you do that again and again, your kid will get curious. And then he’s gonna find out somehow. Children talk to one another, they are quick with television and you cannot sit on the couch behind them every time they say they are watching that innocent cartoons. Even animated stuff can be very enlightening nowadays. Case in point: Despicable Me 2.

3) Okay take a deep breath and we jump into the uncomfortable stuff. When your child hits puberty, things are going to get really ugly. By now, if you’ve kept an open relationship with your children, their questions could sometimes make you squirm. But hey, if they’re still asking you questions, consider yourself lucky. This is your chance to keep a tab on them in a way that they won’t suspect. This could be your only opportunity to cross the border and be their confidante. Bask in it. Tell them what you would support and what you would most definitely disapprove. Be strict but gentle!

4) Then will also come the time when you need to have a love talk. It’s just a word I coined. What I mean is: love governs our lives and yet there are no guidelines for them at all. A friend once told me about the wonderful way in which their parents approached the subject of love, bringing it together with the subject of physical intimacy in a way that made the whole thing sound divine. The parents told this friend that the physical things will only matter when coupled with love. And so you should wait until you can responsibly undertake both before you make a move either way. I think it’s a nice way to tell your child that though the remote control of their life is now shifting into their own hands, it’s still going to make sense to not be heady and hasty.

4) When they get to college, you’re going to be out of the influential zone. From there on, they are mostly going to have that voice you helped nurture in their head instead of your actual, physical voice from when you were standing behind their head. Breath deep and trust that they know the importance of things like abstinence and responsibility. You still need to keep tabs sometimes; independence can get to people’s heads but if you raised your child fine and did not approach love and sex as taboo, you will probably have less to worry about. They’ll get back to you with the truth. They’ll be balanced and wouldn’t want to be rebellious.

Hey, who said parenting is easy?

This post lay half written in my drafts. I think I preach about this topic quite a bit here and there and it sounded too out- there and forward in its approach. But this Weekly Challenge was just begging for me to finish and hit the Publish button. So fingers crossed!


Who does your blog reach out to and what would you have them know? What would you have them learn? What would you have them see?

Her View from Home Inspiration Board

If you have a blog, chances are you spend a lot of time obsessing over stats. Who has liked my post? What kind of posts did they like? How many hits am I getting per day? When did I get my highest number of hits? And so on. We’re all concerned about the numbers and the kind of content that generates those numbers. But what we don’t think about that much is even if there are only one or two people on our blog on any given day, what exactly are they taking away from our blog?

Yeah, this thought just struck me today. I don’t give much thought to it either but then it hit me, what if there’s one person cruising through my blog. They may hit like on a couple of posts but are they picking up something? Are they touched or tickled or amused or enthralled or excited or astonished or empathetic about something they read?

If you’re getting fifty hits but not one of those people actually pick up something, then it’s pretty sad for you because you have this means of reaching out to people and you ARE reaching out to them but you’re leaving them with the same hollow, ether-like, dense non-emotion that they were using to surf through in the first place. Because let’s face it, we spend hours browsing through irrelevant things on the net in the hopes to escape reality and get a good laugh or two along the way. But if we just hit upon something, here and there, that would make us want to pause and maybe reconsider what we’re doing, wouldn’t that be great? to just effortlessly find something inspirational? Something that could make you change or tweak a habit or two? Something that could make you want to get off your couch or your desk or your bed and just turn off your computer screen and take a step back, maybe explore something physical?

Be that something. Be that resource. Be that blog. Be that occasional spark of thoughtfulness. Think about it; even if only one person visits your blog but they see something that helps them change their life or even a little part of their life, isn’t it better than the passing through of a hundred people?

Be that impact.

Inspirably Beta