Posted in Poetry

The Tree ,The Stump ,The Sapling 

Where it was 

Now there is only a stump 

And a sapling 

The tree is gone

It left one morning 

No goodbyes 

No promises for 

Another lifetime 

Of love and laughter 

No rustling songs 

Just soul piercing screams 

Of life oozing out 

Green turning red 

The blood seeping into 

The vaccum below 

And beyond 

Rain fills my palm 

As I touch the sapling 

Besides the stump 

Trying to feel 

That which is lost 

No , am mistaken 

The tree was for me

The sapling is another’s

I turn to the stump 

But it has no heartbeat 

Only a shadow 

It is ready to follow the tree 

And the sapling 

It is not for me 

It does not like

The rain in my palm 

It waits for a hand 

With warmth and light 

Where it was

Now there is only a stump

And a sapling 

The tree is gone 

Posted in Poetry

Go into the Dark 

​You have to go 

Into the dark

There is no hand to hold

And no light to lead 

You have to go into the dark

There is no other way

And no excuses left 

You have to go into the dark

The fireflies are all dead 

You are alone 

You have to go into the dark 

Posted in Poetry

A Heart with Holes 

“Look there is a heart 

In your cup of coffee !”

He smiled 

And my soul 

Got lulled again 

By the opium of hope 

But another look at the cup 

Raised the goosebumps 

Of fear again 

The white heart floating 

In the browns of coffee

Had holes in it !

Not one , but four !

I sushed my despair 

And drank in

The white heart 

With four holes .

Reaching home

His smiles peeled away 

The mask of cordiality 

And the hiss was back on 

“Am sleeping in the 

Other room , 

Let me die alone 

If you don’t want me to live alone ”

The heart with holes started churning inside me

Threatening all 

Sucking all 

Into its widening holes 

I rushed into the washroom

Trying to throw out

The heart with holes 

But it embedded itself

Deep in the crevasses

Of my own heart 

And now 

I have two hearts 

With holes .

Posted in Poetry

When Dreams get Dusty 

When dreams get dusty

Hope ailes

Love remains  just

a word in books

Body starts packing up

And there is nothing

To live for

Why do I drag on ?

Why is life still an option

And death dreaded ?

Why do I   cling to

The ashes of my being  still

Than merging into oblivion

Why does stupidity ,

Hoping against hope

Takes over

The wisdom of embracing

The inevitable

‘The End?’

Posted in Jottings

A sad sad day !

A street female dog had given birth to 7 puppies a few months ago .Only two survived the car wheels , people with stones and harsh climate .Before going to a trip to Rajasthan with my husband , I came to know that one of the two had been poisoned and was no more .There is a neighbour who feeds strays and lets them sleep in front of her house .The mother of thses pups sleeps below her car .She is the one who informed me .The surviving pup was very healthy and beautiful so I was sure he would be safe and no one would have the heart to kill him 

But how wrong I was ! After returning from the trip I could not locate him and asked my dog  lover neighbour .I was informed that this pup had some skin disease with entire body oozing water ,itching and smelly. She said the entire neighborhood including her were chasing him away when he appeared crying and seeking help. I tried to locate him but he is nowhere to be found .The SPCA in our city is a joke and hardly anyone to offer help .I adopted a stray pup last year when a car ran over his leg last year ,or I could have adopted the cute one too when he was visible .

Am placing a  milk bowl outside daily in the hope that he might show up though I font know if he does how would I help since even his own mother has abandoned him and the vets in city are only keen on pedigree dogs .

My city is harsh to stray dogs and such sad stories are writ large everywhere .It is not a city for animals or animal lovers .The so called animal activists here are only active on Facebook .

This is not a planned blog post ,just pouring out .Please pray for this very tortured pup wherever he is and for many others trying to live their circle of life among people who have turned into beasts . Let the animals live .

Posted in Memories

THE HIGH HOUSE ! 

An Ancestral home is the artery of one’s childhood , oxygenating each memory , each bond of the golden times . My mother late Mrs Ranjit Malhotra often shared moments spent in her father’s in the village Harike Pattan in the State of Punjab in India . As a child I was often taken their on short visits though neither of my maternal grandparents were alive by then . Each time we crossed the bridge on river Beas at Harike Pattan on route Moga where my maternal uncle was posted as a Major in the Indian army ; my mother would point out towards the horizon over the waters showing me the double storied house she so cherished .With love and pride she would say “ Dariya paar Sada ghar ,sab ton ucha ! Our house is the highest in the village ,visible across the river “.This was way back in the 70s when my mother was The Principal in G M Arya Girls High School at Patti and I was still a child .When my mama ji , maternal uncle suddenly succumbed to a heart attack , his family sold the house and our visits to Harike stopped .We too shifted to Amritsar , the city of The Golden Temple but my mummy still talked of the Uchha kotha , High house very wistfully .Then she got cancer as her time drew close ,I and my husband decided to take her to her ancestral village Harike .Her neighbours welcomed us very warmly and she chatted happily with them about her childhood and her parents .She also expressed her desire to visit the house which was located at a little distance from our hosts place . They tried to dissuade us as the house was almost gone with the roof caving in and thieves having stolen a few old articles .But we insisted and they took us. On reaching the dilapidated place my mother said “ This is not my house !” We could not even take her in as with her condition she could not walk over all the rubble. We stepped in ,to my dismay the beautiful verandah she used to play in was turned into an open resting place for Buffaloes ! We clicked pictures anyhow and I found that the massive wooden door and windows were still intact though dirty and faded .I took a decision and stepped out finding my mother very distressed and crying .She only smiled when we took her to The Gurudwara in the village which her father ,my maternal grand pa Subedar Nidhan Singh Dhillon had got made on his land .The place had his photograph displayed there .Since she could not walk on the uneven steps ,we brought the picture to her in the taxi .On reaching Amritsar I called the new owner of my mom’s house at Harike and offered to purchase the old door and windows ,he agreed though later he gave those to us free .The door and window are still with us and my mother had touched those many a times while she still lived , each time with a smile and a memory .For her those were not non living objects but her childhood mates through whom she relived a joyous time even in her trials .

Posted in Memories

A Tale through Time 

It was December 2006, I was returning home from job after a visit to the bank on the way . Just a few yards before my home, the rickshaw slowed down and I opened my purse to take out the fare. Suddenly someone patted me on the shoulder and I turned around with a smile expecting it to be a neighbour. A huge strange face of a middle aged man on motorbike grinned at me, snatched the open purse in my lap and sped away! All in a few seconds!

Since the police station was just 5 minutes away, I immediately went there to lodge a FIR. Some officer was there and he very assuringly told me not to worry as they would give the snatcher a chase. I was told to lead them to the spot where the snatching took place. So I did but no report was written. Next day on inquiring from the station, we were told that the culprit was not caught. Still the report was not written. When I involved an ex student of mine, a policeman himself, he hinted at offering bribe to get the report written! Then I was informed by a reputed person that I should not insist on the FIR as it would not be lodged.  The said police station was already being pulled up by the IG for not being able to check the unabated crime in the area and they avoided putting any new case on record. I was also warned to ward off! When I insisted the SHO offered a haul of stolen phones and asked me to take my pick! Shocked I approached higher authorities in being pulled up the SHO arrived drunken at my door late one night hurling threats! I dropped the idea of FIR!

When I narrated the entire story to my aged father, he lapsed into shocked silence. After a few days he shared a very different story with me. Here it is in his own words:

“When I was only 10 years of age, My father was a draftsmen’s in chief Engineer canals office at Montgomery, (Now in Pakistan). I often got fever and was diagnosed to be suffering from Tonsil trouble and a fit case for operation. My father consulted my maternal uncle, Dr. K.C. Khanna who was serving then as a professor in History at Govt. College, Lahore, (Now in Pakistan). Consequensent with my mother to Lahore, near Montgomery. Dr. K.C. Khanna, my uncle took me to colonel Dr. Kaul, a specialist, who after proper Examination got me admitted in the Hospital and fixed a date for the required operation after two days. On my recovery I was discharged from the Hospital and stayed at my uncle’s residence for a few days more. It was then that incident occurred. The other day, my uncle brought 3 pass – tickets of the Drama being played at the club-theatre. It was decided that my Aunt would accompany my mother and me to the theatre. We saw the Drama and enjoyed it. On return, we hired a tonga (House driven-cart) which then used to be the common mode ofconveyance. There was a nip in the air, it being a winter night. I was sitting on the front seat of the tonga. My mother thus made me wear her own costly shawl (wrap around). Reaching home, we all got down and went upstairs. A little while later, my mother enquired about her shawl that I was made to wear in the tonga. I replied that while getting down from the tonga, I had placed it in a corner of the front seat occupied by me. It had been left in the tonga! Hearing this my mother became very sad, because not only that the shawl was very costly, it had been brought by my uncle from abroad and gifted to his sister (my mother) on her birthday. On hearing the whole incident my uncle got upset and worried. He at once occupied the chair near the telephone table. He did not have any sleep that night night and kept on calling different people known and friendly to him, for help and consultation, to find the shawl left in the tonga through my stupid mistake. He found a colleague f who was very intimately known to the S.H.O., incharge thana (police Station ) situated near the club. Theatre, from where the tonga was hired by us. Thorough proper intensive enquiries made by the said SHO and his employees from the incharge tonga station the identity of the tonga man was revealed. He had deposited the shawl in the tonga station shelf to be returned to us the next morning. By sheer courtesy the S.H.O. concerned sent the said shawl to us, through one of his employers, who as far as I remember was of an A.S.I. Rank. My uncle thanked the gentleman and served him tea. Courtesy and honesty were not extinct then. Those were the days!”