Sunday, December 24, 2017

Parallel universe

In a parallel universe, maybe, right now, we are cutting cake, singing birthday songs and having dinner together...!!!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Secret Santa!

When I was younger, I would wait,
By the window every Christmas night,
Hoping for Santa Claus to fly by,
Maybe he would bring me gifts,
As portrayed in cartoons and told in tales,
But I never saw as much as a flicker in the sky,
‘You need to put up a Christmas tree’, People said,
And I immediately made and put it up,
‘Probably Santa doesn’t go to non-religious homes’,
I made it a habit of visiting a Church every Christmas,
Still no sign of Santa Claus,
It was then I decided to help my own cause,
I made gifts for my parents and put it under the Christmas tree,
In the morning, I was woken up by my mother’s sweet kiss,
‘Looks like a tiny Santa has been around the house after all’,
That day it dawned on me,
Whether Santa comes with his gifts or not, I am not sure,
But there is a Santa, part and parcel of our soul,
Awaken it, spread some cheer,
Bringing happiness to those far and near,
May the world get a little kinder because you were here,
Merry Christmas to you and your peers!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

We breathed heavily,
Lying next to each other on the floor,
We were never satisfied with one round,
It was too easy and too usual,
Both of us liked it hard and intense,
It was almost a ritual,
It had to be done everyday, we just had to,
Probably we were addicted to the high it gave us,
As muscles flexed, sweat rolled down our bodies,
Till every inch of the body was on fire,
Starting slow and steadily building the pace,
Only to reach the crescendo of possibilities,
As we lay there, pulses slowing down,
Peace at the thought of a task well done,

"Well done guys", called out the trainer,
"See you tomorrow"...

We rose and left our own ways.....

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Etched rocks

Unable to get back to you since the day you left with someone else,
Unable to get you out of my thoughts,
I think of you time and again,
The memories fresh in my mind,

These are not like castles on a beach, which can be erased by time,
These are like inscriptions on a stone that shall stay forever,
Unless I change my focus and look elsewhere,
The stone and the inscriptions will etch my heart,
Like sea water on beach rocks.

The salt may damage the rocks slowly,
Yet the rocks love to bathe in the light froth of the waves,
So do I let myself be washed away,
Into memories of bliss.

You were not someone else, you were a part of me,
And when you left, you took that part with you....

Monday, October 9, 2017

Leave behind a note if you read this...

For tiny, aspiring bloggers like me, the readers are all the inspiration... It is extremely soothing to know that someone, somewhere has read my post and probably shares at least a small emotional connect... Would you be so kind to leave a comment/note/message about what you read and how you like it....

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tiny tales

When two people want to be close, no distance is far enough... When two people want to separate, no closeness is near enough...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Stay away...

Stay away,
Unless you are sure you want an independent girl,
Who doesn’t need your decisions,
Only your suggestions, thoughts and opinions.

Stay away,
Unless you are looking for an equal, a best friend and a partner,
Not someone to be dominated upon or to execute your plans.

Stay away,
Unless you are mature enough to handle honest viewpoints,
Sometimes sweet, sometimes biting, no sugarcoats.

Stay away,
Unless you are ambitious and can appreciate ambitions of others too,
Unless you want to change the world in some way, even better if I could help you do so.

Stay away,
Unless you appreciate trust, loyalty and honesty,
Unless you can give your 100% on these and expect the same in return.

Stay away,
Unless you want sleepless nights of passionate conversations on everything from life to death,
And sometimes, just sleepless nights of passion.

Stay away,
Unless you want to be showered with extreme love, possessiveness and obsession,
Bordering on jealousy,
And can return the favour.

Stay away,
Unless you want to be dragged to extreme locations of unseen beauty, wild explorations,
Discovery of nature and rediscovery of the self.

If you are looking for just a homemaker, caretaker, a mother to your children,
Stay away.

Unless you understand you are looking at a person with dreams, ambitions, hopes, likes and dislikes of her own,
Stay away.

Stay away,
Unless you want to know what a seemingly unflustered person is really like when in love.

If you think these are the ravings of a romantic poet,
Which could be worked out later on,
Stay away.

Stay away,
Unless you can love as singularly, passionately, tenaciously and with dedication.

Unless you are here to stay,

Stay away.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Do miracles really exist?

Have heard so much about them,
Read about them in stories,
Watched in movies,
Seen in a few people's life as well...
But are they real,
Or they plain illusions of making the present seem out of league,
Only to return to normal or worse very soon,
But on a different level, miracles might exist,
Just because there were great men,
Men of courage and valour,
Who chose to not give up in the face of adversity,
But to face it and turn it favourable,
Am I one such?
Are you?

Whose fault is it?

Is it my fault?
That my horoscope keeps shifting its patterns,
Handled by different people, in different ways,
It is a walking, talkng human you just denied,
For something so shifty in its ways,
What about the promise you made,
You are breaking it for something so ungrounded,
It isn't fair,
I was once denied my happiness for exactly the opposite of what u believe in right now,
Whose fault is it?
Maybe Krishna's...
But He has given up on me too...
Probably I never mattered to Him,
But He was all I cared for,
I thought He always cared,
Guided me towards what is right,
But that wasn't so...
Why was I even born, why am I still alive!

The stone

I can feel the sorrow, 
It is no more just an emotion,
It is an integral part of me,
Occupying major part of my insides,
Like a stone,
Making my chest heavy,
Obstructing my primary functions,
Not allowing my blood to flow, the air to circulate,
Is it just years of pent up unhappiness?
Is it a symbol of hopelessness?
Or is it my heart that just turned to stone?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Love - Give and take

All that the world is ever truly after is Love. People might disagree and say it is money or fame or greatness. But all these are just the means, the means that are believed to attract true love and appreciation in our lives. A great achiever needs at least a man to tell him he is great, a person with money would realize soon that without a purpose, all of his money is meaningless.

To experience true love, one should be a giver... A giver of love, because love is something that you can truly, warmly experience only when you give it away. Give it away and it will let you glow, bask in its warmth, bathe in its glory. 

"Love is something that you give it away, It just comes back to you,
It is just like a magic penny, hold it tight, you won't have any, It just comes back to you!"

Last evening, I suddenly remembered a friend from college on seeing something on social media. It had been long since we had spoken and I immediately texted him. Coincidentally, he had remembered me the same morning on seeing the same post. I felt a moment of pure, open love and true connection. With some people, there is just no feeling of 'Let him/her call me first'. Instead it is, 'Even if you try running away from me, I will find you!' 

What brings about this difference? 

Probably it is just that in one case you want to be cared for and in the other case you actually care. As soon as there is a 'want', there is an expectation that someone/something should happen to you. Clearly, anything apart from your actions are out of your control and hence there is no guarantee that this 'want' would be fulfilled. This results in grief. However, in the second case, where you want to give away the care, it is easy. Your actions are under your control and you can do exactly what you set out to. This is way much easier and achievable.

Is it then wrong to have any expectation of love at all? Well, there is nothing wrong or right in love and war. All that I am saying is that having an expectation is definitely risky and would sooner or later result in pain and sorrow. As it is said,

'Sometimes, just sometimes, when people say forever, they mean it,
Sometimes, just sometimes, when people make promises, they keep it..'

You may decide for yourself which one you want to opt for. But let me remind you, Lord Krishna asked us to abstain from expectations in the Bhagavad Gita and He was definitely an intelligent man... :)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Competence is a turn on...

When there are talks boring you insane..
The voice of reason that raises a valid argument at the right instant,
The voice that says not a word more than warranted,
The voice of trust, you know when you hear,
A promise, It will be done as said,
The word kept, 
These are the people who earn respect,

Never over promised and under delivered,
Well thought before having spoken,
Thoroughly professional,
I think, Is there a person below that exterior,
Of cool detachment?!!

The fingers working ever so efficiently,
Instant responses and replies on time,
They respect others and earn every dime,
With honest effort,

The sense of trust that they inspire,
Rising like a tall spire,
You know they will do as they say,
Keep your backup plans at bay,
This should have been the norm,
Yet generally it is a boring swarm,
Of empty promises and too many words,
More said than done, the modern day con,
That is why competence is a turn on...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

If I told you...

If I told you this was only gonna hurt
If I warned you that the fire's gonna burn
Would you walk in? Would you let me do it first?
Do it all in the name of love
Would you let me lead you even when you're blind?
In the darkness, in the middle of the night
In the silence, when there's no one by your side
Would you call in the name of love?
If I told you we could bathe in all the lights
Would you rise up, come and meet me in the sky?
Would you trust me when you're jumping from the heights?
Would you fall in the name of love?
When there's madness, when there's poison in your head
When the sadness leaves you broken in your bed
I will hold you in the depths of your despair
And it's all in the name of love

- In the name of Love (Martin Garrix and Bebe Rexha)

For some reason, the lyrics of this song strike a chord deep down. This is almost all of what I would have said... And then some more...

If I told you we both build each other,
A little of each, more so together,
If I am Pikachu, you are my Pikapii,
We are good alone, together our awesomeness is legendary,

Will you stand up, give me some energy,
Together, we strike a synergy,
We form such a beautiful team,
What one thinks is already the other's dream.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Choose a donkey?!

To me it is a dream, an ambition, a fairy tale,
If you thought it was just as much as choosing a donkey,
"A donkey whom I like"??!!!
I am sorry, I am not the one for it..
You might have done that,
But that is your life,
This is mine, and I care far more,
I could be alone and not bat an eye,
But I am not living with any 'donkey'

I have known love,
I know the vast potential of a wedlock,
I have seen a promise of what could be,
To me it is a beautiful partnership,
A permanent roommate,
A best friend,
A partner in crime,
Not any "pet donkey"..

People hardly appeal to me,
And I have lost my dearest because of some of your criteria,
When you had conditions, I tried to live by them,
Now when I have a few,
Does it look like I am simply biding time to you?

Maybe it is just my fate,
I have to wait,
I shall, one needs to try,
I live in my timeline, not in yours,
Don't give me your donkey stories.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Face the storm

A sneeze, a cough or a mild cold,
People apply for sick leaves, bold,
Physical discomfort, a weeny bit,
Lying on the bed, "I'm unfit".

Then there are days of extreme lows,
A painful word, breakup or blow,
A hurt in the heart,  a physical loss,
Your mind is out for a toss.

While physical pain is easy to accept,
People care for with love and respect,
Mental pain is often looked down upon,
The victims are disregarded and scorned.

Physically ill people are asked to take rest,
Mental illness is ignored at best,
The most striking I have heard,
"All of it is just in your head."

What people fail to understand,
A pain is a pain, either brand,
In fact, sometimes, a pain in the heart,
Can be more crippling than what the body can impart.

Unaware of the truth, people shy away,
From saying that their heart is astray,
They believe that true strength is in putting up a mask,
And working when their world is falling apart, brings them glory to bask.

Success comes, they believe, after the pain,
Might be true, sunshine after the rain,
Accept the pain, but do get it treated,
You don't have to contain it, don't feel defeated.

Tears are not just for the weak,
Don't believe them,
You are allowed to feel bleak,
Emotions these, from the heart they stem.

If you have ever loved and lost,
Vested hopes on a plan storm-tost,
Felt that your life just went by,
Rest assured, there's nothing to be shy,
It is absolutely fine to cry,
Weep until your tears run dry.

Seek help from family, solace from friends,
Don't fake strength in self-defense,
There's no need of a mask, nothing to defend,
All go through this, it is almost a trend.

It is just another illness, we have doctors around,
Be not alone, problems may compound,
And for those of us who meet such friends,
Try to listen, else, at least don't offend,
If not some warmth, don't get too cold,
One loose comment might magnify the misery multi fold.

There is another aspect to the story,
Taking shortcuts brings no glory,
Chocolates may help, shopping might be close,
Addiction and drug abuse are your foes.

The storm has struck, your boat is sinking,
Swim or die, hardly time for procrastinating,
Crib, cry, run around like headless chicken,
Ask for help, talk, bring out the dirty linen,
Just don't pop in a pill and say,
I'll do it tomorrow, let me forget today.

Yes, it is difficult, a challenge, maybe unfair,
But life has thrown in your way, a dare,
Face the storm, acknowledge it with pride,
It is an opportunity to swim against the tide.

Someday in the future, the dots shall connect,
Till then, keep patience, try not to fret,
When people ask how you got wet,
Don't cover up saying in the sea you bathed,
No one escapes a storm unscathed.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How much money do you need?

You may earn crores,
Have the fanciest of cars,
But nature has already decided,
Walking is good for your health.

You may earn lakhs,
Order the choicest of delicacies, from around the world,
But your body is already configured,
To accept only a stomach full.

You may be the most popular,
Lakhs of people waiting to hear you speak,
But only a chosen few can listen to your heart,
That is the awesomeness of family and friends.

Technology might bring you several modes of communication,
Connect you with strangers and friends alike,
But none can convey the unspoken word,
As clearly as a teardrop or a smile.

You may travel fast and far,
With all the new transport systems in place,
Yet nothing shall replace the light stroll,
Amidst nature's lap, at your own pace.

Well, if all our needs are so clearly defined,
What is that for which we greed???
"It is not the man who has too little,
But the one who craves more that is poor."

Friday, March 31, 2017

The lost toy (boy)?

Rinu was sent to the park everyday,
Her parents wanted her to make friends,
Children of her age were having fun,
Easy friendships, frolic under the sun,
It wasn't an easy task for her,
She was so choosy and took forever,
Hardly did one match up to her taste,
Previously, she had a toy that had gone to waste,
Till that was around, she never needed a friend,
She adored it all day and night,
Not even sure whether it was worth the pain,
Recently it had broken, she threw it away,
Quite heavy hearted, she had fallen prey,
To sorrow and despair on losing her dear,
In her was a new fear,
Nobody would understand her well ever,
She was not a girl of sugar and spice,
And all things nice,
She was a little of every flavour,
Ups and downs, she equally favoured,
Life was for her a great mix to savour,
Pushing someone to see this view was painful labour,
Until one day she went to the park,
Saw a thin guy standing by the sidewalk,
He looked shy and yet experienced,
In the job of making compulsory friends,
Rinu went up and asked his name,
Vini was it, he sweetly exclaimed,
It reminded her of Winnie the pooh,
She liked his modesty and put him on review,
They sat down on the park bench,
Spoke till either of them unclenched,
It was really easy for both,
Their conversations kept on their growth,
It was getting late, they decided to meet again,
Just as all was good, Rinu asked something disdain,
"Did you ever have a toy, I lost mine sometime back",
This put Vini on thinking track,
"I had a doll too, I lost it here",
His smile just disappeared,
He got up and went down the sidewalk,
Unable to decide whether he wanted the doll,
Was it gone, was it ever to be found,
Undecidedly, he looked at the ground,
"Let's not meet again, I need to look for my doll",
Saying so, he went ahead on his stroll,
Rinu didn't know what to say,
Deep down she wished he would stay,
But she couldn't have him still looking for the doll,
It would be better if he could accept it was gone,
If he would find it back, she would be happy for him,
She knew the pain of losing one's whim,
But dolls generally do not return once lost,
This was seen from her experience past,
Her toy was broken and could never be fixed,
Maybe such things were bewitched,
Anyhow, she looked down the path,
Down which Vini had walked,
Maybe he would choose to return someday,
Till then in her thought, they were friends astray,
Even if he were to never return,
She knew in her innocence,
Though short, it was a friendship deep,
She could feel his soul weep,
The pain was easy to identify,
She felt they could easily beatify,
each other's lives...
In the meantime, she had to make new friends,
This was her parents concept of making amends,
for the lost toy...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Hopes shattered

The pain is never going to end?

I am stuck in an endless nightmare,
In the narrow alleys of my mind...

Neither of us can't compromise on our honest selves,
We need to sort out our thoughts to make this happen,

There is no time limit on mind games and sorting out stuff in the head,
But apparently everything else has a time limit,

Why didn't I just decide, "What a moron!" when I first heard your voice,
Why did it have to continue even so much,
Why did we have to feel so comfortable with each other,
Like friends since ages past,

It's like I am stuck in a dark room made of stone,
There is no outlet,
I look at another prospect,
Even as my thoughts are completely stuck around us,
And the possibilities of what could have been,
It is not love that was broken,
It is hope that was shattered,
And that is worse.

You came along and showed me hope does exist in the world,
For broken hearts like mine,
There was solace in your calm conviction,
In the shared vision,
In the quiet understanding
In the absolute words of trust,

I let my wounds surface in the hope of getting them treated,
Maybe a little too early,
But who really gets to choose,
The heart makes its own decisions.
The wounds got cut a little deeper,
It is bleeding again,
I don't know how to heal,
Why doesn't it bleed till there is no more blood
And then there would be peace,
But I am too hopeful for that,
Your words resonate in my head,
'The future is interesting'
I am not sure how,
But I wish it is...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Honesty and Courage

How underrated are honesty and courage as virtues!!!
How many can stand up to for what they believe is right?
Warriors take pride in courage in the face of their enemies…
But fighting what you don’t like is just the easiest thing to do,

Confronting what you like because you don’t think it is going right,
People go around thinking honesty is their birthright,
Idiots, have you ever lived up to it yourself?
Do you know the level of pain and courage it takes…

Demons in the world are not elsewhere,
They are in the heart, in the form of insecurities,
If you do not acknowledge them and confront them, they will swallow you whole,
The biggest cheats are those who lie to themselves,
In the process putting others in trouble,
Nobody lives happily ever after,
Unfortunately, these are not what our education/society/system teaches,
Let today pass, tomorrow I shall deal as it comes,
No! You cannot…
Your today’s actions have already made tomorrow slightly tougher to deal with,
The more tomorrows pass, the more inertia you have created,
Act now, Acknowledge now, fight now,
Let alone the world, be honest to yourself,
Don’t dare call yourself honest until you have accepted yourself to your own, (does anyone understand that?!
Without fighting your inner demons, you are not even halfway true,
I wish I could shout, flare up and swear,
But how does it matter, you are just not there, (no, nobody is there…)

If something is yours, it will be yours whatever may pass,
Else, it was never yours from the start,
Accept and move on.

Like Sherlock’s sister, I am a lone child,
Stuck on a plane with virtue-dead people,
I know it is going to crash soon,
No world, no planet can sustain such stupidity and lack of thought,
Oh yes, if you didn’t know, lack of virtues can kill your race,
Greed and envy have already set their pace,
Nobody is ever going to understand,
Death and destruction are the only fitting ends,

And that is peaceful too.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Women's day at the cost of men?

Women's day is a big thing all over the world. Governments, corporates and most institutions in general observe it. Observing it is alright, sometimes, I feel if in the process of being good to our women, are we unconsciously being  unfair to the men.

If you have been in buses in India, you would know that one entire side of seats is generally reserved for women. The other side is general. So, many times, I have seen ladies take the gents' seat, but if the vice versa happens, it would create a ruckus. Well, this is just a starter. There are many bigger issues.

A women can complain of harassment and everybody will be there to support her. By default, it is believed that she is saying the truth. However, this may not always be the case. Sometimes, genuinely the woman might be at fault. After all, we are all humans.

I read recently that there are a lot of men who commit suicide unable to put up with their gender stereotypical roles. They need to earn for the family - for this they sometimes put up with jobs that they don't really like doing. Quitting a job and being a homemaker is considered an option for a girl, not for a man.

There is a belief, boys are not supposed to cry, actually they cannot show any signs of weakness at all. This is not fair to our men. Why can't we accept them as fellow human beings and understand that they might be sensitive too...

As with all reservations, it is good to have privileges for the weaker section, but until a point. After that, let us understand that there is only one species- humans. Let us respect each other and live and let live.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The summer breeze

It was a hot, stuffy summer day,
As I went about doing my chores,
Up to the terrace to get my clothes,
There was an unexpected flow,
Of a cool summer breeze,
It made me glow,
With a forgotten ease,
It danced by my hair,
Blew my curls wild,
Carrying with it the scent of jasmine,
It intoxicated me mild,
As I sat and revelled in pleasure,
I was carried away by a definite measure,
I observed the clouds take shape,
Infant, bull and turtle - what did they indicate?

After a few minutes of peace, my mind played its game,
A small amount of doubt can put contentment to shame,
Not long ago, there was a winter wind,
Cool, chill and lovely at first,
The breeze turned into a cloud burst,
A spectacular cyclone emerged,
Destroyed everything in its path,
Was this also another such, I thought,
Was this really about to bring peace?
Or would it simply leave...
Increasing the scorching summer's heat...?!

Only time will tell.........

- Dedicated to the 'City of Stars' soundtrack from 'La La Land'

"Who knows, Is this the start of something wonderful,
Or one more dream that I cannot make true?"

Monday, February 20, 2017

Insignificant acts of goodness

I love pets of several kinds, from furry animals to flowering plants, decorative plants, succulents and herbs. It gives me a lot of pleasure to see something grow and help it in some way to do so. Though I live in a PG at present, I brought a tiny Tulsi plant from home in a small pot to give me some company. I live on the first floor, but the best place I could find for it was atop the compound wall. The owner did not have any problem with it as they too had a small space right outside the compound with a few plants of their own.

Every morning, as I went down to have breakfast, I would water my Tulsi without fail. I would carry a mug full of water, but as it was a small pot, I observed that it needed just half of it. Instead of carrying it back, I used to pour out the remaining outside the compound onto the space where plants were kept by the owner.

Soon enough, it put out new branches and leaves. I was really pleased. As it grew, I noticed that its leaves  were less green and almost violetish in their appearance. I googled to find out that this was actually the 'Krishna Tulsi' variety and was slightly rarer than the green 'Rama Tulsi' variety. The plant put forth flowers too- tiny, beautiful, violet flowers. It is believed that these flowers are very dear to Lord Krishna, so I used to cut them out very carefully and offer them to a photo of Lord Krishna I had in my room.

While all this was happening, Tulsi had a new visitor. A sparrow used to come every morning and sit near the pot waiting to drink the run-off water from the plant. Actually, the pot in which Tulsi was kept was made of stainless steel. Probably the sparrow had noticed its own image on the pot. Every morning, it used to sit right next to Tulsi on the wall and go around it for an hour trying to make friends with the bird on the other side. It even used to peck at its image sometimes. On weekends, watching this cute happening had become my constant recreation. This continued for almost a month before the sparrow went away. Maybe, it figured out that it was a reflection after all.

Sometimes, there were unwanted visitors too. A spider spun its web around the branches and fed on the juicy leaves and flowers. I didn't want to use any chemicals on the plant. After a bit of reading up online, I got to know that crushed neem leaves mixed with water can keep away insects. So, I brought some leaves from a nearby tree and soaked overnight to extract its juices. I washed the Tulsi leaf-by-leaf in the neem extract and sure enough, the spider did go away and Tulsi became healthy again.

I continued to pour water every morning and Tulsi was doing well for almost a year. But recently, I noticed that many leaves were wilting and Tulsi looked weak. One Sunday, I went down to wash the plant and realized that probably I had been too busy to notice that the spider had taken hold again and this time, it seemed irreparable. I washed it nonetheless and was cursing myself at my own negligence. Leaves had turned brown and were falling off. Tulsi wouldn't last long and it was all my fault. As I kept reminiscing sadly of the good days gone by, my PG owner showed up. "What are you doing ma? Cleaning the plant?" he asked. "Yes uncle" I said. "Why don't you keep your other plant also in a pot and take care of it" he asked. "Which other plant?" I was confused. "Didn't you see, there is a Tulsi plant right outside the compound below where you keep your pot? Come, I will show you" saying so, he walked outside to the spot. I ran behind him. He pointed out to a tiny plant amongst several others, making its way, competing for the sunlight. Sure enough, it was a Tulsi, the same variety as the one I had kept in the pot. The seeds might have fallen from above and the little water I poured might have helped. That moment, I was happy beyond words. Tulsi would live, in another form, But it was not just that. I had always heard that we should keep doing good in every small way we can. Though it might seem very small and insignificant today, someday it might all add up in ways we never could think about. Now I knew that was so true. It had all added up to this single moment of pure happiness. I resolved to take good care of my new found tiny Tulsi and also increase and intensify my insignificant acts of goodness.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Jallikattu – A revival of culture

Till sometime back, all that I heard of Jallikattu was on News channels around Pongal time. Least did I expect that it would become such a sensation, landing itself on every channel in the country, caged by politics and PETA. In fact, the sport had been so remote to the general public that had it not been for this ban imposed on it, I personally feel it might have just faded away along with so many other traditions.

Now that we are here, I am sure most of you know about the issue. The PETA claims that this bull taming sport, apparently where the bulls are harmed, should be banned. The TN people believe that it is a major part of the festival, Pongal and should be carried forward to preserve the tradition. Obviously, to decide one must investigate which side has a valid claim. Generally, in order to raise healthy bulls for this sport, the farmers take very good care and feed them well. It is true that there were a few cases when the bulls were intentionally fed liquor or rubbed with chilli powder to enrage them so that nobody would be able to tame them and win the prize. But this is like having match fixing in cricket. When you know match fixing takes place, you don’t ban cricket. You make stronger rules and enforce vigilance. Same is what we need for this sport as well. Further, there is a thought on A1 and A2 breeds and that this might be a ploy to erase the healthier indigenous breeds and bring in the high-yielding, not so healthy foreign breeds into our economy.

When Pongal was done and gone, I frankly thought that this issue has been put to rest until next year. But the crowd gathering on Marina Beach was a surprise and the way people across the world showed their solidarity was humbling. This is not just about Jallikattu or the corporate mafia or politics. This has brought about something so much more basic – the fact that we acknowledge and identify with our culture. Though all of us are aware of our traditions, it is rare that any of us want to identify ourselves with it. How many of us, immediately after landing a job in an MNC, rubbed off those ‘bindis’ or let loose those well-oiled plaits? How many of us would dare to attend a North Indian friend’s wedding dressed in ‘Veshti’? How many of us would be able to welcome our guests with our traditional ‘Paanagam’ (jaggery dissolved in water with spices to taste) or ‘Neer More’ (Buttermilk) instead of the trendy soft drinks and packaged ‘fresh’ juices?

It is easy to acknowledge and say ‘Oh yes, this is how it is done at our place’. It is tougher to say ‘I shall do it this way as it is my culture’. The toughest of all is when someone questions your culture and you have to stand up for it. In order to do this, first of all, you must be fully convinced as to why this ‘something’ was made a tradition and followed till date, why it would be beneficial to follow it henceforth. When you are fully convinced, then you may set out to convince the world about it.

The non-violent uprising all over TN shows that we all are clearly in the third stage. Not only do we acknowledge and identify, we are ready to stand-up for what we believe is right. There have been instances where a few youngsters have refused to have any soft drinks henceforth and have switched to healthier traditional options. To me, it feels like we are at the beginning of a cultural revival where we have started to see the benefits of our long-standing culture and feel proud to be a part of it. Not all imported stuff is great – be it things, ideas, values (or cows!). Let us put each through a logical screening process before bringing in anything new or removing anything old from our ways of living.