Men-Oh-Pause

Men-Oh-Pause, give your wives a break,

Don’t get up and leave them to wash up the plates.

They’re on their feet before every meal,

Cooking and washing and keeping the home clean.

They won’t cook once daily ‘cos you want your meals fresh,

And I think that you know that they really need some rest.

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Women-Oh-Pause, just stop and think.

Is your busy lifestyle driving you to the brink?

Long working hours, then a fancy vacation,

When you need to work less, and have a nice lazy stay-cation.

Men, do some housework. It will keep you fit,

And your blood sugar levels might even come down a bit.

Women slow down before you get older,

Set routines that help family have time together.

People make time, slow down the pace,

So you have memories that will put a smile on your face.


Being so busy that there’s no time for family is starting to be the norm in many homes today. It’s even starting to be a thing to be proud of – kind of an achievement with some.

We’ve lost or ‘village’ – the social support system of neighbours, relatives and friends who would help young mothers with babysitting. Or keep an eye on the elderly now and then, to give care-givers a break.

Traditional gender roles in some Indian communities can sometimes leave women (it’s mostly women who look after children and the elderly here  in India), without any support system for when they need a weekly off.

I hope this poem speaks to those that need it.

Will I vote?

Should I vote for you or should I vote for your brother,

The one who will guide you when darkness takes over.

Or, should I vote for the winner, support the fair weather friend,

Who will swing different ways, depending upon who wins.

 

Will I examine my values when I press that button,

Think of the enemy outside, as well as the one within.

The hatred and anger that’s eroding our values,

The funds we spend on renaming roads, and on statues.

 

Do you think I’m against you because I ask questions,

This is how we live at home, making demands from concern, and from caring.

 

Will I want a leader that I can admire,

Who’s anointed with light, who will lead by example.

Will I vote for you or will I vote for another?

Will I be able to vote? Now that’s my real question!

 

‘Cos the voters list is such a mess!

Names omitted, entered wrong, or mistakes in the address.

Why is there no accountability for the voters database?

Why do forms not take details of EVERY permanent residing place?

 

I may not be able to vote, but I have a voice,

And I will use it to ask others to make a careful choice.

Stand for the one who strengthens our institutions,

Who can act quickly, and respect the role of the opposition.

 

Will they vote for you, or vote for your brother,

The one who encourages wrong when the blackness takes over.

 

Or will they vote for another, for a different set of values,

Thinking change is the way that will take us forward.

 

Will they be able to vote? Now, that’s the first question.

 

 

The local bus

Have any of you travelled by the NNMT buses here in Navi Mumbai? They’re surprisingly reliable, and have very comfortable benches, unlike the air-conditioned buses which have the most uncomfortable chairs. And all that noise and rattling can be pretty relaxing!

Here’s a poem for those of you who have stopped travelling by bus. Hope it brings back good memories. Continue reading

Routines

It’s so important to have routines, familiar paths to tread.

Time together and time alone,

Time to visit our parents and keep in touch on the phone.

 

Time to work and time to relax,

Time to move forward and time to step back.

A way to help everyone be together,

Yet still have the space that helps love stay forever.

 

It’s so important to have routines, familiar paths to tread.

To keep us on track when things get harder,

And give us a goal on the days that we flounder.

Help us stay focused till we’re back on track,

And sail over the bumps that could have held us back.

 

It’s so important to have routines,

Familiar places to go.

For every age, for every family member,

‘Cos routines bring comfort and help us to deal with pressure.

They help us relax on that crazy ride,

On the roller coaster that we call life.

 

It’s so important to have routines, familiar paths to tread.

To helps us make hay when the sun shines bright,

And fall asleep quick, when we switch off the lights.


The busy of today often makes us forget the importance of family routines and making space in ones daily schedule so every activity can be done in a relaxed manner. I hope this poem is a reminder.

The pot-stirrer

I could let the dal cook and not give it a look,

Let it stick to the base of the pot.

Then skim off the top, throw the burned part out,

And not worry about the waste, if what’s left suits my taste.

But the bottom of the pot holds the flavour,

That makes the dal taste divine.

And looking away is more labour,

Because scrubbing away the burn takes time.

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Continue reading

That wonderful feeling

That wonderful feeling that you don’t know enough.

It’s what keeps you wanting to study and learn.
To strive to always be better today than you were yesterday.

That feeling that you never fit in.

Because you don’t live by rules imposed by the outside.
You’ve got an internal compass of your own and you’ve learned it’s wise to trust it.
And be comfortable with who you are. Continue reading

Mixed feelings

May 2015 : Mixed feelings as I stop teaching in Bandra

I miss my lovely lot of students there and yet, I’m feeling the relief… now that I don’t have to do that crazy commute that took a good 5 hours out of each day.

I’m looking forward to taking on more students in Khargar, to getting time to make friends in my neighbourhood, and to time at home.

So for now, it’s goodbye to all my Bandra students and their very very supportive families. I wish you well.

 

2017 : Setting up in Khargar

It’s been a few years since I stopped teaching in Bandra. I have started teaching there again, but it’s just couple of students, as I work full time in Khargar, Navi Mumbai.

I don’t advertise, so setting up teaching the piano here in Khargar went slow and gave me time. I used it to study, practise and upgrade the quality of my teaching. And to make time to meet up with friends for chai.

🙂

I now run a small piano teaching studio in Khargar, Navi Mumbai and I plan for it to stay that way. Because this gives me time to focus on continuously improving the quality of my teaching. Staying small helps me do this, while getting time to have a relaxed home life, time with family and time for me.

Maintaining work life balance is a daily effort & sometimes a struggle, but it’s been going pretty good this year.

The Newspaper.. an ode to a lost friend

She was the one you could go to…

When you wanted to pick a fight with your neighbour without actually starting it yourself. A few well aimed barbs, whispered in her ear, and then, you just had to wait 10 minutes…it took just that long for your message to be delivered.

She always knew what was going on…

  • She was the one who came to tell you that your car had been stolen, just after you’d waved goodbye to the thief. Because you were so busy sitting in your balcony, having a good laugh with your family, that you thought a relative was waving to you and driving your car away.
  • She knew who visited whom, and what their business was. She had a job and she did it very enthusiastically, even though she was not paid a salary – “Keeping an eye on everyone around”.. mainly because, deep down inside, she cared.

And she kept us all safe. Because everyone knew there was always someone watching.

She was sometimes a nuisance, because she reported every minor transgression…Parents humoured her, and then had a good laugh when she left. They valued her, because she helped them keep track of what her kids were upto.

She's got lost somehow, 
In the busy busy world of today,
and I miss her.

 

Who is she?

She’s a little bit of you and a little bit of me – she’s the way we all used to be. We used to be friends with our neighbours, get in each other’s faces, rub each other up the wrong way, but when it counted, we were there for each other.

Social media and television did not exist in the Mumbai of old and we needed to bond with the community we lived in.

I’ve used a lot of artistic license, here, to make a point. Mumbai’s changing a lot and we’re losing some safety, as we struggle to live without discord in a society where there are vast differences in standards of living and cultural attitudes.

Mumbai still is one of the friendliest cities in India, but that’s slowly changing.

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