Real Conversations

She wants to know when they’re happy but not when they’re sad,

When they’re laughing out loud, but not when they’re mad.

He expresses his feelings, but when THEY do it’s not fine,

Unless they think alike. That’s OK… Both on the same side.

He says he feels lonely, but stays away from the real,

From eyes that look out the same window, but see a different world.

There are times when it’s not about what’s right or wrong,

We all walk different paths, dig different ditches, and have to scale different walls.

Will things change, will they realise they can put the lonely away,

Get off their cellphones, and have real conversations face to face?

This busy

9 to 5 equals 7 to 7,

On days that are busy, they’re home after eleven.

Both of them work and their schedule’s real tight,

It’s what they expected, but this busy isn’t right.

So she gives up her job to stay at home,

Life gets more relaxed and the stress is all gone.

Double incomes were trouble for no one got rest,

And they realised division of labour would suit them best.

So he brings in the money while she runs the house,

He does well at work, while her dreams hit the dust.

Ingrained gender roles shaped her ideas of life

So, she made the home her priority – it was HER choice.

This stage won’t last long because she’ll get really bored.

She’s got other dreams – and she’ll work from her home.

He wants her to work – have a wife who is happy,

With a career from home, so the home runs easy.

He keeps weekends for his hobbies and the home’s run without stress,

It’s a simpler life. More relaxed. And they both feel it’s for the best.

Let the light shine

 

Let the light shine strong on all this hate

shine true and bright before it’s too late.

Help the world make that change even if it’s small

stay true and strong until it helps us all.

Let the light shine so strong that obliterates anger

and helps us work for a social structure that supports good behaviour.

Help us teach our children to be humble and polite

and be a living example to them, so it becomes their way of life.

Let us care for the strays

as we’ve occupied their homes with our buildings

and parks and gardens and roads.

Let the light shine true inside our hearts
help us change our ways and lead us down the right path.

A prayer for the days when hope is all we have.

A Wonderful Woman

She’s a wonderful woman – that’s all I can say,

Let’s us make our mistakes and find our own way.

No protests when we make our housework easy,

With routines and ideas that would drive her crazy.

She teaches us her wisdom when we’re sinking or stuck,

And we bring some change when she’s gotten into a rut.

The old and the new – they slowly merge,

And become tradition over the years.

Time will pass by and we’ll all grow older,

And that wonderful woman will need to live closer.

Then, we’ll need some routines that keep the space,

To keep the love alive during this different phase.

A Saas and a Bahu, but not like on TV,

Space and routines for togetherness.

With love.

And with freedom.

Lets Accept That We Don’t See

Lets not be like the blind man who has met with the elephant,

Who knows just one part but thinks the knowledge of others is irrelevant.

Lets find comfort in difference, and give everyone a voice,

Lets not be offended when their way is not our choice.

Know that there are so many parts and so many levels,

And our wisdom might be wrong for a different situation.

Let us accept we are blind, that we don’t see the whole,

So we act with humility – it’s good for the soul.

Stand up and fight for what is right

Stand up and fight for what is right,

With words  imperfect, but a heart that’s alright.

Be the flame that sheds light – alive and strong,

When society wants a display of money, or when you see something wrong.

Stand up and be strong, do not be afraid,

Sometimes, we have to dig up the soil so a fresh foundation can be laid.

Be the change that you want everyone else to be.

Sometimes, we have to fight the tide to swim in the sea.

She’s there for a reason

She’s there for a reason and her reason is money.

If you’re not doing well she won’t find your jokes funny!

She can’t understand why you treat her so well,

When here purse is empty and her budget’s shot to hell.

So she gets suspicious and stays away,

From friends with values that might teach her a different way.

She’s the one with values that are all about money,

And she burns up inside when she feels your days are sunny.

You are friends for all seasons, for worse and for better,

She’ll only learn the hard way, and you need to be patient enough to let her.

Can we stop and just listen?

Can we stop and just listen to what they say?

‘Cos the wheel will keep turning until every dog has it’s day.

Can we withhold judgement even when we don’t agree?

Even when their ideas make us want to shout and scream?

Because foolish or brilliant, we all have a role,

And the fool might have some wisdom that lights up dark roads.

Can we make time to listen, and be polite?

Look behind the words and see the person. Try to understand the other side.

Paint The Town RED

 

We’re the women who dress up to visit our mothers.

We live by our own standards, don’t paint us with your colour.

Blow dry our hair and put on our best dress,

No, it’s not a night out to paint the town red!

We take less care when we go out with our men,

‘Cos our husbands are happy whether we’re 2’s or 10’s.

We’re the women who dress up to visit our mothers,

And you’re the woman who’s burning up because you can’t see the good in another.


To the woman who judges other women by her standards.

Letter : A plea for a humane society

There are many horrifying incidents of cruelty to animals – incidents that happen within housing societies. They de-sensitise people to the pain of living beings in general and this impacts society.

This post also has a few tips on how societies can get strays to leave without cruelty and what people can do to help, as well as what they shouldn’t do.

Dear People of India,117 dog-753269_1920

Please lets work together and take a few steps and reduce cruelty to animals within our housing societies.
Ensure that all strays that enter our buildings are led out without injuring them.
  1. Our street dogs respond well to the inducement of food as they’re always hungry.
  2. They will tend to follow or play with someone who talks gently to them and can be lead out of the building.
  3. If they don’t move or if they snarl, they’re likely too frightened or in pain because they’re injured, so call an animal rescue centre or an animal activist from your locality who has experience dealing with situations like this.

DON’T

  • Ask the watchmen or housekeeping staff to grab them or wave a stick at them. They don’t know how to handle animals, will  frighten and injure them, and are likely to get bitten.
  • Talk loudly, or let children play and run around a frightened animal. It will make the situation worse.

DO

  • Make sure the animal is watched at all times if in an area that is busy. Children wanting to help are likely to try and get bitten. And the animal may get beaten by someone else in your society.
  • Call someone for help.
  • Have a talk with watchmen and housekeeping regularly, keeping them informed of what to do, or let them know who to call when there’s a stray in the building.
  • Talk to people so they understand that animals can be taken out without beating them, and that cruelty is not ok.

Please stop this cruelty,

Please, teach watchmen and housekeeping staff to be sensitive to the pain of animals, as they are living beings.

If you don’t care about animals, please care about your children. Please remember that every act of cruelty de-sensitises the perpetrator to the pain of another living being. That there are some people who enjoy inflicting pain on others. And that stopping this now, will send out a message that treating all living beings in a humane way is important and necessary.

Remember, these are the men who are in charge of the safety of your children.

Occupational Therapy

 

If you’re feeling bored and have nothing to do,

Just pray for someone to leave some shares to you!

You’ll have forms to fill and submit to the bank,

Affidavits, attested copies & hopefully a signature mismatch!

Occupational therapy and places to go,

Always something to do on the  days that go slow.


We lose a lot of working hours here in India, getting paperwork done when we move residence. Address change means updating passports, rations cards, pan and aadhar cards. Then there’s bank, investment, loan, phone, electricity and life insurance companies, etc.

Then we sometimes need to re-update details after our address change has been done wrong or our name has been misspelled after the update!

Shares are another big time-waster when there’s a name change due to transfer of shares on death of the first/sole holder. That’s what was behind this poem 🙂

Comfort Food and Writing

A home that’s relaxed needs organisation and routine,

Things bought in advance, and no last minute cooking.

But there’s just one thing that used to cause me stress,

Paperwork and clearing my inbox, something I’d rather attend to a lot less.

But now, I have a method that never fails,

A coping strategy for after, so that peace and happiness prevail.

It’s coffee or chai or kanda bhajiyas,

While I write out my mood till the grumpiness disappears.

Comfort food and writing – it really works,

And I feel light and happy, but I need a long walk.

There’s more on my middle, but my heart feels light,

My grumpy has gone, and now everything is just fine!

The Piano Practise’r’s

They go to the piano on days that are sad,

On days they feel happy, or to let out their mad.

On days that go well and on days they feel taxed,

Because, most important of all – they play to relax.

Listen to music for joy – not as homework.

Different genres and styles – it makes them receptive to new cultures and ideas.

They go to the piano on days they feel lonely,

Or when they need an escape when there’s too much company.

On days that are busy, it’s a minute at night.

Because playing the piano just makes them feel light.

More skilled at managing their schedule than most of their peers,

They develop these skills over time – learn to balance practise with study as well as work.

They practise daily through rain, or through hail or through sun,

Because they love the challenge of practise – they think it’s real fun.

Practise more when it’s busy, and on days they feel taxed,

Because, most important of all – they play to relax.


It’s odd to see so many students giving up hobbies during years when work or study get challenging. And see long term piano students practising more during these times.

I write this poem as a  piano teacher who teaches her students how to schedule, so that they practise daily, and their daily piano practise is relaxed.

And, as a piano practise’r’.

A visit to Dr Google

We visit the doctor once a year,

When we’re not feeling too good. Just to be sure all is clear.

The doctor tells us to have some tests,

But we decide to try lifestyle changes, and a little rest.

We raid the kitchen on Grandma’s advice,

Try home remedies and walk our way to a healthier life.

It’s haldi for colds or for throat infections,

Or raw garlic. It also works for high cholesterol.

Ginger for pain or a cold that won’t go,

Or a steam inhalation, to ease a sore throat.

Jeera and saunf, and add some ajwain,

A big spoonful of it followed by a big glass of water.

For better digestion and a good night’s sleep,

For allergies or the days that we’ve had too much meat.

And, lets not forget good old Dr. Google,

Or Bob & Brad, and their tips on youtube.

The places to go to for lifestyle advice,

That can ease back pain, and change the quality of daily life.

We’ll go to the doctor again next year,

For a reminder to live well, so we’re in the clear.

She’s the bottom of the barrel

 

She’s like the bottom of the pot, where the spoon scrapes.

When there’s less inside, to put on our plates.

The bottom of the barrel that bears the pressure,

When it’s filled to the brim and there’s no ease or leisure.

The support for the busy of everyone else,

And when she’s not well, the support for herself.

She’s not like her husband who gets his food done,

When the doctor advises lifestyle changes and more sun.

She’s not at the park with her friends like the old men,

Who have nothing to do and more time they can spend.

The support for the busy of everyone else,

And when she’s not well, the support for herself.

This is something the medical profession should consider,

And talk to Indian families still steeped in patriarchal traditions.

Because many men don’t do housework and some think it’s demeaning,

And they often don’t have the fortitude needed to handle children and difficult elderly senior citizens.

They need to wake up and offer support and caring,

And a doctor talking about this might make them more understanding.

Because she’s like the bottom of the barrel that bears the pressure,

When it’s filled to the brim and there’s no ease or leisure.

The support for the busy of everyone else,

And when she’s not well, often the ONLY support for herself.

Do you ever?

 

Do you ever

leave your house without your phone,

Call up somebody who lives alone?

Feel grateful for the friend who was there through the sad,

Let your maid have a day off when her back is bad?

Do you call up someone just to say hi,

Make time to look at the clear blue sky?

Talk to your kids and hear what they say,

Do you tell them a little about your day?

Do you wish your neighbour because you’re polite,

Or only when you have need and you think this is alright.

Do you pass her by when the need is gone,

And wonder why your children can’t find friendship with strong bonds!

Do you talk to your family – just chat and laugh,

Or reminisce about days that have long ago passed?

Do you teach your kids to spend time with the old,

 And form bonds that will anchor them when life gets cold?

Do you ever leave your house without your phone,

Call up somebody who lives alone?

Visit a friend when her day is cold and sad,

Let your maid have a day off when her back is bad?

Do you ever?


This poem has been published at allpoetry.com 

The musings of a Roaming Catholic

Do you believe in God but shun religion?

Feel that faith strong and quiet will shine out from within?

Jai Shree Ram or Praise The Lord,

Or Allah Hu Akbar, to me there’s just one God.

I can use any name but they all mean the same,

For me there’s only Jesus, and I can call him by many names.

‘Cos I’m a Roaming Catholic, and I read the Bible,

Or attend a satsang for help on the days that I struggle.

For the temple is inside of us, if we can only see.

And it’s our attitude and behaviour that can spread kindness, hope or greed.

There’s one thing we all should remember and accept,

That we WILL pay the piper for every debt.

The light is the same and it shines on us all,

And mixing religion and politics is going to lead to our downfall.


Satsang – a discourse on the Bhagavad-Gita.

I’m a Roman Catholic living in a multi-faith family and I often call myself a Roaming Catholic, because I borrow from all faiths when I see something good that helps me.

How to learn a new piano piece

 

Sight reading a new piece it’s always TOG,

Bit by bit else you’ll have to slog.

Go through the motions on days that it’s tough,

Because small bits of practise will make smooth out of rough.

Later it’s SEP ‘cos you’ll pick it apart,

Exploring aurals and technique till it gets in your heart.

Because music with meaning is what will bring joy,

And analysis and theory will become a new toy.

A tool to help you experiment,

With a little bit of improv – time well spent.

So let your practise have meaning and learn all the tools

That I teach you in class, it’ll help you with school.

To study much quicker – more independently,

And family support will help you keep your hobby permanently.

Practise and learn, have a hobby for life,

It will help you later in times of strife.

You’ll go to your piano and play out your struggles,

Till you feel you can go back relaxed and untroubled.


TOG & SEP are my short-forms for playing hands together and hands separately. Sight-reading means playing a new piano piece that you don’t know after a glance at it.

Can #Mentoo support #Metoo?

Why can’t #Mentoo help #Metoo?

Why can’t we have fair laws?

Since when does consent turn to rape,

Just because a relationship has gone sour?

Is it ok to deny any person the right to go?

Their right to leave, their right to choice and the right to say no?

It takes living with love, commitment and caring to make a happy marriage,

And marriage with coercion is behaviour our society should not encourage!

Why can’t #Mentoo support  #Metoo?

Why can’t we have fair laws?

Since when does consent turn to rape,

Just because a relationship has gone sour?

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