Can we look at the rapist?

Can we look at the rapist – the one who did wrong?

Was it bad upbringing, social issues, or genes gone wrong?

Can we look at the man who hammers his wife,

And not be the support that bolsters his fake pride. Continue reading

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Do you want children so quick?

Do you want children so quick, or is it the pressure?

From family and friends who really should know better.

Who should let you do things at your own pace,

Take a little time so you have more savings and space.

 

Space in your schedule to spend time with your child,

And savings, so one of you can be home for a while.

‘Cos the early years are so important,

To the quality of your child’s education and emotional development.

 

You’ll have probably had a big fat Indian wedding,

Started your marriage with little or no savings.

And much as you’d like it, it just wouldn’t work,

If one of you worked part-time during your child’s early years.

 

I ask you to think, not to give in to pressure,

From family, friends, and neighbours who really should know better.

Being a parent takes time spent with sense, love and patience,

And a lack of time with your child often isn’t the best situation.

 

Should you have children quickly, or should you wait?

Take more time, settle down. Plan, save and make space.

Space in your schedule to be home with your young child,

Have faith that what’s meant will be given to you when it’s time.

 

I urge you to think, and wait till you’re sure,

Plan to be a parent your child will know.

‘Cos a child is a gift and needs love and care,

Don’t miss out on that because you’re never there.

 

Do you regret having that big fat wedding?

Would the money have helped you out of this situation?

 

Or do you not want children, but can’t take the pressure?

From family, neighbours and friends who really should know better.

Do you feel children are a choice that you don’t want to make,

But have done so to get everyone off your case?

 


A post about a much ignored aspect of family planning.

The pressure to have children is huge for many young couples and it can be quite intrusive. And really hurtful to couples who have difficulty conceiving.

I wrote about my experience with the pressure in ‘Children don’t need time.’


Copyright © Anita E Kohli, May 2019. All rights reserved.

Make hay when the sun shines bright

I write a lot of poetry in the first person. Often, it’s just a choice I’ve made because I feel it will speak to you as you read it, in a more personal way.

This poem is one of those that IS personal. ‘Dear Change’ was the start of this particular journey, and the poem below reflects the lessons I’ve learned over the past few years.

 I hope you enjoy reading it.


 

We must make hay when the sun shines bright,

Let our dreams change hue in the silver of the night.

We must take a turn when the path is blocked,

And explore the lanes we usually do not. Continue reading

The stages of my life

It used to be Baby, ‘cos they saw I was young,

The one they looked after when her parents weren’t around.

Then, it was Didi – the elder sister,

A young adult woman without a ‘Mister’.

But 2 years of marriage and that was all gone,

Then I became Bhabhi, their sister-in-law!

 

Now things have changed and there’s grey in my hair.

More on my middle, and some signs of wear.

I’m Auntie and my age gets me more respect,

For I’m older and wiser – at least that’s what they expect.

The years will go by and things will change,

I might someday be Naani – that’ll be a different stage.

 


Indians very rarely use Mr or Ms to address each other. The elderly woman is addressed as  Auntie. And shopkeepers, vendors and fellow commuters have titles for each stage of life. This poem is about the stages in the life of the Indian woman.

Many who speak English as a second language refer to a woman’s husband as her ‘Mister’ – as in “How is your Mister?”

‘Naani’ means grandmother – a title of respect reserved for an ‘Auntie’ who is a senior citizen.

 

 

 

 

Because I know that success will follow

A letter to the piano student who fears failure and therefore just won’t try.

 


Dear Student, I’m asking you to make an effort.

I’m not asking you to succeed, but to just go through the motions to start with.

Because I know that success will follow.

Because I know, that someday you’ll move on and be independent in learning music. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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

The temple inside

We take it with us wherever we go,

That temple inside that helps us connect with our soul.
We don’t really need fancy buildings to worship,
Or an outwardly show of this private relationship.

We just need some quiet, a place we can find,

Even on days that are noisy, to clear the clutter from our minds.
We need a pace of life that helps us grow,
With time to reflect, feel the light, let it flow.

So, we can take the light with us wherever we go.

‘Cos it’s the temple inside us, that helps keep us whole.


There are so many different ways of reaching the same goal. What’s the right way for each person is different. Because ones ideas, thoughts, attitudes and beliefs can give a deeper meaning and a truth to a way that is meaningless to another person.

I decided to write about this way, because it’s a way that often doesn’t get heard. A way that some follow, but few talk about.

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.

Kharghar is burning

I wrote the following poem many years ago, when I had 2 years of laryngitis due to the burning of garbage on the roads outside our earlier residence. It was common, so an ENT specialist had her clinic details posted on the society notice board!

Diwali, a festival of new beginnings, is the time I don’t walk down the streets. Firecrackers used to start well in advance of the festival, but this year seems better, and I’m grateful for it.

Still, roads don’t usually get cleaned immediately after Diwali here in Kharghar, and the remains of firecrackers and the strong smell is a health hazard for many. This year seems a little different and people are starting to realise that we need to change and find new, non-polluting ways to enjoy the festival. I hope this trend continues.


 

Kharghar is burning and nobody cares.

There’s often a strong smell of smoke in the air.

Garbage collection is not a routine,

And waste segregation still is a pipe dream. Continue reading