Hari hated the hearing aid. It gave him a headache. 
He paced the room waiting for the call. He had just the week to organize Diwali dinner. He’d show off Rajiv to his new friends in the retirement community.
Jamuna answered the phone in speaker mode, gesticulating to Hari to wear his hearing aid. Hari shook his head.
In between meetings, Rajiv hurriedly said, "No Ma, I’m going to Switzerland. Diwali’s the only time I can go….bye. Hello to Dad.”
Hari’s eyebrows went up in inquiry, eyes expectant underneath his permanent deaf smile.
“Congratulations! The company’s sending your son to speak at an international forum. He’ll visit us once he is back” said Jamuna with a bright smile.

That thing called love...

That thing called love…
You’re a hero, my box with a shiny bow. You held the strings of my heart. You let them go.
He picked the strings and handed them to me, never tried to hold, never could. 
I felt no rush, no tingle. He made me laugh, heal to become sole owner of the strings.
Yet I was inexorably drawn to him like a crackling fire on a cold night, like the comfort of an old tee, a hot cuppa tea.
You were an idyll, he’ll always be.

That thing called love… You are a hero My box with a shiny bow You held the strings of my heart They danced to your thrall You let them go suddenly like a distracted child
He picked the severed strings Handed them to me Never tried to hold, never could There was no rush, no tingle He made me laugh, hope, heal Sole owner of the strings Yet I am inexorably drawn to him Like a crackling fire on a cold night Like the comfort of an old, soft tee Like a hot cuppa tea You were an idyll He will always be

The Celebration

“School topper! 99%! You knocked it outta the park Son!” gloated Pete's Dad.
Mother beamed. His brother, Mark hugged him, his face shining with pride, eyes misty. Mark didn’t say anything, as always, economizing on words to hide his stutter. 
Mark reached out tentatively as if to hug Dad.
Dad hastily looked away. “Get the cake dear. Celebration time!” 
Pete watched on with a glacial smile.

Till Differences Do Us Part

How to not go cuckoo over your cook…

Any cook should be able to run the country. -Vladimir Lenin
Mine tries to run my kitchen. And unwittingly engenders a battle of wits with me every single day, one minute, every action at a time.
I adopted the triumphs followed by tragedies style of giving feedback on her culinary preparations. However, her attention shut me out post the triumphs. Period. So while the parathas got tastier, they continued to be seeped in grease. So I reversed the order. A reprimand for excess oil was sweetened with a praise for the paratha. Both were met with a weary look that kind of gave up on my persnickety personality but with not so much as a hint of an eye roll. I must learn the fine art of conveying scorn impassively from her, truly.
No win here. I finally had to confiscate the oil jars and ration out oil on a daily basis. Result, a permanently morose expression. No win totally!
Missing or exhausted ingredients generate a food armageddon-like expression fighting with secret joy that the mistress goo…

Why I write and why it’s never quite right!

Why I occasionally take to writing…
Because I don’t want to do something that I had better be doing.
Why I don't always get published… One of the downfalls of escapism is contrived prose. The only acceptance it gets is in the form of consistent rejection.
Why I occasionally take to writing… Because it is my flight of fantasy from developing training that nobody wants to undergo. My favourite lady J K Rowling’s magical tales, I am told, were chugged out during tube travel drudgery. I believe all trauma results in either an alter ego or brilliant art and sometimes both.
Why I don't always get published… Love does not always fructify into marriage and all fantastical writing does not make for art or get published.
Why I occasionally take to writing...
Because writing could potentially justify my guilty addiction of browsing books and authors bang in the middle of work. All the books I read stoke the money-churning, prolific writer in me, a problem anyone? (Every sin has a redeeming produc…


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Kia’s BFF was her neighbour, Violet. Kia was a sprightly six to Violet’s sixty-five. Kia struggled for a while with the name Violet. Wallet, Wallet, she would squeal until she conveniently nicknamed Wallet “Grammy” after the Grammy awards show she saw her parents watching on television. Her Mamma was ecstatic over someone called Yo Yo Ma at the awards show. Kia watched in round eyed wonder because it looked like Yo Yo Ma was playing an outsized violin and by holding it upside down! “That’s not a violin honey, that’s a C-E-L-L-O”, spelled out Kia’s Mamma taking the opportunity to teach her a new spelling.  “C-E-L-L-O……sell-O”, shouted Kia.  “Chell – O not Sell – O, my love” corrected Mamma. Mamma had not said C-E-L-E-R-Y, chellery. But never mind Mamma, she was always saying opposite things!  “Chell-O makes me feel sad Mamma. Why do you like it? asked Kia. “Because it makes me want to cry and be happy at the same t…