The Warriors


With bleeding toes
And callused feet,
Broken backs
Grasping for breath.

Dragging heavy sacks
Their bodies dripping wet.

Weary but happy,
The warriors return.

They will laugh and sing.
And enjoy their meal.

For they have survived
The long ordeal.

They will celebrate
For they live today.

But they all know,
They must fight another day.

When You Want Something


Achieve It

When I began sketching out the letters of this quote, my sister-in-law asked me. ‘You really believe that…? You need to work your bum off to achieve things. The universe won’t hand it to you on a platter.’

This is a quote I strongly believe in. And so I defended it thus, ‘No. Who said anything about things being given on a platter. You have to work. And the universe will make you work towards achieving it.’

Sure, it may seem like things are going the wrong way, and you may even feel that the universe, and that mysterious concept of fate/destiny is against you. But in the grander scheme of things, they are actually guiding you towards the path that is best for you, and ultimately, towards your goal.

* * *

I tried arranging the letters in an image editing program. But I just couldn’t get around it. I wanted to get into the screen, and tweak the letters with my hand, to my liking. And it was then that I decided I would sketch it out. After three hours of drawing, I finally got what I felt was a good arrangement, and then the letters came alive. I could see a personality to the letters and tweaked them. This is perhaps how master typographers view their letters – alive, and like little children, waiting to be picked up, guided, and moulded into something better.

Now I don’t claim that I can make good letter forms. Quite far from it, as is evident from the picture, but even with the flaws I really liked the outcome because I had fun painting. I’m happy I didn’t sketch it out as I had initially planned. It has helped me appreciate the typographer’s skills, as well as helped in overcoming my fear of painting.

Recipe for Disaster – Part 3


Cascading_bridal_bouquet

A pinch of salt

I had never cooked a full meal by myself, and I had no idea where my mother kept the various ingredients in the kitchen. In fact, I didn’t even know the names for most of the spices stored in the jars inside the drawer. But I still had time. I flipped through a few cook books to find recipes that I could actually understand, with ingredients which would not raise suspicions.

I shadowed my mother, and found out the difference between baking powder and cooking soda – they were in different types of containers, and one had a label on it. But telling Jeera from the Ajwain was much more tricky. We were definitely not depending on either of those for our cooking.

It was the night before d-day. We said our good nights and slipped into our beds. Amma was still in the kitchen, keeping the last of the dishes inside. We heard the flick of the switch and all the lights were out. We waited another 15 minutes before sneaking out.

Capsicum, onions, tomatoes, paneer, orange food colouring, ginger, chillies, vanilla essence, eggs, cocoa, flour, curd… We had all our ingredients in place. But it wasn’t till we started washing the vegetables, that we realised the challenge before us.

Cooking, and especially the dishes we had decided to cook, were easy enough. But in the silence of the night, could we actually cook without waking up our parents? We couldn’t cook rice in a pressure cooker. No electric grinder for making the purée. No pounding the ginger, and no careless handling of utensils.

But we had taken this challenge, and we were going to pull it off. Anna beat the eggs and sugar as silently as he could, while I chopped the onions. We kept rice on the open flame, and cooked it like the way our ancestors did before the pressure cooker was introduced. We tossed the onions into oil, before it became warm and covered it up, to muffle the sizzling sound.

It was just when the cake batter went into the oven, that we heard something. We looked out of the kitchen. The bedroom light was on. Amma was up.

‘Here we go again!’ I thought to myself. Another plan botched up. But my brother wasn’t going to give up.

He ran towards the door, and stood in front of amma, waving his hands from side to side, blocking her view and preventing her from moving forward. I switched off the kitchen lights, and hid behind the door.

‘What are you doing up at this hour?’ amma asked in a half sleepy and confused tone.
‘Err.. I was thirsty! And… I wanted some warm water… I was just going to bed… What are you doing up right now?!’

Too tired to argue, she didn’t ask how the light turned itself off behind him, and how come he wanted warm water in the middle of summer. That could be done in the morning.’Good night. Go to sleep.’

We waited another twenty minutes before resuming. The tomatoes, capsicum and paneer were added to the onions. Red chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, a dash of food colouring, and the kadhai paneer was ready.

We poked the cake with a spoon. It came out clean. We thanked our stars, and took it out. The rice had cooled down a little. We mixed up the curd with the rice and added fried mustard seeds, chopped chillies, and diced ginger.

It was well past midnight when we placed everything on the table, the paneer still in the kadhai, the cake still in the tin. The curd rice went into the fridge.

We placed a greeting card and a note on the table, and went to bed – tired, but content. Mission accomplished!

Please don’t wake us up in the morning. We slept really late. There’s cake, kadhai paneer, and curd rice. Wish you A Very Happy Anniversary!

PS. We didn’t put salt in anything.

* * *

Jeera = cumin
Ajwain = carom seeds / bishop’s weed
Paneer = cottage cheese
Kadhai = a type of thick, circular, and deep cooking-pot (similar in shape to a wok)
Image Credit: Cascading Bridal Bouquet CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Big Blue


fb_drawingFor years I resisted every blow that the monster threw at me – luring me through its minions who had already strayed into its territory. But I was a minority. A proud minority – one who was applauded for resisting the urge.

But alas, my love for my blog made me miss a turn. I lost the battle against it. And I decided it was time to take the great plunge – the things love can make you do!

You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life. Oh, I know it doesn’t feel like that. You feel like a big fat failure now. But you’re not. You are marching into the unknown armed with… Nothing.**

With no knowledge about my new surroundings, I stumbled and fumbled, and somehow managed to create a small advertisement for my blog. And left – emotionally scarred, but still alive.

It was just under a month after I entered the big bad world of Facebook*. I kept wondering if it was the right thing to do. I bumped into the Daily Post, and she asked me “Should Your Blog Be on Facebook?

I am still contemplating if it was a wise decision – since my primary audience is through WordPress. I stared at the number zero for a few weeks, and as I write this, there are three ‘likes’ – all by WordPress Bloggers themselves. So all that that button does is reaffirm how many people actually read this stuff, and an unnecessary duplication of follows! The key to using the the fan page is to share it and spread the word among FaceBook users – and since I have better things to do than venturing into the blue abyss, I don’t think the FaceBook Page would make much difference to me.

But hey, its there on the sidebar, and I’m too lazy to do anything more! So if you like anything here, go ahead and share it. We’re all in this big bad world together after all – I think.

What do you think? Since I don’t promote the blog on FaceBook, is there really any point of having a page at all? Would you stick you neck out and share this with your friends?

* * *

* Don’t pretend you don’t know it – it is the blue lonely monster that feeds (pun very much intended) off your privacy.
** Birdie gives advice to Katheryn Kelly in ‘You’ve Got Mail
Featured Image Credit : Jurgen Appelo, CC-BY-2.0