Not so gingerly


This morning, as we began making tea, Atul placed a piece of ginger on the kitchen counter and made an interesting observation. “This looks like a rockstar!”

And why not?

The humble ginger has been rocking my life ever since I can remember.

When we were kids, every year, on Diwali (that’s Naraka Chadurdashi or choti Diwali for folks in the north), my mother would heat up sesame oil and crackle black pepper and chopped ginger. Once the oil cooled down a little, and while it was still warm, she would tell us to eat the spices and then apply the oil directly on our scalp.

Diwali signifies the onset of winter, and this little ritual was performed to avoid catching a cold in the changing season. It wasn’t the most pleasant thing to do, and we reluctantly gave in. Over time, though, we began appreciating it for its health benefits, and now, I willingly follow this practice.

Today, as the nip in the winter air pierces my skin, the comfort of ginger makes me feel warm. So I wrote a small ode to the versatile spice, that doesn’t discriminate.

The versatile ginger,
Some love to hate.
But that doesn’t affect her
She doesn’t discriminate.

She blends in well
In my tea as a spice.
And with garlic too,
She plays super nice.

She lifts me up
In bread and cookies
She’s the kick and tang
In my hot curries.

She’s the antidote
To my cold and sores
As well as a soothing balm
To my burning throat.

Ginger, there are some
Who can’t stand your sight,
But ginger, to me
You’re a rock star alright!

Here’s a picture of her, rocking her usual self.

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I'm a #rockstar #ginger

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With this week’s daily post challenge asking bloggers to experiment, we decided to play around with the picture. I wanted to add fancy stickers and hashtags, and I assumed Instagram would let me do that. So I signed up – today. Turns out, it’s Facebook app that really fulfilled the requirements. (Yes, I’m terribly ill informed about social media apps!)

Here’s what Atul dished up:

She’s so happy I made it past the half way mark!

Psst. Since I’m celebrating my first day on Instagram, can I request you all to follow me? 😉


This is post #16 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

Circular Dependency


On a hot and sultry Sunday, I step out to go to the market. It seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the local roads. Perhaps it has. In the daily hustle and rush to the workplace, subtle things go unnoticed.

Of course the roads are nothing subtle really. One misstep, and the pothole can trip you. It would probably by fair to call it an obstacle course. I wonder if professional athletes train on the by-lanes of Delhi.

But today is different.

Between me and the market, stands a bright, black strip of tar.

I never thought the sight of roads would be so delightful. Like a weary traveller in a desert, I rush towards, what is possibly, a mirage.

I take a step, and my shoes grip the road. The tar has not yet dried out. I can hardly believe that after so many years, we have smooth road. I walk along, sceptical of it all. A while later, I let down my guard, and begin enjoying every moment of the sticky grip the road had to offer.

But thankfully, it doesn’t take long for me to return to reality.

Towards the side of the road, there is a patch of road which has not received the fresh coat of tar. It looks absolutely dry, and almost perfectly circular. It is almost as if it was deliberately left out, just to prove that the road is, indeed, new.

This circular patch presents itself every few metres, like milestones—only much more frequently.

Strangely, I feel reassured. A new road was too good to be true anyway.

* * *

Can only go up from here
Benches in various stages of construction on Tiger Hill. Considering this is a UNESCO World Heritage site, the place was in shambles when we visited. On a positive note, it can only go up from here!

I’ve pretty much wasted my free time today listening to old Shania Twain songs. I have a bunch of ideas I’ve been wanting to write about. But today, all I want to do is listen to songs by Shania Twain.

Going through the drafts of my blog, I unearthed this post — written 3 years ago, but never published. Quite like the pot holes of our streets, my blog swallowed this one whole! Oh, well, it’s on lazy, slightly confusing days, like today, that a draft comes in handy.

So who are you listening to today?


Photo taken with Moto G3. Click/tap to enter my Flickr Photostream.


This is post #10 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

Unacceptable


Sometimes, there are things we may like to do that are completely unacceptable to social norms. And so we avoid it.

For many, that is the way of life – to live someone’s version of life. Sometimes, that someone is a voice within us, fooling us into believing we’re in control.

What happens when you take the plunge and explore the other side of what is unacceptable?

Running away
From opportunities
From challenges
From suffering

Breaking down
Of the heart
Of barriers
Of walls

Streaming tears
Of sorrow
Of melting joy
Of realisation

What if, on closer inspection, what used to appear unacceptable, may in fact, be more acceptable?

Inertia


We’re always told to think before doing anything. If possible, think twice.

But what if we don’t even know what we’re going to do? How does one think about it?

Like when we’re nervous, blurting out words without even knowing what we’re about to say next.

Like the social animal who knows just the right words to strike up a conversation without even knowing you.

Like the high ranking official on a podium who reacts to emerging situations without prior preparation.

We’ve all been in these situations. It happens in speech, as it does with other forms of expression – the artist, musician, actor, and writer within us reaches out by bypassing the neurological highway and surprising us.

Here is one of those moments when my thumbs tapped away without my knowledge:

The world spins around
Nothing makes sense
Inertia worsens this hell.
Leave. Move
Before it’s too late
Or fall into your shell.

They say that the universe has a way of communicating with us. That the world sends messengers to guide us along the way.

Sometimes, the messanger is sitting right inside us.

The Slate


The beginning of a new year in school was something I looked forward to.

Leave the old imperfections behind and start a new quest towards perfection. Torn notebooks, lost textbooks, unfinished assignments, silly classmates, demanding teachers and scarier mathematics, none of these would matter in the new year.

New books, new subjects, new teachers, and at times, new classmates as well. A fresh start. At least that’s what I believed.

But the older I grew, the more difficult it became to get a clean slate. I have come to believe that life gives you just one slate. And even though you believed you had new slates every year of your life, it’s just that the chalk was lighter, and it was easier to erase. As you go through life, new lines appear, most of which cannot be erased. You write over the slate over and over again – a hundred, thousand, or a million times.

Sometimes the lines complement each other. The new lines working in harmony with the underlying lines, completing the picture forming something meaningful, or beautiful, or perhaps both.

But sometimes, the lines fight against each other, creating a mismatched random scratch, and creating something that looks terribly ugly. Or is it?

Maybe the random lines are just an incomplete picture. All that is needed is a little patience – it will be completed in due course. Perhaps there are hidden patterns in what seems random. All that is required is closer examination.

Perhaps the lines will all eventually cover the whole slate. Turning black to absolute white. A wholesomeness, completeness or utter transformation. Or perhaps a new white slate to start afresh …

What do you think? Do you have a slate? How many? What does your slate look like?