Author Archives: Nandita Pai

Here and Now

I was busy chasing life,
Trying to mend my every day.
My mind always a step ahead,
Sending me at times, into a dizzy sway.

Life revolved around the checklist,
The list never seemed to end.
As I scored out an errand from the ‘to-do’,
Another five magically raised their heads.

In a bid to make my life perfect,
I jostled through many days,
Planning from dawn to dusk,
Like a clockwork zombie working on keys.

Then one day, I halted.
Stepped on life’s brake pedal.
Flung the checklist away,
I felt free. I felt relief.
Like a horse, rid of its saddle.

I seized the moment,
Before it slipped away,
Like sand grains through my palms.
Merely enjoyed the beauty of life as is,
Letting go of all petty qualms.

Dishes can wait,
Dust can settle a minute more,
Life’s moments bygone,
Will come back no more.

Life is calling,
Here and now.
Live the moment,
Make it your own kind of WOW!

Crossroads

Many a times,
We are left stranded,
In the crossroads of life.
Many a times,
We feel abandoned,
In this journey of life.
Several questions crop up,
Remain unanswered for days.
Anxieties build up,
Leaving us dismay.
It makes us wonder,
Why can’t things remain the same,
Everything was fine,
Life was moving smooth and in lane.
And standing here at the crossroad,
Tomorrow seems a blur.
With paths leading us different ways,
Which one to opt for, we are unsure.
At such times, as always,
Just hold on and follow your heart.
That route unveils itself
That route that is just right.
Slowly but surely, clouds move away.
Happy days are back.
The storm passes away,
The journey in back on track.
But only few care to retrospect,
The purpose of such crossroads
And fewer still, care to learn,
The lessons that these crossroads hold.
Its only when we have twists and turns,
The journey becomes an adventure.
Its only when the going gets tough
The tough get tougher!!

Hostage

They were so eager and happy,
This day was much awaited by them,
A ‘new school year’ was beginning,
New friends, new books, new lessons…

They had hardly reached their school building,
They had hardly met their buddies,
They had hardly shared their stories,
When something terrible happened…

Masked men and women,
Crazed and blinded with a mission,
Seized the school premises,
Loaded with guns and ammunitions…

Hundreds of little children,
Parents and teaching staff.
Were taken hostage by the armed gang,
Is this a means to an end…?

Torture and trauma,
Prevailed for three agonising days,
Anxiety and fear,
Was written on every face…

But when the crisis,
Did finally end,
There was little to rejoice,
As there was much bloodshed…

Hundreds perished,
Succumbing to bomb blasts and bullets.
As mercilessly the terrorists,
Shot at fleeing young students…

The ultimate act of barbarism,
Targeting hapless young children,
What can be more horrific,
Heartless, inhumane…?

It tore at my heart,
As I followed these happenings,
Oh! God, what are we heading for,
Can anything be more brutal than this…?

Tragedy – July 19, 2004

It all seemed like a nightmare,
A cruel prank played by fate.
They were all here just minutes ago.
And now, this instant, they are gone.
With childish eagerness,
They were reciting lessons.
When all of a sudden,
They were rudely hushed.
Wails of anguish,
Replaced rhymes.
As the little ones battled,
Ruthless flames of fury.
Left to fend for themselves,
They panicked, they cried.
Hugging each other for support,
They hoped to find a way out.
When it finally ended,
The scene was heart wrenching.
In the once merry class rooms,
The silence was deafening.
Charred school bags and text books,
Unopened Tiffin boxes.
The odour of burnt flesh,
Told poignant tales of the tragic ordeal.
The day will be remembered,
For the distress it has caused.
The life of ninety young souls,
Was cruelly snuffed out.

Oh God, please let this not happen again…

Moments

They walked together,
Hand in hand,
Leaving behind footprints,
On the beach sand.
Moonlight smiled upon them,
As the water kissed their feet,
Cool breeze ruffled their hair,
A lovely tête-à-tête.
She nestled her head,
On his shoulder,
Looking at the vast stretch of blue.
The moment was beautiful,
The timing was perfect,
And he whispered, “I love you.”
She smiled and looked,
At his handsome face.
She loved him too,
And told him so.
As they begin their new life,
As husband and wife,
They are glad they have each other,
For now and for ever.

The Bride

Adorned in her wedding attire,
With delicate jewellery, made of gold,
Palms covered with intricate Mehendi,
Shy and beautiful,
She was a perfect Indian bride.
With an air of confidence,
She greeted all.
Her captivating smile,
Cast a spell,
On everyone who beheld.
The rituals began,
Garlands were exchanged,
Vows were made,
A beautiful future,
They dreamt of, together.
With lowered eyes,
She stood by him,
Man and wife.
“The perfect match”,
Everyone echoed.
Then it was time,
To bid her goodbye.
With gleamy eyes,
They let her go.
Every childhood memory,
She took with her,
As she stood at the doorstep,
Of a new journey in life.
She glanced back,
One more time,
There it was again,
The beautiful smile.

Soldier

He braved the enemies,
He felt no fear.
He was in the epicenter,
Of a cruel war…

Yes, he had chosen it,
To serve his country,
But has often felt remorse,
Whenever his weapon claimed a life.

And now he was in pain,
He was in a trance,
A bullet perhaps?

Images flashed,
In his minds eye.
Familiar faces he could see.
He tried to concentrate…

His family.
He loved them all.
He missed them too much.
No he didn’t want to die…

He fought to keep alive,
He thought of war, no more…
In his twenty five years of life,
He had always been an optimist…

But the pain,
It pierced on…
Then he knew nothing,
As he passed out.

When he awoke,
He lay in the army camp.
He had been rescued,
He had made it out alive, this time.

Not more than a week later,
He was back at the front again,
Battling between life and death,
That’s a soldier’s life…

India Shining – 6th March, 2004

They proudly claim,
These politicians,
India is progressing,
India is shining.
Multicrore Ad films are played,
Portraying a happy India,
Smiling faces, prosperity,
A truly shining India.

With murders and crimes,
On the rise, and how,
Just at the drop of a hat,
People are gunned down.
And you say,
India is shining?

Endless is the list,
Of high profile scams and cases,
While mere justice to age old trials,
Still await anxious masses.
You really think,
India is shining?

Starvation deaths,
At every street corner,
On the other hand extravagant birthday parties,
For eighty-plus ministers.
You still believe,
India is shining?

The youth of India,
The torch bearers of tomorrow,
Made to write Board exams,
Sitting on the floor.
How could you say,
India is shining?

Our neighbourhood children,
Stray into our boundary,
Imprisoned for months,
Is this hospitality?
Tell me now,
Is India shining?

Amidst all this, our so called leaders,
Blinded by corruption,
Are busy fighting,
An ‘I-am-the-best’ campaign.
So, you were saying,
India is shining?

Well yes, India has progressed,
I deny not the fact.
But this has been eclipsed,
By several other aspects.
With the complexity of causes,
For a still struggling nation,
There is a long way before,
India can brightly shine.

My Last “Teen Year” – 27th Feb, 2004

A thought occurred to me,
Last night.
Hey! This is my last year,
As a teen.
Just one more year of fun,
Is that what it means.
A few months from now,
I would be two decades old!
The dawn of responsibilities,
I have been told.
A little saddened by the thought,
Of feeling ancient soon,
I sat down to rewind,
My life that has been.
I distinctly remember,
My thirteenth birthday.
Sweet sixteen came soon,
Followed by the day I turned major.
Yes, they have been great,
These seven years as teenager.
But now I have to move on,
As life takes me to the next stage.
Wait a minute.
My last ‘teen-year’ did I say??
Not true really,
Coz next I turn “Twentyteen” hey hey!!
It’s I, who has to decide,
If I want to have fun.
Be it teenage or later,
Fun, my life would be,
For now and forever.

Let’s live it up

Enjoy every moment,
Every minute,
Every second.
Enjoy to the fullest,
The lovely journey of life.

Enjoy the rain,
As it drenched your face.
Enjoy the sunshine,
As it snuggles you warm.
Enjoy the chirping,
Of the sparrows and crows.
Enjoy the fluttering,
Of the wings of a butterfly.
Enjoy the fragrance,
Of the rain-wetted earth.
Enjoy the beauty,
Of the enchanting sunset.

Giggle along, with your
Dear little niece.
Share a moment,
With the poor flower girl.
Offer a smile,
To the Grandma next door.
Laugh out loud,
When your pals are around.
Say something nice,
About Mama’s new dish.
Compliment Dad,
When he wears a new shirt.

Do the ‘something’,
You always wanted to.
Tell that ‘someone’,
How much you care.
Be generous with your smiles,
Make someone’s day.
Coz hey,
You never know,
Kal Ho Na Ho…

The Happy Me

As I look back,
At my seventeen years,
I feel contented,
Happy and clear.
No regrets I feel,
No sorrow or worry,
My life has been good,
Cheerful and merry.
A wonderful family to start with,
So caring and loving.
Protecting me from hardships,
At every step, encouraging.
A cozy little house,
Which has much warmth.
Away from the maddening crowd,
I find it a good resort.
Dear too are my buddies,
Supportive to the end.
Showing me the right from the wrong,
Especially, my best friend.
My school of eleven years,
Of which, I am proud.
Has made me what I am,
And not just one amongst the crowd
.
I have enjoyed these years,
Being happy-go-lucky.
I have a lot to thank God for,
As I truly am a “Happy Me”
Challenging and uncertain,
As is the future.
I am prepared to face it,
That was how, I was nurtured.

Life is Beautiful

Life is beautiful,
Many fail to understand.
The little joys of life,
Go unnoticed many a times.
Money isn’t everything,
We need love and care.
Tender words to exchange,
Lovely moments to share.
A short journey as life is,
Memorable it needs to be.
If spent in worry and regret,
We forget to be happy.
A walk down the lake by yourself,
A gaze up at the sky, when the moon is full,
Will make you realise,
Yes. Life really is beautiful.

Mother Courageous

In the atmosphere of happiness,
A girl baby was born.
Elated, the doctor announced,
Birth time:8:37 Monday Morn.

The neatly covered tiny infant,
Adorable as every other baby,
Lay asleep in her mother’s arms,
As she left the hospital lobby.

The mother took her baby home.
With so much of joy,
But Alas! The reaction was,
“It is girl? Why not a boy?”

Shocked by her family’s reaction,
The mother sat confused.
She looked down at her lap,
At the little face amused.

The family turned the baby down,
They wanted only a male child.
They were prepared to take the extreme step,
But never accept a girl child.

Unsure of what to do,
Mother hugged her darling pearl.
They threatened her, they would throw her out,
If she didn’t abandon the girl.

With a heart so heavy,
And the fear of being disowned,
The mother left her baby,
In a street corner and walked on.

She thought of how the innocent child,
For no fault of it’s,
Would face life,
With such a start like this.

It cried and wailed,
For comfort. For love.
The mother could bear it no longer,
She would save her baby somehow.

She made a firm decision,
She would leave her family and house.
But no way could she disown her child,
The child that she so much loved.

Thus because of a mother so courageous,
The life was saved of that soul.
It is high time more people,
Stood up to this practice so foul.

There are times…

There are times,
When you feel alone,
There are times,
When you feel sad and forlorn.

There are times,
When you feel unimportant,
There are times,
When nothing happens the way you wanted.

There are times,
Which you wished would quickly pass.
But those are times,
Which seem slowest and never fast.

And, there are times,
When everything goes right.
The whole day seems good,
Right from morning until night.

There are times,
When you feel on top of the world.
Those times, when you are recognised,
And when you are heard.

There are times,
When you feel so happy and wished it would end, never.
But those are times,
Which would not last forever.

Thus there are times…

Mama Dearest

Any problem and I go to her,
She will always help me out.
She is the most caring mother,
Of that there is no doubt.
She does everything she can for me,
Expecting nothing in return.
To care and love others,
From her I did learn.
Talking and laughing away,
Together we have so much fun,
We go on outing often,
Be it in the rain or the sun.
While in the kitchen,
Making a dish a new,
Her favourite bhajans,
She keeps listening to.
A mother like mine,
Is very rare,
All I want to say is,
For her I really care.