A story of …

The rays of the moon pored through the clouds. I lay shivering in the cold, too tired & cold to attract help. My body shivered against the relentless cold, my mind sifted through my own thought processes a few weeks earlier.

Then, I was alive, but in my dreams – today my dreams had come true, but I was dying.

The world outside through the bars in the gold-rimmed cage had seemed wonderful, and every slight opportunity I got, I fantasized about a life of freedom – a life when I could use my wings for that wonderful feeling of free flight. When the time seemed right, that flight I did take. I felt the soaring air flap against my face, I peered to the Earth below and scooped in the delightful flowers.

Life seemed fulfilling before the eerieness of unfamiliarity struck with all its brutality – I now yearned for the motherly touch of the little girl who had nurtured me. The world was closing in….it was gloomier and gloomier, till it was finally dark.

The next thing I remember was the wonderful touch I had yearned for. Warm blood cruised through my veins again. I felt a hot drop against my face, and then another one. I stared up to see the little girl crying for me to pardon her. Did I get the drift of her message through the tears? She wasn’t aware that I was unhappy, and she would let me go my way once I healed? It sounded too good to be true.

Time passed and I healed. I flew joyously among the flowers, trees and hills. Every night I dutifully returned to the little girl’s garden: There was no cage but this was my world now. I was free to do what I wanted and this is what I wanted to do.

I was the Queen in my garden!

A story of a bird
A story of just another modern day woman


Shapes of Nature

Everytime I laid hands on a straw I sincerely indulged in the task of blowing bubbles into the glass. Actually, I may need to re-phrase that from the past-tense to the present continuous tense. Age has restrained me in more ways than one, and this is one thing I now hesitate doing in Public – though my companions cringe on the occasional bubble bursting forth in Public.

Today, I gave into the callings of the child in me, and decided to blow bubbles of air into a hot glass of tea. One would assume that the bubbles would be spherical/circular in nature, but shape changes to hexagons when the concentration of the bubbles grew. I withdrew slightly, and the shape of the bubbles came back to their original circular shape.
Blow again: Hexagonal
Withdraw slightly: Circular
Blow again: Hexagonal ….. You get the drift. (It has been a while since I observed bubbles with interest. So, pardon me)

I’d like to hear other’s opinions and thoughts on this topic after trying out the art of blowing bubbles into one’s cup. If the act is performed in the midst of adults, you could all accomplish the following:
1) Provide mild entertainment to those staring overtly at you
2) Lay the foundation for future claims of instability due to stress
3) Gather members to your “Bubble-club” by taking those who admit shyly to you that they like blowing bubbles too.

Having this observation safely tucked in, I wondered whether the shape of honey-combs when it is being built is circular, and as the concentration grows becomes hexagonal.

A theory given by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, is that the shape simply results from the process of individual bees putting cells together: somewhat analogous to the boundary shapes created in a field of soap bubbles. In support of this he notes that queen cells, which are constructed singly, are irregular and lumpy with no apparent attempt at efficiency.

Well, well…….Kutty Columbus! Get back to Work!

Nocturnal Action


The incessant alarm got the better of my drooping eyelids, and I willed them to open, before half-heartedly leaving the cozy coves of my bed in the middle of the night. As it turns out, somebody’s car alarm had gone off, and would not stop. Evidently, this was not the owner. But how do we decide what to do?

In the safe confines of our home, the course of action was unanimous: Go out and see who it is. I hold the supreme glory of casting doubts over everybody’s aura of confidence by suggesting that the thief may be armed, could even have a gun, since guns are so easy to procure in the country. The story was now different – I watched the cloud of doubt waver and hang thickly over our heads. From brave strides, I watched the strides diminish to stealthy tiptoes, and “see who it is” deteriorated to “sneak a peak“!

The security agency was summoned, and I went to bed, musing about another episode, that had an entire street out in the early morning cold when a thief frequented our home in Chennai.

Belonging to the water-starved population of Chennai, my mother-in-law was extremely sensitive to the sound of gushing water. This unfortunate thief stumbled upon a pot of water, and set off that exact alarm. It was around 5 a.m., and soon the household was abuzz with trepidation.

AHOI! AHOI!“, screamed the menfolk into the darkness of the night, obviously in a bid to frighten the thief away.

The men conducted a meeting downstairs to gauge the movement and whereabouts of this fellow, while I was a silent observer of the goings-on from the balcony above. I observed that the men who proclaimed the loudest, that the best option was to storm into the backyard, were the ones farthest away from the backyard. Furthermore, they showed no signs of budging from their positions of command. The self-proclaimed early riser was busy defending his stance that he was up at usual at 4:30 a.m., and did not hear anything.

After a while, I heard a faint rumble. It grew louder and louder: I was alone upstairs, and had not much choice. I made up my mind on the next course of action, and briskly walked towards the dimly lit kitchen.

My stomach could stand the rumblings no longer, and I treated myself to a couple of hot dosas while the commotion slowly died down.

With the dosas in my tummy, I mused about the unfortunate plight and high stress levels of the career paths of thieves. They also share a queer relationship with society: Society fears them, and they fear Society.

Peas in a Pod

I stopped short in my tracks as I headed into my workspot the other day. There she was – shopping around again in the same stores as I have! And, she has to buy the same colour too! So, there we were looking like 2 peas in a pod, while folks gleefully took note and asked us whether we had been planning this event. You see the same thing had happened twice in the same week!

* What’s the big deal? *

Just this, I have spent a good part of my non-uniform clad childhood days wearing the same clothes as my sister and mark this: the girl next door! So, I react pretty much like a scalded cat when I see people dressed in same clothes. My father belonged to an elite clan of shareholders of a textile mill: so much so that when we walked into the showroom, all salesfolk came to personally attend to us, and served us with coffee and tea! (My theory was that, all salesfolk need to attend to the sole customers in the store, don’t they?!)

The cloth purchased there was fantastic – there are no doubts about that. Some of the clothes have neither faded nor sport a tear after all these years! To top this, they had better rates for wholesale goods i.e. LOTS of cloth. My father – the economist who, would consume 3 cups of tea if they were offered for Rs.10 as opposed to Rs 5 per cup, bought into this scheme, and realms of cloth used to make their way home.

So, it was arranged for the rest of our childhood days that my sister’s salwar kameez, my frock and my neigbour’s frock would all be tailored from the same cloth. In fact, I even remember one instance when a cotton skirt for me, a salwar kameez for my sister and a curtain in our home were from the same cloth. Everytime I wore that skirt, I would pray that guests were not observant enough to match up the curtains and my skirt.

I wonder if my next-door friend remembers the clothes as vividly as I do! For me, I remember every tiny pattern on the clothes – how can one forget if we all looked like peas in a pod?!

The Letter "Esssssssssssssss"

My name is spelt as “Esssssssssssssssssss-a-u-m-y-a

Twas the time when the milk teeth was a vanishing brood, and power cuts were the order of the day. The candles would be lit, and they would bring forth light (not enlightenment as is evident)As you don your mask of innocence, and say the letter “S”, the family would watch on in dark glee as the candles fluttered, before dying out in the wind….”OOOPSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!”

I remember hearing with awe the fact that a powercut in Mumbai made it to National News! This morning, as I beat the morning yawns and legged it to the office – I was told that there had been an unexpected power outage, and we were welcome to go strolling in the park till power was restored – unless of course we had some work that did not require a computer! A generation ago that would have meant work as usual. But for us, it meant childlike glee!

Off we went gallivanting around town, picking flowers and sipping coffee before our world turned dim by the arrival of bright lights. Sadly, there were no candles to say the letter ‘S’ in front of.

Couch Sporting

I’m sure people would call me a spoilt brat when it comes to exposure to sports – way more than a lot of children in India can afford. The School I grew up in had 14 large playgrounds, 7 tennis courts, a huge gymnasium, a swimming pool and even a squash court on the premises. Not that I accomplished much with all this, but I loved Sports, and have spent many an enjoyable evening on the playground.

Considering all of the above, you would consider me a decent “Couch Sporter”(a term I just coined to refer to those who immensely enjoy watching sports), wouldn’t you?!

*Shakes head remorsefully* Tut Tut!

I simply cannot bring myself to watch a game. I attended the Lakers Vs Mavericks Game in a Stadium, and loved the experience! There were lots of people, pop corn, a complimentary clapper to create a ruckus in the name of clapping and a bunch of enthusiastic friends who were explaining the rules of the game to me.
Verdict: I enjoyed the acrobats’ performance in the break-time more than anything else.

My office has been abuzz with the Super Bowl over the past couple of days. Many an American wife have I heard whimper that her hitherto affectionate partner will transform into a partially deaf person with a beer in hand on this particular evening. I banished my past apathy to sport viewing and tried again – I sat with my affectionate partner during the Super Bowl, and watched people ram into each other, while he explained the game to me.
Verdict: I found the advertisements more intriguing.

Cricket, a sport that has wooed countries of people fails to charm me as a watch-worthy Sport. This is one sport that enthralls all sections of people in our Society – yet, I find the game lackadaisical. In fact, many an ignorant year have I spent not knowing the difference between a “Six” and a “Four“. When I did want to know, I held back cringing at others’ perception of my own ignorance! One day, I braced myself for the worst, and asked a classmate of mine. I am sure he reserves better stares for worms before he crushes them under his foot. He tottered, and his speech stammered before he finally enlightened me!

I didn’t even try watching this game, since it spans a whole day!

Oh what better method to ignore the chores at home, turn a deaf ear to all the ramblings, and shove in the bad calories that accompany the good snacks? Well…I will just have to live with the fact that Couch Sporting may be one of those gifts that I am not endowed with!

What’s in a Name?

1) Name Concatenation (Regional deviation for South Indian Names)

My own explanation for name concatenations is that people try to appease the Gods by naming their offspring after them. Alas, the ratio between Number of children produced: Number of Gods they love is seldom 1:1. So, to appease all the Gods and themselves, they give the hapless one all the names rolled into one.

My Grandfather was an extremely pious man – I still remember him to be one of those people who was constantly chanting the name of God. An altruistic philanthropist, his love for God was imminent in the names he bestowed on his children. But he had too many Gods to please and the younger ones bore the brunt of taking on more name baggage. Why else would my youngest uncle be saddled with a name like Siva-Rama-Krishnan Kalyanam-Iyer?! (Because Shankara, Srinivasa, Subramania and Narasimha Gods were all duly honoured. By the time the 9th child was born, it was probably clear that 3 more boys may be a bit of a difficult target, and he settled for “Siva-Rama-Krishnan” instead.)

Apart from the aforementioned sons, he had 4 daughters, who he named as *Lakshmi. The Goddess smiled at his gesture, and gave him his daughters-in-law named bearing the remaining *Lakshmi names. So, we had 9 *Lakshmis in the immediate family –

(Santha, Maha(2 in number), Vijaya, Subbu, Raja, Seetha, Muthu, Jaya) * Lakshmi

2) Pretty Names

I, for one was hoping my sister would have three daughters, because I loved the names of 3 pretty sounding chemical names in my Chemistry lesson when she was pregnant.
Oceana, Galena & Publica“, I proclaimed, “would be their names”. She could call the first one, “Oshi”! I have spent many an enjoyable afternoon taunting her with these names. It must have been at this juncture that she fervently prayed for a boy instead of giving her children horrendous chemical names! Thankfully, I matured out of this phase before my own daughter was born!

3) Names inspired by Someone/Something

The successful character in the Novel you read, that sweet daughter of a friend – they all play a role. During the time we were selecting my brother’s name, I was actively involved in the process. I would bring to the dinner table all names I fancied. The name of my classmate who was kind, the name of my best friend, the one who caught a worm – anybody!

Tony“, I proclaimed one night. The truth was Tony had lent me a sharpener that day, and I saw no reason why anybody would not want to name my brother “Tony”. Aforementioned pious Hindu grandfather’s son got a jolt, and the name was dropped!

4) Rhyming Names

If you do want rhyming names for your children, would you need to take that aspect into consideration while naming the first child, or would it be a consideration when naming the second one? In any case, it does sound nice when sisters tell you their names are “Savitha & Kavitha” or “Archana & Aradhana”

Point to Ponder: How do you know which one is being referred to when parents bellow the whole name? Probably not prudent to question the foghorn at this juncture. The wiser thing to do would be to wait for the next broadcast before responding would be my guess!

5) Crocodile Names

There are more ways than 1 to get creative while naming children. My greatfather, decided to play the Crocodile game while naming his offspring:


Ah well….what’s in a name?