To the favourite roof I called my home

Recently, I had a dream about the apartment me and my family lived in Dubai for the first eight years (2000-2008). When I had visited Dubai in 2018, I had asked my father to take me to our old apartment just to look at it from outside. The three-storeyed brown building had turned browner with dust accumulation and time. I saw the parking space where I played ice and water, gaadi ka number and hopscotch with my friends. I saw my apartment’s balcony from outside – it still had the old split AC’s condenser popping out. My entire childhood flashed by my eyes that moment. Somewhere in 2019, the building was razed to the ground. It felt as if a small part of my childhood had just been snatched!

“When you finally go back to your old home, you find that it wasn’t the old home you missed but your childhood”- Sam Ewing

Few days ago, when I dreamed about it, I found myself in tears in the morning. It was so surreal. Do you remember the ending of Titanic? Gloria Stuart (Rose, the old lady) dreams Titanic coming to life, where the gallery ruins leading to the grand staircase transforms to its original state and Jack is waiting for Rose on the stairs. My dream was similarly dramatic!! While the manner of my description is a little humorous, that was not at all what I felt when I woke up in the morning. The building entrance, staircase and my apartment came to life with colour as I rummaged through the ruins. The sight of pink walls of my living room with my favourite green sofa, my study table with Arabic letters printed on it and my cupboard with all the free stickers that came along with Boomer chewing gum -I used to collect during my summer vacations in India-filled me with a warm gush of happiness. It was a mix of lot of things. The dream was nothing short of a bizarre emotional rollercoaster ride!

The pink walls and the green sofa

It was a 25 years old building in the year 2000 already. It wasn’t a fancy apartment when compared to the houses my friends lived in back then; but not to me. As a four-year-old girl, it was all I ever wanted. It was all I ever knew. My house. My toys in the living room. My favourite sofa (strategically placed by my mother to cover a crack on the wall in the living room). Everything I ever needed and wanted, was right there. Except Barbie’s make-up set – my father always told me it would give me skin rashes and I should play with the doctors’ set, building blocks and kitchen set instead. 

The door handle of the bedroom was used to tactically pull out my milk teeth using a thread by mom. The walls were craftily scribbled with the tables of 2, Arabic and Kannada alphabets and a family drawing. It was the house where my sister was brought home to after mom’s delivery in India. It was the same house where everyday dad would enthusiastically play hide and seek with me every evening as soon as he came back from work. I would always hide in the same spot (under the dining table) and he would always pretend to look for me in the bathroom, inside the cupboard and his pockets before looking for me under the table.

I always wondered why many of my friends had their own bedroom and not me. But probably even if I did, I would have preferred sleeping with my parents till I left for boarding school anyway. It was the same house I would cry of homesickness during my first year in boarding school at the age of 10. In the corridor of the apartment was where I gave roller-skating a try, learnt how to draw rangoli and rang the doorbell of neighbours and ran away inside my home before they opened the door. After staying in that home for eight years, we have moved to nicer localities and nicer houses since then. But that apartment will always be my favourite and stay close to my heart.

We all have such homes that we hold so dear to our hearts. If you have been lucky, then you still live in the house you spent your entire childhood in. Having been raised as an expat who studied in a boarding school, I have had many roofs to call my home. But hey, even I have my favourites 🙂

Happy return of the flicker

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Do you sometimes find yourself in a slump? When you have the urge to get your creative juices going but find yourself at a dead end. The beats don’t twitch you to dance, strings of your instrument are catching spirals of grey dust, the finest pencils are left in a corner to go blunt, and the flour and vanilla in the shelf are ageing. A virtual high five if you have felt this recently or at some point in the past!

Weeks ago to keep ourselves positively occupied during lockdown period, we picked up some old and new hobbies to pass time. Some of us got the hang of it and gave birth to best of our creations. Did you often feel like the fire to keep this going flickered now and then? Before you realised, the number of hours you indulged in your hobbies reduced and eventually stopped. Lately, I couldn’t find words to write. Even if I managed to write a few lines, it felt like they weren’t mine; I didn’t feel like I was the one writing. It feels horrible when you lose that Midas touch, doesn’t it? 

It is healthy to find solace in the fact that this is something each and every one feels at some point during their creative journey. The fear of losing the golden touch makes it more reassuring of how much what you have built over a period of time matters to you. It is comforting to know that there are numerous platforms from where you can seek guidance to overcome this small barrier and to religiously do something about it.

Although I wouldn’t write anything for days together, sometimes even weeks, I read daily. I am a voracious reader of all forms of texts. While I may not read 52 books a year (finishing my current book has been an eternal drag!), I ensure that I spend 25-30 minutes everyday reading newspaper, articles, blogs or any form of text that is informative and intellectually stimulating. During my non-writing days, I came across this quote somewhere, “No words should be left unspoken or unwritten no matter how slow you get them out.” This got my thinking cap out and pushed me to write everything under the blue sky that crossed my mind. I have pushed myself to write anything at all to even remotely feel like I am getting my mojo back. This might not be the best piece, but hey! Here I am, writing about writing and most importantly, it feels like mine.

So if you get me, then now is the time to put on your creative cap and give it a go! You will be surprised with what you come up with.

Emptiness in a glass half full

After a month of such a wonderful experience – the rhythmic churning of my mind to speak loud and bringing in the big guns to form beautiful lines of expressions and feelings, I felt pumped. In the end I felt bad that April had only 30 days! 

But I am back after a week. In the last few days, I bled dry of words to say or write to anyone; even to myself. A deafening silence had taken over me. I used instantly gratifying activities- like binge eating and aimless binge watching- as a curtain to hide myself from my feelings and realisations. Turns out that lockdown had got to me! 

Lockdown has reeked this sense of eeriness in me. As if I am living a sci-fi thriller; just another civilian living her life till a lethal wave swallows her away. The drive to make a conscious effort to feel better, dress better is withering away faster than the blooming summer greens. Eating clean, sleeping well is all just background noise; like the sound of the rotating ceiling fan without which silence of the night is loud. Dawns are sultry; the feeling of snuggling a little tighter in my blanket to get that last five minutes of sleep before my alarm rings is lost. 

It seldom happens to us, doesn’t it? Sometimes we know what needs to be said and done to tackle a situation. But we just won’t. Especially now! Our will and limbs just don’t budge. We know that we cannot stay stagnant like this for long. Eventually we will get tired of feeling so tired. I am fully aware of how important it is to focus on the glass half full. It is a mantra etched in my cells. But just before the next block of the feedback mechanism kicks in where the tea is sweeter and bike rides are therapeutic again, I would like to sulk in my pity party for one – just for a few seconds. Don’t be surprised if you do too. 

I know how important it is to develop a routine of healthy habits and good thoughts and prayers, believe me I do. But I also know that it is important to be unapologetic sometimes when one simply does not have the drive and just let be, for a day or for a week, if that is what it takes to get going…

Timely arrival of opportunities

30th April 2020

One can only have so many stories to tell,
So many people to meet and only finite souls to love,
Few to apologise and clemency to a few more and from Above.

Limited words to say amidst innumerable thoughts,
Countable lies in between all the gospels,
Barely any crimes for countless noble services.

Scarce misstatements for every dozen pearls of honesty,
So much to give more than to receive,
And a lot to learn more than one can perceive.

A fist full grains of experiences to bear,
A pocket full of green notes to carry,
And a short list of hatchets to bury.

Just when we feel we have learned enough,
And have travelled to ups and downs so far,
A new opportunity knocks at your door kept ajar.

Side note: As I write the last poem (27th one) for this 30 days’ poetry activity, I cannot be more proud of myself. Amidst losing the drive to write now and then, over-bursts of emotions to be penned, countable panic attacks and countless sighs of relief, I got here in one piece.
A little more wiser, a little more brighter and a little more stronger today, I cannot wait to keep pushing myself to write more and most importantly read more. Until next year for NaPoWriMo2021 🙂

Red, yellow and blue – primary colours of Life

29th April 2020

In a secluded farmhouse away from the highway,
Three girls were off on a holiday,
With one’s parents to supervise.
One was a palette of vibrant colours,
Another a wanderer in her own mind,
And there I was, the last member of the trifecta.

Little did we know what was in store.

It was the eve of my 15th birthday and I was blue, as usual.
Youngest of the lot,
I was a walking tornado in a disguise of freckles and unibrow.
In the veranda with a low-lit chimney and a bright sky with shining stars,
We-the trio- spoke our hearts out about nothing and everything-
About qualms and queries about little things in life.
We surely knew how to make mountains out of a mole hill,
The background music of an overdramatic television drama added just the spice.

Little did we know what was in store.

Post that little trip,
Continued the game of life,
Like the bunch of neatly braided plaits,
We three parted criss-cross to only converge stronger.
Checkposts were crossed and goals were accomplished,
But the core remains intact.

Little do we know what is in store.

A side note: Penultimate day of this activity! I went off-prompt as I didn’t have anything to praise domestic stalwart heroes – pets. Instead, to make it a little more challenging, I picked up the Bop poetry style to describe an ordinary evening of my fifteenth birthday!

Bedroom from my past

28th April 2020

A space I called my own,
With a broken heater and a large window,
An attic I sheltered in with an inclined roof,
Complimenting well with my height.

My thoughts lingered in this space,
Just like strings of my hair: everywhere.
My tears, laughter and troubles caressed me,
Pushed me towards the finish line.
Like pieces of different puzzles,

My accessories, decors and essentials walked hand in hand,
My little temple I seek solace in made itself a home,
With the incense left behind by the person before me.

From thoughts of quitting my journey,
To embracing light at the end of the tunnel,
My roof held me throughout the turmoil,
Like a womb nurtures a fetus for Life.

As per today’s prompt, this is an ode to a bedroom from my memories (Jan 2018-July 2018). A place where for the first time I had the realisation that home was where I was, and home was something I make. Having come so far for a new chapter, for the first time in months I began to feel like home and feel more like myself.

The bridge bears it all

27th April 2020

Pulling the weight of land on its each limb,
Supporting all the load on this arched back,
Lays a bridge centuries old on a river in a far away land.

History perceived it as a point of division:
Dismembering lands during war,
Soldier from his lover and a veteran from his life,
While it was built to serve a purpose of unity.

It bears the weight of the passion locked forever by two lovers,
And watches over the key thrown under its belly,
Oblivious to whether the hearts have parted, married or dead,
It locks their feelings with it for Time.

My Udupi

26th April 2020

image source:

Under the blanket of humid skies
On the seashore by the Arabian Sea,
Is my city- so pious and so beautiful.

Frogs are wedded as a custom to bring rains,
Carnivals and festivals paint the city every other fortnight,
With smiling folks always so polite and kind.

Art, dance and education runs through its blood,
Blessed by the Almighty decorated with diamond, gold and fresh flowers,
Lies a tale centuries old about His arrival.

Distinct lanes with beautiful houses and shops,
And bustling family businesses and small kiranas,
Where trust, sincerity and honesty are like godliness.

Outside my window a tree shadows me from the piercing Sun,
Sprinkles little droplets inside my room when it rains,
And soothes me with its presence in green.

Miles away and oceans apart,
I still think of my city whenever it rains,
And every fifth passing thought, I think of school.

Perplexed and blank

25th April 2020

Staring blank at the blinking cursor,
Fingers play the keys in air,
Mind seems to be blank,
Neither joyous nor in despair.
Prompts laid like steppingstone,
Paves the path to be followed,
Yet I am lost mumbling,
Unable to put words together I am jumbling.
Lack of creative flow,
Leaves me perplexed and blank,
This is not me slacking or losing interest,
But a day to lay down and simply rest.

Metamorphosis of emotions to ink

24th April 2020

Words poured out of my mind when are given structure,
A little colour and lots of emotions,
Form a poem, an honest piece or a heart-felt letter.
These emotions are as real as happiness, sorrow and anger.
When loitering thoughts are transformed into words in ink,
They gain substance; feel all the more real.
The taste of the monsoon mud just by its smell,
Dancing butterflies in my tummy at the sight of him after a year,
Or the hazy view of trickling raindrops on my windowpane after a nap.
I know them. I feel them. And that’s why I write about them✨

PS: I went off-prompt and wrote a piece about something I’ve been doing since a teenager for yesterday’s prompt. As years have passed, my inner confidence has been nurtured with wisdom, right kind of people and Grace. I simply wanted to reflect my thoughts on that.