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In the depths of my being, a strange certainty, deeper than reason, entirely animal in quality, filled me with terror. The same certainty which some beasts-sheep and rats feel before an earthquake. Awakening in me was the soul of the first men on Earth, such as it was before it became totally detached from the universe, when it still felt the truth directly, without the distorting influence of reason- The 'Boss', Zorba the Greek

Thursday, March 11, 2010


The other day I met a lady who is very much part of the 'clan' but it was probably the first time I had spoken to her as a 'grown-up'. We had a long conversation about dogs and how they are so special to us- and losing them can be more traumatic than losing a relative, sometimes.I liked her instantly and hoped when I got to her age- I might be as gracious and beautiful as she was.
I had no idea that she is a writer and was surprised to get this in an email from my mother. I have to say it is a bit of an honour to be compared to the women of the family- if I am an ounce of what they are- I am pretty much sorted.

Joyshri Lobo.

Sometimes, merely being in the company of ones peers energises us. We meet, interact, discuss and catch up on the years that have gone by, and often pick up strings from the moment where we had left off. None of us appear anything like we were three decades ago, but within the frame work of wrinkles, weight gains or losses, broken bones and arthritic knees, missing or broken teeth, we do find our selves and are joyous in the re-discovery of each other. At one such gathering, we caught up with three generations of remarkable women, who do not require an appointed day or a chronicled page to point out their achievements.

As Jewell looked out of the window, I recollected the beautiful, gentle English woman who made India her home. She sang and played the piano, creating music and pure joy amongst many children who passed through the portals of the school she had pioneered. They remember her still, those young men and women. She never raised her voice nor spoke a harsh word to a colleague or pupil and was kind to a fault. Her very life can be likened to the gem she was named after.

Bonnie, the eldest daughter, wears her mother’s mantle well. Gracious and soft spoken, she has nurtured her children, grand-children and students with care and selflessness. Still lovely and the perfect hostess, she accepts compliments with humility and grace. The care she extends towards her household spills over into extensive social work around the city. Age seems to pass her by, as it does her sister Amrita.

The tomboy of the family, Amrita has a wild sense of humour and the courage to take up challenges like car rallying and teaching, the skill inherited from Jewel. She looks ridiculously youthful and probably feels even younger. Where do these women get their exuberance from? We need to learn their secret family formula.

Amrita’s daughter Kismet is as lovely and willowy as her mother. Photography is her forte’ and she is happiest working on assignments, anywhere in the country. In a few years the world might be her oyster. Who knows? She is the image of unfettered, confident, involved, educated Indian womanhood.

These are three generations of erudite, progressive women who, every day of their lives. are breaking new grounds and courageously facing challenges.

Fourteen years after its inception, the Womens Reservation Bill has started its marathon run from the Rajya Sabha. It is a historic moment at a time when some women are reaching great heights and others are victims of gender bias, khaps, murder, rape and inequality. To some extent, the bill will allow leaders to come forth as role models and fighters for justice. But will the marathon path widen to encompass more or will it narrow down due to hurdles and hiccups fom men and women totally resistent to change in what they consider inherited comfort zones? A lot of my fraternity are opposed to the liberality this bill points towards. Should we be ashamed of ourselves? I think, the four women mentioned above, have raised the bar on their own steam, based on deep rooted convictions. They required no bills or laws to guide them. Education and explanation will help us understand the paradigms offered to us. I do hope the Government will offer a little of both.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Simple Life

[As told to me by my Dad]

Back then-

Everyone wore shirts that said 'Make love,not war.' [as cliched as it may sound]
You didn't say 'HI', you said 'PEACE'. '
You rode your bikes slow, so the girls could che
ck you out.
There were only about eight bikes and five scooters in Chandigarh.
They called themselves the 'Dooks' and the 'Yanks' .
A movie cost one rupee fifty, the chinese cost two rupees and a cola was fifty paise, so your date cost you about Rs.5.
The movies changed every day, with one English movie showing on Wednesday.
You could hear your friends bike from a mil
e away (literally).
Bell bottoms were cool.
Every one had a nickname- Fly, Flatty, Squeaky, Gooey.
You got your jeans from Jean Junction.
Walking was the way you got everywhere- to college and back, to sector seventeen and home.
Yelling across the park for cold coffee was normal.
So was the cow that lived in your friend-across-the-parks-house.
Morni was exciting.
Sitting on the round-abouts drinking rum for two rupees was the way to spend your evenings.
It was all so simple.
This is how it could've been.

{ An addition to this post by a good friend of my parents who grew up with them.Collective memories are important.}

I remember for Rs 10, you could fill your scooter. I usually filled up about Rs 5 worth at one go, or even Rs 3. But one time, when we were all in college, all I had was Rs 1, so that's how much gas I got filled in. It was really funny.

We lived in Sector 27-A, diagonally across from Sector 7, where some family friends lived. We went to their home almost every evening, and went for a walk. Walking was what one did for fun. On occasion, we walked from college (GCW) to your mum's home in Sector 8-A; Usha Hooda lived around the corner, and Candy didn't live too far either--we lived on cold coffee in the summertime. It was also a good way to lose weight if that's all you consumed.

And Morni was a lot of fun. Ask your dad and mum to show you photos of one of our trips there on scooters.

Love, Vinty

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Not what you think

Unspoken truths : I know but I won't say.
I see but I look away.

Faux bonds : I comply yet I block.
I won't scratch anyones back.

Emotionless : My smile isn't real.
Really? *yawns* *looks away*

Senseless & beaten , you aren't as smart as you think.
You are just routine.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Time to Change

What is a 500 rupees note nowadays? Nothing , really. Three coffees and you are left with maybe a hundred rupees, or even less. Sometimes Rs.500 isn't enough for three coffees. This is what the value of a 500 rupees note has reached. So, you'd think the I000 rupees note should be slightly more valuable but not so valuable at the same time? Throw away money? Money to burn? Maybe in your world.

In mine, it's a bloody pain to have a 500 rupees note, so let's not even talk about I000.
My days and thoughts have begun to be consumed on how to procure some change. Every auto valla wants change- I mean really, THEY are the ones who take people around all day and are probably asking each one for change , right? Or is it that when its my turn to pay, the auto valas have given away all their change to customers before me? Am I just so unlucky?

What about Barista? Surely, they should have some change.It only makes the most sense. They are a chain of very famous and well known coffee stores run across the entire country. What excuse do they have? Oh, I know- the banks haven't opened yet. So when I hand them a I000 rupees note (that the ATM has happily spat out at me) , they apologise and ask (read- DEMAND) for change. We can give you two 500's, if you give us a I00. Would I be having this innane conversation if I had a I00 to give you? My battle with barista is lost too.

No one has change. I have no money to get into a rickshaw (two notes of a I000 and I'm as broke as the beggar tugging at my shirt). I have twenty minutes to get to my shoot.

All is lost. Except, if I go grocery shopping -which is so unecessary ,yet the only answer. Ten minutes later, with a few bags of dal and MDH Dhania powder to my name, and ofcourse the much needed CHANGE- I jump into an auto and head towards my appointment.

I can't help but think someone is plotting against me. What do you think, dal-ing?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Six Minutes

"He (my brother Lewis ) was told he had six minutes to get out and he would survive,
but he didn't manage and he was killed."

"They said they would give me dinner in six minutes.
It's been six minutes and it hasn't come yet. (Is there any jelly?)"

"I've been having the strangest dreams lately." *pause*

"I was told that when you die it happens in six minutes.
You lie down and in six minutes you die.
I lay down and in five minutes, I was gone.Just like that."
Who told you this?
"Aunt Dora."

"Take me home, I must go now."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Cha has had a healthy baby boy- last night at 3:40 am.,a couple hours after his own birthday. He is a father. HE IS A FATHER!!!
Number three () is engaged.
She is divorced.
Racoon thinks he is twenty three years old when he is actually twenty six going on twenty seven! Boy, was he shocked to be three years older in less than a minute!

Do we all think we are younger than what we are? Or are we older than we are?
Maybe, we are just old. Still living a child's life. That is the real joke.

Its been nearly a month since I have been home and I am ready to go back to Bombay and the uncertainity of it all. I love home but not being home is something I have begun to love as well.
Where and when will we find our middle path?
Glimpses of me
is what worries me.
Is that who I am now?
Circled eyes? and a constant frown?
Is the only way from here , down?

It's been a good six months.