Saturday, March 18, 2017

163.The Stiff and the Flexible

The older we grow,
The stiffer we become,
The body refuses to bend,
The mind to make way
Until we die one day 
When the body won't budge,
The mind won't work.

We see this every day,
Yet we can't understand
That the stiff dies,
The flexible lives.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

182. Is this Cricket?

Gentlemanly behaviour has always been considered an integral part of sports. Sports-persons understand that victory and defeat are part of the game. At the end, the winner and the loser shake hands and continue to remain friends. During the game, there are tense moments. Players get angry and emotional at times, but are not supposed to cross the line. This sort of spirit is missing in other competitive fields and hence, the term "sportsman spirit" has been coined. 

Cricket seems to be an exception. Foul words, gesticulations, abuses- all have become an integral part of the game. Each and every altercation gets faithfully reported and media laps it up. Each gesticulation is captured by TV cameras and channels keep showing it for days together. There seems to be more focus on all this than on the game itself.

In the current India- Australia series also, we have witnessed unseemly incidents. Media continues to report on the DRS controversy involving Australian Captain Smith and his Indian counterpart, Virat Kohli. However, what crossed all limits was the facial expression of Ishant Sharma while mocking the Australian Captain.

Many found the expression quite entertaining, but I thought, it was downright grotesque. Abusive words and even fisticuffs would have been less offensive. Mere recall of Ishant Sharma's facial expression spoils my day. There should be some way of stopping such things on the field of play.

Some people genuinely believe that such activities make the game entertaining. I fail to understand why better props cannot be found to make the game entertaining and why the game needs any props at all. I also don't understand why players keep crossing the line in Cricket which is played only by a handful of nations. We don't see such things in Tennis, Badminton and other games which are played by a much larger number of nations. 

The funniest part is that Cricket is known as gentlemen's game. If what Ishant Sharma has done is gentlemanliness, God save us from gentlemanliness. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

74. Festival in Garden of Five Senses

The 30th Garden Tourism Festival concluded at Said-Ul-Ajaib near Saket in New Delhi yesterday. The 3-day festival was held in the Garden of Five Senses, one of the best gardens in the city. Hundreds of varieties of plants and flowers were on display during the festival. Various musicians, bands and top artists were invited to perform. Activities like magic show and on-the-spot painting competitions for children were organized. Visitors could savour various delicacies at a mini food festival. Flowers, plants, organic items, books, gardening accessories, etc.were available for sale.There was tremendous response from Delhiites.

This must be one of the best garden festivals organised anywhere. Those who missed the event this year must make it a point to visit the festival next year.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

162. Corpses

Pavements are full of people
Sleeping peacefully like copses,
No one knows who they are,
No one cares.

If a car rides them,
It does not matter,
They are corpses anyway.

If they see the next morning,
They will get up 
And walk like corpses,
Scaring the passers-by.

Corpses are meant to be still,
They look ominous when moving.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

161. To God

God, reverse your process,
Refine your methods,
Make your world better.

Let humans be born old
And grow younger day by day
Until they become as innocent
As harmless, as beautiful
As new-born children.

Once they grow old enough
To be like new-born children,
God, make them immortal.

Monday, December 12, 2016

181. On Delhi winters

This year, Delhi saw a lot of pollution in November. Visibility was very poor at times and people were rushing to hospitals in droves to get treated for respiratory diseases. I had not seen anything like this during my  30 plus years of stay in Delhi. I was apprehensive that the Delhi winter which I am so much in love with would be a disaster this year. Luckily it is not so. 

Winter has arrived in Delhi in full splendor. Its magnificent gardens have come alive, with families packing their baskets for picnic. When the sun comes out, it seems, Gods are smiling on Delhi. Nothing is more enjoyable than to sit in the sun and chat along with friends. 

In markets, vendors can be seen selling peanuts everywhere. With crispy peanuts around, who cares for almonds, cashewnuts, pistachios and other expensive dry-fruits? Chikkis with sesame seeds, jaggery  and roast peanuts are available at every  second shop. Gajar halwa, moong dal halwa, pakodas of different types- Delhi winter easily spoils you for choice with a range of culinary delights it offers.

Gone are the days when one would need to survive on potatoes. Markets are full of vegetables- carrot, turnip, peas, cauliflower, cabbage and a large variety of green leaves. Apple, pomegranate, guava, orange- there are as many varieties of fruits as vegetables. In grains, bajra and makai have replaced the monotonous wheat and rice. 

There was a time when I loved to see Delhi engulfed in morning and evening fog. I used to find it very exciting that nothing was visible. Going out in the fog gave me the feeling that I was cut-off from the world and was all with myself.  Now, fog symbolises pollution and one is advised to keep away from it. This has deprived me of some of the pleasures of Delhi winter.

I love Delhi during winters and feel blessed to be in the city. I wish, the homeless, the hungry and the inadequately-clad enjoyed Delhi winters as much as I do.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

160. Express it

In the middle of the night,
A strange thought hits me-
That I could never put in words
What I always wanted to say.

I turn on my side,
Find you fast asleep,
Your face radiating peace,
Hitherto unknown to me.

What should I do?
Should I wake you up
Or should I not -
To say something you know
Which remains unsaid.

I am restless tonight,
A strange fear strikes me -
If I wait until morning,
Will it be too late?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

180. On Dengue and Chikungunya mosquitoes

Two tiny creatures brought Delhi to its knees in recent months. The mosquitoes of Dengue and Chikungunya spread terror among the residents, keeping doctors and hospitals at their wit's end. No bed was available in hospitals- not even enough space for patients to sit and wait for their turn. Masks went out of stock. The joint pain lasted for months together after the recovery. I know some people who had Chikungunya in summer, but are not able to write even in winter.

It seems, the mosquitoes are so powerful that they can decide their timings for feasting on human blood and also the part of the body they would like to bite. Experts say, they bite during day time and their preference is for upper part of the body. Also, they prefer to breed in clean water, leaving dirty water to their not-so-privileged brethren. To me, they are akin to dons who alert their victims with impunity before striking. " I will kill you in your house at 10 a.m. tomorrow. Save yourself if you can" type warning. 

There was a time when people used to be scared of wild animals like tigers, lions and beers. No longer so. The mosquitoes of Dengue and Chikungunya have clearly shown that they are mightier. They do not require the cover of forest to intimidate and strike. They are capable of catching their victims in their homes. They can penetrate any security ring. No attempt to flee from them will work. Surrender, willing or unwilling, is the only option. They are so ruthless that even if you pray to them with folded hands not to bite you, they will not melt. They are determined and strong- willed. They will accomplish the task they have set out to perform.

I am lucky that I could escape their wrath this time. Part of the victory was due to the fact that I was wearing winter clothes in summer - full sleeves and trousers. I was hiding my body the way our heroines used to in old movies. I hope, the mosquitoes don't get smarter next year.

I have great respect and admiration for the Dengue and Chikungunya mosquitoes. They have once again proved that even small creatures should not be taken lightly.