Poetry for the soul – My favourites.

Poetry for the soul – My favourites.

Continuing with  the Music Series.

In my last post, I shared some peppy numbers that help drive away the blues. But, there are times, when the gloom refuses to leave you in peace.. Heartbreak, loss of someone special, or, maybe just life and her mysterious ways take over our emotional space and leave us feeling fragile. And, at such times, all we need are words that act as a balm on our tortured souls, offering us the assurance that we aren’t alone, that someone out there understands what we go through.

I find that solace in poetry that tugs at the heartstrings and helps me tide over the rough moments. Here’s my list of some very emotional songs written, directed and sung by the maestros of our Hindi film industry. The lyrics, the moving tunes and the atmosphere the song tries to capture…all of it makes me feel how well those artists know the pain of every human heart!

Most of the songs belong to the Golden Era of the Hindi FIlm Industry. That was the period when creativity was at its best. The meaningful lyrics by the best lyricists of our country, the lilting tunes by gifted music directors and the golden voices behind the songs are ethereal, and appealing to every soul.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

 

These first few songs have been penned by the great Gulzar Saab. I don’t want to comment on his work for the simple reason that the man is too great to be spoken about by an insignificant like yours truly!

I can listen to this song by Lata Mangeshkar endlessly. Lag ja galey…

As well as this song…Na jaaney kyun…

And, this one, too! Jiya lagey na…!

This one’s dedicated to all my friends, with lots of love!

Life is a riddle, isn’t it? ZIndagi kaisi hai paheli…

Lata Mangeshkar, the melody queen of India..no other words will describe her better…

I get blown away by Sonu Nigam’s renditions of any soulful numbers. He sings from his soul, or maybe it’s his soul that sings the song!

As well as this…I wish it would never come to an end!

 

I don’t find the present day tunes as lilting and sentimental, but there are a rare few which find a place in my list. This song from,’Yeh Jawaani hai diwani’, is one that touched my heart.

Adnan Sami is another artist from the present generation, who has magic in his voice as well as his fingers that dance on the keyboard. If you have seen his videos, you will know what I mean.

These are just some of the songs that move my heart and help me wade through the sombre moments that life brings along with her. There really are a hundred such songs I would love to share, but one post won’t be enough for them all! The emotion we experience in the deep longing for someone, or in the release  of unshed tears, is something that can only be felt much more than expressed. Don’t you agree?

What are some of your favourite soulful songs? Do share with me…this list of mine could do with more such gems!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

The silent cry for help.

The silent cry for help.

Lately, an alarming trend seems to have taken over the social media.  Calling it a trend in itself is disturbing, but these incidents that  I came across make me wonder if we can call it by any other name!

You may have heard/read about the young lawyer who tried capturing her suicide on camera before being persuaded to safety. You may also have read about the 24 year old man who live-streamed his suicide on social media before jumping off the 19th floor of a Mumbai hotel, and, most recently, the news of a marathi film producer posting a suicide note on Facebook before ending his life. He mentioned his inability to endure the mental and physical torture by his wife and in-laws after his film failed to rake in any moolah (read flopped).

Horrendous is the word I will use to describe these incidents, and pitiful the stories of the victims. For in a world where everybody is in a rat race, vying to outdo the other by showing off what a perfect life one leads on the social media, people are now using the very same platform to share their wretched real life stories before pulling the plug! It gives us a fair idea about the life we actually lead irrespective of what we brag about on camera! It also gives us a clear picture of how lonely life is fast becoming, despite the thousands of friends we may boast about.

It’s a scary metamorphosis our life is going through.   There was a time, not long ago, when we guarded our private lives like a treasure. The story of our life  – good, bad, ugly – was shared  only with our closest friends/family members. These were the people who knew the wonderful as well as the unpleasant stories of our lives. But, today, all we do, is put on display the seemingly picture-perfect lives we live, hide the scars that life gives us, and give the world a peep into our sorrowful lives only before we jump off the ledge.

There are some questions that bother me as I look at these woeful scenarios. Firstly, why are we becoming this pretentious bunch of show-offs and what are we gaining from this exhibitionism? What do we achieve by sharing these picture-perfect moments of our private lives with a world which actually doesn’t even care after clicking the ‘Like’ button? And, if we are so obsessed with showing off the perfect lives we lead, then why are we, on the other hand, sharing the equally wretched moments of our lives that push us to the brink,  instead of asking for help?

What is it that we fear? Are we afraid to expose our miseries to our people?  Or, are we too scared to be turned down because each one is fighting a battle of his own to even extend  their hands in support? The ones, who live-streamed their suicides on social media, were they so tired of fighting  a lonely battle that they yearned for attention,  but were too scared to ask for it?  What did their feeble cry for help really mean? That we have become too busy to care what our people go through, or that we, for all our ostentatiousness, are beyond caring for those who are going through some pathetic times in their lives?

Is life only about the goody-goody stuff that earns us a million likes? Isn’t life also about unhappiness, heartbreak and hardships – times when we need to stand by each other’s side, supporting one another, no judgements passed?  Isn’t it also about being able to voice our deepest fears to people who care?

These are so contradictory  – these two facets of human nature that are evolving by the day. Despite having a hundred friends, we are gradually becoming a ‘lonely’ species.  Or, are we too reluctant to call out for help? The other day, as I sat in my darkened room, clutching my dead pet’s picture in my hands,  feeling desperate and lonely, I found myself hesitant to call up my friend for a heart-to-heart talk. I feared I might be burdening her with my sorrows, which may be minuscule as compared to hers. I also wondered if she even cared/was too concerned about her life to even call up and find out why I hadn’t gotten in touch with her in a long time, except sharing inane jokes on Whatsapp! It was only later, after I spoke with her, that I realised that she does care about me a lot, and that I had been only feeding my worst fears – something that we all do during the loneliest moments in our life.

The dreadful thoughts that crossed my mind that day make me wonder – what are we turning into? Couple days ago, I shared a happy picture of myself and my spouse on Instagram, and now, here I was, reluctant to share the dark, scary moments that actually needed to be talked about!

We really need help. But, are we going to ask for it?

I hope we do.


Love bites…A happy post.

Love bites…A happy post.

No, no. This post has nothing to do with erotica! It also isn’t about love that bites (as in, our fur babies, who enjoy nipping, nibbling etc when in  prankster mode). It’s about a  little something I have been indulging in since some time now.

My mind being very productive tends to go off on its own endless trips when left idle. Needless to say, such trips can  leave me totally exhausted, mentally and emotionally. So, some time back, I decided to keep it engaged in some more activities, apart from writing and art, so that it would stay happy despite all the chaos that life can be.

I began baking, seriously. I did bake earlier, too, but this time, I decided to really take  efforts in working on my baking skills with the help of my dear cousin, who is an accomplished baker herself. I began with different types of cookies and cupcakes and, fortunately, they turned out quite well! Chikoo would drool when those babies were getting baked in the oven, so I know. His drool spoke a lot about their goodness!
And, these are the love bites I am talking about! 😀 I mean, who doesn’t love to have a bite  of such sinfully tasty things, haan?
I have been baking like a woman possessed, baking being such a therapeutic activity. Moreover, people buy the stuff I bake, so thankfully, I don’t have to pile on the calories all by myself! 😜

I remember how Chikoo would begin howling no sooner the aroma of the cakes would reach his highly sensitive nose and beg me to give him some..

Chikoo demanding his share!

For the love of God, stop torturing me, woman, and just bring me some of those goodies, will ya?”
he would say. Never was he satisfied with a bite or two. He would demand a lot more and made sure I gave him all he asked for. I knew it wasn’t good for his health, but I felt that he had lived his life eating all the healthy (and boring) food I gave him, day in day out, without grumbling even once, and now that he was old, he ought to enjoy in every way.

Chikoo by the oven, when he could walk.

These days as I bake, my thoughts invariably take me to the not-so-distant past, when Chikoo would keep loitering around the kitchen (or insist I help him move to that favourite spot of his when he couldn’t walk) and keep staring at me as I worked. His olfactory organs on high alert, waiting to catch the first whiff of the oven baked yummies, his tongue drooling puddles as he sat in anticipation of his favourite cakes and cookies.

Nowadays, I place his picture frame on the dining table that’s right across the kitchen, so each time I turn around, I find him staring back at me from the frame, inundating me with those sweet memories of the past. It brings a lump to my throat as I realise he isn’t here to demand his share of my cakes, anymore, but I know he is there, somewhere around, drooling at the heavenly aroma!

********************

Today, it’s two weeks since my little fella crossed the rainbow bridge. There are moments when I smile – giggle, too –  as I reminisce about our past. But, there are also moments when the tears, they gush out unannounced, and leave me completely drained. But, then, so is life, isn’t it? We all miss our people when they are no more with us. At times, their memories make us laugh, at times they make us weep, and then when these moments pass us by, we get on with life, all over again!

I do have a bone to pick with Chikoo, though. It’s been two long weeks, and not once has he visited me in my dreams! I mean, I have a whole lot of people who do, but this little guy seems to have forgotten me completely!

Hey, Chikoo, are you listening?

******************

Chikoo:  Chillax, mom! Yeah, that’s one of the new and cool words my buddies here taught me. And they are so much better than those boring words you drilled into my head every time you went clickety-click at your laptop!
Anyway, woman, just ‘coz I haven’t visited you in your dreams does not mean I have forgotten you, okay? Don’t you know I reside in your heart? The thing that goes thud-thud in your heart isn’t your heartbeat, it’s my tail, wagging against your chest, you dodo! 
Oh, and I am also very much around you…all the time. Those vanilla cakes you baked today..those smelled like heaven. Ah, I wish they baked those things here, too. Then, I would have my cake and eat it, too! Bwahahahaha! 

Oh, by the way, mom, I am gonna be busy for some time. Psst..there are some really sexy girls out here, and, they hardly leave me alone! So, ya see, I will come visit ya in your dreams once those chicks give me a break! 
Until then, ciao, mom! 
Take care!











Friends forever.

Friends forever.

Image: Stocksnap.io



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 We met when we were little girls, dancing to the clinking sound of the cymbals at our dance class. We – P and I – were Bharatnatyam students in our early teens. A shy, “HI“, or, “Hello“, was all that we exchanged, both of us being reserved and shy of nature. I fail to recollect the period vividly, as we were quite young then, and not chummy with each other. 

However, it was in our late  teens – 17/ 18 years of age – that we really began to bond as we prepped  up for our Arangetram. Within no time did we learn a lot about each other, especially the fact that we were so alike in many an aspect – the basis on which friendship,  as a relationship for a lifetime, finds its foundation. Those were the years we shared our dreams, our fantasies, even the rare  grouse that we had with our parents during that rebellious age!

We practically grew together, as we met each other on a daily basis. Not a day would go by when we did not speak with each other, or exchange hellos via  the telephone. We did have our differences, and I, being a sulky (a term she often used for me) would take a day to get over the trivial disputes we had. I could not dream of going without talking with her  for more than a day! But, soon we grew up some more, and grew out of our juvenility, and grew closer, still. 

Our respective marriages pulled us apart, taking her to another part of the country. I was left friendless, and so was she. Those years, even when  phone and  letters were the only mode of communication, we weren’t able to stay in touch. Life had gotten in the way, and there were complex issues to deal with. I rued the times I had no one to talk to, open my heart to, as I faced  the numerous ups and downs in my new life as a married woman. Ditto, for her. And, we being introverts, found it a colossal undertaking making new friends. Would we ever meet someone who could understand our silence, leave alone the spoken words?

It was only on her yearly visits that we could meet and talk for a while. Talks revolved around difficult in-laws and their domineering ways; issues we had with our respective spouses and, yes, adjusting to a whole new environment for which we had not been prepared, at all! The mere fact, that, albeit for a few hours in an entire year, we could open our souls, reveal our wounds, speak unabashedly about our fears, was such a relief. It felt as if a weight had been lifted off our shoulders.

It was during those initial years of my marriage that I was coming to terms with my MIL’s schizophrenia when I  received another shocking news about my husband’s bi-polar disorder. It was the largest hurdle I found myself staring at, with no emotional support, whatsoever. Those were the times, when I felt  loneliest. Of course, my parents were there for me through every step of the way, but you always feel the need to have by your side someone who offers you their unconditional, non-judgemental support; one with whom you can share your deepest, darkest secrets, knowing fully well you will not be chided for  encouraging thoughts that aren’t supposed to be entertained, ever. And, not having P by  my side during those times was what I missed, tremendously.

She, on the other hand, was suffering at the hands of an eccentric and a domineering MIL, the likes of which we have heard existed in some bygone era. It had been a major shock to her, too, seeing the truth behind the facade  being revealed  day by day. How she faced the woman and her dictatorship, I find difficult to fathom, knowing how soft-spoken and mild-mannered my girl was! She recounted how she put up with everything quietly, never raising a word against the senior. Thankfully, though, her husband decided to shift to the US and P’s ordeal came to an end. Although, there again, she did miss her parents and her only friend. But, at least she was able to find  some peace in her life.It was during those initial years, when P was still in India, that we could manage to meet once in a long while and swap stories of our turmoil. We encouraged each other, motivated each other saying how we were both brave, despite our fears. She would call up before leaving for her marital home and encourage me to be strong; how we both needed the strength as we were to live in the lion’s den!Today, we are in our early 40s. She is a mother to two beautiful children and has different news to give me each time we meet. Her teenage daughter and her rebellious ways remind us of ourselves, although, I believe we belonged to a  generation of comparatively milder rebels! Times, when she want’s to drill some sense into her daughter’s mind but is at a loss, are the times when she suggests I be the friendly aunt who can help her see right from wrong. I find it amusing, though. But, I do try…just for the sake of P. For all that she has done for me.

She, on the other hand, gives me frank opinions when I ask her to gauge my behaviour in  situations vis-a-vis certain  family issues. Needless to say, she does a fabulous job! She knows me like the back of her hand! Sitting miles away from me, she can read my thoughts and give me an unadulterated opinion of what she thinks of me and my weird thinking.

I have heard that we have soul mates whom we meet just once , or twice, in our lifetime. People with whom we connect more than with anyone else. People who understand us perfectly and we them. And, people without whom the journey of our life would be incomplete, unenjoyable, bereft of the magic which we so need. For me, P is the person. P is my soul mate. She is someone I cannot imagine living without, cannot imagine my life without. We have been friends for more than two decades…well, almost three decades, actually! She is an extension of me, an angel God sent just for me.

I know this post is going to leave her overwhelmed, but this is the story of my life, of our life, together. And, she knows it. I dedicate this post to her. A post which reiterates the fact that friendships formed during ones teenage years matter – always – no matter what, no matter the distance between the two people. Their souls connect and their hearts beat in unison, and that’s what matters to them!