Sunday, July 28, 2013

Delhi Contemporary Arts Week, 5th - 11th August, 2013

Do you feel writing is an Art? I believe it is as much of an Art as Dancing, Painting or Photography. We paint a picture for our readers, we use our words to convey or express what we feel. And blogging is such an easy platform to share our musings with the world. I am thankful for this virtual stage where we can connect with like-minded people and be appreciated for our writing. Now doesn't that feel good? Being acknowledged...Being appreciated!! When our post gets voted on Indivine or we get a new comment or a new follower we jump with glee!! So we all know what that feels like....Right? 

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.”
Mark Twain

So dear bloggers, let's together celebrate Art this coming August. Mark your dates and join me, to encourage, support and appreciate our fellow Artist friends this 5th - 11th August. 
Friends of Art (FOA), an NGO charitable trust, brings in our city the Delhi Contemporary Arts Week (DCAW), a week that will showcase the talents of upcoming artists in the fields of Dance, Music, Sound. Visual Arts, Photography, Installations and Short Films. This is the brain child of Shohini Dutta, The Director of DCAW, also the founder of FOA and the Assistant Artistic Director of The Danceworx Delhi

Shohini Dutta
In her words, "The Delhi contemporary Arts week that I envision will serve the future Of the 'New India' that is around us taking shape in the current , in the 'contemporary' realities that now emerge with people and artist exploring beyond the fascination of beauty and form and delving into Organic realities and searching for connections with themselves and beyond. "

With this initiative of FOA, I hope that Contemporary Arts will be recognized and appreciated even by the general masses in our country. In India, being an Artist is not a cakewalk, and only a few aspire to take it up as a full time career. As an Artist, you have to fight the traditional institutions, you have to battle your inner insecurities, break your defense mechanisms, push yourself every second to make it in the creative industry. Yes there is a struggle involved, but what you gain from Arts is so much more!! From my own personal experience, I can say that it has helped me become a better, a more developed person. With the DCAW, where a multitude of artists will come together and share their creative expression, we will get the opportunity to witness something truly amazing!! 

I'm pretty excited about this event. For sure, it is going to be a treat to our senses. Come to witness some magnificent work by fellow artists, Come to celebrate their vision, Come to get inspired, Come to embrace this love for Arts!!

                                                                                                                                        The event is happening across 14 venues showcasing over 40 artists, scheduled in the evenings so that even office goers like me can enjoy these creative expressions. You can purchase your donor passes at Mydala or at Bookmyshow. The DCAW provides a direct link to book the passes on their website too (click here). 

I wish the efforts of FOA and DCAW bring about a Change...A change that will be here to stay. A change that will help artist from various backgrounds come together and help create real social value!! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Haiku - Rains (3)

Image source: Google images

Pearls of silver tapping my window pane
make music soft and lovely
I hum along, kissing your cascading tresses
my love, and gently give you this silver thing

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Haiku - Rains (2)

Image Source: Google

The naked man stares

at umbrellas blue, red & black,

fights the grey storms within

Monday, July 22, 2013

Haiku - Rains (1)

Image Source: Google

Rip in the heart
Tears washed down by Rains
Backstabbed by own

I came across this excellent tutorial on Haiku by Ruchira Shukla and it has given my imagination a set of new wings. You can read more about it here and enjoy this fabulous form of poetry attempted by many enthusiastic bloggers over the past week. Looking forward to your comments on my first attempt at Haiku. Cheers!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Beyond What Meets the Eye

He was old and frail and had a meek smile which showed his uneven teeth. He was the guard in the opposite office building. The first multi storey structure in our town, I often wondered how this man landed up with a job here. He was not a guard per say, just someone who opened the door for the people entering and exiting. He always greeted them politely with a smile but was always brushed aside. He was slow in his actions, considering his age and was often mistreated by the rushed masses. But he always wore his smile.

We never spoke. Just a customary hello in the mornings, and a plate of Rice & Lentils that he ordered from me during the lunch hours, was our only interaction. He ate in quick small bites, almost gulping down the food and rushed back to his job. He seemed to love his job and that made me very curious. But at the end of the day earning my bread and butter was all that mattered to me, so I carried on ignoring the old man.

It was a bright Monday morning, the day she came. The otherwise gloomy weather had turned radiant, with the Sun finally coming out after days of harsh rains. It seemed that the entire town stood still, only she moved gracefully, joyously, oblivious to the awed onlookers. As she entered the building, she paused and her pink lips moved to greet a perky hello to the old man. She saw in his eyes genuine kindness and an unsaid helplessness, which no one had noticed before. An instant comradeship struck between the two. Being constantly criticized for her bold appearance and outlook in the otherwise conservative town, singled out by women and ogled upon by men, she found solace in the old man's wise and non judgemental small world. And he finally had someone to talk to, who genuinely listened and cared. This was all that mattered to the both of them. Being respected and understood for the individuals they were.

I benefited most out of this affinity. Their conversations over cups of masala tea and spicy eats, not only bulged up my pockets but swept me into whole new world of poetry and rhyme. The old man, nicknamed Dattu Chacha by the girl, was once an editor with the local newspaper of a nearby city. Loosing his wife at childbirth, he single handedly raised his son only to be abandoned by him in his old age. Never complaining, wearing his smile, he embraced Life with open arms, gaining strength from what he had known, from what he had loved. Poetry.

One would think that the difficult times that he had lived must have left him bitter and faithless. That the years of doing every menial job from plumber to fruit seller to newspaper vendor to guard must have left him with no vigour to go on. But he got up each morning beaming at the opportunity to start a new day, to write a page more of his Life. One would presume that the heartbreak his Son caused, must have broken him. But he of all, gave us strength or more appropriately his words gave us strength. They had soul, hope for a better future for all of us.
He mostly wrote in Hindi, his mother tongue. He quoted these lines of his favorite poet absentmindedly, in the middle of conversations, between his morsels of food, breaking a prolonged silence....

शक्तियाँ गति की तुझे
सब ओर से घेरे हुए है
स्थान से अपने तुझे
टलना पड़ेगा ही, मुसाफिर!

साँस चलती है तुझे
चलना पड़ेगा ही मुसाफिर!

....Whether these gave him courage or were meant for us lesser mortals we never did come to know.
Seasons changed, their friendship grew and they both were now very much a part of my Life. I didn't realize their importance until that fated day. On a grey winter evening, I overheard Dattu Chacha saying to the girl, "Beti you have helped me find myself again. It was destined...our meeting". He looked into her huge kohled eyes, " I can see, you understand...this end is a new beginning". He handed over a huge bundle of neatly bound yellow pages, containing his words, his Universe. "Take care, my dear", he said.
I don't remember much of that evening. All I remember was his silhouette walking away from us. All I remember was her pink lip stains on the last tea that she had, alone. And all that is left of them now are their memories and this piece of paper....

Dear readers: The story is not based on real events. However, the character of Dattu Chacha is partly inspired by the man who wrote the above poem. He was a guard at the office adjacent to mine at my previous work place.

The few lines quoted in the story is from the poem यात्रा और यात्री written by Mr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

When Children turn Masters

Kids say the funniest things but at times some of the most wisest things. While we are busy making sense of the maddening world that we live in, we often forget the simple yet valuable lessons taught to us by our elders in our growing up years. Yes, we instruct our kids as to what is right or wrong but fail to implement them ourselves.


Mom yelling at her 6 year old son : I'll go mad cleaning up this mess. Haven't I told you a million times to keep your toys in the basket once you are done playing. And what's with the chocolate wrapper strewn all around? Clean up before your father comes.
Son with a sullen look silently cleans up his room.
The next day the duo went grocery shopping. Bags loaded with the week's supply, Mom decided to cool of with an ice cream. Unwrapping the cone, she handed her son one ice cream while casually throwing the wrapper on the road.
As an observant 6 year old, her Son questioned innocently : Ma why did you throw the wrapper here. You are always do keen on keeping the house tidy. Shouldn't we keep our city clean too? It's where we live!!


Sunita is a Science teacher in the nearby private school, teaching class V to VII. Just finishing the last lecture of the day she adds briskly to the impatient children, "So students, remember what we learnt today. Types of Pollution and their causes and effects. Your homework is to observe around you what caused Air, Water and Noise pollution and make a list and show me tomorrow."
On her way home in the school bus, one of her students approached her, "Ma'am why don't you tell the driver what you taught us in class today. See, our engine is running even though it's a Red light."


"My teenage daughter is out of hands these days", my friend cribbed over the phone. "Her tongue fires away at will and she stings back at me whenever I try to reason out with her". I tried to cheer up my friend and we chatted for a while. I had completely forgotten about her misery until a few days later. I was visiting her place and being the Agony Aunt that I am, decided to speak to her daughter. After much persuasion she confided in me that she was feeling very lost in this transition from being a kid to an adult. In the middle of our discussion she reacted very strongly to something I said, "WHY? My mom can shout, to the point of being rude to my grandmother and our old (she is really old) maid, then why am I questioned and not her?" Oh, the difficult teenagers, I thought to myself.
But she had a point didn't she?


Kids learn from us. So whatever you do, think twice before acting because you are always setting an example. Try not letting them down. Don't just preach but Practice. Let your kids, students, younger siblings, get a chance to say " I Saw, I Learnt."

I am sharing what 'I Saw and I Learnt' at in association with

Monday, July 8, 2013

Honey, we got robbed!!

The events of last Thursday evening, the 4th of July are still vivid in my mind. It wasn't unusual for us to go to the sector-25 market. Popularly known as the Jal Vayu Vihar market we go there whenever our taste buds yearn for that spicy aaloo tikki. While hubby got our eats packed, I got few essential groceries and were headed back to where our car was parked. All this took just about 15 minutes. It was 8:45 pm.

We passed by a couple, clearly disturbed and annoyed at something. We ignored the scene and had just taken a few steps forward when we saw our car's rear side window broken. The glass completely shattered and our two bags gone!! Not believing at first, I kept mumbling in my head 'This couldn't be happening to us'...'This couldn't be happening to us'. We realized that the other couple whom we had just passed had also met with the same fate. Being the victims, a mutual alliance formed between us.

The PCR van was stationed right outside the market and the other couple had already informed them of this shocking (at least to us) incident. Can you imagine, the thieves, presumably a gang had the audacity to pull this off right under their noses!! 10 minutes had passed with no fruitful action on the police's end. The officer, Mr. Sharma, stationed there was casual and asked us few unnecessary questions like "Why did you park your car here?", " You live in sector-56, so are there no good markets between your place and here? What is so special about this market, that made you come here?". What the hell?? I was about to blast off but my patient better half knowing me well nudged me to take it easy. Now, I was mad at him...Humph...

We waited ( I don't know for what?)..I made a few calls home...and then I spotted a watchman right opposite the road, posted outside the community center. Surely he must have seen something!! But when questioned he shrugged us off by saying that he was inside helping some tents being taken out. We didn't believe him but there was nothing much we could do at that point. Suddenly we realized that we hadn't officially reported this theft. Yes, the police officer was there but he was as good as invisible. The other girl (N) dialed 100. The officer listening to this, asked us what would we like to do now? He was getting on my nerves now. As a officer on duty shouldn't he be obligated to help the citizens and inform us the next step or should it be vice versa?? Anyway we told him that we would like to file an FIR (first information report). He first tried to dissuade us, then later asked us to follow him to the Sector-20 police station.

At the police station, firstly we were asked to pen down all the contents of the bags that were stolen. We listed all that we could remember, most importantly my wallet which contained my identity cards - PAN card and driving license, debit card etc was gone!! My husband too had very important documents, most importantly car registration, in his bag. Fortunately, none of us had much cash, neither any laptop (Although both are bags were those big laptop bags, which is why they got the undeserved attention). Next we were asked to write a formal letter in Hindi reporting the incident. Officer Mr. Sharma said that one letter would suffice and he would be filing only one FIR. I argued that we were two unrelated parties and two separate reports should be filed, but he turned a deaf ear to this request/demand!!

Next, to our frustration and further dismay one Mr. Tyagi the filing officer said that the FIR would take time and we could collect it in the morning. Though we had no qualms in waiting, the police argued there were few technicalities which we could not understand. Oh, please do share your technical issues, I thought bitterly. It was 10:05 pm.

At this hour, we could not even get a photocopy of the letter so N took a photograph with her camera. She also slyly took a picture of Mr. Tyagi, who was denying us the FIR, but was noticed. We got to hear a few comments such as, "These days no one trusts the police", "You are like our own daughter, why do you think we don't want to help you", etc. He promised we can take the FIR anytime in the morning. Helpless and totally dependent on them, we drove back to our houses quietly after exchanging numbers with the other couple.

Early next morning, hubby got the FIR from the police station. Next step was to get the car window repaired which surprisingly cost us only Rs 500 so we didn't have to go through the insurance route. I had already got my debit card blocked last night. I had to now apply for the duplicate ID cards. Hubby had to do a few rounds of his bank and the RTO (Regional Transport Office) for his lost documents. He also once again went to the market and spoke to the nearby stall/shopkeeper without any result. All in all, there was much unnecessary running around on Friday as well as half of Saturday.

Few very important lessons were learn due to this episode. Many questions still remain unanswered. The state of society, the level of corruption, the rule of 'the gangs of Noida' was highlighted to us yet again. Just that, this time I am narrating it first hand instead of reading it in the newspapers.

I pray that you never encounter this horrid act. Still one has to be prepared, especially in the kind of world we are living in today!! So below are few Do's & Don'ts that as per my experience might prove to be beneficial at the time of need.

1. However heavy your bag might be, and even if you are stepping out of your car for just 5 min, do either put your bag beneath the car seat or carry it with yourself.

2. Always be vigilant. I know this is hard, especially if you've gone out with your friends or have just gone for a cup of coffee to distress. But do try and be aware of your surroundings.

3. If a mishap does happen. Don't panic. Again, easy to preach. But do try to keep calm and think step by step.

4. Even if a cop is around during such an occurrence, always dial 100. This should be the first thing to do. Register your complaint officially.

5. Think clearly and note down all the things lost/stolen before filing a FIR. Go through the list at least twice. There might be few things that might not be very important but ensure that they are listed.

6. Write your complaint in legible writing and check for spelling mistakes in your name, address and car no. The FIR helps you to re-issue your identity cards etc and the government officials can be quite finicky when it come to documentation.

7. If there are two separate parties involved, insist for two separate FIRs. Insist till they succumb.

8. In case of issuance of duplicate car re-issuance, you need to submit Form 26 along with copy of FIR. 

You can get the form from your nearby RTO for Rs. 2/- (that was the price in U.P.). 

Check the availabilty of the form online for your respective state. For Delhi, you can download from the below link.

9. Further to point no. 8, if the car is on loan you will need a NOC (No objection certificate) from your bank.

10. For driving license, form can be obtained at the RTO and again a copy of FIR is required to be submitted.

11. Duplicate PAN Card request can be filled online.

PAN Form:

12. In general practice, carry only one ID card in your wallet.

13. Keep a photocopy of all important documents at home. If possible also scan your docs and keep a copy in digital format too.  Also you should always have your passport photographs at hand.

I'll end here at the lucky number thirteen. If anyone of you have had a personal encounter of such sort or know a close friend/family who has suffered the like, please feel free to share your views/opinions. I am here to share your woes and probably, we might even laugh it off in days to come :)