Tuesday 26 May 2020


Eat just the white bread
not the brown crust, go ahead,
not the cake, icing...just.


Wednesday 20 May 2020


When COVID alone
could have us atone, whate'er
for is the cyclone?


Sunday 10 May 2020

Borders are but Lines

The earth, at the time of its origin, must have been just a place – just ‘one’ place – plants, creatures, land, water, and all. As humans evolved, we started drawing lines – lines of division. We divided ourselves into different lands, religions, cultures, colours, languages and whatnot. We called continents by different names and divided them into nations, states, districts, etc. The land was divided by invisible lines, with visible physical markings of course. And what’s more, we divided the waters too. We called the oceans and seas by different names.

These borders are but lines. Thanks to the human desire for power and profit, we crossed the lines, which we ourselves had drawn. We erased and defined the lines over and over again through the centuries. Somewhere along the way, we forgot we were part of the earth. We felt we were supervisors and controllers of the earth. Things had come to such a pass that we were heading for a rude awakening from our stupor. And we have. We have awakened from the stupor we had fallen into. We have woken up to find new lines of division. And this time they are not drawn by us. They are drawn by a small, tiny virus.

The continents, nations, states, and cities, and their names are not relevant anymore. The entire world is now divided into three – red, orange and green. These zones are forever variable. The lines may fade at any time and reappear in different places. Those places that were known as green could become orange or red in a matter of minutes. And that shouldn’t make any difference to most of us, as we are better off confined within our own four walls.

So also have the languages evolved. Languages are mere words to speak our minds, to communicate. Human minds across the earth are all the same. They are happy, sorrowful, angry or whatever in the same way for the same reasons. Just like the borders, the languages have also merged to form new ones. Today humans speak the same language the world over. The words they speak may be different, but they all mean the same – ‘Stay home’, ‘stay safe’, ‘stay sanitized’, etc.

We are now similar even in the way we dress. A dress is what we choose to wear to suit mainly our life, style and the climate. Today we may choose to wear different kinds of clothes, but we make sure we wear a mask too. That takes care of our appearance, colour, etc. Now, don’t we look like we belong to the same planet?

The earth has gone back to becoming just ‘one’ place after all. It took this tiny, invisible thing to bring us together. It may be tiny, but it wields a lot of power. It may be invisible, but it’s present everywhere. And the lines, or the borders, drawn are such that they vary every minute. They are in such a fluid state that we need to watch the TV every day the first thing in the morning, and several times through the day, to find out which zone we actually belong to at that specific moment. Red, orange or green?

[As published on https://indusscrolls.com/borders-are-but-lines/]

Saturday 9 May 2020



Who erased
the diners’ names
from these food grains?


[Another lockdown tragedy. “Sixteen migrant labourers, who were trying to return to their home State Madhya Pradesh on foot, were killed on Friday when a goods train ran over them…From initial reports, it appears that they started walking on Thursday evening from Jalna and after walking 40 km and exhausted by their journey, decided to rest on the track, where they fell asleep. They were planning to walk to Bhusaval but tragedy struck.” (May 08, 2020 – thehindu.com)]

Wednesday 6 May 2020

Lockdown: The Questions Unlocked

The lockdown continues. Unfortunately, the uncertainty also continues – of our lives, our health, our jobs. Fortunately, the majority of us have started thinking positively, as evidenced by the social media, perhaps because we have no other go. Those of us who have a little something on our platter have learnt to count our blessings by looking at those who are, sadly, left with nothing. I belong to the former group – at least to date. While I am counting my blessings, this lockdown also poses countless questions in my mind. The answers, we already know.

It all began with a visit to the hospital. The outpatient waiting area, which used to overflow with patients and their families, wore a deserted look. What happens during lockdown to all those patients who would otherwise throng the OP waiting rooms of hospitals? At least some of them would have recovered without a medical consult? Maybe what they needed was just a bit of rest after all? Perhaps it’s high time that we dig up the homely remedies that our grandparents taught us but we refused to learn? Perhaps we have finally learnt our lesson?

My wardrobe – the one for my ‘better’ clothes – has not been opened for a long time. That could be the case with a lot of people. This leads to another question. Just how large should our wardrobes be to keep us looking ‘decent’ and ‘appropriate’, while maintaining the ‘image’ that we think we have so carefully put in place? Who cares about this image anyway? How many times do you look at yourself in the mirror nowadays? So we have, and we always had, enough to give away (at least a few) to those less privileged than us?

That leads to another question. How much shopping do we actually need to do? And how much food, healthy or otherwise, do we actually need to satiate our hunger or craving for indulgence? So we have, and we always had, enough to feed (at least a few) who are needy and hungry?

The skills, the talents we were born with – how much time do we spend to nurture them, considering they are also our blessings? Not everyone is born a singer, dancer, writer, artist, or sportsperson. Haven’t we all ignored our inherent talents in our rush towards the so-called success? And at last we realise the success that we built up over years can be wiped away by a tiny virus in a matter of days.
And what about that holiday we so badly wanted with our family, but we saved the money instead? And the time we could have spent with our loved ones, but we worked instead? The questions are umpteen. Of course, there are reasons why we did what we did. But there are some things that we could have done a bit more and some that we could have done a bit less.

Finally, we find that today nature is a better place, with the human beings properly locked up and the rest of the beings let free. We find that the flora and fauna are thriving, but not humans. Perhaps we are wrong there. Humans are also part of nature. Humans belong to nature. This is something that we forgot in this long journey of existence. If the plants and animals are happy, surely we should be happy too? Surely we should be thriving too? Have we missed something here? Perhaps we have. Humans are a thinking species. They are able to think and make their choices. It’s up to us to think, very deeply, and make the right choices. It’s up to us to review the three S’s in our lives – the surpluses, the savings, and the sacrifices. What exactly is ‘less’ and what is ‘more’? What are we saving for? Who are we sacrificing for? Perhaps this lockdown has given us a chance to think about the fourth S – about living in ‘sync’ with nature. About living in sync with who we truly are. 

[As published on Indus Scrolls: https://indusscrolls.com/lockdown-the-questions-unlocked/]