Dec 22, 2013

Purple dreams...

In the abyss of skin
love fell...

...ignited passion
   smoking desires
   breathing sighs
was all the left-over,

...the soul lost
   the heart abandoned
   the flesh reigning
giving away to the senses,

...the pores breathing
   the acts sweating
   the body's whispering
admitting to the so-called "one-ness"!

It's a wonder
the river by the castle
causing the purity to become
spreading the Purple all over
the desirous red
here, it was the land where
the "purple dreams" grew!

Dec 1, 2013


the silence screams
the music deafens me
the light blinding
the darkness too black...
...I think, it's nothing
just your absence!

Nov 17, 2013

"KRUNG THEP", My Dream Asian Destination!

I often close my eyes and dream about being in a new land. A place which I haven't explored ever before, stories heard, pictures seen and admired, articles read, all this tempt me more to soak into the new dream destination. I always carry a little notebook as I am writer and a globe trotter. Having lived in three continents and 4 countries till now, I am a explorer. I love traveling and I am in constant search for dream destinations every now n then. Being an Indian, I always wanted to explore more destinations in Asia, and Krung Thep is on top of my list. 

Krung Thep, oh! I forgot to mention which place is this-

Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit

Oh! Am I still not clear. We popularly know it as BANGKOK and it is the world's greatest city according to the Travel + Leisure magazine (Check out their website and survey for worldsbest 2013 cities), and also it has this long name which I can't read and spell! Yes, Bangkok is on the top of my list of my Asian dream destination, and I am glad Air Asia has great fares to fulfill my dream to soak in Bangkok. 

Well, I think there should not arise any questions for my choice. After all, who does not know what Bangkok is famous for beautiful temples, monks, street food (I am a foodie from India), shopping, world-class acrobatic stunts, night-life, pretty girls, massages etc. Want to know more, follow me on a virtual Bangkok tour (this is all what I have planned to do and visit while in Krung Thep):

The temples-
Bangkok is a city of temples, around 400 wats (temples) can be found. Most of the temples are decorated with glass, pottery and yellow metal- the gold. We can't visit all the 400, but the highly recommended and popular ones are Wat Pwra Kaew (temple of Emerald Buddha). This temple has mural paintings depicting 178 scenes from Ramayana. This is what fascinates me about this temple. It's like a temple away from home for me. The next popular must-see temple is Wat Pho which is the temple of Reclining Buddha. This temple has 1000 Buddha images. Wow! What is more impressive is the fact that this temple houses the first Thai Massage School. Visitors if have time, can learn it at the Traditional Practitioners Association Center. I am sure, it would be a once-in-lifetime experience to learn Thai message in open air. Doesn't it reminds us of 'Gurukuls'. Next temple to be surely not missed is the Wat Arun. The temple of Dawn (as the name suggests, in Hindi Arun means the Sun). This temple has a distinctive shape, quite different than other Wats. I am sure, this is going to be my favorite temple.

The monks-
Monks in Bangkok live in the temples. If you wake up early in the morning and look around any temple, you can find monks in saffron robes on the streets. Thais believe in a life of giving for a merrier luck. Monks go house to house for their daily food and other necessities. How touching would be that scene for me, I can just imagine. I have always dreamt of talking to a monk and understanding who they are. So, the Thai temples also offer me this pleasure to be near one of my dreams. 

The street food-
A foodie from India knows that the most delicious food can be found on the corners of the street, by road side. Bangkok, my favorite Asian dream destination is famous for street food. What more can I wish for!  The delicious fact is that this street food is available 24 hours a day. of course, when in Bangkok, the hunger doesn't see the clock! It can be a non-veggie's delight. One can relinquish Duck soup, pig brain soup and other local delicacies in its full taste and feel. Go for it, if you can just swallow the fact what you are going to enjoy! For a veggie eater like me, the look of the dishes would do enough. I want to see people eating that stuff! How cool!

The shopping-
No one can ever make a place touristic without offering great shopping experience. I am sure, it won't see many female tourists then. Bangkok is a shopping paradise, especially the Chatuchak. It is Thailand's largest market and world's largest weekend market. You can shop from its 15,000 stalls in 5-acres maize of aisles and buy anything from pottery/furniture/statues/antiques/film posters/ art etc. I am a girl and this sounds super fun! 

The night life-
How different would be this experience to be out at night and you know there is no darkness to be found! Bangkok has a power-plugged night life, with big neon glow hoardings and sign boards. Bars offering dances/drinks/etc. I am sure, it would be awesome to be roaming in those streets boasting fun and pleasure. 

The massages-
Thai massages are famous all around the world. Their speciality is that they focus on pressure points. Rhythmic patterns of applying pressure at different points give a great feeling of relaxation and energy. It is based on Ayurvedic principles. How nice it would be to return from a vacation where you had fun, food and massage!

My Bangkok trip is planned to have all these ingredients so that it tastes ultra-yummy. I am an avid traveller and explorer by nature. I am so eager to be in this very different land of glorious history, awe-inspiring temples, gold stupas, monks, massages, colorful night life, Pad Thai, elephant rides, amazing street food, shopping-larger-than-life! I am just a step away to be in Bangkok and thanks to Air Asia to provide the World's Best Online Travel Fair. I don't have to worry about high prices for my flight. I can spend that extra money in Bangkok's largest weekend market! (Of course, I am a girl, I need to shop to be alive! )

Through Air Asia, I can fly to Bangkok from Kolkata/Chennai, I can do hassle-free web check-in and also I can book my hotels & the entire trip just from this one site. Cool! I can save hours and utilize my saved time to better plan my trip and just dream and sing and may be in the mean time, learn a few phrases in Siamese to be able to interact with locals. Yep, isn't travel all about this and when you have a help like Air Asia, won't it be awesome!

Ok, I am leaving to plan this trip. Stay tuned for the pictures!

PS: This post is written for Women's Web and My Asian Dream Destination contest organized by Air Asia & Ripple Links. All images taken from my favorite Search Engine, Google!

She is a 100% Mom! Are you?

"Aditya, don't be stubborn!", Screamed his mom, Radhika at the side of the road where he wanted to fancy the colorful kulfi flavors. Radhika was furious because she didn't want to lose her control and make a scene in public. Otherwise meek and well-behaved Aditya was acting weird these days and he was developing a temptation to all roadside snacks especially the cold stuff like ice-creams, kulfi, barf ka gola, neebu paani etc. But was she very worried? Read on to know more!

Radhika was a high-profile business manager in an international firm. Her job asked her more than a 9 to 5 job would but she was disciplined and controlled lady. Though her career was important, her family was important too especially her 8 year-old son Aditya whom she fondly called 'Aadi'. She knew that kids are like wet mud, however you mould them, they will take the form. Kids are what their parents make them, she was a staunch believer of this statement-cum-fact. 

Radhika's grand father was a state Ayurveda expert and all his life he has devoted to the practice of Ayurveda. Her father had carried his lineage and though, he wasn't a Ayurveda doctor but he made sure to learn his maximum from his father. Radhika remembers, whenever she had bad cough, her father would make her gargle with tumeric-salted warm water. Voila, the cough was gone in a less than 3 days. If she had pain in her legs, her father would let her mother massage her toddler-feet with mustard oil instead of giving her a kids painkiller. To cut the short story short, hers was a Ayurveda family

Radhika grew up to learn these little home remedies. But her father made a little change. He also gave her one teaspoon of Dabur Chayawanprash every morning and one every night. He believed and knew from his father, that kids had less power in their bodies to fight against the infections, the bacteria/viruses etc. and tend to fall ill sooner than adults. Immune system of adults is far better than those of kids. Her father made sure she never left home for her school without that morning ritual. Yes, Radhika recalls, "for my father, giving me that Chayawanprash was a morning ritual just like lighting that diya in the home mandir every morning and praying to the God. I could never leave without it, he said it is my bodyguard. Same with every night, with every goodnight hug, I got a spoon of Dabur Chayawnprash." 

Radhika learnt this from her father and now Aadi gets this spoonful of magic immunity every morning and before going to bed. To his pleasure, Dabur Chayawanprash has come up with interesting flavors- Orange and Mango, both being his favorite fruits. Aadi refers to it as his healthy jam. Reason! Reason was Radhika. She has made her little son understand that in ancient times where there were no stheshsope wearing doctors or dressed-in-white nurses, there were "Vaids" who served the king and the public. They used herbs like amla, laung, bamboo, sandalwood, sesame, honey, etc. to make medicines. Today, we can't do this all at home therefore we eat Dabur Chayanwanprash. It's a magic jam made of around 25-80 of these immunity enhancing herbs that will make him stronger to fight against any attacker that would make his body get cold/fever etc. Radhika believed and has also experienced if kids are given the right logic, they could relate to it better and would never say no to listening to you. Aadi got the message from this story about Vaids and the Ayurveda herbs, and he wanted to eat Chayawnprash every day, in a spoon or mix it with milk. He often wanted to eat it as a bread-spread and enjoy it. This made Radhika feel so relaxed. She was being a 100% mom by taking care of her son's physical and intellectual immunity. Dabur Chayawanprash not only helps in keeping flu/fever away or fighting against these common ailmetms, but it is also helpful for digestion, memory, physical strength, urinary problems. It gives children a strong base to start their life with.  (It can be taken by any age-group because it is never late to start taking it.)

Sometimes, Radhika wonders if India would be a person and she can be fed a big spoon of Chayawanprash to get rid of problems like corruption, poverty, illiteracy, power-plays, child-abuse, child labor, violence. But at the same time, she believes that if she is helping her kid grow physically and intellectually, he would turn out into a good citizen who would not give in to these bad facets, she would be helping her country. She believes that as one's body is one's temple, same way the citizens of a country are its soul. If the soul is peaceful and 'sanskaari', the country would be on its way to progress and peace. Here is a piece portraying her thoughts and belief that what we sow, so shall we reap- 

प्रोत्साहन की मिट्टी 
बन सव्रेगा सुन्दर नेक पेड़ ...

...लदेगा जो मीठेपन से,
भँवरें गाए जिसका गुंजन 
तितली इठलाये जिसके रस पर

बीज 'गर जो पाये 
स्याह कर्मों की परछाई 
तिरस्कार का मरुस्थल 
काटों की चुभन ...

...जन्मेगी शक्ति कलेषित 
डसेगा दुर्योधन फ़न उठाए 
जाने कितनी द्रौपदी पुकारेंगी 
कहा से कितने आयेंगे मोहन 
शीश झुकाए बैठ सिसकेंगे 
हजारों पाण्डव

हाथ में हमारे आज 
लिखें लकीरें सतोप्रधान शक्ति की,
शक्ति जो मानेजो जाने 
नारी के प्रति आदर,
नन्हों के प्रति स्नेह,
बड़ों के प्रति सम्मान,

ऐसी युवा शक्ति का 
आओ मिल-करे निर्माण,
लाये पुनः सतयुग 
निश्चल आत्मिक दैविक युग 
शक्ति जो सात्विक 
जीवन जो अलौकिक

आओ मिल-हो स्वतंत्र 
विकारोंइच्छाओंमाया से 
पाए आत्मिक शक्ति,
आओ ऐसी युवा-शक्ति का 
संजोये ख्वाब
मिल बुनें हाथों से स्वर्णिम कर्म
रोशन करे सूरज-सौन्दर्य,
आओ फिर मिल-करे ऐसी 
'युवा-शक्तिको नमन!

This was the story of Radhika. Don't you think so we want lots of 100% Dabur moms in the country? Moms like her believe in raising immunity of their kids right from the right age and believe that they are contributing in making a better citizen of India.

This post about a 100% Mom is written for IndiBlogger for their "An Immune India" contest, organized by awesome Dabur Chayawanprash. Thanks to Dabur to come up with this immunity-builder herb mix. As a kid, I always had this magic herb-jam every morning and every night. Thanks to my mom too :-)

PS: All images, courtesy Google Images
Hindi Poem: One of my poems published in Online magazine- Garbhanal (

Nov 11, 2013

My Platinum (Shhh! Love Story)!

He was an NRI, I, a simple girl from India. He was outgoing, me an introvert. He was ambitious, me living life as it came. Yet, we bonded together. Don't know how! May be opposites attract was just coming in action, and I was holding my heart which was constantly running out to the man in front of me. This man, who could be my life partner, not for this birth but for the seven next ones as believed in the Hindu way of living...I was falling in love for sure!

Love, an overrated word, and I think the most googled word too. Who is not in search of this divine feeling? When our families met and they fell in love with each other (as happens only in India, marriage is the coming together of two families to be one!) , then we were introduced. We knew that the moms have liked the moms, the dads have bonded well and talked their secrets of trade together, the siblings have discussed, gossiped and made friends with each other, it was only me and 'Him' who were aliens to each other, except the bio-data stats we knew. We were put up to meet at a place which was replicating a small village in Rajasthan. The atmosphere was no where romantic, but was traditional. I wonder, if the parents knew the kids would drown in love and be lost in the romantic sea, so guard them with traditional ambience. Voila! how right were the parents, as always! 

'Him' and I started talking, and to our surprise none of us felt we could be talking to our future partner. We hit upon our school days, our love for reading, music and poetry. We laughed together, and I still remember our families going crazy by our look and wondering, "hey, are they gonna be married or staying friends". That ease of talking, laughing and sharing prompted us to like each other. "A husband is a friend forever" was the kind of husband I always believed in. I wanted a best friend with my hands in his hands. I wanted to see my 'bestest' buddy's face every morning I woke up. I wanted to roll in laughter at a comedy movie with my closest pal who won't stop laughing seeing me rolling! Yes, I was definitely falling, you could say, drowning in love with 'Him'. 

The evening went relaxed, we finished our awesome Rajasthan cuisine and came to realize we liked same food too. The love for music, the friendliness, the mutual comfort in talking, the dream to become someone in life, the family values we shared ...yes, I think it was an YES. The moment we bid goodbyes, I still remember the way he said, "it was nice meeting you, Shaifali"! My heart leaped and I was nervous, because somewhere in my heart I was saying the same, "it was nice meeting you!".  

No wonder, the night turned out to be a day, I was wide awake. I was listening to his voice as I lay awake that night in my bed. I was happy to have found whom my parents adored and whom I liked, and with whom I wanted to experience the word "Love". The following days were restless, he had said YES. We were going to be engaged!  It was like a love story where I have found my prince charming with whom I could make rare, pure, everlasting love come true.  The day I met him, the day we said 'I do' was like a Platinum day of love for me. I have realized it was he I wanted to spend my life with, it was he that was meant for me and I for him!

After 9 years of being together, of being happily married, I can say it was a Platinum choice I made. True love, like Platinum does't fade away by the mundaneness of everyday chores

I wear 'Him' like a smile, like a piece of my soul and I live happily. 

"In the cacophony of the world
In the thick piles of work
In the mundane chores of everyday
In the bustle of crowd
In the bargain of the compromises
In the race of time, 
...I just took a second
   I peeped inside my soul!
I found you-
Rare, Pure, Eternal- my Platinum!"

I know, next year is going to be my Platinum year of continuing eternal love, my Platinum is going to buy a Platinum collectible for me!

*I wrote this heartfelt, real and unshared confession for Platinum Day of Love contest on Indiblogger.

**The image of the hand-cuff bracelet is a capture I took to show my life partner what he should gift me ;). I clicked it while traveling around the globe with him, on a SouthWest flight in California from their 'Sky Mall' promotional magazine!

Nov 3, 2013


जीवन रंग-रंगीला लगता
साथ में घुली हो जब
परिवार की पंक्ति.

मेरा उत्सव तो वही कहलाता
बिछती जब परिवार की चादर
बनती उस पर संक्राति के तिल की बर्फी,
होली के नित-भावन मठरी -नमकीन, 
राखी पर भाई-स्नेह के मोतीचूर,
गणेश चतुर्थी पर आस्था के मोदक,
नवरात्री में उपवासों की भीनी महक,
दशहरा पर मूंगफली की बट्टी,
दिवाली पर माँ के हाथ की चकली
और भैया दूज पर बीते कल के 
अन्नकूट का स्वाद.

घर से दूर बसा संसार है मेरा,
इसलिए मेरा उत्सव यही सब
और बाकी सब जीवन उत्सव.
नित दिन, हर क्षण
जीवन उत्सव जीने की कोशिश में 
आता मुझे याद मेरा यह 'उत्सव'.  

Oct 18, 2013

युवा शक्ति...

युवा शक्ति 
बीज जिसका नन्हें हाथों में 
चाल जिसकी नन्हें पाँवों में 
बोल जिसके नन्हे तुतलाने में

बीज 'गर जो पाये 
अच्छाई की किरणें 
स्नेह की सिचाईं 
प्रोत्साहन की मिट्टी 
बन सव्रेगा सुन्दर नेक पेड़ ...

...लदेगा जो मीठेपन से,
भँवरें गाए जिसका गुंजन 
तितली इठलाये जिसके रस पर

बीज 'गर जो पाये 
स्याह कर्मों की परछाई 
तिरस्कार का मरुस्थल 
काटों की चुभन ...

...जन्मेगी शक्ति कलेषित 
डसेगा दुर्योधन फ़न उठाए 
जाने कितनी द्रौपदी पुकारेंगी 
कहा से कितने आयेंगे मोहन 
शीश झुकाए बैठ सिसकेंगे 
हजारों पाण्डव

हाथ में हमारे आज 
लिखें लकीरें सतोप्रधान शक्ति की,
शक्ति जो माने, जो जाने 
नारी के प्रति आदर,
नन्हों के प्रति स्नेह,
बड़ों के प्रति सम्मान,

ऐसी युवा शक्ति का 
आओ मिल-करे निर्माण,
लाये पुनः सतयुग 
निश्चल आत्मिक दैविक युग 
शक्ति जो सात्विक 
जीवन जो अलौकिक

आओ मिल-हो स्वतंत्र 
विकारों, इच्छाओं, माया से 
पाए आत्मिक शक्ति,
आओ ऐसी युवा-शक्ति का 
संजोये ख्वाब
मिल बुनें हाथों से स्वर्णिम कर्म
रोशन करे सूरज-सौन्दर्य,
आओ फिर मिल-करे ऐसी 
'युवा-शक्ति' को नमन!

 मेरी यह कविता मध्य प्रदेश से प्रकाशित होने वाली बेहद खूबसूरत एवं साहित्यिक ई-पत्रिका "गर्भनाल" के अक्टूबर २०१३ अंक में पढ़ी जा सकती है (पृष्ठ ४४ ).