Bonsai

Two years and counting…yet relevant

My Musings

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Alone I sat, looking across…
Down the valley where greenery was…
A cup of tea to tempt the palate
And a diary, to lure my thoughts.

Long twelve years in a life, I dreamt
With ups and downs as we went…
The learning curve, custom made..
With each experience, at its best…

Learnt a lot, from the good and bad…
The bad more dearer infact.
Cutting corners never saved one…
For patience won in the long run.

Life they say,comes full circle
But beware of this reverse cycle.
The stillness in the air runs deep
The storm, you see, is just the tip.

This storm, you see, too shall pass
The laws of nature state that….
But that is not where the concern lies….
It’s the aftermath which gets one tongue tied.

A nick here and a nick there
Too much planning get us nowhere
Choice is yours, you see,

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Jai Hind!

Salute to all the soldiers who have attained martyrdom. 🙏

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Young and bright, with stars in his eyes
Secured a place in NDA, with all his might
He wished to serve the country,right
And go down in history as the shining knight.

An officer and a gentleman, fine
Followed the Chetwode motto, blind
With his heart in the right place
He served his country with amazing grace.

Patrolling in the white hinterland
Found some mischief mongers inland
Ensued a battle to set them straight
But lost his life sedate.

The job done yet undone
For the country proud but the family undone
The eyes dry as the news filtered in
But when the bugle played, the trickle set in.

She stands tall near the coffin, registering in, the sight.
For this feeling of physical closeness is her last gift tonight.
Happy, he achieved martyrdom but depth of sorrow close
For the dark clouds were gathering and she alone could see so…..

– Deedhiti
Dt. 14.01.19

 

A Way of Life

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Marriage seemed like bliss
But reality mirrored the abyss
Or was it all in my mind
The answer to which,I couldn’t find.

Wedded to the Olive greens
I became the staccato queen
Formality, the order of the day…
Musical chair, the game to play.
To relax when the music stalls and…
Follow the muse, when the party is on.

Being the ‘kid’, is a bliss
For there is scope, to be amiss.
Eyes to observe and to learn
To perceive right, is my concern.
The run in six yards, isn’t easy
But the challenge, lay in the heels.

‘Better half’ is phrase truly meant
For sacrifice, is a major element.
To empathise and empower,
A cause close to my heart.
With fun and frolic….
Also playing its part.

It takes time to settle in
But once done, it’s happening
For, A way of life it is…
Something, I have come to cherish.

– Deedhiti

Dt. 13.01.17

Pic credit: Twitter

The Choice Quotient

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Happiness comes at a price,
The price of which, you determine.
A plethora of options, at play
The choice is yours, to sway.

The word success, ambiguous ….
The choice – family, friends or career…
With whims and fancies in the mix
To balance life is arduous.

The choice, ours but the veto with HIM
For HE knows better where one would win
When the time comes to close our eyes, we realise
Happiness and success, always lay inside.

-Deedhiti
Dt. 12.01.19

Pic credit: dataexpress.com

 

My Reminisces of the Paradise on Earth – Kashmir

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[This is an article which I had written in Sept 2014 during Kashmir floods]

Kashmir – The first thing that enters your mind is the scenic beauty. My romance with Kashmir started in the year 2007 when I happened to join my husband for a short duration.

I landed at the Srinagar airport but was stuck for a week of paid holiday due to a strike commemorating the Independence day celebration.

We started for our destination after a week of forced relaxation. And what a journey it was, in the dead of the night with my baby girl asleep in my arms. All the suspense and the fear of the unknown!

The early morning rays brought some sunshine into our journey and at last we reached our location. I enjoyed the beauty of the countryside, the peace, the greenery and the blooming flowers, the chirping of birds, long walks and simply absorbing the silence of the place which was very soothing and comforting and also spending quality time with my husband and child.

My romance with Kashmir had begun. I had just had the glimpse of the serenity of the paradise.

We moved to a new place in due course of time which was yet another beautiful place surrounded by snow capped mountains and metallic winged birds – a silent reminder of the hardships and the mishaps in the pristine valley.

The was another chance for me to romance the valley. Carpets, embroidered clothes, chinar jewellery, carved furniture, dry fruits etc were all there. I too had my weak moments of splurging but there was something more which fascinated me more. The life of the people there was more intriguing.

Due to security reasons, my movements outside the garrison were always restricted to the monthly grocery shopping at the Badami Bagh Cantonment, having biryani at ‘Hat Trick’ and other delicacies at ‘Shalimar’, while enjoying the view of the shikaras on the Dal Lake. The blast from the car heater also contributed to restricting my visits as it gave me a terrible headache at the end of the day.

By virtue of being married to the Olive Green, I had heard about the turbulence in the Valley. You could say even I was apprehensive about what to expect and I too had my trust issues.

The only thing I had promised myself was to go with an open and patient mind and for my own opinion of things. We had a help named, Altaf, who used to work at our home. He was a man of his own whims and fancies which really got you on the edge sometimes. However, as per my promise to myself, I kept my cool and slowly managed to chalk out a working relationship which suited us.

There was a time during my stay when due to heavy rains and faulty sewerage, my ad hoc accommodation got flooded with dirty water. I was at the end of my patience when on ringing up my husband to inform him of the situation, he coolly informed me (he was busy at his desk and couldn’t manage to come to see what was happening back at home) that he would pass on the information to the required department to handle it. The concerned people did come and very calmly told me that there was nothing that they could do then. They would have to wait for the rain to stop. Nobody even offered to help me remove the heavy floor matting or other objects so that the sewage water wouldn’t touch them.

I was at my wits end when Altaf arrived for work. And lo! He was the one who helped salvage things. Things started moving faster after I had a good talk with my better half about his duty towards me (which comes number 3 in his list of priorities now. ref to The Chetwode motto).

All in all, I received help from that quarter where I had least expected it. Maybe I had done something right after all, for everyone had warned me about Altaf being good for nothing.

‘’Altaf, I do not know where you are and how you are surviving the disaster that has consumed Jammu and Kashmir now but I do pray that you and your family are safe.’’

During my stay, I also got an opportunity to teach at an army run school where I got to interact with children, other local teachers, aayahs. They say knowledge is golden but at the same time, being a frog in the well does not help everyone to know about the world outside or how to build yourself to dream and then fight to get out of that situation and emerge victorious. I was teaching students from standard 2 to standard 10. And Oh, what a lovely experience it was! The only thing I felt they all needed, was a little bit of magic in their lives – the belief that they too could make it big in this beautiful world, and that there is a life beyond what they were experiencing right then.

In what little I could contribute, I used to read them short stories (based on real life) during their free periods so that they could understand the journey between their thoughts for their future and their present situation and how they could try to work towards it. It was my way of encouraging them and giving them hope. The signs of acceptance and endearment, which I received there, were my rewards which I will cherish lifelong. They are one of my best memories from J&K.

‘’Its been seven years since then….you all must have grown up. I still remember you all and sincerely pray that you are safe and sound. More that what I could give you with all my sincerity, I think I was lucky to have gained a little more insight into life and its wonders. Stay blessed always!!’’

Teachers – Rabia, Mudassar, Azmat and others and aayahs – shaheen and Nazia , prayers for all of you. Stay safe.

Not all my experiences were good though. I had the experience of being at the other end of stone throwers, driving through tyres burnt on the road and things trashed, being stuck in a guest room for 5 days in a row just 1 km away from home and then leaving for our home in the dead of the night to avoid turbulence.

One of my good friends had told me that driving down the main road in Srinagar and near the Dal lake in the night under the starry sky was very beautiful. But the only beauty I experienced was driving down the road in in the dead of the night in our own car, as a part of an Army convoy for protection, with soldiers patrolling the road to reach my home. It was an eerie feeling after having experienced it a second time and having seen violence. The memory of my side of the door of our civil transport vehicle being yanked open, with my 2 yr old daughter in my arm and my husband in front,  by a crowd of people for no apparent reason and inspecting things is still fresh in my mind.

Maybe I will never be able to remove the fear, now settled unknowingly in my heart, when I see a crowd gathered on the road or of young children bending on the road in an attempt to pick up a stone to hit your car needlessly. However, the optimist that I am, I still dream of the day when I will be able to take a ride down the Srinagar’s countryside with stars smiling down on me with the snow capped mountains adding an ethereal glow to the night.

– Deedhiti Mudliar

Dt. 23.09.2014

 

 

The Silent Betrayal

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4th OCTOBER 2015 · 

[This was my very first attempt at writing a short story.]
Arti sat quietly contemplating.. Her thoughts ran amok. The computer screen lay open to pages on human psychology, morality, self respect …..And so on…
The daily routine of pretending to be all well seemed to be fading away slowly. She was still at a loss to understand how she could have misjudged or whether she really had misjudged. Everything was turning in circles and was giving her a terrible headache.
It was like any other day at the University. Lectures and classes were on as usual. As classmates go, they were either at loggerheads on some discussion or busy playing pranks on other people. But Arti seemed lost in her own world. The banter between friends, the type she liked was missing. She felt strange. Lost in her thoughts she finished the day and went home.
That had become the routine for some time now. Though she hated it, there was nothing to be done right then.
She was basically a chirpy person and a good student. Her analytical mind, comprehension of marketing strategies, her interest in a variety of different topics and also her love for debates had made her a popular figure in the University. She had a gentle disposition and loved talking to people, which made her a person you could have an easy conversation with.
She also loved to let her hair down sometimes. Those times were rare but nevertheless were there. At such times, she seemed to transform into a diva. It was a way of self expression, a catharsis for her. She was unaware of her own charisma.
Unknown to her, her classmate, Ravi seemed to have developed a soft corner for her. Ravi was a good student, a good friend but that was it. She felt comfortable in conversing with him. He was a part of her core group of friends. And a person with whom she could talk out some of her thoughts on different issues and gain a perspective. Little did she know then, that this comfort of hers could be misconstrued.
She was busy with her books and her dreams. Not everyone could relate to her. Ravi too fell short. Time elapsed. New horizons seemed to be calling out to her. So lost was she in her own journey that she failed to interpret the subtle hints being dropped.
A person favoring you for no rhyme or reason, singing love songs only meant for your ears, etc started planting seeds of doubt about his true intention. However, Arti chose to ignore it but the hint dropping began escalating beyond her comfort. Ravi’s attempts at poisoning her mind about another common friend of theirs with whom she was going out with and that too vehemently, started disturbing her. All these acts suggested something more. But since Ravi was a dear friend, she did not want to be blunt about things nor hurt his self respect.
But patience has its own limits. Ravi’s erratic behaviour forced Arti’s hand and she had to confront him about his feelings. Ravi was caught unawares by her straightforwardness and denied having feelings for her. Arti was aghast when he implicated her for wrongful thinking, though his behaviour suggested otherwise.
To add insult to injury, Ravi started avoiding Arti. Arti was a very genuine person and this episode hurt her to the core. She felt humiliated. The worst part of it was that the hints were dropped in private but the injury was preview to all her classmates. Prying eyes stalked her everywhere. At least that was what she felt.
Running away from any situation was not her style. The best solution she anticipated was to walk up to Ravi and have a talk. And she did just that. She apologized for jumping to conclusions. Her heart was not in it though. Her fingers were crossed while her brain played a different tune. She knew if she ever came to know that she was right in her assessment of Ravi, then God had better help him.
Having done the needful for the time being, Arti was back – doing what she did best but yes with a little restraint. At the fag end of their term, everyone was busy trying to score internships with different firms and get started in life. A farewell party had been organized for them. And as unexpected as it was, it was here that Arti in conversation with someone, chanced upon the truth about Ravi. She got a glimpse of how deceptive peoples’ minds could be.
Knowing the truth, made her feel vindicated….. His stance of total denial, making her doubt her own instincts, the deafening silence surrounding her, all came flooding back……….She just did not want to revisit that page again. She felt relieved to know she was spot on…… The least she had expected of her dear friend, Ravi, was the truth, the acceptance. At least it would not have cost her, her peace of mind.
The fact that her gut feeling was absolute and hundred percent correct was a realization in itself. Ravi had already fallen never to rise. Anger escaped her…..pity was the only thing she felt for him now…..An eye for an eye had never helped anyone.
The sky now seemed awash with a flurry of hues. Beckoning her to come and experience them. Slowly she continued walking towards the horizon till the darkness encompassed her.
– Deedhiti Mudliar

The Journey ……

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The routine deary and life scary
Reward and punishment lines blurry.
Amidst this probability of sorts, we find meaning
And eternal bliss in its awakening.

With our birth, the marathon begins
The ‘give and take’ ledger noting things
A trial and error it is, parenting
With prayers for fine tuning.

Every stage demands a new you,
Parental emotions, there to influence you.
Difficult at times, to remain immune
And trying to balance,creates problems new.

With time, we learn to go with the flow
To let slide a few, with grace though
Makes for happiness at times, sometimes sorrow
To the culmination of our life, our tomorrow.

– Deedhiti Mudliar

Dt. 25.12.2018