Khaike Paan Benaras Waala!

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There is a tradition in India of chewing paan.  In Benaras, it becomes integral part of everyone’s life! Benaras always brings forth in mind the “Benarasi Paan”. And every Benarasi gets very emotional when it comes to their Paan. For them anyone can wait but not the Benarasi Paan.

There are interesting stories related to Paan here at Benaras. It’s said once there was a very devoted Benarasi. Every morning he would pray to Kashi Vishwanath with full faith then start with work. One day the Lord, pleased with his devotion, came to him with “Amrit” when he was sitting on the banks of Ganga. He asked the Benarasi to have some of this amrit. But the Benarasi refused saying, “Sorry but how can I have it now?” Lord was surprised; he enquired what the problem was! Benarasi replied calmly, “Maharaj, O Ka Hain Na Ki, abhi eigo benarasi paan ghole hain”. Continue reading

Nostalgic journey down Shimla lanes!

Shimla always evokes a special feeling. Though, Shimla town itself was not where we lived, but all our activities were connected to this British era winter capital. On my last visit to this town, popularly called as Queen of Hills, I decided to take a nostalgic journey to all the points, mainly food joints, which were our favourite ones. Shimla now has all the new joints like Sol, CCD, but the old ones they are still busy ones. We all old “Shimlaites” still swear by those shops. They used to be affordable, fitting perfectly our pockets.

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When I was a toddler my Baba used to take me to Indian Coffee House whenever we would visit the town. While others would sit on those old chairs, I was made to sit on the table. And then Baba would let me drink coffee with a spoon.

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Mehar Chand sweet shop, popularly called as Mehru’s in Lower Bazaar. This is one of the oldest sweet shops in India, established in 1902. This was our favourite spot to have chhole bhature and Jalebi with lassi. Continue reading

A Kullad of Chai Please!!

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A cup of tea makes everything better but a kullad of chai makes everything the best.

tea stall chai TeeKullad Chai is what keeps you going in this cold, helps you hopping around, doing your chores outdoor and adds to the fun too. Tea in those plastic cups or even the glasses never tastes the same as one in kullad. Chai from a clay cup; that taste and smell of earth, mixed with sweet milky tea, yes that is the taste of India!! And not to mention the gratifying, childlike pleasure that comes with tossing the single-use clay cup and hearing it crack as it hits the ground and break into bits. In Uttar Pradesh, the common fun name for them in many of the station is, Pee-Ke-Phut. Pee Ke meaning drinking the tea and Phut meaning, the sound it makes when broken.

 

Continue reading

Happy birthday Didi.

Today is very special day. It’s the day for celebration of the birth of someone very dear to my life. No matter what, I have always cared

We have been through ups and downs and together walked the thick and thin. And for you I can say didi, you have gotten me through everything. You make me stronger and always have. You mean so much to me more than words can describe. More than I could ever hide!! I support you through and through and I don’t know what I’d do without you.

You are my sister. And you are number one, one in a million. And you are perfect. Perfect the way you are, and the best you can be is yourself.  Don’t let anyone tell you differently. If they do then they must be too blind to see what I see. You are unique and unstoppable, Incredible, A miracle. A gift from above, whom I treasure! Continue reading

To make a difference – Nelson Mandela.

It is Nelson Mandela’s birth anniversary today and I am reminded of one of his quotes. It’s my favorite one among many of his.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

If only most of us could follow this lesson, world could be a far better place as far as humanity goes.

To make a difference in someone’s life is to enrich someone’s life.

We should never get tired of doing little things for others. Sometimes, those very little things could be the biggest part of their life. That is how change for better happens. That is how you make a difference. One gesture, one thing at a time!

If it is to be, let it be me!

The quote always reminds me of the Bollywood Raj Kapoor song from the film Anadi – “Kisi ki muskurahato mein ho nissar…”

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Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers!!

This poem is though written for my Maasa but I am sure its a feeling every child would feel for his/er mother.

Your pretty smile, your kind eyes, your heart of gold and your healing touch; All you Mothers, you are no less than an angel to this world.

Happy Mothers day.

 

Maasaमाँ! 
याद तो आता नहीं तुम्हारा
गोदी में वो मुझे झुलाना
झुनझुने से मेरा दिल बहलाना
लोरी का वो गुनगुनाना
माथे को प्यार से चूमना
गुदगुदी से हँस हँस हँसाना
उँगली पकड़ चलना सिखाना
Continue reading

Phir bhi yaad kar leta hu main!

Maasa-Sou mushkiley hazaro uljhane hain zindagi mein,

Phir bhi tujhe yaad kar leta hu main.

Saans lene ki chahe fursat na mile,

Tera khayal hamesha kar leta hu main.

Kitni bhi thakawat kyun na ho jism mein,

Teri yaad se raahat pa leta hu main.

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Na shikwa tujhse na hi koi gila zindagi ke saath,

Kehte hain patta bhi nahi hilta uski raza ke khilaf.

Juda kiya tha jisne humein apni marzi se,

Sikha diya usi ne mujhe jeena khushi se.

Saath mere aaj sab zakham bhi hans rahe hain,

Akhir yeh tohfe bhi toh usi ke diye hue hain.

(Dedicated to my Maasa)

Happy Mothers Day!!!

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She never sings at a concert to rock the peoples’ worlds
But she puts souls at ease with each tune that she sings!
She might not have gone to school to be a chef
But her cooking can be like a five star restaurant!
She never goes to school to become a banker
But she always knows how to handle family finances to the best! Continue reading

…. fills my heart with wonder and I sing…..

To me, he is the most highly gifted poet of the Renaissance in India in its various aspects — literary, religious, social and philosophical. His intense religious mysticism combined with joy in life’s various interests, has a hypnotic hold on me.

“For East is East, and West is West,
And never the twain shall meet.” – Rudyard Kipling

I always find this very popular line by Kipling,  forgotten in Tagores work especially in his religious mysticism!!! There’s a spiritual fusion of East and West.

Today on his birth anniversary, I dedicate this song. A great bong friend of mine first made me listen to it while explaining the meaning. Later I found the hindi version of  the same. Continue reading

Happy Birthday to a special friend.

Its your Birthday today Sahana and you asked for a gift last year, which I am yet to get done. Circumstances happened such that I am yet to get over with the same. But I’ll surly get it done this year.

For now thought of posting this for you. I am sure like me, and many others, you too have a special feeling for those childhood days. Those days of spending the birthdays with school friends. It still brings a nostalgic emotion for me, something I can never put down in words.

These few lines are for you, to celebrate those childhood days! Continue reading

Remembering this great Monk on his 150th Birth Anniversary.

Swami-Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda

Today 12th January is the National Youth Day marking the birth anniversary of India’s one of the greatest monk. Swami Vivekananda gave confidence to the nation and showed the path towards social emancipation and moral fortitude. His book “Karm Yoga” was the first book I read and after that it was no stopping. His words carry a power which instills strength into our being. I realized, just following his words is enough for one to stand straight with your head held high. This is a small tribute to this great monk whose words and advises have always been like the torch for me in this fight against fate. Continue reading

Happy Birthday Didi.

Sometime back we had our dear Amby on hot seat here. Today I have another special person – Didi (Minnie Gupta) on the hot seat on her very special day, her Birthday. She runs a blog of her own – The Lady 8 Home and today she’ll tell us about her secrets behind her success. (Hopefully) (P:S: The interview is just a fiction not real)

Me: So we start with the interview Mam.

D: Well, a BIG No. Mam sounds so alien; moreover I am not your school teacher.

Me: Then maybe I can call you Minnie ji? Continue reading

Panahon ki Tarah

Image courtesy Google

Har Taraf Zeest Ki Raahon Mein Kadee Dhoop Hai,
Bas Teri Yaad Ke Saaye Hain Panahon Ki Tarah.

Just when you think you’ve had quite enough,
That you can’t go on cause life’s kind rough.
When your heart gets filled full of gloom,
And you get that sense of utter doom.
If you cant find your way, or plain get lost,
You can count on mothers at any cost.
They might leave us yet they are always there,
To share in our sadness and our fears.

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I know you are there!!!

While checking 123greetings, I realized its Father’s day today. And the very day brought in a rush of emotions and memories of Babuji!

I remember those 8yrs you had to go off on a job asking my Uncles to take charge of the family. We grew up, very comfortably, with grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and most importantly Maasa. While you spent those days alone trying to secure our future. I realize now, you had to, for our sake!! People said how practical and strong you are. Practical, yes you always were but strong!!! I am not sure but you let everyone believe that.

You gave me and Bhaisa everything. A secured close-knit upbringing, an exposure to everything we wanted, freedom, the real one!!! You made us learn how to adjust to any situation, an ability people used to adore in you and now even me. You taught us to treat everyone as equal irrespective of caste and religion, to be fair, and to have the courage to speak our mind out yet holding on to our value systems at the core.

Yes I also inherited the fuming temper of yours which lasts for hardly few minutes. I was scared of you and Maasa used to be my shield. I won’t shy away from accepting that I used to manipulate her to get my way with you. She understood yet she gave in. She too was quite bohemian herself, and no, I am not going to write about her again. I know have written enough about her, but it never seems enough!!!

But I got to know the tender softer side of you as I grew up. I was shattered when I fell sick just before my 12th boards and the way you handled me, instilled the confidence back and helped me pick myself up, you have no idea Babuji that gave a new lease of life to me. I loved the look in your eyes when I graduated. When Bhaisa passed away, the way you hugged me to console when I knew you yourself were torn apart from inside!!!

And when you became the village head, I saw the other side of you. You were a different being, fair and sensible beyond compare, an administrator and leader par excellence. What I have learnt most from you is the ability to give what you have, not to someone who has it, but to someone who needs it the most. You never had any will or need to score any brownies, you always did and people saw through you. Hence they stood by you always through the years. I know too well, the love and respect I get from everyone in our village is all because of you.

I never ever stopped aping you and Bhaisa, well Bhaisa more! And never will, in life, at work, in treating and leading people. And it feels great when people who knew you tell me “Chhote Thakur, you are so like your father. You have a soul like him.” Well Bhaisa also aped you, hence…!!

I have only the memories of all the good times we had together but I know your spirit will live on. I know your hands would always be there on my shoulder when things goes tough. I know you are watching me as you always did. I know that in my heart!!!

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Happy Mother’s day to you all beautiful Moms!!!

Happy Mother’s day to all Moms.

The bond between a mother and her child is probably the most powerful one in this world. Maybe the sole love in this world which is unconditional is the one of a Mother for her child. And this love is what makes this planet so very beautiful. This love is the reason for so many success stories. You won’t see a mother thinking twice when it comes to sacrifice something for her child.

On this special day when I think of what my own Mother, grandmother, Aunts, Bhabhi’s and so many other beautiful Mothers I have in my life, have done for me, I realize what a blessed life I have! Their contribution in my life, in one word I can say – Incredible!! My spiritual Mother, she has been always providing me with guidance and clarity and showing me the path of truth.

Anitha, Barnalidi, Sangeetadi, Sahana, Ritudi, Kavitadi, Nehadi, Priya Kapur, Mini, Al, Truptidi, Simdi, Jyoti Bhabhi, Apra, Sonu, Rita Bhabhi, Meenaji, Sumedha, Manjari Bhatti, Lakshmi, Happy Mother’s day to you all Special Moms and all other Moms!!! Your support, guidance, encouragement, all is invaluable to me and many others.

And a very special Mother’s day wishes for someone very special, without whom, I don’t know what I would have done!! This strong, in control person that I think I am, I am sure I would have fallen down into a dark hole if you had not been there Minniedi. Where do I start?? When I was on verge of leaving my degree midway due to family troubles, you encouraged me and made me give a last try. Today I owe this degree to you. Made me a part of your family when I lost my own and made me feels wanted. Every time I fell down, you made sure to pick me up. So many times in life I gave up, but never you!! Reckless and careless me, but you were always patient with me. Your arms were always open when I needed a hug; you were stern when I needed a lesson. Your strength and love has guided me fight hardest battles of life and given me wings to fly. Didi I salute you and let me tell once more, I would have been nothing without you.

What will I ever do without you Didi!!!

I remember the day when I lost the way, 
To find myself in the darkest bay,
Away from sense and sensible way,
A life it was just to live away,
I asked him why I was made,
To be ridiculed of life and better way,
Was this the reason of my birth anyway?
He deprived me of what I should have got,
But in turn gave me you which I never thought,
Your words of love I received strong,
Like the gentle slap to guide me along,
To see me there on the way to humanity,
To love everyman and to know my almighty,
Under your umbrella I grew each day,
Learned to fight the pain in my heart every day,
Today if Almighty you can listen to my prayer,
For bringing this joy to my life, here let me thank you forever.

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