27 May, 2021

कोरोना का अनुभव

 कुछ दिन पहले अचानक मेरी तबियत बिगड़ी, 

कहीं यह corona तो नहीं, हुई टेंशन तगड़ी, 

डॉक्टर ने कहा, "बेटे तू corona ही मान", 

"बंद हो जा कमरे में, और रख अपना ध्यान",   

फ़िर शुरू हुई मेरी 14 दिन की सज़ा, 

मन में डर के साथ आया थोड़ा मज़ा, 

सोचा tension free हो के movies देखूँगा, 

मैं Netflix Prime Hotstar पे आँखे सेकूँगा, 

फ़िर सोचा टाइम waste ना ही करूँ यार, 

क्यों न पढ़ के हो जाऊँ IAS के लिए तैयार,

लेकिन मेरे यह सारे सपने टूट गए, 

जब बुख़ार से मेरे छक्के छूट गए, 

फ़िर कभी Oxygen कम, तो कभी ज़्यादा, 

कभी दवाई ठूसो, तो कभी गरम काढ़ा,

कभी शरीर ढीला, तो कभी हिम्मत ढ़ीली, 

खाने का taste ख़त्म, दाल-सब्ज़ी ज़हरीली,  

गहरी साँसे ले-ले कर हुआ मैं पागल, 

कभी steam, तो कभी गर-गर gargle, 

आस पास के हाल से हुआ दिमाग ख़राब, 

दवाई खा रहा था, वरना पी लेता शराब, 

एक सवाल ने तो ख़ून ही पी लिया यार, 

क्या 99 की line में माना जाएगा बुख़ार?

किसी तरह समय बीता और हुआ मै आज़ाद, 

ज़िन्दगी का यह आधा महीना रहेगा हमेशा याद,  

एक बात ज़रूर समझ में आई, 

के घर में ही रहने में है चतुराई,

बहादुर वह भी, जो समझ जाए कब डरना है,

अगर हार है पक्की, तो क्यों मैदान में उतरना है|

27 December, 2020

Yummy Fan Dirt


This pic is from our pre-Diwali cleaning this year. I have a 4-year old (Zivah) who is eager to help (read: have fun) at any opportunity.
While I was about to begin cleaning the fans, she came on and forced her help!
Can I help you?
Now you might think it’s just a kind soul offering to help her poor daddy, but it actually meant if you don’t let me clean the fan, I will repeat ‘can I help you’ 800 times in the next half hour.
I knew the game. So, I promised to take help with the last fan. And, after I cleaned up three fans and went to the fourth, I got her on my shoulders and gave her the now-dirty cloth... and while she was helping me out, I screamed for real help five minutes later!

My story is not about a kid cleaning up a fan using a dirty cloth.
It's about the other end of the cloth... that was pretty dirty... hanging loose... and was constantly rubbing against my face!! I tasted fan dirt the next few minutes... until I screamed for the torture to stop. Yum, not!


Note to Self: The above post was written by me during the STORYPIC contest in IBM LD team in December'20. The requirement was to post a picture related to festivities and tell the story behind it in less than 300 words.

With 21 democratic votes, I won the first prize! I won 250 BluePoints that translated to about 1500 INR/-. A win should be etched somewhere as a memory :)

19 July, 2020

Double Lockdown


When Modiji ordered the lockdown, 
I ended up having a breakdown, 
Because my cook was going to leave, 
And I found it very hard to believe, 
I'd never cooked anything in my life,
Heck, I couldn't even hold the knife,
I took a deep breath and said OKAY, 
As I saw my Masterchef walk away, 

The next day I went shopping,
Got veggies home and began chopping,
 My first dish would be Paneer Bhurji,
 I googled and pulled up this 2-part recipe,

I had Paneer in the fridge; So I skipped part one, 
And just like that, half my work was done, 

 I followed Step 1 and heated oil in a pan, 
When I put the cumins in, my troubles began, 
Because cumins spluttered crazy; they got me worried, 
I fumbled for my next step; I totally got hurried, 
I read the wrong step 2, so stupid of me, 
"Add 1 tbsp vinegar", is all I could see,

‘Odd!’, I thought, but I decided to follow, 
Zero cooking sense, plus my logic went hollow, 
Yes! So I put some vinegar in hot, hot oil,
There was an explosion; I was down with recoil, 
 The pan was spraying vinegar in all direction, 
I got scared and ran away from the kitchen, 
I locked myself in the room, clearly in trouble, 
People were in one lockdown; I was in a double.

This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 59; the fifty-ninth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write.
Finally, I got a BAT victory! This post won BAT59. It received 6 votes. 

17 June, 2020


{Adjective: Tending to jiggle or marked by a slight, irregular, shaking motion.}

He was fat! A mota! 

Well, I know that's not a nice thing to say and probably ‘overweight' is a better term. But he was clearly fatter than any average human being.

Let’s call him Jiggly. There's a good reason. When he walked naturally, his excess body fat jiggled in a rhythm. He was aware of it and would often try to control his movements. His walk was nothing but a carefully calibrated movement of his arms and legs. 

According to Jiggly, being overweight made him an ugly sight. He was quite ashamed of himself. This resulted in severely low confidence and the inability to be himself around others.

Thankfully, Jiggly had a decent school experience. He had a great bunch of friends who understood that he was uncomfortable about his weight. The friends did not engage in any weight-related discussions. Neither did they joke about it. So, even though Jiggly was unhappy with life, the school was ok.

The real problem started when he joined college. This specific college was known for ‘ragging’. For those who don’t know, ragging is abuse, humiliation, or harassment of new entrants or junior students by the senior students. It often takes a malignant form wherein the newcomers may be subjected to psychological or physical torture.

Jiggly had it tough on his first day. His big size earned him some nasty jibes, which he took on the chin. He had prepared for it. But it turned for worse when he was asked to take his shirt off and dance. The seniors wanted to have some ‘harmless’ fun.

Now, it was impossible for Jiggly to do this. He was super conscious of his body (in a terribly negative way) and would-not-take-his-shirt-off! Come what may! He resisted. He just wished that they ask him to do something else and let him be. When more seniors joined the scene, Jiggly had no choice left.

He cried. He took his shirt off. He always wore a vest under his shirt to keep his upper body contained in some sort of shape. He did not take his vest off. But he cried visibly. He cried a lot more inside. The other part of the task was to dance, which he did with a few random movements.

His biggest insecurity, his body, had been exposed. Literally. The seniors had their share of fun and on seeing him cry like that, tapped him on his shoulders indicating that he could wear the shirt back. Then, they moved on to search for more cheap thrills at others’ expense.

Obviously, Jiggly did not move on. He did not have it in him to continue that day. He went back home. He cried on the way back, that night, and even the next morning. He did not return to college that entire week. When he joined back the next week, he did what he always did best. Keep low.

A few months into college life, Jiggly decided to join a gym. He had gathered some motivation and wanted to begin his journey of weight loss. He wanted to look presentable.

On his first day in the gym, he saw this poster framed on the wall . . .

Well, that did not motivate him. It did the opposite. The memories of his first day at college came rushing. Nevertheless, Jiggly managed to exercise in that gym for the next few months.

When he lost a couple of kilos, which happened really fast, he gained some confidence back. He was all of 18 years old when he wrote his first (and only) life goal: walk bare-chested on a beach.

For Jiggly, beach meant Goa. He had been to Goa twice with his parents, and he had a liking for that destination. People did not care much in Goa and most importantly did not stare him down. He felt at ease in Goa. He chose 'beach' because that would be the easiest place to achieve this goal. Nevertheless, it may seem easy to many but it was a big deal for him. 

Now, he had to continue his gym and continue the weight-loss journey. He anticipated that he would need to lose at least 20kgs, something that he could possibly achieve in the next 2 years.

Little did he know that he would not be able to achieve this goal in the next 18 years. And even after that. 

After a few months at the gym, Jiggly could not keep his motivation levels. He was bored with doing cardio every day. He hated the treadmill. I’d rather walk outside. He quit! And walk, he did not. 

He gained all the weight back and sank deeper into the shithole of guilt he was used to living in.

The next year, his school friends had planned to meet at the school reunion. Jiggly did not go. His friends waited for him for long. Little did they know that their friend did not feel comfortable in public gatherings. They couldn’t have guessed that Jiggly had gone many levels down in confidence and would not meet them ever again.

Not going to the reunion was Jiggly’s first 'big' compromise in a series of endless, nonstop, compromises made over the next 18 years.

He would wear only ill-fitting and loose clothes. It was difficult to find his size, and this fellow went for a size bigger. He found a few plus-sized stores and just stuck to them. All he wore were clothes that did not reveal the shape inside.

On one of the family outings, Jiggly went into the pool wearing a vest. That did not turn out to be a good decision because the lifeguard asked him to come out. The rules allowed only swimming costumes. Jiggly did not swim ever again. 

His confidence levels were at an all-time low between 20 and 30. He avoided talking to anyone. He did not make eye contact while talking to people. He was just a hopeless human being with an okayish job and parents who loved him as he was. 

Every few months, he tried to get himself to exercise. And he used to start well but was never able to hold on to the habit. 

A key moment happened when Jiggly turned 30 years old. He was super motivated to get it right. It was finally time.

He did not join the gym. He started jogging at a really slow pace, at really odd hours. Very early in the morning or late at night. He gave it his best shot and continued the routine for a year and a half He lost 20 kgs. 

It was a remarkable achievement on the back of endless sacrifices. He had improved his fitness in leaps and bounds. He was still overweight but much fitter. People around him looked at him with respect. Some even drew motivation from what Jiggly had achieved. Well, everyone, except one person, was thrilled with this transformation.

That one person who was not was Jiggly himself. He had achieved the goal of losing 20 kgs and somehow lost all the motivation thereafter. He wasn't happy. He wasn't satisfied either. I guess happiness had stayed so far away from him that he did not even know how to recognize it. 

Coincidentally, he went to Goa that same summer. Was it the time to do that one thing he always wanted to do? walk bare-chested!

Unfortunately, Jiggly did not get it done. He did not have the confidence to take his shirt off. Even when every single person on the beach was occupied with their own plays. Jiggly felt that people will 'start looking at him' if he does that. They will make fun of my body. So, no, it did not happen.

One thing about losing a lot of weight is you tend to gain a lot of it back if you are not careful. Jiggly had become complacent. He ate much more than he needed and did not exercise. 

At the end of the next two years, he gained 27 kgs! His current self was the fattest he had ever been. He continued living in misery until a month ago.

He turned 36 last month. He bought himself a new phone and was saving old pictures... when he found something.

He had a pic from his last Goa trip in front of him. The same trip. He thought that he looked amazing in the pic. 

Obviously, comparing to what he looked like at that moment, his all older selfs had to look amazing. But Jiggly genuinely felt that he looked really nice in those Goa pics. That night, he slept with the regret of not fulfilling his goal on that trip. And he was hurt about gaining all the weight back.

The next morning, a few thoughts popped up in his head . . . 

"What if I look amazing even now... and I just don’t realize it?"

"Maybe, if I were to gain even more and look worse, I’d look at my current pic and find it amazing?"

"What if my happiness isn't even related to my weight? I had lost a lot but never felt happy..."

Those thoughts stayed with him for a few days. He'd often look into the mirror and try to find the answers. One night, while surfing Facebook, he saw a quote.

If you recall, 18 years ago, a quote that he read in the gym had made him miserable. This time, a different quote did just the opposite. It made him stronger. Just when he needed it.

He had started thinking in the right direction, and this quote gave him the push.

Something from Rumi comes to mind, apt for this situation: "what you seek is seeking you".

Jiggly's life was going to change. He had understood the problems he had been facing. He made a few mental notes:
I need to be comfortable in my skin.
I need to love myself.
My happiness does not depend on how I look.
No one is staring at me. 
I don't care a bit about what others think of me.

Jiggly tried to keep these thoughts, but he was still uncomfortable around others. After all, it was 18 years of doing that needed undoing.

He had a new idea! A simple plan. He had spent the last 18 years of his life being ashamed. He would now try to make up by being shameless. It is critical to point out that 'shameless' is generally considered a negative term. But in this case, it was being used in a positive and encouraging manner to mean 'uninhibited'.  

It was time for Jiggly to be Jiggly 2.0! 

He began his journey with the easiest (in a respectful manner) target, his house-help didi.

When the bell rang the next day, Jiggly opened the door in a vest. It was extremely uncomfortable, but he went through with the plan. Didi was shocked. She stood there for three seconds and asked ‘aunty ghar pe hai?’ (is your mom home?)

Jiggly slowly started doing these random things to force himself into becoming more comfortable around people. A few days later, he was completely topless when he opened the door for didi. Big deal! Didi cringed and went inside. Jiggly laughed.

Slowly, Jiggly, who was now on a path of 'shamelessness', crossed all limits. 

... he spent time in his balcony in just his underwear. If someone stared at him, he'd stare them back, eye to eye!
... he took amazon deliveries in underwear.
... he even walked under his house without a shirt.
... he once walked back home from the market with his t-shirt rolled up, exposing the paunch.
...and just a long list of crazy things.

In order to make himself comfortable, he starting making everyone else uncomfortable! Most of which was the neighbor aunty who had the direct view of his balcony. She had complained about his lack of proper clothing on the society’s WhatsApp group. Jiggly did not care. If someone called him shameless, he took it with pride.

One day, the neighbor aunty was outside drying clothes. That’s when she saw Jiggly mopping his balcony. He was in his underwear. She called out, ‘you should have some shame’. Jiggly said, ‘all my shames got used. This is my balcony. You do not look in this direction if you have a problem’.

The aunty got irritated and grabbed her phone to click a picture of Jiggly in his undergarments in full public view in the middle of the day. 

Jiggly suddenly recalled the ragging incident in college. That day, he had wanted to run away. He couldn't. All he could do was cry, cry, and cry.

This day, the aunty expected him to run away. But he stood his ground, posed for the picture, and did something that reflected that his soul was finally free now! He laughed, laughed, and laughed. 

This was the photo that the aunty managed to click.

The same evening, Jiggly updated his life goals. 

Walk bare-chested in Goa
Love yourself. Be unapologetic. And be shameless.
And get some real goals dude!


So, that's the story of Jiggly. I don’t know what’s he up to these days. But more power to him and people like him.

Jiggly could be anybody. Anybody who is too conscious about something that is not even in their hands. Too tall, too short, too thin, too fat, too fair, too dark, too disproportionate, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, just anybody! Be yourself. And if something is indeed making you uncomfortable, just giggle it away.

I’m always pretty, I’m never ugly,
Doesn't matter if it's toned, or jiggly,
I will be myself, I will be giggly,
And will love myself, shamelessly!

- Ksh, June'20

09 June, 2020


कल जब मेरे पतिदेव ऑफिस से आए 
थोड़ा आराम किया तो मैनै मांग ली चाय 
गुस्से में देखा मुझे और बोले "भगवान् से डर"
"मै बहुत थका हूँ,  तुम सारा दिन बैठी थी घर" 
मैंने कहा "परमेश्वर", बात कान खोल के सुन 
किसका काम ज़्यादा कठिन, दोनों में से चुन

कोई पूछे "क्या करते हो", तू तुरंत दे जवाब,
मै बोलू "हाउसवाइफ", करके मूड ख़राब 
तू दो पैसे घर लाए, और बन जाए हीरो 
मै काम करू कितना, मेरी सैलरी ज़ीरो 
तू जूनियर, तू सीनियर, तू होता जा मशहूर   
मै तो रोज़ वही काम करू, जैसे एक मज़दूर 
तू मिलता सौ लोगों से, और करता नई बात 
मै रोज़-रोज़ करती हूँ, कामवाली से मुलाक़ात 
तू कभी-कभी थोड़ी, मुश्किल में भी अटक जाए 
मैं तो रोज़ अटकू, जब बच्चे मुझपे लटक जाए  
तू कभी हफ्ते में थक जाए तो वीकेंड पे विश्राम 
मै गलती से थक गई तो लगेंगे आलस के इलज़ाम 
तू सपने देखता है, के कुछ बड़ा कर दिखाएगा 
मै तो जानती हूँ, अपना टाइम कभी नहीं आएगा  

पति बोले 'ओके', भॉँप ली थी उन्होंने संकट  
कुछ ही देर में चाय के साथ, पकोड़े हुए प्रकट
. . .  और बोले "लो आ गया आपका टाइम"

Note from the writer: The household chores are incredibly difficult, boring, and are killing dreams slowly but surely. Most of all, these 'housewives' tasks are bloody thankless. So, let's respect everyone who runs the house. I dream of a world where housewives are officially paid for the work they do. Pakode khilaane se time kabhi nahi ayega! Respect dene se shayad aane lage . . 


27 May, 2020

नफ़रती कीड़े

कम्बख्त बहुत सारे बच्चे पैदा करते हैं  
सब मिल के फ़िर अल्लाह अल्लाह करते हैं 
क्रिकेट में पाकिस्तान को करते हैं सपोर्ट
फिर वही आतंकी बन के करते हैं विस्फोट 
एक मर्द, दो-तीन बीवियाँ, यह कैसा हिसाब? 
एक ही असली भगवान, यह कैसी बात जनाब? 
काश बटवारे के समय ही निकल लेते पाकिस्तान 
काश हमारे यहाँ न बजती लाउडस्पीकर पे अज़ान 
खैर, हम तो इनको झेल रहे है पैंसठ सालों से 
यह भी याद रखेंगे पाला पड़ा दिलवालों से 
मस्जिद तोड़ दिया, अब होगा मंदिर का काम 
अल्लाह कसम इन से बुलवाएंगे हम जय श्री राम  

इस प्रकार का ज़हर उगलता है नफ़रती कीड़ा 
ऐसी ही ओछी बातों से देता है समाज को पीड़ा 
बुरा चाहोगे तो बुराई ही दिखेगी भाईसाब 
कीड़े तो कलाम में भी देख लेते हैं कसाब 
होगी शांति चारो ओर, होगी शांति चारो ओर, 
जब हम मिल के करेंगे, इन कीड़ो को इगनोर 

Important: This post is not meant to hurt the sentiments of any community, especially Muslims. On the contrary, the sole purpose of this post is to quash people who have nothing but hatred for other communities. This post highlights the kind of 'talks' they engage in for Muslims. If anyone feels hurt or offended by this post, please accept my apology.

11 May, 2020

मेरा बर्तन धोने का सफ़र

इस lockdown का सुन लो यह दुखद किस्सा,
कामवाली तो गई, दे कर अपने कामों  में हिस्सा

झाड़ू पोछा बीवी का, बर्तन करना मेरा,
दोनों की ड्यूटी शुरू, जब हो ले सवेरा

एक दिन जब sink में देखा बर्तनों का पहाड़,
"क्या घूर रहा है चश्मिश", पीछे से आई दहाड़

चलो जी शुरू करू लेके प्रभु का नाम ,
किसी तरह निपटाऊ यह वाहियात काम

पंद्रह डिग्री झुकना था, झुक पाया सिर्फ दस,
मेरा पेट बीच में फस  गया, कहने लगा 'बस'

सबसे पहले आई हाथ में, सब्ज़ी की कढ़ाई,
खुरच खुरच के शुरू करी मैंने कठिन चढ़ाई

फिर हाथ आयी हाथ कुछ प्लेट, थी बेहद्द आसान,
पल में सफा, पल में दफ़ा, दो मिनट की मेहमान

अगला नंबर cooker का, जिसपे चिपकी थी दाल,
सोचा अपने सर पे दे मारु, कर दू sink को लाल ,

फिर आये मेरे प्यारे, चम्मच और कटोरी,
ज़ीरो मेहनत इनपे, करी फुल कामचोरी

अब आए काँटे, चमचे, प्याली, कढ़छी, छन्नी , छूरी ,
अकेले तो यह कुछ नहीं, मिल के कराए मेहनत पूरी

एक गिलास दो गिलास तीन गिलास, चार,
हाथ इनमें घुसते नहीं, घंटा साफ़ होंगे यार

अगले बर्तन को देखके दिल से निकली हाय ,
कौन है वह मनहूस जो गर्मी में पीता है चाय

आगे संभाल के, इस बर्तन को न आए आंच,
इधर उधर टकरा गया, तो फैल जाएगा काँच

आधा घंटा बीता, थकान होने लगी अब,
मंझे हुए खिलाड़ी ने माँझ लिया था सब,

अब धोने का टाइम आया, महसूस हुई आसानी,
मेरे साबुन में लिपटे बच्चे, अब चाह रहे थे पानी

धोते धोते पानी भर गया, फस गया था खाना,
घिन्न आई बेहद्द , मुँह सड़ा के पड़ा हटाना

कुछ देर बाद अचानक आवाज़ आई, बोली 'यह ले लो',
खून मेरा खौल गया, जब कही से प्रकट हुए गंदे बर्तन दो

किसी तरह धोए सब, ख़त्म हुआ यह काम,
कूद के लेट गया पलंग पे, पीठ पे लगाया बाम

फ़ोन उठाया हाथ में, खोली amazon की दूकान,
दिए 2000 खर्च, ख़रीदा कुछ disposable सामान

- Ksh, May 2020

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