मेरे हिस्से का जादूई आकाश

 

 

jadui akash

 

मेरे हिस्से का आकाश जादूई होगा

जब दुख से किसी बच्चे की आँखें भर आयेंगी
तो सूरज अपनी किरनों को उसके सिर पर फेरकर
प्यार और दुलार से उसके आंसू पोंछ देगा

जब यह दुनिया किसी बच्चे का निश्चछल विश्वास रोंदेगी
तो खूबसूरत इन्द्रधनुश अपनी भव्य छटा बिखेरकर
उसके प्राकृतिक, बाल सुलभ विश्वास को संजोयेगा

जब कोई मासूम अकेला, घबराया हुआ होगा
तो असंख्य तारे टिम्म टिम्म करते, जलते बुझते
उसके सखा बन उसके संग आँख मिचौली खेलेंगे

जब किसी की मैली दृष्टि किसी अबोध पर पड़ेगी
तो श्वेत, स्वच्छ बादल उसका अभेध्य कवच बन
उसकी रक्षा करेंगे , उसे सहेजेंगे

मेरे हिस्से का यह जादूई आकाश हर बच्चे के लिये है
हे जादूई आकाश, इन चमकती आँखों में निश्छलता बनी रहे
हर बचपन मुस्कुराता, खिलखिलाता और जादूई हो

© Sapna Dhyani Devrani 20th July 2017

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Late night wonderful surprise!

indian-top-blog

 

WOW! I was just going through my blog before calling it a day ( or night ), and THIS is what I chanced upon. My blog ” A Pocketful of Dreams ” has been listed in the latest edition of the “Directory of Best Indian Blogs” , released on 1st June _ http://www.indiantopblogs.com. WHOOOOAAAAA !

Presenting _

http://www.apocketfulofdreamz.wordpress.com

And to think that I wasn’t even aware of this. I don’t post very regularly in the blog and of late, more than a month goes by before I post anything on my blog. So, I am still sitting up on the bed, smiling away, surprised, and feeling pretty chuffed. 🙂 🙂 🙂 And I badly want to meet the people who did the research and shortlisted the blogs.

 

Why are you growing up so fast, my children?

indian-top-blogttp_email-6chidren

My children, they seem to be growing by leaps and bounds. And I want time to pass really slowly for some years; in fact, I wish I could freeze it for a few years, starting now. It would have been great if we had some sort of a magic wand, to freeze or stretch the time when we feel happiness and joy; and fast forward a period of grief or sadness. This world would be full of contented and happy souls then, with less bitterness around us.

Coming back to my girls. They are galloping ahead with the years, with full force. It seems like yesterday when Anya, my elder child, and I learnt swimming together, three years back. Together, we overcame the initial fear of deep waters and learnt to move the arms and legs. Together, we stood in line to jump from the diving boards. I stopped at 3 meters and she jumps from the 7 meters high board now. She has outgrown almost all of her clothes now and has also outgrown her fascination with “frocks”.

She fiercely put a stop to my penchant for dressing both my girls in similar dresses, and refuses to step out of the house if the colors of their respective dresses match even a teeny weeny bit. Last year, she insisted on growing her hair and now it is reaching well below her shoulders. Yes, I plead guilty in this case too. They had the same hairstyle, an inverted bob, for quite a few years. Her dad and I still try our luck sometimes, and ask her if she would like to get a haircut as it would be easier on her head. Both of us feel that she looks all grown up , with her long hair. We miss our little Anya, who was quite the charmer, with her never ending renditions of poems and songs. We miss her “littleness”.

Coming to our firecracker “Taidu” now. That’s the nickname given by Anya to her little sister Anika. ( pronounced A..E. NIKA . mind you, as she keeps telling one and all ) Her father named her after the famous Swedish golf player. But, if only Taidu would stay still in one place long enough to hold the golf stick properly! She is a bundle of energy, and drains mine, with her antics.

A complete chatterbox, she was the darling of the whole colony when we were staying in the Dehradun cantt. She was chubby enough to mistaken for a baby Sumo wrestler when she was a toddler. Sadly, she has lost all that baby fat and looks almost scrawny to me now. Why didn’t I have the magic wand back then? I would have frozen that period of time, the period of roly poly Taidu, for at least 5 years. We used to call her Chubbo, and Chubbo would run through the colony, stealing everyone’s hearts effortlessly.

Spunky to the core, she was the quintessential devil- may-care Dada. But now, a pinch of that chutzpah has faded, busy as she is with the school and homework routine. Again, a pinch only, mind you! My husband and I keep talking of her Sumo days and even remember the various expressions on her chubby, baby face those days. We miss her “littleness”.

My darling munchkins, why do you have to grow so fast? Dear God, where is that magic wand that I have been wishing for? Let me savour every happy moment with them to the fullest. Let me revel in their innocence some more. Let me find joy in their “littleness” for some more time.

© May 2017 Sapna Dhyani Devrani

The accomodation that I am “ eyeing ” nowadays

ACCOMODATION

It’s been ten months since we moved to this small cantonment town; and eight months since we moved into the house that we are living in presently. “Accomodations”, as we call the houses in the army lingo, are limited in number and many times, there is a waiting list for them. We stayed for two months in the guest rooms and then moved into a temporary accommodation. “Temporary”, because it’s a Captain’s accommodation; and my husband being a Lieutenant Colonel, is entitled to a Major’s accommodation. A Major’s  accommodation is considerably bigger and hence, more comfortable to live in. Now, I have been lucky enough to have lived only in Major’s accommodations ever since I got married. Though my husband was a Captain when we got married, he was posted in a place where the cantonment had only Major’s accommodations. Also, we have always lived in ground floor houses where I have been able to build and nurture gardens,  something that I love doing since childhood. This time too, I am hoping for a ground floor house to be allotted to my husband as I can’t imagine living without a garden in my home.

So, I keep a hawk’s eye on the latest developments regarding the accommodations. We had climbed up to the second position in the waiting list last month, but now have been pushed down to a third as an officer with “field seniority” has been posted to the station recently. ( Whenever an officer gets posted to a “peace station” from a “field posting”, he is given preference for an accommodation since he and his family have already been living apart for that time period ). I am now beginning to get impatient but there is hope yet; because we are in the month of March , and this is the month where a number of  houses are vacated as people move when their children’s exams are over. This is a small station and all of us know which house will be vacated soon, which one is being renovated, and so on. When I go for my evening walks, I look at all the “prospective” houses, but there is one particular accommodation that I have set my heart on and have been ogling at for the past two months or so.

This particular house is located in a complex where the blocks of houses are built in such a way that they form a semi circle around a centrally located park. It is a ground floor house and has a leafy compound. The officer who is occupying it at present has been posted out and will be vacating the house by the end of this month. When my husband gave me this news, I actually let out a whoop of joy and did a little shimmy. Since then , I have altered my evening walk routine slightly and walk around in that “ semi- circle complex ” (what I call it) for a good twenty minutes daily. As I walk past this house, I briefly turn into an Indian mother-in-law; critically eyeing a prospective daughter-in-law.

Hmm. There are quite a few trees in the compound.
Ok. There is an electricity pole right outside the block, so the house is well lit.
Fine. There is a park bang opposite the house for the kids.
Good. The entrance is well tiled and spacious.

With the house having passed the dreaded  “ Indian daughter-in-law test ” , I reach the last house in the block, and then do an “ about-turn ”. You see, I want to view the house from a different angle now. WAIT ! What is this? I can’t believe what I am seeing! Holy cow, there is a CHANDNI tree inside the house’s compound! I almost choke on the tears of  joy threatening to spill over. There is no other inspection needed to be done. I am already dreaming about the delicate and pristine white flowers falling softly on my shoulders while I sit on a chair underneath the tree. Sigh! Dear house, I will plant my favourite frangipani trees in your garden, like I did in my previous home in Jaipur. Nobody else will look after you like I will. I will cherish you like a devotee and adore you like a true friend. Don’t you go falling in someone else’s kitty. Just come to me, will you? Please “ accommodate ” me!

Do you sense a wee bit of desperation here? Well , all of us who have been waiting for an “accommodation”, are a bit desperate by now. Wish us well, will you? Specially me, who has been eyeing “ The House ” like a lovesick puppy!

©  March 2017 Sapna Dhyani Devrani

 

 

On Women’s Day ….Let’s be free from gender stereotypes

womens day

We are so much into celebrating “Days” now, that maybe the essence of the day itself is lost behind all the cosmetics applied to it.The whole day, we are bombarded with images and advertisements which show women as ” perfect “. A woman is praised for multi tasking and sacrificing her own well being ; just to fit into the frame built for her – that of an ” ideal woman “.

You watch television and one after the other, the advertisements sing praises for women who are perfect. They are working women, who prepare perfect meals for the family, look after all the family members, dress nicely, look beautiful, and mange to smile through the day. Hey, wait ! That’s not humanly possible. Why are you enforcing these roles upon us? We are as human and as flawed as the men around us. Why are you telling us to be perfect?

Why are you bombarding us with images of doting mothers who sacrifice their own desires for everyone else’s sake? Aren’t all mothers “persons” first, and not just self-sacrificing paragons of virtue?

Why are you showing advertisements which show perfect daughters-in-law, who feed everyone in the family, and seem to eat only after the rest of the family has eaten ?

Why do you show a husband getting re-enamoured with his wife; after the wife has gotten rid of her stretch marks, which were caused by pregnancy, with the help of a wonder cream?

Why are you tom tomming her roles as a mother, wife , daughter, sister, daughter in law? Can’t you see her as a “person” and an “individual”, independent of relationships?

Why are you enforcing stereotyped images of female beauty on everyone? Do you mean to say that only when we apply certain creams and become fair complexioned, will we be selected for good jobs and “catch” good husbands?

Please don’t inflict all these ideas of perfection on us. It would be great if you free yourselves of all prejudices, get rid of gender stereotypes and stop looking at things from a male perspective. Ask us, we will tell you what we want.

We are women. We don’t want to be super women. We are not chest beating feminists. We would be happy if you treat us as persons. As individuals . Thank you.

©  March 2017 Sapna Dhyani Devrani

Goodbye, my morning cuppa….till we meet again.

Autumn leaves, book and cup of tea on wooden table in studio

 

My love affair with the morning cup of tea began in my teens.After I finished school, to be more precise. The phase of sleeping in till late in the morning started; much to the dismay of the rest of the family, as I would be sleeping away blissfully till almost noon sometimes. The family soon came up with an idea; of giving me a cup of tea every morning, to wake me up. Being the youngest one in the family has it’s own perks; I was indulged. They took turns, my siblings and my parents; to wake me in the mornings and “cure” the would-be Kumbhakaran in the house. I can still hear my mother singing out “Tea piyo ji” to me. A hot and aromatic cup of tea was held under my nose daily and then my beloved radio would be turned on. I would sit up grudgingly, grumbling and scowling. I acquired a great taste for the brew and it soon became a way of life. ( The budding Kumbhakaran’s career was nipped in the bud too. ) It became a favourite part of my day, listening to the radio belting out songs, staring out of my bedroom window and sipping on the delicious cup of tea.

This love affair continued after I got married. The husband and I would enjoy the morning tea ; chatting and gearing up for the day. I searched for pretty tea cups in the markets and stocked them in the kitchen. Preparing the tea turned into a culinary experience for me. A few tulsi ( basil ) leaves, freshly ground black peppercorns, lots of crushed ginger, a pinch of saunf (aniseed), dalchini (cinnamon); all went into the pan and filled my new life and new home with a sweet fragrance. Drinking the nectar from these dainty cups filled me with joy and a sense of well being.

Next arrived the children. The cup of tea soon turned into a sacred ritual , which I guarded fiercely. It brought me respite and a sense of “me -time” during those blurry child rearing days. They started going to school and the cuppa turned into an obsession, well almost. What kept me going through the hectic mornings would be the vision of that cup of tea. Once they left for school, I would set up my “space”. A comfortable chair, a peg table next to it with the newspaper on it, two marie biscuits and “THE CUP” – all on the front verandah. Then I would sit on the chair, put my feet up on the small table in front of me, switch on the radio and start sipping. Ahhhhh, heaven !!!! Songs playing, drinking tea, gazing at my beautiful garden and looking at the passers by – this is what I would wait for all morning.

By now, you must have understood the kind of passion I had ( and still have ) for the cuppa. Only a tea lover can understand the ecstasy that a well made cup of tea can bring in the morning. But this love affair of mine has been brought to an end. By whom? You might ask. Who has been heartless enough to commit this hienous crime? Well , the culprit is my E.N.T. surgeon. A long and harrowing episode of “acid reflux” a few months back has brought me to this. The good doctor has completely forbidden tea for me, any time of the day. He has also strictly told me to not attend any kind of parties for 6-7 months atleast; as according to him, I shouldn’t consume any “outside” food. Torture, if you ask me, for a glutton like me who habitually overeats.

Coming back to The Cuppa, I am facing withdrawal symptoms as I crave for it every morning. I admit I gave in to the craving on a few sin filled mornings and drank half a cup. Each time I did it, I could see the strict doctor’s ( he seems to be older than my dad, by the way) face, glaring at me. So, I fight a battle daily in the morning, wiling myself to shut my eyes whenever my husband’s cup of tea comes in my vision, to try and not be affected by the aroma wafting from that cup. I win some days and I lose some days. But, my beloved cup of tea, I hope it’s not a farewell to you. I want you back in my life, and SOON !!!

©  Feb 2017 Sapna Dhyani Devrani

A moment in time

moment-in-timeGive me a moment in time, when I could be

The sun rays that warm a frozen soul
the moon beams that soothe a scorched heart

The joker who makes a child laugh
the old soul who steadies a wandering spirit

The blazing fire that keeps a young dream alive
the cool wind that smoothens a weathered brow

The wise earth that forgives a misguided youth
the raging waters that swallow a cruel pirate of simple souls

I would protect all the innocence that is left in this world
I would destroy all the bullying that prevails in this world

……….If I am blessed with such a moment in time

©  Feb 2017 Sapna Dhyani Devrani