11/7/15

Hold my hand

This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 57; the fifty-seventh edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with ​Madhu Vajpayee, the author of Seeking Redemption and Shades Publications, the publisher of Friendship- Bonds Beyond Time.
Hold My Hand

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 5.

9/13/14

Three puns and a rhyme

Two puns walked into a bar.

On seeing them, one of the patrons enquired: "Are you two homophonic"?

As the puns nodded in accord, the bartender walked over and fumed:

"Sorry guys, but you have to leave. These spigots don't open for bigots!".

10/5/13

The Color of Fatherhood

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 42; the forty-second edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "COLOR"

Have you ever wondered if fatherhood had a color, what it would be? I have. That's what I like to do  -  come up with meaningless associations and try to make sense of them.  I think the color of fatherhood certainly starts off as heart red for most of us. Heart red because for a man, making the decision to raise a child is the ultimate expression of his love for and commitment to his life partner. And to those of us to whom fatherhood happens without planning,  to those lucky, macho, virile few: a bright passionate crimson it is!

Then as the doctor breaks the news to us, that heart red color takes on various shades of orange that represent our hopes and dreams. And perhaps even a little hint of dark conceit. Conceit that leads us to believe that we undoubtedly will be better at this than our own fathers. As the pregnancy progresses, so does the color of fatherhood: from the cool logical blue when we read books about fatherhood, naively believing that this stuff could be taught, to the murky brown when our partner's changing moods put us in an eternally confused state. After about forty weeks of muddling through these various colors, the big day arrives. Its the day when she goes into labor for real. Not that Braxton Hicks business that was invented just to mess with your head. When she goes into labor for real my friends, the color of fatherhood is the color of pure and unadulterated panic.  On that day it doesn't matter how many pounds you can bench press or how many laps you can run. Because on that day when you are scared witless and shitless, she is going to prove to you that she is way more courageous, strong and resilient than you will ever be.  Now, some of us do the goofiest things as we try to mask our plight. Yours truly here decided to shave at the last moment, while his wife waited with bags in her hand and labor pains in her belly. Why you ask? Well,  seeing the color of sheer panic convinced me that I needed to appear very presentable to the labor room nurse (who happened to be a male nurse) to ensure the best possible care for mother and baby.  As to what happened next, let's just say I lived to tell the story.

From the moment the baby is born until she is potty trained, the color of fatherhood is blood-shot-eye-red from all the sleepless nights along with a generous and I mean generous ...  helping of the color of soiled diapers. Then as she enters pre-school, fatherhood takes on the color of guilt and self-doubt. This is the stage when you begin to question yourself constantly: "Am I giving her the right education? Am I exposing her to all possible opportunities of learning, while keeping her healthy and happy? Have I ensured that she is in good company?" This agonizing mind game that you play with yourself perhaps continues until she leaves for college. But along the way you realize that as a father, your job is to play the supporting role as best as possible. And that many times this just means staying out of mom's way. You also learn that fathers can be like sunscreen. Sunscreen can provide protection and care while being mostly invisible. Yet, the kids are not always comfortable with it. Occasionally, they think of it as the yucky stuff that needs to tolerated in exchange for a fun day at the beach, while their mother often wonders if she could have found something stronger.  

However, through all of this, there is one color that fatherhood has always had. But you never saw it because it was the invisible color of your tears. From celebrating your child's accomplishments which start at being born healthy, to sharing her pain during setbacks that start at her first cold, it all brings up a lump in your throat, a knot in your stomach and tears to your eyes. You can't help it whether you are a tough guy or a metrosexual one. You can hide it, mask it but you can't escape that visceral, primordial, overpowering, mammalian reaction to your kids that is hardwired into you. So the one constant color of fatherhood is ultimately the color of salt water that makes up your tears - the same as the color of the oceans from which all life sprang forth. And hence it naturally follows that the same invisible color must be ... must also be ... The Color of Love.
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 4

3/31/12

That Last Night

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 26; the 26th Edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The topic for this month is 'That Last Night'.
Yawn, what time is it? About 2 a.m. I guess. I don't know why I get the itch to write at such an ungodly hour. Hmm let's see... I think this contest calls for something tragic-o-romantic. The topic is so final and specific in its tone. Its about a night that was the last one. But any garden variety last night won't do. It has to be that one. That's right! Of all the last nights you can recollect, you have to write about that one. This one or the other one for that matter won't work. That last night is what's in order. Doesn't leave much room for levity now, does it? 

Maybe I can make this about the imaginary night that my imaginary girlfriend broke up with me or died even? Yes, that's it, she died! That ought to give me the finality I seek. Otherwise what's the point? Why bother? Also it would give me a chance to show that I have the courage to tackle death. That I am not afraid of discussing it, exploring it.  So how did my girlfriend die? Traffic accident? Credible but far too common. I need a novel way of dying. How about death by a plastic spoon? How would the mechanics even work? And how many plastic spoons would you need? Maybe all you need is one, as long as you can get the victim to melt it and inhale the toxic fumes. Or maybe she had a horrible nightmare about dying that resulted in cardiac arrest while she was still sleeping. Interesting... but how would I know the cause of her heart attack? She would not be around to tell me about the dream that precipitated her demise? No worries. I will invoke the artistic freedom clause at that point and shift the burden of logic and proof to my readers. However, death has been so bludgeoned to death in contemporary writing, that its probably devoid of any shock value at this point.

I wonder then if I have a poem languishing somewhere, that's pining to be published. Oh, oh... here's one I found. Its called "One fine day". Should be trivial to negate the title and the content to end up with "That last night". Turn day into night, black into white. That'll to do it. But, do people have any patience left for poems these days? Who has the time to sit down with a rhyme and explore the metaphor it employs? And then repeat that process for the five laborious rhymes, I was able to muster over an excruciating three months? They would rather eat takeout dinner, while watching a "TV chef" yap about a recipe containing ingredients nobody heard of, as he mills about in a fake and shiny looking kitchen, without actually cooking anything. He wants you to believe that he is a chef and that he cooked that recipe in thirty minutes. But believe me when I say that nobody can cook lamb eyelid soup with unicorn tail salad in thirty minutes.

What about a story with a surprise ending then? Nah, that's too much work. With a surprise ending, you have to think about the story backwards - create the ending first and weave a story around it. And I am not good at weaving anything, let alone a clever twist with a story surrounding it. Not that I didn't try. It just wasn't for me... weaving that is. Now don't go asking why I tried weaving. That's a topic for a whole another post. What about fifty five word fiction then? Besides requiring some serious skills that I do not possess, I consider it to be the gateway drug to tweeting. If you are a blogger, consider yourself warned as well.

So four paragraphs later, I have got nothing but a few scattered brain droppings. That's frustrating! I should stop waking up in the middle of the night to scribble away at my blog.  It does not do me any good. Wait a minute... I think we are onto something here. Ah, there it is! Are you ready? Wait for it... wait for it... This will be the last night that I drool all over my blog in a zombie like state. And by the time I publish, the this will have turned into a that, making this a story about what went on in my head during that last night of my somna-penmanism. Q.E.D. ...  Zzzz

P.S.  You guessed it. Somna-penmanism is a word for sleep writing, I just made up while sleep writing. And in case you weren't keeping count, three living beings and one phenomenon have died in this post: an imaginary girlfriend, death itself, a lamb and a unicorn. And die in vain they did, if you don't vote for this post.
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

8/14/11

The best things in life are free. Oh really?

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 23; the twenty-third edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for this month is FREE.
They say that the best things in life are free. But I for one am not sold.  First, how do they know what's best for me? Have they been keeping track of what goes on in my head? Why I think not! And secondly, who are they to decide what I should consider to be free.  All I need is a few examples to show you that this skepticism is perfectly justified.
  • A beautiful sunny day at the beach appears to be free. But that package deal is accompanied by a risk of skin cancer caused by exposure to UV rays. Not so free is it after all?
  • With the advent of Wikipedia, Google books etc., knowledge is more freely accessible now than it has ever been. You can easily use these tools to acquire partial knowledge about any topic. And half-baked knowledge can be a very dangerous thing. Just ask poor Abhimanyu...
  • When your child smiles at you for no reason, it feels like a ray of warm sunshine just hit you in the face. What an invaluable and free gift it would seem, has come your way. However, just as that ray of sunshine can carry cancer inducing UV rays, the innocent smile may be hiding something too. Are you sure that the expensive antique vase you acquired last week is still intact? You better confirm that before you ascribe divine qualities to your child's smile.
  • Ah the first kiss. Can anything else that is free be more wonderful than that? Not so fast, Leonardo DiCaprio from the Titanic! If things are going to progress beyond the first base, which they invariably will, you better have some protection handy. Otherwise, there may be a hefty price to pay for that free first kiss.
  • Those beautiful spring blossoms. Mother Nature's free gift to all of us. Alas, with the blossoms come pollen and allergies. Oh, joy!
  • A walk in the neighborhood park on a gorgeous summer evening. Free, soothing, relaxing. You feel the day's stress just melting away. And right then you step into a pile of fresh dog poop. Poop that is still warm. Poop that has been strategically delivered in your path by that mongrel of a canine your neighbor has for a pet. Your shoe is so thoroughly and irreparably soiled that you can even tell what that disgusting little waste of fur had for lunch that day. That free walk in the park has thus brought your blood to a boil.
  • A mother's love for her baby. Free, pure, unselfish. Nothing else comes even close. Enjoy it while you can my little baby. In case you did not notice, mom is pregnant again with your little brother. And when that little tyke comes out, bye bye free love. One squeak from that little squirt and mom will rush to him. Then you better be ready to work for that free love. Because from that point onward for the rest of your life, you will always be Big Bro or Big Sis: the responsible one. While he on the other hand, even as he reaches his balding, pot-bellied and flatulent forties, will remain the baby of the family.
So you see dear reader, nothing in this life is free, except for this wise advice that I have just offered you. Blogging is a social cause for me in the end.  This display of altruism on my part may make you feel deeply grateful. And if you choose to erect a statue in my honor to express that gratitude, feel free to do so. Just make sure you build it indoors. As my previous post shows, I would rather not be exposed to those pesky pigeons in my tall and handsome statuesque (or is it statutory?) incarnation.

P.S. And wish you a very Happy Independence Day!

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Happy Independence Day!

7/23/11

Revenge

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 22; the twenty-second edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Its about time we avenged the soiling of our statues! (click the image for enlarged view)

Sweet Revenge!

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

7/1/11

My refrains


  • I am reluctant to play any sport that requires me to plan my wardrobe a day in advance.
  • I don't like to go to restaurants where the waiters are likely to be better dressed than me.
  • Children are a gift from god. But sometimes you wish they came with a gift receipt.
  • I worry that I can't be an artist as I am unable to conjure up vacuous ironies.
  • Every time I pass on making a donation for prostate cancer at the grocery checkout counter, I worry whether that's what will get me in the end. Did I just prove the previous statement wrong?
  • I don't understand why the menu at a restaurant is guarded as if it holds the secret recipes for their most famous dishes? No sooner are you done ordering, than the waiter quips: "Are you done with the menus sir? " Why? What's the rush? It's not like I am going to hold the menu hostage to get a free meal for my family: "Hold it right there mister! This meal is free or my infant drools all over this menu! She is teething as well, so don't play any games with me!" 
  • For the longest time, I used to believe that special forces had the same connotation as special kids or special olympics.  So I never understood why the army would want to have special forces units in the first place. And then when I heard that the Pentagon and CIA were using those special forces units to hunt down terrorists, I thought that was just plain cold and cruel.