Every time, we ramble on about how we feel about the greenery and the beauty of the trees that grow about us. This Environment day however, I tried to listen to what the plants had to tell me, this year’s theme being “TIME FOR NATURE”.

This simple poem are the thoughts of a paddy plant reverberated through my words.


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Oh my dearest,

Was it the soil that caressed my soul,

Or was it the field on your palm?

Was it my seed that sprouted,

Or was it the smile on your lips?


Was it the sun that scorched bright,

Or was it your glowing shadow?

Was it the pregnant clouds’ young-lings that wet my feet,

Or was it the tangy rain from your temple?


Was it the sea of blue that watched me grow,

Or was it your starry eye?

Was it the brooding sky that rumbled,

Or was it your flaming gut?


Was it my grains that grew golden,

Or was it your beating heart?

Was it my leaves that wizened,

Or was it your unlined face?


Oh my dearest,

Was it I who banished hunger,

Or was it US?















The monotone of the alarm sang the same slow rhythm, coaxing me to drift further into the sweet slumber. Wrenching myself out of my dream was no more difficult than facing the reality that awaited to caress me in my wake.

The vintage backdrop of the early hours settled down as if everything was back to normal. The ripples of heat radiated by the sun and the blanket of white that poured over the neighborhood houses during the night remained the same. The gentle caress of the wind and the pit pat of raindrops too.

Only, it wasn’t.

It felt like the world has reborn and had come to a standstill, all at the same time.



My legs advanced in the same unceremonious way it had been marching since 2 months back. The vector that I followed was supposedly identical to the previous day.

The omnipresent idlis and dosas along with the spectrum of chutneys festooned the dining room while empty drawers of snacks stood forlorn in the midst of a gloomy kitchen. Our home confined us inside the aging walls that gazed sadly at our face every morning (and night).

Time is abound.

Mom’s demeanour suggested that a ginormous amount of time meant a humongous load of scrubbing and dusting. Of course dragging me into her cleanliness spasms is her hobby, deftly ignoring the fact that my favorite time pass is to glue into that three-cornered soft spot on the sofa with a book and bag of cookies bedecked within my reach.

The stomach rumbled mimicking the thunder that resonated in the heavens and mom groaned even louder, every time I cast a sly glance at her, the hunger in my eyes confirming her worst suspicion.

My crazy dance moves and exercise routines shook mom out of her naps at noon while the songs that I listened to, collaborated with her humming tones.

The symbiotic relation between me and mom was conserved only because of the peace negotiations that dad had somehow budged into existence.

Sarcastically, remaining silently at home seemed to be a decisive battle with the tiny-global enemy that had apparently squeezed out emotions from our lives.

The emotions that swath our hearts every time we watch the news are foreign to us. Waves of grief resonate dully within the home that has transform into a shelter against the silent war that rage in the new battlefield. The war against the pandemic.

Every death is weighing the heart with grief, but every triumph over the virus wells it up with hope.

The silver lining in this dark mess is that, necessity has led to threshold of possibilities. My trials in kitchen ended up with appetizing new dishes. My thoughts expanded to fields that I had left unexplored. Relationships were renewed into a whole new meaning.

There is no antibody, but there is a possibility.













The clouds parted, giving away, a charismatic view of the golden evening sky ringed with silver clouds. It looked as if the gods and angels in the heavenly abode were in a mood to fly over their precious creations.

At least that’s what June hoped for. Her mother had woven stories of beautiful angels late into the night and her dreams were now filled with puffs of white and flap of wings, though she never caught a glimpse of the angelic face nor did her creativity cook up one.

The disappointment was plain in her face. She let her mind wander along with the rhythm of the wind.

“What are you doing here June? I thought I told you to get inside the house. It’s beyond imagination what the wind nowadays can bring with them.” Her mom had materialised somehow in the garden where she was standing barefoot, pebbles tickling her feet.

She tried to deepen her expression of displeasure. However, before she could do so, her mom had placed one hand over her shoulder. “What’s wrong, June?” she asked. Her voice sweetened the way it always did when June was sick or worried.

“Mom, what does the angel look like?” she blurted out. Her mom laughed with a sound like chiming bells. “I think we would better get inside and talk.” She said.

Within moments she was leaning against the softest thing she could think of, her mom. “Do you want to know who my angel is?” her mom asked her softly. June nodded.

“Well, it’s you.” She said without a moment’s hesitation. June looked at her mother with wide black eyes. “ME?” she said, not unkindly.

“Yes. Because you make my life extra ordinary.” She smiled. “And I think I am more capable when I am around you.” she stroked June’s hair and suddenly became still. “Damn! The milk’s on the stove. I almost forgot.” She ran all the way to the kitchen leaving behind a dazed June.


She didn’t want the doctor’s advice to know that her life was ticking away and it would end in a couple of minutes. June was lying awake because of the fresh pump of air that was entering into her lungs through the oxygen mask.

Anxious faces were hovering about the look-through in the ICU. She blocked her mind from thinking about them. Instead she focused on her hands that were trembling from old age. Her time was due.

“They say that you see angels right before you die”, she thought hopefully waiting to unveil the final mystique of her life. When she finally did close her eyes in submission, all she could see was her mother’s face.

Her mother was smiling gracefully coaxing her to rest peacefully.

“I see you.” She whispered just as the last breath escaped from her body and encompassed the ICU.








The salty summer air was caressing him softly, leaving a new series of beads of sweat lounging over his nose and upper lip. The waves that gushed reduced to ripples as it approached the shore and lightly tickled his toe.

He was seated on a chair, feet resting on fine sand and one hand placed thoughtfully in his chin, he was staring blankly at the cheap canvas he had bought for an unknown reason. Unknown, because he never fancied painting, let alone in canvas.

He closed his eyes and listened to the sea. There was the music of waves alright, but he heard another faint voice. He willed himself to heed to the latter.

It was a giggle, as mirthful as the bubbling waters of the sea, it seemed to travel along with the waters to his ears and then his sharp ears clung on to the unmistakable sound of anklets jingling muffled, in the saline water of the beach.

His eyes flew open and then searched helplessly around. The girl was racing with the tide trying to outwit the water that flowed to the shore from touching her feet. Each giggle resounded into his heart and stuck there.

His hand was already moving about the canvas. He traced the pencil along a round face, about as round as the moon, he thought. Eyes like wolf, ears like apricots, full lips that pouted out. The man was satisfied. He had to work in detail to draw the nose though, after all it was the most specific feature. He worked amazingly with the pencil painting a perfect arc just as beautiful as he wanted it to be. As for the hair, he drew it like the Niagara Falls falling down in lovely sheets.

Leaning back in his chair he relished the painting of the love of his life. Then just as immediately his eyes turned towards the beach. The girl was gone. His heart washed in a wave of grief, he didn’t know why.

His attention drew back to the painting. His heart was beating fast now and his eyes were trying to take in the picture. His love was pouring through the art, lining each of the curves, each nook and corner. Tears welled up in his eyes threatening to spill at any moment.

He felt as if the picture was alive, and he felt a deep longing in his heart to hold that face, to see her smile. In a fast motion his hands flew to the canvas. But the canvas were just as weak as his heart, it fell over just as a colossal tide washed it away into the blue waters. The man was crying, wading along the waters to reach out to his love, but it was too late. He bawled at the top of his voice, “Come back, please.”

His eyes popped open into the grey ceiling of the forlorn cell. Streaks of bright light was flooding the cell. He sat up swiftly and glared out of his cell. His neighbor prisoner was rattling his head on the bars just as the guards were stuffing pills into his mouth.

He propped himself on the adjoining wall and gazed blankly out of the window of the mental sanatorium waking up from the trance.










I was in one of those moods tangled between loneliness and boredom. Mom had cooked up delirious ways to entertain me but I only ended up even crabbier.

Now that vacation had started, my brain cells were lulled into sleep but my cranky limbs and bones cracked at every turn from the huge chunk of house chores I have been “sharing” with mom lately.

Then I bury myself in the clasp of the lovely books that I had procured as a gift for the yearlong “man-hours” I had spent, to finish my class ten boards. Free time in the noon meant free- fire, killing for the sake of entertainment.

Despite my hectic schedule, the time is dragging.

The fish seller was not screeching in that high- pitched tone which had earlier been irritating, the flashy motorbike did not sound its horn nor did the friendly neighbours get out of their abode. The flamboyant backdrop of the place seemed to have drenched out completely. Thanks to the corona virus which drove home the fact that even breathing freely is injurious to health.

So I decided to step into my spiritual realm to clear my head- Nature. Twilight was that weird part of the day that suits me as an adolescent, perhaps because it was just like me trapped between two stages yet belonging to none.

The sky was filled with fluffy and cheerful clouds beside the rings of blue on the dreamy pink background. The coconut leaves were chit- chatting about the approaching darkness and the over protective parents of the baby birds were driving the innocent baby mongoose mad.

My thoughts were flowing freely about my head and I had a long and hard thought about all the chaos going about the world.

The people are still suffering from that deadly biologically invisible being. My boredom was bleak compared to the dreadful events going on. People have to shut themselves in at their homes and even bid goodbye to family without a last note.

We have gone back to valuing the age old concepts and now all we have with us is time- to reflect and reform.







This chapter about natural resources caught my eye as I was running my way through the portions for the next day’s exam.

Tucking the book in my arms, I marched out on a mission to find a spot for my mind to concentrate. Beneath the lush green canopy peppered with new mango blooms there were little dauntless birds waiting to simply feel the delight of munching into the early worms sticking their heads out of the mud. The magpie-robins endemic to my home, who were excitedly chirping about their new-found house gasped in terror as I neared the garden chair they were perched on.

As I sat heavily with all those books on the armchair, I scared the life out of the ants that were busy building their nest. This was the perfect place for me to study about “Management of Natural resources.”

My green friends were dancing to the rhythms of the late wintry-winds. The wind was in every way similar to a gale. Clusters of forlorn leaves fell over me, but I didn’t mind for I was earnestly preparing for the next day’s exam.

Within a couple of hours I not only accomplished finishing the lesson about natural resources but also completed another two. With deep satisfaction in my mind I headed for the next day’s exam.

The excitement of the closing exam drenched wet with the anxiety of the upcoming board exam. Nevertheless, I decided to take a break from studies for a day for the hard work I had committed to, in the past fortnight.

Paulo Coelho had once said, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Well in my case, the ‘rest’ that I had yearned for lasted way more than I dreamt for.

Within my interaction with nature I had inherited one of those guests that I had never invited. A guest always inconspicuous to man. An alien invasion in my body.

Cold, cough and fever followed and the bed transformed into my momentary heaven. Some of my friends even hypothesized that I was suffering from a deadly form of virus (corona or similar). I felt hazy and my days became lazy.

Within two days I was at the brink of recovery when I went back to enjoying the misty night watching the programmes at the School Annual Day which I found impossible to miss. Well, you might as well guess as to what followed, the invisible life-form were back in a jiffy and I welcomed them with open arms (they came in even before I did that).

Sometimes, I realised, a ‘discreet’ something can cause a much more melodramatic effect than we had dreamt of. We have got to accept that these invisible forces are far beyond our control. Well, it takes a storm for us to comprehend things. The world is shaking with the fear of corona and many are losing lives.

Now, as I sat sipping a mug of hot coffee, the aliens were slowly fading away from my body………

I felt my throat tingle as I heard my mom cough a couple of times………






Oh! The god,

That powerful, graceful god,

Oh! His eyes that look around, tranquil yet bold.

Surging strength, his arms that declared.


His unshaking love makes me speechless,

His piercing stare that wraps my mind; fearless,

My clouded thoughts becomes spotless,

My feared fears are pointless.


Yet, I search for him day and night,

Oh! With all my strength and all my might.

I look around and spot not a thing,

That would give me an upheaval or a heart spring.


Oh! Then I look in,

Into my heart and into my soul,

There lay him, a breath-taking smile on his lips, thin,

Oh! The god has come, the god I‘d been searching for.


Well, he has not come from anywhere,

I’d been searching everywhere, but he had always been there,

Residing in my heart, in my soul, there,

Beaming with one of those smiles, rare.


Oh! That powerful graceful god is in me,

The key to joy, he is in me,

All the dare to rub away the fear, is in me,

Only I’ve to look, I had to see, in me.






Every time the best days are a fast forward, despite that why is there no mechanism to rewind it?

Every time I closed my eyes I slept, and every time I slept, I dreamt, of the beautiful memories that I am sure will be my sweet dream as well as a nightmare.

What had been a lifetime longing was transformed into a longing memory through the past couple of days. The tenth class excursion had its own lessons to teach.


Every time I went past the suitcase I dropped one thing or the other into it and the excitement of the trip rose until it choked me. I posed a vigorous set of questions about the plan to mom who was accompanying me for the school trip as a teacher (though it nagged me a bit) and was left unsettled at answers that were let hanging.

My bones were as tough as steel as I carried the luggage and threw it into the lot in the bus that we were ready to travel on. On enquiry, I found that all my friends were having a burst of energy too. The woofers blared a heart throbbing set of songs and all of us went wild dancing, flipping and flopping with the energy that had been stored since the beginning of the year.

Our first stop was Coorg and the morning fog made the visibility pretty tough. Morning smiles were captured and every move was cautious so as not to get a laughable pose in the camera. My friends and I had a good time talking and dressing up in a hurry.

Exhausted by the days’ activities we ended up shopping in the beautiful golden markets of the renowned tourist place. Shopping and gobbling went hand in hand. Shopkeepers were trailing behind the curious customers but much to my relief nobody followed me and much of my friends, perhaps because we looked like blood-thirsty vampires from the blood-red ice candies we had had.

We went into a rather short sleep that night as the next day’s fun lay unknown. The next day, at Chikmagalur, we were rushed into jeeps that would take us to the peaks. The jeep we were seated carried nine others and the Principal herself.

As we jerked our way through the hills, a sense of competition hit me and my companions. Our loud screeches as we overtook the other jeeps motivated our driver to drive as fast as a hurricane. I couldn’t distinguish between flying and driving as we drifted past everyone to be the first.

We were rather pushed out into the open and the jeeps rushed to the parking so that we didn’t climb back, I wouldn’t complain if anyone did so either because we were presented with a long trail of a 400 steps carved in stone and named Baba budangiri. At last with a triumphant smile, shaky legs and light heads we visited the peaks, got wet in the cold rain and dried up in the damp wind.

The wind rattled the bones and one of my dauntless friend got an ice cream in the teeth-chattering cold. Severe scolding followed as the teachers classified my friend irrational to have bought such a delicacy in the frost. After a few seconds it was the same girl who pointed towards the group of teachers mischievously rolling kulfi in their palms with icy grins as they caught us looking.

We wetted our feet at honnamana halla falls (try not to laugh). I slept with a feeling that it was the best day, boy! was I  wrong!!!

Excitement was at its peak as we knew that it was the snow park day and the DJ day. We whispered in the dead of night about the upcoming events and woke up in the first ring of the alarm.

For god’s sake, if they had told us about the first stop at Mysore, we’d have rather jumped down the suicide point at Baba Budangiri. With a toothy smile the drivers said that we must climb just about an 800 steps. Heavily breathing and hanging our tongues out, we proceeded only to find a rather short lithe figure smiling victoriously and casually running up the steps charming with innocent fun. Our Principal left our mouths open and the cold wind didn’t help close it shut.

Shivers ran down the spine, at long last we were at the SNOW PARK!!! “You are now entering -10*C” the speaker lady warned. All my complaints about not having an ice cream fled as boot- flavoured savoury ice smacked my face hard and entered the mouth on a silent mission. The whole of an hour went on with brain cracking throws of a new-found delicious joy.

Feet like needle prickles, we ran over the gardens of the Mysore palace and then as if to forever bid a goodbye to these beautiful moments, we went to our last destination- the DJ night.

With dance moves ranging from awkward to graceful to insane, the DJ beats and the DJ moves moved into my already heavy heart for painstakingly adding to the beautiful memories which were going to be my nightmares for the upcoming days.

After all these beautifully short days, exhaustion hit us hard in the face not to erase it forever but to add to its splendour. The whole trip didn’t last even as long as I took to tell about it.

And that brings me to the present day sipping a cup of coffee and staring hard at the distant silhouettes of hills, memories were pouring all through my mind.

That excursion has made us more intimate, closer to Mother Nature, closer to friends, closer to memories, closer to fun…..

But yet again the recollections pricks somewhere in the heart and yearning becomes stronger every moment. Then again that is what make experiences, memories.





Little sparkles on my ear. I had become obsessed with the idea of having a tiny speck of sparkle on the ears, over a fortnight. There was no particular motivation for my obsession over it. But the fact became obvious that it made my ear shine and anything that shines catch my notice.

Only a couple of hours ago, little sparkles entered my life. But if it hadn’t been for my mother, little sparkles would have been shimmering in some of the undetected part of its origin store.

I had voiced my wish to pierce my ear a second time to my mom and she encouraged me for the same. The seriousness of the so- called task entered my mind just as I mounted on the scooter on my way to the “piercer”. A wave of fear and thrill momentarily washed all my thoughts away.

Mom had mentioned that they gunned the earring in and now the fear hugged my heart tight. I was reminded of Tom Cruise pointing an AK 47 wearing a sacred expression of pure terror. “Mom I cannot. I can’t.” I got down as fast as I had mounted on the bike.

Mom was wearing an annoyed look. “Whatever it is, once you start something, don’t even think about dodging it.” She said. New enthusiasm slowly removed the clasps of fear about my heart. I was ready.

As the cold damp air cut my hair and the warm rays of the sun draped my skin, my thoughts flashed back. Back then when my baby ears were to be pierced, mom was too anxious to watch. Her fear was so dense that she handed me to grandma and asked her instead to go for the ear pierce. Not a drop of tear was shed and I had smiled all along the process.

That brought me back to the present and my silly attitude made me laugh.

“Mom aren’t you scared that I am going to pierce my ear again?” I inquired. “Um… I would rather enjoy the look of fright on your face.” She concluded with a sarcastic smile. I was reminded that change is a factor of time.

Little sparkles caught my attention as soon as I saw it, love at first sight, as it was. The piercer itself seemed to be an experienced hand and nothing like the man of terror I had imagined. “Hold on” he said and then three thuds of the cracking cartilage, “over” he announced.

I blinked in disbelief. The time that I had been dreading as well as anticipating got over as fast as a blink. My thoughts of joy moved aside as mom’s words reverberated in my ears.

Perhaps, it is the depths of fear that create heights of joy. But a small experience and a humongous message. Life is a hurdle-filled staircase with numerous chances to sidestep but just one straight way to reach the top.

Little sparkles had made my thoughts more meaningful and I was happy for that. Little sparkles now sparked with a meaningful glow of light.





“What’s your worth?” I inquired to G.A (Google Assistant)

“Google is 13682 crores USD worth.” Tad came the answer shortly after I asked her the question.

“Wow” I gasped.

“Keep the phone away.” My mom chided. “A minute.” I pleaded. “Now!”

The mobile crash- landed on the sofa as I put it down and mom almost crushed me for that. “Why can’t I just have the phone for a couple of minutes more mom?” I said resentfully. “If only you were utilizing this time for something worthwhile.” She said and I pursed my mouth and marched out into the open.

The chilled evening air of the late monsoon hit me full in the face. My dearest ginger cat lay huddled on the carpet greeting me with a rather airy “meow” and the mother and father birds who were having a tough time annoying the cat, let out a loud cry of terror as I approached. This was my favorite time of the day.

Fragments of black clouds were now taking over the dreamy- blue sky. In a moment, drizzle- drizzle, the rain had started dropping large water globules. I suddenly realised that I was holding my much-respected wrist- watch. Though labelled with a sign saying ‘water-proof’ I mistrusted the time piece. Taking large strides I got back inside in a jiffy.

I rubbed the rain- drops spotted over the watch with the hem of my tee and did not fail to notice the price tag etched over the stainless steel back.

Yet again I happened to realize that the world was behind the worth of belongings rather than understanding what they are worth of.

My very bright cousin happened to visit us recently. I was at once delighted to have her company because she being a voyager over a vast collection of books, is a good narrator of facts and specifics. That day she proceeded onto asking me questions which she described as ‘neither G.K nor current affairs’. I gave a sigh of relief as she took onto querying psychological questions regarding one’s self.

That day it struck to me that I do not know even 1% of me.

There will only be a few who question their self- worth now and then, and even fewer who can answer it. Suddenly it was clear that it was this ability to question one’s own identity that people lacked the most and yet needed the most.

Immersed in the world of social media and what- not, trying to understand what other people are worth, we waste away the little time that we have to spare for our self. Mom had meant this all along when I had whiled away the crucial moments that should have been devoted to ‘me’.

Me- time has turned out to be a much needed exercise and I was not ready to compromise it for something much less important than that.

Now as the clouds were moving away from the sky and the drip- drip became occasional, I clambered back amidst the nature where I could lose myself in thoughts.

“What’s your worth?” I asked again, but this time it was directed to myself.