Envy


Vacuum divides you and me

Like never ending seams

Distance is not normal

As it weaves into timeless dreams

Our feet won’t touch 

Neither will our eyes meet

There is no reminiscing

This love is not a two way street

It is hard to tell me not to

When I’m head over heals

Envy doesn’t even justify

What my heart feels!

Simple things

Watching red rising sun

Mist that touches your face

Winds that blow away hair

Smell of Earth from the rain

Tear drops on leaves

Flowers like in heaven

Riding on empty highways

Softness of washed linen

Coming back to a clean home

Remembering fond memories

Smiling like a fool all alone

Butterflies in the stomach

Having intense conversations

Learning from mistakes

Chatting with friends

Giggling with besties

Doing movie marathons

Whispering sweet nothings

Warm hugs that await 

Falling in love

Listening to soulful music

Dancing like crazy

Singing in the shower

Random acts of kindness 

Hoping for a better tomorrow

Never giving up

Sweet simple things

Make life worthwhile

Apostle

It was the perfect first date

He would’ve been a fairy tale mate

Everything seemed absolutely great

Who knew what was my fate!

When he held my hand tight

My eyes twinkled bright

Heart began to fly like a kite

I knew he was just right!

Promises were made for life

Thought he wanted me to be his wife

That our marriage would be no strife

And love would be all rife!

But his priorities were conflicted

And affection even more restricted

It was more of him being gifted

There was no way I was to be drifted

Then came the unsual proposal

An unfathomable supposal

What was ahead of me was collosal

I couldn’t have ever been his Apostle!

Abyss

My dreams estrange against the daylight

Rushing through the eons of time

To submerge into the abyss of your memories

Where I built myself your tabernacle

 

Allaying from the twangs of bad humans

I relinquish time and power

Defying the contradictions of life

I wait for you in endurance

 

Silenced is my heartbeat

My body seems to pirouette in calm

To hear your royal march

Because your feet freshen my air

 

I hold your shadows in my heart

Your mellifluous image in my soul

Your laxity for me is imperceptible

As I wait for you in endurance

Daunting

Your daunting love

Has stained my heart

My feminine wiles

Lure me to swindle

Yet my deathless adoration

Chants your deific name

You fervently defy me

Refrain me from caring

Yet valiant is my ardor

Mulish is my life

I want to wane

But you deign a decoy

Neither let me live

Nor let me die

But…

I thought I’d never give up

But this is really getting old

Waiting while you wander

Crying when you don’t come home

Wishing you’d love me more

Wanting to be kissed on the head

Hearing excuses pushed away

Hoping you’d be the prayer of my pain

Needing you to cradle me to sleep

Craving to hear your voice

Saying I’d be okay when I’m not

Holding me tight when I fail

Being my light when life’s dark

Not being the coward you are

I thought I’d never give up

But this is really getting old!

The Making of a Brand

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built”. If I had not mustered the courage to step out of the safe haven of my parents’ home, my support system and the comforts of a known territory to venture into the unknown 620 kilometers away, different language and customs, I would not have become who I am today and I would not have defined the virtues I abide to.

When I joined Yashwantrao Balwantrao Chavan College of Pharmacy (YBCCP), I was already late and the first sessional exams were around the corner. I had every intention of excusing myself from those tests that I was sure I would fail. Had it not been for the very unforgettable PE lecturer, A.R.Khan Sir and his words of wisdom, I would not have learned my first virtue – fortitude. He said, “Do the hard right instead of the easy wrong”.

Self-control did not come easy. I was exposed to a reckless freedom. Had it not been for the strict lecturers, I had back then, who at that time seemed conservative, I would have become a very self-destructive person. At YBCCP, I was taught the art of moderation and the techniques to delay indulgence in pursuit of bigger and better goals.

It would be injustice if I did not write about the wisdom, a virtue without which, I would stand no worth. The quality education and the teaching practices not only gave me an edge in the job market but also made me recognize my resolve. And, it gave me the audacity to pursue higher grounds in the USA – an MBA that opened up other possibilities that I never thought existed.

I have not come across a happy campus like YBCCP. The stairs in the front of the building were not merely there but nurtured so many lifelong amities and shaped so many characters. This is where I must have imbibed my first seeds of positive attitude, the sense of never-ending hope, enthusiasm for life and of course my sense of humor (which I am still refining).

My biggest achievements are my friends that I made at YBCCP, their families who took me in and did not let me miss home. They let me drink from the wells that I did not dig and taught me gratitude. To this day, that is one virtue that keeps me lucid.

No one is perfect. But recognizing our inadequacies, not letting the pride creep in and ensuring that we have enough modesty in us is a solid foundation of a good life. YBCCP taught me such lessons of humility, carving out my true self and incorporating the unassuming preparedness to acclimatize to changing epochs.

There is no substitute for hard work. YBCCP and its faculty pushed me beyond my limits to achieve some rare successes. Taking initiative, meticulousness, goal-setting, and creativity were embraced if presented appropriately. It was not an easy path to prove to them. I may not have made a great pharmacist, but my experiences at YBCCP made me a good leader, a commendable manager, shaped the brand called “Aparna Kadari’ and of all helped me make a mark as a good human being.

(Note: I wrote this for my college e-magazine and it awaits to be published).

The Lotus (Kamala)

I came home from school to my Ammammma’s (grandmother) wails. She was 78 years old and trying to comb my 53 year old Pedamma’s (Amma’s older and only sister) hair. The comb was covered in dark soot. At first I thought that my Pedamma’s hair was on fire. But they were lice. Her scalp was infested. I swung into action and prepared a concoction of Dettol and Naphthalene. I sincerely applied to her hair and waited to comb the dead lice out. The mission was successful but the wounds on the scalp were so painful we had to shave her head. My doctor uncle prescribed some good topical cream that we could apply to her scalp to relieve her from the pain, if only she knew what was happening. Of the few times I cried in my life, I joined my Ammammma’s wails. It was gut wrenching.

Her son, my cousin, one day calls frantically to summon my parents, my uncle to his home. I was the driver. We drove through the narrow lanes of Ramnagar and arrived at his gate. It started pouring so heavily that we had to wait out in the car. As soon as it cleared a bit, we tried to run into the house. But neither of us could make it from the gate to the door. He made a make shift tent for my Pedamma with plastic sheets and there she was drenched in rain. The stench, as we got closer to her, made us realize that she wasn’t bathed in days and was let to rot in her own fecal matter. I was overcome with rage but ended up crying my lungs out. I wanted to kill my cousin.

They say daughters are closest to a mother’s heart. She had two. They are still alive. But she is not. My Pedamma died way too young, way too soon. She ate all my favorite cookies and annoyed me, but I am not myself each time I remember her. If only I was old enough to earn, if only I was old enough to convince my parents to keep her at our place instead of trying to teach her own children lessons of responsibility, I would probably have given her few more years of oblivious but some good life. I would’ve given her a better death.

Another cousin’s husband whose fiendish nature gives me jitters down my spine forcibly took her to an old age home for abandoned low income people. I have a rather ‘sick’ memory of him swinging me in jest at 14 months. This old age home,  it may have been good if only she knew what she was doing. And we don’t know if they knew her condition. She was starved not because she wasn’t given food, but no one made sure she ate. By the time Amma came to know and rushed to her rescue, she was half her size and barely recognized anyone around her. We were fortunate, she recognized Amma.

Pedamma never had an easy life. She was married into poverty. Even though her husband was educated, he wasn’t able to meet ends meet. Everyone around them was reasonably wealthy, but I am not sure why no one thought about helping them out of their misery. I was young, didn’t know much. I regret being the youngest and a late born. Her husband had some kind of a skin disorder that caused his bloody abscesses to explode every now and then. When she recognized what happened, she may have cleaned. Other times, he may have cleaned. When it happened when they were our guests, I cleaned

Somewhere within these experiences, I lost my childhood. She died of Alzheimer’s. Her name was Kamala (Lotus). The lotus flower, even though it grows in muddy waters does not show the trace. But this lotus was tarnished and crumpled. Very few people cried that day, Amma and Uncle. Rest may have pretended to cry but sure were relieved that they don’t have to deal with her anymore. I wasn’t in India – I wailed all alone in the United States. It was another gut wrenching experience. Despite being affluent neither Amma, Uncle nor I did anything. We let her die. 

People fear death more than pain. But what my lotus would have felt is unknown to any humane heart. Her memories hurt, because at her point in death, the pain was more.