A Mirror unto the Soul

Things are not really good,
Are they?
The monotony of existence,
Worries me to no end.
As friends have pointed out,
In recent times,
My mask has come off.
This pretence no longer works.

Someone whom I have known,
For just three months,
She looked straight into my eyes,
And said, “Mahesh, you are a depressed soul”.
Her honesty struck me like a thunder bolt.
No one has ever told this to me before.
As I tried my best to remain calm.
I wondered how true her statement was?

But what is the cause of this depression?
I am not going hungry,
I am not caught in a civil war,
And attempting to flee,
Across the desert and the sea.
What is the cause of this melancholy?
Life is but transient.
People who are with us now,
May cease to exist the moment after.
And we need to come to terms with this truth.

I plan to be part of a trip,
Then something else crops up,
Eventually the whole trip goes kaput.
I plan a pilgrimage with family and friends,
And that too goes kaput.
Perhaps the Lord feels my presence,
Shall depress him and his faithful.

In between all this-
I seek for meaning,
Purpose and direction in life.
I seek some clarity,
In what is the purpose of this birth?
All the visions,
Cannot just be illusions.
There has to be some method,
In this madness that afflicts me.

When was the last time,
I smiled or laughed,
From my heart?
I look back at my life.
I look back in wonder,
At how I survived.
Now after all the pain,
All the choices that I made.
There is no looking back.

As I battle my inner demons,
Seek to create some semblance
Of a social life,
I realise I am too old.
The young men and women,
Of this generation,
Are frank and honest.
They are like wise seers,
Who speak from another-
Dimension of time.

There is a tinge of pain,
A bit of regret,
Of having wasted the,
Youth of my life.
When people trust me,
With their innermost fears,
Seek advice and help,
I try my best to help them,
They are happy and go away comforted.
I feel happy that I could help them.

Perhaps that is the purpose,
Of this life,
To remain the guardian,
The proverbial brother,
Philosopher, friend and guide,
And nothing more than that,
A gentle flame,
That burns gently,
Of the wick of a lamp,
Shining slowly,
And dying in its own glow,
One final time…….

Author Tour – Kavipriya Moorthy

Dear readers,

It gives me immense pleasure to introduce first-time novelist Kavipriya Moorthy to all of you.

Her first book “I don’t wear Sunscreen” brought out through Notion Press is an interesting take on modern relationships, obsessions and the value of true friendships.

Do buy the book.

A small interview with her is given below.
Your favourite novelist?
Nicholas Sparks. I loved his “the notebook” and I admired every word of the movie. He is one main reason that I started to understand how nice it is to read than watch a movie. He captures minute emotions very well.
How important is pain for creativity?
Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. In my case, I was suffering even before I could make out am in pain. Like a sudden storm, Life turned upside down and I was zeroed. Dad’s support gave me enough strength to live life plain. Its my pen that gave me solace and made room to enjoy solitude. Cried through pen and it made me feel better. I thought, this might be of use to someone and it did work well.

Buy the book from Amazon.

Good luck to you Kavipriya for your next book.

The role of your friends in the book seeing light of the day.
A lot. It was one of my friend who pinned out my talent. Its always been friends at every walk of my life. Am pretty grateful to each of them who stood right there supporting me.

Insights for aspiring novelists.
It doesn’t take high fantasy or a life beyond life itself to write a novel. It can be about anything or anyone. Ensure the manuscript crossed few trustworthy friends, who will provide inputs to shape the novel. Keep writing whenever you feel like writing without any force.

When can we look beyond chick-lit and pseudo crime fiction?
I don’t really have an answer. I still have years to go, I see good difference in me from my first novel. The plot I have picked is a very good leap. Only time can answer, but definitely we will look beyond the common genres.

Your next book.
My next book is a plot that I trust much on. Its a psychological thriller that revolves around Indian astrology, OMR road and murders. The plot is interesting to me; am doing enough research to make it interesting. I hope this book will give me a benchmark.

Long Exposure – A Writing Prompt –

The Daily Writing Prompts can be quite fascinating and can be quite boring and pedestrian as well. The latest prompt is – “Long Exposure”. Friend and fellow blogger “Aratrika” has a nice take on the prompt. I read it and felt well perhaps its time to dust the cobwebs ofthe blog and start writing.

The theme that we need to expound on – “Among the people you’ve known for a long time, who is the person who’s changed the most over the years? Was the change for the better?”

There was nothing much to think on this. I could only write about my mother. She is the person whom I have known and lived for the longest time together. Let me give you a brief overview of the complexity of upbringing that I underwent. I lived with my dad and mother for a very short span of time probably till I was about five years old. Then one fine day, my mother and I boarded a train and travelled far into the night to land in an alien city and began living with my mother’s elder brother. I hardly remember my dad during these years. This was also the time when I met my sister who was enrolled in the Army School in the city there.

Over the years, I observed how everyone took my mother’s simple and humble nature to their advantage. She literally worked as a slave cooking, washing, caring for the aged elders. It pains me to no end today, when I have grown up and realize that how my timid and unassuming mother toiled away without expecting anything in return. It was a kind of self-imposed punishment that she chose to give to herself as she was at the mercy of her brother for the safe future of her two children – my sister and I.

To the credit of my uncle, he ensured that the two of us had a proper childhood with all the usual luxuries and punishments that make a lower middle class life fun in India.

As the years passed and my dad in one last ditch effort to reconcile sent us tickets to join him in a remote corner of the country. Once again mother and son boarded a train and travelled far into the night and landed in another city. The city was not alien and neither was the language. It was as if Madras was waiting for me to land and unleash its madness at us and make a man out of the small boy who landed at the station one sultry summer evening.

Of seeing incompatible people attempting to make one last try at making some sense of a marriage that was wrong on every count. A 15 year old girl who had been married away to a Naval cadet. A life that was only pain, toil, tears and anguish. At times I wonder how my mother managed to survive. It was her unflinching desire to see both her children safe and secure that drove her to grit her teeth and continue.

As I worked on an assorted set of odd jobs during school and college, from selling snacks to supplying packed food and taking tuition classes, I still marvel at my mother’s attitude to life. Her prayers, her devotion to all the Gods and Goddesses who adorned the walls of the makeshift-pooja room in a corner of the kitchen. My rising anger at these divine powers, my intense pursuit of self-enquiry, my test of fire, my travails and tribulations as I stood at the brink of complete lunacy as I lost sense of time and place. The intense recovery process, the lost years of my life, I keep wondering how my mother could handle so much pain and still be thankful to God. Then one day realization to a gentle extent happened and life became simpler. Dad walked out of our lives and we began living life on our own.

As the scars of these years gone by haunt my mother and trouble her in the form of many ailments. I try my best to remain calm and be thankful to the Lord for all the mercies granted. Physically and emotionally my mother has weakened a lot. But I have become stronger and if I could, I could transfer all my energy to her, if only I could, if only I could, if only I could….

One day the leaf will fall from the branch and float down to the gentle earth. Till that day, please be gentle to the leaf my Lord, please be gentle!

Always Look at the Bright Side of Life

It has been quite some time since I blogged,
Lots of things are happening around me.
I was all set to sail away from my port,
Now the ship has grounded,
The anchors have been laid,
The journey differs,
Does the destination remain the same?

I know not,
What lies ahead,
People whom I never even knew,
Are becoming an integral,
Part of my life,
I have new dreams,
New hopes,
Perhaps there is a meaning,
To this mystery called life!


This morning, I think I had a moment of self-realization. As my train stuck at Basin Bridge Junction and the train showed no signs of moving for over 15 minutes, I lost my patience. I got down and to my horror discovered that an incoming local was stuck on the tracks as cracks had developed on the criss-cross track and a major accident had been averted. Trains were blocked and the stationmaster announced that all trains towards Central Station were delayed till they fixed the fault on the tracks. I joined over 300 hundred passengers who decided to walk the distance – the final frontier.

Inwardly, I cursed my luck, yet again I would be late, I called my manager, explained my problem and walked, muttering to myself on how the forces conspired to make me a ‘Late Latif’ yet again. As I walked on the tracks and the rough path, I realized I am well and truly old for this struggle. In some capacity or the other I have been working for over 16 years now. Be it supplying packed lunches to houses, delivering sweets and savouries during festivals, selling snacks in playgrounds, taking tution classes for kids, selling electronic goods in showrooms and finally an IT job for the last decade; I just seem to have burnt out my energies.

I felt like crying as I continued to walk on the tracks, I don’t know – my life seems to be on the cross-roads. The only reason why I am chained to a safe-job is the flat that is on my name. I have to pay the EMIs, I cannot just walk away. Over the past two years, there have been innumerable times when I just wanted to pack a bag with a few clothes and run away, run away from the madness that is within and the madness that surrounds me. Each time, I am forced to come back to reality and bite a bitter pill and continue the same monotonous tasks every day.

I am done – I am well and truly done this time!

UrbanTree Blogger Meet in Chennai

Last Saturday was a day of fun as after ages a private firm organised a meet for bloggers in Chennai. The social media marketing firm ‘echoVME’ conducted the event on behalf of real estate developed UrbanTree. The event was well attended and leading members of the blogging fraternity in Chennai graced the event. All participants were given a welcome kit with a badge, tee-shirt, cap, pen, and promotional material of UrbanTree’s construction projects.

A mini-quiz with questions on UrbanTree projects, a tambola and a stand-up comedy act by Shyam Ranganathan of ‘Ennada Rascalas’ kept the crowd regaled. The usual presentations by the sponsor followed. It was quite informative. As more and more people look to buy a flat instead of going with the long-drawn process of buying land, registering it, finding an architect and contractor and then building a house, UrbanTree as a real estate/construction firm is doing a good job in Chennai.

In a short span of a few years, UrbanTree has emerged as a trusted builder with multiple construction projects at various points in the city going on in full swing. With ‘green buildings’ being the key, care has been taken to ensure that the best materials have been used to build structures that last the test of time. All amenities of a modern life-style from play-area and gym to hospitals and schools in close proxiity have been considered and UrbanTree also ensures that if they delay handover of projects they will pay the flat-buyer a penalty. This is indeed a redeeming factor!

Ad-Zap happened with bloggers having a whale of a time selling the UrbanTree projects!

Top-ranked bloggers were awarded for their passion for blogging!

The evening ended with group photos and snacks.

There is a ‘Mystery Box’ contest wherein bloggers have to write about the event highlighting key words and special prizes are on offer. I don’t know if my entry qualifies? Just a small attempt!

Some Points for the Organizers:
Not everyone can fit into a size ‘M’ tee-shirt. Please ask for a collar-size in the registration form.
Lot of people were very hungry in the afternoon. 3 PM was an odd slot. Some refreshments could have been served at the beginning.
The trick of a good presentation is to keep it short and snappy. Well here I can’t fault the organizers!

Wishing Team Echovme the very best for upcoming meets and events!

An Uncle Writes to His Nephew

It just seems like yesterday,
When I rushed from school,
To the hospital,
To see my sister,
Having delivered a baby boy.
The child was frail,
With curly hair,

How soon time seems to have flown,
My nephew turned 18 yesterday,
He is at the cusp of an exciting phase,
He is set to join college,
He has big dreams,
He wants to be a CA and wants to do B.Com as well.
For a joker like me for whom 2+2 can cause nightmares,
The kid has done fairly good for himself.

One of my biggest disappointments,
Was my nephew’s refusal to read books,
Both his parents are avid book-readers,
Can you imagine my plight, I saved up comic after comic,
Fairy-tale after fairy-tale and novels for him to read.
Sadly he does not like to read!!!
Neither is the chap enthusiastic about sports!!!
I dreamt of teaching him the perfect front foot drive,
The hook and the square-cut – and all my dreams got cut!

He is hooked to wrestling and is yet to grow out of it!
Hell – there are fifty-year old chaps
Who religiously follow wrestling.
The kid’s gonna be a life-long wrestling fan :)
He plays the drums and is fairly competent,
But with the madness that CA is –
Drums are going to go for a toss as well.

Aditya, I wish you good luck,
In all that you dream to do,
Remember, these are going to be crazy times,
There is going to be that first crush,
The inevitable ragging,
The group formations and gangs,
Remember do not do anything,
That will embarass your parents!

Good luck – May the force be with you!