Fragile Lives take 2 #Bar-a-thon

Profound, isn’t it not? what blogging prompts do to my brain when I’m hungry. Take one is here

BarAThon Challenge



India + colon + dreams


During the 50th year of Indian Independence in 1997, I happened to participate in an interschool public speaking competition. The organizing school had given the participating schools a hint that the topic would be around the theme of India of our dreams. As is practice in all exptempore competitions all the participants were taken to the school library. And then the wait began.. There was a trophy to be won!

“What is a colon?” one among the four judges began in the post competition judges table session. None of us understood the relevance of the question.
Colon is a punctuation… Yes, and most of us knew that the first word after a colon unlike after a semi colon begins with a capital letter. Since it has two full stops or dots it was not an end of a sentence but a continuation… By the end of 10-15 minutes the judges knew a lot about the colon. But we were still confused as to why the question.

“Now, that you all know what a colon does,” spoke another judge, “what was the topic of today’s competition?” We all replied in unison … “The country of our dreams.” The third judge cleared her throat and asked “but there was a colon in the topic, where did it fall?” “There was? But what can a colon do to a topic.. ”

The topic was “India: The country of our dreams.” The colon made all the difference between the present and the future India.

It so happened that all the 32 participants ignored the colon, spoke 5 minutes about a future country of our dreams. In fact, we had to speak about how the current India was our dream India!

The judges said they had a tummy tickling time listening to our suggestions to better the present India. The judges let this little detail sink in!

Nobody would win then! But the judges and organizers decided that since everyone of us spoke on the same topic of a future India, they would announce the winners based on that.. Of course, my partner and I won prizes and we brought back the trophy to our school like in the previous year 🙂

I can’t remember a single word from that speech now, but that day was a lesson in punctuation. How a colon changed all our view about India.

©pins n ashes 2016

Into the pensieve – theme reveal a-z challenge April (2016)

I’m participating in the a to z challenge this April. I had tried to participate two years ago in 2014 but lost interest half way .. So, this year is the second attempt.. I’m going with the theme of little little memories. They fleet in and out at the drop of a hat triggered by something we see or hear or sense..

Since I’m this huge Harry Potter fan, I have decided to call this year’s theme, into the pensieve…  Here you go, straight from Rowling’s mouth from Pottomore about the pensieve.


This April challenge is my pensieve where I look back into a few memories.. Not consciously of course, whatever tickles me to remember of something ..


In this way I can relive through these posts a handful of 26 memories.


So put your hands together for “into the pensieve” at pins n ashes 🙂

©pins n ashes 2016

A Lazy Saturday Morning… Swan Song to the Marathon

It has been like the 12th time since morning, I’ve been attempting this last post for the marathon and nothing seems to come as a topic to write on. I asked my two muses who were online.. one of them shared reddit writing prompts… the other suggested why not I write about the muses of January as a recap..

I’m still not convinced about either to write a full fledged post…

perry masonAs I lie down on my bed typing into this blog space, I am surrounded by 7 Perry Masons, one of my all time favourite character… in the genre of detective fiction, court drama with a criminal lawyer, if you and I are on the same page.. I think I picked one of my first Perry Masons up from my mother’s collection long time ago when I was in class 5 or 6. Game of Thrones sits right below this set on the table….  I have been reading it since last weekend and stealing time from work to read it!! The stack of Perry Masons is from a friend who thought of it as an ideal get away for me this weekend.. after the very hectic overworked month of January at work.

It feels wonderful to not to work on a Saturday after 4 weekends of just a lot of work….

Rest.. rest sounds so mesmerizing a word!

I think rest tastes like some prawns and some chicken 🙂

Here’s presenting two of my favourite food pictures of the last two-three months…

Two starters, the prawns are Italian inspired and the chicken is a typical Bombay lollypop. The prawns and the chicken have modeled.. set it up that way to take a pic.. you can see the progression in the chicken photographs ..

Enjoy. Rest looks and tastes this way 😀

Well, here ends the January blogathon! I loved it, writing, sharing, reading, commenting and meeting new bloggers and making friends, revisiting a few old ones.. and new muses 🙂

Reading: Perry Mason

Watching: Baby (2015)

In a loop listening to:


You should have seen me that day… As always I barged into the book store, looking around excitedly … for him. I had seen him turn right into this store  a moment ago. As I entered and scanned I spotted him; he was moving towards a book shelf following his li’l grandson. I called out his name and asked, “Can I get an autograph.”

He turned around, smiled and said, “But I don’t have a pen.” A few people who were seriously into reading the blurbs and trying to decide which book to buy, looked up at us irritated for we were a little loud. Some were curious at the commotion I was creating with this man in a white kurta pyjama. In turn, I was irritated at all of them for not recognizing him!

The man at the counter lent me his pen…

But in all this running into the store while trying to keep him in my line of sight through the packed airport premises after going through the security check, I realized I had no piece of paper with me. Not even a book was there in my bag!

I gave him my boarding pass, the only piece of paper I was holding to at that moment.

“Which side do they keep?” We figured that out together and he signed his name on the other side. gulzarI chatted with him for a minute or so, played along with his grandson for a few more minutes, bought a book for the flight journey and stood in my queue at my gate for boarding.

I was on cloud 100… beaming… beaming like those times when I’ve been at the Cochin airport and I would have spotted Mohanlal walking in for an early morning flight.. ahaaaaa! I would turn speechless and have this sheepish grin plastered on my face… and the man, my hero would look back at me and smile as he walks past … swooooooooooooooooooooooooooon! (mar gavaaaaa…. 😀 😀 😀 :D)

In a loop, one of Gulzar’s latest from Haider rendered by Arijit Singh

2 women chatting over a pot of freshly laid eggs

It is difficult to catch a pigeon still at close quarters for 3 days and nights…. this mother to be sat on the other side of the kitchen window.

When it sits still over her eggs, a lot about it becomes clearer …

for instance, their beaks… there in this portion that connects the beak to the face, there is a patch of white, there at that joint. It almost seem as if they had dipped their beaks into a bag of white flour and forgot to wipe it off completely, a bit remained, PicsArt_1422251511268like those white mustaches formed after we drink lassi or milk, we may be unaware of until somebody points it out to us… nobody pointed it out to them..  they didn’t know for so long …and I think it stayed for so long on one little pigeon or a group of them, that the rest of generation and the generations to come evolved with that white patch on the beak 😛

These two who hatch will also be born the same way.. 🙂 with white spots on beaks, pink feet .. from tiny white eggs in a bed of straw in a red pot on the other side of my kitchen window…

And on the third day, the pigeon posed for me without the medium of the glass. I opened the window and clicked her.. she did not fly away like the other days ….

I think she feels safe now that we have been in this relationship for over three days now… she and me across a window, chatting over two freshly laid eggs .. 🙂

Wordy & Wordless on a Wednesday: Peas & Potatoes

And muses, Ms. Pea and Ms. Potato walked in at noon today…

A round of applause for the peas…

pa 5

Potato 6

And when my muses met ..peas

they decided on a sojourn in the wokpa8pa 4pa 1

mutter aloo a tasty one, tummy full ..pa9

 Too many clicks spoil a dish… no way, too many cooks do 😛 but today there was one cook, one clicker, a few peas and a potato

🙂 : P

Monday Musings on a Tuesday :)

Ever since I saw this meme at Smitha’s I wanted to take it up, but then I saw it again after I posted for the day, yesterday.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
1. I’m currently reading…
2. Up next I think I’ll read…
3. I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
4. I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
5. I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
6. I can’t wait to get a copy of…
7. I wish I could read ___, but…
8. I blogged about ____ this past week…

I bought this book Letters from a Father to His Daughter last week.

It is a compilation of 30 letters Nehru wrote to his 10 year old daughter, Indira during 1928 while he was in Allahabad and she was in Missouri.

30 letters.

The first letter is on nature, the teacher. There is an order to the letters.. each letter, a few pages long extends a logic of evolution of the earth, man, and finally he ends with a group of letters where he introduces the evolution of Indian people and explains his view of how the mixture we are came about.

A letter each on how evolution took place, about the first living things, the plants, the animals, man, and how grouped himself into tribes.. tribes to civilization.. the role of agriculture.. the role of language.. the dravidians, the aryans and the sea voyages that brought the aryans to India.

The publishers haven’t taken out the little fatherly gestures he showed towards his daughter during their publication.

It reminded me of the letters my mother used to write to me when I was in hostel, on varying topics that interested her and she thought would interest me beginning with the current affairs at home to the books she read and her point of view on certain trending topics…

Hand written letters have an investment of its own.. we bring to it a part of us… in the choice of paper, the colour of the ink, the way we divide the paper into where we want to write and where we want to add other tid bits…. it may have our scent .. our tears, sweat, perfume, lip balm.. our moisturizer… because of our close association with it during the period we write it… and then most important, the time, we spent with it, to sit down, think and write it out.. it makes the person it is addressed to special..

The featured picture of the earring with the handmade note is from, a friend’s hobby turned business

Window Chronicles – Pigeon

The muse for the day, flew in, laid eggs and sat warming her nest 🙂

I woke up to a pigeon sitting on the other side of the window over a particular red mud pot in the kitchen. When I moved towards the tap, she flew away, leaving behind her eggs for display.

WindowchroniclesTwo eggs.

Two tiny eggs.

Two tiny white eggs.

Two tiny white eggs in a bed of straw.

Two tiny white eggs in a bed of straw in a red mud pot.

Two tiny white eggs in a bed of straw in a red mud pot that looked similar to those laid by my little parrots at home.

Two tiny white eggs in a bed of straw in a red mud pot had no spots like that of the quail eggs we usually have for breakfast at home.

Two tiny white eggs in a bed of straw in a red mud pot that were white in colour and not blue like those of the mynahs.

The two tiny white eggs in a bed of straw in a red mud pot stood out. The colour combination of the white against the brown… I thought they had a little more commonsense, these pigeons, to lay their eggs in places surrounded with white paper for instance, so that they won’t be this starkly visible.

Every time I was there in the kitchen, she sat there looking at me, watching me move. I was near the sink washing my cup for my morning coffee. She looked at me I looked at her and I splashed a little water on the glass. She flew away. I opened the window and took a picture of the eggs. The sunlight was perfect this time, falling right where I wanted it to, and giving it that morning glow to the red of the pot. I moved a little closer to my stove. By the time I had finished boiling the water for my coffee, she was back, her back turned to me. I let her be.

I had stocked up to read three books this long weekend. But I knew where I would be these three days, sitting in the kitchen watching that her and her watching over her eggs …

WindowchroniclesThis time round, the window is plain glass, unlike the last time with the myanh.  And she runs away the moment I begin walking towards her especially if I have some water. She looks at me at times, she knows I am watching her.

Another pigeon sits on the floor over.. watching this one, the eggs and me.

Pigeons love the bedroom, they love the balcony as well. If I open a window and sleep the night, I could wake up to three or four pigeons staring at me 🙂

And I stopped at petrichor … that’s how muses walk in .. ;)

And the way it sounds… I think if I was encountering it for the first time and no dictionary or MJ or google near by I would have thought of p e t r i c h o r as if it were a chore

and chores are bad news any day 😛 the way we pronounce the “ch” before the “ore” with that kind of emphasis, it kind of sounds and feels like a compulsion 😛 just say it aloud, you’ll see what I mean… that energy that goes in to say it translates into … something of a negative-ness to it 😛

c h o r e……

may be a chore with an adjective to enhance its meaning …. petrichor could be a bigger chore… how big depends on what petri means…

In that sense doesn’t petri sound close to multi as a result could mean … many .. or

petrichora multitude, for instance… and therefore a multitude of chores… I would have been convinced of this association of petri and chore and also would have come up with an image…  😛 😛

p e t r i c h o r means a m u l t i t u d e  o f c h o r e s.

And the image would look like

…. a heap like the image to your right …

a huge heap of work piled up like a pyramid somewhere that needs re-assembling ahaaa!! .

It could be like that image in a mirror room that goes on and on and on and never ends unless we step out of the room……

petrichor where the ‘e’ of the chore is missing, the letter “e” could be the key out of the mirror room of the heap of work we need to complete…

if that is the order of meaning … doesn’t the picture below look and feel very petrichor-ish 🙂petrichor e

in many ways it could add layers to or more words to explain the meaning of the heap…. heap could be a clutter, an assortment of multiple known and unknown things like on the table… they need to be cleared off the table… and arranged elsewhere where they will be useful 🙂 such as the cups, bottles and deo go into their shelves ….

Just imagine the fun we could have had without an organized book like the dictionary.. we do not run into chaos with it around and are legible to each other… moat of the times, nobody can play around with petrichor like that… unless on a blog or in some personal chat …

Meaning of Petrichor in English, says Oxford Dictionary: “a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather

Petrichor, a word I learned one summer from a somewhere when I used it in every sentence when it rained a few days later…

I stopped at petrichor in his post on uniappams

It was there in the second line of his story “Not Really a Goodbye” .. and the word brought back memories, …of the soil, of the air, that wavy-ness of the chill breeze, the swaying of the branches of taller trees…… that tiny drop that fell on my arm and then when it drizzled…

Petrichor…, I stopped there and it transported me else where to the scent of the parched earth.. an earth that was dry for long, so dry that it started throwing out dust as we walked… and we walked on until it showered… we were wet…
I stopped at petrichor.. but does that word sound anywhere close to rain or the lovely scent of the earth that it produces….. to an uninitiated, it would mean chores… for sure…. petrificatory accompanied by chorish..  petrifyingchorish indeed 😛 😛

#incoversationwithLeo and

the muses walked in carrying the word petrichor