The make-up kit

When we were little, my sister and I had a make up kit. It was a red colored heart shaped case, which would open up in a cascade manner. It had a mirror on the top most cover and had brushes & buds that were all so soft. There were multiple layers containing n-number of eye shadows, lipsticks and what not. I still do not know what most of the items in it were meant to be used for. My parents must have bought it just because we would have insisted upon it. The only remote purpose it served would be on School Annual/Sports days when we would have to dress up for parades or performances. I remember using it for my sports day parade in the second grade, when we, the primary school kids,  were representing diversity in India and dressed as members of various states for that. My sister was from Jammu & Kashmir that day and I was from Madhya Pradesh.

Anyway. Since the purpose of the kit was very very limited, there were days when I was simply tempted to use them. My mum would obviously protest against it, but I would go ahead and use things in the most horrendous manner, none the less. Pink cheeks, red lips and purple eye shadow were what I was aiming at at least. I would wear some colorful chains that I had, a few bangles and certainly end up looking like a joker.I would set out with a trolley bag and walk around the dining table. Oh, I felt like an air hostess! Air hostesses: They were all so nice. Everything about them was nice. They looked nice, they smelt nice, they dressed perfectly, they smiled all the time, they spoke so politely, they gave us chocolates & toys and everyone loved them. Well, at least that’s all that I could observe then. I was never particularly fond of air travel, but two things about air travel excited me a lot back then; Duty free shops & air hostesses. They would greet us with smiles, guide us to our seats, help us with our bags, give us warm blankets and always ask us to travel with them again. Oh so sweet! Till a certain age, this was the only side of their profession that I could like at. I never wanted to be an air hostess though. I knew that I couldn’t dress so perfectly or give away chocolates like that. So it just felt nice to pretend to be one walking around with a trolley bag & make up on. As time passed by, the realities of this amazing profession dawned upon me. People often do not respect them and they still have to maintain their calm, almost all the time, they do too. They have to ensure the safety and comfort of all the passengers, which is no easy task. Long working hours, staying away from their loved ones most of the time and putting up with people of all kinds. Growing up, I just learned to respect them more, besides simply admiring them. No make up kit or trolley bag can make me feel like an air hostess anymore.

Its strange how things never change, but each time you look back at them, they seem so different. As we progress on our scale on age and wisdom, we just learn to look at things in different views. Well, at least most of us do. Its learning from all these angles of viewing and adapting what’s best for us that matters the most. 🙂

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Till Next Time,

Keep Smiling

Shivali

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The Vendor

~•~

Tomatoes for ten, onions for twenty,

Mushrooms for two hundred, because they do not sell in plenty.

He walks around the streets, in the wind and the sun,

When it begins to rain, all he can do is run.

He is his own radio, his own microphone,

Him, his cart, his veggies and his tone.

Out come rushing the women with their bags and baskets,

They’re all set to bargain; for guards, greens and peas in packets.

They inspect the veggies as he verbally certifies them to be newborns,

“We just plucked these beans madam, as we did these corns.”

“Alright, half a kilo brinjal, half a kilo knol khol,

Add some mint, some chillies and tell me the reduced total.”

He grumbles and mumbles, making up the bill amount,

He sums up, mentally noting his daily account.

The greens must be sold out sooner, the tomatoes too,

No one wants a soggy beetroot or a potato that is blue.

Many more streets to cover, as he pushes his cart ahead,

The ultimate motto, after all, is to peacefully go to bed.

~•~

Picture- telegraph.uk

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Till Next Time,

Eat healthy 🙂

Love,

Shivali

The newspaper

As young kids who had just started school, recognizing and reading out letters, words and phrases from the newspaper always instilled a feeling of accomplishment. There are so many pages with so many thing printed in such small sized letters. Some of the headlines are coloured and larger in size than the others, drawing special attention. Some pages are coloured, while some are not. There are advertisements and announcements regarding home loans, new cars in the market, people celebrating accomplishments, people who have died, dead people who are being remembered, people having changed their names, banks looking for hood-winkers, exciting discounts in the super market around the corner and what not.

This booklet of current affairs, opinions and advertisements is a significant part of our lives. Newspaper delivery persons stack up their cycles and bikes with as many newspapers as one could and also develop a Olympic-medalist like skill of aiming to throw the paper into the veranda from a slowly moving vehicle. Some start their days with it, some end their days reading it and some others read the newspaper in installments throughout the day. There are people who go through every single line in the newspaper and there are people who simply scan through the headlines and the pictures. Some read only the articles on sports in details, while some others skip the sports pages. There are people who open the paper right to the daily Horror-scope section and there are people who check out the gold prices, exchange rates for no particular reason. For many, the newspaper is a mode of bonding with buddies over various topics, to spark discussions and debated. Many people who cannot read, for various reasons, ask others to read it out for them and a lot of people read the papers to improve their reading & language skills. Page 3 of the entertainment suppliment is a daily dose for social life gossip enthusiasts and many earn titles of ‘newspaper’ for simply being gossip enthusiasts. Some hold up the papers in the air to read it and some others spread out the newspaper on the table to study it. A newspaper is the best fanning medium in case of a power-cut and our dhobhi’s gift wrap too. There is also that stack of old newspapers in our houses, which no one really knows what to do of.

My mother always starts her day with the newspaper; adorning her reading glasses, occupying her spot on the sofa and occasionally reading out phrases that she thinks the family needs to be aware of. My father is a super neat newspaper reader. The paper looks are neat as a freshly delivered newspaper even after he has read every single article on it. My sister looks super intellectual (if and) when she reads the newspaper, sipping her tea and sitting cross footed.  Every section of the newspaper usually leaves me in awe, apart from the Financial newspapers in light brown, of which I understand nothing. Nothing.

The newspaper means so many different to each one who reads it. Pretty much like everything else in the world. 🙂

paper

Till next time,

Shivali

Minus One

In third grade, the window to the vast, wide, wild universe out there was opened to me by my beloved class teacher. “My Very Elegant Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets”, she said. As much as I was excited about learning about the Solar system, I was also thrilled about having learnt a new word; Elegant. It was such a pretty word. My teacher did provide an alternate sentence: “My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets”, but I wanted to remember Elegant.

The same year, my sister who was not in primary school anymore, was preparing a project on the solar system with her friend. Planets of plasticine around the sun on a white board. Their orbits were oval, I learnt.

There planets and satellites. There was the sun and the moon. There were stars and Galaxies. Galaxy was not just a nice chocolate anymore. Every bit about this particular lesson in the textbook was so amusing. Not until very later did I realize that how tiny a fraction we are of this whole set up.

Years later, when I was busy contemplating the universe of my teenage life, we learnt that Pluto was no longer a planet of the Solar system. Also, “My Very Elegant Mother Just Served Us Noodles”. Somehow, on that day, I didn’t like noodles as much as I usually did. We didn’t have to minus one planet to be served noodles. Now all the text books would have to be edited and re-printed, I thought.

Diameter of Pluto = 0.18 x diameter of Earth. Sounds so insignificant in comparison, doesn’t it, yet it is so very important to those whom it matters. Our actions and words maybe microscopic in dimension, but for those who care, it would mean the world. 🙂

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Happy Weekend to you!

 

Colour Me

Parker Knight_Halloween Party_YkVrQWo

 

Purple, yellow, green or blue?

Three walls white, one wall hue?

Glossy, matt, patterned or plain,

We discusses and argued and grumbled in vain

“The house has to look brand new”, she said,

“No brown, no orange, no grey, no red.”

We spent hours and days to decide on the colour,

And slept disturbed and perturbed till it was all over.

The “brand new” house brought us joys,

As do new clothes, shoes, bags and toys.

Often, things new leave us curious and amused,

Why then, is behaviour new mostly refused?

Humans oh dear, like houses, gates and cars,

Deserve makeovers to glorify trophies and refurbish scars.

 

 

Till next time,

Keep smiling 🙂

Selective memory

Human memory confuses me. Rather, my memory confuses. I happen to have a very selective memory. I can only remember things that I don’t really need to remember. I can recall what I wore over a decade back on some particular occasion, without photographic evidence, mind me, but can’t seem to recollect what I read in the newspaper this morning.

My childhood to me is one such huge compilation of fragments of utterly stupid yet non-regretful activities.

The following are some of the activities that I used to do frequently as a kid and distinctly remember.

Tomato rasam for my father: Fortunately enough, for most of my schooling I got to study in a school that had working hours from 7.00 AM to 1.20PM and hence got a lot of time for all essential childhood activities: Playing! Also, we had 5 working days in a week, Saturday-Friday, in a week till 5th standard. This particular incident dates to much before that, my kindergarten days when I had school from 8.00AM to 12.30PM. Most of my time at home was spent scribbling on the walls, raiding my mother’s cupboard and calling up people. Yes, I was capable of dialing up uncles and aunts and having long conversation with them. Something that I just can’t seem to do now. On Thursdays in particular, I would want to cook for my father. Many a times my mother would give me petty chores such as setting up the table or cleaning vegetables, but some other times, I was just too cool for such tasks. I would cut a tomato, tearfully cut half an onion shabbily, cut one green chilly with a pair of orange scissors and toss them into a bowl of water. I would ask my mother to set it on the stove and then add salt and one spoon of rasam powder. I had no patience to wait for it to boil either. Hence, in another minute my bowl of floating tomatoes in the name of rasam would be ready. Ta da! I would serve it along with whatever was prepared for lunch and sit right opposite to my father at the dining table, eagerly, to watch him eat and review it. Every single time he would show the super symbol with his fingers and say ‘ first class’. Oh dear father! Most of the times I wouldn’t even bother tasting it. What parents do to make us happy. 🙂

Mangoes in a carton: Every summer, a wooden box full of mangoes packed in  hay would arrive some day at home. The joy! Everybody in our house loves mangoes and were these mangoes amazing. The were our beloved ‘Pakistani mangoes’. I would always count the number of mangoes in the box to just forget the number instantly. My mother would neatly cut them and serve it to us and we would still end up eating with our whole bodies. Man do I hate washing off mango stains from my t-shirts now. Occasionally my mother would prepare divine mango milkshakes out of these. My sister and I would both want to attack the seed, one amongst the many many things I really don’t understand why I did then. My prominent memory out of this remains the white turned yellow clothes after the mango consumption session.

‘Tang parapara’: Visiting family friends was a frequent event and I wasn’t particularly fond of it, unless the other family had kids of my age. Within half hour or so I would become grumpy and start annoying my parents about wanting to leave. There was one of my parents’ friend whom I used to really enjoy visiting. He had a very big office in their apartment (I guess. Or their apartment was in the same flat as the office, can’t fully recall. But I know they had an office inside the apartment. Sigh) between the city and sometimes, we used to visit him there after working hours. There were huge chairs with wheels, which now seem like perfectly normal sized chairs to me, on which I would spin and move around. There were large windows from where you could watch cars zooming past. There were loads of papers on the table and many many black files with steel rings as holders. The family friend had a colleague from Jordan who was a very friendly elderly gentleman, whose face I can absolutely not recall. Our family friend would very politely ask us ‘Tang parpara’ (‘Will you drink Tang’ in Tulu) each time we would go in and settle down. After a couple of visits, the man from Jordan started trying to ask us the same and we would have a hearty laugh listening to him offer us ‘Tang parapara’.

Maybe I should stop for now. There are so many more such incidents that remind me that things that you do as a child are probably what you truly are. Even today I love to cook, I whole heartedly love mangoes and I so love looking at cars zoom past me. This selective memory I tell you.

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What do you remember from your childhood the most easily?

With love,

Shivali

Keep it simple, Maybe?

Childhood is the best peep-hole through the doors of your mind into the wide wild world out there.
Any interaction with children is always a valuable experience.
Last evening, I was heading home after a long sunny day and I decided to take the bus. I knew it would take about an hour and a half and besides my phone battery having drained to a mere 30%, I stuck to my decision of taking the bus.
The bus begun it’s journey, as I took a window seat with the last few rays of sunlight for the day kissed my face, making me aware of my face’s presence. Funny how we do not feel the most integral part of our identity most of the time. A couple of stops in, a mother with two little kids, an infant and a little girl(not more than 4 years old) entered the bus. The mother instructed the girl to sit on the seat beside mine, as she occupied the seat on the other side of the isle with the infant. The girl promptly came to the seat beside mine and began climbing it like it were a 100 feet tall wall. She was that tiny. With her two cute pony tails in pink and while rubber bands, blue t-shirt that read ‘Pinksy’ (whatever that meant) in pink font, blue tights and pink shoes, she looked super adorable. I picked her up and placed her on the seat, asking her to hold on to the arm rest. Her mum instructed her to sit erect and look at the vehicles, buildings we passed by. Within a couple of minutes, she found fun-time in playing with the bangles I was wearing. She asked her mother why I was wearing that many of them and when I told her that I liked bangles, she chuckled as she continued to play with them.
The bangles amused her for about ten minutes and then she began running to her mother every few minutes. Each time she would come back, she would have to be picked up to be able to sit again. I didn’t mind picking her up, but the bus driver was braking frequently and so I asked her to stay seated. Like she would listen anyway. Her mother kept instructing her to sit down quietly, the tone of the instructions getting more stern with each passing one. I tried playing some silly games like ‘I ate your nose’ to keep her seated, but none of it could grab her attention for more than a few minutes.
Then, the ‘ I am thirsty every five minutes but won’t keep the water bottle with me’ began. She kept going to drink a sip of water from her red and green water bottle to return to simply return to do the same. Suddenly, the driver applies the brakes, hard! She was just returning from her water trip and she falls flat on her face. Everyone in the bus panics and her mother immediately picks her up to check on her. She starts crying loudly, while fellow passengers and the conductor yell at the mother for not having held her properly.
We notice that she has a cut on her forehead with drops of blood dripping every few seconds. Her mum puts her back on the seat beside mine and luckily (believe me when I say that), I find a band aid in my bag. We plaster her wound as she continues to cry her eyes out.
For the rest of the journey, she sat put, holding on to the arm rest. She muttered an unclear ‘bye’ while un-boarding the bus, with teary eyes and a sulky face.

Why?

Why do we, almost always, end up learning things that we should have already known, only after committing mistakes?
It has nothing to do with taking risks or chances or playing safe. It’s just that, the best lessons we learn are often from our worst mistakes.  Strange how things work.
stay true

Till Next Time,

Keep it simple.

Shivali 🙂