If Only…

By Joybrato Dutta

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A broken heart, in a damaged cart
A baggage that doesn’t leave
And all I wish with every breath
If only time could retreat

A dormant flame, a prolonged pain
Perturbs me in my sleep
She closed her eyes with a wry smile
While I slid down to defeat
The morning kiss, the awakening bliss
Gave way to departing feet
And all I wish with every breath
If only time could retreat

No unfilled promise, no darkened blemish
Could further make me weak
Whilst I trot the path endowing my thought
Well packaged in deceit
Their flowing tears their growing fears
Fuelled my winning streak

Although I wished with every breath
If only time could retreat

A thousand smiles no lonesome cry
Their social eyes could meet
With the flowing hour, demising valour
A pretentious mirage I seek
Their broken hearts reflect my thoughts
As my lonely pride just weeps
Oh how I wish with every breath
If only time could retreat

The spark of conceit went down on its knees
My shameful image did meet
And in a moment the past sneered by
And triumph faced defeat
A confused vengeance, seeking repentance
Unworthy life I’d lived
And now I wish with every breath
If only time could retreat

A broken heart, in a damaged cart
A baggage that doesn’t leave
And all I wish with every breath
If only time could retreat

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A Morning Walk!

By Devjani Bodepudi

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He lay there, eyes closed, mouth open. She closed his mouth, lifting his chin to his top lip; he looked better that way. He did not move.

She climbed off the bed and padded her way, barefoot to the en-suite. She washed her face and looked into the mirror. Oh, she felt better!

Slowly peeling off the layers of clothing, Emily began to think about all that there was to do. She would need to book some tickets to somewhere snowy, but she would do that in a few months, there really was no rush. Before that, perhaps she would buy some new clothes and get her hair cut shorter. At the moment, Emily kept it tied up in a neat but perfunctory bun at the nape of her neck. She felt like a change! Her birthday arrived with much promise this year, she reflected as the steam rose from the shower and veiled the glass with a cloak of grey.

Stepping in, Emily delighted in the drops of hot water on her skin, on her scalp, on her breasts! Her senses felt keener, she felt newer, like she had awoken from a deep sleep and just this simple act of taking a shower was an experience she had missed for a long time. The rich shampoo filled the bathroom with a fruity scent that made Emily crave strawberries. What had gotten into her? She giggled at the thought as scrubbed and rubbed and dabbed and lathered and stroked.

Stepping out, Emily moved around the bed in her towel, careful not to disturb her husband who still lay on the bed, motionless. “My, what a deep sleep!” she remarked, wryly.

She dressed with care. She settled for a skirt today, with a sleeveless top. She hadn’t worn these clothes since the month before her wedding. She smoothed down the pleats and remembered her best friend’s words, “You’ll be fine! You’re starting a whole new life, but never forget who you are.”  Her friend, Swetha, was living in India now, she had heard. It was funny how friends grew apart. A million miles away from the here and now, she wondered what India was like. She wondered if she should visit.

Smiling with the possibilities, she dried her hair with a hairdryer and tied it up in the way she always did. Then she changed her mind. She let it fall about her shoulders in a smooth, fluid sheet of gold. She glanced at the bed again. Still. No movement.

Hmmm…she was ready but where should she go? She contemplated making the phone call first, but decided to leave it a little longer. Perhaps this afternoon, at lunchtime would be the right time, but for now, she would take a walk in the park, feel the sun on her shoulders for the first time this summer.

It was decided then, as she closed the front door behind her, the park with the ducks and the swans and the geese. It wasn’t a very scenic walk but it was during this walk when Emily finally saw what she had refused to see in the all of her six years as resident of this tiny village. Things could be beautiful. The grass could actually smell sweet and rich like mint and chocolate. And the sun could be warm on her skin without burning. She saw the neighbours smile more openly suddenly and she heard the bird song had a melodic pattern of question and answer, up, then down. There was order and calm and as the grocer arranged the fruit and vegetables outside his shop, she saw there was order in that too. And yes, she saw the strawberries and yes, everything was as it should be.

She wasn’t wearing a watch so she relied on her stomach to tell her when she was hungry. She stopped off at the local bakery for a sandwich and then headed home. It would have to be now, she thought. She would make the phone call and get it over and done with and then she could make a hair appointment.

But Emily still wasn’t quite ready to walk back into the house. She knew he was still in the bedroom and she knew he was not going to be up and about but as she neared her front door, like Harry Potter’s lightning scar, her bruises began to burn. Her thighs began to tremble and her hand, ever so slightly shook as she held the key to the door.

But enter she must. She turned the lock and held her breath. It was an irrational fear she knew, but it had become a habit, a technique for survival. It was dark inside. In her haste to walk out of the front door, Emily realized that she had not opened the curtains. She opened them now, allowing the sun to catch the dust, like tiny specks of silver floating together in a beam of glitter to the carpet.

She dialed the number that every child knew and she waited.

“Ambulance, please,” she said, her voice trembling slightly.

My husband’s not breathing, he’s not moving. I left him in the morning, to go for a walk, I thought he was sleeping! He took some sleeping pills last night!”

The words came out in a rush and as she said them, she realized what she had said. He was dead. Finally, he was dead.

“What’s the address, Madam?”

Emily completed the formalities and put the phone down.

She went back up the stairs to her bedroom but her stomach lurched as she opened the door.

The bed was empty. Her husband was not there.

A hand was clasped firmly over her mouth and she was pushed on the bed. Her legs were forced apart by his knees. He pulled her hair back and stifled her scream with his mouth. He bit down hard, drawing blood and as he moved his mouth away he snarled.

“What were you thinking, Bitch? What the fuck did you put in my tea, last night?”

She couldn’t answer. He wasn’t really looking for an answer. He just pushed his way inside, like he did last night, like he did every night. She closed her eyes, left her body where it was until she heard the sirens, the banging on the door, the calls through the letterbox. Her husband went down, opened the door, told them everything was all right. But no one answered her calls, the ones she screamed in desperate silence from inside her. Eventually the voices faded and it was quiet again. Emily came back into herself and shook violently, cold and in pain. Her husband had gone out.

She just managed to hear the door close before she closed her eyes and gave into sleep.

Raja Bhoj And The Crow: The Story Of The First Whistleblower

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By DP Sakunia

Once Raja Bhoj was encircled by his nobles who were chanting eulogy as they always did. Suddenly a crow came from nowhere & scratched at a noble cum poet. Raja Bhoj became furious & directed to execute the crow. The crow prayed for a last hearing & took Raja Bhoj & his noblemen to a cave full of diamonds.

The crow told the entire kings caravan that the wealth dates back to Lord Ram’s time. She narrated the story that was as follows. A rich person of Oudh invited Sri Ram once for lunch at his place. After lunch the rich person presented Sri Ram with these precious stones. Lord Ram, the gracious self that he were, left the same at the verandah of his palace for someone in need. Time passed fast but no one came forward to take it and in course of time the wealth got hidden in the cave.

After narrating the story, the crow came to his point & prayed Raja Bhoj to search his so called noblemen who had already unscrupulously pocketed some of the valuables. These were the same folks who harped eulogy at Raja Bhoj and kept harassing and looting the subjects. The crow scratched at such a nobleman-cum-sycophant who was actually coaxing Raja Bhoj with self-ill motive.

Raja Bhoj immediately sent the noblemen to prison and asked him to be given the harshest punishment. He also called for a detailed investigation and personally went about asking his subjects who are the culprits and made sure all was happy once again.

Moral of the story: Alas there is no place for such whistle blower in todays time because Raja Bhoj and the noblemen have become equally corrupt towards the subject.

Goli – The Bitter Candy

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By Yogesh Om Potaliya

Someone somewhere at some point has been given this ‘Goli’ the Candy. A boss must have given you, your teacher when you were a kid; anyone trying to sell something to you, our government does that during pre-elections time; why even think so far as it could be a friend trying to convince you go shopping with them.

If still it isn’t clear to you what I am talking about then Giving ‘Goli’ is a slang phrase that has its origin in India referred to a situation when a person convinces someone to do something they didn’t want to do yet they do it for the false promise or hope “Given” to them which is referred as Giving ‘Goli’.

Why the word ‘Goli’? In India, ‘Goli’ is the local Hindi word for candy and just like you give a candy to a kid who isn’t rational enough and gets convinced on being offered a candy or agrees to do what you want in exchange of a candy, similarly you could give this candy of false words to any Tom, Dick, and Harry to get through him for your own benefits.

Just when Jim thought of quitting his miserable demanding job after not getting the much awaited appraisals, his boss gave him a ‘Goli’, that he is going to talk to HR head for getting Jim the prestigious employee of the month award; to which Jim agreed only to realise after a month that he wasn’t the chosen one at the end of that month. Upon enquiring into the matter with his boss, he gets another ‘Goli’, that this month’s employee of the month was already decided and that he would propose his name next month for sure. Annoying for Jim this still did not happen the next month as Jim fell marginally short of his targets due to extended week he took off for taking care of his mom who was due for a doctor visit for a long time.

Jim isn’t one guy who is getting tricked however we all have been Jim at some point. Today, everyone is Jim in a way and is trying to make a Jim out of the next person by giving the easy way out ‘Goli’.

Picture an advertising agency where there are senior client managers, creative team, production team, strategic team and a client. Agency people often go to meet client for pitching in a boasting unique out-of-the-box idea and sounds convincing that it’s going to do wonders for the client however largely that’s not how the marketers on the client side see the picture and hence a ‘Goli’comes in the chain of communications that happens from there on. Client initiates this Goli’ chain by giving those usual marketing agenda excuses to the client management team that the idea is great however with budget constraints and different campaign targets we would think about doing this mega campaign next year and that the agency needs to come up with a different and more subtle practical idea.

Now that big fat juicy ‘Goli’ which was given to the client management team from the client is then divided in to several small ‘Golis’(plural)  and are then distributed among the teams. First ‘Goli’ is given to the client management junior who is asked to come up with a different creative brief and is said that this particular client is highly exceptional and particular in his requirements. The next in line to receive ‘Goli’ are strategists who are now asked to work on different sets of campaign goals considering the competition which is doing something usual; next comes creative team who are given the ‘Goli’ of how important the timeline is for client and how he can’t afford to spend so much and do something unique. The sweetest portion of the ‘Goli’ then is given to production team who is asked to give the end result in over a Saturday night to save client some precious time and go live as soon as possible as client is already late with the campaign because of the agency.

‘Goli’ is awesome as it gets you going and keeps your work from getting stuck. Give your wife a ‘Goli’of a holiday in Shimla and she would stop bothering you from constantly GPSing you from time to time in your busy schedule throughout the day.

‘Goli’ can get you through but it won’t save you from a rubbish output if you use it often. Transparency might take time and is a lengthy process however in your career and personal life refrain from using ‘Goli’ in just about every situation you get stuck in.

In fact, not just to others but sometime we are giving ‘Goli’ to ourselves by not facing the reality of the moment and have a face-off with the truth.

If you have been doing it so far then may be about time you face the jingles. A ‘Goli’ is good only for tiny quick fixes but not for building strong bridges or a strong foundation.

Exploring Goa – XXV – Sunny Palolem Once Again

Flashback – Kartik’s in Sunny Palolem so far and the adventure begins now. To read his other articles on what to explore in Goa, Click here.

When the sun comes out, you are the best judge to decide, whether you douse yourself in oil and layback on a beach bed, or to explore where the curve of the beach takes you to! I loved the hills in the background, and decided to walk along!

image001I walked along the curve of the beach, and increased my pace by walking along the wetter part of the beach. It’s a good base for your crocs to make you walk a tad faster.

image002Never Far away from the constant chatter of the boatmen and their plans to get a load of people to see Dolphins.

image003Given the heat building up, we mid way decided to walk inside the forest in the shade of the trees. The Blue and Green looked lovely.

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#Morning Walks And Some Benefits

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By Malathy Madathilezham

There is something about getting up early morning. Its like once you get up, there is no stopping you but more often than not you end up hitting the snooze button on the alarm and sleeping on till its time to get ready for office or school or whatever else.

It is definitely more tempting to cuddle back with you soft pillows into the blanket and sleep for another hour but its also wonderful to get up, put on your walking shoes and just get out for walk in the park…

Morning walks are a great way to get in touch with you and de-stress apart from the fact that they energize and rejuvenate the soul. It helps in increasing your metabolism and blood circulation.

In Hindu philosophy, early morning or dawn is considered to be the ‘brahmamuhurat’ or the most auspicious time of the day. One of the reasons may be that early morning our mind is free from stress and tension. The world is silent and serene, before the hustle bustle of the routine daily life begins.

The cool early morning breeze soothes the nerves and helps in flushing out toxins. Thus it is also the best time to bond with nature and may be even kindle the poet in you! For the religious among you, a walk to the temple, church or mosque right in the morning would be a greater motivation. A morning walk is also a great way to reduce your weight. In addition, morning walks help in inducing good sleep.

The health benefits that a quick stroll through a park gives you are another reason to adopt this into your daily routine.

So wake up!

Walk!! 🙂

Absinthe, a Tale of the Green Fairy!!

By Antara Roy

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Let’s start this post with a quirky food fact…Did you know a certain green fairy (read as absinthe) was banned for a century after a European Highness decided that crime evolved from this bottle of alcohol!!! Arguably the most delusional drinking spirit, it came back into productions only in 90s, and see, how our world decided to break free.

But drinking this spirit is a bit of a science in itself, I admit. Absinthe is one the most alcoholic distilled spirit found in the world, with a total alcoholic volume of 65% to 75%.  And so having it the right way is most crucial and important. It cannot be treated as a shot of tequila. Because of the simple reason, that it isn’t tequila. It is not a drink for a round of “bottoms-up” in a party!! Moreover it should never be consumed like that. Take your time to make it right. It’s an expensive bottle with a delicate flavour which has to be savoured, rather than gulped down the throat! In this post, I have mentioned a way I tend to use this green magic, which is quite appealing to our Indian taste and never-ever, will propel your minds criminally!!

Absinthe portrays a strong flavour of fennel (saunf), something that we Indians don’t consider a cocktail flavour. Our tastes compel us to associate fennel with mouth fresheners. After a hearty Indian meal, that paan walla’s paan (betel leaf laden with a sweet cocktail of fennel seeds, betel nuts and sweetened dry fruits) is what we grab out for. So for me, my first thought while having absinthe was, Paan!! And so I introduced my friends to an after meal liqueur, which is just about right for our matured, yet hearty Indian Tastes!!!

So if you are having a cocktail party, indulge your guests to a small helping of absinthe to end the party. Making a perfect glass of the green fairy is laborious, never-the-less very satisfying. One helping is good enough for 6 shot glasses and tends to be a well deserved end to a beautiful meal, the Indian way!!

Ingredients:

  • 30 ml absinthe
  • Ice (optional)
  • Cold water
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Absinthe strainer, comes with the bottle
  • 6 chilled shot glasses
  • 1 tall water tumbler

Method:

The first step is to make the apparatus required. Assemble the absinthe strainer and the sugar cube on tall water tumbler as shown here.

IMG_0011-004 Now pour in 30 ml of absinthe, passing it through the sugar cube.

IMG_0003-001 Slowly drip in cold water (drop-by-drop), and let it slowly dissolve in the sugar cube.

IMG_0005-001 Once the sugar dissolves in, adjust water to suit your taste. Remember, it is at least 60 % alcohol, so filling up the glass with a bit more water will be a good idea.

IMG_0016 Divide it equally between half a dozen shot glasses and enjoy!!

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For any further clarification, feel free to write in. Cheers!!

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