Frankensteins Of The Universe

Appearance of bats in human lives has never been a pleasant experience. Their mere presence has a terrible spookiness to it and causes major upheavals, great misery, and suffering.

My poem House Number 974 was inspired from my own experience with bats. Click here to read it.

Even the current corona virus pandemic, which has caused millions of deaths worldwide, has been attributed to bats.

Our Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bacchan wrote on Twitter recently about the eerie entry of a bat in his study for the first time in his life. While reading about it, I was reminded about a similar incident in my life 7 years ago.

Here is the story.

Way back in November 2013, while travelling in the Blue Line Delhi Metro on my way to work, the train suddenly broke down. There was an announcement for everyone to vacate the train.

Even after everyone came out, the train remained immobile and its doors wide open. So it was pretty obvious that it was a serious breakdown and the next connecting train may not arrive soon.

Time was ticking away and I was now very close to missing my office cab from Dwarka 21 Metro station.

In exasperation, I looked up, only to find myself gazing into the unblinking eyes of an impudent, black giant bat! I almost fainted. I had never in my whole life ever seen a giant that big. For a few seconds, I remained paralyzed.

And then, with my trembling, newly trained fingers on my official Blackberry cellphone, I managed to click a picture of the bat. It was my way of overcoming my fears and remaining grounded enough to be able to tell the story with solid evidence.

A moment later, the train doors began gliding towards each other and the bat slowly crawled towards the upper part of the door to avoid getting squashed between the doors. The manner in which it moved looked so terribly sinister.

The train left soon after with one passenger riding on its roof…For those of us at the platform, still quite shaken up, the sight of that big, black thing becoming smaller and disappearing was a matter of great relief.

After getting a seat in the next train, I sent that pic to my husband Sukhangshu with this caption, “I sighted THIS on the train today. God knows what awaits me at the office!!!”

He replied, “Don’t worry. Stay positive. Worst is already over.”

Being still a novice in the field of social media, I was completely unaware of the immense importance of that bat pic. I deleted it right away from the phone, hoping that it would help me forget this episode and move on. Well, it did. Until today.

Today, on 27 May 2020, going by what the virus experts say, it appears that Sukhangshu was wrong… Worst is not over yet.

But before you jump to conclusions, I must hasten to add that bats too are God’s creatures, servants actually, and we can only pity them, for they are only following God’s instructions, doing all the shitty jobs, just like those overworked, underpaid scavengers, morgue workers, and police constables, to preserve order in our Universe.

Take care, friends, and stay at home as much as you can. Bats will keep coming. May God bless us all. Amen.

One Happy Lockdown morning, April 2020

These days, with everyone cooped up inside homes, terraces have become the most happening places.

I am having a great time now clicking pictures of all those things I never had time to watch closely; birds drinking water, Adeniums blooming, peacocks scurrying around… wow!

Google photos gave me a pleasant surprise recently by sending me an easily shareable short movie made from some of these pics. The movie has a soothing feel and that’s so important in these uncertain Corona times.

Click here and watch it.

In conservative countries like Iran, where women are not allowed to sing or play music in public, terraces have turned into stages where artists get the chance to perform live without any fear. Isn’t that wonderful? Well, every cloud has a silver lining.

Dignity Of Life – A Poem

We grew old,
Sick and weak.
And before we could guess,
What was coming,
We lost our grip and fell.
But our Master was kind;
Gave us a cushion,
To soften the blow.
With eyes shut,
A subtle smile on His lips,
Oblivious to our joys
And sorrows,
He said, “Goodbye.”

A Phenomenal Woman

This photo of mine reminded me of Maya Angelou’s poem, ‘Phenomenal Woman.’

Whatever you do, do it with all your 💓 heart and soul…

The full text of poem is below.

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Potato Peels Chips – A Lockdown Recipe

During lockdown, when nothing is certain, you need to be careful with food items and avoid wastage. What do you do with raw potato peels? Do you throw them? Don’t.

My friend Sampa Das recently told me about what how you can make chips with potato peels. My version is below with self-explanatory pics.

1. The smaller katori contains peels kept in fridge from the previous day.

2. Wash them properly and drain out excess water.

3. Sprinkle some salt, rice powder and besan on the peels to make them crisp.

4. Mix with your fingers.

5. Deep fry them on medium heat to prevent burning.

6. Once they turn brown all over, place them on tissue paper to absorb excess oil.