Sunday 27 December 2015

5 Reasons books are worth their cost

Disclaimers: By this post I am in no way trying to demean, insult the or devalue the sacredness in this universe that's called books. Why I consider books as sacred may well be a subject for another post, for this one let's find out 10 reasons to discourage those who say books are costly.
  • They're cheaper than sex toys
That they are. Totally. Any day. Books are cheaper than sex toys. Even a pirated dildo will come for at least 400 bucks in a  market like Palika bazar. A majority of books (even non-fiction) will be  way cheaper than this. I have almost 1000 books in my collection that have cost me less than this amount. And second hand books are cheaper and you can use them very very safely unlike being worried about secondhand sex toys ;)
  • They're cheaper than a pizza
 An average Dominos  / Pizza hut pizza costs around Rs. 400 at the bare minimum. The other day brother and I together paid Rs. 950 for our meal delivered by Dominos - a meal we could have done amazingly well without. And ironically, a book of Saki's best (H.H.Munroe) cost me Rs. 150.

Priority shift?

My Dream Room - Chodd Aaye Hum Wo Galiyaan

  • They're cheaper than a night in a hotel
How many of us have run away to friends' place or at times even hotels, only because we wanted to escape from our day to day mundane life? I certainly have. And much as I appreciate the value of time away from my own house, I think buying 500 Rs. worth of books is any day better than a Rs. 999 worth of Oyo room.
  • They're cheaper than a movie ticket and a tub of popcorn combined
A discounted movie ticket - Rs. 150. A tub of popcorn - Rs. 300. Travel expense - Rs. 200 minimum to and fro.

The Art of War - Rs. 250.

Simple Math. No? :)

  • They're cheaper than a full bottle of alcohol
A lot of us drink at least once a week and even at home, a quarter of any day - to - day variety of alcohol costs at least Rs. 300. And Let me not repeat the math, stats, or count benefits of books, the point boils down to the same.

Books are always going to win the game for me, come what may !

And if you feel the same way, come let's throw a books party one of these weekends ! :)

©Anupama Garg 2015 July

Saturday 26 December 2015

Gratitude Journal Day 11 - 15

Day 11 -

1. The hanger pangs I get, for they help me learn self - control.
2. The spilling of water on some things and hopes I'm really looking forward to, because they make me think about other avenues to things I want to do.
3. The availability of information I have around me because it helps me look inwards and tap the untapped potential
4. The air I breathe for I know I'd otherwise be dead.
5. The cool water I drink when I'm thirsty for without my muscles would ache, my body would eventually die.

Day 12 -

1. Thankful for having a job and enough opportunity to explore different roles.
2. Grateful for having a job that pays me well enough to make both ends meet with ease and comfort and allows me to pay my loans / save / plan.
3. Thankful for staying close to work, and taking so less travel time so I can find more time to invest in work / other constructive activities.
4. Thankful for being able to look reasonably attractive when I smile. Makes people like me wink emoticon
5. The blessing of coffee !!! Keeps so much stress away smile emoticon.

Day 13 -

1. Thankful for strangers who are happy to share families with me.
2. Thankful for family being able to visit me after 2.5 years.
3. Thankful for people who believe in me, my dreams, my passion.
4. For People who push me through my depressed moods, mood swings, lows and highs.
5. People who trust me despite being strangers and let me create memories for them in my own way.

Day 14 -

1. People who believe in me and second chances, third chances and more.
2. People who want to see me grow, not necessarily in ways I understand.
3. People who share their vision with me and allow me to be a part of them.
4. Admiration I receive for simple things as my smile and for larger ones as my perseverance.
5. Being adored by different age groups alike.

Day 15 -

1. I'm grateful for the ability to bounce back after being hurt.
2. The sensation of fear which keeps me careful.
3. The sense of occasional fearlessness that helps me take the leap of faith.
4. The faith in basic human goodness, which allows me to trust people.
5. The ability to dream, envision and the aspiration to fly one of these days.

©Anupama Garg 2015 December

Gratitude Journal Day 6 - 10

Day 6 -

1. Random strangers, who enter my life and become precious. They allow me to embrace and acknowledge love, affection, camaraderie.
2. A long weekend in sight for it will bring me the much needed relief and relaxation.
3. My artistic, mildly creative, and expressive tendencies because it gives me a reason to feel like I can create value.
4. My faith in a power above because it keeps me sane in stress.
4. My faith in a power above because it keeps me sane in stress. it, should I be tempted and later realize that it wasn't a wise decision.

Day 7 -

1. The fact that I am able to sleep so much that I even forget to thankful. The gratitude is for the gift of deep sleep.
2. The fact that there are some people junior to me who trust me enough to learn from me and allow me to teach them - reviving my passion.
3. There are people who push me away from the mediocrity I sometimes start giving in to thanks to the struggle.
4. People who won't let me give excuses to myself and would constantly encourage me as enablers to my own growth.
5. My mind that challenges me every moment and pushes me to search solutions for seemingly overwhelming problems.

Day 8 -

1. My inner conflicts, between desires and taboos. They help me grow.
2. My love for pain, makes me more sensitive for other people and also makes me strong enough to suffer it for higher goals.
3. My interest in writing, gives me one thing to truly work upon.
4. My ability to spend some money when I'm depressed.
5.I hate my inability to overcome chronic depression, but I like my strength that keeps me going and am thankful for my insights that help me identify and remove trigger conditioning.

Day 9 -

1. Being able to express myself, even if not that succinctly.It makes me feel less worked up.
2. Someone chastising me for mumbling, it helps me express myself much better than I usually would.
3. The confusion and ability to see that I am confused empowers me enough to acknowledge my shortcomings and working on them.
4. The fact that I don't have to worry about having just 100 bucks in my wallet anymore and not knowing about where to get money for paying next month's rent anymore.
5. Being able to pay off loans even if bit by bit.

Day 10 -
1.  For honest people in this world, make life so easy to deal with.
2. For liars, they help me value the honest people better.
3. The people who remember what I do, how I do it and why I do it and open up windows to the world that I deserve.
4. People who give me wings to fly through reference, recommendation, mentoring, love, affection.
5. People who kiss my foreheads and give me warm bear hugs.

©Anupama Garg 2015 December

Gratitude Journal Day 1 - 5

So, I haven't been able to write for quite some time now. Writer's block, maybe. Perhaps energy block as I usually think of it.

A few months ago, I did a 15 days gratitude exercise and tried to count my blessings. Things , people, situations I was grateful for. The idea was to have a long list of everything that made my life beautiful than it could have been. That's where I'm going to begin with.

Day 1 -

1. For being able to breathe. If I wasn't breathing, I won't have a life and then everything else would be inconsequential.
2. For my body (even though broken), if it wasn't intact, whole, healthy, I'd be either sick, or dead or forever dependent on some charity to feed me(trust me I've seen some really non-functional, under developed physical bodies and I know how humbling the knowledge was).
3. For the fortune of being able to think, to speak, to express. Or I'd be so suffocated inside.
4. For the five senses and fully developed faculties, or I could have been entrapped with so much in this world, which I would be unable to feel, to learn, to show, to express.
5. Coming across the very idea of expressing gratitude, otherwise I'd be spending this time in some more negativity and bitching of people.

Day 2 -

1. The lesson I learnt yesterday - Appreciating your blessings and ignoring what wasn't good are mutually exclusive. I had a wonderful day with a very upsetting ending. And does that mean all is not well, because the end is not well? No. It doesn't. Thank you life for giving me this insight.
2. My work, which gives me an opportunity to learn, share, work, do new things.
3. My Boss who provides me the necessary support, resources to work and learn to grow not just professionally but also personally. I have personally grown immensely in regards to my patience, my control on what I speak or how I react emotionally. In a lot of ways, it's because of the place I work at and the people I work with
4. My colleagues who support me, receive knowledge and share theirs with me. These are people who I work with and who I spend almost 10 hrs a day who constructively criticism me, who give me a chance to constructively offer them criticism.
5.People who have not worked with me, or who have quit but have been bullies, extremely judgmental, critical, hypocritical and negative towards me. I need to thank them, because they make me look good in comparison, they make me feel stronger to fight bullies. They make me value the support systems even better. They make me value even people who are neutral to me by the virtue of comparison.

Day 3 -
1. Thankful for friends who are capable of mentoring me, supporting me through my ambitions, the tough journey everyone calls life.
2. Thankful for people who have given me an opportunity to love them, share my affection with them and care for them, irrespective of whether in a personal or a professional setting.
3. Grateful for senior people who treat me like equals, and share with me what they've learnt from their experience.
4. Grateful for the opportunity to interact with people, meet so many of them not just at work or in social life but also through so many online forums and lots of other avenues. The emotions they share, the secrets they confide, the love they shower.
5. Thankful for the food and the nourishment that I receive through so many different sources, and the various people who feed me and serve me the meal so lovingly.

Day 4 -

1. People who skeptically ask me - what do you get out of wasting time on activities like this? Because they make me think about why I do whatever it is that I do.
2. My ability to think, rationalize, challenge and question my own aspirations, actions and beliefs. It helps me discard those that I find of lesser use and it helps me strive more towards the ones that help me grow.
3. The technology existent in this world that I so thoughtlessly use as if it's a given because it makes my life simpler.
4. The fact that I have had to request for help. It taught me that humility is necessary. It also taught me, that no one is ever fully self-sufficient.
5. People who helped me, because that made me believe stronger in inherent goodness, kindness and loving nature of the human soul.

Day 5 -

1. I am thankful that I have a job that pays me well and helps me sustain. Lots of people do not have one.
2. I have a family that lets me work. The feminist might claim that my right to work is mine, but then there are so many people, women, who are not let to work because of the people who live with them. I count my blessing of a loving, liberal and supportive family.
3. For the education and the teachers I received in life. My education is what has led me to my work life and my teachers are the ones responsible for imparting it. I have had SO many teachers both in and out of the system and I am grateful for each of them.
4. The upbringing that makes me sensitive to other people's needs because it helps me love and appreciate this world better.
5. The understanding of religion and spirituality that I have now slowly over the years come to and will continue to have.

©Anupama Garg 2015 December

People - Him and Trident

Counting my blessings always makes sense to me. In this post, I will not mention his name, nor any recognizable character about him.

He's a friend ! In every sense of the word. I've written another post years ago on him, a post on my old blog. And I can still find it in me to write more about him.

What matters is that the friendship has stayed. What matters is that there was this one incidence:

I had known him for a brief time through internet and through sparse phone calls. I knew he was married to his love, successful, highly qualified from the best institutes in the world, happy, someone so not my league! Or should I say I was not his league? Oh but then I wasn't really looking for an affair with him either :) In fact, the image I've selected is not even the closest when it comes to how I feel about him even today. If we could grow younger, some day this is what I know he'll be like :)

Trident and Him

It so happened that we both traveled - to Delhi and NCR. Separately. From different Cities !

How scared I was, naive as I am, someone who did not know how to go sit alone in a restaurant, didn't know that straws came packed in their covers, someone who chose the cheapest drink without alcohol on the menu (I couldn't choose preserved juices even then though :P).

I waited and waited and waited and his meetings kept on getting late and delayed. Every passing minute bugged me to no end, making me jittery, nervous and making me doubt his intention to meet me.

I had imagined a paunchy, balding man (knowing his age was what he claimed it was). And there comes a dandy, without any airs and absolutely no haughtiness :) I'm talking of a man whom I hugged while reaching his chest at the max, when I first met him, with so much trust. A man who hugged me back with uncomparable warmth.

Even today, when I am nervous, fidgety, jittery and impatient while waiting for someone, I remind myself that patience is worth a hug like that and effort is worth a friend like that. I am no longer the woman who gets nervous going anywhere to any establishment anymore. The meeting with you was the beginning of it all.

Thank you for meeting me in Trident that day !

Thank you for being who you are!

©Anupama Garg 2015 December

Monday 14 September 2015

Guru Gobind Dou Khade...

So interestingly, this teacher's day coincides with The Janmashtami. And that means that the Supreme Teacher of the Godhead and the teachers in his day to day existential world are going to be remembered.

I don't remember a combination as this in last 31 days (calendar experts would be able to advise better). And that means today is ACTUALLY literally the day when the Guru and the Gobind are being celebrated together.

And.... what better day to remember Kabir's famous saying, than on a day when Janmashtami and Teacher's day fall together.

गुरु गोबिंद दोऊ खड़े, काके लागूं पाँय
बलिहारी गुरु आपने गोबिंद दियो बताय

In fact even God, the Guru of all Gurus goes and surrenders to a Guru Himself. He who gives Arjuna the Guhyatamam Gyanam or the most secret knowledge and then leaves it for the world to benefit from, for millennia, also learns.

The original post I had planned was way different than what's in my head right now. The original post was about how I feel about the teachers who retired from school in my early school years, teachers who retired around 5 years ago (my college years) and teachers of my generation. I was originally thinking a lot about the similarities as well as the differences among all of them.  However, right now, I'm thinking about how Gurudom is a facade. How Acharya TulsiDas is So SO SO true when He writes in his Ramcharitmanas :

" गुर सिष बधिर अंध का लेखा
एक न सुनहि, एक नहीं देखा ।"

And this has been proved not just once, but ample number of times. This has been proved in the cult religious movements; in the "cram and score marks" educational culture; in the "I'll charge X to teach Y". Not just educationally but even spiritually, today's world is full of fake bogus gurus and equally insincere bogus students.

I wonder what would happen if Lord Dattatreya was charged a tuition fee by his 24 Gurus?I wonder what would happen if Gauranga Mahaprabhu, Acharya Tulsi Das, Swami RamSukh Das Ji Maharaj would have sold their books rather than giving their teaching out of their nature and compassion? What would happen if Waahe Guru Ji or Kabir had charged for teahcings? I wonder what would folks like me do?

Here's the thing. This Teacher's / Janmashtami, I thank the ParamGuru (Lord Supreme) for blessing me with such awesome teachers who were also Gurus in their own rights.

And then, this teacher's day, I've also resolved for the following :

I will be more observant. Before seeking a Guru, I will first teach myself to be a good disciple. I have to train myself before another can train me or before I can surrender to another for training. 

This Janmashtami, may I be blessed to be a good disciple. This Janmashtami, may I be blessed to yearn for my Guru and somewhere in this whole universe, may a Guru be yearning for my surrender as a Disciple!

This teacher's day, what's your resolution, what's your prayer?

©Anupama Garg 2015 September

Tuesday 1 September 2015

10 Reasons for conventional young men to not marry me

Ok, so here's one with the British sense of self-deprecating humour ! No, in fact it's a step further, it's proper self-deprecation ! I'm actually telling you as to why I cannot be the right Indian marriage material !10 reasons to not marry me.
And should you still feel like marrying me, do let me know, I'd be awesome sauce happy to meet you over a coffee.

  • I am intelligent and I'm aware of this fact
I have come across - in my not so recent groom hunting exercise against quite a few men whom my father rejected because their families said - "Hamare yahan to decision hum lete hain. Ladies se to bas ek baar poooch lete hain. Karte wahi hain jo humein theek lagta hai!" (At our place, we merely ask the women once but the decision making is done by us. We men do what we deem right.)

Unfortunately you know what? I have seen some life, I've made some critical decisions and choices not just for myself but even others' lives. And I AM aware of my ability to think, analyze and decide. And I'm going to be a tough cookie.
  • I call a spade a spade and I am not shallow
Means, I  don't mince my words. I do not hesitate before suggesting a pre-marital counseling, or act all shy about asking whether or not your family seek dowry, or in asking for your medical reports and sharing mine. 

I'm 31. I'm educated. So are you. So there's no need for us to go in circled around whether or not my arm is broken or whether or not can it be ever fixed. Ask me my questions directly and I will respond honestly. And be prepared to return the favor.Your looks don't matter to me, your salary does but only to a point, not beyond it. But your attitude does.
  • I communicate and you will need to as well
In case you haven't noticed, I am communicating even now. Perhaps dripping in sarcasm, but I don't see myself  mincing my words here either.Communication is important to me. It's core. If I can't communicate about my desires, needs, limitations to you - who are my prospective spouse, should I be discussing it with the neighbours?

Similarly, I am not a telepathy expert and will need you to tell me what you want, need, desire. You're not looking for a barbie doll, and I am not looking for a 'Sundar Gudda'. We're humans, let's talk, let's communicate and oh, let's do that with honesty !
  • I am fiercely independent  
I live alone. I am a working woman. And that means I handle all my shit single handed. In fact I handle it half handed, because since my accident in 2012, where I damaged my left elbow to semi-functionality, I do face challenges with heavier chores. And I still manage all of them myself.

So if you're looking for a housewife material who would depend on you for money and then the banking needed for it and then for you to drop her to kitties and other stuff like that, please forget it !
  • I have moods
Just like you have your bad days at work, so do I. I in fact can have bad days at home as well. You know, I'm adjusting around new people, their moods, their preferences and whatever not. Even if I weren't, I am a moody person. I am human you know. So there will be days when I will not want to cook, eat, have sex with you (make love to you - go ahead, use all euphemisms you want) or entertain your household (if we live with your folks). 

There will also be days when I will be chirpy, happy, go-getter and all the rest of the positive adjectives you can think of.
  • I am 500 shades of life
This means that I experience dilemmas and conflicts and in various situation and while I may think one thing and discuss another, I may end up doing the third thing entirely because my subconscious has been process that as well.

I am a person who swings throughout the spectrum. So don't expect me to be predictable. No, it doesn't mean that I have no control over my feelings, but if you look forward to sharing my life, you will get to see only truth, even truth that I may not speak of in front of other people, or truth that's ugly.

I am submissive and yet strong, conventional and yet an iconoclast in my own way, extremely family oriented while immensely protective of my own individuality. Opinionated but respectful. And so much more.
  • I do not suffer liars and fools
This means just like I am 500 shades of life, so are you (or at least you are 7 shades of the life's rainbow at the least). So I appreciate and understand that you are moody as well and that there will be areas of your life you've covered and those you haven't.

But please don't expect me to suffer lies, however harmful or innocuous. Don't tell me things like  - 'I don't want dowry but my parents do expect gifts' or ' I really want you to work, but my parents want you to stay at home for at least a year'.

If you have the guts or the balls or the liver or the kidney, please tell me what you want and have the courage to pursue it. The least that might happen with truth is that we may end up being only acquaintances and nothing more. The best is that I will be able to respect you so much more as an individual with integrity.

Similarly please don't tell me how your hobby is sports when all you can mention after probing is 'I watch T20'. Don't tell me you want a dominant wife and then later in the next sentence explain to me the concept of a submissive wife. PLEASE know your stuff.
  • I am not the MBT (Mataji - Behenji Type) Serial version of a trophy wife
I am not a trophy wife. I am earthly human being. I don't go around with a zero size, nor with a blemish free fair and lovely skin. I have a broken semi - functional elbow, I wear specs and I am a 4 ft. 10 inches tall minion. But I've got my values right. I've got my head, my heart and my intentions in the right place.

I am a lovely hostess but won't suffer lechers. I'm an awesome bahu material but will not tolerate relatives who hurt my in-laws or who taunt my in-laws. I am fiercely protective of my parents, I see no reason why I shouldn't be equally protective of my in-laws.  I am capable of supporting my siblings emotionally and intellectually, I see no reason why I shouldn't be doing the same to my siblings - in - law.

I am not giving to dress up like a pretty doll all the time and / or be the housemaid. Oh please don't be mistaken, I'm all for helping with chores, but don't expect me to be the ATM machine that doubles up as a housemaid and triples up as a 'saji-dhaji gudiya'. I am not someone like Simar who would give up her job if the husband doesn't like the mithai I made (though your mum might be too fond of it)
  • I am one to plan before marrying you not after it
I will ask you uncomfortable questions. Questions around your salaries, your loans, your education, your future ambitions, your thoughts on family planning, your medical history, your sexual preferences. I will also share the same information about myself. If you're divorced, I will want to know why did you take it and I will not want to hear crappy reasons like - 'she was characterless'.


Well, simply because I think these are things that need to be discussed, known, understood, accepted, agreed upon before marrying someone. Not because I want to create a shock factor or because I want to come across as extremely modern. I am not pseudo, I'm just thoughtful, careful and a planner.

  • And fir aakhir wo kya hai na ki humse biyaah karna...

Open Invitation - If you're a guy and you're still reading this post, and are willing to forgive me for the sarcasm, while being able to understand, accept and hopefully appreciate the place that I'm coming from; let's meet for coffee !

©Anupama Garg 2015 September

Saturday 29 August 2015

My Birthday

Yes, I know it's been some time since I wrote a post. I have been recently struggling with myself really hard. Trying to give up on a lot of resentment, doing some psycho-emotional experiments,

But all of that for later. Right now, I want to look a month and four days back into my memories, also since some people have shared them with me. And I want to share with you why was my birthday so so special this year.

Partly, because I missed family, but this year in a good way. Partly because unlike last year, this year it was just so much celebration. Unlike last two years, this year I had already seen my family in the month of May and so I wasn't in an overwhelmingly lonely emotional state.

But mostly, because I was cherished and loved so so much.

I had 3 parties, 3 cakes, including one baked at home. I so want to share with you some amazingly happy and loving, family away from home pictures.

1. Home baked cake at a very close friend's place:
2. At work :

3. And at home away from home:

This was an evening so happy and loving. I do not remember a happier evening in my entire 7-8 years in Delhi. And here's a happy picture with the happy people and the yum cake:

4. And of course, there's no counting of the blessing, love, affection and so much warmth that was sent my way through social media, phone, messages and every other possible medium.

All I want to say to you is this :

Thanks people for sending your thoughts, messages, voices and love my way.

Thanks Annie, for baking the cake. Bhak for the organizing.

Thanks my team of colleagues for making me feel cherished with so much warmth, so many smiles.

And thanks Dada, Bhabhi, Uncle Ji, Fr. for being an extended family - a home away from home. For cooking my favourite dishes for me, for blessing me, for feeding me, nurturing me, for making me and my day feel so so so special.

And Mom, Dad, Bhai, Guds, I love you guys so much and see, there are so many people who love me because of the love that you've taught me to share ! Thank you for being with me always, in frames, out of them, on birthdays, on other days, and every day that you can. I missed you guys a lot !

©Anupama Garg 2015 August

Saturday 8 August 2015

Do You Love me?

Do you love me ??

I'm sure literally every one has heard this question and almost everyone asks it. The tone might vary, someone may beg, someone may plead, another may demand, fight, quarrel, try to claim, possess and whatever else it may be. Directly or indirectly, the underlying question will be ALWAYS - Do you love me?

In this post, I will not do philosophy around it, nor is my intent to ask anyone if they love me. My intent is to examine whether I love the people who ask / have asked me this question?

Here's to you, the silent questioner type of people

When you ask me with those sad, distant eyes; or the chirpy ones, excited about meeting me, but not sure if you should ask me the question; I KNOW exactly what you want to ask. Do I love you?

Your quest for my love may not necessarily be sexual in nature, or it may be. You desire may be to just connect with me, or to silently hope to find love in your life VIA me.

And yes, I love you. Even if not for sexual attraction, I love you for your desire itself. I love you for you breathe, for your desire, for you're still alive. I love you for the control you can exercise while not asking that question that so lurks on your lips.

I may not love you the way you want me to, but I love you.

To you, the bold and aggressive

When you approach me like a typical alpha male, hoping to melt me in your arms; when you approach me attracted to me for my brains but eventually wanting to connect with me much more than that; when you ask me that question, looking directly into my eyes; I know what you're asking.

Do I love you? Yes, in a different manner than you love me, in a different way than you want me to love you, but the fact is that I love you too. I love you for your aggression, I love you for the go-getter energy you have, I love you for you're vocal about what you want.

And again, I may not love you the way you want me to, but I love you.

To you, the selfless 
Yes mom, every time I say 'I love you' to you, I love you. And you too dad. And you, my siblings; you who shared the same womb and got nurtured by the same blood and soul as me. You're my soulmates, in the real sense.

I may be insensitive to you, may keep our phone calls short, get irate; I may fail you and annoy you to no end, you're the ones, who never ask me if I love you.

You just believe it and I DO love you. You're right, I love you. And you guys don't have to say 'thank you munna' or 'thank you jiji'. Just say 'we love you too' and I'm as happy as I can ever be:)

I DO love you.

To you the old souls
 All of you, the fellow travelers on the road called life. I love you too. Some of you ask me this question in your friendly ways, some of you through the declaration of your love before you wait for me to respond, some of you claim my love by rejecting mine.

To every spirit in this world who's empathized with the question - Do you love me?

Yes! I do love you.

You're a part of this universe that my soul shares with yours.

And I may not love you the way you seek, but I do do do love you!

I love you!

©Anupama Garg 2015 August

Monday 27 July 2015

The Men in My life - Dad

So this series of posts is dedicated to all the men in my life. I will mostly avoid taking names, but these are men of all sorts - men of family, kith & kin, friends, lovers, prey, predators, mentors and every other dimension that you can think of.

These are men who have moulded me, men who have shaped me, who have weakened me, who have strenthened me.

And once I am able to write about them, I will also write about their women - their mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, even aunts, and their reaction towards my presence in these men's lives and their presence in mine.

Let's begin with the first set of men - men in immediate family. What better man to start with except the man who brought me into this world. My father !

My father lives healthy at an age of almost 56 (I'm not a bad daughter, but I can't remember birthdays, even those of the immediate family). He's employed, functional, an academic in his own right.

A man of very few words at some times and almost verbiloquous at others, we're talking of a man of deeper and more profound thought than many other men I've seen. We're talking about a man who deeply believed in nurturing kids and human lives.

We're talking of a young father who spares 1/6th of his salary towards his children's reading and music training, a father who spends 95 % of his time outside his job with his children, a father who sets the priority right. Education followed by diet followed by clothing and shelter followed by luxury.

We're talking of a father who also has siblings without children or siblings who aren't married. A father who wants his children to not be brainwashed and yet be able to give pleasure to the extended family, children who are proud but not egoistic, children who are vocal but not loquacious.

We're talking of a father, who doesn't treat his children like property, who is able to talk about sex as openly as he is able to talk about work or music or studies. We're talking of a deeply spiritual person who is capable of questioning the dogma. We're talking of a person who has inculcated both leadership as well as follower qualities in his children, who has focused on moral science and ethics more than the focus on Business Administration or accounting or biology.

A father who says that people should study science because it gives you an approach to study and  arts because it gives you an approach to life, cannot be a common man no matter how common he is.

Of course he's a human being, of course there are planning issues (no one can plan their and their children's lives to the t), of course there are temperamental weaknesses, but we are talking of love, affection, responsibility and a VERY STRONG desire to give the children a good life.

And that should tell you why I am the kind of headstrong and yet family-oriented woman that I am !

Today when I am 31, I know this one Man has made ALL the difference !

Thank you papa!

©Anupama Garg 2015 July

Thursday 9 July 2015

Forever... goodbye

Lion, this is not for you,
you were meant to roar.
Rule the jungle, find your lioness,
and let your dreams together soar.

Dragon, nor is it for you,
you're meant to breathe hot fire.
You already have a dragon heart,
to fulfill every desire.

Bunny, it's not even about you,
you're meant to go around hopping.
To fuck and enjoy,to keep making love,
you're meant to be groped and groping.

This is not for you man either,
you're a rational being, a Dom.
If not for lesser mortals like me,
for higher purposes you were born.

But this is for you my love,
you whom I loved with my heart, blood and soul.
And this is for you my love,
you whose heart is made of gold.

And you too, my long lost love,
you who licked my tears off my cheeks.
And for you, who pecked at my soul,
like a mother hen peaks at her babies' beaks.

This is for you my last love,
you who licked my wounds and pain.
You who left me alone, coz that made sense,
you, for whose leaving, I don't complain.

And for you my broken heart,
who aches with desire,
for the eternal blood sucking vampire.

To you my shattered soul,
as your pieces are played with like balls in golf.
And you my numb body,
as you crave for your werewolf.

And to you who strip your true self bare,
yes you, who crave for that grizzly bear.

It is to you that I say goodbye,
to you whom I don't see eye to eye.

I implore....
... just say goodbye

My wounds ooze and cry..
... please say goodbye

May your dreams soar high.
... good. bye.

To the moon may you fly...
... move on..

Don't worry, let me cry,
you fly, goodbye

Don't worry, if I die,
I love you,

To you my love...
...forever, goodbye.

©Anupama Garg 2015 July

Saturday 4 July 2015

The Monkey God who gave golden discs to the old ma

So, this one's coming right from my Grandma's chest. Both figuratively and literally for I fealth her breath calm as she would narrate this to me, my head in her lap. The fact is that I've been raised in a Hindu household and in a Marwari family,and brought up with lots and lots of childhood stories out of my grandma's chest.And true , her heart was a chest of age old wisdom, faith, devotion and the simplistic love that generation held for their family toddlers !

So, this particular story used to be a Tuesday special. I've narrated it in Marwari first and the English translation has followed with a few lines about what this story does to me even now, when I'm almost 31, every time I listen to it, or narrate it to anyone who understands the language.

The dialect I've used is not standard I believe, but I've tried to be loyal to my grandma's pronunciation, as much as I could. And I've attempted to use a picture of the Ghati wale Hanumaan ji, thanks again to my grand mother's devout faith in that temple in that particular deity and temple.

एक बाला साब की डोकरी ही । रोज दो रोठ करती, एक आप खाती, एक बाला साब न खवाती । एक दिन डोकरी न बुखार आग्यो । रोठा तो पोया, पण मिन्दर कोन'गी ।
बाला साब आया -  "डोकरी, डोकरी, रोठ !"
" म्हाराज, चूल्हा लारै पड़्या है । "

बाला साब जो - गंवहां का रोठ ले ग्या, सोना रूपा का धर ग्या।
पाड़ोसण आँच लेबा आई । सोना रूपा का चक्कर देख्या तो राजा कन` जा`र बोली "म्हाराज थाने सोहवै कै डोकरी नै सोहवै ?"

राजो रागड्यो निर्भागी;बी की मत मारी'गी - "म्हाने सोहवै, डोकरी नै काँई सोहवै ।" बो डोकरी नै बुलाई। राजा रोठ लेवै, जो - गंवहां का हो जावै; डोकरी लेवै, सोना रूपा का हो जावै ।
"बोल डोकरी ! कुण का चोर ल्याई ? कुण नै मार ल्याई?"
"म्हाराज, कोई का चोर ल्याई, न  कोई नै मार ल्याई । मनै म्हारा बालाजी म्हाराज टूठ्या । "
"देख डोकरी! साँची बोल, नहीं तो सूळी पर चढ़ा द्यूंला ।"
डोकरी लाण कण जाणै न कामण  - "म्हाराज कण जाणूँ न कामण, मनै तो म्हारा बालाजी म्हाराज टूठ्या ।" राजा डोकरी नै कोटड़ी मैँ घला दी । डोकरी लाण बाला साब को नाम ले र सोगी ।

रात का राजा का सपना म बालाजी म्हाराज आया । " देख रै राजा ! डोकरी का दो रोठ पाछी दे दीजै नहीं तो थारी सोना की नगरी की लंका बाळ द्यूंला!"
राजा की बुद्धि ठाणे आई। सुबह होतां ही डोकरी न बुला'र रोठा पाछी दिया । "लै अयै डोकरी, म्हें तनै टूठ्या !"
डोकरी ठैरी बाला साब की भगत - " म्हाराज थे टूठता तो इतरा दिन टूठता , मनै म्हारा बालाजी म्हाराज टूठ्या । "
डोकरी रोठ ले`र घरै चले`गी ।

हे बालाजी महाराज ! डोकरी नै टूठ्या जिस्या सक्कळ नै टूठजो, राजा नै रूस्या जिस्या कोई नै मत रूठजो । घटती की पूरी करजो, पूरी का परमाण छोड़जो । दो नाम घटता, दो नाम बढ़ता ! 

English Translation
Once upon a time ( I know stereotypical, but afterall it's my grandma narrating this story ! :)
So, once upon a time, there was a devotee of Sri Hanumaan Ji. An old, venerable grandma, who used to cook two thick chapatis in her fireplace. She would go to the Hanumaan temple daily, without fail and offer one roti to Sri Hanumaan ji and eat the other as prasad.

One day, the grandma fell sick and couldn't visit the temple. Such was the power of her devotion that Hanumaan Ji came to her house and asked for his roti. When she told Him that the rotis were lying behind the small alcove where she used to cook them, He picked up the wheat - barley chapatis and replaced them with Gold and silver discs.

Now, those were days when people would keep at least some light in either their fireplaces, or their lamps or lanterns. It was rare in a household to not have some light which could be used to light a fire. 

But then if THAT would be true, how would women folk (specially the younger ones, with their mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, watching them constantly), get an opportunity to talk to the neighbouring woman? :)

But no one minded going to our grandma's place, for she was well respected, humble, pious and non-gossiper. And it so happened that a neighboring woman came to ask for some fire. Since the old ma was sick, the neighbour went to the alcove to take fire herself and saw the gleaming precious disks.

Now, this neighbor obviously got jealous and complained to the King. Apparently the king wasn't easy to satisfy when it came to his greed despite his huge wealth. But to his dismay, the moment  he touched the discs, they got converted to normal rotis.

Our grandma was summoned and questioned. Poor, simple and humble as she was, she denied all accusations of robbery, theft or stealing. She simply said - "Hanumaan ji had come and must have kept them near the alcove!"And as obvious as that is, she was not believed and sentenced to death after a day on imprisonment.

That night a miracle happened! The king dreamt that he was visited by a very angry Hanumaan Ji ! Hanumaan ji destroyed his beautiful city, just like he'd done to the opulent Lanka! The king was trembling, shivering and was hoping for Hanumaan Ji to calm down, as the great Monkey- God roared, thumped, jumped furiously calling out for the king.

It took king superhuman effort to present himself and offer his obeisances. It was then that Hanumaan Ji told the king that if out of greed the king kills the old ma, his city would burn just like Lanka did.

Such a scary dream it was that the king woke up with a jolt. Sweat broke on his face as he noticed with relief that it was only a dream. He immediately called his jailor and asked him to remove the lady from the prison and put her into the kingly abode.

In the morning the first thing he did was summon his court and return the precious discs to the ols ma saying - " I'm happy with you and I give you back these discs as a reward to your honesty. "

The old ma as simple she might be, was certainly not gullible and a fool. She folded her hands, covered her head, remembered Sri Hanumaan Ji and said - "Maharaj! If you were the one rewarding me these, you'd have done it all these years, it's my Hanumaan Ji who blessed me!"


And with this, MY grandmother would fold her hands, cover her head and remember her Ishta Dev, the so-called Monkey God, the Devotee God, Sri Hanumaan Ji, who had delievered her so many times. She'd pray to Him to bless the entireuniverse, the way He did to the old woman, and not get angry at anyone like He did to the king. My grandma would hope that she's chanted sufficient names and would forgiveness for any wrong counts.

And... I know it for a fact, that my parents would narrate these stories back to my children. And some day, if I become a grandma, I will do the same - fold my hands and narrate the story of the woman who got golden discs for her devoted rotis.

Disclaimer - This is a very traditional story. My copyright is only for my style, not the content of the story.

©Anupama Garg 2015 July

Thursday 2 July 2015

10 Aphrodisiacs for My Orgasms

1. Books

I love them!! They're orgasmic ! And this, only a book lover can understand. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genres, price ranges... and each of them tickles the grey cells that make me step into a different world.
They make me wonder about the world, about myself, about people, about life, about every thing the written word can communicate and about everything that it can't ! They have been the first love of my life and I wonder if I'll ever break up with them??

2. Music
All sorts, except western. Folk, Bollywood, Classical, Rabindra Sangeet, instrumental, vocal, devotional, sufi,everything and anything is a mind-shattering experience. And if I understand the lyrics it's even better!

It's interesting how instant a turn off can western music be for me, unless it's an exceptionally soft romantics from the likes of the Titanic. So THIS one is actually what my psychoemotional orgasmic states can vary because of.

3. Erotica
Does this come as a surprise. I'm sorry if I shocked you, but I'm not sorry to list this one here. However, please know that this is not the same as a porn flick. I am talking once again, my dear reader, of the written word - I am talking of the written erotica !

I am by no means talking of the sleazy Savita Bhabhi or the Mast Ram (never read them beyond a borrowed book or two), and nor am I talking of the graphic descriptions of what they publish on 100s of porn sites. I am talking of the classy sensual, control and D/s oriented well-written erotic literature.
Not the steaming creampie stories, but the mild love making combined with age difference, leadership, submission and a lot more.

4. Pain
Now this one's a little complicated. This is about what makes me who I am. I have ever since enjoyed masochism of an intellectual sort. No, am not talking of the pain that I felt when my brother was critical. That was sheer misery!

Do not please mistake me! As anal as I am about my word choice, I do NOT enjoy misery at all, but pain. And this emotional craving for pain makes me fall into bad relationships, because most 'good' men cannot relate with this need in a woman. More so, when it manifests further in the physicality it's easy for any man to get freaked out.

But what you really have to understand is that I acknowledge this desire and I would never EVER in my dreams thinking of imposing it on a non-consenting person in a non-consensual manner. There is a lot more that can be said on this, but I think I'll digress if I don't move on to the next one.

5 .Friendships and Extended Kinship

Intellectual masturbation is so much fun !! More so when it's with people who reciprocate with full vigour. Further, intellectual masturbation is fun only when  people do it without a malicious intent. It is fun only if it is for the genuine and loving reasons.

And that my friend can only happen when you connect with people to be friends, to be their kin, to be their extended family, without an ulterior motive of your own. It is possible when you really love them and relate with them.

And blessed I am with so many wonderful people in my life that this thrill of connecting with people who love, share and want to be loved back is something that gives me a solid high.

6. Food - eaten with others
I am a vegetarian and much as I deny it, the fact is that I am a foodie! But I can't eat alone. I can feed myself if I'm hungry, but I don't nourish over food I can't share. A few shared morsels are good enough for my spirits (my body needs what it does), but even a plateful can sit there in my fridge for almost a week, should I have to eat alone.

And when it comes to sharing, I share it with anyone / everyone I can strike up a conversation with. My tastebuds tickled well are certainly a path for a good sleep and in turn my happy moods.

7. A thorough head massage

Warm oil, a heavy hand, preferably a masculine hand, or that of someone like a hefty / well built / tall friend, or the hand of family / extended family; is exotic. It is extremely soothing, relaxing and yet so powerfully arousing in its own way.

Not all arousal / orgasm has to necessarily manifest into cumming and trust me, this one doesn't. But the bliss after it's over is no different. It may not be about bodily fluids, but the energy, exchange is no different.

8. Work

Another aphrodisiac, specially and more so because it can really take you to a different world. A world of reality which is as surreal as a subspace after pain. It is one of those worlds that cause you to crib, enjoy the thrill, the passion, the work, all and everything at the same time.

This however at times, takes a toll on my emotional and mental well being more so when the pressure is high. But since work for its own sake is what my driving factor has always been, I work happily.

What it means is that, whether I'm paid less or more, I will usually put in my 100 percent or rather 150 % (if I'm acknowledged properly), irrespective of what I'm paid for the job. If I'm dissatisfied about everything, I'll simply quit and not be there suffering myself or making others suffer.

But the fact is that at most times, when I'm at work, I'm in that trance like state where I do not want to think anything else and when I leave from work, I will not leave it behind, because pondering over work, gives me a very different sort of a thrill - a thrill that's almost orgasmic!

9. Creating art with Hands

Creating art with hands is divine! Thanks to the upbringing I received, doing one or the other art and craft hobby class every year, I can color, I can paint a little, I can paint cloth, I can embroid, make costume jewelry, knit, sew a little, quill, write, make stuffed toys, puppets, cards and what nots.

And believe me if you will, the thrill is divine! Intoxicating, exhilarating, liberating, meditative. It is as good as any other of the factors listed above.

10. Writing Poetry

Did I tell you that this one is not about an orgasm but about survival? Well, I did, didn't I? Please say I did !!! (Pouts* )

Well poetry is existential for me. It is my essence and my existence. And by this I mean poetry as a form of expression for me. I have to write poetry to survive. I can miss out on orgasms, but not on oxygen. And a writer's block actually suffocates me, kills me inside, makes me dead and hollow.

Poetry heals, enlivens, keeps me alive, makes me survive AND gives me mind shattering orgasms!! Erotic Poetry even leads me to physical ones! And of course you can't have an orgasm unless you breathe.

Enough about my aphrodisiacs, tell me what are yours? Pretty please !

©Anupama Garg 2015 July

Wednesday 1 April 2015

A bottle full of many a contradiction

I want you, craving for you,
but I will not have sex with you.
I've never felt that it's equal to making love with you.\

My heart makes love,
my body craves for sex,
my mind desires the entire gamut of socio-cultural action.

My soul however,
wonders with awe,
at this wiered concoction.

I want money,
but not at your cost,
nor at anyone else's.
I want my my money.

What would you think if I said,
I want only the hard earned baubles,
would you really get it from there honey??

Entrapped and yet free
seeking absolute
I'm a genie,
in anticipation.

I'm a genie,
trapped in a bottle,
a bottle full of many a contradiction.

©Anupama Garg 2015 March

Sunday 29 March 2015

Kitani Girahein Kholi Hain Maine - Gulzar

Kitni girhein kholi hain maine, kitni girhein ab baaki hai

paanv mein payal, baahon mein kangan, gale mein hansli, kamar band, challe aur bichue

naak kaan chidwaayein gaye hain, aur zevar zevar kehte kehte

reet rivaaj ke rassiyon se main jakdi gayi ,uff kitni tarah main pakdi gayi

ab chilne lage hain haath paanv, aur kitni kharaashein ubhri hain,

kitni girhein kholi hain maine, kitni rassiyaan utari hain

Ang ang mera roop rang, mere naksh nain, mere bol bain

meri aawaaz mein koyal ki tareef hui, mere zulf saanp, meri zulf raat,

zulfon mein ghata mere lab gulaab, meri aankhein sharaab

ghazal aur nazmein kehte kehte husn aur ishq ke afasano mein main jakdi gayi

uff kitni tarah main pakdi gayi

main poochun zara, aankhon mein sharaab dikhe sabko, akaash nahi dekha koi

saawan bhado to dikhe magar, kya dard nahi dekha koi

phan ki jheeni si chaadar mein, buth cheele gaye uriyaani ke

taaga taaga karke poshaaq utaari gayi

mere jism pe phan ki mashq hui, aur art kala kehte kehte sange marmar mein jakdi gayi

batlaaye koi batlaaye koi, kitni girhein kholi hain maine, kitni girhein ab baaki hain

 - Gulzar