Monday, July 28, 2014

It's a Girl!

Yesterday, I was at once shocked and delighted to hear my driver say with a long sad face "uskay beta hua hai ji". (Alas, she has given birth to a son). 

Then I realized he was talking about their cow! At least in some species, daughters are awaited eagerly...

Sunday, July 27, 2014


I have been hearing this song for over a year now, but only recently understood it because of my better understanding of Punjabi. And once I understood it, I have started loving it. Not because of its musicality, which is not particularly great, but because of the lyrics. And not because the lyrics are very poetic or deep, but because of the intent behind them. 

This is a song of a woman of confidence- confidence in herself and in her love. Here is a woman who is not afraid to declare her love for fear of rejection. Here is a woman who is not waiting for her lover to come to her, but is determined to get to him. What a wonderful sentiment. 

First the song, then my translation of it in English. 

Boohey Barian ena li kandan tap ke
aawangi hawa ban ke
boohey barian hai, boohey barian...

Chand charda te saarey loki paye takadey
doongey paniyan ch pher deewey paye baldey
kandey lag jaangi, kacha ghara ban ke
main awangi hawa ban ke
boohey barian hai, boohey barian

dil diyan rahan utey peher nahin lagdey
mukadaran te likhey hoye mit nahin sakadey
mainun rab ne banaya teri layee oye
mathey tera naam likh ke
boohey barian hai, boohey barian

bazi ishke di jit launngi sohnia 

main rab ton dua mang ke
boohe barian hai boohey barian...

I will come to you like breeze
Unhindered by closed doors or windows
Flowing over walls and hills. 

See how people come out to watch the full moon
See how they float their clay lamps in the river
I too will cross the river to come to you, floating freely like an earthen pot
I will flow to you like breeze...
Unhindered, unhindered

There are no barriers my love can't surpass
No one can erase what's been written as my destiny
You see, God has made me just for you
It's as if your name is written on my forehead...
Unhindered, unhindered.

I will win this battle of love my darling
I will demand you from God
Unhindered, unhindered. 

Hear the lounge version here:

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Mommy singing her favorite song "Mere sajan hain uss paar, mein iss paar, o mere manjhi abki baar..." At this point, Aloka interjects to say "modi sarkar"!!!

It was so funny that I had to ignore the tragedy!


Mom, while teaching aloka sarvnam (pronouns in hindi), was making up sentences and asking Aloka to identify the sarvnam. I overheard this from the kitchen where I was making evening tea. 

Mom- Veh jaa rahay hain. 
Aloka - Veh

Mom- Tum yahan ao.
Aloka- Kahan aaon nani?
(Lots of laughter once Aloka understood it was just a sentence)

Mom- Mein bas kar rahi hun? 
Aloka- Why? What have I done?
(Some more laughter at Aloka's inability to separate content from intent)

Mom- Convert this to sarvnam. Aloka pagal hai.
Aloka- Mom, mom, nani is calling me pagal. I will not learn from her.

And thus ended the hindi lesson!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Spat

She waits
He is late.
She is angry
He is defensive.
She needs an apology
He is unrepentant.
She has her reasons
He has his reasons.
She shuts him out
He raises his voice.
She is hurting
He is smarting.
He walks off
She sees red.
She calls him, twice
He cuts the line, twice
She messages
He does not respond.
She feels powerless
He feels oppressed.
She threatens
He smokes.
She is hopping mad
He, escapist, is calm.
She complains to his friend
He feels smothered.
She feels unloved
He feels unloved.
Her eyes redden
His heart is breaking.
He calls
She declines the call.
He messages
She doesn't respond.
She waits
He waits.

They will make up, eventually, we all know how it goes
But the heart can only take so much, before it refuses to bow. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This is a House of Women

This is a house of women
Not one, not two, but of three generations.

In this house, we don't live in fear
Of anyone's anger or lack of cheer.

Here, no one uses their voice to subjugate
And hands have long forgotten that they can be raised.

Here, we don't go to bed angry or dismayed
Kindness trumps revenge any day.

Here, everyone learns, the young, the old, the in-between 
Becoming better humans, more loved and more loving.

Many games are played here, except those of power 
No one's a messiah, everyone's a savior.

Here, friends are welcomed with open arms
Doors are open, food is good and warm.

Come, step into this house of happy women
Not one, not two, but of three generations!