Chaha

Through this short story, I’ve tried to depict the life of a typical Indian working Mother and how she gets on with her busy day. This time, I’ve used a different style of writing- like the one I noticed while reading books written by authors whose writings portray Indian culture. You will find code mixing, that is the use of words in a different language to enhance the content. Read on and tell me what you feel about it!

She was woken up by the much too familiar call of the alarm clock. 6 am. Long before I woke up. The start of another day. How she craved to roll over for another snooze! Reminding herself that there were still four days left for the weekend, she got up. She smiled as she recalled how she had dozed off the moment her head had hit the pillow the previous night. Fresh and having had a good night’s sleep, she was charged up again.

Getting up, she did her usual morning chores, collected the milk and the newspaper and turned on the gas to make some chaha. As the milk boiled over the flame, she strolled out into the gallery to examine her garden, something that she enjoyed thoroughly. That was when I trudged sleepily into the gallery. As I looked at her, I saw that her face reflected the tenderness of her heart as she gently caressed the blooming roses. 

Her cup of chaha marked the start of her day. She then bustled about in the kitchen chopping veggies and setting up things. She was busy making breakfast when she realized that it was 8 am already. A soft groan escaped her as she dashed about the house, looking for her headphones and mobile. Then she logged in to Zoom and joined the meeting she was supposed to attend. 

No doubt she was an excellent multi tasker and as the veggies boiled in the kadhai, I heard her telling her team about some new project they had received recently. 

Breakfast was a quick thing for her with not much time at hand. By 10 am, she had completed her chores, made a delicious meal, had finished her bath and was dressed up in an ethnic cotton kurti, ready for work. 

‘The traffic seems as bad as yesterday,’ she thought as she steered her car on the road. But as she turned on the radio, all her thoughts vanished as she began enjoying the music on her favourite Radio Mirchi station. 

At work, it was a different story. Her day was lined up with meetings, client presentations, sync ups, and reports. She literally bolted down her lunch and didn’t even stop to think about how her new masala had enhanced the flavour of the bhaji she had cooked. As the day drew to a close, she packed her laptop and headed home. Trying to be patient with the evening traffic, she thought longingly of the cup of chaha that awaited her.

Once she was home, she microwaved her chaha to make it piping hot, just the way she liked. And grabbing her favourite Parle G biscuit, settled herself in an armchair in the gallery. When I returned home, I saw her sitting in the gallery.

She was so content and was blissfully enjoying her chaha. Birds twittered and the sun painted the sky with its crimson hues. This was the rare time she spent with herself and all of us made sure that she wasnt disturbed then. As I watched her, I wondered when I would be able to do so many things without getting tired. I wondered how come she never complained and worked really hard every single day. I recalled how she enjoyed doing little tasks and found immense happiness in small mundane things . ‘Maybe that is her fuel,’ I thought. 

They say that queens live in palaces and superwomen are found only in movies. They also say that role models are always big, famous people. Truth be told, I can’t disagree more.  

~Mugdha Deshpande 

Untangled

Have you ever experienced this feeling when there are a million thoughts in your head and you can’t figure out which ones to think about first? And then just when you are confused, some inspiration hits you suddenly and your thoughts start to fall in place one after the other? I have tried to put this feeling into words in this metaphorical poem in which I have compared ‘thoughts’ to a disarranged bundle of threads, first, and then later to a rich brocade fabric that consists of the earlier jumbled threads. So read on and do let me know what you feel about it!

In this little walnut of mine,

There’s a tangle of threads varied and fine,

Wrapped up together in one big bundle,

Each thread trying to make its way out of the jumble.

Vibrant as they might be, of every different shade,

Of blue and gold, silver and red,

Each one unique, no two are the same,

And yet they fit in the same beautiful frame.

Together the weave a fabric so rich,

All tangled threads fitting in without a hitch,

Forgotten long back are the confused heaps of thread,

As they fall magically in place into a brocade.

In this little walnut in our head,

These tangled threads are thoughts a hundred,

They stumble, they fall but get up nevertheless,

And in the end, they always fall in place.

The mind no longer remains a jumble of thoughts,

The coveted crystal clear clarity is finally sought.

~Mugdha Deshpande

Literary Worms and TSSN presents a Spotify podcast

Heyy guys! This month it’s something new and exciting that Literary Worms along with TSSN has come up with. Happy to bring to you a Spotify podcast on TSSN’s Spotify channel featuring a write up written by me. The Team translated it into Marathi and Hindi languages for the benefit of more people and then they recorded it!

The featurette is based on the topic – Paving pathways and shaping futures. In this, I have put forth my opinion about how the core subjects we learn in school, be it English, Maths, Science or History are catalytic for the all-round growth of a person and how they help us to become an all-encompassing entity. Even if these subjects do not find direct use in our work professions, they surely are the building blocks not only for one’s career but also for one’s personality development. So what are you waiting for! Tune in to Spotify and listen to the podcast! Do let me know your thoughts about it as always 🙂

Link for the podcast- Learn to Learn by TSSN https://open.spotify.com/episode/5P33lFMGkev26U5gZoSPUy?si=nvKyUdwnSd2keUp12gfTfA

Now let me tell you more about what TSSN is and what work do they do.

TSSN or The Student’s Speaker Nexus is a platform that- as they rightly call it connects- aspiring students with inspiring speakers. Founded by Akshita Badkundri, a school mate of mine, TSSN is a unique platform that is benefitting many students. Choosing career paths can be difficult for students due to the expansion of career opportunities today. TSSN helps students to explore their own potential by arranging a number of lecture series by distinguished speakers and eminent personalities. So far they have arranged lectures conducted by Dr. Anand Deshpande, Founder of Persistent Systems, Vahbiz Bharucha, Captain of India’s Women Rugby Team, Dr. Salil Kulkarni, and many more people who are successful in their fields. In addition to this, they have also conducted lectures by students who have excelled in exams like JEE, NEET, SAT, KVPY and even design entrance exams. In addition to this, they have a number of mini series like ‘How to memorize better’, ‘Tell me why’ which are basically tips and tricks for effective studies. This has been really beneficial to students like us and even I have been an attendee at these sessions. The thing that I really like about TSSN is their way to connect to students and help them in every possible way they can. Kudos to the entire team at TSSN, you guys are doing a wonderful job out there!

A big thank you to Tanvee Ambekar, Podcast team head at TSSN, and her team Sanika, Abhinya and Anushree for their hard work and efforts that helped turning my write-up into a podcast. Also, a huge thank you to Akshita who has been reading articles at Literary Worms and who thought of featuring my write up on their channel. Without her, I wouldn’t have got this opportunity to put forth my thoughts on such an amazing platform!

I’m including links to TSSN’s website and Instagram channel. Do check it out and you can join the WhatsApp group for updates about their upcoming events. You’ll find the link to the group on their website.

Website http://www.tssn.in

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tssn.in/?hl=en

Other links for their social media handles https://linktr.ee/TSSN

The Ethereal

Remember those extracts from our English textbooks and readers where authors wrote about culture or about some tourist destination of India? Well, I have always been fascinated by the writing style of these authors. And so, here is a new thread of writing- travel destinations in India! The first spot on our list is Aru valley.

Aru valley is a beautiful place situated close to Pahalgam in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. So let’s go!

The first glimpse at the spectacle before my eyes literally left me open-mouthed for a few moments. Such was the sight in front of me, that I couldn’t find the right words to describe it. There was green foliage all around. Grass occupied every surface of the ground. Shades of green blended with the surrounding so majestically, that the effect produced was something to feast one’s eyes on. There were brown and white ponies, some grazing, some dozing in the sun. Tall conifer trees with sloping crowns stood as if they were neatly arranged into rows. And the mighty Himalayas, their tops glistening opaline white with the snow looked at me from. Every peak reflected the pure sun rays that caressed it. Every peak was carved in such a way that when they stood together, they blended in perfectly. There was a light breeze in the air and the gentle wind whipping on my face was just perfect.

The place looked as if something ethereal had descended down on the earth. As we walked further we reached a lush green bower. There were wildflowers peeping through the grass. A river gushed down in torrents, splashing the rocks beneath that had been shaped beautifully by the river. As I sat down, I felt the dewy grass and absent mindedly picked up a flower. For a moment I envied its life, for it lived so beautifully, in this paradise. All around there was such beauty that I wished that I had two more pairs of eyes to capture everything in them. After spending around an hour, we had to leave. After one last glance at this place, we were ready to go. As we trudged back, my mind was full of fresh mountain air. They say that the call of the mountains is such that they keep beckoning you again and again. And I truly felt this that day..

~Mugdha Deshpande

Life

Life is a melody of notes high and low,
Life is a symphony of happiness and sorrow.
Life is a book; each day is a new page,
Life is a story, that transitions with age.
Life is small, like a wild violet flower,
Life is vast, like a lush green bower.
Life is like a drive along the countryside,
Where every person has his own different ride.
At times, life is a dull rainy morn,
At times life makes you feel forlorn.
Sometimes life is bathed in dazzling sunshine,
Sometimes, life just needs some more time.
Life is the blood that gushes through veins,
Life is a horse having its own reins.
Life is a tree; leaves are shed and grown,
Life, it gives everyone a different crown.
Life is a river, where deep thoughts run,
Life is something that loves to have fun.
Life is an opportunity that has knocked your door,
Do make the most of it, right from your inner core.

~Mugdha Deshpande

Words.

Sometimes, you stumble upon a bunch of words and they somehow hit you differently. You feel an inexpressible rush of emotion because those words mean something different to you just because you can perfectly relate them to your life.  It’s like you find solace in those words, it’s like some long lost friend has finally returned. To others, those may be simple but to you, they have a meaning that no one, not even you can explain.
Isn’t this so beautiful? It’s like some thread that binds together minds of people through words. As it is said, words are definitely the most inexhaustible source of magic.
I often ponder upon the fact that how can a few short sentences have the power to influence your thinking process.  Its just that you feel so nice when you realise that people have similar thoughts, similar emotions. Maybe that is what connects the dots among people and maybe that is what makes the world a well knit fabric intertwined with different people.
When someone writes something, it does not belong to the author alone. It belongs more than anyone else to the readers who experience that it has somehow struck a chord with them. An invisible connection is created between millions of minds as the reader embarks upon the journey to venture through the inner heart of hearts of the author. I mean, daffodils were never given much attention before a poet like Wordsworth looked at them.
This speaks of the power which words possess. And at the end of the day, this is what you call wording the feeling.
~Mugdha Deshpande

Through the tunnel


A metaphorical poem telling you to believe in the fact that what you are facing at this moment is not going to last for a long time. Always think of the day when you will finally find the end to the tunnel that you have been travelling through. Fill yourself with the light that will shine when the tunnel opens up..
Let it run through your veins, let it fill your heart, let it be mirrored in your eyes.
Then, take a deep breath and keep on moving in pursuit of the light you have just imagined. You’ll find it waiting right there for you.
Read on!

Through the tunnel


You are a happy person enjoying life,
You don’t worry about grief or strife,
You go on on life’s happy road,
Admiring flowers as they come aboard.

Riding happily in nature’s lap,
You follow your own wild map,
Assured as you are that nothing can stop you,
You admire each place and even stop at a few.

And then suddenly out of the blue,
There comes a big tunnel that startles you.
You stop in your tracks wondering what to do,
Because you know that this path is traversed by few.

Most of them turn back at the sight,
But you, you think that you have got some might.
In a dual mind you finally decide,
To step into the tunnel, but at a steady stride.

With the first step inside,
Darkness envelops you from all sides
You get scared but you don’t want to admit,
You want the tunnel to end but you keep going through it.

With no lamp, no light at your hand,
It’s just the black rocks, soil and sand.
You somehow figure your way,
Assuring yourself that you’ll see the light of the day.

Once or twice, a thought strikes you,
What if this tunnel had no opening you knew?
But then, you remember words that say,
However dark it is, there’s always a way.

There might not be any light for you,
But a light has been ignited inside you.
With this, in mind you keep on going,
Now there’s no turning back, no stopping.

Then, suddenly, you see a light,
It’s dazzling, beautiful, blinding and bright.
You break into a run and dash towards it,
You bathe in it and savour it to the hilt.

You’re so glad that the tunnel is over,
Feeling dazed, you sit under a nearby bower.
There are pretty flowers all around,
There are tiny butterflies circling round.

You remember those times when you thought you couldn’t,
All those times when your mind just wouldn’t
Then you breathe completely, like a free person,
And you laugh delightedly, along with the sun.

~Mugdha Deshpande

The starry night

That day, everything just had to go against my mind. At the end of the day, I was a frustrated person snapping at everyone for no logical reason. I decided to walk into the gallery to get some fresh air. The city lights sprawled in front, with the skies spread above. There was coolness in the air. Somewhere I could faintly smell the aroma of a nocturnal flower. As I began to take a closer look at all this, my mind somehow managed to calm down a bit. But the real impact was when I turned my eyes skywards. It was as if a whole new world had opened up there, a world of which most people including me, were oblivious of.
The stars twinkled beautifully, it was as if sequins were spread across a vast expanse.
This spectacle enthralled me and I was automatically compelled to think beyond. As I stood there, my thoughts travelled from the fact that in this ever expanding cosmos, we humans were so busy with our own self that we didn’t have time to discover more. ‘Look at me,’ I thought. ‘Making unnecessary mountains out of mole hills.’ Small problems become colossal ones only when our mind decides that they should. Here I was stuck up with my own problems, revolving in the same circle, round and round, without even making an attempt to go any further. I began to think of all the people who wore a smile, inspire of facing real challenges. With my eyes on the stars, I realised that they somehow had said something that couldn’t be fitted into words. I smiled. Perhaps, sometimes you need something beyond words to make you realise your mistake. As the cool air swept over me, I remembered reading a quote somewhere, ‘If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.’ At that point in time, I couldn’t agree more. As I stepped indoors, I realised that I hadn’t got direct solutions to all my questions, but I certainly felt much better. My bad day had long been forgotten. As I closed my eyes that night, the dazzling sight of the sky seemed to have been etched in my mind and without a further thought, I rolled over and fell asleep.
~ Mugdha Deshpande

Happiness

A word due to which
the world practically thrives,
That which holds immense power to eliminate sorrows and strife.
They know it by the name of happiness..
As something that can overcome all the distress.
It lies in front of you,
And yet, its hard to find..
To seek what you call bliss,
You need nothing but a positive mind.
Many search for it, but
only a few actually create it..

Happiness..
It resides in simple things..
In the aroma of the soil after the rains,
In the cream on your coffee,
In the melody of your favourite song,
In the flower that blooms in your garden,
In the pages of a new book,
In the flight of a bird,
In the sky that paints itself at sunset,
In the fluffy white clouds and in the tiny wild flowers,
In the splash of paints, in the moody doodles.
Even inside your messy wardrobe,
Inside the pictures in your room,
Happiness accommodates itself,
And drives away the gloom.

Happiness..
It finds every nook and cranny of this world to make it its abode..
Happiness builds doors for us,
Doors that are meant to opened for discovering the beauty of life..
And what do we do?
We slam every door, we close it on its face,
And then keep on complaining that we are trapped inside..
Just think,
If you throw open the doors to happiness,
If you cross the threshold and enter into the world on the other side,
You can find what you were searching for
You can find happiness – right there- waiting for you to savour it to the hilt..

~ Mugdha Deshpande

Choice.

Choice. That one word which creates diversity in the world. Each person in this world has a different choice. No two persons have the exactly same choices. Isn’t this a beautiful thing? But quite often this beautiful thing is the cause of conflict among people. It is human nature to think that the person in front of us must have the same opinion as we do. And if that person doesn’t have the similar view, one begins to question the reason for their choice. In this world, each one has a choice for a reason. Behind every seemingly absurd choice, there is always a determined reason in the mind of a person.
Everywhere around you there are so many colours, so many different shades, millions of hues. No one ever questions the way they are, instead each one admires them as a mesmerizing riot of colours. No one compels them to be the same. Instead every enchanted onlooker is appreciative of their contrasting shades. Why doesn’t this thought apply to people? Why does one have to question the choices of people?
Everyone cannot have the same opinion. Everyone cannot find the same thing appealing. Everyone cannot be the same. The world just needs to be full of distinct people. The world just needs to be vivid and vibrant to be beautiful.
~Mugdha Deshpande