Monday, 10 December 2018

Leave the Light On

I'll leave the light on for you
Just in case
When you come back home
You won't need to stumble on things that might have changed
Objects that may have moved
Or trip over strings that may have been broken.

I can only imagine the horrors that you might be facing out there, out in the battle field.
In these wars between nations, 
Between religions
Between corporates 
Between ideologies
Between normal people.

I'm afraid this might change you irrevocably.

Once you have navigated the Webs of Deceit,
Halls of Power
Misplaced ideologies
Empty words
Mounds of lies
Corporate bullshit.

Once you have seen traitorous politicians,
Deceitful friends
Shifty workmates
Unfaithful lovers
Adulterous marriages
False promises of 'now and forever' relationships.

After seeing all this, 
You can never be the same again, you will never be the same again.

I'm afraid this will make you more cynical, more mistrusting, more jaded with this world.

I'm afraid you are never coming back.

But when all this is over,
Even if it's never over,
I'm here for you.
I'll leave the light on for you,
Just in case.

Image Courtesy: LampsUsa

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The Lake

Have you ever been mesmerized by someone 
So utterly bewitching and baffling at the same time
It's maddening but enthralling
Like a drug, an elixir.
So bad for you, but oh so good.

Her moods can vary from passionate fire to icy disdain.
Depends on what she has read or seen, 
Could be due to perceived or real injustices.
Or her moods could get set off due to the ignorant remarks from people around her.
Or unkindness.
Or the fact it rained when the forecast said sunshine.
Her moods are like the colors of the rainbow,
It can go from yellow to grey to black in seconds.
And may God give you strength if you can't keep up.

The last thing she will ever be is tepid, or worst, boring.
She is never going to be a wallpaper, blending into the background.
If she chooses not to be the brightly lit centerpiece, she sure as hell will be the billowing curtain in the wind, in the corner.
In the sidelines for the moment, but making a vortex of her own. 

With her high standards and idealisms, it isn't easy  being her,
And she knows it.
Is completely aware of her flaws, maybe even too self-aware.
It isn't easy for anyone to be around her either,
But still looks like people choose to stick by her.


Because she can warm your heart with an absurd comment.
Or set you roaring in splits of laughter with her goofiness.
Hack away at your barrier and analyze the real you, hidden to most others.
But her frown can set you mildly panicking inside,
And her icy demeanor and the burning coals in her irides can freeze your heart until it is numb
And you can feel no more.
But the worst for you is when she looks sad and defeated, disappointed.
That you cannot bear, cannot handle.

You still goad her at every opportunity and try to get a reaction.
Any reaction is worthwhile to you,
Except for ice.
Fire is fine, you can handle fire, heat is good
You can handle being burnt alive at the stake
Consumed in your desire to piece together this enigma, your muse.

Maybe she will mellow one day and you will get to see only her smooth unruffled side.
No meandering of the stream, no resounding crashes of the waves, no waterfalls.
Just the glassy stillness of the lake.

But the question is 
Do you really want to see only the lake?

Pic courtesy: Demo.Wpzoom

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

The Lioness Den- Entrepreneurship Programme for long- suffering wives

Have you seen the Dragon's Den series? It is/was a fairly popular TV show in UK and Ireland, where entrepreneurs with a product idea come into the Den(Studio) and pitch their idea for funding to a group of cash rich investors (Dragons). These series are in the news recently as 3 of the Dragons are contenders in the upcoming Irish Presidential elections. Interestingly enough, one of the Dragons is my ex boss. If my former boss wins this election, then Irish Civil Services, here I come😂

Anyway, reading this news took me back to the days when I used to watch this show on telly and started thinking more on the lines of this, there needs to be a similar series focused on inventions that will make the domestic lives of long-suffering wives/ girlfriends/ moms easier.


Here are a few ideas I came up with:

1) The Laundry Sniffer :-

Tired of sniffing clothes lounging on 'The Chair' or on hooks that your other half's been piling for wearing 'another day'? Are your Olfactory Neurons dying a slow death, one by one?

Enter, the Laundry Sniffer! This tiny device can be held against the suspicious clothes and it will turn colour and emanate beeps to warn you.
A) Orange- Neutral- Can survive another week on the door hook or chair until it wrecks your head and you throw it in the laundry.
B) Green- Proceed with Caution. Needs a wash for sure but not danger-level radiation yet.
C) Red- STOP. Use gloves or tongs to pick up this piece and hurl them into the wash.

Your Olfactory Neurons will do a thank-you jig inside.

2) The Dishwasher Re- arranger:-
Does your other half feel guilty sometimes (read once in a blue-moon) and offer to help you load the dishwasher? And against your better judgement and given the fact that your bones are giving up on you, you take up on the offer. You come back and check the dishwasher after it's been loaded and all hell breaks loose! You realise that the spoons and forks are all upside down (Does anyone else have a problem with this or is it just me), the other bits of cutlery are not in their 'logical' assigned places?

Instead of an argument , Enter the Dishwasher Re- arranger. This little beauty can fix itself to any dishwasher and will re-arrange all the dishes to your liking and preference (Your preferences need to be programmed in only once)

Happy dishes, Happy you (And Happy Spouse)

3) The Sockbot:-
Now this one takes the prize for the best product idea, even though I do say it myself.
Are you tired of buying endless socks for your kids because one of the pair seems to mysteriously disappear every time it comes out of the wash? It is not the end of the world if both from the same pair and pattern go missing, but I ALWAYS seem to lose just one from the pair.

What are your options during the rush-time morning's when you can't find a matching pair for your child?
A) Throw a fit
B) Send your child in mismatched socks (And do the walk of shame while other mothers look on and judge you)
C) Call in sick at work and spend the day alternating between sobbing into your pillow and watching Netflix.
Use the Sockbot! Feed the bot with the image and pattern of your sock, and this tiny device will crawl into all the corners and crevices in your house and locate the missing sock.

Till death do us part, missing Sockie!

4) Snore Blocker Pillow with white noise:-
As a mom, do you get by with less than 4 hours of 'good' sleep every night. Out of those 4 hours, is the snoring by your other half, making you want to commit murder and bury the body? (Dial M for Murder)

Presenting to you suffering ladies of this realm- The Snore Blocker Pillow with white noise! As soon as the snoring levels beside you raise to an intolerable decibel, your pillow will start emanating white noise to counter the noise from the snores. No more eviction to the couches, spare rooms or pull out sofas , no more murder planning.

Ta da, lead a happy married life! :)

What do you guys think? Time to start looking at manufacturers in China and get the prototypes ready?

Any other product ideas? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

The IKEA Conundrum

Few places match what IKEA offers. Not only in terms of goods but also in terms of analyzing human psychology and emotions and relationships. It is a giant experimental lab and if you analyze the footage from their CCTV’s, it will not only give you consumer and behavioral insights, but also insights into relationships as well. In fact, if I ever end up doing my PHD, this is the place that I will gather most of my data from for my thesis.

Folks who have visited IKEA before can perhaps relate to this piece. Close your eyes and picture yourself and the family at the start of the IKEA trip. You find a parking spot, yippee! Then you and your partner walk hand in hand to the entrance of the store. You are joined by other couples, also hand in hand, looking at each other with stars in their eyes.  This is the foundation of building our future together, baby/ Our place is finally getting a complete makeover, baby! How exciting!

All the star-struck, completely besotted in love couples slowly make their way up the elevator (all the time in the world now) and  pick up the order forms and pencils and paper tape measure (I always pick up two of those and of course don't use it even once). You marvel at the displays of bedrooms, living rooms, all gloriously lit up by cleverly concealed lighting that makes the displays so attractive. You ooh and aah and run your hands lightly through all the stuff (still lots of time left, no rush at all).  At this point in time, you haven’t still gone to the actual section from your original shopping list.

You land now in the IKEA restaurant section, yes that of the famed Swedish meatballs. Looking at the snaking queues, one would assume the country has come out of a meatball famine. After queuing up for what seems like hours, finally the order comes through and the couples feed each other bits of meatballs, looking indulgently into each other’s eyes, marveling at how spot on the price Vs taste is, for this generous portion.

Now folks, this is the point where the imbalance in the relationship starts. The man now is now completely replete with the meatballs and all he can now think is of going back home and plonking on the couch and watching some telly. The woman however, has realized that nothing in her original list is even short-listed, never mind finalized and she starts panicking slightly. Urging her man to help her pick out her list, but by now the man is too far gone, he has reached the point of no return. If you look closely at most couples in the sections after the restaurant, you will notice that  most of them are no longer holding hands, nor love-struck and one person is lagging behind the other, with some good bit of muttering under the breath.

Finally the couple reach the billing section and this is where the man completely loses it. What was intended as a trip with a budget of X, has now finally become a trip of 4X, burning a hole in his wallet. Perhaps IKEA realises that the chance of  return visits to the store is minimal in this state of mind, so in a last feeble attempt to lighten the mood and make the man happy, they sell HOTDOGS at the exit, all for an amazing 75 cents each, the cheapest Hotdogs in the planet. The man’s face lights up looking at this oasis in the desert. Once he has had about 4 Hotdogs, all is well and right with the world, the couple is back again holding hands and walk out into the glorious sunset with a burp.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Feel the Beat

You Feel the Beat
You are the Head Banger
You are the Foot Tapper
You are the one who has attempted to practice mindfulness and meditation
But quickly realized that even the simple act of concentrating on your own breathing for a few minutes,
Is plain torture.
As you are wildly impatient,
And your mind can't be stilled,
Not even for a few minutes.
Your neurons are always at work overtime,
Trying to process everything that is going on in your mind,
Juggling the different acts and spinning plates.

Suddenly one day you realize that instead of concentrated mindfulness,
You realize being mindful of the music in your ears,
In your soul,
Is more than enough.
The rhythm that sets your head banging,
And foot tapping,
In a packed train of commuters or walking on a crowded street.

While waiting for the traffic lights to change,  you look across the street and see another head banger.
Your eyes meet for a second,
And you share a knowing smile.
Two kindred spirits,
Connected for a split second by this act.
The lights change,
And you disappear back into your individual headspace,
Into your individual rhythms, dancing on your own.
The brief respite from the demands of the day,
Your own time, your personal time,
Before you need to pick up all the spinning plates and juggling acts again.

Image Courtesy:

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Moral Compass

I recently finished the book 'Mightier than the Sword' by Jeffrey Archer. This book is the 5th in series of the Clifton Chronicles. Jeffrey Archer is one of my ALL time favorite authors, a master storyteller who consistently spins magic. This book once again, was a masterpiece and true to Archer's style of writing- complex, fast-paced, utterly thrilling- from a foiled IRA bombing to underhand boardroom takeovers to Russian prisons to betrayals to complicated love, both unattainable and unrequited.

Two dialogues in this book stood out for me and left an indelible impression on me. One was when Sebastian Clifton asks Samantha's father for his blessing to marry his daughter.
'Does that mean I've your blessing'? asks Sebastian Clifton.
'It most certainly does. But never forget that Samantha sets standards, like your mother, that the rest of us mortals find hard to live with, unless, like your father, they're guided by the same moral compass' said Mr. Sullivan.
Another time, when Sebastian goes undercover into investigating a shady deal by one of the directors, he meets an old man who has a wealth of insider information on this deal but was reluctant to divulge this. When he learnt that Sebastian was Harry Clifton's son, he said 'That's good enough for me'.
Later on, when Sebastian recounts what happened to his mentor, Cedric, Cedric asks Sebastian 'What's the one thing you learnt today'?
Sebastian replies 'The importance of Reputation'.
It reminded me of my father's words. This is something he tells us regularly even to this day. Reputation can get things done for you, doors opened for you by people who don't HAVE to do it for you, but WANT to do it for you.
A good reputation takes many encounters and sometimes years to build, but it takes mere seconds to be destroyed. Reputation stands on the 3 pillars of trust, credibility and likeability. Once someone has lost their trust in you, it's very difficult, almost impossible to get it back. Of course, all of us as human beings, make mistakes from time to time but the tolerance for mistakes can depend hugely on the 'Moral Compass' of the other person.
As I'm flying through life and becoming older (and wiser hopefully), I'm realizing a life truth. I think that when two people are in a 'relationship'- this could be anything from personal, business, work, familial- the moral compass and core values of both the parties has to be aligned precisely to the same latitude.
If one person's compass differs from the other, then eventually it's going to put a strain on the relationship and it's not sustainable to keep it up and the two people start drifting away.
If you look deeper into most of your happiest and most fulfilling relationships, it's those with people that are exactly aligned to your core values.
So surround yourself with people that are aligned exactly to your own moral compass and invest hugely in those relationships. It is also wise to invest hugely into relationships with people whose moral compass is higher than yours, as this will strive to make you a better person.
But do not waste any more time investing on relationships that have a lower moral compass than yours, as ultimately you will be let down.
If you find yourself someone, anyone, from the entire gamut of relationships, who is making you a better person, where you actually care what they think of you, then hold them tight and do not let them go and do not give up on that relationship. You will be a better and happier person just being around them!

Image Courtesy: Times Free Press

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Glimpses into my Heart

I stand 
In the darkness
The street lamp throwing a spotlight on me.

I stand 
In the sunshine
The light filtering through the trees
Throwing a halo on me.

Through uncounted shared laughs
Knowing smiles, frank conversations, heated debates, partaken meals and long walks,
I let you see glimpses into my heart.
Unfettered, unrestrained, unchecked, unfiltered, uncensored glimpses.
Of who I am, what I want to be, what I could be.
My dreams, my aspirations, my fears.
What makes me happy, what ticks me off.
Something as trivial as my favourite drink of the season,
Or the color of my curtains at home.
Trivial, but important to me nonetheless.

Sometimes I think, wonder
Am I letting you see too much? 
Isn't it better to erect a wall, a barrier
And hold my innermost thoughts to my own?
The fear and the uncertainty of what you will do  
With this new found knowledge of me.
The scraps of information, the missing pieces to you
That will let you piece together the enigma of me.

Will you use this to allay my doubts, 
help me grow 
and make me stronger and better.
Or will you leverage all my weaknesses
And use it in ways that neither you nor I understand.

Do you know that at this point in time, at this stage in my life, in this part of the world
You are one of the handful of people that I spend a lot of my time with.
Many of my friends, the people that I've known, 

have been left behind in the past, 
separated by distance and time.
You, on the other, hand are here in my today, in my present.

So use your power wisely my friend.
When someone opens up to you,
Know that you are one of the few people that are interwoven into their current, their present.
In small ways maybe but connected nonetheless.
And privileged enough to let you see
Glimpses into their Heart.

Still from Evanescence "My Immortal", 2003

Sunday, 7 January 2018

The Thin Line

The thin line is a very narrow division that sets apart two very different realities.
Based on which side of the line we are on, it can alter our perception of the world.  
Or where and when we cross the line,
It can irrevocably alter our reality as we know it.

To the individual, his side of the thin line feels right
And he does not know (or does not want to know) if it's the right side of the line or not.

The thin line between Attraction and Infatuation.
Between Infatuation and Love.
Between Love and Desire.
Between Indifference and Rejection.
Between being Alone and being Lonely.

The thin line between Trust and Naivety.
Between Assertion and Arrogance.
Between Submissiveness and Bondage.
Between Living and being Alive

The thin line between Patriotism and Xenophobia.
Between Religious and Fanatic.
Between Just Activism and Extremism.
Between Pragmatism and Idealism.

The thin line between Dignity and Impropriety.
Between Sobriety and Impracticality.
Between Tipsiness and Intoxication.
Between Experimentation and Addiction.

These lines keep shifting, changing
Like patterns on the sand dunes.
Depending on which way the wind blows,
and what's accepted by the society, the collective conscience.
But there are a few individuals whose inner voice is louder than the voices outside,
And it's these individuals that perpetually battle with oneself to be on the 'right' side of the line.

Image Courtesy: