Sharing Stories

As a child, I remember being happy and content just sitting around the kitchen hearth, listening to my grandparents narrate stories of yore. Little did I know then, that many years later, this fond memory would find me yearning for such heartwarming days. Stories have continued to fascinate me over the years. My much loved grandparents have lived their time and left us behind with the best of everything- stories, good times, happy childhoods, values to live by- and just about everything that is nice, warm, happy and beautiful.  I’ve also had the good fortune of listening to more stories from the elderly in villages other than my own. These were special times often accompanied with so much love and affection. I think of these stories that have, in many ways, shaped my thoughts and my understanding about my roots, and I wonder, what history or culture we would have without them. And so, each time, something to do with storytelling takes place, I always get the warm, happy feeling of knowi…

To drink or not to drink?

I remember writing a piece titled, "To drink or not to drink"  in 2010. Few years have flown by since. But my thoughts on the issue of Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) have more or less stayed the same. I believe nothing much has also changed as far as the issue is concerned. If anything, the illegal trade of liquor has probably thrived. People- young, old, teenagers, elderly-age no bar, have continued to drink, and get drunk even. Some of them in the trade have also gotten richer, right in front of our eyes. Many dingy, so called booze joints have been transformed to palatial buildings over the years.  We have seen the trade grow. We have also seen family, friends and people we know, turn to alcoholics. Some of them have even died of alcohol. Sad, but true! Well, they say, the increase in number is also because of the consumption of adulterated liquor. Many school children are already drinking, too! Why? Because there is no question of underage drinking in the existe…

On Woman’s Day

To think of celebrating international women’s day after some unspeakable violence ensued, ironically, out of protest against a crime committed against women, actually feels odd. Rape, as many of us would agree, has destroyed the very fabric of our society. And as frustrating as it is that we are yet to find a solution to this social ill, we also know that no amount of punishment can ever compensate for the damage caused by rape, emotionally, mentally, and physically. And yet, what good does it do to a society, if a crime is paid with another crime? At the end of the day, I believe many of us, if not the majority, sat thinking and rethinking of the Dimapur incident that stole headlines all over the world. Not really because Nagaland was, in that instant, placed in a bad, dark, negative light but because, the brutality with which the entire episode was carried out, is totally unthinkable! I cannot begin to comprehend how many of them jubilantly continued to take photographs in such a sit…

Mothers at Home, Professionals at Work

Working Mothers have changed the dynamics of family, today. The tradition of women who naturally become housewives after marriage is now, a story of the past. With more and more educated and career-driven women emerging, the modern society is witness to supermoms who are equally capable professionals in their areas of expertise. But this new look of the modern day mother, hasn’t changed one bit, the special qualities that naturally seem to run in mothers since time immemorial. Mothers, we know have overwhelmed us with their patience, devotion, affection, endurance and extraordinary love. In addition to that, in today’s context, they are one of the bread-earners (or sometimes, the sole bread-earner) in the family. But make no mistake, it only means that the modern day, working mothers have more roles to play. On Mother’s Day, we picked some of the working supermoms, whose greatest joys do not necessarily come from what they have achieved in their careers, as one may also assume, but whos…

The last road trip

To randomly pick a few clothes, pack them in a light travel bag, and hop into a car at the break of a new dawn and it was just 3 days before a new year takes over. The wanderlust in me is insatiable. To leave home only to discover a new place, to experience a new joy, to blend in a new culture, to acquaint myself with a few new faces, to taste a different kind of freedom, just to be out there somewhere I’ve never been gives me indescribable happiness. And so, the road took me to the wilds. A village almost forgotten by the outside world. One can spot only a few scattered houses but it’s easy to see this place is immensely blessed with very fertile lands. Fields are far and wide. It stretches so far you can’t see the end. And such an afternoon is rare where sunshine lavishly falls and the wind plays a new song.
                               The new day is a Monday and December 30 begins at sunrise.  Past the foggy roads, past a few scattered villages, past some amusing banners and you s…

When it's not enough

When it's not enough to give,
not just a piece of your heart,
but everything it ever carried-
hopes, dreams and aspirations.
When it's just not enough,
to be there when twilight falls,
sometimes, until midnight;
and you wonder if it's worth the walk.
When you've laid in your sleep,
thinking, maybe this is it,
maybe, this is where the good life is,
where the sun glows
and you keep walking,
just giving your heart, mind and soul,
and suddenly the hope disappears,
the curtains are drawn,
your chapter is closed,
everything has changed.
You still sit,
when is it ever enough?

A painful wake-up call

The year 2012 ended on a very grim note for India as a whole. There is grief that still engulfs the entire nation. That too at a time when we are to retrospect, think, resolve, thank or change if need be. The frightening story of the gang-rape on the 23-year-old woman at Delhi has left any sane citizen of the country, scared, disturbed and confused. It is not like rape has never happened before, or that crime against women is anything new. But the severity with which the story surfaced has left us all shaken. There has been an outcry on the issue like never before. We know for sure that the majority of us have been deeply affected by the incident. What kind of human really inflicts so much cruelty and terror on another human being? The gang-rape story has left us all baffled. What has gone so wrong with our upbringing and our system of education, at home, at school or at the social level? Is it because our parents, our teachers, our social and religious leaders, our politicians, our la…