Crushed Crush

In response to the writing prompt: First Crush
Who was your first childhood crush? What would you say to that person if you saw him/her again?”

Not based on any personal experience, but observing many others, I assume if people have a one-sided crush on someone, it doesn’t mean much.

My thoughts on this topic:

Crushed Crush – – Two erratic poems

He was my first crush
When I was way past
The age of crushes
Fast forward
Years later
Saw him
And he shared his secret…
Back then
Years ago
He had a crush
On my best friend
My heart thus crushed
He became my last crush


She met me after ages
No more shy, all smiles.
She opened her mouth
I gaped, looked hopefully
Now’s my chance, for sure
This time she won’t refuse.
Before I could speak,
I heard her bold voice
“My son has a huge crush on
your daughter, will she refuse?”
I woke up from my trance
And stuttered “No naah,
She won’t. Why would she?
How can she? Will she?”


To pill or not to pill

Looking at the way people consider cooking as a chore, I have manufactured a short and simple solution, a pill to take care of our basic need of eating food at regular intervals.

Although there already are too many hunger-killing as well as hunger enhancing food items in the shops, they do not serve the purpose. These hunger-killing shakes, drinks or snack bars, curb our urge while providing some nutrition.

My pill is different. Take a pill in the morning, take one in the evening.  Vitamin-PillsWith pills, you do not stop feeling hungry, you don’t curb your hunger but it’s taken care of by a simple sweet tiny pill. As such, you all take so many pills each day – for this vitamin and that vitamin.  With my two pills inside your guts, no need for food or any extra pill.

But, having gone through some of the responses to the survey Red Pill, Blue Pill, I am disheartened. My hopes are dashed. My business that had started to take-off, is in doldrums.That’s because you people are not happy with the idea of a pill.

Animals were happier than you. I fed some cows on these pills and they seemed pleased that they don’t have to keep hanging around pastures anymore. Animals don’t even have to cook their food but they still preferred gulping a pill to eating grass. No need to munch the whole day. My pill-fed cows were still happy to donate us humans ample milk for cheap, and baby cows fed on pills felt they won’t have to feel deprived of their mom’s milk.  The race horses said, they were happy that they’ll be able to slog the whole day without wasting time on eating food.

Humans, it seems, are different.  Sensual men and women love their senses – their mouths drooling at the sight of colorful food, their taste buds getting excited upon tasting sweet, sour, spicy, salty food.

How many times a day do we have to eat?  We humans imagine that overnight we kept a fast and we celebrate breaking this fast with our breakfast.  We need so many food times – lunch time, dinner time and tea times. In fact our life revolves around these food times.  Buying of wide variety of food, proper storage of perishable food, refrigeration, disposal of rotten food. Then we fuss over buying elegant cookware and dinnerware, and spend time and money on equipment and gadgets to make our cooking easier.  Serving food on fancy tables so as to please our eyes.  After that we overeat, put on weight and then feel guilty of not exercising enough.

We love our food. But this is the food given to us by animals and birds – their eggs, their milk, and they themselves sacrifice their life for us. Plants too give their full life or else their body parts to us, so that we can hog on them and live a healthy life.

My creation – this pill – will not only save these plants and animals but also help humans, esp. the fairer sex (I dare not say weaker sex) from slogging. I can reduce their kitchen workload; so they don’t have to keep pleasing their families.

So guys, please do re-consider your response to this prompt.  It can help the animal kingdom as well as human race.

That said, honestly speaking, I myself love wide variety of sumptuous food recipes cooked by my wife. I would never like to stop eating them.  Although I want to stop being a glutton, I hunt for best eateries around town. Don’t tell anyone but I’m not sure even after marketing these pills I may find myself unable to resist food. More than that I won’t be happy if my growing kids are deprived of micro-nutrients and calories they can get only from fresh food.  No pills for them.  My aging parents may not be able to tolerate a pill.

Oh well!  Is that another failed experiment?  Hope not. Hope one day my science finds some alternative solution. Not pills. Not too much food obsession the whole day. Something in between, and better than hunger-reducing snacks and shakes.

My Creepy Room-Mate



This girl on my room wall
Gives me a queer call

She hangs in a demeanor
That I fail to comprehend

Worrisome and contemplating
Or is she tranquil and serene?

Her eyes make a mute appeal
Or is it a sinister frosty chill?

Are they tears, dried and darkened
Or is her make-up running out?

Are her cheeks rosy and robust
Or is her blood streaming out?

One look, and I look away
With restless unease

This creepy girl on my wall
Somehow does not please


~ © Alka Girdhar ~


This silver portrait is in my house in one of the rooms. Looks different in various lights – gothic, somber, eerie or just thoughtful.

Katsaridaphobia – a fear of…



Not some beach beauty
Lying supine on its back
With upward knee-bent legs

This is a creepy crawly
Sprayed to its death
Waiting for its last breath

Unable to turn its back
And get back on its feet
Lies inert and helpless

Feels life through its feelers
Vigorously jiggles its skinny legs
Then goes numb and number

It implores – Help! Help! Help!!
Its sight gives us shivers
As we say – Eww! Ick! Yuck!


Whether it‘s some hyper-active – alive and kicking – big red cockroach causing scare all around or a half-dead roach lying on its back, it is always a creepy sight.

Once a roach is sighted, a quick decision has to be made, and thereafter, the whole process of chasing it so as to spray insecticide on it with our shaky hands, and then see it running haywire trying to somehow save its life, is a nightmarish thing.

You do not want to kill it, but what to do.
You’re afraid of him (it) and he’s afraid of you
You can either love them or hate them
You can save yourself or save them. 

So, faced with this dire situation that demands immediate action, we cannot help but spray lethal liquid on its shiny creepy body and render it immobile.  Having lost all control on its life, he (it) lies completely helpless on its back.

Nowadays I cope better with my Katsaridahobia, Shmobia. With mindful thinking, I have conditioned my mind to cope with it. No, not by trying not to avoid it, rather by looking at it directly for a while. I’ve also learnt to think in terms of inclusiveness. Nothing in this world is ugly. No creature is good or bad.
All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful…The Lord God made them all.


The above picture was self-clicked. For more creepy fun have a look here, but the faint at heart to please stay away from this link.

Our Fountains of Joy

Have you ever tossed a coin or two into a fountain and made a wish? Did it come true?

I try to recollect but I do not remember putting coins in any fountain to have my wish come true. Sometimes I’ve looked at the sky and wished upon a star or should I say moon.

More than that I’ve prayed at religious places, asked for something and the wishes did come true. Yes, they do come true if we do not make it a habit. Generally speaking, be it a fountain, a star, dandelion or God, we should be careful what we wish for.

But nowadays, I do not ask for anything from anyone or anywhere. I’ve discovered, it doesn’t matter either way.

That said, we’ll look at a fountain. The picture below is not exactly a fountain with waters gushing out upwardly and some musical lights creating a spectacular sight. This is more of a fountain where there are subtle bubbles that slowly spread water all around.

With the architecture of circulating pathways, the Spiral Fountain at Darling Harbour in Sydney is a favorite place for kids (and adults) to wet their feet on steps filled with water, go walking round and round to finally reach the rotund centre and sit there in glory.

My son also used to love doing that when he was a little boy – splashing his feet around this path, laughing and giggling non-stop while descending down. Finally victorious upon reaching his destination, sitting comfortably there, he would wave at us from far as if he was now in some different land.
20070322051155_00011mw(My son’s picture is not too clear. Here’s another one with a wider fountain)

When we see our kids, or see any kid for that matter, enjoying their little things, we heartily wish them to be always happy like that.  They are our fountains of joy.

When they grow older, we continue to wish the same even though we inevitably cannot always be a part of their social activities, their trips and tours. We still want them to reach their destination and achieve great heights.

These are the secret wishes and open desires of every parent in this world. I look at this fountain now and make a wish for my son’s happiness.


In response to Daily Prompt: Three Coins in the Fountain

A rant…From Me to You…

The Daily Prompt: From You to You  has asked us to…Write a letter to your 14-year-old self. Tomorrow, write a letter to yourself in 20 years.”

Oh baby! Was I ever fourteen?  I can write about 40 as that’s not distant, but 14 seems so remote though I do have vivid memories to share. My sensitive and studious 14 year old self does need some sermonizing on practicalities of life but I’ll leave it for some other time.

My son should answer this prompt. In fact, I can write on his behalf as I know him inside out. I think I do. On the contrary, maybe I don’t. He’s always been a thoroughly good boy during his schooling and now university but generally, as they grow up they have their own lives, esp. our sons. As such, in these times we all live in our own cocoon. Particularly at young age they want to carve their future, spread out their wings so they’re busy trying out new ventures and journeys.

Right now at this moment my son is in London. He went all alone for a month long academic trip to Europe. After Switzerland and Germany, he’s now in UK.

The last few weeks were anxious anyway but today I’m worried like hell, for he has not been picking up the phone since yesterday. Right now it’s midnight in London and I assume he must have been caught up in tube transport strike during the day or when coming back home late evening. Something to do with that.

When I last talked to him almost two days ago, he said he will not go out of his accommodation on Thursday as the city may get chaotic. But the whole day on Thursday, his phone was switched off, so I have no idea what’s been going on. Due to his hectic schedule and the time-gap between the two countries, his phone calls have been generally erratic throughout his trip, but this one’s the longest disconnect we had.

Of course, all this gave me a sleepless Thursday night. On top of that, today on Friday morning, I woke up to a power shut down. It’s not usual for Sydney to go without power, but that’s what happens when you need something the most. A few hours of no electricity meant phones can’t be charged, problematic net connection and all. Finally the power is back so I’m writing all this.

Now…waiting for his phone call. Possibly he’s asleep at this time. He will wake up and call us. But I have the phone numbers of Australian Embassies ready and also that of London Police.

My husband, who is busy with his inter-state tasks, tried to contact him as well but was amused at my panic. He laughed and said …”Police. Huh! Aren’t you too worried?“

Yes I am.  For I am a mom.

So yeah… 4, 14, 21, 40, 60, 80…nothing matters as long as we are safe and alive.

mother and child

My son with his mom when he was younger, she was younger but not 14

Whether we get little miseries or bigger woes, abundant achievements or tremendous failures, small joys or exhilarating happiness, it all holds value only when we ourselves are secure, and sure of the safety of our near and dear ones.

So. What will I say to my fourteen year old self? Maybe some of the above. And much more.


He called later in the day, as if nothing happened. So everything is ok now.

I can’t hold his hand anymore to keep him within my range. I should realize that it sets me free as well.



skin tattoo?

with a sterile needle
you pierce my soul
seal the gaps
heal the holes
engrave your love
etch your kindness
leave a mark
some indelible stain
hard to rub off

I promise…
I’ll pass it on

Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Tattoo….You?
Do you have a tattoo? If so, what’s the story behind your ink? If you don’t have a tattoo, what might you consider getting emblazoned on you skin?

Dictionary, Shmictionary

First of all, what about this title ‘Dictionary, Shmictionary’ with its consonance type effect?

I was of the view that such casual repetition of words is a bad habit amongst people living in the sub-continent. “Have you eaten dinner-vinner?  Let’s have chai-shai?

So Word Press wants to know, what’s wrong with our English Vinglish?

This reminds me of ‘English Vinglish’ , a movie from India, in which a simple, bored, middle-aged woman – a neglected wife and a mother of two – decides to learn English so as to feel valued by her family and to assimilate herself within the educated culture that surrounds her. Her own children laugh at the way she speaks English so she takes this stance. She enrolls herself in an accelerated English language class.

See her humorous first day in class…

This movie was a reminder of ‘Mind your Language‘ series I saw somewhere. But the way she, along with other students, learns new words in English at her age, is the way each one of us learnt it at a much earlier age, that is in our school.

Generally we assume that we should learn our basic languages, English or any other, as early as possible. We should also learn them for as many years as possible. That’s because a language can’t be learnt in a few days or months. It needs years to do so. But it need not be so.

Even if the level of expertise that one attains in a quick crash course in any language, is nowhere near that of a veteran linguist or a native speaker, but there’s no harm in learning simple basics at any age. I am familiar with at least a few words of most Indian languages, and would like to learn more of French, in fact as many languages as possible.

So, coming back to ‘Dictionary, Shmictionary’, while I’m sure there are many English language words that I once did not know the meaning of, right now I don’t remember many. There is one word though that had produced somewhat embarrassing situation for me. That word is ‘nostalgia’.

I got mixed up between ‘nostalgia’ and ‘nausea’. When I told my teacher that I am feeling ‘nostalgia’, she could not comprehend me. Actually I was nauseous and unwell. But how was she supposed to understand what I was saying?  This happened long ago when I was just learning some difficult words in late primary school in India.

So, there you go…this English Vinglish is indeed a very tricky language. I still don’t know many new words that keep coming up. You are free to correct me, at least in my written English.


My long winding reply to The Daily Prompt:  Dictionary, Shmictionary

“Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).”

A tribute to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam – a Scientific Statesman, a Spiritualist Visionary

Last week, say around 6 days ago, some Indian online newspaper had published a news story related to India’s former President and esteemed scientist, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. The story made readers feel as if he had passed away.

Such news, though I later discovered it to be untrue, was like a shock. The controversial news story had spread around when somebody had put a garland on Dr Kalam’s picture, and it was assumed by some group as disrespectful. As per Indian customs, putting a garland around his picture became symbolic of his worldly demise. Thus, it was just a rumor that became a silly eye-catching headline.

This story particularly caught my attention because I had met this great man in 2011 during his inspirational lecture at University of Sydney, in Sydney.

After I read the above fake news, the same evening I ended up reading more about Dr Kalam’s life-story and his inspirational quotes. Funnily, thereafter the same night I had a dream that I’m in some lecture hall and we are waiting for his arrival but we’re informed that he won’t be coming as he’s no more. He’s passed away. So we all quietly come out of the hall.  It was a very vivid dream.

Today, on the 28th of August, exactly a week after that gossip news followed by my strange dream, I heard real news about Dr Kalam’s actual death. Again a shock, albeit a true one this time. The news is that he passed away suddenly, during one of his academic visits to Indian Institute of Management at Shillong, India. He was giving a lecture to IIM students on the topic of ‘Creating a Livable Planet Earth‘, when he collapsed due to cardiac arrest.

Is it a coincidence? This fake news followed by my remembering of his lecture in Sydney, then my weird dream of him dying during a lecture; and now he actually passes away – that too when giving an inspiring lecture to university students. Strange and sad at the same time!

So what was special about this truly great man?  When we met him personally in Sydney, we could not take our eyes off him. His intellectual lecture was very thorough and engaging, and left us very inspired as we left the hall.  It was hard to believe that a simple man with such unaffected looks and polite mannerisms has accomplished so much in life, that too in multiple fields.

Dr Abdul Kalam had very humble beginnings. But today BBC reported him as Extraordinary Indian.

Born in year 1931 in Tamil Nadu in India, he hailed from a poor family of fishermen. He distributed newspapers to help his family. Rising above his modest circumstances, he attained degrees in Physics and Aeronautical Engineering from Madras, now called Chennai. Climbing one step after the other, he later had major contributions in India’s scientific and nuclear programs. For a long period, he worked as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) .

In short, he was an accomplished scientist, lovingly called a ‘Missile Man’. When people argued why India needs to be powerful, he said “Strength respects Strength”; so power is required by a country so as to gain respect in the eyes of those who have already attained such strength. I like it because it’s true at personal level also.

In year 2002, this successful scientist went on to become India’s President, connected to administration and politics, where he was equally well-liked and respected.  During that powerful five-year tenure, he was called ‘People’s President’ for he intermingled with ordinary crowd like a commoner.

He was a great visionary and had a proper plan India Vision 2020 for his country’s overall growth, to see it as a developed nation by 2020.  For economic growth, his emphasis was on agro-food processing, health, education for women, IT and self-reliance. These apply to India but are well suitable for all other countries.

Other than being a scientist and a president, Dr Abdul Kalam was primarily a professor with years of experience in teaching, a teacher with great love for children and so his desire to teach them till the end of his days came true. He passed away teaching. His famous quote “Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow” holds great truth. He inspired parents to have home libraries so that children watch less TV.

Dr Kalam himself sought opportunities to address school children, inspired them to dream big so that they became achievers in life.  He used to tell children and youth, that they should ask themselves this question: “What do I want to be remembered for?“.  Very thought inspiring question for youth but we adults can also ask this of ourselves; just to define or redefine our lives before it’s too late.

Dr Abdul Kalam was also into music, particularly Carnatic music and he played musical instrument called Veena.  This simple man was vegetarian all his life.  He was not just religious but a true spiritualist who was well-versed in texts of many religions, actively imbibing and seeking inspiration from all of them at the same time.

What does such a person mean to the whole world?  His concrete scientific, political and academic achievements did change India, and if a populated developing country like India changes positively, it is bound to influence the world constructively. Moreover Dr Abdul Kalam’s life story itself is inspirational for one and all, as were his deeds and legacy he has left behind. We learn from him that a person need not be born to rich and famous parents. One can rise high by sheer grit and determination. There is no excuse. There is no limit.

Besides, a great human being and a determined character that Dr Kalam was, there is a stream of Inspirational Quotes by him that hold great value for young and old alike. A blog outlines 10 Life lessons we can learn from APJ Abdul Kalam.

Another one of his famous quotes is: “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.”  I actually saw his demise in my bad dream. That particular dream should not have come true but it has. The loss is irreparable but we can pay homage. India is paying tribute via a whole week of mourning.  I will search google for his name to know more about his life, read his quotes and his writings.

For writers and book-addicts, these are some inspiring books written by writer Dr Abdul Kalam. Here’s a list by Goodreads: APJ Abdul Kalam.  His autobiographical e-book ‘Wings of Fire’ can be downloaded here.    .

A Writer’s Niche – We are the Only One of Our Kind

“Try as I may, to learn from others’ style
 Try as I may, to change the way I write
 I always end up writing in my own style
 That is my niche`”

After I took to blogging, I’ve thought about this quite often. Is it enough for me to just keep writing or is it necessary to find my niche as a writer?  Carving a niche is about creating a place for ourselves in our field. There is so much talk about it and people take writing as a business.

It’s just that at some stage I had come back to proper writing after many years so I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted from my blog.

At the back of my mind, I always had long-form essays or proper articles that I also send to various newspapers, and they do get published. But at the same time, in my writing as also in my real life, I harbor a wish to do something for others, a desire to change the world in whatever little way I can.  Hence my niche had also to be related to this end.

I did come across many wordy sites that have similar attitudes and views. But I couldn’t come around to become anything like them. If I ever tried, my own style was lost and I couldn’t even write a paragraph.

That’s because there is urgency about my writing. It has to be written in one flow. I can’t sit, plan and force myself to write, can’t define my writing. The ideas occur only when they have to and they burst out only when they can’t contain themselves. I can’t sleep at night when there is pressure in my mind to write.

Therefore, I do not bother anymore about deliberately trying to form a niche. Neither have I ever tried to adapt my own style in the manner of any of my favorite writers/blog authors. Even mildly emulating others’ speech style did not work for me when I was a radio broadcaster/newsreader, so I know it won’t work for my writing as well.

I have my own style that will develop more and more with time. That is my own niche, my inimitable way of writing, my own voice. It may not turn out to be lucrative for me, it may not fetch me name and fame, it may not be great from marketing point-of-view. But it is and will always be my very own. For I’m a unique writer – the only one of my kind.  And so are you.

For: Writer’s Quote Wednesday


For: The Daily Prompt – The Sincerest Form of Flattery
“Publish a post in the style of a favorite author/blogger or photographer.”