Sunday, May 22, 2016

Struggle To Sleep

I need to wake up. To welcome the dawn. To let the excruciating night go.
Oh, but wait, I haven't slept the whole night! Is this how Insomniacs feel? Live?
Tried all tricks to trick my mind into slumber.
Tossed and turn. Tossed and turned again.
Until my arms pricked my shoulder.
Until my waist bone pricked my stomach.
Until my spine went spineless.
A part of smile seems to control, cajole and hurt me.
For it traces rapidly before I can stop it,
With thoughts picked up from different departments of mind.
It digs deep.
Into the ocean of unrelated events. I block it.
Alas! Futile.
It sneaks into neighboring neuron.
Seduces couple of them. Copulates. Creates a new one.
Ah! Now I have to block this too! And then when I do. Teases me. Tears me.
Like the boon of Raktabeej,
one drop of thought begets to thousand more and more.
The clock strikes 3. The night's moving away.
I yell. I cry. I want to sleep. I want to sleep.

I decide to pact. I accept defeat. Call my mind to the table.
Give it a free hand to think relentlessly.
With a hope to rest my eyes I move one.

Treachery! Treachery! Restlessness strikes back.
As if thought is that ruthless King set to conquer time and space.
How do I know? I rub my hands and feet in despair.
It has grown into a Monster.
Feeding on my neurons. Making illegitimate connections.
I feel threatened until my Ego arrives.

Ego reverses my thoughts.
Unlearns and un-connects.
In a quest to single out the origin of the devil.
Like searching needle in the haystack.
I feel a bit eased. Eyes soothed. Thoughts percolate.
On the cusp of oblivion yet awake to find the cause.
Won't go until my Ego solves it.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

Bingo! Culprit nabbed!
My thoughts stem from my habit of obsessive reading.
I am too busy celebrating than introspecting.
Ego warns me. "NO!" it says. Wait.
The monster arises from an unfulfilled wish of mine.
Mine? Sky's the limit for them I exclaim.
Seems Ego has figured out.
My unconscious urge to write,
after capturing so many characters, events, anecdotes, observations around me.
They are revolting. Desperate to come out.
Accuse me for ignoring and ditching them.

Like an innocent devotee, I vow to unleash by writing.
Placate them. They recede. Throw back my freedom.

I pounce on it greedily and then the darkness hugs me.

- Aniruddh Naik

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Journey of Homemaker- From Second Hand Mobile To A Brand New One

This article was first published on

A housewife, better to be called as the homemaker has come from a humble background living a lifestyle somewhere revolving around frugality all through her childhood and adolescence.
She got married in her early twenties and she expected a better life hereafter. But problems continued. She couldn’t buy what she desired and aspired because of limited bandwidth to spend money the way she wished. Evidently she had children whose future, according to her depended upon her ability to cut-down costs. She had to care about the rising daily expenses and then decide when a big ticket purchase like Television, refrigerator, music system or washing machine had to be made.
One aspect that I am interested in presenting is her introduction to technology. Probably the first introduction to technology was to home appliances like mixer, washing machine, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner; mostly related to what was supposedly her domain- kitchen. Something apart from this domain was radio and television. First the television came in black and white before foraying into colour space. At this point there came brand Onida that rightly used the human truth- envy. This was to entice her or at least support her husband’s decision to buy television set. The benefit she sought was more emotional than functional.
I always wondered how technology got into her life. What prompted her to adopt technology? Was it the convenience the appliance offered her? Or did circumstances forced her adopt?
A recent phenomenon I couldn’t stop myself from observing was that the homemaker has become the second hand mobile phone user in many households I have seen or heard about. Her husband, son or daughter bought the latest configuration and the custody of old phone was given to her because she stayed at home not much in need of using high-tech features. During her initial adopting days, in spite of being a laggard or late bloomer, she used phone for incoming and giving a miss-call.
Then her friends and relatives also started using. This was the time when she made calls only when her tech savvy son/daughter was at home. Over the period, after many failed attempts she learnt to dial number using the keypad. Her network got rejuvenated and went beyond neighborhood to her school friends, relatives from her side to connect and share.
Her next handset was again an old one from the same people around her. Only this time it was upgraded one- a memory card, music player and video player. It opened doors for an alternate medium of entertainment. Television was still her channel for content consumption. Appointment viewing was the king. She had to pester her progenies to ‘put’ songs in her mobile: devotional songs, old songs she grew up on. Again, owing to the busy schedule of her children there was barrier in taking songs and video from her friends who had them.
The next upgraded version of the phone had WiFi. By this time the house was WiFi enabled. Her tech savvy daughter who gave her company in watching television serials knew she could watch the repeat telecast on Youtube in case she missed any episode. Youtube had a wow factor that solved many of her problems: some latent, some explicit.
If she could learn to operate this, a whole new world of experience shall be unveiled. In operating Youtube, only one thing had to be taught. The ‘Search’ function and rest all things fell in place swiftly.
She could now watch her favorite show whenever she wanted
She could now skip the boring part of the serial
She could rewind and re-enjoy a particular scene that piqued her interest
Watch shows for hours put together once she wrapped up her household chores
This has also, let me use this word empowered, to voice her opinion and rightfully demand a brand new phone, as smart as the one with her children, if not more advanced! She feels she deserves a new smartphone as the usage is no longer only limited to voice calls. She can use the Whatsapp to share pictures of her new dish, her newly decorated house, recently bought saris, dress materials, inquiring her son/daughter when will he/she be back home, in their style on Whatsapp, forward ‘wishing’ messages to her relatives, be a part of family group and so on. She can use Skype to connect to her son/daughter who stays away for education or job. She can use mail to send her son’ kundali to prospective brides by attaching ‘doc’ or ‘pdf’ file.
So gift a brand new smartphone to your mother this Diwali!
Post Script:
  1. According to Nielsen India survey,
    1. Only 20% of Indian women are active on data-enabled smartphones.
    2. Women in India consume more media (music and videos) than men on their smartphones, spending 40% more time on music streaming apps and 50% more time on video streaming apps than their male counterparts.
  2. According to Google Survey, 49% of Indian Women see no reason to use Internet. Here’s where the change can be brought in! Decrease in appointment view will further fuel by usage of Youtube and other streaming apps like Hotstar and Ditto TV.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Retelling the Renuka and the Parashuram tale

Source: Internet

Once upon a time, in ancient India, lived a sage of immense knowledge,
Jamdagni, one of the divine Saptrishis,
Feared by God of Gods, Revered by Lord of Lords,
Though spiritual, he was mercuruial.
Had a wife, divinely beautiful, Renuka,
Epitome of chastity & faithfulness.
World of wives & husbands envied her, when stories spread of her faithfulnes.
Suryadev bowed down to seek her blissfulness,
The Vaitarni, every morning, purified herself, when
Renuka dived and water rippled owing to her thrilling body.
Then she carried water, in an unbaked, bottomless clay pot.
Such was her fidelity that water feared to drain onto the ground.

One fine day, Suryadev was yet to sharpen,
Playing along the river were the Gandharvas,
Oblivious and joyful and exhilarating, they wandered;
Tuning their bodies to the rhythm:
Of the roaring river,
Of the chilling yet ferocious wind,
Of the sweet-smelling mogra, they danced.

Arrived Renuka for her daily ritual, diving into the Vaitarni she found sensed change.
Rising up, she followed the trail. There they were, the Gandharvas, with eye-catching handsomeness.
Breathtaking! To see the husbands of Apsaras,

Dancing on ambrosial Swaras.
Smiles of ecstasy lured her to oblivion.
World of fantasies swirled with sheer happiness, when her eyes coincided with Gandharvas’
She lost, against his charm, skipped a heartbeat.
Intense emotions coaxed her, to let herself run into his arms. She held back.
Taking water into the unbaked, bottomless pot, something happened she dared not:
Water drained, her chastity crumbled.
Oblivion evanesced to obvious.
Her fidelity compromised, she bitterly cried.
Repent, regret filled her conscience, cursed herself,
As herself as she relinquished for ephemeral desires!

Her body soaked, pot empty, she returned to ashram,Jamdagni grasped infidelity.
‘A grave shame’, he fumed.
The scholar across the seven seas, ordered his eldest son to behead mother.
Trembling in fear, yet the son refused to sever.
Burnt down to ashes, in his father’s rage, then,
Called the second, and the third,
And the fourth and the fifth;
All turned into ashes.

The youngest of all, Parshuram, avatar of the great Vishnu,
Raised himself on the occasion,
Swirled his axe and killed his mother, but,
Not without heart-burdening conviction.
Impressed by son’s obedience, Jamdagni granted him two wishes.
The brave boy, with unrelenting tears in eyes, with hands folded,
Pleaded to grant life back to his brothers and his mother.

Here's something more..

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