Thursday, 24 December 2015

May we...

May we meet
On someday
At somewhere
And then talk.
May we laugh
May we cry
And then share
What we feel
What we think
Of the world
And the stars
And the skies
Rivers, seas
And the fields
Green with grass
And the time
Which maybe
Is slower
In the space.
And angels
And the gods
Who, you know
May exist.
Or may not.
May we then
Meet again.
And again.
And again.
Until we.
Have spoken.
All we knew.
All we had
In our hearts
And our minds.
May we then
Part our ways
Move ahead
In our lives
And may we
All the while
Never know
What your name
Or my name
Even was
Coz we were
Just two souls
Meant to meet
So we did
Meant to part
So we did.
And now we
Shall move on
To other
Souls in life.

~Almas Kiran Shamim 

image source:

Random rantings..

Many bigger tragedies can happen in life. Not only “CAN”, they will. Anyway, I just need to sort out my head a bit. Now, there are people who always want to “sound” right. They may be talking absolute crap, but they speak with such authority, or I should say, they are already in positions of such authority, that whatever they utter is accepted. I truly do not believe in ‘not speaking up’. I do not accept that we should just shut the fuck up when someone is talking crap. But, this is getting very difficult for me. Coz’ it means that I’d literally be opposing people everyday, many times a day… it’ll get exhausting for me. I may as well ignore ensure that I do not lose my sanity… But, trust me ignoring crap is difficult for me.
In any case, I think I just should not talk about my own life… to them or in front of them. They do not have any place in my life personal life, at least….

I like meeting people. Not contacts. I have been hearing about this category called “contacts” ever since I joined public health. I hated it then. I hate it now. Contacts is such a dehumanizing way to look at people. Contacts make me feel like shit. As if the only worth of a person is what he she can do for you. It is ridiculous. Totally. People happen to us to enrich our lives. To bring in experiences. To teach us new things, new words, new perspectives… Of course, it is for people who are open to learning… and not people of the “above” sorts… who think they know it all. Otherwise, for normal people like me and maybe you, people are life. These people whom you meet along life’s way may help you, may not help you, you may help them, you may not help them. But, it is about ‘helping’. It is not about “contacts”.

In the past one week, I’ve been asked twice about my “Hindi”. S asked me ‘When did I learn Hindi’ and M, who, by the way, has known me for quite some time now, asked me, in relation to a job in U.P., ‘How is your Hindi?’…. I was like… dude… pleaseeee…. And then he asked me… “Oh… weren’t you from…uhhh. Nagaland?”
Khair…. I remember when Dr. J.J was taking our class, he asked us if there was any Hindi speaking person in the class… I raised my hand…. He asked me where was I from… and I told… Andamans… He said… “Ahhh no… not someone who ‘knows’ Hindi….but someone who is actually Hindi speaking”… before I could even process what he meant, he had selected his Hindi speaking person- K. Who. By the way. Is from Orissa. I so totally hated him that day…. Not, K… JJ :P
My hands are so cold… Even my heater is tired of attempting to heat my room.

Do you know? Almas is Persian for Diamond. That’s what I was named after.
It is also Spanish for Souls.

N told me today… that we work for a good life…. Work in itself is not a good life. I think that is where I am making my mistake… I am seeking a life out of my work… then another life out of life.

Cats are cotton balls. I love them. I want a bigger house. Cats should never feel suffocated.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Of mountains and seas ...

Sometimes I wonder if it really has to be this way. That we have to travel miles to sit on a cliff, looking down at a sea and muse over life? Why can't we do it back at home? Dyu know how beautiful my home town is? We have a vast ocean... little hills covered in green.... a clean and clear sky- the perfect home for those millions of glittering stars. Ofcourse it was more beautiful back when I was a little girl. When the sports complex was still called 'jetty' and joggers' park was just 'pahaad'. When the winds blew stronger than today and when literally every particle carried happiness. Happiness has turned into such an elusive emotion. We travel but we don't stay. We are so constantly on the move that even the most beautiful of places become just a tick on our bucketlist. Not that I have one. But, still... we are constantly going somehwere. When would I have time to just be?

In the past one month I have seen so many mountains. Old ones like the Table Mount and new ones like the Himalayas.. One word which constantly kept popping into my mind while I looked at the majestic mountains and the expansive ocean is "Alankar". No other word seems to fit as beautifully as "Alankar". Now, I know, God making this world would require a stretch of imagination for many today. But, that's what I grew up believing and I think it is a nice and simple and beautiful and peaceful belief- God made the world. So when God made the world, it put these mountains on the world as alankar.... Imagine a world without them.... how plain... how restrictive....  I think it has to be this way coz each hill has its own feeling. The camera in our mind captures these visions, not independent of emotions. Whether it be the snow covered Marhi... or the rocky Table mount or even that extremely beautiful hill where we stood looking over the Atlantic.... each time the majesty was a different one... even though the same....I am not yet able to give words to what I feel.... but I hope with time, my perception or vocabulary, whichever of the two is deficient... or even both, if the need be, develops. 
At the Cape Point... totally love this picture.
Travel, I believe, helps in making us realize how small we are- how insignificant even.... how we are the tiniest part of this big wholeness... if there is a wholeness at all. Travel helps you in feeling non-existent... in experiencing the out of body moments which are the most beautiful moments in life. Mountains and Seas.... They should always be together... I do not know if I love it and so should be lucky that I was born in a hilly island... or if I love it only coz I was born in a hilly island... But mountains and seas give me peace. They make me feel small. They tell me "It's Okay!".  

Everything that I want, exists here
Save you
Everything that you may want, exists there
Save me
Tell me how far is it from here to there.
Tell me if I could have wings.

Sunday, 29 November 2015


There’s an emptiness inside of me which cannot be filled by anyone but you.
Each time you go, it is as if I had been with you all along….
Each time you go, it is as if you are going for the first time
For a long time
I wonder when will we meet again.
When will I again feel the comfort of your companionship and the warmth of your touch..
Ages- it seems.
A man who has gotten used to living in a desert may not loath the absence of a river.
But move him to the banks and the river turns into a habit.
The desert is then loathsome to him, even if home.
You are my river.
And now you are gone.
And there’s an emptiness inside my heart, inside my gut, inside my soul.
I feel lost and alone.
I wish we could be together through it all.
The highs and the lows
In each other’s comfort shall all discomfort be faced.
Till there is life, we shall live.


~Almas Kiran Shamim

Monday, 23 November 2015

Just another post to console myself.

Sometimes we try really hard- maybe not the hardest, but still- and nothing comes out of it. We knock on doors and they don't open. It's sad. Really. But, I guess it only means that these doors were never meant to open.

Not that it doesn't make us sad. But, at these times we must look at all that we have and however sadist it sounds, we must think of all the people who have so much lesser than us. This may help us be more thankful for what we have than be dejected over not getting what we wanted.

While many of my beliefs might have changed over time, the one thing that I just can't stop believing in is that God or life or whatever oyu want to call the power that sustains the world- knows where we are meant to be. And takes us there. We may want different things for ourselves, but it really doesn't work that way. We are all like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle- and we can fit in a certain place alone. Our place would change as the puzzle changes form but otherwise, we are meant to be somewhere and that is where we shall be. We may dislike the part we have got but there's really not much we can do.

I know that it is no solace- the Syrian refugees - how lucky are they in going through what they are going through? Shayad hi kuchh.

But, khud ke liye agar soche bas- toh I am Alhamdulillah lucky and I have so much to be thankful for. Aur abhi ke liye- itna soch kar khsh rehna chahiye.

Jaise chalte hai zindagi chalne do. Jo aana hoga woh aa hi jayega.

Khair. Bye

Monday, 3 August 2015

Dead flesh

 This world runs on dead flesh. I draw this analogy from the Qur'an Paak which says that back biting is like eating the flesh of your dead brother.

Well, however, distasteful it might seem, the fact remains that a lot of what we see around us has resulted from back biting. It's the end of yet another eventful yet unfruitful day and I'm too exhausted to type everything on my mind.

I'll go back to my mummy, who is always on my mind these days (wait, THESE days? She's always been on my mind- right at the top! Though now that I have typed it, I doubt myself. Khair). So, well... mummy has had very few friends. I remember very few people who visited mummy (dost ke taur pe). One was Gupta uncle's wife. Gupta uncle is my father's best friend. They all sat together discussing everything- people, events and ideas.

But, there were two other ladies who visited us. I won't go into their details but all they spoke about was about people. Especially one of them. She is known as the BBC of our town. She went around the whole place collecting gossip and coming and telling it all to mummy. My mummy had nothing to tell these ladies except the same old property dispute, recipe, cat-stats and other unimportant things. On second thoughts, the property dispute, while mundane for us, may have been good fodder for aunty.

Whenever these aunties came home, they'd see mummy either working or reading some Islamic book. This has been how it has been since forever.

One of the aunties died, the second aunty gradually decreased her visits to our home. Just like everyone else.
I remember mummy telling me one day ki Kiran...pata hai mere zyada dost kabhi kyu nahi ban sake. Kyuki humko idhar ka baat udhar karne ka aadat nahi.

And I now realize ki bilkul sahi hai. The only reason my mummy has led such a lonely life is coz she has not gossiped. The only two close friends she had in Blair were people who gossiped. Even though they didn't get any masala news from mummy, I think they enjoyed her company coz mummy could give them that which others probably could not. Her ears, with no competition from her tongue.

So, yes. Gossip is the only thing, so it appears to me today, which can earn you friends.

Today someone who is going on a long vacation told me that one of his friends told him that in his absence, whom would the friend gossip with.

I have myself indulged in gossip with strangers nowadays. And trust me the heaviness has lifted. Not that things have improved but am a Sagittarian - an eternal optimist. You know what I mean.

I've had very few friends with whom I discussed the world. Unme se bhi ab sirf ek hi hai mere paas. Mela guddumumma.

Sunday, 2 August 2015


Know wat? Most of the times I really feel like writing, I am not near my laptop. I had noted down "Write in your blog" as one of the things to be done over the weekend, and that's the only reason why I'm here typing down whatever is coming to my mind. Not that I have done all the other 'to dos' in my list. But, the higher the completion rate, the better it is. Nai? And now, that I am here, I will write down a few things that have been troubling me over the past days. The most important one and that which takes away a big part of my thinking time is the huge physical distance between my parents and me. On the one hand I am reminded of my own life and all that I want out of it, on the other hand I am reminded of how a life lived only for myself is worthless. I'm not even in a place where I can make a difference to anyone's life. Everything about everything seems superficial to me right now. It's almost as if all the meaning in the world rests there at home. In the company of the people who matter most to me. And to whom I matter most. Sometimes I wonder what it is that I chase. Nothing is achievable. Not in my current work, at least. I rather drive my parents to pahaad and sit with them looking at the beautiful sky just as they did when I was a child. There's this person who is all mind and no heart. I can't be and don't even wish to be that. I want to be a little bit of everything. Everything is shallow and superficial. I have no idea where to look for depth. I want this but I also want that. And it really isn't possible. If someone asks me to close my eyes and say what it is that I desire most, it would be the happiness of my parents. Why then am I so far away from my parents? Had it been for some work which inspired me from within, I would have forgiven myself. Coz is not self love greater than all other love? But here I am doing God knows what while my parents spend lonely nights and days. Is this how it all ends? With no one by your side? People for whom you spent every little drop of your life? People who, otherwise, claim to love you so? Life could be sadder I know. But, khair.... I wish I could give you all the happiness in this big world. I love you.

Andaman Chronicle: Features

Have been publishing a few articles in Andaman Chronicle under two columns "Talking Taboos" and "Healthy Horizons". Just want to keep filing them all in here. The articles can be read under the feature section of the AC website. Features: Andaman Chronilce Will post more later.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Public Display of Affection. PDA.

I wonder if there can ever be something called Public Display of Affection. There's affection and that's it. When there is affection, would there be a second thot of whether you are making a 'display' out of it or not. Whether there's public around you or not. I don't know. And then I saw him standing at the door, his face covered with the beauty of a glorious smile. And everything else ceased to be. I half ran, half flew to him and threw myself in hia s arms. The warmth of his touch melted me and I disn't remain the person I was. And as his lips touched mine, I travelled to that place, that only place in the world, where I feel safe. When I opened my eyes and looked at his magnificent face I knew.... the kiss had broken, but the spell had just begun.

Monday, 29 June 2015


1920 is a 2008 period horror movie, one of the scariest movies I have ever seen. Now, of course, this scariness is a pretty subjective thing. For e.g., if you are yourself a ghost, you won’t really be scared of some actress trying to ACT like a ghost, would you?
Anyway, so I totally love this film. It had scared the hell out of me the first time I saw it. I didn’t really get to see the complete movie again. I could only see little scenes from the movie and that too the not so scary ones….
However, yesterday I got lucky….. I saw the second half of the movie on Stargold… and trust me, the evil Lisa didn’t fail to send shivers down my spine again.
However, my post is not an extremely late review of 1920. I am writing this post simply to highlight my most favourite part in the movie.
I am talking about the very last part- the part where Mohan Kant’s evil spirit finally leaves Lisa’s body.
The fact that this scene has been beautifully crafted is only secondary to the fact that this scene depicts a very supreme faith in the Almighty.
I am not going to write the whole story of 1920. Just that, this story has a guy named Arjun, a religious Hindu, in love with Lisa, an Anglo-Indian girl with a British Christian father. Arjun’s family opposes their marriage, however, Arjun decides to marry Lisa anyway. His family then plots against the couple and tries to kill Lisa. Somehow, she is saved. That is the time when Arjun disavows his Faith.

The later half of the movie shows Arjun and Lisa in a haveli for the renovation of which Arjun has been appointed (he’s an architect). In this haveli, strange things begin to happen and later Arjun gets to know that Lisa has been possessed by the evil spirit of Mohan Kant, a spy for the British during the 1857 Indian Sepoy Mutiny. Why does Mohan Kant’s spirit not find deliverance and why is he after Lisa alone is a long (not very long) flashback.
Anyway, the last scene shows a priest trying to exorcise out the evil spirit of Mohan Kant from Lisa’s body, but, this exorcism had not been sanctioned by the church. The priest attempts this exorcism out of his own concern for Lisa. Sadly, the evil one tricks the priest into believing that there is a snake around his neck instead of his stole bearing the Cross, and the Father then throws away his stole in panic. The devil gets to him instantly and the Father loses his life.
This is one scene that I like a lot. Just as the priest throws his stole, the devil says in his malicious tone, “Oh, so you left God’s hand out of fear?”
This is an ascertained trick of Shaitaan. He makes us feel that a certain thing is harmful for us (*the snake*) when in reality, it could be the very blessing of God that we need at that time (*the Father’s Cross-bearing stole*). Out of our fear/perplexity, we leave God’s hands- unknowingly, but, we do it. And that is when he reaches us and suffocated in his sinful smoke, we die.
After, the hope of the priest is lost, Arjun is all alone in his fight against the devil. The devil (in Lisa’s body) is pleased and attacks Arjun, thrashing half the life out of him. As Arjun lies on the ground almost lifeless, the devil lets Lisa’s soul speak to Arjun for one last time when Lisa (the real Lisa) asks Arjun to help him.
Now here is where the story gives its best part.
We are taken into Arjun’s thoughts and we see Arjun in a Hanuman Temple, where he raises his foot to step into the temple but takes it back, only to bend down and bow to the idol of Hanuman.
That is when Arjun musters up the strength to stand up again and he slowly walks towards the devil saying yet another beautiful thing…
He says that “The Devil had come into my life once earlier in the form of human to take my love away from me (referring to his family who had tried to kill Lisa) and now here you are again in human form, trying to take my love away. I wont let you do it”

He says this and goes to Lisa’s body and embraces her.
The devil (Lisa) is only smiling but just then in one STUNNNNINNNNNNNNGGGGGGG moment, Arjun starts reciting the Hanuman Chaleesa into Lisa’s ear........... then follows the devils attempts to escape which has been shown beautifulllllllyyyyyy, but Arjun successfully holds on to Lisa and continues reciting the Hanuman Chaleesa until at the end when he says “Bajrang Bali ki Jai”, the devil can bear it no longer and finally abandons Lisa’s body and is cast away from their lives.

What I like so much about this scene is that the final act of deliverance from the evil spirit isn’t brought by a priest or a pundit or a fakeer, it is not by any ‘holy man’, but by a very common guy who had, in fact, stopped going to the temples- by a very common, very normal man who is simply fighting for his love.

The film could have easily shown the priest succeeding in exorcising the evil spirit in an as grand way as possible, and later, showing Arjun regain his Faith in God coz’ after all, it was God (thru the priest or any such man)who brought Lisa back to him.
But, the film shows Arjun first regain his Faith (in the bowing down to Hanuman in his thoughts) and THEN cast away the evil spirit. This is IMPORTANT coz’ God didn’t need to prove himself in order to get a devotee back.
It showed that a true devotee, however angry he may get at God, doesn’t wait for God to prove himself before believing in him.
It showed that devotion brings God anywhere.
It need not be by a pundit or a tantric.
Any man, who remembers God with complete devotion and truly believes that this God can alone help him out of the calamity that has befallen him, DOES and TRULY DOES find God’s help.

Also touching is how the evil is cast out not by showing Arjun doing things that we only see tantriks doing on tv…. Beating the girl with some kind of jhaadu, or sprinkling lots of magical stuff on her… it simply shows him embracing his wife…and reciting the Hanuman Chaleesa, something that millions of Hindus know.. and many even recite daily.

It is the victory of devotion, bhakti….
The victory of devotion by a ‘you’, by a ‘me’.
( Written on the 8th of Feb, 2012- probably not posted due to Andaman's fab net connection!)                                   

The Raavan in us.

I have been watching a lot of “Awakening With Brahma Kumaris” on Sanskar TV.
I like much of what is told save, of course, the fact that beyond a point I start detesting these Guru and Guru-like people who ‘apparently’ have all the answers- the most common being that all Truth is hidden inside us. This ‘answer’ somehow denounces the very act of ‘seeking answers from people OUTSIDE ourselves’….or so I think.

Here is one thing that struck me as good.
If you know me, you’d know that I’m a pretty big fan of Hindu mythology. I go by the Qur’anic verses proclaiming the existence of many Prophets and I believe that probably a lot of those who are ‘worshipped’ by the Hindus might have been the Prophets of the past.
Hence, I have found it very absurd of Abrahamics to ridicule the ‘multiple handed’, ‘multiple headed’ etc. etc. Gods of the Hindus.
I have always believed that God, in His infinite Power and Mercy, can do anything. He CAN, if He wishes to, create people with multiple hands and heads……
Again, this is my own personal thinking.

However, in one of the episodes of Awakening, I heard one of the least promoted yet most beautiful interpretations of this multiple handedness.
Not that I conform with everything that is told, but Sister Shivani explained the process of Godization- something that most people reading into Hinduism must be knowing- the entire process of finding humans “Divya”, creating their pictures and statues after they had gone from the world, keeping their images in clean places coz these souls had been “Divya” souls, ultimately leading to the creation of temples and the worship of these Human-turned-God people.
She went on to say that the imagery of these “Gods” arose from the qualities that the souls possessed. For e.g., these Divine Souls were ‘light’ (as in heavy x light)…now how could a sculptor show this ‘lightness’ of the soul? He showed it by making the Devi sit on a lotus…..
Obviously, a human can’t sit on a lotus, but the image only symbolizes this particular soul being ‘light’.
Now, this part was good with me.
I would be most glad to believe that the Devis were light souls and their lightness is being depicted by the Lotus seat of the Devi, though, I don’t mind if God, at some point of time in the history of mankind, used to create humans that could sit on Lotuses…..
Anyway, this whole episode came back to my mind this evening when I was thinking about my workplace.
Flashback-ing into my life, I see that I have had a …well… kind of a sheltered life. Sheltered from the ‘chaalaaki’ and ‘chaturai’ that people show. Thanks to the little *thing*, my world got limited to my parents and sister. I have not known too much of ‘diplomacy’ in people….
Hence, in my eighth standard, when a friend left our group of 4 girls through some ‘crooked’ means, I was totally aghast. Also, during my college, a certain ‘friend’ left me stunned and shattered by her shrewdness.
And now, when I have started working, I am again facing a world that I find amusing alright, but more irritating and much more numbing.
It’s almost like, everyone of us has Split personalities. We all suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder.  We are so many people in one. And I don’t mean it in a good way, please. I ain’t talking about being a wife, a mother, a sister and blah blah.
I am talking about being multiple faced.
Everybody is everybody’s friend yet no body is no body’s friend.
We are left wondering not whom to trust but wondering if something like trust even exists…
Then again, the question arises whether we should ignore the wrong. Do we break someone’s trust when we punish him for doing something wrong?
Take the example of a mother who is also her son’s class teacher. At home she might not scold her son for the same thing for which she’d have to spank him in the classroom, only to be just with the other students who had got the same punishment for the same offence.
 Isn’t the mother being two faced? One face of the Just teacher and the second face of the Benevolent mother?

Is being two-faced in this manner wrong?
I wonder…

On the other hand if we go back to our prime issue of being split personalities, we’d see that much of these personalities that we harbor inside us are not born out of duty or obligation.
They are born just for the satisfaction of our senses…. Our ‘indriya’.

This is the thought that took me back to that episode of Awakening- the thought of being multiple faced, being “Multiple headed”.
The symbolic imagery of the humans of the past shows this aspect too. Remember the multiple headed Raavan?
The same Raavan who has been much demonized owing to his crappy act of abducting Sita. The multiple headed Raavan was probably ACTUALLY multiple headed (which I do not oppose), or was probably a guy with a single head and who has only gained popularity of being multiple headed owing to this imagery depicting his multiple-facedness- his ‘Doglapanti’…..his ‘Bin painde ka lota’-ness.
Thus, we see how from the very beginning, this ‘Split Personality’ attitude of man has been known to be an attribute of the Asuras, the Rakshasas, the bad guys…..
There is no doubt that how much ever we defend ‘diplomacy’ in today’s times, a time comes when our diplomacy gets us into the ranks of the multiple headed demons- the Asuras and Rakshasas.
This diplomacy is not to be confused with the obligation bound multitasking that a mother cum teacher shows.
Even God, in His infinite Power, is both the Rehman and the Jalaal… and much more.
Much like the Devtas shown to have multiple heads…. Brahma, for instance.
The Devtas had multiple roles, they could be Forgiving, they could be Punishing and so on. And hence, some devi-devtas too are shown to have possessed multiple heads.

Now, in our lives, when we create multiple heads for ourselves- are we trying to simulate the multi-tasking God with his multiple attributes and duties being depicted as multiple heads; or are we trying to simulate the multi-headed Demon, with each of his head a different lie, each of his head a different trap, each of his head a new way of enslaving you to your own ‘indriya’s?
This is a question that can only be answered by our Self.

(Post was originally written on 28th Feb 2012- I have no idea why I didn't post it. At least I don't remember posting it!)


Now reading ... "Crime and Punishment" by 'Fyodor Dostoyevsky'.



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