Grains of Sand

Grains of sand on the beach.

Infinitesimal grains

Stretching infinitely.

Like a golden cloth

Spread on the Earth.

Each grain separate.

Distinct.

Yet joined as if by unseen bonds.

Like an uninterrupted sheet.

Lapped by the salty water.

Rough yet smooth.

Endless yet finite.

Separate…

Yet one.

The Rain

Raindrops fell like sparkly pearls
Rain-clouds overhead.
The wind is loud, the rain is strong
Hammering on the shed.

Jet-black clouds are gathering
Like castles in the air.
Red, black, blue, green umbrellas.
The smell of earth laid bare.

The trees are soaked but they rejoice.
The wet pavement stones gleam.
Paper boats are floating so
Floating in the stream.

Chocolate: The Solution to Everything

Chocolate. Chocolat. Schokolade. Cioccolato.

I wonder who invented chocolate. The person who did it sure deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. Chocolate can solve anything! It’s literally what can keep you sane after a Dementor attack!

Therefore, I wrote a poem to celebrate this glorious condensation of joy, chocolate.

Among the myriad colours of the rainbow
Which one stands for joy?
Neither red, nor blue, nor green, nor pink
The answer is far humbler

For the earthy tones of humble brown
Symbolise true happiness
In it is wrought the life giving earth
And the pure bliss of Chocolate.

No mortal has known any bliss truer
Than the lingering sweetness of Chocolate
‘Tis indeed a treasure to be saved
A simple, yet rare happiness

Its tryptophan-infused mellow taste
Heralds a burst of serotonin
Dark and white and Swiss and Belgian
It’s charm remains the same

Disaster!

So there I was, in the kitchen, with my younger brother, trying to make mushroom pulao. And my mother was sleeping in the living room. We cut the mushrooms, the vegetables etc. Made ginger-garlic paste. And then, I went over to the huge sack of rice. Sweet-smelling small grains (wow, alliteration) of very expensive rice. I opened the sack, reached for the orange plastic cup we use for measuring rice, and put the glass in the sack. Then, I watched in horror as a disaster happened.

You see, my mother had filled it with dried up tulsi flowers and leaves. And I had emptied it into the sack of sweet-smelling small grains of expensive rice ! Aaaaaaaah!

My brother stood there with his mouth open, shocked. I prayed to heaven my mother would sleep for the next 2 hours. And took all the rice in a plate (It wasn’t much, just 2-3 cups). It was saturated in dried up tiny leaves and flowers.

I tried sieving it. I tried winnowing. And finally, I began sorting it out by hand. An extremely tedious task. I was at it for 30 minutes, helped a bit by my brother. Then, my mother entered the kitchen and saw us.

The guilt was clearly etched on my face. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!

I confessed to my transgression. And set to the tedious task of separating them once again. I separated enough to make the pulao, and my brother and my mother continued cooking. My task was infinitely more difficult than the twelve labours of Hercules.

Another hour passed, I’d come halfway. I continued to sort. My eyes were watering, my neck and back were screaming in pain and my head hurt. But I bravely went on. True Gryffindor huh?

My eyes could see nothing but rice, it was rice rice everywhere. I had nightmares of drowning in rice that night. I felt like the rice grains were growing bigger, or smaller? I’m not quite sure.

Finally, it was done. And I sat down to eat. But then I thought, what if I’d spilt it in the big sack of normal rice?

White Socks to Grey Socks

My school uniform includes white socks. Giving white socks as a uniform to a group of extremely unruly kids is THE dumbest move on the face of the planet. They might as well officially change the uniform to grey socks, or even better, black.

The white socks go through a range of colours. They are white when bought, turn grey very quickly, and then, go multicoloured.

They are blue from ink, brown from mud, black from ink again, many different colours of ink, ink and more ink, pencil shavings, fluff, eraser dust… The white sock is not at all picky.

Some socks have holes in them. Some don’t cover the heel. Some expose one or more toes, peeping out roguishly. Some socks are patterned, with designs, smileys, cats and whatnot. When the teacher arrives to check the uniform, the kids furtively hide them away.

I am yet to discover ONE person who has pristine white socks, unless they are new.

Ah yes! New socks. A treat for the feet. Whenever I get new socks, I strut into the classroom like a queen, never mind that no one cares because they are too busy planning new mischief. When I realise this, I hastily rush to join them, and by the time it’s “Mischief managed”, the socks have turned grey to match the rest of my socks.

*shoulder shrug*

Hide and Seek with the TV Remote

Another object which is an expert at the science and art of hide ans seek is the TV remote. It’s never where you left it. It is in the same league as the bookmark and the cockroach.

It (the TV remote) always manages to hide it self with surprising skill in the most remote (haha, pun) corners of the sofa. Sometimes, it reaches the bedroom, kitchen or even the bathroom. How? Well, when someone is watching the TV and feels like grabbing a snack from the kitchen, or taking a trip to the bathroom, or when someone screams their name from the bathroom at a voice and pitch designed to make your eyes pop out, you find yourself leaving the TV room, accidentally taking the remote with you (Phew, that was one long sentence!). And then you leave it there.

But the remote is more often to be found in the remotest (same pun) regions of the sofa. And while you insert your hand into the maws of the cushions, you discover treasure. Treasure? Well… not exactly treasure, but you get the picture. An old cashew nut, a button, a long lost pen, lots of biscuit crumbs, a hairpin, interesting but unidentifiable objects, blah, blah, and finally, more blah.

And the remote is almost always in the last sofa you check.

That’s why I sometimes check the last sofa I usually check in the beginning. But the remote is too cunning. It anticipates my moves precisely and disappears in to a different sofa.

I often wonder about the (re?)motive of the disappearing remote. Is it searching for treasure in the depths of the sofa? Is it ashamed of itself ever since it discovered it was the reason we threw the old remote out? Does it hurt when we press the buttons? Or is it that, like many of life’s disappearing objects, it just wants to make life difficult.

Whatever the (re?)motive of the remote, it can always be found in the remotest corner of the sofa.

Five more minutes !

Ah! Those beautiful five minutes (read 1 hour).

If you haven;’t already guessed what I’m talking about, I’m referring to those glorious five extra minutes of sleep, just after you wake up. During those minutes, you can forget the fact that you have to wake up early, work/school, getting work done, exercise, blah, blah and finally, more blah.

There are many other such “five minute more” situations. The extra five minutes of reading a book, which of course, extends until the book is done. The extra five minutes of staying awake, watching TV at night. The extra five minute wait to clean your bedroom, or to make your bed. The extra five minutes before you do your homework, and for the lucky adults (just kidding, you’re not lucky at all, we are much luckier) well…

Everywhere around the world, every person on earth, is a ‘five minute’arian. Maybe it is those extra five minutes which make life worth living.

Collecting Junk

I keep collecting junk. Not exactly. Junk is something useless, while the stuff I collect come to be used sooner or later. My mother always remarks I must’ve been a junk collector in my last life.

What is junk?
Junk is something you save for years and throw away just before you need it.

From a book of riddles

But, the “stuff” I collect, like bits of cloth, price-tags, cardboard boxes, tins, they all have some use at a later date. Price-tags are particularly welcome as bookmarks. If you haven’t seen my post on bookmarks yet, check it out here.

Done? Great! So price tags get to be used as bookmarks. And as any good bookworm knows, you can never have too many bookmarks.

Tins turn out to be VERY useful. Usually, I have to fight a huge battle to stop it from being discarded. And then, it’s usually my mother who ends up using them. See? She uses them as flowerpots or to store stuff.

Same goes for cardboard boxes. They come in use for crafts or even to make DIY home stuff. Sometimes, when cardboard boxes are thrown out, I find myself feeling like a box of diamonds has been thrown out. At the moment, I’m collecting bits of yarn in a small box. The collection is now the size of a golf ball. The use? Well, only time will tell.

Sometimes, my mother throws out my collection of price-tags. And when I confront her, she tells me she thought they were left there to be thrown out. I’ve decided to give her the benefit of doubt. After all, one man’s trash, another man’s treasure, huh?

So just remember guys, nothing on earth is junk, if it finds itself in the right hands. (Yep, that’s my own quote)

My Cooking Feats #4: Le Microwave Oven

Aaah! The microwave oven. Simple, efficient, and easy to use. Not!

The microwave misadventures that I’ve gone through can well be written in a book of fifteen volumes. Recently we took to cooking each and everything in the microwave. From french fries and samosas, to pasta and milk, everything goes in the microwave.

When the samosas emerge from the microwave, they are not like the samosas you usually see. The out is not at all crispy. It’s like filling wrapped in a chapati. Healthier, I guess, because of the lack of oil.

The french fries are also not that crispy. They taste good enough though.

The pasta was an utter flop. I’d rather not dwell on the subject. Although it was cooked and edible, the tomatoes were still raw. I somehow gobbled it up, so as to not waste food.

Ok, now this post looks more like “Cooking tips and tricks” than “Microwave Misadventures”.

Once, my brother accidentally heated a steel container in the microwave oven. The contents were tuna. Leftover tuna at that. I searched online, what would happen if a steel container is microwaved. The internet gave a lot of terrifying advice about what could have happened. The microwave oven might have caught fire, it might have exploded, the container might’ve melted (just kidding) or the food might’ve been burned into a cinder. One guy actually claimed he’d put a piece of carbon in an iron container in the microwave and that the carbon had turned into a diamond. And a pretty big one at that! I didn’t know what to say.

Since none of these dangerous possibilities had actually happened, I searched for what would happen if I ate that food. Once again, the internet told me, I might die, I might get poisoned, my face might become green (seriously) and that I might lose my sense of smell and taste. But then I found an article written by some sane person, saying that although it is dangerous to heat an iron container in the microwave oven (it might catch fire), if you did so and nothing bad happened, you can eat the food. Phew!

Life is never dull if you have a microwave oven.

Bookmarks

Earlier, I said cockroaches are the masters of hide and seek. I take it back. It’s bookmarks who are the masters. They beat cockroaches by a hair’s breadth.

The ever elusive bookmark seems to have a mind of its own. It’s never where you placed it just seconds ago before you started reading. And, it always manages to hide just when you need it the most. I’m sure any bookworm out there will relate to this.

This constant appearing and disappearing forces you to use weird stuff as bookmark. Bits of cloth. Torn newspaper bits. String. Buttons. Pens/pencils. I even once used a strand of my own hair. Anyone and everyone is welcome in the Faux Bookmark Club (FBC).

I collect price tags to use as bookmarks. But my mother throws them out whenever she sees them. She says I’m collecting junk and that I must have been a junk collector in my last life.

Come to think of it, I do have a tendency to collect junk. But I’ll write about that another time.

Anyway, back to bookmarks. In very dire circumstances, when even the FBC don’t show up, We resort to another technique. Keep a finger in the book until suitable bookmark is found or finish reading the book. Yep, difficult times call for tough decisions.

And the most irritating thing of all, when someone casually comes and glances over the book you were reading, and pulls the bookmark out. That’s when I think, “Time for murder.”