Tuesday, September 9, 2014

If summer is to like, winter is to love.

This poem is about how a relationship develops. What lovers do in summers 
and what are they up to in winters!

If summer is to long drive, winter is to roadside.
If summer is to talk, winter is to listen.
If summer is to meet, winter is to wait.
If summer is to share, winter is to care.

If summer is to hold, winter is to hug.
If summer is to touch ,winter is to tug.
If summer is to drink, winter is to sip.
If summer is to kiss, winter is to bite.

If summer is to sweat, winter is to warmth.
If summer is to swim, winter is to quilt.
If summer is to shower, winter is to wrap in towel.
If summer is to see, winter is to feel.

If summer is to couch, winter is to bed.
If summer is to plan out, winter is to pass on.
IF summer is to date, hope in winter it stays.
If summer is to wake, winter is to sleep...
Beside each other.
 Vishakha Sen

Thursday, September 4, 2014

That girl is so dangerous! is here to stay.

She was sorting out her playlist when she came across the songs folder of Akon- The sensational American R&B crooner. In it was a track Dangerous. She hit Play button but paused at the very words of the song- That girl is so dangerous, pressed the Play button again, which took her to the moment that happened six years ago. 

       It was a public hall with competitions cased. A large auditorium dimmed with low bulb lights. Many schools, host of teachers, all kinds of uniform were lightly visible. That smell of junk foods, split cold drinks, crunching of snacks smelt and heard. The sight of cornered bags, coin filled pockets, white skirts, long pants, ponytails, gel of hairs, buzzing boys, whispering girls, murmuring participants, all form a humming buzz. There were papers crushed with points of debates, discarded by nervous palms. The pounding hearts flinched the fist due to doubtful confidence, as three teams stood backstage to debate on topic of Braindrain. This girl acquainted herself with other team participants, and sat to relax for a second when she saw the tall boy of the adjacent team looking at her in constant gaze. She ignored all the attempts of the boy who was eager to come close, and speak to her. She would stay firm, greet other participants with all rudeness to keep that boy away and avoid his approach. But he would brisk around her in anxiety, making this confident girl anxious too. The bell rang, the debate began. All the nervousness, slip of tongue, lose points, stammering lips, warm body, lost mind fell and tripped and scattered in front of students, teachers, judges. Jam packed auditorium reverberated with loud speeches, long lines, longer pauses, and thumbing of dais. More so due to quietness of the listeners, disinterest of students, focused and distracted judges.

      The moment of judgment and the echo of the memory flashed through the girl's eyes with the beats of the song that was now playing in background. Her team did not win neither did the boy’s. Backstage, it was time to see off. Being an adjacent team, she kept talking to the partner of that boy who would play with his watch while smiling at her with regret of losing the debate. The girl was swift and light as a bird, chirping around, with no signs of dejection. She opened her bottle’s lid and let the water sweep down her face, on her lips, through the neck, and the boy gaped. She wiped her cheek and was about to leave when he followed and held her fist tight, she turned back. There was a rush of students around and fear inside her. She stopped to see the boy had is head up high. She looked up with all boldness. He smiled at her and dragged her closest, and said “listen to me.” He hummed something in her ears. 

Girl I can notice but to
Notice you
Noticin' me
From across the room
I can see it that can't stop myself from lookin'
And noticin' you noticin' me
Watch out I seen your type before 

girl you so dangerous
girl you are a bad girl 

He looked in her eyes piercing all the covers and tearing all the curtains of her shyness, sweetness, made-up rudeness, unseen pain of losing too and spelled- “D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S, listen to this song, it is for you.” He stood close to her moist lips, held her palm tightly, choking her breathe, stopping her heart, shutting her eyes, there was nothing around she felt as she opened her eyes, the boy was gone. Faintly feared, in the crowd of students pushing, playing, abusing, laughing moving out of the hall; she searched for that young, mad moron, in soaked sweat, through trampling shoes, among the uniformity of dresses, with different faces, but he was not seen.

      The girl returned home. Restless she locked herself in her room. She searched for the song, and listened to it and hated it for its tongue on cheek lyrics. She wondered what it was. Why this song? What was he trying to say? She six years back wondered was he really Lucifer who would have sealed the case that day had he not disappeared. What kind of boy he was she thought. Wasn't it strange? What through that song did he wanted to say that he

 - was the last man on earth,

I would only take that girl, end the search

      She was a carefree girl. Though young, beautiful, in sweet sixteen, she lived with childish style, sans cosmetics, sans pseudonyms. She did not invest much for her beauty. She was raw and loved to wear mild perfume with her neat, ironed white uniform. She was thin, strong and tall. She had something smartly natural yet simply magnetic, maybe her smile or the way she carried herself that attracted boys. Her soft spoken manners made her look refreshing and resplendent. She assumed that boys are friends and that being a tomboy she would never fall in prey of brats. She did receive many friendship bands, chocolates, cards and letters written in wrong grammar but she never spared a thought for the intimate emotions. In her world, there was nothing beyond friendship. A stranger was to her a threat until they meet every day, play every day and become friends.

         So the boy's intentions through the song dedication infuriated her. Was there an intention? Who knew? The voice of the boy's utterance haunted her. Was he stalking her sensibility? Did he harm her emotional virginity? What was the song all about? It was hard to catch up with the beats but she was drawn towards it. Why would he think of her Itty bitty waistline, good bodyship,

She did not understand the fast flowing words

-I wanna make my black snake moan
Talk a little bit then take that off
When she on the dance floor – tell 'em I rip

The girl really wished to kill that boy and he would rest in peace who stirred her peace, acted phony and hummed such a B-A-D song. she hated the lines-

Shes bad and she know the deal

     She thought she was bullied, harassed to the hilt. She could not share it with anyone. What would her friends think? A strange boy comes up and sings a R-A-U-N-C-H-Y track to her and she could not even hit him. A girl who plays and hangs out with her buddies suddenly stood unarmed. It was hard on her part to think of a reason why he got lost. Maybe he was afraid of her reaction. She cursed herself not to have listened to Akon. Why did she close her eyes, got scared and let a stranger hold her hand, move his lips and impure her ears to make her as miserable as she was, sitting listening to the track, wiping her unending tears. She was confused about her heart's longing for that boy's presence. Her heart was trying to justify his absence. Her heart knew he wanted to say more but could not. Her heart believed it was not a right place and time but her mind would nullify all her heart's justifications. He was brat and the song was B-A-D. But its music had something rolling with it, a recurring lust, a bohemian calling, a constant urge. The song sounded good but she felt bad. The rhythm roared in her mind, the beats bruised her delicate heart; she thought was it really the way she walked?

 -I see you got that fire by the way that you walkin
From left to right I watched her go down

Girl I just want it right now don't wanna do no talkin  

She did not know when she stopped listening to that song, went to bed, fell asleep, the song still playing in the background.

      It was six years now, the song plays again. Now, she sits and smiles, shaking her legs and moving her hands to that very track which once tormented her. Now she wonders it was just a song a boy felt would share with her. Now she thinks she must have given the boy the chills, he was infatuated, he was in a moment's love maybe, or he just wanted to cheer her up. Maybe he himself did not know the meaning of the song. Now she laughs how back in 16 she listened to a track trying to know a boy a million times in just a single day. Now she listens how rapturously he sang the song....few words, zest in tone, strength in his clutching of her palm, the boundless spirit. Now she could say the boy was handsome, and feel the hardness of his palm. He must have been in some sport he was so tall. Now she could see the liking in his eyes, the reason behind his smile, and the effort of his heart. Now she realized it was one moment when a young boy really tried well to woo or shock or tickle or tease a girl. Now she agreed that just for a moment he stole her heart through that song.

     Now that moment was gone, but in her playlist the song was here to stay...for now and forever.

Vishakha Sen

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A hangout with history at Imambara, with friends.

This is a poetic travelogue of my visit to Lucknow's Imambara, the majestic monument which has lived history.

In the course of the City of Nawabs- Lucknow, stands out the Asafi Bada Imambara.
me, Preeti and Sandesh planned to visit this mosque built by Asaf-ud-Daula.

Now Sandy is a dentist and Preeto is my perk.
Love Preeti’s laugh and Sandesh’s smile, without them feel like a jerk.
The calendar read 12th January, 2012. 
It was a cold afternoon but the Sun dearly dwelled. 

Wrapped in a jacket, I rolled a muffler, 
I was anxious and in awe, just like a naïve juggler.

I did not share the idea with my family,
as they would never nod to sudden traveling.
I believe it is never wrong to keep secrets.
We should enjoy and explore young days without later regrets.
This way we build our own world brick by brick.
Adding experiences and knowledge through tricks and thrills.

Now besides River Gomti, meandered with traffic,
as wide as one’s winning pride, stretches the Daliganj Crossing.
I reached there to join Sandy.
We zoomed through the congested wheels, I was fidgety.

As we neared the Old Chauraha,I could feel the grace and glory of something very imposing, 
my heart kept pressing and pounding.

We reached the clay colored frenzied entrance of Imambara.
The 18th century mosque welcomed us with its infinite aura.
As we stepped in the front goodly garden, waiting for Preeti,
A sense of belonging poured in the fountain of history we were to float on.
Me and  Sandesh strolled round the garden, amused.
We both seem cornered by our shyness and confused.

Until Preeti reached to join,
We were mistaken as a couple by reluctant locals.
It is common in Lucknow to get galvanized glare,
Even if one simply hugs a friend as farewell, they can feel public’s flare.
Finally our funny Preeti arrived.
A sigh of relief and the excitement was revived.

We posed for the camera, falling on each other, laughing.
We captured the bliss of being together and touring.
We passed the gateway through a passage,
clustered with antiques shops full of toys, carved silver packages.
It is like a mini market in the midst of historical walls.
We gaped at the items with delight, costly but irresistible for all.

We walked slowly through the main garden, smiling.
The Sun was zealously shining, and people were relaxing.
The garden was lush green, clean and wide.
We had to submit our shoes to my surprise.
Then Sandesh bought pass for Asfi mosque and Labyrinth.
He is always generous in his grit.

To our left was the Bouli, it is a step well of running water.
We stepped in the grace of the Bada Imambara and it made us ponder.
During 1783, the Nawab decided to help the poor devastated by famine.
So the workers build the mosque during noon, as daily earning.
At night elite men were called to breakdown all structure raised.
This way he provided employment and gave “Food for Work” aid.

It is a major project that did not ape any design of European walls.
There is no use of iron and is fifty by sixteen meters wide, fifteen meters tall.
The chambers have no beams supporting the ceiling. 
It is one of the largest arched constructions in the world’s buildings.
The Labyrinth or Bhulbhulayah is the only existing maze in India.
It unintentionally supports the weight of the building area.

We saw the chambers had a unique design.
The China Hall is square at ground level, becomes octagonal at mid-height.
It is 16 sided at the top and then we observed in astonishment,
that the dome of India Hall has been fashioned like a watermelon.
Sandy torched matchsticks, whispered words from left corner of the hall.
We girls were grilled to hear the sound echo from other end, enthralled.

We reached first floor of the Labyrnith.
Then like rabbits burrowing, we stooped to pass through low ceilings.
This three dimensional Labyrinth has four hundred eighty nine interconnected doorways.
They are identical so to get out it is tough, tiresome, a talent to find a way.
There is darkness dominant, at times haunting and creating hysteria.
That is the stirring symbol to check one’s calm.

In the ally of the doorways, it is crucial to make a choice.
Through the windows we could hear the Old Lucknow’s voice.
Deep inside I could imbibe the compassion and bravery,
of great men, there intelligence and dignity.
The Labyrinth is dead dark, my friends’ voice worked as a guiding sight.
Once, I even tripped but their hands helped me upright.

The blend of light and shade made us laugh and scream.
I felt the thick walls and the floor closely to remember it in my dream.
We ate “Gulgule”, groundnuts and guava and roamed.
Then we sat on the roof of one of the many beautiful domes.
Sandy wrote a poem for our fantastic friendship build up.
Amidst the historic walls, echoed his affections, all pent up.

At times in the maze we convulsed and quivered out of fear.
But ultimately cruised through the caving walls, to the top stairs.
The view of Old Lucknow through the domes is enticing.
The enjoyment with my dears was engrossing.
I breathed freedom, and a flow of bliss gushed.
Finally it was time for us to leave, so we rushed.

I lived that day profoundly in the Imambara’s charm.
The memory is like a raindrop that trickles down my palm.
It is all by Preeto’s and Sandy’s love of friendship and art,                          
That I could contain all the moments in my heart.
Both have taught me a lesson of life,
to live every moment enthusiastically and to celebrate the strife.

Such a feeling of visitng Imambara cannot be lent.
Will always cherish…
A hangout with history at Imambara, with friends.
-By Vishakha Sen

My short poems, long time ago.

Eternity is everywhere. 

It is dawn, slowly the Sun rises.
It reaches the zenith and there is sunlight for the living everywhere.

The mountains are young now.
They grow higher, touching the clouds and there is beauty everywhere.

The tree bears the seeds that will grow up into more trees.
There ought to be greenery everywhere.

The birds flit, flap and fly to new destinations.
There is crooning and chirping everywhere.

The brook streams with gleam, to join the river.
There is abundance everywhere.

The babies cry, mothers sing lullaby.
There is melody everywhere.

The roads on which we tread turns to new roads,
There is a way everywhere.

The mind surely strides ahead at the call of the heart, once you decide.
There is a will everywhere.

The humans can play or poise, participate or prevent.
There is a choice everywhere.

The friends farewell, forgo and even flee.
Never mind, new friendship flowers everywhere.

The clock ticks for eighty six thousand four hundred seconds a day.
There is time everywhere.

The door of the house is open, someone will come.
There is hope everywhere.

There was, there is and there will be,
Eternity everywhere.


On her lap, under her shade,
we snuggled when we were newly born.

Beside her, we cried and played,
when we were toddler, too small to talk.

Around her we tossed and laughed,
when we were a child, living an innocent life.

With her, we argued and questioned,
when we turned into teens, becoming immature and indifferent.

As we grow up, active and young,
We avert from her and dupe her.

Lying, beguiling, and disrespecting her.
No more we wish for the warmth.
No more we yearn for the shade.
I wonder why we lack that courtesy and love for our mother.

We receive so much; it becomes not our obligation but our ultimate virtue,
To give unconditional love to our Maa.
-By Vishakha Sen

Non-Verbal Communication is pivotal for our Personality.

Once, Watzlawick rightly said- “You cannot not communicate.” Communication is that essential trait of our personality. With this, what matters is how we present ourselves. This speaks volumes about our character. In this world, each and every person uses two modes of communication: Verbal and Non-verbal. Out of this, Verbal carries less than 35% social significance, whereas Non-Verbal communication holds 65% importance in a person’s personality. You communicate just by being. Nodding your head, linking your eyes, shrugging shoulders waving the hands, etc. come under non-verbal communication. Understanding non-verbal cues and re-evaluating our personality, develops confidence in us, good impression and influence on others.  
Why do we use words? It is because they are primary, symbolic forms that convey our thoughts. On paper,
words remain static; punctuation marks are used to convey expressions and emotions. In face-to-face communication, the message is conveyed more profoundly. For example, when you utter the word “congratulations” with a big smile on your face and a hand shake, it will have more impact on receiver than just the word in isolation. Non- verbal communication is subtle and instinctive. There are several aspects of non-verbal communication which will surely help you all to present yourself in a better way, wherever you go.

Body Language- includes every aspect of your appearance, from what you wear, how you stand, look and more, to your facial expressions, and physical habits such as nodding your head, jingling change in your pocket. When a speaker presents himself, we see him before we start hearing him. Hence, check your body language.

Personal Appearance- As you adapt your language to an audience, you should also dress appositely. Appearance includes clothes, hair, accessories, conforming to the need of the occasion. Clothes accent the body’s movements. Hence, you should be clean and well-groomed, and not heavily dressed, as an appearance communicates how we feel about ourselves and how we want to be viewed.

Posture- generally refers to the way we hold ourselves when we stand, sit, or walk. Novice speakers out of nervousness can’t maintain a good posture- pacing constantly, bobbing the shoulders, fidgeting with notes. Remember that being comfortably upright, squarely facing are good postures that communicates professionalism, confidence. Seeing is believing. The way you sit, or walk reveals a lot about you-
Slumped posture- low spirits
Erect posture- high spirits, energy and confidence
Lean forward- defensive or disinterested
Crossed arms- defensive and not ready to listen
Uncrossed arms- willingness to listen

Gesture- Believe it or not, there are as many as 700,000 varied hand gestures alone. Gesture is the movement made by hands, arms, shoulders, head, and torso. They clarify your ideas, reinforce them, and hence they should be well suited to the audience and occasion. It should be natural and spontaneous. Be aware of and avoid irritating gestures like playing with a ring, twisting a chair, clapping the hands tightly or cracking your knuckles.

Eye Contact- 
Eyes are considered to be the windows of the soul. It is direct and powerful form of non-verbal communication. You use your eyes to cull information. Hence, looking directly at listeners builds rapport. Prolonging eye contact for 3 to 5 seconds (not staring) tells the audience that you are sincere in what you say. As a speaker, do not look outside windows towards the roof or floor, at one particular section; instead try to establish eye contact with one and all. A direct look conveys candor and openness. Eye contact helps you establish a bond and get good response and feedback.

Hence, non-verbal communication occurs without the use of words, either spoken or written. Yet they are so important for your over-all personality. With a hope that these knowledgeable tips would enhance your personality and presentation, I sign-off with these lines by Socrates-

“Nobility and dignity; self-abasement and servility, insolence and vulgarity, are reflected in the face and in the attitudes of the body whether still or in motion.”

-  By Vishakha Sen