Category Archives: Writers

‘Mountains should be scared of you’


“….what d’you mean?” I mutter but we are in an Inner Garden where creatures talk.



Tim Price
Off Center & Not Even @ T&L Photos  


I don’t even like these creatures. Our home lives next to a bunch of trees and more than once we’ve had to chase war gangs of bees with smoke, repellent, yells….looking at Stings here wasn’t helping.


“This is a friendly wasp and she isn’t batting an eye at us…” The Gardener’s eyes crinkle with amusement.


What’s the point? 


This is a dream metaphor I do not want right now. Want to feel strong. Don’t wish to be reminded of mountains, real or otherwise.                                        “Mountains should be scared of you,” He repeats.


Friend Wasp nods. “You human, are more complex than every galaxy put together. If you only knew….”


I need her to shut up but Words open me up, petal by petal. I’ve done Time muttering at ‘Mountains’, rummaging my yard for Mustard seeds of Faith. Here, in this Garden, Little Wings shouts Nectar: 

we are Honeycombs within,


we could scare mountains…




Thank you Tim Price for your Image and Info on Friendly Wasp. 













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That Stairway inside you


Joepa prayed like he and God were thick as thieves, you didn’t argue if he said it was going to rain that day, or that you best stay away from the river a particular afternoon. He was an old school warrior kind of Prayer-er, he’d kneel and kneel straight. Not sitting sideways slumped in the floor, nor cross-legged, like a lotus. Then he’d go softer soft, till you had to lean in to hear the words that would arrive between pauses, as if he were listening.


brown and black wooden staircase

Joepa would listen when he prayed, That was new for me. I had heard other kinds – where you instructed God about the rains, exam results, menus, visits; requests for shoes, the right shade of lipstick, cricket matches; pleas for grand-aunt Mei to stop snoring, a certain relative to not visit that frequently, that kind of thing. When Joepa prayed he stood at a stairway, his eyes shut wide, sometimes he would tremble as if the replies that came down were too much for him, or even the Silences. As if his head or skin were too fragile for the intensity of those conversations that went on in the little room above JoseVilla where he had lived all his life, with his canes and hats, his books and shoes, his lovely wife and children.


On our many visits, Joepa would tell me little details about his life, about love and faith and trust. He hadn’t accumulated wealth or houses, because he gave them away. If someone wanted something he gave it to them – his radio, a piece of land.  “Some ask me don’t I have my own family. I tell them its what I had to do.”

So, it made sense to me – the way he prayed. He lived like he prayed. His words were lived at an altar, a glass altar here heaven and hell and everyone of us saw his reality.  He lived like he feared to ever hurt anyone. He saw others as if they were God’s own too. That’s what got to me. That’s why I believed that when he prayed he really was at a Stairway and it took him beyond the little room, beyond the nitty-gritty of asking, talking and not listening. Listening deep.

Today I sat with our youngest at home – he prays a few sentences or long ones, depending on the need. His needs aren’t exactly like yours or mine, unless you are visually challenged like him. He is intense, expectant. A few weeks ago he developed these motor/vocal tics twice, thrice a day, or more. All our check ups weren’t revealing much. Wait, Doc says. Go home. Relax. Let me know if there are changes, but right now, there are no signs to alarm us; 

back against the wall, we, I started praying, telling God what He had to do here. Three days ago, out of sheer fatigue I leaned back and refused to say another word, not at the powers that be, at medicines, at Docs, and flustered feelings;

leaned back and took a good look at Joh, our son. He’d changed. Changed from a restless young one, into a quiet careful human, watching the hours of the day – for “Tizzy”. We call his Tics “Tizzy”,

…we let go. Yesterday Joh woke up early (as he always does), ran to us with, “No more asking for healing. I’m thanking God….”

We did a happy dance small celebration, but here’s the news, Tizzy showed up just once so far. I don’t know how to say this without sounding over optimistic. For some reason the pressure is off. Tizzy or no, its like the floor’s changed.

If Joepa were here, he’d have understood better than us, what makes Joh pray the way he does, fearless, focused, as if there’s no veil between the spheres, as if we are a bunch of scaredy- rabbits for nothing. Papa Joe was my father- in- law, I miss him sore today. I miss how his hands trembled when he talked with his heavenly dad , there were no doubts at all between them. If there was a conversation it was about trust, about meeting each other, unconditional togetherness that placed no blame or need between that relationship to sour it,

thank you Pa.





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“This Week is going to be beautiful for you”


I sat still as the words went all over the room and settled somewhere on my head before it crept in; oh very welcome visitors I tell you, such words are.2589_140466490286_3889337_n

“You will be a blessing, you will give and not take, you will be the head and not the tail, above and never under dog. You will be blest in the city and in the village, your arm like the sword of a mighty man. This week is going to be beautiful for you..”

(These lines up there might sound pretty high, but when it comes to you at a time when you need some reminders about being blest, it is like water on a thirsting day. If you’ve been there, you’ll get this).

The Preacher preached another half hour and there was a prayer that lifted any gloom in the room, with a sense of favour I had not experienced in a long time. A girl next to me in glittery brown sari sat weeping her heart out, I did not know what to sensibly do. After a few moments, I took her limp hand; she did not pull away and my eyes filled. How close we all sat there, little knowing what was going on  in people’s lives. How great we all looked, dressed in Sunday best, our creams and layers of crushed silk and nice nails. Inside there were stories no one may ever know.

There were some lilting songs and quiet moments that followed  – we stood up for a blessing. The sacred moment had not left. I remember the very first church I remember, and it was a fisher village. 3 pm. Blinking sleepy 3 pm but my Ma wouldn’t hear of us not going to this village church, every one singing at the top of their voices in varieties of pitches and tunes, dressed in gaudy pink and red ribbons and mustard oilslicked hair dripping down their shining skins also plastered with Ponds talcum powder or something. Maybe that’s when I fell in love so completely with sacred things like altars and long windows sometimes polished clean, sometimes little holes in  mud walls, blazing with a riot of worship.

Maybe that’s where I first learnt to be very still and listen. To let what was obvious, melt with the invisible.

Yesterday morning I felt that way again after a long time. It was real. As real as the girl who wiped her tears and left me in silence, grateful that we had not spoken. Later there was dinner and a young couple that dedicated their little baby. The child was born with Down’s Syndrome, but what a beautiful child. Balloons burst of their own accord now and then ; each time someone jumped (at the loud ‘ pop’ of bursting balloons) my daughter and I went into splits of laughter. Little bumpy balloons, thank you God. Thank you too for the Peace in this young couples’ eyes. No anger, not even questions. They were all dressed so beautifully, gentle pastel shades. “Did we eat well ? Was the biryani good? The Payasam?” they ask.

This morning, I had to put this mesh of words down and I know it must all sound random. A friend wrote in to say, “Ray you are so emotional about everything. Looks like you’ve been thru’ a lot in life. ”

Another says they think I am a thinker. What can I say ? When I was very little I had this stammer and did not speak very much. Then I wrote with both hands and was a mess in school, till that got sorted out. What happened as a result, was I began to draw, and sing, also observe life. I watched my sisters grow into beautiful people, watched my parents be such awesome parents. My mother, this beautiful teacher, who could make roses out of discarded paper.. picnics out of an ordinary day. With the event of growing up, marriage, kids, love and work, so many beautiful secrets unfold, but we can take it for granted.

Maybe that’s where I was again, yesterday. And yesterdays’ words have  startled me into that childlike sense of wonder all over again. Forgive me if this sounds all over the place. It is, isn’t it? Like Life. Beautiful, sweet rascal Life. May you have it Beautiful too, and cherish the other bits. Have a beautiful week forever, girl in the glittery brown sari, and the rest of us 7 + billion.





via “This Week is going to be beautiful for you”

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July 19, 2018 · 6:47 am

Hula-Hoopers’ Academy



MG Road :

…the traffic jam was a honking mess that day, but this girl stole the show. I had never seen a hulla-hooping  star this close before, she was also a contortionist, winding herself in and out of this Hoop that she even twirled on her hips, left to right, then right to left. There was no music, except the sound of her voice, a  full throated shameless beggary, right there between honks and traffic snarls,she just wanted her money. The girl was 12 – 14 ? Sunburnt and hipster skirt.

Girl on MG Road. Pencil sketch. RN

” Didi, dus Rupaya.” ( sister, ten rupees).

Her eyes were bold and went over my clothes. That day we were returning from some shop, with some things for our new home in Bangalore. I gave her a few coins but her eyes did not leave…

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The Embrace of Healing.

This Post inspired by some extraordinary people

Kintsukuroi – (keen-tsoo-koo-roy) the 500 year old Japanese art of repairing smashed pottery. You’ve broken something? Fix it with gold. What a Gift in positive metaphor:

the story is told of a tea bowl that was a particular favourite of 15th century military ruler, Ashikaga Yoshimasa. One day a servant accidentally dropped the bowl. In the breathless pause (Ashikaga was known for a lethal temper), one of his guests reeled off a poem restoring Yoshimasa’s spirits, ” ..instead of its diminished appeal, the bowl is now the more beautiful for being broken. Its value was in its story. Its true life began, the moment it was dropped..”  Continue reading


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Always remember you matter

“Imagine a world where we all mattered..??”

In response to that query, I can honestly say I’ve never in my wildest dreams imagined such a thing. Its what kings and countries fight for, in good ways and horrific. The power of importance is that one thing that drives the best of us and the worst of us. I wish they taught this kindergarten upwards, instead of capitalising on paper results. 


“There’s a tribe in Africa that has a very beautiful custom. #honoryourself #honorothers  ( net) 


Image may contain: 2 people



When one of the members makes a mistake, the entire tribe surrounds him/her and for two days, they speak of the great things that member has done. It is their belief that humans are good at heart and that we all seek security, love, peace and happiness. However, in this pursuit, we sometimes make mistakes and when that happens, the tribe unites to reconnect that member with his/her real nature. This tribe’s greeting is SAWUBONA, or I value you, I respect you, you are important to me. And the reply is SIKHONA or so I exist for you.


Had to share another word : Ubuntu which means “I am because we are.” South African activist Desmond Tutu explained the concept in these words; ‘We believe that a person is a person through other persons.

“Africans have a thing called Ubuntu. We believe that a person is a person through other persons. That my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. When I dehumanize you, I dehumanize myself. The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms. Therefore you seek to work for the common good because your humanity comes into its own in community, in belonging.”


love people cute young

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on

Thank you for image share below, Witnesses to Hope.

Witnesses to Hope

33559744_419505951856587_479275946021486592_n Charlie Mackesy

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Forgiveness comes before freedom


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Kindness Blog

The Power of Forgiveness The father of a car accident victim hugging Takunda Mavima, a drunk-driving teen who caused a crash. His son, Tim See, was friends with Takunda and chose to ride in the car with him.
In a moving address to the court, both the sister and the father of victim Tim See spoke on behalf of Mavima, urging the judge to give him a light sentence.
“I am begging you to let Takunda make something of himself in the real world — don’t send him to prison and get hard and bitter, that boy has learned his lesson a thousand times over and he’ll never make the same mistake again,” Lauren See said in court.

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The Scream





The Scream, 1893 is the 2nd most famed painting (after Mona Lisa) and the saddest painting I’ve ever seen.Is Edvard the one leaning on the fence, (he talks of leaning in the fence, unspeakably tired), but then this is a self-portrait?



grayscale photography of man praying on sidewalk with food in front

From the moment of my birth, the angels of anxiety, worry, and death stood at my side, followed me out when I played, followed me in the sun of springtime and in the glories of summer. They stood at my side in the evening when I closed my eyes, and intimidated me with death, hell, and eternal damnation.
Edvard Munch

When The Scream got in the news again, (CoBo Social Art Blog), I stared at its decibel; Munch on that walk with two others separated by gaps and back drop blue swirl. In this pastel version,  center figure’s skeletal eyes gawk at a deaf Universe. The Scream is certainly no photograph, with random pedestrians; this is E. Munch’s mind, another heirloom hanging in there in the noise of us.


Yesterday a Reader’s comment here got me two words – ‘suspended understanding’ –

“…perhaps love, peace, joy, compassion, grace, beauty among others were never meant to be understood. Those moments when our understanding is suspended are to live for – where does it start or end? What actually exists in between? Is it good or bad or less significant than we make it out to be. More questions than answers ..and I don’t particularly like suspended understanding…”

Nor I, dear Reader but what if it makes for Masterpieces. One tries to own joy peace, love, strength, all that. Perhaps in the ‘suspended moment’ we cross fjords, chasms. Fenced in, we keel over at dusk. Is possible we hear each other’s screams in our own; perhaps that’s why this painting grabs the imagination of so many. One relates to it.


Image result for quotes of Edvard Munch

In our daily pursuit of happiness I’d like to think our best moments are perhaps in those suspended places, even if they are too loud to understand. or forget.






Below, excerpts


*Art historian Jill Lloyd,  “The Scream ..sums up a changing point in history – man cut loose from all the certainties that had comforted him up until that point in the 19th Century: there is no God now, no tradition, no habits or customs – just poor man in a moment of existential crisis, facing a universe he doesn’t understand and can only relate to in a feeling of panic. That may sound very negative, but that is the modern state…this feeling that we have lost all the anchors that bind us to the world.”

Scream Meaning: Meaning of The Scream (1893) Painting by Edvard Munch: Art Analysis

The Scream, by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch

“..the pastel version is incredible, .. vivid..fresh.. like it was made yesterday. In my mind, it is the most intense version: because pastel is such a free medium, you can see Munch altering lines and changing contours. So it has this unbelievably charged, vital surface, which you don’t really get in the oil paintings in the same way.”




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That Unshakable Kingdom within


One by one, put them all in tiny paper boats folded close, so the River can carry them far away, little paper Cruisers of bruise and hurt that rent you;  

let them carry away your jagged tears, every scar you were not meant to host anyway.  It’s not over. It’s a furnace now – a furnace of affliction / you were Chosen to be shaken, shaken free of all that could be shaken free, till what remains is the Kingdom, within –



“For you have not come to a volcanic Mount Sinai blaze, an ear-splitting soul-smashing, that even terrified Moses. 

No. This is that River – unshakable Grace – flowing in the crevice of what the tide took. Do not do deaf – He might rock it one more time, housecleaning the heaven you know, ridding it of epic junk that’s shocking your sanity – till all that’s left is the unshakable Kingdom within.” (Hebrews 12;18-29, adapted MSG& Inner-dialects).

Enough said 🙂 ? There is some amount of chaos that follows,


woman in stripes holding hands with person wearing bracelets “.. knowing that hardship ..produces unswerving Endurance; and endurance develops ..Integrity. And integrity/ Character of this sort, produces the habit of confident Hope;

such confident Hope never shames nor disappoints, like humans can, for God’s Love has been poured in now through the divine Comforter freely given to us..” (adapted from Romans 5 Amplified Bible & Innerdialects).

Ay, we are suspicious of the Invisible, but that’s where we hoard our darling/ rascal inner kingdoms.


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My Peninsula today : 


I try not to look at the papers, the first one and half pages of the Times are Real Estate rearing skyscrapers- neighbor to ‘300 corporate offices’ & HDFC bankers swearing by Galaxy S9+, after which you finally get to the Times’ official Pg1Image result for photos of shiradi ghats

Nice weather, Bangalore 25 deg. C, cool shade, no thunder wails here- pic below is my home town (half a day’s journey from here) Mangalore Coastal ghats;

travel by rail Shiradi Ghats hosts some insane bridges. I am seriously stressed out by heights but the terrain is  beyond beautiful- old world mist and mountain before you roll into Coast. Was thinking on that and trying not to look at our Burari mass suicides, Delhi. Whyyy?

But look at this, TO KEEP KIDS IN SCHOOL TEACHER TURNS INTO DRIVER..ferrying 20 students, 4kms to school and back in his car across a forested stretch by a river, dangerous during the rains..” my hero for the day;


beats chatter of Medical/Engg college fees that dwarf real estate prices, how do they do it? There’s that/ and there’s the nice Pediatric Neurologist at our son’s regular checkup-

he would not charge us his consultation fee, never mind colleague Eye Doc shearing me up with her nice brown eyes,

“… are you qualified to teach your son?”

We’d never met before, I was groaning inside at the amount of work this was going to take. Our kid is blind, not deaf, don’t talk loudly at him… that kind of thing.

I said I’d been a teacher (didn’t tell her that meant assisting my mum through college hours, that I’d been street school play teacher- my forte : non-academic fun, staunch believer in the University of Play therapy, ‘course  I did not tell her, I’m not suicidal);

Eye Doc, (re- re – confirming our son Joh was / is technically blind, and since there isn’t adequate education for him), puts us on to a person ‘who could train Joh for a certain fee.’ I looked at her through slits in my soul and told her our son could stand not structure, hadn’t we tried Integrated Education, and near every school in the city;

my husband, a gentleman – led us out that valley of the shadow of Edu- care at its darkest;

Neuro Doc honorary Medical Superintendent, took my wildly trembling arms in his hands and whispered that he had good reports about us from Open Schooling Chief herself,

outside the Center there’s kids in wheelchair, kids with popcorn,  a mother feeding her very young child rice and pickle, they were smiling and tired; our 3 pm sun hidden by clouds, like now. Yeah its a Peninsula pickling with the times











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