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Wherefore Art Thou Bollywood

bollywood love

This Uber driver counselled me today on the importance of having children. With a rather disconcerting directness, he asked me whether I was married. Then went on to inquire if I had kids, planned to have kids and then explained, “Continuity of life. That’s what I tell my daughter too.” I didn’t need to know why he assumed I would have a similar outlook, as his family, to starting a family. He knew me, just as so many of my…

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aarwen Festive Specials

Have you ever served Dhabhe wali Dal at Home?

dhabha wali dal at home recipe

I have always dreaded day 2 or 3 of having house guests. I have already served them paneer or chole (substitute chicken curry if you are a non-vegetarian host), we have gone out to an expensive popular restaurant in town and we have approached what I fondly call the “home cooked food craving” day. These guests say things like, “My stomach is full” or “am feeling heavy” or “let’s have something simple“.  Years of conditioning as a conscientious host doesn’t allow…

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aarwen

A spell under the Rainbow

Spell under the Rainbow

This old wizened witch sat by the window Her black pointy hat had a wide gaping hole She was busy with her spell to steal a perfect rainbow. A croaking toad disturbed her evil reverie She squashed the busy spider with the tiny insect he stole. A bat came falling right through the chimney With soot all over the witch did look terribly funny. Into the cauldron went a fat rat’s tail, The clove of garlic was nice and horribly stale. A…

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aarwen

Matters of the heart

matters_heart

Call me old fashioned, but I have always liked love stories to have a tantalizingly slow build up. From irrational distaste to ardent admiration, in inimitable Pride and Prejudice style. Or maybe, have the hero and heroine running for their life with no time for love; but end up making a vow for life? That is what makes my heartbeat race. With Romeo Juliet, apart from the fundamental problem of them dying, the fact that they fall in love, confess and…

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aarwen

Misery

writersbrew poetry

Tired and worn Tattered and torn Swept along hapless with the winds Left alone, faded and forlorn.   Wailing and weeping Sobbing and screaming Inconsequential in the grand scheme of things Damp eyes with tears streaming.   Depressed and driven insane Tortured and in pain Invisible to all that good fate brings Left alone fighting in vain.   Hopeless and unheeded Ignored and defeated A lone cry in the discordant dissonant string With all happiness depleted.   Ever had a day when you just can’t get…

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aarwen

Have you ever had dal baati?

dal baati recipe

Blame it on Sooraj Barjatya. Those loud hyper happy families with beautiful decked grand halls, curving stairways, women with stone jewellery, intricate ornate lehengas and all that food! I was a Bihari (or half since my mother is a Bengali), but I longed to be a Marwari. The food was a big part of this yearning. In the movies, the heroine or mother would make gajar ka halwa (carrot dessert). But, there are so many more food options. My Marwari neighbours would call…

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aarwen

Of Dreams and Disasters

dreams disasters

“Elves,” concluded Lazywiz. A man and a woman were crossing the street. They were both dressed in black overcoats, a few sizes too big. Sharp features and a frenetic energy in their movement. Both had black hair with a lock of blue; a startling shade of indigo. She had a sleek ponytail and he carried off a rather long flop of hair. It was as if their human disguise had gone wrong. Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings. On the radio,…

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aarwen

Dads are the hardest people to buy gifts for

Dads hardest people buy gifts

I had heard these words as the title of a song on a radio channel, on Father’s day, 2 years ago. The words have stayed with me. Apparently, Sunday is Father’s Day. I tried to remember, but I don’t think I have ever wished my father on this day. I usually end up wishing him a day late on his birthday too. He isn’t the kind to mind it or even expect it. Perhaps, that is why even I don’t…

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Let’s Start at the Very Beginning..

Starting Online Magazine

P.G. Wodehouse would often say it’s damn difficult to know where to begin a story from. Go too far behind and your readers are twiddling their thumbs, bored by the old, irrelevant or repetitive information they already know, and love or hate or found uninteresting enough to forget in the first place. Start too far into the action, and your reader is probably scratching his head struggling to make sense of what is who and who is what, or making up…

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aarwen

Our plan

Our Plan Poetry

Come, run away with me Far away, further than the eye can see Across meadows of mustard Skip through thorny rose bushes Find me safe in the wilderness Don’t dare deny the lightheadedness…   Leave your caring family be Together we sow our own family tree A girl with unmanageable curls A boy exceptionally fair A house surrounded by flowers and humming bees Where two lovers shall frolic, forever free…   Come, run away with me The heart won’t need all that much money…

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