Monday, September 17, 2007

Poem: Nala

the child in you
trusting, gentle, free
my wee love
asks so little of me
pounces, dances
stalks me patiently
playtime, mealtime
time as family

you've your life planned
around such little that is still
minutes, hours, days
you bend life to your very will
wrap your world within
that which you see by the sill
you've nothing and yet
with nothing you cavil

to be at peace perhaps
is not so big a feat
your valor lies indeed
in being the only heart
with room for all i can give

(c) VedicVerses (Rucha Gokhale)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Poem: A walk in the park

Running out of things to do, I finally decided we’d be like Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in Notting Hill and take a walk in the park. With him reading and me finally sitting down to do some writing.

Here’s the thing about Harshad and I – we were both mavericks when we were young. Unintentionally walking off the beaten track, we were both pretty cool in our school/college years. Still our bringing up was a la the Maharashtrian middle class, our values typical Kobra. As all well brought up gals and guys do in this niche of society, we married well and lived happily ever after.

Happily ever after is what we make of it. For the first time in some time, I’m stumped. I don’t know what to aim for, where next to take this happily ever after. Just the present ain’t bad – we’re sitting here, in a little peninsula of a park, overlooking the Hudson river and Liberty State Park. Better than any place I could’ve ever visualized myself in. But what’s the next place I want to be in? Dunno yet, still struggling with it.

One place I know I do not want to live in is this anxious place I’ve grown accustomed to. Always pushing myself to get elsewhere, to some place “nicer”, some place other than the present. Afraid of the “permanent”. Since I started making my own living, I’ve tasted avarice like never before. Constantly buying clothes, foods, gadgets – and then just as quickly getting tired of them, throwing them away. Never comfortable in my own shoes. That has got to stop.

And so I made a change today – I decided it was time for a walk in the park. For the both of us. Between him worrying about a nest-egg for forty years later, and me worrying that the second bedroom is too small for when my parents come visiting, we weren’t doing ourselves any good. The current present – him reading his book, me looking out at the water and pretending to be a serious writer – this is a good place to be, even if only for the next few moments.

A walk in the park

There’s that man sailing, strutting his skills on the water
And those four old spires of Ellis Island, faking the elegance of a Taj Mahal
There’s Lady Liberty and the old Jersey Train Terminal
Manhattan, Brooklyn all ending right here
At l’il ‘ol Paulus Hook

A gentle breeze, warm and cooling blows in my face softly
And I think, yes this is the life I thought I’d live, but never visualized…

I’m a big believer in visions
Was it Stephen Covey that said
You are what you envision,
What you aim for
Is what you become?
Maybe it was Lee Iacocca…
Either ways, I’m a big believer

And yet, this is not a place I could’ve imagined for myself
Or given myself credit for
Not that it is to my credit that I live here -
One of life’s surprising rewards
For just... living it

One reads of such things
One dreams of living in a place that has a name
But no face
And then life takes you there
And you wonder, if you had envisioned this
Where then would you be today?

Is life meant to be lived contentedly?
The very possibility makes me feel like a guilty child;
Compulsive avarice for living as much as I can
Has overtaken me -
As if I were terminally ill
But then, if I sleep tonight, will I really wake up in the morning?

Aai, you set me on this path of aspirations
I know you did not intend to make it my addiction
But there it is, I am addicted to moving on
Living my life as if I were caught up in a storm
And flapping my hands wildly about
Was the only means to survival

Y’know, one day I found that I couldn’t run anymore -
My legs could carry on, but my lungs would forget to breathe
Until I stopped to think about it
And voila, I could run again

Is that what I need to do with my life?
Just remember to keep breathing?
Just remember to take a walk in the park?
And enjoy a smug smile privately
For another bright vision I had had
That brought me here?

(c) VedicVerses (Rucha Gokhale)

Sunday, March 25, 2007


When did Rucha stop and let life take over? Is this what they call contentment? And this is something I aspired for? How did I get here?

Lets start from the beginning …

Date something April 2004 – Just broke up with the guy who came to be known as my biggest mistake. You’ve heard this before, but I’ll repeat it once more. He was the one in my wide-eyed dream for whom I left behind the land of opportunities and returned to the homeland. As all young women in love do, I had the fanciful hopes that once I let him catch up with his intended success, I would once again get back on my destined path. Foolish? Yes. But also quite daring, and very me! Around the same time as the break-up two parallel transformations occurred – the first was a wild, emotional single woman with a mission to overcome the pain and the world along with it. The second began despite the first – this was a woman who craved stability and the standard chosen path of ambition and family.

May 2005 – I married. The first became the second and the two tranformations merged to make a very boring adult me. And that, I am told is called contentment. The old Rucha would have called it “letting life take over”, but whatever, I am content aren’t I?

Content in getting ready to make babies and make a $100000 at the end of two years. Content is when I can put away a long held dream of having a Husky for a pet companion, because I may not have the time from my career and husband to raise a pup, since we are really focused on buying a home for those babies we want to make. Content is when all my Rucha-like impulses must be thwarted because they freak out my husband’s delicate balance regarding our economic standing – since we are supposed to be saving money and time towards that house and babies.

Alright I know I sound a tad cynical, and like I really hate my husband. Most days I love him quite passionately – especially when he goes against his nature to pick our cat’s poop (since I just fell asleep on the couch). But sometimes, I just want to chew him up and really leave him bleeding and mauled. Not quite the contentment one would expect from the boring adult me. There are some men, who just don’t have clarity. My husband is not one of those. But then there are those who lack imagination, entirely. And that is him in a nutshell.

Ok, so I am not entirely devoid of blame. But I know this worked with Nala, the cat and it made me think it might work with the Husky too. Also, I really shouldn’t have asked to play with this gorgeous 8-week old Husky pup, with the black markings around ice blue eyes! Oh that puppy smell! I know it sounds insane, but if any perfume maker ever bottled that smell and sold it, I would gladly bathe in it everyday!!! ☺ So here’s the perfect pup at the local pet store – the dream Husky dog. Couldn’t we just buy her? We’ll figure out how to reschedule our not very filled calendar around her a little bit? Couldn’t we pleeeeeeeeease? And the answer – “Well, if you have maade up your mind about it, then you’re not really interested in my opinion, so sure.”

Right, of course. Yes, of course lets take a day to think about it. (Good manoeuver – got me out of the store real quick). The scene shifted to the living room an hour after – so what do you think? “Well, the brochure from the pet store says we can’t leave the pup alone. I work 9 hours, even though I work from home. I mean I can take her out and all that, but you work away from home. What is your commitment to the pup?” My commitment? I don’t know, I’ll have to figure it out. I mean I took care of Nala, didn’t I? I’ll figure it out. “But Nala is no work at all. It says in this brochure that the pup needs to go to tha bathroom every 5 hours. That it should not be left alone.” Well, it won’t be alone. You’ll be here won’t you? “Oh, but that project in Philadelphia… I won’t be at home much then.” (The Philadelphia project has been an excuse for everything since it was signed over 6 months ago!!) Ok, maybe we can get a dog walker… a dog day care. “We can’t afford those!!” Do you know what they cost? “Umm… not really. But I’m sure they’re expensive.”

My memory fades a little at this point – but if you got around all the noise, I think the next couple of hours were really filled with name-calling, emotional breakdown (mostly mine), tantrums (again me), sarcasm (oh, he had some interesting things to say here!!) and overall not quite the picture of contentment.

I’m not saying there’s no sense in what he’s saying. But really, do you detect any ounce of imagination? A will to make it work? I think its because he’s content with status quo – after all, isn’t contentment always about a steady state? Might as well be a sloth! I think we almost are….