of equations and constant variables - of being high on life

The sky turns to gray, then lavender, then black. The distant concrete jungle becomes a silhouette.

Being a full time mom while doing a full time school and working full time, catches my breath… the fatigue has now become second nature. Here and now, am in love, like never before!

Some days it’s fire, some days it the hose! It’s messy and it’s magic.

It’s brutal and brilliant.

The night arrives softly, filled with the trilling of cicadas and the soundless fluttering of moths wings. I have been exceptionally thin skinned lately...

But, then, am becoming adept at being a bad-ass mommy!  This almost-balance, this in-motion, this push-pull, this abundance of giggles, even the melt-down tantrums, makes me what I am!

A list of little boy awesomeness:

* Mud and dirt is meant to be played in. Let him. Let the laundry pile up. No one will remember clean laundry; mud monsters on the other hand: totally epic.

* Extra bubbles in the bathtub. So what if his hair doesn’t ever get perfectly clean? There’s always next time.

* Make soup. A 2 yr. old can do a number on lettuce with a butter knife. Also: they’re more careful than you’d think, and growing boys who turn into men who can cook = lovely.

* New couches are overrated. Keep the one you have. Buy throw pillows. Let him throw. Up and down. Science happens here!

* Chocolates called by their shapes. Let him make a mess, click pictures! Extra tissue papers  + a little water works wonder.

* Match box cars, pint sized super heroes, board books. Classic!

* Say yes. Keep videos on loop and let him mouth the dialogues and songs. Cheer with him if he likes something.

A gleeful 2 year olds laugh ringing through your apartment is worth anything under the sun!

 Copyright © Neerja Yadav

This Christmas...

Boxing Day is quiet here! Like all morning afters... quiet and tentative! 

Nirvaans asleep, after a tiring whirlwind drive yesterday and day before, he is sleeping off the hangover! 
The house hums and screams in turns, with the silence.

There was something about this year, with the extremes coming in place, just like that. Simply. The year began with ‘Hope’, a throwback of last year and then slowly 'Serendipity' took over… slowly and surely!

There was something about pre-Christmas days, the 180 degree from full-steam-work to full-on-friends/family time…. and, I miss a lot of the family! But hey…

We all converge on the kitchen or the terrace, crowding, too many elbows, enough laughter and then some… and then not.

We check our phones, and we check each other doing the same, I made a pact and hid mine!

Nirvaan, all glee and then tired! Little elfish snores.

Holidays are like this… bittersweet! Needing. Wanting. Desiring. Nostalgic. And. New.

But then, the air is just enough to make the magic. The house gets warm and toasty. And, half of me is in the bedroom, making sure the noise doesn’t wake him up. But, girls never, not talk and giggle!

We have fun. Play. Eat. Drink. Laugh out loud. He wakes up and refuses to come say hello! I don’t insist, knowing fully well, he wouldn’t … yep, I am not really a disciplinarian parent. And, then he is surrounded by girls… all pampered and basking!

We kiss, we rub noses, we love, we argue, we laugh. It is all inevitable: this mess, this frantic loving!  We lean into the chaos. And, enjoy!

The easy sparks of joy that come from the simplest things: warm sun, touch, coffee, quiet.

PEACE…  all of you, and yes…. LOVE, lots of it! To the planet!

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

treehouse times


 Days spin by, leaving an afterimage, wet with winter 
shut the world out
soak in the banter
sprinkled upon by elfdust
faerie mischief... perhaps, I say

Like some far forgotten dream
like the love that was
like the unexpected serendipity
like the moth to the fire

Secrets are the only magic
what we know, and they don't
what we see, which the rest blink out
the pause in the song
the crack in the pavement
the sun caught, high up in the trees

 I am a thread too slender, To suspend all this reality.
Phillip Pulfrey

i perhaps have a song somewhere
one day, i shall breathe it
onto the sky
some day..

Copyright©Neerja Yadav


The road begins to double back, like a paperback I read my story, am the heroine and the villain, ‘am the heart and the mind, ‘am the plot and the prologue… the end comes a little too soon

Every sun-down, without fail, she would stand at her bedroom window; looking out into the woods. 

She didn’t know why, she didn’t remember, how it began… just that she stood there one day and she stands there every day...

Braiding love-knots in her wild raven hair, playing with the lace curtains… dark eyes, waiting… for what?

The sun-down dark is slow spreading ink. It grows till it hugs me and everything else … tight, a velvet embrace!   
I sit with my back to a tree.  The blurred shadowy edges spill on the forest floor; the woods have become lovely… tangled in the darkness.

I have been sitting here for centuries. Waiting… For what?

And then, there was light in one of the windows. The only house that stands there.

Someone was standing at the window… 

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

a day in december

I wake up to the huge beige moon hanging low in the pre-dawn sky and Venus twinkling her name. the 3:30 - 4:00 am world is pure magic. The witch hour!

Am always in awe, always! And I am here, at the beginning, at the end, right here in the heart of a beginning of a winter.And, I take that leap of pure impulse ... a planned impulse.None of the 'am-very-busy-important-than-thou' stance of jet-sets!

I want to tell you about driving at 100kmph in the inky-morning air and of sleepy security check-ins and 20 mins early landing and about the 'no-rush-to-be-anywhere' arrival

It's chilly and foggy! I brought rain-showers and the final arrival of the cold. And, the drive is pure nostalgia of myriad old and new landmarks.

Morning hot chocolate with this friend, who perhaps is privvy to more of my thoughts than some of those I grew up with!

A loner and a charmer, a ranter and a thinker, straddling the world of finding personal voice and world's cacophony. Am glad for the internet and am glad to have made some wonderful people and am really really glad we finally met!

Another cup of coffee with school-friend I grew up with! Still the same! Cute and 'confused' (so she claims!) ... still the same intensity (i love this) and still very much a friend, you just totally can continue the thread with.... years don't matter!

Another 45 mins of navigating the oppressive traffic and right in the arms of a brand new friend.... a stunner!! A bombshell with a penchant of 'cooking and feeding'.... go beat that!! She is immediately a frenzy of activity of lunch and anecdote, regaling me with stories. A lunch, a cup of fantastic tea and zillion laughs later... am tucked in!! I told ya... a looker with motherly instincts! Lovely, lovely to have made this friend! Thank the Providence!

The finale'.... the purpose of the day! And, was it worth it??  YOU BET!!
The look on her face, while handling a very smart M&S boots.....! The stifled squeal... (yep, she is nothing, if not decorum maintainer!) The total flummoxed surprise!! (YES!!!) and the glee (accessorized with a mouthful of unmentionables!) Storm of snippets of catching-up, treated to home-made meringue and tarts! The beautiful witch CAN bake!!

It was glorious, it was intense bubble-wrapped in flippant! Spiced up with a pinch of  pathetic headache and 'missing-my-baby' intensely!!

The day filled me!

I want to tell you all this and about 'on-loop' playlist of A R Rehman's Rockstar ---
have you realised that the chemistry of night-sky and those twinkling cities on the ground is immensely heightened with the stream music?  Something surreal happens!

And, I want to tell you about reaching home in the black skied 2:00 am to the sleeping baby! Even in sleep he reaches out to the warmth and the smell and snuggles up!

A 24 hours of friends and 'family' DAY!  I drift off to sleep, folding into the snuggled warmth!

Copyright©Neerja Yadav

lewis carollesque

I dig myself up in a hole. Stories - in any form, take grip of me.

One would think, this is some form of residual psycho-babble nonsense form toddler/adolescence years... and all my 20s, i kept telling myself this!
I finished watching Evening and Martha Marcy May Marlene in a marathon.
Movies in general have a way of getting under my skin; I soak them up in the same way I soak up the emotions of strangers during commute; or at work, in college, or a party where I know only just a few acquaintances by name.

I tend to get into such vortex, every now and then... and should i seek medical help?
Or, should i let the reasoning part of me, take care of it... like always. Brain is YOUR tool and not the other way round.

30s are a bit better place to be, you sort of begin to understand and accept yourself the way you are... the different angluar turns of your dna, with grace!

The house is quiet. The air smells cold.

From the terrace, I see the distant car headlights making circles in the night.
It's lonely, driving, 3:30 in the night to your destination. Or is it? At the edge of the night, such thoughts... huddle around, with the cold they come closer now to the warmth of the foreground, some of them as faded as the pink paper tickets from the fete

I walk to the bedroom and find him sleeping like the baby he is... foetal, snuggled up with my pillow.

And, without knowing, unwittingly... there i see myself go... crumbling, falling apart... a total melt down... and all i can do is... watch! 

Let my falling self be, let her sob .... and sooner than later, i pick her up, give her a hug... and, we are good!  For the time being, at least...

It's frustrating and humbling to discover yourself at every turn, every corner... playin a peek-a-boo! Finding the limits and the core.

I am by nature an overachiever. An illusion - that i could do all and do it all beautifully.... another residual of teenage, high-school years... when my thoughts were too fractured and too refracted to stick to the routine.

Friends and acquaintances ask me, “How do you do it?”

The answer would be I am still finding my way around.... getting the hang of it!

There's this understanding of... everything cannot rather should not be picture perfect all the time, there would be missed doc appointments and missed classes and missed laundry and missed meetings

The idea is to complement... the silly with the vital... the playful with the responsible... the reflective musings with the assembly lines!

Copyright © Neerja Yadav


my week, this week, ended today.
on a monday!

there was a time, when semester exams,
especially the after-exams shenanigans were a big deal

the weather is still mild, the wind yet not biting...
i like the way late afternoon sun feels warm, syrupy, sunny...
and the way wind sweeps my hair into tangles, all over

i like the way, how the moon looks, a waxing crescent
stars twinkling, if look, long enough, millions of them

the quiet nights of winter prologue

i have re-discovered poetry -
the neruda and the liz bennett, the robert frost and the wendy copes of the world
are delighting me....
and loads and loads of, stories... the way my baby mixes up his stories... some old, some on-the-spur
are delightful...

moments full of grace, prayer like, even

life slips right by.

The slow spreading twilights merge into daylights which in turn spill into evening indiogos to starry skies and it's morning again

Live. NOW!

If not now, when?

Timing is not eveything and then maybe it is.
For every step, every leap of faith... timing is what you make of it, when you feel right... into your bones.
Always right, if you choose it to be, if you let the universe align.

This time last year, i was still tossing the idea of whether or not, I should begin school again? In general scheme of things, an undergrad, grad and a post-grad degrees would perhaps be enough...  Perhaps. Perhaps not.

So, if not now, when?
And, i began...
And then, i got in... sort of hilarously anti-climatically

bllink and am through with first semesters!

a day, a week, a month... merging into each other... blink and it's already christmas countdown! 

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

the everyday

Everything collides and converges, projects, deadlines, semester exams, Nirvaan’s school works, end of year round the corner… everything!

And, I never feel, I can just stop, pause, put my head down and take that deep breath… I am always running out of time.

When, I could just use, maybe a day, a mere 24 hours; perhaps a few moments to just slip through that hole in ‘the fabric’; my own rabbit-hole… a handful of moments.

Am building a collection of random moments, knick-knacks, while I wait for something to string them together! 
I keep misplacing my stuff, me … and finding in places and moments, unexpectedly.


Copyright © Neerja Yadav

'stealing tomorrow'

From the hidden caves of sleepless nights and fingertips fumbling with the bed sheets  
on the cusp of passion N prudence - 
comes this:

via web
She had known him before, a few stolen quicksilver moments, and each time it whipped out a new craving in her, a need combustible enough to make all night bonfires. But, all that was ever done, all that she could ever do, is douse the fire, pocket the ashes.

Yet for all that, it was love, wasn’t it? Or lust? Love of mayfly for the dying sun, love of one-day insects for the candle-wick. End indeed IS more beautiful, the finale truer than the prologue. 

Lingering for a moment on the very edge, and like all lovers she parted with a whisper; 
“Not just yet. Soon, but not yet”

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

my beliefs basket

I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines, and sing out loud in the car with the windows open, and wear pink shoes, and stay up all night laughing, and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets, and throw parties, and eat ripe tomatoes, and read books so good they make me jump up and down.-Shauna Niequist 

 "I deserve that, don't I, some sort of blazing love, i can live with" - Sylvia Plath

 Let go of yourself, Let Love In,
Take a Deep Breath

{2 years One month and 9 days}

On this day, on the eighteenth of November, with the world sunny and wind dry, amid everything else; its 4 years and nothing!

And just like that, things change, another milestone just slipped by, that time of motherhood where just being there and a kiss could most likely solve the rest.

Now things begin to become complex. There is getting to know this person he is becoming, beaming-faced, hilarious, stubborn.

At the dinner table and other times, he’s like “want mummaaa”, wanting to be close to me, wrecking havoc with my dinner plate and anything else I do. Some nights I’m all patience and games: “Here comes the hyena, the lion, the hippo.” Other times, I’m worn thin by the way he squirms, his strong little body knocking me off kilter. But when I set him firmly back in his chair he begins to pout and then cry. “Mummmma pleesse don’t get angry, Mummmaa pleesse kissie”

And I know the years to come will pass just like he counts now: “One, two, three, four, nine, ten, fourteen, nineteen.”

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

nirvaan times two!

The rest of my life began with you! You arrived, white and wide eyed with a mix of calm and at-will tantrum that has stayed with you.  You are an old soul, that much was certain, even at four months old, you would have this far away knowing look in your eyes. And blink, you are all mischief! You came to this world loving and head strong. It’s your thing, it’s what makes you, you. It’s awesome!

You snuggle with me; your soft hand gently stroking my face. No one taught you this. You just knew it: how to be tender; how to make someone feel the warmth of your big heart. I adore you. I haven’t spent nearly as many sentences describing our lives with you as I did before you!

You have an understanding, which I have hardly seen in kids your age. An understanding of conversations and under currents too! And, you bask in being the centre of attention, I can see the pride with which you manage new things every day.

You are an athlete already. You love to throw and catch balls; you love to jump; you love to run. You’re at home in your little sturdy body: coordinated, agile, content. 

You are talking a lot now: long articulated sentences saying “thank you so much” every single time you receive something, saying “shonu baby” often. You can count to ten, and alphabets and animals name, in your sweet little voice, each word sounding like something uttered with marbles in your mouth: soft on the consonants. You love to dance and be a guy's guy ... jumping, falling, getting up with "mein gii gaya"

I want the present to last forever. I want you to be the way you are for as long as long. I want this sweetness to last. The way you give drooly kisses; the way you put your own boots on; the way you drink out of a glass all by yourself, casually with one hand, spilling when you feel like it. I want all of it to be indelible in my mind, but even as I write you grow, and I know that one day I’ll push back the hair from my face, look up from my keyboard and you’ll be 10. 

Happy birthday, my heart! I love you. I love you.

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

crave you

Counting stars till I fall asleep.

We used cigarette filters to sift through our conversations and find Truth. 
There was Philosophy and Nonsense and Unsaid; 
but apart from that, the lines on our palms stayed hollow.

Soft spoken words, melancholy everywhere!

Much later, all I could think of was his smell; the scent of his washing powder, his ironed white shirts, suffocating me so I can't breathe or talk or taste or feel.

It's confusing. It’s crazy! 

You think you've gone past the invisible line and moved onto another long and distant road.  But one two-minute conversation is all it takes, really.

It's all just a twisted puzzle that doesn’t look right, just feels right; even when it's still in pieces.

And I thought I'd made such a progress!

Sailed away in my ship (just a boat really) and then suddenly in the middle of the ocean, that laps up invitingly… i just know, that even the watery graves couldn’t drown me. 

The me that, has him!

via web

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

in love with the devil and his double

I make my pact with the devil and purposefully stride in to … wait a min, an empty theatre! Yes, absolutely empty save for my own self! 

The irony or the lack of it couldn’t have been more underlined. Here I was on a Monday noon, all by myself (have been doing this a lot lately) to catch the flick I have been waiting for, ever since caught its whiff! The background score of the promos kept looping themselves on in my mind’s ear. 

Congratulations to Christian Henson, by the way! Excellent, excellent score! 

Presently, I am in no mood to pay attention to the crowding empty seats, I settle down and Bam!

Nick Hornet  gives almost the review I meant to!
Yet, I needed to do this. Because? DOMINIC COOPER! LOVE! 

He is a treat to watch! This is his film! 
Not for a second you see Mama Mia's Sky - a total cad! Not for a second! 

As Uday he captures the frame like none, you are almost at the edge of your seat, not knowing what is next!

As Latif, it’s easy to fall for him and you can see why Sarrab (the love interest) does what she does.

Aside, Ludivine Sagnier as Sarrab is a classic beauty but a waste here.

The film has its fault, in fact, I would say many… and if it hadn’t been for Dominic, the OST and editing (except the very first mirror scene, where you just know that two characters are digitally together), this would have fallen flat!

The plot is sketchy (in a name of documentary-festivals’ film, I would probably forgive this) but the pace is not set! It rushes into certain things which should have taken their own time and strolls with inconsequential.

Also, as a so-called-biopic of a sociopath – Uday Saddam Hussein, violence is quite understated! Which is good, for someone like me, but then, even understated violence can be chilling. Here, we are just waiting for something gross, downright violent to happen, which I am sure is all in the two books this is inspired from. 

One can see that perhaps Tamahori in attempt to keep the documentorial tone, kept the socio-path’s behavior on the sides.

I do not really believe in stars and ratings, I would say WATCH IT FOR COOPER!

Copyright © Neerja Yadav