“Marijuana Dreams” on Smoke Site


Marijuana Dreams

With feverish longing
I roll your sensuous
Slender frame
between my fingers.
My mind fogged with
dusky marijuana dreams.
Translucent, veiled thoughts
wrap me in a smoky warmth.

Read more on the site The Smoking Book

The poem has appeared online but I do hope it will be selected for the final version of the SMOKE anthology from the small press Poets Wear Prada. It is the first time my work has been recognized online in such a big way.

Do visit the site and read some amazing poems from Nabina Das, Ritu Lalit, Roxanne Hoffman, Joy Leftow, DubbleX and many others.

Happy reading … Enjoy

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It’s just life. Just live it.


As we struggle to make sense of things, life looks on in repose.

I wish there was a cook book for life somewhere, with recipes telling exactly what to do. Which ingredients to add which to avoid.

But on second thoughts I also think that our own recipes are the best. You add or remove what you like or don’t like, you make your own recipe for life with flavors that you love, spice it up with your choicest spices.

You decide whether you want it sweet, tangy, bitter sweet, spicy or just plain and simple with no seasonings.

I am still perfecting my recipe for life… I am unable to pin point what’s lacking. Why am I not getting the right taste and texture?
Is it time to start all over again?

To check the list of ingredients and maybe change the method.

Or should I just leave it as it is and appreciate it as a new creation? Enjoy it live it just the way it is. Why is there a need for perfection, order, I think a little disorder is fine. A carelessness thrown in an otherwise bland dish called life. A scope for creativity.

Like a fruit punch..

Intoxicating flavors mixed to taste.

How do I want it to be –

some rain, some sunshine, some cool breeze and some dusty storms, emotions like waves of ocean, wild flowers, cascading waterfalls, rivers pregnant and flowing some times with joy and at others breaking all the boundaries, rolling hills and mountains that challenge you to reach for the top, to touch the sky.

Right now it is like a dew drop hanging from a twig. Beautiful to look at. One can almost see the colors of the rainbow in it as it shimmers in the sunlight but it hangs precariously… oblivious to where it’s destiny will lead it .. where will it land finally .in an oyster, onto the bosom of a flower, or a parched hard earth. No one knows …

Maybe that’s the beauty of it …the uncertainty….

The good thing is we are not bound to stick to one recipe for life ..create a new one every time you think you need a change and see if it’s to your liking.. it’s your life ..my life ..to be lived on my terms .. just the way I want it..

Tips for Using Leftover Potatoes


Wondering what to do with the leftover potatoes? Take a sneak at these recipes and turn your last night’s dish into a creative wonder. Enjoy.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1605737/tips_for_using_leftover_potatoes.html

Blaze : The superhero story


It was a windy Sunday morning. Sean was still in bed. This was something he loved to do on Sundays except kungfu training or hitting the beach for surfing.

“Mr. Sean brooks its 10’0 clock, get up! It’s time for your training”. Sean moved, stretched & yawned.

“Yes, grandpa, I am coming”.

Sean lived with his maternal grandfather Xia who was a Sensei and a monk at the Gongpa shrine downtown. His parents Richard brooks and Ming brooks had died when he was two years old and since then Xia had raised him. He was a father, a mother, a teacher & a master to Sean. Sean was raised as a fearless individual and was given the best of education and kungfu training, Xia could provide. Sean loved Xia a lot and cared about him more than his life. He did a part time job at the ‘New York Strikers’ an adventure sports shop.

“You are late,” said Xia.

“Sorry grandpa…umm…it won’t happen again…”

“Well come on. Let us start with the training. Keep your self focused. This practice would need your full attention.” Xia explained.

“Yeah grandpa I can do it. You are my master so I just can’t fail.” Sean laughed.

After the session, Xia stopped Sean as he was putting his things back to head for some les serious stuff.

“Sean. Listen son, would you help me get some stuff for the shrine today instead of going to the beach.”

“Hmm…Sure pa anything for you.” Sean hugged him and went to change.

****

While returning from the market, Xia asked, “Have we collected everything Sean? Just check the list.”

“Sure, pa … hey you want something to eat? I’m hungry.”

“No, have what you want, I’m waiting down the alley for you”, and he walked down the dark alley.

Sean finished his sandwich & started walking towards his grandfather. Suddenly he heard a bullet shot & saw Xia slump to the ground. He recognized the man who shot his grandpa; a local gang member who had a history of killing many people for money and was a wanted criminal.

“Grandpa… Gran……Nooooooo” he cried.

Xia’s breathing was slow; the wound in his chest was bleeding profusely.

“I’ll get an ambulance grandpa, you just wait.” Said Sean, still under shocked.

Xia’s lips moved slowly “No son, my time has come. I must go now. I love you. I’ll always be….”

“Nooooooo… Grandpa.” shouted Sean.

Xia died in Sean’s arms. Sean picked him up & took him to the shrine.

The next day after Xia’s funeral Sean stood near his grave. Everything was silent and the only sound was of the rain.

“I will kill them all, nobody will be spared. I promise to avenge your death. I promise.” Sean cried. He was burning with anger and revenge.

Sean returned to the shrine and sat down to meditate. As he meditated memories of his childhood, his life with Xia flashed before him. He opened his eyes and saw a bright white light shining in front of him.

“Sean, my son, the time has come,” it was Xia’s voice.

“I have to tell you something, something I believe you need to know now. Behind the statue of the holy Buddha, is a wooden box. It has the amulet of fire. This amulet is no ordinary amulet. It is a storehouse of energy, strength and powers. The one who possesses it can rule the world and I have chosen you my son. I see the pure fire spirit in u. Bless you, my son”

“Grandpa “shouted Sean as the white light disappeared. Sean got up & went to the statue. He picked up & opened the wooden box and saw a bright red amulet wrapped in a silk cloth. He picked it up and held it in his hands.

Suddenly the amulet gave a flash of crimson light and melted into Sean’s hand. His body burnt like molten lava. He shouted and cried, unable to bear the pain but slowly the pain vanished. The amulet had now become a part of Sean’s body.

Sean possessed the fire spirit now. He was now a storehouse of power, bursting with energy, speed n agility.

It was the birth of the invincible BLAZE.

Meanwhile, at the Roscoe Intl. Laboratory.

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am Doctor Tony Vlad. Today is the day when I unveil the Neurotobe60 a gene modification serum that shall be used by the U.S army for defense purposes. I thank Dr. Rachel & Dr. Sheila…..”

“Oh, shut up Doctor” and someone shot Tony. “Remember me”. It was Raul the same man who had murdered Xia that night.

“Tch…Tch…Tch… You know doc, I was so tired of stealing and running away. I wanted to have the ultimate power & you made it for me. Thank you & Adios. He shot Tony again in the head.

Raul took the injector and injected himself with the serum. He laughed as the serum slowly transformed him into a hideous monster. “Hahahaha….New York… You want fear I will be the fear in you. I am invincible. I am Ripjaw.

“Not so fast, dorkhead.” it was Sean.

“Go away kid, you are no match for me”

“Oh yeah!” laughed Sean “Burnin’ up”

Ripjaw gasped as Sean’s body lit up with fire.

“Who are you?”

“Blaze”

Blaze took a quick jump & kicked Ripjaw sending him through the lab door into the chemical chamber. Blaze went into the chamber. He could hear Ripjaw whisper
“Yoo-hoo, fire boy. You think u can stop me. You can’t.”

Suddenly he appeared from the top and grabbed blaze by his neck. He threw blaze but to his surprise blaze flipped & threw a fireball on him.

“I’m not here to stop you, I’m gonna kill you”

“Is this all fire boy, taste my strength now” Ripjaw ran towards blaze and gave him the poison sting; it was his most lethal attack. Sean lay on the glass floor right above the hot chemical fluids. He could not move & felt his energy drain.

He heard Xia’s voice “Sean, you have unimaginable power in you, if u concentrate on your fire spirit, the poison inside you will burn. You can unleash more power than ever”

Sean concentrated hard and got up slowly. His body was still hurting a bit. He then closed his eyes “The fire spirit in me, I call upon you. Spirit of the fire. Unleash. Full heat!”

Sean sent out a huge blast of fire across the floor, which hit Ripjaw sending him through the glass into the hot chemicals.

“Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah” he howled.

“Hell, yeah”

Blaze had finally avenged Xia’s death.

****
Sean stood near Xia’s grave. He bent and placed a rose on it.

“Grandpa, I finally did it. I loved you and always will. Thank you”

He rose slowly and walked into the mist.

Make a statement …..


Don’t know where this came from. But it is really relevant. – Wanted to share .

Money has no memory. Experience has. You will never know what the total cost of your education was, but for a lifetime you will recall and relive the memories of schools and colleges. Few years from now, you will forget the amount you paid to settle the hospitalization bill, but will ever cherish having saved your mother’s life or the life you get to live with the just born. You won’t remember the cost of your honeymoon, but to the last breath remember the experiences of the bliss of togetherness. Money has no memory.

Experience has.

Good times and bad times, times of prosperity and times of poverty, times when the future looked so secure and times when you didn’t know from where the tomorrow will come… life has been in one way or the other a roller-coaster ride for everyone. Beyond all that abundance and beyond all that deprivation, what remains is the memory of experiences. Sometimes the wallet was full… sometimes even the pocket was empty. There was enough and you still had reasons to frown. There wasn’t enough and you still had
reasons to smile. Today, you can look back with tears of gratitude for all the times you had laughed together, and also look back with a smile at all the times you cried alone. All in all, life filled you with experiences to create a history of your own self, and you alone can remember them all.

The first time you balanced yourself on your cycle without support…
The first time she said ‘yes’ and it was two years since you proposed…
The first cry… the first steps… the first word… the first kiss… all of your child…

The first gift you bought for your parents and the first gift your daughter gave you…

The first award… the first public appreciation… the first stage performance…

And the list is endless… Experiences, with timeless memory…

No denying that anything that’s material cost money, but the fact remains the cost of the experience will be forgotten, but the experience never.

*So, what if it’s economic recession?**Let it be, but let there not be a recession to the quality of your life*. You can still take your parents, if not on a pilgrimage, at least to the local temple. You can still play with your children, if not on an international holiday, at least in the local park. It doesn’t cost money to lie down or to take a loved one onto your lap. Nice time to train the employees, create leadership availability and be ready for the wonderful times when they arrive. Hey! Aspects like your health, knowledge development and spiritual growth are not economy dependent.

Time will pass… economy will revive… currency will soon be in current… and in all this, I don’t want you to look back and realize you did nothing but stayed in gloom. Recession can make you lose out on money. Let it not make you lose out on experiences… *If you are not happy with what you have, no matter how much more you have, you will still not be happy**.*

Make a statement with the way you live your life: How I feel has nothing to do with how much I have.

Prose : the Lost Art of Letter Writing


Hand written letters have become almost a thing of the past now a day. The charm of receiving a special token of remembrance has become limited to email. Is it not time to revive this beautiful art of hand written letters?

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1603440/_prose_the_lost_art_of_letter_writing.html

Exploring the Health Benefits of Spices


Spices & herbs are not just taste enhancers but also a powerhouse of medicinal properties. Let us explore some common spices and see what wonders they hold for us.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1599852/exploring_the_health_benefits_of_spices.html

I Suffer in Silence: The Hidden Hurt; DV Male victims


Domestic violence has a hidden aspect that very few people want to talk about. Another class of victims who suffer the pain and humiliation in silence. MEN. Stop domestic violence. Come out speak and live with dignity and peace.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1589163/i_suffer_in_silence_the_hidden_hurt.html

In silence I suffer :Hidden Hurt of DV male victims


In silence I suffer

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The neighbor’s house was silent.. curtains were drawn.. no loud screaming noises, no crashing of things aimed and thrown around, no plates and vases hurling out of the door, no abuses and insults. It was not normal.

I watched in horror the deafening silence that prevailed in the house right in front of my bedroom balcony. Something was not right. I felt strange to think like that, It is normal to have a quite, peaceful home so why was I not happy to see the blissful silence?

I scanned the entire house for some activity. The twilight of a long weekend was soon going to turn into a night of terror. I was sure of that. With my heartbeats audible from a mile I decided to venture out and checkout if the house was locked.

But then I spotted him. His shadow more visible than his battered frame against the backdrop of the terrace wall.

He stood leaning against the railing, nursing wounds that bled deep somewhere in his soul. His mind, body and spirit abused and battered by the woman whom he had given everything possible. His wife and so called companion for life.

A lump rose in my throat and I locked the door, ran down the stairs, crossed the dark lane and landed breathlessly at his terrace door. I knew it was going to be lethal if She found out but the communication channels were closed and I was concerned.

Slowly I approached him from behind. Suddenly he turned as if half expecting a blow.His well built body very vulnerable and shattered at that time.

His eyes welled up as a maelstrom of emotions rose within him, a fear of unknown gripped him as he scanned his surroundings for the presence of his tormentor but all was quite.

He winched as his touched his arm. It was dark and I knew the severity of beating must have crossed it’s limits this time. Raging from with in I drew him close. In silence a thousand tales of sorrow, pain, shame and hurt flooded down his cheeks.

I wondered why he suffered in silence and why I never stood up against the injustice and reported the domestic violence that rocked their home daily.

Maybe we both knew the answer.

Slowly the story emerged. He had come half an hour late from office. tired, drained and tensed about his job and the recession which had affected many people around him. A volley of accusations, abuses and a cordless telephone hit him before he could realize what was happening. What followed was a frenzy which left him completely worn out and isolated.

I asked him where she was and found that she had picked up their car and gone some where drunk with rage and jealousy.

We went home and there I saw the extent of damage. It was a sight that cut through my heart and soul like a double edged knife. I could have killed that woman at the first opportunity. How could anyone be so cruel and heartless. I made a drink and did some first aid as he watched me with eyes that made me reach out to him.Never in my life I felt so helpless. He knew he had a listening ear and a comfort zone in me but that was not enough to change the situation. Something had to be done ..soon. It was pointless at that moment to suggest any options, we had gone through it all before. So I just let me pour out all that was welling up in his heart.

The hurt was too much to bear and I wondered how much more time before he snaps. He suffered in silence, his pain hidden from the world. Taking on all the untrue accusations, abuses and beatings, trying hard to diffuse any potentially violent situations. Blatant discrimination, disbelief, gender bias and the fear of social stigma keeps many male victims of DV suffering in silence even if the abuse is life threatening. Treated by the society as a joke these men who are mostly caring, loving sensitive people face isolation and terrible psychological problems.

The cases are never reported, the law never takes them seriously and the fear of social stigma makes them more vulnerable to further abuse.

They use survival tactics in vain to hoping to stop the abuse but it gets worse with time.

I watched the man sleeping peacefully on the bed. An exceptionally talented person with a good job and a heart of gold he had the dark side of him which was hidden from the world. A side which need to be brought to light and justice. Seeing the couple walk down the street or talking to them could never reveal the horror that lay behind.
Behind the closed doors and curtained windows of their home there was an abyss full of uncertainty, pain, humiliation mixed with rage, and violence.

The society is reluctant to acknowledge that females could be perpetrators and males could be victims. It is a hard thing for the victims to come forward due to the feeling of powerlessness and other aspects.

I wonder if our society really is a male dominated one.. ??? Are creating a silent class of male victims in our pursuit to protect women’ rights?

With a law that favors women are we not doing a grave injustice to men by blindly labeling them as tormentors and glorifying women as eternal victims of abuse.

Does the stereotype image of a “man” come between justice and the silent sufferer?

I searched for answers as I watched him with tear filled eyes. When will it all end. Is there any hope?

What was in store for this man who tried really hard to live peacefully some moments of his life?

I wish I could do something more than just being a shoulder to cry on, though it’s something many victims don’t have all through their life unless they brave the onslaught of society and speak out.

Some things in life make you wonder what you have achieved as a human being and have you really done something to justify your existence on this earth.

All I would say is please do not suffer in silence.. It is one life that you have ..live it on your terms. Chase your dreams and catch them before it’s too late. Keep the faith and believe in the fact that you are unique and deserve your share of happiness in all forms.