Photographic words. The everyday with the not-so-routinely stuff that makes life – LIFE


November 2015

You need help!

You need help,
As do I.
In the creaking world buzzing silently all around,
We need to find our voice, that is silenced by the silence abound.

We need to hear, the soundless words,
Calling for help and seeking shelter.
The words beckon without alacrity.
“Are you there? Would you come?” they ask, with alarming serenity.

I need help,
I need to see and hear, what my eyes can’t and ears refuse.
I need to see beyond the grotesque prettiness of the world,
At the plain humanity dying a shallow death.
I need to hear the cries of the lost souls,
Who were sacrificed as if they were already “no more”.

We need to fight back,
To bring the peace back.
To make sense in this senseless world,
Which has shamed me over and over.

© Shivani | forewordMarch


Diwali’s trail

Diwali went, taking with it lights, camera, action.

When Diwali, or any big celebratory occasion goes, it leaves behind a trail; a trail of dirty dishes, wanting to be cleaned. The barrage of people coming over to meet you is good fun, if you are those socializing kinds, but every guest adds to the number of glasses, cups, bowls waiting in-line in (and around) the wash basin. In India, dishwasher is still not very common. It definitely doesn’t feature in my household but I have a better solution. A human solution at that, which is quite common and has been so, since times immemorial. My loyal maid Neelam (means blue sapphire) comes to clean the utensils, amongst other things, and she can beat any dishwasher in the world!

She came on time today, unexpectedly. I had mentally given her a leeway in light of it being the grand festival of India a  day before; she would naturally have had her own house to look after. But, she came smiling, on time, looking radiant in her bright orange-pink attire, kohl lined eyes with big jhumkas adorning her ears and that familiar wide smile.

I wished her a happy New year (the day following Diwali is a new year for Hindus) and enquired about her Diwali celebrations.

After a bit of chit-chat, I went with her to the kitchen and guiltily looked at the dishes, that now covered the entire length of the counter, and apologetically said that there were too many dishes and lot of work for her. She laughed at it and said “Koi Nahi madam. To Kya Hua? Kaam Se Nahi darna chahiye. Sab ho jayega” (no problem madam. So what? One shouldn’t be afraid of work. Everything will sort out.)

I was left amazed. This woman amazes me with the golden globules of knowledge she sprinkles time to time!

Why are we so scared of mound of pain, mound of problems that come our way? Little by little it will sort out. One step at a time and you will wade through. Keep patience. Have faith in yourself and you will get it all done. Don’t be scared. Like she said- Sab ho jayega 🙂

Diwali went and left behind a trail; a trail of lessons.

Happy New Year!!

© Shivani | forewordMarch

What’s your Diwali?

This year, Diwali is silent. I know it’s a festival and not a person, but it takes an omnipresent form before and long after the actual day in India; it becomes a being.

Diwali has been silent this year, like I said. My last year’s whatsapp status read “Diwali in the air”. This year it’s more generic. There’s less noise and sound, and far less fireworks’ sights in the air; but, I am not complaining. I would have been happier though, if it were for the reasons I want it to be, which is, reduce pollution and celebrate it by lighting up someone’s life!

The reason here is another and political in nature and this blog isn’t about that.

When we celebrate a festival, what exactly do we celebrate? For kids, it’s usually new clothes, toys, gifts and sweets. For adults, it’s mostly about socializing and partying late with permission. How many of us celebrate the ethos of these festivals? Every festival, belonging to no matter which religion and region, teaches us something. There’s usually a backstory and usually a victory or achievement of something or something that’s good, true and honest. We celebrate those virtues. Aren’t we supposed to practice those virtues as well?

I know, Diwali is about worshiping goddess Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity, and from what I know, nobody misses that. Everyone earnestly prays to her, and that’s not restricted to this one day. We ask her to come and visit our home. We ask her to keep us in good state.

Do you not think that everyone has that power to do that for another person?

How earnestly do we try and be that person who helps bringing in joy in another’s life? It can be a simple action of donating warm clothes to downtrodden for the colder months that follow or buying, without heckling and bargaining, directly from artisans. Give a day off to your employees, and go and celebrate this festival with them. Leave your phones aside and sit together and spend some quality time!!

Please, this Diwali, light up someone’s life. Do something good and worthwhile! Be someone’s goddess Lakshmi  and Lord Ganesh.

Happy Diwali!!


© Shivani | forewordMarch

People are all good!

You know what? People are essentially good. If you reject this then you have probably been unlucky and that’s really sad. No matter how thick are the layers of frustrations, annoyance, irritated appearances, there’s always a certain kind of niceness, unique to an individual.

A friend once said to me, “Everyone is good. They are just different so you think they aren’t good”. Although I didn’t reject his premise, I took it with a pinch of salt. It has rested in my brain ever since and delivered every time it came to be tested.

I started something new, not long back, and something new usually translates to something different. I met tens of people, all very different from the setup I came from. The reaction I got from them all was as varied as it was colorful. What did not change, was the fact that the essential humanity was there. They all helped if and where they could. A call for support never went unanswered. I realized that all the reservations and apprehensions I had, were my own creations. They had no connect with the reality in any way.

I have now settled in and it’s not as new anymore but the helpful people are still helpful. It has definitely not faded and clearly doesn’t come with an expiration date.

What I am trying to say is this- People are all good. You just need to ask and they will deliver. Don’t be shy.

I was pleasantly surprised. I am sure you will not be disappointed too!

© Shivani | forewordMarch

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