Sunday, 15 June 2014


My name, ‘Deeya’, has always fascinated me. Etymologically, the word has its roots in various languages. But my father named me ‘Deeya’, inspired by the Hindi word ‘Diya’, which means ‘lamp’.

 I grew up listening to my school teachers, fondly, referring to me as the ‘lamp of the family’; and I travelled with my family where ever my father’s transfers took us, changing schools and accommodating cultures and traditions.

Once on a long vacation, we happened to be in our family home in Kerala, and my father showed me his world of books and writings. There I came face to face with ‘Deeya’, my father’s pseudonym.

A surprise indeed! My father had never mentioned his joy of writing, except that he enjoyed reading my creative ventures.  To help me improve my writing skills, he encouraged reading, bought books, gifted diaries, and advised me to make them my best friends.

Occasionally, he would enquire about my latest diary entry, and I used to read it out to him very reluctantly. Then it had mattered less to me. Gradually, I found myself sharing every single write up and poem I penned; and he was more than happy to view his opinions and mend.  

In fact, my first book of poetry materialised due to his quiet work of passing on the poems to the publisher.  

Years have passed by. Nothing seems to have changed.  Even today we spend hours over the phone (distances hardly matter!), especially on holidays, discussing news, views, and his critical observation of my writings.

Need to mention, he hopes to see me read and understand the depths of Malayalam literature. To begin with, recently he gifted me an English translation of the great legends of Kerala.  

Over a period of time, my relationship with my father has matured from a father-daughter one to a guru-shishya (teacher-student) level of understanding. A teacher, who understands, guides and accepts the student as she is.

I often wonder if I have idealised him. However, I am still learning from his philosophy of life. And I have realised that I am truly his “Deeya”. On this Father’s Day, I salute you, my dear acchan (Father in Malayalam).    

Thursday, 15 May 2014

What's Up, Man!


Smartphones are the necessary evils that keep our day busy with activities. With the amount of software downloads, as such, our life is centered on finger tips. Facebook, PIP Camera, EBook  Reader  and many such applications are in offer. These  are not only useful but also sources of image enhancers, which keep  the happy hormones flowing. Along with these, there is this software called WhatsApp messenger that offers cost cutting messaging applications and easy functionalities to keep us connected and entertained 24X7.

I remember the first time I set a Facebook profile. The long lost friends and acquaintances were soon only a click away. Yet with time, logging on, updating, reading the comments and counting the number of likes were waning away. My face then searched only for mails, the messages my friends and acquaintances from the book, sent through Facebook message system. Wow. That was such a relief. I was no more worried about a PC, an android phone insisting on software download, and if ignored the profile or pictures going public.

That is when I was gifted an android phone. My well-wisher, my husband, wanted me to have all the facilities under one roof. And he introduced me to WhatsApp.

What’s up? I cried out. Hush hush, as it sounded, I defined it as an application that did not disturb me much, especially when the setting is put on silent mode. And at the same time, it helped me share the messages, videos and images on an immediate basis. Along with it, there was entertainment in the form of jokes, current affairs, notification, and information circulation, which brought the WhatsApp users on the same platform.

Interestingly, the same joke may come from more than one contact and so do the dissection of news, views or even the jokes, for that matter. Though I am a lazy Facebook user when it comes to  reading and liking various Facebook pages, I could not resist ignoring the little jokes, and tit-bits on WhatsApp.

Wonder, who are the people behind? I like to call them the creative heads that can visualise and execute a joke from nothing. At the same time laugh at situations and make a joke based on their personal experience.
And as I kept myself fully occupied as a WhatsApp user, the dear old Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, at a time when there were about one billion users.

Now, what do I say, we belong to both Facebook and WhatsApp. And we love tampering with our privacy settings and account settings. The creative heads continue to churn, irrespective of the software, and the audiences continue to pursue their entertaining and messaging means. In short, we feel smarter day by day in our online world.

To Mothers

What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till the little wings are stronger,
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

The famous lines from Alfred Lord Tennyson, written ages ago, taught and is still being taught, have remained ingrained in my mind.

My school long forgotten, and we classmates awaiting our little birdies’ flights, still enjoy reciting this poem.

As I clicked the picture of a nest with little birdies in my garden, I look at the mother bird struggling to keep her calm.

The hummingbird that appears ageless, in her tiny body, blue sheen, and beak sharpened to perfection, fluttering, I wonder how much we struggle to look young. At the same time, life has been a sweet struggle when we take the role of providers to our children. Probably, all in the hope of living up to their expectations!

And then comes the day, when they find their way into the bigger world of dreams and aspirations. The excitement to take on an independent life makes them camouflage their love, and it transpires into achieving a living.

Apparently, most mothers, in spite of their busy schedules and work, find it hard to deal with this parting. Gradually, their love transcribe to loving selflessly. And then they learn to live with the day.