I’m everything I am…because you loved me

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ‘coz you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

Happy Mother’s Day to you all!


Freedom Is Everyone’s Birthright

Saare Jahan se Achcha…Hindustan Hamara

Happy Independence Day to all the people of Indian origin, wherever you are in this world, and of whatever faith, religion, color, caste or creed.  Be One!!   The country you hail from is one of its kind – a land of beautiful culture, strong values, spiritualism, linguistic and religious diversity.

It’s a day to value your freedom, to remember that it was attained after huge sacrifices, to not take it for granted and to constantly work towards maintaining this freedom so that our future generations can thank us, just as we thank our ancestors for the hard work they did to give us this day. A free country gives us all roots and belonging, it’s a prerogative but also an onus.


This poem by Rabindranath Tagore sums it up:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake


Today, in this post I am writing whatever comes to my mind. In all the previous years I’ve often hesitated to openly display my allegiance and duty towards my birth country. But as we grow older, we realize certain truths do not change so no harm in speaking out our heart.

Nothing judgmental in this innocent question but even with so many years gone, how many times do we get asked, “Where are you from?
Our skin, our eyes and our hair leak out the secret.

Migrants to any country are known by their native country. If their native country is free and progressive, they too earn respect, and vice versa.  If their native country is war-ridden…well, we all know the status of refugees and asylum seekers.

Killing us with Nostalgia Over-dose


These days, any occasional blogging that I do, somehow ends up becoming oriented towards music rather than proper writing.  Am I running short of inspiration and ideas for writing, or is it that music is my inner calling? In fact both are.

Today I see a music-related Daily Prompt Always Something There to Remind Me. It’s about getting us transported to some other time via music, and as this prompt asks:
A song comes on the radio and instantly, you’re transported to a different time and place. Which song(s) bring back memories for you and why? Be sure to mention the song, and describe the memory it evokes.”

Many of such nostalgic songs that transport me to bygone times, hail from my birth country as well as that from Australia or other parts of the world. Thus there are many Hindi and Punjabi songs I connect to my childhood or youth but here, I’ll stick to English numbers.

One song ‘Fernando’ reminds me of the time my dad brought home a video of ABBA songs that had a vibrant display of the two charming couples singing all their popular numbers. Of course ‘Dancing Queen’ was good for dancing but I somehow liked ‘Fernando’ a lot.  Wonder why, because at that age I must not have known the real meaning of this song. Whether this song is about love and pining, or about war and liberation, it is of course about nostalgia. Today I found some more relevant information on this song.

Another song is ‘Yesterday once more’ by Carpenters. It reminds me of late teens in India in the 80s when I used to take my small battery-operated radio/transistor to bed at night and, covering myself up from head-to-toe inside the quilt, would listen to the radio. One such late night program was ‘Forces Request’ that played English songs requested by families of defense personal. I was charmed by the way army couples dedicated their songs to their husband, wife, children or others. Other than all the songs by Carpenters, ‘Funky town’ was another song popular on this channel.


Coming back to more recent times, there are a few songs that remind me of our very early migration days to Australia.

Sweet Dreams are made of this‘ by Eurythmics is one of them. The lyrics ‘I travel the world and seven seas, everybody is looking for something‘ is a voice of every migrant. When we just migrated, all the songs by La Bouche were also very popular on the radio as well as MTV hits. Anytime I listen to this song, which is not often, I’m reminded of the old times.

When she says ‘want to be my lover’, my boy who was very little at that time, used to go round and round singing in his melodious girly voice ‘wombie my lava’..’wombie my lava’. That was many years ago when he was learning to speak his first .words. Hope he doesn’t do that anymore 🙂

Thereafter, there have been many such time-connecting songs that represent or remind of a phase of my life. But I’ll leave my musical journeys here, or else I’ll have to rename my blog title as ‘Magnanimous Music’.  Not a bad name for a second blog though.

Promise me son not to do the things I’ve done…

The Daily Prompt:  Well, I Never…
“Tell us about something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do.”


That way I have a list of things that I’ve done that I would advise a friend or a relative never to do.

One can give suggestions but most people learn from experience. What works for one person may not work for the other. This is especially true about career, love and relationship issues. Moreover, what is wrong for me may not be wrong in the eyes of others.

Many years ago I didn’t want to migrate out of my birth country. Not just because of love for India, as I was born and brought up there and I had some duty towards that developing country. Not also because I do not love Australia…a truly wonderful country with genuine unpretentious people. But mainly because I don’t like divided loyalties.

I had other apprehensions too. A migrant’s future generations become mixed souls, with no true belonging whatsoever. Either they become perpetually confused, being sandwiched between two cultures, or else, as I have recently observed in some migrants from my own family, they start taking extreme pride only in their new found identity of being an Australian, as if they never even had a different birth country ever. This could be due to pressure to conform.

But anytime I have advised others not to migrate, they did not listen. They come here, they proudly take Australian citizenship within two years while continuing to (pretend as if they) love their home countries. Thus they have no qualms about divided loyalties or confused identities; qualms that I had. Probably I was and still am wrong, as this is the trend of the day, the essential realities of a globalized world.

Therefore, take advice from others, follow it if it sounds genuine, esp. if this advice comes from a wise and trustworthy person. But also listen to your own heart and brain. Act according to the demands of time, situation and environment.

Listen to ‘Coward of the County’ by Kenny Rogers:

His dad asked him:
   “Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done
   Walk away from trouble if you can
   It won’t mean you’re weak if you turn the other cheek
   I hope you’re old enough to understand
   Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man”

But his own experiences taught him otherwise…till finally he said:
   “I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you’ve done
   I walk away from trouble when I can
   Now please don’t think I’m weak, I didn’t turn the other cheek
   And Papa, I should hope you understand
   Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man”


Kenny Roger’s another song ‘The Gambler‘ also also has good lyrics:

Our life has many situations requiring gambling and risk-taking. These suggestions are good.

If you’re gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right

You’ve got to know when to hold them
Know when to fold them
Know when to walk away
And know when to run.
You never count your money
When you’re sitting at the table
There’ll be time enough for counting
When the dealing’s done

Every gambler knows
That the secret to surviving
Is knowing what to throw away
And knowing what to keep.
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die
In your sleep”

All About Walls

 Walls – good and bad 

walls not good
ones that grow
amid friends
never fall down
friendships drown

low wall not bad
amid two houses
a place for tete-a-tete
builds friendship
as strong as high wall

high wall not good
between neighbours
icy-cold hearts
stony dead silence
such walls develop ears

‘wall-to-wall’ walls not bad
such walls build houses
if hearts build a home
without house no home
hug such Wall to Wall walls

 strong walls of a house
keep inmates warm
and secure, weak walls
of a house soon come down
till the home drowns

shaky walls of an old house
broken and mouldy
such walls weep and such
walls speak, tell sad tales of a
home that once was


This poem was also published at Poetree Creations web-site:



© All rights reserved by alkagirdhar.wordpress.com 2015

Wall to Wall

Thanks WP, thank you all !!!

A word of thanks to all the wonderfully creative and genuinely kind people here at Word Press!!

followed-blog-100-2xA big ‘Thank You’ to all of you who have ever taken interest in my blog, who have followed me for any future updates, have appreciated the posts and given your advice via valuable comments.
Today, a day after Valentine’s Day, I got this insignia for completing 100 followers:

Thanks to the Word Press staff as they prompt us to write each day. I joined WP a year ago, write three posts but thereafter gave it up. I came back to it only two months ago. Within these two months, such appreciation and bonding from the community has changed my mind.

I wanted to thank each one of you personally as and when you added me to your list. But when I observed that the list is getting longer I decided to write a few words here.

Please feel free to give your suggestions to me about any aspect of my site which is just a baby in this blogosphere. Have a long way to go.

All the best with your versatile and inspirational blogs that continue to be a truly learning experience.  I am amazed at the healing power of some of the posts I read.

Yesterday, Cupid’s Arrow struck many of you. In that prevailing mood, today I took an opportunity to be grateful to you all.


Pic Courtesy: google


Extra-terrestrial Homosapien

Today is World UFO Day –  the 2nd of July 2015.

Aliens, who visit our planet off and on, must be feeling alienated by humans who are like strangers to them.  The Kindness of Strangers can really touch our hearts. So if you come across an alien some day, be kind to him/her.
Now that’s a far-fetched imagination but you never know.
In my poem I, as a modern human (alienated human), imagined how it would feel if I am to be an alien (extraterrestrial)  visiting the earth.

3D alien wallpaper

pic source: endofworld

So much talk about aliens
Are they? Are they not?
If I were to be an alien
What would it be like
To descend on earth
To be looked at in awe
To look at in awe

Now too I’m alien, a human-alien
Overlooked and isolated
By humans like me, for being me.
Either idolized and made distant
by some lesser human being
Or victimized unkindly
and rendered insignificant
by some higher human being.

Being humanoid-alien, am too cut-off.
Though I mingle and move in crowds
in my counterfeit cheerful facade
Trying to please the who’s who
and all those hard to please

Please the seniors
Win the friends
Delight the neighbors
Pamper one’s own born
Respect him lest
he ever disrespects me

But as an ‘alien extra-terrestrial’ I will
Beget excitement, wonder and fear
Confuse the alienated robotic scientists
Cause massive stir on earth
Leave my mark or two,  and thereafter
Escape the make-believe human world

Only to keep coming back
the whole year, to my alien heart’s fill
Get to throng remote parts of earth
that no human ever will


© Alka Girdhar  All rights reserved 2015

Cut Off

New Skin

A Stranger In Need Is a Friend Indeed

. Some time ago I did learn some practical lessons which changed and re-changed my long held feelings and attitudes. I will narrate my experience of the times when I had felt that a bird in hand was worth two in a bush.


Few years ago, after joining Facebook, I had got too involved with my re-discovered friends from my childhood as well as youth. Of course they were not in school, college or university anymore, but to me they were the same. We were all a bunch of cronies almost approaching middle-age but talking in a childish manner, recollecting our old times, reminding each other about every intricate detail of our younger days spent together. We compared our looks as to who looks older or younger even after so many years. Meaningless talks that had deep meaning for all of us.

My school mates discussed trivial things like who used to get more marks in what subject, who was better in music and who was sporty, also who has done well in life now and who has fallen short of school time expectations. University mates wrote about fun times. How we could tirelessly walk very long distances to go to our favorite haunts and eateries, all the places we used to throng and the way we would enter the classroom eating a snack, only to annoy the lecturers.

I knew each one of my childhood friend very well so I had started spending a lot of time targeting and planning my posts to please and suit my friend’s individual tastes and choice; say the songs, jokes, philosophical quotes or when putting up pictures from our old times or even current pics.

Today I know it is a sadly futile exercise. When thinking about our future, we are dreamy-eyed as we visualize some distant unseen path but going backwards in time is all about living in our bygone past that was real once upon a time but cannot be again, esp. if we all live so far away in different cities.

And yet, after joining Facebook, such extreme was the nostalgia and euphoria that I was perpetually living in the past, hooked to FB during my morning cuppa, during any free time during the day, and at the very last moment before retiring to bed.  I had almost forgotten that I had moved to a new neighborhood in my current city and I need to develop friendships with people next door. They invited me for some function but I went half-heartedly and came back. If my neighbors asked me why I was never seen outside my home even on a holiday, my excuse was that I have been busy. Of course the fact was, my heart was content yapping with my old pals.

But soon I had realized that the bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

During the above phase, my son who had just finished high school had started going to his new university by local train. One busy day he got himself into trouble. When boarding his train from the train station close to our home, he fell on the train track (how that happened is a different story).  A fast running train had passed next to him while he was still on the track clinging to the wall. It was a terrifying moment when I got a call from his fellow passenger. Away for work, I was nowhere near his train station and in those moments all I could think of is to call the family who lived next to our house. Indeed, the generous husband and wife pair, who were at home that day, went running to the train station to help my son. They brought him back home, looked after the obviously shaken young boy till he was balanced and till we parents came back.

After this incident, I was suddenly woken up from my nostalgic reverie. I reminded myself that I must come back to my real life. I can’t spend any more time recollecting and remembering old times spent ages ago with old friends, that too at the cost of my current life. I live so far away. My world has nothing in common with them anymore.

Hence I began focusing on my friends within my own city as only they can help me in my times of need whereas my online friends and overseas relatives are only good for moral support.


It was a wise decision that I did stick to for some time. Whereas once it was all about old friends and about arranging reunions, thereafter I had absolutely stopped bothering about them, almost a total boycott with my re-discovered pals who were once my life.

It took me some time before I could learn to calmly balance the bygone world with my current life. Nowadays I don’t boycott my old friends but I know that my priority has to be towards my present life as it is, good or bad.

The lessons learnt continue to be applied to all social media, be it blogging or whatsapp. I now always take an informed decision, that I do not have to make it such an addiction that I forget to live my real life.

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