Happy 383rd Madras Day!

I’ve lived in Chennai since my childhood. I’ve briefly lived in Bangalore, Hyderabad, West Bengal, and Delhi, but I suppose Chennai is home although I now live 40 km away from the city.

I’m a proud Xennial and I’ve been in Chennai since it was ‘Madras.’ Although I may not be in touch with my friends from the days it was known as ‘Madras’, the memories will always remain. I’ve done most of my schooling and college in the fine institutions of this city. My dad has also lived here and his parents before him since 1942.

The city is known for a mix of its traditional values amidst modernity.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be

I recall getting one of my first autographed books in 2013. It was from Yasmeen Premji, the wife of billionaire Azim Premji. It was at the book launch event of her ‘Days of Gold and Sepia.’ That year, I would also get the autographed copy of ‘I’ll do it my way’ by Christina Daniels and ‘Men on my Mind’ by Radha Thomas. But I would foolishly (a few months later) lend these autographed copies to someone and never get them back.

After this incident, which still rankles, and several others where people I know have borrowed books, only to never return them or returned them in a damaged condition, I’ve become absolutely blunt (if necessary) with them that my books aren’t for lending. On rare occasions, I have deviated from this principle, but in general, I realize that people don’t value my books the way I do. And drawing boundaries with people is the only way I can have any kind of satisfactory friendship with someone.

Speaking of boundaries, I recently bought a copy of ‘Set boundaries, Find Peace’ by Nedra Glover Tawwab. I got this book recommendation from Melody Wilding’s newsletter. I have spoken about Melody Wilding before on my Instagram here. Nowadays, there is more awareness about HSPs or highly sensitive people. About 20% of the world’s population consists of HSPs. Coach Melody Wilding’s work will resonate strongly with you if you belong to this section of people. So do let me know via comments if any of what I said struck a chord. Ciao.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

India at 75

It’s 75 years since my country India won her independence from British rule. Today, on the eve of this momentous occasion, I went to my terrace and saw that almost every house had an Indian flag flying. It was a joy to behold. I wonder what tomorrow has in store.

‘INDIAN DREAMSCAPE’

I dream of a land

That works to nurture billions of aspirations, so grand

A country that’s pollution-free

With great infrastructure and a strong economy

Roads that are smooth with not a pothole in sight

And farmers who take flights

To commute from place to place

No such thing as lower castes who are being disgraced

Free-flowing, sparkling water for all and sundry

No chemical wastes or effluents dumped into estuaries

No bribes or corruption by politicians

Instead, more seva and missions

Be it to Mars or the neighboring country

Let’s not waste the taxpayer’s money

Let’s make sure something good

comes out of everything done

We have a country to run

Yes, it’s each one of us who the onus is on

(I first published a version of this poem on Sweek a few years ago.)

(Pic taken by me on my trip to Benares with my parents)

Proud Mary

Some of the readers of my blog may be well acquainted with the band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). But when I was a student in Class 11, I listened to pop and soft rock numbers of the day, such as Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, etc. I had not listened to the music of CCR and was not familiar with their song ‘Proud Mary.’

Some of the boys in my class (in other sections) played the electric guitar. For our inter-school cultural event, it was decided all of a sudden that a singer was required. As someone who had taken part in fashion shows, western dance, and other events for inter-school cultural events, (in the same unprepared manner) somehow, I was the one zeroed in on to sing ‘Proud Mary.

I was aware of the legendary status of CCR, and rather than back out of it, I went along with the suggestion to sing it, suggestive of a recklessness I was prone to in my adolescent years.

I listened to the song a few times and picked up the lyrics.

Pic from Unsplash

On the day of the event, I went up on stage in front of God-only-knows how many schools, and the band of boys on stage started their drums, guitar, etc. I belted out Proud Mary and suddenly, in the middle of the performance, the boy who was on the drums played with such vigor that the drumstick broke into two! It was only fitting that we had all decided beforehand that the name of the band was ‘Sad Scene Bad Scene!’

High school is a blur of such events – fashion shows, western dance, sports events, and other inter-school cultural events.  We also went to Gudibanda, near Bangalore, on our Class 11 trip (from Chennai) and to Ooty in our Class 12.

Sitting at my desk and typing this out after two crazy years of the pandemic, I’m happy for the good memories.

My first kitty

Orange, black, and white
Were the colors on her fur
She was tiny and mischievous
Playing with a puppy on the road
When I found her
I brought her home and
My parents let me keep her
She was precious
And we all loved her
For an only child
A pet makes all the difference
And she soon became my playmate
And confidante
Yes, I would talk to her
And I was sure she understood
Every word I said

Pic of a kitty from pexels.com

#BlogchatterBlogHop – A genre that I don’t usually read and why

First, I’d like to preface this with “Never say never” to anything. A genre I don’t usually read though is dystopian fiction. I don’t usually read it ‘coz the ones I have read so far in this genre have been bleak, depressing, and have messed with my mind. I remember proclaiming a few years back that I would never read ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood. I’d said that due to the reasons I mentioned here. But just a week ago, I was *considering* peeking at it. Which is why I say, ‘Never say never’. 😀

This post is a part of Blogchatter Blog Hop.

Tribute to Olivia-Newton John

“Stranded at the drive-in
Branded a fool
What will they say
Monday at school?

Sandy, can’t you see
I’m in misery?
We made a start, now we’re apart
There’s nothing left for me

Love has flown
All alone, I sit and wonder why
Oh, why you left me?
Oh, Sandy…”

crooned John Travolta in Grease.

It brings back memories of a different time, a simpler time…A time when we listened to ‘Sandy’ from Grease and sang along with Olivia Newton-John when she sang ‘Hopelessly devoted to you.” A time when the Pink Ladies ruled the roost and it was summer.

Image of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in ‘Grease’

Rest in peace, Olivia! You will live on in our hearts<3

Book Blogger Hop

Hello Everyone!

The Book Blogger Hop is now being hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer. Every Friday, a new question is posted for bloggers to answer during the week. The purpose of the Book Blogger Hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and maybe even receive some new blog followers.

This week’s question is:

Have you ever switched reading genres? If so, why?

(submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)


This is Aishwariya Laxmi’s answer to the question: (That’s me, y’all)

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I switch up my reading genres every now and then ‘coz else I get bored, LOL. It gets monotonous to read in the same genre. I need a palate cleanser after each book, just as one needs to smell coffee beans after spritzing on some perfume. Since I read more than one book at a time most days, this switching happens automatically. What about you? Do answer the question, too.

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