Archive | July, 2012


30 Jul

It takes time for things, ideas, people to

warm. Pour oil into the crucible, trail fingers down her

skin, and slowly flame until ready to



A fistful of cumin, flung with abandon, simmer in the

heat his body exudes, a deep, slow burn, aromas releasing into

the darkness, awaiting the company of herbs.

Watch molten butter in the

brownness of eyes; sweet, salted, gliding past her



Curls of glistening onions, scatter at his

touch, slide into the heated pool, shimmy

madly. Garlic browns, like mouth on

polished shoulders, exudes the scents of demanding



Turmeric flutters, chilli invades interlocked

tongues, and green flecks of coriander nestle in the

recesses of her loins. Coconut and cardamom shudder

together. Creamy milk swirls

a simmering subconscious



Basa crisps cracklingly, tossing in abandon, like

a long night under the covers, claims flavors as its

own, hugs their identities



Merge. Meld. Morph into

an unasked question.

Linger lurkingly in the hollows of

throats and eyes, ghosts and bodies, and ghosts of

bodies, the burst of ripe rawness and pliant tomatoes festooning our

spirits, our core, our memories, our justification for the



Feast. Satiate. Cling tighter.

Claim. Claw. Start over.

The dance of erotica, with its

ever-changing players, is an


evening of

steaming forevers.

A Beautiful Year

25 Jul

By popular demand, the Boy is back to write a birthday dedication, but before you proceed, HOLD IT!

1) Look closely:

2) I am NOT cloning him

3) Now read:

Imagine walking into the Louvre with your own framed doodle, wondering whether to place it next to the Da Vinci or the Monet – and then finding oneself terribly outclassed. That is probably close to what I feel right now as I pen this ode to OJ on her birthday. But then, this post is not about me. It is about the one I love.

Ardent readers might remember my birthday dedication an year ago, which basically confirmed the fact that everyone’s favorite blogger likes beautiful things. But instead of adding to the list of beautiful things that OJ likes (which is pretty easy) – this birthday, let me hazard to explain how she makes the world more beautiful.

Let’s say we’ve woken late and lazy on a Sunday and we decide to head out to iHop for a late and lazy brunch. Given how much I love pancakes, I move like the whirl of the wind and am ready at the door twirling the keys to the Honda, dreaming of Canadian maple syrup. But not OJ – who despite harboring an even greater love for the aforementioned pancakes – will carefully “prepare” for the outing. Nothing will be chosen to be worn at random, not a hair will be out of place and not a piece of jewelery will be unwarranted, redundant or excessive (like my adjectives). Finally the perfect handbag will fit in like the 999th piece of a gorgeous 1000 piece Ravensburger puzzle of the Castle Neuschwanstein. And when she appears from the bedroom, not decked up, but just perfect – I look at her, hang my head and promptly go inside to change whatever arbitrary piece of clothing I had selected, to something that, quite simply, is more appropriate. And the 1000th piece? She will reach with practiced ease towards the little box of Altoid Minis and pop two in the mouth, the corner of her lips curling upwards ever so slightly with the satisfaction, that yes, everything – including her breath and her husband – is now beautiful.

To prove this point further–let me describe to you, O reader of the jammies–how OJ makes children smile. All her preparedness as described above, will dissolve into a blob of silly putty in the hands of a sad child. She will hold the despondent child in her arms, enveloping the kid in folds of exquisite softness until any pain or sadness has gone away. She will then just play silly, making them jump and throwing them in the air and giving off her inimitable laughter – with a real rare kindness that would melt the hardest of hearts. Children don’t stand a chance against this – it is like a chocolate fountain, a Chuck-e-Cheese ball pit and Dora the Explorer all rolled into one. And really, what is more beautiful than a child’s rippling laughter?

There are many more examples of how she creates beauty, beautifully unaware of the fact that she is doing so. I am lucky to witness these every day and every moment I spend with her. And if anyone asks me what I miss about her when I am far away from her on work – it is just this: If she is not around me, it is as if everything that is beautiful disappears from my life.

Happy Birthday, my love – here’s wishing you another beautiful year ahead.

You’ve Got Mail

20 Jul

The elevator pinged and its doors slid open. Shanti walked out into the gleaming granite lobby, almost bumping into the mailman stuffing envelopes and pizza flyers into individual numbered slots. He greeted her with his usual good cheer and asked after her family. We are all well, she replied, a half-smile fluttering around the corners of her mouth. She found a strange comfort in her daily interactions with him, brief as they were. They spoke about the weather, his children, her family’s plans for the summer, and he would invariably hand her the pile of envelopes from her mailbox as a friendly gesture. She’d leaf through them: Shanti, Shanti, Ashok, something from the children’s school, Ashok, a general request for donation, and one addressed to the both of them. Sorting them in a His and Hers pile, she’d fuss with her keys until she found the one to her front door and unlocked it.

Throwing the two piles onto the entrance console, she’d step into the kitchen for a cool glass of lassi before emerging and thoughtfully considering the stack of mail again. She was a creature of habit, she knew that. She nestled in the grooves of patterns and they rocked her to calmness. There was a secure familiarity in receiving mail from the same smiling person each morning, sorting it neatly and arranging it chronologically, newest mail first. She didn’t have to change that just because Ashok had been dead 8 months. Shanti patted his tall pile, straightened it a wee bit, and walked away to cook lunch.

Time to Be

16 Jul

Today is my Roj birthday. And I am home alone. My first birthday present was my cleaning lady. She landed at my doorstep earlier than scheduled, ensured my home is gleaming, and watched with interest as I stamped chowk patterns outside my doorway and filled them in with dots of color. I looked up at this perennially smiling Mexican lady with her limited English vocabulary and giggled in my head as I wondered how I would explain Parsis and their customs.

It is a windy day and my drapes are billowing. My off-white and beige living room, with pops of Kashmiri design and color, is scented with temple incense. Calming and cleansing, it leaves me feeling more pious than I am. I proceed to the kitchen to make a traditional birthday lunch: dhan dar and kolmi no patio. Generations of Parsis have conjured up and consumed this divinity and I thank the lord for landing us on Indian shores, for Persian food, sans heady desi spices, is not to my taste.

This is always a special time for me, between the birthdays of the Parsi calendar and the Gregorian one. Typically not one to scrutinize my existence to within an inch of its….well, existence, this is the span of time I permit myself to reflect on the year that was. (Okay, I lied. I do it right after Christmas too.) Invariably, I am flooded with gratitude. A lot of which has to do with my loved ones. Recently, though, I have begun noticing subtle shifts in perspective and priorities. I’d much rather spend quality time with those I cherish than gad about town doing Things To Do. I enjoy solitude, even seek it. And I like taking myself on adventures. Experiences matter more than possessions. Establishing connections with our community wins over rubbing shoulders with people at a one-off party. I can easily identify and better support the causes I value and feel strongly about. My life doesn’t have a bucket list because impending death doesn’t form a backdrop. Instead, it has a checklist. Take a solo road trip, check. Paint my nails mint green, check. Swim with dolphins, check. Be part of a flash mob, check. Meditate regularly with my gentle friends, check. Talk about writing instead of just doing it, check. Witness redwood trees soar to the sky, a big happy swoosh. Learn to dance without falling on my face, oh my god, CHECK!

I was a fairly reluctant bride, because I didn’t want my life to follow the age-old beaten path of marriage-babies-mind-numbing-domesticity, but I realize so much of my freedom to drive off on a whim, count squirrels in trees, contemplate a shift in career and get to know daily living on first name terms comes from my anchor-with-dimples and the wonderful support system around me when he is away. I live each day richly. Deeply. In joy. And gratitude. With mild cuss words thrown in when things don’t go as planned. Even as I strive to better so many parts of me, there is basic contentment about who I am that goes way deeper than the bags and baubles I like to acquire. Not for one second do I believe that any of the items on my lust list are critical. They’re fun, sure, and I adore surrounding myself with aesthetically pleasing things, but it’s only my karma that’s getting me an upgrade to the specific Godiva-drenched realm of heaven I aspire to retire to. So permit me this indulgence of navel-gazing, life-mapping and blessing-counting. This mid-30s wisdom is so precious, my jammies are shining brighter than ever. Come, join the glow worm gig. Interesting times await.

Made for Trade

13 Jul

Take my sister. I’ll give you 10 bucks.

~My 5-year-old nephew, making me a business offer oh-so-casually, as the 18-month-old commodity in question waddled about us.

To The Man I Adore

9 Jul

The year was 1982. And the bottle was Green Moss. Along with it, came explicit instructions to keep away.  So I did what all four-year-olds do. I climbed up to the cabinet, opened it, unscrewed the cap, and took in a deep breath to smell Daddy. He was at work. I missed him. This was the next best thing.  I remember the dark green liquid splashed all over the mosaic floor. The bottle lay halved in a corner. Daddy’s going to be so angry when he gets home, said Mum. And I quivered. Waited for the inevitable. Braced myself when he came in through the door. Daddy looked at me and smiled sadly. Shook his head like he was sorry. Nodded gently and walked away, my heart bumping behind him on a string. He has no idea this is when it happened, but at that precise moment, his ardent devotee was born.

The thing about having a male parent role model who is supremely gentle, emotionally available, and the center of your little girl universe is that it affects you in deep and insidious ways.  Beautiful and life-affirming ways. Quietly confidence-boosting ways. Valuing yourself comes effortlessly. Self-esteem is a non-issue, even when you know you aren’t exactly the belle of the ball. You never have to think about loving yourself because someone else has always done a damn good job of it and you are so sure the world will continue to do so. (And if it doesn’t, their loss, the people who matter do!) You know what you want in a partner. And avoid those loud, brash, supposedly macho, I’ll-be-your-savior sorts like the plague because who wants fire and brimstone when you can have sweetness and laughter and gentle support? If there is a single commonality between all the significant others I’ve had, it is this: they were all versions of my father. Adoring, patient and thorough gentlemen. And this I know, I am blessed.

Just this past weekend, Daddy spoke quietly and firmly to me about compassion and helping people even if it sometimes means being taken advantage of.  I don’t have his copious quantities of goodness. I do not trust easily, can see through people like a human x-ray, and save my kindness and loyalty for the truly worthy. Except, everyone deserves some, don’t they?  And if I can incorporate this easy to understand but oh-so-difficult to practice lesson in my life, I will not have squandered my chance to learn from the most precious and truly spiritual teacher: my own father.

Happy 66th, Daddy. This lesson and the many others you have for the world is why you need to keep blowing out those candles for the next 300 years.

My Grandma’s Glasses

6 Jul

I’m sure it’s hardly news to you guys that I derive amusement from the search terms that bring visitors to this blog. Case in point, this entire category. So when the one below showed up, I giggled a little:

Then it occurred to me, what if someone really was looking for a poem for their 9-year-old? What if they searched and browsed and scoured books and the WWW and were disappointed not to find it here? What if they went home at night and apologized to their dejected child and they both stayed up worrying all night, the parent racked with guilt and the child quaking in fright at his teacher’s reaction the next morning? And because I’m nothing if not a bleeding heart and carrier of guilt about everything from the loss of a Palestinian homeland to the crisis in Kashmir, I arrived at a decision. “This child shall have his poem!” I cried and stood up with righteous purpose. Quickly realizing that it’s easier to write in seated position, rear end made contact with couch, and I hammered away at faithful Adele.

Here they are, simple enough verses that should hopefully satisfy all concerned parties. As for me, I’ll sleep well tonight, knowing a little boy somewhere averted a nasty remark in his school diary.

P.S. Do they still have school diaries these days?

P.P.S. I didn’t get a single mean remark in my diary. Ever. Thank you for letting me share boast  share.

My Grandma’s Glasses

by Orange Jammies

My Grandma wears big glasses

They’re blurry, thick and round

I bet if I sat on them

They’d make a cracking sound


Like children on a play slide

They slip down her nose

And bounce along her bosom

Everywhere she goes


Grandma says they help her

To sew, to read, to knit

So whenever I hide them

She gently throws a fit


One afternoon I stuffed them

Under the cushions round

And laughed as Grandma looked and looked

Then sighed and groaned and frowned


She tried to make some cookies

And rolled out the dough

But instead of adding sugar

She tossed in salt—what do you know!


She attempted to be helpful

By washing all my socks

But strangely enough what got soaked

Was my stamps in their box!


I shrieked, I howled, I hopped around

In anger and in pain

Salty cookies and unwashed socks

Were driving me insane


I dug under the cushions

The same ones oh-so-round

And pulled out Grandma’s glasses

From underneath the mound


Take them, take them, I pleaded

Let my world be alright

I promised never to hide Grandma’s

Crucial guides to sight


The next morning I arose from bed

And smelled something bake

In my drawer were bright, clean socks

As many as I wished to take!


We had cookies for breakfast

They were a special treat

Especially because, no, only because

They were so very sweet


My Grandma she must love me

I saw a glimmer in her eye

When she announced as her glasses bounced

Our next treat: apple pie!


I make sure Grandma’s glasses

Stay firmly on her nose

This time it was cookies and socks

Next time, who knows?!

Four Twirls Around the Sun + A Giveaway

1 Jul

Little Blogette sat up in bed and yawned.  Raising her chubby arms above her head, she stretched, then flopped back onto a pile of pillows, dizzy with excitement.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing, July had begun and it was her birthday!

Jumping out of bed, she stuffed her feet into her piggy slippers (Parsi mammas were militant about these things) and padded out of the room. Mamma OJ hadn’t stirred yet, but there was a growing stack of presents and messages outside her door. Little Blogette peered into a gift bag and squealed at a sparkling bauble nestled in tissue. A large box housed a tower of cupcakes, and yet another package, an orange polka-dotted dress. Storybooks, crayons and puzzles tumbled forth as she ripped open the dragonfly-embossed wrapping paper. Then there were messages, wishing her a happy 4th birthday and telling her how much she was loved. Friends from around the world, girls and boys she had never met, had sent virtual bear hugs, and she wished Mamma OJ would rise and shine and share in her delight.

She decided to look through her baby yearbook as she waited. And read posts about The Beginning, Year One, Year Two, and Year Three. This new home had been fun so far. Decked in pretty pastel pink and smack in the middle of friendly aunties and uncles, she felt free to skip on the wet grass, build sandcastles and stories, and marvel at gleaming spider houses. Throwing open a white-shuttered window, she peered at the World Wide Web. Were more wishes coming her way? Any hugmeisters in sight? Maybe they’d march up to her in a line, wearing clown hats, juggling blog comments and delurking for this one special day.

She sat herself down on her favorite wicker chair and delighted in the feeling of being 4. She could read and write now! She always remembered to flush and wash her hands after. She could touch her tongue to her nose! She ate neatly with a fork and knife, and loved singing when her mouth wasn’t full. Even Daddy was so proud of her when she showed him how she had finished four twirls around the Sun and ended with a curtsy. She knew there was something special planned and settled down to wait. After all, she had been told patience is the Mamma of someone.

And there she sits in her pyjamas the color of sunrise, unbrushed and dimple-elbowed, broadcasting her toothy grin to a world that has been so good to her. Wish her well, won’t you? And not just for the return presents her Mamma’s going to give away. Four, after all, is more.


Dear readers and friends,

Six and a half years after my first blog post (and four on this blog), it is time to stop a moment and thank you. For visiting Wisdom Wears Neon Pyjamas, for being so generous with your kind words, even for just saying ‘hi’ and leaving a little smile behind. I know there are plenty of you who stop by but won’t say hello. Whatever your reasons may be, thank you too, and welcome to my little cubby hole.  To the lovely folks I have had the chance to meet through my blog—chatter away to, hug, laugh, swap life stories, and establish friendships with— it’s been a pleasure and a privilege.

As my way of saying I love you too, I am giving away copies of Kiran Manral’s The Reluctant Detective to 5 of my readers in the U.S., with a special handwritten note from me. Fast-paced and funny, Kay Mehra’s story is the perfect summer read. Sit by the pool—or in it, if you fancy—sip something chilled and heady, and dive into this murder mystery that keeps you guessing and rooting for its lovably ditzy protagonist.

To win your copy, answer this question and The Reluctant Detective could be on its way to your mailbox:

Which is your favorite post on Wisdom Wears Neon Pyjamas and why?

Feel free to browse through the archives and unearth one that rocks your world. Leave your answers in the comments section and they will be published after the giveaway ends at 11 pm (PST) on July 5th. Winners will be chosen randomly and notified on the blog. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, but everyone is free to share their favorite(s)!

Love and warm fuzzies all around, and onward to year 5,


Updated to add: In response to some queries, let me clarify that all comments will be approved once the giveaway ends on July 5th. 🙂 Keep ’em coming, people!



Updated to add:

*Trumpet blast*

Hear ye, hear ye! The 5 lucky winners of the WWNP birthday giveaway are…… *drumroll*

# 1: Vidya

#2: Nidhi

#3: Sraikh

#4: Pam

#5: Mystic Margarita


Congratulations, ladies!!! (Where have all the menfolk gone? Long time passing. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn? Sorry for the wee song break. We’re back to regular programming.)

Please email with your full name and mailing address and The Reluctant Detective, bearing a special note from me, will shuffle into your mailbox, collar up high and magnifying glass held to eye.

Special thanks to the Boy for being The Hand That Picked The Winners’ Names.

And to all you lovely folks who wrote in, thank you for your kind comments, emails, and birthday wishes. Little Blogette wants me to tell you that she’s blowing kisses in gratitude.