Wednesday, 10 September 2008


This poem is how I wanted to be.

Beauty without function is not beauty.

Her mouth is beautiful when she smiles at a child
and speaks tenderly to an old man.

Her hands are beautiful when she touches souls.

Her eyes are beautiful.

With them she sees each shade of a sunset
and the perfect symmetry of a flower at the roadside.

Her eyes are beautiful when she cries someone else's tears.

Her ears are beautiful.

With them she hears symphonies in the wind,
and music in a wristful of bangles.

Her ears are beautiful when she stops to listen
to what no one else wants to hear.

Her body is beautiful
when she forgets
that it is so.

(written in 1991? 1992?)

Reading this today, I think, just maybe, I turned out beautiful after all.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

A lesson in self esteem!

And this lesson comes to us from a tiny cabbage-coloured bird - my pet budgie Gobi (which is Urdu for "cabbage", by the way). She is about four inches long, and stands about three inches high. She knows what she likes, and what she dislikes. She hates being cuddled, but loves sitting on my shoulder and stretching out to touch her beak to my nose (er .. we call it "nosies") while I mumble sweet nothings to her.

Today my dad decided to record her usual array of non-stop twitter-chirp-whistle, and when I listened to the recording this evening I discovered that she's obviously being paying attention to what I say, because in the middle of all the jibberish she suddenly says, quite clear, "Gobi such a sweet bird!"

I think it's amazing, and extra lovely that she chose what she must have felt was the best thing to echo! Obviously, she doesn't speak English .. but I'm assuming she has picked up on the tone or emotion of my voice and decided that these are the words that make her feel most loved.

My niece Reshma was so impressed that she has decided to follow in Gobi's footsteps (clawhops, actually) and I think that's an excellent idea for us all. It's quite easy. Tomorrow morning when you get up, go to the bathroom mirror, smile at yourself and say, "(insert your name here) such a sweet bird!"

What a wonderful way to start the day. Let me know how it goes!