The right thing to say..

Some people always seem to know what to say

I’d love to discover their secrets some day

To put my foot in mouth I am inclined

Somehow my reasonably sharp mind

Does not appear to be as bright

When tasked with choosing words right

So often what I intend as witty repartee

Ends up sounding pathetic, honestly..

Worse still, sometimes sentiments I hurt

Or I end up sounding uncaring and curt

I realize my mistake after the fact

And mope in private for lack of tact..


How I envy people who always know

The right thing to say wherever they go

Their words fit each situation well

And tell the story that they want to tell

Is this is a quality innate that I cannot imbibe

Or would spending time with them transfer to me their vibes?


To avoid a faux pas, I am trying to embrace

The power of staying silent, as I face

The truth that saying the right thing may be

An unachievable goal for me


Let me not ramble on and on

Let me my hat of silence don

I choose.. no news

There is so much negativity in the news

It rubs off on me, therefore I must choose

Ignorance over awareness now

In a hyperconnected world, I guess I can allow

Myself to sometimes hide under a rock

News of doom and gloom purposefully block..


Gone are the days when I felt I was required

To be well-versed in current affairs, with age I have acquired

The ability to not feel bad about being ignorant

Regarding a specific topic, I am more content

In not knowing what everyone else seems to know

Staying away from disturbing stimuli is more important, and so

Let the news channels flash the latest breaking news

While I stay ignorant, and uninfluenced by their biased views

I get to work

I’ve got to go to work everyday

I’ve got to face challenges along the way

I’ve got to listen to my patients’ concerns

Their confidence in my abilities, I’ve got to earn

New skills in my field of practice I’ve got to learn

Sometimes the midnight oil I’ve got to burn

When my profession demands sacrificing sleep

I’ve got to do it, I’ve got commitments to keep..


Sounds like a lot I’ve got to do

The pressure is weighing me down, it’s true..


As an exercise, let me some words replace

And my work responsibilities let me thus rephrase..

I get to go to work every day

I get to face challenges along the way

I get to listen to my patients’ concerns

Their confidence in my abilities I get to earn

New skills in my field of practice I get to learn

Sometimes the midnight oil I get to burn

When my profession demands sacrificing sleep

I get to do it, I have commitments to keep


Ah, how privileged I am, now I see

That I get to work in such capacity

Let me view this ability with gratitude

I am grateful for this privilege is my new attitude

My thunder shall not be stolen..

There are times when I simply let it go

Let someone steal my thunder, and throw

Everything I have worked hard for under the bus

I don’t want to be perceived as creating a fuss

By asking for credit, I just hope some day

Karma would let due recognition come my way…


There are times when it hurts me more

To be sidelined, disregarded or ignored

I hate to think there is any bias at play

But may be I simply have not learnt the way

To state my point of view with such confidence

That I make everyone around take notice of my presence..

But I am not that person, my opinion I do not

State loudly or readily, without giving it much thought

I fear even Karma would not support me

Because I don’t support myself adequately..


Next time someone tries to steal my show

I’ll put up resistance, not let it go

Credit for my work, I shall try to claim

Without trying to assign anyone the blame

The Space

Between stimulus and response there is a space

I must pause for reflection in that place

Before an appropriate response I formulate

Instead of regretting my knee-jerk reaction too late..


There is always a pause, albeit small

That can be used to think, to stall

A response after a stimulus reaches you

It is better to try to think through

Most situations before jumping ahead

Hold yourself back for a moment instead..


Especially in the midst of an argument

Letting words loose without waiting a moment

To reflect on what you are going to say

Can snowball into a disaster any day

Harsh words cannot come back once spoken

They leave behind them relationships broken


Between the stimulus and its response, therefore

Pause for a moment, reflect some more..

Success I need

I fail when I desperately want to succeed

I fail when success I sorely need

I fail, and the failure cuts like a knife

I fail, and get up reluctantly, because that is life..


Sometimes my self-worth I end up tying

To a narrow definition of success- despite trying

When I do not succeed, my self-worth takes a nose-dive

And thereafter takes a while to revive


Sometimes there is a glimmer of hope in the midst

Of failure, sometimes the path to success is clouded in mist

I have to take a step forward either way

And move ahead, step-by-step and day by day

And that’s what I do, when miserably I fail

After I’ve lamented my luck, to no avail

I take a small step forward, then another one

Soon my journey from the point of failure has begun..


I fail often, and rarely succeed

I’m trying not to let success be a need

As long as I do not let failure my self-worth define

I can go on, hoping that one day success would be mine

A perfect day

(Inspired by

With immense gratitude I end today

It was a perfect day, I must say!


The first question is how I would define

A perfect day- nothing happened to blow mind

But the day was smooth, the hundred little moments

In which things could go wrong did not present

Any obstacles, for which I am grateful indeed

Days not spent extinguishing fires I need..

Time together as a family we spent

Without any drama (to a great extent)

I felt centered, calm and in control

It was a day of rejuvenation for my soul


Yes it was a perfect day because I did not

Feel at the end of it that I had fought

A battle against time, or will

I had time and autonomy to fill

My cup that unfortunately stays

More empty than full most days

It is my sacred responsibility now

To go to sleep so that I can allow

The next day to start off perfectly as well

Tonight on pleasant thoughts I shall dwell

I don’t know…

It takes courage to admit you do not know

Rather than feigning confidence to show

That you are in control when you are screaming inside

Afraid of your ignorance and wishing to hide

Projecting false confidence works to some extent

But the eventual solution to your predicament

Is to actually learn what you do not know

Find answers on your own or to a mentor you go

Acknowledge gracefully your ignorance

Forget about faking it, give up your false pretense


Even if ignorance is perceived as weakness

By bluffing you cannot achieve success

In-depth learning has no substitute-

This is a fact you cannot refute

Travel on the road less traveled..

I check off my list another destination

The reality does not match the expectation

Of visiting a tourist spot world-famous

Braving long lines and crowds enormous

We finally spend a few moments in admiration

Of the vista which is different from my imagination

Then it is time to leave this crowded place

Where irritable tourists are jostling for space

The entire experience is not very pleasant

I console myself that at least I have fulfilled the intent

Of visiting a place on my bucket-list, finally

To be well- traveled is important to me…


There are the weekend impromptu trips that we take

To nearby towns, beaches, mountains and lakes

That are known to the locals, but not well-publicized

We frequently end up being pleasantly surprised

By hidden gems- both natural and man-made

In the least expected places- I think I would trade

The joy of finding a unique spot for a place well-known

And relish a quieter place with a charm of its own

Such places may not on my bucket-list be

But they are no less suitable for photography..

We explore at a leisurely pace, take pictures unhurriedly

Isn’t that what travel is supposed to be?


Travel to fulfill a bucket list checks boxes of a different kind

But travel on the road less traveled energizes my mind

The former fits the persona I want to create

The latter, my passion for life satiates..

Those familiar follies of the past..

I keep trying to turn over a new leaf

I want to let go of my old, limiting beliefs

When I am happy, I am motivated, I make progress

But when I am perturbed, into old habits I regress

The old patterns of thinking and doing things happen to be

Etched deeply, ingrained within my psyche

When I need comfort inadvertently I gravitate

Towards the past, towards a familiar state..


When I evaluate my past objectively

Many flaws in my thoughts and actions I see

To overcome them, conscious efforts I make

But those old ways are familiar and all it takes

Is one roadblock on my new path to make me

Relapse into the addictive pull of familiarity..

I’ve come to realize that this is how, unfortunately

I make the same mistakes repeatedly….


Now that I know where the problem lies

I shall navigate my path with wide open eyes

And when I find myself drifting towards past toxicity

I shall try to turn around immediately

Well done, my child!

Each time you do something I should pat you on the back

Shower praise on you for staying on the right track

Every accomplishment of yours I should celebrate

Applaud you for each activity in which you participate

Tell you repeatedly how awesome you are

With positive reinforcement in life you should go far..


As your mother I think you are fabulous

But I must not spoil you, I should be cautious

That I do not create in your mind the false impression

That you are unique, extraordinary, or better than the competition

I must encourage you, but be stingy with my praise

At every small effort of yours, I do not want to raise

A child who is discouraged easily, who gets upset

When praise for each endeavor he does not get…


I want you to succeed with all my heart, I do

But I want you to have realistic expectations too

The rest of the world will not see you with my eyes

And as you grow up, I hope you would not be surprised

When your efforts go unnoticed, your achievements uncelebrated

Both praise and criticism in your stride you would take

And I would know in parenting I’ve made one less mistake…

The imperfect artist

This poem reflects the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi that emphasizes the beauty of imperfection, asymmetry and transience. I have included one of my sketches from Mother’s Day which shows clear (glaring?) imperfections..

So you think you can’t be an artist, think again

Breathe, and let your imagination take the reins

Look at the natural world around you and get inspired

Then start creating, no prior experience is required..


What are you afraid of, that your lines would be

Misshapen, haphazard or replete with asymmetry?

Or that when you paint, your colors would escape

Outside the margins, or that the clay would not take shape

In the impeccable mould of your imagination

When you try to configure your pottery to perfection?


Creating art is not an all or none process

Every line, every swath of paint represents progress

Each imperfection in your work you embrace

Remember that this universe has enough space

For all art, you are an artist when you create

Immerse yourself in creating and celebrate

Your art, there is beauty to be found

In imperfection- this is a truth profound

%d bloggers like this: