The Fortune Teller


Stuck in a rut, without a vocation

She scoured through horoscope sections for any insinuation

That her life would soon on an upward swing be

Bringing job prospects and money

She alternated between job searches and horoscopes on the net

Nothing was changing, she re-examined her skill set


With a flair for writing an ability uncanny

To concoct stories interesting, she started thinking of the many

Ways to exploit her talent, she tried to obtain

Writing assignments, but remuneration was not worth the pain

Feeling dejected, wallowing in self-pity one day

Staring at her horoscope that promised success coming her way

A light bulb suddenly went off in her mind

An idea worth exploring, maybe this was a sign

Her interest in horoscopes and her writer’s background

Seemed to have finally found a common ground

She decided to learn the basics of astrology

(Online courses were abundant, this was a good strategy)

Then proceeded to start a modest website

That churned out horoscopes against a background bright

With a pinch of science and tons of imagination

She made interesting and actionable predictions

Soon her readership grew (there were many lost souls like her)

She knew how to give hope to those who suffered..


Her popularity grew, advertisers chimed in on her website

Soon she started charging for her predictions, the price was just right

For miserable folks to spend their hard-earned money

On any semblance of hope, she literally charged in pennies


Soon she was busy from morning to night

Spreading hope all around, she simply knew the right

Words to comfort people, give them hope where existed none

Within a year an authority in astrology she had become

She was invited to give TED talks that became popular

She became a diva, a public figure


Interesting it was that her prediction

For her zodiac sign never came to fruition

She knew it was a figment of her imagination

Yet she yearned for something to give her craft a validation…

Then one day after having written a love horoscope for her zodiac sign

She ran into a young man and her stars aligned

A new romance blossomed, according to her prediction

Her writing was finally more than just fiction


She is happily married now, and continues to write

Horoscopes on her enormously popular website!

Will toot my horn

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I cannot help but notice how these days

Self-promotion has become easier in many ways

So the talents that we had, meant to be showcased

To close friends and family, often based

On the context and occasion, employed strategically

To garner praise, or arouse envy specifically-

Now there is a smattering of our “talents” for all to see

On social media, to boost our self-esteems for free..

Most of us are guilty at some point or another

Of checking our profiles after posting with fervor

To see how many likes and comments we receive

We feel validated, we are admired we believe…


I suspect most of us would never be able to

Boast of our achievements the way we do

Out loud in front of an audience

But facebook gives us the confidence

To publicize, promote, self-aggrandize

While posting we do not even realize

That fifteen years ago we would not have dreamt

That showing off would become such a big trend..


Pardon me if the tone of this verse is too sanctimonious

Let me check the number of likes on my post ostentatious! 






I’m afraid when I hear…

DSC_0195There are some phrases that come loaded

With premonition of a bomb that has exploded

My adrenergic system promptly goes into gear

When these ominous phrases I hear

Fear grips me, I start to prepare

For what could be my worst nightmare-

“I need to show you something” is one 

I wonder what error of commision or omission

Have I made in the last couple of days

“Needing” to show something is one of the ways



A blunder is revealed to an unsuspecting soul

(I do the same in the opposite role)

The other phrase that I fear is this one-

“We need to talk”- it means an altercation

Is about to ensue- I prepare instinctively

To defend myself in such an eventuality

Then there are those phrases dropped sotto-voce

That someone somehow brilliantly chose

To represent passive-aggressiveness

At its most artful, disguised best

“Just saying” is one of them, I think

Can make you feel guilty without raising a stink

“Just kidding” is along the same line

Whatever they said is just not fine

No one is “kidding”, the words are deliberate

They have stated exactly what they wanted to state..


And then there are the calls on my phone

From my son’s school, that chill me to the bone

The pessimist in me is convinced it’s bad news

The staff, though, has been in my shoes

So more often than not, the first sentence I hear

Is”Everything is fine with (my child)”, they know my fear..


So these are the phrases that never fail to scare me

This is one of life’s lessons, unfortunately!












Nomophobia- the fear of being without a cell-phone


“Cell phones are so convenient that they’re an inconvenience.”
Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

The skies crashed down on me that day

The axis of my earth began to sway

The day I committed an error of omission

What an error it was-I had no premonition

Of the anxiety and grief I would go through

Not to mention profound guilt too- 

On forgetting to take my mobile phone

To work- I felt stranded, I felt alone

Unable to communicate with anyone

Anxious about missing texts in dozens

Afraid that I was needed urgently somewhere

To attend to a patient, and I was unaware

I remembered I had a pager with me

(With messages forwarded to my  phone automatically)

That solved one problem, e-mail was the next issue

I had to see patients, I could not sit glued

To a computer, so I found myself gravitating

Back to a computer innumerable times, hating

Myself for the compulsion to check e-mail

I tried counting, deep breathing, to no avail

I spent the day in a mental fog, I think

Not until I got home I allowed reality to sink

United with my phone, I realized that day

That I was addicted to my phone, to my dismay..

When I went over the events of the day, it was clear

I was inconvenienced, but my irrational fears

Were never realized, it was possible to function

At work without my phone, unlike my first assumption!






Let me tell you something that might sound

Quite narcissistic the first time around

How about searching for your name 

On the world wide web, are you game?

I have searched for my name just for fun

To find if my unique name is more common

Than I thought, but the kind of information

That I found was an eye-opener of sorts

Whatever it was, an ego trip it was not

Besides my professional credentials (not quite accurate)

My professional licensure for my state

Professional and blog articles meant to be shared

I found personal information of which I was unaware

Just the thought of life being displayed online

Scared me, introduced unease into my mind

Some information I changed or anonymized

So it would not be visible (at least) to every eye

Though I know that once information makes its way

To the world wide web, it is there to stay

Most of it I had no hand in placing out there

But it can be tracked by future employers, I’m aware

On a lighter note, I was quite happy to know

That the percentage of exact name matches was quite low

Which means my name is still quite unique

(At least I got one ego booster that I had set out to seek)


So I urge you to type in google search your name

Your perception of the web might not stay the same!

(Image source:


Drama Queens and Facebook


Through ages has royalty been around

Queens finely dressed and painfully delicate

Getting attention without making a sound

With countless commoners who would on them wait..


In the world today, however, you don’t need to be

A bona fide member of the rare nobility

Anyone can be a queen- a drama queen, you see

By signing up on facebook and posting incessantly


A great platform for anyone with a flair

To create drama out of nothing but thin air

It gives drama queens the opportunity to share

Status updates that no juicy details spare


They are constantly hopeful that their friends would be

Commenting on their self-proclaimed misery

Checking notifications often, they get gratification

When for their exaggerated woes they get validation


As there are two sides to every coin, one might see

The men in their lives feeling rather happy

For no longer are they the audience primary

To their melodrama- Facebook has set them free!


A drama queen’s fears and her virtual tears

Thrive on attention from all her peers

Unfriend her, and her audience dwindles

Without attention, her virtual world crumbles..



Soap opera

I know soap operas are no longer popular in the US, but they are an integral part of the culture in India (words from Wikipedia). Here’s my brief take on soap operas:

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When you want a taste of the melodramatic

When you want a break from everything pragmatic

Switch on the idiot box and channel surf till you find

A soap opera that you watch without using your mind

Watch a few episodes and you are hooked for the season

Watching plots and subplots unfold for no rhyme or reason

Drama being played out on sets that change do not see

Trying to replicate reality, but as artificial as can be

Filled with characters whose full-time jobs seem to be

Plotting revenge against someone or the other tirelessly


The country of origin or language do not make a difference

The themes and stories seem to share the same essence

A form of entertainment where women dominate-

With characters to whom female viewers can relate


So worldwide men and women with lives quite mundane 

Sit glued to their TV sets, watching their favorite characters again..