Pahadan (A girl from the Hills)

A Tribute to all Pahadans (Girls from the Hills) who have stayed true to their roots. In the image above I am wearing a traditional nose ring called a ‘Nath’ and the scarf or long dupatta is a ‘pichauda’ which is intrinsic to my region in Uttarakhand.

She resides in the Himalayan terrains,

She is deeply in love with her roots,

Belongs to Himachal and Uttarakhand,

In India she is called a Pahadan.

This is a picture of me sitting in a mudhouse. It is made up of mud and stays warm in the coldest of days. As a child and as a grown up each time I visited my village, cows and bulls used to be tied in such mudhouses, it’s called a ‘Chani’. In yester years when there were no heaters and air conditioners women and men alike often used to sleep in these chanis along with the animals and hay to keep themselves warm. These days home stays use them to lure tourists and to introduce the ‘Pahadi’ culture to them.

She is always loving and kind,

What can she do?

She hails from a place where even strangers are welcomed,

With arms open wide.

She is not afraid of traversing the rugged terrains,

The Himalayas that fill others with awe and fear,

They give her warmth and peace,

They are the home that provide her solace.

View from one of the small hamlets in Uttarakhand, namely, Chopta

You might find her talking to a flower,

Smelling the earth after the first rains,

Or just admiring the beauty of a colorful bird,

Shown here is a ‘chulha’, a stove made from mud and uses wood as a fuel. The people in the hills are experts in cooking on these stoves. The food tastes tasty and has a smoky touch. The dishes cooked are usually made from vegetables fresh from the farms. Also sitting near the chulha in winters is extremely delightful.

Or as she walks those treacherous roads,

Humming an old Himalayan folk tune,

One she probably heard from her grandmother,

As she sat near the chulha with her.

This is the path to my village in Uttarakhand. It’s an upward trek of 3 kms of highly uneven terrain but the fresh air and trees makeup for it. We try to visit every few years especially with the much younger generation just so that they know about their roots.

She will tell you many folktales,

Of the kings and queens that once resided in the hills,

Of the local gods and ghosts, that still tread,

Watch the twinkle in her innocent eyes as she talks of the land she so loves.

This is our temple in our village of Taleshwar in Uttarakhand. It dates back to the 4th century and it has been proved time and again by the various archaeological treasures that have been dug up around it but it lies in a dilapidated state, all thanks to the neglect of the government. All our majorpujas’ (rituals in which you ask for blessings from God) take place in this very temple.

She has a wild and adventurous spirit,

She will take you to places you won’t fathom,

And as she treads along,

She will hum songs in a language unheard,

But the smile she holds will put you at ease,

They aren’t tragic, they are songs of the wild,

The love for nature and people that she has learnt ever since she was a child.

One of the hills that I often tread whenever I visit my village, my father’s childhood was spent in this very terrain before he moved to the city.

As a child whenever she visited the village she often used to sit in the Khou,

With family and friends,

As the old men told stories of their youth,

While smoking their hookahs,

She would listen with awe about the hill ranges that they conquered and the long paths they traversed,

Longing to do the very same some day as she grew older.

The old man in this picture is holding a hookah, a traditionally carved and engraved tube used for smoking and the area they are all sitting in is called a khou. He is the younger brother of my grandfather whom I lost to cancer when I was in Nursery. I still remember watching my grandfather coming home from my rooftop and then standing at the gate waiting for him as he always brought me sweets or candies. He used to carry a beautiful and shiny wooden cane with him, which we gave away later as it had much better use elsewhere.

During her teenage she saw a stranger knock at her grandmother’s door,

He looked like an adventure seeker,

It was the same year in the summer of which she had been to the big city and seen people be ruthless and cruel,

She just did not want this stranger entering their home.

This is one of the houses in the village that belongs to our largely extended family. In the picture is my uncle, his wife and his daughters standing on the lower floor (they are my grandfather’s younger brother’s son and family). On the above floor is my mother, my aunt (my father’s sister) and my grandmother (my grandfather’s younger brother’s wife). I lost my grandmother when I was in 8th. She was a simple yet strong lady who became schizophrenic in the later stages of life. She used to see ‘Bhainro’ (A Hill god) during her last days. She would often tell me that he was here to take her away. I was probably the closest to her in all her grandchildren since I was the only one who spent 12 years with her.

That day she learnt why Pahadis were considered simple and kind,

Her grandmother gave him a home and food for the night,

When the stranger left the next day, her grandmother found her ‘guloband’ missing,

It was the only memory she had of her dead grandfather,

She felt sad for her grandmother and went to sit with her,

As she did she started cursing the man,

No, said her grandmother as she shushed her, this is not our way of life,

He probably needed it more than me,

Nature is what gives us and every being of nature is part of us.

The black choker in this photograph is called a ‘guloband’ and that giant gold ‘Nath’ is the original, heavy nose ring worn by married women. The earrings and naths used to be so heavy (the naths weighing nearly 15gms sometimes) that the nose and earlobes often dangled by the time women reached old age. Again an intrinsic part of our traditional jewellery, the guloband is worn by married women and till date my mother and all my aunts and grandmothers own this piece of jewellery. It is still gifted to newly wed women by their elders and most of them wear it with pride as it has its own charm and is a mark of our tradition and culture. Originally, engraved squares of gold with loops on the sides for thread to pass through were sewn on a black, red or green (mostly black) cloth but now a days it comes in various other designs.

From that day in that lone village in the hills,

Till today the Pahadan resides in a small town in the Himalayan foothills,

The same one she was born in,

Somehow she never found the opportunities in the big cities charming,

Her soul always wants to return each time she visits those cities,

Her love for her roots is undying.

She feels nature will save her against all odds,

She still opens her doors to anyone who is needy,

All you need to do is knock at her doors.

This is the latest trek I went on before lockdown. This is Chopta which is sometimes also referred to as ‘Mini Switzerland’ yet having been to Switzerland I still find this hamlet much more beautiful (no offence intended here). You trek through winding snowy roads in winters and huge grasslands in summers to reach a temple called Tungnath which is a trek of 4 km uphill and Chandrashila peak which is another 2 and a half km above Tungnath.

You will still find her talking to flowers,

Or even climbing trees,

Treading barefoot on the grass,

She makes way even for the ants.

She runs to the hills whenever she gets the chance,

Her adventurous spirit can never be quenched,

In harmony with nature, she respects even the smallest of creatures.

Untouched by the city’s humdrum, she still finds peace within the hills,

But don’t get confused by her mild and kind demeanour,

Forged by hills and nature,

She will roar if you test her too far,

This is why her friends call her an alpha with a gentle heart.

Most Pahadans are just that : Alphas with gentle Hearts.
So these are few very old songs from our region sung by a young singer from our hills to cater to the new generation. The locales used are also of the Uttarakhand hills and once you see them you might want to visit too. However westernized we might seem, these are the only songs we Pahadis like humming once we enter our domain. Haha! Do click on the link and listen. Enjoy the music and if you want the translations, feel free to mail or ask me in the COMMENTS section.

All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar (VRa). Pahaadan through and through.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2020

Mr. WB (Writer’s Block)

A Childish and Innocent Tale of how I finally cracked my Writer’s Block and befriended Mr. WB.

We were sitting together yesterday again,

Mr. Writer’s Block and me,

Love is like a beautiful horizon I began,

Not really said he.

My pen swayed and I dropped it down,

As my words failed and no thoughts could be formed by my mind,

Mr. WB looked elated as I stared at him in despair,

He had again succeeded in blocking my word flow and tide.

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You know it’s fine, said he,

I pay a visit to every writer now and then,

Why don’t you just welcome me and let me be?

I haven’t visited my blog in days, I say,

Do you realise despite trying to be regular how erratic I seem?

All thanks to you, if truth be said.

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I looked at Mr. WB infuriated,

As he sat there sipping his tea,

I was sure he was smirking behind that cuppa.

He observed me for a while,

Glancing over his cup of tea,

I will leave in a few days said he,

Till then, there is not much you can do about it,

Can’t we be friends till I decide to leave?

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I left the room in a huff,

Deciding to roam on the roof,

Looking for inspiration in the sky and the trees,

Cursing Mr. WB whole heartedly.

This was when the breeze whispered to me,

Hey, she said, fallen in love again? Heart been broken again?

or Feeling alone again?

None of these, I replied, just that Mr. WB is on a long visit it seems.

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The breeze broke into a laugh,

I pouted at her angrily,

My book is soon to be out, I say,

I need to stay regular, you know.

She thought it through with lots of aahs and hmms,

She discussed with the trees and the skies,

At last she made her way to me and said,

Ever tried making Mr. WB your muse?

Give it a try you just might become allies.

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I was lost in thought as I came down from the roof,

Mr. WB was still sipping his tea,

Will you be my muse? I ask,

That will be new, he laughs,

So this childish poem was the end result,

When Mr. WB became my muse.

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The better part was we became bosom friends,

We ate and drank together,

And the best part was I saw him off later,

He seemed quite pleased as he said his goodbyes,

Next time he probably won’t visit without a prior call again,

But its Mr. WB and with him we can never be sure!

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All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar (VRa).

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2020

BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD

So, this is going to be the first time that I am participating in an award nomination. I had been nominated when I first started the blog but as I am erratic I could never revert back.

So I am going to dedicate this post to the award I have recently been nominated for.

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1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. Provide a link to the blog.

2.Write a post to show your award.

3. Brief story of how your blog started.

4. Two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

5. Select up to 15 bloggers you want to give this award to.

6. Comment or ping back and provide a link to the post to the blogs you have nominated.

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First and foremost I would like to thank Vikas for nominating me for this award. He has a wonderful blog filled with the latest information of Cricket. He is a true cricket buff just like a lot of us. Do check out his blog at Cricket Vikas.

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After a tryst with various avenues which included journalism, Modelling and Event Management, I realised writing is my true calling. As I wrote content for websites and blogs alike, I observed people and couples around me a lot. I started writing about their inert desires. Also around this time I fell deeply in love with a man who used to write poetry in answer to mine. He became my inspiration and that led to the birth of my blog. Even though we aren’t together and his heart is owned by another; he still is one of my inspirations. After all, love is not always about conquering someone. Also, being an ambivert who doesn’t share her emotions much, this was an outlet for me to portray the various phases and whirlwind of emotions I go through in my life.

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Being very erratic on my blog, I am not someone who should be giving anyone any type of advice but as the rules say so.

1. Be REGULAR: As someone who is never regular, I would say if you start being consistent in your posts your blog you will garner more followers and likes. You should also be consistent in reading and commenting on other blogs.

2. THEME: Instead of merely pouring out your thoughts do so in a systematic manner. A blog with a theme catches more attention and has more followers.

Eg: ME. Haha! My life story is my own muse. So, I use my own photographs in my blog.

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So, please don’t mind if I miss you out since I am so erratic. These are fifteen of the blogs that I enjoy reading. So here goes.

1. Dracul Van Helsing

2. Perditus

3. Bon Repos Gites

4. SIMRAN TOTLANI

5. Life Tube

6. A Quest for the Uncliche

7. The unspoken

8. neseknows

9. Writing my thoughts

10. Tap ON

11. Freddie Mercury

12. Avid Observer

13. A Phoenix Rising

14. Something more than Nothing

15. Equinoxio21

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Thankyou!

If you want to get in touch with me mail me at vanya3rajwar@gmail.com

GOVERNMENT JOBS

A Sarcastic and Hilarious take on India’s obsession with Government Jobs

I had been wanting to speak since ages,

You know about this,

Particular obsession with Government Jobs.

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In India, whatever or however you do it,

You should certainly apply for what?

A Government Job.

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Do you like Banking?

Nobody really asks.

You want a career in railways?

Again nobody asks.

Do you want to become a professor?

Nada, that’s again never asked.

Do you want to go into government administration?

AGAIN Nobody asks.

You have to sit for it,

Especially if your parents and relatives ask,

There is just this certain obsession with Government Jobs.

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You can’t sit at home and work,

That’s not how you earn,

An office and a respectable job,

People want to say proudly,

Our sons and daughters are government servants,

A nine to five job,

Just because, there is a particular obsession with government jobs.

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You have to compete for one little seat,

With thousands of competitors,

Some interested in it, some absolutely not,

Some actors, some writers, some poets, some artists and then some scholars,

All dying together as they sit for their trial of a government job.

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And Oh lord! If you don’t succeed in a few tries,

All hell breaks lose,

What will the society say,

The loss of respect,

Well what can we say,

Asking a fish to climb a tree,

That is what we should expect,

All, due to this obsession with a Government Job.

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It makes me laugh at times,

I mean I don’t like maths,

Was never good at it,

But if I decide to sit for trial,

Against my wishes I will have to practice,

Thanks to the obsession with government jobs.

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Next life if I arrive in India,

I wouldn’t want to be a human,

I would rather be a duck or a whale,

Or something unique like a Narwhal,

I would wade through life,

Doing things I enjoy or die an early death,

From a predator lurking around.

As I don’t really want taunts along with the support,

Just because I want to do works I enjoy,

Not sit on a job I don’t like,

All this, courtesy the obsession with government jobs.

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All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar. (VRa)

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2020

How I have been Disciplined

Because sometimes Capital Punishments can create a rift between Parents and Child, one that can never be filled

Note: This is not related to my book. Just a fleeting thought I penned.

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It was nothing new for me,
When my father hit me,
I had been disciplined since childhood,
With sticks and brooms and slaps and kicks too,
That was my parents style of venting out their anger,
And rearing the elder kid too.

I grew apart from them with time,
They never understood why I rebelled,
As I reached my teens I started losing my cool,
So it was nothing new for me,
When my father hit me.

I reached my twenties,
I found a partner and as he went through a harsh phase,
I wanted to be there for him, listening to him into the night,
It was something my father couldn’t digest,
At the age of twenty four,
It was again nothing new for me,
When my father took a stick and hit me,
I protested and I shoved him back, my mother called me crazy,
After all hitting back is not how I have been disciplined.

More than a year later I can still see the marks upon my waist,
A reminder of that ill fated day,
What had been my fault?
Was it wrong to be there for someone you love?
But then parents can do no wrong,
They have always reared us with so much love,
So I am not allowed to question them,
Or tell others the very same, what would society think of them?
And anyways also I should have been used to it,
Why would I even cry over this common occurrence?
After all it was nothing new for me,
When my father hit me,
It is just how I have been disciplined.

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All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2020

VINAYAK

“A Tale of Vinayak: a House of Bricks and Stones which is a Son, a Brother, A Protector and More”

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I wondered why they named our house,
My parents, you know,
An embellished Marble stands at the gate,
With the name Vinayak.

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With time I came to realise,
It held a deep meaning,
It’s the one of the many names,
That the Hindu Lord Ganesha holds,
If my devoted mother ever had a son,
She would have probably named him Vinayak.

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Come to think of it,
This house is akin to a son,
Each brick, each Stone was engraved,
By the hard earned money,
Of their own time and efforts,
Isn’t that what parents do for their children?
It’s certainly no less than a son,
Its the result of their own lifeblood,
This house called Vinayak.

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A few years Younger to me,
But it has seen all my phases,
From childhood to youth,
It has held my deepest and darkest secrets.
A great listener, my partner in crime,
My closest confidante,
It has seen me laugh, It has seen me cry,
It has supported me through in the Most Painful and solitary of times.

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It protects us all from the perils outside,
People say you are two sisters,
But I say NO, we have a brother,
More humane than many outside, Over the years HE has stood and still stands tall,
For people it might be bricks and stone,
For us it’s a son, a brother, Our Protector,
And HIS name is Vinayak.

.

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All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar (VRa).

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2019

PRIMA DONNA

A Short Tale of a lost Starlet ‘Prima Donna’, revived on this festival of lights, (Diwali) .

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The lights shone a little brighter this year,

As her heart and soul felt a lot lighter on this festival of lights,

As the lights shimmered so did her soul.

The happiness apparent;

She shone in all her rarity,

Like the Prima Donna she once was,

One who was forgotten in the worldly chaos..

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All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2019

EXISTENCE

Tale of a Strong Woman with a Dead Soul who finds her Existence Pointless

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She wanted to be the girl in his poems,
The one he would never forget.
She wanted to be the girl in his sketches,
The one he would always need,
Just like the air he breathes.
She wanted to be the girl in his dreams,
The one he would fight for,
One he would forever be at the side of.

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Instead she became the girl who wrote odes to her pain,
In trying to become his muse,
She lost her own self.
The girl who pretended to be happy even when sad,
Tried to be strong even when weak,
All this just for him;
Her hollow eyes had no expression,
When she realised she was so replaceable, so easily forgotten.

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Even after all that, Lust driven men chased after her,
Trying to claw at the numb remains of a body, with a shattered soul,
Nobody seemed to care, she had emotions too.

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Left Uncared & Unloved for, people sing praises of her strength,
The girl who became her own muse.
A girl who seems stone cold,
Shrouded in a constant mystery,
One who loved and fought with all her being,
something the ones in her life failed to reciprocate.
A wounded tigress they call her,
But she is just a girl with a dead soul,
One whose tears fail to flow,
One who feels she has no regrets, To the extent that,
She finds her mere Existence pointless.

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All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2019

CROSSROADS

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“A Tale of the Crossroads of Love and Life”

Two years down the lane,

History seems to repeat itself,

Everything seems unchanged,

All that occurred in the past,

Is recurring, leaving me unhinged.

 

The bleak mornings and dreary nights,

Of the rains of this year,

Are mere shadows,

Of the summer of that draconian year.

 

The time I hid myself from all the love and fame,

To save myself from this world full of fake,

Removing the last vestiges of the life led till then,

I detached myself from people and pain.

 

After distancing myself from people,

Becoming socially impaired the only choice I could handle,

I never thought I would have to again face,

Any memory of the past knawing at my progression and pace.

But,

Life and Love have created another uproar,

And yet again I am at a CROSSROADS.

 

Life looms above me asking,

Should I or Should I not?

And Love,

Well, it keeps questioning me time and again;

Do you want someone to fall for the idea of you?

Or

Show your true self and let someone fall for you?

 

They have both given me choices to make,

And have left me with brutal decisions to take.

Entering the world without my facades,

Leaves me defenceless and scared,

It puts me on a pedestal,

Laying my vulnerabilities at stake.

Lively, loved and coherent or Stranded, alone and obscure,

The choices I make will lead me to either of these thestrals.

 

As the circle of life will complete itself,

It might meet the others,

Is all I will be left with to hope for,

Once I have decided upon the flow of one road.

 

All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2018

 

 

 

 

 

MONSOON YEARNINGS

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“A Tale of the Longing that arrives with the Monsoons”

The morning is dark yet refreshing.

The clouds thundering above me.

Sitting outside in the open I am thinking of you,

As the rain drops fall upon my skin;

I imagine you in them,

They sear my skin with a burning passion,

As they trickle down my body,

And serenade me.

 

The afternoon is cold,

There is silence everywhere,

Except for the soft pitter patter of raindrops.

I am on my bed listening to the sounds when,

There is a sudden urge to hold you.

Despite knowing you aren’t here,

I want to touch you.

The bedsheets crumple beneath my hands,

As I claw at them,

Calling out your name;

Disturbing the peace of the scene.

Those hidden desires resurface again,

The delirious moans and the whispers that follow,

With a mere imagination of your presence,

Titillate me to the core,

Driving me insane.

 

In the evening I feel spent and tired,

I sit outside again,

Staring at the mist settling upon the hills beyond.

They look so beautiful, I want to capture them,

Wishing I could share the landscape with you.

 

The night arrives bright and ethereal,

The moon shining upon me,

A velvety blanket of stars surrounding it.

It looks crystal clear yet hides the night’s enigma underneath..

I remember your love for the nights and smile,

As I realized I have fallen for you and it has been a while.

 

Memories come rushing through and I am reminded of the time with you,

The sky still remains the only constant that we share,

As another day of the Monsoons passes,

With me yearning for you.

 

 

All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2018