My Paws

A Dedication post for my six pairs of paws that have been my constant companions. She probably thinks I am strangling her in this picture. Haha!

During a particularly rough monsoon season,

Eleven years ago,

A tiny being lay outside my house,

She was injured and she was in pain,

As the rains poured hard that night,

She looked at me with her beady eyes,

I brought a blanket outside,

Wrapped her up and brought her inside,

Nobody came to claim her for very long,

She became a part of our family,

She was small and she was frail, we called her Tinki which means tiny,

Eleven years down , she still hasn’t grown much, delicate as a butterfly,

My constant companion, her paw in mine,

All I have had in the worst of times.

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Six years ago I heard about a litter of puppies,

I went to have a look at them,

A small little head popped out and looked at me,

His owner dangled him in front of me, wanting to get rid of him,

I took an immediate liking to this overly active being,

Took him home to give Tinki a companion,

Called him Rocky as that was the movie playing at the time,

Years down the lane, he is as active as he was as a pup,

No wall is too high and no gate can stop him,

When I am sad he rolls his head in my lap,

And all my worries and stress fly away.

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Five years ago my uncle called me to his home,

I went and was surprised to see a big, fat pup wrapped in a towel,

He said she was two months old,

It was quite unbelievable considering her size,

She was a gift to my uncle who couldn’t care for her,

So she was gifted to me and I brought her home happily.

Wrapped her in the same blanket in which I had brought Tinki in,

Named her Lica, the first dog in space since she looked so unique,

Five years down she is a giant beauty,

Possessive and protective of everyone in the family,

Last year before my birthday she became a mother,

Gave me the most beautiful gifts in the form of six pups,

Whenever I feel low, she comes and sits with me,

Nuzzles my face and my tears dry quickly.

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I call them my paws,

More loyal than most humans,

They Shower me with the purest form of unconditional love,

To all those who say I have kept them unnecessarily, I pay no heed,

Because their love and silent companionship has kept me alive,

They have helped me pass the darkest phases of life,

Their love is unadulterated to the very core,

It nurtures me as well as my soul,

They are all god’s gifts,

They are all I could ever need.

.

.

All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar (VRa)

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2020

Under the Seine Bridge

An ode to a man I met under the Seine Bridge

On my last day in Paris, I saw him, He saw me,

Our eyes met as the boat passed beneath the Seine Bridge,

He smiled at me and trussed his blonde hair,

I shook my head as I looked away,

As we crossed under the Seine Bridge.

.

Camera in hand, My hair fell over my shoulders,

As I tried to capture a beautiful house on the banks,

I caught his eyes again, he cocked up his brows,

Gave me a charming smile as I blushed,

As we passed beneath the Seine Bridge.

.

He came forward, I moved back,

As I tripped on another’s feet, he held my hand,

Stopped me from falling,

As the boat passed Under the Seine Bridge.

.

I looked into his eyes, his grey eyes boring into mine,

He apologised for his upfront indecency,

Couldn’t help staring he said, you looked exotic,

I lowered my eyes as I blushed, I felt beautiful after ages,

That day under the Seine Bridge.

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We got conversing about life and times,

He told me about his travels,

I told him about India, my hometown,

The place my heart belonged,

Under the Seine Bridge.

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As we alighted from the boat, he held out his hand,

He asked me for an evening with him,

On the banks of Seine,

I was scared and I was unsure,

Yet, I took his hand, absorbed his warmth,

As hand in hand he led me away from the Seine Bridge.

.

He took me to a narrow alley,

My heart was thudding, I didn’t know what awaited me,

As we turned the corner, I saw a small restaurant,

Candles alighted, it looked ethereal and magnificent,

As I stood there surprised, he blew my hair away from my face,

And wove his hand around my waist,

As I shook my head, he took me inside,

It was a perfect Parisian evening,

I felt like a heroine from some romantic classic,

As he serenaded me with food and songs,

That man I met under the Seine Bridge.

.

As night fell over Paris,

He took me to the roof of an unknown building,

Scared much, he asked, as he took me to the edge of it,

I shook my head as adrenaline surged through me,

My breath stuck in my throat as I looked at the bewitching view,

Hand in hand with one I had met under the Seine bridge.

.

As the lights of the Eiffel tower shone in the distance,

We sat down on the roof,

A cool breeze blowing, his hands wrapped around me,

I felt beautiful, unafraid about being so vulnerable,

With that stranger I had met under the Seine bridge.

.

He nuzzled my neck,

It felt like I knew you since forever, he said,

I laughed, my love life hasn’t been too blissful I said,

I will fill it with bliss, he said,

I looked at him in disbelief as his hands moved through my tresses,

This angelic man I had met beneath the Seine bridge.

.

I never realised when I fell asleep,

When I woke up I found him looking at me,

It’s time, he said,

I knew what he meant,

He led me to my hotel,

I took my bags and he drove me to the airport,

He was silent and so was I,

As we reached my heart fell,

I didn’t want to part with this man I had met under the Seine Bridge.

.

As I was finally leaving, he held my hand,

I will follow you to India, he said,

I smiled and shook my head,

It was hard saying goodbye,

I had felt wanted after aeons, to be honest,

As I took flight, I realised we hadn’t exchanged numbers,

I laughed at how he had said he would follow me,

That was the end of the story for then.

.

It’s been months since that incident,

At times I still try to search for him,

At times I wonder if he does too,

For a mere reminisce of that one night we spent,

I have met many since then,

But I have never met another,

Who made me feel as special as did the man,

I met on that fateful day in Paris,

Under the Seine Bridge.

.

.

All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar (VRa).

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©| 2020

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

LIFETIME

“Tale of an Innocent Inspiration, A Forever Bond, one that makes you feel cherished for a Lifetime”

Do you ever wonder why you rarely become my muse?

It’s not that you don’t inspire,

You have always been there,

Inspiring me more than anybody else.

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The journey with you has been way too long,
From the days of yore,
When we were innocent and naive,
To getting entangled in the snares of life,
That changed us slightly and then some more.

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Over the years,
You are still as honest as the time we were kids,
Me, Maybe not as chaste,
Time and tide have taken a toll,
I am not even an ounce of what I was anymore.

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Yet through it all,
Having you beside,
Has been a blessing in disguise.
You are a man who has always made me believe,
That maybe, just maybe, forever is not a lie.

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The times have been many,
When without any intention,
In one blissful moment,
You have made me feel cherished for a Lifetime,
And trust me,
It’s an emotion even words fail to describe.

.

P.S.: To that one childhood bond that went from an innocent friendship to something way more deep. To An innocent, honest, insane yet logical man with a golden heart. One who has always refused to leave no matter how crazy life gets. Here is to almost 10 years of illogical conversations, senseless fights, misunderstandings, the long dry spells of not talking and the lifetime kind of bond despite the distances. I love you, Anchor Boy.Ā  Stay the same, never change.Ā Ā 

.

.Ā 

All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2019

DIFFERENCE

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“A Tale of an Attack on a Woman’s Integrity that has made a huge Difference”

Because darling each time you ponder what went wrong,

My answer won’t change with the apologies that time brings along.

I have been hurt many a times before,

I am a fighter,

Something you knew from the beginning,

And said you understood to the very core.

To tell me I can’t handle a simple truth,

You had the audacity,

When it was you who was afraid to face it,

You should have thought twice over your choice of words.

You called me a queen,

But a queen is powerful and intuitive,

This you ought to have known.

Never afraid to walk away,

Always a rarity,

She can carve her own pathway.

Many statements have been spoken afore,

But those were mere attacks on my ego and vanity.

But sweetheart, yes, there was a variation,

Because yours was a brutal attack on my dignity

And the very strength of my integrity.

It created an abysmal gulf between my Forgiveness and Indifference.

And that, Dear Heart, has made all the DIFFERENCE.

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All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2018

PATH

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“A Short Tale of Paving the Path to Advancement”

She isĀ  trying to advance in life,

She is trying to carve a path that reaches him,

She is trying to be the best version of herself.

 

If she is able to pave the PATH that leads to him,

by the monsoons of the impending year;

Then trust her,

to make it through anything.

 

 

All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2018

WHY

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“A Tale of finding the Answer to the Ever haunting Why”

 

I just want you to know,

I will always be here.

When you don’t want to share,

I won’t persist and I won’t chase,

Even if I want to delve deep into.

When you are busy, when its your time,

Your pain calling out, wanting to be alone,

Through those silences I will stay,

No, I am not one to stray,

Just know I am there,

A part of your soul somewhere.

Broken whenever you are,

We will piece it together,

The pieces that haunt you the most,

Is where we will start.

Even when you fail to say it,

I will understand,

I won’t stop your tears from falling,

I will let you vent it out,

As your pain echoes in me,

Burning me inside, searing my heart.

Nights and Days I have cried,

Thinking I don’t deserve you,

Not knowing how I always got pulled back to you ,

The confusion has now abated,

Stranded and alone I am no more,

WE is what we have been creating since time eternal,

this the soul made me realize,

So I am here till eternity,

I finally have the answer to my WHY.

 

 

All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©| 2018

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

 

 

 

 

 

ETERNITY

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“A Short Tale of a Lifetime of Romance”

 

When I am with him,

I don’t want him to look at another woman longingly,

Wishing it had worked out with her.

 

Instead I want to be the woman,

He can look right into the eye,

And thank his stars that it never worked out with others.

I want to be the woman,

Who is recognized by his heart and soul,

As the one;

Who has loved him Eternally,

And will stand by him through Eternity.

 

 

All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2018

MILES

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“A Tale of a Bond which is Boundless”

IĀ  am the first rays of the sun as they touch you in the morning,

I am the cool breeze that provides you solace,

Under the scorching afternoon sun.

I am in the trees that provide you shade,

I am also the whistling wind that passes through them,

Calming your nerves when you are in unrest.

I am the raindrops falling from the sky,

Which soothe your distressed spirit.

I am the waves of the oceans and the seas,

When you stand and they come lapping at your feet,

I am the sound of the gushing currents,

Which you hear while traversing them.

Ā I am the sweat on your brow,

As you strive towards a steady growth;

I am the blood that seeps out from the injuries you incur,

on the path of progression.

I am the evenings that cool you down,

after a hard day’s work;

I am the moon that looks upon you night after night,

Watching you bear the pain inside,

As you advance in life.

I am the tears that fall from your eyes,

When you feel lost.

I am the shadow that always remains with you,

Even when you are treading in solitude.

I am the soul that pulsates inside you,

A reminder that even with the MILES between us,

You are not on this journey alone.

 

 

 

All Rights Reserved. Vanya Rajwar.

The Soul’s UrgeĀ©|2018