Wednesday, August 18, 2021

3D photocopy


A faded pale-blue washing machine was first thing he noticed as he opened the door of his not so small store. It was not in use from past couple of years and was placed close to the door. He came there to create something useful out of the clutter of unused things and to spend his afternoon lazily or somewhat productively. Ahmed viewed the dusty, dingy and gloomy area which had the cluster of items. A wooden bed with a broken leg was standing near the wall, on its one leg a dented bucket and a mouse trap were hanging. Three lamps of different sizes, non functional table fan, his child’s tricycle as he has out grown that age, a medium sized drum which has a hole on its side were lying on the floor. A huge wooden box handed over by her granny as an ancestral furniture was lying in dusts as his wife considered it ‘An old fashioned item’, two card board boxes one above the other were hoarded on it blocked his view to the rest of the room. He took small steps removing cobwebs, moved in between all those precious junk which they have accumulated over the years. He saw an old monitor piled on the CPU, keyboard was slanted on the monitor, a small stool of no use was put upside down on the monitor, a radio whose knob was missing was set in between the rods intersecting its legs, a small metallic container out of which scratched CD and tapes were peeping were positioned on the radio by a skilled person. On the top of pile of old magazines and a few books with two fuse bulbs were set on the radio. He was amazed as well as amused whether all these items could be stalked again in the same manner if removed. His thoughts were distracted by the flattering of a bird on the window. The broken window pane allowed the free movement to the new tenants.


Although he took a few small steps back even then the bird screeched and flew away. Two tiny black spotted balls in the shelf seemed to be the giant obstacles in his plan to create the best out of waste by constructing a rotating fire pit out of the perforated tub of unused washing machine. He planned to give it to his eleven years old beloved wife on the Valentine Day because he didn’t have enough money to buy a pleasant gift from town market. Monetary predicament gave way to creativity! He took out a screw driver from his jeans hip pocket and unscrewed the bolts on all of its sides very slowly without disturbing the unborns. While he slowly lifted the plastic body of the washing machine leaving the tub behind, one of the eggs from the nest slipped into the tub. He removed the cover, stalked it on the cardboard box as it was the only place vacant in the store, took out that egg and placed it back on the not so well knitted twigs. Removing the agitator he noticed one more egg in the tub of the same size, same color and same shape. He put that also back thinking he might have not noticed the falling of the other. To his utmost surprise there was one more egg, a replica! He had to stop placing eggs in the nest as it couldn’t hold more or the bird couldn’t rear more or both. His surprise transformed into confusion as he started filling the dented bucket with spotted eggs.


The perforation of tub converted air energy around to produce a 3D photocopy, an identical copy of object that touched the embossed penny sized bottom. As soon as the object was taken out it produced the replica by changing kinetic energy of air into potential energy of the object by creating thin layers which are joined together to get desired shape and size. The negative charge is generated in the tub which broke inert nitrogen gas molecules of the air to combust hydrogen gas and then rapidly combine with carbon dioxide to form a new compound nitrochyoxide which had a unique property to give the same physical properties like texture, color, shape etc. of the object removed from tub and its by-product nicra that sounds more like a name of cute girl than a chemical compound was utilized to give the desired chemical properties of the object from protein to choline. Not only the outer appearance like color, texture, size, shape but also the inner composition like albumen and egg yolk with each and every minute detail of original work was replicated in 3D photocopying with a light speed hence the  human eyes couldn’t grasp duplicating process.


Unaware of all these chemical reactions happening in the tub but fully aware of his financial problems which were raising their heads like a cobra after he lost his job in recession time as Senior Marketing Head in Kore Moto Corp., a leading company in Auto Sector. All his savings drained out slowly and gradually and he had to take loan to meet his family daily requirements. He was clenched in the strong jaws of not the poverty actually rather credit system of banks offering lucrative offers before taking loan thereafter forcing to pay high interest rates on loans which were almost impossible. In despair of non loan repayment he was disheartened. He came into present when he found there was no space left to place egg in the store. Everywhere in the store on the wooden box, in the huge drum, on the upside down stool, in between the radio knobs, on the pile of magazines and on the space between two bulbs and even on his child’s tricycle seat he had placed the tiny eggs. His head spin on the thought of standing in a huge nest filled with hundreds and hundreds of eggs. He was physically as well as mentally tired. He took a handful of them, walked in the open towards the kitchen, crossing not so big compound of his house. He asked half sadly half confusedly to his wife Nargis to roast them or to toast them.


Although he had a bath in the morning, however to remove dirt and grime that had accumulated on him during his new expedition in the store, he went into the bathroom. Till he cleaned himself, his obedient wife prepared the delicacy. She plated the unshelled boiled eggs on the lettuce leaves, garnished them with a small sized broccoli floret in the centre and finely cut zigzag edged tomato, looking more like a flower on the sides, above it she sprinkled some grinded black pepper and a mixture of canola oil and lemon juice on it to satisfy his eyes as well as his tongue. A good meal to calm appetite along with tensions!


“Beautiful n Delicious!” Ahmed praised her after eating a bite that was too small for his mouth and a smile appeared on Nargis’s face. 

“Like me!” She winked a little to make his man happy.

“No. Not at all.”


“More than you!” This time he winked. Both of them burst into laughter.

No sooner than did he finish all the nutritive islands with trees and flowers on his plate than an idea hit his mind to sell this delicious dish in the Saturday Night Market. There was only six hours left to start. He gave necessary commands to his wife to prepare more salad, boil one bucket of eggs and he went out to make the necessary arrangements for selling the product in the busiest market of the town.   


In less than half an hour from commencing Ahmed’s whole lot was sold out. He rushed back to home, collected more eggs, asked his wife to cook more and to prepare more salad as quickly as possible. He returned to the selling point with the freshly prepared food to earn some more marginal profit from ‘Colorful Islands’ on plate. The couple worked enthusiastically, repeating the process to make their newly invented dish a ‘HIT’. While counting money he felt the utmost fatigue gripping him that have accumulated over the constant working hours i.e. gathering eggs, selling them, collecting money and overall organisation and winding up on closing of the market. Satisfied he placed them in the built in safe, returning towards bed he looked at his wife in red sheer nighty that was sleeping on the other side. Her loose curly hair were falling on her face which was glowing like a full moon behind thin layers of scattered clouds even after all those physical weariness. Her face was as fresh, pure and white as EGG! At this very moment he realised that his tiredness had crossed all boundaries, now he must take rest. He was about to close his eyes then he recalled that today was Valentine Day, needed something special like every year for his wife; this year to construct a rotating fire pit idea had to be dropped in order to obtain 3D photocopy of eggs and the money making thereafter. His mind was so much occupied during the whole day that he forgot what he should not forgot. Now, when he had ample of money to buy gifts for his beloved, he was left with no strength to go to market to purchase some chocolates of her favourite brand or a decent dress for her or just a fire red rose. He came closer to her, removed a curly strand of hair from her forehead and planted a kiss assuring himself that he would buy a decent present for her tomorrow morning.

“Only one!” His wife’s passionate voice astonished him.

“I will buy more gifts for you.” He said which surprised her wife.

“O, you are such a lovable darling!” She locked him in her soft arms and whispered “Actually, I said only one kiss!”

He shocked, she rocked!


Soon, the olden golden washing machine evaporated the financial crisis in his life like the camphor exposed to air. By selling the best quality eggs at the cheapest price; in the town, he became famous as ‘Egg Guy’. He repaid his loans and constructed one study room for his son. One sunny afternoon, while cleaning the tub, the soap slipped from his hands as he lifted the egg to clean that emboss point. Soap hit 3D conversion switch. What a coincidence! To his little surprise, now soap cakes were produced in spite of eggs. On the sufficient production of soap cakes required for the whole year even if they used them liberally. Now the town better knew him as ‘Soap Guy’!


Soon he was bored of soap business, a saturation point came when he couldn’t make more money whereas he yearned for more and more. To find out the technique to produce the 3D photocopy of the desired object, he passed the egg on the same path on which it had fallen some days back, followed by soap which fell from his hands accidently. He repeated it uncountable times till he got the correct time calculation between the removing and placing of the object in order to change the previous object with a new one to be photocopied. Doing this for long hours, bending at stretch into the washing machine without any break caused severe pain in his lower back although it was forgotten or rather washed away in the wave of happiness of his new discovery.


Earlier in the town he became popular as ‘Egg Guy’ and now he was better known as ‘Soap Guy’. Whenever he was fed up with the business or faced some problem that couldn’t be overcome or noticed a decline in sales, he started a new business by changing the object which resulted in his changed status as ‘Pen Guy’, ‘Chocolate Guy’, ‘Ball Guy’, ‘Tomato Guy’, ‘Spoon Guy’, ‘Lady Finger Guy’, ‘Lipstick Guy’, ‘Bread Guy’, ‘CFL bulb Guy’, ‘Mouse trap Guy’ and so on…….


Although he was making good profits but his greed intensified for more and a little more. Prolonged bending and sitting resulted in dull back aches which he ignored like the dust on the computer screen. His fatigued body needed more rest than what he was actually taking. To make more money might be more than what he required to live a happy life; he yearned to start a business with good profit like selling petrol or wine or something that can fetch really good returns to him. Moreover he was tired of all these businesses with marginal profits. He repeated the same trick with that of egg to produce the replica of petrol, but totally failed. Other liquids like diesel, kerosene oil, milk, fruit juices, soft drinks and even different branded wines he experimented to get the desired outcome but he couldn’t get desired results. 3D photocopying could be done to only solids and not to liquids as in liquids, the molecules had greater freedom of movement and lack the binding force like that of solids which resulted in structural rigidity and resistance to change in volume and shape. These two major essentials for getting a 3D photocopy were missing in liquids.


Several years passed even then his daily routine was the same, bending into the tub to collect 3D photocopied objects.  One summery afternoon, he stooped a bit more to pick the object, all of a sudden, he felt piercing pain in his back. He shuddered. A few coins slipped out of his shirt pocket which was bulging due to his profit making. The back pain was so severe that he paid no attention to the chinking of coins. He sat down on the floor of store which was not cleaned since couple of years. ‘Dirt keeps thieves away’ was his motto. Every time his wife wished to clean it, he stopped her by making this or that excuse. The ache was unbearable even then he couldn’t call anybody for help else his richly secret might leaked out. And then thieves or robbers might loot his washing machine which was otherwise worth throwing in the dustbin. To relieve pain he lightly pressed his left palm on his back. With age his eyesight became poor, he glanced the area with blurred vision. He found that instead of getting rid of any item from the store, there were two more additions after his discovery of 3D photocopying - one was used tyre of his son’s bike and other was his busted football. Smartly rather very smartly, he buried his new discovery of 3D photocopy washing machine in one of the silent corners of his heart and didn’t reveal it even to his life partner. He could have become famous overnight with his photo on the cover page of all the leading magazines and newspapers. All the main channels showing exclusive coverage at prime time about him and his washing machine but, surprisingly this was not in his top most fifty desires. His wish was to make more wealth from it and become the richest person of the world. Then if the whole world came to know, he would be delighted.


Moving his left arm, using the full sleeve of shirt, he wiped the sweat drops on his forehead. He could easily afford air conditioners in this dingy dainty store and could work comfortably in hot climate without perspiring. A fan, a table fan at least he could have here. But no he was miser as well as smarter to keep everyone far off. He made a little space by moving the junk aside, lied down and closed his eyes because of pain or fatigue or both. In less than a minute he was fast asleep. 


When he woke up, he felt that pain radiated towards his right arm. Instead of taking proper medication and rest, he returned to his work. He bent down to pick the objects which have fallen accidentally from his pocket. Using his left arm he searched for the coins. Taking out more coins than that which had fallen in, elated not only his mind but soul as well. His body shuddered with a burst of perspiration around his arms, upper lips and groin. He paid no attention to the freshly increased salty wetness on his body. Although a bit irritated he was though in the ecstasy of joy for the production of coins from his magic machine he forget the increasing pain. He realised that he was a big fool who was wasting his time and energy on trying making 3D replica of liquids instead of trying on coins. He kept collecting the coins till all the boxes and utensils were filled. 


Late night, when he was entered the bedroom; his wife complained “Today is Valentine Day. You didn’t give me any special gift, not even a rose! Earlier you used to celebrate whole day with me; watching movie, dinning out, shopping and what a wife can desire of…..Sweet Nights!!” 

“At that time I was not that busy now I am!”

“If you were so busy then at least you could have pluck a crimson bottle brush flower from our garden which is in full bloom these days and wished me.” She taunted.

“I am hell tired.” He felt the intense pain arising in the shoulders while lying on the bed. “If you like the flower so much then why don’t you go and pluck one for yourself?”

He retorted, hiding his aches which would only add fuel to the fire.

“I am talking about your time, your attention. In the past month you haven’t attended any social function or late night party or watched good movie neither on TV nor cinema hall or gone to amusement park for fun.

“I was busy.” He didn’t have the strength to fight with his tigress.

“Busy in what? Getting older fast! Huh??  She pointed at grey hair in his head, stooping back and sullen eyes with dark circles under them.

“In making profits.” He said opening his eyes forcefully fighting with pain or sleep or both.

“What will you do with it?”

“I do not want it for myself. I am earning it for you and my son, Rushwan.”

“We have repaid the loan, constructed a decent house and saved sufficient money for the future. I have wardrobes full of clothes and jewellery.” She turned around and opened her wardrobe to show him and a blue colored top slipped from the above shelves on her. She caught it. The falling of that piece disturbed the alignment and all the stacked tops in front row fall on the ground. “My wardrobe is over flowing with clothes. It can’t hold anymore. Moreover if you don’t have time to look at me then what is the use of wearing all these clothes and jewellery? For me your time, your company, your one glimpse is more important than all these materialistic things.” She gathered them from the floor and folded them.

She closed the cupboard, turned around and found him asleep. She sighed.


Collecting coins made him richer as well as greedier. He replaced the coin with the highest denomination currency note available. Constant bending to pick the objects from tub without doing any regular exercise caused a little bend in his back and his speed of doing work slowed down. He had to bend a lot to take out something from the tub and he worked at a snail's pace still could make more than enough money from that magic tub. He was working his butts off! He moved less out of store to avoid useless arguments with his wife.


More days passed till one day Rushwan entered the most prohibited area of the house, the store as his father had not come out to have his meals from past two days. On his mother repeated requests he arrived here otherwise he disliked this place because of it untidiness and his father’s abusive screams. In childhood days one day while playing his ball came in this direction, Ahmed scolded Rushwan so heavily that he never dared to go near it. Even now that shouts were fresh in his mind and he was bit scared because his father shouted at him if he ever did this. He covered his face with the handkerchief as of irritating odour and dust. In dim light he could only view two feet one with slipper in it and other without it hanging outside the perforated tub. The upsides pose left him in bewilderment. He must have fallen in it because of losing his balance on excessive bending for picking up something from the bottom of tub, Ahmed’s son assumed. He took the body out of not only tub but also from dark and dingy place. His father was dead already. With the help of his neighbours the son cremated the body.


On returning home he decided to clean the store, the dirtiest place of the house and washing machine and each and every part of it. He was shocked to see one more corpse just like his father in the machine; his father never revealed him the secret of 3D photocopy. He buried it, found more, buried that too and found one more. All accumulated wealth drained in the cremation and burial ceremonies till he was left with no money. In rage, he buried the washing machine along with the replica. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021


 Life is just like a train journey, continuously moving sometimes slow sometimes fast! Moving incessantly is a natural phenomenon of train same is with life. With passing time, the travellers change, new passengers board in whereas old passengers get down on reaching their destination. Similarly in life, one meets new persons and parts with others. Life is such!

Smriti, a beautiful gal in her late twenties loved to travel by train, her joy got doubled if by chance she met someone known in the journey, time fleet so swiftly while chatting when the destination came, when the journey is completed, went totally unnoticed. After buying the ticket, she boarded in the train, placed her luggage on the upper birth, took out ‘The Lowland’ by Jhumpa Lahiri from her handbag and started reading it. The engine’s whistle blew, train moved slowly, picked up the speed and reached the next station, and she didn’t come to know as she was absorbed in reading about Subhash and Udayan – two fictional brothers. Pushing each other, hurriedly people were getting down from the train and those who wished to get on the train were almost throwing their bags from the windows to reserve their seats and were thrusting themselves inside the train from the doors as they couldn’t enter from the windows with grills fitted in between. The noise disturbed her and she raised her eyes from the book to look at this hustle and bustle. Amidst this, she heard a familiar voice, “Hey, you here?” She instantly turned her head in the direction of sound and found Komal, her old batch-mate standing there. In few years, her silhouette had completely transformed from a slim girlish body to a fatty aunty. Her long plait like a black cobra had now taken a shape of a beautiful round bun, light jewellery of gold was novated into huge sized artificial jewellery, small bindi on her forehead had grown bigger and was shinning more. She had put on weight but her lovely smile was the same as in the college days. It had broadened with the time!

She asked, “Didn’t you recognise me?”

Smriti smiled and stood up. She hugged her friend tightly and after arranging her bags on upper birth with great difficulty they both started chatting about their college, about old friends, about movies, about this and about that. In conversation with Komal, she came to know that presently she was doing a job in private company, her husband had a business of wooden furniture, resided in a rented flat in Bhiwani and now she was a mother of two cute twin boys. These days they were constructing their own house in Delhi and to supervise the work, she was going there.

Komal asked, “So, what are you doing these days?” 

“I have recently joined my family business of designer jewellery.” Smriti replied.

“And what about marriage plans?”

“After some time, I will see! Right now, busy with some big assignments from U.S. and Europe.”

“You are going to be thirty soon, even then you are delaying it. Will you get married when you have grey hair and only a few teeth in your mouth and will not be able to see your groom properly without wearing spectacles?” She teased her.

“It’s just like that!” Smriti looked here and there to change the topic but couldn’t find a suitable one.

“Is there someone whom you love?” Before Smriti could say anything Komal uttered, “Didn’t I tell you about my love? How I met him? How I had a great time with him? Which gifts I bought for him? I didn’t hide anything from you. And see, you are not sharing anything. Say something, who is he?”

“Somebody.” Smriti didn’t want to disclose at this stage of her relationship but Komal was too eager to know.

Komal fired questions at her, “What he does? What is his name? Where does he live? How is his personality? Is he fair coloured or dark complexioned? Is he tall or short in height? Is he bald or have long hair? Where did you meet him? Did you converse with him on various aspects of life? Did you go with him to watch an English movie and have a corner seat? The last question she whispered, “Did you have sex with him?”

On seeing silence of Smriti, impatiently Komal said, “Tell me I can’t wait any more.”

It was rather impossible to escape from the questions of Komal so Smriti started narrating her story somewhat reluctantly, “Dristi, who was in my stream in M.Sc., on her b’day, I met him. He was fair, handsome and a strong and sturdy person. On that day, he was wearing navy blue colour coat and pant.”

“A featherless peacock!” Komal laughed not so loud on her own joke.

Smriti didn’t like her comment as the beauty of peacock is because of its feathers. She didn’t express her resentment but continued with her story, “He was meeting everyone decently. He sang the song ‘My heart is fleeting!” in his melodious voice.

“Oho, so he is a cuckoo as well!”

Smriti’s anger busted, “Stop comparing him with birds. You can compare him with some celebrity like Michael Jackson, Enrique Igless etc.”

“Phew! In the first meeting you went crazy about his face and voice.”

Smriti nodded. “Later I came to know from Dristi that he was working in a multinational company and earning a good pay package. Like youth of our country he too wished to go to a foreign land.”

“Then, what is the problem in getting married?”

“His elder sister will get married after three months. She will flewto Canada after marriage. All her in laws are NRIs. He is busy with the arrangements of her marriage as well as Visa. After that he will think about his marriage.”

“How much property they have?”

“He has his own house and two three shops in a shopping mall where foot fall is quite good.”

“Does he reside in your city?”

Smriti smiled and said, “Then I wouldn’t have wasted so much of time in taking only seven rounds around the fire with him.”

“Then where he lives?”

“After he got the job, he shifted to Pink city, Jaipur. He is presently residing in house no. 20 of Mayapuri Colony.”

“You are telling me the complete address as if I am going right now to meet him.”

“You told me about him but you forget to tell me his name – his identity!”

“How can I take his name? In our caste, girls are not allowed to speak husband’s name, sounds quite orthodox but we are like this.”

“He is not your husband. Right?”

“Hmmm…ok. I will tell you something interesting about his full name that it begins with letter ‘L’ and ends with letter ‘L’.”

“Are you talking about Lalit Mittal?” An elderly person sitting on the opposite birth said whose eyes were sorrowful and red. It seemed that he was crying hard from past few hours. Hearing this Smriti was about to fall from the seat only if Komal was not holding her hand. Smriti nodded and couldn’t utter a single word because of tornado of questions arising in her mind. She was starring him without blinking. May be he read Smriti’s mind and explained, “I am Lalit’s uncle. And I am returning back after attending his funeral possession. Yester night he died in a car accident. It will be better for you to forget him.”

All of a sudden, Smriti’s life came to a halt. The train stopped. He got down from the train, might be he had reached his destination. Smriti’s all dreams were shattered. She was feeling as if a strong earthquake had destroyed her house before it could even be built up.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Chamba Rumal


Can an embroidered fabric look alike from both the sides? Ya, Chamba Rumal! It is a distinctive style of embroidery, in which the embroidered motif appears the same from right as well as from the wrong side. Surprisingly, there is no difference between the wrong and right side! It’s the identical on both the faces of fabric!! That is the reason why a rumal (handkerchief) can cost thousands of rupees.

It is famous for transforming the art of Pahari and Kangra paintings of Himachal Pradesh into the intricate embroidery patterns. It is an imitation of paintings of scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharata and other scriptures. The delicate and detailed designs are mesmerising which depicts Krishna Leela and circular Gopis dance with floral motifs on its borders. The wedding scenes and hunting scenes were embroidered. Animals like tigers, boars, horse and rams and birds like peacocks, parrots, swans and ducks were also beautifully embroidered in bright colour scheme. Unusually tree motifs of willow and cypress trees were also embroidered in magnificent colours. A rare design of Chapad game which was played in between Yudhistra and Duryodhan in Mahabharata was depicted in it. It was used to be given as a gift to daughters at the time of their marriage.

It used to be embroidered on white tussar or malmal, cotton cloth. Multicoloured threads like crimson, green, yellow and blue colour threads of pat, untwisted silk were used. Dohara tanka or Double satin stitch was mostly used but sometimes stem stitch was also used to embroider square piece of fabric and rarely rectangular ones. It was used to embellish cushion covers, pillow covers, wall hangings, caps, hand fans etc.

This art is dying a slow death and the revival of this art is the need of the hour!


Sunday, July 18, 2021

Maximize your wardrobe

Anybody can have a versatile look by mix and match of old and unused garments in the wardrobe. From a minimum number of garments, the novel outfits can be created by intermingling, swapping, mixing and matching. A variety of new combinations can be created as per the mood and taste of the wearer. It is an art to give new life to your untouched or not so frequently utilized clothes in your wardrobe that can be mastered easily. That is the reason it is too economical and fits in everybody’s budget. Who doesn’t want it?

The basic formal wears like white T-shirt, black blazer, black pants, dark blue jeans and plain coloured shirts can enrich your wardrobe by mix and match with dots, checks, strips or floral prints. Multi piece dresses like sari-blouse, salwaar-kameez-dupatta, skirt-top, jeans-top, ghaghra-choli-chunari can open up unlimited options to look elegant by creating pleasing combinations where as mix and match technique is restricted to single piece dresses like gowns, nighties, frocks, kaftans etc.

Are you bored of wearing the same dress again and again? Break the monotony by applying different colour schemes with your dresses and create your unique style that perfectly goes with your mood. Monotonous colour scheme in which all the shades of the same colour are used can create a serene and calm effect. It is pleasing to eyes. Whereas complementary colour scheme in which colours on the opposite side of a colour wheel are used gives a powerful and energised look to the wearer.

These days, one has no to bother about the harmony, colour combination, hues matching. It has been simplified by various fashion and style apps. More and more apps are coming up in the market with innovative ideas to not only to match dresses but also accessories with them. These apps randomly generate outfit ideas mostly selecting those clothes that are not in much use from a quite a long time. It creates new combinations, which you have never tried before and give new life to your existing wardrobe.

For mix n match, you want to use your brain or app it is a matter of personal choice!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Interesting facts about Phulkari and Bagh


You must have heard the word ‘Pulkari’ and must have used this word numerous times while purchasing outfits for yourself and for your loved ones. But do you know what is the difference between Pulkari and Bagh? Nah!  

Pulkari literally means a flower craft in which flowers are blooming here and there where as Bagh means a garden where flowers are blooming everywhere. In Pulkari, the floral patterns are dispersed and base colour of fabric is visible where as in Bagh, mostly geometrical patterns are used to cover the whole area and not a single strand of the base material is visible from the right side.

The Pulkari like saloo was worn during a household work as it had very light embroidery work on it. Til patra was presented to servants on various occasions and it was made of inferior quality of fabric with very minute patterns scattered widely apart. Chope and suber were given as wedding gifts to the daughters. Sheeshdar Phulkaris had mirrors embroidered in between the floral motifs. Ghungat Bagh as the name suggest was use as a veil by young women. It was embroidered in a triangular shape. Kakri, mirchi and dhunia bagh were named according to the size and shape of the motifs. The Bagh that contain five or seven colour was named panchranga or satranga respectively. The white and golden threads were used to give a unique effect of sunlight and shade, a dhoop chaun. The circular white motifs were embroidered on dark blue khaddar to create a mesmerising view of moon in a dark night was known as chandrama bagh by many.

Before partition, in East Punjab Pulkari was popular in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Rohtak, Hissar and Ludhaina and in West Punjab Bagh was done in Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Sialkot.

Despite all these differences, they share a common thing that they both were embroidered from the wrong side of the fabric. It was unique technique to embroider a fabric by not looking at the right side but was done gently and intricately from the wrong side. Therefore, this art not only required good eye site but also practice for a long time to master.


Saturday, June 26, 2021

Traditional embroideries of India part -2


In your jam-packed closet you always look for a cool outfit with light embroidery especially in summers. Most of the time you pick up white Chikankari dress for casual wear. Chikankari is also known as ‘The Shadow Work’ as it was done to create a shadow effect on the cloth. It was traditionally done with white thread on white organdie, silk muslin or chiffon fabric. The most commonly used motif was mango which we better known as ‘Ambi’ designs. The other motifs were taken from the surroundings and daily life like leaves, flowers and dots. Most common used stitches were herringbone, button hole, chain stitch, French knot, satin and stem stitch. It was done on sarees, borders, pillow covers, blouses, kurtas, caps, shoes, handkerchiefs etc. Now a day’s Chikankari work is available on different colour fabrics that too with multi-coloured threads.

Namda is traditional embroidery of Kashmir along with Kashida. Kashida was done on silk fabric with vibrant colour silk threads with satin, stem and chain stitch. The floral motifs like lotus, lily, and tulip were common along with grapes, plums, almonds, cherries etc. Whereas Namda was embroidered using chain stitch on jute with woollen threads of green, blue, yellow and mahroon colour. Motifs were inspired from nature like parrot, woodpecker and floral designs. 

Kathiawar embroidery is famous in Kathiawar, Sindh. It was done on cream colour khaddar kesmant with cotton threads of red, green, blue and pink colour. Sindhi stitch was the most commonly used stitch in the embroidery, which is basically a four step process of interlacing threads. It was used along with chain stitch, herringbone stitch, stem stitch, satin stitch and buttonhole stitch. It was used to decorate torans (wall hangings) and chaklas (square clothe).

Kantha Embroidery was done mostly in Bengal on four or five layers of old cotton sarees that were sewn as well as embroidered together using small running stitches. The threads used in embroidery were drawn from the red colour border of sarees. Mostly they used for making small pouches to keep combs and other items.

I would have told you about Kasuti embroidery but the page from my file is missing! ;)

Traditional embroideries of India part -1 is here

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Traditional embroideries of India part -1


Embroidery is the ornamentation of fabric with needlework. It is the most interesting and pleasing art. It was most widely practiced by homemakers as a domestic craft. But with the fast development and technological advancement most of ancient arts of India are fast disappearing as nobody has the time and patience to embroider the designs on fabric. The young generation love to spend rather waste time on gadgets rather than creating something innovative with their hands. Moreover, the machine embroidery is becoming popular because of its low cost. Hence, traditional embroideries done by hand are dying a slow death.

Let us have a sneak peek into the vast varieties of Indian embroideries. You must have heard about Pulkari. What is so unique about Pulkari done by hand? It has invisible stitches on its backside. Have not noticed it? Pulkari done by machines lack this feature. Traditionally Pulkari was done by mothers on khaddar kesmant fabric (hand spun and hand woven) to gift their daughter at the time of their wedding in Punjab when Haryana constituted a part. The geometrical patterns were created with long and short darning stitch by untwisted silken floss of golden yellow, green, crimson red or orange colour. Chaddar, dupatta, shawl and kurta were decorated.

Manipur embroidery was famous for its animal and insects motifs like elephant, butterfly, sheep etc. stitched on khaddar cotton fabric with pat, untwisted silken floss with tiny satin stitches. This embroidery was used to embellish bed cover, cushion cover, tablecloth, wall hanging and shawls.

Dancing peacocks, dolls and human figures were common motifs of Kutch embroidery, which was done on black satin with chain stitch in vibrant colours like red, pink, yellow, brown. It was used to beautify ghagra (skirt), cholis(top) and toran (wall hanging) etc.


Traditional embroideries of India part -2 is here


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Life is tough!

 A tear erupted from his eye as his colleague gently thrust food in his mouth. The morsel of chapatti wrapped around a lady finger was just as he liked it - not too spicy or too plain - and almost as good as home-cooked; yet it made him cry. Inder chewed on it reluctantly for a few seconds and forced it down his parched throat.

 He glanced around the room which has become his humble abode for a while. The walls were spotlessly white-washed. Blue curtains were drawn partially on the windows to shield the brightness and heat of the October sun. On the other side of his bed a white partition provided some token privacy from the occupants of the room. He was lying on a white iron-frame bed on which a spotless white sheet was spread. Two small holes almost the size of a rice grain was visible near his knee. A stainless steel table stood on the side. A dented steel glass, two spoons with different designs, a dirty steel plate, a Bisleri bottle half-filled with tap water, an old Nokia mobile, two brown pens and lots of colourful pills and bottles were competing for space on it. A creaky cane chair stood on one side. They had to pay extra for it, but Inder wasn't too sure if it was suitable for sitting on.

 He was wearing a sky blue gown which hung loosely on his skinny body. The hospital staff had been adamant that he wear their gown and not his own clothes. The tears in his eyes made everything look blurred. A blurred corner of handkerchief came towards his eyes.

“Inder Singh, if you will lose courage now, you will lose the battle of life. Be brave and use your brain to come out of this trouble,” said Sumit, his colleague.

“Without hands?” Inder said, unable to keep disappointment out of his voice.

“Be brave and use your brain.” Sumit repeated, and put a spoonful of curd in his mouth, which Inder gulped half-heartedly.

“I will not be able to do my present job.”

“You will find a better one! This might not had been the right job for you and I am sure that some better job is waiting for you!” He put one more morsel in his mouth.

“Ya! What's the use of a job which puts my life at risk?” said Inder, his voice muffled with sobs and food in his mouth.

“I found you unconscious under the metallic pipe.” Sumit told. Inder started to recall the events of that fateful night.

“I was just doing my usual routine. Before leaving for home every night, I check that the boiler fire source is closed. I tried to tighten the knob, but even after three complete rounds of the handle it was still too loose. That's when I realised that the spring must have broken! It was a set up! Someone was jealous of my promotion last month and knew my routine. But there was no time to think. The pressure was building up very rapidly. I was trying to prop open the release valve with both hands, when the pipe connecting the boiler and the dying container started creaking. I should have stepped back, but I thought the jammed valve would open any second.  When the heavy pipe dropped on my hands, I lost my balance and fell down, trapped under the pipe. I could hear my bones crack! It was just too painful! I must have screamed loud enough to crack the concrete walls of the factory. I tried to pull my hands once but that only made the pain worse! After that I must have blacked out. Next thing I remember is waking up in this room."

Sumit picked up the thread of story from him and continued to narrate further “I had just started my night duty at the entrance gate when I heard you screaming. I rushed towards the boiler and found you unconscious. Without wasting a single part of a second, I pressed the emergency button. Alarms rang all around. Meanwhile I found a metal stirrer lying nearby and tried to use it as a lever to raise the pipe. Three more guards came running and joined me in raising the pipe. One two and three… we all shouted in chorus.. The pipe just rose by a few inch. The others hung on with all their might while I dragged you out. We rushed you to the hospital in an ambulance.”

“This is a costly hospital. You should have taken me to some cheaper place. All my savings are draining out in the treatment,” Instead of being thankful to his colleague Inder complained.

“You can earn and save more once this difficult period is over,” Sumit tried his best to raise Inder's spirits.

“Saying so is quite easy but how can I earn when I am not even able to do my personal work.”

“Nothing is impossible. You can do whatever you wish.”

“I can’t feed myself. You are feeding me.” Tears rolled down Inder's cheeks again, he tried to hide his face behind the stumps of his hands.

“Any movement of your hands will delay recovery.” Sumit reminded him of the doctor’s advice.

“I can’t bathe myself. I can’t change my dress. I can’t even hold a glass of water to my mouth when I am feeling thirsty. And to top it all, I can’t even open the zip to pee.” Inder felt defeated.

 Sumit kept the half-eaten plate aside and started fiddling with his mobile. He showed Inder a video in which a woman with no hands was leading a normal life and doing all household chores as well as any other housewife. For a few minutes Inder felt better and accepted a few more morsels, but then again a cloud of depression came from some unknown source to wrap him. Seeing him sad, Sumit took out a paper cutting from his purse and put it in front of Inder so that he could have a good view of a cheerful girl.

“Sexy?” He teased Inder to change mood. He looked up irritatingly with wet eyes. Sumit winked a little and asked again. 

“Even if then what?” Inder’s anger was reflected in his words.

Sumit picked up the cutting, turned the folded paper upward so that Inder could have a full view of the photo and the article below it.

“Hell! She has no hands!!”

“As you can see she is standing in an aircraft. She is a pilot.” Sumit explained.

Inder read aloud, "Jessica Cox, 25, a girl born without arms, the girl from Tucson, Arizona got the Sport Pilot certificate lately and became the first pilot licensed to fly using only her feet. With one foot manning the controls and the other delicately guiding the steering column, she soared to achieve a Sport Pilot certificate. Her certificate qualifies her to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet.”

“Yup! I always carry her inspiring story in my pocket. Any time I am feeling down, I look at her photo.”


“So dear friend, focus your energy and attention on your abilities rather than disabilities. You have to use your foot as your hands for doing chores. He asked Inder to pick up the cotton piece in between his right toe and moved leg towards his face to clean the tiny droplets of the terrible past.

Inder cried more, uncontrollably this time. Sumit was confused but decided to let Inder clear out his pent-up emotions. A couple of minutes later Inder in between sobs said, “I lied to you my buddy. I lied.”

Sumit frowned but didn't say anything, waiting for Inder to say more.

“When you were away to fetch the food from cafeteria my mobile had rung, I picked it up from the table using my toes. On seeing the screen, I came to know that it was from my mother. I pressed the buttons and hold it near my ear using my toes. My mother told me that my wife left me for her lover on hearing about my accident. Actually I was not crying for my hands but for my wife as I loved her very much.

Sumit totally dumfounded threw himself back on the cane chair. ‘Life is tough!’ he mumbled. The chair creaked in unison.

Friday, June 4, 2021

The Hanged Man


The Hanged Man!

I was surprised to see this card when I pulled out a tarot card from the deck to know my future. At that time, I was working as a Lecturer of Fashion Designing in a reputed college of the town. I was living a lavish life; going to college, giving lectures, reading books, listening to music, watching movies, going to relatives’ house on weekends and enjoying life fully. This XII card from Major Arcana showed that something important and transforming is going to happen next in my life!

It was mid January.

In the first week of February, my father asked me to join a training course of trps (Tax Return Preparer Scheme) which provided the basic knowledge to assist small and medium taxpayers in the preparation of filing their income tax return. Although I used to love teaching designing but unfortunately there was no growth in that profession neither materialistically nor academically. I tried hard to grow but found myself trapped in the stagnant environment. Therefore, I eagerly accepted his offer and left my job in a hope of a better profession growth in some other field.

All of a sudden, I jumped from textiles and dresses to numbers and figures. I found it hard to grasp income tax related information because of my non-commerce background. My batch mates which were from commerce background helped me a lot by explaining rules, by giving their 12th standard books to me so that I could do more exercises and by clearing my doubts. Because of their corporation, I cleared the exam with flying colours.

A few months later my father fell ill. I had to join his business as my brother was out of the country at that time. My leisured life became hectic. I did not know anything about his business except that the income could be divided into five heads i.e. income from salary, income from house property, business income, capital gains and income from other sources which I had learned in trps course. I was on my toes all the time attending business calls, running from one office to another, giving instructions to employees, looking after my father, helping my mother in managing house. For the next eight month, I did not find time to watch a single movie.

One day, my mother asked, “What do you want as a gift on your birthday?”

“I want to sleep like a baby!” I replied.

She was a bit surprised as my reply was not usual- chole bhature but was just sound sleep.

The Hanged Man turned my life upside down; from enjoying leisured life to ultra hectic life.


Pic – The Hanged Man is an image of an man who is hanging upside down. Tied with his right ankle, he is suspended from a tree, and is viewing the world from very different prospective with calmness and serenity.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Mindful observation


Yesterday, Black Lotus Act was 2 minutes of mindful observation of any object like a flower or a stone. Earlier I had done tried it on cloud, tree and flower. A bead was lying beside me; I decided to try my luck on it. I placed it a considerable distance and focus my eyes on it. I did not blink my eyes like in tratak exercise. Slowly the surroundings around the bead vanished and only bead was left, shining brightly and firmly.  

It was so serene that even after 2 minutes my mind did not want to come back into the world. It yearned to stay there forever. Most probably, I did mindful observation for near about 5 minutes or may be more as time swiftly passes went mind is calm.

From the past two years, I was suffering from hypermetropia, which means I could clearly see the objects at far off place but the vision of nearby object was blurred. When I visited the eye specialist last time, he suggested me to pull for some more time without spectacles as I could hold the reading material at a significant distance and could clearly read without any problem. In COVID lockdown because of excess use of laptop and mobile, my eyesight deteriorated and I found it difficult to read. The letters in front of me were blurred either fully or partially depending upon the distance from eyes. I found it very difficult to read on paper but I was able to read and write on laptop. Moreover, I was hesitant to go to a doctor because of increase number of corona cases in vicinity.


Next morning rather I must say today morning, I opened the book ‘The Ancient Science of Mantras’ to read Sri Suktam.

हिरण्यवर्णां हरिणीं सुवर्णरजतस्रजाम् 
चन्द्रां हिरण्मयीं लक्ष्मीं जातवेदो  आवह ॥१॥

WOW!! I could clearly read every single word without dragging the book to a considerable distance from my eyes to form a clear image on my retina. Without making any adjustments with the book, I was clearly able to read. My eyes had grown younger in just one day.


It was a side effect of 5 minutes of mindful observation.

Later, I checked my eyesight on the tiny font of Blue Ocean Strategy and it was clearly visible and readable to me! I was on cloud nine! :)


Pic – The two different size of fonts from the book Blue Ocean Strategy.


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Truth in the air


“Sir, please put my file on the madam’s table.” I politely said to the clerk. Although he was on higher designation but for the sake of telling this story lets us demote him.

“I am giving you next date. Please come after one month.” He made his usual remark.

He had already delayed my work for a long time by making excuses like I am not feeling well today, today is audit - the whole team would be here any moment, I am too busy, I will definitely do it on the next day............the list was endless. Enough is enough; I was not in a mood to hear useless excuses anymore. I wanted my file to move to the next table. That’s all!

“Put my file on madam’s table otherwise.............” I said the same words in a harsh tone leaving the rest to his imagination.

His tone became ultra polite and said, “Madam, You can see how many files are there in my office?”

I glanced the room, which was packed with files. Although I had been to that office, many times but I had never given any importance to the appearance of the office. There were files in the almirahs, there were files on the almirahs, there were files in between the almirahs, there were files on the table, there were files under the table, there were files on the side table, there were files under the side table and there were files stacked all along the wall. In the whole room, there was only one place where there was still some space to accommodate a few more files and that was dark brown coloured ceiling fan. It was vacant may be because he was short heighted.

“I have to search your file in these piles of files and if I do not find it here then I will go to the store, search your file there and bring it back. This whole process will take some time. Please come after one hour.”

I looked at my mobile watch and said, “It is 10:45am. I will come sharp at 11:45am.”

“Sure, madam.”


After one hour.....

When I was just about to enter his office, he hurriedly came out of his office and on seeing me he said, “Madam, Please wait of some more time, a rat has died.”

“What!” I had never heard of such a brainless excuse in my whole life. He must had created a new excuse out of nowhere. “How is this possible?” I asked him but he was not there. With lightening speed, he vanished in that crowded corridor.

To confirm, I moved towards his office. Everything was fine. Liar! Liar! Liar! And I took one more step. Yuck! I could smell the truth in the air!  

I could not dare to go further and hastily step back.

“Files tumbled upon the poor creature and it died.” He came from nowhere and uttered in low tone as if somebody known to him had died.

It was the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!


Pic – I read the book ‘Mr. Chinki’ a few years back.:)

Monday, May 31, 2021

Gift a book


How will I gift a book?

It was October 2020.

Seldomly, I stepped out of my house as a preventive measure for COVID 19. Moreover, there was no bookshop in the vicinity; neither huge showroom with wide range of books nor small store with limited number of second hand books. Even years after staying here, I had never met a book lover; neither with huge collection of books in his drawing room or who has just minimal books that too borrowed from here and there.

Reading just one chapter per day for better grasping, I had finally finished Shrimad Bhagwat MahaPuran in almost one year. I wanted to donate fresh volumes of the scripture to a genuine reader who would also be benefited by studying them. Therefore, I was in search of a bookstore.

I got an idea! I requested my known book shopkeeper although he was in a different city than I was, to give Part 1 and Part 2 of the book to a suitable person, as there was a huge rush on his shop. He was reluctant because of a traditional believe that donation should be solely done by my generous hands. I tried to explain that COVID situation is a rare of its own kind. Under such exceptional circumstances, if he would donate book to somebody with his generous hands even then the good karmic points for that act would add up on assets side of my karmic balance sheet, as I would be paying for it.

Finally, he agreed.

Time and again whenever I enquired, he would have one or the other excuse like he was busy as it was Navratri or he was out of the town for bulk purchase or he could not find any good reader yet. At last, I decided to search someone who resided in the same city. I picked up my diary to have a look at the names of the persons. I found one. I called the number. He honestly told me that he had read that book two years back as well as he had one copy in his tiny collection.

I further scrolled in my diary and came across the name of Pandit ji of Hanuman Mandir, coincidently the bookshop was situated behind the temple. He gladly agreed to take the book, as he had not read it before.

For the delivery of book, I dialled shopkeeper’s number who was more eager and elated to inform me that after intense search and research ultimately he had found a genuine reader, an aged person. On hearing, instead of getting happy, I got perplex. He had made the commitment to a senior citizen as well as I had made the commitment to Pandit ji. What to do now?

“Do you have two copies of both volumes?” I asked.

“Yes, I do have.”

With a sigh of relieve, I said, “Give one copy of both volumes to that elderly person and one copy of both volumes to Pandit ji.”

He gladly accepted the offer of Double Dhamaka Sale!

While transferring payment in his account I reflected that it was Ma’s wish to give away two copies of Shrimad Bhagwat Maha Puran instead of only one.