I got too much to say❤

Dear Cay,

I know a stream of perplexity in your brain is meandering its way into troubling you a bit too much! Well, subject and career choices will bother you that way and I am writing this letter to tell you that it is completely normal to think, overthink and brainstorm. And even if you didn’t do all of that, that also is pretty normal!

Cay, I have crossed fifty years of age but I still remember the time when I used to be in your shoes. I was exactly like you! What people told me then, was that this overlapping puddle of fear was completely ‘NORMAL’, what they didn’t tell me was that ‘NORMAL’ was not always ‘OKAY’. One gets to feel the difference between the two when the struggling brain cells don’t reach a conclusion. They get exhausted and that they have no strength left to support the raging storm.

It all narrows down to how long will you keep letting it torment you! Collect, decisiveness comes from calm. Till you get rid of your anger, you are not going to reach any solution but keep cribbing and worrying about the problem. So the difference between ‘Normal’ and ‘Okay’ is MENTAL HEALTH. More than anything else, have sincere respect for it because it is something that will keep you sane through several conundrums. For the sake of you, for the sake of mental health you will have to draw the line between what is okay for you and what is not! Let the society bark what they consider normal but you do what you consider okay for you💖

Look, I am not sure whether the cramped up rooms in your mind space are troubling you or is it their emptiness that’s making you go all stressful. Believe me, after all of this, you’ll solve the equation between you and your problem. Trust me your equation will exist. It might not be perfectly balanced but it will exist and most importantly you can always improve on it.

Thank God, the day you finally decide what you aim to become! Remember, that’s not going to be the end. There will be times when the path to your destination will seem invisible, not even a dotted line shall you see, forget joining the dots. But have your pillar of faith high, very high. Don’t let it go ramshackle for once and if it does, pile it up again! It’s about failures and not giving up and even if you do for some time, strike again.

Cay, it’s not easy and not very tough in all honesty, everyone goes through it. Over time what we learn is called the skill of tackling. Even if you know your goal and path, there will be times you won’t understand things, you won’t be able to comprehend them. It could be not understanding certain formulas in physics and mathematics, not being able to mug up history or geography chapters or messing up your entire accounts table the fifth time!

The truth that other people are doing better might irritate you! You will start feeling the pressures of rat race but you have to know yourself in and out and even if you are confused about something, make sure you know you are confused about it. Don’t choose to stay oblivious! And the same line I will repeat, it’s okay to be oblivious for some time but remember to strike, remember to pile it up again!

Yes, I know it’s easy for me to preach and you might think that’s all people do but I got to do what I got to do! I will do what’s possible from my side. Sometimes, you will find people not doing this little because they are envious of you but you can’t loathe them or judge them. They have their own reasons and their own insecurities. In the long run you might end up being one of them. TRY not to:) If you become successful at not becoming one of the green eyed monsters, you will leave behind a legacy, you will leave an impact.

XOXO ( learning new things these days),

Grandma.

I Found it after a long time!

Dear Cay,

Flipping through the pages of my travel albums, I found a poem I had written long time back on Bara Imambara, a monument in Lucknow.

Your grandpa and I were too unfortunate to have a look at it from the inside. Ultimately we ended up sitting on the path exactly in front of the ancient building and gawking at it for an hour or two.Whether it be the engineering, the architecture or the designs, everything was so fresh! Despite the constant chirping of the people, it was an enchanting time for us. The administration had also placed sidelights in the corners of every chamber making it look all flashy!

Even though I rarely wrote then, I just couldn’t stop myself from writing from the monument’s perspective. The immersion was so deep, it felt like the inanimate structure was communicating its feelings to me because I spared some time to listen to it.

I googled how it looked from the inside

And there I was ready with my pencil and notebook. It was as fast as it whispering and I writing. So, here I present to you one of the poems closest to my heart.

“The smearing cold winds pass through my chambers.
I shiver but my body stays still , in its place.
Sometimes I feel like cuddling with the pillars and forming a circle,
But I have to maintain my straight horizontal demeanor.
I like my bulbous head, does it resemble the humans?
Maybe , but it doesn’t function like them!
I have a pointy ornamental structure piercing the sky.
That is my upper termination.
I take pride in the designer outfit I wear,
Those little geometric carvings engraved on my onion dome,
The arabic versus inscribed,
But haven’t I been wearing it for a very long time now!?!
Nights are the times I become eye candy to a lot of visitors.
It is nice to have all the attention to myself!
I blush but no one sees because I have lights on me.
They are so bright , they drown my pink cheeks.
But if you look closely, you will notice!🤭
I probably have told you a lot about myself,
Now you know my empty chambers speak,
I am loquacious but a good listener too!
Whenever you need a friend, remember, I need too.
Trust me, I am very much available, after all, I have to be static all the time❤
-Love, Bada Imambara( I am right here for you)”

I hope you liked it, will be sending in another letter soon. Love you!

Third letter- All about Today💖

Honey,

Today is my little neighbour’s birthday.🧚‍♀️🧁 She turned 6 and as a token of love, I baked chocolate chip cookies for her, fresh and hot from the oven. I tried one from the batch and oh dear, the molten hot chocolate was oozing out of it ! I was in a complete bliss, surrounded by an aura of warmth. I was amazed at what a perfect small round cookie could do!

You know, I am so fussy about the aesthetics and always in the denial of repeating things, so, I changed the packaging style from a tin box to a pastel pink satin cloth. I kept the cookies in the centre, pulled the cloth up and made it look like a potli, repeated the procedure with a mesh cloth and tied the neck of it with a soft white ribbon. Ageing is clearly not stopping me !

I was so tempted but I could only allow myself to eat one more because otherwise the cookies would have looked inadequate in the packaging. Just to make it as perfect as ever (your grandma’s style🤭) I played piano music in the background , drew the curtains, dimmed the lights and made myself a cup of hot chocolate before I sat in my armchair to take a bite of it. I even got my travel album to have a look at it. I like to think how your grandfather and I were so crazy and loving in our youth❤. So many memories resurfaced  and after ages I spent such a beautiful time with myself.

And the icing on the cake( I guess I am talking too much about the desserts) was being invited to her birthday celebration. Oh Cay, I danced like a toddler!😄 My body has become so stiff, I could barely twist to the tunes of the songs. I just did it to see that girl smile because I saw you in her. I saw you smile.

I miss you Cay💜

I am not sure if I can write a lot today, I had a cup of red wine and already I am experiencing the after effects. The bottle I held had much less alchohol than I thought it did!

Again, not sure! Not even sure if the room is round or square! I think it’s best for me to sleep because I am feeling a bit dizzy.

Always remember, grandma loves her little grandaughter. I will keep this letter light after the previous one, will be sending in another one soon, love you.

Second letter⚘

Cay, In continuation to the previous letter I sent to you, today I just want to emphasize on one word, ‘EMPATHY’. No matter where you go what you do never stop being empathetic and encouraging towards people. This is what good people do and I know you are one of them, Cay.❤

That day when I was having my throat soothing dessert, I realized there’s just so much struggle that people have to do to SURVIVE that one life given to them. For us it could be an undulating road but for them it’s a constant state of battle, a string of lows.

It almost felt like I was the centre of all the struggles in that one moment. It was just everywhere around me and I could sense it , from the handicapped beggars to malnourished men cycling in that oven like weather. It even had it’s roots in a half clad vendor disappointed after investing in that one customer for atleast half an hour who ended up buying nothing. The common thing was that all of them did it for their family. Why is it that in the tropical countries everything takes a sudden dramatic turn with everything so extreme, be it temperature, poverty, colours, people or emotions? I could feel things too strong in that little span of time.

What I had to talk about and what am I talking about! Nevermind, It’s related. So, the story of chikankari artisans got me thinking that the struggle is real and sometimes not even rewarding. The worker told me how these artisans are required to work for 7 to 8 hours at a stretch in a basement stitching on a piece of cloth with a break of 30 minutes maximum. If they are ordered to do a simple stitch kurta, it takes them five to seven days to complete one whereas complex and detailed ones require around 15 days.


1. Applying ink on the stamps to print them on the cloth 2. Adjusting the frame and starting with the embroidery 3. After days of strenuous work, that’s what you get❤

The problem is not here but it starts when these artisans start losing their eyesight, develop permanent tingling in their fingers and cervical spondylosis. They are not even paid well for it. The commercial houses that they work for could be earning a seven fold profit by exporting to various countries but their wages remain stagnant. There’s so much exploitation, mistreatment and abuse along with all the wrongs that already happen.They are treated like cattles that can no longer give milk and hence are rendered useless and on their own.

Using beads and sequence to ornament the work

Chikankari is a dying art today which consists of 32 stitches and artisans barely know 6 to 8. Even though it’s gaining it’s commercial momentum but there’s a difference in both the things . The authenticity, vastness and intricateness of the embroidery is being sacrificed. Next time when you wear that handmade kurta i gifted you, you will probably realize that the artisan who made it for you is probably not even working now because of the damages his profession gave him.

I am not bashing or uplifting anything. I am just telling you the truth. It’s just so much more than the monetary value assigned to it. I hope that they get the wages they deserve along with some health and education benefits because they are the ones taking the legacy forward. There’s an organization called ‘SEWA’ which is working for the community’s improvement. I wish them all the success❤

So now you know why I told you to be empathetic and caring. You might not be in their shoes but the least you could do is lend them an ear, understand them and respect them.

Will be sending in another letter soon! I love you Cay and I know you are gonna make me proud. Love, Grandma.

From Lucknow💛

Dear Cay, My first letter to you is about this little market from where I got you your first pair of ‘chikankari’ clothes from my trip to India. ‘Chowk’ is one of the not so heavily breathing markets of Lucknow. It has a decent footfall from the perspective of the natives.

The place is quite a narrative of what happened in the past, the soaring Moghul influence and the Hindus trying to uphold theirs. I got an idea about it by looking at the architecture of most of the houses and shops facing the market on the outside with those same intricate Moghal design of buildings that I have seen elsewhere while most of the shop owners being hindus. I can’t say that very firmly because I didn’t penetrate deep into the market but because the city was known as ‘Nawabon ka Shehar’ it gives a clear picture of the thriving without much of a resistance and shades the colour of unity between the two religions even brighter.🌈

Isn’t this market just so significant of Lucknow’s history? On my visit, on a Sunday I guess it was, the sun was scorching as usual , I found the market to be both lethargic and spirited( I know weird). I was drenched , sweating all day long with a bag stuffed with ‘chikankari’ pieces for all my loved ones when I finally stopped at this shop. The man was selling ‘kulfis’. *I simply love new terms like CHIKANKARI, KULFI etc!😂*

So, Coming back , it’s actually an ice cream kind of a thing served in earthen bowls topped with noodle like things called ‘faluda’. I was literally cherishing each and every bite of it , firstly because it was so delicious and secondly because it was hot. **I have craved for these new things all my life and till now I do! And I also know how to make one, I’ll send you the recipe.😂** While eating I was thinking about this worker in the shop( I don’t remember his name)from whom I bought the clothes and his story about the workers behind the production of these. It got me sympathetic:(

I’ll continue the story in the next letter that ‘ll be sending soon❤ Love,Grandma!