I Met A Stranger

Guess who I just met at the station.

2022! That’s who.

Though a nice-looking fella, it definitely has a fetish for 2s. On the other hand, maybe that extra ‘2’ would give it more power than its friend 2021, who had quite a tough time fighting the modern viruses.

Well then, gentlemen, and not-so-gentle men, here’s a toast to the “power of 2.”

Welcome, stranger, AKA New Year 2022. I hope your bags are loaded with peace and health.


Big Trouble in Little Neighborhood

Bang! Bang!
Bang! Bang! Bang
ਗਵਾਂਢੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਢੋਲ ਵਜਦਾ 
ਖਿੜਕੀਆਂ ਕੰਬਣ 
ਦਰ ਕੰਬਣ 
ਕੰਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਪਰਦੇ ਕੰਬਣ 
ਹਾਂ ਜੀ, ਖੂਬ ਕੰਬਣ 
ਡੁਗ ਡੁਗ !
ਡੁਗ ਡੁਗ ਡੁਗ !
Don't mind ... more Bang Bang

Sorry about the unappetizing poetry. My neighbors are celebrating the newborn’s Lohri, a Punjabi festival that marks the end of winter. Unlike my poetry, the Lohri festival is rather appetizing, with lots of peanuts and sesame sweets passed around while sitting around a bonfire.

… and Bang Bang goes deep into the night, trying its best to chase the winters away. I do hope they are successful because the cold weather is getting to the bones.


A Midnight Visitor

The last night must have been the coldest one this winter. Around midnight, enveloped in a thick fog, a visitor tiptoed into our neighborhood. Hoping to scare it away, some folks started bursting crackers, but nothing could stop its silent march. I will give you a clue to the visitor’s identity – “21”.

Yeah, that’s my weird way of saying Happy New Year 2021.

My advice – don’t bother bursting crackers or making other funny noises. Whatever you try, it won’t go away.


Sisters, and Other Fantastic Beasts

Magical Unicorn

Today is Raksha Bandhan, a traditional festival of India, which brings the spotlight on sisters, and they are much pampered this day.

To get you warmed up to the idea of sisterdom, let me list a few quotes:

“Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of. You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there.” — Amy Li

“Never let an angry sister brush your hair.” — Anonymous

“In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips.” — Anonymous

“What are sisters for if not to point out the things the rest of the world is too polite to mention.” ― Claire Cook

“Sisters are (fantastic) beasts.” – Me

That last quote could land me in the Sahara desert, or the other side of the moon. But that’s ok, because we know that sisters always dote on their brothers.

Every family should have a few fantastic beasts. Or, maybe, just to be safe, one is enough.

Happy Raksha Bandhan to all, especially to my “Mini” sis.


Raksha Bandhan – Wikipedia/रक्षाबन्धनम्

Quotes listed from Sister Quotes


A New Beginning

ਸੁੰਦਰ ਮੁੰਦਰੀਏ ਹੋ !
ਤੇਰਾ ਕੋਣ ਵਿਚਾਰਾ ਹੋ !
ਦੁਲਾ ਭੱਟੀ ਵਾਲਾ ਹੋ !
ਦੂਲ੍ਹੇ ਦੀ ਧੀ ਵਿਆਹੀ ਹੋ !
ਸੇਰ ਸ਼ਕਰ ਪਾਈ ਹੋ !
ਕੁੜੀ ਦਾ ਲਾਲ ਪਟਾਕਾ ਹੋ !
ਕੁੜੀ ਦਾ ਸਾਲੂ ਪਾਟਾ ਹੋ !
ਸਾਲੂ ਕੋਣ ਸਮੇਟੇ !
ਚਾਚੇ ਚੂਰੀ ਕੁਟੀ !
ਜਮੀਦਾਰਾਂ ਲੁਟੀ !
ਜ਼ਮੀਦਾਰ ਛੁਡਾਏ !
ਬੜੇ ਭੋਲੇ ਆਏ !
ਇਕ ਭੋਲਾ ਰਹੇ ਗਿਆ !
ਸਿਪਾਹੀ ਫੜ ਕੇ ਲੈ ਗਿਆ !
ਸਿਪਾਹੀ ਨੇ ਮਾਰੀ ਇਟ !
ਸਾਨੂੰ ਦੇ ਦੇ ਲੋਹੜੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਜੀਵੇ ਜੋੜੀ !
ਭਾਵੇਂ ਰੋ ਤੇ ਭਾਵੇਂ ਪਿਟ !

The above folk song is in the Punjabi language, sung on Lohri festival in Northern India (Makar Sankranti in Southern India). Lohri marks the end of chilling winters.

To sing this folk song, kids form groups (each of about five) and go from door to door. The first vocalist belts out one line at a time and then pauses for the remaining boys to hammer the last word “Ho” in a chorus. The performance stirs up a commotion, but then some enterprising kids bring along a drummer too, which creates jolly good merrymaking. The song praises the folk hero Dulla Bhatti. The last line of the song requests for Lohri snacks, which usually consist of sesame and jaggery confectionery along with roasted peanuts.
The performance could be likened to Halloween’s “trick or treat,” only that Lohri groups don’t entertain tricks.

In the evening, families get together around an open-air fire, offering sesame seeds to the bonfire and to their belly fire. It’s an excellent way to get the winter cold out of your bones and face your daily routines with new vigor.

YouTube link: Sunder Mundriye Ho