Feb 20, 2013

"He’s a strange bird, but I know him."

This morning my friend Shreya was befuddled by a reluctant toaster. Or perhaps her 4 year old insisted on wearing shorts to school in winter (as 4 year olds often do). Whatever it was that unfolded in the house of the harried mom in the early hours, it made her take to FB and declare
Nothing that's meant to happen is happening! So I'm asking The World, can it explain itself??."

From the warm recesses of my comforter, where I’d only opened one eye to meet 6:45 am, my arm snaked out to snag the iPhone charging on my nightstand. Ostensibly to check if I had time for another 40 winks but really to check in on FB (yes, I’m a junkie). Shreya’s angst was from 5 hours ago, the time difference between us. But I still felt the motivation to tap this out (mainly to yank her chain  even on a dated event but also to speak up for our already beleaguered planet):

The world was spinning gently when it looked closer at it's people
chanting on their prayer mats, chanting under steeple.
Then judging mats and steeples while intoning a sombre 'om',
Unspeakable acts of hatred that I won't put in this pome.
Killing and greed supposedly for the furthering of our Race,
That seems better gone when you see this side of its cruel and brutal face.
Eons of growth and changes in the original primordial mass
Just has to mean a little more than human chaos en-masse.
The world kept spinning on as to it's people it then asked,
"nothings working the way it's meant to: Explain YOURSELF…and fast."

In a separate but not entirely unconnected incident (bear with me!), last night my husband saw this on the public library bulletin board:

Amidst the ‘WTF?!’ vein of responses it elicited from his FB friends, were his own 2 cents:
the point is not to pick up new friends, but to not remain strangers. In fact, it does not prohibit you from not staying strange ! People can look at me, say "he's a strange bird, but I know him".

The mystery of our (16 year long) union was a wee bit lessened when I realized that this ad was part of the same ‘Hi’ campaign I blogged so giddily about recently. Hubby’s take is a lot more restrained but none the less potent for it. To me at least.

In between the incomparable yet nonetheless valid tragedies of soft toast and senseless slaughter lies the essential truth: shit happens and in oh-so many ways.

- The world neither explains nor rights itself, no matter how politely you ask.
- You never know which way your bread will land: buttered side down feels like your default until you meet someone without any bread (so to speak).

But imagine that you’re plodding along trying to taking stock of all that is right so you can get through all the 'wrong'. With sanity more-or-less intact.

You look up and a strange but friendly face is looking into yours.
A ‘Hi’ comes your way.
Someone opens the door for you.
Another offers you their spare plastic spoons.
Yet another chases you down the platform to return the one glove you dropped.

Doesn’t that just take the cake?

To be able to say ‘he’s a strange bird but I know him’.
Hey Shreya: I think maybe the world is explaining itself after all.

PS: please check out
The excellent folks at the REACH campaign with the poster above at http://www.reachma.org/
My freind Shreya's hilarious blog at http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/author/3503/shreyasen-handley.html

As i'm putting Oyon's latest Lego 'creation' into his 'museum':
Oyon: That's delicate Mummum. Be careful please. It's also fragile you know.
Me: Isn't that the same thing?
Oyon: No! (with a condescending snigger) Fragile means it's shiny.
Me: (laughing quietly to myself)
Oyon (with dawning self-doubt): Or maybe not. Anyway, I KNOW it's delicate. I know THAT. 


  1. Hi Chandreyee! I'm so glad you've enjoyed some of our different initiatives during Say Hi Week and after. I'd love to meet you for coffee sometime if you're up for it. Wasn't sure the best way to be in touch with you so if you want to email me when you get a chance, we can chat more. Allison@reachma.org.

    And thanks for helping to spread the word through your blog. We linked to it from our website! http://www.reachma.org/who-we-are/news/say-hi-2013-review

    1. Thanks for visiting Allison! Would love to meet you for coffee. Will e-mail you for the specs.