Poem: By the Sea

I’ve always been fascinated by the sea. I’ve always lived in seaside cities, but unfortunately never actually lived next to the sea. I can look at the sea for hours, the waves crashing into the shore. These lines are inspired by that fascination and the hope that someday I will get my wish for a home next to the sea.

By the Sea


Watching the waves crashing on the shore,

Watching the sea spend her debris at our door.

I wonder what lies at her shores, what riches she stores?

She is mercurial in her moods, she is the nurturer to multitudes;

She is calm as a mirror, she is blue, green and azure

When she gets angry, she is tempestuous and boisterous

She is stormy, she is antsy, sometimes screaming like a banshee

She is the source of quiet contemplation, she is my way of relaxation.

I just wish I can watch her forever, but life is not choosy,

My dearest wish is to have a little house by the sea!

Family Stories: Family Adoptions

Following my last post, I started thinking more about what makes a woman a mum. I have also been watching this drama where a woman is forced to give up her five-year-old daughter to her sister-in-law (husband’s sister) who is childless. She has another, older daughter and is pregnant with her third child, which also happens to be a girl. Her husband had taken loans from his sister’s husband who also pressurises the couple for the adoption. The woman’s mother-in-law also forces the issue as she wants her daughter to be happy since the daughter’s mother-in-law is forcing her son to divorce her since she is childless. The only person who is on her side is the woman’s brother-in-law (husband’s brother), but he is silenced by the others in the family. At this point in the drama, the child has been handed over, but everyone is miserable. I am sure the ending will be positive, as it happens in all dramas, but this got me thinking about something that has happened in my own family.

My mum is the oldest of four girls, and when my grandmother was pregnant with her fourth child (maybe in the hope of having a boy), her sister-in-law (my grandfather’s sister) who was married, but childless offered to adopt the child if it was another girl. My aunt was born and was informally adopted by her aunt. Why informally you may ask? This was because she was betrothed at birth to a cousin who happened to have the same gotra as her aunt. Now because marriage within a gotra was prohibited, the aunt could never formally adopt her or even have her call her mum. She lived with my mum’s aunt all her life, a mere 10-minute walk from her mum’s place and used to meet her sisters often. She always knew who her parents were and used to call them mum and dad and her adopted mum and dad as aunt and uncle, but she didn’t go to the same school as her sisters and perhaps in a small way resented the hold her sisters had over her.

When she got married, it was my grandparents who gave her away and this rankled my grandaunt all her life. She was incredibly jealous of my grandmother and my mum and her sisters and would resent anytime my aunt spent with them. This went on for around 60 odd years until the grand aunt died last year.

She was a mother to my aunt in all ways that mattered but never heard her adopted daughter call her mum, while she had to hear her sister-in-law being called mum all the time. I would think the resentment she had within herself was completely justified.

Then I started thinking about my grandmother. How would she have felt, having to hand over her child to someone else, even though she was her own sister-in-law? Would she have felt pressurised by her family to give her up? Or did she do it with full consciousness?

The person who was most stressed was my aunt according to me. She was constantly under pressure between her mum and adoptive mum and had to play a balancing game all her life. It is only now, when she is past 60 and her adoptive mum has passed on, that she is planning a holiday to stay with her birth mum for a month. How sad is that! She had to always watch her thoughts, words and actions in case her adoptive mum took offence in something she said or did, especially when it related to her birth family.

This situation was something I’d lived with my whole life and was not something I really thought about till now because this was normal in my family. But watching the drama and then relating it to what happened/is happening in my own family made me see it in a different light, one that is more emphatic, I hope.

I hope sharing this family story helps you see adoptive families, especially those who have been adopted by their own family a little differently. Life is never black or white and this is one situation where the shades of grey are more prominent.

What makes a Mother?


This Sunday will be celebrated as Mother’s Day almost throughout the world. Across the world, children (and dads) will buy presents and flowers for the mums in their lives and also make a special meal for them. Facebook and other social media will be filled with photos and Mothers Day wishes and mums all over will realise how much they are loved.


My mum lives far away in India, so other than wishing her via phone, there’s not much I can do, but we do try to take S’ mum and aunt (who is a second mum to him) out for a meal on that day.


So what makes a mother? Is biology the only reason someone gets the privilege of being called a mum? What about adoptive parents? They don’t give birth to their young ones but spend far more time and effort in nurturing them, so are they not also mums? Take S’ aunt for example – she never married as a result of a handicap she incurred as a young girl, the result of a sickness. She has always lived with S’ family and has been an equal partner in looking after and nurturing S and his sister. So she’s another mum we honour.


So in honour of all mums out there, here’s something I wrote….

What Makes a Mother


The first person we know in this world,

She is the one who makes our world unfurl.

She loves us unconditionally and with balance,

Guides us through life with infinite patience.

She is a friend, philosopher and guide, all rolled in one

She is your one guiding star, she is your sun.

She brightens up your life, she fills your world with laughter

For every question you may have, she has the right answer.

We all know that God can’t be everywhere, so he made mothers

She, who is the zypher, the anchor of your life.

To all the mothers in the world, those who gave birth and those who didn’t, but are mother figures in our lives, here’s wishing you a very Happy Mother’s Day!

As for me, I need to wait till Sunday to see what GG & BB have in store for me….





Writers Block

For this post, I sat down for almost two days thinking of something to write, but words would not just come out! I was so frustrated and close to giving up when this poem came out about my current situation

Writers Block


My mind is a blank

Words stop from forming at a snap

I have a severe case of writer’s block!

My mind stuck between a hard place and a rock.

Ideas keep flitting about,

But none seem to root and sprout.

I keep reading hoping for a spark of inspiration

But nothing comes to mind, resulting in loads of mental perspiration

My mind is a blank, as a sheet of paper

Words stuck inside, waiting to come out…

Theory of Multiple Intelligence



The other day, while randomly clicking links, I came across an article which spoke about intelligence not as a single entity as we know but splitting it into nine different types. The more I read, the more it made sense to me. We all may not be intelligent in the traditional sense, which when you are in school means scoring more marks, but you could be street smart or even people smart which may actually stand you in better stead than being just book smart!

The theory of multiple intelligence was first coined by Howard Gardner who proposed this model in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. According to Gardner, an intelligence must fulfil eight criteria: musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic.


Musical-rhythmic and harmonic or Sound Smart:
This area has to do with sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music. People with a high musical intelligence normally have good pitch and may even have absolute pitch, and are able to sing, play musical instruments, and compose music. They have the sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, meter, tone, melody or timbre. Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognise, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligence may share common thinking processes.


Visual-spatial or Picture Smart:
This area deals with spatial judgment and the ability to visualize with the mind’s eye. Spatial ability is one of the three factors beneath g in the hierarchical model of intelligence. Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence.

Verbal-linguistic or Word Smart:
People with high verbal-linguistic intelligence display a facility with words and languages. They are typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words along with dates. Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.

Logical-mathematical or Numbers or Reasoning Smart:
This area has to do with logic, abstractions, reasoning, numbers and critical thinking. This also has to do with having the capacity to understand the underlying principles of some kind of causal system. Logical reasoning is closely linked to fluid intelligence and to general intelligence. Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations. It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns. Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives.

Bodily-kinesthetic or Body Smart:
The core elements of the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are control of one’s bodily motions and the capacity to handle objects skilfully.Gardner elaborates to say that this also includes a sense of timing, a clear sense of the goal of a physical action, along with the ability to train responses. People who have high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence should be generally good at physical activities such as sports, dance, acting, and making things. Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and crafts people exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.

Interpersonal or Self Smart:
In theory, individuals who have high interpersonal intelligence are characterized by their sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments, motivations, and their ability to cooperate in order to work as part of a group. Those with high interpersonal intelligence communicate effectively and empathize easily with others, and may be either leaders or followers. They often enjoy discussion and debate. Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.

Intrapersonal or People Smart:
This area has to do with introspective and self-reflective capacities. This refers to having a deep understanding of the self; what one’s strengths or weaknesses are, what makes one unique, being able to predict one’s own reactions or emotions. Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.

Naturalistic or Nature Smart:
Not part of Gardner’s original seven, naturalistic intelligence was proposed by him in 1995. This area has to do with nurturing and relating information to one’s natural surroundings.This sort of ecological receptiveness is deeply rooted in a “sensitive, ethical, and holistic understanding” of the world and its complexities – including the role of humanity within the greater ecosphere. Naturalist intelligence designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef. It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like.

Existential or Life Smart:
Gardner did not want to commit to a spiritual intelligence, but suggested that an “existential” intelligence may be a useful construct, also proposed after the original 7 in his 1999 book. Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why we die, and how did we get here.

Gardner also opposed the idea of labeling learners to a specific intelligence and maintained that his theory of multiple intelligences should “empower learners”, not restrict them to one modality of learning. According to Gardner, an intelligence is “a biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture.

Even after so many years of this theory being proposed, there is still controversy about it. I am not a psychologist, but this theory does make sense to me. I know that not everyone can be defined as ‘traditionally intelligent’ and this theory does put to rest why some people are widely successful in varied fields. Take music for example. Every years, hundreds of thousands of aspiring musicians audition for jobs and reality shows, but there are just a handful who are successful. That’s probably because they are blessed with musical intelligence, which a whole bunch of the others do not possess. This does make you think, right?

There are a couple of sites which allow you to take a test to determine which intelligence is your dominant one. I did one and no surprises there, at least for me – I got linguistic ability overwhelmingly which is right in my mind.

This is what the result said about me “Your dominant intelligence type is linguistic/verbal or in other words… you are word smart! You have an eloquent and sophisticated way of expressing yourself verbally as well as in writing.

You are passionate about literature, history and current events. You also have a knack for pursuing and learning new languages. You have a charismatic personality and because of you are talented in many areas of communicating, you also have strong interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. You are social, people smart and extremely self-aware.

If you want to do the same test, here’s the test link

Do you agree with Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence? I’d love to hear what you got? Please do comment below….