The Diary Of A Rolling Stone

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I am very happy to welcome Mrs. Iyenger to my newly added chat session. Throughout her life, the sweet old lady, had only books and TV as her companion. Today she shares with us some moments of her life.

Tell us something about yourself: Mrs. Iyenger

My name is Lakshmi Iyenger. I am 75 years old mother, grandmother, sister and a wife. I hail from a Tambrah family in Chennai. Being the eldest of my siblings, seven sisters and six brothers I have seen life at its best. I was born in 1940 in a small town in Jharkhand where my father worked in the Indian Railways. After travelling in various places we eventually settled in Bilaspur where I met my husband. About my marriage? We have spent fifty beautiful years together until last year when he parted with us for his heavenly abode. Ours was a love marriage. My husband belongs to a well to do family in Chennai. He ran off from his house to do something of his own. He travelled almost all the corners of the country but could not find anything suitable. Finally, when he was in Kolkata, he met one of my brothers who suggested him to write a letter to my father regarding job. My father had never written letter to anyone before. But fate has it that he answered this young man’s letter. Not only did my father get him a job in Indian Railways he also allowed the young man to stay in our house as a paying guest. We all were almost same age and I would always fight with him or call him names. But he wouldn’t mind. One day I went to pluck flowers in our backyard for puja. He was already waiting for me with a packet of sweet in his hand. He proposed to me. At first I could not understand while he waited for my answer eagerly with the packet of sweet still open in his hand. I started crying. Tears were rolling down my cheeks smearing my kajal. He got nervous and popped the sweet into my mouth saying, “Ok don’t marry but at least eat the mithai”.

We didn’t talk for several days. He went back to Chennai shortly after that and persuaded his family to send marriage proposal to my father. His brother-in-law was against the alliance as we were a big family and I being the eldest, had my sibling’s responsibility on my shoulders which will eventually land up in my better half’s kitty. There was a big no- no from his sister’s side. But somehowOur 50th Aniversary he persuaded them to agree on the alliance. When my parents came to know about it they too tried to convince me but I was dead against marriage. Not because I disliked him but because I did not want to burden him with my family troubles. I had seen my father working very hard. He was the only earning member and there were so many mouths to feed. However, even with so much consideration I could not stay put for very long and finally gave my consent. We got married in 1964 and spent fifty long years together, parenting four daughters and two sons. Today I feel proud to see my children settled in their life married to partner of their choice.

How would you describe your better half?

My husband passed away in 2014. He was 75. I miss him but no qualms. He took care of everything for me, even the smallest. You see he did most of the talking at home while I was the listener. I loved keeping to myself but surprisingly he would always know what’s going on in my head. Books and TV had been my best friend for years. He always ensured that I never had a problem with that. I love reading Tamil books but you hardly get them in this part of the country. But he would always order some for me at that time. Mind it there was no internet at that time.

Any turning point in your life?

Tuning point? Definitely not? Not after he proposed me. But I want to share this experience with you. One day I made Lal Bhaji (red spinach) and served my husband at lunch. He liked it so much that he handed a one hundred rupee note. Till date I could not figure out what was so special about the dish because it was the simplest dish that I had ever cooked.

Given a chance, what would you love to change in your life?

I have lived my life to the fullest. I have nothing to wish for. I have everything. However, I would like to live with my daughter till my last breath. You see my eldest daughter didn’t marry. She had selected a partner but my husband had objection. Today, even after two decades, both of them are unmarried and very good friends. I wish my husband had shown some leniency towards their relationship. Whereas my son didn’t wait to take our approval for his marriage and they make a wonderful couple. I wish my daughter tie the knot now but I know she won’t.

Any message you would like to give to the youngsters?

Of course. Life has changed so much since I can remember now. Today’s generation is very powerful and can make a big difference in any field. I only wish that they use it wisely. Every family has their own code of conduct and it is by default that a girl after marriage finds it very easy to follow the rules of her parent’s house. There is nothing wrong in it but it usually cause rift in a joint family. I wish every family understand this rather than say anything to the daughter-in-law. This will give the newlywed a space to grow and will bind the family better.

There is a reason to celebrate today. Its international Women’s Day. What is exactly to be done? Everyone is shouting on top of the other. But what do we do? Go shopping, have fun, remember women who made a difference, cook something special or do something special. Every channel, every page in the newspaper is advertising Women’s Day. But what should an ordinary woman like me do? Nothing!!

So here I am doing what I have been doing everyday and feel very special doing it. Writing. Yes writing gives me immense pleasure as I find this very refreshing. A place where I am my own, no backlog, where I can play with my words and my characters. They seem so real as if I belong to their world and everything is happening right in front of me.

Today I want to share women of my world. Women who made difference in my life. Also some pictures which I like very much.

Scan1 The picture is very old but very special to me.Picture 078The picture of a lady cooking. She has fractured hips yet loves to serve her hand made dishes to her loved one.shilong 651Ladies engrossed in taking a look at the picture in the mobile phone.shilong 652Their reaction when their picture is clicked. shilong 587A very nice way to celebrate Women’s Day where men are cooking dinner for the family.Goa2013 (128) This picture is very special as it shows a very simple lady enjoying in the pool.Misti Shadi 092Ladies performing “Dhamil” dance during a wedding.Misti Shadi 087Older ladies giving their blessing to bride.Mejda 144For generation Indian sisters are putting “tika” to their brother. “Bhai Phuta” where the sisters pray to their brothers for safety and security.Mejda 026Here the lady is terrified by the waves and taking support from her husband.Mejda 032The same lady is now giving support to an elderly lady.Mejda 551 Mejda 552No matter how old the husband is Indian women always follow their men. Here are few pictures of women at work.Picture 077 Misti Shadi 292 Mejda 174 gokarna (187) Holi2013 041100_1826

So much to do for a women. Yet she sometimes find herself chained. When will she be free.














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I was glad that my neighborhood offered everything I needed for raising up my kid. A secure environment, friendly neighbors, wide open space for children play area , school, hospital and market place just at walking distance from my place.

What more could I have asked for after shifting to a small town from a big metro? I really liked the stretch of vacant roads which was otherwise never available in metro city. Fresh veggies from the nearby field brought by local women in the morning everyday was a boon unlike the weekly Wednesday market in the metro wherein I loaded my fridge with veggies for the whole week ahead. I also enjoyed the guava tree in the backyard and the sparrows chirping the entire day which refreshed back memories of my childhood.


In my enthusiasm I completely overlooked the Baraat ghar (community hall) in my neighborhood    . At the very end of the children play area stood the building that hosted all sort of ceremonies throughout the year. And being one of the park facing houses we are the mock spectator of all the ceremonies that were held in this hall. Oh! Wait it’s not the hall anymore. They have started hosting lawn parties too and the venue is the children’s play area. Be it birthday party, wedding or any other function they just didn’t mind putting up a shamiana (tent) in the park and playing the loudspeaker.

I really don’t bother whether I am invited in these parties or not though the chances of invitation are rare as we have just shifted and do not have many acquaintances. However, what bothers me is the loudspeaker which keeps on banging till late nights or rather until the party is over.  We arrived here during the rainy season which lasts for couple of months and it rains like cat and dog. So we had no idea what it would be like after Diwali when the marriage season starts.

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Imagine you cannot hear your own voice in your own house when they start the Dj. Even when I am writing this the loud speaker is playing some kirtan and the time now is 11.00 pm. Well this is not the situation here alone. We Indians have a knack of doing everything loud. We love making a fish market of everything. Today one of my neighbors is having ear piercing ceremony of their six year old daughter and since the morning the punditji is performing puja chanting mantras and kirtan on the loudspeaker.

I wonder what the point of loudspeaker is in this entire ceremony other than disturbing people. Somebody must be sick, someone must be preparing for exam next day and imagine the plight of infants and old people. Can anybody sleep tonight? But why do we have this situation in our society now. Earlier whatever be the ritual loud speaker was never a part of it. I remember the loudspeaker being played only during festivals and fete to attract people. But when the rituals and celebrations are personal so what is the point of playing the sound so loud. People who are part of it enjoy while people like me who are not are only victimized.

Nowadays people just want a chance to play the loud speaker with the bollywood chartbusters the whole day and if that is not enough then after a hectic day when you come to relax at home you are tortured by the Jagratas (singing lords name in bollywood tunes). Is the God really listening? Has anybody heard of “decibel”??

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You know what, I think god is listening. Just now the police patrol team came and instructed my neighbor to switch off the loud speaker and perform their puja within themselves and not among the sleepy neighbors. So the noise pollution for the day I think has subsided till the morning. So now I can clearly think what I wanted to write.

I would like to thank you first for coming through with me this far as the noise outside was very disturbing and I could not concentrate on my thoughts. Okay so what I wanted to convey is our country has Loud Speaker Act which for some reason has failed to implement. Maybe because of our ignorance or our lethargy in taking any action. So now a little insight into the noise pollution and law as it may have affected your life as well.

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Government of India has enacted the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to control the increasing ambient noise level in public places from various sources, industrial activity, construction activity, generator sets, loud speakers, public address system, music systems, vehicular horns, and other mechanical devices. In fact loudspeaker or a public address system shall not be used except after obtaining written permission from the authorities under Rule 5. Authorities mean District Magistrate, Police Commissioner and other officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police. And it cannot be used at night (between 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.) except in closed premises for communication within, e.g. auditorium, conference rooms, conference rooms, community halls and banquet halls. According to other Supreme Court directions, even the peripheral noise level of privately owned sound systems should not exceed five A-weighted decibels. Also beating a drum or blowing a trumpet or using any sound amplifier during the eight-hour period is not permitted.

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The thing is if we do not take action then as a victim of noise pollution we should be ready to face the music in the long run. Noise does affect our body. It causes stress and increases blood pressure which ultimately affects the heart. Not having proper sleep at night can cause headache, mood swing and low performance in work. So do not blame your boss if he gives you a bad remark at work. Nevertheless if you are a pet owner then imagine the plight of your pet who could not even speak out for itself. You must have seen them take the darkest corner of your house during Diwali but they are equally tortured when someone uses the loud speaker all day long. Lately I have observed my child raising the volume of the TV whenever he watches a program. He says he is unable to listen otherwise. It is definitely an alarm for me. My next door neighbor also complaints of high pulse beat whenever the Dj plays in the baraat ghar. In spite of all these problems we still let them hurt our self.

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With so much said what can be done if somebody violates these norms. Well as the Act says they can be penalized and punished for the same. So let’s think of some peace now. After all there are so many things one can feel happy listening. So next time you suffer from noise pollution in your neighborhood make a visit there and make an appeal to them to lower the sound of the music system or loud speaker. And nothing comes out of it then feel free to dial “100” and get relieved.

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It was a chilly January midnight in Delhi and I sat beside my dad wide awake. Helpless! He was trying hard to catch on his breathe and I could do nothing to help him rather than just sit and watch. The experience of that night still gives me goose bumps. He was tossing and turning in his bed to get some relief and I had no one to help me.

I was new in Delhi and lived independently. My work schedule left me no time to socialize. It had been two years since I came to chase my dreams here but the glitter and glamour of the metro took me nowhere. I might have changed overall as a person but when it came to personally know someone or have a 2:00a.m friend I was completely blank. My savings, my repute in my workplace or my skills were of no use to help my dad in this hour of need. I was desperately waiting for daybreak so that I could do something for him.

Dad had come to pay me a visit from our hometown and he did not confide me earlier that he actually was not well and wanted to consult a specialist here. I was quite glad to have him at my place where I stayed alone in a rented accommodation. We had a great time few days back but now I sat wondering why he not told me earlier or why I could not notice his problem before. It was fun to have him in the house. He would prepare the breakfast and when I came in the evenings he would serve me his special snacks. It felt like home again with his arrival.

But this morning when I left for office he had gone to the AIIMS hospital and spent the entire day waiting to meet the doctor who in turn did not bother to even listen to him for more than five minutes before handing him the prescription. Dad was very angry with the doctor’s behaviour and in turn he did not buy the prescribed medicine and returned home. When I came back in the evening he was looking very tired but I did not bother much. And in the midnight his trouble started and I had no clue what was it all about till I saw the prescription. Although I could not make out anything written on it but the date caught my attention. Dad was also not in a position to tell me anything. I felt so lonely sitting next to him watching his restlessness.

Finally it was daylight outside and dad fast asleep after a troubled night. I did not disturb him and tip toed outside. It was too early in the morning but I had to find help. I found one chemist shop in the market open by then. The owner was an old man himself. I showed him the prescription and asked about medicines. Till now I thought dad was having gastric problem and that was the cause of the trouble. The old man’s answer left me very disturbed when he said the medicines were related to heart. I asked him me to give me information about heart specialist here.

I made an appointment with the doctor and took dad when he woke up. The doctor conducted few tests and said dad’s condition was very serious and he needs to be admitted in hospital. Dad refused and went home. We had a heated argument regarding hospitalization but dad stick to his decision. I made another visit to the doctor and this time alone to ask if there was any other way. The doctor recommended complete bed rest and constant observation along with some medicines and diet.

I was confused by the time I reached home. Help was way too far and I had little confidence in my abilities to attend dad in this situation. Adamant that he was I knew he would rather go back to home town than get admitted in hospital here. There was no possibility that mom could come down here or dad could travel back. I did not know what to do. The doctor had said not to worry and just stick to what he had advised. I badly wanted to discuss my situation to someone who would help me out. Mom would not have helped me as she would fall back on me after hearing the situation. She was far more tensed than anybody else in the family. It was not right time to call my younger sister as she was taking her semester exams and would be disturbed hearing dad’s health.

So practically I was to handle to whole situation but I was not confident. The day passed out fine and dad felt fine after taking the medicines. However, after dinner he again felt restless but not like the previous night.  He was tossing and turning in his bed but his breathing was normal. I was sitting uptight beside him clutching the phone whether to call the doctor or not. But after about ten minutes he was snoring. Just when I was thinking of the long night ahead my phone rang. I was startled to see my aunt calling. She stayed in Mumbai and was quite close to dad. Usually she called up dad’s number but now she called on mine. I walked out of the room to answer the call.

“I hope I didn’t wake you up?” She asked

“No. Pishi.” I answered.

“How is Anu?” She shot back.

Her question was so straight that I wondered whether she knew about dad’s condition or not. She continued without waiting for my answer.

“Actually I was wondering to call him up since I heard he had come to your place. But I didn’t get time. He had mentioned to me that he would consult a doctor in Delhi. Has he done yet? ”

I told her the entire episode and she heard me without interfering. She, being his younger sister, knew dad more than me. So she did not advise on hospitalization. Instead her words were, “See dear. You know your dad does not listen to anyone. And as far as help is concern you know very well it is not possible for anyone to come down to you. You are old enough now and I believe you can handle all situations much better than anyone else. So be your own help and do what you think best for him. I have confidence in your decision and know he can come healthy out of it with you beside him.”

After tits and bits she hung up but her words kept ringing in my ears. Just talking to her I felt light at heart and her words boosted a new confidence in me. She injected the “belief in myself “with her words and there was no looking back from then on. I never questioned my abilities again.

We all must have encountered a situation like this in our life where someone’s words like our parents, friends, teachers, colleagues, boss or just someone we met at the bus stop or in the train must have build us or shattered us.  But then the same holds for our words too. So MIND YOUR WORDS as they can build someone or break someone.

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It was a rainy day and a family of frogs set out to enjoy the rain. They were playing near the road which had a lot of potholes. images (1)Lost in their singing and dancing they went up in the middle of the road. Suddenly one of the frogs fell into one of the potholes and started crying for help. Immediately all the frogs gathered around the opening of the pothole. They could see their friend stuck up in the hole and looking up pathetically at them for help. They really felt sorry for him.

“Don’t worry we are here we will get you out of here. Here just catch hold of my hand and jump up.”
It was quite an assurance for the frog in the hole and he jumped. And lo!! He missed. He tried again but missed. He gathered all his strength and tried gain but to no avail. Another frog attempted to rescue him.

“Here just catch my leg and get out of here.”


Once again the frog jumped but he missed by inches. He tried again and again but failed. All the frogs outside were bucking him up but he failed them. Exhausted he sat down. The frogs outside had also lost the interest in rescuing him and some of them had gone back to play while few still remained.


All of a sudden the sound of an approaching motor was heard and the panic grew. The frog was trying hard to climb up and the others were trying to pull him up. But all the time he missed the edge. Meanwhile the sound of the approaching motor was very near and all the frogs ran away to save their lives. jumped but he missed by inches. He tried again and again but failed. All the frogs outside were bucking him up but he failed them. Exhausted he sat down. The frogs outside had also lost the interest in rescuing him and some of them had gone back to play while few still remained.

The frog sat all alone in the hole. At first he screamed for help but found no one coming to help him. Then he heard the sound of the motor. He almost froze thinking of the painful death under its wheels. He cried but no one was there to hear him. His voice echoed in the hole. He remembered how happy he was with his family. How enjoyable the rain was. And suddenly the thought of still being alive brought smile on his face.

He cannot just die like that.

And the mere thought filled him with strength he had never experienced before. He was getting a chance to live and he was not trying. The sound of the motor was just few meters away. downloadBut that did not stop him. He gathered all his strength and jumped. He missed. He jumped again but missed. He jumped again and this time he was out of the hole. He had saved himself. He soon joined his family and started playing.

We all fall in the hole sometime or the other. Relationship not working, Marriage turning sour, failure in the examination, business going down, and targets not met.

Rise and fall is a part of life and everyone goes through it. But when we are down we expect others to bring us up. Pray some miracle to happen and God send his angels to help us out. While we sit and brood over our bad times. Just like the frog in the hole crying for help. But actually the strength lies within us.


And the time we realize that, we come up in life. It is not how many times you have failed in your achievements but actually how fast you came out of your failure. Before anyone could help us we have to help ourselves. If we remember our good times, when we had tasted success then the magic can be created again. After all it was us who had achieved that so why not now? The attitude to succeed should not be given up and that lies within self.


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