My old first love

The rush of anticipation

When you come face to face

With your old first love

 Your hands know precisely

That familiar feel and tingle

Years apart mean nothing

The wind whips your hair

Your legs turn to wings

And you just feel home

Heart pounding you leap

And sink it right in

Sweet joy, oh what bliss!

My return to court

My first love

How I missed my sport

Dear old Basketball 💓

Wait a minute

What were you thinking?

-Nicola

Girl to Girl

In honour of the International Day of the Girl Child on 11th October 2016, I have had a series of blog posts celebrating my kind. 

Celebrating her. Post #5 of 5

I think it is rather befitting that this year, the International Day of the Girl Child (today), shares its spot with the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

Dussehra signifies victory of good over evil. The goddess Durga is said to have triumphed over the demon Mahishasur after ten grueling days. The Sanskrit word stem- “दशहरा ” or Dashahara means removal of 10 sins/bad qualities.

You needn’t be a rocket scientist to figure out its relevance to the International Day of the Girl Child. So rather than point out the obvious, I’m going to make this last post one of celebration.

And of gratitude.

And of inspiration.

Here goes. These references are not fictional and are based entirely on the ten girls I want to send a shout-out to today. You know who you are.

(PS- there are dozens of women that I hold dear to me but couldn’t include here. You know who you are. Please know I love you)

Lessons learnt/memories made, courtesy these power-packed, passion-driven girl children:

  1. “Have a good cry when you need one. It’s not a shame. But then pick yourself up and do what you have to do. Life does and must go on.” The girl with silver hair and a beautiful smile.
  2. “What’s life if it isn’t adventurous? The biggest risk is really taking no risk at all.” Snippets from a good sport who was kind enough to let me smash a bouquet in her face. In case you’re wondering, it was for luck. And oh boy is she getting lucky- experiencing exotic music and exotic countries and all things nice.
  3. From sneaking a vodka-filled hip flask under a bride’s wedding dress in case her nerves failed, to going on the maddest road trips together; this Chica has made me laugh until my muscles begged to stop. Her pearl of wisdom, “Mischief keeps you alive. And oh yes, when in doubt, EAT!”
  4. It doesn’t matter how many times that blessed Basketball hits your head like a gong or that Sari comes undone right in the middle of a difficult dance sequence. You have to plod on. Patience and Perseverance, and soon success is your game.
  5. Life throws lemons, but sometimes it also throws boulders. Even when all appears hopeless, there’s still light at the end of the tunnel. She survived a catastrophe that took away her whole family. Yet she has laughter in her heart, a spring in her step and an ever ready  hand to help.
  6. Sometimes the people you think are crazy turn out to be the kindest ones. I couldn’t stand this wild child when we first met. Today, more than 15 years later we are thick as thieves. Her kind of crazy may not always be my kind, but her kindness overshadows it all.
  7. Skinned knees and bruised bums, we went on many a sport rampage together. She was my hero on the Basketball court and my gangster fix when my broken heart needed some toughening up. This creative genius leads by example.
  8. Continents separate us now. Being the rebels we are, we chose partners outside acceptable social norms and flew away on the wings of our dreams. No matter how long it is since you’ve met a dear friend, it always feels like yesterday. Joined at the heart and the hypothetical hip, nothing trivial like distance or time can separate us.
  9. Sometimes all that you need is a good old, deep, rumbling belly laugh. To your hearts content and your neighbour’s dismay. This cheerful lass has the most contagious laughter I know. In seconds you find yourself a helpless mess of giggling, snorting chuckling fits if she turns on her ha-ha switch.
  10. It could be Yoga on a boat or running for a cause, this bright spirit is never short of projects to improve the world we live in. She’s shown me that no matter how small your effort, you can always make a difference.

Happy Dusshera dear readers and happy Celebrating Her!

PS- In case you forget what Dusshera and the 11th of October stand for, Diwali follows 20 days later. This festival of light celebrates the triumph of knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, light over darkness and in essence good over evil. Happy Diwali in anticipation!

Love and light to every girl child. Celebrate her!

Knock knock.. Ballerina?

In honour of the International Day of the Girl Child on 11th October 2016, I will have a series of blog posts celebrating my kind.

Celebrating her. Post #4 of 5

The closest I came to being a prima ballerina, after much cajoling from my parents and teacher, was in the shiny garb of a grumpy Queen of Sheeba. 

My 4 feet tall, 6 year old royal self pirouetted through the solo and basked in the awe of a cheering audience. It helped that they were mostly parents of us tiny dancing damsels. Thanks to my new-found pout, a feathered gold tutu and the prettiest shoes I’d ever known I was suddenly a Diva.

The two years I spent learning ballet were magical. My friends and I discovered we could bring exotic creatures to life- little Bo-Peep, the Flower Fairy, an Egyptian Fan Dancer and even the famous Swans at the great Wedding.

Our teacher Filu was a star in my eyes- an epitome of beauty, musicality and grace.

Ballet soon took a backseat as I roared to glory on the Basketball court, played the violin until my cat fled screaming and took to climbing my neighbor’s trees and roofs.

More than 2 decades later as I reflect on who I am (definitely not a prima ballerina), I silently thank my ballet phase for all it taught me.
Teacher Filu introduced me to the nuances of elegance and I dare say even passed some on.

Whenever I find myself slumped over, bogged down by life, I often hear her soft voice- “Tummies in, tails in, shoulders down and back. And smile!”

Suddenly I don’t only look better, I feel better. 


A simple posture fix from my childhood finds its place in my adult-dom. I’m grateful for all the happy memories attached.

I now make it a point to look for opportunities where I can make a difference in a child’s life, knowing so many made a difference in mine.

Have you made your mark already?

Teacher Filu sure did hers in style- channeling the inner ballerina in so many little ones. And of course, passing this gem on. Go ahead, try it yourself- “Tummies in, tails in, shoulders down and back. And smile!”

Wait, let me guess. Your inner ballerina just woke up. 😉


It’s her life

In honour of the upcoming International Day of the Girl Child on 11th October 2016, I will have a series of blog posts celebrating my kind.

Celebrating her. Post #3 of 5

Whether she chooses the life of a nimble ballerina or a Harley-riding badass, it’s her right and our duty to let that life come to life. To dream. To love. To achieve. To be.

It’s her choice. Not yours.

STOP FEMALE FOETICIDE!