Anecdotes From My Family #2

First of all, let me apologize for my prolonged absence. Recently, I had taken part in a contest celebrating the National Poetry Writing Month on Instagram (@theakankshavarma) that went on for the entirety of April, but which I did for some 20 odd days. Though, I fuelled me, I felt drained as I invest a lot of myself in everything I write. I left it midway. After that, I took a conscious break from all writing, and from writing, I mean typing i.e. emails, ideas, thoughts, everything had to wait.

Now I think, with purpose, I am back, and had taken a very personal post as my “comeback” post.

A few weeks ago, I had posted of an incident that had happened with my great grandfather and I had asked if you’d like more. Much to my delight, most of you said you’d like more, and I had said that I’d give you my family tree as well.

Without further ado, I present to you all my family tree, which was designed meticulously by my grandfather and I in over two hours.

Pakka Promise


Huge, right? That’s what we thought.

Just a quick go-through: I’m Akanksha, whose name is in the red font in the yellow box, at the bottom of the image. My grandfather is the first yellow box (i.e Hari) and the ‘m‘ there means ‘married to‘. The yellow boxes are my family and my first cousins. The green boxes denote my grandfather’s brother’s (i.e. Gopal) family and the orange ones are the family of his sister’s (i.e. Gayitri). The ‘?’ are the names that my grandfather couldn’t recall or/and which were unavailable at the moment. The white boxes denote all his siblings who became deceased before marrying/having kids. (This line denotes only the six children that my grandfather has recollection of seeing. He was the youngest of 13 siblings and he did never see the rest of his siblings.)

This is a chart that we plotted for reference,  just in case we forgot someone.


As can been seen, this chart lists six generations of my family, easily back up to early 1800s.

On the way, I got and received  a great idea, attaching photos wherever available, writing the dates, making it in the form of an actual tree et al. I think I’ll keep working on it, at least till I am free.

So, did you like it? Do you have a family tree? Can you trace back your family. I’d love to know.

Lately, in Akankshaland, I’ve been redecorating my room, putting up fairy lights, photographs, music arrangements, posters, plus I’m hitting the gym about 5-5 times a week, I’m trying and doing a lot of cooking,  and every weekend is jam packed with exams- I’ve 2 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday. Even if it feels like an extended holiday, it still is draining. I’ve also been watching a lot of movies of late; in the past 5-6 days, I’ve seen The Dead Poets Society, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, The Before Trilogy, Begin Again and I’m trying The Breakfast Club and though it sees great, the file that I have is really disturbed, so I’ve been testing my patience now. I was left feeling very happy after watching these movies and I made me feel satiated somehow. I will be seeing Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind next. My point is, I’m on the lookout for some offbeat, enjoyable, unpredictable movies like this. Do you have any suggestions, because word of mouth goes a long way. Please, please, please, let me know. I’m dying to watch some great movies and it would be a let down if they aren’t as good as these.

So, that’s all for today, folks. Hope you enjoyed this post, I’ll be back soon, so keep tuned.




“For Humans”


There was once an old lady,
who had lived all and was waiting
for her death, with a troubled breath,
As she stood by the door,
every day more devastating.
She’d lost her husband to the land,
and there was no other name bearer,
who could live to her legacy and
be told in the bards, as the son of one
to whom death was the most dear.

Each day with a bated breath, she
looked forward to her final visitor,
But he never came and she always cried
because she really thought
it really was her time.
Her neighbors, her crazy kept at a distance
but that didn’t stop them to whisper,
“Ah that old, mental, moronic lady
Who is she waiting for to take her crazy,
a demonic mister?”

But somehow, things changed, as mostly she,
she realized they weren’t waiting for her
As much as she was for death,
And things changed, and soon the neighbor
kids played until they were panting with breath.
She made cookies and called for tea,
all the fancy dressed, beautiful ladies,
And soon her garden was bright and gay
And loneliness, she barred and mostly
was like a bright day in May.

But one day, when all the ladies
Came to her house for their tea
and the daily gossip they all shared,
they found the door locked, and her house
strangely, dead, and lifeless, and bare.
Worried, they rushed and somehow
broke the door and they entered,
upon a lifeless host, they cried,
The old widow, lying on the floor,
with a smile on her face, had died.

They looked around and some rushed 
out to call for help, but one, 
spotted a piece of paper, on the bed.
They shrieked, and some stood stunned
and then, cried in horror; 
it was from Death.

“She was a poor sod who thought, 
she’d lived life to the fullest,
Oh, what a fool humans are, 
They don’t know what is the best.
Waiting for me instead when you
should be making memories,
living life with love and people who are dear.
So that once you die, there are no fears
of having not taken the chance,
the chance to be alive after death,
to be alive in others’ memories and hearts.
And that’s why I kept her waiting,
for she didn’t know what’s right,
But fear not, my ladies,
She came to me with a smile,
and looked down upon all of you,
and waved a goodbye;
she sprinkled on some pixie dust,
And rests now, with her husband,
very happy and content, high above.”

Anecdotes: Stories From My Family #1

Today, I am going to relate to you all an incident that happened with my great-grandfather back in 1900s’ – I am not very certain on the date- but which had brought to me tears of laughter when I first heard it, and many times since, from my grandfather, his thirteenth and the last child.


My family, the Varmas’ were a quite rich and influential family in Badaun, a district town in Uttar Pradesh, back when the English still ruled over India, and were head by the reticent, respected and renowned barrister Shri Vasdeva Sahay Varma, who lived with his wife and a huge family. Overall, there were thirteen children, out of which only six survived, and who are now reduced to two, my grandfather and his immediately elder brother. Apart from that, there were many servants, many families of relatives, and it is said that the house once was the home of over fifty people.

My great-grandfather (referred to as GG from now on) was a very reserved man and liked to keep to him. My grandfather, Dr. Hari Krishna Varma (G), admits that he rarely ever talked to him; in fact, even topics related to his children’s schooling were dealt through a loyal relative. He was a man way ahead of him time; all of his surviving daughters were educated, and one even did her Masters’ at a time when girls were married in their teenage years. He was extremely intelligent- he had topped his University in Sanskrit, which he had learnt for just three months- and was a superb barrister whose his earnings were voluminous. A man of class, G says for him to have never travelled below a first class in a train, and yet he donated at the local temple every Tuesday.

Physically, he was extremely fat and weighed well above 100 kilos. Normal height, and wide body, I like to imagine him as Father Santa.

The following incident occurred when he was travelling for work on a train.


It is an incident in a time, when trains were not in ample, and Indians travelling in the first class compartment of the train even more uncommon. Hence, there was no reservation of seat, and once people got on the train, they were supposed to get their tickets from the ticket collector.

One time, my GG was sitting in the train when it came to a stop, and he alighted on the station to get a drink of water. On returning, he found that another man had made himself comfortable on GG’s seat.

The conversation that unfolded was something like this, but in Hindi, I suppose:

GG: *politely informs* Dear sir, I’m afraid you’ll have to vacate the seat. This is my seat and I had just got off for a sip of water.

Man: *in clearly no mood to leave from the seat* Sir, forgive me, but I really don’t see your name imprinted on this seat anywhere. If you’d just point that to me, I’ll vacate immediately.

GG: *surprised* What…? *recovering* Okay, then please forgive me sir but then I’m left with no other option but to sit on you since there is no sign here that says that only one person can be seated on one seat.

Man: WHAT?! *staring at the huge and heavy expanse of my grandfather* I’m… I’m… Sorry, sorry, I’ll leave immediately. *gets up and leave*

Yes, that happened. It happened in real life, and the man had to give up the seat.


My G has traced our family back to five generations and it’s really refreshing when he tells us stories like this. In a time when nuclear families are the norm and one is loses the roots of the family evolution, it is stories like these that keep us bound together in laughter.

G often tells us incidents like these, most of the time, a funny thing that happens at a moment leads us to stories that happened years ago, but are funny even today. It’s a beautiful experience and memory to share.

How’d you like it? I’m thinking of beginning a collection o such incidents together, narrating them as the come to knowledge and mind? Would you be interested?

Hope you liked this one and (hopefully) the others to come too.

Pocket Stories #7


He was very excited. Though his hands very dirty, he didn’t care. He was just eager to show her what he had received today. He ran barefoot, the small pebbles pricking his foot at all the sensitive places and his knee still pained from the lathi (rod) the policeman had beaten him with, last week. Bursting with breath, he ran inside the house and was met by her large, round innocent eyes. His eyes crinkled and he grinned.

“Look Durga, what I found today!” he said, as he held in his palm the two rotis he got at the temple. “You can keep one to yourself and one for your maa.”

Durga’s face fell. “What about you, Karan?” she asked.

“Oh, I’ve eaten at the temple only.” He smiled, ignoring the rumbling of his two day empty stomach. Who said blood was thicker than water?

Five Word Challenge: July 2015

I came across the Five Word Challenge: July 2015 set by David/Megan here through a challenge response. I found it interesting so here goes my post. But before you get reading, I would like for you to take a look at my previous post Music Today here to know the background story and get properly into the feel of it.

The story starts here:

We look so weird because papa was testing the timer of the camera.
We look so weird because papa was testing the timer of the camera.

I am crawling on the floor and mumma is in the kitchen, probably preparing dinner for us. I am trying to walk these days. Sometimes, I stand for a few seconds and then collapse on the floor. When mumma first saw me stand for three seconds, she nearly cried with happiness. Now, when she is free, she sits some distance away from me and tries to make me walk, holding my hand or finger till I reach her. She claps when I do. She is so pretty when she laughs. I make my way across the room to the kitchen and hug mumma’s leg. She sees me and smiles, “Niki, come on!” 

She abandons her work, scoops me up in her arms and kisses me. She carries me towards the open balcony and there, some distance away, we both see the sun set gradually behind the mountain range that surrounds our small town of Phuntsholing. I see that she glances at the bridge across the valley that materializes from the dense tree cover  and I know what she is thinking. She is waiting for daddy. 

Suddenly the clouds rumble, a low, growling sound, that sounds very similar to what daddy makes in the bathroom when he is constipated. It comes as no surprise to mumma as it rains every other day here. I like it because she lets me play in the rain. She sets me down in my swing so that she can pick the clothes she had left out to dry. 

After she is done, she carries me inside and feeds me daal and rice. It starts raining soon after. Daddy has still not come. I can see that mumma is worried. It is already dark, and the rain makes it extremely hard to drive on the curvy roads. Suddenly the bell rings. I let out a shriek of happiness and crawl-run my way to the door, where mumma is already there, with a towel for daddy to dry. Daddy looks tired as he removes his tie, but as soon as he sees me, his eyes light up and a grin makes in way. He picks me up, kisses me, and says, “Muchano,” I don’t know why he calls me that, “kaisi ho?” How are you? 

I shout again and he throws me in the air. I laugh happily as he catches me. Mumma says, “Dinner is ready. I have set it in the balcony so that we can enjoy the rain too. You can also click some photographs.” She adds with a smile. She knows my father is an avid photographer; how much he loves to click my photographs and how much I love modelling for him. 

Daddy takes me to the balcony and on the way, we pass the music system. “You know what, Muchano,” he says lovingly, “there is a song that I luuurve, would you hear it?” he tickles me as he says. I laugh again, as he puts on a cassette. 

“Jagjit Singh,” he says grandly. “One of the finest shayars of all time.” 

As they settle down for dinner, and me for a round two, I look around me and smile. This is my family, these are the people that I love. My life is not illusion, it is a reality. I am happy. 


Farewell and Halfway Morning Presents.

3:50 am. Just finished this collage for a dear, dear friend, who leaves me for I don’t know how long. Met her a year ago, and now, she’s family. True. There are some bonds that are not just by blood, but by people who make you a part of their life. As much as I would love to, I can’t keep both my eyes open. Will elaborate tomorrow. Patience, dear reader.

collage-2015-05-03How do you like it? Do you think she’ll like it? Please reply. G’night.

P.S. Have you ever had a friend you knew for a short time but was a major part of your life? Please comment. I’d love to know how your relationship turned out.