#longing #napowrimo #ripplesnreflections #yourquote #myquote
#arunawrites #yqbaba


Read my thoughts on YourQuote app at https://www.yourquote.in/aruna-menon-ipld/quotes/longing-never-stops-intensity-never-drops-tears-like-fall-n-onydk

True Beauty – Touching Lives

As I look for a point in time to start my blog today, based on the theme True Beauty, I find myself travelling back to my own journey, the journey called life.

As far as I can remember I used to be looked at with a bit of sympathy for not inheriting the “good looks” that were a norm in my family with an incandescent mom and sisters for company! I’ve overheard conversations between my mother and her friends who were asking her ” How did you have such a daughter?” Another well meaning cousin once advised my mother to save enough as getting girls of the likes of me married would not be an “easy task” .

To give my mother her due she stoically defended her ugly duckling and reiterated that she was proud I took after my father. Anyways I wasn’t traumatized much by these remarks – they were just part of me and my growing up. I started looking for and building on my strengths at a very early age, I discovered that there was something I could take pride in and that was the easy way academics came to me. I could grasp concepts and barely needed to study by rote in the formative years at school. This was one armor I developed against the harsh realities of not conforming to the conventional idea of beauty that I sadly lacked.

Another facet of mine that I recognised was that I was a good listener and genuinely empathized with people and they found it easy to confide in me. This trait brought me in touch with the real people inside each facade. It was an eye opener and it was fascinating. This trend continued through medical school which we entered in late teens – the period of life, where all of us give our hearts away, take some of them and also break many in this process. I was the keeper of many a secret, a shoulder to lean on and yes sometimes to cry on.

As I got to know the people within the people and got a glimpse into their soul, I also understood that as I interacted with each one of them I enriched myself with their own experiences, their reactions to them and my own reactions as well. I saw the human mind as the most powerful creator and destroyer of people, relationships families and personae. Dealing with people and their minds was done in an instinctive and intuitive way, the way I dealt with every issue in life.

As I grew older, my perspectives on life, my views, my values began to evolve as I met more and more people. Many of them were not a permanent part of my life. There are many of them who I am no longer in touch with, mostly due to circumstances but there are a handful who parted on a bitter note.

However I carry a tiny bit of each of those souls and lives I touched within me. I’m sure whether acknowledge it or not, whether they feel it or not, they too carry a microcosm of me in them.

This to me is the true beauty of life and love and people. We are like waves in the sea as they hurtle towards the beach. On their way they meet other waves that are receding and as they merge, both change, some imperceptibly, some noticeably. But neither is the same ever again.

And so is the story of our lives. Even in today’s technology driven world, nothing can replace a loving hug, an intense look conveying emotions, a gentle touch, a passionate kiss, an unspoken bond across a crowded room. As an old cliche goes, there are still things in the world that money can’t buy.

And am I glad that they are there, inspiring us to do the best we can, in the best way we can.

True beauty lies in each one of us whatever our outward appearance.

The beauty of being able to empathize.

The beauty of being able to lend a patient ear.

The beauty of acknowledging a kind gesture, a talent , a hobby.

The beauty of being able to feel what the other person is going through and not telling them to get through it but helping them to do just that.

The beauty of nurturing a hobby, supporting and encouraging the other person achieve a dream and taking pride in it.

The beauty of seeing the flaws in another person but accepting them with the flaws. The beauty of everlasting love.

The beauty of finding, recognizing and keeping soulmates.

The beauty of finding strength in one’s own views that may be unconventional and not conforming to society’s ideas – be they about beauty – outward appearance or making a choice.

The beauty of keeping a word once given.

The beauty of finding happiness in making other people happy.

The beauty of sharing and caring, loving and giving.

This is the true beauty that is reflected on our faces, that no amount of facials or creams can ever create. On the contrary, if one has that kind of beauty within us all other aids would enhance that spark and magnify that beauty, effortlessly.

Let us, each one of us, a wave or wavelet meet other waves with an open mind, absorb the positivity and discard the negativity. Let us move on, infinitesimally or drastically changed forever carrying within us a microcosm of each life we touch, within us for infinity and leaving a tiny bit of us in them, to carry.

I found that when life threw lemons at me this was the best way to make lemonade out of them, as a doctor, a person, a friend, a wife or a mother.

True beauty to me is touching lives, wherever we are.

Here’s to true beauty making this world a truly beautiful place.

For eternity, forever.

I believe every woman has TRUE BEAUTY within her in all the roles she plays. For over 18 years across 650 plus salons across the country, Naturals has been helping the Beautiful Indian Woman get more Beautiful.

Today Naturals Salutes the Beautiful Indian Woman.

Presenting Naturals TRUE BEAUTY… http://bit.ly/naturalsOF

An ode to Grief by Emily Dickinson

I measure every Grief I meet (561)

Emily Dickinson, 1830 1886

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes – 
I wonder if It weighs like Mine – 
Or has an Easier size.

I wonder if They bore it long – 
Or did it just begin – 
I could not tell the Date of Mine – 
It feels so old a pain – 

I wonder if it hurts to live – 
And if They have to try – 
And whether – could They choose between – 
It would not be – to die – 

I note that Some – gone patient long – 
At length, renew their smile –  
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil – 

I wonder if when Years have piled –  
Some Thousands – on the Harm –  
That hurt them early – such a lapse
Could give them any Balm –  

Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve – 
Enlightened to a larger Pain –  
In Contrast with the Love –  

The Grieved – are many – I am told –  
There is the various Cause –  
Death – is but one – and comes but once –  
And only nails the eyes –  

There's Grief of Want – and grief of Cold –  
A sort they call "Despair" –  
There's Banishment from native Eyes – 
In sight of Native Air –  

And though I may not guess the kind –  
Correctly – yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary –  

To note the fashions – of the Cross –  
And how they're mostly worn –  
Still fascinated to presume
That Some – are like my own – 

Oh, Baby!!

Blue or Pink – does it matter, dear parent?

A typical work day in my life is replete with situations where I help couples make choices and sometimes life changing decisions. From choices of modes of delivery in one branch of my specialty, Obstetrics to best options for treatment of recently diagnosed cancer in my other branch of Gynecology, its all in a days work for me. I love my work and mostly, I feel blessed touching people’s lives and being a part of such important choices.

However there’s one issue which I am averse to and that is gender selection of the unborn baby. I am pro choice and I do MTP (Med Termination of Pregnancy) as and when the patients’ wishes fall into the ambit of the laws of our country. Personally I do not ascribe to such terminations when there is a cafeteria approach to contraceptive methods available over-the-counter in medical set ups and even in chemist shops. Having said that, I feel it is better to opt for a termination rather than bring an unwanted baby into this overcrowded world! But what I am vehemently against is the gender preference shown by certain parents/patients. In a recent article I read that in countries where it is not illegal to do gender selection Canadians prefer Girls whereas among Asian parents and especially Indian parents, only male babies are preferred.

This is one area of my profession where I firmly put my foot down and refuse to divulge the sex of the foetus to the parents even if they are my friends, family or colleagues. I find it unbearably painful to think that a parent can willfully abort their own child just because it is not the preferred sex. As a gynecologist I find abortion in itself a necessary evil that is required to be done. I would have hated to ever get it done myself and never have. The mid trimester abortions are more risky to the mother as well. I do them fairly regularly for couples with anomalous fetuses but never for selecting the sex. Its just a very firm NO. I have had acquaintances and even friends who couch it in questions like “you know, we want to decorate the nursery”, ” we have to do clothes shopping for the baby- you could help us!” But whatever the reason cited, I refuse to be part of it. To date, I’ve never disclosed the sex of the unborn child much less done a sex selection abortion.

Besides as I often tell my patienrs, isn’t the anticipation and the delicious sense of a surprise a gift in itself? Being a doctor, one of my Colleagues had offered to tell me the gender during my own pregnancy but I immediately said NO and also looked away from the screen which would have told me the “blue or pink” answer. I still relish the happiness I felt on knowing what or who it was when my children were born. After they were born!! Nature has intended us to have certain emotions which I would not trade for anything else in the world!

This is one of the steps I feel I have taken towards ensuring a gender equal demography in my own lil sphere of influence.

Besides, I also take the trouble of counselling all the women and mothers I meet against sex selection and preferring boys over girls as children. The overwhelming negativity I find towards the girl child is saddening. So I never fail to educate and sensitize women towards choosing to love and cherish the female child. Being in the profession I am in, I am in an unique position to influence and educate young couples especially young women on this very important topic. Being in the forces I’ve also been involved in Welfare activities where I used to speak to ladies in a non medical environment and I have used this unique opportunity to impress upon the ladies, the importance of being gender equal and giving equal opportunities for the girl child. We have a lot of ladies from the villages and places which still feel that no family is complete without a male heir. I have always tried to change this mindset at the grass roots – with the women themselves and quite often , succeeded as well.

So this has been my “Chhota Kadam” towards ensuring a Gender -Equal society as far as I can, one step at a time.

If not anything, I know in my own heart that I’ve done my bit towards that beautiful entity called the Girl Child.

Every drop counts, I feel and this is my contribution to that end. A tiny drop in the sea of humanity.



Every change begins with a small step, whether it’s a change within your family, or the whole country! India’s hero, Padman, had its digital premiere on ZEE5, on 11th May. Don’t miss this inspiring true-life story, only on ZEE5. Download the app and subscribe now. For every subscription, ZEE5 will donate Rs. 5 towards the personal hygiene needs of underprivileged women.


waiting girl

Abrupt was the entry

After years and years 

Abrupt was the ascent 

Into bliss and ecstasy

Abrupt was the descent

Into tears and dissent

Abrupt was the exit 

From a million times over

From for now n forevermore

To shutters and a never-ever! 


In response to the Daily Prompt


The Exit Wound

Going Astral

This is part of a Blogathon entitled #LettersToMyEx on Women’s Web

A Prizewinning entry I’m proud to share .


This will just be another unopened or unread mail in your inbox, I know. Anyways here goes.

It’s been almost a year since you dumped me out of the blue. And it will be almost 10 years since you first confessed your love for me and to be allowed to just love me. I was free from having to say the same. As I pen these words to you, a thousand words rush through my mind…words we had exchanged when we could not get through a day without each other.

So where do I start? The first day we saw each other? The day we realised that we were soulmates? The day we realised we would always have each other to talk things about? The day we assured each other no matter what we would always be friends? Or the day we realised we were ‘each other’s person’ as they say in Grey’s Anatomy?

Oh, we had a charmed beginning – the intense wonderment at the magic, too scared to believe that love could be like this. The passion – surprising at first and intoxicating thereafter, turning into an addiction neither could do without. Every secret, every fear, every dream, every nightmare was shared. You were the first person I thought of as I woke up and you were the last person I thought of before I fell asleep. Nothing was taboo – we could say things to each other that we both swore we had never told anyone else. And now, possibly never will.

We shared more with each other than with anyone else. You were my person. I was your person.

Fiercely loyal, I believed everything you said and believed in you and love. You soon became the most important person in my life. As you said, I was in yours. In fact, you called me Sunshine. The person who had brought you back from the dark and gloomy place you had driven yourself into. The person who had brushed away cobwebs and allowed light to enter your life again. I basked in being your sunshine.

I will never forget the day you finally decided to call it quits. We had had one of our tiffs over not having enough time for each other and you asked for a break to think things out – you always believed that distance made us realise what we meant to each other. We had been through several such storms and our love always won, as we found our way towards each other. Each time. Every time.

But not this time.

From confessing your love for me, you were now wary of having to say I love you. And even worse, hear the magic words as you once called them! We had come full circle.

You found someone. Perhaps she was always your destination. All the lessons of love that I taught YOU, you used to win her over. “You showed me the power of love”, you used to say. Well, I would have been happy to see that power used on me. But that was not to be.

Instead, it was “I can no longer love you” – words that broke not just my heart, but my soul, my being.

“Did I ask you to love me exclusively?” “Who asked you to make me the most important part of your life?” “Why do you expect so much from me? I have other interests, other priorities and responsibilities in life, not just you.” As I listened to these questions and statements in sheer bewilderment, I realised you were truthful in always telling me you were selfish and would always look after your own interests first. Always and every time.

I still think of us, I still think of you. Do you? I guess not. I still see you around at parties, get-togethers and the like. I see pictures and videos where you look and sound happy. Good for you. I was just a blip in your life. But in mine, you entered uninvited, turned it upside down and then once you had your fill, you just dumped me. Leaving my mind heart and soul shattered.

There are days when I hate the fact that we even met. I wouldn’t be human if that did not happen. But deep down inside, I know that I still love you. I know that there can never be another you in my life. I know that there is no one with whom I connect the way I did with you. I can never love as unconditionally as I loved you.

At times I wonder if I can ever love, again. There’s a dark spot in my soul where you used to be. That defines who I am today. Unable to trust, unable to believe in the magic of love forever. Unable to smile with my eyes. Unable to let go.

Some things are never meant to be. One may wish, one may hope, but life can be cruel.

I had meant the world to you. You often reiterated, “I love you and respect you and adore you but even more than that I worship you for the way you brought color and happiness back into my life.” Words I cling to even today. As I helped you find yourself, you had said even God would not forgive you if you hurt me. Today you have not only hurt me but broken my faith in love and all that is good in life.

You destroyed my life as I knew it, twice over. The Entry wound and the Exit wound, I call them.

I survived. I’m trying to heal.

I live. I breathe. I exist.

I smile. I cry. I exist.

I eat. I sleep. I exist.

I used to be alive.

Now I exist.

I hope your God has forgiven you. It appears he has as I watch you smile and laugh and climb the ladder of success.

I never will.

You can view our entire #LettersToMyEx series here.

Women’s Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform’s views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, you can request to be a Women’s Web contributor too!

Focus Retriever

Why, Why, Why?


Why do we

Tend to judge 

Every person

Every emotion? 


Why do we 

Tend to forget 

Every good turn

Every kind deed?


Why do we 

Tend to conform

To every idea of 

Who we should be?


Why do we 

Tend to aspire to

Every rule laid down

Even a smile and frown


Why do we

Tend to mind

Every business there is

Except our own? 


Why do we 

Tend to blame

Everyone around us

But never ourselves? 


Why do we 

Tend to always get

Caught up in the rat race

But never give in with Grace? 


Why do we

Tend to seek out

Someone to love us

Not someone to love?

Why WHY Why…??? 



In response to the Daily Prompt



Bewildered by your actions

Bewildered by my reactions 

Blinded first, by love

Blinded then, by pain  

Bewildered by your words

Bewildered even more, by mine

Staggered by the depths 

Staggered by the heights

Bewildered by life’s name 

Bewildered by your game

Tortured by my endless thoughts

Tortured by your thoughtlessness

Bewildered I am, by destiny’s dance

Bewildered by the lack of a chance! 

In response to Word Prompt


A Course called Life

Enroll for laughter and get a dollop of pain for free

Enroll for happiness and get tears under a tree

There’s no sunshine without a bit of rain

There’s no pleasure without a whiff of pain!   

Enroll for life and get a rollercoaster of a ride

No gain without pain, it’s been tested and tried! 

Yet we enroll for Life, each day,  every day

Taking the roses n the thorns along the way! 



In response to Daily Prompt :