If You Have A Girl- By Nidhi Paneri




If you have a girl,

Then talk to her,

Not once,

Not twice,

But everyday of your lives.

Tell her all those things you have wanted to,

For if not you,

Then who?

Tell her that she will be judged,

More often misjudged,

At every step that she will take,

Don’t take it personal,

If you do so, a mistake you will make.

Talk to her about how to write a journal,

Learn to pour your heart out there,

Cry as long as you must,

For true friends are also very rare.

This isn’t about you,

You are sweet and awesome,

Into a young lady,

You shall soon blossom.

Tell her she might be made fun of,

Be spoken behind her back,

She will be labeled and given an awful name,

This isn’t about you,

It’s a part of the unscrupulous game.

Tell her to keep her head held high,

Even if her heart has sunken deep below,

No one will hear her,

To manage her thoughts and feelings,

She must know.

There will be despair,

Be positive and rebel,

While others play truth,

You play the dare. 

Tell her to dream is great,

But if they shatter she must wait,

All good things shall all come back with leaps and bounds,

Have patience, have faith,

This isn’t about you,

A great woman has always had this trait.

Tell her to love with all her heart,

But before others,

It is from herself that she must start,

If what she does,

Doesn’t bring her joy,

It is time to look beyond,

Yeah, It’s quite a job,

Oh boy!

Tell her it takes a real man to handle a real woman,

Real women are different,

Real women are difficult,

A real man can handle you with ease,

No need to beg or plead,

No need to stoop low below,

If he finds you imperfect,

It is an illusion of his inflated ego,

Sometimes it is best to just let it all go.

Don’t try to change anyone,

For everyone fights their own battles,

Learn to care for everyone,

Despite your own straddles.

You are and shall always be awesome,

Into a young lady,

You shall soon blossom.

Tell her to keep her hopes up until the end,

Sometimes an end is just a new beginning,

Life will throw you a song,

You must keep singing.

Every sunset will have a new sunrise,

Be patient,

Be wise.

Hopes are your securities,

Fears are your obstacles,

Just jump over them,

Don’t stop to look behind,

All you will see are crossed over hurdles.

No one can tell her this,

It’s got to be you,

You are the only one,

Who she sees is true.

Before you know,

She’ll be gone,

So, don’t wait for the right time.

Tell her now,

For if  not now,

Then when?

So if you have a girl,

Then talk to her,

Not once,

Not twice,

But everyday of your lives.

Tell her all that you have wanted to,

For if not you,

Then who?



That Thing About My Marriage

There won’t be a better day than today to pen down memoirs from my marriage, as my husband and myself turn nine years old as a legal couple. For the starters by sharing this post I in no way claim that ours is the happiest or the perfect most, but I do claim that I am darn proud of it. We have had our share of struggles, and still have a long way to go, but I can’t help feel the euphoria of this journey so far!

My Dad left no stone unturned to give his daughter( yep, that’s me) a fairytale like wedding. He had loved the word “Saptapadi”, meaning seven steps which is the essence of an everlasting love and respect in a marriage. So, he had the word printed in the wedding invites. Only for me to discover its depth in the moments to come.

The wedding was over, but my marriage had just begun. During my Bidai, my mom was crying buckets. Everyone on my side of the family was sad and cried, but mom was inconsolable. I just stood there, numb, feeling horrible that I had to leave my mom in this state. So I kept standing next to her, juggling to find words that would make her feel a bit better.

All this while my husband and I were tied to each other with the wedding knot. He stood for a while and soon realised that if he didn’t act fast then mom might collapse. So, he quickly got into the car. Now, no matter how hard I tried to go near my mom, I was pulled back towards him. I had no choice, but to get into the car too.

Inside the car, a typically quiet person that my husband is, started talking a lot. I guessed he was just as nervous as I was. He shared that he had read somewhere that some couple separated because they had some issues about the way the husband kept the toilet seat. He blabbered on and on about it. It was hilarious, I laughed through my tears. He said that he didn’t want such issues, so the first question he asked me as a man and woman was how would I want him to keep the toilet seat?

I was so caught up at his weird, yet funny side that I completely forgot about the horrible feeling I had a minute ago. He later called my dad out of concern and inquired about my mom.

There it was! The first step of Saptapadi, live in action: finding ways to bring a smile on your spouse’s face( even if it means being silly or talking like a crazy maniac).

As individuals we are poles apart. I am a saving type, keep a tab on our pennies while he is the spender; I give out distress calls frequently while he is calmer than still water; he notices every little thing about me while I admire him irrespective of his clothes or hairstyle.

Today divorce rates  have increased phenomenally; there are a lot many marriages that are dragged on and on each day, continued to exist due to fear of social pressures. Failed marriages aren’t because of the people involved in it. They are simply not happy because they revolve around other aspects: bank balances, infidelity, secrets and manipulations. Focus shifts when a couple stops let going. When they can’t forgive. When they refuse to budge from where they stand. They see each other as a pain instead of being painkillers for the other.

There is a constant seek for something or someone that isn’t yours. Is it so difficult to love what is yours? Why does somebody’s life, life partner, marriage and to a great extent others kids and jewelry look finer than yours?

This is the thing about our marriage. We both love what is ours. There are no terms and conditions. Love is unconditional. It’s cumulative of sweet words, hope, satisfaction and 24×7 support.

Yeah, that’s the thing about my marriage!

Venky & Lola (FLLT exclusive)

venky and lola INTRO

It all began with a high pitch sound. I was just two hours and twelve minutes into Superatindo game and only five minutes short of winning level Five, when I noticed that the sound I was referring to was my mom’s screaming.

“Venkyyy….put that thing away”.

“It’s not a thing amma, it’s a z-pad, an electronic gadget, a WOY-line tablet manufactured by Banana.inc and please just two minutes more….pleaasssee….”

Mom wasn’t interested in my knowledge sharing. She said that she had been screaming for the past five minutes, but I swear I hadn’t heard a word.

I could see a mover and packer truck parked outside from our kitchen window. As the truck moved I saw a girl wailing away sitting on the front steps.

“Look at that poor girl; she must be our new neighbour” Mom said

“She’ll get over it amma”.

Moms never understand about being left alone for a while. She filled my hands with a box of Idlis.

“Go take them and become friends with her”.

“Noooo…” I begged.

Before I realised mom had pushed me out of the house. I slowly tugged myself to the new neighbour’s house.  It was the weirdest first meeting ever.

“Hi, I am Venkatesh Murli Prasad”.

“Bohoooo….Bohooo….I miss Queen”, she sobbed loudly.

“The Queen?  You mean Queen Elizabeth?” I asked.

“No stupid! Queen was my cat in London”, she said wiping her runny nose with her shirt sleeves. She looked up at me and her loud sobs changed to a hideous pig like laughter.

She rolled and loathed, laughing.

“I am Lola, I come from Britain, but my sister and brother, think I am from Bratland”, she said once she gathered herself, and there she let out her funny snorts again.

“What’s so funny?” I asked

She held her tummy and snorted…errr….laughed again until tears welled up in her big froggy eyes.

“What’s the reason that you laugh like a mad girl?” I asked again.

She grabbed my hand and pulled me inside her house. We both stood in front of a large mirror in the bedroom. My cheeks flushed after I saw my reflection.

A bird was busy building her nest in my noodley hair. I have had embarrassing moments, but this was the father, as we say “Baap” of them all!

I froze.  Lola fell on the floor and rolled all over, laughing in snorts again.

This was the worst that could’ve happened to a good human being like me. When I found some movement in my limbs, I raised my hands to help the chirpie fellow. The more I tugged at my hair, the more it tangled.

“I shall try the reverse effect on effects method. It will transfer the kinetic energy of the bird into stationary energy and then ….”

“Shut up Venkipedia!…You are a talking Wikipedia!”

Lola snapped her fingers, went out of the room and returned with a pair of scissors.


venky hair saga


“What are you going to do with those?” I asked, my body shivered.

Before I could stop her, she chopped off a large chunk of my hair. My heart skipped a beat.

“Those locks were precious to my mom, she thought of them as a sign of a real man”, I couldn’t believe it, but I was whining.

“How could you do that?” I asked.

“Like that”, she replied, chopping off another lock of my curled darlings.

The bird flew away and my hair that once carried it’s nest lay on the floor.

“What was I going to tell amma?” and, “What was I going to tell Appa?”

I no longer wanted to be friends with this brat. This was the end of the shortest friendship. I had made up my mind never to speak to her again. I picked up the Idli parcel, she didn’t deserve a single bite of those, and left her house.

But things normally never happen the way you intend them to be!




Ego and Impatience, the deadly combination.

Timeless learnings for the sensitive soul:
 The Ego and The Impatience, two deadly combinations in any relationship. 
1. Never succumb to anyone’s Ego and Dominance. It will make it hard for you to even recognise yourself. It will leave you bewildered, depressed and lonely. It will show you that side of you that you wish never existed. It will make you do and say utter rubbish. Might take years to get even with what follows next. (Still astonished and bewildered with myself) 
2. Handling Ego is through the head, Succumbing is because your heart is involved. 
3.If a person can’t forget your mistakes, can’t accept you with your flaws, can’t help make you become a better person, it’s time to make peace with yourself.
4.Love yourself unconditionally. No matter what others judge of you. If you know yourself what others think of you isn’t important. 👍🏻
5.Be patient, patient and more patient. ( this is what I am learning) Calmness makes things a lot easier. Impatience destroys.
6.Learn from your mistakes. Life is your best teacher. 
7. Never stop caring. Everyone has vices and flaws. It doesn’t justify to stop caring. 
8.Look for positivity even in the most negative situations. 
9. If you are feeling pushed away/ ignored at any point in your relationship, there is a certainly a reason why you are feeling that way. Don’t ignore it, but be prepared for the insecurity that follows, with insecurity comes impatience. And that’s enough to make you a complete Idiot! Brains go dysfunctional. 
10. Just as Ego and Impatience are destroyers, Forgiveness and lots of communication are the makers. 
It might look hard to get up and go back to being yourself, but put a little effort into yourself, is all it takes to be your normal, sane self again. 
Relationships will thrive if they are destined to be. It’s important for the other person ( parent/sibling/spouse/friend/child) to value you too. If they don’t it’s their bad luck because sensitive souls are very rare to find. 
All the best sensitive souls…. Sensitive people are rockstars. So be your sweet, bubbly and peppy selves always… this planet needs more people like you!!! 

Banaras Dreams- by Nidhi Paneri



I was the only one included in the boy’s night. The boys who claimed to be wild wolves of Banaras, had open-heartedly made me a part of their pack. The other girls didn’t understand this special treatment, they felt that they had just about everything that I had.  The wolves loved the fact that I never fussed. They treated me like one of them, and I so loved that. They never stared at my cleavage or butts, they showed their love for me with their macho back pats.

We five girls chatted away on Meenu’s roof top. The evening Aarti chants could be heard loud and clear. Banaras evenings were epic. The pundits would practice their daily Aarti in chorus and later a grand show would be put up at the ghats. I was the listener always. The girls terribly needed someone to hear their shitty girl talk, so I was the one dragged into these girl gossip sessions. Fortunately my phone beeped.

Message: ‘At the ghats @ 9:00pm.’

I  jerked my hand in the air and snapped my fingers, finally I could be away from here. I always enjoyed male company. My intellect was far beyond the normal girl talk. “Got to gooooo,” I raised my hand for a high five. None of the girls responded. I shrugged, tied my hair into a tight bun, put on my black sweatshirt, climbed down the creeky wooden stairs much faster than any of the girls could, jumped over the last four steps and stormed out of Meenu’s home.

“You behave like a boy and I will break your legs,” mother had warned me. My mother’s treacherous firings often echoed within my head. But this was me. I couldn’t change. My father  thought I was too influenced by the evils of the western culture, my brother had strong predictions that I would land up all by myself, old and lonely, the only person who didn’t judge me was my childhood friend Raghu. He saw in me what nobody could.

As usual he was there, waiting on his antique Vespa, outside Meenu’s home. “I love you,” I pecked his cheek. “Joothi (Lair),” he replied. He told me that whenever I expressed my love for him. Raghu took me seriously on very rare occasions and that bothered me.

“Shwetu look Ramji kaka cut off his chotti (ponytail),” he remarked as we passed Ramji’s poster shop. Every home  in Banaras would have atleast one poster from Ramji Kaka’s shop. I was lost in my thoughts.

“Shwetu what are you doing?” Raghu asked, “Kya soch rahi hain? (What are you thinking?)”

“Nothing.” I replied.

I ruffled for the paper in my pocket. I was going to spill it all out tonight. He had to know how I felt for him. I took out the paper, and read it once again. I gripped it tight against the breeze.

Dear Raghu,

You are the one for me.

Love you forever,

Yours Shwetu.

It was just perfect. I had poured it all out in one single line. Raghu wasn’t much of a reader anyways.

The narrow streets were so full of people at this hour. Raghu dodged his Vespathrough the crowd, “Raghu, It’s best to walk down now, just park here,” I said pointing at Lala’s tea stall. Lala kaka would never mind a scooter parked near his stall. Infact no Banaras local would ever have any problems, they all had large hearts.

“What’s that?” he asked. He snatched the paper from my hand. “No! Raghu,” I shouted. My stomach felt funny. My heart thumped louder than ever. My mind felt foggy.  He was about to unfold the letter when his gaze drifted to a slender figure that approached towards us. She was tall, wore a lot of make up, and I didn’t quite like the way Raghu watched her. The two of them exchanged smiles and she turned to walk towards the ghat. Raghu grabbed my hand, stashed my letter into his pocket and pulled me along with him. The way he pulled me along with him didn’t feel good. The pull felt more like a push. My eyes were soggy much before we reached the ghat.

I looked up at Raghu, trying hard not to break into sobs. “Where are the boys?” I asked Raghu. I completely ignored the presence of the other lady. “Shwetu, I want you to meet Shaira,” he spoke with a radiant face. His happiness beemed on him. “Shaira? She’s a muslim?” I asked, astonished at how Raghu could have a muslim lady love. Shaira walked up closer to me. Close enough that I could see her red lipstick smudged on her teeth as she flashed her coy smile at me.

I wanted to push her into the pond right behind us. I pulled my fingers into a fist, gave a tearful look to Raghu. “Shwetu?” he spoke as softly as he could. He quite didn’t understand the look on my face.

There were children playing cricket on the side.  They stopped playing as their ball plopped into the pond water. “Oye Ranjeet, dekh ke khel ( Play carefully),” I shouted in anger. One of the boys shouted, “Shwetu didi don’t be so angry, you can bat today.”

I stepped forward, and clenched my fists tight.I looked up at the open skies. I was about to do something that was so out of my character. I breathed in deep and pushed Shaira into the pond. Raghu gaped at me for a second and rushed to help his lady love out. “Pagal ho gayi hain? (Have you gone crazy?)” Raghu shouted. Shaira’s eyes popped out, her drenched body shivered. “What kind of friends you have Raghu?” she snarled.

“What’s wrong with you Shwetambra?”

This was the first time he had called me by my real name. At that moment pushing Shaira into the pond water was wrong but it still felt so right.

“Read the damn letter Raghu, just read that bloody letter,” I said.

He took out the paper, tore it to pieces and threw it on my face. If heart breaks could be heard, mine would have been the loudest.

Everything was clear.  My brother was so right, I was going to land up all by myself,  old and lonely.  I turned away, ran to the boys and picked up the bat. It was my turn to bat now.