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There are some days where nothing seems to go the way you want it to, isn’t it? I was having one such bad day. I lost an extremely easy table tennis match. Being in a bad mood, I ended up having a fight with my best friend. Back on the way from school, my uniform got torn while getting into my school bus. While getting down at my stop, I thought that I am very bad at table tennis, a horrible friend and a careless person, good for nothing. That’s when I saw something. Something that really changed the way I think. And I decided to write a stoem on it…

Getting off the bus, crossing the street,

A lovely sight made me stop at my feet.

A tender little plant, starting to sprout,

About to know the world, peeping out.

Growing out of a crack, yet leaves so green

And just besides it a cut tree could be seen.

I tried to guess in what, thought it will be,

It might be thinking someday, this will happen to me.

Looking at this, it troubled my head,

If It knows it may happen, does it want to live ahead?

Then it occurred to me, maybe even though it could die,

It had a stubborn mind made up, to give its life a try.

With a wave of guilt in me,

all I could do was stand and see.

With a heavy heart I started on my way,

But turned back as I still, had a goodbye to say.

And I saw a little boy, poor and thin,

Watering that plant, from a little box of tin.

I was glad to know that tiny plant, also has a friend,

Hope is always there with you, when you feel it’s the end.

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This poem is about the longest personal experience I could have had. Its about a whole year; 2020. This year brought so many things I was never expecting, and the fact that this wasn’t only being experienced by me but everyone around the world, makes it a shared experience. This year is soon about to end and I have to say, it had its dark side and bright side. To me, this year taught me the value of the NORMAL.

When we have a certain way that life goes,

when we have a routine we follow,

While we may think it’s boring,

 there is so little that we know.

we simply ignore what we have,

 just because we have it everyday.

The value of which we realise,

when it is taken away.

And then comes a moment,

 your freedom, is locked.

uncertainty all around you,

 everything is blocked.

things you had every day,

 are now hard to get.

daily chores have changed,

more rules have been set.

you have absolutely no hint,

 what’s coming tomorrow.

you feel the urge to close your eyes,

 and back in time you want to go.

and tell your past self,

there is no need to complain.

the fact that things are so common,

is a boon and not a bane.

when life is normal, we keep hoping,

 things went a better way.

but we forget to be grateful and enjoy,

 because normal may not always stay.

But slowly you realise,

things are not that bad anymore.

A new normal is here now,

 knocking at your door.

It’s time to unlearn what we know,

 and change our mindset,

this new normal, learn again,

let’s press reset.


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My grandpa was recovering from a hip fracture. He had been on bedrest for about a month after a successful surgery. One evening my grandma was showing me the snaps of my Dad of when he was a toddler. While looking at the photo of my dad holding grandpa’s hand for walking, an excited shout grabbed my attention. I saw grandpa trying to walk with dad’s support and my Dad cheering him up. I looked at them and then at the photograph and thought of this Stoem.


Coming into this big world,

the moment he opens his eyes

Having no idea about anything,

ahead is a life full of surprise

Two faces smiling down at him,

Fills him with comfort

A sense of security that in these hands,

he can’t get hurt

As time goes by and he finally,

gets his legs to stand,

At every small disbalance,

he grips that sturdy hand

Along with the steps forward,

those hands always have his back,

If something goes wrong,

they put him on the right track

These hands knew when to hold him,

or let him go on his own

Though they were not beside,

he was never left truly alone

Through school, college, jobs,

and all his ups and downs

From all his smiles and success,

to all his fails and frowns

The hands hugged him,

when he felt the need to cry

Encouraged him to keep going,

and give everything a try

Then again spins the wheels of time,

those hands are sturdy no more

The steps they take fumble,

aren’t as strong as they were before

 “Hold my hand mom and dad…”,

his hands this time he extends 

The three figures walk along the path

A beautiful cycle comes to an end


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UN Sustainable Development Goal #2: Zero Hunger | by Miigle+ | Medium
Photo credit : freepik

I was working on a school project on the Goals of the United Nations. One Goal which made me think was “ZERO HUNGER”. It talked about the plight of farmers. It also reminded me of the visit of my dad’s friend from the village. His kids wanted to see the city and also had a desire to have Pizza. We decided to dine at a famous pizza joint and were browsing through the menu. My uncle, who is also a farmer was staring continuously at the prices with saddened eyes.  Observing him I enquired what was wrong. With his gaze still on the menu he said that what we were paying for these pizzas is a month’s income of a farmer. Ironically, Farmer is the one who has grown all that makes this Pizza. His smile was failing in the attempt of hiding his dismay. I pondered on this for a while and decided to write about this in relation to “ZERO HUNGER”…..….

I saw something while sipping my tea,

When I was relaxing in the balcony

A wrinkled face walking with stride,

Somewhere I thought has lost his pride

With broad shoulders and strong hands

I think he is a farmer who tills his lands

He walked to the bakery for a loaf of bread

But stood still when he saw the price ahead

Hiding from everyone he counts his money

And then seems to wonder how unfair life could be

With a helpless shrug he steps back with a loud sigh

what he had grown, he himself can’t buy

The wrinkled face reminded me, of that old lady on the street

Selling vegetables for living, In freezing cold or scorching heat

And yet we all bargain with her, For the smallest of amount

But spending thousands at fancy malls, Where it doesn’t seem to count

This made me think of several news I heard,

Of these feeding hands whom we just ignored

Its time for us to Ponder, time to come together

And embrace these crusaders, fighting for zero hunger

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Stoem#3: Salty droplets that smiled

The worried voice of a mother grabbed my attention when I was playing in the garden. She was very concerned about a small cut on her son’s finger. When I looked towards the nearest bench I saw an old woman who was looking at all this and smiling. I thought that was rather rude of her. I couldn’t help myself and I went ahead and inquired why she was smiling. Her reply stunned me. 

She said “It would be hard for that mother to understand what must be the feelings of a mother like myself”. 

She told me with sudden change in her tone and a heavy voice that just the day before she had bid farewell to her son who was going to the border. Then, she just looked away saying nothing. I felt a little upset listening to this and I went home and discussed this with my dad.

He said “may be this is a good topic for a stoem….” The feelings of a mother bidding farewell to her son

Salty droplets floating at the rim of my eye

And with heavy breathing I give out a sigh,

Feelings, on the verge waiting to erupt,

 then I feel the urge to feel the touch.

Salty droplets floating on the rim of my eye,

Should I ask him to stay, or bid goodbye,

Salty droplets pleading to the cold windy breeze,

Make some miracle happen let time freeze.

I just want to spend some time with my dear one,

He may be a soldier but he’s also my son,

My son who slept in my arms till yesterday,

Those sleepless nights I have spent fearing this day.

The tiny one who needed me to tie his shoelace,

Is entering reality with enemies to face

Those games in the backyard with toy guns in palms,

has changed into warzone with live mines and bombs. 

I want him to not be brave and hide somewhere,

The thought of loosing him, is something I can’t bear.

He should just lie low and be always at the end,

There are many others of the country to defend.

But the patriot inside,

Will never agree,

with these feelings,

of the mother in me.

 Then I saw a tiny girl waving her hand,

Bidding farewell to her father marching with the band.

Someone’s son, brother, husband and father I can see,

Waving back at the salty droplets just like me.

With national anthem playing far away the countryside

Salty droplets started flowing, glowing with pride.

 -Pranjali Shah

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I was on the verge of crying in between a table tennis match. I was not able to understand whether it was the fear of losing or losing in front of everyone that was making me tense. I had always portrayed myself as a strong and tough girl and thought that this image will be shattered if I cried. Suddenly, I heard my mom shout “ Pranjali, tie your shoelace!”. Even though my shoelace seemed properly tied, I still bent down to check upon it. And I realised that no one could see me! I allowed my emotions to flow and then tied my shoelace. This poem is all about me tying my shoelace that day….

The smile of winning on her face,
and her never ending stare,
was making me very nervous,
the pressure was too much to bear.

My heartbeats were rising,
My hands were beginning to shake,
I was looking for an excuse,
To ask for a break.

And came a voice from behind,
“Pranjali, tie your lace.”
And I grabbed the opportunity
To hide my face.

I stretched the two strands,
To their greatest lengths,
The two things I need to focus on,
Her weakness and my strengths.

I criss-crossed them,
To make a nice knot,
I realised by combining the two,
I can give my best shot.

By making the two loops that said,
There are loopholes in my game
I just need to improvise
And refine the same.

Finally when I tie the last knot
And pull to make it tight,
Winning or losing doesn’t matter,
What matters is that I fight.

In all such moments of despair,
That you will have to face,
take a step back, bend down,
And tie your shoelace….
-Pranjali Shah

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Stoem #1: of course I talk to myself…

made using canva

Sometimes people tell me I am a weirdo…but I love myself the way I am. While having one of my usual strolls in the garden and daydreaming (which I do a lot), I suddenly stopped and took a bow and waved at my fans and audience. I walked proudly to the lift with my chin up, reached home, to find my mom with the “I have some questions” look. “Some friends called me asking if you had gone mad. They saw you acting weirdly and talking to yourself in the garden…” she said.
That’s when this stoem was written….

I don’t know why,
People think it’s mad,
But talking to myself,
makes me glad.

Because when I talk,
That’s when I see,
There is another Pranjali,
Who wants to talk to me.

She scolds me,she loves me,
And tells me where I am wrong.
When days are bad and I am down,
She hums my favourite song.

On the cross roads,
Mind is when confused,
She tells me what’s right,
And helps me to choose.

Choices I make ,
Sometimes right or wrong,
She just shrugs her head ,
Tells me to get along.

She makes me look in the mirror,
Every now and then,
And then smiles to tell me,
How cute I am.

On thundery nights,
When mind is full of fear,
She cuddles me tight,
And becomes my teddy bear.

She is always with me,
No matter what I do.
Talking to yourself is great,
I think you should too.

This is too all daydreamers who talk to themselves sometimes in the shower, or in the car, or in front of the stove while cooking. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!!!