Whatever happened to smiling

I remember the good old times, without mobile phones or ‘always available’ cameras to take instant pictures. Remember the era of retro cameras? With a limited number of shots in hand, it made sense to have the perfect shot. Although that never happened. Perfect shot? What?

Every picture was a failed attempt of posing good, with horrible lighting and that blurred image because nobody could stand still. But along with technology came phones with better pixel quality and hence began the selfie era.

Not complaining, huge fan! Taking hundreds of pictures in the same pose and then finding the best among all? Pff! Thats what I live for!

Anyways, with hundreds of photographs came hundreds of facial expressions. Duck face, pouting, sticking your tongue out. Its a shame one of the most loved expression was left behind, with the retro camera.


They say one smile can change the world. But how is it that when it comes to capturing a moment with our handy 12MP front camera, we can think of all the things to do, than smile. Curling your lips is obviously easier than pouting! Or the thing that boys do with their eyebrows. Show that stupid grin of yours when you are about to get caught for doing something funny or weird to the camera, you’d surely cherish that more than anything.

Now when we see the old photographs, the one with blurred but smiling humans, those were much better. I am not sure how it started, but the instagram feed has everything good, bad to just plain weird but almost zero to a few smiling humans. It got me thinking, whatever happened to just smiling…..

– Prajakta Dengale


She loves Rom-Coms!

She loves romantic comedies! The beautiful feeling when butterflies fill her stomach, while her heart is so full of warmth that tears just flow down her cheeks is what makes her weekend worth waiting for. She watches 3 movies in a row, sometimes even 5. Those cheesy plots where the muscular male lead kisses the beautiful female lead in the rain is what she lives for. From Hollywood blockbusters like “When Harry met Sally” , “You’ve got mail” to Bollywood hits like “DDLJ “Jab we met” and “I hate love story” , she’s seen it all.

She’s so into finding her soulmate in a coffee shop that she’ll drink 4 cups of coffee in a small local cafe, looking up from her book every time the tiny doorbell rings, waiting for ‘The One’. Oh how many times she’s been disappointed! Sometimes there actually would be a potential Mr.Darcy standing on the entrance of the cheesy cafe, which smells like Coffee and cookies, and plays those 90’s songs on Thursday, but there will be a Mrs. Darcy entering right after him; making her sigh in disappointment, muttering “Seriously?” to herself. And the caffeine running in her system causes her to stay awake at night and watch more rom-coms.

When she’ll be walking towards class with a pile of books in her hand, her eyes would search for those strong arms, which will hold her when she ‘accidently’ trips just when he’s walking towards her. Papers covered with neon highlighter will be flying all over the place. And as there eyes meet after he has ‘oh so bravely’ saved her from a pretty nasty bruised rib, with “DDLJ” music playing in the background; she’ll blush and giggle and he’ll walk her to class and they’ll live happily ever after. Instead, the guy will watch her fall, help her pick her things up and probably leave saying “Girls” under his breath.

She even walks around the dangerous parts of the city which are unsafe for girls just to be rescued by her prince charming.

She may be an independent, strong woman but her heart melts every single time she reads ‘The notebook’ every summer. She even tried sending letters in this era where people prefer texting each other over calling. No wonder she never got a reply back.

It’s not that she’s never had a relationship, she’s been in many ever since her kindergarten friend asked her to be his girlfriend, and when she said no because he smelled funny, he pulled her ponytails and made her cry . But they all ended, somehow. Maybe due to her expectations of life being a replica of those Ryan Gosling featuring movies. Or maybe it’s because she wanted to have something very few people had. Maybe she had it too, but it never felt right.

Until she met you.

You, with your stupid grin and messy hair and the same black t-shirt and the old faded jeans, laughing on her love of romance. You, with your lanky arms and moving in a way which looked like you have no bone in your body. You, with your idea of a real date being dinner on a roadside Chinese stall instead of a candle light dinner in “La Pasta” where food is overrated and you don’t know which wine to order or what fork to use. She loved those loud laughs, sitting on the blue stools drinking soup off those small dirty red bowls; talking about anything and everything.

Even though there was no cliche incidence about how you met, she somehow started believing in what you guys had. The idea of love she had in her mind for a long time was far gone when you came along.

She was a girl who loves rom-coms for a long time, until you. Now she’s just a girl, madly and deeply in love.

– Prajakta Dengale

The girl songs are written about

You know I always wondered who Cecilia was and who was the girl ‘Stairway to heaven’ was written about?
I always vision her as someone who wears yellow sundresses with a butterfly necklace,and walks down the road with a cute little footwear; with just the right amount of confidence that would just make you want to put your head down in shame.
While me on the other hand will trip 3 times before I can even reach home, wearing a black t-shirt and ripped jeans that I brought from the backyard sale.
She’s so graceful when she talks, her tongue rolls just enough to make words sound like melodies and her first hello to you would make you want to listen to her forever.
While I’m still struggling to talk to people so I just put my head down, and my words don’t come out right, hell, my letters are all messed-up. My R’s are a little rough and my Da’s need a brushing up, and it takes me a lot courage and caffeine to come up to you and say “hi”.
She’s very kind too, she’ll help you decide the correct dress or what Color goes with what and what books to read , what songs to listen to and what places to be at.
While I am still trying to figure that out on my own, let alone guide people about it.
She has really soft skin. The one without any scars on it, almost clear but with a beauty spot behind her earlobe which you’ll only notice when she ties her hair in a bun every time she’s working on something.
While I still have those scars on my knees from when I fell in 5th grade. And my hair used to be all over the place so I decided to cut it and ended up looking like a kid for almost a year.
She has the etiquette that everyone is so fond of, Like she’ll sip her drink in a way that somehow makes it look attractive. Her laugh is like music to ears. So beautiful, that you’ll willingly throw yourself down a flight of stairs just to make her laugh.
While I’m still cautiously trying not to spill my drink or choke on it, and not snort every time I see a funny picture of a dog being stuck somewhere on the internet.
She makes you wanna fall in love with her, and just be perfect. Because she is perfect. Or maybe she is not.
While I’m sitting in a room full of people who won’t bother looking at me twice, writing about someone who may or may not be real, and exists in a person’s imagination, like mine.
She may be an inspiration to many millennials who are struggling to find ‘the one’ or even find themselves.
She may or may not be perfect, just like me.
But just when I listen to Simon Garfunkel play Cecilia, I just wish I can be the girl songs are written about.

– Prajakta Dengale

Until I find myself

“So where are you now?” he asked as he sipped his coffee.

“In front of you?” she answered, so confused it almost came out as a question.

“In life, I mean”, he replied.

She smiled before answering, ” I am figuring out.”

“Figuring out what exactly?” he asked further.

“You know… what I want to do, what I love to do, what I need to do. You see, I spent the last few years doing things because they were expected of me to do, or were the ‘right thing’. I didn’t think there was any other way. I guess when you’re young and accustomed to doing the same mundane things, change seems hard. Let alone figuring out stuff.

But as a wise drunk man once said ‘Life’s too short’. So I’m trying out new things, some I like, some I don’t. But at least I get to scratch it off my list. I like painting now, who knows ten years from now, the same smell of paint might make me want to puke. But I’m going to do it while it lasts.  Until I finally find it, until i finally find myself.”

-Prajakta Dengale


This used to be home

“This used to be home.” She said as she pressed her hand on the dusty window. Her handprint wasn’t as small anymore as on the living room wall.

It was the first time in years she was visiting this place, she could remember it all like it was yesterday.

For the first time he had nothing to say to her, as she was already taking a walk down memory lane. She spoke about all the things she did in the place she used to call home. Words rolled down her tongue as if they had a mind of their own.

“This door right here, Mum used to mark our height with a kitchen knife. I never grew taller than my brother. The kitchen counter is where I ate breakfast for 15 years. And the lillies in the garden, dad helped me plant them. I used to sit under the staircase and read Harry Potter when it rained”.

“It all seems like all these years didn’t happen.” She said, to herself.

“Life goes on and you don’t know how much you’re missing something until you stop and notice how far you’ve come. It’s been 10 years since we left this place and now; in my new home,  there’s no markings of my height on the door, or Lillies in the garden or even a staircase where I can hide and read my novels. It’s not bad, I’ve grown up and things aren’t the same anymore. Now I have breakfast on the dining table, and there’s no garden but a small gallery full of roses. I’ve a library instead of staircases and it all fits well with me now. But, when I look back, I see this and this…..used to be home.”

– Prajakta Dengale


“What is it that you’d kill to do now?” He asked as he put his phone down.

“Travel!” Squeaked she.

“Oh so you could caption that picture on the beach with ‘wanderlust’?” Joked he.

“No….” She glared before clearing her throat.

“I want to travel. Not in a way where I check-in on Facebook about my arrival and post beautiful pictures of it for the rest of the year, unlike someone here.” He grinned at the mention of it.

“But in a way where my toes bury themselves in the sand on a beach I’ve never heard of. Where I eat street food and try to fit in with the locals by trying their slang. Where I dress ridiculously and carry it with pride. Where I walk on the highway without knowing where it will take me. Where I don’t spend the nights in a five star hotel but under the sky, probably where a wild animal won’t eat me. Where I smell the surroundings and take a souvenir of every place, every street, every corner of the world I set my foot on. I want to travel so that when I finally come back, I’ll know what home smells like.”
– Prajakta Dengale


She was a force herself,

Kind, fast and destructive,

All wrapped up under the burning surface that was her skin.

Her heart so huge it’s weight could crush you under it’s purpose that is love,

Her smile so bright you could see the light for days.

In the depth of her black eyes you could hide your deepest secrets,

Knowing once they get here, there’s no going out.

Her embrace so warm and safe,

It was like a cup of hot chocolate on a rainy night.

She would hold you till her arms bled out,

Till her soul slowly faded into darkness.

She’ll risk it all to give you a moment of relief,

She’ll give it all for it was all she knew.

The force was strong with this one,

For she was the force herself.
– Prajakta Dengale

Haldi Powder

“Careful! You’ll cut your hand.” She shouted from the other side of the room.

“I won’t, Mom. I’m not a kid anymore.” She shouted back.

You come home rarely and I don’t want you to hurt yourself and curse me for making you work.” Her mother replied.

It made her sigh and wince as blood poured out of her finger. 

Running came her mother, 

“I told you to be careful, leave it! Here, let me apply some haldi on it.”

The turmeric powder made the cut burn, but she had a warm smile on her face.

“This happens every time, doesn’t it?” 

“More than I can count.” Her mother held her finger tightly.

“Sorry about that ” she gave her a sheepish smile.

“Don’t be, that’s how you learn. And you may be old enough to do these things on your own, but for me you’re still a kid. And no matter how many times this happens, I’ll always be here with my haldi powder.” She smiled.

“I’ll try to be careful.” She said as she examined the cut.

“I know. Now go make me some tea. You guys are no good. I’ve to do all the work around here. When are you going to wake up? Blah blah”

She laughed and got up. Diwali isn’t complete without this.

Mothers do almost all the work in any household, they are always there with their instant solutions and haldi powder. It’s their solution for almost anything. Don’t take them for granted. This festive season let’s do something that’ll make our mother’s proud. 

A very happy Diwali to all of you!! I hope this festive season is filled with lights, sweets, and joy!

Keep smiling! 😊


I was running in circles,

Or maybe I was stuck on the same path,

I don’t know for sure;

But then you decided to cross paths,

And I was still at the same place,

With you by my side.

We missed the end,

So we chased forever;

Blindly kept going on,

There were glass shards on the way,

And my feet bled.

I kept going on,

You left.

Now I’ve my feet to look after,

Coz they are the only one’s that could help me go on,

So I’m leaving without saying goodbye,

I’m leaving without looking back,

Call me a coward,

But for the first time,

In a very long time,

I feel brave.
– Prajakta Dengale

I’ll be here

​Do you wanna go to a land where there’s no one but you and me?

Or do you wanna hide behind these walls and be free?

No matter what you choose,

I’ll be right here.
Is it the sunlight that your skin craves?

Or is it the darkness and what hides in the graves?

No matter what you choose,

I’ll be here.
I’ve left before,

And I’m not going to anymore.

I failed you once,

My ghost still lingered around,

Haunting you in the daylight;

I can’t apologize enough.

If forever holds true,

Or the whispers are new,

I’ll still be right here,

I’ll be here,

Till you say goodbye.
– Prajakta Dengale

I don’t know how many of you are Twilight fans, but I had a big thing for it a couple of years ago and this one’s actually inspired from when Edward leaves Bella and comes back. 

Have a great weekend!

Keep smiling!😊