Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Is the moment really dying?

“What is life? Its all about experience” He said.

She nodded in agreement. To a great extent she has always agreed to this. Trying to live her life on the same principle, she has changed many cities, experienced many a things, good and bad and yes have moved on as well..

“Go to a new city, meet new people, live a new life” He continued.

Lost in thoughts, she nodded again.

He would often say nothing is as special as experiencing something new. "Special moments with new people make life worth living. Experience a moment, it has the power to touch deepest corner of your heart.", he used to say.

"It’s a moment which defines the very essence of life. What is life after-all? Culmination of many moments together.” he would say. How could she not agree to this? It was something he believed in? It was something she also made herself to believe in. In fact, she has also desired to lead her life in such a way that experiences never cease to knock her doors. She has always felt the power of moments.

This is how we also met, she thought.

It was the openness to accept a totally different person, an excitement to experience something new, a readiness to evolve together that brought them closer. And yes it was an experience worth experiencing to say the least. It was an experience so dear, so close to heart…

But today here at the deserted corner of this railway station, she is now questioning, questioning not just one or two but everything. Here she is, wondering whether these tracks are separated from each other or are companion for their lives.

Moments have always been an underlined topic in his discussions. Moments...are they so special? Or did he make them so special? Moments, why just moments?

Tonight she is out to experience something new. Time has arrived. She has always craved for this and now is the time. She is moving to a city unknown, to faces unseen, to a world unheard of, to a life entirely new. She has always desired newness in her life. But now when it is right in front of her, her feet refuse to move. She should be excited but why is she not? She should be looking forward to it but why is she looking back? What is holding her back? Why is it so difficult? Too many questions in her mind but she fails to answer.

"As I travel alone in this crowded world these moments that I have experienced are going to accompany me. they will be my side, all my life. It was an experience I will cherish all my life" She thought. Or is it this experience she wants to live all her life? Does she want to save this moment from dying? Those few moments, special moments, which are now dying. Are they actually? What is it, she fails to understand..

Loud Siren…flashing light brought her back to the world she was in.

Still lost in her thoughts, she lifted her bag. Quickly wiping off that uninvited drop of tear, she went ahead…

Friday, December 9, 2011

From the tainted glass of my window…

If you are a frequent travel by train, you must have noticed few things which are common to all the journeys. Mostly travelled on the routes like Bangalore-Guwahati, Bangalore-Agra, Hyderabad-Agra, Bangalore-Mumbai, Agra-Guwahati, Bangalore-Hyderabad, Agra-Delhi, I have noticed there few sights which connect all these train journeys.

No matter where you go, you are subjected to certain views for sure. Don’t you remember looking at the tiny kids or our respected elders donating their “share” to Mother Earth early in the morning? This is most common of all the sights. You can also get glimpses of the “daring” young India. Group of young friends sitting ON the railway tracks is quite common. I am sure railway tracks make for an interesting hang out.

Slums on the outskirt of the cities and huge garbage dumps greet you as soon as you enter any big city. These small houses with tin as their roofs and which are nothing more than shabby tents present a strong contrast from the multi storied glass buildings of the city located just few kilometers away.

Vast stretches of fields, lushness of crops makes for a refreshing sight. I can spend hours looking at the seemingly unending expanse of Mango trees or just at the open space where even barren land looks so intriguing. Have you ever noticed the way sand changes its colour as you move from one state to another? The colour changes from red to back, so do the architectural pattern of the houses, the way they live and dress.

But there are some which are worth remembering all your life. For example, this time I saw goats, yes GOATS not monkeys or squirrel walking on the walls. And to tell you the wall was decently high!

Monday, November 28, 2011

So what happens when you have a dog?

When you own a dog or when a dog owns you (which ever suits you better) more than being controlled by your dog or being his/her “pet”, it starts affecting you mentally as well. No no…we don’t start eating Pedigree…and in our case Royal Canin. (Thank God for that!) But this doesn't mean that crisp sound of Pedigree is any less tempting! But don’t you worry I am NOT going to eat pedigree no matter what!

So where was I? Yes how it affects us, the so called “dog owners” (dog owners! Ha!)? Our lives start revolving around our pet. No? Let me give you a glimpse of my daily routine which goes like this…

First thing first- I get up in morning and come down to hall where Oreo(Don’t know Oreo? Please refer!) is generally lying on the sofa. He will look at me and turn in way so as command me to come and massage him. And I dutifully follow his command. So even before my morning ablutions, the first thing that I do is to massage my lovable Dog Oreo!

And then after a short break in which I am supposed to finish eating and other important “stuff”, when I come back to the hall, I am again required to play with him. Oh that doesn't mean simple fetching and throwing of ball. This includes real play…with hell lot of energy. My Oreo loves to play tug of war with me. And yes, there are times when I go and fetch the toy and he just sits and looks at me (Literally!)

After all this hard work, when I go to back my room so as to work, this handsome guy decides to visit me once in every one or two hour. He will come and sit next to me. Or just put his head on the side my lap and sleeps off. This when I already have laptop on my lap!

Then I out of habit or sheer loyalty, I leave my work and starts massaging him! Not just once or twice but EVERY SINGLE TIME!Later in evening, my work is to go to terrace and play with him or to simply put my work is to run with him.

This is not the only attention this guy or yeah "dog" gets. In between all this, my brother plays with him before going to office and after coming back. Along with this, whoever is in our house has to play with him for some time at least (this has kind of become a protocol for entering our house!) Right now my sister has come down from Mumbai. And yes her major task is to play with him as much as she can. Apart from all this, in afternoon, our dog walker also comes and takes Oreo for walk. Oh yeah, he also has auto wala who actually came yesterday and took him for a ride because Oreo loves to autos more than cars! And his list of luxuries doesn't end here. He has his toys couriered directly from California because in Bangalore we don‘t get really nice dog toys you see!

Hmm…how I wish I was Oreo. Okay where was I initially? What happens when you have Dog? Hmm this happens…you plan to write about yourself but you end up writing only and only about your Dog’s life. I started with how my day with him generally goes and I ended up telling you all how Oreo spend his day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Can I adopt your grandparents…please?

This time while going to Agra from Hyderabad, all throughout my journey I met uncle and aunties. No handsome dude…no free services of carrying your luggage or getting you tea/ coffee from the station, no treat for eyes, no nothing. Sad huh! Na...not at all. In fact with them it was a different experiences a much better one. Though during the entire journey my work was to open door for uncles, and especially aunties (note-aunties tend to get fatter when compared to Uncle as they grow old. And now thats scary!!), I had some good time receiving their genuine thanks. My journey started with exchanging seat with one of the aunties who had problem walking and thus wanted the lower berth. So I happily exchanged and in return I got yummy snacks to munch on. Some even called me “beta” with so much of lover that I felt like adopting them then and there. Yes, yes you heard it right...I felt like ADOPTING them. Wonder why? Hmm…I have not been very lucky in the area of grandparents. So when it comes to them, I go weak at my knees go all weak. Hmm…so now you know what impresses me…just get your grandparents with you and I am all yours :P

But really..I feel there should be an option for adopting people to serve other relations as well other than just kids! What if I am interested in adoption and not in kids?? I need something right!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pain...an emotion so beautiful

I love sad songs…I watch movies that end on a sad note because these are the one that affect me the most. May be sadness is something which I am more comfortable in or may be it is something that interests me more.

Pain is the one of the most intense of all the emotions. Happiness appears shallow sometimes. Pain brings out a better person in you. By better I don’t mean so called “good”. But a person more true, more honest with his/her feelings. Be it hatred or love, be it loath or lust, one ought to be clear in his/her emotions. Sadness gives one the time to introspect and in turn helps you in knowing yourself better. And obviously you become clearer about many things in and around you.

Having said that, I know it can be exactly opposite as well. The pain in you can lead to an ultimate state of confusion as well. Nor am I defying the importance of being happy. It is also an important part of one’s life. After all that is the state we all want to be in all our life. That’s the dream we all strive towards.

But I have felt the stories that touch our soul are the sad ones. Emotion that reaches the deepest corner of your heart is of pain. Have you ever been awake in nights because you are feeling happy? There must be nights when you just can’t sleep, even for few minutes because of the pain you feel. The reason can be anything. This emotion has the power to keep you in its grip more tightly than any kind of happiness. Most beautiful songs, most talented artists, most memorable creations are all because of or after its creators have either gone through something painful or have had a tough life. It brings out the best in you.

Isn’t it the most beautiful of emotions? To me, it is.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

While I was waiting…

I was waiting for the train…an endless wait. I felt as if I have been waiting all my life without any sign of hope. I couldn’t see it coming. I couldn’t hear it coming, no announcement, no flashing light to mark its arrival. I was just waiting, waiting alone. My friend had to leave early, so here I was left alone to wait for it to arrive.

And while I was waiting at 11 in night on a comparatively deserted station, I entertained many eyes, targeted on your “you know what”. Then suddenly one uncle came, a middle aged healthy man and stood in front of me. Without saying a single word, he just observed me and my bag for good five minutes. So obviously, out of courtesy (read generosity) I stood up and offered my seat to the uncle (this is when I was unwell, so now you know why its generosity). He sat immediately (as expected). After a while he decided to pass on his hard-earned worldly knowledge. He spoke about everything, from suggesting me ways to get on to the train to cautioning me on being alone late at night. Blah...blah…and he continued speaking. I had to tolertae him not for long as train arrived after sometime, best timing ever. Before Uncle could say anything, I was shifted myself away from him and started getting ready to board the train.

But wait, I saw A2 amongst the first few coaches. I have stationed myself at the end, where all the a/c coaches generally are. So what do I now? hmmm, I started running.

Suddenly my uncle shouted from behind: beta a/c is here
Me: No uncle…A2 is there.

And I ran.

With my heavy bag (going by my standards), I ran. In that one minute (or may be less) of running, I decided many a things. First decision which I took was to go back and kill my friend if in case I miss the train (Oh don’t go for logic / justification, I was angry!). Pushing people apart, making way for myself, I pitied myself for being all alone (yes, I do get dramatic once in a while). Then I immediately congratulated myself for being so capable and independent. (capable- because I was running and carrying the bag...both at the same time!)

While trying to run and push peeple aside, I started wondering, whether I am running in the right direction or not. What if I have to run backwards? As I am exceptionally capable of getting lost, even in the simplest of the lanes, there were high chances of me running in the wrong direction. Yet I continued to run, wondering whom to ask. Then suddenly amidst groups of passengers, I saw an angel…an angel in black coat who uttered two golden words. When I went to him and asked which direction is the coach a2, he pointed in the direction I was running and said- “this way”.

And then again I ran…and I ran and jumped into my coach (quite literally!). While running, along with plans to kill and congratulating myself, I also dreamed of meeting some Sharukh on the coach waiting for me to board the train. But alas, there was no one. Sigh!

Friday, October 14, 2011

They live big in small towns…

I have grown up in a small town of Arunachal Pradesh Pasighat without the luxuries of modern world. I and my siblings have studied in lamp right as there used to be days without electricity. The life there is entirely different form the life I have been leading for past 6-7 years now. Last vacation, I went to visit my father who has been posted to Likabali, a small town on Assam- Arunachal border.

We are so used to living with all kinds of facilities and connectivity that it becomes difficult to imagine one’s life without internet and basic amenities. Isn’t it? The first day in Likabali was full of surprises. I got to know many important aspects of the life over there. My first shock was when my mom told me that there is no cable connection in the entire place. Residents have to arrange for DTH or TATA Sky if they wish to use television which can be done through the only electronic shop available in Selapathar town of Assam! It was also amusing to see how technology has connected people even in interiors.

Selapathar is the only source of connectivity for the people over here. If you need to mobile recharge or need to book tickets for traveling, you have to go to Assam to do it! But people have no complains. In fact they are enjoying their slow and easy-going life. There is no-brand consciousness, no materialistic competitions between neighbors. Jealous doesn’t seem to exit here.

Entire town or village (I am actually confused what to call it!), is like a family, where everyone knows each other. Your neighbors are your family. They will be with you even in the smallest of happiness and trouble. You cough and they will be in front of you to serve you. You come after marrying your daughter and entire town comes to congratulate you. If you go to visit your family, you automatically becomes everyone’s guest. They will shower unconditional love and will do their best to please you. They will come and ask you simplest and most stupid questions but with honest desire to know. They will be truly surprised to know that you can work on computers and can use internet!! They will amuse you, entertain you and help you in whichever way they can. This is the life over there. Slightly different from our usual selfish and self-centered world.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

That black robe…

In half mind to attend, I finally went for my convocation, mainly because of my friend’s and family’s insistence. Standing in the queue to get the robe, walking half a kilometer to reach the venue…wasn’t a good start I must say. But the moment I wore that black robe and hat, I felt as a different person all together. Those two years which I can surely call as the one of the most important phases of my life flashed back in my mind. I realized how much has changed in these 3 years.

My decision to join HCU (as we call University of Hyderabad) was also on the spot (like any other important decisions of my life!). My decision to leave my first job and the day I had put my paper down, my decision to not go back to second job, my selection of college for graduation just because I was irritated with other one, these instances are many. It is not that I don’t think before taking any step. In fact I think A LOT, mostly after wards! I just happen to always do exactly opposite of what I have planning for months and thankfully these experiences, not always good, have taught me a lot.

So, my decision to join HCU was kind of similar. I had told my sister, who was accompanying me for the counseling that I wouldn’t take the Ad and PR seat if offered. I went upstairs thinking of rejecting the seat and accepting only if in case they offer some stream. They offered Ad and PR and just for the sake of it, I said yes. I came down and told my sister that I will see for one year and if I don’t like I will try for a better university (what was I thinking? Better university than HCU!). And thankfully I didn’t leave the course or the campus which made me what I am today.

On the day of my convocation, looking at my fellow classmates, being with few close friends, listening to my favorite professor after one year, I was reminded of each and every moment I had spent in that heavenly campus. Experiences I had there, bitter and sweet, worst and the best, changed me to a large extent. I grew as an individual in those two years. Not just courses, sheer living there taught me a lot.
My perspective on life, relationships, responsibilities and work, almost everything has been influenced by the experience I had there. I don’t know if this change is for good or bad. I just know I am happy with the change and can’t thank those two years enough for this. I also know this change is constant. In last one year, as a working professional, in three different jobs, I have changed again. However, few things which HCU gave me have been imbibed so deep that I don’t think any change can change them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

To Dad with love…

Being youngest in the family, I always had my siblings around me. Amidst their adorable personalities I almost forgot what a man my Dad is. Also the fact that I have been away from since I was seventeen has played an important role. Today when I spoke to him, I realized how much I admire him.

Papa, as we call him, is man who has led his life by his own ideals and principles, no matter if they are justified or unjustified in the eyes of others. He is someone who can empathise even with an ant (quite literally!) and would try to not hurt even a single creature. It is from him that I and my siblings imbibed the sensibility to have an understanding of others. He is someone who wouldn’t hurt even his biggest enemy and just let the person go with a smile. But if you are unlucky enough to get him angry, you will have the worst slap of your life. He would say “ek ulte haath ka padega” and there you go…you will receive a hard slap on your face (to be true that very very impressive!). I have never seen him stepping back if there is some danger or there is something which he feel to be wrong. And because of this, once he had almost lost his arm when a burglar stabbed him on the shoulder with a sharp daov (an Arunachali equivalent of sword).

He eats mostly once in a day but still has the potential to tire out even a young man with the kind of routine he follows. A person who is in his late 50s, gets up before sunrise, exercise daily when people like us find it so difficult to maintain a simple routine. He in this point of age would go for running competition and reach till the end point when most of us can’t even imagine going for one. He is someone who inspires me in more than just one way.

His commitment towards his students and subjects made me respect the profession of teaching more than I respect any other. He went to Arunachal when the state was still unheard of in many parts of the country. Being a vegetarian, he faced a lot of problems in a place where the staple food is mostly rice and meat. But he never complained. He started schools in interiors of the state like Lumla. He used to be the only person handling the entire school, taking 5 classes at the same time in all the subjects! Not just teaching, before classes he would teach students on how to be clean and give them nutritious food. He would stay in a bamboo house and survive on basic amenities, would cross dense forests in night to get regular supply for schools but never complained. He is someone, who in spite of all these never took even a single gift from villagers but would buy gifts for his students when they scored good marks. Because of all this, he is still called as “saint” or in Arunchali hindi “Sadhu Admi”.

My dad doesn't express his feelings and love out rightly. In spite of that his small gestures use to tell us all. Though never much into playing with kids, he would come and play badminton with me and would always let me win :) I remember he used to become helicopter and take me for rides all across the loan. If I am angry and sitting silently on bed, he would come and say-“helicopter is about to leave and just climb on it” and I would happily do that.

Exceptional observation power of his, he would show me designs and pictures that would appear on walls out of a stain or crack. And would motivate me to draw them and inspire me to become a painter! He would notice even the smallest and insignificant qualities of ours and dreamed big for us. He has collection of our silly sketches and poems which we wrote as kids. He has still kept them with so much of care.

Even now he will call and tell me about the latest happenings and give me suggestions on how to write. When at home he would underline important passages in books and newspapers for me to read. He would collect clippings and give it to me. With extensive knowledge on varied subjects, he still guides us but has never forced us.

In fact I and my father have lots of differences in the way we see our society and in our general approach to life. In spite of all that, he supports me in each and everything, be it a fight with some uncle of mine or questions of career decisions I make, he has never opposed me from anything.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So what's your song?

Listening to Pink Floyd’s ‘coming back to life’ always get me in an optimistic frame of mind. We all have a song or few songs that make us happy and get us back on track. Isn’t it? There are some songs that touch your heart more than any other. I am sure you all must be having your own list of songs. A song, to which you can identify with, may be in your own different ways. One song that you can listen for hours and still feels the same way when you play it again.

No matter what I am doing or what I am going through, the moment I plug in to this song, I am in world beaming with positivity and a soothing environment is built around me.

Right now while listening to this particular track of Pink Floyd, I realized how often I listen to this song. Be it morning when I wake up or in a bus or auto when I am traveling or at a super market buying groceries and doing the most boring of all the things!, I can just listen to this song at any time of the day. I have an utterly irritating work assignment to finish, I listen to this song. I feel irritated and need to calm down, l play ‘coming back to life’. I feel low; this song makes me feel good. I feel caught up; this song makes me feel liberated.

Not a fan of one or two artists, I listen to anything and everything. Its not long since I have been listening to this song. Recently I got few lessons on Pink Floyd and yes getting this song was a part of it! And since then it has been one of my favorite songs.

Friday, August 12, 2011

First Proposal…When was it?

A very important question. Isn’t it? Recently I discussed this at length with one of my friends (Yes we girls do discuss all these along with many other interesting topics!)

So how was your first proposal? Did you propose or you got proposed? Did you say yes or did you no? Did you smile or did you frown (which eventually leads to slapping or screaming!)? There are lots of questions. Let me tell you what I did. I grabbed my school bag and ran towards home (literally)! This is one of the few memories of my childhood I remember so clearly.

So here it goes. After my classes, I was coming back to home. As my school wasn’t very far from my house, I used to walk back, mostly alone. I used to take a narrow road from school back gate which directly joined my house. I was coming back when suddenly a tiny boy (of my size then) stopped me. Yes this guy was tiny so was I. Reason? We were in 3rd standard.

He came in front of the gate and stood there. I used to be scared of this fellow because of the scarf he used to tie on his head and was always shabbily dressed. I guess poor dressing sense used to piss me off me even then! So he stood in front of me and said in his Arunchali hindi- “hum tumara saath shaadi korage. Tum mandir aao de”

That’s it. He didn’t say anything else. I was horrified when I heard this. I almost cried because he asked me to marry him! But without losing much on time, I gathered all my strength and ran. After reaching home, I told my eldest sister who was in 8th or 9th standard. The moment I told her, she started laughing, in fact everyone at home did. I was utterly confused. Instead of consoling me (which at that time I needed the most) she started suggesting me various solutions. She even asked me to call that guy home and ask him to consult my Dad regarding marriage!

And that was the first ever proposal I got, a marriage proposal even before I could understand meaning of the word marriage!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

From Salman critic to Salman fan

Yes, there was a time when I couldn’t stand even the sight of Salman Khan, forget about watching an entire movie. From a fan of perfection to someone who finds imperfection more attractive. The change in me has made me admire Salman Khan more and more.

It is not that now I love his movies for each and every part. They are still as stupid as they can be.( All you Salman lovers…don’t take it personally!) My interest in his movies is quite recent. I liked him in Dabbang and yes then in Ready and now I guess I will go for Bodyguard as well. And yes, let me tell you, I have been quite impressed by the strange mannerism of his characters, dialogues, songs of the movies and especially their lyrics!!

The sheer irrationality of his movies is the most attractive part. His movies in some ways are more realistic than any other movie which projects the lead actor as the “virtuous one”. No person in this world is perfect or without any vices, Salman in his movies projects this in the best way possible. Isn’t the so called “hero” just another human being? So why can’t he lack in few aspects but at the same time have some qualities worth admiring. His movies imply that it is perfection but imperfection which is more real and natural. We all are imperfect; we all lack in some or other way. And I guess that’s the reason why we are human. Salman Khan projects a picture of imperfection which attracts me more than a hero who kills all the “bad” ones in the world or who will give his life by using “righteous” methods and save his love!

But above all why I like his movies is also because of the reason that I don’t have to use my brain at all. You can just put your brain, your logic to rest and enjoy his movies. They are impractical, they are strange, they are meaningless but they are fun :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Where do I belong?

Do I belong to this group or that group? Am I a post-modernist or a feminist or a Marxist? Do I need to be one? What if I don’t want to belong to any of these? What if I want to imbibe thoughts from all these and develop my own? Why is it so important to identify yourself with an established identity? Why do we need to make an identity by borrowing or by associating ourselves with others? I am not here to say identifying yourself with something or someone for that matter is bad. It can act as an inspiration as well. But do we need to force ourselves into this?

Some say belong to the society you are living in. Others say try to be like the people you are living with or interacting with. Many say identify yourself with “them” as you are one of them. Yes I am one of them. Do I deny it? No, I don’t. But does that mean I have to be exactly like them? They would often say-

Belong to your past, live for your future. But what if I want to live for present?

Belong to a big organization, to a bigger circle. But what if I don’t want to live big?

Make a place for yourself. Make a name for yourself. But what if I want to get lost in the mist?

Live a life so that others can look up to? But what if I don’t want to live a life for others? What if I want to have it just for myself?

Do I still belong anywhere? Do I fit anywhere? Do I need to fit anywhere?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Efficiently Inefficient

Oh yes…I am as inefficient as one can be. Oh no no… generally i am very talented and proficient…believe me! But when it comes to handling things like home or household stuff…no one can beat me in the level of inefficiency I tend to exhibit.

After getting used to my life in hostels and PGs, I have been just conditioned to get my things done without having to worry about stuff like water bill, electricity bill or safety of home. Within these 10 days of my stay alone at home, I realized how challenged I am.

It is simply DIFFICULT to manage things. So what if you have a maid to clean your house or a cook to prepare your meals? Getting up early (by early I mean 7.30 or 8 in morning) so as to feed my dog or to let the maid come in made me compare myself with all those soldiers who have to be awake and struggle for their and our lives! My apologies if anyone of you thinks that I am trivializing their efforts…But ask me…it was nothing less than going for a fight (fighting for sleep you see!)

Telling my cook what to prepare for dinner was more difficult than deciding the future of India (this is in case-if I ever get a chance to do that). In fact my cook understood my condition and started preparing by himself and also helped in decision making many a times. I can’t tell you how grateful I was to him when he told me that I can prepare this daal or this curry. The only thing which I use to do was boiling milk which was again quite eventful. Every day….yes every single day I have left milk on the gas stove for hours together and went ahead with my chores. And ultimately ended up cleaning the entire kitchen! While preparing tea I would put ginger in Oil instead of water. How on earth can you get confused between boiling water and a pot full of oil?? But yes I used to. I tried washing my clothes and washing machine stopped working!

So yes, I efficiently managed to screw up everything I tried to put my hands on!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Uncle S..and Cars

Uncle S..has arrived again...now with his new fantasy for cars. Oh no no..not on the latest cars or luxury cars or cheap cars or even toy cars for that matter. How can he have something normal?

Now a days he has found a new work..looking at each and every car in our colony. He is the new self-appointed guard of our colony who is suspicious of each and every car. So what he actually do?? Hmm..we shall look into that right now..

One fine day..

Uncle S..Beta where is your car? (All this started from that very moment!!)
Me- Uncle we don't have it anymore.

Uncle s..Then park your bike at the car's place.
Me.. (What!!) We already have space for that Uncle.

Uncle S..Other people might park their car in front of your house.
Me (As if I care!) Anyway to cut short the conversation, I said-Sure Uncle we will.

After few days..

Uncle s..(again) Beta, is that your car? That blue one, pointing to a car parked near an open area in our colony .
Me..No Uncle, not ours.

Uncle S..- Ok then the other one? That grey Car, is that yours?
Me- (patiently) No Uncle. We don't have any car. That is also not mine. (Why on Earth do you need to know who are the owners Uncle- I thought)

Uncle S..Oh God..Whose car is this? Who has parked this ?

And after getting a unsatisfactory answer from me, Uncle S..decided to ask other neighbors. He went ahead and tortured few more people then.

After enjoying the drama for some time and watching him ask every one about the car almost making everyone feel that its a crime to not know about the car owners! I decided to enlighten him with some information.

Me- Uncle..This blue car belongs to two guys. I have seen them. I guess they live nearby.

Uncle S..Relieved..Thank God..Accha they live in the adjacent colony. Good.

Wondering what made him so tensed. And how a trivial almost negligible information erased all that baseless tension. What was he thinking? Obviously, it is a car and will belong to someone. We are normal people staying in this colony of mine not any multi-billionaire or politician that some one will plant a bomb in car and run away. What was my Uncle thinking?

Anyway, I decided not to challenge my thinking abilities on Uncle and his behaviors and came back to my room.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

He Changed it All...


Underweight-weighing just 3 kilos, petite and little unsure of his new family, sitting on the corner most side of the car, he made an entering into our lives. Oreo, our first pet ever changed all of us. Everyone was against my brother in law's decision to get a pet but all of that changed.From my sister who never wanted a pet in home to my Dad who has never been close to any Dog for that matter! Even when I came back from Hyderabad, my first reaction was to threaten my family that I will leave the house unless they get him out of the home! (Oh yes, if you are thinking- let me tell you - threatening people is my favorite pass time!) But he changed even 'me'!

It might be usual for you all but for a family like ours who have always been indifferent to pets if not anti, it is nothing less than a miracle. With his cute little tail that wags every time you come in front of him, the excitement with which he waits for you to return home, the innocence with which he thinks we can play with him ALL day and night, the curiosity with which he sits by your side and look at your fingers and the keyboard when you work on your laptop or play on your phone, he has just made all of us fall in love with him. From my Dad trying to play with him in his own unique ways and justifying his biting to my sister who can actually 'kill' you if you ever dare to call him a dog to my brother who just can’t live without him to my mother who, if asked for her choice would stop us from going out EVER because Oreo ‘becomes sad’ if alone at home, he is pampered in all the ways possible.

Knowing his privileged position at the home, he does misuse it sometimes. Expecting to be fed on the sofa where he lies comfortably or to be massaged every now and then or to be given a place on the bed exactly where you are sitting! And the greatest of all he know how to make you dance around him. He will look at you with those innocent eyes or will just lick your hand after chewing you favorite stuff,. He knows when to show his love! And then we also end up deciding that our Oreo is worth more than any other thing in the world!(yes that how we have spoilt our dog!)

Thats a different thing that he has treated entire sofa as its chewing stick. He has torn most of the cushions at home, carpet and our clothes (mostly new ones!!). But if you closely notice our beloved Dog you will see that he firmly believes in equality. Be it a branded jeans or a road side pajama, be it expensive showcase or something you have created on your own, he treats all of then equally and consider of equal worth for chewing them off. Yes..that hows great our new member is..and we never get tired of praising him or finding as many ‘virtues’ as we can!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pasighat -This is how I grew up..

Childhood… my father’s recent visit brought back childhood memories. Spending time with him reminded me of those days which though not forgotten, have been burried somewhere inside my heart.

Apart from trucks loaded with personnel from Indian army occasionally going towards China border or fear of flood now and then or looking at the bunkers with army jawans on Assam borders and wondering what they are doing in the middle of the market, my childhood has been very ordinary and just like any other kid.

Having spent my childhood in Arunachal Pradesh and most part of it in a small district called Pasighat, my memories are full of my interactions with nature and its creatures!

Many a times, I used to come across weird looking insects, amazing birds or exotic wild flowers names of which I am still not aware of ! Out of them all, I used to come across snakes lot more often, especially in my dad’s garden. And so, I became more interested in then rather than being scared of them. Probably also because of my father who tries to not hurt any living creature (yes…not even an ant…thats how kind my Dad is…believe it). He would just stand and let the snake go wherever he wants to!

With time, I grew more and more interested in their lives. Once I (was in 4thor 5th standard) saw a snake crossing my way while I was on my way to school. I was quite thrilled as it was a “baby snake”. So I decided to follow that creature and see where he lives! But unfortunately, that ‘baby snake’ of mine decided to go inside some bushes rather than to his home and I had to come back disappointed! I remember, once me and my dad even tried taking picture of a black snake sitting beautifully on one of the branches of a tree outside our veranda. But again unfortunately by the time I came with the camera, he left, must be for his home I thought then!

Memories of going to Siang River (Bhramaputra) which was just 10 minutes away are still fresh in mind. Collecting pebbles and small pieces of wood lying by the side of river, used to be our favorite pass time.

Quite lucky I was to have a comparatively bigger house with trees of mango, jack-fruit and neem in the courtyard. Having a bigger house meant having more space to play. So it used be our playground during lunch breaks. Most common of all, was the game of “bhaga-bhagi” where we use to run and catch each other. Our lunch time used to extremely hectic as we had to finish eating (which never used to very important as for that we had the option of during classes- it is an art in itself… isn't it?) and yes then taking turns on the swing which my father had put on the mango tree and then playing in the water if it’s a rainy season. Rains are quite often in that part of the country, so it used to be hardly a reason to stop us from playing or running around. Drenched in water, we used sit in classes with our wet socks and sweaters drying on the top of our desks. Teachers were quite cooperative too, used to leave us with just a dry smile!

So this is how I have grown- looking at the mountains covered with snow in winters or with dense forests in summers, waking up with gentle strokes of breeze, going for tutions at 5 in morning with sun shining beautifully above you. Beautiful are the days of my childhood which still bring a smile on my face.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Social Hibernation

So are you socially active or inactive? Don’t you think being active all the time gets too tedious? We have in a way started living our lives online. Tons of novels out there are narrating stories of love affairs that have started on online, stories made and broken without meeting each other even for once. Why just stories? Even your friends or friends’ friends or you yourself would have experienced this overflow of social life. Isn't all this surprising and sometimes intrusive too.

I don’t know about others, but I have often felt the need to break free and create some space and time for myself. "Once in a while social hibernation is necessary", says one of my friends. And another literally goes on vanishing for one or two weeks at a stretch, keeping in touch with just one or two. Everyone has its own way of handling this constant scrutiny by others.

I am not here to blame any system or way of our living. As a social being we all need each other. But seclusion is as important as socializing. Spending time with yourself is as essential as spending time with your loved ones. Isn’t it?

Cutting off all contacts with the world outside and giving yourself some quality time can be quite relaxing. Reading a book without mails or calls to disturb, watching a movie, writing something just for myself or simply sleeping as much as I want are few things which bring me closer to myself and let me appreciate my social life even more. Try taking a break, you are sure to like it. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

As I travel…

Day before yesterday I was in a train to Agra. Few days back I was in bus to Hyderabad. And two months back I was in a flight to Delhi.

These journeys have been quite different from each other. The dissimilarity is not just in the mode of transportation but in the experience too. From middle class lot of buses and trains to upper middle class of planes, the treatment you get, the way you behave, the mannerism you opt for, all tend to differ. It is sometimes strange to see how we tend to act differently at different settings, how our behavior and reservations differ from place to place, from journey to journey. What is even stranger is that all this seems to be normal and ceases to look stranger!

Though these journeys are so different from each other, I found one common factor in all these. Feeling liberated. Whenever I travel and as I travel and leave behind every tree, building on my way, I feel this unexplainable happiness. I feel a unique sense of freedom when I see myself moving rather than being stagnant at one place.

Many a times while sitting at the window seat, I have thought of how this moving away is letting me come closer to my inner self. Sitting by the window I think of the people I love, I think of the moments I have cherished, of the events that have made me strong and that have made me what I am.

Journey lets me be with myself, no office task to worry upon, no responsibilities to take care of… freedom from all these. Though this freedom is momentary, it is an experience worth having. I think that’s the very charm of it. You never know till when it will last, till when you will be able to experience this and that’s the very attraction. Isn’t it?

Apart from this there is always an excitement about reaching your destination and a hope, a positive feeling about the new place. May be that’s the reason why I prefer my journeys more than the destinations.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Agra beyond Taj Mahal

It is not about my one time visit to the city. I have been going and visiting the place once in every year. Reason- the city being my home town. However, in spite of belonging to the place by birth, I have always felt as a tourist out there. May be because of the gap between my upbringing and culture and the city.

Keeping all that aside, let me speak about the city (still not sure whether I should call it a ‘big- developing’ town or just a city). The place has always attracted me with its traditional lifestyle with a touch of modernity here and there. Sometimes even the roughness and the harshness the place seems to deal with, catches my attention.

It is not just the Taj Mahal, which makes the city but its culture and people. A careful look around the city and you will have some of the most cherishable moments of your life, though this walk might not be as refreshing as visiting Taj Mahal or Fatehpur Seekhri, for the simple reason of massive garbage presence at every corner!!

Loud posters of movies with names like “Caal Girls” or “Khuni Darinda” can be seen beautifying the walls in the interiors of the city. Many buildings which were nothing less than forts are withering away. You will come across many of these on your tour to Agra.

Apart from that, there are some good things to notice too..small gali with hand-pumps at the very entrance near the old agra presents you with touch of pre-British era. Elderly people draped in traditional Dhoti Kurta and a Ghandhi cap on their head also going to attract you. Try having conversations with few of them, they in their braj (dialect of Hindi) will tell you about the transition the city has gone through. It might be difficult to understand at first but yes it worth catching even the few phrases.

Marble is everywhere- you can see karigars (artisans) working on these white stones and giving them life. Though the most famous is the image is of Taj Mahal, statues of God and Goddess as well as decorating pieces are also sure to tempt to.
Moving from our tiny Taj Mahal to the real wonder, let me tell you it is indeed a wonder, its beauty, its delicate art work and design leaves you spell bound. And believe me , I am not exaggerating. It is an experience in itself. In fact, for me, its white marble structure presents a kind of relief from the other monumental buildings.

This is my Agra which has more than just Taj Mahal to offer you. Try visiting it in my way, I am sure you will like it :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oreo and Uncle S…

No no..it is not about my Uncle and his fondness for Oreo buiscuits. Oreo is our Dog. Yes..we have named our Dog after the legendary biscuit!! Reason being similarity in colour! And just to let you all know, I would like to inform you that even though we have named him on buscuits, he is not available for eating or similar purposes. ..

Coming to my Uncle..

Now he has restored to talking to dogs and decided to spare humans (You have no idea how happy I am because of this). So his daily conversation with Oreo goes like this:

Uncle S…: Arey Oreoo..

Oreo: Oreo goes towards Unlce, his tail wagging.

Uncle S…Oreo Kya kar raha hai? (what are you doing Oreo?)
Oreo: Oreo continues wagging his tail. And uncle his conversation.

Uncle: (again) Oreo aaj kya kahaya?
Oreo: Trying to lick Uncle, but Uncle won’t even let him do that.

Me: (thinks) Same question again. Uncle you know what he eats- Dog Food, obviously!!

Uncle: Oreo gumne chalega? (Will you come for a walk?)
Oreo: Now almost standing on the side of the wall so as to reach Uncle, still wagging his tail.

Me (thinks): As if you will take if he says yes. I so much wish, one day (just one day) Oreo actually answers Uncle’s all the questions.
Who knows, after that Uncle might stop asking him any. May be he is waiting for that one day and thus still trying so hard to get some answers out of him!

Now Oreo takes the lead. He starts barking.

Uncle: Kyun baunk raha hai? (Why are you barking?)
Oreo: Still barking.

Me: Beacause he is a Dog Uncle. Obviously he will bark but who will explain this to my Uncle!
No one I guess. Poor Oreo, Everyday he has to bear with this torture. I, having gone through similar experince can totally emphathise with him!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mumbai as I saw it

Disclaimer: This is entirely how I felt on my Mumbai visit so bear wit me if I have missed out on the other “good things” about the city.
Last month I visited my sister and brother in law in Mumbai. The visit has left huge impression on me.

The city again and again presented loads of contrasts in almost every aspect I happened to come in contact with. When I went to Church Street, the contrast stroked me more than I would have imagined. I was amazed as well as shocked by the differences I saw, in terms of life, time and status. On one side stand age-old buildings narrating their stories of hardships and glorious moments under British rule which we don’t like to cherish much. And on the other side stand glass buildings, spectacular presentations of modern architecture. Both these divided by just a road. It creates nostalgia in you and at the same time hits you with the reality. I guess that’s the very "essence" of Mumbai. The gap between new and old is so obvious there that no one can ever afford not to see it. I didn’t spend much of my time there but those few moments, the clear passage of time and the change it has brought struck me hard as I walked across the street.

The much talked about scenes of slum at one side and the flourishing economy at the other is also hard to miss. I won’t go into detail as we already have been bombarded with the topic from every angle since our childhood, be it in movies, debates, talk shows or processions, etc.

Coming to the most important part of my trip though of which still brings water in my mouth. I fell in love with Khakara. Being a lays chips fan, my preference of khakara over it is quite significant. My sister, being so kind has already started sending khakara through courier! And yes, vada-pao, quite an exploited snack of Maharastra, actually tastes amazing in Mumbai. Almost all the places where I had it, it tasted heavenly. Quite clich├ęd, but truly, you can not get better vada-paos anywhere in the world. And top of that, I realized how good it can taste. I didn’t like the Undiya or khandvi. Now all those khandvi fans out there don’t kill me for this.

Locals…how can I forget locals while mentioning Mumbai. I literally went mum when I saw the crowd. The number of people travelling in these locals is exceptionally huge. It is sheer magic to see these people fitting in one small tiny compartment. I pitied the poor train. It, in real terms, is carrying the weight of Mumbai!

At first I couldn’t imagine myself entering into one of these. But I couldn’t stop myself for long. Yes I did try the locals (“so what”- if this is what you are thinking right now, let me tell you- for a person like me who hates crowded places, it was not less than a victory). I went in mornings though (had to play safe!, couldn’t help it)…not much rush but still worth a journey will all kinds of creatures around you (will venture into this area some other day)

The majestic sea and glorious Elephanta caves also have few good memories related to them but the experience was like any other tourist’s. Have a lot about Mumbai in my mind to pen down that I think it is judicial to keep the pen down before I start confusing you all.

More on my next post!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Here comes Uncle S…Again!!!

Yes my dear Uncle S… has come back again. For those of you who have no clue of what I am referring to-reading my previous post “When uncle used his grey matter” can be helpful in wiping that question mark off your face.

And for the rest of you, Uncle S who has already demonstrated his exceptional intellect* has appeared again. And this time, it was no one else but me who went through the never ending grilling process. Here is the glimpse of sad story-

Dear Uncle S…: Beta have you shifted back? I see that you been staying her for quite some.
Me: (he noticed it now-after almost 3 months! Anyway having no other option, I decided to answer): Yes uncle.

Incredible Uncle S…: Into which job were you in Hyderabad?
Me: PR Uncle. I mean Public Relations.

Uncle: Why did you leave that job?
Me: I didn’t like that (thanking my luck for the “normal” conversation I was having)

Uncle: Oh then why did you join it?
Me: I used to like the field then.

Uncle: Then why did you leave?
Me: I didn’t like it uncle. (Am I speaking English or something else?? Can someone tell me which language does my uncle understand??)

Uncle: Then you shouldn’t have joined?
Me: I didn’t know that before joining. (Wondering why Am I even trying to even explain)

Uncle: Why didn’t you know then?
Me: I was a fresher. I had no experience of the field.

(God why on earth Am I explaining all this? And what was I saying? - Thankful for having a normal conversation. Thankful, yes I am, for surviving all that!)

So the conversation or shall I say the interrogation continued and so does the torture….

*(again go to “When uncle used his grey matter” for better comprehension)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Self within Self

Just finished reading the case study of Sybil Dorsett. An exceptionally interesting book about the integration of a girl with 16 different personalities into one person. Each of her personalities was an outcome of hidden emotions, buried deep in her unconscious.

In her case, her emotions and fears took the shape of 16 separate personalities who controlled the real Sybil from time to time and dictated her life based on their assumptions and liking. The separation and integration of these personalities, though quite complicated still presented a clear picture when the real self realized and accepted the existence of others.

If we carefully look, Sybil might be just an explicit case, but we all have these multiple personalities. The only difference if that we are aware of them while Sybil was not. Our different emotions leading us to react differently, depending on the kind of feelings governing us at that moment are the representation of those hidden ‘individuals’ (if I can say so) in us.

There is one more difference, because of our awareness, we try to keep a check on these personalities within us and coordinate with them. For instance, sometimes, we let our carefree side take over and indulge into pampering. But then the serious, so called ‘practical’ side comes back and take everything in control gearing us up for the work after a relaxed weekend. What I feel is that each of our personalities keeps a check as well as helps the other whenever needed. That’s the reason we survive, we live and we strike back every time after a setback.

But what constitutes these personalities? Is this just the emotion or the experience we go through at different stages of life? Is it the amalgamation of all these or is it just a single component forming the base of an inner personality? I don’t have answer to any of these questions. Sometimes, one emotion dictates our actions while at other times it might be just a past experience dictating our entire course of behaviour.

With the help of Dr. Wilbur, Sybil had solved the puzzles of her life. But for us it is still a mystery. We still need to uncover those hidden, small selves within us.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Memories

Preserve memories- said my friend. It always feels nice to go back and read some old chats, mails and messages, said another. But I have my memory to go back to those moments worth cherishing. What about the moments and conversations of which you don’t have any record? Don’t you remember them?

I do. I might have one of the best conversations of my life with a stranger in a journey of one or two days. I might have spent some of the most adventurous moments with some fellow travelers. I don’t have any record of those events nor do I intend to keep any. But I still cherish those moments, think about and yes learn from them.

My friends are right too. On some bad days, when your mood is running all time low, you go to your inbox and see messages from your loved ones. Just a glimpse of those words reminds you of the good time. And give you the courage to get back on track. Isn’t it?

Doesn’t matter, whether you save your special moments or not…you tend to go back- sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Share Autos

Share Autos- Oh yes one of the most amazing transportation modes human race ever thought of. Why???

Lets begin with the most obvious- for places to where there are no buses, these share autos come to our rescue.
For those who can’t stand standing in the buses this is the best options available.

You don’t have to worry about being pushed and pulled through out your journey.

It is one of the most adventurous rides you can ever dream off (and definitely the cheapest too). People hanging out from both the sides and you squeezed in between with your driver playing the most dinchak music on earth these rides are unforgettable.

It is usually very informative if you travel by these autos. It is one of the easiest ways for your self-development. From increasing your GK to improving your style quotient, you can learn almost everything during these God’s own transportation modes!

At round six or seven in evening you are bound to have co-passengers (probably Colleagues from office) bitching about their boss and by the time they get down you will be aware of the top gossips about some boss of God knows some Company in your city.

You might even get to do revision on when Olympics started or when East India Company came first to India if you are lucky to have a mother and her child by your side. If you are worried about your skin and hair forget going to any specialist, you will get all answers within few minutes if you happen to sit with few young ladies.