Saturday, April 11, 2009

Where Her Heart Lies

‘A girl all of fifteen,
So genial and genteel…’ – was how someone described her once upon a time. 

Perhaps she was much younger than 15 then. Recently, I chanced upon her scribbles in my ol’ diary. There was a note attached to it; it said, ‘A Delightful Imagery from a Charming Mind!’

It took me down the memory lane; and with a smile I thought I would share it with my readers. 
From the memoirs of a bright young girl: 

“I feel like talking about my boathouse in the Kerala backwaters and... how I sit at the edge of the boathouse, and cause ripples in the water with my fingers. I see my reflection in it. And I smile. 

I watch the frogs jump in and out.
I hear them croak. And croak back at them.

I feel like talking of the mountain river… Or of the grasslands.

Or of that banyan tree where my swing takes me higher and higher... and when I get tired of swinging, I gobble down all the colourful toffees one by one sitting under the shade.

Or of lying flat on a small boat swaying slowly over the Hooghly and I look at the Howrah bridge shimmering as the first rays of the day fall over it...

Or of that beach where I hop from one spot to another, on warm sands, in cool waters...and I collect sea shells and put them in my kangaroo pocket...

Or of sitting among the cows with my grandfather in my village and milking the cows...smelling that raw milk...and gulping a cup when he is not watching!

Or of walking across the paddy fields barefoot and reaching over to that giant pump at the corner under the shade of that giant tree... peep into the well beside it...and throw pebbles into it one by one!

Or of that hand-pump at my grandma’s old house... which I try hard to pump... and chuckle away at myself for failing at it every time I try my hand at it

Or of top of that hill from where I could see only white all around... not a sound, and I sit facing the sun feeling its warmth seeping into me

Or of walking across that forest, picking up small wild flowers... those bunches of yellow and pink ones you know...

Or of simply leaning against that tall tree over there and play hide and seek with the sun...

Or of sitting under that big shady tree on that side, and watch the ants pass by slowly, carrying their food on their small backs…then, I poke them in their stomach...and giggle away as they lose their balance and stare back at me with their beady eyes

Or of sitting crouched on that bench in the park... with cool breeze blowing across... of how I blow away the soap bubbles, with some of them popping out right on my nose.
And then of walking along...and meeting this big elephant. Of how he takes me on a ride through the jungle. Of how I eat all his bananas away and giggle away.

Or of walking across that old street licking my ice-cream... and looking at the balloons flying up and up and up…

Or of running across the open grounds with my hands out stretched…till I am out of my breath and then when I am out of my breath... I lie down on the field...close my eyes and laugh.

Or of rolling over the soft green grass... the grass touching my nape, tickling me... and I smile looking at the clouds above...

I feel like talking of all that, of all my dreams… and much more.
With you.”

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Life’s Little Rides

There comes a stage in everybody’s life when the going gets hmmm… well, let us analyze.

This is a stage that you begin with intense Expectations and high Hopes. This is a stage when you have already decided that you are going to put in great efforts to bring out best possible results. You think your life ahead depends on this phase; this can either make it or break it! You are full of enthusiasm and vigor to face obstacles, to overcome challenges. Optimism vibrates within.

And then, you enter.

You begin to settle down. Meanwhile, you also look around to find certain gray areas that you had not thought of in the colorful picture you had drawn with yourself in the centre of it all. You say to yourself, ‘…that is ok. I can manage. After all, I have come here only to learn…’. You beam at your confidence. You feel things are only going to get better from here on. And no matter what, you are never going to lose that positive vibration inside you.

Here, after this part, two things can happen.

First one. You fall into the trap. You become a Dog. You are made to run around the whole time that you almost find it impossible to take even a day’s break and wash your clothes. You hear yourself many-a-time tell your friends/family on phone, ‘Too much work… can’t make it. Sorry!’ You slowly begin to hate the place; hate your desk and hate the very idea of doing this for the meager amount that you get paid at the end of every month. You start realizing of how golden those days were when all that you had to do at night for a quick dinner was say, ‘Chal bey, C’not chaltey hain…’ or how much you miss Bingers’ coffees when your stomach growls at 2.30am!

Second one. You are completely ‘blown away’ by the sudden luxury of living Life King’s size. It is an All Play No Work period of your life. Nobody seems to give a care about who you are, what you are, where you come from, where you go and the types… Nobody wants to know anything about you. You are completely on your own. Your so-called colleagues at your workplace find you amusing. Your so-called Boss looks at you in a way you cannot decipher. You wonder, whether he/she thinks you are a kid and so know nothing and so he/she doesn’t bother much with you… or he/she thinks you are fit-for-nothing, only a liability and so he/she doesn’t bother much with you. Either case, the outcome is the same. So you stop wondering. You realize the power of your new-found freedom. You have all the time in the world – to explore, to travel, to have Fun (something you’ve always wanted to but postponed it to a later date!). You call up your friends often, but hear them say, ‘Too much work… not this weekend. Sorry!’ But that doesn’t stop you from enjoying the bliss of nothingness! Well, only momentarily. And then, you start to get bored. You hate the idleness. You often find yourself appreciating the arduous assignments and demanding deadlines you had back in those golden times. You felt important there, among your friends and professors. It was your world. You feel you truly belonged there.

And you know what this part is called? This part, a small but quite a significant part where all the above happens… this part of your life is called “Internship”.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Beady eyes
Blink at those pink petals
Maybe looking for life
A thorny smile returns.
Yellow leaves, parched maybe
just like the eyes,
Turn away slowly.
Facing the sun
The eyes hold that one-sided conversation
In that sound of silence
Restless silence.

Sun drowned
Conversation broke
Words killed
Petals fell
Eyes closed
Silence remained
That restless silence

Friday, April 03, 2009

From Buzz to Ping

Call it a new trend or simply another outlet for emotions – one cannot ignore the Gtalk status messages these days! Every time I sign in, I cannot help noticing all the status messages put up there; almost glaring at me to place my cursor there and read it. Most of them help me understand the state of affairs at that end and almost convince me whether I want to initiate a chat! Some of them are funny to the point of arousing curiosity and so I end up ‘pinging’ to find out! I must admit though, that there are a couple of people on my list whose status messages I look forward to. Not only are they interesting, but also display something that’s new; latest; and probably helpful/useful.

I find the inbuilt status options in Gtalk confusing. Don’t you? A green button with “Available” should ideally tell you the person is free to chat now, but more often than not, people with green buttons are busier than most others on the list. And then, you have the red button with “Busy” as the message… and if you have noticed, these are the people who usually have all the time in the world to chat, voice chat, video chat and what not! Finally, comes the most confusing of them all. Orange button with “Idle”! People with this message hardly ever reply, and you thought they were sitting idle at the other end… What an irony! Only Google can throw such a googly and yet face no brickbats ;)
Oh and the recent one of them all… the Invisible with a grey offline-r button. I actually like this one, brings out the mischievous self you see. Well, it also reminds me of our old companion – the Yahoo messenger! Wonder how many use it now. I miss the numerous smileys and the Audibles of Yahoo. Gtalk, obviously, looks more polished that way and is good for using messengers in office premises – less noise and mischief I guess. I remember reading in a research article that the most important reason behind Yahoo messenger losing its popularity to Google talk was its colour/appearance. According to the findings, apparently, the colour blue is more soothing to the eyes of the user than the cream-ish yellow… and so, the bluish Gtalk (and Gmail) chat windows got in more hours of usage, better acceptability and thus more popularity!

Strangely, in our world Colours have always made a lot of difference everywhere… don’t you agree?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Tryst with Cops and our Night-Trek

It was 1:48am on Sunday morning. We had just reached the foothills of Skandhagiri. This was where the night trek was supposed to begin! We had a huge preparation behind this trek. From warm clothes, to trekking shoes, to water reserves, to food items to munch on, to cameras to carrying loads of energy and lots of enthusiasm to go up the hill on a clear Spring night. With cars zooming past us and the brightly lit Airport Road, the drive on our way to Skandhagiri on the B’lore-Hyderabad highway was no less exciting! Only that the excitement came to sudden halt when we reached the foothills.

There were several Policemen standing by the jeeps, carrying a stern look and that of suspicion on every vehicle that stopped by. They had some bikers stand in a line; had the pundit of the temple nearby with them too. They seemed to be threatening him and if put in softer words, rebuking him for some reason. As we stopped there, one of the Policemen approached us and peeped inside the vehicle. He looked rather cross with us from the very moment he set his eyes on us. Wonder why all Cops are Angry Men all the time!
Well, we slowly came out of our Qualis. And within moments, the two Cops came to our driver and started asking him to turn around the car and take us back! All this in Kannada, but you need no language to show or understand anger and rudeness… As they hit the roads with their “laathis”, we figured we were in no mood or foolishness to mess with the Cops there!

As we turned around Raghu immediately suggested we go up the Nandi Hills. Sounded like the perfect alternative to all of us. But the only problem was it was just too near and the main gates to go onto the top of the hill opened only at six!

Eight friends, sitting in a Qualis, some sleepy, some singing, have nearly four hours to spend in the darkness of nowhere…
Seemed just perfect!

To kill time, we stopped by at a kutti tea stall on the highway at around 2.30am. There were trucks surrounding us from almost all directions… our Driver was more interested in the tea than us, but slowly as the sleepy ones decided to get out of their slumbers we did get in a few cups as well. In all the strangeness, the only thing that interested Minakshi was the small TV screen strategically positioned in the tea stall playing apparently a Telugu movie – which she was rather excited to translate for us, only if she could lay her ears on it! Oh btw, I should tell you, she is one bong I know who can speak Telugu quite well.

After comfortably killing about half an hour there, just sipping over tea and trying to figure where the grapes were that KD brought with him; we headed for the Nandi Hills, at an unbelievably slow speed of about 25-30kmph covering a distance of just about 40kms! The only advantage of having driven so slow was the countless number of songs that were sung and played and enjoyed through the drive. One after the other, Raghu-the-DJ had to succumb to pressure of backseaters and give in to some of the most wonderful songs that Bollywood has produced in the recent times. We sang along and drove along our way!

Half way up the Hills, we halted to make some fire, enjoy some time star-gazing, playing catch-the-torch-light, listening to Amit sing some very profound songs… of course eating and clicking every now and then.
We talked about poetry, and philosophy – the understanding and not understanding of these two forms of writing, we talked about BITSian astronomy workshops, we relived the golden days of being seniors on campus and gained the age-old sadistic pleasure out of ragging the only junior among us – and she was a sport all through!

As the stars started to disappear, we took the final lap to the top, bought tickets and started the so-called night trek that we were supposed to have been doing only at 6am in the morning! And boy, was it not fun!
Of course it was. It was the company that mattered; and the versatility and randomness of our group made all the difference. Made the night more magical than we could have ever imagined!

Once at the top and a round of clicking was over, slowly for a while, all of us delved deeper into the silence that spelled around us. The vastness of nature, its beauty and its wonder – enveloped us with heavy winds blowing all over making us feel as if we could be flown away any moment. Into the open skies towards newer horizons.

The golden rays and cloudy streaks on a blue sky filled the heart with joy;
While the naughty monkeys ran all around quick and coy.

Something Apsara would surely agree with!

On our way down, we finally found the KD’s grapes and devoured on them. As we reached Blore, the frequent sudden breaks owing to city’s Sunday traffic woke me up to reality… and as the Qualis slowly started to get empty, our little adventure trip came to a close.

Oh btw, if you are wondering about the Cops and what happened with them… well, our small encounter ended right there. Thanks to Hindi movies! And we never found out what murder mystery they were after… I hope at least they did.  

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

the Minakshi's - in the making!

It was a sunny afternoon in B’lore; and we were going to Marathali in a noise-making auto with hot winds blowing all over our faces. Sonali and I had already got late for our luncheon invitation. At Minakshi’s place. Thanks to our “lachha” sessions running late into the night, we both were running late now! As per the plan, we had decided to help Minakshi (Minu as lovingly called by some of her friends) with the menu and then the cooking; but that wasn’t to be.

The menu was simple but if one considered the guests invited that day, the menu was nothing short that of a lavish lunch I say! It included: Matar Paneer, JackFruit Curry, Palak Dal, Rice, Pickle, and Curd.

For a 23year old, who has recently started to cook, this was no mean task! Cooking for 8 of us; most of them being in BITSian words “hoggers” – these are the types who don’t eat food; they hog!, Minakshi had indeed taken a tough challenge on herself on an otherwise cool and lazy Saturday afternoon.

And what a delight the lunch was. I have not enjoyed a better meal than that in a long time; It had the flavor of all worlds – be it Bengali, be it Continental, be it South Indian, Minu had done it all! Every dish tasted so perfect to its cuisine that we couldn’t have had a better Milan.

Kudos to you Minakshi! And btw, I see a bright future of a restaurant as a side-business for you; I’m sure you would know quite a number of MBA’s by then to help you open one… And am sure you would remember this post better too! ;) How about simply putting it as “The Minakshi’s”.


I dint know where this tour was heading when I started it and that was really exciting. 

Sitting in the train, reading a magazine called Jade which I have never read before, munching on Good Day biscuits and looking at the door of the AC II tier compartment every now and then to check who’s going to be occupying the berth next to me… well, the uncertainty of it all was indeed exciting! 

That to me is the greatest high when I start on something; that I don’t know whether it’s going to be good, or is it going to be bad. I know I will be sad if it isn’t good, and I will feel very happy if it is good.  Yet, it gives me a high. And the second thing you know when you start off anything is the knowledge that it’s going to end, either ways. Nothing in Life is permanent. Tours included. This is 100% a Lifetime on its own; it has a beginning and it has an end. And if it is good, strangely the ending will be sad. And that’s the strangeness of Life; of everything we do. We never want the party to end; well, it is lucky now that we have everything captured on cameras and videos in a certain way…

In that hustle-bustle, if somebody stops you for a moment, giving you an opportunity to capture that moment in itself; and asks you by poking you at your back, “How does it feel?” All that comes to your mind to say is, “Right now, very tired!”

It is like those days when you lose yourself entirely, impatiently, yet completely be with yourself patiently encompassing the moments as a whole within. 

I don’t know how to word it, but it’s a very strange experience. It is like… the continuous noise of “Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” and then of nothingness “              `”; again, “Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” and              `”... then it dawns upon you that both of them are you. Even the “Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa” is you, and the “            `” silence is you. With that I reflect upon this one week that went past as I toured the beautiful city of B’lore, and I realize so many things in my life are attached to that reflection of just this one week. I return from these tours knowing that there are a lot of people who love me; I come back from these tours knowing that I love a lot of people, and I shall always do so. But I also go and come back from these tours realizing that I do love me also. And, I get an opportunity to turn around, look at myself and say that to myself. Something that each one of us should be doing more often I say!

I mean both the Tours and the saying that to yourself part! :)