Thursday, December 22, 2011

In Nature's Lap

Spent a weekend away from the usual hustle-bustle of life, in nature's lap surrounded by beauty and serenity that almost filled up my senses - like John Denver says!

Breath-taking views along with a favorably awesome weather made the trip so memorable that getting back to work - something I love again - was not enticing even a bit! The highlight of the trip to Matheran (~100kms from Bombay) was coming down the hill on a horseback! And oh, what a bumpy ride it was. But two days in a jungle, with delicious food and lots of pampering, I don't think I should ask for more!

Why was the destination Matheran - because I love hills and valleys. I love the smell of wet red soil, I love the rays of sun shining through leaves and branches of tall trees and I absolutely love to listen to birds chirping in the quiet evenings that's characteristic of any jungle!

If you want to know more about this wonderful place, and/or want to plan a trip - visit - Matheran!

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Ring

This post is just about my beautiful ring. I bought it in Claire's in London; fell in love the moment my eyes fell on it. It was golden in colour when I had spotted it, hanging by the hook on the wall. The wear-and-tear turned it into silver first and near-bronze later. It now stands in a good shade of rusty-pink!
Inscription: "Think of a wonderful thought" on the outside, and "Believe in yourself" on the inside. 

I love it! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Old City, New Girl - the sublime discovery

#written on a rainy evening sitting by the window in my apartment in London, posted only now.

When I landed in London, along with two pieces of luggage I arrived here brimming with excitement and my dreams sprinkled all over. I was going to be in a new country all by myself and the uncertainty of how days would unfold gave me a high every time I wondered about it. The time had come - to experience newness in life, to open my mind to a different culture, to explore and discover a new me. That was the dream, after all. And I was not going to let go of this wonderful chance, I said to myself as I stepped onto the streets of London on my first evening. 

I spent my time walking amidst castle-like buildings and sprawling lush lawns. I found company to visit places on the outskirts - small towns like Twyford and Henley-on-Thames, Brighton's beautiful (and sunny!) pebble beach, Wimbledon, the Roman Baths; and sometimes even to share the pure joy of uninterrupted shopping as well. Other times, I would hop on tubes on my own, turning every direction my heart would beat for and I was hardly ever disappointed.

But, whenever I sat down to capture and pen down my thoughts about London, I'd invariably find something missing. What could I possibly say about this beautiful city that wasn't said before, that wasn't captured (even preserved) already. So I always kept it for a later time and date, hoping I'd figure out the Midas touch that made this city so special for me.

In just over two months I had fallen in love with London. I began to share a very special attachment towards it, like the city was my own. And it made me wonder to the point of enticing me to find out the real reason for my unconditional love for this city. Was it my exciting job, my weirdly wonderful team mates at work, my small and cozy apartment in Stratford or was it my independence. I kept thinking - closed-lip when out and aloud when in a shower - what has this city really given me...
Actually, the answer was right in front of me all that time. Only, it had taken me a while to reach to that realization. 

During my first week in London, I met someone - a colleague, friend, companion - whatever name you'd want to give. A complete opposite of how and who I am. Disciplined, sophisticated, having some clear goals in life, living with reason and logic - but at the same time, he also knew to enjoy life and its eccentricities, just the way I did. And it made us tick from the very beginning. Our innumerable conversations sitting at a dining table are perhaps some of the choicest of moments I'd savor for the rest of my life. 
I wonder sometimes, would I have enjoyed the train journey home from work as much everyday had it not been for his company; would my visits to Hyde Park have remained as magical had he not come with me to share that bench by the lake in the rain; or would my knee have hurt more had he not walked with me that evening and taken care that I get home safe in one piece... or would that Sunday afternoon be any funnier had we not turned up wearing clothes in the same colour-combo (absolutely same, believe me!). 

When I had come to London, I knew it was going to be all 'me-time' - away from the usual hustle-bustle of my life back in India, away from all things and people familiar and I'd take a step closer to understanding myself better. But now I know, the joy of discovering oneself lies in sharing oneself - one's happiness and sorrows, one's dreams and hopes, one's successes and failures - with someone else. Now I know, the strange love I feel for London is actually the warmth of love for this friend - with whom I learnt to share my fears and fantasies, my trials and tribulations.

As beautiful a city as London truly is, it can get equally tough on you. It is fast and keeps you on your toes - quite literally. And, in the daily drill of chasing our goals, unintentionally sometimes, we forget to notice the small joys of living. So, for a few moments, take your mind off the innumerable post-it notes stuck to your laptops/PCs at work, refrigerator-doors at home and try to find the special, unique feeling that puts a smile on your face; that makes your city, your life even more beautiful for you! Who knows, you might find a friend for life just the way I did! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Wait

A girl all of fifteen
So genial and genteel,
Swayed like a tree
At her favorite spot, by the sea;
Her giggles filled the air
With a charm quite rare;
She picked her pebbles
And blew those soap bubbles,
Which naughtily at times chose
To pop right on her nose;
Those waves kissed her feet
She tasted the water, oh not-so-sweet!
She wrote with her hands
On the golden sands
Her favorite names
And played her games
With sea shells and stars
Soothing her scars
Of a wound still livin’
But long forgiven
For, she knows better
It was not just petter
As those memories hit her
She continues to sway
By the tree, to this day
Longing for her gait
And hoping for the end to wait.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Random Walk

I'm looking outside the glass door in my living room and wondering to myself, what on earth happens to London weather on Sundays! It's wet and cold outside, winds blowing across in full force and I find some comfort looking at these beautiful lines that delve in my sms-es these days... 

Rise and shine
It is a day so beautiful and pristine
Meet your friends, have wine and dine
Do all the things that make you feel bright and fine. 

The old tree stands tall,
looking at the new age of fall.
He never forgets even being old,
but the new twig is alone and must be bold,
remembering she'll never be left in the cold.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


The twilight
pulled the curtain down
and pinned it
with a star

The star
held her gaze strong
and froze it
in a twinkle

The twinkle
spread till the horizon
and brightened it
with a smile

The smile
travelled with the breeze
and caressed him
with a kiss

The kiss
locked their lips
and sealed their bond
with love

The love
transcended the finite
and merged itself
into the twilight

Monday, May 23, 2011


The eyes
gazed at the solemness
and lent her a smile;

The reflections
shimmered in the ripples
and grasped her hand;

The memories
played from an endless reel
and eased her mind;

The love
seeped like musical notes
and mesmerized her heart;

The realisation
dawned like an early sun
and she stumbled upon her truth;

The muse
had just breathed into her
and unveiled her soul

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reminiscence - of conversations and memories...

He stepped out of the train, and felt a rush of happiness. He always felt that way when he arrived in L. The place presented him with a sense of belonging and warmth that was almost a rarity to find; or so he claimed a few times when he spoke about his visits to L! But the truth couldn't be ignored and it reflected in his eyes every time he did speak about his trips to L, that his heart felt at ease, his mind at peace and if it was not too much to say, he felt connected with himself a lot more whenever in L. 

And, it felt exactly the same this time around too. He stepped onto the platform, put on his jumper and the cool breeze that was gently brushing against his face brought a lot of smiles. He was thinking of her. He would meet her the first thing whenever in L. It was almost 9pm and he knew, although she would be readying the dinner table her eyes would constantly be on the corner of that lane, eagerly waiting for him to appear there. He also knew she would wait until she catches a glimpse of him there at the turn but only to quickly trace her glance back to setting the dishes on the table. His smile broadened a little more when he guessed exactly what she would have prepared for dinner - his favourite dish, Prawns cooked in butter, garlic, lemon juice and parsley, served with fresh crusty bread. He couldn't get enough of it, and she would never get tired of preparing the same dish every time he came to visit her. 

He took the turn, and casually looked around the place. All so familiar and yet he always felt excited about coming back here. The rush of happiness made his cheeks pink, and he was smiling broadly than ever. He opened the gate, walked towards the door, and there she was - standing at the patio, her signature apron tied around her waist and arms wide open with the warmest smile one could possibly exude. "Hi Grandma!" - he said and hugged her like a kid. A-tight-hug-and-a-tiny-peck later, she looked back at him and said, "...was the journey okay?", adding with a smile, "...ready for dinner now?". 
His Grandpa was standing by the stairs, and he always made sure he was at home whenever the grandson was to come. Their connection was unique, for each grew up with the other and I wouldn't be exaggerating if I called one the reflection of another.   

As they sat around the table for dinner, the conversation drifted along sprinkled with laughter...; and if I were to ask you to imagine yourself as an audience to a film, I would probably zoom out of the window and leave the three to their bliss.  

...but, clearly, I want to write more. And a writer's pen wields more, we know that. So sit back and continue reading. 

I am reminded of a forward email I read a long time back, "you know you grew up in India in the 90's because:" and it goes on to list about 75 reasons; one of them being, "...because: Your summer vacations were often synonymous with visiting your grandparents." Mine have been so one hundred percent. We would always catch the early morning train and travel for a day to come visit my grandparents for two months. The only adjective that can be used to describe each one of my stays, and each of the things that I have done during my stay, which included a whole lot of eating is: 'awesome'. What is it about them that is so endearing I wonder, to myself and in rare cases, in a blog post like this. Perhaps, it is the ability to absorb all our emotions, unconditionally, and exude to us only the kindness, fondness and unbounded love that makes them so much more special and warm to reach out to. It is the smile they put on our faces, every single time we look at them. 

I am missing my grandparents right now, and although I cannot reach out to any of them physically, I hope to send my wishes, hugs and love to them and I know - no matter how Bollywood-ish it sounds - that they would smile back at me. Take a step back from your busy life, and give your Grandma, Grandpa a call or write them a letter, or just give them a thought - for I know (and you'd agree), we brighten up their lives as much as they do ours.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Birthdays This Year

She celebrated hers with elan. He filled his day with all of his favourite music.

She wore her favourite pink kurta over a pair of lovely blue jeans. She spent a great deal of time, or so she claims, pampering herself in front of the mirror. Along with a sumptuous lunch meal that she cooked at home - which consisted of Matar Pulao, Gravy and Raita - she also baked a simple Vanilla cake and distributed in the apartment. Then, she went to bring her son back from his coaching classes and on the way home, they both stopped by for a round of chocolate-dripping pastries at a bakery. She spent the rest of the early evening reading some magazines and attending calls. But the celebrations did not stop right there. Around 5.30pm, she went to her friend's place, who lives on a different floor in the same apartment and casually took her out for coffee at Cafe Coffee Day. After placing the orders, she announced to her friend with a bit of innocence and twinkle in her eye, that it was her birthday and that it was her treat!
Completely taken aback, her friend wished her a life full of happiness and joy in fewer words and many emotions; both teary-eyed, as they recalled while narrating the incident to me, came home in all smiles!

His was no less exciting so to say. He stayed up till late night following the first match of IPL-4 till the very last ball. He rejoiced at the fantastic win of the team led by MS, as also quickly caught up on the news flowing in about Crusade against Corruption led by Anna Hazare that has taken the country on its heels. He retired to bed, however, eagerly (and quite innocently I'd say) waiting for the first call of his day. With great joy, he picked my call at dot-12 and engaged in a witty-wise-and-funny conversation that is his forte. And when morning came, he was literally jumping about the home ecstatic at receiving his birthday present. His son was trying to show him the features of his new Nano iPod but he was simply overjoyed at the thought of listening to all his favourite NTR songs at the click of his thumb! He spent the next one hour learning how to use, loading music, checking all the new-age features - and well, the rest of the day, simply playing and re-playing his favourite musical pieces!

I guess birthdays are like that. It is that day of the year that suddenly brings to you joys unknown, from near and far, and fills your life with cheer and enthusiasm to take on another year. And more than this, it makes you a child again - allowing to enjoy yourself thoroughly and happily!
I say that with so much confidence because my parents did just that on their fiftieth birthdays this year! :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

of Love and Poetry

I spent my Saturday in leisure and love. I read some old poetry while munching on biscuits with tea during early afternoon. It felt quite English, frankly. And really good. Only that I was sitting in my room beside the window and not on some freshly mowed green lawn basking under the sun. Even if I did have the imagination then, my mother's incessant calls would have brought me back to my apartment environs anyway. So I was indulging myself completely today; it is rare that I find my weekends without activities to do and I was determined to make the most of it. 

My tryst with poetry began during my engineering first year. But it has been an on-and-off relationship since I started working. But I definitely like to enjoy large doses of poetry all at once. It fills me up with emotions galore, and I feel quite alive. 

I was reading some of Vikram Seth's works today and there are two poems that I felt I should share with you all. They are crisply written and capture a lot in just a few words.

First one:

Sit, drink your coffee here; your work can wait awhile.
You're twenty-six, and still have some of life ahead.
No need for wits; just talk vacuities, and I'll
Reciprocate in kind or laugh at you instead.

The world is too opaque, distressing and profound.
This twenty minutes' rendevous will make my day:
To sit here in the sun, with grackles all around,
Staring with beady eyes, and you two feet away.


Time Zones
I willed my love to dream of me last night, that we might lie
at peace, if not beneath a single sheet, under one sky.
I dreamed of her but she could not alas humour my will;
it stuck me suddenly that where she was was daylight still.

The second poem has a small story behind it. But the story is for some other post. As for now, I will put up a few lines that a dear friend thought as an appropriate response to the above lines:

We did dwell under the same sky; and while I dreamt with closed eyes,
She thought of me; in the cubicle, the mall and the kitchen, I surmise. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

3am Food

I return from work quite late these days. When I walk into my apartment, I usually find one florescent bulb glowing in the living room, to greet me into the silence. My early mornings and late nights have become a blur now. I spend a little time with my laptop after returning, browse the net, check emails, and lose myself into a deep slumber. 

But not all nights are as easy. And, 3am hunger is the hardest to get by. Last night, I experienced it as strongly as I can imagine for the first time. I walked in and out of the kitchen several times before finally deciding on what (all) I wanted to conjure up for myself at such an unGodly hour. 

My room-mate brought some yum-looking Mumbai's special chocolate doughnuts from Calcutta. Yes, that is possible to do. So, I picked out two from the box and heated them in the oven for the chocolate inside the doughnut to flow out like lava. I sat with them on my bed with a big grin and lost myself in the dripping chocolate that flowed from the doughnut into my mouth. It felt heavenly, for a few moments. But as I neared the end of my chocolate downing, I felt shamelessly hungrier. I went back to my kitchen and spent a great deal of time staring into my fridge. Then, I decided to have a green-and-red sandwich. I have heard it is not good manners to say yumm while having food, but yumm it turned out to be. And, so sumptuous was my 3am meal!

I thought I will share the recipe of green-and-red sandwich with you all. Simple as it is!
Recipe: (for one person)
One medium-sized tomato
One small capsicum
Amul butter
Chat Masala
Two slices of brown bread

Chop the tomato and capsicum into small pieces. Spread Amul butter on the toast; you could alternately use flavoured cheese spreads also. Sprinkle a layer of Chat Masala on one of the slices. Mix the tomato-capsicum pieces together and spread them on the other slice, spinkle some Chat Masala on these chopped vegetables. Put the slice on top and your sandwich is ready. 

This is the first time I am writing a recipe on my blog. Hope to share some more interesting ones in the future. And of course, this is the first time I prepared a full-course 3am meal for myself in the reverse order of desserts first and sandwich later,  and for the first time I felt good about bloating myself with guilty calories!

When was the last time you did something for the first time?