Thursday, December 29, 2011

I love hearing love stories, listening to love songs, reading love notes and seeing pictures of all people in love. And the simple reason of why I would do this is that I like to keep myself happy and what can you make happier than love or even the sight of love. There is also another reason and though it might be difficult to see direct correlation, I will try and put across my point. These anecdotes, songs and pictures which make my heart go mush help me keep faith in this love deprived world where a lot of times I have apprehensions as to whom I will end up with. I mean I know so many guys who would not just smirk at the idea of romance but also ridicule the entire purpose of being in love with someone. And then one fine day, I get to know that they are in love and it is not the “we are friends” love but pretty much “I am crazy for her” love. It amazes me and makes me insanely happy, how cool, if this moron friend who couldn't talk straight to someone has fallen in love with this girl next door then even if a moron falls in for me and vice versa life will be good!
Actually, come to think of it, I recall way too many boys and girls who to my mind can never ever be in love. They were either too headstrong or too weird or too non emotional to be falling in for such crazy chemicals but they proved me wrong and wrong to an extent that I am forced to contemplate my limited understanding of people. Take, for example, this boy in my class who is sweet but his mind is wired in a way that can think only of puzzles and equations. We all treated him as if he was in school and would at least take 20 more years to be able to appreciate or acknowledge any girl but guess what I get to know furtively that this guy was not just dating a smart girl from my class but also is serious about it. In no time, they got hitched and buffoons like me looked at pictures and went awwwed. Then another one, this one I met in my first job and he is to put it succinctly the biggest narcissist world would ever know. He would casually mention, “Ms Dua, with the Greek God kind of looks I have, I will have to wait for a very long time before a super model comes along”. I would laugh at him and think in my head, when on earth he will get serious and settle down. He is the typical, flirt-with-me but I-will-never-marry-you kinds. In fact, I have seen him convincing his friends about how getting married is equivalent to committing suicide but then that was that, and again to my great grand amazement, he was secretly dating this cute girl who also worked with us. I almost fainted and then smiled gleefully knowing that another one knocked out. Also, if I missed mentioning it, he too is getting married and sounds immensely elated with the prospect. My school time buddy who used to protect me from boys and thought they were some lesser mortals, who should never even be spoken to, today keeps cribbing that her fiancĂ©e doesn’t speak much!! And finally, my darling friend whom I claim to know inside out has also turned out to be I-am-your-wife and should I serve you a little more on the dining table. I mean if VB: the strong headed, individualistic, pampered girl can start talking like this then definitely it has to do with love.
All of above only provides me with this happy reassuring feeling that for each one there is at least one who will love like there is no end. There will be one which will carve out a new story, sweet silly poems and happy pictures J

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blanket Distribution

I went last night with two guys for distributing blankets to people who in this freezing cold sleep or rather remain awake in the night. It was an experience quite different to anything I have ever had in life. We went about taking shady roads, looking sideways, trying to find makeshift shelters, for people who needed our blankets. People whom we finally gave blankets were astonished and asked why are we doing this, they looked at us either with suspicion or with surprise. We only smiled and told them to use them and cover themselves properly. It was a feeling of immense satisfaction personally for me as I am someone who covers from head to toe, in layers of clothes and loves the winters. I cannot imagine the feeling of constantly feeling cold and living on the roads and pavements. Hence, I won’t even try defining it, I only hope that these blankets help them tide over these lovely winters the way mine do.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bike rides

This love affair of mine started when I was probably four, my Chachu in Roorkee was a crazy-for-motorcycle-teenager and I was his little Miss India so he would always take his Miss India on long bike rides and even let her accelerate once in a while. It is such a beautiful memory still. In fact, I distinctly even remember him once getting scolded by my grandmother because we came home drenched after a ride in the rain.

Like many other things that one forgets and moves on, bike rides were one such thing. My Chachu grew up to be a responsible husband and father and his Miss India grew up to be a sincere and non adventurous girl and so life went on without any thrill, any wild romance.

Then one day, it came back, out of the blue. I with my friends had gone to Mt Abu for a trip and thanks to a few biking enthusiasts, we took 3 motorcycles on rent and went round n round in circles around the Nakki lake. It was refreshing to the core and I loved each nanosecond of those rides, the trip was over but the love for bike rides was renewed.

From that day till today, I have been looking out for opportunities and people so that I could get a ride and what wonderful rides I have got. Only yesterday, a colleague took me for a ride to India Gate. His bullet makes this ear-drum-breaking-noise which I lovingly call soulful music now, the sheepish me also told him, be a tad bit fast so that I could get a jump on the speed breaker and whoa what a kick I got! I mean it was just out of the world, by the time my ride ended I came to realize that I love bike rides, I love the wind kissing my cheeks and blowing my hair, I love the feeling of being free, of being uninhibited on the roads and that I Wish I could do this more often and by myself K

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I endearingly call her my favourite aunty for she is beautiful, affectionate and my mommy’s close friend. She and her husband looked like this picture perfect couple, handsome, stunningly dressed and flamboyant. But my mommy said, they aren’t half as good as they look for they don’t have any children of their own. It was sad as both of them wanted to have kids but infertility and its lack of acceptance for a long time had put age behind them. Adoption, I thought in my head, can’t they adopt a child, wouldn’t it solve everything which entangled them, wouldn’t it make their lives happier, wouldn’t it give a new lease of life to someone somewhere. But I couldn’t ask her, when the question continued to bother me, I asked mommy. She told me that favorite aunty wanted to adopt but uncle wouldn’t ever agree, but didn’t he also want a child, yes he did she said but again to love a child like you would love a child of your own is not as plain as it sounds. He would rather lead his life without knowing the joy of being a father than trying to be a father of someone else’s child.

One day a few years later, favourite aunty called mommy and said “Alka, you are a maasi”. My mommy couldn’t get the import of it and it took her two minutes to realize what that statement meant. Soon, there was a smile in my mommy’s eyes, yes the favorite aunty and uncle had adopted a child. An infant had come in their home, from a faraway place. But I didn’t understand, why now after twenty years of marriage, why now when all these years he wasn’t convinced about adoption, when did this change of heart happen and why. What favourite aunty told was an unbelievable fable to the ears. She and uncle were holidaying in Assam at her sisters’ place, the sister casually mentioned about a young couple getting separated and leaving an infant under the custody of an old woman (the child’s grandmother). The sister lamented for the child and left it there but the favorite aunty didn’t. Surprisingly, even the uncle didn’t leave it there, didn’t he always want a child. In no time, favorite aunty and uncle met the child’s grandmother, the legal formalities got completed and when they returned from the sister’s place, it wasn’t just the two of them but a third one, who through his big eyes stared at his new house and parents.

Mommy told us this and we rushed to meet her and the child, oh what a bundle of joy he was. Fair complexion, ruddy face, thick hair, everyone said he resembled uncle and he really did. In a few days, he also started managing their lives, sleeping pattern, eating ways, all of it was dependent on this little boy who was their son. He is now a naughty boy of five and the darling of his father who once thought that all that mattered was his blood and his wife’s womb. When I remember all this today, it forces me to believe something which my grandmother says with all the conviction she has: the people we meet, love, lose, cry for are the people we are meant to..

Friday, November 18, 2011

Winters

Oh I love the winters chill

But sadly some they kill

While I get cosy in my soft quilt

They shiver in the cruel wind

When I bathe in the luxury of hot

Sometimes snub at the dirty lot

I sleep in the cold; carefree like a queen

But for them it is an elusive dream

For I have a house, a room, a bed

And the other side just a rickety shed

A small thought and a share of your wallet

Is all that’s needed to give needy a blanket

For that poor might also sleep

And we smile at our lil good deed

So, come one and come all

Let’s make this winter as beautiful as fall!


Genesis - I got to know about the Blanket Distribution Drive in Delhi being spearheaded by a group of IIM Ahmedabad graduates and that is what triggered me to write the above poem. Please get in touch with me at neha.dua86@gmail.com in case you would want to be a part of this drive.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nikita - The wonder girl (Part 2)

I called her the other day when I needed some information on BoB. She still has the same melodic voice and I felt instantly guilty of how irritated I often sound on the phone. Anyway, I quickly started telling her who I am as I thought she would have forgotten me but no she hadn't. She vividly remembered everything about our interaction way back when I was in Mumbai. It was only I who had kept the memory of her at the back of my mind. She was disappointed with me and of course she has all the right to be, I hadn't called her since the time I came back from Mumbai neither did I share my number. I apologized earnestly and asked what she has been upto all this while. She told me shyly that she got married in June. Now, my mind started racing in all directions - whom she got married to, how is she coping up with, where does she live and what not. But before even I could begin to ask her, the ever ebullient girl she is, she started telling me about her fairy tale. Girl met boy in office, same project, same aspirations, blossoming of love and culmination in marriage. I mean I was zapped, I could not begin to tell her how this new beginning in her life has touched me. Its so simple, clear like crystal. This girl who cannot see the world, touched someone's heart in her own sweet way and got betrothed for life :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Punjabi streak!

As my mommy says often – You dont eat Sarso ka saag te makki di roti and you dont like wearing gaudy, flashy clothes hence you are a misfit to be born a Punjabi. I usually just laugh this off because my parents do no better than I do, they are vegetarians, are extremely soft spoken, wear the plainest of clothes, speak as good Punjabi as would a Briton and don’t have anything much to show off either.

The other day, one of my uncles - my mommy’s first cousin called and invited us for their silver jubilee anniversary celebrations. They said that they wanted to make it grand, like a wedding and hence are taking all their close ones to this resort in Jim Corbett where it would be two day celebration. My natural reaction should have been, I can’t take off from work and that this is boring stuff so I am not going to go but whoa this I thought would be the litmus test if I could really be thick into Punjabis and see if I can be one of them. So, we planned for that weekend and off to Jim Corbett we went. They had done elaborate arrangements, the entire resort was booked and what a wonderful way to spend a weekend than being able to stroll down to the pool, click pictures near the fountain or have a cup of tea while you watch a wedding video which dates back 25 years. I teased my parents, the then newlyweds who looked at each other so very shyly. I also saw my grandmother shaking a leg and it was such sheer delight. Anyway, so the first day was Mehendi in the afternoon, we all sat around the mehendi walla and waited for our turns, I too got it done on both my hands and then got conveniently fed by daddy cool! Evening was what I was waiting for, for my favorite function – Sangeet was planned. The dress theme that evening was red and green and I had carefully chosen my outfit - shimmery and bright. The best thing in Punjabi gatherings is that you can never be overdressed and there are always enough people to make you feel comfortable. Soon enough started the proper Punjabi style Sangeetdholki, folk songs, gidda steps and the like. My feet wouldn’t stop tapping and it was indeed such a pleasure to be there. Well if this side all aunties made quite a noise then the uncles were no less, there was one Dr Uppal who sang all Hemant and Kishore Kumar songs, the uncles took drinks on drinks and he sang and sang. Quite late in the night, post the compulsory Antaakshari, we sauntered to our cottages. It was that day I realized how I am a true blue Punjabi who felt so much at home in such settings.

Next day, I woke up and got dressed at my own sweet pace, ate breakfast and then was another round of games and music. Well I won’t dwell into the details of the games but they were hugely enjoyable and I too won a prize, yayyy! I also met the prettiest 12 year old who was such a chatter box that I for once had complex about my ranting skills. The afternoon passed by all in boisterous laughter and loud music and then was evening, the time for cocktail party. As expected, the dress theme was black; one had to see to believe the sexy looking women and dashing men dancing away to glory. We came back the next day and guess what this is not over yet. Next day was the actual date for the anniversary and so a party again, a cake which was a feet smaller than I was cut, a lovely video was shown and huge diamond rings were exchanged. This was like truly seeing people living life king size. I have come to realize now that I kind of admire them, the generosity, the warm welcome, the dancing and singing, the part of letting go the sophistication for being truly loud and up there!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Festivity it is!

Its that time of the year again, when the mood is festive, shopping places are brimming with new stock and the temperature is coming down notch by notch. I was itching to go out and be part of every celebration - the dandiya, Durga Pooja and Dusshhera. Sadly, the super enthusiastic dancer in me had no partner for Dandiya and so I had to skip that. But, I am so glad I could manage to go to Pooja pandals as well as Dusshhera.

It was after many years that I revisited the Durga Pooja pandal and it was nothing less than magnificent. I visited 2 pandals and the enormity of idols in both of these took my breath away. The place was reverberating with the drum beats and the air evoked the fragrance of the holy smoke. I loved just standing there, being able to absorb all what was happening around. Quite late in the night, I could still visualize the scene at the pandal, I could still feel my heart pulsating. With the backdrop of such electrifying experience, I resolved today to go for the Dusshhera. We were at Lajpat Nagar market, I was helping mommy select bed covers, cushion covers, table covers and what not. Its only at 7 that I insisted we had to go and find the Raavan. To my delight we found not just 1, but at least 8 of them, in a vicinity of 500 meters. We sat in a park in front of 4 of them and waited for God Ram's arrival. The block which had arranged for 4 Ravans had done elaborate arrangements, so in that park were not just chairs, but all kind of savoury stalls, a stage in the front that had dancers in the form of Gods - Shiva, Sai Bada, Kaali maa and adjoining to the park were the heavy duty fireworks which added to the spirit of the program. Finally the God, appeared and with his bow - arrow aimed at one of the Raavans. In a matter of few moments, it was all up in the air, the big thermocol idol reduced to ashes thus declaring the victory of good over evil.

It is on such days that I feel with greater vigour that what a marvellous thing is it to be born an Indian. We are such amazingly crazy for festivals people. It is on these festivals that we bond again, leaving behind whatever little there is to nag about.

P.S - I suddenly remember an overused sentence from my school days essays. "India is a country whose strength lies in unity in diversity :)"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Do I miss Mumbai?

Since, it was raining cats and dogs in Delhi, I SMSed a friend and said that it feels just like Mumbai. He asked casually, "Do you miss Mumbai" and I sent him a message which ran into four pages, so I thought why not write a post on this.

Well, my answer in truest sense goes like this. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I miss the crazy freedom, miss it when I have to leave a concert/play and rush home, don’t miss it when I reach home dead tired and I have my beautiful room and good food waiting for me. Miss it when I have to keep convincing my parents to accompany me for a silly movie I want to watch, don’t miss it when I want to sleep on weekends. Miss it when I crave for Vada pav, don’t miss it when I get to have aloo tikki chaat. Miss it when I want to play poker, don’t miss it when I want to go on a long drive. Miss it when I want to see the sea; don’t miss it when I want to visit a park. To sum it all up, I would like to say:

My two cities, my two lives

One my mistress, one my wife!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Music and the maestros

Yesterday was an evening par excellence and I can’t help raving about it, so please bear with me. We left from Defence Colony (after having a good snack) at about 6 so as to reach Talkatora in time. I had underestimated the crowd which would gather to listen to the two maestros of music – Ghulam Ali and Jagjit Singh and thus freaked out to see long endless rows of traffic. Thankfully, the traffic police persons managed and helped us reach the stadium on time. Once inside the auditorium, it was an overwhelming feeling of grandeur. The concert was to begin at 7 and till 7 30 it hadn’t started, I was getting impatient but then a look around the theatre and I felt a small being who would rather wait than fret.

Soon after, arrived the great ghazal singer Ghulam Ali. He had an instant way with the audience, a line here and there to connect, he sang what he liked and he sang what the audience wanted. He had such an artistic way of singing that I listened with awe. He would slightly tweak the tune, he would give variations to his baritone, and he would even explain the Urdu words so that the meaning of Ghazal is conveyed in a succinct manner. It was as if he had taken the entire audience in another world, a world of Shers, Raagas, Ghazals and Nazams. After a little over an hour, he stopped to pave the way for the undisputed king of Ghazals - Jagjit Singh. But before he stopped, his last rendition – “Chupke chupke raat din” was given a standing ovation and my heart leapt with joy as it is one of my all time favourites.

Jagjit Singh entered amidst a roaring applause. There was pin drop silence thereafter, in the crowd, as we were just too eager to hear him sing. He started casually adjusting the mike and the sounds with one of his great numbers – “Hosh walon ko khabar kya”. It was pure magic and I was enraptured by his silk voice. As he kept singing, I was losing myself in thoughts, in music, in the words which were beautifully crafted in each Ghazal. The more I think the more I feel incapacitated to write about the greatness of his music. It was sheer joy in the auditorium when one after the other, the audience figured out that the Ghazals, being sung were soulful to the core. When he sang the legendary “Kal chaudhvi ki raat thi” the applause just won’t die down. I too clapped with all the energy and my heart smiled with content. I quietly slipped out then as it had gotten late and I had to rush home. The way back, I played the same Ghazals and hummed all the while. After this phenomenal experience, I have decided to send mommy daddy to the next Jagjit Singh concert in Delhi. :)

It would be unfair if I end this post without mentioning the two people who technically were the support for Jagjit Singh, but were doing a fanatbulous job at the Tabla and flute. Also, thanks to this concert I saw on stage my favourite RJ - Nitin and I wohoooooooooooooed for him as loudly as I could!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

As green as it gets

Kerala was long awaited, one because I was exhausted to the core and second because I always wanted to see what Kerala is all about. So, it started with the usual, me pestering my parents, they conceeding and then the planning. We didn't do any elaborate planning except for zeroing on the tours and travels. Once booked and paid, we only had to pack and the rest would be taken care of. The route we took was the Cochin - Munnar - Thekaddy - Allepey - Cochin. I can only say that it was so green and serene that I almost lost myself there. The tea plantations, spice gardens, backwaters, Periyar lake, hills all are exquisitely beautiful and have to be seen to be felt. It is one of those places which I can imagine to ward off a bad dream and sleep in peace.

Anyway, so I will only highly recommend Kerala to you and let this be. Now, what I am going to write about are the people whom I met and remember in great detail. The first was the cab driver who drove us all around the State. He met us on the very first day, my first impression of him was that he was a maniac and will get us killed in the hills. Thankfully my perception of him changed quickly and we were glad to have him around. All the the things about him were likeable - he dressed smartly, smiled shyly when his eyes met mine, was super concerned when mommy felt puckish and last but not the least played the most awesome music ever. Such fabulous surrounding and great music, what more can one ask for. Nadeem mostly played my favourite Hindi music and once in a while Malyalam songs which also I liked, considering our tastes in music is quite similar. One day, while I was absorbing the breathtaking environs, daddy cool asked him casually about his background. He said that he has completed his masters in Marketing from Cochin and currently looking for a job. His being the driver part was because he loves to drive and has nothing better to do at this point in time. I pondered for a moment and then felt sad about the lack of employability of the young and educated in India.

I asked Nadeem one day to take me to a good massage place (it is a must when you visit Kerala). He took us to a Ayurvedic center in Munnar and said this is the best in town, I said thank you and took the flight of stairs to meet the manager of the place and subsequently the masseuse. She was a dark complexioned girl with child like features. Her name was Tinu and she was my age. I was fairly apprehensive in the beginning but she did all to comfort me and made me feel at ease. Once, when I started enjoying the massage, we started talking about my trip, her family, her entering this field, our salaries and so on. She works hard to make the ends meet, even in the off season, she gives massage to at least 5 people, this leaves her tired but then who has the time to feel the tiredness. I don't know at what point we connected but we spoke as if old friends. She told me she got married against the wishes of her parents and is now the mother of a two year old baby girl. Her story goes like - girl fell in love with boy, they fought with the world, got married and now the girl regrets. The overwhelming responsibilities, the trifle little they earn as a couple, the reckless husband seem too much of a cost to have been paid for a love marriage. She advised me out of her own experience "don't get married madam, very problem madam". The words stuck and so did her lovely face. I thanked her profusely for giving me the luxurious massage and then I left.

Nadeem was standing outside when I left the Ayurvedic Center, he took me where my parents were shopping and was pleased to know that I liked the place he recommended. On the sixth day of our trip, he bid us adieu and dropped us at the Cochin airport, he waved and so did I.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Food and the like!

Today, mommy took me to the nearby temple and asked to distribute black chanas to the kids who play in the vicinity. I saw about 5 – 6 of them happily running around, I gestured to them that I wanted to give something. In flash of a second, there were more than 20 who gathered around me, begging as if this was all they had waited for their entire lives. Such pleading, such hunger for something as small as black chanas was beyond me. I don’t remember last time when I devoured any food item the way those kids devoured their little snack. It isn’t the first time when I have seen kids snatching away whatever little I have to offer, but today I felt pity for them and for myself though for entirely different reasons. I have it but don’t want it; they don’t have it but crave for it.

Life would have been a beautiful dream, only if I could value, all what I have.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stupid stupid me!

Well you must know dear blog that I can be really eccentric. I mean if something gets into my head, its almost impossible to take it out till the time I have found a solution to it. Like the other day, SA asked me that with "I" when is "was" used and when is "were used, I was flummoxed to realize that I didn't know. I spent an hour that night on google search about grammar rules and all that but in vain. Finally, I stumbled on a blog which explained the was/were concept in great detail. In some ways, it was abstruse but I figured it out and slept in peace. Just out of curosity, I asked daddy cool the next morning about it, he answered in a second and in the simplest of the words. He said "beta, when its wishful thinking "were" is used and when facts are stated "was" is used. He then gave me an example - "if I were a bird" and "I was in London last week". Its amazing that how google age has not made me a tad bit smarter. Thank you, daddy cool, you are and will always be the most intelligent man I know.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Jaipur and more

I went to Jaipur last week and the experience was particularly refreshing. I tagged along with a senior colleague in his car and to our surprise the drive turned out to be a smooth and pleasant one. There was cool breeze, traffic free highway, countryside view and some great music. We reached in four hours flat and prepared for the work next day. I will skip the part about work but what I want to mention is that 22 people (fast trackers) together were on a journey to discovering themselves. We (the senior colleague and me) were facilitating the process and were quite liking it. First time in my life, I had the opportunity to give feedback to others on their personality traits, work place behaviour and so on. I remember how fascinating it used to be when in OB sessions, I got to know things about myself and so I secretly hoped that the group also finds the discovery fascinating and enlightening.

The resort where we stayed was a quiet and lovely place. It had a huge lawn, a swimming pool, monkeys, trees and in general an environment which is conducive to peaceful thoughts. The 4 day program went on smoothly and finally it was time to come back. For the return journey, I decided to take volvo with the group. We started at 4 and since, I had had a heavy sumptuous lunch, I dozed off without wasting any time. When I woke, the sun was beginning to fade and just then one person suggested that we play dumb charades. The group seemed reluctant and so was I. Just imagine a group of people with an average age of 32 who have met only 4 days back playing dumb charades! Anyway, we started and then there was no looking back. Everyone got so engaged in the game for the next 4 hours that one person almost missed boarding off at Gurgaon! Fact of the matter is that some things in life don't change and one of those being able to play dumb charades, wherever - whenever :)

The post ends here and what I am going to write now, has no relevance to anything written above but please read this because I am itching to tell - Men can be so obnoxious, today while I was walking on a road full of traffic and people, a person barely a step ahead of me took the smallest step towards the side of the road and relieved himself. DISGUSTING is the word, I mean, have men ever thought that how girls manage and don't they have an iota of shame whatsoever.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I was sulking big time today and SA & I were mostly talking about how time is a healer and stuff like that when we started discussing about the first crushes we have had in school. I never thought it could be such a refreshing topic; we spoke enthusiastically about the first guys we liked as young girls. We shared our little stories and in a few minutes I forgot all about my bad day.

I think I was 13 or 14; and there was this cute guy (lets call him A) who suddenly showered me with more attention than what a 14 year old girl can manage. Initially I was scared and uncomfortable with the fact that he liked me. He was really vocal about his feelings (I think we understood feelings then too) and that is what freaked me out. But, I remember vividly going red with blush when A dropped a love note in my desk. His handwriting was pathetic to say the least and I couldnt make any sense of what he had written but I read and re read whatever little I could read. It sounds incredibly funny but I have to confess that I also secretly sang and smiled to myself after that

If school was not enough, then there were evenings too. Occassionally, I crossed the park where he played cricket and without exaggeration I will say that my heart beat raced at a speed unthinkable. I would only steal one glimpse of him and he by some magic would hit a six. In that precise moment all eyes would be at me (or at least I believed). I would then fluster and rush away from the spot only to find myself thinking about it hours later.

We have studied together since the time we were in first standard and thus have attended quite a number of birthday parties. But during that year, his Birthday party was some event in my life. I dressed nicely and picked up a gift which I fail to remember. The interesting part is when I reached, it was as if he was waiting only for me to begin the party and then the chit I picked up while playing a game read You have to dance with A. A was actually quite a charming dancer and I could have thought of myself as lucky but the shy me only smiled and danced with everyone.

How real that was at that time, how I felt that this will be it!

P.S – SA too shared something equally sweet and enticing, let me know if you too can recall your first crush J

Monday, July 25, 2011

Stars

I have been wanting to write this post for sometime now but have been dilly dallying, it could be because I don't know the entire story or because I am just plain simple indifferent. But it crossed my mind many times and so here I am trying to make sense of the little thought which keeps propping up in my head.

For someone like me who has had the luxury of going to expensive coaching classes, reading (read not reading) from foreign authors and ultimately scraping through a seat in a good institute, its easy to sit back in the comfort of an air conditioned room and type this piece on my laptop. But there would be many people not as fortunate as me, but having the zeal to reach somewhere someday.

Its an absolute delight to meet those who are passionate and ambitious. For them sweat and hard work is another dimension which I cannot fathom. Take for example, the street vendor who earns his living by selling "Kulche chhole" outside my office. The temperature soared at 45 degrees but he wore a vest and worked as if its just another day, just another time. He only concentrated on work at his hand, even when the crowd was too much for him to handle and we thought of walking away, he only smiled and said he will make our stuff in a moment. I was only staring at him in wonder, I don't know what drives him, a bigger stall, money, house, family.. but at that precise moment I wanted to take a bow at him.

I have always regarded education as really important, in fact till very recently I thought only people like me worked in big firms. Yes, I know I was amazingly naive but anyway the point is that once I started working, I came to know that big firms became big only because they were too many "small" people willing to work hard. I am lucky to have met them, not many in number but enough to know that stars do exist not just in the sky but in the eyes, in the dreams of people who one day will be what they deserve to be.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The evening was going as we had planned, pizza, the movie, giggles, nachos, muffin and then the instructions which SK usually gives me - drive slowly, roll up the windows, be careful and I hushed him by saying that its a 15 minute drive and I am sure I can manage that.

But alas, I couldn't. I was only 5 mins away from my home, singing away to glory and slowing down while taking a right turn. BOOM! I heard and my heart sank. I mustered the courage to look back only to find the shards of broken glass and a toppled over auto. It had hit me from back and for 30 seconds I couldn't fathom what just happened. In no time, I saw about 50 people that gathered. I rolled up the windows, my hands trembled as I picked up my cell to call dad. My shaky voice told him that all is not well, he told me to remain calm and that he will be there in a moment.

Just then, someone knocked at the car window, his eyes accused me of something I had not done. I wanted to put up a brave face but could only meekly ask "how is the person in the auto". It was the toughest, the scariest moment but thank God for he was fine and so was I. It was then that someone suggested that I should leave the spot. I rushed and came back home to hugs, kisses and reassurances..

Its all fine now but I feel so miserable for my little, adorable Merc :(

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Different people have fetish for different things in life. I too have discovered mine and to my surprise it is an inexpensive trinket, found everywhere, used by everyone and valued by none.

I won’t keep you guessing today and so here I go – key chains. I adore them and buy them wherever I go. I didn’t realize till a long long time that I love collecting key chains. Now, when I look back, it makes absolute sense, each time a key chain broke, or was lost my heart ruefully wept.

I have had all kind of shapes and sizes – doll, teddy bear, dolphin, elephant, grapes, shoes, zoo zoo, guitar, bicycle. Even the ones which said “Love you”and“Lil miss perfect” have adorned my wallet for good time. I keep telling my friends these days that key chains are such wonderful things. Secretly, I am only wishing that they will pick up a couple of them for me wherever they go :)

Just an afterthought – I also like collecting modes of transport – auto, bicycles, rickshaws, cars, airplane, helicopter, taxi, trucks!

Ok, no more, that’s all for today, see ya!

Ohh by the way, if I already haven’t told you this in person – I saw Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif and Abhay Deol on the Lucknow airport and I am soooo awestruck by Abhay Deol.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A spring in the step, a smile on the face, a song on the lips, thats what happens when I see him in sight. We have been with each other for long now and with time; our relationship has morphed and taken a more meaningful form. It’s only with him, that I can be my true self. There has never been a need for pretense, for explanations and thus I feel not just at ease but at peace too.

Between us, I have been the spoilt one. Many a times, I have kept him awake till wee hours and then lain in his arms till late in the afternoon. Post waking up, I would take control over the TV remote, gorge on food, snatch the newspaper, look my ugliest unkempt self but he would never say a word. He would just be his same calm wonderful self. It’s so rare these days to find someone like that, someone so dear, someone so special.

Time flies with him and it’s only at night when I look at him wistfully, aware of the harsh truth that next day he will be gone and I will have to deal with it all by myself. Though I give him the credit of that one day, when he tries his best to rejuvenate what was lost when he was gone. In his absence, all I say is:

Ohh my dear Sunday, come fast
For your darling is waiting with open arms..

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fading away..

Tired, exhausted and dazed
No superwoman, I am left fazed
All this hoopla for just
Two little words of praise..

Sleepless, dreamless I wander
Here to there, mind is in wonder
My heart screams.. surrender surrender
The corporate dream is only a blunder

Droopy eyes and a fake smile
Sloched shoulders which carry a pile
Brickbats and countless files
For a pay cheque, not worth while

So much to do, in such less time
I will fade away before my prime
I wanna breathe, wanna be fine
For all I care, is a life which is mine!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Games, small silly games!

I am in one of those moods when I tell random things about myself, so mostly today I will give you a reason to laugh and hence if you have stumbled on this post, you might just want to read on. Now as much as it may sound childish, the fact remains that I love playing games. I was fascinated with my yesteryears “ghar ghar” and “Doctor” till a fairly good age and then though I graduated to “Tic tac toe” and “Name Place Animal Thing”, I still haven’t come out of those. Frankly, one major reason for my still sticking on to these games is that I am quite superb and can challenge and beat almost anyone.

Only when I thought that I will always revel in my small victories, I entered into teen and my friends started completely ignoring my invitation to play these games. I had no choice but to quietly acquiescence to their wish and console my heart that gone are the days when people invented and enjoyed playing such ingenious games. I kept growing old and in the passage of time met only a few people here and there who taught me more like “Gold, silver, bronze” and “Hangman”, I always later thought that all is not lost and there is still hope for me and my games.

Then, something happened somewhere and I found love. Out of the blue, I met people who were as crazy if not more about games I hadn’t heard about. They taught me dutifully and I like a diligent pupil learnt “Mafia” and “Poker”. It was as if the tiger tasted blood, it was addictive and thrilling to play these new ones, the big ones. For countless evenings and nights, I would play, win and lose; it was a dream run to say the least. But, as all good things come to an end, my love affair too ended though not for ever I hope, but yes, there has been break.

In the meanwhile, the ever flirtatious I wanted something to keep myself going. So, I figured out that games are quite simple, a couple of rules, 1 – 2 friends who still manage to take me seriously and there I go hip hopping to them for some fun and frolic. Now, since I have written till here, I might as well tell you two of the many games that I have framed. The first is called “yes/no” game, in this one, one player asks questions and the other one can answer anything except “yes/no”, the moment the tongue slips, the player loses. The only flip side in this game is that people these days have become smart and learn the art quickly. Nonetheless, it’s a lot of fun and hence highly recommended. My next game is the “Adjective” game, in this one, the two players need to decide on an alphabet and keep giving adjectives to the other person from that alphabet, the more the adjectives, the higher are your chances to win. This game not just improves your vocabulary but can also improve/jeopardize your relationship given the words you choose to describe the other person. Again, this one is a highly recommended and enjoyable game. I can keep on writing endlessly on this topic but then there should be a limit to unnecessary rambling and so here I put a full stop to this post. Just as an after thought, please feel free to get in touch if you want more silly games ideas!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I sifted through my old stuff today, since my house is getting refurbished it was my mom who insisted that I should do cleaning of my drawers and see if there is something which can be thrown away. I started quite enthusiastically only to be left bewildered and nostalgic at the end.

It was weird to be looking at school badges, greeting cards, college books, black and white passport size pictures of my parents, dried up roses, friendship bands and letters sent through post. I didn’t know what to throw and what to keep. I went through this paraphernalia carefully; but it only evoked a vague memory.

My late grandfather came alive in the greeting cards which he had sent year after year without a day’s delay. It had all sorts of flowers and colors; I don’t think that the likes of Archies make such cards today and I don’t feel, there are ever going to be any wishes as pure. My parents in the bloom of their youth, looked quite handsome and raring to go, two love birds betrothed for life. Their countenance may have changed a bit with time but the love hasn’t, it only has deepened.

The friendship bands were many in number and tell a story which is quite ironic, I can’t recollect who gave me which one, though I remember vividly that it was a matter of pride in school to don these bands and flaunt their ever increasing number. The earned school badges seemed like a world conquered, how can they now look like a trifle little piece of metal. I read each letter word by word making meaning of the innocent things once written.

I told my mom, after the two hour odyssey back in time, that I have cleaned everything, dusted the drawers and kept back each memory in the place it belonged to.

Friday, May 13, 2011

FB phobia

If there is one sentence that comes to my mind when I think of FB, then it has to be – FB has shrunk my world and brought me closer to people whom with time I had left behind (or viceversa!) It has penetrated in my life in so many ways - pictures, notes, random thoughts, announcements, invites, congratulatory messages and the like. In fact, it has become imeprative to log on to the FB account and see if in my world all is fine.

But of late, there has been a slight sense of trepidation while logging on to FB. In my introspective mode, I figured out why is it that I feel what I feel. It is a bit embarassing but then let me be candid and tell the reasons upfront. Ok, I will start with the one which is manageable – What if I put a status update after thinking through , spell checking twice, and still people smirk and laugh inwardly. My overhyped education as well as the small ego I have nurtured would together take a hit. This is about status updates on which I can still put up a brave face, but what if someone tags me in one of my horrendous looking times, what if I look fat and ugly, what if the farce of my profile picture is out in the open! And as I am writing this, I also wonder what if I have nothing to say to my virtual world, will people forget me and I will be lost in oblivion.

All the above, is actually just a fraction of how things on FB could go wrong and the biggest of my FB fears still remain unwritten. So finally here I go, what if I see an ex flame's new relationship status on FB? At the cost of sounding desperate, I think I will just completely freak out if someone I liked is now with someone else and their mushy pictures are all over the internet for common friends to like and comment. My little heart will go whining and crying for I don't know how many days if this happens. I mean it is ok, if I get to put a new relationship status and pictures but if my someone at sometime does that, I won't like it at all.

FB and its ways, sigh!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My dear blog, I am back after a month long hiatus and I have lots to tell. So I won't make any long stories and will try to keep as simple and short as possible. Not that, you can really sue me for writing long stories on blog but still the sweet considerate soul I am, I won't bore you today. Ohh this reminds me, AG my friend gets so frustrated with me because whenever I tell him something, I take like an hour, add all the small irrelevant details and keep procrastinating the end result, he usually scolds me and tells me sharply "Nehu, what happened finally, just tell that" but the mean streak in me doesn't let him get off the hook easily :) Ok ok I remember, no digressions today, so starting with major changes in life - my room and house got re painted, it looks all fresh, vibrant and happy. Though the work is still going on and I have taken a 90 degree rotation in my sleeping posture but I don't mind that!

Work has been hectic of late and I tried giving it all what I have, was diligent and generally didn't shy away from any of the responsibilities (mine or someone else's). So workwise I am content at the moment, thanks to the pay hike and the small little good words which the seniors and colleaugues at work bestowed on me. But I am missing MR (world's best boss) already who has left for US yesterday.

I am back to my aerobics class at the gym and it is wonderful to say the least, 25 of us jumping like monkeys, sweating it out and trying to catch and match all the steps! Oh by the way, I don't think I have mentioned, my best friend from college, VB is getting married and I am quite freaked out. In fact, in order to soothe my nerves, I have decided to dance on her Sangeet ceremony, it will be a solo affair and I am quite looking forward to it.

Yesterday, I was in one of those terrible moods of mine when the whole world seemed bad, when I felt like no one has ever cared for me and well as much as I am ashamed of admitting, I did cry without any reason or rhyme. Though now I am back to my smiley and giggly self, the credit goes entirely to H who did a whole lot to cheer me up.

Well, I have come to the last peice of information and sad as it may sound, it is true. Today, while driving back from the nearby market to my house, I got my car into this small gutter which was quite invisible in the dark, my car hit the wall adjoining the gutter and owing to my fantastic driving skills I couldn't get it out. I made quite a mockery of myself when 5 kids (1/4th my age) and a couple of young men, literally dragged my car out of that puddle. I shyly smiled and thanked everyone and sped away. As expected, my car got this huge dent at the back and I am quite upset with myself for inflicting this unnecessary pain on my car.

Ok, now no more updates which come to my mind, so off I go to sleep. Good night dear blog :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hip Hip Hurrrrray!

A billion dreams came alive yesterday when the Indian cricket team brought back home the elusive cup. It has been a victory of sorts – a victory against a formidable team, a victory against our own mental block and finally a victory of the game which we so dearly love.

2nd Apr 2011 will be remembered in the history of cricket as that one day, when the roads were deserted, when the shops lowered shutters and when the whole of India shut it itself to watch some mind-blowing cricket. The match was initially moving at a tortoise pace; the Lankans were slow starters but put up a powerful score in the end. It was then that I too moved out of my house and settled myself for the Indian innings at a lounge bar in South Ex. I was glad to see that the place was jampacked with so many people who had painted themselves, wore Indian jerseys and were in full spirit of the game.

The crowd had just got into the groove when the opening batsmen got out on duck. The trumpets were silenced, when the God was knocked out early on. The faces looked gloomy and the irrepressible cynic rose again. It was just the heart which kept brimming with energy and thought that all is still not lost. The journey after that was a dream run, with each boundary, the crowd rose to cheer. When the chase looked within the reach, the lounge was reverberating with music. Finally, Delhi boy – Gambhir, the cool captain and Yuvraj Singh, led the Indian team to the great victory. The clincher six evoked cries of exhilaration from the crowd and all of us jumped in ecstacy. It was an emotional moment for the team and the boys didn’t shy away from letting a tear or two trickle.

The euphoria which followed post match was nothing short of spectacular; we swayed on the tune of “Vande Matram”, bear hugs, beer bottles, trumpets, fireworks, congratulatory messages, the tricolor, all was on display. People in hordes came out on the streets, the frenzy reached its peak, CP to Defense colony, India Gate to South Ex, Indians were celebrating. It was a moment of joy for the game lovers, for the team who gave its sweat and hard work and for an average Indian who beamed with pride because the Indian Team brought back that one cup for which it had to wait for 28 long years. Once again, we put our stamp on the world map; once again we proved that India with all its follies and fallacies has arrived!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Last weekend went spectacularly well, there are a couple of reasons for that, the primary being that I went back to the place where I have spent my growing up years. My dad works with NTPC and so we used to live in this township called Dadri, which is about 26 kms ahead of Ghaziabad. It houses a thermal power plant and has a radius of 6 kms. Its a tiny place and this revelation happened only when we moved to Delhi. Back in township, there was never a need to step out for anything, there was a school (my school), hospital and a shopping complex. It was more and enough for my childhood and teenage years.

We used to live in this big house which was painted white on the outside, it had the luxury of a garden, veranda and a backyard. From the age of 10 to 17, we lived in that house and so there is an entire phase of life I associate it with. Friends, birthday parties, laughter, tears, rivalries, dreams, so much and more which it reminds me of. Since, I was in Dadri, I couldn't help but take a glimpse of that house and reminiscence of my carefree days.

I went to Dadri, with my two friends whom I have known through thick and thin of life, we have known each other since the age of 5 and have practically shared each little secret. We went because it was a wedding of this couple who was in school with us. We were all friends and they were tying the nuptial knot so we thought that it would be great to be a part of their celebration and of course we may just bump into old time buddies who in passage of time, lost touch. As expected it was awesome, to see our school friends together, they managed to look happy, stunned and ravishing , all at the same time. I also met other friends, we chatted, hugged, clicked pictures, teased each other and then headed towards our school at 2 in the night. We couldn't enter the school premises but nonetheless it felt good. We spent the night at one of my friends' place, it was till wee hours that we kept talking, finally slept and next day, it was back to being in Delhi.

P.S - I drove down the entire stretch to and fro Dadri

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Women's Day

Many many years ago, when I was a young girl, I used to get intoxicated by the fragrance of my English teacher, whenever she used to pass me, I wanted to touch her, wanted to talk to her. Her simple yet elegant style would take my breath away. There have been women and such amazing ones that even after ages ago, I remember them. While in school, if I wanted to emulate my English teacher, there was another one whose value system I wanted to imbibe, she used to teach me Hindi and lessons of life, the memories of which are alive and fresh till date.

Out from the closet, when I stepped for the first time in Delhi, I took to living in a PG with two other girls or didi's as I called them. There was one who sheltered me like a kid and made me a stronger person. From giving me directions on the phone to letting me have the larger space in the wardrobe, she was a sweetheart to say the least. I lived there for 25 odd days but she left an indelible mark.

Women in all walks of life; inspire me. The strength of character, the never ending patience, the ability to steer through the toughest, the steel nerves and finally the place they earn in a male dominated bastion. There is nothing now, which comes to my mind which my flock doesn't do. Bikers, politicians, pilots, directors, scientists, sportspersons, metro engineers, writers, wherever I see, I find these gracious beings adding color and zing to life. So this small post is my toast to all the women, who make this earth a better place to live in.

Wish you a very Happy Women's Day, cheers!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

The roses, the music, the gifts, the holding of hands and the endless exchange of sweet nothings, that sums up the perfect Valentine's Day for me. I remember in school, I would usually find something in my bag - a chocolate, a rose or a love note. The person would mostly not disclose his identity but it nonetheless was utterly cute. In college (both graduation and post graduation), a lot of my classmates would bunk classes and hang out with their boyfriends/girlfriends. Girls dressed in their best would be carrying big bouquets and guys typically would have done something a little beyond their means. Now when I am working, a few of my colleagues took a day off and went for a weekend vacation with their partners. I think all of this right from the beginning is very sweet and brings about that small gesture of love and that little extra which people have always done.

Of late, I hear people ridiculing the idea of celebrating love or in particular the Valentine's Day because its just too much of hype for nothing. A lot of people argue that why does one need a particular day to express love to the beloved. If its there then its there else its not. But I differ big time on this one, it could be because I am a die hard romantic or simply because I love, love stories. If you love someone then why not make it special, not to say that make that day the only special day in the entire year but it just gives an excuse to make another day special in the life of your special one. I also firmly believe that the whole feel of Valentine's Day can make anyone's heart go red with mush and so anyone who has ever been in love should be all for it.

By the way, my daddy cool exceeded all my expectations today and got a lovely card for my mom. To think of it, its so easy - the roses, the diamonds, the cards, the candle light dinners can just do the trick and bring back that yesteryear's magic.. that charm of falling in love all over again.

P.S - Thank you SA, for giving me that beautiful red rose from your bouquet.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Eyes

I might one day just be shoved out of the Metro, thanks to the my weird ways. I often stare at people and when I am traveling in the ladies compartment, I stare at women and girls. Some stare back, some shy away but I don't give up. No no, don't get me wrong, I am pretty much straight, the only thing which compels me to keep looking at women is their eyes as in the expressive eyes.

The more women I have observed, the more my belief has strengthened that how much they can talk through eyes. Its just all there, bare in front of the world to read to grasp and to make meaning of what these little treasures are trying to say. There are eyes which show helplessness, there are the naughty ones waiting to get into someone's arms, eyes raring to go and take over the world, eyes tired of the many burdens, eyes happy and content... The more the eyes; the more the expressions. I look at them and smile inwardly as to how many would be reading mine.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2 movies, 1 thought

I went to see "No one killed Jessica" with colleagues, I wanted to watch it because I was following the case very closely and so it intrigued me that how cinema would have depicted a real life murder case of a girl who was a no one to say the least. The movie beautifully displays the agony which a common man undergoes fighting the corruption, the biggies, the judiciary and the personal loss. The movie made me think hard, it touched a chord somewhere and was convincing enough to bring home the fact that apathy is looming large.

Today, on the occasion of our 62nd Republic Day, I was watching the grand parade on television. It was enthralling and made my heart swell with pride. Just when it ended, "Peepli Live" was starting on one of the movie channels. I decided to watch it especially after the critical acclaim it received. I knew vaguely that it talks about the farmer suicides; frankly I haven’t taken a lot of interest in the same and only had a superficial understanding of the issue. Coming back to the movie, it tells the poignant story of the innumerable farmers in our country. It is a satire on the government policies and schemes. It made me laugh a few times but in the end it left me with a heavy heart.

As an after thought, I realized that the media is portrayed in eclectic ways – in Jessica it was an enabler and in Peepli it was only a sham. The two movies are so very different; one revolves around the people who are a part of the great Indian story and the other about the people who have been left behind in the era of high income and growth. One is based out of the National Capital and other about some forgotten village, one about a young beautiful daring girl and other about a gullible illiterate farmer. But in both the stories, protagonist dies either in spirit or in form.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Meeeee

I have always liked myself, when I was a child I used to climb up the chairs to see how I looked in a new dress or hairstyle. I would smile in conceit and then would pester my dad for compliments. It was these compliments and kisses which made me like myself more. Then at school, I would be at the best of my behavior and so I got badges and prizes. There were enough relatives and neighbors who said nice things about me to my mom and that only added to my smugness.

Now when I have grown up, the badges, kisses and envious neighbors all have gone,what has remained is the love which I have for myself. I call myself by my complete name, buy myself nice stuff, let myself binge on good food and always treat myself with respect. I also tell myself often that one day its all going to be fine so I coax myself to giggle even when I am down and out. The love also turns into mild indignation when I realize that I have done something or someone wrong. I castigate and punish myself by saying that I didn't expect this from myself.

People around me always tease me that I am such a big narcissist but to think of it, I feel that its a good way to lift your spirits. Rather than depending on someone else, why not make pamper yourself, pay yourself compliments when others are still contemplating, smile when others are smirking and last but not the least reprimand yourself before anyone else comes and makes you feel small. This is just my small way of being loved and conceited :p

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lohri time!

Lohri is one festival which I so fondly look forward to. First it is winters and then there is fire. I always have this picture in mind, about friends, neighbors and relatives taking rounds about the fire, putting peanuts and popcorn in the fire and merrily singing or at least humming along with the songs being played.

So as you would have figured it out, I really wanted to celebrate Lohri today, I called up friends and told my colleagues that lets do something, all they could come up with was a boring dinner/coffee plan which of course was not going with the Lohri theme in my mind. I felt dejected and came back home at quarter past 8.

Suddenly, when I was lazily lying in my bed I realized that there would be some Lohri celebration happening in my society. I dragged my dad out of his quilt and there we were, all smiling and wishing people. I was apparently so enthused about the whole celebration that I kept bugging all uncles and my dad about the significance of Lohri. Some said it was about the newly weds and kids, some about the new year for farmers, the golden harvest and the few went to the extent of explaining that the earth starts moving towards the sun and days getting longer indicating the dawn of winters. I think I was just asking for the fun of it as I am happy as long as there is bonfire and bonhomie :P

P.S - This is my first post in the new year!