Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Flake's Take

A shining crystal of light and joy
Graceful in my fall from the sky
Mesmerizing to your eye
The original catcher in the rye

Oh dear, admire my beauty
Learn a lesson, while I do my duty
I am fragile yet stable
I am sublime yet able

I can touch your heart
You can touch my soul
But the moment you hold me
I will be no more

Your dream is like me
Your guiding light
The moment you force it
It will disappear into the night

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Why Europe was special?

  • Snowfall is serene. Not noisy like the rains, just beautiful!
  • People live differently. Work is work, fun is fun and work is fun too many a time.
  • Life is convenient - no pollution, reliable public transport, decent standards of living.
  • People show humility. You can tell you professor he is bum and he will try to explain why he is like that.
  • Knowledge is meant to be shared. No question is a stupid question. No answer is a privilege. No examination rigmarole.
  • You do not live to compete, there are bigger things in life.
  • Bureaucracy and politics exists, but still a certain minimum standard of ethics is maintained so that people's rights are not crushed in between clashing opinions.
  • Photography is a delight in the continent. There is something for everyone. The hues of the walls, shades of the sky, autumn colours, winter whites all just make capturing beautiful photographs easier.
  • All careers are equally respected. You are not looked down upon if you are a waiter or a house help, as long as you are earning your living rightfully.
  • You can do what you want to do. No one gives a damn. You do not have to live up to anyone.
  • No better place to celebrate Christmas than in Europe.
  • Each city has its own soul, its unique identity.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Esoteric

A drop of sunshine,
A ray of rain;
Did you know her little heart
Has its own brain?

Covering the grey rainbow
Lie cotton clouds astray,
In shades of pink and violet
Her sorrow they keep at bay.

Birds are her friends,
Butterflies her family;
Humans she doesn't understand
Their ways are weird and funny.

She knows no silence
And words are a stranger,
When eyes do the talking
You need neither.

Call her eccentric,
She couldn't care less.
Because she is an aspiring dreamer;
In her world, a princess.

PS1: A boring train journey helped me cut short the count down!

PS2: This was my 150th post on the blog. It has come a long way. Yaay.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Rebooting the Shadows...

20 days to go...

PS: Over the last two months, all my creativity has been spent on photography, loads of it thanks to the endless travel! I will post about stories from my favourite cities, soon. Meanwhile, I have to catch up with your lives through your blogs. Good to see you again!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

10 Most Distinguishable Features of Paris - An Indian Perspective

In random order:
1) The world's oldest and most elaborate underground metro system - you barely walk except inside the metro stations
2) The lack of English speakers - it is worse than getting stuck in rural Tamil Nadu without knowing Tamil
3) ''Bland'' vegetarian food - on the rare occasions you find it. Rich in one ingredient - maida
4) Short skirts - everywhere, round the clock, any temperature
5) Smooching in public goes unnoticed - whether between the opposite or same genders - seen frequently all over the city
6) Pooches are a fashion accessory and available in plenty - you find creatures which you could have never imagined are dogs, the vegetarian food section is smaller than the dog food section and most pooches live on a budget greater than 3 Indians put together
7) Fashion, loads of it - most brands considered upper segment brands in India are treated as poop here
8) Fitness - all residents are fitness freaks - practising either a sport or an exercise routine
9) Architecture - every structure they create has a touch of art - masterpieces are truly at the NEXT level
10) Loos with toilet paper and without water - yuck

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Bonjour

Dear Paris,
Parlez-vous anglais s'il vous plaît? That's all the French I know. Chances are high what is written would not make any sense to you as well. Which world are you living in?! How can anyone not know English! I feel like a stranger on your streets.

It is good to be the stranger sometimes. You can say whatever you like without the fear of worrying about what others make of it. ''Kameeno, kabhi to hass lo'' That's what I said out loud while travelling in the tram. They didn't have a clue.

On a more serious note, your people barely speak. There is pin drop silence in public transport. The city seems like it never speaks. The calmness is conspicuous to anyone who comes from a place called India.

However, you speak through art and architecture. Every building on the streets has an element of culture in it. Be it theatre, opera or sculpting, all are taken seriously. I must commend you for being able to retain your essence in the extremely modernized and fast paced world of today.

It is good to know you have a soul too. I have realized its importance after having returned from a city that has neither a heart nor soul. I at least know I can fall in love with you as I get to know you better.

Though I have much more to say (stuff like how 'bon apetite' is a misnomer for vegetarians in Paris), I have little time on my hands. I have been invited to a party by residents of your city. Looking forwards to a memorable three hours with them and an even more memorable three months with you.

Cheers,
The Illuminator


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Reason

The beauty of an argument
Lies not in the answers you give
But the questions you ask.
Innocent as the words of children
Yet provoking one's elemental thoughts.

A difference of ideas or
One of ideologies,
What is more dangerous
To the bondage of hearts?
Neither I say.

It is those questions
The mind asks itself
That can rip the heart apart
And hence, I seek reason
Not a choice between paths.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Confession to a Friend

Dear Friend,
I am glad I found you when I was about to get lost in the crowd. You were not a familiar face then. You gave me a sense of comfort nonetheless. I didn't need a hundred people to talk to, just one person who would listen. You obliged. I didn't know how big a favour you were doing to me then, but I now know what it meant to me.

Your arguments taught me how to reason. Your voice calmed me down when I had let turbulence prevail within. You used words I often would not want to hear, because you would rather have me hear them from you than a stranger. You showed me the right way when I was at crossroads.

Through our conversations, you opened doors to worlds which I never thought could have existed inside me. I would not have known myself had it not been for you. Thank you for being the mirror to my soul.

There were times I was demanding, times I was rude and times I over did the sarcasm. I have had reasons, well, most of the times. All said and done, I had never intended to hurt you.

Your generosity was hidden in the fact that you stood by me, despite knowing all my faults. The beauty of the bond was not because it was perfect, but because you accepted it for all its imperfections.

Though the letter talks about how our friendship has been thus far, I sincerely hope that it continues to remain the same way, forever. I will do everything I can to ensure that because our happiness is worth striving for.

Your Friend,
The Illuminator

PS: Friendship's Day is next week, but I was just in the mood for an early post. Dedicated to every single one of my close friends.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm not drink, hick

One Drink Down:
Hi Riddhi and Namita
Two Drink Down:
Hi Ridddhi and Namitta
Three Drinks Down:
Hi Riddhee and Nameettaa
Four Drinks Down:
Hi Rikkee and Nimita
Five Drinks Down:
Hi Risky and Nimipa
Six Drinks Down:
Hi Whisky and Manipa
And then he says:
You are laughing on me thinking I am drink. But I am not drink. I'm sorry! (comes and hugs all the guys, one by one) Maaf kar de yaar. I am sorry!
After some time:
Saale main tera khoon kar doonga..
PS: Inspired by a true story!! ;)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

A Love Letter

Dear Love,
I hear you have been busy. I don't know if you know but you have recently visited (or in some case revisited) some of my friends and infected them with the affliction that they don't understand. How can they feel self assured with your presence in their life if they can't comprehend you?

If they can't find assurance themselves, they look towards their friends, ordinary people like me, who to say the least can only give them a third person's perspective on the whole issue. How can a third person give a perspective on how love should be? How can anyone define it? Isn't it unique to every two people who are or have ever been in love? The irony is that they think you have to be understood before they can embrace you, while it is the embrace that brings the understanding.

On another note, the more I hear of you, the more I wonder what makes you tick in the hearts of people. Why a person chooses another can never be fully explained by anyone, including the two souls involved. It'll be interesting to know your modus operandi some day. Why don't you write an autobiography and tell us your story?

Since I know what you mean to me, everything I have written here may be coloured with my experiences, no matter how much objectivity I try to retain in my words. But at the end, I know, you who none understands, will understand.

Yours Sincerely,
The Illuminator

Friday, July 02, 2010

Pause

That's the button which had broken while playing the film called 'My Life'.

I have found a replacement and put it in place today and hopefully, forever.




Thursday, June 03, 2010

True Love

My first attempt at writing a song...read on!

The strings of a guitar, that hum a song of the soul
Mending a broken heart, bringing a ray of hope

The colours of a picture, that create an array of emotions,
Giving a different shade, to every place and face

They can only be one's true love

Love that never loses sheen
A passion so pristine
Feeling happier
Never torn apart

They can only be one's true love

The moves of a dance, express a little story
A story of romance, of pride and of joy

The words of a poem, add a new meaning
Creating different pictures, in every other reader

They can only be one's true love

Love that never loses sheen
A passion so pristine
Feeling happier
Never torn apart

They can only be one's true love

Feeling happier
Never torn apart

PS: Dedicated to all our passions...

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Mother's Life

She sits there, staring not at her kids but the brick wall that lies before her eyes, wondering. Even though she is not looking at them, they are the only thing on her mind. She asks herself:

''Will their future be the same as my present?"

''Will they come and hug me when they grow older like the do now?''

''Without them, my life is as lifeless as the bricks in the wall.''

The kids, not knowing what is on hers mind continue playing with one another, gleefully unaware of how she sacrifices her today for their tomorrow. She and the children will all grow older, she growing more fond of them while they grow more distant from her as time passes.

With time, the show of affection is replaced by a bond so strong, that its beauty cannot be conveyed in words or physical gestures. It grows. It feeds on their love for each other. Just like a hatchling who discovers his skill of flight, leaves the nest never to return, children would forget their mothers had this metamorphosis in their relationship not occurred. Luckily, that is not the case. Their love is timeless. It is the love of a mother and her child.

PS: A belated Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who have made their children everything they are today.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head

Have I ever told you I love the first rains of the season? Oh yes, I have, not once, but twice. But nonetheless, today, after having got soaked in the first rains again, I realize why it is so. I do not want to get into the clichés of ''the smell of earth'' or ''the sound of a cuckoo chirping'' or ''the fresh look of trees''. All that adds to the beauty of the moment. That is what you feel through your senses-fragrance, sounds, sights and touch.

I find the rains beautiful because of the feelings they evokes within me. The rains are blissful solitude, one of the few elements which can drown out the noise surrounding me. Call me a loner, but over the years, I have realized the importance of being close to one's own self. I love it when nature defines the setting for my date with me.

Amidst the chaos of urban living and fast paced routines, I can bring my life to a stand still by getting engrossed in these tiny offerings which nature has to offer, which many almost always conveniently ignore. When I observe carefully, I wonder how unnecessarily complicated we make life, when all the answers to our problems are right out there, hidden and waiting to be uncovered.

In our desire for more - money, time and materialistic pleasures - we forget the value of what is available to us in abundance. When we do so, we have no one but ourselves to blame. We were born free but we chain ourselves to what the world thinks is right, valuable and important. We unintentionally become slaves of our own desire.

Coincidently, while I was having a great time in the unexpected showers that blessed Gurgaon, my friend messaged me ''There is a new bird nest on a tree near my room. There is a tiny squirrel playing around it. Life seems simple when I look at them. Abundant and boundless.''

That pretty much summarizes what I was trying to say - simplicity, abundance and boundlessness. The first rains are all about it. Nature is all about it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Last Sunset

The light it brought
The beauty it revealed
The warmth it gave
The life it breathed

During every instance of life and death
During every time of storm and relief
During every case of success and failure
During every moment of joy and grief

Despite the dark clouds that hovered over
Despite the rains that damped the spirit inside
Despite the sands that blocked the sight
Despite the eclipse when the sunshine died

It arose everyday in a million lands
It arose to cheer up depressed souls
It arose to signal a new beginning
It arose showing paths to new goals

Overwhelmed by tiredness of routine
Overwhelmed by the misery seen
Overwhelmed by the hearts broken
Overwhelmed by the damage unforeseen

It realized it could take no more
It realized the journey was complete
It realized the time had come
It realized the last rites had begun

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Institutionalized

Like a typical management student, I will begin this post on my first year at a b-school with statistics. In the past academic year at MDI, I have met and interacted with nearly 600 students who were strangers to me before I came here. Apart from students, I must have attended at least 3 dozen sessions by the acclaimed and not-so-acclaimed executives, senior managers and achievers who have come and spoken about why they are doing the best thing on earth. I have given 43 exams, 86 quizzes and submitted at least 20 projects. I have seen two placement cycles of 630 students. Three festivals and six loud, crazy parties have passed by. Been a part of two elections and become secretary of a club in the latter one. Lastly and most importantly, I am sure I have slept only 4 hours a night on 75% of the days (not verified, could be higher!).

The frantic pace and the shocking numbers are perhaps the least pronounced change in my life. What has changed from my engineering years is, the rate of bonding with friends. When I came to MDI, I was unsure if 2 years (with the kind of schedules we had) would be enough to make friends who you eventually get closely attached to. A year down the line, after having bid them adieu for the internships, I feel a huge void on campus! Like a home is incomplete without family, an institute is barren without its student community. I am direction-less after I come back from work everyday.

Though its familiar territory, I still feel at a loss of things to do. Who do I ping for tea at 3AM? Who do I call random nick names that have become so integral to who they are?! Who will tell me "Bahar nikal jaoo mere room se" when I piss her off? Who will 'nurse' us with advice? When will there be a time for 'immoral imagination'? Will anyone else be able to prove that sarcasm only grows better with age? Who will say in reply to the question that "I don't know about sarcasm, sex drive doesn't"? I don't even have any of the ultra-sensitive friends to offend and then make up to! What about the literacy drive? What about the next submissions? Someone would have told me "lite le" but frankly, I am so bored. And it has only been a week.

The irony of the routine is that initially, you want to get away from the immense pressure and over time, you want to get away from the lack of pressure. Squeezing 18 hours out of a day, with a bit of work and fun, with time split between friends and family, while you move a step closer to your dream is highly satisfying. It becomes a habit.

"Nothing is impossible" - that's one important lesson I have learnt after coming to a b-school. The other vital learning is "You can FAFF your way out of anything, really!" But the most important one is "You cannot do anything alone." RG sucks!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Random groups we join on Facebook

My friend joined nearly 50 groups in a span of one day. I have been joining random groups on Facebook too but 50 in a day seemed to be like a landmark figure. Some of the names of the group are interesting, amusing and have an instant connection with what's on my mind, which seems to be the sole reason of joining the groups. Here's a list of some of those which my close friends and/or I have joined (keeping the names as they originally are, so please excuse the language, grammar, et al) in no specific order:

1)I Can Type On My Mobile Without Looking At The Keypad.
2)Sometimes ALL you need is your best friend.
3)Drawing with your finger on fogged glass.
4)FLINCHING IN BED COZ YOU HAD A DREAM YOU WERE FALLING...
5)'I don't bloody care how old the song is! I like it. So shut up!'
6)I'm double majoring in Napping and Facebook with a minor in Procrastination.
7)No I'm not lying, but when you look at me like that, how can I not smile?
8)I Have Died Over 147 Times for Not Having Forwarded Those Chain E-mails.
9)When my Internet is down, I forget that the rest of my computer still works.
10)Givin your friend a certain look and they undertsand what u mean.... :)
11)Its not "haan", its "hau"
12)I hate people with bad grammar.
13)I Thought You Were Hot Until I Clicked on "View More Pictures"
14)Yes, I do sometimes speak in strange accents for no reason.
15)Maam could you please fuck off........the bell rang already.
16)If You Can't Differentiate Between "Your" and "You're" You Deserve To Die
17)30 Things To Do In An Exam When You Know You're Going To Fail It Anyways!
18)When a teacher points at you, you look behind and then say "who me?"
19)Noticing teachers wear the SAME SHI* everyday !
20)I Hate It When Parents Say 'We'll See'
21)I don't care if you found an abandoned pink cow!
22)I can't believe I was once interested in you (what was I thinking!?!?)
23)Pull your fucking trousers up.
24)People who dream about teeth falling out
25)I have wierd dreams sometimes. Do you?
26)I hate it when i get a text, but its not from the person i wanted.
27)I hate it when i sleep at someones house and wake up AGES before them.
28)Hiding Behind Another Kid So The Teacher Doesn't See You Laughing
29)Yeah, ok, yes, yeah, yeah, ok, yes, ok, i know, ok, yes, BYE MOM.
30)I read the group name, I laugh, I join, I never look at it again.
31)I Join Too Many Groups Because Their Names Make me say.. "OMG, THATS TRUE!
32)No, I Don't Care If I Die At 12AM, I Refuse To Pass On Your Chain Letter.
33)I hate Sunday mornings when I realize I have wasted my whole weekend!!
34)I Will Study Tommorow, I Swear To & I Will Try, I Promise!
35)There is NOTHING Rajnikanth can't!
36)Eva Had A Song Constantly Play In Ur Head Durin An Exam????
37)pulling dried fevicol off my hands made me happy as a child. so what??
38)I hate people who speed up when you're crossing the road
39)My best friend and I have conversations that are impossible to understand.
40)I like when my scissors glide through the paper so I don't have to cut.
41)I hate stupid people!
42)"OK class, please copy what im writing on the board" THEN MOVE YOU IDIOT!
43)I always manage to find the dirty side to what people say!
44)Saying "huh?" even though you clearly heard what the person just said.
45)Sugar Free, Fat Free, TASTE free.
46)We Need A Sarcasm Font.
47)STOP staring at me you creep! you are making me nervous!
48)I love those moments where you just smile and think, "i love life."
49)Can you like, shut up for just 2 minutes?
50)I yelled out the wrong answer in class and now I look like a moron. Great.
51) When I was a kid I........no wait, I still do that
52) "Wow, you've grown!" "Well... yes... that tends to happen."
53) I dont care about your farm, or your fish, or your park, or your mafia!!!
54)Typing what you really want to say and then deleting it!
55)Nothing Is Wrong, I'm Just In a BAD MOOD, OKAY?!
56)Don't ask for my opinion and get mad when I tell you the truth
57)I need a vacation!!!
58)Saying " It's ok " but secretly knowing its killing you inside
59)Singing with your headphones on and not realizing how loud you are.
60)I honestly hate the feeling of building up for a sneeze and with no outcome.
61)I hate people who walk really slow infront of you and can't get past them.
62)I hate it when i forget something i really wanted to say.
63)Checking the fridge every ten minutes to see if any food magically appeared.
64)Watching the Night Sky.
65)Having Inappropriate Conversations in Public.
66)We act like its a secret drug deal when someone is just giving us gum.
67)Does she seriously think she looks good in that picture? HAHAHAHAHA!
68)I hate it when the bus seat/window vibrates when i rest my head on it..!!
69)I DON'T CARE IF IT'S A LONG STORY, I WANT TO KNOW!
70)Hate it when ur tired but get in bed & u cant sleep :@
71)I Feel My Phone Vibrate When It Doesn't.
72)I'm not creepy, i just have really good memory.
73)What if "x" doesn't want to be found?
74)Talking to an old friend makes you realise how much your life has changed.
75)I am not a morning person. Do not pull the covers off me. I WILL KILL YOU.
76)When adults say 'who do you think you're talking to?' well you obviously :|
77)I'm so glad no one can read my mind...
78)Being offered something and saying no then regretting it 10secs later
79)I wish my friend's houses were connected to mine via secret tunnels.
80)Woah! What The Hell Are You Doing In My Dream? GET OUT!
81)OH CRAP . you just said something really sweet, now what do I say ?
82)"Are you going to school tomorrow?" "No, I'm riding my unicorn to Alaska."
83)OMG guess what, I DONT CARE.
84)I hate it when you look at the clock and only 5 minutes of class passed.
85)CAN YOU PLEASE STOP DOING THAT BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE?
86)I secretly hate you. I'm just nice so I don't start drama.
87)I Like hate when Like people say Like when Like they are Like talking
88)I bought a bag of chips. Not half a bag of air.
89)Nodding at a teacher just to look like your paying attention.
90)"I studied I swear sumthin was wrong with the exam"
91)"You had all weekend to do the homework" "Oh, sorry i have a life..."
92)I Was Alive When Sachin Tendulkar Made 200 Against SA In An ODI
93)I finally stop laughing... look back over at you and start all over again
94)"Don't see me, don't see me, don't see me"... "HEYYY!!!" ... "f*ck"
95) That awkward moment when you glance at someone staring at you.
96)Looking at old photos and thinking how much things have changed.
97)You get all comfy....Then realize that you left the remote next to the TV!
98)CID : "Sir Darwaza to Locked hai" , "Daya, Darwaza Tod Do"
99)You say goodbye to someone and then you end up talking for another hour.
100)Tom, Its Been 30 Years ... Your Not Going To Eat Jerry

I am truly jobless.

Acknowledgements: All my friends who have inspired me to join their league.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It was all ''Yellow''

Miles above me, I could see them throw sparkling smiles on me. Not one, not hundred but thousands of them, holding on their own in the darkness of the night. Some appeared brighter than others. The silence hovering over the lake and the banter of the monkeys in the forest somehow seemed to accentuate the sight further. The absence of moonlight had sharpened the night sky even more.

All the constellations I learnt about in my science text books were right up there - Orion, Big Dipper and Ursa Major. I could have created a few more interesting shapes with the help of my imagination, in fact, even identify a few faces. It was deja vu - both with the faces and that night.

I kept wondering whether that night was more beautiful than this one. I somehow couldn't remember. Even if I did, I couldn't draw comparisons between the two. A lot had changed since than, including me. I was seeing more good in this world than I was earlier.

The stars were at peace, not locked in a rivalry over which one was the brightest. All were in their place, with their own planetary systems around them. Their world was their own and so was their life. And they were answerable to no one but themselves. Being a part of another constellation was of no consequence to them. They did not exist for any thing else nor did any thing else exist for them. The stars simply existed and did what they were meant to do - twinkle and shine.

Pity that we humans still don't get this.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Precious

I am loving this phase. I haven't had to look hard for a reason to smile. All I need is to rewind and replay a memory, one so powerful that it belittles every other that has elapsed in the past. How long are its effects going to last? I am hoping at least this life time. That is being conservative in my estimate.

Nevertheless, my growing dependence on it worries me, but I wish to do nothing about it. It is the dependence that is the source of joy, which is as real as the first ray of sunlight. The joy is unconditional and boundless, has truly no strings attached.

Is it a dream? Possibly, yes. Such happiness can only emanate in a Utopian world, a fictitious wonderland, which is stuff of reverie. But then I pinch myself to check if it is for real. The thought vanishes momentarily but the feeling stays. I reassure myself that I am right. I am doing what not many others have done. I am living my dream, pursuing my personal legend.

Have I achieved my personal legend? No. What I have attained is the key to the door that leads me to it. I have a mirror that shows me the truth and the difference between truth and reality.

It appeases the vanity of my soul. It is that which can hear the voice of my heart and make me hear it when I am amidst deafening noise. With it, I can fall, but not fall back. With it, I can lose, but not lose heart.

It makes me strong. It is my precious.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Elixir

A song in the silent woods
A drop of the morning dew
A baby in the arms of a mother
A leaf that the wind blew
Take everything but these away
Let my elixir of life stay

A word with the one I love
A change of heart I brought
A fruit from the seed I sowed
A line from the poetry I wrote
Take everything but these away
Let my elixir of life stay

A balloon in the hand of a child
A hope in the rising sun
A smile that I can bring to a face
A tear of joy in the eyes of someone
Take everything but these away
Let my elixir of life stay

Happiness is a state of mind
Not found, nor stored
A thought so powerful
Not pursued, nor borrowed
It keeps finding me
When I choose to let it be
You can take everything but this away
My elixir of life will stay

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's her story?

What is your story?
A little birdie
On a stormy day
Separated from her flock
Lost her way

The time was difficult
The current was strong
Life came to a stand still
Everything seemed wrong

She flew aimlessly
In the wind and thunder
Whether she would live
She questioned deep down under

In eagerness she wondered
She looked here and there
There was neither roof nor cover
Available anywhere

Weather beaten and heart broken
She trembled in the rain
Yet help she didn’t seek
Coz others, she didn’t want to strain

As time passed
So did the storm
A ray of sun shine appeared
It made her soul warm

She woke up to a blue sky
Wondering how she survived
It could not have been luck
There were other forces that had worked

Prayers of friends
Their bribe to the Gods
To protect her and help her
Against nature’s swords

A few days later
Those winds had turned
The little lost birdie
Had recovered and returned

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I wish...

I wish...


Written from the perspective of a girl in the photograph, which was clicked in the periphery of the Kalra caves in Maharashtra

I stand on the edge of the precipice. I live in a world of abject poverty. My bare body is exposed to the elements of nature wearing it out before its time. I struggle to find my daily bread. I see everyday hundreds of visitors travelling to see an ancient ruin from distant lands. I often wonder how their world is different from my own.

My Version of the Ending:

They seem to be better off – well fed, nourished and covered. Theirs must be a better place to live in – happier and comfortable. There must be no daily struggle for life.

Nonetheless, I do not see the same curiousity in their eyes as I have in my own. Some give me a cursory glance. But I am mostly ignored. I seem to be a familiar face to them. Does their world have people like me to? Do they suffer and struggle? If the visitors are so well off, why do they not help those like me? Can they not improve the state of their own world?

Her Version of the Ending:

They seem to be well fed, nourished and covered, yet I do not see happiness in them - joie de vivre. Theirs must be a life of strife.

I may be poor but I can meet my needs and live to see another day. I may be hungry, but I am satisfied with a light meal. I may be cold, but I draw the heat of the sun because nature is my home. I may be bare, but I have nothing to conceal. I am stronger than they think. I am brighter than the darkness that engulfs my pains. I need neither help nor charity. I am content.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winter Blues

It is cold.

I am cold.

Ironically, my friends are cold too. In their case, the word has a metaphorical meaning.

Amidst the weather and gloomy moods surrounding me, I wonder. What do you do when they come to you seeking warmth? How do you decide who needs it the most? How do you know when to just listen and when to lend them a hand? How do you help them if they don't want you to? Should you become detached with their troubles, for the simple reason that they are their own? If yes, what do you do if you feel bound to them? Why is it so difficult to turn a cold shoulder?

I should learn to be cold.

On second thoughts, I can't.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Flashback

We have all said good byes to 2009 and welcomed new year (ooops, a little late but Happy New Year folks!). I celebrated my new year's eve with a trip to Mahabaleshwar, which was the perfect culmination to a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. Amidst all the fun back home, I forgot a close friend's birthday. The friend in concern has been delightful company over the past three years, being a part of almost every high and low that I have been through. My friend is called 'Whispering Shadow'. When I started blogging, I never thought I would get this far. However, with time, I have found more reasons to keep writing on this space. Today, I cannot imagine life without a blog.

Over the past three years, my blog has come a long way. I have become much more selective in the choice of topics for my post. I have found my small group of friends in the blogging world whose blogs I have learnt a lot from. I have also tried to improve the quality of editing and language, though there is still ample room for improvement. One area which I hope to work on is a fresher look on the blog in the coming year and more categories of posts.

To mark its anniversary in my own small way, I have decided to go back in time and paste snippets of some of my favourite posts, favourite not necessarily because they make a good reading but because they had a meaning in my life. So here goes.

Blame it on the Shadows (3/1/2007)
'Darkness is not concealed in the night
It is in our hearts and minds
Once there is radiance in the soul
The night will never be baselessly blamed for our woes.'

Overwhelmed (25/3/2007)
29 people, one team, one cause, and one grand event! There are few events which are etched in your life forever, and for me Focus ‘07 is definitely going to be one of them.

The Crossroad (3/4/2007)
The best alternative or the right one
The crossroad is hazy and vision is blurred
In darkness, when the sun sets
For enlightenment, I look up to the stars.

Resistance and Tolerance (7/5/2007)
I see my grandparents telling my 5 year old cousins, not to fight when one person hits the other and rather go and complaint to one of the elders at home. Two of their favourite lines are “You don’t have the right to punish your sibling” and “Revenge doesn’t get you anywhere”. All this is forgotten when they defend the perpetrators of the riots in Gujarat or the policeman responsible for fake encounters of Muslims. Is it hypocrisy? Or is it just the post independence mind-set? Or is it just the feeling that India means Hindutva n Hindutva alone?

Just Kidding (28/6/2007)
You could cry when in pain, without having to feel embarrassed about it. You could dance in the rain and you would not have to straighten up, when you see a pedestrian staring at you. You could crack stupid jokes and laugh at the silliest of things, because a good sense of humour didn’t matter.

Ouch! (4/8/2007)
In the end, she added more instructions: "You will have to bite and hold this swab in your mouth for an hour till the bleeding stops completely. Apply ice intermittently. Your face is likely to swell. You can't eat solid food today at least, though cold milkshakes and ice-creams are allowed." If she hadn't said that last bit, I would have felt a lot worse, being a complete foodie.

I know death is painful, but I really pray I don't end my journey the way my wisdom tooth did. May it rest in pieces and let me be at peace.


Teacher Teacher (5/9/2007)
To conclude, I have compiled a potpourri of quotes by great academicians.The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. Today, however, a teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. There’s nothing happy about teacher’s day.

Viva for Dummies (2/11/2007)
Act One and only, Scene two:
(Students emerge from the room and crowds gather around them)
DX: Kya poocha?
D1: Vaat hai yaar. Lagta hai fail ho jaaoonga.
D2: Bahut kuchh poocha lekin ek bhi answer sure nahin tha. Pata nahin kya marks degi. Saala kameena examiner.

Relations Management (20/1/2008)
Pehchante ho?" Since it is not good to be asocial, I try to blink, smile, then blink again, feigning the 'I am pushing my memory hard to conjure some name' look. On a memory miss, I say a polite and soft "No". Knowing the consequences of the reply, I force myself into a trance to skip the huge chain of relations that emerges out of the conversation, more so, if the reply is in English. "I am your father's maternal uncle's wife's sister-in-law." It would have been way better on my behalf to add an " and I am not interested in knowing you" tag after the first "No" but being curt is not a trait appreciated by most.


Stalk Talk (15/2/2008)
What do you do if a stalker who had lost your trail comes back into your life? What do you do if he knows where you stay exactly and has just dropped a gift at your doorstep on your birthday? Well, something of this sort happened to my PAL. I will call her PAL itself for ease of reference throughout the rest of this blog.

It was her 20th birthday. As is usually the case with people celebrating their birthdays, she too received a number of birthday greetings. On one of this calls, she heard an unrecognizable voice and that's when her ordeal began.

Children's Tales (3/4/2008)
Another fine afternoon, around a year ago, this question was put up to me from no where, “Do you have a girlfriend?” I was speechless not because I didn’t have an answer. I was in complete awe. “No,” I answered, “I don’t have the time to look for one.” Pat came another googly, “Then what do you do in the recess? Woh to free time hai na.” Now I was speechless because I didn’t have a smart answer. So I redirected the question to him. He proudly accepted the fact that his bench-mate is his best friend and she is a girl, so he has a girlfriend. She even kissed him on the cheek. I reconfirmed and the answer was the same. My jaw dropped open. When I called my sister to inform her of where today’s kids have reached, he screams “Ullu banaya!!!” God save tomorrow’s parents!!

Melancholy (13/4/2008)
Living strong his head held high
Despite the hurts that made him cry
He continued to grow old
The soul fading faster than its abode.

The holy lights guided him
Between that period interim,
The second he stopped living
And the moment he died.

It's so hard to say good-bye... (24/4/2008)
This was a bunch of people who would never hesitate to tell me, “Dude, you are wrong” and who would also say “Man, go for it!!” both with equal forthrightness. We have debated over petty issues, but always in the healthiest spirit. I doubt the walls of diplomacy will ever lower to such a level again, as they had in this last year.
I can go on and on about them and what they mean to me, but of all the feelings, I can now identify the most overpowering one. Their presence may have mattered, but their absence surely will. It is a matter of great pride to have been in their company.

The End (6/6/2008)
But you don't want to get cover. You want to stand up, raise hands and feel the rain. It gives you the impression that you are standing on the edge of the world with no one else around you. The thunder overshadowing all the sounds of a busy city and the lightning giving a cosmic feel to the surroundings. You feel free, you feel powerful, you feel overwhelmed, all at the same time. That is all until the shower becomes so heavy that it hits you on your face and you start feeling like a damp sponge.

ग्रीन सूप फॉर मोब्स्टर्स इंक (25/9/2008)
I thought of calling it chicken soup but then I didn’t want to offend the vegetarians in any group. I didn’t even use a name of a Chinese variant of the soup because there might be members from the Jain community whose sentiments I might hurt unintentionally. So here I am labeling my next post “Green Soup for Mobster’s Inc” Do I need to tell you why? I do not want to be the next person beaten to death with iron rods by a mob of 60 men in broad day light in a buzzing corporate complex for doing what is required of my job. Lastly, as an added precaution, I will write the title of this post in Devnagri script to prevent the MNS hackers from tearing my blog down. Since all measures are in place, I guess I can start with the recipe now.

While I was Sleeping (27/11/2008)
While I was sleeping
While I was dreaming
Mumbai was burning
Mumbai was bleeding
At those very places I have once been
I can imagine how it would have been
If imagining the ordeal is so painful
I will be lying if I told you
“I know how it feels.”

Sorry (6/2/2009)
Seeing the bread in my bag, the other one asked, “bread milegi.” I told her “Yeah ghar ke liye hai. Sorry.” I don’t think I needed to explain to her, but I felt obliged. I don’t think I said sorry because I was sorry for what I did, but because I felt sorry for them. “Sorry is a funny word”, I said to myself. Once again, my mind was brimming with thoughts.

What are friends for? (31/3/2009)
  • To confide in you how cute they found that girl who just passed by to be which was exactly what you were going to tell them.
  • To fuel your imagination. "Imagine Salma Hayek is standing right here in my bedroom" "Yeah, and she is naked."
  • To reinstate faith when you think you are being sucked in a black hole. "No it's ok. They won't touch your arm. They will only chop your finger"
  • To call you up and ask for "instant tips on how to start a convo with a girl you have seen on your morning walks" when standing next to her!
  • To cry without the fear of being mocked, unless its for a lost sock.


Why God Exists? (9/7/2009)
''...I have never asked anyone for help in my whole life, not even my children. I can't change my way of living as a result of a handicap...If you have faith in God and he will take care of you." There was an inkling of truth in this considering he has been living like this for the past 10 years and living well.

As cliched as it sounded, there were forces up there that were at work, an invisible hand guiding the ones who believed, ones in need. 'God'da take Him seriously!

In My Blue Pyjamas (17/8/2009)
As soon as the lecture got over, I rushed back to my room. Had a look in the mirror and realized why I managed to capture everyone's attention for a few minutes. I couldn't stop laughing!! I was a total mess. It was only natural of the others to be so 'nice' to me. But then there are always firsts in lives. Today was my first lecture in pyjamas. I hope it is the last.

I still don't know why I wrote this on my blog. Do you?

Whether Forecast? (13/11/2009)
The winter season is here
The search for reason is here
Are you cold under the feeble sun?
Did my heart unfold a story unsung?

Quietus(13/12/2009)
Embrace me
Once again be strong
The divine light beckons
To eternity you will belong.

Yonder lies a world
The abode of the soul
End the battle within
Let the pieces form a whole.

That was the last snippet in the super long flashback post. Phewww!! I should do this annually. It was fun to once again go through everything I had written. Now I will let the birthday party begin.