Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Unexpected , Unexpectedly

Some days you miss someone unexpected, unexpectedly. Its someone you weren't really expecting to miss and you wonder what was it that made you think of him or her to begin with. It might have been the sound of the rain and the way the street below looked in the yellow light. It could have been some song stuck in your head which just wouldn't come unglued. It might be a random swirl of wistfulness. It could be that this is how you felt when you came to know that person and feeling this way - lost and lonely for no reason; takes you back to that person.

It reminds me of discussions on topics I loved, conversations where what I said was understood - witty or emotional and how that brief exchange would make a small difference to my day. Its a useful memory , it makes me realize that for all the warmth of known relationships and the security of labeled emotions, there's something to be said about the undefined ones. Simple, undefined connections which neither defy nor threaten the usual definitions; they are just happy friendships which somehow managed to remain happy memories.

It starts a chain of thoughts which makes me miss other people in my life who in their small and big ways made me feel happy, understood and liked. It also makes me realize that I HAVE so many of them in this one life. I'm not sure anymore about why should it be so unexpected, its just the kind of people and kind of thing one should miss. Isn't it?

Purani Jeans

A few mornings ago, taking out a bag of old clothes to be sorted and donated turned out to be a different kind of cleaning than I thought it was going to be. When I unzipped that bag I was not looking to take down cobwebs from distant memories and wipe the dust off some windows way back in the past. That's exactly what I ended up doing. As I took out each layer of clothes, each new one revealed more landmark events in my life and in the ones entwined with mine. It was like a time capsule.

MICA interview, the first job interview, the first salwar suit - a blue one I got stitched for a birthday when I was in college, the t-shirt I was wearing when S and I first made out. A few of my and jijo's favorite ones. I don't remember doing it but clearly as I sorted out the clothes I didn't need (or fit) anymore and packed them away to be sent to Goonj; I kept keeping these few aside in this separate bag. Looking at them put me in a strange mood, part nostalgia and part melancholy. These scraps of memories made me think that even though I'm making new ones everyday there is a completely different and irreplaceable quality about these old ones. The clothes may be out of fashion now and may not fit anymore, the memories - they are always going to fit. They are from a time when I was really young, free and fearless; they remind me how it felt to be like that. Today the fearlessness and freedom are still very much there but they mean totally different things. Its a strange sense of loss, may be this is how it feels - to finally accept that you are a grown up and knowing that there's no way out of this one :)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fir Wahi Raat Hai

Its one of those nights. Nights when even after everyone is asleep and your tired body is demanding sleep it badly needs, your mind refuses to. Or is it your heart that does not want to?

Nights when you feel that strange delicious melancholy that you do not want to let go of, nostalgia that you want to linger in for just a little bit more.

Nights when you want to listen to songs that make you feel warm and alive and lonely at the same time.

Nights that make you yearn for something unknown that you feel you lost. Yet, you know not what.

Nights when the heart unlocks its forgotten doors and entices you to take a walk down lanes whose memory was starting to grow hazy for you; and once you decide to take that tentative stroll it takes you down paths you once knew and comes up with memories you didn't know you had lost, like shiny-bright pennies on a foggy night.

One of those quiet nights when I think about and feel nostalgic for many such nights in the distant past, a past which sometimes seems like it was yesterday and like another lifetime - all at the same time. Like the one spent watching the rain-slick, yellow-lit Delhi mall road from my window. Or the summery one spent watching the stars as I lay on grass slick with dew and listened to distant sounds of life and laughter elsewhere. The one spent on an overnight train, sharing a shawl and life stories with someone. Oh, and that one, one of my favorites, on terraces of various houses and hostels - spent chatting with my sister and/or our friends. Listening to music. Always the music in the background.

A night which makes me think about people in my life, that are. Of those who were. Friends who belonged to me, or the ones I belonged to. People who touched my life and went past ... like the proverbial trains in the night. And the ones who made a place and stayed on. About old, rusted questions that I have answers to now and the ones which remain. Lending a little mystery and romance.

This night makes me gaze back for no reason and when I do, those distant days seem like small pods where we lived uncaring of the past and oblivious of the future. Even tonight, there is no joy or pain or fear or excitement in looking back; just a calm curiosity. Like wiping a window frosted with time to see what lies behind.

This night. These nights. They leave me with the dreaminess I need to go on. Go on till I will have another one of these trysts. Raat to roz dhalti hai magar, Kaun jaane fir kab aisi shab miley. Who knows when that will be.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Know who to ask

This is how an SMS exchange between Praks and me over the weekend goes ...

Praks: I'm getting a hair cut. This guy is suggesting that I straighten a bit of hair in the front and leave the rest curly as is. What to do?

Me: Go ahead!It may look good, if not, you could just straighten all after a few days

Praks: I knew you would say this! What else can I expect from a girl who colored her hair magenta. I shall go for it :)

Learning- If you want advice you can follow, know who to ask.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

That's What

This is the kind of thing you need to have to feel at all times, that you are loved and can go on. That you can crawl out of your shell or look up from a crazy sprint and know that there's comfort and conversation and laughs and the warm feeling anytime you want them. Ser, I'll say it again. You're my person. This made my day, may be even the week :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

MJ is gone

I woke up to the shocking news of Michael Jackson's death and though I do not have tears for him, as I watched the images on the telly I had goosebumps and a deep sense of loss. I don't think there's anyone from my generation who has not been impacted by his music and I am no exception. Saying something about what a phenomenon he was and how great his music was etc. just seems unnecessary - who's there who doesn't know about it? You love him and his music or like it or even, may be, don't like it; one thing you couldn't do was ignore it.

For me, his music has been part of my growing up years, songs I listened to from recorded cassettes on our sky blue Sanyo two-in-one stereo. Songs that we would play in hostel parties and get-togethers during school years. Songs that would sometimes play on the 1 am wicked hour show on the Delhi FM (the old one, the first, the best one) - as J, me and roomies would lie awake in our Hudson Lines student traps near DU. Watching his music videos that my friend Nishant would download, late into the night between group work, maggi and assignments (this was of course pre youtube era). No matter which year it was and which track, his music was eternally cool.

It has been some time since he gave music that would capture me like it used to, but him being gone is a loss all the same. Anyone who has been a fan and hasn't already been there, always wanted to see him live, hear him sing, do his thing. Attend a concert and be a part of the spell everyone said he could cast. Its all folklore now and with him gone that hope's gone too. Still no matter that the news headlines say 'death of music', music is all that remains.


His Obituary at BBC.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Back Home

This isn't about me coming back home, I reached back about 20 days back but my story is there in the unpublished drafts and will eventually come out. This is about a friend who came back home after 3 years. S and I went to pick him at the airport and as we waited I kept thinking when was it that I became friends with him.

Sudip and I go back many years but like with most of my good friends I do not remember how I came to be his friend. I just know that he was my senior at MICA who was always sweet to talk to and had a sense of humor, also he would use my comp sometimes when he needed it. On one such day when he was working on my computer and I was snoozing, he had shaken me awake to tell me that someone had flown an airplane into WTC. I thought he was kidding and didn't want to wake up ... we had rushed to the mess (where the only TV except for class rooms and media centre was) only to watch stunned as the second plane went in. The two of us remember this and mention this often, its one of my few memories of time with him at that time. After he graduated I met him once in Bombay where he was working and I was doing my summer training. As I was saying, I am not sure when we became such good friends.

After MICA I was working in Delhi for a few months and he was also there, we would sometimes meet up on weekends, I would order the Aloo Attack pizza from Pizza Hut, he some carnivore option and we'll
eat sitting on the terrace of his home and talk. I loved that pizza, its no longer on their menu and a big reason why we always obliged Pizza Hut was that it was Sudip's client and he could claim all the bills! After three months I moved to Bombay and in some time he moved to Cal, which is where his family is and joined the same firm I was with. My Quali (Qualitative research) wanderings took me to Cal often and on the days we weren't eating at one of the wonderful places he chose, his mom would cook the yummiest bong food for me (yes, there ARE vegetarian options). She still cooks for me every chance and even sends food if someone is taking a flight to Bombay. One of the reasons auntie likes me so is because I eat without fuss :)

Oh and we met at a few domestic and foreign locales over the years for our office trainings and conferences, where we wouldn't necessary hang out together but would have a shopping stint or a walk or a fun conversation which kept the warmth in the friendship.

Another thing I'm not so sure of is when S and Sudip became friends, but they did and I'm even a wee bit jealous at times that they are so thick, he's my friend after all! S is someone who gets along with most people but he has few friends which he's close to and Sudip is one of them. I have a large number of very close friends and I'm OK if the guy is not chuddi buddies with all of them, yet its really nice to have that too. It makes Sudip, Praks, me and S this really cosy group. (I've mentioned Praks before but just to remind you - she's my batch mate from MICA and is one of my closest friends. She is a super-long blog post herself.)

Now, Sudip has had more than his fair share of problems in life and he's dealt with them with more poise than anyone I know, always joking about a scenario rather than feeling sorry about it. We always talked about everything that's going on in our lives and have always managed to look forward and rib each other about whatever it is. Three years back, to sort out some of his issues he needed more money and took up a job offer at Dubai. We met many times during these years - he's visited us, on both our visits to Dubai we've had a really good time together. He has remained a confidante to Praks' mother and teases my mom every time he talked to her. We all took a wonderful trip together to Bhutan with Sudip, S, Praks, Me and Brishti all having a blast of a time. Brishti is his adorable 10 year old niece, or now his daughter since the legalities are done. The trip started with one of aunty's famous Bengali feasts which had all of us panting like dogs with overstuffed bellies. So as much as I ponder, I am not able to figure out when was it that we ceased to be just friends and came to be family.

In the last few days before coming back he's been saying that he's had a good three years where he made more friends than he knew he would, he did well at work, managed to win some personal battles and lost a few ... like his dad. Now is the time, he's put the foundation and is starting a new chapter in his life.
Yesterday when he came out of the departure gate, he looked happy and moved at the same time. He saw me and said,"Three years ago when I went you were standing here saying bye to me, now I've come back and you are still here?"

For all my endless doubts and questions, this is an awfully easy one. Where else would I be? Welcome back.