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.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Quick Hi

Hey All, I'm missing from the page because I'm busy doing the ONLY thing I like more than travel. Plan, research (to death), imagine, research more, prepare for - the travel ITSELF! :)

One graduation, 10 places, too many people I like, one mega road trip, some re-visits, some new, fabulous company, a very excited me. Sounds like the journey's already begin. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

For Ser

Ser, my dear girl, it has kind of become the norm for me to be living parts of whatever is going on in your life with you. Its a norm I quite like. So it is no wonder that I have been thinking of all my house-shifting experiences as you go through yours. All 19 of them. 10 with the family (4 of them partial), 4 with the sis and 5 all on my own. Well don't gasp, I did say I was nomadic.

Like almost everything else in life since I was around 2 years old, I remember these also in vivid detail - the houses as well as the shifts. The weeks of sifting, discarding, discovering long-forgotten things, packing, labeling and the far too many goodbye lunches and dinners. The way a home suddenly just looked like a house on the mornings the stuff moved - stripped bare of the life and order. The way each of us would walk around the house slowly to see our private places, memorize some hidden stories or make the last dash to say goodbyes to friends (my mom has stories of me hugging a few trees and pillars). Leaving behind mornings, days and nights of your life that you had spent there - loving, laughing, fighting, growing, living.

I also remember and in brighter colors, is how different the energy and sound levels would be at the new house. The pace at which the same people, who were dragging their feet some time back, would rush about from room to room already visualizing how each place should look, what should go where, what needs to be done, who needs to be called in etc. As the big pieces would fit in and the kitchen would be set up, there would be a semblance of order again, with the numerous boxes to be unpacked in order of priority over days, at a more leisurely pace. Mostly as the day ended and all of us would sit down on the dinner table, it would be the beginning of a life in a new place and it would be the beginning of a new home. There was a strange enthusiasm and hope in that day.

The longest I lived in a house is 9 years and that was 15 years ago, I still dream of that place (a very 'last night I dreamt I went to Mandarlay again') and when I wake up in deep sleep my hand looks for the door latch at a level where it used to be in my room in that house. May be its also has to do with the fact that J went to boarding house from there and we've only spent long months of vacations at home over years. STILL, every home after that has its own precious stories and moments. Every home hurt as much to leave. From the teenager chaos of the Jaipur home and the crazy revelry of the Hudson Lines house near DU campus where J and I stayed with friends. Though I have to say that the home my dad built us in Jaipur about 10 years back (which is another post) has been an anchor through all the wandering and now with our home here in Bombay, I've known a kind of stability which is calming and (if you know me) distressing in turns.

So what I have to say to you is something I suspect you already know but it helps to hear it being said. The thing about moving is not just the pain of leaving behind a thousand memories, growing-up stories and a part of yourself with them; its also the hope of what is to come and what the new home can be. Its about the memories you are already creating as you buy a switch for this home and laugh at the silliness of expecting the newspaper, milk and cable connection to materialize on their own. Once you've shed your tears for the house you grew up in, it can only get easier. Or so they say.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Keeping us safe

The Jagrut Mumbaikar team conducted an awareness session in my society over the weekend. This included presentations by the cops from the local police station and the firemen. Not only was it a well thought-out and comprehensive talk including various scenarios like fire, floods, small household accidents, terror attacks etc. and the dos, don'ts for each. A lot of small day-to-day issues were included which made it very relevant. Also, it was very well delivered and they spoke with examples and pictures from past incidents that the team had been a part of, which gave the entire thing a lot of credibility. At the end, the society even received a certi that it has been made aware! Very impressive indeed. What was even more impressive was the huge turnout of people which stayed throughout the two hour presentation.

I think this is a wonderful initiative and they plan to do it for as many societies as possible. Would urge you all to make sure this happens for yours, the website gives the phone numbers etc. and if it isn't already on the cards you could invite them. Its good to be Jagrut afterall, my Mumbaikars.

A thousand words

Friday night saw me looking at one of the nicest night views in Bombay. We (S,Abhi and me)decided to drive to Tardeo for dinner at Oh!Calcutta and on our way we thought that why not drive around a little too. After all there's much merit in loitering around orange-lit roads at night, a lesson I learnt well while cruising the South Delhi roads. So we ended up at the point at Malabar Hill from where you can see the entire trail of blazing lights that is Marine Drive, from Oberoi right up to Chaupati. From where I stood I could see the entire arc, the lights from the cars, throng of people on the tiny beach below, the gentle waves coming in, I could even see a tiny boat silhouetted in the reflection from the Nikon neon sign across. It was one of those moments when even if there's chatter around you, you are in a place where it all seems distant. This isn't the first time I was looking at this view but with the huge orange moon that hung over marine drive, it was something else.

Given above is an example of a picture speaks a thousand words. That is, if you can find a picture worthy of the sight you see.

P.S: If I manage to take a picture which captures it all for me, will post. Don't like any I got. Could any of you out there help?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Celebrity Spotting

As is always the case at Prithvi, there was much celebrity spotting, though a piece of Prithvi furniture called Makarand Deshpandey was missing. Shashi Kapoor was there, looking far more handsome and elegant than he did in his younger days - white hair, white kurta pajama. Its only natural that he be there to watch a play, still it was kind of nice to see him, he looked a little unwell though. There were a lot more, including the newly famous Jago re guy from the Tata Tea commercial - who hung around before the play long enough to be spotted and left soon after some people obliged.

I don't think I have told you this, according to S, I am a magnet for sidey celebrities or may be I am the only one in this world who recognizes them! I think I remember Parul mentioning in one of her posts that she saw and recognized Ritu Shivpuri ... now that's the kind of thing I am talking about! In every flight, every mall visit, visit to our club, every time we are eating out - I almost always end up spotting them, its like they know I am around and come crawling out of the woodwork. The ones from TV soaps, I don't know too many but I'm so good at the game that I look at body language and know that they think they are celebrities!

The dictionary of course doesn't have the word 'sidey' so it technically doesn't exist but I love it, it so fittingly describes a certain kind of people.

Anyway, don't trust S's claim about the sidey bit, he includes Vir Sanghvi, all politicians and even Shubha Khote and her daughter Bhavna in sideys. Imagine! That woman Bhavna starred in Dekhi Bhai Dekh, that should mean something! Not one to give up easily, I am out to prove him wrong. To make it harder he has refused to admit evidence from incidents more than two years old, which ruled out my Quali days when I could recite the breakfast menu for most airlines , traveled with flight full of TV cast and crews for popular (unheard of) soaps which made all aunties run amok and moved around with the likes of Imran Hashmi, Mahesh Bhatt and the idiotic curly-haired guy from that man's bleach cream ad. Er, I think I lost the point a bit.

He also passed the ruling that the people I 'go' to see in plays, premiers, concerts, FW etc. do not qualify as a 'spotting'! How unfair is that! I should take out a morcha against such heartless rulings!My protest is even more centered around the premier(s), though there's only one I have ever been to, its the quality that matters after all and it was to the premier for Rang De Basanti I went and how not to term spotting the cast as spotting?!Is there no justice?! I only hope those not part of the play/concert/premier/FW and present as audience are admissible or I will have to call the human rights people.

All this talk reminds me of two landmark celebrity events in my life - my meeting with the very good looking Rajiv Gandhi when I put tilak on his forehead and he pinched my cheeks in return (I was all of 8) , a mousy looking Soniya Ji was also there. The second event happened many many years later when I walked into the elevator at Holiday Inn, Pune with my dad to see Dharam ji there, noticing my wide-eyed excited look he leaned and said to me in his Dharam voice 'Hulloo Laidyee'. It was totally cool, my dad only asked me later who the gentleman saying hello to me was and S hullo-laidyees me every so often to bug me.This was also my very first celeb spotting. In later years with freshers parties and college fests being infested with known names it no longer remained a novelty. Anyhow, I am mighty proud of the ignorant or disdainful look I manage for the wannabe celebs. Its another matter when I spot some real celebs
(by my standards) and sports people or its someone I know my mom would be majorly excited to know about and so I frantically SMS her ... she's the only one who truly shares my enthusiasm. Or J. Or may be Abhinav.

Still in recent times I have proven S wrong with more thumping evidence, what with PC, Bebo and Saif (flapping his arms, imitating an aeroplane at security check) hovering to be spotted. S only sighs about me and the family being filmi :)

Jis Lahore Nahi Dekhya

My foot is a bit better but hasn't healed as it was supposed to, so I'm still not allowed to move around much. Given this, quest for entertainment available at ground floor level took us to one of my favorite places - Prithvi, I have written about my love for the place earlier as well. This was followed by a long, relaxed din at Mahesh Lunch home. Abhinav was also with us and its a weekend tradition all three of us have come to enjoy and look forward to.

The play we watched was 'Jis Lahore Nahi Dekhya', its a much acclaimed one which S has been wanting to catch for some time, we did manage to for their 139th show. The script was very tight with sharply drawn characters and many acts which were short and crisp, they made the story progress very well. The actors were all really good and though it would be a treat to watch Surkeha Sikri play the key role of Ratan's mother (as was the case in its initial days) overall the performances were really good. The story though set in post-partition Lahore is very relevant today, may be far too much for comfort.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


As I stood at the airport waiting for my luggage to arrive, back from my 20 day trip, I thought to myself that once the stuff arrives I will say with a sigh that my trip is over and it was all very good. This is precisely what I did. I should have waited a few days.

I twisted my foot badly a few days into the trip and since it didn't trouble so much I went on with the high heels, dance till you drop routine. One wedding and four places later I was in Jaipur and all geared up for the next wedding - where my childhood friend was getting married to my school friend!That done, when the foot started paining I popped a few painkiller's and went on with the next wedding. This was my favorite aunt's son - one of my favorite cousin getting married, so for five days it was running around, managing the things, dancing around, no sleep, meeting up everyone, lots of laughter, marathon dance sessions, food, jewelry, heels et all. It was so much fun that I was beginning to wonder that something would go wrong but it (seemingly) didn't and I was back in Bombay.

Sigh.The foot still paining, turning a ghastly shade of black so I went to the doc, he took a look and pronounced a very un-healed, very torn ligament, at a very sensitive place. Sob sob. He also glared at me and lectured me about not turning up earlier. It didn't help a bit that he called it a 'text book case' and caused much undisguised glee and dekkho among the three sidekick student-doctors who were hovering. One of them even went on to exclaim in an excited voice about how she had read about it the very same day. Thanks, hopefully my ligament would be as happy to know this. SO. Foot in bandage (since
the time for a cast and crutch is long past) for ten days, where no walking on this foot, only being at home and wallowing in misery. This will be followed by more X-rays to rule out hairline fractures, followed by physiotherapy (since we didn't start in time ... I get it, I'm the villain in my own story!!). It'll be a few (painful) months before its all well.

Me at home. Only reading, watching TV, surfing, sleeping, phoning(!) and eating. No going out (you may not all the time but you need to know you can!). No walking around. There are of course pluses like friends dropping in with goodies (nariyal pani, chocolates, sandwiches!Thanks, May.) and pretty flowers (below. Thanks, Amrita!), sympathetic and loving phone calls, S being all caring etc.

P.S. All you
buri nazar walas, who said with malice and not joy in your hearts that I was always roaming about, gallivanting, off-to, travelling; I will give you more once I'm up and running! Till then a 'muh kala'.
All you wonderful people who said it with joy and camaraderie, much love and may you get to do all the travelling you want in life! (Can also say 'muh safed' if you so wish!)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

They Said It

One of the families I was visiting for one the (many) weddings I attended recently had an aquarium with many colorful fish. Needless to say the thing was a magnet for the swarm of kids running the place over. One kid who must be around 2-3 years old is observing the fish and suddenly runs to approach the aunt the house belongs to and with hands on his hips says in his best accusatory tone ,"Aapki machliyan doob rahi hain!"

Who was it again, saying that 'Saving Fish From Drowning' is a stupid title for a book?!
Being the patient listener to my gripe about 'its the humidity!' frizzing up my hair, Ser and Aj gifted me a bubblegum pink hair straightener for my b'day. All excited about it ,I'm busy putting it to wonderful use before a party when S walks into the room, looks at me all bewilderment and exclaims,"Why are you stapling your hair with the giant stapler!" :D He's adorable, isn't he?
S and I are watching the Oscars. The Slumdog Millionaire team is on stage to receive the Best Picture award, there's much applause and noise etc. After a little while Nanda didi - our housekeeper and cook, comes in and sounds all excited and worked up when she asks me - wo chawli ke bacchhon ko prize mila kya? (did the children from the chawl/slum win the award?) She's watched the movie on (an obviously pirated) CD and his son is in love with it, wanting to watch parts of it once everyday.

I do not have the heart to get into the nitty gritties of the movie and not the children being nominated and so on, so I just tell her that they did. She's ecstatic!

To me all the print space CCs and airtime wasted on whether India can claim the movie as its own or not are stupid in that moment. If a kid from the slum (and his mother) feels that its the story of him and other kids like him, who are we to play spoilsport?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sublime Sunday

It is a Sunday morning at home after many Sundays. I wake up early as the maid comes while there's still water in the taps. Then I read the newspaper, sit around for a while absorbing the feel of my home. The guy in the society who plays groovy music at a loud volume on Sunday mornings hasn't woken up ... or may be he's away too, I'm sure I'm not the only one gallivanting away. I don't feel like putting music on and destroying the calm. The sun is filtering through all the windows in all the rooms. Its all very quiet, the kind which makes you feel like tip-toeing and whispering even when noone's around.

S is still sleeping, he looks very innocent, not that he looks otherwise when awake :) Its the perfect kind of time to get back to bed with a book and that's what I do, stealthily, so as not to wake him. The walls are bright with the sunlight coming in through the white curtains and the room seems to be glowing. There is a slight breeze and I watch the lazy patterns forming on the wall with the sun, the window bars and the trees outside.

I am reading with my back to S and suddenly he turns in his sleep , holds me tight as if to stop me from going anywhere. With his face in my neck, I feel his breathing and keeping the book away, I lie back. Sometimes it so happens that even a nomad gets tired and finds the way back home.

I'm back.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ta Again

Hey you all. I'm on my way to the cross country sojourn which will involve a much-awaited stay with the in-laws (have been twice in five years, for two days each) my dutiful ratings are gonna break the ceiling I tell you! Chattisgarh, places I haven't been to, weddings, food, dressing up, relatives and inevitable questions about ... when is the good noooozz?!

I'm gonna love some it and I'm gonna survive all of it. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thoughts Back Home

Thank you all, for missing me! S and I came back last night at about 3 am and I'm all cranky with sleep. I will write about my meet-the-people trip later but just a few thoughts before I nap.

  • Among those spending the Republic Day Weekend in Dubai, there are some who do not want to be seen doing this (may be they told the friends that they were sailing in South of France). Hence, can typically be heard making such conversations as they deplane, to dissipate their suddenly LS image : Isn't it so artificial ... I just don't feel like going out the airport! Pray tell me, you did not know where it was headed when you got onto this flight? Neena called and said she has rented a villa South of Istanbul or may be it was France, I told her we were very busy or would have joined ... I tell her only this - it's all cool. We understand. You don't want to be seen as a Dubai-going person, but then these are recessionary times - be easy on yourself!
  • I was pleasantly surprised that the TV had our very own Doordarshan channel! I realized that watching Republic Day parade on Doordarshan and waiting for the Birla Balika Vidyapeeth Band (better known as the Pilani girls band) still gives me the same high. Its my school (one of the many) after all!
  • Whichever class I travel, I could never cut somebody off and thrust my passport in to tell someone, anyone that they should wait in the line for Economy as this one is for Business/First. Ever. Which is what this evil uncle who was ahead of us in line did this to an unsuspecting foreigner backpacker couple. So much for Athithi Devo Bhav. Seriously, how can you do that?! It would like, take a minute or two for them to get done, why be so rude? When I used to travel to work by local train, I could not even bring myself to walk to the front of the line and buy a first class pass if there wasn't already a separate queue, while an entire serpentine line waited. In fact, that reminds me of how these aunties in the local trains would go up to people who didn't pass their visual examination and ask them to show their first class pass! Imagine that! I'm still infuriated.
  • I have opened the registration for people who want to join me in my morcha to get Ikea to India. I am tired of lugging stuff every time!Anyway, half of the stuff me wants is un-luggable :(

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Me off to my second vacation in as many months! If only I could keep up the consistency!

I shall be back after four long, tiring days of fun. Miss me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good? Bad? Ah, just mix it all!

There's no such thing as a bad thing. Or good. Its all just a messy, sticky bundle of both. It seems that every good thing in life leaves behind it a bit of sadness and vice versa. May be this is how it is supposed to be, to balance it out.

Amit is in India for his father's barsi, in fact he has been visiting every six months since the last year and I have been able to meet him more frequently than I have in all the years J and he have been gone ... which is SO good and would be really great, if not for the sad reason behind it. He reached Saturday night and was here till today morning, a good 36 hours including a Sunday so YAY, I had a really great time this weekend.

It started with
Amit, S and I having a late dinner on Saturday and chatting till late, followed by a majorly lazy Sunday morning with much chatting, laughs, breakfast and some quarreling between S and me over who would get up from the sofa first to get ready. We had planned to have lunch at Lemon Grass and landed there only to realize that its shut down! I stop my many-a-week visits to Phoenix Mills and see what happens to the place! They should have begged me not to quit my job (I used to work nearby) and they would have remained in business! I digress ... we finally went to another favorite - Tamnak Thai at Shivaji Park and had a very tasty and very hot lunch which had all three of us shedding much water from the eyes. Somehow I have a history of senti, heart-to-heart chats over meals with Amit; a history which easily goes back a decade. So in keeping with the tradition we did have a serious chat, though not so senti this time. Hey, where's that bravery award for me?! :)

evening was much fun with Abhinav, Amit, S and I taking the party to town for a long walk at Marine Drive, many cups of Tea at Tea Centre (and I am a not even a tea/coffee drinker!), a few breezy hours of laughing, arguing, pulling each other's leg and having a good time followed by more of the same over drinks at Woodside Inn, accompanied with even more passionate discussing. Ser directed us there after we peeped into Mondy's and Leopold and wanted away from the crowded noises and table hogging (Thanks Ser, loved the place! ). After so much mehnat, we rested our tired bones and had dinner at the Worli Copper Chimney, dropped Abhi and returned home with happy memories. Ha! It was one of those days when you feel saturated from having laughed, talked, eaten too much and from having had entirely too much fun.

Later at night, S and I were talking and said almost the same thing wistfully. If J and Amit lived near us, around us or just not-so-f*****g-far-away from us, we could have had more of this, it could have been more than an annual/bi-annual event in our lives. I slept with this thought and woke up with it on one my (least) favorite days off late - Ooh!Monday! (@#$%) After much moping around and having a summarily crappy day, I had a thought.

I'm seeing this as the bad in my good but may be this is the good in my bad. I have these people in my life, I have the kind of family a lot of people would kill for and I also have some really really wonderful friends - may be more than my fair share (touchwood, people!) - most people are not as lucky to have this much. May be this is my good and if that's the case, I would pay the price gladly. I would take all the crappy Mondays and all the pining and missing and reminscing that is out there, to have this 'good' and won't mope either.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Colored Scraps and Blue Skies

Hitch Writer's post here brought about a wave of nostalgia that I was trying to not let surface for some days. I have lived in Jaipur for a few of my growing-up years and my parents still live there, also I've spent two years at MICA in Ahmadabad. If you've ever lived in that part of the country or even been there in the winter months, you would know that with the sun up the skies turn the bluest blue you would see. In the backdrop of these azure days comes 14th Jan, which is a state holiday in both the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, it being the much awaited kite flying festival, known as Makar Sakranti or Uttarayan respectively.

Although the kite-flying starts many days in advance, THE day is the final reckoning. I have memories of entire households camping it on the rooftops, armed with their music systems blaring the latest bolly music, platters of hot yummy snacks and food making their way ever so often, from a single warrior to an army of 8-10 kite-fliers manning a single terrace and a never-ending stream of visiting friends and relatives contributing to the kite-wars across terraces. These inter-terrace interactions were such fun, there would be much challenging, attacks, counter-attacks and sledging. With such colorful setting and the girls very much in the frey ... the start of a few romances was to be completely expected. After all, we don't watch our movies just for fun, there's much to be learnt from them as well! The colors, the energy, the food, the music, the war and the love of it all. Its to be experienced to be believed.

Although my abilities in the art are amateurish my dad is a pro and has many stories starting from the time when he was a boy and used to make his own manjha (the sharp thread used so that you can cut other kites) by coating the thread with crushed glass. Whenever we are together for the festival we troupe to buy the kites and other paraphernalia; whenever we are not we talk about the times we've had and dad tells me how he didn't feel like flying kites alone(without me) and got only few. Anyway he did most of the flying even when I was there, every time the boys from the neighboring terrace managed to cut more than 2-3 of my kites in a row I would call him to clear the skies for me. The bonus was of course no work in the maths class next day with everyone's fingers taped up with numerous band-aids. It was almost un-cool to not have your fingers criss-crossed with manjha-cuts as a proof of your valiance!

Even in the later years, in Ahmadabad me and my friends would climb on to the hostel terrace and spend the day flying a few kites and making much noise, chatting lots, lazing and munching most.

With all these compelling snaps-shots swirling in my head, I couldn't NOT fly a kite so I did. With no wind (courtesy the tall buildings around), borrowed kites, manjha and in the society compound. They didn't stay up for more than a minute and there was nothing war-like about it. However, I did manage to get them into the air and was as excited as any other kid around me. There are things which give you joy no matter what and it is joy all the same even if some of it may be borrowed from people, places, sounds, sights not present around you at the time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Year of Finished Business

This year has to be an year of new beginnings and of finishing the unfinished business (I AM writing the new year post, ain't I?).

May this be an year where the past is not forgotten and those who fell are not left there, an year where the wounds heal and those with compassion in their hearts find the time and courage to wear their hearts on their sleeves. An year where we don't completely lose the pain in our hearts but do find the hope to look to the future.

So all you guys out there, have a great 2009 and may we all have many beginnings and many happy endings in this year.

May this year be the year of finished business!