Sunday, December 06, 2009
But I have friends
Who do things
Big and small
To make me smile
I miss him more each passing day
But I have a younger brother
Who opens his arms
Enveloping me in a bear hug
To comfort me
I miss him more each passing day
But I have a mother
Only to express her joy
To make me feel cherished
I miss him more each passing day
Despite all the love
Selfish of me
To still, after 11 years
Miss my dad
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
My mother calls me every afternoon at around 2:30 pm. It is a daily ritual, which even my colleagues have come to let go unnoticed. The conversation is standard.
Mom: Hows the day been so far?
Mom: Had your lunch?
Me: Yup It was very tasty.
Mom: Anything else?
Me: Nope. See you in the evening.
Today, however, she called and without the customary hello, went on to say, you have been nominated for an award. I always dreamed of winning the Noble Peace Prize but with US President Barack Obama winning this year's honours I had given up hope. My mom's excited tone brought me back to reality and I made a serious attempt to comprehend what she was saying.
Mom: I am sending you the link. Delhi Photo Diary has been nominated to win the Best Indi Photo blog at the 2008 Indibloggies. Go and see.
Me: Ok! Are you sure?
To cut the long story short: Delhi Photo Diary has been nominated and the final phase is public poll. This means that all of you, who have over the past year and a half visited the blog, returned and passed it on to others, have the option of voting for it.
Delhi Photo Diary is my attempt to capture my city through my mobile phone camera. :-)
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Deepak, a friend and colleague, and a gifted photographer decided to click a few of my snaps and ask a few questions for his blog.
Thank you so much for choosing me as a subject of your interview post. I enjoyed every bit of the photoshoot and the interview. Thanks for making me feel like a Diva. God Bless you. :-)
Click the link of Exposemaximum for the interview:
Monday, November 02, 2009
SRK is God by the definition that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. This said, I believe that everyone has the right to choose their Gods. In form of human, stone, energy, Is, One. Circumstances in my life were such that only SRK came close to fitting the description of God, as I understood the Supreme.
To begin with, a self-confessed ‘maa ki pooch’, I liked SRK just because my mom liked him. Then some 11 years ago, in November of 1998, my father was admitted to the hospital for 19 days and he succumbed to Hepatitis B and passed away on December 7. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, was released on October 16, 1998. Piracy was rampant and the cable wala had dutifully showed the film within two days of the release. I had seen the film on TV several times before seeing it in theatre.
The atmosphere in the house was something I don’t want to even remember. With death looming in the corner and the air thick with depression, it was dark and tense. Smiling was not an option that was even considered. There were days when as a 15 and a half year old I would cry my eyes red. Then there were days when tears would not come but grey tear marks on my cheeks could be spotted by friends and family from miles away.
The only time, I smiled was when SRK would tell Kajol, “ladkiyon jaise mat chilaoo” or “Excusez-moi”. I would feel “everything would be alright” when Rahul, played by SRK, would assure his eight-year-old daughter that "everything will be alright". I saw the sadness I was feeling in SRK’s eyes and by the end of the three hours he would give the scared teenager sobbing soundlessly late into the night, assurance of hope that something better would come.
I am no more a teenager but that positivity, which he still exudes through the screen, has the power to make me smile in the darkest hour. And thus as far as I am concerned SRK is God
As God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Now, this might not seem like something that should occupy blog-space, but for someone like me, who has been TALKITIVE since before comprehending the nuances of words and languages, the situation takes precedence over the Iran issue. Unfortunately, I cannot hate these women who talk incessantly . Not just because I am a really nice person and just can’t bring myself to hating anyone. It has more to do with the fun I have with the gal pals. They are funny and have the best of stories to last me a lifetime, if I ever fall short of material for the blog.
A recent conversation with a male colleague, however, made me profusely thank the powers above for making the women in my life as they are. The said colleague, who calls me a female Hitler, and my world, feminist Hitler’s Third Reich, had a one-word answer or response for N number of questions or statements. “Nice,” that is all he said. Amazed at the expanse of his vocabulary I could not but think that if not for women, languages would die.
Nods, burps and farts , is all that men need to have a meaningful conversation.
Prove me wrong! :-)
*Dedicated to Aditi and Biswarup.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
यूँ बहते थे ये, की इन्हें थमना याद ना रहा,
जो गए तुम, थमी ज़िन्दगी इस तरह
की इन अश्कों को आना भी याद ना रहा!
Sketch courtesy Google Image Search. I cannot draw a straight line, if my life depended on it. :-)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
After a seven course meal
Five minutes more of sleep
After an eight-hour lay-in
Two licks of his ice cream
After devouring my own cassata
One more rainy day
After a monsoon spell
This is all the heart wants.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Is the show authentic? Well, I am no gaon ki gauri to believe that for a moment. But accept it or not, it is catching eyeballs and how. The show scaled to the TRP rating of 3.5% in cable and satellite homes of the Hindi speaking market in the first week itself. The sensible person, living in some dark corner within me nauseates at the idea of majority of the Indian viewers watching the so called dramatized swayamwar. But lets face it, the girl who, after making 4 pages and reading 5 pages, driving through the manic traffic of Delhi, arguing about innumerable things with acquaintances and strangers, would not like anything better but to see 10 men making complete fools of themselves for Rakhi Sawant. This makes me wonder, are we as a society becoming voyeuristic in our tendencies. We love watching Bigg Boss, Sarkar Ki duniya and Roadies. We claim it is for the tasks… but lets admit it it is as much for Palak’s abuses and Ali’s attempts to woo women, who were his fellow contestants.
I know this issue is not as serious as the unrest in Iran and China, the soaring prices of veggies, pulses and petrol in India or the delayed monsoons. But it is something to think about and certainly something to worry. Especially since majority of the people in this room, me included, are just plain sadists, who love to see others do in reel life, what we hold back ourselves from doing in real life.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
If you think I am stubborn… you are wrong. If you think I am stupid… you are wrong again. The reason for refusing to see the film was that I am a staunch believer that I want to come out happy from a cinema hall. The day I come out of a cineplex angry, I would ensure that everybody around me is miserable. Not that there has been a paradigm shift in my belief, it is just that I had been abused way too many times over not seeing Omakara. So without breaking my vow of seeing a film that would keep me in a disturbed state of mind in a cinema, I bought the DVD of Omkara and saw the film finally.
Fortunately, I was mentally prepared for the truckloads of abuses, they did not bother me much. Infact the sepia tones that the director used throughout the film was a welcome change for me, a die hard Aditya Chopra scheme of colours’ fan. His extra long shots impressed me as he managed to focus on details, which are generally lost in such compositions. The direction was crisp and the actors shelled out performances, which deserved several accolades (OK! So they already got them from all the people that matter and more, but since this is my blog… I too will praise them albeit belatedly).
Naseeruddin Shah, Konkana Sen Sharma and Ajay Devgan, as usual gave performances of the level that we expect from them. Kareena acted surprisingly well, blushing at the right moment and looking like an innocent (or foolish) girl where required. Even Vivek (no idea what spelling he is using as of now) Oberoi dished out a decent performance, though I confess I cannot stand the guy. Saif Ali Khan took me by surprise. I had seen the promos, had seen him dancing to beedi jaleyle but his performance, dialogue delivery, gait, look, expressions oozed the ruthlessness that his character demanded. However, Deepak Dobriyal, who essayed the role of Rajju, left at the altar groom of Dolly (Kareena Kapoor), impressed me the most. I could see he was heart broken, when he spoke of Dolly jilting him, he was conniving, when he went to congratulate Langda Tyagi, helpless when pushed into the water, foolish when he went to kill Kesu. He was brilliant with his expressions, mannerisms, accent and the look.
I cannot but appreciate the way Bharadwaj used the eagle dropping the snake in the haldi (turmeric) as a bad omen, or the scene when Omkara smothers Dolly to death. The sounds of that scene are sure to haunt me for days, if not months and years to come.
The music is soft, vulgar, sensuous according to the demands of the script. Gulzar saab proves he is the master of the pen with o saathi re and jag ja. Bharadwaj has picturised these songs so powerfully that the imagery stays with you for a long long time.
So in short, if I was not the only Indian to have given the film a miss for the last 3 years, I suggest that you too watch it. It is a masterpiece. However, sick as my mind is (over the dining table today my boss suggested I be given electric shocks!) I could not help but wonder what the film would be if Karan Johar directed it.
Lessons to be learnt:
Harass me long enough and I will relent.
A good film is timeless and will be liked even if watched 3 years after the release. :-)
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
So it happened. Finally the memories seemed hard to come about. They lingered no doubt, but the frequency had reduced drastically and sometimes details were hard to recollect even after a lot of concentration. The moments, which had almost threatened to define life and happiness, had without making a noise slipped through the clutches of her heart. It had become hard to remember the glint of his eyes, the curve of his lips when he smiled or scowled and the texture of his voice when he whispered at night. She was glad. She was free at last.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
That is me thinking, in case you did not get the ‘Hmmm’. I made a mental note of the indicators of aging. Making mental notes is a commendable job, especially if I am the one doing the work. You see, I tend to be doing the thinking job of 20 people with my one brain, although God was not too generous with the grey matter. At least this is what I learnt about myself in the last shrink session or to be politically correct, in my last therapy session.
Not one to digress, I was hoping to spread despair and aging blues across the blogsphere by listing the indicators of aging. I figured spreading the joy has become such a cliché that it was time to usher in a new era of radiating depression (crossing my fingers that this becomes a cliché too… come on get inspired use the phrase as frequently as you can). I hope by now you are dying to read more.
So you know that age is catching up and leaving you, the centre of the party, the live wire, the most sought after person in college, way behind when:
1. It is your birthday and you get just four calls at 12 in the night.
2. Two of those are from your middle-aged relatives, who want to call at 12 in a bid to convince you that they are still young and ‘hip’.
3. Someone says the word ‘hip’ and you think of the rear area of the human anatomy.
4. Or worse, you understand the cooler slang it used to stand for some decades ago.
5. You discuss the good old days of Doordarshan any and every time more than 2, or even just 2, people of your age group meet.
6. Or worse, you discuss, Ek chidya, Gul gulshan gulfam, Udaan, Ramayan, Mahabharat, with the Om Puri, Sania Mirza, SRK voices in your head.
7. You can barely recall names of the people you went to school with for 12 years or those you shared college space with for the most fantastic 3 years of your life.
8. The autowalas, rickshawalas, dukaan wale bhaiya, ice-cream vendor, subziwala, tailors, start calling you madam rather than Gudiya, or bitiya.
9. You begin to prefer calling up people rather than texting them (or again, is it just me?)
10. Lastly, you become so unbelievably, wonderfully cynical that posts like these not only make you laugh, but also fail to have the desired effect of depressing you. (for the umpteenth time, is it just me or the world is going mad with me?)
Fortunately, I can say with confidence that I have never personally experienced any of these 10 instances. Thank God that our media ethics professor drilled into our blood the art of lying confidently.
And as the cherry on top of this sour cake of a post, in public interest, I must remind you once again that if you are wasting your time reading blogs at work… Dude you are in trouble. Bosses just need an excuse to cut costs, hope your ‘hip’ is safe. In case you do get the axe, look at the silver lining, you can come back to read more of my work while you age. :-)
Thursday, May 21, 2009
He noticed that she had precisely 108 kinds of moods and matching smiles. She wore her silver watch on the right wrist, instead of the traditional left. Her plain gold ring-band shifted fingers on her right hand, while her left hand was left beautifully un-ornamented. Her favourite colour changed everyday. He knew, without ever being told that she dressed her best when she was most upset. She vehemently argued over the mundane and silently endured the extraordinary. She loved children. Friends were her life. He knew her better than anyone else ever could. Still, they were just friends.
Friday, May 08, 2009
A few months back, I discovered the beauty and challenge of a drabble. A drabble is a work of fiction exactly one hundred words in length (title of the story included). As Kris made me understand, the purpose of a drabble is brevity, and it is a real test of an author's ability to express [hopefully] interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space. I had promised to try this out and here is my first attempt.
The two sat on a red cushioned chair. They ordered two cappuccinos. They discussed politics, places they wanted to see, several friends, a few foes, films, music, books, weather, past, future, nothing important, everything trivial. Once or twice he flirted, she blushed. He teased and she pretended to be angry. Failing to put on an act she burst into peals of laughter. The waiter brought the steaming hot cups to the table. They stopped talking for a few seconds as if they were keeping a secret. Once he left, they resumed the never-ending conversation and spoke of everything, except…
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
I had often imagined how it would be to live inside a bubble. My three days in Madurai had given me quite that impression. Everyone around was busy talking in decibels that could seriously injure your ear-drums but I could not comprehend a single word----man it was frustrating. I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the crew members from Delhi. My simple logic for the so awaited arrival: I will have more people to talk to.
As the great Phoebe of the Friends hexagology had once said, “If you keep watching the door it never boils.” The train remained true to this dictum and decided to test my patience to the optimum by delaying its arrival for another 45 minutes. Waiting at the platform my boss and me had discussed at least 50 books and 500 people we really liked and hated respectively.
My fantasy of falling in love was about to realise, I could sense it. Talking to the person, we were on the platform to receive, I had had a gut feeling that something spectacular will happen. I had been in touch over the phone for the last two days re-confirming the scheduled arrival, name of the train, coach number and other such mundane details. But the distinct flavour of Delhi that his voice had brought to me miles away in Madurai had surprisingly replenished my energies. I was looking forward to meet him.
Seeing him for the first time was the realization of all my teenage fantasies where a typically MB hero would sweep me off my feet just purely on the merits of his being. He was not conventionally good looking. Generally not what a girl is looking for at my age. The hair that covered his crown were streaked white. He wore a cap for most part. Was a very casual dresser. Not a typical prince charming. BUT…but…He exuded raw charm that I had only read about. His every move, his manners and mannerisms only reinforced, mind you in very strong measures at that, his ultimate being. Judging him a good person was not difficult at all. In fact, one look at him and I knew he was a well educated and a learned man… He had something about himself that just…just made me instantly Fall In Love with HIM.
*A pure figment of my imagination, with a little reality thrown here and there.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Look at the wrinkles,
And that toothless smile,
I was beautiful
The belle of the ball
Thousands of admirers everywhere
As she became silent
Her tears rolled down
Sitting here she had gone
To a time long ago
The ensuing silence spoke
Of her pain
Of her old age
And of the loss of youth.
I tried to
To take her pain away
To calm her
The young lady
Trapped in an old body
Your wrinkles remind me
Of the tales of my childhood
Each missing tooth of
Of our shared misadventures
You are beautiful
I tell her
Admired by thousands
My screams fail
To break her reverie
As she mourns
The loss of her hearing!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Was just to reach here today, in front of you
To see my reflection in your eyes
To inhale the scent of you
To be in your embrace
I ate, slept, breathed thus far.
A stranger to me you never were
Though a mystery always
My tears knew you well
As my smiles did too
You are as real as my imagination
And as untrue as the fantasies I had created
I toiled through monotony
Cried rivers unknown
Existed through life
Just to see your eyes vanish
When those rosy cheeks try to touch
That forehead of yours.
The journey was my Everest
You my pinnacle.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Being in an all girls’ college, having guy friends was a sort of a privilege that only a few of us could boast of. I think my stars were lucky and Rahul, better known as ‘stinky’ to the bloggersphere, and I embarked on a lifelong friendship. He was an influence on me that I swear to god if I ever have a daughter, I would never want her to have. Friendly as I am I very conveniently became a part of Rahul’s college group as well. So after six months of meeting Rahul I was best friends with 14 other people and our group of 16 would create a ruckus across the roads of South Delhi.
On a November day the college adjacent to my college –Kamla Nehru College, Gargi, arguably the more happening of the two, had some festival (known as fest in college slang) going on. All of us decided to grace the fest and turned out in our fineries. So Rahul, me and the gang went to the fest danced for a while and then after being bored of the music and checking out all the girls and guys respectively decided to walk to South-Ex for chuski (ice-cones dipped in yummy syrups of various flavours). On our way we saw a marriage tent.
It was around 2 o’clock and we were a little bewildered to see a wedding tent and the Sikh boy in our group, Jaspreet called Jasso lovingly and even when being teased or humiliated, pointed out that it was a Sikh wedding. Being in college, adventure and free food topped our list of priorities and not always in that order. The guys as intelligent as they are, led by Rahul suggested that we all were suitably dressed and we should just mingle with the wedding party and hog on all the food and the wedding celebration. Not one to agree to such disgusting suggestions I opposed vehemently but as they say, strength lies in unity and the other 15 ganged up on me and insisted, “You better learn to be improper. It’s high time.” Now how could I argue against such a convincing argument?
Meekly, (well not really but I like to, through my blog, live vicariously like characters that I can never ever be in real life) I followed suit. At the risk of being abused by Rahul and gang I would like to tell the readers that they are a bunch that can make you do the silliest of things and then ensure that after 3-4 years you remember your foolishness as one of the best times you have ever had. So, a totally spellbound me, and my other friends entered the venue and then began an over the top performance. We were at our Punjabi best, “Namaste auntiji, tussi te bahut hi vadiya lag rahe ho” (Aunty you are looking very good), “uncleji, main ki dassan inna vadiya khana te inni vadiya decoration assi te vekhya hi nahi hai” (uncle, what should I say, I have never seen such brilliant food arrangement and decorations ever). We were so bad in our acting that I would have easily nominated us for the lifetime achievement Raspberries awards (opposite to the Oscars, given for bad performances). We had free food, great loud music, a preference specific to that age and wonderful friendly people who were prototypes of Indian hospitality.
After our stomachs full, hearts overflowing with the love and concern that the hosts showered, our conscious hit us. Rahul suggested that we all at least have the courtesy of gifting the married couple some amount of token money. College was a time when we never had more that rupees 100 in our wallets. So we all huddled and decided to collect the money. We all were sieving out ten rupee notes from the crevices of our bags, jeans pockets and from places I don’t even want to remember or mention.
At this opportune moment, a hurly burly, white-bearded Sardaji came to us. With one hand on Rahul’s shoulder, the other on my head, he said, “Beta ji! Tussi ki kar rahe ho?” (Children what are you doing?). I am pretty sure that I had gone pale. On the other hand, Rahul continued to be in the character, of an invited guest at the wedding, and replied “Namaste uncle ji. Assi te sirf jijajee de joote chuppan di setting kar rahe si. (we were just conspiring to hide the shoes of the groom.) Uncle said that he did not recognize us. And Rahul, ever the smart Alec, said with full confidence that the reason behind him not being able to identify us was probably because we were from the bride’s side. Life has always turned out refreshing surprises on us and it was in no different mood that day. Uncle smiled and said very calmly that he was the father of the bride. Ever the cry baby, I was ready to find out a way out of the crisis my shedding truck loads of tears.
Rahul tried once again to slither away and said, “I mean we are from the groom’s side.” Uncle just laughed, looked at my watery eyes, called for the waiter and asked him to get me a glass of water. He then said, “I am glad that you kids came to the wedding. Now that you have had your fill of the food come join us in celebrating the wedding of my daughter.” At this point, all the 16 of us had huge smiles and tears in our eyes. I am sure the guys would not mind taking me to the court for this defamation of their manliness. We had a ball dancing at the wedding. It was better than any discotheque or college jam session. Just before leaving, we had had the decency of putting together rupees 500 amongst all of us. However, when we gave the envelope (that we had asked for from one of the other guests) of money to uncle, he scolded us and in a typical Indian melodramatic format said that children do not give money to elders. Rather, he thrust envelopes containing rupees 100 each in all our hands.
It has been over 4 years since the incident and even today we all go together to visit uncle once a year on the day we crashed his daughter’s wedding. We all our working, some are now married and even have children. The whole clan goes to uncle’s house not because he fed us and gave us money but because he included a bunch of adventurous college goers into his family.
Friday, January 02, 2009
I went to Indore for my cousin Luv’s wedding in July. It was a great experience and I had loads of fun meeting so many of my relatives for the first time ever.
July 30 is a very special day for me as it is my mom’s birthday. It became even more special as I booked my first ever car on this very day. My black Spark arrived on August 17. I mastered the technique of driving and got my driving license in September. I was especially proud of myself for achieving this feat, i.e., getting the car and learning to drive on my own vehicle.
Parul and met loads of time throughout the year and it was always stupendous fun. Missed Gurneet a lot, but guess everyone has a role to play in one’s life. For now I am content to have friends to share loads of inane jokes, matters of heart that trouble me and to share the day to day stuff. Some others I must mention include Amitabh, who is a repository of books --- he has as a part of conversation helped me make a list of books that I want to read for the next 5 years,Yamini, who not only made yummy mouth-watering food but also bullied me and took care of me like an elder sister would, Mili, who is a very sweet and genuine person, Anjana, who is my age group and is someone I love to irritate. She deserves a medal for bearing me throughout the day, 5 days a week. Charu, one of the first people in NLI who helped get into the comfort zone and is today a good friend.
September saw me driving to Noida for the first time. I know for many this might seem a trivial thing but for me… it was an achievement as I drove back at the unearthly hour of 11 30pm for the first time in my life.
As you would have noticed most of my stories of the last six months revolve around my driving escapades. And so November was no different. The highlight of the month was an office party, my first official party. I dressed up and went all the way to the extreme south of the city for a party that had everything – ear blasting noise, drunk people, loads of fancy food, a dance floor (the main attraction for me n my friends) and the formalities that are an all essential part of an office set-up. Don’t let my cynical tone confuse you to think that I did not enjoy the night. I had a blast especially in noticing the change a nocturnal adventure can have bring about in normal colleagues. Not that I am complaining. It was fun, but in all probability I am done with office parties for some time at least.
Work during the months of October, November and part of December was too much and therefore killing. But then again something that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and believing in this saying I’d like to claim that I am proud of myself for weathering the rough tide.
December turned out to be quite eventful. I received my first award from Patty, or like she likes to call herself, Old Lady Lincoln for my Delhi Photo Diary. December 25 was an off, for everyone at office, which is a rarity when the firm in question deals with news. Everyone at office was super-excited and nice as all of us are, we decided that one off that all of us are getting, we should ensure that we spend with each other. We went for a one- day long visit to Agra, to see the Taj Mahal. I must confess that the trip would surely count amongst the best trips of my life. Our house in Gurgaon was finally allotted and we went to see the flat that would be home very soon.
The month of December had several highs. But it had lows as well. It was on December 7, 1998 that my father passed away and this year was his tenth death anniversary. Often I like to tell myself that now after so many years I have overcome that flood of emotions. However, a small incident, without any prior warning, triggers the deluge of tears. Its just by looking at my mother, who has been an inspiration of fighting back and getting back to life after every blow it dealt that I manage to live again and laugh again.
I hope 2009 turns out better than 2008 for me and for all my blogger friends as well.!!!