Monday, September 7, 2009

My 7 Havens!

7 places I absolutely love with or without reasons :)

1. Defence colony, Ambajhari, Nagpur - The green and calm neighbourhood. The place where I made friends for life, KV (my school), ATS ground (The most happening place for us), Chota park (Small Park) and Bada park (Big park), Dance class, each and every street. I spent 15 years of my life their and still relate to that simple living. Accomplished a lot of things and was famous also. :D

2. VasantRao Deshpande Hall, Nagpur - I gave my first performance there. The anxiety and the excitement all combined, moments before my performance and the loud cheers and applauses of people when I strike the final pose... is definitely the best feeling and my craving never ends.

3. YCCE, Nagpur - The place where I had entered with lots of dreams and confusion (which by the way is always there). Fights, friendships, love, celebrations, laughter, The Quest... it all happened here. Wish to go back and study a bit more... Naah, no way! More fun sounds more like it :)

3. Reliance Stairs, Bavdhan, Pune - Away from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding, dark but full of colours we painted it with. Cold but filled with the warmth of the people around. Long chats, birthday celebrations, emotion overflowed at times, reunion with friends.. everything happened there.

4. Flat no. 4, Shyamla Regency, Pune - Definitely a home away from home irrespective of the amount of time i spent at home. (You can stop nodding Yammy :P). A place where humanities evolved and crashed at times. :)

5. Sus Road Tekdi - Actually there are 2 of them. When i discovered the first one with someone, nothing looked more beautiful than that place, that very evening. The other tekdi was more like a relax and retrospect kind of a place. Amazing just amazing!

6. KPIT cafeteria - I would always get the much needed upliftment of spirit there. My first job's first cafeteria! The eventually "it turned out long" short breaks, over a cup of tea/coffee with cookies, laughing about nothing, try to console each other when bosses/work made our life hell, meetings (yes we had serious, all work, tea meetings :)).
Just for all that, I want to come back.

7. The outings - Though I love all the outings I managed to be a part of while in Pune. But playing fair to mention just one place, I would say the best one was definitely the Konakan bike entourage! Sheer bliss. :D

Ended up giving detailed reasons here. :P
But I loved doing this.

Keeping up with the tradition I now tag:

Varghese -
Veeru -
Aniket -
Robo - you can mail it to me or start a blog with this for which I am earnestly waiting.
Debo - I would love to read you list too.
Praveen -


Friday, September 4, 2009

That thing called LiFE

Life unfolds itself at its own pace!

well.. He thought otherwise and set out to prove it.
What happens when we decide to uncover all the hidden mysteries on our own?
What happens when we try to deviate from the usual course of our life. Destiny might have been defined and inscribed in a stone tablet even before we were born. But, his tablet fell down and broke into pieces. He apparently didn't take care enough to preserve his predestined future.
He chose to be a rebel, he chose to explore the unexplored.

He was alone. All the people he was supposed to meet according to his destiny were lost and crushed with that stone tablet.
He set out on a new mission, a mission he called "Life"!
He came across hurdles, he saw the creation in his own light. It felt almost as being born again.
It was a strange game because though he couldn't see anybody around, all the people were there right where he had left them. But blinded by this light, that he had found and all the images and memories crushed with the stone, there was no one to hold his hand, no one to correct his mistakes, no one he could run to.
He was excited but scared also.
He was full of vigour but his fears were paralyzing at times.
He was all new but felt stale inside.

He used to run all day, run hard, run for getting his life back. At nights he would sleep but that was no good either as his dreams were madness. He couldn't make sense of all this. He couldn't recognize the characters in his dreams. There were voices from the past. At times he could hear
someone crying. At times a hand stretching towards him, desperately trying to hold him, desperate faces trying to take control of things.

Wiping the sweat beads every morning, he gathered all his strength and set out to make something fruitful out of all this ordeal. He still had one connection intact and as strong as it could be that helps him carry on.
His teacher, his God!

This post is dedicated to all the teachers I've had and to life (which definitely is the best teacher)!

Happy Teacher's Day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Not Without You

Shawn loved his dad more than anything in the world. When his mother left them to marry someone else, Shawn was just 8 years old. His little brain never understood why his mother had to leave such a wonderful husband? He was ashamed and full of anger. From that day he had developed a repellent behavior towards all women. He was happy with his small and comforting world with his Dad.

David worked for an interior designing firm, A La Decor. You could notice him from a distance because of his tall lanky figure and strong grave voice. His work was highly praised and he bagged all the best projects. He was content and never really looked around for female company. He was too busy for that... too busy bringing up Shawn and with his work.

His new assignment required him to go to Mumbai and it also came with an increment and a promotion. He was elated but didn’t know how Shawn would take it. It required him to be away for 6 long months but with Jane, his sister and her husband Joshua around, David didn’t have much to worry about.

David broke the news to Shawn about being away for 6 months. Shawn was disappointed but like a matured guy said, “That’s great Dad! Go and Make big money and then we’ll go to watch a real football game when you’re back.”

David hugged his son and promised to call everyday. Sometimes David felt guilty for snatching away his son’s innocence at such an early age.

Shawn quipped after a while saying, “Just that won’t do but if you club it with a promise to get me a play station, I’ll do just fine.”
They gave a hearty laugh and they both began packing for David.

In the morning, David and Shawn were joined by Jane and Joshua. They said their prayers, had break fast and then David left.

Shawn didn’t cry. He believed it was only girls who cried and for all the wrong reasons. He waved good bye with a broad smile. Shawn’s eyes followed David’s car till it vanished at the horizon. “I am gonna miss you Dad.”

David’s new office was huge. He was given a personal cabin overlooking the Bandra - Worli sea link. His intercom buzzed.
“David, I would like you to meet your new team now. Leena would be assisting you throughout. She’ll take you through the project details and introduce you to the team as well.”

“Right Sir.”

There was a soft knock on the door.

“Come in.”

Leena walked into the room with a bunch of folders in one hand and flowers in the other. She was looking beautiful in the simple blue cotton saari. Elegant and confident David said to himself.
She placed the flowers in the vase deftly. “Hi David. I hope you are all settled. It would be a difficult transition from the quite of Dehradun to the hustle bustle of Mumbai?”

“Yeah… its very humid as well out here and the local trains are no help. I’ll take some time to get used to all this, I guess.”

“You’ll be alright, David.” She smiled the most beautiful smile David had ever seen.

“I believe you have gone through the project proposal already. I’ll still run you through it.”

She was intelligent. David noticed. He was bowled over by her.

Life was too hectic as expected and pressure was high with the magnitude of work and expectations. David finished the work well before the deadline and it was a big help and comfort to have Leena around. The project was a smashing success and David was on the top of the world. He immediately called Shawn and gave him the news.

“Hey buddy, I miss you a lot.” Shawn couldn’t contain his happiness because soon David would be back, all to himself.

“I missed you too Dad. When are you coming back? Have you booked your ticket?”

There was a silence. David didn’t know how to say this. He cleared his throat and went on “Coming soon Son… ummmm, listen up Shawn. There is someone coming along with me. She is a nice person and I am sure you would be glad to meet her.”

“Uh… huh..” Shawn didn’t know what to say.
Did he hear “she”?

Whole night Shawn twisted and turned in his bed for a long time. Questions flooding his mind.

Flight was scheduled to land at 5 in the morning and since the airport was close by David reached home at 6 A.M. Shawn was already up and ready. Excitement, anxiety and above all the fear of facing a lady was written large on his face. David came out of the cab. Shawn ran and hugged him tight as if sensing some sort of infiltration he hugged him even more when Leena emerged from the other side.

Leena had been brought up in a very conservative Mallu family. Her father, a retired colonel had always been a doting father but very disciplined. While Leena’s Mom was hysteric about her decision to marry a divorcee, Leena’s father had developed a liking for David. They clicked instantly. But before really going ahead with the marriage plan, David made it clear that he will have to take Shawn’s consent. Everyone agreed and thus Leena came with David to meet Shawn.

“Hi Shawn”

“Uh… Hi… Dad, I missed you a lot. Come I’ll show you the trophy I won in the inter schoool football game last month.” He almost avoided confronting Leena.

They went inside with Leena in tow. He very gingerly took out the glass and gold trophy from the shelf and handed it over to David carefully avoiding looking in Leena’s direction. David hugged and congratulated him, “That’s like my boy! Shawn, would you like to show your trophy to Leena? I’ll get some tea.”

“That’s a nice trophy Shawn. So you are on the defense or the attack side?” Leena desperately tried to strike up a conversation.

Shawn looked away again and after replacing his treasured trophy followed David to the kitchen. Leena simply went after him. David saw her and smiled. Leena was a bit tensed.

She tried again with calm and smiling her nicest smile ever, “So Shawn, where is your school? You didn’t go today?”

“My vacations are going on and besides I had to be here to welcome Dad.” He replied curtly.

Sigh. At least he replied.

She glanced around in the kitchen and saw a photograph of Shawn and David fixed on the fridge.

Again she started thinking about her decision. Would it work? Would Shawn ever accept her?

She was jolted when David handed her the cup with the same soothing smile that had captivated her the very first time. She then looked at Shawn who was staring at her like a detective stares at a fugitive. He was forcing her to reveal her identity and leave his cocoon right away without causing further disruption.

They sat together in the lawn and started chatting with mostly Leena keeping quiet or being cut in between by Shawn who was determined not to let her speak... It was difficult for her as well. She loved kids but she never expected to start her married life like this. Shawn was no help either.

They had a rather quite dinner that night. Every mind had one or the other question troubling them.

Shawn “When is she going to go back? I hate her.”

David, “This looks like the perfect family to me. I love her.”

Leena, “…..?????. I wish I could make things better. Will he ever accept me?”

They all said good night and went off to sleep. After almost an hour, Shawn unable to sleep, nudged David who was also wide awake and asked, “Dad, why didn’t she go back to her house? I don’t like her.”
David sensing his insecurity assured him that Leena would be leaving soon but he should give her chance and she would make a nice friend.

Shawn looked into David’s eyes, as if voicing his worst fears ever asked, “You like her, Right? You want to marry her?”

David was caught unawares and didn’t know how to respond. He then grabbed the opportunity and said, “Shawn. You are my best buddy and I have to tell this to you. I love Leena and am really hoping to marry and make her a part of our lives. Shawn, I am sure you’ll like her. Try talking to her. Won’t you do that for me buddy?”

“Yeah. Sure Dad.” His matured self surfaced again and David felt bad.

Almost a week passed by. Each day brought the same routine for all. Leena trying sincerely to get closer to Shawn. Shawn trying hard to evade all persuasions and David exasperated managing his responsibilities, his needs and his job.

It was full moon night. Leena was packing her bags to leave the next morning and David was with Shawn in the room. Leena and David never got a chance to spend time alone like they did in Mumbai. After packing, Leena sat on the edge of her bed silently crying sensing her failure and the fear of losing out on being a part of David’s life. She got up to get some water. It was dark and she fumbled twice and then entered the dimly lit drawing room. She found her way to the couch near the window. She always found the moonlight very comforting. She started introspection on her life. She had come a long way from a carefree young girl fresh out of college. She got the job she loved. Everything was perfect and then she met David. She relived all the moments they spent together. She had liked him the moment she met him and she knew that the feeling was mutual. Then she thought about Shawn. Leena felt all grown up, confused and … motherly at the same time. The transition from being a girl to being a mother was not at all easy.

After making sure Shawn was asleep, David got up. He came out of his room and spotted Leena on the sofa with her eyes closed. He tip toed in her direction and kissed her on the forehead. Leena almost let out a small scream but David stopped her. David couldn’t ignore noticing again how beautiful she looked. Especially in her pink negligee and the moonlight illuminating her creamy complexion, he couldn’t resist getting closer to her. He adjusted himself next to her on the couch and slid his arm below her neck. Leena cuddled up to him and closed her eyes. She felt the best in his arms. David kissed her again, but this time on the nose. She giggled. He then started kissing her on her face and made his way to her lips. She craved for more and kissed him back. She whimpered. She was completely aroused now. David got closer and hugged her tight. He touched her slightly and gently everywhere and exactly the places where she craved to be touched.

Shawn got up from a bad dream and panicked when he didn’t find David by his side. He shouted, “Dad… Dad… Where are you?”
Leena broke lose from David’s arms and they ran towards Shawn. Leena felt very coy facing Shawn but she concealed it somehow. Shawn hugged David and started crying.
“Why did you leave me Dad? Why?” and almost immediately threw an angry look in Leena’s direction. She felt stupid and unwanted.
A tiny drop of tear glittered from her eye and Shawn noticed it.
Leena reeled back to her room. David took the signal and thought Shawn was not going to accept her. He comforted Shawn and made him sleep. Shawn felt triumphant on winning back his Dad. He was relieved now but somehow he couldn’t stop thinking about Leena.

At breakfast, Shawn was the only one chattering and eating. David and Leena were lost somewhere, looking gloomy and baggy eyed from the lack of sleep. Shawn noticed it all but continued avoiding. When they were done, Shawn jumped from the chair and ran towards the drawing room. Leena was trying hard to stop her tears. David came by her side and said, “I am sorry Len. I so wanted to make it work but…”
Leena placed her hand on his and said, “I understand David. Time is what we all need.”

Shawn came in. “Hey Leena. I made a little something for you. A farewell gift.”
Leena was surprised. And even more when she saw what Shawn laid in her hand. It was a picture taken on one of their trips.
He had scribbled "My Family" on it.
Leena hugged her son tight and she smiled and laughed and cried all at the same time. David felt proud of Shawn. They hugged each other as their world was complete now.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Love Forever

His heart skipped a beat when he saw her trying to climb the escalator and falling down. The deep frown lines on her forehead and the wrinkled yet serene face of hers told me a lot about her struggle.
The airport authorities told Sai her story and he thought of talking to her. He casually sat next to her and started chatting.
"Namaste Auntyji"
She smiled hastily while reluctantly looking away from the foyer and replied, "Namaste Beta. I am Nirmala." There was a weird familiarity in her smile. They started chatting and she was telling how she came there everyday, fighting with the rickshaw waalas and struggling with the escalator to receive her son Chotu who went away never to come back. Sai's thought started drifting.

“Get ready fast. Locals here are so unlike Chennai metros. We have a slow local at 7:15, we must not miss that. I’ll show you the ladies compartment and you’ll be safe.”
I was so busy talking that I didn’t notice her standing there.
“How do I look?”
She undoubtedly was the most beautiful lady to walk the face of earth.
“Amma… you look perfect as always. Priya can never catch up to that. Now run else I’ll never be able to catch up to her.”
We both burst into laughter and I just loved these moments.

Sai’s childhood was just like any other kid's until the day his Appa passed away in a freak road accident. He had breathed his last in her arms. That day Amrita (Amma) had lost all hopes but she fought her sorrows and lived and laughed only for Sai. Today she was going to meet Sai’s love, Priya. Sai couldn’t stop praising Priya on their way to the station. He found a soul mate in her and most importantly he was very sure that she would keep Amma very happy.
It was 7:00 A.M. when they reached Dadar station.

“Amma, I’ll get this tickets punched. Here… you have tea and sit here till I come back.” Sai signaled towards a bench.
Right when he left, a man with a huge baggage was pushing his way through the crowd. He looked very agitated and was cursing and fretting every now and then. He was looking here and there through the corner of his eyes. Amrita became very suspicious of him. The man advanced in her direction and dropped the baggage right besides her with a thud. Sai sensed the chaos and glanced in her direction but couldn’t spot her.
He was in the middle of a humongous line for ticket and 4 down it was his turn. He again tried looking for Amma. But no luck.

“Kyu Madam? Kaha jaa rahi ho?” Amrita was trembling with fear by now but did not move, for it would become difficult for Sai to find her. She kept mum and was looking in the opposite direction. Few kids playing on the platform kept her occupied and managed to ease her frayed nerves. She was carried away by the sheer number of people coming up and down the stairway.
She turned to look for Sai and spotted him at a distance coming towards her. She was relieved. The man was also gone with his baggage left near the bench.
Sai sensed something, he felt something was amiss. He saw Amma smiling from the distance. Suddenly he ran towards her and in a split second there was a huge blast right where Amma was standing. It was a deafening noise and Sai was just a few meters away from the spot. He fell with his face down and couldn’t hear anything but a long shrilling beep. He wanted to reach to Amma. He got up and started limping towards the fire. Though he wanted to run, his knees felt too week. People were running with fear gripped on their faces. They just wanted to be away from all this. Sai slowly started drifting away and fell unconscious.

When Sai opened his eyes, Priya was sitting next to him in the hospital. The doctor checked him and issued a discharge letter. Before Priya could say anything, Sai hurriedly dressed up, cleared all the bills, took Priya by hand and started walking. Priya was too bewildered to say anything. He kept on saying “Amma is waiting Priya, we need to hurry. She’ll be so happy to meet you.”
Priya couldn’t stop her tears when she saw Sai in that state. She just followed him.
Sai went to the station and darted towards the bench where he had left Amma. The place was all charred and he started panicking. He still waited, his longing wet eyes waited for an eternity at the station, but it was an endless wait. Priya held his hand. He looked at her and she was crying. She never dreamt of being the bearer of this bad news. But she gathered all her courage and said, “Sai, Amma is no more with us. You were…”
Sai was not listening to anything anymore. He just looked at the bench and then at her and then at the bench… Amma is no more with us… things started making sense and he started losing it all.
He wailed and cried there. He had promised her happiness, he had promised her a beautiful world. But she had left him, never to come back. Priya took him away. Sai looked back again and saw Amma waiting for him with that same pleasant smile. She was etched in his memory just like that.

Suddenly Sai was brought back to reality when Nirmala squeezed his hand tight and shouted. “The flight has arrived beta. Lets run. Chotu would be waiting for me. He will get lost in the crowd. Come on run.”
Sai tried to keep pace with her, her restless eyes scanned through all the people checking in. At times it would light up seeing someone who resembled Chotu even a bit but he never came. She was devastated. Sai took her to the tea stall and bought her some snacks and tea. She wouldn’t eat. He was supposed to report at office by 9 but he called in sick. They sat together, chatted some more and finally she ate. She gave Sai a warm contented smile.

It took a lot to convincing on his part to take her along. He just couldn’t leave her like that.
He knew that she had no place to go. Sai was not sure if she would agree staying with Priya and him so he thought of taking her to his friend’s old age home. He decided to talk to Priya and take her home once she is prepared. After initial registration formalities while he was taking her to her room, she looked at Sai through her misty eyes and said in between sobs, “God bless you my Son. Will you come with me tomorrow to the airport?”
“Sure.” Sai smiled. Sai was united with his Amma once again.

Friday, May 22, 2009

writer's block!

I did not know about this until recently. Now that I know I use that as an excuse almost every time!
Write something new - naaah... writer's block (I say to myself).
I want this article by EOD - No way!! Writer's block! even bigger with a deadline imposed!

Sheer laziness... nothing else. I've been thinking so much crap, that my thoughts are all disorganized.

When I was not writing I was reading a lot.
Randomly, unknowingly, willingly, forcibly - reading stuff that managed to keep my mind polluted uh i mean occupied. :P

I read so much of GK that I started feeling nerdy. We were preparing for "Gyani Kopda" - Battle of the Brains (Quiz contest). I was the guinea pig in the team owing to my lack of knowledge. Everyone derived some sort of satisfaction after drilling poor me with questions and facts unheard. But I've this amazing "guessing power" that kept me going.

I managed to write something after long, I guess the block has started shifting or crushing under my weight. :-O
So coming soon with more of my musings.
Stay tuned! :)