Wednesday, December 1, 2010

< 20

OMG!

Excitement, nervousness, what's-happening-to-me-ness, where-did-those-days-go-by-ness, how-is-all-going-to-work-out-ness, why-is-not-the-whole-world-happy-like-me feeling, do-i-deserve-so-much-of-happiness feeling, and finally, I-think-I-have-gone-crazy-as-in-"gandliye" feeling.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Diwali Is Here

Do you know what I did today? I took my Scooty, took my camera, and just went for a ride in the city. Just went on all those roads that are now glittering with lights and lanterns, and akashkandils and roshnai. It was such good fun.

When I was driving from Narayan Peth, I could smell besan peeth being fried for besan laddu. It was so tempting. Yummy! Just the Diwali flavour and festivities round the corner. I am so glad I could take a round clicking away to glory all the beautiful lanterns.

Here are some pictures that I took...








Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nice Photo

I loved this photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:British_Columbia_Regiment_1940.jpg

It's so poignant. I loved the depth it showed...the long line of soldiers on the road...the mother and the son...the son leaving his mother's hand and running to hold his father's hand...all other soldiers looking serious and determined...the father alone looking back at his son...beautiful.

Look how the road is divided by the long line of soldiers. On one side, only two-three ladies, on the other all other ladies bidding farewell to the soldiers...looking at a grim future. The black-and-white photograph shows one whole generation of people men towards the unknown.

What a classic photograph!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Who Does?

Who sells saris to the wives of the salesmen who sell saris? Do those salesmen sell saris to their own wives?

Do waiters serve food to their families that may come to the restaurant?

Does a restaurant cook prepare the dishes himself when his wife and kids visit the restaurant?

Do the gajrewallahs sell gajras to their wives?

Do painters ever paint their own homes?

Who arranges the wedding for the mandapwallahs?

Who delivers letters at a postman's home?

Do rickshawwallahs make their wives and kids pay when they give them a ride?

Do theatre doorkeepers ever get to show the seats in the dark to their wives and kids?

Do washing machine engineers repair their own washing machines and charge themselves?

Do the Electricity company folks ever need to call up their call center to ask when the electricity will be restored in their area?

Do doctors ever treat themselves and then ignore to take the medicines?

And finally...

Do writers ever read their own books (as I would read this blog)?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Committed And In Heaven

So, it's finally happening! I am engaged and soon to be married...sounds so filmy. But true it is.

Preparations have started for the wedding and it is getting crazier by the minute. Right from the date, the time, office leaves, shopping...it's bizarre!

But in all this, I am the luckiest! Sanjeev Pradhan, my fiance is not only handsome and cool, but is also the most understanding, loving, and caring person that I have met. I am indeed lucky. I guess the mutual understanding and respect that I have seen in the two of us is indeed rare. Touch wood!

Life will move on. But I know that I will have the solid support of one person who right now dominates my thought, hopes, and dreams. Unbelievably, life has given me much more than I deserved, much more than I wanted, much more and wonderful than I had hoped. And I thank Him for that!

Here's to our new journey ahead, Sanjeev! Cheers!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

To Sweetie Pie!

To the naughty, bubbly, talkative, kind, smart, a-little-bit-manipulative-in-a-very-sweet-manner, darling of his parents' eyes, and extremely well-behaved Nanu! Happy Birthday!

Bless you!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

To A Sister!

Two years elder, two times better, and two times worthier. That's my sister-Mukta.

A voracious reader, a confident lady, a learned and intelligent person, yet open, brave, strong-minded with a ready-to-take-on-the-world attitude. That's her! There are only few girls that I know who have been brave enough to lead life as they want, and without support. She's from that elite group.

Her never-say-die and no-nonsense attitude are something that I always wonder at. In spite of the hectic schedule she has every day, I see her full of energy even at the end of the day when she is with her son, playing with him, entertaining him, making him have his dinner, and putting him to bed. It's amazing.

You should see her face when someone gives her gift, or when things happen as per her wishes. It's that one look that assures you that the world is a good place, indeed.

Her support and well-wishes are some things that I treasure a lot. I know she will always be there for me. And I'll be there for her, supporting her and relying on her.

It's her birthday today and I wish her immense joy, happiness, and serenity. I wish that she gets all she wants out of life. I wish her a healthy, glorious life. I wish that may all her dreams and wishes come true.

Here's a big hug from me! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crossing Bridges

Stand on the Balgandharva Bridge and on both sides you'll see a couple more bridges.

Early in the morning face east on the Balgandharva bridge and you will see two bridges, one below the other. On a cloudy day, from the Balgandharva Bridge, it's pretty picturesque to see those two bridges over the river. Their reflection in the (dirty) water below, sparse vehicles running on the bridges, a few people too all looks nice. Stay there on the bridge a few minutes and just soak into the morning atmosphere. If you are lucky, you'll be able to see two vehicles on the two bridges one below the other at the same speed running simultaneously in the same direction. It's fun to see those two vehicles running one below the other as if competing with each other.

But if you face the west on a morning from the Balgandharva bridge, you'll see a different scene. You'll see three bridges, Bhide Pul, Z Bridge, and Lakdi Pul. Each has a different story to tell. Bhide Pul, closest to the water dips down from the main road to cross the river. This is the bridge that has to be emersed in water at least once every rainy season. It's a pretty good shortcut to reach the Deccan Bus Stop. Early in the morning, you'll see a few commuters, and if you are lucky, even a doodhwala on bike. The Z Bridge is peculiar with its winding structure. This bridge is meant only for two-wheelers. Early morning, you'll see only few bikers and cyclists. Lakdi Pul even that early is thriving with buses, rickshaws, early morning car commuters. It's one of those bridges that is never empty.

Mhatre Pul is another such one that's always crowded. Believe me, there can be a major traffic jam on Mhatre Pul even at eight in the morning. It's one of the connecting lines to Kothrud, Karve Road, Karve Nagar, and that side of the town. Traffic signals at both ends of Mhatre Pul add to the traffic jam and you'll hardly ever find it deserted.
One such bridge that I remember used to be pretty deserted and lonely, but now has gained prominence is the Koregaon Park bridge that joins the North Main Road to Kalyani Nagar. Some 7-8 years back, it really was not much known. But as the IT industry developed in Kalyani Nagar, this bridge gained importance as a route to avoid the Nagar Road traffic, in turn making it one of the busiest routes. But if you take into consideration the bridges in the eastern side of the city, all of them are crucial and as much crowded, be it the Bund Garden bridge, the St. Mira's College Bridge, or even the Sangam bridge.

Each bridge has its own personality, and its own kind of commuters. Some will have heavy traffic, while others will mostly be used by pedestrians. Some have a kind of leisure around them, like the Z Bridge. Perhaps it's the structure of the bridge that goes winding from one end to the other. But if you walk on the Z Bridge, you almost always believe that you have come for a leisurely walk round the city and are in danger of forgetting the work at hand. In the evening especially, you'll see couples sitting at every nook and corner, college groups having fun, elderly folks enjoying their evening walk. Even dogs on this bridge will have the time of their life and you'll find them either sleeping or loitering around doing nothing of importance, just nosing around pretending to be busy.

But Mhatre Pul or Koregaon Park bridge are quite the opposite. Both are overflowing with office-going folks. Koregaon Park bridge will carry mostly upper, affluent class commuters, mostly working in IT companies, seemingly always busy to get to work (never in time to go back home), not bothering to even glance around and see the water flowing under the bridge, or the dhobis at work at the dhobi ghaat. But Mhatre Pul connects mostly middle class office-goers, a lot of them also workers in small companies, making ends meet. They too might not have the time to look at the bridge at work or the water below the bridge. But their minds are perhaps full of day-to-day problems of buying new dresses for their daughters or getting new toys for their sons.

Balgandharva Bridge has its own story to tell. Early mornings it will usually see the morning "walkers" eager to stay fit. Around ten in the morning, you'll see rickshaws carrying school kids. While some kids go by rickshaw, some others prefer their cyles, while some others are dropped by their parents. As the day progresses, it might have got a deserted look, had it not connected the peth and old city area to the new JM Road, Shivaji Nagar area. Evenings you will find a lot of people sitting on the pavement blocks, enjoying the sunset and the calm and cool breeze. I have always noticed that the west side of the bridge is always more crowded in the evening than the east side. And I really haven't understood why.
 
These bridges make a great skyline for Pune. Apart from connecting the different parts of the cities, they are an integral part of our day-to-day lives. It's on these bridges that you'll find bhel and ice cream stalls, chane-dane gadis, bhutta-walas, kulfi-walas, even fishmongers. It's on these different bridges we might have loitered around in the evenings with our college groups. It's from these bridges that we see the swelling waters of Mula-Mutha in rains and curse the dirty waters the rest of the year. It's from these bridges that we witness the yearly Ganpati emersion procession. It's from these bridges that we enjoy the Diwali fireworks. It's from these bridges that we have connected to the world.

The next time you cross them, don't forget to stop for a moment, and look down to see how much water has passed under the bridges.

Walls

Have you ever been to a jewellery shop at its closing time? The usually-adorned walls are stripped off their shine and lusture, literally. All jewellery on-show is removed from the showcases and put away for the night. It's actually a sad sight. The glitter and shine of the whole day, the gold, silver, pearls all on display vanish in the cupboard for the night. If you are used to those shiny walls and gleaming showcases, it's kind of a shock to see those bare walls. That's when you realise that at night, those jewellery shops are so different. Not to mention the work the salesmen and saleswomen have to do to store the jewellery in safes and then displaying them again the next day.

Still these shops get back their sparkle every day in the morning. But that isn't the case with a house that you have just moved away from. When you book a new house, you are in anticipation of getting the new house and moving into your new surroundings. As the day approaches, you move your furniture, bags, clothes, utensils. Brick by brick you strip off the house of its things and amenities and the house starts becoming empty. On the final day when you are leaving, if you glance back, you see the desolate walls, the empty space in the rooms, all witness of the time you spent in that house, the things you kept there, the cupboard in the corner, the table near the window, the spot on the wall where you had hit yourself when you were young. All those memories of those wonderful times come back. And then comes back that feeling of emptiness, the feeling you get when you leave back a person after a long association. It's like you are leaving a part of you behind as you move. It's the place that has sheltered you, the place where you were at home with friends and families, and shared many a laughs and tears. The shine is all gone. What is left are bleak, lack-lusture walls!

What all stories those jewellery shop walls and our old house walls would tell!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tribute To Babuji

29th July 2002 was when we lost this great man: Sudhir Phadke. His heavenly voice, his music, his compositions are incomparable. I am too small a midget to describe or comment on his music. Here's my tribute to Babuji: listing some of my favourite songs by Babuji.

अशी पाखरे येती
तुझे गीत गाण्यासाठी
स्वयंवर झाले सीतेचे
तोच चंद्रमा नभात
का रे दुरावा
मज सांग लक्ष्मणा जाऊ कुठे
राजहंस सांगतो प्रीतीच्या तुझ्या खुणा
आज कुणीतरी यावे
एकाच या जन्मी जणू
बोलले इतुके मज श्रीराम
चंद्र आहे साक्षीला
फिटे अंधाराचे जाळे
जीवलगा कधी रे येशील तू
पराधीन आहे जगती
स्वये श्री रामप्रभू ऐकती
लाडकी शकुंतला
एक वार पंखावरूनी
स्वर आले दुरुनी
सखी मंद झाल्या तारका
शेवटचा करी विचार फिरून एकदा

The list is endless!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Scampering Around

Day: Saturday
Time: 7.30 a.m.
Place: Parvati top

After steeling ourselves to climb Parvati, my sister and I finally made it to the top. This was after at least 7 years of total absence of Parvati-climbing practise. It was so tiring. We did not climb at one go. We stopped every few steps to catch our breath. But eventually me made it. It felt glorious. It felt awesome to feel our red faces, hot with the exercise. As we sat down to rest, we saw the regular Parvati-climbing members sitting and enjoying their morning chat. We saw enthusiasts climbing Parvati multiple times. We were in awe of those who had climbed several times and left to scorn at ourselves for being so tired even after a single climb.

In spite of the lack of exercise and practise, it was a fun. It was fun to be there at that moment, feeling the fresh morning air. It was great to be on our own, without my little nephew firing away his "How-What-Who-Which-When-Why" questions. It was good to be together just as two sisters and enjoy the time with each other.

Then we went to sit behind the main temple. It was wonderful there. A calm, cool breeze was blowing. A few drops of rain here and there, and it really felt like being in Alice in Wonderland. The regulars on Parvati were on their way to the Parvati mandir and we were just sitting there in the cool breeze.

A little girl with her father were on their way back. Their camaraderie was a wonderful thing to see. Both were happy with each other. And suddenly, in a light moment, the father scampered with his little daughter just as she did, as if they were coming out of their last day at school before summer vacations. It was such a cute sight. Not only did the little girl enjoy, but I suspect that the father enjoyed this childishness more than anything else.

It's so much fun to be kids once more.

Replaying the kid and her dad in our mind, we remembered that there was another kid-Anay, waiting for us at my sister's place. We scampered down Parvati and went home with a mental promise of returning the next weekend again.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Disadvantages Of A House In Town

...are many. The worst is, you'll have enough guests to last for a lifetime.

If your house is located in the heart of a city, I empathise with you. I know the pain. In spite of finding every other place in the city close to your place, you would still wish that your place was in the middle of a nice lake full of sharks or crocodiles who wouldn't allow anyone else to pass through the lake.

Why can't people just stay put at their own place? Why do they have to visit us every month, with every spell being of fifteen days. Why can't they mind their own business and not bother us?

With guests almost every weekend, I really wish I was staying away from where I stay right now. And I wish people would stop considering our place as a come-and-go-whenever-you-want abode.

We need peace. We need privacy. We want to be left alone! Wishful thinking, I know!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Settling Down

My colleague has recently got married. She was working till before her wedding and now, she has settled down to become a nice "wife."

I met her today and found that it's a complete different world that she is living in. Her life before her wedding was so unlike to what she is living now. Then she was working, now she is at home. Then she lived alone and worked. Now she stays at her in-laws, a joint family of parents-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and children, and doesn't work. Then she wore jeans and dresses. Now she wears saris and is decked up with jewellery.

Is that what settling down after being married is? It's quite unsettling and spooky!

Friday, July 16, 2010

कोट, टोपी, आणि धोतर घातलेले आजोबा

काल मी सकाळी साधारण साडे आठ वाजता झेड पुलावरून जात होते. तेव्हा बघितलं अश्या एका आजोबाना. स्वच्छ, पांढरे धोतर, छानसा फिकट पिवळा कोट, आणि डोक्यावर काळी टोपी. पुलावरून खाली पाण्यात बघत होते. इतके छान होते ते.
असले आजोबा आता दुर्मिळच.

खरंच, आजचे आजोबा सगळे hi-tech झाले आहेत. धोतर-टोपी तर सोडाच, साधा सदरा घातलेले आजोबा पण दिसत नाहीत. हल्लीचे आजोबा directly T-Shirt, Jeans, कॅप, आणि काय-काय नवीन fashionable कपडे घालतात.

तसं बघायला गेला तर आजकालच्या आज्ज्या तरी कुठे नऊवारी साड्या घालतात? त्या देखील पंजाबी ड्रेस घालतात, काही आज्ज्या तर अगदी Jeans, T-Shirt देखील घालतात. हा आहे आजच्या एकविसाव्या शतकातील "change."

म्हणजे हा बदल चांगला नाही असा मी नाही म्हणत. पण असले आजोबा किंवा नऊवारी घातलेल्या आज्ज्या दिसल्या की एकदम भूतकाळात जातो आपण आपसूक. आपले स्वतःचे आजी-आजोबा आठवतात. आणि मग त्यांनी आपले केलेले सगळे लाड पण.

आज्जी बरोबर दुपारची कामं केलेली आठवतात. दुपारची कामं म्हणजे सांडगे करणे, पापड करणे, कसले-कसले मसाले करणे. काय-काय असायचं. आणि दुपारी कपडे धुणाऱ्या बाई आल्या की आज्जीची साडी वाळत घालायच्या. तेव्हा आणि अजूनही असं वाटतं की केवढी मोठ्ठी ती आज्जीची साडी! हाल्ली साधी पाचवारी साडी घालायला पण कंटाळा येतो.

आजोबा आमच्या करता संध्याकाळी काय-काय आणायचे: गोळ्या, कणसं, बोरं, गरम-गरम खरी, चण्या-मन्या बोरं...फार मज्जा यायची.

आज्जीने एक मोडक्या घड्याळ घेऊन आम्हाला घड्याळ बघायला शिकवल होता. पण आता परत कशी आणू शकू आपण ती वेळ???

Friday, July 9, 2010

He Is Out Of Danger

The Lieutenant is now out of danger. Thank God!

But it's not just God that we must thank! It's his own willpower too! He has come out of grave danger and giving a hard fight.

His story is just the story of every bahaddur hero that we know our armed forces have! And that itself increases his bravery hundred times.

He's still recouperating, but I know that soon he will be up and running.

Salute to every armed force member!

We are proud of you Lieutenant!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Prayers For A Brave Hero

He has got a bullet in his stomach, and he needs several operations to get back to normal. It's already some days now and the bullet is still inside him.

This brave hero was hit in the stomach with a bullet by the "you-know-whos." He was found after 12 hours with a bullet inside him. It's a wonder that he is still alive! His stomach, small intestine, large intestine are all affected and are in dangerous conditions. The liver is damaged! But not his spirit!!

He is still fighting for his life, living each day bravely. Every new operation is going to be a new test.

I want him to recover from this ordeal. I want him to be hale and hearty like he always was.

I don't want him to succumb to his injuries like other soldiers have.

I am praying constantly for his recovery! Lieutenant, we are there for you! Wishing you a speedy recovery, Brave Hero! We salute your bravery! Don't leave us!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Here They Come With टाळ And चिपळ्या!

The पालखी will be here next week. With the chant of "Gyanba Tukaram!" they will usher in the festival season.

Palkhis remind me of those long processions, those वारकरी, all swaying to the rhythmic sound of टाळ and चिपळ्या crossing miles and miles on foot, having that one goal in sight, of reaching Pandharpur, the abode of Vithu Mauli. Palkhis are something that make me awe-struck. This परंपरा  as we call it in Marathi, the yearly यात्रा has continued for the past thousand years. Isn't it wonderful that so many warkaris walk this walk every year? Can we do it even once in our lifetime?

In Pune, some years back, Palkhis used to take a different route. They used to pass through the Appa Balwant Chowk (ABC.) My Babai (Aai's Aai) used to stay right in that chowk, next to Prabhat talkies. Now that house is pulled down for road-widening. But I remember when we were kids, all us cousins together would wait eagerly for the Palkhis. We would crowd ourselves in the small windows on the first floor to see the processions, the warkaris; wait eagerly, craning our necks to get दर्शन of Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj and Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhis. It was always an exciting time.

I agree that when these palkhis come to our cities and towns and villages, we face a lot of issues. We face traffic jams, overcrowding, unclean places when they move to their next destination. But no one can doubt their spirit, their perseverance, their भक्ति. I know one of my friend, will disagree with all I have said here about Palkhis. But I still believe that Palkhis are one of the wonders in Maharashtrian culture.


When Palkhis passed our town, we knew that Ashadhi Ekadashi was coming soon. Ashadhi Ekadashi means साबुदाणा खिचडी. Most Maharashtrians fast on this day to pay obeisance to Vithu Mauli. We kids were just interested in the sabudana khichadi that we used to get then. Even now, I savour the test of that khichadi that's made on Ashadhi Ekadashi.

So with Palkhis the festival season begins. Shortly after Palkhis we have the month of श्रावण. Shravan means rains. Shravan means mehendi. Shravan means awesome delicacies such as ukdichya shenga on Naagpanchami, kothimbir vadya, tandalachi sandani on Shil Saptami, narali bhaat on Narali Pournima, purnachya karanjya, puranpolya, chavachya karanjya. Shravan means Shravani Somvar, Shukrawar-cha vaan. Shravan means raksha bhandhan. Shravan means Janmashtami. Shravan also means listening to those कहाणी which invariable start with "आट-पाट  नगर होतं," and end with "ही साठा उत्तराची कहाणी, पाचा उत्तराची सुफळ संपूर्ण."  Shravan means fun.

Right after, come Gauri-Ganpati. I don't need to tell how important this festival is for us. Every household celebrates it. Everyone eagerly welcomes Lord Ganesh at home and is equally unhappy to bid them goodbye. Ganpati means pandals on roads and music on loudspeakers. It's the time to check how many aaratis you have by-hearted. It's time to check how good can you dance the "Ganpati Dance" on the visarjan day. Ganpati means celebrations.

After a hiatus of 15 days when we pay our respects to our ancestors, we are back to celebration time.

After worshipping Shri Ganesh, it's time to worship Durga Mata. नवरात्री is celebrated with great enthusiasm. There are yatras at almost all Devi mandirs, be it Mahalaxmi, Tuljabhavani, Ekaveera Devi, and various other forms of Adi Shakti! Not just that, this is the time to worship the स्त्री शक्ति through haldi-kunku ceremonies. And how can you forget the garba and Bengali Durga Pooja that mark the Navratri celebrations! The festival ends on दसरा! Dushera means distributing gold in the form of आपटा leaves. (Thank God! I can't imagine everyone distributing real gold, what with gold prices reaching sky-high.) Dushera also means sweets and a sumptuous meal of पूरी-श्रीखंड. It's the traditional sweet that has to be made on Dushera in a Maharashtrian household. Ask Chitale Bandhu!

Then comes दिवाळी! Lights, firecrackers, sweets, new clothes, new plans, new purchases, the list is never-ending. Getting up early to bathe with uttna, to light the first fataka, wearing brand new clothes and visiting temples early morning, visiting Sarasbaug, Parvati, or even Omkareshwar for Deepotsavs, visiting relatives, posting cards wishing Diwali greetings, all make Diwali what it is. Diwali brings in sweets, all kinds of them, karanjya, ladus, shankarpalya, anarase, chiwada, chirote, shev, chakli, and what not! Rangoli, diyas, akaashkandil, kille, and Diwali holidays for schools...I just can't wait for Diwali!

And then it ends like all good things. Intense four months of festivities end abruptly when Diwali is over and there's a definite lull in the feel-good quotient. Of course, as months go by, we have Tulsi Vivaah, Kojagiri Pournima, Datta Jayanti, Holi Pournima, Ranga Panchami to celebrate. But nothing can surpass the excitement of those four months of Shravan to Kartik.

Let the feast begin! (Dumbledore-style!)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Unknown

Fear of the unknown...that's what we fear the most!

And it starts from very small things. It starts right from our first day in school or college, we know nothing what to expect and that's why we are terrified. We are nervous on our first day on our first job, every job for that matter.

We are afraid of meeting new people because we don't know what will happen when we do. We are frightened to try out new things because they are unknown to us.

And we are afraid of every new phase of our life because we are just clueless of what lies ahead of us.

Life is full of unknown things! That's really spooky, you know!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Something's Wrong With My Face

"I have seen you somewhere." That's what a lot of people say when they meet me or see me for the first time. I wonder how can everyone feel that they have seen me before.

I have heard people say that there are at least 7 people in this whole world who look similar. I have a doubt that all the other six are here in Pune. That's a very dangerous condition. I think, I now know what Lord Voldemort felt when he knew that there were 6 more of himself hidden somewhere. But at least he knew where they all were. I don't know where my other duplicates are. That's spooky!

Let me get my hands on at least one of the other 6! Then see what all I do! I'll maker her attend ever family function for me. I'll make her drive me everywhere. I'll make her work for me and I'll go on a long vacation. Then she'll know what it is to be me.

One other thing that I always hear when my family folks meet me is that I look like my Aunt, my father's sister. If not her, then I am generally told that I look like one of her daughters, my cousin Shilpa or Sapna. My family also tells me that I talk like my cousins, my style is just like the other Pradhans.


Could someone please say that I look exactly like myself and that I talk just like myself?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Morning Ride

A soft, rainy, Sunday morning...a nice chilled atmosphere...the perfect setting for a good exercise. And nothing better than a twenty-minutes cycle ride.

Sunday morning started with getting up late. But the rains in the night made sure that it was a wet morning. No sun burning down the neck. Awesome!

I started late, but being a Sunday, the traffic was low. So even when I went right on the high-traffic roads, I could ride easily without much hassle. And it was fun, absolute fun. The wind rushing past me as I rode faster, the cold morning, the strain I felt on my body as I rode...it was all exhilarating.

The only catch is, that I should not get back to my earlier lazy self, but continue this regime!

Mala jamel?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rains...I'm Loving It!

It's raining hard! The rains slash, the clouds are ringing with thunders sending out flashes of lightenings, and the pitter-patter of rain drops is a music onto itself.

There's a serenity that quietens one and all.


I am ready to endure those four months of intense heat for these beautiful, peace-bringing, happy monsoon days.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Touching Our Feet

What they make and repair touch our feet and that's what makes their day.

My chappal was broken yesterday and I had to go to a cobbler. He was a real old Ajoba, with a bleak eye, wearing thick glasses, yet, in spotless white cotton clothes. He was old, but not out. He had the strength of running the whole shop single-handedly. And such a tidy shop it was.

When I was waiting for the dear Ajoba to repair my chappal, I thought how difficult his life must be. We buy new chappals and shoes immediately if the old one is torn, broken, or even simply old. But their life depends on these old shoes and chappals. They mend it for us and make them reusable for such a meager amount. Do you know what he charged me? Just Rupees 10. If that is all he got that day, can you imagine how he survives?

And here we are, garnering hundreds and lakhs of rupees, in fact a hundred times more per day than what the Ajoba might be getting daily. And we are still unhappy, we are still hungry for more.

I know one thing, I am damn lucky to get what I have. Thank Thee!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hukum Mere Aka!

I really, really wish I had a Genie who would say this every time I wanted something! Seriously!

I am now even fed up of being fed up and disgruntled when things don't just happen as per my wish. I am now tired of expecting something as per my wish everyday. I am exhausted of wishing to have carefree and guest-free weekends. I have lost hope of not having folks around who are not selfish and who care for their happiness alone. I am done with waiting forever for things to happen. I have had enough of entertaining people just because it's my "duty." I am sick of having my life ordained for me where I have no say at all.

Basically, at the moment, I am just sick to death of everything and everyone. Don't tell I didn't warn you! I won't be responsible if I misbehave with anyone.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cheers To My Chariot!

She completed 1 year on May 26. My 2010 has given me immense pleasure on crowded Pune roads and in long distance travel. She has protected me from the sun, the traffic, and the hazards of two-wheeler driving. I owe her one!

Her elegant colour and shape add to her other advantages: smooth drive, powerful AC, comfortable interiors. I have spent some of my memorable times with her and my friends, enjoying her ownership and taking pride in guiding her.

Driving through rains and listening to my favourite songs: that's what I love to do with her. I remember how I had been to Lonavla with friends, had opened the boot, and had ice cream sitting in the boot watching the beautiful rains. It was awesome. I remember my first long drive to Mumbai with her. I remember how one night I had pizza with Mukta and Aditya in Bavdhan, enjoying the night stillness around.

I also remember how she has got all the different scratches and dents. I am so sorry dear! A big hug to you from me for that.

My heartfelt thanks to my Chariot, my Estilo, who has run for more than 8800 kms in this year and has allowed me to control her and bend her to my wishes on all roads! Love you Lady!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

To A Couple!


Here's wishing Mukta and Aditya a very Happy Anniversary!

This made-for-each-other couple makes my life brighter and this world a better place to live in.

May you have comfort and sunshine, love and togetherness, happiness and support forever in your life.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Love...

...the smell of first rains.

...freshly made beds, especially if someone else has made them for me.

...to look at my closet full of ironed clothes waiting for me to wear them.

...to wear bright, ironed clothes or my most comfortable blue top on my favourite jeans.

...to look at my home that I have just cleaned prim and prop which looks very welcoming.

...to drive in my dear Estilo when it's raining hard outside listening to my favourite "Jab We Met" songs.

...it when someone drops me back from work or a nice outing or party, especially coming out of way to do it. (Schade! that it has never happened yet. It's mostly me who does the dropping off for people.)

...to feel the blast of the AC in my Estilo when driving to office.

...it when people say that I am a good driver. (Believe me, I am!)

...it when someone remembers me and buys something especially for me when they are on a trip or outing. (That too has happened only very, very seldom.)

...it when sometimes people leave me alone to myself.

...to watch a movie alone sometimes.

...to buy gifts for my dear ones. (Sometimes I feel I overdo it.)

...it when a friend of mine gives me a flower every time we meet.

...to see myself sweat it out after I go for a walk or exercise rigorously.

...to see not just the sweat on my face after my exercise but also my rosy cheeks bright with exercise.(So Elizabeth-Darcy-like!)

...to sit under that one tree in our local park after my usual rounds enjoying the cool breeze and looking at the evening sky and the birds around.

...it when friends ping me to chat, especially those who are so dear to me.

...it when there is absolutely no work, no relatives, no visits on weekends and I get to do whatever and how much ever I want.

...to take that blessed afternoon siesta after a sumptuous meal on a Saturday.

...to have dinner ready for my parents when they return from Mumbai.

...it when I switch on the TV and find my favourite movie on.

...to hear my favourite old songs on the radio.

...to watch movies in the night when everyone else is asleep in the house.

...to read an exciting, nerve-wrecking novel right into the night and finish it off with a relish.

...to write long letters describing all kinds of things to my friends.

...it when I receive a letter from my friends as a reply to my earlier letter.

...to buy beautiful, unique key chains, treasure them all up, and then open this treasure some days later to take a stock.

and of course,

...it when people leave comments on blog posts. ;)

Monday, May 24, 2010

I-Want-To-Stay-Away-From-All-Relatives Fever

These days, I am suffering from this terrible fever. It's going on for the past one month. And I know it's going to stay for another couple of months at least.

It's acute symptoms are listlessness, getting bored when with relatives, finding reasons to avoid meeting relatives, staying out of home when relatives are expected home, staying back in office even when you have no work just to avoid relatives.

This fever is unfortunately not contagious. How much ever you wish that your relatives would catch this disease, they never do so. In fact, it has a curious reaction on your relatives. When you are suffering from this fever acutely, that's the exact time when they suffer from "We-Are-Coming-To-Stay-At-Your-Place" illness or the "You-Have-Not-Visited-Us-In-A-Long-Time" sickness, or even the "Why-Don't-You-Drop-By-Today-At-Our-Place?" malady.

Mind you, these are bound to increase your fever and I suggest you take precautions to avoid suffering the effects of these different diseases when you are already suffering from the fever.

Some options you can consider to ward off kinsmen are:
  • Going underground and untraceable for quite some time.
  • Spreading the word that you are suffering from swine flu.
  • Showing off that you are so busy in office that you don't have time even for yourself.
  • Going off on vacation and never informing when you are returning or when you have returned.
Note: Please let me know if you have tested and tried any other options with success.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Birds Of All Feathers

Some soaring high in the sky, some singing in the trees, some hidden in the foliage, some twittering around flying, some hopping trees, and some returning to nests as the night falls.

You will see them all if you spare some time in the evening and visit your local park. If you just take efforts and listen carefully, you will be able to decipher the cuckoos singing, crows croaking, sparrows chirping, parrots screeching, and various other birds twittering.

As you sit and watch them all, you wonder at the lives of these feathered friends. What difficulties they must be facing every day to get food, water, and shelter. You wonder how they survive the scorching heat. How do they protect themselves from predators? How do they manage to get up so early in the morning?

How do they know that you need "a blessing from above" especially when you are wearing your best clothes? Just as we talk of a "bird's eye view," do they also twitter about a "man's eye view?" Do their necks ever pain with their constanting twisting and looking around? Do they get tired of spreading their wings and flying? Do their beaks ever itch?

As you get all these questions in your mind, you suddenly realise that it has become dark and that the birds have settled down for the night. But instantly, you are proven wrong. Owls hoot loudly announcing that the night is all alive.

You bless those charming, delightful, avian friends and get back to your flightless routine.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Rapid Questions Round

It is a truth universally accepted in the Indian society that a single girl, who is working, and is from a well-to-do family must be in want of a husband. Then that would-be husband and his family have all rights to ask whatever uncensored questions they want, in front of everyone. Questions could be as follows:

  • What are your hobbies?
  • Can you cook?
  • Do you like non-vegetarian food?
  • Do you like to listen to music?
  • Would you mind if you have to move out of your city? (Nobody bothers to ask what she would do about her job then.)
  • Do you wear saris? Do you like wearing saris? Do you have a collection of saris?

Did I tell you that these are standard questions? A recently introduced question, that will make your heads turn is:

Have you put on weight recently?

And they might sometimes forget to ask these questions:

  • Can you walk?
  • Can you talk?
  • Are you human?

But don't worry. Every girl eventually gets used to being asked all these questions. She also learns to answer them tactfully. Of course, when they are asked for the first time, the girl will be angry, flustered, irritated, and not to say flabbergasted. She will then learn that the greatest "virtues" of being a girl are patience and self-control. She will learn that she has to control herself so that she does not walk out on the folks who ask these questions, or worse, slap them hard.

This experience is very necessary to learn the role of being a good "wife." Unless she passes in this test, she is not accepted as "marriage" stuff.

So gals out there thinking of getting married soon, remember, be patient and practise self-control. Because those virtues are your ticket to wifeydom, nothing short of martyrdom.

Friday, April 30, 2010

At The Traffic Signal

This other day, I was at the University signal returning home. It was around 6.20 in the evening. As I waited in the car for the signal to turn green, I observed a salesman making the rounds of the vehicles at the signal. I have seen him there many times. He sells cloths, those yellow and brown ones that you use to clean your car or bike.

I was waiting very close to a truck. The space between the truck and my right hand mirror was not enough for a person to pass. And as the salesman approached, I saw him trying to squeeze himself through the small space. And just while doing that, he inadvertently brushed against my mirror and moved it. However, my instant reaction was that he should not get hurt as he squeezed through. I hoped that he had not hurt his back against the truck.

I slid down my window to ask him that. But the first thing he said was, "I am sorry Madam. Galti se ho gaya!" I was left speechless for a minute. Then I asked him, "Aapko laga nahi na?" He was taken aback that I had not scolded him, smiled, and answered that he was not. He apologized once again and went away.

I kept on thinking...how meanly do we deal with these salesmen. My car's mirror might have moved even if a vehicle had dashed against it. Although I didn't get angry with him, he had expected me to take him to task. His supplicant reaction made me think if we behave too harshly with them.

We ought not to forget that these salesmen are at the traffic signal the whole day, in the harsh sun, in the soaking wet rains, and cold winters, tiring away to earn a few rupees a day.

I know that we can't always entertain them. But we might just try and be a bit patient, understanding, and graceful. It might just make our lives easier and this world a better place to live.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lights Off

For 10 whole hours! The reason: Unknown! How do you survive in the heat? Just exist!!

This is really ridiculous! Can you even imagine how difficult it is stay without a fan for hours together in this sweltering heat? This has happened twice now.

This is the scene in our city. Imagine the state of rural India where there are no lights for almost 12-14 hours a day every day!

"Sarkar cha doka thikanyavar ahe ka?"

To Dear Papa

Happy Birthday!

It's my dad's birthday today according to the Hindu calendar. Interestingly, no one, not even he himself knows his real birthdate. No one knows neither his birthdate, nor the year. We just know his birthday according to the Hindu calender. It's the last day of the first Hindu month of Chaitra, and this year, it is today.

But we know one thing certainly, and that is that he was born. Because he is.

Today, I wish him many more such wonderful birthdays. I wish him health and happiness. I wish him peace of mind.

On this day, I want to salute the person that he is. His wealth of knowledge, his calm and quiet nature, his adherence to values, his punctuality, his constant and quiet support to what he feels is correct and right, and yet his stubbornness, his at-times whimsical nature, all make him what he is.

He is an English professor primarily. But he is also proficient in Sanskrit and Marathi. He has taught Sanskrit to junior college students. He has taught Marathi to German, American, and Indian students. It's amazing to see him literally play with these languages.

You will notice his mastery over all these languages when you hear him play with words as if juggling knives. He is apt to make you laugh with a few words spoken with a very straight face and a plain tone. His repartee is just unconquerable.

Obviously, if he is angry with you, the way he will show his displeasure is unique too. He'll seldom raise his voice. But what he will say will be such that you won't understand what has hit you until it's too late. And then too, he will have made you speechless. Beware, it could at times be quite nasty and possibly a below-the-belt attack. But you probably earned it.

Very recently, he did the MS-CIT course. His tremendous will power to learn about the world of computers is very admirable. And he passed that exam in flying colours. Hats off to you, Baba!

Moreover, like all men of his age, he is so much aware of his surroundings. He is up-to-date with the latest political happenings. He is also aware of the latest Bollywood gupshup. It's amazing how he finds time to know all that!

But there is one thing that he doesn't like much. He generally doesn't like watching movies. Especially if it is at home. If I make him go for a movie in a theatre, he will do that. But if you ask him to watch a movie at home, he will make some excuses. In fact, he will suggest a good movie that's on TV. He will watch it till the first advertisement break and then quietly slip off to read his books.

Yet, he has a few favourite movies: Sarfarosh, A Wednesday, Hum Aapke Hain Koun! And he never misses a single episode of the daily Marathi soap Agnihotra. He generally never stays up late after 11 in the night, but if he misses watching Agnihotra at prime time, he stays up to watch it at 11 p.m. That's his solidarity for his only favourite serial.

There's one another thing that he is amazing at. Baba loves to search for books on the footpath. He loves visiting the footpath-vendors who sell books; I call them that for a better name. His favourite one is the one who sells books on the Lakdi Pul. He has bought a wonderful collection of Perry Mason books, religious books, P. G. Wodehouse books, and other interesting books from him. And he will buy them at a meagre Rs. 20-30. It's such excitement when he comes home with a new Perry Mason book!

Baba loves listening to classical music. He is a fan of Pt. Vasantarao Deshpande, Pt. Kumar Gandharva, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. But he also appreciates film songs-Hindi and Marathi as well as newer songs that are really worth it. His favourite song from the new generation music is the Kajra Re song. He simply loves it!

Today, on his birthday, I wish him lots of love! Love you, Papa!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

310 Tick Tock

That's the new song Nanu has composed.

You are supposed to sing it with the right rhythm and correct hand gestures. Your left hand should be high above your head in the air. The thumb and index fingers should be closed as if you are holding a pinch of salt. You should say aloud the song in the rhythm "310, Tick, Tock." 310 must be said in Marathi. And "Tick" "Tock" are sounds that you must make like that of a clock ticking. The song is incomplete if you do not sing it while you go round and round looking at your left hand in air. You have the freedom to move your right hand as you want.

If you are bored with this song, here's the first song that Nanu composed: "Digbun, digbun, aulay!" You have full freedom to use whatever actions that suit you. But the rhythm should be "Dig-a-bun dig-a-bun, au-lay."

When you sing these songs, don't forget to tell everyone that they have been composed by Nanu.

Three cheers to Nanu!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Masks May Bring Fame

I generally cannot boast of having any similarities with film stars or high-profile leaders. But this one time, I have my claim to fame. I can claim to have two things that I share with Rupert Grint, the actor playing Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies. We both share arachnophobia. And the more recent one is, I can boast of being an H1N1 swine flu patient, just like him. :D

Yes, I had swine flu for a week since March 25. I was isolated, under medication, and now almost out of it. I completed my medication course on Wednesday, March 31. But I am still suffering from an unprecedented bout of weakness and fatigue. Never before have I felt that frail. But it's all in the game.

What is funny is not that I had swine flu, but how people reacted to the news. The first reaction I heard from people was of shock. Of utter disbelief! It was as if I had caught a dreadful disease, something out of this world! Most thought that it was a dreadful condition to be in, how could I ever contract it, what did I do, and how was I ever to get out of it. I assure you all that swine flu is completely curable. I am a living example. If you can understand the symptoms early enough, take proper precautions, and take regular medicines, you will be out of it in a trice. Well, not literally, but certainly!

When I had the symptoms, and when another of my friend tested positive with H1N1 (with whom I had spent some time together), I had my doubts that I might have contracted H1N1. But the result of the test that I underwent, when out as positive, made the difference. I went into a self-imposed (and rightly so) isolation. I could not meet friends or relatives. Fortunately, my parents weren't affected! Touch wood!

So, I was at home, taking medicines, resting, and also wearing the N95 mask.  It is only now that I appreciate people who have to wear masks at their work. It is so inconvenient to wear that damn irritating thing all day. Believe me, it is hard enough not to meet folks when you are ill (and not get yourself pampered by visiting folks.) And it is worse to sit there all alone in a corner, wearing a mask, feeling all the more tired and dejected. And this is how I also appreciate all my canine friends who are muzzled so that they can't open their mouths. Poor dogs! Here's my "Tails-Up" salute to all of them!

The next time you see such a dog with its mouth all bound up, bless yourself that you haven't been affected by H1N1. And don't forget to bless those little souls too!

So, anyway, here I am, recouperating! I shall soon be in action. Till then, here are some tips that you might want to have a look at:

http://www.emaxhealth.com/1024/90/30681/how-take-swine-flu-precautions.html
http://www.swineflu-india.org/Prevention-and-Precautions-for-Swine-Flu-India.html


Ohh, and one more thing! This is not applicable just to H1N1. It's true of all illnesses. But it's more valid for swine flu, because it is such a contagious disease. Be prepared to recite your story over and over again. Be prepared to retell your story of how and when you got the symptoms, how you dealt with them, how and when you got the test positive, what medicines you are taking, what other precautions you need to take, and the whole history and geography of your illness as many times as you have friends and relatives. No one will be satisfied till they hear it all. Remember, there is no shortcut to fame!

Cheers fellas!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Photos Galore

A visit to the Bannerghatta National Park in Bengaluru obviously asked for a ready camera and patience. My friend and I also visited the Butterfly Park inside the National Park.

Here's a link to the pics that I took: http://picasaweb.google.com/prajaktacpradhan/BannerghattaNationalParkAndButterflyPark?feat=directlink

I enjoyed taking the pics. Hope you like the pics!

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Begging With An Attitude" In Japanese

A very good friend of mine, Prajwal Channagiri honoured me by translating my Begging With An Attitude post in Japanese. I want to thank him for his efforts and the generous compassion that induced him to translate my post.


Thanks, Prajwal!

Rains Rains Come Again!

First rains of the season!!! Wonderful!!! Awesome! Always an out-of-this-world experience!

I simply love rains!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Free Haircut

I had a free haircut today. It was done at home, in a very cosy, friendly environment.

The only difference was that I could not see in the mirror. But I could see the excitement in the eyes of my little hairdresser. He was so excited to have his first customer. And I behaved in a very apt first-customer-like manner. I gave him all freedom to bring out his creativity by turning and twisting my head just as he wanted while he gave me a new style.

He was so happy to see that when he was styling my hair, they fell all over my eyes and he could exclaim that nothing (my eyes) could be seen through the curtain of my hair. And because I was his first customer, he also invented a new vocabulory: when my hair fell all over my eyes, he called them "Kes sandlet!" which means my hair was spilling over.

And the best part of the haircut was that it was done using a playing card by my dear Nanu! All inspired from his own "cutting" that he had on Monday! What luck!

Would you like to have one?

Monday, March 8, 2010

What Went Wrong?

How often do you ask that question to yourself? Once in a lifetime? Several times? Often? Always?

And what do you do when you do not get the answer? Just let it be? Just forget about it? Just believe that you are untouched, unalloyed, completely happy, and ready to take on the world again?

You tend to console yourself that what happened, or is happening is for the best. You feel exhilarated for half an hour; get back your self-confidence, your self-worth for one glorious half-hour. After forgetting about all that happened, at a sudden, unguarded moment you suddenly find yourself asking...

What went wrong?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Quotable Quotes

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. -Robert Frost

The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided. -Casey Stengel

I do not want people to be agreaable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them. -Jane Austen

When I was born, I was so surprised, I didn't talk for a year and half. -Gracie Allen

I never think of the future-it comes soon enough. -Albert Einstein

When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him "Whose?" -Dorothy L. Sayers

Can one desire too much of a good thing? -William Shakespeare

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. -Bob Dylan

What happens when the future has come and gone? -Robert Half

Never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut. -Robert Newton Peck

A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. -Jerry Garcia

Interestingly, according to modern astonomers, space is finite. This is a very comforting thought-particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things. -Woody Allen.

One meets destiny often on the road one takes to avoid it. -Unkonwn.

I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I've lost is two weeks. -Totie Fields

No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one. -Elbert Hubbard

Fear is like that. Like cigarettes or opium. You must have more of it. -Henry Cecil

Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth. -J. K. Rowling

Washing Powder Nirma

Washing powder Nirma
Doodh si safedi
Nirma se aayi
Rangeen kapde bhi
Khil-khil jaye
Sabki pasand Nirma
Washing powder Nirma

The very old and famous Nirma detergent powder advertisement has now a new face. But no one can ever forget the song that has made the advertisement famous.

Nanu loves this advertisement. He loves listening to the song on radio, loves to hear the "washing powder" words again and again. And believe me, he actually gets unhappy and bawls out if it the advertisement gets over. What kids will like!!

Old is gold, I suppose!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Patronuses

I know for sure that I have got a Patronus. Two in fact. They are those cheerful forces that are helping me survive the gloomy, confusing, hostile, frightened life that I sometimes have.

They have helped me ascertain that my instints are intact. That my gut feelings are usually correct and that I should stick to them. They have appeared at my bleakest hour and signaled that I am on the right track and that they are there to protect me. Their appearance has fortified me, given me a warmth, a strength to endure difficulties and surpass them.

They have given me the self confidence that I was losing. Ultimately I would have succumbed to the darkest of fears, self-pity, and unhappiness, but for them! Now I know, they are there to guide me, to protect me from the blackest and darkest forces.

Thank you dear Patronuses! I need you every hour, every minute, every second. Stay by me!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

To A Beautiful Lady

Beautiful, strong, helpful, and strong-willed. That's how I see her. She is master of herself, always doing what she thinks is best. And always, she has been right. She has always been a stong support for me. We share a lot of things in common. Yet, we both are distinctive, she more so. She completes our trio. Without her, it would not have started. When we had met first, we had fought. But over years, we have become true friends. Her steady nature, brave heart, and no-nonsense attitude make her unique.

It was her birthday yesterday! I am sorry I missed putting up this blog by a day! But here's wishing you a very Happy Birthday and a beautiful life ahead!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Foul February

I hate February! Really! Since past few years, I have consistently had the worst days of the year in February. All bad things happen in February. Deaths, illnesses, losses, heartbreaks, unhappy relations, sly, selfish relationships, all, all happen in February.

I want this month to get over soon, really soon!

Till then I pray nothing worse happens any more! Hoping that the rest of the year is better!

Wishful thinking...!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Sirius"ly Yours

This wonderful friend finally succumbed to the inevitable.

He had wandered into Wadia Stud Farm as a small pup where he was adopted unconditionally.

He lived life giving love to everyone. He was especially attached my mother who works there. He waited for her on guard when she worked overtime and accompanied her till the gate. He was truly noble.


All at Wadia Stud Farm will truly miss you, Sirius!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Better Half

One woman who lives the life of hundreds like her. Yet, she stands out from others. She is my Kavita Vahini. She has been a pillar of strength for my cousin Dada and his entire family. Theirs is a love marriage. Both were really young when they got married. But through all these years, she has stood by him through thick and thin.

She lives the usual life of an office-going woman in Mumbai. She gets up early, cooks, makes tiffins for her husband and daughter, cares for her father-in-law, travels through the over-crowded local trains, goes to office, works, comes back in the evening, washes clothes and utensils, helps her daughter in her studies, has dinner with family and ends her day with an early nap. Not once in all these years have I ever, ever heard her complain about this awfully busy and difficult schedule. Not once has she shirked her responsibility. And all this she has done whole heartedly, happily.

My Dada isn't well since a couple of weeks and I have seen her toil harder than ever. I have seen her stay by Dada day and night, literally. I can visit her only in the evening after office hours. But not once, and I am not exaggerating, not once have I seen her tired, forlorn, sad, and irritated. It's been hardest for her. Her daughter is left alone with her grandpa at home and she has to take care of Dada here. And yet, everyday I see her full of life, helping Dada to recover, supporting him, cheering him up.

Vahini's mother and sister are far away from her. They have their own set of problems. But she is brave and lives life blessing and caring for everyone that she meets. She is truly one of the strongest women I have ever met.

Her simplicity and strength, her values and her caring nature, her understanding nature and love for everyone are worth learning.

I dedicate this post to Kavita Vahini, who makes my world a better place to live!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Debts And Daggers

I can't believe that my last two blogs have created such a stir in my "followers." I had never dreamt that people would be discussing my blogs. It's quite phenomenal! And believe me, very humbling too!

Thanks for keeping up with my writings, folks!

When I wrote that last post, I believed myself perfectly calm and cool; but after listening to everyone's reactions, I wonder if I did not write it in a dreadful spirit of bitterness and anger. And for those who cannot figure out from where I have picked up those lines, you can search for them here.

Keep reading guys!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Swellheads

People are hypocrites. Seriously! What all they will do to maintain their (pretentious) standards. They feel that what they behave, do, or say is the best. What others behave is wrong. Their ego is, as I have said before, bigger than Canis Majoris. When they react to people's behaviour towards them, do they ever consider the other person's point of view? Will they ever think that may be, may be they could be wrong? Will they ever think that perhaps someone other than them may be correct and that what they did was wrong?? No, indeed! Worthless people!

I wish they get a bigger dose of their own medicines and then their big, fat, inflated heads deflate faster than balloons.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Balancing Acts

When you are good with everyone, you are always in a problem. It's always like being between the devil and the deep sea. The issue is, each person, especially those that are always on the opposite side of each other try to pull you to their side.

It is especially irritating to find yourself in such a situation and try hard to not take sides. I always find myself in such a spot. Of course, if I am in trouble, I stand up for myself. I mean, if any of the two parties tries to use me against the other, I won't tolerate it.

I just hope that I am able to stay neutral.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Celebrating "Chaitanya"

Here's a beautiful song that celebrates चैतन्य in nature:




Life is good!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dosa And Civic Sense

"Dosa!" Those were the only words Anay (Nanu) said to me today on phone. My sister called up to say that my nephew wanted to talk to me. And when he came on the line, he just said that one word and hung up. So cute of him. I think he just wanted to tell that he had dosa that day. He is such a cherubic boy. Full of life, full of masti.

On Saturday, Aai, Baba, and I visited Nanu at home. He was overjoyed to see us all together. For the entire time that we were there, he kept on repeating and dancing on "Sagle aale, sagle aale!" Usually, I go alone to my sister's place. So, he was over-excited to see us all together. He kept playing with his gadi. He zoomed in and out and used to stop abruptly saying "Red signal lagla, ata thambaycha." Then in a few seconds he would start again saying, "Ata green signal. Ata jaycha."

I just hope he maintains this civic sense when he grows up and starts driving a vehicle on the roads.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Can We Get Smaller Than This?

Where do we figure in this?



If you want to know more about this picture, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Star-sizes.jpg.

Seriously, we're just teeny-weeny, tiny-miny, itsy-bitsy midgets in this universe. But we consider ourselves, our wants and wishes, our egos bigger than even Canis Majoris. Time we resized it all, I guess!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Making Myself Useful

One of my friends has got a job in Chennai and is moving over to Chennai on Saturday. She has studied and worked hard to get this job and I am immensely happy for her. Her mother has taken tremendous efforts after her father passed away to make ends meet and to educate her children. My friend has done MBA even in such circumstances and for her, it is a completely new experience to go away from her family.

I am proud that I have such a brave and worthy friend. And I am glad that I was of help to her to pack her things. She was at a complete loss of how to pack her bags and what things to take along and how to take them. I sat with her for a couple of hours, sorted out things for her, and packed her bags for her.

In doing all this, I was tremendously happy that I was useful to someone. I was useful in making someone happier and relaxed. It is very heartening to see that I can be of use to someone. And, this I write not because I am vain, but to remind me once again that had I not been there, someone else would have been there. She would have received help in some or the other way. I was just the means, the "jariya", the "nimitti."

Never forget that you are a small cog in a giant wheel. Even if you don't do your work, the wheel won't stop turning.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Be An Idiot!

Warning: If you haven't seen 3 Idiots, and want to watch it, know that this post contains spoilers. Read it at your own risk.

Don't miss the start. Especially the credits and the photography used for that song. It's simply beautiful. You start on the journey rightaway. I don't know if you have travelled to Konkan. But if you have, especially long hours, you will get the exact feeling of travelling on winding roads for long hours when you are watching the credits. That's because you turn as the camera turns, as the car turns. It's simple, and that's why brilliant camera work. The mood sets in. As the story unravels, you are on a journey to find Rancho.

The story goes on about how the three main protagonists meet, become friends, love each other for what they are, and hate each other too. We get to know how they learn new things, study, chill out with friends and make fun of them too. We see how people and situations affect them, how they react to it, and what the consequences are.

I would rather not tell the story here but tell how the film affected me and what I liked in it. The film is a wonderful combination of flashback and present. When you are dealing with the present, you are suddenly thrown back into the past. And when dwelling in the past, you are suddenly pulled back to the present. These jerks are awesome, a wonderful back and forth of circumstances.

Raju's family is shown as if existing from a 1950s-1960s movies, entirely in black and white. That's maintained throughout in the movie. The moment you step in their house, it's all black and white. It's beautiful. On the other hand, Farhan's camera plays an important role. It is almost through Farhan's camera that we see the past. It's his narration that takes the story ahead.

The only love song in the movie is, I have to admit, cute. Really cute. Very nicely done. I loved it. The whole time I was watching that song, I had a smile on my lips. Both Aamir and Kareena look awesome in it, especially when they are dancing against the big white moon.

I am not saying the movie is flawless. It has its melodramatic scenes, exaggerated scenes, and completely unbelievable scenes. But you are led into a suspension of your disbelief. I watched the movie twice and believe me, the pregnancy scene, which is so much exaggerated brought out a completely different reaction from the audience. The first time I watched it, the theatre was silent, completely silent. After the baby was born, there was a kind of sigh of relief. The second time I watched it, once the baby was out and kicking (not literally), there were whistles in the audience. It was amazing to be there at that moment to experience that.

After a long time, I actually heard people going crazy over a hero's or heroine's entry on screen. There were whistles and shouts on Aamir Khan's entries. Superb!

I loved the movie not for the message it spreads. I loved it for the sheer cinematic experience it provides.

I highly recommend this movie for everyone. Not to be missed for worlds!

Friday, January 1, 2010

What's New?

Another year starts, and life still goes on. I mean, with the new year, except that the date changes, what's different? It's the same old life for us workers, go to office and return in the evening day after day. For students, the year continues...nothing apparently changes except the syllabus.

A new financial year starts and yet each one stays at the same level that one was before. If you get an appraisal and bonus, then you spend more because you have got more. Eventually you end up having the same amount as your bank balance.

Writers keep writing new things like they have done every year. Actors keep on acting as they have done in each of their past movies. Players play and excel like they do in every game. Soldiers do their duties and wait for their next vacation as they do every year.

People are born and people die. Natural calamities occur and leave some scars. Man-made dire circumstances occur leaving behind a whirlwind of emotions. Ultimately everything settles down as dust settles down after a storm to welcome another year that will go past as the year before that.

Just one small change occurs...you add another year to your age and that's what makes a difference.