Sunday, December 31, 2006

Here goes 2006

As the end of 2006 approaches, i can sense the joy of welcoming a whole new year. All of us had our own share of happy and sad moments during last year. We wanted things to happen in a particular way and some things did happen that way, while some others didn't. Last year we did make new year resolutions and tried to keep them. At times we broke them,modified them and tried to keep modified versions :-)

I was never in the habit of keeping new year resolutions. Because of the simple reason that i never felt January 1st is a special day (yeah, u heard me right). I always believed that if u can make a resolution on January 1st, u can make it on any other day. Whats so special about January 1st? If it not had been for Julius Caeser and Roman Calender, I wonder whether we would have been celebrating new year at January 1st. Forget about a new year, I wonder whether there would have been 12 months, with each of them christened accordingly. It would have been an endless string of days and months, which passes by, without making any special impact on our lives.

But on second thoughts, I feel the whole concept of new year has been there so that we can make fresh beginnings. Starting it all in a fresh new page, forgetting all the bad experiences, forgiving those who made us sad, striving to achieve our goals and hoping for a better tomorrow. As the new year approaches, i can feel the enthusiasm in air. Everybody is optimistic about the coming days. Everybody is hoping for a better tomorrow, though the definition of 'better' differs from person to person. Even i had my own share of wonderful and 'not so wonderful' experiences this year. Life has changed a lot in the last year, perspectives have changed, people moved in and out, yet i am here, struggling gracefully.

The things that went on the bright side are

1)I have started approaching life in a much more practical way.

2)I am trying not to be so hard on myself.

3)I am doing better in my job.

4)I have developed a number of hobbies, like reading, writing and sketching(A few of them were a part of me earlier and later went to oblivion).

5)I have increased my friends' circle.

The things went on the 'not so bright' side are

1)I have put on weight :-(

2)I still can't resist my temptation for chocolates and ice creams.

3)My job is consuming a fair share of my time, leaving me with lesser time for myself.

And here I make, those (dreadful??)resolutions for the first time.

1)Join a fitness club.

2)Manage my time well (read find more time for myself).

3)Learn pencil sketching (a long cherished one).

So we are all ready to welcome 2007. I wish you all a happy new year. Have a blast!!!

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Oh !!!

I thought Jack and Jill were two cute kids and Humpty-Dumpty was a cute fatso, until i read this.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

A Unique Christmas Party

It was a Christmas Party with a difference. There were neither flamboyant dresses nor big Christmas cakes. Yet it turned out to be one of the best Christmas parties i have ever attended. It happened last Saturday. About 3000 children and senior citizens celebrated their Christmas in Mount Carmel College. What made this party so special was the fact that all these children were students of 40 different special schools(schools specialized in teaching deaf, dumb, blind or mentally challenged children) located in and out of Bangalore. The senior citizens were residents of Old Age Homes located at different parts of the Bangalore. And I got an opportunity to volunteer for the event.

All of this was made possible by Chrysallis. Chrysallis - a theatre of performing arts for the specially challenged forms a group of like-minded people who want to bring a difference to the life of a specially challenged child. It conducts a number of events throughout the year, the biggest one being their Christmas Party.

My day as a volunteer started at 5 A.M. The fact that I got up that early to be a part of the event was in itself an achievement for me(considering the weird hours i got to sleep and eventually get up these days). I reached Mount Carmel College at 7 o'clock in the morning. The tasks assigned to our group were decorating the venue and face painting. We started off with hanging crepe papers, cut in different sizes and shapes and blowing balloons. It was nice to be with a whole lot of energetic people running around getting things done. Everybody was busy putting together the snacks packets, making sure that the water bottles are in place, arranging chairs and carpets and taking care of every small thing so that children will be at ease.

The volunteers included students, researchers, software professionals, teachers, housewives and self-employed people. There were children who came with their parents and wanted to volunteer for the event. And there were people as old as 50 years. We were from different states and spoke different languages. Yet the combined goal of making that day a special one for thousands of children brought us together. It was a wonderful to see how a common goal can bring a wide variety of people from different layers of social strata to work together.

The stage was all set for children by 9 o'clock. They started coming to the venue in buses and vans. We were ready with our paints and brushes. Face painting was a unique way to bond with the children. We asked them whether they want us to paint them on their face or hand. Though a few of the children were reluctant at first, when they saw us painting their friends' face and hands, they were ready to try it out. While girls wanted a smiley or a Christmas tree or a flower on their face, a moustache or French beard were popular among the boys. More than getting their faces or hands painted, the feeling that someone is ready to hold my hand, touch my face, talk to me, smile at me and ask me what do i want, was making them happy. They smiled at me and called me 'akka' or 'aunty'. They insisted that i paint their both hands and faces, though due to time constraints we decided earlier that we will paint either one hand or one face. Most of the times, i succumbed to their demands and did whatever they insisted. After all, it was meant to be their day.

I could see the children enjoying the party to its maximum. They sang, danced, clapped, that too in a number of ways. One was sunflower clap, another one a rocket clap and so on. The event included a magic show by a renowned magician and ventriloquist. I was awed by seeing the performances made by the children. There was a bunch of deaf and dumb girls dancing to a pep Kannada number. I saw blind children singing melodiously and mentally retarded children performing a drama with a well written script. It made me wonder whether me as a 'so called normal human being' is utilizing my talents to a good extend or not. At times, these children can teach u a lesson or two. They taught me how to communicate even if u don't know the language of each other. They taught me how to be compassionate to others. They taught me how to live the life to its fullest with whatever u are blessed with.

It was indeed a day of learnings. That day i found a whole new world, entirely different from mine. A world without deadlines and cut throat competition. A world where living life to its fullest with whatever little u have, is the mantra. In fact, it was a day i lived to its fullest.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

120 seconds

When my auto had stopped at the traffic signal, I looked at the timer. It showed 120 seconds. Damn! I cursed myself once again for being late for the seminar. My thoughts were fleeting between the seminar, the presentation and the time left with me to reach there. At times, my random thoughts were interrupted by horns, blown by vehicles rushing to the two side roads connected to the junction. I get increasingly irritated when people blow horns at the traffic signals. I looked at the timer again.

It showed 110 seconds...

I looked out of my autorickshaw. In the nearby vehicles, i could see people listening to music, talking over phones and browsing through magazines. All of them seemed to be mesmerized in a world of their own. Be it air-conditioned cars or two wheelers, people are occupied with their own thoughts. All of us have different destinations. As soon as that green light glows, we will all be rushing to our respective destinations. Just 120 seconds of togetherness.

90 seconds...

It was then I saw him. He was standing there with an intriguing face. We glanced at each other. There was something in his innocent eyes which held my glance for a longer time. He smiled at me, that too a very cute one and I found myself smiling back at him.

80 seconds...
He was wearing a torn shirt and dirty trousers. He couldn't be more than five years old. He was standing a few feet away from the road. He checked whether all the commuters are noticing him or not. Then as if to draw everybody's attention, he blew out a whistle. He was joined by another boy who looked one or two years older than him. They had a ring, a metal can and a stick with their hands.

60 seconds...
He held a ring up. Putting the ring through his head, he gyrated it at his hips a couple of times and let it fall off his body. He together with the other boy bend their bodies into a perfect circle and started rotating with the ring. The perfect synchronisation between the boys made the whole act to look like a rotating ball. The fact that they were doing all of this under blazing sun and the sheer innocence of their faces made my heart weep. With a few more somersaults, they stopped their act.

30 seconds...
Both of them started moving from one vehicle to another, with metal cups in their hands. They knocked at car windows and waited near some passengers hoping that they would be kind enough. While some of the passengers handed over a couple of coins, some blatantly ignored them. Some seemed to be too occupied in their conversations over their mobile phones. How mobile phone helps us to ignore those we want to, was quite visible for me that day. Some were even ready to get rid of them by scolding them.

10 seconds...
He came closer to the rickshaw in which i was sitting. He held out his can for me. I wanted to tell him something, but my inability to express myself in a language which he will understand, kept my lips seated. But i think my eyes conveyed something and he smiled at me once again. I didn't know whether the money i was giving him, finally went to someone else's pocket or not. Yet while putting a handful of coins into his can, I wished he could eat atleast one meal of the day to his heart's content. I could hear the groaning sound of the engine and my rickshaw rushed past the signal. But those 120 seconds lingered in my thoughts for a longer time.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sand Houses

The little girl always loved making sand houses by the seaside. She made them in innumerable sizes and shapes. The vast range of creativeness it offered made her happy. At times she wanted her houses to be a king's castle, while other times it was a peasant's house. At times she wanted all her houses to be perfect rectangular blocks, aligned in rows and columns, while some other times the lines bent to form arcs, circles and triangles.

Maybe her loneliness was one of the main reasons behind her fondness for sand houses. She wanted someone to listen to her. Who can do that better than a heap of sand? A heap of sand which can act as an interpreter between she and the sea? Who can translate her thoughts better to a gushing wind? Who can tell her worries to a falling rain in a better manner? So she protected her sand houses as if they were a part of her soul. In fact, she believed her sand houses alone formed her soul.

But making those sand houses was never an easy task for her. At times her houses were washed off by sea water or blown off by winds. Some other times they were demolished by jealous souls. Many people told her that she should be concentrating on other interesting things in life than building vulnerable sand houses. But being the persistent self, she never wanted to give up on the sand houses which she loved so much.

As each day passed by, she continued making them with increased fervor. She believed that one day she would be able to make a sand house that would withstand all the pressures. She ardently wished for that day when all the obstacles in front of her will move sideways and pave way for her. She waited for that day when all the people mocking at her at this point of time will actually be showering her with accolades.

Seasons passed by, climate changed from scorching heat of summer to leaf-shedding autumn to cold winter. She grew up to be a fine young woman still passionate about making sand houses. She still hopes that one day would be able to make that perfect sand house...


Monday, December 11, 2006


Life gives us an opportunity to be with different people. You get to meet a wide variety of them,with a gamut of characteristics. Some of them may be hot-tempered while some others sangfroid. Some sophisticated, while some others peurile. Some peevish, while some others congenial. While a few of them make u feel so uncomfortable, a few others remain your acquaintances and a few grow to be friends. Some others even become your alter egos and u keep wondering how u lived all these years without them. You get to learn a lot from all of them. Some of them make a difference in your life so much that u feel that pinch when they go away from u.

Today A is leaving the company i work for. I feel bewildered, sad and my heart is heavy with emotions. He had been my lead for so long a time and I have a learnt a lot from him. I am happy that he is relocating to a city he loves, he is going for a new job and new challenges. But i will miss the times we worked together, the way we used to pacify our clients, the afternoons i had lunch with his family, the evenings i played with his cute little kid. But wherever he goes and whatever he does, my best wishes will always be with him.

Maybe my cheese is moved, but i will have to find a way to get it back.



Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Strand Book Fair

I couldn't have found a better place for spending my sunday afternoon. A place where i was surrounded by so many of books. Being surrounded by so many books had always given me a high. I was planning to go to Strand Book Fair for quite some time, but had neither the time nor the oppurtuinity to do so. Strand Books' legacy of offering a minimum of 20% discount on the books and the wide coverage given by media were adding to my excitement so much that Sunday morning i decided, be it rain or fall i am going there today.

Even if it was a lazy sunday afternoon, all the three halls where the Book Fair was being conducted in the Chinnaswamy Stadium was filled with people. Childrens rummaging over the tables containing comics, couples discussing whether 'Freakonomics' would make a good read or not, friends recommending books for each other, elderly people moving slowly from one table to another were the common sights. All of them had two things in common - a carry bag full of books and a passion for reading. It was nice to see so many ardent readers discussing fervently which book to buy and which not. Even with so many technological gadgets occupying our attention and space, books remain a man's best friend till date.

In my childhood, books came to me weaving a magical world of fairies, dwarfs, princesses, princes, kings and queens. They brought with them Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Pinochio, Peter Pan and Cindrella. In my dreams these characters flocked in once in a while giving me an interesting story to remember for days to come.Those years, everything that i read had a mystical aura surrounding it. Years passed by and books came to me as Diamond Comics, Sherlock Holmes, Famous Five and Princess Diaries. After that they came to me as Three Men in a Boat and a few more. Then came the huge bunch of technological books and somewhere in the process of mugging them up i lost my magical world. I lost everything magical about books and they became mere huge chunks of papers which i have to eat up to score more in my exams, to get into a good engineering college, to get a good job and the list went on. I had become too busy cramming them up that i lost in touch any book other than my text books. After all, your priorities at a particular point of time govern your interests to a certain extend.

But now i have to catch up with all those years which i have spent ignoring my books. I am trying to find as much time as possible to read. I want to be in the world of Somerset Maugham and Charles Dickens. I want to read 'World is Flat' and 'Freakonomics'. I want to discuss books with my friends. I want to own all the lovely books in this world. All in all I want to be in that magical world yet again.


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New Start

After abandoning my previous blog for almost an year, i hope to have a fresh start here. Go blogging !!!


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