Saturday, July 31, 2010

The day that was ...

Today, I went shopping with my girlfriends. Five of us shopped until we literally dropped. We shopped for 12 hours straight and I tried on clothes after clothes but still I didn't buy a single piece of clothing today. And thanks to technology, I tried on several clothes, took pics in my camera, send those pictures to my sister in Kerala(through MMS) where she downloaded them to the computer, analysed them with my mom, cousins and aunties and gave me suggestions real time :) Such an innovative use of technolgy, isn't it? I should say today, I am proud of myself to have used technology to my utmost advantage(Hehe, dodges the rotten tomatoes and eggs coming my way). But hey, I wanted them to be a part of the decision making process and this was the only way I could make it happen considering the distance separating us. But it was so much fun. Shopping with girls is always so therapeutic.

Another incident worth mentioning happened today when I was alone, away from my friends for about two hours. I was in a crowded street and I had come there looking for a shop. I couldn't find the shop, I was in that part of the city for the first time, the street was so crowded, I was feeling so inaapropriate to be in that place and I was not getting an autorickshaw to go back to my place. I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable standing in that street and none of the autorickshaws were stopping by. Suddenly an auto came from nowhere and there was a lady inside it. I took a chance and asked her whether she is going to my part of the city. She indeed was going to the same place and readily agreed to my place. I got inside the autorickshaw. We started chatting and talked a lot about each other. She asked me why I came to this part of the city and where am I working, etcetcera. We exchanged a lot of details about each other and I felt so comfortable with her. Upon nearing our destination, I offered to pay half of the autorickshaw charges and she politely refused telling me that she decided to help me out because it was so clear that I was not feeling comfortable in that street. Anyway, the charges were so minimal, but I was touched by the humanity showed by a random stranger. All these happened at a time when everyone thinks twice before helping out some stranger we randomly meet. It was very nice of her to drop to my destination sensing my predicament. And the funniest part is I don't know her name. We talked a lot about each other, but never mentioned each others names. When we reached our destination and got down from the vehicle, I got a phone call and I started talking over the phone. When I finished my call and just turned back she had gone. I felt sad that I couldn't even thank her properly. Random stranger, you may never read this, but please know that I am touched by the small help you extended towards me. It gave me a sense of happiness that I carried in my heart for the rest of the day. Thanks a lot.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Wind

With no companion to my mood,
Against the wind as it should be,
I walk, but in my solitude
Bow to the wind that buffets me.

- The Wind by Vikram Seth.

Short, crisp and to the point. I would like to write a poem like this someday :)

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

When I felt alive ...

When was the last time you felt alive? Alive as in you feel the fury of the nature on you; the moment which makes you believe in the perfect harmony of the universe. The last time that happened to me was when I visited Niagara falls. What a beauty it was. I was marvelled by the whole picturesque view, truly one of the wonders of nature. In Niagara falls, one of the main attractions is Maid of the Mist, which takes you much closer to the falls in a boat, That in itself is a surreal experience. At the point closest to the falls, three sides of you are surrounded by falls and you are blinded by Mist from the falls. There is nothing else in your mind but the admiration for the falls at that point of time.

But, one of the truly amazing experiences for me was 'Cave of the winds' in which you can climb up a stair of steps and get very closer to the falls. You feel the falls directly hitting you and mind you, the water hits you with such an amazing force that you can't be there directly under it for a long time. Yes, that was the moment I felt alive. I felt the force of nature at its fullest and realized how mortal we are. I was so mesmerized by the whole experience that I didn't want to go away from it. Each time the water hit me, I was getting connected to the universe more and understanding the value of my precious life. I was truly one of the best experiences of my life, an experience of a lifetime.

Pic Courtesy: Sujith Mahapatra

Now tell me, when was the last time you felt alive?

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

While I was on my bike ...

She looked closely at her new toy. There is no backing off now. She asked for it afterall. She mounted the bicycle very carefully. Her dad held the bicycle from backside and she slowly started pedalling the cycle. She swayed this side, that side, many a times, she felt that she is going to fall the next moment. She was really scared. But dad reassured her that he is not going to loosen his grip on the bicycle. She held on to it and slowly learnt to master the fine art of balancing on two wheels. The day she balanced a bicycle on her own, she was elated. Her joy knew no bounds. She cycled that day for a longtime.

My cycles changed many a times after that, but one thing that remained constant was my love for biking. I always felt an adrenaline rush whenever I mounted on a bicycle seat. While I used my feet on the pedal to race ahead, I loved the wind touching my face, tousling my hair and I always had a song on my lips. One of the simple pleasures of life.

In my bskul, I used a bicycle for two years. Me and my friends used to go for long drives on our cycles, we had cycle races, night cycling and even slow cycle races. I still remember the morning rush when it would be only be five minutes remaining for the lecture to start and we will rush from our mess towards the cycle stand. We pick up our cycles and zoom we go. Those are the times when I would have cycled at the maximum speed. We had to reach there at any cost before the lecturer closes the door. We used to park our bicycles in the parking area and rush to the lecture halls, at a speed that would have put any sprinter to shame.

When in NewYork, I was always fascinated by sheer amount of activities that goes in and around Central Park. One of the things I always wanted to do was to cycle in the Park and I managed to do that one fine Sunday. I had been putting it off for many weeks because of various reasons like wind speed too high, temperature too low, etc. And when I finally managed to do that, what an experience it was. You can rent bicycles right outside some of the park entrances. While in one of those shops, I noticed the large amount of merchandise associated with biking. There were cycling shots, helmets, goggles, gloves and what not.

We rent our bikes and started going around the park. There are designated paths for cycles and even traffic lights where you have to stop and allow the pedestrians to cross, all right inside the park. While going around the vast expanse of Central Park, there are several things that catch your eye. There will be musicians playing melodious music, people boating in the lake, kids/adults playing different games, baseball game being played in the central ground, lots of people walking around the park, street vendors and a large number of people on their bikes. That was my first experience of using a geared bike also. I had so much fun and I completed two full rounds around the Central Park. Quite strenuous and a very good workout session. I plan to go back for many more next time I am in NewYork.

Pic: My shoes and helmet in the grass in Central Park

Always fascinated with its charm, I think I always go back to being that little girl whenever I mount a bike. All my worries and stress vanish and I start playing hide and seek with wind. Moreover, its so eco-friendly. Three cheers to you bike, one of my first and most favourite toys. You will never cease to amaze with the charm you ooze out on me.

SO what is your favourite biking experience?

Trivia: Lance Armstrong's book 'Its not about the bike' is one of the most inspiring auto biographies I have ever read.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Social networking

Dunbar's number is a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person. Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group. No precise value has been proposed for Dunbar's number, but a commonly cited approximation is 150.

How many friends do we have in our social networking accounts? I think well above this number. I have an orkut account in which I used to be very active until two years back. Then I moved to FaceBook and I gradually became totally inactive in orkut. The simple reason is FB is lot more fun. I have had friends much above the number 150 always in my accounts. But come to think of it, I have hardly known some of them and have hardly spoken to many for years now. Still why are they in my friends list? Because it felt so rude to reject the request from a known person, even though you hardly keep in touch with them. Still, I must say social networking sites have helped me find friends whom I lost touch with after my schooldays; it also keeps me updated on the important events of their lives and re-kindle many of the old friendships. But, one of my favourite pet peeves is 'people trying to make frandship after finding my profile interesting'. Its funny. I don't know when these people will learn to act more maturely and stop 'making frandships' over a website. The crimes that you seeing happening over a social networking site is also alarming.

I think its all a matter of drawing the line and understanding whom you want to 'friend' and whom you should 'defriend' to retain the sanctity of your online identity. After these sites have its own advantages too. Let the number of friends be above 150, after all this is one place where all of your friends can co-exist :)

Interesting Fact: According to a latest study, pictures from FaceBook are increasingly used as evidence while fighting divorce cases in United States.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 26, 2010

55 Fiction: A small love story

I run into your arms when I am depressed or sad. As soon as you touch my lips, I am transported to another world. You play with my tongue and I melt in your arms. You have your own way of making me feel better. Oh Lindt chocolate, what would I have done without you?

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blank ...

Today, it had been a roller coaster of emotions. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. But at the end of the day I am happy. Maybe that's how life is, you go through so many good moments; then there are bad moments to bring you back to reality and to wake you up. It's like a thunder striking you and telling you "Hello, get your lazy feet back to ground and start toiling again". At the end of the day, everything is evened out. The sum total is always zero, with a tint of happiness remaining (hopefully always) !!!

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A pair of eyes -2

Continued from A pair of eyes - 1

She speaks:

First time I saw him, I was shocked. I didn't know that he was standing right next to me all the while. He smiled and I was in a trance. Even if I had smiled, he wouldn't have seen it anyway. I was too embarrassed to even return his smile and quickly turned my head. It was getting very late for me, so I decided to walk to the nearby autorickshaw stand and take an auto, instead of my usual bus.

After that I kept meeting him in the busstop. We always took the evening buses. He always had a mischievous smile on his lips and he kept looking at me once in a while. I kind of started liking the attention that he was showering me with. Whenever he caught me looking at him, I blushed. Thank god for the hijab, else he would have seen my red face everytime. Once I started giggling after seeing his smile towards me and a friend of mine caught me. I had a hard time explaining to her that I just remember something that happened earlier that day and giggled.

Every day, I noticed something new about him. First, there were those curly locks which kept falling off to his forehead. He seems to be pretty irritated by those locks and kept pushing it off his face. Another day, I noticed that his lips curve to left whenever he smiled. Next day, he was speaking to his friend, I realised he was a weird way of stopping in the middle of a sentence.

Many a time, I thought he will speak something to me, but he never did. Had he spoken something, I don't know whether I would have responded. If someone sees me speaking to him in a busstop, there will be a huge ruckus at home. Babba will scold me to no end and may stop me from going to college the very next day. So I kept quiet and enjoyed all the attention he was giving me. I was happy in those silent moments that we shared.

I don't know when I started timing my visits to the busstop so that I can see him everyday ...

To be continued ...

Labels: ,

Friday, July 23, 2010

That's my dad :)

Home sweet home :)

Guess what, my pappa gifted me the book 'Truth and Beauty' by the Nobel Prize Winner and Astro Physicist S. Chandrasekhar. The book was autographed and presented to pappa by Chandrasekhar himself. He met the Nobel Laureate when he visited University of Chicago way back in 1991. Pappa was always proud of the fact that he could meet Prof. S. Chandrasekhar in person. It was so sweet of him to gift me the book from his personal collection.

Thank you pappa, you are the very best :) :) :) Love you lots. Muuuaaahhh.

Now, the reason for the gift - He likes my blog and the way I write :) Double wow!!!

I am sleeping with a huge smile on my face today.

Have a great weekend everybody :)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

55 Fiction: The last letter

She gulped down the contents of the glass. She looked blankly at the white paper in front of her. What should I write? She thought. Her parents no longer talk to her, her fiancé doesn't understand her. She threw the paper into fire and laid down hoping that this time, death doesn't abandon her.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When I am feeling low ..

What do you do when you feel horribly low on a given day(whatever reason it may be)? These are some tried and tested things that I do and these work for me like magic.

1) Eat large amount of chocolates :) Works all the time, everytime. The serotonin does it part and your mood is elevated instantly.
2) Call your closest friends and rant about it.
3) Watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S or any other sitcom which you absolutely love. FRIENDS worked like a marvel for me each and everytime I was feeling low after an horrible exam during my bskul days. I used to watch four-five episodes back to back and it worked like a narcotic drug for me everytime.
4) Listen to music. One song which works like magic in my case is 'Aashayein' from the movie Iqbal. I just love the song and it always feel so appropriate when I am feeling low. All you music lovers out there, plug in your headphones and listen to your favourite tracks. Better still, switch on your loud speakers, play music at a very high volume and dance away :)
5) Clean your room. It's very therapeutic. Throw away things you no longer need and make space for new things and thoughts.
6) Go for a run/jog.Exercising is scientifically proven to lift your moods.
7) Shut yourself up for sometime(only for a few hours, mind you), don't talk to outside world and you will feel better yourself in sometime.
8) Analyse the situation, see where you went wrong and check whether you can rectify it somehow - Believe me, you can't do this in the first few hours when you were feeling bad, give it sometime and then go to this step.
9) Finally, whatever happens, remember that there is a solution for everything and nothing is permenant in this world. Even this too shall pass. It is just another phase in life.

Always remember "In the end, everything will be fine. If it's not, it is not the end"

I read some alarming statistics about depression, mental health and suicide rates in India. Why are we so unhappy with our lives when chocolates are just a hand away? Cheer up !!!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A pair of eyes - 1

Blog Marathon Post 20

He speaks:

She had dark kohl rimmed eyes. They were slightly green in colour, dove shaped and deep. In short, they were beautiful. Those eyes were all I could see. Her face was not visible to the outside world. However, I envisioned a beautiful face behind the purdah, the moment I saw those gorgeous eyes. I first saw her on a rainy day when I was waiting for the bus at the busstop. She made haste to the stop, with an umbrella which could barely protect her from the rain. Rain had succeeded in drenching her almost completely. She came inside the shed and seemed entirely irritated with the rain. She kept her bag and umbrella on the side and tried to shake off the water from her purdah. She started wiping her hands in a handkerchief and that’s when she saw me. She looked alarmed because she didn't seem to have realised earlier that I was standing there. That’s when I first saw those eyes. There was something enchanting in them that kept my gaze. She quickly withdrew her eyes and concentrated on taking care of her bag and belongings. As soon as the rain subsided, she stepped out and walked away in a hurried pace.

After that, I met her several times at busstop. Sometimes she came with a friend, most of the times alone and always took the 5 o'clock bus back to her home. Our eyes met several times and she always withdrew her eyes hastily whenever that happened. Her eyes spoke a lot about how her day went so far. The whole gamut of emotions she went through was very efficiently portrayed in her eyes. They went from bright to droopy to sad to red with anger, depending on her mood of the day. I first found it intriguing that I was attracted to a pair of eyes so vehemently and later found it exciting. I started timing my visits to the busstop so that it will coincide with her 5o'clock bus. I was happy just being in her company but couldn't muster up courage to utter a single word to her. I was happy in the silent moments that we shared together.

To be continued ...

Labels: ,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bubbling away

Blog Marathon Post 19

A fine gush of air and I come into existence. I notice the twinkle in your eye when I grow big, but the right mixture and components are also the factors that go into deciding my size. Once I enter this world, I float like a cloud, dance with the wind and fly like a butterfly. You can see rainbow in me and I can see dreams in your eyes. I know that you become a little girl in front of me. You watch me wide-eyed and you try to run after me and snatch me. But one touch that’s all is required for me to vanish into non-existence.

I am the bubble.

Ever loved blowing bubbles using a small loop dipped in soap water? I have and will always be. One of the innumerable joys of childhood which I don't want to grow out of. I go back to being that little girl whenever I hold that loop and see my bubbles floating up in the air.

This is a photo taken by a dear friend Prashant, who is an awesome photographer. We had lost touch for almost four years and recently got connected again through facebook. I was in awe looking at his photographs. So proud of the wondeful photographer you are Kulli :)

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A quote I absolutely love

Blog Marathon Post 18

'Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the number of moments that take your breath away'

This is a quote I absolutely love. Each time I read it or tell this to someone, I get a high. How true is it? What is the whole point of life if you don't have enough experiences to make it wholesome? What is the purpose of life if you are not ready to take risks and experience it to the fullest?

I believe that life is measured by experiences and unless we explore, how will we experience it? So, make new friends, return smiles, travel to new places, fall in love, try out new cuisines, read books, watch movies, challenge your beliefs, engage in good conversations, take risks, engage in a hobby that you like and love life.

I captured the picture below some months back. It was my first snow and it happened last December. It snowed the entire night and by the time I woke up, the whole apartment area was covered in snow. It was a thing I only read in books and seeing it all in front of my eyes was marvellous.

It was a moment that truly took my breath away. I was so excited to watch snow through the windows, sitting inside my apartment with a hot chocolate in my hand, the entire day. I was so mermerised, like a little child who was experiencing the outside world for the first time. I wanted to hold on to it while there was no tomorrow. It was an experience of a lifetime.

So tell me, what is an experience that you had in your recent past that took your breath away?

P.S: I googled a lot to find out who wrote quote, but all I could find out was that the quote was originally on a Carleton greeting card. If you get anymore info on this, please let me know.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 17, 2010

55 Fiction - A Present

“Honey, look what have I got you”, gushed her father, handing over yet another Barbie doll. She looked at the doll; it had gorgeous face and shining hair. Seeing her blank face, her father asked her whether she wanted some other birthday present. She muttered “Time with you”. His blackberry buzzed almost the same time.

Author's Note: This is for you anon, you know who you are :)

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 16, 2010

A new dimension to reading

Blog Marathon Post 16

I owned my first real book(something other than children's magazines/books) when I was 10 years. I had to coax my dad a lot to get my hands on that book. He complained how costly it is, however was more than glad to buy that for me. Ever since, my relationship with the books had been a long lasting one. I got books as gifts; I borrowed them from libraries; I rummaged through huge piles of them during book exhibitions; I exchanged them with my friends and when I started earning, I used to spend a huge share of my salary on books. They gave me company when I was sad; they gave me company on a rainy night; they inspired me through quotes; they told me stories of places and people which I have never seen or heard of. They were my companions in exploring the world unknown.

Nowadays, whenever I open to search for a book that I read about or to check for its price, their home page always greets me with an advertisement on Amazon Kindle. They say its Amazon's No.1 bestseller(What is the need of using No.1 and bestseller in the same sentence. Any thoughts?). They even have free reading apps to go with it. They have two versions of it currently - Kindle(6 inch one) and Kindle DX(9.7 inch one). It's slim, can hold upto 3500 books and has features like automatic battery backup, full image zoom, adjustable text size, bookmarks, built-in dictionary and audiobooks. I find a pretty cool device to have. You can carry 3500 books with you all the time, pretty nice, right?

Lets go three years back.

"An e-book and me? Oh, please. I would never love to read an e-book. Sitting in front of a computer and reading an whole book? As it is, I spend so much time sitting in front of computer, I don't want to read an whole book sitting in front of it. I love the feeling of holding a book close to me, turning the pages with my fingers, a lazing around in my couch or bed. I don't think I will ever read an e-book"

The above words were uttered by yours truly exactly three years back. So what happened in the next three years?

The first e-book I ever read was "Rich Dad Poor Dad". It somehow came inside a folder which I downloaded from my b-skul LAN. I started reading it out of curiosity and got hooked to it because of the amazing fundas he gave about money. Before I could realise it myself, I was scrolling pages after pages and in no time, I finished the book. I totally liked the book, above all, I was surprised that I could actually finish reading an e-book. I was amused at myself.

The next one was 'How Opal got drunk, got kissed and got a life'. I read this as an e-book because I didn't want to spend money on a paper back for two reasons: It was a chick-lit and I didn't expect it to be any good. Still, I wanted to read it because for all the controversy it created about Kavya Vishwanathan plagiarising from two books of Megan F. McCafferty. I didn't enjoy the book much, but there I finished reading my second e-book.

It broke a huge barrier inside me. I came to realise that its not so difficult to read an e-book. I read articles, news, papers and so much other online content, then how different is it to read an e-book? Not much. Since then, I have read a few e-books and I don't find it a daunting experience anymore.

Still, I have bought all the books which I really wanted to read and find reading a paperback/hardbound a more enjoyable experience than reading an e-book. Seeing all these ads of e-book readers make me realise they are the future of reading. Who has the space and resources for carrying all the huge books when you can do it all in an e-book reader? An e-book reader or e-books are much more convenient and with e-book readers coming up with so many features, it makes reading a pleasurable experience too.

But, if we digitalize every book that is available to us, won't we have libraries any more? Won't we borrow books?

How will we show off our book collection?

How will we exchange books to read?

Would the parents read their children bedtime stories through a Kindle or Nook? What will the children read without all those colourful picture books?

No more book exhibitions? :'( No more second hand bookstores? :'( :'(

No more spending hours on a Landmark or Crossroads? How will I pass time when I am all alone? :(

Sigh, the one advantage that I can see is lesser number of trees being cut for making paper and hence, a greener world. Though I have kind of accepted the fact that e-book readers/e-books are the future, I refused to buy a Kindle while I was in US. I would hold on to my paperbacks/hardbounds/second hand books as longer as I can. I may go to a phase wherein my books and an e-book reader can co-exist. But what can replace that joy of holding a new book in hand, smelling its fresh pages, flipping through the pages slowly and arranging it all in a book shelf. Nothing can beat the euphoria of being surrounded by so many books either.

Happy reading folks and have a great weekend ahead !!!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

An ode to Maggi

Blog Marathon Post 15

She looked into the pan as her mamma crushed the maggi and put it into boiling water. Masala was added next and the mixture was stirred into perfection. She waited for that two minutes to get over, with her mouth watering over the thought of her tasty snack.

"Mummy bhokh lagi, bas do minute! School se aate dhoom machaate
Ek hi baat pe manaate, Maggi Maggi Maggi!" - A jingle that we all have grown up hearing.

Maggi had always been my favourite junk food. During my childhood days, it was eaten once in a while, as a snack or when I was hungry at the odd times. I have a story of messing up maggi when I tried to cook it for the very first time :) Can someone go mess up maggi too? Yes, I did :) I read the package instructions so thoroughly that I timed my maggi and it ended up uncooked. Mom had to cook it again to make it edible. :|

Some years later, Maggi became my staple food. I was doing my internship in Mumbai, and I used to eat Maggi everyday, read "everyday" for dinner. I tried to experiment with Maggi a lot those days. I tried adding different veggies, scrambled eggs, etc. to make more tasty/healthy :) I never got tired of it and it was always the safest option. You can't mess up Maggi really. Can you? Oh ok, everyone is allowed one mistake in life, right?

During my MBA days, I discovered a whole new facet of Maggi. The whole economy of my B school survived on Maggi. We had plain maggi, veg maggi, egg maggi, onion maggi, fried maggi, chesse maggi, tomato maggi and any other variety of maggi which you can think of. We had all the eateries in our campus competing with each other to provide as many varieties of maggi as possible. Had maggi not been discovered, I think many of our batch mates would have gone without food for days :) Fond memories of those days include going to have maggi in the nearby eatery as late as 3AM in the night(or morning, whatever you want to call it), skipping dinner all together so that we can have maggi late into the night and having maggi for lunch, dinner, midnight snack or whenever we feel like. I told you, the whole economy survived on maggi :)

After a long hiatus, I had maggi three months ago in US. It was late into the night; I was too tired to cook anything and hungry. I looked through the cupboards, and found a maggi packet up in the shelf. Viola, I cooked it in no time and my favourite 'junk' food was ready. While digging into it, I remembered my days in B school and internship days when I survived solely on Maggi. I was so happy that day, as a little child who found her lost toy back.

Maggi, no matter how many McDs/CCDs or Baristas come up, no matter how much McVeggie try his best to lure me, no matter how much more packaged/ready-to-eat foods market themselves, you will remain my favourite junk food. I promise, no one else will take your place. Three Cheers to You, may you continue spreading your charm in two minutes always :)

What is your favourite maggi story? C'mon, don't tell me you don't have a maggi story, everyone has one :D

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The War

Blog Marathon Post 14

White soldiers and black soldiers glared at each other. They were both staying at the nearby towers. The only thing that separated them were two glass panes. The glare was so intense that it could have broken the glass panes itself. The white soldiers stuck their tongue out, black soldiers mocked back at them with a hand gesture. White soldiers shouted "We will see you at the battlefield", black soldiers shouted back "So be it". Strategies were decided, plans were plotted and weapons were sharpened. They waited impatiently in their towers; there was smell of blood in the air. Seconds turned to minutes and minutes to hours. At last, the moment they were all waiting for arrived. They held their breath.

But sadly, that day the diner decided to put only salt in his salad and no pepper. Alas, there was no war as expected. They waited for the next diner so that they can meet at the battlefield.

Authors Note: This post is dedicated to my dear friend PB, who is very sad today. Please send your wishes his way so that he will feel better. PB, I hope atleast you smiled reading this :)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Chair

She slowly removed the cobwebs from her attic doorway. Suddenly some dust fell on her from the roof. She coughed twice. She had always been allergic to dust. She looked around, the attic was dim-lit. She had a hard time adjusting to the light in the attic. Today she came here to look for an old tool box. It had been so long since she came to the attic. Recent pregnancy and child-birth prevented her from moving around much, let alone the attic.

She rummaged an old cardboard box with the hope of finding that tool box. She searched for a while, got dust covered all over her body, but all in vain. She couldn't find that old tool box of hers. Disappointed, she was about to get out of the room and close the door behind her. Just then, she noticed that chair. Abandoned, in one corner of the room, the chair lay fully covered in dust. She was surprised to find it here because she had long forgotten the existence of this chair.

The chair and she have a long story together. The earliest memories of chair include her Pa reading newspaper diligently, sitting in this chair, every morning. Many a time, she climbed up into his lap while he was sipping his morning coffee and rested her head on his chest. He would continue reading the paper and tell her one or two stories from that days news. Sometimes, she came back from school and insisted that she wanted to eat sitting in the chair, much to the resentment of her mom. Later in college days, the chair remained her favourite hang-out place at her home. She loved spending hours, sitting in it and reading her favourite books. She cried sitting in it when her heart was broken for the first time, she drifted off to sleep while watching her favourite late night tv shows. The chair grew as a part of her and she always felt comfortable in its arms.

Somewhere in the folds of time, as days progressed to months and months to years, the chair was moved to attic. It happened as a natural progression of life. Thinking about it now, she believes that happened after her Pa passed away. She couldn't look at that chair without seeing Pa in it. Soon, she forgot about the chair and other priorities started shaping up her life.

She was woken up from her day dream by the wails of her new born son. She directed her maids to clean the chair and bring it to the front porch of the house.

With her son in her arms, she walked slowly to the front porch. The chair had settled in the porch as if it has a long association with this house. She sat in the chair, with her son's head resting against her chest. While she patted him to sleep, she felt life has come a full circle. She felt that somewhere up above her Pa must be smiling at this beautiful picture.

Authors Note: This post was triggered by a picture that was send to me by my friend Madhu. He sent it to me thinking that I will get an idea for 55 fiction, but I couldn't contain the story in 55 words :) The picture is given below:

Madhu is a Freelance Eclipse Trainer and Consultant and is the master mind behind the website He also blogs about his experiments and the latest advances in Eclipse over here

Labels: ,

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stamp Collection - A forgotten hobby?

Blog Marathon Post 12

She looked hard. Three dusty hard bound books peered back at her from the bottom shelf of the cupboard. She picked up one of it. It turned out to be a stamp album, with several stamps sorted by countries, arranged alphabetically. She dusted it with a soft cloth

I used to collect stamps during my school days. That was the first hobby I had developed. Me and some of my friends used to collect stamps carefully extracted from the mails that our parents and relatives received and arranged them in a stamp album. We took those albums to school and showed off our collection to each other. Whenever we had duplicate stamps, we exchanged them with others so that our collection will have stamps from all the countries in all the continents. The person who had stamps from a varied number of countries were always looked upon with awe. I also had stamp albums which we were passed on to me from my cousins. I used to go to exhibitions to collect stamps; I used to exhort my relatives coming from far off places to get me stamps of those countries.

A few basic items of equipment are needed to collect stamps. Stamp tongs or tweezers help to handle stamps safely, a magnifying glass helps in viewing fine details and an album is a convenient way to store stamps. The stamps need to be attached to the pages of the album in some way and stamp hinges are a cheap and simple way to do this

I clearly remember the day our teacher taught us a lesson on stamp collection. She told us that this hobby will help us improve our knowledge of far off places and whenever we see a stamp, we should try and ask ourselves several questions about it. Me and my friend had a laugh riot that day looking at the stamp of Mecca Masjid and asking all sort of stupid questions (No offence to Mecca Masjid, it was all innocent fun that we had).

This makes me wonder does anyone collect stamps anymore? I don't know any kid who collect stamps anymore. None of my cousins do that, they are far better off with their PlayStation and XBOX. But, do we have any means of collecting them anymore? In this age of email and internet, how many of us send snail mails? I myself haven't used stamps for a long time now. If less and less people use stamps, would stamp collection be a long forgotten hobby? :(

I would however end this with a few stamp collection trivia.

- Stamp collecting is not the same as philately, which is the study of stamps. A philatelist may, but does not have to, collect stamps.

- The first postage stamp, the Penny Black, was issued by Britain in 1840 and pictured a young Queen Victoria.

- There are many types of stamps-for example, commemorative, definitive, and special-and formats such as sheets, booklets, or coils. Stamps may be conventional adhesive ("lick-and-stick") or self-adhesive ("no-lick, peel-and-stick").

- The most popular US postage stamp sold over 120 million copies. It was a 1993 stamp of rock singer Elvis Presley.

- The only country to print stamps without its name on them is Great Britain. This is okay because they invented the stamp

Did you use to collect stamps? Any stamp collection stories from childhood?

Info coutesy:, wikipedia,

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Moved again !!!

Blog Marathon Post 11

Yesterday, I packed all my stuff and moved places again. In the last three years, I have done it way too many times. You pack all your stuff, move to a new house/place to stay, unpack everything, make it your home and by the time you get accustomed to the place, it's time for you to move again. Last three years had seen me doing this at least ten times. I stayed in at least four different states of India and lived abroad too. I have changed my mobile number way too many times, much to the chagrin of my friends and relatives.

The whole point of all of this is I am getting tired. I am all for travelling, but I wish at the end of the day I can come back to a place which I can call home. I wish I can know where I am going to be after three-four months. But I don't see it happening anytime soon. I am sure that for the next one year I am going to pack and unpack many more number of times. My job doesn't allow me to set up everything in one place and settle down there. Not that I am complaining, but yesterday was the last straw. I hate packing and unpacking now. And how am I supposed to carry a quarter lifetime of memories in four suitcases?

I think I am getting old :/

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My sins against gender stereotypes

Blog Marathon Post 10

IHM started it and I am taking this up myself because its so much fun :)

Have you ever wanted or done something your gender is not supposed to?

If you are a woman,

Have you ever wanted something that is considered ‘manly’ ? Like a basketball, a cell phone, a dog, a camera or a new laptop? A new car or motor bike? Ever wanted to be a pilot? A doctor or not a nurse? And the manliest want of them all – The remote! ;)

If you are a man,

Have you ever wanted something that only women are supposed to want – like bags, shoes, clothes, creams, perfumes, babies, flowers? A peaceful home and a happy family? Have you ever been afraid of the dark or of insects?

As a kid did you ever want to play ‘teacher-teacher’, cooking or did you like playing with a doll? Have you ever enjoyed cooking? Bought something in pink? Loved chocolates?

Are magazines and books, TV News and blogs for men or for women?

Religion and God? Pets? Politics? Air planes and cars? Technology? – Who should want them, men or women?

So here’s a tag – Please list at least ten things you have ever wanted or done which your gender is not supposed to.

The tag is called ‘My Sins against Gender-Stereotypes’. And you must tag twelve friends or else you will be cursed to wear blue clothes pants if you are a woman and pink shirts if you are a man – for next twelve years :)

1) I have travelled alone in all the major cities in India and United States too. I love travelling and I really enjoy it even when I am travelling alone. I have travelled alone by all the modes of transport, except for a ship.
2) I have eaten alone in restaurants. I have long learnt to avoid people's glances and carry on with my eating. I have gone to restaurants and asked for a 'table for one' when the usher himself was surprised to hear that.
3) I don't like pink and I seriously don't understand this obsession with pink clothes, bags, shoes, bed covers, etc.
4) I don't like cuddly teddy bears either. I can't dream of getting one as a present ever. I have told this to all my close friends too. "Please, please don't ever gift me a teddy as my birthday present"
5) I like intelligent conversations. Any conversation which challenges your thoughts/beliefs piques my interest; anyone who can strike an intelligent conversation; I love both of them equally. Want to discuss a book? a movie? some current happening? or anything worth discussing? Bring it on, I am always ready for it. I love debates too :)
6) I love books, but not chick-lit. A total no-no of me.
7) I love new gadgets and technology. I own a DSLR camera and was gifted an IPad on my birthday. Two of my most prized possessions at this point of time.
8) I hate saas-bahu serials and I don't watch much of TV. But I love watching tennis matches, Formula 1 and Football on television.
9) I love trekking and biking. These are two of the things which I am passionate about. I can also walk long distances without any complaints.
10) I will end this tag with something I want. I wish I can walk through any street in this world without being afraid of the fact that I am a woman and I could be attacked.

Yet, I love flowers, diamonds, babies, clothes, shoes, perfumes, home food, dancing, romantic movies and my family.

And I tag Pratibha, Dhanya, Aparna, Hitha, Kishley, Bindu, Sayesha, Sunshine and anybody who would like to take it up. I want so many of my blog readers/friends to take this up and give their answers, but sadly, they don't have a blog. PB, Pooj, RM, SD, Madhu, KMK, please feel free to use the comments space.

I am off to join the Facebook community. Do the tag fast and join me there also.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 9, 2010

I have sinned ...

Blog Marathon Post 9

I have sinned. The crime that I committed is not a petty one. It’s something that can lead to enough misunderstandings and wars :| It has the power to destroy, destruct and annihilate.

Grammar Nazis came looking for me and brought me before the jury. The jury consisted of Wren and Martin, Lynne Truss, my English teachers from school and The Queen (afterall, its her English). Yours truly stood before the jury, eyes downcast, and head heavy with shame; waiting for the verdict.

The jury started reading out the charges against me.

Charge No. 1: She has used lets instead of let’s on many occasions, be it while inviting people over or going out with friends.

Lynne Truss: “Hmm, interesting dewdrop, you think apostrophes can be used and omitted whenever you want? Haven’t I written one whole book on this?”

English Teacher from third standard peers through her dark rimmed glasses.

The Queen: “The kids of this age have no respect for the legacy that I have built over these years”

Charge No. 2: She has written innumerable mails ending with “Please revert back to me in case of any doubts”.

Dewdrop(in her mind): “I want to dig a hole and bury myself now”

Wren and Martin: “By reverting back, are you inferring that they should come back to you with double the force?”

English teacher from fifth standard faints :|

The Queen: “The kids of this age ... legacy ... no respect ... ”

Charge No.3: She has ‘given’ many exams instead of taking them.

Wren and Martin, Lynne Truss (with a disappointed look): “No comments”

English Teacher from fourth standard leaves the room.

Charge No.4: She has used ‘a few bucks’ in conversations way too many times

Dewdrop(thinking aloud): “Sorry Rupee or Rupiya”

Wren and Martin: “A slang, oh god, I better not comment on this”

Lynne Truss: “I don’t appreciate the use of slangs itself, forget about Indianising it”

The Queen: “Oh, the kids of this age ... blah blah ... legacy ... no respect”

Jury Verdict: Go back to your school grammar textbooks, learn from Wren and Martin’s grammar textbooks; Lynne Truss’s ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ (which you have been putting off for so long now) and read, read and read more.

Dewdrop accepts the verdict wholeheartedly.

Sue conducted a Red Marker Blogathon in the month of June. I couldn’t participate in it because I just discovered her blog yesterday. However, I sat up and read all the posts related to the Red Marker Blogathon through the night. I learnt a lot, I laughed at some funny anecdotes, at the same time, I was ashamed to see some of mistakes I make in my daily English usage. I am far from reading or writing perfect English. But, I am making a conscious effort to improve myself. Whenever someone corrects something that I have written or told, I appreciate it.

We Indians are known for indianising the Queen’s English, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t write or speak language in a proper manner. I have listed below some of the common mistakes we make so that we all can learn from it.

- How many times have we used The Greengrocer’s Apostrophe at the wrong places? ‘I went to buy some book’s and I have many friend’s’, when the usage of apostrophe in these cases are totally uncalled for.

- I am tensed – Really? Past or Present, it remains tense: I am tense, I was tense.

- The difference between It’s/Its or you’re/your– Its is possessive form, It’s means It is or It has. You’re = You are, Your is again the possessive form. We are combining two words using the apostrophe ‘.

- You know, you are beside me now, but there can be someone besides you in my life :)

- The ubiquitous usage of ‘Anyways’ – How many more times does someone have to tell us that its ‘Anyway’, please omit the ‘s’.

- Usage of marriage instead of wedding – Believe me, no one other that the husband and wife can say how their marriage is, but you can very well ask your friend "How was Priya’s wedding?"

- Mixing up ‘can’ and ‘may’ – ‘can’ denotes the ability to do something and ‘may’ denotes permission. “You can enter the class, but you may not”, the teacher says

- We ‘lose’ the game and the ring becomes ’loose’, not the otherway round.

- You TELL someone something, but you SAY something to someone.

Beware, Grammar Nazis can come looking for you anytime. Let's start with simple rules like clicking that spell check/grammar check in MSWord or Outlook before sending out something; proof reading; or asking someone to proof read what we wrote. Lets respect the language and pave the way for better communication.

Do you have any pet peeves that you would like to share? Funny anecdotes related to the usage of a language? In the meantime, let me go and get my copy of 'Eats, shoots and Leaves'.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

55 Fiction: Companions

Blog Marathon Post 8

“You are treading muddy waters”, they tried to warn her. She didn’t listen. She carried on with her stride, oblivious to her surroundings. No matter how neglected, they remained with her, through highs and lows. After an hour long run, she placed them carefully in the shoe rack. They waited dutifully till the next dawn.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A broadway musical

Blog Marathon Post 7

I was first introduced to the world of broadway musicals two years back, when I visted NewYork. Before that, the only musicals which I was familiar with were some movies like 'My fair lady' and 'Casablanca'. I was thrilled and fascinated by the whole concept of the broadway musicals. The effort that goes into making a musical itself made it 'wow' factor for me. The actors, dancers, singers, chorus members, stage managers, musicians, directors, choreographers to stagehands, dressers, hairdressers, designers, box office personnel and ushers, work in unison to make the musical a success.

New York city's Broadway Theatre district is a popular tourist attraction. The Theatre district comprises of a lot of theatres hosting a variety of musical shows belonging to various genre like comedy, horror, romance, family, ectectera. Whenever I walk through the broadway street, I am fascinated by the huge billboards, bright lights and enormous theatres. Seeing a broadway musical was high on the things-to-do whenever I visited NewYork. First time, due to time constraints, I couldn't get tickets for any of the shows other than Legally Blonde. I had earlier described that experience here.

Next time I visited NewYork on work, I was adamant that I have to catch upon 'Phantom of the Opera'. I had heard so much about the show that not watching it was not an option this time around. After many weeks of procrastination, I ventured out one fine morning to the streets of NewYork, to experience the musical. The weather was perfect; the streets were swamped equally with NewYorkers and tourists. It was a Saturday and by the time we could reach the Majestic theatre, we were late for the afternoon show by five minutes. I didn't want to miss the show by even five minutes, hence we decided to spend the day in the city and watch the matinee show. We finalised on the Front Mezzanine tickets for the show. For the uninitiated, there are two types of tickets for a musical: Orchestra and Mezzanine. Orchestra tickets house the seats at the ground level and right in front of the stage and Mezzanine tickets house the seats at an elevated area. Yours truly had done some research earlier and had come to know that the Mezzanine seats give a better view of all the parts of the stage and the act. But this is purely a personal choice, I know many people who like Orchestra seats better.

The show began sharp at eight and I couldn't take my eyes off the stage even for a moment. Based on the French novel, Le Fantom de l'Opera, this musical is the longest running musical in broadway. The theatre in which the show is hosted truly lives upto its name, it is indeed 'Majestic'. With intricate work in its ceiling and walls and perfect lighting, the moment you walk into the theatre, you are captivated by the world of Phantom. Brilliant performances by all the actors, well co-ordinated orchestral music and enchanting sets makes the musical an out-of-the-world experience. The swiftness with which they change the sets and costumes, the technicalities that goes to bringing the light and sound effects together and the sheer brilliance of the whole act, mersmerises you for the whole two hours.

A special mention to music by Andrew Webber which captivates you and keeps you on your toes at the same time. 'Amgel of Music', 'Phantom of the opera', 'Music of the Night' are just some of the soundtracks which brings this whole musical to its glory. The actor who plays 'Phantom' gives such a commendable performance that you sympathise with him, feel his agony and desperation, all throughout the musical. Christine and Roal also play their part to perfection, complementing each other.

A must watch for anyone visiting NewYork, this show is by far the most visually appealing and enthralling experience of my life. I plan to go back for many more broadway musicals. Its a great experience.

Do you have any broadway experience which you would like to share? Or any show that you recommend?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Its Coffee Time !!!

Blog Marathon Post 6

Its drizzling outside; I can see the raindrops slowly hitting the window panes and flowing down. They form patterns on the pane, try to do a small dance before flowing in unison to the ground. Suddenly, I feel the urge to have a coffee. I am surprised at myself because I had left the habit of having coffee or tea for quite sometime. Nowadays the only time I drink I either coffee/tea is when I visit somebody's house and they offer me a cup of tea/coffee. I play with idea for sometime and the craving takes over me. I pick up a few notes and head over to the nearby barista. On reaching barista, I casually remark to the boy at the counter. "One Cafe Mocha, please. Take-away". Wasn't mocha always my favourite? In my coffee drinking days, I could count in my fingers the occassions when I had ordered something else. He nods, I pay him and he sets about making my coffee. With amazing dexterity, he juggles the cup, coffee bean powder, the bottle of chocolate sauce, the steamer and milk bottle and viola, the mocha is ready. I pick up the coffee and head back to my desk.

Back at my desk, the rich aroma of the coffee fills my nostrils, arousing my senses instantly. I take one sip and the rich nutty flavour fills my mouth, lifting my spirits. The caffeine has its own way of spelling a cast on our body with its magic. Holding the coffee cup, gazing into the rain outside, I wonder how my relationship with coffee have evolved over these years.

While I was staying with my parents, well after my bournvita-drinking ages, I used to have three cups of coffee daily. A black coffee early in the morning, one filter coffee with breakfast and another with snacks in the evening. Those times, my mom brewed the excellent filter coffee, added a drop of her love and the end product was amazing. back then, I was entirely a coffee person. I refused to drink tea and when I went visiting my relatives, my aunts had to prepare coffee especially for me. I never took tea from restaurants or friends' place or my own home. It was always coffee for me. I was in love with the beverage. It acted as a mood lifter, energy booster and a tasty beverage - a very faithful companion for all the times.

Once I moved out of my home, the luxury of someone brewing a cup of coffee was over. Inaccessibility to a well-equipped kitchen, prevented me from brewing a coffee for myself. So my coffee drinking pattern changed from regular coffees to once in a while coffee with friends. Still, CCD stayed the favourite hang out place with friends and hence coffee drinking was confined to weekends. This continued for the next two years when I was in Bangalore.

During my MBA days, our mess served regular tea and by that time I had gone from a tea-hater to I-am-ok-with-drinking-tea person. I used to take tea once in a while and my dear friend M was a huge tea-lover. Whenever I used to go out with her, we always drank tea. Coffee drinking was a rarity those days.

Once the MBA was over and I came to Hyderabad, I stopped drinking tea or coffee for purely health reasons. Tea or Coffee was limited to very very rare occassions like meeting up with a friend in a coffee shop or while visiting my parents back home. However, over these years, two things remained constant in my life: First, a black coffee, early morning from my mom is still one of the best things in my life. Second, 'Never ever in my life can I take coffee to stay awake for an exam. I can take coffee and stay awake and have fun, but for studying an exam, a coffee never helps' :|

As you can see, my relationship with coffee has evolved over a period of time. I went from an ardent coffee lover to occasional coffee drinker to a very rare coffee taker. Why am I reminded of all of these today? Because even today, when a rainy day comes, it becomes all cozy and I need someone of lift my spirits, I still go back to my age old friend. I still go back to your nuttiness, your flavour, your aroma and you my friend, never disappoints me. You do your duty perfectly, no matter how many years I have neglected you, no matter how disappointed you were when I chose other beverages over you. We may have many more rocky patches to tread on, but we will stick together for many more years to come.

Cheers to a cup of coffee :) So, what is your coffee drinking experience?

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 5, 2010

The weekend that was ...

fun filled with good sporting action and a boring movie !!!

Saturday evening was spent watching Germany-Argentina match in hard rock cafe with four football crazy, Argentinian fans. Me for once haven't watched a football match completely, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of watching this match. The first half was thoroughly entertaining, the atmosphere inside HRC was electrifying with people supporting both the teams. The second half was entirely in germany's favor and the mood at our table had become quite sullen, by the last few minutes. Klose, Muller, Ozil, Podolski, Schweinsteiger and co. put up a good show, but how I wish Argentina had won. I had a hard time consoling some heart-broken Argentina/Messi/Maradona fans, the look on their faces was worth capturing, but I didn't dare to do it for entirely health reasons :)

Sunday evening, I watched 'I hate luv storys'. Karan Johar trying to make a spoof on his own love stories is commendable, but this movie, by far is the most ridiculous one from his kitty. Absolutely no story line, below par performances, no good songs even. I even felt that the editor forgot his/her scissors somewhere. And how I thought this one is going to be different :( The only saving grace was a few good jokes here and there, esp, 'Idhar Udhar ki batein, vagera, vagera' one. I can't give more than one star for this movie. Watch it at your own risk.

So how was your weekend?

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 4, 2010

55 Fiction: Dolls

Blog Marathon Post 4

“Don’t go”, she said. He looked at her. She was teary-eyed. He wished he could do something about it. Instead he said, “I can’t even promise you that I will come back”. Just then, the shopkeeper took him and wrapped him in a glossy giftcover. He started his journey to make another little girl happy.

Authors Note: This is my first attempt at 55 fiction. While writing this I could understand how difficult it is to potray your thoughts in lesser words. But, if you can manage do that, how powerful it can be :)

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My first Meme

Blog Marathon Post 3

Sunday Stealing have this interesting meme going on, and they are more than happy that we steal it :) So I decided to be one of their thieves and here are my answers:

1. What curse word do you use the most?
Oh S**t. This is the only curse word that I use.

2. Do you own an iPod?
I don't own an iPod, though I have gifted an iPod to my sister. I am not much of a music person. But I own an iPad, does that count? :P

3. What person do you talk to on the phone the most?
My close friend

4. Do you still remember the first person you kissed?
Must be one cute little kid

5. Do you remember where you were on 11/9/01?
I was in my home in Kerala. Me, my mom and sister watched the twin towers collapsing in television, in utter shock.

6. What was the last movie you watched?
Raavan. Aishwarya looked beautiful, cinematography was good. But at the end of the movie, I was asking myself "So what was the whole point?"

7. Has anyone ever called you lazy?
I think the only person who have ever called me lazy is my mom. I can't blame her though because the moment I enter my home, I become one lazy pig. I don't want to go out, I don't want to go and visit relatives, I just revel in the coziness of my home. This is exact opposite of how I am when I am outside my home and staying on my own. I can't wait to get out of my room then :)

8. Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep?
I don't. Except for a rare one or two occasions, I never had any problem falling asleep in my life. But, I am a light sleeper, a small sound or a slight movement is enough to wake me up.

9. Has anyone told you a secret this week?
This week, none I remember.

10. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
The height. Thats a very huge impressionable factor for me.

11. What are you looking forward to?
A journey to my hometown.

12. Do you own any band t-shirts?
I don't own any band t-shirts. Does branded ones count? :)

13. What will you be doing in one hour?
Having my dinner, home-cooked by me.

14. Is anyone in love with you?
Yes ;) :D

15. Last time you cried?
Two days back, for something absolutely random.

16. Are you on a desktop computer or a laptop?
A laptop. The only desktop computer I use these days is the one in my home town, whenever I go to visit my parents.

17. Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?
No. I am not a tattoos person at all. Would love one more piercing though. But nah, on second thoughts, I won't do that also.

18. Would you ever date anyone covered in tattoos?
I don't think so. Covered in tattoos? I find it a bit repelling.

19. What were you doing before this?
Had toast with peanut butter(my all time favourite) and apples.

20. When is the last time you slept on the floor?
One week back, I do that when it gets very hot in here.

21. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
I need atleast six-seven hours of sleep to function normally. But anything more than that makes me lethargic.

22. Do you eat breakfast daily?
I eat my breakfast daily. I make sure that I never skip it. I consider it very important for the proper functioning of my brain and body.

If you find this meme interesting enough, take it up and give your answers, either in the comments sections or in your blog.

Have a great weekend and enjoy all the sporting action !!!


Friday, July 2, 2010

A canvas

Blog Marathon Post 2

She always had a way with the colours. Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, magenta, every other colour in the world had been her good friends. Give her a plain canvas, she mixes her favourite colours and gives strokes as if she is writing a poem. A dash of this, a dash of that, and out comes a lovely picture, be it scenery, a portrait or something abstract. She started every picture as if her colours are telling her something and the picture at the culmination of the whole process reflected that.

One fine morning, she drew a cottage on the bank of a river, with a picturesque backdrop. But, what was prominent in the picture was a vase, which could be seen through the windows of the house. Once, she had finished the picture, she couldn’t keep her eyes off that vase, it was so beautiful. That evening, her childhood friend came to see her. They were meeting after years and spend hours talking to each other. Once the dinner was over, after putting the dishes into the dish-washer, she carefully unwrapped the present which her friend gifted her. It turned out to be a vase, shining in the tranquility of dawn.

She dismissed it as one off an incident. But she couldn’t stop laughing the day her husband came back from office, irritated, with his clothes smeared in mud water. That very afternoon, she had painted a picture of children splashing mud water and playing in the rain. The predominant colour of the picture was brown. Another day, she drew a golf course; she had always been fascinated by the lush green surroundings of golf courses. Her daughter came back home from school that evening disappointed. Her friend had got a new pencil box and it was from her uncle who came back from London. Her daughter always thought her pencil box which her dad got from NewYork was the best and couldn’t believe that someone can have a better one. As they say, she was green with envy.

Sometimes, she tried to use these coincidences to her advantage. She drew a bunch of yellow roses, when she toyed with the idea of her husband getting some flowers, while coming back from office. She drew her childhood home and surroundings when she wanted to go back to her parents place. She drew a nice cozy candle-lit dinner and expected her husband to take her to one that evening. At times, it worked, at times, it didn’t. However, she was happy with the rare coincidences that her intuition and canvas provided.

However, today was different. Her mind was disturbed from the moment she took her paintbrush. She poured colours into the canvas like a maniac. Her paint brush was moving swiftly; her strokes bold. She noticed that today she is using red as the prominent colour. And the end result was abstract, she herself couldn’t make any sense out of it. It was a flow of red colour, in a more darker background, with shades of black. The picture had an eerie feeling to it. She threw the paintbrush away, as if disappointed with herself and fell into the couch. She was woken up by the blaring sound of an ambulance. Before opening the door, she looked back at her colours for one last time. They were smiling at their own cruel joke.

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

God is dead. Really??

Blog Marathon Post 1

Ours is a country which takes pride in its religious diversity where Hindus, Muslims, Christains, Parsis and people belonging to many other religions, live in perfect harmony, well, most of the times. No matter which religion you follow, we are all faced with experiences in life, which re-affirms our faith in God or questions its very own existence. For many of us, God is a comforting force more than anything else. When things don’t go our way, we take comfort in the fact that it’s God’s wish and we move on with our life. When we want things to happen in a certain way, we pray to God and strive ahead with the belief that he is watching over us.

What if, one morning, you wake up and realize that the force, which you thought is writing your destiny, making you go through all these experiences in life, the one whom you remember in your happiness and sadness, no longer exist. Would you lose the meaning in life? Would you feel that no matter how you behave, how you conduct yourselves, there is no one to watch your actions and hence you are free to do whatever you want to do? Would vandalism be the new way of the world? Would human beings be lost in the vast expanse of Universe? This is the premise which is explored in the book ‘God is Dead’, authored by Ron Currie, JR.

The story begins with God taking the form of a Sudanese woman searching for her brother in North Darfur region where rape, mass murder and several other crimes are rampant. By the end of first chapter, God is dead, trying to escape an attack by the corrupt Sudanese government. What happens in the subsequent chapters is the aftermath of the death of the all-guiding force - High School buddies forge a suicide pact; dogs speak Aramaic and walk on water; and parents, for the “lack of anything to do on Sundays”, worship their own children and eventually the entire planet becomes embroiled in a war between Evolutionary Psychologists who believe in genetic predetermination struggle against Postmodern Anthropologists who subscribe to choice and free will.

In this well-written dark comedy, the chapter that I found particularly amusing was the first-person narrative of a regional psychiatrist for CAPA – the Child Adulation Prevention Agency. He is the most vital and hated man in his county, vital because he is trying to save the world from the child-worshipping anarchy and hated because he forces people to see their children for what they are: flawed, mortal and essentially useless creatures. He works hard, and real hard, to make the parents realize that their children are no GOD, they are mere mortals. During one of his appointments, he reasons with one mother that her son “never scored higher than a 98. Like most of us, Levon will have to rely on the gifted few to drive human intellectual progress in his lifetime. He will be a passenger, not a participant.” How this story ends is sure to make you feel blessed, with all the love surrounding you.

The one thing which strikes out in the book is the fact that even during the non-existence of God, the actions undertaken by human beings has spiritual undertones. Friends who sign on a suicide pact feels they are doing something ‘sacred’ and the psychiatrist in the story himself ‘worships’ children. Maybe as mortals, we are trying to seek faith in whatever we do, no matter how non-existent it is.

I recommend this book to anyone who want a change of genre and a fresh style of writing. There are parts in the book which may appear scandalous to theists, but overall the book makes for a good read.

P.S: This debut novel of Ron Currie won the New York Public Library's 2008 Young Lions Fiction Award.

Labels: ,


This page has moved to a new address.

< $BlogTitle$>