Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Simple Pleasures of Life - 7

Getting up before the alarm and realising that you still have one more hour to sleep

Alarms are dreaded instruments, especially on weekday mornings. You feel like you have just hit the sack when you are suddenly woken up by a sreeching sound. You try to snooze, demand and finally beg for some more sleep. But eventually you have to get up and start with the daily routine. Then what happens when you get up well before the alarm rings and realise that you can sleep for one more hour? You thank your stars and go back to sleep with a smile on your face, snuggling happily to your blanket. Ah, simple pleasures of life.

P.S. I am travelling for the next one week and will be moderating the comments till the time I am back. I will be replying to the comments and reading your blogs as soon as I am back.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Simple Pleasures of Life - 6

Watching a movie trailer and guessing the entire story of the movie

Oh yeah ! You are at your home watching the previews of upcoming movies and you and your sister/friend/husband make up the entire story of the movie by just watching the trailer. It is quite a fun thing to do. Especially when you watch the entire movie once it hits the theatre and realise that the actual story of the movie is quite different from what you had envisioned ! You look back and laugh at your creativity. At times, you wish the actual story of movie was indeed what you made up, it was more fun that way :)

P.S. I am travelling for the next two weeks and will be moderating the comments till the time I am back. I will be replying to the comments and reading your blogs as soon as I am back.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Pitter Patter

She hit the ‘Shutdown’ button and watched small windows dancing up and down on the screen. To her right, she could see the raindrops making indecipherable patterns on the windows. She stretched her hands and let out a small sigh. “When will it stop raining in Mumbai?” She laughed at herself. Such a rhetoric question! She got up from her seat and started collecting her belongings.

There were two other people in front of the elevator. She waited impatiently, watching the floor numbers flash in the descending order. There were more people inside the lift. Blank faces, haggard from a 10 hour work day, with a distant look in their eyes, pre-occupied by the thoughts of the long hours of commute ahead of them or better still, of a home cooked dinner awaiting them at the end of it. How she wished she had similar thoughts in her mind. She shrugged at the thought of her empty apartment and some left-overs in the fridge.

She walked out of the elevator into the lobby. Many people were waiting in the lobby hoping that rain will subside sometime soon. But she didn’t hold such thoughts. She took out her umbrella and ventured into the rain. There was dirty water all around, nevertheless, people were walking on the road, avoiding potholes with the skills of an acrobat. Wind was gushing in the opposite direction, but she held on to her umbrella with a vengeance. She tried to stop a good number of auto-rickshaws, but no one seemed to be going in the same route. She continued walking aimlessly. She was passing by a slum area and that is when she saw a group of children playing with the rain water. Seeing the paper boats floating around, she felt something tugging at her heart.

She could hear their laughter clearly in her head. The image was slightly blurred though. It was she and her own sister running through the stair-way with some sheets of papers in their hands. They both sat down on the last step and started making paper boats. One by one, the boats started floating in the water – some capsized, but some went on for long distances as though they were on a mission. The neighborhood kids soon joined in and boating races were conducted to see whose boat will travel the farthest.

A loud splash of water and she was brought back to reality. The mud water fell on her too and she bit her tongue hard to suppress the curse words that were about to fall out of her mouth. The wind was playing a tug of war with her umbrella, but she didn’t have any intention of giving in. She continued walking looking for an auto-rickshaw, but in vain. In front of her was a mother-daughter duo; the mother was carrying her daughter and they both were under one umbrella. They held on to each other as if they were inseparable. She looked fondly at them.

She had always loved rain when she was younger. The smell that emanates from ground when that first raindrop hits the ground, the beauty of watching the rain through a window, the cozy feeling of curling up inside the blanket, eating pakodas and drinking hot tea – she loved each and everything associated with the rain. But she still feels nobody loved rain more than her mom. She could see her mom perched in front of a window for hours watching the raindrops hitting the ground. She had always hugged on to her mom and slept during thunderstorms, with the wind and rain singing a melodious lullaby in the background.

Another splash of water and this time it was a car. She was at her wit’s end. Fully drenched and walking in the muddy water for the last half an hour had really made her irritable. She started looking for some shelter around her. Not so far, she noticed a group of girls, barely in their 20s, giggling and walking in the rain. They were jumping up and down, dancing and enjoying the rain to the fullest.

“It is raining, come on everybody let’s go to the rooftop”, her friends were shouting. In no time, twelve of them were on the rooftop of their college hostel, jumping up and down and running about in the rain. Hold no bars; the first rain of the season should be enjoyed to its fullest. They played antakshari, pulled each others legs and danced away the evening in rain.

Again a strong gush of wind; but this time instead of holding on to her umbrella, she let it go. She opened up her arms and experienced the raindrops falling effortlessly on her face. She could feel a small tear drop forming on the brink of her left eye, but she just let it be.

P.S: This story of mine was voted to be in the top ten stories and got published in my office magazine about a year ago. I thought of sharing it here today.

P.P.S. I am travelling for the next two weeks and will be moderating the comments till the time I am back. I will be replying to the comments and reading your blogs as soon as I am back.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

An adventure is about to begin !

Passport : Check
Visa: Check
Flight Tickets: Check
Hotel Reservations: Check
Train Confirmations: Check
Husband a.k.a Best Friend a.k.a Favourite Travel Companion: Check
Entry tickets for many of attractions that need to be reserved ahead: Check
Stuff all the clothes into one carry on baggage: Quite a difficult task, but still check (yay!)
Filling travel size bottles of all the necessary toiletries: Again quite a daunting task, but still check (phew!)

Yes, an adventure is about to begin. I leave you with this pic for a sneak peek into some of the books that had been keeping me company during my bedtime, for the last few months.

P.P.S. I am travelling for the next two weeks and will be moderating the comments till the time I am back. I will be replying to the comments and reading your blogs as soon as I am back.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Simple Pleasures of Life - 5

Browsing through old family albums

You may be sporting a different hair or your fashion sensibilities may have taken a 180 degree turn. You no longer have those crooked teeth, neither are you that cute chubby child who always sat down while the picture was being clicked. One thing is for sure, for better or worse, you look a lot different now. Browsing through old family albums is a nice way of reminiscing those good old days. A trip down the memory lane is always bound to bring a smile on your face.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

When you start trusting technology more than your senses

I attended an awesome Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan concert yesterday. For the uninitiated, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is a Pakistani singer, primarily of Qawwali genre, a devotional music of the Muslim Sufis. He is the nephew of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. In addition to Qawwali, he also performs ghazals and other light music. He is popular as a Bollywood playback singer too. The concert was conducted in Music Hall, Detroit. I was shopping some essential items for my upcoming trip on a gloomy Saturday and a call from my friend informed me that Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was performing in the town. Plans were made rather very quickly and we found ourselves in the Music Hall within an hour. In that one hour, I had a small cup of salty caramel yoghurt, drove 30 miles, changed cars at my friend's house, drove 35 more miles, reached the venue, collected out tickets and were in our seats just in time.

The concert started on time and we were enjoying fine music in no time. A few of my favourites that he sang were "O Re Piya", "Afreeen", "Dil toh bacha hain ji" and "Bol Na Halke Halke". We were absolutely dumbstruck by his voice, rendition and his ability to sing continuously without even taking a drop of water. The other members of this group contributed equally with their efforts on drums, guitar, trumpet and tabla. It was an experience which any music lover would have loved to be a part of. There were people in the crowd shouting, whistling or even dancing to many of his songs. The crowd was enjoying very song to its fullest, hmm, or where they?

When you witness a once in a lifetime event like a Rahet Fateh Ali Khan concert, are you enjoying it to its fullest if you are only seeing it through the screen of your smartphone or your camera? Agreed you are recording every moment possible to enjoy it at a later stage or for someone else to enjoy it at a later stage, but what about being in that moment at that very second. How about concentrating and enjoying the music that is being sung by a maestro without any distractions? How about giving your entire sense of perception to the moment and thereby respecting the genius of the person rendering it?

When you sit in a theatre and try to record every possible moment through a camera, then more than anything else, you are distracting the other people with your camera light. You are clogging their line of vision too. If we keep these 'small' things aside, think about those previous moments when you could as well enjoyed the concert rather than 'safe-keeping' your enjoyment for a later date. A similar thing that irate me to no end is someone travelling to a whole new place and spending all the time on earth just clicking photographs. I myself have had the misfortune of travelling with such people. Any place you visit, all they want is click one pic in front of the famous monument and we are done with the place. How about just walking around the place and appreciating its beauty? I should say that FaceBook has added a lot of shenanigans to this breed. The whole concept of "profile" pic? We better don't go there.

Trying to capture every moment in the camera is not a bad thing always. You meet your friend after a long time; you may want to go crazy and click a few (hundreds of) pics. It captures the sense of happiness you feel and something you can treasure for a long time. If you both are having fun in between all the soul searching(and silly) conversations you are having, then we are all for having fun. You may want to drag him/her to the nearby photo booth and give some crazy shots there too ! Or you are a food blogger, then you would want to capture a shot of every possible meal that you ate at a restaurant. Or you are witnessing a breath-taking sunrise, you may want to capture it in a few shots. Understood. But after that few clicks, don't you want to keep the camera away and just capture all the beauty in your mind? We are not talking about professional photographers here. We are talking about common man, like you and me. Common Man who was given five senses of perception to utilise it in the best possible way.
Be in the moment. Live it. Please don't see that once in a lifetime concert through a camera screen. Trust your senses. Senses like sight and hearing are given to you for a purpose. There are many unlucky people in this world who don't even have the privilege to use them. When you start trusting technology more than you senses, then it is time to unplug. When you sit in front of me and make me also see the concert through your camera phone, then we have a real problem.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Once Again

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 27; the 27th Edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The topic for this month is 'Once Again'.

“Once Again”, she pleaded. He acknowledged happily. As the world went up and down, she felt like a fairy godmother, flying fast to save the princess in distress. She laughed out loud. She wooshed past several trees and meadows. In all the fairy tales, she had liked the fairy godmother more than the princess. The godmother had all the powers. She could dress up princesses by the wave of the wand, bring chariots and horseman by the twinge of an eye and roam around the world with the snap of a finger. Who wants to be a princess in between all this fun? Princesses had to be locked up in a tower or mistreated by step-mom or sleep through several years. Bleah ! Agreed they will be rescued in the end by a handsome prince, but she would rather rescue someone than be rescued. She would rather roam around the world than dress up and act coy. She would prefer a cloak and hat to all the princess-ey dresses.

She could see the tower at a distance. She imagined the princess all dressed up, waiting to be rescued inside the tower. She rolled her eyes. She practised her dramatic entry and introductory line several times in her head. She will  appear out of nowhere and bring herself to a dramatic stop in mid-air. Then she will look into the sad eyes of the princess and say "I am your fairy godmother and I am here to whisk you off to safety". She giggled imagining the happiness on the face of the princess. But before she could use her flying skills to its fullest, she was back to her dad’s arms. "Uff", she sighed. She had never liked this gravity concept. It is such kill-joy to all the fun we humans can have flying around. "Once Again", she pleaded This time she has yet another princess to rescue from yet another tower.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

One with Aishwarya Rai, Weight Issues and Me

I feel sorry for Aishwarya Rai, I really do. Though I have never considered her to be a great actress or a wonderful person, I feel sorry for the way media is all hullaballoo about her post pregnancy weight. The woman has just given birth to a baby girl. A feat many dream to achieve someday. Let her enjoy the motherhood and please compliment her on the new addition to the family. Why the whole attention on her weight? Maybe this is whole downside of being a celebrity, especially if you are labelled as one of the most beautiful woman in this world. I am sure Aishwarya would very well be adapted to all this attention considering the fact that her whole life (her previous relationships, temple visits before her marriage, her pregnancy, etc.) had been ripped apart with equal fervour.

Please see the below photo from the cover of Femina from June 2010. The picture juxtaposes her pics from 2000 and 2010 and tells what a timeless beauty she is.

Going from this to being criticised for the post pregnancy weight can be hard. Considering the fact that responsive journalism is something we are far far away from and any gossip related to celebrities sells like hot cakes, I shouldn't be too aghast with this unwanted attention on her post pregnancy weight. However what makes me irritated is the message that is being send out with this. Are all the new mothers supposed to lose weight and be bikini-ready in a matter of few weeks? Does this mean we aren't supposed to put a little bit of weight whether we go through a pregnancy, disease, medicines, steroids or any treatment? How unfair it is. Come what may, don't you dare put on a few kilos, be still in your weight and inches because you are a woman? Really?

All this hullaballoo reminds me of the my own weight (gain) issues. For the first twenty years of my life, I had been skinny, skinny to the point of being underweight. My mom and aunts used to force feed me. They used to think I am not eating anything because I wanted to be skinny when such a thought had never crossed my mind. I used to eat to my heart's content and still remained slim. My (under)weight had been a topic of many a family discussions and I was pretty much bored/irritated the entire time during these discussions. I failed to understand how my weight can be a topic of grave concern.

I moved out of my house and got my first (sedentary)job when I was 21 and I easily piled on kilos in the next three years. My weight again became a concern for my family and relatives. The same people who used to force feed me made comments about how much over weight I have become and how 'ugly' I have become. I on the other hand was disillusioned. I was staying away from home for the first time; I used to get very unhealthy carb-rich food in my paying guest accomodation; it was my first job and it didn't know how to handle many things. On top of it, I was sad due to various reasons. My (over) weight again became a topic of family discussion. Sigh ! I tried hard and lost all the piled kilos in the next three years. But the point I am trying to make is it is difficult to lose the extra kilos quickly (in a healthy manner) and it is even more difficult when your weight is constantly under scrutiny. Even now, whenever I visit my hometown, the first thing people say is "You have put on/off weight". Is there something called a "weight that satisfies everyone"? Either you are too fat or too skinny. Funniest thing is my in-laws think I am too skinny. Everytime I talk to them they tell me to eat properly and put on weight when I am trying hard to eat healthy and maintain my weight :)

So lets cut some slack. Don't be too judmental about someone's weight. Every person's body is different and a workout/eating habit that works for you may not work for someone else. Throw in some genetic factors and you get the bigger picture. Let the new mommies enjoy their motherhood; let the people recovering from disease/medicines take their own time and enjoy their health; afterall life is not measured in inches or kilos.



This page has moved to a new address.

< $BlogTitle$>