Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wake Up Sid, for God's sake !!

Every once in a while you need a movie – a good movie, that’s like a warm bowl of soup to soul – that has slices of baked veggies, meat to chew and rich broth to fill your heart in the right places.It stimulates, embraces and brings back to life the cells inside us that we often forget the existence of. And then it reminds us of those small moments that slowly become worthy enough to be called ‘Life’. There, if you come to realise, lie silently inside, so many little such cells that we leave behind with every birthday. And in this big, big world, sadly, I have no many reasons to believe such movies come by that often.

What’s new? Umm, nothing. Two people no different from you and I, yet beautifully different from each other. So? Umm, nothing again except that I can vouch for my belief here that, everyone, anyone can see a bit of him/herself in one of the protagonists of the movie. A phase in life that unwittingly transitions life from a frivolous and a safe place which had friends and fun and truck loads of ease over to a more thorny, duller looking world surrounded by people who you sometimes can’t believe are part of your daily life. Can we please agree on that?
If you haven’t yet, please grab a DVD (if newer movies took over in theatres), or – hate me for suggesting this - sneak into a pirated weblink ‘coz for heavens sakes, we need such movies.

In other news – my ipod is obliged to be nicer to me for getting featured in 3 consecutive posts for I got it richer by a song – ‘iktara’ from this movie. Some songs strike gold in your ears and dangle like ear-rings wherever you go .
Beautiful one !

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In the crust of a sleepless night.

I am wandering around my tiny living room at 3:56 AM. Have been up since 2, I guess.

Pigged out on a bowl of left-over grapes, read for an hour, reloaded my ipod and arrived at being clueless to what else I could do, trying to keep at the nightly hush, so I don’t disturb my peacefully sleeping husband. I admit, sometimes I doubt my own levels of cerebral stability. I just like to call it, umm, let’s just say - hyper.

There are times you completely want to immerse in yourself – trying to redo the basic stuff that you thought you were made of and man, there has been a handful of moments when I have felt the desperate need from the roots of my heart to rebuild my entire self, all over again. This is one such phase, I just know it. What has changed is my ability to respond to such moments. That I no longer linger around my bed fighting sleep or being a mute spectator to meticulously detailed free shows my mind offers, about my life or just numbly laying there, terrified to move, glaring into darkness for, god, a bad long time, is a change that has merrily swung by. I am surprised I could ramble into the kitchen, hunting for a midnight snack, or open my laptop and write away the thrill of living thru’ such hours or simply settle to a couch with a book that makes me want to smile between lines.

What’s intriguing is that even at his hour, I am not in constant hunger to go back and have what I never did, in the first place. That’s untypical of me. How many people can say that? :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This tiny red thing that changed my perspective of relationships

My ipod is in failing health – or it just resorted to pretend that way until I show mercy to reload it with a breather of changed tunes.
I had come to this full-blown understanding after I unearthed it beneath the fairly thickly coated carpet underneath the mattress underneath the blanket underneath the comforter. There’s no way I could have dumped it this deep even during my plainly semi-conscious, nocturnal moments where music is the only thing that shares my bed. Sometimes I get this feeling that this cute little, two-year old red fixation has gotta be the bravest companion I can count on through days I just want to pull my hair out, for it has survived the most malicious attacks from the hottest barbeque sauce to being run over to soap-soaked bath tub to obsessive playing to reeking laundry bags. Actually, it has gone thru’ much more.

There are things that become part of your body – count the cell phone out but my ipod has become something I can’t be without, even if I’m not plugged to it – I just need to know that it’s quietly lying in there, in my bag. It’s like having in your pantry, the oldest wine in town – humble smugness!
Now that I do comprehend its feelings, I have to respect what it needs the most – some redoing of its musical matter!

Leave the hitches of technological advancements to people that suck at being able to have the sheer fun of it - Man, you have to have an ipod.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Square peg..

alright, in a round hole – Me in every clearly describable sense of it!

It’s petrifying to see how people bend themselves to round-er pegs to fit in more easily, some even go out of shape. I should just quit giving away pieces of time and much larger peaces of mind to extended families who think the nicest thing to say to me is how a respectable woman my age should already be a mother or at least pregnant and how they think your avant-gardism is clearly heretical and a path to failure.

Honestly, I am quite with them on the being-confused part. But, really, who isn’t? Living in an already explosively-populous world where you get to hear at least a couple of breaking news every month, of some one your mom knows, getting pregnant and trying to reassure your mind of simply staying steer-clear can be stressful !

The world is round! What am I to do with the square peg I am born with?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Memoirs on memories

"There's no fence nor hedge around time that is gone. You can go back and have what you like of it, if you can remember." quotes, Richard Llewellyn, in his book 'How Green Was My Valley'.

If not for this damn thing called memories, we could have sold our souls off to deals heartlessly materialistic like ‘moving on’ and just be fine about it. Agreed, it's change that we all live by every day and may be with even the best, best-ever loved times, there comes a point when we actually want change, so the sweetness and all the good things about what we personally experienced with it does not become a carcass to carry around, in our minds.

What's my point here, especially when I am presently sailing thru' a pretty smooth life, with a job I am, at last happy to go to, a pretty neat little apartment I wouldn't mind spending my weekends at if malls declare shut, a husband who advocates feminine independence and if you ask me, the best of all, no babies with screaming capabilities potentially matching with the Kakapo, waiting to assassinate my late-twenties over dirty diapers. Phew, that's neat - here's a toast in honor of not having all that I always wanted to stay away from.

So why the heck does some things left to rest in peace pay unforeseen visits, making live-able days, tad heavy? People come and go, but not all leave pictures you want to store up. Okay, that was plain stupid. I know my posts are getting vague, talking of no particular incident or a person, also a clear indicator of the hazy transitions happening within. I should be worried about it, I think.

On the other side, I am right now playing host to some of the intense memories of my life and don't really understand if I should do something about it rather than being a meek spectator. Now, that’s the problem when you are trying to strike a balance between heart and mind. Sometimes they both are right and they are both forceful, but just straight opposite. I know they'll fade off again and life will get back to being wildly a glib until probably the next time. But isn't it actually trying to tell me something? I have this weird feeling that it is, just that I can't figure out yet. Well, atleast my blog will keep a memory of my random trysts with such experiences.

If some things in life have to come back as hard hitting as memories, why did they go away, after all? Okay- don't answer that.

I know - because goddamnit, some things just need to end; like this post.

Monday, November 2, 2009

on road to, I don't know where..

It may not sound spiritually accurate but I think I have found my word. If I need to be honest about the pursuit around it, I could get really dramatic. Because, it was dramatic – the whole point of me wanting to read the book again on no particularly sensible grounds and getting jammed over the same point where it talks about having your own word and all that nonsense and then me blogging about it and lastly the most hilariously alarming fact – finding my word in just about a week after. I seriously now have to consider this point I put in rollick in one of my earlier posts – may be I am really possessed, in which case, I guess I better buck up to face more truths, knocking my door.

I wish I could write about it, I really do, albeit a personal menace to many of the (best possible) practicalities I live with. ‘Cause it just feels damn good. But still, I might risk some of the finest luxuries I have. So, let’s just say, it will for now remain within the walls of restricted premises, which, by the ways, is just me in this scenario. I wanted to write this much because I had to express here the divinity of having realized another face of my own soul. I wanted to reassure that there is an answer to all that we seek. Yea, that's what it seems like. Probably.

I think it would be worth a try to dig whatever-that-has-possessed-me now a little deeper so I don’t have to be flabbergasted with myself in future.

I am just going to choose to believe here that my family or atleast a part of my family who check my blog out won't invite me to gunshot on reading this. Sorry, guys.

Okay, that was dramatic enough; anything more might make this post a big ass of itself.

I promise I am not drunk but whatever this is - is just bloody hell of an experience- Per se.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What's your word ?

If you have read ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert, this would have occurred to you. If you haven’t, well, on my guesses to a normal soul’s path of life, it might still have occurred to you – What’s your word?

According to the book, everything can go coupled with a word that best goes with it – everything -a person, a place, a book – just everything. It’s said to be more natural than we think.
Like, let me try -

-India – people
-Home– heart
-Fridays – boon
-My best friend – hysteria

- See? Simple!

Actually, it doesn’t sound that complicated in theory – a question you would have to answer in just about a word, just about what hits your mind, I think it should be - heart, before blinking off – what’s your word?

So why does it confuse the shit out of me, in practice, in real, into my face???

When I read the book a year ago, I decided to pretend I hadn’t read that question – after intensely going thru’ oodles of deranged hours on the couch, thinking about it, well, like you had guessed, to no answer.
For, again another deranged reason, I am re-reading the book, this time, with a wider eye for all that I missed during the first.
A word – okay, not necessarily ­about the type of personality you possess – it could be a thing that’s like a hymn to your soul, that breathes in and breathes out, that lives in your heart, that comes to life in dreams during those soundest sleeps, that without which you would not be you! And the truly magical part about it is-you gotta trust me on this-that you may not know it exists – but it does.

- Well, at least I like to believe it does even if I haven’t come to terms with it.

Play it safe – the book convinces that it’s ok not to find it even if you set out on a hunt with just all the honesty you could harvest from deepest roots of your heart. But you will, one day.

Now, fortune telling could be a different ball game, but I trust on this one – I will, one day. I hope, I will – damn, what the devil can the word be ?

I'm sure many of you might give a smug opinion that why would anyone give a damn. If it's so - good for you ! It keeps you from hysterical limits your soul can scale up to - umm, well, never mind!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I swear to God - this ain't normal

Okay! This is crazy ! This is the first time ever - ever in almost 3 whole years of blogging that I have something for a consecutive day of having posted another something.
I am cured of long-term ailment from potential numbness .Yea, that’s gotta be it !
It’s like a drug that went straight to my brains on an over-dosage run. I am hyper – I am really hyper – What the hell is wrong ????

I met a little someone today who embraced that inner soul – sweet smiled, noodle haired, dressed like chic – you know the type. You pass a stealthy look and gulp a ball of awe until you hear them talk. No, wait – much against the normal cases, she just got better when she talked. Between silent gazes of waiting for her turn in the long queue at the microwave, she smiled and nodded as if in perfect unison when my box declared a long 2.5 mins to heat. I hate it when the queue behind me stares down, waiting to jump right on after I move. Scary! Now, let me get back to this angel - I said LITTLE, because this lady behind me was not some five-foot-six-inch masquerade of wholesome good looks. Well, she had the good looks but she was probably just about 3-foot-not-more-than-3-inches composition of life. I honestly do not go beyond a smile at such impromptu-bonks but she ought to be different. She was. From what I gather from the 2.5 mins we stood there, she simply seemed more comfortable than psyched-up with the way the world moved. Why would she otherwise take another sweet 10 seconds to let me know that she loved the way Indian food smelled? But that was it. I couldn’t manage more than a humbled Thank You! And here am, writing about what was her name ?

This I am guessing is not the first time I am taken to a road of inspired-creativity by a woman. There have been quite a few instances in my history when I was completely consumed by the beauty and goodness of such female souls. Now, is that okay? I hope it is – because I am freaking straight but why am I quite in love with such stories? What's with a few counts from the male community who will make good story-pieces on my blog? Well, atleast.

But that’s not what I am worried about. What is more serious at this point is the spooky hyper self that has possessed. I am just hoping I don’t have to take a pill or something to get back to normal state of having nothing to write about. If I live life at this rate, I am gonna crash into total madness !!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One of those hyper evenings, it is

So –

I have always had this intuitive guilt when I take myself on a shortly long sabbatical from blogging - but that’s not why I am writing.

The town, after 3 beautiful weeks of celebrating color (also reminding us again of why we should not contemplate suicide) went paler and thinner (after the leaves bade good byes) today. Winds have taken their time of the year, indicating – ‘get aside, I am gonna show what it’s like when you disrespect nature’ – yea, understandable –every dog has its day – I should say season. The depression dawned on me when I had to wear my first weather coat of the year. But that’s not why I am writing either. I hate winter !

I met another lady who hates winter much more than I do. After wriggling off the misty beads that found home on her jacket-braced arms, she shook her head in frustration, looking behind her shoulders, the hazy morning. “It makes me sick” , I tried to offer solace. She shook her head harder – I didn’t know if she agreed or hated me for talking about something she hated.
“Oh, try driving up to work at 4:00 Am everyday, honey. You haven’t seen anything yet”.
- Really, there are things I need to say thanks to.

I have for once in these many years, started listening to my body. It’s like coming of age. So no more shrugging off the tiny aches or reactions-to-my-hysteric-nothings or even cravings. I want to listen to them all and understand (tryin to) something that embodies me – my soul – my life. Guess the work out sessions are playing their influence – good to know – I wouldn’t have known my own heartbeats otherwise. These are things worth your time.

Last Saturday was Diwali. It wouldn’t mean a lot when families and friends are seven seas, seven mountains away. So mind half goes – who cares – why bother anyway ? But I think it’s the hangover of the changes that I want in myself these days, that I decided to celebrate it anyway. It ended up, well, half fun, half frustrating. Fun because we had surprise guests who stayed till midnight and frustrating because they went “oh, dear, you really shouldn’t have bothered living half a day in the kitchen for a biriyani that tastes like this !!!!”. It went past me I guess - am more into the meditative trance now. (What!!???)).

Over to matters that matter right now – I really, really have gotten back my love for writing. In fact it’s a little over the board this time that I am already thinking of compiling my short stories for my yet-to-be-titled book. When it’s too much, I know it’s like a just-opened can of beer and before the fizz dies, I will Shut up !!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

So much to live for...

How many times does life offer you free shows of real-life romance? Well, I am talking about couples who are connected by this most-overused-word-in-the-world, love. It must be prompting to think ‘all the time’ because you see couples everyday who hold hands, kiss, laugh together, rub against each other, or the worst, make out outdoors. But how many of them make you feel life is indeed worth living?

For the first time this year, we had a rainy evening and I stopped by Taco Casa to see what’s that people so love about watching downpour from behind closed panes. I waited for a planned thirty minutes for my husband which stretched onto another thirty, sitting by a window table, trying to enjoy the rain which I honestly couldn’t. There was this guy who I don’t want to describe physically because he later proved to be more good looking by heart than by his looks. We had something in common. Both of us were waiting for our partners but unlike me, he was sipping on a drink. No ring on the left finger. I was sure he wasn’t married coz as far as I have seen, it’s considered a sin in the US for married men and women to be not wearing rings. I doubt if he thought about me the same way because I wasn’t wearing my ring either or my wedding chain but I am married. After a sore hour of wait, Aravind texted me saying he’s stuck in traffic. I thought I should just go ahead and respect what my tummy wanted. So I started on my sandwich occasionally looking around to keep myself entertained. That guy was on phone. Another thirty minutes later, I wanted to leave the place coz waiting for Aravind does not always give me planned results. On one side, there was me, impatient and wanting to leave and on the other side, there was this guy who not for once from the ten to fifteen times that I noticed, wore an impatient look. Okay, 10 more minutes, I thought and looked over at the other table again. He wasn’t there. Before I could assume that he could have left, I saw him walking over to the entrance of the restaurant which by now was fully occupied. When he came back, he had his hands on the shoulders of a very, very pretty girl. So he wasn’t mad at her for being late. He couldn’t have been coz she just was so pretty. She smiled but apologetically seemingly for having had him wait for long. He smiled in return but with apparent love. They walked back to their table and the sight of them together made me smile. They were the prettiest couple in the restaurant but sadly no one seemed to notice, except for me. I pretended to be occupied with my phone but that minute only the corners of my eyes worked. They made such a lovely pair, I wanted to tell them. I was tuning up my ears to eavesdrop on them but it was way too noisy for me to even get close. Finally, I shoved my phone on the table and with a deliberate gut, turned to boldly look at what seemed to be the most beautiful couple I had seen this season. They were talking. Like they say, love is beyond words or languages, this couple really didn’t require either. They were talking but with their hands. I think they call it the sign language. He was capable of speaking, of course. She was not and he used a language she understood. For the next one minute, I sat there, gazing at them, unmindful of the point that I was intruding their private space. But I just didn’t care. I couldn’t find a word to describe these two people who sat right across me, so in love, so beautiful and so much more beautiful because of what they had and what they hadn’t.

I wanted a gulp of water to tone down my emotional flow that moment. I turned away to the window though I didn’t feel like and may be for the first time ever, the rain outside seemed just perfect.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Luckily happened to land on the sound track of Oy! while hopping over the latest releases in Telugu and am hooked to Seheri. Toshi, I didn’t know you even existed. It’s totally your song. There’s always something soulful yet intelligent about Yuvan’s music, don’t you agree? The album marks a collage of frisky and dreamy tunes, well except for Anukoledenadu. If only that were as impressive as the other tunes, Oy! could have elevated Yuvan’s paradigm. Anyways, Sidharth is as charming as ever on the songs and I can’t think of a better singer than himself for the title track. Shamilee??? Where did your allure as Anjali pappa vanish? Her presence doesn’t do anything to the gig of Oy! or is it because Sidharth steals the show? I don’t know how the movie fared but as of now, back to the replay icon that goes Seheriiiiiiiiii….

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The world dedicates this day to people who make your life...

There's someone in your life who voluntarily opens your fridge, takes that last piece of cake you made three days ago, tastes and goes " made that and ate all of that. It tastes awful". Well, protesting doesn't always win with those who don't care how dark your weaknesses are. But smile on, you got a friend.

If you can call someone at 2:00 AM and tell him/her you met a hottie today, not for once feeling sick about disturbing his/her night, you've got a life 'coz you got a friend. It comes at a tiny price of shushing him thru' his cursing for doing so, though.

Remember a time when the chaai tasted just plain boring? Yea, you by all probabilities were having it alone then. If chaai is just another reason to walk over the clock with those who you call friends, talking about stuff that mean nothing but linger in your hearts forever, life just got richer.

You are separated by a decade, a thousand miles and those inevitable changes. Memoirs and dusty photographs make just what you call the gone-old remains of a great relationship. If one such memory tickles your senses and makes you wonder if it does the same to the other person, you still got that friend, beyond the time and the distance and the changes that fell between.

If there's a reason I want to go back to school or college, despite books that are frightening and teachers who are born grump or to simply to get back to those days under the hot sun, it's only friends..

Friday, July 24, 2009


If it’s Toy Story that defined animation in its colorful spirit, if it’s Finding Nemo that told us underwater experience is much bigger than what Disney movies had shown us, if it’s Ratatouille that made animation pictures one of the most loved genres, it’s now Up that redefines and breaks the conventional protocol of movie-making. With Toy Story began an era of two dimensional animation pictures and the world wanted more and more of just one thing – PIXAR.

Easily, they could have hit the top notch of commercialism by remaking a number of old classics. However, Pixar refreshingly and healthily stuck to making original and beautiful stories. Sitting in a Pixar movie, one can’t help wondering if there could have been a nobler story told in a nobler way. It’s also tough to debate what made the movie beautiful, the story or the presentation! But I think, if you ask Pixar, they would trust the former. Why would we otherwise not mind watching a Pixar movie more than once and still find ourselves in tears and laughter and a light warmth in our heart?

Up, in one word is ‘beautiful’. But this has always been the only word I have used to describe any Pixar movie. The most beautiful part is the almost-silent relationship shared between Carl and Ellie and one spontaneously feels the loss after Ellie leaves. Their photo album would leave anyone craving for a few more seconds to have a good look at the pictures. Every picture in that album of Carl & Ellie’s is simply a piece of art.

While Up may not be as deliciously cooked as Ratatouille or as fast paced as Cars, it is definitely another hydrogen balloon Pixar can proudly fly under. It’s a cakewalk to review their movies since the word ‘bad’ seems unheard of by Pixar. The simplicity, the goodness, the beauty and the soul Pixar movies carry is something world cinema, animated or not, definitely requires. With every movie, one can’t wait longing for the next one.

Pixar is a genre, an era, a brand synonymous with the word and the world of animation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

crooning to being comfortably numb..

It was rusted
The 6th string needed some tweaking
Lay in silence, cast off and muted,

I dusted away the cloudy tar
It shined underneath,
My first guitar

It was young, scarlet and supine
When dad bought it,
We played it with grandma’s wine
On Sundays after church

I once gifted it to my boyfriend
On a new year’s eve
But took it back, the next
To it, all my beings cleave

But times changed
And I quit playing the strings
Though as age brewed
Memory of first love clings

It is still young, scarlet and supine
I played a stroke
Fell in love and played it with grandma’s wine,
All over again.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Punch Lines

the most excruciatingly true and hard ones people have tossed over me.

1. You don't get ratings for the stuff you do out of your project. Your rating directly graphs to how well or unwell you perform in the required area - my manager on my defiance to claim better ratings for all the hop-on-the-wall kind of activities I was involved in, outside project ofcourse.

2. Wow. From Elf to Santa Clause - My cousin on seeing me after a couple of years (Reference made to my hair).

3. You know what. It really pisses me off when you don't give a damn about how brilliant I am in the game - my friend on winning chess against me for the millionth time.

4. Whenever you are sad, just look at the mirror and say 'I'm so cute'. But don't make it a habit because liars go to hell - my brother-in-law, everytime I sulk.

5. It's a Friday for God's sake - my team mate on having asked to kindly get to work.

6. After a few minutes of slient gape. But I think it's wonderful you didn't get promoted, at least you'll stop flaunting how good you are at work- Mom (that was the meanest one I ever got)

7. There's no need to be alarmed. We will reach the destination soon, if we don't just try and float around a little longer - The announcement that sent creeches down my body, on flight to Mumbai.

8. I bought you a beaded bracelet with all the money I had when we were kids. Now we are grown up and you can't even get me a diamond studded bracelet. You are such a loser - Another cousin on suggesting the best ways to spend my first pay cheque.

9. Me to my 10 year old neighbor Sam: And they lived happily ever after.
Sam: You just ruined the suspense. I thought they were going to unite.
Me: They did.
Sam: Then how can you say they lived happily ever after??

10. It's unfair to leave cigars out when you visit the smoky mountains. You know the mountains might just feel a little insulted - Another cousin to his wife.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Train Story - 2

It was past midnight. We had hit Coimbatore late by an hour. I was trying to transcend from the coma my mind was in.
“Is there a problem? We are here for more than what it normally takes” I told Mr. Dad who seemed the only other soul in my compartment, awake. He shrugged and returned to his magazine. Mr Dhoti took the upper birth. The kids were buried in blankets. Their mom amused herself with some nicely orchestrated snoring. I checked the time and hoped for an arrival no later than 10:00 in the morning. After fifteen more mystifying minutes, the train started rolling much to my relief.

There wasn’t any sleep hinting to rise by me. For the hundredth time, I squinted on my watch which adamantly went at its own pace. My eyes took a ride around as much as they could see. Mr. Dhoti’s birth was left alone to a blanket. I immediately checked on his luggage. Gone. He couldn’t have left, was here last station. I climbed down to stretch my legs and made way as I saw Mr.Dhoti walk by. He walked erratically, holding the edges of the seats and concentrating on his feet. I waited to ask him if he had moved his baggage but he climbed upto his birth and diligently slid inside the blanket, never attempting to throw a glance anywhere else. I peeped down the lower seat again and there was no loosely knotted bag of his.

Some noise aimed my way took me out of the thoughts about Mr Dhoti’s baggage. It was the ticket collector. Why is he wandering about at 2:00? “Do you have a problem?”, he frowned at me.
“uhh, no, no, I am fine.”, I insisted though whatever happening that night in the train seemed of questionable diligence.
“Why is the train stopped here?” I threw back one at him.
The TTR lifted his gaze from the papers and went “We have some problem. I don’t want anybody outside the seats till morning.”
The calmness with which he spoke left me at a loss for words. But I just went up one step anyways “Why, what’s wrong?”

Though his appearance presented friendliness and his tone floated within what anybody would call calm, the force with which he had thrown his second glance convinced me it was time to go.
I turned to the seat when he came close and said ”We have a report of some smugglers sneaking in. That shouldn’t worry you. Everything is in control”.

Everything is in control? You are telling me there is a gang of muggers in the train and you are telling me not to worry!! I was about to pass out. I pulled my trembling knees together and hid myself under, well under what, that thin translucent blanket.

The ticket collector stood there, as if to make sure I didn’t pass the news. I didn’t feel up to any conversation. In fact, I didn’t feel up to anything. The train was on the move again.After what seemed like an era, five minutes crept out and this thought suddenly yanked me out of seat again. Mr. Dhoti’s bag!

“Ssshh, Hello”, my voice was feeble with fear but I couldn’t get away with the news just like that.
With great effort I pulled myself down again and tapped on the feet of Mr. Dhoti. He didn’t seem asleep and responded promptly to my call.
“Uhh, just that, umm, did you move your luggage? It’s not there under the seat. Just wanted to let you know.”

“It’s there”.
“Uh. No, it’s not. Actually, I..”

“It’s there. I mean the bag”, he cut me across “but what was inside has gone. Somebody stole it or it has gone on its own will.”

“What? Gone on its own will?” Was he nuts!? I am telling him his bag has gone missing and he is responding as though it would return from an errand at the toilet.

“Well, you could report it to the ticket collector. Actually you know”, I couldn’t resist the urge. "there are some burglars in the train. You just need to be careful.”

Mr. Dhoti decided to stay with silence. For a moment I grew suspicious of his looks. Could he be the real burglar? If so, would he harm me because I knew? He would. As if the night wasn’t enough with surprises, his looks gave me the chill, the freezing, numbing chill from my throat to spine. My tongue did some favor momentarily.

“Ok, just thought of telling you. Things are in control.” And I let out a silly grin as though to convince him.

He looked at me for one more time and buried his face in the pillow. His looks carried some reproach which threw me back to the seat and I finished some water left in my bottle in one swallow.
In desperation of needing some sound, I almost cried when I heard a boy’s voice from outside chanting ”chai, coffee, chai..” It’s morning!!!! A part of me screamed. I wanted to break open the window glass and throw my head for some air but more than anything, I wanted to use the toilet. For the fear of so many things my imagination warned of, however, I still clung to the seat. My watch showed 4:50. There was an aged couple from the other box collecting their toothbrushes. Nobody from my compartment seemed to care for a tea. With fear clutching my throat, I checked on Mr. Dhoti. He wasn’t there, nor his blanket, nor his pillow. He had left. That was a relief. How many more minutes for the day to break?

The world seemed normal a few minutes later and everyone was up and talking and laughing in the slowly piercing daylight. May be it was a dream. I am just a silly girl. I treated myself to a cup of garmagaram coffee and looked over the top birth. Even if Mr. Dhoti was a smuggler, he is gone anyways and I should soon be out of this. The mom complained how little sleep she had and for the first time, she seemed more funny than annoying when I thought about the non-stop snore which was the only sound that rang around my ears the whole night.
She smiled at me and went on to her kid, “Get up Ammu, we are getting down in the next station. Pack your things. See, you left the bag open after taking your snacks. She zipped it up; sat next to me and hopped onto a conversation. “Are you getting down at Raichur?”

“No, Chikmagalur”, I smiled

She kept talking for the next ten minutes. As her destination was declared arrived, they left amidst what I felt like a thunder of noise. Most of the passengers from that compartment got down at that station.

There weren’t more than a handful of people in the whole boggie. An hour to go. I was almost drowning in the summer tales of Calvin when he takes Hobbes for a fishing afternoon.

“Good Morning.” The ticket collector planted himself in the seat. He was gifted with a smile that no one could leave unattended.
“Good Morning. So everything fine now?”

“We cannot say anything yet. But considering we had a smooth night, things shouldn’t bother anymore.”, he sounded positive.
After my watch promised fifteen more minutes to arrival, I said, ”whatever.I am gone in fifteen minutes.”

He returned a smile and got up to leave.

Some things in life bring great depth of joy even if you don’t get anything out of it. It was such a moment when the train slowed down to stop at Chikmagalur. I picked my bag and as I was about to hop, the ticket collector wished me a great stay.

“Thanks”, the spirits were up and alive again and that prompted me to ask “hey you never told me what the smugglers were doing here?”

With a tone that lacked expression, he went on looking straight in my eyes, “Ohh, it was those jungle rogues again. They sneaked in a dangerous cobra. Of course, cobras go for a million bucks in the hidden markets.” And then he sighed. “Those assholes. They will pay for it one day.”

I thought I didn’t hear it right and then I thought it meant something else. My knees pushed me to just flee but my brain automatically threw words at him “you mean, a cobra?? A snake?”

He nodded mildly and continued “Yea, it’s really huge.You would have seen it only on Discovery”. Garnished it with a smile.

He didn’t have to say anything more. My heart had stopped functioning or it functioned beyond a healthy rate that it was hard to feel. Like a tray of well served wine, it all ran thru’ my eyes - The man, his bag, his empty bag, , the mom’s bag that lay open all night, she had zipped it up and taken it home and stronger than all of this, his words, “it would have gone on its own..."

I thought I would faint. Everything around me felt like creeping. More than anything else the double shouldered bag that weighed down my back seemed to vigorously crawl thru’ my spine.

I dropped the bag and picked some life to move forward. I could. Great. I could move. I didn’t dare stop. Every human being in the railway station that day appeared like crawling, creeping, poisonous creatures we called snakes. I ran out of the station to find a friend waiting for me.
“You are late.” He said, looking behind my back to see if there was someone else.”Where are your bags?”
“Let’s go.” I said.
We boarded his car and he started on one these silly pranks they played last night. I didn’t hear anything more. Well, there was one thing that kept ringing loud enough to deafen the world,
“it could have gone on its own...”.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Train Story

I would rather live for the journeys that make great tales than get stuck in destinations that absorb you like quicksand. It was the year 2001. The world had slowly roosted off the millennium fizz. Summer was hot but vivid; perfect season for real life adventures and I was already in the midst of great plans.
The throbbing joy in the mind was insatiable; having dealt with the semester, travelling to a town I haven’t visited, two weeks of rollicking around with long lost folks whom I loved to call friends-summer is my best season of the year. I already had news from some of those long lost friends that reservations were done for a three day stay in Coorg.
Good byes bade to mom n pop. Bag stuffed under the seat. I picked up the new three-volumes-in-one summer edition of Calvin n Hobbes. I started to feel hungry but saved the only packet of Lays for a hungrier, lonelier, sleepless, middle-of-the-night part of the journey. Amidst chaos strictly catering to a railway station, the Bangalore express started rolling on time.
Getting lost (after you have boarded your train of course) in the views of an Indian railway station is something travel-loving Indian souls will understand. Those last minute chorus good byes to the kin from everywhere and promises to call after arriving, the constant train announcements with beeps in between, the chai walas hurrying in hope to find that one customer who will make them business, people running from platform to platform – it is an experience to travel by the rails in a country thriving with people.
There was a family to share my compartment; a couple with two kids. The teenage son seemed to shut himself away from the world with his music. Then there was this little girl who kept grilling her irritated mom with all sorts of questions. The man started turning the pages of India Today, the moment he took his seat.
“I told you we would leave tomorrow! At least we could have travelled by third-AC. Now see, we haven’t even got a window seat. I don’t know how to put up with the heat. Ammu is already sweating heavily, see?”, the lady indirectly gave us a prelude of them occupying this compartment. Her mood went further hot after an elderly man in dhotis politely took over the window seat from her, claiming it was where his ticket pointed. “Shut up and eat your biscuits, god knows what they’ll bring for dinner”, she went on to her daughter. I was wondering what was more difficult for her family to put up with, the heat, the third class or her temper.
The elderly man looked grim. I grinned at the thought of having seized the other window seat and decided to enjoy the chill that hit our faces from the outskirts of Nagercoil. Twenty minutes later, the lady, let’s call her the mom, went manic again, yanking me suddenly from a world of my own. A half filled bottle of juice in the daughter’s hand and the trail of the flowing juice under the seat explained enough. “You can’t keep the bottles on the seat Ammu. Finish them or put them in the bag if you don’t need”.
Calvin and Hobbes was sliding from my lap and I thought it was time I opened it. The elderly man checked on his bag which looked like a loosely knotted rice bag, you know the one you will find in the kitchen store room.
He wore a cotton shirt, looked very simple and preferred to rest his chin on the window bar. Night slowly crawled in. Mom had packed chappati and chicken curry, the thought of which shut off my comic book with a thud.
Lights were on; I could hear the incessant chatters and laughter from all around except my immediate neighborhood. I looked around in hope of exchanging a nominal smile with those whom I had travelled with for the past three hours. Nobody seemed interested to look back. I thought I would move on to fill my tummy. It was a beautiful summer night after all.

Let me conclude this part here and save the actual story for the next post, cause I guess cramming everything up here will 1)make this post very lengthy and 2) take away the essence of surprise.

The night held a package of the most bizarre thing I have experienced in summer train journeys.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

100, finally…

My Blog: At last, you hit 100. Other bloggers have hit a triple century, started supplementary blogs and even ..

Me: Hold on, at least I did. Time to toast!

Blog: You know we should be doing it more often.

Me: Toasting ?

Blog: Yea, like for instance, when you change your blog templates! It happens way more frequently than the number of posts you do.

Me: Shut up; anyways, tell me, which is the best post of mine so far?

Blog: Tough to choose, since there aren’t really great ones. But I really liked your last post; the one on what you thought.

Me: Really? I thought that was cool, too. A little philosophical, here and there.

Blog: Hold on. Most of your posts are quite dreary anyways. When I talk about posts, I generally mean the pictures; the one you had on the last post, that’s the best picture of yours you have ever published. Very thoughtful!

Me: How mean !

Blog: I mean what I mean. I have the right to say what I feel; am a blog after all.
Me: Aaargh! That's enough. We all did evolve from monkeys.

Blog: You did.

Me: Anyways, tell me what’s the best part about being my blog?

Blog: The best part about being your blog is that I don’t get disturbed by posts too often. You peacefully let me hibernate most of the year.By the ways, haven’t you finished the book yet? The one you have joyfully put under ‘UNDER THE READING GLASSES’.

Me: oh, I did. 10 pages and the book went back. Not my kind.

Blog: Now that you have hit 100, let me ask you. What has been the best part about blogging?

Me: hmm, actually, when I started to blog..

Blog: Yawn. Forget it, I don’t want to know anyways. Will you post this chitchat too ?

Me: Good idea. But now that you have mocked me enough and more, I am leaving here.

Blog: Wow! You are quitting blogging?

Me: Keep dreaming, I said I am quitting this natter.

Blog. Good for me. Would you care to listen to just one thing I’ve got..

Me: What? That you would be better off being someone else’s blog? Well in that case, ..

Blog: No, that’s not it.

Me: What’s it?

Blog: Congratulations on hitting 100 !

Me: Than

Blog: Now, just go.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I thought..

If Life is the biggest school I am enrolled with, I am obliged to do and redo the greatest piece of homework, every night. Things I learnt transform into new things altogether after I believe I have caught them neatly printed in my learning book.
For instance,

I thought life was a risky gamble. You play it safe; you win. But it turns out that the best way to live life is by experimenting with it.

I thought movie titles were a prelude to the movie. If movies were to be judged by their names, I would never have chosen to watch Monsters Inc.

I thought days in July seemed longer because of psychological reasons. Some kid’s book told me it’s because the earth is closest to the sun during the month.

I thought Punjabi food was the most overrated Indian cuisine, with the annoyingly extensive usage of ghee in chicken. I was bowled over when I saw plain strips of ham baked in honey, eaten lusciously as one of the best celebrated food in America.

I thought failure is what I feared the most until I was introduced to boredom.

I thought actor Arya did not deserve a hot seat in the Tamil films. I opted to change after Sarvam.

I thought if you didn’t have a Barbie doll in your childhood, it was a shame. The recent adulterated styles of Barbie furnished an aversion in me.

I thought to be cool, clothes made a great part. Now, clothes are great but to be real cool, try brains.

I thought Pink was a girl’s color. I refuse to change ; so those film makers who get their heroes wear pink suits, please, for the sake of basic way of life, be aware, pink IS STILL A GIRL’S COLOR!!

I thought Autumn was something to be experienced in the western countries. You should take a drive on the Coimbatore-Palakkad highway during August-September.

I thought time played a good chance to chill between farm duties. But it proved to be a rear-view mirror. Objects are closer than they appear.

I thought it was better to have a job that paid than to be friends with nothing. I say, it’s much better to make something out of nothing than a job that pays but sucks.

I thought fashion magazines were a cool heap of pictures to lose yourself into. Well, that was long ago. If you ask me now, there’s nothing worse to waste your time and money on than fashion magazines.

I thought I would never look for those old cassettes I used to love when I was a kid. When we stripped our house of the clutter, I fondly dusted them and put them back though I no longer owned a cassette player.

I thought the queen of England was an evil witch until I lately stumbled over some great writing about her life.

I thought Mathematics was a simple art of numbers which required only a basic knowledge of multiplication tables. I scored a 16 on 100 in class 9. I have hated Mathematics ever since.

I thought the Internet was the best medium to touch base with the world. A kid-neighbor took me by arm for a run on the grass and asked me, “ do you know the best thing to do ?” My silence replied for him and he went “to take your shoes off and run on the grass”. That meant something.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

yeh dosti na ho to, kya phir bolo ye zindagi hai...

We were pretty edgy those days. But then anybody having to put up with an evil boss is doomed to negative mood fluctuations. That’s considered normal biological reaction. So to put out the fire that was burning in our eyes for weeks, we decided we would use the weekend to wash out . After about 100 suggestions and debates, we chose this serene beach that was in the suburb of the city. Nothing to complain, it came with a resort and Smith knew the place very well. Thumbs up, everyone. Friday evening. Happy weekends-Byes- Have Funs, exchanged. We were six in the gang. But Titto always gave a don’t-you-do-that-to-me look whenever we tried to woo him with a plan. No gimmicks could buy him. So that reduced us to five-Smith,Pinks,Lav,Meerkut and me. Considering having and not having Titto would literally mean the same, we were quite fine and decided not to push him. 6:00 PM; Smith was talking about when she would come to pick us all the next day. She was the chauffeur of this so called self-propelled vehicle. Commutation was never a question as long as Smith was there. So getting back to the plan, discussion hit heights on when we should leave and things to do and the like. Meerkut was lost in google images, as usual.

Lav had other plans but because we threatened him, he agreed he would come, though the flip side of his brain was seriously working on how to wriggle out. I am sure of this because he didn’t turn up the next day.

“Meerkut, 9:00 AM ok?”, I asked

She threw a look which seemed to say whatever, just get lost.

“Meerkut?”, Smith went

This time she put a face like she has committed some serious crime.

“God, Meerkut, did your program bomb?” Smith raised an eyebrow. She was in no mood to bid bye to her Friday evening and do some binge recovery.

“Nope, nothing actually”.

We let out a sigh of relief and continued our discussion.

“Actually, “, Meerkut started

Meerkut was called “The actually Meerkut”. You wouldn’t find any sentence that came out of her, with out this word actually.

We paused, when Meerkut says actually and stops, it’s not good news.

I clenched my fist,prepared to give a blow, if she were to say she was not joining us for the trip.
“Actually…”, Meerkut went for the second time.
Nobody said anything.

“My dad wants to see me sooooo much”. That sooooooo was long enough for my fist to tighten harder and my breath to wheeze faster.

“Would you mind if I just drop out?” And she put up a face like that cute puppy on that Pedigree ad.
Meerkut is basically beautiful but under such occassions, beautiful faces didn’t really count.

That’s it. I was going to say something real bad that she would never talk to me again.
Smith gave a pat on my arm, something that acts like aspirin for that gushing headache.
“How can you..” I started
Meerkut held onto the puppy face.

Smith did the talking. For a while, they were talking.

It was our first weekend plan after months and we were so desperate to get some break. It seemed like a Monday morning when Meerkut came up with this reason to back out. GOD.I hate it when girls throw tantrums.

I sat there pretending to work, hating Meerkut for being so daddy’s girl, but all my senses were fixed on what Meerkut and Smith were saying. I wondered how could somebody be so calmly responding when someone busts a plan like this at the last minute.

Finally, I saw Smith hugging Meerkut. She gave a peck on Meerkut’s cheek and said, 'it’s okay sweetie, you go on'.

What the heck? They looked like they were exchanging congratulations like you do when marriages are fixed.
Meerkut turned to me. I turned away. I am not good at handling such situations.
Finally, Meerkut picked her bag, pretended to put an apologetic face again, and hugged Smith with a smile as if Smith was the one who let her free from a plan to clean the city’s drainage.
Titto didn’t come. Lav wasn’t sure. And now Meerkut, gone.

I was as angry as a tiger, okay, tigress, when Smith came to me, smiled and said it was ok. I put a face which said how could she do this and how could you let her go.

That’s Smith for you, she can understand everyone even if it meant getting ditched at the last minute.

She was helpless, she had to go (Smith’s version of Meerkut backing out).
She ditched us (my version).

So I thought the plan was down in the dumps; no point sitting across the beach and making faces at your own shadows. We were not the Dil Chahta Hai trio, you know.

But the next morning, Smith and Pinks were at my door, right at 9:00 AM and guess what, we drove like Schumacer, ate like that famous Peter guy (who broke records for maximum eating), sang like American Idols, cycled like (I don’t know any renowned cyclist’s name) and told each other stories from our own lives as the sun made a face to go down. By the end of it, I felt, it was actually like that song in Dil Chahta Hai, though Meerkut,Lav and Titto were terribly missed.

That was one of the best days we had. I thought it wouldn’t happen. But that’s Smith, for you; she makes things happen.
Meerkut and I did not talk for a week but made up after she brought us all a yummy chocolate clad marble cake.
After so many days, so many changes, I am sitting here alone today, missing those beautiful moments which really did not mean much then, but make my life a lot richer when I think of ’em.

With all my heart and love, Happy Birthday, Smith !

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The musings by 'The Muse'

She calls me ‘The muse’. Of course, I obviously do the harder part of creative thinking and imaginative writing, while she simply types out whatever I tell her. But basically, I am a mouse; a simple, intelligent, frustrated hybrid of white and gray. For as long as I can reckon, I live inside the head of the self proclaimed author of this blog, who steals my identity and regenerates my ideas, conveniently stamping those under her copyrights.
I love being me. It’s cool kinda being the pool of ideas to someone. It makes me feel good. Actually, it MADE me feel good. Yes, when she used to write something, sometime in the least to mention. I had a purpose. I loved to think. And always did my ground work on what to write next. I’m pretty smart, thinking, trying and raring to go. And like any other mouse, I loved eating coconut flakes and oatmeal. I thought I had a good life to live until my brain attained self actualization one day to realize the fact that this girl I live in is nothing bigger than a sleepy head!!
I mean, she has got a BIG head and a bigger nose, none of which serves any purpose to her existence, except for the breathing part to hold her alive. But if I had that big a nose, I would take a course on the art of sniffing and become like that little rat in the film Ratatouille. I would have written a book for my fellow mice family on how to think and lead better rat lives.
She stopped eating coconut and oatmeal, two of my favorite food. She says coconut is unhealthy and oatmeal makes her sick. But the real reason, I repent not being able to shout, is that she is one lazy bum to shred coconut into food. If coconut is unhealthy, god forbid those gummy jars of mayonnaise that sucks the life outta me every time she gulps down. And I have to run like crazy all over because it makes me sick!!
Okay, coming back to writing. After truck loads of motivating speeches and inspirational quotes about how those people do so many things in life and still manage to do what they want, out of sheer frustration, on this New Year’s, I renounced the idea of getting her to write. She wouldn’t anyways. And when she sits to write, her head turns towards her right shoulder (I have always wondered why she does that; come on, I sit on the left side of her brain) and gawk with a blatant look as if the words had promised to just break out of the wall on her right side!! She sits there so long gaping at the wall that I eventually fall asleep and then she leaves, sighing and wagging her hands that, I got a writer’s block today.
As if she writes great stuff every other day!
It’s like a yardstick rapped up on your knuckles!
It’s like that monster -website’s ad where you are actually a star but stuck up in a job that sucks!
It’s like you are ready to do homework, but the teacher wouldn’t give any!
I am exhausted and I have given up !! I am just done with living inside this dork-head.
So if there’s a soul out there who can be gracious enough to adopt me, then please, here I am, waiting to be all yours. I am pretty smart, quick and funny. Well yea, if you are a coconut lover, then I am more than willing!!!

Like I have always read in fairy tales, I am here, hoping and waiting for my foster soul.
The Muse
(Actually, I would like to be called Sir. Wicky Ratington)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sweeter than chocolate, softer than butter..

We sat in that rusty pie shop,the first time we shared an evening. The one on the 4th cross street, just two blocks away from where I lived. I have always been here, ever since I got to know pies and cakes. He was shy and that was nice. It was a first time, for me with a boy and for him in that pie shop. I waited for him to choose his favorite. “What do you like”, he asked me.

“ Umm, I have already placed my order and you?”

“An apple pie, with some melted yellow cheese and a coffee”, he winked at me and smiled at the waitress.

That made me smirk, rather sheepishly but I pretended to be such a cool person.
He had been my neighbor for four years and sure he would know what nuts I was made of or he didn’t care. But I knew his; bike lover, jogger, weekend smoker, shoe lover, sexy stubbles, black hair, clean nails, cute smile, well, pretty much of my kind, except for the smoking part.

I liked him and every one in my life knew that. Why didn’t I tell him? Because he had someone else in his life. Why am I here today then? Because we both were at the pie shop, in two different tables, alone and didn’t know what to do when our eyes and smiles exchanged greetings.
The table looked so clean and round that it was like a painted canvas when it was filled with our pies and coffee. My Coconut cream cake did to me what water does to lungs after an exhaustive jog. I wanted something bar my slobber to stroke my throat. It’s ok, I felt better and asked

“How come you alone here?”

“Why not?”, he replied with his pie and a smile and yet managed to keep his mouth half closed.

“What happened to you girlfriend?”

“What?” Alright. Those days, it wasn’t so easy or cool to be talking about love affairs, you see.

I munched on my pie and went, “your girlfriend, I have seen you here with her”.
He waited for the pie to be patiently swallowed and said “We are not together now” and gently smiled.

It was like how you felt when a plane you are in, takes off. Suddenly, the coconut cream pie and the raspberry sauce on top of it was the most exotic thing to eat in the whole world.

“Hmm, it’s wonderful, you should try it sometime”. The cheese neatly dripped and fell in place on top of his apple pie. Ohh yea, it must be. “The coffee goes well with it”, he said, sipping.
Nodding was the only thing I found sensible to do.

“I may be moving out of this town soon, will miss all these”. Smile intact, voice cool, he said that to put out a moment of joy that was gushing inside my veins. Yea, best things in life are free and come in small packages.

Fifteen minutes and a few heavy heart beats later, I decided I should leave. There was no point sitting with a guy who seemed to have his life all sorted out. I knew he didn’t feel the way I did for him.

I paid though he insisted that I let him.

I picked my bag, smiled at him and got up “Listen, there’s something I want to tell you. I have always liked you. I have known you for some time. And I think you are..” I didn’t have a word to complete it but went on “Anyways, I think it doesn’t make any sense now. If you ever think you like me, just give a call. I smiled like I would to a friend. “Bye and have a good life”, and walked off.

He called me from where he was.

“Hmmm ?” I didn’t know how he felt but I was pretty cool to just move on.

“I don’t have your number”

“Why do you need?”

“To tell you I like you”. He still sat there with a paper napkin in his hand. The only other thing I
could see in the entire world was nothing. Taking one sip of coffee as if to feed some reality, he smiled, yet again.

The usual chaos went on in the café’ with laughter and the clatter of coffee mugs, my heart tickled and that moment seemed just bloody perfect.

A year later.

The waitress passed on a warm smile saying, ”Apple pie with melted yellow cheese and two coffees?”

And we replied in unison “Yes, Please”.

Monday, March 9, 2009

One is not born a woman, one becomes one.

--Simone de Beauvoir:
A popular foward, I customised in my own thoughts and then words.

Read a few great books which changed her thinking, taught her how the earth moved and kept her company during lonely times

A handful of friends outside her family, whom she can trust any day

Travelled alone

Had a career for herself at least once in her life

Presentable nails and hair

Clothing that she finds herself beautiful in

Dreams about her future and some guts to make them happen

One pair of jewel that her grandchildren will be proud to call their grandmom’s

Her own collection of music, books, recipes that she is willing to share

Fallen in love

How a bank account works

At least one perfect dessert to make on any occasion

To shake hands gently & firmly with a man

To smile at a kid even in times of distress

To trust herself beyond anybody else

Her parents’ birthdays & anniversaries

At least one story to tell the kids the way they like it

God. Believing or disbelieving him is a different question altogether.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sometimes when the day is dark...

...the only way to light up the spirit is by hugging the memories and smiling over’em.

Moments of my life I lost my heart to..

*A month off in Chennai during final year, all in the name of project
*Icecream in Corner House,Bangalore
*Those rides in college bus.
*Late night phone calls that used to sometimes last till dawn.
*Staying over with friends, watching movies, playing and talking all night.
*Gulab Jamuns,especiailly the ones made on the eve of Diwali.
*First movie, bunking class
*Rides on Scooty
*A R Rahman's creations
*Group studies right the day before semester
*Morning walks in Indra Nagar,Bangalore
*Chilli Gobi at Nandinee
*Alaipayuthe, the movie
*First days on Orkut
*Chilling out over bajji with Smith,Meerkut n Pinks
*Afternoon drives with Smith & Meerkut
*Vacation after 12th standard school
*Life with BUGFRENTS
*Idlis with ghee from MTR,Bangalore
*Drives in Bangalore
*Bushra's friendship
*Backstreet Boys
*The warm aroma of Cookies from Forum,Bangalore
*Movies at Forum
*View of New York in the night from plane
*Mountain Dew from College canteen
*Vaseegara song from Minnale
*Denzel Washington in Crimson Tide,Siege
*Orange Souffle
*Undomestic Goddess, The book
*Evenings with music in a crowded park
*Princess Diana
*Evenings in Beasant Nagar Beach
*Dove chocolate
*Holi at Pune
*Jacqueline Wilson, the author
*Walks thru' MG Road,Pune
*Early morning bus rides through the suburbs of Nagercoil
*Barbie Vanilla Cake flavored perfume
*Madhuri Dixit
*Cricket World Cup, 1996
*Sunsets in Beach on December 31st
*Everybody Loves Raymond, TV Series
*Evenings spent at Jaffrin's house
*10th std trip to Kodaikanal
*Chilli Beef
*Kenny Rogers
*The Beatles
*Friday evening drives to Nagercoil
*College,College,College & College, every minute of it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

1 2 3...Tiramisu !!

Pic courtesy :Google (but o'course ! )
Now, I am not slowly starting to invoke any recipes onto my blog or even attempting to copy them from cookery sites/blogs. Though I must attribute a major chunk of my idle hours to those brave efforts spent over studious references to some cookbooks & websites in my steaming hot kitchen, trying to form an edible mass, I am not a gourmet chef and I don’t blog recipes. There are zillions of great bloggers who are good at it. But I just wanted to tell you this. If you have not yet tasted this Italian classic lady love that stands tall among the best loved desserts of all time, you have missed something your tongue will adore.Do find out a decent Italian restaurant that serves authentic Tiramisu (I say authentic because it has to have the lady finger cake, the coffee liquor and the marscapone cheese and these are not easily available). Try it and you would be happy you did. Of all my times spent on hungry scanning of recipe pages and and pantry experiments, I always wanted to try out a genuine Tiramisu and never could. I finally could make it,hmm, I wouldn’t really say make IT ‘coz I couldn’t find the marscapone cheese (used ordinary cream cheese mixed with whipped cream that makes a substitute) and skipped the liquor. So, this was somewhere close to Tiramisu but not exactly it. Talk about over held temptations! I was driving around and my car wouldn’t move past the entry point of this Italian restaurant. And yea, my tummy roared in joy with the feel of first byte of the much awaited dessert tickling down my body. There you go one..two..three, an affair to ditch other crushes for, if you own a sweet tooth, just like that !

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What more....??!!!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

United 93 - Not just a movie

Not many a time in your life do you get to watch or read stuff that you know will linger in your mind for the rest of your life. The impact is higher if the story happened for real. 9/11 is a topic of emotion, fear and heroism. Having always intrigued by the details and controversies about it, it sometimes disturbs me that the fourth plane that never hit the supposed target does not always prominently get featured if you pick any major documentaries/movies/videos on 9/11. United Airlines 93, was a plane that had onboard a rebellious bunch of Heroes who actually saved,well, yes they saved the United States of America.
This movie left me shaken as it cruised thru’ some REAL action, with shear tremor of what it must have been for the passengers who rose and fought the terrorists no matter what the outcome might have been. The lump in the throat just wouldn’t go, detaining an emotion that was filling every part of me with respect (if that’s the best word I can find) and awe for what those guys dared and did.

For hearts that want to go dig out more on this, this is just a few among many sites that hang out there.

You CANNOT just miss this movie(, for it has a soul, so real, so heroic and it tells us by its every spirit, so plainly that real heroes are always amidst us, with us, within us.

Bowing in respect to all those who lost or lived through 9/11.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dilli 6 –

I waited for the album to spread thru’ my veins so the review doesn’t get slapdash. What a way to start the year for Rahman ! First the golden globes, then the Oscar nominations and now, Delhi 6 !
I did check out the soaring reviews the album has already received across critics and fans alike. I couldn’t really put it on the same plate of Rang De Basanti or slumdog millionaire which happen to be the only two other compilations Dilli 6 is compared with. Curiosity aside for the second Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra-Rahman combo, Dilli 6 did not sweep me off my musical feet completely but it did make them swing along the tunes. I certainly do not consider this Rahman’s best.; but nothing less of a great mix that tempts you for a replay which by the ways is the only way (I mean the replay part) to get used to Rahman’s music.

The songs are listed in order of my personal preference.

1. Rehna Tu : Jazzy, funky, playful and light. I wouldn’t know how to call this track exactly but this is one that gently pats your senses in the middle of the night. Rahman’s music transforms into something else when listened to during the depth of nights and this song really took me to the mid nineties and I felt like getting rewinded to his magical kya kare from Rangeela. Rahman’s voice soothes the mild percussion as Tanvi & Benny Dayal support him from the chorus. A song to get lost into, thinking of the mystical wonders his music has always created.

2.Dilli 6: Starts on a stylish anecdote on Delhi. It doesn’t rock you from the word go, not even through the first half of the song. But the song picks up pace as the guitar mixes slowly but strongly into the rap. Yeh Dilli hai mere yaar…bas ishq mohabbat pyar…,to me it felt like defining Delhi with the word that describes its life the best. Delhi captured completely in its true essence. A sure-to-be anthem amongst Dilli janta.

3.Masakkali: None of Delhi 6 songs has a tremor. As I saw the first song of the album titled Masakkali, I was waiting for some heavy guitar and drums to hit the speakers.But the song surprised me with some soft keyboard setting the stage for a very light romantic number sung in the slipshod voice of Mohit Chauhan that easily takes control of the song. Am glad Rahman used Mohit Chauhan.

4:Gandha Phool: I can’t remember the last time I listened to a traditional north Indian folk in Hindi cinema, perhaps one like Radha kaise na jale from Lagaan.But Rahman doesn’t restrict the tune to plain folk. The slow beat shows fusion at its best but the true flavor of the song is easily taken away by the soft whistling with the bird humming along with the chorus towards the end. A must-listen if you crave for the beauty in Rahman’s Fusion experiments.

5.Arziyan: Right from the word go, this song will capture you in all its spirit and will leave you swaying and singing along in a chanting-like feeling. If you liked, Kwaja mere Kwaja from Jodha Akbar, you are sure to love Arziyan. Javed Ali and Khailash Kher set your mind on a cosmic state, kissing your eyes with a drop of tear as you feel music, with this song has almost attained nirvana.

6.Dil Gira Dafatan: Again, a song to be captured in its true essence at nights. I don’t exactly know but it coincided perfectly that I listened to Dilli 6 again and again over my lazy nights. It’s a song that makes you just close your eyes and listen to the mystical mix of percussions. Ash king; I don’t know him but more than his voice, this is a celebration of the instruments that dance in the backdrop. A song that puts you in a meditative trance.

7.Kaala Bandhar: The beat that follows the initial humming almost took me to Yuhi Challa from Swades. But wait, it’s a rap, yea, a dance number but with soft beats. The singers’ (Naresh Iyer,Sreenivas & Karthik) voices blend neatly that at some points, you are not really sure who is singing what. May be Rahman has gone past his days of rocking the floors with some heavy guitars and drums for peppy songs. Despite the racy pitch the song carries, it still is soothing to the ears and foot tapping at the same time.

8.Tumre Bhavan Mein: To complete an album that has folk to rock to rap to classical to romantic light, this one just fills the gap. A prayer, that remains unadulterated with pure rendition of vocals. Not a commercial number, but a soul filler for music or Rahman lovers.

9.Bhor Baye: Am not a lover of Ghazals or Hindustani classical but the song powerfully brings out the talent in Shreya Ghoshal along with Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. I would stay away from reviewing this as it would be not a good deal to comment on genre I have not listened to or shown interest in.

I was wondering what better heights could Rahman scale up to after his first ten years of music that remade itself. By early 2000’s, I felt he probably was relaxing at the passenger seat or was getting exhausted of his own magic. Rang De Basanti put him in a different light, welcoming him to a whole new era of Rahman-redefined ! And now, he has gone higher with tunes that scoop you up to an ecstatic state but don’t block your ears with any loudness. It’s like growing a few ages up. Hanging around this new horizon of music would keep me happy for a long time, but may I ask, what better heights can Rahman go to ? :-)

Thursday, January 29, 2009


King, Queen,Ace,Jack,Queen,King,Jack,Ace,Joker; it looked like a realm of rich but grim royals. “Ulle…veliye…ulle…veliye…ulle…veliye…” vellamani’s voice cut straight to the attention of the puny crowd that surrounded the deck of cards that were neatly laid on the ground.
Nithu(Nithesh, my 12 year old neighbor)squatted among other adolescents around the cards. Pretending to nudge Nithu on his back, I hopped to take a keener look on the cards. NIthu didn’t turn.

I pinched him.”Mcchh….what?”
“Nithu…what are you doing here?”
Nithu didn’t reply.
“Aaaaaahhhh, King kedachuchu paathyaa….podu…ulle…veliye…ulle…veliye…ulle…veliye”, Vellamani took the game on.
No reaction.

Vellamani looked at me indignantly but couldn’t release his anger as his lips continued to chant ulle…veliye.

Do I know this guy? Yes, he’s the sweeper turned watchman and now runs errands for almost every one in this apartment complex. He has become a household possession and that gave me the liberty to respond to him on the same tone he carried on his face.

“Vellamani….ennathu ithu…chinna pasangle vechu cheettadittu irukke, athuvum kaasu vechu”.
“Akka, ithu super-a irukku, neeyum vaayen, it’s fun”, Nithu answered for Vellamani.
“Iru…un amma kitte solren. Vellamani, unne thedi Shobana vantrukka”. I knew this would silence the game. Vellamani turned with an appalled look. He would have punched me on my nose, in his imagination. Who cares, I stopped his damn ulle…veliye.

Shobana was not there actually but her name usually threatened Vellamani. So I used it profusely whenever the situation with him needed it. Shobana, his half sister and a hazard to his mind’s peace. They always fought over everything and Vellamani complained she took away everything he had.

“enge irukka”, a sigh, a frown, a moment of closed eyes in silence precedented this.
“Ange, front gate pakkathule”.
He stood up and left without saying anything to the kids.
“Ethukkuda kaasu vechu veleyadreenga. It’s wrong”, I said authoritatively to the dissapointed crowd. They looked somewhere else, ignoring in all respect what I just said.
Three hundred rupee notes, four fifty rupee notes and one twenty rupee note.
“ivlo kaasu yaarodathu?” I didn’t expect an answer. So I picked the money, counting.

“Five Twenty rupees !!!! ” I looked around hoping no one would answer so I didn’t have anybody claiming the money. Yippe, a piece of me said.

“Cut it !! Yaaruppa anthe ponnu…Intha character script le illeye, Vellamani enge?” ,that wasn’t from void. There was a man, about twenty feet away, in goggles. I looked at him, there were few more, behind him, beside him, everywhere and there was a camera. And it was running. The cameraman did not move.

I didn’t actually but believed I understood. I was sitting there, squatting actually,with cards laid out, some cash in hand and surrounded by a mob of brood who pretended to be naïve, all captured neatly in a running camera.
“Vellamani poyittan,Sir.Namma itheye eduthukkalam. Different a irukku Sir, Teenage ponnunge pocket money kaaga, Mangaatha velayadrange.Different ana concept, sir.”
The man in goggles observed me, only his goggles didn’t fit in his ears.They were half dangling on his nose. I had watched enough television to understand he was the director of whatever crap they were shooting.
“Hmm…ok”, he said,”inthamma…apdiye ukkanthutu…konjam..dialogue-e sollu”
“Dialogue-a!?,Excuse me, I am not acting” verum kaathu thaann vanthuthu
He smiled as if he sympathised and turned to another man who stood beside,”yen pa, intha ponnu dialogue enna?”
Ulle…veliye…ulle…veliye…sollu ma” he shouted from there.
I think Nithu understood what I felt like.
“Akka, come on, dialogue e sollu” , he nudged me
Veliye….Flash, some yellow light beat hard on my face.
Ulle, I felt queasy, or at least that’s what I remember.

A few days later on TV

Pocket Money sambaathippatharkaage indraye teenage pengal seivathu ennenne, paarungal intha vaaram, ULLE VELIYE! , oru dhidukkidum report”

Nithu’s mom never let him talk to me again. None of the kids were allowed to, from that day.

These reality shows, I am telling you.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

After Beethoven, it's A R Rahman !

The musical mastermind of our nation will be present at the 81st Oscars this year. What a proud moment for all ARR fans. After the golden globe, all eyes are now on unarguably the most prestigious entertainment award ever. As far as the album goes, I haven’t digested it yet for none of ARR’s does digest until the songs dole out into the veins with repetitive listening. As a girl who grew up listening to ARR, adoring him more than any movie/sports/music icon ever, here’s sincerely wishing for the genius to bag at least one out of the three nominations.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My first few friends of the year..

I always remember the first book I read every year. Last year it was Five point Someone and though I wouldn’t term it a superlative experience, I am grateful for the smile it had on me between pages. I am not an avid reader but out of about not less than twenty books I pick every year, I finish only about three to four at the end of it. The rest don’t last beyond twenty pages. I have this conviction that if the first twenty pages of the book are no good, the rest aren’t worth a try and there ends my search with a sigh ! But my journey continues and I become a kid again when I run thru’ the aisles in a book shop or in a library getting fantasized by those hundreds of thousands of stories sitting around me, the colors and the pictures on them, the feel of running my hand on the sleekly arrayed shelves, the smell of good old wood logs that just got pulped into fresh papers! Ohh my, a book store is just the place to get lost !I picked these three to start my year with, well, I still get attracted first by the cover of books. Managed to reach 29 pages of Garden Spells and slowly as the story unfolds, it seems like there is this usual damsel protagonist who has a handsome neighbor. So..not again, please, but the reviews say otherwise. It has really got some fantastic reviews. So I am gonna stick to it at least for another thirty pages, hoping it’s not a chick lit. BOOMTOWN Chang’s Fireworks Factory is twenty pages down. This is for the kid in every one. It’s about this fantastic fictional town called Boomtown where everything is just so exciting. Haven’t gone beyond a page of Hog Wild but I like to trust the reviews. As of now, back to the thirtieth page of Garden Spells.