Thursday, December 27, 2007

Resolutions!!!

At the beginning of this year, I had made a few resolutions. Eight of them to be exact. Lets see how I have fared on all of them…

1. Drink Water - I must've been a camel in the last birth, coz I can survive even the hottest summer days on 2-3 glasses of water! But the point is I'm human in this birth and humans need to drink water. So there...
Yay, I did well on this one! I now have at least a litre of water everyday, and at times even more… pat on your back Anks!

2. Blog More - The last year has been really slow. So I'll try and put up more posts. Complete the pending Goa travelogue and put that up (along with some awesome pics!) Watch out for this one...
Ouch, this was a bad one… even gave up blogging this year. But I have been fairly regular since my comeback… whaddaya think?

3. Complete my stories - This one has to be done. There are not one, not two but three half written stories with me right now. I gotta complete all of them! And Progati was a long long time ago!
Oops! A complete goner on this one… except for one hastily written short story, this section has been completely dry this year…. Hmmm, lemme move this to the next year’s resolution bucket! ;)

4. Try poetry again - I must admit I enjoyed writing the poems I did. Have you read them? No. Well, you can do that here, here and here. But I'll write more poetry, for sure!
Now this, I did! Mrigtrishna, Ek Mutthi Aasmaan & Uljhan were all put back to back on this blog!

5. Take care of myself - Something I tend to neglect at times....
I have been decently regular on this one… so no sweat!

6. Spend time with loved ones - Will kickstart this from end of the week!
Not bad on this one either! Given the hours and hours of traveling to work everyday!

7. Not fake smiles - My cheeks have begun to hurt doing this now. Need to stop it!!!
Yes! I did this too… No more faking smiles…! I say it as it is…

8. Do things on time - Anyone offering courses on time management???
Anyone offering courses on time management???

So there, my score is 5 / 8. Yipeeeeee Do! So Anks can keep a few promises! Now for next year’s resolutions? Nah, not this time… Am gonna take things as they come… Coz I have really begun to believe in this statement authored by yours truly

“Life has a way, of making even the best laid plans awry..... so why plan?”

What do you think ppl?

Monday, December 03, 2007

कोई नई बात नहीं है!

Blog: सच में, कोई नई बात नहीं है के Anks तुम किसीका birthday भूल जाओ... मगर फिर भी अपने प्रियजनों का birthday तो तुम कभी नही भूलीं...

क्या मैं तुम्हारे प्रियजनों में नहीं आता, जो तुम लगातार दो सालों से मेरा birthday भूल रही हो? तुमने कभी सोचा है की मैंने तुम्हारे हर मूड में, हर ख़ुशी में, हर मुश्किल में तुम्हारा साथ दिया है... तुम कई कई हफ्तों तक मुझे छोड़ कर गायब रहतीं थीं, पर मैंने चूँ तक नहीं की... तुम आधी अधूरी कहानियाँ छोड़ कर बैठ जातीं, मगर में चुप चाप इंतज़ार करता, और तुम्हारे आने पर ख़ुशी ख़ुशी तुम्हारा स्वागत करता... क्या मैंने कभी कहा के तुम इतने दिनों बाद आई हो, मैं नाराज़ हूँ, इसलिए तुम्हें log-in नहीं करने दूँगा? नहीं ना? तीन साल... तीन लंबे साल बीत गए... तुम्हारी हर ख़ुशी को, हर बात को, हर Rambling को मैंने सँभाल कर, सँजो कर रखा है... और तुम मेरा birthday भूल गयीं??? क्यूँ? आख़िर क्यूँ??


Anks: Hey ppl, thats my blog complaing that I forgot its b'day... I know, I know I shouldn't have, but u guys know me na.... I forget everyone's b'days... and if I would've wished the blog on time, it would've collapsed of shock!!! Don't u think so too??? So dear, it was just to prevent u from cranking off that I didn't wish u on time!!! :)

Its been 3 years... Gosh! Can't believe I lasted that long.... Have met a lot lot lot of ppl here on blogworld.... caught a glimpse of life in different parts of the world, different thoughts and ideologies... I never had any particular reason for starting to blog and neither do I have one to continue... That's why I took that break a while ago... But by jove, blogging sure is addictive! Coz, even when I was not updating the blog, I was blogging! Ya, I was wririting posts on my cell phone (and with T9 at that, not even qwerty!) and keeping them safe... some of my last posts have been from that pool.... actually, I still have some posts ready to be typed out and posted... will do that as soon as my lazy fingers feel like!!! :p

But you know what, the best part of blogging is undoubtedly the comments.... the different views and opinions... the experiences that you guys share, thats what makes the whole experience so much richer... thats what makes blogging really worthwhile! Thanks to all you people for reading and commenting... and the silent visitors to my blog, do leave ur footprints here.... i'd love to know you have dropped by....

While I am at thank you's, let me thank Juneli for the constant buzzes to get me back to blogging... seriously gal, if it weren't for you, I wouldn't have returned this soon... and only after I got back did I realise how much I'd been missing it!!! So thanks a million to you....

The second thanks is due to Ricky, the great... coz its only because of him that I realized now that I've missed the blog birthday!!! Thanks pal...

And to my dear sweet bloggie...

"Happy Birthday to you....
Happy Birthday to you...
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday...
Happy Birthday to you............................!!!"

Next year, I'll wish you on time.... I swear, errrrrrrr I promise, errrrrrrr I think, errrrrrrrr I hope, errrrrrr I pray.............


Blog: This girl will never change!!!!
And Ricky, thanks for the birthday gift.... :) I'll have Anks use it for some very special posts :)




Monday, November 26, 2007

Politeness


My conscience pricked me when I saw him. But I told myself he probably wants to get off at the next stop. After all, I was sitting next to the exit door. There was nothing in his body language that showed signs of wanting to disembark, but I resolutely looked the other way. I told myself that I had a heavy bag to carry. Besides, there are about ten other people without luggage nearby. Anyone could give him a seat. The next stop came and went but the old man standing next to me was still there where I had last seen him.
He moved closer to a rod and clutched it with both hands. Then I saw that he had a bag to carry as well and he wasn’t very steady on his feet. I hesitated for about a second, then tapped him and motioned him to occupy the seat I vacated. I threw my bag on my shoulders and then stood at the spot he had been standing on. Well what do you think was the old man’s reaction? Forget a thank you or anything, he didn’t even smile! His expression said, “About time somebody did that”

After about 15-20 minutes when he had to get off, he promptly vacated the seat and another guy who had nudged in between in the meantime coolly sat down there. The point is, this new guy had seen me vacating my seat for the old man. He could’ve asked me to sit back there. Or the old man himself could’ve done so. But neither did. Not that it was really necessary for either of them to have done it, but it would have been a polite, civil thing to do so…

Sigh, I guess politeness has no rules….

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reality Check


Sometimes when you start to fly, life has a way of bringing you back on earth - reality check! It begins with subtle signs at first and if you get it, great… if you don’t, and still go on happily prancing about in your bubble, you get a hard knock to burst that bubble…

हिन्दी में कहावत है ना,“देर आये दुरुस्त आये!!!”


But once you are reeling from the hard knock, it is difficult to get up and start running… sigh, but we have to na...? You could take it in your stride and move on or you could fret over the fact that you didn’t read the signs before. But you know what, reading the signs is risky business!!! It’s like reading a thriller in a language you don’t know well… You could get the story all mixed up :)

But we all need reality checks – keeps us in line… Personally, I think small little joltlets (not full fledged jolts) at frequent intervals are a lot better than one big jhatka that leaves you all breathless and gasping for air. What do u think???

Friday, November 02, 2007

Suitably Bugged...!


O its just one of those days,
When a lousy mood arrives and on it stays…
Whatever you do there are hajaar delays,
Hitches galore, solution slip aways!


It’s almost as if on a mountain top,
A heavy heavy load I have lugged…
You got it right if you think right now,
I am very suitably bugged…!



Thursday, October 25, 2007

G3


One of my closest friends got married today. I missed her wedding because it was in her ancestral village. Ironically, I have lost touch with most of my old friends and G3 (that’s what this one is called!) is one of the remaining few… there is no definite point when our friendship began, and I do not even recollect the first time we met. She was in my class since the first sem of college, but I knew her only briefly then. We really started to become friends after we started the second sem. We happened to be in the same practicals batch throughout our years of engineering, and I was constantly asking for her assignments and experiments. She used to constantly complain that I was too slow in completing my work and I always told her she was too serious about it. Imagine this, she was one of those who stayed farthest from college, and her journals and assignments were always handed in before me (and I happened to be one of the closest to college!!!)

Whenever she got Idli’s for lunch, the whole lot of us would polish it off in seconds, and then give her part of our lunch… we were forever complaining that you get too few idlis and far too infrequenly! Her lemon rice, coconut rice and tamarind rice were to die for and in turn, she always demanded a few few sips of the chaas that was a perpetual part of my lunch… I vividly remember those endless hours spent writing in college…. No we weren’t writing blogs or stories, we were writing assignments (that happens to be the only thing we did in college… trust me, this is one hundred percent true!) Hours and hours of boring work, made tolerable by her singing… she is a trained classical dancer and singer. Oh I remember now, she’d always said during college that once she is thru, she will have her Arangetram (the debut performance of a fully trained Bharatnatyam dancer) and we would all have to attend it! But as we moved in the corporate world and got busier, I guess she had no time to think about here arangetram and the invitation for that never came… what came instead was her wedding invitation! And a love marriage at that!!!! Now, there is nothing amazing about a love marriage, but about G3. The timid, confident yet not outspoken girl who was in my college was the ‘mamma-pappa’s daughter’. We always thought she would be one of the first in our group to get married, and that too to a boy her parents would pick out for her. Well, she amazed us all…. Actually, I think she amazed herself too!!!

There was a time when we fought. It wasn’t a big thing; I don’t even remember what the issue was. There were no heated arguments or name-calling. We just stopped talking to each other. After about 3 weeks or so, the whole class knew we weren’t on talking terms and a lot of them gave us advice on why best friends shouldn’t fight. Hell, best friends should fight at least once in their life-time. That’s when they truly realize each other’s worth. Same thing happened to us. We had started missing each other terribly (though we never admitted it even afterwards, forget admitting it then!) Then one fine morning before class began, we just looked and each and burst out laughing. Neither remembered why we had stopped talking in the first place and by the time the morning classes began, it was like the last 3 weeks hadn’t even happened!

We did our project together and broke our heads over a lot of things in the final year… Then, we ended up in the same company and were in the same office for about 2 years. We met on and off at that time, both of us getting busier and busier. And then one fine day she announced that she was resigning. She left for UK on an assignment. We kept in touch thru mails at that time. One day I was out for dinner with my family, when my phone rings and I see an international number flashing on the display. Curious, I answer the call and its an absolutely ecstatic G3 at the other end. “My marriage is fxed!!!” she tells me and we chatted for a while. From then one, we chatted often, more so when her wedding was close. I haven’t seen one item of it, but I know everything that went into her trousseau!!! Today, I was a bit sad that I couldn’t make it to her wedding… but all my wishes with her. I pray that G and D have a wonderful wonderful life together. A life full of happiness and blessings… Congratulations dear and all the best as you begin this new phase of your life…

Friday, October 12, 2007

Kaun kaun conned?

Early morning drive

Photo at Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/anksy06/1468067099/


A very strange incident has been happening to me for the last two days and I am sure that I am not the only one who has experienced this!

It happened day before when I was coming back from work with a colleague of mine, M. He was driving his car and we were having a little chat as well. Battling the heavy Mumbai evening traffic, we got on to the Ghatkopar Mankhurd link road. Now for the uninitiated, this road passes thru a slum like area. Its quite a wide road and is used primarily by trucks and motorists who want to avoid the crowded suburban road (which happens to be quite prone to jams, by the way!) So, we get on this road, merrily chatting away to glory and stop at a signal. Suddenly, this guy crossing the road from in front of the car points to the engine and says something like “Sparks”. It just so happened that we were quite engrossed in the discussion at that point and didn’t pay much attention to him. We’d hardly gone a couple of meters when a tall fellow standing at the other end of the crossing points frantically to the engine and says that the engine is sparking. Now at this point, another guy weaving from between the traffic comes around from the back of the car and suggests we take the car to the side and check the engine.

Now me and M really get worried. His car is new. It’s not supposed to have problems and the area is not really conducive to stopping and changing a flat tire! But we do pull over to the side and M switches the air conditioning off. A seemingly friendly guy emerges out of nothingness and tells us once more that the engine is sparking. Now M opens the bonnet and the ‘seemingly friendly guy’ peers in it. M joins him at the front and peers in as well. Apparently, he can’t locate the source of the trouble. That’s when the SFG (seemingly friendly guy) asks him to throw some light into the engine. M takes out his cell phone and flashes it inside. What he detects is a small spark. Then, he comes and switches off the engine. The SFG puts his hand into the engine and M joins him at outside. By this time, a small crowd of SFGs (read 5-6 guys) gather around the car and start peering inside. Inside the car, not inside the engine!!!! M was worried not just about the car but about me too. And I am thinking, there are mobiles, laptops in the car. What if, someone tries to snatch one and run away! Then the original SFG says that we could tape this wire. There is a mechanic available close by. Initially, M said “Haan haan bulao, mechanic ko bulao” But then he decided to risk the remainder of the 20 minute drive and snapped the bonnet shut.

We spent the remainder of the ride in razor-sharp tension and kept looking at the pedestrians to see if anyone else notices the sparks and points them out to us. Apparently, none were looking in the right direction. I also checked the reflected surfaces of the vehicles ahead of us to see if there were any sparks reflecting there. M tried to make some small talk about not wanting to get stranded and how I could get onto a bus and ride home if the car stalled. He even jumped a red light coz he felt the car was stalling. He didn’t want to halt even at a red light, lest the car stop running at all. Anyway, we made it home and after about half an hour, M calls me and says, “Anks, we were just about to be conned! It seems there is a gang operating in that area. They pull out some small parts of the new cars and replace them with old ones.” I was like, Oh thank God there isn’t any big trouble. We had a small laugh about it and then ended the call.

Next day, M relates this incident to others at work and 3 others claim to have been conned in the same way at the same spot. Two people even asked him if there was a female sitting next to him! That apparently is the MO of the SFG gang – they target new cars with female passengers. So that evening when we were getting back, M asks me if we could take the ‘Sparks’ road again. I said, “Why not? This time we are prepared for them!”

And sure enough, when we reached that signal a guy casually crossing the road says, “Gaadi se parking nikal raha hai. Aag laga hoga” and he moves on to the other side of the road. Now M and me look at each other and start laughing. M says, “I happened to glance at this guy. He was standing at the side of the road and didn’t proceed to cross as soon as his light turned green. He was looking at the cars that stopped at the red light. He glanced at me first and then at the car. Then he started crossing the road. I felt like telling him that kal bhi hua tha sparking!”

But this is no laughing matter. The way this gang is conning unsuspecting motorists. I can’t believe that the police or the papers haven’t caught on to this…





Friday, September 21, 2007

Arrival

She had been playing hide and seek for many days now. Making an appearance quietly in the night and leaving her mark. It was only when you woke up in the morning did you realise she had been there. The morning air smelled different. The fragrance of her visit lingered on, adding a freshness to the morning that was somehow different. Her footprint could be seen everywhere. The roads were damp and the plants were bathed. You wish you had woken up when she came. So that you could reach out your hand and touch her. Try and close your fist around her knowing very well that she’ll slip away. But you would try nonetheless. You want to be tempted to run out to greet her, to welcome her with your arms outstretched. The way you perhaps did when you were a kid. You wish you could lose yourself in her once more, forgetting your worries, your troubles. But she remained illusive, playing with you, teasing you, lurking just around the corner, coming out when you won’t see her and yet know that she has been there.

She’s made you wait so long already, you are desperate for her. Almost as if she knows this, she plays this game of hide and seek with you. The day when you least expect it, a gust of wind hits you. It hits you hard, but what hits harder is the realization that comes with it. This is no ordinary breeze! This is an arrival announcement. She is coming and she has sent you an advance notice. Prepare yourself, here I come, says she. You suddenly become aware of the other signs. The air carries a subtle hint of her arrival too. You think of a princess whose perfume wafts into the room much before she makes an appearance. The perfume does its job, without a single spoken word, the entire room is aware of the princess’ imminent arrival and everyone looks forward to the first glimpse of hers. When she enters the room, all eyes are on the princess and she enjoys each and every bit of that attention. You think of this image and realise what you’d been waiting for is like royalty too, eagerly awaited by one and all.

A smile breaks out on your face and you see the faces around you mirror it. Everyone has caught on the signs and is smiling in anticipation. It’s the end of a tiring day; the wind refreshes you and fills you with a childlike glee. And for a few moments, you do forget your problems. You stretch out your hand again to check if she is really there or is it just your eyes playing tricks on you. And when you do that, a soft shower of the rain falls on your hand. Its touch seems wonderful, caressing. Its feel is like velvet, soft and sensuous. But the most overpowering feeling is the exploding happiness in your heart when you see the rain, when you feel it. The air is cooler than it has been in months. The wind sprays tiny droplets on your face sometimes. You raise your face eagerly to the oncoming spray and close your eyes tightly. It is your moment of pure unadulterated pleasure. The bliss of first rain…

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Creek


Bridge over the creek, originally uploaded by anksy06.

Grey… The world becomes grey when I move over the creek. The rail track a dark grey, the water a light grey, the sky a lighter grey and the mist surrounding me is the lightest, almost white grey. The horizon is blurred; the sea and sky go from being one to another at no definite point, almost as if one flows into the other. The buildings on the far end are hazy at best and the clouds hanging low over a small hillock just add to the chimerical atmosphere. But I think it is the mist that does it. It is the soft mist that casts a clock of surrealism on everything around, making me feel I am in transit between two worlds and this short stretch is a walk with my inner self. A walk where I become oblivious to the people around me, to the jostling, pushing and to the incessant babbling din that can only be the result of hundred or so women crammed in a space meant for fifty. And yes, I do become oblivious to all that. When I look at the rippling water flowing under the bridge, I sometimes think of life, sometimes of death, sometimes of dad, working so hard to keep all of us happy, sometimes of mom, who has made us her world giving up everything for our slightest joys. I also think sometimes of death, the 50 feet drop to the water below you can do that sometimes… It also makes me think of things I have deliberately pushed to the back of my mind, an introspection of sorts…

And on other days, it’s bright and beautiful with a breeze that ruffles your hair and refreshes you completely – draining all traces of a hard day at work. Nature, they say has a strange way o connecting with you…

Monday, September 10, 2007

Count your blessings...

Count your blessings. This is something I always say. I might forget it at times. But then something or the other happens to remind me of this and I begin to count my blessings once more.

That is something that happened to me the day before. I was casually discussing the weekend that was with one of my friends when she mentioned that she is very sad every year during Rakshabandhan because she has no brother. I casually mentioned, what about cousins and she shook her head. That’s when I realized how lucky I was to have a younger brother, who by the general standards of younger brothers qualifies to be an angel! And over the years, having gotten so used to celebrating Rakhabandhan and Bhaidooj, I kind of forgot the significance of it. The fact that we are able to celebrate this occasion is every year is a big big thing. Thank God for that. Even bigger is the fact that we have been celebrating it together every year for the last two decades. Touchwood!!!! I counted my blessings that day and thanked God from the bottom of my heart. I also silently thanked my friend who made me realize about this blessing, something I had begun taking for granted.

I pray that all of us never forget the small blessings we have…


Revival

I am back!!!

Technically speaking, I was back a couple of days before, with a new blog on another site, but I think I love blogger a little too much to abandon this one completely....

First blogs are hard to give up aren't they? :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Nothing to say

When I started this blog, I had nothing to say... just started penning a random story and over time, this blog turned into something I invested a lot of time and feeling into. Today, I have come to a situation where I have neither the time, nor the feeling to write anything. I am numb today, and as this numbness creeps deeper into my soul, I have started losing touch with everything that once gave me pleasure. Nothing makes me happy anymore. This may be a temporary phase, but as long as this last, I am an empty shell that is incapable of doing anything creative.

For all the friends I met here in blogsville, it was nice knowing you...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Phew!

To say that the last 3 weeks have been busy will be the understatement of the century. Have left my comfort zone and taken to crossing from one end of the city to another everyday now! So it’s easily four and a half hours of traveling everyday, which includes riding in 6 trains!!!!

Left a beautiful sprawling campus office for a much smaller and very far off office. It took me just one day to realize why Mumbai travels by local trains. Its definitely faster and less tiring as compared to road travel. And it also saves money – you don’t need to join a gym. You get all the exercise you need while running to catch trains, getting down on a crowded platform, dashing to secure a seat or standing all the way – shifting places continuously to make room for those getting down or those boarding afresh…. Not to mention the stench that one is subjected to. So you need to crinkle your nose as well. I’m sure Baba Ramdev and likes can invent many new Aasans just by observing the way people travel in the trains. :)

Oh hell, does it look like I am complaining? No I am not. Absolutely not! Coz I knew what was getting into. Like I said to someone the other day, nobody put a gun to me head and asked me to do this. So I am cool about it. It gives me the chance to listen to a lot of music – though the quality of the radio stations leaves a lot to be desired. I can play as many Sudoku games as I want on my new cell (It used to be a fight for doing the newspaper Sudoku’s earlier at home) and I can also read – without interruptions (Now only if I can join the library back, I won’t have to bother about getting books. I think my library even started a deliver to home service… lemme chk up on that) I also met two very old friends – one of them I hadn’t spoken to for years and the other for months! And I think very soon, I’ll take to writing on my cell while traveling – the way I used to earlier… only difference is that those used to be short posts and these will be long…. Really long I guess!!!

Some things may have changed, but it is still the same old me…
Its direction may have changed, but life is still the same old dream…

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Uljhan



सभी चाहते हैं मेरा एक हिस्सा उनके लिये,
में कब पाऊँ कुछ अपने लिये

जीवन है मेरा,
किंतु महत्व किसी और का
विचार हैं मेरे,
परंतु आचार किसी और सा

तस्वीर बनाना चाहूँ
तो मन के रंग न भर पाऊँ
गीत गाना चाहूँ,
तो अपनी धुन न रच पाऊँ

कैद हूँ मैं,
जैसे एक अदृश्य से पिंजरे में
मेहंदी हूँ जैसे,
जीवन सार्थक है पिसने में

तोडना है मुझे,
इन बेडियों को अपने पाँव से
अर्थ पाना है खुद का,
सँसार कि धूप-छाँव में

सभी चाहते हैं मेरा एक हिस्सा उनके लिये,
में कब पाऊँ कुछ अपने लिये

Sabhee chhahte hain mera ek hissa unke liye,
Mein kab paaoon kuchh apne liye

Jeevan hai mera,
Kintu mahatv kisee aur ka
Vichaar hain mere,
Parantu aachaar kisee aur sa

Tasveer banana chaahoon,
To man ke rang na bhar
paoon
Geet gaana chaahoon,
To apnee dhun na rach paoon

Kaid hoon mein,
Jaise ek adrishya se pinjre mein
Mehndee hoon jaise,
Jeevan sarthak hai pisne mein

Todna hai mujhe,
In bediyon ko apne paanv se
Arth paana hai,
Khud ka, sansaar ki dhoop-chhaon mein

Sabhee chhahte hain mera ek hissa unke liye,
Mein kab paaoon kuchh apne liye

Thursday, March 22, 2007

एक मुट्ठी आसमान


छोटे छोटे टुकडों में बँटा हुआ है,
ऐसा लगता है जैसे कटा हुआ है,
लंबी लंबी ईमारतों के बीच में,
एक मुट्ठी आसमान ही मिला हुआ है।

ऊँची उडान भरते देखा नहीं,
सदियों से किसी पंछी को,
बस पार करते देखा है,
एक छोर से दूसरे तक,
अपने आसमान के टुकडे को।

बादलों का काफिला भी,
निकलता है थक थक के,
मेरे टुकडे में कभी कभार,
नज़र आता है ठहरा हुआ,
और फिर चल देता है रुक रुक के।

सूरज की क्या बात कहूँ,
बस झलक ही दिखलाता है,
दिन का एक ही पल है,
जो नाम मेरे कर के,
आँखों से ओझिल हो जाता है।

छोटे छोटे टुकडों में बँटा हुआ है,
ऐसा लगता है जैसे कटा हुआ है,
लंबी लंबी ईमारतों के बीच में,
एक मुट्ठी आसमान ही मिला हुआ है।

This poem is inspired by a comment my mom once made - something she doesn't get to see in Bombay is the vast open sky.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mrigtrishna


Jaane kyon man vichalit hai,
Kyon vicharon ka ufan aata hai,
Jab shant hai vatavaran saara,
Toh kyon man mein tufan aata hai?

Ek ladi si lag jaati hai khayaalon ki,
Jinka na aapas mein naata hai,
Samajhne ka karoon kitna bhi prayaas,
Kintu samajh mein kuch na aata hai.

Mrigtrishna si tadap hai ab,
Yeh baat kyonki jaanti hoon,
Who saare uttar bhi toh mere hi paas hain,
Jinke peeche anaayas hi bhaagti hoon…



Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Airport @ AHD

This post was written on 4th Feb 2007, in a Jet airways flight while fighting nausea and flying back home from Ahmedabad

35 – Number of days in this year so far
15 – Number of days I’ve stayed out of home this year so far

Generally, 15 would be the number of days I spend out of home in the whole year. And this time, it’s in just about one month! So you can imagine what it does to a homebody like me. Add to that the air sickness while traveling and there you go – ho gayaa kaam!

All my sleeping hours apart, I think I’ve spent less time at home and more time at airports and in planes this year. I hate it – the air travel – but sometimes it does give us some interesting experiences. Like the one I had while returning from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. We (that’s me and my colleague S) checked out of the hotel around noon and went for a little shopping spree in the city. We had no clue what sorta markets to visit so we’d both picked up a bottle of mineral water each from the hotel before leaving and put them in our handbags. While shopping we forgot all about them. We landed at the airport and dropped in for the security check, deposited our bags for the x-ray scanning and moved to the enclosure for our body scan. When we were thru with the frisking and scanning, we went ahead to pick our handbags. An old rustic gentleman picks our bags and beckons us to a table on the side there and asks us, “You have water in your bags?”
We were like, “Yes. Should we take it out?” Apparently, that’s what he wanted. So he nods and looks on while S and I pull out the bottles from our bags. We placed the bottles on the counter. Now, these were sealed bottles of a well known mineral water brand. So we expected the old man to nod and say, “Theek hai. Aap ja sakte hain”

But guess what, he tells us “Madam, aap aadha paani pee lo, aur baaki ka le jao saath mein!”
“What?”
we asked slightly amused. This man actually wanted to check if the liquid we were carrying was really water or something else altogether! Can you guys believe it? Nothing like this had ever happened to either me or S and were really amused at the man’s request. Anyways, we opened our bottles, had a sip each and only then was the old man satisfied. Then, he coolly let us go and tended to the next bag that apparently had a knife.

Two thoughts came to my mind as I thought about this incident in the plane. One that the whole thing was highly amusing and his request seemed bizarre. What else could we have been carrying in the bottles??? The second was that the old man was dedicated to his job. He could’ve just seen the bottles and let us go, but he didn’t. He was taking his job really seriously. Small little thing it was, but he was cautious. Because sometimes, it’s these small little things that make a BIG difference.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A new Taggie!

Here's a list of activities - classify them as have done, have not done and want to do.... its fun!

Have
Climbed a mountain – a small one!
Said 'I love you' and meant it
Hugged a tree
Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
Gotten drunk on champagne – wine actually, but let’s not get too technical out here
Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
Ridden a roller coaster
Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment – many moments (thank God!)
Had two hard drives for your computer
Had amazing friends
Midnight walk on the beach
In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
Alphabetized your cds
Played in the rain
Fallen in love and not had your heart broken – touch wood!
Toured ancient sites
Won first prize in a costume contest – I guess second prize is as good!
Gotten a tattoo – a temporary one!!
Performed on stage
Spoken more than one language fluently
Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
Broken someone's heart
Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
Ridden a horse – albeit with a lot of help!
Eaten sushi – and liked it!
Had your picture in the newspaper – a grainy one!
Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language – with household help all the time!
Had a booth at a street fair

Have not
Bought everyone in the bar a drink
Swam with wild dolphins
Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
Held a tarantula
Watched a lightning storm at sea
Gone to a huge sports game
Changed a baby's diaper
Watched a meteor shower
Given more than you can afford to charity
Had a food fight
Bet on a winning horse
Asked out a stranger
Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
Held a lamb
Seen a total eclipse
Hit a home run
Adopted an accent for an entire day
Taken care of someone who was drunk
Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
Watched wild whales
Stolen a sign
Gone rock climbing
Gone sky diving
Visited Ireland
Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
Visited Japan
Milked a cow
Pretended to be a superhero
Gone scuba diving
Played in the mud
Visited the Great Wall of China
Started a business
Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
Crashed a party
Gotten divorced
Gone without food for 5 days
Rafted the Snake River
Been to Las Vegas
Recorded music
Eaten shark
Been in a combat zone
Buried one of your parents – *shivers*
Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
Created and named your own constellation of stars
Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
Had plastic surgery
Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived
Lost over 100 pounds
Held someone while they were having a flashback- WHAT????
Piloted an airplane
Petted a stingray – almost did that on this vacation… you guys’ll read about it later!
Helped an animal give birth
Broken a bone
Gone on an African photo safari
Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
Had major surgery – thank God
Had a snake as a pet – ewwwww
Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
Eaten kangaroo meat
Gone back to school
Parasailed
Petted a cockroach
Eaten fried green tomatoes
Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
Killed and prepared an animal for eating
Skipped all your school reunions
Been elected to public office
Written your own computer language
Had to put someone you love into hospice care
Built your own PC from parts
Dyed your hair
Been a DJ
Shaved your head
Caused a car accident
Saved someone's life


Want to
Been inside the Great Pyramid
Taken a candlelit bath with someone
Bungee jumped
Visited Paris
Seen the Northern Lights
Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
Grown and eaten your own vegetables
Touched an iceberg
Slept under the stars
Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
Had a snowball fight
Backpacked in Europe
Taken a road-trip
Sung karaoke
Lounged around in bed all day
Kissed in the rain
Gone to a drive-in theater
Taken a martial arts class
Gotten married
Been in a movie
Made cookies from scratch
Ridden a gondola in Venice
Been on television news programs as an "expert"
Got flowers for no reason
Gone to Thailand
Bought a house
Been on a cruise ship
Raised children
Wrote article for a large publication
Won money on a T.V. game show
Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours – sounds soooo good!
Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
Visited all 7 continents
Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you – almost did that once!

And I tag - Juneli, Ricky, DJ, Preeti & Navy

Monday, February 05, 2007

When anks changed professions- yeah, again!

The old visitors of my blog know how i went from being an engineer to a marketeer... Well a lot of others know it too... The self obsessed person that I am, I keep talking about it. And an interesting tale it makes too, so keeps the conversation flowing. But this post is not about that.
This is about the time changed professions again- albeit for a day!

Was in Ahmedabad was the last three days. Actually I am still there. This post is being typed on my cell phone as I wait for check out. Thank God for T9! Was in the city for an event apparently there was a lack of local man power (read grey matter) and so two of us from Bombay were to come down and help them. You wouldn't believe the frustration levels we went through in the two days that were meant for all the preparations. Oh God, I’m turning this into a crib session, and that wasn't on the agenda at all. So let’s cut to the evening of the event.

It was a campus rock idol zonal finals and we had a cool stall with a swanky touch screen kiosk and loads of colour handsets to give away. All we needed was a couple of good looking chicks to pull the crowd to the stall and direct them and direct them to the kiosk. Now how tough could that be? Apparently- very..! The girls we got weren’t exactly Miss India material, but they were ok. So we chose them. Prob began when they reached the event. Those girls didn't speak at all. They just didn't speak. The entire crowd seemed to be passing us by and one of our two ladies just stood like they were out on a picnic. The other one tried, but she wasn't getting the people enthused. The other one said ma’m an anchor can do this. We are promoters. Yeah right! Why the hell didn't you say any of this when I'd briefed you before the event? After about ten thousand briefings to them, I decided to take matters- read mic into my own hands. And that’s when I told the one who was trying lady, you get the crowd here, I'll manage it. For the next two hours, I got college kids to scream, sing, do sit ups, shout their fav band's name, their girlfriend's name, say tongue twisters, play antakshri and do God knows What...! I would tell them to do the first thing that came to my mind.... And shouted myself hoarse by the end of the event. There was no competing with the professional mc's who were at the nearby stalls, but I think I managed all right, especially with the support I had... God, I can't stand inactivity... And coming from a lazy person like me, that's quite a contradiction.

But if you ask me why I did it. The answer is simple. I was enjoying it. Really... And without being modest, I know I did a decent job... So there, I tried another profession... Now I think its time to try being a radio jockey... What do you say, huh?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The love story that never was

If your jaw drops in surprise - Well, thats Anks for you! I got so inspired by Ricky that I completed this one today. A short story - very short by my standards - it runs to 3 word pages in font size 12 and has just about 1482 words.

The love story that never was

"See... I told you na ke iss hum tum ki jodi kabhi nahi ban sakti.... :'("

I read the message from my friend Kunj once more. I had just come out of a grueling two hour meeting and was surprised to see five missed calls and three messages. Kunj's message was the first I read, and it didn't make any Sense to me. I read the other messages. One was from Prachi and the other from Vidya. Both college friends. Both wanted me to call them. Four of the five missed calls were from them. The last call was from my boss and I promptly returned it, only to be told to rush to another meeting. It was late afternoon when I emerged from the second meeting and like before, there were calls and messages from Prachi and Vidya. I dialed Prachi and she answered before the first ring was over.

"Where have you been?" She sounded excited and loud enough to be heard even without using the phone.
"Busy in meetings yaar. Kya hua, both you and Vidi are going bonkers"
"Arre, bahut achchi news hai. Guess kar"
"Prachi, mujhe bahut bhookh lagi hai. I've been in meetings since morning and am really pissed at some people."
"Oho, madam is in one of her famous moods"
"Prachi...."
"Ok. Ok..... bataati hoon. Bhavna is getting married"
"What?"
"Yeah, shaadi fix ho gayi uski"
"Oh, kab hai?
"Kal"
"Kal?", I nearly screamed "Kal Shaadi hai?"
"No baba, shaadi 6 months ke baad hai. Kal sirf engagement hai."
"Oh", I said quietly. A feeling of shock and anger came over me. Shock at the suddenness of things and anger at getting the news so late.
"When did this happen?"
"Last week. The guy is an NRI. Came down to meet her last saturday. They met and now tomorrow is the engagement. Cool na?"
"Yeah, cool"
"What happened to you?"
"Nothing, I gotta go. Got a big campaign coming up. Haven’t had last weekend off. Will have to work tomorrow as well."
"Oh, then how will you come?"
"Where?"
"For the engagement"
"In case you haven't noticed, she didn't invite me.", my voice was seething with sarcasm, and a silent anger. An awkward silence followed, and Prachi wasn't sure what to say. I knew she wasn't at fault, and I shouldn't have snapped at her. So I apologised.
"Sorry, I shouldn't have said that. But I am really hurt Bhavna didn't call me."
"We were trying to call you. Me and Vidya and Bhavna in a conference."
"Oh, ok. But still yaar, can't come."
"Ok, take care. we'll catch up one of these days"
"Yeah. Bye"
"Bye"

I walked into the canteen and looked around for something to eat. The food was over, all that was available was cold samosas or sandwiches. I ordered for two grilled sandwiches and sat down to eat. It was then that Vidya called me.

"Hi madam"
"Hi Vidi.... main call karne waali thi tujhe"
"Yeah yeah, I know... Prachi called me after she talked to you"
"So?"
"No, I'm not going"
"Why not?"
"Am busy this weekend. It’s not like I don't have a life of my own and am simply sitting around waiting for someone to call me at the last moment and I’ll jump up and go.”
I could see that she was angry. As angry as I was. “What about you”, she continued in the same stream “what will you say?”
And that’s Vidi for you- always presumes things and presumes them right.
“I have a pitch coming up. Can’t go even if hell breaks loose.”
We chatted for a minute about this and that, with the same question running in both our minds – Why had Bhavna not informed us?

While nibbling through the sandwiches, I thought about Kunj’s message. It made a lot of sense now, and behind the deliberate tone was a lot of hurt. I could see that. I decided to call him.

“Hello ji. Kyaa haal hai aapka?” There was a tone of false cheerfulness in his voice.
“Kunj. I just heard. Am sorr” He broke in between saying “Arre, why are you sorry re? Tu kuch kar sakti thi kya? Dekh Ami, sympathy mat dena mujhe. I am very sad for myself. But happy for her. Ladka achcha hai. Bhavna khush rahegi. That’s all I want yaar. And you are one of the three people who know my feelings for her and the only one who knows the whole story. Don’t just tell anyone. I am closing this chapter of my life”
“Kunj…”
“Arre, chill kar re”
“Yeah. Best of luck. And hope you find a girl who’s even better than Bhavna”
“Nobody can be better than Bhavna yaar. But it’s ok. I’ll be fine”
With that the call ended. I thought of the brave front Kunj was putting on and the intense disappointment in his voice when he’d said “Nobody can be better than Bhavna”

It was about six months ago when I learnt of Kunj’s feeling for Bhavna. An idle evening being whiled away on the net, resulted in a heart-to-heart with Kunj, a classmate of mine in college. I was never very close to him and knew him only through Bhavna. Bhavna, Prachi, Vidya and I were pals. And close ones at that. That’s the reason I was irked more than ever by Bhavna’s attitude towards us. For the last one year, she had broken off all contact with me and Vidi. The calls were unanswered and messages ignored. It was during this time that I had my conversation with Kunj. He wanted Bhavna’s contact number – for the one final time when he wanted to tell her of his feelings, instead of throwing about hints as he had been doing.

It wasn't love at first sight. Kunj saw Bhavna on the first day of his college. He was one of the sixty who began their college education and like the other fifty-nine, wasn't thrilled about it. Reason - he was stuck in this jail of a college. He had wanted a better college, but like thousands of students, he too had been forced to choose between a so-so college and a course of his choice and a good college and an uninteresting course. He had chosen the former and landed in St John's technical Institute, as a first year wishing to get a bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Science. And that’s where he met Bhavna and Sarita and Pari and Neelam and Poonam and Lipi and a lot of girls who were all first years in his college. When he learned that Bhavna would be in his class, he was pleased. She was a pretty and petite girl, who had a cute smile. They got talking, and suddenly she asked him.
“Are you a gujju?”
“Yes, why?”
“I am one too”
“Oh”
“Yeah, guess it takes one to spot another”, she laughed at her little joke and Kunj joined in. From that day, they always talked in Gujrati, even when a horde of friends surrounded them.

Bhavna wasn’t mindblowing. She was a gentle girl and it was her sweet disposition and naturally caring nature that made Kunj fall for her.

“She really cared about me Ami” Kunj had told me “Always helped me with assignments and journals. Even allowed me copy in the tests. And you know what, she would also check if there were mistakes in the papers I had written. Imagine, if she cared so much about my studies, how much she would care about my life, my family?”

I didn’t have the heart to tell Kunj that she was like this with everyone. She had a natural mother goose instinct. And didn’t exactly understand his reasons for falling in love with her. Maybe he wasn’t telling all. But, I didn’t press him. I just heard him tell me of the times when he tried to tell Bhavna of his feelings for her. Long lines on the chat window – Kunj’s story in his own words.

“I really like you Bhavna” I told her one day. And she said “So do I. We should always remain friends. Don’t forget to call me for your wedding”

This to my mind was the clearest indication of Bhavna’s feelings. Kunj was a classmate, a friend. Maybe to Kunj’s mind there seemed a possibility. But then, love is blind. I’d given Kunj Bhavna’s number and mail id when he’d asked for it. I knew that he’d called her, but I don’t know what that conversation came to. Kunj didn’t tell and I didn’t ask. I’d thought of him often for I knew Bhavna and Kunj weren’t together. Prachi would’ve told me and Vidi if this was the case. And now Bhavna was getting married. A heartbroken Kunj was putting on a brave face – It’s a love story that never was.

Humbled...

I got swamped with work as soon as I came back from my vacation and am just sauntering back to blogging. I went over to Ricky's and was just scrolling to see the posts I have missed. Now imagine my surprise when I saw


The post was a glorious review of Progati - a story that I am really proud of. And undoubtedly, it is my fav creation. Reading Ricky's post was a humbling experience and I feel the urge to write another story right away! Thanks Ricky for all the nice words, and an even bigger thanks for the birthday wish. Really mean it. Thanks :)
And now I think I'll go off and satisfy the urge - and write a story right away!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Thank you, thank you, thank you...

For all of you who left birthday wishes in my comment box and my orkut homepage - A BIG THANK YOU!

And if you've been wondering where the hell I disappeared in this period, I was away on vacation. Where, how, when are the questions that'll get answered in the subsequent posts. For now, a resolution check - just to see how I have been faring in the 8 resolutions I made this new year...

  1. Drink Water - About 5 - 6 glasses from 2 - 3. An improvement definitely
  2. Blog more - Well, I've been on vacation and there was no net connection. So couldn't help it!
  3. Complete my stories - Errr... Ummm....
  4. Try poetry again - Did this. I mean I tried. The thoughts were disconnected and the words didn't gel together. The result - pathetic
  5. Take care of myself - Trying this. It takes a hell of an effort to not neglect the fitness and dietary needs of one's body. And I have a long way to go...
  6. Spend time with loved ones - I guess 11 days x 24 hours gives me a perfect 10 on this one!
  7. Not fake smiles - Did this only when absolutely necessary (At times it is!)
  8. Do things on time - So far, so good!

Not bad huh? What do you say?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Resolutions

Wish all of you a great 2007. New year resolutions are such cliches, but thinking up strange resolutions can sure be fun!
And so I have a list of Anks' Resolutions - As crazy as Anks herself!
  1. Drink Water - I must've been a camel in the last birth, coz I can survive even the hottest summer days on 2-3 glasses of water! But the point is I'm human in this birth and humans need to drink water. So there...
  2. Blog More - The last year has been really slow. So I'll try and put up more posts. Complete the pending Goa travelogue and put that up (along with some awesome pics!) Watch out for this one...
  3. Complete my stories - This one has to be done. There are not one, not two but three half written stories with me right now. I gotta complete all of them! And Progati was a long long time ago!
  4. Try poetry again - I must admit I enjoyed writing the poems I did. Have you read them? No. Well, you can do that here, here and here. But I'll write more poetry, for sure!
  5. Take care of myself - Something I tend to neglect at times....
  6. Spend time with loved ones - Will kickstart this from end of the week!
  7. Not fake smiles - My cheeks have begun to hurt doing this now. Need to stop it!!!
  8. Do things on time - Anyone offering courses on time management???

So that's all ppl... tell me about your new year resolutions!