Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Black, White or 67 shades of Grey?


Update: Anshul claims this is his theory and I stole it. He demands credit and since I love him so much, it's his for the asking... :)


Last Friday, on the way back home I was tuned to a radio station as usual. The topic being discussed was – are there any blacks or whites in life? Or are there only shades of grey? (the number 67 comes from the show’s host by the way) The moment I heard it, I was like Black and White in life? Is that even possible? I don’t think so. Allow me to explain –

 

Black is the absence of light. Light now can be energy, emotions, feelings… all manner of things possible. This would make white a combination of everything. All feelings, all emotions… maybe I take the theory a bit too far. If you consider light symbolic of all things positive, then the whites become a culmination of happiness, elation, ecstasy, joy… sheer bliss, if I may say so. And black is the exact opposite – hate, anger, sadness, misery. Now with this distinction clear, try to fit the events and things in your life into these 2 brackets. Can you? If you say yes, look at the thing again. Was there not a single thing to tarnish your happiness in all the whites? I bet there was. All good things come at a price and bearing the price adds black to your perfect white resulting in… you guessed it – GREY! Look closely enough at the blacks, did nothing good come out of it? Not even the slightest bit? No, then change eyes! Look at it from someone else’s perspective and you’d detect a white… no matter how tiny that speck is, it renders the black grey. A mixture of black and white – grey! The shades may vary some resembling white and some black and yet there’d be scores of others that are close to neither. They tread on the fine line between good and evil as we know it and could fall on either side depending on the person’s vision.

 

Speaking of myself, I learnt early on that there are no blacks and whites. But putting that into practice in life – well, that was another story altogether! Ironically, when I finally did, I emerged a new person. Whenever I look back, I attribute my metamorphosis to this. An acceptance of the greys in life as they were and of my own inability to change them. You wouldn’t imagine the kind of change that came over me then. I became a lot easier to get along when I let go of the hang ups and made a lot more friends. When you accept that you are not perfect, you are at peace with yourself. When you accept that no body is perfect, you are peace with the world. I found my peace when I accepted the greys in people around me and that made it much easier to breathe. This new life was much better than teenage angst which we all go thru. I remember one of my teachers saying that as teenager’s we are caterpillars wrapped in the cocoon. We go thru a period of struggle with ourselves, trying to understand who we are, what we want, what we expect from ourselves. Once we are thru, we emerge as beautiful butterflies… quite a poetic way to put it I said, but doesn’t happen in real life… how wrong I was!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Silence...

Blogging used to be such an avid passtime of mine... I'd spend hours everyday reading blogs, commenting, chatting up with fellow bloggers and now, am in this phase where everything I have to say is at the tip of my tongue and doesn't come out... wierd, huh? But that's life I guess....

I have gone back to reading and I have to thank a radio show host for that! She does a weekly show where they discuss books and everytime I listen to it, my to-read list grows. At the moment, I have to read - 

  1. The White Tiger
  2. Piece of Cake
  3. The Book Thief
  4. Annakarina
  5. Swami & Friends - R K Narayan
  6. And many more...

I have already read Brisingr (the third of Paolini's Inheritence Trilogy, which isn't a trilogy anymore), Shantaram, a couple of Chicklits and a fast paced book called Is New York Burning? Surprisingly, after having read Kaavya Vishwanathan's Opal Saga, I thought I'd like this genre but it has disappointed. All the books I picked up have been disappointing and predictable to a certain degree. In fact, the Devil wears Prada was a better watch than read...  what's the world coming to?

Speaking of watching, I have been seeing a lot of movies too... and with lot, I mean it! Averaging to a movie a week and sometimes more... I adored A Wednesday - a good story, crisp narration and fab acting! None of the others deserve a mention though, so I think I'll pass...

If books and movies have been spoken about, music has to come in my post... right? Wrong! I am out of touch with myself when it comes to music. i have gone from being a 'full day music playing' person to 'some days music playing' Can't believe this would happen to me, but it has!

Superflous is stamped across this post in bold red letters. Isn't it? I have been wanting to vent out my anger at the current situation in our country, I have been wanting to rant about the weather, the ill health of family members... but somehow I restrained. My blog is not a venting machine after all. That I guess explains the long silence on this page. I felt, people have died and families have been torn apart, and you want to blog about that fact that kids call you 'auntie'? No, that just didn't seem right. And the impact of terror and recession can be felt on all our lives here, no matter how small.... it is there. 

When the terrorists see the empty malls and shopping arcades and theatres, they know that part of it is due to their threat. In defiance, I want to live my life as before, but with a bit of caution and alertness.... to tell them they wouldn't succeed. But if I do that, is it fair to be celebrating life as before when there are thousands who grieve? A moral dilemma, if there ever was..... I don't have the answers to these questions... I had a long discussion with A one night about this. (A for the uninitiated, is hubby) We had different views on what makes a terrorist, what makes a fidayeen. A senile human can never be the same again after having killed another human. I agree, but brain washing and training can go a long way there. I remember a conversation with my colleague M, an ex Navy officer and a war veteran. He said someone once asked me how many people I have klilled. His reply was I don't know. I never think about it. Coz if I did, that'd be the only thing I think about. And that would be sure to drive me crazy... he had a point there. Perhaps the makers of terror know that as well...   

I did not want this to be a post about morbid things.... and that is exactly what this became.... :(


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ye Dil Mange More


Every one of us has dreams.Only a few get 'realized'.

My friend's mail began with these lines today and once more i was plunged into the sea of thoughts. The primary one being - What am I doing with my life? Is this what I wanted to do? On the personal front, life is good, professionally too I have a good profile, lots of work opportunities to interact with loads of people. I mean, I have what I want and yet, I feel I have not done all that I should do, I could do....

It sounds strange I know... It sounds strange to me too. Maybe this is what they mean when they say 'Yeh dil mange more!' Yahan par problem is dil ko hi nahi pata ki maangna kya hai :)

However, there is someone who knows. A friend's friend who is making efforts in following his dream and is asking for support. This is my small contribution to his cause... Click here to know about his dream

Friday, September 26, 2008

Introspections

“You let me down”

This chat message from my friend J jarred me a bit yesterday. I jagged my memory for something she’d have asked me to do and I forgot – nothing, for something I’d promise to look up for her and didn’t – neither, for something I had to remind her about and forgot myself – nada! So, I asked her about it. She said a team mate has recently started blogging and I was telling her about you. That you have been a regular for 3 years and when she checked my site, the last post was in July! Hmmm, I have been irregularly regular for the last 3 years.

Note from Blog to Anks – This is what happens when you ignore me. You did a 3rd birthday post in December last year. So, I’d be 3 and half years old. Hmph

Anks – Ok, ok, I am sorry bloggie, now can I continue this post?

Blog – Yeah yeah… now you can, because if you don’t it will never get posted.

Anks – Thank you. See, that’s what happens when your blog has a mind of its own. Anyways, the fact is that I have been irregularly regular all this while and never did I expect marriage to get in the way of blogging. And even now, I’d say it’s more of work constraints than marriage constraints. And that led me to think – how has marriage changed my life. Has it changed at all?

I don’t wake up in the morning and get hit by the realization that I am now married. It never did happen – not even on the next morning or the next or the next. I still go to work, spend hours to travel everyday and reach home after dark. So, in that sense life hasn’t changed much. If you move away from the mundane, I am still the carefree person who looks for momentary pleasures building up to a happy hour, happy day and happy life. There are pressures and responsibilities that weren’t there before, but I am learning to cope with them. Best part is that everyone in my family is a tremendous help in that (knock on wood once, twice, thrice!) My married status hits me at random moments. Sometimes when I push back the chura from my wrists while typing a post, sometimes when I catch a reflection of the sindoor peeking between the hair on my forehead, sometimes when I wipe the sweat off my neck and my fingers brush the mangalsutra. I draw a blank when people ask me how is life after marriage, but when I wake up in the middle of the night and my hand brushes against my husband’s I think and realise, life is good…

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Did you find your way?

"How many miles must a man walk before he knows where he wants to go?"

These words from Geetly's first blog entry made me pause and think.... pause my week's worth of piled on work and think hard about where I am headed. Do I know where to go? And to be honest, I can't answer that question in affirmative. I have always been fiercely jealous of people who say they have their life all figured out and equally sceptic too. I once talked to a guy who at 26, said he had the next 50 years of his life all planned out. He had a plan A, plan B and plan C!!! Dude, have you experienced all that life has to offer already? Do you even know all that it can offer? How have you planned out your life??? I don't even have my professional goals all mapped out... "Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?" draws a response of "On earth sir, I can't imagine living on the moon" (and with a straight face too, I am dead serious here)

I digressed (as usual!) and so will get back to what the sentence made me think... 26 years of life, 10 years of schooling, 6 years of college, almost 5 years of working and I still have not figured out the direction. I am the drifter, the maverick who wants to live all the moments life has to offer, who wants to tell stories to world, see that smile, hear that laughter. I am that ambitious one who wants the COO's to praise her, who wants to be the best player in the team. I am the artist who wants to capture the beauty of the worl thru her camera, thru her paintbrush. I am the daughter, that sister, that wife that her family adores. I am a lover of life, love all the joy it has to offer and greedy for more...

When would I figure out my direction? Should I figure out my direction? Have you figured out yours?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Meeting


Rishi & Sasha meet at the airport...



They were not strangers...



But they were not acquaintances either....



This story is all about The Meeting....!
Click here to read

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I miss studying!

I miss studying. It’s been almost five years since I have left college and now I realise how much I used to enjoy studying. Now I am not talking of missing school or college. We all miss all the fun there. What I am missing now is the actual act of studying! Weird you say? I agree. See the thing is, when you are studying, there is always something to do. Always an assignment to complete, a journal to be written, a lesson to be learnt. Your free time is restricted and even when you take a break, you know at the back of your head that there is something to be done. But once you are thru studying, the challenge is gone. In your free time you are actually - surprise surprise free! I feel it often when I see my bro sitting down and studying and I sit in front of the idiot box's mindless offerings. And it’s not just the time thing, I also miss sitting at my study table with a stack of books and notes and studying. I was never a nerdy-too-much-into-studies type, but I used to enjoy doing that. Whenever I see students on the train or a bus, I would peep into their notes to see what subjects they were reading! Yeah yeah, I know it’s rude but I do it without realising that I am doing it. Today, I did it again. And then I said it out loud- the name of the subject that is! See, I was standing and there was this girl reading her hand written notes on the seat next to me. Her pages were full of complex equations and long winded explanations following each equation. So I said, “fluid mechanics!” It was supposed to have been inside my head and that would have been the end of it. Instead it came out loud! Loud and clear, for not only that girl but several others in the vicinity. Now can you imagine how damn embarrassing that can be? That girl, at least 5 years younger to me, was looking at me as if I was a lunatic! I agree it was a little strange, maybe even weird thing, but lunacy? How could she attribute that to me? Oh dear, kids these days, I tell you... But point is, when I saw her studying, I wanted to study too... And I wouldn't have minded fluid mechanics as well... Err, lunatic was it?


Another post from my traveling days in Mumbai. Typed on the cell during an early morning commute and whipped out to be used on the blog at a time like this! By the way, if any of you are wondering what I do during my commute these days, I watch movies on the comp… but you know what, it doesn’t beat blogging and being plugged to the radio at the same time!

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Musical Encounter...


It is said that music connects people. Even if they are strangers. Sounds so clichéd na? And the type of thing you'd expect authors, journalists or lyricists to write. Its makes fine reading but asli life mein such things don't happen. Right? Wrong! They do. And something happened to me today while I was in the train. I was standing near the exit, waiting to alight at the next station. As everyday, i was flipping radio stations, hearing snatches of jockey's conversations, ads and a medley of loud, soft, meaningless and good songs. My ears caught a few strains of 'lag ja gale se' one of my all time favorites. I didn't know where the sound was coming from, but it was certainly not my earphone. So I pulled off my earphone and started listening to this song. Now everyone who knows me is aware of a habit that I have. But before I tell you about that, let me declare that I am a pathetic singer. Now having established that let me proceed with my narration. The habit I was talking about is that whenever I hear a song, I can't help singing along. Now since I am so bad at it, I take to humming at times. When in public all I do is mouth along the words. You know, the way singers do during a vigorous stage performance. So that’s what I was doing. Mouthing along to the antara of this lovely song. Then I hear someone else singing along too. So I look up and see this girl standing right beside me. It seems that the music was emanating from her phone and she was humming the song softly in a voice far more musical than mine! Well, whose voice is more musical is not the point of this post, but what happened thereafter. You see, both of us realised each other's presence at almost the same time. We just smiled at each other. It wasn't the customary, polite and cold smile you'd normally give to a fellow passenger. It was a warm, heartfelt smile. Direct dil se types. We continued to hum for a while till my station came. As I was preparing to get off the train, I happened to glance at her. She gave me a slight wave and a smile once more. I promptly returned the two and was off on my way. And later, as I waited for the connecting train at another platform, I thought about this incident. I have no clue who that girl was. If our paths ever cross again, I might not even recognise her. But I don't think I am going to forget her. Why? Because she was an excellent case in point that music transcends all boundaries. In the host of all radio stations that I'd become accustomed to, I'd kinda lost my love for the old melodious ones. I just rediscovered my love for them. After a while, I realised that this song wasn't on my phone and wished that I had it too, so that I could listen to the whole thing again. And guess what, when I reached office a couple of colleagues were toothing songs to each other. No points for guessing which song was in the list! Yeah, I got the song just about an hour after I’d wished for it. Darn, I should've wished for a crore rupees too! Needless to say, I listened to the song the whole day and even afterwards, the song was pretty high on my playlist.

This post was written during my train travel days. It remained safely in my cell due to lack of time to transfer it on the blog. Today as I was reading this, I thought of another lesson that the incident taught me. Something that I'd perhaps not thought about. The human mind or rather the human soul takes an instant to make a connection. Its only when we explore that connection do we form relationships. That’s how you make friends right? You meet strangers at school, college, at work, in a party, while traveling. And once you feel that split second connection with them, you try to take that connection further. Real relationships are formed this way. When there is no driver for forming the relationship but the need to explore a connection. And the way human souls are designed, they allow you to do just that. The big question is, if our systems are built this way, why are we so wary of using it? Why do we shy away from creating bonds that could develop into beautiful lifelong sources of happiness? Why do we try and find selfish motives in every act that we are subjected to? Why can’t we be more trusting, more giving? Why can’t we make our surroundings a happier place???

Monday, March 24, 2008

Cruelty

We can be cruel without knowing it at times. Especially little kids. Because kids are so innocent, there acts of cruelty just can not be the result of maliciousness. For them, its one sweet game they are enjoying. If someone gets hurt in the process, oops! But chances are the kids won't even realise that they are being cruel. Isn't it upto the grown ups in their vicinity to tell them that their seemingly harmless fun is actually causing pain to someone? Now if you are wondering where i am coming from, let me tell you...
There is a mosque opposite my office and a small galli that leads into a colony next to it. The colony is mostly old fashioned single storied houses next to each other. Now yesterday, there was a goat tied to the gate of the mosque. It was actually a kid, with horns that were just starting to grow. So the goat kid was there, minding his own business and a 5-6 year old boy comes out of the galli. Seeing the goat kid, he starting pushing it, he pretended to kick it a couple of times, but I guess the blows didn't really connect. He pushed the goat kid again, and again... While it was just a game for him, the goat kid got really irritated. He started to get into combat mode by facing his opponent and pointing his half grown horns towards him. The boy pranced to the side and pushed the goat again. This time, the force was greater than before, and the goat kid slid to a side due to the impact. The boy air-kicked once more and the goat kid was now seriously bugged. Thats when the boy apparently lost interest in the game, but his last assault wasn't well received by the little animal. He raised his head skyward and lifted two of his feet in the air, in perhaps a desperate attempt to break free. The boy pranced of back into the galli and the goat kid remained there, bound to the gate, still looking into the galli...
Now the point here is, there were two old men around. One was smoking his beedi, blissfully ignoring the mock fight unfolding inches away from his nose and another was sitting on the ledge outside the first house in the galli. The second old man saw the entire scene, and yet didn't say a word to the boy. He could have stopped the boy, shooed him away, but no, he did nothing of the sort. He went on watching the scene as if it was his daily dose of entertainment. If the goat kid is still there, will the boy come back again today evening to 'play' with him? Or maybe he'll talk to a couple of his friends about last evening's escapade and they'd all come down for some fun. What about the goat kid then? Who'll protect him?

This is a post I wrote a while back... its been lying in my phone ever since... the reason i remembered it today is because i saw a similar seen enacted out yesterday. In a different city, a different place, a different child, a different animal... but the same scene.. a little girl was kicking a dog, not a puppy, but a full grown street dog, just for the heck of it. When she realised i was watching, her kicks had more vigour... unfortunately, she ran away before i could ask her why she was doing it... but, it was a sad scene...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Things I did for the first time in life this year...

  1. Para Sailed and looked at a glittering green ocean from what seemed like the top of the world. Then turned my head to look at land… small houses, tiny roads… had my gaze pulled back to the ocean and observed the dark patches on the water. Realised that they were the plants growing on the sea bed! Really wished I had a camera at that point.
  2. Walked on the sea bed and reached out to fish swimming within two centimeters of me
  3. Wore a two piece swimsuit and got tan lines all over my back!!!
  4. Ate octopus – hard meat, very little flavour…. Didn’t like it much…
  5. Rode the front of a speedboat… loved the wind hitting my face…had my hair whipped over my face and shrieked with pleasure every time the boat took a turn...
  6. Saw mounds of soil in 7 different colours and a million different shades and wondered if the mounds were natural or man-made… the soil was, by the way… natural!
  7. Walked around the whole day in a swimsuit and sarong! :)
  8. Braved about 4 degrees temperature… without any woolens or frowns!
  9. Spent almost 14 hours smiling in an outfit that weighed 20 kgs!
  10. And also got married!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Disappearing Act...!


Now why does Anks disappear every year around her birthday???

Good question na, last year, I disappeared for a vacation on the day of my b’day (Not the best decision coz I really missed all the calls and sms that my friends sent me) Thankfully the vacation was fun, so that kinda made up for it… The year before I attended a cousin’s wedding (The Big Fat Punjabi Wedding, if you please!) and that trip too was fun… So basically, while Anks has her share of fun on and around her birthday, she leaves her blog all alone and conveniently forgets about her loyal visitors. And if that’s not enough, she also does not reply to the happy birthdays left in her comment box and chat box… Bad gurl anky!

Yeah, so let me thank all those ppl who’ve been visiting my blog and and posting all the happy new years and happy birthdays… Thanks a ton guys!!!! It’s no fun blogging when you guys aren’t around :)

Leaving you guys with a poem once more, which kinda sums up how I feel right now…


कल खुले झरोखे से
आया एक हवा का झोंका था
यादों की किताब खोल कर
एक धुंधले से पन्ने पर रोका था

बचपन का वह पन्ना था
मासूम सपनों की बातें थीं
यूहीँ मस्ताने से दिन थे
मस्तानी सी ही रातें थीं

जीवन का क्या अर्थ है
क्या होता है ताना बाना
क्या करना है जान कर
क्या था मुझको लेना देना

जब उस पन्ने को पलटा
न बचपन था, न जवानी थी
बड़ी अल्हड़ सी उम्र थी
ख्यालों की, उम्मीदों की कहानी थी

आज के पन्ने पर ले आई फिर
हवा जो चली हलकी हलकी
कदम बढाती हुई ज़िंदगी
धीरे धीरे ओर इक नये कल की

Kal khule jharokhe se
Aaya ek hawa ka jhonka tha
Yaadon ki kitab khol kar
Ek dhundhle se panne par roka tha

Bachpan ka woh panna tha
Massooom sapnon ki baaten theen
Yuhi mastane se din the
Mastaanee see hee raaten theen

Jeevan ka kya arth hai
Kya hota hai taana baana
Kya karna hai jaan kar
Jab nahi hai koi lena dena

Jab uss panne ko palta
Na bachpan tha, na jawani thee
Badee alhad see umar thee
Khayalon ki, Ummeendon ki Kahani thee

Ek aur hawa jhonka phir
Aaj ke panne par le aaya hai

Aaj ke panne par le aayee phir
Hawa jo chali halki halki
Kadam badate huee zindagi
Dheere dheere or naye kal kee


Btw, did I mention I might do the disappearing act yet again? No? Well, I’m mentioning it now…