Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Lone Mushroom


As I sit in a comfortable air conditioned room, 30 minutes before my class starts, the anxiety doesn’t leave me. I see women walking inside, one of them asks “Is this the creative writing course?”, I nod. And I wonder simultaneously, am I going to be the youngest in this class?.
Many walk in, all women (well to be precise, girls) and all of them seem younger. “Second year college” “Graduate” “Doing my post graduation in sociology” and one of them ‘jokes’, so you are like a super super senior. I feel awkward and message a friend “I hope the teacher is older than I am” and she types in a LOL and a soothing ‘Relax’.
As the room gets filled with younger people and I sit in the middle of all of them (literally) I start to think. I wish I had the sense to do this course earlier, the understanding to pursue this at a younger age. I am still finding my professional feet. I feel like the lone mushroom I found on an adventurous trail in Barog. I can’t find anyone sailing my boat, which can be comforting. The conversations, inside and outside my head, are broken when my teacher walks in. She is older (thank god). I thank my stars she skipped the chirpy “Oh, let us  introduce ourselves”.
In walks a boy, which makes even the teacher state the obvious “Oh, you are the only boy in this class”and I think, wait a minute! He is the lone mushroom. The ONLY boy in a class of 30. For the next 10 minutes I stop listening to what the teacher has to say and go on a journey riding on my thoughts. All of us are the lone mushroom. We all feel lost and like an outsider some time or the other. For some it is worse because people point that out to you not so eloquently. In that room each and every person was an outsider in some way to this course. One has not read a book in her life, one runs a fashion label and has never written in life, one is studying business, one plays professional poker and so on. Everyone is an outsider in his or her own right.

The lone mushroom, though an outsider in the lush green trail, caught my fancy on that long trail. ‘Outsiders’ make for a beautiful part of the trail of life..

Friday, April 10, 2015

The old is gold...

Moving into a new place brings with it a lot of new things. For one, the entire house looks unfamiliar. From north Delhi, I moved to south. From paying a rent of Rs. 2500, I know pay Rs. 25,000 (it's no magic or Chawl, it was rent control). From having a choice between  two metro stations at a walking distance, I hop into an auto. From having the local “doodh wala” as my neighbor, I now have a spate of people around me, some of them with bad music tastes. From living in a 4 BHK, I now live in a 2 BHK. The list goes on and so can I, but for your benefit I will stop.
I settled in the new place quite comfortably because I was psyched to live with the love of my life. This place became home way too quickly and I wasn't guilty to let go of the place I had been living all my life (well almost).  We had also brought some of the white goods from my old place. Buying new things for two people did not make much sense back then. But today we purchased a new refrigerator and a washing machine. As I sat down, staring at the two refrigerators, I began to feel bereaved. I wasn't unhappy about the new one, but I was sad about letting the old one go. When certain things have been in your life for as long as you can remember, they somehow become  a part of all the moments that you have spent around them. At that moment, on my couch, I could only think of the good ones. The refrigerator is so old, the model is obsolete. The washing machine was an inconvenience and sounds like a drill machine. Yes, they are mere machines, but they have been a part of my life for so long, they ceased to be just machines. They were like a page in my book of life, one that I didn't feel like tearing off.
Why do we keep old birthday cards? Why do we smile looking at photographs from our childhood? An old letter perhaps? I have seen my mom save things that I have labeled as junk, only to realize now that they are invaluable, some of them to even others. They are invaluable because they remind us of the glory of the past and not many things can trigger that. There are moments in my past that I would want to let go, so it becomes easier to let go of the things that remind me of the same. But not my leaking refrigerator and the drill machine. You have been sold my friends, but you were there with me, in my good times and for the bad ones..

Friday, August 29, 2014

Is there a real slim shady?

A few days back I was talking to a friend and telling her how I miss writing. How I think I have had a million ideas but not the will to write. I have been writing a lot of stories and have become a content writer by profession though, so that's some solace. But I wanted to get back to filling this canvas of my personal space.

And then I saw it! The reason that triggered this blog. I saw another blog that had lifted all the content off my blog (I counted five posts which were mine) I appreciate the fact that this person at least had the sense to edit the parts that made no sense to her (since all my blogs are personal and you can't possibly feel exactly what I feel) but I felt invaded.. Cheated and not honored. The only happy thought I got was the joy of reading my own blog, I wrote well :)
There is a thin line between plagiarism and inspiration. I am yet to decipher it as I have been hearing the music directors since the 90's say it and not explain the difference. When I find out the music of barfi is lifted...it hurts. When I find out RD Burman copied music...it hurts. When I find out a recent idea of marketing by a channel I worked with, and the people who I admired for their creativity, copied it from an airline ad..it hurts. Is there no original thought or idea left now? Is that why we are resorting to remakes in bollywood and find ourselves reminiscing the good old past?
I have always loved the 70s as an era. Revolution was coming. Ideas were flowing. People were thinking and were proud of being original. I see scores of people now wanting to desperately hold on to these...those who have the time to stop and smell the rain. Or trying to adapt anything that is new (Americans were getting married in an Indian way because they thought that's why marriages last here...what they didn't know is most of our people don't have the balls to admit that there's is a crappy marriage). I don't have a problem with trying something new and see if it works for me...but this?
I recently got married. Call it the blissful lenses but I think my marriage is different from so many. We have our own work and space, we both cook (and my husbands a better one), we talk about everything that is related to us, we have our personal stuff as well and don't yearn to learn everything about each other, we didn't want an elaborate wedding or a reception to show off and we can be aloof and jack asses to people and not care. For me, these are things that are mandatory in a marriage or a relationship..a given. But when I shared it with some of my married friends...it became a gift. My in laws and I are very different people, but its working for us because we respect each others individuality. And no its not because I'm lucky, its because we are honest. We are just...as original as we can be.
We all develop over a period of time. Taking a part of everything and everyone who comes along, and shape into someone. If one is really proud of who they are and what they feel..one will not resort to being a "copy cat" (something that I used in my past quite often, along with cheater cock). It is my appeal to this female and all the others who think they can't churn anything original...at least try and not be shameless!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Musing...

I have had my share of surpises and shared enthusiasm of my birthday. My family and friends understand the excitement associated to it in my mind. Over the past few weeks I can’t stop thinking of one birthday though. It wasn’t an expensive surprise gift or a surprise party. Something that I had been craving for months or 12 o clock show up at the door. A crisp Sunday morning with the perfect breeze and the sun light wrapping us in its warmth. Colorful dancing waves of kites adorning the blue backdrop like candy on a tray. We used to love watching the kites….back then. After the morning wishes and my mothers special present, it was time to go up to the terrace to watch the dance. My cousin and my father were preparing to join in the war of the kites while my brother was happy watching the meticulous nature of their work. As soon as I joined them my father took a bright orange kite and wrote “Happy Birthday” 14th August on it. It accentuated my enthusiasm to the highest level as I saw that kite soar in the sky, fight it out and then land on someone’s terrace. Seeing my disappointment my dad told me that even though the kite lost a war, we saved ample “Manja” to begin another battle. And that put a smile on my face.

I don’t know why I keep on thinking about this day. The fact that I miss him is pretty obvious, I miss him all the time. But what I reminsce about this day the most is that bright orange kite and the enthusiasm with which my dad wrote the date and the message, like the day belonged to me. It made my day and it made a wonderful memory and all I wish right now is to fly another kite marking my day with him….

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Last Step

So this was long overdue...but that's not why it's special....let's not call it a 'post'


Listen to me my daughter, when I say
I was once a child like you, finding my way.
I didn’t stop to rest & smell the rain, or fulfil my desire...
I didn’t go up to that girl and tell her that I loved her.
I trusted everyone and they hurt me with their words,
But I didn’t thank the people, my cries who heard

You be your own person, you be the star,
You walk your way, you make it far
For I lived to see your first step and I could see
That you would make the last count before you sleep...

With years... before my hair started to grey,
I married a woman who I loved, but never did say
My daughter I raised you to be like the woman I adore,
And you had all that she has but much more
I guess I did something right, even when I thought I was wrong,
The path that I walked all my life, doesn’t seem so long

You be your own person, you be the star,
You walk your way, you make it far
For I lived to see your first step and I could see
That you would make the last count before you sleep...

My father, THE man, the one who raised me,
To be a daughter, a sister and the person I want to be.
I did smell the rain and my love I professed

I did shed a tear and to those I hurt, I confessed.
I made my own mistakes & so will my next,
But I will be the person you foresaw before I rest.

I will be my own person, I will be the star
I will tread my way hoping to make it far
Even though now you don’t live to see my last step
I am sure to tell you my story..after I rest

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Living the past in a moment....

A freshly brewed morning coffee with cookies and a hearty breakfast follows. The sun is high but so is my spirit. Back in Mumbai and its perfect coz the trip is just for a few days. While driving down the road that I once lived in memories hit the refresh button and all I can think of are the good times I have had in the city that never sleeps.

I pretty much had a similar feeling when I went back to Delhi. The moments were diluted coz of the action at that time in my life but nevertheless it was the same feeling. When one lives a thousand memories in a moment, it is like a moment out of a movie. Hands stretched, breeze in your hair, a moment of complete silence (or a good background score).

It is an amazing feeling when you can look back at the awesome times without a slightest regret of where you are. You are just glad to be here; as you were glad you lived those moments with the people. Mumbai just helped me hit the refresh button and I will admit I needed this. I was a little averse initially coz I thought that I will start to regret the decision of moving back to the city I call home. But I didn’t, and what was great was the fact that I loved every second of my time back in the place where I significantly grew up (I mean mentally). Meeting people after a long time not only made me think of the times I had with them but also made me realize that I like them even more now. Was it the distance? The small shelf life they come with? Or both?

Another day and another evening to go but I have made up my mind on the fact that this was way less than I wanted. I wanted a few days here with all the people I left behind. Some of them I call friends and cherish even more because I found them at a time in life when I had given up hope of making friends for real.

Mumbai left me wanting for more and this is what is awesome….

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Being selfish is not vice…

One of the things that come easily to every human being is being selfish. It is uncanny that the word bears negative connotations. I remember a dialogue from how I met your mother (a sitcom on TV) where Lily (a protagonist on the show) asks Marshal “What is the nice word for selfish?” and he says “Independent”.

My rendezvous with the feeling has been since long. Recently it was on account of an experience that made me feel evil. One of my closest friends’ father was hospitalized on account of a clot in the brain, something my dad had about 4 years back. And he had a miraculous recovery. I was very happy with his recovery and finding him absolutely ok was a relief, but I couldn’t stop myself from thinking- why didn’t my dad have that luck? Why did her dad survive and mine didn’t? And to be very honest I was more upset for myself than I was happy for her. Shear evil by the books right? But I guess I have made peace with it that I am “Independent”.

I guess people relate to things more easily once they make it about themselves. I have to admit that in my case it’s a wee bit much. But we honestly live in a world where hypocrisy=opinionated, ego=self respect, stupid=daring, agnostic=secular idiot=adventurous and yup selfish=independent! As we grow up we get beyond text book definitions and accommodate more meanings to every word. Our dictionary stems out of convenience. I guess convenience drives principles as well now.

I am not defending my impulsive reaction. I know somewhere I have not come in terms with my fathers’ death and mostly I was always selfish. But the “good part” is some of my biggest acts of kindness & friendliness are an outcome of this so called vice. I am nice to people because at the end of the day it makes me happy.

I think of all the power that the human mind has the power to reason is the strongest. It helps us to look at our vices and give them a practical twist. We reason to be accepted not just in others eyes but our own. I guess it helps me conclude that being selfish is really ok, as long as I can reason it.