Thursday, December 28, 2006


I looked at my laptop screen in front of me and willed it as far away from me as possible. It dint go. I looked again and finally clicked on the words,

View Scores

And my eyes filled with tears.

Some people are plain cranky.. some people are plain hard hearted. I call myself a convert.

I used to be a real cry baby when I was a kid, but hey, who isn't?? Then, experiences and sad loves of teenage years made me hard hearted. I remember one time my best friend, the doc, came up to me and said,

"Pragni, please cry. For once. Cry out of your pain,
your sadness, or anything at all. But cry."

Ofcourse, hearts heal, or you learn to move on. And then you start smiling again. More importantly you start laughing and crying again. But there is still a guard on the emotions. And this is how people are shaped. Moulded and set into a cast which fits them for a lifetime, except for some chips.

But there have been very very few times that I have cried out of happiness. One was when a dance I had choreographed had been executed to absolute perfection. It was the perfect performance all performers, choreographers and guru's vie for. When the dance was in action, my eyes were full of tears.

That one was unexpected. So was this one.

The second time. My orkut scrapbook told me that my results were out. My TOEFL results. The score card said that I got 118. On 120.

I expected 100, I wanted 115, I got 118. I also did not want 115. 'Coz now I don't want to go to US. I want to go out and study but for some reason, not USA. As soon as I told everyone about it, EVERYONE said, "Now you are set to leave." I don't want to.

Doc had also told me once,

"Daarling, you always say you wont get good marks on this exam or you wont get thru this entrance. But you always do. You'll get good scores in GRE and TOEFL both. Just you see."

This one is for you daarling. And your absolute trust in me. Even I don't trust myself that much.

The 118 filled my eyes with tears. I'm still trying to figure out if they were happy tears or sad. I don't know. I think I don't know.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

My first film..

So I'v been away. Not away as in out of town, but away from my blog. Coz another baby occupied my time up entirely. I was sitting on the computer day in and day out, but I forgot to log on to the internet all those times. I was still straining my eyes while I poured over the comp screen, but I forgot my blog address and my inbox altogether.

I was too busy making my first film. It's a raw kind of film, made from still picture clippings, and mixed with my voice over and a sound piece which i had to search and search for. But it's the first film I have made from start to finish, meaning editing, sounds, directing (if you can call it that) and voice over. Its not fiction.. but I dont think its non-fiction too. My prof believes that it's not a very good film yet, he says I can do better than this if I want to present the film to anyone. Hmm.. so here is the link and the embedded window too. Whichever works..

Friday, December 08, 2006

Application horrors..

For some reason, I still believe that I will not go to USA finally. For some reason, my mind believes that I will not get admission into any of the universities I apply to, and that will be the end of it all. And oh! I will also not get good TOEFL scores that means that no USA at all. And because I am subconciously ready for this, I am consciously also waiting for it. Which mean that now, I actually dont want to go to US anymore.

I checked the website of a very famous media school in India, which has a 6 months creative communications course which is perfect for me. Only it is a certificate course. But I am almost ready to compromise with my want for a masters degree and my desire to stay here, in India.

I have been calling my department at college continuously from the last week trying to fix an appointment with a particularly elusive professor who has agreed to sign a recommendation. Finally today I just dropped my reco with the co-ordinator and begged him to read it out to the prof while she's smoking her usual 3 ciggs before the lecture. He has agreed, but I need to call him again on Monday morning to remind him about this.
I was finally given the letterheads I have been running behind from the last 2 weeks. The female makes me wait for half an hour coz its her lunch time (at 2:30 goddamit) and then she says, "Oh sirf letterhead chahiye tha toh pehle bolna tha na..". The transcripts have still not arrived. The guy at the counter showed them to me but said, "yeh raat ke file se madam ke paas jayega, woh sign karegi aur fir tayaar hoga". Then he realizes that I gave my application on 20th november and he says he will hurry it up and as a special effort for me, I will not have to produce my reciept to collect them. Can I start pulling out my hair now??

Meanwhile, I have decided to reject the recommendation that was to be signed by my present HOD. He insulted me, and after that there is no need for him to write me a reco. I mean, a professor who shows no conviction in me especially need not write me a reco. Its not about being egoistic, its about wanting the best. And I have realized that he is not the best so I have no need for him. I will most probably use his reco for another professors.

This state of limbo is putting me through awful mood swings. The creative genuis arrives this monday night and I am so happy about it. But the next moment something else strikes me and pulls me down. I must be torture to put up with right now. Have a million assignments to finish, SOP to write, online applications to begin and a movie to make.

And here I am.. blogging..

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Life from a consumer's perspective

I woke up with a very profound thought today...

Take whatever you get from life, if you try to take more than what you want.. more than what you have.. then it will be a waste anyway. Not only will the extra stuff rot, you will have no need for it anyway..

Its like studying consumer behavior.. If you buy more than what you need, and more than what can fit in your shopping basket and shelf at home, the extra products will have no use and will hence rot. Hence it is best to understand your needs and not fake them to reach for more.

I guess this is my tribute to "The greatest Philosopher with Golden words", Ayn Rand and it is my way of asserting that the only religion or philosophy I follow is Objectivism.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

One blogger to another.. a missed chance..

The convocation was today. We (Pri and me) reached around half an hour later but of course, it had still not started. We were handed our gowns and caps. I helloed everyone and Pri air kissed and hugged everyone. While she hobnobbed with her friends, hers not mine, I stood in a distance, looking out at only a few people who I thought were worth calling friends.

After seating my parents in the Audi, I came out to the foyer again to notice a classmate walk in. Now this classmate, lets call her Sm, requires special mention. When I joined BMM, as I have mention before I used to stay as aloof as possible. I had noticed another girl who had the same attitude. She was really pretty, had the perfect figure and this twang to her speech and this o-hell look on her face. I turned up late for a lecture one day, and so did she. We had some 80 minutes to spend outside the class in the corridor. After sitting at a distance for sometime, she noticed the book I was reading, and asked me which one it was. She told me that she too loved Ayn Rand. I said
Who doesn't? Unless brainless...
She smiled and started telling me about herself. She said she wanted to live alone, in the same city but as an independent woman. She had ideas which seemed between radical and western. She spoke as if she was really confident of herself, but there was a slight hitch in her voice, like looking for acceptance. The lecture ended sooner and we went back to class. Both apart in our aloof, indifferent worlds. Both forgot about the other's existence.

We dint ever talk again. She slowly gained a group, four guys, and another girl. She was then steady with one of those guys and they all hardly attended college but were always very very chummy. Like soul friends. Another guy in that group, hated me for some reason and we had a showdown in the last semester. So all interaction after that first semester's missed lecture was either extinct or indirect.

Around the fifth semester, the class realized that I wrote a blog on msn spaces. Lots of them read it, it was the class grouch writing about her personal life which they were interested in. The blog was spotted by an interfering aunty from our class and she spread the word. I blocked the blog to the public and gave access to a very few people. Now that blog has become like my personal online diary, but anyway. By the beginning of this year, 2006, I was into blogging, totally into it. I used to read a lot of blogs and like a very few. I dint leave comments coz I dint think my comments mattered. (I know it is blasphemous to even think of that now. Comments are sacred to all bloggers)

One day I came upon a blog which was written by someone called "Color-changing Chameleon". The writer was writing for her friends to read. Her style of writing was very personal and her posts were about her life more and the rest was about her immediate life. It didn't take me long to figure out that the blog was Sm's. I read through the blog. It was a refreshingly well written blog. Without any self consciousness. I visited the blog often. After a lot of visits, I saved the address in my favorites.

I still haven't added her blog on my blog list.

When Sm walken in today and smiled a hi at me, it was with a thoroughly disinterested look. The way I was looking at everyone else too. The convocation started. At the end of the function, there was a movie made by our batch which had everyones pictures and some video clippings. Sm and me both were not present through out the film. Not a single picture, mention or video clipping in a 30 minute long film. My mom dad were flabbergasted. They never really thought I meant it when I said that I have nothing to do with college. Sm dint look like she minded terribly too.

After the ceremony got over, I kept wondering if I should go up to her and tell her I read her blog. I thought that she had a right to know it. I would have wanted to know if she or anyone else read my blog. I explained my situation to mom and she said I dint need to go, but I could if I wanted to. Pri thought that I should not be seen 10 inches near "That kind of a girl", and the battle raged within me.

I headed towards her twice and turned away. I noticed the new Thai haircut she had blogged about. I wanted to congratulate her on not granting favours for the dream job that she wanted. I wanted to congratulate her on the new job that she got and sounded so excited about in her blog. I wanted to tell her that well, guys do forget important things sometimes but hers was truly intelligent. I wanted to tell her that I too had a crushingly huge attachment to my school, but somehow felt nothing for my junior college as well BMM. I wanted to blurt out all my suppressed comments. I wanted to tell her that I know I'm not a friend. I never even wanted to be one. But her Blog makes me feel like I know some bits about her. Some bits which were important enough to write about.

I wanted to talk to her, one blogger to another. Surprisingly, I know no one in the real life who has a virtual life of a blogger. Everyday in the train, I look at a stylishly dressed woman, and try to look for signs which would point to the fact that she blogs. I would try to observe if she observes people a lot, if she thinks a lot, if she smiles those small half smiles to herself. And here I had another blogger in front of me, and I had no idea if I should approach her or not.

I left my college without talking to her. I went to her blog after I came home, and I dint leave a comment. Someday I will tell her, Sm, I read your blog, and I read it coz I think you write real well. Not the novel kind of writings, but the natural, inherent kinds, where it feels like the author is actually just talking to you, not writing something down.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Down an embittered memory lane

Times change things so fast..

I started my application process today. My first Reco is packed and done. Sealed, signed and just waiting to be delivered now. Hopefully next reco will be done by thursday and another tomorrow. Transcripts application will be done on thursday too. They will be completed next thursday.

My first finished Reco is the most unexpected one. It was written by the HOD of BMM. I remember her as a dragon lady. She was this new inductee in our department in our second year, and she hardly knew us. Being the recluse that I was in college, she just knew me by name and face because BMM has only 55 students in each year. No one knew me and I dint let anyone know me. I dint participate in any college activites (yea, it IS true) and I genuinely dint care so I was pretty happy with the status quo. I was known to a few select professors who I thought had enough sense, rest I kept away from. To sum the story up, my legacy was obviously not passed on. Hence when I seeked leave to go US, she put as many impedements as she could.
After that, when I was caught in an imbroglio, she tried her best to not rescue me out but to implicate me further to make an example out of me. Although my profs stood up for me and got me the off with the least they could manage, she saw to it that even that least was heavy enought for me.

Well, she made a few noises but after running around for more than two hours, I got the work done. To my satisfaction. After the work was done, I looked around. I was back in the place I had spent three years in. Three years wanting out. I looked aorund and felt no nostalgia. No emotions choking me. I was glad. I had never been attached to my college, and it had remained that way even after I left the college. I noticed the smallest of changes dispassionately.

There was a cooler instead of the tap we filled water from coz we were too lazy to go to the main cooler on the other side of the corridor. The first year, Second Year and Third Year rooms had new curtains. There was a colorful mike box in the Third Year room. The window of the office cabin had been done up in some intricate hand painted design. The co-ordinator had changed. The LCR had a speaker with "Jalwa" playing through.

But somethings were still the same.

The students were all dolled up. I still looked down on the BA/BCOM/BSC students. They still leered at every BMM girl. And they still ooohed over most BMM guys. Cellphones were still used stealthily. Frankie was still popular in the college canteen. Most Basketball players were still BMM guys and girls. Pramod still flashed his hundred watt smile and helped me with everything. Some Junior still found respite from her situation by bitching about another student to Pramod and calling the other student all kinds of names. Pramod stilled rightfully examined my phone and asked me, "Naya model hai kya market mein??"

I left college knowing that I would be back this thursday and Saturday. But I think this was the only time I left College with a truly happy heart.

I got a lot of pics too.. in sepia tones.. of empy class rooms.. I was absolutely delighted with them.. will post them soon.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Deepening the blue..

Since my GRE scores have come, my once firm mind has turned soft, un-firm, whatever. My plans were concrete earlier, study copy-writing and creative writing abroad. Now all of a sudden they have turned to mush, as mushy and un-concrete as a rainwater puddle.

This metamorphosis happened because, by the time my GRE drew close I was sure I would score a not-very-good score, since my best friend, who is super intelligent scored a 1320 that too on his second attempt. I was prepared to pack up my dreams and not go to USA. I had decided MICA's creative arts course was perfect for me, so what if it was a little too expensive. And so what if it was in that god forsaken place it was in.

Whenever anyone asked me why I seemed not so hunky-dory about the idea of studying abroad now I just shrugged it off. Somehow when someone I consider a very good friend asked me with utter and due shock about why I don't wanna go to USA, I just broke the barrier and listed my reasons..

1. I wanna study in MICA coz that seems like an easy entry.

2. I don't think I can make it into a good US university

3. I am unhappy here... how will I be happy there

4. I like routine.. I don't want to be uprooted from here and smashed in between nowhere

5. Even if I do make it into a University what if I am not competent enough for copy-writing

6. I am too scared to face the fact that the career I wanna go on, might not be the one I am go

To which he replied:

is tag heur rightly spelled?

I mean.... what is the world coming too??

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Flailing to grasp a slippery bond

You've gone and left an empty space,
a void, a scoop right in the center of my being.
Life doesn't halt
Why, its going great actually
'cept there's nothing, no one at all now anywhere
I don't know why I'm writing this anyway
I dunno if you've gone or have I pushed away.

After you've given up on me as your right,
I'm more yours than I ever was then.
My last chance at joy, my last real smile,
you are the silliness and you are the beauty.
It was your presence that brought it all out
the incoherent ramblings and unspoken mumblings
I don't know why I'm writing this anyway
Its not like it matters anymore anyway.

My eyes open to those tunes you named after me,
I heard them then, and I see them now
They play in my dreams, faraway from the grasp of wakefulness
When dreams and realities crash, its often reality that emerges victorious
But, the fallacy is of the mind,
it can't even live without the very same dreams.
Have you ever noticed that fears grow stronger when spoken or written about
I don't know why I'm writing this anyway
Its not like you are going to notice the change.

I thought pain came only once in a lifetime
you kept saying that I was being immature.
You said you want things, its either all or nothing
I said you were not being pragmatic.
You said life always gives a second chance,
I said once, is all you get
You hoped for all
I accepted nothing.
We never realized when we both fell apart
And when we finally did, it hurt you too much.
Once you've been with the wrong person in life,
I'm sorry, but everything seems wrong after that.
I don't know why I'm writing this anyway
Its like purgatory, only if you accept it that way.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Demeaning the Value of Education

I have a friend who is doing her Ph D. From US, University of Illinois in Bio Chemistry. She came to India this June, after finishing a year and was nearly in tears. Her roomie was harassing her, her guide was exploiting her, her work schedule was too much and she had lost more than 10 kgs in less than one year ( She had been under-weight when she had gone anyway). Valiantly for the first few weeks here, she said she was happy there, and had a lot of fun, but her body disclosed it all. When everyone came to know of her hardships, concerned, they asked her to not return. Everyone consoled her saying that no one would think less of her, and she could just get on with a plum job that she had. She did not answer. When the time to leave came, she was happily waving goodbye from the airport and was going back to her life there. My dear friend is still there, getting her Ph D. and again is not complaining at all.

Another friend, is pursuing his PhD. from Mumbai University. He says, he has to break heads with his guide day in and day out, has to put in enormous amounts of effort and time into research and basic gadha-majuri but is still raring for it.

My Head Of Department, is 40 years old, and is in the process of obtaining a PhD. from Monash University, Australia, through correspondence. He is doing so because handling the department of Communication and Journalism of Mumbai University is no small feat. But he wants a PhD., even at this later phase in life (not very late if you ask me) because there are chances that Mumbai University will plant a OBC Category PhD. in his place who is a bloody dimwit and thinks that "Philadelphia is a big country outside of USA".

All these people I know are slogging for their doctorates. Not just coz they want the decorative type in front of their name claiming them Doctors, but because they have the knowledge, passion and zest to get the degree. I want a Doctorate degree sometime in my future. And I want the toil and effort that goes with it. And the goddamn respect. Because it is no child's play to get one.

How then, can a supposedly prestigious university of India easily applaud a few people honorary PhD.'s and get away with it?? Oh to add to that, University of Jhansi had done the same deed some months ago too.

Amitabh Bachchan asked, "Do I deserve this Honour?" and the media clicked on. I will answer you Mr. Bachchan, NO, you don't deserve this honour. Give him Padam Shrees and Padam Bhushans but don't give him Doctorates for heavens sake.

I admire Amitabh Bachchan. I still do. I have always judged actors on their acting and nothing else, not even their looks, coz according to me, an actors skill lies in acting. And Mr. Amitabh Bachchan is a very dexterous actor to say the least. But he is not, definately not, an academician. And he has done nothing to warrant the honorary doctorate lauded on him.

I had always respected Delhi University. It is one of the oldest Universities of India and one of the most respected one world-wide. Not anymore. DU wanted to imitate a certain foreign University since it awarded honorary doctorates to Indian luminaries and hence it followed suit. Not done. The rest of the bandwagon who have been awarded these degrees has politicians too.

These luminaries have been given these doctorates for the outstanding performance in their respective fields. Please tell me, are these fields not their career paths?? Don't they get money out of whatever work they do?? Then what purpose does this doctorate serve to them??

If this is all that is the value of a PhD. how many people will still want to get it?? If you demean the value of education what is left of your economy?? Education is the highest judging level which is tangible, if you muddy that yardstick too, what more is left??

One more question, how come no one, absolutely no one thinks this is the stupidest thing to do?? I mean, media has come out with shining articles about how good a move this is, people are smiling and happy, and someone even wrote a letter to the editor of times and Mumbai Mirror saying that such a step is truly great and praise-worthy. Am I mad or is the world mad??

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The current love of my life..

Introducing ladies and gentlemen... the new and true love of my life.. (*wild applause follows*).

Yes yes yes yes yes.... this is my new phone. Its ultra chic, ultra sexy and again very unlike a phone. Its not as weird, well yes unique too, as my old phone but I m sure even this one will not have a wild fan following and lots of people madly clamoring to buy it.

Anyhow, this phone does not have a dial pad, does not have a alphabet pad but instead it has a stylus!! It is extremelyyyy complicated, has 2 megapixel camera, business card reader, and touchscreen with handwriting recognition.

Thankfully, as usual people are surprised when they see it, and as usual everyone doesn't like it, precisely the reason why I like it. I do miss my old love my 7600, but well I keep it in my bag all the time so its not too far from me!!

To end it all, I love it. I dont want to part with it if I have to go...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Class System in Local Trains

Chronicles of a train traveller Part four

15 Differences between:

"A First Class Ladies Compartment"
  1. When someone steps on your feet, they look at you apologetically.
  2. You wont hear anyone creating a ruckus in joy
  3. When its crowded to the hilt, people will realign their bodies, fit them in grooves and niches to fit like one proper well-moving fabric.
  4. When everyone's seated except one, the one will remain standing if she's unaware of an empty seat in the far corner.
  5. If you cry, you cry alone and ignored.
  6. If you get a place to sit, which you normally always do, you'll be able to study undisturbed for the entire journey.
  7. If an interesting conversation is taking place anywhere in the compartment, everyone eavesdropping will maintain an absolute poker face.
  8. As soon as the final station draws near, almost everyone in the compartment will pull out their compacts and brushes and eye liners and will get busy applying it.
  9. Most women chatting on the phone do so in low tones or they cup their hands around their mouthpieces.
  10. No one sits on the floor of the compartment, anywhere.
  11. The groups in the compartments are fixed and they genuinely participate in each other's life and are concerned for one another.
  12. The samosa and wada wala, and the paper wala frequent this compartment. The sandwich wala does not come(Why??)
  13. The Ticket Checker (TC) comes every other day to check tickets inside the compartment.
  14. Cat fights, train fights, hardly happen. Pretty rare :( no entertainment!!
  15. There are people from all strata's of the society here, rich, poor, middle class and sometimes even very rich.

"secund c-lass leddies comparatment"
  1. Its common to step on someone's feet, otherwise how will you ever get to wherever in hell that you want to go.
  2. You wont not hear everyone creating a ruckus in joy
  3. When its crowded to the hilt, you'll hear and feel the squelch of bodies and the squeeze of flesh.
  4. If a seat is empty in any corner, and anyone at all is standing, it will become everyones business to see to it that the standing passenger does finally occupy that seat.
  5. If your eyes even become watery, all the women around you will ask you if everything's ok. Sab Barr aahe na??
  6. If you get a place to sit, and you normally don't, you will definitely not be able to study. The aunty next to you will want to know what you are doing and will peep her nose into your big book, the kid in front of you will want to play with your pants and there will just be general pandemonium.
  7. If an interesting conversation is taking place anywhere in the compartment, everyone eavesdropping will have their own tidbit to add and subtract. Even if its a conversation about someone's sex life!!
  8. If you so much as comb your hair, or check your face in a mirror, the aunty in front of you will either comment on your looks or say. "ho gaya?? powder showder??"
  9. Most women who make or receive calls will do it on full volume. They will even discuss their company details, pending work, boss's affair, husband's work in a tone loud enough for the entire compartment to hear.
  10. Everyone sits on the floor of the compartment, especially near the exit.
  11. There are very few specific groups coz other than that, everyone talks to everyone about everything.
  12. The samosa, wada, sandwich wala come to this compartment. The paper wala does not come (Why??)
  13. The TC never comes. Not inside the compartment ever.
  14. The famous trains fights, cat fights at that, happen almost everyday.
  15. There is no differentiation between any strata's of society here. But predominantly, it is contained of the lower middle class and below.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Utter joy, gone forever..

A capsule of joy, an infallible time of bliss.

When you've experienced such things, is it possible to explain to your mind that it was just meant for that much time, and that time will not return. Is it possible to move on with life, just as normal and not expect life to ever give you that capsule again. Is it possible to accept just that much bliss and contentment and live your entire life out in that. Is it possible to be thankful for that little time, leave it untouched in your memory, and not compare every other time with that capsule.

Is it possible to become pragmatic again, to reason with yourself and anyone else affected that, that time has passed, and that time wont ever return. That, that time was given to you just coz it was obvious that there will be no other time like that. Id it possible to be very very realistic in one part of your brain, but let the other small part dream and hope of a future ingrained in fantasy. Is it possible to abandon everything you live for right now, everything you love now, everything you want now just to relive that capsule over and over and over again.

Is it possible to be human, make mistakes, be selfish, be greedy, want more and still care more for that capsule than anything else at all.

There are two kinds of contentment in life. Love, true love and joy, utter bliss.
And everyone gets only one shot at both. What happens if you fail at both. Coz if you even get one, you can live on the buttress of that for your entire life, those who get both, they are goddamn lucky, but if you get neither.. then what happens of your life.

Wont you start living a shallow, selfish life, coz life dint dish out both to you. Wont you start hating idealism, romanticism, perfection in a system or society co life denied you both. And in that selfishness, you'll lash out to those who still live under the shadow of idealism and hope. Coz you are devoid of emotions, you'll call everyone else an emotional fool. Rightly so.

But how long will you hide the enviousness you feel when other feel and you don't. How long will you hide the twist of pain you feel when other love and you don't. How long will you hide the jab of hurt when other are happy and you are not. How long will you hate the fact that you have started loving the life of a loner, loving being lonesome.

No wonder you reject love, hope, friendship, pain, obsession and emotion too. No wonder you can't spin rhymes the way you could once. No wonder you live alone in your ivory tower, locked from inside, not outside. No wonder your life is real while your thoughts are stuck in your dreams..

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Echoes in the night and utter joy..

There's something weird about my system. I spend the entire day seriously studying for GRE (I have long abandoned the three hour plan, its more like an entire day thing now what with my GRE 10 days away..OMG)and even then I don't sleep at night. I mean I just don't understand what I m doing up at 3 in the night. If Majnunath hears of this he will kill me. That's my GRE prof, who has taken it on as a personal responsibility for me to score well, although I keep advising him that its not such a good idea to hope for so much. He;s planned out an actual schedule for me.

Anyway, Yesterday was Diwali. Even now, I can hear the echoes of fire-crackers bursting somewhere far away. Thankfully people on my locality are fast asleep, tired no doubt after continuously bursting crackers from the last 6 hours or more.

When I was speaking to my Brother early in the morning, he told me a very astonishing thing. His company, an American one has announced that they will feed lunch to all employees on Monday, on the occasion of Diwali and New year. Now my bro's firm is basically an international conglomerate, a very famous company dealing in Electronic gadgets, mobile phones et all. This missive came as a surprise to all the employees, Americans and Indians.
The Americans in his project group, asked the Indians in it, what Diwali exactly was, and why it was such a big festival that they were being given a company lunch. The Indians went on to explain about Ram, Sita, Ravan and Laxman as succincently as they could. half way through the yankies stopped them and requested, "Could you please explain all this in terms of Dick, Jane and Robert. We'd understand it better then!!" ROFL

My suggestion: Tell them, that Diwali is, if not more, the equivalent of Christmas. Its the same kind of good-will, festivity, shopping, gifting, feasting, crackers and fun!!

I have been brought up in a very minimalistic household. My parents don't believe in celebration of any kind, so no birthday celebrations (once you are mature that is), no festivals that are celebrated and no nothing. We normally eat out once a week, so eating out on any celebratory days is banal. I have never been fascinated my fire-crackers too, although fire is my personality type, the loud noise kinds crackers turn me off completely. So i just love watching others burst the noiseless fiery kind of crackers. No bursting for me. My parents are Jains, so no Pooja for them too. So the point I m trying to drive across is that, Diwali for me, is now just an occasion when I see Mumbai decked up in its best, bright with lights and people wishing each other all the time. Alas, my mom dad give everyone Diwali Bonus except me, so that's another joy discounted.

So when you see Diwali, understand Diwali and yet remain detached from it, experiencing it is another joy all together. People long-forgotten will message you and wish you, everyone will force mithais, chaklis or some good thing or the other down your throat. You can eat chocolates without being stopped, and everyone is generally in a very happy, forgive and forget mood. All homes are decked with bright colourful lights, and small glints of fire coming from the well decorated diyas. Rangolis everywhere, lots of colour.. vibrancy and feeling of good-will.

Its the festival of joy. Truly is.

P.S: A friend gifted me a white sari as a Diwali gift, (I had wanted it from a long time). I'm damn excited coz Iv never had a Diwali Gift before!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lost home..

There is something called a deep-rooted, deep-seated fear. People fear huge things, gigantically, scary and really truly mortifying things. I just read Shantaram and I realized that there are a lot of fears which I haven't seen, which I haven't experienced.

Yet after last December, some kind of a fear has taken root in me, deep within me. It was just a robbery, just an encounter with the pilferist, but it has settled in me. And I hate it.

Now everytime, I hear a knock, some movement unwarranted, something amiss, it feels like something has clutched my belly with deep sharp claws. It's bloody scary and irritating. Because, I hate being intimidated by anything, especially by something that is done and over with. I hate looking up the stairs, everytime I insert my key in the lock, and I hate feeling scared when I hear that my mom is alone at home. I hate double checking every lock, every door, every sound and everything in the house when I am alone. I hate not feeling safe in my own cocoon, the only home I have ever known in my life. Its frustrating.

I love this house, even though I know that I wont live here my entire life, I love this place. Understandable. And from this same love arises this hate. And want. I want to be able to feel safe and secure again. To stride nonchanantly into my home and feel at ease. I want my home back.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

About blogging...

[ Disclaimer: I have finished my required three hours of studying today + my college work too {not that I'm boasting}]

I have been pondering from quite some time about blogging anonymously. I never had the option, or if I did, I didn't consider it at that time.I started blogging as an experiment on MSN Spaces, but that turned into a personal diary, so I blocked it for people, made it private. But those few people who live far away from me, and who read my space there as a link to me felt cheated. Hence I started a blog on blogger. Which will explain why my earliest posts have a number of dates clubbed together under one day. I just lifted parts I could share from my space and posted here.

Then I got into proper blogging. On blogspot. Around the same time I starrted blogging on Mumbai Metblogs, metblogs opened me to whole new world of bloggers. Suddenly I realized that "Oh My God, So many people blog, in so many styles and about so many topics"
I had truly been initiated into the blogosphere then. I started reading a lot of blogs. I picked favourties, stored them on my fav list, then did the smart blogger thing to do and stored them on the links list on my blog and I then started to spruce up my blog.
Around this time I realized two important things:

1. There are well defined, well shaped groups inthe blog world. People link to each other, read each other, leave countless comments and follow-up comments to each other and generally look out for one another.

2. The best bloggers seem to be journalists. Just seem to be. And its not neessarry to love their blogs or like them even.

And unfortunately for me, both these important things scae me to hell and back. One, coz I have never been able to fit into any group as such. I'm not sure if no groups is good groups (no news is good news types..) but I seem to be pretty content in my little circle of commentators and bloggers. Not that it is a group. Its mostly my froends in the real world who are also now sitting up and taking notice of my little virtual world. Which is good, coz those of my friends who dont read my blog are missing out on a part of my world, which is absolutel essential to me now.

And two, coz I am ohalfway on the path to be a journalist. So its not like I dont want to be as intelligent as them, but I just dont want to be a bloody Journalist. Especially after this master's degree which I am gonna acquire half way I have realized that advertising IS my true calling. Like how sometimes, doing the wrong thing shows you what exactly is the right thing for you.

Now after reaching this point in my blogging, I have been debating if I should start an anon blog of my own. If you ask for the reasons, I dont have them. Maybe I want to be viewed as an identity apart from the one I have always been know for. Perhaps I want t be abl to open a little bit of that private blog to the public, but I'm too scared to do it just to be judged on what people know of me till now.

I have been initiating a few college friends into the world of blogging, and when i ask them if they wnt to blog with a pseudonym or with their own names, I feel a twinge. I just dint have this question thrown to me when I started blogging.

I read Ideasmith's Blog regularly now, which started of quite accidently. She blogs anonymously, but has her own identity. She has been contemplating revealing herself from quite sometime now. There are many who say do it, and some who say dont. I dont know what I feel, but I sure do wish I had the choice.

You know how we all have been thru that phase, when we took up silly names for our email ids. In the heat of the teenage moment. Similarly, I took this name in the heat of the moment. There are times when i wonder why I'm so stuck with this term "Dreams". It's childish, come to think of it, its like a label stuck on me, which I seem to have stuck with quikfix myself.

A lot of people have asked me why my MSN nickname, my blogspot ID, and a lot of other things are attached to dream. From quite sometime. Rather from when my life became a tumultous rocking yo-yo. At that time it seemed like dreams were the only anchor my life had. My dreams broke too, but they remained my anchor. I still can't shrug it off, and I guess when I do, I'd have left that one stoic, solid point in my life too.

Anyway, so my dreams have defined my identity. I know that for those who dont know me, and still read my blog, I am still an anonymous person. But I am very careful to not display my pictures anywhere. I am very careful to not give away details of my life, which would enable anyone to trace a trail to me.

But still that is not anonymity. I wonder howmany people would read my blog if i started one anonymously.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

GRE n more..

I have started my GRE classes. Which mean that I'm seriously putting in effort to do well in the exam. Which also means that I am face to face with my glaring inadequacy. Which is that I'm not only terrible in math, Quant whatever you want to call it, I'm also not as good as I thought I was in verbal. My prof (don't-call-me-sir-but-Karan) has told me that he will spank me if I say that, since he (just like everyone) expects more than that for me. Thank God he doesn't read my blog.

Well the classes have psyched me. After my first class, I decided that I would not blog unless I studied for three hours in a day. Now this turned out to be a no-gainer coz by the time I finished the stipulated three hours after my exhausting college day, it would be well past 2 in the night. Plus I would be too pooped to be able to get the laptop on and running and then go blog. My priorities just changed over night.

One day I was declaring my blog addiction and the next day on, I was totally off them!! Yes I missed the goddamn blogosphere but I held myself off. And I did numbers, ratios, proportions, percentages and circles. And I did word-lists and analogies and RC's.

I know all you masters achieved engineers out there are rolling your eyes, or chuckling at me and thinking, "Oh we've been through that rigmarole" but that does not make my life easier!!

I wonder if all this is worth it. I wonder if this aloofness I've developed regarding my college and college work is worth the hard work put in for just going to the yonder world to study.
I now understand why its impossible to do or co-ordinate anything along with GRE studies.
I now understand why its imperative to study for hours at a stretch when preparing for GRE.
I now understand why my future roomie (hoping against hopes) has been holed up at home from the last month preparing for his upcoming GRE on 25th. He refused to even go out for dinner with the entire group. Now I understand why, and now I respect him more for it.
I now understand why I hate maths. Really.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rude Women, Their Breaking Marriages And its Repercussions

Chronicles of a Train Traveller

Its 5 in the evening. Too late and too dangerous to take a fast train to Andheri from Churchgate. The train fills even before it stops to unload at Churchgate. And in Andheri, it is impossible to get down in one piece, even if that is managed, you are sure to be molested, pushed, pulled, felt, scraped, bruised and in general harassed. But well that is life.

Anyway, my best bet is to take an Andheri bound slow train, which has not been filled to its capacity even before it stops at Churchgate station. As I have pointed out before, to capture the coveted seat
better named as Queen Anne's Seat, I always hop onto the compartment before anyone else can. Similarly today as the train chugged in and slowed to a gradual halt, I held out my hand and grabbed the center pole. As i heaved myself ahead and placed one foot on the footboard, another female slammed into my hand and placed both her feet on the footboard, wedging my foot almost off the board.

"Aunty", I said, " just one minute."
"No" She screeched, "I will get in before you."
"But aunty.."
"NO NO. I will go first"

By now the train had halted fully and people were poring in from the other side. I was balanced in so precariously that if the woman did not stop ramming full force into my hand I would fall off the only foothold I had.
Exasperated I tried to reason out, "Aunty, you go first, I don't care, just let me balance both my feet on, then you go in first."
"No I will go first you remove your hand" she continued screaming right into my ears.
"Yes aunty, but if I let go of the pole, I will fall off the train."
"No i will go first"

My friends had caught up by now, and were.. what were you guys doing?? I dint hear anything from any of you all this while. OK this is normally coz I'm the first to hurry up the train.

After confirming with T(Miss earphones) on the phone I have found out that while this discussion was going on she and Pt were both repeating everything I was saying to the woman. T also adds that she was glaring away to glory at the female since it was obvious that I was trying to be as polite as possible while the woman was atrociously rude.

Well the woman refused to listen to anyone and finally pushed me away and rammed on thrusting my hand to the side. One would have thought that the fog in her brains would have cleared once she entered into the compartment, before me. But no.

She marches inside and turns around and hurls out with her foul mood at me.

"I am you mother's age, you should know better than to talk to me like that"
"But aunty, I was letting you go in first anyway. All i was asking..."
"No asking shasking. You can't get into a compartment that way"
"But all I was saying is that I needed to get my footing.."
"But will you understand what I was saying?? I just wanted to get my balan..."
"I don't care. You girls.."

That was quite enough for me. Also by now I had noticed that this was one of those trains where there were two of the Queen Anne's Seat, and since the stupid woman had not noticed that yet, the seat was yet unoccupied. I steered my friends towards that seat and turned back and told her,
"Well that was the main problem, you just dint get it that I was trying to let you only go first, I just needed to place my foot in."

I heard her muttering about how these girls don't know how to talk with women and as such generally complain to thin air coz it looked like no one was paying attention to her. More like snickering at her.

As we plonked ourselves in the coveted seat, Earphones gave me a pearl of wisdom from her infinite collection. She declared, "She has a crumbling marriage and is removing her frustration directed at her husband on you. Even her children don't listen to her anymore." And then she shook her head sadly, connoting, What is the world coming to.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Life and its injustice... Sighhh

10:48 PM: I am just about settling in for bed. Life is blissful. I will do a few sums from Barron's. Ok not few, around 100. But not all today. No other work. I put my cell for charge and just go horizontal, when a thought crosses my mind.

Maybe my friends who have a press conference scheduled tomorrow need some help. Atleast I should check on them, incase their's something I can help out with. So i call up my friend and and ask her if all's ok. Just when I'm about to hang up, I tell her, "You got the message right?? No Language lecture tomorrow?"

"Uh no. So we don't have to do the essay and the meanings assignment." (Please note:these are extremely boring, stupid assignments which make no sense to me and since we din't have to do them; Life was blissful)

"Ofcourse not, even xyz is not doing it, no lecture equals to no assignment"

"Are you sure?? Why don't you talk to M(the office administrative student, who interacts with the prof)"

"Uhh. Its almost 11. You think I should call her this late??" Note: I did NOT want to call her. Scared of assignment.

"C'mon, its not that late. Call her."

Huh. So much for bliss. Ofcourse when I called M, I was told that "No-no, be safe and do the assignment. We have lecture, and although prof won't turn up, we might have to submit it." Huh. Scardy cat.

"But, if the prof doesn't turn up, she hardly take the essays." I argue.

"She asked me if I had done it, when I spoke to her. And she said that we were supposed to submit it on Monday"

ppphhuuuussssss... that's my bliss bubble deflating. Why oh why did that thought cross my mind.. Why did I pick up the phone in the first place.

4:48 AM: So here I am. Hearing cheesy songs to keep me awake. And writing a stupid essay about whether Humanism and Nationalism are in direct conflict with each other. And doing the next assignment simultaneously. Even the family in the opposite building which was keeping me company till now has shifted into dark oblivion. Ofcourse, my prof would reason that its my fault I dint take her seriously when she said she would collect it on Monday and that meant Hell or High water. Or whether she was present to collect it or not. And sleep beckons. Life is a bitch.

Saanso ko saanso mein Dhalne do zaraaa....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lage Raho Munnabhai

Lage Raho Munnabhai has come as a huge surprise to me. Just a few days ago I was discussing with a friend about how all sequels in India are terribly made and do not lift the benchmark of excellence but push it lower still, and taking the discussion further we predicted that Lage Raho Munnabhai as well Dhoom 2 would be a flop. I should have heard by senses tingling then, because every time I have predicted a movie to go bust, it has been a phenomenal success. Gadar was one of my first predictions, followed by Munnabhai MBBS.

Coming back to the movie. Lage Raho Munnabhai has a simple straight-cut plot, simple dialogues and a tight screenplay. Raju Hirani has churned out a movie which raises the benchmark set down by his debut directorial effort. For the first time, a sequel lives beyond its predecessor. cinematography is good too. Vidya Balan looks good while Sanjay Dutt looks stoned, drunk and really old. Inspite of which he delivers. Dutt would have been thrown out of the film industry if not for his stellar acting and perfect comic timing. Boman Irani fits seamlessly into the role of a business-minded sardar and even Dia Mirza's pint sized role has substance to it.
The Gandhi could have been a better actor (like Atul Kulkarni, who portrayed the role in the same named film). But I guess a better actor would not have accepted a role like that. Jimmy Shergill has carried out his role with aplomb.

Thankfully Jaddu Ki Jhappi has been done away with in this movie. While all the other parts have been retained. All the character, big or small from the first movie have bit parts or some parts in this movie. Munnabhai MBBS came across as a venture in comedy, an experiment in clean un-govinda style, while this movie establishes its own genre of clear comedy.

Another good thing about this movie is that no twist, no sub-plot is wasted. Everything that happens, happens for a logical reason. And each action has its corresponding reaction. No loose-ends in this movie.

It is impossible to make a perfect movie. Lage Raho Munnabhai too falls short in one place. And one place only. Vidya Balan's talent has not been used to its optimum. Each actor has a meaning, while the only meaning to Vidya Balan's character, Jhanvi, is that she is the female for whom Munnabhai falls head over heals. Agreed it is this very fact, that pushes him to read more about Gandhiji, hence encounter him and hence follow Gandhigiri. And hence bring about a revolution in his usual manner. But Balan's character could have had more substance than someone who flips her hair away from her cheek. In one of the dance sequences, it looked like Arshad Warsi has deliberately toned down his more than great dancing so that it would not over-shadow Sanjay Dutt (In the petrol-pump). Other than that, Arshad Warsi makes waves with Circuit because of the wider scope given to his character.

The songs are good, not too many in number but they can never be too less. The movie starts with the trademark,
Chanda Mama so gaye, suraj chachu jage,
dekho pakdo yaaron, ghadi ke kaate bhaage,
ek kahani khatam to duji.. shuru ho gayi na mamu
which very evidently emabarks on a new episode of Munnabhai's life. The title track makes for catchy listening, while the Pal Pal trach has made its way into my mom's favorites. The movie has been shot widely in Mumbai. With the exception of Goa, where the Munnabhai and his entourage go on a holiday.

On a more personal level, this movie has pleased me immensely. Simply because till a month back I used to debate with people about how great a man Gandhiji really was. At that time I knew of only one person who idolized him as much as me, if not more. And from last week, since this movie has been released, I can clearly see the people from my class, who till some time back bad-mouthed the great man, believing in his principles. I always knew and hated the effect media had on youngsters, because of the all the negativity it radiated. But this movie again (RDB being one) has used its power positively. Now I will not have to beat my brains with he people who degrade and abuse Mahatma Gandhi but simply point them to the movie, because if they don't believe that he was in all actuality a great man, then, they are knuckleheads.

Words to Remember From this film: Sorry to sound so cliched, but-
dimaag mein Chemical Locha
was the best dialogue. Coming close to it was,
Bapu ne yeh naho kaha tha ki dusre tamache ke baad kya karne ka
chal ab sorry bol!!

Things I learnt From This Movie: GANDHIJI ROCKS!! this was just reinforced by this movie.. not that I needed it!!
Also, no matter how well Sanjay Dutt acts, he will always look drunk and stoned.
Lastly, Arshad Warsi shines more than his gold chains in the film!!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Stupid stupid Farah Khan

Celebrity Host, Celebrated Choreographer, One-film Old Director and Established Dancer Farah Khan choreographed a dance performance for Shakira in the MTV Awards recently.

The performance starts with a few Bharat Natyam poses. There are two stooges behind Shakira, and all three then get into a few, what-is-supposed-to-be-picturesque, steps and then she grabs the microphone to resume her normal belly shaking flavor of dancing in tune with her very popular number, "Hips Don't Lie". While the performers behind, switch from Bharat Natyam to Belly Dancing and back to Bharat Natyam and then back to Belly Dancing.

Farah Khan (I never did like her style of dancing too much anyway) has erased whatever little bit respect she had from the minds of any dancer. Being a Bharat Natyam dancer and a Latin Ballroom dancer myself, I can point out the smallest of mistakes and crimes(for the lack of a better word) that Khan has committed by choreographing this song.

Was she trying to mix Indian and Latino style dancing?? Was she trying to commercialize India's much-respected folk dances, or was she trying to simply make a mark in the international arena with the thought that "Any publicity is good publicity". Did she forget that Indians too would be seeing this performance?? Did she forget her own sense of (however little) styling and polishing in dances?? It looks like Khan just jumped and grabbed the chance to choreograph an international star and in the process, she completely, completely forgot her dance moves and the art too.

Shakira is a good performer because she has a good stage presence(even in a shiny pink Ghaghra Choli). She can pull off anything, and still leave her mark, but even from the initial steps one can make out that what she is doing, is really not her cup of tea.

The girls behind are.. never mind.
They add a certain touch to the performance. The touch of vulgarity. I was thoroughly, thoroughly shocked when I observed their moves. They are made to wear orange Ghaghra Cholis and Mang Tikkas and everything only to gyrate Indian-style to the number. Don'T get me wrong, I do like the song myself, but only when it falls strictly in the realm of Western Music. I mean, don't the Event Managers see the dance to be performed and comment on it or anything, or don't they try to monitor each performance??

What, for heaven's sake, is happening to Indian artists.. Sheeeeesh!!

Moral of the Story : Farah Khan is better off judging celebrities who dance to entertain the TV Masses, losing weight and gaining pimples on her skin. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE KEEP HER AWAY FROM INTERNATIONAL ARENA AND THE HUMILIATION SHE BRINGS TO INDIA.

Cross posted on Mumbai Metblogs

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Shifty business

Chronicles of a train traveler Part Two

The window-seat right next to the window facing the station is a coveted seat in a local train. The trains have two window-seats, but only one of them is right next to the window, and at those times when that seat faces the opposite direction of the train, it is more than a prized possession.

Just so that I would get to sit in this coveted seat, I carefully chose a train which had few passengers waiting to get into and which had such a seat in the compartment I wanted. Once the train pulled into the station I leaped forward to climb in before it had fully stopped, but that is when I realized that there was another female with me trying to leap in. But because of my agility I got in before her (bruised my hand in the process) and claimed the seat. The female sulkily took the seat next to me.

Now is the time to inform you that this train that I had boarded was a Virar Fast, 4:27, Starting from Churchgate, which is where I boarded from. For those who don't know the pit stops of a Virar fast they are: Churchgate-Marine Lines-Charni Road-Grant Road-Mumbai Central-Dadar-Bandra-Andheri-Borivali-Virar.

The sulky girl had by now settled into her seat, removed some eatables and I too had fished out my MP3 and GRE Flashcards (yes I have finally started on them!) All of a sudden the girl asks me, "Where are you getting down?" Now this is a little weird, coz it was normally asked when someone is standing and wants to plonk their ass on the seated persons place. Warily I replied, "Andheri"
"OK I will shift to your place then" I shrugged as a response to this. There was hardly anyone in the compartment, why would she want to shift to me seat at almost the end of the journey. That's when it dawned on me, She wanted the coveted window seat!!
On the next station a few more ladies walked in, and one asked me, "Where are you getting down?", I just pointed to the female next to me, indicating that she had already booked my seat. The new lady then tells the earlier female, "OK so you will shift there when Andheri comes? Then I will shift to your seat, and when you get down at Borivali, I will shift to the window seat", she says triumphantly. And she plonks her rear-end right next to female next to me.
Next station, one more lady, same question. Same response from me. Now the all the three ladies start arranging how lady one would take my place, lady two would take lady one's place and lady three would take lady two's place.

Come Dadar and a hoard of females enter the compartment. Again the same thing ensues. More arrangements. More shifts decided. Finally silence and peace ascends the compartment. Finally no one is moving or talking about moving or deciding where to move. Bandra passes by, Vile Parle Passes. Everyone is sitting still in their place. I put my stuff back in my bag, and arise. My seat is empty!!

Sudden flurry of movement. My seat is engulfed by lady one's body even before I move out from there. Lady two shifts to lady one's place, followed by lady three and one more and one more and one more. A lady from across the aisle shifts to our side of seats. Another lady takes her seat, another one who is standing sits in that seat. The entire compartment was all of a sudden abuzz with movement.

I smiled wryly, my ego is satisfactorily tickled. My moving caused such a huge change in the seats after all. And all coz I risked a bruised hand to get first into the moving train and claim the coveted seat!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

So last week I made a trip to the old-fashioned Regal theatre to see the much criticised movie Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna or KANK as it is better known.

And here I am reviewing the movie myself, coz it's a college assignment!!

After reading a lot of reviews about the movie, most bitter and few positive, I went in to see the movie expecting the worst. Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna is quite an ambiguous film for different perspectives.

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna is a badly made film with a good concept, great acting and exceptional characters. Karan Johar has as usual romanticized what could have been a good film and made it a typical Hindi movie, with a couple of disco numbers thrown in for good measure. Apart from which the music is pleasing, soulful and most of the locales are as usual the hip and urban part of Philadelphia passed of as New York.

The premise of two couple, mismatched, but struggling with their marriage has a lot of potential. In both the couples, one of them is getting nothing out of the marriage while the other is trying his/her best to keep the love alive.

Shah Rukh Khan (Dev Saran) portrays the role of a super successful footballer who has turned bitter after an accident which crippled him. He is exasperated with life, the course it has taken and is thoroughly dissatisfied with his life and removes his frustration on his little son who wants to play the Violin and not football. While his super ambitious career wife, Rhea, keeps paving her way up a fashion magazine, she neglects her family. But the best thing about her character is that she knows this and hates it, but also has no options about it since her husband does not earn enough. She keeps trying to hunt for her old love in the new cynic

Amitabh plays the flamboyant casanova ‘Sexy Sam’, who is very wise actually and seems to have a reason for everything he does. The surprise package in this movie is Kiron Kher in the role of Kamaljeet, Dev Saran’s mother. Kiron Kher’s acting is subtle and full of impact, a lot better than her previous roles.

While Rani’s character Maya has drifted into marriage led by friendship, her husband does love her with his entire being. Her’s is the most well-defined character. Maya has been shown as a very mature woman from the beginning who wants to logically discuss every problem away. She marries her childhood friend who loves her madly believing that either her friendship will be replaced by love or she might find the love she seeks after marriage. She finds it difficult to stay abreast with a child for a husband who thinks that the way to switch off a discussion is to switch on the vacuum cleaner. Her husband Rishi played by Abhishek Bachchan is blindly in love with his wife, but in a very teenager-ish way. But surprisingly in the end, he becomes adamant about not forgiving the one woman he has loved all his life.

Dev is pulled away from his wife because of his cynicism, and Maya is pulled away from her husband because of the gap in their maturity levels. Both find solace in each other’s company and help one another handle their marriages, but the counseling session later turns into love. And although both know that there is no result to their relationship, they plunge in just so that they can be happy for whatever little time. Meanwhile both their respective spouses decide to give one more try to their marriage but soon realize that their better (bitter??) halves have strayed. The plot till here makes sense after which the movie is converted into a typical Hindi pot-boiler, with rona-dhona, unforgiving spouses, divorce, and each person living separately. The movie ends with everyone getting who they love, or finding new loves. No one lives without a partner because it seems KJo wants to propagate relationships through the entire movie.

The best part about this movie is Kajol in a 10 second appearance and the maturity shown in the treatment of the relationships. While the box-office says that Karan Johar has made a superhit, he could surely have improved the movie a bit more to make it worth being proud of.

Words to remember from the film:
"Ham dono jaante hai ki is rishtey ka koi anjaam nahi."
Maya pronounces out the future of her and Dev's love.

"Ham is rishtey ko is sunder mod pe chod denge"
Dev ends his relationship with Maya to face the reality.

Things I learnt from this film: It takes maturity to handle love, relationships and destiny. And it also takes maturity to understand the essence of this film.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

More blood..

What?? What happened?? Why did that man jump in front of our car??!!#@$%

Flashback : Some time before

My best friend Anwesha is in town. We meet, shop and eat and then we (Anwesha, her medical college friends and me in her car, with driver uncle driving it) head back to Andheri. Some where near Parel, we are all merrily yapping away when all of us saw a flash of a blue-shirted man fall in front of our speeding car.

Return to Now:

We braked so hard that we would have hit the front seats but for the fact that most of us were already jumping to get out of our seats. I and driver uncle rushed out, I reached the front of the car and saw that the man was a safe distance away from our car. We braked before we could hit him. While I reached forward to help him, I saw his blood spill over on the road. I couldn't understand where the blood was coming from. His hands and legs seemed to be uninjured. And then I saw his hair at the right side of his head matted in blood. Someone else lifted him up while I stood with my hand stretched out.

"Eh.." Driver uncle called me, " Get in the car, we are leaving"
"B-but" I dint know what more to say, I got in wordlessly.

Uncle started the car, and when an instant later we looked up there was a mob outside the car. One man directed our car to the side, blocking the front, while another was busy noting down the license number. While the car was being parked in the side, my friends sitting in the side near the accident spot briefed me up.

It seems the blue-shirted guy was jay-walking. He was hit by a Kinetic coming full force and that impact threw the guy in front of our car. Uncle applied the brakes right in time which saved the guy from getting crushed under the wheels on the car.

Once parked we got out, uncle, Anu and me, and we started explaining to everyone how the car had rather saved the guy. The guy was till then bundled into a cab by some four random people who took him to some hospital. Driver uncle was gheraoed by a huge crowd of angry men who insisted on noting the number of the car and accusing him of killing the man. Anu planted herself in front of the license plate and was arguing with a man writing the number down. I pulled her aside and told her that it doesnt make a difference if they take the number coz we haven't done anything wrong.

By then a traffic cop came on the spot. He asked us what was going on, and uncle explained everything. Suddenly, among the accusers, one man spoke up, "haan haan, aapki ghadi ne thik se brake na mara hota toh woh insaan toh khatam hi tha"
Then another said, "haan, aapne toh usko saaf bachaya hai"

This apparently was enough for the cop who asked us to leave and sat behind the poor kinetic rider who still looked like he was in a daze and drove to the chowki ahead.

We drive out of the mob and away. Our animated conversation was hushed now. We were all yelping at the slightest application of brakes and at any jay-walker.

Wonder what happened to the blue shirted guy. Anwesha and her friends discussed some about which anatomy of his had been injured but soon gave that up too when it became to gory. Driver Uncle kept reliving the moment of the accident and how he had used his quick sense and saved a life. And all of us kept replaying the scene in our mind in an endless loop.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Feel free to ignore this post..

I decide to write..

Then I pull back.

After another 10 minutes I decide to write again

And then again I pull back.

5 more minutes later I decide to blog again..

And then again I opt out.

Finally I decide to post tomorrow,

And I end up ranting and raving and putting this unnecessary, irrelevant, random blabbering up as a post just to satisfy that twinge in me which keeps making me want to write something and post tonite only.

I hope I will delete this by tomorrow!!

Monday, August 21, 2006


Its a day of small crushes. First a guy from my class, and then a tiny thing who lives in my building.

Scene I: Small Classroom. Me alone with another guy who I consider pretty intelligent. AC whirring away softly in the background. I'm immersed in my flashcards while he is clicking away on his PC.


Him: So you are a Jain right??

Me: Ummm, yeah..

Him: Are you fasting??

(Its the Jain religious festival going on, where poeple try and have fasts in which you can have nothing but boiled water.)

Me: Yeah.

Him: I'v done two fasts in a row in past. But I cant do any now.

Me: Ok

Him: How many have you done??

Me: I'v done an Athai. (Eight continuous fasts only on water all through.)

Him: Oh wow! Wow. Maybe I should touch your feet and all.

(I look horrified and turn away)

Him: So, are you shwetambari?? (That's the sect which wears white clothes only)

Me: Yeah

Him: Yeah?? wow, so are you Deravasi?? (Temple Visiting section)

Me: No, I'm Sthanakvasi. (Uhh... Non-temple visiting)

Him: Really?? Murtipoojans?? (Idol - worshippers)

Me: No.

Him: Terapanthi??

Me: Yeah.

Him: Wow. WOW. WOWWW. Me too(The gleam in his eyes say: my mom is gonna be soo pleased). I have never seen a girl like you in our caste yaar. You should participate in the caste functions and such. You'd stand out among all of them. M god!!

Me: Errr... No thanks. I'm sure there are a lot of city girls who are interested in such things.

Him: No way, I know all the girls who take part in these things. They wont be able to stand near you. You are sooo talented, soo intelligent, soo graceful, soo beautiful.

Me: Ummm, I'm sure there are a million girls better you know. (Get off my case!!)

Him: No there are not really. You must meet.. (before he can say my mom, I interrupt)

Me: Uhh actually, my mom dad are jains and sthanakvasi and terapanthi and everything. I dont believe in all this. I'm an atheist. I just do all this for my parent's sake and to test my will-power.

(His face has deflated like a pricked balloon's)

Scene II: The doorbell to me home rings. I open and see vacuum. I look down and see the tiny grandson of a neighbor looking up at me.

Him: Uhh.. do you have a geometry box??

Me: (Grinning) I doubt.

Him: Can we.. I mean can you check??

Me: Uh sure. One sec.

(I go inside my room, and hunt for one, but ofcourse I dont find it)

Me: No sorry, I have a Rounder but not the entire box.

Him: Uhh.. That will do.

Me: (raising one eyebrow) Ok, I'll just go get it.

(He smiles sillyly)

Me: Here you go.

Him: Thank you

(I'm waiting for him to leave so I can shut the door, and he is taking all his time to tie his shoes up while looking into my eyes all the time, which he removes for what reason I dont understand since he was standing outside the door all the time.)

Finally he turns and goes down the stairs, but he turns around just as I shut the door. He smiles yet again, a yearning sort of a smile.

After a few minutes, the doorbell rings again.

Him: (Handing me the rounder) Thank you.

Me: Its all right.

Him: Ummm.. uhh..

Me: Yeah??

Him: Uhh.. Can I..

Me: (eager to shut the door again) You want the rounder keep it.

Him: Umm.. yeah. K. Umm.. Can I... haveyourcellnumberplease.. umm please??

Me: Does your mom want it??

Him: Umm.. no. I will buy a cell soon. (He is 10 years old, and I'm sure he's not getting a cell for a long long time)

Me: Why dont you get a cellphone and then I'll give you my number. Fine??

Him: I can call you from my landline till I'm living at Nani's house.

Me: Umm. Kiddo, (his face falls) why would you want to call me?? Call someone your age no??

Him: I'm not a kid.

(he shows no signs of wearing his shoes, or leaving)

Me: That's not an issue. Is ther something bothering you that you want to talk about??

Him: Umm.. yeah.. There is. (doubtful)

Me: yeah?? (Challengingly) What is it??

Him: umm.. ahhh..

Me: If you want my cell number your mother will give it to you. Is that alright??

Him: Ahhh..

Me: Ok bye!

(I shut the door without him wearing his shoes!! He looks into my eyes one last time, from deep inside his thick glasses. And smiles ruefully)

I chuckle behind the closed door, and my mom who was sitting too far into the hall to hear the conversation looks at me questioningly. Shrug. Chuckle.

Ukele song..

He's playing 'while my guitar sleeps' And he plays it well by God.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Thoughts about the day I was born...

I have been considering a lot of things from the last few days. All things quite essential to me.

First : I started this blog for one person. I had changed my earlier blog to a personal blog which he did not have access to and if there was anyone who has a right to know about whats happening in my life its him. I am talking about my brother. And now he is too busy to read my blog. So should I continue with this blog?? When I asked the man in concern yesterday he cried out, "No, You have a lot more people than me reading you blog now." Yes, but I did start this blog for his sake. If my initial purpose is not valid anymore... I can't understand what to do about this now.

Second : I am sick and tired of people calling me birthday girl and asking me what i want tomorrow. My claim that my mom has declared a wrong date to the world as my birthday is also not valid. I kept trying to convince everyone that my actual birthday is on Feb 9th But no one listens. I don't think it is of any use to act coy or rude and not talk about the day I was born 21 years ago now.

Third : I wonder why a birthday is so important to people. Whenever I think of this, I also immediately think that I never fail to wish anyone i care for on their birthdays. Then why am I wondering so much why these people call me. But again I'm stuck in this rut.. why this day?? whats so special about a day when someone was born. The day the infant is born is a special day yes, but why is the day celebrated year after year.
Till last year, I had a lot of expectations from those around me on my birthday. You know the normal, cakes, gifts, celebration, party. But I never did any of these any year of my life. Which has kind of put things in perspective for me. It is not that important for a birthday. I understand people want to wish me coz for them its special, maybe coz I have been born and that is important to them. So maybe I'm just being too cold when I dismiss their regard. I don't really dismiss it but...
This reminds me of another post I read on a very familiar blog by now- My Thoughts.
I totally agree with this post. My only joy on my birthday is that I am one more year older. You know when we were kids, we would wistfully want to be grown-ups. And our parents or the grown-ups around us would say, wait till you are big, then you will wish to be a child. This sentence told to me repeatedly by my teachers in school and my parents always come back to me. Coz I have not regretted growing up one bit. Never. I have always been glad of being one more year old. Of being more mature than I was before. I detest immaturity and am glad of my growing maturity.

Don't get me wrong. This does not mean that I am a deprived soul, or that I am suffering or any such thing. I am just another girl, fighting not to project an image of extremely stupid girlishness or femininity. And loving the process of growing up. Peter Pan I DEFINITELY am not.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bad, mad day.

OK this has been certified as a mad-bad day. THE MAD-BAD DAY.

I was not planning to put up two posts in one day, but circumstances have made me believe that today is a day to be recorded for all its badness. And madness.

The bad part started when i got a call from the GEEBEE bastards, forgive my language, but I do hate them for what they did yesterday. Since it is a little known fact, I will publicize it.

I enrolled in GRE training classes at GEEBEE near Andheri station coz I need to brush up on my Quant. I made this clear to my counsellor there and enrolled with a check payment. She asked me to start yesterday at 7 with Verbal class and I would soon start Quant. When i turned up, the director of that academy, a young, Gujarati-English speaking man who was an arrogant sob. He blankly told me that he wont give me a Quant class for another month, coz there was no place, which would be too late for my exam 2 months later. And then he went on to tell me that I could just take my cheque back tomorrow and leave the classes. I told him he was acting difficult and he proceeded to yell that I was creating trouble. I checked my temper since I have been coaching myself on anger management and told him I was NOT there to argue or create trouble and I wanted to sort this problem. He got more pissed when i consulted someone who worked there and was a friend (who confirmed that the guy was a bastard), and asked me to sort the problem later with someone else coz she was sure that there were a lot of empty Quant seats. Ultimately I left and for some reason got extremely distraught about this. (Some might argue that that would be an understatement). On encouragement from a smart soul I decided to fight tooth and nail for the Quant seat in those same classes.

So technically the badness started from yesterday night. Then today morning the nice lady from GEEBEE called and told me that the only thing left to do was to withdraw my cheque from them since the foul-mouthed and all-out foul guy was the director of the goddamn center. I would not get the seat I had decided to fight for. :((

Then I reached the station late. My lecture was in Churchgate at 11:15 and i reached Andheri Station at 11:15. The bloody train came half an hour late coz of some Bikaner Express. Result : I reached college at 12:30. May I add that I had a presentation today.

There was no time for my presentation at the end of it. I reached late so had to present after the entire class. Which meant that I got to speak 2 lines out of the 2 pages prepared. I had been preparing all night.

The lecture got over, everyone removed their Dabbas. Now your truly, refuses to take more than one box of little food ie: one item only (alu parantha or dhokla or bread n chutney). Which is normally sufficient for me. But today I dint even realize who finished all the paranthas leaving me with four measly pieces. Needless to say, I was famished. But we dint have too much time to go down and eat. So back to class.

Our class had changed. So new class had no fan. 2 and a half hours of sweltering heat. Damn Mumbai University.

Left college and reached Churchgate station. Of-course, no fast train. And just when i got into a slow train a fast train announcement was made. aboard, re-board.

Reached Andheri. On the way home, saw the blood and flesh. Sick, Disgust.

Reached home. Still famished. Ate the leftovers from lunch. and decided to make an adventure out of dinner and go out for some spicy Chinese or junk food. Called up friends to confirm and made plans. One frnd backs out, plan gets cancelled. I yell, he yells. Plan remade. Mood gone. I cancel plans. I'm coerced into going out and plan remade. Another friend cancelled. Plan cancelled finally. Over-distraught again.

Another friend calls up to discuss Birthday plans. I get wild. I tell her that its really not that big a deal. And I anyway don't have anyone here who I really want to spend time with. Over-over-distraught. Self-lecture follows.

Wrote blog and updated and the drum roll in my head magically was sounding of the walls. Oh no, not in my head. There was some procession far away. I prayed to god to not make them take the route going from my lane. But i forgot that I am an atheist. Obviously god wont listen to me. Drum roll reaches crescendo. Climax. It is right beneath my window. For your info, the laptop is placed right next to my window.

I look down and see the sun shining in the night from the road. Aaarrrgghh.. there a zillion floodlights projected upwards from the procession. Why oh why?? I have nothing at all against Islam, or any religion, since I myself don't follow any. But why are the Muslims at the ungodly hour of 10 in the night shining lights the size of a mini sun and banging drums and god knows what other instrument to a definitely illegal decibel level. Please Allah stop your Bandhas.

They have 5 huge banners made of bright green and bright red as tall as the first floor of my building. Thankfully I live a lot more up. The conundrum becomes more louder if that was humanly possible. They walk past my lane and the noise doe snot muffle with distances but just stops. Why?? Coz it just struck 10 sharp, and so they cant make the ruckus anymore. And THIS had to happen just after they cross my house, my building and my lane.

The only good thing for today just happened right now. I got a call from my friend who teaches in GEEBEE. She said in very very colorful terms that she will make the Director's life hell for treating me that way. Also she apprises (GRE knowledge!!) that she is the only IBT TOEFLL teacher GEEBEE has. This means two things for me:

1. They can NOT sack her. Rather she has them in a fix for misbehaving with me. And she is really protective of me and hence will fight my cause till the end.

2. She will give me all IBT material needed. And also coach me and assist me whenever I need it.

Additionally, she also says that there are two more classes in the same wing of the building and she will see to it that she gets me all the information for that place.

One good thing in the entire 17 hours I spent awake today.

Alas, one more bad thing to report. My stupid stupid cell refuses to read from my USB Port anymore. Hence no more photos for my blog, metblog or flickr. I really should let go of my attachment to this cell and buy a new one. Now I will have to buy a new cell or a new camera. Can't do without a camera. And old digicam is lying with the canon workshop... :((

Death and Blood

I walked uphill from the station towards my home. Half-way up I noticed that the side I was walking from was wet. The asphalt looked a dark murky grey, almost black compared to the light grey road all over. For some reason this intrigued me. Although a wet road during monsoons is not something novel. After a few steps I could make out little rivulets flowing down but after a few more steps, I noticed that these rivulets now had some dark brownish-maroonish liquid flowing in between. Paan spittle?? Blood?? So much?? My mind was racing now.

I picked up my pace and lo! after a some more yards i saw a puddle of murky brown bordering on deep red. And lots of splashes of the same color and lots of water or something like that around it. There was a stench in the air. A heavy smell, which I realized had been following me since long. The smell of rot, the smell of blood. The smell of diluted flesh. It conjured up wierd images in my mind. I noticed a lot of people were noticing the splashes but none thought anything of it.

I walked a few more steps ahead following the trail of bloody water and stopped short when faced with a huge object. A green BMC garbage truck in the process of loading more rubbish. Enfolded open, I could clearly see that one entire half of the truck was stuffed with pieces of flesh. Overflowing with pink, red, skin colored flesh dripping blood. The other half had the normal wet garbage disposed from homes and restaurants dripping filthy water. The result was water infused with animal blood. The stray dogs had smelled the blood and were hankering for a piece of flesh for feasting. The workers tossed out a piece of meat which landed a few feet away from me.

I reeled in disgust. It felt like my middle had been scooped out. I hurried and ran away from there. My home was two minutes away from the spot and I caought myself looking behind my shoulder more than 7 times. I dint want the truck to catch up with me.

I dint want to smell death again.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Faith and love in a child's eyes

Now that I travel by the local trains everyday and travel for quite a long run, I have decided that to record my extraordinary experiences in it. One day is funny, one day its touching, one day its sad, one day its frustrating and one day its frightening.
So I present the new series: "Chronicles of a train traveller"

Chronicles of a train traveller - Part One

Yesterday, after college finished, me and my friends proceeded towards Churchgate Station. When we reached there, we saw that a train was departing in 2 minutes which was a Borivali Fast, meaning that it was good for me (Since all trains stop at Andheri anyway) and my friends who stay at Goregaon.

We had to reach the First Class compartment at the far corner, hence i urged them to pick up their gait and run. I was in the front a few paces ahead of my classmate L and behind her was my friend Pt, slowest coz she was wearing a salwar kammeez. When the train started, I had reached the compartment, but the rest had not. L asked me to hop on, coz i was getting late and had a student waiting for a dance class at Bandra. I hopped on, and noticed in my flurry that Pt was nowhere to be seen on the platform, she had hoped onto a male compartment.

So I was without my friends sitting in a nice corner window seat from where I could observe everyone. I tucked my headphones in my ear and put my MP3 player on. I fished out my novel to enjoy my peace and solitude. The train stopped at Marine Lines and a plump South Indian woman with a small girl walked in. The girl was decked in all her south Indian glory, in a cream and gold chaniya-choli and red and diamond flashy, big, imitation jewelry and big almond shaped coal black eyes with the trademark dark, chocolaty skin.

There was only one seat left in the compartment. The mother asked the kid to sit there while she hauled all her bags (she had many) on the carrier. The girl said, "Mamma, you sit no..". Mom patiently said, "beta there is only one seat, how can both of us sit in it. You sit and I will put the bags up. OK?".
"No you sit" her lower lip is jutting out now.
"Beta sit no baba. Let me put these bags up. They are heavy."

The kid sits down hesitatingly. The child is so beautifully innocent that the entire compartment is observing the proceedings now. Mom puts away the bags and the kid pulls at her duppatta.

"Mom, sit"
"Beta" she says exasperated.
"Mom please you sit" her lower lip is quivering now. Her almond eyes are like two huge pools of water now, which might overflow at any minute.

The mother finally sits on the seat and parks the little girl on her lap. Both are visibly uncomfortable coz the woman is so fat that there is not flat amount of lap to sit on.

The child asks her mom sweet little typically childish questions which a kid of her age always asks out of their new found curiosity. She has questions in her eyes but also the faith that her mom will answer all. The mother periodically affectionately plays with her daughter's hair, tucking it behind her ear, and kisses her on her ears. They are the perfect picture of pure love.

After observing them till my heart grew too soft for me to handle, I turned away to look out of the window. Kids always make me long for mine, if and when in the far future I'll have some. But wait, when I was turning away i noticed one small thing.

Tucked behind the little girl's ears, hidden by the fronds of her soft silky hair is a small skin-colored semi-circular device.

I was dumb-struck. The girl had a hearing deficiency. The girl with faith enough to cover for the entire nation, was struggling with her own lacking sensory functions.

And in that instant I fell more deeply in love with the pure love that exists between a mother and her child and more in love with children, brave enough to overcome problems hurled at them at such a small age and still have so much love and faith in their eyes. Heart-rendering.

Monday, August 07, 2006

So what do YOU think is my blog personality...

I picked this up from someone else's blog.. seemed like a timepass thing to do. You tell me if its accurate or not now...

Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate

You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.
One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A doggy encounter

A dog enterd my house today. I kid you not, but a huge stray dog entered my house today and then proceeded to roam around the hall and the kitchen under my shocked gaze and my dad's stricken gestures.

What's so shocking about this you say?? Well, whats shocking is that I live on the fifth floor of a building and I had just entered through the maindoor a minute before the dog waltzed in. Me and my dad were in the kitchen which makes it a obvious fact that my mom was not home. And I ws facing the kitchen door thru which I saw the dog roaming around the living room. In utter astonishment I exclaimed, "Dad look!!!". Looking at my horror striken face (in case you haven't guessed by now, I HATE DOGS!!), Dad assumed it was a thief or something of that sort, and turned around to come face-to-face, uhh..make that face-to-knees with this huge dirty straw colored mongrel which calmly trotted into the kitchen. He was stunned.

He first went the way opposite me and Dad, by now dad had recovered from his frozen shock state, and was gesticulating frantically. So the dog trooted towards dad and me. I started yelling in what i assumed must be my version of dog language and the combination of both, thankfully pushed the dog out of the kitchen and the main door.

And he went trotting back down the staircase into darkness....

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Survival of the Fittest, and the bravest.

Hmm.. so after a successful trek, I'v immediately come down with either a remote possibilty of Mumps or an acute inflammation of the jaw. As if being chubby wasn't enough!!

Anyway, coming back to my trek. What started as chaos ended up being a fight for survival. Naneghat was proclaimed as a simple climb in the many websites I read up. Getting there was simple enough, coz my professors from college had planned it. We were a group of 11, 6 girls, 3 boys and 2 professors from our University. The prof who initiated the trip has been trekking from the last 25 years as compared to my measely 2 years!!

We started the trip at 1:30, and started trekking by 5. Till 6 our spirits were still up, but our legs and backs a little tired because of the 10 kg+ haversacks we were carrying. We crossed streams, rivulets and then fast flowing rivers too. We reached a plateau from where we could see our final destination point.

Energized, we started stomping again after an elaborate and our last official photo session. Soon we found ourselves walking amongst dense foilage and on a very small jungle kind of a road. After some time, we crossed one more small rivulet which entwined its way into our path. Meaning we were then walking within the rivulet, climbing up steadily. We missed our paths a few times because of rubbed arrow marks, and reverted back to the right path.

We dint even realize when we started walking into a full forced waterfall. Dusk was embracing us and it was becoming difficult to place our foot on the proper rocks ie;ones which were niether slippery nor too jagged. We fished our torches out and set plodding our way up again. By then, the gentle drizzle we had started with increased to throbbing rain. And consequently the rush of the water had increased too and so had the wind. We all formed human chains and trudged up with each others help. It was pitch dark now, with the torch we couldn't see beyond two feet and without we could not even see our own hands. We had been on the road from 3 hours now. We were all looking out for each other, calling out danger areas and asking the people behind to either keep left or right because of a sheer drop on the other side. We were walking inside a pounding waterfall, following its course upwards to its source, where we would find the cave where we were supposed to rest for the night. And we were all praying fervently that we were on the right track and not lost amidst the jungle and the waterfall.

Someone would jubilantly scream that the top of the chain had reached the cave, but then, we'd go on climbing up, and ealize it was a false cry. After sometime we heard one of th guys' (the most kiddish among the lot) holler oh happiness. It was evident that the front batch had reached the cave and safety. But the huge yell had distracted us, bringing up the end. We tried to focus on getting thru the final 10 minutes of battling with the rain, wind, waterfall and cold and finally reached around a bend in a stone wall to the cave.

After all of us chnged into dry but not warm clothes we devoured into the food we had brought and then spread out (if its possible) on an area of 6x6. Eleven of us. Huddled together coz of lack of space and want of warmth. A few of us dint sleep the night thru, coz of the cramped space, cold and the pure fright of it all. Most of us were just sleeping fitfully meaning for half an hour after every one hour just to kill time till the morning. all thu this, it had been storming outside the cave like crazy. Pounding rain, mad winds which bounced back on the wall of cave and came back to throw us out of it and freezing cold.

Come morning, we decided to go out and finally enjoy the view. But looking out of the cave, there was nothingness. We knew were at a height of 2722 metres but around us, below us we could see nothing but dense whiteness. I dont understand what rule of nature this was, but in the night all we could see was dense blackness and in the morning all e could see was dense whiteness. like we were between a cloud.
after eating some purfunctonary breakfast, a few girls decided to get out and go to the cave across the waterfall which doubled as a loo. On the way back, the wind almost blew the girls away, one of the guys had to go fetch them.

We finally packed up and left the cave. Our prof had decided that since it was too risky to go back down in these freak rains, we would take the easier route to a village near-by (2 hours walk). We were guided by a group of four guys who had just come from that path on a picnic. (The village path was supposedly that easy)

We made our way up the last of the waterfall and through a tunneling pass called Kalyan pass which was the toll way in ancient times and reached a serene, extremely windy, time-forgotten plateau which just kept rolling on in greens. Occasionally we crossed a bridge with murky brown water gurgling below. This seemed almost impossible. How could the top of that horrific cave and its valley be so beautiful, fascinatingly mesmerizing. We walked along, and reached this fork where one path led to the village and another to the main road. Taking a risk we all thought that the main road was a better option coz we could flag down any bus which came that way and would take us even remotely close to Mumbai. Plus, some villagers we met on the way said that most roofs in thier village had blown away with the storm last night. When we reached the road one more hour later, we were pointed to an old woman's hut to rest till the bus came along.

The road leading to the wind-blown and storm-ravaged village taken from the hut we were in.

We heated ourselves, heated our food, rested our backs, discussed a lot of useless and meaningful things and finally spotted a 9 seater jeep. Eleven of us piled in, with another 3 people and picked up 4 more people on the way. Dont forget elevn 10 kg+ haversacks too.

The jeep dropped us at Junnar. Fromt here we climbed into the first ST we spotted. Luckily for us, it was on its way to Kurla, Mumbai via Khandala, Lonvala, Karjat and god knows what more. Before we boarded the bus, our prof managed to snag some newspapers from somewhere. They were the Pune editions and had pictures of the havoc created by the storm. Pune was under water, so were most villages this side of Jivdhan which is the offical name of Naneghat. We had actually been thru a test of survival and death.

By the time we reached Lonavala, we were famished. At the ST stop we devoured whatever food we could buy, realized that we finally had network after 2 days of mobile-lessness and network-lessness and thanked our stars that we were on our way to Mumbai.

Instead of reaching home by early evening, I reached home at 11. But the trek brought all of us trekkers a lot closer to each other. We made pacts to be present in every trek now on. And broke a lot of prejudices we had built in our heads. Couldn't have had more fun playing with our lives. I'm sure.