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.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


How much can anyone take.. how far can you push someone's tolerance. How would you react to mental but brutal force. Force which is rooted in extreme obsession, obsession channelized into frustration to mask it. I am not talking about possessiveness but about plain obsession.

How possessive you let someone become about you depends on your personality and your behaviour. No one has ever tried to cross the line of possessiveness with me coz they know that I wont put up with it. I mean, if you let anyone think that you need to be possessed, you need that person so much that you don't need anyone else, will he start behaving possessive right. And anyhow, I guess its possible to be over-possessive about people only, not things. But maybe I am saying this coz I haven't been thru it.

But how do u stem obsession. How can you even affect obsession. How do you even know when someone becomes so crazily obsessed with you, unless it is shown to you before an outburst, before it reaches new and weird heights.

Maybe to someone who has not seen either of the two, it will think that both obsession and possession can be controlled, by either one or both the parties involved. But maybe someone who has experienced one or both will understand my questions. And maybe have a few of their own.

I have never, thankfully, been obsessive or over-possessive about anyone or anything. I believe I am too egoistic for it. It takes time to be able to see beyond yourself enough to only see the thing in front of you or the person. Or you have to be someone who thinks of him/her self as too large a person hence making it something of a reason to want to look at someone else or something else.

I wonder how much of this makes any sense.. I wonder how much of this is true..