Friday, August 28, 2009

What has life come to?

Before:
Hunger pangs: trip to the nearest dhaba, one kadak chai, followed by a bread pokara (deep fried in oil)
Now:
Hunger pangs: trip to the fridge, one clean, healthy apple, followed by peeling and eating!

Before:
Boredom: trip to the nearest shop, salted, masala peanuts, followed by a masala butter milk and may be a deep fried puff!
Now:
Boredom: trip to the laptop, may be some music or books!

Before:
Lunch: lots of rice, with fish/mutton, dal, dahi or plain biriyani with chicken curry and raita.
Now:
Lunch/dinner: bland rice and dal with boiled veggies.


Before:
Evening snack: salted, masala peanuts or vadas or bhajis with kadak chai or coffee
Now:
Evening snack: Horlicks, period!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Homecoming

I am home! Yes, after 4 + 1.5 years, I am home! After, almost half-a-dozen years and tasting ‘freedom’ and all that comes with the package, it’s almost surreal to think am actually home. A place where I wake up to a steaming cup of coffee and at least one person ready for a short conversation. Even if choose to stay quiet, I simply have to walk out to my favorite place outside; the stone bench to enjoy my coffee and news paper.



The stone bench--my favorite place.

Frankly, I had my doubts about returning home, since I had almost worked up the reputation of a prodigal daughter! But, what I didn’t expect was the reception of the biblical prodigal son, well minus the ring and the fattened calf, that I received! A lot of people keep asking me why the hell did I return; yea, why the hell did I return? Mmm…my job, basically is fun in Chennai and yea, I wanted to be with folks for a while in the big house that my dad gets as his staying quarters.

Okay, the house. It’s a beautiful old building that has really huge rooms; but of course no privacy, in the modern sense of the term, in any one room! Talk about family bonding ;) it’s lovely nevertheless. Couple of rooms face just greenery and a park, which is sometimes visited by Egrets! Now that am down with Typhoid and I spend long hours in bed and gazing out, I have seen some kingfishers, some blue birds, and even a brown-colored koel! And, of course the song of the koel is ubiquitous. There are several little dogs and cats who also keep us company besides our own pets. As if these animals aren’t enough, once in a while our neighborhood snake also makes an appearance!


Can you spot the long, snake? It's a Cobra! AT least ma says so, though pop, poohs poohs it as a water snake! But, in such matters, experience has taught us to take ma seriously. :-)


Then, yes, the majestic Badam tree that greetes me every day in the morning; lush, huge green leaves on the tree and brown, dry leaves on the ground. Sometimes, all these leaves are collected to a pile and set on fire, which keeps burning for a while and spares the neighborhood of mosquitoes for at least that night! Enjoy some of the pictures…



The Badam Tree



The Brown-Colored Koel


The greenery from my room..:-)


Some of ma's jasmines.


Ps: If you want high-resolution pics, just click the pictures; next time round I'll keep the appropriate radio button selected! Technology, half the time seems is conspiring against me!

Loneliness—a tad overrated, a tad underrated.

Loneliness, is one word I keep hearing on and off, especially from friends and peers. And, it doesn’t mean am in anyway exempt from experiencing the word in all its entirety at times. But, what’s funny is this: a generation that has access to an average of 30 smses a day and 10 cell phone calls and three active chat windows finds itself in the throes of loneliness every second day! Are we overrating our sense of loneliness, when we actually aren’t lonely; or are we missing something quintessential about real relationships and the role they play in loneliness?

A friend of mine once said that she and her husband are constantly on chat the whole day that in the evening there’s hardly anything to say to each other! Now, isn’t that bizarre? Chats have totally hijacked real conversations; leave alone the deplorable standards to which our spellings and grammar have sunk to. Getting back to the friend, I immediately told why should you guys be on chat the whole day through then? She just looked at me as if I were talking in an alien tongue! Yes, it’s unimaginable not to be on chat! But, then, doesn’t chat rob one of real conversations…don’t we miss an occasional smile, a grimace, a frown, an instant silencing, a blacking out, an adorable expression, etc…these, are the very things that make a conversation real and help make a relationship, especially when one is chatting with someone you haven’t met.

Sometimes, I think, would I be able to chat with my dad! Half the times the conversations begin with a shrug and end with a scowl; and believe me, I would have had the best conversation with my dad, which could never be possible on a chat! Of course, I do not deny the fact that chats have ridiculed the distances between Delhi and Chennai and New York! However, chats can never replace real communication and hence real relationships. So, if we think we are nuts to experience loneliness in the presence of so many friends on chat, we are really nuts! Since chats don’t mean anything, they cannot in anyway replace real feeling.

Next, I wonder if loneliness in itself is bad? Sometimes, loneliness teaches a lot of new things about our own selves. It also teaches us the value of relationships; the importance of bonding; the liveliness that another human being brings into one’s life; the value of friendships; and even how to work on friendships. Yes, one can learn a lot from loneliness as well; just don’t make the mistake of chatting just because you are ‘lonely,’ since chats are at the end of day, empty like loneliness itself. :-)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Missing you…

Your gentle caress on my skin
As the dirt of the day eases out
The clear mirror that you were
As I looked into you before
I began my games with you
Warm, hot, lukewarm, cold
All the same
You brought me joy
You eased my pain
When will you be back?
Why have you left me?
My hair cries out for you
As each cell within my skin sobs
Come back, waters of heaven
Come wash me clean…
I long for you…
Wash me clean…


Ps: Nobody’s allowed to laugh! Yes, I have been down and have been kept confined to my bed, and hence this longing for, well…

Destination Sikkim - Till we meet again

On the third day, we went to the Sikkim Himalayan Zoo. It was day of little rain and much mist. The walk into the zoo was surreal because o...