Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Reunions are such strange moments of life.
You meet someone who knows you better than you know yourself,
right before the meeting there are a few butterflies, would we have changed? are things the same?
there is trepidation and excitement

and when you meet, all this melts
the first statements are silly things, sheer nonsense. 
there seems to be so much and nothing to say at the same time
and so like mature adults, you make jibes at each other
God! you still wear that silly cap
what happened to your belly and 
such utter crap

it takes a while to move from news to views
report cards of time spent apart are shared, 
in one moment it feels like- time stood still and in the other
that so much has happened.

as we sat in some park bench, we simply smiled
nothing had changed
everything was different
but nothing had changed ;-)

meeting napo

Yesterday, was a beautiful lazy days. Woke up with the intention of not wanting to do very much and proceeded to make that come to life.

Think to a large extent the day was made special because of S- a lovely Italian man, whose eyes crinkle and hide in his face when he is laughing and he laughs a lot. We spent a day together only and in that one day this is what I got to learn about the incredible life he leads...

A person with a regular job, in the middle of which he expanded his comfort zone with small steps. First small step was him commencing to dabble in theater, learnt a bit of reiki and did the most incredible thing that I got to know about in real life

Mission - Improving Communication

The plan was to talk to people, without any additional plan. So instead of thinking about it, he did something simple. set up a table in a market square, placed a small billboard on it stating "free for a conversation. no charges"

It was hard, people looked at him like he was mad, he was alone with everyone walking by. There was no trust, there were jokes and sniggers. Till one person sat down and they talked. Then another.... soon he enrolled a friend and they had 2 tables and everyweekend, the world he knew expanded while he remained rooted to his real routine.

This trigged in him a desire to see the world and that is what he has been doing. 1.7 months and counting.....an experience that can have few parallels.

Some S'isms that struck a cord in me are:

  • life comes in 7 year cycles, there is a up and a down, makes the best of each stage
  • the hardest thing about planning a long travel is deciding to do it- the rest flows from there
  • people are the same- and yet so different. What you give out is what you shall get back
  • Travelling soon changes from becoming an external thing about seeing and visiting to an inner journey, watching yourself grow and change, adapt to uncertainity, learning to remain curious and open, taking hiccups in your stride and letting it be. 
  • These two years are my lifes gift to me. 
As I peeled myself from the table, where the remains of an incredible italian dinner lay scattered, I caught myself wistfully wishing for having the courage, savings and potential to gift us this exploration. The form may differ but the sheer vastness of the landscape is non paralleled. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Relationships are built on very fragile threads.  Here I don’t mean only the romantic relationships, but each bond in the form of your partner, parents, colleagues, friends, acquaintances, the neighborhood guard- almost each person has a format of interaction that gets developed with time.

They are the greatest teacher and the biggest deceivers.  Somewhere in the middle of one, the relationship gets a life of its own- people stop thinking of what they want, and make the other person more important.
The first masks comes up.

Honey, will you meet me tomm? I would love to spend some time in the evening with u… the accurate answer may actually be- aah! No!!! I have shit loads on my plate being a Monday morning and cant make the time and come all the way, but instead the answer that comes is.. sure thing, shall definitely try and come there

Both parties are happy.  One building a dream evening, the other content with a commitment that has been half promises.

Lies said for the others benefit, to keep things from heating up.

We all do it. The frequency and the extent may vary but somewhere down the line, we find it easier to be franker with our friends and colleagues that with the closest relationships we have. Don’t want to hurt them – or worse don’t want them to know who we really are, because then they maynot love us anymore.

Phew, finding myself a close spectator to the turmoils of a friends relationship has made me wonder. IS there a better way ?

Don’t have one.  The breakup of a relationship that somehow you allowed to become central to your life, sweeps the ground off your feet. Nothing makes sense, you cant eat, cant stay away from the phone the only person you want to speak with is the one person you should not reach out to.

You try to seek solace with friends and family… half heartedly head for that concert and movie. A shadow to yourself.  Your inner movie consuming all your space and attention. .. it takes a long time to bounce back from something that you cherished.. smooth nothings referring to destiny, many fish in the sea, there is something better waiting for you are words that fall off like drops of water on the surface of a lotus.

You cry, and sigh. Smile at the times gone by. Cringe when someone takes u to the same resteraunt. Miss holding a hand at the movies, and wait for a hug.

The good news is that it does get better.  You smile for no reason again. Buttercups in the rain are enough to make you happy and the happy you gets someone new ……. And there is one tiny difference- this time you KNOW that no matter what you will be OK.  

you will

Thursday, November 25, 2010

comics not comical

I did not go. fine i admit it have not been to the silly gym for the whole week.
But I did have the bestest intentions to go last night, but here is what happened........

Tired from work at the early hour of 5.30 I drove home, worried a bit about my roommate who was not answering my calls for the whole day and I knew that could for the now spell disaster.. besides the urge to have a full cup of hot coffee with a smoke curling out of a ciggie was too compelling a combination to miss.

So i did the biggest mistake of all times.
Did not drive directly to the gym- went home. discovered telltale evidence that someone else had been there the night before..
Cringed, mentally sighed and then saw it

Sitting innocently on the bed- waiting to be opened, waiting to be read there it was
Asterix and Obelix comics- the fact that i had to use google for the right spelling says a lot!!!!!
after  years i sat down and like a child opened the comic book, the drawings, the illustrations all fought for my attention

and as i delved further I realised that I dont get comics- never really did.
The whole thing was a repeat of a plot stated on page 1-. they hurt romans and then move, eat, sleep drink some magic potion and repeat the same process over and over again....

its the same thing with Batman, or the phantom series, never got the having to scringe into the box and make out the entire tale.
even comic books dont do it for me...
but if there are to be exceptions - it is the single strip comics that i still get

aka- calvin and hobbes - and ...........hmmmm and none else
so that is that
comics and me have a bad relationship

think my mother is to blame

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

up and away

Today is a super day.

Just because I say it is. For starters, am feeling elated happy and alive, and peppy. Peppy- i like that word reminds me of the magic gum that crackles in your mouth. As i drove in to work today there was a super radio show on with a music director Leslie Lewis and his band, recounting anectodes of a his life with musicians of yesteryears.

To the wallowing of hang out pals, there is a turn in events, my darling universe seems to have responded and how. There is a party on tonight where almost each person met shall be new and not known from before, a women group is meeting up over the weekend and there is momentum

now to fix work and get things a little more actionated there and i am set. The feeling alive shall translate into a happy productive day and that by itself is good.

Simple and easy. motto for the day- get cracking

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All right then

Life for the past few days has been like a Karan Johar and a Sanjay Leela Bhasali movie rolled into one. This no matter how you look at it, sounds like a huge box of tissues must have been consumed. 

Lets get to the story.

Saturday morning,  the day started with Social Network the movie and like all weak people susceptible to external influences triggered in me the desire to do three things. All of which like someone puts it, are thoughts going round and round like a merry go round in my head

1.            Study abroad or more precise to be part of this huge student mass once more where 4 am          seems a perfectly legitimate time to commence a business discussion while pissed out of your  head
2.            For a while, be the hard-nosed high heel lawyer in a large conference room with a shield of        papers making me feel important and use polite sarcasm to make nonsencial point
3.            But a lot more than both – made me want for a while have that audacity, the focus and the        conviction where one breathed, moved, thought, delivered and did  only one thing – the abiding                 passion of that one project whose end result was not something that mattered

Stepping out from the luxurious arm chair seats, I looked around as the life that was where all three elements were missing by choice. Hummed to myself, ransacked the book fair for the lonely planet and returned with the Immigrant- by Manju Kapur

Set in the Indra Gandhi era, it chronicles the tales of  Delhi women a professor who is turning 30.. Thirty, thirty, the number and the implication are drilled into the reader as a dreary picture is painted of her life in the DTC busses, the searing Delhi heat, the one roomed house with the trapped memories pushing each other for attention complete with the widowed mother. Grooooooooooooooooooan!!!! You almost want to make something happen for her to make the book move.

Luck shines on her, she moves to Canada and the next level of “immigrant issues commence”… not being able to assimilate, the isolation, missing family yada yada yada. Made me wonder if I too would stick out as an outsider if and when we move…., but doubt that.  The simple trick to assimilating no matter where and how you go is to – DO MORE – make a move and get friends and vala u are all right

Bantering on.

Sunday was a photo-shoot, book reading, movie seeing, walk and a meditation. The string of activities made the mood flow from frumpy to grumpy to all out bawling. Reason- not sure, just a bad case of the blues.

The lack of hang out pals was making it presence felt more and more, stronger and louder. Made calls and vala, now we seem to have some sort of a womens club meeting for every Saturday that has been initiated

Its Tuesday today, 4 days of dramatic emotions and swaying mood swings
Am back on my feet, happier and lighter. Amen to the remaining week commencing on the same note.

Friday, November 19, 2010

mid week break

A mid week break is a thrilling thing to get, allows one to hit the pause button and remain in a whirling bubble over the rest of the week, observing the rest of the world scurry along. So all I did was sit and read assorted articles from the Time magazine, and 2 things leapt out and stayed with me

JFK Presidential Campaign

The Time did a photo essay releasing the so far unpublished images from his presidential campaign. By itself the topic was run of the mill and the images not path breaking.  Set in the 1960’s the campaign moved across the breadth of America gathering  votes and meeting people.  More than the President, the happy shiny faces of the people leaped out at me-  Optimism, surge of faith, hope all expressions colliding together to leap up and out.

As I sat gazing at those faces, on a random afternoon of Nov 2010, could not but help thinking that each of the young people captured in that one moment were not dead, or at best old and wrinkled. Each of them had lived their lives, each of them in that ONE MOMENT -  were people with real worries, some ambitions, some aspirations, and each made some choices. But at the end they faded , as shall you as shall me.

Sounds morbid.

But was not the feeling that I had. Remember a line from a Murakami, don’t remember which book.. he said

"Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting." - Haruki Murakami

And another line the exact quote of which I cant get – which said

As I stood there gazing at the crowds rushing through the square, it hit me that a 100 years from now not one of these people shall remain, everything shall be gone, changed altered, the reality of this moment was fleeting”

This thought actually made me light, the realization that everything was and is fleeting, That the moment comes and goes, that the worries are never as big as we think, the achievements never that huge and there is nowhere really really to go.

That one day, everything we too know is going to poof off and go and what we shall be with with are a few karmas, some samaras and the memories. Nada is the rest.

Made me sign, get a drink and be silly. Be mad and a little glad, to shed a little of the worry wart and laugh. Got high, got silly made nonsense jokes and laughed willy nilly.

I like. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

fanning the embers of friendship

Last year around this time, my best friend sent me a letter. It was ironical because she lived less than a kilometer away from my house, but she decided that what she needed to say was too deep to be sent over an email or just blurted out over the phone.

That time I read the letter, understood it but it is only today that it sank in. As I stand at the same threshold, feeling the same vaccuum, the depth of appreciation for what she shared is more real.

Dont have the letter with me right now, but the extracts of what she said was:

There are more friends on my facebook than days in the year, there are a greater number of people on the phonebook, yet somehow when one needed a friend to simple be with, be around from the lists of people around there seemed no-one there to call. 

Law of diminishing marginal utility:

As children, we spent no time thinking about how to make friends, there was no conscious investment of time and energy, everyone just was there to laugh and cry and if someone was not coming down, a collective yelling below the staircase would compell them to appear ;-)

With the passage of years, the friends became fewer, time investment higher and the mindless easy moments orchestrated sessions that needed to be carefully planned juggling complex schedules and commitments...hence the law of diminishing marginal utility

Time spent on orgn a session to having fun - increased rapidly
time spent actually being together- decreased rapidly

as I stand now, I realize that the childhood years have rewarded me well. Soul sisters, soul friend remain scattered across the globe. Friends whom I merely have to contact and can pour my heart out, friends that shall be there at a time of crisis, non judgemental, supportive and real.

Friends whom I call home.

But sadly, it is not everyday that you have a crisis or need a heart to heart. On most days you just need a someone to have a laugh with, maybe head for a walk, sit on a bench and yap about the little inconsequential moments of life... someone who knows that for this week the biggest thing u are stressing about is not Iraq or the War, but much simpler getting the presentation right for the big meeting... someone, u can call and make a random plan to meet for a beer, with legs perched on the balcony railing watching the rain come in and laugh about how the day went.

Loserly though the above sounds, I find solace that this situation is not mine alone. Irrespective of geography, almost everyone I know is in a similar boat. Everyone, seems to have at some point or the other stood on the shore, and waved a hanky to friends who have departed into the isolated worlds of marriage, demanding jobs, higher education or simply other cities. 

Wiped their tears and gone back to building new ties.

A strange thing though is how when one relocates, the 'newness' is enough of a momentum to find new places and avenue. One is more open to doing and discovering alone, and in the course of this discovery finds some new faces to call home

Comfort in a city, breeds for contentment and instills a sense of reluctance in gathering up the energy to do new. ALONE...

Despite having a few avenues, and interesting ones of things to pursue I shamelessly find myself looking once more at the phone list, wondering hoping that someone, anyone would want to come along for the next concert or the next film.

I dont have an end yet to this. what i do have is belief and hope
belief that if you want to make a change, you can
your thoughts choose your actions, so think well
and i think of being in a cess pool of friendship :-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

excitement died

This is the third attempt to post today, and as half hearted as not. Don’t have one core theme to post about but a number of small little things that dot the landscape called yesterday.

The new india

Generation Z, if that is what is called is the one that is in the early 20’s to the mid 20’s. Born in the mid 80’s they seem to have a far higher level of clarity on what they intend to do with their life. Take the case of AB, at 22 he has done a corporate job, 2 years of a teach for india assignment, started a ngo, and won the economic times –power of awards panel not to mention becoming a part time writer and a book author.

Or M, 23 years old, graduation done, masters done along with jobs held, ideal job found and now desperately ensuring that the idealism is not in any way hampered by doing something for the heck of it. The ability to do more squeeze more is the craft that they have honed to perfection.

Growing yourself

11pm me and S were speaking on the phone about the responsibility to keep ourselves alive and growing even as we balance the demands of a relationship, job, living by yourself. We realized that somehow at 30 the novelty factor associated with a lot of things we did earlier were gone..we enjoyed the occasional play, the movie, but it was not truly exciting.

The butterfly feeling we got as kids when we did new things, or waited for weeks before the Birthday came has somehow gone. Flew out of the window and has not been replaced by anything new.

The entertainment attractions of the adult us are not TINGLING – the experience junkies, aint getting a new high!

What then is a solution?

Just yesterday, as I helped a pal write an article on people who were party animals and are now into the reformed alternative lives I realized that I knew a lot of such people. But they sort look a little lost without the crutch of fun to hold on to..

What I my excitement about?

If I was to be honest? It has to be creating new, creating afresh and being artistic etc etc

Or else end up living life on a roller coaster, constant excitement guaranteed ;-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday very blue

Why am I so annoyed? I know that I am but I don’t quite know what and why.

For starters it is a Monday. The day began not so well, added to this was a one and a half hour commute, Bangalore is becoming hot and sunny, and the pleasant mood is going, the heat comes with the relentless sun making me even more livid…..

The weekend was well, foodish and well crafted with lots of different experiments in the kitchen. And all that, the work is good, it a decent phase but I am feeling annoyed.

At me.

Missing me at the end of the day… missing movement, energy, people. Maybe it is the hormones, but the dullness of life is not something I am liking and need to get more moving on a daily basis. The urge to do is mine, the urge to be calmer is mine, to craft my story to be my person, to get a move on now and now and now.

Gawd, I hate how annoying Mondays can get at times.
Serious case of Monday blues. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

food extravaganza

Foodie weekends. This is what we have spent most of our energies into making and eating.


BBQ tuna
Egg fried rice
Baked potatoes
Paneer Tika
Corn on the Cob
with fresh sour cream

Tea Time
Banana Walnut Cake
Tulsi Tea

Chocolate and banana pancakes
bengali khitchi

Early dinner
Spaghetti with Gorgenzula ( if that is how u spell it) sauce
White wine
Toast with Goat cheese
and chocolate

Fried eggs with toast
Fruit Salad
Fresh Coffee

Thai papaya salad
Veg Kebabs 

All of the above made at home, made together complete with cleaning the kitchen later and preparing the next meal thereafter. Talk about making it gourmet!

Net result, this is how most of the weekends seem to be spent, in a happy mess between thinking of meals, making something, quenching random food cravings, and shopping to create the meals. With a new balance of some working out, the food and the health shall both get balanced out

Buurrrp till then

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blondie works out

October came and with it the last quarter of the year. As I looked up at my room wall, the prettily written and typed out resolutions stared back at me.

One of the most prominent being the one about getting lean and mean- the man machine.. hahhaaaa; am so not anywhere close to that for the now. Am more the soft and sweet, cuddly bean… ;-)

Hmmm so the determined blondie decided to take matters in her own hands, be serious and hit the gym. (of course its been a month, and I have gone like 5 times, but that is not the topic of conversation here)
So I head to the gym, the owner gives me a huge huge discount for being one of those silly people who pay for the gym but never use it…get the phsio test done and am set.

Or so I thought.
My trainer assigned to me was this lanky tall man. Reminded me of the young angry version of amitabh bachan; except that this trainer had this happy smiley face, which for some one like me is critical?


Because it permits me to smile back in return, make a puppy face and get away from doing the last 300 crunches that the trainer is keen I do.  Net to net, I was in gym heaven. A good deal, a lanky trainer, and the size 0 Kareena Kapoor body was looking as a looming reality that I secretly have always aspired to.

Happy blondie, wraps up work and headed to the gym only to be told that my Amitabh trainer was sick and not there. However, I would be assisted by Naren.

Okies, I say.. trooping off to the treadmill laughing at the antics of some elephant baby in the African jungle. Warming up my smile and muscles to get Naren to let me off early too.

Then I see Naren approach.  I see mental images of Brendan Fraizer from George of the Jungle .. bulging muscles, rippled chest , cropped hair and no smile. Blondie stops smiling

That began the next 45 minutes of torture.

Barked orders of spine straight, no elbows closer in, reduce your dumbbell weight, 15 counts, let me show you how it is done.  Naren the serious body builder would like 120 kilos to demonstrate the art of lifting weight, Blondie would go to the same machine and lift 20 kilos .. nearly fainting at the 15th repetition.

As I post this.. Amitabh is still missing in action. Naren has not grinned even once and Blondie has been flashing her smile on a nearly constant basis hoping for some respite, so far success rate is the only thing coming close to size 0.

Darn fitness!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dinner with Friends

Dinner With Friends
A Feroz Khan play, featuring the who’s who of the theatre community was acting in it. A simple plot, it revolved around 2 couples where everyone was friends with each other. 

One couple was the quintessential ‘perfect couple’ with the right food and wine, the house done just so, two romping kids, travel and communication about everyone and everything else, but a deep rooted hesitation to  communicate about them selves

In stark contrast there was the other couple. With issues and grouses that existed and were confronted. Lack of intimacy, lack of passion, a shadowed living that was taking place one behind the other. They break up and there is a divorce that then looms up because they cant anymore live the sham

So well they break up and then comes the unraveling of the friendship.

On one hand there is the couple who has been around for a while, going through the rhythms of stagnation and boredom; the emis intruding in the “living of life’. In stark contrast there is the recently divorced, and entered into new relationship couple who have found happiness.

  • o   Happiness in DOING THINGS.. random dance classes, early morning jogs.
  • o   Passionate love making, imagination in conversations
  • o   Newness made them happier more alive and hence more alive, newness was good

As I sat there, I wondered for me how life would pan out, would I evolve and change, would I become a nag and cling. How and what we do depends so much on remaining conscious and not fearful.

Am reading a wonderful book called Snychro Destiny by Deepak Chopra and the simple statement of it is that what you give more and more attention to, surfaces more and more in your life….look for coincidences in you life, nurture them because that is one way that the universe is signaling that what you are headed to….

Exiting the play, and heading for dinner…. a little head of anxiety loomed inside. And the tiny voice was answered by a deeper one of flow of being and living and moving with that which is the still and true part of me. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Lie back on  the grass
Look up at the sky
Just watch the stars and the sky
see the moon
observe the stars and know
that there is someone, something, 
somewhere somehow,
holding the entire galaxy up above

Was watching Kaun Baneha Coreparti yesterday (become a millionaire; game show) that posed a question for the Rs 50,00,000 question. 

What planet has seven hills named after the 7 astronauts who died after the Coloubmia space shuttle disaster. The options were Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury. 

Thats when my dinner companion gave me information that I was ignorant about. 

Did you know that Venus is full of clouds that are so dense that the land is impossible to reach? That Jupiter is  a whirling mass of gasses and matter and there is no land that is yet formed as the heat/gravity is not dense enough to compress and form land? That the heat of the Mercury, is not permitting any human launch to take place.

I remember a trek to Hemkunth Sahib, about 8 years ago... on a chilly night I sat and watched the stars. Silent. Calm. 

And it hit me, that I too was a part of this cosmos. The rigours of daily life made me forget, made me feel so in control that i let the intelligence of the cosmos be assumed, yet as the song of thomas crown affair stated....

And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

There is no huge moral of the story behind this post, just a step back finger on the lips, head kocked in wonder at the sheer massiveness of the space that we live in, everyday and the extent we don't acknowledge or note. 

No I am have not been hired by Robin Sharma. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Nein means no in German.

Na, La, Jo, No, Nahin, Lela, there are several and more ways of getting this one word across. But seems that Indians with our plenitude of languages, have not got the hang of making use of this one word.

There was a thread started by a bunch of female travellers, who are used to hosting people on couch surfing. These are people who have made the art of being a good host, so refined that they have let their personal lives go to hell for the sake of being a good host

Example 1

A lady opens her house on Diwali night to a couch surfer who decided to drop in at 10 pm, and despite knowing that the house is full suggests at 12 am that he shall now wander in the city to find a place to sleep, resulting in.. yes you guess it the lady offering him a mat on the living room floor and the man getting away with the attitude of .-- come on i am just sleeping on ur couch

Example 2

3 girls come into womens house, dont assist in anything not even dumping their plates in the sink, make no plans to see the country, wait for the hostess to organize their day complete with drops and picks and even get her to pay for the transport....

There was an example 3, 4 and 5. In my experience there has never been an experience this bad, but the way I see it the blame on the hosts as well.

  • Use the word NO.not ok. tell people and take action. I have seen people close to me use that word and make it clear when things are not ok
  • Be nice, be polite, but dont kill yourself in the process. There is a figure it out kind of travel arrangement that does not need molly coddling
  • Let them help, and allow them to be involved
And for heaven sakes lets not be hosts that are so soft that you forget that this is at the end of the day your home, a place for you to relax into. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

couch surfers

Have you heard about a system called Couch Surfers? Its a way/lifestlye choice.... of travelling where instead of staying at a hotel you choose to stay with people from the country with the intent of not only saving hotel cost, but also getting to know the country you are visiting from the eyes of the people staying there

As cool as the concept it, and I do think that it is pretty awesome for the sense of trust it is based on.........

But the little little things that happen as a generic pain areas for both the guests and the hosts .... For starters the coolest thing about hotels is the ability to immediately become the "I am the customer I am the King person" and hence be entitled to demand. 

Completely contrary to this is the couching experience.. you are to be (however understated it is as an emotion) subservient, adapt to the ways of the household, assist in the dishes and such like, even though you may have a 36 hour flight below you.. and have to be polite and make conversation and be interested.. all of which I think are huge huge things to have the mental and physical capacity for when all you want is a warm bed...!!!

Now if you are going.. aaaawwww poor little surfers think of the hosts

Well they open the doors to all persons, nationalities and ages... You never ever know what is the next thing walking through the door.. as in you do have a vague sense of the person what they do and where they are from, but you dont reallly know know.. 

like they could have grubby feet, or an accent that makes no sense, or you just cant talk to each other, or they are fine and interesting but after a few days you are sort of hmmm wanting your space.. they are also lovely. nice and a wonderful way to get to know a little bit ,more about a place that you have not been to.. agreed

But small things can get your goat and the other person maynot even realize it. The akwardness of the situation then is how do you tell him/her something. when are u rude, when are u hospitable, the line of protecting your space vs letting them be is thin and for some people not good at saying it as it is tricky..

As I plan a few trips here and there. I know that I am more than fine being the person who is surfing.. maybe it is a reluctance stems from not being in control. not knowing what you are going to get at the end of a long travel day? or think it is deeper, being 'subservient' polite and sensitive to someone, something you dont know  is a toughie.. 

egoistic bitch i sound like

diwali night

Have you ever had those days, where u look forward to something and when it is there in front of you, you sort of wonder what the fuss was about.

Diwali was i am ashamed to say sort of like that.
I am a Monica!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have become a cow kind of a women, where I think I derive more pleasure from the organizing of an event that being in one... Shocking this revelation is to me.

See, for a long time Diwali was about gambling the night away. Teen Patti a skill of lying, keeping your calm, calculated risk, thumping moments where you wonder if you are going to win or not.. was how the nights were spent. Well that is exactly what we created and got. The gang was there, the cards being slid on a specially made black jack table and the stakes enough to rivet you.

And where was i??

sleeping, sitting or serving. 
out of choice!!!!!!!

For some reason, I refused to let myself gamble. The rationale that I gave myself was I did not have money- lame could have borrowed, the stakes are too high- lame again its a mindset, there was a person there who was being sort of aggressive, -- possible but come on its my loss if i let someone stop me from having fun..

So what was the fucking reason??

Crap as it sounds, dont have one. Maybe I am a pseudo intellectual who suddenly wanted to deep meaning in everything, CRAP again. I am a believer in SILLINESS!!!! and so I am a WUZ! and that is is.. Blondie it a silly silly goose, who just at the wrong time and place decided to go into the retreat and withdraw mode... Smart aint i??


entering the 30's

The past week or two have been instenely couple based. Well here is the record so far...

  • had dinner with a couple on the verge of splitting
  • attended a wedding, so met a couple on the start of a journey
  • luncheon with another who had filed her divorce papers, and 
  • today a friend who recently got married and was home for the "first diwali"
Each of these were love marriages, undertaken with years of getting to know the other person and with open eyes and ears. The success ratio has been well- one is to one!

As I sat with the last person on the list this afternoon, I suddenly got the creeps. The conversation was scary, very very scary. Why? because it was so very mundane... small ...

Let me explain.

We were meeting after a while, and we gave a generic update. As we swapped stories, another person joined us .........and with his addition the REALITIES of the 30's came marching in uninvited.

They spoke about house emi's. 
Car loans
Running away from bosses, to goa with cousins for a break- todrink n smoke
babies and maternity leave
changing jobs-- not careers, not chasing a dream, just moving setups

It reeked of everyday life. It reeked of acceptance and chugging along. The 30's suddenly seemed here to stay. As I walked her to the car, where yet another COUPLE was waiting, the jeans clad girl i knew in May, replaced by a salwar kameez, mangasultra wearing, husband totting creature....I wondered to myself

Did I want to belong to this circle? 
For the next decade, did the biggest worries in my life seemed destined to be dentist appointments and the admissions into the appropriate schools?
Did wanting to build a home or maybe a house, imply that there was no larger goal to pursue.

Passion was missing. Is missing. And i am a hypocrite beyond belief because at the end of the day... at this point of time I am one of them. The Chuggers!

At this very same location.... there were some very interesting art pieces on display. Dried flowers made to depict a setting sun, or just small flowers arranged to depict explosion. I leaned in to read the artists name.. and smiled.. I knew the artist. He was a close friend. He was intense, mad, passionate, riding his cycle with his thoughts keeping him company. 

There were those people that existed too. the dreamers. and somehow in connecting with the both the dreamers and chuggers I sat in between.......hanging in animated suspense to know which path I would lead.

Please god. Give me the courage, the clarity and the opportunity not to become a CHUGGER

Thursday, November 4, 2010

its diwali. n the bog made it happen

hahaaaaa, the blog is partly responsible for me having a happy busy diwali!.. ;-) what a co- incidence.

A few weeks ago, there was dusshera and that triggered off the diwali mayhem and nostalgia. This resulted in me going boo - hoo- baa - baaa about the entire experience and what I missed etc etc... a friend read it and together we decided to make it a Delli Diwali for the entire gang

So crackers and cards
madness and drinks
snacks and pooja
candles and diyas
rangolis and sarees
photos and flowers

The house getting a new look, the kitchen looking like it has been hit by a sandstorm
the entire day, is madness and more
and the night time of just closing ur eyes to the diyas
is enough to make one smile

the list of things to do is immense
the shops need to be hounded and the lamps bought
there is much to do and little time, so am off to make this a festival
of love, light and immense gratitude

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

fairytale weddings

A fairytale wedding.

What does that term translate for you as a visual? Is it the man on the horse and the white gown image that we have been fed  by Hollywood? Or the large format Indian wedding, with the groom on the horse, the sparkling house and the elaborate bride shy as she moves with a garland in her hand…?

For me it was what I witnessed on Saturday.

A small gathering of friends and family got together to witness two people declare their love for each other. There was no priest or pundit making the ritual complex with nonsense ceremonies, that make sense but are never explained.

They stood against the setting sun, and uttered vows tailor made for the other. Promises that were real, that made sense, that were keepable. Promises of space, of understanding what was needed, promises made looking deeply into each others eyes with the support of those who truly knew you to appreciate what those vows meant for you.

Set against the backdrop of a little pond aglow with floating candles, the couple stole a moment to soak in the moment. Shed a few happy tears to commemorate that this moment was here, they had made it, they meant it and it felt just perfect.

An informal air set in with the photo sessions seeing love captured. Stiffness was discarded for wine glasses and laughter punctured the air, as family paired up for a snap.. screaming for the lost cousin to move from the bar to the frame.

As we sat by the glittering water, could feel my heart going out to them.  The shining eyes of the bride and the glowing smile was real….the proud groom could only stare at her unbelievable that she was his… for life. And none of it was an act.

As toasts gave way to the first dance, the inhibitions were discarded. Elvis grooved, and the groom moved. The Bride jived, the parents smiled and the crowd whistled their wishes to the tune of the music. Yes, it was a super happy super yummy moment… one littered with magic dust……

My face is stretched into my largest ‘aaaawwww’ smile that is possible. For me that was the ‘Fairytale’ wedding that I want, whenever it happens.  One were each person I see, I know. One where there is intimacy and the moment is not lost under the rituals that are must to do.

Simple. Slow, Happy and Real.
That’s all.

ooty children home

All smiles

Ooty Children home
Village Thoopur, near Dharampuri
One building, one school, one line to draw clothes, no taps and one large field to play in
2 volunteers, dedicating 6 months of their life to create an environment that is warm, alive and secure

18 children.
The youngest is 3 year old vibha, a toddler of a girl who comes and asks you in perfect English….
Didi, what is your name? my name is vibha..;-)
Before proceeding to turn around and run off to the loudest part of the field to play in

Dada, the 4 year old boy looks at you with big eyes pleading to be placed on the boot of the car. The rest are little men and women, clever, witty, independent smart children who feel no fear or hesitation in saying anything that they need.

But I need to pause and give you some background.

The Sunday of October fest, we sat around the dinner table seeing pictures of the ooty children home. The only reason, we became aware that this place existed was because we were hosting someone who was volunteering there. The fact that she had come all the way from Spain to work with these children, while we sitting less than 200km away were doing nothing, humbled us.  As so just like that over dinner a plan was made.

A plan to help these kids smile……….

A facebook message was drafted and circulated. For less than 5 days we spoke to people about the mission to get these children the basics of life that we needed. In a weeks time, we were shocked by the overwhelming generosity of a few people and the indifference of a few.

With a packed car, we drove out to the home and despite the hiccups of the drive, we reached. The kids were there excited and happy, jumping. They were a mix from the North and the South. But what struck me about them was the confidence they excluded….. they did not ask for charity or pity, they welcomed you into their home, and displayed what little they had….

Leg pulling, some hop stoch.. boys teasing the girls the girls running off to play clapping games. Amusement at the dog there was joy that the place had packed in… somehow they had laughter even though there were so many gaps between what they wanted and had.

In an experience crammed world, their life was about their dormitory, the school less than 20 mts away and the flat piece of land. Going to the town a 10 min walk was a novelty. And going home a rarity.
For me I wanted to capture that moment. Did not want to see into their past, scared for what I would find…. Did not want to anticipate the future, nervous about how shiny their eyes would remain. Wanted a pause button. For that afternoon, that time.

Now I know what my Mumbais mission is, when he sets up his company to funnel back funds. One cant meet the children, interact with them and disappear. They live on, and without access to assistance, they may not get the paradise they deserve.
For those who may want to help these little ones, drop me a comment and we can take it from there. 

Into the Wild

Into the Wild
I was gifted this as a book a year back. It sat on my shelf unread, though I knew it was a book that I would identify with. The book still remains, dusty and a bit lost on the shelf; but the movie took the place of the book
Monday afternoon, the rain came down in gentle sheets.
The dog nestled in the crook of my arm, with his warm breath nuzzling my maternal core
My hands were safely tucked away & the movie began

It’s a simple story about a college graduate- Christopher McCandless who rejects very norm of society to LIVE, to experience, donates his money, abandons his car and goes on a mission to reach Alaska with only one motive in mind, to be in the WILD. To be alive, to be free, to be true without any pretenses without any pretenses any masks . BTW it is a TRUE STORY (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_the_Wild)

An exceedingly well shot movie, it captures his feelings and emotions as he moves cross country. Stopping to earn a bit, and his reluctance to become truly close to any ONE person; preferring to move, to change, to see to breathe new, new, more new, movement was to be alive

He says at a point in the movie, that human relationships are not the only source of happiness but new experiences are. Being true to your self is, and this false world of security that we create and cocoon ourselves with is just that a barrier to true living.

As the movie unfolded so did I.
Wept at the ending, was quiet at what we had seen, felt.

Questioned for myself what way to head- the world of security, savings and relationships or the world of living, experiences and movement? The Buddha way of balancing the both seemed the only route out, but unlike the Buddha the solution seemed ‘ aadha aadhoora’ …’ neither here nor there’

The innocence of that man, the ability to live by rejecting that which we hold sacred is the hallmark of being true … for a me atleast

As I woke up this morning, I observed the sequence of thoughts that played out in my head. Petty, small, repetitious thoughts emerged. I was living the AUTOMATIC LIFE.   

For the now I am very happy with this though. And this nugget of awareness makes it a little better. An ode to the free spirits who are truly courageous…. Your spirit soared in life, for most we die for that to happen.

Scraps for the day

It’s the 3rd of November, and I have not blogged since the end of the last week.  Pathetic that seems to me to handle. So here is making amends, a series of blog posts is now going to emerge.

Snatches of conversation and moments

  • Ø     Met an friend after a long time, the friend was close to me, remains so but after a long time saw a new person emerge. Someone who spoke work, had become what he does and he was not like that ever. Made me nervous. Made me realize that as time elapses and we enter the 30’s and the number of balls that we have in the air increase- realizing that we are drifting and become a work person without the ability to be curious and explorative is HIGH!

  • Ø  Another friend, was narrating tales of meeting a random person and having a conversation about the politics of drugs. Did not know that there was a difference between a vision vs a hallucination, a dream, a senses morphing and intoxication. We spoke about the DNT drug, that is a natural chemical formed in our bodies and offered as a healing drug in South America, to get us in touch with some core part of us, that assists us in facing the fears that we have and fail to acknowledge

  • Ø  Speaking of dreams, dreamt that my black and white puppy had become a monkey… and hence and novelty..hehee. Me and my relative entered a room with a chess board floor, where another friend greeted us. She had two pups on her arms. One of which was a white Pomeranian whose whiteness was getting boring … so she painted his ears and one patch of his eyes with tiger stripes.

  • The spooky thing was that .. the first person in my dream is going home and has a chess board floor in her kitchen!!!! And the other friend called…..out of the blue. And to make it even more interesting was reading ‘the power of coincidence’ by Deepak Chopra just today

 Ø   Oooooooooooooo!!! Simply unbelievable gossip of the day.
        Mr. Random man sends me a message on FB- Will u add me on FB?
        Blondie reverts stating – Nopes. Don’t know u.
        Mr. Random states -  What shall it take? My bank balance
        Pissed Blondie states-  sure why not
        Mr. Random- sends me some nonsensical statement about his accounts
       Super pissed blondie states -  Good for u, Enjoy
        Mr. Random – Then reverts and says—glad u did not add me, you seem to have a stunted          vocab!

        One Slap ! He deserved.