The mundane happens, you breathe, you eat, you work for a living/to kill time/waiting for some breakthrough and whatever.
Even the commonplace forgets to remind you that it has taken place and you forgot to register. Sometimes what you write also no longer matters because it is understood you write and you know it is not a new thing. You forget to answer calls or choose to forget, let's ignore that. You have canned answers to some phone calls, you don't know what to speak and what if you tell the truth...
As cells turn grey and seconds trickle to hours and days to years, you simply lose the edge over your pet peeves too. It is kinda sad to see all bright things dull and drab. How do you recover from eternal lethargic fits and intolerable indifference??
I don't know, it's so easy to give you such an answer, it's my favourite answer, hassle-free and free of income tax!!
The classic who/what/why/when/where/how irritates me to no end now, I know what a curious and inquisitive+precocious irritation I might have been to many. Sorries to all my tormented friends, Indians and acquaintances, my heartfelt apologies.
Just let it go, let it go and let it go- that's what the gyaanis, sadhus,sadh gurus say, smile and be content, start practising this and that, say this to yourself and you will feel better and yeah, you do feel better at times. Stop looking around for happiness and be happy is the mantra, forgive and forget, lead a healthy and positive life, spread good vibes and be picture perfect :)
If you are not satisfied with anything,can you do anything?? Yes, keep quiet for a while...I do that and then storm the issue, it's the last man standing kinda wrestling match, do or die.
Of course, a lot is at stake but it satisfies than being mundane.


A cup of tea

Some short and great stories have seen the light of the 'tube', if I may say so thanks to that cup of tea. It's amazing how much takes place over an innocuous beverage rated by the world as not so happening at least over it's elite cousin, coffee.
My dad would take 17cups a day until blood sugar problems seeped in. He would only place the command 'Tea,please' and mom, my sister or I would rush with his tumbler of 'phika cha', no milk and generous sugar. Those days, at least, I cribbed a lot at his tea fascination and I would threaten mom to get him that thermo-flask and keep 20 cups ready and waiting, with a jar of sugar and a packet of tea leaves, if possible tez pata( bay leaves),ginger and whatever.My dad would ask us to take up the art of having tea all the time, after every major meal also!! But one peculiarity, he never had tea anywhere outside, let it be my uncle's or his in-laws unless it is prepared by one of us!!Tea-stalls, restaurants, let's leave them :)
Mom has religiously enjoyed her cup of tea, flavored with a slice of lemon and a pinch of salt, at times with pepper and a twig of mint,and also, she experimented the sugar bit with honey,molasses and jaggery
I never learnt having tea, I found it horrid and often rated my jar of milk anyway, higher than that.So does my bro.
My sis is an off and on consumer of tea, not particularly faddish but does not mind a cup when the crowd is big and especially ,if she happens to prepare.
My office boy in my college is a wannabe, takes good care of his skin and constitution hoping to make it to some dance reality show.He earns a pittance but saves enough to learn professional dance three times a week and wears brand duplicates to look chic.I asked him to get a cup of tea for himself one day for an errand, he said,
"No mem!! I want to be fair..."
"Chai peene se, kaala hota hai."
"Ok, I didn't know that,ahan..."
I began my affair with tea recently when Dad was diagnosed with diabetes.I felt very bad about it especially when you know he was going to give up something he loved so much.His face kinda shrunk and he looked very helpless when the doctor told him he has to have it sugar-free!!How ruthless can you be!!I pleaded with the doctor if there was something that could be done, maybe Sugar free tea,maybe...
The doctor was ok-ok with the sugar-free idea, I gave in, I went and got a can of sugar free pills, Dad lit up and his affair with tea was revived, albeit under tremendous control and monitoring. But that charm was lost of having tea with natural sugar.I decided to be a part of that collective agony, decided to have tea and mourn.
I began having tea without sugar just to tell Dad that it's not all bad. He will not budge and refuses to comment.I had friends from the gardens who would go on and on about the this and that of tea.I used to be bored to death when they began their tea gupshup. Anyway, it was a trip down memory lane when I called them up and wished for an audience and they gave me the beginner's induction to tea by giving me a pound of garden fresh tea leaves, organic tea and green tea.I was thrilled at my treasure and thanks Dad, I am an avid fan of tea today.
The experts say tea should be brewed on moderate flame and never boiled.Stir and stir patiently. Tea should be tasted without sugar and milk, that's the actual flavor of tea.
Now, I take 7 cups of tea in a day, I love them, even if they are Tetley bags, who cares??


Has blogging become a compulsive fashion?? I think so and I don't think so. There is a certain level of expectation when you begin writing and others are forced to read or happen to read what you write. The results may be disastrous and encouraging at the same time.
Some days you are so happening and prolific and the rest of the days, thoroughly consumed and rigid to even feel bad wasting precious energy and interest to post some tasteless mindless mumbo-jumbo calling it creativity with rampant misuse of poetic licence.
The art of diary writing has taken a huge turnover after Anne Frank's heart wrenching diary in the 2nd Great War and of course, let's not forget the light humored Bridget Jones' and Adrian Moles series.
If I was making diary entries, half my efforts and self-humor would have gone to the waste bin.Call it modesty or a show of modesty, we are a lot more honest when it comes to diary writing.You know where to hide it and whom to show and what you feel about it.I have half a dozen of ramblings with no sequence of time and whatever.Just jot when you feel like, it could be a poem, a 3-liner or a long story cut short or an incomplete tale at times.I also have the option of scribbling and tearing and seeing my triumphant destruction of the evidence of stupidity and craziness in the bin in bits and pieces, you feel so good when something you don't like goes to the bin in such a grand way.
Blogging has made me a lot conscious, I don't know if it is a good thing to happen or a natural one or the bug of a new tech introduction.However, I don't know how long this fever last will, I mean writing.
I am yet to act on the suggestions and blogging accessories and tips given by well-wishers.I will take my time to educate myself gradually.I am beginning to get jittery with the kind of writing prompt as in I have a terrible tendency to go poignant and it is a very natural outcome beyond my control.Not in the league to be a tearjerker influence I will try and get variety conscious.
Yes, I will. Half the time I end up speaking to myself and to some invisible audience whose response is taken for granted.Words flow like water, I won't say but yes, they don't desert me when I need them.People say I play games with words, wish I could!!
I have no clue how long this is going to sustain my exile from pen and paper, I had a ceasefire of sorts with them this year in the beginning and promised them to leave something for them everyday but I am yet to begin my affair with them.
So much has been said and written about writing, some do it for pleasure, some for money while you have some who do it for the pure fun of multi-tasking and welcome release from the whatever of life.I love writing for the heck of it.It is a a sort of talking with the self and breaking your head with the most difficult person around.You know your shortcomings even when your soul is dead and you know you are the clearest mirror to reflect than your conscience can. Writing only urges you to come to terms in a painless(it can be heavily painful too) way.Even people who are 'handicapped' of expression thanks to a thousand reasons not necessarily physical love to write and are thrilled to be rid of the anxiety of the inability of communication.The written word is no longer yours nor can you change perspectives and moments even when you erase content using a Nataraj eraser or hit the backspace key.Truth remains and is long past destruction.
Blogging can allow you to release knowing very well there are a number of unknown faces and eyes viewing your page and nodding their heads anonymously wishing this person should have gone to some planet or better still, they want to meet this young/not-so-young Nobel/Pulitzer/Booker potential.The distance and the widespread of our planet which is almost galaxy-gigantic saves us the blushes.In the process you earn new friends and exchange better vision albeit virtually and get Utopic.

Not bad.

Role games that we play

So many small moments and trivial thoughts burden you knowing very well that despite bothering so much or breaking your head, they just don't go away.
The burden of playing roles and living them properly is a painful one. In cinematic language, we call it getting into the skin of the character.
Our plight is like God in whose name all the denominations and religions fight holy wars and crusades.A friend of mine explained to her 9 year old son who God is- " Son, your papa calls me Mini, you call me Mama,your grandpa and grandma call me Sweety.To your uncles and aunts,I am Mini-chi and your cousins,Tim and Ria call me Mini-aunty."
"So many names,one person!!"
"Exactly, have I changed for anyone???"
I could not agree more.Life is a huge play, you become tragic at times and overflowing with comic humor and pathos with the way life treats you. Often, you are overcome with tragedy only to tide it over with moving on and doing the same mundane stuff and doing something different to cheer yourself.
A lil' girl grows up like a cocooned soldier for whom to be careful was more important than being adventurous.She went along life's way where the good word was if you cannot be good, try and be careful.
Listening to her folks comes like breathing to her and also,violating their word too.She is an amazing sister and a caring daughter.
She is a great friend, you just have to call her up and she is there for you.She is a gorgeous woman I know and she is a fiercely protective lover, I can bridesmaid-vouch for her.
She is a superwoman at work and also, studies a lot like you and me.
How many heartbreaks and heartaches I cannot anticipate, she cannot play God but she is not less than a Goddess, she is my Diva.
I talk to her for hours everyday, fight with her and also, tell her as I'm scribbling some insignificant letters that all will be well, she can fulfill her dreams without having to lose her sleep and also, so many people love her, their prayers surely will lead her through the tide.
She does not know if she should let others know what she thinks about them, she definitely cares a lot but has anyone thought about what she goes through trying to play her roles efficiently?So many expectations and just one frail body and a mighty heart and a generous soul.
I know you have your protected world, your frustrations and there are days when you just wish you could run away to some den, almost magically.You just wish you could do all the judging for one day and not let people talk about it or ever mention again.You just want a royal treatment for some whimsical reason and still laugh off to sleep.
I have seen her tending to her hurts all by herself and not telling anyone what and how she feels.
She makes mistakes just enough to learn from them and not regret them.
Have you met her lately??

Marriage jitters for the to-be-s

It's wedding time for most of my friends only to remind me that my tribe of singletons is only getting depleted day by day :) What i am happy about all these happy occasions is they are all love marriages approved by family and fiercely protective people getting a lil' edgy about their identity and entity, and also, the new life waiting for them.

First, a couple of my very(very) good friends from college,both girls told me they had no idea they had 'fallen' in love and before they are out of it, the respective guys decided to solemnise it in marriage with the eternal hope that it will be the beginning of a happily ever after.Agreed.
Second, the forging and belief that all will be well after this gives you renewed hope that all shortcomings and personal inequations,if any, is trivial in the name of love or whatsoever.
Third, what is most important is the strength to give up so many labels and be all prepared to accommodate, allow and welcome another person who you so much love in your life forever.

Some of us defer marriage for various reasons.The discourse will only get more earfuls with time as it is the most talked about issue for all time.Let me dedicate an earful some other time.
For now, here is wishing all the going-to get married lovebirds a great future.I know it's scary even though you know the person inside out and outside in(?) when one morning you wake up and find out that you have been left to fend for yourself in a totally new environment, you do not know how to address each other, there are a score of eyes watching you and another hundred anxious ears waiting to hear that you are OK.Even though you planned where,when,what,why and how things should be done, there will be hiccups but that is what you have waited for so far.Things can no longer be quiet, they will only get noisier and chirpier.

Enjoy the affair for life.

Taare Zameen Par

Whoa, I waited for this one for a really(really) long time.When I was in Shillong, I managed to pop in the middle of a running session on a 70mm Payal Theatre, did not get the feverish frenzy of the crowd sinking in yet.So, I went for TZP last Saturday with a bunch of Hakunas, actually Mallik's lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng pending treat.So we were 6 of us-Gowtham,Luqman, Mallik,Ram, Ramya and I.The movie was a visual treat, the animation was amazing, the vision in the movie has left me speechless.

I went for my fav actor, ended up falling in love with the novelty of direction and concept of cinema he chose.Rivetting performances, amazing camera work and divine music- you have the best cinematic offering of the year.

The jigsaw of lessons and letters, characters and numbers and the herald of class tests marks is a regular pattern in every student's life.The dirty shoes,soiled shirt and the tie losing its important place and the water bottle used for all the signified import- Ishaan swinging by the gate and giving away his test scripts to Sheroo only drives home the fact that intelligence is counter non-productive. A kid who cannot multiply 3 and 9 knows what to do with his test scripts, his one painting on war strategy speaks volumes, also his sandwich hand wash and mixing and choice of water paints!!!

My point is not a cynical one but that intelligence is not books driven but purely inclination and proper nurturing of that,someone who does not fit in the common scheme of things is given a 'duffer', 'idiot', 'dumbo' or dsylexic tag.

About the rat race that parents push their children into, what else!We fail to realise that at the end of the day we are rats only. Why does how much your child or sibling get in a set of subjects so important to get a job, why do firms and organisations fail to remove that "only 60% and above" clause from their eligibility boards???Of course, excellence should be a pursuit never a maddening mania, that your little one loses all the tenderness of what he or she stands for.

The easiest conclusion is that he or she is a problem child, is learning resistant and knowledge revulsive, great geniuses are born then.That is how we perpetrate crime also, many of these tender hearts also think along those lines and get to become brats if too much leniency is displayed. That is where our teaching methodologies fail bigtime. We do not have the maturity and wisdom to identify and tap our kids. The extreme categorisation is dangerous but most of our teachers are left with no choice, either you are a 97 % holder or an average good kid, or worst to worst a failed case.The epithets come for free.

TZP made me weep for some classmates of mine who had difficulties in some subjects and today, thanks to their grit, they are somebody-s in their respective wherever. Also, for the number of times those kids who were branded 'brats' when all you know and remember about them is their 'good morning,miss' and 'bye,bye miss', kneeled outside class and had to complete a mammoth punishment of writing their mistakes 500 times like' I will not forget to bring my maths/ homework', duly signed by the teacher. Punishment methods are novel and cruel also.The famous stick/cane is a child's biggest nightmare,I still shudder at the thought of some who could not control their bladder and another bunch who had rhino skin thick fortitude.

About the myth of boarding school being bad and whatever, I beg to differ. To each his own, a lot of us know some of our best times are those glorious days of pyjama fights and parties in the dingy dorm.Ishaan's heart wrenching 'tujhe sab hai pata meri maa' left me soaked, I don't know why.The breaking point is when one is miraculously saved from further academic abuse after you become so hardened and tough to further agony.

I especially adore the scene when lil' Ishaan prepares for the art mela and goes to his favourite place and stays still, absorbing every breath and moment for his masterpiece. The merging and comprehension of a tender soul with and about Nature left me spellbound.

Also, when the father comes to meet Nikumbh Sir to justify that the Awasthys care for their child and the art teacher aptly retorted if the mother knew about the Solomon Island story.That anecdote about how the Adivasis practise jhum cultivation, they do not cut or chop the trees.They merely stand around the unwanted tree and give their choicest curses, the tree dies on its own.So, the analogy of a child to that of a tender sapling or a tree?? We get the drift, Nikumbh Sir!!!

The importance of self importance and self worth are time honed and externally motivated.It is about time we paid attention to ourselves and what we say or do to others, intelligence is relative, the primary species are wiser and smarter than us, they do not waste time in mindless acts like what Mumbai is witness to. Actually, the normal people are a skewed lot, terribly and ghastly dyslexic, they do not see people walking on the roads, the voyeur in them triumphs and gives them the licence to lose mental fulcrum and do what they do.The literal translation of the movie's title would be 'stars on earth', I beg to differ, stars always rise above the normal and if at all, we have stars on earth, they are fallen and consumed.

Thoroughly zapped and numbed.

Shillong revisited

Last winter I left home to be back for a brief while in spring. This Yuletide break was a long planned homecoming. Booking the tickets was an elaborate ritual, trying to travel cheap and comfortably with enough luggage to remember for a lifetime. I slept for a decent afternoon after my ride to Shillong, I remember waking up to have dinner and going to sleep again.
Nothing has changed, the roads still look the same, the many matchbox houses on the hill look freshly painted and the mistletoe and the holly just make you smile, making you forget the numbing cold that even cracks water pipes!! The khlur (star in Khasi) and the tree with all the snow and the decorations , wow, I love Christmas!! The radio played beautiful carols besides old gramophones creaking once in a while to give stiff competition to digital music. The aroma of fresh baked pies and cakes have begun, days before the little child comes home. Exams over, rosy cheeks out in the sun and pickles too!! Elders rush to change the curtains and scrub the floor to its shiny mansioned polish best. The mothers are out shopping, from toys to everything. Father Christmas is busy too, behind the fur and red, he is a young man in jeans who gets a pittance for walking around spreading cheer and gifts. The traditional Santa comes only at the stroke of the midnight of the 24th, we keep our best and biggest bags around the Christmas tree from 8p.m. onwards hoping to catch Santa in his act, but until date...I have got his gifts only :)

The lively carol singing in the evenings, the door to door singing, goodies, gentle fun and waiting for the 25th is such a nice journey. Come 24th, we are in our 2nd best outfits, the best one is reserved for the next day :) we have lots of events in the church besides the all important prayers and psalms. The hugs and blessing of love and affection carry you through the next year until next Christmas.

This year was no different.Calling up friends and wishing the merry wishes, my day was very solemn. Before that, I made sure I met my friends at college, they were happy to see a healthier me and a Bhutan trip got aborted as much as it was planned :(

Dad accompanied me on my PB darshan, I had wanted to see and visit all the shops I used to frequent. I also went to my favorite temple and showed my face to God/Goddess and the pandits. Divinely peaceful, got to eat my manpasand savouries at home. Mom was on a major mission to make me eat less despite the variety available. I gorged on momos and eggrolls like nuts and had my favorite Chinese soup at my favorite restaurant almost everyday, hail Kimfa!! There was a minimum of 2 fish preparations at home everyday. I was not allowed to skip dinner :(

One good thing about going home in winter is you don't have to take the city cabs. You can walk and walk and get a total visual treat of all the lights and beautiful villas all for free!! And it is good physical activity, plus point!! My cheeks did have the winter red, a lil chapped but I love them.My legs ached but they were in need of that much needed exercise.

One day before Christmas, I met Aroma and Kongthei ( elder sister in Khasi) and bought them ear-rings. The conversation never dried up, we were forced to quit each other' s company. We had so much to talk, our walks to remember have versions now!! The next day was lunch at my best friend's place. My sister and I went, Bunty was mighty appalled with my voracious appetite for the feast and the sweets and cakes, obviously so!! A very cold Christmas, we missed Arzu a lot, she was travelling and it was a hilarious evening discovering/unravelling the advantages and blessings of Bluetooth technology!! You see, I was flaunting my new mobile ;P. Acquiring the mobile is another story. I also got a new pair of blue tinged glasses, slightly Matrix influenced :)

The next few days, we went out majorly and my parents' only concern was girl is not spending enough quality time with her folks, I am a sold -out for sentimentalism actually, so stayed grounded for the next couple of days, both parties felt good- I did some spring cleaning, took out my cartons of books and sorted them out. Again, this is a fetish to keep my mental registers ringing in times when I have to recollect which carton has which book.

Shopped like mad, something something for everyone possibly, but still, I might have missed out on a couple or more, and I failed bigtime with the cakes and the intended butter biscuits that I so wanted for novelty's sake. I was already dreading to pack, so many things and so little baggage these airlines allow :(

I enjoyed the Christmas soiree, took pictures of the oldest Christmas tree in the world, older than the 1st Welsh Church in Shillong, set up sometime around 1874!! The tallest was in the Garo hills, it will take a complete 27 hours for me to travel there, did not bother, maybe some other time.

I remembered the post-Christmas feasts in the Church, they used to be so yummm and funnnnn!!! No luck this time, too many engagements( pun intended).

I went to my Alma Mater, Duttada was so happy to see us!! And we were on a major Kodak mission. I hate to tell you this but Tuesday came sooner than expected, that weekend was a family lunch at our favorite Dhaba and the chilli paneer taste is still lingering...

I was packing with a vengeance, balancing and distributing my stuff from the strolley to the duffel bag and vice versa. Rejected a lot of shorlisted items due to lack of space and carrying I find the 10 handed goddess Durga very appealing.

Monday was an emotional reunion of sorts of the 3 A's after an odd year rushing to come to a close when all we wanted was an ever after of gay abandon. We spent as much time as possible and I rushed home to spend the remnants of the 365th day of an eventful 2007 with family. Ask me about multi-tasking, whew, it is a tough job to satisfy every dear one, I can hear my body giving up, prayed to all the ants of the world not to kill my resilience. Family dinner, the drama and fanfare at the city square, music, crackers, 2007 slipped from my hands. I retired to bed early, on my old cot, my familiar pillow and that house I call home, whispered a quiet bye for sometime,asked them to protect me and help me stay rooted in 2008 and for all time, still very hard for me to swallow how much I miss those familiar things. My garden thrives on the hard weather, it blooms also in winter with the tough marigold giving sunny company. My mobile was switched off, I refused to take the happy 2008 midnight calls, don't know if that was good or bad, but I was aware when 2007 gave way to 2008, Mom was sleeping beside me that night like old times..

Tuesday saw a hurried rush in the morning, Dad was looking dapper in his suit , ready to see me off to the airport, I still had a couple of hours at home but I was so worked up, did not see the flow of reactions. Only after I got ready I realised I was going away. The previous evening, the 3A's had our senti- moments, I realise how time flies.As usual, I did not turn back to see her hiding her tears and I rushed after a quick embrace or was that a hug?? My eyes welled up but a quick brush and the blue hued glasses helped a lot!!

The bus ride was peaceful except for a close call with embarrassment, trust me not to visit the toilet when the bus stopped!! But again, I am patient :) The airport came and due to some rules, visitors were not allowed in, Dad and I stood in the parking for close to one hour just below a 360 degree revolving security camera. The agony was as much as I wanted Dad to be around till the last minute of check-in, I was concerned about his travelling back to Shillong on the 1st day of 2008, not that Guwahati did not have relatives , we did but on the new year, it's family, right??

My check-in was almost due and I saw those old hands fidget. Both of us were dignifiedly tragic and a hurried kiss and a warm hug were my best new year gifts from Dad, I saw him leaving by the 'exit', disappeared as I tried to get the last glimpse... grudgingly I pushed my trolley to the departure area, bravely to deal with any excess luggage, if at all!!

I braved it out like a Sherpa,no penalty with the Deccan flier. Only that certain Manoj Kumar at the security had a major panga with my 15kg (nobody knew that) duffel bag, he thought I was smuggling tea, please!! Some national literature in it impressed him so much that his attitude softened and so did mine, I was almost about to create a scene, at the most what would have happened, missed my flight?? eeks!! Indian Airlines is supercool, except their horrible sense of delay, but forgiven on the ground of taking care of my Sherpa 15kg duffel bag :) besides my strolley, combined weight would have been some 30+kg(??) on a very very low flight rate :)

Landed in Hyderabad pretty late, no one to receive us, was unpacking until 1 in the night, sleep eluded me...

Kolkata stop-over

it was a whirlwind tour of sorts!! i have a phenomenal habit of excess baggage in all my travels.
landed in misty kolkata in a lazy afternoon and took a cab-ride to Suchi's house;her hand drawn Google Map look alike was a huge help, the primary motto was not to get cheated by the cabbies!kakima was pleasantly surprised to see us at her doorstep without having to call her for directions, hehe!
How i hogged in the next few hours, fish,fish and fish, hot piping/steaming rice straight from the cooker and dal with dhania. the bori and fish curry was amazing and also the chingri bhaja and the mustard fish curry and the fish fries!and the tomato tok and the payesh, kakima we love you!!!!
we yapped and yapped while rasika slept and slept.
we visited Suchi's aunt's place and the evening stroll did us a lot of good. Retired rather late after lot of eating and chatting.The flight next day seemed like a never ending trip to nowhere!the drive home was fascinating, my favourite willow trees and the princely pines and an auburn glow of the gentle winter sun on oranges and everything was truly amazing.