Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

Another year has come to an end. Time really flies; I can still recall the post I had written on New Years' this year! 2009 was a complicated year- a mix of both good things and bad. 

2009 was THE year of Twitter, Web 2.0, tweetups, Bar Camps, Wall Projects and the like. Twitter is really a huge source of information and an awesome way to keep you updated on "what's happening" in and around places. I attended BCM6 (BCM= Bar Camp Mumbai), the Wall Project, the Kalaghoda festival, (almost) attended the Sapling project all because of Twitter! If there is some controversy or a riot happening, or there is a particular train that is going to be delayed, you just come to know of it by logging in to Twitter and either looking it up or just asking fellow Twitterers! It's so far the best medium for exchange of information- in less than 140 characters! I met a lot of genuinely awesome people on Twitter too. Okay, I'm just going on and on about Twitter, but seriously, I can write a whole post on this (maybe I will!)! 

It was a year of flop movies but Rajkumar Hirani made up for it very well with the release of "3 idiots"! :)

On a personal note, it was a year full of promises never kept. I thought I had found my "prince charming" and my dream-job but I was wrong with both. It only made me realise that what you want can be far different from your fascinations, and all your heart REALLY wants is to feel safe and be loved. It taught me that happiness cannot be sought. The more you seek it- the more it slips away.

I came across too many new and different things. Until last year, I was of the opinion that life had nothing left to offer, but now, I say it offers much more than we can take!! I stepped out of my comfort zone and explored a lot of different areas and environments.

I got my own domain! :)

I cast my first vote! :D

I learnt "Yoga". I never thought yoga and philosophy was my cup of tea but circumstances somehow led me to it and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience! :) 

I stayed over at a blog friend's place (in a whole new city that too) for the first time! :) Online friendship (Blog friendship especially) is a different experience altogether and I wish all would experience it! Please don't blindly believe anything that people say till you experience it for yourself. 

My brother came down from the States after a year and a half! It was fun having him over for a month, it flew very quickly though. He gifted me a digi cam and a lappie! :D 

I lost my grandfather; had never experienced the loss of someone before. This was deep and I was with him when he passed away. I'm thankful he didn't suffer much. I have a few regrets though and maybe I'll never get over them...

My cousin got married and it was the first Manglorian wedding I was part of. The music and dance that followed was pure fun. It was awesome to see close family letting themselves loose on that day!

I came a little closer to family than before and I am glad. Friends keep changing with time, and the friends that usually take leave early are the ones who promise to be with you forever. 

I set out to build a career and ended up making a few mistakes. I know I can't undo them now, but I know I have to be more careful next time and choose wisely. I've ignored my studies and a lot of my other duties. I need to get everything back on track now- and I will !

All in all, a year full of mixed emotions, new beginnings and endings and a bag full of lessons learnt!

"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." (via @aditipatel04)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

3 Idiots.

Amir Khan has done it again. 

After reading reviews from Reema and Harsh, taking opinions on Facebook, coming across tweets declaring the movie to be the biggest blockbuster of 2009, I finally decided to watch "3 idiots". 

Not being a movie buff, I wasn't all that interested initially. I usually wait for movies to air on TV, or I just borrow them from friends and watch them at home on my computer. My opinions on movies usually differ from the masses. Just once, I had gone for "Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na" after people telling me it's "simply awesome" and was hugely disappointed. This time though, since I had read the book (which, by the way, is not like the movie at all), and since Amir Khan was starring in it, I decided to take a chance. One of my friends even told me I'd get an answer to what I want from life if I watch the movie. I wondered how a movie could determine my life but, nevertheless, decided to catch this one.

Aditi and I had been making plans but putting them off everyday because neither of us could get up in time for the 11:30 a.m. show and couldn't really afford the late evening shows; they went "House Full" anyway. Today, however, we were determined to watch it. 

We went to the first theatre in Dadar and found that all the shows were booked  and the booking office would open only at 4, and we'd have to book in advance. We decided to go to to the next closest theatre, which we had always thought was totally sad because of the "crowd" that most people said it attracted. There was a saree-clad aunty standing outside saying "100 mein le lo.. 100 mein le lo". We assumed that the show was House Full here too. The security guard at the gate let us in easily but as we had guessed, we found the booking office closed. We asked him when it would open and he replied, "Madam house full hai sab shows (All shows are House Full)". So, we turned to go back, and he stopped us asking us how many tickets we wanted. We promptly replied, "Do (two)". He said, "Side mein khade raho (Stand at the side)". We wondered if he was involved with the aunty outside who was selling those tickets illegally. A man in a maroon formal shirt came towards us saying, "Kitna chahiye? Do na? Aao mere saath (how many? two right? Come with me.)". We got scared. I nudged Aditi saying, "Abbe yeh black mein de raha hai shayad.. aaj tak kabhi black mein nahi khareeda re, kya karna hai.. (I think he is selling them illegally, what do you think we should do?)". We followed him slowly and silently still re-considering buying tickets from him. After about two minutes, as if he had read our minds, he said, "Arre darte kyun ho itna! Same rate mein de raha hu booking office se hi!! (Why are you so scared? I'm selling them at the same rate from the booking office itself!)". We chuckled. He was just leading us to the back entrance of the booking office where he worked and gave us two balcony seats at the same rate. He added, "Special seats hai. Milta nahi hai (They are special seats. You don't get them so easily)". We wondered why he was being so nice to us, but were happy that we bought them clean! :D

We entered right in time for the national anthem. There was a mushy-but-sophisticated couple seated next to us. The crowd was decent enough- not like we had expected it to be at all ! The seats were indeed "special" like he had said; they offered the best view of the screen! 

And so, the movie began.

My first ever movie review! :D

Rancho (Amir Khan), Farhan (Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi) are three bright students of the Imperial College of Engineering, it's Director being our very own Boman Irani -- Prof. Veeru Sahastrabuddhe. 

Raju is the only son to his paralysed father and poor mother. He has an elder sister who is 28 and still unmarried because apparently, the guy's side demands too much dowry!! So, basically, Raju is responsible for his family, and he would be the sole breadwinner of the family if he clears with good grades, which inturn would give him a good, well-paying job. He feels too pressurised by his college though and the pressure affects his performance, which goes down considerably.

Farhan is passionate about wildlife photography but he gives in to his dad's wishes, and goes on to become an engineer. His unwillingness and lack of passion towards engineering leads to him always standing last in his semesters, barely scraping through his exams. 

Rancho, on the other hand, is genuinely smart, an out-of-the-box thinker with ways of his own. He is very passionate about machines & engineering and thinks practically. He criticises and challenges the education system, but in the end, successfully makes the Director realise he's actually killing his students by pressurising them too much instead of nurturing their talents and leading them in  the right direction. His love interest, Pia (Kareena Kapoor) is the Director's daughter who is about to get married to a rich snob Suhas who cares much more about his own wealth and social prestige than her. Rancho makes her see for herself the snob that he is. He wins her heart at the end of the movie.

The movie keeps you on your seats all throughout. Every scene of it is very real and very entertaining. The end is a tad dramatic as Reema and Harsh pointed out, when Pia's sister Mona (Mona Singh) delivers her baby which does not cry at all after it's born leading people to think he's stillborn but kicks Rancho when "All is well" is said. Amir is the show stealer all throughout as always! :)

The movie brings out one valuable message: Follow your heart.

Songs are good too; they are placed at the right times in the movie. "Give me some sunshine" and "All is well" are two tracks everyone will enjoy.

The movie, however, is totally different from the book that it's claimed to be based on- "Five Point Someone" by Chetan Bhagat. The only similarity that I could see was all three of them were engineering students and Raju's character in the movie matched Alok's in the book. So I don't think the movie should be compared to the book in any way.

Lastly, I won't say it's a "one-time" watch. This is the first time I actually wouldn't mind seeing the movie again tomorrow! It's truly an eye-opener, a must-watch! Kudos to Amir Khan and more so, to Rajkumar Hirani.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dashing through the snow... :)

Christmas time always takes me back to a night long ago (around 11 years back) when Chinky and I were little. We hung stockings outside our windows and stood waiting for Santa to arrive and fill them up with gifts! We kept waiting for hours and were disappointed when we couldn't spot a single sleigh in the sky coming towards our houses! Next morning, however, we were pleased to find gifts in them and then started believing that Santa comes only when we are asleep; he doesn't like to make his presence felt; he likes giving surprises! Why then does he come in big malls & fancy restaurants and seat kids on his lap? There were a lot of such questions and no one really answered them. And all of a sudden, one day, we come to know that Santa doesn't exist after all and all this while, we believed in something that wasn't even there! We were old enough to accept it then, but Christmas wasn't as exciting anymore. We knew that there wouldn't be anything to look forward to on the morning of Christmas! We'd find our stockings empty- hell, why would we even hang them! It got too disappointing so thereafter, even though we knew he doesn't exist, we wanted to believe he does and just carried on with the belief only to keep the excitement alive! :D And so, we happily dreamt of little elves, reindeer, Santa and his sleigh! And that's how Christmas taught us to believe in things in order to be happy.. :)

When I think of Christmas, I think of snow. I've always dreamt of a Christmas with roads all lit up and covered in snow. I wish I could experience that one day!

Christmas brings with it a lot of cheer, goodwill, harmony, loads of sweets (chocolate cake my fav!! :D) and lots of beauty!

May Santa fulfil ALL your wishes!
Merrrryyy Christmas and Happy Holidays!

P.S. Make sure you line up enough number of stockings at your door :P

Santa: I want a two wheeler, a smartphone, an acoustic guitar and a job!! :D

Sunday, December 20, 2009


The last week's been crazy!

Of late, I have no idea of what I've been doing. I quit my job at an MNC because it made me unhappy for some reason (a lot of reasons actually!). My family's been supportive, I'm lost now though! It sucks being at home all day. Each day, I want to be something different. It feels like I want to paint one morning, and write the next. I feel like working on my next website one minute, and find myself abandoning it completely to read my unfinished novel. I wish I was a little less impulsive, because this way, I'm never going to figure out what I want. 

I know I did what I thought would make me happy but now I am scared nothing would ever come my way!! 

Life's complicated. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Avant Garde Bloggie Awards

The Avant Garde Bloggie Awards are here again (all thanks to Poonam)!! :)

It's a competition where some of the best blogs from blogosphere get recognised and appreciated! :) A fun competition where a panel of judges (some of the best bloggers around) will judge your posts that could be nominated by you or your friends!

Official video by Publicist Nikhil :

The last day for sending in nominations is 20th December 2009 ! You can have a look at the categories here. The rules for nominating your entries are all mentioned here. You could enter nominations in the comments section of this post.

Get all the other info you need on Poonam's blog:

So hurry up!!

Nominate yourself, fellow bloggers, start campaigning for nominations, spread the word !!

P.S: You could do me a favour too :P

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I wish...

I wish ...

I could laugh/cry my heart out for no reason at all.

I could keep running to no specific place, till I can run no more.

I could dance on the roads like crazy and not feel a thing.

I could fall in love madly and express it freely.

I could go on an unplanned world tour.

I could ride a bike as fast as possible and go nowhere.

I could sleep on a beach listening to the waves looking at the stars above me without a care in the world.

I could fall in love with life all over again.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


After a lot of thought over what it would be, what it should be, how I wanted it to be, I just went with my own name.. for my domain!! I FINALLY got one for myself on my birthday! And it's -->
Super cool, I know! :P

I configured it two days back. By configured, I mean I simply forwarded it to my blog. Yet to buy hosting and work on the site properly, don't know when that'll happen though! I've been too busy since the time I switched jobs; trying to juggle between work, coming online, friends, learning to ride a two-wheeler and studying (almost forgot I was studying too! :D). I'll still try to be as active as I can here. :)

Meanwhile, you can access my blog from both the links now- and Both are the same anyway! :D

I'm so happy! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What have you done?

Okay, this should ideally have been my first post in the coming year (like some new resolution post)! But since there is a lot of talk happening over the world ending in 2012, I got so paranoid; I thought I might as well put this down now.

For those of you who are still clueless about Dooms Day-

Our planet is coming to an end on the 21st of December, 2012. The poles of the earth are supposedly shifting.

The iron core of the earth is magnetic. Because of the switching of the magnetic core, the earth will start to rotate in the other direction! Because of this, the outer earth's crust will break off! In other words the outer layer will be "floating." It will be on the loose, no longer attached to its "master." If you are on the planet at that moment, it will tilt some thousands of miles in a couple of hours. Looking up in the sky it will seem as if "the sky is coming down," as it is described in the old scriptures!
Giant quakes will occur. Earth plates will be moving, mountains will be rising where first there was nothing, land masses will break open and collapse, mountains collapse, land will sink into the ocean, volcanoes erupt in many places. In short, the most terrible nightmare cannot be terrible enough to describe this world's destruction.

I used to keep getting email forwards and messages, most of them asking me to forward the same to 11 others- like THAT will stop the poles from shifting, and the sun from aligning itself with the earth and the moon! I ignored them all just like I ignore mails which tell me to hit F6 after forwarding them to 20 other people just so that I would know the name of the person I'd get married to! :D
So, anyway, getting back to the point, I kept hearing of the world ending from so many different sources; my mentor in my previous company even told me of this book called "The Orion's Prophecy" which proves that the world should end by 2012. And after the movie (2012) that has just recently hit the theatres, I'm starting to get worried all the more! I haven't watched it yet, but the fact that so many others are taking it seriously is creepy..

As always, a hundred thousand thoughts raced through my mind. So what if I die in the next three years? What have I done so far? Have I done all the things I ever wanted to? Have I done ANY of the things I wanted to? None at all!! And when the time comes, I'd regret it to the core. When I breathe last, I don't want to have any regrets.

And so, in the middle of my Java class as twenty others were dozing off and as I was on the verge of falling off the chair sleeping-- I sat right up and made a list !! So here I am presenting a list of all the things I'd like to achieve before I close my eyes forever, and I'm planning to start achieving them slowly, starting today!

1. I'd like to write professionally once-for anything! Be it a magazine, a newspaper or a book! Would also love to write a book someday- it'd be so cool! :)

2. I want to paint my house downstairs all by myself. The house would fully depict me.
(One wall could have paintings of tea, bombay, friends, music. I'd arrange all my novels together, paint a seperate wall for them too with alphabets maybe!! It's the "Fountainhead" effect I guess ;))

3. I want to work on two sites (can't really reveal much right now).

4. I want to learn SOME form of dancing- be it jive, salsa, waltz, hip hop, anything!! I want to stop feeling so shy of dancing!

5. I'd love to play some form of musical instrument, a guitar maybe!! Would sing too!

6. I want to travel- A LOT, go to new places, meet new people, click a lot of photographs and enjoy different cultures!

7. I want to buy a scooty for myself and a car for my family. The traffic in Bombay explains why this one was last on the list!

Most of all, I want to break free once- with no one to answer to, nothing to feel scared about, nothing to feel worried about, going where my heart takes me and doing what it tells me to. No rules attached!

Imagine if the whole world were ending in a week's time for certain- wouldn't there be a huge chaos? People would hurry to chase their dreams, to do all that they always wanted to. The problem with us humans is- We take life to be permanent when it's not. We think we can live our lives anytime later and "later" never comes.

Wouldn't it be great if everyone could just pause and think about what they were doing and pursue their dreams? The only good thing that would come out of the Dooms Day is - people will finally realise we won't be here for long. Mistakes will be forgiven, ties will be made stronger, emotions will no longer be hidden! Everything would be truthful and transparent.

So let's start living each day as if it were our last. Let's not waste even a second.
That way, even if the theory is faulty, and if the world won't really end on the 21st of December 2012 like it's supposed to, we will still have found what we truly desire and what makes us immensely happy, no?

I tag Nikhil, Sakhi, Reema, Scorpria,
Calvin, Aditi, Mona and Ashwin to make a to-do list too and post it!! Just realised, it's been really long since we did tags! :)

Friday, November 27, 2009


She smiled when she noticed him looking at her from the corner of his eye, and how he looked away, embarrassed, when she caught him doing that! It was the third time now. Since the last one month, his head was not where it should have been. He was in class merely in the physical sense. There was a lot going on in his life other than just Socket programming. He was already frustrated by the field he had chosen for himself and he had felt life had nothing more to offer. For the past five days, however, things had been different. Maybe it was her. No, let me rephrase that- it WAS her. He didn't know what it was about her that made him feel so hopeful about himself, so safe, so peaceful. He had barely managed to catch her name a day back, he wasn't sure if he had heard it right. It was either Priya or Supriya. He hoped it was Priya. "Priya" was sweeter, just like her!

He'd come to class everyday now, surprising his professors who'd usually cringe at him for being so laidback and unpunctual. He had a reason now, and he'd run to class on days that he'd get late, hoping to be allowed in, just once, so he could get a glimpse of her. It felt heavenly. He could easily carry on with the rest of his day knowing she was there. Her presence had a lasting impact on him. There were a few times when they bumped into each other at breaktime or in between two classes, but strangely, neither of them would feel the need to talk. This communication was different. There was so much said only with the eyes that somehow, talking seemed unnecessary. The language of the soul is truly remarkable! And at times, when she'd pass by brushing her side against his, he'd get blown away! His world changed. He looked at things differently, he surprised himself by scoring straight A's in all the subjects he had chosen for himself. He realised he was happy and enjoyed every moment of his life.

Summer holidays were approaching and Priya had already started bunking classes. He felt anxious not knowing what had happ
ened to her and desperately wanting to see her. Days passed and there was no news of her. No one knew where she was. He became increasingly restless. Soon the term got over and the holidays had begun. He did all that he could to keep himself busy and happy. His life was a little on track now thanks to her and he realised he had to get on with it. He would see her after the holidays, he could wait till then. And he was right. Soon after the holidays, as he went to college for the next term, he saw her at the gate walking towards class with a couple of books in her hands, and her trademark embroidered jhola slung on her shoulder. But something was amiss. He couldn't place it. There was no serenity on her face any longer, and she seemed pale. It was painful to see her like that. And just then he noticed her hand- the ring! He never remembered seeing it before, he was too afraid to ask. He just knew. She was married, she had to be.. but she didn't seem happy at all!! He wanted to ask her a lot of things; a whole lot of questions came to him, he was just about to approach her for the first time in the four months that he knew her. And as he went closer, she walked away. Never to return to college again.

He couldn't tell what had happened that led her to get married so soon; he could only guess it could be parental pressure. Atleast that's what her friends thought! He was depressed but he knew he had to accept it. She had come in for a purpose, and it was served. Now it was time to move on, to pursue what he had discovered, to live the life he had almost given up.. if it weren't for HER!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Piece of My Mind - II

Picture this:
You go to your family friend's place with your 7 year old daughter and she is happy to have met you after so long. She greets you with a plate full of mithaais including a few methi laddoos that you're not very fond of (methi laddoos are supposed to be bitter-sweet). Nevertheless, to keep her happy, you tell her that you love them and go on to gobble a couple of them to convince her you're not lying, while your daughter makes a face and tells your friend it's bitter and she won't have it. And then you think "She could get away with that, she's a kid!"

What is it about kids that make you want to forgive them for anything that they do ?
And why do we start wearing a mask by the time we cross adolescence ?
Is it because of social acceptance?
Is it because we want to be loved, and we think by pleasing people we'll somehow achieve that?
Is it because we are afraid of who we really are, or hate ourselves for how we are inside?
Why do we hate our inside from the outside?

I think the best part about being a kid is speaking your heart out- without giving a single thought to the consequences thereafter. Kids just do what they want to do, they don't have to think about the society, what their friends think or what their family thinks. They know what they want and they have it by any means. If they don't want something, they simply say "No" without giving a thought to what the person will think/feel. It's their genuineness that makes you want to forgive them for whatever they say or do, because you know they speak from their heart and don't hold back anything against you.

Where does all that go away then?

I think, as we grow up, we build a bubble around ourselves. Rather, I'd say, we build a wall around ourselves. A wall made of opinions of people, the way they think, the way they perceive us, and of course whether our views will be accepted by them. And if they aren't, we tend to manipulate our own views in ways we don't even realise! Result? We end up losing our own selves, our own voices. We are stuck in a trap we have built by ourselves. We are scared because we are all alone, we aren't kids any longer and will no longer be forgiven for our actions. We feel we need the people around us, we need their approval. We need them because we don't want to feel we're alone. We are scared of not being accepted and loved by the people around us when they don't really care and we end up living their life- a life based on their views and wants.

It's only when we break free of this bubble and listen to our heart that we'll be truly happy.
It's hard to break free, it's hard to let go, hard but not impossible!

Let's all start listening to our hearts. Let's see people for what they are from within. Let's not hide our insides from the world. Let's all become kids again.

P.S: Posting about something that you wished you did feels better!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Piece of My Mind - I

The other day, my mother commented on me being never satisfied with anything in life and I nodded my head in agreement. I pondered over what she and many others have said about me. So, maybe I'll never BE fully satisfied with what I get but isn't that human? What happens when we achieve total satisfaction? What happens when you stop wanting more things in life?

Life is always a pursuit of something. There is always a motive, a goal to be achieved that drives us to rise up early each day and go to work even if that means missing out on "FRIENDS", "MIND YOUR LANGUAGE" and "DIFFERENT STROKES" in the wee hours of the morning(*sob*). But seriously, if we stopped wanting more things, what would we be living for? We'd be doing our chores daily without ever knowing WHY. There would be no purpose to
it and trust me, that can drive you crazy (SERIOUS!). We would merely exist, but cease to LIVE. What difference then between fauna and us humans?

Man is constantly in search of meaning, a goal, happiness and peace while animals lack cognition and live for survival alone. Many of us are satisfied with what we're doing but that fades away in time and we start wanting newer things and work towards achieving those. The confused lot (including Yours Truly :P) lacks a goal and hence, is always unstable. They want to dig a spoon everywhere to see which taste they like the best and they don't know which icecream bucket to start from! It makes you insecure, scared of your own self, unsure about yourself and everything else in life, and believe me, nothing can get worse than that. It needs a lot of control on the mind to be able to know what you want, to work towards it, to FOCUS! Not all of us are lucky enough to be born with a clear vision but we can certainly discover it.

We also need to understand and accept things that we feel we don't want (this one's for me-- trying to convince my conscience that "it's not that bad, it's okay, calm down"! :D).

It's strange that you can decide so easily for others but when it comes to your own self, you're puzzled. Discovering yourself is not easy, but once you've done it, life cannot get any better! :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Fruitful Sunday

Many Bombayites spent their Sunday fruitfully this week- painting the walls of Tulsi Pipe road from Mahim to Lower Parel at the WALL PROJECT. I missed it the last time (15th August 2009). It was too late by the time I got to know of it and the very next day, I added myself to their group on Facebook promising myself not to miss it the next time after ogling at the photos for over an hour!

My life has taken a complete turn ever since I switched jobs and I crave to find time for myself! Spent Saturday night at my childhood chum Chinky's place who was lecturing me, stressing on the fact that her job sucked more than mine and that it's a way of life. I slept really late but it was a peaceful sleep after having found some solace in the fact that I wasn't alone!

The WALL PROJECT was to start at 8 am and people could paint right upto 8pm. Aditi, Neeraj and I decided to be the first ones to get there so that we'd get the best wall and even some of those limited paints! I set an alarm for 7.30 on 2 different cellphones and a clock. Needless to say, a lazy bum that I am, I stopped all of them when they went off and slept away to glory! It was only at 9.30 that I woke up with a start, realising I had to go somewhere! I checked my cellphone expecting my inbox to be flooded and to find a good number of calls unattended. I got nothing. Aditi was asleep and so was Neeraj. I had to wake them up and finally, we all got ready, Alisha joined in too and both of us stepped out. We reached at 1pm and saw the entire street all bright and colourful, people were still painting and each work of art was remarkable! We wanted to get started as soon as possible. There were a few cans of paint left in the BMC truck but we bought some nevertheless, along with some mugs, brushes and a roller. Alisha and I booked our walls and waited for Aditi. She arrived soon and we quickly planned on drawing the Bandra Worli sea-link! I had thought of drawing the Java cup symbol a week back but then the sea-link seemed far more exciting and we started off with it. Alisha drew a Unicorn and she finished in no time! We were still painting the wall-background blue when she was all done with her painting. Neeraj came a little later and joined us in completing the sea-link. He took a lot of photographs capturing every good angle of all the paintings!

We took the longest time for the sea-link and it turned out to be worse than what we expected! But we had fun and clicked as many photos of it as possible, posing with the moon and the boat. :D We even wrote our Twitter handles on it! When you do something with all your heart, you love and cherish it no matter how good or bad it is! :)

It was a great feeling to see so many people painting together, one wall-different people- professional artists, first-timers (like us), toddlers and some street kids too! It just makes me love Bombay all the more!!!

Here are some of the paintings on our side of the street (courtesy: Neeraj :))

Loved this wall the best of all that I saw-

The artist-

You can check out all of the paintings here:

And add yourself to the group here:

Happy Painting! :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The good times! :(

It's been a week since I joined this company (can't take names.. company policy it seems!) and so far I can undoubtedly term it as an experience of hell on earth! I came here only to build myself a career in development and I don't think I'll last here long enough. I miss my old workplace terribly.. I miss everything about it.

First of all, I miss looking forward to coming to work. I'd always look forward to meeting my team- Calvin, Abdul, Manwar, Anandji, Abhishek and our mentor-

I miss having a laughter-filled lunch break. Calvin and I would always joke about the canteen food being unlimited and how we could mint money out of it! One comment from Calvin and I'd be on a laughter riot! Once, we even played table tennis in the air when no one was looking. Our rule was to not let the ball hit the table- NO MATTER WHAT! :D He's the best combo of a funny+ sweet friend I've ever met!

I miss my long philosophical conversations with Abdul. We'd get into discussions, debate on something, and then Google would solve it for us sometimes.

I miss Manwar who'd always scare me off and then himself protect me from falling into a soup..

I miss having fights with Abhishek! :D

I miss Jigy's witty comments and the way he'd make fun of my walk and my way of talking. I wish there was a Jigy at my new workplace!

It was always a pleasure talking to people like Birju, it'd leave me feeling so calm, happy and better about myself :)

I miss Krishna's innocence, his laugh and his way of saying "Dude" :D

I miss flirting with Nolan on our internal chat client. I miss Janeve too.

I miss all those little things like wearing casuals to work everyday.

I miss going for tea breaks whenever I wanted to and sipping on endless cups of tea whilst working. Here, we have to wait for ONE tea break and can't even take the cup outside the vending machine area!

I miss sitting with my team in the parking lot and laughing my heart out!

I miss everything... :(

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Building a career - Not my cup of tea!

I was all set to build a career soon after I graduated.

Four months back, I wanted to get into a company because I thought I would be comfortable there and it suited my interests at that time. Thanks to the recession, I took up another job not getting a call from this one. I was scared, I didn't think I'd get adjusted to the new environment and the new people there. I stepped out of my comfort zone, and soon started enjoying the new environment and the people. It made me more confident and happier. There was so much freedom there that I started exploring my other interests. Just when I got attached to the people and the environment there, I got a call from this company I wanted to get into four months back. And since I had waited for so long, I took up the offer.

I didn't realise that it meant getting back to my old self, to the old environment again. I liked my new self better. Adjusting to the old environment scares me, it makes me feel I'll get back to being my old self again, the one I am not very fond of. So each time I try to talk to a person, I back out, I hold myself back subconsciously. I feel claustrophobic sitting on my desk all day and trying hard to focus. I haven't found a single person who would come out just for a walk with me, or have a cup of tea. I am rethinking my decision time and again. People tell me I should learn to live with the consequences of my decisions, and learn to live with different kinds of people and different environments. I don't think I am flexible enough, since I am having a hard time doing that. I don't know if I am working here because I want to, or because I am good at the work. It's not giving me enough time for myself, to do the things I love doing. I am so confused! I wish I wasn't like this all the time. I want to be sure of myself.

One thing that I have learnt out of this- "Always obey your parents, they know what's best for you." I wish I had listened to them all this time... Things wouldn't have been so difficult then.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Those were the days! (Then and Now...)

The other day, as two school-going kids from our building-cum-chawl were busy playing Mafia Wars on Facebook, my childhood chum Chinky and I were reminiscing the old times, picturing us in place of them; how we were at their age; and musing over how life was so different then than what it is now! With the advent of computers and the internet, kids and elders alike are missing out on so much!!

When we were little, as soon as the clock struck five, we’d run up to the terrace and play games like “Pakda Pakdi”, “Saakli”, “Dongar Paani”, “Sea-Sand-Water-Land”, “Chor-Police” “Fire-in-the-mountain”, and then advanced to cricket, cycling, badminton and skating as we grew up.
After sunset when it got too dark to see, we'd play our all-time favourite game- "Bhoot-Bhoot". After a round of "Een-Peen(Pin)-Septee(Safety)-Peen-Een-Peen-Out- Khelna Hai Toh Khelo Warna Get Out" (i still don't know what that means! :D), the unfortunate (or fortunate) one got to be the "Bhoot" (ghost). We'd dab talcum powder on his/her face till it got stark white and smear blood-red lipstick on the lips! Once the "Bhoot" was ready, we'd all go into hiding. There was only one place where we were allowed to hide- on the stairs that led to the terrace! Okay, I know it doesn't make much sense if the "Bhoot" already knows our hiding spot but that was the rule. You couldn't break it. Either you play by the rules- hide there and pretend to get scared when the "Bhoot" arrives, or don't play at all! Needless to say, our parents would always chase us around when they'd see the talcum powder bottle empty in a week's time! :D

We'd also play board games like "Scrabble", "Snakes & Ladders", "Ludo", "Scotland Yard", "Business". And at the onset of the monsoons, just before the first showers could hit the earth, we'd get the carrom board out that always lay behind the couch otherwise. Barbie dolls were also in vogue then. Chinky and I had a huge collection of them. We'd bathe them, dress them up, braid their hair, even got a whole kitchen set for them! Once, we even stitched clothes for them looking up different styles and patterns in tailoring books! I don't ever remember spending as much time grooming myself! :D

Summer vacation nights were spent playing "UNO" when we were allowed to sleep an hour late! :) And in the daytime, we went to some art class that we were enrolled for- drawing, glass-painting, calligraphy, candle-making and the like!

Television was also different then.
I remember regularly following shows like "Alif Laila", "Tenali Raman", "Surabhi" starring Renuka Shahane and Siddharth Kak, "Dekh Bhai Dekh", "Jaspal Bhatti", "Tehkikaat", "Mind Your Language" as well as the hindi version of it- "Zabaan Sambhaalke". Sundays were spent watching different versions of "Mahabharata" and "Ramayana"! And on weekdays, they'd air shows like "Different Strokes", "Small Wonder", "Silver Spoons", "Happy Days", "Three's Company", "I Dream of Jeannie" and "Bewitched". After a few years came shows like "Full House" and "F.R.I.E.N.D.S.". I still link Zee TV's Antakshari with Anu Kapoor and Pallavi Joshi.
Now, television has literally turned into an idiot box. After the much-awaited end of the era of family drama soaps, staged "Reality" shows took over and there's nothing worth watching anymore. Now, I switch on the TV only on Sundays to watch back-to-back re-runs of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and Seinfeld sometimes.

Music was an out-of-the-world experience. I used to play songs by the Backstreet Boys, MJ, Aqua, Blue, Westlife and Steps (5-6-7-8) over and over again! I'd call up iTV and MTV Select (VJ Nikhil Chinnappa) and request for songs. Hindi albums were also one of a kind with groups like "Aryans", "Bombay Vikings", "Colonial Cousins", "Instant Karma", "Silk Route" and "Distant Voice". Singers like Lucky Ali, K.K., Sonu Nigam and Shaan will always be remembered and there will never be another A.R. Rahman. Music has taken a whole new definition now. Songs these days last for a week or two, they are forgotten as soon as another nasal singer comes in. No one now saves up their pocket money to buy that original Beatles CD, they just rip it off the internet!

Reading habits were also far more developed then than the case it is now. I spent my early teens competing with classmates on who would finish the "Nancy Drew" or the "Trixie Belden" series first. We'd name our groups as "The Famous Five" or "The Adventurous Four" after books by Enid Blyton. Our librarian would always cringe when she saw us coming, knowing we'd disturb her neatly arranged shelves again!

And when we were assigned a project in school, I'd scan through my folder of newspaper cuttings or through my collection of books and encyclopedias. We'd also go searching for books on the topic assigned to us, read up and collect information. Now, Google, a few clicks and Ctrl-F does everything for you. There's no effort put in at all!

In my late teens, I'd spend my evenings with Mona, Chinky, Alisha sipping on hot cutting chai in our balcony and talking for hours!

However much the Internet has benefitted man and shrunk the world into a small town, it has destroyed the simple joys of life. I agree it's nice to see kids getting tech-savvy at a younger age, but they've forgotten to run around and play. They no longer come home with their hands and legs dirty with muck, they've stopped getting endless scoldings from the neighbourhood society's uncle for breaking his window pane whilst playing cricket. "Katti-batti" does not exist anymore with fights only happening on playstations now. Gone are the days!

I wouldn't be surprised to see toddlers of the next generation going to pre-school nursery carrying PDAs.

I'm glad atleast I didn't miss out on any of it! I sigh as I recall every moment.. those were the days!

P.S: I don't know how much sense all of this made to you considering the examples I used everywhere. Indians who grew up in the 90s would be able to relate to this the best! :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Me, Myself and I

I was dicy about writing something so personal, but there are certain things that have been eating up my already messed-up head for quite sometime now and I thought I should vent them out here.

Last night, I hated myself for the person I've become in terms of emotions and feelings. I almost lost a friend of mine all because of me- my state of mind and my inexplicable feelings.

Till last year, I used to be the kind of person who would give 100% to every relationship; my friends meant the world to me! I once even declared I'd die without them, I feared losing them. And now, I seem to have taken a step back from everything. I do feel like making friends, getting to know them well, spending quality time with them, but when they get too close, I just sort-of drift away. I can't explain this, nor can I understand this myself. And the more I wish for this to change, the more it happens.

There are a lot of other things about me that I can't find answers to. I feel shy to express certain feelings that everyone else does openly. I've always wanted to tell my mother how much I love and need her, but I can't get myself to telling her that in a way that I really mean it. There's an odd kind of shyness involved there. When my brother was leaving to go back to the States last month, I wanted to hug him at the airport just like my cousins did, but I couldn't do it as openly as them. When my Ajja expired, I couldn't cry for the first hour. When I did feel like crying, I held back my tears, then felt choked by the lump that had formed in my throat. I couldn't just weep openly though my mother cried bitterly in front of me. At times, I also feel choked by the attention my relatives give me though I know how much they love and care about me.

Expressing oneself is comparatively always easier with friends than with relatives. But I think that's because they are relatives and we are SUPPOSED to be nice to them (out of no choice). Reminds me of a line Rehab quoted: "I think I am nice to the people I don't have to be nice to, because those are the ones I want to be nice to". Not generalising, but it just might be the one of the reasons why we feel more comfortable with friends than SOME relatives.

I just seem to have turned emotionally blunt now. I fall in love with something, and the next minute I push it away. I have been trying to accept myself, and I do feel much better than the past few months. But the thought of me pushing someone away after getting them so close is itself scary. I would never want to be responsible for someone else's heart-break. I can't live with the guilt. It's too much to take. And hence, how much ever I want someone close in my life, I hesitate and fear my own self. That kind of loneliness bites me but I feel helpless.

I wish we could all just feel what we want to feel.
When people apologise, we should be able to forgive them and erase their sins completely, and not feel like we've forgiven them only on a superficial level.
When people fall in love with us, we should be able to love them back the same way. Why do one-sided relationships have to exist?
The feeling should just come by the thought of it.

But I think that's where the mind and the heart differ. And the battle between the two is the fiercest of them all.

Peace will come when the equilibrium is achieved...

P.S: I'm glad I did (wrote) this! I feel a lot better now!