Sunday, August 30, 2009

Now I know - I

I knew there was something different about this guy,the way he looked, the way he was... Being in an all-girls convent school, I had never been close to a guy before. This was new and exciting. And did it feel good? You bet it did. I would always wait for Anish to come over, he and my brother studied in the same university . As days passed, we became good friends and soon, started exchanging e-mails. I'd write lengthy mails to him telling him every little thing under the sun. And he replied promptly, his mails being equally long. I checked my inbox every morning, and sure enough, there'd always be one new mail from Anish. He once mentioned how much he'd wait for my replies and I smiled to myself thinking how I would always switch on my computer the first thing in the morning waiting for his mail! And when he'd come over, my joy knew no bounds! It felt different. It felt good. This HAD TO BE love.

Over the course of time, we became the best of friends! We even started chatting online every night and my cheeks would hurt from smiling so much the whole time that he was online! One day, he said I was his 'Angel' !! "Yes!", I thought, "He loves me back too!". I was elated and within a few weeks, we started going out together. Each day felt heavenly. I wrote poems in his name and painted pictures. I loved the songs he listened to and played them over and over again. It felt so dreamlike, except that it was so real !

Anish introduced me to his friends and family and I knew I was a special part of his life. His s
ister Geet took an instant liking to me and shared almost everything with me, and so did one of his friends Sakshi. Sakshi was his classmate, she was one of those girls you could feel at ease with. We'd meet often and even be on the phone for as long as 3 hours. I confided in her and happened to tell her how I felt for Anish, and she'd help me in a lot of ways, tease me to no end and we would laugh for hours together!

Soon, I finished school and sought admission in the same college as Anish's just as he had asked me to, so we could spend more time together. I got through but things turned out to be different. He'd always keep busy with his lectures and practicals, and I'd always complain about how he'd hardly ever come to my lecture hall. I'd blame him for asking me to take admission there, and for promising me something he could not give- time. As for Sakshi, as time went by, she and I lost touch. I tried calling her repeatedly, she wouldn't return my calls and once or twice, when I did get her on the line, she would say she kept very busy and hardly found time to breathe. Her behaviour puzzled me but I couldn't do much but let go.

Then one fine day, as my classes had ended for the day and I was about to go home, I ran into Geet. We began talking, I asked her about her family and we strolled around the area chatting away. In the middle of our conversation, she told me of a girl she thought Anish was in love with, and she was talking about Sakshi. I shuddered. Though we had never declared our love to each other, I knew I was THE ONE. He never once mentioned any other woman in our conversations. I ignored her suspicions and went on with my life, with just as much love to give. But I kept hearing of this, time and again, from some source or the other. So once, when Anish and I were coming back from the sea face where we'd always spend hours talking, I asked him if Sakshi was any special. He denied. I trusted him blindly. In a month's time though, when a dear friend of mine told me what all he'd heard from Anish, I couldn't help but confront Anish again, and this time, he confessed to being in a relationship with Sakshi, for almost a year.

My world came crashing down. I felt shocked, hurt and angry all at the same time. I had no one to blame... After all, he never said he loved me, did he? It was a castle I built all by myself. I cried and cried till I could do no more. Knowing the facts, I still missed him dearly and I cried myself to sleep every night for a year, half cursing myself to believe he loved me, and half hoping all of it weren't true... I later made my share of mistakes by trying to get back to what never was mine. It was difficult. I could never love again.

When I look back now, I thank my stars. I have no regrets. Had this not happened, I would never have known what falling in love is. Now I know. :-)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Review: "Simran" - Nikhil Kumar

"When does the heart stop wanting?

Its inherent to our existence and without it, we'd be no better than the stray hyenas, scavenging for morsels of leftovers. When do we stop wanting the good things in life? When do we stop wanting a comfortable lifestyle? When do we stop wanting love? Should we ever stop this incessant want for everything?"

"Simran" is a beautiful story where we find the protagonist in the midst of a battle between the mind and the heart, the fiercest battle ever known. The story revolves around the intense relationship the protagonist Nihal shares with Simran. The author Nikhil carefully describes every moment of the battle- the mental agony the protagonist goes through, the surge of anger and hatred that collides with the unfathomable love he has for Simran and the way "life plays a game of hide-n-seek with us". Every facet of the book makes you feel you are a part of it and that's the mark of a good writer. A must-read!

For downloads and more details on the book, visit

P.S. Happy Birthday Nikhil ! :-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Book Review: "It's not about the bike" - Lance Armstrong

Cancer can make it impossible to live, it grips you mentally and physically, you die before you even know it, it can KILL you. To know this and to still find the courage to live, to believe in yourself is truly remarkable.

Lance Armstrong is a living legend. Having detected with testicular cancer at an early age of 25, and given a 40% chance of survival, (which he later finds out was actually a mere 3%), Lance Armstrong does not give up. "Don't be a quitter, son" are the words that he lives by, the words spoken by his mother when he was only a child. His mother continues to be his strength in his life. He fights cancer with great determination and will to live and just after 16 months of his discharge, goes on to win the Tour De France, and also becomes a father.

Lance now has his own Cancer Association and has won the Tour De France a record-breaking seven consecutive years (1999 to 2005)

Success is truly felt when you fall down and rise back up!

In this book, Lance tells us his story and how thankful he is to have got the disease and fought it, and how much it changed him as a human.

"The one thing the illness has convinced me of beyond all doubt - more than any experience I've had as an athlete - is that we are much better than we know. We have unrealized capacities that sometime only emerge in crisis. So, if there is a purpose to the suffering that is cancer, I think it must be this: it's meant to improve us."

True inspiration!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Swine Flu" Fever :-D

Yes, here's one more article about it again. Please don't stop reading. I am sorry. I am just so sick of it that I had to write about it !! It has become the talk of the nation, it has taken the whole city by storm; wherever I go I hear people talking about it!!

I get atleast 2 mails about it everyday. It was also a Trending Topic on Twitter last week !

I see people wearing masks ALL THE TIME so much so that, the other day, when my brother went to the Dentist's for an RC, the dentist confessed he had a hard time getting a mask for himself, it seems they were all out of stock !!! I see people making good business selling all kinds of swine flu masks outside Andheri station everyday. It's good to take precautions but some have turned into hypochondriacs.

A Tweet I Read :-D
90 people get swine flu n d whole world wants to wear surgical masks..20 million people have AIDS n still nobody wants 2 wear a condom...y??

One of my friends who travels to college by train everyday had just recovered from viral fever and had a mild sore throat. She was waiting to alight the train at Nerul and happened to cough just then. People moved away from her that instant and rushed to the other exits in the train leaving her all alone at that door! The co-passengers seated in the compartment scorned at her as if to say "One more time and you're out of here!"

Schools and colleges have been shut down. If the virus is so contagious, it's going to spread anyway! How will shutting down institutions help? And for how long can they remain shut? It wouldn't be a surprise if the entire city shuts down in the days to come.

Media can sometimes be so misleading. They've started reporting Swine Flu deaths without highlighting the other complications that those individuals suffered from. Research clearly shows that dengue and malaria are more fatal than swine flu is ( It's contagious agreed, but it's also 100% curable! I am sure if they start reporting the number of deaths caused by malaria, the streets will start smelling of Odomos! It should instead re-assure people that the flu can be cured, and that it's not as fatal as we think it to be! If not anything else, atleast the panic levels will come down.

Precautions are always good, it's also nice that we keep each other informed via mails or tweets if we come across any news about this, but guys, we also need to think practically sometimes. Remember we're known to resume work the next day the city was bombed- twice!! We can't just sit at home fearing we'll catch the disease. It's okay to feel worried, we're human, but let's just try to be a little practical, and a little more braver. :-)

Image Courtesy: Brainstuck

Monday, August 3, 2009

Friendship Day Special

Okay, this is not one of those clichéd posts about friendship , and how much friends mean to me and how I'd die without them!! This one's about online friendship (even more clichéd!! :D).

A couple of weeks back, just before I could leave for Ahmedabad to meet my blog friend Sakhi and also, soon after I came back, I was bombarded with a lot of questions from my friends all over.. I got reactions and questions like "How can you go so far to meet an Internet friend??", "How can you trust someone you've never met?", "Why do you have to go all the way there? She's just an Internet friend, let it go!", "Are you out of your mind???", "OMG!!!".

Most people seem to think online friendships never last, and you can never meet good people online. This post is just to clarify some myths about friends you make off the net.

First of all, the general protocol that people seem to have created and religiously followed is : "Internet friends should never be trusted".
Now suppose, you happen to follow a random person's blog regularly because you find it interesting,then you happen to comment on it, and then add the person in your IM list just because you want to know the person behind the blog. Over a period of time, you happen to know the person well, and wish to meet the person you've been communicating with for so long! But as per the protocol, you can't. You are not supposed to trust the person (Internet friend after all, right?). You've read all of the person's posts, chat with the person everyday, even talk over the phone sometimes, you even go to the extent of sharing your life with the person (wasn't the "trust" factor there then?), and now, just because you have met this person online, you can't trust him/her. So now,there is nothing left to do than feel sorry for not having met the person by some other means. What's the point?

Another FAQ : "Don't you have enough friends already?"
I don't surf the internet solely to MAKE friends (Some people do, but that's another story!). Friendships take place by themselves just like they do in real life, and you don't discard a friendship just because you have enough of friends, do you? :)

I've always felt it's all a game of odds. There is always that risk factor everywhere. You may be strolling on the road,slip on a banana skin and fall on your face! When I put forth my opinion with this example, most people throw me back a "That's another case,but when you know something's risky,why would you still do it? Why would you dig your own grave?" I certainly don't think it's as risky as that !! I don't say you should add random people and meet every other person you have on your list. I say, get to know the person, give it time, a LOT of it, trust your instincts and only if you're really sure you can go ahead and meet the person preferably in a public place (that again depends on the level of trust the two of you share).

I am of the opinion that online friendship is infact the purest of them all, because you directly connect with the person and not with how he/she looks, not by the kind of clothes he/she wears, not by the company he/she keeps, not by the family background, you basically get to know what the person is really like without associating any preconcieved notions about him/her.

In the last one year, I've met wonderful bloggers, even met a couple of them in real life and we have our own small blogger circle now. I've also made a few friends on Twitter, and they all seem to be genuinely good people.

There also have been a couple of cases where I have interacted with people online and didn't feel like trusting them or was wrong about them, but again, if you're not comfortable with the person, you don't end up making friends just like it happens in real life. We don't enjoy hanging out with the people whom we aren't compatible with, do we? So, the point I'm trying to make is- it's all the same. I am not saying I'll always be right in determining who can be trusted and who cannot, I might be wrong about people in future. But those are the chances we all have to take. How many of us have NEVER been betrayed by their real life friends? Betrayal and deceit are a part of friendships and other relationships. You don't stop making friends just because you got stabbed in the back by him/her, do you? Sure, it takes time to trust all over again, but you surely can't refrain from doing it forever.

To sum it up, online friendships are just the same as real life friendships. They happen on their own. They can either break or even last forever. Nothing is ever certain anyway! It all depends on the choices you make. :)

Reema wrote a post on similar lines: Blogging vs Social Networking :)

P.S : Happy Friendship Day to all my friends and readers :)
Wasn't really excited about it this year, guess I'm getting old :D