Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Committed." - The Whys and Hows.

Good conversations always make good blog posts! :D The other day, Harish and I were talking about relationships and why people get into them. It was more on a marital level but I'll start with the basics.

So why do people get into a relationship?

Supriya Thanawala's "One can be fun" article in the Valentines Day edition of the HT Brunch also stated that one should get into a relationship solely for love and not for anything else. She says it's better to accept loneliness than get into a bad relationship. But trust me, 9 out of 10 relationships have different reasons of existence. The biggest of them all is fear and insecurity. Fear of ending up alone, and insecurity of oneself. And why does this fear exist? Because how much ever we deny it, most of us are afraid of being with ourselves. Ask yourself who you are  when you look at yourself in the mirror today. We are not comfortable being with ourselves, it scares us and we need someone to lean on. We are insecure or unsure about our own decisions; WE DON'T LOVE OURSELF.

That's also one of the reasons why abusive relationships exist, and also why people don't separate after infidelity crops up in the relationship. I think this is also why most men involved in rape cases have their wives supporting them. 

Another kind of relationships are rebound relationships which occur when you separate from someone and just need a companion. These don't last too long and one of the parties ends up getting hurt.

As far as marriages are concerned, most people rush into them as a result of their own insecurities and fear of loneliness again. And then there are those few far between that can't control their libidos and considering premarital sex is a taboo in Indian society, opt for a wedlock.

So what does one do? How does one overcome his/her insecurities? (That's one question I'm waiting to answer myself!) 

You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy. - Anonymous

How does one love his/herself? 

For one, you can start by getting rid of the notion that loneliness implies unhappiness. Start doing things you truly love, and if you don't know what they are, try random things and you'll eventually know what you love doing. It may be a hobby or a profession. Once you've found it, you've found something you can do all your life and never get bored. Spend more time with yourself: read a book, pamper yourself, go for a massage at one of the best spas in the city, make a play-list of your favourite songs and carry it with you, go for a walk, go trekking, click pictures, cook yourself a lavish meal, enrol yourself for a workshop that you find interesting. Enjoy your life while being true to your conscience. Once you begin, the list is endless.

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance." - Oscar Wilde 

Of course, it's easier said than done but it's worth it in the long run. And then, once you've found your love, you'll really know it! :) 

Never do anything that makes you unhappy.

Now..why does this post sound like I'm lecturing you? me is off :P

P.S: Thanks Harish for being there all throughout! You've been an amazing friend. :) 

The image has been Googled for.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bombay belongs to?

The ever-crowded local trains,

Streets and pavements filled with people,

Crammed little boxes for homes,

And several homeless trying to survive,

Heavy rains and guaranteed floods,

Endless traffic and the resulting pollution,

MNS riots and Sena bandhs,

Terror attacks and bomb blasts,

...and yet something pulls you here.

Chai tapris and vada pavs,

The ever smiling chacha in irani hotels,

Needless to mention- their brun muska and chai,

The hardworking dabba wallahs,

making sure we get to eat on time,

Countless sea faces,

And the pani puri stalls on the shores,

Roadside chaat and chataai pav-bhaaji,

Dreams and desires in the eyes of people, 

The warmth in their smiles,

Religion-language-caste no bar,

Their welcoming nature,

That "Chalta hai" attitude,

A hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on,

Unity in calamity,

And, no matter WHAT,

...Bombay lives ON!

Bombay for Marathis, or Bombay for India? Neither!!

Bombay for everyone, Bombay for the world. :)

Image Courtesy: Shreyansh Mazumdar, and some Googled for.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

10 things about me!

A tag after ages! Reema tagged me to do this one and honestly, it took a long time for me to think of ten things about myself! Strange how little we know about ourselves than we think we do. Okay, so here I go!

1. I have an odd quirk of counting all the numbers on my bus ticket as soon as I buy one. It was part of a game we used to play when we were 15. Ever since, I've not been able to break the habit; never felt the need to either!

2. I hate my hair. But, I've found a permanent solution to making it look good. Scared of change though.

3. I'm a hard core
chai addict. Ever ready for Ginger chai!

4. I sing and dance when I'm alone or in a huge crowd (so that I know no one's watching! :D). Lately, I've started to LOVE dancing though owing to my Jive-Salsa-Waltz classes! :) Music and me are inseparable. :)

5. I like to read, write and paint!

6. I love my freedom too much. Stop me from doing something and you lose me then and there.

7. Not very expressive in person; shy of expression.

8. Twitter addict! :P

9. Love watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, HIMYM, and plays! :)

10. Good conversations excite me. I can chatter away endlessly with some people, and can be very quiet with some.

Finally, I'm done. I could think of more things about myself towards the end, but I had reached the limit. :P I pass on this tag to Sakhi (my all-time favourite
bakra :P), Nikhil (you really need to start blogging again!), Aditi & Scorpria (both of you as well!), Calvin (you're welcome! :P), Neha (my new Twitter fraand) and I guess that's about it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gmail's Buzzing!

Lately, there has been a lot of talk over whether the new Google Buzz will take over Twitter. Google has tried to ape something that may or may not work wonders. Well, Buzz does have its plus sides. We know that everyone who has an internet connection HAS a Gmail account. When one asks for an e-mail id these days, it's assumed that the person will give out his Gmail. Buzz gets enabled in your inbox automatically, and that gives easy access to it. You can link any number of sites to your Buzz, and it will automatically post updates from those sites onto your Buzz, so that people who follow you can see those. Your Google Talk chat status messages get updated there too (unless you remove that option from the list). It's a very useful social media tool. It can also help you discover a lot of people since almost all of us have Gmail accounts. People have started creating their Google profiles too, thanks to Buzz. A lot of them didn't even know a Google profile existed.

There are a lot of snags though. For one thing, it crams up your inbox. You get a mail for every Buzz that mentions you. If it weren't for Gmail filters, I'd have probably turned off Buzz and never used it again. Moreover, when Buzz is enabled for the first time, it automatically adds people to your follow list! So, if there's someone in your Gmail that you'd rather not have a conversation with, unfollowing him explicitly later makes him/her actually get the point! :D There is no "Reply" button. You have to type the person's email address in order to reply to him! And though Buzz posts my Twitter feeds, they aren't real time. So I had someone actually asking me why I was making pots somewhere in South Bombay at 3 am in the morning. It also does not post ALL of them. And, like it is on Facebook, you can only "like" an update, not "dislike" it.

Google Buzz vs. Twitter

I'd say Twitter rules any day. Google Buzz lacks a lot of features: Retweets (re-posting updates that you like so your followers can read them), lists(categorising people you follow so that you can keep a track of their updates better), direct messages (private messages, but here you've got Gmail too so it's okay), Favorites (you can "like" an update but you can't sort those updates you liked), a "Reply" button (:D), attractive profile backgrounds and a lot more.

So, Buzz still has a long way to go if it has to match Twitter. But yes, great job Google! Atleast we have more people using Buzz than Wave.

Buzzing OFF now! :P

Happy Buzzing, Tweeting, Waving, Facebook-ing ..gosh, so much to keep track of now!

P.S: My first "tech" review post :P

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pottery, Paintings, Photography, Play and PaniPuri !! :D

The Kala Ghoda Art Festival is into it's tenth year. This festival is a blend of all forms of art. Creativity under one roof! There are street plays, short films, dance performances, art exhibits, literature and photography workshops, colourful stalls with creative products on sale..ALL this together. So, as soon as I found out my lectures had been cancelled for the day, I was thrilled. I took print outs of the Kala Ghoda Art Fest Programme guide and decided to go there a little early.

After a quick cup of chai at VT station (I can't get myself to calling it "CST" no matter WHAT!!), I headed to Kala Ghoda. The cab took a lot of time to reach owing to the traffic on the road. Fest-effect I'm guessing. As soon as I got there, I saw two huge elephant statues outside, on either side of the Black Horse statue. And one of the them looked so real, I was too careful before going close to it to click it's photograph:

As I saw the crowd, the street art displayed outside and the colourful childrens' festival going on in full zest, I couldn't wait to enter!

The sad part of the festival is, there is such a lot going on there that you can't possibly attend everything even though you want to, and you can't decide which one's better- everything's just so great! The first thing I noticed there was the potter near the entrance. People had crowded up around him, he was letting them mould a pot on his wheel and take the pot home at only 30 bucks! I wanted to mould one too, but decided I'd wait for Neeraj so that it could be recorded!

I saw the other exhibits meanwhile. There were a lot of exhibits centered around the "Save the Earth" theme. Exhibits on "Banning Plastic", "Recycling", "Saving on Electricity", "Global Warming" etc. were some.

What amazed me the most was the "Blind With Camera" section. It had a lot of photographs captured by the blind. I got a chance to hear what Satvir Yogi, a blind student of St. Xavier's college had to say. When asked how he manages to capture images so well without sight, he says he has a picture of them in his mind. He is familiar with what's around him and uses senses to capture them in his mind first. His humility and talent had everyone in awe of him! There were many other photographs displayed there captured by a lot of other visually impaired students.

The photographers

I took a walk down the street, entering each stall and clicking pictures wherever it was allowed. I saw little kids performing "Jai Ho" at the Amphitheatre. I saw a tattoo section where people were getting themselves tattooed; I sometimes wonder how painful that must be (the worst pain I know is what I went through today, thanks to my muscle spasm.). I hung around a lot at all the pottery stalls; somehow they caught my fascination. When I was a child, I had once dreamed of being a potter :D

And just then, I got a call from Neeraj saying he was standing somewhere under the big bell. I dragged him to the potter as soon as I saw him!! :D I gave him my camera, and sat down next to the potter, and started off with moulding my pot! Here's the complete video of it:

I was so proud of my disfigured pot, I carried it with me all along (also, it hadn't dried completely). That's me posing with the horse (made fully of twigs by the way) carrying my pot!!

We took a walk outside, there was a lot of street art: potrait sketchers, charcoal painters, name-on-rice, a man making objects such as a cycle out of just wires etc. There was a plant section too, and we spotted some beautiful Bonsai flowers.

After a lot of photography, we went back in. I saw a stall header that read: "Your own wax sculpture in 20 minutes". I considered getting my own wax sculpture made, but Neeraj mentioned how scary it would be, and the thought scared me too! :D I mused a while over why we get scared of our own sculptures! We saw a small Bharat Natyam performance at the Amphitheatre.

Our next destination was BNHS; there was a short film going on there. We managed to catch the last five minutes of the short film followed by a discussion with it's directors. They had shot the film under a budget of just Rs. 1000/- !!

We quickly made our way out to go to NGMA. A play ("The Diary") was about to start in the next fifteen minutes. We reached five minutes before time, and saw a long queue waiting outside. Hoping we'd get seating space, we joined it! We got to sit right in front- in clear view of the stage! And the play began...

It starred Sagvik Mukherjee as writer Shekhar Gupta and Supriya Gokarn as his wife Meera. Biswamitra Ray was Meera's elder brother, Sanket Mhatre played the role of the younger Shekhar, while Mehak Jaini was the younger version of Meera. The play centered around a married couple (Shekhar and Meera) madly in love with each other. The marriage faces a lot of pitfalls, and the couple separates eventually. Shekhar finishes his novel after the separation, and dies three days later, in an accident. Meera finds his diary and then later ends up reading his novel, and discovers that he loved her till the very end; his novel was based on his undying love for her.

The crew

Meera and Shekhar's narration of the diary's pages and Meera's remarkable acting is notable. The younger version of the couple did a great job too. I loved Sanket Mhatre's (younger Shekhar's) role a lot. Reminded me of "Ted" from "How I met your mother". :D Meera's elder brother (Biswamitra Ray) did very well too. The humour was properly timed, and the storyline was smooth. The lighting effects, and the music added to the success of the play. An hour's time was truly well spent!

We were really hungry by the time the play got over and went to one of the chocolate stalls at Kala Ghoda. After having strawberries dipped in that dark chocolate fountain down there, we rushed to have two plates of pani-puri! To top that, I had a large glass of sugarcane juice (Neeraj had a JUMBO! :O).

The Dark Chocolate Fountain

I reached home at around 10, feeling great! I'm planning to go there again, you should visit too! It's ON till the 14th of February, and you can download the programme guide from You can follow them on Twitter here: @Kala_Ghoda.

Hope to see you there then, tada! :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A great weekend in a great city! :)

And so, finally, in the midst of working freelance, coding an application for dad, thinking of a plot for a short-story I aspire to write, fixing my cousin's God forsaken PC, photo-copying all possible notes for my university exams next month, organizing my data in my computer, attending Yoga and jive classes, I've had the time to blog! About my two wonderful days at Ahmedabad. :)

I visited the city for the second time this year, and saw more of it than I had last. Enjoyed to the fullest. :) I reached Ahmedabad on Friday (the 29th of January) night and stayed over at my blog friend Sakhi's place this time too, and surprisingly she looked more feminine with slightly longer locks that complemented her face very well (I'm sure she'll be delighted to read this! :D). We reached her place in twenty minutes or so. Houses in Ahmedabad are humongous; it takes longer to walk from one room to the next than it takes here to go to the last house in my building! :D I was in total awe of the place. 

On Saturday, I left for IIM in the morning. Their cultural fest Chaos was going on in full zest. I met my friend Nissim who studies there, he introduced me to his cousin who had come down for the fest as well. He then took us to a hotel nearby where his family had been staying for the past couple of days. I had a sumptuous lunch with his family at Pakvaan. The food was too sweet though and for the first time, I gulped the buttermilk with great relish since it was the only thing that wasn't sweet and successfully removed the sweet residue from my mouth left behind by the thaali. Followed by that was a trip to Sabarmati Ashram. It didn't even strike me that it was the 30th of January (Gandhiji's death anniversary!). And so, I happened to be there at the right time :) Clicked a lot of photographs in the Ashram and at Sabarmati river, bought his autobiography at the bookstore there and even attended the Timeless Mahatma exhibition that was held especially for that day.

The evening was spent at IIM. I met a Twitterer Jaideep (@jdshah) outside the campus and had a cup of elaichi chai (which, needless to mention, was sweet too!). We couldn't really talk much, since I had to go back to the campus for a concert that was going to start shortly. But it turned out that I still had an hour with me. I caught up with Bhalchandra- the guy I am doing a project with. Met him in person for the first time, he sure is different than what I had imagined him to be. His witty comments at the concert later had me giggling!!

The concert rocked! I got a front row pass (thanks to Nissim! :)) and I could easily pass through the barricade courtesy my height and width :D. The concert started off with a perfomance by Kavita Seth. She is a Sufi singer, more popular by "Iktara", her latest song from the movie "Wake up Sid". Loved her performance and was amazed by the Sufi dancer on stage who kept spinning around continuously while dancing and still managed to gain full control of himself once the song got over. I listened to a lot of Sufi songs. Shruti Pathak took over then ("Mar Jawa" singer from the movie "Fashion"). She sang a few Bollywood songs ("Mar Jawa", "Dance pe Chance Maar Le", "Beedi Jalayle"). After a lot of impatient noises and whines from the crowd (which was desperately waiting for Sonu), Sonu Niigaam finally arrived at 9:15 and performed for 3 hours straight!! He sang everything - Bollywood songs, songs from his own album, and surprisingly, "Stayin Alive" by the Bee Gees- in their own voice!! Sadly, I couldn't record that number. Hope to get that from some friend now. He entertained the crowd all throughout and had them with him. Here are some short recordings from my camera (sorry about the poor video quality!):

And so, after a well spent day, Nissim dropped me to Sakhi's place a little after midnight. The next day (Sunday), we went to her new house that was still getting designed. I then shopped at The Body Shop and availed of their discount offer by buying an amazing Japanese Cherry Blossom shower gel which, by the way, is much relaxing and smells great !! :D We had lunch at her place, and this time, it was way too tasty. Not too sweet, not too spicy! She had cooked my favourite vegetable (bhindi - Lady Finger) and I licked the plate clean. :)

In the evening, we took an auto to Kankaria lake. She had taught me to read the meter over lunch and tested me when we got off. And I have to mention, the auto-wallahs in Ahmedabad can no longer cheat me! :D Kankaria lake was awesome. It's one place where you've got everything- right from an aquarium, to a zoo, to adventure rides, to a park, to a laser and musical fountain show that takes place every evening, to boat rides, to chaat and other eateries, to countless wonderful birds flying together, to a beautiful lake and a beautiful sunset !!! :) We did a lot of photography, went for a ride in the boat, had a pizza and a cup of awesome WaghBakri chai (which was not sweet at all and had just the right amount of ginger), saw the laser & musical fountain show, had a lovely time photographing and making faces at the fish in the aquarium and then left happily having candy floss on our way home! :)

After playing a bit with her daughter, and then having some Maggi at 1 a.m. in the morning, she dropped me to the station for my 2:15 a.m. train! It was my first time in a night-train. I was a little scared of getting fleeced so I tried hard not to sleep at first, killing my time on Twitter on my phone, but unfortunately I had been given the middle berth and there was no way I could sit there even for a minute and eventually, whilst lying in that position, fell asleep. And how I slept! I woke up directly in the morning to the sound of babies wailing, and was shocked to see my face all swollen. I had slept a little too heavily :D I looked out and saw Vasai Road going by and knew Bombay was nearing. I got that strange soothing feeling that I always get when I come back to Bombay and in no time, the train halted at Bandra Terminus. I stepped out carrying my luggage, feeling at home and happy to be back. :)

P.S: Please watch ALL the videos. It took too long to get them here! :P