Monday, January 31, 2011

Miracles? Every day is one!

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Have you ever experienced Deja Vu? Been in a scenario where you've felt that this has happened before in this exact manner?

Have you ever woken up finding that your dream is exactly in sync with reality in a way that your subconscious already knew what was going to happen?

There was this time when I experienced waking up from a dream where I was falling with a loud thud, and that was the exact time my kitchen ceiling had fallen. It almost felt like something inside me knew that this was going to happen; it just came out differently. Another instance was when I felt someone was going to touch me in my dreams and I woke up when mom touched me to wake me up at the same time!

Many little incidents keep happening everyday that leave us feeling surreal.

For one, it is strange how we, human beings, are guided by our hearts. We are born with a set of basic instincts. Our existence is a miracle in itself! Something within us constantly tells us what is right and wrong. We call it our conscience. It's abstract, but it's continually guiding us and it stops us when we go wrong.

There are certain set of people we can connect with instantly, still some others we take time with, and some we tend to keep away from. There are people with whom you feel you've known them forever too.

Then there are also certain incidents that take place that you can make no head or tail of, but in time, you come to know of the reasons behind them. You get all your answers.

Miracles happen everyday, you just need to keep your minds and hearts open.

They say you can live as though nothing is a miracle and as though everything is one. The latter keeps you happier, makes you hopeful. :)

Narrow Escape

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Ever since the day my childhood chum got her new bike (Hero Honda Pleasure), I wanted to ride it too! I would ask her to take me for rounds and we'd take it to five gardens (somewhere in Matunga) practically every alternate day just to practise. It had been a month since she got it and she had got a pretty good hold on it by then. She used to ride it to work too so she had more practice. I, however, always took time to get started with it each time. My short height might have something to do with it too. The idea is - if you're able to balance the bike while sitting on it such as both your legs touch the ground, then you're able to balance it while it is in motion too. I used to have a hard time with my legs reaching the ground and thereby, was forced to always sit on the edge of the seat.

On one such day, we decided to take it to five gardens again. She rode it on our way there. After a round of chaat and some chit-chatting, her ex (then boyfriend) gave her a call saying he was at Matunga station and wanted to catch up. We got to Matunga station with me sitting pillion, and there was no sign on him anywhere. She gave him a call and he was waiting for us at a restaurant a little ahead of the station. The restaurant was quite close and I told her I'll ride it till there while she goes walking. I insisted on wearing the helmet for the first time; it looked really cool and I felt more confident with it! I was not used to taking someone with me when I was riding so she walked ahead as I started with the bike.

I was at a really low speed and there was a speed breaker right ahead of me. I was riding so slow that I wouldn't even be able to climb up the speed breaker with that speed. I gave the bike a little acceleration to help it cross the speed breaker, and I lost control of the bike entirely as it went down the small slope i.e. the speed breaker. It took up so much speed that I panicked and forgot about the hand brakes!! There was a motorbike coming in from the right and I banged right into it, falling off my bike and hurting myself badly. The helmet saved my head though it was broken too. People crowded around me offering to help. I couldn't feel anything below the waist and for a minute, I really thought I lost my legs. After about ten minutes, I managed to get up and apologised to the man on the motorbike whose ankle I hurt. The crowd, biased that it usually is towards women, had not cared to see if he'd been hurt and that made it look like it was his fault. He asked me what I had been thinking and I told him it was entirely my fault. Thankfully, he hadn't been all that hurt and was sane enough not to pick up a fight. He just told me to be careful and smiled away.

Now, when I look back on that day, I can't help wondering how much the stars were in my favour. Had I not worn that helmet, my head would have been seriously injured. And to think I wore it to look cool!! Had there been a truck in place of the motorbike, I wouldn't have survived to talk of this. Had that motorbike been a little more faster, I might have survived but what good is life without a limb or two? It would have been very difficult. Ever since that day, I swore to be alert. I am indeed fortunate to have miraculously escaped.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

'Wake up' Call.

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A month before my final year university exams could start, I had not been keeping well and any of us in class was hardly prepared for them. We had tried everything, from sitting in college after class-hours with our books, to going to each others' places (so as to get motivated by each other- which worked but only to motivate each other to spend time on Facebook!), to ask our professors to take tests & preliminary examinations (which they did but we could never get ourselves to study for them!) and to work out a full day schedule for each other (which none of us ever stuck to). It was time to get serious and we all thought we might as well go solo. Surprisingly, it worked. On the first day, I actually sat up late and managed to finish a quarter of my portion. It was just part of a section of a subject but I was proud of myself.

It was 2 am by the time I got to bed and with the schedule that I had worked out for myself, I would only finish the whole section the next day if I manage to be up by 6 am. As with every urban student, I have '3 am friends' too- friends whom I can talk to at anytime of the night and who obviously expect me to speak to them too. I had to be selfish that night though, and put my cellphone on the "Silent" mode so as to avoid those phone calls and get myself some sleep. Now, the alarm doesn't ring on the "Silent" mode and I wanted to be up by 6am. My mother used to always tell me to keep in mind what time I have to get up, and that if we really want to get up, our eyes automatically open at that particular time. I have tried that, like a million times, and trust me, there have been times when I have slept so hard that my dad had to climb into our balcony from the neighbour's balcony because I wouldn't answer the doorbell. So you know how good I am at waking up on my own. I still thought of giving it a shot. As usual, after saying my night prayers, I asked God to wake me up the next morning - anyhow!

Just then, my cellphone vibrated too much near my pillow. It was a call from Saleem, one of my college friends then. I answered the call with a very grumpy "Hello". No one spoke. After a few seconds, I hung up and checked the time. It was 6am! It didn't seem like I had slept at all because I was wide awake. And I couldn't believe I woke up to a vibration! I never do. I was really surprised and got on with the day. 

I went to college at 11am that day and bumped into Saleem. I asked him how he was up so early and why he gave me a call. He denied giving me any call. He said he was fast asleep at the time I got the call from him. Only when I showed him my "Received Calls" list did he believe that I had indeed got that call from his number. He went on to tell me that it might have been a mistake since he keeps his cellphone right under his pillow, and some keys might have been pressed!

I couldn't believe it. The time of the call and the fact that it was by mistake was too huge a co-incidence.
I don't know if I can call it a "miracle". It was something too minor to be thought of as one, but it was definitely not just a co-incidence either!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Sign

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Sahil and I had been blog friends since a long time and four months back since that day, he had taken it to another level. We had got to know each other pretty well, and he had made it clear that he liked me, in a non-platonic way that is. I had never met him though, since we lived in different cities. I liked him too but I wanted to get to know him in flesh and blood first. He'd always say he was head over heels in love with me and I'd always wonder how someone could love so deeply in so less time! Not one to rush into such affairs so soon, I told him I take a lot of time getting to know someone and he seemed to be in absolutely no hurry. The first month was wonderful, with him sending me lovely songs to listen to, and giving me as much attention as no other! It's a wonderful feeling to be loved, and as I enjoyed it, I was slowly trying to build trust. 

I really don't know what went wrong but in the month after that, it seemed like all that love had gone on vacation. I say 'vacation' because it returned a couple of weeks later in full zest. I was told that he had been busy with a lot of other activities and that he was still very serious about what he had proposed. After something like this, who would believe that he really meant it? I told him that it'd take even longer to build my trust in him after this and that it was really difficult to buy his explanation though I was trying hard to. We weren't talking as much as we used to anymore and I used to wonder why.

In the month after that, I finally met him in person along with some other people he knew. After a round of introduction, we went out together and I knew I felt the same for him like I did in the 'virtual' world. I heard him say he loves me when we hugged each other 'goodbyes' after the meet. I felt a strange kind of happiness surge through me that lasted till the next morning but something still told me to wait. I still wouldn't express what I felt for him. He went back to his city, and I got busy building castles in the air thinking of how we'd look like together! My exams were just a month away and I forced myself to concentrate on my books and put those thoughts aside for sometime. Meanwhile, Karthik, one of the people he had introduced me to, and I had begun talking and we seemed to get along pretty well. 

I had known Sahil for a whole four months then, and he had been on my mind that whole week. My university exams had begun, and by that time, I had decided I'd give this thing a shot once all my papers were done. Oddly, though he met all that I would want in a partner, something stopped me from going ahead. I thought I was just fearing getting hurt after all that I had gone through with my first love. I quickly made a silent prayer saying that if at all he isn't the right one for me, I want a sign- any sign and it'd be so much better if I got it today itself! That said, I left for my paper in the afternoon.

As usual, there were students shuffling papers to revise whatever they could in the little time that was left for the bell to ring. I was one of them. My cellphone beeped in the middle of all that last-minute revision. It was a text message from an unknown number that said, "I might not tell you I love you but deep down, I still do!" I couldn't help thinking it was Sahil and decided to call him right after my paper that day. As soon as my exam for that day was over, I called on that number and no one would answer. I called him on his own number and he wouldn't answer there too. I thought he was probably busy. Half my mind was wondering why he didn't text me from his own number. I put all that away for a while and went online. Karthik was online too and we got chatting. I typed the number I had got the message from, and asked him to confirm whether it was from Sahil's city. He said it was from there indeed but he couldn't see why Sahil would send me such a text when he was already in a relationship with someone for three months! I couldn't help but confront Sahil immediately and he admitted to being interested in someone but not being sure if she was the right one. The little 'vacation' that his 'love' took was three months back too.

I didn't know what to do. Three months back also meant that he was thinking of her while he said he was in love with me! I didn't even know whether to blame him, not having expressed any of what I felt for him in those few months. Clearly, he had lied but blaming him wasn't going to change anything.

I was disheartened and was going over the series of events in bed that night. Just then, I remembered something. The sign! The message had saved me from making a mistake. I was so glad at having listened to my voice and having got an assurance that I had been right all along in not rushing into something that my heart didn't completely agree with. That sign was just what I wanted and I got it just when I had asked for it. It was a miracle indeed. After a long time I slept well that night, disappointed, but feeling a sudden sense of strength from within.

It's a miracle!

We come across so many miracles each day. I don't know whether they can even be called miracles but some experiences really make you feel like there is some thing powerful that is guiding you. 

BlogAdda has come up with yet another contest giving us bloggers a chance to share such experiences. And if any of our stories get selected, it'll be published in "The Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul - a book of miracles". Additionally, we'll also win a cash prize of Rs. 1000. Isn't that lovely? :)

Anyway, I needn't mention that I am participating too :D So watch out for some 'miraculous' posts by yours truly this coming week! :)

Also, I need your best wishes for the contest. So wish me luck!!

For more details on this contest or to participate, click here. :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I ♥ Mumbai, Bus Kya? ;)

What better way than to spend an otherwise boring weekday afternoon having lunch with a few of your favorite people? :) So, the other day, Mona, Aunty (Mona's mom) and I caught up with Neil after a long time. I was sporting my "Bus Kya?" tote bag, one of Neil's designs and he was wearing his "I ♥ Mumbai" bag. After some authentic Chinese food at Fu-Yong (Matunga), and some ice-cream at Gelato (ice cream sponsored by Mona- thank you! :P), an impromptu photo session followed!

Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas

Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas

Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas

Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas

Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas

Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas

Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas

Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas

Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas

Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas 

 Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas

Photo courtesy: Neil Dantas

Aren't these jholas gorgeous? And I love the way he has captured every photograph too! :) :)

For more of Neil's designs, or to buy some of his stuff, you can visit his Facebook album-
Or his website:

You could also drop him a mail at: neildantas-at-the usual !! ;)

Thanks Neil .. loved the pictures!! :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Swept away... with the wind!

Hello! I have been unwell for quite some time now and it's "Gone with the Wind" that has been keeping me company under the covers! I used to read the book only on trips but I've come to such a point that I find it hard stopping myself from reading further. I must say it's a very well written book. The story makes you feel like you're such a part of it! I have come to the end of the book now (I still don't know what happens at the end so no spoilers please!!). It's so captivating it made me read all about the American Civil War on Wikipedia. The story's set against the backdrop of the war between the Yankees and the Southerners, at a time when the blacks served the whites and actually took pride in it. It made me want to google up on all costumes of "Gone with the Wind" (the movie) and even watch small clips of it on You Tube. I don't like watching the movie before finishing the book but I couldn't resist watching a few scenes. The costumes are so extravagantly beautiful I wish I could wear them in today's time!

The book, written by Margaret Mitchell, tells a story of the beautiful Scarlett O' Hara, who is in love with the handsome and honorable Ashley Wilkes. Ashley, however, is going to get married to the sweet and delicate Melanie Hamilton. When Scarlett knows of this, she confesses her love to Ashley. This is the famous library scene where Ashley tells Scarlett he loves her too but that Melanie would make a much better wife. The headstrong Scarlett is furious at this and slaps him. After Ashley takes leave, she even throws a vase in fury. This is considered to be very "un-ladylike" in those times and the infamous Rhett Butler is head over heels in love with Scarlett when he secretly witnesses this scene. He likes the fact that Scarlett is so different from the rest of the ladies in that time who suppress what they actually want to do just so that they'll be accepted as being "ladylike". The story continues from hereon. 

At many times in the book, Scarlett is portrayed to be very selfish but as you read on, you realise WHY she does the things she does and that everyone eventually do what they want to do. It's only human. It made me wonder whether I am Scarlett or I am Melanie. First I wanted to be Melanie- the ever sweet, loving, calm and caring human being with no hard feelings for anyone. I was scared of being Scarlett but I saw some qualities of Scarlett in myself too. I have been in a scenario where I was told that I wasn't "wife" material and I know how angry one can feel at something like that. I have been rebellious too at times when I was held from doing something I strongly believed wasn't wrong. I am attached to where I live (Bombay) and defend when someone speaks ill of it the way Scarlett defends Tara (the plantation on which she lives). At the same time, I am a bit like Melanie too. I can't easily hate someone no matter what they do. I usually surprise myself when I find that I still end up caring and helping people who are not usually received well or have cause some hurt to me sometime. I think one should be strong-willed like Scarlett and sensitive like Melanie.

As for the rest of the book, I'm in love with everything about that time. The simple mindedness of the people (excluding the hypocrisy and gossip), their luxurious lifestyles, their gowns and barbecue parties, the bazaar in Atlanta.. and so much more!! I'd love to have someone to dress me up in rich gowns and to be all decked up all the time. It gives you such a princess-like feeling :D The hat, the gloves, the bonnet, the shoes, the coats, voluminous gowns and ruffle & taffeta dresses! If you think I'm exaggerating, go ahead and tell me if you wouldn't like to be dressed up like this:

These images have been googled for.

Didn't I tell you these were awesome? 

I've even read about someone who got a bungalow built that looked just like the one on Tara plantation, where Scarlett lived. I'd love to visit the places mentioned I've read so much about them already!

I'll go on to finish reading that book now. There's a sequel to this book too. It's titled "Scarlett" and it's by another author. I've heard people say it's not a very good book but I think I'll read it anyway.

I really recommend "Gone with the Wind" to anyone who enjoys reading classics or romance novels! You'd rather read the book before seeing the movie. The movie HAS to be seen to appreciate the costumes and the places that have been so well described in the book. Margaret Mitchell was indeed gifted! :)