Friday, March 6, 2009


Aarushi - our family's latest addition:-) The second apple of my eye! And little sister tomy first apple of my eye:-) Both, daughters of my elder sister.

As the excitement settles, and the feeling sinks in that the new one is born, I sit and reflect on the past week. Images and pieces of conversation rush through my head - 'The doctor said wait till 4th March', 'We're going to the hospital now', 'God help me with thisterror while her mom is in the hospital' pleads my dad...'Its a little sister for Anoushka'!Thats the call I recieved at 10:00 AM IST on 3rd March! That it was a little girl...a sister!

Just like me and my sister :-)I was so excited and so happy! I couldn't wait for the first pics...and I cried again on hearingthe little one's cry over the phone...and I feel closer than ever to my own sister...As I see the first pics of my little angels, it dawns on me, that they'll have a bond as beautiful as the one I share with my sister...

Its funny you know...there was a time, and I'm sure most of you will agree, where I prizedfriends over everyone else, definitely over family! I moved out of home to study, when I was 17. My sister had a constant complain that I would rarely call / mail her, and there I was, happy in my ownworld. A year after I left, she got married. And that's when it slowly started to dawn on me...she wasmy sister, someone I spent so many years with and unwittingly shared so much with. She was someone I wasvery protective of, and someone who I suddenly realized how much I cared about!
Ya, we yelled at each other, both of us standing as we do at opposite ends of the spectrum! She always whacked my stuff, I always put her in trouble, we never wanted to do the same things at the same time!But it didnt matter, because she would understand what I was thinking before I thought it, she was my sister!

And then she was expecting her first child and I was going through the works of friend to fiance to wedding plans. I don't think I've ever looked back after that. Finally, we reached a stage where we could talk to each other of our dreams,our fears, our troubles, our plans for the future, our day to day lives. I don't think we ever did that so much before...and since then its been that way. Distance, time zones...they don't matter anymore. Each converstation starts off when the previous one ended.And before I realize, she's reached a plane of her own...where I don't think any friend can. I mean, my friends are my friends,they're the ones who know the nitty gritty of my life and will continue to do so...but in all this, there's a bond with my sister that I don't think I'll ever share with anyone else ever! And I finally understand what my mother meant when she usedto say 'You have only 1 sister, stop fighting and learn to share'!

And I'm just so happy that the tiny tots in our lives will get to do that again!

Monday, February 16, 2009

When Lipi got married…

Inspired by a friend’s blog on my wedding titled “My godmother’s wedding”, I wanted to title this as “Our Agony Aunt’s wedding”. Then I drew inspiration from her nickname and wanted to name this “Lips gets married”. But then, presuming that “Agony Aunt” / “Lips” would have clubbed me on the head if I did, I stuck to the humble and next-door-girl title “When Lipi got married…” so that it reflects on exactly what “Lips” is :-)

After loads of confusion and a zillion changes in plan, I finally boarded the flight to my sasuraal (i.e. Bhubaneshwar a.k.a. BBSR) on the morning of Lipi’s wedding (my tryst with jinxed travels continues…more on that in another post though). I’ve known Lipi since BITS, and we probably grew close as friends once I moved in with her & Shwets.
Landed @ BBSR at around 10:30 am, almost 2 hrs after I was to reach for the 11:00 am wedding. Thank God the baraatis decided to shake a leg to Oriya and Sambalpuri songs a little longer, else I would have missed most of the ceremony! Changed into a wedding attire n ran to the hotel. By then Lipi was all ready n striking a pose for the camera…and wasn’t she looking lovely! She was a mix of shy, demure, nervous, radiant, joy…everything. One look at her and even without any bridal stuff on, you could have said “Yes, this is the bride”.

The wedding went well, though with a few stressful outbursts from the bride (kinda like me in my wedding:-)!!!! I'm sure you also remember). Shilpa was actually scared to approach Lipi and said to me “Brides scare me after your wedding”! I think I’ve scarred her for life!

Asit and Lipi make a great pair and the joy and expectations as they move towards their new life together, was there for all to see. There’s something about weddings that make you feel so fiercely protective of the person getting married and at the same time, so wholly happy for them. I think it’s just the massive significance of the moment and the new chapter it writes…

Their reception was held on Friday evening, and totally negating all associations with the phrase “Friday the 13th”, the bride and the groom looked resplendent and lovely. Seeing Lipi in that red saree on her reception, and the dupatta and the way it was tied, reminded me so strongly of Giddy’s wedding almost 2 yrs ago. Its like coming around full circle to where it all started :-)

Its finally happened Lipi…after all these months of frenzied planning and shopping and running around…you are finally married:-)

Here’s to an amazing future!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Goa Calling!

For a lot of people (almost all who love to travel and a lot of those who abhor travel), the 'must do in life' wish list features a common entry - a trip to GOA. I'm no different when it comes to that, and after my first visit to the place, I can say I know what the hype is all about...and isn't it worth it!

Beaches, sun, sand, food, short, heaven!

I don't think I've ever laughed as loud as I did in the past three days! I'm no swimmer, yet the thrill of the water was too much to resist...and with Mrutyu and my friends insisting that I come into deeper waters, I gave in to the temptation! I watched with all the glee of a 10 year old, as the waves came closer and shrieked with delight every time one engulfed me! I lost my balance like a zillion times in the water, probably drank half the salt water in Calungute's waters and just never wanted to leave Goa.

We enjoyed and chilled on the beach...loved the food...visited anjuna, dhona paula, aguada fort and also chased dolphins! and I mean literally chased them! 3 boats full of people who were just dying to get a glimpse of a dolphin:-)

I spotted around 7-8 of them (can't vouch for the fact that I saw 7-8 different dolphins, maybe I saw the same dolphins multiple times!) I found the fact that they roamed in pairs extremely cute if I may say so...and I almost fell out of the boat when I saw this house by the rocky shores, with a canopy n chairs all set out for a meal! Wow...that is heaven!

And I think that this was the only time when ALL photos n I repeat ALL photos, were, icing on the cake:-)

Yet, 3 days was too short. Mrutyu n I decided that we shall come back...this time for a week-10 days, rent a bike n explore all the inner roads and areas for hidden Goa treasures - their local bars, eateries, shops…and a lovely, even tan!

We’ll be back!

Till then its Goa calling...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Count your blessings….

Nothing is permanent. And that is a reality that has been driven home and driven harshly in recent times.

Its scary the way a moment changes your lives. Its scary how extremism can rip apart everything you’ve lived for. Its scary how your life is no longer in your hands…I thought about it and realized that I take so much for granted in my day-to-day life. The presence of a loved one, kind words, a smile, a hug, a phone call…my job, the monthly credit into my account, freedom…food, shelter…my space. I never stop to think what I would do if I didn’t have all this or any of these tomorrow? What if I had ‘my space’ and noone to share it with?

What if I extend my hand and find no one to hold it? What if someone reaches for me and doesn’t find me there? The thought is so scary that I can feel my insides turn to ice and I actually start shedding tears. And all this is just because of the thought.

Then what about those whose world was rent apart when the twin towers went down? When the tube ripped apart miles below ground level? When the daily trip home turned into a bloodbath on a crowded local train? When the innocent-looking cycle blew to pieces anything and anyone around it? And many many more such incidents. What did they do wrong? And worse still…what about those they left behind? Those unfulfilled dreams now left behind like a painting half-done or a story half-told? Plans nearing completion or just at inception…what happened to them? Were those left behind able to move on? Can the void ever be filled? What about the regret for all the things that should have been said / should have happened, but couldn’t any longer? Who will be the deliverer for all these innocent lives, marred for as long as they live?

I can still feel the numbness at these thoughts. And all I know is…count your blessings…count what you have today…count ‘who’ matters today. Share life, time and whatever you have with those you want to share it with. Prioritize today. We never know what tomorrow brings.

My thoughts go out to those affected by 9/11...and all other innocent lives ever affected by an action the cause of which was far removed from their daily lives…

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Some days are meant to be a comedy of errors…yet some others are meant to be “Oh God kill me please…please please please!”…yet some others are “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaa……..” days!

I recently had an “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA……” day…believe me!

So I woke up as usual…happy that I booked my cab the previous evening…breakfast good…maid on time…cabbie calls at 8:25 to confirm he has arrived and is waiting on the main road….yippeeJ
Happily fed n thankfully free of a cold, happy me walketh the walk to the main road…humming the “singh is king singh is king singh is king…toietoietoie (my rendition of the instrumental bit)” I progress to the point opp the ATM where my cabbie awaits…BOINNNNNNNNNG! No cab….now where the hell did he vanish…so I called him n he says “madam I am opposite the ATM madam”…fearing that my eyesight had finally broken all connection with my mental faculties (whatever teeny bit I have left….before my frns out thr can comment on that…) I looked all around…auto guy…mom dragging kid to school…nope…no cab. So I called again…tring tring tring… reply…call…tring tring tring…whatever happened to this guy?

As I was on my first “moooooommmmmmmy”...voila…he picked up! “1 min madam…I am coming”….ok…so the 1 min ticked from 8:34 to 8:45….my laptop’s getting heavier…I call again…”2 min madam”…and so the story continues…till 8:55…”where are you? Tell me the truth or I call ur cab company!” “madam actually…thoda confusion ho gaya...ek aur passenger liya humne”….lots of $@^$#&^%*%* later, I stooped levels and approached my best friend Mr. Auto-driverL ya I knw…me guilty as hell after having pledged off this mode of transportation….”madam pls come back madam….pls madam” says cabbie…but me ploughs on anyway…me reached a good half hour late to the client’s office n saw the bright rays as the day progressed…

3:00 PM…time to book evening’s cab…cab company 1: “Sorry madam…cabs on strike…we have no cabs”….cab company 2: “Sorry madam…no cabs…strike today”….cab company 3,4,5…”mommmmmmmmmyyyyyyy”….voila…company cab will pick us up at 6:00 PMJ “wah kya dimag paya maine…kya idea tha!”

6:00 PM…we sit in the cab n eeeeeeeeeeeshhhhhhhhhhh! What is that smell? We ask the cabbie n he starts rambling away on his phone in a language I cannot fathom! “8532756gwbanmbbfu98732y985y “smell” %$#@!&%(~^(& “battery”E$*@!^#$%*%^^&$$E%!$#@”….ok…so I gather something’s wrong with his battery…but its ok…the car is running…wheeeeeeeeee…….splutter splutter splutter…”madam cab wont start”…”mommmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy”…so we ploughed on ahead on foot…the rain gods didn’t help…BBMP n the pathetic state of the footpaths (really?!) definitely didn’t help…slush…water…laptop…rain…cell phone…umbrella…pyjama getting dragged on the road…no auto stopped…if there were a transportation god, I’d say he was taking a break…why me? A/c Volvo to rescue…I get in to go home after a 500 m trek in “slushvilla”...n its home sweet home after 45 more painful n excruciating minutes…

Anyway, the result of the mayhem was a chemical reaction (wet hair + air conditioning = cold n cough)…or is that physics? I don’t knw!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ever walked out, stopped a passing auto, innocently hoping to reach your destination on time in a hassle free manner, only to be looked at as though you were a space alien, with big round eyes n antennae sticking out of your head? What did I do…what did I do? I only said ‘meter ke hisaab se chalna’! beeeeeeeep…wrong instructions! You see, we are Bangalore city…and the strange little device you see peeking over the left hand corner of the driver’s chair…that is something devised to make mathematicians world over question their theory of distance and rates. To the unassuming, 7 rupees a km would mean exactly what it seems…1000 m traversed at the cost of 7 rupees…but for our mathematical and linguistic genius handling this 3 wheeler, it means ‘7 rupees or more for every km’! Fine line of distinction, you would say!

Ok…even if they were mathematically and linguistically challenged…you are still a space alien…coz now you see…you have a hearing disability…its not 15 rupees…its 50! Its not 50 rupees, its 50 rupees extra! Can’t you hear?! Don’t you know the rules woman!? Extra is not actual cost + abc…but actual cost = actual cost + abc…eh??????? See….I told you I was a dud at math! It doesn’t make sense to me…but apparently it makes a whole lot of sense to them coz they look at me in absolute defiance…as though I broke the code by asking for a fare by the meter.
It’s not just the fare that has a code. There is a whole rule book on who will drive you where. You see, it is a complex matrix of their names on one side, mapped against a database more massive than that maintained by the bureau in America. It has the address of each driver, his preferred driving routes, his leisure spots, nap time, meal time, haircut appointment dates, barber, preferred shopping destinations, preferred eating joints blah blah blah…and if you want a ride, you need to pledge to learn by heart this matrix and approach anyone asking for a ride that clashes with the above at your own risk! And in case any cell is blank in the matrix…don’t worry…it always means ‘No’!

So, to save you the stigma of being labeled as a lunatic and demanding commuter, I’m listing the basic rules here for your ease of reference …
- ‘Meter’ is taboo
- ’20 rupees extra hota’ means ‘I’m a reasonable man’
- Always re-route your plans to match that of his highness
- Change your destination if you have to, but never dare to ask them to change their mind, that’s against the code and could land you in jail!
- Do not disturb a group of chatting royals, they are currently plotting an increase in earnings, and you could end up being the guinea pig
- Take a hike…seriously…it’s good for health and cheaper!

Happy commuting!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It’s been a long day…and all I want is to go home…

I trudge towards my cab and wait to reach the warm comfort of home…

As we traverse through the traffic though a different story unfolds…its not the bed of roses I was praying for…it’s a nightmare tugging at all the negative emotions that I could possibly feel at the end of a long and tiring day…we start moving at a slow pace…it feels like the hands on my watch have stopped ticking only to make a long jump by the time I cross a mere 0.5 km…the jam clears…and my heart leaps! Maybe I’ll still be home soon…euphoria! I smile…today’s going to be different…A sudden break…the police man stops the traffic…the balloon is punctured…All happy emotion fizzles out…and I shift back to the dark and never ending depths of frustration…frustration at the system that takes 30% of my money and makes me rot…I want to scream…I want to pound the vehicle that cut across my path and delayed my crossing the signal…the horns blare around me…echoing the tiny red dots exploding in my brain…echoing my frustration and helplessness at the fact that it is but all that I can do…the hand goes up and he lets us by…we move at the pace of a funeral march…my eyes are glued to the red green and amber dots…as we approach the next signal…and all I know is that I want to go through…I don’t want it to turn red…a silent phrase plays on my lips…’come on…move…move…move’…and…it turns red! Dismay…it feels like a conspiracy sprung upon me by those innocent looking lights…they know I want to be home…but they will show me who’s the boss on the streets…the minutes keep piling on…the distance barely creeps…exhaust smoke rises all around me…higher and higher…engulfing me in the black nothingness…slowly the horns die out…resigned to their fate…slowly accepting the fact that it will be a while before home arrives…