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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tunes of nature

We in the forces can only have such a treat of being woken up by the melodious tunes of a pipe band. So my house here in the cantonment, happens to be located at a place which falls in the route for the daily drill practice of the band. Wherein they play while marching in a columnar fashion. But what made my day, was the tune they played today. It is of one of the most popular songs from the hills of Kumaun, ‘Bedu Pako Bar Masa’. Although I am the breed of one of those Non Resident Kumaunis , we had quite a big community in Lucknow, where I lived the early years of my life. The morning tunes today, took me back to the memories of our gatherings back home, where the folk songs from the mountains of now known as Uttarakhand reverberated. The music transpired by the tunes of nature, reflected the purity of soul of the simple people of this region. Aptly known as ‘Devbhumi’, the tussock of faith and devotion has been home to innumerous sages and seekers of tranquility since ages. Though born and brought up in Lucknow, I have grown in the environs of the protected culture of poorvanchal. As the marching troops passed by, the fading euphony lifted the mist of the by gone times and a serene timelessness prevailed. Running down the brown hills enveloped in the dried pine leaves, me and my brother stopping in between to shout our names used to get thrilled to hear them echo back. Snuggled between the tall mountains of Bageshwar, there somewhere amidst the calm and pure serenity of nature, away from the eccentric city life, was my father’s village, ‘Kuchauli’. Located in a valley, the village was surrounded by the ethereal beauty of kumaon hills. Tall pine and deodar trees swaying to the melodies of cool and fresh mountain breeze with the majestic view of the snow caped great Himalayas in far vicinity, the place was most loved destination for our summer holidays. Enjoying the joys of simple living we used to immerse ourselves in the unspoilt routines of village life. Living in the old but very traditional houses with beautiful exteriors carved in wood, the feel was just perfect for a relaxed time rediscovering the roots of our existence. The remote rural life, rich in culture and drenched in simplicity reflected in the kind hearted people of the village. Donning their customary dresses, the smiling faces of the 'pahari' ladies welcomed every passing by traveler. The sumptuous meal cooked on the slow wooden flames out of the muddy stove made it taste the best ever in the world. The cold water of the mountain streams, the step farming on the hills, the absolutely stunning clear night skies, all this and much more bundled up together, made this place a perfect antidote to the atrocities of this frenetic world. Drawn back from the yesteryear to this day again with the sweet voice of my younger one, the memories singing the tunes of nature which looked so far, though farther in the time lane are actually farthest in real time as the village worst hit by the brain drain stays abandoned by the young generation. An abode becomes beautiful when it has such people living there but here the village had lost its charm when I visited it three years ago as it lay deserted with people moving out in search of higher education and job. Moving ahead in life is good but if villages get desolated like this and we move away from our genesis then what are we preserving for our future?

SNAP SHOTS FROM A VILLAGE KNOWN AS KUCHAULI

Our ancestral house amidst the beautiful Pine trees

The village settled in the mystic valley 



The picturesque scene from the hills around




Taking break from work ladies enjoying the morning sun 




The roads emerging from nowhere




The village did’nt had a motorable road even uptill three years back




The beautifully carved wooden doors




That’s my son sneaking out of the beautiful window



The ever smiling faces of pahari ladies

The majestic view of the Great Himalayan ranges
                                        



                                            
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A SANTA OF HOPES


Haylo friends. Today is 25th December. And I wish you all merry Christmas. Why Christmas is merry and not happy I used to always wonder. Anyways it is yet another day in our life which gives us a reason to be happy and spread happiness around. As a child, the idea of Santa getting gifts for kids was fascinating. Though my biggest socks hung every year near the bed never got filled with any sort of gifts, even years after when I know about the mystery behind that sledge man, the thrill of watching a man in red robe distributing givings is unbound. Years down the line today, when I pack the Christmas gifts for my young kiddos, I try to meet the hopes of my little ones but I feel too drawn towards the happiness quotient of the not so privileged lot.


The under dressed kids near the roadside, gathering the warmth and life at this time of year from the not so well lit up fire, trying to envelope themselves in rags of their existence. There lies beneath a stack of bright red Santa caps and masks. The sold ones brought them the bread for the day and the unsold ones promising one for tomorrow. Some of them donning the cute look with the caps on, luring the kids behind the closed windows of the cozy cars. These little nothings who don’t even know the meaning of Christmas spread the happiness in the lives of our little bundle of joys by selling off the Christmas accessories. For them it is just another way of sticking to the thread of life. But we the privileged, educated and fortunate ones, at times snub off these unfortunate ones in the name of comfortable tags like child labour or mendicity. What we don’t realize is, that buying one more cap even if we have one, won’t take much out of us but would give us an opportunity to spread happiness in the life of these kids. Try doing it this festive season. Try buying an extra pack of finger chips or any snack today and give away to these kids around. Try and give any unused toy, clothes or books. Try and help them in any possible way. Even our little effort will bring so much of joy to their faces that I am sure we will know the pleasure of giving and sharing. We have always bought from these people at the signal but out of tantrums of our own kids. Let us today buy for the delight of these under privileged kids and spread the happiness in their lives. God has made us capable to help people around so let us do it and be a Santa. A Santa which brings joy, happiness, a belief and above all hope to live on.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

DIAMETRICAL WORDS

As kids, checking horoscopes or finding out the characteristics of a particular Zodiac Sign used to thrill us and bring a zing to the life. Infact those of us still in the habit of flipping through the pages of daily horoscope, it becomes a mood moderator at times. Sometimes I wonder if my extremism and rapid mood swings have got anything to do with my being a Piscean or is it attributable to having a Hypo-Thyroid disorder? Thyroid, because though at times, but it is quite capable of throwing moods out of proportion. Well whatever the reasons may be, at least today, I look at it in a way that reaps the most out of it. Here I share with you an interesting one.

I love to read. But neither have I grown up in a book laden home nor it was a childhood interest. I happened to pick it up a few years back. Once into it, I thought ‘Oh what I missed all my life!’ but then almost immediately quite offended, my inner self replied ‘C’mon, at least you started it now and hello! Life’s not over as yet’. And now I say, “Thank God, I developed this habit”. I became a voracious reader only to slow down after my kids. So recently when I got on a reading spree, I was reading these two absolutely non-connected books which once made me slip into my spiritual shoes and at other time made me put my combat cap on to delve into some thrilling action. Well I am talking about ‘Living with the Himalayan Masters’ by Swami Rama and ‘No Easy Day’ by Mark Owen. Readers who are in a habit of reading more than one book at a time, will surely agree that it is a difficult thing to do and you need to have the knack of shifting from one mindscape to the other, justifying the grasp of the subject. So let me take these one by one to speak about it.
  


‘Living with the Himalayan Masters’ takes you deep through the spiritual journey of the sages and speaks about the eastern school of philosophy. In particular, it is an autobiographical account of Swami Rama in form of anecdotes. The book speaks about the spiritual encounters of the Swami and about his spiritual growth through the Himalayan passes and meeting with various sages and yogis of different practices. Written in a very simple manner, the book dwells on the ability of any person to achieve peace within and without the need of a structured religion. What I liked the most about the book is its approach towards getting over with the negativeness of life like ego, jealousy, mistrust etc. It reveals the life experiences of Swami Rama which transformed him and helped him overcome these pull backs in life. It is the story of an ordinary man who became a Yogi. And quite an interesting read too.



Now the second one which went simultaneously was ‘No Easy Day’ by Mark Owen. In the varied versions of Mission ‘Neptune Spear’, this book’s claim to fame is being the first hand account of the operation which killed the most dreaded militant and founder of the terrorist organization ‘Al-Qaeda’, Osama Bin Laden. Written under the pen name of ‘Mark Owen’ even this is an autobiographical account of a Navy Seal but at least half of the book is about the mission which killed Bin Laden. Being from the forces I could relate to the rigors of the training and exigencies of services. But the most thrilling part was reading through the narrative of the operation itself. Going by the high profile of the mission it kept me on my edges and curious about knowing the next move of the commandos. The book has been written well and takes us on a spine tingling ride of adventure.

So now that you know about the two diametrical books, I am sure you would understand that how at one point of time I was sailing in the sea of spirituality, trying to explore a pathway to peace and tranquility and almost immediately with a pounding heart became an invisible member of the killing team through the greenish haze of NVGs. And even if you do it that well, what would you attribute it to ?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rumblings of Yesteryears




      
A new pen, correction, a new fountain pen rolling over an old piece of paper, which happens to be an old diary. You have to do it, to feel the pleasure. Recently I was gifted a fountain pen by my loving husband and as it coincided with his birthday it assumed the status of ‘Return Gift’. My love for fountain pens dates back to my school days and somehow the rosy splendour of writing diary. Being a diarist, preserving expressions on this immortal piece of paper was the most rapacious and never satisfied part of me. So revisiting the yesteryears through an old diary, takes one down the foggy memory lane and makes relive the obscure moments. As I open this oldest diary in possession the page here dates 7/8 April and the year printed as 1994. Wow! as I write on this old memoir,  I am exhilarated and taken back to the nostalgic times where I see myself as an fifteen year old, that year on this day.  Here I bring you the excerpts of some old musings etched on this faded lines.

03rd Mar 94

I stand still, finding my pathway to peace
Dreaming of golden moments in a tranquil sea
When my heart will be filled with compassion
And when I’ll be really passionate about passion

I know you’ll be surprised. A fifteen year old talking of tranquility and peace but that was just a phase. Being raised in a strictly disciplinarian family, asceticism came naturally to me and that’s kind of okay but what went wrong was I was, may be too strained of that environment and felt scrupulously drained of emotions which was certainly not okay for a girl of that age. But as it is said, the onset of youth characterized by sweet sixteen for a girl’s age, bring changes which can be unfathomable at times…

10th Aug

To my dreams,
You look so radiant as never before
Drenched in a snow white glow as never before
I am blushing again as he adores
I am deep in love, tells me my core

Now does this require any explanation? I mean the transformation of thoughts. Alright let’s leave that aside and talk about the realization of love for one aged at sixteen. I guess most of us part of the sated generation have indelible memories of our first crush, Love I won’t say now. Down with the love fever I write again

13th Aug

Love is my strength when I am weak
Love is my voice when I can’t speak
Love is my sight when I can’t see
Love is the best I have in me
My world is better as I have love with me

The red blushing face, drenched in love fervor of a young girl of this age attracts attention instantly.  The dancing hairs, sparkling eyes, the warmth of the crimsoning cheek, the effervescent smile, they speak it all. I continued to be in a world of my own which is so full of magical emotions of passion, romance, tenderness and joy.

03rd Nov

‘O No! Not again’ she cries
An ecstasy was finished
She tried to resist but in a mist
A soul is frayed and it is repeated of late
Same agony prevails as it is aggravate
She rises up and falls down
To thousand chains when she is bound
Pathetic she lies, indolent she lies
Is that the way she dies?
‘No-No’ she cries again
But is she the same?
Uncannily she rises to tear the spell
Abated she rises to abate the hell
Nativity is reenacted but this time as hatred
Tintinnabulations fill the air
And tell the world ‘Be aware’
Agony is born and the disaster is on

To fill in the gaps, I had a ‘Black’ day in my life when sanctity of my body and soul was attempted. I was lucky for having escaped the situation with little hurt but it left me in a traumatic state. The stigma of having touched and forced upon stays with me even today. Though the magnitude of violation of my holiness was nothing as compared to what we often see these days, I am filled with sense of outrage when I see myself so enveloped with such issues almost everyday. Being aware of such crimes increasing in the society, I feel I have an important role to play, as i am a mother of two sons and its my moral duty to groom my sons to respect the being of a woman. I have a task at hand to educate them so that not just they grow as sensitive human beings but also spread their values for the wellness of the world. Let us groom our sons before teaching other's daughters what to wear and how to behave.

A diary is full of so many colours as it reflects life and its vividness. Try and preserve your times, good or bad, to enjoy your today even tomorrow.


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Write Over the Weekend theme for this week

This week your post should have five different colours acting as adjectives for five important words, around which your write-up revolves.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Prankster's Den

I never knew marriage would bring out the bachha in me like this and life would be once again filled with the childhood excitement of playing pranks and getting pleasure out of it. Jiya, my lovely wife gets startled easily but that doesn't stop me from scaring her with sudden appearances. Infact, now we maintain a score against each other and it’s a never ending game which adds spice to our life. After all life’s all about small doses of fun. But because of the horrendous screams of Jiya, everytime we had to send a ‘All is well’ text to the neighbours followed by detailed explanation the next day. Jiya's screams always brought mischievous smirk on their otherwise stressed faces granting the screams as authorised to a newly wedded couple. I guess that was okay with us also initially but I guess then it started becoming a bit embarrassing. One day I got up at midnight as I was feeling thirsty. As a dim light is always ‘ON’ in the dining area and the refrigerator is next to the kitchen door, I am generally okay with not putting ‘ON’ the kitchen light. I took a bottle and closed the door of the refrigerator and then I heard Jiya getting up. In our home the bedroom door opens straight into the dining room that means it is in line with the kitchen also. I knew that not finding me in the bed she would look for me and come to the dining area. And as she did that I opened the door of the fridge with a jerk and threw my left hand and leg in the air. She howled and screamed on top of her voice as the light of the fridge throwing up on my face and half hung self made Jiya cry like hell. Realising the level of horrifying deed, I quickly ran towards her. I hugged her tightly and tried to pacify her but to no use. She kept crying for a good amount of time and to top it, my nieghbour also gave a call to ask if ‘All is Well’. Now that was may be a bit unexpected at around two past midnight. “Look Jiya, I’m sorry. I really am.” I was trying to console Jiya who was still crying miserably. “Please forgive me and I promise we would put an end to these stupid pranks”. Now this one probably worked and she looked relieved. We slept off that night holding each other tightly. “Positive effects of scaring your wife”. Ha ha!!

But now how to gain that sadistic pleasure again. He haw haw haw!!! I just promised Jiya that I won’t startle her but the show must go on and it demanded lot of innovation this time as the tricks had to be new and of course required a certain level of expertise. Alright. My wife is a fitness freak and doesn't  miss her daily walk for anything and that day when she came back she had a stuffed and blocked ear. It is a very irritating thing to go through. I have experienced it myself. So when she got it, she came to me. “Harsh I don’t know how I caught it but I noticed it during my walk.  Guess I must’ve have developed it during sleep”. I kept my book aside and listened to her. “It has even started paining now and its making me going crazy. Please do something about it.” She holded her ear and sat on the chair next to mine. Suddenly my prankster mind started working again but I devised something simpler this time. I took some time to fiddle with my laptop and came with the bright idea. “Sweetheart I just checked on net that in this particular situation if you keep your ears covered for sometime then this stuffiness goes and it helps to reduce the pain also. Try doing it with the earphone as it will fit the ear well and will not allow the air to move in at all. If it doesn't improve till tomorrow then we will see the doc.” I tried hard and succeeded in controlling my wicked smile. Now jiya is kind of less techno savvy and more than that, trusts me for such solutions, so didn't made efforts to check back on net. I gave the earphones to her and she placed them on the ears like an obedient child. It was 8 in the evening and surprisingly she hadn't remove it till we hit the bed at 10. I kept looking at her again and again and there was she busy with her household chores with the earphone on. I smiled and got busy actually searching the solution for stuffed ears at net. By the time she came to the bedroom post dinner it was more than two hours and I guess her patience just gave up. “Harsh this earphone thing is just not helping. Are you sure this would help”? I looked at her sympathetically this time. Poor girl was still donning the wired gadget even with her night suit on and I realized that it has been stretched too far. Now how to own up the act. But had to do it. So as she lied in the bed, I quietly said “Jiya, if you promise me that you will not get upset with me I’ll tell you something”. There was a confused look on her beautiful face. Generally such stuff is said by a lady and more so it was just not my thing. May be thats why I did’nt put it up that well. The question mark look on her face was waiting for me to speak again. Quite meekly I added, “Sweetie that was just a joke. Earphones don’t help for stuffed ears.” I was barely audible and conscious of her reaction, there was a sinking feeling. “Whhatt”? She snapped. “Come again. I think I did’nt get what you said”. I guess her reaction was genuine. I might have not made myself audible. Trying to put up a brave self, I carefully placed the most adorable smile on my face and spoke again “Jiya that was just a small gag”. “Life had become so boring after that night. So simply to make life a bit more interesting I …”. Although I was trying to justify my deeds but seeing her red face I couldn't complete my explanation. “And to do that, you made a bakra out of me”? She loaded herself with the nearest pillow and charged at me and then just did’nt stop. I kept running from one room to another shouting “Jiya, m sooooo sorry”. But as if her ears actually got stuffed up. I kept shouting, she kept following till her ears forced her to stop, due to the increasing pain. And then I slept at the couch and she ruled the bed that night. “Side effects of playing a bad one”. 

This last one made me one point up but knew Jiya won't leave me now. Was a bit cautious but never knew she would strike back this way. It was a weekend and yet another reason to celebrate life. Planned or impromptu, weekends are fun. So this was a Saturday. Jiya had made ‘Pao Bhaji’, my favourite. A perfect way to end an evening full of endearing times, soft music and my favourite drinks. Where I enjoy my drinks, Jiya is a teetotaler. But that’s okay as she doesn't have issue with me drinking. Although she would love if I don’t drink but since I like to, she’s fine with it. So after my evening shower I placed the makeshift seating in the terrace, put on the music and went towards the bar. As I opened the bar my eyes popped up with shock, there was not a single bottle in it. The very next moment I got assured that Jiya might have cleaned the bar today and forgot to place the bottles again. “Jiya, where have you kept my bottles”? There was no reply. “Jiya, my bottles”? Again, no reply. I went to the kitchen to speak to her but was taken aback to see her smiling. “Jiya, my bottles are not there in the bar” I was impatient. “Yes. I threw them all”, she said in the calmest way possible. It appeared as if while speaking she developed horns on her head and dressed in a black cloak, she looked like a witch to me.

“You did what”? I couldn't believe what I just heard.

“You had enough fun in life now its my turn to see how you spend a weekend without drinks. And mind you, today is a dry day so won’t get anything outside also.” She nailed it quite well.

My recent acts didn't leave me in a position to utter a word. Still I made an attempt before calling it quits. “Jiya, I know I have troubled you a lot but take out your grudge some other day. Just forget it for today. Afterall, its a Saturday night. Lets have a good time together". But of no use. Jiya had made up her mind. As there was no point in convincing her, I sat quietly at the bean bag in the terrace. My mind was racing to find a solution to the problem and there I got one. We as college students used to try cough syrup to get a feel of that light headed feeling. Getting liquor for underage youngsters is banned. So we had this alternative. And that day was one such day after long years when I didn't have a bottle at home and couldnt get one from outside. There was no other way out of this problem so picked up a bottle of cough syrup from the bedroom and sat quietly at the bean bag. Jiya sat next and couldn't stop laughing. I looked at my empty bar and then at cough syrup in my hand and sipped it quietly. The evening breeze enjoyed it all. The music, the grin, the smile and the smell of cough syrup. The prankster’s den just saw the scores drawing nearer. Add your own crazy ideas to make the battle more exciting.

This blog is part of Write over weekend initiative of blogadda where a story is to be weaved around the three words, Prank, earphone and cough syrup.


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mirror, Mirror on The Wall



Mirror mirror on the wall
Who’s the prettiest
I asked them all
The answers were different all the time
And never took a name which was mine
I kept looking in the mirror day and night
When the mirror would love me and hold me tight
And last night when I woke up in my dreams
I saw myself looking at my extreme
She looked so gorgeous full of attitude
And told me the secret to my gratitude

I walk with oomph, I walk in style
My style is so classy, its so versatile
Sarees, suits, a dress or pair of jeans
I carry it well just like my teens
Biba, Lakme, Levi or Gucci
I match it well with an elegant Mochhi
I dress to charm, I dress to kill
I keep it impeccable yet simple
I am a fashionista , I am a diva
A girl full of compassion
And passionate about ‘FASHION’

I heard it all I heard it well
To push myself out at last from my shell
The beauty is in me as the one in the mirror
I just have to know how to make it clearer
So if I ask the mirror next
The beauty would be me unperplexed


Monday, August 12, 2013

Different Shades of Blue



Yesterday I wrote my first short story, ‘Over a rolling stone’ and had to rush with it as had to submit it for the WOW(Write Over Weekend) column of Blogadda. It is an initiative where bloggers all over the world blog over a given topic over weekend.  I was quite excited about this leap as I have just started blogging and plan to diversify my writing. And as I finished it, I was in seventh heaven for being able to write it. But that was not the end of it. As soon as I submitted my entry and shared the link on my facebook account a never before anxiety fever gripped me. I want to grow as a writer but in absence of any guidance it’s the feedback of readers which would take me ahead and help me achieve my dreams. And today till the time the WOW results for this week were announced the anxiety blues hit me so badly that I lost the count how many times I checked the blogadda site, likes on facebook and pageview stats here, desperately waiting for comments, appreciation or even criticism. But seeing the lukewarm response all my expectations rested on the WOW results. The adrenalin rush crossed all counts and left me in a dilapidated state by evening. Although my post did’nt make it amongst the best but it rested all speculations and anxiousness. I thought I did a great job but it’s something like every mother thinks high about her own child.

Speaking of mother child relationship, another devastating blues which had hit me was post natal blues after my first son, Aryan was born. Having gone through some terrible times after my first pregnancy due to this horrifying hormonal imbalance I did manage it quite well in my next one. But these blues were more unmanageable as it was difficult to find the root cause of this natural form of depression. Any minor issue would just poke the tears out me. Crying our heart out would never lead better results than in this phase of a women’s life. Although temporarily but it use to release the stress and unnerve in a situation. I’m sure the male species reading this would find this one disgusting as they would never experience it. I’m sure guys you can relate to the next one.

The irresistible ‘Monday Blues’. A few days ago I read a very interesting post on facebook. I share it here



So true. Weekend is a bliss. More for the IT guys for getting bigger happiness in life and privilege of long weekends if another leave happens to be on Friday or Monday. Well, the other deprived lot with limited edition, pleasure of getting restricted to just Sunday bonanza would always get in the much debatable topic of ‘five days a week for all’. Where discussions are on in the rest part of the world for getting down to working ‘four days a week’ we are still trying to make it five days universally. Well whether you are working for five days or six days a week, if you work true to your profession, you will certainly be waiting for a rejuvenating break. Wonderful times to be spent with self and family. And as we get drenched in the chutti fervor the thought of it coming to an end starts hitting as the evening dawns in leaving us struggling with the ‘Monday Blues’.

Apart from the colour, blue has so many identified and unidentified shades.  I don’t know much about music but there is a variety in music also if we speak of blues. I won’t justify writing about it but would like to share a link for varied genres of blues.


Share your shades and help discover some more. Would love to read your response.  


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Over a rolling stop



“Goa Express” I caught my breath and quickly gathered up to ask again “which platform”? The man at the inquiry window rolled his eyes over me and Robin. A sadist smile crept on his face as he said “Goa Express is going to come on the 7th platform” and with a killing pause added “and is just arriving”. His fingers pointed over a train crawling in the nearly far end of the station. Dumbstruck with the answer, both me n Robin looked at each other and in a split second we were again sprinting towards the platform. As we accelerated towards the screeching ‘Goa Express’, I visualized similar scenes from bollywood movie. In India our lives are so much impressed upon by our very own hindi cinema, especially mine. I figure out a related story in every situation. Before I could venture out again in my fantasy world, I was showered with choicest of adjectives as Robin was boiling with anger for getting us late to the station. And I know what was coming next. The train had already stopped at the platform and was ready for departure as the halt at this station was of only five min. Our speed was slowing down. Thanks to me again because it was me who despite of Robin’s instructions did not pack light.  And the entire melodrama appeared to be happening in a slow motion with a violin playing in the background. Three, four and five, the destination got nearer. The platforms passed by as if we were crossing our hurdles to success.

Struggling with my heavy rucksack and an airbag I said, “Robin, what if we miss our train”? “I will kill you”. Robin snapped back, panting heavily. Trying unsuccessfully to match with his speed I casually said, “c’mon Robin this is so adventurous. If we miss our train we’ll take a cab for the next stop of this train. Simple”. “This is not a story of a movie and we are not missing this train. At least I’m not for sure”. Robin was quite confident.

Self and Robin were roommates and students of final semester of engineering at RB Institute of Technology, Agra and were going to Pune for the combined aptitude examination for management course, post degree. The deadly combination of Robin’s hosh and my josh was a life saving grace for both of us. We complimented each other so well. Although I was happy in today’s situation also, expecting some never seen before action, I guess the same was not true with Robin. Anyways, I shrugged off my wild thoughts and with all the energy gave a final push to myself and joined Robin.  

Making our way in the crowded over head bridge, tearing away the rush coming from opposite direction we moved ahead. For the first time ever, I noted the mismanagement of these platform crossings. I really wondered how nobody ever thought of making such passages bi-lane. By the time we neared the platform, the train had already started marching off the station. Almost flying above the pour of unorganized lot, we managed our way to Platform No 7. The train had picked up its speed by then. Giving our career best timings we first threw the bags inside one of the compartments and then finished by squeezing ourselves in a compartment of ‘Goa Express’. Our heartbeats had gone totally out of control and sitting at the door of the bogie we looked at each other with a complete sense of achievement.

 “I thought we nearly missed the train today Adi”, gasped Robin. “I could have not afforded to miss the train. I worked so hard for this day.” “Yeah, I know”.  I would have not agreed better on this at least. Things were not easy in life for Robin like me. He struggled for each bit of life to reach where he was today. Amongst the crème lot of electrical engineering batch there were even bigger dreams in his eyes to be fulfilled. With vast responsibilities to shoulder came the obvious no nonsense attitude towards life. A perfectionist to the core, Robin was always dragged into situations because of an able me. And I Aditya Sharma. Though life has not been that tough for me but it was not served on a platter as well. Even I had to shape my career on my own. My dad was a banker and Robin’s father was an employee in the secretariat office. We came from kind of financially equal background. But the difference lied in the size of our families. Where my family satisfactorily met the demand supply ratio with me and my sister being the two kids, Robin’s was in dilapidated tenements with three elder sisters. The self evident reason behind such extended family was the obvious desire of a son. Anyways let us not get into the much debatable topic of gender equality and its immediate effects. I simply wanted Robin to live fully and whole heartedly rather than walking on the edge of a blade. Having lived his life in bits and pieces he had shut himself completely and all what mattered was making it big in life.

“Adi” my thoughts jolted as Robin found me again lost in my own world. His smiling face relaxed my intense emotions. “Will have the entire journey sitting here or wanna come along finding way to our bogie”?  “Well not a bad idea though. The weather is incredible and can be best felt here” I know the smirk on my face irritated Robin once again. Before he would start with his ML(Moral lecture) again, I asked his hand to get up. “Chillax Mr Idealist. I will not take the credit of changing your views about life. This revolution will be done by some great personality only. And his or who knows her name would go down in the pages of history for doing so. Ha ha ha”. The look on Robin was good enough to make me shut my predictions. We got up laughing to move inside the compartment but what laid in front of us was a bit unnerving. The deafening silence which had sneaked in, was soon broken by an infectious laughter leading to a kind of chain reaction amongst the passengers. The scandalized look on our faces would have not invited anything more embarrassing. Not knowing which compartment we are entering, we were drenched in deep satisfaction just a minute before. And now the situation was not so welcoming. We had unknowingly entered the ladies compartment of ‘Goa Express’. God would have not done anything better to make this eventful day go a step further.

We gathered our discomposed look and tried finding our way out through the connecting bogie before the ladies started overreacting. But much to our disappointment, the shutter connecting this bogie to the next one was down and locked may be due to security reasons. But today the izzat of both of us was under threat in the over loaded ladies compartment. The innocent looks on our faces was doing no good so Robin, spoke to pacify their tenable suspicions. The entire account of how we boarded the train relieved some tension in the air. But even then we could not escape the situation till the next stop which was about an hour away. Until then I made myself comfortable sitting at the door of the bogie much to the discomfort of Robin but there was no other choice left with him too.

The next stop was Gwalior which took more than an hour to arrive. We quickly jumped out of the train to find our S-2 compartment before we miss it again as the halt here was just of two minutes. Finally the lady luck bestowed some honour on us as our bogie was just two coaches away and we easily made our way to our reserved seats. What a sigh of relief it was after an action packed day. “See this happens when we don’t plan our actions and live unorganised” spoke our Mr perfect once again. “Had you kept your hall ticket in proper place and packed your stuff a night prior, we would have made to the station in time. Our course is coming to an end now Adi. Soon we will be graduates and certain amount of maturity is expected out of us. We are not kids anymore. Grow up brother and pull up your socks. Enough of living in the fantasy world where things happen as you wish them to be. Writing is good as a hobby but for your living and better future you have to get cracking now”. Robin sounded like a true well wisher. Clearly confused about the future part I sipped my tea and gazed outside as the train once again rumbling and rolling, started moving out of the station. Robin started fixing our bags and I lazily imbibed my charge up drink, a hot cup of tea when a girl stormed into the coach with a huge swollen up bag which was lying in front of her. Conscious of people around she quickly drew up to look for her seat which was astonishingly in our cabin only. She settled fast to cover up her mortified situation. Drop dead gorgeous, she was well conscious of her good looks. She sat near the window seat to avoid any conversation. The silence which prevailed was disturbed by the grumbling noise of the train. But she soon spoke may be to justify her otherwise doubtful situation. “These cab drivers na, I tell you. The professionalism is so lacking here. Had it been a metro or bigger city these bunch of incompetent lot would never get business”. Me and Robin watched the pink lips opening and closing in a complete state of awe. “Never they reach in time even if you specify that you have to catch a train. How would they understand what missing a train would cost to us”. She quickly added. The long pause was enough for Robin to assume, that was all she had to say. “Don’t spoil your mood ma’am. Such things keep happening. Feel blessed and thank God that you did not miss the train”. I was completely shocked to see Robin in such a sobered down self. This subtle nature acquired may be just a few seconds ago in him was something a new discovery for me. At his comforting best Robin succeeded in striking a conversation with the lady. As they both eased with each other I smiled at the new self of Robin emerging out of extremities and balancing the opposites. The grey shade which was so welcoming. The stop at Gwalior, got the guy rolling over and evolving in a bright switch in life.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda wherein opposite words were to be used in one sentence. The words highlighted represent those.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Second Innings



Questions on probable second innings kept racing my mind since I decided to hang my uniform. But when the answer came, it seemed so convincing and most importantly, completely natural. Yes, I decided to have a rendezvous with my inner self and explore the world of magnificent words. I wanted to be a writer, in tryst with my own self. Writing to me has always been like a meditation, when the writer’s mind and soul become one and result in creation of a whole new world full of fascinating words.

Why I want to be a writer? There are a number of reasons to it. Firstly, I am a born dreamer and playing with words, I find myself in a free world of imagination and creation. My inner self dips in an ocean of fantasy and transcends to create a reflection of my own different selves. Writing allows me to fulfill my many dreams and aspirations. To have diverse occupations, divergent personas with a varying attitude towards life. Writing is my passion and I believe ‘This is one aspiration that encompasses many others’. It allows me to live different lives through the characters and gives pleasure of achieving varied aspirations in the virtual world. Though achieved virtually, the pleasure is real, as words too become me in the process, leading to playfulness as they don’t stop even when I want them to. They guide me and lead me through the musings in an unimaginable fashion.
 

Secondly, for me writing is a way of expressing my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I am better at a written self than a spoken one. Writing gives me the opportunity to put across what I can’t verbalize. It is the wind beneath my wings as it takes me higher than my usual self. And definitely words best describe me. I want to write to put across what lies deep within and to share my thoughts, interpretations, experiences and views.
 

Thirdly, I know that it is easier for me to understand the purpose behind the doings of other people. Though I am not trained in psychology, but as I put myself in the shoes of others, it helps me to empathize and interpret their doings. It gives me a positive outlook towards life and accords me the harmony to see life through other’s eye. In the process it enriches me to grow with life experiences of others and be non – judgmental about them, respect the people for their individuality and without trying to change them. As a writer, I would love to tell stories about life and my learning and experiences from it.

So I plunge into this wondrous world as i get kick started with blogging. Celebrating power of words .... happy reading.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When the grass became greener


Ten magnanimous years in a profession which was the most revered one for me, the decision to hang my uniform although conscious was not an easy one. Times which zealously reverberated with indelible pride and honour came to an end a year ago. Exigencies of service have always ruled the life of men in uniform. Mine, was no different. I opted for release after ten years of service, to look after my two doting sons.

Getting off the boots, life was an intangible mix of aspirations and apprehensions. The evolving roles had to be realized and justified. Although I was not new to the demanding exacts of a mother of two as I had been handling the same alone mostly but the startling combination of the varied roles - mother, wife and an army wife took a toll on me.  I must admit that the start was enormously disastrous coupled with a severe feeling of loss of identity. I kept gathering the ends in the heterogeneous realms of a divergent world. The harder I tried, the worse life became. And all the emotional turmoil led to most unexpected – psychosomatic disorders in the body. Vitamin deficiencies, thyroid imbalance, ovarian cyst, anxiety – you name it and I had it. It was on one such awful day that while walking out of the bed and in order to reach a glass of water I collapsed. An immense feeling of distress and disbelief gripped me all over. I was numb and shocked to see myself in such a state.

Life is full of phases which are pivotal in shaping our future. It is a make it or break it situation every time. Not realizing this, many a times we get stuck in overcoming our own fears and narrow concerns. That was the day, I not only arose to consciousness but also to an awakening and promised myself to transcend all my inhibitions. Burying the past behind I was ready to start it all new. Armed with a strong will power to make life better I took the first step. I enrolled for a correspondence course of my interest. It served two purposes. First, it took care of my wandering mind and secondly I indulged in something which I always wanted to do. I also engaged myself in pursuing my hobby areas. With every passing day my belief strengthened that stress, is beneficial when taken in small doses. It actually pushes us to achieve our goals in a faster and better manner, but an overdose paralyzes and makes you incapable of doing anything. New learnings widens our horizons as it unblocks our negative connotations. The way my blocks started clearing it appeared as a miracle to me. The issues in life became challenges which I started fulfilling.

My biggest mantra in those tough times was ‘Never say NO’ attitude. Never think that you are incapable of doing a task. Probably you might not know how to do it but that can always be learnt. I absolutely love the famous line ‘Dar ke aage hi jeet hai’. Fears have to be faced in order to be defeated. And also our actions have to be backed by the unfathomable power of thoughts which can easily be summed up in three simple words. Thoughts become things!

You can have, do, or be anything you want. You attract what goes in your mind. Every thought of yours is a real thing – a force”
       -    The Secret

With the mending times the pace of life took its toll. An improved self gave way to bigger responsibilities to be fulfilled. The daunting tasks which lay ahead of a participatory homemaker, caring mother and vivacious army wife got easier as a beaming self surfaced which withstood the test of times. However, the challenge of getting into the shoes of an effulgent lady wife took some time due to the preconceived notions and perceptions. But even this barrier was broken when I laid my guards down and opened to a new life. A life which brought the good fortune of rediscovering self amidst latent talents exercised during varied opportunities. This was the time when I realized that life is same in army in both the roles whether you don the greens or hold the fort from the other side. It is about management and army grills that well in us. Having been privileged of being on both sides of the fence the grass just became greener for me.

Calling it quits as a serving officer was not a loss of identity. I understood that nobody took away the individuality from me. Infact, it got better as it gave me opportunity to justify my other multi-faceted roles with the existing identity of an ex-fauji. I knew that Army is an attitude. It is a way of life which never changes.