Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kenny G, Afternoons and all my memories....

Everything began on a happy note….I got up this morning with ‘Friday’ smiling at me and I smiling back….I kissed ma on her soft cheeks and happily left for work….But the sun outside did act as a spoiler even in my 10 minute drive (ahem, auto drive, but whatever) from home to work…But the moment I entered my office I saw red curtains with floral designs etched on them, hanging limply on the huge sliding windows. The curtains had been pulled on, thus shielding the room from the scorching sun outside. I smiled involuntarily especially because I love thick, red curtains and they usually make me very sleepy.

I got down to work, with Facebook, Gmail and twitter on my Firefox tabs and headphones on my ears….I put some nice instrumentals on the media player and started browsing though FB….. While Kenny G was playing directly on my ears, I browsed through some random pics of my old school friends on FB. Trust me, music and nostalgia has a very weird effect on you. I felt I was in a time machine……images of my 3rd and 4th std started flashing in front of my eyes….The 'pensieve' had floating images of my summer vacations when the boiling afternoons would be mocked on face by our happy faces in our rooms shaded with curtains….I saw my 3rd year of College when I met Vivek for the first time on one hot sunny afternoon at a tapri. Though there were many people, Vivek and I got to talking for the first time…..I saw the year 2005, my first Sunday afternoon, from my first week of college, when I spent the whole hot afternoon sitting on my window sill with hot winds blowing on my face…..unaffected I sat with a glass of cold coffee, thinking of how much I had waited for my college life, my independent life, since the first time I had read about ‘A Naughty Girl at School’……..I saw visuals of my 2nd (or 3rd) std when Suvarsha, Meera and I had gone to Abhilasha’s place to make thermocole models of ‘places of worship’, our school project….I saw a plump girl of 6 or 7 confidently practicing ‘three magic words’, the topic of our prayer service, on our school stage at 12 noon….then I saw a girl proudly leading her Topaz House team for the march past….that was a hot afternoon too….

While Kenny G plays ‘dying young’, I would like to thank God for such an amzing life….amazing friends…..and those hot afternoons and red curtains which have time again taken me to times which I once lived innocently, but now can only call them nostalgia….Though my life saw many ups and downs, but still I call it an utopian tale which started with a small, shy, plump girl, with dimpled cheeks writing an ulta D….Thanks ma, thanks dad, thanks to my amazing friends, Vivek and many others who make me feel special every moment and make me feel like living my life to the fullest….

I envy that li’l girl’s life….but I don’t wish to live her life, again…. I just wish I can have that li’l plump girl’s happiness and her friends and her family……forever! :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Monday JUST got supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

How small things make your day…..was just thinking about making Mondays beautiful when the hot sun outside the open windows, gave way to clouds and a soft wind started blowing….at that particular moment, a ‘big’ (as in stature) man, praised me for being so spirited and enthusiastic and hard working and said I would do good in my life…..then Shruti Srivasatva (a super psycho IITian and an amazing friend) buzzed me something (3/4 of what she says, go bouncers for me) of which I gathered words like Mary Poppins.....English MCB .....Mangla mam and her perfume….and then I remembered my French classes at school where I sucked…….my 3rd std. experiment where we had to grow roots out of potatoes (and mine were amazing….Abhilasha you were with me at that time)…..water cycle… picnics….green eyes and Awasthi mam….white hair and falling ahem and Kusum Gupta mam…….the amaziiiiing Manju Sood mam….paach minute (a story from our Hindi text book)….the price of flowers (English)……from the huge windows of my office I can still feel the cool breeze after about 50 days of horrible heat…can hear the sound of a train, a sound which used to excite me so much as a kid.....I feel it's summer vacations already...the time between 1st of may to 30th of june.....dessert coolers making the horrible rattling sound, a thin chaddar, a dark don't match the comfort of a cooler for made forcing a neembu paani or kaeryy sharbat after coming from homeworks....oh wow, feel so great….

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


‘Yes, I know her,’ smiled a li’l girl of 9 to her friend, after wishing me loudly when I, aged 11, went to her class to give ‘toffees’ to the teacher.

Yes, it was a great feeling, both for me and for that li’l girl. The reason behind me feeling good was 1, it was my birthday and that was a pretty huge reason because ‘birthday girl’ indirectly translated to ‘you are special’; reason 2 was that the li’l girl’s wishes endowed me with a ‘celebrity’ feeling and the mere prospect of an unknown girl recognizing me and shouting out wishes irrespective of the other people around her and irrespective of a 'teacher' (that was a pretty big word till the age of 11), was elating.....(Carmelites, you can recognise this feeling for sure......) 

Birthdays were always so much fun at school, especially the days preceding THE birthday, when hours would be spent planning about what to wear (at least I would do that and why not, when you get just 1 day to show off in front of the whole school, the responsibility and pressure to look good, gets bigger, right?)

My birthday falls on the 18thof February and 18th of Febs were always quite cold in Bhopal. The days before the 18th and following it, would see me loaded with sweaters, mufflers (I always had an inclination towards muflers) and gloves. But it’s a thumb rule that the birthday girl never feels cold and so, the 18th would see me enjoying the Feb ‘cool breeze’ without bearing the shackles of a blo*** sweater.

Wishes on the bus stop and then teh bus......As soon as I would get into the bus, juniors (and unknown ones too) would shout out wishes and (in full humility) I would feel so good......At school, my friends’ li’l sisters or my friends’ li’l sister’s friends would wish me and try to get my attention in a way that (makes me feel today) I was SRK caught for a day in a female bod (mine was a girl’s school, so I have to write an SRK’s name)…..I don’t mind accepting it today that getting aware of all the hullabaloo around me would make 18th feb more special.....

I remember another birthday ritual......As kids, younger than 11 and 12 years, many girls would pamper the birthday girl to attract her attention so that she would take her to distribute chocolates (and I have never done that, SERIOUSLY)…..that would be so much fun either when you were the birthday girl being buttered or you were amongst the ‘non chosen’ ones (latter because then you could say ‘bad things’* about the fawning girl)..... The girl you took for the round, would be the girl who was the closest to you (I still don't understand why, but I’ve never taken my closest friends with me on those ‘rounds’)….

It was in my 6th or 7th std (+-1) when my bday and our class picnic coincided. That year I had worn a red frock and gone to school. From school, we all went ‘walking’ to Children’s Park for class picnic….My friends surprised me with a chocolate cake. The 'huge Childrens’ Park' witnessed my birthday (yes I felt like a celebrity again….imagine, BIRTHDAY PARTY in PUBLIC in front of UNKOWN PEOPLE……:p)…..After the celebrations, lunch and all, my friends and I participated in a class race. I emerged a winner and got a red crystal bowl as prize….I still remember that feeling (I was excited more because the bowl matched my frock)….

Birthdays were always so much fun. Friends made me feel special, dad baked cakes, mom cooked delicious food, family friends blew balloons, decorated the house etc…..But the best part was the end of the party, when the birthday girl would have the tremendous responsibility of unwrapping a bed full of gifts. The gifts ranged from Stic sketchpens, board games, Barbie dolls, Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys, parker pens, tiffin and pencil boxes (when we were smaller)……

That was the time when the flat where we stayed was so small, yet it housed enough for a rocking party; No Djs, no dance floors, yet we danced….None of us knew how much money was spent on the gifts, yet we enjoyed guessing and unwrapping them. Juniors, teachers, Sr.Reji, Sr. Ancilla and the amazing lot of friends in two ponies/ plaits and a green tunic….everyone made you feel like a princess….Today my home is huge but I don’t stay there….I need sketch pens but there isn't anyone to gift them to me….

But I have no complaints....I know, that I'm gonna wait for my friends to call me up tomorrow. Like a kid, I’ll keep on logging in to facebook and gmail to check if all my friends have wished me…..and I know that I'll be flooded with wishes....We have grown up, dispersed to different cities and everything has changed yet my friends are still the same and thanks to you, I’m still tremendously excited about tomorrow, the 18th of feb……and yes, I’ve decided what I’m going to wear on MY BIRTHDAY….:-)

*have stopped myself from using the word bitc**** because we and our anger was far better at that time than we are now…..

Monday, February 8, 2010

My moments and my regret!

11 tigers in 2 days.
Yes I was ecstatic. It was somewhere in the year 2001. 

I call myself a nature lover and an 'adamant' one too and I can justify that quite well, but I can’t really deny the fact that I don’t come out to be a person who has a soft corner for animals, precisely (not talking about the social ones, Homo sapiens to be precise). This is because I’m scared of even the simplest forms of them (especially dogs) starting with the dachshunds to ducks (yes, they are not related but these are the ones which have totally freaked me out in my life).

Here's why I said ducks. The misery dates back 10 years (this is for the first time that I’m sharing the incident). We had visited the beautiful Upper Lake, in Bhopal. The bank of the lake sees many ducks roaming about beautifully. Of all the ducks, there was this particular duck which made my heart skip a beat. He was pretty normal except for the fact that he had a twisted beak in a way that he couldn't pick up food from the ground until someone fed him. 

Everyone was feeding the ducks but amongst all, this particular duck came rushing to me. I still remember the moment. I got very scared (pathetic) and because of that fear, even though I wanted to feed it, I couldn’t. It kept coming to me and I kept running away from it. I was very heavy in my heart but felt helpless. Being a reserved person where showing emotions are concerned, I couldn’t share my dilemma with anyone. Suddenly my dad called me and I rushed towards him. While I was leaving I kept looking back at him (shit, I can feel that helpless feeling and anger at my stupid behavior even today. I’m all flushing). 

10 years have passed, yet that memory is etched in my mind. Though scared of animals even today, I know that I do not want to repeat that behavior and want to help them from my heart. 

A few days back something happened which made me remember the story of the duck and which gave me a chance to make up for my stupid act...I was standing outside my office when my eyes went up at a hoarding. It said ‘just 1411 tigers left. Save them’ and wheeled me back to the Summer of 2001, when I had visited one of my most favorite places- Bandhavgarh National Park, in Madhya Pradesh. Till date I can feel the magic of that place. I remember staying at a wood house and watching deer roaming about in our compound. I remember entering the huge park in an open jeep moving slowly on a carefully made path, through the lush green carpets. Monkeys and their babies embracing them round their stomachs kept crossing our way. It was all very blissful. Even before our trip had commenced, our guide had forecasted that we would get lucky with the tigers (as they come out in the open during summers). We had just covered a small distance when his forecast came true. He stopped the jeep near a huge elephant and made us get on its back (its body was prickly and I was damn scared). Even before I had settled myself comfortably, the elephant started walking and halted after a few seconds of walk. I was still convalescing from the shock, when I saw the scariest and the most amazing sight of my life- a huge tiger sitting comfortably, just a few feet away from us and staring directly at our direction. It was fantastic. Soon we saw about 11 more of them within 2 days, much more than we had dreamt of. 

I wanted to relive those 2 days and visit Bandhavgarh again and still want to. But today I’m scared. Scared about whether or not I’ll be lucky this time. What’s dwindling my confidence is the statistics. I’m not sure that the tigers will survive the wrath of time and poachers.

 But this time I don’t want to sit helpless. 10 years from now, I do not want to regret not doing my part. I do not know what’s my role in this attempt, but I’m ready to act, to save our national animal, to save one of the most wondrous and mightiest creatures of all times. Are you ready?

What's a tiger?

2019. DUMBCHERADES. 10 kids of about 9.
Kid: Ummmm…it’s tough, so I need time…wait….ok. big, four legged, striped, orange tinted, I think belongs to the feline group….is scary, eats other animals, ferocious, was once our national animal……
Others: booooooo, there's nothing like this....too tough. Change it.
This is my forecast. Hope I’m wrong.
Just 1411 tigers left in India. Have a heart, save our national animal. Save the wondrous tigers. They deserve to live.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

good bye (2)

goood morning people....this is the second one i drafted for 'my very good friend's' friend who NON COINCIDENTALLY was also working at Clarksis and was also frustrated.
happy reading.

This is my good bye letter folks but I would rather start with a Thank you rather than a good bye. Anyways Clarksis has taught me that going the tedha way really works. So thank you Clarksis for showering me with so much knowledge about the world and giving me tips and tricks of surviving even in the most adverse conditions. Thanks to you that I got a fast track watch, a landline to make free local calls, a few good friends and the happiest moment of my life- signing my resignation letter. Also, how can I forget to thank you for bringing out the hidden in me?
I'm just not able to control my smile and I feel like shouting 'it's my last day here' but the reason for my is not just but other reasons too. The first one is 'a he' who always hovered around my head and sucked the senses out of me and yet asked reasons for my irregularity. The next is 'a she' whose sight on the seat 'next to my just next' convinced me of the worsts the world has. Boss, you put me on to someone who knew nothing and confused the hell out of me and yet expected me to feel good about every new 'mourning'.
After every team meetings, I found myself unable to take the company seriously, so I'm calling it quits. So as a farewell message, I would like to pass a word of advice to the 'lower salary recipient' who will soon fill my position, 'start thinking positive and ignoring 'common sense' '.
I would miss most of you except a few who bugged me and made me utter words of heavenly love under my breath. It's time to move away from horrid sheets and 'excel' somewhere better. I've since forever hoped of leaving this company and today I'm more than happy to be doing so. I would just suggest my friends here to stop being proactive and stop taking troubles in training brains that have long stopped working. I wish all the best to the surviving good ones. Stay together and switch soon. If you are finding it difficult to find positive qualities the office offers, just remember the 2.30 bus service and the last-day-of-the-month-ATM-cheques.
I love you all….well most of you.
Happy to sign off

It's not always that you are being denied salary hikes or promotions because of 'your wrong' behavior, neither does 'not getting salary as per the work' mean that you are worthless, cribbing bosses don't necessarily mean you are not up to the mark, neither is it that 'office is always bad'. But sometimes adverse things do happen in this world which brings out the worst in you. Maybe a good bye letter like the above 2 are not always a good solution and panga leke nikalna not a necessity, but there's a 'but' which dominates the minds of the victims of the professional world and the same happened with these two friends of mine! Please consider the letters as light reading and don't try it out in your professional life....even if it sucks :-) Sometimes a switch and a smile are the best options....and for the rest of the times, good bye letters rock!