Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dear Santa - The year as I retrospect

My room,
India, Asia

25th December 2008

Santa Clause,
Teens wish granting wing,
Head post office of Artic circle,
North pole

Dear Santa,
Thank you for my new patiala dress my mother bought last week. Everyone told me that I looked pretty in my pink patiala. And also thanks for giving me 'gone with the wind'. I wanted to read that book from so many months. Would you get me 'Andromeda' by 'Micheal Chricton' this time? Please do something to convince my parents to take me to a trip to Araku valley and Vizag. I'm dying to go there! Please give good marks for my li'l sister in her boards. Please keep my parents healthy and happy.
I tried baking a cake in the new oven we bought, Santa. But it didn't come out well. Never mind that. When I'll be sleeping on my bed at night, leave Andromeda novel by my bedside.Please don't forget to bring some other nice gifts in your sleigh for me. I have hung extra-large sized socks by my bedside so that you can leave many gifts. And yes, the socks are not stinking. They are washed and perfumed.
I want to relate to you some notable events which happened to me this year. I'm alerting you, this is going to be a long letter!
I’ve seen bright days. Dark days. Been happy. Been sad.
I had an eventful and momentous year. Last Christmas I wrote a letter to you asking for fulfilling some wishes. They had been granted. My heartfelt thanks to you.

My birthday in April went fine. But I couldn’t enjoy much as I had to take 2nd year exams the next day. I am happy with my 2nd year results…77%…I couldn’t have asked for more.

I had a great summer. I had been to an adventurous trip to Bengaluru, all by myself, for a whole month. I had a great time with cousins and old friends --Sup, Souj, Prash, Skanda and Pri. I miss Bengaluru now. My heart roams in the streets and lanes of Jayanagar. While I was on a morning walk in Jayanagar one day, I saw a beautiful Bungalow built in wood and bamboo with creepers adorning the gates and with a green garden around the house. I had decided that I would come back to B'lore to buy that beautiful house when I started earning money. It would be mine someday. Hopefully.

And then 3rd year started…back to the same routine of college and studies. I took part in poster presentation on the topic ‘microsponges’ in Vishnu College. We had pharmacy week celebrations in our college. I took part in the essay competition. As a part of pharma week programme, we pharma students went to a nearby village for surveying the commonest diseases people suffer and the drugs they use. We had a rally on the topic ‘safe use of prescription medicines’ and we had to convey the message with banners and pamphlets. It was a nice experience. That day I felt I was a true pharmacist and I did something to help the society in my own small way.

Last Sunday, I was very happy. Nobody could be so cheerful and merry. I was the happiest person in the world. I was flashing smiles to everyone I came across, for some innate happiness was surging inside me. It happened for the first time ever with me that I was that happy. Until then I thought I was an unlucky girl and that my wishes were never granted. I had a spree of jolts and sad moments one after one, again and again, few years ago. I forgot to smile then. But on that Sunday I was happy. But something was constantly warning me and I had fears that smiles at present are a premonition of ensuing predicaments in future. It is a sin to be so much glad when so many people are suffering. Some omen was hinting me that this was just the calm before the violent and boisterous storm and sadness would claim my smiles.

And precisely then I got a call from my classmate saying that the results of 3rd year, 1st semester were out and I didn’t clear pharmacology. I was so shocked! I couldn’t believe that. She had to be wrong! I wept bitterly for sometime. There was no way I could have flunked in it! It’s my favourite subject and I always scored well in it. I wanted to do Masters in pharmacology. And here someone tells me I failed in it! What could have possibly gone wrong?? Why did that happen to me? How could I show my shameful face to my parents, who expected so much from me, had so many hopes pinned on me??

Later I got a call from her again, that she heard the results wrong and that I had cleared all the subjects. Thank god for that! I was so much relieved. For a few moments I thought that all the world for me was lost and that the ground was swept off my feet! I was in utter confusion and distress. I would never forget the despair I went through. But it made me realize...what if I really couldn’t clear a subject? I promised myself that I will always study well and never allow such a situation to ever rise. Santa, please promise that I will fare well in my studies and career. My studies are always my priority.

Tonight I will celebrate Christmas with my sister on the terrace with some nice music playing. I have nicely decorated there. Hot and tasty bread sandwiches are on the menu. I’ve downloaded ‘Rab ne banadi jodi’. My sister and I will be watching the movie on the terrace.

Have a merry Christmas Santa! Thanks for giving me such a wonderful year and I hope that all the years which follow will be as promising or even better than this year for me, for my family and for everyone in this world!

I have been a good girl this year. You know what exactly to give me right? If I stayed up late, will you hug me?

Say hi to Rudolf for me. He might have a tough time tonight carrying heavy load of Christmas goodies in the cart.Is it very cold there? Get yourself red coloured warm woollen clothes. I will write to you next X-mas again. Happy New Year in advance! Bye!

Love, Aparna, Age 19

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Of Promises Kept And Broken


I ran out of sunscreen in Iraq! I must have turned atleast 3 shades darker, shooting in the sultry sun !”, she was complaining.

“Your smile is breathtaking”. I said and broke her chain of conversation.

“You liar! You don't notice my smile! You are always lost in your own dreamy world and stare bleakly into my eyes!”, she said.

She was immersed in an animated description of her latest adventures in Iraq. She was proud of her brave stunts of acquiring an exclusive footage of shocking war revelation. That's her job. She is a war journalist. She is posted to terror stricken and tension centered war zones of the world.

She trekked the rough terrains of Zagros mountains in Iraq, in a camouflaged dress, survived only on the water of River Tigris for 2 days and shot secretly at the enemy's camp from behind the rocks. The video footage was to be submitted to the BBC news channel and the anti-terrorist intelligence. She captured the terrorist's conversations, all by herself, in their camp which revealed their strategies and future targets.

I wasn't listening to her talking about her experiences in Iraq. I was transported to the beautiful land of Kashmir...six years ago....that was where and when I first met her.

And fell in love eventually.

I was a tourist to Kashmir. A bomb raid broke out by terrorists. Everyone who were boating in the Dal lake previously were fleeing for their dear lives. I ran towards the shelter of apple woods. In the midst of all this chaos, I saw her shooting with a video camera from behind the thick apple trees.

Love at first sight.

There was a mystique glint of bravery flickering in her eyes.

That's what I liked in her – her eyes and her bravery.

There was no one around. She was startled at first. Confirming that I was harmless, she came forward and dressed my bleeding hand with her scarf.

That was just the start.

During my stay at Kashmir, we exchanged our mobile numbers, talked late into the night and went out in the snow every other day. I must say she talked a lot. A very talkative girl she was!

Our love blossomed in the beautiful land of Kashmir-- rightly called ' heaven on earth'.


I was scared for her...for her life...of her dangerous job.

I pleaded her, persuaded her and pestered her at many instances to quit the job. I wanted us to get married, move to Dalhousie and happily live ever after...always...forever.

She was very adamant of her journalist job. At first I thought she was being headstrong.

One day she told me, “my parents died in front of my eyes in the hands of the terrorists. I was barely seven then! I've dedicated my life to do everything possible in my own small way to uncover their strategies.”

It was then that my love to her took a new dimension. I started respecting her job. My love for her grew even more in intensity.

Relating to those horrid childhood incidents there were tears in her eyes.

Nonetheless, the mystique glint of bravery flickering in her eyes didn't fade away.

That's what I liked in her – her eyes and her bravery.


I was scared.

I was scared for her.
A lie.

In truth I was scared for myself. I can't live without her! I can't envisage a future for myself without her being beside me.

“Hey don't be so gloomy! Do you think I'll die so easily and sacrifice you to the other pretty girls !!?? No way! I'll be there for you...always...forever.” She teased.

I asked ,“ Promise?”

She replied, “ Promise! I rarely promise anyone. But if I do, then I value it with my life!”


When she was away covering news in the war zones, my time would go out of sync with the rest of the world. I would lose track of days and dates. My time was divided into two phases-- the time I was with her and the time I waited for her. I would wait frantically clutching my mobile in my hand for that one call from her, assuring me she's safe and sound.

She feared nothing. She was brave.

She had her priority – her aim of exposing the activities of terrorists.

I had my priority – it was 'she'.


I was in the airport. I got a call. I could not believe my ears! My head was whole world went topsy-turvy!


It was 2 days for my birthday to arrive. She was in Sarajevo reporting the war there live.

I urged her to come back.

She said yes.

It was a promise.

It seemed she had a surprise gift for me and wouldn't reveal it till we met. I pretended to be very much interested to know what the surprise gift was. I didn't want to be a spoilsport.
In truth, the gift didn't matter to me.

It was her coming back from Sarajevo after 2 months which truly was a gift to me.


It was the day of my birthday. I went to the airport to receive her. I was waiting for her eagerly. Finally the flight arrived.

But... there was no sign of her.

I waited for her for another hour.

I heard my cell phone ringing. I was sure it was her. Smilingly I answered the call...but ... it was a male voice.

“I am from BBC news. I'm really sorry to say...but she is no more. She was killed in the war at Sarajevo”.

These words changed my life. For worse.


She did keep her promise to come back on my birthday. But it was not the intact her. Her body was flown in a coffin to the airport. Her luggage was recovered and handed over to me.

I thought I would celebrate my birthday with her lively self around.

I was wrong.

I laid beside her lifeless body and for the first time in my life I cried.

I don't know for how long I cried.

My tears were exhausted. Nonetheless, they could not alleviate the emotions which burnt my heavy heart.

At night, I was flipping through her luggage. The surprise gift she planned for me was a hand woven kerchief with my name embroidered at the center.

It was as if she was consoling me not to cry and wiping my tears with the kerchief.

I preserved everything belonging to her....somethings tangible which lay safely in the cupboard...and as far as those intangible moments were concerned...they were there to stay in my memory, always...forever!


It's been 3 years now. I still couldn't forget her.

Every night, from that day till today, I get scary dreams. She would be writhing and wriggling in pain just in front of my eyes. She would scream at the crest of her voice for help. But I would be handcuffed and helpless to rescue her. She would die every night again and again in my dreams.

I fear sleep.

Every day, those beautiful moments I spent with her keep flashing back. Everything and everyone remind me of her. No matter what I do, I think of her and her thoughts send pangs of pain in my heart. I try to suppress the pain, but the feelings gush out and churn my heart. I take sleeping pills to switch off from the pain.

I fear being awake.

Someone said that love is a bucketful of emotions. So true!

Her voice reverberates in my ears--“ Promise! I rarely promise anyone. But if I do, then I value it with my life!”

She did really have to value the promise with her life. She had to forgo her life...our life!!

It was a broken promise...a promise unkept...a promise unfulfilled.

I am so frustrated that, I want to kill her again and again for her broken promise. Why did she leave me alone??


“You liar! You don't notice my smile! You are always lost in your own dreamy world and stare bleakly into my eyes!”

Yes, I used to lie about her smile. It wasn't her smile or lips that I noticed. I used to look deep into her twinkling eyes. She had an unflinching flame of bravery flickering in her eyes and the brunt of the horrifying images of her parents dying in front of her.

Her eyes spoke for her.

He eyes said it all!

That's what I liked in her – her eyes and her bravery.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The affidavit

I've been pestering Dad for almost an year for buying digital camera. I'm fed up with the conventional camera and with the whole lengthy process of it.I'm lazy in the first place to take the reel to the photo studio. O.k just in case I hand over the photos to the studio ...I hate frantically waiting for the photos to get developed...and finally when these photos arrive...they don't come as I expect(sigh!). This happened everytime-- with my birthday photos, party snaps with friends, photos of family holidaying, the college fresher's day etc etc. You either find me closing my eyes in half of them...or I am still setting my hair or dress being unaware that the photo has been already clicked 2 minutes ago...or give a crooked smile that scares anybody's guts off !So kudos for this revolutionary digital camera--which has refined photo shooting and made this task much more enjoyable. I can delete bad snaps and choose the ones I like.!

I've been convincing dad that my neighbour has it, my friend Priyanka has it, my cousin Souj has it , so why can't I own one? You get the point there right. From past 1 year I failed miserably to persuade him. What not have I tried?? Blackmailed him, tried coaxing him up, buttering up, stopped eating food for a day to put up strike and done pretending to be a good girl in front of him. He has so much grit and determination that he has refused to give in or give up. And so am I ok....neither will I admit defeat so soon.I still am not letting my father be victorious...that battle is yet to be conquered.
And I've devised a final fool-proof plan which is bound to succeed. The affidavit...yes official one. You see the 'Govt. of India' seal there? It is fully original. Here was my plan...not just one of it...but 2 of them..plan A and if it fails plan B.

Plan A-- Here's the rough master idea for you folks--
Take a blank sheet -->Go to dad-->Ask for autograph(Dad's a big sucker for fame...yaps off as if he's a big celeb.So he's bound to fall for this one!!) --> Rest is all in this geniou's hands...edit it as I want....add any number of complicated clauses and fabricate it to suit my needs. (Give a thumbs up to me!!)

Plan B -- My back up plan--
Tare off the affidavit --> Flip it into the trash bin --> Fall on dad's feet --> yell, cry, weep make a hella noise!!
But guys plan A succeeded fortunately(yaay!!). Rest was all history! Dad went berserk. Finally he calmed down. He finally agreed to buy a digi-cam soon!!.. but on a mutual agreement. Dad wanted to add a new clause in the affidaavit that I should get 80 + % in my 3rd year 2nd semister exams. Well, they are anyway to be conducted in next April. So my dad might as well forget about the whole episode by then and on the contrary I am to get my digi-cam just in 2 - 4 days!! yippie!! So I thought there's no harm in signing the agreement.

Finally I got my sister to sign it as an eye-witness to this. So, folks 14th November is a big day for me. In case my Dad fails to keep his word ,I along with the help of my sister, with the proof of the affidavit, have a full-fledged official right to sentence him to jail. Just joking!! won't go that far. Umm..hopefully.He won't leave much of a choice to me if he fails to purchase one.

Will post if I did really purchase one or not. Bye folks!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lip-smacking delights!!

I’ve got refined tastes for food. I am ready to commit any sin in the world in exchange for these lip-smacking delights!!

C for Chocolate

A chunk of fudgy chocolate delight…yummy!

With the pervasive aroma of roasted cocoa beans and the tempting sight of irrestibly rich dark-brown color, I transcend into an altogether heavenly world..!

I savor the taste of melting goodness on my tongue and treasure the sugary sweetness on my taste buds. The soft chocolate moulds tickle my senses. When I feast on a chocolate bar, music seems tangible and vivid images erupt into a wild dance! The world seems to disappear into a momentary oblivion. It evokes fervent fantasies in the deepest of my hearts. My time and space go out of sync with the rest of the universe. A bite of chocolate sinfully inflicts me with inexplicable pleasure and euphoria!

Do not dare to disturb me when I am feasting on a chocolate bar!!!

T for tea

Its snack-o-time!!

This beverage gives me the ever-essential kick and bouts of active jolts for my senses. With just 1 cup of this frizzy hot drink, I get recharged for the task ahead!
This power drink reloads me with activeness and energy required to burn the midnight oil for exams and I keep gulping down oceans and oceans of it. I feel drowsy, restless and withdrawn from the surroundings, with lack of interest and initiative, if I skip tea in the evening snacks-time. And if there’s a pack of crispy biscuits to complement this steaming beverage, there’s nothing more blissful in this world!

I am kind of addicted to this mind stimulant! Someone help me!!
M for mutter paneer masala

I can’t resist salivating at the very sight of this Punjabi dish!!
(Even right now I am going bonkers by seeing this picture above. I am off to pester mom to make it soon!!)

Chunks of diced fresh paneer cubes fried to a golden tinge, studded with garden-fresh green peas marinated in spicy gravy along with crisp kulchas, stir up a tangy tingling sensation in my mouth and I am left bemused. Cottage cheese dumplings impart a unique taste. I munch down to my heart's content and seem to demand more and more till it appeases my hunger pangs!

I am ready to surrender myself and do anything in this world for this treat!! Now you know my week point :)

P for pani puri

I seem not to be content with how many ever gol-gappe I guzzle down! It is such a delicious snack to be eaten during evenings with friends.

I’ve gained over-the-years expertise in gorging down larger-than-my-mouth-sized gappas without spilling even a drop of masala pani down. And the pani-puri walla selling on the cart on pavements might get tired hatching the gappa, stuffing it with spicy fillings and simmering it in masala pani and in no time I seem to gulp them down! I really don’t understand my friends when they complain that pani puri is too spicy and hot for their taste buds and is very cumbersome to eat. They have tough time swallowing the gappas and make a mess by spilling everything.

Ready for gol-gappe contest with me?

Oh, all this talk about food is making me hungry!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The witty reply

It was history class. I was in 4th at that time. My history teacher was very intimidating. Her piercing stern spectacled eyes would command fear. I would dread her class and wait for the bell to ring.

The lesson was on Indus valley civilization and how people back then used to lead their lives.There was a picture of a man bathing in 'The great bath', mohenjadaro. The picture was quite revealing and that ancient man was scantily clad in clothes. We students found it very funny and tried to suppress giggles. But no one dared to laugh out loud due to fear of the teacher. The teacher sensing indisciplined giggles got hot-tempered.

Teacher : What's it? Who's it lauging? Don't you all remove clothes and bath every morning? (more laughther from us)

Teacher:(screeching at the crest of her voice): Sshh!!...What's so funny here? You all will be sent out right now!! I want pin-drop silence now!

We tried to hide our faces behind books. My classmate Vikram was the only bold student who spoke out in defiance. He gave a sharp reply which I haven't forgotten even now.

Vikram: True ma'm we all bath every morning... but we don't have our pictures printed in the text book this way!

To this my teacher didn't have any answer. She was staring at him tongue-tied and flabbergasted. No body dared to back answer her anytime. But Vikram was very intelligent and bold. Eventually she chuckled at the joke and seeing this, our laughter got fueled up and finally the whole class for the first time in the dreadful history period, along with the teacher, were all laughing.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Arun Bhaiyya

It was the day of Raksha Bandhan. All my friends were excitedly couriering rakhis to brothers farway. I didn't have any brothers. I was silently watching them...thinking about him...thinking about the Shatabdi express..thinking about why we lost contact now...thinking of his voice calling me choti...thinking of the train music which was ringing in my ears.These memories were stiffling me and I was carried down the memory lane to that day........

His last words are still reverberating in my ears. It was on the running train, my station was about to come. It was time for good-bye's. I did'nt want the journey to end.Not now...not ever. I wished I could travel for eons with him as if my only destination was the end of the universe itself.

I was on the train back to my place from Bangalore. It was a sultry summer and the afternoon siesta was engulfing me. I was drowsily staring into nothingness outside the window and stiffling yawns, when he walked into train at Bangalore station. Tall, handsome and nice physique...thats what I noticed the first time. His wife was waiting outside bidding good-bye.

I started reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. I don't talk to strangers usually. I was immersed in the fast-paced plot of the book when he started introducing himself and broke the ice.I was startled.

Him: Hi! I am Arun. I work in Navy as a navigator.
Me: Eh..hi!..umm...I am Aparna, finished 12th.
Him: That book you are reading (pointing the novel) ..I've already read it.It's a nice one.
Me: Ya, I feel the same too. Have you watched the movie ' The da vinci code' ? Its by the same author.
Him: Did'nt watch the movie but I read the book. Angels is much better.
Me: Where are you from?
Him: Basically from punjab.But I and my wife stay now in Bangalore. Recently I got a job in navy at Vizag. I came to Blore for holidays.I am rarely at Blore nowadays. I miss my wife.

I've seen his wife. She was very pretty.Later he told me that she is from Hyderabad. He told his love story of how he met his wife in the same train a year back, exchanged numbers, talked frequently late into the night, fell in love and eventually married by eloping. Neither of their parents were happy as they married against their wishes so they came to Bangalore far from their wrath.

Listening to this I said--
Me: Your love story is like the movie ' Kabhi kushi kabie gham'.
Him: Haha.. life's a movie isn't it? I found my wife last year in the same train. And I found a friend like you now in the same train. Thanks to Shatabdi express!

After some time we started playing ' Numero Uno' .Its a card game. I expalined to him the game.He did'nt catch it at at the start but gradually he beat me and won all the games.We talked a lot all during the journey.He showed his photo album of his marriage. We exchanged a great deal about our lives. It was a fun to talk to him.I told him that I finished 12th and now I am looking for admission into a college.He helped me in giving some contact numbers to medical colleges at Bangalore.It seems he knew the administrator of the college.We exchanged numbers. I wrote down his number on the front page of Angels and demons.

It was 9.00 A.M on the next day and my station was about to come.His station was Vizag which would arrive at afternoon.He came till the door to see me off. The train was moving slowly..everything was in slow motion..the music of the train receeding, the hooting siren, the vendors at the station...but all I could listen was only to him.I was mesmerised and kind of moved by his golden words.He was advising me to study well,that I should do well in academics and make my parents proud and that I should never hurt them and pay them back for every little thing they did by fairing well in career.I nodded enthusiastically and hung on to his every word. They were our last words together...they were words of enlightement.

We were in contact for a few months after that by phone. I told him I didn't have any brothers and always hoped I had one.He was more than glad to make me his sister.I would call him Arun bhaiyya. And he would call me choti.

My mischeivous sister tore off the first page of Angels and demons and I lost his number.I later changed my phone number so there's no way he can contact me now.

But I still remember the train journey and his words. Whenever I feel bored of studying, his words ring in my ears and I get reminded to study well. Ever since then I always look for him in the train whenever I go to Bangalore. You never know...god plans interesting ways to meet friends and special ones.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The other side of me

If you ask me who I am, I would say that I am a lifelong student. I may not be perfect, but I am always eager to learn something new, or from my past mistakes. There’s so much to gain from life. I remind myself to keep all my senses open, to know something new every single moment and what’s more wonderful than to have a reliable sixth sense or gut intuition which you can trust, to guide you the right path!

My dad gets transfers often. The new posting could be anywhere in the country..north, south, east or west .I have lived in five different cities and attended 7 different schools and 2 different colleges. I have a feeling we are nomads living in a mobile van. I always felt like a displaced person. I was the new kid on the block- an outsider, creating barrier to make friends. It was a very disruptive life. Each time I would start making friends it was time to say goodbye. Somehow this made me tough from inside, for good, that I have encountered various people, each with their own peculiar personalities. This made me independent. I don’t wait for anyone and don’t expect help from anyone. I am versatile—modern with a touch of conventionality. I can be garrulous or taciturn, rebellious or obedient, innocent or clever, confident or doubtful, brave or timid, simple or intricate. I am a blend of diverging personas. I really could not figure out who I am or what I am yet. I discover something new about myself as I live on, and constantly amaze myself with my potential, which eventually surfaces out, and about which I knew never existed in me.

I love my thoughts, my ideas, my abilities, my strenghts, my weaknesses, my personality, my mentality, my soul, my life and everything else which makes me, 'me '. I always dot an ''i '' or write the word ''me'' or sign my name with a heart...filled with a sense of pride, reverence, love and self-respect for myself.

Words are my forte. I can play with the English language and manipulate the opposite person to give in and say something by which I can have an advantage over him. I treat English language with veneration. The one commendable job the Britains did by ruling over us was to pass on the English legacy to us. I am so communicative and expressive in it. Not even my mother tongue makes me so comfortable. In all those new schools when I had to reach out my classmates and teachers, only English would come to my rescue. It was a bridge between us.

I’ve always found solace with books, novels, magazines and comics. I came to know a lot from them. Even back in school I used to look forward for the library period and I bet all my classmates in the number of books borrowed. I loved the literature class back in school. Our English teacher was very inspirational and she had complete command over English. It was she, who instilled the seed of love for prose, poetry and creative writing. If I were not studying pharmacy today, my choice would be, to become a column writer for newspapers.. or hopefully even a newspaper editor.

My English teacher once said that at the age of 21, one would be living the happiest moments of life. I am waiting to become 21 and wish my age would freeze then and there. I wish I had the power of turning back the time and rewinding the magic of 21 even after I cross it.

I might be only 19 but its like I've already lived a 30. I have witnessed so much in such a short span of my life...different people..different mentalities..different culture..different language..everything divergent and totally contrasting the previous place. I have traveled a lot and seen all there is to see in India...umm…atleast a major part of it. I agree that India holds a lot of beauty and tourist delights that it would take a lifetime to completely enjoy it. But nevertheless you can say I've 'been there, 'done that'.

If you asked me to define life, I would be at a total loss of words. I could say ‘it is a span of time and a series of experiences between life and death’…but on second thoughts ..isn’t life much more than that? The more you live the more enigmatic life becomes. And this enigma itself is the beauty of life. I think no one ever, however great one is, can define life in its ‘real’ sense, because no body has lived truly and to the fullest to provide a suitable definition to life. That’s because a lifespan of 100 years is very short to truly 'live'.

A 100 years is just a speck of grain in the hourglass to truly behold the beauties of earth. I would like to go on a world tour someday. Meeting different people and customs has become an inevitable part of my life though I welcomed it or not and now it has become my passion. I used to despise making new friends. I used to be shy trying to pretend I enjoyed being a loner. But now I have changed a lot. I am hungry of meeting new friends. As I come across someone new, it might take me time to melt away the emptiness in conversations, break the ice and delabel him as a ‘stranger’ but once that happens I am very talkative and it is very hard to zip my mouth. There is no stopping me when it comes to gossiping on the topic of books, music and movies—my 3 lifelines.

I am so used to new places that my stay in the place I live currently is making me suffocate and I can’t wait to get out of here and discover a new city. I am getting bored out of life here. Its like I am sleepwalking through my life. Its like I’ve already lived my life and living the same day again and again with nothing exciting or eventful happening. I am adventurous by heart but till now there came no chance along—no bungee jumping, no paragliding, no trekking, no camping and of that sorts. My time has gone out of sync with that of the world. I am still waiting for that one chance to prove myself and to show others and... even to myself who I really am.

My dad said he is expecting a transfer next year. I hope all these moments until next year melt off and in no time I get transcended to a new place and make new friends!

In heaven-9/11 tribute

I learnt how to swim this summer.
I can even open my eyes when I'm underwater!

I can swing on the swing by myself!
Even though I miss you pushing me.

I miss how you used to tickle me!

A child speaks to her father who is no more. He is a victim of 9/11 incident.The conversation is so innocent and heart-touching. Try..oh just try to keep your legs still..try not to cry!

I was all tears after I listened to this. It stirred up my emotions and left a deep wrenching pain in me. Thanx to Rohit Jain for sharing this.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The perfect gift

I went to exhibition yesterday night with Manisha, Dilip and Padmaja. I had lots of fun..went on to the rides..columbus, giant-wheel, brake-dance etc etc and ate a lot. While coming out I saw a vendor selling bubble-liquid. I got reminded of this story I read from reader's digest and instantly purchased it. I gave it to my sister to play. She was very happy!

"But what will you take for her?”

Nitin asked me. He seemed almost as anxious as I was on this occasion. Okay, so that’s what friends were for… but right now he was not helping me at all.What would I take for her? The instant answer was “Myself” but I thought it was safer not to say anything. Nitin was the earnest type and he would not like me making light of the situation. The situation? My planning to propose to Richa. Big momentous occasion on the cards. All planned by the small guy.Did I say ‘small’? I didn’t feel that small. I felt like I owned the world. After all, Richa was almost mine, so to speak. And who wouldn’t be happy with a girl like that. She was everything I wanted in someone I was willing to spend the rest of my life with. She was fun, witty, charming and the best part was she understood me. Well, over the last couple of months, I too was faintly beginning to understand her. Nitin’s verdict of Richa being a 'good girl' notwithstanding, I knew there were many times when I could have torn my gelled hair in despair trying to figure out what was it she wanted to say when she clammed up and said, “Nothing”.

There were times when all she wanted to do was tell me about her day. Which was fine as long as she did not ask me about mine. I mean work was work, what else did one say about it. Then there was a time when she picked up a bottle of bubble liquid from a man selling balloons on the road. “Grow up”, I told her laughing, yet somewhat embarrassed. People on the street were staring at us, though they were all smiling indulgently at her. “ Why should I?” was her quick rejoinder. I had, as usual, no answer to that as a bubble settled on my nose. But over time, I think I can understand her. No, maybe I understand myself better. And our relationship. I now know for a fact that we are definitely different.I know that I need to lend her a listening ear time and again. She simply wants to be heard. And I have told her that I really do not need to share every office issue with her.

I know that when she gives me space to have my night out with the boys, she is expecting that one-minute phone call to say that I still think of her. Easier said than done when you are in the middle of a heated football discussion, but I can do it now.

“So what are you going to get her” interjected Nitin into my thoughts. “Do you know what I suggest?” I smiled. I didn’t want to know. This momentous occasion would be ours. Richa’s and mine. I was going to propose to her. The setting would be perfect. And I was going to take a bottle of bubble liquid for her.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bad luck with guys !! Part - 2

Yet another incident prooves my bad luck with guys...


I went to IBM at indiranagar, Bangalore with my classmate. Her brother -in-law is a software head at IBM. Next to the building of IBM were all other software giants like Dell,HP, Yahoo! IBM was ultra-modern and so majestic. The security was strict. They gave us visitor's passes and we had to wear our ID'S compulsorily. I was filled with awe at the workplace. Young software employees were busy in their cabins working with their laptops, checking files, making phone calls and all. Girls were pretty with their corporate trousers and men were well-groomed with suits and ties. I thought if I studied engineering I could have had a chance to work here. My classmate shared my thoughts too. She showed me her brother-in-law's cabin. We went to the pantry and did hell of a mischief there....playing with the coffee maker,mixing different coffee flavours, loud jokes ..all unlikely things decent computer employees would do at a sophisticated place like IBM. They couldn't help smiling at us. We had cappuchino and expresso. I liked cappuchino but expresso was very bitter. We made lotsa mess in the pantry. In short I had a great time. We both planned that we will marry a software worker from IBM. We both were amazed at the sophisticatedness of the place and grew in love with IBM.

My classmate took pictures of mine in different poses. I was walking seriously talking in a phone just like any CEO and she clicked my picture. And then I was standing at the entrance busily glancing the content of the files and she clicked my picture. Anyone would believe that I work at IBM after looking those pictures. Then we saw one empty cabin. We sneaked in, I sat on the chair. The name plate read 'Shubodeep Rai Chaudary - Team manager'. I started typing in the computer as if I owned the cabin and wore his specs. My friend clicked that picture too.

The next day, there was a naming ceremony of my classmate's brother-in-law's 5month old son. I was invited. All IBM workers were also invited. I joked to her that I was on a mission to impress Shubhodeep Rai Chaudary and I will take extra time in getting ready and will look my best. I was searching for him frantically in the crowd. Even she was searching for a handsome IBMite just for fun sake.

So our guy comes. doubt about that. I was looking at him from one corner. He was shaking hands with his co-workers. Next a pretty lady in sari stepped beside him (sigh!) And as if that was not enough...a 2 yr old kid gave an entry beside them!!

My friend and me looked at each other..winked and had a hearty laugh at the whole thing! It all seemed so funny at the end.

Bad luck with guys!! Part - 1

I always have bad luck with guys...


I gave some tops of mine to get them pressed to a laundry wala with a 'gaadi' by the streetside. He said something in Kannada which I could not understand except that he was asking me to collect them at 7.30 in the evening. So, I went to my room and returned at 7.30 P.M, only to find out that he was nowhere to be seen. I quickly disregarded the thought that he ran away with my tops...cute expensive tops which I purchased from Commercial Street. I must have seemed very innocent and gullible. I really did'nt know what to do. I was sad and I went back to my room reassuring myself that he might have retired early from the work for that day and he would be back the next day.

So the next day I went to that street but he was'nt there. But his gaadi was tied to a pole there. So I thought he couldn't have escaped with my clothes with his cart left there ater all.

The next day I went again. And this time expect what...his cart was also gone! This was when I started getting worried. I asked the passer-bys about this dhobiwala but they diddn't seem to know much. There was a house nearby. So I knocked their door with the hope that they could be of help.

An elderly man opened the door. He was very hospitable and friendly. He didn't seem to know much of the laundry man but wanted to help me inspite of this. He said that he would call me to inform if he returned. He called out some 'chintu' or 'pintu' ..i don't clearly remember...for noting down my mobile number in a book. I expected a 10 year old boy. But no! It was a handsome young man...very dashing in looks, tall and good-looking. This elderly man explained everything to his son and his son came forward and asked my mobile number! I went bonkers then. He looked into my eyes and bent down his head getting conscious and blushed a little. It was then I realised that I was eyeing him and staring for 30 whole seconds involuntarily .O.k I am not a big sucker for guys but he was really good-looking. Stammering, I gave my mobile number(I was still in shock at my luck).

I seriously considered asking his mobile number so that I can call him out asking if this ironwala returned or not. Its being very dificult for me to walk all the way from my room till there. On second thoughts I felt it would be stupid and I would seem desperate( i hell was!).

Later this elderly man called out, 'bahu! ek ladki aayi hai. Usko pani do'.

You might have already expected what happened. This bahu turned out to be the wife of this young man. She was very pretty and of the traditional sorts. Embroidered sari, jingling bangles and a big bindi....she looked very innocent and beautiful. She handed a glass of water to me and her husband each. He smiled at her..killer smile..very wide and breath-taking! They made a cute couple. I think they were newly weds and the chemistry was still afresh between them.

I gulped down water(i really needed that) and went back...partly sad at the tragic ending and partly angry at how silly I was.

The next day I did little detective work and found out this ironwalla's home(Nancy Drew style!). I got my clothes back and scolded him for running away with my clothes. I never received any call from this handsome man.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lost at night

This happened during my stay in Bangalore. After my classes got over at 8.30 I went strolling in 4th block and ate in a fast food joint. I went very far to explore newer streets and lanes. Glancing my watch I realized it was 9 P.M and that I had to hurry back soon. But it hit me hard when I could not find my way back. I forgot the way I took to come here and was unaware of where to go next. I didn't even know which locality I was in. The surroundings seemed very strange and eerie. It was pitch-dark at that night with not a street lamp there to dispel the dense darkness. It was a no-moon day and the sky stared back at me with all hostility. There was not a soul ahead on the road till my eyes could gaze. I could not ask anyone the directions. It was very spooky. I was hesitating with every step I took, with the fear that I was estranged further by more paces away from my cozy room. I didn't know whether I was retreating away from my destination or going towards it. For a split second I was devastated that I would have to spend the dark night alone outside frantically searching and searching till I give up. I found few people at a distance, but they seemed not to be good. My intuition warned me to slip away from there secretly before they caught a glimpse of me. I was treading faster now in another direction. I was relieved to be on the main road. But still the road was deserted. I wondered what happened to all the nightlife in Bangalore and who the hell said that Bangalore never sleeps at night! They are all asleep in their warm beds and I am here outside shivering with fright and cold.

Finally a RTC bus came and some people got down . I scanned for females looking friendly and approachable. I felt everybody had loathing looks. They all looked tired and no one seemed to help out a silly girl asking directions. I was still was scarred of the whole incident. I vowed to god that if I would reach my room safely I would never venture out to unknown places. I was still trembling as I approached one respectable looking lady and…

Me: Swimming pool? (My room is in 3rd block. Swimming pool is the landmark closer to my room.)
Her: That way. Come with me. I am going there too.
I followed her. She seemed nice at first impression. And she was very helpful. But I had a nagging doubt deep down in my heart. My intuition did tell me she was worth trusting.
Her:(pointing to a banana she was eating): Want some?
Me: No thanks.
After a moment silence I said hesitatingly… I am lost actually.
Her: Oh, There’s nothing to be lost. You see Madhavan Park over there? That’s the landmark. Adjoining that there’s the swimming pool.
Me: (nodding but silent)
Awkward silence for a bit too long…
Her:(breaking the silence…glancing at her watch): 9’0 clock. Its late at night.
Me: I know that’s why I am terrified. I thought I will shop around in 4th block and I kept walking and walking till I realized I could not find the way back.
Her: That’s alright anyway. Don’t take this lane at night though. It’s not safe.
That scarred the remaining guts outta me!
Me:(just to keep the conversation going on): What do you do?
Her: I work in Tata consultancy. I am late today. I had to do some work till now.

She was pointing out directions and explaining it to me.
Her: Where are you from?
Me: I am from Andhra. I am here in Bangalore for vacation.
Her: Good god! So you don’t even know Kannada?
Me: Not that much…
We were still walking to reach the pool. She seemed very friendly and nice.
Her: That’s terrible. Don’t you have your roommate’s cell numbers?
Me: I do. But I thought I would find out the directions myself.
Her: You could have hired an auto. He charges Rs.14 for places inside jayanagar.
Me: Ohk…Umm…where are you from?
Her: We are basically from Rajasthan. But we settled here 30 years ago.
Me: ahan..
Her: Are you searching for a job?
Me: No. I am a student. I am here for GRE classes.
Her: (pointing to the banana she was munching) I am very hungry! We are almost there. That’s the pool. Don’t take this street. It later bifurcates into two and you will be confused. Take the next street and walk along the straight sloping road. There you will find Ganesha temple. Do you know the way from there?
Me: Yes. Where do you stay?
Her: Here only. Little further.
In happiness and relief I was trying to cross the road without heeding an approaching auto.
Her: Careful! Just wait. Yes now you can go. Bye!

I knew the way from there. I was thankful to reach the familiar locality of 3rd block. It seemed very funny at that moment that I didn't venture far out from 3rd block. I was wandering very near only. All I had to do was to take the straight road. And I was worried that I was lost! They say that you can never get lost in Bangalore. It is really true!

I hurriedly bid her good-bye and walked as fast as my legs could carry me back to my room. It was 9.45 P.M by the time I reached. I didn't ask her name and don’t know where she lives. She seemed to be a young lady of around 28.

I just want to say…hey whoever you are…Thanks a lot!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Issue Topics- GRE

The issue topics I wrote about in my GRE class. I was appreciated by my teacher for my essays and got the highest score in the class. I was so elated then and went to treat myself with paneer fried rice. I have a flair for creative writing. Maybe I will become a column writer for a reputed newspaper like 'The Hindu' or 'The Indian Express' some day. I wish there is a 'Aparna's column' just like 'Paul Krugman's column'. In my school days too, I could see the satisfied smiles from my English teacher whenever my essays would be up the desk for correction.

1) ''If a goal is worthy, then any means taken to achieve it is justifiable'
In this fast paced world, people have seemed to have broken their ties with ethics and morals. Froth has formed on ethical temperament and reasoning which is preventing them to perceive and acknowledge the conspicuous variation between fair and unfair means. People hardly take time to evaluate their deeds and give a second thought to the question “Is this unfair path I’ve chosen to achieve my goal really worthy?”
World renowned personality Mahatma Gandhi truly quoted ‘They say the means are after all just means. I would say means are after all everything. As the means, so the end.’
Pure goals can never justify impure or violent action.The end justifies the means. So, I would have to say that I believe that the goal is less important than the means because doing the morally correct thing is what makes the end worthwhile. Ghandhi’s noble means of non-violence in envisioning the goal of independent India alone broke us free from the shackles of British clutches as against to the violent means adopted by many other freedom fighters.
According to me there can exist no unworthy goal. Goal is the purpose we live for, and we strive for it by all means possible – fair or unfair. To assert that even unfair means adopted to achieve a goal can be justified is a mistaken idea and has a flawed reasoning.
A person who adopts unjust means to achieve a goal will have to regret at some point of his life. His pricking guilt conscience doesn’t allow him to relish his success. He will soon realise that this unjust means of achieving a goal is ignoble. As opposed to this if a person strives hard on the right and honest path, though he won’t achieve his goal, he realises that his efforts were worth it and he will have an innate satisfaction about his pains regardless of his gains.
For instance, in an exam if a student secures even a university rank by malpractice it will be of meagre value. On the contrary if he attempts the questions fair and square, he can analyse his performance and the areas he requires thorough preparation. This realisation is much more valuable than his securing a university rank.
All goals seem worthy enough to oneself. There’s no question of an unworthy goal. A thief steals with a good aim of feeding his wife and children and convinces himself that he is doing nothing erroneous. In the name of Almighty terrorists from Pakistan commit brutal crimes and kill innocent laymen. For them ‘Jihad’ is a holy war and a noble end and means in itself. They christen themselves to be ‘warriors of the god’. I often wonder how merciless killings can and mayhem be justifiable in the name of ‘Jihad’? A terrorist would adopt immoral means which lacks code of ethics. He is blindfolded and fails to distinguish the crystal-clear contrast between just and unjust. He will be under the aegis of the worthiness of the motives and commit many atrocities in the excessive fanatism of seeking his goal. Though it may seem noble enough to him, he will not be granted amnesty. Our legal system and constitution doesn’t justify unfair means and sees to that a wrong-doer is convicted however pure his goals may be.

Maharastrian fanatics of ‘ shiv sena’, feel that people foreign to Maharastra from north and south India had migrated to Mumbai. They are angry that Maharastrian customs and Marathi language are at stake due to cosmopolitanism. They feel that Marathi locals face competition at schools, colleges and offices for admission and jobs and are breached of their prerogatives. It is an invasion into their culture and encroachment into their land. They presume that others are inflicting north and south Indian customs into their’s. As a result Maharastra is losing its true identity and its culture has become amorphous. They show their outburst of anger and resentment and resort to evil means in the defence of their goal of securing and reviving Maharastrian identity. They claim themselves to be ‘sons of soil’ and forge ahead to any extent in driving away foreigners from their land. Their means can’t be justified.
The LTT group of Sri Lanka want a separate province for tamilians in Sri Lanka. They employ violent killings ad heinous crimes to achieve their goal. Instead they should proceed legally, fight elections and then form a government in Sri Lanka.
Maoists and naxalites in A.P, Orissa etc. commit gruesome crimes to achieve proper wealth distribution and reduce the discrepancies between have’s and have- not’s. They cogent themselves saying that their goal is pious and pure. No doubt about it. But the path they have chosen must be pure enough too. Following this, thefts of Robin hood who stole from the rich to distribute the wealth among the poor should be frowned upon.
American government presided by Bush suspected that Iraq was harbouring many lethal weapons. In order to seize them and disarm Saddam Hussein, America waged a war against Iraq which claimed many lives, blood and wealth. Many families were left bereft. This created many Osama Bin Ladens who out of retaliation and vengeance blasted the twin towers and the pentagon. Diamond cuts diamond. Violence seeks violence. Peace invites peace. They say ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’. True, if there’s a burning desire to achieve a goal, there will be million, but not one means of achieving it. But the means should be fair and just. Instead of violence America should have had negotiated and brought pressure on Iraq’s economy by creating economic restrictions and cutting down export supplies with which eventually Iraq would have been compelled to surrender.

In some instances people adopt cruel and cunning means. The classic example of this can be dated back to Greek history when Greece after years of trying to conquer Troy finally gave up and gifted a horse to Troy. Actually the Trojan horse was a dubious plot to trick the Trojans. Troy was burnt to the ground. I agree that ‘everything is fair in love and war’ but this earned the Greece a derogatory reputation till date. This gave birth of the abashing adage’ Beware of Greeks bearing gifts’. Many historians criticise their conduct even today.

Foe research and clinical trials many animals like guinea pigs and rabbits are sacrificed for experiments and for a noble cause of breakthrough invention in medicine and science. This is very inhumane and government has imposed a ban on animal tested products.

Some day or the other cruel means adopted will pay and will lead to one’s own downfall. A student doing malpractice in exam has good chances of getting caught and get debarred. Sprtstars like Jesse Owens who win race by energy boosters will be debarred from sports and earn a bad reputation not only to themselves but to the zeal of sportsmanship itself.
People only recognize and appreciate honesty and sincerity. Sania Mirza may not be World No.1 but she is still bolstered and cheered worldwide. Even if she loses the game people will encourage her but if she won a championship with the aid of steroids, the same people will despise her.
For each one of them their goal seemed worthy enough to themselves, but the unjust path chose by them got them bad reputation and they certainly will have qualms about their deeds tomorrow if not today.
If unfair means is justifiable then the world would be full of terrorists and anti-social elements spreading antipathy and animosity in the sole misconception and fallacy that to achieve their goal the wrong path trodden by them can be excused.. Hence ‘honesty is the best policy’. Only honest means to achieve a goal is justifiable.

2) ' An academic discipline alters the way we percieve the world. After studying the discipline we see the same world as before but with different eyes.'
Knowledge is an abstract matter which we acquire in the ongoing process of our life, meant to fabricate our thoughts, conduct, ideas, perception and senses in a matured and polished way. The sources from which one can imbibe knowledge can be academics, history, environment, from people, culture, sports field, nature etc. We later extract these fragments of knowledge by divulging into the layered depths of our minds and conflate it in a way the situation demands, when we confront with various circumstances in life. Academics are meant to lend morality to our demeanor and thoughts, provide etiquette and healthy habits, prepare us with the technical and vocational skills required to pursue our career and to win daily bread, and to equip ourselves with all the tools required to confront with situations in life.
According to me it is fully justified, to assert that academics transform the way we perceive the world. We see the world like never before in a different angle. Academics fine tunes our personality. It is affirmatory that academics provide rose-colored spectacles to our sight and by devouring these spectacles, we see the intricate details of facts, and clear and cogent explanations given by science for the questions of ‘how’ and ‘why’. We no longer see the hazy world and blurred doubts of an inacademic. Instances which we couldn’t understand or interpret earlier attain a newer meaning and conceptualization. Academics molds our mind and we start to ponder over real life situations from a different view point. Images converge and diverge to our eyes for our mind to assimilate and interpret in a matured way. We can offer explanations for the most inexplicable and perplexing mysteries of the world for which without the academic chiseling of the mind we would wonder of the plausible reasons.

Often, as a child, I would get scared of the very thought of what would happen if I traveled to the end of the world. Would I just tip off the cliff and get sunken in the murky inferno below? After I attended my academic classes it was reassuring to know that our earth is not flat and I would return to the same place from where I started. I also remember wondering how suddenly a blooming flower would metamorphoses into a plump fruit. I later came to know that it happens so due to pollination of bees.

Without academics rising and setting of sun, the day-night cycle, changing of seasons, the rainbow, and the rain will be considered to be divine manifestations of the Almighty. An academic on the other hand understands that the rising and setting of sun, and day-night cycle are due to rotation of the earth, change of seasons is due to revolution of earth, rainbow is yet another case involving physics principles of refraction of light rain through the rain drops and rain is due to evaporation-condensation-precipitation of water from water bodies. An academic knows that gleaming pearls are nothing but mere sand particles entrapped in an oyster and shining diamonds are nothing other than an allotropic form of unimpressive coal.
People without academic fabrication of their minds would be innocent, ignorant and superstitious. For an inacademic with no knowledge of geography floods are angry deluge of gods. Earthquakes, whirlpools and storms are the manifestations of evil spirits playing havoc on mankind. Where as, a learned has a different insight towards these mishaps. He has learnt that earthquakes are just seismic and tectonic plate disturbances, floods occur when rivers are overfed with rains and, storms and whirlpools arise due to wind current disturbances. He even has knowledge on how to prevent these predicaments and equips himself to safety.
Chicken-pox and leprosy patients were once preconceived that their souls were ingested by evil forces and they were battered upon mercilessly to drive away these spirits. This precognition resulted in more misery to the already miserable patient. With science and technology included in our academic curriculum, we now have adequate knowledge to prevent and cure many diseases.
An academic understands his responsibility towards his society, contributes to the progress of mankind, is mentally and physically healthy, differentiates between just and unjust, understands his purpose of life and has knowledge on his prerogatives and duties. On the contrary a person who is not shaped with the academic bent of mind wanders off in this world without understanding his duties. He doesn’t ‘live’ but merely ‘survives’. It would be crucial to bring this difference into limelight. Men are created to ‘live’ actively and be responsible by utilizing each second of his life fruitfully, where as animals are genetically predisposed to equip themselves with basic instinctive knowledge which is inherited from parents to their off springs just to ‘survive’ life and pass their lives on earth.
An inacademic may not understand the function of T.V and stares blandly at the images screened, wondering how come he is able to watch a cricket match happening in Leeds from his own home. On the contrary a person with academic knowledge knows that the images are transmitted by satellites to cable stations which later reach the T.V tubes. He knows the mechanic and electronic circuits operating in it. He can even repair any faults in T.V. With academic learning innovations, inventions and discoveries become possible. The heights of the skies and depths of the ocean can be conquered and are no longer distant dreams.
Without academics there would be no explanation as to why a chameleon changes its colors, why a firefly emits light, why a flower is so richly colorful, why tides soar high on a full-moon day, why moon changes its phases, how babies are born, how was life created on earth………An inacademic may think that man had suddenly dropped onto the earth from nowhere and believes in legends of Adam and Eve. But a person with knowledge on anthropology appreciates Darwin’s theory of evolution and that we are just advanced creations of apes!
In conclusion, if a person is inculcated with academic discipline, he is lent with rose-colored spectacles to see the world in a crystal-clear way and hence he strides ahead with confidence. While a person who is not learned will see the world in a murky way and he toddles with uncertainty.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This is where I truly belong!

Its been 2 years since my last visit to B'lore. It has grown prettier and bigger. This is not like the city I lived 8 years ago. It has changed a lot. It seems strange to me. I feel lost here.

Friends have become busy. All the roads, shops, houses I know have all disappeared and replaced by something new.I thought I would be home away from home here. Rather, I feel suffocated and homesick. Living has become expensive. There's a towering hike in the prices. Autowallas charge atleast Rs.30 extra of the prices 8 years ago, for the same distances. The plate of idli costing Rs.10 then became Rs. 15 now. Even my favourite pani puri prices have gome up by Rs.5. People have forgotten their sweet manners.O.k I am generalising this...but my encounter with an auto driver made me misconceptualise that way. The city seems busy and rude. I feel like a fish out of a pond.

Umm.. not that I completely dislike it. I do welcome these changes. After all life can't stay stangnant. After second thoughts, I started appreciating the novelity and modernity of the city. I am actually enjoying my stay here. I've met my friends after a long time but the same familiarity and intimacy returned even after all this empty gap in time. Neither distance nor time could break us apart.

I've been adventurous and explored this city...atleast for some part of jayanagar. The streets have changed a lot. But still that nostalgic feeling lingers over me and grips me when I walk down the sreets. Everything seems vaguely familiar.. yet strange. I have a deja vu feeling that I 've already walked these roads, spoke to the shopkeepers, purchased in the same shop, ate in the same fast food joint, went to the same temple eight years ago...but I am not sure if this is my first encounter or not. I have an illusion of previously experiencing all this.

I almost had to fight back my tears when I had a glimpse at my old home at W.M.S campus at jayanagar. The campus has developed a lot. The kids of my X-neighbours grew older. I smiled at them but realized they don't recognise me anymore when they did'nt return my smiles.New buildings, gardens and more greenery around in the campus. I felt a strong urge to come back here again and claim my home. But it belongs to someone else now.

I played shuttle with my friend . The old times when I used to play badminton everyday without fail, flashed before me. I was hardly able to hit the cock now...I lost touch with the game.I can no longer speak Kannada fluently and back then I could even write in that language. I may not be a part of the city now. I'll be here only for a month.I am just a visitor or a tourist desperately asking the passer-bys directions for destinations. I hate the sick feeling of hesitation and uncomfort when I stay in someone's else home as a guest.

Someday I'll have my own home here.Then I can proudly say I am a Bangalorean. I know after my studies, I'll settle here and live here forever.This is where I truly belong!

Yeah...I'll be back!!..I promise.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Pehli Nazar Mein-Atif Aslam

Pritam Chakraborthy is among the best music directors in bollywood and Atif Aslam is the best singer (only after K.K though).They teamed up to deliver this goosebumping track, of which I can't get enough.
Today I read in newspaper that Pritam's tunes are not original....yet another case of plagiarism and stealing of authentic copyrights.Nevertheless I like listening to Pritam's songs especially of 'jab we met'and 'dhoom'.
Atif's voice sounds something from the future and very unconventional.He has got that ..umm...sufi touch in his voice. His voice is so dynamic. When the song starts you would presume that this is going to be just another normal track but as the lyrics play they catch up your attention and the smooth vocals by Atif impress you.

Pehli nazar mein Kaise jaadoo kar diya
Tera ban baita hai Mera jiya
Jaane kya hoga Kya hoga kya pata
Is pal ko milke Aa jee le zara

Mein hoon yahan Tu hai yahan
Meri bahon mein aa Aa bhi ja
O jaan-e-jaan Dono jahan
Meri bahon mein aa Bhool Ja aa

Baby i love u, baby i love you, baby i love you,
baby i love

Atif Aslam...he is one singer who has got both charming looks and an arresting voice.Cheers to him!This Pakistani singer is truly a gift to bollywood.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I am a fool!!

Know the game ‘Christmas Angel’?
All the names of your friends are written in chits, you’ve to pick up one and send gifts or friendship notes secretly to that person on the chit. Then on Christmas night that person tries to guess his secret admirer, who showers gifts on him like an angel. If he guesses the wrong name, you get an expensive gift from him and if he is right you lose the gift. Fun isn’t it?

7 yrs ago, I was in 8th class when we girls played this game and I picked up Akshara’s name. For a week I secretly dropped chocolate bars and all other small fancy gift items in her bag while she was away.
I too was getting gifts from the person who picked up my name. I had no clue who my angel was.

During class break one day, I successfully placed a greeting card in Akshara's desk without her knowledge. Later she looked at the card and…
She: Here goes my secret angel again. Do you by the way have any of the faintest ideas who she is Aparna?
Me (trying to look as innocent as possible): Nopes. What did she give you anyway?
She: An archies card…(reading the message in the card) Aw! its sweet except for one thing.
Me(curiously): Well, what’s that?
She: (She read out from the card):‘from your secret admirer, class VII B’. She wrote VII B instead of VIII B.
Me: (as an unconscious and instant reaction):Oops! Aisa kya?I wrote by mistake!

I had to give Akshara a cute china clay showpiece of 2 friends hugging each other in the christmas party...damn expensive one! ...costed all my hard-earned pocket money :(
My secret admirer was Dwithi.I couldn't guess that(obviously!..with me what else can you expect!).I lost my gift(sigh!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My favourite passtime

I love to read anything and everything that comes in my way.Reading novels, discourses by famous personalities and biographies has been my favourite passtime for a long time now.

There's so much content in the books to read, interpret and learn. I never get bored of the monotony in my life, if there's a book to fill in my empty time.Its like a book is my best friend.It tells me stories of someone in joy or in pain or in despair of failure or enjoying the pinnacles of success and lots more.I get involved with the character so much and every plot the character experiences becomes a part of my life for the time-being.It makes my imagination go wild and mind trascends all horizons and boundaries and gets carried away and adopts the personality of a new being in a different land and I armour a new life.It makes me break the monotony of my own life and forget who I am.Its my ability that I identify and relate to all the characters and get into the skin of them.My mind is very free to explore all the twists and turns.There's always an innate stimulus and backdrop for a novel's action in me that complement my reading experience thoroughly.

Right from the first page of the prologue I create a 3-dimensional screening of the sceenes and tare through the pages till the end of the book.I don't just read...I visualise and read.And my visualisation and imagination is richer that that of any famous cinematographer.I mean I imagined Harry Potter and hogwarts reading J.K Rowling's books in an outstandingly creative way that I was very much disappointed with the movie.The movie did'nt meet my expectations and could'nt compare with my visualisation.My friends felt the same way too.Books are always better.It doesn't confine your imagination.Your mind is free to wander.But with a movie you don't have much choice than to watch whatever the cinematographer has to project.

I devour books and they gratify my thirst for learning something new.You will get the knowledge to discrimate between good and bad, just and unjust by reading other people's lives.Their lives are free for us to access ...even if it is of an imaginary and fictious person.

My friends ask me if it is a painful and boring experience reading each line and turning away pages one-by-one until the fat novel is finished.I think to myself that they don't know its such a joyful way to pass freetime.They don't know what they are missing.I mean what's your life worth if you don't read those classics by world-reknown authours. They would rather sit in groups and do all the unhealthy gossiping.That is something I find very boring.I would rather be happy if you give me a book.

Here's a list of all the books I read till now and I intend to update it everytime I read another one.I hope the list hits a century soon because I just love reading them!

Sidney Sheldon --Tell me your dreams,Nothing lasts forever,Rage of angels,Morning noon or night,Memories of midnight,Master of the game,If tomorrow comes,Windmills of the god,The sands of time,The doomsday conspiracy,The stars shine down,The sky is falling ,Are you afraid of the dark? , The naked face, The stranger in the mirror,Bloodline,The other side of me.
Tilly Bagshawe- Sidney's mistress of the game, After the darkness
Erich Segal -- Love story, Doctors
Paulo Coelho --The alchemist , By the side of river Piedra I sat down and wept , Eleven minutes, Fifth mountain
J.K Rowling -- The philopherer's stone,The chamber of secrets,Prisoner of azkaban,The goblet of fire, The Half-Blood price ,The deathly hallows.
Enid Blyton -- Malory towers
Chetan Bhagat -- One night @ the call centre, Five point someone, The 3 mistakes of my life, 2 States, Revolution 2020
Kelsley Robert -- In the bride's defence
James Hardley Chase -- Make the corpse walk
Robin Cook -- Brain,Crisis,Toxin,Coma,Outbreak,Chromosome 6
Some books of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys series and Chicken soup
Dan Brown -- Deception point,Angels and Demons
John Grisham -- The innocent man
Michael Chricton --Sphere
John Gray -- Men are from mars, women are from venus
Rosie Thomas -- Sun at midnight
Frederick Forsyth -- The afghan
Michael Connelly -- Echo park
Kavya Vishwanathan -- How Opal Mehta got kissed, got wild and got a life.
Dr. Spencer Johnson -- Who moved my cheese?
Stephen R. Covey --Choice
Rajashree -- Trust
Tushar Raheja -- Anything for you ma'am
Robin Sharma-- Monk who sole the ferrari
Shobhhaa De' -- Speedpost,Spouse, Starry nights
Brad Meltzer-- The first counsel
Margarett Mitchell --Gone with the wind
Osho-- So lost, and so at home
Sudha Murthy-- How I taught my grandmother to read and other stories, Mahashwetha, Dollar bahu
Stephanie Mayer -Twilight, New moon,Eclipse, Breaking dawn, Host
Novoneel Chakraborty- A thing beyond forever
Anirban Bose- Bombay girls, Bombay rains
L.J. Smith-The vampire diaries series-The awakening
Cecelia Ahen- P.S I Love you, Thanks for the memories
E.L James- Fifty shades of Grey
Ravinder Singh-I too had a love story
Mandar Kokate -Oh shit, not again!
Emily Bronte- Wuthering heights
Sophie Kinsella - The undomestic goddess, Can you keep a secret?, Mini shopoholic

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