Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Kaun hai yeh log

Kaun hai yeh log jo kal tak mere dost the
Jo iss haadse se pehle lagta tha mere jaise hi hai
Jinki baatien, kaam, khayal, libaas bhi ek se the
Par ab jab sarr par junoon sawaar huya
To ek daravaana ghinona chehra nikalkar aa raha hai
Jo shehar aur desh chhodkar bhaagne ki baat kar rahe hain
Jo ek mazhab ke sabhi logon ko dushman karar kar rahe hai
Jo sirf hamle aur badle ki firaq mein hai
Jo apne ghar apne gharwalon se aage kuch dekhna chahate hi nahi
Jo logon ke naam sunkar unki kabaliyat par shaque karte hain
Main jab hairat bhari nazron se unhe dekhti hoon
To mujhe apni kamtari ka ehsaas hota hai
Phir ek baar jald baazi mein dhoka khaya….

An Appeal

Of course we are angry
And the anger is justified
Our government has let us down
Our intelligence seems anything but intelligent
And yes the Pakistan media is adding to the madness
Just like our politicians are by proving their incompetence with unfailing regularity
Terrorists are awful, they are animals
And they have no religion or nationality
So painting all Pakistanis with one brush is bizarre
The messages doing the rounds are sick
Saying muslims can’t be trusted is unfair
So guys lets channelise the anger in a constructive manner
Lets all be together in this
Let every Indian do something
Without feeling awkward or apologetic
Let Mumbai retain the cosmopolitan culture we are so proud of.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Healing

I know I am among the large mass in my city who are feeling lost, angry and helpless. I don’t feel normal and don’t want to. I know there are friends and people who are doing some wonderful lofty things to change the situation. I am with them. Yet there is something else I have to do.
I know that there is a fear in me that wasn’t there last week.
I don’t know if I would call it fear, maybe just an awareness of how fragile and impermanent things are.
Everything. At most times I am open to change, have suffered setbacks, like all of us and never let them get me down for too long.
This time it’s different. It’s like I want to make peace with myself. Make amends; say sorry, show I care. Before it’s too late…
Am not being pessimistic, just realistic. In a positive way. I know terrorism has no easy solution and is a reality for us.
Let’s face it, in real life most of us have no time to think. We are so busy building our lives and careers. Giving our chosen vocation our 100%. Trying to maintain a work life balance, a healthy bank balance, get the better home, car, home theatre and I don’t think anyone should grudge us that. Or that we are contributing to the booming economy.
It’s only that I now feel like I have to make time. Or rather get more selfish about my time. Stop doing stuff I really don’t want to.
Instead use that time with my family, doing the fun stuff we used to do together, when you had a life.
Stop postponing meeting them and expect them to understand.
Hang out with friends who matter. Tell them how much you care.
Tell your partner how special he/she is. Everyday.
I know that’s a tough one but life isn’t supposed to be easy, right?
Make time for yourself.
Doing things that please you.
Read the books you’re constantly buying.
Travel to the places you’ve been wanting to go to.
Learn the new thing you have been meaning to. Now is the time.
Do your bit for society that you keep postponing.
I will do that.
And stop getting worked up on things that are really not so important.
Not crib about the traffic but use that time to call a pal
Stop getting so caught up in my work and my likes and dislikes
And just think about what others are saying
Or trying to say before you brush them off
I hope and pray that none of us has to face a terrorist attack or lose someone to it, but this is a change I wish to make so that there is some more peace and happiness that I can spread.
So if the wake up call had to be so harsh, so be it….

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shaken and stirred

It happened on a Wednesday… and refuses to end. There isn’t a person in this city who is not reeling under the shock. Degrees vary but the anger, rage and sheer helplessness is being felt by all.
From the vegetable vendor to the CEO and his ilk everybody is not being able to think straight. Despite trying.
After ages it has managed to get the right TG thinking as well.
People who are not part of the swish set who dine at 5 stars regularly but the kind who do drop in occasionally, who have had some great times at Leos, watched films at Metro And taken the train back home from VT.
People like us.
Who have stayed up all night and the next day glued to news channels. Then felt the need to see something mindless. And instantly felt guilty.
Something needs to be done. Sure everyone is saying that. Yet the question remains, what can we do?
Lots of people have gone across and donated blood, which is great. Am not so sure how lighting a candle in your window helps.
I am as clueless as you, maybe more, but a few things that I do feel each of us can do is:
Do not spread rumours. If someone somewhere heard about some firing panic will not help. Ask the right people and pass on the accurate information.
Stop falling for the lies politicians tell. Whatever the party.
Be more alert and aware of what’s going on around you. If you see someone or something that gets you suspicious, make that call. Call the cops, call a news channel, a radio station, a newspaper and pass the information on.
It may amount to nothing but it is seriously worth the effort.
If we can get together and demand something from the government it must be better wages for the police. Like we just saw, many an officer and a gentleman.
Point out security lapses wherever you feel they are lacking. Be it your office, a mall or a 5 star hotel. Your safety is primarily your responsibility.
There is no point being rude and impatient with security personnel. It may not amount to much but it is not a waste of time.
And each time you feel it is a farce, protest. Raise a stink.
Tell your kids, kids you know, your help at home and everyone who you believe needs to be told, that terrorists have no religion. An eye for an eye does make the whole world blind.
Yet the solution does not lie in turning a blind eye.
So please come up with sane, do-able ideas and suggestions that we can implement now.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Moody Blues

While picking up a hugely overpriced essential oil that was said to be a mood enhancer, I so totally cracked up.
Guess what? It got me in a great mood.
It’s actually true that when you wake up in a bad mood and let it persist, it can ruin your entire day.
Your adorable 2 year old can seem like a brat and make you wonder why you ever had him.
The number of cars on the road would have increased a thousand fold
The guy on the radio would get on your nerves
The cop who caught you jumping a signal was born only to torture you
And the weather in the world was getting worse, what does God think he is doing
Am sure you get the drift.
From God to the government to the vamp you call your friend, everyone seems to be conspiring against you.
Nothing seems right. You know you are being unreasonable but can’t seem to do anything about it.
At this point the person who asks any woman if she is PMSing deserves to be killed.
Why does everyone want to know the reason why you are so crabby
Besides if you knew why wouldn’t you do something to get the mood back in shape.
It’s so totally frustrating.
The colleague you loved flirting with seems like a pile on.
An innocent remark made by someone gets you mad
That’s when you wonder if you are feeling like this because you ate carbs at dinner last night
Or maybe it was that cigarette you had before yoga this morning
Or because it’s the 26th which adds up to number 8 which is bad for you
Maybe it’s time you really did see a shrink
Yet there are other things that work
Well they work for me, try it
It’s tough but sometimes pushing yourself to do it makes all the difference.
Do the Herculean task of plonking yourself in front of the tv
Trust me something mindless will catch your attention and make you realize that the women in the soaps have far larger problems.
Spend 10 minutes looking for your favourite CD and turn up the volume
Good music draws you into itself and moods can be elevated instantly
Everyone has this one trigger that works
Every time, time after time
For some it’s working out
Or cooking. Wow the matter paneer I made elevated my spirits instantaneously.
Or playing with your pet
Or sex.
Or going for a long drive. Though that could be wishful thinking in this city.
Whatever it is that works for you, do it
And only you know what it is
No yellow walls or therapy classes can tell you
Even when the weather is supposed to make you sad
Even when your partner is provoking you to no end
You can chose to not feel the mood nahi hai mood…

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My way or the highway

We have all had to at some point had to deal with people like this and hated it. Do it this way or I will make life miserable for you. Anyone who is in a position of authority can do it. Could be a politician, a religious leader, a boss, a parent, a spouse or just the guy with the bigger car on the road.
Admit it, it is tempting. This is what was done to me when I was less powerful so I can do it to you.
And giving in to that temptation is what has lead to the chaotic situation that we are in today. Everyone who has the power wants to control minds. What is bizarre that hardly anyone is complaining.
Someone thinks Harivanshrai Bachchan’s “madhushala” should not be read. Tomorrow it could be Ghalib or Shakespeare.
Or someone ask for your passport to decide whether you are the right guy to watch a Shahrukh Khan film.
Or whether your religious leader would “allow” you to cheer for Dhoni.
What’s the world coming to?
It’s bad enough that kids are intimidated and told that not just dad but even god and Buddha baba will harm you if you’re not good.
So you toe the line.
So that you get the right job and partner
And a flat in the building that will have you.
If that’s not bad enough, despite praying 3, 4, 5 times a day and paying your taxes, now it’s someone else who will decide the city you are permitted to live in, the movies you can watch and the books you can read.
Some one else will also form your opinion on who the good guys and villains are.
The one who screams the loudest gets heard.
Everyone just follows because it’s easy. Safety in numbers and all that jazz.
And this vegetable like exisitence will continue till someone else decides it’s pack up time for you.
Could be a doctor, an astrologer, a banker or a terrorist. Or shani baba on some news channel
So wake up and smell the coffee
look at the life you want to live
As osho said, don’t be the couch potato who will not even be missed by the tv set once he is gone….

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Half a life

Reading about the girl from meerut who killed her parents made Priyanka shiver. Not because of the sheer horror of it.
She felt like her namesake had lived out Priyanka’s secret fantasy and got caught.
Which was not fair. Priyanka could empathise with her, whatever the situation.
At 21, she had lost count of the number of times she had, while crying herself to sleep, wished they would just die in their sleep.
Whenever anyone assumed that being the only child she must lead a pampered existence, she wanted to scream. How easy it was to only see the surface and believe it.
Sure her parents love her. To the point of stifling her. She vaguely remembers her childhood when her father was not ill so often and her mother occasionally smiled.
They once went to India gate and had icecreams and they even bought her a pink dress with bows from connaught place.
What she remembers more vividly though, is her father being upset. And her mother telling her to be silent so that papa would not hit her. Like he hit ma after he was drunk.
Gradually(or was it suddenly?), things went from bad to worse. Money was less. The car got sold. She was not allowed to go on school trips out of town. Chicken wasn’t on the table everyday.
And the only answer she got from her mother was, when you’re older you will understand.
She grew older too soon. She understood a lot of things but what she could not understand is why her mother was so meek. Why didn’t she ever stand up for herself.
She came from a well to do family, she must have been pretty when she got married and she was educated. Yet she had no say in the house.
Her father decided what the mother and daughter would wear. Once she was 12 priyanka wore only dowdy salwar kurtas and was forbidden from talking to any boys.
Then her father fell ill. It was a rare neurological disorder and he just couldn’t walk.
He even stopped talking, once his best friend took over the business and her father was conveniently forgotten.
She wanted to fight with the “uncle” but her mother was horrified at the thought.
That’s when LKK began. How she hates those three words. Log kya kahenge.
They will still waste money out of their paltry savings to gift jewellery on relatives weddings “nahin to LKK”.
Or not let her take up a summer job at the mall. LKK.
Where the hell were all those fictitious people when her father was spending half the month in hospital. Or her mother going to her family to ask for money yet again for priyanka’s fees.

Yet priyanka had to put up a brave front. She had no friends since she could not contribute to conversations normal teenagers had. She didn’t wear those clothes or watch the same films. She wasn’t on orkut and without that there was no way anyone would be seen dead with her.
Death was something that was a mystery she had to unravel. Get her parents to understand that they were not yet dead so why did they always look like they were at a funeral.
Her father adored the sympathy people gave him.
Her mother reconciled to the fact that life had dealt her an awful lot of cards
Priyanka was sure she would run away
To hell with LKK
Yet she loved her parents enough to not want them to drag on with this sad morose life
She had to liberate them and get on with her life….

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tu hi to mera dost hai

Today my husband took me out shopping, after months of my asking. We got back tired after having bought half the mall and dinner at the fancy new place. Both of us were glad the evening had ended. I was dying to get to my lap top but he looked like he wanted to talk. It’s actually a pain to know someone so well that you can know what they want without their having to ask. “Who is rahul?” he asked casually. I could feel the colour rise to my cheeks.
“Just someone I met online”, I tried to make it sound casual. He shrugged and smiled the smile that I once used to love. “Well, he certainly creeps into your conversations a lot these days”
I looked away but actually wanted to tell him that he is the one who kept me going for the last eight months. While you were always too busy.
Rahul and I met on a social networking site. It was uncanny that we liked exactly the same things. His views on most things were exactly mine. We got chatting.
It seemed ok since we lived in different parts of the country. Till date we have not exchanged phone numbers but what we have exchanged is an integral part of our lives.
Rahul is special. There is no attraction or love. Any desire to meet either. Just a bond between two lonely strangers. We both know everything about each other. Maybe the anonymity makes it easier to open up. Maybe the fact that we are not in any relationship makes the expectations and the baggage that comes with it, vanish.
Maybe if we did meet and discovered flaws in each other we would be devastated.
What my always absent husband does not know is that part of my patience with him comes from the fact that I have someone to talk to. Someone who cares to listen, despite having a high profile job himself. Maybe rahul’s wife complains of the same neglect but like I have learnt from her husband, a little bit of selfishness is needed to survive. So I am not complaining.
In fact I am grateful that this stranger has come into my life.
Sure we fight, sulk and call each other names sometimes. Like normal friends do.
We also care a lot. Yet neither of us has voiced the need to be there for each other in the physical sense. Even if you are ill and alone or hurting after a bitter fight with the spouse.
Will this last? I honestly don’t know. I am practical enough to know that it may not.
I can’t afford to lose what we have worrying over what will happen in the future.
Maybe he is part of my life for a reason. A lesson I need to learn. When I learn it he may just vanish. Without a trace.
Today is what I have. And today seeing him pop up on my friends list makes me happy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


After watching a host of interesting productions at the just concluded prithvi theatre festival, I realized that Giribala was a play I truly enjoyed. After ages, drama, music and dance were so seamlessly interwoven that it actually took me into another space.
While discussing it after the show, at the prithvi café, I was just about coming back to terra ferma when I spotted the actress who played the main protagonist. Dressed in a simple salwar kameez and floaters. Absolutely normal.
Yet the image of her, who I had seen a few minutes ago, looking ethereal and capable of stirring such strong emotions in me, being so human was disconcerting. I know it’s not logical but I wish I hadn’t seen it.

I don’t think it’s just me but I can speak for myself. Sometimes the images, the magic in our mind should be allowed to stay.
This is why I would prefer behaving ostrich like, but not see the seamier side of some things…or people.

Maybe it’s unfair, it’s putting undue pressure, maybe they don’t even care, but there are some people who are meant to stay true to their talent and not do trashy commercial stuff. (In the current scenario, swanand kirkire and manav kaul are two people who I hope do not “compromise”)
Or couples who are meant to be together and never split…
And creative people I admire, not showing me their feet of clay.

In this age of everything be so instant and measurable, our imagination seems to be taking a beating far too often.
Where is the time to imagine a better situation, let alone do something to create it.
Sure, we communicate with a lot more people than we used to but how much do we know about them really, or care…
Everyone is checking out their options and moving on all the time but maybe if you let something breathe for a bit, it could have worked out just right

Which is why I still believe, that great love stories can happen between people who have never met

Or places that exist only in your head are as real as the ones on the map

Or that you can know a writer, a painter, a filmmaker or a musician, very closely without ever meeting them in any real time or space

Which is why, I guess, I will always avoid:
Going anywhere close to the beach, the morning after the ganpati visarjan.
Ever listening to remixed ghazals
People who say santa claus is not for real!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shyam babu

Shyam’s green checked shirt is matching the green scorpio he is cleaning. He is in a good mood this morning. Better than he has been in ages.
When the alarm went off this morning he turned in his sleep and his hand felt the warmth of neeta’s waist.
He nuzzled into her neck and paused. Waiting for her to snap or push him away…
She did nothing of the sort, she held him close and sort out his lips. She hadn’t done this in years. Shyam wanted her like he hadn’t in years.
She suddenly felt like his old neeta, his neeta of ten years ago. Not like the screaming, hysterical woman she had become…the woman he was afraid of, who only yelled and never spoke. Who worked so hard that he felt guilty even asking her to smile…
“neeeeeeta” his mother’s shrill voice tore the early morning calm. The moment was gone forever. Neeta would push him away brusquely and vanish.
She did not, instead she got up at her own pace, almost regally, smiled like she did when she was 16. He looked at her dumbfounded as she stood up. She was the most beautiful woman to have walked the earth.
Still wearing her awesome smile, she ruffled his hair and whispered I love you and glided out of the room…
Shyam felt six feet tall and superior to every man in the world. Right now he could take on the world.

The green scorpio had never shone so bright

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Govinda ala re

Under normal circumstances I would have been irritated
How many times can someone listen to “govinda ala re”
Dahi handi led to dimaag ka dahi
But something has changed
Maybe my attitude has…
Forced confinement in a flat
No pressure of deadlines
No cursing traffic jams I can do nothing about
No need to make polite conversations with people I want to kill
I actually rediscovered stuff I had buried somewhere far away
And am loving spending time with this long forgotten friend
Feeling the warmth in a stranger’s voice
And trusting him
And not assuming that there must be a hidden agenda
Love the fact that I can read a book and get lost in it
Not multitasking to get nothing done
Listening to music that I love
Losing myself in the mood
Actually listening to people when they speak
Enjoying the story my mom has repeated a hundred times
Getting to know how life was for my maid in her native village
Returning calls, which I meant to ages ago.
Making peace with myself
Forgiving people who caused me pain
Crying over loses I had no time to mourn
Willing to welcome life again…

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mera Dost

Vo bahut achcha dost tha mera
Mujhe hansata tha, kabhi kabhi mujh pe hansta tha
Mere darr samajhta tha, apne darr batata tha
Phir ne jaane kaise vo dost se aashiq ban gaya
Donon bahut kush the
Par kuch badal gaya
Sab kuch badal gaya
Ab haq jaataye jaate the
Na kehna mushkil tha to dono ne jhoot bolna shuru kiya
Par rishta itna gehra tha ke jhoot pakade jaate the
Aur yeh kabool karna ke jhoot kaha hai namumkin tha
To rishton ki, logon ki, misaalien di jaane lagi
Kasurvaar dono the
Ya shayaad rishte ko naam dena kasur tha
Usne ek baar galti ki to tohmat lagi ke hamesha karte ho
Maine kabhi baat chupaiye to ishq se bharosa ladkhadaya
Har baat mein chupi huye baat dhoondi jaati thi
Har baar kuch kehne se pehle sochna padhta tha
Pehle meri jin baton ko bachpana kaha jaata tha
Ab vo laparvahi ban gayi
Jab ek zamane mein vo mere saath mere khaandan pe hansta tha
Aaj uska vohi karna iss baat ka saboot tha ke vo badtameez hai
aur sabse zyaada yeh baat khalti hain ke jab milna zaroori nahi tha
to na jaane kaise roz milne ka waqt mil jaata tha
ab na milne ke karan dhoondhe jaate hain
aur hairat ki baat hai ke mil bhi jaatien hai
lekin usko acting nahi aati
agar vo mera sirf dost hotato hum dono iss baat pe bahut hanste....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Let’s call her ruby for now.
I would have thought she had a name like that. Something silly and frivolous.
That’s the kind of person she came across the first time I saw her in the elevator. I had just moved into my new apartment and I figured so had she. She had that sassy single vibe that girls who live by themselves give out. Unlike the smug marrieds!
Over the next couple of months, I figured there were quite a few of us like that in the block. In fact Sandy, the graphic designer and I became pals since we began sharing a maid and then confidences. I’d rather I tell her what was happening in my life than the distorted version shantabai would give her! Arati, the really talkative film editor also became more than a nodding acquaintance
But with ruby it was always just a smile or a hi. With the crazy work schedules we keep and the constant sleep deprivation, the need to chat up new people is minimal.
Yet she did intrigue me. She had some traits that gave her away as a small town girl with tinsel town dreams. Maybe it was the way she dressed or her exaggerated squeals when someone got a dog in the elevator once.
We did speak to each other. Once when I got into a spat with a neighbour on parking space and she was passing by. She jumped into the argument since he had done the same with her at some point. Another time, in the glorious Mumbai monsoon when both of us got into the elevator we spoke about what each of us would love to eat in this weather. Coffee and kababs for me and chai and pakoras is what she wanted. When it was time for me to get off, we both laughed that maggi noodles is perhaps the maximum we would be able to manage at this point.
The liftman once mentioned that she was an actress and her show was on tv tonight. Catch me watching soaps I thought to myself. Another time I passed her by leaning on my car and cooing into her phone. We waved at each other and when I got back 45 minutes later after an invigorating walk, she was still there on the phone and very obviously crying. Boyfriend troubles are so universal said the cynic in me.
For the last month I had been working almost round the clock and here I was on a much deserved break in goa. Thank god the resort had newspapers from Bombay I said as I poured my third cup of coffee. And there she was on the front page. Of course it was her. The piece mentioned the building where she lived. Young tv actress caught with 17 crores in her flat. Matka king’s moll. Was part of a global hawala racket. It was all over the news channels too. She was being discussed and dissected. Neighbours were quoted saying she kept to herself. Her mother in rajasthan was sobbing saying she believed her daughter was happily married to a businessman in London. She herself was looking ill when she was being led into the police van hounded by channels who wanted that elusive sound byte. Without her make up and confident demeanour she looked like a 16 year old waif, certainly not someone plotting murders and terrorist attacks.
Mumbai is a very cruel city….

Monday, July 21, 2008


Jab koi rishta toot jaata hai
Jab koi kabhi na lautne ke liye chala jaata hai
To ahem aage aa jaata hai
Apne aap ko sambhalna mujhe aata hai
Doston ke saath rona
Aadhi raat ko usse kosna
Sab ho jaata hai
Kaam mein mazaa aane lagta hai
Apni peeth thap thapaane mein sukoon milta hai
Aur phir lagta hai sab theek hai
Par aisa hota nahi
Achanak itne dinon baad uski di huyi koi cheez haath lag jati hai
Raaste mein vohi chai ki dukaan aa jaati hai jahan hum donon barish mein chai peene jaate the
Tv par itne mahinon baad vo ad dubara aati hai jiski vo nakal utarta tha
Kissi se pehli baar mulaqaat hoti hai aur uska bhi vohi daant toota huya nikalta hai
Computer on karoon to uski kheenchi huyi tasveerein nazar aati hai
Radio par “hamara” gaana aa raha hai
Khatti dal uski favourite thi to ab maine banani chhod di hai
Mera mukaish wala dupatta usse bahut pasand tha to ab chupa diya
Rona bhi nahi aata ab
Par sach hi kaha tha kisine
Sara ghar le gaya ghar chhod ke jaane wala….

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gets my goat

Ok so I want to list my peeves, I hope you identify with some
Ø People who call and then go into the “aur kya ho raha hai” mode
Ø People who make films only to impress their friends
Ø Unexpected expenses that land up just when you thought you could save
Ø Indians who get an accent by going to the airport
Ø Friends who don’t get it and you cant put everything in the largest font size
Ø Fashion slaves, stop! Look at the mirror or ask your mom for her opinion
Ø People who watch soaps and if that’s not bad enough they want to talk about it
Ø Emotional blackmail via messages or mails I have to forward to be blessed
Ø Gifts that I don’t like but cant chuck either. Next time please ask me what I want
Ø People who talk about the good old times and only about that
Ø Sugar free chocolates that are not fat free
Ø The stock exchange that has mood swings worst than mine
Ø Men who don’t get it that you want to be just friends
Ø Cheats. Specially the vendors who “forget” to calculate
Ø The stupid ad on tv that says have a happy period. Ya right!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

baby steps

Whether it’s a lottery you win or a terminal illness you contract all it takes is a month to get used to the situation. I read this yesterday and it set me thinking. Just look around, almost everyone has made peace with their situation and go about their lives thinking this is as good as it gets. Crib, moan, complain but do nothing to change the situation. Continue being stuck in a job that gives no joy, just a pay check. In a marriage where you are miserable but you have the false sense of security that my partner will take care of me when there is a crisis. Do things mindlessly because everyone is doing it. Whether it’s socializing with relatives you don’t like, going to parties that bore the hell out of you or go to the funeral of someone you didn’t particularly like.
And then blame. Blame god, your family, your spouse, your boss, the government, fate, the bush regime, your zodiac sign or the black cat that crossed your path.
Getting out of the comfort zone is tough. Very tough. If you don’t let other’s take all the decisions for you how will you function? And more importantly who will you blame when things go wrong???
Try it, taking responsibility for your own happiness, even in the smallest of matters is such fun
I am trying….

Monday, July 14, 2008

Control freaks

Losing control is perhaps most people’s biggest fear
Losing control over one’s physical being must be awful
Depending on people for the smallest thing is scary
A few days of being restricted at home has given me a taste
And realized that having control over your mind is the trick
Wallow in self pity or use the time to learn new things, the choice is yours
Yet at most times we get our only high from things outside our control
The job that gets you the accolades and the fat pay check
And when you lose that it does feel like you have lost all
The relationship where you call the shots. The partner who is so dependent on you.
What happens when they walk out?
Am sure you don’t even want to get there
The dream home that contains everything that money can buy
And you lose it to the tsunami that is illogical
The car, the blackberry that is your life line, the maid who keeps you going
Isn’t the thought of losing any of this daunting?
But it happens
And when you least expect it
Which is why it’s imperative that you make friends with your mind
The one which is in your control
And helps you remember that what you have inside you is much bigger than everything outside…


Mera naam zara hai. Kuch log mujhe zara sheikh bulate hai, kuch zara shrivastav ke naam se jaante hai.
Ab mujhe bistar par karvat badalte huye 15 minut ho chuke hai. Uthkar bahar jaane ka bilkul mann nahi. Saath soye mere pati sunil ko kuch nahi pata. Usse batana chaahti hoon par kya kahoon aur kaise?
Dus mahine pehle jab humne shaadi karne ki sochi thi tab hum dono jaante the ke hamare mazhab alag hai, hum mazhabi ho ya na ho, alag to hai
Mere ammi abbu hai aur sunil ke ma babuji. Par issse kya farak padhta hai? Hai progressive insaan hai, dono iss zameen par 30 saal se zyaada tey kar chuke hai, main ad agency mein hoon, sunil MNC mein. Humme in sab cheezon se kuch vaasta nahi
Laga tha court marriage aur reception ke dauran kuch dikkat ho gi, par aisa kuch nahi huya. Shayaad ishq ka jazbaa itna chhaya huya tha ke aur kuch dikhna hi nahi tha. Ab bhi kuch badla nahi hai, mujhe kabhi kabhi sindoor lagana achcha lagta hai aur sunil ko eid ke eid kurta pyjama pehnna gavara hai
Ab pichle ek hafte se ma babuji hamare paas aaye huye hai. Do hafte ki chuttiyan hai isliye. Hamari shaadi ke baad pehli baar.
Mujh se zyaada tension sunil ko thi. Paar main to khush thi…hoon. Saath rehne se to hi jaan sakte hain ek doosre ko. Aur maine decide kar liya tha ke agar ma ne kuch keh diya to bhi koi baat nahi, iss umr mein vo kahan badlengi aur phir do hafton ki ho to baat hai
Lekin ab bura lag raha hai, chhoti chhoti baton pe. Aur gussa apne aap pe aa raha tha. Kya samajh ke maine ammi ko kaha tha ke unhe dinner pe bula lo. Kaise vo mussalman ke ghar kha sakte? Chahe khana shudh shakahari kyun na ho. End mein vegetarian restaurant gaaye aur bahut hi painful shaam thi.
Jab babuji ne poocha beta sunil ghar mein bhagwanji nahi hai, to ma ne mujhe kyun ghur ke dekha? Jab raat coffee peete huye unhone ne poocha bachche kiss mazhab ke honge to sunil ne bina meri taraf dekhe bhi keh diya: yeh kaisa sawaal hai, hindu honge obviously. Jab sab ke minnat karne pe babuji ne chhaunk wale aloo bannane ke liye hami bhari, sabziyon ke saath vo bazaar se nayi kadai bhi lekar kyun aaye. Kya vo nahi jaante ke humare barton mein, mujh se zyaada, unka beta hi non veg banata hai? Agar mujhe kisine bataya nahi to main har subah suryanamaskar kaise karti?
Par in sab baton se zyaada mujhe koft iss baat se hai ke main kissi aur ke kehne par apna self confidence kyun kho rahi hoon…

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The hour glass

Much as he denied it, Jatin loved it when 3 people rushed to his car as soon as he screeched in outside his glass and chrome office. Someone to open the door and then park the car, someone to carry his stuff, one guy who would get his well ironed suit that was on the hanger in the back seat.
From here on it was a “regular” day at work for Jatin. The amount of people he acknowledged walking the short distance to his cabin was crazy. His steaming hot black coffee and a fresh pack of cigarettes on his table made him glad again for stella, his ever efficient pa. stella who wore only shades of cream and white since boss did not approve of her wearing colours. She was on the team of the CEO, she could not dress like the loud kind who traveled by local train.
Meetings began as soon as he stepped in. people outside who could see him flaying his arms and gesticulating wildly would try and put words to the act, depending on who was at the receiving end.
Jatin could have the marketing head in front of him and tell him that dattaram, the office boy, did not like the colour scheme so there was no room for discussion. A very valid point but the way jatin put it made anyone seem like a worm. Jatin was good for the business, in fact he was great. Profits had gone up 43% in the last year. Investors were ecstatic. The buzz in the market was great, he had made it to the cover of the top notch business magazine and life was good.
Post a grueling session with foreign investors came the tv interview and then stella walked in to discuss his travel schedule for the next 3 days. Tonight he had the business awards to attend. Tomorrow post the board meeting he had to be in Bangalore for the fashion show. Friday evening was dubai for a film premiere and the next afternoon was the polo match in delhi. Stella informed him that he could not attend that since sat was anushka’s birthday. She had booked them a table at zodiac grill. Now jatin was irritated, why did his wife have to schedule her birthday on the day of the all important polo match. The MD wanted him to hob nob with the delhi politicos and this was the perfect opportunity.
On the way back to the suburbs where he was going to attend the business awards, jatin thought about the farce of a marriage they had. Anushka refused to be the trophy wife and so he refused to believe she exsisted. He never asked about the work she did, he vaguely knew she helped at some NGO and she scorned at his work and lifestyle. Well that did not stop her from using the car and driver he had kept at her disposal or from maxing out the add on credit card each month. They had separate bedrooms for ages now. Jatin, anyway didn’t like women who spoke when he was horny. Wild sex as opposed to making love was what he wanted…and got. He never ever paid for it though, for some women, unlike his wife, it was a high to be screwed by such a powerful man.
The only times, the two of them were forced to eat together was when his mom or his sister and his kids were over from delhi. He took lesser calls during dinner those evenings and with the kids he really had fun. Those are perhaps the only times that he wished he had a more understanding wife so they could have babies.
During interviews when people asked him about his hobbies he rattled them off with ease. Golf, drag racing, power boxing, reading, movies and cooking. The reality was that he did none of this. Other than working out at his personal gym every morning and reading at night, reading mails and files on what the spies had dug out on competition.
He enjoyed this madness and would not trade it for anything, 4 hours of sleep and 50 cigarettes a day worked just fine for him. He did not have friends since he did not trust people and friends from his delhi days were people he was now ashamed of.
Slow down beta was the only thing his simple docile mother would say during the perfunctory weekly call he made.
That is what his doc had also said the last time he saw him, which was about 2 years ago.
A sudden shooting pain as he was climbing down the stairs and his legs giving way was scary. He was rushed to the ICU. When he got conscious he saw his office gang looking very serious and somber, he also saw his mom and anushka. Having been with her for the last twenty years he just saw the look on her face and knew it was all over….

Friday, June 20, 2008

Like attracts like

It’s true
Which is why partners even start looking like each other after years
Or even pets and owners
Don’t know who changed the way they look there!
Long lasting relationships and friendships are between people who are similar
Sure opposites attract but for things to last long term it’s the similarities that last
Hoping to get someone to change for you is the biggest myth ever
Yet moving beyond this I even believe that you attract things and situations in your life
The work you believe is meant for you, is what you get
Sooner or later you attract it
If you give enough strength and belief to your thoughts
You can get the dream home, holiday, vacation, partner
And similarly if you only think about your problems
That is what you get more of
So stop trying to read other people’s thoughts
And concentrate on yours…

booked for life

The silver lining to being grounded with a broken ankle is that I have rediscovered the joy and ecstasy of curling up with a good book.
Sure I have read all my life and spend a considerable amount of time and money shopping for books. Yet of late, like the last couple of years, the books stay on the bookshelf, since the luxury of time to put up my feet and get lost in the author’s world, is rare. Sounds familiar?
Between crazy schedules, striking the crazy work-life balance and constantly struggling to keep pace with the barrage of information in the newspapers, magazines, news channels and the wicked web world.
And now that time and the weather are both conspiring to make sure I stay home and read, I’m loving it. And rediscovering that reading is so much more stimulating than watching movies. Here I make the movie in my head and it’s so much fun.
Rummaging through my book shelf I also discovered that every book has a story. Not the one in it but the one in my head, with the memories it triggers off in my head.
As I see the odd bestseller on the shelf, I crack up recalling how I parked at the kerb to rush through the last 50 pages. Given that the place I parked was 100 metres from office, everyone…er noticed. Or the first Robert kiyosaki I picked up because someone I knew, said I wouldn’t enjoy it. I so loved it that he is a friend I turn to ever so often.
Well that’s true for me. After I discover an author I have to read everything they have written and get to know them better. Very often, I discover a lot of me in them and they become friends. Ernest Hemmingway, ghalib, khalil gibran, toni Morrison, amy tan, salman rushdie, vikram seth, jack canfield, firaq gorakhpuri or rumi. They aren’t just people who write books, they are people who talk to me. They are those who accompany mother mary when she comes to me, like in the beatles song “when I’m in trouble mother mary comes to me speaking words of wisdom…let it be”

Galli ke nukkad pe

Galli ke nukkad pe choti si thi pehle
Mere phoolon ki dukaan
Aaj uparwaale ke karam se florist ban gaye hai
College jo ban gaya hai kone pe
Roz roz rose day to nahi hota
Par jawaani mein phool zaroori hote hai
Sab pata hai mujhe
Lal se pyar ka izhaar
Peele se shuruaat
Par mujhe fikr hai unki
Jo peechewali 15 manzila building mein rehte hai
Permanent customer hain na
College ke bachchon ki tarha badalne waale nahi
8 saal ho gaaye hai yaar
lal maruti wala jo daily ek rose lekar jaata tha
ab gaadi badi ho gayi hai
aur mehbooba biwi
to humare paas aana bandh ho gaya
chalo khush rahe
birthday, anniversary pe to hume hi yaad karte hai
aur vo 5 maalevali madam
roz hero ke ghar pe bouquet behjti thi
ek saal tak chalta raha hai mamla
finally humne hi bol diya
madam rehne do na
ab sirf birthday pe jaata hai
hazaar waala bouquet
yeh film bhi na…
aur vo 11 maale ka chikoo
vo hi to bataya father day, mother day
mummy ko orchid pasand hai
rafiq bhai kahin se bhi lao
mother’s day pe orchids hi dene hai
lekar aaye bhai
mummmyji khud dukaan pe aayi
thank you bolne, English mein
isliye humko bhi sad laga
jab chikoo ki mummy ka maloom chala
sab funeral ke phool arrangements yahin se to huye
ek orchids ka bouquet lekar aaya aur main hi dekar aaya
itne saal mein na
customer bhi insaan hi lagne lagte hai….

The girl with the sad brown eyes

Shweta looked sad
She never thought she would reach this point
Waiting for a flight to get back home scared her
The same stony silence from people she had to call family
The same having to weigh each word before uttering it
Living like your walking on eggshells is so tough
And sudhir’s indifference made it worse
Was this the guy she had fought with her family and friends to marry
4 months into the marriage and all she felt was regret
How she wished she was on a flight to anywhere other than Bombay
Saira had eyes that spoke
And right now they screamed in pain
She felt like such a failure
She was such a nerd at the interview she had waited so long for
She sounded like a bumbling idiot even to herself
She would now go back a failure
Her friends would try to console her while sniggering
Her mother will get another chance to point out how dumb she was
And she would go back to the job she detested
She wondered if by wishing she could make her plane crash
But knowing her luck she doubted she could even manage that

I don’t know if she was called shweta or saira
But the girl sitting across me at the airport lounge had very sad brown eyes….

past the expiry date

“He was awful, he beat her up” “well she’s no saint either must have done something to provoke him, taali to…”
Simplistic isn’t it? The victim and the villain. He raised his hand, cannot be
Condoned under any circumstances. But what about the woman whose man has never raised his hand on her, has no “vices” so to speak but living with him is a new lesson in mental torture each day
Who sets the rules and what’s acceptable and what’s not
Spats and friction are a part of every relationship, agreed. Yet what’s a good time to realize that the relationship you are in is not ok and killing you.
What can begin as lighthearted banter, to be taken as a joke can often have the makings of some serious trouble? Most times you are too new in the relationship or too keen on him to pay attention to these signals. Sad but true.
Sure you guys were born in different homes and led lives that were not similar for a large part of your lives but that do not make his upbringing better than yours. Constant snide remarks on your upbringing, habits and family are not ok. It’s not on if either partner does that but the truth is that more often than not, it is the man who does it and gets away with it. Without your even realizing it there are a whole lot of times you think you should be agreeing with him. Use your own mind woman!
It’s all very cute to reveal all but it’s just better to be judicious if you think something is going to be held against you. Trust me there is a whole lot that you probably will never know about his growing years and it really doesn’t matter. The fact that the two of you have a great present and future is what is great
If the guy is totally putting you down repeatedly in public and private, it’s bad news. You are not in his life to make him look smart. Just smarten up and tell him to get his act together. There is stuff that he knows and you don’t but it works the other way as well too. So make that amply clear. If someone else were to make you feel small, be it a cousin or a smart alec at work wouldn’t the person get a mouthful or be struck off the list, so why should it be any different for your partner?
Its actually not so complicated. You give someone the permission to treat you badly and that’s why they do. It’s not like a stamped and sealed letter that you deliver but the body language, the letting things pass that give the bully strength. Your gut tells you its wrong but your conditioning tells you, you’re overreacting. Trust your gut.
Losing self confidence, having to think a million times before you air an opinion can be extremely stifling. It’s not natural and sooner or later you are bound to rebel. The sooner you do it, the better. The people who tell you, you should grin and bear it are the ones who wanted to but never had the guts to do it. Yes that includes your mother.
Claim your life back. It’s not about breaking up the relationship unless it is beyond redemption. It is about reclaiming your life. What do you want from life? What is the legacy you want to leave behind? Do you make time for your passions, your friends, people and things? Your happiness is your responsibility. Sure your partner should add to the happiness but if he is the only source of your happiness, it’s not on. Not fair to the guy either.
Please don’t live in a loveless lifeless relationship. You will rebel someday and by then you will have lost some very precious time. Think about it

Half truths

Was he really busy or was he lying
I don’t know and never will
After some time it won’t even matter
But half truths can niggle for a very long time
Yet it’s all around and everyone seems ok with it
Was it really like there was no room for me on the new project
Or did the boss have to fulfill a promise to the new PYT on the block
Both of us know the unasked question
Yet everyone behaves like it’s all ok
Did my aunt think I would never know that the gift she recycled to me
Was what I gave her on her birthday last year
Everyone’s smiling and staying clear from the truth
Sometimes not asking and clearing the air
Can scar a relationship forever

But then the bit on let sleeping dogs lie is as true…

Break a leg

It’s awful. Experienced such helplessnes after ages. A disjointed ankle, a fracture as an add on and I seriously am someone I don’t know.
A number on a hospital bed. A patient, just another patient, who can’t walk without Vinita Godbole’s help.
She couldn’t be bothered about my views on world peace or whether I hold a phd degree.
It’s actually important that you get this reality check sometimes.
You get a dose of pure primal physical pain that you cannot get philosophical about.
You sleep when the nurse decides you must and no she does not even notice your protests
You sit on a wheel chair in a pink checked hospital gown and patiently wait for the x ray technician to finish flirting with the receptionsit
You actually listen to your mom when she gives you instructions like you were aged 7
You just love your friends who rally around and really try to make the pain go away
You feel the genuine warmth of people on a sms or email and realize that little gestures are actually not little at all
You also figure out that you did waste some time on people who don’t care
You appreciate everything anyone does for you because every little word or gesture matters so much when you’re not in control
And you really wonder why the term “break a leg” can mean anything good to your theatre pals

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Vairagya to Viagra

I am a product of this generation
Cannot do without my cell phone, computer or ipod
Love the fact that I can be single and not apologetic
Love the truth that the media can ensure murders get solved
Love the fact that you can get anything from friendship to fat free fajitas online
Yet there are somethings from the “good old days” that I miss
The fact that reading was something that was done for pleasure
Not to sound cool and informed
That your parents looked and behaved like parents
Unlike now, where the undercurrents of competition come too close
That your friends were your friends
Even if they did not have the hippest car or career
That you got wooed in real time
And moving on wasn’t such a given
That you could cry and mourn the death of a relationship
And the all important world would not crash if you took time off
The times when every waking moment was not about furthering the brand called “you”

Friday, May 23, 2008


You know what I like, the relationships you build without words
Sure in a close relationship it’s possible. A mother knowing from the way a child pauses on the phone, what exactly is playing on their mind.
Or a woman being able to hear the anger in her man’s footsteps as he walks in.
What is fascinating to me, is the creation of some great relationships, solely on a mental connect that very seldom needs words.
Beyond the kinship of sympathy that people feel in a dentist’s waiting room or on an airplane when you see someone reading a book you’ve just read.
It could be bonding with a rank stranger at a traffic signal. Like you know the person from somewhere.
Maybe another lifetime.
You may never meet again but you will smile thinking about that fleeting interaction whenever you cross that place.
Or someone you barely know, but are very fond of, getting it even when you speak in riddles
That’s the kind of stuff I like.
Someone who has recently become a friend, actually you’re not even sure of that, till they can sense your mood on a seemingly meaningless sms exchange.
I know straight speak works well but I still like this as much. If not more….
Someone you meet at a friend’s place once and you just know that you guys will be close for a long long time
Or someone you met on the beach and a few words later enjoyed a glorious sunset with.
I still believe in these meetings
I still hold them dear
I do believe you can talk to someone for years and barely know them
I still remember the woman bawling in a coffee shop loo because her husband had been awful in public a few minutes ago. And just holding her hand for a few seconds was something neither of us will forget
I actually do believe that silence speaks much louder than words

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It’s kind of strange

Isn’t it actually? Whether it’s the child killed in noida or whether shahid is really seeing sania. Why is it so important to the entire nation?
Sure for some people the colour of a movie star’s briefs is earth shattering news. For others the amount a cricketer makes on an IPL match is dinner time conversation.
Why are we so obsessed with the lives of people we have never met and probably never will?
Why will the nation genuinely weep the next time sanjay dutt goes to jail or a prince like waif falls into a pit?
Could it be because talking about things that genuinely concern as a family or a couple are too painful to bring up?
Talking about others is somehow safer
Why is it so difficult to think about yourself, when you are by yourself
Why is it so important to fill that space with others.
Others who don’t know or care if you exist
But you will follow their day in the papers, on radio, on tv, on the net
Even if it’s information that you already have
You know what, Britney Spear’s kids will do fine without your sympathy
But yours probably have something to share, if you ask….

Kyun karoon khwaish

Har baar to dukhta hai
Har baar dard utni hi hota hai
Apne aap pe gussa aata hai
Apne hi andar kissi se maafi mangte hain
Kyun hota hai aise
Kya auron ke saath bhi hota
Kya un bade bade policy makers ko bhi dard hota hai
Kya amir confident film stars ko bhi aisi baat khalti hai
Kya aapne kabhi anhkhein zor se bandh ki hai taaki aanson andar laut jaayien
Kya kabhi socha hai ke uss shaks ko kya kahoon jo usse bhi itni hi chhube
Kya kahin kissi ko pata hota hai ke iss baar bhi baat nahi banegi
Kya har baar aise hi sikhana zaroori hai
Kya vaake hi ummed pe duniya kaayam hai

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


She- he hasn’t called
Me- maybe he’s busy
She- ya right, for the last 48 hours?
Me- so you call him
She- don’t be silly, I did that last time as well
Me- so forget him
She- Excuse me. Give me a practical solution
Me- get a life, give the guy a break. Maybe he is not that into you
She- (sounding hurt) you really think so?
Me- babes, when will you learn to stop giving this guy this kind of power over you?
She- that’s not true, did I even mention him once throughout the film last night?
Me- wow, thank you. So now consider him history. 10 minutes of raving and ranting and then I don’t want you mentioning him again. Right?
She- and what if he genuinely has a problem? Like he’s ill or fired
Me- or he is texting his next target? Or ordering flowers for the dumb blonde he met on the aircraft?
She- that was years ago. And you don’t know him so stop saying such stuff about him
Me-so what do you want me to do??????
She- just hear me out
Me- okkkkk. Shoot
She- eh…what he turns out to be like that jerk you were seeing last summer?
Me- awright, NOW we’re talking!


After the horror of something like a bomb blast or an earthquake sets in, I don’t know why he always comes to my mind
The man who walked away into the sunset….without saying why
Am sure you know what I am talking about
In this case it was someone I thought was special
Sometimes it’s a school pal, a neighbour or an ex colleague
Who you were genuinely fond of
And they moved on
Without a forwarding address or a goodbye
Of course life moves on
And the memory fades
But never goes away
A tune, a place, a smell
Anything can bring all those memories rushing back
And a teeny weeny twinge of regret
And I wonder
Where is he…
Is he still as witty?
Does he still have that disarming smile?
Did he become who he wanted to?
Is he still single?
Does he still have his coffee black?
Does he ever think about me?
Is it fondly or not?
Does he hope to ever meet again?
Before a nameless bullet finds either one of us
And no one can tell if he was the “innocent bystander”

Sunday, May 11, 2008

As another sunday passes on

She could just feel it as she stretched out in bed
The Sunday smell
Not about lounging in bed longer, more the lure of a heap of Sunday papers
More sudoko and crosswords-yipee!
Also more kids outside the window playing cricket
And she loved that
Reminded her of her childhood and French toast
She would have French toast for lunch today
Few of the joys of living alone, not having to plan meals according to everyone’s tastes
A lazy morning stretching into a languid day
God bless manda for the awesome coffee she provides every hour
Everyone says you must reduce your caffine intake as you grow older
But then everyone has a problem with everything!
The alarm on the phone reminded her of a show she wanted to catch on Travel and Living
Paris, a city she loves. And so beautifully shot
What was the name of that parsi boy she’d gone there with?
Never mind
An afternoon in bed listening to her favourite music
A long lesuirely bath and her home smelling of her favourite fragrances
Watching the sun set standing in the balcony, feeling the breeze on her face, she was at peace
The phone rang. On time. Like everyday
Her best friend Binky. A constant in this ever changing world
Stella died. She announced with a twinge of pain
These things happen, I reasoned
When you’re 89, these things happen more often

Saturday, May 10, 2008

it's only words

Ki nahi hai hume chahat

Har shay ho Naram
Ya Garam
Kahin dair-o-haram
Har zakham par marham
Kya aisa hoga ibn-e-mariam

sunte hai
Aapki Tasveer
Dua ki taseer
Raqeeb ki Taqdir
Ya phir Khwab ki tameer
jaane kaise badlegi iss haath ki lakeer

Friday, May 9, 2008

You'll two are too much men

My friend who moved to Bombay from Calcutta is going back. A job he loves, great apartment by the sea in bandra, loves the annonimity this city offers but he still has to go back. Why? Because he is sick of being called a proudy and snobby. 3 months in the city and he just cannot handle it.
It took him a couple of years getting used to the fact that people laughed at him when he typed complete words in a sms. He could live with that and continued dotting the Is.
Agreed accents in Bengali can be eh..confusing, to put it mildly. He also had friends from bihar who had to somehow get the call bell, good self and cardva into every alternate sentence. Hence he was prepared for the mumbaiya hindi. When the maid came in, one day, sobs asking for leave since she had to go to the muluk kyunki mausi off ho gayi, he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He learnt new meanings to words and new words like kotmir and phatka.
What he could not take is grown ups, professionals, people with degrees from prestigious institutes, constantly having conversations in a language that did not sound like the English he knew.
He took pains explaining his pal that he was not seeing or doing the girl he had coffee with two evenings ago. Or to the receptionist in office that he was not looking for an item right away.
In meetings no one flinched when the marketing dude went :shits yaar I thought the sponsorer was phasaoed. Or when the girl at the next workstation announced that she was kaltoing since her cousin brother had sawed a film and wanted her to saw it as well. He thought he’d tell her about how she could join the carpenter who needed an assistant.
So now he will go to a land where nobody will tell him not to back answer or ask him who his family god was
When he was putting in his papers his colleague called him fully chakram and the receptionist looked pained and went – getting less dough no? He said a firm no.
only to meet the guard who waved goodbye clutching on to his mobile and saying sm karte rehna boss

Friday, May 2, 2008

background badlo

It never happens like the movies
Why do the major events in our life come at a moment least expected
Major events, as in the knowing of something major
Sure a wedding happens on a specific date or you win an award on the day decided but the moment is actually when someone proposes or you get to know you may win the award. That’s the big one. And it will happen at a time when your thinking of something really mundane like I hope we don’t have to eat cabbage again tonight or your thinking of how you should tell your driver to start using deo and- whoom! The all important call comes
Or even when it’s bad news. A normal day and suddenly you’re told that you can’t live the same life anymore
What’s even more amazing and shocks me each time is how easily the moment passes by. Your logical part takes over. Preparations and plans. Whether it’s a divorce or a marriage. A birth or a funeral.
And even in your best or worst times after the first ten minutes you again want to know the cricket score or how so and so reacted to the news
Is it resilience or self preservation? Or just that if our moments were as dramatic how would the books and movies sell?
I think it’s the lack of the background score that makes our moments mundane….

Thursday, April 24, 2008

nothing moves till you dont

I tried it for a day and it was so much fun! Just telling everyone and everything to go take a walk and do exactly what I wanted to. Strange, is what I felt in the morning, never done this kind of thing before. From singing loudly in the shower to telling the guy who called to sell you a credit card that you think strawberry ice cream is the best cure for a hangover. It was such fun. At work it was…eh..tough.Doodling through yet another meeting was just not working. Taking a deep breath, told Mr. Know It All, that his plan would never work. Deafening silence. Didn’t think I would ever be able to talk without choking. It’s only for a day, do it said the faint inner voice. Like the well dressed guys in the movies, I stood up and said what I thought would work. By the end of it, don’t know why I could see pink slips flying all over the room. They were saying something and it didn’t sound like English. Seventeen minutes in the washroom and I felt like a rock star. It took that long to stop seeing stars, silly. I loved this new game. Didn’t make excuses and actually told someone that I did not want to have lunch with them today. The look on the face was priceless! Put my point of view across on all the mails, sms and calls that took place for the next couple of hours. The strangest reaction I got was from a colleague in Delhi, who wanted to know if it’s my birthday. In some ways it was I guess. But still trying to figure that one, is it because are allowed to do what they like on their birthdays? No one wants to stop you on that day. Then I want a birthday everyday! Doing things my way was a revelation that I loved. Next I called the friend I had been meaning to…for the last two years. It was scary. I had to say sorry and wanted to try it the day I had this new found confidence. Being speechless on an international call felt strange. Between sobs and giggles we were two happy souls. You never have so many friends that you can afford to lose one. The rest of the evening was even better, told a guy I barely knew that we must meet up for coffee, told my aunt how if she left the world tomorrow the characters in her life consuming soaps, wouldn’t care. Stayed up all night reading my half abandoned book. Ate maggi noodles after telling my mom that it was dinner. This was so liberating. Doing things instead of just wanting to do them.

sau gram sukoon

Meri dukaan hai bahut choti si
Par bheed hamesha hoti hai
Shor bhi kabhi thamta nahi
“Ek chutki chain de do”
mand mand muskara raha hai
shayad aaj ek chutki se kaam chal jaayega
“sau gram sukoon” hichkicha kar maanga sagar ne
sava kilo thamaya maine
sukoon thoda zyaada hi ho to behtar
“ek piece peace” maanga uss anjaan naye chehre ne
sheeshe ke darwaaze se maine dekha usse
bahar nikalte hi kha gaya
ulte paanv lauta
“pav kilo peace please”
bambai ka lagta hai
“aadha kilo aaram” chaha auntyji ne
dhai so gram dhiraj bhi de diya maine
bahut raat ho chuki thi
apni iss bina poster ki dukaan bandh hi kar rahi thi
sabse purana grahak aa pahuncha
pata nahi kya kaha uski thaki ankhon ne
khushi ki khichdi, vahi kaam aayegi
usse pakadayi aur vo phir bhi khada raha
jaise usse pata tha main kuch kehna chahti hoon
iss mein thoda namak ishq ka daal lena.
ab dukaan bandh hai
kal yeh kahani phir chhedenge
hum bhi zara ab so le hain….

living in disneyland

Can one get bored in Switzerland? Well it’s happened to me.
A couple of months ago and that’s when I wrote this….
At some level it seems so bloody perfect. Ok so we are not ready to accept something like that and look for the loop holes
In our case we are both crazy about each other, the chemistry is overwhelming
Yet we know its not going to last
Just waiting to see how it ends!
We spend some great time together, make each other laugh, genuinely care, the works
Yet both of us know that something is missing
The other one is not “the” one
So why are we still doing time together?
Coz we’re good friends? I think both of us have great friends who have been around for years and don’t need any more
Is it only physical? Maybe, but we wouldn’t admit that, come on we’re more than just f*%k buddies!
Something says enjoy the moment and to hell with the future
Do other people go through this as well?
It’s like watching a great film and yet knowing it’s a movie and will end soon
Then the harsh realities of waiting in the basement to get your car out
Yet we don’t want to let go
Till one of us finds the right one
Will it be hard on the other? Will we be friends after that?
Don’t want to actually get there
Till then we continue to enjoy Disneyland….and always remember that nobody lives there

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

into the mind of a male friend

Seeing her sitting opposite me, laughing and being her usual loud self, once again in the last 72 hours I asked myself, what the hell am I doing with this woman?
Eleven years ago in this same tacky plastic sheet covered dining room I had seen her and thought this dumb beauty is what I need in my life. Not those intelligent, ultra opinianted babes. That was an impulsive decision. Or rather a coward’s decision. I could not handle a woman who could call a spade a spade.
And I thought this one would worship the ground I walked on. Well she did, for a number of years. When stuff like cold coffee or a plane ride was a first time for her, when having a tv star over for dinner made her drop plates out of sheer nervousness.
One kid later, the constant fussing over me, the moony eyed look got to me. Get a life is what I said. She never said it but soon it was pretty obvious, I was the only life she had…or wanted.
I began to feel trapped. My failing business was blamed on her over possessiveness. That is what I let people believe. Wonder why I never let on, on my own sense of inadequacy, or when my partner told me that I had reached my zenith, I couldn’t fake my creativity any longer, I was inclined to believe he was right.
But hey this is about her, not me. Her nagging got louder. My need to impress her to show her how I was still god’s gift to humanity grew larger.
I never meant to belittle her but what did she ever do to deserve better. Even my dumb buddy’s wannabe wife had more substance.
Soon R was nothing but a foul mouthed nag who even dared to compare me with her idiotic friend’s moronic husbands
Gawd, this woman, this villager, was daring to tell me I was not good enough. I couldn’t bare the sight of her. It was only for my daughter that I put up with her. Not that I had much time to give my daughter either and noticed only how she was getting as obnoxious as her mom
And then breezed D into my life, young, peppy, ambitious, and someone who knew her mind, who never felt the need to cling. Just my kind of woman had I met her 10 years ago
We just got along like kindered souls. The attraction was instant but I treaded very slowly. The thought of a wife I was cheating on never crossed my mind, my greatest fear was what would she see in me.
Well I was wrong, D made me realize that I could still be witty, attractive, charming and a great lover
Two years into our “beautiful relationship” and I wanted to give it a sense of permanence. R of course was an irritant who did nothing but snoop around to find out if I was having a scene, and yet everytime she confronted me I denied it.
I really want to ask myself why? Was it because R meant something to me? I had feelings for her? Naah, the only thing I possibly felt was that she would at some level be there for me always, once all my so called pals and work buddies had moved on, made it big, she would still be around, making sure I didn’t starve or die drunk in a gutter. But couldn’t D be the same for me. In face she could even be an asset for my career. Was it that deep down somewhere, I knew that she would se through me and find someone better….R knew I was as good as it gets. You know what I think R and I deserve each other. Two scared spineless people who will never venture beyond the known and crib about it as long as we live. I hope our daughter does better

My daddy strongest

I believed it when I was 6 and still do at 36.
Having coped with loads of downs in life has made me tough, or so I believed…
Till I saw my hero, my papa crumbling under the pain and pressure of being ill
Sach much dukhta hai
Aise thodi na hota hai
Papa ke paas to sab answers hai
To ab kyun yeh doctor aise unhe daant raha hai
Kyun papa apni raub wali awaaz se unhe “takhlia” nahi keh rahe
It’s bloody tough to see your dad get old and eh…weak

size zero

Of course the concerns are all genuine, a guy cannot and will not ever understand the genuine, real hurt that a zit on the face on an important day can cause, what a bad hair day can do to your mood. Well the point is that after many agonizing days and nights over the inches that have miraculously appeared on the hips, over lips that stay chapped despite the truck loads of creams, I have and yes I can admit it, realized that there is more to me than the way I look.
Phew, I have said it! It’s hard to believe but I actually even mean it. Call it conditioning or wiring the truth is that being a woman meant I will try and judge myself by the way I look.
Sure I resent the babe who just joined the team and gets all the attention way before she opens her mouth, I want to slap the moron who I know is normally sane but believes I don’t exist when am accompanied by a pretty pal. Yet it’s very liberating to move beyond that. To go for a long walk because I want to and not because I have to. Eat a huge slice of apple pie and actually enjoy it. Curl up with a good book and loll in bed though I need to get waxed.
Its ok, chill

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

visual words

squeaky clean. just love the term. On a wednesday afternoon, dont know why, but i need to think of all the words and phrases that create pictures or sounds.

church bells, piping hot, jingle bells, resounding slap, baby pink, red hot. Something could be called hot but the minute you hear red hot, you know exactly what’s being spoken about.
That’s the magic I love. cool breeze and green grass do things, maybe not as much as a languid gaze or a pregnant pause, but they can be felt.
Every language has it, can recall a few in hindi, punjabi and urdu. Loads in mumbaiya hindi. Love all of them.
As you read this and a few more come up, like popping phrases, pls send me posts.
Maybe a talking movie or a book you can watch would emerge!