I have a lot to be thankful for

Thankful for? Let’s see. This should be interesting.

First and foremost – My parents. Thank you for having me. No seriously – you guys were quiet young when mom conceived. No matter how many times I say it, it’s never going to be enough. Cliché – you guys are the pillars that I lean on in times of duress. I have put you through a lot. But both of you have always been there for me, undeterred.

Dear god – Thanks. I wish for a lot of things and sometimes don’t say thanks enough times. But don’t take it to your heart, alright? I hereby thank you for everything. I do have a lot to be grateful for and at the same time, could use a bit more of your attention.

Then there are those innumerable close, distant and extremely far-flung family members. Those visits, sweets and keen interest in my past, present and future has me where I am today. My childhood, though difficult would not have been the same without you guys around. I am always bubbling with memories of all sorts when somebody strings the topic called “Childhood”. So yeah, thank you.

Friends. Childhood, schoolmates, college gang and a few colleagues. Thank You.

Thanks to the stranger – who smiled or smiled back when our eyes met while walking. To the one who held a door open for me when he saw me clamber in with my hands full. To the stranger in the car who waited for me to cross the road. To the stranger who stood unwearyingly behind me while I attempted to withdraw cash using a wrong PIN. To so many others who still believe in humanity.

And last but not the least – to the person or circumstance who introduced me to reading. I mean real reading. I will be forever grateful.

Never Too Late


Sorting Out in..10, 9 , 8…

No two days have been the same for me. There have been medium highs and extreme lows. All seemed lost yet here I am, alive (in body and spirit) to fight another day.

I am far from sorted. But thankfully not messed up. It’s one of those phases – where everything seems out of your control and you are like an outsider – watching your life unfold of its own accord in front of your eyes. I have found myself wishing and quite fervently at that – for some Angel to drop from the sky and sort all my problems.

I have a couple of people in my life who are my saviours. I can depend on them for the right suggestions. They are never judgemental or biased. And so – all is never lost. There’s always hope – right around the corner. We just have to walk those few steps and claim it as our own.

Inspired by Daily Prompt

Feeling Philosophical

I have been feeling bit philosophical these days. I don’t know if that’s related to my elevated urge to write. But as long as the later keeps happening, I believe there’s no harm done.

My room-mate is MIA and I am celebrating one of the grandest and most important festivals in India – Durga Puja. It is really heartwarming how the community comes together in a grand show spirituality and bhakti during the 10 days of celebration. It is also an excuse to go out, meet with friends, pile calories to your heart’s content and most importantly make memories that last a life time.

Elaborate pandals have been erected that house beautiful life-like idols of Maa Durga and her other avatars/roops. Durga Puja or Dessehra depicts the triumph of good over evil.

It is just the onset of the festive season in India. Durga Puja will be followed by Id, Karwa Chauth, Diwali, Christmas – festivals which reiterate the cultural extravaganza India is.

Durga Puja

Inspired by Daily Prompt

Just Be!

Life is as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. It isn’t easy – hell no. Don’t confuse simplicity with ease, no sir. There will be road blocks, you’ll blank out of solutions and reasons, you’ll lose faith and hope, nothing will seem to be going in the right direction. But in end, it will always work out – like it is supposed to be. We just have to keep at it.

Life is made of memories. Some take a back seat while we make new ones. Life is also a great teacher.  Wise take the lessons to heart and don’t make the same mistake twice. I have learnt quite some lessons myself – lower expectations from people, to smile more often, to say no when required, to help others, keeping my word, honesty and more recently – just being myself.

Inspired by Daily Prompt

Calling a Spade – a Spade!

One day, many months ago, I read something that I shouldn’t have. It wasn’t intentional. It was a chat between two of my close friends. They had quite a few mean things to say about me and a close friend of mine. My heart broke. I had never in my wildest dreams thought that they were capable of being so mean, judgemental and hypocritical, when they were always so sweet and supportive on my face. The incident manifested a drastically different face of their personalities to me.

Crestfallen, I discussed this incident with the two people closest to me. Let’s call them S and M for simplicity’s sake. S always has this knack of giving just the right advice. He never says something that will just make you feel better. He believes in calling a spade a spade. S weighs the situation and says things that always make perfect sense, without beating about the bush. He is the truest friend. M could very well be an emotional counsellor. She will comfort you, and then lay down the facts before you. These facts will make you see your mistakes and at the same time make you feel better.

S’s first reaction was “Why the hell did you go through the chat? Why did you open it in the first place?” After listening to my explanation of why I was wandering into somebody else’s account, he said “Never go looking for things that somebody hasn’t shown/told you willingly. If it is meant for you, you’ll hear about it”. In my defence, I always respect other’s privacy as I expect them to respect mine.

M heard me out, patiently. She said, “They are people like that. They have various opinions of a person and her situations. One is for her eyes/ears and the others are saved so that they can gossip and make fun later. It doesn’t categorise them as good or bad. Don’t judge them. The best you can do is avoid being besties and gradually move away.”

The incident has changed me – in a small way but it has. I have grown up. I have realised that people won’t treat you nicely because you treat them in that way. There are all sorts of people who you will have to share time with in the journey called Life. It’s on you to choose how to let them affect you.

Inspired by Daily Prompt

“The Fault in Our Stars”

I am emotional. There – I said it out loud and clear. I am kind of proud of it. It makes me a compassionate and accommodating human being. Sure – a few times, I keep my interests aside for others, but hopefully I’ll have my turn soon.

Watching movies, TV series and reading books is one of my favorite hobbies. I remember, how back in 9th grade, I used to read and re-read my textbook of Julius Caesar, even before my teacher had reached the half-way mark. The first time around, I teared up at the part where Caesar falls after he realizes the betrayal by his good friend Brutus.

Not long back, I wept like a child in the theatre while watching “Highway”. Alia Bhatt played the female protagonist. In one of the scenes, she confronts and lashes out at a family member for sexually abusing her at the tender age of 9. Her acting gave me goose bumps and her pain was tangible.

Quite recently, tears flowed freely while watching “The Fault in our Stars”. It was such a moving and tender portrayal of two young people in love. Their attempt at a normal life in the face of impending death was commendable. It made me believe more in love.

Inspired by Daily Prompt

Deep Beneath – A Love Story

This is my parent’s story. The first time I heard it, I couldn’t bring myself to believe it. Even now, when I recount this tale of love to friends, I am filled with wonder about the enormity of the gesture.

Theirs is an arranged marriage. The girl was just a little over 18 and the boy was 3 years her elder. Grandparents from both sides pronounced the judgement that they wanted the bride/groom to be a part of their families. The boy and girl didn’t get a chance to see each other. The wedding was a lavish and much talked about affair.

The newly – weds first saw each other properly in the many family games that traditionally follow a Hindu wedding. It acts an ice breaker, between the bride and groom’s family. There, surrounded by the cheering family and relatives, taken by the each other, they fell in love.

A few weeks passed. The girl returned to her parent’s house to continue her studies and the boy turned back to his books. With no phone or internet to connect them back in 1982 in India, they kept in touch through the more time taking way – letters. They wrote long letters of their well-being, life and love, enquiring after the others life. They met once every few months.

In a few years, quite a lot of letters had been written, back and forth to each other. When it was time for the girl to leave her parent’s house, she didn’t forget to carry along the bundle. They settled into their new life together. They also had a new-born baby girl to take care of.

Not far from their dwelling, there was a temple that the boy frequented. Lord Hanuman is his special deity. Right in front of the temple, workers were digging the road. They were making way for a new footpath. In the days to come, the street will be one of the busiest in the city – never sleeping, never resting.

The guy had a plan. He went home, collected all the letters the couple had. Along with one of their spare wedding invitation cards, he packed the bundle into some waterproof material, finally packing it in a box. He carried it away, like a treasure.

He got his wish, after a round of requesting the construction workers around. He might even have had to bribe a few to get his way. He carefully placed the box in the hollowed pits, right in front of the temple. He stood there and saw it getting covered with fresh granite.

The way my Dad puts it, while my mom lovingly watches – After many years, when the road is re-laid or dug up, they will find that two young people, so much in love, survived so many odds to tell their story. They will believe in the instituion of marriage. God will always be watching over us – quite literally.

Inspired by Daily Prompt 

Off the Shelf – Into Hogwarts!

I love reading. No particular genre. Just books. Even when I was little, I used to gorge on all chapters from my English & Hindi literature text books within a day of buying them for new session. It probably has to do with the fact that stories build a little world of their own around the reader. With an active imagination, I live with the characters, feel their happiness and fall in love with the narration.

Currently, I am obsessed with Mythology. Indian & Greek. My roommate & I take turns at reading books that we buy online or at bookstores. We scourge the stores for best deals, across all possible platforms. It is engrossing to read about Lifestyle, Culture, beliefs, situations, conflicts and conversations that our ancestors might have had.

While quite a great deal of books lie unread in my bookcase, what I keep returning to, is the Harry Potter series. Once every little while, I feel the urge to pick any one of seven books, arbitrarily and immerse myself in the wizarding world that J.K Rowling has so successfully weaved. Their magic has never failed to attract me. And I never get bored with imagining an exasperated Hermione, grinning Harry & Ron.

I plan to introduce my kids to Harry Potter books as soon as they are old enough to comprehend the concept of good and evil, friendship and courage.

Inspired by Daily Prompt

It’ll Always Work Out Between Us :)

She put the key into the hole and coaxed the lock into turning. She breathed a sigh of relief. She was finally home. She put one tired foot after another over the doorstep, swinging the door closed behind her. It had been a really long day and it seemed to go on forever.

As she flicked on the lights in the doorway, she mentally corrected herself – it had all begun last night. She and her husband had disagreed over some trivial matter. Last night, the disagreement, fueled by a long distance relationship, had turned into a nasty shouting match, over the phone.

He rarely got angry. If he had raised his voice, it meant he had been pushed over the edge.  She wondered if she could have handled it differently. Her forehead creased and she absent-mindedly tucked a lock of hair behind her ears.

She had to make it right, she thought. Nothing in the world was worth this silence on both sides. She should probably drive down to his apartment. Surprise him. It was only a couple of hours away.

As she walked towards her dining table, she noticed a huge bouquet of her favorite flowers. Smiling, she walked towards it. No tags, no cards. Touching the petals of one flower, she reflected how another set of flowers accompanied by a box of chocolates awaited her husband at his doorstep.

She felt happy tears roll down her cheeks. It will always work out between us, always – she thought gleefully, before sinking down into the couch, feeling much lighter.

Inspired by Daily Prompt

For the Love of Books!

While the music blasted away in my ears, I noticed humongous black clouds in the sky. Within minutes, it started raining cats and dogs. Even after repeated reminders from my room-mate, I never carry an umbrella in my bag. Today, I cursed myself for this blunder that I love to repeat.

To my respite however, a row of shops were in sight at a stone’s throw. I dashed into the first shop, without caring to check the hoarding on the facade. Once safely inside, I stopped for a second to catch my breath and shake off whatever water possible from myself.

My eyes surveyed around, to familiarise myself with the surrounding. I noticed a small, stout balding man standing behind a low counter. He smiled – a full- fledged genuine smile. It was an antique store that housed vintage- classic books, old artefacts and a lot of dust.

Books entice me. We connect instantly. I glanced at the nearest bookshelf and took a few steps in the direction. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the owner smile and settle down with a newspaper. Reassured, I moved with determination and made contact with one of the shelves.

Sure enough, the books were lined with a thick layer of grime, but I was past caring. Picking them one by one, I scoured for the one that piqued my interest. My hands fell on a book of Greek Mythology. I felt my lips break into one happy smile.

I saw one withered old armchair near another tottering pile of books. I looked over to the counter and the owner was watching me. I pursed my lips and pointed towards the armchair. He nodded. I made myself comfortable to devour the whole book. The time flew by.

Soon, it was evening and the downpour had settled into a slight drizzle. I went upto the counter to bill the book and continue my romance with the words. The owner however was very kind. He asked me if I wanted to keep the book for further reading and return it back on a later date. I assured him that the book will be safe with me and I would return it back.

As we were talking, the door of the shop tingled to announce the arrival of another customer. I turned to look back. I squinted to look at the figure silhouetted against the light in the doorway.

And there I was lying on the floor in my bedroom, awakened by an almighty fall from my bed as I tipped over the edge. I recognised my roommate standing over me with a puzzled look.

What a rude awakening!

However, the weather outside brought a huge smile to my sleepy face. It was raining cats and dogs.

It was a Beautiful Dimpled Smile

It was a beautiful Saturday evening. After lounging the entire day around, I decided I should stretch my legs and haul my lazy weekend ass to a long walk. I put on my walking shoes, plugged some music in my ears and started off.

Not far from where I put up, is Cafe Coffee Day. It is one my favorite cafes, has earned quite some fame in India. I found myself a small table in a cozy corner, plonked down to relax with some cold coffee and a sizzling brownie.

Within seconds of settling down, I felt a tap on the shoulder. I looked around and I see a person sheepishly smiling down at me. I removed one of my ear plugs and raised a politely inquisitive eyebrow. She pointed down to my shoes and paid a nice complement.

I mumbled a small thanks and gave a swift smile in return. I made to plug my ear phone back. I like some alone – time, once in a while. By the looks of it, this stranger was not yet finished. She looked on with a half hopeful smile with pursed lips. Tiny bit annoyed and sighing slightly, I unplugged both my ears.

She smiled again. A smile that flashed her dimples. I felt my irritation ebb away. I am partial to the smile that is accompanied by dimples. She gestured to the chair in front of me and inquired if she could join me. I gazed all around the café to reiterate to her that there were a few unoccupied tables that she could use. She flashed those dimples again, shifted her weight from one leg to another. It took a moment for her to answer, finally saying that she was looking for some company. I gave a small laugh and straightened up in the chair that I was lounging in. Uncrossing my legs and with a resigned smile, I waved in the direction of the chair.

She looked relieved. She quickly made herself comfortable. We introduced ourselves and made small talk until her order arrived. It was then that she really got talking. We talked for hours – about movies, politics, India’s socio – cultural problems, finance, photography, relationships. There was something about her that was quite uninhibiting and the fire soon caught on to me.

It went on. Over three more cups of coffee each and not – so – small bites to eat. We exchanged numbers and promised to stay in touch. It was such a random but a meaningful conversation.

Have you ever wondered how random strangers seem to understand you so much?

Scary won’t do. Nope. Nada.

There are innumerable instances in your life (almost daily in mine, I would like to call myself very expressive you see) when your eyes pop out in excitement, mirth or bewilderment. But as they say, there are two sides of the same coin – almost always.

So quite a lot of times, one might have had to cover her eyes, so as to keep the scary/tacky/cringe-worthy view from getting to her and occupying that recurring part of her brain. That wily part of brain which keeps playing the same dreadful frames over and over again. Even when you close your eyes. Very much in the vein of a film reel – in the slightly cramped place between your eyeballs and eye lids. *shudders*

I avoid horror movies at all costs for the same rationale. I tend to wake up to even silence on the nights that I have watched a horror movie. Then my active imagination makes the most static of things move and sway which creeps me out and my sleep evades father away. I also shirk from sordid looking things. More so, because often the next meal I have, seems to miraculously morph into the some shape/texture/colour that bears an uncanny resemblance to the video/photo/scene witnessed earlier *yuck*

Quite recently, I was disgusted by a thumbnail image of one particular video that was trending quite a bit on my FB feed. It said something to the effect of “Side Effects of Using XYZ Shampoo”. I never actually got around to seeing the video to check out if it was the real deal. The image in the thumbnail was extremely repulsive. Even while I am writing this down, I feel nauseated as my mind invariably brings it to the forefront.

And then there is something that happened only today. I was out for lunch with my colleagues – Nazrin and Chitransh. Chitransh recently developed Ulcers on his tongue, rendering him unable to swallow anything remotely spiced. This got us talking about most excruciating medical problems that we had experienced so far.

Nazrin narrated one incident from her time in college when numerous painful pimples had surfaced on her eyelid. She delved into details of the surgical procedure and the not-so pleasant after effects. Somewhere in the middle of it, I decided I had had enough. Result – Closed eyes and hands over ears.

Wait wait. I just remembered another one from a couple of months back. I had a sleepover at my place with a few close friends on a Saturday. We slept late and woke up late. We cooked brunch and then decided to watch a movie – even did a quick vote. To my horror of horrors, it came down to a horror movie – Evil Dead 2 to be precise.

I sat right in the middle of the bunch, keeping all my options of bolting accessible for when the scare got out of hand. But the movie was more gore than horror and my hands often flew to eyes, because just shutting my eye-lids close wouldn’t suffice!

Aaah. Some memories.

This post was inspired by Daily Post.