Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Just One Night

( Part 1)



She moved to Pune only last month from some unheard village in Kerala. She's a Keralite and proud to be one. She knows where she comes from but doesn't believe in murdering other languages just to show her faithfulness to her language. I mean she doesn't have that heavy accent that most Keralites have. That was the first thing that really got me interested in her. Secondly, she doesn't wear that "Notice Me" tag on her face wherever she goes. She's not a pretty thing, nor is she ugly. She's just "comfortable in her skin" type. She wore a cotton silk top and leggings that day at the party. Slightly out of the dress code since other girls stuck to a western outfit. Probably that is why she stood out from the crowd?

I went to make a conversation with her after we were introduced by the common friends, Rucha and Bhargav who were the hosts that night. I saw her sitting in a corner , quietly sipping her drink and probably reading her mails on her phone.


"Not enjoying the party?"

She looked up , with a bored expression. "Not my kind of crowd!"
" What is your kind of crowd...may I?", I asked her pointing at a seat next to her.
" Yes. If you are hell bent on disturbing me!"

The girl was teasing me in a way no other girl ever had. Now I'm this really cute looking guy according to most of the girls. I'm the kind of guy most girls look forward to meeting at a cocktail party, and get drunk with, and end up in bed with! I've never had a problem picking up a girl, in fact I never have to try too hard....I so wished I could, but the girls just don't let me....they give in easily, they are like "Take me, I'm all yours!" , and here's a girl who doesn't even notice me...I have to find out what's up with her.

"So what kind of crowd do you like?", I insist on making her talk, I insist on finding out if there's a game for me in her.

"The kind who doesn't laugh too much. The kind who can make a sensible conversation for slightly more than a minute. The kind who are not all about clothes and make up!"

"And you think all those people cannot make a sensible conversation with you just because they care to spend a lil more time on the right dress that really suits them?"

"Look.....Whoever, I forgot your name. I'm not interested in arguing with you. This is what I think, and that won't change. So would you mind leaving me alone to myself?"

" Looks to me like you cannot make a conversation beyond a minute...The problem is with you madam, not this lovely crowd!", I leave her to that and get up and move towards the bar to make myself a drink. When I have finished making a drink and I turn, I see her. And she's flashing a beautiful smile. "Trouble" Someone inside my head tells me. I smile back courteously.

"So.... .Rahul... right?"
"Oh! You remember my name. You are prone to temporary memory loss I suppose?", I intentionally comment.
"Yes...You can say that. That's one of my procedural requirements to test a man."
"Procedural requirement? Wait...you a lawyer?"
"Yeah....Shruthi!" She extends her hand.

We shake hands for quite some time while I check her out closely. She doesn't shy away, looks straight in my eyes.

"And this is your procedural stuff I guess?", She jokes.
"But I'm not a lawyer!"
"So what are you?"
"You guess!", I challenge.

"Okay...I will. Three guesses alright?"
"Okay."
"But in between the guesses we can have normal conversation without referring to your line of work."
"Hmm... sounds good."
" Let's go out for a walk. It's getting hot in here." Is she too fast or did she really mean she's feeling hot? I'm confused. "Whichever way, works fine with me! ;-)" I think to myself.

So we go out for a walk.
The night is frigging cold, and I start to shiver within the first 5 minutes of our walk. I can hardly concentrate on the talk, or on her. She seems comfortable though.

" So.... Rahul, tell me."
"What?"

" Middle of the night,
in the middle of a road,
that's in the middle of nowhere,
And in the middle of the conversation, the girl stops and says, "Rahul, tell me. What's the first thing that comes to your mind?"

"She wants me to make a move on her."
"So why don't you make it?"

Good question. Hmm.... It got me thinking.

"Because I like to make a move when the girl isn't expecting it. I don't like to give her any time to think."

She looks at me with a smirk, then suddenly slides her hand behind my neck and goes in for the kill!
The kiss is smooth but short.

She goes back two steps , her gaze fixed on me.

I think, " She's good!"
I think, " But ...she's taking my role. This is an attack on my sovereignty!"
I think, "This is an attack on my male ego. The boy makes the move first! That's the right procedure."

" The girl kisses you without you expecting it! What do you do Rahul?"

"I pick her up in my arms and take her to the first room I find."

"Wrong answer! You cannot find a room in a 2BHK full of some 30 people!"

She removes a car key from her purse and holds it in my face!

"That's enough!", I hold her hand and pull her to the parking, " Which one?", I ask her looking at the cars.

"Wait my child!..... You seriously need to get better at this.
When Rucha told me all those wonderful things about you all that time I was seriously expecting tough competition!"

"What did Rucha tell you about me?"

"Be glad she hasn't told anything to Bhargav yet!"

"Oh! So you know about our great escapes!", I feel a bit proud about this...I don't know why, but I'm always proud of stealing my friend's girl friend's!

"Rucha seriously needs a lesson or two on men!"

And then she steps back and walks straight to the apartment.
As she marches past me, the party comes to life with "Y this kolavari Di"   spilling disappointment and failure all over me! But the crowd cheers the Damn Jackass, aka DJ,
"Yeah Right....This is THE song I needed right now!", I think.

Middle of the night,
In the middle of an unknown road,
Some "Okay- looking" 'nothing' gives you a 'clean Chop'!
What do you do Rahul??


( To be continued....)









Thursday, December 15, 2011

Break Up! Shake Up!

"Do you feel my heart beat?"

My room mate came running to me, holding her wrist with the other hand, her face looking shocked , going paler by the passing second. I was reading my usual FM textbook, had an exam in 10 days , but her unusual question shook me out of my rising temper, which would have exploded if it wasn't that question!

I felt for her vein, " Yes I do! Why? What happened? Why are you breathing so heavily?"

She sat on my bed looking out of the window for several seconds, those seconds had my heart beat double to an unexpected speed!

"Would you tell me what happened? Meghna!" I raised my voice.

She looked at me, tears in her eyes....there were a 1000 thoughts rushing through my brain at that point, colliding on each other like on a busy unmanaged trafficked road!

She held my hand in hers, her hands were cold!

"Dhiraj!" That's all she said for 1 whole minute! The textbook dropped out of my hands and I got this weird sinking feeling!

"What happened to him?", my other hand reached for my phone and I frantically typed his name to call him.

"Don't call that Bastard!"

"What?"

"He's having an affair with Tina!", finished Meghna!



Now, how do you react to a news like this?
The news of your boy friend of 3 years having an affair with the girl staying next door to your hostel room!
Like the typical saans bahu serials where the heroine slaps her palm to her forehead with a "Nahiiiiiiii!"???
Or our hindi films where she takes several minutes to digest the news , with tears slowly flowing down her rosy pink cheeks?
Or just walk out in a rage and straight to the boyfriend to question him?
Or answer with the old hindi melodramatic film style, "Nahi Meghna! Yeh nahi ho sakta!"

There are these certain situations in our life, where we do not know how to react and our only reference points to reactions are far from reality, and we are left to create or invent our own , unique , reactions!

And in these rare times when life gives us this special opportunity, to be different, do we show our best??


"BUUUURRRPPPP!"

As for me?
I un-intentionally showed my worst!
I burped!
And a really loud one at that!

" Yuk! What the fuck was that?", Meghna asked me with her 'Disgusted' look.

"The horrible food at our mess! As if I need to even tell you about it!"

And then we both looked at each other for a second and started laughing.

"You disgusting female!" started Meghna, " your next door girl is frisking away your cute, "Once in a lifetime catch of the century" boy friend right in front of your eyes, and all you do is mug up those stupid formulas and burp on the disgusting canteen food!"

"What do you want me to do? What can one do in this age and world Meghna? If someone bloody doesn't have the decency to break up with you before he sleeps with the next girl he finds., 'literally' the next girl he finds, what can you do? You can cry and you can blame him, and you can tell the whole world how bad he has been to you....but how does that help? If he's gone, he's gone! In fact I was wondering WHEN this 'break up' storm is going to hit us? All I've been hearing for the past 2 years is about people's break ups! I'm fed up! I've lost faith in these relationships.....you cannot trust anybody now a days.....you just can't! You cannot fall in love and expect to stay there, things change, and rather fast now a days.......If this is the scenario,  I choose to not get into this whole circus right at the first instance, but if I'm already in it, what do I do? I wait........and so I waited till the storm hit me!"

"But....you love Dhiraj......don't you?", Now you have to know this, Meghna is this Drama Queen still stuck in the 1960's or 70's...I don't know which era , where women cried out their hearts, where women felt intense pain and they felt victimised...where they were only supposed to feel victimised! And whether you like it or not, she will make sure you pay homage to those by gone days by shedding at least 1 tear in the pain of finding out about a cheating boy friend!

And so it happened that an uncontrolled tear did find an escape route, out of my "tired- of- reading -textbooks" eyes, to my "moisturiser -hungry" cheeks, onto my dry and flaky palms.

"Don't hide them....let them flow...you will feel better!", This has been Meghna's favourite dialogue to a lot of hostalites!

I wished I could some day explain to her that "crying" doesn't make everyone feel good.
Some of us hate crying,
some of us hate feeling victimised,
some of us hate that whole "Oh !poor little Tarini" look that people give.

The truth is I have been madly in love with Dhiraj all these years!
The truth is I was scared to death with even the thought of a break up!
The truth is I have dreamt all these years only of him, and of our life together, and of our children and our new home....
The truth is I took up MBA for him!

There are a lot of truths here....but only one that matters now, is that he cheated on me, that he's been cheating on me the whole semester....that I knew about it right from the beginning and preparing myself till other's find out, till he finds the courage to come and break up with me, or till I get some anonymous mails from a well wisher telling me about my boy friend's deeds!

How could I tell Meghna or anybody about the truth of my man? Which only I knew?
How could I tell my man, who looked without any guilt in his eyes straight at me, after I caught him in a compromising position?
What can I tell the world?
What can I tell such a man?
The only person I could speak to, was me....and thankfully I understood!
Thankfully, I did not lose my calm...
Thankfully , with time, I figured my way out of this storm!

It looked like I was the bravest of all the people who knew me and Dhiraj and who heard about Dhiraj's affair with Tina. From our professors, to classmates, to non teaching staff, everybody scorned at Dhiraj ,
Tina was the new Big Bitch of the college, and me , the sacrificial goat! Urggh!!

Everyone waited for the news of the break up next.
Some roudy over smart boys even started betting over who would break up?
Dhiraj or Tarini?
But break up news eluded us all.

Dhiraj and me did not meet for the rest of the year. being in the same college, we often crossed each other's way , but we both avoided each other's gaze. Sometimes he looked at me, but I did not look at him.

Dhiraj's friends asked him often, " So it's a break up huh?"
"Yes"
"She said so?"
"No"
"Then??? You broke up with her?"
"Naah...."
"Why not? I mean, who are you waiting for? Tina ? To do the honours?"

That Dhiraj had proposed to me by kneeling in front of our entire office where we worked together, and where we had met, wasn't a secret to anyone.
That we were often quoted as "The Best Couple" in college, whose "To-be-wife" gave up on the top MBA college of the country , to be with her beau who studied in the 20th -something ranked MBA college, wasn't a secret either!

You see ,this is the problem with these fairytale looking love stories!
The reality is far from the truth, but the people want to hope for the best , because hoping for the best is the way of life....and Dhiraj and me sticking together as a couple, was not just something everyone hoped for, but something that everyone wanted to see, so that their belief that "true love is real", is not shaken! And I did not want to shake people out of their dreamy worlds either....that is such a cruel thing to do...like telling a small child that the world you are so looking up to growing up in , is nothing but a big disaster! I did not want to be the one to break so many hearts, my heart was broken...that was okay...but I couldn't handle the thought of breaking so many hearts!

I don't know what Dhiraj thought about the whole thing at that time, but the end result was, we did not have an official break up!

That did 2 things:
A. Our relationship did not come to an official full stop.
B. Tina's insecurities over her relationship with Dhiraj kept increasing every day.

It was a pressure Test!
For me, For him, and for her!
And the college was the witness and the audience!


2 months later came the fun week , and with the fun week came the Fish Ponds, those nasty anonymous messages people send to each other!
There wasn't a single message for us last year (nobody bothers the old settled couple), but this year there did not seem to be any other love story than our's! Where did all the Romeo's fly ? I wondered!
And I know what Tina wondered as well, her face showed it all, "Who is having the affair? Me or her?"
Not a single message was directed at her and Dhiraj!

There was this one message,
" D- Dada,
What a choice!
Who thought a simple family man like you would want so much noise?
Now quit breaking more hearts, we say
go back to "T-Terrific" lady this very day!"

Like a spell,
It did work!
Not that very day, but 5 days later.



She walked to me in the library.
( My Thought: I don't understand this woman's choice of locations.....ever! For first date, she chose the hill behind the college ground! For making out, she chose 'under the stairs') And for breaking the news of her break up, she chose The Library!

"It's over between us! I hope you are happy now!" She was loud and clear.
Everyone in the Library, including the Librarian applauded for a good 3 minutes till she walked out and people walked up to me to congratulate me,"You did it! You proved to the world that the eternal love exists! Your silence, your dignity, your love, your sincerity, brought back your love! Damn! If he also did not want it, he would still be drawn towards you, that's your power lady! waah!"

I did not say anything.
I maintained my silence.

A week after that was our farewell.
After all ,we were all on this journey together only for 2 years!
At the Farewell party, everybody coaxed Dhiraj to come to me and ask me for a dance. And he did come.... The man could not look me in the eye, but this man who couldn't tell me it was over between us did ask me if we could have a dance. The whole hall waited for my yes, to see The Best Couple's Last Dance in this college that defined their relationship for the rest of their lives!
It was the moment of truth for me and Dhiraj.
Nothing was spoken between us about his new hook up or our break up, or his break up or our coming together after that.

"Won't happen again,EVER! I'm sorry!" He whispered.
"That's not what I wanted to hear.", I calmly told him.
"I love you.......and I'm sure of that now. No more doubts!"
"You sure?"
"Lock kiya jaye!", He smiled. He held my hand and I let myself be held by the man who no longer was the man of my dreams!

The truth was, I was always with him. He was the one who drifted apart.
The truth was, I would go ahead and marry him and have his kids in spite of this episode.
But the truth also was, that I would never trust him again.
That with my silence, I had not just won him back , but with my forgiveness I had forever made him my slave!

For the dance, they played a very appropriate song for us, "Save the last dance for me"....
As we swayed ,we captured everyone's imaginations and hopes and beliefs !
And I epitomised the "Image" of an Ideal woman, and the ideal wife in me!




You can dance-every dance with the guy
Who gives you the eye,let him hold you tight
You can smile-every smile for the man
Who held your hand neath the pale moon light
But don't forget who's takin' you home
And in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin' save the last dance for me

Oh I know that the music's fine
Like sparklin' wine, go and have your fun
Laugh and sing, but while we're apart
Don't give your heart to anyone
But don't forget who's takin' you home
And in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin' save the last dance for me

Baby don't you know I love you so
Can't you feel it when we touch
I will never, never let you go
I love you oh so much

You can dance, go and carry on
Till the night is gone
And it's time to go
If he asks if you're all alone
Can he walk you home,you must tell him no
'Cause don't forget who's taking you home
And in whose arms you're gonna be
Save the last dance for me

Oh baby won't you save the last dance for me
Oh baby won't you promise that you'll save,
The last dance for me
Save the last dance, the very last dance for me.










Friday, December 9, 2011

Letter to a Gem ...

My Dear Gem,


You've tricked me again.

After all that's said and done,
and everything that has been tried and failed,
I have felt time and again,
"This time I've got you for sure!"
but just  then you disappear far away, in the crowded lane.

Why do You play hard to get in my chase for you?
That place you stay is far off ,
in some distant place, I've never been there with you.


Don't you realise my dear , the place you'll shine best is in my eyes?
It's me who can free you from her sad sighs!

What pleasure do you get by belonging to those boring rich folks you adorn your beauty with?
What adventure do you have apart from weddings, parties and a few trips?

What's so attractive about being with that Miss.Right?
When It's all my wrongs that give me the might!

Am I not more playful ?                                
And whenever you want, sinful?


Thief I am, of the best gems just like yourself!
Won't you like the company of the best, rather than some forgetful 'herself'?

Come with me my darling,
I'm waiting and will be so.
My adventure will begin only when you drop her Tango!




Yours truly,

The Jewel Thief








Photographer: Jatin Kampani
( Check his photographs, he's interesting!) 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What is our problem?

The following is a report that appeared today on 'The Hindu', at Page 7, lower right corner.

People's representatives let them down

Kolar : People's representatives in Kolar district chose to keep off a function to mark International Day for Persons with Disabilities on Saturday.


Except for the presidents of the zilla panchayat and taluk panchayat, none of the people's representatives, including Textiles Minister and district in-charge Varthur Prakash and Minister of State for Railways K.H.Muniyappa, turned up for the function. They only made the people with disabilities wait for more than one hour for the arrival of the dignitaries and disappointed them without attending the function.


The District administration ,zilla Panchayat, women and child welfare department , District People with disabilities and senior citizens' empowerment department organised the function at T.Chennaiah Rangamandira. Though the function was scheduled to commence at 10.30 am, it started only around noon after waiting for the minister's arrival. 


Mr. Prakash did not attend the function inspite of his own reported presence in town. The officers were waiting for him since they received a message that the Minister would be arriving , " in a few minutes". 


"The way the people with disabilities were made to wait for the minister was unpardonable," K. Anand (Name changed on request), an Activist working with the special people told The Hindu. 


"It is not that the only presence of ministers will make the function meaningful. However the presence of the people's representatives will definitely strengthen the will of the special people. They feel 'we are not alone,." Mr Anand remarked.








A week back I attended a friend's wedding where I met someone with disabilities, a teenage boy. He came around me and my friend's and he looked very interested in some of the colourful purses that my friend's were carrying. I have to admit that I was scared at the first instance. Maybe because he came too close too fast and in normal circumstances if any man or woman was to behave that way I would push them away as a defence.

Thankfully , Latif, my friend who was close by knew how to handle the situation. He gave the purse to Nandan, he also spoke to him gently, shook his hand and like an old friend put a hand on his shoulder. Nandan looked so happy and content for being treated with love and respect. He put his head on Latif's shoulder and stood that way for a long time. 

After that, all of us slowly learnt to behave ourselves around Nandan. We helloed him and spoke to him, smiled and listened to him. He liked that, and we realised we have to learn something new. We have to learn to behave gently with special people . We are not supposed to laugh at them, or get scared and run away and hide. What happened to Nandan, could have happened to any of us.....Nandan and people like him are not "Mad", they see things differently, they see things we don't see. Or they behave in a way, we don't understand. They are not capable of adjusting to our ways, but god has given us the sense to understand their ways, so lets put that "sense" to use.




This happened a few years back: I was in a car belonging to the man I was dating at that time. We were driving through a market area and the traffic movement was really slow. Suddenly, a man appeared at my window, he was trying to look inside . Thankfully the window glass was pulled up, but he did scare me. He was an old man, probably lived on the streets, hair grown and dirty and clothes torn and tattered. He continued looking inside for a couple of seconds. The man I was dating got so angry at this behaviour, inspite of me telling him "that man appears to be mentally unstable", he got out of the car and slapped the old man so hard across his face, he fell down. Some people around said the old man is mad, why did you slap him? My cruel man says, "they behave that way purposely!" and then turns to me who's in a total shocked state and tells me or rather warns me, " I don't like anybody looking at you that way. Do you understand? Now don't act as if I did something wrong. I did this for you."


What sort of an old man will stick his face across a closed tainted window and try to look who's sitting inside? 
What are the chances that his behaviour was on purpose? What purpose did he serve by looking inside a moving car?


This cruel man did slap that old man, but the scar remained on my heart ! 
Many many nights I woke up with a start, as if someone had slapped my face. 
I had never seen anybody slap or hit anybody like that before. I have never seen violence at that close counter. And I pray to god everyday not to let me see anything like that ever again.


These kind of men live respectfully in our society!!
These are the kind of men we elect as our representatives.
And these are the kind of men some of us end up dating at some point of time! Yuck!


Another news appeared on "The Hindu", same page, right next to the above mentioned news report , " Life Plays a Cruel Joke on him", It's the story of an old man who has 2 mentally challenged daughters and another physically challenged daughter. His only solace is that his son and the youngest daughter do not have disabilities. His wife too cannot walk or talk properly.


Despite belonging to a Scheduled Tribe community he has not received any of the benefits extended to the community.
* Not been provided a house under The Ashraya or Ambedkar housing schemes.
* Not provided irrigated agricultural land provided to Scheduled Castes and Tribe landless agricultural families. 
* His daughters have not received any pension given to physically challenged persons by the government.




You know what? Every time I read a news like this or watch a news like this on TV, I feel so helpless and useless. 
I am caught up in a dilemma. 
If I dedicate a life to helping people in need, or working on projects for the environment, that will be the only thing I'll do throughout my life! I will not have enough money to explore the other dimensions of my personality. 
Conclusion?? It's not in my favour and I will not take it.


I'm sure many of you are caught up in the same situation. 
I have met some people who have taken up this work , and are happy doing it. But all of us cannot be full timers in social work, nor do we have the money to make the difference.
The only sad option we are left with is to blog about it, or talk it out with our friends, let some hours pass on this and we try our best to forget this and get back to life!


You know, 
we "let things be".
we "forget about it"
we " get back to life as if nothing happened".


That is our problem!





Wednesday, November 23, 2011

KISS Campaign!

Law College, Goa.
Year 2003
1st year

6 months into college, and my classmates were speaking this strange legal language. Worst, they seemed comfortable speaking that language.

Any intellectually stimulating conversations were to be made by throwing in these complex heavy legal words.

I know am not a genius, what I also know is that I was never born dumb!

These people, who chose to make normal conversations in legal language appeared to be smarter, wittier and above all more intelligent. What I could never understand was , why do you need to show off something you know you already have? If you are intelligent, you are intelligent, you don't have to throw your weight around everyone near you. In fact, the genius lies in making complex things simpler, not the other way round.


Unfortunately, The story of making things complex by using complex words when you can use simpler language doesn't stop at Law college or the legal system.

B'lore 
2009

when I stepped into the engineering community, I heard some of them talk the technical language in day to day conversations. I was lost again.

But the difference is, law is meant to be for the society, to help the society, to uplift it, to protect it. Engineers can afford to use technical language because they mainly deal with their kind of people, but laws are meant for everyone, so it better be simple enough for everyone to understand.


B'lore
2010

I stepped into the financial community, the same problem followed me here!

At a closer look I understand that the whole complex language use starts with mainly,the laws. In law college of course it were the legal documents , in finance too, it's the law which screws your understanding. The language of the tax laws, SEBI, FEMA, not only require the knowledge of legal language and its interpretation but also a very sound financial knowledge. I wonder, does everyone using these laws, which includes the common man, have the level of legal and financial knowledge required to understand these laws which are primarily made for them? 

Take the example of the tax laws, all of us pay taxes, how many of us understand the language in which the laws are written? It's complex and not understandable. In the process of being precise ,articulate and clear, we are highly compromising on simplicity which completes the cycle of understanding.


Take the example of most public documents, your day to day rental agreements, contracts, sale deeds, all these documents use such complex language, that by the time you are done reading the whole document, you are :
A. Exhausted.
B. Not understood anything.
C. Confused!!

After having learnt the law for 5 years, I still don't understand clearly what a document is trying to say. You don't believe me, take a look at these statements:



ARBITRATION CLAUSE IN BUILDING AGREEMENT



“In case any dispute should arise between the owner and the contractor, whether in respect of daily in supply of materials by the owner or delay in execution of work by the contractor, or the quality of the materials so supplied or the quality of the work done or in respect of decorations or alterations suggested or made or extra work required to be done and so executed or not, or in respect or measurements or work done or required to be done, or demand and payment for part or whole of the work done or not done or dealy or refusal in grant of architect’s certificate by the Engineer or its correctness or touching the interpretation, fulfilment or breach of any of the terms of these presents or in respect of deductions to be made or extra payments to be recovered for work improperly done or not executed or in respect of work got done through another contractor for default or breach or non-completion of work agreed to be done under the particulars and for assessment of the value thereof and fixation of liability for the same between the parties hereof or in respect of any act or omission arising out of the performance of non-performance or the obligations or duties pursuant to these presents, the said dispute or disputes shall be referred to the arbitration and final award of a single arbitrator if the parties agree thereto in writing (failing which to the arbitration of an arbitrator to be appointed by the President of the Institute of Engineers ) (or failing which to the arbitration of the municipal or corporation engineer or any competent engineer or architect nominated by him in writing ) on a reference made to him by any of the parties by notice in writing , a copy whereof will be served on the other party at the address mentioned above or such other address as may be notified by that other party sent by registered post. The arbitrator shall be entitles to proceed ex parte after notifying the parties by a reasonable notice as to the time and place therefor. The arbitrator shall also be entitled to associate with himself a surveyor, if necessary at his discretion. The arbitrator shall have power to reopen and revise any certificate granted by the architect engineer under these present.” 



This and other documents like these are supposed to be creating rights, duties, and responsibilities! No wonder we have so much litigation pending in our courts. 

When we understand these complex documents then  we proceed to  act accordingly. I bet not more than 5% of the population of India understands this language and this format of a public document! If 95% of us are struggling to understand the public documents, then I want to know for whom they are made??



I think it's time we follow the KISS campaign. "KEEP IT SHORT & SIMPLE!" It's time we don't get bullied by these user's of such complex language and ask them to simplify it and make us understand what they mean. And ask as many questions till you get the whole meaning and nothing less. If each one of us follows this rule, I bet more than half the users of this language won't be able to simplify it for us. Why? Because they haven't understood it themselves! Most of them memorise the format, because there really isn't any other way of doing it. 


Okay I understand we got our legal system from the Britishers, and we have tried to work our lives according to their language till now. But isn't it time we take some effort to simplify the language so that our people understand it? 
Isn't it the right of every citizen of this country to understand the law of the land? 
Do you know there is a presumption of knowledge of the law of the land, and you cannot plead innocent for not knowing the law? In other words, "ignorance of law is not an excuse before a court of law." Which means 95% of us who find it difficult to understand the legal language have got screwed, are being screwed or will get screwed sooner or later!


What the government or the judiciary should do , is take up a campaign to simplify all laws.
  • print and distribute them at a very low cost , 
  • published in all regional languages. 
Free legal aid is given by courts and some law colleges, but having been a part of such a legal aid society for 5 years, I don't trust the quality of service provided at such places.So quality could be improved.

What all of us can do?
  • If we are making a legal document or any public document: If it's long, summarise it in point format 1st, covering all the important aspects.
  • Use short sentences, simple words.
  • Read and write to be understood.

Any other suggestions, comments, viewpoints are welcome.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An Early Morning Post

I have never written a blog post so early in the morning! It's 6 am as I write it!
The only time I remember waking up early, ( Early to me is 7am! Anything before that is "almost night"), is when I was in school, when I woke up by around 7.15 and hurried up and got ready for school by 8am. I remember my childhood when I look at Aadu and Molly now a days!

I remember, 'Bhai' or mamma,('Bhai' is what I call my father), used to come to our room and declare the time, which used to be 7am. Me and my sister always heard it, but never woke up at that time. Then at around 7.10, the fan would be turned off! And turning off the fan is a BIG No-No in Goa, since it is so hot! Still we adamantly continued sleeping! At about 7.15, mamma would barge into the room shouting at us,pulling our blankets, or dragging us out of the bed. I do not remember much whether I ever finished my breakfast or not, or whether I was quick to brush or did I just lull around till I made it to school. ..Oh yes, I do remember that me and my sister sometimes finished our breakfast sitting in the car, while my father drove us to school. Shoes almost every day would be worn in the car!

I was amongst the late comers at least twice a month. In fact we had our own gang of late comers, people who would always turn up late. We were the relaxed , laid back types. Taking a few shoutings and punishments from Lotlikar teacher or Mense sir did not stir us, whereas the 'first time' late comers or 'rarely-late' comers would shiver , some of them would even cry! I could never understand the commotion some kids threw at such minor happenings in life. I could also never understand why the 1st ranker of the class needed to cry after she( only she's can cry for getting less marks! I have never come across a 'he' who has cried for scoring less!), scored a few marks less than the highest marks in Maths or science!

But crying in school is something I have done.Why school? I have also cried in Law college, why college? I also ended up in tears once when my boss shouted at me while I was doing my internship in Mumbai!

In fact crying is an emotion that touched me very late in life. Somewhere by the end of school life. And it became an emotion I could not control for many years. There was no saying, when , where and how I will cry. I just had to let go of all the frustration that would built up in me. And this has led to a series of embarrassing incidents, for me and also the immediate person responsible for all my tears! But still, throughout my school and college life I never cried for marks, ( I had other criteria that made me cry.)I only cried last year when I did not pass my exam at the 1st attempt! That too an attempt I had given half hearted without any preparation.

Failing an exam was an experience I only had last year. And it sucks!! I know of too many people who comment, laugh and pass judgements on people who have failed a couple of times in their exams, especially some important and tough exams! These are typically those people who themselves have never given a competitive exam and have no guts to even think of attempting one! Thankfully I had no one but myself who criticised me for not studying a "Lil harder", as I had not made the cut by a few marks ( It's always like that, isn't it?)
After giving the 1st paper, I felt so terrible about myself. I had never sat through an exam looking at people's faces. An examination hall is the last place I want to check people out. I better have stuff to write down on those sheets, and so I studied damn hard for the next attempt, and thank god! I passed!



It's amazing how my mind starts shooting memories and thoughts and information from the 1st moment I wake up! I know the mind is working throughout the night as well, but early morning thoughts are fresh! They give a new dimension to life, based on what has been learnt so far.

As for me, till yesterday I struggled hard to deal with a lot of emotional backlog, and a lot of study backlog as well. It's always this way, that when you have an important exam facing you in your face( say professionally), there's also an emotional exam tugging at your back! And you are stuck.....it takes so much courage and patience to decide to move your butt some way and kick off both the exams so hard in their face that you make your way clear!

It's the start of a new month today!
Also the start of a new study schedule...it's my final lap for this exam!
Also the Birthday of one of my favourite person! ( And no....I'm not talking about Aishwarya Rai!)
And also the Karnataka Rajyotsava Day!
It's more than 1 reason to be happy, to start up early, to smile and to be at my best!!

Wishing you all A very Good Morning!

Love,
J

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Life with Princess Aduvati and Madame Molly!

I'm still unsure about my feelings for kids!
For most part of my life I've openly said that I will not like to have any children.
And on very few occasions ( Times when I meet friendly kids who I get along with), I've felt my heart say otherwise.

One of these times was when I met Aadu ( Aditi- 7 years) and Molly ( Mallika- 9 years) around a year back. They are my cousin Ganesh and Vrinda's daughters. The first time I met them I was so happy in their company ( and the happiness was also accentuated with a couple of drinks) that I told Ganesh I would love to have daughters like them.


I'm always in a dilemma now a days, whether to join their parents and their friends for a drink or say a quick good night and slip into the girl's bed and tell them bedtime stories!
I love telling them bedtime stories, and I love talking to them!

Now, the first time they asked me to tell a bedtime story, I was confused as to what story to tell them. Especially considering all the complicated stories I make up on my blog. I was very much aware that I did not want to get myself into a story which would scare the hell out of the girls! So the safest story was that of Prince and Princesses. I wanted the story to be interesting, because Molly has already read more than I've read my whole life! She is a voracious reader, and me? I've never read a children's book my whole life. I've jumped from Noddy ( which I started reading in 7th std......( yeah right, have a laugh!!) But I've never been much of a reader!) to Hardy Boys the same year and by the year end got glued to Sidney Sheldon! So there have been no Enid Blyton's, Roald Dahl's, Calvin and Hobbes for me!

Impressing Molly was a difficult task, so I diverted my attention to Aadu who  hasn't yet started reading books and who loves the Barbie and princess related cartoons on the TV.

In order to make it more interesting I named the main Princess as 'Aaduvati'! The first story, about Princess Aaduvati's 7th Birthday was a mess, with loose ends and Molly questioning every now and then about the logic of what I was telling them. Somehow, I ended that story with the Princess getting to wear the most beautiful gown ever made in the whole world, and the maker of that gown was a tailor from Sri Lanka who had picked up beautiful crystals and shiny items from the ocean bed, and with whom the Princess falls in love!


I soon realised that making up a new story every night was very difficult and started avoiding going to bed early with the girls only because they would insist on a story and I couldn't come up with one. So after taking a break of around 5 days, and the girls starting to get disappointed with me and me too missing all the fun of the bedtime story telling decided that it would be a bit simpler to continue with the Princess Aaduvati plot.

So when I declared one night at the dinner table that there's more to Princess Aaduvati, both of them got excited and danced around, and I got loads of sloppy kisses from Aadu!

( By the way, about the picture: We sometimes dress up for the story telling session!)

And so began the story of Princess "Aaduvati" who stayed in "Aaduland" with her parents, the King and the Queen. She was the only child and her parents were very old in comparison to the age of their daughter. This was so because Aaduvati was an adopted child. And what nobody knew was that Aaduvati's real mother was a Witch who was the Queen of a nearby Kingdom called "Witchland".

I don't want to get into the details because the story has already crossed the 15 episodes mark( and that's a lot considering there are no ad's and slow movements and repeated shots and I talk continuously for over an hour) and it has been getting interesting with every episode. I've put everything I've ever watched, read and heard about witches, about magic, about the mystery of life into this story! The story which started as a fun princess story is today at a point where Aaduland was attacked by a nearby kingdom, and the attack was so severe that nobody but Aaduvati could protect her people with her inborn witch powers, and that's when the whole Kingdom realises that their princess is actually a Witch and they turn against her. What would Aaduvati do now? How will she win back her people?
.
.
.


I felt a bit bad that this fab story revolves only around Aadu, and has character names of only her favourite people such as Prince Arnav ( Arnav being one of her favourite pals at school) ,  and so I wanted to weave a story around Molly, but Mollyvati sounds too lame ! For a long time I kept thinking about how I could include her into some story. The answer to that question came just yesterday!

It's Aadu's 7th Birthday today, and we have decorated the house and made it look like a Palace with drapes and lights. Yesterday when I picked up a gift for Aadu, I also found something interesting that Molly would like. When I got them wrapped and had to write the names on the card, for Aadu I wrote " Happy Birthday Princess Aaduvati", I wondered what I should write on Molly's gift? ...After a bit of thinking, I wrote, "To Madame Molly". And that was a start of a new story that I told them yesterday night. The story of Madame Molly and Mrs. Pittsbal!

Madame Molly's story dates back to the 17th century and took place in the suburbs of London. The name Madame might make you think she's old, but no! Madame Molly is the youngest of the 7 children of Sir John Jr and Madame Hazel. Sir John works for the government and they have a palatial house where they live a very lavish life.
The eldest daughter is Jane (21 year old 'Jane' is the English version of my name in this story. So Jane is really me :-),
the second daughter, 19 year old Demi - is the English version of my sister Devaki's name,
the 3rd is a son, 17 year old Austin- taken after the Initial A for Akshay, my bro in law ,
After that comes 15 year old Jack- It's just the name of Leonardo Di Caprio in Titanic,
Then comes 13 year old Kimberly,
11 year old Emma,
and the youngest, naughtiest and the smartest , 9 year old Molly!

This story has had only 1 episode so far in which Sir John runs into some trouble in his office and there are a few misunderstandings and he ends up making dangerous enemies who plan to kill him and one fine day when he's on his way home in his car, a huge truck runs him over and he dies.

Hazel is devastated! She doesn't know how she will take care of 7 kids with 5 of them ( the youngest 5) always getting on to each other's nerves! She rushes to the nearby church and prays to the lord and cries all night long not knowing what to do next. When she wakes up the next day, she rushes back home , worried about her kids.

At home, at the table she finds Jane and Demi pouring coffee and making toast to an old lady whom Hazel can not recognise. The 55 year old lady, introduces herself as Mrs. pittsbal, a governess!
"How will you handle my kids at this age?" asks Hazel.
"Let me spend some time with them and then you will know." Smiles Mrs. Pittsbal.

And she spends not more than 20 minutes with the kids and surprisingly the kids listen to this magical old lady!

The starting of this story is a mix of 'The sound of Music' and some other film  I'd watched long time back, I don't remember the name now. But because there are so many characters in this story, I think it's going to be my playground :-)

Okay, the kids have started arriving at Princess Aaduvati's Palace and I gotta go catch the fun.

Next time, I'll tell you some more about all the fun I have with the kids, also I will talk about the delicious food Vrinda makes for us.....

Today I made this 1st cup cake of my life! 













These are all the cup cakes for the kids!
And the Grand Cake!

It's so tasty.....it's totally Yum!
The first cake I've ever witnessed being made!

I helped to decorate it :-)
And that's both of them again....My sunshines!

If I ever have a dull day, all I gotta do is press the bell of their door and their twinkling eyes and those beautiful smiles will drive my blues away!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

SMS that made my day!

Sometimes we complicate things.....even by being quiet!
Silence is not always understood!

U miss some1?
Call.

Wanna meet?
Invite!

Wanna b understood?
xplain urself!

Have questions?
Ask.

Don't like it?
Say it.

Like it?
State it.

U r in d mood?
Do it.

Want something?
Ask in d best possible way to get a yes.

If u already have a "no", have the courage to let go.

We just have one life....

Do what makes u happy!

This love has taken its toll!

Take the latest case of Malini Murmu's death.


For the past couple of days a lot is being talked about how her boy friend posted a status message about their break up on his facebook wall , following which the girl hit a depression and ended her life!

I watched the film, The Social Network last year and was shocked to learn how FB was invented and especially "The lack of sense" displayed by its founder ,Mark Zuckerberg!

FB aint a social network, its an anti-social network!
Because you can't trust the world to be at its best all by themselves! It's a jungle out there, and we so called humans are , in fact, just animals, and we are showing our true colours on sites such as FB!

In the first few minutes of the film, we see Mark dating a young girl, with whom he doesn't speak a sentence decently, ( I don't understand what happened to that breed called 'gentleman'...are they extinct??), and the girl gets fed up with his insults and weird behaviour and leaves. To which our youngest billionaire responds by blogging in the following terms,


"Erica Albright’s a bitch. Do you think
that’s because her family changed their
name from Albrecht or do you think it’s
because all B.U. girls are bitches?

For the record, she may look like a 34C
but she’s getting all kinds of help from
our friends at Victoria’s Secret. She’s a
34B, as in barely anything there. False
advertising."

In comparison to such language, Abhishek Dhan hasn't done half a crime!

Every newspaper, blog, comment is talking of thrashing Mr.Dhan. But wait a minute, is Abhishek the only person responsible for this free media which allows each one of us to take out our frustrations the way we want??

Is Abhishek responsible for Malini's weak EQ?

Do we know Malini left a note that said* (something to the effect of),  My death is the best revenge for Abhishek.

It looks like both of them were very much in a mentally abusive relationship, while he posted a message on his wall to piss her off, she went ahead of it all and ended her life!



How can we lay the entire blame on a boy , who broke up with his girl friend?

How can we take justice in our hands?

All of us have fallen in love, and out of it...have faced break ups, or have broken up, if Abhishek Dhan is guilty for the death of his girl friend, so is each one of us.

People over the centuries have committed suicides for various reasons, yes, many of them did so because of cruel people and situations around them.
Life isn't easy on some and difficult on others, life is life, for all of us!
And we all know that some of the most revered leaders and social Heroes have come out of some of life's most difficult circumstances.
Now a days we want to win, but we don't want to suffer any pain.
There's no gain without any pain my darling, haven't you ever heard of that?

So let's toughen up our hearts, and face the world!
Yes life sucks!
Yes the society laughs at us when we are the weakest!
And people kick our ass when we most need them!
So what?

Have the guts to show your middle finger to those who laugh at you, if you don't have those guts, go ahead, hang yourselves!

Laws and social welfare/development can never cushion you so much till nobody can hurt you any more. People in all walks and societies will always try to hit at you with their best weapon, isn't life all about facing that challenge and being prepared and hitting back with whatever you have in you?

I want to make it clear here, that I'm not on Abhishek's side, nor am I on Malini's side.
But I do want to tell the likes of Malini, who might now think after how much trouble Abhishek has gotten himself into for being nasty to her, that this is the best revenge to such boyfriends, that please wait a minute and think, Life isn't about 1 love, life isn't about a couple of years..........some months down the lane Malini will be forgotten and so will be Abhishek!

There's nothing more important than your life,
It's a gift!
So treasure it please!












* http://news.oneindia.in/2011/09/22/iimb-girl-suicide-boyfriend-met-malini-before-death.html

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Have you seen a clear night sky?




I never get "Random Thoughts" by nature, it has to be someone else making random statements for me to wander off in that direction. And when it comes to 'Randomness', "Alphus Rockey" rules the roost! After all , he's Alphus 'Random' Rockey while I am Janaki 'Confused' Sincro, so you can imagine where his randomness can lead me to. Sometimes our conversations lead me to a state of mind that ends me with morbid dreams!


Our conversations are as good as a drug dose for me, as I get a hangover the very next day.


So yesterday night, he asked me this question, "What do you feel when you see a clear night sky?"

So I laid down on the lawn to completely feel it, to answer the question.

The sky was clear yesterday night.




"So? What do you feel? Apart from appreciating the beauty of it of course..."


"Only if you stop talking will I feel something.....wait now...let me listen to my heart...."


And so I looked at the sky, and the million stars, and ignored all that was around me, ignored the fact that I was lying down on the lawn at 9.30pm at night, and that if the security had seen me like that, they would probably come running to see what I'm doing....I took a deep long breath, (and apart from the traffic noise somewhere far away), could hear my own breathing, and I could sense some slow sad music going on in my head!




" I hear some slow music......."




"Okay....and?"




" Alphus, I'm getting a feeling of a very deep sense of loss! As if I'm lost somewhere....


I think I've never felt too happy looking at a clear night sky with stars......they are so many of them....


I feel lonely.....as my eyes see the familiar patterns in the sky, my mind cant make any sense of my life and my goals and my being alive!


As if the very next moment I'm going to die, as if I'm breathing my last!"


"Hmmm........and the moon? What do you feel when you see the moon?"


" The moon is my friend! No matter how lost I am, if I see the moon I smile. I know him, he knows me!"


"Nice...that's kind of deep...The emotion that you are feeling is called "feeling insignificant"

"What do you mean?"

"Imagine u have a map, its like any other map, but only difference is that this one shows all of Creation with its limitless stars and planets and infinitive emptiness of space, and it also shows You, a dot about 1/100th the size of a pin prick and it marks you out with a sign in Bold letters saying "THIS IS YOU". If u had such a map what would be the first thing that comes to your mind?"

"I'm so small"

" Exactly.....hence Insignificant! Now let me ask you a different question...."


"No!"


"Why not?"


" Because I'm lost in the sky........ "


"Okay.......Look, you might be feeling quite peaceful there, but I aint watching the stars right now, so...next question!"


"No next questions, all the noise from your side is disturbing my thought process....let's hang up now."


"This is what I don't like about you, you get lost in our conversations and can't Come back!"


"No.......I feel divine! Good night Alphus, we'll talk tomorrow!"


" Nonsense! No random conversations with you any more. Bye."






(Song) "Growing in numbers
Growing in speed
Can't fight the future
Can't fight what I see

People they come together
People they fall apart
No one can stop us now
'Cause we are all made of stars'

Efforts of lovers
Left in my mind
I sing in the reaches
We'll see what we find


Slowly rebuilding
I feel it in me
Growing in numbers
Growing in peace


People they come together
People they fall apart
No one can stop us now
'Cause we are all made of stars"





Security: Madamji , aap thik ho?

Me(waking up): Huh? Wha??

Security: Madamji , gyaarah baj rahe hain, aur aap yahan lawn pe so rahe ho?


(Madam, are you alright? It's 11 pm and you are sleeping outside on the lawn?")










"We are all made of stars" by Moby





Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jai Hind! (55-er)

"Maverick" she was!
Society laughed at her hair styles, dress code and make up.

With great difficulty, her mother found a respectable man who was ready to marry her.

The day they met, before he could speak, she asked him, "You have a government job?"

"Yes."

"Do you take bribes?"

"Yes."

She was outta there!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Welcome to the City!

Silk Board Junction in Bengaluru is well known for its heavy traffic jams. Even after a flyover has been built connecting directly to the Electronic city, the traffic isn't any less at the Junction and at times one finds oneself stuck at the signal for as long as 15 minutes during rush hours.

Sneha's route was typically J.P Nagar to Marathahalli where she worked and back to J.P Nagar where she stayed. For 2 years she had traveled by buses and now had bought herself a bike, which was not for use to go to office everyday but mainly to avoid getting into arguments with auto drivers on weekends, who are well known for screwing up the meters to charge more fare, which in turn leads to a lot of stress, and inconvenience to the commuters. But why would the Government care to look into the matter? Heck! They don't even care about the flyover constructions on the outer ring road taking forever and causing so much inconvenience to the commuters everyday!

Even after paying the highest road tax in India, this is what we get! Pollution, traffic jams, construction work everywhere on the road, poorly built service roads, no proper traffic / danger/ construction signs where construction work is happening. The other day Sneha almost drove into a big pit at the end of the road, which was not barricaded or covered with any warning signs. Sneha felt she had been given a 2nd chance at life after not lending into the pit, thanks to her super quick brakes! Roads are bad but the automobile industry is doing a great job considering all the odds.

This week was a tough one. There were deadlines to meet and Sneha was getting her bike to office every day. No...not because of the deadlines but because once you get used to a vehicle, its difficult to want to go standing all the way in an over crowded bus. You tend to like the dust and the pollution over the sweat around you.

She thought she would try to enjoy the bike rides, sing a song while riding or think about what work needs to be done, or reflect on where life is going etc etc. But no....The crazy traffic doesn't let you do anything other than think which is the sleekest way to get ahead of the cars, trucks and other bikes standing in front of you and you try so hard for over 20 minutes , with all your driving skills and confidence only to find you are bloody running a rat race. The woman you supposedly crossed over 10 minutes back is now riding with you. Fuck! You got nowhere!

What's worse?

Riding in this traffic only to find you are really getting nowhere, or working in that lame IT office environment day in and day out , and get nowhere and feel nothing by the end of weeks and months and years??

Tough choice!

Everyday Sneha went around these same topics in her head while riding and she was starting to get irritated!
"Oh come on! There has to be more to a city than the salary you get paid at the end of the month!"
Now a days she couldn't find a reason for her living in a city.
She looked at the life of her friends back home. Happily settled with a family, and a job. The job might not be paying them as much as hers paid her. It might not have growth opportunities as her job had. But, you also don't get unnecessarily stressed with traffic and pollution! Half of your life spent in commuting! Does it make any sense at all?

"Excuse me?"
Sneha's thought process was disturbed by someone standing with a bike besides her.
"Yes?"
He was a boy with a blue checked shirt. That's all she noticed of him in the first look. The blue checks. She loved his shirt.
"Don't think I'm a stalker, but I've seen you around many times. Maybe our time of commuting is the same. You work in Vrindavan Tech Park right?"
"Yes"
"I work there too."
"Oh!Which company?"

Just then the signal turned green or in other words, it said," Get Set Go" ,and all the vehicles rushed as if there was a million dollar prize for them at the end of the road.

Sneha took her own sweet time to navigate her way. Every now and then she could see the blue checked shirt riding somewhere around her. Sometimes he would be completely out of sight, and she would ride a bit faster, try to locate him, and when he came back into sight, there was a relief of some sort.
Blue checked shirt preferred the service roads to the jammed main roads while Sneha usually stuck to the main road.....whichever roads they took, almost every time they ended up being somewhere around each other, but never next to each other. Whenever they were stuck in a traffic, they looked at each other and smiled, but were too far away to talk to each other.

In the next 30 minutes, blue checks was lost somewhere and Sneha could not locate him at all.

She reached her Tech Park and parked her bike in her company parking lot.
As she walked from the parking lot to her desk, she though, "This day feels different!"
Funny as it may sound, a few sentences exchanged with a stranger had brought a whole new perspective about the way she perceived life in this city.
Suddenly she was looking forward to ride back home in the expectation that she would see him again, and maybe ask his name??
Why? Had she liked him?
No...not really. she wasn't so foolish to fall in love at 1st sight.
Then why was her world painted in red today?
She couldn't tell.
She couldn't tell  why!

The deadlines were over, and so was the week. She made it a point to start from home at the same time every day, but for the next 2 weeks, she did not see him anywhere on the road. She knew his bike number. But he was nowhere in sight.
Had he lied that he was a regular commuter?
Did something happen to him?
Is he alive?
Was he a dream?
Am I sane??

That was the only question that haunted her in week 3. "Am I sane?"

"Miss Sen!"
She was startled out of her reverie as her colleague called out to her.

"Yes Varun?"
"Where are you lost?"
 She turned to look at her laptop and realized why Varun asked such a question. She had been looking at the screen saver, god knows for how long!
"Nowhere!"
She tapped the mouse to get back to her work.

Varun came closer to her cubicle.
"So Sneha.......what is it?"
"What is what Varun?", She kept her eyes fixed on her monitor. While he kept his eyes fixed on her.
"Who's he?"
"Who's who?"
"The guy you have been thinking about for quite a long time now??"
"I don't think about any guy Varun."
"Okay then....the girl you have been thinking about for quite a long time now?" He joked, she picked up a spare magazine and threw at him.
"Coffee?"
"No thank you."

Varun nagged her a bit more and then left her alone knowing that she wouldn't budge. She had started feeling helplessly foolish about this whole scenario. She had been in a few relationships before, she wasn't the "Never been kissed" types, and she knew better than those romantic fairy tale stuff that young girls love all the time. But still, she couldn't do anything to keep her heart from searching for the one.

The next day, she decided she would not take the bike to office. What with her eyes scanning each and every bike number, she felt as if she was on some mission impossible! She walked to her usual bus stop and got into the familiar bus. There was no place to sit, as always. But now she preferred the sweat smell to her ride through the polluted rugged roads as if she was a secret spy, a CIA agent. She had started making a fool out of herself on that episode now. All she remembered was his bike number and the checked shirt. She couldn't even remember how he looked. She had even gone to the extent of googling 'who wears blue checked shirt' and found no logical answer to the question. Unknowingly she started smiling and later chuckling, a few ladies and men standing besides her turned to look at her. But she couldn't stop. The whole episode was so damn funny. She started laughing now, uncontrollably, tears rolling down her cheeks....people around her thought she was insane. She tried to explain through her laughs and tears, "Gosh...I can't stop laughing...my god! This is so funny! I....... ( laughs, chuckles, tears, laugh ) God...I've.....( laughs, chuckles), can't believe myself!" A few young girls besides her started laughing as well. For whole 5 minutes she laughed as if she had been granted the right to laugh for the first time in her life. So she made a quick decision to get down from the bus and return home because she totally doubted her mental status. The conductor let her get down, and everyone looked at her with amazement. When the bus passed by, she settled down and stopped laughing. Took 2 deep breaths. She kept standing at the side of the Outer Ring Road, in the middle of nowhere. She looked down at her feet  and kept looking there.
"Hi."
She looked up.
"Yes?"
"I heard you laughing in the bus."
" Great! And you thought I was mad."
"No...just that it was the most amazing laughter I've ever heard."
"Thanks..but I feel like such a fool!", She looked away.

He gave her some time and then asked,
"coffee?"
" Is there any coffee shop at all around here?", she was quick to answer and looked around.
" We'll have to walk a little to get there. Mind it?"

He looked descent. Specs with a black geeky frame, curly hair, fair skin tone , a bit plump but a reassuring face and a cute smile.
"I'm Sneha ." She extended her hand.
"I'm Jaydeep."

They walked to the coffee shop and sat there 4 whole hours talking. Talking about anything and everything.

And so she realized once again why she loved the city so much.

In cities, you meet people, you make friends, some go on to be life long friends, some just for a few minutes. But it is the city where anything and everything is possible. It's the city which offers you the world of your dreams.

Nobody cares whether you laugh or you cry.
Or that you are in love or you have fallen out of it.
They don't care.

And that's nice in a way, because you aren't judged 24x7 on your every word spoken and every step taken. You can go whichever way you like. You can go wrong- knowingly, unknowingly, foolishly....whatever.
No silly rules and traditions bind you. No-one sees you holding hands with some random guy and report it back home.You can act foolish and that wouldn't be held against you for the rest of your life.



You see this isn't a post about a love story.
It's a post about the life in a city the way I see it.
The anonymity, the mystery, the opportunity, the adventure, the freedom......it's just too much goodness against issues like pollution, noise and crowd.


A. I would rather have my lungs full of smoke and dust then have it full of unsaid hidden desires.
B. I would rather have  all the noise outside on the road then have unwanted people crowd my brain with advice,suggestion,taunts, and comments!
C. And finally I would rather be lost in an anonymous crowd then be crowded by people I hardly care for!

This - A, B and C is the real pollution, noise and crowd that I would always guard myself against!

I love the city- Whether it's Bengaluru, Mumbai or Pune!
I just totally love it here!







Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Strange Relationships

In KFC, They sat at a table facing the whole crowd, so that he could check out the girls and she could check out the boys.They were really good friends, ex's actually, but due to some problems somewhere, things couldn't be worked out and they had accepted the fact after initial hesitation and decided to move on as good friends. It wasn't too long back since their break up, but they did meet up once in a while, things were cooling down, it seemed.

"Check that one in your right." he turned the whole way to his right,almost looking backwards to see the girl.
"Not so much right stupid......At around 2o'clock." She specified the position and he caught sight of the girl.
"What about her?" He asked.
"You don't find her good?",she was surprised.
"She is okay..."
"Why? Just because she is in a salwaar? Only a girl in skimpy clothes can look hot according to you or what?", He wondered why Shalini couldn't let go at times, why she had to know the reason behind each and every opinion.
"I did not say she's hot, nor did I say she is bad......I just said she is okay! I mean she is attractive, rest I don't know yet."
Shalini looked at Kunal with a surprised look,"You don't have to know the rest Mr. This fun shun is meant only for the pleasure of your eyes, nothing more.", She sounded a bit possessive.

The girl in question sat alone at the table. looked like she was nervous and waiting for someone.

"I'm so sure she is not here with her boy friend." Shalini was back talking about the same girl.
"Why so?"
"Look at the expression on her face. Girls who come here with their boy friends usually carry an attitude, or that they smile at themselves because they are so much in their own world. But look at her, she seems kind of bored! "

Kunal shot her another look," She isn't bored. She's anxious."

"Really? About what?"

Just then a fat woman came with a tray filled with coke and other food stuff and laid it before the girl and sat down next to her.
" Anxious about how to finish off all that food eh?" Shalini joked sipping on her coke.

"That's her mother. And she is here to meet her prospective son in law.", Kunal said confidently. Shalini decided to play along.
"In KFC? Is this a place for such occasions?"
"This is a place for all occasions my friend. I would be really comfortable meeting a prospective wife to be in KFC rather than some posh restaurant where it's really quiet and tidy and formal and all that."
Shalini thought for a while," Yeah. You are right. This informal environment helps to calm down.Yet she's so nervous. Imagine how nervous she would be in a formal setting!"

"Oh come on. This is her 1st time, plus she's really young. Just 21." Kunal's eyes were glowing with confidence now.
"What's making you so happy?As if you are their prospective..?" She nudged him.
"As a matter of fact ....", He got up from his seat, tidied his shirt a bit, "I am. Excuse me for a while, will you?"
"Yeah right." Shalini smiled and got back to her burger. But from the corner of her eyes she saw Kunal walking up to the table. She kept watching him, not knowing what to do. She was frozen in her seat, with that burger in her hands as she saw Kunal walking up to the 2 ladies and striking a conversation and then taking a seat on that table.

As minutes passed by, the reality dawned on her.
Kunal had actually come here to meet his prospective wife to be. He knew all along, everything about the very girl Shalini chose as her target for her comments. Shalini felt betrayed, foolish and sad all at the same time. Yes they were 'Just Friends' now, but it was hardly 2 months back that they had broken up. And just a week since they had started speaking again. She wanted to give their relationship another shot, she wanted to try and make it work. Because those 2 months after they broke up, had really given her the time to evaluate the situation. She was 27. It wasn't too early for marriage. Why had she declined his proposal? Ambition, dreams....they could be fulfilled all along. But the right man? Would he come along again? Kunal was everything she ever wanted, almost everything. And she was sure she would never come that close to her specifications again. She wanted to get married in her 30's...she wanted Kunal to wait. But he had said the pressure at his home was too much and that he wouldn't be able to argue with his old parents about it. Does that mean you say a yes to the 1st girl your parents choose for you?

Shalini looked at the girl. She looked good, simple and well dressed. The girl was smiling at Kunal's jokes now and Shalini could tell this meeting would be successful if it's let to proceed without any interruptions. This was the moment of truth, this was the time to decide. Shalini realized this was her last chance at winning the boy she was in love with. She got up from her seat and started walking towards the table, not knowing what her strategy to deal with the situation would be. She reached the table and stood there.

Kunal, the girl and the mother looked up at her. The mother was the 1st to talk, "Yes? What do you want?"
Shalini took a deep breath. She did not look at Kunal.
"I want him." She pointed at him.
Kunal jerked off his seat and got up, "Shardaji, this is my friend, Shalini. You were a bit late in coming here so I joined her at her table and we were chatting for a while."

Kunal signalled Shalini with his eyes to get lost. But Shalini seemed fixed in her place as if someone had applied Fevicol to her shoes.
"I am not just a friend. I'm his girl friend. And I don't know why he's doing this to me?" She broke down and started crying. Within seconds, everybody in KFC was quiet and looking at her. Kunal had never seen Shalini cry before, not even when they broke up had she cried. He had thought she's not human at all at some points. She wasn't like the other women he had known.

" How can you be so insensitive Kunal? Why do I have to say everything in words for you to understand? Don't you see it in my eyes? Don't you understand it by my behaviour? Have you ever seen me cooking for anybody? Didn't I cook for you? Didn't I wait for you ? I did your shopping and I cleaned up your cupboards. If this isn't my love for you then what is? All I asked was your time Kunal. And all it took for you to say a no to me was one argument. No trying, No struggling.......A No from my side and it's all over? I want you . I want you for my life and I'll fight to get you, come what may. I don't care if these people feel I'm so foolish and shameless. Yes I'm shamelessly making a scene here and begging you to not leave me Kunal. I'm not so strong as I show myself to be. I won't be able to carry on without you. I'll survive but I won't live my life. Please don't do this to me Kunal. Please."

She turned and walked out of KFC as fast as she could. She caught the 1st Auto she saw and was gone within seconds. The focus of the people at KFC now turned to Kunal. It was as if the crowd waited for his explanation or answer or something from him.

Kunal cleared his throat,"Vidya is my 2nd cousin who is in love with a man 15 years elder to her and who made the stupid decision of dropping out of college in her final sem to get married to him. I'm trying to fix the situation."

"Did you have to spoil my name in public to save your ass Kunal bhaiyya?" Vidya stood up, furious!

"So you do realize that what you've done is wrong." Kunal looked straight at Vidya, she sat down, " But I don't know what to do now? I'm so screwed up!"

"I'll deal with you later, first I've to go and talk to my lady love. It took her 5 years to realize that she is in love with me. Bye Shardachachi, will call you later." He rushed out of KFC.

"Thanks a lot Kunal....bless you both." Shardachachi turned to see her daughter, " Here's you who did not take a second to fall in love with the wrong man and there's Shalini who couldn't realize she was with the right man until she almost lost him....strange generation yours is!"








Friday, June 24, 2011

When you're gone...

Rakesh calls me today..., "Hey J, just wanted to tell you...I'm going to Dubai in 2 weeks time."
"Hey...That's nice...When will you be back?"
"Hmm....I don't know J......I don't think I'll be back!"

And then I listen to the reasons he had for leaving, and I'm lost in thoughts.

I remember Joseph calling me some weeks back, "Hey Janaki, when can we meet this week?"
"Hmm.. I dunno Joseph...Got a couple of tests this week."
"Hmm...too bad! I'm leaving for Kerala!"
"Okay.. so we'll meet when you get back!"
"Naah...This is my final goodbye to this city! So wanted to meet you before I leave."

I remember the SMS I got a week back from Anoop,"Got a  job in UK, leaving B'lore...Leavin India! Too bad couldn't say a goodbye by meeting you, too busy! You take care!"

And Ashwini," Hey my Husband's going on-site for a year...and guess what? I'm going with him!"

And Danish is going on-site in 2 weeks,
And N,
My closest,dearest friend Navdeep too is going back home...forever!

Every single friend I made last year....Is going away......Is Gone!
Never to return back,
never to share a joke,
never to take that quick tea break around the corner,
never to argue and fight,
never to brain-storm.....

You know, it's just been a year since I've known these people..not too long, is it?
But these were the 1st few friends I made in Bengaluru...they are the people who made living in a city worth the effort!
Rakesh, the only film-buddy in the city I know,
Ashwini, the girl who aspires to be a CS just like me,
Anoop, the co-blogger,
Joseph, the legal friend,
Danish, the neighbour,
And Navdeep.....can't fit him in 1 role ever!

I feel like I'm starting all over again in the city...I'm feeling empty as these were some wonderful friends I made!
This, in a way , is what I'd hoped for when I left Goa....I hoped to meet new people and make new friends, move to a new place every year and explore- the world around and inside of me!
But it's so hard to let go of the ties I made....it's as if , with each one of them, I leave a part of me.
I'm not used to letting go of people so soon.
But maybe it's for the best.
Whatever little time I spent with these people, was wonderful and memorable!

Maybe it's time once again to start a new journey, same city, but unknown world!




Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Janaki "Confused" Sincro!

She enters the salon and stands there, trying to remember why she entered it in the 1st place. Her mind is still on some of the eye liners she had seen in the earlier shop.

The Salon ladies are busy on their clients applying the face pack, threading, massaging the hair...

She looks back once again, and realizes she cannot go out before she finishes her work here. Some of the Salon ladies look up now, expecting her to say something. So she looks around for some help and finds what she needed...The L'Oreal Shampoo.

"I need this shampoo." She points out to a cream color bottle.

"Just the shampoo or also the conditioner?" One of the salon lady asks her.

"Wait a min." She dials the number of her friend who had asked her to get the shampoo,

" I told you I just need the shampoo, I already have the conditioner!" The friend says.

But at that very time she is looking at the different colors of the bottles in front of her, she is wondering , if she had a bit more money, which bottle she would have bought. She carelessly says a 'okay' to her friend and asks for the shampoo again, "How much is the shampoo for?"

"It's 475 ma'am, it is to be used with the conditioner for best results. Shall I give the conditioner as well?"

She is confused again. She knows very well that her friend had given her specific instructions before starting from home, then once again after she called to confirm, just seconds ago....but what were the instructions? She cannot remember.

"Wait a sec." She calls her friend again, who's busy working on some important issue at work, " What?", The friend demands.

How do I ask her the same question again?  She wonders for a moment before asking, " Did you say just the shampoo or just the conditioner? or both?"

The friend wonders what's wrong with this girl? So she says, " If it's too difficult for you to remember then just come home. Don't get anything. I'll look for it myself."

"No just this last time. What do you want?"

"Get me the fucking SHAMPOO!", The friend replies, irritated and frustrated and slams down the phone. This isn't the 1st time she has behaved this way, she always seems lost somewhere.

So she pays for the fucking SHAMPOO and comes out of the salon. On her way back she remembers the Cadbury Five star Ad with the tag line "Jo khaaye, kho jaaye!" and the two friends calling out to each other again and again after every bite- "Ramesh n Suresh".

So she smiles to herself on her absent mindedness and just then the phone rings again and its her friend calling and she thinks, "Oh fuck! She had asked me to buy some shampoo!" And she turns around swiftly, making a run to the salon and picks up the call on the way, panting, "I'm just on my way to get your shampoo, wait!" and cuts the call.

And the friend on the line thinks," WTF?"

(That's Di n me-in one of my mischievous moods)


I'm a child in your arms

Yesterday morning when I went for my tuition class, my teacher's son was getting ready for school. He's just 4 years old. He's usually playful around the house, greeting me whenever I enter the house, giving me a mischievous smile or simply shying and running away inside.

But the usually playful boy looked worried today. His eyes were set on the road and he stood fixed to the window, waiting. The moment his school van arrived, his eyes saddened. He turned to his mom and asked her, "Will I be back home from school maa? Will I see you again?", and his mom, my teacher, lovingly picked him up in her arms and kissed him on his cheek and assured him that he will be back home soon, that his friends are waiting for him in the van , that he will have a great time playing with them and then get back home to play with his maa.

That expression of worry in his eyes and his innocent questions made me realize that the girl watching him, 21 years elder to him, felt the same fear in her heart when she said a simple 'bye' to the one she cares. It's the same question her heart asks, "Won't you come back to me? Won't I see you again?"

Maybe some kid in the little boy's school played a prank on him and told him once he goes to school, he will never return home again.
Whereas my fear is not based on some hearsay, its based on experience....that people turn around too quickly, that nothing lasts forever.

Love feels so good because it takes one back to one's childhood.
One can be innocent and naive,
one can cry and laugh like an idiot,
one can sing the way one likes and move one's body like a mad man and call it a dance move.



And In this whole wide world,there is just one person with whom I can be the child I am. And I'm so scared to lose that child in me, I'm so scared to lose that comfort, those loving hugs that tell me every thing's alright, that kiss that tells me I'm still loved, I'm still wanted and that we will be together, like the promise of a mother....I would so like to believe this dream was true, that there can be someone other than a mother who cares as much...

My heart is torn between reality and the dream.
My heart is stuck between promises and hollow words.
But this undying hope, that things will turn around, refuses to die.
The child in me waits for my hand to be held and to be guided.

Maybe it's just a bad day at school, over stretched into days, months and years and that van which took me there will get me back home, and there will be someone who will be waiting for me, worrying for me and someone who will say, "Where were you all this time? I have been waiting!"








All images from Google Image Search.



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