Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Life Reunited!

Bangalore as a city is growing on me; my friends are making it happen. My two close and old friends live near to my house. We went to the same school where they fell in love and married after 10 years of courtship. I am referring them as Veena and Ashish as they don't want their names to be public. Often on weekends we hang out together for dinners, go clubbing or hit pubs, but an email changed our way of life.  We got a school reunion invitation scheduled on a Saturday after two weeks. Veena and I got very excited at the thought of meeting our old friends and also because it was time to shop.

We met at my house to decide about our shopping spree. While we were discussing it I noticed that Ashish is a bit worried about something. I nudged Veena, she was clueless.

“Ashish, what happened? Is something bothering you?”

“No yaar, just that I am not interested in your shopping”, irritation was evident. We did not buy his reason and after minutes of persuasion he yelled, “I don't want to go to any such reunion. People will laugh at me”. He pointed to his pot belly.

We both chuckled quietly. This concern was not new. Ashish never liked his chubby cheeks and pot belly. This weight made him introvert. He won't shop with friends, he won't get his photographs clicked but the worst was he felt a lot inferior when ever he met any guy who is any slimmer to him. He has shown his anguish over his weight several times before but never did much. He made exercise regimes and diet charts but they all went to trash within a day or two. So we don't take his weight issues seriously. However, we did not realise that for him stakes were high this time. In school and college, Ashish was the handsome hunk. From last 4-5 years he has put on oodles of weight without bothering much. With a roly-poly body, he was not happy to meet the same guys who envied him for his looks and the same girls who fell for him.

“Oh come-on! It’s OK. Don't start it again. Just come with us to buy a new jacket. The old ones won’t fit you anymore”, Veena uttered all this while making the shopping list.

“I won't go, will make some excuse. You guys carry on”, Ashish was really upset.

Later, in the kitchen I said to Veena, “I think he won't come. I have never seen him so nervous”.
“No, he will forget about it in the morning. And most importantly nothing much can be done in 10 days”. We dined and they left.

Next day at 6:00 AM my phone rang. It was Veena in a lazy voice. She told me that Ashish woke up early and went for jogging. “What? I told you it’s different this time”, I blabbered as I yawned.

A new day started and went as usual for all of us except Ashish. Around 4:00 PM, Veena texted me that she is leaving early as Ashish has reached home and have severe pain in his legs. Ashish couldn't go to office the next day too, he did some extreme running due to which his muscles swelled up. After my office I went to his place to meet him. He opened the door, he was limping. He looked tired and disappointed. Veena and I were talking but he was not speaking at all. Just to make him smile I said, “Hope your leg gets better or else with whom will I dance at the reunion”. He smiled sadly but said nothing.

“He has gone mad. He is mulishly harping that he will only go to the reunion wearing his blue jacket that I bought him last Diwali”, Veena said angrily and then stared him, “Why don't you understand Ashish, it no longer fits you. To be in that jacket you'll have to loose at least 5-6 kg”.

“I will lose, but I will only go to the reunion wearing that jacket”, Ashish was stubborn. It was clear that Ashish has gone steps farther than his routine weight concerns. This time he has taken it as a challenge to his will, determination and stamina. He will go to any extent to achieve it.  Unfortunately, if he fails he will lose his self-confidence terribly and may get into an abyss of low esteem. This was a dangerous. To give him some hope I said, “Why don't you try GM diet? It works. You will lose 4-5 Kg in a week.”

Ashish smiled, we could see his eyes brimming with hope. For the next one week he was on the diet following it without any fail. The effect was visible and so was the confidence of Ashish. But we were still scared about the jacket. We were not sure if the diet will help him loose so much as to fit it the jacket. Veena and I were happy but the 'jacket' thing was killing us.

The day arrived when there was no escape to the moment of truth. Ashish was very excited; people at his work, friends, all have been complementing him for his weight loss. He was sure he will get into the jacket but the weighing machine was a little rebel. He lost around 4 Kg in a week, a big achievement in the diary of weight losers but was less to deal with the jacket. We were waiting for him to come out of the room. The door opened with a thud and I was shocked. The jacket not only fit him but also gave him enough room to dance. We screamed in happiness. Ashish was glowing with confidence. I had never seen him this happy since long. His eyes were proud, victorious and joyful.

At the party he was high with excitement. He was laughing, cracking jokes, living old memories to full. He was no more ashamed of his weight. Veena too was very happy; she knew how crucial it is for Ashish to wear this jacket. She knew that if Ashish would have failed to lose weight he would have failed himself. His efforts were well paid.

While he was dancing madly to the tunes of 'Tamanche pe disco', I said to Veena, “To be honest, I never thought Ashish would make it. It's a pleasant miracle. He lost so much, WOW”. Veena sipping her Vodka with Coconut water replied to me, “A good wife is who supports her husband in everything, but a GREAT wife covertly replaces the old jacket with a bigger size one when no one is watching.”

I was stunned, unable to say anything or even to react. She winked at me and went to join Ashish on the dance floor. It was divine to see them dancing in love. Ashish was enjoying his triumph over himself. This reunion made him reunite with his life.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Knotty Butterflies

These butterflies are inevitable. They can be suppressed at times but can’t be avoided. We try to fool ourselves by focusing on all the bright and good things waiting for us, but time and again they pop up making us uncomfortable. They have nothing to do with our soul mates or partners. We may be marrying someone chosen by our parents or may be marrying our love, these butterflies are certain. They come up with hundred unknown, undefined fears and leave us sleepless. We try to share it with our friends and cousins but hear the same line which does not comforts us at all, “Oh! This happens. It happened with me too.” We feel clueless and then console ourselves thinking these butterflies will go with time. And yes, they go.

After talking to all my friends who felt these butterflies and analyzing my own fears, I tried to wrap them in words. Here are as I think our two biggest fears about tying a knot.

2) We dread being ALONE

Yes, you may disagree at the first look but it’s true. Among those unscripted fears, one is fear of being alone for the rest of our life. We may say that this has not crept our mind even once. How can we be alone? Marriage gives us a life partner. But, being alone may not necessarily mean absence of someone in-person, it refers to absence of someone compatible to talk your heart out. There are many aspects of us which we abstain from showing to anyone. Some things are so personal that no one can play a confidante - neither family nor friends. We feel a hundred things but are scared of being judged. The judgment is worse when it comes from the spouse. Lifelong we have been waiting for this one person who will understand us completely but our heart skips a beat by even thinking of a scenario when that one person is not able to understand us. What if there are misunderstandings? What if our silence is overlooked? What if our words are misread? These questions sound familiar, right?

1) We wish to be LOVED FOREVER

This is a funny desire which fills our mind with a lot of confusion, often makes us irrational and forces us to do things which we won't consider otherwise. A marriage is something which we wish to cherish till our last breath. There is no turning back, especially in a country like India, where a broken marriage fetches no respect. We wish the love to last forever. Even the thought of not being loved and cared for disturbs us deep down. The feedback from people who have been in a marriage for years are often disappointing. They tell us that this love will fade with responsibilities and we are petrified to even picture it for us.

Bottom line remains the same, VULNERABILITY MAKES US ANXIOUS.

But I think there is a scarier situation which Gregory David Roberts has described in his novel , Shantaram, 'At first, when we truly love someone, our greatest fear is that the loved one will stop loving us. What we should fear and dread instead is that we won't stop loving them, even after they are dead and gone.' Sometimes we change ourselves so that we are loved more. It starts with very small compromises which are easy but can take an ugly turn later. We sometimes just want to be perfect. We don’t give the other person a chance to love us for what we are, we just try to blend. Unfortunately there is nothing known as blending when it comes to human emotions. We don’t blend, we change, often deliberately.

Then a day comes when we miss ourselves. Although we are equally to be blamed for the situations, but we give ourselves the shelter of being madly in love and fire all the arrows to the other side. We start hating them for something they are not completely responsible for.

Things happen to us when we let them happen. Let us not forget that the person with whom we are spending our life loved us for our qualities. I think it’s unfair when we try to be perfect and refrain the other person to love us as we are.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Eclipse in LOVE....!!

This phenomenon has happened to most of us. It makes you feel pain, agony, and sometimes even independence. After being taboo for years, it has gained some social acceptance. However, they bring with them a roller coaster ride of emotions and many lessons to teach you life.

A beautiful, docile Indian girl was celebrating her pre wedding ceremonies. She was getting married to her love and this added more blush to her fair red cheeks. She thinks, she couldn’t be luckier but suddenly when her lover cum fiancé discards her for not being modern enough, her beautiful castle breaks with a thud. She felt devastated, dejected and dead. But, she decides to bounce back. Don’t know, how, when, why and what made her go beyond herself. A girl, who went to her first date accompanied by her younger brother, decides to go her pre planned foreign honeymoon alone. There she finds her own self, her independence beyond culture, sex and money.  She comes back to India, meets her fiancé, makes him an ‘ex’, and thanks him for rejecting her. This story sounds familiar, right! Yes, it’s the story of blockbuster Bollywood movie, “Queen”, starred by beautiful Kangana Ranaut.

Let’s look at another, blockbuster, super- duper hit Bollywood flick. I always find myself in dearth of adjectives when I talk about this one. A bubbly, adventurous, extrovert girl meet a guy in train and after a series of adventures they become friends. This lady, who is already in love, elopes for her Mr. Perfect in assurance of true love. Her life comes to a shocking juncture when her Mr. Perfect refuses to stand beside her. She loses her faith in everything and reverts to a shell, torturing herself for her mistakes. Later when her Mr. Perfect too returns to her, she chooses her friend to be her soul mate. She thanks Mr. Perfect for dumping her as only then she could realise what she really wants for her life. No guesses required, it’s the plot of very famous “Jab we met”, starred by sensuous Kareena Kapoor Khan and handsome Shahid Kapoor.

By now I am sure you have understood my focus. I don’t want to be gender biased. Here is another movie plot, which will make you go back to some memory lane for sure. A guy joins army but elopes from there as he was not able to cope up to the difficult army training. He comes back to his house and meets his girlfriend. His girlfriend, however, got too offended by his decision to quit and breaks up the relationship stating her logical fear of not being able to trust him anymore. He feels shattered, but goes back and finally achieves what he decided for himself. Later, in a scene he thanks her, for making him what he is. It’s “Lakshya”, starred by our green eyed hunk, Hrithik Roshan & charming Preity Zinta.

I strongly believe that these movies which we have seen countless times, teach us the most important lessons of our lives-
a)      Even the biggest mistake is normal to commit.
b)     We are victim, till we wish to be.
c)      To overcome our past. But, most importantly,
d)     To appreciate our past rather than blaming it.

I have noticed a weird fact; the word ‘past’ in itself has become a sign of failure. When successful people talk about their past, they say, “Looking back...” Whereas when we talk about someone who is struggling at any unwanted juncture, he/she is termed to have a ‘past’. I think we have forgotten the literal meaning of the term ‘past’ and using it in the contextual senses. I have never understood the logic of this one phrase, “We all have a past”, and obviously anything existing has a past. Even my flower pot has a past, earlier it was in my living room, now it is in my balcony. Now does this information qualify for being past or I have to make it dirty/scary.  One kind of ‘past’ which has always ignited curiosity, hatred, opportunity and sympathy of others in you is your broken relationships. People may not find your opinions interesting, but for sure they are eager to know your opinions about your ex.

Most of us have been through broken relationships and it’s no longer a taboo. Sometimes we get ‘dumped’ and some other times we ‘dump’ people. This word is again a mess, have any one of us has seen where this dumping ground is? Whatever the case remains, we gradually learn to deal with it. Few are strong, few are not. Few choose to move, few cling back. The later ones often end up avoiding and ignoring people, place and things that are related to their past relationships. Almost all of us are hurt and we resort ourselves to different ways to bounce back. For most of us it’s a bad and sad thing to happen. Well, I have a different take on this, I agree that breakups are sad, but they may not necessarily be bad. May be we just have to look outside the window for the rainbow. In a relationship we tend to forget, our own relationship with us. We give up our own importance and that’s where we make our biggest mistake.

A broken relationship gives us time to introspect, to revise ourselves, and to rethink our expectations and aspirations. During the course of a relationship, we change with time and situations but sometimes we even don’t know it. Suppose you went in a relationship while in college and then you started working, your personality will change a lot with reference to your new office, colleagues or profile of work. But you may fail to notice these changes as you still live in the wonderland of love. When we have to come out of the wonderland, instead of going to some other fantasy world, we can choose to wait and retrospect about our changes, good or bad, and decide what and how to improve. Another very important aspect we can rethink is our assumed reservations about us and others. It gives us a chance to love ourselves for no reason and ponder about our individuality. It gives us a chance to be sure of what we want from our life, our partner, ourselves and what we surely don’t want. Isn’t that something refreshing?

Like any other experience, our relationships too teach us a lot if we want to learn the best out of them. We learn to adjust, we mellow down, we learn to respect other people’s space, we feel more empathetic, we become more expressive and sometimes we even learn to value people who are not related to us. If we think deep, we will find that each relationship, broken or not, one or two, have made us a better person, if we have allowed it to do so. It’s not the relationship that decides our actions-reactions, in case it does not continue. Rather it’s us to decide what we will churn out of us from it. If we choose to be us, no relationship can be bad. We learn from every other mistake, so why can’t we learn from our relationship mistakes. Why we deliberately burden our souls with the guilt and choose not to forgive others, well, sometimes even us. Why we forget that the purpose of life is more than anything broken and love is to stand again rather than to fall. Is it not an insult to the almighty who gave you all reasons to live happy and content?

There is a set of scarier people though. They play safe and are afraid to commit mistakes. They don’t want to be hurt, they don’t want to be cheated, and they don’t want their hearts to bleed or eyes to wet their pillows. This is worst you can give back to life because anyway you are not living. Life is to experience love, care, friendship, pain, thrill, agony and all other emotions. Live your own set of mistakes and create your own blunders. Just one golden rule to follow:

Learn your lessons on time.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014


मेरे अंदर का उखड़ापन,और तुम्हारा सम्मोहन,
मिल जाते हैं जब यह दोनों,लग जाती है एक लगन। 

मेरे मन कि दीवारों को, अंदर से तुमने तोड़ दिया,
मेरा मन ही मेरा दुश्मन, तुमने अपनी ओर मोड़ लिया।
मेरे अंदर का यह अनकहापन,और तुम्हारा प्रेम निवेदन,
मिल जाते है जब यह दोनों, लग जाती है एक लगन। 

मेरा मन फिसला जाता है, न जाने क्या चाहता है,
तुम्हारे दर्द में मरना शायद, इंतज़ार में जीना चाहता है,
मेरे अंदर का अनछुआपन, और तुम्हारा स्पन्दन ,
मिल जाते है जब यह दोनों, लग जाती है एक लगन। 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Damsel in Distress!

A lady woke up in her bedroom only to find herself surrounded by four weird strangers...

I opened my eyes and found four weird strangers in my room. My heart almost skipped a beat finding them so close to my bed. Who are they? How did they enter my room? What do they want? etc. were a few of the hundred questions that crossed my mind within seconds. I screamed and hopped out of my bed trying to maintain a safe distance from them. However, they did not react to anything I did and continued doing some strange activities. I was scared to death.

“Wh..whoo are you?”, I stammered in my fear sucked voice.

No response. This made me all the more skeptical about them. I started looking for my phone to call anyone for help. Alas! I keep it under my pillow which is placed next to these strangers. They were not moving at all, not even an inch. I was not able to guess their intentions, what they would do if I move. Amid this muddle, I looked closely at them to find the weakest link.

The first one was dressed in a green jumpsuit. He looked young and fresh. He was sitting on the edge of window, whistling and swinging his legs. His jumpsuit was new and expensive. He was flaunting his assets in very nouveau riche mannerisms. I smiled at him to attempt some conversation; but before I could say a word, he told me few unrelated jokes, made wierd faces and said with attitude,

“Hey there! I am the stud who visits one million new bedrooms everyday. And you say you don't know me babyyy.”

This made me dubious. I could not trust him. With more cynical state of mind, I looked at the second man.
He was leaning at the door to my balcony and smoking a cigar. His face had very philosophical look. He was wearing a complete blue suit. He was lost in his own thoughts. By the sober expressions of his face I could make out that he was trying to think something very profound. I was taken aback by his seriousness, with all my courage I said a soft ‘Hi’ to him. He looked at me with his eyes so intense, moved his lips may be to say something but pursed them back as if he himself didn’t like the depth of his thoughts. And then he just mindlessly repeated what I said. I found no help from here too. With descending hope of rescue, I looked at the third one.

The third one looked impossible to any kind of human relations. He was standing head high with a straight face and right hand in pocket. He was wearing a black pinstripe suit and black goggles. His hands were full of some printed papers which he was reading without any expressions. The stiffness on his face added to my nervousness and I dropped the idea of even greeting him. I stepped closed to bed slowly, trying not to attract anyone's attention. But, as I moved, this man gave me a tough look and said in a low, husky voice,

“I told you to congratulate Mr. Ramnathan Venketeshwaram Iyyer on his new job, but u didn’t. I also told you to wish Dr. Anand Kumar Nagpal on his birthday, but you forgot. Get this straight lady, if you don’t follow what I say, you will be doomed”.

My jaw almost dropped. I stammered, “Doomed.. me..but why…who are they? I don’t know them and even don’t like their names.”

“So what, they can help you in future. Now just follow what I say”, his voice turned little hard.

My fear got mixed with irritation; I stepped back and bumped into the fourth guy. This guy looked chilled and happy. He was wearing a red Hawaiian shirt with yellow, green flowers and a black Bermuda. He had this big beach hat on his head and a camera in his hand. He was busy clicking his own pictures with different parts of my room. He was smiling and singing. His smile had a naughty tint of pride, as if he is flaunting to me his happy-go-lucky life. As if I cared. But, his friendly smile made me ask him for help,

“I need help. I don’t know you guys. I can’t understand anything happening around. I don’t know how to get out of this.”
“Oh! I like it”, his voice had sympathy for sure.
“Like it. What do you mean? How can you like it? I am in trouble, help me”, I uttered in frustration.
“I like it. I like everything”, he said with more sympathy.

I was about to burst in tears, while finding my phone frenetically. Somehow I reached my phone, and patted the 'Contacts' to open.

“Oh my God, they are ghosts. My ‘Contacts’ are blocked. They must have done it. Are they here to kill me or kidnap me? Who are you?” I screamed on top of my voice and started crying. 
My tears grabbed their attention, I blinked and they were standing very close to me. My despair grew. They looked at me straight and said in chorus,

“We are you. We are the popular you.”

And I woke up screaming. After few seconds, I realised it was a nightmare. I was in my room alone and safe. I looked at my phone to check if it is working. It had lots of messages to be read. And then, my phone revealed a horrifying secret, I murmured in a terrified voice, 

"Yes, they were me.”

In my dream, I was living a morning when my Whatsapp, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts came into existence. They all personified and they were scary.

Later, over my morning cup of tea I was thinking, what if they really turn to reality and follow us everywhere. Will it be good or not?

Let's ponder. Or that can wait, let's share it first. ;-)

P.S. – A new IDC Research report says that more than 79% of people check out their mobile phones as first thing after they get up.  

Hello World!

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to my blog.

I have been writing since my childhood but somehow never thought of publishing my writings on the web so far. Anyway, we all start from somewhere and as they say better late than never.

Happy reading.