Dec 22, 2009

The Missing Link


She & He had gone on for a long while like this.
She & He had between them something amiss!
She stood silently at the window watching the birds fly free,
He imagined her planning another shopping spree!
He stared at the TV screen blankly,
The soaring bills worried him.
She saw him only interested in the match, now frankly!
Did she mean nothing to him?
He saved to tour the world with her.
She saw him growing stingier and stingier!
“Love You”s became “Miss You”s
And “See You”s became “Bye!”
All that She & He did now
Is look at each other and sigh.
She & He had between them something amiss!
Now She spoke a lot and listened little,
And He spoke not and listened even less.
What a mess!
                                                                               Then one day

as they walked in silence, hand in hand, by the sea
“ Chana bolo, Chole bolo!” heard the hawker say,
She & He.
“Chana” pleaded She & “Chole” said He.
Thought She & He.
 “Ah! We both want the same? What bliss!”,
That’s when like a bolt of lightning,
Came realization!
She & He had between them something amiss!
COMMUNICATION!





Dec 19, 2009

Just around the corner...



I know I may be posting this a bit too early but the holiday fever has already taken over me!
So here goes..
Wishing all you beautiful people out there....

"Last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice!
For many like us, it is more than a change of a calendar.
The New Year symbolizes the beginning of a better tomorrow.
So, if you look forward to a good year ahead,
Resolve to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy!
Wish you a double dose of health & happiness, topped with loads of good fortune.
Have a great year ahead!"


......HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!!!


Dec 16, 2009

Holysome Beaches!


As if to establish what I heard many of my traveler friends say time and again, we discovered one of the most superb Indian holiday destination when we were least expecting it!
The real thrill out of traveling does come when you discover something you did not map, just out of the blue. Or should I say in the GREEN? My hubby and I felt like we had hit a jackpot and our delight knew no bounds. As a newly married couple dutifully should, we, the clueless couple, had set off to visit our KulDaivata temple at Ankola for the first time.
For the uninitiated, Ankola is a small town in Karnataka close to Mangalore and also accessible from Goa. We chalked the route to the LaxmiNarayan Nagve MahaMaya Temple on our own. And Google came in handy again. Being a last minute plan to travel, as always, the only option was to hitch a ride in the next KSRTC Volvo bus to Mangalore or drive down. We obviously chose option A. The conductor and driver was such a co-operative crew that they thoughtfully took a detour and dropped us right at the majestic temple doors for an early 5am. Darshan.


Established in the 16th Century, the temple is truly unique in its grandeur with 500 feet long halls, Marble flooring, Copper-plate roof & Gold Kalashas
 Post- Pooja, with nothing else on the agenda, I felt the urge to explore the small coconut tree laced town. Lush green Rice, Paddy farmlands dotted the view. I felt a smile tickle my lips as we walked past pot-bellied grandpas snoozing like contented tabby cats in their recliners on the verandahs of their small, cozy cottages.  It almost looked like they were mimicking each other. The aroma of Sambar rid high in the air and I could actually imagine the Ammas meanwhile, dishing out Idlis for grandpa’s breakfast.
We trudged around with our backpacks in the early misty morn’ of August and the rain clouds seemed laden overhead. Kannada and Konkani are the only two major spoken languages here & perhaps a little bit English. With the colloquial intonation to the English words the language can easily be mistaken for Kannada itself! But the people are really warm and hospitable. Well-versant in Konkani, it was quite easy for us to find someone to speak to and figure out our way around. 
A whole new itinerary started to take shape when we were reminded by a helpful soul that the Gokarana Parthagali Kashi Matha, a pilgrimage center with great mythological importance was at a traveling distance from here. Cha-ching! Mythology has always been a hot favourite with me. So Gokarna here we come!
If we had headed straight for Gokarana from Pune then distance by road from Pune to Gokarna  is 521 km and takes approx 9 hrs, 59 mins by road.
We hunted for a cab but the only available means of transportation was a rickshaw and he charged us about Rs. 300 from Ankola to Gokarna (20 km away). It was high noon by the time we reached the Om- Jungle Beach Resort near Aum Beach. The rickety rickshaw on the rubble roads had shaken all the possible bones in my body. The route definitely needs a major make-over!
The journey left a frown creeping on my brows. But it was ironed out in no time too! Clear blue oceans and pristine green mountains, both at the same time in one panorama? A truly breath-taking and awe inspiring sight it was! A cool breeze ruffled my hair and the sun had pleasantly decided to be a mellow yellow that afternoon. The in-house Kerela Ayurvedic Massage Centre was all that I ever wanted right now! And I got it.
 
The gorgeous lawns were rich in flora, avian and even reptilian frends. The cottages for the guests were quite European in style, painted in bottle Green and white with wooden banisters and wide steps to the broad front porch, tall ceilings and red tiled roof. There was a small parlor before you entered the bedroom with an attached bathroom. The queen’s bed looked like a yummy white, sponge cake & after an early dinner of Prawns Fry, Pomfret Ghashi, Bhakri & Rice, I dived right in!
The next morn’ we trekked the trailing road down the mountain to the beaches of Gokarna.
Joshi Guruji of the Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Shiva temple enumerates the legendary tale. “ ‘Go’ in Sanskrit can also mean Mother earth and ‘Karna’ means ear. As the mythological story goes, Lord Shiva emerged from within the earth to the outside, exiting from its ear. Thus the name! The ‘Atmalinga’ that Lord Shiva had trusted Ravana with was rested at this spot through trick played by Lord Ganesha who stands just 40 steps away from the atmalinga. The 6 feet tall Atmalinga was immediately safely ensconced in the ‘Shaligram’ and sealed into the ground, protected from going to Ravana again.”
After this synopsis of the lengthy mythological tale we and Guruji proceeded for the Shiva Lingabhishek. The entire experience gave me Goosebumps time and again. A sheer thrill to sit down on the rocky floor of the cave-like temple and participate in the grand Abhishek- Pooja, offering baskets and baskets of Belipatra (Bel leaves), milk, honey, til & more! As if in acceptance, all that is offered seeps down through the opening in the Shaligram Peetha,. Only the tip of the Atmalinga can be seen and touched now through the Peetha opening. The Gokarna beach adjacent to the temple is scenic too.
However the twin beaches, Om Beach & Kudle Beach are a scream above the rest!
Just a 20 minutes walk away Kudle beach is a serene stretch of clean silver sands and blue-green waters. Almost virgin! Half an hour further down, Om Beach has emerged as a unique mix of being religiously symbolic as well as being the traveler’s heaven. I was left awestruck when we took a view of the beach from a hill top. The waves lashed against the shore and retreated. That’s when clearly, a gigantic Aum- auspicious symbol of Hindu religion, could be seen, formed in the sands.
Fell truly, madly, deeply in love with this wonderfully scenic beauty!
Gokarna is well connected to various cities around- Madgaon (125 km), Mangalore (225 km), Dabolim (140 km) and Bangalore (475 km) by KSRTC or railway.

Oct 28, 2009

‘Mirëmëngjes’



Was wracking my brains for an eye-ball grabbing, big bang opening to this new-born blog and ‘Mirëmëngjes’ has done the trick I’m sure. In Indo-European Albania, the new mum wakes her little one with that, meaning ‘good morning!’.
This reminds me of the latest flick that has clicked at the Bollywood Box-Office, ‘Wake Up Sid’.
The story obviously revolves around Happy-go-lucky Sid Mehra (Ranbir K) and his muskmelon life. The movie- maker takes a dig at the ‘NOW’ generation when Sid takes his father Ram Mehra’s(Kher) hard-earned money and stoic presence for granted and is engrossed in having a whirlwind life. Ranbir’s chocolate face is the plus point in making his character believable.
Aisha Banerjee (Konkana) is a hard-working and aspiring writer who has quit her blissful ‘Bong’ life for Mumbai, in search of independence and recognition. Konkana shoulders the complex role with her trademark poise. Tastefully cast in the role, she has successfully made her character a role model.
Heart rending lyrics by Javed Akhtar and the lilting music of ‘Gunjasa hai koi iktara’ by Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy create a romantic background to the sweetly blooming friendship between the kiddish Sid and go-getter Aisha (who is 5 years elder than him).
Sid the Pizza-junky is pub- hopping Mumbai nights away when realities of life start showing up at his door-step. Sid feels jilted when left behind by his best pals who pass with flying colours in the exams. After being admonished by his father for having failed even at taking up their family business, Sid storms out of the house to seek refuge at Aisha’s flat.
It’s a gripping 2nd half with the 1st part having laid the foundations to a sufficiently dynamic eye-opener twist in the tale. What unravels on screen henceforth is a delightful platonic relationship between the two. Sid struggles to self-reliance and has also to learn to be more useful around the house. The transformation is convincingly acted out by Ranbir Kapoor beginning with the ‘oomphatic’ Kashmira Shah coaching him to make the perfect egg Omlette.
The flawless direction & scripting by young director Ayan Mukerji gets this movie the most thumbs-up! No exaggeration and hamming from actors; An original script with simple, fluent and no ruminant story-telling; True-to-life situations that the audience could relate to!
Naivety in the couple’s bonding, the discovery of a career opportunity, the first pay cheque and the metamorphosed Sid that returns home are high points that leave the audience panting for more.
What Sid has woken up to is a sense of responsibility, the value of the opportunities that life has presented him, unlike most who are deprived of such luxuries.
The realization of his love for Aisha has also finds a beautiful simile in the cool first monsoon shower as a changed Sid Mehra rests at the window-sill of his home!He rushes out to embrace life.
Now that’s a good start! What say?


Oct 22, 2009

Machhbus & Maryam

Secularism.To many it may be a subject of discussion and intrigue but I was born and brought up in Mumbai, a cosmopolitan city. So for a fairly large part of my life I never realized that some people did live a life otherwise. Even while being groomed in a convent school,each girl was taught to love and embrace the different cultures, traditions and values each girl brought along with her religion. We'd all merged into one big family, genuinely!

Our lunch break was all about girls flocking together in groups and sharing their lunch 'dabbas'. I can never deny that was the most favorite part of my day at school. I think those habits have just spilled over into the rest of my life. I don't think even after shifting away from Mumbai I have forgotten even one ounce of what the secular life there taught me. It's this multi-cultural background that made life so wonderful. With the current scenario that has enveloped Mumbai, I just hope that the cosmopolitan lifestyle continues and is not forced to die a premature death! I feel blessed that we Indians get tosavor and revel in the variety that we find here in our nation, like nowhere else.

After moving from Mumbai 2 years ago I met 3 Iranian siblings who are pursuing their education here in Pune. And the elder sister, Rose soon became my very good friend. Rose, will  be marrying a Delhite Indian soon and we are all very much excited. Am also proud that yet another Inter-religion marriage will culminate bringing about the confluence of beautiful traditions. Having lived in India for over 5 years now, the fair damsel has become as much Indian at heart as she's Persian and has learnt almost all about our cultures and traditions. She already speaks Hindi, fairly fluently. She has picked up Indian cooking so quickly that she leaves me amazed. And I have enjoyed many a Iranian delicacies at her place. Rose's mum is an excellent cook and now that she's returned back to Iran I miss her terribly.

However to fill in for Momoni's (Rose's mum) absence came Maryam from Kuwait. Respectfully and lovingly addressed as Khalla (aunty), the young lady definitely doesn't look like a mum of 1 adult and 2 teenagers. Fair and lissome she's a vision of kindness and loving warmth. Still sporting the Hijab, unlike most Iranians who have shed it in India, she always keeps herself busy. On my last visit during Diwali, she welcomed me (fully aware that I am a BIG foody) with a Kuwaiti Biryani called Machbus. Of finger-licking goodness,each mouthful of  the saffron coloured, spicy, tomato (Goje in Persian!) flavoured Biryani had some juicy pieces of boneless chicken liberally thrown in. One spoon after another I scooped my plate clean and could have hogged some more.For my weighing scales' sake and out of good table etiquette I controlled my gluttony pangs.

Here's a pic she clicked for my blogpost.





In the wake of the present day political scenario at Mumbai, I can only pray that Mumbai retains its secular flavour always!





Oct 14, 2009

To Heaven or Hell?

People scare you.
People dare you.
People who think,
They know everything.
The experienced,
The seasoned,
They know everything!

She’s been there
And done that.
So she proclaims,
The same stage I will be.
Standing where she’d been,
“You’ll see!”

Scared the day lights out of me.
How could she?
Was that a blessing,
Or a curse?
What she foresaw was adverse!

Is my life leading that way?
The path she walked,
That led her astray?
I wouldn’t want to live that way!

People know how things go?
People see what lies ahead for me?

What am I to believe?
My heart that denies,
I’ll face the same lies,
That she breasted.
Her life was wasted!

What am I to believe?
Her loss of faith,
In a woman’s fate?

People scare you.
People dare you.
People who think,
They know everything.
I say, stop preaching!
Life has its own way of teaching.
What was yours needn’t be mine,
For each there’s a different destiny’s design.
For good or for worse,
Time will tell.
My deeds shall see me
To Heaven or Hell!

Jul 27, 2009

The Fart

(Just for laughs. No offence!) This creative piece has obviously been penned on the potty. So hold your breath if you read on.

Its a tale of all the unwanted inside of you.
Keep it bottled up and it's a bigger mess within.
As a small mumble,
in the pit, it begins.
Growing into a loud rumble.
Making you forget all the good you ever meant.
Thats the evil thought that grows.
That a devil's empty mind sows.
Then it becomes hard to contain.
Your insides will surely pain.
Then its best to send it out.
Don't keep it in!
This toxic bout has no meanin'.
Relieving your mind of all the rubbish,
Now, that's a good start!
Once out its only going to sound
like a BIG BAD FART!

Jun 17, 2009

Give and Receive!

A new theory says " Survival of the Nicest!" because its kindness that was the quality only th ehuman race understood and thus prospered. Kindness not only makes you happy from within but may also help you live longer. Interesting thought this and heart wrenching too. wwhen was the last time I went out of the way to do an act of kindness? My friend told me that they are doing a very unique exercise at her University. Each student notes down over a period of 10 days all the acts of kindness they performed. INSPIRING! So I made up my mind to make my own list of random acts of kindness ove the next 10 days. So here we are at the other end and I am about to list down below what I consciously did over the next 10 days, the motive and consequences of such actions. Day 1: Picked up my cell and rang a friend to tell her that there's fish on the menue the next day and she's invited for lunch at my place. She loves seafood. Motive of action: A gesture to strengthen our friendship and to give back a little of all her sweetness. Result: Shes overjoyed and feels touched. Day 2: I also call another friend who's Dad loves seafood too and whose mum doesn't know how to cook fish at home. Motive: My friend's mum is extremely kind and helpful. Trying to give back a little of what I get! Result: They love me all the more now. More smiles everywhere. And the satisfaction of having treated loved ones to some goodies. Day 3: My son's masseuse was in need of money. I generally don't entertain the idea of giving away part payments before hand but this time when she asked I actually gave away the entire salary in advance. Motive: To show my apprecition for her loyalty, hard working and meticulous nature. Result: That look of relief in her face and increased faithfulness towards me. Day 4: Designed an entire PPT presentation for my friends college tutorial. Her very first of this term. Motive: To tell her that I will be there for her in times of need. Result: An assured good score like she puts it.(which is true I hope!) And a strengthened bond. Day 5: I again put her entire blogspot in place and spellchecked her 1st post for her. Motive: To help her meet with the crunching deadlines Result: success but over pampering. Her mum's not too happy with my sheltering her so much! Day 6: Took time out and taught an Irani friend's mum some sumptuous Indian recipes. Motive: To serve their taste buds some yummy treats Result: We are all happily hogging away! Day 7: Offerd to host an artist's Solo exhibition at my Art Gallery for free. Motive: To reach out to someone in need of supposrt through his days of dire struggle. Result: He feels obligated. And is extremely thankful. Day 8: Gave away old clothes to the needy. Motive: Social cause Result: Inner satisfaction Day 9: reduced the work load on my cook and let her go earlier home to enjoy her Sunday. Motive: She looked morose and depressed. To give her a break Result: She's actually humming while she works Day 10: I've passed on leads to a colleague so he can take his business ahead. Motive: To help out.Hope that GOD is watching. Result: Felt gratitude in his voice. As I write, I'm enjoying what they call it, ' The Helper's High' I feel more energetic, calmer, greater self-worth than before! I think I should continue with this selfish act called kindness now on!

May 26, 2009

Book Bonus

The recent recession sadly left a lot many people with 'pink slips' in their hands. But in the old world English it would have been- " a lot many people were given 'the sack' !" Ever wondered where this term must have come from? I did. It didnt strike me that I could have googled it to get rid of that question mark. But I prefer and relish discovering the answer like this.... And what better place to have found the answer after long ages of wondering and asking but the Readers Digest. So yes, I found the May 2009 edition on the back seat of B's car and as I waited for him to return with our take-away, I was scanning the pages and there it was the tidbit! The phrase comes from the Sultan of Turkey's Harem. The Sultan would put members of his harem, with whom he'd become bored , into a sack and throw them down into the Bosphorous Strait. Aaargh! Fortunately for modern day employees, their bosses don't get such gross freedoms to translate the phrase into action literally like that!