Unki Yaad Mein

A sarcastic poem I wrote long back for my office blog…

Solitude

subah thi ya raat..
pathaa na chala unke saath..
jab hum sokar uthen..
tho soojha ki woh tha bas ek khwab..
kal thak tha humne lada unke saath
ab bas reh gayi dil me unki yaad..

kabhi jhaadoo lekar kabhi barthan uthaakar
unke peeche tha bhaaga poore ghar
cheekha chillaaya.. padosa ko bhi bulaaya
par unhone kabhi mudke na dekha humein
ab bas reh gayi dil me unki yaad..

dikhne me the saanwle
the bade hi natkhat..
chori chori unhone kiya ghar me hungama
kabhi kitchen me dam dam ki awaaz
kabhi bedroom me daaka daala..
ab bas reh gayi dil me unki yaad..

maheenon thak unhe dhoonda humne
par mile nahin hum ek bhi baar
kal raat ko jab anth mein mil pade
tho hua saare mohalle ka behaal
choohe raja ne khaaya masaal vada
aur ek cheenkh mein arrest ho pade
aaakhir hume milna hi thaa ek din
par jald hi de diya unhe alvida
ab bas reh gayi dil me unki yaad..

Happy Valentine’s Day

Today being Valentine’s day, made me ponder over what really love means. Not that am a genius trying to redefine what great thinkers have time and again pondered over. My own little creative mind needed some food for thought and what better day could it be to define love than Valentine’s !

The word love, almost always brings the word “amma” to my mind. Mother is truly the most loving being in this world and her love towards her children is always selfless. My own mother used to always tend to us like a diligent gardener tends to her plants. She groomed us every day, fed us with tasty food and always ensured our every single need was fulfilled , even before we voiced it to her. She was also a very keen learner and a great teacher. She taught us by example, how to be determined and learn to be a better individual by being a better listener. To quote one instance of her great personality, she challenged herself to ride a scooter when she was 40. Having had no prior experience riding anything all her life, she first learnt to drive the bicycle. Every night, she would take her friend to our school campus, ride her bike and come home proud with bruises. She would say, I am learning to drive better each day and lived up to her challenge! After she fell a few times from the bicycle, she learnt the scooter comparatively easily and mastered it over a short period of time, much to the astonishment of her peers! She continues to be an inspiration and my first valentine to this day. Love you amma!

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Second comes father. My beloved dad, whom I used to be scared of as a kid and never spoke to much, sheerly because there was always mom to do the mediation 😀 Years after, when mom passed away, dad starting looking after me with extreme love. Double the times my mother loved me and never ever let me feel helpless without mom around to take care of me. He woke up every single day at 5.30 AM, made me breakfast and packed my lunch on time for me to catch the college bus at 6.15 AM. In my dad, I see my mother’s love as well as a father figure who sacrificed his life for my well-being. To this day, he has never said no to any of my wishes and always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. So here’s my valentines wishes to darling dad !!

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Third come my sweethearts, my beloved friends. They come in different sizes and shapes, but their essence is the same. I am a married woman now, and my husband is also among my friends now. To me, my friends’ love is extremely special, as they never expect anything from me, but are always there for me. This might sound like a cliche, however, this is what I truly experienced through several ups and downs in life. My friends always have been there for me when I needed them by my side. As a shoulder to cry, as people who simply wanted me to keep laughing (read as putting mokkai :)) and forever made life beautiful. They’ve always believed in me more than I do myself. Here’s a major shout out to each of my friends who are my valentines for life.

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On this valentines day, cherish every person who makes you laugh and makes life beautiful. Happy Valentines Day !! May love prevail !!

 

Ravenous Gulls

I was introduced to sea gulls when I first visited Australia. Having never seen or heard about these birds before, I thought these were calm birds (what a defying white colour) which are seen in groups near beaches.
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But with time, my perception about these birds has gone from fright to complete frustration and hatred.
In Australia, the variety called Silver Gull is found. It is a medium-sized bird with white head, body and tail and light grey wings. A close look at the bird draws attention to its sharp beak and the fact that it can ordinarily be seen near fast food places or streets where people have their lunch sitting on the benches. An even closer look would make you nervous as you would see the birds trying to snatch food from these people and the scared/annoyed ones leaving the place.

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My first ever encounter with the gull was at Darling Harbour. My friend and I bought us burgers and she threw off what was left of her plate before I could finish eating. In a wink’s time, I saw myself surrounded by a big colony of gulls and the birds were actually trying to snatch my food by scaring me with their harsh cries. I tried to keep my calm and somehow managed to finish off my burger before disaster could strike.
My second encounter was an even closer one. I was walking around Circular Quay one afternoon post lunch and there was this gull that was fluttering her wings at the back of my neck as I was unknowingly walking on her path of flight. Everyone around got surprised and I was quite shocked momentarily because I had read about seagulls knocking at people’s skulls when angry. I spelt a small prayer and moved on silently.

There have been a few times when I have also faced the misfortune of being a victim to the bird’s droppings.
Time and again I see the gulls annoying people at the waterfront. Just a couple of days ago I saw this colony of gulls flying really close to a group of school kids that had bought lunch and were walking casually near the harbour, taking in the views. All of a sudden, their faces went pale after the gulls frightened them with their bullying cries and tried to snatch their food.

I know there are several forums and courts to punish people who create public nuisance, but who would take these bad, ravenous gulls to task?

Feeling alive again :)

It’s yet another working day and the morning routine as a wife never changes (yes, I have been married for a year now). Starting with coffee, breakfast watching news and packing our lunch-boxes to leave for work, not a single thing seems to be indispensable. Office work is ever so mundane regardless what I do as my passions lie elsewhere from computers ☺

Since I get a good 30 minutes walk to work, I get to observe various sorts of people on the road. Sydney is ever so bustling with office goers in the morning. Fitness freaks carrying their work shoes in a bag and running with their canvas shoes and gym gear on, people waiting at the coffee places to grab a bite and get their morning coffee, beggars sitting on road sides with sign boards for help, taxis whirring around to drop people at their destinations, store owners trying to get their first customers for the day, smoke from cigarettes filling the air with their pungency, earphones around everyone’s faces and a grim feeling of getting to work to face their bosses. Yet there’s love in the city, which makes lives move on with their routine. Husbands kissing their wives goodbye before parting ways to their workplaces, mothers waving affectionately to their kids before they board the train to get to school, old couple walking hand in hand and in deep discussion with each other about the world, youngsters whispering little nothings on their phones to their loved ones before cutting the phone call and strangers ever-willing to lend a hand to someone who fell down at the pavement while rushing up to work. And these little things of love and joy somehow seem to take over the rest of the world, ever strengthening my belief that it’s not the laws of science, but the power of love that makes this small world of ours spin around each day and helps her get on with her routine of revolving around the sun. Today, I feel alive and inspired to write again and here’s to a new beginning!! ☺

alive

Fortune Favors the Bold!

There is something in me that am constantly in need of excitement and adventure.. out of this world, always wanting more than I can imagine doing. It’s this drive that could get me into a great soup someday or take me to great heights of fame. What it is, only time can tell. When you break your mental barriers and try flying, the sky is the limit!
It was a nice Sunday morning in Sydney and everyone was cozily wrapped in their beds. The streets where still dark and it was drizzling when I woke up – it was 6.15 AM in the morning. I wish I could have just gone back to bed without troubling myself with the ordeal ahead.
There was a huge lump in my throat and realized I had to do it. My friend was fast asleep beside me. She had every reason to enjoy her Sunday, no qualms about the holiday whatsoever, unlike me, whose stomach was knotted all the way down my throat. I could hardly sleep the previous night. I woke up grubby and afraid – but also excited to face the day ahead. If I could do it, I would have reason to feel proud of myself – my 25 years of mere existence would finally get some meaning. I wanted to live my life, but life had been rude to me in more than one way. Now let me stop complaining and boring my audience and talk about the subject in hand – my big day.
What started out as a fun thing, a quest for adventure, had left me with varying dimensions of intrigue and fear, if I can say so. Firstly, my friend who wanted to take it up with me, backed out due to bad health reasons. I had no clue of doing this alone; I was clearly risking my life and had not even told my folks about it. So what if I died mid-air? Who would take the corpse? Who would inform my dad?.. She(my friend) did manage to find another friend of hers who was crazy enough to try it out with me. But Saturday evening, this girl called me and said – I am not sure I want to do it. And my heart jumped out of my throat. How would I know that she would be there at the pick-up point the next morning? How would she identify me? Would I be able to do it alone? This was a strange land and if something bad were to happen to me, I wouldn’t have much choice …
But then, if I did die, I would have something exciting to my credit – something for my 25 years. This was the only thought that kept me ticking. Adding to this was the fact that a lot of people challenged me to do it- mocked at me. I wanted to prove them wrong and show them I could do better than that.
All said, I set out all packed for my big day.
6.45 AM at the pick-up point – I was the first one present. I have something about myself that wants me to be Numero Uno everywhere. 🙂 Then there came Cath – pink jacket, beautiful eyes, face pale with fear – she looked equally scared. We introduced ourselves to each other and started filling in forms which said – in the event of our death, the emergency contact number would be used for all communication. We were petrified, muttered small prayers beneath our breath and went for signing-up after fighting the deep desire within ourselves to run out of the door and go back to bed – in PEACE.
The mini-van started at five past 7 from the city. It was a long ride to the country side. They had told us it would take an hour. We found another girl (Emma) to our company who had come all alone to do it, but had some experience before. That didn’t seem to help much as she looked scared too.
Off we went, trying to stay calm, thousands of questions in our minds. I realized that Cath also hadn’t told her parents about it and wanted it to be a surprise to them.
We arrived at Wollondilly at 8.15 AM. It was a cloudy day, so there was not much of the Sun that we could see. The countryside looked adorable with camels, horses and cows grazing around the green pastures. It was clearly a happy day in their worlds. We could also see some para-sailors gloriously coming down on their chutes.
The receptionist showed us an old sofa to be seated. We needed to empty our tummies, drink more water and stay calm. The plane which would take us was an old rickety thing with a single propeller. Emma told us about her previous experiences as Cath and I stared at her. Cath told us about her dream the previous night where she imagined losing her teeth – which she said was symbolic of a frightful future happening.
We met our adorable trainers, Lori and Kobi at 8.30 AM. I was with Lori, Cath with Kobi. They gave us all the gear and told us how to do it – take off and landing. We were video graphed from the moment we wore our gears. Having had only the experience from a duck race in my third grade, I was clearly the last one around there to be trying this. But, I went for the kill (or call it suicide? ;)).
9.00 AM – we were inside the plane. Off we went. Lori had beautifully put it – Tied to a stranger and some Nylon ropes for darling life. We went up to 14000 feet above the sea level. Only clouds. Beautiful white clouds everywhere. It felt like heaven. I could almost see the Gods around there – Rama, Krishna, Govinda, my mind went abuzz with all names I could think of – please save me and before I could sense it, I was out of the plane. Lori had given me a gentle push. We were against the air – atmospheric pressure pressing hard against our bodies, the cold tearing our skin, jaws and cheeks apart(figuratively), and I did a somersault in the air. There was no ground to be seen beneath. I felt like a bird, I felt very powerful, I knew I was above everything now – love, lust, hate, caste, creed, everything human. I felt like a GOD 🙂
The feeling lasted for a good 40 seconds after which the parachute came up. The first sights of land again. Lori was gently sailing the chute while I drank the views around me – mountains, seas, land, and green meadows. I loved the earthly world. I was a human again. I yelled out “I love everything, everybody” in air. I was clearly in love with the world.
The descent felt beautiful till I realized I had to land and couldn’t feel my feet. Or hands. My body had gone numb in the cold. I was supposed to put my feet up in the air in order not to hurt them and land on my butt. I felt scared once again. I told Lori I couldn’t do it and she told me “Come on, even 70 year old grandpas can do it – why not you”? But I couldn’t put my feet above the way she had told me, inspite of multiple desperate attempts. She then beautifully lifted my legs with her own and helped me land smoothly, effortlessly, fearlessly. I couldn’t thank her enough. I hugged her and felt I wanted to do it again sometime. Cath too had landed. We hugged each other.
I felt absolute, eternal bliss. I couldn’t hear or see what was happening around me. My mind kept replaying the jump. The skydive!!
I had done it! I felt so proud of myself. Never once in my life had I felt as happy or excited.
If you need a break, go for the jump – it’s a welcome break to one’s self confidence. It gives a whole new perspective about life. Life ain’t anything. But every experience, every moment counts. And to make it count, is totally in our hands.

Call it coincidence?

The twenty second of February 2011 (22-2-11) began like any other day for me and my best friend Ragesh who travel to office together in his car.

As we started out from our homes at Kalpakkam and drove along the ECR to reach office, I suddenly realized that our car had come in between two vehicles – a Fortuner and a Tempo Traveller, both of which had the number plate reading 222. When I called my friend’s attention to it, he shouted saying it was Nielson’s number- any number with the same digit repeating thrice…And in England, people would jump off their shoes when they see a Nielson’s number! That, David Shepherd would always jump scoring a Nielson’s number on the pitch!!

Then as we drove on, we found the sign post on the ECR-OMR connecting road, which read Chennai-22, Sholinganallur-2. This again reminded us of the date and we spoke of how ’11 was a divisor of 22 by 2 times and were appreciating the date 😉

We soon observed a small carrier-auto kind of vehicle which was loaded with a huge oscillating weight. As we were discussing how risky it could be for the driver when he applied sudden brakes, we saw the vehicle landing near a vessel which was labeled 22 – waste water.

We saw yet another bunch of vehicles with 22 as the registration series. Our driver exclaimed that the vehicles belonged to Meenambakkam airport area.

After all the observations made and all remarks said, we completely forgot that it was one of our friend’s wedding day!!! 😀

The following day, we spoke about how Nature had tried to be suggestive about the date in its own beautiful ways.

I chanced upon an article in RD which spoke about a similar, but more profound coincidence. The story narrates how a Hungarian photographer misses his usual train to work in order to meet an ailing friend, to meet a man (in the later train), reading a Hungarian newspaper. On speaking to him, the author finds out he is orphaned and homeless due to the Nazi movement and that his wife was sent to a concentration camp. Apparently, the author had met his wife a few months back and having heard her story, taken down her address in his notebook. After a few questions, the author dials the lady’s number from a booth and it gets proven that the man and woman are husband and wife!

The author concludes saying the man he met in the late train would not have met his wife if he had not missed his regular one and wonders if it was God who was driving the train.He leaves it to the readers to decide whether it was Divine Providence or sheer probability of occurrence of a certain set of events.

Yet another friend of mine, while talking about coincidences, remarked saying – once on his way home from office (in the office bus), a lady who boarded the bus at Pallikaranai sat beside him. While signing the register he noticed her ID. It was 131286 — same as his date of birth. Call it a coincidence?? 🙂

Dear Dad

You held me in your arms when all I could do was cry..

You held my arms and helped me take the first few steps in life..

You taught me how life is the biggest teacher of all..

You taught me how not all that glitters is gold..

You speak to me when I most need company..

Your silence too, conveys its special messages to me..

You are the best, my dad dearest !

For teaching me to live life to its fullest!!