Monday, December 14, 2009


Guitar strumming a lonely tune as you close the venetian blinds. The light was blinding my sight, now it is the darkness that has the same effect. DESOLUTE. The graph is sloping negatively, gravity taking its toll. Dullness has now reached the face. It scars the once beautiful, once ebullient youthful, err; childlike countenance. You were there to open the blinds. Now you disappear in the oblivion. I seek another hero, or just a ticket to another destination. Done with this town!

Closing the blinds for good.

Monday, November 30, 2009


We are dreamers.. we live half immersed in an ocean, seeing reality only through a periscope. We live in a submarine of hopes. We float in a tide of intoxication. We swim in the sea of wisdom from heartbreaks. We drown in the abyss of detachment. Its a massive bubble in the universe and we fear if it would ever burst. We seek the island of Man Friday. We. All of us inside my head. in a blue trance, immersed in the blueness of the blurry horizon with thoughts swirling like a whirlpool in the anticipation of love, life, money, power and happiness. And then the ocean sweeps it all away in an eternal silence.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the dance of the slum child..

Late for office, yet again. The bitching about life and work peaks and ebbs as I step on the gas and steer my santro violently on the ahmedabad streets. My thoughts halt, and so does my car as the traffic light turns red.
A rare and beautiful sight catches my attention. A little slum girl, with tattered clothes and uncouth hair looks at me, and there is a spark in her eyes and she smiles at the world. She is beautiful. I turn away thinking that she would come closer for begging. I was wrong, she was blissful in her world.

I turned to look at her again. She was dancing. She raised her hands and joined her fingers in the air, dancing away the agony of not having a roof over her. She did little somersaults and sprang about in the pavement. Her younger sister came running with a bag of garbage. My slum child dumped her hand into the garbage bag and closed her fist with the garbage dust and hurled it in the air. She danced away the misery of poverty.
All this while, I was watching her, my car music acting as beats to her dance. I couldn't help but smile at her and she smiled back. I can swear that she was happy, joyous in her carefree unawareness of the politics and trivial nothings of this world. The lights turned green and I was no longer bitching. The rest of the ride was blissful in the after glow of the slum child's dance.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A happy weekend in amdavad

Amdavad had a new face this weekend. An otherwise monotonous workaholic life in a dry state of boring-ness and gujju-ness, turned into a rather interesting one when my friend Shishir from Bombay decided to grace this village with his presence on the weekend. I guess, god felt pity on me and my silly brochure which I am racing against time to finish before the 2nd of October so that I can make it to Sunaina’s wedding. Having been threatened by my boss that he would cancel my tickets if I don’t finish my work, I had put everything on stake for this brochure.
Symptoms of brochure madness:
• Fevers in the morning due to the pressure
• my office’ so-called-friends turning their backs against me for being too buried in my work without giggling and gossiping with them
• my designer and I on a cold war
• my bosses thinkin she is too cocky cos I look so sullen all the time
• my family thinkin I am not too involved in the family

All this because I was buried under piles of work, nearly impossible timelines and a boss that loves to make ‘changes’ until he gets the perfect brochure out of my nimble hands and nervous heart.
And suddenly there was sunshine! Courtesy, shishir mishra, popularly known as Rohtak. Mican, friend, bad driver. ;0) He announced his arrival to amdavad and we planned to meet at shambu- a happening coffee adda of amdavad. 4 Micans gathered up and the first cigerrete was out already! Niraj, pooja, shashin and I wondered why we never met like this before. We have been here in this shanty town for a year, slogging in our mundane existence. Pehli kyon nahi mile hum, yaar!!
From Shambu, we took off to Rajpat club to do garbo! Alpa and I being in western wear were thrown out of the ring. But the Micans that we are, we all danced outside the ring, where the audience was glaring at us. Not that we were the saroj khans and shiamak davars of Navratri, but that we did what pleased our hearts. This included dance steps that emulated dev anand, manoj kumar and even mithun chakravarti. Soon the apprehensive, gossipy crowd realized who the real losers were. Everyone started imitating us and there were more and more garba dancers outside the circle.
Soon we were bored of the outer circle. So alpa and I simply jumped the wall and had a ball! After the garba fever, my limping feet and my faithful santro took us to Mcdonalds and CCD to fill our stomachs. If this wasn’t enough we decided to go on a long drive. My limping feet gave away and niraj took the reins in his hand. I mean the steering wheel! We had reached a dark, lonely, secluded bridge in the middle of the highway! We stopped over and stared at the night sky! Never seen so many stars! Niraj’s imagination also sighted UFOs in the night sky. (No, we weren’t high on anything!) The cigarettes were out again. The night air was chilling and the music from the car was appealing.
Here comes the best part. A police van pulled up near us and asked us what we were doing there at that hour. We said: Gandhinagar se aayen hai, aaram kar rahen hai. He sniffed through the water bottles and checked every nook and cranny of my car. The look on his face when he couldn’t find any alcohol was supper for the night! We went home laughing!
The next day, thanks to my brochure again I was late to pick the motley crew up and drive around to mica. Shishir failed the driving test, but what do u know, I failed it to. Then Michael Schumacher- Shashin Garach came to the rescue. The mica visit was short yet nostalgic. Beautiful lanes that drove us to our alma matter, the old tank we used to climb, oh dear silver oak, kachnar, the mess- and the best of all CHOTA! Cigarettes again and this time I had to beg for it were savored under the tree at chota that still has a broken tyre-swing hanging on it. We paid our respectful visit to Roxy- mica’s own pet german shepherd who seemed to be growing old and missing PAT. We took Thakur kaka’s blessings and Shashin took us to the railway station in record time! As the train took off, we said bbye to shishir and I promised him a blog post. So, here it is. But it was so much more amazing than it sounds on this post. If these many cigerettes weren’t enough the remains of us had the remains of the cigerretes at the riverside outside CafĂ© Natrani.

Sunaina, I am comin to your wedding, I promise. And all the micans in amdavad, we shall now keep making each weekend a special one like this one was! Ahoy!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

HaiL CaRRie!

On women’s day, I woke up in an empty bed miles away from my home and parents, in a makeshift apartment that holds my life, my belongings and my office swipe card. In Ahmedabad I work work work, and then I come home and crash with my laptop. (No, the laptop doesn’t crash with me. She has been faithful so far.) For a girl like me the only woman to look up to would be my boss and Carrie Bradshaw. Since I know only little about my boss, I would like to dedicate this post to Carrie. To me Carrie is the ‘morarji bapu’ of single women! She lives the life she wants. She chooses the career that makes her happy. She buys the shoes she likes. She is free, spirited and expressive.
She is an ode to all single women telling them that they need not wait for someone to brighten their lives. On women’s day I’ll be taking off to the salon for a luxurious afternoon. I also intend to shop, for the single gal deserves her shoes. Then in the evening I am off with my gals (the two iyer punnughal I met in Mica) for the women’s day festival at Natrani theatre. I almost forgot to add, I am gonna savor the cutting chai of the chaiwala sitting outside the salon. He has lightened many tired evenings with his mesmerizing cuppa!
Like Carrie I write, shop, and dream. Carrie doesn’t say that men are disposable, but she says that life can be as blissful without a man. Sometimes when the laptop and the coffee are all you have for company celebrate being independent, free and bold. Celebrate your shoes, shirts and bag. Celebrate your blog, your career, your life!
Hail Carrie! (and hail the occasional Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte too!)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slumdog Millionaires Of The Street

Often when there is too much hype surrounding a certain event, it turns out to be something mediocre. Maybe it is because it doesn’t meet our lofty expectations. Slumdog Millionaire was one such event; a movie about India as viewed through the parallax of the west. Director Danny Boyle throws reality on the faces of the Americans and they applaud. He throws the same reality on our faces and we refuse to cringe or budge. Why doesn’t the movie meet our expectations?

Is it because they showed us something we already knew, were used to and were trying hard to look away from? The great Indian dream is all about the transition from being ‘a back office hub to the world’s knowledge capital’. Sadly, the movie reminds me of all that is bleak and ugly. The bustle of traffic, which I shut my ears to by increasing my Ipod volume to max, the smell of grazing cows on crossroads that I ignore every morning and the sight of the poor street urchin begging. He is probably singing the same song (darshan do ghanshyam) but who is listening?

Have we shut our senses or is the existence of slum dwellings so commonplace that it goes unnoticed to the eye of the capitalist? Probably, the west would have enjoyed the movie much more than us because to us the story is the story of every Indian; nothing that resonates 10 Oscar nominations or golden globe awards। It is not that Slumdog is a bad movie. Danny Boyle’s efforts in creating a Cinderalla story for a street urchin are truly commendable. Sadly it is the Armani clad Indian who is flocking the plexes and not our happy little street urchin.

The so-called Slumdogs, young Jamal, Latika and Salim are portrayed to be innocent little children content in their slums. This is what I see everyday crossing my path on the street as I steer the Alto arrogantly. Orphan children chasing orphan kites; Dancing like young Jamal, hugging, puppy fighting or climbing on each other’s backs. They don’t want to be millionaires. They are the millionaires of the street. They roam about the street as if the world is their playground. They grow up much faster. Street education makes them wise sooner than any refined school, preschool or finishing school. They learn their lessons from the school of life. (That is how probably, Jamal knew that the bizarre host was leading him towards the wrong answer.)

The story of India’s Slumdog millions, (no billions) don’t always get a fairy tale ending. ‘It is written’ is the lesson one is supposed to draw from Slumdog. So, we each chase our own destiny. Some may land up in hot seats; some may find their soul mates at Victoria Terminus while some others may die a silent death.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

here and now

here and now