Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Her mischievous grin

He was sitting in his car admiring the river flow by ahead of him. He didn’t know when he had stopped by the bridge, or for how long had he been staring at the river. The river with all of its calm flow and huge size seemed serene. He smiled, and pulled the car out in reverse before taking it to the main road. In just a few moments he had driven over the bridge and then took the right turn as he approached it. It would take him towards the mall where he had planned to watch a movie with her.

Her. Her, is where his brain would stop working on other things for a moment and just think about her. Her. He tried to take his mind of her for a while since he was driving. It was as empty road ahead except for the odd car or two far away. Since such empty roads were hard to come by at such times, he made good use of them and reached the mall much earlier than he had thought. After parking the car outside, he went towards the ticket counter to collect the tickets. He had already booked the tickets online and just showed the sms before signing on the receipt and taking his tickets.

Before he could wonder about what to do next, he could make out a white car coming towards the mall. It looked like her car from afar. As the car came closer it did not turn towards the mall parking but kept going on the road ahead. He shrugged and walked towards the coffee shop. He opened the door and walked towards his favorite spot near the glass pane. It was a wonderful spot as one could see the roads outside, and smell the aroma of the coffee coming from the coffee machine nearby. There was no lingering aroma today though but the barista was busy making something. He signaled for his usual to be brought to him. He calmly sipped his coffee and waited for her to arrive while lost in his thoughts.

A few moments later he could see her coming out of the parking. He walked into the atrium towards her signaling for her with a wave. She was talking on her cell but nodded her head after seeing him wave. His mind began to focus on her again. This time he was looking at her lips move such effortlessly as she spoke and felt that he could just stand there and watch her talk for long and admire the motion of her lips. He began to feel an urge to kiss her.

‘Not like this,’ he thought ‘tell her about it first. Tell her what she makes you feel.’

“Did I make you wait for long?”
“Nope not much, got here early enough to have a coffee though. Let’s go.”

He walked ahead but she didn’t walk with him, and just stood there with a smile on her face. He went back and tried to pull her by her hand. He tried to, but his hand just passed through. He didn’t realize it at first and tried to pull her hand, but it passed through again. He had a look of wonder on his face, as he looked up at her face. She had a mischievous grin on her face now. He couldn’t understand what was happening, and tried to pull her hand again. As his hand passed through hers, she disappeared in a puff of smoke. He stood there, shocked.

“Come on Rahul, aren’t we getting late?” She called him with the same impish grin and a wave. She was now standing behind him.
“What are you doing?” He tried to touch her waving hand again, but the moment he touched it she disappeared in smoke again.
“What happened Rahul? Why aren’t you coming?” and she appeared to his right.

This time she didn’t wait for him to touch her but disappeared again as soon as he turned.
Rahul didn’t know how to react as she kept coming and disappearing in clouds of smoke all around the atrium. His eyes just kept following her eyes. Her eyes that were full of mischief.

“Get up.”
“HHmnmnmn”, he grunted.
“Get up, I need to put this sheet away for washing.”

He turned around to see his mom come in to focus. He took a moment to check his surroundings. He was in his bed and his mother was pulling the sheet off. It had all been a dream. He got up and sat on the edge of the bed wondering about this dream. While his mom was talking something about the sheet, he was still under shock from what had happened in this dream. He didn’t collect anything of what was being told but just nodded before going to the bathroom. He had a nice long cold shower while he tried not to think about the dream. He quietly had his breakfast and kissed his mom on the forehead before leaving for the movie. He told her that since he was going for a movie, he wouldn’t be coming home for lunch.

He took out his car and drove towards the mall. Had it not been for the traffic that was normal for this hour, he would have been there earlier. He parked his car, and slowly walked towards the ticket counter. She was already standing there waiting for him. He collected the tickets before walking towards her. She was smiling at him. Just a regular smile at seeing someone familiar and quite unlike the grin he dreamt of. They hugged when he came close, and he held on to her for a moment longer than he normally would.

He wanted to tell her about the dream, and what he felt about her. He tried to reassure himself that she was real in that extra moment with her. But instead he just felt afraid.

A Hug Award/Tag

It’s been a long time since someone tagged me for a blog. Since this comes from a blogger whose posts I enjoy reading, I am having an early go at it. So this is also me saying a thank you to Vishal for his hug to me.

 The questions are as follows:  

1. What is the meaning of life? In simple terms, I believe that the meaning of life is to exist and be happy with it.

2. Happiness is all about? Happiness has always meant different things at different times. When I was very young, it meant having a bowl of Maggi (which stands true to this day as well). As I grew older it meant getting good marks in the school tests, and later it meant being able to play cricket without making an ass out of myself. At one time it meant being able to finish all of school work and get to snuggle with any of the Harry Potter books (which to this day makes my mum roll her eyes). Gradually it meant more things, like receiving a Google chat ping from a particular someone, making a presentation at work, and being at Barista with friends and chatting away. Right now happiness means to go through the day without having to shrug something off and cooking a new dish.

3. Why did you start a blog? I felt the urge to write. I had once maintained a collection of the short stories and poems I had written in a book that I misplaced, so I took to online logs. I came to know of blogging where I could not only write, but read things other people wrote. Soon, it became a box of wonders and happiness.

4. What is more important in your life relationships or fame? I will be honest here, I do enjoy fame. Ever since I was young, fame in the school or later in college and now work. I like to be famous, to be known for the things that I do or can do. However fame from people I do not know can bring only a temporary joy. Hence if you ask to me think over it, I will choose relationships. One may not have loads of fame, but if you have good relationships then it will be all worthwhile.

5. One thing which you like the most about blogging? The people I come to know. Many of my friends, people on FB, are there because I came to know of them through blogging. Some of you are just awesome people, and should take a bow. Some of you are people whom I have not yet met in person, but I know about your life through what you share with me on the blogs and Facebook.

6. What’s the best decision you ever made? Buying capris. India can get hot many times, and Capris are a welcome relief for me. I would wear them throughout the year had it not been for the chilly winds in mid-winter that travel up them and try to freeze my privates. Seriously speaking though, they are so comfortable.

7. Do you believe that unconditional love really exists in any kind of relationship? No. Love cannot be unconditional. Sometimes we think that love is unconditional when the person being loved does all sorts of things that the lover may not like or would pain them, but the lover still continues to love them. That is not unconditional love that just means that the object/person of their love still means a lot to them. They would gladly go through that pain because they still value their love (or are flipping idiots to stay in an abusive relationship)

8. What would be your first reaction if your physician recommends you to see a psychologist? Hain?! Yup, that is what I would say. Of course it would be interest me to all sorts of levels to understand why my physician thinks that I must visit a psychologist, and more so of inputs the psychologist would give me. I would want to get a second opinion of a different psychologist and see what they say as well.

9. Do you believe in Karma, if yes then what are bad and good karma according to you? Yes. Karma is nothing but what you do and allow to happen. People around us see what we do and allow to happen, and take that as to what we are ok with. They in turn do the same to us. Sometimes karma can come from intentions as well as from results of our actions. I may intend for something bad to happen for a person, but my acts can lead to something good happening for them (or the other way around).

10. Do you believe in rebirth or afterlife if yes then why? I have stopped trying to actively think about it. I am in no way qualified or of expertise to comment on this, since I don’t know anyone who has come been reborn or is in afterlife. What if afterlife doesn’t have a way for us to communicate with them? What if afterlife is the things we imagine as fiction? What if once we die, we just die and cease to exist while only a select few of us get an afterlife? What if there is not afterlife? So this is only a ‘what if?’ and loads of questions to think about for me.

11. What is the best moment of your life? It is difficult to zero in on one particular moment, as there have been many such moments for me (and are for everyone). However if I think about it, then the one best moment of my life is when I began to think for myself. I don’t know when that moment came for me and when it is for you, but there is a moment from which you can think for yourself. You can think that what is right and wrong, what can or does make you feel happy or sad. The moment when you know can want a particular thing, when you can express desire. When you can be the ‘I’ in ‘I am’, it is that moment that I speak of.

As per the tag, I nominate this tag/hug to few people. I may miss some of you guys, but these are the people that come to my mind for this right now:
  Shail Di
  Ms. Dey
  Cracking Saks (who is as of now on an indefinite blog composing hibernation)
  R's Mom

 If you’re reading this and want to do this (tagged or not), please let me know of the link so that I can connect it to this post.

Will you marry me?


When one thinks of marriage and all the ceremonies that are associated with it, one can traditionally come up with images of gatherings of friends and family. The ceremonies beforehand, new clothes, festivities, the 7 rounds about the fire as the priest chants or the bride in a bright white gown with the groom in a black suit as the minister declares them man and wife and so on. The reception after that with the wedded couple on the stage as people take turns to wish them and pose for a photograph with the gifts they carry, and everyone smiling all around. It is indeed a wonderful sight to imagine with you in a sari and me in a sherwani.

Except, that it is not why and how I would want to marry you. I want you for how you are in your everyday. Yes, we will look better in our wedding dresses, having selected what to wear after careful choosing and scrutiny, with many man hours of effort in making us look better than we normally do. But, people don’t appreciate the effort in the everyday as much as I do. How you effortlessly carry off your daily sense of wearing. You don’t wear a sari in your everyday, but have you looked at yourself when you wear your daily clothes? Of course you have, but you haven’t looked at yourself from my eyes. There is a sense of awe I feel when I look at you in your everyday because in it your apparent effortlessness tries to hide the effort of the day to day. I find a trace of accomplishment in you that comes with being comfortable in one’s skin. When I say I want to marry you, it is this you that I want to marry. It is not the marriage of the sari clad and the sherwani clad that interests me, but that of you in your jeans and tee and me in my capris and shirt.

I understand wanting to celebrate it with our friends and family as one does at all occasions. I however, at times feel that marriage ceremonies are mostly like societal approval. I don’t want their consent to marry you, I want yours. I want to celebrate being together with you first, and friends and family later. I don’t think that my vows to you will be any more sacred with the holy fire as witness will be any more sacred than the ones I make to you when we’re alone in person. I never have believed, that having a fire or holy chants while we take our vows make our relation any stronger. It is the efforts that we put in the everyday that will make or break it, not the seven rounds we take around the holy fire as people shower us with flower petals and our parents get teary eyed. I definitely want to get a legal marriage certificate, as that would enable me to extend benefits like insurance and other things to you as it serves an advantage in my eyes.

So yes, if you want to celebrate with a large wedding then we will have that done. But marry me before you do in front of the rest of world. Let what it means to be ours, before it is so theirs.

My dearest, will you marry me?

We respect husbands more than wives

The term ‘you’ is a universal term in the English language in the sense that you can use it independently of the person’s sex, age, position, etc. You may be calling out a boy or a girl, your boss or your subordinate; it is still ‘you’. This however, is not the case when it comes to Hindi. In Hindi there are two different terms, namely ‘Tu’ and ‘Aap’. ‘Tu’ is used when addressing some one of the same age/position as yourself or lower while ‘Aap’ is used for someone who is older and/or commands respect.

 Long time ago I was watching a movie with mom when the lead character while talking to his mother, addressed her as ‘Tu’. I began to take notice of this and observed that in many cases the father would be addressed as ‘Aap’ while the mother was addressed as ‘Tu’. This had me totally miffed, and I asked mom why it was acceptable to address the father with more respect than the mother as both are equally parents to a child and cheekily asked if I should be calling her ‘Tu’ now. She thought over it a bit and said that because kids bond over more with their mom while they are bring brought up instead of dad, they think of mom as a friend and confidante and hence address her as ‘Tu’.

 I raised a brow in apprehension and asked her what about the families where kids bond with their dads too, and consider him as friends. To that we don’t have an answer. In fact kids don’t bond with dad so much (because the dad is away due to work or other reasons such as resting after  being back from Over time , social activities, etc.) he is more of a distant character. As one never gets to have as free a hand with him as mom, and must behave in his presence to not disturb him, he commands more respect and gets addressed as ‘Aap’. Which is also why you will have many people who refer to their moms as Ma, mom, etc, but refer to their dad as Pitaji, Babuji, and so on with the ji being added to convey respect.

 This however is not just the matter of kids addressing their parents but a matter of the dynamics of a man and woman in a relationship. I have seen couples call each other ‘Tu’ before marriage and have the girl shift to calling the guy ‘Aap’ post marriage. Many a times he doesn’t have to ask to be called so, but the wife calls him so by default. In the event that she calls him ‘Tu’ as an equal (because horror of horrors, a wife and husband are to be equal in their relationship), someone from the family or friends will take her aside and go “HAAAWWW!! You should call your husband Aap, show some respect.”

 You get many people who tell the wife to show the husband respect. Show some respect, yes, but why should she not be respected as well?

 For those of you who are wondering, I still call address mom with an 'Aap'

Monday, May 6, 2013

Quiet Conversations

He was walking down the road when he crossed her shop. He had stopped momentarily with no intention walking in when with his next breath he took in the fresh, warm aroma of hot cake. The kind that makes you take a deep breath and fills you with warmth and joy. He walked in, guided by his nose and saw her laying the cakes out. He gestured with his finger for one and she smiled as she put one on plate for him. He sat down and took a small bite while she smiled in return at his happy smile.

100 Words On Saturday

A proud owner of a custom RM painted tee

Quite some time ago I came across RM’s blog when she had commented something about Baroda on a friend’s post. RM stands for R’s Mom, simply because she has girl whose name starts with R.  Soon I began frequenting her blog. Apart from bringing up R with RD (R’s Dad), she known for blogging, reading, rolling eyes, and making awesome sambhar. Few of her blog posts also mention about her painting tee shirts as a hobby. These are in Warali designs and she mostly makes them for R, friends’ kids and nephews/nieces. One fine day I happened to request her to paint a tee for me as well. Being the nice person that she is, she said she would do it as long as I sent her a tee of the right size. This makes sense because imagine the horror that would happen if she painted on an L size tee when I am clearly a size XXL. I would have to exercise loads and drop sizes to fit in that tee. So I promptly ordered a tee online to be shipped to her, which she painted and sent me back. Ladies and gentlemen I am now the proud owner of a custom RM painted tee shirt. *Applause**Readers look in envy**some readers will now roll their eyes*

My tee by RM 
 Moving from left to right, on the top is a chain of people holding hands and guys on the left have started doing the wave. Below that we have an adventurous guy who has jumped of a plane, which is flying into an unsuspecting bird ahead. Now we see a bunch of balls lying to cushion said guy’s landing, a reflection of the sun and a tree of fireworks (maybe for successfully parachute jumping off the plane). The last row has a bunch of herbs which will be used for cooking a feast, a guy with a really long arm trying to empty a bottle of chilli sauce in to a pot while another person tries to stop him as a headless horse is just being itself and walking around trying to be away from whatever explodes from the cooking vessel. When I first opened the tee I had held it sideways and the last bit looked like an octopus tentacle to me, which on holding the tee properly I realized is a train on a mountain. I will still pretend that it is an octopus tentacle.

 Thank you RM for such a wonderful tee, I hope you go professional with your tee shirt painting and it becomes a success. :D

Thursday, May 2, 2013

When a three year old is raped by her father

This is the story of Isabel (name changed), a girl who was raped by her father when she was three years old. Please let this sink in to you, she was raped by her own father when she was three years old.I found this news piece while surfing twitter.
This is about the trial of a French foreign ministry employee Pascal Mazuriera against whom his wife Suja Jones has filed a complaint for raping their daughter. Isabel had been telling this to her but she couldn’t bring herself to believe it at first. Finally Isabel was able to reach to her mother who had her tested who told that
He made bobo on my zheezhee (hurt my genitals).”He put something filthy in my mouth.” 

According to the tests done, Isabel had “genital lacerations, rectal gaping, an absent hymen, and sperm in her vagina”. It was when these results came out that Suja Jones finally filed a case against her husband. On filing the case this is the advice she was given by a police woman:
‘In our families, we don’t take this kind of thing outside,’ recalls Jones. “She said I should have found a way to ‘help him’ myself.”

Please explain to me how this is just a family matter. Rape is a serious crime, and like all crimes should be reported and after an investigation and trial the rapist must be punished. By hushing rape up and keeping it as a family matter you are only letting the rapist know that he can get away with it. This will not help.
 Although initially a happily married couple with the husband showing no such signs, there were some developing traits that should have rung bells. Suja Jones says that “I thought he was amazing and I was nobody. I let him decide things, even things like who the children could or could not play with. It was subtle, but he was the boss.” A relationship is about two equals and one cannot dictate or be the boss.
 According to Jones, sometime after the birth of Isabel her husband turned violent. She says he hit their oldest son and he hit her twice during a pregnancy. Mazurier needed hospital treatment after hurting his own hand by pounding on a door she was hiding behind with the children.
 Violence is never a part of a relationship. You are never safe around a person who hits your children and you, pregnant or not. These are tell-tale signs of an abusive person who can snap at anything which he may deem as a provocation and lash out.
 Suja Jones also says , “The man I loved, who was a good husband in a respectable position, held by many in such high regard. I thought ‘if he says it was the soap that hurt her, then of course it was the soap that hurt her and how wrong of me to pay attention to what Isabel was saying”
A person maybe of high public regard or someone you love but that does not mean that he is not a rapist. Listen to the person who is telling you about it even if she happens to be your three your girl. In spite of what we may think kids can recognize a wrong touch from a normal touch. A person’s social status or regard has no bearing on what he does when he is left alone with someone. This is especially so when people tend to hush up rape.  

What irks me the most though is this:
“When a woman is raped,” says 38-year-old Jones, who was born and raised in Calcutta, “it is her own fault. When a little girl is raped, it is the mother’s fault.”

When a woman is raped it is NOT her fault. When a little girl is raped, it is NOT her fault. It is the RAPIST who is responsible. Stop with the victim blaming. Stop people from raping, do not ask people to stop themselves from being raped. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Trees of fire and poison

Under the influence of different emotions, people tend to write different things. People react differently to the emotions and on being asked to write something with duress to their then state of mind, results in some interesting reads.
Yesterday I was sitting in The Chocolate Room after having met a friend. It had been a good day till then, and I was merrily sipping away my fruit drink with loads of ice in it when I thought of writing something. This is what I came up with:

Laugh now but know that I shall sow the seeds of vengeance, spite and envy and wait. Patiently. I shall water them, nurture them and let them grow in to big large trees. And when they bear fruits, I shall set the whole thing on fire. I shall watch it burn, and with it burn every bit of this place to ash. When there is nothing else left to burn, I shall dance.

There, this is what I come up with when I am all happy and merry. Frankly I quite like the way it came out, I think of having a story in which the villain says this to a supporting one before proceeding to kill him. This should drive the lead character into an emotionally charged burst of actions. After I had posted this on FB, a friend shared a poem I had not read before.

A poison tree (by William Blake)
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Beauty Sleep

“When does your train leave?”
“It leaves at ten, so we have about an hour’s worth of time left.”
“Ohhh let me stop at a chemist first. The shops will close by the time I return.”
“You’re not well?”
“No, I am fine. I just need to pick up sanitaries.”
“Why do you need to pick up sanitaries?”

He realized it was a stupid question to ask of her. She gave him a glance as she pulled over close the chemist shop. She silently turned the ignition off and got down to purchase the sanitary pads. He turned on a game on his cell phone to pass time till she would come back. She returned in a few minutes and started the engine. A few quiet minutes passed before he started staring at her.

“I have an awkward question.”
“Your questions are always awkward.”
“It is possibly stupid too”
“They happen to be that as well. But I am used to them now, ask.”
 “If diapers and sanitary pads work on the same principle, why doesn’t a company make them both? I mean wouldn’t it make sense to use the same technology on two different products.”
“Companies already do that.”
“Oh, they do? It makes sense to do so.”
“Remind me again, why I am still a friend with you?”
“Because of my intelligence and charm!” he said as he made a rolling motion with his hand and grinned wide.
“And yet you ask questions like this.”

She continued to smile at him. 

“So why are you leaving by the train, when you can take the early morning flight?”
Arrey, I will have to wake up early for the early flight. Sleep will get screwed.”
“Yeah, I know how much you need your beauty sleep.” 
Haaww... I need to be my best for the presentation tomorrow. I thought I can catch up on my sleep in the train. Both will reach at the same time anyway.”
“No baba, beauty sleep.”
“Yeah, yeah, Beauty sleep. What do we know; some hot girl might end up hitting on me in the train.”
“Oh please do check if the girl is short sighted before you get such an impression from her.”

Both of them ended up guffawing. They had reached the railway station, and she parked the car. He took his bag out and walked towards the stairs while she went towards the ticket counter to purchase an entry ticket. She came back with one soon as there was no queue, and they both started climbing the stairs together. Since he was carrying his bag, she got ahead by a few steps. He noticed the way in which she climbed the stairs. How she took long strides that would make her take two steps instead of one. How her pants would pull against her and accentuate her rear, and how while climbing down there would be a little jiggle in them if she skipped a step.

She started looking at the overhead sign boards which would inform them where which compartment would be once the train would stop. Since they were still early by almost twenty minutes they were not showing any information. He set his bag down on one of the many seats on the platform while she asked a vendor where the AC coaches would stop. He saw that he had forgotten to bring water with him for the journey and signalled her to get a bottle for him from the same vendor.

“Your coach will be just a little ahead, so we can sit here till the train comes.”
“Oh good, I don’t have to lug this bag around then.”
“What are you carrying in it?”
“My laptop, a pair of clothes for tomorrow and a tee and capris for the return trip tomorrow.”
“You know if this presentation doesn’t work out, you can always try to find work as a coolie. You have good experience.”
“It’s not that heavy. Besides I can’t sleep in pants on the way back. So I packed a set of capris as well. I will come back to the company guest house and change before returning.”
“And why are you not taking a flight back?”
“Umm. I thought I could shop around a little and take the late night train back. Catch up on my beauty sleep.”
“You and your sleep.”

There was a pregnant pause. He didn’t know what she was thinking. He wanted to talk to her about it, but was unsure how to bring it about. He stared at her feet for a while which she was tapping away. She was wearing brown colored chappasl which had a pattern of red curves drawn into them. They were quiet for a while before they heard the announcement of his train. Soon enough they could make out the beam of the headlight of the train, followed by the blaring horn seconds later. Once the train came to stop, she stood by the waiting chairs while he went and kept his bag on his berth. He came out to say a bye.

“Reshma.” He called her name in a slow prolonged voice.
“Yes Sri?”
“Do you want me to get you anything from there?”
“I thought you’d never ask. I hear you can get good street-wear there. Get me some bracelets or beads.” She replied with a grin.

The train gave another blaring horn which meant that it would now leave. He turned and climbed on to it. She waived a bye.
“Message me one you reach home.”

This is how both of them parted. He got back to his berth, and lay down thinking about the night. Of all the things he had told, the ones he wanted to tell, and more importantly the ones he didn’t. He was lost in his thoughts of her, wondering when and how should he tell her about it. Few minutes passed before he received her message that she had reached home. Seconds later he received another wishing him a good night’s sleep. His beauty sleep was far from his mind as he lay awake on the berth now, lost in his thoughts.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Pillow

He was lying sprawled on his bed when he felt the vibration. It was a tiny vibration and he heard the closing ding of the ringtone that would usually accompany it. This particular tone meant that he had received a message on WhatsApp. He cringed after he unlocked the phone as the white and blue light from it stung his eyes. After his eyes took a few seconds to adjust to the sudden influx on bright light, he saw that it was two in the morning. He was not surprised as some friend of his would be awake in the US and would have sent him a message. He slid down the notification bar and clicked the notification with his thumb. It was the picture of a pillow.

A pillow? Why I am being sent a picture of a pillow, he thought. He looked up to see that it was from his friend Sara.

“?” He pinged her back.

“My pillow” was the instant reply.

“Yes I can see that it is a pillow. I can still see” was his sassy reply.

Arrey baba, you asked me na , whom I love the most.”

“So you love your pillow the most?” He got up and sat with his back rested against the wall. This conversation was getting interesting.

“Of course”.


“Oh my pillow is so loyal. He didn’t cheat on me like my ex, he doesn’t lie to me, and is always there for me. Whenever I feel sad or weak, he’s there for me to cry upon. Whenever I feel happy, he’s there for me sleep with a content smile on.”

“Wow, lucky pillow.” Luckier than him, he thought.

“Now don’t you start feeling all jealous of my lovely boy friend :P”

“Totally jealous :D”

“So what are you doing now?”

“Wondering if you would rather send me a picture of yourself instead of your boy friend.”

“Now? But I am already in the bed. Staring at the fan go round and round.”

“Yeah, bet the fan is hitting on you as well.”

“LOL :D”

He wondered if that really did make her laugh. She had a wonderful laugh which was unrestrained. A nice loud laugh that came from the inside, he wondered if this was one of those ones.

 “I am feeling sleepy now. Do you want me to call you to wake up in the morning? “

“No.. It’s better to stay awake till 5 than to be woken up at 5. Good night, sleep well. You and your pillow.”


And the screen went blank as he locked the phone. He had close to three hours of time to kill before he would have to start getting ready to leave for work. He wondered how he should spend those three hours. He got up and went to the bath room to wash his face. He turned the geyser on, and let the bathtub fill with hot water. He went to the kitchen to grab cold can of cold cola from the fridge to drink as he spend time on his laptop surfing the net. He fired up his mail and facebook, and started to read a blog posted by his sister. It was a small piece of fiction about story challenge to be written on the theme of having received a picture message in the night.

He smiled. Here was a story he was more than happy to write.

Inspired from The Message

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Recipe - Soupy Pasta (for Healthy and Tasty Recipe Contest)


·         Spaghetti  (use wheat or semolina pasta) – 100 gms
·         Onion – 1 medium size – finely chopped
·         Corn Kernels – 1 cup
·         Peas – 1 cup
·         Tomato Puree – 1 cup or 1 medium tomato finely chopped
·         Mushrooms – 3 medium sized, thinly sliced
·         Oil – 5 table spoons (I used Fortune Rice Bran health oil)
·         Garlic – 1 teaspoon paste or three cloves finely chopped
·         Red Chilli Flakes – 1 table spoon
·         Hing (Asafoetida) – 1 teas spoon
·         Red Chilli sauce – 2 table spoon
·         Salt – to taste
·         Water


Section 1 – Pasta:

Take 1 litre of water in a wide bottomed or deep vessel.
Add 1 table spoon of salt. Bring the water to boil.
 Once the water is boiling add the pasta in it. (Tip: Do not add oil to the water or the vessel. It will prevent the spices and sauces from sticking to the pasta and will reduce taste.)
Let the pasta boil for 10 minutes, stirring every three minutes.
Strain the pasta in a strainer. You can choose to drain away this starchy water or save it to be used as stock in other recipes.
Now transfer the pasta in a bowl. Fill it with cold water, and drain the pasta in a strainer. Repeat till pasta is cold. This way the pasta will not stick together.
Now transfer pasta in an empty bowl. The pasta should not be more than half the bowl’s volume.
We will use this empty space later.

Section 2 – The vegetables and spices:

Heat 3 table spoons of Fortune Rice Bran oil in a pan.
 Add the finely chopped onion and garlic. Sauté till onion turns golden brown.
Add the thinly sliced mushrooms. Add 2 table spoons of oil. Sauté till mushrooms change turn slightly brown.
Add the tomato puree, and stir.
 Add Chilli sauce, chilli flakes, hing and salt. Continue to stir.
Add the Corn kernels and peas.
Stir for 1 minute.

Section 3 – The Soup:

Add 600 ml of water.
Stir well and bring to boil.
This will form the soup. Let it boil for 5 minutes by when the corn and peas should soften.

Pour this soup on the pasta we had kept aside in the bowl. Voila, you’re doneJ. You can choose to garnish with sprigs of basil or coriander. But I like to have it as it is.

Now some of you may wonder that this looks like soupy noodles. Yes it looks like soupy noodles because I chose to use Wheat Spaghetti instead of noodles which are made from Maida (or refined white flour.) You can replace the spaghetti with penne, fusilli or any other pasta as well. You’re also using Fortune Rice Bran oil, so that adds to the healthy quotient as well.

Please do tell me how it turned out for you.

This post is a part of Healthy & Tasty Recipe Contest with Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil &

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why I don't want to get married

For now.

I was rummaging through some of my old files and stumbled upon a questionnaire a friend had sent to me about marriage and my preferences. The idea of marriage is that when two people get along well/love each other or are deemed to be good matches for each other (by families of said people) and decide to make it public that they intend to live the rest of their lives together. (Of course is it a public notification or approval may lead to another blog sometime in the future.) All this is fine as long as you consider some of the aspects involved in it.

A couple of my friends have gotten married by now, and some people look upon realizing that I am of all 25 years of age (Silver Jubilee for the win) tell me that I should get married as well. The thing about some of these friends is that they had started dating / seeing each other sometime in college. So take 1-4 years of the college time and add four more years since to get about 5-9 years of being in a relationship during or after which they took a joint decision to get married. I can live with marriages that lead from that. I mean you have spent time close to a person to have known that person well enough to make and estimate of how they will turn out to be and take a call on that. When they felt the time was right they decided to marry each other.

When they felt the time was right and not age. Who came up with the idea anyway? You’re of the right age, you should get married now. Seriously, dude? Yes I am at an age where I have a job  and have my wisdom (limited as it may be) can be counted on to make some life decisions, does not mean that I get married now. It is the time that is important and not age (Of course you’re old enough to be an adult that is). It is different time durations for everyone. Some think a few months of being in a relation is fine, while others think years. It’s totally based on the said two people involved.

Doing household chores makes me think about it. A few days ago I had posted this as a status update on facebook: 

Tonight I thought if it would be different to have been married. I came back just before 1(noon shift) and too tired to cook but hungry. It would seem so easy to wake her up and ask her to make something (even if it is instant noodles for me)
Comment by me: Of course like Dumbledore said, we must choose between what is easy and what is right

Now I had come back from a shift work at 1 in the night (or morning) and was hungry. Unfortunately there were no cookies or fruits in the house that day (as I had eaten them all up and not restocked). Since I was tired I wondered if I had been married, wouldn’t it seem easy to wake her up and have her cook something for me. Easy doesn’t always mean right. Imagine being waken up in the middle of a sound sleep to cook something for someone (Of course she could be doing other things as well like a friend pointed out. She could be at a friend’s, or reading, or watching a movie, etc... But let us for now get with the idea of her being asleep when I come home). Imagine being woken up from a sound sleep just to cook something for someone.  Some people would like to tell me that this is not any someone, and since she is my wife she is supposed to do it for me. I don’t want her to do things for me just because she is my wife, I want her to be my wife because of the things she does for me.  Similarly I don’t want to do things for someone just because I am married to her, I want to be married because of the things I do for her or am willing to do for her.
Similarly, this has to do with things like my bed as well. I am in general not much bothered about my bed. I can sleep on beds and floors with equal comfort. As long I change my sheets regularly, I don’t bother much. Which is why before they get ironed, my washed clothes get dumped on my bed along with a book that is half way of being read,  along with what is today an empty bottle of water(I should pick that up once this is posted). The idea is that I don’t want my preferences to add work for her or make her cringe. It would make sense to have such clothes in a neat pile in the bag in the corner of the room or that empty section in the cupboard. Since it doesn’t matter to me that much I dump them on the bed, however it would matter to her (it being her bed as well).

When I think of kids, I end up at times freaking out about whether they will eat non-veg or pray or not. I like to eat, veg and non-veg inclusive. If my wife eats non-veg as well then things are all great. And I have no problem being with someone who is a vegetarian. I mean it’s a matter of not putting non-veg in her plate or gargling real good with mouth wash after dinner or just plain old eating away from her eyes when I do.  Things will be fine based on the understanding me and my wife of not forcing things on each other. Bring kids into the equation and you have an unstable reaction. What if she brings up kids with the idea that eating meat is not good because we are killing innocent animals for it, which is a bad thing to do. And then they see daddy dearest eating a chicken burger and enjoying it closed eyes and lost thoughts. I don’t know how the conversation will go from there.

I am also not a religious person (anymore) and don’t pray or observe fasts or days. The two of these things have absolutely nothing to do with each other. However which religion (and how much of it) you follow can be an important part of your identity. When kids see their mom praying and visiting temples (or any other religious place) and dad not giving a hoot about it and question me why I don’t pray, what do I tell them? That I don’t pray because don’t believe, or bother more about humans than gods. Will they imagine me a ring of fire behind me every time they see me eat meat? Of course none of this may come in to picture, or before it does me and my wife would have some sort of understanding on how to get the kids through this and leave it totally up to their choice. But I tend to freak out about it at times.

That being said, I don’t want to get married for now because I don’t have anyone to whom I can relate enough to get married to. When the time is right and we both think, it will be marriage time.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love is

Not diarrhea  That is right, Love is not diarrhea  Ok, why do you ask that I say this? Because I cannot take it when people left and right are telling me that love just happens. There is no reason behind, love never happens for a reason. You know how the saying goes that shit happens. Love doesn't happen like that. Love is not diarrhea.

OK, you can skip this paragraph for the imagery it may provide. I am sorry for that. I vividly remember what my first conscious memory of diarrhea is. I remember wearing grey shorts and sitting in the front courtyard of my house and reading. I felt a little tingly sensation in my stomach. I felt like I had gas and wanted to fart. I tried, except instead of gas a thick fluid came through. I felt disgusted and ran to the toilet as I felt myself getting moister with every step I took.

Love is nothing like that. Love happens for a reason. When some people told me that love doesn't happen for a reason I honestly felt like saying “Kids these days, don’t know what love is”! Of course saner sense prevailed when I also thought that since these were my friends, they were not that young or me that old to think or say this. Yes, I understand that the realization that you are in love with someone can be sudden or gradual. It can come out of the blue to you, but the feeling is not baseless.

Yes, you may think that the reason for your love can fail. You love someone for what they promised, and what they could have been but chose not to. Such is not a failure of our reason, but the failure of your loved to reflect the values you seek. Ayn Rand got this right: One falls in love with the embodiment of the values that formed a person's character. And if the person, in whom you wished to see those values come alive, didn't breathe of them then it is not the failure of your love but of them.

Love is not a sacrifice. You can give up many things in the name of love. If doing something or not having something brings a smile or comfort to the person you love, then it is not a sacrifice. You did it for bringing happiness to your loved, and that mattered to you more than what you did or gave up. You got something in return for what you did.

You can love someone and realize the reason only when you think upon it. But you cannot love someone without a reason. You may have a set notion for the type of person you will love, and when you meet that type of person you will know that this is the person you were searching for. A physical form containing the values you seek. But you cannot have a person you love just like that. Love just doesn't happen, it happens for a reason.  There are people who end up saying that I don’t know why I loved him/her because they did not base their love on something. You can know of course why you don’t love a person anymore. You thought different of that person before, and now you have reasons to believe that he doesn't meet them. It is OK  please move on.

You see even diarrhea doesn't happen without reason. There could be toxins, food poisoning, infections or any different reason for it to happen.

Everyone has a different reason for love.  For some it is the sense of comfort the other person brings to you. It can also be a feeling of security that you can be yourself in the presence of that person that you can be without inhibitions. It can be because of the felling you got once you kissed you would never want to kiss anyone else again. I realized that for me it was a sense of admiration. An admiration for the questions that I had to ask myself, for the reasons she did the things she did, for her courage to live her life as she wanted, for making me realize the difference between who I am and who I wanted to be.

And if nothing else, ask yourself one thing when you think you love a person. What is it that makes you love this person and not someone else? What is it that sets this person apart from the countless others you have met? For if you love this person without a reason, you might as well be loving another stranger in the crowd.

Monday, January 7, 2013

(High on) Happiness

Have you ever had one of those days when you are happy? Not just happy, but high with happiness? When things just fall in place, when you meet nice people, eat good stuff, today was one such day.

To recount what lead to this day:
  •  I spent one entire weekend with mom without either of us saying anything stingy at the other.
  • We checked out some houses (we’re house hunting for a new place)
  • Mom made dahi puri for me in the evening. Now dahi puri is unhealthy because I have a sore throat, and the chutney and cold curd would not do me good. But eating unhealthy food is fun and she made it because I asked her to.
  • I spent some wonderful time at ‘The chocolate room’ in Ahmadabad. I had a large black coffee, an almond cold coffee, and a Chocó-chilli sandwich. It was a wonderful sandwich it had chillies and chocolate scrapings in it. The chocolate would clash with the chilly and it was oh-so-good. I got a nice table all for myself and wonderful internet speed to watch some of my favourite anime.
  • I saw this poster while searching for a new poster to buy. It gave me a sense of reassurance, that there is more to me than some of the problems I had recently started thinking on. 
  • On the way to Baroda from Ahmadabad I got a bus that had half the seats empty. I could sit on an entire three seat row all by myself and read. When the bus conductor turned off some of the lights he let two lights on so that I could read. He then got up from his single seat and sat on another empty row seat. Those of you who have travelled by GSRTC busses know of this seat. It is the single seat at the entrance which has handle bars in front of it for people to hold on to while climbing on/off. So when you sit on this seat, you can sink in a little and rest your feet on this handle bar. Such a comfortable position to read in. 
  • The window in front of me was open with a just little tiny gap that let a cool breeze in. The breeze would hit my naked feet and make me feel as if my feet were in a river of flowing cool water. And the best part was that no one complained about it or asked me to shut the window.
  • I thought of two women whom I admire. One is ofcourse this wonderful doting big sister whom I love as much as I can. The other is of course the is B to my A, the Alpha to my Omega, the Sheila to my jawani, the fevicol to my photo. They just cheer me up.

Now my views on god are not that religious. But if there is a god, I would give a nice tight hug. I would tell him to take some time off and come with me for drinks, my treat. I would ask him to listen to this song (Emotional Attyachar (attyachar is Hindi for torture) from Dev D). The song in itself is a sad song; however it has a special place for me. I had gone to watch this movie in a single screen local cinema house because we couldn’t get tickets anywhere else. Now this song has a nice beat to it. When this song came on screen I was just tapping my feet being as reserved that I am. But some guys in the audience just thought “Chuck it” and got up started dancing to have a wonderful time.

So the idea is to ask God to chuck it and not think of the people who are doing all forms of torture in his name. You know take a vacation with your goddess, and go relax and recharge. If you made this world, we gave it shape as it is now. You don’t have to take it on your shoulders.

Today is also an eventful day for another reason. The father of the Delhi-Gang Rape case victim shared his daughter’s name (Jyoti Singh Pandey). He said:

The word Jyoti is a Hindi word which means light. For some people, this case gives light and heat and casts out darkness and fear. Now I don’t her personally, but I cannot help but feel sorry. That in a free nation, this is the price she had to pay for being free, for just wanting to live her own life. You had every right to live on as you wanted, but a bunch of men thought you wanting to be free was an act of defiance against them, and raped and beat you to a painful death. They and other such people wrongfully believe that just because of being a woman, women have to yield to them as they wish.

I do hope that whether you’re reading this or not, whether we know of each other or not, that you have an equally wonderful day in your life. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Punishment and Justice

Ever since the Delhi gang rape I have been thinking of something. Not because this is the first rape case, or the first gang rape case, but because of the level of depravity the rapists sunk to after raping the girl.

For those of you who are not aware of this case, a girl and her friend took a bus. The driver and his friends beat the girl and her friend with a rod and then went on to rape the girl turn by turn. Then they beat her more and inserted the metal rod in her vagina. They stripped the girl and her friend and tossed them out on the streets. The girl’s injuries were so harsh that her intestines had to be removed. There was hope that she could have a transplant but she died of her injuries.

This case has brought the people of the nation together. People began to voice their concerns loud in forms of protests. Why don’t we have strict anti-rape laws? Why isn’t it safe for women to go out in the open? Why must they be blamed for the rape and not the rapist? What punishment should be given to these men? Some people demanded capital punishment, while some demanded castration. People took to the streets in protests asking for all this. Some people blamed the rapists, the police, the government, there were few who looked inside.

Why look inside do you ask me? I will tell you why. When this barbaric case came to light, many people wept for the all the girl had to face, and cursed the rapists but many also asked “What was the girl doing at that time of the night with a male friend? Why did she take that bus? When we all know that it is an unsafe place for women why did she watch the late show? Did she do something to instigate the rapists in to beating her so badly?” 

I fail to see how it all matters. If she dressed a particular way and the men got so aroused, they should have kept their arousal to themselves. Instead of teaching women how to dress teach the men to control themselves. Women get raped irrespective of the clothes they wear (sari, salwar kameez, jeans, skirts, etc.), of how old or young they are (teens, toddlers, old), or where they are (home, office, public transport, streets). The key aspect here being that there are men who rape, and it is this fact that must be addressed if you wish to get to the root of it all to eradicate.

A fact I believe that contributes to this all is how girls and boys are brought up. Traditionally we are a society which is biased towards the men. This is why we tell girls not to get raped instead of telling the guys not to rape. Idiots. I think it is very easy to blame the victims, and get away with that instead of correcting centuries old incorrect thinkings.  It is easy, but not right. To quote Albus Dumbledore, “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” We need to teach the generations that are to come and that have already come that girls are in no way lower than guys. This means that you cannot just go and have her if you find her attractive; you cannot rape her if she says no. No means No. It’s not just a matter of finding someone physically attractive or pleasing to the eyes. It’s the idea that you want her and you must have her, her consent not being of any matter to him.

 Then you have people who agree that such people are who cannot control themselves, that they are mad dogs or bulls of sort. So they tell me that if one sees a mad dog running or a mad bull you don’t go there and run like mad when it charges towards you. First of all, these are men we are talking of not animals. But I understand where this logic comes from, if we equate them with animals since they can’t control themselves; then they must be treated like animals of such sort. Tie them and lock them up before they bite, put them down.

Now regarding what must be done to these rapists, I was personally of the opinion to not give them capital punishment. Well because if you kill them, it’s the end for them while the girl continues fighting for her life. Instead send them to prison, and make them pay for all her expenses (medical and otherwise till she lives). There is difference between punishment and justice. In discussion with a friend Desi Girl on this that “Justice is the closure for the victim and punishment is about extracting penalty cash or kind from the wrong doer.” However now with the girl being dead I wonder if we should make an example of these rapists. For now it’s a case of not just rape, but torture and murder. So yes, the rapists must be punished, but what about justice? Justice needs to be served to not just her but to all other people who have been raped.

If you want to do your bit about justice and preventing such cases please ‘look inside’ as well.

In one of my google searches in, I found this video.
(Contains violence and dramatized gore)