Thursday, December 31, 2009

The decade that went past

Im celebrating my birthday in another few days and I wonder how quickly 10 years have whizzed past me..just thinking of many hits and misses that happenned in this decade

I fell in love and got married and made the decision to change my focus from professional to personal..

Turned 30 sometime during the decade..remember crying over it, as I enjoyed the 20s all the way..

Moved from Bangalore to Bombay , then to Bangalore and then to Chennai and now, back to abt going in circles !

Quit a career in TV, moved to online when the bust started, and then settled in radio

Realized I enjoy start ups and creating things from scratch.

Took a sabbatical for 2 years and had been on my own at the dawn of the decade and enjoyed it thoroughly.Think I have it in me to be an entrepreneur, but not a consultant.

Learnt to save and even much later to invest.

I realized the writer in me still remained and enjoyed travel writing.Would like this side of me further in 2010

Bit by wanderlust, realized I want to be in the travel space. Travelled quite a bit around the country and even went for a couple of international trips.

Health suffered and weight has been going up and down as fitness levels have come down

Realized I dont need a rich lifestyle to maintain needs are simple

Some of my close friendships have emerged in this decade.A few still remain from the last decade. I still take a long time to make friends

Started blogging and meeting more interesting people and their passions online.

Overall, its been a good decade- from where I started the millenium. A bad year I realized hasnt spoiled the entire basket and I also realize that its all about a perspective..when you look at 10 years that has gone by, a bad job or a bad relationship or even a bad moment doesnt mean anything.What matters is what lasts and in this case, the people around you, the goodwill they bring, the moss that you have gathered in the form of learnings and experience , the health and confidence that you carry is what keeps us in that context 2009 is not such a bad year at all..Except for my health, its been a year where a lot of churn has happenned..and a churn is always good , cos we look at whats left out at the end..not whats gone..Ive got quite a bit on my hands..looking forward to another year and decade...only regret, age is catching up and benchmarks are changing

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What a year..

When I think 2009, Charles Dickens comes to my mind. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..However, Dickens ends the observation as its not so bad at all, but to me it has been rather bad.

I lost quite a lot of months because of illhealth and learnt it the hard way. While the spirit is still willing, the flesh has resigned. Problems unknown to me in the human body cropped up, complications which had no rationale surfaced and somewhere down the line, my immunity to everything cracked. The mind is weak, the body weaker and the brain dead. The year started with ill health of my dad and ended with mine. If I need something very badly in 2010, its a lot of good health and energy and I need to take baby steps now to get there.

I dont want to walk down the memory lane as far as 2009 is will leave it at this..However, 2009 has ended giving me clarity and focus as far as my health is concerned. Its also made me pragmatic and reticent .Its also made me realize that there is no point fretting cos what goes up comes down, feelings and thoughts come and go , people change and everything does have an expiry date..So, I end 2009 on this note

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bombay ki hawa..1

I have always believed that nostalgia is a world that can be real and yet so illusionary. The laughter, the tears, the voices and the moments from the past are so much a part of you and yet they are so distant . You replay those scenes in your mind, the faces become a collage in the album of memories - they seem so tangible that they can be touched and felt and yet, as they come closer, they vanish into thin air..Nostalgia , according to me is then a contradiction of sorts .

On another note, Bombay is a city of paradoxes. The emotions the city arouse in me are like the currents of an ocean whose depth cannot be fathomed. And yet, I plan to go on a nostalgic trip inside a city like Bombay.When journo, blogger and writer, BG asked me about my Bombay days..all I could do was to sigh initially, waiting for the dormant volcano inside me to become active.

So what do I write about my Bombay days ? Do I talk about my loneliness, my insecurities, my dreams, my coming of age or do I describe the energy and my new found spirit of independence ? The masks worn by the people I met as their ambitions keep pace with the fast life and their companions change by the moment ?

Although I have let the city get under my skin, I wonder if it is a stereotype or a city where you keep peeling one layer after another and see something new every time ? Is it the city of dreams or a city where life passes you by like the fast trains of Virar ? Is it a city whose heart lies in Cuffe Parade or in Meera Road? Is it a city where chalta hai and aage bado rub shoulders with each other?

There is so much to think, feel, say and remember..

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New year mantra

When its December, its time to get all nostalgic and introspective. Its almost like your mind is conditioned to do the same. Its also time to make new year resolutions and promptly forget about them . I do remember writing a post here about my resolutions for either 2008 or 2009 and just like Ive forgotten the year, Ive forgotten my thoughts too..Nevertheless, December is also a reminder that January brings not just another year , but it also makes me a year older. I love my matter what the statistics say . But with me getting into the wrong side of the 30s, I would like to create a wishlist for myself in the new year. Well, there are so many wants and most of them tangible and material, but here are the 3 key ones that I need imperatively

1. Health - To begin with ,my skin has reminded me that I am aging..well, not referring to the wrinkles, but Ive developed a new allergy called PMLE - which is a UV rays allergy. My dermatologist says I need to develop immunity ..There are teeth rattling, calling for attention and my knees have given up on me a while ago. So, this is going to be focus one..asanas, gym, healthy food..a sucker is waiting for you..

2.A little bit of common sense - Yea. This Ive realized is decreasing in proportion to my age. I dont mind admitting that Im losing it or lost it, but I hope to gain it back this year.

3.My impatience. Another one I lost in my quest for tolerance. The result. I started tolerating all kinds of people and lost my sense of judgement for a while. I need my impatience back and a sense of urgency in my life.

I have more resolutions and wishlists but lets see where I land up with these 3

Friday, November 27, 2009

Another day in his life

" What do you want me to write ? " her voice is almost a whisper, but he senses the controlled aggression .

He laughs a bit and pats her hand. "Anything you like, you want, your happy memories, anything you remember.." He gives her a kindly smile, but she cuts him , her voice now rising a bit ."Is this your patronising best? " she glares at him fixing her eyes right into his.

He coughs and turns his head away and tries to smile again, but she retorts as if reading his mind, " Scared arent you, that I might.." He takes a deep breath. The tension between them passes in a moment that can be felt only in the rhythmic beating of the hearts .

"What do you want me to write ?" Her voice becomes a whisper again and she covers her face with her hands.." My most vulnerable moments, my angry days, my depressed thoughts, my violent moods, my lonely pain,my weakest think I deserve all this ?"she looks almost pleadingly at him, looking for a bit of sympathy.

"No, he replies a bit coldly, rather detached.." Your life is not unique..dont come here looking for pity , now write..

She walks away a few minutes later with the blank paper in hand as he wipes the sweat off his brow, and presses the bell. Another crazy day , thought the psychiatrist as the next patient walks in .

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Pandora Box

She leaned against the window and shut her eyes tight.The present seemed to ebb into the past. Time, she told herself is an illusion.The night lay threadbare as she unlocked her mind.

The images blurred. But she heard those words .They spoke to her in a different voice. The monotone of the fingers tapping the keyboard, the murmurs, the laughter..they all merged .

It had rained a bit. They told each other stories the entire night.Dont go,he had said then.The rains formed a pattern on the glass . She retraced her steps back in her mind.

The pitter patter dogged her as she let the sound of rains drown those voices but the murmurs grew. They merged with the words that emerged now in front of her. Were they just words, or were they emotions?"Leave," he had said then. He had the last word always.

She reached out to herself. The words stirred in her dead mind. A long lost emotion frozen somewhere in the depths ..She was lost in a timewarp. Time she told herself is not a healer.

She had flung them in the recesses of her mind, as they became fossils. But no body told her that fossils will not disappear. He brought them afore again. The words had a different meaning, but they chased her. The Pandora box had just been opened. Memories flew out. With them came the dead embers of her mind. But the wounds were still fresh.She couldnt feel the pain though.

The rains fogged the window. She stood there still for a very long time, listening to the pitter patter, long after the rain had stopped.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I met a college friend yesterday after a gap of nearly 12 years and we created quite a riot.Needless to say, we cracked up over men and matters, women and their foibles and people who had walked in and out of our lives. We spent some time remembering "our aunty" who took care of us, even though we were just PGs ..and we wondered how we managed to retain our sanity in that mad world called media , in a chaotic city called Bombay, which was then home to us;we were the homeless, trying to seek a career and an identity.. For many years, after I left Bombay, I always felt that I carried a part of it in me and I often attribute the city for moulding me and giving me a sense of confidence and individuality..anyways thats for another post..

Coming back to yesterday's evening, we drifted into a blissful past where responsibility just meant to keep our heads above trouble, learning a bit about our careers and people who shaped our careers and to maintain a simple lifestyle with a measly salary . Yet, we were fiercely independent, keen on charting our own destinys and yet learning to enjoy life and its moments..We were a bit naive, says my friend . Not like today's generation, I agree, even though they are probably a decade or more younger than us. And yet, I believe that in our innocence, was our maturity..we were not so insecure, not yet bitten by peer pressure, no wannabe lifestyles for us, no uncalled for attitude . Silent and determind, mad in our own way,we were probably learning to balance a career with independence.We were at the age where we were learning to differentiate between boyfriends and friends who were boys, understanding that flings are not relationships and we were quick to pick up the pieces and move on... We didnt fall by the wayside, yet were grounded enough to realize that ambition was made of sterner stuff and we lived our life according to our terms

The evening passed and with it, a montage of life during the last decade. A decade that was probably a lifetime to us. The vignettes from our past took us on a heady journey where we were on a high and yet not drunk. We were sailing, flying and buzzing past life and yet, when the evening ended, life came back to a standstill. A full stop in many ways. And thats why I say nostalgia is a dangerous thing. It takes you to a real world, a world that features you and yet, a world that you will probably never see again . It hurts even more if its a happier world. It is illusionary, yet not an illusion but it creates a void. Nostalgia chases you all the time..If its a happy memory, we cling to it and are unable to let go. If its sad, well, you dont even want to think about it, even if nostalgia catches up with you . It sends you into a fool's paradise and then takes you down teary lanes and makes you wake up to emptiness.Ultimately it leads you nowhere..

Friday, October 30, 2009


Was it a toy or a relationship that just broke ?

Friday, October 23, 2009

For Aunty..

Its a tragic day for me today. I just lost someone who is very close to me - my aunty, who was one of the reasons I cherished my life in Mumbai..I remember going to her house as a naive 22 year old with no roof over my head,thrown out of my PG of 3 months.It was my first job in Mumbai , with a princely salary of 5K and my friend, Sujata was staying over there. She told me I could stay for 15 days till I found a roof and I slept the first night on the floor in the hall. She apologised to me the next day and told me I could stay with her in her room if I didnt mind and from that day, a deep bond grew between us. We shared our joys and sorrows, cracked up over bhel and boondi raitha, watched movies, had custard and cakes in the nights, bitched about boyfriends and bosses and travelled to quite a few places...I changed cities, but almost every job brought be back to Mumbai again..She would say," Tumhare liye mere ghar me hamesha ek bed hai.." It was more than just that.

In today's day and age, a lot of people come and go out of our lives.Many friendships, relationships break over silly reasons of ego and anger. And the memories fade away.Today,a relationship died but my aunty lives landlady who for a few thousand rupees built a strong emotional bond with me, tolerated my angst and temper, laughed and cried with me and always wished me well..whenever I had a new job ,she would say, " Tum mere ghar se jaa rahe ho..sab achcha hi hoga.." I left her house day before yesterday and will never see her again.Aunty, ham aapko bahut miss kar rahe hain..

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sometimes, you just need to kill your darlings

I have been going through a severe writer's block for a while. Lack of focus compounded the issue as a few issues were weighing down my mind. My emotional highs and lows added to the entire problem as I am trying to grapple with an incident that happened more than ten days ago. Nevertheless, as I moved on listening to the head rather than the heart, the mind refused to stay focussed.

So I was struggling the entire day having written just one sentence of a 2000 word piece. I almost gave up when Arun, a blogger and friend asked me if I had managed to write the second line. I laughed and sent him the line I had written , telling him to continue from there. He read the line and in his own pragmatic way told me that it is not his kind of line. I replied indifferently that thats the only line I have for now, for words found expression in that single sentence . I shut the system and meditated for a while and then went on a walk.

As I played Arun's reply in my mind, I wondered if the problem was really the writer's block or my own inadequacies or the issues that refused to go away from my mind. Suddenly it struck me that the problem was so in my face and the solution was extremely simple. It was exactly what Arun said. The problem was the opening line. It wasnt a bad sentence , but it wasnt the right line for this particular travelogue that I was writing and hence I could not really continue. It was a deadlock and there was nothing more to say . In other words, I had to change the approach and the thought process.

I returned to my desk and changed the first line and sat down to write my story .My first cut of 1800 words poured out in less than three hours. I did struggle and several parts still need to be rewritten, but I had crossed the initial hurdle. After 12 hours of holding on to a single sentence, I deleted it and wrote 1800 words in less than 3 hours.Sometimes I realized you need to stop clinging and just need to kill your darlings cos they dont really work out.

I paused for a moment after writing like a demon possessed and wondered why I did not apply this logic to the other issues weighing on my mind. Probably, if I had the right approach, the incident would not have happenned at all to begin with , but whats done cant be undone. Nevertheless, I realized that I could still use the thought to get over it. After all, its just about changing the line, the thought, the approach and your own point of view, wrt people or issues. Its about realizing that whether its people or thoughts, you need to stop clinging on to them and kill your own darlings, cos they may not be the right ones for you.I just did .

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another journey

Very often I travel to get away from it all .The call of the jungle, the lure of the beaches and the allure of the mountains are sometimes I think just an excuse to escape from certain complexities of life and lose myself in unknown environs.

September saw me travelling to dizzying heights. I went up the highest motorable road in Ladakh at 18,000 feet and more and then took off to the cooler climes of Shimla and Mashobra and then closer home into the wilder jungles of Kabini. And yet, I didnt manage to lose myself. My thoughts chased me whereever I went ..

And finally the wild waters of Kabini helped me let go ..As I landed back in Bangalore, I felt a sense of being grounded .It was a reality check. It took me a while to come to terms with it . Im now back to doing what I like the most.Moving on.

As I chill at home, being at peace with myself, I internalize the new learnings from every journey . And the longest journey called life moves on, as I pick myself up and continue to chug at my own pace, clearing the cobwebs and cutting down the clutter. Im staying at home for a change to energise myself before embarking on a new journey.After all, when you have withdrawal symptoms, the only way to get rid of it is to get back on your feet again and move on..

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Musings by the sea shore

The mountains beckon some, the forests lure you, there is a charm in an old heritage monument and a certain peace in a remote town . I often get lost in new worlds, some that let me escape the mundane realities of life.

But when my mind is restless, I often seek the waves. The ebb and flow of the waters reassure me, the fury of the waves calm me down, the foam bathes my mind and the endless space of sand, water and sky give me an immense faith in life. I realize I am a microcosm in this entire universe and nothing can change the dynamics of life. The rhythm must go on..some waves are rough, some gentle , some gather around your feet,letting your toes feel the illusion of being embedded in the sand, but they let go eventually,

However the colours change as I watch the entire skyscape enact a drama in front of me . Colours of life , I call them - rose, crimson, blue, grey fill the sky as it becomes an open palette.The fluffy white clouds flit in and out ,wrapping the sky in its fold, moving from one end to another. They change their shapes , gather around together to form a big white mass where little streaks of sunlight stream out. Sometimes there is a bit of a conflict in this paradise..where dark clouds throw a veil over the brighter ones, leaving the sky in a grey tone. Life I realize is a rainbow of colours, except we do not get to choose the palette.

I watch as the shore clings on to the waves, but it ebbs leaving the foam behind ..even that evaporates only to be washed away by another wave that drags a bit of the sand with it..I wonder if relationships are like that. The waves erase the memories, the shore tries to cling, the essence is absorbed by the shore and the sea as they carry a bit of each other when they embrace..only to eventually let go. The rocks at a far end are mute spectators to this spectacle. They remain silent as the waves unleash their emotions on them. Sometimes they lash at them, sometimes they embrace, but the rocks do not respond. Sometimes I wonder if this is what they refer to as being rock solid.

I see humans living by the sea, of the sea and I wonder if their understanding of life is much better than us urbanites who worry about mundane issues . As i grapple to understand my destiny and the forces that work within them, I look around and see the entire cycle play out in front of me.

I leave my footprints on the sands of time and wonder if my dreams will come true and if they would be etched for ever, when a wave flows up to me and let the foam curl around my ankles and erase those footprints away.Destiny I realize is not always written by us. We just get to think we play a role here. A little breeze blows past my face and the voice of the waves echo in my ears..Let Go...They say, you give back to the sea something that is important to you..I did just that.I left a part of me, left behind my mind and my thoughts so that I could feel the spacelessness and nothingness inside me, and the voice still tugs in my ears..Let Go...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Shades of grey

I believe the world is enveloped in shades of grey. Colours like black and white are sheer reflections of the colour.

Look around us and we realize the concept of good and bad is extremely subjective and relative. Do I believe in a perfect world or a perfect person or a perfect life ? According to me, its too ideal a thought to even exist .

Inside all of us lurk grey thoughts and emotions which do not surface unless we look harder. Sometimes, we do not wish to see or feel them and tend to push them under the carpet of human emotions. Many times, we do not even wish to come to terms with them. But try as we may, we cannot refuse to acknowledge or justify or even wish them away..and I think thats part of being human.

State of mind now - Restless, edgy, escapist, confused & angry with self. Above all feeling human

Thursday, June 25, 2009

All's right with the world

My mind is brimming with a series of disconnected thoughts and emotions. They are disconnected because there seems to be no logical connection between each other. My mind is hyperactive .

Following one's thoughts is like walking into a maze..sometimes you do not have a way out and yet, its an interesting journey . A thought abruptly ends or disappears or merges with another thought. Sometimes a completely different stream of thought picks up from where one leaves( I choose not to use the word ends, as I do not believe there is an end )and moves on to another thread.

Here is an attempt to follow and express one of my thoughts which seemed to have a flow..I think I managed to track this down the maze and here it is...

I woke up this morning trying to stay positive - weed out negative thoughts, influencers and triggers. It wasnt meant to be. My mind was pregnant with a lot of worries and cares. Fear found its place in it- fear of facing pain, dealing with the aftermath of pain and a sense of futility and fighting alone. I was confused and wondered if I wanted to go through this. I didnt have an answer to it.It was pulling me down . I needed strength and I wasnt sure where to find it. Something told me that it was probably lurking inside me . A minor disappointment added to it. I realized that my mind had lost its ability to deal with NO's. I needed my safety net.

I walked up to the lake, hoping to lose myself in the crowd. While I was tempted to seek solitude, sometimes feeling alone in a crowd gives you the same feeling. As I was walking,listening to the voice of nature, I saw myriad feet walk along with me..some walking towards me, some walking away from me. I didnt look up to see the faces as the momentum of the feet fascinated me . There was a movement in life, of people walking along, chugging their own burdens, their worries, their joys , their little moments carrying on with life.

A gentle breeze stroked me, brushing against my hair, almost lifting me from the surface of earth. I felt like I was travelling outside my body .Like sand particles, the breeze dusted my cares away.The sky was covered with small puffy clouds huddled together,creating another pattern as the sun tried to peep outside and look down on earth

I watched the ripples on the lake . Each one was erased by another,while more ripples formed, overwriting each other. And yet, the lake flowed in peace, calm and quiet,feeding the birds, the fish , the insects . The breeze mischievously disturbed the patterns but the lake seemed to create it all over again.

I paused after an hour of walking and looked at the momentum in nature. The whole world seems to tell me that I was just a microcosm in this entire universe and my cares are probably too microscopic to be even ackowledged. They were one of the many ripples on the lake, constantly erased by the powers of nature. And its only us humans that make a big deal about a single negative moment, a bad day or a minor disappointment . Nature just erases them without bothering to analyse or even think about them.

I moved on realizing that I have to do what I have to do, go through what I have to go through and move on...

Just remembered Frost, " In three words, I can sum up what life is.It goes on."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shadows ...

She looked at their long thin shadows that drew a pattern on the sand. They were distortions, an exaggeration of their relationship, she thought. Shadows can never be real .And yet, they are an extention of the self as they can never exist by themselves.

Her mind flitted through the various shadows of the past that merged into the present. The shadows of relationships, the murmurs of conversations, the echoes of laughter ..she carried them with her. And yet, as every relationship faded into another shadow, she wondered why she hadnt learnt from them

Where do you draw the line ? Questions punctuated her mind. There was a conflict of emotions. The feeling was too strong to shrug it away and yet, it was just a shadow of an emotion that flitted in and out of her mind.

The shadows of the past interrupted her . The vulnerable moments, the emotional dependency ..she wished she could let go, feel a sense of gay abandon . And yet, she wondered whether she had let her guard down .

The sun changed directions and the shadows diminished . Were they for real, she asked herself or just empty emotions to fill the void ? She walked into the mind of the shadow..did she really feel them or were they just shadows of her own feelings.

They were delusions like the shadows she pursued .Her dilemma continued. Should she step outside the shadow and see the real world or step outside the shadow and let them see the real her ?

Silence spoke to her..

She heard the voice of silence calling out to her. It spoke to her in a calm, soft tone. Touching the deep recesses of her mind, drowning the murmurs of whispers that rose , it reached out to her, reassuringly.

Her mind lay swollen like a flooded reservoir unable to contain the barrage of emotions that drowned her thinking. She looked at the static sky and wondered about the dynamics of life. The night was quiet, veiled in a thick blanket of clouds, shutting life out, lulling the energies and presumably lost in a deep slumber.

She looked again and the night sky opened up its mysteries to her. It lay naked but potent . She saw a certain brightness in it, a vibrant spirit , a wave that swept her and gently washed her , cleansing her .She wondered at the energy the night sky concealed within its fold. The momentum thats hidden, that one doesnt see and feel- the tiny stars that twinkle, the thin layer of clouds that move, the waning moon that shines, the gentle breeze that touches your skin.

The emotions left her, leaving her with a sense of nothingness that made her feel complete. Her mind was like a seive that filtered them out while the vacuum filled her. She could feel her thoughts empty her being, passing through her self like wind blowing through the surface of waters causing gentle ripples but not affecting the flow . She could feel the rhythm , the slow rocking of emotions that filled her with a passion that gently released itself from her clutches, unlocking her .

It was a feeling that she could identify with - a sense of being lost,to be a microcosm in this entire universe doing its little bit to be a cog in the wheel.

She felt a sense of ablution . The thoughts bathed her down,leaving her empty and yet full. She embraced this vacuum, it filled her with peace .

She started to unthink . Let go said the voice of silence and she just stood there watching herself being released .

Monday, March 16, 2009

When you get defocussed

Con call
no response
buy saree
next trip

Not so much in this order, but of late my mind has been travelling through various aspects of my life without any flow or a thread connecting them. I decided to close my eyes for a few secs and note down the 10 random words that flowed one after the other and here is the above list..somewhere down the line, I get this sense Im running to catch something that doesnt exist.A blur veils my eyes and the restlessness seems to be bogged down by a sense of defocus. There is negative energy running through my veins and Im currently at a loss to stem this flow or probably channelise the flow..There, the doorbell rings..

Monday, January 5, 2009

Brevity - my mantra for 2009

Brevity, they say is the soul of wit. Ive also realized after 3 and a half decades of experience that it is also the soul of happiness . So, my mantra for 2009 is going to be brevity - economise not just in terms of material wealth , but in terms of expressions and emotions as well..Hope I do succeed.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The new year mantra

"That which is creative must create itself. " I had closed my eyes for a few minutes for a siesta and my mind suddenly threw up this quote . Many years ago, as a student I was fascinated by this line, spoken by my favourite poet, John Keats and often used it to sound academic .

My mind pushes my eyes to be open and shoved sleep away as I wondered..why did this line spring itself in my it suggesting a way to reinvent oneself from slumberland ?

"That which is creative must create itself."