Phase Off!

I’m a phaser. I’m always in a phase – it happens every so often. If you know me well enough, you would associate a phase to an event in my life. I go through this often, and then, something immediately becomes the theme of my life. I do everything according to theme – think, sing, play music.

For instance, when I’m really really happy, I have this constant set of songs that I sing. Well, if you were in my cubicle, you’d know I have a set of Jaaneman Jaaneman songs. Each of them have the word Jaaneman in them, and thats all I really want to sing in a day. (Just when you were thinking I was incapable of singing, hah). My Jaaneman songs have a certain spark. They are all a different tone, and each mean something different, but think about it. They are so catchy. They come at random occasions – when my mind is either pre-occupied, or blank, or I have nothing to sing. So here they are, the only 2 that come to mind (probably because I’m actually thinking about them):
1. Jaaneman Jaaneman, palat teri nazar (bad song, but anyhow)
2. Jaaneman, Jaaneman, tere do nayan.
3. Jaane kya Jaaneman (:O ?? I’ve never even seen the video for this one)

Now, that was one phase, and today I’m at another place. Jaaneman has not been sung in a while. Neil Diamond, Elvis and Clapton are resting. CCR comes only on rainy days. This phase, which comes on and off, when I know I’m “off”, comes in the form of very old Hindi songs, mostly sad, sung by women. Then the covers will be played, compared to the original, and then I decide which one I like most. Then they will be sung by me, twice or thrice in  my head, till I move onto the next. These phases, are capable of shutting me up. My usual banter stops, and I’m humming. They’re all about soul, searching for an answer, knowing that the answer will not be in my favor – but hoping nevertheless.

Here’s a “phase off” (get it? get it?) between the songs that I love. I cannot decide which one I like the most. I listen to these every other time, even when I’m upset that I have too much work to do, and need to seriously get down and dirty, and finish up.
1. Lag jaa gale – This song, is in black and white. The words can drill a hole through me. I actually think that this song makes me feel hollow – almost like there is a void, which I’m not sure will be filled very easily.

2. Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo – This one is a popular favorite. I don’t have to say much. This has been sung, resung many times over the years. Once in the Black & white era, once in a pop song, and the latest one, which I like the most – as envisioned by Shankar Tucker.

3. Ajeeb Daastan hai yeh – I was a small child, maybe around 7 or 8 when I first heard this song. This was a personal favorite in the family. I remember the summer holiday, where my cousin (Soumya) copied this song, from her own “song book” into my sisters “song book” (Yes, we all had those). Then, I remember my cousin (Soumya), teaching my sister the song, and them both singing this together. That is the first time I’d heard this, and fell in love with it. Back then, I had no idea what the 3 paragraphs meant. I thought it was a happy song. I remember it being a song I loved singing, and loved the tune. Then, when I was older, sensible and so much more evolved emotionally, I saw the song. The woman in dark clothes on a boat, singing for the man she loved and lost, praying that he has a wonderful life and hoping for the best for him. She calls her life strange, like life’s playing a joke on her. This one is a beauty, which is actually a sad song, in the happiest music you can imagine. Thank you sisters 1 and 2 for bringing this into my life.

Call me a softie, or old fashioned. I grew up in the times where Television was DD 1, Sunday Mornings were about Rangoli and the Mahabharat, Sunday Afternoons were about Old HIndi Movies, News was about that lady with the huge bindi, who used sign language for the hearing impaired. I couldn’t have grown up in better times, or have loved better music than I do today. :) Too much for a phase?

I didn’t and won’t wish you a Happy Independence Day.

This post might seem awkward, coming from me. Its not my typical happy post, but this is not my first Independence Day Post either –  Remember this one? LINK 

Apologies if I may have hurt you or made you raise your eyebrows, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

All of us are so busy on facebook, there’s almost a pattern that you can see. For instance, I know, for a fact, which of my friends are going to put up a picture for Rakhshabandhan, or wish everyone a good friendship day, or which ones are going to get tagged in a forward, with 47 others. Yesterday, was no different. There were blaring posts wishing every Indian a very Happy Independence Day, and many tags. Most people changed their pictures to Saffron, White and Green. It was a very warm feeling for sure, but the day is over, I’m done observing, finished snapping at a friend and ended up really liking one status update. Here’s the status update that I really liked (Sorry Mansur, and credit to you for having inspired me) :

Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Independence day… Remember, today is not just updating FB status or hosting our national flag on bikes and shouting “Bharath Maatha ki jai” just for one day. It’s about every bit that you can do for your country…. We can start by paying our taxes honestly and selecting good, honest, responsible EDUCATED leaders to run our beautiful country. A proud Indian!!!

 This one got me thinking, and I completely agree!

 

All of us went around wishing each other a very Happy Independence Day! We celebrated, and told the world we are proud Indians. We celebrated the freedom that people gave us. We celebrated the fact that under the strong leadership of certain “freedom fighters”, India emerged. India came out strongly, broke away from the shackles of being governed by someone, who decided that we were inferior. The freedom fighters fought, violently and otherwise, and gave their future generations, a bright future to look forward to. They had dreams that shone brilliant, which we get to read about in numerous articles, books and documentation from the 1940′s and 50′s.

We’ve been a free country for 65 years now, and have progressed on many fronts. Science, Medicine, Finance, Industries, Technology, and many other arenas have brilliant Indians holding up a torch, waiting for others to follow. I take a bow, and fold my hands to honor and thank everyone for keeping the flag flying high.

Yesterday, left me as depressed, as proud. I thought about the sorry state of affairs that we see in some areas today. I do not feel truly “Independent”. I feel there is so much that one can do, and does not. For instance, two incidents that lay fresh in my memory, totally stealing women of their rights, are the incidents in Guwahati, and in Mangalore. There were tyrants and demons, shielded under the name of “moral police”, who grabbed at these women, publicly, and no one did anything. I don’t blame the on lookers, because no one could. Anyone who would help, may not have been assured protection by the police. Fear, lies in everyone’s mind, and fear kept them away from controversy.

I hear we don’t have the independence to choose where to live in this country either. I do not want to quote names of the states which want to turn away people from other states. I claim to belong to a country, and a specific culture. So, where could I live? I would love to live in an estate-house on a tea plantation, or build a house on the foothills of the Himalayas if I could. Whose permission should I be seeking to follow up on such decisions, exactly?

Barring these incidents, I can quote multiple incidents, where scams, scandals, “breaking” news items, left one staring at blaring holes in the system. As a common citizen of this country, I cannot do much about these things. I’m not powerful enough. This country is “run” by the powerful. People who can throw their weight around, and announce their fathers and uncles are big people in the society, are automatically given a “influential” status. The country runs on jugaad (influence) and ghoos (bribe). There’re so many things wrong with the system, that some one like me, can make a  meek attempt at fighting the system, and end up falling flat on my face. I’m weak, non-influential, and cannot fight strongly for what is right. There are millions like me in India today.

My thoughts went haywire, and I realized I did not wish anyone a Happy Independence Day today. I was unnaturally depressed, with all the patriotic movies, and shows that were showcased on television too. I would actually very innocently pose a question to you, reader, as to why I should wish you a happy independence day, with all of my heart.

I would wish you, if one day, you make a difference. No matter how small, I would, if you just contributed. Monetary contribution, physical help, or basic methods which make you a good citizen. Independence would be complete if one could make an impression on someone. It would be complete, if one helped wipe out illiteracy in someone’s life. It would mean something, if one were able to help humans and animals alike, who have earned the right to live peacefully too. It would be humongous, if one could support someone who needed help. It would be meaningful, if one would take some time off their busy schedule, to ensure they are doing something for the society. It would even be fantastic, if one would think about preserving the earth for the future generations. It would be generous, if one decided to help, by extending monetary help, which could be less than 1 % of their hefty pay packages. It would make one realize the meaning of Independence, and wish another heartily.

Imagine, if one were to contribute, and influence another to do the same, in their own small way.

I don’t claim to have done one, or more of the things I’ve mentioned. All I know is, today, I have the ability to help someone, and I will. I know I will have contributed and done my small part to make the country better, in some way or the other, in my lifetime. I only urge you, and try to influence you to make a small contribution.

In the years to come, I hope my jugaad pays off. :)

 

 

 

A letter to the All-powerful-authority-for-Indian-Television.

Dear All-powerful-authority-for-Indian-Television,

I have a problem, which I know I must voice NOW, or forever hold my peace. Every time I turn on the television, to watch my favorite English soaps -Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, New Girl – I see this really fast ticker rolling at the bottom of my screen. It asks me to place a complaint if  there’s content that I think as “inappropriate”, is aired on any channel in India. Well, great job on that. I’m sure you get a zillions of complaints about shows aired with “inappropriately” dressed women, made by persons who decided to make some rules for this society. They could be secretly lining up outsides movie halls to catch a glimpse of “Sun-shine”, who seems to be spreading her warmth everywhere now.

So, on one hand I think that the decision to allow people to complain about content is great!! Freedom of Speech honored in our country! Woohoo! On the other hand, I wonder – what are you going to do about those complaints exactly? How do you sort those complaints into legitimate, nonsensical, and bordering cases for the censor board to take up? Arggh, maybe someone wrote you a long computer program to do a “quicksort” and pick the ones that are the most popular. I wonder. I don’t think I’ll ever know anyway.

So if I made a complaint over certain sections of television that I disapprove of, do you think you’ll consider my complaint as valid? Or brush me under the carpet, like I’d assume you would? My complaint is serious, believe me. Its a cause for concern, and I wish you’d do something about it. You won’t, dear All-powerful-authority-for-Indian-Television, you can’t and you couldn’t, even if you wanted to.

I have a little nephew, with whom I get to watch some television, at times that he gets to watch them.  Any school going child loves cartoons and I am inclined to think that they watch an hour of television every day. I have a problem with the kind of cartoons that they watch. I mean, I grew up too, and I loved watching cartoons, but I see a disconnect. These kids are made to watch cartoons, which only depict certain modified characters from our rich Indian heritage.

Let me get down to some details. Bheem, a Pandava, used his might to defeat the Kauravas. Respect Bheem! Enter a chota version of Bheem. All day long, all I see on our Indian Cartoon Channels is loads and loads of this character. Well, he’s loved a lot. There’s a lot of positive marketing that made this version of Bheem what it is today, but this Bheem is sending a wrong message. According to him, every “bad” guy, should be beaten up. Well, “plant a punch, solve your problem” seems to be his motto. He hangs around with his gang who idolizes him, and has learnt to kick some bad-a#$ too. So Bheem is strong. Guess what he eats – Laddoos! Why on Earth would you teach little innocent children this? No little one, all problems are not solved by beating your opponent black-and-blue! NO – Laddoos are not healthy. Laddoos make you fat and will not make you strong enough to beat someone up.

This show leaves me disappointed. Where is the entertainment on this show? How can one channel play this show all through the day, and force the child to watch and enjoy a show like this? How could they replace the lovable Popeye’s spinach-khao-aandholan with laddoos? 

Other shows, about Krishna, for instance, is all about beating up the bad guys. I can’t be sure that the children know about the wonderful story of Krishna. All they know is that his roll number in class is 21.

I fail to understand what went wrong here. When I rushed home to watch television, I loved the shows I watched. Popeye, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Little Lulu, Tom and Jerry, The Looney tunes shows, Mickey Mouse and The Little Mermaid, Aladdin remind me of happy television times.

Remember the hindi version of these cartoons on our beloved Doordarshan? Uncaal Scrooge (hey, it was pronounced like that), diving into his personal repository of gold coins, Mowgli and his antics, Baloo the bear, Vikram aur Betaal?

All-powerful-authority-for-Indian-Television, where have all those cartoons gone? What about the cartoons which taught children how to be good, help people and understand morals? Why do we want to create a violent generation? I understand that you want to promote Indian stories and animation setups in our country, but could we tone down on the violence? Remember Panchatantra? The beautiful set of stories include tales about animals that the children will relate to and thoroughly enjoy. We don’t need to borrow from Hanna-Barbara, when we realize we have a treasure trove of stories of our own.

I’m tired, All-powerful-authority-for-Indian-Television. I can see the situation will only get worse, because there is no one who’s listening. All you care about is high TRPs, lots of advertisements and tonnes of money.

As a citizen of this country, who loves watching television, and would crack up if Dino jumped on Fred Flintstone and licked his face clean, I’m disappointed. Surprise me, All-powerful-authority-for-Indian-Television. Make sure our children watch awesome cartoons, children films, learn, laugh, eat healthy, play and grow up to be the most amazing people. What they watch today, definitely influences their minds, so please influence them in the right way.

- Pzes, the disappointed.

Rajesh Khanna, and growing up

I’ve been feeling extremely morose over the past couple of days. I know this may sound a little silly, but I’m actually as sad as those women in their 40′s, 50′s and 60′s out there, who just lost a part of their heart. They lost someone who they’ve grown up watching, admiring and worshipping. They lost their childhood/teenage crush. Some of them probably even lost their “so called” husband. There could be a few who were seriously in a relationship with his photograph, but then I don’t swing that way.

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I’m sad, because the man I ended up watching on my beloved television as I grew up is actually no longer around. My beloved Doordarshan, loved him, loved his songs. Sunday’s began with Rangoli playing a song of his, without fail. Every Sunday, a young boy sought his dream girl, crooning to his imaginary girlfriend, asking her when she’s going to make that “grand” entry into his life. Every Sunday, I sat and watched these songs, over and over again, almost memorizing them. I watched a handsome man run around trees, flashing a rather squarish smile, and those eyes. Sparkling! Those eyes shone, when he looked at his heroine, with love and sometimes lust. Lucky guy walked away with the pretty ones, and ended up with the hottest woman too! I’d watch in awe for the whole hour, where he’d make his presence felt.

I remember a day, when I was determined to find out who stole the hearts of everyone in my family. I started with my grandfather, whom I asked a very simple, innocent question to – who is your favorite actor? Very simply he said – Rajesh Khanna. It was then that I noticed that everyone I asked that day, gave me the same answer. Rajesh Khanna it was, and he remained.

(I refuse to call him kaka. His name is as classy in my heart, as he actually was. Rajesh Khanna, love the ring to it)

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We are a family, are a RK family. Through and through. We loved his movies, and loved his songs. Lucky as he was, he always landed some of the best tracks made in that era. The best singer yodeled along to a rhythm doled out by the best music director. As a family, I remember the mother and I watching the last part of Anand, and a piece of my heart breaking as soon as he said, “babumoshai” on his death bed. Then the director immortalized him, with the classic line telling us that Anand never dies. He immortalized RK for me that day.

RK became my beloved cook, a drunk rich old fellow, the most handsome man in uniform. I was and remain a hopeless romantic, and a part of me hates another angry young man who surfaced. Rajesh Khanna was the ultimate lover boy, effortlessly riding bikes, running in between elephants, loving a widow in times when it was considered a sin, being a father and a man, whom thousands of people idolized. All he has to say was – Pushpaaa, I hate tears, and the women automatically became stronger. All of them became Pushpa’s in their own little ways.

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Then, suddenly one day, he disappeared. Other mushy hero’s took his place, and immortalized love, with Simran and Anjali. Stories became complex, but Rajesh Khanna was not a part of this complexity. Maybe I grew up. Maybe I moved on to Patrick Swayze and Tom Cruise. Now that I think about it, Rajesh Khanna disappeared into oblivion.

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Then a certain electrical Company decided to blow some Cool air into our lives, and Rajesh stood in front of a hundred fans and declared that he had too many fans. Captain cool, with his very frail frame failed to impress. I smiled, thinking that he’d made a mistake. Many others did too, till he was gone.

The memories came flooding back, like they did for me the past week. The good memories came back, making me feel slightly sick, that I forgot about him. Not just me, but all his fans forgot about him. He was only a song, an old movie or a yesteryear star.

Maybe he should have been praised some more, called to some reality shows, some singing contests. Maybe he should have been making more movies, as a father, or grandfather even. Maybe his lifetime achievement got overshadowed. Maybe, just like me, everybody forgot.

Maybe all he had in his last few months, should have been a cheering crowd, not a few hundred metal table fans.

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Thank you for the memories, Rajesh Khanna.

The Immortals of Meluha and other such stories..

When I was young, between the ages of 5 -10 maybe, I had a nice little habit. I loved listening to a story, that my Grandpa retold patiently, each time I asked. This was my favorite bedtime story, and possibly was his favorite too. The legendary story of Sri Ramachandra.

The story entailed a mighty King Dasharatha, his 3 queens who gave birth to Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughana (well, when I heard the story, I’d always imagine Shatrughan Sinha. No kidding – Khamooosh!). There was a Swayamvara (now its all about Rakhi Sawant), a vanvaas, a golden deer, Ravana, Lanka, the loving and strong Hanumantha and a war. He always ended his story with the birth of Luva and Khusha.

The story he told me was not very detailed, but it was a story about the Gods, a story about how good won over evil. From all this, you’d gather that i’m obviously on a mythology spree! I’ve always loved reading books related to mythology, Indian History and similar other things (I wonder what made me pursue an Engineering degree! Oh wait, I know – d.a.d) Mythological fiction, is a bonus read for me!

This post is about 3 books that I’ve read -

1. The Pregnant King – by Devdutt Pattanaik

2. Prince of Ayodhya – by Ashok K. Banker

3. The Immortals of Meluha – by Amish

Well, these books are all mythology-based, some fiction, and others far from it. The little list I made above, is exactly how much I liked the books, where the Meluha series is my least favorite.

Devdutt Pattanaik, is brilliant! I loved the read, where he wove a tale of Yuvanashva, the pregnant king, and howhe ended up being confused, torn between his being, and his maternal feelings for his son. I loved the way this book was written, the formal language and the right amount of complexity. I read, fascinated, about how

Shikhandi was brought up as a man, and many other interwoven stories. This is a book which took me back to the world of the Raja’s, their queens and their lavish ways. I would highly recommend this book, if you enjoy reading mythology-based books. (All of us have a little bit of Amar Chitra Katha in us, don’t we? Or maybe Ramanand Sagar influenced my innocent childhood.)

Prince of Ayodhya, was a light read. I liked the way the author, Ashok Banker actually wove a story about a Prince, who had to prove to the whole world that he was more than an ordinary royal. Prince Rama, his dreams and his fears were expressed well. My only gripe with the book, is that the author took way too much time to articulate just one major event. Seemed like he wanted to interest the reader enough, but the ending kept me waiting. I didn’t imagine I’d be disappointed because nothing major happened in the book. I loved the way he describes Rama, and I liked the authors note, where he explains that what he’s attempting to do, by following great people who wrote a rendition of the Ramayana is a massive step for him. Read the book, I’m sure you’ll like this one.

The Immortals of Meluha, left me quite… bored.. actually. I know a lot of people might disagree with me, but this book does not score very high in my favorite books. The story, which I think was too casual made me think that Shiva was a brave man. It was a “story”, a very well written story. I wish it was not so informal somehow. I was amazed that this book became a national bestseller, but I guess the simplicity with which it has been written, contributes to the bestseller status. I wish at the end of the book, I had changed my opinion about the book. All the book did to me, was treat it like I’d treat a romantic or light hearted book. The ending, left people waiting to read the second part – The Secret of the Nagas. I’m sure I’ll read the book to find out what happened, but probably not much else.

The good thing, at the end of it all, is that Indian writers are being taken seriously. People read such books, which is a refreshing change. My logic is quite simple, the more we read books written by Indian authors, the larger push literature gets in India leading to better and diverse opinions being penned down. I love the phase we are in, where what one wrote, does not go unnoticed. The rest, well.. is probably good marketing.

Now, this is my personal opinion, which I think I can put down on my blog, since it is my writing space at the end of the day! Please let me know, if you think otherwise about the book! I’d love to hear your point of view, which I’m willing to consider, because I’m still wondering about “Bestseller” status.

Games that the Gods play

The sweltering summer heat. This year has been unbelievably hot. Its really strange for Bangalore to see temperatures of 33 deg Celsius. I don’t remember a year before this that I was skeptical about stepping out during the day, because of the sun. Surya* was adamant, that he would shine down on us all through March and April. He showed no sympathy, knowing very well that we were not used to it. (Maybe Yeddy didn’t offer him any coconuts this year. Hmmmph, Yeddy and his vested interests) Either that, or I’ve had a small memory lapse, and can’t remember the way last years summer went. Maybe I didn’t step out, because I was lazy.

Then on one such hot day, Varuna* decided to shower some love on us. It looked like he missed us, because he decided to package some extra love. He sent Rudra* first, to lash on the city. Rudra went all out, struck the ground with brilliant flashes of light. Then Varuna followed, blocking the roads, washing down the city of its sins. Cleaning up, settling the dust. I was on my way to work that evening. It took me a 2 and 3/4 hours to get to work, but I looked out of the window. I watched Rudra in action, striking poses across the sky. The dark clouds, and those brilliant streaks of light, like sharp arrows shooting outwards. Awestruck as I was, I decided to crib (human nature?). I still think the journey could be shorter, but Rudra was fabulous.

Once calm was restored that night, Vayu* took over. He swept through the city, blowing a cool breeze. He was gentle. He made sure that he calmed the people down, specially after Varuna and Rudra decided to shake them up. He stayed till I got home from my graveyard shift that morning. He blew cool air, and made sure that though I was tired, I was calm.

The next morning, Rta* had decided. He decided to restore the rhythmic pattern of the Universe. The orderly way that the world regulates itself, upholding the cycle, teaching me an important lesson. Surya shone down brilliantly the next day, upon a clean Earth. Brighter, since everything got a proper washing down the previous day. He worked through the day to ensure normalcy is restored. Vayu worked all day too, to reduce the intensity of Surya. Varuna and Rudra were at peace.

Everything was orderly again. Life goes on. The circle of life that people spoke about so often (actually the Lion King mentioned it) seemed to fit its true meaning. After every gloomy day, the night settles in. Dark, and threatening. Then dawn creeps in, with the first ray, trying to ensure that everything will be normal again, as long as you’re strong. Strength that stems inside you, should weather any storm. Strength to face the world, with your head held up high.

Hold your head up high, knowing that there is a Rta. The loop will close, the ends of the circle will meet, only to start another circle again.

(* Context given below)

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I was reluctant to post this, although I wrote it on impulse. I don’t mean any harm or offence, of course. I was wondering what magnificent games the Gods would play, if they had to. I instantly remembered that this was one such game. I don’t necessarily believe in the existence of the Gods, or what kinds of Gods there are. I am all for One Religion – Humanity (spoken like in a beauty pageant, but its true). There could be many Gods, or none. Anyway, more about that on an isolated blog post. Treat this like a work of fiction.

Surya – The Sun God, shining magnificently down on the Earth

Varuna – God for the Rains, quenching the thirsty soil, and cleaning the world of apparent sins

Rudra – The God of Storms and lighening. He wields the thunder bolt, like a bow and arrow, reaching far across the skies.

Vayu – Wind, constant motion. The God who breeze through, leaving a calming effect, lest he is ever angry, where he can wreck havoc. 

Rta – God of the universal order. Sometimes described as Reet, or Reeti, which means order, and formal manner. Everything is designed to function according to Rta’s wishes. Rta prevails, no matter what goes wrong

The Insignificant Blogpost

I never get tired of writing about this city. I feel happy, and content that I’m in a slightly sluggish city, where not much moves fast. It gives me time to think, about what I like, and what I don’t. I lead an atrocious amount of time at work, both when I’m at my workplace and when I’m not. I’m always thinking about some customer, making quick notes on my “smart” phone about what I absolutely must do the next day at work. My brain is mostly in my cubicle, but then I let my mind wander. When my mind does wander, like it is right now, I think about unrelated, not-so-important, irrelevant things. Like now. I’m thinking about how important this thought process is for me.

I love random. I love the way my brain zips across many different things, remembering only the unimportant, and ignoring the most important things in life. Its freaky (and kind of geeky) that I claim I have a “Repository of Useless Information”. Here’s an excerpt of some random, unimportant things and useless memories I have which I treasure and cherish. Anything that I cherish needs to be put down on paper, and so be it! 

Twirling around, round and round A distinct memory. I’ve lived in this house in Bangalore from 1993. I remember how the house used to look, with just the ground floor, and the cemented courtyard. I remember how one day I decided to help water the plants and was given a tiny bucket of water. The bucket was tiny, but once filled was quite heavy. Something made me pick up that bucket of water, and turn around in circles. Round and round I went. The bucket up in the air feeling weightless. I remember my red frock flared up and me going round and round. Random, and still so fresh in memory. I wish I could twirl around today, and laugh out loud after I stopped, because of how weightless, light headed and crazy I felt.

Cloud Watching Summer holidays were always associated with jobless sultry days, with lots of books, tonnes of television and afternoon naps for me. One distinct evening, I went up on the terrace, to enjoy a strong breeze, and I lay down with my arms behind my head, watching the clouds zoom past. The shapes – a pig, a horse and a fluffy dog. From “Cloud watching” to “cloud computing”, I’ve come a long way. (I know, I know this is a bad joke, but I work for a cloud based company now. Get it? Get it?) 

Super-stars Living in the city does not give you the opportunity to gaze up towards the sky and see the stars shine down on you. I never understood the concept of the Shining Stars. I mean, they were just there in the sky. Occasionally, one bright one stood out a little. (that turned out to be a planet - disappointing). Then one day, I was tucked away somewhere in the Himalayas when I realized what it meant for the stars to actually shine down on you. Thousands and thousands of them studded the sky, each like a beautiful diamond (yes, the rhyme is validated now). I will not forget the way the sky looked that night. Never. Its probably a personal goal now to chase the starry-est skies that I can find. Someday. 

Rocky  Yes, my dog was named Rocky. I did not have a say in that. I was 4. If they’d asked me back then, I would have said dholu or chotu or something along those lines. Rocky worked better. I loved him. I’ve tonnes of memories of him, of course. The fondest was probably him putting his paw on my lap and looking at me with those goofy eyes. This is common, but so fresh in memory today. 

Random Scary Train I wonder sometimes if it was my first train journey, because I remember it so vividly. I remember the journey to Delhi, where I was so fascinated and thrilled with tunnels. I was really young, mostly less than 5, and I was oddly scared of the tunnels. Each time the train would pass through a tunnel, I’d open my eyes wide, probably because I didn’t want to miss anything in the passing darkness.  When the train passed by, and we had sudden light inside the train, I would see a face at the window. It was a shadow of a face. Maybe it was the light playing tricks with me, but I’m pretty sure I saw something. What is strange is that the side profile of that face looked exactly like “Suppandi”. :D (Ok, maybe I was imagining it). 

I have tonnes of other random memories, but these are the ones that stuck in my brain. I can relive each of these, just like I were right there, doing the exact same thing, right now. Although my choice of topic for this post seems rather insignificant and unimportant, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

The book walk

I took a little walk today. More about that in a bit.

After much contemplation about the right time to go, I finally went and watched a movie in the theater. It is a little weird, but the last movie I’ve watched in a movie theater, is Delhi Belly (or Cowboys and Aliens), which was way back in July 2011. Theaters and me, haven’t been getting along so well in the past few months. When I was supposed to watch Tintin, I didn’t go for some reason. When I was supposed to watch Sherlock, I fell sick. Finally, I broke the jinx today. I went and watched The Avengers. I was awestruck! I loved the action, the graphics, the weird looking creatures from outer space, Loki (who was a little dumb), Captain America and him barking orders. Our lady, Robin Scherbatsky also had a role in the movie (they could have done without her, but she adds visual appeal). What I loved the most, was HULK. I’m in love with HULK. All he does, with a giant roar and rippling muscles is grab, snatch, squeeze, throw, slam, punch .. *POW POW* 

Anyway, a day well spent, includes a wonderful walk down a beautiful Bangalore road. Church street, which is an off shoot of the forever busy Brigade Road, is a lovely road, simply because of all the stores and pitstops that you can make. Now, don’t be fooled, thinking you can buy stunning clothes and shoes from the stores on this road. You’ll find plenty of places to eat, and a couple of stores. The stores I am talking about are talked about, in order of how I visited them.

Blossom Book House : This, is the place for all sorts of books. You’ll find new books, old books, second hand books, hand me downs, books for students, children, adults, self help. Stacks of books, all the way from the floor, up to the ceiling. Although I’ve been to this place many (many many) times, I grin each time I think about going there again. :) Its the smell of the place. If you’re an avid reader, you’ll smell a book when you read it. There’re two smells, the product of my overly observant nature – the new-book-smell and the old-book-smell. The new-book-smell is great! Gum-my (of gum), fresh paper and there is something crisp about that smell. This sounds weird, but have you observed the same? The old-book-smell works wonders too! I love the old, musty, smell of those books. Books that have been flipped through countless times, making someone happy that they’re spending some good time reading. I love Blossoms, and the various smells that comes with it. After some happy purchases, here’re pictures of what the place looks like on the inside.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Blossoms, we walked down to a place that has been there for ages, and I had no clue! Its right in front of your eyes on Church Street, and you don’t notice. Its called “Magazines” and yes, they sell magazines. Any magazine that you’ve ever heard of, thought about picking up and will probably never pick up are sold here. As you walk down the stairs into this basement store, you notice bowls of cat food in the portico. Look around, and you see a scruffy  kitten playing with a boy. Weird, you’d think, but that’s what this store is all about – Magazines and Cats! Both these live in harmony, while shoppers walk around looking for their magazines. Look down and you’ll see a tail sticking out, while a beautiful Persian cat, with bells around his neck looks up at you. I’m not so much of a magazine person, but I loved the cats they had. Well, if you need backdated magazines, or want to shower some cat-love, this is the place to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love Bangalore for the wonderful day, and an even better book walk I ventured into. I love Bangalore, for one other thing – as I write, it is raining, like there’s no tomorrow, and its raining cats and dogs!

Like vitalstatistix said each time – “The Sky is Falling!”

Cow-zzattt!

“love-u love-u, oh my love-u, you showed me bhav-u,
Cow-u cow-u, holy cow, i want you here now-u. God I yam dying now-u…!”

“haaruthide love birds galu, ooduthide cows-galu” (the love birds are flying and the cows are running, claims a famous Kannada actor, while crooning to his beau)

“Holy COW”

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My head turns really fast when I hear the lines above. When I say fast, you must chomp chomp remember that I have a very heavy head. Those 2 horns on my head restrict me in ways you can never imagine. chomp chomp Humans have horns too, but those are rooted deep within their heads and their heads move in weirder directions than mine. Mine, just slow me down. My fast movement may seem kind of slow for you, but I do not care what you think.

I don’t care, remember? chomp chomp

Yeah, so the songs. chomp On a serious note, its an honor to be mentioned in all these wonderful hit songs. Specially the one where that thin man with big discs on his ears calls out to me. I often go and pretend to bask under the shade of the tree next to the barbers shop. He doesn’t mind me, like the vegetable vendor does. Like I’d eat those veggies. They’re too juicy and slippery for my throat. I like my hay. Yeah, so the barber has his tv on all the time. I take a peek sometimes, just to listen to the song which plays on a loop all day. “cow-u cow-u”. Wonderful music. I even moo back in response. The thin handsome man smiles back each time. chomp chomp Always at the right time. 

Talking about handsome, I know I’m stunning. chomp chomp Haven’t you see the Bull stand across the road, chomping and grunting each time he sees me? I’m pretending that I have not noticed. I’ve heard that’s a brilliant way to confuse the male brain. Males of any kind, you see. Now, how do I know I’m gorgeous? Two ways actually. My favorite “watering hole”, quite literally, is filled with water. I gaze into it all day long. chomp chomp Each time I go get a drink, I look at my long lashes, my snooty long snout. chomp chomp My beautiful nose-ring and the bell necklace around my neck. I have just one grouch. My horns. They’re not perfectly shaped. One of them turns towards the right, very slightly. I think it looks awful, but my best friend, Amba, chomp chomp says it adds character to my face. The other place I can actually see all of my body – The barbers window, chomp chomp in his mirror. That is quite horrific though. I’ve the biggest ass ever. Sob. chomp chomp

Amba also says I’m quite the prankster. We play a game everyday. chomp chomp Its similar to a game these young kids play – London Statue. I tell Amba to follow me down the road, 2 meters behind. I march to a comfortable place and stop. Amba stops in her tracks too. We stay stationary for a bit, and sit down if we feel like it too! Wheeee! Vehicles zip around me, dodging us both. I don’t call myself a prankster, but I sure do like adventure. 

Despite my busy schedule, I also like to nose chomp chomp around those treasure troves that the women toss across the road. Interesting things are thrown there. I like tasting a little bit of everything in that place. Wholesome Goodness!

The temple bells are ringing, and Chotu’s here already, wielding his stick. I don’t need that stick, I know the way home perfectly well. I amble alongside, chomp chomp into my cozy hut. Chotu comes with some fresh hay for me to eat. chomp chomp

Goodnight peeps. chomp…..zzz

3 Months of Thinking

Finally. Three months. Its been three whole months since I wrote. So much has happened, so much has changed, but I was searching for inspiration. I’ve wanted to write so bad, for the last 3 months, but never found the time. Excuses. I didn’t make the time. I love tapping away at the keyboard. I’ve developed this typewriting efficiency, where I can go tap tap tap really quickly, but I didn’t. I believed I was busy, but I do have half hour.

So, in the past 3 months (and more), I’ve wanted to write about many many things. Some drafts were  written, some scrapped. Here’s and excerpt of the thoughts that crossed my mind, and why I decided to scrap them.

1. Holy Cow! So I actually contemplated writing from the Cows head. I’ve often wondered what the cow thinks about all day long. She chews her specially made chewing gum, whisks her tail. What does she think about? Politics? The Bulls? How to lose some weight in 10 days? Should I pursue this nonsensical track? :D Should I actually write about our Holy Cow?

2. The magic of love. Stupid lame old topic. Magic, because it seems to appear and disappear as fast as it appeared for most people. I’m tired of slushy mushy posts. :| To pursue or not to pursue, that is the question.

3. Shiny Happy People. The song inspired me, so I wanted to write about some shiny happy people. No, I don’t mean Shiny Singh or Happy Singh. (I secretly love these kind of names). I was going to write a whole post about ridiculous names. Shelved.

4. Birds flying away from the nest. This was intended for those people who have decided to leave the flock and go do their own things. My motivational, sentimental post. My sentiments flow, but the post never came. Lazy much? :)

5. Part III of the only story I’ve written. There’ve been changes, to her life and his. I thought about it, but then… you know.. awkward? Not needed?

6. Uhmmm.. Uhmmm.. At one point I wanted to write about the snowflakes which were dancing outside my window in Boston. I wanted to write “right then”, when they were falling down lightly, but then I wanted to run out and stand outside more than I wanted to write. So there, I ran down and felt the snow. I could sing, “Have you ever seen the Snoooow”, but refrain, refrain.

So there, I’ve thought and thought some more.  I think I’m better at not thinking too much. Should I give any one of the above a shot? :D

Lots of Love, and Joy that I’m back,

Pzes