Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Bright moonlight is dawning upon the night of 13th February, and shimmering in it are little droplets of rain – looking like pearls. The roads are lonely. Office goers have reached their homes; spending lovely time in company of their beloveds. Valentines’ couples who celebrated the day hiding behind the bushes, have now gone back to their special hotel rooms. College students who were out in the evening, roaming about the streets and “checking out” the couples, are now back in their dorm rooms, cursing their miserable lonely lives.

I decided to enjoy the weather and the occasion by climbing up the rooftop and looking about the beautiful night (I am writing this sitting on the rooftop. And yes, the rain has stopped.) The weather is way too pleasant, and the scenery too beautiful. The dazzling reflection of lampposts coming off the wet roads only adds to the beauty. Ah! It all seems like Paris to me.

Somewhere down the main road is a little shop that’s open. And people in it seem to be working hard. Very hard. There’s a complete team of dedicated people – three women, two children, one man, and one perhaps – someone in between, I can’t call on it’s gender from this far (no offence, please). They are all gearing up to make You feel good – that’s their business; they cash in on your happiness. It’s a small roadside flower shop. And tomorrow is their most profitable day.

Roses, Lillie, Tulips. Red, Violet, Yellow. All stacked up. Ready to be clubbed together in beautiful wrapping papers, sprayed upon by decorative frills, and stamped upon by love letters. Wow!

It seems all so pretty from up here.

“Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I’m trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the nights magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush”

A Very Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your beloved. ¬†ūüôā

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye!

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Sometimes I feel empty, sometimes I feel void.
Well, my beloved I understand that you were meant to go, and I respect your decision.
I understand I expected too much off you and that’s the reason why my heart aches. Had I realized that Love is not an act of exchange I could have garnered our relationship better.
I still cherish the moments that we spent together, and I still feel it could have worked out.
But now, I don’t want you back in my life.
I met you by accident. And you left me by choice. You taught me to love, and I thank you for that.
But, I guess I have learned my lesson. And this was meant to happen. You were not supposed to be a part of my life. You had to come and go – play just a small character in the book of my life. And so was my part in yours.
I don’t know what lays ahead of me, and I don’t know if I’ll encounter you ever again.
All I wish is that you stay happy in all the endeavors of your life.
Take care.

What I Feel Like Today?

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“Let’s take a walk by the road”, I said to myself.
Suffered you’ve a lot inside the four walls of your room.
Come out and feel the freedom,
Come out and cherish the monsoon,
Come out!
Come out and feel the joy of happiness,
Come out and witness to the beauty of nature.
Spend some time away from the clutter of your desk,
Give your internet connection a break.
Come out, I urged to myself.

The Lady By The Roadside Counter

Deep down the slender lane, standing behind a food counter is a beautiful young lady selling happYness. “HappYness”, shes says, “take it from me, for I’m selling it for free. Once and for all, here it is, for free! Come see the world, come see the light, for happYness it is that will make you feel bright. HappYness for free!”

Looking at her serene face and the joy of her smile, I just couldn’t realize if its for happYness or her eyes that I stood in the middle of the street – mesmerized. HappYness, is it a foreign dish or a desi-mix, the foodie in me started to think.

Her stall was small, it stood firmly near the big giant mall. The crowd started to gather. None in the mortals had known what happYness tastes like, for so busy they had been in the mighty struggles of life, that they forgot to rejoice the small moments of delight.

“What is this dish?”, murmured¬†a voice from behind, “never have I heard of it in my lifetime”.

“Its something delightful, something unique, the taste of which is an evergreen bliss. Try it for once sir, eat it for free, and I assure you, your life will be on a joy spree”, said the melodious voice from behind the counter, “Come see the world, come see the light, for happYness it is that will make you feel bright. HappYness for free!”

“Two takeaways for me.”
“Pack one for me.”

“Parcel? Sorry sir, we don’t parcel happYness. Its available only on have-it basis.”

“Too busy I am to stop by your shop, even if its for free, I can’t waste the time on my clock.¬†Engaged I’m in the meetings so exhausting, there is no time for me to keep waiting.”

“Busy you’re in the doldrums of your life, you don’t even have time for some respite?”, she smiled, “Who are you kidding, who are you fooling, is this what you call living?”

“I don’t have any free time, Oh lady by the roadside. I will have happYness some other day, when I am in a better mood, and willing to stay”

“Who are you mocking, Oh dear mortal, for that day might just not come. Old you have gown, lost you have, all your shine. Don’t rust this soul of yours, at-least ¬†let it rejoice in the bright sunshine.”

Adamant he was, as adamant he had been, so couldn’t resist but to “move-on” with life. He left his cup of happYness and the jar of joy on the roadside stall of the deep slender road, which he pledged never again to tread.

Misery struck. Agony struck. And struck the big boost of Ego. The man who once passed by the roadside stall, lost his way to the stall by the big giant mall.

Sadness came. Loneliness came. And with them came the mighty Death. They chained him, tortured him, and took him by his throat. He laid there, suffered there, and cried in despair.

“HappYness”, he cried, “where art thou? Help me, for I’ve become a slave of misery”

HappYness lay in front of him. He tried grasping it. He tried chasing it. He tried to come near, but something inside him shook him in fear. It was the fear of being happY and the fear of feeling good. Crushed he was by their burden, but he decided not to give up.

“Fight! Fight!” He fought with himself. He fought hard. Fought hard for the freedom from misery and worry.

And finally won!

HappYness was his for the taking.

[ This post is dedicated to the lady who sells Chinese dishes on a small roadside counter at Ramphal Chownk, Dwarka, New Delhi. Everyday when I pass by her stall, I see a glow of¬†happiness¬†on her face. It radiates joy.¬†Every time it makes me smile, makes me feel happy. To her, I would like to say, “Thank You for making me happy”]

The Great Indian Tamasha

Boom! Boom! Pow!

With Diwali celebrations still at bay (and Black Eyed Peas having no intentions to Phunk with Indian hearts), I wondered what it might be?

The slender street in front my courtyard was clogged with gala-heads, running wild.

The procession was led by a group of very “talented”¬†dancers, tapping their feet to the tunes of¬†“Tunak Tunak Tun Da Da Da”¬†(Never heard of it?¬†Congratulations! You saved your ears a soulful bashing), with bhangra moves perfected to the last drop of Patiala peg.

A faithful start to a lazy Sunday!

The Khan movies may flop at the Box Office, but the “Great Indian Tamasha”¬†never fails to enthrall crowds. (And you wondered why Big Boss had the highest TRP ratings?¬†Jaago Grahak Jaago!)

Gripped by what might be called as “Shor in the Street”, I hurried out to the front balcony of my house, desiring to capture the perfect view of the¬†silver-screen.

The dance honchos, doped as they were, in the¬†rhythmic beats of the¬†dhol, raised their hands to shed out some moolah.¬†Meandering around them were the slumdogs, dipping their hands in the cash rich concrete lakes of the street, aspiring to be the next millionaires; shouting “Jai Ho!” (You listening, Danny Boyle?)

But wait! There’s something more to this Choupati. There’s a Pirate in the Arabian Sea.

The Bharitya Janta Party MP from the state could be seen kicking around the cattle-class, trying to lay his feet on the red carpet.

He proclaimed of being victorious in the Legislative Assembly polls; “treasuring” yet another term of VVIP¬†treatment.¬†Following the minister was the¬†lok sabha¬†of his¬†chelas, glorifying their guru as the best in the Ayodhya.

The “Badmaash Company”¬†could be seen shouting slogans and raising banners. “Plop, plop, fizz, fiz, Oh what a relief it is!‚ÄĚ read one.

“When you have got it, you flaunt it”, shouted the minister, “Victory!”, as his caravan passed by my house, gushing into the neighborhood¬†tributaries.

***

Stand. Rise. Oscar! The Jack Sparrow of our story makes his entry.

Just as the caravan was about to reach its first milestone, it hit the “Growler” (For those of you like me, its name of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic).

Aivyn Kejribal of India Against Politicians (a well “proclaimed” common man) sat in the middle of the street, meditating. Supporting him in his “agitation for meditation” was a group of Topi Masters (renowned fashion gurus, as was captioned on their caps –¬†Mai Trend Setter Hun).

“Plop, plop, fizz, fiz, Oh What the F**k this is!‚ÄĚ said the pirate.¬†¬†(If you don’t read “WTF” thing, it‚Äôs because ¬†editor is too decent to allow it. Social etiquette gentlemen!)

Tu to Aivyn Aivyn Aivyn lut gaya..“, mocked Captain Jack Sparrow, as he flew high to deck onto the minister’s caravan, shitting all around the ship.

The Bharitya Janta Party MP, expecting to taste the “Barfi!” on this “auspicious day”, found himself hemmed in the sweet smell of the cattle-class junk.

Holy mother of God! Are we witnessing “The Dirty Picture” here?

“Wait! Wait! Mom! Mom! I qualify the PG 18 restriction. Let me watch the complete movie‚ĶPlease!”

Phew! Moms.

***

Just as we reach the climax of the movie, what do I see?

Kejribal and the minister enacting the ‘I’m King of the World’ scene from “Titanic” while clicking photos of themselves (“Oh My God!” These celebrities! I wonder how many mood swings they get in a month).

Mr. Karan Johar, you watching sir? We have a Dostana 2 in the making.

The combined caravan of the minister and Aivyn Kejriwal now headed to other streets.

(And they lived happily ever after…)

(Kidding!)

When Men Walked On Alien Soil: 20th July, 1969

IT¬†was a pleasant summer evening. The date was 20th July and the year read 1969. The clock had run past 4 (Eastern Daylight Time) and the people on Earth were glued to their television sets, watching with enthusiasm, the black and white telecast of humans landing on the Moon. For those unfortunate ones, who couldn’t … Continue reading

The Pleasures of Life

The pleasures of life, they lie in those small things, those small yet wonderful ones.

There used to be a time..

There used to be a time..
When all I bothered about was playing in the open grounds,
Hiding and seeking, living out the last breath of the evening with friends,
Roaming around, cycling, ringing bells of the neighborhood doors,
Loving, enjoying, basking in the ignorance of childhood; yelling like hell.

There used to be a time..
When evenings were beautiful, filled with joys of Lilliput talks,
The nights even better, with shine of fairies and stars in innocent eyes,
Everything pretty like the towns in the beloved Wonderland.

There used to be a time..
When homework was limited to 2 + 2,
And eating during the class lectures was the bravest thing to do.
When boys and girls could just be friends,
And even if you proposed one, she would have said yes.

There used to be a time..
When family picnics were the happiest days,
Visiting zoos and museums was exciting,
And collecting the postage stamps was so very interesting.

There used to be a time..
When life was fairy tale.

There used to be a time..
When i was a child.

I have always enjoyed walking through those drenched streets – lost in thoughts and listening to soulful music.

The Date

The clock ran past 3. The night was at its peak. It was breezy and pleasant. I was sitting by the window, thinking of her. She had said we would go for a walk the next morning. I was excited; waiting for the dawn to break.

The last time we had met, she seemed quite pleased. It was our first date.
Willow Cafe; 1600 hours; Thursday afternoon.
Odd Time?? Perhaps, it was. But then she was a busy architect and I was a blogger – any window would have suited me.

We were meeting after 4 years, I had to make it a special one. A custom coffee mug with her pic on it, the one that was very dear to me and that of Dr. Sheldon Cooper; Yeah!! The Big Bang guy – he’s her hero; I got it made a day before our date.

“A flower¬†bouquet. Would that be like overdoing?? Would chocolates be better??”
“Casuals or Formal??”
I had been asking such questions from friends and cousins all through the week.
As if all those weird suggestions weren’t enough, I read through online dating portals – what to talk, which topics to choose for an interesting conversation – all that stuff you want to be sure of before your first date.

O! I was excited.

2:30 pm and I was already in the cafe, taking to the manager.
“Sir, if you could please serve coffee in this mug.”

I got the window-side table reserved for us.

Song playlist. Checked. Just in case I feel like dedicating a song to her.

All was done. The match was well poised for a win, but then it rained.
Yups!! It did, not¬†literally. But then she¬†called, called to tell me something I didn’t want to hear.
– “Hey!! If we could switch the¬†venue¬†to Brista – Sector 10, it would be really nice”.
With all the¬†preparations¬†done, I didn’t want to change the place, nobody would have. ‘NO’ was what was on my mind. But my tongue spelt yes. Capital Y-E-S.
– “Sector 10. Umm.. Ok. No Problem. I’ll be there”, I told her, as if it hardly mattered.
– “Great. Also, two of my friends will be accompanying me. I hope it’s OK with you”.

You know there’s this thing – If you want something very badly, the whole universe conspires for you to achieve it – Paulo Coelho said so in The Alchemist. No offence Sir, but i suppose I was to me made the first testament that this belief wasn’t always true.

How the hell did she think it would be O.K. with me?

But then, She knew it was ‘ME’ – the one and only ‘me’ who would do anything for her.
-“Two friends?? Ok. Not an issue. I will be pleased to meet them”.

Reality distortion field. People around Steve Jobs witnessed it, I did it around her.

“How would i present the mug to her?? Should I now, given that her friends are coming??”
When the distortion field faded away, I realized I was in trouble, and that too a big one. I called up my cousin.
-“Dude, go for it. If you like her, be bold enough”.
-“What about the venue??”
-“Go to Willow Cafe – Sector 11. Talk to the manager. Call her there.”

I went according to the new plan. She responded well.

1600 hours; I was there at Willow Cafe. She came by.
Just as she entered, with two of her clowns, of-course,  I was arguing with the manager.
-“Its against our policy to serve in anything other than our own utensils”.
-“O! Perhaps, then you would like me to talk to your seniors, Do you?”.
He agreed.

We took a table of four. I thought she would sit opposite to me. But then it was ‘HER’, who was i kidding, as obvious, she preferred the other chair.

And now ‘The Situation’ – Her friends, Me and then there was She. Totally Awkward.
She broke the ice and slowly the conversation started to flow.
School, College, Hobbies – we talked over lots of things – with me sitting in a crooked position, trying to maintain the diagonal eye contact.

Those memories, they all sprouted up and then blossomed. I could still smell the freshness of the time we had spent together.

She was looking pretty that day. Her smile was beautiful. Her lips, O yeah! I did fancy them.
All the time i kept gazing at her face; what she talked about hardly mattered.  Peace. Solace. Serenity. O God!! It felt so calm and soothing.

The order arrived. She had asked for a cafe latte.
The custom mug – it was there. The funny thing though was¬†she didn’t realize it.
How could that be?? I mean, seriously, How does one not figure that??

But then, one of her friends pointed it out.

-“You are the poster girl. Check the cafe mug”

And I survived an impending heart attack.

Now, I could see the pearls on her face, they showed up as her lips spread wide with joy – her teeth.
I was falling for her. Again.

But the question was “Would she be willing to try me??”
I was confused.
But there was this feeling inside me – ‘She may’.

I had a good time. Her friends – I doubt about them. Her – yes, at-least that’s what her SMS said.

“We would remain in touch over the phone.”
She smiled and said “Yups!!. We will”

Crazy. I went gaga over her.

That was one of the best Thursdays of my life.

Days passed by. I texted her, called her.
She said we would go for a walk on coming Wednesday.

Today is Wednesday. And here I am, sitting by the window..waiting for dawn to break – waiting for her..

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