About Me

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Gurgaon, Haryana, India
Dont claim to be a great writer but love to pen down those random thoughts in my head,share what I feel,however irreverant or unconventional they may be.Here's my take on things which matter to me,delight me,comfort me and give wings to my fancy, be it fashion,living,music,movies,books,family or Love! Peace to all...and restlessness to those who dare to think differently!A science graduate, a fashion-post-graduate,a wife, a mom but above all a lover of all things beautiful and sensitive. Romance, wine and music..I can live solely on these.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I believe I live a full life, a life which has love, comforts (material and emotional), excitement, the ordinary and the not-so-ordinary. A husband who loves me to distraction and who I am immensely proud of, a lovely daughter who brings me complete joy, loving and supportive parents and siblings, a career which lets me balance work and home, friends...and then so much more which ctually cannot be put down in words! Still, when on some days, when the going is not so great, or there is some spanner in the smooth flow of life, I find myself complaining, comparing my life with others and feeling inadequate. At such times Chandru is always by my side, telling me things are just fine and we have the best of everything...bad times come and go...but do I really pay heed to him...hmmm not really!
I am contemplating over all this today coz of a meeting I had with a long-forgotten friend yesterday. We were together in NIFT, delhi. She was in a different course, but we shared the same chummery...I also knew her from school, she was a good friend of my younger sister. Though we were, and still are, two different personalities, we grew close and always had a fantastic time in the hostel (partly because of some shared memories of patna days, as well).
I remember her as a vivacious girl, so full of beans (and eager to spill them), super-confident, popular (more so with the male), attractive and affectionate. The time we spent together seems full of radiance for the sheer joy she brought to people all around her. Oh, but don't be mistaken,she was no genial genie.... she was also sharp with words when she wanted to, cutting those who hurt her.
One may think..ok so she was fun-loving smart girl...so what set her apart? What made her different (apart from everything else) was the disease she grappled with. She was diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 19 or so! When I met her , one of her leg was already affected and gave her lot of trouble..she had to use a leg brace to walk properly (and that also was not easy).
Can we imagine what it will be like to be a young , carefree, talented girl..all of 18-19, popular and smart...and suddenly find our life changed so drastically? To be reminded of the disease which cripples you with every step that you take, to meet the pitiful eyes of your own classmates, to have to drop a year to cope with all this, to make an effort to catch up with those who you had actually left behind?? No, it is not easy to imagine all this.
Here I saw this girl, spirited and confident, coping with all this with so much dignity and strength. No, 'coping' would perhaps be the wrong word. She still lived her life fully, playfully, without regrets. Nothing stopped her, no, not even her ever-turbulent relationships. I rememeber those hostel days, sitting late in the nights, having cups and cups of teas, while we gossiped about all the ever-changing affairs of the Nift-ians. Oh, and I rememeber the read -aloud mill & boon sessions, where she read out the passionate scenes aloud, hamming all the way, in that funny way of hers, while we rolled in laughter. Ah and how could I forget, flooding the living room with buckets and bucktes of water in the summers, and frolicking in it...and yes also saving money and going to the discos, shopping in sarojini nagar!
Then time flew and we lost touch. She finally quit NIFT because of her health problems .I found her on orkut, around 10 years later.....and that brought back a flood of memories.
Then I met her yesterday. She was much the same..a joy to be with, but yes, more matured and settled. Of course a lot has changed in the past 10-11 years...but not her inherent personality. She finally lost her leg (had to go for amputation)...been through some more tumultous relationships....but nothing took her sheer passion for life away from her! After everything, she completed and MBA course, and is doing well in her career, living on her own and enjoying herself.
There are not many people I know like her and I feel special to be her friend.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I read something in Milan Kudera's "Ignorance" , which , at once, put into words what I have always felt but never been able to put my finger on (well, I am no Milan Kundera when it comes to words). He says : " The greek word for 'return' is nostos. Algos means 'suffering'. So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappaeased yearning to return."
You cannot describe the feeling of nostalgia more accurately. At some or the other time, all of us remember some foregone moments, experiences...and with that memory comes an unexplainable feeling of sadness. However happy we might be in the present, that nostalgic moment makes that remembered time so much richer, brighter. All the sharp edges of that time seems dulled, all which shines out in memory is its smoothness and gaity.....and we long to be transported back in that time, just for once, to "return". Kundera has mentioned nostalgia in several of his works. In "The unbearable lightness of being", he says:
" In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine" (here he is referring to the french revolution). So thats what nostalgia does, in its soft light, even the most unpardonable seem human..."because all is connected to that memory of a lost period of our life, a period that will never return"

Childhood remains my most cherished memory, and whenever I think of those times, I am overcome with an undefinable feeling, a mixture of sadness and wonder. Was it really I who experienced all this and why thinking of those wonderful times make me feel sad?
Whenevr I think of those days, I want to talk about it, share it with someone. Most of the times, I tell Chandru. But whenver I start telling him of the things we used to as kids, I feel an inadequacy creep into my words, what I say is not what I feel. At best, I can only superficially relate some incidences, but what I long to do is share with him the utter delight I used to experience at that time...and the desolate sadness overcoming me now. What I want is for him to share these feeling with me, understand the churning in my heart, the longing for what is no more.

So many strange things trigger my memories. A song which comes on radio suddenly..no , not necessarily a beautiful song, just some drifting melody. It brings alive some long forgotten summer afternoon in our sprawling british bunglow-style house where I spent a large part of my childhood. I see vividly, myself and sumi, along with our cook's daughters (they lived in the servant's quarter), sittting benenath a huge peepal tree in our backyard. Sharing raw mangoes and fantastic stories, while the adults slept off the summer heat.
Some days, at dusk, that painfully lovely time between afternoon and evening, the fading rays of sun illuminate a cob-web filled corner of my past. Our visit to our nani's place during holidays, with all our cousions there. I remember pretending to sleep with my eyes closed, takeing care not to flutter my eyelids, while straining my ears to catch snatches of adult conversation in the room, uncovering secrest I am not meant to know.
A smell, a line from a book, a make-belive game I see my daughter play, a mail from a long-forgotten friend, a movie scene, a conversation...so many catalysts to open the flood-gates.
Sometimes I dream of meeting those childhood friends.......in my imagination this meeting is so lovely, where we talk of the past days. But I wonder, how it will actually be, will our memories be the same, the intensity similar, the rememberance shared, so fond or some bitter?
Maybe the memories are best left in our hearts...let them age naturally.like sweet /sour pickle.
I file away today's snapshots in the recess of my memory......someday I wil dust away the years from them, shine the torch of nostalgic light on them and wipe a tear away.
Till then......!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Relationships have always intrigued me, right from when I was young...then I struggled to understand the equations between grown-ups (sometimes even eveasdropping on their conversations)...and now still wonder at the complexities behind what appears so simple.

Sometimes I want to unravel all the threads wrapped around relationships and see the core underneath, untempered with , raw! Oh, but wait....will that be a simple truth or another mesh of entangled thoughts and emotions...complexes and insecurities, love mingled with hate, passion mixed with indiffference?

I see a couple, married for long, and so much in love....no hint of fatigue of the years gone by, playful, loving, content. So then, why sometimes I see the woman's eyes fill with some unknown longing of the past...of the days gone by...yearning to feel once again the delicious uncertainities of those days? What can I call this irrrational urge I see in her.....to be in the arms of the man she loves the most and yet want him? She looks at this man, searches his face and sees what she has always seen. For him, she is the most desirable woman, the magic of his life, his music, his muse..and she knows then that this is the core of her life..........All her wanderings and yearnings end here and here only.
I meet friends, who married for love, against odds..and today I see them saying things to needle each other. Behind the facade of polite humor, jabbing each other with words and gestures , chosen carefully, aiming where it can do most damage. Demand of polite society makes me also laugh at the so-called "jokes" but I cringe inside. What changes so much between two loving poeple that love gives way to this animosity...this everlasting battle? I want to remind them of the time when all they wanted was to be with each other.........now they carefuly plot to put other people between them, so that the damage done is done under covers.
Is it marriage that changes feelings, replacing thrill and tenderness with scorn, indifference, impatience? Does the mundane take away from the sublime?
There are some couple I have seen, who come to life only in others' company...just being with each other is not interesting or exciting enough. It is when they see themselves through other, more interesting eyes that they feel reassured of their desiribilty. Maybe they need this outside influenece to spice up their , by now, mundane, predicatble love life.
Equations are ever changing....so is love. It changes its nature, its cover, from passion to tenderness, from attentive to indifferent, from sublime to mundane.
When I think and mull over all this, what I remember most is what Chandru once told me...."It is easy to say that love is over, love has changed...what love needs is a commitment to nurture it always, though its different stages, its different moods, then it grows..up and beyond life". He always surprises me, saying things which calm me immediately, puts my troubled mind to rest.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sometimes what puts things into perspecive, like nothing else, are words uttered by my 3 yr old daughter, Advita. A child, with her inherent simplicity can say things, which sound profound...and are so heart-felt...and thats what is so touching...revealing so many things to me.

Chandru's mom and granny are visiting us and Advita is having such a great time with them, enjoying their undivided and unadultereted attention.
Yesterday as I am sitting with them, Advita quitely comes near and me holding my chin in her hands (as is her habit while talking to me) says quitely, "Mamma, please never grow old, promise me"..and then as if in bargain, "I will also not become big, OK?".

I am intrigued by this sudden pronouncement, while she searches my face, waiting for me to say OK. Then I see her eyes wandering to her great-grandmother, who huddles in from the balconey.
So that's what has provoked this thought in my little darling's overactive mind!
I understand now, as she watches patti coping and struggling with the debilitating age, she has understood old age to be something not so desirable.

I anyway ask her why she is saying this and she says.."coz then you will not be so pretty and you won't be able to walk..and then who will comb my hair?"...oh my goodness...so many thoughts jostling in such little brains!!!
The thought of her mom growing old is so terrifying for her that she is ready to compromise on getting "big"..her single most burning ambition at this point of time! Somehow in her mind she has made the connection between her getting bigger with my getting older...admirable thought process in one so young!
What should I tell you my sona adaa...! Well, it was the question of old age, illness and such misery which provoked young Sidhartha to take "sanyaas" and seek enlightment. But I am no enlightened soul...I search for words which will put your mind to rest and still be truthful.

Shall I tell you that I also, at times, wish we were all frozen in time, while I remain like this, you remain this delightful 3-year old child.....one who deliciously surprises me every day with something new, something mischeveous...one who looks up to me all the time, trying to emulate me, making my heart swell with pride? and still, at times, I want to see you blossom into a young girl, spirited girl, who argues with me, trying to prove her own point. Trying to hold on to your innocence, while looking forward to your growing up......

I try to divert your mind, saying of course you will become big like mamma...but you dont give up and tell me " dont leave me and go anywhere..if you become old, you will die"! I am lost for words now! Can I tell you I will never be old, never die? I take recourse in the simpler answer and I tell her that I will be with you only, always. She seems satisfied and gets engrossed in her games with her imaginary friends...leaving me to ponder over things she said.
Oh the fear of getting old, dying, being without our loved ones....it affects even the little ones...while we grown ups, in our arrogance , imagine oursleves as ageless, immortal.

Today morning as I got dressed to drop her to school, she looks at me and exclaims " Oh you look so pretty everyday mamma...I also want to be like you" :)...now thats what I like to hear rani bitiya...say that again!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Lately when I talk with friends, aquaintances, relatives, I feel there is a shield around people....as if there is an elsatic wall in front of them which bounce my words back at me....mixed with certain words of their own....which may or may not be relavant at all to what I was saying! It is like talking "at" people, not "to" them.

No one wants to listen, people are not "interested" anymore in other's lives, their experiences...all they want is to talk about themselves. Even before I can finish what I want to say, I can see their mind working fast , running ahead to say something which is of interest to them. Empty eyes, even emptier words!
I remember my younger, simpler days when I actually used to have conversations, not a contest on who can come up with better "stories". Today time ticks fast, we hurry by everything, even words are hurried...losing their meaning. When I talk with friends, I find myself desparately clutching on the thread of conversation, trying to make some sense out of all this "oh, but u listen to this...."
I remember when conversations were fun, sharing of thoughts, some meaningful, some not so much.....over forgotten cups of tea getting cold, while our thoughts simmered into words.
So what has changed? As we grow older, do we lose patience with others..and their lives...so preoccupied with ourselevs that we just want to "tell" what is ours, while pretending to "listen" to our friends?? Or the pressure of urban consumerist life is such that it is more importnt to hear our own words than listen to others? Or obsession with self has become the way of life?
I feel suffocated at times, choked with irrelavant words......tired!
Come friends, lets talk once again....listen to each other, there is no contest here, no pretense...we talk to be heard...and we listen to understand...lets discover the joy of conversation!