Thursday, November 26, 2009

Smells like childhood!

I may sound utterly narcissistic if I consider myself as a gift to my father on my parents' wedding anniversary which falls today! But being here in Ooty, elated beyond words and thoughts, like a child, I feel just as that!

I can't tell you how wonderful it feels, despite the biting cold that I have come to loathe!

But home is home and thats where the heart is! Perhaps, for the same reason that Kurt Cobain sang "I'm worse at what I do best, And for this gift I feel blessed, Our little group (tribe) has always been, And always will until the end," in his legendary Smells like teen spirit marvel!

Boy, this sure smells like childhood!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Adieu Pune

A certain epoch of my life now comes to an end!

The time has come for me to head home to Ooty, leaving behind Pune, the wonderful place that has been my home for the past year and a half! Having lived here, although for a relatively short while, I've come to form some very close and lasting associations with remarkable people, who have time and again reassured me that good people in today's world are neither passé nor a rarity! To them I'm indebted for having made my life colourful and happy without condition.

I cannot say enough of the remarkably healthy lifestyle that I have enjoyed during the course of my stay in Pune, one that has most certainly put me into a very happy state of physical and mental being. A life of contentment and peace is what I've been blessed along with, as I said before, the wonderful people, who will hold immense significance in my life ahead.

Something else, which is an invaluable asset, that I take along with me is the improved level of spiritual connect that I have acquired, a gift that I attribute purely to the goodness of the place and its people, much less to my efforts! Here, my reading and blogging have also come to witness intensity and good routine, something I'm not sure will continue in the days to come, with the same level of vigour, although not going to be lost on passion - I assure!

I go home a renewed man, more refined, patient and blessed with a wider perspective with the privilege of having lived a stately life so far away from home. Pune will forever be very dear to my heart and will be cherished dearly for being the avenue that facilitated a personal and professional growth with no impediments whatsoever!

So, with a heavy heart, I bid goodbye to this wonderful place and the magnificent people I'm associated with, who will continue to be an integral part of my life!

On a closing note, I'm reminded of the track Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, something that I believe is apt to be mentioned here, considering the occasion and the expression that I convey on its account.

"I need your grace, to remind me, to find my own! All that I am, All that I ever was, Is here in your perfect eyes!"

I'm praying that, during my last moments here, my emotions don't get the best of me and that I feign a happy face while leaving - an effort, I know well from past experience to be a marathon task involving great difficulty!

PS: I've not been able to visit your blogs lately as a result of some hectic last minutes, which I'm sure you understand! Nevertheless, do please accept my sincere apologies! This is to continue for a few weeks to come during which time I shall be travelling.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A rendezvous with the writers!

I've been wanting to meet fellow blogger Shahid for sometime now. Having built a good rapport via blogging and once-in-a-while chatting up on common interests, soccer and journalism being among them, I needed to meet up with him before leaving here!

And so we decided to do just that on Saturday last, over well recommended and consequently enjoyed mughlai fare, which was truly appealing to the foodie in me, or rather - the foodie me, if I have to state facts correctly, that is! I had the pleasure of meeting up along with Shahid, Chandni and Sumedha, the wonderful ladies, one of whom I've spoken about in a previous post!

What a wonderful meeting, rather occasion, it turned out to be! Guarded, with the best foot forward in disposition, something that I believe I still need a great deal of polishing upon, I was quick to return to my informally normal self having been made to feel extremely comfortable by the awesome trio who I was meeting for the very first time!

It took no time for Shahid and I to get along like fuel and fire, engrossed in conversations on Eminem, the corporate world, blogs, food, culture, politics, religion and of course soccer, much to the discontent of the ladies, who were, unwillingly distanced, due to the teen-boy tech talk!

Shahid is very passionate about interacting with people and thus is high on interpersonal skills, something he hopes to capitalize on while kick starting his professional career shortly. He also has a distinct other facet, a more serious one that is maturely cognizant of the philosophical and metaphysical aspects of life – the astute thinker that he is!

Terribly brief yet enriching, and exceedingly congenial, I left with a feeling akin to having met with an old friend, and revisited bygone times!

Remember Louis Armstrong and his marvel What a Wonderful World? To all the good times that I have always associated this masterpiece with, I'm reiterated in the belief that the world is indeed a wonderful place, down below 'the skies of blue, and clouds of white, the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night', more so for the brilliant people that make this, truly, as 'I think to myself.... a wonderful world!'

But Shahid.......... surely Chelsea rules!!! ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cyclone Phyan creates an emergency

All is not well since the advent of Cyclone Phyan, which now threatens to wreck havoc in the western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat!

Worse still, is the trail of destruction it has left behind in my home town Ooty, in the southern India state of Tamil Nadu, over the past few days! It has been reported that over 70 people have perished in the ensuing squalls of rain in Tamil Nadu, of who over 40 are from Ooty.

My Father, who at the moment is in Ooty, talks about a scale of destruction that has not been witnessed ever before. Even as I gather momentum to write this post, I'm told that access to Ooty has been completely cut off, with all transportation systems coming to a grinding halt!

While I hope that the District Administration, assisted by sections of the Indian Paramilitary Forces, is able to execute relief and rescue operations smoothly, I cannot refrain from thinking about my impending trip to Ooty, scheduled in less than 2 weeks from today!

I know not how to express my condolences to all the bereaved families whose lives have been rudely affected due to this calamity - an indelible mark that will stay on forever, with many bitter memories associated with it!

And, here in Pune, the mayhem appears to have only begun now!

An update - The BBC has reported that Ooty has recorded rainfall of 600 cms over the last three days and that 250 houses have been damaged as a result thereof!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ich bin 'ein' Berliner

I follow the Moskva, Down to Gorky Park, Listening to the wind of change!

-- Wind of Change, Scorpions, 1990

It has been 20 years to the day that the Berlin wall has ceased to exist. There perhaps isn't an instance in history where so much cheer has marked the bringing down of a wall, particularly due to the bitterness that it brought up in dividing people of the same region, race, nationality and flock!

Coincidentally, I'm reading 'The Berlin Wall,' by Frederick Taylor, which is a word by word account of how the wall went up and came down, and to those of you interested in history, I recommend it highly!

Today, as the Germans celebrate the "Festival of Freedom" on the anniversary of the fall of the wall, it is important that we as world citizens take cognizance of the numerous walls that have sprouted up dividing us more than ever before in baseless discrimination and senseless ideology, and direct our concerted efforts to tear them down!

But the question remains, do we have the will to tear down these walls?

Finally, in case you didn't know........ here's a tidbit. Remember the famous track Wind of Change by Scorpions? It was sung in celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the many political events that Europe came to witness during the time!

And, as far as Ich bin 'ein' Berliner goes, I'm not too sure if JFK wanted to showcase himself as a jelly doughnut than the Berliner that he wanted very much to be, at that time!

Friday, November 06, 2009

An invitation!

This is a first! I'm inviting you to take a look at a poem written by a fellow thinker, who has relinquished her poetic skills, momentarily I hope!

So when Shahid decided to showcase her creation, I decided to do my bit by making a mention of it here and thereby invite all of you to take a look and write a thought or two of what you feel about it!

Please visit Shahid's post titled A poem by Chandni Bahl, written on what is perhaps one of the most addressable issue on people - distances between them!

As a courteous gesture, I have disabled comments for this post and request that you leave your thoughts in the place I take pleasure in directing you to, via this post!

I wish you all a very happy and safe weekend!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Innocent or Guilty

This, I'm sure is a welcome departure from my usual heavy and serious opines. Thanks to Shahid who tagged me, I decided to do this with some pun packed!

I've flouted all rules of engagement here, but don't blame me for your imagination! ;-)

Asked someone to marry you? Innocent
You think I ain't got better things to do than to ruin my peace?
Ever kissed someone of the same sex? Guilty
Maybe this question should have been directed to a certain someone in Chennai who sings and forgets his clothes in the washing machine
Danced on a table in a bar? Innocent
What makes you think I might act like Jim Carrey?
Ever told a lie? Guilty
Isn't life itself one big lie?
Had feelings for someone whom you can’t have back? Guilty
Plenty - There seems to be a thin line of difference between love & lust!
Kissed a picture? Guilty
Desperation it seems, knows no limits
Slept in until 5 PM? Guilty
Ask me about it!
Fallen asleep at work/school? Guilty
U bet! If I don't dozed off on my desk, folks would be surprised, rather I'd be surprised myself!
Held a snake? Innocent
Been suspended from school? Innocent
Worked at a fast food restaurant? Innocent
I wish I did, actually own one!
Stolen from a store? Innocent
Been fired from a job? Innocent
Done something you regret? Guilty
Plenty - They say it's important to learn from others' mistakes, coz you may not live long enough to make them all! But, I'm trying!
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Guilty
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Innocent
Is snowflake the name of a girl?
Kissed in the rain? Innocent
Sat on a roof top? Guilty
Yeah, stargazing!
Kissed someone you shouldn’t? Guilty
Many times - haven't you heard that variety is the spice of life?
Sang in the shower? Guilty
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? Innocent
Shaved your head? Innocent
Had a boxing membership? Innocent
Sometimes I wish I had! Considering the people ...................................!
Made a girlfriend cry? Innocent
Been in a band? Innocent
Shot a gun? Guilty
Err..... what kind? ;-)
Donated Blood? Guilty
Yeah - and hoped the guy who got it survived!
Eaten alligator meat? Innocent
Eaten cheesecake? Innocent
How sick can that be?
Still love someone you shouldn’t? Guilty
Have/had a tattoo? Innocent
Somebody once told me that tattoos are a permanent mark of temporary insanity! I disgree!
Liked someone, but will never tell who? Guilty
Too many people, much less time and too much of an ego!
Been too honest? Guilty
How do I change? Any tips?
Ruined a surprise? Guilty
Plenty - think about that pleasure you get doing that! Remember Calvin & Hobbes?
Ate in a restaurant and got really bloated that you couldn’t walk afterwards? Guilty
Erased someone in your friends list? Guilty
Even Bob Marley said "Good friends we lose along the way!"
Dressed in a woman’s clothes (if you’re a guy) or man’s clothes (if you’re a girl)? Innocent
Joined a pageant? Innocent
Been told that you’re handsome or beautiful by someone who totally meant what they said? Innocent
Had communication with your ex? Innocent
What a waste of time that can be!
Got totally drunk on the night before exam? Guilty
Thank God for that! Hic!
Got totally angry that you cried so hard? Guilty

Monday, November 02, 2009

Passers by in Life

Seasons and life have among themselves pretty much the same meaning, in the sense of how they further and remain a cyclical process. The same can be said about the elements of nature too! But when you add people to the equation, there is a vast change in the composition, something much like the law of entropy that was elucidated by Stephen Hawking in his famed Theory of Everything! And just in case you don't know what entropy is, go no further than understanding that it represents the "potential for disorder" in a system!

I spent a small part of the weekend reading In Spite of the Gods by Edward Luce, a book which is said to contain some of the finest analyses of India's strange economic and socio-political growth and tipped to be an insightful read by India's former Chief Executive - Dr. Abdul Kalam, among many others that is!

But that was momentary! As I sat trying to fixate my focus on the book, in the same park which is the venue of my once-in-a-while-solitary-walks, my eyes wandered in observation of people who had gathered there at sunset to either spend the remainder of the weekend in solace or as in the case of little ones - to be engulfed in the blissful togetherness of recreation! It seemed each one of them had a definite agenda in place for the evening to conduct!

Calm and composed, to me, each of them seemed to be engrossed in a journey of sorts - of comprehension, perception and anticipation, such as in wait for something that was to come and that no amount of preparation could help them face that seemingly oncoming blight, if one ever existed, that is!

I was then reminded of a quote, by Chuck Palahniuk that The Times of India carried yesterday morning, which read that "If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character...... Would you slow down or speed up?"