The Birthday Blog Post

This was meant to be an actual birthday post, meaning it was supposed to be posted on my birthday, which was yesterday.  However, as most of my activities are these days, it had to be postponed. Thankfully, I can accredit it to my daughter, and not to my usual procrastination. 😀

20141029_004353Anyway, yesterday’s the day I turned 31, finally severing all my ties with my twenties. (No, I can no longer say that I was in my twenties  just until a few days ago! 😛 )

In other (more real) senses, too, this birthday was of quite some importance to me.

For one, I became a mom about 5 months ago, so it is my first birthday as one. My daughter does not understand it yet but years later she will see herself wishing me in photographs. Yes, I posed her to  hug me and pretended she was wishing me a happy birthday, I admit! 😛 😉

My last birthday was pretty disastrous, what with the morning sickness and stuff. So on this birthday, I was happy to actually eat my birthday cake. 😀 Chocolate, of course!

I have always been a big fan of birthdays; and while I agree that we all grow a little everyday, there’s something that changes on our birthdays every year. As a kid, I used to truly believe that what we wished while cutting our birthday cakes really came true.  As I grew up, I transferred my wish-fulfillment tactics to making resolutions. Needless to say, neither of them came to fruition. Well, at least most of the times. Still, I make resolutions on every birthday: most are just repeats of those made about 10 months ago, all still unfulfilled. And some, I try to incorporate based on my age. This year, as I myself have a child, I have resolved to reduce my childish streaks, at least a little. The child-likeness, albeit, I cannot camouflage. But the flashes of temper, the random indiscipline – they sure have to go out the door.

Apart from that, I have resolved to read more, on the new Kindle Paperwhite that hubby dearest gifted me on my birthday. :):) I used to be an ardent supporter of good old-fashioned paper books; but considering how my daughter devours anything that she can tear or wring, I fear for their safety. Hence, Kindle. At least until she finds a way to destroy that, too. 😛

Well, that’s it so far. Let me publish the post before I get interrupted again. Happy birthday to me! 😀 😀

My childhood rain memories

It is that time of the year, again (In India)! 🙂 Yes, the monsoon season, indeed. As my readers already know from several of my previous posts, I love the rain.

rainRain reminds me the most about treks, chai-pakodas, the ‘terrifying and soothing at the same time’ property of nature, and the romantic breeze, of course; but I have talked about those things previously. Today, as my life currently revolves around my cute little 2 months old daughter, I have decided to write about my childhood rain memories. I think I did have a gala time with the rains during my childhood, too. Doing what? Here’s my top 5!

1. Making paper boats

paper boats

One of the first memories I have of ‘fun in the rain’ is of making paper boats and releasing them in nearby gutters, and seeing how many reach the far end! Of course, most boats used to sink soon; and hence used to begin the competition of seeing ‘whose’ boats among the group of budding ship builders floated the most. As I grew older, I learned to make different types of boats:  those with anchors, those with a mainsail and a jib, and so on. I loved it – what wasn’t to love? Making them was fun, getting wet while putting them in gutters was ‘adventurous’, and watching my parents clean up the mess left behind was even more fun…hahaha! I guess that is why we stop making boats when we get older – we have to clean our own mess, don’t we! 😛

2. Jumping and dodging puddles

I don’t need to see a ‘daag acche hain’ commercial to remember how, despite warnings from my parents about the troubles dirty water could cause, I used to jump into puddles and splash water. (Not just on myself, but on unsuspecting and suspecting people, too) hahaha.Puddle I used to also try to dodge these puddles, but the more I jumped around them, the more I ‘accidentally’ launched myself into them. 😛 😀 Not my fault, no? [Evil Grin] 😀

As children we were really carefree! Now, I wouldn’t even dream of doing such a thing. However, I do remember that I accidentally stepped into a puddle on a Jersey City street while on a trip to New York, and felt happy! 😛 😀 Now whether that was from the nostalgia about Indian roads or about actually stepping in puddles, I do not know.

3. Playing while getting drenched

rain-wallpaper-5This should have been number 1, actually! What can beat the ’kick’ we felt when we played while getting soaked from head to toe, wiping our faces again-n-again to see what’s going on around? Ahhhh, coolness, freshness, adventure – thy name is ‘getting drenched’! 😀 My favorite rain game? Catching Cook, Lagori, and swimming. Funnnn! Oh, and coming home to a hot bath after playing our hearts out while getting drenched – heavenly!

 

 

4. Buying rain coats

rainyday

If you are telling me that you did not obsess over colorful umbrellas and rain coats when you were a child, I’d say you are kidding me! 😀 I remember getting all excited at the end of summer about buying new rain coats. Discussing latest fashions was not about clothes and shoes back then; it was about pencil-boxes, labels, and rain coats. How excited I was when the new skirt-n-top rain coats came in the markets! And when the transparent ones did, too! Mmmm the smell of new rubber and plastic…..mmmmm…

5. Singing ‘Ye re ye re paavsa‘ and ‘paus aala vara aala‘. lol… Did you sing rain songs as a child? Which ones?

What were your favorite childhood activities related to rain? Do let me know. 🙂

Kai Po Che? – The decline of traditional sports and games in India

[This is my first post featured on the TheFrustratedIndian website]

So, what is your favourite game, I asked my neighbourhood children at a party in India. “Angry Birds”, said a 7 years old boy. “I love cricket”, said another 14-years old girl. “To watch, I mean, you know… IPL and stuff… it’s so exciting”, she added. With a lot of exclamation marks in my mind, I decided that they are just children and don’t really think before answering.

But then I thought, even if they were adults, would their answers have been any different? Do we ourselves have had any experience playing sports other than cricket, badminton, and table tennis?

Sure, most of us recently watched and lauded the recently released film Kai Po Che. A few years ago, we also went gaga over the Dheel de de re Bhaiyya song from the movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

But how many of us have ever actually said Kai Po Che the way it is supposed to be said, that is, while flying kites? I say with major exceptions of some population of Gujarat, none. For that matter, how many of us have recently uttered the words “Kabaddi kabaddi” or “lagori“?

Well, yes, I am being a little too optimistic in expecting all readers to even have heard about these sports; so let me start by listing some of the most ‘used-to-be-popular’ traditional sports of India.

 

Kabaddi

 Played in India from mythical times and given a national status as early as 1918, Kabaddi has fetched us every possible gold medal at all Asian Games and world championships ever held. Yet, I last remember to have played it only in school, more than a decade ago. And none of the “urban” now-in-school people I know seem to have ever played it. Now, Kabaddi is as athletic and technical a sport as any of the modern ones, sans the need for a big ground or any equipment. What it lacks, I guess, is the glamour.

Kho kho

 This game has been known in India since the beginning of the Mahabharata era. It used to be a rather popular game in schools and during evening play-sessions. Not any longer, it seems. Again, this game is as athletic and tactical as games can get.

Gilli danda

 This game is believed to be the origin of games such as cricket and baseball, although this hasn’t been ever proven, or for the matter, contested. In this game, a player bounces a gilli (a small cylindrical wooden object with pointed edges), of the ground by hitting it once with a danda (a wooden stick), and then hits the air-borne gilli to send it as far as they can.

Lagori/pitthu/lingorcha

 This game of breaking a mound of seven stones with a ball, and rearranging the mound before the opposing team finds the ball, was played by girls and boys alike, all over India. I haven’t seen any kids playing this game of late, though I have seen its version being played as a team building activity in a couple of corporate team building sessions, which is quite heartening.

Kanche/gotya/marbles

 Though this one doesn’t really qualify as a sport, it used to be widely played in India. It is said to improve players’ aim and their ability to concentrate. Also, collecting the marbles won from other players was considered a bonus (or the main attraction? 😛 )

Kite-flying

And finally, Kite-flying! Although this sport is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent, it is much more popular in other countries now. There are a handful of professional kite-flying tournaments in India, too (with lots of foreign participants), but at the local level, there’s hardly any soaring high!

 

If outdoor sports aren’t your favourite, there are several other indoor games too (that are going in to oblivion these days, of course): Spinning top (lattu), Indian Ludo (Pachisi/Dyut/Saripaat), Sagargote/ Gajge, Hide-n-seek (Lukka Chhipi), and so on.

All these games are extremely interesting, and it’s a pity hardly anybody plays them anymore. (Although I am glad that certain traditional sports such as Bull-fighting, Cock-fighting and Hunting have diminished!)

So, what made us turn a blind eye towards these sports/games? I suppose the advent of the originally colonial game of Cricket would be a common answer. But no, it is not just that – internet addiction, increased homework, and above all, unavailability of empty grounds to play are also important factors contributing towards the decline.

But think about this: none of these reasons are unavoidable, we can work around them. Especially as we always complain about how sedentary our lifestyles are; how addicted the younger generation is to the likes of Xbox, iPad, and the internet; and how even the snazziest of the gyms are always full, playing all or some of these games to alert our bodies and our minds can ease a lot of our complaints. And we will be happy for keeping our culture alive. 🙂

 

What do you readers think about this? Are you ready to say the real Kai Po Che sometime soon? Do let us know. 🙂

[All images courtesy: Wikipedia (1,2,3,4,5,6)]

My favorite romantic songs – Happy Valentine’s Day :)

Ahem! It is that time of the year again: Valentine’s Day, when love is supposed to be in the air! 😛 I am not a romantic person at all, but I am a big fan of Bollywood music. And Bollywood music makes romance really shine! So here’s a list of my favorite romantic Bollywood songs, in no particular order. Listen, view, and enjoy the YouTube songs! (But know that I don’t own the links :D)

1. Abhi na jao chhodkar

This is one of the oldest romantic and really sweet songs! Jo khatm ho kisi jagah, ye aisa silsila nahin… so true! Beautiful lyrics and a refreshing tune!

2. Kabhi phool dena 

Aur kabhi kabhi khamosh baithen, baahon ke sahare

Sooraj bujhana, saagar kinaare; aur raaton ko chaand ugaana…

This song symbolizes the dreams  and hopes of an ideal romance. Beautiful lyrics and the innocent romance, coupled with a peppy tune make this song really special. The video is cool, too – as it features Milind Soman, of course!

Other songs in this movie (Rules… Pyar ka Superhit Formula) are also really romantic… Chhodo na mujhe yun bekaraar saa and Uljhanon ko de diya hai are exceptional!    

3. Heer

How can a list of romantic songs be complete without a Yash Chopra number? He has given us several beautiful lovey-dovey songs, but I chose this one purely for its haunting music. It is so melodiously romantic! I can’t quite understand the Punjabi lyrics, though 🙂

4. Humko sirf tumse pyar hai

I consider this song as the most romantic song ever! Some tunes are so romantic by themselves, right?  In fact, the violin piece at the beginning of this song, in itself is enough to make the distinction.  The video can be skipped, or played in the background. 🙂 😛

5. Ishq ki Daastan 

This world has forever been torn between the hardcore romantics and the straightforward practical thinkers. There have been several songs that argue whether love is good or bad, for example, Jaane kyon log pyar karte hain ,  Kay Sera Sera, and so on. But no song explains the contrasting viewpoints of people who feel the need to express their love, and those who think that some things are best left unsaid. And the romantic side wins, and how! Beautiful lyrics, brilliant singing!

6. Saawan Barse Tarse Dil

Romance reaches a new height when the sky starts pouring – ’cause the rains make everything so beautiful and worthwhile! This song is beautifully shot, and sung. Of course, it is very hard to miss the romance in most rain songs. The best part is, a rain song can portray several moods of romance: playfulness, seduction, flirtation, bliss – you name it and the rains do it for you! 🙂

7. Accha ji mai haari

Sometimes, a relationship is not romantic unless you fight and then make up. Watch the beautiful but feisty Madhubala try to make up with  Dev Anand, by first apologizing, then wooing, then threatening, and finally giving in – sweet!

8. Tujh me rab dikhta hai 

This song symbolizes the whole movie: how ShahRukh Khan does anything and everything possible (and impossible) to keep his dear wife smiling… very, very sweet!

9. Aye Udi Udi

A combination of A R Rehman’s tune, Gulzaar ji’s lyrics, the choreography,  Adnan Sami’s husky voice, and Rani Mukerji and Vivek Oberoi’s performances simply means full-on romance… beautiful! Watch Rani and Vivek go through the drills of married life while the romance continues to blossom!

10. Pehla Nasha Pehla Khumar 

This list, of course, wouldn’t have been complete without this mother of all romantic songs – need I say more? 🙂

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So which is your most favorite romantic song (from this list or otherwise)? Do take this poll or leave a comment and let me know! 🙂

Until next time, take care and wish you a very happy Valentine’s day! 🙂

My Bucket List :-)

Well, well, whether life’s short or long, and ambitions and dreams are high or low;  everyone, at some point or the other in their lives, thinks of a bucket list, and has one – on pen-and-paper or in their minds; said out aloud, or mused upon while solitary…

I, too, have a list, and it is quite long, of course. Some items on the list are trivial and easy-to-achieve, while some are very important to me and hardly-achievable.Nevertheless, I do HOPE to achieve them sooner or later, before I kick the bucket! 😛 😀

[To those uninitiated, the term ‘bucket list’, which means a list of things you want to do before you die, comes from the phrase ‘kicking the bucket’, which is slang for dying. 🙂 ]

Here it goes:

1. Dip my feet in the water of all 5 oceans (2 oceans remain – Arctic and Southern)
2. Step on all 7 continents (Asia, Europe, and North America – done… 4 more remain)
3. Own a big library ( More information on this, on my other blog)
4. Participate in a flash-mob dance ( I love the whole idea! Does anyone of you know how to participate in one?)
5. Act in a street play ( Preferably in India, to address an important cause in a fun way)
6. Write a book (I’m yet to write a short short story, but still 😀 😛 )
7. Learn a ballroom dance style to perfection ( I only know Salsa basics so far – a long way to go!)
8. Travel to all states of India ( Only 12 done, so far)
9. Sky-dive (Done 😀  )
10. Teach at least one adult to read and write ( It will be a big challenge, but I really want to do it)
11. Bungee-jump (Without destroying my vocal cords 😛 )
12. Make a mini-movie or direct a dance-drama ( you will not believe this, just as I wrote this point, I got a comment on another post,  saying I should consider directing a movie – freaky or what!)
13. Work in an impoverished African nation, or an extremely rural Adivasi area in India (preferably in education or administration areas)
14. Learn to speak at least one foreign language and one regional Indian language fluently ( I used to understand day-to-day French, but not any longer)

I’m very sure this list will always keep expanding, as one of my main traits is this: I am interested in way too many things! But as of now, that was my list.

So what’s on your bucket lists? I would love to hear about it!

Happy New Year 2013!

Hey all readers, (again, if there are any left, that is! )

Wish you all a very, very happy new year! May you have a wonderful year, full of joy and prosperity and wisdom and laughter and fulfillment.

The last year ended on a mixed note for me. It was a year of major changes, some good, many bad. I am hoping that this new year is one of major changes, too; and mainly good ones! Amen to that. 🙂

Now, a new year is a time for making resolutions! I love making resolutions, and although I don’t love breaking them, I’m quite used to doing just that. 😛 So here’s a list of my resolutions for the year 2013.

1) 😀 This has been my new year’s resolution for the last 4 years now – so it doesn’t really feel new; and yet, as it has never been fulfilled, it seems so so new! 😛 Lose weight, of course! I aim to lose at least 1 kilo a month, so going by that target, I should be considerably fitter and healthier by the end of this year.

2) Write more and write better! There was a time when I frequently blogged, and then that time just flew past. It could be because I had so much free time and nothing much to do, so procrastination killed it, or it could be any other reason. The bottom line is that I need to get back in gear, and do something that I really enjoy doing – write.

3) Read more! GoodReads, this wonderful social networking website I am registered to, offers a self-challenge for the number of books you want to read in this year. I have challenged myself to 50! So, assuming I read at least 10 books I have already read ( yup, I love re-reading my favorite books – I feel I can get something new out of them every time), I aim to explore 40 new books this year. I have been wasting way too much time surfing the net and watching movies, and series, and videos – it is reading time, now onward! 🙂

4) Be more positive about life! Yeah, although I appear quite positive, the last year has been quite disappointing for me, bringing out my pessimistic side really strongly. Hell, I even hoped for the Mayan prediction to be true and prayed for the world to end in 2012! But as I then found out, pessimism doesn’t do much except spoil your mood even more. So this year, I again want to give optimism a shot.

That is all about my new year resolutions.

As for my new year wishes, I wish for a healthy and happy year for all my friends and family members! I wish for India to become a safer country for women, and I wish for every single person to understand their responsibility towards making it one. I wish for H1 visa rules to favor me and I wish I get a nice job. I wish for my husband to be really happy and successful in his professional and personal life. 

Oh there are several other wishes, and I hope to discuss them with you somewhere down the year, as I express myself more to you guys, through a regularly written blog. Three cheers to that, and see you soon!

Happy new year, once again!

My Favorite Bollywood Rain Songs

[Update: 4th August 2020] The very rare incessant rain in Michigan made me very sentimental and I thought of rehashing this old blog post of mine (from April 2012!). And since I’ve grown a bit since then, and my tastes have changed more than a bit, I also updated the post a bit lot. So, here’s a list of some of my favorite Bollywood rain songs, in no particular order.

Disclaimer:  The links of  YouTube videos are not owned by me; I just found them on YouTube…

1. Saawan Barse Tarse Dil from the movie Dahek

I have to start this list with one of my most favorite rain songs ever, even though I haven’t seen the movie (I don’t think anyone has!). But I have watched this song umpteen times for it sheer innocence and lyrical romance! Akshaye Khanna and Sonali Bendre going to meet each other by battling it out with the various difficulties created by the rain, and enjoying that rain in the meanwhile, is the essence of this beautifully shot song.

2. Barso Re Megha from Guru

The amazing visuals of a raindrop creating ripples in water, dark clouds in the background of lush green fields and a washed clean look of several picturesque locations are what I like the best about this song; although the music and the stunning voice of  Shreya Ghoshal are also individually sufficient to make this song appear in my list of favorites. 

3. Le Ja Le Ja Re from the music album Ustaad & the Divas

This is by far the cutest song with a rainy background! But the rain here is not just outdoors from the sky – it is also indoors on the dance floor, inside the heroine’s eyes, and in the hero’s and the heroine’s hearts. There is a scene in this song where the heroine is sad and sketches herself drenched in rain on a bus stop billboard, while the hero adds an umbrella to the picture. And another one where she sketches herself getting drenched by a bus splashing water on her – only to find that the hero draws himself between her and the bus! I have no words for this cuteness! The music is of course, divine!

4. Rimjhim Ke Taraane Leke Aayi Barsaat from the movie Kaala Baazaar

Whenever I think of rains, a wave of nostalgia hits me! This song shows Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman walking in the rains and reminiscing their moments together, along with glimpses of  a rain-drenched old Bombay. What a treat for the eyes and ears! And as with most old songs, the lyrics are soulful!

5. Ghanan Ghanan from the movie Lagaan

This is a unique song dedicated to rain that never came!  But the yearning it causes was captured so melodiously in this classical/folk music-inspired song, you could feel the heartache at the sight of those dark clouds floating away…

6. Dum Dum Digaa Digaa from the movie Chhaliya

Rains in the film studio have never looked as refreshing as they do in this song! And Raj Kapoor in his serenading avatar is charming!

7. Bhaage re Mann Kahin from the movie Chameli

A shady lane in a shady area in South Bombay, Kareena Kapoor dressed up in a tacky red-and-blue Sari, and a car as a prop – not to mention a lot of rain… does not seem like an interesting scenario, right? Negative! It is a beautiful scenario! The way the rain-wind combination is shot in this song is mind-blowing! And the music is blissful.

8. Rimjhim Rimjhim from the movie 1942 A Love Story

Beautiful, dusky, and lush green setting of the Ooty botanical garden, a beautiful and very expressive Manisha Koirala, a handsome and sentimental Anil Kapoor, R D Burman’s music, and Javed Akhtar’s soulful lyrics – add all of these to lots of rain and baadal and bijli! Can a rain song get better than that? Naah! Totally mesmerizing song!

9. Bheegi Bheegi Raatonme from the movie Ajnabee

I don’t care for the video of this song at all ( like the picturisation of most songs of the time, it was overly sensuous and suggestive), but the song in itself is such a work of genius! You can imagine  the rain and the dreamy atmosphere created by it just by listening to it. Kishore Kumar at his best! And yeah, the remix album of this song is great too, for a change!

10. Ab Ke Saawan Aise Barase from the music album Ab Ke Saawan

This awesome amalgamation of classical, folk, and pop music is not just pleasing to the ear, but is lavishly shot in a small-town setup (in a studio) and is so pleasant to watch! sense. It brilliantly shows the perfect combination of romance, fun, confusion, peace, chaos, and overall joy brought about by the rains!

11. Koi Ladki Hai from the movie Dil To Pagal Hai

The rain usually makes us smile, but what if our smiles make it rain? That’s the crazy romantic sentiment depicted in this song, with the dreamy voices of Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan making it even better. Also, props to the choreography!

12. Lapak Jhapak from the movie Boot Polish

This is another unusual rain song featuring bald, aging inmates from an asylum! Oh but Manna Dey is as amazing as ever, and the metaphoric ballad asking for rain to come and water the barren heads of people is of another level altogether!

Yeah, so that’s my list of favorites, people! Which is your favorite rain song? Let me know!

I so love The Hindu ads! TOI – are you listening?

I have been reading The Times of India ever since I was a child. In fact, back then, it was considered imperative to read the TOI to improve your English. I lived in Goa, and all we had access to was the Mumbai edition of TOI which hit the stands in Goa only in the afternoons, which meant that the newspaper delivery guy delivered the TOI a day late.  Yet, we unfailingly read the day-old newspaper everyday. Later, my parents also began paying the newspaper delivery guy, who lived right next to our house, to deliver the newspaper to us on his way back home.  Our school teachers used to encourage us to go beyond the front page and sports pages of the newspaper, and to explore the editorial page, and understand the different views expressed there.

Now what is the connection between the title of this post and the first paragraph, you ask? Well, you’ll soon find out… But before that, take a look at today’s web TOI:

Web TOI - look at the highlighted parts.

This is the page showing today’s top news!  Start from the left panel – “Twitter’s censor move with eye on China“. Really? “Eye on China”? Is that a legitimate phrase in English, or is it just the translation of the Marathi  “चीन वर डोळा”? The last I had heard, “keeping an eye on someone” meant watching over them lest they do something they aren’t supposed to. Aren’t they instead supposed to write “Twitter’s censor move eyes China“?  Of course the sentence still makes little sense to me, but at least it is English! (Do correct me if I am wrong though.)

Let’s move on to the right – top. Madhuri gives some advise to SRK – and yes the national adviser’s words are almost never printed on the home page, but this – oh how can they miss printing this!

Just dip a little lower (pun intended) and slightly to the left. You will see “Katharina’s raunchy act“! Yeah sure, so what if they get the spelling wrong, so what if they use provocative words – they are giving the readers some hot news! And below that, some more “Other Stories” that basically tell the same tale… They are not a national pioneering newspaper, but a glossy gossip magazine…

You may have noticed that I have pasted the screen shot of only half of the home page – the bottom half had several such pieces of news and pictures that wouldn’t suit my sensibilities and those of this blog.

Anyway, the point is, I once looked up to this newspaper, and now, I can barely look at it without feeling annoyed – what with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and racial glitches (replacing the phrase ” South Indian” with “Southie”? – What is that!) that make me want to appeal to them, that if they can’t afford paying a proof reader, I would love to volunteer to do it for them! And I don’t even want to get started on the kind of hot news (read Bollywood gossip, Page 3 trivia on most pages, and so on) they publish! This is why, when they released an advertisement with soft intonations insulting the newspaper The Hindu (you can find it here ), I was mildly irritated. But The Hindu came up with their response – three even more fiery, in-your-face advertisement clips, which were fascinatingly accurate and bang-on target!

Here are the links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmXPBp7DpQw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Eb-waHx-00&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8_pqFRxk6A&feature=related

Now, I don’t know how effective these ads are, but I do hope they make the TOI people see some sense, and give us back the newspaper we loved so much a few years ago!

Should I venture into fiction??

For a long time, I have been at a loss of ideas for new blog posts… and more than ideas, it’s the expression that I am not able form.

So i thought, why not try my hand at fiction? Stories and topics that have interested me, but never happened to me…. I guess I should give it a try!!

 

And ofcourse, may be I shall be able to express myself in a better way, ‘coz what is fiction but a reflection of the reality?? 😉

Movie Review: Taare Zameen Par

Kholo Kholo Darwaze
Parde Karo Kinare
Khuntey Se Bandhi Hai Hawa
Mil Ke Chhudao Saare!!”

And so goes a song, from one of the most intelligent and sensible films that Bollywood has ever produced. For those who don’t understand Hindi,(although that’s strange, since they are reading the review of a Hindi film…) let me translate it. The verse says,“Let’s open the doors,and roll the curtains, and let’s all free the air that’s been tied to a leash!” 🙂

Well, this is just one gem from the invaluable treasure called Taare Zameen Par! The more-than-promising debut of Aamir Khan as a director, and another major step in the evolution of Indian Cinema, the movie makes a permanent mark in the minds of all those who watch it.

Centred round Ishaan Avasthi(Played so well by Darsheel Safary….u can’t miss the sparkle in his eyes…), a dyslexic 8 year-old kid perceived as naughty, lazy and hopeless by the ignorant adults around him, the film provides a heart-wrenching insight on parent-child relationships, social stigma about education, and how an understanding teacher(Aamir Khan, ofcourse!) can turn coal into diamond- without applying pressure!!

Not banking on any of the tried-and-tested formulae for a hit movie(Yeah, no glamourous babes, no high-fundoo action, no family melodrama, no corny comedy, not even the typical rona-dhona  found in sad children’s movies!!!!), the movie still succeeds in making the audience laugh, cry, wince, hope, and most of all, feel, for the characters in the movie!

And yeah, Don’t miss its titles, its dialogues, and the scenes between the art teacher and the dyslexic boy’s parents!!! And HOW can I forget… the 3*9!!! Didn’t get me? Watch the movie, you will!!! And the flipbook, as well!!

Interesting (and important) concept, good story,soulful music, beautiful lyrics, superb performances, technical finesse, and an ammazing direction by Mr. Perfectionist, this movie is a must watch, both for the child and the parent in you!!!!

My Rating:Green, green green!!!!!

Hail Sinhagad!!!!

img_0216.jpg  Inspite of living in Pune, a city with several picnic spots in its vicinity, we end up going places only once in say half a year!! One such trip happened last saturday, and needless to say, we had real fun!! (U can see that on the happy faces in the accompanying photograph, can’t u!!).

We started for Sinhagad, 12 of us, in a chakachak tempo-traveller at around 5:30 p.m. Passing through Chandni Chowk, Khadakvasla “chowpatty”, and numerous stories, fables and fairy tales about us, them, and Tanaji Malusare(The Marathi stalwart who became a martyr while capturing this fort from the Mughals), we finally reached the foot of Sinhagad. As our car inched forward via the very narrow road up Sinhagad, history came back to us in form of Tanaji, Kondhana, and the monitor lizard. Each of us tried to show off our historical knowledge!

Over time, we reached to the last point upto where vehicles could go. As we alighted from our car, we were instantly greeted with cries of “Jai Bhavani!! Jai Shivaji!!” from enthusiastic tourists. We started climbing, stopping only for posing for photographs, with the big beautiful valley as the backdrop or, standing on arches of gates as if “Yippee!!! We conquered it!!” hehe! 🙂 It was the perfect kind of weather: cool, windy, cloudy, but sans the drizzle. After we reached atop Sinhgad, there was another round of photographs, with different poses, (and slips, there was a lot of muck up there…).

And then, it was snacks time!! All of us hungry picnic-ers hogged on the yummmy Pithla-Bhakri-Kharda, Dahi and garam-garam Kanda Bhaji. While we were gourmeting on the spread, we completely forgot, that it was getting dark, and all though it was almost full moon, the full moon would be shadowed by the thick monsoon clouds. When this fact finally dawned upon us(dawned is such an ironical phrase in this situation, right!! 🙂 hehehe!), we started off, assuring and scaring each other at the same time. 🙂
There were some really hilarious incidents on our way down, like we signalling our mobile lights to some unknown persons thinking that they were from our group, like some guys calling out to our group by saying “Aye Ganpat!!!” and our extra-enthu guys replying with “Daru La!!!”(for those uninformed, This is a famous line from a song in the bollywood flick ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’),  like Diya* (* – names changed to protect privacy…LOL!!!) stepping into a puddle of water and everybody running towards her thinking she fell in there, like Rahul* crouching in the darkness and pouncing on Panna* and Kshama* and scaring them to the end of their wits, leaving them shaking and shivering till the end of the journey!!!!

And all in all, as u can clearly see from my post, we had a gala time!!! Enjoying the beautiful weather, and surrounded by your friends, what more can you ask for?? 🙂

Lyrics that have touched my heart……………

When you are listening to a song, what is more important to you? The music or the lyrics? Well I have always been partial towards music.. I ‘ve always been more attentive to words only when recited without music, you know, poetry and stuff…

But our very own Hindi songs too(without which our bollywood movies would be  incomplete, ofcourse) do have very meaningful lyrics at times. Just an attempt to list a few which caught my fancy…………..

1) Khul ke muskurale tu : Phir Milenge

This song is played in the background when the protagonist understands that she has contracted AIDS through her unfaithful partner, and decides to bravely lead her life, her disease and her past not withstanding.

Khul Ke Muskurale Tu Dard Ko Sharmaney De
Boondon Ko Dhartee Par Saaz Ek Bajaney De

Hawayen Keh Rahee Hain, Aaja Jhoolein Zara
Gagan Ke Gaal Ko Jakey Choolein Zara
Utaar Gham Ke Mozey, Zamein Ko Gungunaney De
Kankaron Ko Talwon Main Gudgudee Machaney De
Khul Ke Muskuraley…Saaz Ek Bajaney De

Jheel Ek Aadat Hai, Tujhmey Hee To Rehtee Hai
Aur Nadee Shararat Hai, Terey Sang Behtee Hai
Har Lehar Yeh Kehtee Hai, Khud Ko Jhoom Janey De
Zindagi Ko Aaj Naya Geet Koi Ganey De
Khul Ke Muskuraley…Saaz Ek Bajaney De

Bansuree Ki Khidkyon Pe Sur Yeh Kyon Thithaktey Hain
Ankh Key Samander Kyon Bewajeh Chalaktey Hain
Titlyan Yeh Kehtee Hain Ab Basant Aaney De
Jungalon Ke Mausam Ko Bastiyon Mein Chaney De.

Khul Ke Muskuraley…Saaz Ek Bajaney De
 

2) Main ek sadi se baithi hun : Lekin

Haven’t watched this movie, but had an audio cassete of this movie as a kid….found the song melodious so listened to it, now that I understand the lyrics and stuff, find it amazing and having so much insight.

Main ek sadi se baithi hoon – 2
Is raah se koi guzra nahin
Kuch chaand ke rath to guzre the – 2
Par chaand se koi utra nahin
Main ek sadi se baithi hoon – 2
Din raat ke dono pahiye bhi
Kuch dhool udaakar beet gaye, beet gaye
Din raat ke dono pahiye bhi
Kuch dhool udaakar beet gaye
Main man aangan mein baithi rahi – 2
Chaukhat se koi guzra nahin
Main ek sadi se baithi hoon – 2
Aakaash bada buddha baba
Sab ko kuch baant te jaata hai, jaata hai
Aakaash bada buddha baba
Sab ko kuch baant te jaata hai
Aankhon ko nichoda maine bahut – 2
Par koi aansu utra nahin
Main ek sadi se baithi hoon – 2

3) Samay O Dheere Chalo –  Rudaali

This is the title song of the movie Rudali, based on the life of a tribe in Rajastan that earns its living by mourning at people’s deaths. They are especially invited by families when any member is about to die, as it is believed that deaths should be mourned as loudly as possible, for various reasons…

samay o dhiire chalo
bujh gai raah se chhaanv
duur hai duur hai pi ka gaanv
dhiire chalo dhiire chalo

ji ko bahala liya
tuune aas niraash ka khel kiya – 2
chaar dinon mein koi jiya na jiya – 2
zahar ye saans ka piya na piya – 2
ye hava sab le gai
kaaravaan ke nishaan bhi uda le gai
udati havaaon vaale milenge kahaan – 2
koi bata do mere piya ka nishaan – 2
samay o dhiire chalo
bujh gai raah se chhaanv
duur hai, duur hai pi ka gaanv
dhiire chalo dhiire chalo

                                                                       <To Be Continued>

Random sailings….

Was sailing on the unstable ship of my mind, over a vast sea of past memories….. and docked on this particular line quoted by a speaker at a Gudi Padwa rally….

Sir Winston Churchill, while addressing the British Parliament, a little while before India got Independance, said about us, “Don’t give them freedom, ’cause they are not a nation, just a population!”

Does it touch a chord somewhere deep inside? Or to go with the current  lingo, does it shake a plank deep in the base somewhere???

SMS Shero-shayari!!

I have a huge collection of smses on my cell-phone(limited ofcourse by the limited memory on my 3120). Many of them include shayaris, and some of them, are real good ones, although they may sound a bit too senti at first…(I hate senti shayari, unless they have that unique spark, and even if they do, I can’t imagine sending them to anybody! ) So I thought that instead of them sitting doing nothing in My Folders, I’ll list a few of them for all of you to enjoy……

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 “Reit pe naam likhte nahin hai….Reit pe likhe naam tikte nahin hain….

  Reit pe naam likhte nahin hai….Reit pe likhe naam tikte nahin hain….

  Log kehte hain hum paththar-dil hain…Log kehte hain hum paththar-dil hain……

  Par paththar pe likhe naam mitte nahi hain!!!”

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“Usko chaaha bhi to izhaar karna na aaya…..Usko chaaha bhi to izhaar karna na aaya

  Kat gayi umar saari, hamein pyar karna na aaya……

  Usne maangi bhi to judaai maangi….

  Aur hamein inkaar na karna aaya….”

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“Har taraf khamoshi ka saaya hai……Har taraf khamoshi ka saaya hai….

  Zindagi mein pyaar kahan paya hai???

Har taraf khamoshi ka saaya hai……Zindagi mein pyaar kahan paya hai???

Hum yaadon me jhoomte hain uski…

Aur zamaana kehta hai, dekho…aaj phir peeke aaya hai!! ”

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“Ishq darya hai jiska saahil nahin hota….har dil pyaar ke kaabil nahin hota…

Rota wo bhi hai jo dooba rehta hai ishq mein……

Rota wo bhi hai jise ishq haasil nahin hota!!! ”

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“Ek lamhe ne zindagi sawaar di…….Ek lamhe ne zindagi ujaad di….

Ek lamhe ne zindagi sawaar di…….Ek lamhe ne zindagi ujaad di….

Kasoor unka nahin kasoor hamara tha,

Jo un do lamhon me humne zindagi guzaar di!!! ”

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” Wo jaate jaate keh gaye…ki ab to hum sirf tumhari yaadon mein aayenge….

 Wo jaate jaate keh gaye…ki ab to hum sirf tumhari yaadon mein aayenge….

koi jaake keh de unse, koi jaake keh de unse….

ki wo  waada to karein…. wo waada to karein,

Hum zindagi bhar ke liye so jaayenge!! ”

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Comedy of errors!

No! This post doesn’t talk about the famous play of Shakespeare!! It just talks about a few comic, humourous errors that happened in my life. As embarassing as they may be, now, and even at their time of occurence; they could not stop me from laughing. So, come along, let’s laugh together! 😀

Where’s the Chief Guest??

I was anchoring my college’s annual Technical fest, when this thing happened. For the inauguration ceremony, we had two special invitees on our list: the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honour. At the last minute, the Guest of Honour informed that he couldn’t make it. So we went on with the ceremony.

I was more or less stressed out as I was running around here and there for making arrangements, collecting people, and ofcourse concentrating on delivering a near-perfect performance…esp. with regards to my voice, intonation, and ofcourse, the content of my talk. After all the introductions were done, and the inaugural lamp lit, and dignitaries on the dais spoke, it was time for the Chief Guest to speak. I requested him to kindly take the stage, and as he started off with his speech, I sat back, and started concentarting on my next task…..

I was so deeply engrossed in this, that when I looked up casually at the dias, I saw that one person from there was missing. IT WAS the CHIEF GUEST!! oh my God!! Did we start the function without the chief guest??? I looked at one of the volunteers standing next to me and whispered, “Where’s the Chief Guest??” “what?”, He exclaimed…”Where’s the who??”, and looked at the speaker. There he was, in the middle of his speech, and there I was, red with embarassment. But on a positive note, this volunteer friend of mine could not imagine that I could be sooo dumb/absent minded , and so he thought that I was talking abt the Guest of Honor…(who wasn’t there, remember?) . So he very nicely asked me, “He informed that he won’t come, don’t u know?”

I too put a brave front,”Ohh..yeah..I’d forgotten!” , and smiled and looked at the chief guest.

And had a goood laugh after the ceremony about it!! 🙂

The journey of a million miles, starts with thousand steps!

Confused with the title?? Think it should be “The journey of a thousand miles, starts with a single step.”?

Well that holds true if you intend to travel only a thousand miles, if your journey is going to continue beyond that,(well in life, it does, right!! Much beyond that!), in fact to a million miles,then, only when you take thousand steps do u gain sufficient momentum to finish this loooong journey!!

Just like this blog…I started it quite some time back…but it doesn’t seem to have gained much popularity…..but today finally… my blog stats showed 1000 hits!! (Too bad i didn’t take a snapshot when it was 1000!! 🙂 )

A biiiig Thanks to everyone who visited this blog, and made me believe that I could go about well on this journey of million miles……Will try to write more and better, from now on!! 🙂

Is money equivalent to Happiness?

       good-one.JPG

So true is the above sentence, isn’t it!! just happened to see the above picture stored somewhere on my PC, and it started a chain of memories in my mind. Just jotting down a few of them here.

When i was in my 3rd year of Computer Engineering, We had a debate in my Principles Of Economics and Management class, titled “Money motivates!” We were supposed to refute the argument, so my main argument then was…

“Why does one want money, to buy luxury, to feel the prestige, and such things, all basincally leading to what? Getting Happy!!! So the main motive in one’s life is not getting rich or earning money, just for the sake of it…If he could get happy by some other means, he would very well do it, and not care a damn about money!!”

“Point taken”, agreed many……

Well this also reminds me of another story that i’d read long ago in Marathi. Will attempt to translate it here. Its called, “Happy Man’s Shirt”

Once upon a time, there was a man who wanted to know the secret of happiness. He was ready to go to any lengths to do it. So he prayed, and meditated, and fasted, for a long long time. Finally, a holy sage appeared before him. “What do you want son?”, he asked. “I want to know the secret of happiness..”, the man replied. “Fine, I’ll tell it to you”, the sage replied,” but before that u will have to bring me a shirt worn by a man who is truly happy..” “Ok sir, that i shall do immediately….how long will that take!!” , exclaimed the man.

And lo, he started off…He went to his friends whom he thought were happy, and asked them if they were.. They replied in negative. He went to the rich and famous, but no luck there too….As a sharp contrast, he tried the poorer ones, but to no avail. He went to places, travelled to many countries and cities and towns, but he did not find anyone who admitted that he was totally happy!

Tired and frustrated, he was walking through a forest. A river flowed nearby. On the banks of the river sat a man, humming the most cheerful tune he’d ever heard. He played with the waves in water, he called out to the birds that flew past…Overall, he seemed very content, very HAPPY. Skeptical, yet somewhat homeful, the man went to him, an asked him whether he was happy. “Ofcourse, I am very very happy. I have no complaints about life.” The man was overjoyed, and just as he was about to ask the happy man for his shirt, he realized, that the man wasn’t wearing a shirt at all!!! He asked the man about it, and he replied,”Shirt!! well I never wear one at all!!” 🙂

Nice story na!! And worth giving a thought, too!

Well these are just a few thoughts that occured to me when i saw that pic…More about this, later!! 🙂

Dream #2

And once I was walking on the road, and casually turned to look back. A monkey, one of the small kinds, with a dangerous red face was following me!! I panicked!!! Seriously!! As I kept walking I realized that the monkey was still persistently following me… I didn’t even realize when I began running… The monkey, ran harder!! Oh my God!!! “Oh!! My!! God!!! What should I do?? Why is a stupid but still dangerous monkey attacking me??”  Common sense and patience both betrayed me at that time. I kept running… The monkey wouldn’t budge… I entered a narrow lane, the monkey followed. I entered a proper “Patli Gali”, could still see the monkey right behind me! I turned, traversed, dodged, but no luck!! Terrified, I ran harder, but started getting out of breath soon!! As I started losing speed, the gap between the monkey and me narrowed… And there…he was…right next to me!! I closed my eyes… but opened them, when  I heard the monkey talk. THE MONKEY TALKED!!!! 

And he said,”Gotcha… Raced you!!!!!!I’m first!!Yipppeee!!” And he ran way!!

And I stood there open-mouthed, gaping at my predator (who turned out to be my competitor!!)…

That’s the dream I had! Any clues why I get dreams like that??? Please let me know!! 🙂 😀 😦

Dream #1

And there! The world was coming to an end! Well, if not the world, at least my city. My city was totally flooded! People were running (nah, swimming) helter-skelter to save their lives. The water levels were rising fast and furiously. And the water – it was not the usual colorless liquid, it was dirty, yellow… It was the color of the evil! It looked as though the Almighty was washing away all evil from the city. Despite the commotion all around, a few of us had managed to catch hold of a canoe. If we could somehow get out of the city safely, maybe we could avert the danger. Maybe, just maybe, we could be the only survivors of the Doomsday!

And so we proceeded, rowing the boat ferociously amidst the deafening chaos of nature, whilst trying to battle the devil’s fury!

And oh so suddenly appeared the Devil, himself! All of us shuddered, cringed, drew back. As he stood right in front of us, the devil began yelling, “I will kill all of you! You humans don’t deserve to live! I WILL KILL YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU…”

All of us were stunned. We didn’t know what to do! Just a while ago, we were evenly spread around the boat, rowing it to safety. But now, without even realizing that we had moved, we were a collective mass of people at one end of the boat, looking fearfully at the devil on the other side.

Suddenly, I don’t know how and from where, an idea struck me. I whispered to the mass I was a part of, “Let’s all jump really hard – the devil on the other side of the boat will be thrown off. Spread the word…”  The word spread.

We all looked at one another. 1, 2, 3!!!! And we jumped.

The devil was thrown up in the sky. We rushed to our original places and started rowing the boat as fast as we could, so that he would not fall back into the canoe. The canoe began moving. The gargantuan body of the devil was being pulled downwards by gravity… “Come on, a little harder!”, “Oh God, he’s coming!”, “Row, row, row!” Screams were erupting from everywhere and then, Splash! The devil fell, and not in our canoe! He fell a little away from the canoe, in the dirty, evil water and began drowning in his own vice.

We all rejoiced, and started rowing our way towards safety, and towards the creation of a good, new world! As we began crossing the city limits, “Thud!” We hit a large wooden barrier.

“Ugh! What was that!” I woke up with a start!

I had crashed into my closed bedroom door. As I turned to look back, I realized that my entire bedroom was filled with more than 2 feet of water. The apartment upstairs was leaking in the middle of the night. I was dripping wet…

Dreams I didn’t even dream I would dream!! :-))

“Dreams are the stepping stones to success, so what should you do to be successful??”, asked a senior at college… As we all looked at him, unsure whether to attempt this one or not, he exclaimed, “Go to Sleep!!!”, and went on laughing like he thoroughly enjoyed his own piece of humour!! I grinned and asked him, “But these are dreams seen at night or during the day??” Still basking in the glory of his joke, he replied, “It could be anything!!” Jumping (actually!!) at the opportunity, I shrieked, “Why do you have to sleep while day-dreaming??” 🙂  😀 Game, Set , Match!!! LOL!

Ok Ok, getting a li’l more serious… How many of you have vivid dreams? And by dreams I don’t mean ambitions or yearnings…actual dreams that you see while you are asleep at night (or in class, or at work, or someplace else…being asleep is the only real criterion here…LOL!) Nightmares also qualify ok!! 🙂 Hmm I guess most of you do! Now, How many of you remember the dreams that you had after waking up? Go on… think hard!! However lucidly you may see your dreams, when back into the real world, and most of the times you don’t remember anything of it… even when you wake up in the middle of it!! Strange, isn’t it!!

Well a lot can be said about dreams…including two of my really funny dreams…..will describe them in the next post 😉

My driving!! (not other people mad…am talking about the real stuff here!!hehe)

I love driving!! Though not from the start, I must admit…. I first of all started driving a little later than allowed, at the age of 21, and it was quite a shaky start.

My younger sister had already learned driving, and she was indeed a verry good driver. So adding to it my own lack of confidence, my driving adventure had been quite a matter of discussion (sometimes read as mockery) at home.

First of all, there’s this rule that you cannot answer a driving test before one month of obtaining a learner’s license. And I had got the bright idea of doing a crash course in driving by learning it in 15 days, and I did so (despite the number of reprimands I got from my instructor though… hehehe). So I had to cool my heals for 15 days, and then my college started na…when would I get the time to answer a test?? (By now readers must’ve already got an idea that I was just looking for excuses 🙂 ) Basically ever since I had 2 very comically tragic incidents, my confidence with my driving had taken a total beating!

Incident no 1: This happened before I learnt to drive a car, and when I was trying my hands on a Kawasaki 4S motorcycle. (Those readers who are wondering why I was attempting a 4S, instead of a simple auto-geared bike don’t probably know my dad, whose opinion is: “Scooty..what kind of a bike is that!! The real bike is only a geared one…Only one that is worth riding!!”) So anyway, after I learnt the preliminaries of bike riding like kick-start, press clutch, slightly pull accelerator, and slowly release clutch; and took a couple of rounds in a time span of 15 days (wow…I am such a fast learner!! lol!), I told my dad to ride pillion with me, so that he could give me some real bike tips….So there we go…

I mounted the bike, kick-started it (hey mind you, I was very good at this :-), very good, only at this..:-(  ), and pressed the clutch. Somehow, I pulled the accelerator a little too hard, and released the clutch a little too quick….no no…much too quick, with the accelerator still pulled tight!!

Have you ever seen a horse jumping up on his 2 hind legs and neighing ferociously??

You must be wondering why I suddenly went off at a tangent after moving in the unending circle of my adventures for such a long time…Well my state was exactly like the horse, except that the hind legs in that case were replaced by the rear tire of the bike here!!!

Cut two – A roaring noise, my dad down on the road (that’s the only part I regret about the whole incident, rest all was still amusing!!), me up in the air along with my bike, except for an arc of the rear tire, and not for long!! 😐

Then me on the ground, the bike on the ground (thankfully…a much better situation than the bike on me!!), the rearview mirror, the footstep, and the side stand in their respective coffins, and my hands scraped!!

Incident no 2: Immediately after learning driving a car, I happen to go to my Mama’s place. They know I’ve learnt to drive, so ask me to take the car out.

While taking out our car from the garage, I forget to release the handbrake!! The car starts moving very slowly in spite of me stomping on the accelerator, which is when I realize my mistake!! Well some people correct their mistakes by making more mistakes, and I did exactly that!! With my foot firmly on the accelerator, I release the handbrake!!

The car sped out of the garage, right onto the road!! (Needless to say, that gathered a lot of applause for me, with my Mama telling me, “Wow you are driving a jet airplane!!” heehee ).

Now I have to correct my mistake of speeding, so I apply brakes, and the road is uphill!! After coming to  a stop, I change into the 1st gear, and start, only to go backwards!!!!! 😀

“Honk Honk”, “Beep Peep”, “Oye hello!!” , and lots of such certificates come my way from poor unassuming drivers behind me!! I seemingly haven’t learnt how to start the car on half clutch… Overwhelmed by the applause I nervously try again …

After 10 seconds of failing, I climb out from the driver’s seat, get into the passenger, and my younger sister exchanges places with me and takes the car out of the way, and eventually to our destination, safely!

And all this with my entire Khandaan watching me!! :-((

From then on, I  avoided driving the car like plague!! I mean come on guys… You can imagine what wonders the incident did to my confidence and my ego!!! :-))

OK , so then, I did not drive the car or ride the bike for a loooong time….almost a whole year!!

Then I answered my final semester computer engineering examination, and had nothing to do for four full months, thanks to my beloved employers who gave me date of joining so much in far future!

And plus, I was too ashamed of myself!! My younger sister had become an expert driver by then, and poor me elder sister still depended on her or my dad to drop me to places…

So the day I answered my last paper, I re-enrolled myself in a revision session of the driving school. Well SURPRISINGLY, after taking to the wheel after such a long time and after such a huge fiasco, I was good at it (driving, not fiasco)!! Seriously!! Even my instructor, who in my first innings was so irritated with me, and never once said a kind word to me, was surprised!! This time around, everything went on smoothly, including the driving test, which had a strict examiner, and strict questions; and yet, I passed with flying colors!!! Yipppee!!!!! I myself didn’t know what got over me, or rather what had gotten over me the last time round!! 🙂

So then on, I became my family’s chauffeur! 4 months at home, I didn’t have anything else to do!! Good for me for my practice of course!!

Then on, I tried my driving skills at every opportunity!! I really got addicted to it!!

My longest continuous driving stints have been from Goa to Kankavli , and Pune to Mumbai!!! (both a little over 200 kms), and I have thankfully completed them successfully!! Then of course, driving in Pune city without any untoward incident also added to my confidence! In fact this was the lone fact that finally convinced my mom that I could drive! LOL!!

Is this too long a blog? hmmm may be! more about this, sometime later!! 🙂

What’s in a signature????

I have always been a big fan of quotable quotes…and have liked collecting them since childhood… It may sound like I am bragging; but yeah, many people have told me that they look forward to reading the signature in my mails, that I change everyday! 🙂 Now for all those people who have encouraged me to use nice and new signatures everyday, here I present a collection that I have used in my mails….

  • Don’t attempt to run from the past, it is always behind you.!”
  • “A cigarette is a pinch of tobacco, wrapped in paper, With fire at one end and a  fool at the other!!.”:-))
  • “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”
  • “A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost……”:-)))
  • “The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to an idealized past.”
  • “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot!” 🙂
  • “Those who drink to drown their sorrows should be taught that sorrows know how to swim.”
  • “A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.”
  • “Democracy is three wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper!!” :-))
  • “Vacation is what you take when you can’t take what you’ve been taking any longer.” :-)))
  • “Examine what is said, not who speaks!”
  • “Optimists and Pessimists equally contribute to our society….Optimists make the airplanes, pessimists make the parachutes!”
  • “Preach the Gospel at all times … if necessary, use words!” 🙂
  • Karl Marx’s Mother: “If Karl, instead of writing a lot about capital, had made a lot of it … it would have been much better.” :-)))
  • “How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise MY hand!” :-))))))
  • “In communism, man oppresses man. In capitalism, it’s the other way around. ” :-)))
  • “Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.”
  • “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
  • “What the caterpillar calls the end, the butterfly calls the beginning.”
  • “If the human brain was simple enough for us to understand, we’d be so simple that we wouldn’t  be able to understand!!” :-)))
  • “If we’d confess our sins to one another, we’d all laugh at the lack of originality.” 🙂
  • “Learn from the mistakes of others…You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself!!”:-)))
  • “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
  • “Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats!!!” :-))
  • People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
  • “If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy the civilization!!”:-))
  • “Scientists announced today that they have discovered a cure for apathy. However, they claim no one has shown the slightest interest in it.!!!”:-)))
  • “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it!!”
  • “Always fall in with what you’re asked to accept. Fall in with it and turn it your way!”
  • “Did Noah include termites on the ark?”:-)))
  • “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”
  • “We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.”
  • “Software and Temples are much the same – first we build them, then we pray!!”
  • “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”
  • “Deciding not to choose is still making a choice!” :-))
  • “The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn.”
  • “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go!!” :-)))
  • “In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed!!”
  • “Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.” :-))
  • “Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely!”
  • “God is a comic, playing to an audience that’s afraid to laugh!”
  • “One good thing about being wrong is the joy it brings to others!!” :-))
  • “Don’t take life so seriously; u anyways won’t get out of it alive!!”
  • “I used to sell furniture for a living. The trouble was, it was my own!!!” :-)))))))))
  • “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
  • “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there!!!” :))
  • “Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.”
  • “Can atheists get insurance for acts of God???.” :-)))
  • “The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.” :-)))
  • “There are only 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.” :-)))
  • “No individual raindrop ever considers itself responsible for the flood.”
  • “After all is said and done, more is said than is done!” :-))
  • “I have learned that the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?” :-))
  • “That which you cannot give away, you don’t possess; it possesses you.”
  • “Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.”
  • “Wise people talk because they have something to say…. Fools talk because they have to say something!!” 🙂
  • “I lost 40 Pounds!!! Unfortunately, I was in England at that time!!!!”  🙂
  • Hope is the ability to hear the music of future….Faith is the courage to dance to it today!!
  • “If you can’t see the bright side of life, polish the dull side.”
  • “Confidence doesn’t come from having all the answers, It comes from being open to all the questions!!”
  • “There are two parts in my brain: left & right; right is having nothing left in it, and left is having nothing right in it!!!” :-))))))
  • “When u r falling off a cliff, u might as well try to fly coz u have nothing to lose!!”
  • “As I said before, I DONT REPEAT!!” :-))))))
  • “Doing nothing is very hard to do…you never know when you’re finished……. ! ” :-)))
  • “God give me patience and Give it to me NOW!!!! ” :-)))
  • “Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”
  • “Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.”
  • “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” 🙂
  • “If you want a symbolic gesture, don’t burn the flag; wash it!”
  • “When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those who do.” -William Blake
  • “One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time.”
  • “The world is a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.”
  • “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.”
  • “When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane!”
  • “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat !”
  • “One day, your life will flash in front of your eyes… Make it worth watching.”
  • “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”
  • ” Just when I got all the answers of life, they changed the question!!” :-))
  • ” The Pessimist complains about the wind, the Optimist expects it to change, the Realist adjusts the sails!”
  • “Is it true that cannibals don’t eat clowns because they taste funny?”  LOL!!! :-))
  • “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm”
  • “Your problem is never really your problem; your reaction to your problem is your problem.”
  • “Never run from your fears. Because when they catch up to you you’re too tired to fight.”
  • “I’m tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That’s deep enough. What do you want, an adorable kidney????” :-)))))))
  • “It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it!!” :-)))
  • “A politician is the one who shakes your hand before elections and your confidence after.” :-))))
  • “2B or not 2B? I think it’s a grade of pencil.” :-))))
  • “After hearing two eyewitness accounts of the same accident, you begin to wonder about history.” :-))
  • “A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.” :-)))
  • “There’s a book that tells you where you should go on your vacation. It’s called your cheque book!!!!!” :-))))
  • “Life’s like a foreign language…everyone mispronounces it!!!” :-))
  • “Be yourself. Who else is better qualified?” :-))
  • “There are 3 sides to any argument….my side, your side, and the right side!!!” 🙂
  • “”Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with.” ”  🙂
  • “Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important!” :-))
  • “Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.” :-))
  • ” Living on Earth may be expensive…but it sure includes an annual free trip around the Sun….!!!!” :-))
  • ” Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.!!!” :-))
  • “If you are not living on the edge, you’re probably occupying too much space!!!”
  • “The problem with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it !!!” 🙂
  • “Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person, is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian” 🙂
  • “Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on” 🙂
  • “Remember there is a Space between Stimulus and Response, and our Growth lies on how we utilize that Space”
  • ” It’s not true that nice guys finish last. Nice guys are winners before the game even starts. !” :-))
  • “The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with.” :-))
  • “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
  • “Don’t cry because the Sun is setting at the end of the day…….. For the tears will not let you enjoy the beauty of the stars!!!!”
  • “Never be afraid to do something new……. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic!!!!”
  • “When one door closes, another one opens. But often we look so long at the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us.”
  • ” A hen is only an egg’s way of making other eggs…. “
  • “A dead end is just a good place to turn around!!!!”
  • “If you are lucky enough to reach the top, its your responsibility to send the elevator back down!!”

No… There are surely rays of hope!

{Author’s Notes: Updated on October 28, 2015}

As I wrote in my earlier post, something else soon happened, which made me feel good about life, about others, and about myself.
One day I had to walk over the same bridge I mentioned, while going to work. As I passed over it, the snapshots of the other day’s incident kept flashing in my mind, and I was really feeling low. As I crossed the bridge, I saw a family of laborers walking a few meters ahead of me. There was a man carrying a lot of heavy stuff in his hands and on his back. Walking alongside him were two women, also carrying quite a few heavy things on them.

And there was a small girl, dirty and barefoot, but cute, nevertheless, as all kids are! She was lagging behind for some time, and then started pleading with her father to pick her up. As the man was already overloaded, he kept walking ahead, and the girl kept crying and running after him. I was about to sink deeper in my depressed state, when one of the women, may be the mother, turned back laughing with an endeared look. She took from her husband the things that were in his right hand, and told him to carry the girl. The girl’s joys knew no bounds; and I mean it – the happy chuckle that she let out as she was carried by her father was really music to my ears!
It had that power to instantly haul me out of my negative thoughts. The man picked up the girl, and the small group went ahead. I did not look at them afterwards; I was only looking within, wondering how such small and day-to-day happenings can create such huge and long-lasting impact on my life…

Is life really so sad?

{Note: This was my first blog post ever. I wrote it on my birthday, 9 years ago. In fact, it was this particular incident that prompted me to start a blog. Updated on October 28, 2015}

  There was this one thing I wanted to write down somewhere for a very long time. Never found the time and the place. Trying it now… In the first few months of living in Pune, I traveled to work using public transport. My bus always passed over the bridge connecting Pune Station and Sohrab Hall. It was a pretty narrow bridge, especially because of all the street bumpkins, tramps, and beggars living on its footpaths on either side.
It was just another normal day and I was looking out of the window, hoping that the traffic would move along faster, when I happened to notice this absolutely destitute girl, 5 to 6 years of age. Another girl, a little younger than her (who I assumed was her sister), was tugging at her. It was a very sunny morning, and both the girls were seething in the heat. The elder sister held very tightly in her hands, something that the younger sister badly wanted. She screamed, she cried, she chased; the elder sister resisted, ran, dodged, even hit back; but finally gave in, and dropped what was in her hand on the ground.
The younger one scooped it happily, stopped crying at once, and merrily went about playing with it. At first, I hadn’t seen what this object of contention was.  I thought it would be food or a toy, or something like that.

Only when it dropped to the ground, did I get a glimpse of it. I will not ask you to guess what it was, for I myself wouldn’t have been able to guess it, not even in my wildest dreams! It was a plastic doll’s broken head, with all her golden hair still intact.

For a moment, I was stunned, speechless. For a long time after that, I could hardly speak. I kept thinking about the whole episode for quite a few days after that. It was such an inconspicuous incident, if you look at it. If I had looked out of the window a few seconds later, I might have missed it. But I didn’t miss it; and somehow, it had a strong effect on me. I mean, the fact that something that we would discard just as easily as dirt meant a lot to someone; that they could fight over it; could cry, scream, snatch for it; they could be crazy with joy after they finally laid their hands on it -this whole idea seemed very ironic, satirical, and so dramatic to me!

Before witnessing that incident, I always thought that such dramatic incidents only happened in Ekta Kapoor type TV serials or movies. That they also occur in real life, and are much deeper, was a revelation for me. It forced me to think how miserable life is; and how lucky we are, not to be subjected to such a life. Happiness is such a relative thing , I realized then.But however positively I tried to look at the situation, I just couldn’t bring myself to forget the sight of the doll’s head falling on the ground and the child’s face beaming with joy. I still to this day cannot, actually. But soon something else happened, that helped me reinstate my belief about the goodness of life.

What was it?  We shall see that in my next blog post! https://amruta.wordpress.com/2006/11/01/nothere-are-surely-rays-of-hope/