Thursday, March 28, 2013

2, Old Lane

I took this picture a long long time ago. My mother is just so beautiful. And it's not because she's my mother. She's just so beautiful as a person. Her face in itself is perfection. She has the perfect straight nose adorned with a small nose ring . Beautiful serene eyes with the perfect eyebrows. Chiseled bones and a gorgeous smile revealing the most perfect set of teeth I've seen. She's such a beautiful woman with a generous heart. She gave me so much love and brought me up with care. She always goes out of her way to help everyone around her. She has seen very tough times and she has the strength of a lioness. I love my mother. I haven't seen her for more than a year and I really miss her.

1, Old Lane

Every year there used to be a function in the colony where I lived. Almost all years of school I learnt Hindustani classical singing. My teacher Mr Pavitra Acharya, a portly Bengali gentleman who constantly used to chew paan thought that I was quite good. He was very strict about practising and many a times when there were school functions or singing competitions a girl from my class, Monica Gupta was her name would be pulled out with special permission to sing. It's so strange but I didn't like it. I did like singing, I just didn't like the fact that my teacher didn't consider me to be the best talent. I sang many times on stage along with Monica but was never given a solo song. This irked me. I wanted my very own spotlight. I did finally sing alone on stage at this little function in our colony in Mayur Vihar but it wasn't a Hindustani Classical complicated rendition but "Saare jahan se accha". My father organised these functions and was always very keen that I should be a part of them, so I participated. In this picture as you can see I'm not actually singing and that's because I'm not. I sang my song and rushed off stage and then my father sent me back to stand in front of the mike so that the photographer could take this picture.

Here I am a bit older singing the same song in a similar function again and this time really singing. I wonder where Monica Gupta is and if she still sings or if she's married and has a bunch of kids who sing. I don't know.

And that's me in my yellow shirt. My mother always dressed me in bright colours and I never really seemed to have an opinion on the matter. My hair was always cut short on which I did have an opinion which was not really considered worth a thought. In this picture I'm wearing one of my mother's lipsticks and the unmissable plastic clip on ear rings. The little girl with her arm around me is my little sister whom we affectionately call Mini. She is so beautiful and has that lovely bright smile that I love.

I remember this picture so clearly. I was always one of the tall kids and sat on the last bench almost all through school. I quite enjoyed it. The little wooden pencil box had ivory inlay work and my name was scratched inside the lid. I used this pencil box for many years. I had bought it on a school trip to Rajasthan. I love the grin on my face. I was so very happy in this moment.

Our school was divided in to four houses. I remember I was in Tagore house. Every years there were house shows. It was a competition and each year I'm still very proud to say that my house would win. My favourite teacher in school was my Hindi teacher Mrs. Gaur and she encouraged me to participate in plays. The picture on the left is from one such play. I think the only time I've ever been a lead actress! I played the wife of the guy in the check shirt and the guy wearing a coat is playing my husband's boss or the other way around.

I can't remember what the plot was, all I do remember is that it was some sort of comedy written by Mrs. Gaur. She is such a wonderful teacher. I haven't sent her a Teacher's day card for years now. May be I will do that soon. This picture was taken on the sports day. I was the Prefect of Tagore house and hence got to hold the placard and walk in front, my hair tied in a neat little ponytail with a brown ribbon. My parents came to the school as I was part of a dance and a race and the march past.

My father came to drop my mother but once he got there he realised I was actually doing quite a few things and he stayed. As you can see we won and it was funny because the first time that they announced the position of the four houses they did it in reverse order. The house that came last actually walked away with the cup. Thankfully the mistake was realised soon enough and on the left is probably the happiest day of my life. I ran the 400 and 800 mts races, stood first at high jump, got a bunch of medals. My parents were so proud.

The 12th standard farewell. I actually went to a salon to get my hair done and the woman made some horrid curls which took an hour to open up and I was almost in tears. My mother dressed me in her sari. I put on my mother's make up and there I am with one of my best friends Gazal. Gazal now lives in Bangalore and I visited her last year. She is just as lovely today as she was back then. She's had a rough year and let me say a prayer for her that she may get through it with strength and grace.

This sari is my favourite. I still don't know how to wear a sari and have to rely on someone else's expertise to drape it on me. I have a trunk full of saris from my wedding in Bombay which I am very unlikely to ever wear.

And that's my passport photo which went on the admission card of 12th standard board exams. How I miss that hair!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The twilight moon

So I was driving in a really bad mood yesterday when I came upon the moon which seemed so peaceful and beautiful and light just hanging there in the sky that I had to smile and take a picture. I think this picture would have been even better had there been a train passing by on the tracks and this flagpole was out of the frame but I was in a car and had a limited vantage point. I got home and tried to take a picture again but I couldn't because whenever I got near enough to the moon it disappeared behind a building.
I'm rather tired today although the good news is that the coming weekend will be a long weekend including Sunday so I will be able to read a lot. I'm looking forward to that.I haven't forgotten about my old pictures. I'm still wondering if I should put them up here...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Collecting memories

I've been collecting old photographs. I found them and I scanned them and now they are all sitting in a neat folder marked "Nostalgia" on my desktop. Every picture is a story and every story is a memory. It's going to take a lot of words and even more patience if I'm going to share them here. I'm hesitant. I may not share them at all. On the other hand I might. I'm a pendulum. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


That's my favourite cup of chai which I bought on my only trip to Dragon Mart ever. I love the steam rising with the promise of much needed relaxation of the weekend.
Ninna my little baby girl. I love her so. And now I shall leave without saying much because miracle of miracles has happened. Anshuman has agreed to accompany me to the mall. Yay!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The fag end of winter

So it rained a little bit today and then the sky changed. I forgot my phone in the car. I thought I'll settle down for the evening and then go out and get it. 45 minutes later when I went down there wasn't a soul in sight and the sky was an orange and blue spectacle. I felt deliciously alone as if everyone had abandoned their cars and houses and left me alone. There wasn't a single sound aside from a solitary bird chirping away. It was almost surreal. All the buildings bathed in a deep orange. The sun leaving for wherever he goes every evening. The clouds sprinkled like cotton flowers across the blue sky. The silence ever so beautiful. Perfect three minutes of solitude till a child began laughing.

Sere nere

So I heard this new song today and I loved the guy's voice so wonderful and hurt in Italian. Everything sounds passionate in Italian I think. It's a beautiful language and I learned a few words. The word for 'stronger' is 'fortifica'- very close to fortified meaning having defences. You get the meaning. Doesn't 'fortifica' sound so much stronger than 'stronger'? I read the translation. It obviously sounds much more beautiful in the original language. I love black and white and the video is very nice. I especially like the words written on streets, walls and cars. The way the capital letters are written, I mean the handwriting is so much like architects or designers write. I remember trying very hard to write like this when I was at NID but I never really got very good at it. I loved the song. Here it is

Sere Nere by Tiziano Ferro

The line that I liked the most which I read in the translation so I'm not sure how accurate it is. Here it is- "I dedicate to you all my trouble"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The memory of music

Masonic funeral music by Mozart

Before I say anything you have to hear the music. I heard it for the first time almost a decade ago and I heard it over and over again. I wrote many terrible and sad poems listening to these six minutes and I cried many a tears. I cried not because I was unhappy but because the music made me feel like I was dying. It was like a dagger through my heart every time I heard it. And then I didn't hear it for many years. Sometimes I looked for it especially when I felt like crying but the tears would not come. I rarely tried to look for it all these years and then somehow today I searched for it and I found it and my eyes welled up even though there is absolutely nothing to be sad about. This song evokes the image of death, of the grim reaper, the most feared card in the tarot, the number thirteen.
I'm still too young to think about dying but I do sometimes think about the many forms which death takes even when you're physically alive. Ideas die, ways of life die, sometimes love dies. It's not that I'm being morbid but to me it's important to grieve over the things that have died, things that have reached their end, things that define a finality which we cannot change however much we may want to. This music is that grief. I cannot hear it over and over again like I once used to. I do not have that strength of heart I did once  to withstand pain. Some of you might say that this is just a piece of music, some instruments being played together to create sound. It's so much more. So much more.

Blue Wednesday

So I dared take my blue shoes out again. The last time was disaster because of the blisters but today they seem to be behaving. It's been a busy morning, the best kind. There's not much to say but I thought some pictures might be nice.

The sun is in it's full glory outside and the summer is officially here. My hair is gradually disappearing from my head and I miss them a lot but nothing I can do about it so simply accept what you cannot change. Actually that has become my mantra- Accept what you cannot change. But if you CAN change something do it with all your might for as long as it takes.

And here are my blue shoes going perfectly with my skinny blue jeans. I rarely buy shoes that are anything but black or brown because the idea is that they should go with everything. I bought these for an event I remember as I was making an attempt to make everything match for a change. I remember I ended up being quite out of place at that event as everyone turned up wearing jeans and T-shirt. Ah well nevermind we all make mistakes. So here's to the blue shoes. May they last a long long time!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


It's been a quiet day mostly. It started on time with a cup of chai, continued seamlessly through the drive to office with a few morning songs and then swirled into a cup of coffee, warmed itself with a cup of soup, checked a lot of emails, researched beach resorts and spas for the next issue, swirled and twirled into another coffee, forgot to put the music on so preoccupied it became with the prospect of a micro mini vacation by the sea, organised itself on two pages of a diary and got succinct on two yellow post its, then it took a breath and wrote a very very long sentence.
By the way that soup on the left is the exact one that I had but mine had the luxury of tiny square croutons.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The gambler

I had the craziest dream in the morning and I can't wait to write it down. I hope only part of it comes true though. So I had gone to India for a wedding and wasn't really interested in attending the festivities so I found myself in a casino. It was mostly empty and pretty dark. People were playing with real money instead of counters. I had about 2,000 dirhams with me and I sat at the roulette table. I was the only one at the table aside from the wheel spinning guy. So I lost some money in the beginning. Then I got impatient and put a 500 dirham note on four numbers. The wheel spun and I won 63,000 dirhams which if you do the math any which way is probably not possible. I didn't try to do the math after waking up because I suck at Math. I used to throw away my math notebooks and  study book with much glee at the end of each school year. So I won and I couldn't believe my luck. I started jumping up and down all over the casino shouting,"I won! I won!" Everyone was staring at me and the guy took my note and walked away dejectedly. I went to collect my money and they gave me a really tiny receipt and told me to go to the bank and get the cash. Suddenly I thought what if I get robbed on the way and got a bit scared. So I held the receipt clenched tightly in my fist and started walking towards the bank. Three men began to follow me and I kept looking over my shoulder and when the bank came in sight they grabbed hold of me. Then for some reason two of them went away somewhere and I managed to get away from the third one. I began running to the police station and all the while clutching the little receipt in my sweaty palm. I was yelling,"Help! Police! Help! Police!" The man chased me down. I got to the police station before he could catch me. There were a few hawaldars who didn't even bother to look at me. I finally got the attention of an inspector who asked me for a bribe and said that I must give some money to the guy who was chasing me so that he would stop chasing me. I actually tried to haggle with both of them and finally agreed to pay them.

So the three of us went to the bank and the teller asked me for the receipt  I finally opened my fist and found that the receipt had been mangled beyond repair due to the profuse sweating. I couldn't get the money and as the three of us were walking out of the bank I saw the wheel spinning guy. He walked up to me and handed me a cheque for the money and asked,"Why did you run away?" I didn't know what to say. By now for some reason the man who had been chasing me disappeared. The inspector then drove me to his house so that I would be safe from the hoodlums after my money. We got to an old decrepit house and I saw a few women and kids running around busy going on with their lives.

One of the women guided me to a large room with a big bed in the middle of it. I lay down tired and asked the woman about the kids and the other women in the house. The woman said they were all wives of the inspector. The inspector had seven wives. Six of them got along with each other while the youngest seventh one was not very well liked because she was very westernised in her dress, views and she even worked as a journalist. She took up all the time of the inspector and the other wives particularly didn't like the music that she listened to so loudly in her room. I thought to myself," Imagine having seven wives and so many kids. No wonder he wanted a bribe. it must be difficult to take care of all of them."  I felt sorry for the inspector.

All the women went away and I saw the inspector drive away in a Jeep. It suddenly struck me that I could have run away. So I snuck out of the house and decided I had enough money to fly anywhere I wanted. So I got to the airport and sat in a plane. I was very happy that I was going away from that place though I had neither any idea nor care about where I was going.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The promise of yesterday

The promise of yesterday is nostalgia and sometimes the best of us indulge. So I was on a cleaning spree last weekend. I opened up our little store and took out everything including two mattresses, two pillows, several bungee cords, three backpacks, three laptop bags, a sleeping bag, four t-shirts in their original packing, a small suitcase, cleaning supplies, a tripod and several other things. I threw out half the stuff. I don't understand why people hoard things. I'm a big believer in throwing out stuff which is of no use and only serves to occupy space. Had Anshuman been there with me mostly everything would have gone right back into the store but fortunately he wasn't home when I began the excavation. When I hit the floor I found my old VIP suitcase and I opened it with some trepidation as I always do because it has my past safely locked up. I never look at it. I don't really want to but now I think there's no harm in being a little nostalgic every now and then. So I opened it and several things including many diaries and pictures took me to a journey to long forgotten places.

Somehow this time I didn't mind making the trip. There were some wonderful times in the past. I found a rather sad half written letter to my father which I neither finished nor sent. I think if I had sent it he would have taken the next flight to Ahmedabad and taken me home. We tend to blow up our sadnesses when we are younger I think. Every little thing seems like a reason to feel like the sky is falling. I spent a good hour going through photographs of my younger self and the old negatives. I made a surprising decision and took out the past from the suitcase and put it in a drawer where it will be much more easily accessible.

There's no point in never thinking about the past. Most of the time all it does is bring a smile to my face. I will scan some of the pictures and share them soon. This blog is going to get a heavy dose of flashack so fasten your seatbelts and join me for the ride!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


This morning I was listening to this song by Lisa Loeb called 'stay'. The song came out when I was quite young and it was on TV all the time. Many people including my mother who by the way doesn't understand English would watch Lisa walking around and singing in a huff in the video and swear that I looked like her and even behaved like her flailing my arms around to get my point across. I still do that. I find I have so much to express that sometimes just words are not enough. So here's Lisa singing this lovely song wearing glasses and gesticulating wildly.
Stay by Lisa Loeb
You said that I was naive,
And I thought that I was strong.
I thought, "hey, I can leave, I can leave."
Oh but now I know that I was wrong, 'cause I missed you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The rejection list

Here are a few photos that had previously not made it to the blog. I was just going through my camera and found loads of silly pictures that I'd previously ignored so here they are. The one on the left has my little dog wanting to share screen space with me. I couldn't help but laugh as she walked around confused as to why I was standing in front of the cupboard for so long while Anshuman was taking the picture.

It's very difficult to get my husband to look like this when he is next to me. He would either pull a silly face or say something so funny that I would end up laughing and resultantly the picture would never look like I want it to. I love this one though. Clearly one of my favourites.

Sometimes when you take your own picture so many times there is bound to be one with a weird expression like this one.

I remember how annoyed he got when I kept taking his picture. There are a few more of him looking away and patiently waiting for me to stop clicking.

This is a recent one which I rejected because there should have been more light in my eyes. I love the pearls though.

As I mentioned before the man hates to pose and when he does it has to be something ridiculously funny. I will not give up though, I'm sure I will be shooting his photo when we're both eighty and bent with age.

This one needs no words

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bridal shower

Saturday evening was good fun. Everything was, pink and girly and delicate at Dina's bridal shower. This cake was so pretty that the bride to be didn't really want to put a knife through it and I don't blame her.

That's Charlie- Dina's sweet little doggy. It was fun cuddling him. And yes that's a plastic crown on my head. All the girls wore one and looked like little princesses. This was my first bridal shower. I'd never been to one before but I quite enjoyed myself in the company of all the lovely girls. Dina looked wonderful as always pretty in pink.

That's Sam taking a picture of the lovely arrangement. The flowers in her hair look festive and pretty.

There were various little documents to be filled out. Little questions about the bride to be. Advice about the wedding to in laws. The star shaped cookie was labelled D heart E. Dina loves elie. It was cute cute cute. There was champagne but I refrained. The pink lemonade was really nice.

And here's another picture of me and Charlie. He looks so happy in the picture that I had to share it. Dogs are the best!

I dressed in a simple white top and black skirt with a string of pearls around my neck, pearls on my earlobes and a pearl ring on my finger. Black and white is just so amazing.
And finally the lovely Thank You note with a ribbon. I went to a Gurudwara on Friday. Somehow felt like being in a spiritual space and saying a prayer. I'm so grateful for so many things in my life. So I thanked the powers that be and asked for blessings for my family and friends and I prayed for strength and wisdom.

Let me take a moment and thank all those that come to my blog. May your lives be filled with joy eternal :)

Thank you.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Ending the week

So let's end this week with a lovely smile on my wonderful face. I have admitted to vanity a million times so that statement shouldn't surprise you. Getting back to the point here's some guys who call themselves The Piano Guys.  This piece is played by Steven Sharp Nelson making some really lovely music on eight cellos which is basically one cello which means all the guys playing the cello are him. I actually didn't even realise that it was one guy and initially thought there were eight guys who all played the cello and called themselves the piano guys The music itself, the smiles on the player's face, the joy of the piece has made me an instant fan. So here it is! Have a listen and smile that wonderful smile :)

The Cello Song

And here's another one by the two talented fellows

Michael meets Mozart

Na tum hamen jaano

I just realised that I've never shared a hindi song on my blog and it's time to introduce one. This is a song from the 1962 movie "Baat ek raat ki" picturised on Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman and sung by Hemant Kumar and Suman Kalyanpur. I love Hemant Kumar's voice, haunting and soothing at the same time and the words so beautiful and filled with romance.

Na tum hamen jaano

Ye mausam ye raat chup hai
Ye hothon ki baat chup hai
Khamoshi sunane lagi hai dastan
Nazar ban gai hai dil ki zuban

Na tum hamen jaano
Nahum tumhe jaane
Magar lagta hai kuch aisa
mera humdum mil gaya

Mohabbat ke mod pe hum
mile sabko chor ke hum
Dhadakte dilon ka le ke ye karvaan
Chale aaj dono jaane kahan

Make a mistake

songs come to mind
speaking in rambling conversations
carving with scissors and hammers
never closing their eyes
watching me intently each day
waiting patiently for me
to make a mistake

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Summertime sadness

Sadness seems to be a seasonal phenomenon I think. I feel especially sad when the summer comes sauntering in and kicks the winter out of the city. The very sun that I love so much shines mercilessly and I begin spending more and more time within four walls. I begin looking forward to the evenings which are still relatively cool. I wish sometimes that I lived in a place where the weather never changed and at the same time I do love this city so much that I would never want to move. My plant is showing signs of dying. I have no defense.  I have not looked after it for the past couple of months and it's leaves have become yellow and it is dying and making me even sadder. My astrologer friend has not updated her blog today so I can't even read the predictions and simply blame it on the planetary positions. Not that I believe so much in planetary movements.

This day started with such a sad dream that I'm somehow unable to detach myself from it as I usually do. The feeling of having lost something is hanging over this day like the blazing sun. Yes a blazing sun should be a good thing but sometimes it's not. Sometimes it makes you close your eyes and turn away. It makes you wish for the night and the soothing moon.

Summertime sadness is a song by Lana Del rey. Such a sad sad song... it's the theme for today. Not one of my favourites but here it is anyway...

Summertime sadness by Lana del Rey

Think I'll miss you forever
Like the stars miss the sun in the morning skies
Later's better than never
Even if you're gone I'm gonna drive, drive


After many years of dreaming every night one realises that their are certain themes that run through most of your dreams. These themes and situations repeat themselves in different scenarios. The people remain the same. The emotions associated with a particular theme remain the same. The locations and certain details may change. Sometimes I think because I dream so much and because unfortunately I remember most dreams, my mind is now running out of things and people to dream about. It's basically the same old story, it's the same old sense of tug of war with the characters. I do wish sometimes that I would no longer dream. I don't want to go through screening after screening of the same movie with a different scriptwriter, director, cinematographer telling the same story with the same plot with the same characters played by the same actors.

Monday, March 04, 2013


I spent all of Saturday in the hospital with balloons for hands and feet. I love seafood. I love prawns but I think I can no longer have prawns as I seem to have developed an allergy to them. I've never been allergic to anything aside from once when I was a kid and had an allergic reaction to a medicine. That was a scary time for my parents as I nearly popped it. I was rushed to the hospital and thankfully they realised that I was having an allergic reaction.

As Cursty would say,"Prool you're fallin' apart!" I refuse to believe that. I'm back at work and quite happy to be here. I don't really like the photo on the left but i have gotten so used to putting pictures in my posts that I thought what the heck.