Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Dear heart

Dear Heart.

It's you and me.
Against this world.

Stay close.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Don't wake me up.

Don't wake me up
I already am in my senses
Even though it might seem
This is not real
This will not last.

Don't wake me up
I have not felt this awake
Since a long time.

Don't wake me up
I want to sleep and live this dream
Just a little while longer.

Monday, 7 September 2015

The art of letting it go.

You know you want it. You know you can’t have it. And this makes you want it more.

The heart is always the culprit in this kind of mess. The mind already knows that it does not belong to you and so there is no logic yearning for it. But does your heart listen?

Not everything in the world is for you to win and make it yours. Love. career, money, happiness, peace, comfort, luxury-there is no end to what this mortal’s heart wants. Often it happens, in this crazy stubborn want for “something” makes us lose what we already have and what is already ours. Want makes us blind and oblivious to the concept of “content”.

Our share in everything in this world is already measured and kept aside and will never change, no matter how much we fight and sulk. Wanting “it” which is not ours always leads to misery and ends in pain causing hurt and dismay. There are innumerable instances where ordinary men has turned into poets writing about their yearning and unfulfilled dreams. Pain has a strange beauty and emptiness has great inspiration.

Buddha has taught the Four Noble Truths: Life is suffering. All suffering is caused by some “want”. Suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained. And there is a path to overcome suffering.

“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.”~Dalai Lama

We all want to be happy yet we do things to ourselves that cause us pain. Man is a set of contradictions and never ceases to surprise ourselves of what we are capable of. The heart wants what it wants and it often refuses to give an explanation. There is no cure and there is no redemption.

Zen philosophy says that when you stop trying to grasp, own, and control the world around you, you give it the freedom to fulfill you without the power to destroy you. That’s why letting go is so important: letting go is letting happiness in.

Everything is an illusion. To be truly happy, you have to learn the art of letting it go.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Faith restored

It happened yesterday.

I was travelling back from an official trip, exhausted. The day started at 7:30 am and I took the cab from airport at 9 pm. On the way somehow I kept thinking how the human kind is selfish and becoming demonic in nature with each passing day. Neared my home around 10:30 pm and after getting in I realized I left my mobile in the cab. I rushed downstairs but obviously the cab had left. I panicked and without a mobile I felt helpless. Luckily my house owners were awake and I asked for their help. Called at my number around 15 -20 times but the cab driver did not answer. Then we called the customer care of the cab service twice and finally got the cab driver details.

He said that he has the phone with him but he is already on the highway so it is not possible for him to come back then. I offered to pay the fare and he said he will come back early morning. I hardly slept and woke up in the wee hours of the morning and waited for him to come. He came.

He came and gave me back my mobile phone. I said sorry that I bothered him. He said he is sorry that he did not check the cab after dropping me. I was grateful and relief spread over me.

There are still a few souls among us who are kind and honest. I have pushed my doubts some miles away for now. A simple act has restored my faith in our kind. 

Friday, 19 June 2015


I guess it was meant to be.

After almost 2 months of house searching from Delhi in Bangalore, I had almost decided to take a PG and then think on the future course of action. Especially when an almost final deal failed at the last moment. A dear friend had advised to search groups in Facebook where good deals are found without the interference of brokers. And then I found it.

A college senior-colleague-brother-friend checked it out, sent me photographs of the place, building, area, route till main road. And I told myself, “let’s take it and see what happens. At least I will have a roof over my head”. Moreover, they had 2 dogs, it cannot be so bad.

And I arrived in Bangalore. Stayed a week in a company provided hotel accommodation and one fine Saturday morning, I reached my new place. And I fell in love.

I have my small, cute 1BHK in the second floor in the terrace. The area is still getting populated & luckily, my building is empty on three sides. Green, peaceful and cosy, all wrapped into one. What more I can wish for?

My favourite time of the day is when after dinner, I sit in my balcony, feet up in the railing in style, some soulful music through headphones and I let myself relax. The wind is usually perfect, blowing my hair and I feel drenched in its touch. Just a perfect ending to somewhat imperfect days.

I am also given access to one more terrace above mine through an iron ladder. It is more beautiful out there. I can see the Nice Road (highway route to Mysore) and the headlights of the cars streaming by and even the buildings beyond it. Sometime, I should try to locate the Bannerghatta National park also, which is not very far away. From no-sky view (Delhi DDA flat) to whole-sky view is a tremendous upgradation for me. I can see the whole uninterrupted arc from the coconut lined horizon on my right to the coconut (& a few buildings) lined horizon to my left. And the moon is always right there above me, and even a floor closer. I can get drenched in moonlight and star light every night. The view of “Great Bear Constellation” is a daily trip to childhood.

The best is of course, when it rains. The proud wind bringing in the pitter-patter rain drives Amu & Chinnu (my two constant companions) to the shade. Then it pours and I am driven to the shade too! But it feels beautiful while my soul gets drenched in the rain.

My home keeps me happy. The separation from the mad crowd is just enough to keep me sane. I am grateful and waiting for the time when I bring my family to share this with me. It will be sure a great experience for them too. Deta (my father) never liked it in Delhi. I hope I can compensate his bad experience there with my “drenched” place here.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Indomitable Delhi Autos

Second to the metro, the autos can be considered as a second lifeline for Delhi. Places where there is no reach of metros or buses, autos usually are the best option to travel. Yes, best if you have the power or expertise or the patience to bargain.

It has been more than 2 ½ years of surviving in Delhi now. But autowalas still don’t cease to surprise me! If they realise you are new to the city, they will strip you of all your money and you will realise only after paying them. So the first tip for a good bargain is to show as if you were born in the city and you know the place like the back of your hand. Take the help of Google map or something but never show that you do not know.
Recently government has made the use of meters in autos mandatory much to their dismay. The public including me saw new hope of paying the appropriate fare finally. But again the autowalas outsmarted us. They have far more devious plans.

So now, at first you state your destination name. Majority of them will answer with an ambitious number. You say “Bhaiyya, meter pe chalo na”. Usually the answer is “Meter kharaab hai, chal nahin raha hai”. Then maybe because you were getting late (thanks to that 10 min snooze alarm), you get on it.

Second scene might be that you asked for the meter to be run, and he takes you via the longest route possible but at the same time, making you feel as if it is the shortest route. And you end up paying much more!
Due to my travelling job, I have come across many excuses from these autowalas. They are charging more because “wapas khaali aana padega” or “mujhe ghar jaana hai aur waha se mera ghar bahut door hai” Can you imagine that we are expected to pay for their trip back home too?? Another excuse is “bahut jam laga hai madam”. I have tried using the formula (learnt from a friend) “jam mein phase toh Rs 20 extra nahin phase toh meter se Rs 10 kam”. Sadly this formula has yet to work for me. One more proposed deal from autowalasis “meter se Rs 20 extra, mera us side ulta parta hai”. The scene is really crazy.

Once every week, I need to go to my company’s factory situated in the dirtiest industrial area of Delhi, the infamous Okhla Phase 2. Battered roads that are built every year, the extremely smelly Sanjay Colony and the not-so-civilized public. Believe me, it is very difficult to get an auto to reach there. By meter, it is exactly Rs 37. I had paid once. But the autowalas eagerly fight to take me to Okhla Phase 2. And they recognize me even when my face is fully covered from the heat. I am the Madam who pays Rs 50 to go Okhla Phase 2. Single sawari. It is not that I have not tried to fight for justice. I have, many times, at the cost of reaching late to office, standing under the scorching sun with my laptop bag while listening to all the excuses listed above. So this way I have reached the status of Madam amongst the autowalas.
I also had the opportunity of coming across very decent and polite autowalas also. Surprised? Yes, they very much exist though a rare species. Only last week, I reached the New Delhi Railway Station by paying the correct fare of Rs 150 in the early morning at 5:30 am (as already mentioned, I travel a lot!). I had been paying Rs 180 till now. Once, overcome by emotions while experiencing polite behavior of an auto driver, I said to him ”You are very polite, thank you”. He stared blankly at me.

Some autowalas switch on the meter without being told so. They will take the exact fare, not a penny more.
I know one who often takes me Okhla. He is a young guy called Raja full of energy and vigor. He keeps his auto clean and decorated. He wishes me “Goodmorning Madam! How are you? How does my auto look? Maine isko aaj subah dhoya hai..phool se sajaya hai”.I say “Acchahai”. Once he said to me “Madam, main aapko pehchaan hi nahin pa raha tha aaj. Aapke chehre ka light chala gaya hai. Aap subah ko uthke kya karte ho? I suspiciously said “Umm..bas..ghar ka kaam wagera..Kyun..?” And he answered “Aap kal se uthke first ek glass paan ipiyo. Ek hafte mein aapke chehre ka light wapas aa jayega..mera guarantee hai..” I had a good laugh with him that day. He recently gave me his phone number because he wants me to get a job for his sister. I have not been able to do so till now. Maybe I should start searching.
I am taking my morning glass of water regularly though.

(Written on October 2013)

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

My Revolutionary Companion of 6 hours

A few months back when I was in Delhi, I was returning from an yet another official trip from the hills. I was relieved that my boss stayed back and I would have some "me-time" while travelling back. Got the aisle (aargh!) seat with a guy occupying the window seat. Middle seat awaiting.

Then a tall non Indian girl entered the coach followed by her travel agent with her ticket copy at her hand. She stopped near me and said "that's me" pointing to the middle vacant seat. She had this huge huge suitcase probably weighing more than 20 kgs. She tried to attempt to lift it to put it above the seats, but she could not. Male passengers around pretended to be very busy on the phone. And she was talking to her agent that how will she get it down, how will she leave it at the aisle etc etc. Then i intervened and told her "you sit down, we can ask the pantry staff to help pick it up and put it down". 
Suitcase above our heads, all well seated and the train started with a jolt. And of course, when two ladies are sitting side by side, there will be few exchange of words. Lets refer to her as M. An Ukrainian tall blonde lady in her early thirties. With a bright blue covered Ukrainian book in her hands. My eyes kept going to the book. And we started talking. 

She has worked in Delhi for a period of almost 1 year previously. But this time, she was in India with a mission. To find peace and some meaning. She was returning after attending a program in an ashram somewhere in the hills. She is a revolutionary, actively involved in the ongoing Crimean crisis. She described her entire experience. How people have died, how people are surviving, the attitude of her old friends and grandparents towards the revolution of Ukrainian versus Russia. How her mother is actively involved in this and how her father prefers to support this war monetarily and not physically. She narrated how this war has broken her mental strength and she was no longer able to cope with the death and sacrifice of her countrymen. She could no longer be happy. She started to hate people laughing around her because how can they laugh with so much pain around. How can one find happiness and peace amidst this war. 

She stumbled upon this ashram after much research. Coincidently last time she was in the hills partying with her friends, she had taken a photo of the same ashram name and then completely forgot about it (realised later). But then it was meant to be. She registered and she is so glad she made it. She felt the connection and successfully experienced the "spinning mantra". The program did her good and she says she feels much stronger now. My eyes were still darting towards that book in her hand.

After some time, I went back to my book and she, to hers. She started telling me the plot of the book. Author was Viktor Frankl writing about his experiences of surviving a concentration camp. WAIT! I told myself I know about this book I quickly opened my lap top and there it was in pdf formal, the e book "Man's Search for meaning" by Viktor Frankl!! My God, what a coincidence! Out of all the million books, we both had the same book, one in pdf format in English and hers in bright blue cover in Ukrainian.  

Finally after 6 hours of travelling, we finally reached Delhi. She would be staying in a hotel in central Delhi and since it was on my way, I offered her a lift in my radio cab. After taking down her fb contact, we said our byes and I left for home. Imagine what my driver said. "Madam, you became friends with her in train? I had picked her up from XYZ Mall around 3 weeks back at 2 :30 am in the morning with a man and dropped her to this very same hotel". There was a slight undertone in his voice which I did not like. I understood what he was trying to say. And I thought to myself that maybe we need to revolutionize ourselves and our society. People are dying in some part of the world for the sake of their country in gruesome circumstances. We can do better than being judgmental, I guess.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Life in Delhi..City buses and CS!

Short by stature and passive by nature, i am not the ideal candidate to lead a very satisfactory life in Delhi with my kind of job. I do not push, I get pushed. I do not shove, I get shoved. Overall every day is an ordeal for me to travel by public transportation. When I have to sit in my office for work for an entire day, my body breathes and then wonders..why so quiet??!
City buses are a big no no for me. Especially after the bus gangrape case of Delhi, I make it a point not to travel by those. Sometimes I am forced to take a city bus while travelling to Uttar Pradesh for my exams. Gents sit on the seats reserved for ladies. On expressing my concern meekly, a fellow exam mate girl answered "yeh ulta Pradesh hai..gents bathte hai ladies seats mein..". We had a good laugh and getting each other's support, we both gave an earful to the nearby seated gents.

One hell of a battlefield is Central Secretariat (CS) and Rajiv Chowk metro station!  Stylish girls with high heels suddenly turns into some hungry crazy zombies rushing & pushing running for a seat. The most dangerous of all are those aunties who get prepared with some light exercise the moment the incoming metro light falls on the walls. You can actually see the determination in their jaw line, bags tightly clutched in hands all ready for the big war. They will push you so hard into the train as if saying "aaj baithenge ya marenge"! And if you dare to challenge them (highly not advised) they will give you such a dialogue that you will be ashamed to have disturbed them in their pursuit of a seat. Ashamed you will find a corner and perhaps sit down on the floor of the train.

After a long day's work and skipping 1-2 trains to get a seat decently at CS, the moment I reach Lajpat Nagar, I quietly stop reading or using my mobile, close my eyes and pretend to sleep. Because it is this station where old aunties who can hardly walk,  comes back from the market after an eventful day spent in shopping. Big bags, chana or tikki in hand, they come and stand near you giving those looks "sharam nahin aati beta..main khadi hu..uth jao..koi sanskaar nahin hai kya..". But seriously, I think I deserve my seat more than you. Of course, i have given up lots of seats to deserving people and I will continue to do so. But, sorry, not to aunties who cant stand but can spend the day in market shopping.