Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The year that was

As the year comes to an end, i cant stop wondering yet again, where did the time go? The year seems to have whooshed past while i was busy living a life. It seems like yesterday that i was preparing for the wedding; and it seems just the other day that we took our jaded and tired asses to some amazing destinations and had the time of our life.

But most importantly, this year will be etched in my life as perhaps the most important one... as a culmination of what started with a chance meeting in 2006, that wiped away all past failings, pain and turmoil and i could make peace, forgive and forget. And i could start drawing this life of mine on a clean slate. Its culmination and begining... all at the same time. I have a new extended, wonderful family and i have V; couldn't have asked for more. Touchwood! So here i wish for more adventures, togetherness, friendship, love, peace, health for me, V and all around.

Health and fitness is something that has been playing peek-a-boo with me for sometime. I need to shed those godawful amounts of flab that i have managed to pile on (a content and happy life, some would say ;p). And so, i feel ever so determined to be disciplined about my workouts and yoga... starting from err today? Not just that, i hope to nag V all the way to yoga as well ;-))

Wow what a year it has been, my best in a long long long time! Hope i get to say the same thing at the end of 2010.

Heres wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year!!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

one year on

It has been a year since the ghastly and unbelievable images jumped through our tv screens and gripped our minds and hearts with disbelief and horror. One year on, have we really learnt a lesson? I don't think so...

The same problems plague us, the hatred, ignorance, apathy... i could just go on. And there are still scores of people with an educated facade and medieval mind living amidst us. We still have goons all out to squeeze out the last drop of liberty, compassion and creativity from the society in the name of morality, religion, nation, race, cast and what not. Perhaps its just me and my pessimism thats speaking, but a look at the news portals makes me depressed (not to forget the rediff articles comments section - makes my blood boil at times) ... i mean is this the world that i would want to have a child in? What is the point of procreating if this is what my child would have to face and deal with eventually? I know very doomsday like... but thats how i feel at times.

It has been, is and will be... forever... like an eternal love story, only nothing is good about this... religion, money, morals, power, corruption. I dont think there is an end to any of this. No wonder i lost track of the religion part of me along the way, when i saw how mind-numbing and blinding religion can be and that in most cases religion has nothing to do with spirituality or being as good a human as you can be. It evetually becomes, my religion and your religion and the eternal struggle to prove our point...

On a brighter note, I am reading "Eat, Pray Love". I like it; the sound, the self-deprecating humour. I like the casual tone and pace as well. And some of the thoughts of the author on religon are familiar. Having said that, i would also say, unlike the author, i dont really know if i believe in "God"... i wish i did; it would make things easier for me and its an infinitely attractive thought given the kind of security it brings along (and i am a sucker for the warm feeling of being secure - not always in the physical sense, but yeah i guess that too). But i really dont know if i do; barring the instances when i have fervently prayed a few thousand feet above ground at the mere hint of an air-turbulance or when i am shit-scared that i have some life-threatening ailment (you can blame it on the upbringing :)). And like i said i am a sucker for security and the thought that theres someome watching out there and things will be alright is very comforting... i really wish there is God out there. The truth however is that I sit on the fence and i wish there is some sign that would make me tumble over to the spiritual side of the fence ( are you listening God? :)).

There are other things that i am not sure about. Like... destiny. I have a feeling that things happen because they are destined. Or perhaps everything that happens is chance; nothing is predetermined as a dear friend had told me (he is an athiest ;-)). But i am not sure that i am ready to believe that; how is it then that some of the things predicted in my life have come true, if not for destiny or a predetermined way of things to be? If so, is this really connected to some force that controls my life? And if so, is that force God? If so then, where does it leave Karma? Or if i go on another tangent, where does that leave the expanding universe? Yes i think of that too... There are plenty of things that are hazy in my mind and belief system. What is not hazy is that i am really sure of one thing, that i certianly am not blinded by religion; i have my own set of values they ARE my religion and if and when i ever have a child, i will try my best to not impose any religion on him/ her... my child will be free to choose whatever s/he believes in. I guess the only thing i would try to brainwash into their little heads is, what goes around, comes around; so be aware of your actions and intentions coz they might come back to bite you in the ass when you least expect :)

Okay, so enough of the rant and back to some more blanked out staring at the computer screen :p

Ciao! ( That reminds me, and i quote from the book "Eat pray love", i did not know this but the book says, the word "ciao" is an abbreviation of a phrase used by medieval Venetians as an intimate salutation: Sono il suo schiavo! Meaning "I am your slave!")

So... Ciao once again ;-)

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Bamboo plant - green again

I am all snuggled up in my bed... on a workday. Thanks to a throat infection that payed me a visit and had me all drowsy and headached in its wake. Antibiotics were of immense help in mamothifying (am sure there's no such word... but eh, you get the point) the drowsy weak and zombied feeling.

Anyway, i am all snuggled up, but cant doze off just yet coz theres some work to do. The weather is not helping either, what with the sky pouring its heart out. Thanks to this 'pink of my health' condition that i am in, i am forced to ponder on something... theres some guilt thing going on here as well. Guilt since this particular aspect of my nature has driven my near and dear ones up the wall many times and the seeds of which were sown long long back when i was this oiled-hair-in-two-neat-braids school girl who read about terms such as cancer and who now thinks all the cancers known to the human race have either attacked or about to attack her.

So out of this immense feeling of guilt and exasperation with myself, i admit that i am, am afraid, a closet hypochondriac... anything that can go wrong with anyones health might have happened to me or can happen to me and the people i love... and so i google and google and google some more for knowledge and information; some of it is truly enlightening, some of it scares me and confuses me and so i google some more... enough to know about diseases more than some of the docs i have visited :P my father would have said, see now you know why i wanted you to be a doc! Alas...

On a different note, I like this, this working from home arrangement, it gives me enough freedom and time to do other things... when you are in office, you are tied to the office space even when theres not much work. I am so tempted to stop going to office and work from home from now on! :P

And theres some teeny weeny happy feeling sparkling somewhere in the midst of headaching misery. I was so disappointed to see the bamboo plant in my garden turn absolutely brown in the 10 days we were away from home... its soooo good to see the green appear again! my bamboo plant looks beautiful, fresh and green again... wish human body was like that. As a child i used to wonder how fantastic it would be to be able to shed tails like the lizard. You know if your arm was in pain or injured, just shed the arm and grow a new one! Human beings are disadvantaged it seems. We probably did not pick up some of these miraculous gifts that nature has gifted others in the name of evolution and survival.

I shall bid a good bye and make some tea... its still grey and raining outside. Have a fab weekend !

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wish i could weave the words

I just finished reading "The inheritance of loss"... a bit overwhelmed; the heart and mind are abuzz with thoughts and visuals from the book . I have often envied this gift in people; the gift of weaving words so effortlessly... something that i so want to possess and which evades me. You know words which have a life of their own, they breathe, conjure images in your mind so vivid, you would feel you are in the midst of all that is unfolding between your eyes, in your mind.

Its as if good writers are good psychiatrists as well... how they would effortlessly read the human mind and its sea of thoughts, emotions and contradictions and then they would pick and choose the right ones and string them up together to create such beautiful and compelling stories. With words that are so damn powerful; unashamed, violent, ugly, brutally truthful, ripping the ugly face of nature and humankind open with all its innards out, shorn of all skin and cover, weak, decieving.... creating images of immense beauty, nature, sensitivity, kindness, love, hate and passion that can build and destroy lives and countries... i could almost hear the frogs croaking, the gurgle of the Teesta and maybe the flutter of the butterfly wings patched yellow and orange for a fleeting second.... or maybe i am just a very visual person... I even think in images most of the time while normally one would think in a particular language.

I have been part of the mountain life, but it was so long back that there are no immediate and vivid memories left... except for some. Everytime i go back home, i revisit the tiny black and white pictures from my childhood to keep the memories from fading away... yet some of the words mentioned in the book sound familiar and i felt a connection; teesta, kalimpong, baku, lepcha... I think my ma-in-law and my parents will have a stronger connect with the book since a significant part of their lives were spent in Darjeeling, tea-gardens and the northeast...

Anyway, tomorrow is another day and i am glad i am back to my reading rituals :)) a short break and then the faint fragrance of the bookshop that i so love awaits me...


And i screwed up the comments thing for the nth time... finally abandoned haloscan and came back home to blogger comments and in the bargain lost all my previous comments :(

Saturday, September 19, 2009


It has been pouring outside and i am in no mood to work. I resort to some hot tea to keep me awake. It does not help much coz when i stare at dear old photoshop i blank out. Nope, there is no inspiration today... zilch. My heart is not in this.. in this photoshop, or the blank canvas, or the air-conditioned office, while the skies pour their heart out.

I wish i was some place else... I wish i was anywhere else but here. Perhaps reading a book at home or just sleeping. The left arm has been playing traunt since yesterday, i am not sure why; strange thing is, it felt better after the yoga session in the evening, when it should be feeling worse after all the pressure and exercise. Perhaps my body is giving me signals that i am growing old and that its rusting at places, so it needs some oiling, some exercise and movement lest it rusts out completely. Point taken.

There's also nostalgia in the air, which contributes to lethargy and unwillingness to work. Its making me prone to daydreaming and escapism. It's pujo time again and even though, i dont anymore feel the pujo in the air, or smell the shiuli, the thought of that time of the year does something to the mind... it conjures up images from the childhood; i have often found myself going back to childhood references; is this an indication of 'inching towards old age'? i hope not.

So as i was saying, even though i dont smell the shiuli anymore, i feel the Pujo in my bones at this time of the year. Quite strange for someone who is agnostic, is not religious at all, has no place of worship at home or sits on the fence about all things spiritual. Perhaps because the pujos were/ are never a religious experience for many of us. Its just a bengali thing... to be contradictory... of believeing in marxism and shakti pujo in the same breath...

I think more than anything else, its the burst of colours, textures, tastes, the activities, the noise, the rythms...anticipation, appreciations... that have remained imprinted in my mind and its impossible to shrug these images off... not now... not ever.

I shall drag my dear husband to the pujos and i'll get to wear some of the gorgeous saris that i keep looking at so longingly at times! :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

the NZ diaries - incomplete

Once upon a time in another world, much like a fairy tale, there was a quaint house, with picket fences and green rolling fields as far as the eyes could see. A chimney at the roof top, a fireplace that kept the room warm... oh well... the above mentioned were an integral part of my childhood drawings... you know the ones kids scribble on paper with coloured crayons? For some reason these were my favourites, and they would peek their pretty little heads in many of my drawings, along with lots of rain... you can blame those English books and illustrations all you want, but those visuals warmed my little heart and talked of another world, different from what i was accustomed to in the real life...

What can i say, i got to live those visuals from my childhood on the New Zealand trip last week and i wanted to pour out the experience as soon as i could before it all got diluted in real life and i couldn’t find the words again. It was as if the daydreams and kiddie scribbles from yore had jumped into the present reality. And i LOVED it!! But of course, i have to thank Vishal for such an awesome experience, afterall he is the one who planned the entire trip!

Vishal is on the adventurous side... so our short trip had us on a bike tour, hike up the glaciers, and almost all forms of transports covered in the 9 days. Not just that, for someone like me, who doesn’t like flying, he had me fly 6 times in 10days! 2 of which were those small 20-seater, propeller planes. Add to that, on one of them the pilot was desperately trying to balance while trying to land on a very very windy night. I must have dug deep enough to leave marks on Vishal's arms. :)

We started from Singapore to Auckland on a 10hr long flight; Strangely enough, i like airports, because it gives me the feel of ‘going somewhere’, but i don’t like flights at all. But this one wasn’t all that bad, as we were flying SIA and i watched 3 movies on the flight. We arrived at a rainy Auckland night and stayed put in a hotel near the airport as we had to board a flight to Christchurch the next day.

The next day was bright and sunny to start with. Auckland wasn’t all that cold afterall, just the nip in the air, but Christchurch would be considerably colder than Auckland (well considerably for people like us who are used to the Singapore weather). So we flew into Christchurch and reached in the afternoon. Mike from the tour group who Vishal had arranged for the 4 day bike tour picked us up at the airport. And might i say, what a lovely and warm bunch, Mike, his wife Carol, their Son-in-law Simon and daughter Kim, two dogs, Daniel & Mika and two cats Muffin and i cant remember the name of the other black cat. My favourites were Daniel and Muffin, while vishal took a liking to Mika... he loves big dogs, while i like the smaller ones. Its a family run business and they love their bikes and the roads of New Zealand. Mike and Carol are English, so the house had the warm English country house feel. We had a cozy and delicious family dinner amidst much banter, jokes and laughing. Mike and Simon kept us in splits, which Simon would do our entire trip. There was hardly a dull moment!

Next morning, we set off on the motorbike tour on NZ roads – State Highway 1. We covered around 1200kms in 4 days. Vishal had a red BMW 1200RT.. a very handsome bike. Our first day was the Christchurch – Kaikoura route, with a stop over at Kaikoura for the night. It was a rainy and cold day. We were told that it was sub-zero in the night, and we would be driving around un 3-4 degrees. I was holding my video camera, but my fingers were so cold at the end of the drive that i decided not to hold my video camera while on the bike for the rest of the tour.

Despite the cold and rain, the journey was just amazing!! Words cant describe the scenery that we passed. Rolling lush fields, hills, with sheeps, cattle, horses grazing. Tiny hamlets, cute picture perfect houses. The Kaikoura coastline was just amazingly beautiful. The waves were lashing on the rocks, yes looked so beautiful... i had never seen such colours and waves before (Hong Kong doesn’t compare to this!). Kaikoura is a small town on the East coast with population near about 3000 people.... yeah thats all! Coming from Indian cities and then having lived in Singapore, this was quite an experience for both us.... Kaikoura is known for its whale watching facilities... unfortunately, there was no whale watching for us because of bad weather. But the BnB we were put up and the view from our room, sort of made up for the lost whale watching opportunity. Besides i think we were just too cold from the long ride and the warm interiors was all that we were waiting for!

One obvious thing about NZ towns... they close up REAL EARLY!! I mean real early! 5.30 – 6pm everyone is back home and the towns look like ghost towns! This was shocking for us, since 6pm is the time when things start rolling on weekdays in Singapore! Bugis someone? :P

So anyways, when we ventured out for dinner later in the evening, the town was deserted, and we had food at what seemed the only restaurant open!

.... Well i never really got around to completing the blog. About 4 months since the 'awesomest time ever', i return back to the blog. Unfortunately, i cant really pen down the details of the trip; what remains with me though, is the essence of the trip, the wonderment of coming in touch with nature, the warm fluffy feeling of being loved and sharing an adventure with the most important person in my life.

I shall perhaps try to revisit the days again some other time and pen down my memories and thoughts. Till then, i guess i will resort to some other thoughts and memories...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Such indignation while i read latest reports on the Bangalore pub assault on women...

You see we are Indians... and our women should not smoke or drink... its fine for men to do that though! That's being Indian for you... so while pubs are a big NO NO for the Indian youth, its not a big issue when countless women get molested and eve-teased almost every freaking day of their adult lives in a country which boasts of worshipping goddesses... so that's what is Indian culture?

And, so while western dresses are a no no for Indian women, men who think its their moral responsibility to bring the message home to those who dare to veer away from the great indian culture, do so in "shirts/ trousers/ jeans"?? thats so very indian right?!

I had an argument with someone long back on how an Indian woman should be dressed... i was told sari is the way to dress and indian women should be dressed in sari/ salwaar kameez at all times... i said, yeah sure... the moment the Indian male dresses in dhoti/ pajama/ kurta at all times, i am game to follow the 'indian culture' as well!

Some of these messages people leave on Rediff are sickening and depressing... is this really where we are headed? will the indian woman ever feel safe in her own country? so india is not the west and we should shun all things west... fine then lets just go back a thousand years and shun EVERYTHING that we have got from the west... including the technology that we boast of having mastered!

This is a hurriedly put together post... but like i said, am angry at the moment...