Monday, November 26, 2007

And it finally snowed....

I always considered snow as one of nature’s most beautiful revelations. Having seen it umpteen times on TV, I have always earned to see it, touch it and hold it in person but somehow, I never really got the opportunity until last week. Movies have always showcased the beauty of snow, take for instance ‘Serendipity’ starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack. In the opening sequence, the love at first sight romance is so beautifully captured in the background of snow. You as a viewer are aware that both the characters are already pursuing other relationships, but you are more likely to want that moment of romance to go on.
Another one of my favorite snow moments would be in ‘Black’ a Hindi movie starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee. There is a sequence when Rani’s character a deaf, blind and mute person anticipates snow and her teacher, portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan does not agree. And when it actually snows, you know that your heart is leaping with joy and she dances. The background of snow was a very integral part of the whole movie. It was different from the usual snow sequences in most of the Hindi movies. The most common sequence being a Chiffon sari clad heroine romancing a sweater clad hero. I wonder why the heroine is always scantily clad, while the hero wears sweaters in extreme cold temperatures like that.

Natives over here had just another day but for me it was finally a dream come true. It was slightly tough walking over snow but I loved every bit of it. It was cold (-7 degrees) yet breathtaking. The wind added onto the chillness but it was an awesome sight. Take a look. Those little flakes of ice carved a scenery, which would stay in my mind marking my first tryst with snow.

A snow ornamented bush!

See the middle layer? That's where the pavement used to be. :)

No sign of the grassy meadow...:0

See the shadow? COLD but the sun is shining bright!

Actually I ended up taking this picture by mistake due to the cold. I could barely hold my camera with the gloves on. :P

The mesmerizing sunset, minus the sun but the light. :P

Contrary to what my colleagues said, do I still like snow after my first exposure to it? Of course I do! They still are one of nature’s most beautiful revelations.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Readers, this post is dated November 4th.

It is one year since I began my blog and this is my twenty first post. Even though I am happy that my creation completed one year, I feel slightly bad that the number of posts were very less. Even if I had written one post every month, I could have easily crossed 24. Well, you see my readers, at first my blog was left dormant since I was too much into the preparations for my wedding in June. :P Post the wedding, the blog was further inactive since I was on a long vacation travelling on my honeymoon. And then I relocated to Toronto, so you see, it took me a while to get back into the flow. :P

I guess my New Year resolution would be to post regularly without fail. Now, the first paragraph is just to console myself, not even to convince the readers. I have that odd habit of consoling myself once in a while. Well, the outcome is fruitful with me automatically feeling better. I remember when I used to buy groceries from the store, wait a minute, did I ever mention that buying groceries over here is an art? It is so costly that you need to know from where to get what. In addition, when to buy also turns out to be vital for sustainability, be it short term or long term. I ended up understanding the second part only after experiencing it; well err the ‘mistake’.

There is a super grocery store right next to my apartment. I was never inclined into buying stuff until I started seeing interesting fliers of the same store delivered into my mail box on Thursdays. On one such Thursday, when I took a closer look into the flier, I was surprised to see the discounts offered. The same day, I went into the store and purchased all the items I was sure were on discounts. When I checked out, the bill showed that the items were on the mark up price and not discounted. On reaching home, I checked the stupid flier once more carefully scanning each and every page to realize that in a small tiny corner was this written, *“Effective from this Friday to next Thursday”. I could have very well returned the stuff that day and purchased it the next day, returning stuff being the normal practice in North America. The only problem is that I feel very embarrassed when I return stuff. So, I had to bear the loss, but at the end of the whole incident the lesson was learnt. From then on, I have been very careful; so in essence sometimes mistakes are good. Perfection beholds from far from the next time. See, again I am consoling myself. :P

Time has flown by, things have changed but some habits never change!

I would like to wish all my readers a very prosperous Diwali. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The colors of autumn

It is soon going to be winter over here in Canada. Of course, it would be my first experience with extreme cold conditions and I am definitely not dreading it. When something is inevitable, you might as well take it as it comes rather than ponder and worry about it. I have been warned by many using various techniques of describing how terribly cold, the winter can be. The only consolation I wanted back then was to do a satisfying winter clothes shopping and that is exactly what I ended up doing. :) Another good reason to shop, isn’t it?

Being a nature lover, I have been observing the little changes around, like the foggy early mornings, the distinct color of leaves, the bird’s flocking, a thin line of chillness in the air with the sun still shining bright and the tingling cool breeze.

It was the colors of autumn, subtle yet breathtaking. Somewhere a scintillating orange was beckoning while red, pink, yellow, green and brown followed in unison. I walk to my workplace everyday and while on the run (sometimes I am late, well you know old habits never die:P), I get to admire the colors of the autumn. Sometimes sad, but yet serene. Sad, when I think of the times all of that has to fade and fall. And still serene because of the composure with which it holds together. Take a look.

Foggy early mornings

View from my balcony ( of course not taken standing on the balcony :P)

On the way to my work place

The highway bridge I have to cross. Phew! Imagine if I fall into the highway, sometimes I do feel that when the wind blows.

If only I had the closer view of those colors

Still on the bridge

Isn't that beautiful?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lets talk about R in ‘SYRALS’

Nearly one year ago, I inaugurated my blog talking about L and her baby. The subsequent post discussed S too, and R pointed out that I did not talk about her. All of them are very dear to me and are my friends for the past seventeen years. I have never preferred one over the other, so there is no scope for feeling left out. Recently, I rang up R and wished her on her birthday and that’s when I thought maybe a post dedicated to her is the best gift I can give her. Hmm R, I hope you are listening. So, now lets talk about R in ‘SYRALS’.

I think it was in the third grade when both of us met. That’s a long time ago, though I clearly remember that after our first meeting, we did not even want to be in the same class. The reason was a bad fall out over some Hindi textbook. Now, when I think of it, it does feel really silly. Nevertheless, I am glad that it happened because that’s what brought us to be the friends we are today. It took us a while to get over the quarrel and become friends, since both of us had our own set of friends. In fact, my other set of friends included S and L. One quality of hers which I always admired was her beautiful voice. She used to sing so well that our teachers and the other students would ask her to sing whenever there was a free period. Back then, most of the singing classes also included her songs. It was during the 7th grade, that we became quite close with the comfort level to actually confide in each other. Soon enough, something terrible happened which made me feel very sorry for her. Her father passed away on a stroke. Her family became two from three, with mother and daughter left all alone. It was not sympathy that I felt for her but more like emptiness and grief, wondering what I could do to make her feel better.

The entire manner in which she handled her composure, struck me. I was flabbergasted. I am not sure if it was her innocent age or her maturity level, but she did come out of that and continued excelling in her studies. It was never hard work, but sheer intelligence which helped her in academics. She has received merit certificates for science talent exams conducted on all India level. I have seen her growing into a mature lady with lot of poise. Maybe, it is this serene quality of hers that makes me approach her for advice even now, after so many years. Sometimes, it was hard to see her battling with problems in life, like for instance, when her mother fell ill and had to be operated. Imagine a naive fifteen year old managing everything from her mother’s operation, to taking care of her post the operation, how much can she do? R did that and much more than that while continuing to be one of the best students in our school. I don’t think she attended most of the classes towards the end of the Xth standard, but she still managed to pull off a distinction in the ICSE exams. Always facing life’s toughest challenges with a smile, that what I remember her in school as.

‘Monalisa’, that’s what we used to call her in school, though the name has stayed over the years. Even now after the book ‘The Davinci Code’ has come out, she is still proud of the nickname she got stuck with, in school. Another quality of her which amazes me is that she has this rare ability, to think of a particular problem/situation in a third person’s perspective. Her singing went into a backseat as she grew up, maybe due to the pressure of the tribulations in life. It never gave a chance to revive her passion for singing. I have always forced her to consider singing at least once in a while, though that never did work out. Her father’s government job was always an impending offer, which her relatives forced her to consider. Knowing very well that it was not what she wanted to do, she continued to be strong at her stance. Today, biting all odds she has managed to overcome all her obstacles and go for what she truly believed in. I know in few months, she will pass out of her MBA in flying colors, work in her dream company and excel in life in every way. I would not be surprised, if she decides to start singing again. After all, all’s well that ends well, don’t you think R?

R, I truly cherish your friendship in every way and would like to say that you are one of the most wonderful friends; I have ever come across in my life. Keep going pal, there is so much more for you to achieve in life.

Readers, the link below has a song that was not playing earlier, due to some error in the code. I have fixed that now. Happy listening!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Patriotism to the core, maybe!

On 15th of August, I worked. Its not like I had a choice considering the fact that it was a working day over here. Back in India, it would have been a public holiday, where one could get penalized if he/she decides to go to office and work. In schools, there would be Independence Day celebrations and compulsory attendance for flag hoisting. Coming back to what I wanted to relate, I am a very patriotic person and my heart weeps for all those brave Indian soldiers who have given up their lives defending the country. However, I still believe that a Pakistani common man also has the right to live and not be condemned just because he is from Pakistan.

On the same day, I went out with my colleague for lunch. She wanted to treat me so I relented (never a big deal) and we went out to this select Sandwich place near the office. After lunch, the owner remarked that she was celebrating the Independence Day. To me, they seem to know each other. She smiled and agreed with the old man. He asked her whether she was celebrating the Pakistani Independence Day, and there was a big outburst from her. She literally shouted at the old man saying that it is the Indian Independence Day that she was celebrating and how dare he ask her that question. The old man all terrified replied that he himself being a Pakistani thought that she was also one. I just feel that she should have politely refused that she wasn’t celebrating the Pakistani Independence Day since she was an Indian. The outburst was uncalled for. When we came out of the shop, she told me that she will never ever enter that Pakistani shop again. I thought to myself, what about all that times she had dined there earlier, how would she undo that?

It is so very intriguing to note that almost all the Indians out here depend on grocery stores, eateries and restaurants in Canada owned by Pakistanis either knowingly or unknowingly. When it comes to survival, I feel people ignore the source of the food or the grocery item. The only thing is that I get amused when someone gets shocked one fine day, when he/she comes to know that the shop where the groceries has been coming is actually a Pakistani’s. I wonder if the shock is for everyone else to see rather than that person to feel. Maybe, it is to show that he/she is so patriotic that a question of buying stuff from a Pakistani would never have come up if it was known earlier. Is that patriotism?

Yesterday, I was sitting with my colleagues and having lunch when someone mentioned a grocery store called Iqbal’s. All of them were talking about the merits of that particular store, when one person suddenly mentioned that it is a Pakistani store. It was very funny to see the expression of most of the people changing. Since Canada is a multicultural country, it is not hard to find Indians and Pakistanis living in peace and harmony. I only wish if some people would change their mindset and broaden it a little bit when it comes to kindness to fellow human beings, no matter where they come from.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New place and new adventures…

I landed with my husband in Toronto on August 3. The flight journey was not tiring and I did not really have any jet lag in the days that followed the journey too. When I realized that every single thing comes with a cost here, I nearly shrieked. For instance take the case of the airport luggage trolley. You have to shell out $2 for using a trolley, watching my expression my husband remarked, “Welcome to Canada”. I did feel welcome because I ended up finding an abandoned trolley while he had gone to collect the bags. :P. So, in essence the forthcoming posts will deal with the adventures I had from Aug 3 to the present day. I know, I should have related all that much earlier, but then I needed to get settled before I start pouring down my thoughts. :P

Toronto, the place where I stay, is a beautiful city with tall buildings and sky scraping structures, the noted ones being, the CN tower, the Toronto-Dominion Centre among the others.

Toronto-Dominion Centre

The CN tower-Courtesy kovyrin

Being very passionate about finance, I was thrilled to see the Bay Street which is the financial hub of Canada. The houses here in the sub urban and urban areas look almost the same, which is one of the first things which struck me. Some of them were row houses, and I wondered if people got lost finding their way back home.

Row houses during Fall

Now, that made me decide on an apartment rather than a house. Smart right? :P Nah, not really since even a small house would cost you anywhere from $150,000. Though our initial plan was to stay in downtown which is thought to be the most happening place, we ended up taking an apartment in the outer suburb, North York, due to unavailability and the huge waiting list in downtown. Changing the apartment to ‘home sweet home’ looked very thrilling and challenging to me. Of course, I was thrilled because of obvious reasons. Why did it pose as a challenge back then? The apartment was in the 16th floor and I was acrophobic. : ) Despite the view from the 16th floor, the whole idea of getting over the fear of heights drove me nuts initially.

Now that's the view from our living room. Now, why not a picture standing on the balcony? No way!

Those days, I never really walked into the balcony. It was like an abandoned area, left to be kept empty. I still remember asking the building staff, if there was any other floor available to which the answer was the 6th floor. I asked my husband whether we could check that out and he said what difference that would make to my fear. I know it was stupid but I still confidently argued that I may have better peace of mind on the fear aspect. You see, my argument was loosely based which ended up being weak in contrast to his, which raved about the view from the 16th floor. So, the rest is history.

On the first few visits to buy furniture for the apartment, I used to convert the cost into rupees and then get shocked. Like the couches we finally got, which costed us $1000 (Rs 40,000), but that was the last time I did any kind of conversion. Its like you got to realize that the day you stop converting, you automatically start enjoying Toronto. You start loving the place and the stuff you get out here purely on face value, but I guess some habits never die. Like the time when I asked for further discounts on the TV we wanted to purchase from Future Shop. :P

To be continued.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Three months and no way!!

Dear Readers,
I just cannot believe that its been three months since I updated my blog. So unlikely of me, never knew time could pass just like that. And so much has happened too, which is yet to sink in….

I got married!
I got married to the love of my life.
Finally, I left the metro I stayed for the past two years
I left the metro, the place I never really liked.
I got promoted.
I am in based in Toronto now.
But of course, home sweet home will always be Kerala. :p

I got married on June 24. It is definitely going to be 2 months since that day, but I still can’t believe it.

Bound together by love!


But I guess my freedom is slightly limited now. :p

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Way to cheer!!

This post is the continuation of the previous one.

The broadcast read somewhat like this:

Hi All,

The much awaited Sports Day is being held on 21st April 2007.

The venue remains the same, Nehru Stadium.

Venue: Nehru Stadium
Behind Rippon building, adjacent to Chennai Central, Chennai - 600 003

There are certain changes to the schedule and timing of the sports day.

In order to compensate for the bandh on 31st March 2007, we will be working on Saturday, 21st April 2007, from 9 am to 1 pm.

In order to escape the heat and save you all from getting sun tanned, the sports day has been scheduled under flood lights. We will commence at 3.00 pm and will go on till 8.30 pm. Those of you who do not attend either work or the sports event will be marked off for the day.

In order to add to the Spirit of the Game,
we cordially invite your spouse and children to join the first ever sports day of ( ).

Note: Parents/friends/siblings not allowed.

The house keeping staff will come around with a new list. Please sign against your names and also confirm the number of people accompanying you for this wonderful event.

The house keeping staff did come with a list and I obviously signed none in the column which asked for the number of people accompanying me. I felt that the whole sports day thing would end up like a flop show and didn’t really wish to get embarrassed by asking anyone to join me. One look at the mail and yes I had decided to go for the sports day. Of course I couldn’t take off and needed to save every leave of mine for obvious reasons which I will explain later in the forth coming posts. Actually I wouldn’t blame my company for making a rule that if an employee misses the sports day attendance, he/she will be marked absent for the whole day. After all the HR dept knows how much the ( ) ‘ties would like to escape and enjoy the afternoon after attending office in the morning. For instance, I would never even have thought of attending if not for that stupid clause.

The D day soon followed with me cribbing to my own glory about how much I hated the whole sports day idea and the fact that I have to attend it. Anyway, the morning passed after which I hoped out with my colleagues for lunch trying to ease our minds of the sports day function. I made sure we went to my favorite Chinese restaurant in the town. After all, I needed some incentive to feel ready for real sports. :P

We enjoyed the scrumptious lunch and drove to the so called stadium. Now when I first read about the stadium in the mail, I never realized how big it could be. I was wonderstruck when I entered the Nehru Stadium.

Thats the view from where I was sitting

I could see a lot of red tee shirt audience....

All preps for the 100 metres race!

Isn't that snacks he's carrying? Thats me wondering what could be inside the cartons. :P

Its getting dark, time for the flood lights!

The stadium looked rocking with the lights on...

All I could say is WOW!

Here are some videos to get a hold of the fun I had....

Women's Backwalking

Women's 100 metres-heats

Women's 100 metres-Final

There was this girl (K) sitting near me, who was very enthusiastic about 400 metres race. She went on talking about how she could have done well if that item also was included for the day. Finally when the time came for the 4x100 metres relay, one team was in shortage of a girl. Seeing the opportunity, D (another friend) and me persuaded K to participate and pushed her so hard onto getting into the track. Finally, when she told us that she was wearing floaters and she couldn’t run, I chuckled to myself. I really thought she was just making excuses. I soon offered her my running shoes saying that I will wear her floaters. After a while she agreed and she really did prove me wrong. Her team won the relay and whoever saw her running that day would have agreed to all her boasting. Just take a look.

Relay 1st Part

Relay Last Part

The winning relay team

So what if I did not participate I cheered for everybody. Also, didn’t K win wearing my shoes? :P

So all in all it wasn’t a bad sports day, don’t you think so?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

After all it was the office sports day…..

Its been a while since I updated my blog, and blah blah and more blah. I can give 100 reasons for not having done it. Let me save my reader’s time from all that, since I firmly believe on the blog update being more important than the reasons. :D

So last Saturday was my office sports day. Now one month ago, when the HR sent this whole sports day broadcast, I got really irritated. I was getting stock information from Yahoo finance(Thanks to Yahoo for having such a informative website, I don’t know what I would have done without it.) for some Chinese company, when the mail reached my inbox. Finding information on a Chinese company is one difficult task to accomplish even with the help of Yahoo. I wish they had an option to translate the contents to English. Anyway, before the mail could reach me, I was busy translating with the help of Google translator. It is a very tedious process wherein I end up putting each and every word into the translator, to finally arrive at the company’s financials. I knew I was close to my goal when a dialogue box jumped onto my computer screen and announced that I have received a new mail. I don’t remember what I was thinking but I ended up clicking on the ‘open inbox’ option of the dialogue box. What follows is a summarized portion of the whole mail of course with the special effects it had. :))

“Hi Chennai ( ) ties,
On 31st March Saturday with clear skies and the warm sun the FIRST EVER

will be conducted.

As Sports Day is a day to promote sports, physical and mental health, we have a range of physical events ranging from traditional track-and-field events to more uncommon events which are listed below.
Some volunteers have come forward to co-ordinate and conduct the games for us. We also welcome atleast 2 more members (please contact the co-ordinators directly) to join the co-ordinators in conducting the game.

Venue: Rajaratnam Stadium
Timing: 10-5 pm

Lunch and refreshments will be provided on the field. So gear up, wear on your caps, spikes, shorts and join us for a day of non-stop excitement and fun.

Note : This is an Outdoor Team Building Event for all employees of Chennai and therefore employees cannot shy away this activity by choosing to work in office.”

I laughed reading the mail, had a discussion with my teammates on the same funny mail and finally got back to the earlier yahoo finance webpage. The break in the flow of work totally made me forget the last line I had translated. Ultimately, I had to repeat (it only took 2 more hours) the whole page to get my work done. That moment itself, I hated the whole sports day idea.

Some of my colleagues did take the sports day seriously and I heard they had begun practicing for the BIG event. I was least bothered, not like I am against sports day or anything. It is just that I was too engrossed in work to think of anything else other than that. And, there was added excitement on the important due diligence consulting project I was engaged with, for a private equity firm (first time!) Anyway, my prayers were answered momentarily. 31st March ended up being a holiday for the whole of Chennai because of the so called Bandh which took place in protest of the Supreme courts stay order for the OBC quota. :D. The previous day, there was a HR broadcast which is again given below:

“Hi All,

On account of the bandh announced by the ruling party tomorrow 31st March 2007, our SPORTS DAY is being postponed, and the new date will be announced later.

Chennai office will remain closed and nobody will be allowed inside office tomorrow.”

At least, the above mail had the usual special effects missing. Maybe, they were just too disappointed. :D The two day weekend was a big relief to my hectic work schedule. Another week followed with mostly work happening. One fine day, there was another broadcast from the HR department.

To be continued…..

Friday, March 30, 2007

Music that is soul stirring!

Recently I had watched Guru and in the entire movie what struck me most was the music, especially the background score. There is this song sung (shauk hain) by Soumya Rao (I think) which keeps playing in the background during Vidya Balan’s scenes in the movie. Check out this feel good song. It is short but sweet. :) A.R Rahman really rocks!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sometimes too much is just not enough…

It’s been a while since I took off sometime from office, not to go home or to meet my sis but just to give time for myself. Hmm, I know it might sound a little weird as most people would not find it difficult to take out time for themselves. For me, life has become too mechanical. Wake up in the morning, go to office, come back home in the night and sleep. The same routine has been continuing for the past few weeks. It is not that I have started disliking my job. I still love and enjoy doing it but sometimes when it becomes too hectic and totally stressful, of course anybody would need a change. So what did I do yesterday to change it? I woke up late. Mmm, that long sleep and the dream felt so good. I took my bath very leisurely as against the normal half an hour bath. Since summer had arrived here early this time, it was quite rejuvenating standing under the shower like that. While getting ready for office, I listened to my favorite songs humming along with it. All of the above easily resulted in me being late for office. :)

I walked in the office slowly without any hurry, a smile on my face, as against the normal urgency with which I rush to check office emails. I never knew how the day was going to be like, but I still had that smile while signing the late register too. I felt so relaxed and eased out that I finished quite a bit of work. Getting relieved of stress really gives way to a wonderful feeling! I wanted more of that feeling. So, on the way back home, I went and shopped. :) Some way of making use of the bit of the performance bonus I received last month end. Talking about the bonus, I suddenly remembered. I need to get back to work now, lest my next quarter bonus will get affected. Back to work, work and work!

P.S. To all my readers, I have a request. Please take sometime off just for yourself. Do the things you love most, be it listening to music or writing out your mind, just do it and feel the difference it can make in you.

Is anyone wondering what the title has got to do with the post? Don’t worry, even I am doing the same; I really have no idea why I chose that title. :D

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dreams Unlimited…

Alpine Path had tagged me so, here's the post about my bizarre dream.

I love dreaming, be it in the daytime or night time. Sometimes it can be beautiful ones, and otherwise also, I never bother since they can still be altered to seem beautiful. :) After a long time, I had a bizarre dream last night. So much in detail I could recall that I thought of writing it down before it vanishes into thin light. Yes, in my case most of the dreams I have, be it good or bad stays in my memory only the next day morning after which it totally gets erased for whatever unknown reasons. When I tried to remember the earlier bizarre dreams I have had, I was at a loss. I still went on thinking and thinking and maybe that was the reason for the last night’s bizarre dream. Well, sometimes you need to think of good stuff to dream about the same. The mind is very powerful that it can make you do what it actually wants. Wow I liked that line, isn’t it true? It is not my sudden discovery since S had just given me that along with a good piece of advice on something related to the above line today. She’s very good at that, wonder where she gets all that wisdom from.

Anyway, it goes like this. I was this entrepreneur traveling in my own helicopter (wow wow :D) to make it for some important meeting in another state. There was a tall dark handsome guy (Tdh) sitting next to me apart from the pilot in the copter. (I liked this part :) .) All of a sudden, the pilot looks at me with fear and tells me that there is a fuel problem and he needs to do emergency landing. I began to panic, thinking that I would be late for the meeting (when I should have thought that my life is in danger). Soon enough he asked us to wear the safety gear and tried to make an emergency landing. Half way through, he opened the door and asked both Tdh and me to jump. Without even looking down, I yelled at him for not landing. Tdh pushed me out, and with fear I opened my parachute only to realize that the ground was so near that I fell on the rough surface before my parachute could even open. (I actually felt the thud while I was sleeping.) I rose on my feet, and see a huge truck coming towards me in full speed. In a second, I pull tdh and we start running to the other end of the road. We reach the edge of the bridge and see the sea below. (Where did the sea suddenly come from? This is bizarre.)

Anyway, I realize that I am falling into the sea along with Tdh. (Here I felt the splash of the water and the sudden rush of chillness). Knowing swimming, I try my best to swim. However, I fail to even move a bit and I start panicking. (This is even more bizarre!!). No longer able to hold my breadth, I open my mouth and all the water rushes into my mouth and my nostrils get heavier. Frantically I start getting the pang of pain which electrified my body from head to toe. It lasted for a few seconds after which I started liking the feeling. I felt good and was drawn towards it (wonder what was it) more and more till I sensed some force pulling me from behind. I fight to go forward, till I give in to the force that was pulling me. The next moment, I open my eyes and realize that I am lying on the sand. I look up and see Tdh staring into my face with fear. (Dirty minds, well it is not what you all think. I just had a near-to-death experience in my dream.)

That’s when I woke up from my dream too. Maybe that opening eyes part in the dream made me do it in reality too. Anyway I was too tired to react to the tiring dream (come on, wasn’t the swimming incident in the dream tiring?). So I went back to sleep thinking who that Tdh was, trying hard to remember his face. :)

Here’s the tagging part. Please note, only bizzare dreams allowed. I am definitely going to enjoy reading the same. :)



Thursday, February 22, 2007

From where to where?

I just came back from a visit to my hometown. Normally, on such occasions, friends at office come to know that I had visited home after one look at my face. They say that the freshness and the happiness really show. It’s like I thoroughly enjoy the break from work and prefer to be taken care of than the other way round routine. Today they actually asked me if I had really gone home watching me sulk repeatedly. "It was a wasted trip", I exclaimed. I lost my mobile, my precious Motorola L6 slvr or rather the ‘good’ looking guy who sat next to me in the train, filched it leaving me in total despair.

I am not very friendly when it comes to strangers in the train, especially with guys. It is merely the feeling of laziness which prevents me to actually continue a conversation initiated by a guy. A vague answer to his question and I am back to what I was busy doing. I mean, I have my own ways to pass time in the train. My Mp3 player and a recent copy of The Week or Woman’s Era is something I ensure before boarding the train. Apart from that, I sleep a lot so there the twelve hour over night journey comes to an end in no time.

This time, out of the ordinary, I actually blabbered with this guy who was going home for vacation. Maybe, I was too bored to even do the normal stuff like sleeping, reading or listening to music. Pretty much amused with his flattering talk and funky dressing sense, we talked about work, our home towns and finally landed up discussing about mobiles. Fascinated by my mobile, he took it and examined it for a while after which he approved the beauty of the slim handset. Soon after that, I asked him for his mobile and he showed me a very basic Nokia model. We chatted for some more time till I was bored of talking too.

Time passed by, and feeling sleepy, I climbed onto my berth and adjusted the mobile’s alarm (vibrate mode). Then, I realized that I have no pocket to keep it since I was unfortunately wearing a salwar kameez that day, contrary to the normal cotton pants I wear when I travel. Aware that I wouldn’t be able to feel the mobile vibrating in the bag, I kept it in the gap between my hands and my handbag and slept off. Well, anyone can ponder on the possible reason for me ensuring that I keep the alarm. Once on a similar train journey, instead of getting down in my hometown station, I woke up totally in a different city because of the simple reason that I slept off. That day, I had to come out of the AC coach of the train and catch a normal crowded local bus and travel another 3.5 hours to go back to my hometown.

Morning, I woke up frantically thinking that I again missed my station, but somehow I was lucky and realized that I got up just in time but to my utter dismay, I found out that my mobile was missing. I checked the whole area of the berth. Thinking of asking that guy for help I looked up at his berth, only to find him also missing. His station was to come much later than mine and I just couldn’t comprehend where he had disappeared. I sat there finally, exhausted and quivering not knowing what to do. The station I had to get down came into view and I slowly rose, took my bag and came out of the train with tears trickling down my face. It was the first time I was in tears reaching my home town. I was in a shock and it took me sometime to realize that he had stolen my mobile. The first prized possession, I bought with my own savings. :( I really couldn’t believe it even after I reached my home. One look at my phone’s charger and I felt very lonesome all of a sudden. The mobile I cherished, which was with me for 14 months was no longer in my hand. I was coming to terms with how much it was a part of my life. It was not only that the mobile’s gone but I also missed the appeal of how it looked and how I felt when I used to hold it in my hand. I mean, I was the first person to buy the moto slim phone in office and the phone itself was very famous over there. I bought it much before Abhishek Bachan started endorsing the phone too. Ok I guess that’s enough of regret for keeping the phone near my hand and not in my bag.

I really did not enjoy my holiday and I came back all irritated and sad. Last night, I bought a Nokia 2310, which is a basic model. From where to where? Moto slim slvr phone to Nokia basic model? I was so used to a slim and light mobile. Those days, I used to check my pocket umpteen number of times atleast, to make sure that my mobile is still inside the pocket. A smile lights up my face on the feeling that it is there.

Now when I slide the new phone inside my pant pocket, I can easily make out the difference. :(
Where are you, my moto?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A feeling like never before!

I am back to what I love doing after a ‘small’ gap. Writing, or rather expressing myself. I have been getting calls from few friends asking the reason for not posting regularly. They seem to imply that I am turning out to be very lazy. Now why did it take me so long to update my blog? For one week I pondered on that question, seriously. I admit I would not totally blame my hectic work schedule but definitely it was not laziness. There were tensions outside work. Like, I was expecting my new year to start off with something really special. Did it really start with a bang?

Oh no it didn't, in fact all my hopes went down in the drain. I am at the moment, totally distraught and sad. Sometimes, expectations can really reduce joy. It was not like I actually believed in the teachings of “Art of Living” (AOL). I mean no one would ardently believe on something and do the exact opposite, right? At least I would definitely not do that. The only sad part is that after seeing all my hopes crash, I could very well relate to the first teaching of the Art of Living Ashram.

‘Expectation reduces joy’.

Art of Living Ashram, beautiful isn't it?

Back in college, neither did I like the teachings of the Ashram nor the attractiveness of the place. When I was there, I totally was out of place and never felt attached to the Ashram though many of my classmates did. Compulsion from the college authorities to attend the three day seminar (basic course) as part of the orientation program witnessed me joining the others in the 1.5 km march towards the ashram. I remember the dean promising that he would definitely not award MBA certificates to all those who would escape from the basic course of the AOL, even if they end up being toppers. Hmmm, but later the attendance of the AOL course was never really an important criteria when the convocation actually happened. The course was tiring, that was what I felt during the first day. I mean waking up early in the morning at 4.45 and assembling in the terrace of the ashram to do the Surya Namskar and then on till 11 pm in the night, attending lectures, yoga, meditation, pranayamas and Sudarshan Kriyas made me feel like I was in a totally different world. Of course, the gates of the ashram campus were bolted in order to shut the desires of outside world. Everything was a big NO in the ashram. No tea, coffee, chocolates, ice cream, eatables, cigarettes, drinks were served in the ashram shops. The food served was really bland. The reason elucidated was that all of the restricted food and spices increased the level of toxins in the body.

The person who took the lectures surprised us when he revealed that he was earlier a successful entrepreneur, IIM A pass out who left his business in order to serve the ashram and to propagate its teachings. He mentioned his profit he used to earn during his entrepreneur days roughly in one of the lectures, an amount close to 40 lakhs per month. Both he and his wife had donated their savings to the ashram and now stay there happily. The three days food itself was a torture for me and I really used to wonder how anybody could stay there for more than that. The only part I liked in the whole of the course was the ending of the Sudarshan Kriya session, wherein you end up lying on the bed in a resting position, eyes closed for a few minutes. I used to just sleep off till somebody actually woke me up, since it was considered a relaxing position. :)

The Satsung was another fun moment, wherein all the people danced to the ragas and bhajans sung by ardent devotees of the ashram. My batch danced like as if it was a dance party and not like devotees in any way. Then there was another hilarious moment, which everybody enjoyed equally. At the end of one of the lectures, the full batch was asked to hug and say to each and every other person the following line, “I belong to you and you belong to me”. This exercise was thoroughly enjoyed by the boys since they could loaf around saying it to each and ever girl around, without getting bashed up. :) The girls too enjoyed it since it brought in a comfort feeling and helped them to come out of their coyness.

Looking back, I guess AOL was a good learning experience for the batch in a whole. It made all of us familiar enough to start slogging together in a very comfortable manner, devoid of stress and sadness till our Dean acted. I mean he totally believed in preparing the batch for facing the worst in life and constantly strived at increasing the amount of stress in all the students. Of course, the later part of the MBA even saw romances getting rekindled in the ashram. It was a place where the batch had free entry since my college was closely associated with the AOL ashram. The only reason my friends and me visited the ashram later after the AOL course was to enjoy the cool breeze and also to play hide & seek in the terrace of the ashram. If the devotees would have seen us like that, definitely they would have thrown us out. It’s interesting to even remember that we have had several sessions with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (founder of Art of Living), who actually knows some of my batch mates very closely. Later when there was some talk about AOL after I joined my work, I simply mentioned that I have seen him and used to visit his ashram in Bangalore, all of the listeners actually looked at me as if I have earned my salvation. It was very funny for me though. :D

Coming back to what I started off with, I am done with simply going on expecting and expecting and seeing all of them crash. It is sometimes hard to take the sadness frivolously when you know that inside you are heart broken. Nevertheless, I guess I am happy since I try to find happiness in small things especially my loved ones’ happiness.

Moral of my current state,’ Expectation reduces joy’. It really does!