Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Saheli ki shaadi

A fictitious sequel to 'Shaadi ka laddoo'

The SUV is booked. The outifts bought. The jewellery co-ordinated. The card recieved.

The dates? All but one.

Jia is still date-less! Sigh. 

Raina has Ritesh, Priyanka has Priyansh and Jia does not even have a Jignesh. What a disappointment. It was the perfect chance to show-off at the shaadi of the decade, the shaadi of the brat, the shaadi of the saheli from hell. Alas, opportunity lost.

Jia was the quintessential dork in school, weird, fat, pimple-faced, burried in books or forever with the lanky art teacher. All that was history now. A smart and successful illustrator for a well-known ad agency, but still single. Hence no date for the saheli's shaadi.

"Don't tell me you are not going to the grand mela babes". Priyanka shrieked in her signature awe-struck tone.
"Of course I am going, this is not to be missed at all. I really want to see what this brat is marrying".
"Must be loaded" Raina spoke while filing her nails .
"Yes, and we can get the details only at the wedding. But I do wish I had a date".
"Why don't u ask that Khanna in your office?"
"Rishabh Khanna? My boss Rishabh Khanna? The one who hates me?"
"Yeah, the same dude, seems cute, ask him out" said Raina as she admired the job she had done with her nails.
There was no reply, just a flick on Raina's head. She got the hint.

On the balcony of her rented appartment in the cruel Delhi winter as Jia had her rawa idlis, she looked at the stars and wondered if there really is something like 'made for each other'.
"Soulmates! Bah!".
*  *  *  *  *

Things were a tad chaotic on D day. Ritesh was stuck in a jam, Priyanka's hair stylist was getting the dose of a lifetime somewhere in G.K. and Raina had forgotten where the terribly expensive gift for the saheli had been stashed. Jia, picture perfect and ready waited patiently with a rather sleepy looking Priyansh. (Good thing he wasn't driving)

Though a little late, but everything came together at last and the journey to the outskirts of the city began. Apparently a lot of people were tying the knot on that very day. The city's streets were maddening. Jia eyed the cosy companions and looked heavenwards, rolling her eyes. It was a beautiful night and she recalled (of all the things) Saheli's heavy voice on the phone while she was doing the honours of inviting her fellow school friend to her wedding.

"Make sure you come yaar, it means a lot to me and you can get a date along too. Oh, I forgot, you are not seeing anybody. Oops".
"Its ok Saheli, I will come nonetheless. Wouldn't miss it for the world". Jia replied and hung up.
"Phew! Good save".

Her flow of thoughts was interrupted by an abrupt brake. Some lunatic on the middle of the road was waving his hands in the air. 
"What's this clown's problem?" Rishi asked the driver from the rear seat.
"Saahab ji, I think he needs some help with his car".
"Drive right past, this secluded area has a lot of theives running loose". Raina opined.
"A thief with a Toyota Corolla" Priyansh smirked.
"Vo bhi churayi hogi" Raina replied.

By then the 'clown' had almost reached where their car had stopped. Jia let out a gasp and tried to hide her face but it was too late.
"Hey Jia, hehehe, what a coincidence".
It was Rishabh Khanna.
"Hi sir, is there a problem with your car?" Jia feigned a smile.
"Yes, but I cant figure out what is wrong with it, everything seems to be in place. I am supposed to attend a wedding at celebration gardens. Could you drop me there on your way?"
"Oh that's not a problem, that is where we are going" Priyanka butted in.
"Ya, hop on" Jia offered half-heartedly.
"Thanks a ton". Rishabh sounded extremely grateful, like never before. Which made Jia wonder for a while if he was the groom. Probably not.
"So Jia, do you know the bride or  groom?"

Great! Jia thought, he wants to chat!

"I went to school with the bride, how about you" she said with disinterest.
"Oh, I used to play squash with the groom sometime back. I was quite surprised to know that he wanted to invite me".
"Hmmm, I see. The groom plays squash". Priyanka wondered out loud.

*  *  *  *  *

The venue was a firmament of wedding bling and glitter. Lavish, luxurious, rich and overdone. The bride wore a combination of pink and peaches and the groom took to fawn.  As the evening progressed Rishabh grew bewildered and curious about Jia's distant and cold attitude.

"Great food, isn't it?" Rishabh eyed the scrumptious spread.
"You're looking nice".

Finally, sick of monosyllables, he decided to ask her.

"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, am fine".
"You don't look fine. Do you not like the bride? Hehehe, you can tell me, am not fond of the groom either".
"Ok, so you laugh like a hyena and FYI, if you must know, I am not exactly enjoying your company". Jia finally blurted out unable to bear the small talk.
"Ok, I wasn't expecting this. Please sit down".
"We are not in office sir, and you cannot order me around at a wedding".
"Then stop calling me sir, Rishabh is fine. But do sit down". He gestured towards a chair and Jia duly obliged.
"When I ask you to re-do something, as I did today, it is because I feel you can do better. You should take it in the right spirit. I push all my employees who have potential according to me".
"That's so not true, you are always on my case and being snubbed everytime just makes me feel worthless".
"I didn't realise that. I think you are a wonderful artist Jia, perhaps the best we have. But just because we are at loggerheads on some professional issues does not mean we can't be friends. In fact, I... I really like you". And then it happened. He smiled and it became infectious soon enough.
"So you don't hate me?"
"Not even close. Now, if you are convinced, lets go together and wish the soulmates, it feels weird to do it alone".
"You beleive in soulmates?" Jia asked as they inched closer to the couple.
"Yes I do".

Perhaps she did too.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Facial palsy

A trip to the hospital is always a humbling experience and also one that makes  one feel blessed. Especially if you visit a non-profit or govt. org. There are just so many people with both hands or both legs screwed up, people who dont even have slippers and are still smiling... So how does this lessen anyone else's pain? It doesn't. But it does fill you up with gratitude for all that you have. All the needs that are met and all the wants that can be met but don't really seem to matter. 

Coming back to facial palsy, the topic of this entry, the disease is the latest discovery of this hypochondriac. The man before me in the long queue was on d brink of it perhaps and I listened more intently to his diagnosis  than mine. I am not a hypochondriac in the negative sense of the word. If there is anything such as a positive hypochondriac, I am certainly that. By claiming to be one I mean that the moment I come to know of a new disease, I go on high alert and clamour to obtain as much info about it in order to avoid the disease. After all, prevention is better than cure.  So here's the low down on facial palsy aka bell's palsy:

Bells palsy is a condition that causes the facial muscles to weaken or become paralyzed. It's caused by trauma to the 7th cranial nerve, and is not permanent.

Older people are more likely to be afflicted, but children are not immune to it. Children tend to recover well. Diabetics are more than 4 times more likely to develop Bells palsy than the general population. The last trimester of pregnancy is considered to be a time of increased risk for Bell's palsy. Conditions that compromise the immune system such as HIV or sarcoidosis increase the odds of facial paralysis occurring and recurring.

It is possible to have bilateral Bells palsy, but it's rare, accounting for less than 1% of cases. With bilateral facial palsy, it's important to rule out all other possible diagnoses with thorough diagnostic tests.

Very quickly. Most people either wake up to find they have Bells palsy, or have symptoms such as a dry eye or tingling around their lips that progress to classic Bell's palsy during that same day. Occasionally symptoms may take a few days to be recognizable as Bells palsy. The degree of paralysis should peak within several days of onset - never in longer than 2 weeks (3 weeks maximum for Ramsey Hunt syndrome). A warning sign may be neck pain, or pain in or behind the ear prior to palsy, but it is not usually recognized in first-time cases.

Approximately 50% of Bells palsy patients will have essentially complete recoveries in a short time. Another 35% will have good recoveries in less than a year.

Regardless of the trigger, Bell's palsy is best described as an event - trauma to the nerve. As with any other injury, healing follows. The quality and duration of recovery is dependent on the severity of the initial injury. If the nerve has suffered nothing more than a mild trauma, recovery can be very fast, taking several days to several weeks. An "average" recovery is likely to take between a few weeks and a few months. The nerve regenerates at a rate of approximately 1-2 millimeters per day, and can continue to regenerate for 18 months, probably even longer. Improvement of appearance can continue beyond that time frame.

Seems am safe for now :)

Sunday, 21 January 2007

On my mind


Sway by Pussycat Dolls. Hate d band, love the song!
Har kisi ko nahi milta yahan pyar zindagi mein
Ae dil-e-nadaan


The King & I
Walk The Line

An Equal Music
The Fountainhead
The Calcutta Chromosome


Root canaling :-s
Preeto's shaadi
Changing the bedsheet


Stoopid children killer

Friday, 19 January 2007

Shine on you crazy diamond...

PINK FLOYD! One of my fav bands n this song is one of their best according to me. It's part of the album 'Wish you were here'.  One of the longest songs in the history of songs, a tribute to Syd Barrett:

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Dream Man...

While I firlmy beleive that there is no such thing as a dream man or an ideal match, I cannot ignore the concept and a lovely n witty quote by my 8th grade school teacher (Ms. Swapna sumthing)

My dream man must be debonair,
With wisdom and looks to spare.
Is it too much to ask of a millionaire?

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam . . .

Who can forget the poignant, immortal lyrics penned by Kaifi Aazmi... A song about coming of age, drifting apart... The song continues to ring in your ears hours after you have heard it and haunts you even years later.

Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam
Tum rahe na tum ham rahe na ham
Waqt ne kiya…

Beqaraar dil is tarha mile
jis tarha kabhi ham juda na the
Tum bhi kho gaye, ham bhi kho gaye
Ek raah par chalke do qadam
Waqt ne kiya…

Jaayenge kaha sujhta nahi
chal pade magar raasta nahi
Kya talaash hai kuchh pata nahi
Bun rahe hain dil khaab dam-ba-dam
Waqt ne kiya…


Tuesday, 16 January 2007

On the brink...

For a very long time, I have been fascinated with how our vast world works and the threats it faces. For this very reason, Global Warming or Climate Change (as it is now being called) has been a matter of great concern. A lot of species and ecosystems have already collapsed. If nothing is done, the effects would be unavoidable be apparent in about 10-30 years. Time to do some thinking and switch off that extra bulb.

(March of the penguins... perhaps to extinction)


(The lone Arctic Tern - A bird specie on the brink of extinction)

Entire forest types may disappear and northern forests are likely to experience large-scale losses of living trees. Many coastal ecosystems are also at risk, including saltwater marshes, mangroves, wetlands, and coral reefs. Warming shifts current climate zones toward the poles and upward in elevation and species that cannot adapt or move quickly enough can become extinct.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Reader's block !

Sure, we've all heard of writer's block. What I am going through currently is reader's block. Amitav Ghosh, Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie are all vying to be my next reading venture. But it is just not happening :(

For that matter am taking a hell of a lot of time to even read Reader's Digest n flip through Cosmo. A subscription to a 3rd magazine right now wud be a really really bad idea right now. I should probably burn the sub form for Biblio. Perhaps its because of my increased mobility and the fact that its so much easier to kill time now dat I can move around, cook, be useful and spend long hours glued to the computer. I was reading much more when I was restricted to bed. Well, those days are about to be back, so I may get some reading done at the hospital or when I get back home! :)

Picture of the day

( From an award winning photographer's collection shot in Afghanistan )

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Shaadi ka ladoo...

This entry is writ strictly from the perspective of the female species of the human race in India.

(Is that my prince on his white horse?)

A conversation on a wedding between two fathers (with fully loaded plates in their hands):

"Mr. Verma, your daughter is 23, have you started looking for a groom for her?" 
"Well she is not too keen Khanna saab, she says she doesnt wish to get married before 25."
"25! Verma saab tussi do saal hor wait karoge? Why all the eligible bachelors will fly away.And even if she does want to get married at 25, ladke koi ghar baithe thodi mil jaate hain. you shoudl start looking for a groom right away"
"Bhaisaab she has already turned down so many rishtas. One of them was from a Doctor in New York."
. . . . . . . . blah blah blah . . . . . . . .  blah blah blah !

In India, the average or even below average girl's first rishta comes knocking at around 18 yrs. of age (personal experience) And with age, the no. keeps increasing unless u turn into some feminist rocker chick with pierced eyebrows and purple hair. 
All hell especially breaks loose when someone younger or simillar aged cousin gets hitched. 
Most parents really become alarmed when their daughter turns 24 with no leanings towards marriage or if the rishtas arent ringing in anymore. 
"It is really hard to find a groom for older girls" And yet I see more and more girls get married at 28-30 and actually being better at handling life after marriage.
"Dont get your daughter over educated, it becomes harder to find a good enough groom then". Phhhh... 

(Mujhe sajan ke ghar jaana hai... Bah!)

These are some observations made by me on the shaadi scenario in our country. Most small minded people give the impression that the entire life of a girl is merely preparation for the grand day and the life that is to follow. All this certainly robs the sacred tie of its charm.

To be continued...

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Welcome to the sick sick world!

Now the police has introduced motives of cannibalism in the already complex Nithari case. It seems to be sheer motiveless malignity to me. A case of a psychopath. Statistics say that 1 out of 100 people is a psychopath. They feel neither guilt, nor remorse. Scary eh?

And I quote from an IANS news copy:

Police had earlier uncovered bones, slippers and stained clothes of at least 20 children from the drain behind Pandher's bungalow in Noida near New Delhi. On Tuesday, more bones were found from another drain barely 30 feet away.

'It was a feet-long piece of bone. The same has been sent to district hospital for tests,' said Noida Senior Superintendent of Police R.K.S. Rathore.

Police are also probing if cannibalism was a motive behind the crime that has shocked the nation.

'We can rule out neither cannibalism nor organ trade at this juncture as the investigation is still going on,' Deputy Inspector General (Meerut Range) Shailendra Pratap Singh told IANS.

The whole affair is so gross, unimaginable, unfathomable. Is it all God's plan?
Pain, misery, suffering, struggles, agony, crime... are as much part of human life as are love, beauty, joy, serenity, friendship and hope.


If family is one of the greatest sources of joy, it is also the reason for the greatest griefs... 


Main berozgaar hoon :(

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Why powerless?

Aren't we all powerless before destiny? I don't mean to say that we should not strive to be the best we can be or make the best of situations, after all, we do have some control, maybe not on circumstances, but on the way we react to them. Here's why we are powerless over destiny:

  1.  Things you never expect to happen in a million years, happen.
  2. Change is inevitable. Nothing lasts forver.
  3. Accidents happen.
  4. People die.
  5. Calamities occur.
  6. When we desperately want to be in love, we find no one around.
  7. When we wish to not fall in love, someone comes charging through, usually at the wrong time, when you are perhaps at your worst.
  8. Plans go haywire!
As much as I believe in destiny, I also believe in fighting it and not bowing down to its vagaries everytime. But largely debatable is also the issue of where to draw the line. Till which point are we supposed to fight, where do we stop . . . 

To be continued . . .

The wild through the lens of an 18 -year-old


Monday, 8 January 2007

Breezer ki saugandh!

 The ramblings of a non madira consuming Bhartiya naari
(Bhartiya naari my ass!)

"Main madira nahi peeti".

Thats what I tell my friends when I am offered a drink (not that there have been many times). Often I have felt like a boring freak/ outcaste/ goody two shoes/ and what not when I think of the fact that I dont smoke, booze, dope or even have supaari or paan! Not even meetha paan. I dont know where I get these values from, or if I have strictly conditioned myself to abhor these filthy things.

Many a times I have wondered holding a glass of really expensive mango juice in my hand if I am really missing something. Basically its rotten fruit juice. I have never been able to understand why people love alcohol so much. It tastes bitter, smells funny and looks like apple juice and iced tea! All to get a 'high'? Doesnt make much sense to me. Perhaps I am too rigid and condemn things without experiencing them. But I dont need to whiff heroin to know its bad or smoke to know that it is bad as well, at the same time I do wish to know what the fuss is all about!

Surely now a days we read the occassional article abt what good vines can do if consumed moderately, but the disadvantages surely outnumber the advantages of all other forms of alcohol. Well, why do I still crave artery clogging french fries despite knowing there is nothing right with it? I guess thats addiction for ya. Mortal sin. Gluttony. The principle here seems to be that as long as it satisfies you, go ahead. Hehehe.

(Guess everything is wrong with Breezers as well)

Is it about time I sin as well?

Waiter, ek breezer laao!

Sunday, 7 January 2007

So this is what its like...

Had a busy day after ages!
Had almost forgotten what it used to be like...
To have a fully occupied day...
When u live every moment...

Picture of the day:

Anne Geddes. How does she do it?

Friday, 5 January 2007

Funny quote

When I'm good, I'm really good,
but when I'm bad I'm better...!

Found this somewhere. hahahaha.


(One of me fav songs & fav artists!)

Paint my face in your magazines
Make it look whiter than it seems
Paint me over with your dreams
Shove away my ethnicity
Burn every notion that I may have a flame inside to fight
And say just what is on my mind
Without offending your might

Cuz this life is too short to live it just for you
But when you feel so powerless what are you gonna do
So say what you want
Say what you want

I saw her face outside today
Weatherworn, looking all the rage
They took her passion and her gaze and made a poster
Now it's moccasins we sport
We take the culture and contort
Perhaps only to distort what we are hiding

Cuz this life is too short to live it just for you
But when you feel so powerless what are you gonna do
But say what you want
Say what you want

Hey you, the one outside, are you ever gonna get in, get in
Hey you, the one that don't fit in, how ya, how ya gonna get in
Hey you, the one outside, are you ever gonna get in with your
Broken teeth, broken jaw, broken mojo

Yeah, this life is too short to live it just for you
But when you feel so powerless, what are you gonna do

Cuz this life is too short to live it just for you
But when you feel so powerless, what are you gonna do

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Virtual realities

Is it just me or have our lives been dramatically overtaken by the www?

We talk to our closest personal friends online, we talk 2 aquaintances online, even strangers. The art of conversation is either branching out to this medium or its gathering cobwebs.

We do not have diaries or journals anymore. We have blogs. We prefer typing over writing.

And what the heck is up with love that stems from chatrooms? Where is the first glance? The gradual progression to flirting and love? Where are the hot cups of coffee & conversation? Where are the common friends who play cupid? Hehehe.

It surely is a great medium 2 keep in touch, branch out and make new friends in places far & wide. Certainly cost effective. But how much is too much? Are we losing something?

And now, time for the picture of the day. This is an old type of a windmil in greece

My passion for photography

My love affair with photography began from the time i read my first magazine, or perhaps since my first vacation that i can recall. Ironically enough, i have never had the honour of posessing a good camera. And my only photo feature was possible because of a borrowed camera.

(The infamous white peacock. Make a wish guys.)

When i say i am passionate abt photography, i do not mean that i am a brilliant photographer or have excellent technical knowledge. I merely mean that i admire this medium of expression and have an eye for photography. I truly feel a picture is worth a 1000 words. It captures a moment of beauty, a page in somebody's life and almost every picture has a story behind it.

(Clearly tulips are a favourite with me.)

Over the years i have collected many gorgeous pictures, from life, from the net and i have even torn them from magazines. I thought it would be a good idea to assemble some of them here. Though the best ones are in my webshots folder while some others lie unscanned. 

(This is a rather astounding satelitte image of the tsunami forming over Indonesia.)

Random thought

When did my life become a season of ER? And how long will this season last?

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Old wine in new bottle

Here are some crazy ideas for new year resolutions i found on MSN!

1. Lose weight. Get on the "Lose 40 pounds in 20 days" programme, which involves eating a sole carrot every day at 2 p.m. Make sure this is done in time for the new season of American Idol, so that you look good lip-synching in front of the mirror while watching the show (Don't forget to apply for life-insurance before embarking on the weight-loss programme, in case of a sudden heart-attack).

2. Get some exercise. To vary your exercise routine a little, on your way back from your annual morning walk, just before the signal turns green, run across screaming frantically, "They are onto us!" and then once you cross the road, proceed to wait patiently for the next signal to change colour and start again.

3. Cutback on caffeine. Replace your customary coffee beverage, at noon, with a stiff peg of something… ehrmm… stronger, instead.

4. Wear sun block. Also keep in mind that suntan isn't the same product with a different company name, and that the tan in suntan does NOT refer to the tanning that the sun's rays get, when you apply the product.

5. Re-discover an old hobby. In your spare time, get back to the used chewing gum sculpture you worked on through your summer vacation in the seventh grade.

6. Sign-up for a class. The "Empty vessels making a noise in your kitchen are really aliens trying to make contact" sounds like a real fun class to sign up for. Who knows, you might even have a date, this Valentine's!?

7. Strike a work-life balance. Set up a make shift den in your 6 x 6 cubicle so that significant other and you can catch up on movies over the weekend, during your lunch break.

8. Re-connect with the family. Spend quality time with grandma by taking her shopping at the neighbourhood mall (remember to snip off the price tags prior to stuffing granny's bag with items that haven't been paid for).

9. Break out of your comfort zone. It really is okay to eat foods that are green. Not all green foods are mutants struggling to get out of the matrix.

10. Get in touch with your feelings. Get back to practising voodoo seriously. Chintoo should never have beaten you to reciting the alphabet in nursery. He must pay!

Monday, 1 January 2007

I am TIRED . . .

i am tired of being positive

i am tired of being brave and holding back my tears

tired of being perky

tired of waiting for things to happen

i am tired of making things happen

i am tired of being hopeful

i am tired of being the counsellor

tired of soothing frazzled nerves

tired of being ill all the time

tired of hospitals, clinics, medicines and labs

tired of being let down

i am tired of being me!

Happy New Year indeed!