Death of a PUPPY DOG!!

A grim subject, I know. Some of you might find the title alone to be very appalling. But I gotta write what I gotta write.

I'm not your typical dog admirer. I mean, sure I can admire them when they are tied with a leash to some part of the house and don't come anywhere close to me. I know its cruel, to keep a dog tied always... not letting it have any freedom. I am not cruel. I'm just plain scared of them. When visiting family friends or relatives, I demand that the dog be confined to a place away from me. I'm sure the dogs must hate me.

I hadn't always been like that. I mean, living in a joint family, my cousins had dogs...Tiger, Sheroo... and I had played with them as a kid. I guess what got me scared of them was when one of them, sort of ALMOST bit me. I was playing around as usual and one of them just got violent for a second. If not for my brothers, I think I would have got the injections on that day.

So there ended any sort of comfort I had with the canines. That has been the case ever since. And astonishingly, I don't seem to scared of the street dogs. Its only the pet ones. Wierd huh?? I know.

A few days ago, as my mom went towards her car to leave some relatives to the station, we noticed this puppy dog underneath her car. It was yelping, crying for help maybe. It seemed discomforted by something. Just wouldn't budge, no matter how hard we tried. With a lot of difficulty, my uncle managed to get it out but even so, it came out yelping real loud. It kept looking at us and crying... maybe asking for help, but we proceeded to our routine.

When all of us got back home and retired for the night, I could still hear it crying in the middle of the night. My room was filled with the sounds of the dog and I slept that night commenting, "Oh this bloody dog is ruining my sleep". And so, I dont remember when I slumped into my slumber.

I woke up the next morning, a sunday, pretty tired. Did the morning routine and then Mom sent me over to our neighbours to find out something. As I left the gate, a gory sight met my eyes. I will never forget that. The puppy dog laid there dead, just across the window from my room.

A lifeless body. An already decaying body. I just froze there... hoping half scared that I might see a movement..some movement. For the very first time in years I think, I was not scared of a dog. I wanted to see it alive. I really did. I stood there and couldn't see any movement. I didn't know what else to do. I went back inside to my home and told my Mom about what I had seen.

I cried and said, "The poor thing was asking for help maybe, it was crying all night and I was cursing it. Now its no more." I just went back to my room and sat there near the window, just looking at it. Mom meanwhile asked the caretakers of our colony to have it buried somewhere, properly.

As I sat watching for a while, I suddenly saw another dog come up to it and sniff the puppy. I thought to myself, "Oh god No, please don't eat it". I was about to rush down to shoo the other dog away when I saw it leave by its own.

The other dog, all grown, went to the empty plot in front of ours.... went sniffing for a while and finally stopped at one point. To my amazement, it started digging with its paws at a violent pace. This scene was just too much for me. I just couldn't control my tears and moved away from there, choosing to do something else, divert my mind and keep myself busy with something else.

I wanted to ignore the death of the puppy dog. How rude of me!!! My cowardice!!

I managed to sum up a little courage and returned to my window. The colony caretakers hadn't yet started on their job. But the other dog already had. It managed to drag the puppy dog towards the other end of the road, to a safe corner and was still digging. I wondered, was it the puppy dog's mother???

We left in the afternoon to visit some more relatives and returned only later in the night. I don't know what became of the two dogs-- who buried the puppy dog. I didnt even ask. But none of them were there. The next morning I couldn't locate the spot where the dog was digging. Neither could I locate that particular dog in the colony.

It got me thinking again about how indifferent we can be towards suffering...of Humans as well as that of the animals....and realise our errors only when its too late. I wouldn't like to give a moral or anything here. I just wanted to tell a story of my experience...the story of a cute puppy dog, who now lays somewhere across from me.

More Dedications...

Looks like you guys (the ones reading my blog.. OBVIOUSLY) aren't gonna hear the end of my dedicated blogs for quite a while now. So, here's an important addition to my list. And I would also like to take my opportunity and apologise for being so lazy, and dedicating the blogs the next day after the "dedicated's" birthday. Here comes one more...

Aparna a.k.a Appu, big sister. I'm supposed to call her Appu didi, but I ALWAYS found it hard to call her that. Neither was she ever comfortable being referred to as so. Appu is my eldest cousin sister from my father's side. She,her bro Richie and her parents, Sari bua and Reggie fufa have lived in various parts of the country over a quarter of a decade. So Appu's visits to Hyderabad were very scattered and not so often, at least that's what I remember of us as kids.

In Hyderabad, I lived in a large joint family (as explained in earlier blogs) and the boys outnumbered the girls. Nine boys to four girls. Naturally, all the sisters were a pampered lot. I thought, back then, that I was the "most loved" of us all. All that seemed to change, whenever Appu came home. She commanded the attention of all the brothers, and I guess that's when I was first introduced to the seeds of jealousy.

I still remember all the nasty things I did, to torment Appu. No need for me to explain those in detail. I think Appu remembers those too, so lets keep those between us. As a kid, I always thought me and Appu could NEVER get along. I thought we'll fight like the Hindi Soap queens that we see in the Television these days. I have no shame in saying that, I was a total jerk then and Appu NEVER said anything to me. Of course, I was given a dose of my own medicine when I went to her place in Aurangabad once (she wasn't there... I guess she was studying some place else). Richie, her bro, behaved in the same way that I behaved with her. That's the first time I felt what she must've been feeling. I felt ashamed of my behaviour and vowed to change, to eradicate the monster of jealousy.

Years passed, we started getting along fine. She started on her hotel management course, her visits to Hyderabad became frequent. That's when I had the chance to know Appu, the person rather than Appu, my sister. On one occassion, about five years ago, me and Appu went to spend the night at my maternal grandmother's place.

We just laid there and spoke for hours together. We spoke of our childhood together, about how she felt back then. I remember taking the chance and apologising for the first time, for the way I had behaved with her as kids. We shared some good memories, some bad.... and I thought that was when we really spoke heart-to-heart for the first time.

Appu landed a job, her visits became less frequent again. But I looked forward to her coming everytime, so did my parents. My mom and dad totally adore her. Then she went to Singapore a few years ago, for further studies.

We stayed in touch, thanks to the internet, and kept ourselves updated of the events taking place in our life. I came to know that she has found her soulmate, and now she'd be getting married pretty soon.

Her parents, my parents met Kalyan's(read soulmate :P) family. And it was decided that they'll become Man and wife in the last week of April 2008, date yet to be announced. The feeling is yet to sink in for all of us, as we are starting to plan out the wedding. Gosh I'm so excited!!!

Appu's dad is at our place as I write this blog. This morning, we sat down and decided who's gonna do what. He told me how he liked things organised (which I know of already :P). We were counting how many people would DEFINITELY attend the wedding, how he proposed the other arrangements be made, the arrangements regarding gifts and shopping...EVERYTHING. We are running out of time.

We said the feeling isn't yet sinking in as both the bride and groom are in Singapore and we might probably not get to see them two-three days before the wedding. But I guess, all of us are geared up to make the wedding a grand success. All of us feel really happy about it. ABOVE ALL, Appu is the one who's happiest and that's what all of us here want for her.

Now to talk a little more about the groom. Kalyan. Boy Genius... :P Well, I'd say he's one of the nicest person I've met and I think is totally PERFECT for Appu. Appu is a very warm hearted person, she's the most beautiful person I know, inside out. I'm not saying this cos she's my sister. And Kalyan is equally nice as her. We've met him just once but everyone gave him a BIG THUMBS UP. Okay Kalyan, I'm not gonna write in more about you. YOU'RE TERRIFIC.... :) That should sum it all.

In the end, to conclude, I just want to say that you guys are just the perfect couple and I'm wishing you all the luck in life ahead. I can't wait for April now.... gonna do full DHAMAAL :P

And Appu, thanks for being such a wonderful sister. And a wonderful human being. Love you loads!!! ;)


P.S. You guys... I'm coming there in September to eat your head. Kalyan, I hope my table is ready :P

P.P.S. I had finished writing this blog two days ago. I wanted to put up a pic of Appu that I had until a few days ago. I had kept it for safe-keeping...looks like I was extra careful with it and now can't seem to locate where I hid it :(( Will put it up once I get it...the photo-hunt is ON... :P I hope u guys din't mind me stealing this pic ;)

Pursuit of Happiness

I now know how it feels like to have half a doze of happiness. You all probably know that I've been pursuing the Chartered Accountancy course for the last 4 years. All was fine, hunky-dory until I was doing my graduation. I was adamant to be known as CA Smriti Srivastava, in a few years.

Once I was done with my graduation, while most of my peers took up jobs, I decided against it. I wanted to concentrate on clearing my CA PE2 exam. It is the second level of the CA course and I tried hard for two years. Under the scheme that I was in, I couldn't start my articleship(internship) unless I clear my PE2 exam. We were supposed to have a maximum of five attempts and I managed to clear only one group out of two in a total of five attempts.

I thought this was the end of my CA journey. Maybe I wasn't destined to be a CA after all. I joked with friends after the results and said my resume will read "Semi-CA INTER" in educational qualifications. I put up a happy face, saying it doesn't matter. This is the end of it all. I won't be known as CA Smriti Srivastava, EVER.

As I sat pondering over all the things I gave up for this course, I got a call from one of my friends. She said there might be a way out of all this. In previous courses, as well as in the new scheme of things, there wasn't any restriction on the attempts. It was only our batch which got stuck with the attempts scheme. She said she'll monster support from all friends of our batch who discontinued or are still continuing to do the course, as well as some CA's too. They would sign a petition for people like me who got stuck with clearing just one group, and for a chance to give us an additional attempt.

I got back home, talked to that friend and also other CAs I knew. We thought, "There has got to be some way out of all this". I went to the local branch of the ICAI in Hyderabad the following day, and sought to find a way out for me. I wanted to find a ray of hope. Just anything. And for the first time in years, the lucky stars shone on me.

I could switch to the new scheme and write another group that is pending, in the May 2008 exam. I would have to register myself with a CA firm as an articled clerk for a period of three years. If everything goes well, I could be a CA by 2010. Two more years. When I've come this distance, I wanted to complete my journey. Another two years wouldn't matter for this journey. It will all be worth it.

The sadness of it all-- My father isn't happy with my decision to pursue this. He doesn't think I can do it. He doesn't say it but I know my dad. Actions speak louder than words. I have bowed down a lot to family pressure, but I guess now no more. This is my life, I will live it the way I choose it. I will be held responsible for my actions. I know I'm taking a risk, but you don't gain anything by playing safe all the time. This is my happiness.

I think I am more confident than EVER. I know as a result I won't be able to do things that I wanted to the time i'm 24, cos I would still be studying then. But I know, life will begin after that. The kind of life I want, the kind I imagined.

I will still be here for the next few years, blogging, on the ups and downs of it all. And needless to say, in a few years my profile information WILL read CA SMRITI SRIVASTAVA. I promise. I promise PAPA!!!



Diva, I know without even reading the blog, you know what I'm gonna write. This is dedicated to you and our friendship. ;)
  • PRESENTING== Smriti Srivastava and Divya Nawale in THE BREATHLESS GIRLS
  • I know all of you've heard of the song BREATHELESS by Shankar Mahadevan. It was a huge rage and at that age, we'd never heard anything like it. So, it all began for me and Diva. We practised on our own, not really practised coz we loved the song so much that the constant singing made us sort of "EXPERTS" if u may call us so.
  • On one of the numerous bus trips from school, me and Diva discovered each other's talent for the song. And then we were a team... THE BREATHLESS GIRLS. At the time the song came out, we never let an opportunity pass us by. EVERYTIME we took the school bus to ANY location together, we sang it. We loved singing it. We had so so so so much fun. I can still recall the excitement and the glow on Diva's face when she sang it. It was oh so special.
  • That was also the first time I knew that Diva was not so dumb (read bholi bhaali) after all. On one of the trips, my eternal school crush Ramakrishna Deshpande was with us. We were all going to some school far off (I bet Diva remembers the name... I was just too excited going into an inter school competition and spending time with my best friend and biggest crush... who cares what school it was). And we sang the song as usual, this time Ramakrishna joined us (he sang it well too... I'm not blushing...REALLY!!). I had never told Diva about my crush on Ramakrishna till then and later when I confessed, she said she'd found that out in the way I was singing around him. Till then, I didn't think Diva even knew the meaning of a crush... she was so bholi. Yeah she was simple, no denying that.
  • BREATHELESS GIRLS.... yeah we were that. I haven't tried singing the song in a long time. I don't even know if I can. But I've heard Diva sing it a few years ago...and singing it just the same. Diva has changed a lot for the better. She is street-smart and knows the ways of the world now. Underneathe it all, she's still got the same super-bhola heart.... at least for the ones she loves.
  • YES... We fight. A lot of times, always have. But our friendship was built on some real solid ground and no matter what we say or do to each other... we may leave each other speechless... But in the end, we'd do something real special for one another and make each other BREATHELESS.
Love You Diva!!!

The Kashmiri Boy (Part 1)

I live in the southern part of India. The weather is warm for most part of the year, winter exists only in name. Ever since I was a kid, I've heard the term "Paradise on earth" as a synonymn for Kashmir. Its beautiful valleys, the mountains, everyone wants to go there during summers. It is also a well known fact that Kashmir is a disputed territory. And I always want to know the state of the people who call that place, their home.

I've met only 4 Kashmiri people in my life. They came down south long ago to find a better life, as I knew it back them. My aunt ran a creche for children and two Kashmiri kids, Hamza and her brother (I'll write his name when I can remember) were the ones who gave me a glimpse of this other India. I was, what, 8 or 9 year old when they first came in. Hamza's mom was this really fair woman, the whitest female I had seen personally at that age. Her dad was too, and I remember his dark brown moustache very distinctly. Hamza and her brother were 3 and 6 respectively. I used to find it really funny the way they spoke. They knew very little hindi, and whatever they knew, was very accentuated.

I'll always remember Hamza's brother's rendition of "Chappa Chappa Charkha Chale" from the movie MAACHIS, which was based on Kashmir. His rendition was, as you might have guess, very accentuated too. It was funny then. I would later realise that even as a 6 year old,that boy had such deep emotions for the land he was born in. Something that I can resonate with, but not entirely.

Hamza and her brother came there for 3 years in all. I drifted away from the "KIDS" from the creche, as I entered my teens. They still keep in touch with my aunt, all the kids who ever came to the creche as well as their parents. That was the end of my Kashmir connection for a long time. Then I forged a new one.

Mummy's best friend and colleague Sophie Aunty called up one day and said, "I'm sending over the Kashmiri Bhaiyya at your place. He has some really beautiful stuff, you'll like it". Sophie Aunty knew this Kashmiri Bhaiyya and her father for a real long time. I was excited at the prospect of meeting another Kashmiri after such a long time. And so after many delays and busy schedules, finally it was decided to call the Kashmiri Bhaiyya to my aunt's place as he was showing his wares around that place and he said he'll come over.

Mom went on giving him directions as he had never been to this side of the city before. He said he could easily find our house, coz that's the area he normally does his business. My aunt's residence was in a place he had not gone before. And so, we waited from the 4th floor of the apartment where she stays, looking out from the balcony to see if he had come. The auto stopped two apartments before my aunt's, and out came a tall burly man, followed by a rather young looking boy, small, thin... then they took out their huge bundles, placed it on the back and followed Mom's directions to enter the apartment.

It was a saturday and it was the first time that I saw them.


"Paisa Wasool" Weekend

I haven't blogged on Tennis since the Baghdatis-Nalbandian clash in 2006 Australian Open. Its just that I haven't found anything interesting enough to blog on. I have been writing all about the F1 events on the F1 blog of mine. So this is what interests me today.

My first weekend off from office. I thought I'd do something good. Experience that term, "Work Hard, Party Harder". Just do something for fun. BUT NO!!! That wasnt how it happened. I woke up fashionable late. And my parents and sister woke up an hour after I did. To think of it, I am still the earliest riser in the family :D I thought about the Sania Mirza Vs Venus Williams match at the Aussie Open. Damn I missed so much action already since office started. But the match, as I came to know later, was in the evening session. So I went on to watch the India-Australia Test match at Perth (We won... hahaha.. and I'm not talking about it... all the news channels are making me wanna puke with the excessive coverage).

In no mood to clean out the mess that my room is in, I just thought of watching Tennis for a while... Whatever was on. First up I saw the Fernando Gonzalez Vs Marin Cilic match. Good match. The 19-year old Cilic did well to defeat last year's finalist Gonzalez. I thought it was a really neat match. I thought this was enough Tennis for the day. Then came the big one.

Roger Federer, the undisputed King of Tennis was up against Janko Tipsarevic. At first I thought, another walk in the park for Federer. When he lost the first set, I focused my attention back to the match. I thought, maybe if this guy could stretch Federer till the end. And if luck favours him, he can take our Federer in this round. After all, Federer hasn't lost in Melbourne Park since 2006 semi-final when Marat Safin defeated him.

Match on, I said. Tipsarevic won the first set 7-6(7/5) on tie break. The next set was yet another closely fought won, Federer winning it this time 7-6(7/1).

Federer looked to have regained the momentum when he broke early in the third, but Tipsarevic battled back to level and it was apparent the champion was in for a difficult match. The decisive moment came in the ninth game when Tipsarevic faced two set points on his serve and held off both.
Federer then lost his way and his serve in the next game, allowing Tipsarevic to serve out for a two-sets-to-one lead with a 7-5 success in the third set.
Federer again got the important early break in the fourth, but this time was able to capitalise as Tipsarevic's spirit of adventure got the better of him. The Serbian played a number of ill-advised drop shots which Federer pounced on, and the match was levelled at two sets apiece after just 33 minutes. Federer won it 6-1.
The first 16 games went with serve in a marathon final set before the top seed came from 40-0 down on the Serbian's serve to get vital edge with his second break point. Federer then served out for the match, taking his second match-point opportunity.

In the end, Federer won with the score card reading 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/1) 5-7 6-1 10-8 .

I had fun watching this match. Although I knew as soon as Federer gets a chance, he'll grab it with both hands. He did. That's why he's number one. But young Janko Tipsarevic played such a wonderful match, full credit to him. Making Federer go this distance, is as good as defeating him (after all, he hardly gets to play such long matches. He demolishes his oppenents most of the times.).

All in all, total fun. Amazing Tennis, exhilarating feelings, even the commentators on Star Sports seemed tired after watching the match.

For all of you who missed it, try watching the highlights when they air it. Peace!!!
P.S INPUTS from Google News, not entirely my source!! Feeling too tired to write too.

First day at Office...

Though, UNOFFICIALLY I have already worked at a Chartered Accountant's firm (for NO PAY), today was my first official work day... 16th January 2008... I'll remember it forever, no matter what.

I joined Standard Chartered Bank in the Credits department. Its a financial institution of international repute and my father was very happy that FINALLY my life is getting back on track. After all, I wasted nearly a year and a half after graduation... doing absolutely nothing.

About my office... The Atmosphere is awesome. My colleagues, real sweet and helpful. My bosses, very funny. My Office... THE BEST PLACE TO BEGIN!!! It feels like it was all worth the wait. I'm still learning. My colleagues have so much patience with me. I am probably the youngest employee there and people from every other department kept coming in and askin me, "Hey... your first day here... ". Trying to be friendly. It was amazing.

I thought I'd be a nervous wreak on my first day. I was amazed at my own self.. I never thought I could be this calm. Anyways, early days. Still a lot to learn. A lot of ladders to climb.

At least I know my first step was good. I have to walk many more baby steps... I might stumble and fall, but if I still manage to get up and walk with my head high, I'll be more than happy.

I'm finally beginning a new life and everyone I love has shown their support. My brothers called up as soon as my office was done, to ask how my first day went. Aunts called. Friends called. Everyone is excited for me. And I just want to do well for them... make them and myself proud.

I wanna keep writing more... but I'm tired from all the excitement and I'm feeling hungry. Gotta wake up early and take d next step. So watch out for this space for more... :)

Thank you all, so very much!!! PEACE!!!

Protecting an Heir...

I was randomly looking at the YAHOO NEWS portal (which I sometimes do while logging in and out of my Yahoo Mailbox) and I found this story about Bilawal Bhutto Zardari returning to Oxford. The 19-year old lad has returned to complete his studies after his mother's untimely death and is constantly in public glare. Media hounding him, the police protecting him, an obvious threat from extremists.... gosh, what kind of life is that??

So, as I was reading the article, something disturbed me.

While the college has reassured students they have no reason to suspect a "direct threat" to Bilawal, some in Oxford have already expressed concerns that his presence could threaten the safety of others.
"Go home, you endanger us all here in Oxford by being here," one person wrote on the website of the local Oxford Mail newspaper, while another was also hostile to the idea that British taxpayers would pay for his security.
"Idiots from HIS country want to kill HIM but I bet the British taxpayer is footing the bill for HIS security," another added.
"Go home now and take the dangers you pose to others with you."

Well, I was just thinking, why are we so insensitive?? Not everyone though. But what do the above statements demonstrate?? He is all of 19, has been given such a huge responsibility and is living everyday in the shadow of death... with dignity. He wants to finish his education, so why should ANYONE have a problem with it??

He sure CANNOT live his life normally. His lineage wouldn't have left him for even a bit, no matter how hard he tried. But don't you empathise with this boy?? Sure, I don't know about Benazir Bhutto. For me all politicians are more or less the same. But I had respect for this woman when she decided to come back to her country. That required a lot of courage. Her son is required to fill up her shoes and he has boldly taken it upon himself.

Seriously... why do we have to be so insensitive?? The least we can do is to show support to this boy. He wants to get on with his life and prepare himself for a treacherous life later on. Its not about HIS country or HIS people. He is a citizen of this planet...this universe. He is made of the same flesh and blood like you and me. Its just that he was born on a different land mass and to a woman who made herself distinct with her deeds, noble or otherwise. He is a fellow human being and his right to live is as important as your and mine.

He isn't just ANY student. He is a human who was born for a purpose, defined as soon as he was born. His mother laid her life for something she believed in. This guy is a shimmering light of hope to millions of humans in the land of his birth. Man... I still don't get it, why are we so insensitive??

TITANIC craze.....sinking with time..

Okay. More of ME stuff. There's nothing bad about writing about yourself, as long as you have readership... at least that's what I think. Don't know about you.

So next up on THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT ME is my craze for TITANIC, the movie... to some extent the actual ship. My best girl pal, Divya (aka Diva), will vouch for this fact that I used to be crazy about this movie.

I might not be far fetched in making a statement such as this, and I haven't actually kept a count. But I can safely say that I have watched this movie at least 50 times. The number may be much higher.

This is the only movie I saw in theatre as many times I did... SEVEN.

The VCD of this movie was the first one I EVER purchased, year 2001 ...for Rs. 799 (to think of it, almost a year and a half later, it came down to Rs.299)

I can recite almost all the dialogues from the movie. I can go along with the english one, as well as keep reciting the english dialogues while watching the Hindi dubbed versions...much to my mom's annoyance.

I used to say MY HEART WILL GO ON is my favourite song and Celine Dion is my favourite singer, for a real long time, even though that wasn't true...all because I was so much in awe of the movie.

Well, with changing times, I finally got sensible... :) Although this isn't my favourite movie any longer (for those who didn't know my favourite movie is Philadephia), it remained at the top of my list for a really long time. All the work and research on getting the facts right, just blew me away. And it has some really fond, yet sometimes silly memories attatced to it.

Diva and my sister Jolly, I want to say sorry for annoying you guys by saying along the dialogues, as we watched the movie together all those times. YES I WAS TRYING TO SHOW OFF. And Diva, I quite enjoyed your expression back them... just plain gaping and going "oh my god!!"... some fun times we had. :)

It'll soon be 10 years since I first watched the movie. It'll be 7 years since I got the VCD. I did full "paisa-vasool" on it, I swear. Haven't watched it in over a year and a half. I asked myself 5 years ago, "Will I ever get bored watching this movie??". I think I am finally, getting over it and all the previous thrills of watching it just don't exist anymore. I think finally, my TITANIC PHASE has reached its saturation point.

But just, for the record, I remember watching it for the first time in April 1998. So this April, just to re-live the old days, I hope I can find some time to sit down and watch the movie again. And see how much I can SHOW OFF with the dialogues... :P ...

Will update on this one... :) Till then...peace!!

The Place Where I belong....

Today was one of those days, when I had some real quality time with my sister. Even though we were surrounded by too many people, I think we spoke a lot today without saying much...if you know what I mean. We laughed, shared jokes and some real light moments. In the recent past, our conversations have been pretty serious... life that has gone by, life to come, her fears and mine... Sometimes I wonder, do we have to make life so complicated?? I mean, with every conversation with her, I felt she is stressing way too much and sometimes I wished I could just ask her to chill. Its easier said than done.

So, we went to get ourselves something to eat...coz the last night we both ate "PAV-BHAAJI" and had skipped breakfast in a hurry to reach my aunt's beauty parlour (mom had work...we are beautiful the way we are :P). We sat at her place for a while before we had to finally give in to the requests of the rumbling stomach. We took an auto for a distance which is less than half a kilometer. Man, I didn't want to walk that much on an empty stomach. We went to this restaurant that we like, ordered some stuff and for the first time in her 17 years, my sister enjoyed "FRUIT PUNCH". She is very very very choosy.

We got our food and left the restaurant. We decided to walk the distance, for the mere fact that there was no auto available to back to the parlour. I told her, "500 Steps and we'll reach there". She thought otherwise and challenged me... for some silly reason I accepted it. And so we walked quietly, counting our steps. I kept glancing her and giving her a smile now and then. And damn, was she concentrating hard on her counting!!!! Normally, she'd look from the corner of her eye and find out if I was smiling or giving her any sort of facial expressions. Right then, she couldn't care less. Sometimes I think she's a MONICA (from F.R.I.E.N.D.S). Very competitive.

I lost my count at number 302. I saw these two young college kids at a "Paani-Puri" stall. They were having Paani puri as they stood there waiting for their bus. Suddenly, one of them shouted, "That's enough more...the bus is here...see you tomorrow". And the two made a dash for their bus.

At that very moment, I smiled to myself. I thought of the various "Paani-puri" moments I shared with friends throughout my school and college days. How the local paani-puri bandiwallah became our friend and knew the tastes of the whole gang. Some days they were. Don't you think this is the only place where we can enjoy such moments?? I mean sure, every person in every country has a different perspective of this. But since I've lived here for all of my 21 years, I cannot imagine a life different than this.

My cousin told me a few years ago that I should come to USA for further studies and probably settle there. "Life is pretty easy there", he said. Screw it!! Sure I get mad about various things that happen here. I don't want to run away from it all. I feel guilty many times, about many things I do... about certain priviledges I have. But I wouldn't want to trade this life I have here for anything else, EVER.

YES I will go to the US someday(all my relatives who've asked me this)... for sight-seeing. Gosh everyone is globe trotting these days. It isn't such a big deal. I'm very happy with whatever I have here. And I want to see all the changes and development taking place here with my own eyes. I want to participate and be a part of it, in any way that I can.

This is the place where I belong, where I was born, where my ashes will be scattered... but not before I make my part of contribution, and hopefully MORE!!


The Henna Tattoo...

If I ever have to write a column on "THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME", this might be the thing that you least expect me to write about.

Henna Tatto or Mehendi is applied commonly during festivals or special occassions in many parts of the world. Here in India, marriage is an occassion when many want to decorate their hands with beautiful patterns. Then come the festivals when apart from the grand attire, the dark colour that the henna leaves behind on your hand is something everyone is looking at. Among married women, there's this saying that the colour of the Mehendi is an indicator of your husband's love for you. The darker the colour, the more your husband loves you. Among unmarried women/girls, its only for comparison purpose.

I am no different. Normally I am averse to the idea of applying mehendi designs on my hands. Unless of course there is a special occassion as mentioned above. And you wouldn't find Henna on my hand EVER without reason or occassion. But here comes THE THING YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT ME.

If ever there is henna on my hands and there is no special occassion, then it is there for a very special reason. The reason is hurt, anger, sadness or any negative feeling. The Henna somehow acts as my opium. It is something that soothes my soul. I know it sounds wierd but it truly does. It is just one of the ways I adopt to help myself.

My aunt own's a beauty parlour and her assistants apply the Henna design. They are mighty talented girls I must say. They apply some really inspiring designs. Seeing the beautiful patterns on my hand, and since many people say the henna leaves a beautiful colour on my hand, the sheer attention that my hands get is enough for me to help drown out unpleasant thoughts. It is what I call THE DIVERSION THERAPY. For once, I am not the one under constant scrutiny. For once, a part of me seems beautiful to people, yet again. A small respite from uncomfortable questions. Just for a while. It sure does the trick.

So, now you know...If there's no diwali, no dussera, no marriage at home....and there's henna on my hand, it means I don't want to be in the spotlight for the moment and want a little peace. Talk to my hands till then. I might say that I was forced by my aunt's assistants because they wanted a hand to try their designs on, you now know its all a SHAM.

Why this sudden revelation??? Had nothing else to write and YES... have Henna on my hands, yet again. Peace!!

Happy Birthday Dear Friend...

Well, his birthday was on the 3rd of January i.e. yesterday. Who??? My Best Friend Prashant.

He has been my closest friend since the sixth grade and what we share is something pretty awesome. Had our usual ups and downs, like in any friendship.... but those moments are always hazy. I CANNOT recall any moment for which I have ever been upset at him.

I always tell him that it was destined that we met. Though not a believer in destiny, I just cannot rule out some facts that are so unexplained, they just baffle me.

Its explain what we have. From the moment I first spoke to him, I knew that there was something special here. He was very poised and composed even as a 12 year old. They speak of an unspoken bondage... it is eerie, the number of times that I've recieved a call from him out of nowhere, when I was feeling terribly low. Even if I haven't spoken to him for days together, his call would come at the exact moment that I need to talk to a friend.

Not to mention that he is THE MOST POSITIVE person I've met in my life. Takes everything with a pinch of salt. He has been my support in more ways than I can explain. Remembers tiniest of details about our childhood together. ALWAYS is one call away, no matter what.

If I am thankful in life for anything, it is for the chance of having someone like him in my life. I have an enormous amount of respect for him. For all the things he's ever said... and all the things he said without actually saying anything. I guess we are past that stage where we need language to express ourselves.

To think of it, we never needed a language... from the very first moment. He started out as my first crush and now is my best friend... I am certain, for LIFE.

Thank you for Everything, Prash!!


Funding a DREAM!!!

Namaste Everyone!! :)

Don't get too perky now.. I'm just trying something new to catch your attention. I figured out my blogs reach out to barely ten people around the world and I need to keep experimenting to generating interest. So let's see where this takes us.

Yes, of course I remember I was supposed to write ONE BLOG A DAY this year. Well, technically speaking, I wrote one at midnight of this New Year so that accounts for 1st and I am writing one now so that has taken care of the 3rd. TECHNICALLY, I just missed out on 2nd, which I AM PRETTY SURE I am excused for. I will be blogging two entries today to make up for the missed one. And Hence forth, I shall be officially be labelled as the Goddess of Excuses.. I'm good at them, aren't I???

So what will it be today??? What's my main purpose for blogging today?? What do I have to send across to you guys today?? Frankly speaking, I was itching to write about the NEW YEAR'S PARTY INCIDENT IN MUMBAI... was seething with rage when I heard that story. Of course that'll follow in the next blog. This blog is for a whole new purpose.

I switched on to watch the daily news (which IF YOU DON'T KNOW, I watch three times a day at least..Morning, Evening and then the 9 or 10 O clock news, whichever suitable for the time being). There was this really interesting story which caught my attention and I wanted to try and be a part of it.

ANKUR SHARMA, a 25-Year Old Engineer from Delhi and a blogger, is trying to generate enough funds through his blog viewership, as he wants to pursue his MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics. Now, Economics being my favourite subject, the mere mention of London School of Economics was enough to grab my attention.

This guy has to start his course by July 2008 and knowing how expensive education is in the United Kingdom, and more so in an institution like LSE, proper funding is critical. I've gone through his Short stories and they make an interesting least more interesting than my ramblings. He needs at least 5,000,000 visitors on his blog in six months. Tough ask, but we can give it a try right???

I just want to do my bit and help this guy to pursue his dream and be a part of the process. Just a small request to you all. If you ARE reading my blogs, please take a little time out and visit his Blog. Trust me, you won't be wasting your time here as in those pathetic chain letters that you recieve.

Here is his link

Do visit. Make a difference. Help make a dream.

Enough from me for now,
Over to my next blog....

Here it comes... FULL BLAST!!!
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