October 27, 2014

I am writing this article in response to my dear friends’s  beautiful and touching article http://noheadgirl.blogspot.in/2014/10/deciphering-power.html.

My grandmother is a self-literate woman. That means my grandfather taught her to read and write, but she educated herself about matters of life, death and everything that comes in between. She always, always has an answer for all my philosophical questions I come upon with. She is a perpetual believer. In all her children (if you must know, she has 9 of her own ), in her grandchildren(lets skip the count , shall we) and everyone else who comes with their stories . But, the condition is, you must believe in your own story in order to convince her. So, a big believer of life , but not a religious one, I must convince . Even through her rosary beads, she does question God in his actions. I remember asking her once ‘what exactly is God? ‘ .
She said ‘you can believe God as being the supreme creator/destroyer, someone who decides your destiny or you can believe that life is just a cosmic accident. But either way, you have to believe. You have to have faith.  For me, God is within us.  We are our own god. We are our own creator/destroyer. Every moment, every day since birth, we fight for our sustenance, and yet are alive. Isn’t that God-like?  A mongrel on the road is as much as God as the high priest of Puri. The 21-grams we lose when we die is God. Just like everything else with life, we wither away.
“What’s so God like in dying?” – I munched on my nariyal laddoo, one of the numerous incentives of spending time with her.
And she smiled “don’t you see? That is the thing that makes you the God. You just don’t live for yourself; you create a life for others. No one’s life is easy. But you push on. The life you have made useful for others, to inspire, to guide. And when we die, we live on through people who love us and will remember us.”
Now I realize how it makes sense perfectly. She always said “don’t be afraid of God, but be afraid of the image in the mirror. Because it will never lie to you .you will lie, cheat, gamble, sin and hurt people, but the day you can look into the mirror and explain all your actions, you have become a monster.”   This line has always stayed with me.

I don’t say that I am God. But, yes, I have to have faith. And I do J

October 5, 2014

years later

Years later
If we cross each other again
In some seedy supermarket aisle,
Will we just walk past ?
Or be civil enough
To stop and smile
And find time
To exchange pleasantries?

Worse
We see each other
Yet keep reading the back of the cereal box.
Dreading the questions
And their answers
Wondering if its too late,
As we already know
The relationship is way past its expiry date.

Even worse
We look yet don’t remember
Name , work , face, place
The unforgettable one
Is now just a blurred laugh


Or even worse
Stop
Look
Shuffle the grocery bag,
Wishing ‘small talk’ came with a price tag.
But then it dawns,
The Price has already been paid.
So, now, at the check-out counter,
I don’t turn
I act blind.
Hurrying out I realize
I have left the cash bill
And Everything Else

Behind.

January 26, 2013

Happy republic day !
Not that it means a great deal for me.
But yes, I like to take my paper national flags in both the hands and furl them .
I like to count the spokes (for some reason I keep forgetting the exact number , duh !). 
I like to watch the parade on tv and even if its momentary,  believe that my country is organised and composed!
and that because I am an average Indian .
I believe we invented zero.
I believe convenience comes first.
But not before family .(tauba!)
I believe in all 10,000 forms of the same God and in karma
I believe eating road side gupchup is not unhealthy.  
I believe in afternoon siestas.
And a whole lot of other weird believes I have . 
Because for me , India is a truly free country.
Cattle, dogs and men commuting together-  on the same road.. sometimes on each other too. cars, scooters, bikes ,autos, rickshaws and BMWs - all free to follow their hearts ! 
Everyone uses their right to freedom of expression . 
Where else can I carry out a morcha , a strike or celebrate without any viable reason ?!
So, yes, I am an average Indian .
I complain about the slow economy . 
I sincerely blame the system and neighboring countries for all our miseries.
I lament about the roads, the poverty , the corruption , the naxalism .
Everything . Sometimes, am ashamed too.
But as an average Indian , I am not going to do anything about it . 
arre, the Indian-ness yaar !
India is a land of paradox. Its crazy . Its wild . And honestly , it scares me sometimes . But its one thing that will always remain in me . 
Even if I am dreaming of The Europe or The States while sipping cafe latte over a plate of pasta and sloppy joes , I will always have to fight the very basic Indian instinct to drop the stupid forks and chopsticks and use my hands !
Ahh- i am an average Indian afterall!

August 7, 2012


Some people are always with you. Even if you want to be alone.

Some people will always know what you mean. Even if you don’t mean anything.

Some people will always make you laugh. Even if you don’t want to .

And I am proud to have such people in my life. 
My friends.
Particularly my school friends.
Yes, we are not in school anymore.
Even college has ended and the next phase of our lives has started.
Some of us are among the tax payers now. Some will be joining the brigade soon.
Some of us are going for higher studies . Some of us will be finishing college in another year or so.
 life is long and no one knows if we will be friends forever or not.
even though as I write the above line, I know it’s just a rhetoric one .

Because these are the people I celebrated friendship day with on Watsapp.

Because these are the people I think of every time I watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Because these are the people I can share my boring life with.

Because these are the people who wont even read this but still say – ‘loved it, you should be a writer.’
Love you all !
J

May 27, 2012

some people I know- III


I had written this long back yet somehow I dint want to publish it .
Not because it has anything explicit about them , but I just did not want to make my need for them public.
Ankita mahendru and Mayuri bandopadhyay .
The more I think about them , the less I want to write .
Coz the very thought of being with them induces a state of euphoric laziness that would prevent one from doing anything at all.
No, it doesn’t mean they are lazy.
It just means that when I am with them , I know things will be taken care of.
I know , I will be taken care of.
But yes, they are lazy !
I remember , back in school days, I once found them just sitting there and smacking mosquitoes in the dark .. without any light and without any fan !
And oh .. they also once rang up arnab bhaiyaa who lived a couple blocks away to switch on the fans as they did not want to get up from the chairs !
And no, I am not exaggerating .
So , as I said , I need them in my life .
Someday I will tell you about them separately as well.. not today .
Today all I want is to go on a long drive with them , with ankoo driving , mayuri at he front seat (she always needs to have the front seat)
And me peeking from back seat .. all three of us singing
‘jaane kyu dil jaanta hai .. tu hai toh I will be allright !’
J

May 25, 2012

the politics of farewell


So, you ask the person for the thousandth time ‘when are you leaving exactly?’
That when you already know the date and time exactly.
Still , you ask. And count the days in hand. A little panic rushes through the veins and legs jitter a bit. Subconsciously.  
The other people can’t know of course. According to them, you are the strong, level headed one. And you too keep up the charade well. All those years on stage, thankfully.
So, as you listen to their itinerary , you sip at the water ,  pretending to listen , nodding a bit little stronger than required , but actually - you hear nothing . All your senses are busy fighting against giving away your nervousness.
The second question that you ask yourself – ‘why am I nervous?  This isn’t a farewell. At least not forever. We will be in touch of course.   We are going to meet again of course.
Soon. 
Soon Enough. 
Soon enough May be.'

Suddenly you realize the other person is waiting for you to respond. You manage a wide wordless smile.
‘It’s going to be okay’. You say. You don’t even know the question. But the sentence is true at so many levels. So, it’s going to be okay.
For them, or for you? You ask yourself .There..  The mind plays politics again.
Finally, the day is here. It’s about time. Time to say goodbye. So, you do The Routine Farewell. Hug, shake hands and say goodbye with a big carefree confident smile.
As you walk away , you look back again . one last desperate act of attention. But the real trick is not turning back at the same time as them. That saves you the little ounce of pride. 
Of course there is a buzzing in the ears, the eyes burn and hands fumble while handing over the money to the auto wala.
But its going to be okay.
No one saw the weak you after all. 
so, you repeat - 'its going to be okay'
Strangely , after everything is over, you don’t feel that miserable. It actually is okay .
This is the real politics of farewell! When after bidding farewell, you don’t believe in it.
You think about all the good things you been through together and smile to yourself – ‘there is more to come. It’s not a goodbye yet. Oh, there will be a goodbye later of course.
Soon. 
Soon enough. 
Soon enough may be.

December 10, 2011

Some People I Know - II


If we were still in school, I would be singing ‘where’s the party tonight?!’
 Well, December was always a harbinger of celebrations and fun we used to associate with birthdays that followed around the month.
And today, few years down the lane, would have been Meenal’s birthday, and after hours of her coaxing my mom, or even lying, I would have danced around at her place overexcitedly!
And oh, speaking about her won’t be complete without mentioning her precious pups..
One thing for sure, where there is mini, there would be dogs. And lots of them!
I remember ‘chocolate’ among her many pets , and oh! I can never forget how Chanel, the very darling pug, snarled at me every single time I entered meenal's room.
 She exhibited her mistrust in me by pooping right on my lap, just a reminder to me that she was always there, chaperoning …our girly gossips which invariably lasted hours.. And the best part was, it always ended up with an ice cream!
Well, Sometimes meenal brought up the jazz by experimenting with ice cream sundaes and other delicacies.. Well, you won’t hear me complaining! !
One thing for sure, baking certainly comes out of mini’s mittens.
And for my birthdays, I always got something special, something handmade from her- chocolates, bookmarks , photo frame cum collage which I so cherish!
I still read those birthday letters she wrote to me from Shigally and GD Goenka .
And well, though the letters got less elaborate with growing up  , I know she still cares.
And though her two thick plaits, swinging around her waist and the legendary zit that forever troubled her nose , are no longer there, she knows that I care.
And though she is 6 time zones behind from where I stand, I still can feel her special hug !
And for me, it’s all I know about her!
And ,Well, that’s Meenal for me , and always will be !
Happy birthday, mini!
J

p.s. Chanel got around eventually and even let me pet her!
Finally, no hard feelings!
J