Feb 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Today is suppose to be special. A day to spread love.
There are many who believe that we do not need one day to express love, we can do that everyday. But the question is, do we do that?
We need a special day to remind us of all that is beautiful in our life. We tend to forget to pay gratitude to people, things and events that make us tick in the rush of everyday life. Hence, we need to have a day when we can stop and smell the roses and be thankful for everything in our life.

Today is a day dedicated to someone special in our life. I believe, it can not be just one special someone in our life. I have many special someones who are part of different parts of my life.

For me today is a day to say thank you and express my gratitude to all who have made me smile and have made me a different person. I do this every year and many times through the year. I am doing it again today.

A big thank you to;

- My complete family who bear my many mood swings, weirdness and my 'kick ass' ideas about life, work and anything in general.
- My parents who are responsible for all the good in me.
- My sister who is just there. My silent pillar of strength.
- My school friends who have been with me through the years. Taking my stupidities and my idea of fun in their stride.
- My 2 AM friends... Yes, I am lucky to have more than one such friend.
- My colleagues who are always willing to help. They are my biggest support when I am going through a bad day at work.
- My colleagues from the past who are still part of my life and have over the years provided great insights and helped me become a better professional.
- My bosses. I have had my share of ups and downs with all of them but at the end of the day, they have made me understand the nuances and the big picture.
-  My office runner boys. They always attend to my various demands for coffee, food, water with a smile.
- My friend who never fails to share a thought, trend or way forward when he sees it and if he feels it will benefit me.
- My friend who taught me that 'Anger' is one word short of 'Danger'.
- My society watchman who runs to open the gate even at odd hours.
- A person who has given me so much insight on me without knowing it.
- My friend with who I can sing the shitty songs of 90s and accept that I actually like many of them.

I have learned that life changes everyday. We change everyday and one should express gratitude to all who have walked by us. Everyone teach us something knowingly or unknowingly. It is up to us to receive or let go what we are offered.

P.S: The above list is not in any specific order. I have generalised this as the intention was just to share a thought. This is not an exhaustive list , just a part of my life.

Feb 5, 2014

Resolution 2014

I know it is a bit late to announce New Year resolution.  But it is better to be late than never ...
So, the main resolution for the year is to get regular with my writing.
Starting today, I will post 100-150 words every week.
Hope to not break this resolution. :)

Sep 6, 2013

Driving Adventures - Part VI

Like every other day, I was driving to work.
Like every other day, I was listening to music and singing along.

I stopped the car at a signal and moved ahead when it turned green. This was a stretch where I get to drive fast because the traffic is generally less. Suddenly, something came in front of my eyes, on my windshield just above the steering wheel. I got startled, the car steered a little and I applied the break to slow down.
A rodent was trying to climb on the windshield. Thankfully, it was outside the car. I was in the middle of the road so had to keep driving on. The rodent realised that it is not possible to climb further so it got down and moved towards the wipers and tried to get inside the bonnet but was unsuccessful. So, it kept roaming on the bonnet and then moved towards the right side rear view mirror, i.e. right next to me!
I was watching it carefully as I didn't want it to fall and get crushed under the tyres. By now, it was possible for me to stop the car and I did so. I tried scaring the rodent so that he can get off the car. But, he seemed adamant and was not interested.
I was on my way to work and could not have waited for too long for it to get off. So, I started moving again. The rodent seemed to be enjoying the ride and was busy looking at himself in the mirror!
I took his picture when he was busy admiring himself.

This has not been the first time when a creature decided to take lift 'on' my car. I have given lift to a lizard too in the past. In fact the lizard had traveled all the way to my office.
Also, these creatures love to pose. After the rodent was done admiring himself, he moved closer and sat on the window next to me and started posing. Earlier, the lizard had also given a good pose for the click.
Here is that pic.

This time, I didn't click the rodent while he was posing as I had packed my camera. Moreover, I felt that the rodent was sitting in a precarious position and could fall any time. Hence, I moved closer to the central verge on the road as it had good over growth and thought that it would be a safe place for him to get off.
Sure enough, he jumped off but to my horror, started running towards the middle of the road. There was another car behind me a few meters away. The last I saw him was when he ran right under that car. Thankfully not under the tyre. Have no idea if he managed to cross the road or not.

I kept thinking about the rodent for a while and then a thought struck.
I was keen to save his life when he was outside my car. Had I found him inside my car or at home, I would have done everything possible to kill him.

Earlier posts....
Driving Series:

Sep 1, 2013

Moving On ...

Recently, I ended up having an argument with a 'friend'. Actually, argument would not be the right word. 

Every interaction between two people come with a set of expectations. We may claim that we don't have expectations, but we always do. As per my understanding, hoping someone would laugh at your jokes or would understand your point of view is also expectation. As mortal beings, we can not, not have expectations.
Even here, the person in question and I had certain expectations from each other and they didn't fit well. This lead to some friction & then silence...
I was hurt and introspective. In that mode I decided that I need to change myself so that I don't have to face such disappointing situations & feeling of hurt again. When I was going through these emotions I read a story.

The Spider and the Sage
“I would rather be fooled than not believe.” 

 In India, there is a story about a kind, quiet man who would pray in the Ganges River every morning. One day after praying, he saw a poisonous spider struggling in the water and cupped his hands to carry it ashore. As he placed the spider on the ground, it stung him. Unknowingly, his prayers for the world diluted the poison.
The next day the same thing happened. On the third day, the kind man was knee deep in the river, and, sure enough, there was the spider, legs frantic in the water. As the man went to lift the creature yet again, the spider said, “Why do you keep lifting me? Can’t you see I will sting you every time, because that is what I do.” And the kind man cupped his hands about the spider, replying, “Because that is what I do.”

The story touched my heart. I resolved never to change myself because something didn't go my way or the way I expected it to. After all, I am doing 'what I do'. This does not mean that the outcome would be what I want it to be ...
The story helped my find peace... Incidentally, this story is from a book gifted to me by the person in question ...

Dec 17, 2012

Driving Adventures - Part V

Today, while I was driving to work, the traffic suddenly became slow. After few moments I realised that an accident has taken place ahead.
A while later, I crossed the spot or accident and saw a man sitting on the road and people were trying to help him to get up and guide him to the side of the road. He wasn't much injured maybe just shaken up.
Somehow, it reminded me of another accident victim ....

Few years back, I used to drive around the city extensively as that was the demand of my work. On one such occasion I was on my way to a meeting during the afternoon, I was running late and the traffic was not cooperating. On a particular stretch the traffic was painfully slow. I was in the middle lane and it seemed to be moving fastest. There was a mini-tempo ahead of me which suddenly stopped and cut to the left and I pressed the accelerator harder to speed up but applied the break immediately. Right in front of my car was a man, lying on the road and covered with blood for nobody knows how long! There were many people around but everyone was a mute spectator. I don't know what happened to me, I jumped out of the car. I had no idea what I would do. The man was shaking violently and was in pain. A scream escaped me and I shouted at no-one in particular to help me get the person in my car so that I could drive him to the hospital. Suddenly it seemed that a trance was broken and many rushed to help. Few more drivers stopped their car and someone told me that I should step back and he would take the injured man to the hospital and before I could say anything, he guided others to put him in his car. Two more people from the crowd volunteered to go along to help and assist. I waited till the car left with the injured man. After they left it stuck me that I should have taken the number of the man with the car so that I could later ask him about the injured man's health.

I do at times wonder if that man survived or not ...

Earlier posts....
Driving Series:
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Jun 23, 2011

Driving Adventures - Part IV

Its been almost a year since my last post! I had started this series long back and something happened today to get me back to it.... As always, I was driving from point A to point B with my music system playing my selected songs..... Like always, I was singing along! I stopped my car at a signal and was waiting for it to turn green.... The windows were rolled up, music was playing and I was singing along at top of my voice...I had not expected much noise to go outside the car. I suddenly felt as if I am being watched.... I turned my head sharply to catch atleast 5 set of eyes staring at me... Some even smiling.... I stopped singing and then realised what a 'wonderful' song I was singing.... The song was.....
Nigodi Kaisi jawani hai....

The Lord had mercy on me and the signal turned green.....

Earlier posts....
Driving Series:

Jul 5, 2010

The Journey

The stage is set, I thought. I am surely going to get my story now. Story for my novel you see.. The one I have been planning to write for a very long time.
I could have got it printed and it would have become a best seller by now.... But, there was a small hitch, the best seller novel needs a story!!!!!
So, now was my opportunity!

Our return ticket from Gaya to Delhi was a wait list ticket and as per the new railway policy, the A/C tickets automatically get cancelled, if they are still not confirmed when the reservation charts are prepared. This is what happened with us too.
So, we worked on plan B to book a flight ticket from Patna to Delhi for next day. It was not advisable to leave for Patna immediately as it would not be very safe to reach Patna in the night! Here we were in for another surprise. The cost of flight ticket was unthinkable. I am still under shock because of it!
Now, the only option we had was to take a general compartment ticket and enter a train which would leave Gaya post mid-night!
Well, we could have done the same with 'our' train, but didn't, because 'our' train is a very popular train between Gaya & Delhi & any attempt to board the unreserved compartment of that train by 'amateurs' like us might have resulted in broken arms or legs or worse, broken neck.

So, here we were, that is me & Dad at 01.30 hrs to board the train Neelanchal Express, which was expected to enter Gaya at 02.05 hrs. I was waiting for the train with enthusiasm and high hopes. Well, I have travelled ticket less at few occasions, as a student and during the early stage in my career. So the excitement was not due to anticipated unknown adventure. The excitement was, well you got it, it was the story! I could finally smell a story for my novel.

We figured that we may find some place to at least sit if we manage to get in the sleeper class instead of unreserved. So, we located the ticket checker and explained our problem. The T.C told us that he would 'allow' us to board the sleeper class if we promise to give him Rs 400/- per head. He said he would take the money in the train from us. So, feeling a bit confident we waited for the train to arrive.

Suddenly, there was a mad rush & everybody was running as if their life was in danger! We joined the rush too and lunged towards the first available sleeper class bogie. We soon found ourself inside the bogie with many more and few more who were already in the compartment from earlier stations. I am talking about the ones who, like us, had boarded the train without confirmed reservation.
We realised that in the whole process I have actually landed up right next to the door of the toilet (I have been contemplating whether to call it bathroom or washroom or restroom, but I think toilet is more appropriate. I was actually planning to call it Laterine, because that is what was printed on the toilet doors. But, I couldn't make myself do that. So, toilet it is).
Dad, thankfully got pushed inside the compartment and got a bit of a place to sit on one of the side berths.
So here I was sitting on my suitcase next to a stinking toilet. I don't know what was worse, the smell or sitting on the suitcase. I think sitting on suitcase was worse, because one tends to get used to the smell around after a while but my butt hurt for few days after the journey got over! Ouch! Anyways, the physical discomfort was expected and made peace with before we decided to take this journey.

Once, the train started moving, I looked around with hope to find that corner of the thread from where I can start weaving my story! Most of the faces around me were sleepy or already sleeping. I consoled myself that in the morning I shall get my story & started waiting patiently for the day to break and for people to wake up.
With morning, another problem came dancing along. Everyone in the compartment wanted to use the toilet. Hence, I had to get up every time anyone managed to reach the toilet doors. Yes, managed. There were people everywhere, near the entrance, next to the toilet, in the middle of the berths, everywhere!
But, my dream to find a story in the moving train came crashing down soon. There was nothing interesting to write about. I mean there were many interesting characters but no story! Sigh! So much for my excitement!
Then another brilliant brainwave, I could make a mental note of all the people around me, characters you see, story needs character. So, one fine day when I may, no, when I would manage to get a story, these characters may help add spice to the novel! I know, I am brilliant.

So, here are some of the interesting characters I saw around me on that journey which kept me entertained and amused. Some were repulsive too. But that's the way life is, good and bad go hand in hand!
There is no specific order of appearance of the characters, I am just listing them in any random order!

Character 1: Actually there are two, A couple. A newly wed couple whom I had nicked named CSC, meaning Crotch Scratching Couple. The lady was sitting right in front of me on her trunk. She was travelling to Delhi for the first time and was accompanied by her husband of few months. I noticed them because of their scratching tendency. When I saw both of them scratching themselves, my thought was, seems like they have managed to pass STD to each other. Sigh!
Character 2: The dude: Like us, I believe, this dude also could not get a confirmed reservation and had to travel with unreserved ticket. Now, imagine a guy in Levi Jeans, woodland shoes, a branded suitcase, Reebok sling bag, spiked hair, branded T-shirt (forgot which brand), gold plated watch, standing near the toilet, next to a guy wearing a worn out kurta pajama & possibly stinking. Suddenly walks in another lad, visibly not from an privileged background but wearing a t-shirt which looked exactly like the one worn by the dude! Both the dude & the lad are taken aback to see the other. The lad slowly made his way and stood next to the dude making the 'similarity' even more evident. Every person who crossed them did notice the 'similarity' with an amused look. Suddenly, the dude seem to have had enough of all this and he collected his luggage and vanished into another bogie.
Character 3: A brother sister duo. They entered the train sometime in the night and they had confirmed reservation. So, they made the people sitting/sleeping on their berth to move and took charge of their berths. Both kept sleeping through the journey, for about 18 hours. Didn't their back hurt, I wondered. But this brings me to the next one.
Character 4: A couple again. Ahem, not a couple actually. They were three of them. A middle age couple along with a younger looking man. Now, the lady and the younger looking man sat on the berth of the lady mentioned in Character 3. She had allowed them to sit there for a short while but the continued to sit there till the train reached Delhi. Well, now the interesting part. There was 'something' going on between the lady and the younger looking man. How do I know. Well, no man will open his sandal and run his foot over the foot of another lady until unless 'something' is going on between them. This happened quite a few times. Including the younger looking man 'discreetly' running his hand over the lady many times. I could see it, I am sure few more would have noticed it but, not the husband. Amazed I am.
Character 5: Now this is an interesting one. As soon as he entered the train, he managed to get into an argument with another 'unreserved ticket' passenger! Poor guy was not getting space to stand also. So, I moved my suitcase a bit and asked him to stand in whatever place that got created. A few hours later at one of the stations many people got down (many boarded too). So, I thought to do a survey of my compartment to see if I could find a better place for Dad. Earlier, the man had moved in too. So, as soon as he saw me looking for a seat, he immediately asked me to send dad there as he has found a place for him. My gratitude.
Character 6: Another couple. They got up just before noon and by that time the situation near the toilet was really bad so I had no option put to stand. The lady saw me struggling so she asked me to come and sit on her berth. She was on the top berth. I was thankful to her and for the first time managed to rest my back. We got talking and I realised that the couple were coming to Delhi to shop at Lajpat Nagar. I asked her twice because I couldnot believe that someone, in peak summer would travel in non-A/C to just do some random shopping!
Character 7: This was the funniest incident. Once I got some place to sit on the berth, I could now see the other passengers in the near vicinity. Nothing great to note. Just that a couple with two kids were travelling and the lady was sleeping/lying on the lower berth & her husband on the middle. The kids were playing between the two berths. Now, the father dosed off and the younger kid came up to talk to his father. He tried to wake him up but invain. So, the kid got angry and punched the father hard between his legs. The poor father got up startled. By the looks of it, guess it didn't hurt much. After about an hour the father dosed off again and at that time the kid came up again. This time, instead of punching, he bit his father between his leg. I am sure it must have hurt bad, because the father jumped up and his head hit the top berth and he scolded the kid a bit roughly. But, rest of the journey, the father didn't sleep.

So, these characters did make my trip very amusing and interesting.
Oh yes the ticket checker, how could I forget him. Well, the ticket checker didn't come to collect his cash. Guess, he would have realised that he would get beaten up... :)