Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Other Side of Me- Part 2

Read Part 1 first...

I landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport today morning at 8. It was a bit chilly outside the airport. I tightened the scarf around my neck, and extended my left hand out to stop the next cab.

-“Delhi Institute of Engineering”, I told the driver with an inquisitive eye.

Before getting into the car, I felt my left pocket to see if the pepper spray was in place and easily accessible if required.

Priya knows about my yearly visits to Delhi, though I have never talked to Nitin or anyone else about these before.  I remembered that I had forgotten to mention Priya about my visit this year, though I knew she couldn’t be any less supportive. The last time I saw her was when I stormed out on her four days ago. I made a mental note to patch things up with her once I got back. After all, she was another half of me. We were like peas in a pod, two bodies but one soul.

The cab stopped in front of the institute main gate. I paid the driver the fare, gave him a little tip and said him thank you. I took my bag pack over my shoulder and took a little sip from my water bottle and placed it back in the side compartment of the bag. I looked at the signboard on top of the main gate, took a deep breath , and placed my foot inside.

Ten minutes later, I stood leaning at the gate of the cafeteria, my eyes on the table at the farthest corner. He was sitting there, as usual alone with his Kulhar of hot Chai on the table. As usual he was just staring at it, biting his lips, deep in thought.  Few seconds later, he looked up and I realised he had spotted me. He waved his hand.

-“Hey”, I doubt whether my voice had reached till there, I could barely hear myself. My lips were pressed tight.

He got up from his chair and slowly came towards me. After staring a few seconds at me, he hugged me. It was a strong but gentle hug. I felt a chill down my spine.  I hugged him tight and closed my eyes. Well, just looking at him brings back a vast array of memories.  George is the only person who knows me best, even more than Priya or Nitin does.  He is the only person, who knows who I really am and I can be completely myself with him.

-“So, you still are in Delhi?” I asked him, my right hand on his left bicep, my voice now barely a whisper.  I asked him, though I knew the answer.

-“My brother is here.” He said. I could feel the pain in his voice. He held my left hand tight.

-“You know you don’t have to do this.” I was staring at our hands, tightly held together. I couldn’t make up the courage to look at his eyes.

-“I do. My brother is here.  Even though I am only a minute older than Tom is, still that makes me the older sibling. I need to take care of him.” His voice was much louder now.

-“No you don’t. You need to get out of here and get a life.” I could feel my eyes welling up.

-“If you think so, why do you keep coming back here?” I could feel his eyes on me now.

I freed my hand from his. Taking a deep breath in, I said, “This is my place. This city, this college, this place and I have a history. I left my soul here”

The conversation was going nowhere

-“Shall we go?”George asked.

I nodded.

He put his hand gently on my shoulder as we walked till the main gate in silence. His car was parked there.  He held open the passenger door for me.

-“Thanks”, I said as I got inside.

In a few minutes we were on the highway. It was chilly outside but I still didn’t feel like closing my side of the window. I wanted to look outside and take in as much of the sight, as much of the air outside.

As the forests on the side started getting denser, I could feel my hand on his left hand which was controlling the gear. My grip was getting tighter. Tears started coming in my eyes as I looked outside.

Eight Years earlier... 19th November

-“You know you are a pretty romantic boyfriend. Giving your girl the first ride in your car”, I smiled; my teeth all out as I looked at him driving calmly.

-“Yeah, a special girl like mine deserves some royal treatment.”

I folded my arms around his left arm and placed my head on his shoulder.

It was 10 pm and we were returning after watching Pride and Prejudice. I remember every little detail of the night very clearly.

-“You know I envy you. You are so lucky, getting a car from your parents on your birthday” I sneered at him romantically.

-“Well, my brother and I are supposed to share it. And it’s more like getting into college gift rather than a birthday gift. My parents always thought we were not even smart enough to become waiters” He laughed loudly.

I loved that childish laugh on his face.

As we neared the highway, we saw a police checking post far ahead. My hands froze. I am personally not very fond of the police. He must have sensed my dilemma.

-“You ok?” He asked, concerned.

-“I am not particularly very fond of the police. Wherever they go, problems follow them.”

-“You are making me laugh. Don’t worry. Must be some regular check for drunk driving.” He gave a pat on my hand.

I wasn’t sure. As we neared, a policeman signalled us to pullover.

As we stopped he came from behind and knocked on the window glass with his stick. Tom pulled his window down.

-“Girlfriend, Eh? You two where going at this time of the night? Doing hanky panky eh?” The policeman said, leering at me. His mouth stinked.

-“Sir, this is my wife, and Dhanaraj Sharma is my father-in-law. If you want you can talk to him right now”, Tom said in a bold voice as he scrolled through the contact list through his phone. I doubted whether we did really pass off as a married couple.

Whatever he said, had done its job.  The policeman became stiff. “No sir, why disturb big sir at this time of the night? We do some routine checks sir, drunk driving kids, you see sir. Not safe here. You and madam go sir. Sorry sir, for disturbing ”, he blabbered with a smile on his face. I hate that smile.

As we crossed the checking post, We both burst out laughing. I couldn’t control my laughter.

-“Who the hell is Dhanaraj Sharma and how do you know him” I asked Tom.

-“Well he is your dad and since I married you, I know him.” He laughed his patented childish laugh.

I slapped him on his hand, there was a big smile on my face. “No, I mean for real.”

-“Stupid, he is the director of our college. As far as why that guy was scared of him, I have no idea.”

And we both again burst out laughing.  We were on the highway now. As the forests started getting denser, I could hear a screeching sound.

-“What’s that?” I looked at Tom.

-“I don’t know, never heard that before”

Five hundred meters further, our car jerked and stopped suddenly.

-“What happened?” It was getting late and I was worried.

-“Lemme check” Tom said and got out of the car. I went out behind him.

It was getting colder and I could hear some voices nearby, so I told him to hurry up. Tom was handling a car for the first time, so he couldn’t make out what the problem was. The voices were getting closer.

-“Maybe we should see who is coming and ask them for help” Tom said.

-“Okay” I was reluctant and a little scared too.

They were a group of seven men, with bottles in their hand, which I presumed was alcohol.

-“Hey, can you guys help us. There seems to be some problem with the car”, Tom asked one of the guys though I wished he didn’t. They didn’t look like the ones you could trust.

-“Sure buddy!” The biggest one of them said while  pushing Tom aside.

-“Hey!” Tom really gets angry at such bad manners.

My breathing stopped as I could feel the other guys looking at me with hungry eyes, leering at my breasts.

-“What buddy you said something?” They big guy said and taking a big gulp from his bottle threw it aside. 
The bottle landed with a crash on the road. “Look, boys, this guy wants to say something,” He said with a mocking laugh. Tom had sensed the danger at this point, but it was too late.

Three of the guys came towards me, with eyes like a prey, hungry. They  stinked. I wanted to run, but my feet were frozen to the spot. I tried shouting but one of them already had his hand on my mouth.

-“Hey you!” Tom was really angry now. He tried to come and save me from the grip of those savages but there other men had stopped him midway and was shoving him away. I was desperately trying to shout.
They all came over me. I tried to free myself. But they were strong. I could feel my clothes being stripped off. Someone grasped my breasts. It hurt. I didn’t know how many they were. I could hear Tom’s voice in the distance. I tried to fight. But they had pinned me to the ground. They were cowering over me. They were hurting me.  I was scared. It was cold, it was painful. I wanted it to stop. It seemed like eternity. I passed out.

I opened my eyes. I could see no one

I was cold. I was in pain.

I wanted to shout. I couldn’t

I wanted to move. I couldn’t.

I passed out again.

I opened my eyes. I could see someone. No, I couldn’t.

I was cold. I was numb. I couldn’t feel the pain anymore.

I wanted to shout. I couldn’t

I wanted to move. I couldn’t.

I was dying

I opened my eyes.

I was warm.

I could see people in white around me. Then I couldn’t see.

Maybe this was heaven.

I closed my eyes.

I woke up. There was a girl wearing a white uniform standing beside me. She told me she was a nurse and that I was ok. She told me to sleep. I slept.

I opened my eyes. Now I was awake. I could see Tom standing beside me. I tried to speak, I still couldn’t. I wanted to smile at him. I didn’t know whether I did or not. Then I realised it was George. They looked alike, they were twins. Only very close friends can tell the difference. There were friends, and doctors, and police.

A smiling lady doctor came up to me and sat beside me. She asked me how I was feeling. I tried to nod.

-“You were raped. Some people found you and brought you here a week back. You were being assaulted using sharp and blunt objects. Your uterus and intestines were affected. You were suffering from sepsis. We had to operate on you thrice. We are sorry, but we had to remove your uterus to save your life.”

I nodded. I didn’t want to hear anymore.

George shook me out of my thoughts. “We have reached.”

I could feel my eyes wet as I looked from the glass. I didn’t want to get out of the car.

-“Aditi”, George placed his hand on my shoulder.

I got out of the car. We went inside the cemetry.

I kneeled down and placed the flowers on Tom’s grave. 

--------------------------------THE END-----------------------------------------

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Other Side of Me- Part 1

“So finally! You are getting married.” Priya gasped, her eyes opened up wide and glittered as she twirled the diamond ring in my finger.

“Yeah”, I nodded at her, smiling.

“That’s a pretty rock”, she grinned, still fingering the ring.

I smiled and looked at him from across the room. He was sitting with Papa and Bhai at the dining table. They seemed to be having a good time, talking, giggling and laughing out loud. Ma was enthusiastically serving her future son-in-law a variety of her patented and neighborly-praise winning pakoras. It seemed to me as if Nitin looked a little out of place, I had always worried whether he would get well with my family. He was a calm and composed, down-to-earth guy. We, on the other hand believed in living life to the fullest. My Dad always said a good laugh and hearty conversations keeps your heart healthy and brain working optimally.  Nitin stole a quick glance at me  and found me staring at him. He smiled. Priya waved back with a big smile on her face. I smiled and turned my head away.

Nitin was the kind of guy every father would want for his daughter.  He was intelligent, hardworking, successful, and yet so calm and down-to-earth. With me, he sometimes behaved like a kid, and sometimes like a protective grown-up. He loved me, but he respected me more. He held my hand gently yet firmly while crossing the road. He said I looked cute when I was angry because tears trickled down my face and that would make my face swell up and become white. Whenever I felt low, he just sat beside me, so close that his arm touched mine and keep staring at me without speaking a word until I rested my head on his shoulder and then he used to hug me really tight. He jumped in joy on my achievements and kept motivating me. On days it rained, he used to come to my apartment with a movie and a big bar of chocolate and we used to curl up on my sofa and just talk. Most importantly he always stayed- through my different mood swings. He stayed when I was happy, sad, angry and even when I told him to get lost and not talk to me. He didn’t talk much, he talked just the right amount. His eyes spoke for him, his eyes spoke a million words. And each time he stared into my eyes, I knew how much he loved me.

They all talked about us, at office. We met three years ago, he was my senior and a really helpful mentor. Within a month of my joining we became friends and soon enough we started dating. There was something dreamy about his eyes. They said it would never last, romantic relationships are never meant for the workplace. There were uncountable bets on us. My colleagues eyed me differently and cruelly, except for the ones that were my friends. They really supported me through these all. And we emerged from it all. We were the perfect, happy couple at work, the kind you only see in television or read in Nicholas Sparks’ novels.

Nitin was the perfect gentleman. My Dad never thought that a guy would be coming to his house to ask his daughter’s hand for marriage. My Dad always hoped his kids would fall in love and only invite him on their marriage. I was my dad’s princess and the perfect prince was standing at his door.

When my brother and I were kids, I remember my Dad telling us to keep our personal life separate from our professional. Don’t take your bedroom to your office and vice versa. He always believed in the fact that a person and his wife should never work at the same place, as workplace differences may cause personal problems. But Nitin proved him wrong. He was a perfect boss at work and a perfect boyfriend outside office. No matter how much the pressure at work would be, he never took it outside office. It was as if he knew some divine mantra to lead a carefree life. He never let our personal and professional relationship mingle up. Yet whenever I had too much work, he used to stay back with me and only go home after we had dinner and he dropped me off to my apartment making sure I have locked the door properly.

And now here we are, three years later, proving all the people at work that they were wrong. Time has changed them also. They have believed in the miracle of love and here they are wishing us all the luck in the world, blessing us to lead a happy married life.

Priya shook me out of my thoughts. I found her staring and me and smiling.

“You look beautiful.”

“Thank you”, I blushed.

I was wearing the red and green churidar Manish gifted me on my last birthday. He said he saw it on a mannequin on Paree Boutique, which is on his way from home to office, and it strangely reminded him of me. 

He instantly thought I would do more justice to the dress than the lifeless doll would.

“So have you talked to him yet? What did he say?” Priya asked.

“About what?” I  raised my eyebrows as I had no clue what she was talking about.

“You know...” Her eyes were staring directly at mine.

 I knew.

“No” I said got up from the sofa to go to my room. Priya followed me.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Life is all about taking risks- Random Scribblings

"If you are not scared, you are not taking a chance. And if you are not taking a chance, then what the hell  are you doing?"

Life is unpredictable. We never know what's going to happen in the next second. The future is dark. In the next five minutes, I might be dead, or I might be famous- no one knows. So the best thing to do is concentrate on the moment in hand. We live life one second at a time, and we make plans for the future.

But do those plans always come true? So, I dream of having my own house in the suburbs when I am old. I dream of sitting on the front porch having tea with my husband knowing that my kids are well settled and happy in some part of the world and they still love me. But there is no guarantee that all of it will come true, or worse, none of it might happen. I may not be famous, I might still live in a rented apartment, I may not have a husband or kids or I might be dead. But that doesn't keep me from dreaming. And if we are lucky, we realise, in the face of life, the true dream is being able to dream at all.

Life is all about taking risks. And it starts right from the day we are born. It's a characteristic of our subconscious mind. We try standing up, though we might fall down and get hurt. We try to talk, though the words coming out of our mouth may not make any sense. What if we didn't try then knowing that there are risks. We wouldn't be able to talk or walk today.

We go to school, knowing that it's a place filled with strangers, we might be bullied. We make friends knowing that they may not stick with us till the end. Chances are that they might not be the "my person" one or they might betray us. But we are strong enough to take the risk. We fall in love with a person knowing that he might not be the one. We know he might break our heart but we stick on with a ray of hope. We get married without knowing where it might lead to. What if your guy doesn't remain so supportive after marriage. What if he falls in love with someone and leaves you? Well, none of these stops us. We have kids and hope they will grow up and be established and happy, and that they will take care of you when you are no longer able to take care of yourself. We take these risks without knowing what the final outcome will be.

We never learn from other's mistakes. We have to make our own mistakes. No one is there to tell us what's right and what wrong. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today's possibility under tomorrow's rug, until we can't anymore. Until we finally understand for ourselves that knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beat the hell out of never trying.

We know that some of these chances we take may end up failing us. No matter how hard we fight, we fall. And it's scary as hell. But at the end of the day, the fact that we all have the courage to be still standing is reason enough to celebrate.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I love you Autumn

Autumn is my favourite season. I love autumn. It's not too hot, but it's not too cold either. There is minimal humidity and it's the perfect time of the year to party around. Unlike spring, there's no disease spreading viruses roaming around in the air. I feel it's even the most beautiful season of the year. Oh! The nature's bounty. The hues all around cheer me up. Everything is just perfect.

Here are a few pics I clicked today from our hostel garden. I just couldn't keep myself from praising the beauty of these flowers.

And I just came accross the perfect poem for my perfect season.

 To Autumn
-John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

  Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

My not-so-secret Wishlist

I have always been a fan of Preeti Shenoy’s books. (I have read them all). I love her blog too.She is one of my inspirations. She works really hard to be a good mom as well as a good writer. The best thing I like about her is that we never get to know any of her life’s problems through her blog, or twitter or facebook. She is a lady whose writings spread happiness.
So, a few months ago, I read her book- “The Secret wishlist” and finally I have come up with my own wishlist. It’s huge, and a new point adds up everyday. Well I am a girl who lives in her own fantasy world, and being a 20 year old, I have my own dreams. So here’s my wishlist (please don’t call me crazy)-

Now that I have got a job, I have decided how much money to save every month. I am well aware of the fact that everyone makes plans on how to spend their salary, but I will quote my dad- “A person who doesn’t know how to save money from the first day they get their salary, can never end up learning how to save money.” So in a few years, I plan to have a huge savings.

When I join my job, I want to work really hard and stay long hours at work. I plan to take very little vacation. I want to be the kind of career oriented person you see on television.

I want to visit all of India before I get married.

I want to go on a tour to Europe for my honeymoon. It’s a romantic place and has a rich history and my friends who have been there loves it. (See those savings in point 1 actually makes some sense now)

I want my daughter to grow up and become a doctor. So I guess we have pretty much established the fact that 
I have planned about kids too.

I want a brother or sister for the daughter in point 3. And I want one of my two kids to be adopted and I want to have both kids before I am thirty-five so that there’s enough time for them to settle down before I retire.

I want to stay in a house by the time I am thirty, not an apartment, but a house. It will have a backyard and it’s going be in a very calm and loving neighborhood.

One room in my house is strictly going to be my library. With lots and lots of shelves of books. And there’s gonna be my big study table and a big chair.

I want to learn swimming, and to play the guitar, and I want to learn Salsa.

I want my name to be in Wikipedia before I turn forty.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Tough Decisions

...........Sometimes you have no explanations for your actions

The world seemed to stop turning for her. Her first crush, the guy who has been evading her dreams for three years, had finally proposed to her. He was the one she was saving herself for. She was a girl who had the world at her feet. Still she has rejected innumerable proposals even though she knew that he was committed, that he loved her girl a lot and he could never be hers. Still she had kept her hopes high. Somewhere she had read that if you have a crush on someone for more than 4 months, you are definitely in love with that person. She has now been in love for three years. She has realised what she felt for him was something real, something more than just a little teenage fantasy. She could not just stop thinking about him.

The first time she heard his name, a bell rang in her ears. She didn’t know why, it was a pretty common name. As soon as she heard his name being called, she reflexively started shifting her eyes from here and there trying to get a glimpse of him. Then she was in first year of her college. He was a year senior. She didn’t get to see him. She didn’t know why she remembered his name even a few days later.

Second year, she had forgotten that incident, she had forgotten him. But when she received a text message one evening which said she had been assigned a project with him as her direct mentor, her heart skipped a bit. Was it destiny? There was meeting that day where all the second years were supposed to be introduced to the mentors. She was excited. She went there and sat silently, one amongst the timid juniors, her eyes scanning everywhere for him. But he wasn’t there. She didn’t know the names of any senior out there, but she knew that none of them was him, else she would have known. She was upset.

He did come to the meeting, a little late though. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. She was scared of him though, she didn’t know why. Maybe because he seemed too serious, too simple, the no-nonsense type. She didn’t talk to him, but she just couldn’t get him out of her mind. While leaving the meeting room she even turned back to get a glimpse of him. Her feelings were getting stronger, she didn’t know why.

Few months of work and the boundary between them started fading. Any work he got, he used to transfer them to her. Any problems she faced, she used to go to him. The fear she had started shedding off. She started liking his simplicity, his indifference, his carefree-ness. They went past the professional barriers and became friends. He too started relying a lot on her.

She learnt that he had a girl-friend, he loved her a lot. Her dreams and hopes were shattered. She had never let him know about her feelings. She tried dumping her feelings; she tried moving away from him. But she didn’t know why she couldn’t get away.

She met another guy. She got into a relationship with him. She loved him passionately. She decided never to think about her mentor again other than work.

One day, from nowhere he came back, back in her life. All her determination shattered. She just couldn’t let him go. He was in a mess with his relationships and everything else. He tried getting closer to her, she let him. They grew very close to each other. All barriers were broken between them. She let him intrude into her territory. In the mornings, she felt guilty. She hated herself. She was being with two guys at the same time-One with who, she was in a committed relationship, the other who was just a close friend. He had a girlfriend and she had a boyfriend- but none of that seemed to matter then.

A few months later, her relationship died. In the meantime he had got closer to his girlfriend. She was sad. But she couldn’t say anything, he was just a friend, whatever was between them didn’t have a name. Whenever she saw him with his girlfriend, she could feel herself turning cold, her heart ached, she couldn’t bear to see him with another girl. She tried staying away from them. But the girl seemed to pop up everywhere. Wherever she went, whatever she did, his girl was everywhere. She was starting to lose it all, She felt as if she was going into a deep dark depression.

In third year, she realised that nothing was worth this pain; she had to get out from it all. Her broken relationship and the indifference of her crush were eating her from inside. She couldn’t ignore either of them, but she realised she had to stay away from both of them. She got herself busy in other obsessions. For all the work related problems she faced, she didn’t go to him; she tried solving them herself.

Few months later she has moved on. She didn’t feel pain in seeing him with his girlfriend, though it did hurt her a little. Things started getting better between them. She was getting to know him better. She realised he wasn’t serious about his girlfriend, he was trying to get closer to her, she was letting him. Sometimes she felt his indifference towards her also. Still she couldn’t love him less.

After the submission of their project paper, he took her to a restaurant where he popped the question. He told her how much she meant, to him, that he has met no one like her. He told her that he could open as frankly before her as his best friend, he couldn't do that before anyone else. Her heart stopped beating; she didn’t know what to reply. This was what she had wanted for three years; this was what she was struggling for. After a long pause, she replied- ‘No, I am sorry.

As she was returning back that night, she didn’t know why she said that, but she felt a strange calmness surrounding her...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bad Days vs Good Days

Inspired by a blog post by PeeVee I felt like writing this post after the coffee incident today while I was still crying...

Some Days...

You don't hear the alarm go off as you have a bad cold and fever. Your  roommate kicks you out of bed and you realize that it's already a good one hour late for work , you curse yourself for staying up late last night. There's no water flowing from the tap and you have to get out of the house in your night-dress to switch on the pump and stand there for another 10 minutes else your landlord will kill you if even a single drop of water overflows from the tank. As you try closing the bathroom door, your little finger gets pressed in the hinge and the pain blocks your senses about what to do, and you close the door further instead of opening it, adding more to the injury. Your hair gets oily even though you had showered the previous night. You don't have time for breakfast and decide to grab a bite on your way to work. As you get out of the shop with a hot cup of coffee, a bike hits you from behind and you splash the coffee all over your favourite new white t-shirt and also burn another three fingers. Your eyes are filled with tears and all the bike-wala could say is 'Sorry'. You get back home and decide to call up your mother to ask how to get coffee stain out of a white dress and before you could ask anything, she starts gossiping about the neighbours and your dog, your eyes all the time staring at the stain making its way permanently inside your top.

You reach office two hours late. Your boss asks you to show your work and your codes decide to go against you and you are asked to go back home and rest as you are sick. As you try to sleep, all the people in the world suddenly remembers you and you get a call every 30 minutes, all you have to do is listen to all earthly news. You are hungry and there's nothing in the house, not even drinking water. You decide to cook something and it burns.  Your roommate decides to take you to the doctor in the evening. You slip while trying to board the bike as you have worn the wrong slippers. Your codes still don't work.

End of the day, you have to listen- Tere saath itne haadse kyu hote hai!!

Some Days...

Your roommates appreciate the food you cook. Your boss takes you out for lunch. You win all the matches of Foos Ball you play. You make new friends and they love you. Your roommate makes soup for your sore throat. You go out and have fun with your roommates. You talk to an old friend after a long time. Your codes work perfectly and you get a token of appreciation from your boss making your face light up with a smile. Your roommate comes home with a clean shaved face after two months :P. You go for grocery shopping and realize that the prices have dropped. You get nice dreams in your sleep. :)

P.S. I am going to miss Bangalore a hell lot!!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

What is happiness?

Read a blog post on this a while back, so thought of sharing my own answers.

Happiness is knowing that time and distance can't make you apart.

Happiness is watching a baby grow

Happiness is cherising the treasures you have

Happiness is meeting old friends after a long time

 Happiness is knowing that someone misses you when you are away

Happiness is watching a city from the top of a mountain

Happiness is getting crazy with roommates

Happiness is meeting your favourite fictional characters

Happiness is watching a flower bloom

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Moving On

“Don’t let today’s disappointment cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dream”

It is always hard to end a relationship, but the hardest part follows later, moving on. There’s no easy way, you will always try to get back there, hope everything becomes the way it was before. You feel a strange vacuum in your heart and desperately try to fill it. Don’t talk to the person no matter how much you want to, block him on facebook, Gmail and other social networking sites, and delete his number from your phone. No matter how much your heart wants, don’t look back and falter, let your brain rule for once. Keep away from anything that deals with the person.

In my case it was different. I tried being the strong one, stay in touch with the person and keep smiling. No matter how hard it may seem, no matter how much I cried inside, I didn’t let my sorrows show on my face. I never let anyone know what I was going through.

It pains, it pains a lot. I know because I have been there, done that. But with time the pain eases. It may take a day, a week, months or even years. For me it took a whole year and four months.  It took me a lot, I drowned myself in work, I blogged a lot, wrote the first draft of my first novel, book reviews, learnt web development, enrolled myself in extra courses, underwent internships.  Days were hard too, I silently cried while in class, not letting my tears show on my face, cried whenever my phone rang. Every morning I woke up I just wished the day would pass by and I would get back to sleep. I kept myself distant from people, I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it, I went to bed early and woke up late every morning with tears in my eyes. I read a lot, I read novels, I read other people’s blogs, I read articles on how much time it takes to move on and get along. A time even came when I didn’t want to write anymore.

And I can finally say proudly that I have moved on. I have emerged out stronger I am never looking back. Those days were just a bad dream, a lesson from life for me. And I am grateful for the friends I have, who make me laugh even in the worst of situations. I am thankful for the summer internship I have. The city of Bangalore has really brought me joy and I have the craziest roommates here who make me laugh all day, even when I am angry. Each moment in Bangalore is memory I will cherish for the lifetime.

 Some things are just not meant to be the way we want them. Over the years, through each storm I have been through, I have realised the fact that whatever God does is in our best interests.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tantra By Adi

ISBN: 978-81-908636-2-9
PAGES: 335

Anu is a leather wearing, no-nonsense professional guardian with a reputation for killing the most dangerous vampires in New York City. But when her enemies murder the one person she truly cared about, all she wants is vengeance. The only clue points to New Delhi, so Anu puts in for a job transfer.

In India, she finds more than she expected. For one thing, her fellow operatives had made a truce with the vampires. For another, it's way too hot to wear leather.

At first, it seems Anu's biggest challenge will be evading the nice boys her aunt wants her to marry. But when children start disappearing, she discovers forces older and darker than anything she's faced before. All of Delhi is in danger, especially the sexy stranger who sends Anu's pulse racing.

To prepare for this coming battle, Anu must overcome her personal demons and put aside years of training. This time, her most powerful weapon will come from her mind, not her weapons belt.

As I picked up the book, I thought it would be another supernatural Vampire story, the same blood sucking demons fall in love with a beautiful girl, a place where everyone is supernatural except one or two and other crap. But a few pages later, I realised it was different. As I reached the end of the book, I was left mesmerised and hungry for more.

This is a thriller finally worthy of India's rich traditions and philosophy while still keeping connection with the modern reader. And most interestingly, the book showcased an Indian woman as a superhero who instead of falling in love with the vampires, goes out and destroys evil. Anu Aggarwal is shown as a strong woman who even left the men behind.

Anu is shown as a guardian (that is what they called vampire hunters) settled in New York. Circumstances lead her to New Delhi, where she stumbles up to stuffs she could never imagine of.

This book is totally different from the normal vampire hunter novels you have read before. Set in India, it integrates an Indian version of magic called tantra. It is an exciting read as we accompany Anu on her journey till the end as she braves many dangers lurking around her as well as the who arranged marriage business. The vedic knowledge and those of historical astras and mantras are really commendable.

The author has done his research really very well. Each and every page turned out to be a surprise. Truly speaking, I couldnot keep the book down even for one second. Each part of me kept me mesmerised and wondering what would happen next. Specially the rich Indian vedic history caught its hold on me.

Though sometimes in the middle it got a bit boring, I would still reccomend 'Tantra by Adi'  a must read.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chanakya's New Manifesto




ISBN: 978-93-82277-09-5


PAGES: 244



Chanakya’s New Manifesto proposes a comprehensive blueprint for change. We cannot continue as we are, and must gather the resolve to bring in effective governance, a true democracy, a corruption-free state, a security-conscious nation and an inclusive society. If we fail, India may never succeed. Our future is at stake.

Chanakya (c. 270-380 BCE) was classical India's greatest thinker and teacher. Through his unparalleled ability to devise result-oriented military, political, and administrative strategy, he overthrew one king, crowned another and paved the way for the establishment of India's first great empire. His seminal work, the Arthashashtra, arguably the world's first comprehensive treatise on statecraft and governance, was written approximately two thousand years before Machiavelli's The Prince. 

The book is a reflection on ideas of change that the writer says is meant for youngsters - aged between 15 and 35 - to draw them into the functioning of the country and join the refrain against rot. The narrative is in the voice of one of the greatest thinkers and teachers in Indian history - Chanakya - as his response to the various crises that beset modern India. The  writer has drawn up a practical and detailed plan, modelled on the Arthashashtra, to bring about reform and change in five key areas that require urgent attention
·         Governance- The focus areas are lack of economic reforms, education, agriculture, infrastructure project, railways and inflation.
·         Democracy- It spoke about the criminalisation of politics, the entrenchment of black money in our system and acceptance of dynastic politics.
·         Corruption- The author suggests combating corruption using financial accountability of political parties using technology, bringing in transparency in dealings and judicial reforms for detterent action.
·         Security- It articulated the importance of foreign policy, defense preparedness and an intelligence gathering mechanism.
·         The building of an inclusive society- This topic brought to light the dark side of the uncaring and indifferent India that cannot be called progressive unless it includes everybody.

Whether it is laying the foundation for an independent and effective Lokpal, or decriminalizing politics and successfully weeding out the corrupt, the solutions he proposes are substantive, well within the constitutional framework, and can make all the difference between intent and action. Chanakya’s New Manifesto prescribes setting up of a five-member Governance Appraisal Panel (GAP) which will independently evaluate the performance of the government and submit annual report to the President of India. According to the suggestion in the book, the GAP should comprise a leading economist or a corporate sector personality, a distinguished journalist, a respected former bureaucrat, an academic of eminence in the field of governance, and a retired chief justice of India or a retired Supreme Court judge. And they should be picked up by a selection panel comprising Prime Minister of India, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India.

Chanakya's New Manifesto is both a call to action as well as a deeply insightful account of the challenges facing the country today. It is a book that should be attentively read by everybody with a stake in India's future.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


AUTHOR: Mukul Deva
PUBLISHER: Westland Ltd
ISBN: 978-93-82618-19-5
GENRE: Fiction/Thriller
PAGES: 286
SOURCE: Blogadda

Backcover says:

R.I.P. The Resurgent Indian Patriots.
Self appointed guardians of a nation seething with anger at the endless scams and scandals rocking its very foundation. Vigilantes who vow to stop corrupt politicians and colluding civil servants.
Even if it means killing them.

Colonel Krishna Athawale and his team of Special Forces officers rally to protect the country from the enemy within. They call themselves the K-Team. And no one is safe from their deadly intent.

Hellbent on stopping them is Raghav Bhagat, rogue para commando, gun for hire and Krishna’s bĂȘte noir.

Caught in the crossfire is Vinod Bedi, Special Director, CBI. Reena Bhagat, a glamorous news anchor, embittered by her husband’s betrayal. And two young boys, Sachin and Azaan, torn apart by the loss of a parent.

It doesn’t get bigger.

India’s literary storm trooper, Mukul Deva delivers yet another pulse-pounding, crackerjack of a thriller. Tethered on the edge of reality, RIP will keep you turning pages late at night.

Raumali says:

As I picked up the book, I couldn’t keep it down until the last page. I was deliberate to know how and where it ended. In most books, the hero wins, the villain loses in the end. But in RIP, the hero is the villain.

Colonel Krishna Athawale lost his wife in scams and scandals that is spread all over our country. Determined to stop this corruption that rule our country, Krishna sets out with his specially trained followers, ex-army men under the name K-Team, to execute their plan-RIP, to protect the country from the enemy that hides among us.

The government, bent to stopping them, hires Vinod Bedi, Special Director CBI, and also for special security, Raghav Bhagat, rogue para commando. As the story progresses we find these two cross ways in their search for RIP.

Many innocents are caught in this fire. Among them are Reena Bhagat, Raghav’s ex-wife and Krishna’s new found Love, Payal-Krishna’s widowed sister who lost her husband in one such scam, Namrata- Bedi’s wife yearning for her husband’s love and time, and two kids- Sachin and Azaan torn apart by the loss of a parent.

This book is definitely a page turner. The Writing is Lucid and simple with a fluent flow. It’s much like a bollywood movie. The security and weapon details will leave anyone gasping.

I would recommend everyone to read this book. Thank you blogadda for giving me the chance.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Reviews Program. for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!