Tuesday, January 24, 2006


University got cancelled today. actually the government declared a holiday for all educational institutions due to heavy torrential rains. too bad cause the Uni had re-opened yesterday itself. anyways, i can only be too glad as i had a Business Taxation class today from 1:00-4:00 pm. kak huh? (in any case it's an Elective and i don't think that i'll take it. Ms. Pillay shall have to wait until next week to see if she can convince me to join her class). and coming back to the torrential rains, it was pouring as if God had forgotten to turn off the water in his bath today morning.

anyways, Rishi (being the great pal that he is) was kind enough to call me and wake me up at 6:30 am just to inform me that it was raining outside my window and that Uni was off for the day. well, believe me when i tell you that he's a good friend. :D

so i did what any sensible person would do if he got up at the crack of dawn and had nothing to do. grab a cup on coffee and stand out in the balcony watching the rain pour down from the heavens. God, i do love the smell of the earth after the rain. but at that moment it was just raining and i couldn't resist holding out my hand and let it get drenched. any one who knows me since my childhood will tell you about my great love for the rain. standing out there on the balcony brought back a lot of memories. and i'd like to share some of them with you all.

the first one goes back to when i was about 3 to 4 years old and lived in A'bad with my mom and my grand parents. dad was in Canada at that time and my best friend was Chiki, the proverbial 'girl-next-door'. we both went to the same school (Rachna) in the same rickshaw (Kalubahi's) and the only difference was that she was in KG (A) and i studied in KG (B). mom also taught in the same school at that time. i remember quite well how we were always running around in the rain to the great dismay of my granny who was always bothered that we'd catch a cold. and to be honest, we did catch the cold a lot. ;D well, we moved to Canada a year later and i never saw Chiki again until the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, when we all had to move to the old bungalow while the aftershocks lasted and the authorities determined whether the high rises were safe or not (Chiki's family had also moved in for the same reasons). right now i have no idea about Chiki and i can only assume that she still lives in A'bad.

Loni is a small town near Pune in Maharashtra. we moved there after dad decided to come back to India (the first time around). all i can say about that place is that i hated the school there cause they forced me to study Marathi. the one memory that stands out from the Loni days is that of the monitor lizards and the snakes coming out of their underground burrows after the rains and how we (myself and a bunch of other kids) were always collecting rocks and stones for a supposed 'Stone Garden' that a bigger kid wanted to build and how we found scorpions under the bigger rocks.

after Loni we moved to Baroda (not for the first time) for the coming 6 years. i do have a lot of memories from that period of my life but the rains always meant only one thing. Rushin, Andrea and myself searching for snails and tadpoles and building (digging) a big hole in Mrs. Modi's garden that was to be our lake when the rain water filled it up. also making paper boats and sailing them in the lake was a big hobby during monsoon. and yes, how can one forget the hot pakodas that mom made...
sipping a cup of hot tea/coffee and eating hot pakodas while it rains. that's living life Indian style

A'bad (Ahmedabad) has always been my city and i consider myself an Amdavadi to the great agony of my father. but dad, i was born there and have lived there for most of my 21 years. and so it comes as no surprise that monsoon has always had a special meaning in A'bad. be it running around and dancing in the rain with my cousins on the terrace at camp (the bungalow) or stopping my bike on the way back from school to get drenched in the rain. also, racing in the water clogged roads with my friends, spraying the dirty water all over each other has been an all time favorite. and yes, i do remember a lot of times when we've had to push the bikes home and had trouble starting them due to the water entering the silencers (exhausts, for the one's uninitiated in Indian English). :D somehow that always happened with Tejas and Dhaval. or maybe, it's just the miracle of seeing a dry and sandy city turn lush green in a matter of days after the first rain. or maybe it was the sight of lightning streak across the skyline of the city at night from the balcony on the 12th floor.

West Bengal also holds it's own when it comes to the rains. i have never seen the fury of rain unleashed as violently anywhere else. we also have a name for the most violent of these storms that is born in the Bay of Bengal. we call it the 'Kalboisahkhi', meaning 'storm during the month of baisakh' (i.e. in the month of April). these summer storms are a novelty of West Bengal, since no where else in India you have these violent rains lashing out in April. and yes, one more thing. somehow they always happen during the night. it is amazing how the night sky booms with thunder and lightning and how the rain pours as if it's trying to wash away everything that stands. and it's during these storms that the 'Koi mach' makes it amazing journey from one pond to another and to the top of trees. nope, i'm not kidding. Koi is a fresh water fish that has spikes on it's back and underbelly and at the base of it's neck. using these spikes it crawls out of the water and travels across land and also is capable of climbing trees. it's a local delicacy and hence one has to be careful that all the fish from your pond don't end up in someone else's backyard. so you do what you must. you go out and brave the storm and catch as many of the 'Koi' fish that you can find and throw them back into your pond. dad has pretty fond memories of doing so back in our village. the wonder's never cease, do they??

well here in Mauritius there are no 'Koi' fish to catch nor is there any racing of bikes in a water clogged street. nor do the kids play the after rain games of 'spinning tops' and 'marbles' in the damp soil. the snakes do not come out of their holes and i have never found scorpions under the rocks. but then, i have never really looked for them out here (the one thing that did happen and that happens in India as well was that the electricity failed for a while, and i lost my first post earlier in the morning. so i had to retype the entire thing). and all i had with me today morning was a cup of coffee and no pakodas. but still, the rain was as enchanting to me as always.

ps: Jaanu, good luck on your first day working at Applebee's. :D

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

the Gentleman's game...

Well guess that things on my end have been quite (if not very) low for a while now. The last social interaction with 'non-family' folks that I can remember of, dates back to almost a week ago, and that too being a non-descriptive and quite boring cricket match. though I can't be too critical of that since I have had the good sense to notice that at least I finally got the chance to be involved in a game that involves throwing a ball at a dude with a hitting-stick (i.e. bat) and then making 10 other guys chase the ball all around the park (by the way, Cricket is also referred to as the 'Gentleman's Game'). Still I think that it's better than a gang of big guys beating each other up over a ball and saying that they are playing rugby, the game of men.
Gordon, shut up. i don't care what you say cause you are nothing but a big teddy bear that drinks beer like a sponge absorbs water, builds plants and complains about African politicians. and yeah while I am at it, one more fact...your African love child Griffin is definitely cuter than you.
just remember that for all Indians (more correctly, for all south-east Asians) Cricket is the path to Nirvana and Sachin Tendulkar is God, albeit a bit old now days. still, I stand by the fact that cricket involves no fighting (the worst of this lot is boxing, but the money cancels out the madness. I’d go and get beaten and beat someone up if I was to get a million quid). Argh! The bottom line is that I played cricket and that my team won. But that seems to be the usual way of things as some people might recollect (ki Nafiz dada?? thik bolchi naa?? India's gonna kick some Pakistani ass this month). ;D

So I was stuck at home all this time. Yes, I spent an entire summer simply sitting on my lazy butt 'living it up' on a tropical island. Thankfully New Year's Eve was good. But apart from that my life sucks big time. last Saturday was Uttrayan back home (remember the kite flying festival that I told you of) and my dearest friends back in A’bad had the great urge to remind me that I hadn't flown a kite in 3 years and that I was missing out on all the fun.
Aab jaab mein aapne doston ki baat kar raha hoon to phir let me also remind you all that ...
"peena to kya peena hamare bina. tum ne to sirf doon ghoot piye hai, magar hum to puri bootle utar gaye"
...just wait till I get back you jerks. I have a lot of catching up to do, but promise you all that it’s gonna be fun like always. and yeah, Sallu abhi bhi zindaa hai kya?? aabe koi to saab ki khabar diya karo mujhe.

the big news of the year 2006 is that Heather, my kitten, has become a tigress and finally shrug off her veg-headedness to the supreme delight of Gordy who loves 'goat' food. welcome to the culinary world of meat Heathcoat. but most importantly, now you can eat my famous chicken curry and biryani. hurrah!!!
Amu, I got your card. you have no idea how excited I was to see that small red envelope. and yes, I am being a good boy and eating the leafy-greens and not smoking them. miss you my Gundi. thug world ain't the same without my arch rival.

anyways, I just wanted to blog again...if nothing else then maybe just to remind you all that I love you all and miss you so so so so much.



Thursday, January 05, 2006

hey mom, like you asked...here's a new shot of both me and noella. you know, we do manage to co-exist!! at least most of the times. ;)

Monday, January 02, 2006

"Don't try and describe the shade of green, just say it's GREEN"...

hey ya all!! well i know that it’s been kindda dull and empty on the blogging circuit without me, but then it takes a lot of time to come up with a lot of partying. ;D

but first let me start with saying that 2005 is gone... :'( *sigh* ... man it was a good year and i am sure going to miss the year that in a lot of ways defined a lot of things in my life. for example, i have just come to realize that no matter where i go, a part of me is always going to be Mauritian. 3 years down, and now i have begun calling this place my second home. God i have fallen in my own 'Patriotic Indian' eyes, but kya kare is jagah ki baat hi kuch nirali hai. ek baar aadat pad gayi to zindagi bharki lat lag jati hai. :D

life has given me a lot in 2005. some things that i am going to cherish as good memories, some things that i am going to try and forget ASAP and a lot of things that i wish to relive all over again. i guess that the most important fact remains that 2005 has shaped my life unlike any other year not just for what it gave to me but also for what it reminded me of...something that i had forgotten for while...
life is good.

we all have our share of grievances that we have to deal with, but we also have an equal if not larger share of the good things that life can give to us. and it is for these very special things that life is so much worth living.

so to all the people who have shaped my life for better and worse (but mostly 'better', the 'worse' part has been shaped at the University of Mauritius) in 2005, i'd simply like to say that i love you all. yes, i am talking about you all...

Heathcoat, 'petite bebe' Gordon, Nafiz dada, Timo, Anne, Uma aka 'Gundi', Tejas, Ronak, Rishi, Fano, Siven, Hubsi, Mitty, Rasty, Wolfy, Kevin, Joel, Yash, Digu, 'Sugarcane cutter' Bruce, Kovida aka 'mom', Dr Sobhee, Prof Nath (you are my supervisor and my lifeline), my sister Noella and my dad (the famous Dr Das) and the silly feline beast i call "Richard Parker"

...the list is definitely not complete and those who feel that they are not being appreciated just need to remember that what really matters is that in my heart (i got a big heart) i appreciate everything that you have done...this list by no means is my final thanks list. that one i shall read out when i get the Oscar or the Grammy or any of the multitudes of other awards. so watch out!! :D

anyways, so this new year's eve i decided that i simply had to go back to Mont Choisy (yeah, just like the last new year's eve). the people weren't the same, but the BBQ and the spot on the beach was just right. i guess that all i really want is that 2006 be as good as 2005. so i guess that going back to the same place where i started last year is my way of being superstitious, and it did bring back a lot of what we call good ol' memories.

this time around it was just me and some of the guys from my dad's college that included Yash, Digu, Jimmyda and a few others. we shopped a day in advance for the big party and ended up with the back of a 4x2 pickup filled with meat and booze and the stuff required for a decent blaze. nice. very nice.

so it turns out that a few drinks down and Yash is a changed man (i guess that a lot of you folks remember that). guess that he has been practicing his communication skills over the course of the year, which he put to admirable use and managed to pick up two babes on the beach (oh yeah, the next day morning he woke me up to ask me if i remembered their names). we also did a victory run around the beach at midnight to usher in the new year. as the night progressed a few of the people on the beach also joined us. most notable a guy named Edu. ha! he was so fucking drunk and we managed to add to his alcohol level to lead to a very amusing scenario which ended with his cousin bundling a yelling and singing Edu in the car. the night just seemed to sway from one situation to the other and finally i found myself and Digu on the beach at 6:00 am with the German Shepherd.

it turned out that after going back to the hostel to join the party out there, the two of us walked back to the beach with more Vodka and the dogs followed us. and then we crashed. i finally woke up to the dogs licking my hands and face. so the very first thing i ended up doing in 2006 was to take Estella and Zulu on a run and swim on the beach. guess that keeping fit is going to be one thing i am sure to be serious about this year. ;)

so i guess that it was a memorable night, but still somehow i couldn't but feel the absence of so many people in my life. being in the same place did bring back the good memories but i forgot that good memories can also hurt. i just miss you all. i miss my friends.

anyways, there's one more year to deal with now and honestly, i am pretty excited about it. don't know what it will bring to me, but i am sure that it’s going to be great. so cheers to a great 2006. may it bring for us all that we have ever wished for. it’s nice to know that from Germany to the US to India to UK to Tanzania to Canada to a tiny island in the Indian Ocean, there are people whom we can rely on and call our friends no matter what. so always remember that.

and yeah one more piece of advice from the Guru...

when trying to describe our thoughts and emotions
don't try and describe the shade of green, just say it's green.
keep it simple and say what your feel, cause trying to assign complicated words to our feelings and thoughts only manages to make the simple facts complicated details.

Happy New Year folks :D