Sunday, May 28, 2006

the 100 petal lotus...

*phone ringing*


"hello, its me dada (elder brother) speaking."

"ahh, how are you?"

"well i have some bad news. Chua Deeda passed away last night."

*momentary pause*

"how did it happen?"

"you know that her health wasn't keeping good of late. and she passed away in her sleep last night."

"so it wasn't painful, right?"

"i don't think so."

"well, i'll tell dad when he gets back from work."

"yes do that, and i'll call back later as well."

*a minute's silence*

"she was 95 years old you know."

"i know that dad was her favourite nephew and i was her favourite grandson. she once gave me a gold coin when i was a kid."

"yes, that too."

*more silence*

"we've always called her Chua Deeda, but did you know that her real name was Satadal?"

"no. what does that mean?"

"the 100 petal lotus."



'Satadal Vasini Samanta' (1911-2006)

from the elder daughter of the Manna-Mandal's and my grandmother's elder sister to a young bride of the Samanta's and then widowhood at an age inconceivable to us in today' times and having to leave one's own house & living with her sister; my great aunt lived a life dedicated to her religion and her 'dharma' as a widow. it was a hard life, as was any widow's in the India of old. nevertheless she never ceased to love others...her's a story that encompasses time, its the story of my family. its not something that i am proud of, but then there are always some things that one is not proud of when your family history is spread over 500 years. i have no idea on how to make my readers feel the way i do and understand the powerful emotions that they invoke in me? i cannot and i shall not even try to.

life is funny, and then its tragic. but then it's the way that one lives it that defines it.
some people live it with dignity and character that is rarely seen and that then becomes the definition of life.

Chua Deeda, you "little Gopal" will miss you. always.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

to the 'big fella' on the 'big day'...

well bru, finally it's that time of the year...yes, finally you get your very own "just for you" post on my blog. don't know if i'm happy or simply relieved that finally you've managed to find time from your wild monkey business to grow up (you know what i mean by "growing up" you African plumber, you boozed-up head butting maniac of a driver/biker, you Mauritian and vegetable hating big fella you). :P

well the past year has been a great achievement in all regards for you my bru and you have indeed come a long way in your quest, but for now i just want to let ya know that i wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! my South African bru aka Gordon van dan Heever aka petite bebe aka Nodrog.

have a blast in Tanzania. too bad that we can't go and try and find the White Castle down in Port Louis for your birthday feast and neither can we raise a toast to you out of a 5 litre Vital bottle filled with Phoenix...nor can we set up the awesome blaze with a ton of meat on top like we did in the past (on second thoughts maybe having a party and having to endure your DJ'ing would indeed be unbearable).

but the one thing that we can do is take time out from our fucked up lives and take a look back at all the fabulous times that we've had and also send a small prayer to the 'real' big fella up above and wish for an amazing year to come.

also as a parting present, here's something to boost your ego and make you feel special on your birthday. but don't let it get to your head. just remember that i can kick the shit out of you on any other day...remember that.

may the Indian force be with you my dear friend.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

gets one thinking, doesn't it? :)

Examinations are formidable even for the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.

~ Charles Colton

Monday, May 15, 2006

in the middle of an ocean & wishing i knew how to swim...

i'm running out of similes and metaphors to describe my life right now and this is the best i can come up with at the moment. folks, read on...

so if ever you have wondered how it feels to be in the middle of the ocean in a boat, surrounded by miles of nothing but water, enjoying the peace and the tranquillity that only the sea can arouse. when suddenly you see a huge, a f**king massive iceberg materialise straight in front of your ship and at the same very moment the klaxons go off warning you that some goddamned Sub has decided to do a bit of target practice on you, and now a torpedo is heading straight up your ship's ass...and the best part in it all...YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO SWIM!!

so how does it feel to be in such a situation?

let me tell does not feel good, and its light years away from worse. even terrible is an understatement and the only thing that can make the situation completely hopeless and beyond salvage would be to have a Great White 'sinister-looking' Shark (yeah, the one from Jaws is a prety good fit in this case) come swim around near your sinking ship.

well thankfully my life at this moment does not resemble such a situation. that is despite the fact that i just managed to fuck up my computer once again and this time i lost all data on my hard disk...yep, an entire year of memories on this island with you folks, all the pictures, all my music, all my data...all gone. just like that. thankfully i had made back up copies of my dissertation on cd and that's what made the difference between being on 'that' ship and being where i am right now.

anyways, so i haven't touched alcohol in over 2 months. i lost all digital copies of my memories on this island. i have a new 24x7 internet connection. i have finally submitted in the final copies of my thesis to my supervisor and now i have exams starting from Tuesday and its raining crazy on this island at this very moment.

everything said and done, i guess that i'm doing pretty well. though technically, i am in the middle of the Indian Ocean and i do wish that i knew how to swim.


Monday, May 08, 2006

a passing thought...

Living happily does not mean that everything around us must be perfect. It means choosing to be happy in spite of the fact that it will never be perfect. Disappointments will always come our way. We just need to learn to laugh at them and be like the persistent sonofabitch who never gives up trying to overcome them...

...or else we always have Bush to blame everything on!

~ cheers :)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

early morning joy...

Once upon a time, in a land not too far away
...a boy and his cat went for a walk in the woods...

i guess they didn't have broadband internet!!

nothing special folks...i just love these guys.

anyways, i just read the Ahmedabad edition of The Times of India at 5 in the morning...gosh, i've so very missed reading my newspaper in the mornings ever since i landed on this island (seriously Le Matinal does not qualify as a newspaper in my ratings). having broadband internet has its benefits is suppose. well, now i got more stuff that needs to be done.

later then...

ps: hey ma, isn't it funny. i have a cat too...but his name's Richard Parker. :)

Monday, May 01, 2006

an entire month in retrospect...

its been a while since i've had to make use of my blogging skills and i feel a bit rusty. i know that it wasn't right of me to ignore my blog for over a month...but even today, time doesn't permit me to be more eloquent.

the past month has seen me come face to face with a lot of issues, and inshallah i've managed to overcome them all. a short synopsis of my life from the 27th of March to the 30th of April would be something like:
  • assignments and tests for over 3 weeks.
  • my cat decided to go on an adventure and went missing for over 3 weeks (i caught sight of him once roaming around with this other black cat in the neighbourhood).
  • computer problems...had to get my hard disk formated. lost a bit of data in the process.
  • my dissertation a constant finally culminated into my worst nightmare with my supervisor grading it an absolute waste in terms of content categorization. apparantly being innovative doesn't work with traditional economists. so now i am working on revising my thesis as per the standard protocol. have applied for an extension.
  • oh yeah, my 21st birthday...a complete of the worst days i've had in the past 3 years in terms of frustration in academics and UoM bureaucracy. it ended with me having an outburst of anger and frustration with my mom over the phone.
  • things are starting to look up a bit in the last 2 came back home pretty bashed up and skinny as in "a bag of bones" supervisor is starting to become a bit more co-operative.
  • exams approaching (they start on the 16th of this month).
  • i have 2 more assignments due next week and i also have to study for my exams and work on my dissertation at the same time.
  • and i need a haircut...badly.
so folks, there you go. in short my life has in the real sense "sucked" for the past month or so...and if i have any inclination of the future then it's not going to get any better in the coming month. my only hope is in making it through with my sanity intact. but looking at things from a better and a more optimistic point, i have only one more month of suffering to endure. and i did manage to make it through to this point. so its no use giving up now.
i have the finish-line in my sight and its now that the true test of endurance and mental strength begins.

so wish me luck.

ps: thanks to all my great pals all around the world who made sure, each in their own special way, that my birthday was a special one. you guys made the difference between a bad day i'd want to forget ASAP and a memorable day that i'd remember always.