Saturday, April 26, 2008

old things, same little Dodo and some bare necessities...

there's something about not having any access to the modern amenities of life that makes a person more introspective and calm. living in the barest of minimum requirements. four walls of my dad's apartment. my books. the food in the refrigerator. a single mattress spread on the floor. over two dozen of my dad's movie dvd collection and a DVD player. my cat who needs constant scratching of the head and rubbing of the belly. i guess that Balloo the bear would have been proud (humming along to the tune of "bare necessities" in my mind), if only the human jungle permitted such austere living, something that dad prefers to call simple living, but alas, that won't do, would it?

so we have a multitude of different species of inhabitants of the human jungle walk in through our door, bring in the science bestowed gadgets and gizmo's that promise to make our human lives more comfortable, take measurements, make little notes in their respective hand books, assessments and estimates exchanged, the God given tools of human hands and a dozen other equipments brought in, walls taken apart, scrapped, painted, wired laid within walls, the floor unearthed, wood scrapped to build stools and the other things we call furniture and then again begins the process of the walls being scrapped and then again and then some more again and a final layer of paint. a human habitat requires a certain 'living standard'. all must abide by it. that is the law of the human jungle.
the human jungle is very different from the 'other' jungle.


the habit of holding on to the tiniest of things and most of everything that i have at some point in time owned or come across is something that i have found to be immensely useful. there is a saying and a story related to it that my Ba used to tell me as a kid that actually managed to encourage the junk hoarder in me (although my mom believes that i have managed to inherit that trait from my dadu). the saying in Gujarati goes something like this...
'saanghrayelo saap paan kaam ma aave" ~ meaning, a stored/hoarded snake can also be of some use.
agreed, the saying doesn't make much sense in English, but the story sure does.


once upon a time there was a farmer who happened to have the habit of holding on to the smallest of pebble to the largest of drums that he happened to make use of. despite all the admonishments of his wife, he just couldn't throw things away. each day he found something new to put away carefully.

one day as he stepped out of his house, he happened to see a dead snake lying on the garden path. a closer inspection reveled that it was the same snake that used to live behind the water tank and which used to slither around making a meal of all the rats that plagued his barn. a slave to his habit the farmer just couldn't let himself to get rid of the dead snake. during it's life the snake had guarded the farmer's grain from rodents, and now in it's death the farmer felt it a betrayal to discard off the snake's dead body. so he carefully picked up the snake and tossed him atop the roof of his barn, promising to have a decent burial/death ceremony for his dead friend in the evening once he returned from the fields.

that very morning the queen of the kingdom had been out with her retinue to the temple that stood atop the hill by the lake. as per the ritual she had first bathed in the water of the lake. while she was in the water, a kite had swooped down upon the queen's royal necklace attracted by the dazzling gems and diamonds in it. the kite picked up the necklace in it's talons and flew away much to the chagrin of the queen. the king had immediately sent horsemen after the kite to try and retrieve the precious insignia of the royal family. but then, a man in no match for a horse and a horse is no match for a kite, is it?

as the kite flew on with its prize in its talons, it happened to catch sight of the dead snake on top of the farmer's barn. fueled by hunger, the kite in one sweeping dive, picked up the snake and left behind the precious jewel there on the barn roof. cut a long story short...the farmer came back and retrieved the jewel, returned it to the king, was amply rewarded for his honesty and everyone lived happily ever after. so the moral of the story is: "saanghrayelo saap paan kaam ma aave"...


old things when found bring back memories. they arouse emotions that one earlier seemed incapable of harboring withing the depths of one's complex being. joy, pain, laughter, tears and sometimes a simple smile.

found something today while rummaging through boxes in which the junk that has been collected over the course of the years of moving and shifting and living. a little card amidst shreds of paper and dozens and dozens of books. a little something that i had absolutely forgotten about. a birthday card from a dear dear friend. a little card that said how much i meant to someone and how that person wished me a lifetime of happiness and the strength to face and live life on my terms. thoughts of love and care from a person i loved equally if not more that brought a smile to my face. words that were penned down six years ago and words that still meant so much to me.

a smile cause, today that love is leaked out of the relationship through the wound of the hurt that runs so deep. deep enough to ensure that no matter how much rational introspection and practicality of life is implemented, no matter how far i have moved on, the same person still manages to raise the dark emotion of disappointment. you ask, a betrayal of sorts? i say, none whatsoever. but the trust is so hard to find. but harder still to find are words to describe the remnants of the friendship we shared. and that is what made me smile. cause beneath all that has been built and destroyed by us, there still remains a gentle thought of care and concern for the other. and i cannot name that. neither can i deny that.


my Dodo is back. apparently didi had a bit of time off from her daily chores in Dubai. so she decided to fly down to Ahmedabad with the little kiddo and give everyone a surprise. well, now then what does that mean?? more time with my little angel teaching her how to be a perfect little devil (not that she really needs any training whatsoever). well here are a few pics from mama and bhanji's (uncle and niece's) little time out.

class in session: today's question: how to pick one's nose in public?

shady dodo chick!

...the kid's at the age where she has begun to mimic everything that one one has to watch out one's tongue while yapping. or else, you all know...


Saturday, April 12, 2008

summer tidings...and bike mishaps...

Screeeeccccccch!! wham slam bam!!

...a total! maybe not so.

that's what happens when the guy driving in front of you has a flat tyre and stops abruptly in the middle of the road. you have
"a mere 0.2 of a second to react and slam on the brakes. and even then it is not that easy a matter, especially if you are riding a bike. you need to make sure that you don't lose your balance when you hit the brakes and skid off the road. you need to ensure that you don't run over the head of the fellow standing right there in the middle of the road trying to crane his neck to an impossible degree so that he can look at his flat tyre. and add to that a father who is the nightmarish nemesis of all dear riders/drivers with his constant 'backseat driving' you need to be especially careful in maintaining your composure."
guess i managed most of it all right today. cause here i am sitting at my aunt's and blogging while dad and masa (uncle) chat up over the usual round of scotch in the other room. masi, didi and Noel are in the kitchen cooking...and cat is back at home in the apartment sleeping.

sleeping is pretty much what he has been doing of late. ever since he has made the flight trip from Mauritius, kitty hasn't been up to his usual 'wascally' self. don't blame him though. if you take dear ol' kitty from his comfortable crib back on the island and fly him all the way to India and in to the land of garish colors and constant crescendo of known and unknown sounds, and to a state like Gujarat that has been known to hit 50 degrees Celsius at the peak summer phase (which we are almost about to touch in a couple of weeks from now), you will end up with an non-existent appetite and an ever lasting need to sleep all day long.


have been holed up in dad's apartment these past few days. it's a far cry from being back in Baroda and in my own place. come to talk about it, i really don't think that i am going to be able to keep my apartment back in Baroda for longer. *sob*. my roommates are leaving and dad is planning to send my sister down to finish up her schooling in the same city. so it turns out way cheaper and much much more easier to simply move in with my dad. gone are the days of a student's meager existence. soon there will be a bigger and proper house with proper appliances and equipments [meaning an Air Con (although this is more of a necessity for the cat), high speed 24x7 Internet (yay! then i can blog all i want all the time), movie player (so much for my final year) et al that i currently do not possess] to satiate my materialistic self, probably a cook, most definitely a maid to clean, no driver though and most of all my boy kitty and sis!
but i shall miss my apartment..terribly!! all i wish for is that if i actually ever happen to move out, Ani, or some other friend of mine moves in to that place so that i can crash over and lie there on my lazy bum all day long.
but for now, i am seeking refuge within the barren four walls of my dad's apartment in Ahmedabad, helping dad to spruce up the place, taking care of kitty and helping dad look for a new place for us all back in Baroda so that i can get back to that city ASAP (sitting at home all day does get to you big time, and even the humdrum and monotonous existence of Baroda begins to seem like a brighter way to spend summer).


have been reading though. books are all that surround me. my entire collection of books painfully collected over the years. a reminder of the thousands that i have made my parents spend behind my reading habit. my own personal library. my precious.



also, my two-penny worth contribution to the cause of all Tibetians across the globe and especially for all my Tibetian pals back in Baroda (Tenzing Norgay, King, Ghyalpo, Tenzin Dawa, and Karma), freedom is everyone's birthright.


Monday, April 07, 2008

travelogue, beer-log and insomnia...

things turned out to be quite insane and fun. of late, i have been complaining and ranting away to glory, every now and then i have managed to slip into a weird and terrible frame of mind due to certain 'reasons' that i finally feel required no further elaborate attention on my part;
(but i am so very sure that as such this solution is not going to be possible and i am going to slip into the same state of stagnancy and libido that i have so begun to detest and made concrete efforts to overcome)
also, i have been working towards ensuring that things are in order for my dad when he shows up with my kitty and sister; and then, i have also been partying and meeting friends. in short, i have lived up to my own expectations in the past couple of days.

so i got done moving stuff into dad's apartment Saturday morning. the movers were an hour late and the men who finally showed up were quite dubious in their physical appearance and they hardly seemed capable of lifting anything. plus they did manage to drop my carton of 200 + books down the stairs while moving, hereby ensuring a 'literary landslide' in the literal sense and an instinctive 'verbatim abusive barrage' on my part. but over all, the entire process went off smoothly. the work got done. i pretty much didn't have much of an option and i had to leave ASAP for Baroda, finally reaching the town and my place around 6:30-7:00 in the evening, which left me with just enough time to run down to the train station to find out what trains would be available to me for my Bombay journey. that done (i ended up with a list of 7 trains and no confirmed/reserved tickets), i headed back home to a nice shower (yikes, i was feeling the dirt and the heat with all the traveling and moving) and then to Ayesha's for the 'formal/socialite' party. for once my inhibitions were proved absolutely wrong. i had presumed that i would manage to bore my self to death that night. but hell i was wrong! turned out i knew over 90% of the folks who showed up. the fact that i was meeting them all after like ages added to the fun. but to cut a long story short, the party finally ended at around 2 am with Luke, Hardik, Patrick, Jeff, Siddharth and myself being the only guests still up and kicking and yapping with Ayesha's granny, talking about stuff ranging from life to God to beer and women (oh yeah, also, met this cute girl that night. need to follow up once i get back to Baroda!). even the hostess herself, Ayesha, was passed out and asleep in her room.
"lol! blimey eh??" :)

well, finally called it quits but not before we promised the granny that we boy's would be back to carry on the conversation some other time, and then headed out for 'chai' at 3 am. a lovely little drive up to the highway and an all night chai wallah at his tiny shanty chai stall was more than willing to oblige us with our tea demands. interesting conversation with interesting people and an even more interesting episode where in a strange woman tried to pick up Patrick. she was "knowing English too" and was quite adamant that Pat give her his "phone ya, you got phone or contact number. you know i too English knowing. give address. you know where? i visit?" damn, we boys were more than happy to stand aside and keep on laughing to poor ol' Pat's embarrassment.

anyways, headed back home after that. and boy oh boy, guess what?? 'ze um, ahem, how to say?' girl Arshneet was there at home!!
now, what else does a guy need after a kick-ass party other than an attractive woman to open the door when he gets back to his place???
the girl had just come down from Mumbai and was staying over for a few days. needless to say, we are always more than happy to have her stay with us while she is in town. ;) anyways, considering that i had a train to catch at 6:30 in the morning, i felt it quite unnecessary to sleep. and this is what followed...

6:30- have Arshneet drop me off to the train station.
6:45- manage to get a ticket (albeit unreserved) and hop on to a train to Mumbai.
7:00- since there was no seat empty in the general compartment, find a nice empty spot empty next to the door, spread out the newspaper and sit there as if it was my personal fiefdom.
12:20- be lucky enough to have the train stop at Vasai due to some congestion in the tracks up ahead. so jump off, and head home to my aunt's.
13:00- head back towards Borivali and Malad with my cousin on a day out with her and her friend.
14:00- still chilling out with cousin and her pal at the mall.
1500- yep, still there at the mall, barely awake but still there, while cousin shops.
16:00- cousin is finally done shopping. so call up Kaz and Saad (who himself, is in Bombay as of this moment) and plan to meet up.
17:00- meet up with my 'crazy baavi' Kazvin and Saad at Pop Tate's in Andheri.
18:00- Chandradeep joins us.
21:30- finally get done, after like a few pitchers of beer and some amazing food, and head back to Bhanu foi's place in Juhu (yep, us Indian's and our relatives all over the globe symptom).
20:00- plomb my arse in front of the tv to watch Mughal-e-Azam for the umpteenth time.
3:00- head down to the airport to pick up dad and sister and kitty who were coming down from Mauritius.
5:00- back in Vasai at Bharti masi's and dead asleep after over 38 hours without sleep starting Saturday morning.

"and then people say that i am lazy! sheesh!"
anyways, loved chilling out with Kaz and gang in a setting apart from Baroda. me thinks me is going to try and make such visits more often. also, driving down to Ahmedabad tomorrow with 10+ more hours in the car!


Friday, April 04, 2008

the changeling...

*current music: Winds of Change ~ Scorpions

there is a certain drift in the winds tonight. the mercury has fallen and the leaves are rustling and speaking to each other and to all those who care enough to listen, "there's a certain surety in the air tonight that says that tonight is going to be different. cause tonight the winds are changing." long have lasted the life-sapping heat and the dust demons that race across the barren morbidity of the unforgiving summer landscape in a moribund existence that gives birth to the devil and his thoughts.
"even the devil has a right to exist. God alone couldn't have created this world."
but even as just as it might be, the devil's existence, the devil cannot rule the world. people cannot forget laughter. tears cannot cease the happiness. cause even the tears themselves might belong to joy. life has a right to be happy. life has a right to change.

...tonight things are changing. the winds are changing and bringing in a coolness that emanates from life itself. how long could have it lasted anyways? someday it had to come to an end and the change had to happen...

...with each drop that falls on the face, a million tears are washed away unnoticed as the trickling water manages to enter each and every crevice of the sun cracked face, soothing the wounds with the elixir of life, bringing a smile to the face. each rain drop is a memory. memories of love, memories of pain, memories of successes, memories of lies, memories of untold secrets and all other memories that life holds in its folds; and in an instance you see your entire life rewind, unraveling the lost keys to the doors that you couldn't find when you needed to open them. they were right there in front of you, but you failed to notice them and today, when you see them, all you can do is smile. it is funny how they eluded you, or better said, how you were blinded to them. you would have done anything for the key when you needed it the most, but today you couldn't care less; life couldn't care less; life doesn't have time for regrets...

have you ever seen the trees dance in a storm? the gradual rise in the crescendo of the rustling finally explodes in the wild dance that calls out to all the powers of the nature, calling them to unite in one moment of intense fury that leaves the puny man awestruck. the skies open up to white flashes of anger, the winds carry the force of a possessed being, the clouds cry their violent tears that lash out at all that stands in their path, nature bellows in the booming voice ordering the trees to re-enact the cosmic 'Tandava'.
"the Universe might have been created in a moment of lucid tranquility, but it will be destroyed in a moment of blind rage."
...the Creator, the Sustainer, the Destroyer. all are one. all are You. you created this world, you will destroy it. it is only a matter of time. in the meanwhile, sustain it. nurture it. love it. it is your's after all.

~ॐ ~

Thursday, April 03, 2008

of moving, praising and buying for necessities...

so, you get done with your exams and you are left staring into the seemingly never-ending summer break and the unbearable heat of an Indian summer. you make plans to do things, travel, read and to try and beat the lethargy that otherwise creeps in. normally people live life this way. for me, i partied the weekend prior to the last exam, got sloshed, slept all of Sunday and then wrapped up exams on Monday. celebrated the 'sarcastically bitchy' roomie's birthday on Tuesday and then ran down to A'bad the same evening and begin with the task of sprucing up dad's apartment prior to his imminent arrival. i swear to God, it is a real bummer to have to clean an apartment that has been locked up for the better course of 'ever-since-it-was-constructed'. and i kid you not when i say that you end up having to hose down the dirt and the cobwebs with a garden hose borrowed from your neighbor. thank god for the part where i live in India. i normally am a pretty 'i shall do it myself, after all its my work' person if ever i actually get around to doing something. but for this once i was more than willing to make an exception. so i tapped into the infinite resource of cheap human labor that exists in India and got hold of 'Bacchubhai' (the cleaner at my mom's office) to help me with the cleaning. and then today, i got hold of these two electrician fellas to help me set straight the electrical connections and fixtures at the apartment and i already have lined up the movers to help me carry in the furniture come Saturday morning...
so for the price of a few quids i am saved the trouble of a nasty headache and the possibility of a broken back/neck.


met up with Saloni the other day. dear woman is so so so busy running around trying to get things in to order, meet with the bank people and convince them for a loan, scout for potential business premises, rendezvous with the product company agents and so on, in order for her to start her own saloon soon. seeing her run around and stress about (in her own unique manner that is) made me realize just how much effort and pain goes into the task of making others look glamorous. but the one thing that i do know is that no matter what Sal is going to make it a huge success. she has got the perfect blend of spunk and passion, entirely besides the fact that she is good, nay damn good, at what she does (hey, i let her style my hair no questions asked anytime she wants to. although she did color my hair pink once) and she deserves all the accolades and more. so here's a shout out to Saloni wishing her all the success that she deserves.
Sal girl, no matter how good you manage to make the world's people look, they are never going to get closer, by any means, to being as glamorous as you yourself. to me you are a diva!


so i guess that i am pretty finicky when it comes to sunglasses. it's almost on the border of having a fetish for shades and it drives me to keep on spending all my money on buying new ones all the time. the worst thing that can happen to me is for me to accidentally loose or break my sunglasses. Oh, that is indeed a dark day!

i broke my aviators yesterday while cleaning the apartment and hence i bought 2 new pairs of sunglasses today. that takes my official count of shades to 5.

i got me pair of funky Rock Star aviators with sexy red stars (what you can see me wearing in the old old profile picture. agreed that the Stars are not clearly visible)

the quintessential wraparounds for the dusty and windy days (the best resemblance to the one that i own)

the aviators for usual wear, the 70's style over-sized shades (my latest purchases)

and the regular sombre neat fits (i got the blue ones).

i am incorrigible. i am extravagant. my mom says,
"you would rather let your girlfriend go instead of one of your sunglasses!"
...i am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. but we all got our own little 'necessities'.


*ps: the picture update came a bit late cause i was just too damn lazy to get the camera out and click last night.