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Friday, July 24, 2009

Saddi dilli!

People tend to go on sabbaticals.............i guess i just go into hiberation.........so here i am writing on my blog after eons.........once again!!! i don't have a literary article to post this time...

.......it is just to say.....I MISS DELHI......i never thought i will say this! what with the lousy weather, overcrowded roads and markets, maddening rush and traffic.......but it is still what i call HOME....

e'one was telling me that once you stay on in Bangalore, the city grows on you.........well it still has a long way to go as far as i am concerned! yeah there are loads of places to hang out in, a lotta plays to go to and parties to attend and books and bookstore at every gully and nukkad..........

but it just aint the same when your friends are not around......i miss that impromptou get together with friends.....that driving by the college just to sit on the railings and relive our college days......hogging at pandara road....the shopkeepers who don't mind ur shopping and billing way beyond the closing time....getting e'thing e'where....friends who are just a fone call away....

i miss the noise, i miss the pollution (well that not so much!)....i miss the city.....and coming from me that is SOMETHING!! Just goes to show that to know how much something really means to you gotta get away from it!!!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Letter to a friend........

Follow your heart......live your dream.....free your spirit. Decide for yourself what is it that you want to do. Opinions will always sway. Follow your instinct, that voice deep inside you which guides you, whispering your wish.....decide now before it becomes impossible, irreversible.

People count, emotions count, feelings count....but You also count, your essence, your being.....all of that counts and it counts the most..........People may term you as selfish.....but aren't we all? Only difference being that the degree varies. But you have to be - sometimes you just have to let yourself come first.....sometimes you have to love yourself and not let people walk all over you, crushing your dreams and stifling your soul. Sometimes you just have to let go of others and embrace yourself.............first.

Your wishes, your dreams also deserve to bloom. You might not really reach the pinnacle of your aspirations, but you wouldn't regret venturing into yourself either.........You must let your soul breathe and remember that you are not here to simply exist but to LIVE and live it to the hilt.

It takes only a moment of reflection to realise that your existance has its own significance. There is no one like you, you are YOU. Enjoy the warmth of being YOU.....Stop self-pitying and self-condemnation.....coz people think of you as you think of yourself.....That's why no one can let you down, unless you let them.

Awaken the strong spirit lying latent inside you. Use your gifts.........they were given to you so that you could use them - for yourself and for others........You were created for a purpose and You must realise it. See, feel, discover and you will find that there is no other experience as beautiful, as calming, nothing else that offers you as much peace of mind.......as being YOU......

Friday, May 30, 2008


I hate goodbyes...........they come often, unannounced and are an inevitable part of our lives......... a word that transforms people we hold close, places we hold dear, things we love doing, to mere memories, vulnerable to getting erased by the waves of time, like the writings on a beach...........but yet, it is a giant that lifts its head again and again and there is no way you can ever get used to it.

It was with these thoughts that i turned my steps outside the gate of my house. The sun had long set on a hot and sultry day and the evening brought with it unexpected gusts of winds, which soon filled the light grey gloaming sky with puffy moisture-laden clouds. As i walked down the deserted road, with a solitary streetlight casting a dull yellow glow, i could hear the wind rustling through the trees, swaying their green heads akin to maidens in rustling victorian gowns being twirled around by their partners in a ball. Then the wind would stop and the trees would fall still, with only the dull thud of my footsteps resounding in the sudden quiet...........Just as suddenly a fresh gust would send the trees in motion again and yellow leaves would twirl down from the trees, like a beethovian symphony.

I could feel the wind in my hair, pulling and playing with strands, like a naughty sibling...........and soon i will be leaving it all behind...........the wind, the trees, the winding road................they will become shadows of a past that will only reveal themselves during the rare solitary moments.........the sparsely sprinkled moments...........moments when one talks to the self............

"We will not be living in a jungle anymore" he had said "but bang in the middle of a city". Just at that moment i realised how much i had come to love the 'wilderness' around me................the lonely tree-lined roads, that i had at one time found 'creepy', had become my refuge, where i would often go to get away from it all and just be with myself..................talk to myself.................where i could put away those cheery masks and don the cloak of melancholy.....................and always come back rejuvinated to take on the challenges in the charade called life.........

I had reached the bend of the road where the golden shower tree was in full bloom. Just a few weeks ago there was not a hue of green on the tree............and as it had stood there dry and devoid of a single leaf i remember wondering if it would ever see the spring again................then i had seen how miraculously overnight fresh green leaves had spurted out of those dry limbs and how the entire tree was now bent with the weight of the rich yellow flowers hanging down in heavy bunches.

I stood under the tree, like i had on many earlier ocassions, and ran my hand over the gnarled trunk, feeling its knobbly bark under my fingers...........................soon it will be time for me to say goodbye little friend...........A gentle breeze shook the tree sending a flower free and as it glided down lightly, it brushed past my cheek like a gentle caress.......soft and reassuring......Even as i stood there looking at the flower that had just fallen, the breeze slowly gathered strength and a sudden gust of wind caught up in the tree, twirling it, sending a cascade of yellow flowers all over me. I stood there transfixed, with the flowers swirling around me, and felt a strange sense of calm wash over me, my heart filled with elation, brimming with positivity. As i walked back home, my steps were lighter and so was my heart..........

The tree had answered all my unasked questions.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Garhwali Fairytale...

In the sweltering summer heat and scorching days, who wouldn't like to take a quick retreat over the weekend to de-stress, get far away from the maddening crowd and in touch with our inner-self. If you dream of romancing the mountains, exult in the un-spoilt scenery, breathe in the bracing air and relish the peace and tranquility of the snow covered peaks, then Lansdowne, is the perfect get-away choice. An unexpected turn on the Kotdwar Pauri road brings you to Lansdowne, a pretty hill station in the Pauri Garhwal of Uttaranchal.

Ensconced with the world's highest and most beautiful mountain ranges, the Himalayas, Uttaranchal Hills are endowned with extraordinary beauty, majority of which is yet to be exposed to the sights and sounds of outside world. The majestic mountain peaks and the lush green flora abounding in the area make Lansdowne an ideal location for eco-tourism. There are amazing mountain views of the western Himalayas from a number of vantage points like Snow View and Tiffin Top. The clean fresh and invigorating environment makes Lansdowne a preferred destination to relax and unwind and a mere visit to the place is a truly rejuvinating experience.

Free from all the trappings of the standard hill stations, Lansdowne offers a lot of options for true connoisseurs of nature. While there is the Siddhpeeth route for the pilgrims, there is wild life route for nature and animal lovers; adventure sports for the daring and health resorts and cultural tourism for the regular tourists.

Till late 70s Lansdowne was the only city after Almora, which was the centre of cultural activities. Having adopted from the culture of Kumaonis, Garhwalis and Rajasthanis, the city boasts of an enriched culture centre.

Named after Sir Henry Charles Fitzmauritz, the 5th Marques of Lansdowe, Viceroy of India from 1888 to 1894, the winding paths of the city are still lined with colonial bungalows. it is also home to the famed Garhwl Rifles....rather, the whole economy of the city revolves around the cantonment, which rigidly ensures that this little station is kept as spic and span as its own barracks.

Set admist lovely surroundings, tall oaks, blue pines rising like spires off the mountainside, and blanketing bougainvilleas colouring the hills with Blue, Purple and Red, the forests of Lansdowne are just ideal for those long walks and picnics. Yes, you won't find the ubiquitous cycle rickshaws of Mussoorie or the three wheeled 'autos' of Dharmsala, Savor instead the unlimited pleasure of walking in and around the slopes.


Like all other hill resorts in north India, Lansdowne too has its fair share of temples and shrines, most of which are devoted to the various forms of the Mother Goddess. While here, you can make a wish at Jwalpa Devi, 47 Km from Lansdowne on the Pauri Kotdwar Road. As the ancient Garhwal legent goes, a demon king's daughter, Sachi wanted to marry Indra, the king of heaven, who was not inclined to tie the nupital knot with the besotted girl. Sachi prayed to her her favourite diety, Jwalpa Devi. Moved by the
girl's heart-felt prayers, th goddess granted her wish. Since then, Garhwalis say a wish made here is often granted, which often means crowds of boon-seekers throng the shrine during the Ashtami in April to October. The locally important Durga Devi temple (24 Kms from Lansdowne) lies on the right bank of the Khoh River, and the temple itself is really 4 Km inside a cave. Deep inside is a Shiva Linga and locals whisper that wishes made here are bound to be granted. The Tarkeshwar Mahadev (30 Kms) with its special Shiva Linga, is dedicated to the God of Kedar Khand. This temple is one of the oldest Sidhpeeths in India and is nestled in a thick forest of deodar, blue pine and oaks. Water pools around the temple lend an aura of mystic charm to the place. Tarkeshwar is on the road heading back to Kotdwar.

Another well known landmark is the Kanwa Ashram, and so beautiful is this idyllic hamlet, just 14 Kms from Kotdwar, that it doesn't evenneed an on-so colourful history to tempt a visitor. This is the place where, as the legend goes, Sage Vishwamitra meditated for years, which even rattled Indra. So, the crafty lord deftly sent a bewitching Menaka, to entrance the sage, who couldn't resist the temptation. So was born Shakuntala, who later on fell in love with Dushyanth, and to them was born King Bharat, after whom the nation is named. Overlooking this valley, quiet flows the river Malini, where Shakuntala lost her engagement ring, making Dushyant forget her. This silver stream is so clear that you can see the pebbles from your bus window.


The best way to reach is to take the Mussorie Express, which leaves Old Delhi at 10:45 PM to arrive at Kotdwar at 07"20 AM. One can hire a cab from Kotdwar or share a cab or take a bus for around Rs. 25 per person. Else, one can drive up to Dehradun via road, which is 150 Kms from Delhi, and drive further up for another 150 Kms. Else drive upto Meerut and then take the State Highway to Kotdwar via Bijnor. The route becomes most stunning as soon as you leave Kotdwar right upto Lansdowne.


There are a few private hotels and lodges in addition to GMVN Tourist Bunglows. Besides this, there is PWD Inspection Bunglows, Army Welfare Board Rest House and Uttaranchal Forest Department Base Camp, where you can stay with prior arrangement. But the most popular among them is the 'Fairy Dale Hotel', run by a local gentleman. Even if you ask for the moon he will tell you, "I will try and get it for you".

Friday, November 30, 2007


Finally finally ...........after what seems like ages.........my comp's working again and i am back to life!!!Wot a relief!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Once upon a time long time ago when the earth was more greener and the seas more blue, there was a kingdom under the sea called Samnagar, ruled over by a mighty and just king Samnaresh. He lived in a palace of brilliant corals and shiny pearls with his daughter Leherika. Leherika was as beautiful as she was intelligent. The people of Samnagar lived in houses made of large shells and decorated it with sea weeds and colourful stones.

Every morning the king would go around his kingdom in a golden chariot pulled by eight mighty sea horses with glistening scales and colourful fins, showering gifts on his people. As he would pass by, people would bow their heads low in respect as they loved their benevolent king. Then he would ride his chariot and travel long distances. Everyday in the evening all his people would gather in the palace courtyard and he would regale hem with tales of the sights and sounds that he saw on his trips. He would tell them about humans who lived outside water, lived in sand castles and moved in huge vessels they called 'Ships' and everyone would listen to him with wide-eyed wonder.

Then one day on one such trip Samnaresh took his minister along with him. Of all the wonderful things he saw the minister liked the sand castles the humans lived in. That night after the king's assembly, people all gathered around the minister, to know more. Elated by all the attention he was getting the minister started telling them about all he saw. "And looking over the sea was a huge castle, with colourful flags fluttering in the winds and glittering in the morning sun. It could be seen from miles away, standing tall and strong" he said waving his hands around him. "Was it really made of sand?" a young girl asked in disbelief. "Yes indeed" he said " big and strong, unlike our houses of soft corals and brittle shells" he added. "They are not blown away by wind or swept away by water" he bragged. That day everyone went to sleep dreaming about houses made of sand.

As the days passed by people heard more and more about the beautiful sand castles on land. Now they all now wanted to live in sand houses as well. Soon everyone broke their beautiful coral and shell homes and started making sand houses instead. But, alas! Everytime they built sand houses, the wet sand would be swept away by the water. Again and again they tried to build their sand houses, but again and again the wet sand got swept away. Now the people were really sad, they no longer had any homes to live in. Looking at the sad faces of his people made the king very sad. So one day be went to the Sea God seeking his help. "I am sorry" said the Sea God in a voice as soft as the gentle lapping of the sea waves," there is nothing i can do about it. Why don't you seek the help of the Land God. He might be able to offer a solution to your problem" he said kindly.

That night the king sat at the royal window looking out at his kingdom. People no longer sang and danced. They no longer laugher or made merry as they had no houses to live in. Seeing her father looking so unhappy Leherika said, " Father you need to be with your people. Let me go and speak to the Land God on your behalf and get help".

So, the next day Leherika rode on her father's chariot and went to meet the Land God. Reaching his castle she rang the huge bell that hung at the gate. Soon palace guards took her to the Land God. On seeing him Leherika bowed low three times and gave him precious gifts she had got for him - precious stones, colourful corals and pearls of all shapes and hues. Pleased by her genteel manner and generosity the Land God offered her a silk cushion to sit on and said kindly," what is it my dear sea princess that i can help you with?". Leherika told him about how her people had broken down their homes to make sand houses like on land, how it kept getting swept away by the water and how unhappy they were. As she ended talking two tear drops ran down her face and fell on the ground where they lay glistening like diamonds.

Touched by the princess' love for her people the Land God said, " Dear princess be sad no more! I shall help your people. My own children shall make strong sand houses for your people, dried by the wind and the sun. But you must take them to your people yourself as they can't breathe under water". Clapping her hands happily, Leherika bowed low three times, " Thank you Land God. For their efforts your children will always be rewarded by us" she said gratefully.

Since then little children make sand castles on beaches and Leherika comes along with her waves and takes them to her people, leaving behind colourful shells, stones and beautiful weeds for her little helpers.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Saturday...........met up with old college friends.............and had a groovy time!!! it was like being back to college........the days when we would chill out in the canteen (our gang used to be the noisiest lot!!! i'm sure they still recall the loud singing, keeping time on the table!!!), when dull wintry days saw us sunning on the terrace of the building chatting nineteen to dozen........looking forward to the jam sessions in college festivals..........pooling in to go and catch a movie............walking long stretches to the bus-stop, incessant chatter that made little of the long distance...........GOOD OLD DAYS!!!

One of my favourite episode is, of all things, my best friend and i trying to cheat during a class test.!!! It was with great excitement that we took the book and sat in the last bench.........till the teacher called me to sit right out there in the front table (coz as it dawned later, it was quite evident on my face that we were up to something!!!)...........being the martyr that i am, i left the book with my friend and gave the test (and ironical as it may sound i did score the highest in that test!!!)..................Well as it were, after the test i asked her as to how it went tho i was sure that it must have gone brilliantly, coz after all she had the book..............."बाक़ी सब तो ठीक है" she had said looking mighty confused........"मगर वोह question कौन से page पे था यह नहीं पता चला!!!"............bad as she was at cheating............she has done really well for herself and now actually teaches the new batches at our college!!!

Every time our gang gets together, we generally drive down to our college..........since we usually meet up on weekends, the grounds are always deserted..............after a lot of begging and cajoling the guard lets us in.........for a brief period of 20 minutes..........And for those few precious minutes we are transported back to the golden days when life was more carefree...........unlike now when most of us get sucked into the quagmire of chasing goals in our personal and professional lives .........

As one journeys thru life, one meets a lot of people who become an integral part of our life and the people that we become..........but these friends, which we make in school or college are irreplaceable...............friends who pick up the threads where you left them 5, 10 or even 20 years ago....................friends who know you inside out and with whom you can be your real self (the only people who would not look at you in contempt when you lick the chocolate off the wrapper!!) they will never judge you and will never think twice before pointing out your mistakes................friends who take you back in time, engulfing you in sweet nostalgia............friends who really make your life worth living..........

Like everyone's all time favourite song goes........पुरानी जीन्स और guitar........बस यादें यादें यादें रह जाती है, कुछ छोटी छोटी बातें रह जाती हैं............बस यादें...........

So attend all those alumni meets, catch up with friends when they are in town or when you visit theirs, keep in touch with those whom you really hold close............because they will keep you in touch with the real you, keep you grounded and not get swept away with the tides of time, and remind you that no matter what you have or haven't achieved.............you will always have a special place in their hearts that can never be filled by anyone else...........because relationships is what life is all about..............because friendship is like a violin; the music may stop now and then, but the strings will last forever............and i believe in my hearts of hearts that its true.........