My Confused Thoughtz

July 1, 2012

I Dreamed a Dream...

It's been almost 3 years that I am writing on this. What happened I wonder? Did I succumb to writer's block? I think only a true writer can own such a privilege, isn't it so? No! it has mostly been laziness... You know the stuff that starts with thunder and motivation and soon withers down! People say that a passion is something that keeps you going.. once you start you just keep pursuing it, keep excelling and sustaining it. So one thing is achieved at least - writing is not my passion! else I would have kept it going somehow. Isn't it so? I am confused - at least I justify my blog title.

So why today? Well, for starters, I am supposed to be studying for a very rigorous Java exam - so it could be that I know everything and I am just eager and restless to get the exam over with - or - I know nothing. Actually, it's neither! I am somewhere in the middle - you know the kind where you feel you kinda know the stuff and then your friend comes along, confuses you and moments later you feel like you know nothing? Then you hit the books in panic and you feel - there! there! I am doing OK!

But its something else - I watched Susan Boyle's video when she came on Britain's Got Talent for the very first time. (I have seen this several times before in case people are like duh! that was ages ago!) Every time I see the video a quiet motivation steers within me. I use motivation for lack of a better word. Someone please tell me what the word is when you wonder at a middle aged woman singing one of the most soul-touching songs and you are covered with goose bumps all over and your heart just kind of stops to capture the whole moment. And what a song! She fulfilled the dream she dreamed at 47. She said she wanted to 'rock her audience' and she brought them to their feet in her very first line. Even after her performance, not once did she rebuke the audience or the judges for being 'cynical' as Amanda put it. She invoked raw emotions in anyone and everyone listening to her song.

I dream too. Have always done so and will continue doing. I feel like going out there and achieving my dreams when I hear this song and other songs, other writings, and stories of men and women who have risen beyond what they born as, what they were labeled as and sometimes even what they were defined as. The power of the ordinary makes you extraordinary. Small tales of countries and people and societies, of love and passion, of forgiveness and truth and wisdom - that's what is extraordinary - its not a miracle, its not a super power - its just you - being you every day and working with that power within you everyday. The power that made Susan Boyle a sensation, that made JK Rowling create another world of its own, that made Martin Luther King stir an uprising. 

Thank you! All these countless people before me to guide me, mentor me and fill me with an urge to be something, to do something - to go beyond myself and achieve something - i know not what - but to answer that call within me to make a difference to myself and to others - to love and forgive with all my heart - to live truthfully and with the utmost fulfillment - To make this world of ours a better place and fill it with more hope and more love than we have received - To make it not just survivable but livable and whole and happy.

Labels: , ,

September 2, 2009

A girl and A boy...

Could life be so cruel? The party had ended with a triumphant bang. Not for her though. All throughout, her eyes had wandered towards the one and only person with whom she wanted to dance; but he would not even look at her.

However, as she was getting her coat on there was a cough behind her followed by, "Hey! Elizabeth! Can I help you with that?” Her heart skipped a beat. There was no mistaking that quiet, sincere voice. "Sure thing" she replied. He helped her on with her coat and made small talk about the party to which she knew not what she replied.

"So how are you getting back home?" he asked her. "Oh! I live just a few blocks from here down GreenSide Road. It's a short walk and I enjoy it especially at this time." He looked at her with some curiosity and said, "Well, that's great. I live close by too so if you don't mind I'll just join you?". “But don't you have to be with Gloria?" The green monster within her had said it aloud before she could stop it. He gave her a cold, penetrating look and said, "We are just friends! She is with her boyfriend now. Shall we go?"
She nodded all her senses on high alert now. She had prayed and waited, re-prayed and re-waited every single time for this moment and now that it was here she was so unprepared. Ever since that first meeting she had been charmed by his unassuming manners, sharp wit and gentleness. Since then she had craved to be with him alone for just a moment and here it was finally. And the beauty was that it was in accordance with her long standing fantasy - that of having the love of her life walk alongside her on a bright, moonlit night accompanied by the soothing sound of gently flowing water.

They crossed the garden walking slowly towards the wooden bridge that overlooked a small creek. "You know! I love this route; I love the creaky old bridge, the view of the trees, the water below... I come here often when I feel lonely or want some peace and quiet. I..." Aware that she was rambling in her nervousness she stopped, her cheeks flushing. He gazed at her for a moment and took her hand. Her heart soared. Was this going to be the night when all her prayers would be answered? She looked up to find the moon but could not see it, and her spirits swayed a little.

She stopped to lean against the railing and stare at the water below. He stood adjacent with his back to the water staring at her. She raised an enquiring glance to which he replied, "I like it better this way! You look so lovely tonight and this lilac colour suits you so beautifully". She was too overcome with emotion to say thank you. He moved closer to her and took her in his arms. "Oh no!” she thought. "It cannot happen today. There is no moon. Stop being so silly!” she chided herself. Oblivious to her mental charade, he pulled her closer and kissed her, tenderly at first and then deeply, wildly, passionately. The moon came out of its cloudy abode and shone out with a brilliance that engulfed both of them in a spot-light.

"Oh! This is just perfect", she thought. The gods in heaven were doing everything to make her the happiest being on earth. They finally broke apart and he said, "I have to confess something!” She stared into his soft, brown eyes and waited expectantly."I live nowhere close to your house. In fact, I live 3 miles in the opposite direction." She looked at him and felt a love so deep and pure it almost shook her. She smiled and then sealed the bond with a bone-breaking hug and finally laid her face close to his heart. He felt the presence of her entire being. Her sweet smelling chestnut-brown hair, slim figure and captivating smile. He held her close and thought, "My biggest fantasy is accomplished. Could life be so great?"

(I hear that true love is hard to find. For those who have my heartiest congratulations and for those who have not; it's still there, look for it. I also hear that soul mates, true love, pure love, live for one another etc. etc. are just words without any basis. I completely disagree. I think it all depends on what you choose to believe. This post is dedicated to all those people who believe and belong in the beautiful world of Cupid.)

Labels: , ,

May 17, 2009

The Plan

He was tired and hungry, but he dared not move. All his senses were on an alert tonight. It was just one of those days where instinct and intuition prevailed over sense and reason. His friends (he chose to call them that; it simplified things) thought he was being paranoid but they had all decided to stick together so there they were.
The hours slipped away. It must have been well past midnight now. His fellow companions were getting impatient. He himself longed to get this over with; visions of a filled stomach and warm, comfortable night were looming in his mind. But, he knew this was important. He thought of his mother, her brutal murder and his resolve strengthened. He thought of the others injured painfully and knew they would not survive if this mission was not successful.
The plan was simple. Stick together, hurry to the dungeon, take what they required and hurry away before the enemy found out what had happened. His friends thought he was taking unnecessary precaution when he had asked them all to stay well and clear from the doorway. They thought the enemy would definitely not be here tonight. After all, the enemy had not come for almost three days. But he knew better than that. He who had seen not one, not two but three deaths and nearly escaped two times. He shuddered to think of it.
As the darkness and weariness grew on he knew it was time. And finally, he gave the signal. There was instant activity. Everyone hurried over to different corners of the dungeon and approached their targets. However, as all plans have flaws so did this one. It was too late to realize the glitch. Instead of carrying all the supplies back safely, his companions already starving and exhausted were overcome by the immensity and started having their own fill before carrying some back. He was aghast at their behavior. He urged them to head back but to no avail.
And then it happened. There was a blinding white light. For a split second everyone was paralyzed. Then they hurried away helter-skelter each trying to find the safest position to hide. The enemy had arrived.
He himself was cowering in fear behind what seemed like a huge boulder. He thought on his feet. How long before the enemy realized they were there? He looked around desperately for an escape route but everything seemed to lead straight to the enemy. And then he heard it. One ear piercing scream and shout and he knew they had been exposed.
Wham! Wham! Another shout. Wham! The attack had started. His companions running to find new hiding places. He himself searching for some way to leave his current hideout which he knew would be found in a matter of seconds.
And then he saw it. A clear sure way of getting away from the enemy. It was far away and he would surely have to expose himself but it was worth the try. He built up his courage and surged ahead full speed not looking anywhere but his target. He passed dead bodies but he allowed himself not to feel. There would be time for that later. He ran for dear life and then he felt the crushing weight on him and knew the enemy had found his mark.
The enemy raised to strike again and then it all came back to him. His mother's murder. She had not given up. She had fought till the end. He too vowed to fight till the very end. He would do her that honor. He raised his injured leg and once again moved forward to his goal and then came the second strike. It was more painful than he had ever thought. He felt his body go limp but he still resolutely carried forward with his last ounce of energy.
The enemy was angry that he had still survived the blow. And then came the gas. The final weapon. He knew he had to be a tough one for the enemy to use that. As the gas was taking away the remnants of his breath he knew he had done justice to his mother and himself. He knew there would be other leaders who would succeed in the mission. It had not been a failed cause. He knew it.
His last few moments were spent listening to the enemy muttering something like, "Shit! This Hit spray is almost over. Have to go buy another one. Spend another hundred bucks on these monsters!"

Labels: , ,

September 26, 2008

Mine... Yours... Our... INDIA

Scenes from India - The Big Picture -

Any and every Indian should take a look at the above link. I mean it! My words and writings will be insufficient and will definitely not do justice to explain the pictures and thought process behind each and every one of the 34 pictures. Beautiful/unprocessed photography with a meaning is hard to find today but each one of these pictures exemplify every thing that India is today... and of course leaves behind a question... do you want India to be like this in the future?

I hail from Mumbai. As a result I know and have actively participated in the delightful moments and intricacies of the 'Ganesh Chaturthi' and the 'Janamashtami' festival. These festivals although well celebrated across the country hold special and large scale attention in Mumbai.

Now, I am not going to bore you with dates, facts and figures and cultural history of these festivals (You might as well find it on Wiki).I want to write about how these festivals affect the common household (mine being one of them).

Janamashtami -
You all know this is Lord Krishna's birthday. So, we are supposed to be ready by early morning (9:00 - 9:30 in my view is early). My mother informs me: "You are supposed to fast today. No salty items/no chocolates". "Yipee!!!", I say. Confused eh? Well it goes like this. A fast for us Gujjus is a whole day with the best of goodies that can ever be found. It includes fruit salad with the tastiest of fruits, special home made sweets (Kheer/Shreekhand/Laddoos/Halwa etc. etc.), special fasting food called 'farshan'... The whole day goes like this. In the end I end up eating more than I ever do on a normal day. Best way to celebrate Lord Krishna's birthday isnt it? Anyway he stole so much curd and all so he doesnt have any right to complain! Of course this way of fasting is just me and other kids who dont fast rigorously. Older people do it on a stricter scale and more religiously (but we'll leave it to them okie).

So now, comes the main part. Filling millions of balloons with water and making them ready. This is for the 'Govindas' (24th and 25th picture in the site). It goes like this: Societies tie a handi/matki (filled with curd/milk/sweets) across 2 buildings or at the top of the tree(It is quite high up; The highest in Mumbai goes upto the seventh or eighth storey). Then a group of Govindas (Krishna devotees) are invited to the building and their job is to make human pyramids and break the matki. Whilst doing this the residents of the building make it harder for them to reach the matki by throwing water ballons/milk balloons/buckets of water with such force that they loose their balance and fall. This is a team effort from the residents of the entire society.
I stay on the eighth floor. Pretty cool and very advantageous. So the kids of the eighth floor group together (we were four rascals) and we sit together and analyse our strength (number of balloons we have bought the previous day). We divide them equally and then each one goes to their bathrooms and start filling up their balloons with water. A pretty tedious process I assure you especially for the mothers whose clean house early in the morning now looks like a mini Pacific Ocean. We would have just finished the preparations when we hear: 'Govinda Aala Re aala..." and we run to our balconies only to find out that they would be in the neighboring society. We watch gleefully and wait for them to come to ours. They do and with all pomp and show. They dance, they fool around and they sing songs. At this time the music is relaxed. Suddenly you hear a difference in the music being played. It gets more concentrated and faster. Our heart beats start racing (as mine is right now while typing this and visualising the scene). This is a cue for the 'govindas' to start the process of 'breaking the matki'. They form the first layer, then the second more experienced people climb and form a layer on top of them, then the third. Now, is the precise time to start raining balloons and water. The smallest and lightest of them all climbs the final tier and slosh! a racing balloon from an experienced thrower throws him off his balance and down he goes tumbling taking the tier with him.

They dance a little again and start the process all over. This goes on three-four times depending on when our balloons and expertise get exhausted or when they get the better of us. Finally, they break the matki finish the curd and milk and with the same enthusiasm and procession make their way out to another building.

On a completely different note here - Dont kill me please - But, I could not help wondering. What the hell are we doing learning all these team management and team building skills and techniques in big big companies? What training? What sessions have these guys attended to render them so harmonious and so well co-ordinated with their team? As I mentioned before some matkis are at a height of seven storeys. So the top most person's life is literally controlled by his 'team-mates' below. If he falls, he breaks his head. But till date we have not heard a single casualty to have occurred on Janamashtami day. When the top person falls people below are always ready and on their guard to help him. The human tiers formed are very well rehearsed and synchronised. How about inviting them to give us a session?
So after they leave there is pretty much nothing else to do other than eat all yummy things I mentioned before (am writing all this without any regard to your watering mouth I know). Also, I know you are thinking of being invited to my house for next Janamashtami but No! Thank You! :-)

Ganesha Chaturthi -
I have relatively less to write on this one and by this time I am sure you all are already bored. Anyway, the thing that intrigues me is the precision, creativity and skill that goes in making each Ganesha for this special 10 day festival. Devotees get a Ganesha idol of their choice made and do Pooja for 10 days. The tenth day is the day of immersion. On the tenth day all families with their Ganeshas proceed towards the sea. With each Ganesha accompany a lot of relatives, friends and merrymaking and great dancing. Smaller families take small Ganeshas whilst big temples and organisations have idols which are several feet in size and are made beautifully with a lot of thought and sometimes based on a central theme.
Our father used to take us to watch the immersion process. We used to stand at one side of the road where there is a junction so we can see the passing idols.
There was a Ganesha once that was made with lakhs and lakhs of 25 paise coins. It was a remarkable 10 foot long idol and was making its way slowly for immersion. It has always remained in my memory. There are several others too, like in the first picture in the website the Ganesha is depicted to be a form of Lord Krishna. Another one made the Ganesha look like a King dressed in royal robes. Various other combinations and innovative idols are made. If you are interested please write to me. I will forward some links on the making of each idol.
The festival goes on all night long till early morning and then too you will see some remnants of this beautiful and memorable day.
Bolo Shree Ganesh Ki Jai!

Labels: , , , , ,

August 11, 2008

Mommy Dear...

This should have been my first post. You know how everything in life starts with your mom. Your first peck on the cheek, first hug, first slap etc. And of course as Hindi movies have made us believe your first word is always 'Ma'. However I kept postponing writing this one in light of other events. But, returning home and hugging my mother after 8 loooonngg months has propelled me to write this. Am not much into dedications but this one is 'just for her'.

In a particular dialog in 'Main Hoon Na' Zayed Khan says: "Haan Ma hain na! Sabki Hoti Hain". To which SRK replies: "Nahin sabki nahin hoti". That one made me sit up. One of the rare occasions when I have paid attention to dialog in a Shahrukh Khan flick. Anyway, this one made me think how lucky I am to have a mom and also how painful it is to have one. I mean seriously! It's painfully irritating about how moms are always right about stuff. For example when I push away my plate that has ugly green leafy vegetables on it she is like "One day when you wont get home food you'll understand!" Uugh! I have been realizing the truth of that statement since the last five years that I have been away from home.

Another painful habit that moms have is the 3 step morning ritual. First of all, I am sure most of you will agree with me that even an alarm clock as loud as a fire engine siren fails to wake you up but one big yell from your mom and you are on your feet 'Aye Sir! Aye Sir!'. Every mom more or less has a deadline when their kids should wake up (that is in vacation). My mom's deadline is not that bad, not that good either but I am not complaining (Cant afford to, to her at least). It's between 8.30 and 9.00. This means the first call (shout) is at 8.30. Aww! mom just 5 minutes. Second one at 8.45. Fan is switched off, curtains are drawn... GROAN!!! Am almost awake now waiting for the final command. At 9 sharp, (she does not even have to see the time) PRIYANKA! getting up or not! This girl really does not listen! Everyday I have to wake her up! BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! (I have already run inside the bathroom). Stumble out of the bathroom, still half asleep and sit at the table. Dad, reading the morning paper says in a philosophical tone: "When we were your age..... " (Sigh! here it goes again) "We used to get up early in the morning with the sunrise and start working and...... " (I have already switched off).

The next mom thing is the gigantic glass of milk that she places in front of you. What is it with mom and milk and kids. She has taken it into her head that unless you empty this mug till its last drop you will not survive another day. Its like an ancient divine tradition that should not be broken or questioned even for a day. So, after you are awake and have had your milk the only thing left to do that she is concerned about is taking a bath. Its not possible to take a book and keep reading, not possible to browse the net, not possible to chat on the phone till you have heeded her word and taken a shower which faithfully completes the 3 step process (only to have her repeat it tirelessly every single day). And she does all of this without altering her daily routine of cooking, cleaning and countless other chores.

There is another thing about moms that is equally irritating and much more painful namely, 'The Silent Treatment'. This happens when you do something 'majorly wrong/naughty'. (For guys who are unaware of this one I suggest you go through every word of this as you will definitely get it from your girlfriends/wives if not from your moms.) So, this is when she stops talking to you entirely sometimes for hours also. Its the perfect example of the quiet before the storm. Believe me it is pure torture. Worse than drills that they make us do in sports practice. All the time you are praying 'Oh! c'mon mom! Just shout at me and say something and finish it off! But she will take her own merry sweet time to come around before she unleashes her full wrath and boy! its bad when you get it left, right, center, top, bottom, upper, lower mid... everywhere. Me being a naughty one really had a lot of that.

Another well known fact about mothers is that they just happen to make great food! Anyway, painful or not I am sure all of us who have had the privilege of having a mother cannot do without one. For starters, she makes the most awesome food in the whole entire universe. And then, whether it is to find an important file that has been misplaced, putting a hand on your head during exams, telling you not to get wet in the rain or just being there for you, it is impossible to do without her. Finally, as Rani Mukherji sums it up in another touching dialog from Hum Tum: "Bhagwan har jagah nahin ho sakte isliye unhone ma ko banaya".

This automatically takes me to the current plight of Niketa Mehta. I read that bloggers, gynecologists and doctors all across the country are discussing this so let me add my two cents (I hope though that it is worth more than that). If I hurt myself even a little and have some wounds on me my mother gets disturbed and upset and starts worrying. So what would be the predicament of a mother if she has to see her little one growing big with an unusual deformity? In today's achievement and success driven society every mother wants her kid to have the best and be the best. Won't Mrs. Mehta feel that her child has started almost 50 rings below the rest of the children in the success ladder? (and that is taking into consideration that the child even has a chance to see the ladder, much rather reach it). Agreed there are children who make it big even after having such deformities but if a handicapped child can be spared the pain from entering this world then why not? Medical bills itself will kill the family and added to that they have to see their child undergo pain every single moment when it could have been spared that agony. I could go on and on but let me just end here with agreeing to Charles Dickens when he says "The Law is an Ass" and of course in defense of the poor mother who has to be dependent on HC judges to decide her future and the future of her child.

A salute to all mothers.

Labels: , , , , , ,