Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TV jinxed

MEAP_television_07Bahus, Betiyan has captured the idiot box nowadays. Switch on the TV and you will find some dramatic serial is on. Like every other serial on every channel, the story would be rotating around Bahu or Beti, who is a victim of some or the other social custom.

Being a Leo (moon sign), I really don't like to see people crying with helplessness. If one feels low or dejected or betrayed, maybe he or she may cry, but how long ? How many episode the director would feature them crying and cursing? How come this increase the TRPs? Do Indian people like to see Hero(sorry, I forgot, that this character has disappeared from Indian television) or the Heroine weak and insubstantial. In fact, I would say if the betrayed character strikes back and stands up against the forces, then people should appreciate it. At least I would like it that way.

Enough of tragedies, reality shows. I want thrillers/horror shows and comedies. I am waiting for a revolution. Will it ever happen ?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Train in Rain

I love the rains. Its a pleasant weather. You find everything around changed with weather, specially the train.

The train is one thing that gets worse in this season.
Some changes in train don't go well with me. Like-

The train gets messy. Some people keep their wet umbrellas on the seat, don't know how a sensible person can do this. A dry seat in this damp environment is one thing that every other person wishes for after boarding the train. Some even sit with their raincoats/windcheaters on.

The muddy water is all over the ground and you have to take special care that you don't spoil your dress.

The water enters through the door, and all the seats adjoining the door get wet. This reduces the number of seats, which in turn causes the rush to move where its dry.

One cannot stand at the door. Well it’s not an issue for me since I used to stand at the door just to get free from the scorching heat of the summer. But now that the air is fresh and cold, it doesn't interest me. But there are few people who never sit, standing at the door is by choice over sitting, they can have problem.

Fellow passengers are drenched and they make you too wet after seating besides you. I hate this the most coz,  to get rid of this, one can’t even get up and stand near the door.

Get the beating from the rain because of rain while standing near the door. I always travel opposite to the crowd direction, so I never have this problem, in fact most of the times I get window seat. So I can’t comment on this.

And the most important is that I don't like to sit when I am wet. (I suppose everyone would share the same feeling with me, don't you?)

Well, no matter how much you curse and complain, the truth is that we have no other option to the train. So I advise myself, to stop nagging and take it as yet another facet of life.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


  The doll stood out of the toys around. She saw it and at once she knew she want it. But how easy will it be for a street beggar to buy it ? she knew the chances. But still she walked in the shop. "Ye kitne ka, sahab?" How much does this cost? she asked the person sitting at a counter near the door. "Dedso rupaye" One fifty rupees, he replied looking at the ten year old beggar with sympathy. She stood outside watching the doll, thinking how could she buy it.

What she earned was only enough for food. But she was eager to buy the doll. Lost in thoughts, she kept walking, when she saw a newspaper stand. "Poochke dekhti hoon" I'll ask him, let's try, she said to herself. To her surprise, the newspaper vendor agreed to let her deliver the newspapers for which he will give her Rs.100. "Abhari saheb" Thank you sir, she said. She was thankful to him from the bottom of her heart, she knew that very few would really believe a street child. Since he had agreed to give her the money in advance, she has to arrange the rest fifty rupees. That I can manage with some small work here and there, she thought. A smile appeared on her face, which was lost for some time, God is with me! she thanked God.

The day arrived. She had Rs.150 in her hand. She ran to the shop, handing the money to shopkeeper she pointed to the doll. The shopkeeper packed the doll and handed the packet to the child. She was overwhelmed as she ran her fingers over the silky lace.

Without waiting much she left the shop, after thanking the shopkeeper. Running she sopped near a small girl not more than five years. "Janamdin mubarak chotti" Happy birthday, she greeted as she handed the gift to the child. The child's eyes twinkled with joy when she saw the colorful box. They have never owned such a beautiful doll. Folding the gift wrapper carefully, the kid rolled her hands through the doll's curly hair.

Didi(elder sister), she embraced her sister, with tearful eyes, which just said..Thanks..Thanks..

Written for Sunday Scribbling. Prompt - Toys

Friday, June 26, 2009

Walk in the rain





I was ready to leave for office. Mom poured me a cup of tea. I peeped out of the window while I sipped the tea. It was pouring. It was darker than usual and I could see very few people on the road. "I am feeling so good today. Why so ?" I asked Mom while leaving.

Its 10 minutes of walking, to reach the railway station. Today was a different journey with the heavy rains coming down on all the walkers. The scorching heat even in early morning was gone with the wind. It was more cooler and pleasant with the surrounding trees growing greener. The sound of the vehicles was submerged in the drizzling sound of the rains. No pollution only the nature.

While walking even though most of the people, like my sister find traveling in rains very inconvenient, I was almost enjoying every bit of the task. Everything seemed different and I was looking for the peculiarities around, when I saw few people standing under roof of a closed shop, without umbrellas. Some half drenched, while some fully drenched. I shrugged. Not with indifference but with awareness of a typical Indian attitude (at least those of most Mumbaikars). While I was in Netherlands, people used to watch forecast to find if it would rain. But here, we Indians find it an overhead to carry an umbrella even in rainy season. Just before leaving home, peep out of window, if you see the sun, then the decision is made, it will not rain the whole day, and you step out without umbrella. And when it rains, you curse it that the weather didn't obey you, and now you are running looking for shelter. While some found it wise to halt at some shelter, some were in hurry and were running on the road, soaking. And the shrug was because I knew these guys will follow the same attitude the next day too.

Walking further, near a popcorn stall (I wondered who would stop in this heavy rain to buy a popcorn), I saw a cute child with pink raincoat up to her knees standing in the rain, stretching her hands, giggling, inviting the rain. It was such a good sight.

I was smiling all along the walk, now that I knew why I was feeling better, happy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The strange night

It was very dark and the thunders and the lightening was frightening the 10 year old. But now that he had already covered much distance, he couldn't go back. He had not expected the cloudbursts when he left the school. The then simple path now looked cruel. He would have never have made the mistake of leaving, but the rain betrayed him on his way.

It takes one hour of walking but four hours had passed but still too far from home. The thunders nailed him many a times and the wind was in full action to shove him back as he stumbled ahead. With the road lights off due to rains, at times he found himself at the same place, cramping in the dark.

He saw the field ahead, crossing would be a risk. He knew that with the waters in the fields, it would be menage for the snakes and many other animals and insects. Also, he was very tired now. He looked for shelter around. With such fierce lightening, trees could prove fatal, he had learned in school. He figured a ruined house at a distance. Having found a shelter, he sighed. The roof was leaking, but it kept him away from the wild winds and the attacking rain.

Sitting in a corner, he squeezed his leg against chest. He was shivering with cold, and fear. Tears were rolling, as his sobbing got lost in the wild growling of the clouds. He could believe that he had come this long all alone. This thought brought some good feeling to him.

Blurp Blurp, he heard a sound. A frog with sparkling eyes, was croaking in a small puddle next to him. It brought a smile to his face, for a while.
Hey friend, came a sound. He looked at the frog, HE WAS TALKING.
You look tired. Are you hungry ? Why don't you come with me ? Come and rest at my home and then tomorrow you return to your home as the weather gets fine. Now, he was too surprise to say anything. he kept looking with his eyes wide with astonishment.
Yes, he heard himself saying with a shivering voice.

Suddenly something strange happened. He found that he was shrinking. He found it frightful but at the same time he was enjoying the moment, to his surprise. He then jumped on the frog's back. His bag looked so big now, This world is so different , looking at the now-so-big things around, he said, with a smile.

Here's my home he said and meet my wife Loveline. Loveline, meet my new friend.
Hi Loveline, whats for dinner, I am so hungry,
he said, later getting embarrassed at his greediness.
Fish, she said as she threw a dead fish before him.
Surprisingly, in this strange world, he found the dead raw fish mouth-watering. Wasting no time he gulped it down.

A strange thing followed. He found that he is now turned into a frog and blurped every time he tried to say something. The other two fickling frogs were laughing and jumping with joy.

He kept bouncing, croaking loudly...A thunder and he woke up and found himself sitting like a frog in the middle of the puddle. It was a dream. He couldn't stop laughing.

The rain had stopped and the sun was just rising. He picked up his bag and started walking, smiling.

P.S. Written for Three Words Wednesday : Prompt - Wrinkle, Fickle, Sparkle. Used latter two in the post.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rain is falling

09malshej1 Kerala_4

Like me, many of you might be celebrating, with the onset of monsoon. The monsoon took too long to reach Mumbai this year, the reason being Global warming, the pacific water is heating up, which blocks the rain clouds to reach Southeast Asia.

But nevertheless, the rain has now arrived and have bought smiles to every face. And along with it, brought many goodies for us.

The smell of the earth as the rain wets the ground, must be liked by most of us. First rain is close to most of the people, many get drenched in the first rain, as a custom (some say it's a cure to prickly heat) The season has it own memories which everyone doesn't fail to recite every year. The teatime being the favorite moment to share these. Hot tea/coffee with Bhajiya(Onion/Potato) is the best time everyone looks for. No matter with whom you are with, you cannot miss the pleasure.  Have a sip and just hear the rain fall.  The season also brings my favorite, corn. I like it boiled-salted and roasted-lemon-salted, equally. I bet there would be nobody who dislikes it, isn't it ?

There is fun even to watch children wearing raincoats and gum-boots and jumping in the puddle, while their mothers scolding them. The road gets filled with colorful umbrellas and all heads turn to see any umbrella turned upside with the wind. Indian rain seems to be just like Indians. "Never obey rules" the mantra it believes in. It always runs left or right but never straight, leaving no chance for you to remain dry till you reach home or office. The only fear, at least for me, is to sit in the air conditioned office after getting drenched. This is when you find many people in washrooms waiting for their turn to get warm under the hand dryer.

The early darkness with just gray view out of the window, has it own story to tell. The damp clothes transferred from balcony to hall, brings smiles to me, no matter how inconvenience it brings.  If one really wants to enjoy the season, then he should step out in the heavy rain and reach the mountains. You will never find them so green, the waterfall adding to its beauty. If you are lucky you might see a gorgeous rainbow amidst mother nature.

With so much fun, I never bother the train delays, the mud, lost umbrellas.

Whatever it is, I just love the Rain. Do you ?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Horror Fantasy - Dangling

Deluded, I was sitting on a very weird tree. I could see that the huge trunk went down ceaseless and disappeared into the think fog below. The crooked branches extended to eternity. Completely leafless, the uncountable branches went entangled giving it a creepy look. It was pitch dark around when the clouds veiled the moon. When they went away the moonlight falling on the creepy branches added to the horror.

The tree was wet so was I, I realized. On the tree, dotted till far away, were creatures, plain white hazy figures. Some were sitting, some dangling down the branches while some swaying with the wind. Their tapered tails was moving in the rhythm of the wind. The creatures created cruel sounds that no human could stay conscious.

But I seemed to be sitting there for long, smiling, probably talking to the ghosts. They seemed harmless as I sat, not knowing how long I have been there.
Then I asked, "You are great guys. Why do you scare humans ?"
"Great guys" came a voice from above followed be a screechy wicked laughter, that made me jump out of my skin, alerting me against something.
"You will know" came another from right. My hair stood on end. I knew that I was now panicked.

One blink, I found that the faraway creatures seemed closer, their hollow eyes arresting mine. Another blink, more closer, diminishing the darkness with their white figures. They were appearing nearer with every blink. I was cold, frozen, bewildered, terrified, screaming. Another blink and...

Written for Three Words Wednesday : Prompt - Arresting Rhythmic Wicked.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Unknown plans

Life sometimes seems complete unreasonable. Sometimes you are sure of things, but things happen just the other way, leaving you bewildered. Sometimes the theory of destiny and luck just seem to be too evident to deny.

A few colleagues of mine are from Bangalore and have migrated to Mumbai for job. When announced that there's a project which requires few resources for Bangalore, there was a kind of joy in the Bangalore colleagues. But sometimes life seems absurd and what happens is just opposite what you want. All of them were rejected (They were of high skillset and experienced. We were taken aback by the rejection) and those who were selected were from Mumbai who were not at all interested to leave Mumbai for Bangalore. We all were surprised at this and were awed by the way things are planned up there by Him.

I now completely agree with levi's quote, "Only God can make a truly random selection".

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cold Mountain: About Everest & Expeditions


How about an expedition to Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world ? Sounds exciting ? I think the answers from people would be flat yes or no, nothing in between. People saying yes might feel it as, exciting and challenging. While majority of the people in No category might consider is reckless or don't find themselves, that courageous.

I am currently reading Into thin air by Jon Krakauer. It's a book about the expedition to Mount Everest in 1996, leaded by Rob Hall, when On the summit day, a storm threw in killing eight climbers while leaving several others stranded. It's a marvelous book which gives insight into this extremely different life of what is called An Expedition.

Challenging game or a reckless sport ? Ignorant of the life on the mountains, the pain, risks and the dangers associated with every expedition, we consider it as either of these.

With higher altitude, the air gets thinner, our brain gets lesser and lesser oxygen, the body retaliates. The difficulties grow even worse as one moves higher. It's no easy job, only a strong willed person can do it.

Talking about life, when climate conditions are so harsh and when you see only rocks and white bed of snow all around for months, I cant imagine what could be the feeling. The high altitude sickness like severe headaches, vomiting, vertiginous etc, which affects almost everyone, how could you enjoy your days ? With so much sickness, II wonder from where these people get the motivation and desire to march ahead. It requires determination, strong will power and belief in oneself. You have to forget the frost bite and put on the shoes to move ahead. Your head may ache badly as if somebody is drilling nail into it, but still you have to take as a part of life.

The risks and dangers associated are no less. Crossing the glaciers gingerly over the crevasse and climbing over the rocky mountains, think of just goal and survival when the snow is pelted at 100 miles/hr. Sounds too arduous to me. How many of us can do this ?

But the most fearful and less governable are the height altitude diseases. Some dangerous would be HACE(High Altitude Cerebral Edema)and HAPE(High Altitude Pulmonary Edema).

HAPE is a fatal disease. In this case excessive fluid gets accumulated in lung tissues and the person may even enter coma if not taken seriously. The book mentions about a sherpa suffering from HAPE, the fellow climbers could actually hear gurgling sound when he breathed. The only remedy is to descend.

HACE is another fatal disease where the brain swells and may even stop functioning. The account of this I cannot forget from Into thin air, where Jon Krakaeur mentions about one of his colleagues after reaching higher campsite, had tea with others, later returned to his tent to sleep. He almost slept for 24 hours. When others woke him up, he said he didn't realize he had been sleeping for so long. That's when they realize that his brain is not functioning properly. They asked him to descent immediately which is the only remedy.

I am very sure that if ever I go up there I might get ill, just thinking over these fatal diseases.

There's so much pain, endurance and making right decision at critical times, that when you finish the job, you would no longer be that ordinary guy. The ascent would induce in you confidence, patience, sagacity and endurance.

It would be wrong to call mountain climbing reckless as there is no place for recklessness. You have to be very careful in every activity and should be properly planned. Sometimes when body is not supporting mind, climbing down when the summit is just within an hour, is not an easy decision. Only the clever can make it out.

After knowing all the facts and the difficulties that comes in package with the expedition, if one thinks of taking the challenge then that person is simply extra-ordinary, according to me.

Hats off to the climbers!!

Interesting things to know :

Mount Everest

High Altitude sickness

Other High Altitude sickness

Glaciers & Icefalls



Some admirable names :

Pete Schoening : The Belay

Edmund Hillary

Get the perfect picture

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mumbai Local

8.30 am in morning, venue crowded ladies compartment, Mumbai train.

Everyone was busy with themselves. Some reading holy books, some dozing, some staring out of the window, some applying makeup, a few standing at the door while some restlessly cursing their neighbours for pushing her inside.

Sitting at the window seat, I was gazing out of window, when Parel station arrived. The train had not even stopped, when the ladies rustled in the compartment. The train started moving. There was a noise of struggle over the door to get in, and then a shriek. "Shit" I heard myself uttering (with an embarrassment that I couldn't help myself from getting rid of that word) and echo around (i suppose many have the habit of using the word). Another dangerous attemp! I was flustered at the recklessness.

My heart skipped a beat. Every neck stood upright to get the view at the door. Thankfully the lady managed to enter in the compartment. She as wearing red, i could see ambiguous expression of fear and relief on her face. Soon there were sighs and whispering around. But everyone was relieved that there was no injury.

When the lady came in and got seated, every eye in the compartment was following her. As soon as she got seated, words of cautiousness and carefulness were shoved at her from all around. The poor lady kept listening and nodding, trying to smile.

I really wonder why people try to get in the moving train, even if it is slow. I never dare!!

Written for Three Words Wednesday : Prompt - keepsake, dangerous and restless. Used later two in the post.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wrong time, wrong person..

Like every other Saturday, she woke up late. Laziness and Folly were some traits that crept out of her on weekends.
And today her maid was on leave, leaving her hostile to what is said to be Bad lunch. She knew how bad she was at household work.

The movie was about to begin. She kept the tea and milk on the gas stove as the movie started.
It was her favorite actor's movie and no way she was going to miss it. She had dreamt about him. How crazy she was for him in her college days.
But things are different now. The crazy teenage girl was now responsible matured woman now, she thought, smiling to herself.
She recalled she has to meet her fiance the next day.

Dreaming about the actor and fiance, she sensed something was burning badly. She jumped out of the couch and caught the wild smoke coming out of kitchen.
Off she ran to kitchen. The tea vessel was almost black and fuming while the milk was overflowing. Hurriedly she picked it up with bare hands. "Mummy" she cried as she left the vessel as it burned her hands. The milk was all over the floor. By now the fire alarm went off. Now she was cursing herself. She was opening windows when somebody rang the doorbell.

She was mad at herself thinking what one would think to see the mess she had created.

She ran to the door. Hurriedly she opened it, and froze to see fiance at the door.

But things are different now. The crazy teenage girl was now responsible matured woman now.....her thoughts whirled in her mind teasing her of her stupidity....Stoned she stood embarrassed before him.

Written for Three Words Wednesday : Prompt - Ordinary Hostile Folly. Used later two in the post.