Friday, September 22, 2006

how does one end an asociation?
do you just walk away and leave all the baggage behind?
or do you get scratched and hurt as you try to tear away from the mess that pricks even after you have moved away??

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Saying good byes has always been among the hardest things to do! I love the way some people just move on……..from familiar situations, people,almost from lives they have know. It comes so easily to them. I wish I didn’t cling so much to the familiar.the routine.. the safe. Wish I did not constantly fear the unknown. I wish saying good bye was easier.
It’s bad enough having people who have become a part of your life , move out….having to leave a city that you’ve grown up in.. .belonged to……. And loved.. is a little crazy.
Had a late night with friends yesterday and then A decided to drive me around the city in the middle of the night to say my little good bye.
Dehradun sleeps by 12.and so the roads were near deserted………..raindrops glistening in the headlights of the car….and a cold breeze wafting in through the window. As I looked out beyond the rhythmic motion of the windscreen wipers…into the city that had been home for almost all of my life. At the roads I have walked on………and the little world that I knew was my own. At the trees …as the water dripped fromt hem…they’ve always been here…. Some still around and some no more.
The lights outside the shops glowed a pale yellow… the shutters were down…….but beyond I could see myself….a quiet little child clinging on to her mothers finger waiting for the old “uncle “ to put a tiny little cherry on my softy……….he started to do that when I was three..and still does it!!
A fiddled around with a few CDs and finally found one ancient one….the neon lights on the dashboard twinkled and a old hindi song enveloped us in the car………. memories of school came rushing back. I closed my eyes a bit…
As we drove past the all too familiar hang out zones I could literally smell the city……….the parts where the noxious fumes from the monstrosities that double up as public transport choke your lungs…….to the quieter residential areas where scented blossoms soaked with water grown near the gates.
The heavenly smell of pines mixed with the smell of wet mud and and a clogged up drain…… a feeling of being in dehradun!
I’ve often cribbed about everyone knowing everyone in a small town….yet I know I’ll crave for that familiarity., the little glance from an auto wallah, who knows where you lived without you having to tell him…the very personal questions from the shop owners….the knowing little nods from people you pass by on the streets. Yes I belong here.
A probably understood…….so let me take my time saying my good byes( I guess he was saying his own too!!)

Monday, August 07, 2006


I believe that when it comes to days like “friendship day” I have been extremely cynical in the past. "What is the deal with it" I have said on several occasions. Adding to the revenue of the archies and the hallmarks….And basically being extremely candy flossish… what is the point?
how illogical and covoluted?
Isn’t friendship just about being there for each other….being loyal and honest and telling the friend what you think , about acceptance and unconditionality??
So where does this need to give cards and hugs stem from?
on one day?

Of course I’ve had people around who’ve celebrated the day to the maximum….sometimes to my complete bewilderment.
This friendship day I lost a very close friend. A friend who was someone who tied a friendship band on my wrist every year right since the time I was at school.Who gave me the most beautifully worded cards every year on friendship day.
Different story , of course she was old enough to be my grand mother.
S aunty…. My nani, friend, guide and the most alive person I have known passed on this Friday afternoon.
And I guess friendship day will never be the same again.
Heck…. watching a cricket match on TV will never be the same again….not having her call and scream into the phone every time a wicket fell. Not spending summer burping over her freshly made sickly sweet mango shakes.
Not recieveing a soppy sweet card from her right before an exam…watching her lips move in silent prayer before I leave for someplace….
S auntie was a huge part of my life…and suddenly life seems so incomplete without her.

This friendship day I learnt that in the end life long relationships aren’t built in a day…they aren’t even built in a year. They take constant , endless nurturing and supreme faith. and that some of the most priceless relationships I ve had have been the ones I have invested least in. because they did not need the investment...because the ones that work best are the obnes you work at least.

And so from this friendship day I shall celebrate….
Celebrate every single friend who stuck by me…through all the highs and all the miserable lows. Who stuck to me when I was cranky and clingy and neurotic. And who stuck to me when I was so absorbed in my own life that I forgot to call. Who stuck to me when I bullied them. And who stuck to me when I was selfish and self absorbed. Who stuck to me even when I did what they told me not to!!
So this is like a dedication to the people who make my world complete.
For being my one woman army.

For nearly choking me with her affection….for being the person who is willing to take on the crocodiles of the jungle for me! For being the most generous and giving person I know.
and who by some quirk of fate is always the one I find myself next to whenever life decides to land a kick on me!
And for knowing what to do , when to do it and saying just the right things at the right time!!
( oh...and also for giving the most amazing presents!! birthdays wouldn't be the same without you)

“Major” Hook:
What can I say?
I never believed it was alright to call someone at 2 am just to tell them that I couldn’t sleep.
And that a simple ‘ it’s ok’ could mean so much!
In the end I guess nothing counts more than the knowledge that no mater what …there is someone you can bank upon.
That there are certain investments which are bluechip all the way!!

Aj and saks

You guys are a rocking couple.
And not just because you dropped everything to be with me the day I believed that my life had stopped. Not just because there are only two people who can take me for late night shows at the movies.
It’s funny how sometimes a bike ride at midnight through the quiet streets can give you a different perspective on life.
Aj thanks for that ride the other day. It sure cleared hundreds of cobwebs in my head.
And sak…. Friendship days are meant to celebrate people like you.


Physical distance, oceans, time zones, communication gaps…..
Do they mean anything at all ?
Or can two people have connected so well that just a cryptic message from me tells you when I need you the most.
We may not stay in touch but I guess we don’t need to mail each other every day or even call each other. That in the end the only thing that counts is that you are and will be there whatever the odds!

Tans ….for that one little statement that you always make.
That always helps and that makes everything so clear and practical!!

For everyone of my friends who take friendship seriously. Who take the words honesty, loyalty and faith seriously. who are fiercely protective.Who refuse to judge me even if I am nasty. Who accept me as I am. and for whom I am a package...(complete with the crooked teeth and oversized butt!!).Who just never let me down....

This friendship day I celebrate the most amazing people I know.
complete with the mush, the soppyness, the candy floss , the over priced cards, the beady red friendship bands...
i celebrate each one of you.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

In Dehradun our lives our dictated by the weather. No season is this more apparent in than in the monsoons. The rains set in nearly soundlessly….almost in deference to the reputation the town has acquired of being a sleepy, quiet little place. There is none of the thunder and lightning that one tends to associate with the rains!!
The dark clouds start to gather….coming in from the south…first clouding over the lower ranges of the shiwaliks making them invisible. The sun gets blocked out for days and a and the sky takes on a steady grey colour.Then slowly and almost in a placid manner the first rains fall. Mildly at first and then building up into a torrential downpour.
Sitting and watching the rain is great fun. It falls in streaks…of grey almost resembling glass. Heaven help you if you get caught in one of the downpours.
No umbrellas , no raincoats….almost nothing can save the rain water from seeking you out and soaking you to the bone .sometimes it’s amusing. Take a walk on a quiet deserted road with the rain falling in huge drops … I’ve done that once or twice this year .my umbrella invariably gets stuck while the water drips down my face…..particularly from the edge of my nose. of course managing an open umbrella too is an art by itself…there are strong gusts of wind that nearly blow it out of the hand.
The rain in Dehradun never pauses. It’s a constant . sometimes heavier…sometimes a mild drizzle that you can barely see –maybe just feel …..if you stick you palm out facing heaven ward.
With so much rain it’s a miracle the town never gets flooded. But then that is due to one of the miracles of this little valley. Our geography teacher pointed it out to us. The whole town slopes southward….so no matter how much the water….it’ll all just flow away.
By mid monsoon- the little rivulet behind the house has enough water in it too. Throughout the year it ‘s a dry river bed. With little rocks and stones. If I stand on the bridge behind the house and look down at the tiny river bed as it weaves its way down from the mountains, all I see is dogs sleeping and labourers piling stones into tractor trolleys to drive away and little remnants of plastic packets clogged up in between the stones….pinks and blues( uttaranchal is a no plastic state !)
But come the rains, and the river fills up with muddy brown waist deep water gushing away. This is a tributary of the song river. And when there is no traffic on the road the river does kind of sing as it rushes over whatever has been left by the trolleys and the piles of plastic!
But what is best about rains is the way everything becomes a lush fertile green. My mother has a theory about how even the driest sticks will take root in the rains. I tend to agree. Especially given the fact that there is a thin cover of mildew and fungus on everything! But take a peek on to the hillsides or even by the road sides. scores of creepers and new leaves on old branches. Little plants grow out of everywhere. From cracks in walls to the sides of pavements.
And as their little homes get crowded and flooded with water out come the snakes and the scorpions. And all the insects with their own distinctive noises. I have a family of frogs that lives just outside my room. They are the best weather girls any news channel could have. Precise and accurate, six hours before a downpour they start to croak in the most bizarre tones!!
The birds seem most affected. Babblers and mynahs and the occasional sparrows trying to dry themselves by vigorously shaking off the water from their wings.
Beyond in the distance the lofty Himalayas took become a vivid shade of emerald. And in the evenings the clouds seem to get caught in between the peaks ….a mist that coils and uncoils as it spreads around the hills!
So maybe life in Dehradun slows down a bit in the rains but then its always been a sleepy town!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

DiTtY has in yet another attempt to get me out of my self imposed hibernation , tagged me.
Which is all very well meaning and stuff, but then tag has always been a game I have been pathetic at at most times!!
But then ( sigh ) I shall make an attempt to do this!!
I am thinking about:
Exactly how many seconds will it before my PC crashes again….. will I or will I not be able to save this draft….. why in the world am I such an ignoramus when it comes to computers…. What’s for lunch today?.... why am I so bored!! …why d all my best guy friends marry the strangest girls?

I said….

I want to:
Hmmm….. the tragedy of economics…… and the unlimited wants scenario…..
Lets see:
1) get a new puppy( a pug….or a rotweiler….actually if I could bring that furry little black stray I saw on the road today home…that would be fine too!)
2) find a cure for the 265 weeds that spring up in the garden.
3) get a cell phone which has a built in device to prevent people’s voices from ‘breaking up’
4) finish my cousin’s holiday home work projects….. FAST. What is it with my life ? I spent almost half a life time doing my own holiday home work only to be foisted with projects for cousins, nephews, nieces, neighbours……

I wish:

That the cavity in my tooth would get miraculously filled up with out having to go see the dentist!
I hear:
The news reader on TV. Something about the AIIMS director….. I ‘ve heard it 4 times since the morning. But when your father retires from “active” service – you tend to hear news channels….a lot!
Also hear thunder and the wind rushing through the trees outside my window……… Twiddler scrabbling on the door!! Tizzy snoring………and my mother ….telling me I spend too much time online.
I think we make too much noise in this house!

I wonder :
Do people have to always call when I am right in the middle of a nap and ask… “ were u sleeping?”

I regret:
Not being able to use an eyeliner without smudging the entire thing….and giving self black eye….. with unfailing diligence

I am:
Very hungry.

I dance:
with a lot of enthusiasm. Mostly with dad at all the parties for ex-army officers and their families.
Have also danced with various drunk “uncles” who relayed stories of their exploits in 1965…while stepping on my toes!
Of course as DiTtY says….the best dances were on chi chi bhayia songs in the hostel common room… with me .in my tiny black n white skirt( which never fit after that…sigh)
I sing:
…. When I am alone….
It is safer for my own well –being that way!
I tend to mix up lyrics, tunes, songs…….
I cry:
A lot.

I am not always…..

I make with my hands:
Shadows on the walls by candle light.
Characters out of my fingers to tell kids little stories.

I write:
Question papers for class.
Copious notes when I am studying.
Extremely long letters.
Mushy cards.

I confuse:
People, faces, names, roads, shops, routes, birthdays………
All in all am mostly confused!

I need:
To lose weight.

And finally…….
I am at the end of this…the PC has crashed 3 times!

And I hope D is happy……..

Monday, May 01, 2006

Strangers in the Night

The sound seemed a little incongruous in my sleep.....
I stretched out to reach my bedside lamp.......
Instantly , the room sprang into light with a pale yellow glow.
Sheesh..1.45 am..... Not a time for sane people to wake up.... but what was that sound anyway..i could not have been dreaming….
In a way I hope I was dreaming!
Is it an intruder ? Don't be silly girl - get a grip........
Obviously not an intruder. There are three dogs in this house….it cannot be an intruder. Of course its an entirely different story that two out of those three are probably sleeping and will not be aware of any intruders!
The sound is probably just one of the dogs. At least I hope it is one of the dogs!!! It could be one of those cats that often hang around inthe garden...or probably a nocturnal creature on the prowl for food. But am sure I heard the sound closer, definitely inside.
Well no point conjecturing...get out and find out!
Gingerly stick one foot out of bed, to take a peek. The dogs seem to be dead to the world.
Twiddler ( my miniature dachshund) was fast asleep, his very long tail on his rather long snout. Its an old habit of his, and I marvel at his flexibility... It is a miracle he has never had a sneezing fit , with the tip of his tail nearly sticking into his nose.I think it gives him some sort of comfort.Decide against waking him up…..not that I think he would be interested in joining me for my midnight expedition.
Tudloo( the Pomeranian) was sleeping on his back....his legs kicked up high, tail outstretched on the floor...I almost expect him to start moving them in a wierd cycling movement.
I think I once saw a dog do something like that at some circus place.
He opens one eye , just a bit , takes a peek at me and gives me the nastiest look..... I feel extremely sheepish for trying to haul him out of bed."Yes , I know Tuds, it is time to sleep.... and I am terribly sorry to have disturbed you but can you not hear that strange noise?”

Tuds gives me long disdainful look, then
yawns, flops over on his belly and goes right back to sleep. So much for the alert watch dog.
I get back into bed , muttering ,cursing myself ..must be the imagination..... again!!
But...then there it is again.....
"scratch...scratch...scratch.... ".
...this time its more like paper rustling.
Wait a minute..........
where’s TIZZY?
Tiz is my little 5 month old white Pomeranian pup...... the newest addition to the family. Technically his name is "Busy Tizzy"........because....well.......he is always busy....and yes he is always in a tizzy!!!
Tizzy sleeps in a far corner of my room...or shall i say we place his bed there and hope every night that no events occur that will provide him something to stay busy with... and run out of bed.
I lean over the bed to take a look.........yes its little Tiz again..scratching madly in his bed.........
sniff...scratch....wheeze......sniff...scratch some more..
Gosh has he lost it.........Does he need help?
Is this some strange sort of midnight puppy- ritual that i am unaware of?
I rush out of bed to his side, put a hand on his head and whisper,
"Tizzy, honey, u ok??"
He pauses for a moment, looks up, gives me one of his completley disappointed looks...I interpret it as..."for petes sake , woman, can you not see i am in the middle of something?"
It is around 2.00 am...what on earth is he looking for....has one of his toys gone below the matress?
I must add here that Tizzy's a huge cardboard box in which apples are normally packed) is a treasure trove of sort. He sleeps with an old rag a couple of discarded old half chewed sock, a rubber bone, something that was once a flourescent green tennis ball( but is now a mere thready , wet , shapeless mass),a couple of scraps of paper that he shredded during the day,a part of an old slipper and ofcourse his bowl.....take one thing away and he cannot sleep.
The maniacal scratching is not stopping...I reach out to pat him.....maybe he's sleep walking...or sleep some wierd canine way.......I try to pacify him.
But he seems to be oblivious to my petting.His eyes have a brilliant shine and his long tail is wagging furiously. He is digging almost like he has hit and oil field beneath his pile of old clothes.
The wet nose is twitching in a mad frenzy. The scratching is getting more rapid and for a minute i am worried. Do dogs become abnormal at night? Does this have something to do with some phase of the moon thing?
I look at Tudloo for answers ( after all he is the oldest among the three). But he seems to be fast aSleep. I think I can hear a tiny snore.
After what seems like ages , with me whispering muffled words to little Tiz, imploring him to stop, and him on his Nose Twitch-Tail Wag-Fore Paws Scratch mission.............suddenly.....
A large winged , shadowy creature summersaults out of Tizzys box bed .
"What is it Tizz?", I whisper .
Tizzy backs for a moment , lets out a tiny growl and then jumps out of his mad pursuit....
The creature...a large , brown, eerie looking coackroach with long hairy legs crashes on to the floor and scurries away with Tizzy hot on his heels.
I shove a hand into my mouth to keep the scream that is rising in my throat down.
Oh my poor sweet, cuddly , harmless little five month puppy ....when did you turn into such a venomous, insect-bloodthirsy teeth gnashing dog?
The chase is on. The roach has scurried under my bed.....Tizzy is trying to squeeze himself in there too.I try to hold on to him but no chance .....
Phut....scrabble.........scrabble..... the noise from under the bed in too scary, I have to get in there!!
Tizzy has got one paw on the creature.I crawl under the bed( not a good place for us people with sinusitis....need to tell the maid to move her broom here a bit) . I brush away a cobweb from my face and focus on the scene at hand.
Tizzy is stretched across ....with the cockroach lying upside down between his paws. Its absolutely still, its antennae and legs in an upright position.Am not quite sure what got the coackroach after all. Maybe it was a mild seizure that came from having a four legged , long clawed , extraordinarily sniffy creature with a wet nose and a drippy tongue chase him.Maybe it had a concussion after Tizzy knocked it over.
I almost expect Tiz to have a triumphant look in his eyes. But tizz looks confused( am sure the fact that I was sprawled under the bed with him at that ungodly hour added to the confusion!)But I think it was more than that.He looks at me with a bewildered look in his eyes," make it move"...they seemed to say!!
I think he enjoyed the chase!! I drag the rather reluctant pup from under the bed leaving his prey behind.Creep into bed , after depositing him safely in his bed,hoping that Tizzy too had had enough.......