Thursday, October 23, 2008


Two days back I was sitting in class with a long-dead great grandaunt of mine. And after class we walked to my apartment in Bangalore where we did homework together over piping hot coffee and samosas.
Last night I walked out of my hotel room to find Sachin Tendulkar staying next door. My husband (damn…I don’t recollect his face!!) was very glad to meet him and they both agreed to let me play in the team’s tour to West Indies.
And that is why I love dreams…the space time boundaries just go ‘poof’ and you are effortlessly treading across generations and continents alike with the unbounded imagination of a young child.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vagaries of the filled inbox

‘600 messages? That’s a helluva lot !!!’, I thought as I read the description off the back of the box in the Mobile Store.

Cut to June 2008…a year later and I sit on the bunk bed in the PG (Paying Guest, for the uninitiated) contemplating which message to delete from the deluge that of 580 messages that inundates my Inbox.
I scan through the messages one at a time reading them from start to end, right down to the sender name. I have done this a thousand times earlier. When the person with you is having a personal conversation on the phone and you want to make yourself unobtrusive while keeping an ear on the conversation, open your phone and scroll through the messages. When you are waiting for a friend at the mall and want to avoid eye contact with the thronging mobs, Inbox comes to the rescue. But today I look at them the same way a barber looks at a full crop of hair wondering which portion gets the snip.

Messages from my sister….no!! They are sacrosanct. I cannot delete any one of them even if it just says ‘Have I left my purse at home? Reply stat…’
Birthday wishes…sacrosanct again. And also useful to crosscheck if the same people remember my birthday the next year.
And then there are the stinkers. Messages that are loaded with accusations and politically incorrect words. Ammo in a cellular war. Someone once said that hatred should not be carried in one’s heart. Well…too bad he forgot to specify the Inbox. And so they stay on for the day when I can look back and have a good laugh as to how silly we once were.
There are some forwards too. The usual set of inspirational messages, graphics created using standard keyboard characters…creations of a jobless mind encouraged by free sms schemes. They are the first ones to be given the boot and they get just one chance to make me smile or bring a lump in my throat to hang on to that coveted Inbox space. Surprisingly today all of them manage to do so. Either the jobless minds are getting more creative or I am mellowing with age.

There are messages from a friend, which go somewhat like this
Message #1 : breakfast
Message#2: cm to mess
Message#3: chai
Message#4: dinner?
Message#5: sleepy…night mess?
And they go on in this infinite loop… one for each day spent on campus, only interspersed by a few other messages sent across the table during frustratingly boring classes. I attempt deleting two or three of them. But somehow they seem a part of me….my only link to the campus life that is now plain history. These messages are like pointers that open up a boxful of memories in my head as I read them. Priceless.

Messages from a friend who had jaundice ‘ I had chicken today…lightly cooked but it tasted awesome’…little moments of joy. Farewell messages sent from the train….little moments of sadness. Messages from a friend who has suddenly stopped being in touch with me….little moments of retrospection. EOL. End of List.
And I start all over again. This time just sighing and smiling to myself as I wonder what it is that makes it so difficult for me to press that little red ‘delete’ button.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

chance encounter...

I got a mail about the greatness of the woman....I smiled to myself and spent a day gloating in the glory of my gender.
Sipping coffee in the evening at the campus adda, I saw a woman running through the streets with two crying children in tow, searching for her husband who had just bought himself alcohol induced relief from poverty with the days earnings. Her hands were moving fast - joining together one moment to plead with him to come home, moving as far apart as possible the next moment to hold her children close to her.....
I gulped my coffee in one go - a toast to the greatness of the woman in her and in thousands like her in unknown, unnamed streets of India.

Reality check...

You know you have to a pay a lil more attention to your personal life when-
somebody asks you to name 10 men you would like to have in your 'harem'
and after thinking for what seems to be an eternity, all you can come up with is -
George Clooney, Roger Federer and a couple of teenage crushes..... :|

Saturday, March 29, 2008

post from the past...

something written months ago and left as a draft...may it see the light
of the day... :)

I wonder from where I learnt discontentment...when did I move out from the comfort of my cradle and start coveting the leather upholstery in my neighbour's sedan?
When did I stop running after the butterfly and start chasing higher pay packages?
There was a time when the only place with grey faces was my drawing book .When did I start seeing shades of grey in myself?
It seems like just yesterday when cynicism was yet another of the tough cookies in a spelling bee. When exactly did it make the shift from my rote memory to my conscious behaviour?
I wonder.....
How was I naive enough to think that metamorphosis is only a complex geographical phenomenon for rock formation?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Misery is self-made.
Is that why we hold it so close to our hearts and refuse to let go?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Passing by...

I look at the guard stand up in attention as the top honcho walks by, a frail hand trembling with the effort of staying taut and touching the temple. The honcho walks past with a perfunctory nod of his head.
The humble salute is a helping hand for the small sense of self of that big man....
I smile to myself at my own philosophical interpretation and walk away with a little icicle of pain in my heart.......

Thursday, February 21, 2008

sometimes CRM is just a piece of cake

A week-long course on Customer Relationship Management(CRM) and the class was all jazzed up with the fundas. Discussions on "what kind of customer are you?" would spill over into the chai-break. While K admitted that he was the "show me the price tag baby.." kind of buyer, S asked for some sensitivity on part of the seller (read that as: never EVER say "maa'm that size won't fit you"). I was too tipsy on the whole 'Customer is the king' concept to do some "constructive contribution" to the discussion, till the chai-boy sobered me down with a big fat drop of chai on my bag.

Three not-so-glorious weeks later, my friend and I walk into the Imagine store. My friend wanted to enquire about the Apple Protection Plan..and I...well I was just visiting. Before you assume that I am an Apple fanatic who goes visiting an Imagine store a good 10 kms away just to ogle at those works of art..lemme clarify. The day was Valentine's day and the store owner had casually mentioned to my friend the previous day that there would be cake in the shop....a good enough reason to go visiting :)
So lets get down to the dirty details...
Entry: My friend and I.
The normally minimalist and antiseptic store is oozing oodles of the Valentine spirit with red and white "dil-shape" balloons fluttering on the floor (remember Dil to Pagal hai?). And if you look at the heavens in exasperation...gotcha...they are smugly hanging from the ceiling too...
The pink iPod nano is being touted as the ultimate valentine gift on posters all around. The men in the store can't take their eyes off the price tag while their girlfriends are drooling all over the floor (yeah...dil shape balloons et al). I say my customary hellos to the owner and the staff while trying to rip my gaze off the two cakes kept on the centertable. Just one small piece had been cut off...just the way the Apple is bitten.
My hands start itching. I pick up a balloon from the floor and fiddle around with it. The owner tells me to put it down. With a Ohkay fiiiinee....I let it join its dil-shaped brothers on the floor. I hover around the cake area looking at the products, reading the description tags and waiting for them to offer me the cake. In my mind, I am rehearsing how to say "Oh no I am full really" and still accept the third piece of cake. But no cake is offered. My friend is taking a lot of time and I have browsed and re-browsed annnndd re-re-browsed thru the products n number of times.My feet are beginning to ache. I target a plump lil balloon and make him the object of my frustration. A kick here...a kick there...a stare from the owner.....peace..I walk away.
Finally I decide to take matters into my hands. "So I thought there was a cake and all..." breezy.very very breezy.
"Oh...its only for couples"
I think the owner is joking.
"But why? Valentines day is not just for couples. I wish my parents happy valentines"
"thats okay...but the day is basically for lovers and couples"
Still joking right?
I half smile "Oh save me those cake saving tricks"
We always have this buyer-seller banter going on. Nothing new.
The owner walks away. Casually..unobtrusively.....which I think is to cut me a slice off the cake. And DOESN'T COME BACK.

Here I we are (my friend was interested in the cake too), Apple loyalists, brand campaigners, emotionally attached consumers and whatever jargon there is to it...with our mouths wide open, wondering what we have done to deserve such treatment. I thought buying a macbook, getting an extended warranty plan, getting a couple of repairs done, spending hours in the store and recommending the store and the brand to any and everybody in sight is good enough to warrant some cake. But looks like the store owner's Valentine spirit was just limited to those sickly ugly balloons.

So I still love Apple but the Imagine store has just got itself ticked out of my favorites list.
With due respect to my CRM faculty, I think customer relationship management is just a piece of cake. And my dear Imagine store owner, if you are reading this....hurry to the bakery, you have my address.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Reflections on one of the most telling scenes of human pain and anguish that I have seen

His belly was full of anger; resentment that had been passed down to him as though a family heirloom. With every word that he sang, the thick bile of anger rose from his guts and shook his body with a vengeance. "Who decides what merit is....isn't sowing seeds in a straight line in the black cotton fields merit?"..the words formed on their own. He could not stop them, He didn't want to stop them. He could hear his voice ringing in his own ears. A voice full of pain and anguish. A cry of despair. A scream of a wounded animal. He beat the drum faster to drown out the voice. More venom spewed out of his singing mouth. He could feel the droplets of his own spit settling themselves on his bare arms. Impure spit....impure arms. "Why isn't the air polluted by my breath? We share the same sun"..he asked the vast expanse of barrenness before him. He knew there were no answers. He knew there would never be any. The drums were beating faster now. Possessed, captivated, maddened. He knew every being was full of anguish. So much of pain....that if every human were to give a voice to that pain, it would be a loud scream that would reverberate throughout the entire universe. "Why? Why?" He gave one final flight to his anger, his pain and put down the drums. He felt empty. He felt immense solitude. He felt something somewhere move in his own universe.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

no title....

Missing a warm hug
to make me feel snug
is it the winter breeze
or is it just the blues ???