Sunrise

It started as thick as a strand of hair far far away on the horizon. A unique colour of bright gold dipped in the essence of orange. Finally, the stars could see what they were craving to witness all night. Their lovers whom they could never meet. Blades of grass; tiny, little but mighty, stretching themselves up, reaching out to them. The heavy dewdrops tried to bring them down, pulled them. They tried to distract them with their tempting beauty but the resolve of the blades never fluttered.

They were determined to reach out just as a lovestruck is determined to brave anything for another’s heasunrise_fields_8922914_by_stockproject1-d38k18rrt of promise, of security, of love, of tranquility.

That strand had started to widen at an even pace, pouring a blue-infused-gold all over the soft green field. It was the kind that instilled a comfortable cold silent chill everywhere. Only the music of the nightingale could be heard.

In that perfection, a silhouette could be seen. An outline so attractive it would make somebody’s heart jump with the happiness that excitement brings.
He approached me and sung some words of kindness; whispered a word or two of warmth. The right words, words that sounded like a Welcome song, a melodious invitation to be a part of his unusual life.

The sun had started to shine bright, comforting the both of us.
In that life-changing moment, I knew it was the start of something new, something great, something absolutely wonderful.

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A new beginning

He found her, he found himself

She promised him a home, he gave her a family.

They were madly in love; foolish, understanding, caring.

They were friends of the best kind,

Awaiting an unknown adventure.

They dreamt of the Earth, of songs, of growth, parents and future.

They dreamt of the ultimate happiness; love.

Embarking on a journey together lasting eternity.

Bon Voyage!

 

For Juhi Di, Aditya Jijs, Purva Di and Kartik Jijs :*

Cheers to a new family.

Vows in the Soil

The footprints had been made into the soil with turmeric paste. The Gods were being invited. The shehnai-vadaks were calling out to the heavens creating the most blessed sounds. It seemed as if they were enjoying a duet with the mighty Goddess ganga who was hopping along a rythmic gait. Today she was not fierce. Today she was calm and happy, content to be a mother, gratified to love her children.

The banana leaves in the four directions ensured that no evil spirit would linger near. The smell of the wet soil infused with the smell from mango flowers. The sky resonated the celebration and reflected back a golden-orange. The sun was bidding farewell, smiling in all its deep-red glory, making way for the stars. To match the occasion, Ganga wore a golden-red dress too, shimmery and silky. The moon bowed from the horizon. He had been waiting for 28 nights to shine upon the ceremony, upon the ganges, upon the mandap with all his handsomeness.15b10-shehnai_player

The pandit poured ghee into the crackling fire to feast the gods and goddesses above and then, he summoned the bride and groom.

This was not the big fat Indian wedding; there were no huge beautiful tents and fancy chairs but there was a rugged threadbare carpet striped maroon and black. There were no posh cars parked around but perhaps some bicycles. The feast in the afternoon did not have ‘chhappan bhog’ but the best halwai from the village had come, serving jalebi and rabri in ‘kulhadds’. It was not the most expensive affair in the city but was happily paid by those who had been saving up for this their whole life. The celebrations were not pretentious, they were pure.

The bride had donned a rich red lehenga decorated with gota and was walking slowly towards the mandap, her payal singing anxiously. She had grown on the banks of the Ganges and had always trotted faster than the river but not today. Today she was neither as confident nor as sure. She felt only the shehnai understood her. Only the shehnai could convey what she could not, the joy of finding a new life and the sorrow of leaving the old one behind. She took small steps, ‘alta’ flowering in her feet, heena flowering in her hands.

The village girls however, stared shamelessly at the groom clad in a shining white dhoti. He singled her woman out as the chinks of her payal rhymed with his heartbeat each time her feet landed on the uneven soil. They had never seen each other before yet they believed in one thing; this was meant to happen, they were meant to embark on this godly journey together. She had prayed to find her ‘Shiva’ and the goddesses had answered. Sitting by the holy fire, his torso was sheathed with a very thin layer of sweat . His well-built, muscular hands and chest glistening. Finally, the bride was seated to the right of the boy. Every time the pandit asked them to hold each other’s hands, currents ran through their veins.

As they began to circle the fire, the pandit recited the holy vows but they made vows of their own. He vowed to make her the dream in every dream he will ever have. She vowed to love him with a gentle strength as Ganga loved her shores; supporting him, shaping him, inspiring him. He vowed to love her fiercely as he loved the fields he ploughed all day to keep them green; vowed to keep her full and abundant. They vowed to partake the adventures of making a family and of raising one too. He vowed to want her and worship her as the keeper of his family and she vowed to worship him as the keeper of her house. They vowed not just to grow with each other but toward each other. He would be her wind and she would sway with him like a pliable tree. He vowed to be tougher on the plough and ever more soft on her. He vowed to bear more calluses and more blood on his feet for her and she vowed to let her hands burn day and night over the ‘choolha’, all done with a contented smile. They vowed to love each other’s spirits and demons, fears and hopes. They promised over the soil in which they had grown up, a promise too divine to be broken.

The feast of the Gods was over, the job was well done. They smiled down at the mandap, satisfied to see two souls they had crafted for each other, vying to be the one true happiness of each other’s lives. The shehnai no longer sounded wistful. It blowed raag bhairavi out to the universe, to welcome a new dawn, a new day, an exciting beginning…

 

The article was sown by Ustad Bismillah Khan’s Raga Shankara (The Eternal Spirit)

VALENTINE’S DAY? OOPS! I AM STILL SINGLE

“When you smiled, you had my undivided attention, when you laughed, you had my urge to laugh with you, when you cried, you had my urge to hold you and when you said you loved me, you had my heart forever”… Every girl dreams that someday, her Mr. Perfect will say something like this. Doesn’t she?

Friends and foes, ladies and gentlemen, men and women, single boys and single girls; I hate to break this to you but Valentine’s Day really is around the corner. To all the committed folks out there and to all the married couples, I offer my heartfelt congratulations, to all those expecting to get proposals from their lovey-doveies or are going fishing, I say “good luck”, and for those who are eternally and terminally single, I say “read on”…

Listen up single girls and guys, the day is not your S.A.D.  (Single Awareness day) as some might say. Don’t be gloomy if you were not on the Cupid’s hit-list this time. Whenever I walk into the market, I see shops laden with love cards for cutie-pies and sweetums, cuddly teddies, maybelline hampers, mushy toys, romantic books and  movies depicting romantically perfect moments that will make you cry. Well,I have cried my bit whilst watching ‘Dear John’, or any other movie for that matter. I cry like a baby when I watch movies, no big deal.

Anyway, I hear my single friends complaining that it’s all about corporations trying to fool people up and trick them into buying pretty stuff for their better-halves. They say they can literally hear ‘Archies’ howling “BUY ME”. I read on the internet about boyfriend’s complaining that even though February 14 has no brewing on their relationships but they must pretend to be extra-attracted to their girlfriends that day. (Funny, isn’t it?)

People, if Valentine’s Day is not that big a deal to you, then stop cribbing about it. If it is, enjoy it with your beau. Either way, just chill!

Victor Hugo said “life’s greatest pleasure is to be convinced that we are loved”. I always thought he was a clever man.

All singles hail! Don’t ignore Valentine’s Day,don’t bypass it, enjoy it. I definitely will for it’s my mum and dad’s anniversary this February 14th and I am going to enjoy it with all my single-friends in college…

P.S. Your’s truly was watching ‘Runaway Bride’ while writing the above piece and did her best not to get carried away with the flow…

FISHING FOR THE GIRL

Location: HIGH IN THE SKY  

Date: JANUARY 2, 2012

Aboard Flight Number 233 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) , I had happily placed myself in the window seat of the second last row of the plane anticipating a great week ahead in Kerala.

This would be the third time I am going to South India and I just can’t get enough of it. I love the place, the weather, the vegetation, the people, their simplicity, their culture, their music, their food, I love black coffee and well, I like dark men. Oops! I said it, didn’t I?

I was looking at the stewards, who were waving their hands meaningfully, with slightly unfocused eyes. Bored with the same monotonous tone, I fastened my seatbelt and looked outside.

I remembered how I got here. I had hopped on the Kathgodam Express on a very chilly night. I had slept a little bit (courtesy: my wonderful friends who had thrown a blanket over me) and laughed away the remaining night with my batch-mates. As soon as I got off the train and bid my friends farewell, a feeling grasped me.

I don’t know why, at that point of time, I desired nothing more than to get away from everything of or relating to Pantnagar. I guess it had to do something with those 20 days of frustration that had built up inside me. I hardly let it out. So, it generally turns inwards. 

So here I was, staring blankly at the window, waiting for the plane to take-off as I heard a flirtatious “Hi” in the row behind me. Needless to say, it caught my interest as I raised my eyebrows.

Eavesdropping on someone is not such a good habit. Is it? But they were having a very loud conversation and I just couldn’t ignore it. “What the heck?”, I thought. Entertainment was right in front of me (no, behind me, literally). How could I let it go? Sure, I was reading ‘The Pale Horse’ by Agatha Christie, but in the moment, this prospect seemed much more interesting.

I don’t know how I always end up around (mind you, ‘around’, never ‘in’) the most romantically-favorable places, be it the corner-most room on the top-most floor of my hostel (read the previous blog filed under this category) or the window seat in the second last row.

The row behind me was a perfect setting. A boy, his best friend and a pretty girl were cornered. What was more? They were flirting heavily. “A very romantic escape”, I thought. Suddenly I remembered that I was sitting with my father and grand-father and I forced myself out of the mood. “Don’t wander in that territory”, I warned myself. “This isn’t such a good time”.

“Hi, I am Akash. I am a businessman in Hyderabad. Where are you from?”

“Oh! I am from Hyderabad too. I live in the ‘wahwahwah’ residence.”

“Really? You know that posh place near that colony? My Dad owns it, and that 5-star hotel nearby too.”

The girl was grasped with awe. “Wow!” was all she could spill out.

The job was done. The boy had impressed the girl and the flirting began.

“Your hair is pretty.”

“Oh really? You are the first guy in many months to say that. It feels great.”

“What a pathetic reply”, I thought. She could have answered much more impressively.

“What are your hobbies?” and it went on…

If you want to show-off, it has to be done in English; this is one, very subtle and absolutely basic rule followed with huge dedication in almost all Indian metropolis, and you will fall prey to it sooner or later.

The day was foggy and half of our route had cloud pockets. On a particularly big one, the plane jerked threateningly and I heard an animated “Ouch!”, followed by definite clutching. “Good”, I thought, as I smiled wickedly.”Exploiting the situation. Smart girl.”

One thing led to another and the girl asked the boy’s age. “I just turned 19″, he said and I could hear a conspicuous dip in her voice as she confessed ” Oh. I feel much older now”, and she was ashamed. She immediately began to ooze her oomph from every place possible and then started to rant her profile to win the guy back as the age factor had definitely shoved him off a bit. “I am a final year student in the ‘Oohlala’ Law School in Delhi. I am not interested in litigation but in corporate law. I am not looking for a placement right now. Blah Blah Blah”. 

“Cool”, I thought. “Nice save”. Everybody knows that guys fall easy prey to smart, independent girls.

Unfortunately, that’s the point where I dozed off. My sandwich and black coffee had rendered me sleepy, not to mention the fact that I had slept for only an hour the previous night.

By the time I got up, we were about to land in Hyderabad and the girl was throwing unnecessary tantrums. “Darn. They are going to take us in those ugly buses and all.” “OMG! The plane is so huge. I never noticed.”

“Yuck”, was all I could think of.

And so, it’s parting time. As soon as we touched down and were allowed to use our cell-phones, ‘Facebook’ came to the rescue as they became ‘friends’ online. “The two souls must be blessing Mark Zuckerberg right now”, I thought as I giggled.

That’s how I reached Hyderabad, feasting on overpriced sandwich, coffee and a spicy amount of entertainment. The guy got up in a gentlemanly fashion to see the lady off. He peeped into my diary kept on the eating table in which I was jotting down their chit-chat, apparently suspicious. I immediately hid the title. It was reflex.

Oh Boy! The girl has left and the tonal range of the guy’s vocal chord has changed drastically. He is not that soft-spoken chocolate boy anymore. I am not shocked very much. Speaking softly with a girl is a basic biological response. Isn’t it?

Had the girl not been older, I am pretty sure that they wouldn’t have satisfied themselves with a mere ‘Facebook Friendship’ but would have exchanged mobile numbers too.

“Bad Luck” is all I can say.

Whether the chit-chat was just a time-pass or would turn into something fruitful, I would never find out.

I sighed, fastened my seat-belt and looked outside the window. It was a marvelous evening. I forced my eyes in front of me. The stewards were demonstrating the safety rules again. The flight started moving. This time, without one of my protagonists. “It’s just a 55 minute flight to Coimbatore. I won’t miss my entertainment factor that much”, I thought as I opened my novel once again… 

New Age Love

I, luckily, live in the corner most room on the top floor of my hostel which means that all the girls circle around my room chit-chatting with their boyfriends for hours as the corridor in front of my room provides both privacy and hard-to-catch mobile signals.

Due to my inability to do some constructive work the other day, I started staring outside my door at the entertaining scene beyond and my mind started to chase a train of thought that I initially thought was utterly useless. It was something like this….

Relationships today, base themselves and blossom upon the new age phenomenon of Facebook, message chats and prepaid mobile services which consequentially lead to night time calling vouchers, call rate discounts and what not but it is all a part of make-believe virtual world where reality is long gone by.

The truth is that the kind of intimacy that two people can experience just after a few meets, it can never come through even a thousand message chats  or talking over the phone for three to four hours each day.

I see my friends confused about what kind of relationship they really have. Its difficult now to decide upon what true love is.

In yester years, lovers didn’t talk much but experienced eternal love; they experienced eternal joy in just a few moments of togetherness. Today, short message services are far easier than beautiful dialogues. I am, believe it or not, a believer of this old school kind of love. The thing that I have noticed in everybody is that the so called gen X does not surrender itself to its feelings and emotions and hence fail to experience the wondrous magic of deep love and attachment that comes from it. True love is slowly dying, it seems.

Practicality has become the new antonym of love in recent times.

I also fail to understand why today’s youth pays so much heed to Facebook (which is a huge culprit in bringing about this new kind of romance). Just a few minutes ago, my room-mate was complaining in her typical tone “This guy is sending me friend requests again and again, all from different accounts; this friend did not comment on my photo, that’s really bad; I got 25 likes on my recent picture”. Youth is so engrossed in the activities on their “wall” that they forget to live and love in the actual world. Love is care, contentment, wonder and growth; all entwined together to become a unique and satisfying feeling radiating infinite happiness and joy.

I really wish to witness at least one example of that old school romance here in my college where there is ever-pursuing eagerness and surprises, that display of toothy, broad grin on catching just a glimpse of the one you love and a couple that compliments and completes each other both emotionally and intellectually. These things were a commonplace once but are now seldom seen in this fast world of break-ups and patch-ups.

Welcome to the new era of virtual world and virtual relationships!!

Please note: Yours truly has been single all her life, thus she writes without much experience… 😉