Friday, 27 June, 2014


Have been a mom for just over two years now - 'just' seems an inappropriate word here! :)) Ask my mom and she says - He is only 2.. and you have only one child - what are you talking about! :P

Even now when I meet people they ask so how has life changed?!? Well - the usual - my life now revolves around the 'Son' of my Universe! That's how I always wanted it to be. So absolutely no regrets - loving every moment.

Has it been easy – oh absolutely not! It's been a roller coaster ride - tons of ups and downs. Moments of trepidation, dubiety and consternation. But even at the most nerve wracking instants there is one primal sentiment – that of unconditional love. Never had I fathomed that I could love someone so much. Sometimes I don't even know how much – the definition keeps changing every now and then.

And then – there have been moments of pure joy – the first smile, first step, the babble, hugs, kisses, giggles, incessant chatter, stories, chasing butterflies, rolling on the bed, cushion fights, hide-n-seek, reading books, mamma and baby 'gappe' time, making a mess and then cleaning the 'mess' together, bath time, play time, dance time.. this time and that time.. most of the time and all the time.. wakey time to bed time! :)

And to all the times to come - BRING IT ON!!!

Ta da.. look who's back!!

Blog to me - Hey 2 year old Momma - long time no how have you been! 

Me to blog - Well.. missed you :) Feels good to be back!!!

Tuesday, 10 November, 2009

When all you need is...

Sometimes you might have a bad day.. or week.. maybe you said something which hurt someone dear.. or did something stupid.. or worse still.. did not do something you were supposed to do.. when you feel hell has broken lose.. when life seems topsy turvy.. nothing seems to be going your way.. you feel like a loser.. a good for nothing.. when tears stroll down your cheeks.. and your face flushes with embarrassment.. all you really need is.. A HUG! A soft voice to say 'It'll be ok!'.. and suddenly your world seems less gloomy.. your path less steep.. you can see the sun beyond the looming clouds.. yes.. all you need.. is a hug! :)

Sunday, 28 December, 2008

Dream dream dream...

Dreams… Ambitions… Goals… How important are these in one’s life? When I delve into my childhood, I am unable to recount if I ever had a dream – either to become Ms. Universe, or the most famous business woman, or to have a huge doll house all to myself, or to live in the clouds, or to walk on the moon! I was [still am!] a happy child, content with life, doing things I enjoyed and doing them with earnestness and to the best of my ability.

Would my life be different if I had a cherished dream? Would I have chosen a different path? Would I be more focused and driven? Well… May or may not be! I would really never know how life would be in a tangential continuum! I can only talk about life right here, right now. I believe in destiny. What will be – will be! Every person follows a different path to fulfill his/her destiny. I live one day at a time and embrace what life throws at me. There are some who defy life and challenge their destiny to follow their dreams. Do they manage to break free from the vicious circle… Or is it a futile exercise? Each to his own!

I believe that all paths lead to the same result. Trails are subject to choice, the outcome is not. So… Do I lack ambition, a purpose in life? It has been a long drawn out subject of self debate. My take on this – I am ambitious, but in a unique way! I aspire to spread joy, touch people with the warmth of love, live each day as if it were my last… And trust me – I live my dream every single day! What more can I yearn for? Sweet dreams… :-)

Wednesday, 12 November, 2008

Change… the ultimate truth!

I was reading a book ‘Not without my daughter’ which is a story of a woman’s struggle for freedom. It was a deeply compelling book… but as always my mind went galloping on another tangent altogether – Change!

Change is omnipotent… ubiquitous… all-encompassing! It touches each one of us in more than one way. Be it a variation, modification, revolution, conversion, amendment, transformation… It can be in any form, of varying magnitude… but it is the ultimate universal truth whether we accept it or not.

Sometimes (actually most of the time!) it frightens me… what if I wake up tomorrow morning to find my parents don’t love me anymore? What if my friends don’t need me anymore? What if my children start hating me? What if I become evil? What if I don’t have faith in my beliefs any more? What if I lose my self respect? What if I die tomorrow? What if… … …

As I fret over these apprehensions, my body and soul burn with anxiety! My ‘what ifs’ are infinite… I can spend a lifetime brooding over them and still have more to mull over! So why do I put myself through it? WHY??

We change, people around us change, circumstances change, perceptions change, beliefs change – the only thing common is ‘change’! When change is preordained, why all the fuss? What is, is… and what will be, will be! I don’t know what will happen tomorrow… but I know for a fact what I have today! Irrespective of the indeterminate future, I truly cherish and treasure my life TODAY!

I know what is today may or may not be there tomorrow. This realization keeps me prepared for what life throws at me in the future… but that does not stop me from relishing this very moment of my life which is so full of love and hope! Hope floats over the sea of change…yes... Hope floats! :)

Wednesday, 30 July, 2008

Similar yet so different!

London – capital city of the United Kingdom… brimming with people from all across the globe. A city of hope and aspirations, of dreams and expectations. It resonates with the pain of the despondent, dances with the smile of a new born, swings to the sound of church bells ringing in a distance. So many people, so much energy, so much life… and yet it is surrounded by an aura of lonesomeness, a sense of distance even in close proximity, a feeling of isolation amidst a horde of people!

New Delhi – capital city of India… a city which belongs to the millionaire driving the latest sports car in CP as much as it belongs to the person singing ‘Chuski le lo’ at the ‘Lovely’ chuski center opposite India Gate. Stark contrasts, blatant differences and yet a sense of belonging… of empathy… of togetherness.

Two cities – so similar yet so different! Fathom this – peak time – a crowded train – one with grim people avoiding even a slight glance at their fellow passengers… looking either at the ceiling or at each other’s feet with eyes which seem to be engulfed in an unspoken grief. Not a word… not even something which qualifies as a smile – as if fighting the human urge to acknowledge each other’s existence.

Peak time – five and a half hours later – half way across the globe. A similar train… filled with people… some who are busy gaping at a pretty lass who just entered… or two strangers discussing similarities between Hillary vs Obama and Mayawati vs Manmohan Singh… a group of friends abusing each other as though they’re ready to tear each other apart! An aged lady insisting that a young mother with two infants take her seat…

Disparate people from different walks of life… forced into each other’s company during that one hour commute. It is amazing to experience how people can warm up to each other and reach out… create that one inch of extra space to accommodate one more person… or give unsolicited advice to a complete stranger!

Life here is a spicy mix of abundance in scarcity, hope in despair. I am free to plant a kiss on the cheek of a tiny toddler… to take her in my arms and tell her the story of how a crow flew to heaven to have a chat with God! Yes… it feels great to be back… away from the orderly life, from the onset on rain sans the sweet smell of moist soil, from the pressure to look good no matter how hollow your life maybe! I love my world of chaos, of unruly drivers, of pushing and pulling, of haggling and abusing… but more than anything else… I love my freedom of a ‘kiss’!!! :) Muaaaah!!

Sunday, 6 January, 2008

A trek through life...

A warm sunny day

A long winding path

A song on my lips

A bag on my back

I tread on… alone

Where to? What for?

For the journey has no end

No purpose, no goal…

The path is the destination

And the destination is the path

And so I tread on… and on… and…

As I walk along the twists and turns

I unearth, I explore, I ponder

Each moment a learning

Every lesson a blessing

Which in my bag I gather.

At the end of the day

I say a little prayer

For those who care

And touch my life in their own special way.

God bless!!

As the sun shines down on the wood

I gather my memoirs

And wrap them with as much love as I could

The path is the destination

And the destination is the path

And so I tread on… and on… and… ALONE.

Friday, 4 January, 2008

A tribute to my sweetheart… CALVIN!

Calvin - "To make a bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible."
JJ - I so know what you’re talking about here Calvin :-) But sometimes if you wish hard enough….

Calvin - "Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless."
JJ - Ah… bliss!

Calvin - "If you do the job badly enough, sometimes you don't get asked to do it again."
JJ - Tell me about it!!! Love to do it all the time… but work still manages to find me!!

Calvin - "Reality continues to ruin my life."
JJ - This one is my favourite!! Let me be in JJ world… no… don’t wake me up!! Noooooooooooo!!!

Calvin - "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."
JJ - LOL!! Yeah I guess that’s true… hmmm… but why not eliminate us lesser mortals! Hope they are not reading this!! :-)

Calvin - "I hate to think that all my current experiences will someday become stories with no point."
JJ - Actually they might become prophecies of great insight and divine knowledge. Well… I said might!!!

Calvin - "Childhood is short, maturity is forever."
JJ – Well… imagine mature kids!!!

Calvin - "In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks."
JJ – Well… if I ever enter politics… I have my agenda all set!!

Calvin - "People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world."
JJ – Ah… no wonder!! :-)

Calvin - "You know how Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
JJ – Well Calvin guess what… mine are gonna be the worst ever!!!

Calvin - "I keep forgetting that rules are for little nice people."
JJ – Which I am NOT!!! :-) Well… not little or not nice… keep guessing!!!

Calvin - "There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want."
JJ - I am already running on overtime!!

Calvin - "Reading goes faster if you don't sweat comprehension."
JJ - There… another mystery solved… How to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 1 hour!!

Calvin - "In my opinion, television validates existence."
JJ - This is Aditi’s topic for her thesis! :-)

Calvin - "The secret to happiness is short-term, stupid self-interest!"
JJ - Why do you think I am always so happy???

Calvin - "True friends are hard to come by...I need more money."
JJ - At this rate I am never gonna have any!!

Little Moments Of Joy

- by Barry Kingsley

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. It was a cowboy’s life, a life for someone who wanted no boss. What I didn’t realize was that it was also a ministry.

Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a moving confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and told me about their lives. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, made me laugh and weep.

But none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night.

I was responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partiers, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory for the industrial part of town.

When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said.

I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”

“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. “I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You have to make a living,” she answered.

“There are other passengers,” I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient at the end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware–beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said …but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Monday, 24 December, 2007



22nd December 2007

A last minute decision… a flurry of activity… and we were off. Almost missed our 4:45am train from Paddington… whew! When we got on board we sighed in relief. We were on our way!! :-)

We reached Oxford in approximately 1 hour 40 minutes. The town was fast asleep… the scene was incredibly dreamy. Mist, trees, Victorian houses… ah! Exquisite… We took a hop on and off tourist bus. The tickets had 2 options – Child / Student / Adult… hehe! When Aditi asked for 2 tickets she said – 1 student and 1…. …. …. Non-student! LOL!!! :-)

There was a Malaysian girl in the bus. She was studying in Portsmouth. We got chatting and she joined us on our Oxford expedition. She was a cute girl called Angel… a 21 year old student. She was wearing stockings and shorts!!! Man… it was freezing cold… brrrrr… as we got down the bus and walked towards our first destination she started shivering… we had to buy her socks and leggings!! :-)

We saw many places of interest… but some of them had intriguing stories… like Queens College… centuries ago there was a student who was reading an Aristotle book in the woods. He was attacked by a wild boar… the student shoved the Aristotle book down the boar’s throat… Aristotle is difficult for the brightest people to swallow… and as expected the boar chocked! From that day every year a head of a boar with an Aristotle book in between his teeth is carried in a plate all through the college!

Then we saw Christ Church. A part of this college is used during the shooting of Harry Potter! It’s a beautiful place… sprawling lawns… hmmmmmmmm…. :-) Another piece of interesting trivia was Bodleian Library. It is the only library which is entitled to receive a copy of every book printed in UK. The library has 10,00,000 miles of rack space and the books are transported through an underground rail system!!! Wow… Radcliff camera (designed by Sir Christopher Wren who designed St. Paul’s Cathedral in London) is one of the reading rooms belonging to the library.

Yep… I know you’re tired of reading… but some more to come!! :-) The famous St. Martin’s church… it was brought down as it was not safe. The only part left behind was Carfax tower… Looking at it reminded me of Rapunzel!!! hehe… We climbed up the winding staircase… the view on top was amazing! Then we went to Alice’s Shop… this is where Alice Linddell (Alice in Wonderland fame) bought her barley sweets… It’s a quaint store with trivia and souvenirs. Numerous tales relating to Alice and her friends are displayed everywhere…

We planned to return by the 22:08 train. As we waited at the station, an alcoholic came and sat on the table next to ours. He looked up at me and said “Women love chocolates don’t they…” I said yes… he came up to me and gave me a big packet of dairy milk chocolates! He was drunk and started chatting… in the beginning I was weary of his questions… then I realized that he was a very lonely person who was thriving on security money… the Govt was actually paying him to drink! And he was fighting with himself to quit alcohol but was anxious because he would lose his only source of income! Well… he went on and on how he wanted to help poor children in India and Africa… I was like “Dude! Help yourself first… and why do you want to come to India… there’s lots to do here!!”

I went up to the café to pick up a hot chocolate… the guy asked me – “So you’re from Spain??” I just smiled and said “India”… he looked at me and then looked at his Indian colleague and said pointing to me “This is not India” Then he tugged at his colleague and said – “This is India!” :-)

Well… this is one trip which I will remember for all the interesting stories and the fascinating people I met… :-) Just the last story… hehe… cannot resist writing this – Our train left Oxford at 22:08pm. We were so tired that both of us slept… At 23:08 the train stopped at one of the stations… I looked out to see the name of the station but could not… I asked Aditi and she did not know… I thought it’s just 11:08 so slept again… a few girls entered the train. Luckily I happened to ask them the station name and they said “Paddington”!!! Both Aditi and I ran out… :-) We realized if we had continued to sleep we would back in Oxford!!! And here ends our excursion… we’re back home exhausted and sleepy but very content and extremely happy!

Thursday, 15 November, 2007

Just Love

What is love… We can ponder over it for ages… but do we really need an answer? Love is a word which cannot be delineated by a definition… it is an emotion which needs to be felt in the esoteric corners of the subconscious. It frees the soul… and binds it at the same time! Love exhilarates, delights, tickles, beguiles, fulfills and enlivens the spirit. You begin to love yourself and the world around you… your existence is clouded by a miasma of euphoria. You see beauty in all creations around, in the chaste smile of a child, in the dew drops on blossoms, in the birds, trees, meadows, and the hills.

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 - 8 year-olds: "What does love mean?"

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."
Tommy, age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
Terri, age 4

"Love is when you go out to eat and you give somebody most of your french fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy, age 6

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby, age 7

"Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine, age 5

"Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
Chris, age 7

Sometimes we should just listen to children banter… They talk so much more sense than any of us! God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. It's our choice to listen or not. Open your heart… let it imbue with the magnificence of this ineffable emotion.

Saturday, 13 October, 2007


London School of Economics and Political Science… Well, what more can I say :-) Over 8000 students spread over 175 courses!

My class has 194 students

Average age: 24 yrs… Most students are freshers… I guess I am amongst the eldest (there are a few ppl who are 38 too!!!)

Countries represented: 40

Out of 194, 23 are Indians - the maximum representation from a single country! Next comes Greece with 21!

I am still in the process of getting to know people… So I just have acquaintances right now… no friends! (Yes… I am missing all my friends back home… sometimes it’s weird! I realize life has moved on for everyone else back home… but maybe I am just not willing to let go!)

I’ve had classes since I don’t know when! 7 days a week… 6 hours a day! It’s very taxing. But on the flip side – it’s challenging and the sky is the limit to what you can learn… it’s just upto you! Few of the students try and flaunt their limited knowledge but finally just land up becoming laughing stocks. Like this one guy who got up and said “Sir you have written 2x… shouldn’t the answer be 2x+0?” DUH!!!! I felt like getting up and banging his head against the wall… (well… don’t worry about the poor guy! I did not do anything…)

One thing I have noticed that people get very self centered… I feel like I’m alone amidst a horde of people! I am sure everyone will be diagnosed with multiple personality disorder! The infinite number of facades will put Ravan to shame J It’s a rat race – jobs, grades are the cheese. Watching everyone run helter-skelter, trampling over others in order to get ahead of the swarm… just to be trampled over by someone else, never fails to amuse me!

At one point of time I was frustrated… did not know how to react… was so bogged down by the milieu… But very soon I realized that my frustration was so futile… Suddenly I was at peace with myself and the world around me! Luckily I have a world outside the rut… every evening I come back to a place I call home… a small cosy place which envelops me with a lot of warmth and drives away all my anxiety!

Everyone asks me if I want to work here… Truly speaking, it’s a tussle! The head says to stay back, atleast to earn back the money dad has invested in me… the heart pulls me towards home… l have always believed that the heart never lies! But right now I really don’t know where life is headed! As always I am sure God will just point me in the right direction… just waiting for his sign :-)

I finally caught a cold! hehe… and I felt “Yeh to hona hi tha!!” Yes, I have picked up a trifling flavour of the local lingo… It’s just a lot of fun! Aditi and I break into peels of laughter as we speak to each other “Yes Darling”… or “No my love” or “No worries” or “lovvvvely”!

I read something during my 40 minute train journey… currently reading “Kite Runner”… amazing book (thanks for the gift Deepu!) I guess my facial expressions convey the story to my fellow travelers… I have caught many people giving me weird looks!! :-) Overall I have settled in as much as I ever can… studying hard, trying to gain as much as I can! Yes, I do feel lonely… but I guess it’s quite an expected sentiment… so as the Brits say “No worries!” :-)

Sunday, 30 September, 2007

29.09.07 –Saturday:


It’s been 4 grueling days… Aditi (my roomie) and I are exasperated! Our routine has been – an early morning, a quick shower, a heavy breakfast, walk to the tube station, travel the lengths and breadths of London, approach estate agents, watch them smirk at our budget, be shown the door, look out for the next agent… a vicious circle! A typical conversation goes like this –

Agent – “Hello there!”
JJ – “Good morning/evening” (depending on the time of-course!)
Agent – “How can I help you?”
JJ – “We want to rent a 2 bedroom apartment.”
Agent – “What’s your budget like?”
JJ – “250 pounds a week”
Agent – With a genuinely flabbergasted look - “Uuuuh.. Sorry ladies, I am afraid we don’t have any at the moment. I must say, it’ll be very difficult to find one in that sort of budget. Maybe you can leave your contact details and we will get back to you in case something comes up… What’s your name and telephone number?”
JJ – “Its J-Y-O-T-I, xxxxxxxxxx” (note that “zero” is called “O”)
Agent – “Ah! And how do you pronounce it?”
JJ – “Jyoti”
Agent – “Oh ok… So it’s jotiiiii… Great! Bye bye…”

It was the same script over and over again! (Of-course later both Aditi and I had a hullabaloo emulating the Brit accent, but at that moment it was frustrating!) We met over 40 agents in 4 days… one of the days we split to cover different areas simultaneously… walked more than 4 hours everyday… braved the cold and the rain… only to feel disheartened and disconcerted every time!

By Saturday we had identified 3 properties in 3 different parts of London! We had prepared a checklist of things to observe while viewing a property – one of them being that there should not be any council homes near by (council homes are Govt provided accommodation for the homeless)

We left home at 9 am on a rare sunny morning. We reached Surrey Quays (pronounced as Surrey keys) at 9:30. As we walked with our agent towards the apartment we inquired if there were any council homes nearby. He showed us a bright red building and identified it to be one. We were quite surprised as it looked neat and well maintained! And then as we turned into the building where we were supposed to stay, both Aditi and I were horror struck! It was a dilapidated building with paint peeling off everywhere, cigarette butts strewn all over the staircase, no hint of any kind of security system, creepy looking people walking here and there. The entire area reverberated with negative vibes and I just shuddered at the thought of living there! We knocked the door of a second floor apartment but no one opened the door. The agent called the landlady and asked her to get the keys. We waited long-sufferingly till she came and opened the door for us. The place was more of a mess than a house! As we climbed towards the bedrooms, it suddenly dawned upon me that the tenants were actually there inside! The landlady knocked at the door and one of the doors opened… I was too repulsed to even take a peep!! (Later Aditi told me that the guy inside was doped and had waist long hair with his entire body tattooed!) The agent asked us if we liked the place…. LIKED?????? For the love of God!!! I tried very hard to keep a straight face… but I am sure I had a look which said “Oh… I love the place as much as Bush loves Osama!!! Duh!” Anyways – bottom line is that both Aditi and I fled for our lives… literally… we RAN!!! (In case you have not figured yet… it was a council home waiting to be re-furbished!!! hehehe!!)

Luckily, by the end of the day we found our home! Ah… it was such a relief! We hugged and chortled and giggled and behaved like 2 preposterous asinine school girls… but who cared! We were just euphoric… to hell with what the world makes of us!

Looking back at entire ordeal, I can’t help but smile! Through all the thick and thin, it was a whole lot of fun… The whole pendulum of emotions… the peaks of anxiety tempered with our faith in God and the support of friends and family… It all seems worthwhile! We got to travel extensively all across London and see places which we would have never visited otherwise! Each area has a different feel… from Victorian houses to modern day blocks of concrete, small shops along the roadside to colossal shopping malls – we doused ourselves in the sights and sounds of London. And as we learnt from our bloopers and inanity, we landed up finding a home as well as finding each other!

25.09.07 – Tuesday – 3:00 pm:


As soon as I landed in London, all I felt was homesick… wanted to go back home to my parents, my brother, my friends, my home, my city, my country, my people, my food!

As I walked on the streets experiencing the various sights and sounds… I felt alien. Like I did not belong there… well… I did not! It was my first day… One look around and I saw such vagaries! Sitting side by side are 2 Chinese, 1 Japanese, 1 Korean, 2 Blacks, 1 Indian, and a white… whew! Felt like the cosmos being reduced to 1 city – London!

Not that I was unaware that London is an expensive city… but man!!! Expensive is an under-statement… especially since I was not earning… I felt so so guilty for every pound I paid! My apartment was in the heart of London just behind London Bridge… the rent was 700 pounds a WEEK!! FREAK….

Did not experiment too much with food… was more comfortable cooking… It felt good… just like back home… making rotis and dal chawal… I guess cooking just soothed my nerves!

Londoners (that’s what I call em!) have a common sense of dressing – BORING! Black, white, blue, grey, cream… with maybe a red jacket thrown in… I felt great with my bright pink T-shirt! Women wear amazingly stylish clothes… but for me style without comfort is no style at all! High heels, boots, stilettos… and London is a walking city… don’t know how the knees and the backs survive! (Btw I wear socks and my reebok sandals – just to make things clear!)

Well… a walking city it is! I don’t think I’m gonna spend any time at the gym… I walk walk walk all day! That too with a back pack! Luckily I have someone to talk to otherwise people here are quite quiet walkers! They glance at you and then politely look away… they reply politely when asked a question but otherwise no one intrudes! So they are a bunch of polite people who don’t know how to smile! No wonder they say that the sun never comes out in London!!! Coz no one SMILES!

Sunday, 22 July, 2007

To my best friend...

They say 'Love is rarer than genius... and Friendship is rarer than Love... Friendship is clairvoyant'

Its quite amazing! Just the other day I happened to have this conversation with a friend - about memories... they're like 'forever friends'! One can dredge up and relive all those moments gone by... the ecstatic, excruciating, vulnerable, perplexed, livid, invidious, gratifying, poignant and inane flashes which encapsulate our entire lives!

This is to my best friend... A song which translates what my heart feels for you. And no matter where you are... I will be two steps behind you - always. Missing you...

Def Leppard’s “Two steps behind”

Walk away if you want to
It's okay if you need to
Well you can run but you can never hide
From the shadow that's creeping up beside you
There's a magic running through your soul
But you can't have it all

Whatever you do - I’ll be two steps behind you
Wherever you go - and I’ll be there to remind you
That it only takes a minute of your precious time
To turn around, I’ll be two steps behind

Take the time to think about it
Walk the line, you know you just can't fight it
Take a look around, you'll see what you can find
Like the fire that's burnin' up inside me
And there's a magic running through your soul
But you can't have it all, no

Whatever you do - I’ll be two steps behind you
Wherever you go - and I’ll be there to remind you
That it only takes a minute of your precious time
To turn around, I’ll be two steps behind

Monday, 16 July, 2007

My forever friends!

Sometimes in life,
you find a special friend;
Someone who changes your life
just by being part of it.
Someone who makes you laugh
until you can't stop;
Someone who makes you believe
that there really is good in the world.
Someone who convinces you
that there really is an unlocked door
just waiting for you to open it.
This is Forever Friendship.
When you're down,
and the world seems dark and empty,
Your forever friend lifts you up in spirit
and makes that dark and empty world
suddenly seem bright and full.
Your forever friend gets you through
the hard times, the sad times,
and the confused times.
If you turn and walk away,
your forever friend follows.
If you lose your way,
your forever friend guides you
and cheers you on.
Your forever friend holds your hand
and tells you that
everything is going to be okay.
And if you find such a friend,
you feel happy and complete,
because you need not worry.
You have a forever friend for life,
and forever has no end.

Sunday, 15 July, 2007

Mom's the world!

I am dispensable… and no matter how hard I try to refute this fact, it remains – well… a fact! There is just one person in this whole wide world who can disprove this statement, who can care for me till the end of the world, who can wage a war against the entire universe for me, who can pick me up when I fall – look at my sullied face and say “I love you” - and that person is my mother.

She is the one person who can stand by me when my world is falling apart, who can hold me in the palms of her hand when all and sundry shun me, in whose gentle embrace I can experience God. To everyone else I am a being – a friend, an acquaintance, a classmate, a fellow dweller on this planet! But to her – I am her life, her cosmos! I embody her dreams, her desires… I am an extension of her existence!

Mom – you have infused me with your “unconditional love”. All I can say in return is – “I love you too”.

This one is just for you!

I appreciate the many prayers you’ve whispered

during the worse moments of my life,

and the many hopes for my success in all that I dreamed of.

I appreciate the kind wishes that would make me so happy

and the gentle words of encouragement

that were meant to strengthen my quests.

I appreciate the moments of sorrow you experienced

during my failures, and the little gestures of kindness

that always made me feel better.

I appreciate your acceptance, your ability to understand,

and the sincere friendship

that always gave me such security.

I appreciate the wisdoms of all the lessons you taught,

and the meaning behind the words “unconditional love”

I appreciate all you’ve done – every word and gesture.

I know you’ve been the best there is –

A mother beyond all compare.

For all you’ve done… thank you, MOM.

For all that you are… I LOVE YOU.

Wednesday, 11 July, 2007

Rain - Chicken Soup for the soul!

I am walking down the road… well yes… I agree with you, nothing exhilarating about it! Its just one of the mundane things I do everyday! I walk on – looking yet not really looking. And then… I see it! A sudden bolt of lightening flashes across the sky and ends in a twinkle in my eye. I breathe it, I feel it, its almost there – well, almost! And behold… here it comes! Pitter patter pitter patter… RAIN!!!

I see the raindrops – falling to the ground in an unremitting deluge. Drops of water following each other from the edge of a lady’s umbrella while she is trying in vain to protect her infant from the mizzle, from the fingertips of a toddler holding on to his mother’s hand as she walks ahead braving the barrage… water water everywhere!

I look up at the heavens and feel the rain plummet on my face. At that moment – time stands still. It’s just me and the cosmos. I stretch out my arms and experience the unity. My sorrows, my tears, my inhibitions, my fears, my prejudices, my disappointments are all washed away. The raindrops fall on my body, soak in and find their way to my soul. I am doused with joy and serenity. I feel liberated, rejuvenated.

As I stand there – I don’t hear the screeching of buses, the clamor of the people scurrying for shelter, the scrambling, the rumbling, the chaos… I just hear God’s melody. I hear my heart beat. In all the disarray I discover myself!

I open my eyes. There is a huge puddle of water right in front of me. I look at the world around me with the innocuous eyes of a child and then – hop… skip… jump… SPLASH!

Thursday, 21 June, 2007

Realm of Choicelessness...

All men and women are born,

live suffer and die;

what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams,

whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things,

and what we do to make them come about…

We do not choose to be born.

We do not choose our parents.

We do not choose our historical epoch,

the country of our birth,

or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing,

We do not,

most of us,

choose to die;

nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death.

But within this realm of Choicelessness...

we do choose how we LIVE!!

A Kaleidoscope of Faces

Everyday while traveling to and fro

I see so many faces,

At definite time, definite intervals,

Definite corners, definite places!!

So many faces I see-

That over –made up face,

that one, continuously tensed up

And that one, without a trace…

of anxiety or fear!!

That face always in a hurry,

And that cool and slow face

Without any worry!

That over-confident ‘egoistic’ face

And that face with a guilty look,

That bespectacled face whose life

Must be only in the pages of the book!

Innocent faces, quarreling and playing

With loads of books, water bags, tiffins and carrying,

Tensions only when

The exams are nearing…

That old face full of nostalgia

And those twinkling eyes full of dreams…

Stern faces, soft faces,

Faces full of powders and creams..

Each face has a different ‘outlook’

Each one has a different ‘aim’,

But despite the variation

Their destination is the same!!

Each must be having the same intentions

Of not getting lost in this crowd, this mess,

And of reaching such a level where it won’t remain

Just a mere face!!!