Friday, September 6, 2013

The land of singing waves...

It was on an impulse that I decided to do a bit of travelling alone. What I wanted was a perfect weekend getaway, It was by chance I hit on Neemrana hotel’s “Bungalow on the beach” and that led me to Tranquebar. After a quick look up about the place and its history, I knew this was it.We have always heard about the French history in Pondicherry, but rarely heard of the little Denmark that’s left behind in this coastal land of Nagapattinam, whose history dates back to the 14th Century.
A bit on the geography!Tranquebar (for the Danes)/ Tharangambadi (for Tamils), is located on the Coromandel Coast in the Nagapattinam District in Tamil Nadu. With its pristine beauty and perennial charm this Danish –British heritage colony easily makes it to must see place (especially if you live at Chennai). Karaikal is the closest town, so a bus/train towards Karaikal and then a town bus from Karaikal would get you to Tranquebar. One could also drive down the ECR , cross Pondichery and head towards Karaikal. Takes about 6 hours from Chennai.

Time for some history! Back in the 17th century inspired by the enormous revenues that were produced in the initial ventures of the British and Dutch trading companies, the Danish monarch too wanted to play a dominant role in the world trade. So this led to the birth of Danish East India Company. The Tanjore king then Ragunatha Nayak, and the Dane King signed a treaty by which the Danes were given permission to erect a fortress at Tranquebar (the Dansborg Fort). The fort served as the capital of the Danish trade. During its heyday the Danes had made huge profits by exporting tea, spices (pepper and cloves), cotton etc. Later in the 19th century the British attacked the Danish shipping and devastated the Danish east India Company’s India trade.   Ultimately the British took possession of the Danish colonies making them part of British India. Tranquebar was a busy port until the new railway lines to Nagapattinam emerged.
What to do at Tranquebar??
Masilamani nathar a Shiva temple is the oldest monument that remains till date. It was built in the  Pandian period. It is said that part of the temple is submerged in the sea, whatever of it is remaining is all restored now. I had seen old pictures of the temple; I prefer the untouched version to the colorful one(&a crowded one ).
Dansborg Fort undoubtedly is my favorite spot, the Fort which boasts of its Danish architecture. An interesting place for photographers and is quite picturesque with a sea facing corridor. The warehouse in the fort was later used as a Prison. Today it still smells of a dark past.
King’s street, Queen’s street, Goldsmith’s street, Admiral street…….
In the 18th century two Lutherans from Germany had set foot in Tranquebar to spread the gospel. Since Lutheranism spread to great extent in India from here Tranquebar is also called. Bartholomaeus Ziegebalg was one of them, you can find his statue at the entrance of this town. He holds a special place in the hearts of the people who live at Tranquebar as  well as the Danes who often visit Tranquebar. He was the first to translate the holy bible into Tamil and also started the first printing press. The press is now just a small house and I doubt if it functions. But it is open for visitors. Given the history it is no surprise the king’s street houses the first Zion church, a spiritual center, a Jerusalem church. Walk down these streets to find some colourful homes built the olden way instead of  the morden type compact house, the European architecture houses and also a mosque on the way.  The goldsmith’s street has some splendid Tamil houses built the karaikudi style. This street is now property of ‘best sellers, guregaon’ who are now in the process of restoring these houses as a part of heritage conservation Initiative. There is also a Post Office street where a really old Post office is still functional. There are many houses to visit too Governor's house, Raleigh's house and so on..

Ozone rich beach
Walk a little further down from the temple and you would find the rock beach..I preferred this to the crowded sand beach. Except  for a few fishermen and their children flying kites, this place is ignored by most. Tranquebar is known to have the thickest Ozone layer in India, so no better place to rejuvenate.
Neemrana Hotel
They are quite famous for their heritage hotels. They have properties all over India, going by the pictures I loved their Rajasthan property. At Tranquebar they own ‘Bunglow on the beach’ (BOB)which was once a grandiose governor house. It is renovated and still has a grandeur effect. Their pool is to die for. It’s an extravagant treat to have your rooms faving the beach on one side and the Danish fort on the other. (room rent starts from 5k to 6k)
Closer to the town gate (the entrance to this town) they have another property called the gate house, I loved this property for its glamorous Tamil house style of architecture. Their rooms are more spacious, king style I would say. The rooms are named after districts on Tamil Nadu. I liked Tanjore the best. (room rent starts from 4k to 5k)
Another property of theirs is ‘Tamil Nadu hotel’. Just opposite to BOB. One can choose to stay here and use all the facilities at the BOB. You need to book in advance if you want to stay here. Easily affordable at 1k per night, but there is nothing heritage about it.
First Experience as a lone traveler:
When I started from home I had butterflies in my stomach. I have never gone away on a trip alone. Travelling yes but not exploring a new place. So I was anxious about what I was about to experience, guilty about not letting my husband know about this little adventure of mine, and bubbling with a child-like excitement for doing something that I have been waiting to do forever.
The journey was just fine. Thanks to sites like ‘travelyaari’ that allows single female passengers to book only next to another female passenger. No awkward moments there.
Safety is a big concern given the times we live in, and so a trip that could have been a budget trip came heavy on my pocket. I had to stay at the Bungalow on the Beach, their pocket friendly hotel “Tamilnadu hotel” was more of a lodge. A special note to their staff, they were extremely helpful and were happy to be around for any assistance.
Ofcourse I did sense curious pairs of eyes tracking all my motions. Some ladies came up to me and wanted to know from which town I was, why I was travelling on my own, they wanted to know if I have parents , if I am married, why I wore no signs of marriage like the toe ring, or sindoor? After this first round of interrogation I decided I will tell them I am here on some work maybe that would put their questions to rest.
After going to all of the places(mentioned in detail above) I headed back to the Bunglow. The staff told me I shouldn’t miss the verandah of theirs in the first floor that faces the beach, so I went up there. There was a mystic silence to the night, and the cool wind added to the magic. And it really was a lovely sight to look up at the skies filled with stars, exactly the way we see in fairy tales..Was stunning to see so many stars..I realized I had a great day walking down those colorful streets, exploring on my own and I had some nice pictures to remind me of this little adventure of mine. And after an hour I decided it was time I returned to my home. I had experienced what I was seeking and there was nothing more left.
I went down to announce my decision of checking out early. The manager had already left home and had asked the staff boys to handle the check out formalities. These boys weren't familiar with the card machine and so I had to pay in Cash. I was short of some money and requested someone to drive me to the ATM. I didn't want to be late for my bus , but only when I went out I realized there is no way I could have gone by walk. The streets were pitch dark, no street lights, not even lights from the houses. We reached the ATM only to find there was no cash in it to dispense. This was the only ATM in this place. We had to travel to the nearest town Poriyar. I sat on the bike and went ahead, after a while a sudden thought crept my mind. How can I trust this complete stranger whose name I did not even know. Except for the hotel staff nobody knew I was here with him. We were on a narrow road with fields on one side and canal on the other, in this deserted pitch dark road it wouldn't be a task if he decides to harm me. I tugged the pen knife I had a little more tighter and had hoped the guy doesn't decide to have some fun. I was too preoccupied and contemplating what would happen, to enjoy the drive. After drawing cash from the ATM my next worry was what if he tries to rob me. But we got back alright.. He seemed a nice guy after all..I thanked him and paid my bill , took a taxi to the Karaikal bus stand and boarded my bus that was going to bring me back home safely.
Would I do it again? Maybe if I mastered a martial art and was sure I can wriggle out of any danger. Just maybe..But one must try to travel alone, it’s a soulful refuge and you may discover yourself a bit more! Tranquebar would always hold a special place in my heart, the beautiful fort ,the bright blue sea , the beautiful houses I visited ,the stunning skies filled with stars will all be cherished for a long time to come...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Living Dead

Kerala-God’s own country. That is how tourists worldwide know it. But, sometimes, names can be really misleading. Take for instance, this area in Kasaragod district. It is called Swarga. In Hindi and Malayalam, Swarga means Heaven. Nothing could be more ironical. This is no heaven. This is a place famous for Cashew plantations. Those who live here and in hamlets around the cashew plantations in the state feel they have died many deaths. Swarga is plagued by disease and tragedy.
Why? For 26 long years, the government-owned Plantation Corporation of Kerala aerially sprayed a pesticide called Endosulfan in the cashew plantations of kasergoad. Endosulfan is deadly pesticide banned in 33 other countries. As the plantations are in a mountainous area, the pesticide residues settled on the soil and got washed away when it rained into drinking water streams below. Today, villagers who lived close to the plantation are paying the price. Many of them are paralyzed or are seriously ill. Swarga and other villages in Kasaragod district of Kerala have become living examples of how the poison in pesticides could be lethal to our health when used excessively and carelessly. The area is dotted with tragedy struck families battling physical deformities, cancers and disorders of the central nervous system, affects the reproductive system, and apart from deforming people exposed to the insecticide, Endosulfan even attacks neo-natal babies of Padre and Swarg. It not only killed people, the birds disappeared,butterflies and bees were not to be seen,the micro-organisms in the ecosystem ceased to exist-nature was destroyed. A recent survey in 2012 shows 4000 people are seriously ill and 700 deaths are caused due to this drug. 50% of the homes have at least one member physically challenged.
Mohammed Kunhian activist,remembers how he and his classmates used to run out of their classrooms when they heard the sound of the helicopter that was spraying Endosulfan  The spray would settle on their hair and shine in the sun and they would all laugh. “I shudder to think of it now. We used to go and welcome the helicopter pilots and treat them like heroes. We were actually inviting death and disease,”
If you thought kasergod is the only district to use this pesticide then you are wrong. Kerala government did ban the usage of drug in 2005 but since it is readily available in neighboring states, it is easily smuggled into Kerala.It is used all over the country for agricultural purpose-in tea and cotton plantations and many vegetable cultivation too. One of the most toxic pesticides in the market, Endosulfan is a favorite with farmers because it is very effective. India is world’s largest consumer of Endosulfan and largest manufacturer too. Even our less advanced neighbors banned it long ago but our country has failed to do so.
What is really shocking is the apathetic attitude of the central government. At the sixth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee meeting on October 15,2010 in Stockholm, India opposed the ban on Endosulfan. In May 2011 the Supreme court of India had banned the use of this drug but had allowed usage until the stock exhausts. In June 2011 the central government requested the Supreme court to lift the ban from producing Endosulfan because they had raw materials that could produce 4000 tones. And in Nov 2011 the Ban was lifted. When most countries ban this hazardous drug it is clear India’s leaders prefer killing its own people with a pesticide which kills the environment too.
Nothing will be ever be done in India to stop the modern businessman/government from using harmful drugs. Drugs are portrayed by the industry as problem fixers, money savers and profit boosters. They probably are for the businessman – but they also cause hugely undesirable effects in people, animals and the whole ecosystem. The victim of this is not only the farmers and their families – it is also you and me.From the vegetable and fruits we consume to milk, eggs and meat, we consume cancerous causing drugs in small quantities. Everything is adulterated; we pass this on to the next generation through our genes.We give them an unhealthy life and a disastrous environment to live in.
It reminds me of a speech a very small gal gave in a meet for nature conservation held by the UNO. It goes like-“The reality is that if CO2 emissions do not level off within five years then we are almost certainly destined for a six degree temperature increase, run-away climate change, ecosystem collapse and a mass-extinction event. Instead of taking action on this problem what are we doing? We are fighting wars all over the world, planning the next Olympic games, carbon-trading, bailing-out the bankers, worshiping consumerism, developing more weapons, flying, planning the next election, having everything on stand-by, creating super-states, getting drunk, committing crimes, plundering finite physical resources, having more unplanned and unwanted children, praying to the gods of economic growth and having Climate-Change Conferences.In other words: business as usual. Wake up everyone, wake up Governments, there is a BIG problem and it is not going away, it has no respect for empty promises, targets and resolutions.”
Her audience was awe struck; they all applauded her for the speech. In reply she said “It is not for these applaud and appreciation that I am here today. I and my friends want to have a healthy world to live in and I am doing my bit. “
Unfortunately I can’t conclude by saying we have to do our bit with respect to the ban on Endosulfan and other drugs we consume through our diets.Its impossible to change the government and their policies. But yes as for the conservation of nature and environment for the future generations to come we should do our bit and we all have heard of the ways and methods to do so a millions of times before. Let us all do that and not push the world faster than its intended to go into the big black hole it came from.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Burying the hatchet - The End

She was standing in her balcony that overlooks the road; through her teary eyes she saw a blurred vision.  A vision that was three years old. Under the neon lamp post, stood a splashing red car and 4 boys hooting out his name in the early hours of one Dec morning. She stood at the balcony and was sheepishly waving out to him with their friends egging on.  It was a day of joy for he had just proposed her and they had just started their relationship. A relationship that din’t stand the sands of time.

Little did she know then that three years later she would stand in the same balcony and say goodbye to all those visions. Not once but twice. After the tattoo day, they had split and gone their ways. She wept, she fought against temptation, she replayed it all a zillion times in her head,  and when a month later he called her to say he was seeing someone else, she knew it was time to let it go and leave it all behind.

The news did upset her; it was only natural.  For a brief period he had the world at her feet, he treated her with royalty, she felt special, when he told her every time she mentioned a guy he would get possessive but would never express it, she felt loved. When he remembered everything she liked and wanted to do it all together, She thought  he cared, When he  restricted her  from having the tattoo at her chest, cos they were his ,She blushed from within, When  he said that only her kiss had the effect on him, that it stirred an emotion in him , she believed it were true. For him these were just mere words, but for her they meant the world. She valued each of these words. And so when she knew it had no value, the torment of knowing, it was all a mirage, had hit her.

She bid goodbye to the city that was her home, she welcomed it and knew a change would do her good. She left to another city. With passing days she eventually learnt to let it go. Every now and then memories would creep up, she would then just throw some light and love in his direction and let it be. She had to let go. It would change. Someday it would. Nothing stays forever. It never does.

She did get in touch with him a few times. Sometimes to wish for occasions,  sometimes to pass on a news.  She din’t know what hurt her the most, that he could let go of it all so easily and not have a tiny remorse and be all glee about his new found love. Or that he had never once reached out to her. She thought she was mature and sensible to accept it and that she would be able to have a healthy relationship with her X. But with time she learnt she cannot.

Had he been someone who valued her or was not insensitive to what she felt for him it probably would have been possible. But someone so inconsiderate as him it would never be possible. It was easy for him to say stuff like” what is your problem my girlfriend doesn’t care about it” , “ I am hanging out with your boyfriend “ , but it wasn’t easy for her to hear these. She knew then that it was best to stay away altogether.

People do move on in life, they do fall in love again, but you don’t replace them with people you once knew. She never considered any of her actions as a mistake, because she knew she only lost someone who could let go of her easily and did not make any difference to him, someone whose mind she hardly crossed, someone who hardly cared to check on her, someone who left without looking back even once. But he lost someone, for whom he made all the difference, Who would still think of all the routes they traversed together , who would think of all the small things that made them laugh together, who would never ever be able to forget or replace him.

She had only one regret. This would have been so beautiful if it meant the same to him, just as it did for her. She had attached such intense emotions to someone incapable of such emotions, for whom this was beyond comprehension.  It is no more about love, it only a regret about losing value. Some ghosts in life can’t be exorcised. This has become one such ghost in her life. Memories would always creep up, he would always be remembered sometimes in a song they heard together, sometimes in a place they were together, sometimes in her dreams, sometimes in life, she had learnt trying to forget would only make deeper impressions. So the best would be to embrace it. She learnt to smile at the memory and move on.  Or let’s say she learnt to bury the hatchet after all.  

Throughout this journey she had someone to support her selflessly, Someone to whom she could pour her heart out and would reassure her that it would be alright. Someone who never ever let her go even though she had let him down a zillion times. He had helped her wrap up the past and walked her out of the maze.. He knew her like a book and had no qualms about any page in it. She knew she could count on him at any point in her life. No matter what he would understand and be there to support all of her choices and decisions. More than anything she had valued him simply because she knew what she meant to him, and what difference she makes in his life.  She knew she had someone in her life who would leave no stone unturned to see her happy. Someone whom she could be truthful about everything she felt and sometimes though it would hurt him. He would understand it and just be there for her.Not everyone is lucky to have someone in their life who has the maturity and heart to understand and accept everything she felt for another man.  He would always be there to guide her hassles, to explain to her when she is bewildered, to laugh with her, to cry with her, to support her in all circumstances, to encourage her to let go of her fears, to be a part of all of her crimes.  More than anything she had a great amount of respect and gratitude for him and valued his presence in her life. His endurance, perseverance and patience had finally won her over!!

An ode to an end to the past and a new beginning…!! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Burying the hatchet- Part2

The room was filled with a monotonous buzzing; she sat there with her neck bent as the artist was working on her neck. She was restless the entire day, not knowing whether it was the anxiety of getting scarred for life or whether it was what would follow after that.

Sitting there she thought of how the last one month had been. It was like a whirlwind of events. Every moment of theirs was a framed memory that would pop out even if she dint want it to. Like the night she was so high and tipsy, she had blurted out to him about who he really was,  she knew he hated her for being rude, but she knew nothing would hurt him, she had carved her initials on his arm, she couldn’t walk without his support but dint want help until she fell down at the parking lot. He just couldn’t stop giggling looking at her hooting in the middle of the road, and swaying with her as he walked her to her house. She lived every moment with him to the fullest because she knew it would never exist later.

Like the date they went to, after 6 years. Something they never did even at college. He had planned it all perfectly. Right from picking her up, to surprising her with chocolates, to the long drive, and to his favorite restaurant which he takes all the important people in his life to.  She wouldn’t forget it for ages to come, because in spite of the relationships in her life this was her first date. And she was happy it was with him.

Like the evening he had sneaked out of a family function just to catch up with her for a snack, he was  dressed in a kurta she had chosen for him and she was dressed in a saree. He had thrown a lot of compliments at her, something that rarely happens.

When you throw a pebble into water small circles would appear where the pebble falls, which grows and grows until they touch say, a passing duck and it had nothing to do with the pebble.  Instead of being afraid of that unexpected wave, the duck decides to play with it. One such pebble is thrown into her life. She felt the vibrations of that pebble. So what now? She could carry on like nothing had happened, but She could also, like the duck on the lake, have fun and take pleasure in that sudden ripple that set the water rocking.  A lot of people are frightened because, when this happens, it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path. No one wants their life thrown into chaos. That is why a lot of people keep that threat under control, and is somehow capable of sustaining a house or a structure that is already rotten. Other people think exactly the opposite: they surrender themselves without a second thought, hoping to find in passion the solutions to all their problems. They make the other person responsible for their happiness and blame them for their possible unhappiness. They are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything.

That is exactly what she did, she gave in. She gave in, with the knowledge that it had no future, and so she wanted to leave it at a beautiful note. And today was that beautiful day. She had give him a choice and he had made it clear he wanted no part of it. She now knew they stood no chance; it was beautiful as long as it lasted. She would put it all behind and move on!! After all that is what the tattoo her artist was working on her neck, signified, a new beginning, a change, a new chapter!!

It was a deal they would both get their tattoo done on the last day and go separate ways.  He was getting his done in the memory of his dad, but said the letters carved would remind him off her. A scar to remind them of each other.  Hers was done and she joined him in the next room .

They leave the studio together, she knows in the next few hours this would be over.  End of the good time they shared. They went to the place where they had celebrated their first anniversary .It was his choice again. Ironic, that they had to end the relationship at a place they had once celebrated the relationship.

On and off emotions bottled up ready to flow from her eyes, but she donned the armor of a willful woman. It was a roof-top restaurant with a great view of the city and ambience of a dhabba. There was sorrow in the occasional silence that crept between conversations. The dhaba had a gazal singer performing tonight. He was singing old romantic hindi numbers. It was perfect for an 80’s flick, a sad couple going through a rough phase sitting at a table and the camera slides from the singer to the couple’s expression. Alas life isn’t a movie, there are no happy endings like in the movies.

They ride back home aware this might be the last time they see each other, last time they would be together. As time drew closer her heart beat faster, and the stomach felt queer. Enough was said between the two of them, enough was shared between the two of them, they hugged like there would be no more, kissed like it was the last time, held hands like they wouldn’t let go. But she wanted more of it. It never was enough. For her it never will be.

She just couldn’t take it anymore, she opens the door of the car and walks’ away knowing this was the end, Tears finally won over her willful armor and she let them flow endlessly.  Her goodbye was incomplete but she knew that the fragrance would stay, that the touch will be remembered, that every moment would be cherished.

From updates per minute to no sms, from meeting frequently to never seeing each other, it sure was going to be difficult. She din’t know then that the damage done was beyond repair. She thought she had done it before; she would be able to do it again. Like the duck that just enjoyed the ripples that gave it a short lived fun and pleasure, would she move away unaffected by all of it?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Burying the hatchet- Part1

We split more than a year ago. There were reasons, and then I thought that it was best to end it.  We were out of each other’s lives. But Off late we are back to being in touch, And my feelings for you has resurfaced. This is neither a proposal nor a beseech to get back to being a couple. All I want is a closure; I want to know what this whole thing means to you. I want to know we don’t stand a chance anymore.I don’t need a sympathetic reply, only the truth

She fiddles her fingers over the mouse for a minute and finally hits the SEND button.  Her mind races back to the last few days.  Her lips go into a tiny curve remembering the phone call from him that came out of the blue, he had said “I was driving back home and was alone so I decided I would  catch up with my  Xgirlfriend.” Nobody enjoys being referred to as Xgirflriend  but she was happy that atleast she had crossed his mind. She din’t know then that this one phone call would bring her to where she was today. She always thought being in touch with the X is easy, especially if you have moved on and in another relationship. And so she went ahead and started talking to him. Being in touch with him wasn’t a bad decision but not knowing to what extent and not drawing boundaries was the error in judgment.Casual chats turned to everyday updates. Formal talks turned to personal talks. Memories started to creep up the path she had once shut down in her head. And doubts if she made the right decision in the past bothered her. It always felt different with him. And why this made it desirable was she hadn’t felt that way in a long time. She thought she wasn’t capable of having these feelings anymore. But after more than a year of not being in touch it amazed her that her feelings hasn't changed for him.She did not know if these feelings were temporary and would pass off. She wanted to know, she stood no chance with her  X.She decided the best thing would be to get a closure, to get it out of her mind; to let the heart know what her mind knew – It is over!! Dream, crave as much as u want but it is over!! It made perfect sense to her that probably hearing it from him would do the job for her  .She knew with him she would always need to have her guards up high, but   instead she had always let them drop. She liked how it felt, the anxiousness that precedes the beep of her phone, going red with blush when he remembers something from their past, the content  in knowing he had the gifts safe, the remorse when he said “I miss you” and got off the phone on the eve of his bday, She felt like the second-yr gal all over again. But this time..

TING!!!! The mail alert brought her back from the trance. Anxiety spread all over her, she clicked open the reply.
You paid no heed to what I  had to say one year back why now? Am done with relationships, I still love you for just the way you are. And I have thought of it I am not the right guy for you. I am just happy with how things are now between us. Am happy I have you as a friend. Nothing more.Please don’t discuss such things by e-mails, you do this all the time
She remains calm and composed; she goes over the mail again. Smiles to herself, at his grammar. He gets them wrong mostly, but never mentioned it to him, because she never wanted to get to the wrong side of this Leo.
Fair enough! So that means we are both free to see other people?
TING!! “What do you have in mind?
Nevermind! will explain some day when we meet.”
TING!!  “Am just around the corner at a session, you tell me the time
She is startled; they were going to meet after a year. She was cursing herself for not wearing something nice today. True! Off all the things that is exactly what girls think of, looking their best when the F2F happens.
I will be done with work at 6.30.Cya

She waits for the clocks to chime. She goes to the entrance to meet him. He stands outside leaning against his car. Just as always no sign of awkwardness, he is his charming self and they greet each other with a hug. That was the best part about him. His callousness made it so easy to be with him. .They hang out at a snack-out , catch up with what is happening in their lives .She brings to his notice she is wearing the chain and the watch that he had gifted her. He on the other hand stopped using the watch she had gifted him. But she was glad that it was at least occupying space in his room. At least till then who can speak for the future?

He drives back to drop her home. But there was something more to the agenda, he wanted to stop by at her favorite Ice cream parlor. They walk a little and get back into the car. And she knew that the email would be brought up now. She was already embarrassed. She tells him she just wanted to know if they stood a chance.  He tells her he had wished she was by his side when he lost his father. He tells her he always tells his friend that he wants to find a girl very soon just like ‘her’.  She thinks to herself “What?? I am right in front of him asking if we stand a chance and he says he is looking for someone just like me?? Moron! Anyways I heard it from the horse’s mouth. So the sensible thing to do would be close the chapter and move on."  He then dropped her home. They  embraced, and before she moved away he gave her a small peck on her neck,which sent jitters through her. She left the car and walked away feeling very glad and had a coy smile on her lips for the rest of the night.She knew then, that this wasn't the end of it.

Neither of them wanted to lay the rules down. They continued texting throughout the day. They met more often. And she enjoyed the small things that he did (knowing she would like it).The roof top dinner, the silence when they realize it'l al come to an end soon, the hugs, the want to be kissed, the kisses that stirred something so deep within...No they are not back together. The solution would be to be formal; put the past where it belongs and just be in touch to know if either of them is doing well. For some reason they are not there yet. Soon they would be, this has no future. Eventually they’ll fall out. That day she shall accept it all.She likes how it feels.She enjoys this for now, She does not want to give it up yet. She is aware it will change soon.Then she would know this is how it had to end. till then she vowed to herself it would be no strings attached….

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pamper yourself, it is worth it!. It was a 3 hour long session (Phew!)- Hair spa followed by a haircut. No particular reason I just knew it was time. After which I decided to indulge in a sinful meal. So I go to The Chocolate Room.  Am fond of this place, because I have a lot of memories attached with TCR (Mysore & Chennai)
The store in FC road is on the first floor and they have tables placed next to these huge windows overlooking the road. Nice cozy cushioned chairs, and is a table for two. Since I was on a date with myself (that’s what my friend calls it each time I eat alone) I decided to sit next to the window and enjoy the view. I order for myself a hot chocolate and cheesy pasta. What could get more sinful than chocolate and cheese!
 I sip on my hot chocolate and scan the road. I see a group of middle aged aunties catching up with each other at one corner of the road. There is a lot of laughter and friendly back slapping exchanged. There is a man trying really hard to get his car parked between two vehicles. He took nearly ten minutes to get it right, occasionally bumping into the vehicle parked behind his. Then there was this girl dressed in red, awaiting someone’s arrival. What I also noticed was most girls had guys walking behind them , beside them carrying a number of shopping bags!! Bless the guys! What would we do without them..:)
But what actually got my attention was a couple, now this couple I believe could be in their 60’s.They were sitting on the platform right in front of me. The woman is clad in a faded cotton saree, Her hair is neatly tied into a bun, partly grayish n partly orangish. She looked healthier than the man. He looked very brittle had a cloth over his head and was clad in tattered clothes. They have their cans in front of them into which some passer by’s kindly put in a coin or two. I was watching this couple for quite some time. The woman is in a non-stop ranting session with the man. She thinks she is having a conversation with the man but in real it is a very animated one-sided monologue. Going by her expression she was seriously miffed with the man and had her face like she was really throwing some curses at him and was trying to get him to agree to something. What the conversation was about I would never know. But what I found funny was,  all this while the woman has been wasting her energy at screaming. The man does what men do best. He has no expression on his face. He checks his pockets, takes a beedi out, lights it up and smokes it the way people do weed. He just sits there like he isn’t hearing anything. He has a box with food in it, has his share of the meal and offers the rest to his angry yelling wife; she in anger pushes the box back at him. He tries his luck one more time and then goes back to his calm and composed stature. She now stands up and is still grumbling.  A girl passes by and drops a coin into the man’s can. The woman doesn’t seem to like this and goes behind the girl asking for her share and am guessing she said “Oh y did you have to give him.” The girl is in her own world and doesn’t realize any of this. The Man then offers the coin to the woman, she again throws attitude at him and shrugs off his offer. She stands there screaming for some more time and then she does what women are best at. She turns her back in anger and leaves the place. The man is still expressionless and continues smoking the little thing in his hand.
I just kept wondering for a couple for whom the sky is the roof and the earth their bed, what could be the reason for this war. Nothing seemed different, in all walks of life; people want the same things.I was free to imagine anything I wanted for I would never really know the reason. So I am guessing all the woman probably wanted was for her man to show he cared too and to let her know she does matter to him. And all that the man wanted was for her to have the faith in him and that he would make everything fall in place. Isn’t this what many of us expect most of the time? Sigh! If only we all could master the art of satisfaction, we would have no qualms with life.
As I finish my plate of pasta, I see finally the one the woman in red was awaiting for (atleast half an hour ) had finally arrived. He scares her from behind and the girl is just happy to see him and they stand there embracing each other.  So yeah  “Love is in the air” everywhere.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"It is two weeks since i arrived, I have settled at office, found a place to stay, and am all set to start life here.I have been trying to figure out if i miss home, if i miss Chennai, but ever since i have been here i just feel numb, a kind of apathy.
I do like it here though. From whatever i have seen and experienced i feel Pune is a city that loves its people and provides exactly what the crowd wants, Be it a 24hr CCD, or the numerous food joints or the easily accessible road side beer joints, or the shopping arcades. A friend of mine has been kind enough to keep me company most days and show me around a lot of places. So far so good!! " - Now this has been lying in my Drafts for the last 6 Months. So i thought why not post one on how my last 6 months at Pune has been.

--The New Year began with my moving to Pune. So it was the time to explore new places around here. My first was of course FC and JM Road. Had the Famous CAD-B, and stuffed Parathas at Chaitanya. Hidden Place at KP was interesting too, the first time I saw beer being served in towers, haven’t seen them in Chennai before. Oh and the lasagna’s served here is mouth-watering. Then there was a visit from Gita. We went to the 24 hours CCD at Chandini chowk. I had never imagined myself at CCD at 2:00 am in the morning. :) We were quivering in the cold and wondering how the girls in minis were dealing with it ;) The next day I had accompanied her to Malaka Spice with her friends. Her friend had picked out amazing options for us and also gave us a tour of KP. That’s where the famous OSHO Ashram is hence foreigners clad in those maroon robes are a common sight. ABC farms at KP is good too :) Loved Shisha-Jazz Café, I have been there twice, the ambience is good and the best thing about it is the décor, loved those divans with Persian carpets. Of course the only thing missing is the ‘Hookah’. The place might have been even better before the ban. Should thank one of my friends for suggesting it. There was a trip to GOA too in JAN. I celebrated my 25th birthday at the beaches of GOA. Staying at GOA you just tend to inherit the spirit of Goans. Carefree and full of life. But it surely it’s a place to go only in large numbers.

-Feb was equally interesting. I went on a drive to Mumbai to visit my cousin nd family. The Mumbai-pune express way is always a nice experience. And there is something about Mumbai, I have never been able to point a finger at what it is, but Kuch toh hai..A banglore trip with the Chennai gumbal ! :) Almost everyone made it. We had just one night in hand but still we had a lot of fun. I had moved in to a rented apartment by then, and was trying to feel at home. The thing with moving in with strangers is that for the first few days you try to judge them and they try to judge you. Nobody expects you to bond, to him to himself that’s the motto. The end of Feb somebody tried to give me a surprise visit which failed miserably:) But I would say keep trying!! ;)

-Remember Saif of LAK where he gets his dream job and is all glee about everything in life and then it all drops. March was of that for me. I kinda felt it all falling apart. But they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. So yeah I have my share of ups and downs in life but I am more guarded now and stronger, or so I like to believe.

-April there was a visit to Chennai, had a friend’s function to attend. Worked from Chennai for a week. It felt nice to be back in the familiar territory. Loved those long breaks and lunch hours which I miss at Pune. Oh and I also began to enjoy Hookah after this trip :) I went over to a couple’s place. I have never been around a married couple before that, but this was fun too :) And must say they are a lovely couple. At Pune we also went to a European short film festival. Though the movie we saw made no sense the rest of the evening was fun at Shisha. And I saw someone drunk for the first time. Also paid a visit to the Fashion street here at MG road. If your looking for Kurtis for a reasonable price this is the place. But only if your not on the healthy side. They have just medium sized stuff. Same for the guys :) Resonably priced T-shirts, duplicates of any brand u will find it here. Western for girls not that great, footwear yes!!

-May was impulsive. I just did things on an impulse. Decided to give someone a surprise and Boy he was ;) I guess I taught someone how a surprise should be. If I had a graph for energy levels May would have been the month with most fluctuations. I also learnt that you could never ever be friends with your X.( the serious ones) It is just better to let go!! There would always be those little moments that sways you back to the past, then just throw some light and love in that direction and get it over with.It will change, everything always does. And again on an impulse there was something planned for Dec, something major. But the June happened and for now there is nothing major goin to happen in Dec.
There were quite a few night uts with my room mates. Disc at Mariot was good. Decent crowd entry free for the girls before 10, but the dance numbers start only after 11. Food at SOHO was commendable but the disc was really bad, crowd just goes crazy and starts dancing by throwing their hands and legs in the air occupying the entire space, and it wasnt a decent crowd the day we decided to go.
-June was goin to be a fitness month for me. I had started with waking up early in the morning and jogging at the park near my place. The park faces a river that flows at the end of the street. If not for the smell from the river, the place would have been so scenic. I had started a diet too- no outside food and fruits for dinner. Did yoga too for a week. And then my signature step happened. This is falling off a step and twisting my ankle. I already had one bad ankle now I have two. There went my jogging and yoga down the drain. I still follow the fruit diet though. And I have already lost 3 Kgs..So Yay!! There was a short bangalore trip too :) Oh I also went to the cinemas alone! :) Watched Shangai and I liked it..I don’t prefer to talk while watching a movie so I really dint miss out on company, but Yes during the interval I was a bit uncomfortable about sitting there alone. Anyways after moving to Pune there are a lot of things that I have enjoyed doing alone be it shopping , or checking out a restaurant n most weekends I like it when the whole house is left to me alone. That is the only time I feel at home. The place i like the most in Pune is KP..Love the boutiques here. They offer amazing line of clothes.. I also liked the Koregoan park plaza too bad it got burned down in the accident :| t had shoppers stop and globus and every other store in the same complex and Thank god i wasnt shopping then! :P

So this has been my 6 months stint at Pune. There hasn’t been a lot happening yet, I hope to compensate in the next 6. There is French and Jive classes. There would be monsoons and trekking hopefully. And there are two trips I am looking forward to in the coming months. Goa again and the forever-planning Europe trip! :) And a lot of weddings in Nov and Dec..