Lyrical Love – Part IV

[It’s been a long time that I’ve written about Lyrical Love, and so this is *still* the 4th installment in a series, after 1, 2 and 3 – even though there have been 100 others written in my head ;). Nevertheless, I’m pretty kicked to be writing this, because as a post, this is what I LOVE writing about]

Some of the most beautiful poetry about love, I realize, has been written in Malayalam film music. Particularly, those 80s classics for which the poet ONV Kurup wielded his pen, and got immortalized in beautiful music by masters.

Having grown up with these songs, it’s pretty easy for me to get lost in the nostalgia of its music as soon as I listen to them. But as I discovered a few years ago, and keep discovering each time I listen to these songs now, they have a completely different prospect for a listener with a good ear – particularly someone who has a fair understanding of the words (though some are cloaked in a maze of poetic expression :/).

The ease with which ONV is able to navigate the nuances of love, and create a tapestry of emotions that come very close to invoking the actual feeling within you – is incredible. Being an intensely romantic person (yeah, I have rose-colored-glasses :)), all I have to do is to sit still and listen. If I ever called love “sublime”, this would be when I understand what it means to be sublime.

Today morning, as I listened to these songs, and discovered yet more layers in these songs, I decided I’d post them today – not just with the Malayalam lyrics, but with my crude English translation *grimace*.

This is still not quite effective translation, since much of the language specific constructs get destroyed in a literal translation. However, I’ve tried my best to write it so that it makes *some* sense (and seriously, there’s not a single other decent translation available online!).

[Interestingly, all 3 songs – though from 3 different movies, feature the same actor – Vineeth, who btw, used to be quite the heartthrob (AND a temporary crush of yours truly) right from the very early age that he began acting in a lead role  (14 yrs!). Lucky guy – to be the face for these songs, I mean.]

Song: Aathmavil Mutti Vilichchathu
Movie: Aranyakam
Music: Raghunath Seth
Lyrics: O.N.V Kurup
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNsG2-A2dOE

Song Context: First kiss – the song plays in the background while a girl mulls about how a boy kissed her in a fit of (err..)passion, albeit without her consent. The song’s more of a play on adolescent love…and about the realization of love itself – the “awakening” of the emotion.

[Malayalam Lyrics]

Kanni poonkavilil thottu kadannupokuvathaaro
Kulir pakarnnu pokuvatharo
Thennalo, thenthumpiyo,
Ponnarayaalil maranjirunnu
Ninne kandu kothichchu paadiya
Kinnara poomaarano…
(Kanni poo..)

Thazhampoo kaattu thalodiya pole
Noorathirathan rakkuliraadiya pole (2)
Kunnathe vilakku thelikkum kayyaal
Kunjuppoovin anjanathil chaanthu thottathu pole
Chanthu thottathu pole
(Kanni poo..)

Aathmaavil mutti vilichathu pole
Snehaathuramay thotturiyaadiya pole (2)
Manninte ilam choodaarnnoru maaril
Eeranaamorindu kiranam poovu chaarthiya pole
Poovu chaarthiya pole
(Kanni poo..)

[English Translation]
Who’s run away, having touched (your) virgin cheeks, and causing a chill (to rise in you)…
Was it the breeze? Was it a honeybee?
Or was it your lover, hiding behind the banyan tree,
(and) looking at you, singing with desire?

Like the wind has caressed the falling flower,
Like a hundred stars dancing in the chill of the night, and
Like the hand that lights the lamp on the hill
ouches (and thereby adds color) to the purity of a small flower…

Like (someone has) knocked on your soul,
Has gently touched you, and spoken,
Like a moist ray of moonlight has graced
the warm body of the earth…
(Who’s run away…)

Song: Kevala marthya
Movie: Nakakshathangal
Music: Bombay Ravi
Lyrics: O.N.V Kurup
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVpXFyFz2yo&feature=related

Song Context: The protagonist (a young boy) is around a beautiful girl who’s deaf and mute; the song plays begins as an indication of his thoughts about her as  observes her, lost in her own silent world, growing to admire and fall in love with her. (Read the poet’s interpretation of the “silent universe” – it’s pure brilliance).

[Malayalam Lyrics]

Kevala marthya bhasha kelkkaatha
Deva dhoothikayanu nee, oru deva dhoothikayanu nee

Chithravarnnangal nritthamaadum nin
Ull prapanchatthin seemayil,
Njangal kelkkaatha paattile
Swaravarnna raajikal illayo, illayo…
(kevala marthya..)

Antharashru sarassil neenthidum
Hamsa geethangal illayo
Shabda saagarathin agaadha
Nishabda shaanthatha illayo, illayo…
(kevala marthya..)

[English Translation]
You are a messenger from the Gods,
a woman who doesn’t hear the languages of all mortals…

Vivid colors dance in your inner universe.
Don’t the extents of this universe conceal
a myriad of music that we are unable to hear?

(Aren’t there) the songs of swans that
swim in the lakes of your countless tears?

In the ocean of sound, isn’t there
a bottomless ocean of silent peace?


Song: Vaathil pazhuthilooden munnil
Movie: Idanazhiyil Oru Kaalocha
Music: V. Dakshinamoorthy
Lyrics: O.N.V Kurup
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-TH-aG4-hE&feature=related

Song Context: The protagonist (a guy) falls in hopeless adoration-love with a beautiful dancer, who’s older than him. The lyrics convey the intensity of his infatuation for her – and yet, does not for a moment transcend into a crude or obvious description of her. The word play is just on what he feels when he listens to her footsteps  and is a clever use of words to evoke imagery.

[Malayalam Lyrics]

Vaathil Pazhuthilooden munnil kunkumam
Vaari vitharum thrisandhya polae
Athilolamen idanaazhiyil nin, kala madhuramaam kaalocha kaettu
Madhuramam kaalocha kaettu

Hridhayathin thanthiyil aaro viralthodum
Mridulamaam nisvanam polae
Ilakalil jalakanam ittu veezhum polen
Uyiril amrutham thalicha polae
Tharala vilolam nin kalocha kettu njan
Ariyaathe koritharicchu poyi
Ariyathe koritharicchu poyi
(Vaathil…)

Himabindhu mukhapadam chaarthiya poovine
Mathukaram nugaraathae uzharum polae
Ariya nin kalocha cholliya manthrathin
Porulariyathe njan ninnu
Nizhalukal kalamezhuthunnoren munnil
Mattoru sandhyayai nee vannu
Mattoru sandhyayai nee vannu
(Vaathil…)

[English Translation]
The evening sun goes by, scattering redness before me, through the gap of a door
as I hear your sweet footsteps reverberating across the sublime passage (leading to me)

Like the tender sound that emanates because someone touched the strings of my heart,
Like droplets falling softly on leaves, someone showered upon my being, the nectar of immortality…
Unbeknownst to me, a shudder of pleasure went through me, as I listened to your sacred footsteps.

Like the bee that circles a flower that’s been decorated by a drop of snow, without touching it,
I stood, unable to understand the meaning of the mantra that your footsteps spoke (to me)
While shadows drew columns in front of me, you arrived in the form of yet another sunset…

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Beautiful Blogger!

An award comes with a lot of responsibility, doesn’t it?

Well several ages ago, Lazy Pineapple demonstrated her kindness of heart by giving me …*gasps*, …the

and weighed by her kindness, I thought I’d wait till I was able to do justice to the award – and finally, I’m able to do this NOW.

LP, I’m touched. Thank you very much! 🙂

Now, the best thing about this award is that it comes with a tag. And as you know, tags are just my favorite things :), so here goes. Rules:

1) Thank the person who gave you the award.
2) Paste the award on your blog.
3) Link to the person who nominated you for the award.
4) Share 7 things you find to be beautiful around you.
5) Nominate 7 bloggers or more

Okay, so I’ve done 1, 2, 3. Now, for 4:

  • Rain. Fresh, brilliant, pure drops of ecstasy. The rain experience is particularly exquisite in the balmy monsoons of Kerala (*sigh*..let me try not to remind myself that I’m missing that just now!).  Standing in the rain, absorbing the sensation on every pore of your body, letting it consume you…

  • Nostalgia. For the last one month, I’ve added scores of 80s and 90s songs in my iPod. Searched high and low, and thought back to all those days when I studied with the radio or the walkman on and listened to songs playing in my dad’s car. Gone back to every composer I could think of, and searched wikipedia extensively for the songs that I couldn’t remember anymore. And then, once I had them all on the pod, every day, as I travel to and from office, I listen to them. Can anything beat nostalgia? 😉

  • Paris. What’s more beautiful than rain? Champs Elysees in the rain, that’s what! Paris, is the one city that I would want to go to again and again and again. There’s just something about the place… romantic, sensuous and mysterious. Three years ago, I had my experience of Paris in the rain and it is something I cannot forget. It drizzled lightly as I walked on Champs Elysees in the evening, and the breathtaking beauty was something I wish I could have captured in my camera, as well as the picture below. I remember, as I stood admiring the Notre Dame Cathedral from the outside, heavy sheets of rain came down abruptly, and I ran and took refuge next to a shop, only to realize I was standing next to a guy making french crepes. A little conversation in broken English later, I had him happily hand over warm, flaky, deliciously sweet crepes to me – and eat them, even as the warmth from his stove gave me comfort in the cold — talk about paradise!

  • Reunions. A few days ago, I met friends from college. After 10 years! It was a spot reunion, blessed by the hand of the Facebook God, which has ensured that people like me who’re generally terrible at keeping in touch, can still get to see picture, hear and connect with the people who mattered in life. My friends and I – we’d last met as 20 year olds, confused about our future career choices, carping about exams, and remembering 3 years of graduation that zipped past us even as we, a gang of 6, had stayed by each other’s sides throughout. Over the years, most of us have married, a few have had kids, and we’re in the thick of our (high profile ;)) careers, careening past 30. But you know what? When we met, we just zoomed back in time to being the same 20 year olds. Nothing had changed. Not even the jokes, or the bitching about teachers :D. It was an hour of catching up and watching the way our faces had grown older but our hearts had stayed the same – and we all remembered how we’d fantasized 10 years ago about such a meeting. Hopefully, we don’t wait for 10 more years to meet :D. And meanwhile, this is something I’ll highly recommend to everyone!

  • Companionship. Having someone in life, to share your silences with. To march alongside you, holding your hands, and just letting you feel one with the world. To sit beside you, watching a movie, and munching on biscuits late in the night. To wake up beside you and give you a cuddle. To offer a shoulder where you can wipe your face and the tears running on it. Companionship is one of the wonderful gifts of life and needn’t come with having that special person in your life. If you know that you can spend hours being yourself with someone (or something ;)) – then, well, let out a whoop of joy! You’ve got yourself a companion :).

(P.S. The credit and copyright for the work of art above goes to the brilliantly talented Abhilash Menon. Find him and his work on India’s first portal that brings together Indian artists and showcases their incredible potential to the world – Dhonuk)

  • Dance. The way two feet can break into a rhythm, and the hands then follow, moving about the body, getting it to sway in tune with the music. Waves created in the air, sparkling about the dancer’s body. Re-telling stories, transcending languages and cultures, dance has the power to bring time to a standstill and transport viewers into sheer bliss. And to tell you how, here’s a picture of one of my favorite dancers and one of the most beautiful women in India – Shobhana:

  • Mothers. Today is my Mother’s birthday  – and she’s the first most beautiful thing I ever set my sights on. I love you mummy and Happy Birthday :).

Alright, now for the last bit. It should have been 7 but I decided on 5  – tagging 5 beaaaautiful women 🙂 – Judy, Andy, Dhanya, Sawani, and Anjali – I bestow this award to you!

Yay! I’m done!

The Last Mango

The Last Mango

The Last Mango

The car zoomed up the gate and stopped abruptly. It was almost synchronously followed by the front door opening, and a group of exuberant faces emerged – sporting big grins – they were there at the gate in no time.

I gingerly stepped out of the passenger seat of the white ambassador car, my face having that typical embarrassed look – it was always an odd feeling for me, meeting them all after 2 years… I never knew what to say at first.

My grandmother, in her trademark white sari and blouse ran to hug me. My face was for a few moments showered with kisses, and the embarrassed look gave way to a wide-toothed grin – if there was one thing that was constant in this world, that was my grandmother.

Her penchant for disfiguring faces with her kisses would never change :).

Extricating myself from the bear hug, I proceeded to acknowledge my aunt, and my cousin – they were tugging at our bags while giving us those lovely smiles that always warmed my heart. My grandma wouldn’t leave it at that though. Excitedly, her wrinkled hands clasped my tiny one and led me inside the gate, with a purpose. I looked sideways at my mother, but she was too caught up in the exchange of pleasantries to notice.

Soon, we both were at the foot of the mango tree (at my age, I wouldn’t recognize it so however). She pointed to a lone green mango, hanging at a reasonable height and said

“See that? I’ve left it for you to pluck. I haven’t let anyone else pluck it saying that it was meant only for my darling”.

The profoundness of her statement made me look at her in wonder. I had never plucked anything from any tree before and this was like a God-given opportunity (one never got to be near too many trees when growing up in Saudi Arabia, you see).

The woman of 65 obviously knew the mind of a child of 10, well.

I reached out, and my grandma bent the branch towards me. My fingers grasped the green mango, and before I knew it, it came off the branch. I proffered it with pride at my grandma – she said “Shall I make a pickle out of it then?”, her affection laden voice matched by a face with a smile that I can only call heavenly. I nodded in happiness.

My cousin came to hold my hand and whispered in my ear “She wouldn’t let me pluck it for so many days! All of the rest was gone a week ago, but she asked to leave just this one till you came!”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[Many, many years later…]

“Let her pluck a few!” That was my mother, today morning.

I raised my eyebrows at my dad in mock superiority and smirked. He smirked back, “Let them be for some more time. We can eat them ripe, that would be better”.

“She’s here only for 2 more days. You’ve had enough ripe mangoes in your life. My poor daughter… she’s so far away, who’s giving her any?”, motherly concern dripped from her voice like honey.

I grinned and looked at my dad, and winked. Here I was, a 29 year old, bordering on 30, woman, and my mother still spoke of me like I was a 5 year old ;). Gosh, mothers are just so wonderful.

(We were ambling around the garden in front of my house, the three of us. As I skipped around the grass, my dad stooped often to pick up stray leaves and my mum was critically examining the flowers on her treasured creations. It was just one of our together-times, I guess.)

Seven green mangoes were hanging from the small-sized mango tree … pretty amazing bunch, I reflected, especially on such a small tree. I reached out for one.

This time, I mentally made a statement – directed at the tree – it was just a request – “I’m taking one, pls. don’t mind”. (I had read somewhere that one must ask a tree for permission before plucking its fruit – apparently, trees feel pained when their fruit is yanked off rudely – but give off willingly even with just a dash of politeness ;)).

As it had many many years ago, it came off as soon as I gave a gentle pull.

A memory flashed past my mind – the rustle of the white cotton sari, and the wrinkled hands, gleeful eyes with the crow’s feet marks outlining them. Kindness, love of a unique kind.

My eyes then focussed on the two people next to me, as I watched them  – chattering incessantly about seemingly inconsequential things; enveloped in their own world – a world where I was just so important.

Such treasures were hard to come by. For a few seconds, gratitude poured within me.

19 years had passed. But the past and the present were merging. There was only one moment. And only one emotion. Love.

Bygone Innocence

(c) Rajesh Vee

It was 5.30 P.M and the sun was beginning to set. I could feel the anticipation rising…my anxious eyes searching to connect with the other pair, that belonged in a face that evoked so much love in my heart.

She was washing her feet and hands passively; if she sensed my urgency there was definitely no indication of it. After much diligence in making sure her anklets were rid of any specks of dirt, she motioned for me to do the same. I hurriedly went into the bathroom, splashing water over my feet and quickly rubbing my hands in the steady stream of the tap.

I rushed back to the living room to find her she was deftly oiling a wick. In a few moments, a lamp was lit, and the Gods were smiling through the yellow flame. She folded her hands and stood in silence, deep in prayer; I didn’t want to be a spoilsport so I stood in obedience, next to her, with my eyes closed. I heard the anklets walk past and looked at her, taking the lamp in her hands, reciting “deepam” and going out of the house to the thulasi thara, liting the lamp there too. Folding my hands, and taking a few resigned breaths, I stood leaning at the door frame.

She turned to look at me, with a twinkle in her eyes, and said, “so shall we go?” Furiously nodding, I walked towards her. She said “Ask mummy first. If she doesn’t agree, that’ll be a problem”. 

“I asked her already! She was okay about it”.

“Ask her again. I don’t want to get into trouble!”

*Grunt*…. “Mummmmyyyyyyy” …

I hopped behind her on the narrow pathways leading to the house behind ours. I could hear her in front of me asking “Chechi, shall we pick the leaves?” – and then consent being given after a few friendly exchanges . We were soon at the thick bushes, plucking tiny dark green leaves one by one, putting them into a cover. Soon, we had what we thought was a substantial amount.

Back home, she placed the cover containing the leaves next to the grinder. It must have been 6.30 because the power went off. I let out a wail; waiting for more time was unthinkable. She grinned, went inside a room and came out holding a lamp. The lamp was placed beside the grinder, and as I watched her shadow on the wall as it loomed large, she stood, splashing water on the surface of the stone and proceeding to mash the leaves into fine green paste. I sat on the ledge, swinging my legs, engrossed in our (seemingly philosophical) chatter.

The paste was transferred to a shallow steel vessel, that was placed on the dining room table. A few minutes later, the room was engulfed in light and I rushed to pull a chair and seat myself next to the table. She emerged with a triangular cone in her hands, made out of coarse cloth. I spooned the paste into it… we tied the ends of the cone so that it wouldn’t be squished out from the wrong end.

We took turns, peering with deep concentration at our hands as we tried to etch out complicated designs. Or atleast I did. She was always satisfied with the simplest thing she could make – a big blob in the center, and then the tips of her fingers covered  with the paste. And if there was still more, dots all around the circle in the center. After about fifteen minutes of concentration, I had an exuberant smile on my face. The glob in the center of the hand was shaped like those mango designs that you found in saris those days. And the dots were not random but emerging out in a pattern onto my wrist.

She was excited for a moment and then wistful. “Oh! that is lovely! I wish I had done something sensible instead of this!”

I proudly held up my palm for exhibition, my smile indicating an achievement much more significant that merely a decipherable pattern of mehendi on my hands. I said to her, “Doesn’t matter. Will make it for you tomorrow. I love your pattern of dots too!”. She must have been satisfied with my reply, because she proceeded to stow away the cone.

Dinner was funny. Our left hands were stuck out carefully, many inches away from us, and we attempted to gobble our food quickly, taking care not to move our left hands too much. Soon, It was time to sleep. She said “we’d better sleep with it, otherwise the color won’t be that red tomorrow”. I looked at her in doubt.

After a fraction of a second, mulling on that statement of profound importance, I went over to my mother. “Mummy, can I sleep without washing the mylanji off my hands?” (mylanji being the malayalam word for mehendi). The nod came after a frown, and then a resigned sigh.

The next day morning, I woke as a deep and quaint smell wafted into my nostrils. My sleepy eyes opened to see a red blur in front of me… I heard an eager whisper “Go, get up and wash your hand! I want to see how red the color is!”

In a blink, I was up. I looked at her hand eagerly – the deep brown-red getting a stamp of approval in my mind as soon as I saw it clearly. I ran to the bathroom and held my hand under a tap, picking at the fragments of dried mehendi rapidly to uncover the rich color underneath.

The smile of satisfaction was unbeatable 🙂

P.S. Many years later, one night, 9.00 P.M. it was. I was crouched on the bed, poring over something in detail, the concentration in my mind visible on my forehead. It was her hand outstretched in front of me, and the mehendi cone was in my hand this time. I had stuck to my promise, as I had done so many times before… my design was being etched out on her hand. The next day was to be the day she got married.

Simple Joys of Life

Ever wondered about those simple pleasures of life that you probably didn’t give much importance to, but contributed to making the experience of your life pleasant and wonderful?

Ever realized how sometimes, very trivial and at times, even funny, experiences or probably some routine things you do, turn out to be that which uplifts your mind and soul from the problems and worries of daily life?

Today I thought of listing some of those experiences that were important to me – the simple joys of my life. (And no, this isn’t a forward I received, but I vaguely remember receiving something similar a long time ago :)). Here they are in random order – coming directly out of my memory:

  1. Enjoying the wind blowing in my face while travelling in an auto/bus – I deliberately remove the hairbands that keep my hair in place, because I love the sensation of the wind playing with my hair, and the strands dancing around 🙂
  2. Seeing a child laugh. Infact, anything associated with a child is adorable, except for potty ;). Their laughter is the most uncomplicated thing in this universe.
  3. Rain and all of its associated sensations.
  4. Vanilla Icecream. I love the texture of icecream, and vanilla is my fav flavour.
  5. Switching on the radio/to another radio channel, only to hear one of my favorite songs playing…
  6. Listening to music on the walkman/mobile, and dancing like crazy at home. At times, when I walk into my home in the evening, after the trip in the office bus, the earphones are plugged in, and there’s this amazing dance number playing on radio, I just go shake, prance and groove all around the rooms of my house. Yeaaaah 🙂
  7. Standing in a glass lift and peering through the glass with glee, while the lift moves up or down.
  8. Throwing my head back and laughing heartily after hearing a joke/anything witty.
  9. Hugging my cuddly n cute mum 🙂
  10. Watching TV till late on a Friday night…Its my way of rebellion 🙂 to compensate for the days I reluctantly drag myself into bed cos I have to go early to office.
  11. Going for long walks with a dear friend 🙂
  12. Taking a cool, refreshing bath (with sweet smelling soap) on a hot, sweltering, summer day.
  13. Floating, neck deep in water. As a child, I loved floating in a tub full of warm water, with soap bubbles all around me. In recent times, a place I enjoyed being soaked and floating in water, was Hoganekkal… and with me, was my friend – we just lay neck deep in water for hours, bobbing up and down and feeling the waves of the water course through us. It was amazing.
  14. The feeling of deja vu I get when I sense particular smells… I have always been able to associate many of my experiences, places and even people by smell – so much so that when I get a particular smell, I always have a sense of deja vu, and feel like I’ve been through it before.  It wasn’t till Balaji wrote about Synesthesia,that I realized what it may be :).
  15. Getting in touch with a long lost friend
  16. Cuddling in bed, wrapped in a blanket, on a cold wintry morning.
  17. Shopping for accessories – mainly junk jewellery 😀 – I am a total junkie when it comes to stuff that hangs on my wrists and ears… bells, chains, stars, tinkling things, stones, metal…you name it. I love looking around for quirky looking stuff that matches with my clothes.
  18. Discovering money (that’s been forgotten) in an old purse/jeans pocket. Ah! It makes me feel so rich in a moment :)…and sometimes, I purposely stash away some money somewhere for that experience of finding a treasure 🙂
  19. Coming home to a warm, lovely meal with the family… in my case, its with mum and dad.
  20. Getting a bouquet of red roses 😉
  21. Renting a video cd to watch on a lonely day
  22. Solving a particularly difficult puzzle. To this day, I feel the same thrill when I solve a complex problem at work, or even sudoku in the paper, as I used to feel when I was solving math (mainly algebra) problems in school. Its wonderful.
  23. Giving a compliment. I’m generally prone to blushing when I get a compliment – still don’t know how to deal with it :). However, I love giving compliments where they are needed. I’ve realized that it takes a very small effort to notice something extra special in a person. And contrary to popular thought, giving a compliment actually makes the giver feel much better than the one it is intended for… I think it brings about a connection between the humans: you feel appreciation/respect flowing out of it, and it is wonderful,… spiritually rejuvenating.
  24. Reading the Sunday newspaper,whilst drinking a hot cup of delicious tea. Its my favorite activity on a Sunday morning, and one of the most relaxing ones. In fact, tea features in a couple of my other favorite activities, and I love drinking tea at odd hours… way into the night :).
  25. Hearing an old song and being transported back into time. A lot of songs have that effect on me, and one I distinctly remember in terms of even the first time I heard the song, what I was doing, and what I felt, is Tere Dar Par Sanam from the movie Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi. To this day, when I hear the violin piece at the start of the song, I get transported to my room in Dammam, Saudi Arabia – on a cold winter evening in my bedroom, looking outside the balcony adjoining the room, while listening to this song for the first time on my walkman.
  26. The high of performing on stage. Dance is my passion.
  27. Seeing ducks/swans/lotuses in ponds. Often, as I’m travelling on a train to Kerala, once the picturesque locales of the Kerala countryside appear in the train windows, it isn’t uncommon to see ponds filled with pink and white lotus flowers. I also get to see ducks and swans paddling peacefully in the ponds, and I always wonder what lovely looking birds they are… so fluffy and cute… and clumsy, like me :).
  28. Going through old photo albums. Photo albums are the only way of holding time still. Which is why I like photography – because I think it is a way of bringing time to a stop and getting a slice of life in a picture… I have a lot of old family pictures at home, and in my school years, it was often a hobby (a very pleasing one at that :)) of mine to categorise the pictures and put them into different albums chronologically, or distinguished by the families they belonged to, or by events etc,to write labels for all the albums and arrange them neatly in a bag. Today, Flickr is the online equivalent of that for me.
  29. Poring over book titles in a library/book store, anxiously reading their summaries, biting my nails and wondering which one to rent / buy. I love reading books and it gives me great pleasure to curl up on a bed/couch with one and spend an entire evening reading it and musing dazedly on its contents.
  30. Watching my favorite TV shows – right now, its re-runs of Friends, Full House and Bigg Boss, to name a few.

Some list there, eh? I wasn’t planning on such a huge list when I started out, but as I started counting the pleasures of my life… one by one of them popped up on its own accord. Just goes to show that even though we may not know it, we would probably have many such wonderful things that make our lives so special, and make us blessed to be alive and kicking in this world!

Adieu, my friend.

Friendship 

Today, my best friend of the last 2 and 1/2 years, said adieu to my office. And in the midst of loads of work, crazy running around, directions flung left right and center, and mails flying to and from my Outlook, there is this silence in me that’s been weighing me down since the past 2 months, when she’d told me first that she’d finally found the offer she’d been looking for, and was going to put down her papers.

Today evening, as she sat in the chair next to me, as she’s been doing for almost every day in these past 2+ years, I just didn’t know what to say. The clock was ticking, time was running out, and I knew that soon, she’d be gone, never to sit in that chair again, never to be there for me when I come to office. And I filled the time with some inane talk, about some blogs I’d read, some carps about work and co-workers, and some general advice on what to do in her new company. All the time, I was worrying about my eyes betraying the truth: the vortex of emotions that I was actually going through inside.

I didn’t want to say it to her directly, because I knew she understood. Because that was the way she felt too. And saying it would be stating the obvious, and to me, an unnecessary way of expressing that which we knew in our hearts to be true. 

But I want to say those unspoken words here, in my blog; to tell her how much she means to me, and to relive some of the moments which made our friendship special:

I still remember the first time I saw you – I was one week old in the company, had made some quick friends in my team and was settled just enough – you were this pretty girl that had just joined the team – wearing a blue and pink, horizontally striped top, full sleeved with all her hair bunched up in a black clip – I looked at you and thought – “must be an anglo” – cos you didn’t look South/North Indian. We met, and you said you were from Goa. And there it all began.

We were two people, from different cultures, different backgrounds, but almost identical in most of our thoughts. I would start to say something and before I’d even said half of it, I’d see your eyes telling me you understood, and your voice telling me how you knew. We’d sit on different floors, and think of calling/meeting each other at the same time. I’d call your phone and you would say “Lunch?” without even asking who it was on the other end. And many times we’d end up saying the same thing, at the same time – we were in sync 🙂

I remember the long walks after lunch, sometimes as an excuse to lose weight, and mostly to un-burden our minds on each other – we were after all, each others conscience-keepers. People would ask us – what is it that you people have so much to speak about – you’re always walking/sitting together, standing in the corridor, or sitting in the fire-exit talking. And we’d say: “and we still feel we don’t get enough time to talk :)”.

What haven’t we spoken about – our romantic fantasies, our dreams, crazy ideas, our families, work, co-workers, friends, our loneliness, helplessness, anger, fears, frustration, worries and the death of our dreams. Being each other’s psychological counsellor; sharing those tears that are privy to no one else.

People would tell us things and say “Don’t tell her about it okay”. The next time we’d meet, we’d laugh and say “you know..”. And joke about how anyone could think that we’d keep secrets from each other.

I remember the times we’ve been in each other’s homes, and the times we’ve gone out together and had fun. The impromptu trips to Domino’s Pizza from office (just when we felt like having a blast on our own), the parties, going to learn car-driving in Koramangala, hanging around Forum and of course, going to Hoganekkal. That was btw, the first time I really enjoyed travel. Sitting next to each other in the bus and enjoying the wind blowing on our face, sitting in the basket boats near the waterfalls, standing right under the waterfall, and getting choked and out of breath :), and lying, neck deep in the water around the crocodile bank. Two souls with not a care in the world… floating, wanting to be in the water forever…

I remember coming to your marriage in Goa this May, and having tears in my eyes, as I saw you in your perfect white dress, looking beautiful, standing at the altar, saying your vows. It was so romantic :), and I prayed that you’d live happily ever after.

Yes, I really wish for you to live happily ever after… and hope that even when you’re faced with the problems of the world, you find it in yourself to be strong, and come out of it.

Today, as your husband came to pick you up from office, I gave you a pat on your arm and said “When will we meet next? … I’ll come to your place next weekend”. You smiled and turned, and I went to catch the bus. You didn’t see the tears that I wiped from my cheeks, the tremble of my lips. I’m glad you didn’t, cos I always told you that we wouldn’t get emotional on the last day, as everyone was expecting us to get :). I put up a brave face and thought of writing all this, while I was coming home in the bus.

Of course, our friendship doesn’t end here. We’ll still be meeting, talking. And I’ll be there for you, whenever you need me, just like I know you will be there for me.

But, life won’t be the same ever again… We’ve shared some of the best times of our lives with each other, and all I can say is thank you. For being my friend. And for being there.

Tagged!

Well, well, well. The inevitable has happened. I’ve finally been tagged!. In fact, its been sometime that I’ve been tagged, but I couldn’t get around to it till today because I was busy all of last week.

So here is the standardised output:

I am thinking about…

  • How to find time between work and other chores, to write posts on everything I’m thinking about these days (Trust me, there are a lot many ideas festering in my brain).
  • Buying a laptop before this year ends… I’m not an impulsive buyer btw. I usually do lots of research and buy something only when I’m completely convinced that I need it, and I will have total use for it. What motivates me to do the research, thinking and mulling over the idea of buying, is the need to never regret a decision I’ve made. I positively hate to do things and then spend the rest of my life regretting (life is too precious, you see). And I also believe that once the action is done, there is usually no “Undo” button in life, so having that extra thought never hurts. This ideology has stood me in good stead over the years, and I sleep pretty well in the nights, so I guess its my mantra for a good life. I’ve ventured out and away from the initial topic (as usual), so coming back to the laptop -I need to have a good look at features and price et al – once I’m done, I’ll know whether I’ll actually be buying one soon or not. Right now, it looks like I will be buying one 🙂
  • How to stop procrastinating and get my driving license and finish that task in my ToDo list asap.

I want to…

  • Be of some use to the society. I’ve been contemplating things that I could do as a person, to help make a difference, and children seem to be the cause that’s closest to my heart. It tears my heart apart to think of children in distress; orphaned, made to beg, sexually exploited, physically exploited… and even if I can’t make a difference to all of them, I’d like to do something in the near future, that would help atleast a single child. I would also like to remind all of you reading this, that if each one of us think of helping a single child, we can go a long way in securing the future of our country and our world, and making this a better place to live in.
  • Become more fit [Typical bane of any software engineer -> long hours at the workstation + no exercise = bad back, no stamina, unfit body]. I’m dabbling in a bit of yoga, but I need to make more concerted efforts, so that I don’t end up with a whole host of lifetstyle-related-diseases in middle age.

I wish…

  • I could remember to be silent more often and learn to hear the voice of God.

I hear…

  • Music. If I’m not actually listening to music on Radio City/Radio Mirchi/Radio One/Rainbow FM (yes, yes, those are the main FM radio channels in Bangalore) or on my PC, then there’s always some song playing out in my head (amazingly in great detail – even the background music, interludes, bass etc are adjusted to be exactly the same as the actual song :)). Music is my lifeline. As soon as I step out of my house, I plug in my earphones and there starts my sojourn with Bangalore’s FM channels. The radio is switched off after I’m seated at my workstation, but the earphones don’t come out – the plug is pulled out from my walkman and pushed into my PC’s earphone outlet. And then when I’m going home, radio is my companion – in fact, Bangalore’s much-publicised traffic woes never really get to me :).

I wonder…

  • about the complex patterns of humans, their behaviour, their physical attributes, and their peculiarities.
  • that if creation on the earth is so beautiful, how magnificent the creator must be.

I regret…

  • Nothing. See my entry in “I’m thinking about…”.
  • I understand that regret is inevitable at times, because you can always not do the right thing. But I still think its better to understand, accept your mistakes and move on in life, rather than to spend it regretting. Regret is a powerful way of degeneration. With each moment spent regretting, you’re losing a moment that you can use to make a difference, to make a change.
  • It takes a strong effort, but believe me: for every new decision you take, spend a minute thinking whether you’ll be regretting it ever. If you think you will, stop and consider. Always make the decision knowing that you won’t regret. This is not equivalent to doing the right thing. You may still take the wrong or right path, but not regretting the path you’ve taken makes all the difference.

I am…

  • a Sagi-Scorpio combination.
  • Outward, I am the typical Sagittarius, which is my sun sign. Clumsy, likely to put her foot in her mouth most of the time, childlike, enthusiastic, broadminded, optimistic, procrastinating. I epitomize the archer aiming the arrow at the sun.
  • My moon sign is Scorpio, which makes me a little brooding inside, emotionally complex, inclined to mystery and magic, determined, a little vengeful and intolerant at times.

I dance…

  • When I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m angry, and when I’m stressed-out. If music is my lifeline, dancing is my passion. If I am not dancing myself, I choreograph :). Most of the time when I listen to music while travelling on the office bus, I visualize groups of dancers on stage, dancing to the tune of the song I’m listening to, and I think of elaborate choreography routines… [Hmmm… I wonder if I sound like a wierdo *blush*]

I sing…

  • Whilst taking a bath, when I’m cooking, when there’s no one in the house and I want to hear my sound echoing off the walls… I used to sing more often as a child, and have performed number of times on stage in school, and in college too. But Bangalore and its cold climate usually gifts me a blocked nose or a sore throat, so public singing is ruled out since my vocal condition isn’t always reliable.

I cry…

  • After a particularly damaging verbal argument. Almost always after an argument, esp. with my mum/dad. Arguments always leave me feeling guilty about the things I said, and my irritation/anger at myself gives way to tears. My mother has started calling me a softy nowadays.
  • When I watch emotional scenes in movies/hard-hitting documentaries. Yes, I’m ashamed at myself at times, but I admit. I’m the one in the theatre, who’ll be watching a particularly heart rending scene, and holding her hand near her face (so that the people next to her don’t see the streaks of tears on the cheeks) and then with a casual flick of the finger, wiping the tear drop that’s threatening to fall and divulge her secret. When I’m alone at home, and am watching a sob story, I feel the odd pain in my heart (which always precedes the tears), and then the tears are running down my face in copious volumes, and I’m crying away to glory… then of course, I don’t bother to hide.
  • Just as a note, I think crying cleans my inner self and makes me more aware of my soul.

I am not always…

  • able to understand my own motives for certain actions/decisions, or some of my emotions. I guess life is a learning process, and as you learn about other people, you also learn a lot about yourself through them, and through your actions. If you think you know yourself completely, please think again… Most of the time, what we think we know about ourself is usually something we would like us to be, not necessarily what we already are. Always think twice before judging someone else, because you never really know/can predict what you’ll do in their situation, and you can end up doing something you once condemned. This has been by far, the biggest lesson in my life, and I’m glad I’ve understood it already.

I make with my hands…

  • Roses out of clay. I love moulding clay to form the shape of roses and other interesting stuff. Once, for a science project (in 8th standard I guess), I fashioned tree trunks out of clay. The project was about environmental pollution, and we won first prize by the way :).
  • Dance mudras (symbolic gestures).
  • Knitting (I have learnt knitting, and like it very much, but I don’t know how to make useful material like sweaters). Strangely, I don’t like stitching much.
  • Food. I love watching cookery shows, but am not a particularly experienced cook – because I don’t like cooking on a day-to-day basis, and also because as a bachelor girl, I can indulge and laze around, and cook only maggi/cornflakes/eat bread for survival. BTW, I said I may not be an experienced cook, but I didn’t say I’m a bad one. I do cook irregularly, and usually the food comes out okay, so I guess I can survive without burning the kitchen down, or having people admitted in the hospital.
  • Drawings (on paper, on Microsoft Paint and in Adobe Photoshop).

I write…

  • My blog (this one was easy wasn’t it? :))
  • Official documentation for my project – concept manuals, functional specs, design specs, make presentations, excel sheets for quality analysis and estimation, training material… yes, the works.
  • I also scribble during meetings. My hand is constantly at work, and I have scores of paper lying around with scribbles, doodles, and drawings – all output from my meetings.

I confuse…

  • People by talking too much about a particular topic. I have a very logical approach to thinking so I inevitably try to convince by saying things that may be like A = B and B= C so naturally A = C. But the problem with logical thinking is that it should be brief. My problem is that I have lots of information, so when I use all of it to convey some idea/solution, my listeners are initially always confused. Then I have to repeat and structure the information bit by bit till I finally convince and people agree… Yes, I’ve confused you too, haven’t I?

I need… (in no particular order)

  • Love.
  • Fresh air, water, food, clothes and a home to live in.
  • Emotional security.
  • Money.
  • Work. I love working. Work makes me complete. Work provides the structure in my life. Although I do have Monday blues, and sometimes a dislike for routine, I would be incapacitated if there was no work.
  • Challenges. Life is a challenge, and even though there are hardships, I realize that we become powerful by overcoming each challenge. I’m constantly inspired by people who try to make the most of what they have, and often overcome debilitating challenges to find more meaning in and to life itself. I thank God for not making my life a cake-walk, or else, I would have become a lazy, useless piece of s**t.

And finally…

  • I love life.
  • And I tag my friends and everyone who reads this post, who hasn’t been tagged yet and has a blog, so that they can spare some time for introspection, clear the clouds in their thoughts, and hopefully make new discoveries about themselves.
  • I enjoyed being tagged :). Thank you, Visitor.