Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ads More Twists To Life!

I'm such a naive soul. Tend to take things frighteningly seriously.
As a kid from the 80's I've had my horrors during showers. I with starry wide eyes looked for anyone watching. That's what happened in that badaa saabun ad. And though every soap ad had had a voyeur this one had a voice too. Ok, that was it, I didn't wait for the other shoe to drop, I had it clear at home, stomped my feet in the process and was ready with gallons of tears within me to shed, we weren't getting badaa sabun ever ever ever.
My perplexed parents
assured me I was safe. I preferred the lemony fresh soap and hypocritically enough it's laalaalala- jingle never seemed a threat to me. On the contrary, I wished someone sang it, while I scrubbed myself with the soap, on my stead. Wishes! Sigh!
The horrors haven't ceased to haunt me even now when I've grown up. Each time I sprinkle namak or squeeze a nimboo I fear a certain Bollywood actress might drop from nowhere, literally, and lecture me on my wasting the ingredients on food which are so vital for our toothpaste.
A shiver runs down my spine for my future kids, they might have to do away with garam masala too and settle for bland food in the practice.

My future kids worry me, yes, and I'm not even married yet. Still looking...searching for the right guy you see. But how would I know he is the one?- I often asked my bedroom ceiling.
Then one fine day:
Voice over: Are you looking for prince charming?
I: Haan.
VO: Are you looking for happily ever after?
I: Haan.
VO: Are you looking for a fairytale?
I: Haan bhai haan!

The VO told me to look for a guy who would not compromise on the Kitchenware brand and I'll know for sure that he pyaars me when he won't inqaar from my beloved prestigious brand. And that will be my eureka moment, the moment to scream; Yehi hai right choice baby Ahaa!
He would be my neighbor's envy and my pride.

I bowed to the VO and gave it two thumbs up thus cheering on the advice it gave.
I was suddenly tad too thirsty. Thirsty for the thumbs reminded me of the ever so tempting thunder. But the chill climate killed my mood to taste anything toofani and I settled with water.
A tinie-minie dark particle was lazily floating in the water which I poured from my filter. Damn! I cursed myself with words that were banned in my house for not listening to the  advice on shudh paani. I made it a mission to get the purifier ASAP...before I'm made to drink tanks of water while getting sermonized on pure water.

So much of energy draining activity and the single digit temperature almost famished me.
Whenever hunger attacks me in this fashion my right hand automatically reaches for the 2 minutes noodles, which takes 9 minutes to cook and that was no exception that day either.
After gulping down the healthy, iron and vitamins se bharpoor noodles, my bong tongue threw tantrums for some meetha. Huh...the bahanes my tongue make to have some meetha. Iss mein doodh hi doodh hai, pyaar ka rang hai, achhe kaam ki shuruwat meethe se, and whatnot. Anyhow, I got some chocolates from the fridge and satisfied my bong tongue.

My phone buzzed. A reminder of a ppt I was to finish. Did I tell you I have a fabulous job. Well I do! I landed this job for my skills, confidence, talent, and my complexion, which is wheatish, shade number 6. I know if it were a lighter shade I would have been in my boss's chair or maybe even in the CEO''s if I were the fairest of them all...oh mirror on the wall!! What a tragedy I say!!

As I type these words and sip on my green tea, my ancestors thank the tea makers for unlike my can-be-never-changed complexion, at least by body is on the thinner side, to which my genetically high metabolism rate and a bit of disciplined lifestyle has almost nothing to do. Saves me so much gym ka kharcha. Oh that reminds me, my bestie is getting married next month. Awww!! Got much to do. To start with I've to bath in those milky, rosy soaps...buss zara sa rose...the bachpan ka laalalaa soap forgotten. Then buy a sexy trousseau and eat two bowls of corn cereals everyday to look sexier in that sexy chiffon. Clearly Green tea won't suffice.
Ahh! It would be so much fun. Mehendi, sangeet, shaadi, reception...chaar functions!! Ohh how can I forget ...haldi, the 5th one. My bestie-banno will be smeared with the turmeric infused ayurvedic, not cosmetic, cream. She'll look priceless. *teary eyes*

Uff!! So much to do and I'm wasting time here. You guys have fun with IPL I'll have with mine and might just know how to not get patronized by these creative ads. 

I am joining in on all the Pepsi IPL action in my own style with the #CrashThePepsiIPL activity at BlogAdda.”

This Pepsi IPL, it's not just about cricket. It's time to crash with your own created ad! Make your own Pepsi ad & if it's chosen, it could play on TV during Pepsi IPL! And hey, it doesn't end here… Even if you're chosen as a finalist, you stand a chance of winning a prize amount of Rs.1 lakh! So what are you waiting for guys?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ceremony of Happiness!

Entire two storey house was decorated with lights, colorful satin and zari drapes and marigold-ribbons. My cousin's wedding was going to be a splendid one. Perfection in every department was in demand by the bride and her father, my uncle, made sure the demand was met come what may.
Pre wedding rituals, her trousseau
for each of those rituals, jewelry to match every outfit, hospitality towards the relatives who had come few days prior to the wedding, food, music, every little detail was being taken care of.

Three domestic helps of the family were asked to work overtime, to wait upon the guests. This was in addition to extra household chores that they were already doing. For which they were to earn additional money. However, the way the three were attending to every job assigned to them and often to what wasn't assigned, money seemed secondary to them. Having been serving the family for years they had by then become a part of the household and they were happily serving the extra hours. They took it upon themselves their individual responsibilities as if the bride was their own daughter.

One evening, two days prior to the wedding, everyone gathered in the living room. A gifting tradition was in order. In this tradition every close relative and friends are gifted clothing-sarees, salwar suits, kurtas; a gesture to thank them for being a part of the wedding ceremony.
The gifting was on and so was the artificial hackneyed line "Oh why me?" "There was no need." "Why the formality?"

While all this was happening, to everyone's surprise, my cousin called the three helps and each were given boxes that were beautifully wrapped in glossy papers just like the other wrapped gifts.
Ecstatic Shikha and Fatima found tussar sarees in their packets, while Mahesh was delighted to find silk kurta in his. The surprises didn't come to an end there. My aunt had gifts for their families too.

I saw a few expressions in the room which unabashedly screamed of disapprovals on such gesture, but those minuscule negative energies couldn't compete with the grand happiness that oozed out of Shikha, Fatima and Mahesh. They felt special, a feeling which was so rare for them, I thought. A smile was fixed on my face, it just felt so right.

My respect and love multiplied for my cousin's family and not to mention there were tons and tons of joy around us.That day I knew that all it takes is sprinkling of some fairy dust in someone's life and happiness in abundance showers around us.

“I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.”

The Blissful Feast and Mithayis!!

The morning was a usual one, a leisurely Sunday 9.00 am with breakfast and newspaper and some family time. While I was digging into my protein induced meal, my parents were discussing the world and their inhabitants around our family. Not interested in the lead characters of the discussion I chose to concentrate on the headlines of the daily.

Moments later I realized the discussion had come to a halt. I looked up and found two pairs of questioning eyes darting towards me. Mom repeated the question which apparently didn't reach me on its first attempt for I was engrossed in those worldly headlines.

I was asked if I remembered that I had to sponsor bhog at our community club's temple with my first salary. A promise, mother had made to God when I was at interviews. A promise, I was aware of, something that all the ladies of the club made for their children without fail; a tradition had shaped up out of its own.

It never had fancied me though and ergo, the promise or its reminder did nothing to fan my enthusiasm for it. I had nodded my consent earlier but now my heart played a different harp.
The bhog, the blessed meal, would be served to people who are already well fed. People who fasted not because their pantry was empty but because they wanted to lose some kilos. People who never hesitated to throw away excess food they had on their plate out of miscalculation of the quantity. What was the point in feeding such stomachs when there were people famished for days? Such hunger does not occur out of choice.
It’s a product that mushrooms out of poverty and its vicious circle.

I knew I had to follow my heart. I discussed my plan with my parents. They thought feeding unfortunate was a noble thing but one cannot back away from a promise either, especially one that made to God. Hence, it was decided I would share a feast with a local orphanage and would also sponsor the bhog.

The day of feast was magical. The warmth, the smiles, the happiness, all so contagious, filled my heart with joy and love. I did not attend the bhog though, which was organized the next day much to the chagrin of my family. I visited the orphanage in its stead, this time with mithayis. This to only witness and experience the smiles that played on their angelic faces. Was totally worth!!


“I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.”

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The 'Hope' Incident!


The heat of summer, the stress at work and the ever so slow traffic had taken its toll on me. Standing in the bus packed with sweating men and women standing-sitting so close to me for more than an hour was killing me brutally.
Twenty minutes had gone by and the bus had moved only an inch. 

My legs were crying, my muscles were threatening to revolt, my senses were on their way to call a strike and I still had to board an equally crowded train after this ordeal.

Just when my right shoulder was about to begin complaining about the weight of my purse that was hanging from it, my throat gave a slight itch; one I was so familiar with. It resulted from the need of water. A need I wasn't able to fulfill with as my bottle was empty.

As the bus kept inching towards the station, its final stop - my stop, the thirst kept aggravating.
The prayers were in all the languages I knew and it had only one underlined wish. Get me home quickly, please!

I was famished, I was thirsty, I was worn out. And the traffic just refused to budge. With all my will power and strength I stood on the spot waiting for a miracle. I played my favorite movies in my mind to avoid the reality and it kind of worked. Thirty minutes later I saw us nearing the station. I looked at the watch, 7.30. Stopping for water will make me miss the train I had my eyes on and that meant reaching home late. All I wanted that time was a hot bath, food and sleep.

Finally the bus stopped at our destination and I sprang out of its confines running towards a nearby shop. Asked for a small bottled water. I grabbed the bottle not caring its temperature or its brand. I paid and ran towards platform number 2. Knowing well the crowded train would make it next to impossible to drink my nectar, I opened the bottle and drank a little, just enough to ease the itch. All this while, running.

Reaching the platform I saw my desired train snaking in. I capped the bottle tightly and shoved it inside my already heavy purse, ready to board the battlefield. Just as the train came to halt I squeezed my thin frame inside.

I couldn't move but I had to get further in with my lock stock and barrel.
Then I felt a warm but firm hand around my right wrist. It was pulling me in. I saw a bunch of smiling females who with determination and some voice authority made the ladies around me relax and make way. In no time I was inside, safe. It was crammed but I wasn't being shoved. A woman got up from her seat and made me take her place. "You look sick", she said. I realized, I was. I could throw up anytime. Another woman gave me a bottle and asked me to take a sip from it. Its glucose water I was told. "Such journeys call for these drinks", she smiled.

I gulped down more than a little and found an elderly woman fanning me with her dupatta.
Overwhelmed with such kindness my hopes on humanity firmed up. The city that's often touted as heartless had more heartbeats than you and I could possibly imagine.

The incident reminds me of not losing faith in humanity and I hope it never dwindles.

Foil To My Bane!


The melancholy digits on the mark-sheet  nonchalantly displayed themselves. Every time I looked at them I saw a dim future. If only I had worked harder, I kept thinking while mentally kicking myself.

Not a day had passed since tenth results were out and people around me were already flagging me and mouthing pasquinades.

Worse, my friends had done well and this chip was gingerly placing itself on my shoulder. I knew scoring low didn't make me less intelligent but it did showcased me as one.

My worrisome thoughts though were directed towards my parents. They hadn't much said till then. Hadn't reacted in any certain way.

Did they just stop talking to me? Did they disown me? Hell I deserved every bit of it.
I never thought text books were meant for me. Mathematics and I were from different planets and a few more subjects didn't share my genetic structure. The only subjects that appealed me were English and Biology; the ones I generally topped. I didn't like others and I couldn't sit through them. I knew this attitude would fetch me scores that are less rich in academic culture. Yet, I didn't care. But, now with those predicted marks and acerbic comments from certain very concerned family friends and nothing from my parents was reducing my faith in myself to crumbles.

Were my parents in shock? Why weren't they saying something? I then realized dad wasn't at home. I couldn't muster the courage to ask mom where was he? Mom too was engaged in kitchen.
Boycotted was I! "Definitely deserve it", I told myself.

I began to rifle through my options. Options to illuminate my future that looked like a dark cavern. I wanted to be a writer, always have, but I had to show my academic prowess. I was invariably told that these numbers will only push me to Arts and I knew they were right. Scoring well, no matter what stream, was now my only goal. Novelist was forgotten.

The door-bell rang. I knew it was dad. I didn't move. I didn't look at that direction. Just stared at the paper I was scribbling in.
I heard them murmuring. Were they to send me to some sort of exile? I sat on my spot motionless anticipating a sentence I was ready for.
The murmur had stopped and I felt their presence around me. I heard a pin drop in that nano moment. It was a murderous silence.
And then something happened. I was being crushed by my parents literally. They both were hugging me so tight I could feel my lungs struggling with their job.

Hug! They should be screaming at me shouldn't be hugging me.

Their lips were now pressing themselves against my forehead and cheeks.

Kisses! Oh my God, I have driven them mad. I turned to them and saw them smiling. Smiles that were assuring me they weren't crazy. Smiles assuring me I was still their daughter. Phew!

The smiles then were replaced with words. They weren't miffed at me nor had I shamed them. They told me how the scores could never take away my intelligence, my dignity, my future or anything else unless I give them up.
These were just part of life and not life itself.
Dad then showed me the reason of his absence. He had got me O. Henry's short story collection and mom announced she was making my favorite pulav.
The silence treatment was just to make me contemplate that on my thoughts, my needs, my actions. They know me well, if they hadn't given me that space, I would have taken things for granted.
With tears rolling down my cheeks and hugging my beloved patents, I looked at the tomb and smiled. Future was so bright.

Till date, those moments make me smile, optimize me, and fill me with love.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Making of a History aficionado?!

I love cinema. Movies, the good ones, are so much more than entertainment. Till date, for me its one of the best form of arts. But never have I garnered the same affection for History, that is until now. 'Now' refers to the past five or maybe six years.

As an average student I often lashed out at education system, within the confines of my mind, for not introducing Cinema as one of the subjects. It would have surely pushed my total percentage several notches up. 
Moreover my detest for History; the subject of dead people I cared the least for, had me have some wicked conspiring wishes. One of the milder ones was me merrily dreaming of Cinema replacing the good for nothing, drab, avein History; yes, the subject of dead people, I cared the least for, in our syllabus.
No surprises here, my prayers which were byproducts of my wishes fell on deaf ears - always, no exception.

Now that I'm older, wiser, sexier, and my whites are dyed in burgundy, History has gingerly but royally seduced its way into my life.
I don't recollect precisely how and when the amour blossomed between us but, today dead people fascinate me. Their lives, their milieu, their conspiracies, their struggles, their ideas - ill or not intrigue me. I'm captivated by the Mughals, the Mauryans, the Cholas, the whole shebang.

Cinema (ones with vintage approach) with its story telling prowess, the immensely talented people, Bollywood, Hollywood and all that jazz is still the apple of my eye, but in time History has ensconced itself on a strong dignified status.
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