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This blog is named after one of my poems. Even thought its not the best of the lot, I just fell in love with those words- The Psyche Unknown...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Life in Netherlands-Part 3-Hoi Mr.Weather!

Moving towards the north pole didn't come across as a threat when I was basking in the tropical sun.. Little did I know of the effects the temperate zone climate would create on my happy little brain..
Here seasons are so well defined unlike in India. You realise you are breezing through summer or falling through autumn very explicitly.. You see the vivid colors in fall and leaves strewn all over, lest fall on you while your biking on the road unlike in India. Atleast in Bangalore you could hardly make out when the rain sets in and when the heat decides its his turn!. Forget winter,..you have the sun blazing all day long,.
When I first reached here, I was taken aback with the phenomenon of cold winds rushing past your face during summer! I braced my jacket then and always hoped the wind would die down.. The temperature in summers do not cross 20-23 degrees! And that was maximum in winter back home for me..People are so ecstatic about the summers here that everyone is outdoors and dressed as minimum as possible.. I did not understand when I landed here why people were so freaky about summers like they'd never seen sun before..Only when autumn set in I agonised on not enjoying the sun more couple of months back.

Happy , sunny initial days...

This is kinda a fair in the square set up during summer..

Lots of events, outdoor activities and parties are held and people make it a point to attend them. Now that I have witnessed the autumn and winter here I am sure I too will during the summers.. Sunlight is precious here..a rare commodity! I had a very short time with summer here though.. Hope I get to enjoy full summer next time.. I wanna go visit places too as they say summers are the best to tour around Europe..May be I can write more about it then....

Once autumn started setting in, the sun slowly faded away.. so much so that we live here without seeing the sun for weeks! No exaggeration. I never was a big fan of sunny days in India. I loved the showers there, had made it a point to get drenched every single time.. but here, a million efforts to like the rain here went futile.. Rains in India meant hot saucy Chinese Bhel puri at the near by chat shop and a hot cup of granny's coffee. While rains here only bring so much fog, chill, dampness and make you relive your past...its like the dementor effect!! You do not feel like cycling out to get a bite of your favourite hot Vietnamese Loempia even though every cell in your body is begging you to have mercy on them!
Rains in India always had a soothing effect.. it would clear your brain and ease the frown on our face but here it just did the opposite. Cold drops of rain that sting you all over sending shivers in the oddest of places especially if you are not in gear.
Nothing stops life here unlike in India where you get a holiday for heavy rains or where your allowed to skip classes when the weather is too bad.. everything works as normal as ever. When the weather was bad, it meant you were allowed to wake up late.. Still unaccustomed here I have woken up late so many days that there is one course that I have missed altogether because of the early timing. Not that the teacher was great and would have instilled "knowledge" in me if I did attend.
But come on.. you don't wake up when it still looks like morning 4 or 5 just because it is indeed 7 or 8 am! ;D

Trust me when I say the flash has added a lot to these pictures!

(You could also check my Amsterdam pictures)

Even after turning your clocks one hour back to save day light you see "light" only for 5-6 hours a day. Note I am not talking about sunlight.. Its just the left over light reflecting from the sun shining in some other part of the world!
Biking during the rains is anguish in its own right.. A terrible pain in the wrong place.. And as nature always conspires against me, it rained worst when I had to bike the most. Fridays!! darned fridays...I had to bike to and fro to attend classes at different faculties and there I had Mr.R(P)ain Casanova feeling me all over even with my protective gear on..
And don't even get me started about the profound effects the gloom has on your psyche.. I as for one suffered home sickness in varied forms, hallucinations, desired for things/people that never existed in that form, depression, self pity, self hatred so on and so forth..

Just a week back when the sun showed up all of a sudden full and bright with no clouds along the horizon, I was so sure I was still asleep. I had only expected it to the gloom to grow worse for winters. But lo! I was in for a surprise...I opened the door and the sun was standing right outside my door with a mischievous grin something that said- "You there lassy.. did ya miss me??" Yes Yes Yes!! Only the light years stopped me from kissing the sun! ;) I stood outside for half hour doing nothing but soaking in all the vitamin D that I possibly could..

See... The sun in my room! :):):) Yeah I have kinda grown romantic about the sunlight...;)

Couple of days, it started getting colder.. The small canals around started freezing and soon even before we realised it, it started snowing. All my neighbours here and me celebrated the first snowfall in Delft with so much enthu in the middle of the night..It was F.U.N. period.
I love the snow..Absolutely! After a all night session of playing in the snow, building a snow man the next night, and walking quite a distance in the snow at around -10 degrees; I am satiated.. :) A peculiar oxymoron in this weather is that its so damn bright when it is snowing. The sun is out in all splendour and yet it shows minus degrees on the temperature scale. Its comparatively less windy too.. I really like it.. Its all white around you and you have the sun adding on to the brightness too...

I fulfilled mychildhood dream of building a snow man too along with my Dutch friend Anouk.. Building snow man is quite a task. Not as easy as I thought. I suffered from a muscle pull in the night and a bad backache the next day.. But it was worth it all. I finally built a snow man and yeah he looked good for a rookie! ;)

Today there is heavy snow fall and its few inches deep on the ground. Its utterly fantastic to see this color waking you up.

Outside my doorstep.

View from my window that I woke up to in the morning today.

And the cycles covered in the snow are so beautiful. Its quite a task to recognise your bike amidst those many, all covered by the white fairy..:)

To avoid this confusion and to de-freeze my cycle locks , I have had to accommodate my bike as a guest for few days in my room! sigh...
But I am perfectly loving this weather..Though it requires layers of clothing and yet sometimes gives you the chills, its much better than the rains.
Waiting for the canals to freeze a little more so that I can go walking/skating over them!

That's the effect when you throw a snowball on the frozen canal.. Isn't it sort of spectacular as though shot in split second of a blast?? Its actually taken almost a minute after the snowball was dropped on the ice!

Spring is yet to come..but when it does, I'll be all ready to let you know about the beauty of Europe!
As of now, I'm getting a call for a snow fight.. ;)
Tot ziens!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Life in Netherlands-Part 2-Ms.Nalapaka!

Whoa! Its been a hectic start of the week.. And I'm already drained out.. I need a bit of my writing therapy.. :) So I thought Ill let you all know a chunk about my life in the land of cheese!

I have been getting repeated questions about what I do about my food, especially how I deal with the 'boon' of being a vegetarisch (Dutch for vegetarian) in a country where everything starts with a 'kip' or a 'vis'! (Your right, I know these words cos I try to identify them first on the menu! It means chicken or fish!)
Well, well, I manage beautifully and how! ;) I do not miss home food and all thanks to the spices mom has sent and my culinary skills within the 3X4 feet kitchenet in my spacebox. I do miss eating junk on roadside though.. :'( The outside food here will come to you in another post!)

Thats an awfully maintained kitchenet of mine!
When I first landed here, Schipol airport smelt like pancakes.. sweet sweet pancakes.. For many this may be a flavour to drool but I hated it instantly. Let me get this straight to you all, I hate sweets, I hate the smell of it, I don't eat chocolates or the wedding confectioneries except peni, chiroti and doodh peda; even that has a limit of just one 'stuk'. ;) If you don't find chilly powder or chillies glaring evilly from your plate, then I haven't brewed your meal! I am the Mistress of Spices! ;)
The Dutch survive on bread and cheese alone of various forms. Naturally pancake smell wasn't unexplained! For them spice means salt. If you ask them to spice it a little more all they will do is add pepper to it and wrap it in a neat paper with a smile! I was petrified of the very thought about spending the next 2 years or so here.. I wasn't too sure of my skills in the kitchen except for making crispy, tasty akki rottis and that's hardly a thing you can do daily when you are supposed to be managing studies and a 'house' of your own!

For the first few weeks, mom's ready to cook and eat stuff saved me from starving. I binged on it all day long even when I wasn't hungry. That was my way of getting rid of homesickness. When the booty baggage started looking empty, trust me I checked for all the compartments a thousand times, I was forced to go shopping. Another time sucking menace that I hate!! Specially when you are spoilt for too many options, it can seriously hinder your decision making capabilities whether or not your a libran like me! So many brands of super markets with price and quality tags of their own and not to mention, the safe haven for all Indian food lovers like me-the Turkish shop..

One markt named Aldi..
Anyways then began My experiments with truth! boy oh boy! some major experiments with standard rules of cooking! On electric stoves that too.. I hadn't gone close to one in India! I defied everything that mom fervently shouted to me through skype, just cos I was lazy/suffered a problem of inattention and hence I brewed and concocted my steps of cooking.. Burnt rice, overheating the pans such that the teflon coating gets eroded, over spiced(yeah even for my standards) 'curries', forgetting what's on stove while chatting with a friend, the fire alarm friggin' ringing its bells off only to get stares from my chinese neighbour, spoiling a birthday treat of a friend(will post it in a topic called "How not to make kesari bath!"), burning hands, cutting fingers instead of onions, overestimating the freshness quotient of food items and having to throw away the yeast ridden saucers were some of the astronomically enlightening results!

However I strongly believe in the phrase "Try, try and try till you succeed". I dutifully tried everyday (and I still do!). I still didn't listen to mom much mainly cos I never had half the ingredients of what she mentioned. Abiding by her rules only meant extra shopping, nah! forget it! not worth it. Saying that I'd never compromise on the quality/taste of food I eat.. NEVER! I'm a connoisseur of food.. ;) Cooking is like chemistry you see. You need to know which ingredient behaves as what when added to another ingredient(s), the catalysts to enhance taste and the splendid products and by products that come out of it.. Tabulating the experimental results in my brain and applying corollary theorems to each of them, I noted a set of patterns in the conventional cooking styles. I deviated here and there slightly to get modified versions of many "difficult" dishes cooked by mom's in India who start preparing for it early in the morning. And all within half hour's toil between classes! I know,I know,,,, I'm smart.... :D

<==Here is one of my creations. Its close enough to Vegetable kurma and tastes yummmm.. believe me or else I wouldn't have survived here this long!

Aha! To the right(above) is is the pic of a bloating roti! that too on an electric stove!!muhahahah... Although I'm yet to decipher why making rotis fat is a mark of good culianry skills, I was happy when mom said its difficult to get bloated rotis on flames most of the time. And yet, there I had a cute bloated roti on the tava standing on an electric stove! Its become a routine these days! What do I say, I'm just good at it! Or else I'd simply not be called the Roti expert by my Indian neighbours! :D I could make good ones even when my "intelligent and nutrition freak" friend added egg yolk to the atta and asked me to make chapatis out of it!

<== There you go, another night's dinner.. parathas and cheese cum spice dipped capsicum!(capsicums here come in orange, red and yellow colors!)Oh yeah I make use of the Dutch items too!

Below is food for a couple of days! Saves me time at the kitchen counter during rough days ;)

There have been lot of innovative dishes tried in my room till now, some terror inducing and some hunger stimulating!
Beans gojju,
pasta with sambhar powder(it actually tastes good!),
carrot spread for the bread, bread-o-nion(its one word,careful, I termed it!),
cauliflower fry,
brinjal twists(an accident-I didn't want it to look like twists!),
raddish treats(it was the worst of my experiments I think...that was the raddish marathon week-one raddish was so big that I had to eat it for a week! a case of underestimation..I haven bought another since then..:D) etc etc and of course some conventional items like
channa masala,
fried rice,
bisibele bath,
capsicum masala,
potato bhaaji's,
all types of sambhars
and of course rice. May be plain rice is the only thing I haven't tried manipulating. Its easy and I'll leave it that way! ;) And none of them exceed my time limit for cooking of half to 3/4th of an hour a day!

Indianized Pasta!
Wheat Pakodas! ;) 

Of course mom's parcel of pickles,chutneys n chutney pudis are all there to compliment my dishes perfectly to the last taste bud!
So lay out your plates people, the new chef is in town!! ;)

PS: If you have a phobia to spices even by a tiny percentage, you should stay away from the dining area! :) I am not liable to consequences arising from your foolish confidence in trying my dishes! :D


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Life in Netherlands-Amsterdam-A walk of a lifetime!

I didn't think I would post about Amsterdam so soon.. but yeah, today right after being back and even though every muscle of mine is refusing to work after going for 2 days with little sleep, I still want to write this down. The magic word is Amsterdam! The name never meant much to me before, I never understood why people always went ga-ga about it.. But today I realised it. Whatever the others may perceive about Amsterdam, one cannot ignore the pulse throbbing in the heart of the city. Absolutely scintillating to walk down amidst hundreds of people in those bi-lanes of Central Amsterdam.

Unlike Delft, its not calm, green or peaceful but has all the crowd, the traffic, the old buildings sticking to each other along with the canals n boats! A typical European city that complains of traffic and trams..It was such a change from the university's serene surroundings. And I was surprised I liked it! May be it was too long since I saw that kind of madness..:)
Every step I took today(and let me tell you I took lots, I didn't realise the time or where I was headed to) was so gratifying! After the helicopter simulation session in NLR, (its the National Aerospace Laboratories in dutch) Dion helped me sneak through the gates as I didn't have my OV chip like he did. ;) Mike and Robin were also helpful enough to show me the way out of Sloterdijk and the tram stop. I began self exploring the city and it felt wonderful.

I lingered out of the central station finding information in the tourist info counter.. Nothing suited my budget or time so I just set out exploring by myself.. and that was a super decision taken I must say..
Waving in and out, the cobblestone road holding the most eccentric shops I have ever seen in my life unfolded itself with intricate glass chandeliers hanging above a s a part of the christmas celebrations..yeah its started a month in advance!

Some magnificent clothing and accessory display on either side with variety of cuisines lined up next to each other, your eyes just don't get enough of it. Be it "Vijaya Restaurant-Best curries in town" :D or the Argentinian hotels, even the Venezuelan cafe, they all stood so calmly hand in hand adding to the glamour of the streets.. Countless coffee shopsplaced all over..phew, initially the excited me took a picture of almost every coffee shop (that looked quite different from the other) along the way.. But I had to stop it.. they rack up innumerous on either side of the roads and every small lane you turn into!
(I hope you realise I wasn't taking pictures of "coffee" shops.. :D For those who don't know, coffee shops are the places where you can roll up ANY joint you want! Its all legal here! ;))

Then there were roads n roads of impregnable beer shops and wine shops lined so glorious, I just couldn't help remembering Vipin at that time.. :P Took few special pics just so that I can mess around with him(Amsterdam is his dream destination!) :D And of course a thousand casinos and gambling centres all over!

As I moved along, even without realizing, I was in front of Madam Tussuad's. Well, it was almost closing time and I dint want to go in at that time wasting money. Instead I hovered around there and my my! that's some city square.. Bustling with life, activities, tourists and hundreds of pigeons flying upto you nonchalantly.... Literally you could feel a positive spirit oozing out of everything there..The best part in that square(though it may sound silly) was the masked men pretending to be straight out of scary movie. It was quite appealing(I know, I'm weird). I just loved those three guys brandishing swords and silver axes!

I was just savouring the view in the middle of the square when I read a board called Amsterdam Diamond Society.. I started walking towards it and lo! there were diamonds on display.. All kinds, colors and sizes.. Diamond studded watches, brands like Gucci and Rolex made me dizzy.. I was swearing to myself all along! I decided the first thing I'd do when I have a job and a constant inflow of currency was to buy one of these Gucci watches!

And what was that above? Diamonds- wholesale-tax free??!! Like ads in India for rice and wheat grains?! That struck me.. A factory?! What are these people into???

I walked, I walked till I could no longer walk and found a lot of gift shops, coffee shops, flower shops, coffee shops, cheese shops, coffee shops, wine bars, coffee shops, and ah ha! finally tulips!(and of course coffee shops! :P :D) had never seen tulips since I arrived here.. Its the national flower of NL if you don't know! A long winding street full of multi-colored tulips- buds, full bloomed ones and plants which are yet to be sown in the soil!All for sale! Loved the flowers for once!

After another hour of exploring, taking tens of pictures, admiring the art(grafitti on walls-you find lots of it) I was trying to locate the way back to central station. I dunno how, may be the magic of Amsterdam just got me to Tussuad's again. Had never felt happier in Netherlands before.. Don't ask me why or for what. I received a message from Sniggy and I had to call.. I was missing her! Poor thing, bitten by a dog, she must have been wanting some empathy from me but all I could shout out was "I am in Amsterdam, I am in Amsterdam..In front of Madam Tussad's!!" This never was a dream destination or anything, but I was literally screaming into the phone... I wanted her there with me.. :) Again don't ask me why.. It sometimes is beyond explanations you know.. Probably you have felt it too at one point or another in relation to a particular person..

After all this I had to return back..It was getting late and I grudgingly was heading towards the station. Even in the train, my head was filled with the walk through Amsterdam.. I must have coverd a major chunk of it.. Cos' I remember seeing the museumplein and the other museums on tram quite behind and I saw them while I walked too! :)
So many more things I want to say, so many things I saw, I felt...the darker side of Amsterdam..but I don't want to create an impression on the first go! I'd explore more again and then add that up in some other related posts..

Hard fought for sleep and a minor accident the previous day, coupled with all the walking today, My legs refused to carry me home from the Delft station. It was drudgery.. But I loved it.. I was elated. I still am.. I repeated the same story with Vignesh too just now! (The "I was in Amsterdam, I was in Amsterdam.." thingy..)May be I should stop before people throw things at me.
I have always been this way. I feel things others just can't see.. and vice versa...May be if you go there you wouldn't find it all this exhilarating, but its all in the way of how you perceive it you know..;) I reached my room and here I am writing down with droopy eyes and sore feet.. I'd better pay some attention to it. Thanks to few others, I realized what a dumbass I've been in certain matters.. Got truckloads to handle before tomorrow can come to an end! :( God, Can't just one day be perfect?

Anyways, I absolutely loved the place.. Truly worth visiting, and what? I haven't gone into the depths of the city yet! People find Amsterdam attractive for all the "legalized reasons", whatever they say, but I'd say Go Amsterdam! Go Vibe!!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Life in Netherlands- Part 1

I'm in love with the new place I live in.. Delft, The Netherlands.. Moved in here 3 months ago for pursuing my long standing dreams...Frankly, not in my weirdest fantasies did I dream I'd be here.. in this country. I never talked about Netherlands before Mr.R.A, a scientist from NAL, Bangalore mentioned TU Delft to me. For me Netherlands didn't exist then! But now, I love this peace loving country where prisons are being shut down due to low crime rates and of course for various other reasons mentioned below and that will be mentioned in the future posts too.

At the city center in Delft.

This has been beyond my expectations. Delft though has a city status now still has the making of country side and boy! do I love that and how!! Its green, all around. So pleasing, so soothing and yet technologically as good as any city in this country. I just love the overall effect it delivers. Friendly people, neighbourhood shops, a mind blowing university, a student town literally, a culture so different wrapped around by cheese and wine!

This is a picture from a recently held cheese and wine tasting event. TU Delft holds such events every now and then.. Lots of friday night events where you can relieve the week's stress and learn and savour different cultures and festivities.

THE mentionable trait of Netherlands would be its countless canals and wind mills.. In Delft there is just one windmill and it hasn't captured me enough, for me to take out my camera and capture it! I hope when I go country exploring I get to find more of them..
But the canals are the best part of this country. I so totally love it.. The water so pure, silent and enigmatic always eases the frown between your brows when you are done for the long fought day.

I'm bowled over by the Dutch in general. They are so so tall.. ;) In India I was a 'tall' girl.. Most of the guys were either almost as tall as me or shorter than me.. Rarely you could find a guy actually tall so that I have to crane my neck to look at him. Here, I realized how tall the Dutch are when, during one of the breaks, I ventured out to get some coffee..It was so crowded and it hit me as I was trying to make my ways past them. All I could see was shoulders and chests or shoulders and bags! I actually had to crane my neck a complete 90 degrees to get a full view of the face! :D I felt like a little kid amidst grown ups trying to find my way back into the class! :P And that's saying something.. (you'll know why I said that if you have seen me!)

The Dutch are pretty strong and athletic too.. They have perfect bodies-men and women alike. I think it comes form constant cycling. Cycling to them is the 2nd natural thing. In India, use of cycles are limited to high school and at the most pre university.. But here, its surprising as well as exhilarating to see working class use cycles. They are so good wit cycles that, when my cycle had a problem, a friend suggested "Just catch hold of a Dutch guy yaar, He'll fix it in no time!" n its true! Cycles (more so called bikes here) just add on to the city outlook perfectly!

That's near my department..

That's near my studio..(individual bachelor rooms with basics, kitchenet and bathroom are called studios in general)

The other day Anil and me were biking with heavy shopping bags on our backs and cycle handle bars trying not to lose balance. Riding with too many add ons is not advisable in India amidst the raging traffic.. We were wondering about the same topic and lo! there goes a dutch super mom with 2 seats for her kids-one toddler and one may be a 5 yr old, bags hanging on the rear end from both sides and a basket of flowers perched on the front handle bar while she herself wore a huge bag on her shoulders and was munching a sandwich held in one hand.(teh Dutch do it often-eating while biking is what their lunch hour means!) The kids weren't excatly sitting still and helping her either. And yet she whizzes past us with such ease and grace.. We couldn't stop laughing at our own state after that..
And now I'm totally loving cycling.. After a long time I have got a cycle of my own and I love it! I love it! here is my cycle below..:)

And my university is absolutely fantastic.. Every field is developed in every sphere and equal opportunities for all without any bias.. Universities in India have to change in this aspect. Plus the aura inside the campus is so adept; be it just for walking, cycling or studying.

That's my department entrance..

That's the library from outside.

I get to see such beautiful sky and contrails(many which are due to our faculty experiments!) on my way to the faculty and back..

This is one of the tallest building in Delft..EWI faculty.. Lost your way? just look out in the sky for this building, follow the roads that lead you here and you'll reach home safely! :)

There is so much more to explore and exploit in this city! I'm hoping myself I will be able to post more about life in Delft soon! :)

Nov 22 2009, 11:17 pm

Random paranoia...

*Disclaimer- This could possibly be the most nonsensical post of mine till date! Read at your own risk although I kinda like it cos I 've never done this before!*

Today, I want to write so many things and yet I'm not able to. No that I have a mind block on ideas or anything, but just that I dunno how to put it. Poetry? Paragraphs?And neither way, I'm getting the right words..What comes after what? I want to encrypt it and yet want the message to be out loud and clear. I'm jittery, scared, angry with myself and hating so many things today. Lot of negative aura.. I dunno what is wrong with me.. I dunno if I really want to publish this post too..

I want to write a poem, but all I get is lines from my previous ones.. I want to direct certain things to few people and the world alike, but what is holding me back? I cannot see sense in most of the stuff happening around, happening within me.. And I want to scream out loud...I have a raging headache today and no amount of coffee is helping me.. May be I'll just write what comes to my mind first!

I just heard about the bomb blasts in Assam and I'm paranoid. Its so maniacal that people think so viciously.. Isn't the world everyone's home? I realise this statement after being in a foreign country for 3 months. There is nothing like your country, my country or your religion, my religion.. Just because you stay in one piece of land for a long time doesn't mean that land becomes great and you have to despise, disrespect and entomb the other. The more you travel, stay and try adapting to a new place, you begin to realise that you are glad being a human on this earth. That's when you realise how much you are mistaken about another country. You begin to understand the existence of human race when you meet people from all over the world, some with great philosophical and scientific temperament, talk continuously and delve deeper into the myths and facts. The entire world is your place and all the rules are man made.. But for what?! I do not understand. Why is there division at all? The globe is yours, your foreign only when your out of it! The war for survival begins there.. Against odds, against alien conditions, against life if there is so. But why here?

Well, again this was not what I wanted to convey but yeah, I just did it.. This wasn't exactly my problem a while ago...Have I lost it completely?

I am angry with myself for a lot of reasons here today. For starters, I am suddenly upset about leaving India where people like me are needed. I'm not saying that I will conquer the world for India by my ingenuity or brains but yeah, there are thousands of villages that require some dedicated engineers to help develop. Tried convincing myself that I will go back and help build but I'm still dissatisfied! Not convinced..Feel like a traitor. And I'm contradicting my own view here with respect to the above para.. I know that. But what the heck! That's what I felt! I think I have lost it completely today!

You would think I'd learn my lessons fast but I haven't apparently, atleast with respect to one particular chapter of my life. Why is that? I can never try and test my firmness in this one particular instance. Have never been so wavy in my decisions. Never have let my essence override the mind's determination. But why on this issue, is it all going topsy-turvy?

Also I wish I had loads of people around me now. Now that's really weird, even for my standards! Never actually wished for something like this before. Am I just being homesick? They say there are lots of ways to find out if your home-sick.. None of them are matching what I feel..May be its different for me.. weird that I always have been.

My mom has begun reading my blog. I dunno if she does it on a continuous basis but she knows my blog address now! Initially I thought it would be nice cos' I wanted her to read my poems. But after she read a couple of my posts, I have almost lost my sense of freedom to write! A terrific critic that she is, she is also the cabinet member, minister and the president of censor board for my blog! I have already had to remove certain material that she thinks will ruin my "prospects" in future.

I'm just tired.. I'm scared.. I'm not happy with my progress in various fields. Loads of expectations to meet.. but I'm just so not into it! And I know I can't go on like this. But I'm still in it!!

Hold on...

(After a break of an hour)

I just spoke to Vignesh..One another friend I'd treasure. He always is so calm and can soothe you down if you want. Feeling much much better. I really don't think above paras make any sense but I guess Ill post it anyways. They are all so random and do not make a point anywhere I guess. But after writing for so long, I don't have the heart to delete it. My problems aren't solved. But I just realized, I always have had them and I have dealt better with it...may be I needed a break and writing always has helped.. Dunno if it was Vicky or it was just me, I'm getting back to my normal self...
May be this is an anti climax sort of thing for the post.. Something not expected...but hey, I bet you remember the disclaimer put before!:)

Nov 22, 2009, 10pm

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I asked...

Flying through the clouds,
I touch down estranged,
Amidst a sky clearer than the mind
And water cleaner than the soul.

Days spent were many,
On the dreams so uncanny,
When realized, so precious,
Pride and mirth, reign so vicious..

The past seems a distant drone,
Struggle seems a forgotten parole,
All I see is the life I asked,
The glory of it all, so can I bask...

As success becomes common,
And glory isn't mine alone,
The thrust of it all gets on,
And the dorsum snaps, but I am not gone..

I fear, I shiver,
The cold biting through the fog,
Realization again dawns and shines,
While the mask of clamber smiles so sly.

A life I asked is no less unsound,
Disarray evinces in the felt ground,
No conflict from what I forever ran,
Is this life I asked so utmost blank.....


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Call of the Macaw..

Deep from the valleys croon the macaw so rare,
Beckoning life through the endless glare,
The crimson red and the blue spill out,
Only to build up the mystic doubts.

Eyes closed shut, I refuse to see,
For the light blinds the delirious in me,
I wait for the embrace warm and tight,
But have I dreamt long asks my soul in flight.

I can see it shimmering bright,
Notwithstanding my eternal fright,
The soul I thought was a thing I owned,
Flew graciously towards the distant drone...

Trapped in a haze, the frenzy of town,
I strive to live or rather drown,
The milieu merciless pardons none,
Bequeath the soul and you are for done.

I cry out aloud, for I need to succeed,
The dominances assure me the need to please,
My soul flies far from land,
Along the crimson - golden band..

Desire is bound within the trammels of my heart,
Success and fame burns in the flames of the eyes,
All I need is my soul within,
To unleash them and prevail in mirth no thin..

Alas! the soul in search of the macaw,
Follows the euphony in ecstacy and pride,
The soul returns when the prize is found,
Say the wise long and sound...

I stop calling and I wait along the shores..
I know my soul will rest and return evermore,
Once loved, fed and reposed as it merits,
My soul shall regress to triumph all the more...


Mind?? Freewill?

Have you ever considered the human mind before? A question no doubt asked by many in the beginning of their articles. Scientific, spiritual, philosophical…. anywhere. This even kind of irritated me whenever I came across it. But today faced by the anomalies of my mind I stood to realize why that question is often asked! Well, I have considered my mind before but never before in this angle. It is sort of contorted and unwilling to bend in certain places. It also holds up a depraved grin across, hindering my advances towards any modification. How is it that the mind which has been taught from the scratch in any one way or the other suddenly starts to dominate by teaching you things which you might have as well not known!

So much for the eternal worries of parents, they try teaching their kids of what’s necessary for a successful life. They do miss out on various elements thinking their kids would learn it in due course of time. Mercy from any source would be welcome then. This little mind too just adheres to what its taught all the while. But then what happens suddenly? Why is it all the more bent on learning things that it may not need even when you focus on not learning it? Or rather that which could be a harm in the path of success? And its more disgustingly intensifying as it tries to rule you. Isn’t the mind supposed to come under the free will of a person albeit the brain decides what’s best? I have always thought that free will is something that can be exercised ruling out the decisions sent by the brain, barring/supporting any instincts and that which cannot be questionable. Even by fate! If that is true then how is it that the actions are influenced in such a vast way against the free will? What is the physical aspect of the mind?

Or am I just getting it all wrong? Is it that the mind is always in your control but its just the free will that’s playing games? How does one explain my situation right now? I am typing this article very much wanting to put my ideas but the mind wanders off elsewhere. What is it that is acting on me negatively? The mind or the free will? Is it just the free will that’s contorted and refuses to bend and not the mind? If so then it can’t be called free will right? If I want to write I should be able to without change or disruptions in plan. That’s what is free will all about but if I’m changing course mid way involuntarily then what is it that’s acting on me? Change in free will or is it the mind over ruling the free will? Can that happen???


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Summer of 2009

Often you don’t expect things that you dream in the broad daylight to happen to you..
Often you don’t see things the way they are although they scream out their sanctity loud..
Often you want to do something that you have secretly dreamt all your life and yet you are apprehensive to take a step towards it just because you are not good at it or may be the world will laugh at you!

But not very often you can let your hair down, be in the moment and savor every single pleasure life has to offer. In life’s struggle to get going, finish your job and get few appraisals in your own terms, its difficult to find child-like joy, disbarring all thoughts and actions that doesn’t matter, ignoring the world around and doing just the thing you want to do.

In that sense this summer has been truly gratifying for me. Why! In every sense this summer has been a pure stream of joy. Gusts of lessons trying to mould me stronger and more confident, waves of happiness, anxiety, relief, pride, faith, modesty, love, regret, shame, assurance all taking their turns to wash me thorough and rays of new hope beaconing me towards my long standing dreams… God knows it’s been a roller coaster season for me. I had never considered in my wildest imaginative world that I’d do all that I liked within the span of 3-4 months.. May be not perfectly, but atleast I gave everything I wanted, a try!! I discovered the joy of bending to my fantasies and doing things just the way I wanted to..

Hardly any classes this semester and it gave a lot of scope for other activities. I got back to playing badminton like after 12 years! And I realized I’m not all that bad at it.. My dad’s struggle to teach me for 5-6 years hadn’t gone futile. For the first time I entered the badminton court in my college! After 4 years.. I know its ridiculous but for someone who spent all her time in auditoriums for fests and other cultural activities, you should give her a benefit of slack judgement. Guys in my class were encouraging about it and gave great company while playing. Must thank Pooja here ‘cos she was the one who unburied the topic of badminton from the lost depths of my mind. It proved to be a great form of exercise to my then troubled mind and body and also made some good friends in the process.:)
I also got to hold a tennis racket and try few hits.. It’s a tough game!! :O

Trekking had always been a secret wish of mine and for once things worked out as planned. It took some effort to gather people around but thanks to Sanath, Karthik and my dad, without whom it wouldn’t have happened. In order to get a huge group going I called in a lot of people I knew from different fields. May be that was the only mistake I did.. I couldn’t stay with any group for long and in the march I was left out all alone mostly. But I’m not complaining. I still enjoyed it. Although I realized my fitness levels suck big time, I still want to go back.. I tried getting the group together once again for another trek but nature seemed to tell me I’m pushing my luck too far! Nevertheless, it was a great experience.. I’d go back to nature anytime.. May be ill post the details under another topic.

Ah! Then came basketball.. Seeing the guys team in my college win most of the tournaments they played, it sort of pumped me up too.. I hadn’t played a match in like 5 years & although I loved this game much more than any other I just couldn’t get back to playing because of various reasons.. Thanks to Shek, Tintin, Daddy and Jams.. Once they knew I used to play in school they encouraged me to play with them whenever we bunked classes (which we did after the first 2 hours everyday!) I am nowhere close to them in terms of the game but it still got that deep-seated passion for the game in me out in the open. Was quite apprehensive too but Shek and Tintin got me all comfortable.. They really didn’t seem to mind my horrible try at the hoops.. Really thanks a ton guys.. If not for these 4 guys especially Jams here may be I wouldn’t have joined the girls’ team for practice. I participated in VTU tournament as well.. Trained for 15 days under a superb coach and I had a jersey after a long long time!! All together I might have played for 15 minutes max in the tournament, but atleast I got a feel of it after a long long time.
Shek being the best on court, I had confided in him that I wanted to get back to playing ball, he immediately spoke to the coach of NGV, Koramangala (the same one as before) where he played and the coach readily took me up too… I was asked to go to practice every Sunday morning!! It initially again freaked me out.. Everyone there would be seasoned players and I’d make a big fool out of myself. But again as Shek put it and which I felt made sense- I didn’t have a reputation to maintain. I could afford to make mistakes. I am as good as a beginner so it shouldn’t bother how I play amongst those experienced. I am going for those practices regularly.. I was getting close to the ball and closer to the hoops.. Some glee ran through my veins. ;) Now that I am going there I want more.. I still need to build my game.. It rejuvenates me even though its just once a week prac and I don’t do anything appreciable! :D

Although my entire time was taken up by project work, basketball and others, I missed music. I had neglected it cos there were so many other things I wanted t do.. And that clearly showed in the unease I felt most of the time.. I realized whatever new stuff I may try and how much ever I would neglect music for something else even though momentarily, I know music is in me.. No one can take it out of me. For any reason. And I can’t neglect it even if I want to. I started singing anywhere and everywhere because of lack of time. Something that I was too shy to do.. It sort of got me some peace. And whenever I got time I used to have a full fledged practice and to my own surprise I was getting quite innovative without making mistakes!! :)

My project work was something that I was happy doing cos I know I wouldn’t have done a good job if I had chosen anything other than aerospace. This project sometimes got on my nerves but nothing is perfect in this world. I realized that too.. I thought I had made a wrong choice about my partner when everyone else said so (my mind was blissfully blank until then about this issue). But on deeper thinking I understood that I wouldn’t have got a better partner than Kala.. Thanks to him.. I couldn’t have imagined the same amount of work from someone else. He always does a great job when he is around. Only problem being he had too many commitments and was crunched for time. Yeah, we did have and probably still do have a lot of misunderstandings.. Each of us have spoken against the other in public when our nerves had gone all frenzy for different reasons, But being professional is something else that I have mastered over the past 4 years and again the best part-he is too! Learnt quite some stuff from him that I can put to use in future. Thanks Kala! ;)

One sense of achievement that reigned me through the summer is the admission I got in Delft University. :) I dunno if Ill be going for sure because of several hurdles to be crossed but this summer it definitely has been one hot topic of discussion at home and convincing parents, although a tedious task, was worth the effort.. Convincing my mom is an arduous task. Through all this may be I have improved my skills in winning over arguments! :D Thanks to all the people who showed confidence in me and who encourage and motivate me to achieve what i dream all the time- hamsa, suma aunty, karthik, srinivas, adarsh, sanath, kitty mama,Ann, butterchicken and many many more..

Apart from all this, mom’s made different kinds of happala, sandige, mango pickles and everything possible with mangoes! :D slllllluuurrrrrppp.. Reminds me of my childhood summer days with jo and her cousins.. Those games in sand dunes, in the attics of our houses, camping at each others place.. Blissful days.. :)

And lastly, even though I know this article is ridiculously large and if you have skimmed through till the end or actually read it! (Please let me know if you have-I’ll treat you*!;) ) I still feel great cos this is what I wanted to do today after a good jog and a nice game of badminton with dad!;) I wanted to write everything down without having to bother about the quality or quantity of literature and I wanted to put it up on my blog.. And so am I doing it! :)

*- You'll have to pass a quiz on this article! lol! :D

Swathi Krishna

Monday, March 23, 2009

Consecrated Words...

Look me in the eye. Its okay if your scared,so am I. But we're scared for different reasons, I'm scared of what I won't become, and your scared of what I could become. look at me. I won't let myself end where I started, I won't let myself finish where I began, I know what is within me; even if you can't see it yet. Look me in the eyes. I have something more important than courage, I have patience, I will become what I know I am ...

I have never fallen in love with anyone's quotes this much. Its so inspirational, something that deserves a sacred status. It means above all other, so true, so simple yet so deep, so assuring and so encouraging. I have been reading this everyday when I go online. Gives me a new found hope. Some driving force these words are.. Something I'd like to believe-I do- something that soothes me, something that makes me dream bigger and better, something that makes me chase them, something that makes me smile at the problems standing in my way to reach those dreams... Something that drives my complex beyond the blue when I see other achievers. I may not have done anything till now that I can be proud of,I know it.. But I also know it wont stay that way for long. You will see it..The world will see it.. Look me in the eyes... I will become what I know I am..
Even though this legend who said these words was a born one, not made, he still makes me think I can be one too!!
Respect Mr.Michael Jordan!! \m/

Sunday, March 8, 2009

On the lam..

I wake up from my slumber,
Talking things with my psyche,
I realize the journey to be embarked,
Has found its time to depart.

I walk through the mist
Hazed and sleepy as a log,
I cannot see a thing of the ulterior,
I just tread in the rumbles of the path.

I know not where the dark leads,
But have I set out with a fortitude so rare,
The eremitic elements of nature call out
To cark my resolve of years from the past.

I climb along the pathless alleys,
With the stitch in my rib squalling gore,
I cross the rivers, mountains and shores,
For the only love I truly have wallowed.

High on the rocks, far from the ground,
I squat to think of the mystic later,
The haze around slowly dissolves,
The chill defeats me less and my breath unthaws..

Then came the light through the revery,
Just a band of colours hugging the winds,
I hear my heart, wild and expectant,
Knowing what am I truly looking for.

The tiny globe of crimson unveils,
The countless opportunities strayed beyond,
The first rays of the golden orb embrace me tight,
With the dew whistling in the morning light.

My scarred skin irradiates on the summit,
Refurbishes my soul through depths,
The drift of pastures high and might,
Oppugn my grit and dreams of long..

I refuse to give up,
I refuse to give in,
There, is my destiny,
There, is my everything,
My one love is all I own.

I stand up on my recuperating feet,
Overlooking the million roads,
I spot the one that I decide to trek,
With faith immense and pleasure galore..

I set out with a renewed vigour,
With a smile I feel unfeigned,
I know my dreams are just near the orb,
Fatigue can wait along with the world apart.

I run with insanity and rage of hope,
Laughter ringing through the flush of grass,
My ragged attire poise no gainsay,
I lam from my past and head for more...

This voyage discovers the true me,
With the endless expanse of roads alone,
All the roads, I know, will lead to my Rome,
To meet my destiny, my love and the dreams I adore.....


Saturday, March 7, 2009

I dunked too!!

This fictitious story was originally written by my very good friend in recent times- 'Butterchicken'., albeit aeroyogi has a teeny weeny role in the making of this creative gibberish. :) So i take the liberty of adding it on to my blog too! This has been an experiment at least for me.. so do post in your comments about it.

Dunk..miss..dunk..miss.. It was impossible not to miss the sudden replacement that my body, my heart to be precise, had taken to in this chronicle of a life that I’m living in. The lub..dub..lub..dub that methodically ran my circulatory system had undertaken a new Dunk..miss..dunk..miss style of working.
I hated it. Every special moment now rang a Dunk..miss..dunk..miss bell. It all began as a sincere mistake that I made, when I watched him play. Dunk..miss..dunk..miss.. To the power infinity!
The bizarreness of this rhythm began when ‘he’ dunked and the other ‘he’ missed. When he dunked again and the another ‘he’ missed . I watched this eye popping entertainment with utmost ardor and now I am a victim. I, who fervently lived a life that had an ‘absence of guilt’ tag on it until recently, was overridden by guilt. During this episode, I developed a feeling of animosity toward my always so charged, thumping pal, my heart! I noticed how every time he was around, the Dunk..miss..dunk..miss rang louder than before. I feared being heard, especially by him. It was hard enough that I didn’t exist for him.

Everyday I watched him play. As I got nearer and nearer to the front seat in the stadium, I noticed how the reaction on his face felt like a new one every time he dunked . He may have played a million games, some of which could have been wonderful and some atrocious by nature, but he wore an expression of ease and satisfaction in the end. Charm came to him easily, everyone noticed that. But what people dint notice was how he strove for perfection with each game he played and how he smiled at the end of it all, even when he missed and the other he dunked. People comprehend basketball as only a game, but I saw it as an art. An art that he brought to life, being the infallible artist that he was.

My guilt stuck to me.. He came... Dunk..miss..dunk..miss.. He left! The guilt became an overbearing torture, when he dunked at his ball game but missed noticing how I sat there earnestly watching him play. I told myself it dint matter. I was just a fan. I admired, I appreciated and I also aspired to know him. At the end of the day I somehow convinced myself that I was there only for the sheer joy of the game and to support the only able basketball player that ruled the court. This knowledge brought about pensive sadness, that wrapped me like how my moms hand had wrapped itself around my two year old fingers, when we went for a walk.

My love of the game kept me near the front seat almost everyday. I came to understand that maybe because I wasn’t noticed by him, unlike the others, I was lucky enough to share this space of a never like before understanding with the unparalleled player. This point of view that made me beam with happiness brought me to the stadium on a day when I should’ve not wanted to miss my classes. Our college team played the visitors on this day, a day that marked the beginning of a saga that I became a part of. I thought of it as the perfect day to acknowledge my appreciation, as a true fan. I owed him that. ‘Congratulations, dude’, ‘congrats, pal’, ‘good work, buddy’.. I rehearsed. Everything seemed fuzzy, as a matter of fact on that day even fuzzy logic seemed so clear! I decided at the end of the game, after their victory, I will have it worked out somehow. That’s when they lost. He lost. He missed and the other ‘he’s’ dunked. What made it worse was his smile. Although the other girls went crazy seeing it, I noticed the essence of melancholy that it had brought with it. I was disheartened, owing to many reasons. For starters, I missed out on that opportunity to talk to him, I’d never rehearsed a ‘well played, dude’ or a ‘next-time it’ll be you man!’. I hated myself. I turned back, swearing to wriggle out of this whole basketball obsession that I had coated myself in. Enough was enough, I told myself! That’s when he called out my name. I couldn’t have missed that. If I had a basketball right then, I swear to god I would have made a dunk shot. He smiled. I hated that. It was so alluring, so beguile. Unparalleled. I mustered courage enough to say a hi. He apologized. I cant exactly describe my reaction to that, I now don’t really remember how it could have been. But anyway he apologized. He said he was sorry, that he let me down and that he’d planned to win this game and talk to me. Alas things hadn’t worked that way he said, but we’d still talked, rather he’d talked. He also told me, how he kept wanting to play, whenever I was in the stadium, just so that I could stay there a little bit longer. My heart leapt with joy.. As a kid I’d always imagined the earth spinning as fast as a top. As crazy as it sounded then I‘d dreaded just the idea, but I wished for it to happen now. However at that moment, time, that always had been too busy speeding up, bothered to wait for me. I don’t know how long it took, for me to touch base with planet Earth and then with my numbed brain. He was still standing anticipating nothing in particular. That’s when it happened.. Dunk..miss..dunk..miss.. My heart steadfastly began sounding its favorite rhythm. It felt like I’d crossed the finish line to win the race I’d always been running in my subconscious mind.
I smiled. I had to.

A great ball player that he was, he was more than that on the inside. He was brilliant with words as astounding as he was with handling the ball. He played around with his brain in a speed just as he dribbled the ball; even one with the most acute eyesight could never follow his hands to the second. His zest for life was better than any of his famous 3 pointers and he could easily sweep anyone off the floor as gracefully as he went for a drive in shot. His annotates hit the home just as every ball that flew off his hands went smashing through the rim.

Three years hence, I now see how he’s done it all for himself. He has gratified life’s ups and downs as though they were some form of a high-spirited merriment. What made him a different kettle of fish was that no matter how garrulous or significant whatever you had to say was, he always listened. I was surprised how his not so mellifluent singing ability failed to drive any of us away. We’ve become the best of friends now. If there’s anything more, might join up sometime or maybe not. Whatever the relation , I wouldn’t know if there’s ever been a friend like him. And I must remember to confess, I still am a true fan.
The Dunk..miss..dunk..miss.. I cant live without now!

Butterchicken with a teeny bit of aeroyogi..

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dad, me and the shuttlecock

At the age of 5, when most kids played around with other five-year-olds, I played with my dad. That was mainly because there were no kids around my place then.. I had friends who were graduating college or working!

My dad’s an avid promoter of badminton although he knows its rules less than an amateur. He always has felt that badminton is a very good form of exercise. The points, rules everything has to be neglected and the players have to run around from one end to the other and hit hard. That’s it. No arguments.

My dad taught me how to hold a racket when I was 5. Though its ages since then and I have forgotten most things, that scene is still vivid in my mind. He firmly held my small wrist in his rough but concerned hands and rounded my fingers on the bat. The bat was too heavy for me then, I remember throwing it down again and again. I was such a sissy..

As mentioned earlier dad never felt the need to teach the rules. I needed exercise and someone to play with and he was helping in both. Dad’s always had this thing-he wanted me to be active and in his terms active is defined as running around quickly going wherever the shuttlecock goes regardless of whether I hit it back at him or not; to pick up the shuttlecock wherever it falls, even if its on his side of the so called court.(The court here is the small road, probably 15 feet wide and an imaginative boundary in length).

I have no idea how dad had the patience to bear with the amount of my complaining, crying, brooding and idling with the bat held slackly in hand. But it was not without his venting out his frustration, may be, on me by making me pick up the shuttlecock from all over the place.

Those days there wasn’t a stone bed covering the side drains, which ran along the front of each house which, now you can mostly find in all places in Bangalore. The drains, which were dry most of the times, sometimes carried the entire dirt, waste, the plastic bags torn apart by the street dogs combined with sludge during rainy seasons. It harbored cockroaches, rats and many more gnawers and insects whose names I don’t know even after these many years. I was made to get into them in case the shuttlecock fell into it by any chance. Playing outdoors and that too on a street, which had this enormous Gulmohar tree, so magnanimous in shedding its bright yellow flowers all over the road as if welcoming each and everyone in a royal manner had another disadvantage. The shuttle got stuck every now and then in the already entangled branches of the tree. I had to run into the backyard, dig up the long wooden rod kept amongst a million other things and start a process of hitting the branches with that stick. It was like a circus show but lots of fun. The neighbors used to get to know if the shuttlecock was stuck in the branches in no time. I now wonder how!! Half the residents used to come out and give suggestions. It used to turn out like some theatre drama! Each person standing in different places in different angles trying to get the shuttlecock as though it was a princess in distress and the one who got her out was to win a kingdom! Lol! :D Great days rather evenings..

Saying this doesn’t mean dad was bad at the game. He wasn’t exactly professional but he knew how to get the juice out of the yield. He was fast and I envied him at times even then!

Dad made sure I was involved in everything! This was working fine until my brain started growing and I was able to fathom my dad’s ideas. Until then I listened to him without a word but then the little rebel in me had spurted out of the seed. I refused to be made run around picking up shuttlecocks whenever it fell down. Ha! Human nature had begun to take a toll on me transforming me from that innocent kid to something that is a phase on the way to adolescence. What do you call it by the way? Its as bad as adolescence.

Well, then began our fights.
Fights-another phenomenon that happens cos’ individuals cant be righteous, compromise, adjust and understand well all at the same time when time demands all of these!!
Every time I was asked to do something, I just shot back, he reciprocated and it continued till it went physical that we threw racquets at each other and stuff.. An onlooker would have thought we were some international rivals!! :p Yeah, my dad was my friend, more like a brother than a father! He gave me enough liberty to throw a racquet in his direction. Wonder why? He needn’t have had to.

Finally, a girly girl as I was then, unlike now, would end up in tears and he would throw up his hands in exasperation and would leave in full angst. I was no less. Wouldn’t speak to him until he got me a plate of pani or bhel puri!(one weakness that hasn’t rubbed off me even now!) And the next day we would get back to our little ingenious court and the story used to continue, day after day, week after week. Soon my dad got transferred when I was 8 or 9 I guess to Dandeli. Mom and me stayed back for preventing disruption in my studies.

He wasn’t there. Much as I wanted to play with my only best friend from childhood, I couldn’t, I missed all of it to certain extent. I never realized what I had got and what I was losing. I was losing touch of the game. But no use of complaining. So I joined basketball in school. I was into plays, winning prizes for acting and stuff. I got into the school sports band, learnt playing all instruments, and went on to become the band lead. I completed my music and Hindi degree exams. Guess that was the best part of my life.
Basketball is another totally different story and Ill probably write it in another post.
I had my hands full and didn’t think about Badminton. Didn’t miss it much.
Years passed, without a glance towards those racquets. They were getting rusted, literally, I might have thrown it away too. Dad came back, stayed here, again got transferred twice to different places and returned in all the time that passed. I’m not sure he missed playing me either. In all his transfers, I knew that he used to play with his colleagues there continuously for hours at a stretch. May be he too didn’t like fighting with me in those small precious family reunions lasting for couple of days once in two or three months.
Badminton slowly became synonymous to fighting for dad and me. And we avoided the topic also many a times. Life just went on..

We shifted our house recently to another locality, not very far but far enough to change the municipality we'd vote under.
It was at this time when I went to get my electoral card done, that I saw a father-daughter pair playing badminton. Same story. Ditto like my dad’s and mine. I began laughing aloud amidst an unknown crowd. I think all over the world dads are similar and so are daughters, atleast most of them, who aren’t blessed with a drive to achieve heights in Badminton. We just play for recreation. I just sent a message to my dad’s cell describing the situation.

It was probably after a very long time, long enough for it to seem that probably we never played together at all, may be like in a dream, that we spoke about the old times after 11 years. Felt nostalgic and that was to it. Nothing more in action.

Now after about a year, I suddenly pestered him for racquets early in the morning. Out of the blue, when pooja, my only gal classmate expressed her desire to get back at playing badminton, I felt like I wanted to play too!

He asked me to remind him in the evening. I kept sending reminders so many times to his cell that he was all curious to know what the fuss was all about. He eventually got it. And we started playing at around 8 in the night till 10.. Not as bad as I thought it would be for playing after 12 years. I missed few shots here and both lost equal number of rally.

But what had changed is that I was no longer not willing to pick up the shuttlecock where it had fallen, and he was no longer forcing me to bend down. I infact understood now why he used to ask me to do all the picking up, why he wanted me to get more physical work. He has grown old, but hasn’t lost the spirit. I’m not sure if any of the 55-year-old dads play with their adult kids these days that too after a hard, grueling day at work. I am 21 years old and he shows the same enthusiasm as I do, albeit he gets tired after around half to three fourth of an hour. A threshold which has considerably reduced over the years. Feel a little sad about it, but even now I have no one else to play with here. ‘Cos all my new neighbors are 5-year-olds going to kindergarten and school…

Dad doesn’t look like he is getting old. But he is! People in his office and outside tell him every now and then. He doesn’t wear branded stuff but all colors and prints match him to the dot. He gets complimented about his energy and zest for life every other day and wherever he goes. He recently (about a couple of weeks back) climbed an 8 km high vertical mountain easily in his leather slippers as though it was his daily walking grounds when others like me were panting for breath!

But today he is tired after half an hour, when I am not. He can’t run from one end of our still small court to the other now like the way he used to. I generally used to call it a day when I was young, but now its dad. I don’t want to force him either. I wanted to play for some more time but he couldn’t. He is still my only best friend for games but he isn’t the same.

Irony of life-when he wanted me to play upto his standards, I was foolish and took everything he said against me personal, not for my good. Now when I have risen to his standards, he is no condition to play how he used to. I’m disappointed now. I look to see if I can find someone else to play with.
But he still remains as loyal and ready as ever when it comes to playing. Never heard him say no to me anytime for anything.. Really wonder how he does that! Got to learn quite a lot from him..Have hurt him many times before but it turns out that he doesn’t bother if I love him or not, he just does….on and on…asking nothing in return…

Monday, February 9, 2009

Realization Dawns..

I lay in the crowded night,
Staring at the festal stars,
Blue, Red and white twinkles
Upon my mind in tangles.

They humor me probably,
Coz' I feel no merry,
Disarrayed and dis-embarked,
I stare; for that's all I can.

The incinerating hope,
Had blinded me long,
I cant now see anything,
Even as its clear of smog.

I see drifting psyches around,
With varied facets of life hung,
I try to discover their thoughts,
Alas! I cant steer my mind out of my own.

I dwelt there in thought,
The fervid rocks chill my spine,
Why did I encompass the unattainable?
I search an answer for the prior nescient glee.

I breathe in through scruples,
Comprehending my state,
The guilt of the time pretermitted,
Is stinging every waking cell with mirth.

Realization dawns, I know for sure,
Those same million cells scream for aid,
Haven't I botched my life enough?
In dreams that I should never have dreamt.

Can I stop?, is the fresh misery,
Cos' the dreams were all worth this pain,
I see my hopes squashed and dreams turn away,
I wonder my sanity and tryst with fate.

I coerce to accept the verity,
But seems inconceivable,
Realization dawns from beyond the horizon,
I exhale as the jocund stars silence and recede.

May be the dawn teaches,
The blue, red and white bands shining,
New hope it might bring, New dreams it might preach,
Ill wait as one, for, pray out loud, realization dawns from somewhere within....

Swathi Krishna