Sunday, February 19, 2017

वादा


जो मिलने का वादा करके 
न मिलने का बहाना बनाए 
समझ लेना दोस्त
वो वादों के मायने नहीं समझते 
और जो वादों को ना समझे 
उन्हें अपनी यादों में पनाह ना देना |

Gracias!
 

उस पार

उठा यादों का बस्ता  
चल पड़ा मैं वही रस्ता
जहाँ चाय की चुस्की 
में छुपी थी मेरी ख़ुशी 
ख़ुशी रोज़ उससे मिलने की
जी भर के बतियाने की 
हवा में ख्वाबों को बुनने की            


रस्ता नहीं बदला पर शायद वक्त बदल गया 
वक़्त के साथ हम बदल गए 
और हमारे साथ ख़ुशी के मायने भी 
दो आने के कंचों से ऊँचे मंचो तक पहुँचने की होड़ 
और तभी पीछे छूट गयी हमारी वो प्यारी सी हँसी 

फेसबुक व्हाट्सएप्प पे ढूंढने लगे बिछड़े यारों को 
पर अब सब कुछ सिर्फ लाइक्स और कमैंट्स तक ही सिमट गया
खोया यार मिलके भी मिल न पाया 
और मैं चाह कर भी उसे याद दिला न पाया

उसकी जिंदादिली और बेकार चुटकुले ही तो थे 
जो मुझे खींचकर वापिस उस तक लाये थे 
पर जैसे वो समय से रेस लगाने में लगा हुआ है
अपनी ख़ुशी छोड़ दूसरों को खुश करने में लगा हुआ है  

देख कर बदला यार 
न जाना चाहा मैंने उस पार
उठा अपना बस्ता 
टटोला यादों का गुलदस्ता 
देख जहाँ अपना पुराना यार 
जाना चाहा मैंने फिर उस पार


Gracias!
 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Warm Magic @ Office

The heavy traffic at the crossroad was the most annoying part of my way towards office. The office was hardly 5 kms away from my home but the mammoth traffic made it a crawling journey lasting from one to one and a half hours. I was already getting late that day and the vehicles were queuing up at the junction. The red light was still on. The sun was fuming and so was I. The weather was getting hot and suffocating. The light turned yellow and every one waited on our side to see it go Green. People were getting restless and the honking of horns grew loud. Some were adjusting their helmets, some were getting ready to zoom past as the signal allows them. The lights were finally green for my side. While the other three sides freezed, people from my side rushed to get out of the crossroad junction. I too adjusted my helmet and made my way and was about to cross the road when suddenly someone flew past me. I landed onto the road and what happened afterwards, I couldn't recall.

I woke up in the hospital with a fractured hand and a fractured leg. Ghosh! I wanted to cry seeing myself in the bed. I wanted to ask the person what hurry he was in ? But no matter who I blame now, I have to take rest for another twenty days to get back to normal life. My fingers searched for my phone. The nurse said "everything including your phone and vehicle got smashed, you are lucky to have a life again." I chuckled at being called lucky.

My parents came rushing to the city to take me back to the hometown. I asked them to inform in the office about this accident. Since, I had no phone, I could not connect to my boss. But my parents were so upset at my situation that they didnt pay heed to my words.

Finally, after two days, I messaged one of my colleague on social media about the tragedy and told her my tentative joining date. Meanwhile at home, I was being pampered with turmeric milk, fruits and what not. There was a warmth in their care which kept me going.

Zoom past a month, I was hale and hearty again and was granted fitness certificate by the doctor. My family asked me to take care of myself. How much I wanted to stay back. I was going to miss them. But I had to join the office soon. I didnt want to go to the office. I wondered how no one from the corporate world asked about my well being, my whereabouts. Am I just a resource to them toiling in day and night to meet the project deadlines? I had made up my mind to put the paper same day.

I reached the office and occupied my desk. Necks turned to acknowledge me but no one came at my desk to ask about my health. My throat went dry and I rushed towards water cooler. I so wanted to leave this place right now. I realized what asset I was to the company. I strolled outside for some fifteen minutes to calm down myself. I had made my mind to go and type down a resignation letter straight away. I will find some better place to work in where people atleast consider me a human.

I went inside and stepped towards my cubicle to find my boss and team members waiting for me. My emotions suddenly changed from complaining to contemplating. As I reached my desk, my boss enquired about my health and so does everyone else. They had written "GET WELL SOON" on my desk board and put the chocolates beside the mouse. That was a very WARM moment in the office. How I was fuming at my team for being so inanimate but they were kind enough to receive me well and apologized for being unable to connect with me in absence of any contact number. Yes, I had completely forgotten about my smashed phone. I had not even renewed the sim card and the number was not in use for quite some days. I thanked them all and my fingers raced to type out a thank-you note for my team.



Gracias!
 
I’m blogging about my #MagicOfWarmth moment at BlogAdda in association with Parachute Advansed Hot Oil

Magic of Warmth

The morning started with the loud banging of drums and rhythmic euphony of footsteps. It was 26th January, Republic day of India. I felt grateful to take breath in Republic and free India. But I asked myself to reconsider my idea of taking a house near a government school. The arrow has left the quiver and it was too late to ask the landlord to give back the deposit. Nevertheless, I only wanted to wake up to the morning school bell, to enjoy the chuckle of tiny tots. But despite all my efforts to run away from the troubles of life, I attracted more of them. I sometimes laughed at myself for being the trouble-magnet. I wanted to doze off some more but the cacophony plus the loud talks of my new roommate in the wee hours made it impossible for me. My head hadn't got over from the pain of last night. It was still whirling round giving me dizziness shots. 



I stepped out of my bed and went straight into kitchen for a glass of water. Just then my eyes fell on her in the adjacent room talking at pull pitch. I wanted to curse her but I tried to keep cool. I had told her several times in the past one week to bare me some peace. I cant take any loud sounds when Migraine accompanies me but she rendered a deaf-ear to my plea. I came back to my room, latched the door but the ruckus continued to entertain me. Her phone kept on buzzing every now and then. And I could only interpret a big Thank-you from her every time. I swallowed another pain killer to bid adieu to Migraine but Alas! such a stubborn friend he is!!

How much I wanted to see the Republic day parade, the contingents marching down the Rajpath in a perfect sync and the tableaus of various states defining their rich culture. But my friend had vowed to entertain me the whole day with his painful fits. I prepared a rich coffee to serve my friend and Voila! he seems pleased with my hospitality and bid me adieu for the day to come back soon. And to my surprise, my roomie also bid adieu. I wonder if both of them are good friends and have planned together to give me a  break. I was prancing all alone on my toes.

I was surfing the internet, browsing through the glimpse of Republic day celebration, when suddenly the door bell rang. The delivery boy stood in front of me with a wrapped box and a card affixed over it. I signed as recipient and shut the door. It was not for me, but for my roomie. Out of curiosity, I took a sneak peak into the envelope and found out it was her birthday. OMG! her birthday, that's why she was up till late the previous night and today morning also she got up early to attend to the phone calls. I reconnected the dots and felt so stupid of me for cursing her secretly. After all, it was her day, once in a year it comes and she should enjoy it to the best. I was feeling a little guilty but at the same time wondered why she refrained to share her happiness with me? Am I so sick to celebrate? I suddenly stopped myself from uttering more curse words and quickly made my mind to plan a surprise for her. 

The clock had ticked 10pm but there were no sign of her. How much I was yearning for her arrival today, otherwise I would have felt at peace. I giggled to myself. I again pampered myself with a coffee in her wait. The door bell rang as I was about to sip the last of the coffee. I was excited but I kept a bland face and opened the door. She greeted me with a smile. I smiled back pretending to be naive to know nothing about the day. 


As she entered her room, I went into my room. Five minutes later, I heard a burst and she laughing out loud. The very next moment she banged into my room, pulling my hands and embracing me. Oh! What a warm wonderful moment it was. A hug from a person you just got to know by chance a few weeks back is so warm and lovely. She tickled my cheeks and said, "You naughty. Thank-you so much!". I quipped,"Its about to end. Let's do it fast!." Surprised at my words, she gave me a quizzing look. I pointed at the wall- clock and said."Just one more hour of your dominance." She laughed and dragged me to the living room. 


She quickly unpacked a lunch box and offered me the smeared cake piece with a wink,"This is all I could save for you." I happily accepted and asked, " Did you like it?"

"Oh! It will remain one of the most memorable birthdays of my life. What a tacky way!"

"Yeah! I wanted to surprise you at some odd place apart from your room so I tied a Balloon to the Bathroom latch and placed the chocolate potato cutlet cake over the bucket."

"Thank-you so much dear."

I made her cut the cutlet cake and dabbed a piece of it into her mouth. She was smiling ears to ears enjoying every bit of the cutlet cake. She asked," Did you made it on your own?"
I nodded and said,"Don't underestimate the culinary skills of your room mate."

She admired the scrumptious cake and suddenly said, "Hey! sorry for the loud talks in the morning. I tip-toed last night to make sure you are not disturbed. But in the morning I couldn't help it."

I said, "It's okay. It's just one day", eyeing her for the future talks.

She continued,"Actually last year I met with an accident and lost half of my hearing power. I got carried away in the morning and didnt realize that I can't hear but the person on other side can hear whispers too." 

I was taken aback by her sudden revelation. I caught hold of her hand and hugged her.

"You know Deaf and dumb make the best friends", I solaced her.

"I didn't know dumb can speak these days."

"Yeah, special type of dumbs."

We laughed off and the warmth of the celebration wafted into the air.





Gracias!
 
I’m blogging about my #MagicOfWarmth moment at BlogAdda in association with Parachute Advansed Hot Oil

Saturday, January 21, 2017

#WINxpress At Ahmedabad - Blogadda

"I love meeting new people; I think everyone has a story to tell. We should all listen sometimes." -- Kim Smith
How true it is! There are so many stories out there which just need a patient hearing. Blogadda, the leading platform for Indian bloggers came with such an event to gather bloggers from around the city of Ahmedabad. It was an attempt by Blogadda to inspire the budding writers and instill the spirit of blogging with a new fervor. "Let blogging do the talking" was the motto of this event. The team of Blogadda believes that there is no inspiration without motivation and sharing your views makes a huge difference, so they had invited six eminent bloggers and writers who were carving a niche for themselves in the world of blogging.

The event was decided to be held at Cafe City Monk, Ahmedabad, a lovely place with a lovely ambience for book lovers and writers. Why?? See the place yourself.



I entered the cafe and was happy to see the wall art and dangling books and lamps. I was new to this city so didnt know any of the bloggers here. A gentleman kicked off a conversation and he was none other than the CEO of Blogadda, Mr. Nirav Sanghvi. Such a humble and grounded person he is. After a little chit chat about his journey, I felt happy to know the person behind this platform.

The session started with the introduction of Team Blogadda through a small video covering their journey till now. After that we had an ice-breaking session. We were divided into groups and one person from each group had to tell a secret about one of the persons of his/her group. After that, people from all the groups were given 10 minutes to mingle with each other and find out who that person is who had been mentioned a few minutes back. This became an interactive session amongst the bloggers. 

Then we had sessions from the speakers who were invited to share their two cents about their blogging/vlogging journey and tips on how to make it more effective.


Following were the speakers:

Juhi Bansal – http://www.closetbuddies.in/
Rishabh & Nirali Shah – http://gypsycouple.com/
Paresh Godhwani – http://pareshg.com/
The session continued with every speaker sharing his/her strategy and fellow bloggers asking their queries. Meanwhile, the snacks were being served to satiate the hunger pangs.

The much awaited interactive Session with Raksha Bharadia, author of 'Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul' kickstarted. She read out a very inspiring short story and I went gaga over her story telling art. Such an eloquent speaker she is. Then she asked each of us to write a short story. She picked up one of the introduction from the audience and told how effective she would have written it. Likewise, she proceeded with the body and conclusion of the story. It was an eye-opening session. She effectively taught us the art of story composition by an example.

The session ended with a round of snacks and goodies for every attendee. Did I mention about the twitter activity. Well! there was a twitter activity announced at the beginning and I was one among the winner for my perky tangy tweets :) Thanks Blogadda for WINxpress event.

Gracias!
 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

MOMS

This post is titled as MOMS. Why?? 
Are you expecting an article on mother, her selfless love and her charismatic persona? Today is not Mother's day and actually it doesn't need a day to write about our lovely and powerful super Moms. 

Here is the acronym for this post -
M - Mothers
O - on
M - Makar
S - Sankranti

Today is Makar Sankranti, 14th January 2017. Since morning, music and kites have made their way in the air. This festival is called Uttarayan in Gujarat  which marks the day when the sun begins its northward journey and enters the sign of Makar (the Capricorn) from the Tropic of Cancer. The sun moves from Dakshinayana (south) to Uttarayana (north) hemisphere. 

Comes Uttarayan and people, young and old alike, can be seen holding a bunch of kites running upstairs adjusting the google over eyes and cap on head. Children are found dividing themselves into pairs, one who will fly the kite and one who will hold the phirki. Often this turns into a funny brawl with elders settling the quarrel asking them to settle for turns  with each getting a chance to fly the kite. The elder siblings or friends set up a good music system on the terrace and the entire colony( residential area) seems to groove to the peppy numbers as well as popular folk songs (garba songs). 


Today I woke up (read as late) to the Gujarati music being played loud amidst the yells of "kaypo chhe", "e lapet", "phirki vet phirki" . As I stepped out , the sky was full of colorful kites. All were so full of enthusiasm and great fervour. Never have I seen the uncle to the right so energetic and lively. It seemed as if someone has turned on the vibrant mode (after Vibrant Gujarat) and people are bathing in laughter and colorful threads. The girl on the left holding phirki was cheering her brother to fly the kite more high. A gang of friends at the back had arranged all the snacks and were dancing to the tunes of garba while cheering others for cutting the kite. All this was the scene on the terrace. People had buzzed in numbers over every terrace with kites flying high. 


Every Indian festival has its own special sweetness and a dedicated sweet to sweeten it more. So down the stairs, into the kitchen, were the mothers who were toiling since morning to prepare snacks and the special Sankranti meal for all. In my house, the Aunty and elder sisters who have come to celebrate this festival were seen parading up and down taking plates full of snacks and water bottles. I went to them and offered my help. I asked them ,"Why dont you join all on the terrace? It would be more fun." 
"I have to prepare undhiyu and chikki. Jiggu loves it", came the reply. And there stood a mother who was busy making the special meal for her family and listening to the low-pitched laughter and banter of her family up on the terrace. I was so moved by a mother's response. She sacrifices all her fun and enjoyment for the sake of her family. Never does she complain. Instead takes pride in serving them with all her love.

The kite flying and dancing continued till mid-noon when it was the lunch time. Everyone came down to smack their fingers into delicious savories. The yummy aroma has already aroused their taste buds and everyone ate to the full. The children rushed again towards terrace to compete the kite flying with their friends and neighbors. 

The Mom stayed behind finishing the kitchen work. I asked her again,"Please come now. You also fly the kite." She laughed and said,"No dear! I'm so tired now. My legs will break away." I was taken aback and felt sad. How a mother takes everything and never complains. But we are always on with our complaining mode. 

This Sankranti I decided to send out a message to everyone reading this post - Please include your mothers and elder female members of the family in the celebration too. They are not only to make delicious meals for you. Give them a helping hand. Take them with you on terrace and enjoy together. I bet this would be more fun than it had ever been. Dedicating this post to all the lovely moms and female members of the family who let go their celebration for the family and feel happy with the aroma diffusing in the air of kitchen.


And yes the celebration continues till the sun set. The kite flying competition gains momentum after the lunch, with tummy-filled and refreshed. At the end, crackers are burnt and a lantern is lit. This is a truly mesmerizing tangled moment which is my personal favorite. At the end of the day, Sankranti marks its lightning and blooming presence with a magical atmosphere in the sky.



Gracias!
 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Three Wishes



"Keep your best wishes close to your heart and watch what happens!" -- Tony DeLiso

Wishes are those magical commands which we keep on chanting to the invisible God or to the extant universe. We believe that there is someone who is attentively listening to our wishes, howsoever trivial they are. Hence, we keep on wishing. But the important thing is we often ignore the fact that we are required to put in some efforts also to make them come true. No miracle happens without sweating a little. So do wish and do act. And then there will be no denying the fact that the entire universe will conspire together to make your wish come true. So here are my three ardent wishes which I hope will come true very soon.

 Wish#1 To be calm
In today's hyperactive world, one is judged for every little act he does, every single word he says. People are quick to pass on their judgement. They barely have time to analyse why one did so/ said so. They just see the final outcome and give their verdict. It is important not to lose your cool but stick with your action to defy their perspective. For instance, I decide not to attend school tomorrow as I have to deliver a speech and I have the fear of speaking in front of hundred faces. As a result my teacher will rebuke me , my friend will give me a sinister smile, my parents will scold me but I should be able to receive this criticism in a positive way and do away with my fear of public speaking by talking loud to myself, rehearsing in front of my pet, announcing myself in the family and with these baby steps, my wish of facing hundred odd faces with confidence will come true. All I have to do is be calm and work towards honing the skill. If I retaliate back to my teacher with some baseless arguments, it would be a sheer waste of time and energy. So it would be wise to put my anger in a constructive manner to shine out.

Wish#2 To help more
Everyone is fighting their own battle howsoever big or small. One should be compassionate enough to understand others' situation and do the needful. Often we relate compassion with someone who is poor, miserable or grief-struck. But real compassion should be with every person you meet, you interact with. It may be your milkman, your teacher, your colleague , your maid, your friend , the customer standing in queue along with you or the beggar you always find on your way. Sometimes what others expect is just an ear to listen to them, or just some soothing words to boost them. Help is not always materialistic. It is often entwined with emotions. So I wish to be more compassionate to every person I meet, to make him/her more comfortable, to make him/her feel pleasant when I'm around them.

Wish#3 To travel more
I want to make memories all over the world. Travelling enhances one's perception, adds to his experiences, makes him meet new faces, allows him to explore other cultures, makes him more tolerant. In short, allows him to be a reflection of the entire cosmos. "Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." And yes I want to be richer than yesterday with each day travelling to explore more and more and allow my above two wishes to execute. 

Every wish is just like the sun and the moon. They do come true when their time comes. "Do you stop believing in the moon, just because the sun comes up?" Allow each wish to take its time to nourish itself and peep out in real.



Just never stop wishing as miracles do happen and you never know when you are the NEXT. Wishes sustain hope and hope sustains life. So keep wishing and keep acting !




This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Gracias!

  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Book Review : The Peshwa - The Lion and the Stallion




About the Book


Title: The Peshwa - The lion and the Stallion
Author: Ram Sivasankaran
Publisher: Westland Ltd.
ISBN: 978-93-85724-21-3
No. of Pages: 338
Price: 350 INR
Genre: Historical Fiction

About the Author


Ram Sivasankaran was born in Madras, India, but has spent most of his life abroad, largely in the Middle East and the USA. He was brought up on stories from Hindu legend and the great epics and classics of both India and the West. In addition to being a passionate student of history in school, Ram has built a keen interest in stories of valour, heroism, chivalry, beauty and romance.

A day-dreamer of all sorts, Ram believes deeply in the power of imagination- the mind being the canvas on which even the seemingly talentless can create new universes, resurrect eras long gone, bring the gods to life and even revive heroes and damsels of yore. Ram makes his debut with a historical novel on one of the greatest and yet, to an extent, a less-known figure from Indian history - Bajirao Bhat, Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy, mighty warrior, hopeless romantic and one of the most dazzling examples of wartime courage, military leadership and battle strategy.

The Cover Speaks


The cover of the book portraying the Peshwa with his all time companion horse Surya does justice with the title and the plot. 'The Peshwa - The Lion and the Stallion' is quite a thought provoking title. At first I thought, the Lion refers to the Peshwa and Stallion to his horse Surya. But after gorging on the pages, I found that the Mughal Vazir, Nizam Ul Mulk when battled against Peshwa Bajirao, he bragged himself as the lion engraved on the Mughal flag and Peshwa as the Stallion. But what became a history befits as the title of the book. Peshwa Bajirao, the real Lion had beaten the stallion Nizam and became the invincible.

Synopsis


It is the 18th century and despite the dominant Mughal rule, the Maratha Confederacy has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Indian subcontinent. The fragile peace between the two powers is threatened when Balaji Vishvanath Bhat, Peshwa of the Confederacy, foils the plans of Nizam Ul Mulk of the Mughal Empire, and asserts the power of the Marathas. However, little does the Peshwa know that he has dealt the Nizam an unintended wound - one with roots in his mysterious past and one that he would seek to avenge till his last breath.

When the Peshwa surrenders his life to a terminal illness dark clouds gather over the Confederacy as it is threatened by a Mughal invasion as well as an internal rebellion.

All the while a passive spectator, the Peshwa's son, Bajirao Bhat, now needs to rise beyond the grief of his father's passing, his scant military and administrative experience, and his intense love for his wife and newborn son to rescue everything he holds dear. Will the young man be able to protect the Confederacy from internal strife and crush  the armies of the Empire all while battling inner demons?

Will he live up to his title of Peshwa?

Book Review


If you have watched the Bollywood historical film -Bajirao Mastani and were quite enthralled by the plot then you are sure to be fallen for this novel. It can be considered more of as a Part - I of the movie. The novel puts life to the valiant Maratha Peshwa - Bajirao Bhat and the pages are smeared into the events right from his childhood when he used to play with the toy sword while his father Peshwa Balaji Vishvanath Bhat showered him with the brave stories from the Maratha war to his becoming a Peshwa and doing justice to his title.

The father of Bajirao while being incumbent Peshwa got the Chhathrapathi Shahu's  mother released from the Mughal captivity and became more worthy, respectful and dear to Shahu and the subjects alike.

The conversations between the Peshwa and his young to-be Peshwa son rallies the words of wisdom pouring out right from the mouth of the very wise Peshwa which are both enlightening as well as heart warming. 

Bajirao's struggle to restrain his father from leaving him to cancer is quite well woven. The young Peshwa and his encounter with the senapati -turned-traitor Dabhade is quite gripping where he puts his honor at stake before the Empire and does away with the enemy by breaking the rules of parlay. While at the other end, Kashibai, Peshwa's consort justifies his act in the Maratha court putting silence to all the wagging fingers showing the love of that era.

One question that intrigues me is that was Dabhade punished for what we are fighting today, reservation? He fought against the hereditary incumbency of Maratha positions and favored meritocracy till his death,on seeing his equally capable friend and a spirited fighter, Uttam being given the position of a common soldier while he being offered the position of senapati.

The events unfold at a good pace paving way for the story to flow at a pace.

Nizam Ul Mulk's revenge for his lost son from the Peshwa causes the war between the Marathas and Mughals where young Peshwa Bajirao was so novice to see a battle for the first time. How does he protect the Maratha prestige? How his love for his family saves him from the hands of the beast Bangash? How does he deal with the defeated Nizam? is all woven so immaculately that the reader feels the whole scene playing live in front of him. 

Kudos Ram!for penning down a historical story with such great details and profusely loaded with all emotions.

The Epilogue of the book introduces the Princess of Bundelkhand- Mastani giving a clear indication of a sequel. Many like me who have read this piece are awaiting the next. I wish Ram all the success and want him to hear that his work has been endorsed by many and are awaiting for the next to praise him more.

My Rating
4/5

Öbrìgadò!
 
Silly smiles Take you Miles.