No uncle, I don’t!

12:37 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
I have a grocery store in my locality. No wait, I have two grocery stores in my locality. I go to the super market type store when I have to buy many things; the monthly grocery shopping stuff. I visit the second one, the one in consideration, “Sri Venkateshwara Home Needs” for the day to day needs – milk, biscuits, Maggi, Haldiram’s namkeen etc...

The owner of the shop, I address him as Uncle, is a very kind gentleman. He always greets me when I go to the store. He is very welcoming. He always has a smiling face. His wife also monitors the shop when he is not around. They also have a helper.. he, too, is a very kind and welcoming man. They attend you so willingly that you feel like visiting the store again.

That day I was in a hurry. It was already late and I didn't have the energy to cook roti sabzi/daal chawal. I thought I will get a pack of Maggi, eat and sleep. I was dead tired. Though the store is at a 5 mins walking distance from my place, I went to the store on my Activa. I had just collected it from the Servicing center. But unfortunately, even after the servicing, it was having start up problem; some problem with the carburetor, for sure.

When I reached the shop, I din’t even turn off the bike, I just parked it in the area afront the shop and went rushing inside to ask for a Maggi. I was in such a rush that I skipped the greeting part and just demanded, One Maggi.

Suddenly, there was utter silence. I could see a change of expressions on uncle’s face. He looked shocked. He looked depressed. He kept looking at me for a few seconds. I couldn't understand why. He asked, “Single?” I said yea, single. Thinking, he is asking if I want a single pack. He still looked shattered and sad. He turned his eyes away from me, looked down, then looked at me again.. Finally, he uncomfortably handed me, something that I least expected, a Cigarette!

I was perplexed. I didn't know how to react. The very next moment, I burst into a loud, ringing fit of laughter!!! I reiterated, “One MAGGI uncle, One MAGGI!!!” The fellow customers who witnessed the whole scene, also started laughing! And then again, there was a sudden change of expressions on uncle’s face!! He said, “Ohh am so sorry, so sorry” and smiled. Then he happily went inside and got a single pack of Maggi. Now he was smiling wider!

Don't know how, but he'd heard, ‘One Mild’, when I said ‘One Maggi’. The expression on his face read, “Even you? Even you smoke? I didn’t expect that from you.

I am so glad that the answer to this question of his is NO :) And am sure, so is he!!

Fish in a pond

11:39 PM Posted In Edit This 2 Comments »
I was waiting for one of my friends in the campus. We were supposed to meet near the library. I reached there a little before time. As I had nothing else to do, I walked near the pond to get a glimpse of the fish; the swift and nimble, colorful and lively fish; fish that de-stress hundreds of employees just by their lovely moves across the pond...
As closely as I observed them, I couldn’t help but think of their plight in the pond. What they must be doing the entire day in the limited periphery of that pond? Are they really as happy as it appears to the outside world? The more I observed them, the more I was ensured that the answer is no.
The pond looked like a place where their opportunities are restricted, where their freedom is confined, where they are not allowed to see beyond... where they can survive, but they can’t live.. Where they belonged to the world, but the world didn’t belong to them. Where they did what they can, but not what they want to.. Where they can exist, but cannot explore...
Wait, aren’t these words familiar... opportunities, freedom, survival, live, explore.... Are we living in a pond? No. They why don’t we get all of this? Why don’t we get the opportunity to do what we really want to, why don’t we get the freedom to just be who we are, why do we keep slogging for survival, why don’t we go out there, explore all avenues and live every moment?
Ohh dear! We actually are living in a pond! A pond that no one else, but we have created for ourselves! Where we restrict our thoughts, our desires. Where we think of what we want to do.. but we really don’t do it. Where we have made our own boundaries which we don’t want to cross. Where we have limited our own dreams...
While I was lost in my trail of thoughts, the friend I was waiting for, finally came. I peeped at the pond once again and proceeded towards the cafeteria, with the one thought ringing in my head -
The fish have no option but to survive in that constrictive pond. What about us?

Purpose in Life

11:44 PM Posted In Edit This 2 Comments »
A lot many times, chatting around with friends, this question has popped up – “Sometimes I wonder, why was I born?” I am sure this question pops in many heads... Not that they are unhappy with their lives... not that they see no reason of their living, yet they just want to know....
Is it really important to find a purpose in life? Can’t we just live our lives, the way we do.. Without thinking as to why we have been given a chance to be on this earth?
I believe life has been given to live. We might have aims for ourselves, we might achieve them; we might not... But that shouldn’t stop us from “living” our lives. We should enjoy each moment that we have been blessed with... learn from each experience... try and get the better of ourselves as we grow... If we have a clean heart and kind intentions, we will keep finding the right path as we walk in this journey of life... We won’t necessarily have to try searching the reason of our existence. If the Almighty has sent us on this earth with a reason, he will find a way out to let us know...

A beautiful learning..

2:16 AM Posted In Edit This 4 Comments »
Rushing through the office... catching the BIAS 8 volvo, straight from electronic City to the Airport, a 2.5 hrs drive... without an ipod (forgot to charge it) and a phone low on battery.. listening to the Kannada songs played in the bus.. observing the busy Bangalore roads all through the way, I managed to reach the airport on time and check in before 40 mins (as per the rule :D)) I boarded the flight and was comfortably seated in my ‘asked for’ window seat :) The instructions and all were given and finally the flight took off...
I was carrying a book in my handbag, but for some reason, I dint feel like reading it.. so, again I started looking out of the window.. After crossing the glitz of the city, the flight was now amidst a bed of clouds.... it was a wonderful sight.. it was like an illimitable canvas.. spread wide across... painted beautifully with a limited set of colors.. the first patch was pleasant light blue... what followed was a dark grey patch of clouds and then again a little darker shade of blue... and then a serene blue till my eyes could view...
As I observed the blue-white-grey maculation of the clouds, I couldn’t help but compare this canvas with the canvas of life.. Isn’t life the same? We face varied situations, some very good, just like the pleasant light blue patch, some very bad, sad, just like the dark grey patch... Some showing hope, just like the dark blue... but what I learnt from the view is, whatever the shade of the patch be, what lies ahead is the wide expanse of the serene blue.. That means, whatever phases of life we come across, good, bad, sad or happy, they are all just transient phases.. they all will pass through.. even if we wish to, we can’t really hold on to any of those.. it’s the cycle of life, after the good comes the bad, and after the bad comes good again... but the life that lies ahead promises to be calm and unruffled... just like the serene, peaceful and completely clear sky....
I gladly took an eyeful of the sight... and got down the plane hoping, may the patch of grey clouds be small in our lives... and most of it be painted with the strokes of bright blue!

The troublesome conundrum of EVE TEASING

2:52 AM Posted In Edit This 2 Comments »
Sunita had to work late in the office. She managed to catch the last bus. The office bus dropped her on the stop, wherefrom she’d stride down to her house situated in a proper residential area. Just when she reached her lane, she felt a smash on her backside. Before she could understand what happened and react, the man on the bike had already swerved off.
Divya stepped on the street early morning. She got on the main road to catch the bus. That’s when a truck hurtled towards her, almost knocking her to death. The driver had guts to look back and laugh evilly making profane comments.
Jasmine boarded a crowded bus. She got no place to sit, yet somehow managed to squeeze into the tight space. Unable to bear with the advances of a middle-aged man standing behind her in the crowded bus, she got down at the immediate next stop.
Bindu missed her bus to the office. She got into the rickshaw. The rickshaw driver adjusted his rear view mirror to get a better look at her while she kept avoiding any eye contact, tightly clutching her bag all through the journey.
These are the day to day experiences of a working woman, a college going student, a school girl.

We call it the modern era. The 21st century. Where women and men are looked at, as equals. Is it really the case? Is this era equally safe for both the genders? Why can’t she walk the roads freely without having to constantly look over her shoulder? Will women forever remain targets and victims of eve teasing?

Are there any answers to these questions?

Irrespective of the age, the dress, the looks, the educational, professional and marital status... irrespective of the time, the place, women are subjected to all kinds of mistreatment starting from stalking to eve teasing. The menace of eve teasing is only growing in appalling proportions. Being the fastest growing nation, also brings along the fastest growing problems; one of them being the irreverence of eve teasing. These disturbing incidents usually take place on streets, public transport, offices, other public places. A known problem it is, yet nothing has been done to ensure the safety of women.
What the government will do about it, we can’t really tell. But we, the women, can certainly take precautions and protect ourselves from eve teasing by being STREET SMART.

Few points to remember:
• Most of us carry an umbrella every day. While walking on a lonely street, keep the umbrella handy to knock off any attempter.
• Arm yourself with a swiss knife, pepper spray or carrying pins to ensure safety.
• Learn some form of self defence.
• If something happens, raise an outcry, as loud as you can.
• Try to travel with a male company; especially at odd hours.
• Call up police if there seems no other solution.

Eve teasing contravenes the basic right of woman to live in dignity. It can leave a lasting psychological effect on women.
Let’s try to FIGHT TOGETHER and weed out this evil.

When you go away...

10:30 AM Posted In Edit This 5 Comments »
Why do you have to go away?
Leaving me all alone,
To vivify my sadness,
And my heart to totter in pain..

Your awayness is algogenic,
But it makes me cognize,
Your aura is all around,
Ceaselessly by my side..

The wonders of my obscure odyssey,
I wish to perceive with you,
The fears of every hollow wall,
I want to face with you..

I want to be, wherever you are,
Just like the wild blue yonder,
Just like the soothing zephyr,
I want to be, just want to be, with you, till eternity..

A faineant-turn-fantastic day

10:38 PM Posted In Edit This 7 Comments »
It was a lazy Saturday morning. Though I slept late the other night, I couldn’t manage to sleep longer than 9a.m. I woke up with a call from my father. They had consummated their trip to the Golden Temple and Wagah border and were jubilantly heading towards Jammu. They are on a North India tour, covering Agra, Haridwar, Hrishikesh, Amritsar, Jammu, Vaishno Devi, Srinagar and Delhi. How I wish I could have accompanied them. When people tell me about their visits to diverse parts of the country, the green eyed monster in me is awaken. Why am I not one of them? Well, it’s all in fate. After his call, I attended few more calls from relatives, friends and finally got up. All of my activities were being carried out in a very slothful manner. I made tea, picked up the newspaper and switched on the TV while sipping in the refreshing beverage. Today, no activity was planned, unlike other weekends, when I have a properly chalked out program. The only thing on agenda was – Wedding reception of a friend. When he had called me to invite for the reception, I was pretty excited to be a part of the wonderful occasion. I had known the love story that this couple shared and I felt blessed to be able to witness the union of two people, truly in love. But the way this loony day was progressing, I was not sure if I will really be able to make it. Anyway, I am new to the city, I wasn’t knowing the way to the venue plus the Bangalore rains can play their games any random time, so, I was just cooking up reasons for why I might not be able to go. I continued lazing around, watched 2 movies back to back, browsed the net, had maggi for lunch (Cant thank the Maggi producers enough for launching a product like that, it’s a boon!). The eventide had casted its spell and my laziness was at its peak when my friend (the groom) called up to explain the venue address and enquired about how I will be reaching there and all. While on call, I went to the terrace and ascertained the weather conditions, no dark patches had painted the blue canvas. The reception was to start at 7p.m. I still had one hour. Impetuously I gained the lost excitement and confirmed my arrival. Immediately after disconnecting his call, I called up my best friend, the chalta phirta Google map of Bangalore to know the exact route to the area. I stay at Koramangla and I had to go to Vijay Nagar. She told me its good 20-25 kms ride. We discussed about the various modes of transport I can avail to get there and analysed the best option. She suggested that if I go on my bike, I will get to explore the South side of Bangalore and in the process, know the city better. The idea clicked! After spending a shiftless day, I was all set to take up the challenge to reach other part of the city in extremum traffic, when I am not even sure of the way. I concluded, I will go on my bike, no matter what.
I have a bike, an Activa. I call her Vandiva. Lately, she keeps complaining about being ignored by me. She says unlike Pune, when we used to ride everyday to office and back, I don’t accompany her and prefer spending hours with my new friend in Bangalore, the bus. She has a rambling kvetch that many a times I don’t even have time for her over the weekends. With a longing look, she once told me, “I keep cleaning myself with the rainwater so that am ever ready for a ride with you” I was touched. Today I had the perfect opportunity to fulfil her desire and beat about the reception venue. I jumped on it, got attired for the occasion and began with the long haul.
The first halt was at the gift centre. I picked up a lovely present apace and reconfirmed the route to the venue from the shop keeper. He scared me a little when he said, “VijayNagara? It is far off madam; you will take a long time in this traffic to reach there.” With full support of Vandiva and an audacious mindset to go; nothing could shake me off it. We continued our expedition.
I admit that I am not very good with directions. I also admit that I have no inhibition about talking to strangers. The two traits work in favour of me. The very point when I get confused about which way to go, I confirm it by asking the first person I see (who looks like he can give directions: D) preferably an Auto rickshaw driver. On my way to Vijay Nagar, I would have had a word with almost around 10 auto wallahs. They were all very very kind and sweet people. Some offered me to follow them till a convenient point, some signalled the directions, some tried to explain in broken Hindi. But my mind registered the particular line which was repeated by a few of them, “Go straiietaa.. dead endaaa.. take a lefta(or righta)” Loved the accent in which they lovingly explained the route to a newcomer like me. With the help of such benignant mortals, I finally reached the destination in nearly 1.5 hrs.
Vandiva was happy, but a little tired. I allowed her to rest and with a sense of accomplishment, I went inside and greeted the newly married twosome. They were glad to know about my joyful ordeal, but I was definitely gladder telling them about it  Looking at the two of them, so happy together, I loved myself for taking the right decision to be there. I had a lovely time with a lovely company and great food.
After sharing some light moments with the bride and the groom, I started my way back home. This time a new route (thanks to the multiple one ways), new set of rickshaw wallahs, but the same old line with the same warmth, “Go straiietaa.. dead endaaa.. take a lefta (or righta)” We reached back home, safe and sound. I am sure Vandiva won’t whine for a long time to go.