Tuesday, 31 December 2013

8 hours, 90 kms.

Like a promised season's sale, I have yet another post for new year's eve.
But instead of describing my non-existent crazy party plans for tonight, I have a little story to recount.
A little something on how I started 2013.

Very simply put, I cycled my way into 2013, which lead to an amazing night, an interesting year and an incredibly tiring 1st January.
The idea of cycling when the clock strikes 12 came to us(read two of my jobless friends and me), in the week that led up to 31st Dec'12. Because we had to be different in how we welcomed 2013 and more so because we were too broke to really do anything else, we decided that we would cycle away. Destination, Khadakwasla dam which is 25kms from Pune.

We started bang at midnight and by 3 A.M we were 20 kms down. But like every entertaining story there was a twist in ours as well.
Cops. Two of them and really angry one's.
They were barking mad at us, wondering how we thought of this as a safe idea.
What was more, they sent us packing and all our plans went kaput.

But the night was still young and we hadn't had our fill. A change of destination, from a scenic dam to widespread fields in the village of Manjari.
Peddling away in the dead of the night, halting at Pizza Hut and way too many sidewalks for us to keep track off, we trudged along.
For the final climax, we lost our way, courtesy the ever helpful GPS system.

In spite of all that we made it, to a long stretch of tar road, with tall green grass fields on either sides, the sun of 2013 rising above us and the cool breeze refreshing our spent faces.
Sitting in some unknown farmer's field, eating our way through chocolates and cakes and feeling the mellow heat of the January sun on our backs was a different celebration altogether.
The journey back may have been excruciatingly tiring, we may have lost all feeling in our legs and the thought of touching a cycle again for month might have been revolting but the
fact that it was worth it is undisputed.

We may shudder now at the thought of cycling again for 8 hours and 90 kms but this little excursion left us with one very happy memory, a bunch of anecdotes and a playful smile for when someone mentions Manjari.

To the yellow streetlights, to the lonely streets of Pune, to a queer celebration, to the company of friends, to adding a tale to the "craziest things I've done in my life" list and to a memorable new year's eve.

Lets hope tonight has a new story in the making for me and for the two friends whose company I yearn for and are miles away. More importantly lets hope I don't take another year to recount a new year story!

To the last of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, cheers!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Hit Pay Dirt

According to Google search results, hitting pay dirt is getting great riches or discovering something of value.
More simply put its winning the jackpot.

Well this piece of writing is a result of caffeine infused insomnia, tons of unfinished work, surprisingly fast hostel Wi-Fi (lets hope mentioning this here doesn't jinx it) and finally the realization of what "I've hit pay dirt" really feels like.

You know those moments where you're leading up to a solution for a math problem, the sketchy outlook of an English essay, finally getting to understand some physics theory or more so in my context idea-ting for a design concept.

If you ask me to describe it in a Hollywood screenshot, award winning cinematography kind of way then yes, I will paint a very exhilarating picture.
But between you and me, that one moment does feel like a light bulb glowing around your head with the animated "ching". Its that moment where you know what exactly is going to make your project work. How unbelievably amazing or not the idea is takes the secondary position here. The feeling when you get that half baked, promising thought in your head, when you finally get that brainwave is more important.

You don't always get that with every project you know. In my 3 years of design school, I've been there fairly few times. You'd think being a designer in her final year, this moment should come to me more often but you'd be surprised to know that it isn't very often for a designer to get there really.

To me personally, its something to be cherished. It's a short-lived, barely countable in seconds feeling that suddenly makes you see things right.

Which is why I like to describe it in the way Shakespeare describes the falling of an apple from a tree.

It's like that gush of chocolate that flows into your mouth when you take the first bite of a warm chocolate donut.
It's that breeze that refreshes you on a hot summer afternoon.
It's the smell of coffee when you take the first sip.
It's that second of eye contact with your crush.
It's the sight of money in an old wallet you didn't know you had.
That feeling when you cut the first slice of your birthday cake, that feeling when you see your mark sheet and realize you haven't failed, that feeling of sudden happiness when you see the piece of puzzle that solves the whole picture.

It's a comet that you almost saw, the ceiling that you almost touched.
The catch that you were almost going to miss or as my brother would call it, the shoot that almost didn't make it to the goalpost.

Ask me why I make such a big deal out of this?
Because even if you go on to spend nights and days on making the cleanest presentation, the best graphics and the smartest strategy, none of it would've come together if not for that one moment.

And all I want is one of those moments everyday.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

For Taishi

As a young kid, you were one of the first friends I had. I have always remembered you as my very first best friend even though the two of us couldn’t spend a lot of time together owing to my dad’s transfer to Hyderabad.

I remember you as a cute, chubby, boy cut haired girl who lived two storey’s above me. I remember coming up to your place to play with building blocks or the kitchen set. Our mothers would drop us to school every morning where we mostly sat together and played together. The memories of busy bee’s play school, learning in that hut like classroom and playing in the orchard are probably my best times as a child. And your presence in those memories makes them even more special. 
Remember how all us kids would meet every evening to play in the buildings garage. I remember marching in the most humorous manner to the tune of “Sandese aate hain”. When I did leave Bangalore I wasn’t very sure about how much I would be missing you. After all we were kids then and there wasn’t much we could do about it except remembering each other.

You had once come down to my place in Hyderabad and I had been so excited to see you then. In spite of meeting each other after about 6-7 years or so we both still shared that old camaraderie. We had seen Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets at Abhinav bhaiya’s place. We discovered that we both loved Harry Potter and Enid Blyton. Looking back now I wish we had stayed in contact because I am sure we would have jelled well.

I probably never had a heart to heart with you the way I have with my friends now and that somehow doesn’t matter. The age we knew each other in never needed heart to hearts for two young minds to connect. I might not know you as well as your other friends do but your sad demise leaves a hole in my heart.

When mom told me about you I had nothing to say. 18 is too tender a year and life seems to have wronged you. Still, you’ve spread enough happiness and smiles in those 18 years.
I hope to meet you again in a new life as my first best friend and hope to remain as the last one.
You are missed dear old girl.

Rest in Peace.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Escapades of a Pen Drive

I lay nice and shiny in a plastic case resting on a rack at an electronic store along with more of my clan.
We were up for discounts, it was the festive season. Personally, I don’t see why we should be given away at a discounted price. For our size, function and ease of use we should be selling like hot cakes. But here we were waiting for a customer to pick us.
And that’s where I was wrong, I expected all of us to be bought together and never foresaw that there was a possibility of us being separated. Well as it was meant to be, my family was packed off to some conference where they would be handed out in bulk and sadly enough I did not make it in that group.
All alone I looked on waiting to be owned by someone, in search of a new family of other kinds of electronics.
And that’s when she entered the store accompanied by her father. As she approached to where I was, I heard her dad tick her off saying he wouldn't buy her more pen drives after this one. Said she’d lost enough number of them and he’d spent a fortune replacing each lost one.
That did not sound like a very good omen to me but alas, she took a fancy to me and I found a new owner, who seemed to be a rather forgetful one.
Soon my fears were realized as she happened to be quite a scatterbrain. The first few days she was quite careful about not leaving me behind or loosing me somewhere. But two weeks down and she became her forgetful self.
The Xerox shop, computer lab, cyber cafe  some friend’s laptop and there were also times when I would lie buried in the depths of her bag out of reach and out of sight.
In the many of escapades of mine I made new friends, laptops, printers, mouse and keyboards. There was also a fair share of my counterparts to flirt with.
On all those occasions when I was lost to her and she was in a frenzy trying to locate me, I would be having the time of my life being the Casanova.
And so my adventures continued.
One such day, she was in a hurry to submit her assignments and so took a quick print out and dumped me along with her some other belongings in a carry bag. I was a little apprehensive and knowing her well she had all the chances of leaving the bag behind.
What was more, she did exactly as I thought she would. And of all the places that she could’ve left the bag in, she did so in an ATM.
An ATM where people come and go every few minutes and there was a good possibility of the bag being dumped in the bin as something suspicious or being taken away by some random passerby.
Added to that I could sense the presence of the ominous ATM machine, it stood there majestic and intimidating its eyes boring into mine. Something told me that sooner or later I would either be stolen by a stranger or be engulfed in the huge machine.
For the first time in all my ramblings I wished my owner would find me. As air headed as she was, she cared for me and would always come looking for me. I found myself wishing to be reunited with her probably as much as she would when she realized she had lost me again.
And then I saw a tiny ray of hope as one of her friend’s entered the ATM. If she noticed the bag and recognized the contents as her friends then there could be a chance of our reunion.
I sat there hoping against hope. And dramatically enough she did notice the bag and picked it up to check the insides. The exasperated look on her face said that she knew this was my owner’s bag.
And so after all the waiting I was reunited with my dear forgetful owner who was delighted at the sight of me and so was I.
But the worst was yet to come. So flustered was her friend with my owner that she decided to adorn me with a hideous pink ribbon so my mistress would not be able to take her eyes of me. I looked on helplessly as I was dressed in the atrocious flimsy piece of cloth.
Gone were the days when I could flirt around with pretty pen drives. All for a sense of belonging and the hope to not be left behind one more time.

P.S: Let's give you a little background about this particular piece. So I have this roomie who is a complete scatterbrain. She manages to forget every single thing under the earth.
We all have these times when we walk into a room and forget what we went in for.
In case of my roommate this is an everyday story.
She is a forgetful, silly old girl, but a very darling one at that.
And this is the story of her pen drive. Her pen drive that has faced the wrath of her unbinding memory.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Friday, 11th January 2013: 
A not so cold, breezy evening that saw the whole of SID, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th years turn up as one and celebrate the beginning of their annual cultural fest Fundamental.

The idea was simple, an open mic night called ‘Encore’ where anyone could do anything that they wanted to. Singer or dancer, actor or trickster, confident or nervous, talented or not the stage had no limits- just a chance to make the crowd go once more.

We started with a classical dance performance by a meek first year followed by more dance performances. There was salsa, hip hop, belly dancing and a little squish of bollywood. So overwhelmed was our anchor with the performances that he couldn’t resist joining in.

As the evening progressed we saw one of the third years rap an Eminem with gripping accuracy, saw a group of first years put up a flash mob cum dance performance, heard a fair few melodious voices and were blown away by the performances of bands like Same Shit Different Day and J.O.E.

Between the strumming guitars and mic checks, there was some cheesy leg pulling by the anchor with rather witty comebacks from the audience.
Meanwhile, we had also a couple of bikes burning their tires in the presence of a Harley Davidson revving its engine as the crowd watched on with excitement.

We wrapped up the night with the super seniors on the guitar singing their last in college.  An evening well spent, a stage jam-packed, this is what Encore was all about.

But the fun has just begun and to be a part of our crazier fest, tune in to Fundamental at SID on 8th, 9th and 10th Feb’13.

Let the mental side take over you!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Winters In South India

So here's my little something to the chilly months ahead of us.

As I start talking about winter you might think that I am one those fool proof Delhiites or a Kashmiri or perhaps a rich brat from a cliff facing cottage in Shimla. It so happens that I am not any of the above mentioned and nor do I fit the bill of a typical north Indian who has seen the extremities of cold.
But of course, if I am not a person right out of the capital then how can I talk about the cold. For a person who has never lived in the north, has spent her life in six different cities of South India and is presently a hostelite in pune, winter should be something alien right?
Don’t our dear north Indian friends keep bragging about their chilly winters, with freezing days and arctic nights?
Often we hear them describing the taste of “garam jalebis” or how we need to wear layers of clothes and how you can’t see anything at the distance of five meters because of the fog.
Jealous though I feel, I think winter is not something you can enjoy only when you are bundled up under tons of wool or when the water turns to ice in the tap. Having lived all my life in Southern India I wouldn’t say that I missed out on the winter fun.
 Hyderabad, with its cozy mornings and unsettling coolness, the pleasant evenings with it’s by the by winds that I spent on Necklace Road are something that I can never forget.
As a young kid I remember going for evening plays in the Cubbon park of Bangalore wearing a thin sweater and still enjoying the longer evenings.
 The wintry mornings that I spent on the beaches of Chennai, inhaling the salty air and sipping the coconut water may not be the usual winter routine but is a treat in itself.
Mumbai may not be freezing as such but the cold air that stings your face in train travel which makes the vada pav even tastier is a different winter all together.
Tell me, is it necessary for the weather to be ice cold for us to relish the taste of hot momos, to enjoy a long sweat less run, to feel lazy in your bed or get excited to wear a nice smart jacket.
Isn’t winter just another mood of the weather?                                      
Not depressing, nor exactly happy. Perhaps that time of the year when the climate is lost in its own reverie. It’s the time when the year looks back at its younger self and realizes it has to come to an end.
I think we can all enjoy snuggling up in our own warm blankets and eat through the suddenly grown appetite without the temperature boasting off a minus sign ahead of it. Sitting in my hostel room with a stationary fan, wearing a warm hoodie, with the mercury levels decreasing and enjoying whatever “thandi” South India has to offer I feel the taste of garam chai or the aroma of hot coffee would be the same even if the weather men don’t predict zero vision for the night. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Inconvenience Regretted

Once I was walking down a heavily dug up road that had been like that for well over six months. The workers had dug up most of the road for some municipal work and showed no signs of patching it up anytime soon.

Ironically they had their usual 'Inconvenience Regretted' board placed on the pavement.

The state of the road showed no regret and thats when the idea of this scribble came to me. It's not much just a little sketch of the road and that board with a slight change.

The board somehow makes a lot more sense to me now.