Monday, December 31, 2012

SOMC - 11... From Serenades to Jingles in Goa!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.   

The Christmas spirit was in the air and the breeze which brushed past me whispered a tune of cheer in my ears. The jingles of happiness tuned me into the atmosphere of the perfect place to be during Christmas…. you guessed it right… GOA! The land of sun, sand, sea and spirit! My serenade began singing the best Christmas songs in my head. It put a whistle on my lips and a hop in my step. I was on cloud nine.

That’s where I was this Christmas, and that’s the reason I couldn’t get to you guys through the Serenade Of My City this Tuesday. Sincere apologies! Christmas is my favorite festival, has always been. The best Christmas is surely the one when it’s winter and better when it snows. Couldn’t ask for it in Goa for sure, so we celebrated it in Goan style… on the beach!!!

There were shacks around, all decorated with beautiful lights. Stars hung everywhere. Looked like the universe had stepped down on earth for a day. Breath taking view everywhere, and the festive atmosphere was there to gobble everybody into it. The churches were illuminated and looked truly heavenly.
There were carols being sung around, people strolling with Santa caps. Parents doing last-minute Santa-shopping for their kids, and all the kids, being good and obedient so that they can get their gifts. Little brats! Festivals like these make me wonder why we do not celebrate each day like it was one.

There is so much happiness in the air. Everybody making merry in the ferry! Times when you feel ‘Everything’s going to be alright!’. Times when you find hope in the most hopeless situation. When you look up at the sky, find fireworks, and you feel like this is the moment you always wanted to live. You feel loved, you feel great, you feel at peace amidst the chaos!
I lived the spirit of this Christmas to the fullest and wished some magic dust in everyone’s life as I let the sand in my hands slip out from the gap between my fingers and felt the water rise to my legs, and then flow back into the sea through the gap in my toes. I took a step back, stared at my footprint in the sand. And at that precise moment, I knew I had made my mark. And then the water came with a roar, and went back wiping all my signs, so silently that maybe if I had not seen it, I would believe if somebody said it never happened!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year, I sign off. See you all in the new year with new stories singing the serenade of new cities. Until then, Cheers to new beginnings and happy endings!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Deep blue ink kisses!


Rustic pages blown
Smell of newly opened book
Deep blue ink kisses 

Rustling to the wind
Another story begins
New heart awakens

Wishing all my fellow bloggers and readers a very Happy New Year. I hope the new book in your life is filled not just with blue, but all the colors you have always wished for. May this year 2013, bring loads of luck and cheer your way and i hope it finds you all in the best of health and spirits. Cheers to a new beginning, a new start!!! :)

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for this week is 'NEW'.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Snow shadows' slow dance.


Snow feathers caress 
Warm memories churn feelings
Silent smile escapes 


White haunting daggers
Sharp emotions hide no more
Snow shadows' slow dance

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'SNOW'.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SOMC - 10...Always on the MOVE! Literally!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.  

What is it to own your own vehicle, i did not know! (Except a cycle of course!) But finally my days of waiting and wondering were over yesterday and am now a proud owner of an Activa! Feels so good just to say that, you can only imagine my joy as I rode it for the first time.

My vehicle saga is a long one. There were talks of buying one since 2 years, but never really worked out. But after staying over three months in Pune, I realized the only way to save time and live in this place, is to own a vehicle! And being the city which boasts of the highest number of two wheelers, it was only sensible that I got my own soon because the public transport here is not something you can 
depend on.

Most auto drivers do not agree to a meter and charge a number that pops into their mind that second and every other auto fellow nearby seems to nod his head to it, even without knowing or hearing the price. They do succeed in giving us a lesson on unity though. Sigh! And the bus guys are a bigger disappointment. They do not even stop enough for a person to get on. By the time you manage to read the dusty board with faded paint which indicates the destination and get ready to climb, the bus is gone! And I have found myself wondering, did it even stop???!

The conductors on asking the destination of the bus, look at you like you’ve asked them when they are going to die!!! Otherwise, they look past you, more like look through you, as if you did not exist! I’ve missed so many buses just because I could not figure out where it went!!! And even if I succeeded in doing that, climbing the bus is allowed only from the back door, which the bus driver cannot see and uses his sixth sense to start driving!!! And most of the times, I have a feeling the driver feels no one’s climbing, because he hardly lets the bus stop before hitting the accelerator again. God!

One thing Pune buses have taught me is to climb a running bus. Have gotten used to it. Have also missed and tripped and almost fallen a couple of times which has made me realize how dangerous it is to try to pull a stunt like that, but the question is, can you help it?! I would if I could. The irony is, every entrance of the bus has this ‘DO NOT CLIMB A MOVING BUS’ in Marathi written. What they failed to add is the fact that these buses are always on a move, so do not climb! Then there are those buses which are empty but choose not to stop at the bus stop and pass by as if they’re mocking you. And the buses that stop are the crowded ones!!!

All this to stand sandwiched between men who make sure they make you as uncomfortable as they can handle, making things more difficult than it already is. They wont budge, they wont move and won’t let you pass as well. Even if you have to get down within one or two stops, you are supposed to climb from the back, wiggle your way to the front of the bus and get off from there!!! The challenge is not just getting past weirdos, but also managing to climb down a bus that starts moving even before you’ve alighted. The best time to get off these things are when it stops at a signal, because you can be sure they won’t move till the light turns green!

Well, by now I think I’ve made it clear as to WHY exactly I was so desperate for a vehicle that I could rule!!! One which I could start and stop and move as and when I wanted to without falling off it! I wish public transport was given more attention in a city like this where it’s most needed. There is so much pollution and traffic that good, frequent and regulated transport facilities would be beneficial to the public in more than one way.

Anyway, a good ride availed and there can be no other than me feeling like a free bird now! So singing the serenade of freedom, I take off wishing you guys a beautiful Christmas week. May the spirit be alive, for my next post is gonna be co-incidentally on Christmas Day!!! Until then, wishing you all a happy time!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.   

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fixing magic to existence!


Crimson petals blown
In heart's deepest secret wish
Plethora of life

Smiling snowflakes fall
Fix magic to existence
Grinning warm teapot 

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'WISH'.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Review - Wrong Means Right End

Book title :Wrong Means Right End
Author : Varsha Dixit
Published by : Rupa Publications India Pvt. Ltd.

After a failed marriage, Sneha, a single working mom, has no time, or inclination, for love. She resists every matchmaking attempt made by the overzealous Nandini, married to industrialist Aditya. But then the past intrudes in the form of the gorgeous and rich, Nikhil, who brings along Gayatri to break-up her ex-fiancĂ©, Aditya’s marriage. Sneha enlists Nikhil’s help to salvage the situation. But how does she even talk to a man who clearly loathes her? As Nikhil and Sneha try to grapple with their egos and combustible chemistry, love blossoms.

Wrong Means Right End is a sequel to the bestselling novel Right Fit Wrong Shoe, with the same memorable, relatable and engaging characters. It is an exuberant story about love and friendship, filled with surprises and a wicked twist at every turn.

Every love story is different. And this one's too. People support second marriage, and is now a common phenomenon. But not many believe they can fall in love after a failed marriage. The past memories, the hurtful heart shuts tight letting no access to even the possibility of a hint of something comforting and genuine. 

The character of a divorced Sneha, who is a mother of a wonderful little kid Advey and that of divorced Nikhil are the most interesting ones. The tension, the chemistry between these two banks of the river is so intense. Will these banks ever meet is something you should read this book to find out for yourself. The friendship Sneha shares with her best friend Nandini, is so heart-warming that you feel like picking up your phone and abusing 'Kulta', 'Kameeni' to your best pal.

The author, Varsha Dixit does full justice in expressing the anguish and phases these people go through. The characters involved in this novel are those you can relate to in your everyday life. There's surely a face you can attach each character to, which makes you connect to it. The book comes alive with the way the author has described each and every situation, giving little scope to your imagination. Reading this book is like watching a good movie in your head.

Varsha Dixit
Every emotion is covered so beautifully here, that most people experience with the bunch of people they spend maximum time with. There's love, friendship, gossip, jealousy, revenge, pity, gratitude, guilt, kindness, loyalty, anguish, lust, want, need, hunger and what not! True love and true friendship has been dealt with such finesse it only makes you want to read more of it. The sexual tension between Sneha and Nikhil is really something and the author manages to capture your full attention and succeeds in running your imagination wild in a beautiful way. The unexpected roads taken by these people, and the crossroads where they meet and separate again, only to meet at yet another junction is a game you would enjoy being a part of immensely.

Over all, this book was a refreshing read after a long time. The style of writing can be related by the audience which makes it all the better. Grab a copy, i would suggest to all you suckers of romance and friendship before you hear everyone else talking about it! You don't want to be left out now, do you? 

Price : Rs.140
Pages : 311
My Rating : 4 on 5
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

SOMC - 9... Is Happiness your journey or destination?

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles. 

This week I’m singing the Serenade of  Happiness and new-found joy. Of meeting old friends, of making new friends, of bonding, of friendships, of love. 

Yes, that’s right! Good things happen when you are ready to accept that it’s OK to be happy in life. I just read a teaching by Sri Sri Ravishankar today. The gist of which is that we always seem to realize reality only when we are sad or drowned in any negative emotions. But it’s just an illusion because happiness is what it is to feel real. Everything else is a fake. Wanting to be happy is our natural instinct. Everything we do is for being happy.

But the problem is that instead of making happiness a journey, we make it our destination. That’s where all of us go wrong. Happiness is in the moment. Not in the past, nor in the future, but in the present. If we concentrate on making our present happy, our past would have been happy and so would be our future, yes?

I realized our minds are somehow tuned these days to a fear of being happy. When we are happy for a sufficient period and nothing goes wrong, a fear rises about how everything can be so smooth. We begin worrying for the bad that is around the corner, and in the process of worrying, we really end up facing the worst which is nothing but the result of our own insecurity.

We kill the happiness that we achieved. We become sad and then start looking for happiness again. Running around in circles all the time. It’s only when we accept the fact that happiness is a journey that we learn to really live in the moment and avoid worries. Just look at us! Rumors of the world ending in another 10 days is out in the air and here we are, still planning for the far future. How can we be so sure of an unseen future when we can’t be sure about the present that we can see, we can feel, we can live!

Our minds seem to have a mind of their own!!!  So complicated, so twisted! But when things happen, when you see signs of clarity, it gets a little simplified, a little untwisted. Thoughts seem to fall in the right place and we get a fresh insight into a stale life. In one of the older posts in the SOMC, I mentioned shifting to a new place and had wondered what this change has in store for me! Turns out everything surely happens for a reason. I’ve made such good friends already and it couldn’t get any better.I feel God must have thought, “OK, these people have gone through the same things in life. Let me put them together, so they realize they are not alone in this!”

Good things happen to good people they say. But I think good things happen to everyone who’s ready to receive it and own it. I have welcomed yet another chapter of my life with wide open arms. I have prepared myself to embrace every boon and bane it might come with and deal with it as it comes. I have tuned the channel of my life to the serenade of blissful happiness and unlimited joy. Have you?

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles. 


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Heavy breath near cold fireplace!


Dripping dull moments
Heavy breath near cold fireplace
Coal turns blue pain red

Bottled pain is just another name for burning fire. Extinguish it before you get engulfed into it.

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'PAIN'.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yearning for free flight


Yearning for free flight
Pleasure of heart pumping wild
Storm of excitement

 The pleasure of letting your heart thump so wildly, that you can hear it in your ears is feeling alive in the real sense!

This haiku is written for the Haiku Heights and the OSI. The prompts for this week are 'STORM' and 'YEARN'.

SOMC - 8... KNOW when to say NO!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles. 

This week, i’m singing the serenade of power. What is it to be in power? Is it a good thing or bad? Everybody likes being in control of every situation if only they had the power. So how does one rise to power? Is it earned, snatched or passed on? Too many ‘power’ mentions already, let’s get on with it.

Once we get a job, we are mostly compelled to work under a lot of people. Being freshers, we are among the lowest scales and have too many higher authority people to boss us around. They have the power to dominate us, to tell us what to do and how to do it. They seem to have the power to rule the shape our career will take. Sometimes it’s a helpless feeling to be dictated. We end up doing things forcefully just because we are not in the position to say NO. We don’t have that power!

But again, why is power seen as a negative thing! People in power have the ability to do a lot of good too. They have the ability to make you or break you. It’s up to the person as to how he/she chooses to use the power he/she possesses. The thing with this boon/bane is that there are instances when good people rise to power, and then the sudden feeling of control changes their outlook to a selfish one. The people who use this quality for productive purposes, both their own and the ones they control are the true jewels.

Power can be attained in ways, too many! Some sincerely work for it.They are usually the types who just work, but their sincerity gets them power. Then there are some who work to achieve the power, because that’s the only way they feel they can bring order or do good. Then there are those who get it by hook or crook. The intentions all wrong and unfair. The ones who misuse their status and position. Then there are those who are born with a silver spoon and handed power on a golden plate and still they have no clue how to use it. These are the types targeted by the second type to rise to power from the background.

In this race for power, the common man suffers. Some resist it, some ignore it, and others suffer it. But when we come across those rare few who use their power to do good, we develop such instant deep respect and liking for them. Those are the kind of people we need today. The ones who encourage, who create, who build, who love, who live, and who let live!

How you handle power or the people with power is up to you. But let’s try and keep the ugly out of the picture folks. It’s one thing to let someone rule over you and another to walk all over you! Let’s be wise enough to know the difference and KNOW when to say NO! Have a powerful week you guys… Until then, i sign off from the Serenade of my city!

This article is originally written for the ManipalBlog under my weekly column 'Serenade of My City'. It appears here. Visit this site for wonderful articles.  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stuck in race of time.


Storm brewing around
She stays still amidst chaos
Stuck in race of time

There's nothing worse than being stagnant, while everybody seems to be moving in a pace faster than ever. But then, a short stop in a long run could do good in hindsight!

This Haiku is written for the Haiku Heights. The prompt for the week is 'STORM'.