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Showing posts from May, 2015

दिल ढूँढता है फिर वही...

एक सपने सा लगता है वो दिन। पहाड़ों में घूमने का मेरा हमेशा से ही अरमान रहा था। वो ऊँचे देवदार के वृक्ष, पाईन के कोनो को ज़मींन पर पाना और सफ़ेद रंग का हर तरफ दिखना। ऐसे दृश्य देखकर मुझे अक्सर हिंदी फिल्मों के गाने याद आते है। इतना फिल्मों से लगाव नहीं है जितना गानों से है, खासकर वो गानें जो मूलतः कविता के रूप में लिखी गई थी और उसे संगीत का साज चढ़ाकर फिल्मों में पेश किया गया। मेरे पिताजी ने उनके शिमला के वास्तव दौरान की कई सारी Black & White तस्वीरें आज तक सहेज कर रखी है। जब कभी मेरा मन होता है, मैं उन्हें देख लेती हूँ। रंगीन तस्वीरों की भी अलग ही बात होती है। रंग जैसे आज का दौर दिखलाती है, वहीं B&W रंगीन शीशों को पार कर गुजरे जमाने में ले जाती है। मानो हम इतिहास में यात्रा कर रहे हों। मसुरी, देहरादून, अल्मोड़ा - ये सारी जगहें बचपन में किसी जादुई नगरी सी लगती थी। आज भी लगती है, किंतु बचपन में हमारी कल्पनाशक्ति जैसे होती है, जिस निरागस भाव से बच्चें दुनिया निहारते है, वो नज़रिया बड़े होकर लुप्त हो जाता हैं। अपनी मासूमियत को जीवित रखने का हम सब प्रयास तो कर ही सकते है। 

इस समय, खिड़की से…

Ten Best Books list

My friend, Deepa challenged me to compile a list of ten of my favourite books. Here is my list of books that have influenced, encouraged me while growing up, also satiated my curiosities and questioned my conscience and moved me to tears.
I would like everyone who read this post to jot down a list of 10 books they've read that cast a lifelong spell on their lives. I am very interested to see what people consider as their favourites. Go ahead. smile emoticon 1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- My first book as a teen that I keep returning to from time to time. It made me realise how Fathers' can influence their children's lives. I saw my Dad in Atticus and he will remain there forever.
2. Children who made it Big by Thangamani, India by AlBeruni published by National Book Trust- My childhood was filled with books from NBT. Dad made sure I got to read everything substantial right from the time I could read and understand on my own. A very pleasant memory. smile emoticon
3. A…

Farewell, Aruna.

I don't exactly remember when I first heard about Aruna Shanbhag. Perhaps, during 1999-2000, when I was in school and a serial titled 'Alpviram' first aired on TV. It was said to be inspired from Aruna's case and I still remember flashes from the serial. Pallavi Joshi's lifeless body with open eyes, lying on a bed in a dim room, with an overhead hanging bulb is still very fresh in my mind. Those were not the internet and google times, hence information was only available through newspapers, books and TV. I clearly remember writing about Aruna in a school essay. My words were sharp and when portions from it were read in front of the school after I won a prize for it, all I felt then was anger and sadness. It was a young age. That's when I became aware about Violence against Women & Rights of Women. My brush with the real world started with Aruna's story. I was too young to understand legal or medical proceedings, but developed a soft corner for a woman …

The song of sparrows

Lilting music, violin sounds and a mellow afternoon- my idea of perfect time for a refreshing cup of tea and a good book that's about to end. Having spent three years with such luxury I'm spoilt to the core and often long for these afternoons. I remember my professor's warm conversations during thesis, and lazy walks through Fort. I have spent every waking moment with Orhan Pamuk and his Istanbul. Then there were times spent listening to the great Usha Uthup- she's a delight. Everything is so fresh in my mind, Her feminist decoding of 'Bindiya Chamkegi' is original and important and should be heard by every young impressionable girl. We live in such fractured times.

I came across this book of Greek mythology and a dictionary on the same while looking for some other books in my collection. While going through them casually, I came upon markings in my handwriting on comparisons with other book characters and my exasperated comments. I remembered my obsessed trip…

Ruminations II

My brain is fried with information overload, discussions on varied topics from architecture to gender theories and my Civil Service Examination studies. I truly can't seem to handle this immense pressure.

Today especially just feels so hectic and stressed. I was reading interviews of UPSC candidates and it made me realise what a great lot of hard work I've to put in. It's not easy. And, since I don't think I'm exceptionally brilliant, studying hard and with determination is the only go right now.
I just feel too lost sometimes. There are distractions- yes, but these mostly seem to be the vague kind. I'm not someone to be easily influenced by material happiness or momentary pleasures of life. Yes, I do get affected a lot by failure- to perform, to fulfill expectations, to outdo myself. I'm that 'go getter' kind who also is scared of giving up midway and tends to have serious doubts about her own capabilities. But, I am also someone who never gives u…

Body happy

I have written this time and again and I repeat yet again today- We are obsessed with our bodies!
When will this fixation of fitting ourselves in one size less clothes go away? Do people realise how ill presented they look with body hugging clothes that just show all their assets in the worst possible manner? Women especially do not need to force themselves to look thin. Just what is this chronic obsession with trying to look slim? It's alright to be on the heavier side, to be healthy as compared to all other self- confessed 'fitness freaks' who look more like they have been starving and malnourished. All the ladies and girls who go 'ooh' and 'aah' over their perfectly toned waists and collarbones, ought to realise the lifelong damage they are doing to their bodies.
Since when do we need to be so conscious about 'thigh gaps' and all other ridiculous terms used to describe our body parts? Can't we be happy instead to have all organs and parts in…

Ruminations I

With the advent of Modi, people who earlier had moderate views have suddenly turned into fierce nationalists. People have started defending their religion with an ardent zeal and not just defending, proclaiming how theirs is the world's greatest religion. Is this all necessary? Isn't religion made for man, than being the opposite? How does a particular religion's superiority give anyone access and right to malign other religious doctrines? This is denouncing history. And, plain stupid if people think only their race is superior and hence reserves the right to inhabit a particular city or country. Highly illogical information perpetrated through half-read wikipedia pages. Why don't people who are up for an argument on religion and fundamentalism actually read "proofs" and theories that have been proved, verified and accepted by scholars worldwide. If one wants to limit themselves to some nationalist's version of events, his area of understanding would be …

Some questions

It's amusing to see people talk of a 'glowing' democracy in wake of such injustice and unfavorable prevailing political decisions banning freedom pertaining to food, culture and speech in this nation.
And then there are the mass supporters who couldn't care less about Dalit girls sexually assaulted, killed and hanged from trees in villages.
Why is human life, particularly those that belong to the "lower castes" so cheap? How do we reform this system? It's clear that education has done little to improve the mindsets of the upper castes and ruling communities in towns and villages. Politicos seriously need to "shut up" if they can't sympathize with victims of Molestation, Gruesome Dalit mass killings/murders, or communal violence.
Sane people do not need creepy fake god men turned politicians to advise them on their reproductive rights and duties.

Just what is happening to us? Why are we allowing ourselves to be ruled by these regressive mind…


How strange is it to exchange phone numbers with people we know we are never going to talk/meet again!

We live such complicated lives that even simple gestures sometimes confuse us. I spend a lot of time thinking about such events afterwards and often come up with 'Oh-I-should-have-said/thought-this' laments. While attending a lecture today evening on a Buddhist scholar and philosopher with connections with Chinese culture, I met someone who is interestingly a Law student and quite aware about urban governance issues. We shared some views on Bureaucracy, City Planning and Civil Services which are hot topics these days.

It is almost amusing when strangers make assumptions about our lives which may/may not be true yet they entertain us in that moment. I've had so many memorable conversations with strangers I've met at public meetings/events, and ended up not keeping acquaintances with them. Do they regret it as much as I do now? I've seen that my memory works sharp …