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Showing posts from November, 2015

A breezy weekday stroll through Mumbai

I love showing people around this city I love so much! Mumbai- city of dreams, hard work, happy spirits and a melting pot of people from all over India. Truly, it gives an opportunity to everyone. So, when a school friend called up one fine sunday morning to give news that he was in town, we quickly arranged a monday meet. Place of meeting- Victoria Terminus- Trust me no one can get lost here. Although it's said that most people get lost at railway stations, not at this terminus.

Our wonderful encounter started with walking past Azad Maidan, through khau galli (eatery lane in english, though its not a formal name!), catching up on the last few years. The stroll through leafy enclaves in Marine Lines made us aware we were starving throughout. A sumptuous meal accompanied with Cranberry Juice and buying Tinkle issues for ourselves which we later signed for each other made for a great laughter session. I kept pointing Art Deco structures, and spouting history too. My friend is a pat…

Book adoring

Sleep eludes me at this hour. Although I feel strained physically, my brain seems super active. I would like to sleep, but lot of thoughts and ideas keep clashing in my mind.
My Dad surprised me today with a giant Phaidon Press book on 20th century World Architecture. It's humongous, literally. I have always wanted to build up an architecture collection at my home library. A Phaidon Press book is like a dream come true. It seemed like a luxury to buy when I was in College. I hungrily devoured the index and happily got lost in the pages.
Sometimes its overbearing to be capable of feeling so much joy! A school friend who is visiting after seven years has been pumping positive energy and lots of happy spirits into me. I realize, I was once an extremely happy person. Not that I am unhappy now. But that spark seems missing. Of course, my brain knows we all grow out of our likes and dislikes in life, and hence, I feel normal about this current state of mind. I shared the phaidon photo …

Days of Destruction?

While testing myself for some administrative exams, I stumbled upon the following statement- A 'norm' is a shared expectation or behaviour that connotes towhat is considered culturally desirable and appropriate.If that is indeed the definition then we must introspect our role and responsibilities while blatantly passing negative statements about the Refugees and Refugee Crisis. To blame refugees for the terrorist attacks is one of the most illogical thoughts circulating in our society. As humans, are we going to ever think rationally regarding grievances of other humans without measuring their nationality or patriotism or religious affinity? When I read about the hateful thoughts accorded to refugees, I am ashamed to be not able to do anything to stop such propaganda circulating in the masses. Do we really want to inch towards another world war? Do people honestly think that a war and extermination of minorities will lead to peace in the world? I know there are people who supp…

Mid-week Musings

गुलज़ार- उनकी बातों में, और शब्दों में जो सादगी है, जिसे हम सब तराशते रह जाते है और अनदेखा भी कर देते है क्योंकी आस पास की चमक इतनी तेज है। कुछ सच्चे और सीधे 'लब्ज़' की तलाश में, मैं निकली हूँ। छोटी-छोटी बातों में ख़ुशी नजर आने के लिए अपनी आँखों और सोच का दायरा बढ़ाना जरूरी हो गया है। हमारी 'जिंदगी' की परिभाषा भी कितनी सुलझी हुई और उसी वक़्त कितनी गहरी होती है। सभी से तो हम बात नहीं कर पाते है, मगर क्या ख़ामोशी की जुबान समझने वाले लोग, सिर्फ अब उंगलियों पर गिनने की तादाद में रह गए है? ऐसे लोगों से हमारी मुलाकातें कम क्यों हो गयी है? क्या उन्हें अपनी ख़ामोशी से इतना प्यार होता है, की वो किसी और को अपने इर्द- गिर्द तो आने देते है, पर अपने अंदर की गहराइयों में झाँकने का मौका नहीं देते? क्या इसीलिए, 'कविता' का जन्म हुआ, जो रूह की आवाज को जुबान पर ला देती हैं?!
I must be suffering from mid-week crisis! Why else would I feel such a load of emotions within me? I am tempted to dance. But just the thought of putting up a performance for a friend's wedding has me all freak…

Chaos and more of it!!!

It's chaos all over in my head. Or wait, why do I feel the need to classify it as chaos? This never ending dimensional crisis to our personalities has put me in a fix- literally. One of my best friends from school, someone I know since I was six years old was going through such a big crisis in his life. He called me a few years ago when my number was the only one he remembered and my advice mattered to him, and I didn't respond then. How guilty do I feel now on learning that he needed my help. A simple gesture of listening to his problem on the phone could have bought him some peace. But I was adamant over something back then. We had had the biggest fight over something that in early 20's felt like it mattered a lot. Friendship is a vague term, a place holder actually. There's nothing like friendship that lasts forever, or a friendship where everything is perfect. No, nothing of this sort exists. We constantly evolve and grow out of our immaturity and keep balancing o…

Memories on the vine

Although I have exams next week, yesterday I watched two movies. One directed by Aparna Sen and the other by Shonali Bose- Mr & Mrs Iyer and Amu. Both have accounts pertaining to riots. After news came about the Paris Attacks yesterday, it dawned upon me that my life has been so sheltered, away from the grimness the previous decades had. Maybe because I am not directly affected or involved in any of these gruesome events. But that also made me question if my generation or me, are we rebels without a cause?
Then today, I was fiddling with my new phone, trying to understand its workings when I accidentally set up some theme which has a serene scenic background as my wallpaper and a bright blue cup with a rusty silver spoon laid on a dark blue table cloth on a mahogany table as my screensaver. Because I love intricate and antique things I like having them on my phone or computer as wallpapers. And I have taken quite a fancy to this bright blue cup. Somehow it makes me feel that the …

FreakedOutDots

AAH, Annie! I remember the first time I heard Arundhati Roy's name. It was in 1996-97 when she won the Booker Prize for her novel, The God of Small Things. It was considered as a major achievement by a young novelist, Indian, mind you at that time. I still remember her frozen image on the TV screen, the curls dominating her delicate face something about which made her so different and stand out from the crowd.
About a decade later, I entered Architecture school. I was still fascinated and hugely obsessed with her. She became a one time writer, published that one and only novel, won the booker and was an architect by education. It was enough to be transfixed with her. In the very first week of architecture school, we, first years were gathered in the big seminar hall and shown "In which Annie gives it those ones". When I saw the title I thought, what kind of absurd grammar error was that. Then, Arundhati Roy's name flashed on the screen and I kept my patience. The mo…

जगण्याचा लढा

आज आमच्याकडे चार दिवस पाणी नसल्याकारणाने पाण्याची भीषण दाहकता प्रत्यक्षात फर्स्ट hand अनुभव करतोय. इतके दिवस मराठवाड्याला पाणी नाही, शेतकरी कुटुंबांची हतबलता फक्त पेपर मध्ये, बातम्यांमधून वाचत, ऐकत होतो. आज तीच परिस्थिती आम्हा शहरी भागात राहणाऱ्या लोकांवर आल्यामुळे खरं जगण्यातली विवशता आज आम्हाला कळतेय. आपण शहरी लोक फारच लाडावलेलो आहोत. जगण्याच्या सगळ्या सुविधा अक्षरश: लोटांगण घालतात आपल्यासमोर म्हणून अर्थातच आपल्याला किंमत नाही कसलीच. ह्याच जीवनोपयोगी गोष्टींसाठी जेव्हा जबर लढा द्यावा लागतो ना, तेव्हा त्यातली भयाण अस्वस्थता समोर येते.
आज पिण्यासाठी देखील पाणी नाही म्हणून जेव्हा दुकानातून काही लिटर्स मध्ये पाणी विकत आणायला लागलं तेव्हा अर्धा ग्लास पाणी पिऊन ते फेकून टाकणाऱ्या असंख्य लोकांचे चेहरे माझ्या डोळ्यासमोरून तरळून गेले. आपण सगळेच बेफिकीरीने वागतो. किंबहुना आपल्या वागण्याचं समर्थन आपल्याला द्यावं लागत नाही एखाद्या एजन्सीला किंवा पर्यावरण watch संस्थेला म्हणून पण हा स्वभाव झाला. यात चुकीचं काहीच नाही हीच आपली मानसिकता. माझ्या थोड्याशा पाण्याच्या अपव्ययामुळे कुठे एवढा फरक पडतोय …

A game of cricket

One of my friends plays county cricket and we usually get to meet just once a year or sometimes once in two years or so. Cricket is a gentleman's game or so they said. Well, it certainly seemed like one during my Dad's time. My friend plays a lot of rough cricket. He also plays rugby and frequently sees his team mates getting injured. He himself is also prone to a lot of injuries. His mother completely hates his love for the game and has tried to dissuade him for years from playing. This month, when my friend came home he showed a few brilliant clips from the game to his mum. Unfortunately, she wasn't impressed. So, me, my friend, his brother and a few other friends decided to play a live game for his mum. It started off brilliantly. I had forgotten the thrill and the high spirits associated with playing cricket. To view the game on TV is thrilling, but to play it in person is so much more challenging yet fun too. The last time I played cricket was when I was 12 with my c…

एक भटकता सा बादल

बचपन में स्कूल में मैंने दो बादलों की कहानी पढ़ी थी। एक काला और दूसरा सफ़ेद। काला बादल अपने जीवन का उत्कर्ष ढूंढ रहा था। सफ़ेद बादल को उत्कर्ष पहले ही प्राप्त हो चूका था। तो लेखक को यह सूचित करना था की मनुष्य का जीवन परोपकार की भावना से ओतप्रोत हो तो वह अपना उत्कर्ष स्वयं ही ढूंढ पाता है। यह कहानी मेरे मन में बसी हुई है इसलिए की जिस उम्र में मैंने यह पढ़ी थी तब अच्छाई और नेकी यह गुणविशेषताएँ हमें हमारे जीवन का सर्वोच्च परिमाण के रूप में बतलाई गयी थी। आज किसी गाने में मैंने 'एक भटकता बादल' यह लफ्ज़ सुने और मुझे बचपन की नेकी भरी वह सीख याद आयी। सच ही तो हैं के हम अपनी आस्था और अपने स्वभाव विशेष का मेल रखते हुए जीवन कंठित करते हैं। कोई भी नयी चीज़ अपनाते हुए पहले सहमे होते है और पुरानी चीज़ों को अलविदा करते हुए उतने ही भावुक। यही भाव तो हमें समूचे प्राणी जगत में सर्वश्रेष्ठ ठहराते है।
कई बार अपनी स्मृतियों की गंगा में बहते हुए हम न जाने कितने ही साल, घंटे और लम्हें पार कर जाते है। जब यादें याद आती हैं, तब हम उन्हें एक तीसरे दायरे से देखते है। कई बार तो मैं किसी अनजान जगह पर खड़े होकर वह…

The ice breaker

I have always believed in having a healthy dialogue for resolving issues. Hence, the restlessness that has kept up with me over breaking up with a friend on some misunderstanding is hopefully about to end in a few days. We are slated to meet. I took the initiative, though I had to enlist our common friend to do that. We have such immense potential to be better beings and yet we restrict ourselves with unnecessary squabbles and ego hassles.
When I was younger, I remember walking away if anybody ever quarrelled with me. I wasn't good at speaking up for myself. I thought 'less the said' was better. Now, after going through a rigorous world of architecture school and the professional world, and of course, growing up to the point as to clearing up indifferences, it's advisable always to say 'only' things that matter. Mostly, we tend to flow in the stream of past mistakes, which we have analysed a thousand times in our head. It's really beneficial to speak out. …

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

It's my father's birthday today! And although, we don't celebrate it with much fanfare, though my mother bakes a cake each year, this year I've baked a cake for him, all by myself. I hope he likes it.
I haven't ever gifted him anything on his birthday yet. But this year, I hope to give him a belated birthday gift by qualifying for the civil service exams that I undertook recently. Because, he has always encouraged me and allowed me the liberty to pursue whatever I've ever taken a keen interest in, I hope it will truly make him happy and proud of me.
Here's a happy picture from some happy memories of us together. Love you, Dad.