Thursday, October 27, 2011

Almost done reading "Goodbye, Dearest Holly" by Kevin Wells, the father of Holly Wells who, along with her friend Jessica Chapman, was killed on 4th August 2002, when the girls were just 10. It's a good book, gives you the perspective of a father coming to terms with the loss of his baby and at the same time handling the intense media scrutiny and the mad chase to find the killer.

         I was 12 back when the girls were murdered. And I'm reading about it now, when I'm 21. And every time the father describes the situation at his home, the number of breakdowns he has with his wife, the way they try to still be strong for their son, I can't help but shed a few tears. I send up a prayer every time. I'm sure the family would never believe that anything good could come out of this horrible incident, but it has made me realize how incredibly lucky I am to have everything that I have, to still be alive, to have a chance to realize my dreams, to see my parents and my sister everyday, life without whom I wouldn't even like to imagine.

        Yesterday my country celebrated Diwali, the happiest festival of the year. I met my best friends, like every year. But yesterday we suddenly realized that we have grown older, older than last year. Our discussions were different, the manner in which we posed for photos was different. Not that I didn't have fun, I did, but it was different. Although we are the same people underneath, our thoughts, aspirations and pretty much everything has changed over time. But what hasn't changed is how they wholeheartedly accept me as I am.

         And that is such a relief and such a blessing. Apart from them, the only people who do that are my parents and my sister. Parents are probably always at the receiving end of our anger, frustration etc etc, atleast mine. I have yelled at mine, said things I should never have said, hurt them, and yet they still do everything they can for me. Nobody else in the entire world is going to do that. There have been times when I've been judged, gossiped about, scoffed at, yelled at, but my parents have stood by me like pillars. There have been times when I've broken down to bits, but they have put back the pieces for me, made me stand again. 

         Like every teenager, I've asked for things, mainly due to peer pressure, and I've been refused. I've rebelled, cried, acted like my life will end if I don't get something, not spoken to my mom for days......but I now realize, that above everything, the only standing, firm aim in whatever I have done in my short life has been to make my parents proud. And that relieves me to a great extent because that restores my faith in myself. I may have completely transformed in the past few years, but I'm still the same geek inside.

        I'm happy to have picked up this book from the hundreds I could have chosen from. It's the the signs God always sends me when I'm lost. It just told me something I've always known, but had forgotten somewhere along the road. The killing of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman that grim day will have affected many lives in numerous ways, but 9 years after the incident, it has affected mine.People may or may not believe in a higher force, but I know it exists, I've felt it. Kevin Wells will never get his child back and nothing can replace his loss, but I hope he realises what an impact this has left on thousands of people including me. Everything does have a purpose, you may not see it immediately or even in many years, but have faith that something good has happened.

        People who deserve to have you will love you at your worst. You may put on a lot of masks but when all those peel off the ones who still stand by you are the ones you should live your life for. A lot of people will come and go, some will tell you to wear something you are uncomfortable in, some will ask you to eat something you don't want to, some will ask you to change your beliefs for them, some will ask you to crush your conscience for them......and even if at that moment you feel they are the most important people in your life, give a thought to those you loved you even when you were none of these.

       My faith has been restored, my goal is clear. Thank you Kevin Wells, for sharing your story.

       Happy Diwali. :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's all those times

It's all those times that I see them walking towards me,
It's all those times that I hug them so tight,
It's all those times when they say "Kya ho gaya isko?",
It's all those times when they say "It'll be alright".

It's all those times that I send an emotional text,
It's all those times they send one right back,
It's all those times that they say nothing at all,
It's all those times that they still get me on track.

It's all those times that I eat idlis,
It's all those times that I have sambar,
It's all those times that I watch the empty roads,
It's all those times I imagine them coming from afar.

It's all those times that I see people eating paan,
It's all those times that I watch Kung Fu Panda,
It's all those times I call 'Surviving Crooked Lake', 'Sorority Lake'
It's all those times I go by Ajanta.

It's all those times that I see paper mache,
It's all those times I think of TNT,
It's all those times I feel sleepy in class,
It's all those times I hear 'Yo'.

It's all those times I walk those roads,
It's all those times I see the empty nala top,
It's all those times I pass by the graveyard,
It's all those times I think about raddiball.

It's all those times that I can't sleep at night,
That I think about things that make my life worth living,
And I'm so overwhelmed,
I can't believe I'm so utterly blessed.

I know I'm going to make it cuz I have you guys,
I know it'll be okay cuz 'Congress ka haath janta ke saath',
I know if I trip, I have three sets of hands to catch me,
I know in spite of all the disappointments and unfulfilled wishes,
My life is everything I could wish for.

I know I have three imperfect but perfect friends,
I know I can't complain cuz I have three pillars I can lean back on,
I know I'm the luckiest girl in the world cuz where people don't have one, I have three,
I know, for people outside of D.A.S.H., this doesn't make any sense,
But even for all the wealth in the world, I wouldn't want to be anybody else.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's a mini revolution right now. People are all up in arms against the government, Anna Hazare leading from the front. I'm all for standing up against corruption but in all this commotion what really struck me was the level of hypocrisy people are showing!

       OK. The government is corrupt, and the opposition and practically everyone who makes up the governing body anywhere in the country. But is everyone who is protesting honest?..Can they truthfully and sincerely swear on God and say that they do not resort to easier methods to get work done? Shouting from the rooftops and going on candle marches is very convinient, but will those candles reduce corruption?? I love my country but the part I dislike the most is how everyone likes to make everything so melodramatic and then forget about it!!..It's what you do when you return from those marches is what really matters!!!

       I don't understand how people can claim to stand up against corruption when they know that they won't shy away from slipping a note to the traffic policeman when they are caught! It's very easy to blame the whole world, one should look inside and change oneself first. Yes, the whole system is corrupt, but we are equally to blame!...It's because we are so easy to manipulate and because we don't think twice before paying extra or using one's "contacts" to get our way!

      I know myself and can speak only for myself. I have never given or taken a bribe, either verbal or monetary, to turn things my way and I'm going to try and do that always. I'm not saying I'm a saint but I have never taken something that is rightfully someone else's for my own benefit.And that goes down to the minutest thing. Not getting ahead in line, not giving money because "it's only 10 bucks yaa!" and much much more. Yes, it is only 10 bucks and we are ready to give or take that money because we have that much. There are others who have much much more, and they are ready to give or take that much because they have it. Don't the rules that you think must be applied to them, apply to you too??? How can you blame them of laundering money when you are doing it too??..Money is money, whatever the amount may be!

      Blaming people is very very easy, cursing the govt. is very easy but when it comes down to your work, you can't give in and say "everyone does it yaa!!". Everyone says "everyone does it" and that is why everyone does it. And then when people go marching with banners saying "be done with corruption", it's the height of hypocrisy!!!

      You can not build the top of the pyramid without first building the base.WE are the base. Only when each and everyone of us is able to not be corrupt, can something change.Shouting slogans and running amok on the streets is useless because when you are doing that, there are others silently doing what they have always been doing. Stop cheating in exams, stop paying the traffic police, stop paying to get a seat, stop paying to get what is rightfully your's. Don't complain about politicians being hypocrites when you yourself are one. It's only by our individual efforts that something can happen. We are the foundation. There is no point complaining about the building collapsing if the foundation itself is weak.

            Wake up!!...Look inside you!!...Change yourself before you go around trying to change the world!...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

There is so much anger right now. In me, my friends, my city and probably innumerable people outside of it. My already wounded city has been wounded again. Serial blasts. Again. Hardly had my city completely recovered that they do this again. People are abusing the terrorists, the government, the police and each other. I have lived my entire life in this city and I know it's alive.

It doesn't take a long time for someone to fall for Mumbai. Much has been written in books (my favorite being Shantaram- a MUST read), but for me, who was born and brought up here, it did take a long time to actually realise what this city did for me. I practically spent 17 years of my life in my colony itself, which itself is like a township, very self-sufficient. My school, my friends, my tutions, hospitals, shops everything was here and I never paid much attention to the world outside it. But it was after that, when I went to college, that the city touched me, embraced me or more appropriately swallowed me whole. :)

            They say Mumbai is the city of dreams. I don't know about that, but what I know is that it sure gives you dreams. It's a city of paradoxes, a city of extreme highs and lows, of beauty and murk, of desire and despair, of compassion and hatred.....but once you come here you can't fully and completely leave. It stays with you. When you walk in the by-lanes and randomly run your fingers on those old rusty fences along the road and when you run on the jam packed platforms to catch a train and when you wait for what seem like years on the bus stops only to be squished in the one that finally comes, if you shut up the thoughts in your head and the music from your phone, you can hear it's's slow but palpable rhythm. It's alive. Even after so many blasts and bullets aiming to rip it apart, it survives. It survives in all those people who get up the next morning and take trains, some of which were blown up on 7th July, and buses and taxis and go back to work, walk the same roads that the terrorists took while pounding people with bullets.

            People say children born in Afghanistan and Iraq in the past decade or so have grown up with the sounds of bullets and missiles....maybe we have become these blasts and to terrorists and to our own 'politicians' sucking away on our blood and souls......Yes, something needs to be done....Yes.....this fire to do something stays on for a couple of weeks and the dies out...waiting for the next such incident to re-ignite it...

             My heart breaks time and again seeing my city, my home wither away like this.....It pains me so much to see all the despair and hopelessness...I, like the rest of my city, bleed each time they come and take away a piece of my city's soul....the rhythm, the beating heart of my city seems slower, fainter....Yes, something has to be home, our home is dying....

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Clarity is always desirable, in what you think, what you do and how do it. It's usually too late by the time a person realizes what he wants and all because he's 'too confused'. Now I may be saying this, but it may be really hard to find someone as confused as me. :) Being as spoiled for choice as me, it's not my fault that I am so confused. But this post is not about my confusion.

               And so coming to the point, the question that has been hounding me for a long time now is who I want to be. With new experiences everyday, your idea about what you want your future life to be like keeps changing and for a person as confused as I am, it changes many times in a single day. But there are some solid points where I have been pretty firm and very confident.
   1. I want to move. This sounds odd, everyone I have told this too sure found it odd. But I have always been shit scared of the thought of being at one place all my life. And surprisingly, the profession I chose sort of demands me to be at one place. And this fact has me losing sleep for sometime now. Being a soon-to-be dentist, the general idea is to set up a clinic and go there EVERYDAY and do my stuff. I love what I do, I love treating patients, relieving their pain, but going to the SAME place e-v-e-r-y freaking day of my life freaks me out. I have no idea what I'm going to do about this.:(

    2. I want to stay right here in my country.  Now this is a highly debatable topic. Although in my ideal world there would be no different countries, in the real world there are. And when you are living in a developing country like India, I think it is the moral duty of every person to give back to the society. There are people in our country who need us, for whom we could make lives easier. The standard of living in the West, the money and the general sophistication are of course alluring factors but when you have spent your childhood using resources our country provided, you just cannot go and serve people for whom it would make no difference whether it's you or the next person. There is plenty to do in our country to last a person 10 lifetimes. The cream of our nation goes away and that is one of the reasons why India is what it is. Me staying here will not make my county prosperous suddenly but atleast I'll help people for whom I may as well be the only source of help.

     3. I want my freedom. God gave all of us our own lives to live. I hate it when people try to dictate someone else's life. People must have the freedom to say whatever they want to till they don't hurt another's sentiments. People must have the freedom to go wherever they like, to stay wherever they like, regardless of whatever these pseudo-intellectual idiots who call themselves  protectors of a language say. People must have the freedom to live their lives the way they want to, regardless of the norms of the society. People must have the freedom to be what they want to be, family and friends notwithstanding. Unless and until a person is not causing any harm to another individual or to nature, he should be completely free.

      4. I want to see everything there is to see. I want my eyes to see every place on the planet. Now this is almost an impossible wish but I want to fulfill it as far as I can. 21 years of my life have already gone and I have hardly seen anything. There are such beautiful places all over the planet, so many of them right here in my city, my state and my country and I want to see them all. I have this habit of leaving a part of me every different place I go. It may sound stupid but I try leaving something, like a strand of hair or a chip of my nail or maybe the seed of a fruit I ate, that would stay in that place forever. So even if I never go back there or when I die, a part of me stays on in that place forever.

       5. I want to meet Abdul Kalam. Recently there was a rumor that he had expired. I remember the exact place and time when my friend told me this, I remember what I was doing, I remember stopping and my eyes brimming with tears. But thankfully the news was false :). The man is my idol. His simplicity, his intelligence, his humility and his 'simple living, high thinking' way of life is very very inspiring to me.

6. I want to work. I want to work tirelessly. I have been chosen for something so noble as treating people. I want to treat as many people as I possibly can. I never ever want to turn anyone away without helping him in some form.  I believe no work is small or big. A sweeper's job has as much dignity as a doctor's. Work is work, work is worship. And whatever you do, if you put sincerity, dedication and hard work into it, it is the highest form of prayer possible.

The rest is still subject to modification. I hope I get blessed with clarity soon so I can figure out what I want.

Friday, July 1, 2011

I have to write! I HAD to write!
 It's so irritating and depressing to have all your plans quashed, especially when you had been planning for what seemed like a month! I had one of the best experiences I have ever had in my short life just a few days back. And the downside of it all is that you start comparing everything you do to what you have already experienced and nothing seems to match it then!...Grrrr..
    Well that aside, I have decided to take life much more lightly now. Those who know me know that I am this overbearing, sometimes obnoxious, hyperactive girl. But there is one thing  only a few people know, that I brood a lot. Whenever something happens, however meaningless it be, I always try to find a reason behind it and I think and think and think. and from there, there is no coming back. It just pulls you deeper and deeper to a stage where I find myself so occupied with thinking about it that I can't concentrate on anything else, can't sleep or read or eat. That is my OCD I guess.

So yeah, I found myself a new thing to think about. Sometimes you come across things or people who make an impact in the first go. Now this may not be true for everyone meeting that person, but there is something that strikes you immediately, be it  a handshake, or the way the person is dressed or his/her manner of talking, could be anything. Now it is the tendency of girls my age ( or any age, i wouldn't know) to consider such a person THE one, you know. We go into this overdrive of emotions and weave stories in our heads about how things would turn out eventually, even though the other person might not even have noticed us. However 21st century a girl tries to become, she always wants a knight in shining armour to come and whisper in her ear that she is the prettiest thing alive (*blush*:p). We always want fairytale stories where the guy would protect the girl from everything and still look at her as if she were the bravest soul there is. It's no surprise that the Twilight series is so popular among girls. Every girl wants to be Bella( though she is extremely irritating). Like Bella every girl wants a drop dead gorgeous guy to be head-over-heels in love with her, and when you have two, ah well!...:)

   But lets face it, stories are stories, to expect someone somewhere to come looking for you on a white horse with a bunch of blood red roses and pick you up and live happily ever after (a la dil to pagal hai :p) is idiocy. But then again, the heart wants what it wants, right?.......
         The flip side of this is when all the above doesn't happen. To have to settle for something less, or worse, someone  opposite of the dream guy is heart breaking. And of course, the side effects of living in India where the chances of this happening are much much more than let's say somewhere like the USA.

                    There is no solution I guess. But what one can do is to stop thinking. You meet someone. like him. ok. But don't start choosing curtains for your dream home in your head. That'll reduce the number of pieces your heart breaks into if at all nothing materializes. It'll probably be easier then to pick up the pieces and put them back together and look for another person for whom you can break it all over again....:)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Them. And Me.

They called me immature, when I laughed out loud.
They called me stupid, when  I wished to dance on a cloud.

They wanted to laugh, when I wanted to cry.
They wanted the stars, when I just wanted to fly.
They called me dumb, when I was just a child.
And when I grew up, they thought the child inside me died.

They wanted everything, when I just wanted them.
They said do that and not this, but I wanted this and not that.
But I wanted them so bad.....Never mind, I did that.

They said things to me, and they thought I won't remember.
They thought I'd forget, but the scars are forever.
And now when I tell them, they pretend getting shocked.
Yeah well, they shocked me too....

And now when I remember, and I see it so clear.
Like it were just yesterday, the years are like sheer.
I love them too much, maybe not all of them, to give it back.
But if I haven't forgotten, sure as hell, God hasn't either.
And one day they'll see, and I won't be there.