Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random snippets

This blog post comprises random snippets/thoughts that I have had in the recent past to close out the year:

1. The fish woman - During the numerous local rides travelling to and fro in the Mumbai metropolis have encountered this fish woman as I would like to call her. She is middle aged and carries a basket full of fish wrapped in black polythene.. As the train crosses the various sub-urban stations she looks out for dogs, and on spotting one she lets out a strange cry & throws a packet of fish on the platform towards the dog. She seems to be a regular in the route though I haven't yet figured out which local she usually takes. Interesting to notice that even the inflationary pangs haven't stopped her. Happens only in Mumbai!

2. The New Year & the year gone by- The arrival of the year brings about feelings of hope and joy normally in most people as it ushers in hope of a new beginning and a new era which would bring in joy & happiness. The year 2008 has been a pretty much uneventful year for me personally. Will remember it best for the sister that I have got post my bro's wedding. The second most remarkable event was my best friend's wedding earlier this year. Apart from that it is probably a year where I might have matured a bit and become a bit more responsible arising from my change in residence. Its also a year where a few friendships got stronger. In terms of news or worldly happenings the memories of the recent terror attack will remain though possibly diluted with time...

At the end of am experiencing a mixture of disbelief at the year having gotten over so soon, and a feeling of uncertainty about what the year ahead holds as it might just be a pivotal period in my life... Loads of decisions to take from the many paths ahead of me both personally & professionally.... There are definitely miles to go before I sleep, as I walk on with hope and a little prayer for the best.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Mumbai Shootout Saga…

The recent terror attacks in the city can be described at best as shocking, un-nerving, and unprecedented in scale and execution.

The two strong emotions it led to were one of gratitude for the fortune of being alive, and two a mixture of fear and anger. A constant obsession with the news channels, newspapers and websites covering the events non-stop only worsened matters. In fact think by now I have mastered most statistics, and conspiracy theories floating around – a PhD in it may be due soon!

All that information caused quite some unease. In the days following the siege my thoughts were centered around my possible response if cornered in office or at home by some of the terrorists. One part of my head said ridiculous while the other said think again. If the stoic impregnable Taj could be laid bare and stripped in such a savage manner how safe was my humble abode or the work place.

As these thoughts threatened to unsettle me a new realization dawned – life in Mumbai (or for that matter off late in most cities) is possibly a gamble – a matter of luck and hence it was better to give up worrying and to just appreciate and enjoy the small pleasures of life till death do us apart. So that’s what I have finally started doing..

Most conversations however continue to be centered around it which has all of us rehashing and analyzing the details specified in various channels. Resilience has become a badly misused word - used to signify numbness in the head and heart... Candle night vigils, Peace marches, long drawn TV debates and the blame game among politicians continue unabated..

Personally feel the manner in which the internal security of the country needs to be managed. It has to have a centralized reporting structure, clear specification of responsibilities for generating and following up on leads, appropriate remuneration and compensation at various levels of the intelligence and defense personnel. It is also necessary to fix responsibilities of the bureaucrats and the politicians. Anger is good but it needs to be channelized well and peace marches or candle night vigils are alone not enough.

Just found this old pic of the Oberoi & the Trident in much happier times... Hope to see the same back again soon :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Of Crows & Off Crows...

Crows - sound harmless to most people but I believe I share a special connection with them - a not so very cordial one at that...

It possibly was manifested first when I was in high school when during one of my early morning vigorous cycling exercises to school a crow decided it was good to poke its feet into my hair and shake it a bit ..... Needless to say was half glad crows couldn't get inspired from movies (refer The Omen I)..

With the years it has only progressed..
I believe they take special pleasure in teasing me.. Be it trying to fertilize my head with their heavenly droppings (as I headed to work as a summer intern!) or regularly swishing past just to see if I can duck in time or waiting in groups in the narrow bridge railing near office just enjoying the mixture of displeasure and fear on my face as I try to pass them quickly in the most unobtrusive manner..

There were two more crows ( regulars that is ) at my window when I moved to the new place... Ready to wake me up at 7 any day of the week with their continuous high pitched crowing .... Dropping in at different times during the weekend and crowing away to glory especially during my Sunday siesta... They have now given me a miss after my regular shooing and booing ... The neighbors have had quite some fun seeing me boo them even if the crows sat on the cable wire around 2 feet away from the window.... Rains were the only time I relented from the shooing exercise due to pity for the drenched famished looking crows :)...

In Hinduism there are references made to crows being representatives of our ancestors... Given my not so cordial relationship think there are some ancestors who are not so happy with me providing for some food for thought... However thankfully the last 2 months I haven't had much interaction and that must as a corollary mean I must have done something good ...

My first roomies.. The second plant has since departed from this world leaving behind some seeds... The seeds dispersed in the empty pots have not yielded much inspite of constant watering... However some dormant seed sprang a vibrant plant which seems to resemble Peepal (Ficus Religiosa).. However since it seemed to also have thorns yours truly has continued watering it religiously hoping it grows into something more exciting :P...

First class !

The dog who travelled first class :)....

This was about 6months or so back when this quite healthy looking dog boarded the train at parel station and travelled first class ticketless happy-go-lucky enjoying the breeze at the door with great pleasure ... It happens only in Mumbai

Friday, November 21, 2008

My first blog

So many vague threads no strong yarn to knit... thats how I can sum up my attempt at writing my first blog... With an avid blogger for a brother and serious bloggers as friends its surprising that I am starting so late... Whats even more startling is realizing how hard it is to find the right string :) ... Having said that let me take the plunge now :)

The joys and pains of living alone in a big big city Mumbai....

Mumbai city has always been like home to me considering that I was born here around 25 years back.. Memories of childhood in Mumbai are virtually non-existent and the earliest recollections of the city are the rare small summer holidays 3 times between 2nd and 5th standard (long long ago)... Three summer internship interviews, a 2 month long summer internship and a overnight trip for an exam were all that I had before moving in permanently thanks to final placement post MBA :) and needless to say I enjoy every bit that the city has to offer despite the crowds and traffic :) ..

Three years spent as paying guests in two different suburbs and a growing wardrobe and bookshelf led to final decision of moving into a separate rented accommodation :) A decision I live upto with more joy and random transient pangs of second thought ...

As the sole occupant of the house am both the mistress and the slave :)... Freedom yes but responsibilities also and not to mention expenses :P ... Joy multiplies as I can let the "mess" (as my mom would like to call it) accumulate before my cleaning cycle starts... What she calls "mess" I call things stationed in different places such that they remind me of their existence and stand ready in the call of (their) duty.. Freedom to sing, freedom to eat as and when I please, to sleep when favoured, to watch tv, browse the net and listen to music to ones heart’s content at the oddest of times are all god sends to the lone ranger.

What dims this is definitely cleaning the house or supervising the maid if you have one and pangs of loneliness when the network is busy, or you bugged for no apparent reason, no available friend, no sought person/s on g talk and you just feel the whole worlds against you…. And of supervising maids yours truly tried even that before realizing I was doing double work in supervision spending as much time and effort J…. Just realized the second part sounded drastic though true.,.. However it may partly be a phenomena with women and partly the tendency of the mind to exaggerate negatives when alone… At these times a realization of the associative powers does help to some extent but it still takes time to overcome it all… Overall its been more sweet than otherwise and so life moves on for this lone ranger also…. ¡adiĆ³s! till next time