Friday, November 30, 2012

The day after 26/7 : Part I

2012 could've been my seventh death anniversary year; 27/7 being the date. The day after 26/7. Yeah, the floods in Mumbai on 26/7/2005 almost killed me. Its a long story. I thought of cutting it down very short. Figures I don't know how to do that. So I'm writing it in parts. I don't know how many parts I'm going to divide it into but each part is NOT one day.

Day 1: 26/7

It was around 4 pm and I was on my way back home from work, somewhere near my college. College is around 25 kms away from home (rail route). It had been pouring since morning. I normally travel by train, but since it was flooded at most areas, the tracks were under water and trains had stopped running. So, I had to take a bus home. Slowly and not so steadily, after reaching less than halfway, the bus stopped behind an uncountable number of other vehicles. Nothing was moving beyond this area. I was in Kurla, one of the most low lying regions in Mumbai. Guess the time. 9:30pm! Yeah, that's how much time it took for the bus to travel a distance it would normally cover in less than an hour.

As we all sat there wondering when the bus would move and praying hard that things would be normal soon, a well dressed, sensible looking, young man climbed into the bus from the front entrance and made an announcement.

"Buses are not going to move till 12 noon tomorrow. The roads ahead are flooded, so vehicles will not move and trying to walk is very foolish and dangerous. So right now you are in the safest place. Those of you who don't have place to sit, you can try the buses ahead of this one. There are seats vacant in there. Try calling up your people at home and tell them the situation. But remember, right now you are in the safest place possible."

He stepped out and walked to the bus behind. That was nice of him. But what I heard was not nice at all. 12 noon tomorrow??!! I was hoping to reach home by 10 pm. Today!

Dolphin (MTNL) network was still good while Hutch, Airtel and others did not work. I was a Dolphin user. So, for the next couple of hours, there were lots of people in the bus trying to call up at their homes from my cell. Some of them succeeded. I spoke to mom. She was at home. Our landline phone was one of the very few phones that worked in our area. Magic or God's grace - whatever you like to believe. Dad was on his way back home and brother was walking back home in knee deep water with his college friends. A few people in the bus started getting off saying there were many more people walking and crossing the Kurla bridge. They called me too to join them. Now these 'people' were younger that the young announcer, not well dressed and not a bit sensible looking. But still, I saw a ray of hope. Reaching home was the only thing on my mind.

Once I cross the Kurla bridge, I'll get a bus home. That would be fast.

So, I got down and followed these people. Bad crowd. Scary actually, thinking of it now :( Walking, we reached the bus that was first in line. No vehicles ahead of it. Only darkness and lots of water. And oh yes, there were people, walking towards us as if they just came out of the water. All they had to say was - "Don't try to go ahead, water current is strong. Anyone could be pulled in. That's why we're coming back."

:-O I wouldn't dare! I can't even swim :(

"Come with us, we can try. All you need is to cross the brigde. Come with us."

Why did these people always have things to do that everyone else is advising them not to? And why do they keep calling me with them? And why did I listen to them the first time? What should I do? Maybe they have good intentions? To go or not go to - was the question.

...to be continued...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Reena Ma'am :')

It was 15 years since I had hidden my passion in the interiors of my hesitant vocal cords. It often tried to push its suffocated self out of me when I was alone; but I only allowed it to come out as a hum. I accepted the long arrest of my passion and took it for dead.

Till one day the push was so hard that I headed straight to this place that taught music. There I met the friendliest face I had seen in a very long time. She wanted to hear the range of my voice and asked me to sing the classical notes. Under normal circumstances, I would shy away. But my arrested passion threatened aloud from within me to commit suicide and so I sang. The friendly, fresh faced lady sitting across me said she'd take my first class on that day itself and we began. I sat facing her.

Reena Ma'am. My first music teacher. The person who was going to make me sing again. The person who had made it her responsibility to free my singing voice from its lifetime imprisonment.

She encouraged me by appreciating when I was doing well and corrected me whenever I was wrong. She never rebuked or criticised. Her way of teaching was different. She taught me the way my mother used to teach me when I was in school. While her fingers ran across the harmonium, she sang along and soon, that hidden part of me had happily come out to hug the person who had lured it out ;)

To her kid students, she is a sweet mother, to the bigger ones, she's a friend. With the 1000 Watt smile that flashes a perfect set of pearly whites and a laughter that can make a crying baby smile, she is the bright sun of my music class. She is someone I'd always want to be in touch with, whichever part of the world life's journey takes me.

Today is her birthday. I wish this carefully and beautifully made creation of God, a wonderful day and a year full of joy, peace, good health, music and love, in and around her. I wish her innumerable happy moments. After all, achhe logon ke saath hamesha achha hota hai <3

Love you ma'am! You're such a sweetheart!! ^_^

Saturday, June 9, 2012

School-less spellings

You've got to have studied in a really bad school if you're making so many spelling mistakes. I am not talking about SMS lingo here. That has become fashion now. I feel disgusted when I see people typing 'know' as 'noe'. 'Know' doesn't even have an 'e' in it. While typing on a computer, how many extra milliseconds will it take you to type out a word correctly and completely. And if you're really trying to save time by typing self invented, shorter versions of the word, why would you want to use letters which aren't even there in the word? Irks me.

I wasn't intending to criticize SMS lingo. Its the spelling mistakes some people who are not from vernacular medium schools make, that surprise me.

Habbit. That's more like rabbit! Habit has only ONE 'b', folks! Get that right.

Loose. One doesnt loose their belongings. You sure can loosen your grip on them, but you usually lose them. Not loose. Clothes get loose when you lose weight. Those English spelling designers are to be blamed too. But I can't believe you didn't learn that in school.

My bad. Fashion. Wrong. As wrong as "A beautiful came." A beautiful who? My bad what?

How's you? may probably be declared officially correct soon. Next time someone asks me that, I'll tell them, "I is fine".

This post is the result of a facebook status message of my friend whom I am extremely fond of. She was talking about her childhood 'habbit' of 'loosing' her anklets. 'My bad' that single anklets wasn't fashion then, she wrote. I usually overlook mistakes of people I like. Spelling mistakes, I can't.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Face mask

Yes, it IS indeed very embarrassing when you are in an auto with your students and the driver asks you whether u are a medical student or an engineering student.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Karan Singh Rathore: Part II - Happy Birthday, Karanji :)


(continued from here...)

Months briskly tiptoed away. Life was pretty much the same with mornings spent in college and evenings, partying with pen and paper while we relished on Karan Singh’s little poems and panktiyaan. VII sem was training semester when we did not have to attend college. We had to undergo 20 weeks training in either an industry or a hospital. So, I was not living in a hostel anymore.

It was 5th November, Wednesday, my birthday and I was on my way home. Internet at home was messed up, so I went to a cyber café before I reached home. Opened my mailbox.. and.. almost collapsed with what I saw in there. Goodness gracious sakes alive!
A mail from Karan. Sub: Happy Birthday!!

Do I need to tell you now how I reacted? I was in a cyber café, so I let out a record breaking softest happy, excited scream. When I came back to my senses, I was confused. How did he know it was my birthday!? Surely my gang of girls must’ve done something! I started reading the mail. It was a long one. He had wished me a great day, happiness and blessings and then followed my birthday gift- 5 panktiyaan that he had written, ones that he had never read on air or published anywhere, ones for which I was going to be the first one to read :) I was overjoyed!! That was the best gift I could get. Unseen creations from the creator himself. :) Bliss I felt.
While replying to the mail, I realized it was a Wednesday; on Thursday, he used to take calls or call selected people who mailed him their numbers. I wrote my number there and said that I’d love to be on air the next day.

A very happy girl I was when I stepped out of the cyber café. On reaching home, mom told me there had been a lot of calls and that everyone said they’d call back later. I happily settled on the sofa, thinking of.. no, not Karan’s mail.. but of the lovely chocolate cake that was waiting for me. The phone calls started.

TRINNG TRINNGGGG.....
I reluctantly got up, knowing the call was for me and staggered to the phone.
“Hello?”
“Hello? May I speak to...” went the male voice.
Mighty heavens what a voice! Call is for brother. I should ask who it is. Damn what a sexy voice!
“...Shruti?” the male voice completed his question.
Call for me!!?? “Speaking.. who’s this?”
“Shruti, many many happy returns of the day”
“Thank you.. who’s this?”
“You didn’t recognize my voice?”
“No, who is it?” I was beginning to get very irritated now because this stranger was making me talk and not telling who he was grrrr!!!
I heard a light, silent chuckle from the other end. I waited for his answer with a frown.
Finally, he spoke, “Aksar hum… Hindi mein baatein kiya karte hain..”
:-O “!!!! Karan Siiiiiiingh!!!!” I yelled into the phone like an excited teen! I recognized that tone, that style.. when voice and words came together, I recognized the stranger behind the voice!
“Ohmygodohmygod.. This is such a lovely surprise”
*silent chuckles from the other end again* (that’s Karan’s style of laughter, all you get to hear is breathing sounds)
“You had written your number in the mail, to maine socha aapko aaj hi call karke wish kar doon.”
“Thank you so much Karanji, you made my day..” I happily chirped into the phone.. At this moment, I noticed two pairs of huge surprised eyes on very confused faces studying me from a distance- mom’s and brother’s. LOL!!

Karan told me that my friends had mailed him asking him to wish me. We spoke for a few minutes before I reluctantly ended the conversation with a heavy ‘bye'. *sigh* Why are goodbyes so difficult?
After a quick explanation for my hyper reactions to my mom and brother, I cut my cake happily. Calls followed and I told my gang about what had happened.
PRaNkSS, u gals are precious :-*

Soon after dinner, I hit the bed with the radio plugged into my ears. This time, it felt like I was listening to an old friend. The show went on in its usual grandeur till it was time to say shubh raatri. To my surprise, before ending the show, he wished ‘Shrutiji a happy birthday once again.’ Such a sweetheart! What say? :)
Such a memorable birthday that one was! :)

Today, the writer-painter-sculptor-singer, the man with the heavenly voice celebrates his birthday.
Karanji, from me and from all of us, your ardent admirers, here’s a grand, genuine, heartfelt wish for you to have the best birthday ever and a superb, successful, joyous year ahead! :) May the mighty God above keep showering you with blessings forever and ever...

A lovely yummy chocolate cake is going to me cut in my house today :) because its my mom's birthday too! Happy birthday lovely mommy :-*

(Karan's story to be continued...)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A dozen favourite colours!


I have never had a one worded answer to the question 'What's your favourite colour?' I always answered 'Violet. But, maroon for clothes, black for eyes, green for ink, bright blue with orange streaks for the sky, yellow for gift wraps and roses, silver for phones and cars. Red took the top spot when I was a kid. Black and white it was, when I got out of school. I had a dozen favourite colours during various phases of my life. Some shades of a basic colour I don't particularly prefer, may seem stunning on specific surfaces or textures. Dirty green looks fabulous on paper or clothes when next to a perfect contrast, but looks horrible when its a solution in a test tube. Translucent violet or baby pink will look awesome when its a liquid in a glass, but it'll look pathetic if its used to paint an SUV.

"Shru, next time don't buy green," my colleague reminded me.
"Ulp, but I just bought a new green kurti yesterday," I beamed looking down at what I was wearing.
I don't know what it is with me, but its only a few minutes ago that I realized that I have had a thing for green since the past few months.

Its all the state of mind I think. I can explain. I belonged to the Red House when I was in school. So, I had the Red House spirit within me as I grew and my affinity towards red rose (past of rise, not the flower). As I neared the last year of my school, I realized red was too bright and navy blue took the soft corner in my heart. When I went into junior college, black and white became my favurite colours.
My analysis: I was in a girls' school. Getting into a co-ed college was awkward at first. I wanted to remain invisible and unnoticed. Also, I wasn't happy during that time. My friends in college were not MY kind of friends. Everything seemed artificial, limited and short lived. They were either too straight forward or too cunning or they were the kind who could be naughty only if it involved boys.
So, black and white. Colurless life. When I was in twelfth, I fell in love with black. I loved the darkest shades of every colour, everything that looked like black from a distance.

I don't remember noticing any colour throughout my engineering! I was probably too busy with the perfect friends gang that I had gotten :-) Oh yes, my preference had changed from black to white drastically in my 2nd year of engg. I liked bright colours and brightness. I was happy again. Love ya PRaNkSS muaah! :-*

Then came orange. Everything I picked was orange in colour. Bright orange, brownish orange, so much so that I even picked orange nail polish and orange toothbrushes!

Right now, 80% of my clothes are green and everytime I go shopping, I still pick up different shades of green. I write with green ink wherever there is no restriction, My phone wallpaper is 'ladybug' in which there is a red ladybug on a bright green background. My toothbrush is green. I don't wear nailpolish now.

Which is YOUR favourite colour? Does the question make you think too?