Thursday, January 27, 2011


Journeys are supposed to be means to an end, cumbersome at times, convenient at the others and comfortable when least expected. Indian train journeys are supposed to be voyages wherein you reach out while not meaning to and adventures where one knows what one gets oneself into- everything which is interspersed with the everydayness of life chaotic undoubtedly but immensely warm and extraordinarily humane.

I was onto one such journey the other day, travel is something I choose not to do and in those cases when it is not possible to put it off any longer I find solace in the pages of a book; any book. This time however, it was not to be for I had fellow travelers whose names I neither asked for nor were exchanged but whose memories will always bring a warm cognizance to my visage and a steadfast reassurance to myself that no matter how much things change some things just remain the same and rightly so because they belong there.

My two companions and myself could not have formed a more obtuse triangle, I’m a 25 year old with all the trappings of the age imbibed. The first exchange was with my elderly genial gentleman who politely asked me for the time, the second a lady who asked if I could give her a hand with her luggage. After an agreeable silence and with our famed reticence lasting not more than a few minutes at its best, conversation flowed and I kept delaying a voice in my head which asked me to reach for a delicious paperback in my rucksack specially chosen as an aide in what I supposed was to be an arduous journey.

As we got past the initial pleasantries and moved a little beyond formality, I was surprised that the elderly gentleman was an 82 year old sports commentator for a Government run station and the lady on a visit from what was now her home- USA to attend a wedding. Appearances like they always do amounted for very little. It was an allegory of almost three different generations sitting together and having an actual conversation- mundane, ordinary, polite but overwhelming personal about life, faith and the condition of Indian railways! Being the only person not to have brought dinner, it was offered on a platter and my meek resistance was won over with the warm hospitality and the sight and smell of delicious brown wheat breads.

There is nothing new in what I described- three diverse people meeting each other for a small span of time but perhaps that is the understated elegance in it, a casual beauty which makes for great memories. The unexpected kindness and the underlying magic makes you reach out far more than you would ordinarily allow yourself to. As the night unfolded, we did not like many of the stories I’ve heard exchanged addresses or promised to stay in touch but bode farewell with the pleasant regret that an evening spent well was drawing a close.

Strangers never to meet but experiences ever to keep, the pull of human nature was what brought us together. I for my part will never forget the advice given- that of always starting a meal and a day with a smile, because as the person whom I addressed as ‘Sir’ explained what begins well always ends well.

Friday, January 21, 2011


are no fun if you are alone! I was not alone per se on Makar Sankranthi, but with my mum on the other side of the World and this being a festival which solely rested on her efforts, I felt really vague getting up at 8.45 am and eating out on a festival, but of late nothing has been following a pattern so I guess that it was just as well that even this did not fall in within the customary paths. All it did was to point out one more rudimentary fact of life- that everything plays out the way its supposed to be inspite of your best or worst efforts. But missed the sweets especially the ones which are made only at this time of the year and sorely missed the warmth that festive days bring in with them (along with the fights)

Met the team of 'Dil Toh Baccha Hain ji' the other day (Pt's debut press conference) and realised that things remain the same no matter how much they change. Madhur Bhandarkar was the same rude person he was last year and Shazahn Padamsee as boring, the only relief was the fact that they came just an hour late so went home early. Hope the movie tanks.

Dying to watch Saath Khoon Maaf, how amazing does it look?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Odd Ends

As it always happens when you are writing after a certain time, you know where to start but not where to end, so I'll go easy on myself and kick off...

-Things have been absolutely crazy of late. There was a time (not very long ago) when college was for two hours and I used to find myself at home at 11 am, with the whole day in front of me and not knowing what to do except reread my Harry Potters (No wonder I know them by heart), the circle of life has churned so much that these days, I have absolutely no time for me when I say that. I wake up early run around, work, drive, come back home, eat and go to bed early! 10.30 is me calling me quits and its for the first time that I'm sleeping so early or so much!

-Was Part of an amazing experience called 'Dialouge in the Dark', a touching way to savor the dynamics of the dark wherein you are led around in pitch dark by a visually challenged person and learn to make use of the other four senses you are blessed with. The tour takes an hour and you end up eating in the dark trying to figure it out by flavor and taste, you even have to move about using a stick. Brought to Hyderabad by the brilliant Sudha Krishna, it is an initiative to help us realise what we have and also bridge the gap between the visual and non visual.

So much more to write especially about the cold cold weather here, but for now I'll wrap things by saying no matter how cliched No One Killed Jessica is, its worth a watch just because of its overwhelming zest and Amit Trivedi.

PS: Another year, strangely though this time I'm wise enough not to wish for anything...perils of ageing or plain realism?