Thank you for the rain

It gets too hot, the weather is unbearable, the land looks parched and everything burns like it’s about to go up in flames. Then suddenly, the skies turn grey and a silent wind flows by, bringing with it droplets. They soothe each being, one drop at a time. It is raining. Somewhere, a tree is washed off the dirt, somewhere a seed lies, soaked with water and racy to germinate and somewhere, the mud emanates a fragrance that makes someone happy. And then somewhere a heart is washed off it’s cynicism. It’s barren, parched land readies itself to turn a lush green. Trees of hopes grow adorned with flowers of dreams.
Thank god for the rain


All’s Well That Begins Well

India’s hunt for a new government has been a topic of much discussion. Websites, NGOs, filmstars have thrown themselves into the effort of getting the voters out to vote. They weren’t majorly successful in getting the voters to ink their middle finger, but those who voted, voted well.

After eons, we see a thumping majority and a singular party has been elected to run the show. The PM is a man with a strong resume and immense intelligence. He won’t be forced to take on criminals and under qualified individuals in his cabinet and now. There’s hope.

The voter turnout might have depressed me, but the results have made me believe that the Indian voter has thought well before pressing the button. 

It is the first time that I voted and I am urging every single one of you to go through hell if you must, but register to vote. Don’t give up. Fight for your right to vote, because every vote matters and every vote makes a difference. Look at Thiruvananthapuram. If I’m not wrong almost 65% people came out to vote and they elected a man who is educated, hard working, sensible and most importantly a man who understands India’s issues in the global perspective. Shashi Tharoor can make a difference and I believe in having more leaders like him. I am happy, and I am proud. We chose well and we chose wisely.

All the best to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. And to the opposition. Make the best of that seat, make the issues heard and learn your lesson. Hard work and hard work alone will get you elected. Run for the right reasons, and run for the secular democracy that we are. Jai Hind!

Diwali dope

The advertisements on tv, the well decorated windows of the smallest clothing shop and the multicolored display of kandeels on the road just tell me that Diwali is coming.

I love coming home to unopened gift boxes. I love it that my parents still leave them unopened till both us daughters are around. I love tearing the gift paper with an anticipation and jumping with joy at the sight of cocolates or a coffee maker (yaaaay!) I love it that me and the sister don’t fight over opening the gifts anymore. I love it that the sister’s birthday is on Laxmi Pujan and we get to eat out. I love it that we eat high calorie sweets and faral shamlessly. I love it that there still are 5 varieties of Pohe on the dining table on the first day of Diwali. I love it that I still am in charge of making coffee for everyone. I love it that we all sip coffee together (usually everyone drinks tea and I feel like a lonely coffee addict)

I love it that I get 100 bucks from my grandpop and grandmom for ovalni. I love it that I get to crack a karit (symbolic for baliraja) despite being a girl. I love it that my argument that I should get to break the karit irrespective of my gender, is proudly accepted by my pro-feminist grandparents!

I love it all but what I don’t love is the firecrackers. Back in the young days, me and the sister combined our daily quota of crackers with our neighbours and bravely lit them in our building compound. Just as we started, street kids would gather outside the gate and look at our brand new clothes, sparkling jewelry and our boxful of crackers with a glint of hope in their eyes. They hoped that the festival would make us feel kind enough to part with a fuljhari or two. They hoped even with their tattered clothes and hungry stomachs, the Diwali magic will bring light in their lives.

The thousands of rupees we spent on the crackers would feed them for a year! What right did I have to spend that kind of money to just add light to an evening of joy?

Obviously, the next thing we did was talk to our parents about this. And it was decided. No more firecrackers. Each Diwali after that, there was a newer, stronger reason to stay away from the crackers. Pollution, litter, child labour…

But I did burst crackers one Diwali. The most special Diwali ever. Me, the sister and the father took a huge box of fuljharis to an orphanage. And we spent the entire evening with the simple firecrackers and millions of smiles.

Some thrilled kids and some thrilled but too afraid to stand on their own. Some just hugged us and sang Diwali songs with us. The next year the ashram took the fuljharis but didn’t allow us to play with the kids as a matter of policy. Now, they do not accept firecrakers or food made outside.
I feel angry that because of some dufus, who gave the children spoilt food and outdated crackers, I miss out on the simplest and the most innocent joys I have ever experienced…

Random thoughts

So, I was super busy thorugh the last 3 weeks. I did blog about stuff but completely forgot to record stuff that happened through August. I have been trying to recap the month of August but the amount of times I ctrl-A’d and deleted is not funny.

It’s like the moment has passed.

So chuck the wrap up. I’m very kicked about this weekend. As usual I have more plans than I can handle. I want catch up on my movie backlog. I want to watch WALL-E, Mamma Mia, A Wednesday, Tahaan and more (yes I can see you snigger). I want to have three grand meals (what! A girl gets to become 24 only once!). I also want to exercise a bit (all that I eat must be burned out). The there’s sleep to catch and blogs to be written, books to be read, music to be loaded on the new iPhone (yaay!) There are friends to meet, sister to pamper and cat to be played with. Phew. Just putting the list down is tiring enough.

How am I going to pull it off? God knows. Just makes me wonder, why can’t we have 48 hour days?

Another question on the back of my mind (and its not inspired by Jaane tu) When do you know its love? I don’t know what love feels like or how it feels to love someone enough to change everything about your life. But I know I want to love and be loved like that.

I never thought about it this way till recently a gori friend of mine asked me, “So you like change everything? Your name, your address, your country even just to be with someone your parents found you?”

I sensed the disdain for how orthodox Hindu culture is in her chat lines. But I will ignore that. I lay down in my bed, wanting badly to get some sleep before the alarm buzzes at 6.30 am. And I started thinking, just because I didn’t fall in love with any of the boys around me, doesn’t mean that I won’t fall for a guy that my parents have found through their network. Maybe that’s just another way of meeting the Mr.Right who might sweep me off my feet.

But then was I ready to be Missus Something. More importantly, was I ready to stop being Shakti Salgaokar, the girl I have always been. Was I ready to give up living in the space that’s always been mine (3 and a half floors, laxmi sadan, the bed in the corner)? Was I ready to do any of these things at all? And I sprung up gasping for breath… Full on filmy style!

The truth is, the more I think about it, the more cynical I get. If I’d met someone and fallen in love, I’d be asking some other questions. I’d probably still not be ready for any of the above things, but you do things because you like the person you’re doing it for. So yeah, I guess I’d try and figure things out. Why should some random westerner disrupt my sleep!

So for now, I am focusing on handling the activities of the weekend and on turning 24… What are you doing?

You may say I’m a dreamer!

The Indian news channels couldn’t stop carrying animated reports of how the big bang experiment by CERN in Switzerland is going to lead to the end of the world. Yes, the reports were complete with deadly music strumming in the background. Of course, my mum and me couldn’t stop laughing at all the possibilities of good that come out of this big bang thing killing the world.

So I had a few things on my mind as I traveled to work today. This was my to-do list before 2 pm IST when we would all start gravitating towards Switzerland!

  1. Eat all the forbidden food that’s on my favourite list without worrying about the weight I’d put on
  2. Say the things I’ve left unsaid for the sake of social decorum to all nosey relatives, pesky colleagues, brattish bosses and the snooty friends I have had. I have the right to let them know how I felt (I rarely suppress these urges but if I were to let go completely, God help them)
  3. Create a memory capsule that can survive everything and leave my novel in it. Whoever comes looking deserves to enjoy the masterpiece I created (my last hope for surviving after my exit from the universe.
  4. Admit to loving Shah RUkh Khan just as much as I did back in 1998
  5. I’d like to confess to Mom that I haven’t been the good girl she thinks I am. I have taken a drag of a cigarette, tasted alcohol and seen porn. I am not addicted to these but I have tried it Mum, and I am not sorry I did.
  6. Scream from the roof of my terrace
  7. Buy a pair of Manolo Blahniks and strut in them all day. Who cares about savings anyway!
  8. Try and enter the terrace and blast the building manager for accusing us of suicidal tendencies.

Just realised that this list won’t end soon! Anyway, I also relaised that if we all were to be erased it wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Think about it. The Big Bang is successful but it destroys us all. But the process of generating life has started. The living things coming into existence through this cycle go through their own share of struggle.

They’d walk small distances, eat only what they grow.

There’d be no food crisis.

There’d be no energy problems.

There’d be no global warming.

There’d be a straightforward relationship between people. No treachery, no vested interests.

There’d be no religion.

There’d be no borders.

No countries to fight with.

No oil, no water to fight over.

There’d be no pressure to succeed in material things.

Surviving the day would be equated with success.

Ah! I think it would be a realisation of John Lennon’s Imagination!

Freewriting a dream

The dream keeps coming… And you’re in it. You talk to me and I hear your voice. It sounds familiar but I hear it differently. Taking in the slight modulations, the way you twist certain words around. I look at your face, it looks familiar but I look at you like I’ve never done before. Observing the contours of your cheeks, the softness of your mouth and slightly creased skin next to your eyes. You take me away somewhere, within the dream. I try to tell myself to wake up. I don’t want to hear it, but I can’t resist indulging in your existence in my dream- so clear, so tender… I’ve never looked at you this way before. You talk and you talk and I listen. I finally wake up. All alone, no beach in sight, no you in sight. I wake up alone. I sit a moment and take in the feeling of that dream. Cozy, comforting, warm… And then I realize, I am never going to look at you the same way again. My mind has played the game… You’re right there… You don’t even know you came visiting in my dreams. You don’t even know, you held my hand. You don’t even know, you touched my heart in that one dream. It’s all my imagination, but you, you are real. Or are you?