Saturday, August 10, 2013

My little bundle of joy

There are few moments in life which are so overwhelming that you want to hold on to them for as long as possible, make it your little secret, but at the same time tell the world about it. Giving birth to a baby is one of those moments. Starting from your 37th week when you already start worrying you are going to miss carrying that little being inside you once he is born to crying at the sound of his first cry, I have never felt so many emotions all at the same time.
When my little one was brought to me, the first thing I remember thinking before passing out was how alert and calm and composed he was for a newborn just introduced to the world and how very alien like he looked. I have always considered myself restrained as far as emotions go, and when people described the joy of holding their baby in their hands, I would always take it with a pinch of salt. Reality check for me. For the first week, whenever that little wailing ball was brought to me from the nursery, I would immediately want to make things alright for him; whenever I looked upon his serene sleeping face, I would want to keep the world that way for him.
When a child is born, there is a lot of talk about parents showering him with love and affection, but the truth is, you are constantly vying for the little one's affection and love; for a tiny smile; for him to look at you; for him to show that little spark of recognition when he looks at you; for him to comforted when he is in your arms; for him to trust you; for him to gaze lovingly into your eyes and silently tell you your baby gibberish means the world to him.
When they say a baby can change your life, what they actually mean is a baby can change who you are.. You become more patient, become the least fussy person in the whole world, love the smell of sour milk and spit up and rearrange every priority you might have ever had before he arrived. The important thing to remember is, you don't bring up a baby the right or the wrong way, like in any relationship, you both grow together, and unlike any other relationship you become an adult in this one. Bringing up a baby is just that - bundles of joy weighed with tons of responsibility.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

On Travels and Journeys..

As a frequent traveler myself, I have spent many an hour in airports observing and interacting with other travelers. As a child, trains were my primary means of travel and nowhere as inhibitive or scary as airline travel is these days. The only people we met on those trains were usually traveling for pleasure or to meet their families and as far as I remember, traveling and planning for travel was a big deal in those days. It still is for a lot of people. However, new lifestyle and opportunities have redefined how, when and why people travel these days.
The first kind of traveler is the age-old "taking a vacation once in a year or two travelling with family and looking hassled at the beginning of the vacation" traveler. This person will probably look a lot more relaxed at the end of the vacation than when he started out. This traveler wants everything to be perfect on the vacation because he planned for it for so long. He has the heaviest baggage and chances are will run into problems every step of the check-in process in the airport. To him, its like the cosmos are conspiring against his well planned vacation to ruin it for him.
The second kind of traveler is that traveling salesperson or consultant or the like for whom a missed fight can be disastrous, but they fly so often and pack so light that they are unfrassled. This is the most unfriendly traveler because he/she is trying to make as much use of any spare moment they have. Headphones plugged in and moving around with a mi-fi they are trying to get as much work done on the plane or an airport as possible. He/she might as well be in his/her office making the mos important  presentation of their lives; they are completely immune to their surroundings.
The next kind of traveler is the weekend traveler, probably working in a different city from where his home is. Could be a student, or a hard working man/woman trying to get back with tons of dirty laundry to home or children. Surprisingly they are also quite relaxed during travel even though anxious to go home and in spite of the fact that they are lugging  a week's worth of dirty laundry with them :) Maybe the thought that they will be home soon keeps this traveler sane.
Another kind of traveler is the business traveler, possibly the head of some leading organization. Arrives just in time to board a flight, has been all over the world, but has never seen too many places of beauty, always travels first class and has access to all those classy waiting rooms in airports, but probably never used them, because s(he) arrives just in time for the flight; skips those delicious first class meals, because they pass out as soon as they board the flight because they have traveled 5 time zones in the past 5 days. This is the traveler who can be funny and witty and very informative, if they were ever awake for you to strike up a conversation with.
The last category is the one that I like to put myself in. The kind that travels for pleasure and leisure, so much so that every moment of leisure is spent traveling. This kind misses flights every so often, but is laid back about it, can pack a week's worth of clothes in a duffel bag, whiz through security screens and eventually get good at not losing anything while traveling after having misplaced a few expensive items in the process. This kind is capable of sleeping in the airport for 24 hours or even in a car at -32F is necessary. All they basically want to be able to do is go from spot A to B and back to A in time for work. Mind you, these travelers can be further categorized as adventurers, weekend travelers, world travelers, etc., but for the purposes of air travel, I can safely put them under one category.
I cannot say why I felt the need to list out the different kinds of travelers I meet, except that I felt a compelling need to note down my observations from my travels. However, there is a moral to the story - travel like life, is a journey - and different people like different travelers approach it differently. Some people just want to get from point A to B, to some getting to point B is what is important and they will tolerate anything for that, to some getting to point B is as important as how they do- it all has to be perfect, to some its all a haze, they are working so hard at so many things that they forget to look where they are going or enjoy the process of getting there and finally there are those people who enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Of course, I will not comment on what the best approach to travel or life is, because like travel, life puts us in a certain place and time and we all play it as we see fit! All we can wish for is for the journey to be pleasant.




Saturday, August 27, 2011

THE little GREASE STAIN

Grease on a wall. Oppressive dark furniture in a semi-lit room. Endless abyss of idle time. An active mind. Madness. That's how the story began and ended. She was a neat freak and there was this annoying little greasy stain on the otherwise spotless wall. She spotted it for the first time, when she was watching tv one afternoon in that depressing little living room of hers, with its oppressive dark colored furniture. The blinds were drawn and the only light was from the TV screen.
She hated the mid-day television soaps, but still could not resist watching them. Why? Because there was nothing else to do. "Well, its upto you how you use your time..", her friends and family would tell her.... The grease stain drew her attention again.. Did she imagine it, it seemed to have spread a little, increased in size by an inch. To be fair, she had been looking for work and catching up on reading for the first 6 months. But then, reading is fun, only when you steal time away from other things to do it, not when its the only thing you have been doing for 6 months. So, she tried writing. The grease stain again... Why would it not come off? She made a mental note to try that new stain remover she had seen on the commercial. She picked up her laptop to read reviews on the new stain remover.
About the writing, yeah, she wrote about 2-3 blogs and ran out of things to say. She was brimming with this capacity to say things beautifully, but then, what could she write about? Almost anything she said seemed to be stolen from those damned television programs or the books she read. Hmmm... She couldn't wait to try the new stain remover...
Next day, same time, same show, the stain remover had been ineffective. The grease stain had spread more. Maybe she should do what mom always does to get rid of stain on the wall. Why had she not tried that? Ever since the writing attempt had failed, she had pretty much given up trying, life was a routine, so much so she could get all her house chores done at an amazing speed. She even knew the precise second when the postman would walk up the steps and drop off the mail. Stain! Stain! Go Away... The new stain remover had been a bad idea...
Well, mom's method had not been effective either. How about repainting the wall eh? Hmmm, that will keep me occupied for a couple of days.. Or maybe just painting over the stain?
Hmmm.... that looks neat... Damn! I missed a spot. A big spot in fact! Mission: Repaint tomorrow...
Mission Fail: One more spot...
And so the stain engulfed her... There remained an empty semi-lit room with TV on low volume and oppressive dark furniture as she mutated into an obsessive being with 8 large tentacles, and sprawled up the wall, chasing and examining the ever moving and resilient grease stain....

Friday, February 19, 2010

Uncensored Ramblings

Reading a book by an author that I used to love as a child awakened something in me. Something so strong, that I had to put the book down and start blogging(rambling) immediately. A feeling that I am sure is shared by many, but so difficult to put down in words. A sense of pride, belonging, nostalgia, good memories, freedom, happiness and a mixture of all the good things in life. It is something that you miss; something that you want to talk about; something that makes you check if your best friend of 19 years is still online...

A something that is definitely hard to describe.. It reminds me of the soft chuckles at the back of my parent's car (reading a PG Wodehouse), the times that I sat huddled on a couch burning the midnight oil during the holidays, the voracious reading sprees(4-5 books in a week), the unending debate about who the best character in Gone With the Wind is, repeating word for word the famous conversation between Yossarin and Doc Daneeka in Catch-22, the time I read Atlas Shrugged around the same time my friend was and discussing the book every morning, lunch and coffee break, the 2 thick volumes of Leo Tolstoy mum bought me when I set out into the big bad world for the first time ;), lying alongside my grandfather as a kid, each lost in his/her own Hitchcock :), the several trips to the library with my mom endlessly arguing as to whose turn it was to pick a book of her choice...

Book are fun, books are your best friends as someone rightly said, but books to me are also treasured memories... of wonderful times I spent with people I value and love.

P.S: The weird thing is a roaring Bertie and Jeeves combo inspired me to ramble on so....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

For the Heck of It...

Of late, I happen to have a lot of time on my hands.... People want to know why the avid reader, the English teacher's pet who can reel off those applaudable one-liners, doesn't blog. In my defense, it is not laziness as widely perceived..It is merely a lack of good ideas to blog on or about...Not that I lead an uneventful life, though it is way less exciting enough to hold a third person's interest than it was a few months back.What can I blog about?

I could talk about all my deepest passions(books, music, chennai....) in great detail.But, the first few people to read this blog have already heard all about that from me. So, its not going to interest them. I'd rather not say anything here than repeat myself.

I could write about all the funny things that happened back in college and school when I get nostalgic.This would again interest only those who witnessed the happenings or were part of it... I am not going to impress or draw new readers...

When I started this blog, I expected to rave and rant about my job and my boss. I never got to do it then, and have no need or desire to do it now. So, thats out...

Finally, when I do think of something to blog about, I get so excited about it that, words fly around in my head, thoughts overflow and jump from topic to topic, and before I can switch my laptop on and the lazy darling is ready to get to work, I have forgotten what I wanted to focus on...

And when I do finally somehow gain focus and write something down, the ruthless critic in me trashes the text... She tears the paras and sentences and words apart and has a cruel comment on almost every letter, every space and every punctuation I put in there...And the meek writer in me decides this wasn't worth writing, leave alone publishing....

The reader always reigns over the writer...

When I started writing this blog, I went through the same old dilemna... But this time... What the heck!!! I am going to publish it... And here is my blog... Just for the "Heck of it!"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Midnight Encounter

There was a power blackout. It was 2 in the night! There was total darkness... And complete silence.. I woke up because the fan stopped running..And there was no air circulation in the room....

That was when I heard the sound of his feet in kitchen.... As shivers ran down my spine.. I was suddenly wide awake...What was happening... What was he doing in the kitchen??? In a total frenzy by now.... Thinking fast... It would be safer to stay in the room than to venture out in the dark and face him....The little thief... But what if he came into the room???? What was I going to do now???? After worrying for a few minutes, I decided to face him... Brave! Aren't I?

So, I groped in the dark for the torch... I found it and crept stealthily into the kitchen... I waited for a few seconds for him to move... After what felt like ages, he moved slightly.. My ears perked up and I turned and shone my torch on him.... He was too shocked to react... Frozen he glared at me... I glared back... That was when I realised, he wasn't alone... My anger rose!!!!

It was time to act.... I picked up the bottle of baygon spray near my hand and sprayed it right into his face.... The 2 thieves scuttered around a bit... And then fell to the floor.... It was then that I mercilessly squashed both of them with my feet.. The bloody cockroaches.....

I went back to sleep in peace....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Colleague on Chennai Express

One another of the funny scary events on one of my weekly trips to Chennai.... After a 3 hour long wait for the 10 O'Clock Chennai train, the train slowly chugged into the platform at 12 in the night. I sleepily dragged myself into the train, only to find that I had been assigned the last Side-Upper berth close to the loo... Sleep overrode any feeling at that point of time.. I hoisted myself on to the berth and immediately went to sleep... Half an hour later, sub consciously, remembering that the TTR hadn't come ticket checking yet, I opened my eyes only to find someone peering into my face in the dark... I was suddenly wide awake. To my relief, it was a colleague I had never spoken to...

"Idu S11 dane?", he asked me. "Amam", and I went back to sleep.A few hours later, I felt someone tugging at me.. I woke up again with a start. This time it was no colleague.. It was chain snatcher, trying to steal the gold chain I wore around my neck... I got up and screamed.. Before I could even focus clearly and do something, he had fled into the next coach... I screamed again after him... To my embarrassment, no one in the whole compartment woke up, except my colleague... I stared at him for a moment in the dark and went back to sleep again... Saw him doing the same out of the corner of my eye....

The next day morning, when we were close to the station, I slipped out of my berth to find the colleague sitting below.. I sat next to him and religiously avoided eye contact for some time...
Some time later, I turned to him and asked him "Do you work in Philips?".
He says, "Yes". Silence.
Again, "Did you scream last night?".
"Yes, I did". And I turned away.
After some moments of silence, "Actually, Someone was trying to snatch my chain."
"Oh. I see." He gave me a look. Obviously, he thought I was crazy, with my monosyllable answers and late explanations, he must have thought, I was making up the reason for screaming the previous night.

When the train stopped at the station, he fled without even as much as a goodbye.

Monday morning in office, I chanced upon him in the cafeteria... He smiled and waved at me and asked me,"Are you alright now?"

??!!@!!!!???!??!!@##@#?!?!?