Another encounter …

The only constant in my life these days are the ‘encounters’ I’m having. Though infrequent, they happen nonetheless. And the sad thing is that, I have no control whatsoever! All hell breaks loose, once the horoscope results are positive. A date would be fixed for the ‘encounter’’. Not any date but a ‘good’ date based on “auspicious-ness” of the date.

In an ideal world, I should be delighted with this ‘encounter’; our horoscope match was a record 32.5 points ! Surely, the heavens had scripted our union, only this union would bring the much required marital bliss and whatnot… But, even the heavens weren’t aware, even the heavens didn’t know what I was to know on that late Sunday evening.

This guy was at the meeting place earlier than the schedule and immediately called me to say “yey !! me first me first” not in the same words though but it meant the same whatsoever. I reached at sharp 7, one look at him and I was sure the heavens have committed a grave crime; what were they thinking? For starters, he had blood shot eyes, enough to scare the angelic, innocent eyes I had! Fear crept in; somehow I knew the evening wouldn’t be a pleasant one. Let us give him a name. Let’s say ‘Mr. Red eyes’! So, this Mr. Red eyes does the ‘man thing’, he leads me to an eatery and after much jostling and compromising, we get a shared seat! Yes, the AC room was there; nearly empty, so cool, so inviting but Mr. Red eyes had other plans.

The mental questionnaire was shot at me rhythmically and systematically irrespective of whether I had finished answering the previous one or not, but who’s listening anyways! My answers would test our compatibility, just to confirm with the 32.5 the heavens had fixed. Quite pleased with the first two lines of any answer, he would shoot the next question at once. Time Management. I say!

The last thing I remember is getting a seat near the kitchen, me sweating like a pig and answering queries about horoscope, love and expectations.. Coming to expectations, when Mr. Red eyes realized that my mouth was all dry and thirsty, he called for the waiter. I thought ‘OK, he’s human after all!” I asked for a chilled sprite, which fortunately wasn’t available, so I wondered what else would quench me, but before that Mr. Red eyes ordered for 2 hot coffees. Hmmm, expectations sure got fulfilled!

The next thing I remember is coming back to my smarts. All the while he talked about himself in a strange manner, something superior reeked out of him. I knew one thing for sure. I will repay him somehow and with interest. After listening keenly, I realized that he was proud by virtue of being born as ‘Brahmin’. The devil in me awakened at once. I knew how to repay!

I told him all kinds of stories about Brahmins and how stupid they can really get sometimes. he he he… that set him up, all fire’n’smoke in the cockpit (pun intended). All you people do is eat smelly fish and other creatures, you have never learnt, analyzed or documented any holy scripture; nor will you be able to do so with your brick-heads. We come directly from the Aryan race, Tamil (his language) was developed from Sanskrit and is the mother of all Dravidian languages and so on and so forth…(By the way, aren’t the Aryans and Dravidians two separate races?)

Anyways, who cared? Triumphant as I was at that time, I realized his chattering about himself ceased and he began to look at me with curiosity. I’m sure he was wondering how can the heavens choose a lowly Dravidian woman with a Big Mouth for a princely Aryan man who is god’s gift to any woman!

Well, after that I had the time of my life. I said the coffee was really good, the ambience was just amazing and how grateful I was that we met here and so on and so forth…He was glaring all the time!

So that was it. Another of these encounters over! I wonder how many marks did I score in the questionnaire after all that gyaan on the races! Mr. Red eyes didn’t call back. Thank Heavens for that!

Loss and longing

Often I wonder when I look up at the sky
The twinkling stars in the moonlit gaze
Are these the spirits of the loved ones gone by?

Thou, the creator of the dark, mystic alibi
Pray, tell me which star shineth the least
Pray, tell me which star dulls the most

And would thy sky be any less brighter,
Had thou let go of thus star?
For its precious to me, this little star

And if you would heed
To all thy children, every precious star
Would soon be given,

And I wonder who would look up at your dark alibi;
Who would long to see the once twinkling sky?
For these little stars are more precious

And if truth be told, it would be all dark and scary
So thy alibi would take all our precious spirits
And put them back as stars into thy sky!

One simple man!

Women are simple, simple lives and even simpler needs. Period.

What do we ask for in a man? Nothing much, just that he is a good man with a little bit extra thrown in for good measure.
And, when I say ‘a little bit’, I mean just that ..a little bit

Is this asking for too much?

Please overhear the following tapped conversation between a simple woman and her man in an ‘ideal’ world…

Simple woman (SW): hullo, sweets, I’m missing you so much!
Man (M): oh honey…I miss you too, lets catch up for dinner tonight?
SW: yeah sure… ‘m dying to see you
M: great honey, now you get ready while I come to pick you up at lets say 8?
SW: hey sweets..that’s perfect! Its 10 to 8 and I’ll be ready in a jiffy!
M: right, I’ll be at your door sooner than that…miss you honey..byebye
SW: byebye and the door’s open!

And now, overhear the same tapped conversation between the simple woman and her man in our world (a world where women are misconstrued as cryptic crosswords and god alone knows who started this baseless rumour) …

SW: hullo, sweets, I’m missing you so much!
M: WOW… any plans, honey? (mono-thought process)
SW: long time… let’s meet up… ‘m dying to see you
M: yeah sure… me too dying to see you, honey (tonight’s the night! yey)
SW: Can you come to my place at lets say 8?
M: sure, honey! Anytime for you (WOW..ain’t I lucky?)
SW: byebye sweets, catch you soon
M: byebye honey (yeah yeah..catch you alright!)

At sharp 8 pm, the door bell rings…

SW: hey sweets, is that you?
M: yes, my highness…just open the door and I promise to serve you for the rest of the night errr sorry… rest of my life
SW: tonight’s the special occasion..i need to get ready, dear… just 5 mins, ok? The steps beside the gate are quite soft and cosy sometimes.
M: no probs, honey…you take your time… I can wait forever (deeply pondering what’s the special occasion !)

After 20 simple minutes have passed by…

M: honey, these roses are losing colour… (sounding pale as the mosquitoes had a bloody treat out of him!)
SW: jus’ a minute…I wont be long, sweets…this occasion is so very special, dear
M: yeah, that’s so true honey (worried about the occasion ..forgets all about his plans… shaking his brains… her birthday? No; our first date? No, It never happened as yet; our first kiss? No way…that’s pending…I remember that…ooops, no luck)

Another 30 simple minutes later…

He is all white with severe red bumps all over… all excitement of the night has vanished… he just longs to drown in the champagne he’s bought and sleep off forever….

She opens the door, looking all pretty and pink what with her ‘newly bought for the special occasion’ pink and gold bordered organza saree.

SW: hey sweets, what happened to you?
M: you look so beautiful, honey (barely opening his eyes)
SW: thank you dear… you know tonight’s our ‘special occasion’… I’m so excited!
M: yeah, me too, honey (what’s the occasion and why the hell is she dressed up like a Christmas tree?)
SW: remember sweets, you dropped me here at these very steps (now opening the champagne bottle with the simple intention of celebration)
M: yeah, I do honey (rattling his brains even harder now…when did I drop her and how does it become a special occasion?)
SW: remember how drunk we were, fresh from Adi’s party? You literally dropped down here…I fell in love with you all over again, sweets! (pouring the champagne and serving him)
M: yeah, that was so special, honey! (toasting the champagne and sipping it slowly to bring in some signs of normal life, still wondering what was special!)

So, that was it. The simple woman and her man celebrate their first important occasion together at the steps of her home. It was exactly a week ago, when he had dropped her home from a friend’s party and she fell in love with him and decided to keep him as her ‘warrior prince’ forever. Thee, dropped me safely home, surely wouldn’t thee stake thy life for me?

And I wonder why they say that rocket science is easier?

Statistics and me!

Alright, I am not discussing about my vital statistics here. Not that, there is any problem with it, (by virtue of the inherited genes! ) but hey..this isn’t any ‘Chick-Lit’ blog…. This is my blog … me ‘the woman of substance” me the “Smart Alecca’! An encounter with a ghost and that set me up… yeah, I had started thinking now. Why Vin chose statistics or did statistics choose her?

Let me solve using a simple syllogism here. (I swear it was simple when I first started!)

An explanation of the sets and the very logically connected statements thereby:

S: Science students who either don’t get into medicine or engineering or aren’t interested in it anyways or weren’t compelled by extreme parental forces
CS: Confused science students but who have the right to choose their calling in life (courtesy: parents!)
UCS: Unconfused science students who always knew what they will graduate in since kindergarten

All S’s hate frog dissections and practical applications of calculus
Some S’s hate rat dissections too
Not all S’s took up ‘science’ in junior college by own free will
Some S’s simply love to pass through semesters without ever a glance at the textbook
Some S’s are girls
Some CS’s prefer music over dissections or numbers (is music course offered in Mumbai University?)
Some CS’s regret their smarts in choosing unpopular subjects eg. Statistics
All CS’s love the physics practical experiments
Not all CS’s have found their calling in life or in chemical bonds!
All UCS’s have been CS’s at some point in time (mostly during deep ponder!)
All UCS’s are girls
Not all UCS’s prefer ‘girl’ subjects like Botany or Zoology!
Some UCS’s are enchanted by the probability of the unknown…

Conclusion: Vin has no other subject left, she has to take up statistics!

I’m still figuring out the Venn diagram for this one. Can somebody please help? !!

Just a poem

Spread her wings
far and wide;
Flap them to and fro,

from side to side.
A feather, a bubble,

a wish, a trinket
All things dear to her,

yet so fragile!
Memories of broken dreams

fill her in,
As she walks the path,

the forbidden path.

‘Hey, you’, whispers
the voice of her soul
Dare she heed any,

lest her destiny deny her role,
She hastens on the path –

the call from the wild
The Devil’s more powerful

than her disheartened own.
She steps in tiptoe,

as quiet as her shadow
Her ignorance divine,

her mind aglow

Like the wonderland
through a rabbit-hole,
Seeks yet another

Alice of its own
The call was enchanting,

the promise so soothing
The Lord, her shepherd

tends to her soul
Alas the Devil tempts her

to the path unknown
O dear child, her fear is

but not a word spoken.

The Devil, the fantasy,
the mirage the sands have seen
Speak of a world through

the looking-glass
A world manifested

full of promises galore
For what seems real may not be and

what isn’t may seem so!
Yet again, her faith is shattered,

her dream broken
Yet another path seeks her,

seeks the gossamer of her dreams!

These cheeple are so peep!

Oh, Its serfectly pimple!
No, that’s not a new type of pimple. Well, that’s something which occurs at randomly, uneventful moments turning an otherwise boring event into a ‘funny’ one, one that is meant to be cherished forever. And, all one wanted to say was ‘Oh, Its perfectly simple!’, but ends up like this!

I am a regular at this, I mean the germs in my brain are precision perfect in this. Deep down in my heart, I’m constantly bribing Him for freedom: Oh God, please redeem me. If not completely, at least during interviews and other such discussions in life of the ‘serious’ types.

One such event occurred during an exciting ‘gossip’ session. We were seriously gossiping on the new entrants into our society. I, the smart Aleca, had to come up with my opinions although nobody had asked for it. These new entrants were particularly loud, both in their talks as well as in their home with loud music being played for a happy, peaceful existence. I thought ‘These people are so cheap”, but ended up saying ‘These cheeple are so peep” ! Well, that was the end of all serious gossiping, the audience there rolled with laughter and still remind me of it even after so many years.

Well, I also mix up Hindi and English since most Mumbaiites are used to thinking in Hindi and speaking in English. But, what happens when one particular Mumbaiite, lets say me: thinks in English while speaking in Hindi? Imagine the scene: the topic was something that had occurred and none of us could believe it, saving me. I knew it had occurred. I was adamant and emphasized my point: all I wanted to say was ‘Koi shaq hain kya?” but me, the smart Aleca replaced the Hindi ‘shaq’ with its English equivalent ‘doubt’ and created this whole new sentence: “Koi duck hain kya?” !! I didn’t replace, the germs in my brains did!

And if this wasn’t enough, I do such things with numbers too: 25 becomes 52 and you would ask how? It rotates and replaces positions, much like musical chairs! Hmmm, another disorder, syndrome, crazy mind germs or what. I ‘googled’ as usual.
Google is my rescue center; my friend, philosopher and guide. And hey, lo n behold, there you go; I learnt of the term ‘spoonerism’ named after Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College, Oxford. He was notoriously famous for them! Good for me, there are many of ‘my’ types and this guy pledged his name to the cause – wow, an altogether new ‘ism’ !

Some of his famous quotes:
“Is the bean dizzy?” (“dean busy”)
“Go and shake a tower” (“take a shower”)
The Lord is a shoving leopard” (“loving shepherd”)

This ones my favorite: “You have hissed all my mystery lectures, and were caught fighting a liar in the quad. Having tasted two worms, you will leave by the next town drain” (“missed … history,” “lighting a fire,” “wasted two terms,” “down train”)

The Indians that we are, the country with 178 languages, not my stats; that’s what Sushmita Sen said while introducing our country of so many languages; we think in our mother tongue, speak in the local language or dialect of the particular city but write always in English. Surely, each one of us has been a Mr. Spooner or Ms. Spooner at some time or the other. Yeah? Let’s admit it… Look at me, the last two years at Chennai and already I have started mixing up my native ‘Tulu’ with ‘Tamil’ forming two new languages namely: ‘Tumil’ and ‘Talu’!

Now is the time… lets share our personal spooners. A particular boss of mine… lets not name him here…even thinking about him tickles me! He refers to our client ‘Ramona Pires’ always as ‘Pomano Rires’! Hope they never meet in person, but if they do, I better not be there!

He will never redeem us and why should He, its tax-free entertainment na! Some “tips of the slung” are good for everyone!

Manzile apni jagah hain….raasthe apni jagah and GPS !

And whoever had penned these beautiful lyrics to be sung by our evergreen Kishore for our evergreen Big B, surely was a victim of the ‘oh so familiar’ disorder, I too, am a victim of. And before one starts guessing as to what I’m referring to…no, its nothing to do even remotely with that ‘heart’ thing!

I have suffered in silence for the past fifteen years or so, that is since the time I had to travel on my own. Finally, I’m coming out in public, here on my first post. Read on…

I googled the term as ‘directional disorder’ wishing from the deepest pits of my heart that I don’t find even a single entry…. Alas!

There were lakhs of entries, links with concise descriptions of the medical jargon types! I mean… I just had a slight doubt and surely didn’t believe it at all, that such a term truly exists. So, that does it! I always feared this: I do suffer from some kinda syndrome…..only my parents were too busy in my childhood to catch it and take me to the correct specialist. To my utter shock, guess what, there were discussion forums where ‘real’ people with names and email IDs discussed about this disorder, took solace in the fellow sufferer’s plight, provided tips for unguided travel, offered healing words of comfort. Slowly, I came to my senses. I knew at once, yes, this is my world… here are others just like me. I belong here!

This is my Family, here’s where all my ‘so-called’ excuses will be understood as ‘real’ reasons for me losing my way all the time! Now I have the exact medical term too to add to my list of excuses !! I was glad I googled. I thanked for helping me find my ‘true’ family.

Take simple instructions like… take the first left, second right and there you go, your destination is right at the corner, lady! I would nod with gratitude and immediately draw a picture of a road (raastha) with a left turn and later two right turns and my destination (manzil) at the corner. The single, lonely woman traveler is in control… she is not going to lose her way this time…. Alas!

She not only lost her way, she lost it completely since she ie. me was trying to visit my best friend I have visited a million times before…. A few rescue calls later, I was picked up from the place where I was supposed to anchor myself as a reference point for the rescue teams , lest I lose my way again!

Then again, I wont be allowed to travel alone…. Me and be escorted, oh come on… every woman needs to travel alone at times and me, a woman of this world, a smart woman of substance, obviously needed to travel alone. Here, one may think of the adage ‘If you believe you can, then you will’. Only, me, the die-hard believer, the smart Alecca thought that if I believed too hard, I could easily fool the germs in my brain that erased the directional picture map I drew so diligently every time I was given instructions. I was about to prove my point.

Take even simpler instructions like…. take the coming left and keep walking with your eye towards the right…. Stop when you see a bunch of kids coming…. So we know there’s a school nearby.. ask one of the kids where’s the school. That’s all… the lane (raastha) opposite to the back of that school is where you need to go (manzil) ! don’t get confused… there’s also an old tree there. I nodded in chaos, the directional map I usually drew in my brain got null and void, no work here for the germs! As if all the trees are young except for this one.

I mean… talking about trees, I use these gentle creatures as my reference points now. OK, I turn left when I pass the big Gulmohar tree and keep walking till I pass these four, old trees with tiny, yellowish flowers (don’t know the name) and at the end I will pass a Peepul tree, but wait… I’m not supposed to cross it, I have to take the left that comes before it ! One may wonder, what does this smart Alecca do on her way back…. Simple, she does the same things in reverse !

At times, most trees in an area would be the same species or genre or family. But, me the innovative, die-hard, do-it-yourself-and-prove-to-the-world woman found new avenues for guidance. Hoardings, Billboards, Signboards were the new trees for me. Don’t cut down trees… I mean they are good for the health of my city and please don’t stop putting huge Billboards in my city….I mean they are good for the economy. When ‘Philips’ goes like ‘Lets make things better’, I know they mean this! Things can’t get any better than that. Look at me, I’m on my way without a single soul harassed enough to keep tracking my progress. Whoever needed GPS… yes definitely when I’m in the Antarctic region with no trees and Signboards, then GPS or Global Positioning System would guide me. hmmmm…

One may now contemplate the depths of the creative lyricist…. See what I said when I started …the raastha-manzil divide in the brains of the ‘directionally disillusioned’ !

Of reactions and responses, recurring….and how!

I punched and pierced,
banged and beat,
screamed and shredded;
Damn these thoughts, they never still..
My aim being to observe:
Everything As IS.
If only, my thoughts
would permit me this!

It finally happened at the end of the year and the year was the year gone by i.e. 2007. The month was December, a month to sit back and analyze one’s self development, one’s accomplishments or rather the lack of it both personally and career wise. The most vital parameter to gauge oneself by is almost non-existent but I must say it’s gradually picking up momentum. Even as I write this, there are thousands searching for it, more thousands carrying the route map and thousands more struggling to walk the PATH. One may wonder, what is that ‘most vital parameter’? Hmmm… spiritual angle of self-growth!

December had set in like the gloomy results day at school! Looking back at how the year had begun, I was amazed at the sheer human spirit I had displayed! The lone, single woman: me, living alone in an alien city; the ‘committed’ yet ‘so far’ partner wandering to greener, younger pastures… the divine twist in the tale; my faith restored; my dignity safe guarded by the forces; my ever demanding boss… ready to raise the bar (usually at the nearby café). But, a new hassle had set in, a familiar discomfort… I felt like a failure; my insides had compressed, my hair grayed at a faster pace, my entire life flashed like a movie…the more I saw, the more I knew…. I’ve never really walked a path, any path at all… for every two steps forward, hmmmm, Providence pushed me one step backward! This year too is slipping away.

What was wrong? My thought process, my bad luck factor or worst still something eerie, something unknown, something which followed me like a thundercloud when it’s all sunshine for everyone!
I needed help. Had heard about a meditation camp… read more at their website… ten days of monastic life. No lies, no murder, no sex, no drugs, no alcohol, silence of mind and body! Also, in line with my company’s ‘Global Christmas Shutdown’! This was for me, what a way to correct a perfect disaster of a year, I signed up at once! Merry Christmas everyone!

The Teacher said “Observe your breath”.
Hmmm… what the …this is so simple. No deep long breaths, no one nostril breath, no inhuman posture; just plain and simple relaxing and observing one’s breath! I’m game for this… like I knew Providence was guiding me now, at last… kind of late but hey, I’m not complaining… Who knows… I might just live another hundred years or so on this divine Path!

Observe I did, man… so many mosquitoes during evening meditation, horrific stink during early morning meditation given the new ‘simple, divine’ meals, none of us were used to! The men busy observing the seriously meditating Americans, Europeans.. you know basically all the white skinned ones.

The Teacher said “Observe Within”.
Oh !! OK.. That’s simple. No big deal. I observed within……man, I was tired, slept so few hours compared to the hectic meditation for eleven and a half hours every day… my spine felt like a hot rod that needed some molding, my neck wasn’t mine, my knees were major pain centers; but surely Mother Providence loved me now, and soon her hand will brush away all my pain and I could see myself levitating at a higher plane!

Holy Christ … if only had I ceased talking.. talking to myself! Constant chatter…old buried memories got fresher. I began blasting at past people; scolded myself for having made the wrong choices all the time, cried out my heart with every loss I had been through, plotted revenge against lost people who had pierced my innocence, even planned a list of new year’s resolutions filled with conspiracy, lies and deceit!

The Teacher said ‘Only observe; do not analyze or react or respond; you are just an observer here’.
OK, right.
The Teacher said ‘There are no mistakes; only lessons to be learnt from them’.
The Teacher said ‘Everything is impermanent (anicchya); everything an illusion (maya)’.
The Teacher said ‘There are no unjustified acts; everything and everyone enact their respective roles, the director being Mother Nature’.

OK… then what the … am I doing here? How will this help improve my future mistakes..err sorry future experiences; everything I see is an illusion; all my torturers were instructed by God. I’m not supposed to react or respond… just a silent spectator who’s supposedly only allowed to observe her own role. OK then, so be it.

Meditation sure is hard work, one that involves perseverance, discipline, tolerance and sheer grit. I’m game for this but not now. It’s not the right time. I’m young.. I love to talk to myself… I mean despite the failures, loss and grief, I love to scold, blast, curse and pass comments. How could I ever be silent and only observe?