Monday, 22 April 2013

My Home….

"If you could choose any one place in the world to be your home, where would it be and why? Feel free to choose anywhere in the world, even if it's somewhere you haven't been."

This should have been a simple question to answer. Technically, home should be the place you are staying with your family. One can even be a tad sentimental and say that it doesnt matter where you live as long as your loved ones are with you. This is true to a great extent, after all the best & most beautiful city might seem empty if you dont have any one to share your life with. But when I am being given a choice of picking a place anywhere in the world, I am not going to let go of this opportunity.

I have lived in exactly 4 cities throughout my life so far. I have visited numerous other places. Each of these places has left an impression, sometimes negative but positive for the major part. But do you really think about pros and cons when you are thinking of your favourite place in the world? Arent pros and cons very perspective? What I might like in a city might be the exact thing that you hate about it. So to conclude there is really no benchmark or criteria to decide this, not that I needed any. As soon as I read the topic, my choice was clear in my mind.

It has to be Bombay without any shred of doubt. Yes! I still call it Bombay and not ‘Mumbai’. It was Bombay when I moved in and that is how it will stay for me. I know it should officially be called Mumbai, but does the name change the city or the people living there? I dont think so. I have many reasons to like Bombay (the friends I made there, being a very important one), but I am sure these reasons might apply to a lot of other cities. Living conditions, good facilities, career prospects, safety & security and so on. As I have mentioned earlier, this city also has a lot of things that people dont like at all, such as the crowd, the ever ‘on the move’ life, people being stuffed inside local trains, not to forget the 2 months of monsoon rains that almost turn this city into a huge ditch. In spite of all this, advocates for this city will argue for the city, citing the famous ‘spirit of people’, solidarity, diversity and rich culture & heritage of the city. Apart from these ‘positive’ points I actually quite like the ‘negative’ points also that I have listed. I really long to travel in Local trains again, where you meet and make friends for life, who otherwise would not even have a chance to cross your life. I quite prefer the busy life, where everyone has a purpose and no one is idling away their time. I used to love walking around the Dadar-Plaza area, which is always crowded any time of the day or night. And, I would give anything to experience the Bombay rains one more time, notwithstanding the July 2005 flooding which had caught all of us unawares. Really, after the drizzle fest that I have been treated to all these years in London, I am ready to do anything to get ‘real’ rain on my face!

But these reasons are not enough for anyone to pick and choose a home. Wherever I have lived so far, I have always formed great memories to cherish. Actually, for me it just boils down to the fact that I feel ‘at home’ when I am in Bombay even though I dont have a ‘house’ there any more!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Fifty-2 weeks of 2013: Week 10 – A Cinquain

I have to confess that I didn't know what a Cinquain was until the theme for this week was announced. First of all writing a poem sends me into a panic mode mainly because I don't think I write good ones. A poem always reminds me of William Wordsworth, maybe because I have always read his poems as part of the school curriculum and so have come to associate him with poems. So whenever I think of writing a poem, the first thought is that there is no way I can write something like him. But then, I should remember that you don't have to be like Sachin Tendulkar to play cricket!

The Cinquain is a 5 line poem where the words don't necessarily have to rhyme. This form of poetry suits me because it is short, simple and fairly uncomplicated. There are a few patterns that a Cinquain can follow and that served as a very good guide for me. So here it is then, I hope I have done justice to the format of the poem.


Steamy, Aromatic

Brewing, Refreshing, Stimulating

Make mine strong & sweet


Monday, 25 February 2013

Fifty-2 Weeks of 2013: What I didn't like about my Childhood

This week’s topic raised mixed feelings in me. I was glad to be thinking about my childhood again, not that I have forgotten it but having an excuse to explicitly think about it and relive all those moments was very welcome. At the same time it was a bit difficult because instead of the sweet and fun filled memories I have had to think hard about the things that I didn't like about my childhood.

I am sure like me almost everyone had things they hated when they were happening to them in their childhood. Like the cut off time for playing out with your friends, ration on the snacks you really liked (crisps, sweets & such), constant insistence from the parents to finish all the vegetables on the plate and oh yes the pressure of studies. But now that I am a mother myself, I realise that those things were necessary. I now know what my parents meant when they said “You don't know it now but you will understand when you have your own kids!” I have ended up reflecting that particular emotion with my daughter already!  Anyway, since I have to list down something that I didn't like about my childhood, I will try to do that instead of going off in a tangential direction.

I have had a pretty normal and happy childhood. Doting parents, great friends, plenty of opportunities to pursue my interests while maintaining the grades at school. So to actually come up with something I didn't like about the great time I had as a child, I have had to resort to comparing my childhood with today's children.

The one thing that I would have liked during my childhood is the kind of exposure kids have today. They are being introduced to all kinds of topics/subjects early one. They know a lot more about technology and what is happening around the world than what we knew. Kids aging from 4 onwards talk about a variety of subjects with confidence and most of the time have accurate knowledge about things. They can no longer be taken for a ride by the adults, they ask questions, they don't accept incomplete or fantastical explanations, they debate and counter question. I sometimes look at my daughter and think how I was completely oblivious of the events in the world when I was as old as she is now, whereas she is duly informed about everything interesting that is happening in the world.

So, there it is. Its nothing that I disliked from my childhood because whatever we lacked in terms of exposure we more than made up for it in terms of social contact. Today the children or rather their parents have to make a conscious effort to get them involved with other children, make them mingle with people, whereas for us it came very naturally.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Fifty – 2 Weeks of 2013 – Week 7

She was always apprehensive about the kind of life partner she would get. Will he be sensitive enough? Will he be loving & caring? And what about the sense of humour that she so wanted her man to have? What would happen if he was a very serious & no nonsense person who looked at life as a series of tasks that need to be completed right on time and with precision. She had come across such people and absolutely dreaded the possibility of having to spend her rest of the life with such a person. You see, she herself was a down to earth, happy go lucky kind of girl who wanted to enjoy every bit of life. She was some one who could smile or laugh in any situation. She always believed in the adage – If its not happy, its not the end!

So there she was, of a marriageable age, meeting prospective grooms every weekend and wondering whom she will end up with. Is it really possible to judge or know a person well enough in 2-3 meetings lasting for not more than 1-2 hrs each? Especially when you are surrounded by family members, who are stealing glances at you while pretending to talk about some socio political issue. But she went ahead with the process nevertheless, constantly thinking if this meeting would be the final one that chooses her life partner.

And then it happened one day. Another one of those normal alliance meetings, with things going almost exactly as they had for all the other previous meetings. But she felt that something had clicked and she found herself saying yes just as she was trying to convince herself not to be terrified at the thought of spending her entire life with a relative stranger.

But it turned out that all her fears were in vain. She was so comfortable with him that it didn't seem like she was with a stranger, even from day one of their marriage. He was almost everything that she hoped & wished for in her life partner. Almost, because no one can be perfect after all! He was sensitive, had a great sense of humour, understood her so well that she was amazed sometimes. Life with him was easy & simple. He was a simple person with simple tastes & likes.

He was so transparent that one look at his face could tell her exactly what was going on in his mind. So she always knew how he felt about things. This proved to be a handy tool because after all she could always adjust things if she knew it was something that bothered him. Little did she know that the same transparency would later become an annoying problem for her. Like yesterday when she asked him if he liked the Karela Bhaji (Bitter gourd Curry) and he smiled and said it was great but she knew he didn't like it one bit! Why couldn't she stay ignored and enjoy the fact that her husband liked everything she made?

Monday, 4 February 2013

Fifty-2 Weeks of 2013: People watching

Before my visit to Disneyland, Paris, I couldn't imagine people, I mean grown ups being crazy about something or someone. I had heard about people screaming out Pop star’s names and falling all over movie stars but never before had I seen the kind of excitement and anxiety I got to see in Disneyland. I was expecting the kids to go berserk and jumping around in excitement but what I saw was the adults equally looking forward to meeting the Disney characters. This snap was taken during the famous Disney parade where all the characters come out in colourful costumes and huge displays.



Even the dark looming clouds could not deter them from finding an ideal place and waiting there for hours to get a good view at the parade. We were among them too, along with people from all possible age groups, new born babies to senior people in their 80s or 90s! And the parade was every minute worth the wait and all the fuss! There is something about these characters that totally draws you to them and makes you feel like a young child again. It must be something to do with the fact that deep down we always have a child within us and would always prefer to be that child rather than the adults that we are!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Fifty-2 weeks of 2013: Week 3 (A pound of flesh)

Its week 3 of Fifty-2 weeks of 2013 and the theme this time had me completely stumped. Should I go for fiction? Should it be a thought provoking write up? After thinking about it for the whole week (or rather trying to come up with something), I finally had to settle on this picture.

I had to dig this one out of my very old archives. I couldn't even remember which year this was taken. All I could recollect was that due to some odd reason we had ended up clicking this Cheetah in the zoo enjoying his lunch vociferously. I remember being actually repulsed by it at the time but GM insisted on clicking it and I am so glad he did, for otherwise I wouldn't have anything to post for this week!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Week 2 - Colour Garnet (Photography)

Fifty-2 weeks of 2013 continues with a photography post, having the colour garnet as the theme. Now, I have to admit I was a little puzzled when I saw the theme. Were we supposed to take a pic of the gemstone itself? Where am I going to find one now? But then, the 'colour' solved the problem and as members started posting there pics, it was clearer to me.

But the real confusion started after that. What do I chose as the subject? Coincidentally I bought a pair of ear rings with the same colour. I say coincidentally, but now that I think of it, the theme might have influenced my choice when I was browsing through the jewellery section! Here is the snap that I took of the ear rings.

But then I did a complete change of mind and decided to submit this one instead.

It is a shot of a bottle of Rose syrup against the sunlight (whatever little was available!). I thought the colour was perfect and the pattern on the bottle made for a good visual effect.