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Beginning of a story

Writing a post after a long break. This one has been on my mind for some time.
This is something abstract that I have written. My friend, Katya Naidu and my cousin, Aniket Herwadkar helped me work on this one and also gave me the confidence to publish the story so far.
Hope you guys enjoy reading it. And here's hoping that I overcome my block, and continue the story ahead.
Have you experienced Death, Kring?” asked Niam. Krinka aka Kring was her best friend.

“Do you know what it is to die? I mean, how it feels?” persisted Niam, in a strangely calm and detached way.

Niam and Krinka had been friends from the time they had first met each other. Over the 10 years of knowing each other, their friendship had survived most of the storms—Boys, crushes and boyfriends, jealousy, possessiveness, personal losses and careers. And today, what mattered to them, more, was the fact that they are still together, at peace, understanding each other and helping out in tough tides while giving each other space otherwise.

Today, the weather was fine and they had gone trekking to this hill top close to home, the grassy path and flowers only encouraging them to do these treks more often. After a tiring hour and a half climb to the top… everything seemed worth it. There, sitting on a ledge and after chatting for some time, Krinka was taken aback when Niam asked this out of the blue.

Squinting her mischievous eyes, as if to look inside Niam’s mind, Krinka replied, “No man. I am alive. At least that’s what I think”.

“I know what it feels like,” replied Niam. “Every night…”

“Every night I experience death, only to live through it.”

“Too many supernatural serials, Drama Queen! You know that’s one reason why I ask you to stay away from these shows, movies and books. You need to chill. You need to be around positive things”.

“Maybe. But I dream this dream, every single night. I dream that I am all alone, by myself, sitting in some ski-cable-car kind of contraption, which is wayyyy high up in the dark black sky. As high, as the birds fly or even planes fly. It is just me….in my journey, to reach my destination. Everything is so still. Not even the pleasant warm breeze. The warmth keeps my nerves calm. Not a single soul in sight, not even birds, no noise, no stars. It is just I, me, myself, all alone in the so very still raven black night. There is just this drone—whrrrrrrrrrr--of the ski-cable-car-lift. The drone of the machine pierces the silence, but also soothes my anxiety, as I forget that I am alone.”

“Whrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…… I am going over land, and then a huge body of water. I don’t know if it is a sea, or a lake or an ocean. And I don’t know, if I have to cross the chasm to reach the land on the other side…or if I should just go with the flow. I can only feel, though I cannot see, the ripples of the water, in my mind. Seems like rippling black silk with flecks of mauve…….covering so many secrets and hungry for more.”

“Scary!” Krinka butted in, to stop Niam from talking more and getting uneasy about the conversation.

“My Heart skipped all the beats Kring, it does so, even as I think about it now. Anxious about crossing the eternal chasm of cold nothingness.”

“It happens then, I suddenly get tossed off my seat. I skip a beat…I am descending at such great speed...I know I will melt into the vast nothing, and then I hit the water, if that is what it is, and reach the bottom. But as I am falling and till the time I reach the bottom, I can see my life flash in front of my eyes….in a span of few moments.”

“And then I wake up with a start Kring, unsure if it was just a dream or some distant reality…every time. And always shaken and stirred. It takes time to regain my composure, and to make sure, that I AM in my bed. Usually a glass of warm water helps. After that, I go back to sleep again……a peaceful, dreamless sleep.”

“Don’t worry’s probably nothing”.....assured Kring, who herself was unsure of the situation.
“You don't think I need a shrink, right?”
“No way. You need to just chill”. But Krinka was unsure, herself, saying those things. And as the Sun set, both of them started walking towards their homes.....

Krinka went home after a long dinner at their favourite bistro. They had got over their philosophical thoughts and ended up talking about clothes, fashion, and the state of affairs.
But something was still bothering Krinka. It was Niam's question. Not only did Niam seem a lot more worried than she would like to admit, but it also seemed like something was suffocating her.
Krinka knew what it was. It was fear. “But what does she need to be afraid of?” That was one question she could not answer.

Niam had been to a fortune teller a few days back and had blackmailed Krinka to join in too. The lady had told Niam a lot about her future, and surprisingly, she also let Krinka in on a reading.

“Is something bothering you Niam?” asked the fortune teller, who sat silently, thinking, after she heard about Niam’s strange dreams and morbid thoughts of death and despair. Krinka too was as shocked to know that Niam keeps on thinking about death, day-in and out.

“You need to help your friend,” The lady said to Krinka, “and you need to help her fast. More than just for her, because both of you are bound together by destiny. What ails her can kill you as well”, she said in a warning tone.

“The sword of death looms on Niam’s head and it is just a matter of time, when it will go loose, if she dies, so do you. I cannot say why. But save yourself and your friend.”
Something about the lady did not make Krinka feel that she was joking.

While leaving, the fortune-teller handed Krinka a note. “How can I help her?” was the only question on Krinka’s mind. “Follow her fear, and once you help her fight it, she will be safe.” Ever since Krinka never let Niam do anything remotely dangerous. Niam was surprised with her over protective attitude but never complained of the eccentricities of her best friend.

But now, sitting all alone in her drawing room Krinka had a sinking feeling. She kept re-reading the note. But just didn’t understand what to do.

He who is wise, He who is brave,
He, who can see beyond the dark grave,
For mistakes of past, can today haunt too,
And consume in its fire, close ones and you.
The cycle of life and death shall continue, never to stop,
Until you have redeemed for sufferings that you have caused,
Pain and distress shall be unto you,
What you have done to others, shall be due to you,
Pay by your blood and do what you must,
To see a new dawn and a new dusk.
To be continued
Image taken via google image search from

Favourite videos: Fu bai Fu

Fu bai Fu is a program on Zee mArathi, wherein various marathi actors present their comedy skits. Winner gets a prize. Sometimes, the skits are good, and sometimes they are really bad.

Following are my favourites:

Anand Ingle & Vishakha Subhedar

Anand Ingle Kshiti Jog

Anand Ingle & Kishori Godbole

Atul Todankar & Anshuman Vichare

Atul Todankar & Anshuman Vichare

Vaibhav Mangle & Kshiti Jog

Hope you have fun watching them

दमलेल्या नंदिनीची कहाणी

The background: Balancing work and home is not an easy task.
Hats off to all the women, who manage the tight-rope walk.

Many people think that things are a little manageable out of India, what with frozen/semi cooked foods, 40 hours week, lower frustration levels, so on.
Well, the answer is no...its certainly not easy. Especially, if any one has the amount of travel like the way I have (more than an hour one way). After getting thoroughly exhausted in the office, it becomes difficult (though not impossible, as many of my friends here are excellent home makers/managers too) to come home and dish out a fresh square meal.

The story: So one fine day, tired after pasta, daal-khichadis, idli-sambhars, my husband, Aniket, said to me, after a particularly exhausting (my) day at work, one thing, he should not have......
"कांटाळ आला इडली-पिडली खाउन. किती दिवसात पोळी-भाजी नाही खाल्ली. तुला काय त्रास होतो गं...बाकीच्या तुझ्या मैत्रिणी तर बनवतात कि proper जेवण!"

Well, that is the inspiration, behind this विडंबन of a part of the song.

The song: दमलेल्या बाबाची कहाणी is one of my favorite songs, and I hope its creators don't take an offense at my humble remix. Read the lyrics and sing along.
पहाटेच उठलेली एक महाराणी,
गॅसवर ठेवलेले चहासाठी पाणी ||2||
ला ला लाला ला ला ला ला ssss  
रोजचेच आहे सारे काही आज नाही,
लवकर-लवकर अवरायाला जमतच नाही,
घरातून निघताच असते  पळत,
ट्राम सुटली तर जावे लागते चालत,

सांगायची आहे अरे नवर्या मुला
दमलेल्या नंदिनीची कहाणी तुला
ला ला ला ला ला ला ला ला ssss

च्या नगरात थंडी होती भारी
कुडकुडलेली नंदी करी बसेसची वारी  ||2||
रोज सकाळीच नंदी निघतांना बोले,
जेवण करायचे काल राहुनिया गेले,
जमलीच नाही काल भाजी मला जरी,
आज तरी करणार खीर आणि पुरी.
कुकिंग बुक्सच्या जंगलामध्ये मारू मग फेरी,
रुचिराचीपाने अन इंटरनेटची करी,
नाहीतर जमेल फक्त वरण-भात मला,
दमलेल्या नंदिनीची कहाणी तुला.

[The prose part] ऑफिसात उशिरा मी असते बसून,
भंडावले डोके, गेले कामात बुडून.
बॉस तर घरी कधिच गेला रे पळून,
काम सोडून कशी मी येऊ रे निघून.
अश्या वेळी काय सांगू काय-काय होते,
अश्या वेळी काय सांगू काय-काय होते,
गरम चहा-पोह्याची आठवण येते.
वाटते कि काम टाकुन घरी परत यावे,
वाटते कि काम टाकुन घरी परत यावे,
आरामात TV समोर सोफ्यावर बसावे.
थंड पाणी देत तू  बोल जरा माझ्याशी
नंतर जेवण बनवायला लागेन पटदिशी.

भन्नाट एक फ़र्माइश करशील काही,
बनवतांना भान मला उरणार नाही. ||2||
घड्याळाचे ठोके मग बोलतील काही,
म्हणता-म्हणता संध्या सुद्धा सरणार बाई.
तरी सुद्धा दोघे जण खाऊ खाऊ असा,
मिसळीचा कट किंवा नुसताच रस्सा.
सांगायची आहे अरे नवर्या मुला
दमलेल्या नंदिनीची कहाणी तुला


*Ruchira is an age old cooking book with recipes of every Maharashtrian recipe, starting from How to boil rice, to making Chirotes.

Favorite Dance videos

Its been some time that I posted on the blog.
However, my back, shoulder and wrist are killing me. So typing long posts get tedious. And though I have been sleeping directly on the hard floor and doing arm-back exercises, I think I will take a week or more to recover.

So till then, I think, I will upload my favorite videos.

Today's videos are about Indian influence on dances over the world. Classical/traditional is merging with more modern styles, East is meeting the West, and following are the outcomes of creative brainstorming:

America's Best Dance Crew (This one is like Dance India dance or Boogie Woogie) had Bollywood/Indian as one of the theme for its participants. This one in particular had to work around Bharatnatyam--A traditional dance style from the South of India.

So you think you can dance:

Another one from So you think you can dance

And lastly, the most popular--US national dance champions performing to Indian songs

Heres hoping you have as much fun as I had viewing them.

Time for soul talk

Listen to Mr Devdutt Patnaik, Chief Belief Officer at Future Group

Harsha Bhogle ace TV commentator in a lecture at IIM (A) ,very nicely points out that passion to perform, commitment and practice are far more important than talent alone.

Nithya Shanthi: Important lesson of life

Gnapati Bappa Moraya!!

Ganapati Baappa!!!

The city that never sleeps, goes in a trance of a kind during this time of the year...Everywhere you see, festivities and a general enthusiasm are in the air. And a day before the Ganesh Chaturthi, the city (and also the country) welcomes its beloved God, The Single-Tusked one, The Lord that removes all the obstacles from your path, The Lord of Knowledge, known as Ganpati Baappa to all its worshipers.

Ganpati Bappa/Ganesha/Vinayak/Vighnaharta, are all his names and his avataars. There are stories that talk about his birth andsing is praises, but other than that, little is known about this God. It is only the scholors and the those specialised in sanskrit and mythology, who might really know about him.

And today, just as we finished the puja and aarti, we came across a program on an Indian regional channel-Saam, wherein an eminent person was answering all those questions that I had about this Lord for so long....Isn't that really nice, than informing us about which celebrity celebrates this event and how!

For starters, does anyone know what the chant, "Ganapati Baappa!!! Moraaya!!!" means?
According to this person, a doctor, its regional accent of the marathi language....The villagers meant Mhoraa-Yaaa (come in front of me)....which over the years became Moraya!!

Also, what does the name Ganpati mean? Of course, the leader of the Gans who we might assume as worshippers? Well no, Ganpati means the one, who has conquered over the 5 forces of nature and their sub forces. There is a total of 360 natural forces (thats one reason why the circle is 360 degrees), and Ganpati is the conqueror of all. Hence the name. Well, I couldn't catch this entire interesting show and could only write about the teeny part that I could watch.

Today, after the visarjan (like a good bye), it feels that the house is missing the energy and positive vibrations that it was filled with for the past two days.

But like they say,

Ganpati Baappa !!!
Pudhchya warshi (next year)!!!
Lavkar Ya (please visit us earlier)!!


Whose dress is it anyways!!

Have any one of you ever been to a store, only to find that they don’t have your healthy size?

“Sorry M'am, we do not keep this size anymore.”

“Sorry M’am, we are out of stock on that one.”

It happens to all of us, all the time. Its an altogether different feeling to realize that you may not find stuff on the racks that fit you…maybe, because, you might be the plus size.............. or even a minus one
And then you check the stuff that is there for your size….nope! not at all flattering, I must say.

This has happened to me quite a lot of  times even in my hometown (I still do not believe this…given that Indian women have always been a little healthier and curvier of the lot). The stuff, that was really available in my size….tsk tsk…was at times more gaudy. So I never felt like buying it.

And it drew me into a more viscious cycle, leading to depression, not leading to fat loss, and the size increases, harrowing shopping experiences.

And while wallowing in my sare-jahan-ka-shopping dard-mere-kaleje-mein state, I had this enlightenment!!!

One day...over a nice coffee and a gossip session, the topic moved to shopping. One of my dear freind said, " you know what! Shopping escapades have turned into shoc-a-pades for me. I am so thin, I can't find stuff in the regular racks, as I am thin, and not even in the petite sizes, coz I am fat for them...
oh!How I have come to hate shopping....
You know what! So I prefer to buy shoes and bags these days."

And trust me, she has a cupboard full of them....We knew about emotional eating...this is emotional shopping!

At work, shopping is one of our favorite topics. Which stores are offering discounts/deals, or which one is launching a new collection!!

And then, I relaized that there is the tall and the short to this story. Amongst the seven of us in the team, we make up the width and height sizes. Well, the tallest of my friends has a trouble finding clothes as they end up being short, and me....well, the necks are deeper and lengths wayyy to long....

Others have difficulty in finding clothes that hide their hips or make them look fuller.


“You know what!, I wanna reduce my flab,” wrote my already slim frend via email. There are these whole new collections of tube tops and strapless, n off shoulders that I want to wear” I was flabbergasted…I did not realize she had flab on her slim-to-thin frame.

N then I looked at myself…………………………

But its really incredible. Though I am not aware of the statistics, but I would love to believe that atleast a third of the world population might be suffering from I-can't-find-my-size syndrome. What is, however bothering, is the trend for skinnier clothes.

Do measure the waistlines of the trousers you buy, 8 out of the 10 times, will you notice, that while it mentions a particular waist size, that might not be entirely true; and the waist size may fall an inch short of it…… reducing the wearer to an unnecessary depressed state and a feeling of being flabby.

Another point, sizes for one brand may not be the same for other brands.

So the question, The dresses on the shops racks, "Whose dresses are these anyways?"

Models? Well they won't shop from stores that mass produce, would they?

Manequinns?  Are they really bothered about what they are wearing?

Are they for us? regular working women, who love our food and would like to enjoy it to the last crumbs on the plate? I don't know.

But, what the heck, I am happy….having my cake and eating it too….in as much quantity as I desire.

Note: Image taken from google search

In search of love

Over a cup of coffee, over internet chats, me and my girly friends have been sharing with each other, our harrowing experiences in finding our Mr. Right Prince Charming. Katya Naidu, Correspondent with Business Standard, and a very close friend of mine, collaborated with me on compiling a major chunk of real-life experiences mentioned in this post. Happy reading......

Girls are born romantics. And what better way to fall out of the ‘I will fall in love with a handsome man dream’, than actually meeting a prospective husband.

Ever since houses changed into flats and windows of adjoining houses became archaic phenomenon, romance has become much tougher. Especially, in big cities. Many-an-office-romance, too has disappeared thanks to the long work hours and alcohol parties, which lead to 'something else' sooner than love. While many men and women seem to find their love's way before the normal age, things have changed for those women who seek love. Love or not love, age is catching up with most of them as they get busy achieving career dreams, and wedding websites and arranged coups--I mean match fixing, seems the only way for those who actually don’t get sloshed in drunken parties and sweet nothings.

And my! my! my! what happens in  the process is anybody's guess. Here are some truths we (me and my friends) have discovered in our search (via website, matrimonial aunties and enthusiastic match-fixing relatives) for Mr. Right:

Hail Photoshop!
Beware of photoshop. They post ten year older photographs on their profiles. It happened to my friend. She fell for the handsome looks of this lean dimpled cheeked guy…When she met him, he was 60 pounds heavier and the dimples were hidden away in wrinkles. Made us think!!! Guys too need botox. :)

Sex, drinks and the software industry:
Well they have been to US, and have interacted with US-based clients on a daily basis, they have picked up a little bit of colloquial lingo...but dating like Americans is still a dream. The only way they can save their face in marriage meetings is by acting cooler than they are. For instance, there was this Marathi girl who met this Marathi guy in London, who is actually from Pune. He asked this lady a simple question: Hey do you like shopping?
Girl: Yes I like shopping
Guy: How do you shop for clothes. I mean, how do you choose them?
Girl: I try them on first
Guys: Well don't you think you should choose your husband the same way?

Hmmmm. What followed later was a Shauryagatha (story of courage/bravery) of how he hangs out with his friends over drinks, how he actually had sex with many strangers after meeting them over 'drinks'. In spite of these sexcapades he had never found a nice Indian girl who is the one he is looking for.
These men are generally dismissed with either a slap (if the girl is Marathi) or a boot (in case of Punjabi)

The disguised daters (only):
Well guys, and girls, repeat after me “A matrimonial site is not a dating portal!” please repeat till you have not just memorized, but also imbibed this. Many a gal-guy think of matrimonial websites as timepass business, a way to catch dates. My friend from college had this experience. After having more than one telephonic conversations with this guy, he says…well he has not thought of wedding now. It’s a sad way of saying Tata ByeBye to someone! seriously. And secondly, people who visit this site mean business…don’t waste their time.

Curious Toms:
These people are eager to know everything. They are enthusiastic even about atoms and molecules of life. They are not necessarily scientists. So conversations go like, "Isn't it wonderful to have Sun's rays over your face when you wake up? I stayed in that kind of a place once," said a curious Tom. "It was a wonderful feeling when I realised that I had to wake up when Sun is up. Ahaaaaaaaaa," he added.
In my instance, I had to answer these many questions from a guy, who was wayyyyyyyyyyy too curious about my work…How do you write? The inspiration, the text…the designing….printing…OOOOOfffffffff…by the end of it…I was tired.

Its not that its bad…but asking those questions as a questionnaire is bad. Kick on the ass for these guys. By the time you imagine something divine intervenes to save you and pray hard, the bill for dinner comes, you pay and run out.

Logic locusts:
“Actually the reason I chose an arranged marriage is because I always thought love affairs are very commercial. Girl friends expect us to buy them gifts, take them out. So I weighed my options and decided that bharatmatrimony paid service works out much cheaper….”
Very very true and very well analysed. No woman who does not get paid would go out with you. I hope there is a big figure there on the salary section, otherwise no one will marry you either.
Nothing is for free brother..oopss ..sisters too come with rakhi expenses
Well, we are women, we are not easy you see!
The most annoying of the lot are the late latifs and Miss-Manners-family
In this case, I have had two harrowing experiences, supposed to meet them at an hour, and these guys turned up hours late…Hello? N no Sir. No sorry…No phone call that they will be late…no no no.
Worse, one of them was a chewing gum chewing bull. Oh!!! How I wanted to strangle them at first sight.

Well, we had been to this place to meet a guy and his family…Place, 4 hrs drive from my home. Time to reach 10 am. We were there…but the parents hadn’t bathed….The waorst kinds are Moms in nighties and Dads in Shorts….and this guy had been to some family friend for breakfast…heloooooooooooooooooooooo Knock knock!!!
Worse, we were offered a glass of warm water and random tea after a question,”Do you really want some tea?”
Well kick on their butts tooo!!!

But that’s life….Searching for love, rather Mr right guy is a hilarious and an eye-opening process. And it is rather safe to assume that most men fall under this categories.

Anyone else is either a psychopath whose behaviour cannot be classified, or even Mr Right.

So Keep Looking!
Note: This post is not intended to offend anyone, especially guys, who might have had similar experiences with women.

Images taken via a google search.

Funny videos

These videos have been doing quite a few rounds on the social networks.

Some of my favorites:

Roger Federer knocks the can off a crew member's head during the Gillette ad shoot

Einstein, the South African, Talking Grey parrot

Chingey re Chingey

Why does it so happen, that we understand the true value of anything only after it is no more with us? This can about anyone or any thing. Rarely, have I met a person who truly understands that he/she is blessed with all that is around him/her.

Well, I am no different either. I have always been a reactive person as far as understanding the value of any thing is concerned. And most of the time, I end up crying over the spilt milk, after it is spilt; rarely taking care to ensure that it is not going to spill, and is safe and sound in its tamper proof pot.

I had a lovely doll, one that could walk and talk and sing (a big thing in Indian homes in late eighties). It could sing nursery rhymes…Had lovely blonde piggy tails and deep blue eyes. My Atya (aunt) and my Grandmother had gifted this lovely cherub to me. I used to call her Chingey. I have a distant memory of making a small cradle for her from my Mum’s used sarees and singing her to sleep.

Over the years I grew up, and moved on to different things—Barbies, Enid Blyton books, Nancy Drew, music, make up, and much more. Chingey was never jealous of the Barbie I got for my Birthday, or the teddy that joined the Toy gang later. She was too content to stay in some dusty corner of my room; only to reappear, when one of my cousins had come home.

She was old…but there was no change in her adorable character. Well, boys will be boys, and Chingey suffered her leg fracture at his hands…only never to recover. Yet my one legged dolly was a model, or clothes horse as you might call her, for my mum’s tailoring assignments. She was a very patient and smiling patient for all my toddler neighbours with their doctor sets…always batting her baby blues at them, sleeping as they instructed her and waking up whenever they wanted.

Over the years, Chingey lost her ability to speak…but that never stopped her from showering her love on me. Her soothing smile made me forget my unfinished homework, crap assignments, my mum’s reprimands and Dad’s punishments. I used to talk to her about all my problems…friends bitching, bad grades, guilt feelings, anxiety and fear. Whenever I would cry (No, I am not female version of Norman Bates) to Chingey…her smile would somehow, make me believe that the world is indeed beautiful.

Then one day, she was no more…broken beyond repair that we had to give her away. It did not hit then….but slowly and steadily….it keeps (even after 12 years) coming on to me, that indeed I am all alone in this world and nobody understands me.

And that’s when you realize, that there are somethings which go away as we grow up. Most of them are lost in memories. But there are a few of those lost things, which always come back, to prove that we lived a life, which is such far off at times, that it seems unreal, even to us.

I actually miss her…my childhood, the games we played….My Chingey…Always in my heart!!!
Note: Images taken from google image search

Friends in the Enchanted Woods

The enchanted woods is one funny place to be in. It does strange things to your head.

So make sure that your pockets are full with chocolates and candy, and that you have your friends with you, before you venture in. I learnt it the hard way.

My first trip to the woods was so scary!!! It used to be dark all the time, and the winds used to howl. Whooooooooooooo!!!!I was so scared and cold.No one to talk to, no one to ask help from. I did not know if I was going on the right path! But I had to cross the woods and reach to the other end, to the Village of Eternal Happiness. I was tired, cold and hungry. But I persisted, continued to walk on, and explored my way through the forest.

And there it was!!! I stumbled upon it. Really!!! A bottle. with a small message, which  I could  not read in the dark. I had to build a fire. It was like playing a 'hidden objects' game. I had to find all that I needed - matches, wood, some grass (They say that, in the woods, you find all that you need, but not that you desire, maybe thats why its enchanted). The fire softly lighted the surroundings in its warm glow. Finally, I broke the bottle and read the message, out loud. Little did I know it was a spell.

O'howling winds, O'mighty Sun,
I call upon thee, do not stay mum.
I am all alone, cold and scared,
No one to share my joys with, or to calm me in despair.
Grant me a wish, give me this boon,
Angels by my side, morning, night and noon!

Nothing happened!
I continued my tired walk, and then I saw them.....
Unicorns!!!! one on each side of me, protecting me from the dangers and pointing me towards the right path to my destination. Unicorns! Their presence is overwhelming. They give you so much love.Wise men say that you commit the ultimate sin, one that cannot be redeemed, if you kill a unicorn.

Somewhere down the road, I also met a pair of sheep-dogs. Playful and naughty, making sure, I do not divert from my destination, they made my journey more exciting than ever. I also came across the wide-eyeded owl. Hooting for me...telling me, I am not alone and lonely.

I continued trotting on my route. But it was not so dark and gloomy anymore.The woods were bathed in soft glow. I could see the Robin's nest and the sleeping babies. There, near the roots of an old oak, was the home of the working ants. Some were having their meals, others carrying heavy loads of food. By the silver lake, were trees and flowers of almost all kinds, and ones never seen before. Some trees had leaves so long, you could hook them in other branches and have a nice hammock-cradle ready in minutes. Just jump in and sleep away. And there, in one of those hamradles (hammock+cradle) slept the prankster polly. She used to be with a pirate, not so long ago. But after the ship sank, she moved to different places, in search of her own little paradise. And now here she was, this one sharp tongued polly. We started off on a very good note, and decided to journey together. And as I continued on the road, I saw, that it was not dark anymore. My path was full of sunshine and the lazy breeze kissed my hair and cheeks. I could smell the fragrance of wild apples and also of the lavender from the jungle. The soft grass cushioned my steps and formed a soft mattresses whenever I was tired and in need of a nap.

And then I met the colourful-giraffe. He was a darling! n funniest co-incidences of all? He was travelling to the Village of Eternal Happiness too!!! We became the best of friends, the thickest of pals, and partners in many crimes, through my, rather our journey.

All my friends made my journey so beautiful. We talked and laughed...Now that I think about it, its so strange, that we could speak the same language, being so different. But we did have a good time.

I reached my destination in no time. Time really flies, when you are with your loved ones-friends, or whom I call, Angels.

And today, I take the journey to (not through) the woods, yet again. My pockets filled with candies and chocolates, cupcakes and sanwiches. Oh! Did I forget to tell you that we friends were having a tea party today to celebrate our friendship?

Well, you are invited!!!

Note:  Both the images are taken from google imagesearch. The first one belongs to the Holland-based artist, Nadia Karroue ( Do visit her website if you are interested in art.The second one was taken through plain google image search.

The Very First

Its always an anxious first time, isn't it?
Pounding heart, voozies in the stomach, sweaty palms, biting nails and most often, a nervous tick.

Why does it happen to us?
  • First day of the school, its starts when Mommie leaves us, the crying marthon begins thereafter
  • First day of college, It happens even when you are surrounded by friends,happens more, if you are all by yourself, scared of making any mistakes.
  • First date, first day of your work, and so many firsts that come later on.

The feeling never leaves.

And trust me, I have been in so many embarassing, foot-in-mouth, wish-I-was-invisible kind of situations, that I might just get a doctorate on the topic. It again happened to me recently at my work plce.
I normally travel by bus to work. On the first day, I was so freaked out, and a bundle of nerves, and wanting to make a good first impression, that when someone asked me as to how I travelled, I told them , I do so by train. :( Ooooooof. Thats not all, I even corrected myself, "Oh No! Did I mention, I travel by Bus."

Now, when I think about it, I think that was funny at times weird too, and I have a good laugh at myself. But trust me, that moment, when it happened, it was not.

Like I said, I have a knack for embarassing myself. In another situation, my first tram travel, n the floors were slippery, n it was cold. So like every true Indian, travelling to phoren land for the very first time, I was wearing a sweater, a jacket, n sports shoes (road side ones...with no grip). And I fell in side the tram while walking down the only two stairs. Lol. That was funny.

Now that I think about it. First times are tough.

But then, we meet people, as nervous or goofy and weird, or even more. And like they say, "Birds of a feather...."

We make friends and the world turns into this amazingly wild and funny place to jump and skip around.

Don't be embarassed of your first time situations,even  if you have ended up making a fool of yourself....if there are too many of those situations, maybe you can publish a book about them...If there are only a few, share them here.


Know more about Abhijit Thite, author of the popular poem, तो एक बाप असतो...

Recently, Abhijit Thite (AT), journalist with Sakal-Pune, was in news for his immensely popular, heart-touching poem तो एक बाप असतो... Mindless Musings (MM) and our readers are immensely grateful, that Abhijit found time from his busy schedule to talk to us.

MM: तुमच्या कवितेला (तो एक बाप असतो) खूप चांगला प्रतिसाद मिळाला. कसं वाटतं?
AT: खरंतर हा जो काही प्रतिसाद आला, तो मला अजिबात अपेक्षित नव्हता. म्हणजे प्रतिसाद चांगला मिळेल, अशी शक्यता वाटत होती, पण प्रतिसादाची जी लाट येऊन आपटली ती खरोखरच प्रचंड होती. एकतर कविता लिहितांना, ती काही छापण्यासाठी लिहिलेली नव्हती. माझ्या बाबांबद्दल मला काहीतरी सांगायचं होतं आणि ते मी सांगितलं, एवढंच. ते एवढ्या साऱ्या मुलांना आणि त्यांच्या आई-बाबांनाही आपलं वाटेल, ही कल्पना मी तरी कशी करणार... पण वाटलं खूप छान. 

त्या दिवशी माझा फोन सकाळी १० च्या सुमाराला बंदच पडला. पहाटे सहापासून सुरू झाला होता बिचारा. चार तासांत त्यानं मान टाकली. मेल, ई-सकाळवरच्या प्रतिक्रिया सगळंच एकदम भाराऊन टाकणारं होतं. सकाळी माझ्या बाबांच्या डोळ्यांत पाणी होतं. पहाटेपासूनचे फोन तेच घेत होते ना... (आम्ही सूर्यवंशी असल्यामुळे) २० जून ते आजची १ जुलै... परिस्थितीत फारसा फरक नाही. अजूनही फोन आणि मेल येतातच. आपण काहीतरी लिहून जातो आणि ते लोकांना एवढं भावतं, हे खूप आनंददायी आहे. फक्त वर म्हटल्याप्रमाणे जबाबदारीही वाटते. अनेकांनी सांगितलं, की तुमची कविता वाचून मी बाबांशी बोललो, काही बाबा म्हणाले, आमच्यातला दुरावा संपला. काही शाळांमध्ये ही कविता शिकवली गेली, काहींनी फ्रेम करून भिंतीवर लावली आणि मला फोटो पाठवले. एक बाबा काही न बोलता फक्त मनसोक्त रडत राहिले... या साऱ्या प्रतिक्रिया म्हणजे मोठी जबाबदारीच वाटते. या कवितेला साहित्यिक मूल्य वगैरे काहीही नाही, हे मला माहिती आहे. उगाच तो आव आणण्यातही अर्थ नाही. मला वाटतं मी एक अव्यक्त भावना व्यक्त केली आणि तिला हा भरभरून प्रतिसाद आला... 

MM: अशी कोणती प्रतिक्रिया आहे, जी तुमच्या मना पर्यंत पोचली आणि जी तुम्ही आम्हाला सांगू शकाल?
AT: एकच अशी प्रतिक्रिया नाही सांगता येणार... मगाशी म्हटलं तसं, अनेक प्रतिक्रिया होत्या.... एक प्रतिक्रिया मात्र वेगळी होती. एका आजींनी फोन केला होता. त्या म्हणाल्या तुमच्या वडिलांचं अभिनंदन. ते तसे आहेत, म्हणून तुम्ही असे व्यक्त झालात. तुमची कविता वाचून मी खूप रडले, पण वेगळ्या अर्थानं. असा बाप आमच्या वाट्याला नाही आला.  माझा बाप जाऊन ३० वर्ष होऊन गेली, तरीदेखील त्याचा राग येतो... असं सांगून त्यांचे वडिल नक्की कसे होते, हे सांगणारी एक कविता वाचून दाखवली. भयानक होती ती... प्रचंड भयानक. ती त्यांनी मोकळं होण्यासाठी लिहिली होती. आपल्याकडे मनातली प्रत्येक गोष्ट नाही ना बोलून दाखवता येत... त्या म्हणाल्या, कविता करूनही ४० वर्षं झाली असतील. आज पहिल्यांदा कोणालातरी वाचून दाखवली. मला तुमच्याच वयाचा नातू असेल... नवरा आहे, मुलं आहेत, पण कसं वाचून दाखवणार त्यांना, आणि कसं सांगणार माझं दुःख... तुम्हाला सांगावंसं वाटलं... इतक्या वर्षांनी आज मोकळी होतेय...
मी काय बोलणार अजून.

MM:तुम्ही नेहमीच कविता करता का? कोणत्या विषयावर कविता करायला आवडतं?
AT: मी कविता नाही करत फारश्या. अधेमधे करतो काहीतरी. विषय वगैरे पण नसतात ठरलेले. मध्ये गूगलच्या स्टेटस मेसेजवर ओळी टाकायचो नियमितपणे..........म्हटलं लोकं काही ना काही टाकत असतात, आपण आपल्याला जे सुचतं ते लिहू...
तेजाळत्या रविबिंबासही ग्रासे छाया एकदिनी,
सूर्यासही लागे पाहा, ग्रहण म्हणती लोक जनी,
महातपस्वी तेजोनिधीला कधी न छाया ग्रासू शके,
डोकाविते बिंब मग त्या छायेसही शोभित करे...

घेऊनी बसता तुझ्या स्मृतीचे मधुररम्य ते चांदतुकडे,
हलकेच आला मंद समीर तो पाहूनी सांगे चोहीकडे,
मम प्रीतीचे कौतुक रंगे अधरलोकी त्या इंद्रपुरी,
जाणूनी उत्कट त्या प्रीतीला इंद्राणीचे भान हरे,
नेत्रही झरते इंद्राणीचे अश्रु मौत्तिक खाली पडे,
जनही विस्मित म्हणती वेडे अवकाळी पाऊस पडे...
ही दोन उदाहरणं... अर्थात प्रेम हाच काही माझा लिहिण्याचा विषय नाही. ज्यावेळी जे वाटेल ते... मी काही कवी नसल्यामुळे बरं झालंय... जे मला वाटेल ते मी लिहू शकतो. हे सारं माझ्यापुरतंच असतं. मधे मी मृत्यू या विषयावर खूप विचार करत होतो. आत्महत्या का करत असतील माणसं, असं वाटत होतं. म्हणून त्यावरही लिहिलं

MM: ही एवढी सुंदर कविता लिहायला तुम्हाला इंसपिरेशन कुठून मिळालं?
AT: बाबांचा वाढदिवस... खरोखर हेच कारण. होतं काय, आपल्याकडे वडिल आणि मुलगा यांच्यात फारसा मोकळेपणा नसतो. उठलेत का महाराज ? असा त्यांचा प्रश्न आणि आई डॉन किंवा हिटलर किंवा जेलर कधी येणारेत? हा मुलाचा प्रश्न एवढ्यातच हा संवाद (?) थांबतो. त्यात मुलगा थोरला असेल, तर विचारायलाच नको. वरून कितीही आरडाओरडा  झाला, तरी प्रेम असतंच. मी काही त्यांना कमी त्रास दिलेला नाही. मी किती मनःस्ताप दिला असेल त्यांना, ते आता जाणवतं.... खरं सांगायचं तर हे कन्फेशन आहे. ते करायला हवं असं मला वाटत होतं, म्हणून मी हे सारं लिहिलं......

MM: तुम्ही ब्लॉग लिहायचात ना? तुम्हाला कोणत्या विषयांवर लिहायला आवडतं?
AT: फकाणा बंद केला मी. आम्ही ऑफिसातले पाच मित्र ब्लॉगर होतो. मग लक्षात आलं की आपण पाचजण साईट चालवू शकतो, म्हणून नावाची साईट सुरू केली. त्याच्यावर खूप वेगवेगळे विषय असतात. ही कविता पहिल्यांदा तिथंच टाकली होती. तिथं मी सुडोकू या नावानं लिहितो..

MM:  तुमचे छंद काय आहेत? कामातून जरा वेळ मिळाला कि काय करता?
AT: वाचन आणि हिंडणं या दोन गोष्टी प्रचंड आवडतात. पूर्वी मित्रांबरोबर कट्ट्यावर बसायचो. लग्न झाल्यावर बायकोसोबत हिंडायचो. सध्या मात्र मी घरी गेलो की लेक आणि पुतण्या यांच्या तावडीत असतो. आम्ही प्रचंड दंगा, मारामाऱ्या करतो. (ती दोघं मला अक्षरशः धुतात...) मला वाचायला खूप आवडतं. जरा बरं नसल्यामुळे घरी झोपून होतो, तर शांताराम वाचून संपवलं. एकट्यानं फिरायलाही आवडतं मला. तेही उगाचच. कुठे जायचं वगैरे ठरवायचं नाही. बाहेर पडायचं आणि चालायला लागायचं. 

MM: कोणते पुस्तक लिहित आहात का?
AT: पुस्तक तर लगेच नाही. मध्यंतरी दोन अनुवाद आणि एक पुस्तक धालं. दुसऱ्या महायुद्धात पोलंडच्या वॉरसॉ घेटोतून २,५०० ज्यू मुलांना वाचविणाऱ्या इरेना सेंडलर हिच्याविषयीचं ते पुस्तक आहे. बाकी सध्या एका पुस्तकाचा अनुवाद सुरू आहे. 

MM: आपल्या चाहत्यांना काही संदेश?
AT: मेसेज वगैरे देण्यासारखा नाही मी. ती मोठ्यांची कामं. माझ्या अनुभवाच्या गोष्टी सांगतो... पहिली म्हणजे एक चूक आपल्याला आयुष्यातून उठवू शकते, ही गोष्ट कायम लक्षात असू दे... ती चूक कधी, कोणती वगैरे नाही सांगता येत, पण कमावलेलं सारं गमावण्याची वेळ येते. आणि दुसरी गोष्ट, अशी चूक झाल्याशिवाय शहाणपण येत नाही. त्यातून आपण तगून, पाय रोवून उभं राहिलो, की आयुष्य ही काय चीज आहे, ते पुरेपूर समजलेलं असतं.

आणखी एक... मित्रांनो, बोला. मनात असेल ते सरळ आणि बिनधास्त बोला. बोलायचं राहून गेलं, असं नको व्हायला.

English translation of this interview will soon be up.

Video from

I came across this video long back....maybe around April. But never went ahead and published it.

Shashi Tharoor talks about "soft" power. Video on

Its a little long..but good one. Enjoy!!!

Save my dream!!

O' Great Spirits! O' Great Lords, over us you tower tall,
Hear my cries and grant a favour to this gal.
Take me through my life that has past,
To learn from my mistakes at last,
And when I have seen what was unseen and must be known,
Bring me back to the present, confident and all alone.

I ain't no witch. I know not,  any spell or if this one shall work. But everytime I say these lines, while embracing a deep deep sleep, I step into a strange land.
A gloomy land at that. No one but me. Clothes tattered as they get tangled in branches of the massive trees and shrubs that cut on my ankles; road full of dirt and murk, soiling my vintage shoes, and not just that, insects buzzing and scratching, giving me a huge headache.

I set out on a journey to achieve the unachievable, to attain the unattainable, on this very road. I am so tired, the road has no end. But I see the soft golden glow of my prize at the very end. There are so many milestones that I have passed, but I didn't waste another minute looking at them or at the earlier distractions. I run, and I run and I run towards my dream. Yet my dream! Seems so afar! With every milestone I pass, It just slips further away!

And I wake up with a scare, what if? I never get the prize?

Oh yes! The spell works!

It did show me the unseen, and that, which I should have known.

It showed me that I did not look at the boughs, that held beautiful fruit in their bosoms, for me to eat, and freshen my self. It showed me, that I did not bend, to nurse my feet. And I missed the lovely scent of the flowers, that were perched on them; those which also kissed and soothed my tired legs.

It showed me, had I seen the murk more closely, I would have seen that the insects, which I thought were scratchy were in fact fireflies, glowing for me, to light my path, so that I don't suffer a nasty fall. The milestones that I passed were important events in my life-academics, accolades and honours, friendly banters, beautiful relationships- were my early successes that I should have celebrated, with friends and family. And I just ignored them, restless for the bumper draw, a distant dream.

To answer the question, What if...

I haven't won the prize yet, but today I am at peace. The shrubs and the trees- my friends, rejuvinate me on my path of life. The glow worms-my family, softly show me the way in this big bad world. I am a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a sister and a wife, and I cherish all these roles. Now, I celebrate every milestone, personal, professional or academic, and this gives me energy and speed boosters to continue my journey.

My ultimate prize? Well I always wanted to be THE Career woman, who can balance responsibilities at home too.
I have not achieved it, but I am almost there on the latter half. And a belief that the former half will also be mine.

A big Thank you to my family and friends who have stood by me.

Note: The image is taken from google imagesearch. It belongs to the Holland-based artist, Nadia Karroue ( Do visit her website if you are interested in art.

Dutch Commercials and more

I am back with a few commercials.

The first one, by Amstel beer is currently being aired on TV. I do not understand the dialogues...but here is my take.

The lady sees a tatoo in an oriental language on the guy's (maybe boyfriend) arm, and is touched by the gesture or the emotional dope given by him.

Cut to a cafe/pub/restaurant and the guy is with his friends. He calls out to the bartender and asks for 4 beers.
I think it subtly points to their earlier positioning--men will be men!

 Amstel beer commercial

Heineken  beer commercials

Jenifer Aniston Vs Heineken
I think this commercial  came about in 2007 and was a banned one. I don't know the reason for it being banned.But its a cute one. The guy chooses (some might think he is a jerk, or stupid or even gay) his beer over the beautiful actress. Some bloggers recommend this one for its  humor and use of a catchy song, Happy Together by The Turtles.

Walk in Fridge
According to information posted on, Heineken aired their video called Walk In Fridge early 2009. It was originally meant for the Dutch market but ended up going viral over the entire world with 1.500.000 views in the first week and millions in the period after the first week.

KitKat Ads
Nestle's Kitkat has been in news for sometime on account of its commercials. Even the new tennisball ad ran into controversies when a few viewers contacted the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to complain that they were worried the ad could cause children to copy the ad and end up choking on tennis balls if they put them in their mouths. However, the ad got cleared and the company must have breathed easy. This ad was in line with the latest Nestle campaign for KitKat, 'Working Like a Machine?'.

The ads are light-hearted and showcasemen re-enacting/imitating jobs normally handled by various machines that we all encounter in our everyday lives, thereyby demonstrating 'Working Like a Machine?' in the literal sense. One of the two launch adverts, 'Checkout' is set in a supermarket checkout.
See the video to know more.

Coke celebrates FIFA
Coke is one of the major 2010 FIFA World Cup sponsors, launched its biggest ever global ad campaign to support the game.The advert focuses on one of football’s most memorable moments -- when 1990 FIFA
World Cup™ hero, Roger Milla, scored a FIFA World Cup™ goal and then, in a display of
unbridled joy, danced his now legendary “corner dance” in front of a Coca-Cola perimeter
board (states the official release). His celebration became an icon for players and fans the world over, and Roger Milla became a Coca-Cola global football ambassador.

The “History of Celebration” TV commercial features a compilation of international teams and players showing off their celebratory moves.

The soundtrack featuring K’Naan's track-‘Wavin’ Flag – Coca-Cola Celebration Mix’, will be used as the music throughout the entire Coca-Cola campaign, and is already climbing up charts across the world.

The live, shorter version

Hope you enjoy watching the videos.

Happy Father's Day

I have come across this Marathi poem on Dad's. A very touching poem.

I do not know who the author is, so I am attibuting it to Anonymous. It would be really great if the author of this poem stood up. Kudos to this poet.

Read this poem, and you will understand why nothing else can be a better dedication/tribute to all the Dad's in this world!!

शाळेपासून बापाच्या धाकात तो राहात असतो,
कमी मार्क पडलेलं प्रगतीपुस्तक लपवत असतो.
आईच्या पाठी लपून, तो बापाशी बोलत असतो,
डोळा चुकवून बापाचा, तो हुंदडायला जात असतो.

शाळा संपते पाटी फुटते, नवं जग समोर येतं,
कॉलेज नावाच्या भूलभुलैयात, मन हरखून जात असतं.
हाती असलेले मार्क घेऊन, पायऱ्या झिजवत फिरत असतं,
बाप पाहतो स्वप्नं नवी, हे मुखडा शोधत असतं.

सुरु होतं कॉलेज नवं, दिवस भुर्रकन उडून जातात,
एटीकेटीच्या चक्रातून, वर्ष पुढे सरत जातात.
ग्रुप जमतो दोस्ती होते, मारामार्या दणाणतात,
"माझा बाप ठावूक नाही"! म्हणत धमक्या गाजत असतात.

परीक्षा संपते अभ्यास सरतो, डिग्री पडते हाती याच्या,
नोकरी मिळवत नोकरी टिकवत कमावू लागतो चार दिडक्या.
आरामात पसरणारे बाजीराव, मग घोड्यावरती स्वार होतात,
नोकरीच्या बाजारात मग नेमाने मोहिमा काढू लागतात.

नोकरी जमते छोकरी सापडते, बार मग उडतो जोरात,
एकट्याचे दोघे होतात, सुखी संसार करू लागतात.
दोघांच्या अंगणात मग बछडं तिसरं खेळू लागतं,
नव्याकोर्या बापाला मग मात्र, जुन्याचं मन कळू लागतं.

नवा कोरा बाप मग पोरा सवे खेळू लागतो,
जुना बाप आता नव्याने आजोबांच्या कायेत शिरतो.
पोराशी खेळता-खेळता दोघेही जातात भूतकाळात,
एकाला दिसतो दुसरा लहान, दुसरा पाहतो गोष्ट महान.

रंगलेल्या गोष्टीत या, मग शिरतो फ्लॅशबॅक,
बापाच्या भूमिकेतून पोर पाहतो भूतकाळ.
लेकरासाठी मग त्याला कळवळणाराबाप दिसतो,
त्याची लाल रेघ जो, उरात घेऊन फिरत असतो.

कडकपाणाच्या आवरणाखाली, झुळझुळणारं पाणी असतं,
भल्यासाठी लेकरांच्या, झगडणारं हाड असतं.
दोन घास कमी खाईल, पण पोरांना गोड देतो,
हट्टासाठी पोरांच्या, ओव्हरटाईम तो मारत असतो.

डोक्यावरती उन झेलत, सावली तो देत असतो,
दणाणत्या पावसापासून, कुटुंब आपलं जपत असतो.
घर नीट चालण्यासाठी स्वतः बाहेर फिरत असतो,
आईच्या मऊशार तळव्यामागचा, तोच राकट हात असतो.

बाप कधी रडत नाही, बाप कधी खचत नाही,
बाप कधी उतत नाही, नि बाप कधी मातत नाही.
पोरं सोडतात घरटं अन्, शोधू लागतात क्षितिजं नवी,
बाप मात्र धरून बसतो घरट्याची प्रत्येक काडी.

पोरांच्या याशासोबत त्याचं मन हसत असतं,
अपयश पचवताना ते आतून रडत असतं.
काही झालं, कितीही झालं, तरी कणा ताठ असतो.
खचलेल्या पोराला तोच तर उभारी देत असतो.

सारी कथा समजायला फार मोठं वहावं लागतं,
बापाचं मन कठीण फार, चटकन हाती लागत नसतं. 
आकाशाहून भव्य अन्, सागराची खोली असते,
'बाप' या शब्दाची महतीच मोठी न्यारी असते. 

कळत नाही बापाचं मन स्वतः बाप झाल्याशिवाय,
बाप माणूस असतो तो, बापाशिवाय कसं कळणार. 
असतं न्यारंच रसायन, त्याची फोड उकलत नाही,
म्हणून तर बापावर कविता कोणी करत नाही.

करणार कशी कविता कोण, तो त्यात मावत नाही,
चार ओळीत सांगण्यासारखा, बाप काही छोटा नाही.
सोनचाफ्याचं फुल ते, सुगंध कुपीत मावणार नाही,
बाप नावाच्या देवाचा, थांग काही लागत नाही.

केला खरा आज गुन्हा, त्याला थोडं शोधण्याचा,
जमेल तेवढं सांगितलं, आधार आमच्या असण्याचा.
एक मात्र अगदी खरं, त्याच्याशिवाय जमत नाही,   
आई मार्फत बोललं तरी, बोलल्याशिवाय राहवत नाही. 

सांगतो आता शेवटचं, कान थोडा इकडे करा,
पृथ्वी तोलून धरण्यासाठी शेशाचाच लागतो फणा.
बाप नावाच्या पारिजातकाचं, असाच काहीसं जीणं असतं,
ते समजून घेण्यासाठी बापच असणं भाग असतं.


This poem has made me realise how you have always been there for us Dad, and how you took it all in your stride, even when we used to get mad at you. You are the Best Daddy in this world!

With my heart
This is a small Pringoo gift for you, Dad!!

This post is an entry to Blogadda's Tribute to Dad contest.
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