Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Russian Roulette

I love standing on a train track when I can hear the speeding train getting closer. I step off the track only when the lights of the train shine straight into my eyes blinding me. And even then I stand close enough to be almost blown away by the strong gust of wind which hits me on my face. I can smell the steel and the iron of the train. I can smell that funny smell you get from old machinery which has been oiled over and over again to keep running. I can smell the diesel and the smoke and I can smell my own death. Yet, I return there every time to stretch my luck. Maybe one day I won't be able to step back in time. Maybe one day I shall have something different to relate, or maybe nothing to relate.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Insane Love

Maya was wondering when was the last time she felt like this. It was insane and she knew it, everyone she knew was settling into relationships which were stable, predictable and had a good future. Her friends were all dating or married to men with stable jobs and a predictable life. Past the teenage years it only made sense to look for something real and here she was, in love with a hobo. He was not like anyone she had ever met or read about. He had this amazing free spirit which she found magnetic, a desire to keep flying which only made him more appealing to her. Her senses told her he was all wrong and obsessing about him was plain stupid, but when the hell did the heart listen to the mind. They always functioned as two completely separate entities who can never reach a consensus on anything. Her best friend was moving into her new apartment with her two kids, her brother had recently moved into the suburbs with his family even her twin had moved to Paris to be with her boyfriend who she had been dating for seven year and here she was, going nuts about a guy who lived in a trailer park and would never commit to her. Maya knew she could never tie him down and she loved that about him just as much as she loved everything else about him. Strangely Maya even thought it would be the coolest thing to do move in with him in his RV. Life would be a crazy adventure with him and she wanted that, but at the back of her mind she was wondering if she would be able to sustain it. It would be like a crazy trip to Vegas but Vegas trips don't last forever and she was wondering how long this would.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

In her Mind

Maya was cold and shivering. Not so much from the cold as from fear. It was the eve of Christmas and she was all alone in her apartment pondering about her life. It had been a long time since she felt in control of her life and career. Her work was making her edgy, the years seem to be rolling by and age was catching up with her real fast. Nothing felt right anymore. She had no one around who she could trust wholly and no one who would have faith in her. It was a strange place to be in. For someone who never doubted her own ability it was a new and bad feeling. In all the years she had been alone she always believed that she could do anything and her determination and hard work would pay off. Now she was having second thoughts, maybe just maybe she was not cut out for this. However giving up was not an option for her. She saw no alternative path and sometimes that made her suicidal but she knew even that would be same as giving up.
Lately she was seeing so many people around her take the easy way out. For some of them it was working out well and for some not so much and somehow the cynic in her told her that if she tried it she would be in the latter group. This was not the life she wanted anyways. It was hard to imagine that someone who at the age of 15 knew that the only thing important and worth doing was becoming successful wasn't even close to success after so many years. People younger than her had gone on to do mind boggling things which had changed the world forever. She was still grappling with the basics in life. Was it possible that she was not meant to do anything amazing at all ?

Monday, 13 December 2010

My attempt to post my first story

After gathering a lot of courage I finally posted a short story I wrote a few months back on my blog and within a few minutes I deleted it. My story like any other writer's, is inspired by my own life, the characters are based on people I have met and interacted with. The story was entirely fiction, so were the characters but somewhere I did draw inspiration from people I knew. After reading the story which I posted I wondered if I was jeopardizing my relationship with my friends and realized it's probably not worth it. I am no Ayn Rand, my stories will not change the world nor inspire generations to come. My stories are like short conversations you have with old friends when you meet them for coffee after a long time. It leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling later but somehow you never really recall the exact content of the conversation. All you remember was that it was an evening well spent.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Older, Wiser, Smarter !

As we grow older life teaches us a lot and we keep evolving as a person. A talk with a friend made me realize that as time flies by I am becoming more patient more tolerant and definitely less rigorous. Now that sounds like I am overloaded with a bunch of virtues which I believe cannot be the case. I have my flaws and am probably developing more but I am finally comfortable in my own skin. I am growing to accept myself exactly as I am without trying to be someone I idolize or admire. It's been a long journey here and hopefully in a few years time I shall look back and not think I was juvenile at this point as I do when I look back five years. But then again, the future is unpredictable and that is a wonderful incentive to keep living.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Airports

I love traveling and flying has always been the highpoint of my trips because I love airports. I don't know how it happens when most people dread going to airport I actually look forward to it. Unless I have a early morning flight I always reach the airport 4 to 5 hours before my flight and just enjoy the time I have at hand. I love the hustle bustle, the rush, the pace, the energy in the place. In a strange way it's inspiring. I even love the over priced food in the airport lounge. Most people say that the option for food is limited in airports. I just call it different and not limited, I mean who the hell eats a 7 course meal everyday. Or maybe it's simply because I am not picky about my food. Whatever be the reason I love the whole experience. Sometimes I wish I had a job which would involve a lot of traveling, but then again such jobs generally involve a lot of interaction with people which I don't think I could pull off. Now with Thanksgiving over I don't see myself traveling anywhere anytime soon. I don't need a break or a vacation but I would love to go to the airport. Maybe, just maybe I will get a chance to go pick someone from the airport. That is not so bad either.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Damaged

As time passes by we meet more people, have more experiences and hopefully become a better person. But what happens when people become damaged goods. The experiences somehow make them more pathetic, they think they want to move on but they only cling to the past more. Every memory from their past comes back to haunt them and the only thing they want from their future is a chance to recreate their past. How do I deal with these damaged goods ?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The ever evolving story

I have a mind which never rests, it's always thinking, evaluating, contemplating or sometimes simply brooding. I think of things which happen to me, which never happened to me and even ones which will never happen. When I string them altogether I see a story forming and each day I tell myself that I need to put that story on paper. But sometimes I don't see the end of my story, sometimes I feel too possessive to share it and sometimes I am just plain lazy to type it out. Now I want to write it, maybe share just a little of what lies within my mind with the world. I have a plan in my mind and I hope I go through with it. If nothing at all I am hoping to post a small story on my blog to begin with. Ok, so here it is, my promise in black and white. i don't think I will back out now.

What's on my Mind- Food

I am a late sleeper and most nights when I stay awake late I crave for a bunch of stuff but I never really end up eating any of it because my the next morning I completely forget about it. So just to keep a record of everything on my mind I decided to list everything on my mind here. These are a bunch of food items on my mind for the past few weeks

1. Chicken Wings
2. Pasta with alfredo sauce
3. Crispy bacon
4. A fat cheesy burger with fries
5. Kadi with rice (Punjabi style)
6. Bhapa ilish (Bengali style)
7. Prawn curry (My mom's style)
8. Home made paneer curry (My Mom's style)
9. Suji halwa (My style !!.. the one thing I make fairly well)
10. Idli with Sambhar

Every night I think when I wake up I shall make/get my hands on one of them. I never manage to, I end up eating a pepperoni sausage pizza(which I have to admit, I love) until night falls again. This weekend I intend to finish at least 2 items on my list.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

I wonder

So I am a voracious reader. I read whatever I can get my hands on and mostly end up finishing it. Lately I have begun to notice how many people write about that one moment which changed their life for ever. The one moment when they realised who they are, the one moment which changed their career for ever, the one moment they realised what they wanted from their life and so many more of "that one moment". It made me wonder why I never encountered any of these life changing moments. For me every change or growth happened over a period of time, slowly and unknowingly. I have never been able to say that a certain key moment changed my life forever. I never attained nirvana under the Bodhi tree, so does it really happen to people ?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Another End

For days I wondered what went wrong, where I went wrong, what I did wrong. Now I finally get it, we just grew out of that friendship. At that time it made sense to both of us and we worked on it, spent time together, shared all our crazy experiences and dreams. But like everything else it slowly faded , he moved on with his life, things changed at his end, he made new friends and finally he just drifted away.
The only catch was I took longer to move on. But I did eventually. Now after so many days when I run into him our polite formal conversation makes me laugh. It's absurd to ask someone how was your day when there was a time we discussed every cup of coffee we drank during the day, every person we ran into, every article we read on the internet. No matter how many friends I lose to time I never get used to it, each time it hurts, maybe just a tad less than the last time but it does.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Lesson

Sometimes we learn lessons from the strangest places. Absurd as it may sound I learnt some valuable lessons from a TV show. What drew me to this was the name of the show, it had an uncanny resemblance to the name of my blog, and lo behold the protagonist felt a lot like me. Her mind was a lot like mine, similar thoughts and frustrations, her friends were like mine, totally awesome and life long types. It was me at a lot of levels and not me at some levels too.
The amazing thing about this series was it started on a low and ended on a similar note for the protagonist, however it wasn't a sad ending. The growth of the character shows the triumph of the human spirit and the imperfections in all our lives. Life never was and never will be what we thought it would. Sometimes it disappoints us but at times it surprises us pleasantly. In all the rambling I seem to be forgetting that I should mention what lesson I learnt. Unfortunately there isn't one which I could summarize in a sentence. The whole series just felt right. It talked about things which in retrospect we might find obvious. All I can say is if we all look back and see ourself as we were 5 or 10 years back we realize we were all different. For most part we end up saying we have grown as a person without being able to specifically put a finger on a certain moment in our life which changed us radically. We just grow to be better(hopefully, at least we think so) person gradually. This somehow felt like that. As was mentioned somewhere "growing up is not having the courage to be what everyone wants you to be but having the courage to discover who you are and finding the courage to be yourself".

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Online Persona

A few days back a close friend of mine told me that if she ever met me online she wouldn't have been able to recognize me. That got me thinking, how different are we really from our online persona. I know I can be a little more candid online than I am offline. However when I look back at all the friends I made online I wonder how it would be like if I met really met them face to face. Maybe they are a little different too in the real world. A little more reserved, a little more wary, a little more polite. Maybe I don't know them at all, just the way they don't know the real me.
A few months back Microsoft launched a new phone called Kin and as part of the promotion of the phone they had a teenager travel across the country meeting her online friends, people she had never met. Maybe one day if I have enough money and time I shall do the same. Travel the globe meeting the "friends" I have never met before. Maybe the smartest guy I have come across won't be so smart after all, maybe the outspoken girl who never thinks before speaking her mind will be a little more reserved than she comes across. Maybe they are all different from their online persona, just like me. Maybe online we all are a little more the person we would like to be or maybe we are the person we have hidden under good manners and social norms. Maybe it's just the rebel in us screaming to come out. And for a little while we let that person loose.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

World Cup 2010

The World Cup came to a magnificent end with Spain taking home the trophy for the first time and I have to say it was an amazing 30 days of football. I didn't really follow all 64 matches but I did watch many of them and I have to say it was an amazing experience.
My earliest memories of World Cup is probably of the 1990 World Cup when my Dad taught me pretty much everything about the game and West Germany walked away with the cup. I think I must have watched every World Cup since then with my Dad or friends. For the first time this year I didn't have company to watch the games for the first 15 days and I wondered if it would be as much fun watching alone. For a few months before the games started I looked around for company but nothing really materialized and I let it be. And then I discovered the magic of internet, many of my friends who I have watched the game with years ago and who loved the game as much were online during the match. It was a perfect arrangement. We watched the games, discussed the moves, cheered for teams and wept when our favorites lost all online. It was fun and the same familiar feeling. Luckily for me I watched the final pretty much offline with a great friend on a big screen.
Technology has always been a blessing for a geek like me but after this World Cup I think I strongly feel that no matter where I am I shall never miss my kind of friends, people who love and worship football. And for those times when I am not online I shall just fly out and meet my friends ;) .

Friday, 18 June 2010

Talk

A: Was a mistake.
B: Was not.
A: It was... regret will come eventually.
B: There will be no regret ever.. just periods of self pity maybe... when life isn't so smooth.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Deep End

So I lost another one of my friend to the fiend called 'wedding'. Ok, so I have nothing against people getting married and I would love to get married someday but what I don't like is the fact that everyone thinks getting married is a perfectly valid and acceptable reason for getting rid of old friends. I hate it, yes I do. I hate being pushed aside and becoming just a part of the background in people's life. That brings me to the main point of this post. How am I dealing with it ? Briefly put, not too well... in multiple words I am looking for my lost friends in people I don't know and for most part they are not people I should try and befriend. But just like the beggar who can't be a chooser I have no options. It's not like in an ideal world I would make such people my friend but sometimes I do want to have people I can fall back on, uh well.. that's stretching it a little too far. Not really fall back on but kill time with...just idle banter. Some of it is self-destructive and I know that for a fact but I still stick to it. Being alone is no fun.. and no I don't want to get engaged or married but just need a real friend. How hard is that ? With social networking booming my social life seems to have come to a standstill. Almost like "Water water everywhere......not a drop to drink".

Sunday, 30 May 2010

History Repeats Itself

Many years ago I made a mistake, a really stupid one indeed and it took me like forever to recover from it and even realize that it was a mistake. Today I see myself on the verge of repeating it, I want to stop and correct myself. It's not only stupid but counter productive, I don't want to lose the good things I have in my life nor do I want to regret this mistake a few years down the lane. Maybe history is repeating itself but I want it to be a tad different. Different enough so that I realize my mistake and recover sooner.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Anderson Cooper

I was recently reading an article on CNN about Anderson Cooper's new project on racism where he studied kids across America and how they react to different skin colors. The video clip that I watched showed how a white kid attributes all good qualities to a picture of a girl with lighter skin and all bad qualities with the picture of the kid with darker skin. What set me thinking was the fact that the kid's face was not blurred out as is generally done with any controversial interview or news item. It is literally shocking that this girl will have to grow up with the stigma of being a racist when she probably doesn't even know how to spell it. I mean is it fair ? After all don't we all learn good manners, morals, values as we grow up, in schools and at home. Isn't being racially tolerant something we learn as we grow and not something we have in us from birth. Maybe the kid could have or should have been taught earlier but wasn't protecting her identity important? Or maybe airing a sensational news program which would definitely touch a nerve is more beneficial. At times like this I wonder if the freedom of the press is justified.

Monday, 24 May 2010

The Last Holiday

I am back from my last holiday. I call it last since I don't intend or want to go on another one for a long long time now, not till I graduate. It was something I had been meaning to do for a sometime and I finally came around to doing it. I met a very good friend after a really long time and now I shall sit back and finish my work. I just realized vacations don't work well for me. At least not right now, I have a funny feeling at the pit of my stomach which I can't get rid off and vacations make it worse. I love the time I get with friends, family and the sight seeing and everything associated with a holiday but the guilt increases three fold. I think I am not doing good enough and watching people work frantically while I waste time is horrible. I want to graduate fast and get a real job and if that means I have to kill myself for it so be it. Our destinies are different and I have to do what I am destined to do.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

High

Nothing, absolutely nothing gives a high like success. At the end when it all turns well it finally makes sense. Some roads are difficult and some... well not so, but I never took the beaten path so why now.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Crash !!

Just like I imagined, my brief rendezvous with happiness ended very abruptly. It was like riding a Toyota Prius without the brakes functioning. How else could it end but in a crash. To make matters worse the air bag was not functioning either. Not Toyota's fault maybe, I probably disabled it. Now as I stand on the kerb waiting for help with a bleeding head, number of broken bones and an ache which I can't even pinpoint I wonder if the ride was worth it. I have been somebody who has always believed in taking chances but now I have to draw a line between reckless fun and stupidity. After all riding a car without brakes cannot be fun, it is a sure recipe for disaster. Only a miracle can save me from a crash and the supposedly rational human being I am should know better than to hope that any miracle will happen. Miracles don't happen with me, ever. The road to recovery will be long and painful but hopefully this time around I will learn my lesson. I can't fight destiny and I can't control the universe.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Dose of Happiness

Clich├ęd though, its probably true that our happiness is in our mind. I am still the same person I was a few weeks back or a few months back but something just clicked recently and I feel happy. It's not something that anybody else contributed to, it was just a switch in my mind which turned on. It feels good and it makes me happy, more like ecstatic. Something which probably happens once in a blue moon.
I shall bask in this happiness for a few days or maybe a week or so and then slowly let go. It only makes sense, after all the only direction you can go when you are at the peak is downhill and that I am not ready for. I keep telling myself that when you hit rock bottom you can only bounce up so I guess that logic holds when I am at the top. But I have to admit it's a good feeling. Right now I need to focus on what I know will make my happiness last a little longer and that is definitely not something which will happen without my contribution nor is it just in my mind. I shall let this dose of happiness inspire me before it finally fades away.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Catskill National Park

A spring break in the Catskill is exactly the kind of get away I keep looking for. Though I didn't hike for very long I have to say it was a great feeling. Going back to my comfort zone is always nice. Unlike my expectation the hills were still covered with snow and the hike was more like trudging though the snow but the greenery the fresh air and the proximity with nature was completely worth it. Sometimes you miss something good in your life never being able to put a finger on what you are missing. This trip helped me realize that I miss nature, hikes and crazy walks in the woods. I need to get back to nature as frequently as possible. It rejuvenates me makes me happy and is like going back home. The tall pines the green mountains and the winding roads draw me closer to my home, the home I have left behind.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Six Months

My dear niece, Anoushka is 6 months old. Just like I missed my sister's wedding I missed her six month celebration too. I wish I was there. Truly !!

A Clearer Picture

Looks like all my trouble and problems are merely in my mind. I had a talk with a friend today whose wonderful attitude put me to shame. His problems are so much bigger and so much more daunting and inspite of that he stated it all so matter of factly. Next time I dream of cribbing about how imperfect my life is I should kick myself. I just hope I don't forget this promise within a few days.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Thinking Aloud.. Again

Ironical ... how you can live 20 years in US and become an American but you live 130 years in a city in India and you are still an outsider.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Dreams

I dream every night, literally. For as long as I can remember I have dreamed every day (more aptly every night) of my life. Some of my earliest memories are of my Dad waking me up in the morning and asking me to relate my dream to him. I did that for many years till I became lazy and woke up late for school and would have to rush out of the house to catch the school bus allowing no time for idle chit chat in the mornings.
Years passed, I didn't share my dreams with any one but I dreamed every night. Somehow I liked it, they were always happy dreams. Something which made me smile me when I woke up. I did have some bad dreams but they were not too many and I forgot them soon. However for the past one year I have been having bad dreams daily. Somehow I no longer look forward to dreaming. I know they mean nothing but I haven't been able to sleep peacefully. I wake up every day shaking and in sweat. All I want is a night of dreamless sleep from which I can wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Thinking Aloud

Another month and the pit at the bottom of my stomach still lurks. A fear that I might fail, a fear that I may lose, no matter what I do I cannot seem to get rid of it. I promised myself a few things last month and I managed to stick to most of them. However my left and right brain are still fighting. I am still looking back at things which I know I cannot undo and which I would rather not undo.
Am I a masochist ? Does inflicting pain on myself make me feel better ? In a way I think it does, well not really make me feel better but I guess I think forgetting stuff is insensitive and if I am remembering them I am probably making some amends ... ummm.. in some twisted way.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Real

If I have never met you and never will you are as real to me as a Leprechaun.

Study Group

I had my first study group meeting today, ironical, since this is the last class I shall ever attend in my life and I have a study group for the first time. I didn't really want to go but decided not to be the spoilt sport. After an hour our study group was at the bowling alley... yes!!! ....I like this study group :). Life is full of surprises ... and I think I like it.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Snowed In .. !!

Three years back I had never seen snow and yet I loved it. I associated it with happiness, holidays and fairy tales. Everything from Narnia to grumpy old Scrooge was associated with snow and the magic was undeniable. The idea of building a snow man, having snow ball fights and riding sleds was all part of a beautiful parallel world where I was absent. Unfortunately now the snow is here but the magic is absent. I have not built a single snow man ever, never even got into now ball fights or rode sleds. My fascination with snow has been replaced by more practical questions like how will I get to school in the snow, do I have enough supplies to last me a few days if I can't go buy grocery, will I have to clean the snow from the sidewalk when I wake up in the morning.
Yet, somewhere I have to admit that I cant help but smile when I see the first snow of the season. Nothing is as beautiful as waking up one morning and seeing the world around you all white and pristine. Maybe the magic still lingers, somewhere.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Anoushka

Being the cynic that I am I thought I would never fall in love again. But when I held my niece for the first time in my arms at the airport I knew I had fallen in love again, hopelessly and unconditionally. Just the way I liked it. She is the most adorable thing in the world and there was no way I or anybody else could not love her. It felt good, the beginning of something nice and beautiful for the rest of my life. I only hope I don't miss out on much of her life. Here's hoping that a day will come soon when I shall be able to live closer to her and see her grow up.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Observations

A few things I am growing to appreciate
  • Life is not a fairy tale. Witches and fairies can no longer be distinguished from each other.
  • You don't get what you deserve from life, you get what you get.
  • Magic ended with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". Do not look for it in real life.
  • Some dreams can never be realized. The question is choosing the right dream to follow.
  • True love exists only in books and SRK movies.. :)
  • Inspite of it all a good laugh can still make your day.

Monday, 1 February 2010

The Magic is Missing

The magic is missing and I have to deal with the hard facts now. And the hard fact is real life is not showered with magic and reality is less beautiful. No magic ever happens and people reconcile with what they get.

Friday, 29 January 2010

A Good Laugh

Two and half hours of laughter at Radio City Music Hall, NYC. Can life get any better ?? :) Russel Peters is so much better in real life. Even the few old jokes cracked me up.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Musing

I was reading an article about a study which is looking for aliens among earthlings and the research is being done at some of the most prestigious colleges in the world. Made we wonder how many years it would take for someone to earn a PhD in such a "out-of-the-world" topic. After all my PhD with a very realistic topic is not making much headway. I mean do they have to wait till the martians take over earth to graduate. Boy !! thats a real long wait. I think I am better off :).

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Lesson

Many years ago I had an argument with my Dad. I thought he was being very pessimistic and cynical, he thought I was being childish and naive. We finally agreed to disagree and we were both sure one day we would prove each other wrong. Today after what feels like a lifetime I have to very grudgingly admit that my Dad was right and I was wrong. It took me many years and many rought times to know that I was not right. Now I wonder if I would have lived life differently if I had believed in my Dad then. Maybe it was better I didn't. Certain knowledge comes with maturity, bitter experiences and an imperfect life. At the age of fifteen I think it's impossible to fathom that life will treat you any other way but with the highest regard. My total disregard of my Dad's opinion was a reflection of my innocence and optimism. A teenager who imagines that life is a bed of roses and the world is at their feet. Good times.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Lunatic in My Head- A Review

Since the day I heard about the book, "Lunatic in my Head" I had been waiting eagerly for a chance to get my hands on a copy of this book. After all it was a book about Shillong, written by an author who grew up in my Shillong with characters based in my quaint little home town. How could I not want to read this book. Finally on my trip home I managed to get it, a gift from my sister.
The book relates the story of four very different people in mid 1990s Shillong, people who had lived for years in this city but were still outsiders. People who had no other place to call home but still didn't belong in Shillong. Just like the pace of life in Shillong there is something slow and painfully consistent in the life of characters. It's like nothing ever changes. Nothing ever changes in Shillong, not the rains, not the riots, not the extortion, not the smell of pine, not the pain, absolutely nothing. Reading the book was like listening to my Dad talk about life in Shillong. There was nothing new or nice in the stories but you listen anyways. The book also ends fairly abruptly with absolutely no progress in the story. Yes it felt like Shillong, my home where nothing ever changes.