20 August 2009

All my bags are packed ..


I return to India today.And , I am just back from a 6AM walk that gears me up to face the rest of the day.The ladies setting up the breakfast counter wished me a cheery good morning.I'm going to miss being here.Miss the 6AM hour , when there's a hint of daylight , the sound of those dreadful geese , and the splashing of the water in the fountain.I feel like the world is one giant baby that's slowly waking up .. and guess what? I already did that!

Ok , so moving on..The highlight of the trip was the sister , of course! The only reason I didn't lose my mind given the colleagues I traveled with(calls out for a looong post) and the only reason I never felt homesick.Someone who'd patiently chalk out my travel itinerary for each weekend with the right amount of fun,history(err yes .. I sometimes call her eMonica) and someone who never put on the bored face when she took me out on these outings(given she has seen these places about 30 zillion times already).You know .. bored faces (the one's that read Oh been here , seen it already , gotta see it again 'coz I need to show you around) are SUCH a turn-off for enthusiastic tourists .. well what do you know emo , you definitely were'nt that, thank god!

Of all the places I have been to , I liked the Niagara the best.. I think I will be back each year at a different season to watch the Niagara. I remember the first time the spray hit my face. At that exact instant , nothing mattered , it was just me and the spray and the all pervading sound of the river.. strange .. that something that sounds so forceful should bring out a sense of peace within you..

A close second was the Harper's Ferry ..the Potomac river and the Shenandoah valley .. I remember taking a long walk with Appa that day while Amma and Alty sat on a rock .. reading!! Really!

DC comes third , DC has that air about it.Like New Delhi , Leonine, royal, well-read ..

:) .

So here it is. A salute to the star spangled banner and a cheery wave to the tri-color.

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

15 August 2009


-Is to drive 20 miles to Khasiyat and to rake in Sev-bhatata-puri , aloo-methi-corn parathas ,a (tall) glass of Lichee Lassi and to finish up with a sweet pan.
-Is to book tickets to Kaminey and to realise that not only is the movie Fantabulous , but it also is a visual treat .. Shahid Kapur .. hubba hubba!!
-Is to then hop on to a train to New York just in time to catch the New York night tour.
-Is to then walk from the 42nd street to the something street to taste authentic Thai food.
-Is to then drive back , miss a few exits , miss a few turns , curse NJ's confusing intersections and idiotic signage and finally reach familiar territory.
-Is to come back to the hotel and try on the newly bought identical pink "I love NY" tees and go to bed while in them.

... the perks of having a sister don't just end here..

Happy Independence Day , everybody..

A brief candle; both ends burning
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You're free at last!

To Independence !!!

Ps: Incidentally, today is also Aksa's birthday .. Aksa, hope you had a good one :)

07 August 2009

Lets make it short - I


“Amma … I’m leaving for work, come and shut the door”
“Mini , has Adi left too?”
“ I’ve no clue Amma , just check if his laptop is still in the room”
“Really now, what kind of generation are we living in, in our times we used to know our husbands by the beat of his heart”
“Right.Bye Amma”

“Coffee?” pinged a message from Surya. It was 11 already? God , and she had’nt even started on that document .. when was the team meeting due …oh right , Friday.
Mini started walking towards the lounge to find Surya leaning against the bay window, their regular coffee hang-out.
“Whats up, Sue??”
“Nothing much, the usual, met another matrimony guy ..”
Mini smiled. “This must be the better of the phases?”
“Mini , he’s this numerology freak and he thinks I must change my name to Suryaa Kumari , like the name isn’t bad enough already!”
“Maybe that's one of quirks .. what does ..”
“We should so go shopping today , Mini!! There’s a cottage industry fair at M.G.Road!!”
“ No Sue .. it might rain and Amma might get really worried ..”
“Oh come on Mini , I’ll drop you home!”
“AT your door-step?? And do pranams to your mother in law so she doesn't think I’m a muscle oozing yellow tee shirt wearing moustache endowed man??”
Mini dimpled.
“Can anyone really say no to you when you’re in one of these moods?”

“Yeh kitna bhaiyya?” That was Sue picking a horrendous looking yellow and pink “Ikat” duppatta.
“Sorry , memsaab no for sale hum pack up kar rahein hain”
“What!? What kind of salesman are you??”
“Woh humne socha train 9 bhaje ko tha , ab patha chala 6 bhaje ko hai madam …miss ho gaya tho bahut gadbad hojayega”
It was already 5 and the poor man was frantically stuffing all his wares into gunny bags and looking hassled.
“Come on Sue , lets help him..”

Mini and Sue bundled the rest of the clothes into sacks while the salesman went in search of an auto.
“You know what ,Minzie , we could steal a dozen of these Ikats and he would never know!”
“Which is why God sent him back with an auto.. quick bundle them all in with him”
“Bahut thank you very much madam , aap ka patha dedo , hum call karega , agli baar sale hua tho..”
“I just have my visiting card .. yeh rak lo..” said Mini with a smile.
“Happy Journey!”
“I’m too famished now Minzie , lets just head home ?”
“ Yes , please.”

“Mini...” called out Amma as she came out into the garden with two steaming cups of coffee. The afternoon sun trickled down the branches of the mango tree making little patterns on the book that Mini was reading.
It was coming… She felt it .. Now…?
“How’s work going on , Mini ?”
“Its ok Amma, a little stressful”.
This said, would definitely clinch it.
“Its time you and Adi settled down and had children”
“Yes, Amma”...Did that sound too mechanical?
She added with a smile “Soon you will be playing with your grandchild on this very swing!”
“When did Adi say he would be back from his tour? In 3 weeks? Seems by far the shortest tour he has been on…
Mini?? Oh well.. go on with your reading , I’m going inside”

February 3rd , 12:00 AM
Her cell phone started blinking silently.
Mini covered her hand over the mouthpiece while grinning into it.
“Happy Birthday , Minz .. Have a fantastic year ahead!”
“Sue , you could have told me this on a less absurd hour? Thanks so much for the wishes…”
The third of February. A day whose mention always had a ring to it. Her birthday.

She reached office early. On birthdays and wedding anniversaries Amma strictly forbade her from coming into the kitchen.

“Mini madam, aap ke liye parcel hai”
Who could it possibly be she wondered idly as she signed the counterfoil.No.. wouldn’t he be in transit..?
It was a brown paper parcel which read “Yamini Rao” in hindi.She opened it to find a beautiful hand woven ikat scarf in brilliant shades of red and orange. Atop it, was a letter.
It read “ Is saal ke pehle batch ka pehla piece.Us din ke liye shukhriya”.It signed off “Barabankiwaala”

It was going to be a Happy Birthday after all.

06 August 2009

The Bachelorette

Its been almost 2 months and a half that I have been in Umrica , and I feel like I've belonged to my hotel room forever!I have loved it so far , the long early morning walks listening to the iPod with the fresh wind on my face , the late evenings , coming home and cooking up whatever catches my fancy , sipping coffee while devouring Ponniyin Selvan. I think its the silence that I like most.The feeling of living with just myself.And I mean it in a non eerie way.There is the space and the silence and there's me and there's me again. :) Who would've thunk !

Some of my favorite spots around my home here..yes , it can indeed be called that :)

My 7:30 Pm cup of coffee

Comfort food .. rice and spinach dal

Just back from office mess .

'Coz some of us need to live by "Because the world is always on" motto..


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