Tag Archives: Priya I. Mandal

The priceless dream turned ‘pricey’

What does it take to fulfill a dream? Diligence? Determination? Is that all you need? How I wish that was true! Alas, there’s another ‘D’ to it- Dollars. And sadly, it tops the trio.
$34,800!!!!! It’s about time you have some mercy man!!!
Miami School of Ad. Copywriter’s Haven (read: Heaven) Fostering industry’s best minds that conjure millions (or rather billions) with the power of words. Apart from that the only thing I can say about the school is – I CRAVE TO BE THERE!

Miami school of Advertising

Let me tell you how I got to know this writer’s paradise even existed. It is a very strange, yet interesting coincidence. I once got a project of Skoda for its new prodigy, The Yeti. A sexy, mini SUV.
So, to introduce the wagon to the Indian audience, Skoda people came up with an expedition that takes a selected few (with a dominant gene of adventure in them), on an excursion to the major wildlife sanctuaries across India. I was managing the content for their microsite, and I had, on my desk, scores of applications from all over the country. Reading them was indeed fun. It was then, I came across a particularly convincing write-up by a copywriter, named Saurabh Kejriwal (Hey, Saurabh! If you happen to come across this blog, no need to thank me, buddy :D)
About the write-up, I can only say that, I still have it saved in a folder named ‘choicest’. I have a habit of employing the Google spiders to look for impressive personalities online. And I did the same for Saurabh. During the process, I got to know that he is now a copywriting student on scholarship at the much-esteemed Miami Ad School
Hmm.. Sounds cool! Now the next job at hand for Google’s ‘eight-legged freaks’ was to take me to the website of Miami Ad School. It was since that day, I developed a despo-desire for the school and everything about it. I had talked to hubby dear about it. He was glad to let me go abroad to study. Making a mental plan (with heavy heart) to make arrangements for Parthu at his Nani’s place for about 2 years, I finally took a rock-solid decision. The next-stoppage would be Miami Ad School.
Admission Procedure – checked
Selection Test- Not Bad. Infact, quite interesting!
Admission form – Downloaded
Registration Fee- $100, no problem.
Admission Fee- A screeching halt…. That’s where my engines pulled over.
$4500 – per quarter (Whoa!)
$34,800- for 2 years :O :O :O
Now, my hope dangles on the revert mail from their Admissions Advisor, Katie, regarding the scholarship programme of the school. But I doubt that would help… (sigh)

Anyways, if not me, I’ll make sure Parth lives my dream. There’ll definitely be a seat for him in the batch of the year 2030 at the Miami Ad School. Amen.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am seized…

Seized

Seized

I am seized, haunted and tortured,

Day in and day out,

Though I never believed there are ghosts

that make you freak out.

But then .. what is it?

I am seized, haunted and tortured,

By something that pulls me back,

Whenever I try to gear up

And get back to the track

I wonder… what is it?

I am seized, haunted and tortured,

By a nasty, bothering scoundrel,

Who likes to see me drone and droop,

And stay away from everything that’s real

But I still ponder.. what is it?

I am seized bothered and tortured,

It seems like a hell-hole

How else would it feel,

captured inside your own soul

I’ll go mad … what is it?

Have you felt the same,

Ever in your busy, bustling days,

That your brain churns out ideas,

You can’t put them in place?

If not a ghost.. what else is it?

I am thinking of a name,

Or rather a proper definition

To curse this wretched thing well,

O yes, let’s call it ‘procrastination’.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ellora- the Enigma and the Embarrassment

The world has a ‘world’ in it. So much to explore. So much to see that a life is too less a time for it. That is one of the biggest dilemmas of my life. 26 odd years gone… wasted just like that. And I haven’t still got a chance to explore even a fragment of the world. Not even my vicinity.. leave apart going to the all the nooks and corners, as I dream.
So I cherish like a treasure, those rare, just-about-a-handful of moments that pampered the traveler in me. I mean, that gave me a chance to discover the delightful places on the earth. A trip to the Ellora caves, is one such memory, I wouldn’t forget all my life.
It wasn’t a planned trip, but more of a surprise detour towards Aurangabad. We were enjoying our yearly trip to Shirdi. And this time we had a good full week with us. Given enough time to Baba, we asked his consent to look around the place and the neighboring ones under his ChchatraChchaya. We planned to take out a day or two to visit Nasik and Aurangabad.
On our way to Aurangabad, I was beaming and brimming with excitement. I felt like a professional excavation expert, a historian, a scholar. I strained to remember everything I had read about the place and its significance in my history books. Had I known, I was to visit the Ellora, I would have come prepared (sigh). Anyways, I still could make it an experience of a lifetime.
My mother and all her companions chanted Sai Ram-Sai Shyam all the way. I could hardly meditate my mind towards anything devotional. I sought a secret apology to Baba, and hoped, he being my best friend would understand my plight.
Just the sight at the caves made my mom and her buddies pant. They flatly refused to trek up the caves to see those ‘blackened-worn-out rocks’. One of them inquired, ‘Kya hai upar?’ The cab driver replied, ‘Arey, salon pehle raja-maharajaon ne in gufaon me murtiyan banvayi thi. ‘ Pat came the answer,’ Arey to bas patthar ki murtiyan dikhane itni dur le aya? Mai to yahin thik hu. Jise jana hai, ho ao jaldi.
I was flabbergasted. Some aunties even mumbled something about the erotic nature of the sculptures and how awkward it would be to watch them with kids. I couldn’t take the crap any longer and jumped out of the cab and declared that no matter what, I would go.

Ellora- the enigma

Ellora- the enigma


I wish I had a digi-cam at that time(Year 1998. I had a Kodak reel-laden camera).
Ellora- the enigma

Ellora- the enigma


There was an air of mystique. A charm of the lost world. A magnificence of the golden times.
I wondered, how opulent were the Satvahanas! What a refined taste of art!
Ellora

Ellora

I could have spent the whole day there. Some of the caves seemed as if they had no end. I couldn’t muster the courage to enter them. They looked like dark, echoing pits. Even the torch-light seemed unable to pierce the darkness inside. There was an element of fear and murk in them. I loved it! But wait. What’s that odor? A familiar pungent smell!! This can’t be true!!! For God’s sake, it’s India’s oldest and one of the highly refined architectural sites!
It was urea. The aroma that adds flavor to the urban living. One out of every five walls sports a message- ‘Yahan Peshab Karna Mana Hai’ Or ‘Dekho Gadha Peshab Kar Raha Ha’ Or messages that are meant to humiliate the street sprinklers even more, and take my bet, those particular walls with the message on them, would be the dampest of all.
But for Heavens sake, these morons should have atleast forgiven an arty paradise. I was filled with loath for them. Just then a tourist, a foreigner passed by me. I couldn’t help but move out of the place as fast as my feet could take me. I was ashamed.
It feels sad. We Indians are extra-concerned about things that are truly meaningless. We create havoc in the name of culture and so-called Indian tradition and honor. And we piss-off on things that are truly important for country and its dignity. What a shame!

divine

divine

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

An Incomplete Story…..that finally got completed!!

Ok guys. You know what, I am too humble to call the second part of my incomplete story my own. Coz it is conceptualized, written and presented by a very dear friend and a great writer, Ankit. Thanks Ankit for helping Anya, Armaan and the story reach a completion.
Till now (click to read the story till now)
Two years now. Why wouldn’t life budge? Why everything reminds her of him. His smile. His words. His love. Yes. Armaan did love her. He is not like other men in her office, who always talked about a new girl, drool over the skimpily clad or unclad models, shared jokes about the fun they had last night with the new hottie in the office and never hesitated to keep the extra- affairs going on and calling their wives at home- “Hon, I am working tonight.”
Armaan remained true to her. Always.

Contd…

Anya was sitting on the porch, watching rain droplets falling on the concrete flooring on early windy, overcast Saturday morning. Her eyes were moist and swollen – a clear indication that she hasn’t slept last night. Sudhir is a real good marriage prospect, were her mom’s words a day before. A great lineage, tall and handsome personality and on top of that, his own Consultancy firm in Sillicon Valley of India, Bangalore. He fitted the bill completely. What else can a girl wish for?

Amid all this whirlpool of thoughts she wondered what Armaan would have been doing right now. It had been more than 2 years since they called it quits.

——————————————————————————————————————————————

“I have had enough of you Anya,” were the parting words when the two last met. Those words were still reverberating in Armaan’s brain. Life had been one constant struggle for him. Unlike other couples, who could afford to splurge their hard-earned money on romantic escapades, discotheques, shopping, and surprise candle-lit dinners, he was forced to save and send it to his family in Aligarh. Anya knew this and unlike others, respected his priorities. She never made hue and cry about it. And this exactly what bothered him. He hated her for being so much accommodating and understanding. He hated her for investing so much in a relationship, a role, which ideally he should be playing. Soon cracks began to surface in their relationship. Accusations, teary arguments followed. And soon LOVE LEFT THEM.

“…Get rid of insecurities. There is a high chance that you might lose the love of your life because of it…” said his annual Sagittarius horoscope on January 1 of this year. Yes, Armaan was sincere, hardworking and superstitious. And he was possessive too. This became evident when he heard Anya giggling with some man in office cab. That was the last straw. Soon it was splitsville for them.

Suddenly his mobile phone beeped. It was Anya. Two years and no dialogue were exchanged and suddenly one fine morning your ex is calling you. Girls are too difficult to understand, he thought.

“Hi Anya. How are you? What made you call me today?” he tried his best to keep up the cheesy voice as if nothing has ever happened.

“Hi Armaan. Umm..by mistake..actually I was dialing someone else’s number. Apologies.”

“Don’t be.” And the line went dead.

Something is not right, he told himself. But why would I care?

The phone rang again. It was Anya again.

Armaan, rather unsure, picked up the phone again.

“Heard you are leaving for London tomorrow,” came the voice from other end.

“Yeah. Who told you?”

“Doesn’t matter. So dude, you have finally arrived..”,

Armaan could make out Anya’s breaking voice. He was familiar to such instances. Anya had this unique characteristic of sounding absolutely ‘Cool’ before breaking and weeping her heart out.

“Anya. Please don’t do this..”

“What? What I am doing..No, I am not crying..”

She paused for a second before and this pause was killing Armaan. He knew what was coming and was prepping himself for this all this while.

“…and why would I cry for you Bastard. Who are you? Some hot-shot stud or ladykiller?? You know what..I have moved on too. Sudhir is a really nice guy and I have said ‘Yes’ to my parents.”

Armaan was right. Tears had started to roll out from Anya’s eyes.

“Congrats yaar..”, and suddenly Armaan’s eyes too had become moist.

“Fuck you. Why don’t you love me Armaan as much as I love you. Tell me..tell me..where I have gone wrong. Why the hell are you doing this to me,” the last sentence was in top of her voice.

“Anya. Calm down. First of all, I am sorry for what I did to you. And frankly I think I don’t deserve your love….”

“You can’t get away saying ‘sorry’ to me Armaan. I have given 8 years of my life to this relationship. For once Armaan, we were in love. Can’t you make it work? It is all I am asking you Armaan.” Anya was crying continuously.

Armaan went silent. He went quiet because he feared that Anya might hear him sobbing. “I can’t give her the happiness she deserves. I am not the right guy for him. She deserves someone better,” he kept reminding himself.

“Okay. Seems you have made up your mind. It is fine Armaan. No problem. Hope someday you would learn to love yourself and people who love you. But for me, you were the only man I ever loved and it will stay the same.”

With this Anya hung up the phone, but Armaan was still holding his mobile phone close to his ears. Crying. He couldn’t remember the last time when his tears rolled out. Guess this is the way life goes.

——————————————————————————————————————————————

Armaan’s slumber was broken by the irritating buzz of his mobile phone. Approximately 8 hours ago Anya had called him and they had a nerve-wrecking showdown. Since then Armaan was sleeping. To him, this was the best way to beat stress.

“Hello..”, Armaan said in a usual sleepy tone.

“Where the fuck are you dude..I have been calling you for past two hours…”, said Akhilesh, Armaan’s colleague and 2 AM friend.

“Why? What happened?” the sleepy tone was still intact.

“Anya has hung herself. She had committed suicide. We have rushed her to nearest hospital…”

For a moment, Armaan couldn’t believe what he had just heard. But he knew Akhilesh. He will never joke about such things, especially if it involves Anya. Suddenly, his head started spinning. He was feeling dizzy and suddenly he passed out.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

“I just had a word with doctor. She says they have managed to rescue her but due to choking of windpipe, Anya has gone into coma. Next 24 hours are critical.” Akhilesh told Armaan who was sitting next to Anya’s beautiful motionless body holding her hand.

Since the time he had arrived in hospital, Armaan was subject of speculation and interest for Anya’s parents who themselves were clueless about what prompted their only daughter take such extreme step. But today, Armaan ignored each one of them. He was only concerned about Anya. Only Anya.

“Please God. It shouldn’t end like this. I beg to you. It shouldn’t end like this.” He was repeatedly telling himself.

For entire time, Armaan was sitting beside Anya’s bed. Towards midnight, Anya’s situation deteriorated further. Suddenly, she had started bleeding from her mouth. On seeing this, he immediately alerted doctors and Anya’s parents. A team of doctors immediately rushed to spot and asked him to vacate the ICU. Though needed, Armaan was not impressed with this gesture. He had always hated doctors. To him, they never seemed to tell or explain the exact nature of problem, neither its gravity. He had experienced the same thing when his mother had died of Jaundice. The doctor had told him that everything is fine with her until one day his father woke him up to break the news of his mother’s death.

The team of doctors stayed in ICU for about an hour. When they came out, each of them looked worried. One of them went straight to Anya’s parents and whispered something. Armaan was watching all this from other end of hallway. Soon after listening to Doctor, Anya’s mother broke into tears.

Seeing her in tears, Armaan rushed to the same doctor, and queried him about Anya’s situation.

“She’s not good. In fact, the situation has gone from bad to worse. We are trying our level best..but…you know,” the doctor’s silence had said a lot than desired.

Armaan didn’t know what to do. He was feeling helpless just like the time when his mother had died.

“There should be something doctor. Some kind of shock treatment, some medicine..anything..to wake her up..”

“I understand your situation son but this is no Hindi movie scene. This is harsh reality. She’s sinking and you have to accept it.”

“Don’t lecture me doctor..,” Armaan thundered suddenly. The doctor was taken aback with this outburst.

“If anything happens to her I swear I’ll jump to death from this 7th floor and I mean it. And you’ll be responsible for it. For God’s sake, save her. I don’t care how you do it but just save her.” Suddenly the warning board of ‘Please maintain Silence’ looked irrelevant. The entire hallway was echoing with his words.

Everyone was watching Armaan, who looked beaten and tired.

By next morning, Anya had stopped responding to all the treatments. Countless attempts to revive her had failed. For Anya’s parents, this was a personal loss they had already foreseen. Since the time they had brought Anya to hospital they knew only a miracle could save her.

When Armaan learned this, he was shattered. God had denied him the opportunity to correct things once again. Anya had gone away from him. She was the only girl who loved him, unfortunately; he wasn’t just good enough for her.

He was sitting on bench staring the floor when Akhilesh walked upto him.

“They are pulling the plug. Anya’s parents have given them their consent. I think you should see her once before they do so.”

Armaan didn’t say anything. He just nodded his head as Akhilesh left him.

He got up and slowly walked up to the section window of the 7th floor. Time had come when he fulfills the promise he had made a while back. There was no one in the corridor. Everyone had gone into ICU to pay last visit to Anya.

Armaan opened the section window and looked downwards. Everyone looked in a rush. The streets were buzzing with honks of cars, buses, motorcycles, scooters etc. Life was running at its brisk pace on this sunny afternoon. Nobody was bothered that Armaan’s Anya was dying. Absolutely nobody.

He climbed up the bench and took a deep breath. I am sorry Anya. But without you I am no better.
“Armaan…STOP,” someone screamed from the other end of the hallway. The voice was familiar. It was Akhilesh.

——————————————————————————————————————————————

Miracle indeed had happened. Just before seconds when doctors was about to pull the plug, Anya’s condition had got better dramatically. In next 12 hours, Anya’s body had started responding to treatments once again. Anya’s parents and doctors were elated. While doctors were expressing their disbelief on her phenomenal recovery, her parents couldn’t stop thanking to God. It indeed was a miracle.

Three days later when Anya opened her eyes, she found Armaan sitting next to her, staring.

“Don’t you have to leave for London?” She asked him.

After so many days, finally a dry smile graced Armaan’s lips. “Yeah. But I thought maybe I should take you with me.”

Saying this Armaan took out a ring. “Anya, will you marry me?”

“A while ago someone told me that I don’t deserve a guy like you..I can’t seem to remember his name but he looked exactly like you..,” said the fragile Anya in her unique taunting tone.

“I am sure he must have been a fool of first order.”

“Yeah..that he is..,” Anya said smilingly.

She paused for a second and said, “Yes. I will marry you.” Saying this she kissed him on his lips and embraced him.

“And please for God’s sake..use a strong rope next time…”

“Sure,” said Anya and they kissed again.

the kiss

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rain – o – Rain

Good news. Sarika has memorized the poem Rain, Rain Go away (with gestures). Today she recited the entire poem to me and she looked so cute. I gave her a pat on her back and one to me too. 4 weeks of hard work to make her first listen, then repeat and then memorize 4 lines.. phew!
I think this poem must have been written somewhere in Cherrapunji or Mawsynram. You know why? Read the lines … it goes like this
Rain, Rain Go Away,
Come Again, Another Day,
Little Johney, Wants to Play,
Rain, Rain, Go Away…
This is the version we used to read when in prep school, but now the Sarika’s Book of Nursery Rhymes shows a ruder version. It says
Rain, Rain Go Away,
Come Again, Another Day,
Little Johney, Wants to Play,
Rain, Rain, Go to Spain,
Do not show your face again.
Hey! How mean? What a rude thing to do man, whoever wrote this. The sun is scorching overhead and the earth is getting cramps and you shun away the rain with such rude lines!!!!! Not acceptable.
So, I thought, why not give it a bit of revamp? May be someday you can see this poem in the Book of Nursery Rhymes.. Possible, isn’t it?
So here it goes…

Rain-o-Rain
We need you buddy,
Even if you make the roads
Blocked and muddy.

I love the rain

I love the rain

We know it’s just June,
And it’s not the time
But the sun is brutal
Don’t you think it’s a crime?

Chewed Cucumbers,
Gulped Squashes,
But nothing like your
Drops and splashes.

We’d like to get wet,
Drenched to skin,
And the gals in see-thru kurtas,
Amaaaaaazin’!

Banging windows, waving trees,
Winds that seem to take you along.
But no sign of yours
Come soon, it’s been so long…..

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

An incomplete story…

“Wait a minute. You mean you put the phone down because you heard me laughing with someone in the cab? I don’t believe you, Armaan! You’re insane!”
“Call me whatever. But you damn well know that I don’t like you giggling with men. You said you wanna work, I gave you the permission…”
“PERMISSION? Excuse me ‘Mr. I Am Superior’. I never asked your permission to work. I would have worked even if you have poked your nose into that matter as well. You know what? Now I don’t care what you think and what you don’t. Because you are in a habit of objecting and feel green about everything.”
“So let’s call it quits. I think that would work for both of us. You go, enjoy your life. If my love has become handcuffs to you, its better we part.”
“Don’t call it love for God’s sake. Don’t call it love. It’s a blot on the face of love. You can love just yourself and no-one else.. I think we can agree on just one thing… the decision to call it quits…..”

… it was easier said than done. Anya had seen a number of couples breaking off. They all started off with a new bond sooner or a bit later and the old flame instantly becomes a thing of past. It was only her own life that was on a painful standstill for 8 years now. Anya had seen couples rejoicing every moment of their romance…. Candlelit dinners, shopping together, surprise gifts, holidaying, exotic vacations… She had always wished Armaan would ask for a weekend trip to the Doon valley. But wondered how she would cook a story to her mom about it. The thought of getting caught spending a night with her lover would send shudders down her spine. Still, a day or two spent in the arms of the only ‘Hunk’ she knew… wasn’t that worth the risk?
Anya had always felt that life for her friends had always been a slate and a chalk play. You write something and if moments later you find it’s not what you wanted to write, just give it a rub and it vanishes without a trace. Her fate however, seemed to be written on a rock. Engraved. Forever.
Life with Armaan was never rosy. No cuddly romance, no discotheques, no vacations, no cards, no love letters, no adventure, no fun… But yes, the space between them was filled with other things… like blind accusations, arguments, tears and break ups… ya, break up with an ‘s’. They had parted so many times that now it seems easier to split than to patch up. Friends have started mocking at their relation.
“Stop playing games, will you Anya? Just end the story. That nut head is never going to keep you happy. The foundation of love is faith and your castle of love rests on sand. No faith, no understanding.. what do you think would make this bond work? It can only be a miracle.
Miracle. Anya wished for one desperately. A miracle that would make Armaan understand how deep is her feelings for him. A miracle that would tell him that she’s not like other girls in his workplace who keep changing partners. She wanted someone to tell him that he is her world, but that doesn’t mean she snaps herself from the world. She wants to live a normal life. The way a girl committed to a guy lives, works and has fun. Armaan’s love had undoubtedly become a handcuff for her… a handcuff that has left its mark on her forever.
Anya surely wanted to take the handcuff off.. but she wanted a bangle of love in its place. Is it too much to ask for?
Armaan left. Again. And this time it has been two years. Two years. But Anya still stood there wondering what went wrong. She was faithful. She cared. She trusted. She gave everything and never wished for anything. And so she got nothing. Nothing at all. Friends, freedom and fun… she barely remembered what these words stood for…
Two years now. Why wouldn’t life budge? Why everything reminds her of him. His smile. His words. His love. Yes. Armaan did love her. He is not like other men in her office, who always talked about a new girl, drool over the skimpily clad or unclad models, shared jokes about the fun they had last night with the new hottie in the office and never hesitated to keep the extra- affairs going on and calling their wives at home- “Hon, I am working tonight.”
Armaan remained true to her. Always.

Miracle.. is what she wished for

Miracle.. is what she wished for

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hide and Seek with Life

You know what life loves to play? I mean what is its favorite game? I am sure, many would guess after a little ponder. So I am letting you have your time.
Remember the days, when backyards used to be the best part of the house? The thrill of making your pals look for you was ultimate. And the moment you are caught with a sudden ‘BOO’, you can’t help but let out a shriek of excitement. True fun wasn’t it? Yes, we are at the game of hide and seek, and that happens to be the most loved game of life.
For those still scratching their heads, I say so, because life loves surprises. Popping out a twist or two from the corner with a BOO and making you shriek out of excitement (or fear for that matter), that’s the ultimate delight.

hide and seek

hide and seek


Just when you were planning to buy that always-admired penthouse in that posh colony, you end up losing your job or that much-expected promotion and pay raise. You would have dreamt of a dream holiday in the Caribbean Beaches but find yourself slogging extra hours on your desk due to project extension. It’s the final match (for Indians, let’s suppose, its India vs Pak), you have lied to your boss to get the day off, pampered wife with flowers, chocolates, fake admiration and what not, so that she agrees to sacrifice her daily soap hour for it, grab a bowl of popcorns and just when the coin favors India in the toss, there’s a power cut. Gritting your teeth at the blank screen and the dark room, don’t you feel someone giggling? That’s life.
Do you think it’s getting too depressing? Hmm, even I think so. But what I want to say is life loves to turn things upside down. If your present is gloomy and you think there’s no hope, expect a bright day tomorrow. When I was in school, some of us shone like a bright day. Excellent at studies, commendable at extracurricular activities and apple of teachers’ eyes. ‘ You have a bright future.’ ‘You will make it really big someday.’ These accolades made us believe we are going to be engineers from IIT or even scientists at NASA.
And the other section of students, who preferred to stay at the back, both at the academics and in the classroom, had to bear the brunt because of us. ‘Look at them, you are nowhere!’ , ‘ You should learn the art of excellence from them.’ ‘Useless kids! You won’t reach anywhere like this.’
But today, it surprises as well gladdens me to see those folks doing really well at whatever they are. I remember my schoolmates Cheena and Sandeep. At that time, if you would have asked me to describe them, I would have used adjectives like ‘timid’, ’introvert’, ‘quiet’, ‘taciturn’, ‘covert’… and may be even ‘dumb’ (sorry guys!) But today thanks to facebook, I have all those friends with me again, atleast virtually, and trust me when I say, I am spellbound by the way they have changed! Now the adjectives would be ‘smart’, ‘elegant’, ‘poised’, ‘dashing’and of course ‘successful’!! Who would have thought of them fairing so well in life! But they did. Sandeep works as a mechanical engineer with a huge brand in Shanghai! As though the premises of the school was forbidding them from evolving; the moment they are out, they sprouted wings and now they are people I want to be like!
Same is with Rekha, Anuja, Supriya and Chetan and Jai.. Cheers to you guys. That is definitely a lesson for all of us. Assumptions and presumptions are completely deceptive. Atleast school is too early a stage to decide what life would be like in the coming years. The hidden faces of the classroom are shining. Life made them taste the bitter; now is their turn to savor the sweet. And for me and my highly brilliant gang, it was all very sweet in the beginning, now..
Seems like it’s time to conclude the post here.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kudos to the masters… and the masterpieces

Staring awestruck at the vibrant screen of my laptop this Sunday, I was relishing what was there before me. A series of tabs…. A series of websites…. a series of companies….. a bunch of people. I could hardly get my attention off them. I just wanted few more minutes out of my full-to-the-brim (often overflowing) schedule to spend savoring things around the world that delight me to the core. Shoving off the noises in the background (What’s for lunch today? / Just two sabzis? What the heck! I tell you these days the daughter-in-laws ….. I used to make atleast 4 recipes a day….what will the kids eat… how many times do I have to tell you…… who will clean up this mess? Me?…. ), I kept on gently stroking the keys as Google led me to show an array of highly creative, quality conscious, profound people initiating brands that represent just one thing in common – ‘Creativity’. O I love the word and it makes me euphoric to see the world moving towards it.
I have worked or rather written for n- number of brands in my 4-year tenure as a copywriter. But there is something I still urge for….. a masterpiece. Yes, that’s the word an artist’s ears never fail to catch.
In a flash, I remembered a very old story, The Last Leaf by O Henry. The story brings out the emotions of artists, rather painters and their yearn for a masterpiece. Protagonists were two ladies Sue and Johnsy. Johnsy was taken ill by the epidemic of pneumonia. And she lost all hopes of living. She lay all day in her bed counting the falling leaves of the ivy creeper by her window. She believed that the moment the last leaf would fall, she will die too. Sue was worried about her, for she believed that losing the willingness to live would drop her chances to survive. She asked the 60 year old artist and drunkard, Mr. Behrman to paint an ivy leaf for her and fix it on the creeper so that it doesn’t fall and Johnsy gets the willingness to live. It was said that whenever Mr. Behrman talked, he talked only about the masterpiece he is going to make someday.
Next morning, Johnsy finds the last ivy still clutching the creeper tight and felt a sudden surge of hope as she was able to survive the night.
They came to know that Mr. Behrman died of acute pneumonia the night before. According to the doctors, he was drenched to skin in rain taking his fever to the highest degree. A ladder and paints (green and yellow) were found near the ivy creeper, though washed off in rain. The oldie was waiting for his masterpiece as though it was his route to salvation. Read the full story here http://www.online-literature.com/o_henry/1303/
Perhaps even I am waiting for that masterpiece… He hey! That doesn’t mean I am planning to take the final flight after that… but yes I now look forward for not one but uncountable masterpieces…. Every bit I write should qualify to be a masterpiece, a magnum opus creation…
And for that I need creative acquaintances. I thought, why not honor those daring steps that barred everything ordinary to create something that matters… something that makes a difference?
So here are a few of my favorite websites/ companies/ groups which I admire and hope to be associated with them in near future:
http://www.wk.com (Wieden and Kennedy, ad agency in Portland, Oregan. Ultimate concepts, and something that is even brilliant is the magazine it has launched, Motherland )
http://www.creativegaga.com (a must-subscribe thing for everyone with an eye for aesthetics. Exemplary designs, super-good copy)
http://www.theindiatube.com/ (Compiles everything that is incredible about India. Great effort
• to bring to the fore things besides snakes, snake charmers, slums and slaves in India)
http://www.thinkhappy.biz/ (They call it, The Idea Shop. Remarkable copy and extraordinary approach that promises they keep the creative birdies inside them happy)
http://www.nailbites.in/ (Even the name and the exceptional approach to say ‘we’ll be live soon’ deserves applaud. The site’s not ready yet)
http://www.egothemag.com (Great content. It always brings to its readers something they never expected, but would relish)
http://www.gsmarena.com/ (A mobile phone e-commerce site? Yes, exactly. Undoubtedly, the phones look terrific here, but what I love is, again the copy. The company has real writers with great bond with words. They would make people like me (who stay away from gadgets) fall in love with them)
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ (The more I say, the more I want to say about it. Copy of the website is impressive to extent that it transports the readers to the destination it desires. )

http://www.possibleworldwide.com (Yes, the company I work for. Out-of-box ideas in design and content (No, I cannot credit myself for it.)

Hat’s off and a full bow to you all….
I am sure this is just a fraction of the population preferring the right side of the brain than the left. Please make sure everyone’s attempt is rewarded. Suggest any such Website/blog/company/ group you come across that has put real efforts to stand out from the crowd of commons.

Because Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower…. Lets indentify the true leaders

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Elixir Of Life


Again a reminiscence. An account on someone. A record of an incident. Of late, I have realized that blogging helps you record and play interesting, accountable and worth-cherishing moments of your life. A virtual camcorder. So allow me to play one of my memories which I had shot years ago. Till this day, it inspires and boosts me up.
I don’t exactly remember the year, but it must be around 2003-04 when we were back from our yearly trip to Shirdi. I always used to fret for the fact that when it comes to travelling, all I get is trips to holy places with companions thrice my age. My mom rebukes at my complaints, ‘consider yourself lucky. You are getting beckoned to such divine places. People rarely get such chances.’
Ok, so there I was sitting with my travel buddies at the railway platform in Manmad. Just then a troop of young men arrived at the station with a racket of senseless laughter and chatter. Not before they started staring at me and my sister (who was mentally and physically challenged, but sure as hell, young), I realized that they aren’t regular rowdies creating a ruckus at the sight of lonely women. They were actually well built, stout, sturdy, pahalwans heading back home after a kushti competition held somewhere in Maharashtra. I ran a mental analysis:
What can they possibly do in broad daylight, in a crowded, busy railway station?
Crowded? Busy? I looked around and counted my messiahs.
Wada pao wala – 1
Sweeper – 1
Beggar – 1
Travel buddies – 15 (age group: 57 – 80, not to mention, two arthritis patients who wouldn’t be able to move even if the train leaves the track and runs after them.)
Well, I could run. The moment I’ll sense danger, I’ll flee as fast as my feet can. But wait. I can’t run away leaving my sister behind.
Although being a Delhi girl, I was trained to tackle such rogues, yet, for the first time in my life, I felt fear. I kept my eyes grounded. And began calling the Gods above for help. And there they were, staring and scanning me with wolf-like eyes. There were around 20 of them, all odd-shaped, with protruding, biceps, triceps, four-ceps … and stuff.
Just then the train arrived. And we all rushed in.
I love coincidences. But not when they seem to tease me. The bogie we were in, got filled with those boisterous boys. The only outsiders were me, my sis and my mom. Wow! Is that what you call an ‘adventure trip’? Must be.
Do you think this is the incidence that inspired me for this post? Hell no! It was just a prologue. Read on…
We swapped our seats with one of the many Uncles (rather Dadu’s) of our group several bogies away. The air seemed moderate here. Apart from us, there was a couple in that compartment. The man looked in his early 50s and the woman just about this. We kept on muttering things in Tamil among ourselves about how they looked, what were they eating, where will we sleep, can we swap seats with them as my sis won’t be able to climb to the upper berth, she needs the lower one, ‘but these two are oldies too, they wouldn’t be able to climb either… etc.
‘Oh sure, we can’, suddenly we heard the woman speak in our tongue. ‘Do you want to swap seats with us. My husband can move up if you want.’ We were dumbstruck. The woman wore a Gujarati sari, was eating khakra, and looked Gujarati or Marwari in every manner.
‘Ohh, we’re sorry. Are you a Tamilian? We thought you are …’
‘No, I am a Gujarati. But can speak Tamil very well. We’ve been down south for a good part of our lives. My husband was posted in Kalpakkam, Department of Atomic Energy, Tamil Nadu. He’s a scientist. It was there I learned to read, write and speak Tamil ’
‘She won Tamil writing competition back 1990’, the man spoke for the first time in an hour.
‘Oh, that’s wonderful. We rarely get to meet such people’ Although we said that out of amazement, we realized that the couple is really rare in their way of living.
We sat there listening to them and watching them do simple stuff in a manner that inspired and pleased us.
‘I got retired a decade ago right on my 60th birthday, and since then we have been travelling all over the country’, said Mr. Usgaonkar as he peeled and cut apple pieces and gave his wife to eat. Wow! I had thought him to be in his 50s and that too early 50s. He’s around 70 years of age.
Mrs Usgaonkar too had a youthful glow on her face, ‘You are coming from Shridi, is it? Lucky you. I keep on telling him to take me to such divine places, but he simply says…
‘Darling, it’s time to be young again. Abhi hamari umar hi kya hai. Tirth karne ke liye to sari umar padi hai. Let us first have fun. We’ll think about washing off our sins later.’ The man intervened like a youthful boy who had just fallen in love with life wishing to celebrate it.
‘We’ve married our kids and both of them are well-settled abroad. Now we are free and every month we are off on an adventure holiday’. The word ‘adventure’ made me shift in my seat.
When it was time to say ‘Good Night’, we watched the man swiftly climbing to the upper berth like an 8 year old boy.
That night, I pondered and realized, how being young at heart makes you really young at age. I can’t foresee what lies ahead, but I promise myself that I’ll never say, I am 60, or I am 65. I’ll rather prefix a word ‘just’ before the numbers.
I am just 60.
How cool is that!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Through my eyes..

How I wish human eyes had camcorders- it would have been so simple to arrest those impulsive golden moments that give a fleeting appearance and dissolve in front of your eyes before you could let that tear trickle out. Sadly, humans aren’t blessed with this luxury by the almighty, so I resorted to capture the most beautiful, blissful benevolence of God in words.
Parth was just 3 months old, amusing me every minute with his antics, savoring the delights of the world with amazed eyes, gradually learning, gradually growing. Everyday he showed something that made us exclaim- ‘Did you see that!’ , ‘ Oh my God, my baby’ , ‘Oh, you’re a sweetheart, my love’, ‘ Are mera baccha, kitna samjhdar ho gaya hai’…. And my little imp seems to enjoy our ‘oooohs’ and ‘aaahs’.
On one such night, after a long day, I laid down with my son. And after hours of continuously ‘monkeying’ around, my chimp (champ) looked as if he was enjoying the cozy bed and his mom’s snug hug. I looked at him. He was busy muttering something in his own tongue, playing with my pendant.
“O! He looks just like those Johnson& Johnson babies! Eyes, so magnetizing, glaring, Smile, so adorable. How did God bless me with something as charming as him!”
I never thought I was beautiful. I had nothing that said I am pretty. Then how come, I got blessed with a gift as sweet and cuddly as Parth. Is he really cute? Or is it the ‘mamma’ in me who always thinks her baby is the cutest of all?”
I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for his generosity. And recited his hymn aloud to make it fall on Parth’s ears. “Om Sai Namo Namah, Sri Sai Namo Namah, Jai Jai Sai Namo Namah
Just then a tear rolled down my eyes. That was when Parth looked up. And guess what! He touched my wet cheek with an expression that said, ‘Mamma, what happened? Are you crying?’
I love you baby….. You have made every moment of my life worth rejoicing.
Sometimes things are at the back of your mind lying dormant and something else stirs them and drives you to bring them forth. I always wanted to write a post about this small yet beautiful incident.. but somehow couldn’t. I thank Manisha Bhati whose blog post on her kid drove me to put this extremely precious moment in words.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,