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How many of you have ever been victims of road rage in Delhi? Well, if you are a regular driver on the chaotic Delhi roads and prone to becoming a victim of this rage, I suggest you become a passive observer of the outrageous activities around you. Believe me, it’s fun! What amuses me is the attitude or body language of the driver perched pretty on his/her seat...Here are some of my observations:
1.Women drivers...Well, most of them literally fall over the steering wheel while driving. Rarely will you see them sitting relaxed.
2.Their backs become curved as the head juts out over the wheel and the legs stretch out to reach the accelerator-clutch-brake, just the small of the back in touch with the back of the seat.
3.They mostly drive in the middle of the lanes. (trying to get the best of both sides..Or they are opportunists and change lanes at will.
4.Men have cell phones in one hand and a cigarette in the other.(wonder how they balance –girlfriends and tensions)
5.They turn their heads to look at their sides at traffic lights-if they see a lady, they sit up straight.
6.A woman driver looks at the side, one look at the person behind wheels and another look at the model of the car. If the model is in any way inferior to the one she is driving, she turns up her nose and looks straight ahead.
7.Men are driven by their cognitive domains and women, by their affective domains when it comes to overtaking.
8.Few women drivers have a good spatial sense when it comes to parking their cars. They take ages to mentally fit in the car and thus hold up the traffic.
9.If you happen to get caught in a jam and the lane next to you moves faster, the expressions of the drivers say it all... ‘Hey!slow-coach!crawl on...”
So,if you feel you are on the verge of becoming a victim of road rage,look around you and enjoy the comic relief!
There is a source for everything.How can anything ever be detached ,i wonder!smoke,mist or fog..vagabonds they may be ,all arise out of a source.Light a candle,blow it off..watch the smoke swirling up..it will be attached to the wick,long after it is invisible to the human eye.I guess some relationships are like the smoke..apparently detached,yet attached to an invisible wick...
I love windchimes.The soft tinkling sound lulls my senses. Usually my schedule deprives me of the joy to sip on to my cup of coffee in bliss , newspaper in hand and the gentle music of the breeze flirting with the chime soothing my senses. The morning was different today. Time rolled lazily...the steam from my coffee mug making fascinating patterns in the air. I was at peace with the self, with the surroundings. Memories took me back to the days in the mountains of garhwal,where life was in perfect tandem with the rolling mountain side. And I remember a poem I wrote long back, inspired by the beautiful landscape of Garhwal...In the sweltering heat of Delhi, the memory of the poem is refreshingly cool...
The valley stretches before her
Like the yawn of the lazy cheshire
The sun kissed fields with paddy
Cascade down like the folds of the bride’s gown
Rustling in the breeze
Lush green, sprinkled with wild pansies
She gazes dreamily at Khait Parbat in the distance
“Fairies and elves dwell in the woods yonder!”
She had heard them say
As the shared stories under the peepal tree
overlooking the Bhagirathi
The grand mountain peak
Raises in her mind
Images she had fantasized as a child
The mountain peak with walnut trees
The fairies had taken fancy to..
The sensuous simplicity of the hill folk
lulls her senses
The pristine peaks draped in white
The clouds with silver lining
Clamour to rest their wandering waves
on the rocky shoulders
They gather and crowd around like an eager audience
Waiting for the recital to begin
Someone plays a flute in the distance
Maybe a shepherd boy
In leisure and tranquillity
Under a pine tree roasting cones
That fall down with a soft thud
His sheep graze around
Occasionally lifting their heads
To fix their gaze on the clouds
The valley resonates with the sound of music
The ripples of octave reach far and wide
The sun dips down
To rest his crown
Draping the hillside with warm hues
As it lays its royal head to rest
For a siesta in the vast sea of timelessness
The angels of the eve get set to work
To weave fantasies in wandering minds
The breeze blows its conch
The lazy clouds span out in fog
To powder the mountain side in mist
Thus dimming the hues of the day
In their own unique way
As they swagger, drunk with wine
They clash and roar
Somewhere far away the showers of rain
Wait to unleash their power
In the foggy eve she finds herself
Alone under the tree
Where are the colours of the day?
The shepherd and his song?
The meandering trail of the river
Is lost in mist and fog
The smoky clouds fill up the void
Where the valley had been
And then someone calls out her name
Searching for her solitary frame
Swirling around like a lunatic
On the beat of drums
Holding her on an alter
Waiting for the moon to tear through the mist
In frenzied fury the clouds roar
Behind her a beam of light
Outlines her frame in fiery gold
In a trance, she stands
Gazing ahead at her own shadow
On the dancing mist
She reaches out
To touch her
Then, oblivious to the mortal call
She walked ahead into the mist
The immortal soul
To be a part of the cosmos
We are two sisters.I had the privilege of being born a year before my younger sibling.Though i realized ,when i attained the knack of realization that being elder in the family puts a lot of pressure on you.For instance if you spend months collecting a meagre amount of a few hundreds in your piggy bank,the younger one gets the amount as a "gift" for being frail and not being able to collect it as you have..and more so because parents cannot and should not be partial.(it was MY effort!huh!!.so wasn't it MY money in the piggy bank?confusion galore...)anyway I've outgrown these mishaps like i outgrew my jumpsuits and skirts.I love my folks too much to reflect upon a few casual scratches one gets when playing amid roses and thorn bushes.
I had a long chain of nicknames.Friends called me Ghazu,Papa called me Ghazzi,Amma called me Ghazal,my favourite uncle nicknamed me Poppy but i still cannot figure out why and when my sister started calling me Baya..a distorted version of Bhayya.(big brother)I dont think i could have ever been bossy or overbearing like most big brothers and even today I revel in the fact that i am a woman in all her basic womanly forms.At least that's what i feel..a very subjective view.
Timezone:past..Class VI..I was unwell so could not go to school.I however went to see my sis off at the autostop.In those days we had a pool auto to take us to school and everyone would clamour to acquire the window seat.The driver stopped.On your marks..get set...and shoot!!I rushed into the auto and grabbed the window seat."Come on quick!i've got the seat for you!"and did not budge till my sis made herself comfortable inch by inch as she settled in and inch by inch i cautiously stepped out of the auto,now realizing my head was spinning because of the fever.I think that's how i got the affixture Baya to my name.
Chintu was the nickname of Rishi kapoor,a bollywood hero,quite popular in his heydays..We,my sister and I ,both liked the sound of the name Chintu.It was kind of cute.I dont know why i nicknamed my sister "Chintu"and it has stuck on to her like clingwrap.Today she is Chints for me.Recently a bemused friend asked me -What's the story behind this nickname?I really have no answer,Nicknames are born in moments.they do not have to endure labour pains.I think it is our fascination for onomatopoeic sounds that results in some weird names.Not so weired when the names were born,but today..yes.But there are no regrets.Only happy childhood memories.I love you Chints!Aals!(or Alu!though I prefer Aals)Anaamu,Ousy!Manna!Saamu!Saroshu!It's a long long list...Kudos....what's in a name?Love and only love.
Each day has something new to offer.The choice is yours-to take it up as a challenge , or as a burden, or to accept it as a gift.Gifts however are occasional,rare instances which are a result of great toil and perseverance.
It was the last day of our research exam.The paper was easy and there was an aura of gaiety even in the examination hall..last day..last question..almost done..the paper was too easy..how lucky!just then in walked a professor.he came up to me and said-"you must be present in the campus tomorrow..we have a board of studies meeting and you may be asked to give a presentation" Words stabbed deep and hard.For a few minutes I could not get back to the answer that I was writing.Why am I being singled out!anyway,i managed to pull through the rest of the answer and without checking for errors and correction handed over my paper to the invigilator and darted out of the room.Breathless,sans excitement of having completed all the papers,i walked into the room of the Research Coordinator."well,you are expected to be ready with a presentation as you have not yet presented your revised research proposal".""But Sir!I was sent as a National Resource Person to train the teachers in J&K and it WAS a part of my research work AND i was on duty leave AND..""The BOS will see you tomorrow!"(BOS=Board of Studies)All my plans of celebrating my freedom were diluted and the heat of the day evaporated all the water from the oasis in the desert!I spent the entire day glued to my laptop,my eyes tingling with fatigue and letters seemed to dance before my eyes.Tick- tock- tick- tock..1.30 AM.. and my presentation was ready.After a few hours I was back in the department-my folders in my arms waiting for my name to be called."Please Come In!"For a moment time seemed to stand still.Then a cool zephyr in the scorching heat of May whispered in my ears.."Now's the time,baby!show your mettle"With a toss of my head i threw away all traces of hesitation and walked in confidently.The sound of my friends Best-Of-Luck was like melody to the ears.A room of 60..antiques..precious..invaluable jewels in the field of Education..waited for me to begin.I know not how time danced away..a sufi derwesh in a white robe,going round and round in a trance..
"Hey!Congrats!"my peers congratulated me and i basked in the warmth of their wishes.My efforts had paid off.And finally,i was free..out of the labyrinth that had engulfed me.I could read the books i had bought and which lay unread on the shelf,bake chocolate cakes for my family and go on a shopping spree with my sister.
The ringtone sounded familiar.It was my phone .."Can you come over for a training session?"
Me..my laptop..my papers
As of now this is the status of my life
WHEN I THREW A PEBBLE IN THE WATER,IT SMILED AT ME:)
T-Really!who smiled?The pebble or the water?
G-The pebble made the water smile..the ripples thus made,made the water smile!as simple as that!
T-huh!ok.got it now...
G-ok..let me blow away the clouds of ambiguity..*When I threw the pebble in the water,the water smiled!*
(A.K joins in..)
A.k-I think you are quite articulate about your beautiful description!
(S.R pips in)
Yeah and what is noteworthy that it smiled at you while it was drowining..:)))....or may be the melancholic mind would define the ripples as the silent cry of the drowning pebble..:D...;))))
G-SR!The WATER smiled.The vast expanse of water was tickled by the pebble..so it smiled!(phew!)By the way,ripples as the silent cry of the drowning pebble has added another perspective to the whole thing and a very intense imagery gas (oops!typing error here..i intended to write HAS) cropped up!thanks for the idea.iI hope you don’t mind if I use it!
(FD joins in..)
FD-..and these words have started to tickle our senses...creatively!
G-I can already see them smile,FD!
SR-hey G!(chuckle!)sure you can have the emiting GAS and even use it to fuel more imagination!I have heard soon the government is planning to lift subsidy on Gas..By the way,if it is water that is smiling then it sure has a great heart to smile when being hit by a pebble!
(By now G’s at her tether’s end!!hmmph!!!)
G-Oh noooo!!I meant to write HAS but accidentally clicked on G in place of H!Baal ki khaal nikaal di tumne!Water is big hearted anyway..daryadili ki baat to suni hogi tumne?
SR-ha!Ha!so you took it all so seriously!
G-No not at all..I know by now your penchant for quick wit!
(Just then G’s sister joins in)
SS-Hey!When i threw a pebble in the water ...a frog sprang out!it was a frog prince and the rest followed!and we live happily till date!;)
SR-Nice meeting you Ms.Frog!Wish you a very happy monsoon this season!
SS-Croak!Croak!!(laughs out loudly)
G-Hey!SS!you just called my brother-in-law a frog!:))
SS-he is anything but a frog!he’s the prince who’s assessing my intensions in disguise only to surprise me with his killer looks!
An ex-room mate adds in..
IH-Hi folks!I wonder why the water must have smiled ..must have been very optimistic because even though it was being injured(really?) by the pebble,yet it knew that the experience would increase but it’s own status!
(now before the folks could chorus a HOW!G answers..
G-IH,for the water,a force to reckon with,a pebble is a small thing..look at this imagery-a boy throws a pebble in water to look at the ripples formed as a consequence..there is a spirit of curiosity in him. The water is not hurt by it because the force of a pebble is a miniscule one compared to the force of the water. And ripples suggest that the water body is a large one.
Why an orange!just an orange!nothing else seems as tantalizing to the taste buds as the cool cool cucumber and ripe tangy oranges.The sweltering heat of Delhi could really melt down the hardest of all metals.And then when you have a paper presentation to make the butterflies in the stomach crave for something cool.Just when i thought that post -three hours paper would be a sigh of relief a professor drops a bomb in my ears..Be present here tomorrow!you may be called again...Elipses!elipses!how i hate them sometimes.. ambiguity is irritating!God help me!
It's doubtful whether those who do not know how to love rocks,trees and animals could really love human beings!Take a look around and you'll see all kinds of human species-intellectuals,megalomaniacs,insane and sane sensibilities,proud possessors of legacies which probably never ever had a whiff of their breaths.yet the tendency to cling on like plastic wraps on food has become a second skin to them.Shallow thinking which one is expected to fathom is the most tiresome of all activities.One could be a good listener no doubt but when subjected to the torture of being just a passive observer of pseudo intellects around ,it's better to be an ostrich!
By sheer faux pas of human technology Mr.Machhar snuggled in through a gap between the two vacuum separated glass sheets of the aircraft window.”This way no one will notice me and I can travel WT! Hehehe!!” he grinned wickedly ,making a buzzing sound that annoys human ear as it closes itself to all sounds of the wakeful world and dozes off into a world of fantasy.
Mr.Machhar slipped and slid, jumped and clapped, buzzed and boozed.The booze of course was the overflow of happy hormones in his anatomy that took him into a state of inebriation. “Please fasten your seat belts” was not meant for him. He was the winged variety...but naturally! A sense of elation engulfed him. Up and up the aircraft went and Mr Machhar tried keeping his pupils at pace with the changing scenario outside his trap. However, first one eyeball became disoriented, and then the other...Till both were mere kanchas rotating in empty eye sockets each following its own rhythmic whirlpool. When they finally stopped, so did the tiny heart. A life literally perished up in the heavens.
Here it lays...Fossilized. A story unfinished, desires- unfulfilled.
Aren’t we all like this mosquito trapped in the rattrap? The world offers baits to us, which we hungrily cling on to. In search of those baits we move around in the labyrinth of life. I watch the sun splattering its rays over a sheet of clouds below.
The clouds become clearer as the form of the mosquito blurs.
Sylvia Plath's poem * Mirror * will always be a memorable one as i was asked to give an impromptu presentation on it at an institute.I simply loved reciting it and explainijg it to an eager group of students and teachers.Somehow Plath has always been a smooth ride..be it her The Bell Jar or Mirror.I love her expressions...
I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see, I swallow immediately.
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike
I am not cruel, only truthful –
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me.
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.
Expressions have always fascinated me whether they are verbal or non verbal.Every time i read expressions in a book of poetry they form an indelible impression on my mind.The same expressions read and re-read will always have something new to offer.Is is the reason that loneliness never really bothers me!
With heavy steps,a heavier bag,back from school as I climbed up the stairs to the third floor,the fragrance of Amma would reach me much before i placed my feet on the last step-the smell of condiments,the rustle of her cotton saree,"aa jao Beta...darwaaza khula hai"...celebrating my home coming.No perfume of arabia could ever be a substitute for this sweet fragrance-my mother