How do you deal with nightmares?

The past 2 days I have been waking up to really bad nightmares. I have battled nightmares all my adult life and most of the time they come for a couple of days and then disappear. Some have lasted for months and every night feels like my creative mind takes the better of me and there is a wide range of cinematic scary movies running in my dreams – free of cost !

I can deal with the scary movies in my dreams but what gets me cranky is the next day mental exhaustion which manifests into physical exhaustion and I am left yawning at work and also at all and sundry.

I have tried lavender baths, drops on pillows, washing my feet just before sleep ( yeah weird solutions too !) and watching happy serials/ reading happy books before I sleep but it works for sometime and then the ghouls are back !

Seriously , how do you really deal with nightmares seriously?

Mohammed Bhai of Sewree

2838512725_1e7975a38c_o‘Why didn’t you call me beheni? I would have come to pick you up. I thought you had already reached office’ Mohammad Bhai screeched to a halt barely missing my toes and I quickly jumped into his cab. Before I could respond to his queries he launched into another set of sentences while I was left mumbling noncommittal hmmms and Okays and an occasional grunt here and there. Barely a 5 minute ride but often it feels more than that just because in those 5 minutes Mohammad Bhai would have discussed everything from the rising prices of petrol, to his run-ins with the traffic police to global warming.

Mohammad Bhai is my regular taxi-walle bhaiya. He spends his days before my office gate and plies passengers to the nearest station and various other destinations which include several of our offices.  He is a middle aged; short stature man who feels taking a bath every morning is a waste of time and precious resource like water.

My association with Mohammad Bhai happened quiet by chance. It was one of those days when me and my colleagues were escaping the clutches of my boss and thinking of catching a movie at the nearest multiplex. Hard pressed for time we literally scampered into the very first taxi we could locate. Once inside the taxi we realized we had actually boarded a rundown cab which is literally being held together by strings and multicolored nylon ropes. As we were already running late we decided to take our chances with the taxi and instructed the unshaven portly driver to spare no effort in getting us there on time. And off he went like a speeding demon flying over portholes and maneuvering cars with the deft of a formula one driver. We held on to the cab almost fearing that the taxi will come apart halfway through the way. Nevertheless we reached on time and in one piece and profusely thanked him and from that day onwards he was nicknamed James Bond since we didn’t ask his real name.

He became a regular with us, dropping us off to the multiplex and taking us home when we work late. He had but only one problem which to me was a very endearing one. He talks nineteen to a dozen. He can actually carry on a one sided conversation with himself and not get tired. Over my regular jaunts with him he would often ask me about my day at office, about my work, family and life in general. And I came to be an active participant in his life. He used to talk about his wife and kids whom he sees once a year, his father who was a taxi driver too, his different ‘maaliks’, how it is very expensive to get a taxi permit in Mumbai and a lot more. Often he would talk about the time when he was well off and had 3 taxis of his own. He had squandered his wealth by indulging in gambling and would often lament the foolery of his days. His golden advice to me would be ‘Beheni never waste your hard earned money on vices like gambling. This is one vice that will destroy your life. I was not driving a run down taxi a few years back. I had 3 taxis of my own and ….’ I have heard the same story probably for the 100th time but it wouldn’t stop him from relating it for the 101st time. I often indulged him and would talk along with him. There were times when I would be traveling with friends and suddenly he will barge into our conversation and give his valuable inputs. They find him very irritating because they feel he talks unnecessarily and some were even rude to him. Of course the dislike was mutual.

I was often asked how can I stand being patient with him and carry on a conversation since he always ends up repeating things. I simply smile and give a noncommittal answer. What is not evident to everyone is a lonely man who day in and out runs a taxi around town, plying passengers to their destinations and finally falling asleep in his taxi at night. Nobody notices his sweat and toil to earn that 150 that he needs to give his maalik and also save some more to send home to his family. And I wonder how many of them have spent sometime listening to his dreams of owning his own taxi. He speaks with a glimmer of hope in his eyes of owning his own AC taxi in another 16 months. Anyone of us would have despaired on the long wait but not Mohammad Bhai. He has calculated to the last rupee he needs to save every month after sending money home to realize his dream.

He maybe a tough nut to crack with crash language and dirty unkempt clothes but he is a softie at heart. In his own words he is one firm believer in relationships. He would wait endlessly outside the office to take me home, even refusing better fares because it feels it is his duty to see his ‘beheni’ home safely. I cannot forget the day I had called him on his newly acquired mobile phone to wait for me since I will be late. I had urgent work to complete and was alone in the office with my boss and colleagues. The work stretched on way past 10 pm and was not showing any signs of completion. I was tired and almost fainting with hunger but I went on working ceaselessly without a concern for time. We don’t get anything to eat after 7 pm and the lone vada pav I ate for snack was long since digested. When at last near midnight I walked outside and slumped in his taxi he passed on a parcel to me. He had thoughtfully bought bhel for me. I had tears in my eyes. He simply said ‘I had gone to eat when I realized you must be hungry. So I bought bhel for you. The guy near the station makes good bhel so you will like it. Eat while we go. Don’t worry I had my share. Eat Beheni.’ I quickly ate the bhel with relish.

There was this other day when I was as usual delayed at office. I wasn’t too sure when I would be free. Since my office is in a rundown godown area in Sewree with drug addicts and anti social elements lurking around past 8 pm, I asked Mohammad Bhai to wait for me. An hour wait stretched into two and so on and I wasn’t even able to pick up his calls since I was in a meeting. When I finally came out and boarded the cab I apologized for keeping him waiting and in his characteristic style he said it was not a problem since he had already earned enough for the day and wanted an early night. While driving back I inquired about his dinner and he said he didn’t eat since he was waiting for me. It was past midnight and all options of food for him were closed then. Very casually he said he will drink water and go to sleep. I was shocked and stunned and felt very guilty about looking forward to stuffing myself with chicken curry at home. After giving him a piece of my mind on his foolishness I handed him 3 mangoes that I was carrying home with me and apologized for not having more. He was reluctant to take it but I reminded him I ate that bhel the other day and so he should take the mangoes.

The genuine concern he shares regarding my wellbeing and also my friends speak a lot about the man and his heart which is why it didn’t come as a surprise when my friend send a piece of her birthday cake for him. He would often pick and drop me off at the station for free and always take lesser fare for dropping me home. Despite protests he would simply say ‘If I don’t do this for my own people who else will I do it for. I can earn from others. I take you here and there because you are my beheni and I feel you are my own’. 

I would often look out for means to compensate him for his kindness towards me and my friends. There were times when he and I would have differences of opinions. We often disagree on which areas in Mumbai you find maximum traffic and which areas have lesser water clogging. He is as stubborn as a mule and would often disagree to on small issues with me. He would advice me on getting married to a man who doesn’t drink because he believes liquor ruins a good man when I would play the devil’s advocate and sing praises of my friends who are into drinking.

I have several associations with different people based on different expectations and some based on mutual greed. But my association with Mohammad Bhai is based on pure human compassion. I have often drawn strength from his infallible spirit. He has so little and yet he is a contended man. He is ready to go the extra mile to ensure I am never left without an option of safe passage. He would drop me off at the airport at 4am and even pick me up from a pub at 2am. I feel guilty using his services at times and would often chide him for waiting for me tirelessly. He could have simply used his time to earn more money but he would rather wait for me to come out of that multiplex and then drop me home. How does one define such relationships? How can one salute the indomitable human spirit if you do not see such examples in your life? How can one not be indebted to a good hearted man who is a firm believer that his destiny is decided by his Allah and he is merely following His orders?

Mohammad Bhai for me is not merely a man who has an exceptionally soft heart but he is someone who embodies the goodness that still exists in the human heart despite the world being overshadowed by greed and other worldly vices.

Still a girl with dreams? Nah! Just a blogpost

I love romantic movies (who doesnt anyway?) ..and one with weddings in them.There is something about happy endings that end in “I do” that can send my toes curling even now ( sheesh! and I thought I was a cool confident woman in her 30s !)

Nevertheless, its that time of the year when the wedding season begins. And leading the way is ex-best friend who is getting married the coming weekend. Suddenly there is pressure on yours truely to fly the miles pronto to Delhi and “brighten” up his wedding ( ya his exact words) and yours truely has just joined a new organisation a week back and cant possibly start taking leaves yet! I guess I have to be try to be there for him else I shudder to think he may just end up wearing Pink on the D day😉

After spending a lazy afternoon at Aunt’s watching a horrendous reality show called ” Big Boss” and also getting my laundry done since the maid is on leave to attend a wedding ( see I told you the season has begun) when I got home I really wasnt in the mood to do any more reading today. I was in the mood to watch a movie on a soapy wedding. Serendipity was watched yesterday so why not get a couple of laughs and also get the tears rolling with Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses.

I watched the movie soon after it released in April 2008. One would think I have phenomenal memory to remember the date. I could have taken credit for it but then I do have an old blogpost on an old blog in O3 ( I used to blog there 2005-2008) dated around the same time to remind me why this movie was so special for me then. I must have seen the same movie several times over the past couple of years and it still remains one of my favourite of all times.

 I dunno if I think or write any different now but I still hope any girl who sees this movie today believes in love the way I did in 2008.. less cynicism and more hope for a happy ever after.  I laughed and shed a tear while watching the movie today ( yes I always cry in the last scene when she walks the aisle towards him) and I smiled while reading through the old blogpost.

….thought about sharing the same here too. A direct copy paste lies below.

I have been wanting to write this post for quiet sometime.. nothing dil se since dil se likhi baaton ko koi appreciate nahin karte … just another movie review .. sometime back I went for a chick flick .. 27 Dresses.. for all those who are thinking why did I waste Rs250 bucks on such a movie … I think it was worth it …🙂

I went with a good old pal of mine and both of us had a good time discussing men-women relationship much to the chargin of a cute male sitting beside us ..( he came alone to see the movie .. ;))… I mean I was intensely discussing why I find the main lead cute and what part of his anatomy was cute ( dimples actually .. ha ha ..gotcha ;))… and this young man wasnt too happy with the noise we made.. so he politely asked me “ Ah.. I’ve come here to watch a movie…” and I was quick to reply back “ I dont see anyone else doing anything else anyway” … mean.;).. maybe .. but then cute guys are dangerous.. dont trust them… not even their soulful stares and I-would-promise-u-the-world looks… they never deliver..

Back to topic… 27 dresses is about this late twenties ( or was it early thirties?) girl .. who is a girl friday.. an amazing woman who can juggle between two wedding in one night .. and also manage to be the maid of honor of both the weddings… infact she has 27 bridesmaid dresses in her closet .. from classy to trashy to exciting and well even a a few kinky and wierd… 

Her troubles manifolded when she met this pesky journalist who observes her wierd transitions from a ballroom dress to an indian sari all through the fateful evening and wonders what is she upto ? … definitely God is playing a cruel joke on her … he turns out to be this amazing columnist from a wedding paper and duh he even writes her fav column “ commitments“ …( I swear she is typically me … beleiving in romantic shit despite everything ).. but then since he uses his avataar for writing ( definitely he wishes to do some serious work and not attend weddings and write about their stories)…

Guy mets girl.. guy finds an interesting story and makes a deal with his editor to dig up the dope behind the girl and her 27 dresses… befriends her and gets to know her well…. in the meantime .. we find the girl going through trouble… well in the name of her so meaty boss.. a handsome guy more perfect than my new red sleek sony vaio😉 … and well she obviously has been in love with this guy since ages and the whole world knows about this but him ( Duh! he surely is a dud) … But Mr. Dud is not so Duddy .. ( sorry ;))…. he soon falls in love with her kid sister… a wanna be model … totally barbiesh ! … Barbie lies through everything to get Mr. Dud into her jaal ( typically like men lie through their teeths to get women into their jaal … ) and soon Mr. Dud and Miss Barbie are to get married … and our Betty is asked to be the bridesmaid for little sister…

Painful  … trying to be good friends with the person she loves is perhaps the most difficult things to do …. thank god atleast they werent lovers… imagine being best friends with someone u slept with ..of course that would be a man’s dream come true…….. anyway to the rescue comes the journo …they hit it off quiet good and even manage a night of passion stuck in some deluge …

but all is not well with Betty …. she is unable to take it anymore and doesnt want to be a pushover …. to make things hell she finds an article on her 27 dresses along with her embarassing pics ( her modelling them) on the wedding daily and realises it is her “friend“ who betrayed her…. she had enough of people taking her for granted and finally got bugged with her selfish sister and asked her to let Mr. Dud know about all the lies since a relationship should be based on trust and honesty etc etc etc.. Lil Sis asked her to buzz off… Betty gives her an ultimatum and finally on the day of the rehersal dinner Betty downed a few glasses of alcohol and just let loose all the angst inside her…

Uska nateeja yeh tha.. shaadi called off … Barbie hates her elder sister..journo friend unhappy since it was his editor boss who got hold of the story and printed it … and he suddenly realises that he loves her … ha ha …wierd way to know you love her… after hurting her…  anyway… time passes… and Betty and her Dad mends fences with Barbie and even her boss suddenly finds her beautiful….and they even kiss… just to be sure …about the chemistry … by then Betty is sure her Mr. Right is Mr. Journo and she makes a very filmi declaration of love in some arbit wedding Mr. Journo was covering …. phir kya? Happy Ever After .. with a dream wedding in the beach … I would love to get married on the beaches of Goa in a moonlight night…

The best thing about this movie… definitely the Hero … well am not saying because he was cute and he has amazing dimples… but the look in his eyes was so genuine… I mean u cant see love in anyone’s eyes nowdays … and he was actually reflecting the same on camera… ( maybe his Gf/Wife was around )…that made this movie so memorable for me … ( ha ha right …sucker for romance ..)..

. Anyway almost 4 in the evening and am listening to Shaan’s- Bhool Ja for the whole day … the lyrics of the song are damn good and so right ..I did learn that one should give your love to someone who appreciates it and treasures it ….“In ansoonon se kisko kya hua hansil……Jane kya soch kar tune de diya apna dil …“ ..

Enough! …

 Ps:  a cached link to my old blog here

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://o3.indiatimes.com/suddentwilight

A year of living alone…

Living in Mumbai has never been easy. With prices of real estates skyrocketing it all boils down to making a choice between living in comfort,sometimes isolation in the suburbs or living in a cramped rathole , compromising on basic comforts which were once a birthright to me and stay in the city.

I chose to live in the city and this month I complete 1 year at my hostel . A year has passed by and in no other place do sleep peacefully than on my tiny single bed where me and my 2 pillows cannot coexist. I chose to be close to places a single woman in mumbai must have easy access to- safer means of commuting,  a good movie hall, a good supermarket / mall , a place for long walks ( Marine Drive for me) , good eating joints where eating alone isnt looked at with amusment and sympathy ( trust the indian mentality to do so) also a good bookstore to while away my time and friends.

I make do with a tiny table and a plastic chair and though I would kill for a better bookshelf and cupboard space for my clothes and shoes and for the room currently occupied by another girl I think I have learnt to adjust really well here.

I can supress my earthshattering screams now when the big fat rat makes an appearance at night hunting for leftovers . I am also unmindful of the water seepage from the walls of the room and nudge my books away from the edges to avoid the dampness. I have also forgiven the person who broke the whistle of my then brand new pressure cooker and didnt go behind the the girl who stole my food with deadly laxatives and chemical dye to catch her redhanded.

I can listen to the maid’s paranoia about being followed and hunted down by men in black everyday and dial her son’s number on her cellphone number without looking at her soiled diary everytime. I know the old farties ( women included) across the road in  the other building love to secretly check out us girls when we come out of the shower in towels but till date we are glad we havent given them any chances of getting a heart attack. The towels havent dropped, no Sir, not once.

I know the watchman will open the gate anytime of the night for you without a grudge if you smile at him whenever you make eye contact and also treat him like a human being. I never had to grease his palms unlike the other girls till today and he always carries my bags up till the 3rd floor and helps me close the gate. Being kind and considerate is always a #win over being bitchy and a snob.

The found out that the best food delivery hotel in the area is the one where the person picking up the phone is courteous to you even if all you are ordering is a plateful of rice and dal.

I know now that keeping the speaker volume down isnt always the best thing . You need to return the early morning noise pollution from the next door neighbours with some of your own late into the night.

I have learnt to keep the peanut butter, bottle of wine, beer, eggs in my room unless i wanted to see the empty bottles &  shells at the sink in the morning. Infact I stopped buying peanut butter.

Making a call to the ISP once a month is mandatory else the 1MBPS internet connection will not work as smoothly. Just a casual hi to remind them to do their job.

The hostel guardian doesnt allow televisions inside the hostel but it is very imperative to ensure one stays entertained and well informed. High Speed Internet and access to free music/video sites helps. Also endless episodes of Sex and the City and Coupling. This also helps during hostel parties and hilarious dance sessions as youtube gives quick access to cheesy 80/90s hindi film videos (Sunny Deol ‘s ziddi being an all time favourite ).

Women bond of gossip and wine and keeping a ready stock of wine/rum in the room and wasabi peas ensures everyone converges in your room for the end of the day chit chat and male bashing/gossip sessions which will someday be the highlight of a long and tired day at work.

Cooking together makes you learn that dil, garlic, water and salt makes for very good clear soup and sometimes pureed brinjal and chicken does takes tasty. Of course it makes you feel like a queen when your lame excuse for cooking is appreciated by the PGmates as “wow” food not to forget the ocassional haldi, salt and oil that one needs to borrow once in a while.

Living alone for the past 1 year has been fun and had its moments when you find there was nobody in the hostel on a friday night when you are the only one who has to sleep on time to get to work on a saturday. However the girls around me today form my support system so much so that when I am down with fever I can tell one of them to check on me and keep the door open while I sleep.

 I am not sure if I would continue in the same place for another year but even if I do, I know everytime I pass the place I would always look up fondly at another place I called home.

For the time being.

Mother and I

Mother and I

I saw pride glister as tears in my mother’s eyes as I walked down the auditorium steps with my PGDM diploma. She came all the way from Meghalaya to attend my convocation despite her bad leg. It meant a lot to me and I know she wanted to be there too. She was filling in for Dad, he left us in 2001. After the ceremony we hugged and cried and all she could say between her sobs was ‘Your father will be proud of you today. He would have wanted to be here’. I looked up and asked her ‘what about you?’ She just smiled through her tears. That was my mother.

I have always thought I was my father’s daughter. Pampered and praised at all times, I was the apple of his eye, his “mamoni” ( a bong word of endearment).And it was very difficult for me to come to terms with his death. I still haven’t. I used to feel after he was gone that I am practically alone in this world. Mom was around but her favorite was my younger brother and we always had a lot of differences in opinion.

I would always be vocal about how different I am from her and deny the uncanny resemblances we share. I look like her, have similar temperaments and the same streak of independence. I was jealous of her attention towards my sibling. I became a rebel. Painted my nails black, wore clothes she hated, fought constantly with her over issues ranging from my hairstyle to boys to my acute abhorrence for household chores. I wanted her attention.

Today she isn’t with us either and I find it difficult to come to terms with the loss. I am still trying to live up to her few golden rules of life.

 The first I learnt when I was in Lower Kindergarten. I drew a sun with blazing rays where I was supposed to draw an egg in a haystack and failed my drawing test. I came home crying, hurt by jibes from classmates on my masterpiece. Mom heard me out patiently and said ‘Every one of us has weaknesses we are not proud of. Working on this weakness and making it your biggest strength is the mark of an achiever’ I got back to drawing with a vengeance and a few years down the line I won the district level painting competition beating some of the best talents and surprising everyone but her. She just smiled.

 I learnt the second rule when Dad passed away. I saw her as the strong woman that she was and my admiration and respect for her increased manifold. Right from taking care of his last rites to setting us back on track she was the rock of Gibraltar. She told me later that she got her strength from her conversations with Dad every night. She said ‘adversities and challenges will try to break you down from time to time. Drawing strength from your good times will help you realize how blessed you are and energize you with hopes of better times’.

She put away Dad’s savings in safe deposits and being the entrepreneurial woman that she was she dabbled in several business ventures, right from turning her garden into a nursery, to running a shop of gift items in the local super market to working as a lecturer in 2 colleges she did everything to maintain our standard of living as well as fund our education. All along we didn’t realize the money we received as our pocket money was from her monthly earnings and not what Dad left us. That remained untouched till the end.

 Mom was injured during the unfortunate Police Firing on innocent protestors on Sept 30th (2005) at Tura Chandmari Ground which left her with a sprained leg that never healed. In the months that followed she took up the baton for human rights and became an active member of the 30th Sept Solidarity forum. Right from meeting politicians to arranging rallys, TV recordings to fighting for the victims claims she was running around, still in her crutches.When I asked her why she is getting involved she said ‘All through the golden years of my life I was busy being a daughter, good wife, mother. Today I wish to be a good human being and fight for the right cause. I am also an individual and need to live up to my other expectations’.

Today she is remembered at every Solidarity Forum gathering and our hearts fill with pride when people come up to us and talk about all that she has done for them. From her I learnt that no matter what role I play in life now or later on I still have another role I should live up to- my identity as a woman, an individual.

Today as I go about my life, flirting from one role to the other I remember this is another part I need to play the way she did, with grace and élan. I wasn’t a great daughter but someday I wanna be a great mother- almost like her and an equally wonderful wife. Today I flirt with my destiny in trying to live up to my identity which starts from living up to my surname first. I have a big shoe to fill.

I am human. Hence I am social.

Human beings are social animals. This was my introduction to the word “social” in school.

Today I wonder how much of a social animal am I?

All I could come up with were random percentage parameters. And even then it was difficult to quantify if I was 50% social or 80% and how do I calculate where I stand on the scale. There are times when I am a recluse and would like to simply curl up with myself rather than talk to anyone and then there are days when I cannot get enough of people. If being active on Facebook, Twitter, Orkut a parameter for being a social animal then perhaps I am one of them. I have often felt I am more social online then one would find me offline. Being a social person comes naturally to me when I log on to the WWW. Perhaps a lot can be contributed to my hectic work hours and 6 days of working that beyond the usual time I spend in front of the computer I rarely find enough inclination to socialize beyond it.

 I have always been inclined towards people. I get along well with people; am good at being diplomatic even with my enemies and usually have never found myself alone among strangers. When I was a school going girl I used to write letters to unknown pen pals across the globe and used to enjoy sharing each others lives at least in spirit. With the advent of the WWW things got simpler than postage stamps and it barely took much more than a few clicks here and there to make online friends. Yes I do have a set of online pals with whom over the past few years I have either lost touch and they have remained as just glowing icons on my yahoo messenger or I have connected with offline and become a part of my life.

When yahoo chat was the in thing in college I and a bunch of friends would spend hours online chatting up males and generally having some good fun online- the taste of the forbidden fruit indeed was very alluring since it wasn’t a done thing then! There has been a time when we even had to change our cell phone numbers to avoid a few pricks and those were such learning experiences on trust.  I have fallen in love online and never regretted that. As I grew up and moved to my present occupation networking –social and professional became a part of my work profile. Being in HR ain’t very easy if one is reclusive and I am a blessed extrovert. I am still in touch with my childhood friends, engineering friends and knew everyone at my MBA college (seniors/juniors & batch mates).  

My first social networking site is Orkut and I was introduced to it when I was doing my MBA at IIMK. The whole world and more I knew were hooked onto the site and so was I. Was fun, interesting and new and I did add a few random people. As I moved out of college into professional life I joined Linkedin to stay connected to like minded professionals. It was a breakup that introduced me to Facebook. I was told it was a fun place to hang out on. That was 2007 and I think I haven’t yet got bored of Facebook. I have made a lot of friends through Facebook and have found a new lease of life through the site. Photography which is adds meaning to my life today found new meaning on Facebook then. It helped me connect to professionals as well as amateurs and gave me a medium to have my work appreciated by a lot more people that it would have been possible otherwise. Though I was on Flickr I was pushed into the limelight after I connected with the right professionals through Facebook.

I wouldn’t have called Flickr a social networking site since the basic idea behind the interface is to share images online and not exactly network but today I correct myself. Starting an online/offline photography club in Mumbai called Mumbai Weekend Shoot on Flickr did help me meet a lot of like minded photographers and make life long friends in the process. I met amateurs, hobbyists and a few professionals and have picked up skills and admired their work on the site.

If I track my social interactions for a day I would say I do log into twitter first thing when at work and clear out my Facebook notifications along with checking out my Flickr account. This and of course Gmail has been a part of my daily “TO-DO” list for quite sometime now. Once works done I could meet up friends for dinner or coffee or movie. Parties are limited to Saturday Nights and Tweet ups, Alumni nights, HR Meets, Photoshoots, Exhibitions and my Sunday Morning Breakfast Club meets are a definitely must MUST –DOs! Sundays are kept for meeting up with likeminded photographers and shooting in the morning, followed by breakfast (SMBC) with a movie later. There are times when impromptu shopping sprees do take place sometimes with a few friends and sometimes alone. Till sometime back I used to fuss about not going alone for shopping or a movie but I guess am over that now. Baring these few activities I do tend to meet up everyone back home when I go for my annual visits and visiting relatives and friends are a priority then.

 I do segregate my friend list into different categories – best friends, close friends, friends, school, college, IIMK, acquaintances, online friends, I have not met, professional contacts, photographers, twitter etc. Since I am connect to 1000+ people on Facebook it makes it a little easier for me to manage the lists. I am pretty much the same person to everyone barring the ‘I have not met’ list of people since I would rather be a little less open with people I don’t know. It goes without saying only a few of these people are on my phone contact list.

The best medium to be in touch with most of the people on the list is through Facebook chat with a select few on my Gmail/Yahoo and then a filtered few on my Phone Contact List. I somehow don’t feel I am one of the ‘pick up the phone’ for a random chat person. I rarely make calls to catch up… I would simply send a sms or catch someone online- a less intrusive medium and then perhaps meeting for a drink or so later in the week. But I do spend hours on calls with friends when they call me up. This for those I cannot meet. Definitely a sms works most times for me when in a hurry. For those who I can I am often catching up over breakfast, coffee or dinner and the topics could be as varied as the latest development in HR ( professional contacts), to photography tricks and tips ( photographers), to regular updates and business discussions ( batch mates) and gossips (friends) and random stuffs ( tweet ups ) .

 Thirty years of existence..

I moved from mingling in my school, family circles to the safer domains of batch mates and then colleagues and then strangers ( not under compulsion of course). Today I may not know the next person sitting beside me on my long commute home but I know a smile and quick question on the weather or the book he/she is reading can strike up a conversation. I also know one disinterested look will ensure I am not disturbed when I am spending some quality time with a book or simply staring out of the window at nothingness. It is surprising how at ease I feel in a crowd and how easy it is for me to be a part of the teeming millions. Do I feel pressurized to be socially active all the time?

Perhaps not much since I realised the blackberry, internet can be switched off anytime I want and I would still have my world running as smoothly. I have none but one deduction today.

I am human. Hence I am social.

clean slate

Another day , another commute…

Blind Beggars singing soulfully in the train …gave them some money and asked them to sing a bit more … dunno what they were singing but it sounded so peaceful ..

Peace.

Is that what I crave most these days?

A few days back I thought I wanted the old excitement in life.

 Yesterday I realised I am too old for excitement back in life .. the kind I sought out in my twenties …

Thirties have changed me ..

I think, I plan , and I am quick to realise I should let go when I see things not working out. In the twenties maybe I would have carried romantic notions on things falling in place eventually, in my thirties I carry ruthless surity and an equally calculating heart that always analyses situations, people and makes a quick decision… I maybe wrong several times but I wouldn’t waste time ..its just too precious now.
I hurt today …having ended something that was giving me a lot of happiness lately ..
I am numb but strangely the pain doesn’t matter .. Have learnt to distract myself from it –
Avoid the situation/person ,get busy with books, photography, movies, friends, walks .. the works..
Plenty to do …plenty more I can think of ..
Regret?

Too many in life to complain of this …. But wish it had happened in another timeframe .. Maybe when I was younger and more generous with myself…my time …and less sure of my expectations ..
Maybe then ..this could have worked .. Secretly I wished it had ….the date on my watch denies me the pleasure of wishing today ..
Too old for fairy god mothers and genie in the bottles (oh wait was that a lamp ?) 

did I really beleive in them a couple of years back?

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