Monday, May 21, 2007


I read this somewhere...almost as if in answer to my last post...

"Look at life through the windshield and not the rearview mirror!"


Wednesday, April 25, 2007


If life were a highway and the soul just a car…and objects in the rearview mirror were closer than they are!!

Most would consider having a good memory a boon…but sometimes I wish I didn’t remember things so vividly…sometimes I wish I could forget…sometimes I wish everything wasn’t as clear as if it were just yesterday…sometimes I wish it would all be a blur.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Autos and I

Autodrivers – what is it with them ALWAYS making us haggle? Delhi/Noida autos will simply not move according to meters. They’ll quote some ridiculously high price…don’t know what they think when they say that – perhaps they assume we don’t live here and are fools…and will expect you to jump in! Then you rebuke him and what follows is a battle of wits and the question of who gives in first…who’s quoted price wins the race…

I guess the permit issue between Delhi and Noida makes them wary but sometimes works to their advantage as well – since people like me who’re not too fond of buses or taxis (two opposite ends as far as I’m concerned) always resort to autos and eventually have to give in to their demands at some point. Auto-wallahs are also extremely unionized…so if you don’t agree to the price quoted by one, none of the others will go either! That really cheeses me off!

The other day, I was to go for a wedding and this auto-man simply refused to go to Delhi (from Noida) unless I paid him Rs 250 (the usual rate on the route would be not more than Rs 150)…I obviously refused and the man was so adamant, I wanted to report him to the police or something. There should be some kind of rule against asking for ridiculous amounts of money and some redressal measures. Anyway, I refused to go with the man, so all his fellowmen refused to take me anywhere. Don’t know what struck me at that moment and I called a colleague to find out what time he’s leaving from office…luckily he was leaving soon enough for me and I hopped into his car – cursing the auto-wallahs!

Then there are those auto-wallahs who will for some reason make it a point to stop at the CNG station only when I’m in a terrible rush! It’s happened with me way too many times. Once I was on my way to office from Lajpat Nagar (was already running very late) and the man insisted he has to get CNG…and God save you from the queues at CNG stations…took a full 15 minutes and a lot of grumbling at my end to get it over with.

I’ve had a few good experiences with them as well. Once I was traveling from Nizamuddin station to my Jhandewalan office. At a red light, a man in orange robes, with a snake wrapped around his neck came asking for money. Now I’m petrified of snakes…tried refusing twice but the man insisted (that’s his job) and just kept getting the slimy creature closer…so I started digging into my purse for coins…the auto-driver then screamed at the snake man and at that moment the light turned green and zoom went my auto-man…. my coins still in my hand. He then severely reprimanded me for encouraging the snake-man. I tried to explain that I don’t pity the man or approve of his begging…I know it’s all a farce…but I just didn’t want the snake anywhere close to me. Of course the auto-man didn’t listen to one word of mine and went on scolding me…he was a kind, old man…said – “aap toh padhe likhe log hain…aapko toh kam se kam aisa nahin karna chahiye”…finally, all I could offer was a nod and a sheepish grin in return! And on reaching Jhandewalan I said ‘thank you’ (not just for driving sanely)…I always thank them – especially the ones who quote reasonable prices, don’t make me haggle, drive sanely and don’t talk incessantly!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Happy Valentine's Day :)
The colour of the day is of course red... People say it's stupid to celebrate Valentine's Day...but I like it...just the way I like say Friendship Day, Mothers' Day or Fathers' Day! I used to do special things for mom dad on those days..I think it was nice...and I'll revive it this year. Haven't done anything for the last 2-3 years I think. Anyways, I like the works in I'm all for red and balloons and roses and chocolates - not only on Valentine's but on any day for that matter :) Now since both Neha and I don't have Valentines, we gifted each other red hearts that we can put in our penstands...I even thought we'll order flowers for each other but seemed like a waste considering the prices of flowers touch the sky on this day...Rs 50 for one stem of, thank you! We'd rather watch a movie, treat ourselves to a good dinner or shop!

I decided I want to wear something red to office...rummaged through my cupboard and decided - this summer my colour will be red - I need red clothes! Finally found a red and black Jaipuri dupatta (it's my favourite) and wore that with my jeans and white sweater...not a bad combo at all :)

Walked into office then and found bunches of red balloons everywhere...lots of people hated it but I didn't mind...sweet of HR to try and do something...and I loooooooooooooooove balloons anyway so I really can't complain ;)

The channel of course is playing love stories - some of them are quite amazing actually...people celebrating their golden what it's like to spend 50 years with someone! Hats off!
Somehow I don't think half of our generation can live with the same person for 50 years...don't think most people have the patience or willingness to compromise...our parents and grandparents were much more accommodating. I'd like to believe that in this case, I'm from their generation :)


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Year in Kasauli

Hellos to all and sundry…
Been a while…as usual huh?
Well, where to begin? This is my first post in 2007…
Spent New Year at Kasauli with Neha and Shriya at Shriya’s house.
Shriya left one day before us since she had an extra holiday. The journey began with Neha and me traveling to the station in a taxi that took aeons to reach…at one point, we thought we’d miss the train…got stuck just outside the station in a traffic jam so jumped out of the taxi with bag and baggage and barely managed to catch the train in time. It was a shatabdi from Delhi to Kalka. Like schoolgirls, Neha and I bought mushy books to read on the way…food on the train was usual nonsense. When we reached Chandigarh, everyone from our bogie disembarked and only the 2 of us were left in that chair car…with some 4 policemen…I think their presence scared us more than their absence would have! We were wondering how Shriya travels alone in this train. We even called her up to check if we haven’t missed getting off at the right station!

Anyhow, an hour and some goosebumps later, we reached Kalka…were picked up and were driven to Kasauli…it was the WORST hill drive of my life. For one, I hate sitting on the backseats of gypsies…and second, the driver was a maniac! By the time we reached home, Neha and I were giddy and sick…didn’t want to eat for a long time but eventually gave in to aunty pampering us with mushroom pie, fruitcake and what not :)

Next morning, we got dressed and sat in the ‘havan’ that aunty had kept for ‘grihashanti’ (home peace)…who was to know it’s only the beginning of a very religious day :) Then we went to the AFWWA shop and bought some woollen caps and pickles for home. I always buy pickles/jams/juices/oils from hill stations….(read Nainital, Manali)…Neha and I bought similar caps, Shriya already had one…so throughout the trip we looked like a set of triplets!

Next we climbed up a hill to reach a Hanuman temple…don’t know what it is with all temples being located on hill tops in hill stations for some reason…anyhow, the treks are always good…enjoyed it…everyone went barring uncle and aunty…Agrim and Priya had also come over for new year’s…
So we reached the top…I always enjoy making wishes so I did…and well, when you’re trekking up all the way, you might as well wish just to make it more worthwhile…no offence meant dear God!! :)
We had maggi and coffee at this little cafetaria near the temple…funny how maggi lands up in all corners of the country…tasted heavenly on that freezing morning…

Don’t know why but just didn’t like the Kasauli cold…see, as it is I feel extra cold…but Kasauli had that ‘biting’cold, unlike Delhi…gets freezing in Delhi as well but somehow I don’t mind it so much…not so painful! By the end of it, I was of the opinion that 2 days were more than enough in this weather…I couldn’t have survived another one!
So anyway, later that evening after delicious ‘chhola bhaturas’, we walked down to Mall Road…encountered some hooting and cat-calling on the way…followed by a couple who’d lost their way. We first went to this 205-year-old church…(religious day, remember?)…it was simply beauuuuuuuuu-ti-fulllll!!! I love churches…they give me a sense of calm and serenity…we lit candles, wished for some things yet again – third time in the day and then asked Father if we could indulge in photography…he allowed us to and even told us that the church features in ‘Golu ki Goggles’ – a weekly show on Star Plus!!! Click click click we went…

Next we walked down mall road, inspecting shops…Shriya bought a gift for Agrim…then we continued and went gaga over some hand-knit shawls…and the shopping freaks that Neha and I are…we bought 2 each (that after Shriya refused to let me buy more than 2!). One was for Ruchi anyway, so in essence I bought only one :)

Now we proceeded to a coffee shop – loud music, bonfire et al. The coffee and french-fries next to the bonfire were simply awesome! Then we walked back uphill, clicked a snap outside Rahul Bose’s dad’s house…just for kicks…and then huffed and puffed our way up…thankfully, uncle came half way to pick us up…it was just getting way toooooooo cold! Reached home, snuggled up in bed for 2 hours, sent new year messages to friends and then got ready to go for the new year party.

We all first went to Kasauli resort…danced there for a while and had some snacks…Uncle aunty were invited elsewhere as well so they took us along. Now this place was someone’s house…mansion, rather! We reached and commandos were all over the place – their security apparently…these people are the manufacturers of some jams, pickles, juices etc…stinking rich! But the party was such a boreeeeeeeeeeeee…the music was awful – some ghazal guy who couldn’t sing to save his life and sang sad songs to top it all! Neha, Shriya and I were wondering why we didn’t stay back at the Kasauli resort and continue having fun? We were so so bored…even the people were boring…we’d have had more fun just being at home together! Anyways, the house was beautiful and the food was delicious…everywhere there were snaps of the man with Rajiv Gandhi & Sonia Gandhi!

There was cake and champagne at I don't drink...
Made phone calls at midnight...wished ma, pa, bhai....bhai was celebrating New Year in Venice...awesome fun!

Anyhow, we left around 2:00 am and went home and cut Agrim’s birthday cake…I was too full to eat more cake…had eaten so much all day!
The next day, we went back to the AFWWA shop as Neha wanted to shop…came back, lunched and sat on the garden swing…these guys were going back to climb the mountain upto the temple but this time I didn’t accompany them. Had a terrible headache, was shivering and feeling feverish. So I stayed at home, lay in bed and watched tv. Had missed news for the last 2 days so caught up with it…learnt there was stone pelting and mob rage happening in Nithari over the skeletons found at D-5, learnt Chandralekha died…felt bad…I’ve been to her house and met her once while we were studying at ACJ. We had our Art and Culture get together there…
Anyways, so these guys got back and we walked over to the mess – nothing unusual about it – another regular Air Force mess! Later in the night we packed and went off to sleep, got up at 3:30 am to drive down to Kalka and catch the train back to Delhi. The journey back was gone in the slumber…reached home, all rushed for baths one by one and hit office by noon…back to square one – in the new year with some new beginnings :)