1998

5 girls met. Talked. Slowly at first and then incessantly. They sat in the last benches of most of their classes. Had some adventures. Loads of giggles, some fights. Went through a bunch of guys. Made other gal pals and 20 years later are still around in a pretty good capacity given that work, home, spouses, kids and pets do make their presence felt quite a bit on a daily basis.

College was such a melting pot. You had all the directions of the country converge along with linguistic and religious backgrounds and still found that you fit somewhere; with someone. And you wore each other like gloves and the fit just got better with time with a few mends here and there.

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There were classes where you each were at sea, and then those where you still had the chance to sail through. There were gaffes, bloopers, red-letter days and some days you’d rather really just never remember again. There were fests and fiestas where you met the next few months’ rides in the form of people (ahem..guys) from other colleges and also did a quick dipstick to see if you were on the right end of the social spectrum when compared to the rest of the lot out there. Fashion played a big role. Some were gawked at, some gaped at and some just grimaced at as a bad idea never to be repeated with oneself.

You had days when the homework hadn’t been done and the entire class (barring the usual goody two-shoes suspects) was asked to leave by the lecturer with clenched teeth and furrowed brows. There were classes which were bunked at the proverbial last minute to go watch a newbie director’s movie premiere with no money left for snacks ergo home made lunches came to the rescue…however lame the situation seemed.

These 5 girls had their own idiosyncrasies; they still do but they had FUN! They didn’t have stars in their eyes but didn’t really know what the world had in store for them either. They sat and laughed at the teachers’ often utterly ludicrous utterances and marveled at the sophistication and expanse of knowledge the others possessed. They wrote their hearts out, thought about new things; had their horizons and visions broadened by good books recommended by even better teachers and still managed to sleep through at least half of their graduation.

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Endless sandwiches were eaten along with innumerable cups of tepid coffee which kept the noggin running, however sporadically. They bitched, they gossiped, they cried, they guffawed with laughter and they made memories. In time they shared these memories with their significant others and introduced their friends to the new people they’d share their lives with thereon.

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Twenty years on, on the right side of the dreaded (?) 40s, it’s nice to look back and know there was a time and a place and people who made you carefree, kept you young, foolish (in the best way possible) and buoyant.

Here’s to you ladies…you know who you are.

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Salut!

Gummy Flashback

8 years ago, someone stepped on the stage for the 1st time. They wore a gummy bear costume for the 1st time too, along with shoes that had laces….something that sadly hasn’t been mastered till date. They had whiskers painted on their tiny, chubby, kissable face and didn’t complain a bit for the long wait before everyone was seated and they got to do their thaang for the parents present in the auditorium.
This gummy bear has come a long way now. No longer chubby, but still cute (when he sleeps though), saying extremely interesting things and mangling up song lyrics with hilarious results.
The home is a louder, funner and definitely more laughter-filled place because someone learnt to shake their booty 6 years ago. Here’s a look through my trip down memory lane…
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Moving On…

I’ve lived in quite a few places. Changed houses, states, countries and a continent in the process.

But the longest I’d lived anywhere till date was the first place Red and I bought after we got married. It wasn’t that much of a well-thought out decision. We didn’t factor in any green space close by, or schools.

The place was BIG, we had the room that we needed for our books, clothes and kitchen stuff. When the parents came to visit, they each had their own rooms with attached loos and the view from the balcony, while not spectacular, was cozy and I had flowering plants on the parapet for the almost the entire duration we lived there.

We planned a family in the apartment, had a kid who learnt to walk there. We had our fights, plans for the future, packed for trips and ultimately made it a home. And now, 4 years later, it’s gone back to being an apartment again.

We had tenants living there till recently and when they moved out I realized that I’d cut my ties with the place well and truly. Earlier, I used to be able to see glimpses of my kid toddling about the house along with other memories of us going about our lives; without getting hauled in for hallucinating.

But this time around I felt like it was someone else’s space that I was visiting. I still knew where the light switches were (Red doesn’t remember them for the place we live in even now) but there was not tugs felt once I switched off the lights and locked the door on the home we’d lived in for 6 years.

People move on. Sometimes it’s a such a smooth process that you wake up one day and realize that you no longer possess a particular frame of mind. And there are other times when you literally browbeat yourself into moving forward.

The people we couldn’t do without once- we can now go without talking to them for days on end and things still seem alright. The lifestyle we held to be an absolute truth gets swapped for another one and we ease into it so seamlessly it’s almost as if nothing else ever existed.

It’s a heady and yet a very reassuring thought…I for one am relieved.

Have a good weekend people.

 

Reflections On Ambient Sounds

One lingering memory of Durga pujas at Barasat are the acoustic version of retro Hindi songs of Salil Choudhury playing in the neighborhood somewhere. Right from Yeh Kya Hua to O Sajna, Barkha Bahaar Aayi…they play them all.

And it sounds just wonderful. Seeped in whispers of the years that’ve passed while trying to make it to Calcutta to attend the puja from whichever part of the country we might have been in…..

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Reblogged:Playing With The Hand You’re Dealt…

Isn’t that what it all boils down to in life?
It isn’t always celebrating the things that go well or in accordance with our plans or even making our peace with the things that don’t. It’s finally just existing with what IS.
Sometimes we are able to do it gracefully and other times it takes a lot of plodding and prodding to get through each day.

There’s a saying by Oscar Wilde that people often smugly quote- ” There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

I’ve found that while tragedy might be too strong a word for it, it does seem difficult to comprehend and accept ,what you sought out, opted for even isn’t all that it’s cut out to be or even worse…it’s not what you want. Is inadequate.

So you shuffle the deck a few times and hope the next hand is better than the one that has you staring in bafflement.

Or you chuck the cards up in the air and don’t care if they scatter all over; since it’s mimicking life in doing so.

And some of us painstakingly make a house of cards. Trying to balance each card over the other and anxiously watching whether they stay up or come tumbling down.
In the end you either end up with a steady house you used up all your cards in making and are proud of or you decide to call it quits after you reach a plateau and are still left holding a few cards for later.

It’s all about playing with the hand you were dealt.

The Mumbling Husband

Originally published in- http://fortunatecave.livejournal.com/110328.html

Red mumbles. And quite likely, I’m going deaf in one ear.

This is how it happened: 
I was saying something about Mumaith Khan 
Red said something I heard as thus- She looks like Cromwell.
Me: Cromwell? Oliver Cromwell? Eeks!!
Red: Cromwell?!! I said kaamwaali!!

*walks away shaking his head at me in a bewildered fashion*

A Letter To My Sleeping Son

The following content has been rated GG (goody-goody and slightly gagworthy).

Spoiler alert- expect mother love and nothing else.

Dear Monkeyboy,

Ever since I saw that little button nose in the sonogram I knew you’d be the cutest person in the whole world. And while you weren’t the chubbiest kid ever born, the pearly luster of your nails, the curled up little toes that were even tinier than your father and I imagined, were perfect and and we couldn’t have asked for any more.

As you grew up you not only brought worry and fatigue in your wake but also an overpowering urge to keep you safe, cocooned and  as a cherubic infant for all time since my life was that much prettier a place with those luminous eyes, the drooly mouth and the padded rump and the drunken baby gait you had while learning to walk.

Your high-pitched giggle, rapture at cartoons, utter  joy at just spotting an ice cream is so pure, so unalloyed it makes me want to stop time and just watch you LIVE.

Trying to help you grow into your own person is a daunting task but one I embrace happily since I’m convinced that whoever you grow up to be…the moment I see you sleep with those beautiful long lashes almost grazing your face, I’ll be taken back to the image of my cherubic little man who made faces in his sleep and who held out plump little hands wanting to be lifted up for a hug and a kiss.

You are beautiful inside and out and I hope your dreams are beautiful tonight and always.

Your (Slightly Emotional) Mother

P.S: Sleep through the nights from now on wards and your mother will be emotional for totally different reasons altogether! XXXs&OOOs

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Some of us actively live in the past. How things were, how they happened et al. And that’s understandable. There’s a comfort in looking back at things which have already occurred. You don’t need to worry about them again…they’re done. Maybe not dusted but you know how they’ve played out. It’s *not* the unknown. The present is fluid and the future uncertain so the past is often the only reliable thing you have.

The past is a powerful thing. It shapes you. It holds a repository of YOU and your life that you can go back to and pluck instances out of that help you in your present and may help you in the future.

There are times when I pass by a place where significant things in my life have occurred and if I try hard enough I can actually see myself there. Not too clearly but as a hazy memory. Too clearly and it’s ground for being certifiable :p

But sometimes a walk down memory lane helps. Especially when you’re getting your present to pull up it’s socks and get it’s act together!

Image courtesy-http://merettapater.wordpress.com/tag/memory-lane/

Image courtesy-http://merettapater.wordpress.com/tag/memory-lane/