Monday, August 4, 2014

Those dimples

4 comments:
I love her. She is the only one I have in the whole wide world.

I can do anything for her. Anything. Even the agony of the long days when I sit at the window waiting for her to return, melts away in seconds at the sight of her getting down the car and a precious dimpled smile appearing on her face as she looks up and spots me.

She would run towards me, calling out my name loud and hug me tight. I love the feeling when she tightens her grip around me, her fingers tickling my back.

No matter how hectic a day she had in office, she ensures we go out for a stroll outside every night. Those 30 minutes constitute the best time of the day for me. Sometimes we run, or walk or play. Manyatimes we would just sit beneath the shade of the large mahogony tree as she relates the proceedings of her day to me. Sometimes she would be sullen, probably pissed off at her work but her way of narration in a chirpy tone and with full gestures always takes my heart.

It was another such day. The sun was going down in a resplendent vermillion hue on the other end of the horizon as I sat perched at the edge of the window, my eyes fixated on the walkaway beneath. She would be home anytime. I sat and waited. And waited. The orange shades of the sky first turned into grey and soon into a pitch black, but there weren't any signs of her.

I took a deep breath and went inside to drink some water. I noticed that she had prepared dinner for me before she left in the morning, a darling that she always was. But food was the last thought I had in my mind. I raced back again to the window only to find deserted dark roads beneath, not a soul out there. As more time elapsed, I noticed lights in the neighbourhood being switched off, the whole community was embracing sleep one after another. But what about Samantha? She was never this late from office. My anxiety peaked.

I kept pacing inside the home in circles from one room to the other unsure of what to do. Occasionally I would go to the window with a slight hope and come back in more dismay.

It was almost daybreak and I was still sitting at the window when I heard a car screeching to a halt beneath the house. I frantically peered outside to find Samantha coming out of the car. She didnt look at me in her usual smiling demeanor, instead her eyes were fixed on the man in the car who got out and hugged her. She returned a kiss in return and they stood there bathing in the dawn's white rays for a while in each other's tight embrace. I stood there, still at my window, totally dumbfounded as I saw someone else share Samantha's warm hug, my eyes wailing for her to atleast look at me.

After a few minutes, I heard a click of the latch and saw her entering the room. She dropped her purse on the couch on seeing me and called out as her eyes flickered, 'Oh honey, you arent asleep yet! Were you waiting for me all this while? I am so sorry dear, I had a meeting that got extended and I went to Ethan's place after it.'

She paused for a second to check the clock. 'Did you miss me? I missed you too honey!" She cried out as she raced towards me with her arms outstretched. 'I love you so much. Come and give me a nice hug', she said, the dimples on her face deepening as the familiar smile appeared across her immaculate face. And once again, yet again, I lose myself. My agony melts again as she takes me in her arms, lifting me off the ground and her fingers move through my golden fur. I let out a small woof in return and cuddle my head between her arms.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Discovering oil pastels

2 comments:
I recently visited an art store for buying some supplies for oil painting. While skimming through the shelves which were pretty overloaded with a vast range of art goodies, I came across some sets of oil pastels. I was curious to try them out for it has been ages since I did so. The last memory dates back to my primary school days when pastels and crayons were the only mediums I had explored.

Quite unsure of my ability, I picked up the student quality pastels(junior level) instead of the myriad professional ones available. It took me a few days to finally overcome the inertia and get started with the new medium I bought.

Very surprisingly, oil pastels have proven to exceed my expectations drastically. Simply put, oil pastels can weave magic even for someone who is just starting with this medium. Everyday I unravel something exciting.

Well, there is a lot to explore in this domain and I very earnestly look forward to whats in store. Posting some experiments here.

1. Start with some basic elements to understand the texture of the medium

2. Then try out something a little more complex with a composition of lighting and texture.


Friday, May 9, 2014

To the stars

3 comments:
He tries relentlessly, reaching out to the stars
For they are too high
And he doesn’t care for scars

The ambition is strong, the will undeterred
Night and day he works,
Everything else was just blurred

Sometimes he would delude, but then remember his goal again
He would resume on his stride,
Picking up his pace main

He was joined by others but he has his vision on the stars set
No matter what happened,
He would not settle for anything less

People came and left but he went on, for he believed his belief
That the stars he was headed towards,
Held an end to all his grief

He looked down and reveled as he had come a long long way
The mighty world was down under,
The heights he attained was way too great

He stepped ahead with bated breath, as he finally found himself standing in stars amidst
Stretched out his hand to feel them
but they dissolved as if made of mist

Startled he looked around, to question what just happened if in a myth
He was standing at the peak he always dreamt of,
Without a soul to share his success with.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The twisted lines

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“What is this! Just a few lines strewn on a canvas and they cost you thousands. Sheer daytime robbery!“, Sahil mumbled as he came across a large painting. He had already been to several other rooms in the exhibition and everytime just came out with more exasperation.

The girl standing next to him who was also looking at the same painting overheard his remark and turned to face him.

Her eyes caught his as she spoke,  “Well I think there is always more to something than what meets the eyes, whether it’s the case of a person or a thing. Same goes for the paintings.”. She spoke with an endearing smile on her face and walked ahead to see the next painting.

He was in a daze for a moment as he quickly assembled himself and caught another glimpse at her. She was a dawning beauty, wearing a white linen tucked in shirt and stone washed jeans, her hair flowing as she glided to the next sculpture.

“What can really be there behind those random lines that could mean anything more, honestly I cant understand what the artist tried doing here”. He couldn’t resist himself from walking down to her.

She turned to him, as her eyes sparkled. “I think abstract paintings like these give you a chance to let your imagination free, think broad speculating the artist's intention.” She paused for a second flicking her lashes, “You aren’t much into art, are you?”.

“Yeah I am not. But I always love to know more about any pretty thing I come across, just like I would love to know more about you. Would you mind enlightening me?”

“You find me pretty, eh?”,

“Yes you are. Very. If you don’t mind being complimented.”

“Ha! Who wouldn’t!” She blushed, with a beaming smile.

“Hansi toh phansi Sahil, this is your chance”, Sahil wondered. He spoke ahead “So does this mean I get a chance to know more about you over coffee?".  He briefly stopped to ensure he had her attention and continued, "I am Sahil, by the way.” He extended his hand to shake hers.

Before he could get any response, a man shoved him back and stood facing the girl. He wielded a pen and a notebook in his hands as he spoke, “So Mrs. Tara, you won the best artist award today for your painting 'The Twisted Lines'. I am  sure your family and husband will be very proud. What do you think has been the reason behind your success?”

She smiled as she saw Sahil’s jaw drop in the background, “Well I follow the same principle in my paintings as I do in my real life. I prefer to give others a chance to think wild. To let imaginations loose." She beamed, "By not directly revealing the best essence.”

Sunday, November 24, 2013

From the other side of the glass

8 comments:
Let me start off with some little incidents:
Scene 1: Hyderabad Airport
I am waiting for a bus back to home with a friend after seeing off my mum at the airport. Lost into conversation and in my eagerness to board the bus, I leave my wallet on a bench at the stop. I get into the bus, racing to grab a window seat completely oblivious of the non existence of my wallet. After a substantial 20 mins in the bus and my blissful ignorance, the conductor comes in to announce that he received a call from the stop that somebody left a wallet there. This freaked me out as I realized that the somebody was me and the wallet had all my bank cards and IDs. Since the bus had already travelled half the distance, I was told to wait at the destination stop for the next bus to arrive. After another half an hour of anxious wait, the next bus came and didn't fail to disappoint: the driver was carrying my wallet wrapped and taped carefully in newspaper.
Scene 2: Madhapur Hyderabad
My friend comes to visit Hyderabad and I am all charged up and happy on seeing her. After picking her up from the railway station we take back an auto to drop us home. On the way we get down to have some breakfast at a local eatery and merrily spend 2 hours talking over dosas and chai. It was when we stepped out of the shop that it struck us that we didn't pick up our luggage from the auto. Flabbergasted we stand there completely clueless of the auto we left the stuff in. Neither did we recognise the auto nor its driver, thus setting the stage for a typical needle in the haystack problem to now locate an unknown auto rickshaw wala in a metro city. The only option left was to enquire about him from the station where we originally got into his vehicle. To our surprise, every auto driver at the station was already aware that a bag was left in an auto at the slightest mention of the word suitcase, thankfully our driver had spread the word to all his fellow auto guys and asked them to direct the claimants to the auto union building where the bag was kept. The poor guy had even done rounds in the market where we left to locate us while we were busy gulping down tea.
So why did I write these scenes? To brandish on a public blog my great knack of leaving around things? Ha.

This is for that unknown person who picked up an orphaned wallet at a bus stop and took the trouble to make sure it reaches its owner, to the auto guy who didn't just run away with luggage which he could easily have had he wanted to, to the cab driver who brought back my cell phone. There are people like these who reinstate my faith, in hopfulness, in trust. We might be living in an era of 'ghor kalyug' but there are always people who rise up to the occasion and make you look at things from a different angle. Thank You!

Here is an advertisement from IDEA that kindles the same feeling:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

An Unforgettable day

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It was an unforgettable day for me. I handed off 50 bucks to the auto-wala and hesitatingly entered the college gates for the first time only to be welcomed by an amazingly never seen before spectacle. “Is this supposed to be a place to study!” were the first thoughts to cross my mind as I saw a bunch of guys sitting in a pool of smoke in a corner, gaudy graffiti written on the cafeteria walls and girls promenading in the smallest of clothes.

I was myself in a total chaos at that moment, wearing an old pair of jeans and a loosely fitted kurti iced with unkempt hair, a combo which left absolutely no stones unturned in making me out of place. I silently gruntled at my parents for having me admitted in a place where apparently only the creamy class studied; or seemingly caroused for that matter. “Why did dad get me admitted in this madhouse; how am I going survive a single day here, let alone 3 years”.

As I walked past looking from one side to the other; I was taken aback by the enormity of the sprawling campus around me. I wanted to go to the college registration desk and had unwittingly boarded off the auto at the gates itself, not realizing that this ai'nt my old school where everything was at a stone's throw. Going near one of these jerks around and asking them the route was the last thing I wanted to do at that moment. However considering that there was no-one else on the road and the office might close anytime soon, I let out a sigh and stepped into the walkway that led into the cafeteria.

"Ha, look at that walking hideous creature", a girl cried out from the front. My eyes widened out but I attempted hard to not look vexed and kept on moving. There were a few more snide remarks from others but I was already tired from the long journey and had neither the mood nor the courage to face any of them.

To add to my woes, the walkway was paved with cobble; and my suitcase continued to revolt against my attempt to tug it along. I had broken a part of its wheels while taking it off the train; and it was now taking its share of the payback time. I knew I must have been looking like an idiot pulling a rollicking bag so I heaved a big breath and flashing my most brazen look pulled the handle with all strength. But to my horror, the handle came off and hurled the suitcase away. The idiot crashed a feet from me and sprung open from the impact, sending its contents on a ride.

For a moment I was frozen. Motionless and dazed, I was trying to digest the disaster that was taking shape in front of me as I saw my books and clothes strewn around. My silly suitcase had just added enough to the list of me being a laughing stock in college. Fumbling through my undies and papers, I hastily picked up everything and stuffed them back, and got up to leave fighting hard the tears which were on the verge to effuse.

"Hey!" Somebody called out from behind me. I hardly had the courage to look back now and continued ahead. "Hey!!" he called out again; this time more persistent. I turned back to find one of the guys from the cafeteria standing behind me.
"What on earth does this goon want from me; have I not given him a laughter dose already".

He was squinting his eyes tangentially, took a pause to check out my face for some time and spoke "I dont know who you are, but I find your eyes sorta cute!" 

I wasnt quite sure if I should interpret it as a mockery or a compliment. For the record, I was not used to compliments at all. I had always been like a good for nothing girl, quite average in studies and quite average looks. Somehow my parents felt that I could do well in commerce in this college and had me registered here.

"Is this something you say to every girl you meet?"
I asked.

"No this was my first, and I did not expect that kind of response though; anyway do you need some help in carrying those bags. I presume you are a fresher and looking for the dean office. Well its down the lane but far enough to drain you out if you carry those heavy things all by yourself." He spoke with a reassuring confident smile.

So there is some gentlemanship inside this rugged rough looks, I wondered. Saying "Thank you", I looked at him, a brief smile appearing across my face. He was tall and appeared more like a sportsperson with quite a chiselled body and broad shoulders, his face was a combination of darkness and shimmer in the aura of the setting sun.

"So you are a commerce enthusiast, eh?" he asked as he took my half broken suitcase.

"Not really, I am not much into studies; just doing this to get a decent degree from a good college because my parents wanted me to."

He chuckled "Hmm.. so you are another one of those who follow others and not their hearts."

"I beg your pardon?". My eyebrows rose.

"Just leave it, by the way as your suitcase fell and popped open and gave off quite an amazing scene, I couldn't help but notice you had many photography books in there; do you like shooting?"

I wasnt someone who was used to talking so much to a stranger and this guy was sticking more than fevicol. But he had touched my weak chord, photography, my love. "Yeah photography is a hobby, I absolutely love it". I said and heaved a sigh of relief as I saw the pale ash color building round the corner with "Dean Of Academics" brandished at the gates.

"So we reached your destination, you can grab the registration forms from the desk here and the office has arranged drops to the hostel, so the suitcase shouldn't cause more problems to you. And here are your baggages, all in one piece".

"Thank you so much!"

"Just stay happy gurl, do what you want. Remember, the people around you, including your parents, will be happy if you are content and confident in what you are doing. If you get time, just compare what you just told me about your interest in commerce and photography and you will have all the answers. Anyhow, welcome to the college. See ya".


-----------------------------
8 years down the line…
It was an unforgettable day for me. I was setting up my photography exhibition at the city centre; it was my 5th national exhibition so far. It was around 2:0p.m. when I got a call telling me that Mihir had suffered a terrible accident and was admitted in Apollo hospitals. I dropped dead and rushed out without a moment to spare. Driving madly on Mumbai roads, I reached the hospital and when I frantically barged inside having almost lost my mind; I was met with a spectacle of a heavily bandaged Mihir lying unconscious in the ICU. The doctor came and told me he had suffered serious head injuries and also memory loss.

"Your husband has lost his memory, Mrs. Khanna. It may take months even years for him to come back to his original state of mind."

After a long wait of 4 hours in hospital hallways and numerous cups of lattes and rounds of prayers, the nurse came to inform me that Mihir had regained consciousness. I went inside, taking small steps and vision fixated at the centre where Mihir was lying down. He slowly opened his eyes and looked up.
As I went near him, the world just stopped to turn. I gave him a small smile to make him feel that everything is just okay; he was staring at me for a while; then squinting his eyes tangentially for some more he spoke “Hey; I dont know who you are, but you know your eyes are kinda cute”.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What did you write today?

3 comments:
Everyone is a writer.. Yes everyone!..You, me, Shakespeare, Rowling, Beatles, even the illiterate house maid who comes every morning and has practically no knowledge of the three 'R's.

Don't be surprised, because even as your eyes are scanning this piece of text, the nerve signals flexing inside, the brain attempting to interpret what you just read, your hands probably scrolling the mouse; there is a untiring part in you that is writing, and mind you, it just writes all the time; etching on to a book every moment...

Everyone is an author of a book of their own lives; albeit few write better than the rest. When a baby is born God gifts him a blank book and a reed to cover it with. The number of pages and the length of the book may be governed by the Almighty but the contents are the baby's. Though he hasnt been to school yet, but the child keeps on updating the pages everyday as the world unfolds in front of his eyes. It has been observed that generally the books tend to become more boring and monotonous as the child advances from juvenile ages to adulthood.

The genre of these books vary a lot, some people write new interesting matter everyday while others will just have invariably the same old content penned down on each page. Imagine reading tons of continuous pages only describing daily chores leading nowhere. How you would like your book to be as you flip its pages 10 years down the line is a choice of your own..

So go ahead.. Do something new, bring smiles on sullen faces, learn, laugh, love, give, travel, make friends, and most importantly be merry and follow your heart... Make your book colorful, exciting and an absolute pleasure to read.. If not, dont be surprised if some day the house maid walks away with the Booker laurels!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sketching

1 comment:
Adding one of my sketches here; I used an image from the internet for reference while working on this one .. It took me around 3 hours to complete; but its always refreshing in itself to be involved in seeing things take shape on paper :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A fateful day

9 comments:

"I am going to Tracy's place dad; don't wait for dinner!" Jamie cried out from the patio before shutting down the door noisily behind him.

Phil smiled briefly as he got seatead next to the window while watching his son pull out his bike from the garage underneath. He knew the phase of life Jamie was going through very well. He, too, had been in the same juvenile days; which though were ages back, yet seemed to have happened just a while back. Those are the times when a man is teeming with energies and rebellion; his desires being wildly turbulent.

While his mind got teleported to his heyday, he chuckled at the thought of the craziest things he did in his life; traveling almost half the world with no money; falling in love with Amanda, the prettiest girl in town; pestering all his teachers all the time; and how he drank and ate uncontrollably. It was young blood after all; passionate, energetic and untamed.

With numerous memories of his youth chiming in the background, he sat on his armchair comfortably with a novel resting on the lap; and gingerly picked up the bowl of vegetable broth lying on the coffee table and took a couple of sips. Sometimes he surprised himself by the proficiency of his own culinary skills; the soup today was teamed up with just the right blend of spices; the hint of cardamom was gelling well into the lemongrass broth. Amanda will surely love the dinner tonight; poor Jamie will have to miss it.

He glanced at the watch at the other corner of the brightly lit room; and his mind got slightly vexed at the thought that it was nearing dusk and Amanda hadn’t returned from her field duty yet. She was doing research at the university on applications of new medicinal herbs and more often than not had to take rounds to the town’s outskirts in her herbological forage. Just like college days, she was still the prettiest woman around and always managed to turn heads wherever she went. Sometimes he used to feel that she hadn’t aged at all after bearing Jamie; her face still beamed as it did when she was in her twenties; her skin still being soft and supple as always. Thinking about Amanda always brought a lingering smile on his otherwise pensive countenance.

Giving the sudden gush of thoughts a rest, Phil returned to the warm clutches of his book and was soon caught under the sheets of slumber. It was a sudden crackling whip of lightning outside that broke his sleep. He got up only to be surprised by a heavy downpour lashing on the tin roof of the garage. It was only the middle of summer and given the heat of the scorching sun earlier in the morning, no one could expect that the winds might turn the way they did. It was raining cats and dogs with the pitter patter of the raindrops being frequently punctuated between heavy thunder and bright streaks of lightening. Though it was only an hour since he was last awake; but the ground already was all soaked up and not a soul could be seen treading on the roads. His thoughts immediately raced to the wellbeing of his son and his wife. Darn! He almost dropped down at the thought that Amanda was going to the Raven cliff today all by herself.

He dashed towards his cellphone and saw a text from Jamie, “Dad, strange twist of weather.. its on national news.. they are saying it’s a cloudburst.. I am fine; the calls are jammed so couldn’t talk.. I will come back as soon as I can, but please Don’t step out of the house at all”. Relieved at the assurance of his son’s safety, Phil then tried frantically calling Amanda’s cell phone but it was switched off. The next moment he was racing down the stairs, stopping only to grab his overcoat and benz’s keys from behind the door before dashing towards the garage.

Phil was driving at a mad pace on the half submerged roads while the relentless rains continued to hammer the top of his car. It was pitch black darkness outside with power transmission plummetting in the downpour; though the occasional silver lightening streaks would pervade the stretch of the skies and illuminate the view only to reveal bent trees and a soaked ground. His pulse was throbbing as the voice in the radio mentioned about damages in the eastern areas of the town; the river had galloped and eaten away most of the surrounding cliff lands.

“The eastern regions near the river have been badly hit; large parts of the Raven cliff is reported to be washed out.” the voice of the news spokeswoman echoed in his ears. “Is Amanda okay?”, “Has she  eaten something?”, “Could she have been hurt in the cliff washout?”, "Why is her cell switched off?". Millions of thoughts swarmed his mind when he missed noticing the sharp bend in the drive in the darkness. Before he could react to anything, his benz crashed into the thicket of trees with a colossal momentum; slamming his body sharply against the steering and sending glass pieces of the front window on a flight over his face. He felt his chest crush to the impact and the only word he could mutter before passing out was a faint murmur “Amandaaah”.

The next thing Phil knew was him lying in a hospital room with a teary eyed desolate Jamie sitting next to him. “Son, any news of mom?” were the first words he managed; the pain in his jaws were excruciating.
Jamie sat there blankly with a tied up face unable to speak; his well-knit frame stooping and eyes constantly welling up. With as much strength he could muster he spoke, "Dad, I know this is hard for you. As soon as I saw the rains yesterday, I was worried you would try to go to the cliff again looking for mom. This is why I texted you to not step out. Mom will not come back now; she is gone; dead; it has been 20 years since she left us." Jamie spoke in a broken voice as he took his dad’s palms into his own. The stream of tears continued to roll down his eyes.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Captive

4 comments:

"I am going to die" .. Thoughts continued to jolt in Jay's mind as tiny droplets of sweat trickled down his forehead; gently circling his eyes only to fall off the edges. His fists were clenched, eyes closed hard and mouth reciting a prayer. . He had been tied up at his torso to a chair for the last 8 hours and he was already on the verge of breaking down. The only thing he desperately craved for at the moment was to get out of the shackles.

His eyes now looked frantically in search of an opening, a hope. There was a small window located about 3 feet from where he was tied but the view outside managed to only sicken him. Scared to death, he yearned for fresh air. He had been given a stale sandwich as lunch but he hardly cared about it. He wanted freedom. He wanted to live and to breathe. Food could wait.

There are some moments in life when you feel pathetically helpless with your future appearing bleak. Jay was going through one of those disastrous times for no fault of his. He had been fixated and his legs wailed to get back to life with his vision slowly blanking out. The strong belt tied him to his chair with all its tenacity and he was well aware that never in his life could he muster enough strength to break it free.

He tried to visualize the last time he had set a foot on free land; carefree as a bird he was, flying and breathing free. Will he ever be let liberated again; will he ever be out of this jailhouse. Questions were thousands, answers none.

He freaked out at the touch of a hand over his shoulder. He slowly craned his neck to find a little girl sitting next to him. "I see you have been freaking out ever since we took off. You didn't even pick up your kindle which slid off your lap an hour back." She talked off in a chirpy tune as she handed off his kindle to him. "I know about claustrophia and in this stuffed cattle class, I can imagine it being hard." . She paused briefly only to catch up again, "Dont worry you will be just fine. We will land in Delhi in a couple of hours and we can talk out the duration in a jiffy. Mumma says music has a lot of soothing powers; and you can give that a try on my ipod." She stopped a while to check out Jay's expressions squinting her eyes. Confirming that he seemed interested, she continued while flashing a toothy smile "Also if that helps, you can hold my hand during the rest of the journey." A natural smile appeared across the breadth of Jay's face, and this was the first in last 8 hours.