July 31, 2007

What stops us from blogging?

The following reasons are based solely on my observation and interpretation. You are free to add some more:

a) Fear. This is perhaps the most common and biggest problem. Blogs being public diaries give you an online face-value. You don't want to end up writing something rubbish. You also have the fear that perhaps your language is not fit enough to be 'published' online or not as good as your creative friends'. I would say - chill. There is only one way to overcome this fear - write, write some more and keep writing to flex those writer's muscles or else they will soon become inactive.

b) Too many ideas at one time. This is another problem with many people, including me :) . I always start with one idea but can never concentrate on it. As a result I have many unfinished works. Finally, I have realized that there is no harm in it but it shouldn't distract you to such a great extent that you do not write anything at all!

c) The perfect blend. You always want to write something which has a perfect flow - a good beginning, middle and an end. But when you sit to write, you cannot write accordingly. It's always that the writer in you clashes with the editor in you. I would suggest - let the creative juices flow. Then put on the editor's hat and give it the final touch.

d) Time. Yes, it’s one of other big reasons which we always produce when someone asks us, 'Hey, haven't seen you update your blog lately?'. I know we all have prior commitments and loads of peripheral work which requires all our attention. But it doesn’t take hours to write something, isn't it? So just log on, write something- one or two lines of how your day has been, some random thoughts, song of the day, some lyrics that kept haunting you, etc etc. These little things will help you stay in the groove.

e) Motivation. Whatever you do, you look for some kind of motivation. In case of blogs, it's the reader's comments. When you see those comments, you know someone out there is reading your blog and hence are motivated to post something more and also experiment a bit with your topics, your language. Comments help you grow as a blogger, which is something not possible with your personal diaries. So, if you read something which is good or wherein you could add something, always leave a comment. Not only does it help you in networking, but it also motivates the other person.

Like I said before, these are solely based on some talks with friends and observation. So, I many or may not be right. The reason I state the ways we can overcome this block is because I think everyone has a story to tell and blogs are a fantastic way to share them. So, keep blogging and hope to see your updated blog soon :)

July 27, 2007

The best things in life…

Smell of the rain-soaked earth
A long-distance call
Receiving an email from an old friend
Finding a ten rupee note in your washed jeans
Listening to your favourite song on the radio
Finding a pressed flower in your book
Reading funny notes you'd written during lectures
Reading old messages
Singing a stupid song in chorus with friends
A head massage after a long day
A hot shower
Laughing over a stupid joke
Having someone play with your hair
Home-made food
Girls' night out
Watching a classic
Getting your first salary
Sitting under the shade of a tree
Watching the sun set
Walking on the beach
Making maggi at midnight
The smell of coffee
Blushing when friends tease you
Having someone tell you that you're beautiful
Candle-light dinners
Walking hand in hand with the one you love
Realizing that there is so much more in life to be explored….

July 25, 2007

Who wants to be a Millionaire??

My prophecy has come true! FILMY entertainment channel is actually launching a talent hunt show called "Bathroom Singer"! (Thanks Ritu for the breaking news!) For people who have come in late : http://bhumikaa.blogspot.com/2007/06/on-bathroom-singing.html .The tagline of the show says "Jismein jitna zyaada jhaag hoga woh jeetega". Just incase people have any confusion, they have clearly stated that here 'jhaag' refers to the "entertainment quotient". http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k7/july/july21.php

I simply cannot imagine how will they choose the participants. I have all sorts of ideas which I'd rather not mention here ;). And as far as the audience goes, imagine a participant's mother saying "Isse bachpan se hi gaane ka bahut shauk tha. Jabhi bathroom mein jaati thi, zor zor se gaati thi. Padosi bhi pareshan ho jaate the! Lekin mujhe pata tha ki iske talent to ek din zaroor mauka milega aur aaj yeh 'bathroom singer' ke floor, sorry, manch par aa pahunchi hai!"

The weirdness of this venture doesn’t end here. The prize money is an unbelievable Rs. 2.5 million, higher than all the singing talent hunt shows so far!! So who wants to be a millionaire?? I'm sure there are many takers here.

July 18, 2007

Fresss Vegetables

Last week I decided to go vegetable-shopping to Reliance Fresh with my mother. For people who are not familiar with this place, it is a chain of 'vegetable malls' started by Reliance. So you get all your tomatoes-potatoes, dals, oils, masalas, wafers and everything edible at this place. In short, it's a place where you buy vegetables in an air-conditioned atmosphere and more importantly, you cannot bargain! The prices are clearly written on a board, which is neatly placed on top of the counter. What's the fun?! So you just keep walking with the cart, keep cursing the rising prices of the vegetables and end up buying very little.

The 'vegetable mall' has surely revolutionized the way we look at this whole business of vegetable buying. However, the aunties are still learning to adapt themselves to it. So you see your Kamlaben checking every single bhindi before she puts it in the polythene. Then she puts it on the automatic weighing machine. It reads 106 gms. Naaah, that's not what she's looking for. She removes exactly 2 bhindis. The machine now reads 100 gms. Perfecttt! Her eyes lit up as if she has achieved the impossible!

While Kamlaben enjoys her moments of joy, I see my mother getting irritated by the strange mechanics of vegetable buying that she has been introduced to - the air-conditioned atmosphere, radio mirchi playing in the background, a person announcing the 'Fresss offers' on the mike…She decides that she'd rather buy the remaining vegetables from the vendors who have their carts standing just opposite the mall. So, we head out of this place and walk to the usual sabji-wallas.

The vegetables are neatly arranged on the cart, gleaming fresh with the water that has just been sprinkled on it. You can smell the fresh pudina and the green chillies. The yellow of lemons looks beautiful placed next to the red tomatoes. This time mother feels much more comfortable. She checks every vegetable with her expert hand, throws it on the weighing machine and haggles with the vendor. Her voice is loud and clear, despite the noise of the vehicles honking in the background. The vendor gives in and reduces Rs. 5 on the overall bill. I look at her and smile, giving her the 'I'm loving it!' look. Mother feels happy and we walk away with great satisfaction and two bags full of vegetables.

July 14, 2007

While She Waits

I'm scared of her. She haunts me everyday. As I climb up the stairs, I can feel her presence. Clad in her white Pakistani pyjama - kurta and head covered with a thick dupatta, she sits on the last fleet of stairs. She watches me as I take deeper breaths while climbing the last few steps. As I move around doing my work upstairs, I feel she is standing behind me, watching me carefully.

I hear some strange noise and look behind. Nobody. But I know it was her. She must be getting some kind of sadistic pleasure in watching me all tensed and sweating. She knows I have this inexplicable fear of being all alone upstairs. It's been years, but still I haven’t been able to overcome this fear.

Climbing down the stairs is the thing I dread the most. There is darkness behind me and in that darkness I know she is following me. I can feel it - she is right behind me. As I try to move ahead faster, she gets closer. It's just a matter of a few steps. My heart beats faster. I don’t want her to snatch me away. Last four steps, three, two, one, ground. She's gone. The moment I touch the ground, she vanishes. Looks like she has no power beyond the fleet of stairs.

I heave a sigh of relief. Once again I have returned safe from her territory. I have been lucky for the past 15 years. But I know, one day she'll take me away with her….

July 11, 2007

Learning to move on

While I was returning home after class today, I felt a gulp in my throat. It was a sense of loss I couldn’t decipher. A lot of things filled up my mind. Was I unhappy, shocked or just getting emotional, given the moment? I don’t know what was it that had gone wrong, but atleast I realized that something had definitely gone wrong.

It was her last day in college today. She is a professor that came across to me as a rebel, as a dreamer, as a person who always wished to accomplish something more each day. There were many who didn’t like her - called her a snob or selfish. But I knew from the first lecture that I attended that I wanted to be her. It was a secret desire and I did keep it a secret till date. It's only now, as she leaves the college that I choose to reveal it.

Indian writing in English - that's her field if specialization. It's a subject constantly surrounded with issues of identity, authenticity, and of the sense of 'Indianness'. It was not a safe subject for a college professor, I thought. Then why did she have to take it? Perhaps, she liked to do the unconventional.

As and how days passed, I felt an urge to know more about her. She taught us poems of A.K. Ramanujan. "Memories like a snake slither away at the most unexpected moments," she said while explaining one of his poems. The passion with which she taught the subject made me wonder that perhaps even she has a past that comes back to her and makes her feel uncomfortable at times. She talked about the identity of Indian-English authors but deep within she was questioning her own. It was reflected in her initiative to investigate the dilemmas of Sindhis who fled from Pakistan during Partition and settled in Gujarat.

She is a Sindhi married to a Gujarati and realized that in the bargain Sindhis had lost a lot - their land, their traditions and now are even losing on their language. I saw her battling for identity. I saw a self burning from within, wanting to break loose and make a mark for herself, a self ready to take on challenges and show to the world the person they had been underestimating all this while. In her voice, in her words, in her look I saw myself…

She made me realize that to learn something from life, you need to move on. There shouldn’t be any guilt in leaving something behind because that's how you grow. The many talks with her enlightened me, pacified me and encouraged me to take the steps that I did. She instigated the desire in me to make my dreams come true. And today, when she was leaving I couldn’t react. I saw the me in her moving away. But then, she has left a bit of her in me to keep the fire burning…

July 09, 2007

Rim jhim gire saawan

Sulag sulag jaaye mann

Bheege aaj is mausam mein

Lagi kaisi ye agan…

July 06, 2007

I feel like KKKKilling them!

God, how can someone even stand them - yes, I'm talking about the much detested K serials. A few days ago I did sit through one of those stupid programs. Feels like I went through some kind of agnipariKsha…but people, I survived! I was helpless - had fever and a severe headache and was lying on the sofa in the room. My mother entered the room realizing that it's 9 and religiously switched on the television to watch Kasautii Zindagii Kay. (don’t know why the double 'i' and why the spelling 'kay' while it is pronounced as 'ki' ??)

Mother was relieved to find that she'd simply missed the recap. And guess what? Even I thought of watching the program, since there was nothing else to do…duh. But I wanted to know what is it about these serials that women simply cannot resist. So, I gathered all courage and sat through the torture for 30 minutes.

How, no I mean HOW idiotic can any program get?? Everyone seems to be staying in a raj-mahal; there is no concept of day and night - it always seems like day, thanks to the flat lighting; there is no concept of age - you look like 25 even when you have a daughter of that age?! And yes, the men apparently never go to office and the women are always decked-up in glittering saris and loaded with matching jewellery (the latter can be witnessed in any social gathering nowadays!). There is much more than this, but even listing it down gives me a headache.

But what really got on my nerves was the editing pattern. One nonsensical sentence by a character and the camera goes dhatang dhatang (back and forth disco style) on all the peripheral characters present in a room. While one face has the expression of omigod, the other simply says OH…MY…GAWD. At the end of the day, all of them give the same expression. But do not underestimate the editor. He has other ways of showing astonishment, anger, sorrow, etc. The camera goes whoosh ( left to right), then whoosh (right to left) and another whoosh (tilting from top to bottom). So it serves as some kind of a repeat telecast. If you missed it once, here we are showing it to you the second time. Oh, you missed it again? Never mind, we are here to go whoosh even the third time.
The more whooshes, the more dhatang dhatangs on various characters, the better the registration amongst audience- well, that's what the editors think.

Thankfully, there were more advertisements during the serial, which were far more entertaining than the program. At the end of those 30 minutes, my head started to ache even more severely (what else could you expect?). But I still cannot decide who is more dim-witted - the makers of the serial or the viewers...

July 02, 2007

Colours of Paradise

Ochre - not yellow, not brown, something in between
Grey - just a drop of black in the white so clean

Violet - blue and green merge to create a sight so captive
But beware, for looks can be deceptive!

Green - the blue sky and yellow sun come alive
Nurturing a colour that breathes new life

Orange- the fire in yellow gets more wild
Engulfs a tinge of red and makes it mild

Pink - the softness of white gets more loveable
Embraces the feminine and makes it adorable

Blue - each hue so different, different stories it tells,
Some of a precious stone, while some of rains spells