December 29, 2008


Whoever thought that the name of a jazz song would actually grow to connote a whole crazy sub-culture of the cultural -festival circuit in the world’s largest continent?!?!!!

Well, MOOD INDIGO is the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay’s very own ‘CULT-FEST’ [pun unintended], organized and managed entirely by the students of that institute, who are very neatly arranged in hierarchy with areas of authority clearly demarcated. They may go out of their way to help another fellow department in need, but each has an array of jobs which is to be taken care of by themselves, and NO ONE else!

It’s a hotbed of frenzied creativity, maddening marketing, crazy schedules, monstrous magnitude, reunions and cupid play[including this writer’s own], heartbreaks… the perfect potboiler!

This blogger has been a regular on the Bombay cult-fest circuit for 5 [long but extremely enjoyable] years being a viewer, participant, winner, organizer, volunteer, et al! and MOOD-I is my favourite event amongst all!

It’s nearly impossible to get over the MI Mania and believe that I’m finally out of this groove. But the happenings at this MOOD-I helped tremendously in closure with respect to the inseparability of student life and college festivals!

IIT-B is home turf, though I YET haven’t gotten over my tendency to get lost in this relatively small world! This was TRULY the most different MOOD-I in a lot of senses. For once, I stayed there for the entire duration of the fest. and especially the last night. That was one time-slot I never ended up being on campus, due to a different [legitimate] reason EVERY year! Except this one, of course!

Participating in any event in this fest is quite time-consuming and one invariably ends up missing out on other things they’d planned to do. I, for one, lost out of all the workshops this and last year due to accidental participation in their REALITY TV event. Though, I must admit, the chaos of ideas, meetings at odd timings, performing even odder tasks, working at close quarters with people you have no clue about…it goes down the memory lane as a beautiful video!
What played a major role in ‘closure’ was my WINNING AND EVENT!!! I had never in my wildest dreams imagined that I’d ACTUALLY be seriously participating in something at MOOD-I, leave alone winning it!!! But then... Dreams are meant to come true, aren’t they?!! Another adage that’s go with this win is, one is rarely satisfied with what one gets. NEITHER AM I!!! I so wanted to come second in that event…we were on the verge on getting that slot…until in the last minute one team member did an absolutely fab job on the stage and that made the judge give us the top rank!!!!! That’s ‘coz I wanted the i-pod which was there in 2nd prize and not the slick NOKIA 5310 which I got as 1st!!!!!!!!!!

I also participated in the RADIO PLAY after enough deliberation and as a conspiracy of half the world!!! Though we didn’t win that event, the process of participation itself was an entertaining and frustrating one!!! Yours truly rejected 8 themes for the script, 5 of which were my own!!! People from nariman point, to ahmedabad to new delhi were troubled at odd hours for contribution of ideas! I took a walk in the leafy campus of IIT-B from 5:30 to 6:30, hoping for inspiration to strike!!! ALL THIS…just so other people wanted to desperately do the event!!!
An otherwise chilled out time, spent varyingly with self, friends, acquaintances and the likes all added up to the pleasure that was [and always has been] MOOD-I! it comfortably sunk in that there’s always a right time and right place for everything. And it’s cool to move on and not be stuck in a warp longing for replication of experiences of the yore.

What follows next is a blotch in the extremely pleasurable experience described above. I’m glad it happened in the end. Even though it left a bad taste in the mouth, at least, THANK GOD, it’s over!

Leniency sucks
This blogger is certainly not a frequent user or promoter of usage of any kind of slang in common parlance. But the incident let the realisation dawn that being nice and sweet is not always the best approach, especially when the buck is supposed to stop at you! There were a few [ex] friends who gate crashed at my pad. In India, we tend to not be harsh on uninvited guests [especially if you know them] and take it as a matter of pride to be hosting a more than expected number. But, it’s extremely inconsiderate of the guests to take advantage of the host’s silence, throw co-habitation etiquettes to the winds and bite into the same arm whose hand of hospitality was wringed by them in first place.
This unfortunate happening marred what was a lovely joyride and ended it close to a big manhole staring right into your face. I’m glad nothing untoward happened, but the lessons have been learnt, and learnt well at that! Guys just keep proving how far down the evolution ladder are they STILL stuck and no matter how hard they try to climb up, it’s like the proverbial snail who slips down twice the distance he climbs up.

CLOSURE was quickened by the incidents of the last night of my stay. Though, as time passes, scars will also fade and beautiful memories are always there to perk one up and bring a mischievous smile that sends the face value to dizzying heights!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like I have always said…

MOOD I ROCKS!!!!!!!!!

November 7, 2008


This blogger is an extremist! Hence, views expressed in this piece are an expression of the immense love and respect I have for MY Preeto! But, before you go on, lemme just clarify…this is NOT an obituary. Period.
So…my emotional anchor…my only security blanket in the NAVAL GIRLS HOSTEL has left the hostel. [and everyone who was informed by this blogger of her departure, disbelievingly asked, “FOREVER?!] Well, thankfully, she’s left only the hostel-a temporary place of stay- and not the permanent place of a special person that she occupies in our [and especially THIS blogger’s] hearts!!!
I regret not being able to give her a ‘send off’ from the venue that’d made us meet. I don’t remember our first conversation [definitely not a long get-to-know-each-other types]…but we simply clicked! The 2nd time her saw her…I remembered her from the last meet…not her name, though! And then… the rest is a history Preeti [ ] and I deeply cherish.
After the above…there seems no need to indulge in some more ‘intro.’!!!
I WILL MISS HERTERRIBLY!!!!! she was the only person with whom i could be a kid. More than ‘her’ [‘coz she’s habituated us to her absence!]…I will miss…her green-n-blue bandhini night suit…her casual bear-like stride…her lustrous hair…a voice[slightly husky] that I can recognize anywhere [it made me sprint and come back just to check if it’s her and so I could see her before that exam…’coz we didn’t get to see her on working mornings!]
Can’t say what I’ll miss the most… her exquisite smile [oh! That curling in of the upper lip when she flashes her pearlies…killer!] or her distinctive style of nailing the point on it’s head AND hitting it hard!!!!!
If this seems like a bagful of goodies whose paeans can be sung relentlessly…lemme assure you…it is NOT so!!! A positive and a negative make one neutral. To strike the perfect balance in one’s persona is impossible… it’s only a matter of opinion. This beauty has just the right amount of negative. And whether it’s ACTUALLY a negative or not is, of course, a matter of perception!
Apart from providing unwavering support for a plethora of personal and professional issues, she was [yeah...”WAS”…because it will be quite some time before I will be able to invite her for my bashes] a constant feature in ALL my jam sessions. Preeto…THANK YOU for coming… you were a pleasure to dance with…can’t forget our ‘hips don’t lie’ video!
As closing remarks…I HAVE A DEMAND!!! Well…I wish you ALL THE BEST for your future endeavours! And may you find your “one love” soon!
Oh my Jiju…WHERE ART THOU?!!?!!

P.S. - [i] I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Ankit Chowdhary [for not bringing up copyright issues] and Ms. Preeti Datar for very graciously letting me address her as Preeto!
[ii] I will be ever grateful to Preeto for introducing me to one of the most creative people i've met...Mr. Vikash! [bihari...IITian...humourous...etc.! LETHAL COMBO?!!!!] 

June 10, 2008

Sarkaar 2

The much-awaited RGV saga starring the Bachchan trio is out! Haven’t really checked out the verdict of ‘celebrated’ critics [most of them are biased!]…so this comment is an absolutely personal one…uninfluenced by the powers that might be!

When a sequel to a movie is made [though this statement was hotly denied and the director was even slapped with a notice by the previous producers] comparisons with the previous effort are inevitable. This is also true [amongst other] in case of different ventures by the same creative individual. So…the second [and later] book[s] of an author is bound to be compared with hiher previous ventures. A film director is [more or less] inundated with comment about his PREVIOUS movie/s when he/she comes out with a new offering. When Mani Ratnam’s Yuva released, he was told that Dil Se was a better movie, when Dil Se was released…the air was in favour of Bombay! He nonchalantly said, ‘good, at least the previous movie gets appreciated!’

SARKAAR RAAJ is [in many definitive ways] a carry forward from Sarkaar. RGV clearly said [for both the releases] that it isn’t a political film. The first one was a family drama. So is this one. Only difference being that the magnitude and playing ground of the family has been extended. Besides the addition of a few characters on either side…it is the same old story of trust, betrayal, deceit and the works. Hence same quality of violence…magnified to suit to the larger picture that RGV’s tried to paint.

The shooting has been done from a wide variety of angles with the camera being positioned and moved from a few unexpected positions. Colours of the movie suit the ambience really well. Lighting has been carefully manipulated for a profile view in majority of scenes.
The play of words is very interesting in a few dialogues. My favourite being the exchanges between Ash and Abhi on their first trip to the hinterland. though, most of the dialogues are quite predictable.
Bringing in more characters was a nice ploy, the ‘intricacies’ of politics could then be easily explained.

Background score isn’t very well done. In quite a few scenes the music playing wasn’t in sync with the intense expression on the actor [specifically Bachchan Sr.], diluting the impact that was meant to have been made. Though, 2-3 scenes where Veena/Sitar strains have been used…did manage to create the near-perfect feel.

Kailash Kher’s song is simply brilliant! This man has a dual-strain in his voice which gives you goose-bumps every time he renders a sufi or a soul-stirring number.
"Saam…Daam…Dand…Bhed" have been very intelligently used by the lyricist for this flick. Over the centuries this has been used and passed on to achieve the desired results!

The director leaves scope for a next movie carried forward from this one. That announcement will be made soon!

Amitabh Bachchan… reams have been dedicated to every conceivable characteristic of his personal and professional life. Needless to say, he doesn’t disappoint us. He completely justifies ALL the close-ups done on him!

Abhishek…WHOEVER thinks he’s handsome?! He has adopted an understated style of acting, in keeping with the character’s persona. does deliver a nice clean act despite knowing tht he'll be wiped out in this movie! tht's called dedication!

Ash….hah! has tried really hard over the years. But then, acting is a difficult thing to do. Haven’t u yet realised that, lady?

I terribly missed the actor who played Amrita’s role!!!!! I hope they show her in the next one.
I miss seeing the bevy of sexy cars from Sarkar’s fleet!

Sarkaar Raaj’s still gonna take some time to prove it’s mettle at the box office. Irrespective of whether the producer incurs profit or not… this movie is okay for a one-time watch. the film gives an interesting insight into the brains needed to be in power and the things people can do to achieve, retain and regain power. as anyone who's tasted even a bit of power [in any way/area] will know [and agree]'s addictive. like tasting blood...once u've had it....u juz can't let go of tht high! this movie is a decent example of the things people can and DO do to avoid the withdrawal symptoms of this addiction!

May 18, 2008


On 22nd evening we went to Purana Quila to watch 1857: EK SAFARNAMA.
The NSD guys were really helpful…they were doling out ODOMOS at the entrance!!!!!
The play was around 2 hours long. Following are a few personal observations and comments about the play.

  • A lot has been said [both unwarranted and the opposite] about Bhanu Athaiya doing the costumes. I’m not joining the debate, but just putting forth my views [eh!].
The fabrics used for each of the characters costumes were absolutely apt, especially the rich silk used for the Indian rulers’ and courtiers’ costumes.
The detailing was very carefully done. Eg. In the Indian darbars…the end of every courtier’s dupatta [or uttariya, or whatever the traditional name is!] was different.
Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa’s costume was my favorite because of its gherao, fitting and the churidar effect on the sleeves.

  • The play is a musical, true to the Indian tradition of having a song for every moment. No, the actors are not singing every time! But the act is interspersed with a few well-meaning songs that capture the simmering mood very well, and also help spreading the feeling of nationalism.

  • The scene depicting a show of puppets [kathputlis] accompanied by lyrics meant to arouse a rebellion against the oppressive rulers [British] was played out really well. This is in keeping with the heartland’s entertaining way of conveying a strong message-to people who are basically illiterate- through fun and double entendre lyrics that underlie the need to fight for justice and freedom. Another example of this would be the playing out of Ramlila. Over centuries, this medium has been effectively used to reach out to large audiences and vehemently [but tactfully] convey messages that would otherwise be considered as treason!
The guy who played Tantia Tope… I think… he’s actually a Maharashtrian! Well…his style of speaking [to be carefully observed beyond the delivery of dialogues] gave off a hint of the marathi accent in it!A slight error in delivery happened when one of the female actors in a pre-climax scene said, “…patthar ki lakir hota hai.” Alas…seems like she’d practiced it wrong… or probably it was just nervousness!

The most touching scene was when Bahadur Shah Zafar [after being told that he has been sentenced to Rangoon] woefully rues… “humein apne purkhon ke pyaare zameen mein dafnaane ka mauka nahin milega.” Allah!

Lastly… the ‘first war of independence’ reared its head a full 150 years after the Battle of Plassey. The feeling of inadequacy in terms of communication and organization was a bit palpable through the depictions in this production.
It is startling to know that despite so much of spirit and gusto…the Brits actually managed to still reign on us [and consequently plunder our treasure trove of resources] for a pretty long time. huh!

April 22, 2008


[i can't believe i'm actually doing this.......but yeah....this post is gonna be very sketchy. though, honestly...i'd love to go in the details...but sorry...m too lazy to do that right now!]

21st april... quite an interesting day. met a very dear friend [at around 11am]...and spend 4 hours...talking...talking...and LOADSA talking! didin't realise how time flew away!!!

in the evening....took mom to IHC for a kathak recital. since the entry was free...we reached 50 min.s before the scheduled time. avail! there was a conference going on ....and the guard said tht it'll get over by 6.30pm.... then they'll clean the hall...and THEN entry will begin.

so both us strolled on to other parts of IHC...and reached the Visual Arts Gallery. i got engrossed with their notice board announcing various arty events across the city... some workshops, art camps, etc.
and then...there was this army officer's wife who got talking to me. n after some time...i was like...she's so pakau!!! B-U-T...this lady's juz not ready to part! i had to go for my event...she said 'bye'...and still continued to talk!!! got me freed from her!!!!!

the show began by 7:15pm. there were 2 female performers [apart frm the musicians, of course]. one of them was learning from a guru for the past 10 years...and the other was a Sri Lankan...learning for the past 5 yrs...frm the same guru.
the difference on years in learning showed in the quality of both the performers. they did 3-4 pieces. i enjoyed watching them. and the best...was saved for the last! they did a "TARAANAA"...which basically showcases the influence of the Mughals on this Indian dance form. these artists changed their costume for the Taraanaa. the performance itself was also VERY beautiful. undoubtedly, it was the show stopper of the evening!!!

every viewing of a kathak recital makes me more inclined towards this beautiful performing art. and it also strengthens my desire to learn it some day!!!

bhaiya had come to IHC to escort us back home! we boarded a DTC and headed back. while walking back from the bus stop...we decided to go to Bikanerwala for sweet-shopping!!!

so we mom till the building and headed to Bikanerwala. firstly...we didn't get and auto...and whenever someone agreed...we didn't agree with the price asked for!
so...ultimately...we ended up reaching Bikanerwala by foot! i guess it's almost 1.5 kms frm home. once there...bhaiya n i had a sumptous dinner! this was followed by some lovely Indian desserts! then we picked up the sweets and left for home.
this time...thankfully...we had walk for just about 00 mt.s and a rick agreed. we reached home at 10 min.s to 11pm. and when mum opened the door.... i jokingly said... "see...we reached before the deadline!!!"

well...there's no official 'deadline', of course!!!

April 21, 2008


'twas the usual relaxed sunday. after watching ROADIES 5.0 in the afternoon and having a sumptous lunch of rajma-chawal with dahi ...all of us dozed off.

finally, in the evening...bhaiya and i headed to Purana Quila to find out about the passes for a play that's being staged there. after getting the details we went [by DTC] to Haldiram's South Ext. outlet and digged into some delicious snacks. he had raj kachori with 'blue ocean' [which i think...was one of the in colour!]. i had a samosa [i don't even remember the last time i had a haldiram's samosa!] along with sweet lassi.

although we wanted to sweet-shopping at their outlet...but there was nothing interesting enough!!!

and then...there was this unexpected call from a delhi friend ...who said that even she's in south ex. along with her bro n a pal. after some confusion about the location, bhaiya n i finally reached where those guys were. after hanging around in the ColorPlus shop and helping her pal decide on his buy we moved out.

next stop was the Sai Baba mandir at Lodhi Road which the other bro wanted to go to. this guy...whose car it was... is a TYPICAL delhi driver!!! GOSH!!!!!!!!! i'm happy nothing untoward happened!
he dropped us at our place....and this evening's masti reached it's desired conclusion!!!


The culture vulture spreads it's wings!!!

On 19th evening Mom, Bhaiya n I went for a play by EKJUTE at the IHC [by DTC again!]. It was titled BEGUM JAAN directed by Nadira Zaheer Babbar.

This venture plays out on the theme of social commentary, comparing the golden ages with today’s materialistic pursuits. The elements of humour AND sarcasm have been subtly infused in the dialogues. If one goes on a mental holiday during the performance, too sad for them!

The stage design was very tastefully done. Not too cluttered…with enough space for actors to move around and well set to demarcate various areas of a house.

The background score is apt, except for in some scenes where the music was incongruent. Those, of course, were few and far in between.

Though there were many dialogues that tugged at my heartstrings… there are only a few I’d like to mention here. [b’coz I was too lazy to note down all my favourites…m relying on my memory for a reproduction of some of them]

  • At a point…Begum Jaan poignantly speaks out about her inability to move out of her time warp. She says… “makdi jaalaa saath lekar nahin chalti. Par jaale ke bina reh bhi toh nahin sakti!”
  • When the journo says that he’s needs some time to decide whether he’ll marry Begum’s young granddaughter, she tersely, but thoughtfully says, “apne faisle khud liya karo. Jo faisle waqt leta hai… who kabhi sahi nahin hote!”
  • And THIS is my favourite. Though I’m a champion of independence… I was in splits [as was everyone else in the audience] when she said it. The scene was between granddaughter n Begum Jaan. The former, when being asked by the latter about the scribe-cum-tenant’s background, told that he’s a DIG’s son. But he doesn’t like taking favours from anyone…wants to stand on his own two feet. To this, Begum contemptuously shoots… “aaj-kal ke bachche…maan-baap ka ehsaan nahin lena chahte! Toh unse kaho…paida bhi khud hi se ho jaayein!!!”
The Delhi crowd at such venues is a very refined one. one gets to see a lot of plump couples, salt and pepper hair, immaculately dressed ladies [oh! those classy chiffon sarees!], all the regalia is played out quite well!

PS: i feel REALLY happy when i take mom out for such events. incidentally, i'm the one who's taken her for all the 3 plays that she's seen to date. and co-incidentally...all of them have been EKJUTE's productions!


Ever since I landed in New Delhi, it’s been an absolute joyride. From having a brainstorming session about the duration of my stay [the very night that I arrived!] to being out for all the evenings… I’m having a blast! Though I wanted to go out the very next day… I was advised to take rest, gauge the Delhi heat and then plan my moves. In the evening, we went out for shopping followed by dinner at one of my favourite outlets in the city. The last time I went there for a meal, I couldn’t finish it myself because of the large portion. Hence I was waiting to get an opportunity to go there with my bro so tht we can share a meal! What I did on 17th april is mentioned 1 post below!

NOW…m first ‘day out’ was 18th. We [my bro n i] headed to PVR at Connaught Place to watch a 2-week old flick. But, as it turned out to be …the weekend ticket rates at multiplexes are higher and this movie was not worth Rs.200/- !!! next we decided to go to INDIA HABITAT CENTRE [IHC] to make certain enquiries. We dropped into the BATA outlet which was nearby [ i wear ONLY Bata. talk abt 'brand loyalty'!!!], basically for window shopping. But ended up walking out with a new pair for each of us! As we headed towards the bus stop [yeah! My bro finally convinced me to travel in a DTC bus.] I spotted a poster of TANTRA t-shirts! I wanted to gift my cousin bro[in delhi] a Tantra tee, but didn’t have the time to shop for it in Mumbai. My joy knew no bound after seeing that poster and both of us rushed into the shop! After spending some 15 min.s checking out various tees, I zeroed in on the one that’s best suited on that guy for the current occasion. We walked out and headed to locate the bus stop. But again, somewhere in between, we spotted the NIRULA’S outlet and thought of having lunch there. So…we were on the other side of the road…25 metres away from the signal…had to cross… and the light went GREEN. We sprinted for our lives across the street!!! After a wholesome lunch, we finally headed to board a bus to IHC.

At IHC, after exploring our way through the extensive and labyrinthine pavements with well-manicured grass, I reached the right place! We bought tickets for a play being staged the next day and headed to EATOPIA .

When in Nirula’s, at the spur of a moment I told Bhaiya that I wanna have mango lassi! poor guy…got a li’l perplexed…but simply said, “I dunno any good place where you get it!” at EATOPIA…one of the counters had mango lassi…though it was a tad over-priced…at least the whim got fulfilled!

Next we headed to our old residence, which is quite close from IHC. En route, we took a short cut which we used to take while returning from school in ’01-’02. ah!!! Those good-old days!!!!! We went to our ex-neighbor’s home and spent blissful 45 min.s there. In fact, I even dozed off for half an hour!

FINALLY…. We were on our way back home. And yes, again, it was a DTC bus that he made me travel back on!!!

April 19, 2008


This Indian city is as famous for its diamonds n garments industry as it is infamous for the plague epidemic that struck it not too many years ago!

I’d to make my maiden trip to this city all alone, because my bro had some exam to give! B-U-T…it was worth going alone…right from the word ‘go’!!!

Since the ticket wasn’t confirmed, I went to check the reservation chart when it was being put up. And…I didn’t know how to check that chart! So I asked the officer putting up the chart “how does one check the status?” and he very politely looked it up for me told me my confirmed seat and bogie no.!

When the train arrived I went and took my seat. The next two people to take seat were ladies. And by the time the train reached its second station in Mumbai, the other seats in that side of 6 seats were all occupied by ladies. So, I jovially commented to the co-passenger next to me… “hey! All the 6 seats are of ladies!!!” She smiled and replied that these were the ladies quota seats! All of us positioned ourselves very conveniently. I caught up on much needed forty winks. After some time, one of them pulled up the middle seat to sleep on it. So this beautiful lady next to me says…now u can lie down straight…and we shared a good laugh on it!!!

Later, we all got talking. One of them was a Psychology graduate from KC College-1994. the other one was from Sophia’s~ Socio-history and currently working with SOTC. She was going to Surat to her fiancé’s home for Holi. Basically, all of us were making a ‘HOLI’ visit to the city and no one was a native!

I felt so happy being in the midst of these ladies. It makes you realize that all this talk of ‘women empowerment’ is not a bluff, or restricted to the upper crust. There are ordinary women, going out there in the [ahem!] big bad world, using their education, skills and talent…and living it up!

SURAT has all the trappings of a tier-I city. THAT is a simple corollary of having high disposable incomes. As the service providers get a whiff of moolah, they come rushing to tap into this lucrative region. So, we get to see everything from a Pizza Hut to Gold’s Gym, from McDonald’s to Kaya Skin Clinic!!!!!

But, the Gujju’s inherent sedentary nature means that life still goes on at a very relaxed pace! I got to see a glimpse of many parts of this country in that city. From the Nagpur feel to Calcutta roads to Jamnagar by-lanes…it has a heady mix of all! Now, here’s what, makes Surat
a typical tier-II city…one that is in no hurry to don the metropolis feel!...

  • - roads are broad and well-paved.
  • - traffic signals that don’t work [no..they really don’t! the only saving grace is that during peak hours… some of the busier junctions~ where the chances of accidents are higher~ have a traffic cop stationed there.]
  • -rest of the traffic moves on mutual understanding!
  • -lot of two-wheelers… mainly the non-gear ones.
  • -loads of female drivers…with their typical covering of the face and neck area with a duppatta…leaving only the eyes bare, that too covered by glares!
  • -the city sleeps too early for any business hotspot. But then, considering the gujjus’ fetish for sleep…the shops shut quite early!
  • - shopping centers are another characteristic feature of tier-II cities that are ubiquitous in Surat too. These, of course, are a more like desi malls, with all kinds of outlets and affordable prices!

Here’s the brief on what ‘I’ did out there. I reached in the afternoon of 21st march n left for Mumbai on 24th early morning. Now, I’m somebody who doesn’t do pillion-riding as a principle. But there, I’d no option. And I had both my cousins [a bro n a sis] taking me around on their TVS Pleasure for most part of my stay! In fact, on 23rd when we got out in the noon, I tied my bandana to cover my face eyes downwards and sported shades, because of the terrible heat!

By 21st noon the HOLI mood had set in. and there were youngsters throwing water balloons at passer-bys from their homes. In daytime when we went out, no water balloon was aimed at us. But in the evening, I was actually in the mood to get hit. And twice, the balloons almost hit us…since we were riding on the scooty…hence it missed the aim. But, when we were about to reach home…someone’s balloon got it right and hit me on the thighs…so MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

On the main day…ie HOLI- 22nd…I had LOADSA fun!!! In fact, for the first time I actually danced on Holi, coz I’d never really got a chance to do that before. Then, my cousin sis drove me to their old residence to play with her friends. But, they were already done with it and the building compound had just 3-4 men and a lady in the holi colours. I’m someone who never resists while being applied colour…so I let one of the men put as much colour as he wanted to. But, I guess, he put some weird dark colour, because when we were driving out…one of the kids around looked at us…got surprised…and I THINK he said ‘bhoot’!!!! we also drew a lot of stares on our ride back home. A little before we were about to reach our compound…two guys on a scooty, on the other side of the road threw what I thought was a water balloon at us. But it missed the shot and hit the ground…n then I looked back n saw….it was a coloured egg!!!!!!! So I shouted to them… “BAD LUCK GUYS!!!!!!!!!!”

After all this dhamaal…when I finally took a bath…the colour didn’t go entirely. And I was very surprised, ‘coz I’d taken appropriate precautions before going out to play. I don’t mind colours…but that time…I actually looked like a terrorist! There were a few purple spots on the left cheek, right side of the face was a shade of red and a part of the neck was shaded in green!!! Thanks to mom’s solution on the phone, when I left Surat on Monday…there weren’t any holi colours left!

On holi evening, when we went out to my uncle’s family friend’s place…I wore a saree that was peach-coloured with silver appliqué work and in a flowing fabric. The best part of it…was the blouse…which had a deep cut on the back-side. This was the first time I wore a blouse with that deep a neckline and it felt so sexy with the hair brushing on the back!!!!!

23rd evening, my cousins took me out for a movie. I’d fixed up a meeting with an e-pal after the movie. But then…my cell phone balance was really low. There was no recharge available around…coz all those shops had closed! Adding to our woes was the fact that my cousin couldn’t start the scooty…and later…she said there was no petrol! Also…my e-pal had not yet arrived. Balance was miserable and no recharge in sight. One of the medical store guys tried to be helpful by calling up some phone retailer for recharge. He took my no. but didn’t get the recharge done. Instead…I’ve had him calling me up [quite often] after I reached Mumbai. Though, I’ve been sensible enough to not take those calls!

Well, I finally did meet my e-pal…fun guy…as I already knew. next …I wanted to go to this one specific sweet-shop and none other. The problem was that none of us knew where the shop was! And I didn’t have enough balance to call up my uncle and ask for directions. Here, this e-pal was REALLY helpful. In the meanwhile that my cousin got her scooty filled…this guy called up one of his friends’ and got some hint on the shop’s location. He offered to come along to locate the shop, but I politely refused. He still persisted [gujju hospitality!] and ultimately had us guiding to the place his friend had told him of. In between he stopped to ask for further directions at a mall and then started ahead. But, as they say, when misery comes…it comes by dozens! after my cousin stopped behind my friend at the mall…she couldn’t start the vehicle!!!! There were people around who tried starting and even they couldn’t. I frantically tried my friend’s no. but, obviously, he wouldn’t pick up because he was riding his bike! Ultimately he did pick up and worriedly asked about our whereabouts. I managed to tell him the scene and asked him to come back. THAT WAS IT…my balance was over…can’t make any calls or send msgs!!!!! He came back and with a lot of difficulty got my cousin’s vehicle started. Not far ahead was the sweet shop. We reached and he said…this is it. I said…but this shop is closed. He was shocked…coz it was open 2 min.s back!!!!!!!! I stood perplexed for a min. and then ran towards the back door of the shop!!! I requested those guys to let me in … “I’m from Bombay and m leaving tomo!!!” so…there I was…making a back door entry!!!! I picked up my favourite sweets, profusely thanked the guys and made a hasty exit! Outside, my e-pal rode along till a point and then said that he’d be taking the other turn. I expressed my gratitude, pulled his leg for one of our inimitable jokes and parted ways.

THIS was one eventful trip. At the end of it, I decided I’m gonna go to a different place every year for holi!

Though, the sad part is that on my way back my health started getting bad. And by the time I reach hostel…I was really sick. Ultimately, I had very high fever…and was in bed for ONE entire week! Huh! as mom pointed out, i'd had to fall sick! i plunged into frenetic activity after my exams ..without much care for health. the surat heat and all that water juz compounded the scene and i got bed-ridden. it was the FIRST time i was properly 'sick'...and that's a bad thing to happen!!!

Delhi Diary

HERE I AM...back in the capital of the world's largest democracy! a city m not exactly fond of coming to. n i keep telling mom [on various occasions] tht u r in the wrong city! so...after many debates and i-don't-hv-the-time-to-come-homes... i ultimately did make a trip to NEW DELHI.
tht happened coz my VOICE ACTING course got postponed. and i'd had a mini emotional breakdown very an option to repair myself was to make a trip home. and though i still had other commitments in mumbai...AND...i was also indulging in other options of rejuvenation...i juz decided to come down.

finally...amidst a lot of frenzy i boarded a flight to new delhi...n was at home on 15th April at 9.15pm.

it's been a joyride since then!!!!!!! i consciously decided against taking up any sort of engagement...b'coz i wanna enjoy me last 'proper' holiday of the student life! the moment i entered the changed the whole mood! we had a lengthy discussion about my stay...and i was bristling with ideas of what all i wanna do out here. was decided tht the next day m juz gonna take rest...n then we'll start the sojourn! so...on was a no-show...except for going out shopping in the evening followed by an amazing dinner at one of my fav. outlets in the capital. i was 'happy and full' after almost 1 month!!!!

17th ...i finally w'ANDAZ APNA APNA'...the 1992 Raj Kumar Santoshi flick! and then...late afternoon dad left for his native place. SO...we called up at another family friend's place...whose head of the family wasn't there too!!!!

the way to their place [AIIMS] is actually quite simple from home. there r 2 fly-overs to cross n a bit more. but...we couldn't get a rick! and after loadsa walking ...[we'd crossed 1 flyover already!] one empty rick-wala finally agreed. AND...he dropped us on the other side of AIIMS!!!!!!!! i ws a unsure abt the way..hence didn't direct him....and... HUH!!!
so...again began the walk to go to AIIMS' main gate. we went frm inside the campus of the hospital [my first visit to a non-Forces hospital!]. after reaching the other side...n a li'l bit of calling n asking...we were FINALLY at our destination.

moral of the story...we almost walked all the way to tht 1.25 hrs!'d have been much faster...if we had pre-decided to juz walk to tht place!

and yeah...we left their place at arnd 11:10pm...and reached home in 10 min.s flat!

on 18th...i had my FIRST proper 'going out' session. i'm very lazy at this point of time. hence...i will write abt 18th...and the further days'... next post onwards!!!

[ideally speaking...i'd have like to name this series "DILLI DHAMAAL"...coz tht's more suited to kinda plans tht i have for my stay at home. but...juz decided to stick to the more cliched 'delhi diary'!
now...i'd originally wanted to do posts chronologically...which meant i had 2 other posts of prior events' type n put up...but i've been too lazy to do tht. hence...i've motivated myself to go ahead with DELHI DIARY at least...otherwise even this will get added to the back log...n tht's not really a great idea!
also...apologies for not using 'propah' language. as much as i'd have loved to do tht...i wasn't really in the mood for it. also...i wasn't typing in MSWord the typos and internet lingo may kindly be excused!]