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December 14, 2008

Shying away from expression...

Playing it safe, am I? A discussion with a friend today raised the subject of ‘voicing out opinions’ and ‘faking an agreement’. It started with me telling her that in a conversation/discussion, I nod in agreement to a point the other person is making when I know my point is not getting across. I told her that I fake an agreement typically with elders or with people who do not have the same wavelength as mine. My friend and I also spoke about people voicing out their opinions, some loudly and some subtly. She said that she has noticed people with well-reasoned opinions shying out from expressing them; she expressed her disappointment at this.

I told her that voicing an opinion at all forums does not make sense. She called me a hypocrite. I asked her if she meant calling me diplomat. We went on to discussing if there was any difference between hypocrisy and diplomacy. Our discussion cordially continued. (I may have given you an impression that we were arguing. We weren’t. )

The discussion got me thinking. Am I playing it safe, not voicing my opinions on subjects that are deemed controversial? Looks like I am. That is why I don’t voice my opinion about the ethnic differences and the concept of ‘outsiders’ in various states of our country. That is why I do not discuss the role of media in influencing our thoughts and mindset. That is why I do not discuss the subject of homosexuality or the Kashmir dispute or chauvinist conventions. It’s not that I do not express myself at all but I do that only in close quarters, in front of my close friends. I rarely come out in the open. I rarely write a blog post on something controversial that I strongly feel about.

Will I change? I don’t know yet.

December 07, 2008

Struggling with clarity of expression

Borrowing a couple of lines from the poet, Ghanshyam's diary, here's what my state of mind is right now.

कहने को तो हजारों बातें हैं,
मगर उलझी हुई हैं सब एक-दुसरे से |

November 28, 2008


Never felt so helpless, so restless in my life. I am sure there were many like me following the news closely, unable to get back to the normal pace of life. Goosebumps and shivers accompanied every bit of information that the media passed on to us. What is the end-goal of these people? Do they think nations like the US, the UK and India will handover their governance to them? What are they fighting for? What are they spreading terror for?

I am totally clueless as to what I type now. I wish that never again the people anywhere have to go through what the Indians are going through now.

दहशतगर्दी का मंसूबा है दहशत, पर सिर्फ़ दर्द दिखता है हमारी आंखों में.

November 17, 2008

My second encounter with the White Tiger

Yesterday, after my chance encounter with the White Tiger, I got back to work but not for too long. The load shedding kept me tied to the living area surrounded by the light of two candles. So, with nothing else to do, I started reading the book again. In some time, there was a knock on the door. As I opened the door, A flashed a big smile and handed me a wrapped packet and said, "Gift!" He must have anticipated a pleasant exclamation, instead he got this, "Don't tell me you have bought White Tiger!"

A's face fell and before he could ask me the reason, he noticed an open book in the candlelight. With brisk steps, he reached the book, turned it over, and simply uttered, "Arrey!"

November 16, 2008

My chance encounter with the White Tiger

In the middle of planning the work towards meeting a couple of deadlines this week and a few family and social commitments, I went to wake up M from his untimely sleep when I noticed Adiga's White Tiger on his bed. I have closely followed all the discussions, articles, the special report in the Sunday Times following the book winning the Booker Prize. I somehow developed a strong feeling that I would loathe it. Yes, I am being extremely judgemental, and at times, like many others, I judge a book by its cover.

Anyways, coming back to now, I opened the book and started reading it. I did not realize that I had got myself hooked to it until the mobile rang. I realized I had to get back to work and that I could not afford to read a book today or rather the entire week. In the fifteen pages that I have read so far, I have had fifty different thoughts, not about the book but about the many aspects of life and being Indian.

I do not know if I will love the book or loathe it, but I feel it will not leave me stoic.

Honoured and humbled

I sit down to write a post with a feeling that it's high time I posted something. However, I cannot focus on only one subject. Seems another assorted post is in the offing. Or, a confused one.

I have had a multitude of new experiences over the last two months. Now, one would argue that an experience is always new when it happens. However, when I say 'new', I mean 'fresh and unprecedented'. One of such experiences was an invite to the launch of a music album and the consequent feeling of being honoured and humbled. No, I was not involved in the music album in any way. I was invited to the launch by virtue of being an acquaintance of the person who was behind the launch of the album. Gopakumar, the man behind Saaral, a Tamil music album, was a colleague of mine at IBM. He moved to Chennai sometime ago. He made sure he updated me regularly on the album's workings. So, in September this year, when he informed that the album was due to be launched, my happiness knew no bounds. I had a tough time containing my excitement. When I reached Chennai on the D-day (September 29), I was humbled by the splurge of talent around. Being unfamiliar with the popular faces of the Tamil film and music industry, I kept bugging my new acquaintance (a lovely lady called Kumudham) for information on the people who arrived at the launch.

The famous faces and the launch had no trace of pomp or arrogance. The occasion had humility sprinkled with the right amount of pride. When the album's songs were being played, I could not resist tapping my feet or nodding my head to the tunes. I could not fathom a single word of the songs but they still seemed to make sense to me. And they say we are different. That moment, I felt I belonged to Chennai as much as I belonged to Bangalore or Kolkata or Dhanbad. If we were asked to remain in our states, how would we relish the friendships and tastes of the different lands of our country? OK, I am digressing. Will keep this for another post.

When Benny (Benny Dayal) sang a peppy song from the album on Sanjeev's (Sanjeev Philip Thomas) guitar tunes, people found it difficult to resist the temptation of hitting the floor.

I was humbled at the sight of the singers Unnikrishnan, Karthik, and Naresh Iyer. And I felt proud at being introduced to Benny and Sanjeev who obliged me with their autographs on the album's cover. Gopakumar was of course the first one to autograph! I cannot quite imagine his feelings at being able to finally make one of his dreams come true. Oh yes, he is the main music composer of the album, lyricist for a few songs and singer for one.

After the event, I was a part of an informal dinner with Gopakumar's family and a few friends. This guy has always been someone for whom family comes first. Even with ambitions of movie making, a fulfilled dream of a good music album, a passion for photography and a secure job, he has his wife and daughter as the number one priority on his list. I wonder how he manages. But I guess, people like him are the ones who can. During dinner, I casually remarked, "How do you manage to make music, work on making movies, stick to the passion of photography apart from attending a 9-9 job? People do not even find time to watch movies!" With a smile, he said, "I watch movies too."

P.S. For all those who would like to experience Saaral, you can order the CD online here.

September 30, 2008

Not letting dreams die...

सपने भी कभी चुभते हैं आंखों में?
ऐसा सुना तो नही था पहले कभी.
क्यों उसकी आंखों से खून रिसता है फिर?
टूटे सपनो ने खरोचा है शायद.

सुकून अगर सपनो के ख़त्म होने पर नही,
तो क्यों नही करें एक बार फिर कोशिश?
हिम्मत हार कर तो होंगे हताश ही,
हिम्मत को आज़मा कर ही देखा जाय.

September 23, 2008

No time for life...

Realize the importance of W. H. Davies' poem, Leisure today.

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

September 17, 2008

Not down, but depressed

ईश्वर, अल्लाह, तेरे जहाँ में नफ़रत क्यों है, जंग है क्यों?
तेरा दिल तो इतना बड़ा है, इंसान का दिल तंग है क्यों?

- From the movie 1947 Earth

Another series of blasts, and we already seem to have recovered from the trauma. In fact, these things do not seem to affect us at all, because they happen to others. Are they really happening to others? If the people in pre-independent India also thought that things were happening to others, would India have united against the British rule?

So, what can we do, you would ask. I don't know. I am as clueless as you are. Something burns inside me. Help me know what I can do.

September 12, 2008

Can we let trust die?

In response to my last post, a friend said that she is afraid that the donations won't reach the needy. I know that she is one of those people who are eager to help but the thought of the money not reaching the needy makes her a bit sceptical. Still, I know she will help. On the other hand, some of us stop ourselves from helping because we think our help will land in the wrong hands. I believe most of us are good at heart but the cynicism overcomes the humanity in us. If all of us think this way, will we be able to help ever?

The many 'destitutes' turning up at the door narrate the same tear-jerking story, conning us over and over again. We have grown to distrust people. Yet, we know that we may be turning away some people who are in the real need. Should we stop trusting people completely? How can we ever make use of our existence then? We cannot possibly do everything ourselves. And even if we could, we would need the support from others - financial or otherwise. Would others trust us then?

A told me that yesterday he was in conversation with someone who said that there is no point sending anything to Bihar as nothing will reach the needy. I hope some of us will help inspite of our scepticism. Can we not help keep optimism and trust alive?

September 10, 2008

It doesn't take too much to make use of our being.

A cousin, who is a doctor, reached Bihar today to help with the flood relief. Some people I know are eager to go to Bihar to contribute physically to the efforts. However, doctors and swimmers can be of more help than others. But all of us can contribute in some way or the other, nothing being any less significant. And it's not only about sending money, but sending medicines, milk powder, clothes, and other items.

I came across a couple of blogs while looking for a way to contribute.
  • One of them is called the Bihar Flood Relief - 2008. The people involved are contributing more than money. They have an idea of what is required there and they are passing down the information to us and even transporting the collected items to the flood-affected regions. For the ones in Benguluru, you can send money and other items through an NGO called Prayaas. The NGO's details are available in the blog. You can get in touch with them about sending essential items. Here are the details for sending money:

    Institutional Donor and as well as individual can donate via our Sister NGO PRAYAAS

    Please mention flood relief and your name in remarks section while transferring funds Please mention your name in the comments (will help us track) Send an email with details to: also make a CC to:

    Account in on the name of: M/S Prayaas
    Current Account No. : 10447347087
    Bank Address : State Bank of India, Indiranagar, Bangalore
    Bank Code : 3301
    Routing Number (Swift No.) : SBI NIN BB 147A
    MICR number : 560002021

    Prayaas Official Address:
    Mr. Amitesh Bharti
    C1-201, GreenWood Regency
    Doddakannahalli village,
    Carmelaram PO, Adj. Wipro
    Sarjapur Road,
    Bangalore - 560035

    If you want to send a cheque/DD:
    Please send the crossed A/c Payee cheque in favour of,
    "SBI, A/c Prayaas, Current A/c No. 10447347087"

    Tax exemption under section 80G
    Donors in India can get tax exemption under section 80G, the certificate & the receipt of your contribution will be dispatched by Prayaas. To get the certificate & the receipt of your contribution, Please email your name and address along with detail of your contribution to Amitesh at

    also make a CC to

  • Another blog called News and Coordination for Bihar Flood Relief Activities also updates you on avenues to contribute to the relief efforts.
A little money and a few minutes can help a lot of people in need. Can we help keep optimism alive?


September 04, 2008

Presenting a post full of assorted thoughts...

The combination of a packet-full of potato chips from Dhanbad's Little Stores and a Nandan, Champak magazine or a Chacha Chaudhry, Billu or Pinki comic-book
Pure bliss lies in such things.

The disappointment at people's fear of the word 'idealistic' for the times in the future
Why do they make idealism equivalent to failure?

The inability to hold on to thoughts that are dear

The exorbitant price of poppy seeds

The confusion between what is there and what can be
Why is it difficult to let go of anything, whether it is a crushed piece of paper or an old set of sofas?

The confidence of doing something good for the world
It is in small things that lies the path for the great deeds. I can start small.

The inability to continue a routine after seven successful days
I will begin it again tomorrow. It will be a new day.

The happiness at completing a deadline and the tragedy of facing another
Time-up! When will I be able to do that?

The underlying, unflinching happiness within
Am I going completely crazy with this peace within?

The amusement at the invention of McFuel
WOW, they an make fuel out of the left-over burnt oil! There will be alternatives, for sure, but we need to take steps towards saving what we have now. Can I launch a campaign? Even if I do, will anybody care?

Ciao, till my next thought!

August 23, 2008

This one is for the writer in you

Friends, Indians, countrymen and countrywoman [Why did Mark Antony (not the singer husband of J Lo!) address people this way? Were his friends different from Romans? Was he also addressing a countryside or a country outside Rome?], lend me your ears. If you fall in any of the categories listed below, we have a news for you.
  • You are a freelance writer.
  • You are jobless but a writer at heart.
  • You have a techy job but are a writer at heart (and you can let go of this job for your love for writing). Do this at your own risk. We will wash our hands off it saying, "WE DIDN'T ASK YOU TO QUIT!"
  • You have a job that legally allows you time for part-time or freelance writing.
  • You are looking for a part-time or full-time writing gig.
There is an opportunity for freelancers for a Bangalore-based magazine as well as for a national one. There is also a requirement for a columnist. Check the post on Zahid's blog for details.


August 14, 2008

What will happen on the 27th?

Loaded with homework during vacations, I used to make a plan almost everyday to finish my work well before time. I would start with distributing work over weeks. Then, my procrastination would consequently make changes in my plan and I would plan my work over the days left. In the last few days of the vacation, faced with tremendous pressure, I would distribute my tasks over the next few hours left. So, if task X had a week to start with, it may end up with only seven hours. Oh yes, I did finish my homework on time, exactly at the eleventh hour! And everybody at school thought I was a hardworking, studious girl. Only my mom knew the truth, her vocal chords completely shaken and tortured thanks to the continuous pleading, cajoling and scolding.

Why do I talk about this today? Because old habits die hard and I am faced with a similar situation now. I have exactly thirteen tasks (beeeeeeeeg ones) at hand that I need to finish by the 27th. How will I manage, you wonder. Even I have no idea, but I know for sure, I will. I will keep you posted on it.

Oh, did I tell you that these tasks are not the only work I have? I have work for at least 6 hours a day apart from this one! Do I hear, "God bless you"? Thanks. I need that.

August 13, 2008

Hap... Hick... Hap... Hick... Happppppppppppppppy!

While I do what I do in order to eventually attain happiness, I find myself being happy for apparently the most trifle reasons: my new bike, last evening's ride, A's smiling wave from downstairs, a friend's impending visit, some old memories, an ego-massage (borrowed the term from a conversation last night) from an appreciative remark, a successful culinary experiment or the completion of a pending task. In other words, just about anything makes me happy. A says my happiness is one reason I keep putting on weight. Well...

My happiness is not about complacency; it's not about dropping ambitions. In fact, the new-found calmness has laden my multi-flavoured sundae of ambitions with exotic dry fruits and the juiciest of cherries (I am hungry!). My happy self keeps stress at bay, letting me dream big and do well.

My friends ask me if I am high on something. I think I am, and I am too high to know what it is.

August 12, 2008

Riding in the rain

The beginning
Early evening: inhibitions, second thoughts
Minutes later: bring bike to the ground floor (from just a floor above); look up the sky; decide to keep the trip short; ride off
After another few minutes: indecision at the cross roads; keep going straight
All this while: second glances from people, especially motorists and other cyclists
After a total of 15-min ride: halt at friend's place; boast about the bike; show the silly horn to the child at their place and feel proud

On the way back
Late evening: the drizzle dissuades
A minute later: ride out anyways
After another couple of minutes: hear the first catcall; wanna go and punch him hard - rain and the bike stop me
After two or three minutes later: another catcall, this time from a cyclist who overtakes; along comes a steep road
A minute later: rain pours down; road gets steeper; walk up the stretch
For the next two minutes: curse self for not carrying a raincoat, start the ride again
In the next few seconds: parked car suddenly decides to reverse, while another comes from the right, and a third honks; maneuver to get ahead of the reversing car
In the next few seconds: ahead of the chaotic jam behind; keep going while getting drenched
Till the destination: wonder how the house appears so far; drenched jeans makes for heavy pulling; adjust gears and fly back home
At the destination: carry the bike up the stairs; lady coming out gets impressed; fumble for keys; open the door; keep the bike inside; collapse on the couch

Decision: To ride in the mornings; to buy a helmet; to stop and slap the catcallers.

August 11, 2008

Beware if your co-worker is an idiot!

One of my acquaintances forwarded a very amusing news report to me [Thanks, Absa!]. It was published exactly two years ago. I am sure most of you will relate to it. Click the image below to read the report. It's titled: Working with idiots can kill you!

You can find the publishing details of the report here.

Our new-found love

I don't have words to describe the state of mind I am in since yesterday. What caused it? The new entrant at my house, my two-wheeler. No, it is not the regular 'bike' but the original one - the bicycle. Yes, at a time when everyone is vying to buy the four-wheel-laden symbol of status, we have bought a cycle. Why, you would ask.

First, we were immensely inspired by the way cycling is looked at in Japan. Some people we knew owned the most envied cars but preferred to cycle to closer destinations, ten kilometers being normal. You could see as many cycles on the roads as there were cars, may be more. We felt it was more than the fitness-conscious mind dictating the norm; it was a responsible conscience too. Owning and riding a cycle in Japan is as normal as owning a mobile in India - everyone has one, from the CEOs to the sabjiwalas.


Second, our stay in Japan suddenly made us look at the cyclists back home with a renewed eye. There are a few cycling enthusiasts at A's workplace in India, one of whom is responsible for helping us choose our cycle. [Thanks, Prashant!] We realized that there is a group of people, though a handful, who are riding cycles not just for passionate reasons but for environmental as well. We realized that people think about not only car-pooling as a way to avoid traffic jams, control pollution and save fuel, but also cycling.

Third, lately, we (A, M, and I) have been thinking of contributing to the efforts of people trying to make the world a better place. Helping by cycling may sound like a far-fetched idea but it does help in some minute way. There is a muhavra in Hindi: बूँद बूँद से ही सागर बनता है (every drop counts in making the ocean). So, every time I close the tap tightly to ensure no drop of water is wasted, I feel good. There are a million such small things I can do to contribute to keeping optimism alive.

Fourth, we have two strong selfish reasons: keeping fit and getting high. Taking the two wheels in the stride does give a kick, somewhat inexplicable.

I am yet to explore the fun the 18 gears of the bike offers. I am looking forward to getting high everyday.

July 30, 2008

Guilty of carrying on normally

I carry on with my life as if nothing has happened. I understand mourning is not a solution to the terror problem, however, I fear that a cloud of insensitivity is trying to overcome my humanity. Is normalcy taking over the good sense? Or, have I started defining good sense in a different way?

So, what can I do?
  • Not laugh at the insensitive jokes cracked by others.
  • Be more alert.

July 02, 2008

Awheemaway awheemaway...

A and I have found ourselves humming The Lion Sleeps Tonight a bit too often these days. This could be a result of us trying to woo our two-year old neighbour in Japan. Manu, as everyone fondly calls him, is quiet only when he has a good melody playing in front of him. He was addicted to YouTube. Obsessed with Pigloo (we love that too now!), Manu wouldn't listen to any other song. A and I introduced him to Ek-Anek, Agadam Bagadam and The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Since then, we haven't stopped humming the Lion song. A friend today asked what it is, so I though I will share the song with her and others visiting this blog. Here you go.

June 27, 2008

My crazy mind

I have come here to scribble something but there is nothing specific that comes to mind as I type out these words. I do not find myself lost, just a bit preoccupied sorting the several thoughts in my head. So, while I gather my thoughts, I give my readers one of my favourite songs, a lyrical beauty.
Get this widget | Track details | eSnips Social DNA

June 23, 2008

My active online friends

I have been a bit busy offline these last few days. While I was socializing and discovering the world offline, some of my friends have been extremely active online. A started a blog. I cringed at its name and idea. It is called 'Why I Crib'. A has never been a man of letters, but lately, he has been frantically looking for a vent (other than me) for his strong feelings in response to the everyday happenings in the world. The Author's Wisdom section in A's blog says it all. I have read his posts and want to strongly agree or disagree (most of the time) with his views, but I haven't commented on his posts yet (That makes me understand why my readers don't comment, when I know they feel strongly about one of my opinions.). With the ease of finding him in the same room, I argue with A on all his posts all the time. A and I look at the big picture from the same perspective. However, it is the fine details that we disagree on. The discussions make for some real good insights, which would otherwise be ignored. There are a dozen of things I feel strongly about but something stops me from expressing my views on this forum. A's blog makes me wonder if I am fleeing away from reality, for the selfish hope of evading controversy.

A and I have a common friend, Deepa. She started blogging very recently, but has been successfully managing four blogs now. I check one of her blogs, Life is a jaunt, almost religiously. Her posts, where she narrates a not-so-unusual incident of her everyday life and then analyses it to conclude a profound thought, appeal to me. The last of such a post of hers was about people's indifference towards things that do not directly affect them.

Mrinal is another of my active online buddy. He started blogging this year and has been writing about his personal experiences. I have been following his blog quite earnestly and discovered an analytical and introspective mind behind the written words. A couple of his recent posts, however, blew me off my feet. The situation and scene that he describes in these posts seems to be taken off a movie script. Click these links to read the posts: Dare and Dare 2. I had mixed feelings while reading these posts. While I was busy pointing out the punctuation errors in his posts, he asked, "Didi, you didn't say anything? I thought you would beat me up!" "You have grown up," I said.

June 12, 2008

As I struggle with deadines, my mind plays games with me

The indisciplined freelancer I am, I can be often found staring at my laptop screen at the most unearthly hours. (Yeah, the biological clock is completely out of order.) No, I do not miss deadlines; I do not forget to respond to clients. I do all that and more, like catching on my favourite childhood serials and animations, following local and international news or reading. What I do not do is giving a boost to my chosen career. My years in the corporate world ought to make me more sincere in my own endeavour, but instead I choose to pooh-pooh reality by calling it prosaic.

My dreams have nurtured the risk-taking decision maker in me. My courage has found me avenues and opportunities. But I often let my procrastination take over me, making me blissfully oblivious to reality. This post has found me in an introspective vein tonight. While you ponder over my predicament, let me go back to my deadlines.


P.S. It must be my nocturnal, caffeine-deprived, bogged brain typing.

June 11, 2008

Forgetting the ideals behind the idols

Read a brilliant piece on Sagarika Ghose's blog this morning. The glorification of symbols and the derision of the thoughts and ideals of the ones they represent is horrifyingly evident in the power playground in India.

ख़ुदा की खिदमत कुछ इस तरह की हमने,
ख़ुदा की तस्वीर को ख़ुदा से बड़ा बना दिया

June 04, 2008

The unflinching hope

From a poem by the late poet, Ghanshyam

...किस बल पे गुमान है बेफ़िक्रे को?
स्वर्ण-मुद्राओं से भरे किस अदृश्य हाथ को
देखता है वह शुन्य से अपनी ओर बढ़ते?

May 27, 2008

Thus said my friend

I used to think that writers are different because of their capability to articulate. I now know that writers are different because they observe and think differently.

May 26, 2008

A thought from the movie, Guide

ज़िंदगी एक ख़याल है, जैसे के मौत एक ख़याल है.

ना सुख है, ना दुःख है,
ना दीन है, ना दुनिया.
ना इंसान, ना भगवान.

सिर्फ़ मैं, मैं, मैं, मैं.

May 14, 2008

Jaipur tragedy: How we can help

Woke up with the news of the Jaipur blasts. Already shocked with the unpredictability of life in circumstances like these, I was appalled at how news channels carried the news, more interested in soliciting comments and video clips from the general public than helping them with helpline numbers and other information. Not that I have seen this the first time. Does the Fourth Estate need a monitoring eye? Probably yes. Let us not get carried away in a different direction, far away from our sense of humanity.

Here are the helpline numbers to help you get information about the deceased and the injured:
  • 0141–2574456
  • 0141-2560291
  • 0141-2619827

The injured need blood urgently. Please rush to the Sawai Madho Singh (SMS) Hospital, if you are in Jaipur, to donate your blood.

Let this news not be just another audio and visual piece while you have your breakfast. Let's do what we can.

May 09, 2008

The Zing Thing

Just happened to come across the Gold-Spot ad. Loved humming 'The Zing Thing' back as a kid. Here's to old times.

May 06, 2008

Two trains, a Temple, and numerous Turtles

Impromptu events are usually the most cherished. Today was such a day. Today being a holiday in Japan, A and I had planned to visit the Showa Kinen park in Tachikawa, with the intention of spending the day cycling and boating. However, we woke up utterly confused some time around noon. After a few minutes of complete bewilderment, we decided to go ahead with our plan. An hour later, while we were on our way to the railway station, we wondered if it was any point going that late to a place that closed early. The scorching sun helped give the extra push to our confusion and we dropped our plan. Instead, we reached our usual destination, the Kawasaki station.

After an hour or so of shopping and eating at the big mall near the station, I felt exhausted and wanted to return home. A, however, showed his displeasure over the way we were spending the day. I was unhappy too (I hate visiting malls!) but did not know what else to do. He asked if I would be comfortable walking a little more. So we walked through the overcrowded streets, past a couple of talented street singers to reach the Keikyu Kawasaki station. We boarded the first train we saw, or so I thought. A knew where we were going. I didn’t mind it much since we had got ourselves seats. Three stations later, we found ourselves getting off the train and walking towards the south exit of the Kawasaki Daishi station.

We walked our way to the Buddhist temple there. Like any famous temple in India, the way to the temple was lined up with shops selling tourist items and similar paraphernalia.

The temple was beautiful but lacked the hustle and bustle of its Indian counterpart. We followed others washing their hands in an artificial fountain in the centre of the temple courtyard. One does not, however, need to take off shoes in the temple premises here. We saw one idol of Buddha in gold in a small temple and a lot of gold accessories and décor in the main temple. We did not enter the main temple as we saw no one going inside; we had a glimpse of the interior through a huge glass window.

The temple premises had a lot of food stalls, but we did not bother to check as we were not hungry. We took fancy to the numerous turtles resting in a water reservoir in the premises. We spent a lot of time observing them. Their hand and neck movements gave me goosebumps. A and I were extremely fascinated with the texture on their shells. A had a turtle pet for a few days when he was a kid. My goosebumps were back when he told me he wanted one again.

After feasting our eyes on the water-loving reptiles, we left for the nearest park to rest. Eyeing a baseball game, A decided to give me a crash course on the game. Just in theory. So, we sat on the once-upon-a-time seats, crushing the wild grass with our feet, just outside the baseball field for some time to observe the fielding team thrash the batting one. We left the privileged seats the moment the teams changed roles.

We spent some more time in the park, doing absolutely nothing. Two trains and a bit of walk later, we came back home quite content. Sometimes, the absence of a plan makes the day.

May 02, 2008

Addictive thoughts

Ages ago, I read something in a school text book that I often find myself repeating.

Loveliness is all around me
If I have eyes to see
God shares his wonder gifts
Everywhere and endlessly

I guess I was in the kindergarten when I read this. I memorized the text immediately to never let go of it. So, when a few minutes ago, after meeting a certain work deadline, I remembered it, I felt a surge of excitement rush through my nerves. The thought comes to me today amidst challenges and uncertainties and makes me feel free. Surprisingly, it does not make me nostalgic, somewhat timeless. I guess some thoughts are extremely addictive.

April 26, 2008

The strength

निशाना चूकने की आदत है अब,
दिमाग की नसें फटने लगी हैं सब.
दिल बौखलाता नहीं मगर फिर भी,
खोतें नहीं हम हौसला हारने पर भी.

April 08, 2008

Singing along

Addition: See the comments for this post.

For the last twenty-four hours, I have been trying to hush the humming in my head. My head has been playing the Tagore song, Sakhi, Bhavna Kahare Bole again and again. I have been trying to distract it by screaming, listening to other songs, singing bad songs myself, but it refuses to go away. This song featured in Sriman Prithviraj, one of my childhood favourites.

I have roughly translated the first few lines for you. Of course, I cannot bring Tagore's feelings into it.
Dear, what is worry? My dear, what is pain?
You all talk about love all day and night.
Is it all pain?
Is it all tears?
Is it all grief?
Hoping for what bliss do people then long for this pain?
If you see through my eyes, everything is lucky, everything is novel, everything is good. The blue sky, the dark forests, the flowers – everything is like me. They laugh; they sing. They want to keep smiling and singing. They know not any ache nor tears nor any pain.

It is strange that I would like this song so much. I never learnt Bangla. Our family was a hybrid of Bihari-Bengali culture and that's how I discovered the similarities between the apparently diverse cultures. However, Bengali literature was something I thought I was missing on discovering. My mother was thus pleasantly surprised when she realized I had picked up reading Bengali from my friends. She was glad she no longer needed to read out Sanchaita to me.

I think my mother is a global person in the truest sense of its term. She has an amazing acceptance of things previously alien to her or different from her. My father too had adapted himself so well to my mother's ethnicity. At home, I was proud to be both a Bihari and a Bengali. It was never a 50-50 situation for me. I prided myself in saying that I was a 100% Bihari as well as a 100% Bengali. I never felt the tug between Bengalis and non-Bengalis until I landed in Kolkata. A somewhat parochial attitude of some made me stubborn and I disguised my Bong connection. However, I still enjoyed the Bengali literature and music of Tagore in my room with my Bengali roommates.

I don't know if I love Ray or Tagore as much as other Bengalis do. But I know that my friend who knows not a word in Bangla appreciates Satyajit Ray's cinema or Tagore's meaning of life in his songs as much as any average Bengali does.

Coming back to today, I have been trying to get rid of this song lest I start disliking it. It won't go away. Unfortunately, I do not have a singer's or even a hummer's voice to relish the song in its entirety and let it go thereafter.

Even as I type this, I am opening the song file. I have decided to sing along, yes, sing along with Lata and relish it anyways. There is no one else in the house. And I don't care about what the neighbours may think.

March 18, 2008

Distracted by procrastination

A countless times before, I have been inspired
To be soon distracted by something to my assent
Procrastination has had me glued and mired
As a mirage, it has pulled me away from the present

Along came my day-dreams to do away with the heath
Building for me tall, colossal forts and palaces
Eventually, reality pulled away the chair beneath
While I waited for the thrones and chalices

March 05, 2008

Being Uncertain

Uncertainty is a good thing. It lets you live the moment. - Me

Now you would ask, 'why?' Remember those days when, as kids, all we could do was to think about what we want to do when we grow up. A new career every year. I remember my first dream was to be a doctor. Then, as a couple of years passed, I wanted to join the defence services. Then came Fauji, the television series, and I wanted to be a military doctor. A couple of years later, I was playing with words and I wanted to be a journalist. Not a reporter, but a journalist, that too in the league of Jug Suraiya and Bachi Karkaria. Then, after my class X exams, inspired by the Bill Gates' school dropout story, I wanted to join the industry of comp, chips and information; all this while thinking that I will excel in whatever I do. Wow, those were the days!

Remember how those moments of looking forward to a dreamily-defined, uncertain future brought respite from the pressure of school work and peers. Wasn't the uncertainty good? The cynic inside me argues that, as a kid, I did not have to deal with the real world, with duniyadari, and that I could bask in my day dreams, oblivious of the trials of the real world. My dreamer rescues me once again and suggests that, at any moment in life, the self-defined times ahead make you look forward to life.

Why do I talk about uncertainty today? Because, once again, after years, I am stranded at the crossroads of choices. I cannot claim I have many, but yes, a handful. As I try to foresee the destination at the far end of the different paths, I wonder if it is the destination that I so desperately seek. My cynic pops in with: You are going nowhere with no plans and a definition of the meaning of life as perplexed as you.

Why would I want to define life, I retort. I may end up taking the most mundane of the paths, but for now, I can enjoy the uncertainty, gleefully putting aside the harsh realities.

May be I fail to see the big picture today. May be I will be back to the 'responsible' life as put by my cynic. However, I cannot deny the fact that, in living the moment, I experience joy.

Running away, I am not
I seek no treasure, no fortune
No glitter appeals to me
I sing today a different tune

Trials will come my way
To wrestle with, I am prepared
For now let me relish
Bliss in dreams I have reared

February 25, 2008

I heard, I watched, I now recommend

I have been watching a lot of movies lately, on the big screen as well as on the small. Here's a few I would like to talk about:

  • Amercian Gangster - Amazing performances what with the screen space divided between the two of the best actors, along with a captive story. Watch it.
  • Charlie Wilson's War - A must watch. Initially, I was reluctant to watch this one for the fear it might incite anger in me. I wondered if the war in the Afghan land will be glorified and the birth of the Taliban forgotten. I did not want to watch a movie that reiterated that wars are fought from boardrooms. However, I liked the movie and couldn't agree more with Wilson's view of having 'f****d the end game'. Watch out for the dialogues in Tom Hanks' scene with the Pakistani regime. I was pleasantly surprised to see the one who plays Ziah. The last exchange of words in the boardroom were the words that kept my anger in check. It seemed real.
  • There Will Be Blood - Thankfully, it wasn't about blood and gore as I had feared. Nonetheless, it was very powerful and dark. Daniel Day-Lewis deserves the Oscar. Watch it.
  • Juno - OK, I give up here. It was fine, alright, but I did not find anything remarkable in it. I guess I had watched too many powerful movies alongside to appreciate this one. You won't miss the world if you miss it.
  • American Pie Presents Beta House - Ooff, it gave me a headache. Trust me, the earlier versions were faaaaaaar better. Give it a miss.
  • The Bong Connection - Hmm... I had really very high expectations of this movie but ended up being disappointed. Technically lacking, it was a movie that completely dependent on the story and the screenplay; and it failed to create a great impression. I liked the movie, irrespective of its drawbacks. It may be because of either my appreciation of Anjan Dutta's work or a sense of identification with parts of the story, like the scene where Andy bursts out at his uncle and his aunt mediates. I love Mamta Shankar. She can bring life even in a two-minute scene. I am sure this movie will pave its way to brilliant cinema. Watch out for Anjan Dutta's next.
  • Ek Ruka Hua Faisla - A very old one. It's the Indian remake of the very famous 'Twelve Angry Men'. Grab the VCD/DVD for this one. Like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, this one is for keeps.

February 13, 2008

A fear

जितना भी दिल को समझाऊँ कि आलोचना अच्छी है,
लगता है बस फुसला रही हूँ खुदको.
कहते हैं नसीब बहादुरों का साथ देती है,
पर बहादुरी का तो हमने सिर्फ़ नक़ाब पहना है.

February 09, 2008

'Tis a white country

White cotton below my feet, a white sheet over my head
Dripping with wet white fur, oh so nice and distracting
'Tis a white country tonight, with shimmering roads,
Illuminated trees, and the sky pouring and so giving

The radiance blinds me for a second, devouring with it
The gloom and morose I had within; the shimmer drips
All over my disillusioned self, taking over me
Along with the white without, within me a sparkle comes

January 30, 2008

Watashi wa Eigoga wakarimas

How many people can claim that they taught a foreigner a language? I am writing this post to claim that I did. Well, I did not teach a language but helped someone with it. The only change I need to make in the claim is that in this case, I was the foreigner who taught a native.

I spent an hour and a half with a Japanese lady today, correcting her English grammar. She volunteered to learn from me, and I was flattered. I would have planned the teaching session properly and in a civilized way but it wasn’t going to be that way. Yesterday, Hayashi Aunty, as we call her, proposed that I help her with a letter she is writing. I was more than willing. I was flattered because I haven’t known her for too long and she thought it fit to ask me. After all, watashi wa Eigoga wakarimas. It means: I understand English.

As I was saying, I had thought of making the session proper but it wasn’t meant to be. I woke up this morning to bid my husband bye and thought that I wouldn’t go back to bed after that. So, I had my breakfast and sat in front of the computer to attend to the chores in the virtual world. After a couple of hours of sincere work, I needed some entertainment. I watched SATC for an hour and a half before dozing off. Well, I was in deep sleep when the bell rang. The bell rang in my dream and I dreamt on. When the bell rang again after half an hour, and that too, continuously, I realized it wasn’t a dream.

I gathered myself out of the bed to find my neighbour at the door. She told me that Hayashi Aunty would visit me for the planned lesson.

Sleepily, I asked, “When?”

“Now,” she said.

Oh my god, I am not ready.
I had invited Aunty to my place yesterday offering her Indian food. And I realized I had NO food ready at my place. Not that it was the focus of the meeting but I was already embarrassed to realize I looked untidy and bad. Plus, there was no food I could offer to Aunty. I could just tie my rebellious hair and put my breakfast plate in the sink when the bell rang again.

After half an hour of grammar corrections, not that her letter needed much, we chatted. I offered her tea. She asked for black tea. No milk, no sugar. As I was pouring the black fluid in the cups, I remembered some salted peanuts lying in my kitchen cabinet. You will not believe how relieved I felt. This was less embarrassing than just two cups of black water!

So, while we spoke about the English language and the Japanese culture over tea, I remembered that she had visited India once. I asked her about that. She spoke about the people and not much about the place. Evidently, she was pleased with the way people in India, Bangalore, to be precise, treated her.

Hayashi Aunty was met by an Indian family, my husband’s colleague’s family, in a supermarket in Japan some three years ago. Somehow, the meeting resulted in deep international bonding. Hayashi Aunty became friends with all the Indian families related to my husband’s office here. She went on to provide her help with the necessary interactions one needed in this country. She would accompany anyone visiting the doctor and feel happy to be the interpreter. She would throw parties for the Indians here and be a part of theirs. I had heard a lot about her from my neighbour even before I met Aunty. My neighbour has a two-year old son and she tells me that Aunty used to bring her food and take her to the doctor when she expecting. I could see the strong bond between them. Aunty visited India for my neighbour’s son’s baptism. That, definitely, is a strong bond.

Coming back to today, I offered to show Aunty some pictures of our house in Bangalore and our Durga Puja trip to the West Bengal village. I must say that I simply adored the way she noticed the details in the picture. She complimented my brother and my father-in-law.

She said I was ‘butifur’. Well, there is no ‘L’ in Japanese. An ‘L’ is usually replaced by ‘R’. She called me ‘butifur’ more than a couple of times and won me over.

Aunty is 73. An amazingly active lady at her age, she made me feel so comfortable I did not feel she was from another country. I could actually converse with her. She does not understand everything I say, neither do I, but both of us try. She is taking English language classes.

She told me that she felt ‘ronery’ and sad to hear that I was not going to stay here for long. I felt good to hear that. There was some bond developing.

January 28, 2008

There are voices in my head

Thoughts, thoughts, everywhere, nothing that translates into words. For the last few days, I have been thinking. A lot. I have been thinking about everything that my senses encounter - from the colossal electronic city of Akihabara to the three slices of bread I burnt this morning, from the open display of erotica in shops to the absence of English in this part of the world, from the desire to win over the world to the acceptance of things beyond control. The voices in my mind do not seem to translate into sensible sentences in any language. Yet, I do not despair. I am, surprisingly, extremely content, rather happy. I seem to be high on something. I have been, for a drastic change, living in the present, living the moment. The next decade, year, hour or even the minute, do not seem to trouble me.

The moments of solitude, sans introspection, make me happy. The voices in my mind seem to be taking me to places - places inside my head, inside my heart. I guess this is what living the moment is. I seem to be high on L.I.F.E.

January 23, 2008

It's snowing warmth!

It's snowing outside. It's the first time I am experiencing snow. Surprisingly, I woke up before six today, and a little while later, found small white feathers gazing through the windshield. I stood in the snow in my backyard and felt warm. A bit of warm sunshine seemed to have invaded into my day with the snow all over me.

I find myself humming Don William's 'Lord, I hope this day is good.' Listen

Readers, I hope your day is good, even if you are reading this a year after it has been written.

January 17, 2008

One day in the land of the rising sun

I know I owe my occasional readers a taste of my life in Japan. So, here is a description of one of my non-typical days spent here.

It was Monday, the 14th. Well, there is nothing special in the date. What’s special is that it was a holiday for my husband and he could take me out sight-seeing to Yokohama. The plan was to go on Sunday, but I was too lazy to get up in the morning for the purpose of sight-seeing. It sounded like the worst idea ever when my husband tried pulling me out of the bed. I promised him and myself that I will make it on Monday, and so I did.

We stay near the Hirama railway station. Hirama is a place in Kawasaki and falls on the Nambu line of the Japan railways. In order to go to Yokohama, we were supposed to take a train from Kawasaki. You can compare these two stations to the Whitefield and Bangalore City railway stations respectively.

We reach the Kawasaki station and head towards the Keihin-Tōhoku line platform. My husband had told me that it would take an hour an a half to make it to our destination from Hirama. I am, therefore, surprised, pleasantly, to discover that Yokohama is the next stop after Kawasaki in the train we have boarded. We get down at Yokohama and look for any sign that will give us an idea of how far the sight-seeing spots are. It comes as a flash of light to my husband that when he came here last, he had not come to Yokohama but had landed somewhere else. He suggests we take the train again and get down at the station after Yokohama. So, a few minutes later, we are back in a train heading to an unknown station we are supposed to get down at. He tries to shake his memory and reads the station names on a board inside the train. Fortunately, sometimes, you do get to read something in English here. However, these moments are very rare.

My husband thinks that the last time he came sight-seeing he had got down at a place called Ofuna. Meanwhile, I wonder if we are supposed to get down at a place three or four stops away from Yokohama, it cannot be Yokohama we are going to. The previous night, we had researched on the spots in Yokohama and made a list. I am now determined to verify with my list if we are even going to Yokohama.

We get down at Ofuna, and get lost again. We talk to the guy at the ticket counter but it doesn’t help much. Both he and we can understand only the names of the places in the conversation, nothing else. In our country, we need English to unite the diverse backgrounds, I guess. In this country, unfortunately for us, they have one language. And, it is not English.

My husband decides to call up his colleague to ask for directions when he realizes his mobile’s battery has run out. I keep my fingers crossed and ask him if he remembers his colleague’s number; in that case, we could call from a public phone. Thankfully, he does remember it and we spot a phone then and there. A few coins later, my husband tells me that they had taken a different route last time and his colleague has suggested that we go to Yokohama and contact the information centre there. I am completely exhausted by this time, not because of the travel, but because I am hungry. I sit on a platform bench to enjoy my cheese and corn bun, while my benchmate digs into his big Mac. My husband decides that he will eat once we reach our destination.

A little later, we are back in Yokohama via the Tokaido line. By this time, we are running at the station. We cannot afford to lose time. We have already lost an hour from the time we last came to the Yokohama station. We reach something called the Customer Service room. We check with the guy and he gives us directions to the Information Centre. We ask him which station we need to get down at to reach China Town. China Town is one of the sight-seeing spots I am not looking forward to. He tells us we should get down at Ichikawago which is three stops away, and that we should board a Negishi line train. We reach the Information Centre and manage a guide map, in English, to all the tourist spots in Yokomaha. Browsing through the map, I realize that all these spots stretch over a big area and three railway stations cover it. After perusing through the map, we decide to go to Ichikawago and rush to the Negishi line platform. We board a train, finally, to reach our destination, or so we thought. The next station comes, and people rush out, out of the train. I notice a couple standing opposite to us, on the platform. I find them giggling, and they seem to be looking at us. I notice our surrounding and figure out the oddity. We are the only passengers left in the train. Apparently, this is the terminus for this train. We come out of the train, completely irritated. We go out of the platform and ask a security man. We are told that we should go back to where we came from. Oh no, not to India, but back to the Negishi line platform. We figure out that there must be another train that will take us to our destination. However, we crib as no one told us we had to change trains at Sakuragicho!

Some cribbing later, we are at our destination station. As we walk hand-in-hand towards the China Town entry, I wonder if it is going to be worth the trouble. I take a couple of pamphlets as they are handed to me by pretty Chinese girls. I am not too sure if they are Chinese or Japanese. I feel bad that I am unable to notice the difference yet. I do not even notice the similarity. What I do notice is that I cannot remember a face in the tens or hundreds I see everyday.

I walk past rows and rows of small shops, selling everything from food items to clothes, from souvenirs to better future. There are a lot of palmist shops here. Palmists sit in rows on the pavement with a seat in front of each, and a ‘helper’ woos potential customers walking past. I am tempted to sit in one of those seats when my husband calms me down saying that they will predict my future for sure, but in Chinese or Japanese. It makes me more determined to join the Japanese classes I have been planning to.

We keep walking and I tell my husband, “I hope there is something worth seeing up ahead.” My husband looks at me and says, “This is the China Town. You are not looking around enough.” He further adds, “This is like the MG Road of Bangalore.” Yes, it is, but less crowded, less noisy, and more colourful.

We walk past the stores that glitter with something unusual but familiar. I look at the dresses on display and wonder if any will fit me. After twenty minutes of walking, I ask my husband if we can leave this spot and go to the next. China Town isn’t where my heart is. My husband takes me inside a two-storey shop and asks me to buy something. I know this is rare; it doesn’t happen to everyone. Unfortunately, it happens to the ones who don’t appreciate it, like me. I have never been interested in shopping, so I decline this offer and wait for the next. There is none. Instead of making another proposition, he takes the stairs to the second floor. I follow him, to discover a Chinese food court. I am delighted because I am extremely hungry. I know I can handle Chinese food better than Japanese. It took me a minute to realize there couldn’t be any vegetarian fare available; after all, we were in the land of fish and meat. Land of the rising sun? They should call it the land of the flesh – all sorts!

After talking in sign-language for five minutes, my husband orders a dish of egg fried rice for me. I am so glad I am an eggiterian. It would have been so difficult to survive here otherwise. Well, I am actually not surviving here with the local food. I survive with the self-cooked food and I indulge in it to an extent I am surprised I like my cooking that much! After a stomach-full, we go shopping for Chinese souvenirs in the Japanese land. In a few moments, we realize it doesn’t make sense and head towards our next destination, the amusement park, CosmoWorld.

We keep walking with the map in our hands and reach the port first. The port is called the Hashimata port. It has a lovely view. Though you cannot touch the water there, you can sense it with your eyes, ears and nose. My three senses awaken as I reach the port. I see a man and his daughter (not Japanese) feeding pigeons off their hands. As I wonder on the possibility of I doing it, I notice a noise and crowd disperse a few meters away. Evidently, there is some street show that has just got over and the street actor/magician/performer is thanking his audience. I want to see it, and look at the performer expectantly, waiting for his next performance. He, however, has no intention of starting it anytime soon. My husband tells me that this port is famous for the clarity of its water and that one could see the sea bed through the water. Looking forward to the spectacular sight, I peep down the railing into the water, to see a sea of plastic, boxes and other garbage floating on the water. This is so unlike Japan. This country is a spic and span country. You can go out in your best whites in the rains and come back dazzling. As I look away from the water to laugh at my husband, I also feel sad and disappointed. He assures me that we can see the clear water at the other end. We walk alongside the port railing in our search for clear water. I see the benches around the port, next to trees and want to sit down. My husband assures me that we can sit at the other side of the port after we have seen the sea bed through the clear water. As we walk along the railing, we notice that the water is clear so much so that we can see the pebbles, stones and small creatures clearly. It was a good sight. Encouraged, we keep walking along the railing until we hit the end; we are still away from the other end but we do not have to go anymore. We sight a café and get some hot coffee. Outside, near the port, we sit on a table and enjoy the coffee with the delicious cake we have carried from Hirama. There are pigeons and doves around. They do not fly away when they see humans coming. It is we who are making way for them. The doves are healthy and look lovely. This is the first time I am seeing doves. The pigeons remind me of the several pigeons that used to reside on the first floor of my neighbours’ house in Dhanbad. Pigeons remind me of my childhood. That smell and that sound are reminiscent of some happy days.

The hot coffee in the windy, chilly weather makes us feel great and we get up for our next destination. In a few minutes, we reach CosmoWorld. The lady at the ticket counter cannot speak English and she does not have an English guide map for us. We take tickets to Diving Car and Haunted House. I do not want to go to Haunted House for I don’t enjoy it much. Signs of a coward? Well, I can watch a horror movie alone or take a stroll out at midnight, but I don’t like creepy hands touching my shoulder, objects falling on my head, a head rotating itself in mid air and dwarf ghosts chasing me. I try to convince my husband about dropping the idea of going to Haunted House. He checks with the lady at the counter and finds out that he could use it at any other place in CosmoWorld whose ticket costs the same. While we wait in the queue of the Diving Car ride, I notice the car swirling in the air on tracks, then diving into a cave in the water, emerging out of it to give its passengers some more swirls. When our turn comes, I get into the car, excited. I shout at every high and scream at every low. Inspite of closing my eyes at the moment of diving into the cave in the water, I feel the darkness. I come out of the ride, happy.

We look for another ride or show for the same price as the Haunted House ticket and find three: Story of the Labyrinth – Key to the Heart, Fortune Teller, Shooting and Kaleidoscope. We know the fortune teller will not speak English and we are yet to learn Japanese. We are not interested in shooting. Story of the Labyrinth seemed interesting but because of the lack of ‘English-support’, as one our Indian acquaintances puts it, we drop the idea. We walk into the Kaleidoscope tent and think that this is going to be a sheer waste of money. We are handed over two pamphlets with our respective zodiac signs. We are supposed to get these stamped inside. Thankfully, the three girls at this counter provide the much needed ‘English-support’. We walk in and realize we are in a lane with similar looking tiles at our feet and glass walls beside. We keep walking and both of us hit the wall. Yes, it was a glass wall and it was at an angle that did not show our reflection, instead appeared as a door-less entry. In a couple of minutes, we realize we are in a maze and we cannot even figure out where the next exit is. After a round of bhool bhulaiya, we reach a machine. We are supposed to get our pamphlets stamped here. We stamp it and then look for the exit again. While we are enjoying our maze, I wonder why this is called the Kaleidoscope. When we think we have ended our little game and move up the curtain, we realize that we are out at the entry, not at the exit. We come inside once again and make our way across the maze again to reach the exit. And we realize it’s not the exit, but the kaleidoscope. It’s a big room and the entire room is the kaleidoscope. I love the way they have organized it. We come out and are asked to press the buzzer. If the buzzer stops at our zodiac signs, we can win. But, as always, we don’t win. We come out smiling though, marveling at the game of maze we just played.

Phew. This was how I spent one of my non-typical days. However, the typical days are no less exciting. I will post about them soon.