For the heart that melts like the chocolate it craves…

For your 2-day birthday!!!
For your 2-day birthday!!!

So it all began in the month of July (if I am not wrong) of 2007. It has been 9 years now.. That’s a long time! Oh I was terrible to you! I don’t know how you put up with me all these years!! I swear! You came into my class in VIII and I was the only one who had no partner to sit with. Yes, sad.. Well you did and you did so the whole year! Unflinchingly! I was terrible, introverted, intolerable, obnoxious and what not. Well I kept to myself and trust me when I say this, you are one of the first who brought me out of my shell. No one can believe my transformation and I owe it to you, big time!

Everything that we have been through, together, I can’t even begin to encompass it all in this tiny post. It has been an era and will continue to be one! The long walks, the long talks, the studying Math and English together; the Orkut, the Hi5 and Facebook! You had messed up my gender while signing me up…remember??? The crushes, the heartbreaks, the quarrels at school (you know which one I am talking about) ;)… the foooood, the Handwa, the Esselworld trip!! Oh, the innumerable memories! The powercuts, the late nights (yours), waking up when you slept (Apoo’s and mine); the missing of school (ALWAYS you), the constant stomach and headaches!! The singing together, the choir, the music room, the farewell preparation! Teaching others to sing! haha…the bitching, the gossip, the enacting scenes! Oh I miss the 1730-1930 of standard X!!! Such good, studious girls we were!

It has been 9 years…how can I even attempt to sum up almost a decade into a tiny post? I could try, but I’ll surely fail..

Help me see the changes now… I don’t remember the last time you slept till 1100 in the morning, I don’t remember when you last took a leave from office..don’t know when we last took a walk together..simply call? Naah, so busy now that they have to be scheduled (receiving  your automated messages are always fun)! You are so tired and exhausted that you feel sleepy at 2100! You are so responsible now that you bought me a gift from your salary…waking up to eat your food (happened just once, don’t know when it’ll happen again..) I don’t remember when I sang with you, when I watched a movie with you, spoken my heart out to you (ok, I did this, but still!)..

We have come a long way, evolved together, grown up together..the two soul sisters, who weren’t so while sitting on the bench in VIII B, are now sitting miles apart, eager to see each other, one of them eager to wish the other “A very happy birthday”…another birthday I couldn’t be there…like many more to come…

But when I feel low, when I miss you and all you guys, I read your letters. I recall the last time I saw you all in person, hugged each one of you. I’ll never forget the “Bye Dhwani” at the airport. I’ll never forget how easily you get emotional and melt, how easily you express your feelings, at least to us. Even your silence is indicative of what’s happening, Daachu, you don’t know, but we do. You are emotional and yet the strongest, the warmest person I know. Selflessness comes naturally to you. What can I say to describe the person that you are? Anything I say won’t do complete justice, babe..

When I say I don’t do enough for you, I mean it, because I feel it. I have never made a paper collage for you just because you happened to mention that you like the sound of pages turning. I have never given you anything from my salary (hai nahi, that’s another story altogether), never made food for you, never said that you are more important than food to me, never complimented you as much as you compliment me..never let my tears flow as I write this..I’m a lot more vulnerable than you Daachu and will keep learning to be strong, get back up, brush the dirt off and keep moving forward, from you..

Yours is a life which is improving everyday and I am so happy, so proud of you! You are chic, sweet, and a force to be reckoned with! You remember “What’s your Rashee?”, you might not directly behave like the Libran they described, but that’s all you, but you are a lot more!

I actually could keep going on but I should close this now..Happiest Birthday to my sweetheart, my sister, my babe! It’s a 2-day birthday for your 22nd! You are forever 21, forever 18. I love you, miss you and am virtually hugging you right now!!!

Shitloads of Love,

Dhwan

 

That wonderful day!
That wonderful day!

P. S. This was originally meant for August…the month of Farewells…but alas, time (not exactly using it as an excuse) has been a thief of my expression (pardon the cheesy lingo). Happiest Birthday Darshana!!! Happy smiling! 🙂

Gone are the days…

Disclaimer: Mostly fictional.

“Mommy! Mommy! Can I have another?” asked the little girl, jumping around her Mother, at the Cafe. I caught myself staring at her. She reminded me of someone.

“Oh, sure, honey!” replied her Mother. The little girl wanted another sweet. Her Mother bought another one for her.

I smiled in their general direction. Generous, I thought. My Mother would never have relented so easily. Of course, that was always just a momentary no. If I ever needed something and was denied, she would put it under my pillow, if small, or under my bed, if big, that very same night. She always made sure that I was happy.

I looked down at my poached egg; my hunger had suddenly abandoned me. I had to think before I spent now. I was away, far away from home, where a tantrum would get me what I wanted.

The smile I had had on my face just seconds ago, vanished. All that remained was a ghost of a smile, if at all.

I left the Cafe without eating anything and rushed to College. Lectures dragged on the whole day. I had no time to think about anything else.

So there was a study tour coming up, and the girl sitting two rows ahead was very excited about it.

“Well, obviously, the true reason we are going on this trip is to see the place and have fun! Who cares what the “tour” has to offer! I’m all packed already but I might shop a little more! I’ll probably have to get another bag to stuff it all in! Too much work, don’t you think!?” she kept chatting, incessantly with her girlfriends.

I looked at them and looked back down at my tattered, used copy of the textbook. I can’t go for this trip. I can’t pay for it. I was already working two jobs to help me through School, a trip was an expense I could avoid.

I couldn’t travel in reality but I could travel down memory lane..

“We are going on a holiday, my dear!” said my Father, as soon as he came back home from work that day.

“Yes!!! When, daddy, when!?” I shrieked, running to him and hugging him.

“Next week sounds good, right? Is your schedule all clear my busy little daughter??” he asked me.

“Let me check my Diary, Daddy! Hehe” I giggled, pretending to check an imaginary Diary. “Yes! I am available! Let’s go!!”

That had been a happy day, I thought, coming out of my reverie. I too had been in a position of not bothering where the money came from. I too had been happy once, excited and looking forward to the next day. That just seemed like a long time ago. All that remained was a ghost of that excitement, of years ago.

After classes and the shift at the library, I walked back home. A home, away from home. My responsibilities and the cruel realities weighing me down, making it difficult to walk. The day had reminded me too much of my carefree childhood; reminded me too much about the stresses I face everyday; of my demons, lurking around the corner. When my friends tell me to be content in the small things and that this too shall pass, I agree with them. But it is easier said, you see. As a child, I would dream big. About things I would achieve, do. Places I would see. People I would meet. But I found myself walking home, alone, a home, away from home, thinking how only the next day mattered, at the most. There was just worry, exhaustion now. The dream had faded away, and all that remained was a Ghost of it, if at all.

P. S. I guess I put a little too much of my current state of mind into this protagonist.. I guess that is just separation anxiety talking. Happy mind-clearing! 🙂

Ghost

For my Egg!!!

DSC_1319 IMG_20160716_022319

 

 

 

What can I say, that I haven’t said before,
Every day I just love you more!
I can’t write better than you,
You who’d choose azure over blue!

Our bond, 8 years strong,
No part of it, ever felt wrong!
Even stronger since yesterday
Our mischiefs, never at bay!

The girl who can do it all,
Though difficult to get on call,
But when you do, all your lows
The crying, to hell it goes!

High on life is she,
Never deterred she be!
Whether good times or bad,
Exemplifies strength, this lad!

My Arian sister,
We joke, following her may give a blister!
But yours is the opinion that matters,
You are the leader, we’d follow for starters!

Halfway through this I am,
This is terrible, so terrible, damn!
But Apoorva, you’d be the one to say,
Don’t regret, keep at it every day!

My penguin she is, she is my egg,
She can take a stand, albeit not on the keg..
I’m going to miss miss misssss her,
“Stay back”, “come along”, our spirits whisper!

She has taken me at my worst,
Made up my days, which were cursed.
When elated I am though,
She puts me on seventh heaven, bro!

Honored I am to be your friend,
I take, not only your souvenir, but you till the end!
I hope I have been the friend you deserve till date,
I shall continue to improve, I promise you mate!

I really am bad at poetry, you see..
This is only my bestie’s forte be!
Haven’t read one of hers for long,
So I thought to write this, to move her along!

P. S. Just for you!!! Happy poem-ing! 🙂

August Goodbyes

My blog on my mug!!!
My blog on my mug!!!

Alrighy then. First and foremost, apologies for having abandoned my blog…for nearly 1.5 months. No excuses. A very bad thing to have done. Complete lack of trying as well… Been out of Reach of my inner writer; willingness to write. Things have finally fallen into place, and so I can begin!

I understand that my entire theme of July went down the drain, but I shall write that out as I did learn cooking, albeit, basic, just-for-survival cooking! I can’t let Julie and Julia July just fade away with the category blank!

Anyway, August is here! Who am I kidding… it has been here for weeks now, sorry 😦

It’s the final month in India, for I don’t know how many years to come! I’m quite blank, I’m neither excited, nor sad. I’m just..?

It started with saaa aka Abbas leaving, that’s when I wrote my first goodbye. Now it is time for me to say so to my special people and hence, I shall obediently give them my kind of goodbye – something this permanent and PDA-like. And what is a better medium than an abandoned warehouse of written work!?

August is my last with my people, my soulmates, my lovelies, and I am going to make it all worth it!

Before I begin, if I miss out on someone, which is unlikely, remember that I love you too!

As for practicing my short stories, many more months are yet to come! So worry not!

First, for my egg, my penguin!

P. S. Okay, must admit, feels great to write here again…knowing someone somewhere is reading! Happy brewing, happy reading! 🙂

Reach

For you to read when you land!

Then
Then
Now
Now

Starting with the first of many goodbyes to come…

You know how you make friends at school and then

further at college? Well, as a former introvert, I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do so. But today, I have my closest few whom I’m going to miss dearly and won’t be able to say goodbyes to.

Nevertheless, before me, my dumbass friend had to leave and the roles momentarily reversed – like I’ll hug and get on the plane eventually, he just did that. And it hit me that times are already changing, college years have come to an end.

Abbas Pyarali aka Saaaaaaa (to infinity and beyond). Sa because well, he is from South Africa. But the nickname stuck really well. I don’t remember the last time I called him Abbas. Anyway, he left yesterday to go back home, forever. I don’t know when I’ll see him again. Maybe for his wedding (hehe) or when I force him to take me to Cape Town. I wonder how many years it will be; five, seven, ten? Won’t see him in reality, won’t hug him, won’t be able to hit him every day anymore. My association with him has officially been confined to Skype now. Unfortunate, isn’t it?

Well, I had to give him something as a parting gift, right? Something to cherish, remember me by? What could it be? A book? He won’t read it. Shoes, gym gear, clothes? I don’t have the capacity for them. But more than materialistic, it had to be personal. So what could I do better than write for him? So, this is my farewell gift to you. A brief compilation of our time spent together.

The very first time me and my girlfriends saw him was on the first day of college, Aug 13, 2012. Apparently he thinks he wasn’t there on that day. But I do remember seeing him distinctly. So he walked in and we thought, well, not bad, not bad at all. He was the quiet guy, sitting at the back of the class, not contributing to anything. When asked to introduce himself, he spoke in an accent difficult to understand (No, not because I don’t get accents, but because he is too dumb to communicate well. Period.). Next I remember that we had some seminar and he came to ask me about some document work. Those were the very first encounters.

Next, he was placed in Practical batch A, and Kruti and I would sit and talk to him, while he told us where he is from, about South Africa. But you know what I remember most vividly? The way he would stare at us four (Aku, Kru, Niks and me). Not in a perverse way, of course. We were the most active people in the class. We would talk and laugh incessantly. And Sa, without even knowing the joke, would laugh along (see? Crazy and dumb). Yes, Sa, we have noticed all that, admit it. I guess, we amused him.

Well, days went by and became months, soon the first year came to an end and I found that I had five best college friends. The six of us would spend every moment of the day together, during classes, after them. We celebrated everyone’s birthdays, went out for movies and dinners. I remember how Sa and Aku had faked a fight on my birthday and then that was one of the reasons used to lure me out of my room later that day, to celebrate my 18th birthday in a beautiful grand fashion. I remember how I found their fake quarrel quite realistic. I remember how we would listen to Wimbledon commentary on the phone because we couldn’t watch it in the campus; how you would always support Nole and me Nadal, if and when they played against each other (and you used to make such a big deal if Nadal lost). One of the most recent amusing stories is his birthday…I hope you never tell anyone how I texted you at 0030h on May 21 saying you still had three hours left to turn 23 and that I won’t be wishing you until then (because I thought you were in Africa). I guess, more of time adjustment will be necessary in the next year. Lastly, the most recent – how nervous you get around parents.

Frankly, I have been more irritated with him in these past years than loved him. We have had our differences, major rifts, but more so than anything, we have had long talks, advising, sharing stories and instances, opening up about problems. If it was more of mature brain-storming I required, I always turned to him. I never crying-called him, but I could always tell him literally everything. We might have less ‘crazy times’ (too sober as he is), but he is one of the first to read and advise me on particular stories. There have been ups and downs but when I saw him off yesterday, it felt bad. Hasn’t hit me yet, but it will. Very soon it will be “Oh god! Haven’t seen you in years.” Very soon it will be “Oh god, I don’t remember the last time we spoke.” Hopefully, it won’t.

But, for my first goodbye, I’ll surely miss you. Yes, you are dumb, annoying, too bored a guy (the usual look on your face). You are the one guy who wants to see me faint, see my perfume attack. You are my consolation that I am not that heavy (if you can lift me, I’m not a walrus yet). You are the one guy who has more mood swings than a girl (please don’t stop talking to me now that I’m spilling such secrets). But you are one of the few who knows me very well. Unpredictable as I am, you are one of the few who can still guess what I might do and say. You are such a decent guy who loves to shower (*ahem*). You are one of my hotties with a beautiful family of your own. And now that I want you to stay grounded, I shall stop praising you and just say a formal, written goodbye. I do love you, Sa. You are my dumbest friend ever. I’ll miss you. Even if we don’t talk much eventually, know that I’ll remember you.

P. S. The least I can do. Goodbye!

Clouds because writing this for him while he is up in the air! 😉

Julie-and-Julia July!

My omelette attempt on my parents anniversary on Nov 21 2015
My omelette attempt on my parents anniversary on Nov 21 2015

July is here! The next new month! A new theme! So, the count down for ‘further education’ has officially begun and now the time has come for this book worm to enter the kitchen and learn to…cook. Yes, the worm doesn’t know much.

Having set the priority for this month at home, I figured, what better than to use the same for the blog? So, remember the movie Julie and Julia? The one where Julie Powell blogs about the 524 recipes she learns from Julia Child? This is going to be nothing like that.

The plan is to write about the tiny, simple food items I learn to prepare. It won’t be helpful, it won’t look appealing. But I’d like some encouragement and hence, this plan!

Please await my feeble attempts at cooking and learning the different types of egg preparations for the current month – July! I’m sorry, Julie-and-Julia July!

P. S. Please don’t accuse me of copyright theft…I hope this is sufficient acknowledgment for the wonderful and inspiring movie with brilliant actors! Happy cooking! 🙂

Deprived of Everything

“Sir, you have a conference call at 0945h; the ROW marketing meeting at 1030h. Your lunch with Mr. Smith has been arranged at 1300h. You have Reg Inc. coming in at 1530h and Boss needs you dot at 1700h.”

He listened to his secretary ramble on about his schedule for the day. This was every day, nothing unusual. He didn’t even bother looking up. He made notes about pending work which he would have to finish before each of the mentioned meetings and asked, “Is there anything else?”

“Well, your Project report is due tomorrow.”

“Oh, yes. I’ll have to do that after my last meeting for the day.”

He had begun working on the report the previous night, after yet another day completely booked by appointments and meetings. He couldn’t recollect the last time he had slept the entire night. He sighed and continued working. He ordered coffee, after a while.

“You are going to ruin your health like this, honey,” his wife had warned him the previous night. “Please stop this and come to bed.”

“Yes, I’ll be there in a few, sweetheart, I promise,” he promised, falsely.

He awoke the next day and found that he had dozed off at the table, in the study. He had sighed and begun to get ready for the day.

“Stop thinking about irrelevant things,” he said to himself, shaking his head to come out of his reverie.

With the conference call and meeting done, he was sitting in the car, on his way to the restaurant when his phone rang.

“Hello, my sleep deprived husband!” chirped his wife.

“Hello, my observant wife!” he replied.

“I hope you remember that it is your son’s recital today? I expect you to be home by six, ok?”

A moment of silence followed. This would be the third consecutive recital he would be missing. He didn’t know how to break the news to his wife this time.

“I, uh..”

“Oh no. Oh no no. You can’t –”

“I’m sorry, darling. I really am! I’ll talk to him, I promise!”

“You cannot possibly think I’m ok with this!? Do you know that you haven’t attended a single one of his performances? Can’t you make an hour’s time for your son??” she asked, her tone accusatory.

“I’m really sorr –”

“Please. Don’t. You are hardly ever home, and even if you are, you stay in your study. You can’t make time for your own son, your wife. How important is your damn work? Is it more so than your family? You are depriving a son of his father and a wife of her husband. I have nothing more to say to you.”

She cut the call.

This too was usual. They often fought over his absence at home, important functions.

But he always tried to reason with her saying that his hard work is what offers them a luxurious life. He had never had one himself. He wanted his son to have one. He always had to think twice before spending on anything, had to curb his demands while seeing his other rich friends get what they want and also what they didn’t. He didn’t want this to happen to his son. He didn’t want him to cope with financial difficulties at a young age. So he worked and slogged his guts out.

“But you can’t buy your son some time with his father, you fool!” his wife would yell.

He just didn’t want to deprive his son of a good, secure life. Why couldn’t she understand that he was doing it all for them?

He stopped thinking about his wife and son, and continued through the day. He met his boss, who unloaded his own worries on him, his subordinate, quite conveniently. He took it silently and promised better results. This promise he will have to keep.

He walked back to his cabin, sat down and decided to grab some shut eye before starting with the report. He checked the time, it was 1817h. When is the recital, he wondered. He picked up the phone and dialed his wife’s number. He’ll make up for it tonight, he decided. He’ll take the weekend off and be with his son, he decided.

“Hello? Mr. Roy?” asked a male voice, instead of his wife.

“Huh? Hello? Who are you?”

“Mr. Roy, I’m speaking from Grant General Hospital. Sir, I’m extremely sorry to tell you, but your wife and son…

P. S. A short story after a long time. Disclaimer: Completely fictional. No happy anything…

Deprive