Monday, December 18, 2006

Do you have them?

I have no one, but my inability to capture those half-formed sentences which are lost in the labyrinths of my brain, to blame for my forced hibernation from the blog world but here is an attempt to resurrect my blog.

They were not there below the shelf nor were they in the loft.
Everyone scurried in search of them; a few more minutes of delay and she would have to forget the party. He stood in a quite corner and watched the scene –he was sure she would refuse to dance without her best stilettos.

-a 55er

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

the death of heroes, pilots and fountains

the epitaph reads :

'May the memories never fade away'

I know I should have titled something in the lines of 'death of the ink pen' but then...

Remember those days? when the favorite April fool prank was to throw ink at the back of someone else's shirt, and the partner-in-crime was none other than our beloved ink pen.

Pardon my ignorance, but I really do not know what kids these days use for writing in school.Perhaps they are learning the alphabet on the computer, ending the era of slates,slate pencils (which ,among other things, used to be quite yummy to eat),pencils and pens.

I remember the transition from pencil to the ink pen and the first ink pen I had - it was a beautiful grey and the nib was golden in color.
Ink-filling was a ritual, no less in importance than the daily puja,
and was done under the strict supervision of my mom; dip the ink filler carefully into the royal blue Bril inkpot, fill the pen and shut it tightly so that it doesn't leak, ensuring that there are no filthy ink stains on our stark white uniforms.
My initial days of learning the written word were filled with wonder as I saw the blue ink spread among the 'ruled' notebooks. Ah! and the joys of getting one of those pink/red ink remarks or an occasional 'Very Good' by the teacher, is beyond the comprehension of the adult world.

now we are coming to a point of digression(skip this part if you are someone who hates digressions) - I always was in love with my handwriting - the girlish-cursive style which speaks about the all-girls-convent-education at the first glimpse of it.Too bad, I do not get enough opportunities to flaunt it. My group of friends were always inventing ways of dotting the 'i's and curving the 'g's or 'y's , not to mention a beautifully calligraphed S, A and D.The writing styles would develop a dialect of their own and we could identify the name of the schools looking at the handwriting;and no, we were not into graphology.(end of 'no-use-to-anyone-except-self' digression)

Slowly the ballpoint pen made inroads into our school-bags and without even putting up a fight, the ink-pen seemed to have died a slow death.
But then if writing is itself slowly fading away, the days of the ink pen are almost buried.
It wouldn't surprise me if sometime in the near future, we start using electronic notebooks and our handwritten notes can be easily transferred on to a Word document.
Add a few hundred years more and the antique ink pens would be on display in museums;
a thousand years and they would become fossiled remnants of the era of handwriting.

Monday, August 28, 2006

ayese bhee baate hotee hain....

'dil kee tasalli ke liye, zoothhee chamak zoothhaa nikhaar
jeewan to sunaa hee rahaa, sab samaze aayee hain bahaar
kaliyon se koee poochhe to, hasatee hain yaa ke rotee hain
ayese bhee baate hotee hain.. ..'

lines from my favorite song from Anupama (one of my all time favorite movies).I don't know why I had carried this DVD with me and whether it was a strange coincidence that I was watching it last night and today's news announces that Hrishida is no more with us.

I suddenly travel back in time when we used to sing 'Humko man ki Sakhti dena' in school. I never realized that it was from the movie Guddi until I watched it one Saturday evening on Doordarshan. I immensely liked it - not because I was also a school girl that time and was nursing a crush on some film hero (no,no I had completely skipped that phase in life) but because I used to love Kusum's babhi who seemed to mouth the same dialogues as my mom and other neighborhood aunties. At 12, I never really bothered about who the director was. It was while watching ‘Bawarchi’ that mom mentioned to me that this was directed by Hrishikesh Mukerjee. Many more Saturday movie watching followed - sitting in our old sofa with Mom and sis in tow – where I savored the initial dose of Hrishida’s movies –Anand, Mili, Abhimaan, Chupke Chupke, Golmaal and Khoobsurat .

While 'Chupke Chupke' and 'Golmaal' take the cake for the best comedies ever portrayed on the Indian cinema, the wonderful portrayal of the fine nuances of the human emotions like in 'Anupama' and 'Mili' are definite examples of this great filmmaker.
It is amazing that one man could portray a gamut of different emotions without including any sort of fights or the then popular Helen numbers.

Couple of years back I made a conscious effort to watch them all once again and this time I noticed those finer details which I had missed earlier. The character of Amitab in 'Mili' is more complex than the Sekhar of ‘Abhimaan’ , the demure Renuji of ‘Anand’ was the same actress who played babhi in ‘Guddi’ , the Sharmila Tagore of ‘Anupama’ was so different from the one in ‘Aradhana’ and so on…

Ah, and don’t get me started on those wonderful songs -
‘Na ji ya lage na’ from 'Anand', ‘badi sooni sooni hai’ from 'Mili' and ofcourse ‘Kuch Dil Ne Kaha’ from 'Anupama' , which seemed such an integral part of his movies.

Agreed that liberalization/globalization in India has brought designer labels and the 'Inside-Outside' type of houses but still there a million houses similar to the ones portrayed in Hrishida’s movies and of course a lot of babhis out there waiting to be portrayed – why don’t movie directors of today take the hint ??

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Solitary....

Reaper or Huntsman???
Doesn't it sound like another of those delightful poems...

Just a-little-over-22 hours of flying from Mumbai to LA and I can proudly announce that I have almost conquered my paranoia of flying (well, almost!).

I did not expect such a warm embrace from California; the arid wilderness is nothing different from rural Telangana . The feeling I get is similar to the one where I'm frantically searching for something and suddenly realize that I've forgotten what it is. And yes, I do start making those little columns in my head listing the differences between the East Coast and the West Coast (and the absence of the Fall colors here makes me want to view the few scattered trees through my pretty-pink sunglasses always).

But coming back to the delightful poem I was talking about ,I feel like I'm the muse of such poems.
In a blissful world of total solitude with no mobile phones, no messengers popping on my screen , no familar people and almost no mails (here, I’m not counting the work related ones) I suddenly find
Wordsworth resurrected in my senses.

Before I take off on any more of my sententious monologue, let me present something which appeared immensely to my senses -
A story in half a dozen words and attempt I would

Orchids looked beautiful, on his grave.

The garbage overflowed, with female fetuses.

He killed her, with his humor.

For better ones look here.

I wish this would mutate into one of those tags that go around the blogworld, I humbly request all those kind souls who have read this to please consider it in all the seriousness of a tag.

(I promise I wouldn't subject you through any more inane posts, until I get over this blissful state of affairs )

Monday, July 31, 2006

Suspicion-a mental picture thro' an imaginary keyhole

This weekend was a unique one in the story of my life (ok, that was for dramatic effect..)
- This is the first time I ever watched two movies in the first week of their release.

‘Omkara’ and Lady in the Water’ and without further ado I proceed to type my thoughts about the first one.

Vishal Bhardwaj seems to be Bollywood’s answer to the growing public angst of badly-plagiarized-Hollywood movies.
All my fears of Shakespeare turning in his grave were put to rest once I got swept away by this apt adaptation of one of most famous of the Bard’s tragedies.
If you know your Shakespeare, the story wouldn’t be a major surprise. But the setting is.

Replace Venice and Cyprus with rural UP – now this is what interests the eye.
Not to mention the shock element - the profanities in everyday speech by men and women alike.

Saif Ali Khan shines as the Indianised version of Iago –“Langda Tyagi’ , who is definetly going to the join the bandwagon of Bollywood baddies like Gabbar Singh and Mugambo.
Ajay Devgan had nothing much to do except being himself (I am yet to see him change even the way he blinks his eyes)- he has this stereo-typical look of his plastered all over his face. Kareena Kapoor, for a change, tried her best to act; can’t blame her if Vishal thought she would suit as Desdemona .Vivek Oberoi as Cassio was okie-dokie and Bipasha sizzled as Billo. I really hate taking the name of Konkana Sen in the same breath as the aforementioned actors but yes, she made a wonderful Emelia (Indu) and made her presence felt in the few scenes that she had.

But I think the success of this flick lies totally with Mr.Bhardwaj - he knows how to tell a fascinating tale. Now what is to be seen is how the Indian masses accept this one (and here I’m not speaking of all those savvy people who discuss Shakespeare over their Coffee in Café Coffee Day!)

(While I start rephrasing my sentences on Shyamalan’s ‘Lady in the Water’, do tell me how you liked Omkara.)

Monday, July 24, 2006

'I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time..'Mark Twain

I wonder when stupid, archaical Indian newspapers would wake up and stop posting articles titled ‘Why do girls smoke?’.
Would someone please help me understand the reason behind such inane articles?
Is it because…

* People would read anything with the word ‘girl’ in it
* Mightily bored people read all the articles in any newspaper on any given day
* It would please the Shiv Sena activists
* An increase in the MCP readership is required
Whatever …

I would have been happy had the title been ‘Why do people smoke?. What do they mean by the question ‘Why do girls smoke?’ I mean, would the reason be any different from why do men smoke? Then why the gender bias? All things being the same, I guess women have as much right to self-destruction as men have. Or rather as much right to the pleasures of life just like men.

(Note: Before the moral police start picking up their cudgels – let me tell them that this is not a post to advocate the joys of smoking or to encourage people to take up smoking; it is but a small cry by the already habitual smokers to stop propagating messages which make people judgemental about girls who smoke.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"For what avail the plough or sail, Or land or life, if freedom fail?" -R.W.Emerson

India, hailed as the world's largest democracy fails the very title.

I'm shocked to learn about the ban on sites like blogger,typepad and geocities by most ISPs (fortunately i'm at work and looks like thro' Sify I'm still able to access those sites, which is one good news). See accounts in Rediff, Economic Times and the latest posts on desipundit.

In other news, bloggers across metros in India have joined hands, hosting many helpful sites like Bloggers Collective and an organized protest at Wiki.

I just hope that this is one big mistake by those fools sitting on a pedestal inside the offices of DoT and we would resume our normal routine of blogging, commenting and of course squabbling over the comments, very soon.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

"I prefer the most unfair peace to the most righteous war"-Cicero

Why do civilians suffer?
Why do inhuman acts target the innocent?

Is the world no longer a safe place?
Is this where mankind is headed?

Shattered lives of people...

When would peace prevail??

Kudos To the power of blogging - Mumbai Help

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.

the above lines are from one of my recent reads - 'A Woman of No Importance'.

Only 84-odd-pages and Wilde seems to have filled it with pearls of wisdom (well, you can say that for any book of Oscar Wilde).

A simple story (might remind you of some old Hindi movie)-
Young Gerald is offered a job of a secretary by Lord Illingworth and the twist in the tale occurs when Gerald's mother Mrs.Arbuthnot realizes her relationship with Lord Illingworth.

Carefully camouflaged between the amusing lines, lies the mockery of erstwhile aristocracy of England.
These lines, of Lord Illingworth, would bear testimony of the above fact:

"To get into the best society, nowadays, one has to either feed people, amuse people, or shock people--that is all!"

Lord Illingworth is to this book what Henry was in 'The Picture of Dorian Grey’. It is through his wit that we encounter some of the best lines of this book.
Consider this

LADY STUTFIELD : Every one I know says you are very, very wicked.

LORD ILLINGWORTH : It is perfectly monstrous the way people go
about, nowadays, saying things against one behind one's back that
are absolutely and entirely true.

Sometimes I wonder whether I see the reflection of Wilde in the voice of Lord Illingworth - cynical and a stylish villain. In comparison to him the apparently good natured Mrs.Arbuthnot and Miss. Hester appear boring and dull. (Self-righteneous and seemingly didactic).And of course Illingworth walks away with all those famous lines of the play:

"I don't think there is a woman in the world who would not be a little flattered if one made love to her. It is that which makes women so irresistibly adorable."

"The Book of Life begins with a man and woman in a garden. It ends with Revelations."

"Nothing spoils a romance so much as a sense of humor in the woman - or the want of it in the man."

Considering the fact that Mrs.Arbuthnot emerges victorious towards the end of the book, I wondered if the title ‘A Man of No Importance’ would have been more suitable.
But Wild(e) are his ways...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Is it weird in here, or is it just me?

Ok, I agree that once in a while I have to come out of my reclusive self and accept the tags that one my blogger friend graciously led me to(whats is so gracious one might ask, but that is beside the point)

I am ready to believe that people would enjoy reading the weird quirks of fellow beings, rather than some boring rant of long forgotten movies, books and other assorted paraphernalia which lie on one’s bedside table. But do I digress?? (well this is my blog and I would digress as and when thought appropriate...)

Without further ado, I shall come to the tag in question which is to list 5 weird things about oneself and pass it to five others (who should also fall in the league of weird people, for obvious reasons)

if you don't know already , I suffer from the cleanliness bug(perhaps I took the adage ‘Cleanliness next to Godliness’ from my Moral Science lessons in school too seriously)yes, my fingers itch for - setting right every disarrayed picture frame which cries out to me , organizing shelves at home or the office, rearranging my handbag every morning. This also extends to emptying the recycle bin of my comp as well the deleted items of my mails, almost everyday and ‘am guilty of losing some of my precious data.

I hate visiting the restroom while traveling, unless it is absolutely and painfully necessary. Trains, railway stations, bus stands as well as other people’s houses - form the huge weird list in some remote corner of my brain which refuses to let go even when the bladder beckons.

I have a huge phobia of flying which seems to increase along with my frequent-flier miles.(the flights I took from B’lore to Hyd’bad for 7 months last year did nothing to improve it) But yes, I do try to put on a brave front, on my flight from Rome to Brussels I was assuring a 16-year-old kid that it is not such a bad experience at all after one gets used to the fear-factor.

I flip for guys who write well and am mightily impressed by guys who are also voracious readers. If I tell you my latest crush is Oscar Wilde, you would know why I call this 'weird'

I can be at my vindictive best in my imagination - devise elaborate plans of making the other person embarrassed or hurt .If a friend promised to come to my party and did not turn up, I shall imagine 101 ways of hurting her but actually I would meet her the next morning with a big smile on my face.So much for my 'V for Vendetta'!

Now that this ordeal is done ,I once again pass it on graciously to
C. Tigress

(and how do ya like my new blog template?, brickbats welcome)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Human life don't mean as much to them as it does to us!

Though 'Fanaa' was too tempting to write 'bout(I would’ve gladly ripped it to pieces),better sense prevailed and here comes a rant on some amazing movies I happened to watch last month.

12 Angry Men:

It is not only Indians who have misunderstood the Western culture but it seems to be a case of vice-versa as observed by me during my last visit to Europe.
Some of my collegues (Italians, Dutch and French) had only great things to tell about India - how spiritual Indians are, how we are never materialistic and how our movies always depict moral values.
I am not saying that we are not all of that but we are also not an epitome of the aforementioned list of values. We are, I think, not any more or any less materialistic than those in the West (the booming Multiplexes, the new shopping Malls and the number of cars on our roads are evidence enough for this fact)
If you are wondering about the relevance of the above thoughts in regard with this movie, I would say that this movie I think is testimony of the fact that not all movies in Hollywood are devoid of any moral values.
Without any special effects, without any modern gadgets, without the use of any out door locations and finally without a single lady in it, this movie manages to get appreciation from all quarters.

12 men are part of the jury which is to declare a young boy in question whether he is guilty or not guilty of murdering his father. What starts off with 11 to 1 for Guilty against Not Guilty ultimately ends in the 12 voting as Not Guilty. The forceful dialogues and the way the quirkiness of each individual is brought to surface make it a movie that one should add in their Must-Watch-in-your-lifetime lists.
See a wonderful review of it here.
(the title of the rant is based on a statement made in this movie)

The Hours:

I don’t know if statistics exist but if it does, it would surely state that the largest number of suicides, of famous people from all walks of life, would be by writers (Hemingway, Plath and Poe (??) spring to my mind).
Based on Pulitzer Winning book of Michael Cunningham, this deals with women in three different time periods enmeshed in a single common thread - Virginia Woolf and suicide. Since I haven’t read the book, I could appreciate the movie which seemed to oscillate between three women all of them associated with some form of depression.
While Virginia Woolf writes the book 'Mrs. Dalloway' in 1925, another woman Lara Brown reads it in 1950 and yet another woman who is lovingly nicknamed Mrs. Dalloway, by her poet friend, is preparing to throw a party for him.
I am sure the book would have been brilliant because the essence of thoughts wouldn’t have been rendered on the screen so effectively. But it still is a wonderful movie to watch - all the three actors -Nicole Kidman, Mery Streep and Julianne Moore couldn’t have done more justice to their characters. Those of you who do not like the type of slow movies should keep off this one because it has a very unconventional movie which wouldn’t seem to make much sense and would be particularly make you feel low if you are in that existing state of mind, but yes folks who love Woolf’s books would definitely not give this movie a miss.
Memorable lines : “To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Leonard, always the years between us, always the years. Always the love. Always the hours”

Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Mara :

the movie opens with the wonderful lines 'Himmat karne walon ki haar nahi hoti' (Courageous people never get defeated).
A retired Hindi Professor who suffers from dementia who believes that he was the one who killed Gandhi and how his daughter with the help of a psychiatrist deals with the situation forms the plot of the story.
The nuances of a father-daughter relationship as well as the sibling rivalry while trying to deal with their mentally-ill father are captured quite sensitively.
Thankfully the cliché of the doctor romancing the daughter is avoided and a sensible ending makes this a very lovable movie.
The Gandhian philosophy that is advocated in the last scene of the movie and the inspiring poem which is repeated thoughout the movie as the professor's favorite poem are very socially relevant in today’s India.
And of course the memorable lines are :

Kucch Kiye Bina Hi.. Jay Jay Kar Nahin Hoti
Himmat Karne Walon Ki.. Haar Nahin Hoti

Lehroon Se Darr Kar.. Naauka Paar Nahin Hoti
Himmat Karne Walon Ki.. Haar Nahin Hoti

One must be wondering what a weird selection - an age old vintage classic(12 Angry Men), a vague interpretation of Cunningham’s book (The Hours) and now a flop Hindi movie (Maine Gandhi …) ?? But these are my very own recommendations and you can watch them or give them a miss depending on your take on movies.

For all those interested in books, I have started a parallel blog 'bout books which you can check here.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Summer of '85 -Part2

(After a frustrating two days of trying to post this rant, i finally discovered that blogger seems to have some sort of word limit on the posts, so here comes the latter half of the Summer of '85 )

Now, to let you into a secret, you wouldn’t find a greater fan of horror movies than my mom. Two decades and more later, she still thrives on them -- a fortnight or so ago, she thoroughly enjoyed watching Darna Zaroori Hai.

So when Poltergeist was released, she immediately summoned Something-Swami. With two kids in tow, she made it to the evening show at Ratna Theatre. This is the one movie that I have not forgotten in a long, long time.

The evening show at Ratna Theatre started at seven and after about an hour and a half, we embarked on the drive home in our rickety jeep.

The scene from my window in the jeep was a perfect setting for an eerie movie – trees lined up on either side of the road and casting long shadows, dim light and no other vehicle in sight as far as the eyes could see. I started shivering.

Tucked in my bed beside my sister, my tender eyes would not close for me to sleep that night. Just outside the bedroom window, the swaying branches of the eucalyptus tree served to remind me of a tree in the movie. The next morning, my parents were shocked to see that I was running fever -- 103 degrees, no less. The fever continued for nearly a week and I refused to sleep in the dark and without my mom next to me. And, dad gave mom a sound warning to refrain from watching ‘stupid’ movies.

I watched Poltergeist on TV recently and was all smiles as it brought back memories of the first time I had seen the movie.

Summer of '85 - Part1

(for lack of any rants, 'am posting something i'd written at S&Co)

In an era when multiplexes had not yet been heard of, Pondicherry did not boast of
too many theatres where English films were exhibited. Unless you counted some which showed sleazy movies, Ratna Theatre was the only exception.

Situated on the main road leading to the bus stand, one couldn’t miss this theatre. I remember its blue exterior and the small green-colored ticket counter. The little space between the small entrance and the ticket counter was occupied by our jeep.

I also vividly remember Roger Moore, grinning sheepishly as he peered out of those huge posters of ‘Moonwalker’ on the compound wall in front.

My memory fails me when I try and recall if we watched the English flicks only over weekends or even on weekdays. But yes, I do remember us squealing in delight whenever mom mentioned a trip to Ratna Theatre. I would insist on washing my hair (to get rid of the sticky coconut oil) and using colorful clips (to match my dress) on the twin ponytails. I also recall how we would awaken our driver (he was a Something-Swami) from his afternoon slumber and ask him to rush us to the theatre before the evening show began.

We lived in the factory quarters 23km from downtown Pondicherry and hence we needed to start at least an hour in advance if we were not to miss some of the movie.

Most films we watched there were action-packed stuff -Raiders of the Lost Ark, Moonraker, Octopussy and the like. There was a substantial section of French viewers who used to be amazed by the whistles and catcalls from the front benches. During the interval, mom would take out a bagful of home-made goodies. Of course, I longed for the samosas they sold at the theatre only to be rebuked by mom -- "We don’t know which oil they use to fry the samosas. I don't want you falling sick."

Then again, those oily samosas were not to be blamed for my sudden illness in the summer of 1985.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Day I fell in love with David.....

How do I fit into a half-page travelogue the experience of 5 full days in Italy??
How do I capture the feeling of walking around
the Colloseum in Rome ,
the Sistine Chapel in Vatican,
up the Leaning Tower of Pisa and
the pathways of Venice

in just 500 or 1000 words?
How do I pen down my Fascination of staring at the amazing masks in

I know it is difficult, but try, I shall…

Italy is very similar to India –it is quite dirty, has chaotic traffic and people even dry their clothes out on a clothesline!!!
but the amazing fare it has to offer would ensure that an art enthusiast’s hunger is fully satiated.

Walking around the Colloseum in Rome, you would want to imagine all those gladiators and animals who were killed to the applause of the cheering spectators (this is when the movie Gladiator helps you…)

Staring at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel might leave you with a bad (s)p(r)ain in your neck but it is worth it – especially after seeing ‘the Creation ‘and ‘Temptation of Adam’ by Michelangelo.

And then I chanced upon David , standing tall and mighty, in the Academia Gallery of Florence and I instanly fell in love with this statue.

Trivia says that Michelangelo's David is based on the artistic discipline of disegno, which is built on knowledge of the male human form. Under this discipline, sculpture is considered to be the finest form of art because it mimics divine creation. Because Michelangelo adhered to the concepts of disegno, he worked under the premise that the image of David was already in the block of stone he was working on — in much the same way as the human soul is thought by some to be found within the physical body.

So herez a picture of a replica of David (which comes nowhere near the original but still, somethingz better than nothing...)

And as to the masks of Venice – they are so fascinating that I found myself dreaming about them for nearly a week .

Ok, so before I sign off, lemme wish myself a ‘Appy Blogday for having the patience to hang around on this space on the world wide web for exactly a year now.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Quaint lille town

A couple of Sundays back, I found myself boarding a train to Ghent at the Midi Station of Brussels and ‘bout 25 minutes later, I land in the St.Peter’s station of Ghent.
Ghent is supposedly one of the lesser-known tourist places of Belgium but it seems to be a treat to the visual senses.Check these

Cathedrals, bridges and castles are not a novelty in Europe where most places are abundant with them.
But Ghent is different from the rest, in the sense, that there seems to be not many new buildings in this quaint little town and it seems as if you have turned the clock back by a couple of centuries and have entered the medieval times.

My account would be incomplete if I don’t mention this interesting anecdote – we in India generally think that live-in relationships are the norm in the West but this was disproved in the tram I took in Ghent (from the station to the City center).
There was this guy going around with a paper n pen - now it wasn’t any statistics he was collecting – this is what he said ‘My girlfriend is from Holland and I am from Ghent, I need your autograph supporting us to live together’ and I relented, common, it is not everyday that someone asks you for your autograph J

Having started on this romantic note, the first place I visited was the Gravensteen Castle.

Built in the 12th century, I couldn’t help but compare it to our very own Golconda Fort and was amazed to find similarities –the entrance of the forts, the steps leading to the towers etc. but Golconda is much bigger than this Castle. On display was a range of torture devices employed in those days(including the guillotine) along with the weapons of warfare.

After the castle, a 5-minute walk and I was in the midst of the beautiful river with buildings on either side – called the Graslei and the Koornlei –the gothic buildings and the bridge just add lot of character to the place.

And yes, the cobble-stoned streets are a pleasure to walk on but the sounds that cars make while passing over them can be quite irritating!

Taking a slow walk on the bridge I arrive at the City Center where the Belfry (Clock Tower), St.Nicolus and St.Bavo’s church are located. I just let out a deep sign to drink in the atmosphere of this amazing place where the only thing, which looked really out of place, was the McD outlet.

St.Bavo’s Cathedral has amazing works of art and houses the most famous painting –‘The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’, dating to early 15th century.

St.Nicholus Church, the older of the two, stands majestically reflecting the blue-gray shades of the stones it has been built with.

The beautiful stained glass paintings on the windows are worth spending hours just admiring them.

This little town can be covered on foot in a few hours with some additional hours thrown in just to admire the beauty of the place, so please do not give it a miss if u r in this part of the world.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Babbling from Brussels

When, Belgium - home of the best beer, chocolates, waffles and diamonds in the world, beckoned me, I succumbed to it and landed in Brussels, bag and baggage et al.

So be prepared to hear anecdotes of my stay at Brussels. While I promise not to bore you, don’t expect a travelogue, rather it would be some general stuff about living and working in Brussels.

Brussels is not one of those cities bustling with activity, people seem to move at their own pace and the trams drudge along the roads in the same ish-style as those in apna Calcutta. Though it is the EU capital, it still has the air of a small town. The ambience is not too cosmopolitan which explains the reason that the people here know not a word of English (hardly 2 and half hours away from London!)

The sub-zero temperatures here found myself wrapped up in 4 layers of clothes –which makes me look 2 sizes larger ***sigh****
There are moments when I regret my stupid decision of not learning French (though I was brought up at Pondicherry!!!) and this was one of them -
I wasn’t prepared to meet so many people who have no clue of a single word of English and hence have to resort to sign language to get the message across.
And obviously there were bloopers galore, we picked up a bottle of milk and only after making good ole masala chai, realized that it was a sort of buttermilk (eeeks…)
And in case you see 2 guys greeting each other by kissing do not mistake them to be happy and ‘gay’ – it seems to be a custom out here.

I haven’t yet explored the place too much – been busy settling in my digs.So I would save the rest for the Next.

And yes I definetly miss the Hyderabadi summer.....

Monday, January 23, 2006

So long...

ok folks,many Thanks for post-requests but ....
I'm on this travel spree and as busy ,with the new project, as a mother is with her new-born.

Herez a short 55er which I'd written sometime back and I shall promise to be back after a brief hiatus.

Was it his hazel eyes??

He had hazel eyes -'just like mine' ,she thought.
Suddenly he looked deep into her eyes and gave
her a smile, which lit up her world.
She had always longed for someone like him
- the twinkle in his eye, the soft skin and
the immaculate smile-
He was just like the son she never had...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Some years are memorable while others just pass ...

As I peep into the kaleidoscope of nostalgia ,I see colorful images of memories whose dates/years are insignificant;
- those tamarind trees on the way to my school,
the eagles hovering around my school's playground,
watching re-runs of Fauji(school kids drooling over 'I say chaps' guy),
English movies in Ratna theatre with Mom, waiting for the school bus,
those petty jealousies, the teeny-weeny girlish crushes........

But 1997 changed all of that.

Suddenly the years and sometimes even the dates have started growing in significance and getting associated with a memory in that process,
-1998,2000 and 2001 were such years.
And the latest addition to the aforementioned list is 2005.

2005 holds some special memories for me which,if I could, I'd love to preserve it as a fossil forever.

So what would 2006 bring???