Friday, December 09, 2011

A Dream Inside a Dream

From the entwined gloominess, He plucked a silence.
She plucked a silence from the same.
And there was a sweet conversation.

A giggle here and a closing eye there,
fluttering kite of a dream together.
Holding her fingers,
forever not leaving it.

Until one day, the cloudy gloominess
poured and washed,
to say it was a dream alone.
And I slept.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Universe is Watching

What would be your dying wish?
I wish to see her smile once again.

Is that all ?
Yes my lord

And I saw her smile; the most amazing and the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Anything else?
I wish to see her 10 years back on that rainy day. You know when.

I wish to live that moment once more?

Time cannot be reversed. Yet, I could do it.

It was raining. She was waiting for her regular taxi pickup. May because of the traffic, he was not there.
I walked towards her.

10 years back.

My heart was racing. I was all wet. I forgot to take my umbrella from my bag.
She saw me and waved. I responded with an odd smile.
Can you share your umbrella? I asked.
Sure. She was all happy. Before she finished.
I added a "forever".
She might have been expecting this because of my odd behaviour for past couple of months.
She smiled.

I was walking towards her.
I was all wet. I forgot to take my umbrella from my bag.
She saw me and waved. I responded with an odd smile.
You are all wet, come and I got some room for you. She said.
I stopped for a second. And politely refused her. I took the umbrella from my bag and unfolded it.

I walked on.

Is that why you wanted to reverse the time?
I smiled.

PS: Trying a new narration style. Hope it didn't suck that much!


There is a time when you realize that everything that you lived for was just within your reach. And you just didn't realize it.

A more disturbing fact is knowing about it later. Way later in life, from the point of no return.

And the only thing that comes out is this tiny tear drop which you tried so hard not to let out.
Damn it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Being alone is the worst fear that one can have.

A part of my campus is cordoned for the general public after a particular time. To be specific, after 6:00PM. There is a sign board, no, a warning board. It said "No entry beyond this area from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Panther is being sighted frequently in this area. Violation of this order shall be seriously viewed".

Let me tell you more about my campus. My campus is in the middle of one of the greatest cities of the world. Even though, it is in the midst of concrete jungle, it is one of the most greeny campus in the country. On one side of the campus there is a vast lake which in evenings has a unparalleled beauty. On the other side of the campus is a hillock and back to which there is another lake. This lake is hidden to the outside world. It is like a private treasure that only we like to enjoy to ourselves. On the other side of this lake is a national park. Don't ask me how this came here. And thats where the undomesticated lifes thrive. Sometimes they take a visit to our campus by crossing the lake.

The road is along the side of the lake. In wee hours it is a joggers' paradise. But as the ray's of sun slants away, people distance from it. Because Panthers visit there to remember their ancestor and the land they once ruled before we took it from them.

I was feeling very lonely to day. Unlike the daily routine, I didn't go back to lab after my evening jog. I took some random novel to read but I couldn't concentrate, my mind was everywhere except the lines in the book. It was already dark, around 10. I got out the room and started walking in a random direction. My next stop was in front of the lake side gate. I was staring at the warning board.

I looked around. It was too much dark to see beyond 6 feets and except for the squealing rickets, I thought there was nobody present. But I knew, behind that viel of pitch darkness, there was something lurking and watching me. Somewhere I had read that you are always running away from your fear and conquering them is the objective of your life. I was bit nervous. But I decided to conquer my fear.

I crossed the gate and started walking. Into the darkness. After a few steps, there was a rumbling fear echoing from my stomach. But still I walked on. The fear subsided. Then a flurry of memories started to hit me. I felt running away, not from darkness, but from these memories.

I had come a long way from the gate. I felt very lonely. I stopped walking and listened. I was waiting for the Panther to come. Nothing came.

I started to walk again. At that moment, I realised I was alone. This the state which my current life, if pursued, would lead me into. I started to run. Not from the Panther but from me.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Heights of Procrastination

Make a plan. The plan should include all the time that you can spend "awake". Of course what happens in dream stays there as the rest of it is just according to the plan. The plan you make should begin with the exact time your day starts, like for example, you get up at 5:00 AM (of course I meant hypothetically!) and at 5:30 AM, you actually gets up because that's the last possible snooze option that your alarm can give. Even though the next few sequences of your life coincide with 99% of the world population, barring some people who I consider to be on other side of the sane mortal world, you might feel like not planning for them at all. But trust me, according to (unofficial) statistics by planning commission of India, this is the time that slacks your daily chores and makes your day go haywire.

None of things that happen in your life is trivial. So you jot down everything, I meant everything, it may(should) even include when you walk into loo and when you get out. You must be wondering how this could be achieved. This area has been researched well by most of the ivy league universities and have come up with . Let me explain. Before making the actual daily plan, you run a trial period. You record the daily loo timings and then after the brief experimentation time, you take the average time spend in the loo. Based on this time, you can improvise your daily timings. A recent study has shown that even though there is no theoretical proof of an exact bound for this timing problem, a close approximation using an experiment of this kind, can save almost 36 seconds of your time which you could wisely and judiciously spend on playing Google's "angry birds".

The breakfast timing should fixed and should be not be varied frequently. The nature of human stomach is like local trains in Mumbai. If you are late, you are going to miss your train friend and this might upset somebody else as you might be standing in the position of somebody else's train friend! Hence, preferably, you must avoid messing around with this timing.

Ones the fixed things of the day are put in order, further plan of the day can be tweaked based on your daily needs. But, you must remember that others expect something from you daily and should never set upon any course that might disappoint them. So, if you decide to spend more time on Facebook rather than on Google reader, then you must have an alternative slack time devised well before lest your FB friends might get offended. This doesn't mean you should sacrifice your time spend on google reader. Writers of 100s of RSS feeders you have subscribed would be lost because of your inattentiveness. The only advise that can guarantee to provide an optimal solution is to rent a ghost writer of yourself to do these chores. This way you might end some time for newspaper reading over the coffee break.

The plan works only if it is visible to you all the time. So you keep it where your eyes can catch hold of it. For example, a plan on the stick-me-note on the side of refrigerator knob is a good choice. I prefer this place because every time I open my fridge after my 10 minute nap between my tiring 5 minutes working time, I get reminded about my plan. This has always helped in maintaining a health work life ( by not overdoing it).

Planning alone won't lead to the success of the endeavour that you have chalked out. It depends on the meticulous implementation. And the implementation is appreciated only if there are incentives attached on its successful completion. So after preparing a good plan of the day, you should receive the incentive for doing that. And the best possible incentive that you can bank on is good 10 minutes nap afterwards.

PS: just stuck my plan on to refrigerator knob.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Going home for Onam

I am going home for the Onam. It's my first Onam with my family in the last 10 years. So what happend in between, why didn't I go to my home even though I was so near, yet so far.

Talking about home, makes me define what a home is.

Home is where you get up and you are familiar with each breath you take.

Home is where you know the second switch on the left is for light in the veranda.

Home is where you bend down while cross the balcony door without even thinking for a second, because you know it is too small.

Home is where you know your mobile is just few feets away from your wallet on the third row of the cupboard.

Home is where you leave everyday knowing that the best rest you can get after day's work is while having a hot tea on your balcony watching the sun set across the lake ahead.

Home is where you can safely loose your front door key and still be calm because you know your spare key is just under the flower pot.

Home is where even if it rains, you don't have to worry about clothes you put up for drying as there is a shade just enough to cover them.

Home is where your friends can come in the middle of night and still be accomodated because of the extra bed you have.

Home is where there is an echo of her laughter linkering around even if she is not there.

Moreover home is where you don't have to dream because, there, you are living your dream.

Simply put, home is where your heart is. I was fortunate to find my home here and so I didn't go. But now....

Picture: A typical sunset from my balcony

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In search of ...

I like to travel. But when people ask me why I prefer travelling. I ask them whether one needs to have reasons for everything they do. They don't reply. I like to travel because I am in search of a place which can keep my mind away from the myriads of memories that haunts me. Yes, It is a recluse that I am searching for.

The moment I reach my travel destination, I try to weave a new world for me there. Laboriously, bit by bit, I make my new world. A place where nobody knows me and place where I know nobody. A place where I am content because for a miniscule of time I am free from myself, my old self.

It doesn't take much time for my new world to coalesce into the old one. Suddenly, I am not a stranger for the people around. And strangers around me are no more strangers. Then a uncanny resemblance of my newly built world start to form. The very same resemblance that I wish to shed off.

I pack my bags in search of the next destination, in search of my recluse.

So yes, I like to travel because it gives me hope.

Picture courtesy: Me :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Firing from someone else's shoulder

Over the years AJ have heard many pickup lines and conversation fountain heads - some good, some really good and some that makes you laugh your guts out. And quite recently he saw one that could make everyone roll over floor laughing.

Normally, not many come to the lab because most of them work home. There are some regulars apart from that, its all machines stacked on the top of each other. And the regulars had one time configured a server machine in the form of a android and call him sid just to kill the boredom. Personified server was a majestic sight to all visitors who came there. Last summer, four undergrads joined AJ's lab for internship. The group consisted of 3 girls and 1 guy. In the male infested campus of AJ's, rarely does some female interns come and very very rarely does some eye stunner come.

Soon after this, there was a noticeable change in the environment. People started coming to lab. People started to sit late. People started to be more focused on work rather than on Facebook or Twitter. And suddenly, AJ's lab was on the world map creating wonders. That when AJ learned astonishing results could be produced by just introducing XXs instead of XYs to a testosterone charged environment.

So the story goes like this. One guy wished to get an intern's phone number. He approached her quite a number of times but he was way too unfortunate. Then like those bulb-thoughts that you see in animations, he was smitten with this perfect idea. Simple plan: Since he was not successful in getting the phone number he thought of getting her a phone; not just any phone but his phone.

It was raining that day. After having a small chit chat, the guy says he need to go to his room. And then he asked her for an umbrella. Since nobody with an insane mind would give an umbrella on a rainy day, the guy was quite sure of her answer. The next move was the one that nailed the act.

Guy: "It raining heavily outside and I am not sure of going to room now. But I need to go, you know"
Guy: "Can you keep my phone with you, its a new blackberry and I don't want it to get wet."
Girl:"But I will be gone in another 2 hours."
Guy:"oh..I will be back in half an hour."

He didn't wait for another second. Off he went. He never mean't to come back to lab that day. He wanted her to take the phone home so that he could make a " oh sorry, I got hold onto something and completely forgot about the phone until now" ice-breaking call at 10 in the night. The plan would have worked. Just a minor glitch in that plan - The "AJ".

Since he didn't come till 5:00PM, instead of taking the phone with her, she thought of passing the phone to
somebody else in the lab. Unfortunately for the poor guy, who was expecting a lot to happen that night, it was AJ who was the only soul left in that lab at that time.

AJ kept the phone and assured her that he would hand it to the guy once he is back.

After the girl left, AJ's sinister brain started pondering about the fun he could have with the phone while it rings expecting somebody else to answer it. And he was sure that the call from that guy would come, no matter what happened to him.

AJ already rehearsed his reply in his head.

And around 10:00 PM, the phone rang. AJ picked up.
Guy: Hello.
AJ: Hello..
Guy: who is this?
AJ: who is this???
Guy: I am Mr. X. And you are having my phone.
AJ: I am Y's Fiancee. Sorry she already slept. She will give it to you tomorrow.
Guy: Thats ok. And sorry for disturbing you this late.
AJ: Oh..Its fine.

They hung up almost together.

Next day, AJ gave the phone to intern saying the guy didn't come back. And she might have returned back the phone to the guy when he came later.

Over the time, AJ noticed a change in the crowd's behavior towards this particular girl. Nobody was hitting on her. Everybody were interested in her friends. She must be pondering what happened? Now as the ground was wide open, AJ made his move.

This is what I call firing from someone else's shoulder.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ranting at 3:00A.M.

As we live on, there comes a stage when you feel lonely. Very lonely. And you know the reason for this loneliness, but you don't want to believe that. Why? because believing that as the reason would go against conviction of your life. The conviction about what you did, a long time ago, was wrong. And this guilt amplifies the aggravation that you already experience. But, you don't want that to happen, because you know there was no other way, then, to tackle it. And so, you stick on. No. Cling by that stupid decision, not because you believe in it but just because you didn't have any other alternative.

Sometimes, I hate this non-linearity of life.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

What am I to you

"What am I to you?" She asked.
"I don't know. I cannot explain it." He said in a confused tone.
"Try me." She was not going to let it go that easily.

"Ok, let me try." He then stops to take a breath.

"Imagine a kid who has never seen the rain. Imagine that he is playing in his backyard without regard for anything thats happening around. His mother is calling him but he wouldn't go, because he doesn't listen to anybody. Suddenly the sky is dark and cloudy and chilled breeze starts to sweep across his face. As he has not seen anything like this happen before he is curious. He doesn't go back running to his home. He stays there and wait for that something to happen, which he knows, is going to happen. And then the sweet smell of wet earth after a long dry spell makes him float. He strains his ears to listen to what is comming. A whispering sound like a secret to be told, the first drops of rain wets his face. The drop trickles down his face and then downpour completely wets him. He is in an estacy like never before. He wishes that raining never ceases. He want to cherish this feeling for the rest of his life."

"I feel like that little kid when you are with me." He says with a smile.

She too smiles back and holds him tight.

pic courtesy: Me:P

Monday, August 08, 2011

Tour de Bhutan

The last Shangri La is one place that everybody must visit in their life time. Thats what he said to me. And I decided to go with his word.

So I packed my bags and went to the land of peaceful dragon. Apart from the freaking soul that I am, three other seasoned mavericks also joined me for this great expedition. The reason for this immediate trip was because Bhutan is one of most least visited places in the world (reference - site I forgot). And we didn't want to visit a popular place. Moreover my every-year-Himalayan trek was due for this year.

Day-1 - waiting, waiting and waiting

I had some work to be completed. Even I didn't want to miss this trip, it was important deadline not to be missed. So I worked- day in and day out to complete it. The flight to Calcutta would take off at 6:20AM - with or without me and since I was not very good with alarms, I thought of not sleeping at all! It was raining in Mumbai when I left the campus, fortunately I didn't have any umbrella with me. So reached the airport all drenched. The so called elitist people of the society were giving this weird look which literally translated meant " where did this trash come from?". According to my pea-size brain, the only reasoning that came out was "Hey mate! I am a student". Once inside the flight, I forgot all these woes. My flight was kingfisher and I love Vijay Mallaya, he knows how to keep his customers happy. The cool daddy -parliamentarian-liquor baron provide the best in-flight breakfast and soon I was dozing off.

The Calcutta terminal is all about confusion and its reasons to reconcile with ethnic identity crisis. I don't know why I hated this city. An unknown reason kept me from coming to this city during my undergrad days. The worst of it was going to come.

I ended up waiting 4 hours for my friend inside the terminal. I was almost going to walk off to border town when I heard that sweet sound of flight 702 - Hyd-Kol flight. And after 5 min, he was in the lounge with a strolley - a strolley ! who in the world is going to do backpacking with a strolley. He smiled at me like reading my thoughts. "Dont worry I am going to buy a backpack". Although we had booked a train from Culcutta to New Jalpaiguri , we were not sure whether it would get confirmed. So off we went to esplanade to book our tickets to Silguri, which was our rendevouz point to Bhutan. We got a ticket for a Volvo which would take us from Calcutta to Siliguri from where we had to take the some transport to Jaigon and then cross over to Phuntshoeling, the border town of Bhutan.

Leaving country on foot and entering another one on foot. This was the second time I was doing it.
Apart from cacaphonic snoring by my friend and maniac driving, the bus journey was otherwise beautifully peaceful. And thanks to my friend, all my fellow Bong travellers who were friendly before he slept became foes in the morning.

We reached Siliguri at around 7:00 AM. Two of my friends from Delhi joined us there. Together we began to search for a cab that would take us to Phuntshoeling. After die hard bargaining by my experienced MBA friends we got a car to Jaigon.

We reached Jaigon,India around 6:00 in the evening and Phuntshoeling,Bhutan at 6.01.

Just a minute to cross a country!!

I had few close Bhutanese friends in my college. One of them was posted in Phuntshoeling who had done arrangements for our lodging and the logistics. I was surprised to find that room rent in Bhutan is really cheap. We got a nice cozy twin accommodation for around 600 bucks - which is not at
all possible to get in Mumbai!

My friend is a wonderful guy and we were really grateful to him for creating a itinerary for us. According to the plan, we get a road permit to Thimpu and then permit to Paro from Thimpu. The whole point of this trip is to visit Taktsang, one of the most sacred place in Bhutan and one of the most picturesque place in the world.

Day- 2 - Phuntshoeling

Next day morning, my friend arranged us a cab to get around Bhutan. Later, this was going to be pain. The driver turned out to be a friend of my friend. To make the matter worse, he was his childhood friend. More about this story later.

Bhutan is called last Shangri La or the last heaven on earth. Other name for Bhutan is called land of thunder dragon. But now a days its called land of peaceful dragon because its really a peaceful place. A getaway place where you have lungful of pure air and nothing else except the sweet murmur of mountain's breathing. The road to Thimpu is one of the most scenic. And the best part is you could actually touch
the clouds on the way. One thing that I wished then was to drive the car. And yes, I did drive a car in Bhutan.Perched high up in the mountains you can see white prayer flags. These prayer flags
spread the message of peace and well being to all the beings on this planet. Whispering silently along the mystic mountain music, its so refreshing to see them fluttering.

We reached Thimpu in the night. Another friend of
mine had made all arrangments there. The hotel was awesome. The food was also good. One thing thats cheap and available in plenty is liquour. My friends banged on the local drinks - K5 (released when 5th king was coronated), Coronation , Special Courier. After getting high, all of them wanted to visit a mon
uement inside the city - Memorial Chorten.

Memorial Chorten also known as Thimphu Chorten is monuement made in the memory of 3rd majesty of Bhutan. It is a Tibetian style stupa with a golden spire crowning it. One of the fascinating thing about Bhutanese is their openess and ability to trust each other. At 11 in the night, we entered the chorten and it was desserted but still open. In India, you can never see such site. And even if it was open, the site would have been vandalized beyond recognition.

I along with one of my friend(others were not sober :)) went in the morning to have extensive look at Chorten. The place had transformed. It was buzzing with activity. Many had come to offer their daily prayers. It was a nice feeling to go around the stupa in the morning, reminded me of the pradikshna that we used to do while at home. My friend entered the shrine and I followed him. I was stunned to see what was inside. All the incarnation of Buddha was depicted on a single sculpture. The most fascinating among all of them was that of ardha-pannani. Later, i came to know about the meaning of that representation. It meant the the unification of male and female by overcoming the duality. If seen, one would sit there and think over this unique representation of Buddha.

Day 3 - Around Thimphu

After a heavy breakfast we went to see the view of Thimphu from BTS towers which is like a lover's point. Though I guess the youth in Bhutan has many important things to do other than playing love games on the country side (I miss those days :)). So it was deserted. From there we went to see the national animal of Bhutan - Takin. Its one of the strangest animal. A cross between a mountain goat and Yak (I guess). Watching it was funny as it resembled one of our friend. So we changed the name Takin to Mr. X. If somebody had placed Mr. X and a Takin side by side, he would sure die of laughing at nature's naughtiness.

After having lunch from a chinese restuarant which ended by tasting the horrible Chinese tea, we were on our way to Tango and Cheri Monastery. Tango monastery belongs to Drukpa Kagyu School of Buddhism in Bhutan. It perched high up on a hill and the name Tango in Dzongkha (Bhutanese language ) means horse head. Though, I don't know why it is called like that . After walking for 1 hr, we finally reached there. A slight drizzle accompanied us all the way to top. One of the immediate thing that you notice is the a
stounding scenic beauty coupled with the silence. Far across, you can see a snow capped mountain. As it was almost sunset time, the rays of sun were making sparkle effect on the mountain top. It was a breath taking sight. It reminded me of my trip to Pokra, Nepal and the morning sight of Mt. Annapoorna when sun was coming up. The same sparkle but only difference was that sun was now setting.

Tango monastery was made in the 13th century. Around the central stupa, there are many prayer wheels. Prayer wheels hold an important place in Buddhism. It is the result of manifestation of supreme realization that each individual has limited time in this world, Buddhist monks conjectured the concept of parallel universe by reciting pray
ers more than what they actually could recite. Each revolution chants "O
m Mani Padme Hum" prayer 108 times. Six syllables represents purification(pride, jealousy, passion, ignorance, poverty, aggression) of the six realms(Devas, Asuras, Humans ,Animals, Pretas, Naraks) of existence. After spending around 2 hours on the top we came down. It was still raining. From there we decided to go to Punaka. Since my friend was tired, I to
ok the car. And as it was raining and since it was a high altitude drive, it was a bit scary to drive. And truth to be told, between me and you, it was pitch dark and one of the most deserted roads I have ever driven. We checked into the hotel sometimes after the midnight.

Day 4 - The valley of Van Gogh!

A day is always going to be good if it starts with
a surprise - a good surprise. Our hotel was on the banks of river Pho Chu and on other side of the river there was some himalayan peaks. The sight was breathtaking. I could have stayed there all day long! My friend had to literally push us out of the room.

Our today's itinerary included only one destination - Phobjika. It was a 2 hours drive from Punaka. Vincent Van Gogh is one my favourite painter. He uses the brush with vivid colors that captures emotio
ns in the most exquiste way. He doesn't use a smooth brush but a spiked one. And in Phobjika, you feel as if Van Gogh just finished his painting and left. It was a visual treat. Spades of brown shrubs covering an entire valley with wild horses in between. It is a scenic splendour and what makes it more beautiful is the Gangteng Monastery in the middle of it. It was dream come true for my camera. My shutter never stopped clicking.

Our driver told if we liked Phobjika then we would like another place - Bumthang. It is a kind of cultural capital of Bhutan. We wished to go there but except for me everybody valued time more than LIVING the life. On the way back, we started talking about yesteryears. That was when we realized how astoundingly crazy one of our friend. In his school days,for a science exhibition, he made a exterminator device for rats. And they way it worked - by injecting carbonoxide to the rat!. The most funny part of this incidence was when he smoked out all the people out of the auditorium when his experiment went disarray. We named him Dr. Evil afterwards :)

Day 5 - Beautiful valley of Paro

From Phobjika we went to our last destination - The valley of Paro. Paro got the only the airport in Bhutan and it is an wonderful sight when an aircraft descends for landing through the mountains. The hotel we stayed was in front of paro river. Here too there was the sweet lullaby of paro river. And to those who haven't slept under the stars on river side should do so. Nothing in the world can compensate that experience.

We roamed around streets of Paro to shop some exquiste Bhutanese antiques. But I must say they give very less importance to Indian tourists. And the reason being the lofty bargaining nature of our bloodline. So my MBA friends from the elite college of India conjectured this theorem - Charm the lonely shop lady. We scouted the entire area for shops which is not crowded, which is not dimly lighted, and shop owner being a lady. The tricky part is there will be a lot of shops where ladies handle the things but you need to catch one where lady trading is the owner! As an added icing to our cake, it was closing time for shops. We found our prey. The next process is charming and luckily one of my friend specialized in it. The first thing he picked up in that shop was a phallus! We didn't know what he was thinking. We started laughing and to get it worse, the lady got offended. Before she could react, he started scolding us. As per Buddhist tradition of Bhutan, a phallus is often regarded as divine symbol for fertility. Women who have issues to conceive are blessed with a phallus. Often you can see phallus dangling at door steps of Bhutanese homes. When my friend explained with supreme confidence, we were awed and our lady shopkeeper was smiling. She was trapped. Now he asked us to shop at our will. While we were doing this, he was talking to her, charming all the way in and how glibly he did it. And then he put nail on the coffin. Instead of discounting on the total, he started putting discount on individual pieces. Now what he did was putting extra discount on each pieces so as to reduce marginal profit. To make things more easier he put more discount so as to prolong the bargaining process. It was fun to see my friend asking articles for price and the lady refusing with smile. This went on for around 20-25 minutes and since it was closing time, he just increased his asking price by a small percent and she was ready to sell the whole stuff. We came out of that shop really happy!

Day 6 - Taktsang aka Tiger nest
The next day we went to the most beautiful and sacred place in Bhutan - Taktsang Monastery or Tiger nest monastery. According the local myth, whosever visit tatsang attains moksha. The pecularity of this monastery is that its perched high on a hill. From the valley below its a majestic sight to watch. And my entire trip was to take one photograph- just one photograph. So that I can strike one line of from Bucket list. Yes, I am crazy!
To reach Taktsang, one need to trek for 3 hrs. Its a winding but lesurable path to the monastery. In fact for a seasoned trekker it would hardly take 2 hours. Instead we took almost 3.5 hrs to reach there. Thanks to 4 DSLRs we were having. It was a competetion to get the perfect photo on the way to Taktsang. The last stretch of path is breathtaking, one needs to go along the cliff side to reach the monastry. At around 2300 ft above between two cliffs there is small bridge that connects them. Prayer flags of different colors decorated this bridge and all the way upto monastery. When you are here, its a different feeling and truth to be told, I don't have enough vocabularyto describe them.

Taktsang monastery contains a series of shrines. We went to each one of them to get the blessings. And then we were on our way back.

Day 7 - the way back
The next day, we went back to Phintshoeling. The day started with a fight over taxi fare for the last 6 days. Bhutan was supposed to be a cheap destination but we ended up paying around 17k as the taxi fare. But our exciting journey didn't stop there. We had to catch a train to Kolkatta and then a connecting flight to Hyderabad and Mumbai. After putting special use of our geography skills instead of going to NJP, went to a station which was around 50 Kms away from Jaigon so that we can catch the same train but few stations before. When we reached there, we came to know that Indian railways was true to its word - The train was late and late by around 8 hours. The minimal odd suggested if take the train, we are going to miss the flight from Kolkatta. So we scouted for a taxi and driver who could cover 730 Kms in 13 hours. Finally we found one - a true descendent of Michael Schumacher.

True to his words, we were flying across rural areas of West Bengal. Thrice I saw death in front of me. Even though we put up a descent 80 km/hr on average, we thought we might not make it. In the last 1 hour we had to cover almost 90 kms and cover we did. When I saw the airport's departure lounge, it was like having a second life.

To visit Bhutan was one of the best decision I have made. And I would cherish it for the rest of my life. Once I reached back campus, another surprise was waiting for me there - a tour de Scotland :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This Never Happened Before......

Saw "The Lake House" for the nth time. I love this movie. Because a part of me believes in it.

Like in the movie, If I ever wished to change one moment in my life, what would that be ? Although the answer was simple, I was racking my mind. After all, I am going to alter one small instance in my life that would change it altogether.

On that rainy day, I would have waited on that hospital bench. I wouldn't have walked away on my friend's insistence. I would have talked with her and convinced her. And it would have been a different me now , with this post being never written.

The last sound track of the movie is humming in my head.

"i'm very sure
this never happened to me before
i met you and now i'm sure
this never happened before"

Friday, June 24, 2011

Carpe diem

I put my steps with caution, thinking over and over again.
To or not to.
I am not sure of what the answer would be. But I feel like devouring poison slowly, drop by drop. And the agonizing pain that I endure can suffer no longer. I make my mind.
To or not to.
Confused to core I am, and yet, there may be no tomorrow. Bitter memories of yesterday when I waited haunts me and tell me not to repeat those nightmares again.
I muster that last ounce of courage and walk ahead.
To meet her.

And I met her and told her what my aches my mind, no.. my heart.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What I cannot explain

Life is only complex as the way we see it. Yet, I embark on answering what boundaries of science is not sure of. They say it is a complex problem. Not answered until now. But am I the right one to pursue it ? Because I don't know even the simple things that I see everyday.

I don't know why the water I drink is transparent.

Why do the smile I give when I see my friend is different from the one when I pose for a photograph?

Why is an apple called an apple?

Why is sea water salty?

Why do I dream; what are they actually?

If everything is made of atoms why are there different shapes?

What gives the light so much speed that we cannot see them?

Why are there only 4 seasons?

Why do grazing animals always come back to barn, don't they yearn for their freedom?

Why do I close my eyes while sleeping?

Why do it rain in drops not as a stream?

Why do the clock
have only 60 seconds in a minute?

Why do ants always go as a monorail?

Why do tears come when I cry?

I see these phenomenon in my daily life, yet I neglect them or ceased to notice them. These are seemingly simple things that happens in my mundane life. And I delve a little deep, I find how complex life is.

I am conveniently leaving them behind so that some things in my life remain simple and unanswered as the complexity deprives it of that naiveness.

And I call myself a researcher- what an irony!

Pic courtesy: me :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What makes the life wonderful.

The snooze function on the alarm that allows to sleep 5 more minutes.

Chillness of the water droplets that trickles across the face while taking the morning bath.

The Calvin & Hobbs comic strip on the last page of the news paper.

The smell of the aromatic black tea during the breakfast.

Leaving the hands free while on the bike and gazing at the vast lake that passes by.

Smile on your buddy's face when you say "Good Morning".

Mails in your box which starts with a "Dear" and ends with a "Love".

The status message thats says "completed" at the end of the program execution.

Naughty jokes during the lunch and the 15 min power nap thereafter.

The last 1 minute to 5:00PM. And as an icing on the cake, it being a Friday.

Floodlights in the ground allowing to jog in the night than skipping the cozy morning sleep.

That 1 rupee reduction for the Pomegranate juice costing 16 bucks because of not finding change.

ATM door that opens with any card including the library card.

Guy who shares 1 TB of movies on the LAN asks for no "Thank Yous".

Creaking fan that sounds rhythmically to make it a sweet lullaby.

The sleep with dreams of tomorrow.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Déjà vu

When I say this please believe me. I am sane and I am sober.

I have these déjà vu moments which are unusually large in number to be associated with an average human being. But my problem is not that I am having many of them rather I have stopped seeing what is going to happen nowadays. And thats strange.

Again iterating what I said before I am completely sane and sober.

What concerns me is not the fact that I am not able to forsee whats going to happen but the moment that the whole world conspires to set the instance of my life that I had for-seen coming true. Like a jigsaw puzzle falling into place, like a contrivance unfolding its secret, like a meandering river meeting the unseen ocean - an ecstasy of minute things working in tandem to create that destiny which you know would happen but didn't know how.

Life is now totally unpredictable which is nice as it is normal but I miss those exhilarating moments when something you saw already happens again.

I repeat for the last time, I am sober and sane.

Friday, April 29, 2011


In the darkest zone of your mind, there is this fear murmuring in the murkiest voice saying "What if". Sometimes grunting in between with a raucous sound making your heart beat more than 72 times per minute. And thats when you do your retrospection - "Did I make the right decision?". Like a demonic conscience pricking your heart for a self confession sort of, it further deepens the wound. You know nothing else can be done except to hope for the best. And thats what precisely what everybody else would say to you - "All is going to be fine". Bah! a voice echoes again from that darkest zone, reverberating across the same sanctum that you created while making the very decision you thought was a right decision but is being denounced now. Thinking that what you did all these years pondering and breaking your sweat and sleep over, sometimes, may never be appreciated by anybody except you.

But you live on as if you are deaf, doing the very same thing that you did yesterday as if that yesterday didn't exist at all. Hoping this nth time, there is a miracle.

And they say PhD is not a degree but a state of mind - well said whosoever that was.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

28 Years

On that fateful day, 28 years before, tri-color flag fluttered high at Lords. I was then 0 years old! 28 years. Yes, a country of 1.2 billion had waited 28 years to celebrate the second anniversary of that great event.

If modern science count 4 years as a generation gap, then 7 generation have passed since that flag fluttered that high. Now I am 28, and yesterday I saw how it is to feel when that tri-color flag fluttered high again, at Wankade stadium, Bombay.

28 years. Average age of 2011 world cup winning Indian team. A team that posses a uncanny ability to fight back from the brinks of defeat. And fight to end till victory is theirs. Finally, we have a TEAM where there is not just one Sachin but many.

11 able men under the command of one, a leader is what made the history repeat after 28 years. A leader who is worthy to be called so in all sense. A calm and composed individual whose mind works like a jig-saw puzzle only to reveal the final picture when that winning run is scored. And yesterday he joined the ranks of those who were blessed to hold that great cup.

These men have united a nation of 1000 religions into one by just sweet loft of ball across the boundary line. A country which is day by day loosing its sheen to dirty politics of scams and shams wanted a moment to see their old self to believe again in themselves. And the men in blue have given them a fountain head which, perhaps, is a new beginning.

Pic courtesy:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

പാതി പേയ്ത മഴ

അന്ന് മഴപെയ്യനുണ്ടായിരുന്നു.
പതിവ് തെറ്റാതെ അച്ഛന്‍ കാറുമായി വഴിയില്‍ എനയും കാതു നിന്നിരുന്നു.
നൂറില്‍ പരം കുടകളുടെ ഇടയില്‍ നിന്ന് എന്നെ കണ്ടു പിടിക്യാന്‍ വളരെ ബുദ്ധിമുട്ടാണ് . മഴകാലത്ത് , തൃശൂര്‍ തോമസ്സാറിന്റെ ക്ലാസ്സിന്റെ മുനില്ലേ സ്ഥിര ദിരശ്യം ആണ് ഞാന്‍ പറയുനത്. അത് കൊണ്ട് തന്നെ ഞാന്‍ കൂടുകരോടെ അതികം കുശലം പറയാതെ കാറിന്റെ അരികില്‍ എത്തി.

“കുട്ടാ ഇത്ര പെട്ടന് കഴിഞ്ഞോ ?” അച്ഛന് സംശയം.

“അച്ഛന്‍ ഇവിടെ വന്നിതു പത്തു മിനിടിഅല്ലേ ആയിടുല്ലു, ഞാന്‍ ഒന്നര മണികൂര്‍ മുമ്പ് ഇവിടെ എത്തി ” ഞാന്‍ ചിരിച്ചു കൊണ്ട് പറഞ്ഞു.

“ഇന്നി എന്താ പരിപാടി , ഇന്ന് സംസരിക്കുനില്ലേ ?” ഒരു ചെറിയ കളിയാക്കലിന്റെ സ്വരം അതില്‍ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു.

ഞാന്‍ പതുക്കെ കാറിന്റെ ഡോര്‍ അടച്ചു.

“ഇന്ന് വേണ്ട ...മൂടില്ല ” ഞാന്‍ ഒഴിഞ്ഞു മാരന്‍ ഓരോ കാരണങ്ങള്‍ തപ്പി കൊണ്ട് ഇര്രിനു.

“ഇന്നിക്ക് അറിയാം നീ ഒന്നും മിണ്ടുള്ള എന്ന് , നീ നിന്റെ അമ്മേടെ മോന്‍ തന്നെ ” അച്ഛന്‍ വളരെ ഗൌരവത്തോടെ എന്നെ നോക്കി.

കുട്ടുകാരെ പിന്നിലാക്കി കാര്‍ മുനോട്ടു നിങ്ങി

“അല്ല , ഞാന്‍ സംസാരിക്കില എന്ന് പറഞ്ഞില്ല ലോ, പിന്നെ എന്താ പ്രശ്നം . ഇന്ന് വേണ്ട അത്ര മാത്രം.”

“നിന്റെ നാളെ ആവുമ്പോഴേക്കും അവളെ വല്ലേ ആണ്‍ പിള്ളേര് കൊണ്ട് പോവും, എന്നിടു നീ ചാവകാട് കടപുറത്തു മാനസ മയില്‍ പാടി നടക്കും ... അത് വേണ്ട , ഞാന്‍ തന്നെ മുന്‍ കൈയി എടുത്തോളാം.” അച്ഛന്‍ എന്ടോ ഉറപ്പിച്ച മട്ടില്‍ പറഞ്ഞു.

“അങ്ങനെ ഒന്നും അവള്‍ പൂവുല്ല എന്റെ fathereeee ..” ഞാന്‍ എന്നെ തന്നെ ആശ്വസിപിക്ക്യന്‍ നോകി.

“നമ്മുക്ക് കാണാം ”

Horn അടിച്ചു പത്തു കാര്‍ മുന്നോട്ടു നീങ്ങി . ഹോര്നിറെ ശബ്ദം കേട്ട് മുന്‍പേ പോക്കുന നാളത്തെ എഞ്ചിനീയര്‍ഉം ഡോക്ടരുമാരും വഴി അറികലേക്ക് ഒതുങ്ങി നടന്നു.

പച്ച ചുരിദാര്‍ അവള്‍ക്ക് നന്നേ ചെരുമയിരരുനു. കുട മുഖം മൂടിയിരുനിങ്ങളും അവളെ എന്നിക്ക് നല്ലേ ദൂരത്തു നിന്നെ മനസിലായി . അച്ഛനും മനസിലായി.

അവളുടെ അരികള്‍ എതിയപോള്‍ വണ്ടി പതുക്കെ പോകാന്‍ തുടങ്ങി .

“ഒരു ലിഫ്റ്റ്‌ വേണോ എന്ന് നിനക്ക് ചോദിച്ചുടെ ?” അച്ഛന്‍ വളരെ ലാഗവത്തോടെ എന്നോട് ചോദിച്ചു.
കേട്ടപാതി കേല്‍കാതെപാതി , ഞാന്‍ ചില്ല് താഴ്ത്തി ചോദിച്ചു “ഞാന്‍ ശകതന്‍ വഴിക്ക്യാണ്, സ്റ്റാന്‍ഡില്‍ വിടാം , മഴ കൂടകയെ ഉള്ളു എന്നാണ് അച്ഛന്‍ പറയുന്നേ” ഞാന്‍ വച്ചു അടിച്ചു.

അച്ഛന്‍ കാറ് നിര്‍ത്തിയുടുണ്ടയിര്രുനു. ചിരിജുകൊണ്ട് എന്നോട് പുറകിലത്തെ ഡോര്‍ തുറന്നു കൊട്ടുകാന്‍ പറഞ്ഞു.

മഴ അന്ന് രക്ഷിച്ചു. അവള്‍ കാറില്‍ കയറി.

ഞാന്‍ വിചാരിച്ചു ഇന്നി ഒരിക്കലും അവള്‍ എന്നെ വിട്ടു പോവില്ല എന്ന്. അച്ഛനും.

പക്ഷെ ഞങ്ങള്‍ രണ്ടു പേര്‍ക്കും തെറ്റി. വര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് ശേഷം എന്ന് മാത്രം.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Memories. Can they be washed away?

Like sands on the shore, cast away into the depths of sea. Never to return, or to return when least expected. But in the face of millions of such particles, can a single grain standout? Eclipsing all others that lie besides it.

Shades of black and brown interleaving and interluding and laying like one, yet can it be possible while the foot leaves an impression of your existence on them, that one grain of sand calls you. Echoing in the silence of cathedral that you created by blocking every other sweet nuisance of life. This violation of sanctum is what memories bring in. And precisely the thing that I like to cast away where nobody can find.

"As long as time flows forward, the future which we are so mesmerized by is nothing but an untouched past". I read these lines somewhere and I feel sorry that I don't remember. Remembering something that needs to be remembered is the greatest boon and bane of man. Fact that you need to forget to move forward makes you wonder because you are forced to remember that you need to forget it. That is the boon but fact that you need to remember makes it all the more difficult to forget. That is the bane. A perfect example of Godel's strange loop.

Life moves in circles. No beginnings and no ends. Once forgotten will always come back and soon will be forgotten again. Steps of many, motioned in unison, to a unknown symphony guiding just to path ahead. Only to remind, that, you passed through the same years before.

Memories. Can they be washed away ?

A note: The song included was the inspiration behind this post. In my arrogant attempt to learn a language every six months, I came across this beautiful song in a movie called Gitanjali. Superb rendition by SPB and melodious Hamsanadam raaga by Tyagaraja forced me to vent out my hazy emotions. Pardon me (to all those who read it) :P