Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bored Of Boredom

She could have been me but this GIF source - Google Images

We are all addicted to something. Most of us addicted to our life and a few to the lie that life is too short. Also, today one is easily  addicted to boredom. We are habituated to repeatedly do the mundane jobs and end up with intolerable boredom.

The fact is that, life is too long than we could measure it with the number of hours we can count or the bank balance we managed to haul through our donkey routines. Now, I am just going off track to prove that for most of us boredom is the fastest addiction.

We can even get bored of boredom instantly.

When it's just two days for the weekend to begin, our tendency to start getting bored of our routine increases. Smack the alarm, rush down a hot shower, dress well, sprinkle the holy gas perfumes, sit in our posh cars go to work. And when the weekend is at our door step, the boredom again peeps in too. The long drives, parks, malls and movies all have turned old. We don't want to see people. We are seriously bored of god knows what. There is an endless list of activities to do including the vacation for next year! Yet we have time to crib, huh it's really getting boring ya.

The weather creeps up to be boring too. Be it winter summer or the rains. After some time everything is dull. It's in our minds. We just know when to hit boredom.

Boredom is the new opposite to happiness.
Happy X Sad = wrong
Happy X Bored = right

As for me, it's been four decades on earth and I sure get bored of eating the staple food two times a day, 7 days a week. Neither have I changed my choices in the past 15 years of married life nor have I changed my husband. And hence, by now I do get bored waiting for my husband  to return from work. I am not the type that will dress well, and sit across the window with elbows at perpendicular on the couch and as his car screeches to halt at the parking rush to the door with grin. Because, he is on his mobile and am on mine and both are bored of them too. 

But, you see we are addicted to boredom. 

I have a daughter. Shes turns thirteen next week. But years ago she mastered the term "boring amma". No it does not mean her mom(amma) is boring.  For my daughter the term amma is a suffix or a prefix with most nouns adjectives or even verbs. Hungry amma, play time amma, TV amma, shower amma, and in no time shes bored of everything. So it's boring amma. She's my prided plume. Always on her toes. But at least once in a day there's time for her to feel bored. Offer her any idea and she's the Nostradamus that knows it's going to be boring too.

Each generation of human species is a step ahead in the learning and so is my son 3 year old and this afternoon he declared to me "mama I am bored". I was in a state of shock with mixed feelings. He hardly knows what it is and hes hit by it. I quickly indulged into some funny chats with him and questioned "what are your favourite things?". Pat came the reply "egg, chicken and mamma". That was second googly for the day for me. Apparently understanding the addictive syndrome of the generation, I quietly  offered him to watch his favourite cartoon on television and tried to sip some coffee with my thinking cap on.

I know that I am happy today. Not because I must be the Ms perfect. Not that I don't have regrets when I look back. Not that there are no things I did not pick up to do and I repent them too. But over period of time I have learn't to put up with repents or hate. I have mused myself with the fact that I am doing a right thing today and will continue to do so tomorrow. When I took my break from my work, two years ago, I started slowly getting addicted to the cozy walls of the house and the hurricane routines. You will find me like a spider woman all around the house. Yet this gave me time to muse, whatever am doing is right or wrong? And then, I am filled with so many contradictions that I get bored thinking of all of them.

Again, I have no idea what boredom is. We are the busiest species on the earth and most intelligent. That's the very reason, we have so much to do that we end up piling up intolerable boredom on our shoulders.

I have decided to attain a nirvana. By being extremely selfish. Unless I am happy, I cant be the same super woman or the spider woman to paint the entire sky happy to keep my home happy. So take a chance to curb boredom, freak out with friends, watch a movie or vanish off to some sea side with a good friend. The list is just too big too and I might by soon by hit by boredom even choosing one of them.

Here we go. Don't stop feeling bored. It's a roller coaster phase.It's just a highly nuanced emotion especially highly credited in society today. Hitting boredom is just a speed pump for a change, isn't it?
 Is it?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Mug Printing On The Sonny Day

You and I may have different experiences, but definitely the same jubilant emotions, very same euphoric moments.
Those few minutes of midnight that I spent in the  singing van with multicoloured lights called "Ambulance" brought a new light of life inside me; I did not know I was changing to be a new person in those few minutes.; I lost my voice for a minute; My closed eyes saw images of my mom and dad smiling; Only some tinkling noise of a glass bottle twined up with pipes to my arms, woke me up to catch a faint glimpse of the royal hospital exteriors; Yes the government hospital of Doha, Qatar, was nothing less than a royal palace. 

Happy Birth-days are not like the other 364 days. That's one day where we feel extremely special and want to pamper ourselves and celebrate the day we came into existence on this earth. The joys multiply when all our near and dear ones too join in to sing some notes.

We all have a perspective towards birthday celebrations. Quietly slip off to a gateway destination, make some noisy party in our residences, or a quiet dinner with family and friends. Well, we would have tried almost all types. 

This month my little fellow turned 3. We decided to simply celebrate it in his Nursery with his buddies. The enthusiasm was not allowing us to fade it out into a simple one. And hence the preparation began. Goodies to all little children, the grand pink rose cake from Opera House (pink is my son's favourite colour) his new pink attire and a coat. Ah, now this idea of the mug printing for his loving teachers. When all preparations were at our finger tips, finally the mugs were done too and  arrived to be placed in the middle of a table in our drawing-room.

That night, as I finished my chores and duties, and was about to put off the last pole of lamp light, I took a glance at those mugs shining on the table. The time of night triggered me to dive into some time capsule, reach out to those moments again. Those, of exact three years ago when he was born. 

One night three years ago, he was just expected yet. With a heavy baby bump when I had just pushed myself into a slumber did I wake up abruptly at witching hour of 2 AM. I knew, I just knew it was that time for him to arrive. I acted as quickly as like any chemical reaction,  pinched my better half that was snoring softly on the other side of the bed. The ambulance arrived in like an instant "abracadabra". 7th minute I was inside the big multicoloured van with a singing siren,  huffing, puffing and managing myself onto the smell of the liquids and other medicated stuff inside. Immediately I took to admiring the interiors of the ambulance. It was my first time. The nurse beside me asked several questions, took notes and offered some additional oxygen too. 

Those 12 minutes I spent inside the ambulance were a characteristic fair bit of an experience what I term as a perfect mixed feel times. The royal palatial hospital had a neatly manicured lawn and five-star facility. I was overwhelmed to see an Indian doctor on duty and gleefully sat up on the stretcher till the lady doctor sweetly ushered me back on stretcher and to a beautiful room but covered with huge heavy curtain from all sides of the bed. 

After an entire 18 hours of monitoring and my toiling up and down the hospital corridors with labour, finally the hard work paid off. I reminded the nurse with full confidence when it was time to rush to maternity ward and get the baby out. It was a first experience again to be on a bed completely surrounded by heavy curtains as is custom in Doha. 
The arrival of the bundle of joy lasted for few minutes till he was taken away for his wash and I lay staring at the ceiling and the tubes and pipes twined onto my arms. Just as I waited to ask the next staff when would the baby arrive to me, I witnessed it was almost 12 midnight and the mark of first day of holy month of Ramadan, and everybody got busy hugging each other and wishing "Ramadan Kareem". 

It was then, I took a chance to look at my coffee coloured maternity gown the hospital gave me. Intoxicated by the smell of medicine and the ticks of the big dirty wall clock, angrily I turned my face towards those heavy monstrous curtain, when I heard Usha Auntie run in like a happy puppy with a bundle in her hands. Look he looks just like his dad.. 
Enough, after all this labour and wait, and now at least I deserved to be told see how he resembles me. But too sweet that auntie was, I nodded a positive with her.

Now as I arrived in to my private room, it was midnight and exactly a day after I had left home in the multicoloured singing van. And world had changed for us. There was an additional birth certificate added onto our family documents and one more passport to be done.

Isn't birth of a human a joyful miracle coupled with emotions, changes and lots of memories for a lifetime's treasury?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Two Best Beaches Of Udupi - Bengre The Silent Estuary And The Swarming Malpe

Enjoying the company of camera in Bengre beach
I just can't stop my own rhythm  of an endless fathom for the mystery of a SEA. 
There is always something about "Sea", I always say this. And there is a secret I must tell you regarding the beaches of Udupi. Without sketching big agendas, just let yourself there and get carried away by them. Udupi is otherwise the flavoured "cuisine" town and also the "Temple town" situated few kilometers away from the sea coast.

I recommend you to reach out to these two beaches for two contrasting reasons. Find complete peace and silence in one and absolute noise food and crowd in the other. 

1 - BENGRE / DELTA / KODI BEACH - The silent paradise, hosting the confluence of "RIVER SUVARNA" meeting the Arabian Sea. 

We do reach out to beaches for various reasons. And this is a perfect place to rejuvenate yourself from a hectic routine in the serene noiseless aura. There is absolutely less  number of  visitors frequenting this beach. Also it is way easy on your wallet.  The drive from Udupi city would be about 10 kilometers or little more that will take you past the randomly laid coconut palms that whisper cool winds in your ears. 

The faint lines where the river greets the sea tide

It's something to rest your back on sands watching a river and a sea on either side

The calmer looks of the river makes it obvious why one could hide away from the chaotic routines and settle in here. Listening to the whispers of the winds, watching the variety of birds or the boats. The local fisheries are quite a popular thing in here. A big mass of the coastal residents depend on sea food too. The "crow watching" a term I coin here was sheer fun from childhood times. They generally are seen pecking at stuff from trash cans or dried remains of fishes and sometimes get aggressive and give you a chase if you bite your snack in the open. One of us would find it amusing to run after a flock of them settled around the trash, in our childhood days.

Calmer Looks
The Three Idiots 

A local fisherman busy casting his blue fishing net in the river waters.

There is a pattern in chasing the sunset colours or the flights of the birds here. I adore how the birds love to settle on river bank rocks or smaller trees however fly away over sea tides only when the sun starts fading away. There is a way how we watch the boats that wander away in the river and return back by dusk and side by side you could see a random  ship that makes it move past the bigger waves away from the shore. 

The sands untouched by huge human crowd poses a varying fresh look. The crawling grumpy crabs are seen scampering at the dusk looking for their homes deep in the sands.  They are the lucky ones to see no traffic jams but only fear of monstrous humans waiting to devour them.

With so much nature, so much of time to rejuvenate your minds, and when eyes are feasting on the myriad colours from the earth till the sky, our fingers automatically make irregular patterns in the sands. Sometimes the pattern could be non- concentric circles or our names. 

One of my favourite sun set view here

When you are not good at making sand castles with your children this is what you  could carve our in the sands

2 - MALPE the popular port, crowned best beach of Udupi.

Probably, most interesting thing about this beach is it the FIRST beach in the country to supposedly get free Wi-Fi as a result of Digital Drive by our government.

After touring the Bengre, one can easily roll up sleeves and get set on mark for the rapid activity based beach. Human sea, street vendors selling variety of food specially the fried sea food in open, water sports, para gliding or the giant wheels on the run.  There is not much time to romance the sea or the waves unless you are determined to ignore the food or the other happening rides. You get to witness the majestic feel of a fair here.

Also you can rejoice the distant view of the St. Mary's Island. One can visit the island, picking up a boat ride from the port end. They generally close in the monsoon. And also is safer to trip in bigger groups. 

And here's a local vendor offering the "CHURMURI" 

Catch me if you can said the red ball and I tried in vain

A distant view of the St. Mary Island

Myself - In the process of vanquishing fear of heights 

Tempt yourselves to feel lost in the vast Konkan beaches. The nearest airport is "Mangaluru" and best five star stay would be available in Manipal. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Summer Sum Up Of Times Past

How much ever we crib about the scorching heat of the sultry summer days, the hot crisp air some times strikes a beaming smile on your face as you remember those school time summer holidays. There was so much life that brought me close to nature. I did not grow up with android, WiFi or IOS but had trees. Today it is the other way round. 

And the summers of  times past, school days,
were  absolute blissful vacation of gala ways.
Pranks on prowl, jumping rope, swinging high, unending fun,
skinning knees, skipping fast, reading books, with WiFi none!

Those haunting escapades onto the streets,
tree climbing event with buddies, were treats.
Shouting our lungs out, whip our hair and dance,
playing pranks on passers by, leaving no chance.

Flower hours,  were my choicest few,
rejoicing the summer bloom galore each day new.
Neatly aligned rows of May Flower trees, shining with the sun,
were our air conditioners for the day in the open.

The placid  and alluring Champa I chose for my hair,
while Jasmine stayed on with it's aroma diffused in the air.
Parijatak, untruly the tree of sorrows, was a favourite of mine,
bushy shrub by the gate, fragrant and so divine.

And then there were times, creeping down to kitchen store and peep,
in dark corners, steal granny's pickle bottles from shelves high and deep.
Pinching some of her jarred green mangoes, meant a ritual of feast,
the huge green  pickle jars were targets of life! simple at least.

And again, flicking granny's  "Vicco Turmeric", to look like a queen
tiptoe to her high window shelf, stealthily waiting to preen.
Reaching out to the yellow tube, randomly smack the skin with a layer,
and smile onto that silver framed small wall mirror.

Wearing those  sleeveless floral frocks, laundered neat and clean,
Amma paddled away  on her brown "Singer" sewing machine.
Special material that it was made  from, the "Only Vimal "  
fresh and soft for summers, that was our brand to feel royal!

Quenching down the thirst with  Rasna drink,

that Amma readied and filled fridge with, in colours yellow green and pink.
Gulping down liters of it, and hold serious debates,
on colour of your tongue with friends, was madly cute.

Summing up those times, going down memory lane,
of spirit in heart, spring on our feet, and barefooted run!
Summers though were times, boundless, to chill
Hot rays of sun and waves of the sea, polishing moments to heart's fill.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Travel Tryst With The Growing And Roaring Gujarat

"The earth has a music , but, for those who listen" - William Shakespeare.

The masth masth dancer, Raveena Tondon duplicate I found In Jamnagar rains

Why I chose to write a travelogue after long period is, my travel tryst with the "hamara Gujarat"(the term so dear to our Modiji) that is undoubtedly lauded for it's economic success as a model state in our country.  I was left wondering, why did I not be here earlier or spend more time than a week? 

Travels for me have mostly been beautiful holidays with my family, right from my childhood till today. I have numerous insights I gleaned while traveling the length and breadth of the country.  And so, in July  2013 , I landed in the hometown of our current beloved Prime Minister, the "Hamara Gujarat". I hardly had a week's time to accomplish a multitude of things. Spend time with relatives, visit popular temples, also explore the land of Mahatma Gandhi and the  amazing secrets of the "Growing Gujarat, the roaring Gujarat".

Landing in Ahmedabad city known as the Manchester of India (because of rapid industrialization) itself was thrilling. My mind had already visualized the dhoklas, khakras, the garba and dandia raas, hand stitched cotton/handloom bandhani sarees, and much more. The city that boasts of a terrific mixture of the old charm and also the modern amenities. I did encounter a few interesting incidents during my stay in the state, that are just appropriate to share herewith.

As is a practice for most of us, we got busy, trying to strike some tit-bit conversations with the driver en route the airport to the hotel. He took pride in explaining about the massive infrastructure development that was the dream accomplishment of "our Modiji"! I was bitten by jealousy every time the driver mentioned "apne CM Modiji". 
@Sabarmathi Ashram-Residence of M.K.Gandhi

It was not just about that. The driver had even found an opportunity to taunt me "yeh aapka Bangalore nahee hai madam, aaram se jaavo bina darke". That
 was how the driver managed to convince me about the safety practiced in this state when I had felt insecure leaving my belonging in the car as we entered an highway side restaurant.  With a bang on comparison. Phew! But, we have to agree, Gujarat was a state safe from theft. To correct myself, safest state. Also, safe for women. I could see pregnant woman come out alone onto streets at 9 PM to have some street foods like the "chaats" or for a quick walk.

Yet another incident that even multiplied my love for the state was the friendly and caring people we encountered. We happened to experience a wrecked car on the highway and had to pass time around in the fields at wee hours of midnight that too with two children with us. As the car was getting fixed we were  keeping our eyes and ears open for any mischief making stalkers or any prowling big beast. But the most unexpected and overwhelming thing happened. Every other passer by , be it a car or a two wheeler would stop, talk to us, offer any help, water or food. This generous gesture, I challenge would hardly be offered in any other state of India. 

The beauty of the state were the windmills dotting the stretch across the highways. The serene yet lonesome unending sea lines roaring some loud lonely music were hit upon the turning blades of the wind turbines. What an excellent technological beauty. 

Round the clock supply of water and electricity was something that I was envious about again, especially hailing from Karnataka that is almost popular for power cuts. Also the schools and colleges there have a well preserved culture, no "donations" and regulated affordable fee structure. All together, a place an "aam aadmi aka common man in India" can dream to live in.

My stay was based in the Jamnagar District. In the serene campus of Gujarat Ayurveda University.  Yes, we did travel to the places around, but the Jamnagar quarters itself was a heavenly abode for nature's best form. The rains just decorated the flora like a bride in full green with magnificent fauna, mostly colourful birds, giving the right melodious touch. Nature is best cure for the mind and what more could we ask for. The best rain dance was not by our Raveena Tondon after all. All these days I was a fan of "tip tip barsa paani", and am sure we all have our favourites. But the splendour of the peacock dance, yes, the literal dance, just left me jaw dropped with awe. Indeed a unique experience. 

Never give up! Hold on.

That's how this green lady enjoyed rains

ehem, this perhaps was the parrot dance on the rope, in the rain

The wait was on. For the right moment, right partner and a photographer!

When the mornee bagaa ma naache song was proved false, see next,
Because, it was the mor not the mornee that danced

Glamorous, as long as it does not open its mouth!

Blue crowned, prided plumes

Perched high on tree.

And it was never a tiring tour. In spite  of every long day we were seen jumping out of our rooms each morning like fully charged "Energized Dura Cell bunnies".  The hamara Gujarat did have a magical spell. Throughout our  touring around the state, we hardly rested our back to the car seat. I could see the enthusiasm in each of us. My little girl made little notes for herself. We were overwhelmed by the science and technology well put to use especially after the observing the simple methodologies like dams and water sprinkler irrigation system.

True to the famous quote, "collect memories not material", we gathered some of our best, from the nature that no souvenir could make up as a memoir. A few words and a few pictures are just an attempt to get you close to the reality and the thrilling journey we experienced. 

A travelogue is always an incomplete diary....

More can be expected from my Gujarat diaries soon. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Gift I Chose For My Mom

Painting done by my daughter


She has in her, the entire me,
so what can I gift her in my life?
but by being a mother myself.

Attempt a reflection of her essence,
look upon her a role model,
epitome of motherhood.

She has that doll I slept with as a baby,
and  those pieces of papers,
of master piece graffiti done with my little hands.

Her store still keeps my old rusted cycle,
that I once rode and shopped for her,
odd supplies from neighbourhood stores.

She has the school uniform that,
I wore to my first day of school,
on that rainy morning of 1980's.

Even now, her memory retains,
my childhood friends and our pranks,
my chatters and tall tales and mimics.

Those medals and trophies,
I won shine in her shelf ,
that's her pride and  she dusts them daily.

Her collection of antique is,
 priceless bunch of stuff,
kajol stick, comb and paraphernalia from my teens.

Why is it so? that, we chose one special day,
to  thank our mother!
I fail to understand.

Dedicate few hours of a year, call it her day,
plant a kiss, gift a rose and a lovely card,
Is that enough? I fail to understand.

I have a life with me,
not enough to make that card,
bigger than lessons she gave me.

I have a life with me,
but is it enough to relieve with one hug,
her long journey of hardships?

I have a life with me,
not enough to fetch that flower for her,
to outshine the fragrance of her love on me.

She's taken the pain, for me to live this day,
so what can I gift her in my life?
but by being a mother myself.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Doha's Winter Sonata

When we talk of winter all we want is how cold is the weather or how chilly is the wind. This is true for the rest of the world, but for the gulf residents! Indeed. It is a different saga here in Gulf region in the period called winter. Yes, we experience the bone-chilling cold, and added to it witness episodes of some extremely erratic dust storms,  and some unpredictable  down pour. 

 Doha's winter sonata comes in a package of take one get two free.
PC- Jidhu Jose
Entire Qatar went gaga over the temperature dropping each day this winter. All the residents walked proudly with chest widened to 56". Guess why? It was quite an experience after a decade to see a temperature recorded less than 10 degree Celsius in this sand land. We residents in Qatar love wrapping ourselves in full clothes and cover our head with scarfs even in summer, to save our skin from scorching heat. But every winter we simply wait to say "too cold man, too cold ".

The cold desert went hot in excitement.

I was reminded of my Bangalore days. Even on a coldest morning at 5AM, with teeth chattering, I had the audacity to walk tall with only a cotton salwar suit and wrap my head with the "dupatta". Wrap myself in wool? No way! I was a proud manipalite( I hail from Manipal) and we do not buy or wear wool or leather jackets in our life unless it is a visit to Kashmir or to London.

Indeed, it is true that the winter has it's own charm. Now, we Qatar residents, most times, give ourselves a Switzerland feel, by just uttering "wow it's getting colder today". The meteorological department had it's own announcement and we had our own agenda for the "too cold man" season.
If you figure our the number of cars and headlights behind the fog, don't tell me. I have no clue too.

Fog formed cold morning view from the doorstep of my villa

Social media flooded with super duper photography of fog shot from different heights and angles. My girl gave a superb comment " The sun is lost in Qatar. If anybody finds it please DO NOT return". And the viral humour and memes! Especially where people said "Dear Rajanikanth please close the door of your refrigerator, it's too cold here, even here...".  But Doha had to request Rajanikanth not to close the doors though. Hell yeah. We literally shivered to tingling spine, yet wanted the change from the parched summer. And some even told "dear temperature bohoth gir chuke ho aur kitna giroge?"

At once all the malls and boutiques flooded with winter clothing in all colours, sizes, shapes, from different parts of the world. Nah, we do not buy "made in china". We went to expensive boutiques to find winter attire, matching beanie and those boots that our legs never heard of.

Barbecue! That was once the party galore and roosters wildest fear, now turned into our fire place for the surprise guest called winter. On every barbecue fire we would conduct the oath taking ceremony before we start decorated stand with multicoloured marinated roosters or veggies.

Now, the Doha winters are not just all about fog, chill and beanie.  Yes. For us the bonus "double dhamaka" is one free with another. The most awaited cloudbursts. We would almost be satisfied with some good drizzle too. Most parts of gulf sees good rain and few states see the solid form too. Oh!  Snowing in the gelf too.  

As for Doha we had enough windy rains to clog few roads, to blow a few roofs off and for us to term it "torrential downpour in the gulf". 

My girls waits to wander in the rains with colourful umbrella gifted by her beloved grandparents 
While my little fella found tranquil peace, standing in attention and watching the rain drops trickling down his foot, or the little ants washed away in flood


Who does not like rains? The earthy scent after a sky shower, smell of freshly bathed leaves in rains. Trust me, in summers, I satisfy ourselves by sprinkling tap water through hose, in the porch of our villa, and enjoy the feel of a imaginary rain.

Now, we are aware of erratic storms in winter, in different parts of the hill but one will dread the dust storms of the Arab land. And who would prefer a dust storm while we crave for the winds of the winter? Imagine a few hours and you feel a siliceous layer all over you and your lips taste of some forms of carbonate or rock salt. The worst is when you have to tidy up an entire house and car decked up with a coating of fine red sand. 

Dust clad  front exteriors of my residence.

However, after more than a decade's stay in Qatar, I have found solace in what is gifted to us on platter by mother nature. We have found a home away from sweet home after seeking the bread and butter. Be it the heat or cold, sand or dust, we have curbed our crave for winters too.  
With PC
Whenever the whether hits to it's extreme, we just pat our chest, breathe full and say "all is well, all is well" , take the best of what nature has offered us and say aloud "NEXT ".