Sunday, September 29, 2013

The best relationship you'll ever have

This post has been selected as the Spicy Saturday pick at Blogadda!



Some weeks back, on a rather slow sad day I just wanted to step out of office, meet a friend, talk over a coffee and call it a day. So, I called some friends. One by one. About 5 of them. Turned out, all of them were busy due to work or personal reasons and couldn't meet. That was the last straw to make my mood to go for a toss. I can’t begin to tell you how upset I was that evening. It was like I wanted to talk to a friend and there was no one. Then I just took out on my own. Went out for a walk around the office building. There were so many thoughts in my head. I knew I couldn’t blame any of the friends for not turning up for I had not told them I was in a bad mood and besides, they all were busy. That evening got me thinking. Until the next incident.

Another time, I set out to meet a friend in another part of the city after work which was very late in the night. Turned out that person got stuck up somewhere and couldn’t make it. It was pretty late in the night, another corner of Delhi and I had no one to turn to. To decode some sense of what had just happened, I sat in a coffee shop alone forcing myself to come out of denial, confront my feelings and accept them. That night was the final nail in the coffin.


I realized I was a sadist, putting myself in pain every time and enjoying that pain, those tears. Every single time. I realized I didn’t love myself enough. I realized I was always seeking happiness in things beyond my control. I realized I was too dependent on others to make me happy and I was always looking for assurance from people.

I then understood the meaning of the best relationship you will ever have is with your own self. Yes, you need friends and family, random strangers and acquaintances to teach you lessons, to be around you and support you when you need it. But come to think of it, in the end it will always be your life, your problem, your pain and your struggle.

Some lessons that life, people and experiences have taught me:

•    Let go of relationships that drain you emotionally. It’s easier said than done but if you do it, you will find more time for yourself
•    Listen to your hunch. It will never betray you
•    Spend time with yourself. Just you and you alone
•    It is ok to be selfish
•    If it makes you happy and you can answer yourself, do whatever you like
•    Nobody is perfect. It is important to stay positive and confident of yourself always. Never ever lower your guards
•    Time is really precious. You decide how you want to spend the hours after work or weekends
•    Don’t say yes to everything
•    Surround yourself with people who love you and that will enrich your life in a way you wouldn’t know
•    Remind yourself every moment that you are doing good

I am no great shakes when it comes to following it all but I am trying. And that is very important. Yes, trying is important. Atleast I am aware now.

There is this last scene in Sex and the City last episode, last season. I may have watched it so many times but that dialogue makes sense now. It goes like:

“Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you, you love, well, that's just fabulous.”

So chop chop people! Let’s start a fabulous day with a fabulous you! :-)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Message sent and delivered

This post has been selected as the WOW post!


And before I knew it, I had hit ‘Send’
'Send the message' had ruled my mind all day
Day went in much anxiety
Anxiety that had me keep everything else at bay. 

But once sent, the focus moved on to the wait
Wait for the reply, some answer, something
Something that will give a sign
Sign of a hope to hold on to some thing.

Answers and replies take time
Time to reach your phone and your heart
Heart then takes its own time to decipher
Decipher the codes, for a new start?



This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

I have tried Loop Poetry for this post. Loop Poetry is writing 4 lines per stanza, last word of the line becomes first word of next line and it follows ABCB pattern of rhyming, that is last word of second line rhymes with last word of fourth line of a stanza.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - 2

Faith cannot be contained inside the walls.

People offering Friday prayers on a busy Delhi road.


Visit more such pictures on Wordless Wednesday blog.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

That perfect punctuation mark

This post has been chosen as Blogadda's Tangy Tuesday pick! :-)


It was X's birthday some weeks back. No not the ex-ex! But someone to be named X for anonymity! I decided to wish through a message on Facebook, just not to make it too personal by calling yet wishing.

I typed and retyped the message but wasn't too happy with the result. Why? Because like always, this time too I got bummed by which punctuation mark to put at the end!

Here are a few of my typed attempts and why they didn't work:

Happy birthday, X! 
I realised an exclamation mark just makes it like I am too excited about this day. Which I wasn't. Off to next try.

Happy birthday, X.
Too formal. Not me at all. I cannot be so dull in wishing someone birthday. Next please!

Hey, happy birthday!
No. I decided I do not want to exchange any pleasentries either. Next!

Happy birthday :-)
Back in class 5 with a smiley? Is X's birthday party in McDonald's as well? With a return gift for me? Next!

Happy birthday...
Really? Leave it all hanging at 3 dots? And spend all the possible waking hours decoding the dots? Definitely next!

By now, I was really miffed with myself and logically deduced that may be I should let the day go and not wish at all. God only knows, I don't do this for everyone but come on! We all have some names on our friends list or phone contacts who need an impersonal birthday wish albeit with some personal tempering!

What to do? Even I become conscious while using an exclamation mark in such messages though I consider myself a queen of loud exclamation marks!!!

Well, if you want to know what I ultimately typed, it was a crass mish-mash of all of the above! But just about saved myself. Not telling!

I am everyday exploring new ways for such messages. What do you all do? Do write in comments!! There I go again...:-)


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 1

A mish-mash of lights, dusk, water and nature.

A gleaming Jag Mandir, Udaipur in the evening hues.


Saturday, September 07, 2013

Mumbai Mélange - 7

Must-visits in Mumbai

 

As we close this week of Festival of Words and my series on Mumbai, let me take you through the places that you must visit if you are there.

These places range from my love for food to the solitude of sitting by the sea to some shopping to some sight-seeing.

These are my personal favorites in Mumbai and I am sure if you have been there, you agree with me.

With this, its a wrap on my Mumbai chronicles and I hope I did justice to the place. And I do hope you enjoyed this virtual tour as much as I enjoyed writing about it.



The iconic Gateway of India with Taj Palace in the backdrop. Clicked from a ferry ride.

Heavily guarded Siddhivinayak Temple. You must go if you believe.

Marine Drive during evening

Night setting in and lights glowing in full glory at Marine Drive

From Kala Khatta to pani puri. From ragda pattice to dosa. At Juhu Chowpaty.

Kids making sand castles, families having a little picnic of sorts. All this at Juhu Chowpaty.

I never miss visiting this CCD at Carter Road. Right opposite the sea. Cool location.

Pretty decent food joints at this stretch of Carter Road.

And I say it again. Candies at Bandra is a must!

Take a walk, eat a bhutta at Bandstand.

Shop for cool earrings, junkie accessories at Colaba Causeway.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013. - See more at: http://whilethecoffeebrews.blogspot.in/search?updated-max=2013-09-03T02:02:00%2B05:30&max-results=2&start=2&by-date=false#sthash.CT0bGo8Q.dpuf

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Mumbai Mélange - 6

The two Bombays - Town & Suburbs


 Like any city that has different parts and different cultures, Mumbai too is bifurcated into South Mumbai (or better known as 'town') and Suburbs.

You take a walk around the two and you would know the difference.  Both of them have a distinct feel that can't be missed.

Unlike many cities which will have one part very posh and another, not so much, in Mumbai its not like one is any less than the other.

Take a walk in town, that is Colaba, Fort, Nariman Point, Marine Drive areas and there is this sight of old-world charm, architecture, pebbled walkways, classy food-joints and timeless style.

Move around suburbs, mainly Bandra, Juhu and you will see style, glamour, Bollywood actors, trendy nightspots and fashion on these streets.

Depending on your personality, you will instantly like and connect with one or the other.

I moved about both the Mumbais almost equally. Personally I loved both of them. The chirpy crazy girl in me loved Bandra and the loner thirty-somthing soul trapped in me loved the solitude of Marine Drive.

Many many years back, I wanted to marry an investment banker whose office would be at Nariman Point and who would have a sea-facing apartment in Worli (figments of imagination, ofcourse!) but now, having grwon older and, may be, wiser I would now find myself a job at Nariman Point and live in a nice apartment at Carter Road.  Pardon me for the travel that I am over-looking, but I would take that train from Bandra to Churchgate or CST, I think!

I think that works too!

Marine Drive

Carter Road


Bandstand

Hermes store seen in South Mumbai





I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Mumbai Mélange - 5

City of dreams and so much more.

 

From a taxi driver to one of the biggest superstars of Hindi cinema. All came to this city with some dreams from far off towns and cities. And made Mumbai, their home.

If Delhi is dil walon ki then Mumbai is no less. It gives you space, freedom and wings.

It is often considered a harsh city, a city that can make or break you, a city where many sleep empty stomach on a pavement. However, it lets you breathe, it walks with you in your struggle and it is often a witness to the silent tears that you shed every night missing your family.
 
If you look around in a local train or at the cubicle next to yours, you will have someone not from Mumbai but coming to the city from some other part of the country. They come to the city for a better opportunity, better prospects and better life. Everyday struggles may seem to tire them but the dreams of a better future are always big and strong to keep them motivated.

You may never notice but many would be sitting alone by the sea, lost in their thoughts and may be just confiding in the sea. That sea shore must be a confidante to so many who come there every weekend to sit quietly and vent out their emotions to those waves and tides.

Late filmmaker Yash Chopra had this to say about Mumbai - "Mumbai's infectious. Once you start living in Mumbai, working in Mumbai, I don't think you can live anywhere else."

Do you agree?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Mumbai Mélange - 4

Food, food and food.

Ladies and gentlemen, with this post I complete a century. Yay! 100th post. Took me a while to reach here. Long breaks, blogger's block, erractic work schedules, lack of ideas and mostly lethargy are majorly to be credited for bringing me here today. And when it is 100th it should be about something I love and live by. As part of this week-long festival, I am writing about my take-away from recent Mumbai trip. Seven things, seven days. Today, I choose one thing that is my biggest motivation in life. Food!

Though many say that food in Mumbai doesn't have that depth especially when you have been brought up on a generous diet of puri-chhole in breakfast! But, believe me, Mumbai is a food-lover's haven. And my experience comes only from street food, small eateries, cafes and casual dining restaurants. Five-stars simply do not fit my budget and Mumbai flavor is actually in its street food.

To start with, I fell in love with Dahi-puri. Given a chance, I could have it everyday! The combination of curd, bhel, papri, chutney is irresistible. Best had at a kiosk in Juhu Chowpatty and then at Swati Snacks, Tardeo.
Pao Bhaji at Shiv Sagar, Juhu

Dahi puri at Shiv Sagar, Juhu
Dahi puri & sugarcane juice at Swati Snacks


This time discovered a cute little cafe in Bandra named Candies. The place has been made by converting a bungalow and no nook and corner has been left unused. Be it lighting, artefacts at display, friendly staff and most importantly, food, this place is a rockstar. The grilled chicken roll, paneer tikka croissant, red velvet cupcake, sugar donuts, frappe and chocolate milkshake that we had were all A-class. If you live in Mumbai and have not been to Candies, I suggest you pay a visit. You won't regret. The most pretty to look at in their shelves were the angry birds cupcakes.


Yummy food at Candies


I am not a huge icecream fan but had been recommended Natural's by everyone. So, a visit was a must. The offernings list is not extensive considering the fruit-based are all available as per the season. So, I got to have watermelon but I gathered the most loved flavors are sitaphal (custard apple) and tender coconut. Watermelon was yummy too. And then, after watching so many travel shows, a visit to Bachelorr's at Charni Road was required. The burnt coffee, orange and sitaphal flavors were all unique and a must try. The location of this place is really awesome.


Watermelon!

Natural's. I love the colors on this board.

Bachelorr's at Charni Road

Burnt coffee and Sitaphal, anyone?


There is a little cafe in South Mumbai called Cafe Mocambo that serves Parsi cuisine. It was my first bite of Dhansak and chicken salli and it did not disappoint. The best part was the owner of the cafe coming over to out table and helping us through the menu.

Parsi food in lunch

Mocambo!


Then there was this small kiosk at Linking Road near National College that sells sandwiches. The picture shall tell you how amazing that grilled cheese and vegetable sandwich must have tasted.


Sandwich kiosk at National College

Wish I could take it out right now and gobble it up!

Also, you will find kiosks selling dosa, idli and vada on streets and its really good. There is a good south Indian joint called Cafe Madras but the day we went there, it was Monday and hence closed. So we settled for Mysore Cafe which was close by. Neer dosa and 2 filter coffees down, I didn't complain of Cafe Madras being shut. :)

Missed it this time. Next time, will check before I plan!


Filter kaapi


Do try the breakfast of typical Indore poha and jalebi. I had it at a small shop near Vashi station. Good stuff.


Poha and jalebi breaky is a must!


The paani-puri is also not what we get in Delhi but it has its own flavor and I quite liked it.                       

I have been to Bade Miyan post partying but missed out on Mahesh Lunch Home and Gajalee. Kayani bakery serves some good kheema pav and though I have been there before, missed out on it this time. Somethings for next time!

I already have so many places to eat out on my list next time I go to Mumbai. But till then, I can always look at these pictures and go back to the tasteful memories.

And, now thank you for reading this, staying with my writing and taking time out to give me feedback. Not in this one. In all the previous 99 ones. Matters a lot to me.
I hope I can churn out good, engaging work and I hope you continue loving me like this.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013. - See more at: http://whilethecoffeebrews.blogspot.in/#sthash.WHrw401t.dpuf


I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Mumbai Mélange - 3

Of people, attitude and safety

 

Being born and brought up in Delhi, I am used to having intrusive relatives, nosy neighbors and staring strangers all around me. Be it entering a party hall when you feel all the aunties are looking at your dress to entering the metro coach where you feel the eyes of random strangers on you. Have seen it all.

Keeping in mind how people in Delhi are, I have never worn skirts as I commute by public transport. Call me whatever, but I have just treaded a safe route. Yet, have not escaped the road-side cheap comments at all. Have seen it all.

Now a short trip to Mumbai, walking on the roads, traveling in the public transport, I could gauge what makes Mumbai what it is.

I have written that before also in my Delhi post that it is the people of the city that make the essence of the city. Delhi, whatever media and the world makes it out to be, is not bad. It is the people who are contaminating the city. Those amongst us only. No outsider. Similarly, if we know Mumbai as a city that lets you be, that doesn't intrude in your space, that is both a friend and a confidante to you, it is because of the way its people are.

People are non-intrusive but helpful. I remember asking people at different points of time about train timings and they readily helped us through that smart app I told you about yesterday! Even the relatives who were earlier in North side of the country and now settled in Mumbai are not the same! They have imbibed the Mumbai culture so well. I love that non-intrusive part. Thank God for that!

I won't claim that Mumbai is the safest city in India. But comparing it to Delhi, there definitely is a sense of safety. I never for once felt scared or hesitant traveling late. I do that in Delhi also and I can assure you, the safe I felt in Mumbai, have never felt in Delhi ever. Oh wait. May be around Commonwealth Games in 2010. For 15 days. All roads were well lit-up, there was police posted every nook and corner and it was just very safe. Like I mentioned, I have never worn skirt in Delhi. But in Mumbai, while going for a night-out, my cousin insisted I wear one. After much deliberation, I did wear a skirt. I used the public transport as well. And trust me, not even once I felt bad and uncomfortable about the decision. I felt great!

Also, the kind of space I am in, both mentally and emotionally, Mumbai is the city that kind of suits me. It does not question you, accommodates you and sets you free.

And this reason is enough for me to think about moving base. Not that I am going to anytime soon. But soon in the future. I would definitely like to breathe in that air. Soon. :-)


I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013.
- See more at: http://whilethecoffeebrews.blogspot.in/#sthash.Gp8s738o.dpuf
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013. - See more at: http://whilethecoffeebrews.blogspot.in/#sthash.txzf9RM3.dpuf
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013. - See more at: http://whilethecoffeebrews.blogspot.in/#sthash.txzf9RM3.dpuf
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013. - See more at: http://whilethecoffeebrews.blogspot.in/#sthash.txzf9RM3.dpuf


I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Mumbai Mélange - 2

The Mumbai local, taxis & autos


Second thing that defines Mumbai is its transportation infrastructure. Mumbai is a city where driving your own vehicle can be a real pain in the ass. Hence, you would find huge number of people using trains, buses and autos.

I am sure coming from Delhi and being used to Delhi metro, Mumbai means of transport would not entice you that much but trust me the story doesn't just end there.

Every day going to office in Delhi, I have to haggle with the auto-wala for the fare because they simply refuse to go by the meter. May be that's the reason for the pumped up day I have in office after that. Anyway, so landing in Mumbai and taking an auto from the station close to my cousin's place cost 15 bucks and to my surprise, auto-wala took just that! Ya, no haggling and no keeping the change business!

Now, that was cool! I covered many a distances by paying 15 bucks every time and no frowning expression from the auto-wala even once. Same with the taxis. Wherever you go, you will find those black-yellow Fiats and now many Santros and WagonRs.

Coming on to the lifeline of Mumbai. The local train. Believe you me, you have to take a ride in one of these to experience true flavor of the city. Board it any point of the day and there is a different scene.

I always boarded the ladies coach and it was a world in itself. You see middle-aged Marathi speaking women with kids who are docile and remain seated all the time; a girl looking tired after the day's work boarding the train from Chembur and getting down at Vashi, all the time happily talking to her parents on phone who live in a different city; bunch of college-going girls chirping away; some reading; some sleeping; some eying the empty seats and some just looking around.

Then there are women who are selling exciting stuff in the trains. Exciting, really! Like fried snacks & eatables, hair accessories, earrings, combs etc. They board the train with their wares, put it on some seats or hand it to the anxious, prospective customers and sell! There are fisher-women who board the train in a separate section with their baskets.

And then you will see many women standing at the door of the train and lost in their thoughts. I found it so dangerous but they made it look like easy, effortless and filmy!

There was never a dull moment in the train journeys. Either it were two women fighting for some odd reason or a very enthusiastic little girl selling hair-clips, who flashed that beautiful smile at me.

I found travel in Mumbai a lot cheaper than Delhi. Fares of autos & taxis may be same as in Delhi but they go by the meter and don't overcharge. Local train fares are really cheap and I bought the ticket coupons once which lessened the task of buying the tickets every time.

To me, if you have not used the local means of transportation, you have not experienced the city. I boarded Best bus so many times for a longer distance just so we will get a ride around the city. For example, boarding the bus from Siddhi Vinayak to Mantralya. Amazing views on the way!

So, next time you are in Mumbai do take that train ride. Or board the auto. They are not just pocket-friendly but they show you the city the way you should see it.


The colors in the train compartment. Don't miss those bindi and hair clips hanging on the handlebars!



The ubiquitous kaali-peeli taxi
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013. - See more at: http://whilethecoffeebrews.blogspot.in/#sthash.N8wnb19v.dpuf
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013. - See more at: http://whilethecoffeebrews.blogspot.in/#sthash.N8wnb19v.dpu

The famous Victoria Terminus (VT), now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)


I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013.


P.S They even have a cool app for train timings and everything! And everyone seemed to have downloaded that in their phones!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Mumbai Mélange - 1

The Sea


My Mumbai trip needed to be chronicled and I just did not want it to be another 'day 1 I did this and day 2 I this that' post.

Since this '7 days Write Tribe Festival of Words' was starting, I thought what better way to write about the city of dreams leisurely over a week, one thing at a time!

Starting today, there will be one thing everyday that I, as a visitor, feel makes Mumbai the city that it is. Let us celebrate the Maximum City in this festival of words!

We start with the very obvious. The sea.

I really feel that it is the sea that adds to Mumbai's charm. That is one thing that Delhi doesn't have. And that is precisely that one thing that drew me away from the shopping and sitting idle at home right to the sea-side.

Different places across the cities like Marine Drive, Bandra Reclamation, Bandstand, Juhu Chaupaty, Carter Road offer a different sea sight and you would definitely want to experience it from each of these places. 

The sea isn't the same at nights what it is in the mornings. Yet there is always that comfort of coming back to it and talking to it, heart-to-heart. There are regular walkers, joggers, lovers, families, loners, friends and tourists. You sit there, take a walk around, listen to music, munch on bhelpuri, click pictures, watch the revelry around you and just absorb this.

Trust me, that sight is so over-whelming that you would kind of get really soaked in the atmosphere. Watching the sunset, the lights up at Marine Drive making the beautiful Queen's Necklace, you would know that it is that sea-side that gives Mumbai the tranquility and the never-say-die spirit.


Queen's necklace at Marine Drive

People enjoying the evening by the sea-side at Carter Road


Ahem..the lovers behind the rocks at Bandstand

So much calm during the day.


Read it somewhere, 'the sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.' So true.


I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013.