Tag Archives: music

Valparai Tales! Part 2.

Contd from…

As I sweat in the Bangalore heat, while doing absolutely nothing apart from just breathing, which you would all acknowledge is a very crucial, and from what I know the most important factor for our existence, I think back of the vacation I recently took. And promised a second post on.

In my mind, as I say the word, Valparai, I close my eyes to be welcomed to memories of our four wheeler rushing through the short winding roads through hills, while green stems and young branches fell out of line by the side of the road, swaying to greet us. We are rushing past them, honking at each hairpin bend, serpent turns, waking us out of the slumber of hill travel every now and then, fascinated by the depths which greeted us to our right and the heights which beckoned us to our left.

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Oh the twists and turns! More than a Jodi Picoult book.

I see a kaleidoscope of butterflies pass us, yellow this one. My reflexes are too slow to brandish the phone camera for a shot of them. I simply close my eyes to capture the moment. Sometimes, I wish I had a pensieve to keep these memories untouched. But in its absence, National Geographic will have to do. The Sun, which at the base of the hills was unforgiving, seemed to be playing hide and seek with us as we travelled upwards closer. The clouds ran helter skelter, giving us a peak a boo of the scorch every now and then. It was almost lunch hour when we reached the outskirts of Valparai and unbelievable as it may sound, or read, there was rain, just like Google weather had predicted! Bless technology and the genius minds that worked behind it.

Valparai is so untouched by commercialization, that it was difficult to find a place to stay. We ended up finding a place that seemed like it had been vacated after its occupants had packed bags and moved to the city for better earnings. They offered us a single room for ten people when actually advertising as a home stay! I wondered how the others would react for I was already prepared for a little adventure. Standing at the crossroads of the little town, I sighed audibly with relief when I looked up at the three storeyed building, catching the occupants of the top floor room, my friends, look out at the tea estates as far as the horizon permit, with enthusiasm and unwavering excitement.

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If there was audio, you could have heard us singing too!

The evening that we spent there has to be my most memorable in quite a while. Walking through tea estates, and (this time) long winding roads, with no vehicles to honk at us, no bikes to rush past us, no traffic at all, paradise was not even on my wishlist then. We sang as the sun set, clicked photographs of trees that formed patterns different to each of our eyes, posed by the side of the road wanting  to post pictures online but never doing so, because we knew words would fail to describe the serenity we felt then. And we also didn’t want to lose those minutes buried in the phone. That says a lot about the place, doesn’t it? We saw people though. Some smiled at us knowingly, others gave us a pass, ignoring us as a brief little intrusion in their small town. A shopkeeper asked us our religion, offering a temple, mosque or a church to visit around accordingly. He chatted with us for over five minutes, but did not once try to sell his wares to us. So much for calling it a small town.

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Bouquet of flowers, a friend calls it. Anyone knows what these are called?

Graciously Yours!

THE ADOPTED CHILD.

I sat alone in my new room. I’d tried calling up my parents but they were unreachable. Keeping the phone aside, I lay my head on the wall backing the bed. Outside in the living room, I could hear the other girls, both my age, my new flatmates, talking and laughing. I wanted to go out too, but I didn’t know them. In fact, I didn’t know anyone in the office, or in the city. I had only one friend in the crowd of tens of thousands of people camping their lives in the city. The friend lived with her newly wedded husband and I couldn’t even think of intruding into their space at this point in time.

Someone knocked on the door. I hurried to get up and open the unlocked door. The girl at the door, Maera she was called, stood there with a smile. “Come for dinner,” Maera said. “You guys carry on,” I replied, my stomach rumbling with hunger but hesitation creeping up and taking over. I had lived in a joint family and barely ever ate alone. But I didn’t know them either. Wouldn’t it be as good as eating alone? But Maera still stood there, arms crossed, and declared, “You must be hungry with all the shifting today. Come on. I’m not letting you eat alone.”

I smiled a small smile, thanking her in my thoughts for forcing me to eat. I needed energy to carry on without my family here. That night I slept soundly on the sofa while talking to my parents, until Maera came along in the middle of the night, tip toeing so as to not wake me up and then woke me up. “Come we’ll take you to your room,” she said softly, pulling me up. On my bed, I slept better.

***

A few months had passed. I still spoke to my parents’ everyday. And I still passed out on the sofa at nights. But now Maera and I fought to sleep on the sofa! I cuddled up in her lap as Maera sat and read a book. I was busy on my phone while she ran her fingers through my hair every now and then. “You know you should adopt me,” I said. “What?” she asked, stunned, keeping her book aside. “You should adopt me!” I repeated. “Why should I adopt you?” she asked, laughing and reading again, not even paying attention to me any longer!

***

I was cranky and hungry. I had had a bad day at work. I fought with a friend. I was not even PMSing yet. Even my hormones couldn’t take the blame yet. Maera sat me down and asked me,”What happened?” “Nothing,” I replied, waiting for someone to stop me in my tirade of lashing out at the world! “Sit here,” Maera said, her face grave, sitting me down on the floor between her knees while she gave me a head massage.

Half an hour later, I had offloaded all my worldly troubles into her ears and she’d filled mine with what little of worldly trouble advice she  owned.

***

I found in her a friend, a reminder of the love of my family, a corner to my worldly troubles, a shoulder to rest on, an adopted parent! Maera found in me an adopted child. Yes, she may not admit to it, but she did.

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Dedicating this to my (almost admitted, but not yet owned) adopted child! To hours of introspective discussions, shared love for music, long unwinding walks, cuddles and head massages, getaways at 2 am and gazing starry nights! Stay happy! ❤

Graciously Yours!

Of music and runs!

So there’s a music run in my city today and I’m all geared up to go for it! Why, eh? Because I love music. And I try keeping fit, or at least that’s what I tell myself!

Considering I’ve not run more than once in the past month or not done more than 25 pushups in as many days, it’s easy to comprehend the disappointing state of affairs.

But who cares? I’ll still go for the music run. In fact, I’m going for it while typing this out.

Now just because I didn’t run in the run-up to the run (see what I did there!) does not mean I am not excited about it! I am.

I decided to go for a jog every day in the last week. Did I though? Well, mail me and I’ll let you know. I swear my reasons are genuine!

I ordered myself a new set of track pants for the event. They arrived today after I left for the run!

I also ordered a pair of new running shoes. The order got cancelled. How is that my fault? I reordered. They should be here next week!

The chocolates we were supposed to eat before and during the run have been gobbled up already! Well, Bangalore traffic gives me hunger pangs. And engulfs me with sleep. Hence, the blogging.

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Guess which is mine!

Wish me luck! Hoping my emergency contact won’t have to be invoked! D, you know what you gotta do if that happens!

Graciously Yours!

Isra, I wish someday I can run like you! Until then I’d appreciate help getting off the couch from any runners we have in the WP family. Or any closet runners too! Wait. Closet runners? Who might these be? Oh they’re runners who don’t ‘come out'(to run)! 😉

We want bans.

Of recent, the Indian Government has been ridiculously infamous for banning a lot of things in India. A few instances which flash momentarily when I think of the word ‘ban’ are the ban on Uber, ban on the BBC documentary India’s Daughter, ban on Nestle Maggi and the latest in the series is the meat ban!

Since it seems like the nature to ban things won’t change any time soon, here’s a list of bans which could make the Government look slightly better in the eyes of the common people. Free PR advice! Take it more than you leave it.

  • India is a multicultural, multilingual, multiracial, multireligion (if such a word exists) country. The number of Hindu Gods alone are 330 million. One can barely fathom truly how many festivals India celebrates in a year. Here in Calcutta, almost each area has a separate pandal (makeshift bamboo structures, often elaborate and adorned) which house bigger-than-life-sized clay structures of the Gods and Goddesses as per the occasion. And there are speakers installed at each one of those which play music almost all round the festival day. Which music, you’d ask. Spiritual music, you’d expect. They play Bollywood songs. Most of which had been created by the music directors purely for the purpose of being danced on after downing a few shots at the pub. This needs to be banned, if not to spare us mortals, then at least to spare the Gods from listening to that rubbish. (A friend tells me that even blood donation camps organised by some local clubs are a flimsy excuse for playing loud music all day long.)
  • There’s a beautiful and talented cousin, Sarita, who thinks it would be a favour to ban indecent and tasteless ‘creative’ musical content produced by some artists rather than crackers on Diwali! Hers is a strong demand but then of late that is exactly what we’ve been treated to. For all those who’re unaware of what I am talking about, here’s a short list :

Laila Teri Le Legi

One Two Three Four

Dhating Naach

Saree Ke Fall Sa

Aaj Blue Hai Paani

On a serious note, I’ve met kids, both affluent and poor, who recite these crude lyrics faster than the multiplication table of 13. And if that isn’t a cause for concern, then I’ll have to look up the meaning of concern again.

  • Vartika, a friend, complains about the usage of footpaths as roads by two wheelers. (Another friend was travelling by a three-wheeler auto when the auto driver chose to drive on the footpath scaring the life out of her!) Neha from Joie de Vivre wants hawkers to be removed from footpaths. What’s happening to our pavements? They’re being used by everyone apart from pedestrians. Surely the transport ministry would want to look into that .

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : This post is in no way a ridicule of the Indian society or our Government. No nation, society, religion or culture is perfect. But there’s always hope that things will get better, sooner or later. And this is what some of us are hoping for.

Picture Courtesy : Pinterest.

The City of Joy

In order to add my latest venture of writing about Calcutta, Prateek from The Uncertainty Principle has made this wonderful contribution! Thank you, Prateek! In a surprising coincidence, he’s talking about the same concert, I’d attended and blogged about.

The Uncertainty Principle

. . . Thank you so much guys for being such a sport ! Good night !!

Oh wait ! Before getting to the climax, there are somethings you need to know. Calcuta ! The city of joy ! There are just too many memories associated with this place. Staying just 150 minutes away, I have made numerous trips to Calcutta in the last five years. But each time I go, the love for art and sports in the hearts of people here, never fails to amaze me. That’s why when Aditi invited me to write about it for her latest venture, I gladly accepted within seconds.

This incident happened in October, 2014, when the Indian music sensation A. R. Rehman along with many other big names of the music industry announced to have a live concert in the mighty Salt Lake Stadium. Our tickets were booked on the evening…

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