Wednesday, September 28, 2016

River's song

(Inspired from River Parvati in Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, circa 2016.)

Open up your ears; hear the river sing as it goes
The melancholy song of the river holds a million woes

My ear picked up a feeble note as I sat there flinging a stone
Into the water for every time I'd ever felt alone

The voice I heard was familiar, but the chord it struck was new
The river sang to me the way my mother used to do

Off tune but full of love, she'd sing and I'd turn quiet
I'd drift off to dreamless sleep with the same song every night

Monday, May 30, 2016

Once upon a weekend in Kasol...

It took us three failed attempts at planning a trip to actually make one happen. It was Shristi's birthday, her little brother was flying in all the way from Bangalore, and she demanded (yes, literally demanded) that we all get our shit together and take her to Kasol for her birthday. We had little choice.

And so, with minimal planning and no fixed itinerary, we were off to the Himalayas for the third weekend of April - 9 of us too, no less. Some of us were wary of travelling in big groups; so many things could go wrong. But we were determined to make it work. Since the plan was made at such short notice, we couldn't get seats in a Volvo. So we hustled it all the way to Bhuntar aboard an HRTC non-AC seater bus. Needless to say, the going was tough, but the morning breeze blowing in my face as we entered the mountains and the hot cup of tea I had at our first stop all but made up for it. After a long overnight journey, we reached Bhuntar by noon. Famished and bedraggled, we found a restaurant, freshened up, and ate, before catching a local bus to Kasol from the bus stop down the road.

The sights I saw on this 1.5-hour bus journey are indescribable. I've been to the Himalayas a lot, but you have to believe me when I say, Parvati Valley is something else entirely. The gushing river smoothing pebbles on its way, the cattle grazing on its banks, the lush green mountains in the background, the grey skies at was a heavenly ride all the way to Kasol.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Learning to cycle at 24... (Part I)

Back in the late 90s, my parents bought me a flashy orange Hero kids' bicycle to encourage me to take up cycling, like my sister, who was rapidly gaining height wheeling through the narrow lanes of our neighbourhood. But truth be told, I wasn't much inclined towards physical activity as a child; I always saw myself as the creative one, not the active one. (And that didn't change as I grew up - the one game I ended up playing at the national level was Chess.)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Life in the Metro

I sat across from her on the yellow line of the Delhi metro. I was on my way to my workplace in the heart of the largest vegetable market in the city. It was almost noon, I was drowsy. She had boarded three stations ago, standing for a while in the corner until she managed to find a seat, luckily opposite to mine. She looked 25, but could have been younger or older; I am not a good judge. I was distracted by her appearance. She was voluptuous, with extra generous curves and very fair skin. Dressed in jeans and a loosely fitted shirt, she sat staring into her phone, conscious of all the eyes pinned on her, including my own. The air was heavy with sweat and masculinity; she looked diminutive, almost non-existent, in comparison.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sister's wedding and all that jazz

It was one of my first cousins' wedding this past weekend. It would only be fair to call her a sister though, since we've lived together in the same joint family for 20 years and shared so many important moments in each others' lives. She is the first out of the six of us (cousins on my father's side) to enter holy(?) matrimony, and naturally, we were all super psyched and anxious for it to all go well.

Several weeks of preparation on our side, and of course several months of it on the couple's respective families' sides, went into making this wedding the great affair it ended up as. The proceedings weren't, of course, without their share of minor and major hiccups, but as the cliche goes, all's well that ends well. And this one ended at the crack of the dawn of my sister's brand new life with her husband and partner in all crimes. So no one should ideally be complaining (though that's a Utopian idea to harbour - but I digress).

It is world renowned that if there is one place where there's a riot of colours, festivity, loud music, dancing, endless drama and lots of hoopla, it has to be at a Punjabi wedding. It would not just suffice to say we had it all, and more. So I'll stop writing and share some of my shots from the Mehendi, Chooda and wedding functions to illustrate how beautiful the whole affair really was and how much fun we had.

The happy bride getting the traditional mehendi (henna) applied on her hands...