Friday, June 21, 2013

An act of love goes a long way

I have a lot of friends my age who haven't known what it is like to have a grandparent's love, or who have lost all their grandparents over the years. Till a little over three years ago, I could say with pride that both sets of my grandparents were alive and well. I have been fortunate enough to have lived with my paternal grandparents for the first twenty years of my life and was a very frequent visitor to my maternal grandparents' place as well. It is an entirely different feeling to grow up having the love and care of grandparents and their blessings aplenty. Unfortunately, my nanaji crossed over to the other world in the June of 2010. Even though everyone had known it was coming, yet it was a big blow to the family, more exceedingly to me, as I had always been extra pampered and loved by him. During his last years he was little more than a vegetable, hardly even recognizing us anymore. I wish we had had more time to spend with him. Yet, I cherish the limited memories we have - of his stories, of the orange candies, saunf and other little goodies he always had ready for us when we invaded his room. He once admonished me for having contracted myopia so early on in life, and devised ways to get rid of it. I never followed up on his advice *sigh* but I remember every word of it. Will probably pass it on in the future to my kids as their great grandfather's precious words.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Perfect Indian Homecoming Experience

It has been a trying week. Too much of writing to do; too much of traveling around as well. No wonder a severe back ache has been my constant companion for the last three days. To make things even more taxing, my much-talked-about-but-rarely-seen NRI uncle and aunt from the US announced their long-awaited arrival to India yesterday. And now my grandparents are hoping to host them for lunch, first at their own place, then at ours. As if one extravagant show of Indian hospitality wasn't nearly enough, there's gonna be twice as much effort now to woo them, for God only knows what. Last I checked they were just coming down for a relaxing holiday, and maybe to get a good tan. What's with all the show and hype? They're Indians at heart after all. They know our ways, our food, and our culture very well. Why parade it in front of them every time they decide to fly down to their country? Beats me. But grandparents' logic - can't surpass it. So they want to host the perfect homecoming lunch for the guests this weekend.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The importance of finding yourself

I have always been a closet philosopher. But like I said, only in a closet. Most people do not know the philosophy that I live my life on. They only see me as a fiery comet, a rolling stone that goes her own way and does what she likes, and fortunately gets lucky every time. It isn't however like that. I have made more mistakes in my life than a lot of people manage to make in over 40 years. But I have worked to get what I have, and striven to be who I am. It isn't after all luck that bides by you in tough times, but your own courage and perseverance. Those who have led an ideal life - graduation, post graduation, stable job, marriage, two kids, a car and an insurance - would look down upon me today for my choices. They might even think the same of me ten years down the line. Because I have, so far, built a less than ideal life for myself that may look crazy from the outside but is much more fulfilling than the so-called ideal life is on the inside.

Diagnostics from across the seven seas - made easy with WeChat

I have been a fan of the medical drama House MD for as long as I can remember. It was a phenomenal show, defying all network TV conventions and setting a unique example of an entirely different kind of entertainment. So potent has its effect been that even now whenever I watch an episode I often dream of it at night. Last night brought into my sleep another such dream, only, this time spruced up with a most unexpected twist.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review: The Homing Pigeons - Sid Bahri

A book that comes with a personal handwritten note by the author is almost always a pleasure to read and review. In the present case, luckily, the content greatly complements the author's note too. Because the book definitely made me happy.

Wading through the bottomless ocean of contemporary Indian writers churning out books revolving around common subjects like recession, life in engineering colleges, love affairs and separation, one fine day I came across an email offering me to read Sid Bahri's debut novel, The Homing Pigeons. I won't deny it came as a breath of fresh air, for the very fact that its story is not borrowed or tried and tested. The characters are greatly flawed, yet the reader can relate to their thoughts and situations as they brave the biggest lows and commit mistakes to emerge wiser (or not).

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Book Review: The Secrets of the Dark - Arka Chakrabarti

They say not every man that eats can make a good cook. Likewise, not every man that watches mythology can make an epic writer. And I learnt it the hard way.

I'd say the worst part about being a reader and a book reviewer is that you are sometimes forced to read stuff you'd never otherwise have spent any effort or time on. Also given my propensity not to put down a book halfway, once I've picked it up, causes me a lot of torment at times. I completed reading one such book tonight.