India · Letters · Mumbai · Travel · Uncategorized

Dear Facebook,

The story-teller,

There are few perks in working in a digital agency. Apart from surfing on social networking sites, I learn that a server somewhere has identified me as a part of a community and I am shown a communication because I am part of that community. Brilliant isn’t it! Millions of people are shown controlled messages and they don’t even know  about the trait bucket that they fall under. I was sitting on my computer, reading my normal news-feed. I came across a profile which intrigued me a lot. It was the profile of my school classmate – Neha. Continue reading “Dear Facebook,”

Letters · Thailand · Travel · World

Thailand Letters: The window in front

The sun setting in the east
The sun setting in the east

There are only few times in life when you have an opportunity to see sand, sea and sun at the same time. When you do see these three elements all together in crimson light, you are somehow not left in awe. You go ‘wow’ or ‘great’ but you are not left breathless. It is only after a week you really wonder that you actually saw something that is hard to imagine.

When I was Rialey’s bay, Thailand  I was like, ‘Well, it is a beautiful beach.’ It did not once occur to me that I was living inside someone’s imagination. As the sun sets in front of my window I realize nature is the best imagination ever created. I have no clue who created it but whoever made it did a bloody good job at it.

Cave Temple
Cave Temple

I was jaunty one day and I ran out to the sea. I did not realize that there was a Buddhist temple in a nearby cave. Being an Indian I am not used to seeing Buddhist temples or monasteries on a beach. After a good swim, I wore my sarong and noticed the temple. There was structure which more resembled a shivaling. There were no monks, no structures but they were few people kneeling. I was amazed that a human being who was born in my land found the shores of Thailand. I wondered if I died would I have any legacy which will cross borders.

Raileys’ bay may not be a party hub nor is a place with a lot of night clubs. But it has a spectacular view with a hidden lagoon inside the cliff. It is a precious little place hidden in Krabi. When you find it, you wouldn’t want to let it go.

I wandered across the shores of the beach and saw that I could hire a kayak. I said, “Why not?” So I hired the Kayak with my buddy. We realized it is going to be sunset soon and the cerise sky still did not leave me in wonder. We were laughing and panting and just wanted to go back to the shores so that we could have a couple of beer.

We finally arrived on the shores and got few beers. The sky was sparkling with stars and all I could think is ‘Gosh I hope I get a job when I go back.’

I am back and I am sitting by the window and looking at the sky and the sun is setting down. There is no crystal clear water. The temple beside my house is unclean and shabby and I am sitting in my house and I am in awe. I am in  awe of the time that had passed by, the life which was granted to me for few days and the imagination that I borrowed back in Railey’s bay.

 

 

Culture · India · Letters · Sikkim · Travel · World

Dear Snow,

There are three times when I have actually experienced snow fall and every time the experience has been euphoric. I can’t smell you or hold you tight but every time you fall it brings so much joy and warmth in my heart. It is winter time and we are soon moving forward in time for another year.

Changu Lake
Changu Lake

Sikkim

We went to Sikkim with my parents. My mother and I went out to buy some handicrafts from the local store. We were out eating Thupka. Thuupka is an amazing soup which was made by boiling broth of vegetable,chicken and spices together with rice noodles. On chilly winters it is the perfect snack to have. We were sitting on a lawn and my mother pointed at the sky. There were million stars shinning bright. On a no moon night it feels really great to look up at the sky and see the dark shadows of the tress and through them see small specs of light shimmering on a dark blanket. My mother told me that we would be going to Changu Lake the next day and it would be a surprise. I couldn’t think of a better surprise than to see the faint Milky Way glittering right in front of my eyes. I wondered looking at the stars far away what it must be to be like to look from the window of one the planets far above.

My mother knew how much I had enjoyed Badrinath and the snow fakes. As we entered the lake I could see snow walls and I was extremely excited. I couldn’t wait to see the lake. Tucked between the mountains is the beautiful glacial lake. There were Yaks waiting for the tourists. I went with mother and sat in front of the lake. The wind slapped on our face but we could see the cloud descending on the snow clad mountain peaks. My mother took out hot coffee from our flask and we drank it. She made the coffee Irish which made us feel warm. We kept looking at the still water. The lake is considered holy by local Buddhists. I could see the exact reflection of the sky on water. It was as if the sky and earth had become one. It soon started snowing. The beautiful snow flakes kissed the water while we sat looking in wonder around a bonfire. We had all the elements – Water, earth, wind, fire and heart.

Culture · India · Letters · Nostalgia

Dear Bryan Adams,

Bryan Adams
Oh, when I look back now That summer seemed to last forever

I was browsing though few of my old music files and I found your track – Everything I do, I do it for you. I started reading up on the internet – Syria issue, Rupee falling down, Rape incidents etc. There were few good news too about a woman inventor who made diesel with plastic. I started wondering about my equation with the world around me. I must be the least common denominator.  The track changed and  after many ages I heard the first guitar strums of ‘Summer of 69’. My mind reeled back to my school days.

The summer of 1999. I was endowed to have a school with large ground, huge halls and gaming rooms. Between  the summer vacations and exams , we used to take walks around the ground early in the morning. We sat below a huge tree and talked for hours about our future. Few of us always bunked the morning prayers in our convent school. While the entire school turned up for ‘morning assembly’, we lied on our backs and lazed under the sun. Took off her shoes and socks. We wanted to be ‘the rebels’. Made our uniforms shorter and above knees to show off our legs. At times when we were caught our school principal yelled – ‘Thick skinned animal’ and how she pities the world because we will soon pass out. We laughed and were proud. My friend Sahana has introduced me to you. I told my friend. If someone had to propose he should sing – ‘Yeah, I would fight for you, I’d lie for you. Walk the wire for you, yeah I’d die for you’. This was before I heard trance, rock, grunge and jazz. Now this line sounds cheesy and yet it is so uncomplicated, to the point. Of course a guy who actually sang something for a friend of mine ended up in wrecked relationship. She recovered and is not in Valencia and is a professor. I guess the song worked!

 I see a message on my phone, ‘we have a pitch. Need all the documents by tomorrow’. I switched off my cell. You continued singing, ‘Sitting on mamas porch’. Yeah, there were only few cars that time, Maruti and Fiat were the most popular ones. Owning a Maruti 1000 was a sign of affluence. It was raining heavily one day and our car broke down as usual. It was a blue fiat. We were pushing the car on water-logged road . We got tired and sat inside the car tired. We were with our uncle. He lit a cigarette and we looked at him with hopeful eyes. He looked at me and said  ‘Just take few drags. Don’t tell your mom.’ My first drag of smoke. Later that year gandpa taught us poker and we also had our first beer with my cousins in our porch. World book was equivalent to Google and there used to be library of cassettes. Some things remains to be a mystery. My friend preferred Star Trek over Star Wars. We had a fallout. To  be honest, no regrets. How can someone prefer Star Trek over Star Wars?

The world was good that time and it is better today. But nostalgia is unbeatable. I gave my niece your tracks. She wanted to know how I was at her age. I cannot explain her the smell of photocopied exam question paper or flavor of kismi or sitting together in our neighbours place who owned VCR to watch a movie. I told her listen to Bryan Adams – This is how we were, this is how we always will be. May the force be with you.