Saturday, February 21, 2015


Hi friends, I'm finally closing the chapter on this blog. * Sad face * . We've been such good pals through all of my US life. But now, I'm back in India and it's time for a fresh start. I hope you join me on my new stories and adventures at

Hope to see you there!

PS: Don't be surprised if you still see some repeat stories from here. These are some of my most favorite life moments and will always remain close to my heart :) 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's OK. Really.

It's ok. Really.
We'll get used to it, like we usually do,
You see I thought this through,
Decided what's right for me,
And chose what's good for you.

Oh this was nothing divine,
No completing each other's sentences,
No "I was just thinking of you",
This was way too simple a connection,
A random conversation or few.

I looked at you like the rainbows,
A giant teddy bear,
Leaves in spring, like new,
Being touched by music or grace,
A peaceful point of view.

We've always known it would end,
We spoke about it too.
But I'm so happy our paths crossed,
Though they stormed around the bend,
For this, the universe chose us two.

And as we go on with our dreary lives,
And get reduced to "someone you knew",
Remember, it was heartfelt and real.

Even now I close my eyes and think,
I'm so glad these feelings, chose you.

Monday, October 21, 2013

New Radical

"It's been a while, where should we begin. Feels like forever. Within my heart are memories, Of perfect love that you gave to me. Oh, I remember."

You know how in the movies, there are these "interlude" scenes, that actually make the story. Scenes where musicians; artists; athletes; lovers "find themselves" and with it the courage to move on and make something brilliant happen. It usually comes in the form of a quiet contemplation, or a moment of absolute despair, which slowly turns into an awakening, a realization and inspiration to continue. The music picks up and suddenly you're enthralled by the progress. Everything is dramatic. You get the goosebumps, chills (you name it) and for those measly two minutes you actually are completely convinced that life is brilliant. You even come home and look up the soundtrack. What was that song again, that song that played in that moment? You want to hear it again, and again. Probably in the hope of feeling a semblance of how you felt. Those measly two minutes.  

Well. This summer, I didn't wait for that moment. I woke up one morning and skipped the thought process entirely. Very mindlessly and recklessly,  I decided to live a little. Completely robotic. No music, no drama, nothing. I waited a long time for it to come. It never did. 

What resulted was a phase of complete abandon that entirely blew my mind. "When was the last time you did something for the first time?" Here's my response. 

Traveled to the west coast of the United States. (View on drive to Big Sur)

Visited Washington DC.

Explored the Newport mansions in Rhode Island (View below, from the balcony of The Breakers mansion).

Experienced a Vermont fall.

Swooned all over Justin Vernon as he performed with his new band, Volcano Choir :)

(Somewhat) enthusiastically witnessed the Red Sox play baseball (My mind racing with cricket comparisons! :))

Sang at the top of my lungs with Eddie Vedder and a packed DCU Center, as Pearl Jam ROCKED the stage.

Ventured to New York for my first Broadway play, Kinky Boots. 

Watched Roger Federer play tennis (undoubtedly one of the greatest in the history of the game :))

And watched the man from "Down Under", Colin Hay in concert. Cried a little when he sang "I just don't think I'll ever get over you".

I now think back to last year, this time. A hospital bed, a wheelchair, a walker. That fracture, f-in changed my life. That break, put everything in place. Just the way I always intended it to be. Perhaps writing this post is my "interlude". My greatest moment of reflection. I mean what could be better than realizing that the shittiest experience of your life, in fact, saved your ass ;)  


Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The park bench

I wish you were sitting on that park bench
As I look out my window
Unaware as ever, you'd probably observe the passersby
While trying to make sense of a song and your life.

I wish you all the beauty and joy
I feel, looking at you
Unaware as ever, this is probably what you want to experience
But you, like anyone, can only aspire for such feeling.

The grass is greener, in this home of mine. 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A dose of reality

Mom has been living with me in my tiny apartment for over three months now. She came to visit me under somewhat unfortunate circumstances, with me being sick and all. I've noticed that she has single-handedly  redefined selflessness with the care and support she has provided.  Really aspirational stuff. Needless to say though, three months is a long time and we're both on the verge of "absolute bananas". So when my friend invited us to visit her beautiful home in Vermont, I leaped (not literally, no) at the opportunity. Desperate for a change of scenery and knowing moms love of nature, I knew this would be perfect for both of us. Besides, I could have my own space and she, hers. Have to admit, was more than mildly excited by that thought. 

We left 'wicked' early on a gloomy Saturday morning, my friend in the driver's seat. The weather forecast declared rain for the entire weekend, a decision I was not happy with *Hullo! Mr. Weatherman*. As we drove through the mild rain and mist, the fall colors commanded our attention. Every nook, turn, long and short stretch of road was laden with the most spectacular sights. Reds, oranges, yellows, light greens, like a palette of English colors was strewn across miles on end. Fields and mountains alike, all beautiful, every leaf in its natural skin, untempered by chlorophyll ;)

Vermont, derived from the French word "les Verts Monts" (meaning the Green Mountains),  is the second least populous of the 50 states that comprise the US of A. Originally, Vermont was inhabited by the Native Americans after which much of it was colonized by the French in the early colonial period and eventually ceded to Britain in 1763 (at this point I have to say, thank you Wikipedia). To experience Vermont though, is something unique. When they say second least populous, they were not kidding. You're sitting in the car literally having an out of body experience. You drive for miles and miles with nothing but mountains around you. The mere sight of a human being is almost odd. Like, * woah * I don't think this thing belongs here.

We reached her home in Hancock, VT by noon. Let me tell you something about this land. She has 40 acres, atop a mountain, surrounded by mountains. This should be a replacement of the 'good, better, best' superlative. By the time we got there, the sun was shining, the skies were the bluest blue and the clouds, were wonderfully white. It felt like nature had overhauled her entire attire, just to greet us. So nice of her really (Probably knows my mom). We left our bags in our bed rooms and had the most pleasant conversation sitting on her deck. I closed my eyes for a few, a heightened awareness, my other senses taking over. I could hear only the sounds of the Texas waterfalls at a distance, a bird chirped from time to time and separately there was an overpowering stillness of silence. I could breathe, really, really breathe! Clean, pure, crisp air charged with energy like no other. 

We took a short car ride to the next town over. My friend spotted a chair she had been wanting to buy in an antique store in the "(still) quieter" part of this town. Time for another surreal experience. Stepping into that antique store was like stepping back in time. The mere smell of it felt 100's of years old. There were the strangest of kitchen utensils and the oldest of hoosier cabinets. The kid who worked there restored old musical instruments, my favorite part of the store :) Unfortunately, the chair was not to be bought as the kid couldn't figure out the price and was momentarily distracted by the fact that there was a "weasel running around in the store". * Just btw *. He actually said "Don't panic if you see something flopping around your feet. It's just a weasel".

Back to the house and much like life, the clarity of the sun-shiny day moment was short-lived. Within a few hours (just like Mr Weatherman predicted) came the big, black ominous looking clouds. Surreal experience # 4 or 5? Oh who knows! We've all seen rainbows, some really fantastic ones, some faint. But I'd never in my life witnessed an entire rainbow. Beginning to end. Actually, I felt like I was at the end and this was my pot of gold. Who can now not believe in something divine. I understand science explains everything. Almost. I wish it would explain this moment and why it chose me to experience it the way I did. Yes, I will file this under "Divine".  

As the clouds dispersed after their tea party, the sun loomed over the mountains gracefully calling it a day. I bade farewell under a blood red sky as it disappeared behind the mountains. I read somewhere that you must witness the sunrise and sunset at least once a year. It seems ridiculous that we can live our lives without realizing these every day miracles.

Along came the night. I love, love, love, black. Probably my most favorite color behind blue. But this black, was something else. With each passing moment after the sun retired for the day the winds howled through the vast expanse of mountains and darkness took over. It was hard to believe just a few hours ago- this was all light! Much after the sun set, we bundled up in our coats, jackets and caps, stepped back onto the deck. The lights were switched off. Darkness engulfed me entirely. It was the most eerie couple of minutes I had ever experienced. Miles and miles of the surrounding mountains are conserved forests. So there was not a light in sight. No lamps, nothing. Absolute darkness. You waved your hand in front of your face, and you couldn't see it. Even now I feel a shiver down my spine. And then, you look up and see stars. Millions of them. Clusters, constellations describe it any which way. Surreal. 

For a city girl like me, my senses were in overdrive with the spectacular display nature put up for me. What I experience every day is unreal. I tarnish my life with layers of ignorance. THIS, is real. It is spectacular, breathtaking and surreal, every single day since the dawn of time. This is grace.

I thank my friend, with absolute sincerity, for giving me the best medicine any doctor could have ever ordered. A dose of reality. :-)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Long Letter

I wrote myself a letter. An honest one.

You were sitting by a window watching the rainfall, listening to Bon Iver. You were touched by the blanket of pathos that the music weaved around you, and you tugged at it and let it envelope you completely. From the deepest of the deep, came a thought. Am I happy? What followed was a response too dark to handle.

“No”. The rain observed your tears in silence.

An honest conversation. You’re so adept at passing advice, telling others how to live their lives, cautioning them when they deviate from the trodden path and urging them to happiness. Seldom do you have the gut or fortitude to do this for yourself. Face your own demons; forgive yourself for your failures and mistakes. It’s always about “other people”. Sometimes the blame, sometimes the focus. More so, you exhibit fear. You’re scared to want, to dream, to desire and think the unthinkable for yourself.

You chose to have this conversation and for this, I’ll be eternally grateful. Now everything is out in the open. These puzzle pieces. These magical puzzle pieces. You fit them once to create a picture. The beauty is - you can pull them apart, observe them and fit them again to craft a different picture. Magic! Believe in it. Believe me.

A reflection. You are sometimes bold and fearless. Somewhere in your mind you know you are accomplished and different from everyone. Your thoughts are unique and special. Sometimes you feel like someone should make a movie about your life. And then you laugh at the arrogance of it all and brush it away thinking everyone is special and everyone is unique. We have that in common, it’s all one.

If someone told you at the beginning of this year, that you would be virtually immobile and handicapped for some of it, you would have said – “I don’t have the time for this! ;)”. And yet, it happened. You had a goal and vision but more importantly, you always had the “never say die” attitude. And yet you did, in a way. It came at the strangest time. You were walking down a staircase thinking a million thoughts and as you put your foot down with three steps to go, your hip broke. You stood on the step, your body shaking in shock and on the verge of blacking out. Someone came in the nick of time to rescue you from a state of absolute collapse. The rest is history.

Each of those three remaining steps became monumental. You forgave them, all three of them. You forgave yourself. If you were a self-help guru, you would have constructed “The 3 pillars to a better life”. “The 3 step process to curing insanity” (my personal favorite). “The 3 noble truths to the real you”. But let’s refrain. Talk less, understand and do more.

It took something painful to remind you of how numb you’ve become. There is no greater pain than feeling nothing. Now, if you felt joy no matter what the circumstance, probably Buddha might have been proud of you. Your struggles the past few months have been endless. The questions, the reactions, the outbursts and the solitude of it all. My favorite ones - the “Why me’s?” I absolutely LOVE the why me questions. I love how they beautifully shift the focus away from the real issues that need to be resolved. The mind provides all the raw materials to support the manufacture of “Why me’s”. They are so thoughtless and mundane requiring minimal effort, so the cost of producing a single why me is miniscule taking into context the destruction it’s able to cause. Quite a nuclear bomb quality, really. Thank you for closing down this factory. Congratulations. You’re one step closer to peace.

A conclusion. This hardship wasn’t really one of high quality to be honest. There will be several others, far worse. So don’t get too dramatic about your accomplishment of surviving it. Your real struggles –physical, mental and emotional begin now. Your three “steps” are in fact three mountains to climb. Learn yourself, to be tough, to be still and balanced. Learn what makes you happy. Learn that the heart is a good place to reside. But more than anything - learn in humility, to be inspired by your own story.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The A-ha station

My brother won't ever let me forget how I broke the train set when I was a baby. HIS train set. I apparently grabbed the tracks and made tiny pieces of them. He always reminds me of this awful act at every opportunity. Every little family gathering he tells the tale of how I "DESTROYED" the tracks. In jest of course.

To put an end to this track-trash talk, my sister-in-law and I decided I would buy my 2 year old nephew a train set for Christmas. My sweet, darling nephew.
You may remember him from this post. Let me tell you something about this kid, he teaches me life's lessons in unique ways. He likes to enjoy simple things, be affectionate, be crazy, be quirky, make people laugh, ask them "are you ok?" if they look sad or anxious. He is magical, fascinated by almost everything, and asked his first "why" question this past weekend. He recognizes Monet paintings, Beethoven's symphonies, Egyptian Pharaohs. This is no ordinary kid. He knows planets, show him a picture of Mt Rushmore and he points to the extreme right and says "Lincoln". And his "Ok"s are always "Okie Dokie donk". (No one has a clue where the "donk" comes from).

So we head to Toy's R Us, which is like heaven on earth for young mother's and kids and we pick the largest, awesomest train set we see. 500-piece, imaginarium train set:D It took a total of 2 adults, one teenage kid working at the store and one hyper baby to get that box into the car. By this moment I am delirious and can't wait to see the expression on my brother's face. Rehearsing my various opening lines "HA! Take thattt" seemed most appropriate. What ensued was a complete antithesis.

We opened the box and realized 500 pieces, they were not kidding:O Everything had to be assembled. Planks of wood, nails, tools, and boxes and boxes of countless little things. Nothing was "playable" without the assembly. Completely disheartened, I went downstairs and asked my brother to help me. Of course I got a "HA! this is a 3-day project. Are you crazy! There is no way I can do this now!". Damn, serves me for getting so carried away at my so called conquest of a life-long problem :) And then I decided I'm going to do it. I'm going to build this thing on my own. I took the tool box from the garage and locked my self in the room. I realized that I didn't feel so driven to take on something and complete it in a long, long time. I just wanted to see my nephews expression, it was as simple as that. I wanted to see the look of amazement on his face when he saw this thing. This massive structure of fascinating objects that moved, climbed mountains, went through bridges, through
train and gas stations, moved cargo, and made their way home to the roundhouse assembly.

I built the table, I built drawers, used tools I never had even seen before. Learned about different types of nails, screwdrivers, wood and symmetry. It was absolutely joyful. And I kept going, kept going. Then finally I put the plank on the table and started to build the various stations, the assembly line, the bridges. Once all the pieces were built, I started laying down the tracks. They were of 7 different sizes and had to be laid out in a certain order. My sister-in-law joined me on this final lap and we looked at the map and started laying down the tracks.

Finally, after approximately 8 hours of sweat, toil, incredible learning and hard-work later, we sat back and watched the magic unfold. It is hard to explain in a few words (or even in plenty of words) what the look on my nephew's face was. He held the trains and moved them along the tracks. He recognized that they stuck to each other and tried to understand why. There were small circular magnets that allowed trains to stick together and form a trail. He recognized that this similar circular object was atop the cargo boxes and used the crane to lift them and unload them on the train. He let the trains speed up down the mountains and slowed down near the station. His small hands tried to collect as many trains as possible and line them on the tracks. His tiny feet moved quickly alongside the table to keep up with the train. All this, while we just stood back and watched him grow by the minute. I felt like we had brought a whole new meaning to his little life :)

Of course, my other a-ha moment came when my brother saw the fruit of my labor and said "WOW! Now that's how you give a gift :D May be you were so driven because...YOU BROKE MY TRAIN SET"!!! :O Sigh! I guess, some things will never change. While other things will change us forever. :)