Friday, December 27, 2013

A Journey To Remember - Episode 6

Here is the next episode of the story. It's a bit lengthy this time, but its worth reading(I hope). To read the previous part Click Here

Things change. Doesn't mean they get Better. 

After a nice movie, we went to a restaurant.

At the Restaurant:

Waiter: Good evening sir,madam! Menu...

Shreya asked my choice and placed a very lengthy order.

Shreya: I'm too hungry, today. (After a pause)By the way,how was the movie?

Me: It was too good. 

Shreya : Here is a small gift from my side. It's a book called 'The Alchemist'. I'm sure you'll like it. 

Me: (I was awestruck) Thank you so much, Shreya. I've heard a lot about this book. I'll surely read this soon. Mmmm...So, just 1 more week and the study holidays will start. What are your plans? Are you going home?

Shreya: Nope. I'll visit my place and come back. I can't study at my home, you know.

My plan of going home was cancelled in a moment.I had a new agenda for the study holidays.

Me: Same here. Shreya........shall we go to WonderLa, Bangalore during the study holidays? It'll be great fun.

Shreya: I guess, i can't make it. Sorry!!

I felt, it was stupid of me to ask her out. But her rejection made me like her more. That may sound a bit crazy, but i loved her for the decisions that she made.

We had a tasty dinner and a great conversation.

Shreya:  We'll take the stairs. Lets burn some calories.

Me: You ate sooo much and now you want to burn calories. Sick! We'll take the lift. Come..

She gave me a look and followed me inside the lift. That strange, funny look made me smile. She was cute!

The day was about to end when the lift stuck in 2nd floor. We both were locked inside the lift pressing the ALARM button abruptly. An elderly voice from outside shouted, "Please don't panic. There is some issue, we'll fix it in 10 minutes. Don't worry"

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. A big thanks to the Lift!

I had got 10 minutes. 10 precious minutes to tell her," I LOVE YOU"

Before i could come up with some cheesy lines, she asked me," Lift getting stuck. I thought, it happens only in movies. Rahul,Its really exciting. Isn't it? "

I said,"Yup. Kind of"

After a long silence.

"Sometimes, i feel life is all meaningless,you know. Everything is so fake. Rather than living, we all are acting in this bloody world. Nothing is real in this shitty world. What the hell are we doing here? Even i am corrupt. Uffff!! What am I speaking!! ",She said in a low tone.

For the first time, i heard her speak negatively about life.

There was an awkward silence for a minute. I was running out of time.

I asked her hesitantly, " I am too immature to comment on this. What have you thought about your boyfriend? I mean, your soulmate.."

" You ask such stupid questions...Hmmm....Well, I haven't thought much about it. But, I want him to be good-looking,romantic,affluent,genuine, kind and should have too much of time for me",She smiled.

"I forgot something, he should speak good English and not be possessive about me. He should live his life and let me live mine.", She completed her long list.

"I am good-looking, yup,kind of..... Mmmm... romantic... kind... english isn't that bad.... I need to get rich and be more patient..I'm almost there", I was speaking to myself

Shreya almost shouted," Hey Rahul...Hello..You are completely lost,somewhere........ So, tell me about your expectations?"

I was about to begin my wish-list when the lift started working and we were outside the Restaurant in no time. I couldn't express my desires. 

When the Auto-rickshaw stopped in-front of the girls hostel it was 9:00PM. She waved her hands and went inside the hostel in a hurry.

The rickshaw headed towards our hostel.
"Bhaiyya, thoda volume badaona!!" I requested the driver.

" Tum Paas Aaye, Yun Muskuraaye
  Tumne Na Jane Kya Sapne Dikaaye
  Abh To Mera Dil, Jage Na Sota Hai
 Kya Karon Hai, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

 Kya Karon Hai, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai"

I was Living a Movie - Romantic,Feel-good and Far-from-reality !

I entered my room and my cellphone received an sms, 
"Had d best tym wit u. Nxt tym i wont force u to hav pop-corn. Sorry if i irritated U by saying nonsense things about lyf n all. And U didn't tell me abt ur future galfren..c u tomo at d coll..GN..TC"

I replied, " Pleasure was all mine."

As Shreya was going to her hometown for 2 days , me and my hostel friends planned for a trip to Lonavla. Vehicle was booked, songs were copied to the pendrives, the luggage was packed and we were all set for the enjoyment.

We boarded the bus at 9AM and were in the outskirts of the city when Shreya called me, "Hey Rahul, I'm not going home. It's boring here at the hostel. We'll study in the Library. Will you join me?"

I said,"Yes,why not? I'll join you in few moments."
What did i say? Why do i want to skip this trip? Who is she, by the way?

"There is an emergency. I need to go to my hometown. I can't come with you guys",I lied to my friends.

"Seriously?" "I heard a girl's voice. He's fooling us" "Dude,let him go. It must be serious" "Do you really want to miss out on this?", My friends had a lot of questions and comments.

Somehow, I managed to join Shreya in the library within an hour.

Study holidays were a pleasure, as always (but,slightly different this time). We used to study, chit-chat, take coffee-breaks, long evening walks and discuss serious issues on life. The time I spent with her made me realize the fact that we both were made for each other. We shared a unique chemistry. I knew, I would be very happy with her. I was convinced that she was the 'Lady of my Life'.

I was happy. I was having the best time of my life. But deep down inside,the fear of losing her was always there.

Exams started and I couldn't talk to her for many days. It was a long season of exams. We all had to undergo a series of 2 lab exams and back-to-back 6 theory papers.

After the completion of final exam, I was celebrating with my friends. I tried calling Shreya but she wasn't picking my call. I knew she would be somewhere in the campus and went on to search her. Finally, I found Shreya in the parking lot. After walking closer to her, I realized that she was talking to Siddharth.I was shocked.

I don't know what was happening, but my heart started pounding at an enormous speed and I had a lump in my throat. I was clueless and had hundreds of 'it's-all-done', 'shit' , 'it's-over' , 'the-end' , 'it's -a-casual-talk' thoughts running through my mind.

Was I being possessive about Shreya? Was I doubting her? I was not sure!!

Thanks for your time.Drop a comment and let me know how you felt.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Journey To Remember - Episode 5

Hi folks, thanks for all the appreciation. Thanks a lot for all the "Nice story,man", "So far too good" ,"When will you publish your next episode?" comments(online + offline). It really feels awesome.

Here is the next episode of the story. To read the previous part Click Here.

I guess, I had fallen in love !

After a romantic midnight walk, I couldn't sleep properly. I was eagerly waiting for the next day to begin. It was 6.30 in the morning and i was awake. I could see the huge buildings of my college being kissed by the sunlight. All the uncles,aunts,senior citizens,sportsmen and fitness-freaks were sweating it out to burn their calories. For me, it was a refreshing sight. I was feeling good on a monday morning, like never before. My laptop was switched on and the melodies were being played.

"  Chaahe tum kuchh na kaho maine sun liya
   Ki saathi pyaar ka mujhe chun liya
   Chun liya
   Maine Sun liya
   Pehla nasha
   Pehla khumaar....."

Shreya greeted me with a grin on her face as i entered the class.
I acknowledged her, "Hi Shreya. Good morning" and I was about to start a conversation when our Field-Theory Lecturer entered the class. I was forced to take my seat and listen to his lecture.

It was a busy day in the college with too many theory classes. All my attempts to talk to her failed. But we had a lab session in the afternoon. Finally, I got a chance to speak to her.

"Thanks a lot again, Rahul." She said.
"Hey Shreya, how many times will you thank me? Its OK. So tell me about your cousin's wedding celebrations." I asked her.
From the spa she visited to the dress she wore, she explained every single bit. She told me about the costume, ear-rings, elaborated the jewelry, and even the sandals she wore on the wedding day. I was amazed at the way she described each and every little thing that had happened.
"I had the best time with my family. It was great fun. But while coming back I had to suffer a lot, you know." She finished.

Me and Shreya got along each other very well in the days that followed. Though I couldn't talk to her on daily basis, i used to compensate (or maybe, overcompensate) it during the labs. Exchanging lab records, internals-time silly doubts, recommending songs,movies & novels and many more things got us closer.

After few days, we used to have long sms chats. Gtalk was the savior when we exceeded the sms limit for the day.We used to talk about all the things that existed on this globe - songs,movies, novels, families, aspirations, frustrations, philosophy and all the nonsense.

"You always make me feel good." "You are the nicest guy i have ever met."    " Don't be sad. It doesn't suit you" "Confront the odds and don't try to escape. You have no idea how good you are" are the few remarks she made, that i still remember. 

In the coming days, we used to catch up during weekends for lunch and parties. We both started working for the same NGO called Maitree in the city. It was a great experience to both of us. The amount of care and enthusiasm she showed during the events was truly incredible. I started admiring her for every single thing she did.

My fascination for Shreya and the desire to spend time with her increased a lot as days passed.

I used to share all my worries with her. She was a great motivator and a gem of a person.

"I feel like giving up.Why is it all unfair in this world?" I asked her after a very bad experience.
"Hey Rahul. You can't expect everything to be perfect. Sometimes it happens. Never bother about others. You just be the same - kiddish, fair and super-awesome." She consoled me.
I had no reply. I looked at her and controlled my tears. I couldn't have asked for a better companion.
She held my hands and whispered,"Everything will be fine."

I guess, I had fallen in love.

It was a long saturday night. Manchester United thrashed some opponent very badly that we guys couldn't switch off the Hostel TV till 3AM. I woke up a bit late, my cellphone showed 2 missed calls from Shreya's number. My inbox had received 2 sms from the same which read,
 "Shall v catch up for a movie? If U r free.. "

"U might be still sleepin. Reply me wen u c tis sms."

I re-read the sms properly to confirm that i wasn't dreaming. It was damn real and a dream come true.

I didn't even waste a single microsecond to call her, 
"Hey Shreya, sorry yaar. I woke up now. Movie...??"

She replied,"Its OK. They are showing Swades at MAGNUM theatre. None of my friends like Shahrukh Khan. I badly want to watch it.You free?"

I was thrilled and dying for this invite," Yup. I'm free. Even I wanted to watch a movie. By the way, I am not a fan of SRK"
"Shit man!!Why not a romantic movie? Hum Tum is being screened at FALCON Theatre. Whatever!! Any movie with you is fine" I said to myself.

She confirmed,"2:30 show. MAGNUM theatre. Swades. Don't be late"

I couldn't control my emotions and started dancing. My room-mates had no clue, but they all managed to shake their legs with me. I was Happy.

I don't remember who bought the movie tickets, popcorn(which I don't like) and soft drinks, but without any doubt, Swades was a great movie (Gayatri Joshi was fabulous). We both smiled, cried and exchanged few looks throughout the movie. 

I was having the best time of my life.

We were leaving the theater carrying loads of emotions when someone shouted," Rahul....RAHUL..."
It was Siddharth.
We both shook hands and hugged each other.

I greeted him,"Hey Sid. This is Shreya."
I was about to introduce Sid to Shreya,"Shreya, this is...."
Shreya interrupted me, " Who doesn't know Siddharth? Hi.."
"Hi.... You guys carry on. I'm leaving",Sid winked at me and went off in a hurry.

Well I don't why, but i was feeling scared,insecure and uncomfortable.

Thanks for your time.Drop a comment and let me know how you felt. See you in the next post.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Journey to Remember - Episode 4

I'm back with the next episode of the story. To take a look at the previous episode Click Here.  Thank you for all the appreciation. Let me know your opinions/suggestions through your comments.Have a nice read.

Midnight Walk !!

I got a call from some unknown number. It was already 11.00PM. I was even lazy to say hi, when i heard Shreya's voice," Hey Rahul, it's me Shreya.Sorry for troubling you."

"Hi Shreya." I replied.

"I returned back from my cousin's marriage. Due to some issues i reached Goa now. It's too late and I can't find any auto-rickshaws here. Could you please..." She was pleading in a meek tone.

"Its OK, Shreya. I'll drop you to your hostel. By the way, where are you?", I assured her. 

"I'm at Shastri Circle. Please make it fast.",She replied.

"Yeah sure. I'll be there in few minutes." I said.

I took my friend's bike and headed toward's the Shastri Circle. It was 11 kilometers from my hostel. I reached there in 10 minutes. To just confirm that this wasn't a dream, I pinched myself hard. OMG! It was all happening.

Shreya was eagerly waiting for me. She was afraid and way too uncomfortable.

"Hey Shreya. Lets go." I said.

"Thanks a lot, Rahul. It means a lot" She acknowledged me.

"You are always welcome", I said.

Trust me, I was on Cloud 9.

We headed towards the college girl's hostel.Unfortunately (may be,fortunately) the fuel tank was empty and the bike said,"I am done for the day." 
We were still 2 kilometers from the hostel.

Why did this happen?? Was I heading towards something special??

"Sorry,Shreya. No petrol!! We need to walk.

"No problem, Rahul. We'll walk"

The deserted road, cool breeze, bright moonlight and dead silence. I was walking with Shreya (and my friend's bike). It was a great feeling. 

"You don't know what it means, but i'm very grateful to you. I felt scared all alone. I had lost my cellphone during the wedding ceremony and all I had was your phone number written in a chit. I used the public telephone to call you. It feels awkward to call someone for the first time and ask for the help." She elaborated me.

"I understand",I said.

"So...what were you doing when i called you?", She asked.

"I was watching a movie", I lied.  I wanted to sound cool.

"Which one?",She asked.

"Dil Chahtah hai." I thought it's better to tell a movie which i had already watched.

"I'm a complete movie buff. I love that movie. I might have watched it a dozen times. They have shown friendship and love in a nice way." She was excited.

"Same here. I am crazy about movies.Yup, even I like this movie a lot." I said.

She exclaimed , "I was wondering if you'd like to join me at the movies sometime.  I mean, if you are fine with the idea. Usually my friends don't like to watch movies in theaters."

"Why not?" I am dying to spend time with you. I was totally awed at what was happening. Happiness knew no bounds. 

"Lets see.... How was your weekend?" She questioned. 
"It was good. How was yours?"

She explained me about her cousin's marriage celebrations and all the fun she had. I kept listening to her. She was a treat to watch. I was speechless.

In a flash, we were in front of the hostel. The watchman was sleeping,actually he was snoring. Shreya went to him and requested him to let her in. After few arguments, he noted her name, checked her ID card and sent her inside. 
He shouted,"I'll report to the warden tomorrow", when she was entering the hostel.

Shreya entered the hostel and waved at me. Her eyes said,"Thank you very much."

Later i talked to the watchman and bribed him Rs.200 (That's all I had with me) to leave this matter and not to report this to anyone. 

Something very special happened that night. I rejoiced each and every moment that i spent with Shreya. I couldn't sleep the whole night. I was dying to meet her in the college next day.

Thanks for your time.Drop a comment and let me know how you felt. See you in the next post.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rahul Dravid, Thanks For Everything !!

 October 6 , 2013 10:45 PM :
A fast yorker right up in the block hole and Dravid was clean bold. He was tired. He was clueless. He had an unknown sense of satisfaction. Probably, he was sad that he ended his career by a slog shot. Whatever!! Dravid called it a day.

Life isn't a fairytale. You can't expect things to end on a happier note. I, including millions of Dravid's fans, almost had tears in their eyes when 'The Wall' took a long walk to the pavilion for the one last time. The whole stadium gave a standing ovation to the man who redefined Cricket. The game of cricket lost an irreplaceable icon. And Mr. Rahul Dravid was acknowledging the crowd and players for such a warm farewell. I'm not sure whether he was satisfied, unhappy or had mixed emotions with his exit, but surely I felt very bad. Nevertheless it had to happen and here is a tribute to one of the finest cricketer’s the game of cricket has ever seen.

I have loved playing and watching cricket long before that I don’t remember the exact date. During my childhood, I thought cricket is all about slogging. It’s all about hitting boundaries on every ball. It was during this phase I saw Dravid on screen. Probably, it was during 1997, I hated his batting. Surprisingly (for me), my elder cousin and my father used to enjoy his batting. As days passed, i started understanding cricket better and it was time for 1999 world cup. Rahul Dravid caught my attention. He scored in almost every match with ease. Commentators exclaimed him as the next batting sensation. Unfortunately India didn't make it to the finals, but Dravid became the highest run-getter of the tournament.

In spite of his success in test cricket his strike rate made him not so suitable for ODIs. But he alleviated himself and adapted his batting to suit ODIs.With every game, Dravid was getting better. His temperament, technique and talent were drastically increasing.I started liking his batting. He could play every single shot in the book.The shot selection, defense and stroke play was a treat to watch.After coming to know that he was brought up in Karnataka, I had one more reason to fantasize Mr.Consistent.

Rahul Dravid is perhaps the best bet for No.3 position in any format of the game.He is one of the finest artists who has ever played the game. When India needed someone to keep wickets, Mr.Jammy sincerely accepted the offer. It was a great addition to the team's strength; a wicket-keeper batsmen. He learnt the art of wicket-keeping and went on to do a fine job for the team.With his tremendous batting and wicket keeping he helped India win matches. He became the vital part of the team. The amount of joy in watching Dravid successfully chase runs in ODIs, batting days together to win Test matches is far too difficult to explain in words. His penultimate contribution made him to be unanimously chosen as the captain of Indian cricket team after Dada.

He served as the captain for the team. A cool headed Mr.Dependable did a great job in leading the team. Dravid continued in the lines of Dada. If patience, class and selflessness had another name,it would be Dravid.Unfortunately, India couldn't win the 2007 world cup under his captaincy. The contribution of Rahul Dravid as a batsman,fielder ( a slip specialist), wicket keeper and captain is immense. It would take me a separate post to mention his records. So let me not get into that.

His exit from ODI isn't a great thing to mention. He was dropped from the squad during 2009 and later picked for a tournament against England in 2011. Dravid was also offered to play the only T20 in the series. Rahul beared it all and announced retirement from ODI and T20 cricket after this series.Later he retired from Test cricket in 2012.

Meanwhile, Dravid was part of a splendid IPL journey. He showed the world that he isn't confined to a particular form of the game. His contribution to T20 cricket is commendable. He did a fine job in extracting talent from local boys in RCB as well as Rajasthan Royals. In spite of his contribution RCB didn't retain him in the 2nd auction and RR players insulted him by involving in spot fixing.

Without any doubt Dravid is a class apart.There has never a been a bigger and better servant of Indian cricket than the great man Dravid. He has selflessly served Indian cricket for 16 years.If Cricket is a language,Dravid is it's grammar. He has always delivered his part efficiently. Dravid's batting style will be taught in coaching centers, his leadership skills might be a case-study at some international B-School, he certainly will inspire generations of cricketers, sportsmen, strugglers and commoners,like me. After all, Dravid is a Legend.

Dravid called it a day on 16 October,2013. Mr.Dependable didn't get the due respect and limelight. He retires from international cricket without any major trophies. But trophies doesn't make a difference to a true champion.A man without any controversies is hardly found these days, but Dravid stands as an exception.I feel extremely proud to say that I'm a huge fan of Dravid for all he has done for the country and for the game of cricket. I like him not just as a cricketer, but a man of substance. His behavior off-the-field is appreciable. Cricket wont be the same without him. In the arena of international cricket, Dravid will be missed for sure.

Hoping to see Dravid in some new avatar soon. May it be as a commentator or a coach or a selector or an administrator.

Wish you all the best ,'Jammy'.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

A Journey to Remember : Episode 3

Hi! Here is the next episode of the story. To read the previous episode Click Here

The bus conductor shouted, "Hello, jaldi kijiye"

We were still discussing nonsense in the dhaba.

I said to her,"Chalo, we'll get inside the bus and then talk"

She nodded and we were back inside the bus.

Aditi: "I am asking you for the last time, don't you love me??"

Me: "No, Aditi. You are just a good friend of mine"

But I wasn't sure whether I had any feelings for Aditi. I was in a 'confused' state.

Aditi: " Rahul, I have always had feelings for you. But I can't wait more. I have started liking Siddharth. He is a nice guy to be with. I guess, it's right time for me to approach him"

I was stunned. I almost had tears in my eyes,but i managed to look composed.

Me: "Go ahead. Do whatever you feel like doing."

Aditi: "Will you do me a favor?"

Me: "Ohh, come on. Don't be formal."

Aditi:"Promise me."

Me: "Ok. I promise."

Aditi: " Please tell me about Sid's previous relationship. I just want to know everything about it.Who was that girl? What was the reason for their break-up? Why was Sid so sad when he joined our company?"

Sid joined our company a year ago. He had ended his relationship with his girlfriend and was very much depressed.

Me: " Nope. I cant' tell all that. Sorry.."

Aditi: "You just promised me. I won't leave you"

Me: "Wait  for few days, I'll tell you"

Aditi: "No, I want to know that right now"

My cellphone started ringing. I was about to answer the call, but she snatched my phone.

Me: "Aditi, don't act like a kid. I'll tell you what happened. But it's a very long story"

Aditi:"I'm all ears"

I told her what happened a few years ago. I hadn't told these things to anybody in this world. I always avoided from remembering and discussing those events which shook me. 

Me: "Aditi, I was in a relationship in my college.Her name was Shreya. I never told you about her but today I'll. I met her at the fresher's party just because of Sid. Somehow Sid was responsible for this relationship. After fresher's party i was hesitant to talk to her. We used to exchange 'smiles' and 'hi-looks'. After a week, luckily we both were in the same group in Labs. We started having long conversations during the lab hours. 

The day had come to exchange our phone numbers.In lab, she told,"Rahul, I'll be going to my cousin's wedding tomorrow. I won't be able to write the record as i'll return by sunday evening. Just give me your phone number. I'll collect it from you so that I can attend Monday's lab".
Pleasure knew no bounds as I dictated my phone number and she noted it on a piece of paper. She said," I forgot to bring my cellphone. I'll text you later" and kept that paper in her purse.

It was high time for me to show my intelligence. I thought of asking the lab record from a senior in my department so that I can write it in a decent manner.
I called Sid and said, "Hey, I need your 3rd semester Digital Electronics record. Could you please bring that tomorrow". 
He replied,"Bro, what' wrong with you? Writing lab record n all."
I said,"Just like that."
Sid replied,"I'm not sure I still have it. But I'll search and get it for you."

Next day Sid came with a lab record.
I acknowledged him,"Thanks a lot,dude"
He said, "Bro, I couldn't find mine. So I borrowed it from my friend. I'll convey your thanks to her"

I prepared the lab record with great anxiety and at most care. It had to be the best. As it was sunday, I played cricket with my friends till late evening. I was checking my mobile once in a while expecting Shreya's call. We all had dinner and still i didn't get a call from Shreya.
I slept off early in the night.

I got a call from some unknown number. It was already 11.00PM. I was even lazy to say hi, when i heard Shreya's voice," Hey Rahul, it's me Shreya.Sorry for troubling you."

Thanks for your time.Drop a comment and let me know how you felt. See you in the next post.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Have you been to Alleppey (Alappuzha) ??

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better - Albert Einstein

I had just completed my B.E. graduation and was waiting for my joining letter from TCS. The waiting period was so long that i started to learn cooking from my mother. Usually i never touch my laptop when i am at my home because, there's already so much of entertainment. That too, when you have a sister, time flies too fast. It was yet another evening with all the channels playing the most boring soaps and I didn't have a good book to turn the pages. I watched the movie 'Godavari'(Telugu), directed by Sekhar Kammula. Its a love story set against the scenic backdrop of the Godavari river aboard a houseboat also called the “Godavari”. The whole movie happens inside a houseboat. No wonder, the movie was spectacular but the houseboat caught my attention. I started fascinating the houseboat more and more. Titanic, Sleepless in Seattle,Around the world in 80 days and many more movies,ads and books have made me fascinate a cruise. But, this movie increased my desire to spend time inside a houseboat drastically.

I got my joining letter from TCS and was posted in Trivandrum. Well, it was all set for a ride on a houseboat and stay as well. After few procrastinations, the day had come for me to enter an houseboat and spend a day inside this. Me, and my friends had been to a houseboat in Allepy. Here is story of me and the houseboat,me and the river,me and my friends,me,my friends and the houseboat, me and the nature,me and myself.
 We entered inside the houseboat,finally. It was a double storey boat  with a kitchen,2 rooms and a drivers seat below. The top storey had free space with a TV and a dining table. We didn't waste a single minute to occupy the seats on the top storey. Few songs were being played and many talks were on while having food. The endless backwaters, greenery all-around, typical smell, few good friends and the feel of the houseboat gave the best feeling in the world.Nature always has a story to tell and is the best listener. I just kept quiet and was in awe. Allepey (pronounced as Alappuzha) backwaters are the main attraction in Kerala. One side, the tourists come here to explore nature and have the best time of their life , and on the other side, localites burn their asses in making tourists stay comfortable to earn their bread.
 Too many photos were clicked. The dil-chahtah-hai poses, SRK poses, kuch-bhi poses, i-love-you poses, you-are-my-best-friend poses and what not. We knew how to pose and to look good in photographs.A thing of beauty is joy forever. Allepey backwaters is one such beauty that will embrace you. There starts an unknown conversation between you and the houseboat, you and the backwaters, you and the coconut trees, you and the nature, you and yourself. Nature can heal the worst pains. It has its own way of telling how beautiful life is. 

It was coffee-time (Few others may call it Tea-time but, i prefer caffeine). Sipping a hot cup of coffee, forgetting that you are humane and living in a divine unearthly condition for a few seconds is the pleasure that a houseboat gives you. Sunset, drizzles and scenic beauty were a visual treat. Few of us had coconut water to get rid of the thirst and the rest of us to pose at cameras. After having dinner, the houseboat was halted at a place. Still the day had not ended for us.  The rooms were well furnished and it felt cozy and warm inside the houseboat.We had a lot of nonsense things to discuss late night and few of them made sense,surprisingly.

After a nice sleep, next day started too early. As the boat was halted near a village (Yup, its Kerala and there are people living on the coasts of backwaters) we took a morning walk. Sun, green grasses , slippery land, localites-looks and a few photos, that's all. It was time to return. The houseboat took a  180 degree turn and started towards the starting point. We had delicious food and the hospitality was heart-touching. The chef was a Bengali and was a genius in cooking south-indian food. As the exit time was nearing we all were starting to feel gloomy. Time was up and the houseboat was safely landed. It was time to say good-bye to nature, coconut trees, silence,beauty, backwaters and most importantly, to the houseboat.

The trip just proved that all we need is nature. At the end of the day, the ultimate happiness is given by nature. Facebook, gadgets, movies, music , malls, cricket are all thrifty when compared to what nature has for us. It is a heavenly bliss.  

If you people are planning for an outing this weekend, I would suggest this houseboat stay. 

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
-Anne Frank, The Diary of a young girl.
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Friday, August 9, 2013

A Journey to Remember : Episode 2

I'm back with the next episode of the story. To read the 1st episode Click Here

OMG!! I need to introduce you to one more person now. His name is Siddharth. People call him "Sid". We both graduated from the same college. He was my senior in the college. By the way, we studied in St.Xaviers College of Engineering,Goa.Our first meeting was on a hot summer day. I had just completed my 1st internals in 2nd semester and was celebrating with friends. Suddenly our BR (Branch-Representative) came to us and announced,
"Guys, we'll have inter-branch competitions from next week. We need good footballers and cricketers to represent our ECE branch. My friend, Siddharth will do the selections."

One of my friends told me,"Anyways they won't select freshers. They just want to rag us and have fun.I'm not coming with you,Rahul"

Few of us were excited to take part in the events. We ignored all the negative comments and took part in the selections. It was great fun. We played for sometime and got to know few of our seniors.Later in the day, surprisingly, they selected me as well. That's the first time i met Sid, in person.  
 Sid was the President of most talked about club in our college. He was an excellent sportsman and had fair score in his academics as well. He had made his mark in the institution. Most importantly, 'Girls went gaga over Sid'.

We all prepared very hard in the coming days.Our branch won in Football and reached semi-finals in Cricket. Then onwards, Sid and I went on to become friends. 

Our seniors had organized a fresher's party when we joined our department in 3rd Semester. It's nothing but a whole day of ragging and dancing. 
I was talking to my friends when Sid called me and asked me,"Go and propose that girl,who is wearing green t-shirt. Be quick"

I hesitantly replied,"Should I do that?".
I was very shy and had hardly spoken to a girl. 

Sid said,i mean he almost shouted,"Rahul, do what i say. Don't act smart.Take this rose with you."
He threw a rose at me.

A bunch of seniors were looking at me. I slowly made my way towards the girl. My hands were numb,I had started sweating and was totally clueless.

I went to her and said,"Hey,those seniors asked me to give this rose to you and propose."

She smiled at me and said,"Hey, it's fine. You can do that. Go on your knees if you want,i don't mind."
Ufff...I was awestruck.What an attitude!!
She made my task effortless, in fact she made it enjoyable.

I went back to Sid and said,"Done with the task.Shall i go??".
I was tensed about the next daring task they would assign.

Sid's friend ordered me,"Go sit next to that girl for the rest of the day.

I was very happy,deep inside and said,"OK,as you say."
They passed few comments and started screaming as i started walking towards her seat.
I again came back and stood in front of her.

She questioned me,"What did they say?"

I replied,"Seniors ordered me to sit with you. I'll take a seat here,please don't mind."

She said,"Why would I? Just chill. Hey,my name is Shreya." She pulled a chair for me.

"Hi,I am Rahul",I said and we both shook hands.

Well, the next few hours went off in a hurry. I even got a chance to dance with her in the DJ party in the evening.
I had the best time with the most beautiful and adorable girl of my class.   

After the party,Sid dropped me to the hostel and said,"Good night man. It was all for fun. Don't take it seriously."

"I took it seriously",I smiled at him and said to myself.

That was my second meeting with Sid and my first one with Shreya.

Sid and I attended many inter-college sports events, went for long drives, had late-night parties and what not.We both had a great bonding. Sid liked to watch Hollywood movies, particularly action films,sci-fi and 3D. He hated watching typical romantic movies. He was a die-hard fan of Metallica and used to hum those metal band's songs. Automobiles,sports and gizmos were his hot favorites. 
As Sid was from Goa, he was a day-scholar. He helped me to win in College elections and several other stuffs. I had been to his home several times. Even he had visited my hometown,Chennai.Our families know each other very well.

One day, we all had gathered for the new-year party at a restaurant. After the party, Sid took me to a nearby beach(Reminder!! We are in Goa). It was already 2 o clock in the night. The waves and chirping birds created a perfect background score for us. All of a sudden, Sid starting shouting, "Rahul, my bro. You are a nice guy.The best footballer,I've known. Thanks for everything, especially helping me to hook up with Shreya. I love her a lot. I can't live without her. We both are very happy,together. You made it all possible.
I needn't mention that he was totally drunk.

After all these stories on our inseparable-bonding and eternal-dosti,I have something worse to tell you. Actually, I haven't talked to him in months. I mean,we have stopped talking to each other. We didn't fight. We didn't exchange foul words. But we are branded as 'enemies' now.  

Before I continue this story,let me take a break. See you in the next post.

To be continued..... 
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Journey to Remember !!

We were returning back from Hyderabad to Mumbai after a business trip. Aditi and I prefer bus-journeys, so we had reserved tickets for the evening bus.We reached the station pretty early and had dinner at a nearby restaurant. After a stomach-full of tasty food and a nice dessert we boarded the bus.

I said , "Hey! I will sit near the windows". 
No matter what, i always need a seat next to the window.
She replied , "Ayyoo.. So kiddish.You are unbelievable"
I giggled and asserted,"Yup..I'm unbelievable and I'm the best.Thank you"
She gave me a look and bellowed,"OMG!! That was so lame"
We both smiled at each other.
I occupied the window seat after placing all the luggage safely, that we had brought.

A water bottle,few packets of chips,biscuits and a bunch of songs in our gadgets, we were all set for a long journey.

Our 11-hour-long journey started at 8 o clock in the evening.

It was a tiring day with all the meetings and finally we won a deal against our rivals. After struggling so hard in an unknown city for 6 days in a row,we achieved the triumph in a style. It just added yet another feather to our wings and made the company proud. It was our first venture and we met the expectations of our big bosses.

Aditi got a call. 
"Thank you,sir", she said ,"feeling very happy."
"Yup.Rahul is with me" and she passed the phone whispering,"CJ sir",
"Hi,sir. We did it" I said.
Our boss was all praises for both of us.
I acknowledged,"Thanks again.It's just 'Beginner's luck' sir.  Will catch you on monday. Bye CJ"
 I returned her phone back. 

"I wasn't expecting this. CJssss called us. It's all because of you. Thanks",She said in a state of excitement.
I replied,"Oh come on. We both did it."
"Chalo...Whatever" She acknowledged with an innocent smile.

The bus slowly started moving. I plugged in my earphones to listen to some songs. The city looked fantastic through the windows. Flashy entrance of the malls,crowded road-side stalls,people waiting for the local buses,huge banners,lamp-posts,packed streets made me forget everything else. There was a cute girl talking to her mother in the seat next to us. I thought of showing that kid to Aditi,when i found that she had already traveled a few miles through her dreams.

Oh!! I forgot to introduce Aditi to you.Let me do it now. What shall i say about her?? I mean, it's really difficult to brief a specimen like Aditi. But still,let me give it a try.

Her name is Aditi. My best friend. Aditi and I, work for the same company from past 4 years. She is from Nagpur. Completed her schooling and college in the same city. Has done her B.E. from a college in Mumbai. To be very frank, i neither remember her college's name nor her stream in Engineering. She would surely kill me for forgetting all these things. As she says, "Friends should know everything about each other." Everything to her means - academics, height, weight and birthday. Aditi is an amazing person. She is an introvert,caring,girlish but doesn't like shopping and can do almost anything for her family and friends. You'll get to know a lot about her in the coming episodes.Pardon me if she doesn't act like what i have described here. It's not my mistake. This is what i know about her from past 4 years.

It was 11.45 in the night. The bus stopped near a road-side dhaba and the bus-conductor informed everyone,rather shouted, "30 minutes break!!".
 I asked her,"Do you want anything? I am going out."
She said,"Nothing."
I was on my way towards the dhaba when she shouted from the window, "Wait,I'm also coming"

We both sat on wooden chairs outside the dhaba.

The waiter came to us and asked,"Kya chahiye? coffee,tea,cool drinks,meals..??"
I said,"One coffee and.." and i looked at her.
She looked at the waiter and ordered,"Ek tea aur ek coffee"

There was silence for few seconds.

Again started a conversation when she said,"Don't you like tea? Actually tea tastes better than Coffee..Isn't it?"
Girls are very good at this. To speak anything out of nothing.
Then came an illogical reply from me,
"Coffee is manly. Tea tastes,and sounds,feminine. For me, Coffee is the best. I know you don't like it. But i can't help it"
She thought for a second,"Oh...bullshit. Chuck it. By the way, what have you thought about us?"
I replied ,"Whoa!! What?? Me and you!!"
She said in a firm tone,"Excuse me, I'm talking about me and Siddharth"

To be continued..... 

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Oh My God….It’s Raining..!!

It was almost 4’ o clock in the evening when I woke up after a pretty long journey through my dreams. When I reached out for my cellphone, I could see 2 new messages both of which read, “Football at 4.30”. I washed my face and put on my sportswear to play football with my friends. Like any other day, I was expecting an exciting game of football and started walking towards the college.

A lonely walk to the college was interrupted by few drops from the skies. Much before i could take a look at the clouds it started pouring heavily. I ran hard seeking a shelter to protect myself from rains and safely landed inside the bus stop in front of my college. Later few of my friends joined me as well. Almost everyone was wet. We had pani-puri and were all standing in front of a bakery (Vaibhavi) sipping hot coffee. Mesmerizing rains, wetness, dark lights, deserted roads, fresh air, and the whole surrounding made it a perfect evening. Sorry, I forgot to add the major ingredient- the memories. Here is my share of memories with rains.

My heart leaps up when it rains. Rain is ‘a thing of beauty’ which is joy forever. I get carried away with the water drops falling from the sky.Though I cannot recollect my first encounter with rains, I still remember the days when I made paper boats for my sister to float them in rain water flowing. Carrying an umbrella made me feel so happy during those days.  I had a notion that few people threw water from sky and that resulted in rains. I guess, most of us had the same thought when we were young.  First rains of the season and the smell that follows is the one of the best feeling in this world. It reminds me of the snacks which my mom made on a rainy day. Being fully covered by sweater and a blanket, watching TV inside my cozy home was way-too-awesome to relish the food.For the first time when I saw a rainbow, I was awestruck. I am a huge admirer of rainbows. After that, I used to search for the rainbow every time it rained until I got to know the science involved in it (Total Internal Reflection!! 9th Grade Physics)

I am from Kadur, which is a kind of dry zone in our district. Rainfalls are seldom experienced, but when it pours it’s violent. When I was in 6th Grade, I shifted to a residential school which is located in a mini cherrapunji. It used to rain more than 4 months in a year. The skies were all filled with dense thick black clouds during the rainy season and the rains were almost non-stop 24*7. For the first few days, it was dismal. But i got accustomed with the weather over there. Being away from my family, rain became a dear friend of mine. I can still recollect those heavy rains with lightning and loud thunder which scared the shit out of me. But it’s a great joy in playing football in heavy rains. Standing in front of the clinic to get medicines for not-instantly-curable cold and cough, getting a break from morning jogging (*jogging was compulsory in our residential school) are all part of these rainy days. For me the chilly breeze, soothing sounds and pleasant weather created by rains is the perfect thing for a long heavenly sleep. It is this place which thought me everything about umbrella: How to hold an umbrella? How 4 people can share a single umbrella and most importantly, how-not-to-get-wet without an umbrella?

Rains, a mug of hot coffee, tasty and crispy chats, friends and few good songs can create heaven. To go on a long drive, train journey, roaming the streets, watching a romantic movie can be few other options. Rain can make any place romantic. That's the reason why many books,movies and songs have rains in them. When I finished my education in my residential school and joined Hassan for my degree, I considered eating food in street side chat stalls was unhygienic and not-so-awesome. Big thanks to R C Road street-side chat stalls and sudden rains for the breakthrough and making me realize how false that notion was. May be it’s true that food is not-so-clean but, trust me, it’s damn tasty. It was Sahana chats,  Kachauri stall near Sahyadri Theatre, Arun Chats and stalls in front of my college which made rainy days much more romantic and enjoyable. Travelling on a rainy day is delightful though showers remind me of the patch roads which created havoc when I was travelling. But travelling in a train and that too getting a view sitting next to a window when it's raining is a visual treat. As soon as I plug my earphones and the songs started playing it was a paradise-Unreal, ecstatic and what not. Nature gets refreshed by rains and gets a brand new make-up. It looks young, fresh and beautiful as never before.

Its monsoon and rain gods are giving visits once-in-a-while. Let us ignore traffic jams(if you are staying in big cities), water logging, electricity problems etc. and enjoy the rains. Let the timely and adequate rains benefit our farmers. Let it bring happiness and goodness.

PS1: It’s time to listen to some melodies with a mug of coffee and hot chats.

PS2: Enjoy the rains, feel the goodness and don’t just get wet.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

It’s NOW or NEVER !!


We are a lazy bunch of guys. We are unusual. We are smart(Heights of Optimism!!). We go crazy, at times. We all have a very simple rule, “Live, don't just Exist !!”.

After completing our degree at MCE(Malnad College of Engineering),Hassan , we all took different ways. Few of us started working, few of us started reading(surprisingly for GATE,GRE etc),few of us started introspecting(Thank God!!),few of us are trying to do something and few of us are still waiting for our visas. We all planned to meet at some place after a long time,more than a year. Guess what?? Hassan was the venue and the reason was to collect our useless,nothing-to-do-with B.E. Degree certificate(Come on,we all need some reason).

PART 1: 1st June 2013

It was 12.30 PM in the afternoon and I was standing in front of MCE, Hassan. The basketball court, football stadium and the black tarred road were welcoming me. I started walking inside, looking at the basketball court in which we had more chit-chat sessions than playing basketball and quite often cricket as well. The KhoKho court reminded me of our evening football there. Finally, after a long gap of almost 2 years our Canteen was open and serving delicious food at the cheapest rates. Good-old SJC hall was still the same. There’s a story behind this hall - Any exam written inside this place was a disaster. Thank God (or curse him)! I didn’t spoil my TCS interview here.

Though I could have taken the straight road which led to TAP office, Alumni Hall and E&C Department, I took a left turn towards the Office to collect my Degree Certificate. TAP office and Alumni hall have seen me make a mess out of myself during interviews and other competitions. They have witnessed my talents and the victories that followed henceforth. The space in front of Office reminds me of the Unwanted-Yet-so-Important strikes and college fests. After a few calls and texts, I joined my friends at Coffee shop. Well, let me introduce them to you.

Sorry! I can’t give an introduction; it’s tough and will be dead long. Chandu, Kiran, Jagadeesh, KC, Jeevan, Ravi, and Anoop are their names.

We all sat on the benches of parking lot and had a pretty long conversation. This was and still remains to be our favorite spot inside the college. In case, if you are curious about what we spoke, it’s quite a wide range of topics – How life has changed in less than a year?, The best times we had during our B.E. ,College, Current jobs, Future plans, Commitments and a hell lot of other things. Jayesh joined us. We roamed SA block and clicked few photos in front of that tree which provided shade for our endless discussions, planning mass-bunks and helped us in hiding from lecturers. By the way, SA refers to Students Association (That’s a great revelation. Am I right MCEians?)

As it was study-holidays time, the whole college was deserted except for some hostelites playing cricket. That ground was the arena for our final year’s holi festival. The colors were so strong and the celebrations were so wild that the administration banned Holi celebrations from then onwards. Juniors, we beg your pardon. The library was meant for reading newspapers for me and the ground in front to play cricket and football. Then our mopeds moved towards the city.We had food at Gokul. In the process of planning to watch a movie in theater we settled inside Chandu’s room. Mayur joined us. The conversations continued. Tried to plan something for the next day but couldn’t. I had been to my PG, in which I stayed during my engineering. I felt so good. Then a brief visit to Vinayaka Zerox, Vaibhavi canteen and RC road. Madhu and Madhusudhan joined us. Back to sleep after a tiring day.

PART 2: 2nd June 2013  

It was too late in the morning when I woke up. I sent texts to others that I’m leaving to Bangalore. It was almost 2.00PM and I was ready to board my bus to Bangalore. There’s a twist in the tale. All of a sudden we planned a trip to Munjrabad Fort.In spite of refusing to join them and protesting that I have an important presentation next day,nobody listened to me. Needless to mention, even I was a part of this trip.

Two cars, 9 friends, rains, not-so-sure plans, few good songs and a camera was all enough for the ultimate drive. And you need that costly liquid as well. By the way, i was referring to petrol.Hassan to Sakleshpur road is an unreal beauty. You see greenery everywhere. It’s all perfect for your eyes and the camera lens. The best of all songs were being played inside the car. We took our car towards Munjrabad Fort. Sorry folks!! There is another twist. As we had already been to this place, it was decided to go to Bisle Ghat. Take a left diversion from the highway and drive for 50 Kms towards Subramanya, you’ll be in Bisle Ghat. Reasonably narrow and densely patch roads added the fun. Rains started pouring heavily and increased the aestheticism of the nature. Finally,we reached the view-point at 6:00PM.

It was a treat to watch from the view-point. It felt like we were a meter away from the clouds. The skies created a perfect white background for our photographs. No wonder many movies have been shot here. Food packets were emptied within few minutes and it was time for yet another chit-chat session. The cold breeze and thick rains created a heaven on earth and we were there. Every moment was so beautiful. Nature has it's own way of telling,”Life is Beautiful”. Bisle Ghat is a Paradise.

We returned to Hassan by 10:30PM in the night. Final hugs and a glass of juice at Cloud9. Slept for a while and boarded our bus to Bangalore at morning 6 o clock.

For all you people reading this piece...I have a simple message- "It's NOW or NEVER." Call your friends,send a quirky sms,say how much you love them,discuss non-sense,meet up on weekends, watch a movie,roam the city,plan a trip,enjoy,explore and live,don't just exist.

PS1:Marriages are made in heaven and these days,Picnics are planned in Facebook. Sorry Prashanth, Jagadeesh, Deepak, Gwata, Kishan, SK and Anoop - You people missed a thriller.

PS2: Look deep into nature, and then you will understand Everything Better- Albert Einstein.

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