Days roll by

Its been over a week since i landed in Blore, but this trip i know has been different from my earlier ones. Last evening as i was chatting with a friend,who i met after ages, i realised the experience we carry about a town is not just about its climate, culture and cause. It is largely to do with PEOPLE,and am not just referring to the random stranger walking on the street, or the hoity toity Manager you meet at the client place..It is to do with people you know, you connect with and you are close to… There are days when i just chill out on my own, or catch a movie, or sit browsing in a book store, but off late its changed.. Am either spending time with friends, or meeting new ones!!

Since the day i landed, not a minute has been free, rather not a minute has gone to waste… There was something or the other happening, keeping me in HIGH spirits and making me look forward to the next day..  And it dint matter what i was doing, as long as it was with someone called FRIEND.. There were times when we did nothing, but just go about our work, sharing nothing more than the room and the wi-fi connection, other times it was sipping a cuppa coffee humming to the music playing in the background; and sometimes it was walking up and down the park clicking pictures, sharing a moment of “wow, its beautiful” amidst the silence that surrounded us…

Yes, everyday religiously i was at the client ‘s office, working away, chatting, catching up on other projects, being part of meetings/discussions, etc etc, but post work it was shopping for a friend, going to a movie, just driving around aimlessly, house hunting, meeting new landlord, paying bills, or cracking up over a  movie…

A smile sneaks into my face as i relive those moments, every coffee we sipped, signals we made fun of, friends we met, interesting characters we encountered and best of all the little white lies shared… What fun~!!

Met a couple of Twitter/Blog friends for the 1st time…
Explored a new coffee shop
Made a visit to the India’s largest Mall- Mantri Square, ploughing through a trillion people who had made the streets their HOME and wouldnt budge!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
Spent a lot of time with a dear wacko friend ๐Ÿ™‚

Maybe its cos of all this , but whenever i hear someone rave about Bangalore/other city, all i have to reply is – Its not the town, but the people that make the difference… Agreed, the events or what the city has to offer makes an impact, but thats not all, its not enough… I’ve been burning it in Blore Heat , and yet it hasnt affected me too much…There are days when am out in the blazing sun, roaming the streets,walking up and down completely unaware of the Sun… A day when we had breakfast, and just multiple cups of coffee and chai till dinner bells rang…

 
 
Amazing what a difference it makes when you have good friends around.. There are more who i’ve been interacting with – some for few weeks/months others over years…. when will i meet em!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, think am gonna stop my FRIENDS series with this.. could go on and on… but you get the picture, dont you!!?? [if you dont, then go out there and earn some friends.. ;)]

[55er] Dream

Driving back home, my thoughts began to wander.

“What if the guy and gal werenโ€™t killed?”

โ€œWhat if the girlโ€™s brother had set them free?โ€

“What if the store guy hadnโ€™t agreed to the sting operation?โ€

Would the story move so well, or would it have become boring…

Honkkkkkkkkkkk

Jeez, the signal is Green already!!


Pic: Shot by me in Blore, lal bagh!!

(c) Aaarti @ 26th March 3pm

Coffee and Tweet pal

A coffee pub that wowed me… 
A place that has beautiful ambience
Funky seating arrangements- some of them quite innovative and Interesting
A name that was hard to pronounce, inspite of asking a waitress… 
Am talking about the new Coffee shop in Bangalore –Matteo Coffea
Situated in Church Street, off Brigade Road, the coffee shop has a rich brown colour, plenty of outdoor and indoor seating space.
Met @winniethepoohi outside Magazines store and we walked towards the Cafe, walked in, spotted a seat in the corner- a purple sofa and two comfy chairs.. Settled in, and began exchanging info about each other..Oh, forgot to mention,we were meeting the 1st time.. Dint even know her real name till half hour before meeting!!   
A chinko waiter came to take our order [now, why do all coffee places employ chinkos???] and only he could understand what he was saying…  Told him to give us a few minutes before coming back asking for our order!!
Started talking, and hopped skipped jumped topics and kept at it till finally the waiter came back interrupting our fun conversation.. 
Anyways, we ordered a Hot chocolate and Cold coffee something [forgot the name, it looked like a tall glass of cold coffee with cream] and a Paneer wrap…  My hot chocolate was absolutely delicous, rich and creamy. The wrap was filling and subtle spices.herbs, and very filling.. Had paneer, capsicum, onion and tomato wrapped in something like a frankie wrap or roti, served with coleslaw on the side!!
They have quite an extensive coffee menu- hot, cold and something called Shakeroos, and Iced Tea as well. Apart from this, plenty of eats to choose from- French  fries,sandwiches, bites, wraps- veg & non veg!!
[Pic: Burrp]
In an hour or so, we were ready for another round of Coffee, and this time when we asked about Coffee of the day- we grinned hearing Filter Coffee.. Ordered one grande and a tall one, with milk on the side.. It was hot, divine and totally worth it.. 
Time wore on, and there was not a moment silence between us, nor were there awkward pauses. We realised we had way too many things in common and hit it off on so many levels..!! Amazing to think i’d come across her just a  few days ago…   
We spoke in length about our blogs, writing, the various writing clubs that we were part of and good/bad things that happened out there. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mind blowing discussions…. 


As our conversation flowed, we grooved to the music playing [every single track had us humming the tune and smiling ].. Went to a point, i couldnt resist, and asked the waiter about the CD, for which he brought along not the list,but the manager..:)
Alas, the clock stuck 8, and she had to go somewhere, on the other end of town, so with heavy heart, we settled the bill [thanks girl for the treat].. and saw the Manager once again.. He enquired about where we were from and promised to make us a copy of the music playing!!! Till we go again… Enjoy your cuppa!!
Ambience *****

Choice of drinks and eats -****
Service – ***** [absolutely prompt and polite]

Crowd -**** [wasn’t very crowded , and the place is so spacious that it can never get crammed]
Price – **  [bit expensive, but worth it considering you are getting a comfy wonderful experience]

That’s what friends are for…

Keep smilin’, keep shinin’
Knowin’ you can always count on me, oh, for sure
‘Cause I tell you that’s what friends are for
For good times and for bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for ………
A topic that i love writing about…  Would love to even share my experiences and make a book of it!! This latest one was inspired by a dear [new] friend, Avni.
FRIENDS…. Need i say more? 

The days go by thanks to Friends
Happiness doubles thanks to Friends
Sadness vanishes into thin air thanks to Friends 
Issues are sorted out thanks to Friends 
Decisions are made easier thanks to Friends 
[and yes, thanks to friends, we have been through many heart aches and painful days ]
For me,some friends are more than Friends, don’t have a word for it, but i know when i die, they will be there crying and missing me oodles, laughing over my quirks, and sharing jokes /secrets, bitch[why not right] that i’ve sworn them to[You all who know who am referring to,remember lips sealed….] … and am sure some will turn just to make sure am Gone!! ha ha ha ๐Ÿ˜‰
Some of the wackos i have in my life know me more than i know myself… They can sense what am going through without a single word, they understand what is running in my head with the silence, or the change in my tone.. Infact there is one special dear darling wacko looney friend, N, in Bombay, who i feel is a part of me… She smothers me, pampers me, is so protective possessive, infact so is her hubby and 2 bratty adorable kids and she is among the few i turn to when am UPPPP or DOWNNN…. Sensible, in your face advice is what she will give- no fancy cushioned words, no mincing around , no being “polite”… Oh, did i mention she is part of the 3stooges? One who is the inner voice i need when i doubt myself…. 
Apart from her , i’ve got quite a few close friends/sweethearts…- we might not meet often…heck, we dont even talk to each other that much.. but i know i can call/text if ever i need help/support… if i go silent, they will be there to jolt me awake.
Now, its not all hunky dory… there are some who were dear friends, but went their way, and just lost touch… i too got tired of keeping the friendship going[how much can one person do…] n then others who are caught up with life[atleast that is the excuse i tell myself] and forget friends … Oh well, c’est la vie!! ๐Ÿ™‚   [ learnt it the hard way not to have expectations from anyone… ]
Offlate, I’ve also managed to meet some amazing online friends [who I’ve met as well and some of which are now completely offline]…. 
Ryze
Facebook
Twitter
Blogsville
We connect for various reasons —
Gizmos n gadget freaks
Books
Movies
Music 
Poetry
Travel
Similar line of work 
Aussie cricket team ๐Ÿ˜‰ 
Food/cooking
Travelled together… 2random people talking!!
For no reason – yep,this also happens.. You just have a fun chat and voila, something blossoms

Honestly, does it matter where you found that friend? Do they have to have a label or a tag ???
We have known each other since school
Or maybe we were best buds in College
How about we did this “asaf” course together at “so n so place”
Oh, we worked together  and shared bitching sessions
Our families have been friends for eons 
She/he has been my neighbor from when i was “yeh high”[ hand gesture showing a height of about 1 foot or so… ๐Ÿ™‚ ]
The reason for this post???? — 
All i wanna say is Judge me BY my friends and not HOW i made these friends!!

Indibloggers met..

March 20th seemed to have come faster than i thought. Was in Blore when i got the news of the Univercell Chennai Indiblogger meet, decided i shall attend it, and thereon registered, bla bla… And then life went on as usual… 
And finally, the D Day came, what a morning it had been- was so crazy busy, just on a rampage to finish errands and work before 2pm.. only focus!! 
As i reached the venue- GRT Convention center, silence was all i heard outside the hall, but the minute i opened the doors, ta da… welcome to the Blogworld it seemed to scream..

Once again, had to register [discovered i was among last few..pffut..sheepish grin].. found some seats in the front [thanks to indiblogger team] and got set for the evening to take off… 

A Time to Meet and a Time to Greet
What began as 30secs of fame became 5mins for some,while others took less than 2secs… Amidst a flurry of tweets and bloggies sharing their thoughts, came to know there was so many interesting bloggers out there .. A HR , A content writer had my radar perking up, paying attention!! 
There wasnt any fixed agenda, and so post the introductions, there was a mini networking session… we were each given a chart paper to wear on our backs, walk around, collect comments, urls and info about others we meet/greet… i called this the “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a good opportunity for us to meet other bloggers, and connect with those who intrigued us… 
I err, umm had quite a few complimenting me on my tattoo, and giving memore of the “Oh, my god, wasnt   it painful? why would you wanna do that to yourself? and the infamous -Is it Real? ” Aaargghhh!! 
Thoughts run haywire
Then came the discussion on New media… which was quite interesting, except that at some point it became more of a one on one debate.. hunger pangs started hitting a few, and we could see tweets flowing free.
The minute the session ended., all we saw were hungry souls rushing towards the buffet… and Coffee/tea tables!! ๐Ÿ™‚
Phones and bait
Ramesh from Univercell took the mike to brief us on their motive behind hosting the Indibloggere event and thanks to them, we got to fidgit with some cool new phones.. An interesting offer awaited gizmo junkies as well… Write reviews, and win the post of becoming Univercell’s blogger!! ๐Ÿ™‚ 
Time wore on… and it was nearly 6.30 when like kids waiting for the school bell, we heard the announcement – OK, pls go grab your Tshirts from the Registration desk …. poof…instant vanish from the seats…Hahaha… what fun it was….
The evening was good fun ………
  • Meeting new and familiar faces — Rumjhum, @preethikag @narayananh @Soumya Ray @itosuckysucky  @SoravJain and sooo many others…………… 
  • Discovering the varied topics blogged about… 
  • Interacting with some cool bloggers
  • Spending a few mins talking about phones [with Ramesh from Univercell ]
  • Receiving a surprise greet from @shilparathnam from way behind [ and it was the 1st time i was meeting her.. he he]
  • Having my Tattoo photographed… commented on…complimented…[works as a good conversation opener as well]  ;-))
New kind fun experience, enjoyed more than i thought i would ….

Looking fwd to next meet..!!Beautifully organised… way to go Indiblogger team!!

Colours of Summer

During my previous visits to Bangalore, here are some shots taken during our daily walks and around the city…. 
Looking forward to more trips… more shots… more beauty…more nature!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Rebound

Is it that am back in Chennai after 2weeks being away?
or that there is so much work that i am looking for ways of keeping myself going?? 
or just a phase where the creative in me is peeping out?
well, i also think it has got to with some new friends i’ve made, who are bringing out this side in me…. 
Yellow flowers filled the streets of Blore..
Wrote a poem yesterday and a 55er today.. J
ust like that and like earlier, dint spend too much time, just let the words flow and well, i think its fairly decent..
Why dont you read and let me know!! Thanks!! ๐Ÿ™‚

[55er] The Morning

She was still sleepy, struggled to open her eyes โ€“ am i dreaming?

โ€œI want to spend my lifetime …………………โ€

Ah, there it is again, i know i heard it, she thought

Thatโ€™s when the buzz from under her pillow jolted her awake.

[big grin]] Ahhh… What a start to the day…  โ€œHi there honey… โ€œ

Path




The road ahead
winding and long

footsteps,and shadow

are all i see coming along

Where does it lead to
am tempted to ask
Adventure and excitement
i put on the mask

In the distance
i see a faint glow

something pushes me ahead
like pebbles fighting against the river flow

Where does it lead to do
i dare wonder?
Or wait for the discovery
Oh yonder?

Time flies by
with the baby hand on the clock

My life, i hope
is what the path will unlock………

Aaarti (c) 18th Mar 2010
[pic taken by me in mahabalipuram, near chennai]

Rewind Please -II

There are some who bring out the twinkle in your eyes, and others who just light up our entire body [ok, now donโ€™t ask me what that means, you need to feel it to know what am talking about] … So, anyways, as i got back from Blore on Friday, spoke to mom, quick updates and she then mentioned the magic words “Sunder mama and all are in town,… “.. I dint hear a word beyond that… “Has Aswin come? Tell tell ma” was all i remember screeching…

Yes, of course, but he is here just for a few days… she replied….

Woww, ok, so where are they staying? Do they have a local number? Fwd it to me plss… i screamed excitedly…

Hang on, here it is… “9…………..”

Ok, bye!! [I had hung up and was already dialling the number mom gave]

Ringing…. waited with bated breath…

“Hellow… “

“Hi, Sunder mama… Happy Birthday… How are u???? Till when are you all here? When did you land? When can we meet?…. ” i ranted away…..

“Who’s this?”

“Itโ€™s me, Aarti”

Hieee… eppadi irukka?? Gosh, been so long Na… here, talk to Radika … she’s been dying to see you……
…….. And then after 2mins chatting with aunty, i was like – err, is Aswin there, aunty?

Hang on, he is grabbing the phone from me…she replied and disappeared…

“Hieeeeeeeeeeeeeeee kiddo, how u been?” [Imagine a zillion decibels of happiness in your voice and double it…thatโ€™s how i sounded]

Heyy.. Am good, how are u? Looking fwd to seeing you tomorrow… better turn up….. Wow, this is amazing…. [We spoke for like a good half hour before hanging up]

On Sunday, i woke up happy chirpy, got dressed and headed to the mandap… and the minute i saw him, and aunty and uncle – we lost it… a bunch of tight tight hugs and oodles of love exchanged….

Itโ€™s been ages since i saw them all, and man, it felt good meeting them… after all these yrs, and the love/bond still remains ๐Ÿ™‚

We caught up on our lives, got introduced to rest of their family, his cousins and best of it was people walking up to me/mom/dad asking us how we are related to the family.. And our reply was always – we are not related, but as good if not closer than family….

Even though years have gone by, even though we are no longer kids, the love and affection continues to grow along as well… this is one family i know i will look fwd to no matter when/where/what and will make time for as well… infact, my sis has gotten quite close to them as well, sweet thing… and Aswin is like the big bro to her..heehaw…

I keep threatening him on Fb n otherwise that i shall unleash all hidden secrets about him … lolz…

A bit of flashback here….

I spent about 6yrs in this small town in South Tamil Nadu- Tirunelveli… Dad worked at India Cements and we were just settling in… That is when Sunder mama also joined ICL, and i think he had just gotten married…

So, dad brought them home and that is how the friendship between the families began…

We would go to the club together – play shuttle badminton, go out for dinner, movies, spend time in each others home etc… and then Aswin was born…. brat that he was, practically spent all the time after my coming home from school at our place.. or i was at their place.. he loved my mom’s cooking, and would freak out on pachcha arisi dosai [ raw rice dosa]… and aunty used to make yummy cookies, cake, noodles with veggies, boiled beetroot [yes, that was where i was introduced to these kinda food items] and our families got super close….

Few yrs later, we moved to Chennai, while they remained in Tirunelveli, but still remained in touch with them.. and now Sunder mama has changed jobs, and Aswin has gone to USA for further studies[infact working now] they all live abroad, but we mail/talk/chat and meet whenever they are in town… tunder mama and aunty also had twins few years later -a boy and a girl who we dote on just as much, and they with my sister …..

All the time we spent with each other, brought Aswin and me really close, and its a lovely bond we share!!! Possessive about each other, always looking out, caring, worrying, and some more………….. [Touch wood]…..

Such Sweet memories.. they dont come often, but when they do, itโ€™s a treasure!!