Q for Quick

How quick we are to judge a person
based on their looks/clothes they wear/the way they talk/vehicle they drive

How quick we are to jump to conclusions
without hearing what they have to say [in full]

How quick we are to shrug off an idea
because it simply dint sound right
How quick we are to smile/frown
with nothing but a peek of that “person”

How quick we are in putting off doing a task
just because it is boring or seems impossible

How quick we are to reject an offer
without exploring it further

How quick we are in making certain purchases
without thinking too much about cost or value

How quick we are in criticising movie makers
with little thought to the effort they must have put in [even for the terribly made movies]

How quick we are in walking out on a relationship
letting our fears take over, or our ego drive our heart away 

How quick we are in spilling a word
without blinking our eye to think of the repercussions

How quick we are in making/breaking plans
simply because we felt like it
How quick we are to pack
especially when we are looking fwd to the destination

How quick we are to criticize a person
without thinking about them/their thoughts/situation
How quick we are to write/wrap
when it is meant for someone we love 

How quick we are to complain
without a thought of what happened

How quick we are to advice
because we feel we know it all or we are better judges/more mature [without thinking about them/their situation/past]

How quick we are to waste [food/time/energy]
simply because we think we have enough of it
How quick we are in cooking a dish
only because we know “the person” loves them

How quick we are to neglect
we think they dont care/dont deserve 

How quick we are to love
Without wondering about the future…

How quick we are…………………. 
How quick….

The little mouse

It was a weekend getaway that was completely relaxed, and perfect… All that we did was walk around the vast property, soak in the beauty of nature, and bird watching….. We had chosen Bikode, Coffee plantations as our destinations!!
It was one of those days when constant drizzle had us cooped us inside,atleast for a few hours during the afternoon… As i wandered the porch, looking out to see if the drizzle was letting up, i saw this little mouse near a plant. Instantly, i ran out to see if he was ok, or hurt… I saw him gasping for breath… 
Gently i picked him up, brought him indoors and tried feeding him some milk… he was so tiny, was lost in my palm and all he did was lie there gasping… My heart went out to him…. And within a blink of an eye, he stoped gasping and was gone…. a tiny tear i felt trickle down my cheek as i put him down… The cook and maid asked me to just leave him in a corner, but i just couldnt… 
I wondered if he had a fun life…
or if he was being chased by cats and dogs
I wonder if he had a family
or if he was alone
I wondered what brought him here
or had a bird of prey dropped him while taking him to their nest….. 
RIP Mr Mousey….. 

[Movie] Black Swan

After a brief hiatus, i am back!! Been catching up on Movies- in theaters and on DVD..One movie that i saw few days back was Darren Aronofsky’s The Black Swan
Black Swan is not a run of the mill movie, and not a lame Ballet based movie either…. it is an intense movie, filled with multiple layers of symbolism, psychosexual metaphors, and rich thematic undertones.
The story is a twist on Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.  Portman plays Nina Sayers: a protected, single-minded ballerina in New York City who finally gets a shot at stardom when the director of Swan Lake Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) casts her as to play both the White Swan and the Black Swan, replacing Prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) .  Nina, who’s goal in life is to attain perfection, she breezes through as the  White Swan, but has a tough time trying to let go, and bring out emotions required by the Black Swan.  As Tomas taunts her of her emotional shortcomings, Nina in turns faces sharp rivalry from Lily (Mila Kunis), another ballerina who is all about the darkness that Tomas is looking for in the Black Swan.  
Teetering on the edge of madness, lust, paranoia, frustration, and jealousy build as the pressure on Nina intensifies, culminating in a stunning finale which takes place on opening night, when the world is finally introduced to her black swan, and when all her worst fears are realised.  
It’s a flamboyant movie, Aronofsky  has created a deep screenplay thats just as powerful if not more as his earlier Requiem for a Dream.
The beautiful cinematography by Matthew Libatique, breath taking background score by Clint Mansell, and the highlight of it all is Natalie Portman’s phenomenal performance lets you wander into the magical world.
The Black Swan is an al out Natalie Portman’s film, and she delivers the performance of her career as Nina. It’s no surprise that the camera loves her, but this may be her most subtle and nuanced work yet, perfectly capturing Nina’s physical and mental meltdown.

Peek a boo

Dear Days Flying by,
Wonder why you are passing by so fast. Why dont you stop and catch your breath?! I would so love to cherish a few moments here and there, just put my feet up, and enjoy the new sofa… I would also like to chill out and spend a few minutes chatting with my grandparents… Or maybe just go for a leisure walk, listen to music, and enjoy My company..
Dear Yesterday, 
Where oh where have you gone? Are you hiding or did you run away from me? I was sure i treated you well, kept you smiling, and dint tax you too much… Ummm, any doubts? do you want to come by once again and visit me please? 
The little hand seemed to chase the big hand , and the seconds hand wasnt helping either…. Damn the alarm button..That is the most hyper over enthusiastic in the lot i know… Can i just take him out and let him rest?
Do you know– Its been so long since i met some friends of mine, its been long since i went to the library…
Am not saying am busy 24 X 7, but it sure feels like my mind is buzzing all the time, and hence, no “free time”
Running from one meeting to another, well,not literally, but almost… 
Cooking at home between work, Answering calls, sending mails, completing work- Sheesh, i wonder how all those working women who also manage families do it… 
Today, i nearly left home with the towel on my head… Thank God, i realized, else would have been quite a surprise..
I was up early, but had no mood to cook, was actually working till 8, then rushed to get ready and scoot for the meeting.. Wanted to not do anything, felt guilty for feeling that, and yet went about doing what i do… 
I want to pause the clock, just stand still, and soak in the moment
I want to freeze time, and let the days wait a bit , linger on….
Dear Tomorrow, 
What do you have in store for me? Am sure its going to be yet another packed day, a day that begins when sun rises, and goes on till the sun is ready to rise again…. 
Pongal around the corner, there is bound to be some extra shuttling- shopping, going to and fro to mom’s place- helping out, being part of the function…
And work doesnt sit back and say “go ahead, have fun girl, we shall wait”…
Am not complaining, am happy being busy, i get a HIGH being busy and occupied…
Guess i’ll have to wait and see.. 
Remember, am watching you!!! 😉

Stark Contrasts

The past few weeks, i’ve been meeting friends morning noon and evening… College friends, Ex colleagues, and friends i know via Social networking websites.. 
Each one has a story to tell, experiences to share and it dawned on me how similar we all are and yet, how different our lives are. Most of my married friends spoke about how life was just going by, they were busy with work, children , husband and all the others in between…  
During one such meet, we were 3 college mates sitting at Cafe Coffee Day, Ispahani Center reminiscing our college days and catching up on all that had happened since the last time we had met/spoken to.
There was N, RR and moi… I had been in touch with both of them, met them everytime they came to Chennai, bla bla.. but N and RR were meeting each other after 12yrs.. There were squeals, yelps, and Oh My Gods! reminded me of the episode from FRIENDs when Rachel meets her friends from before she became a part of the FRIENDS gang…

During the 3hours we spent talking, there was mention of few other friends in our circle. Updates were shared, some friends had drifted apart, we missed them and wondered what had happened and ofcourse we were eager to know what others were upto. There was one girl in our class, S, her family got her married off during 2nd year B Com slating that her ailing grandmother wanted to see her married. She was a beautiful delicate looking gal, and we were all quite stumped at the news of her wedding… Within a year, she delivered a baby girl, much to the chagrin of her In laws…. Another year, and another girl child later, we came to know her in laws were still insisting she try again to give birth to a “BOY”…. About 2yrs ago, i came to know she had delivered her 3rd daughter….. At CCD, during our meet, RR told us S was preggers once again, but was afraid to tell her[she would get more than a earful from RR] and had passed on news to RR’s mom…. We were appalled…. 

In this day and age… And after 3 girls…one more child?? Sheesh… And her parents were being silent about the whole thing…. we felt awful for S, angry at her husband and family for putting her through this……… 
Within the same meet, we got another shocking news.. A friend Sl’s husband had been diagnosed with cancer and was starting treatment… N had seen her last about a year ago in Chennai, but none of us had heard from her since then… She was this tiny thing who used to mother me, and take care of me … We dint know what to do… We wanted to make a trip to Blore to meet her, but knew not her address, dint have the guts to go to parents place in Chennai to find out details as we were unsure if her parents knew of it ….Such a dilemma…. All we do is pray for her every day and hope things sort out…. 
And then there is this group of girls from our class who were silent, and nobody, but who are today flying high…. 
Amazing how the crayons in one box are each so unique and different…. 🙂 

Travel in 2010

Every year i pray for Good health, progress/focus in Work, and ofcourse Travel.. 2010 was no different, as Jan 1st dawned these were the things on my “to do” list… And now, 12 months have flown by with me sailing along in various directions… 
A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu
January
The first trip i made in 2010 was to Bangalore.. A week filled with meetings and making plans for the months to come..I also managed to meet up with friends i had made in the recent past.. Bangalore, almost like my 2nd home is one city where i find something new every time i visit… 
February
Hmmm, i was once again visiting Bangalore… more for work than personal… but i did manage to sneak out time to meet friends!! 
A friend who was taking photography classes managed to lure me to Lal Bagh Gardens a beautiful saturday morning to enjoy the love showered by nature. 
Within a few days, i also visited Hebbal lake for the 1st time with Lakshmi for a spot of birding…
March
Spent the 2nd half of the Month in Bangalore, work!! The highlight of this trip was A dream of mine coming true, Thanks to a friend of mine, K… bugged him so much that he gave in, and one saturday morning we were off to the Butterfly park in Bannerghatta national park
What a day it was.. Not only was the park beautiful, we also spent the day visiting some other friends of his , hopping from one place to the other… 🙂

April
 
Packed my bags and got back to Chennai  wondering where i was going to head next, hoping it was somewhere interesting… it was 14th April, tamil new year and i was back on the road with my uncle and aunt to Singaperumal Lakshmi narasimhar temple near Chengelpet .
May
A surprise project took me to Ooty to cover the Dog & Horse Show..A good 4day trip, i spent not only attending the shows, but wandering around exploring the town. 
Since my uncle was visiting from the USA, we also did a packed day trip to Pondicherry. Gave him a 1st hand experience of our Buses,  and i dont think he enjoyed it too much, especially the return journey where we had to battle our way through the crowds to grab a few seats.
 June
The month i was looking forward to…. I was finally going to realise another dream of mine- going to Rameswaram.. A friend of mine from pune called to say she and her family were doing a Madurai- Rameswaram trip following advice by an astrologer… Without a second thought, i jumped and the rest as they say is history…
Visiting Madurai was special as i spent the 1st few years of my life there, started School there and had fond memories…. Rameswaram was beautiful, more than i had imagined! Along with friend and her family, i did 24dips in the ocean-Samudra Snanam, enjoyed a bucketful of water from 22wells-Theertha Snanam [ each containing water from a different river source], each of them tasted different..
July
By far one of the most exciting travels was in July. Though i dint pack any bags, or book tickets, it was a day of fun and adventure … With the help of Arvind from Poetryinstone, Lakshmi and i set out to explore a few Pallava Caves around Chennai…
  1. Seeyamangalam– Thirumalpadi
  2. Kilmavilangai
  3. Dalavanur
  4. Mandagapattu
Driving near Gingee Fort, catching a glimpse of the towering fort, we grunted at the harsh Sun, and yet managed to enjoy the day, as if on a treasure hunt… 
Following this, we also did a small weekend trip to Bikode, a bus ride from Bangalore.. 
It was a low budget, high on birding, and nature kind of a getaway.. Stayed at our uncle’s Coffee plantations, and spent hours walking around with a binocular and camera looking for birds, soaking in the gentle drizzle… We also discovered quite a few hidden temples from Hoysala Dynasty..
August
Even though work was busy, one Saturday, i up and dragged mom & gramma to the beautiful pristine Puri Jagannath Temple in ECR, just beyond the toll booth. Untouched and quiet, this temple was refreshing and a sight for sore eyes. No loud crowds, or priests who were busy trying to grab all that we carried in our wallets..






September
Ah, the month that brought my birthday along was always special…. It was 10days since my bday and i was wound up, excited and looking forward to Hampi, with Lakshmi. The 2days we spent there were magical.. 

  1. Sloth bears at Daroji, sitting within a foot from them, watching them savour the sweet licks, fight with each other; 
  2. Vittala Temple; 
  3. The Royal Enclosures; 
  4. The Queen’s bath- The Pushkarni, 
  5. Lotus Mahal, 
  6. Birding along the River Tunga, 
  7. Coracle ride to Anegund
  8. The hunt for cave paintings up a hillock and
  9. ofcourse the Matanga hills
Giving me a taste of what Hampi was all about, this trip has made me want to revisit this destination once again, and explore some more!
November
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill 
Diwali came and went, adrelin was rushing for there was a vacation in the offing…. 4 of us High school friends, all gals [plus a friend’s almost 2yr old son] had planned a trip, a reunion of sorts.. The bookings were done, tickets were sorted out and bags were packed… It was the 1st time the 4 of us were travelling together… Destination was Kerala, 1st stop at Coir Village Resort, about 45kms from Allepey, followed by a quick trip to Varkala, Kovalam, and Trivandrum before heading back to Chennai.  
The 5 days were filled with interesting experiences, loving the Kerala waters and hospitality. As the trip drew to a close, we knew there would be one every year, for as long as possible!! 

And now, its 2011, time for me to make new plans… visit unexplored destinations…. here’s to more travels for me and for you all… Have a Lovely Adventurous Year Ahead!!