2 Dec 2010

Christmas !!!

Its December... Yipeeee...
My favorite month of the year. Come December and I walk around humming Christmas carols. Just hearing the word 'December' invokes such a lot of colorful and happy memories. Christmas trees, Santa Claus, green,red and silver color combination, gifts, chocolates, cakes, Christmas carols, Christmas feasts, oh my god, I can go on and on and on..

The best part of Christmas is that I get to see all my scattered family members-uncles, aunts, cousins, grandma. Its a milieu of celebration and chaos at my ancestral home as everyone comes home to celebrate.

During my school days, Christmas celebration was something that everyone looked forward to, though during the last few days of my schooling they took away the tradition of a whole day celebration and shrunk it to a few hours,it was fun. In school, every celebration was like a tradition. No one had to be given an itinerary. Everyone knew the programs, it would be the same every year - carol singing, bible reading, play on the birth of Jesus, speech by the chief guest and the arrival of Santa Claus.I loved carols and it was a dream of mine to sing in one of those. But sadly, teachers always chose me for the job of reading verses from the bible. It was a boring job considering the fact that you had to read the same part year after year. I would have happily joined the carol singers. So a few days back,when my sister made the declaration that she is going to sing carol at school, I couldn't help feeling jealous. Alas, she got to live my dream!
One of my fond memories of Christmas celebration at school is that of my friend, Arjun who dressed up as Santa Claus one year. Unlike the usual clumsy Santa Clauses before him, he dint settle for waving a hand or shaking a leg. He went on to do a full fledged break dance accompanied by rigorous shaking of his artificial tummy. It was hilarious and even our normally cross Principal couldn't help laughing. A miracle in our words! :)

Christmas celebration at college is a different affair. After all the speeches from Chief Guests, Principal, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and all other dignitaries, its show time for the freshers. Christmas programs are done by the first years who put up dance, skit and various other programs amidst deafening howls, whistles and catcalls from seniors.
I could fill a book with my memories on Christmas. How we slept off when the Carol people came home to sing and how funny it was when we all got out of home puffy eyed to open the gate for them. How we had a girl's day out during Christmas and the guys of the family made the Christmas feast.

I'm all excited as the countdown for Christmas begins. I hope even you guys will have an amazing time.
Wishing you all a very happy and memorable Christmas!!
Have Fun.. :)

22 Nov 2010

Freedom of Expression

Myanmar's military government recently released its opposition leader and democratic icon, Aung San Suu Kyi from 15 years of confinement.Its a real reason to celebrate as this nobel laureate re enters mainstream politics. Lets all hope that under her leadership, people of Myanmar will be able to overthrow the oppressive military regime and replace it with a democratic government.

Talking of Suu Kyi's freedom makes me ponder over the situation back home in India.Freedom of expression and the offense of sedition recently came under the radar after a meeting that was held in Delhi over the issue of Kashmir. The meeting was attended by prominent people like Arundhathi Roy, Geelani, Varavara Rao etc. who expressed their views on a free Kashmir. These not so popular ideas were met with strong criticism and various sections of the society including political parties like BJP demanded a case to be filed against them on the grounds of sedition. Sedition is the offense of doing anything that generates hatred towards government or invokes disharmony in the society. In crude terms its the opposite of freedom of expression. So urging for separating Kashmir from India and slamming government policies on Kashmir does sound like sedition. But then if you cant express your views on a sensitive topic, what is freedom of expression all about? Isn't it blasphemy to say that freedom of expression applies only to trivial day to day issues? The very reason for the right to exist is to empower people to voice their opinions on such sensitive issues. All that these people did was express their views on Kashmir. What is wrong with that? If they had urged the people to take up arms and fight against the government for a free Kashmir, then it would have been a totally different situation.

What alarms me is the readiness with which such issues are taken up by the people and how the government tends to buckle under pressure. The increasing number of book banning and censorship is an evidence to it. A film poster is all it takes to start off a string of burnings and protests. The youngest prodigy of the Thackeray family finds assault on Mumbai University syllabus the ideal way to make a grand entry into politics. Religious and regional sentiments should be given proper attention but it doesn't mean the government should allow any small issue to become a reason for curbing our fundamental right to expression. Censorship should be seen as an extreme step not an immediate remedy.

If these were communal and regional issues there is another more nagging side to the story- money power and influence. The ban on ' Polyester Prince-Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani'  is an example for this. This autobiographical work on  Dhirubhai Ambani written by Hamish Mac Donald lays bare the unholy relation between Ambani and Indian government. An account of how this industrial tycoon got away with non payment of duties, stock market rigging and silencing people who dared to raise their voice against its unethical ways and how he even brought down a central government would have provided for an interesting read. But the government obviously thought otherwise. The book was banned, apparently under the influence of Mukesh Ambani. Its really saddening that corruption has reached such a level that it only takes an influential business man to ban a book.

It will take at least another century for corruption to vanish from our society.But as long as there are people who are ready to raise their voice and fight for their rights, we have a little hope left.

27 Oct 2010

Black Rose

Dark are her eyes,
Darker her curls.
Fair as the frozen snow,
Fast as the dashing antelopes.
Gentle curve of her lips,
The color of raspberry.
The trail of her black gown,
Swishing as she glides,
A sight to behold no mortal will disagree.
Sweet is her voice with a rasping last note.
Touch of a finger and she erases all wound.
Misery and memory of mortal world,
She takes them away and frees the soul.
Glare of her pretty stare,
Poison to the lousy soul.
To merge in those liquid eyes,
To seek those sacred mysteries,
Many a man has gone to the land beyond..
The nectar of life she takes away,
Angel of death, that is her..
Black Rose..

6 Apr 2010

My Big Brown Friend

The first time I saw you,
I was just seven I remember.
You were bright and all new,
And you felt so smooth and smelt so fresh.
You told me many stories,
Of snow white and her seven dwarfs,
How the beast turned into prince,
The way princess kissed the frog.
My all time favourite was sleeping beauty,
But I just loved the long hair of Rapunzel.
My dreams were full of them,
Handsome princes on white horse haunted.
How I wished my little curls,
Could grow like that of fair Rapunzel.
The bright cute pictures had me gazing,
At the big brown book that was you.
I kept you with my favorite teddy
And waited for the prince to wake me from sleep.
I read you time and again, till don't know when,
Time did gallop and here I am,
Holding you in my big long hands,
Dusting off those cobwebs from your skin.
I fumble through the yellow pages,
And it gives me a smile to see my old heroes.
I'll keep you forever with my big thick books,
And read those fairytales long forgotten,
To awaken the sleeping beauty in me...

18 Jan 2010

My Room-mates

There are two people with whom I share my room. One is a baby lizard and the other is a hyper active spider.

When I used to read about people keeping toads (Neville Longbottom for instance), spiders and other officially ugly creatures as pets, I’ve wondered how they can bear looking at those slimy and hairy bodies and caress them. Yuck!! But now I think I’ve started getting the picture.

I spend a lot of time in my room in the pretext of studying or simply to get some peace of mind from my shouting parents and troublesome sister. And once in my room, I open up some textbook and start daydreaming. It was on one such day while daydreaming that I noticed something small moving on the wall. A closer look revealed that it was a baby lizard. If you thought only dogs and cats could look cute then you should see my baby lizard, he is so damn cute! He can fit in my little finger and has such tiny legs that it’s a marvel to watch him climb the wall. My initial amazement changed to anxiety as I started thinking what will happen if he slips and falls? Where the hell has his mother gone? What a careless mother she must be to let such a tiny baby to wander around? As I watched, he tried to get to the top but stopped midway, turned around and vanished. I looked around but couldn’t find him. Next day the baby lizard reappeared and this time he was contended with climbing the lower portions of wall. It wandered around pointlessly, once moved close to a small fly, paused for a minute, turned around and vanished! Then it became a routine for me to look around for him and gape at the way he moves. I haven’t seen him catching a fly yet. I’m looking forward to the day my baby lizard catches a fly in front of me. I’m sure he will grow up and become a very good flycatcher and make me proud!

The second inhabitant of my room is a spider. I’m scared of spiders (owing to those horrible spider movies I guess) but cockroaches are scarier. My simple theory of comparing both the creatures in scare meter is based on the fact that, if a spider and cockroach both decide to chase us and inflict us with pain, then we will be able to run away from the spider faster than it can scuttle but cockroach can still catch up as it can fly! So cockroach is a bigger villain. Now the spider in my room is a medium sized creature and is unusually fast and hyperactive. The first time I saw it, I was sitting on the floor and reading. Suddenly something came shooting into the room. My danger instincts worked super cool and I jumped on to my bed, throwing down the book I was reading. From that safe post, I looked down to see the creature that had caused the panic. There it was, our spider, inches from my book, standing still. Suddenly it turned around and shot back the way it had come. Now I knew it was no longer safe to sit on the floor and shifted to bed. The next day around the same time, our hero came back the same way, scuttling so fast that I was amazed by its agility. There was no book on the floor to cause hindrance to its path and it went straight for the wall. I’ve seen a variety of spiders before and they always paused for 5 minutes before moving for 5 seconds. But this one was different. It paused for 5 seconds and moved for 5 minutes. Within no time it had climbed up the wall and back down disappearing behind a shelf. The next day it came out again. This time it went for a tiny fly sitting high up on the wall. Now our spider as usual was over excited as it leaped at the fly extending two of its legs towards the fly. Unfortunately, spiders are not made for aerobic performances or so I learned as it went hurtling down the wall and crash-landed on the windowsill. I dint have the courage to go up and check on it. But later on when I did muster the courage, I couldn’t find it there. I never saw the hyperactive spider again. But I just hope it’s still alive and active somewhere in the unexplored nooks of my room.

1 Jan 2010

Happy New Year...

Another year has passed by and now its time for a brand new beginning. Its a time to look back at the bygone year, learn from mistakes and move on. 2009 was fun and I'm sure 2010 is going to be even more fun.

This year as usual, I've made a new year resolution. I'm hoping that at least this time around I'll be able to keep it till the end.( I can't even remember last year's resolution) I've made two resolutions this time. Firstly, I'm going to explore my culinary skills. My knowledge in cooking is very limited and I've always wanted to try out new recipes but I keep postponing it.This year, I promise to try out one new recipe every month. My second resolution is that, I'm going to do some kind of exercise everyday, whether its running, jumping or dancing. Now this is one resolution that I'm sure won't last even a month but I'm going to give it a try. :)

I hope everyone has made good resolutions and are planning to keep them. Best of luck with that. Hope 2010 is going to be a great year for everyone. Wishing you all a rocking year...!!