Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I had completely forgotten that there existed something like Facebook notes and I have quite a few on them there on Facebook. I happened to dig out something I wrote in 2009. Have tweaked parts of it... reading this I realise how much I miss writing poetry.


You wouldn’t hear today even if spoken right into your ears, the randomness of thoughts.

The subjectivity of reasoning to your own convenience wraps your soul in layers uncountable.
You wouldn’t feel today if your toes touched, the uncertainty of the touch.
The wall you build shields you from a passion lying dormant.

You are blinded by tears you cry at your own failures,
The ones you use as a measure for what lies in the Pandora’s Box.
I’ve been inside and it’s full of hopes, fears, risks and irrationality.
It’s the Mecca of senselessness and absurdity.
Raw, unrefined and crude,
Full of surprises, heartbreaks & passion,
Unconventionally beautiful.

What stops you to unlock and peep?
To soak and savor...
The saneness in irrationality,
The logic in everything you consider illogical,
The safety in the risks you don’t take.

You wouldn’t smell the lilies today, the ones kept at your window sill.

But someday, with a different key,
You might unlock the Pandora’s Box.

And then baby, I will welcome you to my world.

- Aanchal 2009

Friday, January 21, 2011

Memoirs Of A Lost Home

I’m sitting by my window and it’s raining outside. I can hear the pitter patter of raindrops on the window sill. It’s gloomy and romantic, which makes it quite ironically lovely weather. 

My earliest memory of the rain is a birthday party that went kaput because it rained! I think it was my 5th birthday and all the kids from Little Folks KG 2 were invited. I haven’t had the chance to celebrate many birthdays because my birthday fell right before the exams started on March 1st (Damn you ICSE board) maybe at the age of 5 I pre-empted the lack of many future parties and was really looking forward to cut a cake, play pin the donkey and at the end of the evening open gifts. 

I sat there in the veranda sad because it was raining and no one would show up. But someone did... a little girl in a dark purple dress and purple stockings with a gift in her hand. She was at that point of time my bestest friend, it is sad I don’t remember her name anymore... but that snap shot of her walking in the drive way is ingrained in my mind as a happy memory. I am split between the cause of happiness at that point of the 5 year old me – was it the fact that ‘someone’ showed up .. or that I did get at least one gift. I do think it must be the latter.

Kanpur used to have a proper monsoon. Two months of solid rain and sometimes sporadic rain in the winter (mostly on my birthday) which meant lots of rainy day holidays and lots of flies. The earth used to smell with the first rain .. the same kinds that we tried to replicate when we watered the plants and the drive way in scorching summer. 

I have been trying to scratch my head to dig deep into my memories of Kanpur lately. I did stay there for 16 years of my life but now most memories are a snap shot or relate to a smell or just get a deep sinking feeling in the gut. 

The house that I grew up in, the veranda where we sat and watched the rain and the drive way where we climbed trees is now gone. 

The day my Dad called me to tell me he is finally leaving the city, I really tried hard to feel bad but I knew he was sad (and as I understand now, as we grow up and our parents age there is a subtle role reversal) so I told him not to worry because home is where the heart is.

Sitting and watching the rain today and flooded with the memory of my 5th birthday party I start thinking of the house I grew up in. 

I remember the numerous times I bruised myself, the place where we buried Fluffy and then the place where we buried Snoopy. 

How I never wanted to get out so while playing with the servants kids so I always had a kachi turn. The million lizards, snakes and bats we lived with. How that house seemed so big and now when I look into the picture my Dad sends me on BBM it looks so small. 

I remember the little kitchen and the goody cupboard, how on the first of each month my Mom would go ration shopping and come back with Pure Magic and Jim Jam biscuits for us. How we would gobble the packet the same day and yearn for them for the next 29 days. The smell of the old wooden furniture and coolers... On every Saturday after a lunch of Kadi Chawal how we would in the evenings to take relief from the heat go and have ThumsUp with ice cream and buy flowers from little kids. We would come back to hours of load shedding and sit in the garden and sing songs.

We lived isolated from the world but Murray Cottage had its share of gossip. 

Our friends and neighbours, the maids, dhobis and workers who were more family than anyone else stayed stuck in Technicolor while we moved on. 

We grew up and left. I went back a few times after I left the city I grew up in, after I made a home in another city and then another but what I left at Murray Cottage was my childhood, my innocence.

My cupboard stands alone today in a ghost house with scribbles – Amir Khan, Tom Cruise, Rahul Dravid, Bryan Adams.... the stickers I put on my now empty desk stare at blank walls...

When I think of home today I think of where my loved ones are. I think of Ahmedabad and I think of the warmth that comes from them to that house. 

All things eventually go away ... a childhood or a home .... what matters is what you carry with you as you grow up and walk away. 

To Murray Cottage, You gave me enough experiences and stories to relate to my unborn children. There will always be a part of you in me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Dubai BlackBerry Chronicles

I started writing the Dubai chronicles when I moved here and somewhere along the way Dubai became home and the chronicles went kaput.  Familiarity breeds contempt and it also breeds complacency (and not in the good way).  While I was searching a nice profile picture for my Face book profile, I stumbled on my BlackBerry picture folder.

Now the strange thing about clicking pictures from a mobile phone is that it’s so in the moment and then its forgotten...

Looking at the pictures today I felt a story unfold in front of me, I saw a me, so different just 11 months ago.
Therefore, I decided to do a little photo story, some memories captured in extreme low mega pixel but remain very close to my heart. Each one a step forward into today. 

The night when I took the flight to Dubai, hours spent with people I love, two small bottles of wine and a box of After Eights...

 It was small but it was this view that bowled me over and still does. 1205, Dome 1 will always be so special...

 There were numerous evenings spent looking at sunsets with endless cups of coffee while I was searching for my place in this city...

 The joys of having your own place are the joys of stocking alcohol ... I discovered the joy of 'a drink by myself '

 The little things that make a house a home... my twinkly lights have become synonymous to home.

 Rare occasions with fresh flowers (an everyday feature back in India) lots of idle weekends with no television that helped to re-discover the joys of reading, writing and FB stalking!

 Numerous, frantic calls made to mom asking how 'this in the photograph' is cooked! I learned to somewhat enjoy cooking ... (though still not extremely fond of it)

 Dressing up, dressing down...

 Lots of girl night outs, bonding and gossiping .... This one particular night has fond memories... and lots of empty wine bottles!

Dubai has such awesome sunsets and it has a beach ... could I ask for more?

 Right opposite from where I work, always an amazing dream.. an amazing inspiration

 Happiness comes in small doses, to me it will always come in a Cold Stone cup cake..

The joys of doing nothing ... a weekend getaway to Abu Dhabi that was perfect

 Building furniture ... now that's a job, but taught me something simple... I didn't need a man (or a carpenter) to form a new life!

 Spending time and getting to know my nephew, so much a child can teach you that all adults put together cannot..

 A place that will always be close to my heart for a lot of reasons -  Nasimi beach @ The Atlantis ...

 A dream came true - I watched Bryan Adams live! I sang, cried and smiled. This was a moment when I realized the fruit of my hard work.. a day comes when you are in a perfect moment, you are where you once dreamed to be ... and yes, that's 'heaven'

My newly discovered hide out in Dubai - Cafe mOre .... the sunsets are to die for, love the all day breakfast and fat, fat pancakes!

There's always light.... it sometimes just hides and we cant see it. Dubai taught me a lot more... 

We make new friends, not easily but we do and at times.. we discover friends in people we just knew...

You have to give in a little to get a little...a city never becomes home unless you allow it to.

And in the end it has taught me that there is always a reason and a season for things to happen... there is always hope.. and as someone very close to me blogged - 'Someday someone will walk into your life, and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else'.

Here's to hope, dreams and a lot more memories we still need to make...
With love and light!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

And Then There Was 2011

A long break and I’m back (not my best piece of writing but getting back from a writer’s block is never easy) There is so much I want to tell you all, but all in good time.

A beautiful song by Jason Mraz urged me to write some of what has been on my mind.

Here’s wishing everyone a year full of love and light. As for my own self (as will be obvious from the post below) I hope I embrace the beautiful changes 2010 bought me, I pray I am able to take a few more leaps of faith and I urge life to surprise me more and more…

Before the cool done run out
I'll be giving it my bestest
And nothing's going to stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some…..

We grow, we evolve and we learn. We change, we progress and we discover. Looking back at the year that has gone by (and this post comes way after the New Year frenzy is over) it certainly was a year for change, just as it had promised.

In overt as well as subtle ways came changes directly or indirectly altering my life. Today on the onset of another journey, another year I couldn’t have asked for more.

I start this year with so much more assurance, affirmation and normality. I enter this year with love and happiness. I begin the journey into the next 365 days with a vow to embrace the beautiful changes 2010 bought me.

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find love love love love
Listen to the music of the moment babay sing with me
I love peace for melody
And It's our God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love loved

Often when we love we give so much of our selves to other people, we are drained eventually of our own soul. It is hard but not impossible to get yourself back. It is harder though to keep it that way and worse still to step into even loving again.
Therefore, sometimes you need to take a step back, guard yourself and be in your own company in order to value yourself again. It is then that you look inside and realize all the love of the universe is right there with you.

So one fine day you rise up and demand from the universe your inherent right to be loved.
And slowly, somehow love from everywhere creeps in, just when you don’t need it.

So I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours

You reach a point where you need to surrender and take a leap of faith….. And when you are full of assurance within, it is so much easier…and you do.

I've been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror
And bending over backwards just to try to see it clearer
But my breath fogged up the glass
And so I drew a new face and laughed

I spent a half of the year fighting with myself and the other half trying to find peace within and when I found it everything seemed apt, set and meant to be. So I smiled and decided to move on ….

I guess what I'm be saying is there ain't no better reason
To rid yourself of vanity and just go with the seasons
It's what we aim to do
Our name is our virtue

What I learned in a short span of the last 365 days is that there is no use in planning where and how you want things in life, yes it is right to strive for your dreams but sometimes you need to let life take over… let it drift you along …

If things were according to plan there wouldn’t be a Dubai, new friends and a new home.

Therefore ….

But I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure…..

With Love and Light,

P.S. Listen to this awesome song here....


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