Deja Vu

“It is strange how the same thing happens over and over in one’s life – at different places and different times, yes, but the same thing essentially”, she mused. It is even stranger how it invariably ends up drawing out all the faded memories of the “same” things that happened at various times, years ago.

A memory from a college lecture in 2007 flashed before her eyes; as stark and vivid as it had happened yesterday. Another one from her first corporate job, on December 15, 2011 – one of the worst days of her life. She surprised herself by remembering them so clearly; she hadn’t thought about those incidents in years, and didn’t realise they were still lodged at a corner of her limbic system, ready to be retrieved at a moment’s notice.

It made her realise something then; it made her realise something now. She briefly wondered, “Is it I who attract this behaviour from people repeatedly? Or do I simply make friends with the same kind of people all the time?” She smiled sadly, “It doesn’t matter. The world is a treacherous place; the more aware I am of this, and the more cautiously I interact with people, the better it is for me”.

Sometimes, it helps to be a cynic. Sometimes, it helps to be detached. Sometimes, it is the only way to survive in this world.

Toodles,

Writer on the rocks

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Streaking!

Jhaanavi was not beautiful. She was attractive, yes; but not beautiful. At first sight, she is practically a perfect caricature of how a woman should be – slim figure, slender waist, pleasant face, fair skin.. you know the works. But she is also strong. How can a slim and slender person be strong, you ask? I meant, emotionally strong! Few people on earth have ever seen her fazed by something, fewer than those have seen her eyes moist. On deeper inspection, she is still practically a perfect caricature of how a woman should be – independent, intelligent, kind and compassionate, and last but never the least, has a streak of fierce pride!

Streak writing, this is apparently called. You place fingers on the keyboard, time your stopwatch, and start writing non-stop for 5 minutes (or 15, or 20 if you like)! Just a concept I came across today, thought I’d try it out. 🙂

With love,

Writer on the rocks.

He… (The Love Story – Part II)

It was the end of a long day at work. As he wended his way to a small street behind the main road on the cool moonlight night, he was happy. He had submitted his resignation at work today; he was moving to the proverbial greener pasture. It looked like life was finally turning on her smiley face for him after all.

As he neared the old-fashioned single-storeyed house, he saw that the portico was lit. It was almost 10 PM; “Oh good, she is probably still awake”, he thought fondly of his cousin sister.

“Long time, no see!” Abby quipped, and greeted him with a big smile.

“Hey Hi! Amma said you were here today.. I didn’t want to miss the rare opportunity of obtaining your darshan, so I came right along.” said he, playfully pulling her leg.

And the conversation continued until all the usual enquiries about family, discussions about work, college, future plans etc were exhausted. Abby and Raghav had grown up in different cities, and met only once in a while, when she came to Chennai for occasions. Even though she had spent the last three years in the same city, at college, they hadn’t been that close, to hang out or talk to each other very often. Nevertheless, an easy and friendly camaraderie hung between them, and the conversation flowed until Abby hinted:

“So, any girlfriends?”

“No! Unfortunately, I am still single. Your college has a lot of hot girls. Why don’t introduce me to some of them, and maybe I can take it from there?” replied Raghav rhetorically, with an attempt at mirth.

And so he was a little taken aback when Abby said – “Actually you know what, I might know just the girl for you!”

“Really?!” Raghav quipped; but he was perfectly sure that she was joking. He had seen the girls at her college when he had gone to visit her at her hostel, and didn’t like what he saw. There were some pretty girls, sure, but they all seemed a tad too modern, extremely high maintenance, and wouldn’t fit into his traditional family in anyone’s wildest dreams.

But Abby interrupted his thoughts, half-dreaming herself – “Yeah.. there is this iyer girl, she would be perfect for you!”

To be continued..

She… (The Love Story – Part I)

March was fast fading, but spring was in full bloom.

Ishita had spent all morning deciding what to wear for the farewell. She didn’t have anything fancy, and although she liked to dress up and look pretty (which girl doesn’t?), she was not the kind of person to splurge and shop for such simple occasions as farewells… and well, she hadn’t yet opened up out of her shell enough to wear an LBD. So shopping for the occasion wasn’t particularly necessary. In the end, she opted for a lightly embellished, but colourful kurta and patiala pants. A salwar would make her look like a behenji, but a jeans with a top would look too college-casual. No, the kurta was her best option, it looked neat and dressy enough for the event.

As she looked out of the huge french windows that adorned her living room, she began worrying her lower lip. She was excited about being on the brink of turning 20, but at the same time, college was coming to an end far too soon. She would miss her gang of friends very much, had no idea what to do next, and didn’t feel remotely ready for the world. At that lonely moment, her grand dreams seemed far-fetched, not least because she hadn’t clearly defined what the grand dreams were.. she just knew that she wanted them to be grand.

A small *ping* interrupted her musings, alerting her that she had got a notification on Facebook. Wondering if someone had bothered liking her new profile picture after all, she eagerly opened up the notifications tab, only to discover that some guy had liked a picture that she posted 6 months ago, and also commented on it. She didn’t recognise the name of the guy; “Ah well.. must be one of Abby’s friends”, she thought, since the photo in question also included her friend Abby.

The comment said – “Hey sis’, Gud pose, with someone equally as pretty as U!” Oh wow, someone has called her pretty! Ishita’s day was already made.. she didn’t stop to see who was the guy who commented though.. the comment had bad grammar and shortening of words. Such guys simply never kindled her interest. However, a compliment is a compliment, and needs to be acknowledged. She replied a polite “Thanks”, and added a smiley for good measure, hit “Send” and promptly forgot the whole thing.

However, destiny had other plans for her..

2015 – The year of words?

That’s how I want it to be! When I took a moment to think of what I really really want to do this year, all I could come up with was two things – read and write. Well, obviously I’m not going to say ‘No’ to a yummy bowl of pasta; so I won’t be stupid enough to rule out food. But apart from that, I would love to spend my entire time reading books and writing or blogging.

Since the blog is already under progress, with a decent posting frequency and visitor count, I wanted to start reading more actively. So I’ve signed up for the ‘Goodreads 2015 reading challenge’, with a modest goal of 25 books this year. I would love to read about a 100, but practically speaking, it seems hard to get even half an hour a day to devote to reading. 😦

downloadBut hey, it is always easier to get the time to mark all the books read by my friends as “Want to read” in Goodreads, and spend at least some time each day wondering how on earth I am ever going to finish reading all those books in this lifetime! :O In case you’re wondering, my Goodreads account currently has around 300 books in it – 260 of them “to be read”! 😛

One step at a time, I tell myself. I don’t have a fixed list of books that I am planning to read this year, since I basically read anything that is printed, and everything under the sun. So when I got the opportunity to read some children’s books that I ought to have read when I was, well, a child.. I jumped at it. I bought ‘Swami and Friends’ by R.K. Narayan and ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl for my niece, without realising that she has already read them. So instead of returning the books and getting a refund, I ended up reading them myself. I must say, they made my new year a fantastic one – I didn’t realise just what I had missed in my childhood, until I actually read these.

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Not that I stopped there; I had read ‘The Alchemist’ a long time back; although I loved the message, I didn’t become a big fan of the writing style itself. And hence, I’ve never actively sought out and read a Paulo Coelho book since. However, with the New Year beckoning me to try new things, I braved a Paulo Coelho book once again, and started reading ‘The Winner Stand Alone’. Surprise of all surprises, I fell in love with it only a few pages into the book! Further proof that we should give people and things a chance.. and initial impressions are usually neither the best, nor accurate. 🙂

And along those lines, there is one more thing that I really want to give a shot this year – and that is writing fiction. I did try a couple of times, and came to the hopefully erroneous conclusion that I can’t write fiction to save my life! But the more fiction I read, the more I do want to write. Hence, I’m planning to start a fiction series on this blog soon – just waiting for inspiration to strike! 😛

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2015 is one of those years that got off to the best start for me – and I am pumped about trying a ton of new things this year. The older you get, the more you realise that you want to spend what little time you have, in doing what you love. Here is a toast to everyone who has resolved to try new things this year! Cheers! 😀

Moonlight and Magnolias – Prologue

So this is my very first attempt at writing fiction. Although I consider myself pretty imaginative, my imaginations happen at very random moments – when I’m travelling in a bus, for example. So far, I haven’t really found the inclination to put them into writing, nor have I ever fancied myself the kind of person to write a book.

However, among my many newfound inspirations and interests, trying my hand at fiction seems like a brilliant thing to start doing! So here goes… the plan is to write a decent-length novel (eventually). I’m starting with a prologue today, and will try to post one chapter a week.
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Ishaanvi and Maadhav were returning from a Corporate event organised by one of their peers. The event which was a Benefit for Cancer patients had included an auction, dinner, drinks and a ball. Ishaanvi had had a couple of extra glasses of wine, and they had danced the night away while being lost in each other’s eyes.

As they stepped out of the 5-star hotel and Maadhav revved up the engine on his oceanic blue Swift Desire, they both realised that something had changed since yesterday. Isha felt unusually nervous around Maadhav, while he was mentally preparing for the biggest night of his life.

As someone who doesn’t usually wear her emotions on her sleeve, Isha made a deliberate effort and chatted animatedly to Maadhav about all the fun they had had at the ball, and ranted about how Corporate Social Responsibility has just become an excuse for pretentiousness these days.

As Maadhav drove steadily towards Velachery to drop her off at her home, his heart thumped louder and louder until he was sure Isha could actually hear it. Conversely, he became quieter and quieter, just nodding and proffering fillers at the right places. As they crossed Guindy, Isha looked at him enquiringly – “You’ve been pretty quiet today.. what’s up? Something the matter?”

Maadhav had the answer – he just didn’t know how to tell her. So he turned into the left just after the landmark restaurant – Aasife Brothers, and stopped under a shady tree. Isha made no comment, but just waited with a raised eyebrow. Maadhav braced himself, and looked at her a long moment.

Then he said without preamble – “I Love You.” Isha’s expression changed from innocent curiosity to shock to something gentler with the speed of a bullet train. She averted her eyes to make sure they gave nothing away.

Maadhav continued – “I’ve been in love with you for sometime now. I just couldn’t pluck up the courage to tell you, and well.. I didn’t have any clue of how you feel about me. I want to spend the rest of my life with you Isha. I can’t think of anyone else I would rather wake up with, every single day of the rest of my life.”

Isha had suspected that he felt this way for sometime, but still wasn’t ready to hear him confess it, and was even less ready with her reply. She looked at him with a pained expression – “Maadhav.. there are so many things that you don’t know about me… And you’re my best friend.. but well.. I don’t know what to say… can I have some time to think please?”

Maadhav answered unhesitatingly – “No problem! Please take as much time as you need.” He wasn’t worried about the “so much you don’t know about me” part. They had been best friends for 2 years; he knew her like the back of his hand.

Moreover, for all the hesitation she showed now, he suspected that she felt pretty much the same way about him. He had seen the way she looked at him a couple of times in her unintentionally unguarded moments.. like when they had danced together earlier that day.

Isha, on the other hand, was in thorough turmoil. She was at last getting the very thing she wanted, but she couldn’t possibly take it. The bridge that she was afraid of crossing was here at last. She had kept postponing it for 2 years, but now the only way out was to cross it.

And now we wait.. to see if their love comes to fruition.