Saturday, November 19, 2011

FLYING HIGH: A TRADITION FAST FADING

Kite flying is an art, which was been practised since ages in India. The art was initially an entertainment that later took the form of competition and was quite popular among children. Not only the rural but the urban places too saw kite flying as a sport, especially during occasions like Raksha Bandhan or Janamashtmi.  With the changes in lifestyle, the art of Kite flying started losing its fame. Lack of time and open spaces,  contributed towards a major decline in this graceful art. Left with few buyers, the market of kite makers also started shrinking.

A Kite Flying fest was organized for two days i.e. 12 and 13 Nov’11 at India Gate lawns. An initiative like this has helped many people relive that golden time when flying kites was the best pass time.


 The sky above India gate lawns was dotted with colourful kites on the first day of the fest i.e. Saturday, 12 Nov’11 post noon to dusk. Kites of unusual shapes and sizes soaring high in the sky was a visual treat. Organized by Delhi Tourism in association with Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation and the department of Art and Culture, this was an effort to revive the culture, which has been losing its popularity. Inaugurated by Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, she set the adrenaline gushing for all kite flyers by flying a colorful string of kites. The 20-foot string attached to the ground marked the festival symbolically.

Ranging from variety of colors and shapes, one could see a giant Hanuman kite to a Hercules size Spiderman Kite. There were stalls from various states to display the kites of their culture. The beautiful and shining kites of Jodhpur, Rajasthan symbolized the colorful state while kites at the UP stall had pictures of the Royal History depicted on them. Every kite had a message.
Spiderman Kite
Hanuman Kite

Charlie Kite
 The trees of India Gate lawns, were beautifully decorated with the strings of the kites (Firki) and the audience kept busy with passionately flying the kites in the open ground. Magic show organized for children was a major attraction in the evening. Delhi tourism had a stall distributing free reading material about the glorious History of the capital and the monuments standing tall with pride.

Cultural events trying to preserve our fading History is definitely a well-appreciated effort. We look forward for many such events which bind people to the fading past and rivet them to the roots. This was the first time ever, Delhi’s own Kite flying festival.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Love thy hair? I do..

From long to shoulder length and curly to straight, my black locks have withstood change of places, weather, pollution, tension and many such blows with time. I was quite fond of my long hair since my childhood. I kept them long until I came to Delhi for job.

With a sudden change of place and water, my curly locks gave away their charm for some time. They turned brittle and dry. To add to it, negligence towards my health resulted in hair fall. My comb often used to find my precious hair entangled in its teeth. Breaking the teeth would not have helped me, so I decided to chop off my long hair to shoulder length. Trust me, it worked well! I had read somewhere that if you get a regular haircut, hair grows better and healthy. You also get rid of split ends. My curly hair started bouncing with the new Razor hairstyle that I had donned those days. A regular oil massage helped revitalizing my hair gradually.

It was difficult for me to leave my hair open all the time since Delhi is extremely warm during summers and I was in a travelling job. Oops- marketing I mean. Hopping between cities and facing pollution/ dust/ different weather conditions, was a challenge for my hair every day. I switched to bun. Sounds funny but that really helped my hair to battle the odd conditions around. Tying a piece of cloth on my head protected it from dust and sun. However, that was temporary arrangement. I needed to find a long-term solution. My hair had outgrown the shoulder length Razor cut. I changed to Step Cut, as suggested my hair stylist. Steps looked great on my curly hair and leaving them open dint look bad at all. My hectic schedule at work left me with no time for oil massage or hair cut. The hair stylist asked me to change my shampoo and conditioner.

The little piece of advice worked wonders. I am thankful to Shaheen (my hair stylist) for that enlightened guidance. I could feel the difference in one wash when I used Dove for the first time. My hair turned soft and retained the shine gradually. The hair fall problem too, reduced largely. Yeah, there is always a first time and I thought of straightening my priceless curls for the first time that had grown longer until them. I loved my straight hair and I could not stop looking at them in the mirror. It was a temporary arrangement again. I fear that a permanent straightening will finish the volume, which my hair has.

 


I get a hair spa done every month. you know what, If you care for your hair, they care for you. Your hair don’t only make you look good, but also add charms to your personality. The kind of hairstyle you keep displays your mood and boosts your confidence. Change your hairstyle on occasions and see the different colors of your persona. A stroke on your head makes you feel good, running your fingers through your hair helps releases your tensions, isn’t it? Soft, caressing and lovely, that’s how your healthy hair should be while they should be cared for.
(AS A PART OF CONTEST FOR INBLOGGER)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Crossroads



“I want to take the roads less travelled,
Let me breathe some air unraveled,
I want to harbor the greener pastures,
Less thorny, more flowered”.
Sanjeev left the note on his table, packed his bags and left his home in the dark. The train from Ghaziabad station was scheduled for departure at 10:00 pm.

Sanjeev Gupta, popularly known as Sanju, was  a young dynamic graduate who did not want to carry on with the monotonous job for his entire life. He was least interested in his family retail business. Often when his dad left the shop under his supervision, Sanju attracted a huge crowd while performing mimicry, stand up comedy and various other acts. People knew him as a talented artist while his dad disliked his bend towards such stupid acts. Sanjeev’s mother was a quiet housewife who never raised her voice in front of her husband. Caught in a wrong marriage, the poor lady never complained of the tyranny she faced from her husband. A drunk Gupta used to beat his wife during her pregnancy too. Sanjeev’s younger sister Parul unfortunately was born with hearing impassiveness. Mr. Gupta was an unhappy man, complaining and beating his kids and hurling abuses at his wife each day. Nobody knew the reason of his behaviour since the Gupta family was an upper middle class family without any financial constraints.

Gupta’s misbehaviour grew unbearable with every passing day. He hated Sanju’s extra curricular activities and wanted him to join the family business. Once when Sanjeev mentioned his interest to take up theatre art as his career, Gupta unleashed his belt. Since that day Sanjeev’s desires grew with leaps and bounds to join acting school and try his luck in Mumbai. Kapoor sir, the dramatics instructor at Sanjeev’s college complimented & encouraged him to build his career in theatre, seeing his love & talent for this art.
……………………………………………………………
The train headed towards Mumbai.  He was confident but not too sure of what was there in store for him. He was ambitious but had no clue where to begin. He was talented but without any support in the new city. From the quiet lanes of Ghaziabad he was in a city which never sleeps. Sanju’s struggle began since the moment he landed in Mumbai, searching for something substantial, for something concrete.
…………………………………………
Sanju boarded the train but his mind was still at home, worrying about his mother and Parul. Was he being too selfish? He wondered what they do alone without him. His heart beating loudly and heavily. He felt he had taken a wrong decision. The train whistle blew loud and his heart pounded louder. The train jerked and moved slowly. Sanju jumped out of the train and rushed home.The sight of a drunk abusing father was definitely not pleasant, but at least he knew that his Mother and Sister were safe in his presence.
Sanju started helping his father in the business next day onwards.

WHICH ONE OF THESE ENDINGS DO YOU THINK IS MORE APPROPRIATE? SANJU FOLLOWING HIS DREAMS OR SUCCUMBING TO FAMILY PRESSURES?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cross fire!!

The employee was caught taking a nap at work,
Boss said "See me in my cabin you jerk!"
"Are you not serious for your job"?
asked the boss to the poor guy,
who slogged himself everyday and was usually quite shy.
 
 
"Eight files are still pending, complete them at any cost,
else I hire a better employee and you can get lost!"
The employee snapped back "Fire me and pay me the dues right now,
I wont work for peanuts anymore, I take a wow"
 
Boss stared at the employee in disbelief,
thinking it might be his nightmare, 
Employee added "Everybody hates this job, Do you even care?
 
Labors are better than us I feel,
Eight hours of sleep is all I wanted,
No overtime for the extra hours we work,
these files make this office haunted!
 
You deducted my salary for my sick leaves,
you need a medical treatment I guess.
I broke up with my girlfriend because of you,
My life a silly mess!!!
 
For everybody it was a holiday,
but I was preparing your presentation,
why do you think I should work you,
when you are the source of my frustration?
 
Cost of living has gone sky high,
it has become impossible to survive,
work life balance has screwed big time 
I wonder Do i have my own life?
 
Terminate my services and relieve me from this prison,
because I want to live a normal life,
and there couldn't be a better reason"
 
The employee walked  out of the boss's cabin,
slammed shut the office door,
he smiled after the relief he got,
his eyes were no more sore :-)
 
Wrote this short poem while tossing on the bed waiting for electricity on a warm summer night.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The last remains

The stuffed suitcase was difficult to close.(She still does not have an almirah after so many years. She is ok without one anyway). She started pulling out the crumbled clothes which were shoved in the suitcase without washing since a week. Neha barely got time to wash her clothes during weekends. She thought of cleaning the suitcase at the same time.

Out came the red shirt which she had not worn since long.
A blue T-Shirt which had faded in patches.
An orange kurta that dint fit her anymore, yet she refused to throw it away because it was gifted by Megha, her dear younger sister.

A pair of worn out black jeans, shoved in the suitcase waiting for repair.

“Discard!” sighed Neha and piled the discarded clothes. Another pile was taken out to be washed. Neha dusted the edges of her suitcase. Slowly she pulled out all other clothes from the pale blue V.I.P suitcase which her mother had given to her when she first came to Jaipur from Patna. Light weight suitcases were not available during those days. A shy Neha had come to the pink city in search of a career as Patna was void of jobs then. A small village was where she was born and brought up and obtained high education despite pressures of getting married after she graduated from 12th standard. She shifted from one rented room to another in the span of her five years tenure in Jaipur. The suitcase too shifted with her. It was her mother’s wedding gift, so she could not have discarded it anyway. Neha thought of changing the newspaper laid at the bottom of the suitcase under the pile of clothes. It was dated way back in the year 2003. It had turned yellow and old with age. (It couldn’t have been older than the suitcase). She pulled out the torn newspaper from the suitcase to replace it with a fresh glossy newspaper. A bundle of envelopes and papers lied silently under the newspaper, resting peacefully & untouched. Were they not cared for or preserved carefully? Her hands reached for the stack of papers and she unfolded them one by one.
------------------------------------------
30 Sept, 2003
Dear Di,
Hope this letter finds you in the best of your health and spirits. I have soooooooo much to talk about. I am wondering where to start from 
First of all note my new yahoo id megha2001@yahoo.com. Now we can chat whenever we get time to come online. I am soo happy! But the only problem is that internet café is a little far from our house and Baba does not allow me to go there alone. Had u been here, he would have never stopped me.
Mmmmmmmmm I miss u, sachhi !! By the way did the kurta fit u? I made it as per your choice, v shape neck and full sleeves, and its ur fav colour! I am almost through with the hobby classes, likely to get the diploma within 2 weeks. Now I can make good embroidery too. U shud see the cushion covers I made. Maa is full of praise for me  :-) And a piece of good news now! A new Mc Donalds outlet has been inaugurated in the city. We will have a treat when u come next time and m sure u will love it. I m quite excited about it. Rest all is well here. Baba has recovered completely from the stroke. Now he goes for a morning walk daily. Good na? I will take Maa also for morning walks soon. But u know how shy she is.

Hope u r taking care of ur health too. Maa keeps reminding u to have fruits. I will be joining u within few years and become a famous fashion designer. And I stepped on the threshold of my dream only because of ur support. I love u a lot.mmmmuuuaaah!!

Chalo, I wont make the letter lengthy now. U better take care of urself and don’t worry about us. We all are fine and want to see you soon.
Loads of love,
Ur Meghu
---------------------
Neha smiled. She picked up the next letter.
18 Oct,2003
Dear Di,
Hi! How are you? We are fine here. Don’t get worried about me yaar. I will recover soon. It was just a stomach ache, that’s it.

I have designed a beautiful skirt for u.(Maa wont allow u to wear it here. U take it with u in Jaipur ok?) U remember Tanu, my classmate? She is getting married next month! My god, I cant imagine how cud she agree to get married so early? Shez just 18!! I was shocked. She has no aim in her life or what? Bloody aimless female! I will become a fashion designer and make everybody feel proud of me one day.

Ok lets change the topic. Did maa tell u that we would get our house painted this Diwali? I want my room pink in colour :-) ok don’t frown, we can get it done half pink and half orange hehe!

Baba bought a new kitten for the godown. The kitten is sooooooo cute and fluffy. I have named it snowhite. It’s a smart kitten di. Its killed so many rats of the godown. I will mail u its pictures wen I go to the café next.
Maa went to a pandit to show ur kundali. He said that marriage is still not on the cards. I was quite relieved to hear that. U deserve more in ur life yaar. I am happy that u studied and went out of this small place. I will do the same. My exams are due next month. I will crack the entrance exams, wish me good luck. Love
Urs MEGHU
.......................................................................................
2 Dec,2003
Hi Di,
Dint get time to write since a long time. Sorry for that.
We all missed u a lot during Diwali. Ma was cribbing that I mess up more than helping her. Hehehe! How perfect are u, I realized then! We are incomplete without u yaar. I know it was difficult for you to take leaves since u recently joined office. Its difficult to make Maa understand though.

Hey, we got our house painted before Diwali, and guess what, our room has been painted in ur fav colour. Now come on, thank me :-) I wish I could say all this to over the phone, but u know how high the STD call rates are na.
Snow white has grown bigger and cuter than before. Lovely cat it is. Well, Maa must have told u everything. I am ashamed of myself Di. I wanted to appear for the entrance exams this time. I was so well prepared. But that stomach ache was so severe that I couldn’t bear the pain. Doc said that it was only gas. Maa is getting worried unnecessarily. The ultrasound reports will arrive within next few days. So till next year of entrance exams again, I asked baba to get me enrolled in B.A correspondence from IGNOU. Good idea yeah?

U know, Ravi Uncle has been paralysed waist down. Poor uncle, he’ll never walk on his own now. Aunty is a very strong lady. She did not loose her courage at all. She has started working in a school and supporting her family. Maa often visits them with cooked food. I feel sorry for Ravi uncle. His kids are so young ya. But hats off to auntie for being so brave. Nobody in the neighborhood is as bold as her.

Hey Di, whts ur plan for new year? If u can manage leaves then, please come na. Spent Diwali without you, don’t want to spend New year without you. U r the jaan of our family, u know that. I miss sleeping with u. Pillows cant fill the empty portion of our bed. Often I wake up with a jerk thinking how much I miss cuddling you. Our room is half empty, half lively, our house is misses ur aura, ur noble presence. Now when the room is painted orange, it reminds me of u every second.

Ok I gotta sleep now. Feeling tired. U please take care and don’t worry about me.
Love u loads,
Meghu
............................................................
2 Feb,2004
Dear Di,
Hey! How have u been my sweety pie?
My medicines were very strong and I feel drowsy all the time. I hate the taste. But I am sure I will recover soon. Ulcer does not last for long na. Afterall I have been punished for eating excess spicy food. I recall you scolding me for eating spicy without limit. I am sorry I should have listened to you then. Maa tries to keep the room infection free, so every thing has been washed all over again. I have to eat boiled food, less salty no spicy. I am not allowed to meet Snowhite too. That bad. U ask Maa to let me go out of the house atleast. She will listen to you.

These days I am reading all the Sydney Sheldon novels u had left here. Now I find them interesting. He writes well seriously. But I don’t like to be confined to my room ya. It feels like I am imprisoned. I cant stitch or make embroideries. Anyway, Ma told me that you went to Ajmer? Kooooool….I will go with u next time. Heard a lot about that place. Let me recover once, then I will surely visit Jaipur and be with u.
Next Month u will complete 6 months na? U make us feel proud of u always. Baba never stops praising u in any social gathering. We love u all. Accha u know about Kaku di’s marriage na? Its in Kolkata in December and we all have to go, else Kaku di will be very upset. So apply for leaves in advance ok? And there is a surprise which I could not keep to myself. Baba will buy me a mobile phone as soon as I recover. Great na? Then we will chat and sms on mobiles instead of writing these long letters.

I hope I dint make it long this time. Will write again soon. M wondering hu will post this letter?
Anyway, love u love love.
Meghu
………………………………………..
Tears swelled up in Neha’s eyes after reading Megha's last letter. An undetected cancer  led to a wrong treatment and prolonged illness. Neha pulled the orange kurta close to herself. It smelled of Mehga, her presence, her full of life attitude, her smile, her last gift for Neha, whom she loved the most. Megha, who lost her life at a young age leaving her ambitions unfulfilled gave hopes to everyone, to live each day and smile even in the toughest times. Neha  quickly entered the bathroom to wash the pile of clothes.
She kept her promise. She did not cry. The orange kurta was put back in the suitcase with great care. And the letters one by one.
The last remains preserved again, carefully.

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