Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Divine Flute

I am on this train to Richmond, Virginia, a journey of approx 8 hours and the first time in US that I am going somewhere alone.

I am armed with Ipod, laptop (I can plug it in to recharge) and printouts of a Manual to pass this time..

But this isnt about the Journey.. Its about an musical experience.. I have my Ipod set in Shuffle mode and have put on all the songs.. So any one can come up for my listening Like a radio :-)
So I was reading the Manual and was captivated at a point and a Jugalbandi of Bansuri and Veena started off on my Ipod. In few minues, I was compelled by the music to put the papers aside and close my eyes. As I closed my eyes, I felt as if I was sitting in my Kuldevi temple in Goa , in front of the Shri Chamundeshwari Mahamaya and gazing intently at her..
The Flute veena recital ends in Tabla beats. As these beats started , I was brought out of the trance and I was back in the train in US..
Not that I heard this instrumental for the first time, But I looked at the names of Performers and the description. It was a wonderful recording of the performance of Prakash Hegde and Jaishree ( Dunno who they are )..
The Description explained the trance.. The Bansuri -Veena recital was in Raag Durga Alap!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

"What are your dreams?"

Some days ago, I met a colleague who use to travel in the same bus from office to Dombivli back in India. I had met her at Annual Function just a month before that. She kept in touch and that day she was in Milford on the Train station. She wanted to see me and then had to go elsewhere. I had my car then, so I thought I should pick her from the station and drop her to the location she wanted to go. So I went to the station picked her up, and since she had sometime before she had to go her desired destination, I took her to my place.

We started chitchatting and slowly moved to the purpose of her visit here. Then she started describing her business , which was a Multi-level-Marketing business. I hate MLMs, not sure of the exact reason for the distaste , probably I seen more people losing money in it. But still, as I did not feel I appropriate to reduce her enthusiasm, I let her continue.
As in all MLM's one of the few initial questions was "What are you dreams?"
I got stuck..terribly.. I couldnt think of single dream that I could tell..
The conversation then drooled on to materialistic goals to money and how MLM can bring you money , etc.etc. All the crap I had heard when few more ML marketers had tried to sell me their stuff..

The question has haunted me .. till today. What are my dreams.. Sometime back I wanted a house of my own.. after staying away from my home for 6-7 months I realise I need a Home, little or large, but should be full of people loving and caring for me , instead of a big, empty house.
I want keep working, it keeps my brain active. Make me sit doing nothing, and you have bored me to death.
What else do I want in life? I need to find out ..

BTW today morning , I woke up dreaming that I was running through the corridors of a big school with a hallticket for an exam, searching for the classroom where my number was .. Does that signify anything?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

MY Car

I got a car! As in US, the distances are great ad for easy mobility you need a car..
So I bought one.
The car.. I learnt to drive here.. was a little bumpy initially .. probably dangerous.. But it was a good feeling. Being on your own, moving out for your own things. Not depending on others for anything.. Just Being yourself..

I loved driving.. I could go wherever I wished to..

Then one day, I decided to join my friends for a movie. While I was on the way , I lost my way, then found it, and then in a confusion and a hasty decision I met with an accident. Hit another car, panicked, hit the gas , climbed the curb and hit a signpost. When the car could move no further, I realised I never hit the brakes. I wasnt hurt physically, but totally shaken.. I was totally unable to think of anything. I called my friends to help me out. They came soothed me out.. took me home, then to a movie. I calmed down a little till the evening..
As night darkened , I felt too nervous, too gloomy much that I just walked out of my apartment and kept on walking .. I was going aorund the place for atleast 2-3 hours before I felt exhausted. When I could take it no more, I called up my friend to take to over to their place.
It took a day more for me to calm down. But the stress took me out and I fell sick..
3-4 more days and then I was fine. and then came a call from my insurance company telling me that they had declared total damage on my car, and that it cannot be repaired. They wil pay me the whole amount , but not my car.

So I have lost my car.. and gone back to the same phase as I was a 1 month back.
This one month was a great time. I can never forget the moments I got with myself.. The time I spent behind the wheel , with the speed , with a little anxiety of driving the right way yet the happiness of actual driving..
I sure will try to get another car for the love of driving..

Monday, May 28, 2007

Randomly something..

Long time I havent posted anything.
Wanted to write about my 1 week Driving class, How my teacher expected me to get the control of the Steering, judge the Speed fluctuations by amount of pressure on the Gas Pedal(accelerator) and Brakes and Mainly how to take the Left turn in the Right way and How I frustrated him by not doing it correctly. I wanted to mention the specific turn which is a 120 degree turn which I managed to go wrong at every attempt and just missed to hit a car on this turn or climb the curb or just brake hard due to anxiety. I actually was in tears on a day when I got scolded badly for just missing to hit the car. Naah, he dint expect me to hit the car , but wanted me to make a safe turn.Now that tuen is called "Aparna turn" and the story is repeated to every person passing by it :-).
I also wanted to write about my happiness when I could drive till office without getting any instructions on the last day of the week. But never could put together the time and words for this.

Then I started off with my experiences with water after reaching here.. Being Always fascinated by water, I liked it here as well. The Wadsworh Falls , the Newport Beach , the Hudson river rafting.. Water in differnet form.. Each refreshing, each coming towards me.. I have no words for the experience..

2 months since in this country.. I dont feel much difference.. Looking at things and their working, its starkly different.. But underlying people, tendencies , working , feelings dont change.. I have been staying in Indian locality and also have American friends as well to give me insight into their lives.
What I see, is humans dont change much.. They stay the same, the upbringing matters a little , so does the society.. When it comes to reaction, we are humans and dont belong to any country..

This was not what i planned to write. I had planned to write a thought an an experience..
We three room-mates had gone out for a dinner last friday. They asked me a question " Tell us about yourself" A very simple question.. and I was dumb. I just couldnt think of a single sentence to say about myself. I was trying to put together something to say.. But I couldnt .. Finally what i blurted was " Who I am ? What I am ? is the eternal question .. 'Koa Hum' ( In Sanskrit) is the question is something that everyone is searching an answer. Ask me something specific that I can answer"
The topic ended there.. Probably they took it otherwise.. no idea..

The thought: It came up in a chat with a friend. He had watched a movie 'The Pursuit of Happiness' and I asked "Did you find it" That made me realise, Happiness is a pursuit till we kepe searching for it in others.. It simply stays inside us and we never look for it.
My inspiration for this was Shrek 3 - We always know what we are from inside. But we tend to beleive what others say . When we stop hearing others and Start believing in self we find The true Winner!

Is my thought and experience linked? Does it say that I dont know who I am , and I need to search myself? Does no harm finding what I am . So need to try!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fast and Furious!

What happens when a person who has just learnt to move hands and legs in water is taken to Deep ocean for a Swim?
I Know how it is!!

I had learnt driving in Dombivli, India from a driving school. after 7 months I went for a license exam, and got the Drivers license , International Driving Permit , et al. I also enrolled fro practice sessions with my driving school. I could take only 5 classes of half an hour each.
I have reached US 2 weeks ago. And I see that as I was informed, you are handicapped if you cant drive. But since driving is easier here, I felt I could manage.
So I got a rental car at company expenses. My friend, Hemendra asked me to drive on his colony road, and found that I know very little so he dint let me drive later in the day when we went to get Lisa, our American Friend and went on to dinner at another friend's place. The whole Stretch includes two Interstate highways, 2 Intrastate highways and the roads in the City of Hamden, Milford, East Haven.
As we went to the place Hemendra was driving all the way, as he had seen my driving.. We had a great dinner , it was Mexican without spices and Spanish. About the Dinner later some time. This story starts after the Dinner and the movie..

So After the Dinner and Movie, Lisa insisted that I drive back to her place, Hamden. and she navigates me to drive. Hemendra warned her against it.. But she was quite confident of me. And it took only minutes before she was sorry..

I was instructed .. "When I say right , you turn it on my side , when I say left turn to the left, when I say fast you have to step on the gas , when i say stop apply the brakes and slowly" So I was first to get the car out of Parking lot. in a reverse gear. Now hence onwards I dont speak.. Its Lisa or Hemendra .. "Right , RIGHT , You will hit the Car" "Slow Slow, brake brake " and I stepped on the Gas !!
Just missed the car on left. Now On the roads. In US of A you have STOP signs at intersections, where ther is no need of Traffic lights. AT each STOP sign you have to stop the wheels completely and then move forward. So as I encountered each STOP sign or signal.. "Stop Stop STOP" "Brake brake APARNA BRAKE!!!" and then when it was a turn .. "Right right RIGHT" , "left Left LEFT! APARNA LEFT" "Now stop doing that girl"
Thank god the roads were empty.. Slowly and bumpingly we reached the highway or the freeway that is an Interstate freeway.. Now the rules for Interstate freeways is that you have to maintain your laneand not to drive under 40 miles per hour. All the vehicles hence speed at 80-90 miles per hour.. and me was hardly reaching 20 miles mark.
As we entered the Highway , I was in full panic-I was at the wheel, three other people in the car. Some other vehicle hits in full speed and dunno what next.
Now anything after this is something I have heard from all these 3 people, I hardly remember the way.. The speed shot up to 55-60 and the wheel was shaky.. I was continuously drifting to the left and I had to drive on the right side of the road. I was drifting to a higher speed lane without any intention to drive faster, and without any indicator. atleast 3 cars whizzed past too closely and everytime Lisa pulled the steering to her side.. It must have been an hour or probably half , I really dont know and we reached Lisa's Town.. and slowed down.. Again a slow and bumping ride till her apartment came.. and when I stopped finally and parked and pulled out the keys, everyone came out.. And Fati, Hemendra's wife found her voice, after 5 minutes of coming out of the car. Me too regained a little of myself.
Because all the time I was driving
1. I was confusing between the Brakes and Accelerator(Gas Pedal)
2. Left turn was a fulllll left and a Fast one
3. Right was equally a full turn and fast one.
4. "BRAKE" word made me hit the gas pedal
5. "RACE" word made me hit the brakes.
6. Hitting any of the pedals with leg was quick, hard and fullpressure everytime, so a Brake wud be bringing the people on backseat to front and speed increased by 5-10 miles.

From Lisa's place to Hemendra's home ,Hemendra took over.. He had to :-)
This started my driving training all over again in US 0f A.. Story of this week long training some other time.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Radio Idli Softs!

Radio Idli .. an innovative concept.
It started off with a discussion to start a BAND of musicians in our Idli house Council. Idli house Council itself had started off by a bunch of Saraswat friends who had met over the Internet and thought of meeting offline. The meeting point was Idli house, a place run by the legendary A Rama Nayak family - a place where we got the typical Saraswat taste in the idlis / undis / khotto replete with all the Saraswat specific accessories like hinga(asafoetida ) chutney, pitti chutney or moolga pudi, karbeva chutney or nimbda pudi , loni( home made butter), Daalitoy whatever you ask for! This was a treat for all those who had left their homes for a job in Mumbai!
Soon this council of Idli house outgrew the Idli house capacity and as it grew , people from all walks of life , all ages of life were included in this enthusiastic group.
Meets and treks made all of us to do something more than fun and the Vision 2007 was born. To know the hidden aspects and talents of everyone and put it to some use of the community, Counselling, Job hunt, whatever possible.
As talents uncovered, it was found everyone had a great love for music, and so it started of as Radio Idli. Record your song and send to Nagesh.It can be a filmy song, it could be just your take at instruments, it could be a bhajan in any language, no bar! Nagesh took time from his busy schedules to upload it it on a blog as a snippet, give some of his RJ comments. Soon With songs came the music and so did some pep-talk. Sankalp peppered the Chutney Chat - interview sessions, Spontaneous Questions and interesting answers. Then came Lokabhiraam, he came , he spoke and he conquered the hearts of all young and old.
Radio Idli grew from being a Cherduvale Timepass to a Regularly awaited and heard Radio. In todays time when we have 8-10 FM Channels and all hooked to the RJs and the repetitive songs , Radio Idli is different. It has no bandwidth, It sits on a blog, frequency is weekly , yet it has its own audience.
Today its getting a lot of Media Coverage. I hope this week and further it doesnt pull down the Servers hosting the blog and the one storing the multimmedia clips !

As one of our veteran says , we should not say Radio Idli Rocks cos idli when become rock-like they arent eatable. So Radio Idli Softs!

I love Radio Idli!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I want to get well soon..

In our younger days, I had a lesson about a boy who wanted to fall sick. In his family everyone used to fall sick and he had to get medicines for each of them. One day, he thought I will fall sick and everyone will envy me. So next time when he went to the Doctor to get medicine, he told "It pains in my stomach" As the Doctor knew his obsession of sickness, he took a totally serious face and started examining. He examined his pulse, took his blood pressure, then tapped on his stomach. The boy was curious, kept asking questions, "Did I get appendicitis? Do I have malaria? Atleast do I have a fever? or atleast a little cold and cough? "
Doctor completed his examination without uttering a word. and then called him to his seat. "Little boy, you have got no disease, you are fit and fine. Now take this medicine for your sisters cough and run home" Our boy got dejected and went home...

I used to get simple headaches, skin infections, common cold, etc. But nothing that will give me a days leave, like fever or anything.. I got a lesson and a quite heavy. I got malaria, when I dint want it. so I am on a week long leave, when I should be fit and fine to prepare for my trip to a distant place. The fever comes at a fixed time and takes away all the energy i had collected till that time of that day. Every thing becomes so hot that its unbearable. My hands and my feet eject heat.
Slowly bu surely , the medicines have taken effect and now the fever is gone.. But the so has my energy.
I have to rejuvenate and get ready for my trip!. Probably this was the time I got to think over calmly about all the things I need to do and Should not do.To clear my thoughts out of all the confusions and repercussions and face the new day with renewed vigour!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Something that I liked ..


Somethings affect you in a different way..

Last saturday, I woke up early for a Driving class. After getting back, was not interested in sleeping again.. Sometime later, a sound was heard I our building. It was found that, an old lady staying alone, on the floor below, had tripped and was not able to get up. She was not able to reach the door to open it, So the people standing out were not able to assess the severity of injuries. After half an hour of discussion and trials to break open the door, my aunty struck the idea of calling a worksman from the Interior decorator shop downstairs. He came , he saw , and then he removed the window grill, entered inside, opened the door, fitted the window grill again and went back. All of us entered inside, saw that she had just not been able to get up and there were no injuries.. Three of us carried her inside to the bed. Someone got some tea and biscuits. She ate her medicine and then rested. She was alright next day and was at her door as usual.

This event set my thoughts running. I had long been postponing my visit to my Grandma. This event hit me hard and I tried for an earliest departure to her place. But alas, I could not get a ticket. I cancelled hte plans.. but it dint leave me.. Then suddenly I was too bored to go to office and felt like having a getaway.. The thoughts of visiting my Grandma came in.. Checkd the ticket status and miraculously there was one available.. I seized the moment booked the tickets. and here I am , At Karwar.. and my Grandma or Bapama as I call her, is sitting across reading one of her books.. She cant hear well, but her memory is sharp.. She can remember my birthdate, and my brother's too.. She remembers her visit to Mumbai, my aunt, my other grandma.. She remembers the time when she was young and tells me stories abt it. She doesnt flinch when I dont understand, when I cant relate, but continues.. She is 84 now.. and I wish she lives longer!

Its nice to be with her and my uncle here.. Its a differnt world..Slow paced, surrounded by hills, silent and peaceful. Its nice to see the smile on my Grandma's Face, thoughI was never so close to her.. I dont have a return ticket booked. But I dont worry.. As miraculously I am here, I will be back too..

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Valentine Day!

Last wednesday was Valentine's day.. I had known 14th Feb was near due to the "Be My Valentine" related poems and stories and FWDs had started flooding my mailbox!!!

Since the last few years have passed by, have seen the infatuated and the love-lorn exchanging gifts on this date. The Girl gets some gifts like a Shirt/kurta/watch and a pink/red card for her boy. While the boy hunts for cute things like soft toy, clay dolls with a pink card for his girls. Roses grow costlier on this day as the florists try to make the quick buck. Those who had been following their element of interest for a long time, try to voice out their feelings, some succeed some dont.. Some make it to the next Valentine some dont ..

This Valentine Day , I saw two couples. One whose marriage is fixed but yet to get officially engaged and other who has had a 25year long married life. Both the couples are similar since the he and she stay in different Cities.

Going by the younger couple first.. The guy had approached the girl first and let her know that their parents were planning their match only if the horoscopes matched. Orkut had helped him locate her. Then it started of a routine of daily chat, to know a bit of each other. Meanwhile the Marriage got fixed, and still they hadnt met. Come valentine day , and she struggled to find a card and gift to send it to him. Things dint work out as she planned and could send the card only on Valentine Morning.. and she had to show her card and letter to all her family members.. The Surprise came with a courier in her office, a BIG size. Neatly packed in an official jute envelope, It was a card from him and she smiled! The words on the card as she read, she was reassured that her choice was right!

The older couple.. He works in a different city and their children were studying in their hometown, she stays back in the hometown. Normally he visits his hometown and his family on weekends and he did that as usual in the weekend before Valentine. Their daughter and daughter-in-law planned to get them together on valentine day. So they sent her -the wife without informing him -the husband from her hometown to the city of his work with a cake, bouquet of Red roses and what not. She came to the city and decided to wait at her friends place which was in the next lane to where he stayed. To her surprise, she got a call from her daughter, that her husband was home with flowers and sweets! They both had been surprised !
The Story ended Happily as he returned to work next morning , came back from work early and spent the evening with his wife to celebrate the Valentine Day on 15th feb instead.. Where love is there is the Valentine Day!..

As an Afterthought -afterthought since I read the origin of valentine day story the next day- The valentine day is named after the Saint Valentine who HELPED the love-struck couples to marry each other since the King had banned Love Marriages in his rule. So does that mean , if someone says "Be my Valentine" is the actual meaning his "Please facilitate my marriage" :-)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Want to Post

I want to post something.. But dont have much in mind..

'cos in sometime I have to move out to take snaps of places around my city..
My Amma, an enthusiastic teacher, wants to put up an exhibition of how Dombivli looked 50 years back and now..
She caught hold of a illustrative book of those times and got it scanned and even got the prints of the scanned pictures. Now its my turn to put to use my Digital Camera to get Snaps of all those places as on date..

I hope I am good enough.. As such how many amateurs get a chance of exhibitions so soon :-P