Tag Archives: Nostalgia

Y is for yesterday

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I climbed a wall and cried at the top of it because I was too scared to jump off.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I cried because I was to leave a girls school and join a co-ed Coz I didn’t like boys.

Didn’t I just realise yesterday that boys make amazing friends too. 

And has it really been almost 20 years since I passed out of school and since I saw Port Blair !

Wasn’t I Just the nervous island return girl joining a college in Mumbai.

Has it really been 14 years since I first went to B school and met the Tall one and a lot of friends I have made for a lifetime?

Good lord , I started working 12 years ago.

Hello, wasn’t it just yesterday that the Tall one and I lived the dink life – back to back movies, late nights and not a care in the world

And the elf he was definitely born yesterday. Why does he keep claiming to be 4!
AAaah I guess this is being middle aged? I feel so old and yet I feel young. I don’t think I am old enough to be called middle aged. I am a bit apprehensive too. What’s next ? Will I have as many great memories of the rest of my life or will I bemoan yesterday. Will there be no excitement? Will I become a better version of me or will I just stagnate and remain who I am now. 

But like I said in the Q is for post – que Sara Sara – what will be, will be. But I owe it to me to live it up, don’t I?

This is my entry for Y as part of the April atoz challenge 

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P is for Postcards from Port Blair

I am totally going to cheat on this post. For most of you Port Blair is a travel destination, for me and for a lot of us who grew up there – Port Blair is a feeling. Last evening as i sat down to write about this place, the words felt inadequate. How do i put to words the place I was happiest in – an innocent carefree life. How do I describe the place I don’t want to go back to because I fear the memory is more beautiful than the reality. It’s the place i most want to take the Tall One and the Elf to but i dont want to because i feel they wont see it with my biased eyes

I posed this question to my “chaddi buddies” who grew up with me in this idyllic islands and got them to write about living in Port Blair. What amazed me is that each of our memories and thoughts are so similar. Some of us grew up there, some of us (like me) were there for a couple of years, some still called it home (where their parents still are) but we all felt the magic. The magic was in its simplicity, in its beauty and its purity. Bear with the post as 66% of my chaddi buddies recount our wonder years.

This is what Gi my friend of the lemonade fame had to say:

Growing up in Port Blair was fun. Everydat was a picnic -the kind you read in Enid Blyton books. We could see the sea from everywhere. We could go on boat rides whenever we wanted to, have a mid night picnic in the middle of the sea on a full moon night, go swimming and snorkeling. I still miss the smell of the sea and the feel of the sand under my feet, even though its been half a decade since I went back there. I would like to say that apart from all the good things, I personally saw pretty rough times too and Port Blair was my refuge from the world.

A few of us had been living in Port Blair since we were very little and left it when we grew up and a few us came and went with Parents postings. There was a magic bond that was created and I think it was because of the place, the sheer simplicity of it. I can say this for all of us that we would all like to go back there together and experience that again.

And this is what my other friend P had to say:

They called her a junglee – a quiet shy girl, full of dreams and ambitions. She geew from being a little girl, to a a teenager and a young adult on these beautiful.From the shores of the sea to the middle of forests a life which seems like something right out of the jungle book.

Carefree and happy full of memories- Running to catch a seat in the bus to get to the ferry, watching the sun rise and set each day along the horizon,the shimmers of the waves still catch her eyes and remind her of many picnics and outings movies and birthdays with her favorite bunch of the buddies -people she has known for most of her life…

PortBlair will always remain part of her no matter were she is or were she goes…

There is Reshmi from mum in the curry fame – she looks back nostalgically to the place which she still calls home (this was by far the toughest post to edit, i do hope she features the whole post on her blog someday

Living in a country  (US) where I did  not grow up but moved for education and job, I have often been asked ‘Where are you originally from?” Since my answer is not the simplest and the place not the easiest to know or locate, I i usually pull up a map to show. The reaction I get from people when I show them the speckles in a vast ocean on a map, never ceases to amuse me, followed by the ‘What’s the place called again?”

As much as I love telling people about my home, it’s the next question from them (which almost always follows the first) that trumps me. “Why in the world would you leave such a beautiful place to come HERE?”
However pragmatic my answer  sounds about a better life and job and all that jazz, truth is I ask myself that question more often that I have been asked by someone else.
How can you not love a place so beautiful! The only image that conjures in my mind when someone says HOME is that of a small town, views of the sea from every where, hills, clear skies (of course when its not pouring!), fresh air…I can go on. This is the place I spent 18 years of my life. Place that taught me the charm of small communities and simple living; the value of finding small joys in mundane things (getting drenched in the rain while walking back from school in spite of that umbrella in the bag!); where I made friendships that have lasted for so long that I don’t remember how long. Where I met the love of my life. Where my parents still are, where some of the people I value the most still live. The place that shaped my profession. The place that I would go back in a heartbeat (but then life’s reality blah blah blah).
Port Blair is also the place that I also miss the most. My husband thinks it’s only a matter of years that this love will give away to a mere memorable affection, and I fight him for that unwanted opinion. It is true that I may have chose to ignore the fact that the place and times have changed. Things may not be the same. But my Port Blair will always be what I remember from when I left. Port Blair may have moved on without me, but I will remain in denial that it has. And that is the reason why every time the sky becomes over cast, I remember home.Any time I hear the rain lashing out in the night and pounding my windows, I close my eyes and pretend I am home, lying on my bed, and falling asleep to the sound of the rain.
This is what my friend – “Ginny” had to say
It is and always has been about the people. Port Blair to me was my friends, family,and neighbors. These people shaped my experiences of the town, and my childhood.With my family I explored most of what the island had to offer- hikes, boat trips, snorkeling and swimming on some of the most remote islands. My neighbors were the playmates during the scheduled power cuts in the evenings, and companions on various picnics that our mums organized. But, it was my friends who made Port Blair come alive for me.

It was with and through them that I appreciated what it had to offer. Not, just the beauty, but a sense of community and self. Even though we were thousands of miles away from everything, I belonged. We were behind the times, but it didn’t feel like that because my friends (the chaddi buddies you’ve heard about before) were way ahead of the times. With our fabulous sense of fashion and selves, we had a blast in what could often be a sleepy town. Countless hours were spent on the phone (we used them to talk to each other, I know…how ancient!), and then countless more at school and tuitions.

As with most things, our collective time on the island came to an end. We dispersed off to corners of the mainland, and some left the country. It was then that I realized,going back to Port Blair was nice, because it had been home, but it was only fun and real when my friends were around.

So, to me Port Blair is a state of mind, and thanks to my friends and our whatsapp group, I’m there each and everyday soaking in the sunshine, feeling the spray of salt on my skin and swimming with the dolphins.
This is part of the blogathon for April and this is my blog spot for P

Welcome my dear friend,

Welcome my dear friend,

It’s been a little under a year since we last met. I just need to see you to feel refreshed – I know you have this influence on a lot of people. Your perfume always signals your arrival. Nothing smells better to me.

You and I we go back a long time, you were always there to accompany me on my first day of school. While in the Andamans, you were there to welcome me every afternoon of the nine months you visited us – right as we got off the school bus truck. We jumped into puddles as we made our way home. Well I jumped and you elegantly pit-patted your way into those puddles. In college we met at marine drive where you throughly drenched me

Yes my beloved monsoons welcome !!! With you off goes the heat and the sticky face and in comes the cool breeze and feel of everything being anew.

A lot has happened since we last met. I have a son now – who I hope will love you as much as I do and not view you with the indifference his dad has or the dislike that a lot of people especially Mumbaites have for you!

You remember, last year in Bhandardhara – where i threw off the umbrella at the dam and got throughly wet! The friends declared me insane and foresaw all kinds of illness. Of course I didn’t know it at that time, but that would have been around the time, the Elf was conceived, so you see you did make your mark on his life very early. The year before last, a walk after gym in the rain made my day.

It was short visit by you today but everything looks so clean – so washed. The elf was asleep and woke up to a very excited mother telling him about the rain. He didn’t quite get what the excitement was about but loved the little rhyme on the rain that i insisted on singing to him

“It’s raining, it’s pouring,
The little baby is snoring,
He got into bed and missed the rain
WOken up to find his mom insane.

This year he might be a little young to greet you as i love to but maybe next year, he will throw off his umbrella and get drenched and joy the excited screams of all the kids playing downstairs.

Wisdom from the 20’s

Di’s‘s post on turning 29 inspired this. While it’s too late for me to make lists – considering i have just about 2 months before D-day! So i have made a list of my key learnings in the past decade!

I have learnt that

1. The opposite of love is not hate but indifference. Hate is just another form of love. Indifference helps you let go of pain and hurtful memories a lot faster

2. It’s ok to make mistakes at work. As a former boss once told me, making mistakes shows that you are actually attempting to work!!! yes he used the words attempting

3. However in the rest of your life’s decisions, there are no mistakes – there are no rights/wrongs. Every step you have taken is just a step into creating the person that you are today.

4. Ambitions change – As you grow up you realize you may never be the hot shoot career professional that you aspired to be – but it won’t matter.

5. It is possible to love without having any walls or inhibitions

6. You need girl friends – enough said!

7. You will make a lot of friends – the important ones will remain

8. Your body is growing old – take care of it

9. Spend time with your loved ones so that you have no regrets

10. A lot of your problems and issues are self created – don’t complicate other’s life and your own with your insecurities. i said a lot of your problems – not all

11. I used to think that to find bliss you needed some form of external stimuli – i have learnt that you can find bliss in solitude

12. Happiness or Sadness is what you choose to be!

20’s – i wonder if you still have some lessons for me before i sign off and join the very adult world of the “30’s”?

Ramblings from a rickety old cab

As i sat in the cab last night, i was over whelmed by the number of lights from all the high rise building. So many people – strangers to one another.and me a tiny speck – something that doesn’t matter!

Took me back to a time, when i was working in Mumbai – thrilled to be posted back to this city i loved and studied in for seven long years. The hours i spent at Barista, watching people while reading, the walks along bandstand, the millions of books i read, hours of talking to the tall one, cheeni and my mom on the phone, the weekend partying didn’t help. I realized i was lonely – lonely in this city which i thought was mine – no good friends, no family – no one to go home to. I was quite relieved when i was sent back to Bangalore.

Yesterday – as i sat and watched thousands of people make their way home, many of whom would go home to an empty house – I felt humbled i have you.

You waiting for me, worrying about me getting stuck in traffic, advising me on the best way to get to you – Someone in this horde of people in Mumbai – for whom i am the centre of the universe (even if i say so myself)

Thank you sweetheart…for everything i say and most of all for all the things i don’t say! I couldn’t have got luckier!!

here’s wishing you the most fantastic year ahead and many many years of being agonized by me!

Happy Birthday!!

p.s. am off home for a week…so ciao people – will see u on the otherside 🙂

Comfortably Numb

Inspired by this blog of Tanishka’s-whose blog I have just started reading and totally loving it. I am still trying not to judge her for loving Karan Singh Grover but ummm whatever.

So my dream job as a child – I think when I was perhaps somewhere between 8-12 years old – was to own a store. A store where everything was sold right from screws and nails to Barbie dolls to furniture. The idea was everything under the sun.

My Store was called ummm – “Sweet heart Store”…why u ask? Was I one of those kids who grew up too fast and wanted a sweetheart? Nope! The answer lies in my artistic skills…I could pretty much only draw hearts and hence the logo of my store pretty much determined its name. The colours of the hearts were purple and pink- coming to think of it – I should charge coffee day royalty for stealing my colours. I used to write letters to suppliers when my stock ran out complete with the “Sweet heart logo”. I would write thank you letters to customers who appreciated my service.

Sweet heart store was a part of my company called the “Red eye” corporation – which also was in the business of printing birthday cards, writing stories and so on. The red eye corporation had a logo – a sad looking flying bird with a red eye…once again my creativity was limited by my lack of artist skills. Remnants of the red eye corporation can be found with the grannies and the mother in the form of birthday cards, anniversary cards and the like.

I think around the the same time want to be a “vamp” in movies duh – primarily driven by the astounding success of me as Cinderella’s step sister. My grandparents had come to watch the play at school and were shocked that the soft spoken shy I (yes I was that way) could act so brilliantly. I must say I loved the adoration of the fans (the grandmother who recites the story to this day) and the filmfares I won..yes they were in my head but so what I won them didn’t I?

There was also this phase when I wanted to be an archaeologist – you know highest marks in history and all – until I realized that archaeology involved digging and mud and dust – all of which were really not my forte.

And then came along NDTV/Star news and I was all about war journalism – until I realized that there was a fairly high degree of danger to self – So jaan pyari decided that she would be a war journalist who would visit after a war and let people know about the after effects of a war.

But somewhere life took over – and the entrepreneur turned actress turned archaeologist turned journalist became a banker!

Why u ask? Because I think that sometimes life’s realities kill dreams. Ask me today do u want to be an entrepreneur and I will say No – cause I like my Saturday, Sunday’s off and I like my annual getaways and holidays and the like. And I am not willing to sacrifice even one year of the same. Archaeology and Journalism – at the time I decided to do commerce where not considered the most ‘reliable” source of income and hence discarded by the much too practical me.

Have I made the right choice? I don’t know?
Is it too late? – I think so…
Is this what I am meant to do? – Hell No- my life must be more than about being a banker?
Do I love my job?- No, but I don’t hate it on most days.
Is that a good sign? – I don’t know
Would I have loved doing the other things? – Who knows?
Will I crib about dreams left behind – of course
Will I regret it on my death bed – I will blog about that …umm from heaven I guess Smart alecs- I am going to heaven – I have halo and all

Will I make a change – No I won’t, I am much too complacent…
You see I have become comfortably numb

Musing from an aeroplane window

Darkness is always associated with something evil or something depressing.
But we who live in the city don’t know what darkness is.
You realize when you look out of the window from a dimly lit night flight.
You are flying over deserted land and see darkness…so dark and beautiful – so peaceful and serene.
You wish you could sleep every night in this environment.
Am sure the weariness we feel would be lifted if only our nights were as dark as this

You realize in wonder that the world is round after all
when beyond the darkness, in the horizon you see a light pink light.
In that land beyond, someone is packing their bag to go back home,
Someone is looking forward to the best time of the day with their family
They have a little bit of the day left – just a little bit.

And then you see your city from the air.
So beautiful at night with all its lights
The lights look like a cluster of diamonds
The dirt, the slums, the ugliness all hidden
You feel a tug in your heart
A city you have spent 13 years of your life.

There was a time when this city meant
Coming home to mamma,our happy life here – shopping, fighting et all
It meant friends and hostel and all the madness that friendship involves
Today sometimes the city seems a mechanical place where i drift in and out of an office
But then comes the weekend and the city transforms
To a happy place with my home, friends and my weekend life
Ensuring i can never be indifferent to this tough city

The flight lands,
I have been away from this city only a day
A few minutes of “intense” coordination see me in my comfortable swiffy reddy (red swift…duhhh)
With him who makes any place home.