Wednesday, April 27

TTMM ( = Tu Tera, Main Mera)

You must’ve heard this abbreviation before. It stands for each one to his own.

In college, when pocket money is sparse, this usually indicates going dutch and paying their own expenses even when folks hang out as a gang. Works well, you can eat and drink what you want as per your budget without bothering about who’s ordering what and paying for another’s bills.

Why is this post titled TTMM? Coz…


Whoever said “treat others’ possessions are your own” sure wasn’t related to Harishchandra in anyway.


I mean, really, who treats others things as well as their own?


Sure, I am pretty careful with others’ stuff but I cannot say with 100% assurance that I am as concerned about it as my personal belongings.


And I bet you, if you think I’m bad, others are worse.


Take for instance Mr. A (name withheld coz I don’t wanna defame anyone) who is crazy about his four wheeler. It would be an understatement if I said he adored his vehicle more than his wife or sister. His passion and possessiveness for his car is as flagrant as the sun on a bright summer afternoon. And yet, when his hands touch the steering of any other car that isn’t his, he transforms into a raging, excited school kid driving for the first time. I’ve often imagined that he is on a mission to check whether the vehicle is fit to take on the Indian roads, or to be more precise, the potholes and manoeuvres of a psycho rider…


If you think this person is raw and young (which he isn’t by the way, at least going by his chronological age), then let me tell you about this mature woman who wants her furniture to be used with care and elegance, and yet steps sloppily (and intentionally) on others’ impeccably clean sofas and sheets.


Why???


The other day, I went to give my bike for servicing. I was calmly aware that my heart ached as my beloved Scooty Pep awaited its turn in the scorching heat to be accepted by the on-duty attendant. There was no shade, so it was time to tan for the both of us.


When his highness finally came by to grace us, he plonked his butt hastily on the bike, asked for the key and vroomed away aggressively for a test ride. I was seething, but obviously could not say a word. “Does he do that with his own bike?” I wondered aloud.


Honestly… Why do people not treat others stuff as gently and cautiously as their own?


This feeling of “not mine” displays a selfish, malicious mind. One that discriminates and hates, envies and destructs.


And don’t tell me you’re not guilty. I don’t need to know. Your heart will confess if your tongue stays still or lies. We all do. In tiny or gigantic ways. We all have done this sometime…


But what’s done is done. The important part is, let’s not do it again.


The next time you borrow something or someone leaves their property with you, take good care of it. If not like your own, then BETTER than your own.


Fill extra fuel before you return the bike you borrowed.


A friend lent you a book? Ensure you don’t leave dog ears on the pages. Don’t read while you eat (or vice-versa) so that you won’t drop or mess up the paperback.


Small things, eh? But I’m sorry, most of us do not follow these simple etiquettes. We think we’re close and casual, so we needn’t bother with such protocol. But believe me you, you can never go wrong with decorum and decency. It only makes people want to lend you things more. Coz they know they can trust you. They realise their assets are safe with you.


Wouldn’t you expect the same when you give your cherished goods to someone? Haven’t you been petulant when visitors litter your house and neighbours throw their garbage in front of your door?


You can’t complain if you’re doing the same.


So let’s do our bit.


Every drop counts…


Best wishes, and good luck!!


- Princess

Friday, April 22

You and I

This pain is something I can endure no more,
Let’s part, you and I…


We laughed till we cried,
And we cried as we hugged each other tight,
Tough times became easier together,
And we created celebrations for a lifetime,
But…

This pain is something I can endure no more,
Let’s part, you and I…


I could see joy in your smile when you saw me,
I could sense the peace that my presence brought you,
Hours seemed like minutes and days rushed by,
And our love and companionship grew by the second,
But…

This pain is something I can endure no more,
Let’s part, you and I…


Holding hands, we faced the world,
We made a million promises without saying a word,
Our trust and faith was unshakeable,
And life was one merry paradise,
But…

This pain is something I can endure no more,
Let’s part, you and I…


Fate is a funny thing,
It can make mountains turn to dirt,
As the rosiness in our bond turned insipid,
I shed a billion tears and so did you,
I know…

This pain is something we can endure no more,
Let’s part, you and I…


We persevered to make this work,
Anger gradually gave way to frustration,
When all our efforts turned fruitless,
We begged and pleaded, and fought and blamed,
All for the sake of love…


This pain is something we can endure no more,
Let’s part, you and I…


Now when we meet with a hope,
Of the good times that remain a fond but hazy memory,
I see the dream crumble before my eyes,
As the distance appears too far to be bridged,
And I weep inside…


This pain is something I can endure no more,
Let’s part, you and I…


I see the hurt in your eyes,
As I feel misunderstood deep inside,
Helplessness engulfs me,
As I try to bring the sparkle back, in vain,
The magic is gone…


This pain is something I can endure no more,
Let’s part, you and I…


I don’t want to meet you again,
To further torture my mind,
And massacre my now few, pleasant recollections,
Unfortunately, I know you suffer the same,
But there’s nothing more that can be done…


This pain is something we can endure no more,
Let’s part, you and I…


But I shall always remember you with love…
And miss you when you’re gone…


And yet for now…


This pain is something I can endure no more,
Let’s part, you and I…


May the lord be with you.


- Princess

Sunday, April 17

Cricket Mania

Yes, I am Indian.

Of course, I’m loyal to my country.

No, I’m not a crazy cricket lunatic.

And hey, that does not make me any less patriotic than you.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am not mad about what is undoubtedly India’s national game.

(Did you say hockey? I am sorry, but half the Indian youth don’t even know the names of 3 famous hockey players. Awareness should certainly be an important criteria for choosing the national anything. As my dad says, the national bird of India ought to be the crow as it is so famous and commonly observed, and not the peacock. Ditto for the national animal – a cow, or maybe the donkey… why the tiger? The number’s declining anyway. We don’t want an extinct national animal! One that appeals to hunters and souvenir collectors so much that they’d want to kill it!! Naah… Besides, other sportsmen in the nation also acknowledge and accept the fact that no game is greater than cricket in India.)

Anyway, the point is, I don’t go all silly and stressed when the Indian team’s playing a match, nor do I offer prayers for the Indian team to win. I do not worship Tendulkar, and I’m not star-struck by Dhoni, Kohli or Yuvi. I’m glad they won the WC and I’m pleased they made the country proud. Yet, I’m not going all ga-ga about them. Good job, guys. Move on now and don’t lose focus. The number of rewards you’re receiving is well worth all the effort you put in. I mean, really!! Every state and organization is bestowing millions on the players, and they’re being gifted cars and plots in the plush areas of the nation.

However, I WAS sucked into the riotous tornado called the ICC World Cup 2011. I had no option considering that all everyone was discussing and watching the tournament.

Did I say match? WAR is more like it. Especially the ones with Australia, Pak and Sri Lanka.

(My fav WC joke: this one was after India trounced Australia and was about to take on Pakistan… The Indian team hunted 11 kangaroos, so they’re being punished. Now, they have to defeat 11 street dogs. ROFL)

(Another one: I don’t quite remember this one, but it was during the India-Lanka match and there were pictures and smses doing the rounds about Ram defeating Ravana. Also, another one says that the Lankans now drink tea out of saucers coz Indians took the “cup”!)

(Oh, and the baap of the lot: A letter to the Thackerays says “A Delhi boy and Jharkand captain alongwith a Chandigarh chap have brought the World Cup home, and they’ve dedicated it to every Indian, especially in Maharashtra. What say now?!!”… Superlike!!)

I watched the finals with as much gusto as any average Indian. Watching the cricketers sweat and run around in the heat made me feel sorry for the boys. And impressed too. Well done lads! Well done…

It was outstanding. The atmosphere in the entire country was lively, optimistic and contagious. I’m afraid to think what would have been the case had India lost the final or semi-final. The team would’ve been ashamed, the citizens would have been incensed and frustrated. Newspapers would unearth another scam and reporters would go nuts hatching and revealing schemes and frauds.

But why be negative when the outcome of the WC has been so frigging amazing? People like my uncle and me who couldn’t care less about cricket sat down for the final match and watched and cheered as madly as teenage boys. I was a little scared about our fate when Sehwag and Tendulkar shamed us with their poor scores; I half thought we’d lost it. Yet, I know the majority of the nation still was hopeful and not for a minute did they stop vouching for India’s prowess and triumph.

What can I say, Dhoni sealed the match with the last ball… and 1.2 billion Indians within the country applauded lustily! The fire crackers were deafening as were the throngs that hit the city roads and celebrated India’s victory. Cricket is undoubtedly a religion here. And for so many, Sachin is god…

No points for guessing that the DLF IPL doesn’t interest me. I remember I memorized the team names last time and tried to keep up with the scores as tons of people around me were betting and raving about the matches. This time, I couldn’t care less. And honestly, after the World Cup win, the IPL is like an anti-climax. Yet, I’m not saying that the finals won’t garner much attention. Religion is religion after all :-) Be it the tenth or hundredth time, at a local or international level…

That reminds me, I need to download the IPL tune; love the baaja that kicks off their anthem.

Tana-na-na-na-nanana!!

Hail cricket!

- Princess

Monday, April 11

Chaadni Raatein

Chaandni raatein… Sab jag soye, hum jaage, taaro se karein baatein…


One of my fav songs…


I find it hard to fall asleep immediately after work. So, when I get home post midnight, I usually watch TV or read or yak with some night owls, in that order. And of course, visit Facebook - the lifeline of youth today.


What I’ve certainly not done for as long as I can recall is sit back a moment and just relish nature. Keep all thoughts at bay and appreciate the many beauties of the ecosystem…


The simple joys of living. The uncomplicated beauty of nature. The mind not engaged in any contemplations or worries. The heart not burdened by any sorrows or dilemmas. Just the cool breeze and the soul, mingling together and exchanging unspoken thoughts.


When did all this revolutionary realization strike me?


When one unthinking moment in the night, I clumsily stepped onto the elegant sofa in our living room and pushed my face outside the huge French window.


The cool night breeze caressed by cheeks and chilled my stressed eyes and head.


My aunt calls such moments “enjoying my balcony” (terrace / house / mangoes / as applicable).


To me, it was nothing less than paradise. I clung onto the moment spellbound, unwilling to let go, wanting the night to regale me with all the pleasures it had to offer a newbie…


It dawned on me why dogs love to place their wet nose outside the window as cars zoom past. Trust me, it was splendid! Pity I’ve missed it all these days.


Better late than never… I vow to do it more often and give the TV and FB some respite.


Apart from this one-off instance, what I do on most nights is watch TV. While there usually isn't much to watch on the idiot box at that ungodly hour, it’s often past 3 by the time I force myself to sleep. Reruns of popular shows and films on Sony Pix, World Movies and Zee Studio keep me entertained.


So, the other day I switched on the television, and I saw that the blockbuster Titanic had just begun. It's a lovely movie - touching, horrifying, beautiful and tragic; all at the same time. I thought I'd see a few scenes and then go to bed.


Need I tell you that that wasn't what happened…


I was glued to the sofa for the next 3 hours, despite having seen the film several times before. When I next looked up at the wall clock (a pretty and unique one that I bought when our den was being renovated), it proudly declared 4 am. Wow, time for the early birds and my mum to rise, and high time for me to catch some shut-eye.



What made me watch the film again, you ask?


Death. And the foresight of it.


Are you afraid of death? Do you not want to die? How is it knowing you’re going to die someday? What if you knew when you were going to die?


To answer my questions myself – no, I am not afraid of death. At least not death as a concept. Sure, I don’t want to bid adieu in a slow, painful way. I’d prefer the quick, instantaneous types where I don’t even realise its pack up time…


I don’t not want to die. I don’t not want to live either. I know death is inevitable. As mum always reminds me, the time for each one to be born, to marry and to die is fixed. Your time of demise is finalised the very second you’re born. So, I am aware its going to happen, and as I have no regrets in life, I don’t mind saying goodbye when the time comes… Frankly, I don’t know if I will be ready when it actually happens or if all my wishes will have been fulfilled leaving me content and happy. But I do know that I won’t curse god or beg to live. I’ll accept it gracefully.


If I knew when I was going to die, I’d definitely freak out a little and mark it on my calendar!


Before the destined hour, I would make all the telephone calls, visits and donations that I need to make, and joyfully tell everyone that I love them. I’ll thank them for making my living moments cheerful, memorable ones and I’ll also ask for forgiveness if I’ve intentionally or unintentionally hurt them. And last but not the least, I’ll tell them I’m going away forever and not to miss me too much. And hey, don’t not miss me either :-)


As Jack and Rose sped through the watery confines that were soon to become coffins for so many, I was filled with dread and compassion. It is one thing to wait for it in its own sweet time, and entirely another to see it coming, with as much certainty as night follows day. I speculated whether I would jump into the sea and just stop swimming, letting the waves take me where they may and finally drown me when they were done playing. Or would I gasp and flail and try to swim and keep afloat, hoping that someone would come to help. Or would I stay on the boat itself, like the captain and a few other passengers, savouring my last moments of life…


I had no answer then. The answer fails me now too.


But I do know this. If I ever happen to be disabled beyond repair or hospitalised for life, I don’t want that life. Please kill me. Euthanasia might be a crime. But I cannot expose myself to pain and others to inconvenience for a few hours / days / weeks of laboured breathing. I will not have needles stuck into me, so what if the absence thereof cuts short my life by a few months? I’d rather live a short, healthy, independent life with respect than a lengthy one that is a trouble for me and others alike.


Oh, and make sure my eyes are donated. I want someone to be able to see. To understand what colours are, to know what beauty is, to watch playful puppies and the sultry sunrise... to feel blessed…


Just like what I felt when I looked outta the window that night in my house…

Love,
Princess

Wednesday, April 6

Hippity Hop!

Hey there!!

Gyaan Guru Maa is back :-)

I love those dance movies where people are passionate about dancing and there are contests where amazing talent is displayed and discovered.

For example: Step Up, Dirty Dancing, Footloose…
(Can’t remember any Hindi movie apart from Dil Toh Pagal Hai and Aaja Nach Le, which were definitely not as exciting as the English counterparts.)

Even the Hollywood films with cheerleader competitions are super fun to watch – Bring It On, et al.

Really, I think no one can beat the Americans when it comes to boogie-ing!

Especially the hip-hop. And that’s my topic for the day…


Ta-daaa!!

A little history / introduction, anyone?!!

Captain Wiki to the rescue…
(As always… honestly, where would we be without google and wiki?)

So, (I quote from the site…) Hip-hop dance includes a wide range of styles notably breaking, locking, and popping which were developed in the 1970s by Black and Latino Americans. Freestyling, battles, and ciphers—are key components of hip-hop dance. What do they mean? Read on…

Hip-hop dance is unique because it is often freestyle (improvisational) in nature and hip-hop dancers frequently engage in battles (formal or informal freestyle dance competitions). Informal freestyle sessions and battles are usually performed in a cipher, "a circular dance space that forms naturally once the dancing begins.”

To some, hip-hop dance may only be a form of entertainment or a hobby. To others it has become a lifestyle: a way to be active in physical fitness or competitive dance and a way to make a living by dancing professionally.

This form of dance is more than 30 years old, and it became widely known after the first professional crews were formed in the 1970s. The most influential groups are the Rock Steady Crew, The Lockers, and the Electric Boogaloos who are responsible for the spread of breaking, locking, and popping respectively. What’s this now, you say?

Breaking includes four foundational dances:
1. Toprock - footwork oriented steps performed while standing up
2. Downrock - footwork performed on the floor using the hands to support your weight
3. Freezes - stylish poses done on your hands
4. Power moves - difficult and impressive acrobatic moves.

Two more interesting terms in breaking are:
Drops - Transitions between toprock and downrock, and
Burns - A move intended to embarrass the opponent during a battle, such as crotch grabbing.

Locking is similar to a freeze or a sudden pause. A locker's dancing is characterized by consistently locking in place and after a quick freeze moving again.

Popping is based on the technique of quickly contracting and relaxing muscles to cause a jerk in the dancer's body, referred to as a pop or a hit.

Enough about the technicalities. You can visit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip-hop_dance for further info.

Let’s check out some freezes… that’s what excites me!!


A freeze is a breakdance technique that involves halting all body motion, often in an interesting or balance-intensive position. It's like "freezing" into ice. Freezes often incorporate various twists and distortions of the body into stylish and often difficult positions. Depending on what part of the body is in contact with the ground, there are several freezes like the headstand, handstand, forearm, elbow and shoulder freezes.


Here are some other funky-titled freezes, with visuals where possible:






Planche - body straddled parallel over the ground, while arms are straight

(Looks fantastic, eh?)









Baby freeze - hands are used for balance, with the nearest side of your waist on one elbow and a knee on the other.

(Surely, no baby could do this....)









Chair freeze - arched to the floor, arm stabbed into the back to support the body

(Variations are airchairs, of which double airchair is the most difficult and dangerous - rarely seen or performed.)




Turtle freeze - All the weight is placed onto the hands and the rest of the body is suspended above the ground



Pike - A freeze with one hand planted on the ground while the entire body is perpendicular to the floor with both feet held high to the air.


Hollowback - a bridge with feet not touching the floor


And now I'm all geared up... no, not to learn hip hop but to watch a dance-themed movie...!!


Catch ya later, pumpkins!!


"Sign"-ing out with a freeze...


(one of the simpler ones obviously)


(or maybe I'll just stand still with my hands flailed out...)


Cheerio!
Princess

Friday, April 1

Oh Bother!

You thought I was weak,
I don’t seem to be so anymore…

Does that bother you?

You took your call by walking outta my life,
Not caring how I felt, or how I’d survive,
Now that I’ve found greater happiness in your absence…
Does that bother you?

You believed I was lonely,
Yet the exuberance in my league is deafening…

Does that bother you?

You were the centre of my universe,
And you threw it all away,
My having decided to not punish myself any longer…
Does that bother you?

You considered me understanding and different,
And came close to me, saying we were meant to be…

Does that bother you?

Memories of times bygone linger in my mind,
I’m sure they’re in your trash bins rotting away,
As I create moments of joy with those around you…
Does that bother you?

As I watch you stroll and smirk,
I believe you’re happy or at least pretending…

Does that bother you?

I still cringe when I feel your eyes on me,
Your voice and presence make me go insane,
For all my moving on, I still keep coming back…
Does that bother you?

It bothers me…

And your being bothered or not,
Doesn’t matter anymore.

Coz I know I’m meant to be happy,
And I know I deserve better;
You lost something precious that you didn’t value,
And trust me… it shall someday bother you…
When I lie cosy and happy with the one that treasures me.

I promise I will.
You… but who cares?


- Princess