Tuesday, December 25


He loved to look at their hands. Not in the dirty, fetish kinda way, like they spoke about in psycho movies and books. His fondness was in the curious, genuine sort of way.

Short and stubby fingers. Long, bony ones. Fleshy palms. Green river-like veins trailing from wrist to knuckles. Fair hands so smooth that butter sliding over them would appear rough. Hardened skin with corns borne out of labor and lack of care.

He loved them all. They enthralled him beyond imagination.

Each one told him a story that he was eager to know.

Like the last time he was mixing shades of blue bangles for the lady of the visiting diplomat. Her hands, though neat and manicured still told a sturdy tale. After all, she had worked as a stenographer for a lengthy period of time, apart from working with thimbles and needles, and washing the clothes and dishes for even longer.

But all that was in the past. A past that her present would never disclose.

Except when someone looked at her hands.

He had. And he smiled at her, the knowing smile which shows both awe and empathy. She had smiled back, grateful that he hadn't said a word about what was obvious on his face.

She knew that he knew. It did not matter how. They were united in

Another time, he had set eyes on a few cuts and burn marks on a homely
maid's forearm. Punished for not being handsome enough, not bringing home enough money, and not being a good wife or mother.

He had seen them all, and they had shared that awkward moment with grace and simplicity. There was nothing tactical or inappropriate about it.

There had been no infidelity or sacrilege. It was possibly the purest form of understanding between any two individuals. Unconditional and unspoken.

He tried to sketch them a few times to preserve the memory of that vision and silent conversation. He made a mess of the entire experience. So, he stopped drawing. But his enchantment with this unusual hobby was far from over.

Working at a bangle shop suited him just fine. Though it did not pay enough to buy the new jacket that had caught his fancy at the Chor Bazaar, it gave him unrestricted access to all types of women and their hands. And with that, he was content.

"Chhote, aa gaya tu?"
( = So, you're here )

"Haan, bhaiya."
( = Yes )

"Chal, pendant ke counter par khda ho ja. Bhole ki chhutti hai."

( = Take care of the pendant counter. Bhole is on leave )

( = But...)

"Arre, chinta mat kar. Teri choodiyon ka dhyaan Monty rakh lega. Waise bhi auraton ko choodi dekhni hai, tujhe nahi"

( = Dont worry. Monty will look after the bangle counter. Anyway, the ladies are interested in bangles, not you )

The entire shop guffawed. A few clients looked at Chhote, they were not sure what they felt though the poor chap looked crestfallen. Most unknown sorrows are met with indifference.

Somebody's world was crumbling, and all they felt was indifference....

After all, intact bangles do not mean somebody's dream isn't broken.

- Princess

Tuesday, December 18

Funny Musings

I wonder how life would’ve been with you…

Once upon a time, you seemed like the perfect soulmate. It was like my dream come true when I set eyes on you. You seemed so perfect, everything about you appeared divine. Even your shortcomings had a peculiar cuteness about them. I couldn’t bear to be away from you, and time flew when we were together.

But that was a long time ago.

Now, with you in your changed life, and me in my lively one, I muse … Were my suspicions confirmed when I said we’re better off apart? Or was it a decision that I would regret for life?

I’m yet to know… But you know already… Coz you’ve moved on… and your new life has begun.

“Funny” is the only word that comes to mind when I try to categorize this situation. Sad, happy, weird, confusing, annoying, frustrating, helpless, ridiculous – it all can be described as “funny”.

Life is “funny”.

When you’re in the midst of things, experiencing and living each moment, black and white is clear. You can easily say yes or no, and right or wrong. But when you look back at the memories, you hesitate before being ruthlessly final. Greys and questions remain… What if I’d taken the other option, what if I’d gone the other way?

What if I’d agreed to elope with you that night…?

Would we have been one merry couple now?

Or would I have been weeping in distress coz I made the wrong choice…?

Some questions remains unanswered forever…

It’s “funny” how I still remember you longingly. Never thought I would. I always thought I was better off without you. That you brought too much pain and trouble to my otherwise peaceful life. 

And now, in my relatively serene routine, I look back at all those times… and I miss you…

Some aches are gratifying, some wounds stay for life…

Our love is a scar that I carry with me wherever I go.

Our laughs, our fights, our crazy and challenging times lurk just a memory away, waiting to be beckoned.

They know I’ve not forgotten them though I don’t call upon them too often. They know they bring me warmth even as they sting. They know how I feel.

Do you?

Sometimes walking away is the best thing to do…

Sometimes, ending a way of life is the only thing to do…

Sometimes, all you can do is give up…

I did.

I walked away, ending it all, giving up what I’d come to accept and believe as mine…

Am I happier now?

I don’t know.

I wish I could say it doesn’t matter, but obviously it does.

Does it matter to you?

You, in your new life, do you know that I haven’t and can never throw you out of my mind and 

You shall forever remain… and whoever comes next, will have to share… Coz I was yours once… Heart and soul, body and mind…

Weird are the ways of fate.

“Funny” they say.

(No reference to any person, living or dead.... This is a piece of fiction, and any resemblance is purely coincidental.... and blah blah blah... and blah)

- Princess

Tuesday, December 11

Fright Time

If you're as big a horror movie buff as me, then you sure need to watch the films listed below (unless you have already, in which case you can watch them again)...

Let me also tell you that I get freaked out by most movies, or atleast some scene in most spectral movies. This might make you call my taste rubbish, but hey, this is my blog, and I will talk about my fav horror films in this post. Just so we're clear :-)

Here's the "ghostly" list (not in any particular order). 7 movies for the next week, one night at a time...

1. Bhoot - My all time fave Hindi horror movie. It was a rage back then, but even now, you will see people speaking about Urmila's awesome acting and the terrific direction. This Bollywood movie gave me sleepless nights, and had me clamoring each time it was talked about or screened on TV (edited obviously, but exciting nevertheless). Good performances by the other actors, too - Rekha, Ajay Devgn (Devgan / Devgun / whatever).

2. Forget me not - I watched this recently and loved the climax. Totally unexpected end. It's about a group of friends and how their friends start forgetting them once they are dead. Who's killing them? Why? How is everybody's memory erased? Great watch.

3. Ragini MMS - Interesting story, simple yet gives you the chills. A guy tries to seduce his girlfriend to create a porn video, and things start going awfully wrong in the deserted house.

4. The Exorcism of Emily Rose - Now this is a brilliant movie, perfect in every sense. A lot of its scenes have been ripped off by other unimaginative directors. Yet, the thrill quotient is nothing short of extreme. No doubt you've watched a lot of exorcism dramas, but this one really takes the cake. Don't miss it.

5. Pet Cemetry - A very old movie, but remains on the top 10 list of any horror page. It's a story of a family that loses a pet and then a child. With a life-giving cemetry situated next door, what would you expect?

6. Raaz / 1920 - Now I am not particularly fond of the actors in both these films, but there is something very rugged and believable about them both. Dead lovers and their vengeance - that thought deserves a rightful place on this list. Watch and enjoy!!

7. The Ring - Innovative. Creepy. Nice flick. You watch a movie, and then get someone else to watch it right after so that you can skip being murdered. What's the story? Who's the little girl? Crazy sh*t.

I could recommend a lot of other movies - Shelter, The Unborn, Talaash, Vaastu Shastra, Shining, Phoonk 2, Apparition, Darna Mana / Zaroori Hai and some others that are more thrilling than horror like The Omen, Final Destination, Orphan and Bhool Bhullaiya. I also know Paranormal Activity and Blairwitch have their own charm, but I don't like the live camera series. Borrrrrring to keep watching for 2 hours and get scared for less than 2 minutes. Need something faster and scarier.

Happy, spooky December !!!

Boo :-)


Tuesday, December 4

Now even the PM has to listen to me!!!


Given that I yak so much about everything under the sun no matter how much I know or understand, it sure is one long blog that I keep pouring my head and heart into, and you lovely people keep reading and feed-backing.

Thanks to your continued patronage, "Life..." (now 5 and a half years young), has been noticed by more than a few of the "crucial" folks and organizations. Blogadda is one, and the rank for my blog has moved up almost 20 points (from 74 to 58) in the last few weeks. While #1 position is still a dream, we'll get there together, what say?!!

Quite a few other companies and brands have approached me for writing about them or my reviews about their products and services. Club Mahindra resorts, Shaadi.com, Grapevine Publishers, and so many more. 

Another addition to this list has been Viewspaper. They recently asked me to write a letter to the Prime Minister about my views and suggestions on the state of the country.

If you know me even one bit, you sure know that politics and current affairs is not my forte. But thanks to my wise and updated friends and acquaintances, I managed to put forth my "prem-patra" to Manmohan Singh. You can read it here : http://theviewspaper.net/anuja-rathi-writes-a-letter-to-the-prime-minister/

I have spoken about corruption, inflation, education and tourism, justice and other concerns in India. Inputs have come from Anuradha Umalkar (my mentor at work and super-manager), my mum-fantastico Madhulika Rathi, Manisha Sharma (better half of my Ops boss Manish Sharma), and a whole bunch of you friends that I will thank personally. I couldn't have done this without you...

Now that sounds very much like a Nobel / Filmfare prize speech, so leme stop...

But gracias, ladies and gentlemen, for sending me your feedback and good wishes. It feels terrific when I read about what you feel for my words and thoughts, even if I may not know you personally. That's where all my motivation comes from... knowing that YOU are reading what I think, feel and say / write.

While my blog follower count is a mere 100+ and my facebook blog updates may not gather too many comments, I know you read about my rants. A lot of you walk up to me or drop a line stating you like what I pen down, or do not agree with something, or how I could have done better. I appreciate it all. Truly. Keep them coming :-)

Have a great day ahead, everyone.


Saturday, December 1

Another Day, Another Dawn

He looked up from the newspaper as she coughed. "She's unwell", he mimed to his wife when he caught her eye.

She looked at her. A hint of amazement passed her face. She turned back to him and nodded mutely. Her mind abuzz with activity.

So, he was not as unobservant as he claimed. He very well chose what he wanted to see and overlook what was not convenient to handle.

Such are the ways of men, and such are the fates of the women they marry.

They had wed 3 years ago. It was a love marriage. Marriages, whether love or arranged, reach the same state the moment the knot is tied. It does not matter who asked who out, or who made the first move. It all boils down to what we're taught as we grow up, and what our outlook on life, traditions and relationships is.

The maid had already finished sweeping the floor. Five minutes is more than what she would take to sweep the entire 3 BHK they had recently rented in a posh locality in town.

She sighed. She was in no mood to get into another argument.

She turned to look at her husband. He was but a shadow of that lively young chap who had left his job and flown halfway across the continent to be with her. Then, everything she had said was a wish waiting to be fulfilled by him. Now everything she spoke was another ordeal. They never discussed things, only fought about them. Then they had wanted to be together to make each other happy. Now they were only giving each other grief, frustration and ire.

That they had no children was the reason for their growing distance; she wanted to believe that. But how could she bring into this world another life when she was not sure what she was going to do with hers?

Divorced and separated were not marital statuses acceptable in their part of the world. For the men, it wasnt so difficult. The woman was always blamed for the man's troubles. But to be a woman, and to choose to be away from the husband, now that was worse than plague. And the woman was avoided just like the epidemic.

But was this really better than that? Was this how she wanted to live until she breathed her last?

Difficult questions, she sighed. And questions that she had no answers to, at the moment.

"See you later", she mumbled to her husband and picked up her Gucci handbag. Toying with the car keys, she called for the elevator and took one last look at the door.

She was madly in love with the man inside. And she was mad at him for not respecting and pampering her enough.

The lift had arrived. She chose to take the stairs instead.

She was one confused, absent-minded, lost soul these days. Never could make up her mind about what she wanted and what she liked.

As she climbed down the last flight of stairs, she heard the lift doors open and close. As the lift began its slow descent, she wondered how the maid had washed and cleaned up so quickly. This was a record even by her standard!

By the time the lift reached the ground floor, she had walked out of the lobby. He came running and called out her name. She turned with a questioning glance. Had she forgotten something?

He hugged her.

She frowned. And then smiled.

Sometimes, it wasnt as bad as she made it out to be. And what the hell, he still loved her....

- Princess  

Dream last night

I dreamt of you last night. I know I dreamt of you last night. I don't know why I dreamt of you last night. In my dreams, you were at my...