Saturday, April 11, 2015

The 'crush'

There was an instant connect,
There was an instant spark,
I've just met you once,
You still seem like a light in the dark...

With your sparkling smile, 
And the gorgeous blue dress you wore,
That cute dimple you carried,
Brought my smile to the fore...

It wasn't love at first sight,
But I can't say it was nothing,
It's been just a couple of days,
A mere thought of you makes my heart sing!

I've seen beautiful faces before,
None carried your simplicity and your charm,
None were so elegant and graceful,
None could take my heart so instantly by storm! 

You may find me stupid,
You may think of me as a fool,
But don't forget, when you like somebody,
There's no logic and there's no rule! 

You may question my craziness,
You may ask, 'What's so special in me?' 
The answers are too many, 
And you may need my heart to see!

I want to make you laugh, 
I want to steal all your fears,
I want to make you happy, 
I want to steal your tears! 

I want to spend time with you,
Every second, minute, hour and day, 
I want to enjoy with you,
Come what may! 

I do stupid things to impress you,
I talk too much and I talk a lot,
But it's very rare, 
That I speak my heart!

I'm doing it right now with words,
Because I really can't say it,
Just a thought of you, 
And my heart skips a beat! 

I may not say it to you ever,
For you these words will only remain,
But this feeling, this emotion,
Will always be the same! 

For beautiful things last forever,
They are always there to stay,
Love may come and go, 
But a 'crush' never fades away! 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Unforgettable moments: 'Us'

Image Courtesy: Google

A same path to happiness,
Is what we once took,
Beyond each other,
We could never ever look...

Madly in love,
It was all what we had,
We brought joy to each other,
Whenever we were sad...

We had our share of fights, 
But love always won the war,
Until one unfortunate day,
When our apprehensions took us far..

We lost the battle,
Things went from bad to sour,
We tried so hard to win,
We lost the love, got the scar...

We have fallen apart now,
And it's been so long,
And yet it's so strange,
For each other, we both long...

I know you feel the same,
Don't you lie to me,
I know you rewind life as well,
And it's us you see...

I'm scared of 'us' too,
Still, that's a thing I crave,
You memories make me weak,
I still don't want to be brave...

I don't know what will happen to 'us'
Which doesn't exist and yet in some way does,
But I do know this for sure,
The most beautiful part of my life was and will always be - 'us!'

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

When parents go ‘online’ and get tech savvy

You may bond with your folks via technology; give it a chance!
Image courtesy: Google images
A friend of mine recently got the shock of his life (he described it to me in this fashion) when he saw that he has got a ‘friend’ request on facebook from his father. According to him, his father had put a passport size picture as the profile picture which was totally not ‘cool’.  What freaked him even more was the fact that his father would be now able to see everything that his son does ‘online’. Another friend of mine just can’t understand why his mother wants to learn how to ‘Whatsapp’. He never gave it a logical thought and gets furious whenever his mother asks him for help concerning the same.  I’m sure many of us would’ve felt a bit uneasy when our parents wished to learn new things about technology or wanted to join the virtual world. I wouldn’t deny it; I felt the same at some point of time. But I think that when our parents start getting tech savvy, that’s the cutest thing they do and if you think logically, they are not wrong in doing it!

Who doesn’t have a little curiosity? 
When I reach home at night, my sister opens up the door for me. After that, she gets back to what she was doing earlier; she starts surfing her iphone again. I give a hug to my parents, lie down on the bed and start the TV. On one of the channels, they show how youngsters get tricked on ‘social networking sites’. They also show how virtual world can create problems in real life. I watch a little TV, get bored and then go to my sister again. She’s still surfing through her phone. I take a look and discover that she’s replying to her friends on FB. Then I ask her if she has seen my latest profile picture. She says yes, and we start discussing the comments I’ve got! And during the whole TV time, the conversation with my sister, my mother is just listening to everything. Isn’t it obvious on her part to be a little curious about the whole thing? Will it not make your curious if you listen about a same particular thing every day, everywhere? The whole world has gone ‘online’, so why should our parents stay behind just because we don’t want them to enter our ‘online’ space?

They use it for fun; the way it is supposed to be!
Any kind of online medium is meant for two things – connectivity and fun. The irony, as everybody knows, we are getting ‘disconnected’ from people who really matter and we are so much into the online race that it’s not fun anymore! Parents know things better than their kids always and in this context as well, they know it better. Most parents use online media for fun rather than anything else and if you talk about connectivity, they are connected to their close ones in real sense. And about fun, oh they have it more than us for sure! One of colleagues recently told me that her mother is way ahead of her in Candy Crush Saga and she teases her often with the same! But she agreed that it’s really cute! Some other parents I know have gotten online just to be more in touch with their kids who are studying away from home. Like many of us, who think about the ‘like’ and the ‘comments’, our parents don’t give two hoots about it and if you ask me, that’s a real cool thing to do!

It’s cute, period!
When parents start getting tech savvy, except it or not, it’s cute! A senior at work some days back started smiling suddenly while she was working. When I asked her about it, she told me that her father joined facebook months back and it was now that he was replying to a post she posted to welcome him online. Her father had written that he was learning the thing slowly and it was fun. I remember during my exams while I was studying at a friend’s place, I sent a couple of family pictures to my father on Whatsapp. My father replied by sending me a picture of Sai Baba to wish me luck for my exams! And all I could wonder was just one thing, ‘Can parents get any more adorable?’ I’ll also share the most adorable thing my father did once. It was some years back when my father learnt to type a text message. The first ever message he sent was to me was on my birthday. It read –


He typed the colons, instead of giving a space as he was still in the learning process. He now types the messaged with a space, but frankly, I miss those damn colons!

Just have a little patience
I’m not trying to be preachy here, but I’m just trying to put forth a point. There’s nothing wrong if parents go ‘online’ or start getting tech savvy. They might ask for your help regarding the same at times. At that point of time, have a little patience as they might take time to understand it. This if you compare with the zillions of things they have done for you till date, is nothing, absolutely nothing!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The person who saved my father’s life

Father is a person who gives you extraordinary strength to do things which seem impossible to you! 

Image Courtesy: Google Images from the movie, 'The Pursuit of Happyness'

Life is full of co-incidences and some of them are so intriguing that one can’t stop but wonder about them over and over again. Co-incidences are like dots placed in the sheet of life, you join them and you solve the puzzles! As you walk the path of life, the dots become easy to connect and the puzzles which are solved never fail to surprise you. While it may be difficult to solve all the puzzles and join the dots always, sometimes, some puzzles you unveil make you happy to the core. In my case, I was able to join the dots which concerned my father and the person who saved his life after 12 years.

In 1999, my father was suffering from an ailment – Liver Cirrhosis and hence was hospitalised. In advance stages of liver cirrhosis, the only option left is liver transplant. I wouldn’t lie; I just read that on the internet myself. May be there are a lot of cures for cirrhosis now, but I can tell you this, back in 1999, it was comparatively difficult to deal with it. Due to cirrhosis, my father slipped in coma later.

I was just 12-years-old and while I knew that my father wasn’t well and was in the hospital, I didn’t know what exactly went wrong. I was so innocent that when I was told that my father is in coma, I thought ‘coma’ must be some place near ‘Goa’ and my father is over there! Stupid, isn’t it? Well, it helped being stupid at that point of time. For four days, an uncertainty existed about my father’s life. I don’t remember much, but remembering the bits and pieces, I can surely say that it was a testing time for all those who love him. After four days, the miraculous happened; my father came back to life!

Along with the wishes of many loved ones, I have always thought that three people had a major role to play in him coming out of coma; my mother – who maintained her composure and stood strong in spite of having very little support, our family doctor and my uncle – who has always been there for us and Dr Rajat Arora in whose hospital my father was admitted when he suffered from cirrhosis. For years, I was told that Dr Arora was the reason why my father returned to life; it was his perfect diagnosis. I knew nothing about the doctor except his name and yet whenever I told about my father to anybody, I never failed to mention him. I never tried to thank Dr Arora; it just didn’t occur to me until one day when I saw and met him personally by chance for the first time in 12 years!

In June 2011, I joined Nagpur Times, the lifestyle supplement for The Times of India as an intern. I didn’t know back then, that this would change my life and the way I looked at things completely, that’s another story of course. Part of my job at the Nagpur Times is to cover several social events in the city with the photographer for the Page 3 section and report about them. I’m a very social person, so the idea of meeting new people excited me when it was told to me. During one such event which was a doctors’ do, I came across Dr Arora.

As the photographer was clicking pictures of different people at the party, I was going up and talking to them. When he clicked Dr Arora with his wife, I went up to him and introduced myself. The moment he told me his name, I was instantly taken back to the past; the time when my father was in coma. I had the flashback of the last twelve years in a minute and I thought, if this man wouldn’t have saved my father, I would have spent the last 12 years without my father. The feeling was so overwhelming that I was on the verge of crying. I wanted to thank him, but for some unknown reason, I didn’t. I just couldn’t say anything.

Since that day, I have met him at many parties; I have interacted with him formally, but I never thanked him. Sometimes I think; it’s so weird that for him I’m just an acquaintance but he has absolutely no idea that he has made a very big difference to my life! May be someday, I will thank him at last, till then and even after that, I’ll always be thankful to him for giving my father back to me!

 *** P.S. – I have changed the doctor's name as I don’t wish to reveal it, until I thank him.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Change always comes at a price

Image Courtesy: Hindustan Times

 When I was a kid, my mother once reduced my ‘play time’ because I didn’t score well in my exams. I protested, rebelled but to no use. Knowing that I had no other option, I played a little less and studied more. And in the next exam I scored well. Had I kept protesting, I think I would have done worse. I have always had a lot of belief in my parents like every other kid has and I understood that if I have put that belief in them, I have to give their decision a chance. It may sound a little unreasonable at times, but I have to give it a chance.

Now the above example may not exactly match to the current scenario, where people are not taking the ‘bitter medicine’ of 14.2% hike in the railway ticket prices in a good way, but I had no better example of putting across what I want to say. When people voted Narendra Modi as the PM, they put their belief in what he said, ‘Achhe din aane wale hain!’ I wonder sometimes, did they think that good days will come over night? Obviously, measure will be taken for it, measures which people may not like, but in the end are necessary. The problem with our country is that we start over reacting and never wait for the result. We are a protest obsessed country.

Let me tell you about the current Indian Railway scenario. These are not the statistics; these are the things which a common man like me discusses when he talks about Indian Railways. 

  • I’m scared to eat in trains because many times, the food seems unhygienic.
  • I’m tired of having waiting tickets all my life. Clearly, there are more passengers and fewer trains.
  • The sanitation at our stations and in the trains sucks big time. There are some trains in which you have to constantly keep a hand on your nose to avoid smelling something bad.
  • There are some trains which don’t even have a pantry.
  • If somebody dear to me dies in a city far away from mine, and I can’t afford an air ticket, how am I supposed to get a confirmed train ticket in one day. Fine, there’s always the jugaad, but it would too burn a hole in my pocket!

These are just a few of the hundreds of complaints that common people have. Clearly, the Indian railways aren’t in a good shape, on the paper they might be, but in reality they aren’t. What I understand as a logical person is – The last ten years, the people of India gave Congress a chance to do something about this. And they may claim that they have done a lot, but the common man begs to differ. We are still struggling to have a safe journey and are skeptical to travel in Indian railways but we have too.

The NDA government has come to power after 10 years, 10 years which Congress didn’t utilize properly. If they would have, there wouldn’t have been the need for this hike. Bad governance has severe repercussions and unfortunately the repercussions of Congress’ bad Governance and abuse of power and money (remember the several corruption scandals?) will have to be faced by the new government. In this case, it is the hike that they have decided to make. When people praise honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the virtual world, anti-Modiists declare a war saying that it’s soon to judge him. When people elect somebody via democracy, it means that they are putting that belief in the leader whom they elected. Now what I’m trying to say is simple, if we have voted for the NDA government, let’s have a little faith in them as well, that being a person who voted is our responsibility. I agree that people who haven’t voted for NDA government of the BJP in general may feel the pinch even more, but even those people have to understand that there representative didn’t win the election, somebody else has come to power and the as Indians more than a party they should be supporting the general cause of making India better in every way. Change comes at a price and we as a country should be ready to pay for it!

Monday, April 28, 2014

When I met the Indian counterpart of Aron Ralston

One amazing thing about being a journalist is that you come across a lot of interesting people regularly; people with different life experiences. When you interact with them, you realise that the world is not as small as you think it is. These people inspire you – to overcome the odds in your own life and to understand that life is not as bad as it seems. It’s all about perspective - a simple thing which you tend to forget when life throws lemons at you.

I seldom go to watch movies in the movie hall, but I make sure that I see many of them on the television in my leisure time. One such movie I saw was Danny Boyle’s – 127 Hours which is a story about Aron Ralston, the physically challenged mountaineer from the US. I was thoroughly inspired by the movie. So, I was very happy when I met, who I think is the Indian counterpart of Aron Ralston – Ashok Munne, a 30-year-old physically challenged adventurer from Nagpur. I later did a story for Nagpur Times, The Times of India when Ashok decided to lead a 15-member group for a weeklong bike ride of Vidharbha.  The group also included three more physically challenged men: two from Pune and one from Mumbai who joined the trip and citied Ashok as their inspiration.
Here’s a little more about Ashok which he shared with me in a conversation…

The accident
Ashok Munne lost his leg in a train accident in 2008. Ashok said, “Though I had a sleeper class ticket, I got in general compartment as the sleeper class was too crowded with people travelling without ticket. I was near the gate and somebody pushed me and I fell outside the train. One of my legs came under the train wheels. The pain was unbearable. The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital in Nagpur.” Ashok lost his right leg below the knee in the accident. For the next one year, two operations were done in the government hospital on his leg which went wrong. He lost 25 kgs of weight in one year bringing his weight to a mere 40 kgs.

The hopelessness
When in despair, even the closest of your friends’ desert you and Ashok experienced the same after the accident. Many of his friends and relatives started maintaining a distance from him thinking that they may have to shell out money for his treatment. They stopped visiting him in the hospital as well. Ashok said, “I felt really sad when people started treating me so badly. More so, because I knew that, had the same thing happened to them, I would have helped them.” It was a pit of hopelessness that he was approaching to and he could’ve fallen in it, but he didn’t.

Against all odds
Fed up with his situation and wishing to make a turnaround, Ashok took his life in his own hands. He said, “I understood that if I wanted to do something better with my life, I would have to do it myself. I heard my inner voice which told me, ‘Ya toh mar ja, ya toh sab kuch bhul ke aage badh!’ I started reading inspirational and motivational books. I stopped taking medicines completely and started doing Yoga. It was working as I was starting to feel better. I guess it was the positivity which I was brining in my life which was working for me. I learnt Martial Arts thereafter. With the help of an NGO, I went to a private hospital for an operation in Pune. It is there that I saw the news of Krishna Patil, the mountaineer scaling the Everest on a news channel. Something in me changed at that moment and I decided that no matter what, I want to do the same.”

One legged wonder
Mount Everest – Earth’s highest mountain and the Mecca of mountaineers became Ashok’s dream. And so he started preparing himself for the same. Ashok said, “Agar aap pahado ka hilano chahte ho, to pehle pathar ko hilana sikhna padega,’ and that’s why I started practicing at the nearby small mountains around my village, Katol. Afterwards I came to Nagpur to join an adventure camp. The head at that camp looked at me and told me, ‘Beta, pehle zameen pe chalna sikh le, phir pahad chadne ke khawab dekhna!’ I felt bad but it didn’t discourage me for I knew that my destiny was in my hands. I kept working hard, kept trekking and kept scaling small mountains. An article was written about me in The Times of India after which life changed for me drastically.” Ashok shocked everybody when he scaled Mera Peak (21,247 feet) in 2012. He also took a bike ride from Delhi to Ladakh in June 2013. Ashok now heads an adventure company along with his friend Mukesh Sonbarse in Nagpur. The company organises adventure camps for people. Ashok is now eyeing at his dream – Mount Everest – which he plans to scale in 2015.

An inspiration
By the time, I finished talking to Ashok, I was completely in awe of him and I couldn’t help but thank God that somehow, in some way he made me meet this guy. I got up and hugged him; not out of sympathy, but because of a strong sense of desire to achieve things and overcome the odds he gave me. He touched a chord inside me and gave me courage to complete those dreams of mine - those childhood dreams which I thought would be impossible to pursue now. He said it right when he told me, ‘Losing a leg or a hand doesn’t make you incapable of things, lack of will does.’ Ashok now gives motivational speeches and wants to inspire physically challenged people like him. I don’t know what will happen when he will scale the Everest finally, but I’m sure of one thing – Whatever he does, he will always be inspiring people wherever he goes with his inspiring story, just the way he inspired me and a lot of people I personally don’t know.

Rock solid: Ashok Munne at Ladakh

Victory: Ashok at the Mera Peak after scaling it

Cheers to life: Ashok during his Ladakh trip

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Aashiqui aur dosti ...

Mohabbat hain tujhse,
Wajah janta nahi,
Nahi janta main,
Yeh galat hain ya sahi...

Socha nahi tha kabhi,
Tujhse pyaar ho jayega,
Tere bina dil yeh mera,
Kabhi na yu na reh payega..

Nibhata raha tujhse dosti,
Par ek din pata chala,
Dosti se badkar kar baitha hain kuch,
Mera dil yeh man chala..

Karna chahta tha izhaar,
Meri beintehaa mohabbat ka,
Lekin janta tha dil mera,
Hashra is gustakhi ka..

Dil ki khwaish mar kar,
Jab kiya mohabbat ka elaan,
Nikla mere pyaar ka janaza,
Mohabbat ho gayi nilaam...

Aashiq banna chahta tha,
Aur dost ban kar reh gaya tera,
Mann liya tera faisla,
Lekin aaj bhi yeh dil hain tera...

Aashiq dost nahi hota,
Aashiq toh sirf aashiq hota hain,
Tu pyar ko dosti bhi kehle,
Us saza ko bhi haste hue sehta hain...

Kyunki dosti ho ya mohabbat,
Aashiq bas chahta hain tera sath,
Zindagi ke har mod pe, 
Thamna chahta hain tera hath!