Supporting the Pink Ribbon


This is for all those beautiful people I have lost to cancer. Because you fought and fought hard. You’ll always be missed and remembered. You make us more brave and taught us that “Life must go on…”.

And this is in support of all those people who still fight it everyday. And to their families. Because after having been through it myself, all I can say to you is “Be Strong”.

Show your support. Send out a message on 2nd October.


What is Love?

We thought we had it all figured out. We have read books, we have seen movies. We know what perfect love is supposed to be like. We know what a perfect partner should feel like; being completely in sync with each other, finishing each other’s sentences, understanding the silences. We thought we were ready for when it happened to us. We knew we would be. We had waited long enough.

But then, someone came along and we began questioning the same engraved-in-stone notion about perfect love. It wasn’t like that. It was real and subtle; the key word being REAL. It was no fierce declaration of love being shouted from mountain-tops. It was an all consuming feeling of being happy.

If the butterfly in the stomachs was love then what is this; pasted smile on the face 24X7, constant state of dreaming, satisfaction?

You will never know what love is supposed to feel like, until you fall head over heels in it!!

On Being Alone

Meredith: There’s a reason I said I’d be happy alone. It wasn’t ’cause I thought I’d be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It’s easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don’t have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It’s like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

The times we should’ve been alone: all those times we have held on because we were afraid to be alone, all those times we’ve not let go because we wanted the other person to realize how much we love them and hope that they see that love, all those times when we’ve given it our everything even when there is no love anymore because we thought that this was it and all those times we’ve carried on because giving up when things were hard didn’t seem right.

For all those times when we didn’t give up and held on, we shouldn’t have. Because we can never make someone love us back, or make them see our love hoping they’d stay or even make someone see what we see; because at the end of the day, even when you’re in love with someone, you’re still alone. There will be times when you’ll curl up in bed alone after you’ve fought the world, when you’ll have coffee alone on the window sill tracing the rain drops, when you’ll fight your nightmares alone with no one to hold you in the dark.

So the most important thing in this world, the greatest achievement of your life will be the day you learn to live alone, and not in the sad tragic kind of way. In the way, that you realize, that it’s always you for yourself and that it’s not good to depend on companionship to get through life. No doubt you’ll need it, but when you don’t have it, don’t let it take you down.

The pain of breaking up with someone is crippling. It leaves a hollowness inside, a crumble when you want to be held in those arms, when all you need is to hear their voice. The thought of separation is the greatest sign of desperation that makes us want to stay put in the same place and time. But that will pass. The pain, the hurt, the misery- inducing memories, all of that, will pass. The pain will become a sweet ache of the past, an ache associated with all memories. Like you learnt to live again in the past, you’ll learn it again.

Being alone is not sad. It’s not a sign of unhappiness or depression or even escapism. It shows how comfortable you’re living with yourself. Because if you don’t know how to live with yourself, how can you ever expect someone else to live with you. Learn to be alone with your thoughts. We often associate loneliness with sadness. But there is a subtle difference between being lonesome and being alone. Being alone doesn’t necessitate that you’re sad, but being lonely sure does.

Don’t shut out the world to be alone, don’t stop loving or going out or being vulnerable. Do all of that. But make sure that when everything else is gone, and the night falls, you’re happy even left to your own self, that you enjoy staying with you.

Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.

-Paul Tillich

Views of a Graduating Student

I was asked to write an article by the same name for my college magazine. My views as I leave college in a couple of months.

It was a difficult task writing that article. To begin with I didn’t really know what my view as graduating student should be. Should it be nostalgic about the last 3 years? Or should it be blatant and truthful? Was I supposed to write how much I will miss college and my life here? Or was I supposed to say that thank you for the education, but, seriously, I can’t wait to get out of college? What was I supposed to say? That what would be diplomatically correct but that would also make sure I was not a “sell-out”?

With all these questions in mind, I did manage to write, though after alot of anxiety attacks because the feeling of leaving this place hadn’t settled in then and still, to an extent, hasn’t.

So I am putting up the article, in original words, as submitted to the editorial team, for further criticism.

I have had a lot of “views” about my past, my present and my future as a college student. In the last three years, I have messed up and I have seen other people mess up. I have seen ordinary people achieve extraordinary feats. I have wished for things to change but never worked hard enough to be part of the change. I have criticized the college, but never tried to help change the very things. I have given up hope. I have lost friends. I have failed. But through all of this, I have learnt lessons. And because I don’t really know what my ‘View as a Graduating Student’ should be, I am going to share the very things that Pune and college have taught me. So, if you don’t mind reading and are someone who likes listening to what other people have to say, read on…

Go stick your finger into a power socket and switch it on. What is your first reaction? Ouch! That pretty much sums up what college is. It is quick and it’s a shock. To deal with college you have to be firmly grounded in your beliefs and you have to be smart. If you don’t really believe in anything, you will mess up. And if you’re not smart, you may just end up going through it again.

You’re sure to have made a lot of mistakes in the past years of college. Learn from them. Don’t go sticking every finger into the power socket. And if you also happen to be smart, learn from your neighbour’s burning hair.

Make your beliefs your virtues. Live by them; because it is very easy to become a man without principles who drifts along. You have to believe in something – gut, karma, destiny, anything. Don’t become the pebble that follows the course of the river. Become the boulder that changes its course. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to slip, to do wrong. Be a brave man and not give in. But also, don’t let your beliefs be rigid, change them with time as you go along. Adapt. I have seen a lot of people slip the past few years and become people they never intended becoming. Probably the biggest challenge that lies ahead of you is not getting lost amongst the crowd. Be an individual with an identity and a belief that is yours and yours alone.

Don’t put too much importance on your results. They are more of secondary deciding factors than the primary. The primary factor will always be you! Your college exams, CAT and all the other entrance exams that are calling out to you, will ever only prove the fact that you have brains and that you can use them. They were never a measure of success. So don’t lean on them heavily. Your success will depend on the person you are. Where you come from, what you studied, who your friends were won’t dictate who you become. What you are, surely will.

One of the most interesting back stories of the modern computing and IT industry is how many of its pioneers were college dropouts. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, for example, both left Harvard in mid-term and one of Gates’s proudest boasts is that he was responsible for persuading Steve Ballmer (now Microsoft’s CEO) to drop out of Stanford. The list continues with Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle and Michael Dell, founder of the computer firm that bears his name. And although Google’s co-founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, did graduate, they both dropped out of their PhD programmes. This rather runs against the conventional narrative – that an expensive college education and a good degree are essential prerequisites for success.

“The IQ test was invented to predict academic performance, nothing else. If we wanted something that would predict life success, we’d have to invent another test completely.”

– Robert Zajonc

Have ambitions in life. Have goals. They will lead you. Aspire to become something. I am not asking you to be all figured out in life. But for now know what you want. Atleast you’ll be doing something that you believe in and not following blindly in the footsteps of others. Don’t ever allow yourself to be pushed into doing something.

Don’t give up hope too easy. Life always comes around with better things. The lows in life will teach you to enjoy the happy moments. They’ll teach you to live life by the minute. And also, don’t take life very seriously. Find the humor in it. Smile a lot, even when things are down and out.

“Life goes by so fast, that if you don’t stop and look around, you might miss it.”

– From the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Remember your friends and stay in touch. They are the very people you’ll be meeting in board rooms from now on. Keep them close. You never know when you may need them for blood transfusions or insider information.

In the end as the last 3 years conclude, old inhibitions have eroded, aspirations have changed, new habits have been formed, people have grown up and lessons have been learnt. For the future, remember:

Exercise, be healthy, it will go a long way. Drink, but don’t drink too much. And never drink and drive. Learn from the number of accidents you and your friends have had the last couple of years. Give up smoking. It was never good to begin with. Control your anger. Getting worked up never helped anyone. Manage your stress. Stick to deadlines. Start work early and not at the last minute. Become responsible. Enjoy life and live the moment. Life is too short to be spent on reading articles. Go write your own.

Remember this doesn’t end here. It is only the beginning, ‘for you and I shall meet again’, most probably in board room battles (!). Let’s move on with our lives. We have to write whole new chapters. Class of 2012, let’s graduate!!!

Much Love:

Class of 2009

Daughters of Arabia

Ahoj Fellas!!!

That was my greeting in the first post of this blog. I am using it again because writing after so many months is probably as good as starting anew. I was on a sabbatical (still not sure what that means)!

I am sorry for not have written in a long time. My mind has been wandering a lot of different places to have ordered it to sit at one place and pen thoughts down.I am also sorry to my one and only patron who probably has gotten tired of even complaining that I don’t write anymore. Apologies in abundance!

To sum up the last few months, of which I have spent a lot on reading…

1. To start with I was busy with my Semester 5 final exams which did require me to be glued to my desk and chair for at-most 6 hours a day. But which I miserably, miserably failed to adhere to.

2. As soon as that finished, I forego going home for the one festival that I have never managed to miss in my 19 years of existence (OK, I must be lying about my age, but that’s because I am growing OLD!!!). DIWALI! But then again I was scheduled to start my internship with Ista Hotels. Trust me, working with 5 star hotels is LUXURY!

3. That done I rushed home. Made a quick dash to Diu, enjoyed home and was back in Pune. Since then I have practically spent most of time reading or outside with ‘my Realistic guy’ (controversially I don’t yet know if I can call him ‘my guy’).

So moving forward, you must have realized that my blog post’s title reads ‘Daughters of Arabia’. That has more to do with the fact that I have spent a good amount of time reading about the Middle East these last couple of months. It started with reading ‘The Convert’, a book by Deborah Baker, which is a biography about a Jewish woman, living in NYC who converts to Islam and moves to Pakistan because ‘she never felt more at home even in her own house’. It is a tale of a ‘Jewish girl from Larchmont who became an Islamic polemicist.’ Just the fact that someone living in NYC could shun away that life and move to Pakistan to pursue Islam was intriguing enough for me to pick up the book.

Then it was onto Jean Sasson’s ‘Desert Royal’ having previously read her book ‘Daughters of Arabia’. It is the story about Princess Sultana who is distressed at the state of women in her country, Saudi Arabia. The women in Arabia who are have consistently suffered injustices at the hands of a patriarchal society.

Somewhere in between these two books, I also happened to read Carmen Bin Laden’s ‘The Veiled Kingdom’. Carmen Bin Laden also happens to be Osama bin Laden’s sister- in- law, married to his younger brother, with whom she later fought a bitter divorce battle over the custody of her girls.

Having read much about the oppression of women in the Middle East I am determined to keep reading more about these countries and their histories in the view of finding answers to a very simple question.
Why is Islam one of the most misunderstood religions in the world?

Something in the middle of the night prompted me to pen down a few lines about these oppressed women and the efforts of a few people to get them the justice they so truly deserve. One amongst them being Princess Sultana, the protagonist from Jean Sasson’s Princess Trilogy books.

I wouldn’t expect everyone to understand much from the following lines, but I would hope it would prompt a few of you at the least to read about it. So I am leaving you with these lines…

Daughters of Arabia

She was born in the veiled kingdom,

Her black burqa her identity,

She saw the world through a mist of darkness,

Alas! She was never too happy.

She dreamt of  foreign lands,

Of open spaces and colorful dresses,

She longed an escape.

But that was not to be so.

She was distressed,

Even though life around her was a tale of opulence and luxury,

But her heart longed freedom,

For herself and for all the women of her land.

It broke her heart to see the state of women,

Broken, raped, abused,

Forced to lead lives no better than sex slaves,

Oppressed into submission by their own fathers and brothers.

She knew she was put on earth for a greater purpose than acceptance.

She rebelled because she wanted change.

She knew she could help women, set them free.

For she too was born in the veiled kingdom, but lived in a gilded cage.

For she was but a princess.

Much love


Unrequited Love

“People haven’t stopped believing in love. They have stopped believing in happy endings”, Shantaram.

This, in all its entirety, is true. People give up on love for the simple reason that, once upon a time they loved someone, and something somewhere in that love was incomplete; the incompleteness of not being loved the same way, of never having the one you love, of an unrequited love.

Love is a difficult equation with multiple factors out of which not one is in your hand, except the constant – that you keep loving. This may have multiple outcomes, but finding the perfect solution, is often in the minority.

But then again, “at the end of the day everyone’s going to hurt you. You’ve got to find the ones worth suffering for”, Bob Marley.

That’s what makes you believe in even unrequited love. The hope, the wish and the belief that just someday, maybe, you’ll have the one you want. In all proportions you’ll be theirs. Because we are a hopeless clan of people, who can’t give up on love that easy. It either takes a lot of heartbreak or another (better) person or for someone to be smitten by you, to give up and move on. So when you have one of these, move on. Not because it’s worthless waiting but because you can do with someone telling you, “I’m yours”.

Much love:

A hopeless romantic

Find Reasons to be Happy :-D

So, I came across this poem a while back and have been meaning to post it for quite sometime. But haven’t gotten around to doing it mainly for 2 reasons: 1. I have been preoccupied with college work and the people in my life; 2. My net hasn’t been working which, honestly, I borrow from someone (without their knowledge) 😛 !!!

Lately, the people in my life have been going through some tough situations, and I have tried my level best to be there for them and to see them through the mess. But now I have run out of advice. I am clueless when one of them asks me to soothe them. Honestly, I don’t know what to do anymore. My reserve of sympathy and advice and my capacity to help out seems to have dried out. I don’t like it but I don’t see an option. I am trying very hard to be there, but you know how at the end of the day, how much ever you try to help out, everyone has to fight their own battles.

All I can say to them is find reasons to be happy. Don’t look at the dark side and shed silent tears. Your life is too short and your tears too precious to be spent in vain. Be happy for all those people who are still around you. Live life with them. Because when you’re drowning in your own misery, you may just not know that there are others who are fighting greater battles than you are. So stop being all sad, look around, take time out to ask people around you how they have been, laugh your ass off at the depressing joke your even more depressing friend just cracked, look at the sun set and be happy that it will come back tomorrow. Enjoy all while you still have it, lest you lose even that in your self induced misery. Love will happen again. Till then bask in the glory of the amazing friendships you have built.

And for someone else, how do you know when you’re in love? You just know. Because it’s the best thing that has happened to you in a long time. And you don’t want to say goodbye, ever.

I am leaving you with the poem. Its is called I Wish You Had Never Come Back. Not exactly that great, but at the time it was a plea for someone to not come back and take away what was so precious to me. Its been a while since then and I felt like sharing it with you folks. Hope you have a good read. Miss me till my next post :-P.

I Wish You Had Never Come Back

I wish I could have it all back.

I wish I could turn back time.

I wish you had never come back,

to take what was most precious,

away from me.

I hate you for doing that to me.

I hate you for doing that to him.

I wish you had never come back.

While you were gone,

I was the pillar of strength,

I was the shoulder to cry on,

I was the one to hold.

While you were gone.

I guess, I should have seen this coming.

I should have known all along that this would end.

I should have known that you would come back.

I should have.

And you ain’t coming back to me.

I know that for sure.

Coz now you’re gone,

away for the good.

With someone you would be happy with.

I know that for sure.

I will miss you and me.

I will miss us together.

But more than that,

I will miss you with me.

And, I wish you had never come back,

to take what was most precious,

away from me.

I hate you for doing that to me.

I hate you for doing that to him.

I wish you had never come back.

From the Window Ledge

I sit there on the ledge of the window, leaning out, looking at the starless sky and feeling the warmth of the cold wind. The only sounds are the tic-tac of the keyboard, the crackling of the paper and the distant horn of a car driving into its destiny as I sit here wondering about life and actions.

We are logical human beings who put thought into our actions. But we too are made by some not so logical, impulsive actions that more often than not define our life. We hate to admit that to ourselves but in the secrecy of our hearts we know that is what makes us who we are. When we aren’t thinking about the consequences of our actions, when we let go and take life as it comes. Because in the end, that’s the sub- conscious we are acting upon and that roots from what we are.

When we sit back and look at the life past, we want to make sure that it’s all rosy, all right. But we have a lot of wrong stashed away in our histories, to make the past not so rosy red and fabulous. It’s the mistakes that have made us into what we are today. Without them, we would have been a mankind without experience living in the same rut and retro age of the past. But that is not meant to be. Like humankind, we too have learnt from our past but have still decided to commit those same mistakes in the name of love and friendship. “Like all wars start for profit and principle but are fought for the land and its women.”

Even in our right minds, we have made mistakes. We have committed them when the alarm in the back of the head is blaring out “It’s wrong”. So what is it that makes us take the leap from the right to the wrong, in the blink of an eye? Is it the love for the person that has kept us going, or is it the pure adrenaline rush of knowing the taboo, or is it catharsis for the already- done wrong? Are we pushing ourselves into it by choice so that we may forget the good that was, to lie, sallow and valor in the misery of our lives by taking a deeper plunge into the well of wrongs! To do ourselves some harm for have spoilt a life that was good to be true.

I guess that is how people who can’t be rescued from their misery are made. Because in order to forget their wrong decisions, they start to live them till the point that those decisions is what makes them.

So wake up! Look ahead, put thoughts into your actions again, do the right, correct the wrong, because the only one who can rescue you from the fate that you’re driving into, is yourself. Don’t throw away a good life because you don’t have the balls to face the doing of your sorry self. Man up! Make the right move, take the next right turn and get your life back in order before it’s too late and you have lost that one love that had kept you going.

PS: To Hank Moody…

From the Top of my Head

My roomie and me were sitting and chit chatting. I was giving her gyaan on love. 😛 And then she asked me the clichéd question – What is love!!! And the immediate reply from the top of my head, was Love is Serendipity. (PS. Serendipity is my favorite word. The reason shall be shared in a future post 🙂 )Serendipity is when you find something that you weren’t even looking for. It always so happens that when you give up on love and people, someone comes along to resurrect the faith.

This gave me something to write. And then one thing lead to another. And I ended up with this paragraph of incomplete and broken sentences, which somehow made sense towards the end. It may be repetitive and clichéd. But at the end, clichés become clichés because they are true and therefore oft-repeated!

So here it is, for whatever it is worth.

Love is serendipity. It happens when you ain’t looking for it. Life passes by when you’re busy making other plans. Be impulsive. Let the first pass. Wait for the second. Go with the flow. It may take you to your destination. Go back packing. Travel to an unknown land. Meet new people. Sit and discuss life experiences. Learn about them. Realize that the world is full of people living so many different lives that you’ll never have a chance to know. Sit and gaze at the sunflower. Follow its eye-lock with the sun, under the summer haze. Sit in a distant land on a sun deck and read a book. Give into love. Don’t question everything. Sometimes the answers that you get aren’t the ones you’re looking for. Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. Follow your heart. Publish a book. Write a poem. Don’t over-think. The right person may be the one standing on your right throughout life, when you were busy looking ahead. Get your heart-broken. Give up on love and faith. Travel to the Norwegian countryside. Read, paint, and know what life is about. Decide to give love and people another chance. Walk through a vineyard and remember all the sour moments of life. Come back to take on life head-on. Build your life. Rebuild your career. Follow your dream. You may not get a second shot. Earn money. Live in New York. Shop in Paris and London. Fall in love. Raise your boy to be chivalrous and your girl to be modest. Grow old. Fall in love. Retire to a cottage home somewhere in the countryside of France. Die in peace, without regrets. Know that you had it all, that you lived it all. Because at the end that is what matters.

Playing by Instinct

We are often caught helpless in our actions, in relations we share with people. We are confused between the right and the wrong. What to do and what not to do? Specially with people we are very close to, we are overly cautious – like a man peering down  from the edge of a cliff, afraid to slip into the all absorbing darkness of loneliness beyond. This is because we are afraid of losing that person, or are scared of being left alone, to pick up the pieces of a shattered trust. And in this helplessness we wish we knew what was the right thing to do – we wish that life was like a movie and was scripted so that we knew what the right thing to say or do was or even that someone would tell us what to do and spare us the hurt of thinking it over.

But, as in life, we learn to play by instincts, so is it in love. “Instinct is what takes things forward”. We learn all about the relationship enigma by instinct driven play or actions. We have learnt from our past relations and may choose to or not to imply those lessons in the future.

But it so happens that, in love, we are scared even to play by that instinct in case, it may be the wrong one. We live by the ever consuming fear of losing someone and that stops us from being ‘us’. We play safe and cautious. But the best games are won when we play ruthless because what makes us win is the very fear of losing.

So play all your cards on hand, be yourself. Otherwise even though the relation may last, the people involved won’t really know the real ‘You’s, as you were too busy trying to play pretense, to win!

Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.

With Love