I Climbed it

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


One of those days when one wants to rest, retire, resign and surrender all at the same time. None of this means THE END:). It means saying HALLO to a good relaxed begining. So I surrendered the day to Tagore's songs. The one which mesmerised me a few minutes back was sung by one of my favourite singers Debabrata Biswas or George Biswas. Realised I don't have a video space in this blog. Nevertheless, here is the translation of this Tagore song...which says in its own way BRING IT ON... Had this mad desire to share:) Now...listen...he says...and I feel:) Fill my life upto the brim, Quench my thirst... Give me more and more and more of life... In your earth... In your sky Give me more space... Give me more and more and more of this life... More light, More and More of your light Pour in these eyes more light... In every tune... In your ever breathing Banshi's tune... Give me more life... More and more and more of your breath... On your earth In your sky Give me more and more and more of your space Give me more pain.. More and More and more of pain... Give me more consciousness... Beyond the doors... Beyond all hurdles... Free me more please free me more In more and more love... So much love... That My self should become one with the universe... Fill my soul upto the brim, Quench my thirst... Give me more and more and more of life...

Monday, April 23, 2012

5th Day

- Promise to run an hour along with an hour of swim. To start today. Two hours of work out must. - Have made a list of 'people I want to learn from'. Will meet one of them today. - Got a collaborator for a dream project.( The new thing done today. Huraah!) - Trying again to hold and love. - Must sleep 6 hours a day atleast. On the second day I attempted to write on mothers who lose their newly born babies. Still struggling to bring in poetic justice via writing...its my has to be my way...:)...will publish it!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

15th April- Fourth day of Thirty Days

Mainey ek baar commitment kar diya to mai khud kee bhee nahi sunta.

Fourth day of 30 days.

Was busy doing too many exciting things. Didn't get time to write. I believe small detours are good. A road map may be useful to explore new places. But its never good enough to direct you to the unknown. A discovery is whats not there on the map. The unwritten. The forbidden. The brave and the unknown. That one is scared of...and is also excited about.

I did many new things last few days. Flew out of Mumbai to meet my Uncle and Aunt for three days. Celebrated Bengali Nobo Borsho with my Jethu and Jethima. Ate Pabda Maacher jhal, Mocha bhaaja, Chochori, Doi Maach, Maacher paatla jhol, Mishti doi, Kachcha golla and the works. Drank a very passionate red wine and had a heart to heart with my cousin Mimi. Thats not a first with her.

What was first was the book of family photographs she had designed and gifted her father on his b'day. Beautiful book of nostalgia. We spoke about her Andaman trip with her kids. How her kids who are being home schooled finished a diving course. Her underwater trip. I am putting two photographs clicked by Mimi Chakrabarti.

Mimi is a good photographer, yoga teacher, home maker, daughter and a very creative mother. She loves to climb mountains, swim deep waters, sing songs...what a passionate woman.

Spent substantial time with an ex who is clearly a very special guy. A very dear friend now. He was unwell. It was a first for me...the way we have transcended to a fine friendship. No big fights. No bittreness. Small disappointments and a lot of sadness... but the realization that we can still nurture a fine friendship is a revelation. I was unaware of my own emotional resources. Good to see I have grown.

I swam again today. Early in the morning. This was after a glass of cinnamon water, two eggs and a slice of bread. I am so royally impressed with myself. Healthy Diet, workout, sleep are three things I will stick to in my 30 days project. Everything else can be new.

A bunch of kids between 4 and 10 years of age were there in the pool. Innocent, playful voices can change a day. The water was warm and soothing. Sun was swimming with me often. I swam for over an hour and realised I swim well when I am alone. WELL as in I thoroghly enjoy the water.

As I swam back and forth meditatively I realised one thing yet again. Need to be careful about who walks in and out of my intimate space. I am going to be very focussed about what I want. You have to be really generous and kind to fit into my scheme of things. I am perfectly fine on my own otherwise. And as my head came out to breathe I noticed purple leaves on the top of the blue water. I was swimming under a layer of flowers and leaves. I was swimming in fragrant waters...

OHHH yes may be the above thoughts are product of a very vital meeting that I had in Delhi. I met up with my eleven students. They now get tutored in a coaching school. Three of them are in class tenth. This time around I noticed their voices are cracking. They have grown taller but their hugs are just as tight and warm as ever. I miss them a lot.

When my flight landed last night in mumbai...I knew the course of my life...I knew what I needed to do the most...

...My life will revolve around my students.

And just then I realised...I have so much to live for...and so much to do...

Friday, March 30, 2012

30th March

On the 28th March I tried doing 40 pushups. On the 29th my left shoulder blade was jammed. I went to the physiotherapist at 5am. Took Hifenac during the day. By the 30th I was fit. However, tired.

After office I watched Polansky's THE PIANIST with Baba. Made and savoured some yummy Chirey-Koraishuti with Chai. This was Baba and daughter time. We both loved it.

But then I was supposed to do something new. At 9pm I packed my swim suit and went to the pool. The water was alive and calling. There was no one around. A big pool to myself. I slipped into the shallow waters thinking its been a year. Actually ts been only three months. This was my first time after Naveen Shireen left for Chennai. I thought of the love letter I need to write to someone.

Shireen it must be. Naveen ofcourse but Shireen was such an unexpected beauty in my life for six months. When I had met Naveen in 2002 he was to us a boy:). A kind, gentle, feminist boy. Then gradually he became our friend. Mammu and Mine ie. We realised we were not far away by age and fun quotient. Then it was in 2011 when I shifted to Mumbai one day I recieved this call from Naveen. Our man had shifted with his partner Shireen to Mumbai. Shireen was doing something with TISS and Naveen was winding up his PHd. They said they'll come. I was sure they wouldn't make it. But they did come.It was like I knew Shireen from years and no time had passed between Naveen and me.

Soon every weekend Shireen, Naveen and I would catch up in my house. Shireen is a healer friend. She would oil our hair, give us a massage and then we would happily return the favour. She taught me to swim. She brought back a lot of play in my life. So come saturday it was time for oil in the hair, a nice massage and a long swimming session. After that it would be mughlai from Dbas or malwani food from Malawani Kalwan. We also cooked a lot. Naveen's Mallu Beef Curry was to die for. Spats and Naveen tried making Dosa. They were a treat. Golden and masala laden. I cooked Ilish and Rui Maach. Suvo,Spatica, Suhel, Chetna, Tipu, Siddharth, Lada would be around sometime or the other. Those six months were sunny, watery and delicious.

And yesterday as I swam from shallow to deep waters I thought of our great times together. The political debates. The shouts. Our long flowery Deewali party. Shireen kept telling me for several weeks after Diwali how the food was so much lesser than required. Naveen and I kept telling her everyone had fun. Some people over ate:).

Then there was Goa. Long Feni and Pineapple drinks. All foodies in one place. Long Water basket ball games in the pool. I was the slowest but the cutest. Oh don't ask how that feels??!!:)My niece Tia and nephew Tan are good swimmers. Their friend Kirtana was very good too. Naveen and Shireen got along well with the kids. Naveen was left with multiple thoughts about teenagers. Three of us talked a lot about babies. Shireen and I mostly:)

I also understood the dynamics of a conventional learned muslim family. Shireen's father is a man of tradition. Unlike mass media propoganda of the Muslim man he didn't take away education from Shireen and her sister. He reads his Namaaz five times a day. He wanted his daughters to lead the women of the community. He also wanted Shireen to wear the hijab. None of that happened. Like many Hindu, christian, sikh,jain etc etc parents he adapted to the ways of his children. Eventually he accepted a son-in-law with dubious community credentials (No one knows whats Naveen's religious/spiritual beliefs are). Having grown up in a largely agnostic set up I have my prejudices. Shireen knowingly and unknowingly engaged with them. I saw similarities between Parvez's Mamu Sahab- Mumanijaan and Shireen's father. They were also people of tradition. Unlike Mamu Sahib Shireen's father is not Gandhian. He has stories to tell about Iran's great revolution.

My living those weekends with Shireen also opened my eyes to the word Tradition at large. In fact recently when a friend mentioned me being traditional I didn't take the usual offence. I didn't conclude that he meant I was conservative. I could see myself in the midst of many traditional practices. And as my young friend Lada tells me 'You are a liberal in relationships. Your expectations are liberal. From love you have traditional expectations'. Its not as simple as it sounds. Its hundred years of music, food and waiting.

So in the thirty things that I will do I just realised I must meet Shireen's father. In his house and in his city. I will continue with my love letter to Shireen. And I will continue to swim.

The first thing done was by the way SWIMMING ALONE in a big pool. Looking up at the tall coconut trees from the blue shimmery watersss. Our flats looked like small story books from the pool. Some flats had yellow and some had white lights. The window right in front of me had small pink stringy festive lights. A young family was celebrating.

Swimming in the deep...I almost had it all...:)..

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thirty Days

Have decided to do Thirty new things in thirty days. Starting 30th March I shall write about each day. Swimming, Jogging, Writing, Spending time with Baba, Chutti with Bhai when he is here and a one month long holiday. We'll write about every small and big adventure. Keep watching for this space.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Who should I write my love letter to?

Ah Love! could you and I with Him conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits-and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thinking about Zhihuatanejo!

"In here's where you need hope most," he says. "You need it so you don't forget. Forget that there are places in the world that aren't made out of stone. That there's a - there's a - there's something inside that's yours, that they can't touch."

It was on Shelja's (my teacher in the solution focussed therapy class) insistence that I sat down to think about my Zhihuatanejo. Remember the movie Shahwshank Redemption!

Often life looks like the opening aerial shots of the prison. This prison is a scintillating piece of architecture. You can't run away from it. No exciting and loving outsider can meet you here. Its impenetratable. It has tall stone walls stretching above every shot. It towers over its prisoners. Those who live inside it are hopeless. For them life will end in the four walls of this gigantic sad house.

But Andy dreams. He holds onto hope. It's in music, it's in the beaches of Zihuatanejo, in the green sea water...

"In here's where you need it most," he says. "You need it so you don't forget. Forget that there are places in the world that aren't made out of stone. That there's a - there's a - there's something inside that's yours, that they can't touch."

So my Zhihuatanejo in five years-

- Sipping coffee/margarita in Newyork
- Discussing screenplays with this oooh so sexy & smart a man:):)

NEWYORK ...Naaaah!!!! May be several trips and the above but why would I want to live there? for fun!! Buttt...what fun! I wouldn't really appreciate JUST fun!! Lots of fun is acceptable though!!:):)

Think hard. Effort Number 2 to be my own Heroine Number 1-
So my Zhihuatanejo in five years-
- Beer on the streets of London. And I am in this Black dress and lovely Boots. And I work for the gaurdian.

Oh plssss. I don't want to. Why go from the third world to the first world to do journalism? The real stories are here. Uhmm maybe if I am posted in North East or Chattisgarh! and get the gaurdian salary and work ethics!:). But no. Something's not working there.

-Effort Number 3-
- Beer. Boots. Black. Psychoanalyst.

Hahahah! It takes 5 years of being on the couch with the psychoanalyst. this can't be after 5 years!! But do I want to study PA?? or Do I want to make films!!

Take a break.

Effort Number 4-
- I am in my Mumbai Flat.
- I have made a film.Working on another.
- Some of my students have passed their tenth. I am proud and clearly euphoric.
- Some of them teach our new students. This is a huge achievement.
- My father is doing great. May be has a girlfriend:)
- I have some published work.
- I have a lot of time to read and write.
- I have some very close friends.( I have that)
- Pyaar Mohabbat and Fanaaa bhee hai!
- And I am more fit. I am kind of agile:)...u know like a martial arts expert:):)...hehe! y not I ask??:)
- My cousins and I hang out quite often.
- My brother's family is happy. We spend a lot of time together. I get to play with my lil niece:)
-May be I have adopted a girl!! May be! Not too sure! Can happen after a few more years!:).

How will I reach there? I am almost there.
Some of the work that I have discussed will happen with time.
I have written the steps in my copy.

The places I want to see in next few years-
-South Africa
-Newyork in the US

In India-

I don't get the feeling of being caged for a while now. In fact I am happy with whatever I have right now. As in today. This moment.But things change. Have changed in past. And it is for those days,hours and minutes when we have to remember we all have a zhihuatanejo. Those are the days when you and I will need to take out a pen and paper and write about our ideal life. Sit calmly when everything around us is in a mess. When the tide is high lie low. And Relax. And treat yourself to some music. A day out at the arts galary. Put every bit of what can be the solution on the paper!

None of this is easy. But who said life is easy!!?? All that we say is LIFE IS CHALLENGING! and FUN! So lets be at it!

And its good to remember in tough times that hope is a good thing. Its not a foolish thing. Its the best thing.

25th February, 2011