Monday, June 28, 2010

@ PUNE: So Long,Fare well,Au revior,Alvida!!!

Finally I acquired the courage and sent the email to my mentor "intimating my last day as a trainee in this company" (Subject  courtesy and content editing : the one and only DRC) !!! 

So; here at the end of the month June; as the faint monsoon drips ward off those evil sweats from your skin and decorate the tip of ur pilus with the diamond like faint yet intricate droplets from the heaven above ; I do bid my adieus to my friends @ Pune, the plethora of new acquaintances I've made here, my colleagues , my room-mates of 2 months' and above all the city itself. I know I've mostly criticized this city through-out most of my blogs but let me take this emotion drenched farewell opportunity to say a few (a lot rather) good things about this city and why I'd  A-L-M-O-S-T considered the 2 summer months I've spent here to be my summer of ' 69.

These were my 1st proper 2 months completely , utterly , exclusively under the aegis of well, MYSELF. While for the 1st 2 weeks , I was too absorbed by the idea/ habit of being in a hostel (which eventually has turned out to be an extended family for me) life ; I began enjoying my stay alone in an unknown city once the miserable 1st 15 days were over. I knew the city pretty well  by the and of the 1st week itself, courtesy my habit of aimlessly loitering around the unknown streets :) 

So, here cometh the top five lists ( Author's gratitude to 'High Fidelity')  :- 

craziest things I've done in Pune:-
5> going to MTv stuntmania alone and and dancing to the tunes of AKON in-front of 1000 scandalized spectators !
4> The amazingly unplanned Thane trip 
3> The trip to Raigarh which, inspite of being a fun one, turned out to be rather DAMP(pun intended ) and left me completely sleepless for, hold ur breath , 42 hours !!!( I must also mention here that the ropeway journey through the clouds, the beauty on the way and the eerie moonlight mountain paths while coming back left me mesmerized.)
2> The all girl bike trip to Sinhagarh 
Anddd the top of the list , the unanimous winner obviously is 

Funtime I had here:-
5> The foodaholic(s)- Day out with Karan & Manpreet which used to mandatorily include "Cafe Good-Luck"
4> The ferris wheel trip at Manaranjor Nagar next to Deccan with 2 complete strangers who turned into friends in less than 5 minutes :)
3>The tour to Lonavla followed by mad chit-chat with Manisha (and I went to sinhagarh in the very next moring @ 6 after staying up till 2!)
2> The gregarious reception at Charu's place followed by my 1st lone hike to Lonavla

1> Mumbai- the friday-night (I guess I reached at 23.55 Hrs :) to Monday Afternoon Jam packed tour with all my dear friends

Breath-taking beauty:---
5> Chatursinghi Temple (It was a sunday I guess, and in-spite of the blazing heat, i loved that place but unfortunately Shanivarwada , where i ventured next, turned out to be quite disappointing though the stroll in Laxmi Rd was interesting and offer my eye with an unique yet diverse visual plater) 

The serendipitous discovery of a point ,located at the backyard of my PG , from where almost the entire Pune can be seen.
4> Up and Above , courtesy a very old virtual friend of mine
3> Parvati temple :- both the trips there
2> Nariman point :- both with only Manisha & with 2MP(Manisha , Mangu & Prasanna) ;amp
And the winner? 
1> Sunset from the Arabian sea , while coming back from Elephanta caves .

Pure Rush of Adrenaline :- 
5> the Water scooti ride in some beach (can't remember the name) near Alibag
4> Back-Stroke at the Arabian ocean : -in Murud Janjira
3>Sun and moon standing at 180* in terabethia, the magical mountain of A.R.A.I , a land which inevitably reminded me of LOTR series !

Can't find anything else to add to the list .. were these 2months so less thrilling that i couldn't find an winner ? !! neway let's proceed to the next list.

NEW F-R-I-E-N-D-S / A-C-Q-U-A-I-N-T-A-N-C-E-S:-
5>Puja(My Room-mate Shailaja's Sis, the potential supermodel)
4>Dr Abdullah
3>Manpreet Rajpal
2>Kalpita Kshirsagar
1>Devayani Khare

And aboveeeee all of these , the biggest gain of all ,,, the winner amongst all these was a real quality time with myself..I absorbed the elixir out of each moment (please take a  note: m NOT talking about my project or Professional life ) and i loved myself even more(if such a thing is indeed possible) for being capable of doing so!... I just hope to continue doing so after going back to B'lore as well provided it doesn't negatively affect by still nascent career tree.. So, 'BALANCE' is gonna be the keyword! 
So, good bye Pune. The last one month of my 20th year and 1st 1 month of my 21st year were truly special thank to you. This had no doubt been the 1st summer of '69 of my life so far , I thank thee for it and hope many such are yet to come!

PS:- Top five things I'd miss about Pune:-
1>The food- the aroma of the cold coffee, sensation of mastani (@ Meridian ),  taste of the Peshwari Paratha , tinge of the freshly made poha & the feel of the Bun Maska
2>Mountain in the backyard and breathtaking view from the terrace while swinging in the hammock 
3>Lack of Traffic J-A-M
4>All Fun & No Work scenario where any week-day could have been turned into an week-end in a moment's notice!
5> Uninterrupted freedom of doing crazy things 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Worst Birthday Ever But... ... ...

So , it's official ... I've turned 21 and spent my worst birthday except probably for the day on which I actually was born . My umbilical cord conspired to strangle my throat and thus my entire birth process was not exactly what one would describe as hassle free. So, even before I was born , I started freaking out my kith and kin and probably I'd do the same even after my death ! 

Sometimes I do wonder why do we always wish the child ( that child might be 97 years old for all it matters) in her/ his birthday; don't u think that it's the mother who deserves the congratulations for her bravery to enter into a  relationship from which she can never break up or get a divorce? And then there's the physical pain and sacrifices on the front of career , enjoyment and addiction ! 

I missed her badly yesterday ... on my 1st birthday away from home ... Even though I was overwhelmed by all the calls I got from all my friends and near & dear ones ;  I Somehow felt a bit empty .. sometimes words are not enough .. I longed to see their faces , I longed to hug them and laugh at their PJs . The fact that there was no electricity in my PG and my cell was 90% discharged , even aggravated my blues ... But somehow I managed to sleep for an hour or so in-spite of the attack of  a fleet of mosquitoes and my room-mate's sudden urge to put on make up at 2am in the night (honest to God she did that and then she took a bath .. I was feeling like I'd been transported to some ghost story's set)  and I woke up fresher than a young green grass drenched with dew drops ! 

For the 1st time ever I went to office way earlier than the scheduled time and had  a rather nice day. The lunch was good except for the most dreadful pina colada and believe it or not i treated 2 of my colleagues ! The phone rang from time to time to brighten up the rather dull Wednesday afternoon with warm & vibrant wishes and I especially enjoyed the 2 hour long talk with Oindrila (over phone of course ) where we kept on talking about exotic foods and excellent films ! And then it was 6.30 and I was torn between the choices of accompanying the aforementioned 2 colleagues of mine to "Good-Luck Cafe" , one of my most favorite eating joints of Pune located at F C Road  and going to Pune station to meet a very old friend of mine. And I choose the later. I dont kno why . I guess i was feeling a bit like an emotional wreck, struck in  a  city I absolutely didn't yet became close to and a job I absolutely detested  . I needed to be somewhere or with some-one which/ who feels like home... Now, I've  a weird definition of home . I never considered it to be a place or a bunch of persons ... it always remained as an idea , something very vague and yet stunningly clear ... I am sure you've no idea of what i am talking about, neither do i! I guess i just wanted to spend the evening with someone i knew for quite some time and whom i considered to be not just a mere acquaintance , rather a friend . I am a single child and was always blessed with a huge number of friends. Most of them never forgot my birthday and never failed to make me crazy with all their enthusiastic plans to make the day special for me... I was missing them and even though I didn't expect anything remotely close to my normal birthdays , I just wished to be noticed . I was sick of being invisible ...

But that's exactly what happened ... I felt like as if i didn't exist .. i was feeling insulted and angry ... angry with myself for giving any1 the chance to ruin my special day. For all the readers of my blog , if u ever go to meet a  friend of urs on his or her birthday , please do carry at  least a small eclairs with u. No matter how indifferent and careless a person pretends to be, in some days of our lives we all long to be treated like a protagonist of the drama called life and we feel good to feel that our friends care for us ! I never miss  a chance to wish people in their birthdays. Even if they are mere strangers . I find this day to be very special , just imagine if by any celestial conspiracy , this day was erased from earth ? How would the world be if you were just not there? In truth , it would go on just the same . Maybe nothing will change but then , we all like to think it'd make a difference .. We love to imagine that WE can make a  difference ... So, i tried my best to play my part well .. ie , the part of a good samaritan, a perfect friend . I could understand the emotional upheaval this friend of mine was going through and i felt his need of having a media to vent them all out ... And i felt like a disposable coffee mug . Did u ever think how they might have felt ? those mugs? They feel the direct heat , the stain : actually all the bad things while they dont even get to or want to drink the coffee ... Actually , i was hungry .. I ate at 12.30 pm in the afternoon and it was almost 9pm and all I was doing was to try and maintain my poise ... I was too angry to even express my frustration . I was afraid that if i open up even a small lid of my heart , the accumulated depression which turned into rage , disgust and all the syndromes of  emotional nausea would just break the dam of my mind and sweep off everything ! 

When i was in the bus , i called my landlady to inform her that i was at a friend's place and i'd be a bit late and will reach by 11pm .She behaved extremely rudely and advised me to stay outside @ "that friend's place" and i felt like if I could turn my anger into energy then the entire universe would blow up ... but funnily enough , i was not angry with any1 else,,, i just hated myself and kept on scolding myself badly ... You've no idea how bad you'll feel to rebuke urself on your own birthday .. But then, if u r on the verge of crying,,u can at least prevent urself from the embarrassment of that by erasing ur emptiness with ur anger. And then I returned to my PG (w/o procuring any food as i didn't have time ) and thankfully  the exhaustion and hunger put me to sleep ...That was the best part of the day ..When i could feel the sleep fairy singing her lullaby to me!

I woke up at around 1am 2day by a call from that friend of mine who apologized for destroying my birthday..I wonder why they do that.. I mean u can never actually say : " yes u daft prick .. u did that , u were just not there when i needed you the most and i am disgusted that i ever let myself fall under the illusion that YOU could ever be a friend of mine "... so all I did was to smile and say :  "That's what friends are for!" ... Of course he didn't understand my sarcasm ... few actually does !

PS. the "But" part : It does feel good to have the illusion of sacrificing a very special evening of yours for people you care for ... In the end of the day , you yourself can make you happy or sad .. thus I again got a lesson I always knew but of late forgotten : "I am my best friend and worst enemy " .. so it's convenient to for me to chose to be the former and I'd do that from now on!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Murud Janjira

( Last post from a 20 year old Blogger : I am not quitting blogging, silly! This is a subtle hint just to remind u to wish me a grand Happy Birthday! :P )

CAUTION: It's NOT a Travelogue( check google if u want a Murud Janjira travel guide) : It's just a journal of my emotions!

So, In my last blog I told u about my intention of having a legendary week-end (Read the previous blog for details please :P ) and I HAD a LEGENDARY Week-end which stretched for 2nights and 3days (starting from Saturday morn )

I finally planned to go to Dive-agar with a friend of mine (and 2 other friends of his : I was not really looking forward to paint my week-end with any carnal hue, not at least when the source of that hue would be a PGDM class-mate of Welingkar .. HELL NOOOO!!! ) but they cancelled the plan in the last moment and even encouraged me to do the same and come to Bombay instead. So, I had to tell them about this horrible sprain in my left toe which aggravated me so much that the moment he hang up the call , I took my already packed rucksack and went straight to Swargate bus stop two hours ahead of the scheduled departure time of the  bus to Dive-agar.. I roamed around for 2.5 hours before it hit me that I've probably missed the bus and i would have if I didn't brake my own speed limit ( and insane-o-meter limit) when it comes to running in the middle of  a road buzzing with traffic ... !

The next 3 hours in the bus was rather mundane except for the breath-taking scenery outside the window .Then the bus stopped in a restaurant for lunch (or technically the driver did) and I got down to buy water and ended up buying a can of bear instead and torn between whether I should drink it in the bus (I didn't want to be thrown outside the bus in the mid-way!) or do something else, I chose the later and saved the can for my evening date with the sea . Instead, I started a conversation with a co-passenger which after a brief talk about how to dissect a human being (This person was an MBBS student in AFMC) led to a detailed discussion about a place called murud janjira and I actually left my bus with this stranger I've introduced myself to less than an hour ago! I can't even remember the name of the bus-stop where I got down , and Abdul actually turned out to be a real nice person (or not! ) as he waited for nearly an hour with me in the blazing sun light only to keep me company before the bus to Murud Janjira arrived.. He also suggested that either he should come with me to Murud abandoning his cousin's marriage or I should go attend that wedding and not roam around alone in an unknown place but then that's quite irrelevant in our present context ... Nevertheless, I'd like to state a view: It's weird how our society prompts us (ie women ) not to indulge in talks with strangers , especially when we actually remain as strangers even to the closest relatives & friends... I've found from my personal experience that a man derives enormous satisfaction by playing the role of " Knight in a shining armour" to a damsel in distress . And thus even if a stranger offers to help you out , he is not necessarily trying to take advantage of you all the time . He might as well want to pacify his innate thrust of bragger,self worth and to some extend : Male Chauvinism!

My bus journey to Murud , though crowded and smelly (of raw fish and human sweat) , tured out to be amazing as 30% of the road almost touched the sea waves and I was lucky enough to see the sun melt into the Arabian ocean from on-board a moving bus. . . And this was the amongst the very few instances in my life when i saw both sun-rise and sun set in a single day and that too both from places whose enchanting beauties can never be described by words. Oh.. I forgot to mention: on saturday morn, i went to my terabithia at around 4.30 am and I saw the Pune city sleeping peacefully like a sweet puppy under the mattress of the stress of an entire week ! And from that hill top I remained witness to a story unknown to the mankind. I was standing in a place where in my left hand side the sun was rising and the warmth of it's affection was melting the cold heart of the moon situated in my right hand side and the joy that was sprinkling from her was drenching the entire city and the magical touch of it inspired everyone to start afresh : "After-all , toDAY IS another day!"

Ok ok .. enough nonsense ! Back to my original story: I reached Murud at approx 8.30 pm and found out that there was no ATM there. Caution : All ya wannabe tourists : even though they are opening up  ATMs in every god-damn place on earth and soon they'll open up one in Mt. Everent ; they've NOT had the sense of keeping one in Murud. The nearest ATM was JUST 60 KM away in Alibag... So there I was, stranded in a place which looked rather ominous as the electricity was taking a nap when i reached ,  with just 1000 bucks in my pocket and NO MOBILE NETWORK . I didn't find any place to stay in any hotel. I contemplated spending the night in the beach but had to abandon the plan after the story of a rather thrilling robbery just an week ago! But in-spite of all these, i was not really feeling threatened and never for a second i regretted coming there. Finally, I told my saga to a velpuriwala who, through a chain of a few other middle  men , led me to a coconut water seller who lends his room for love birds eloping to this place in an hours notice and finding themselves in the same plight as I were then. That man's wife was sceptic about lending the room to a girl alone, a woman on her own always threatens everyone with her sheer audacity of showing the will to enjoy her life independently!  Or maybe, the lady  thought that i were a hooker... However, i convinced her to lend the room to me and was appalled to see the bed. Those who can actually sleep in that bed must indeed be BLIND in love..I took a horse nap that night . Besides the lack of any decent place to sleep , the reason contributing to my one night insomnia was that I couldn't refrain myself from the voyeuristic instinct of seeing the moon making love to the sea but then if a divine couple pronounce their love with such passionate roars , it's but obvious that a vain human like me wont have the abstinence to refuse the chance of beholding once in a lifetime show of such phantasmagoria...

 I love the sea.. If i had to chose a dream man from the nature , it'd be the sea... I love its salty smell which overflows with a frenzy fervency... And its call just sweeps off every other thought from my mind , i start running the moment i can hear it and the only thing i can think of is how soon will i be able to touch the waves and feel the tingle in my feet. And the best part is, as you look beyond the wildness of its surface u can see its depth, stillness and serenity and you wonder how can these contradictory traits exist in the same body! And every sea has its own charms. As of now I've met only 3 of them : Indian ocean , Bay of Bengali and Arabian sea and the last one is just PERFECT for me. I love its ever changing caprice : in morning it actually feeds my Electra complex by showing the maturity of an entity as old as the universe ( I actually swam backstroke in the sea on Sunday morning and thereby finally got my graduation degree in swimming!.. trust me it was amazing .. the pansy of clouds floating above my head and if I move my head  a bit right , i could see the Janjira fort and in my left side all the coconut trees were giving me a standing ovation ) . And in the early afternoon it behaves like an adolescent kid : always fighting and screaming ; i could barely stand against its revolting waves! And then in the evening it becomes the piper of Hamelin and makes u spellbound to the music it plays !

After nearly 2 hours of swimming followed by a brief tour in the horseback in the Sunday morn, i went to visit the Janjira fort at around 10 am. I bought a blue hat and was rather feeling like a 5 year old kid and every thing in the world was looking fresh and new to me... I was not even walking , my steps became so light that i felt like i was not a human being any more, that I was the wind . Now, after reaching the Murud port , I had to take a boat : a traditional sailing boat with a white sail . The fort itself is situated nearly 3km away from the shore and it's connected with the mainland with an underwater tunnel which, according to our guide,  is situated 60 feet under the bottom of the sea . Considering the fact that the fort is 900 years old, this fact simply astounded me. I wish I had an entire day to explore the fort and i could see the sun-set from there BUT I had only 45 mins thus I had to run after the completely unromantic guide and tolerate all his blabbering.. For all u future explorers, go with plenty of time in your hand ... Hire a private boat if u have to, you need an entire day to see this place . Doesn't it seem weird to be in a place like this ? I mean it used to be an ACTUAL fort , with a king who had the power to behead anyone with a movement of his tongue( I was referring to giving spoken orders by that but u can decipher the statement as you wish !)  ... There were real people here , with real hopes, dreams , desires , fears ... They slept in these rooms, they drank water from these ponds which are looking now like some mossy monster straight from a Calvin and Hobbes comics, they prayed in these mosques and temples . They saw the sunrise from the window in which I was sitting ... They had hidden from the prying eyes in this quite corner and kissed their beloved with only the rising moon as their witness. And now it all seem to be so implausible ... No one talks about these people ... History is written of the glory of the king and the brilliance of the architects who created such mighty palace and smooth doors and aesthetic windows and we forget us , the us who used to stay there 900 years ago!

After returning to mainland , I had my branch from a quiet cosy restaurant and then I took an auto and went to visit another palace nearby(whose name I've forgotten as usual, but it's  the shooting spot of some quasi-famous Bollywood movie) and I could write another blog about the weird auto driver who took me there and his family (a woman who is probably his wife but he claimed her to be his sister @@!!).

However I came back to Murud beach by 1 and I took another round of sea bathing and went to the bus stop only to discover that i didn't have enough money to pay for my tour back to Pune! so I went to Alibag instead ... 


But this blog is already SUPER  long and I think for 2day I've tortured you enough! I'd be back soon with my next blog where I'd write about the phase 2 of my madcap week-end and upload some photos as well. Till then au-revoir ! 
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