Rhythmic Rain...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


There was something about the night sky.

It’s weird how big the sky looked. I mean, the sky is the sky. It’s the same size everywhere. But it looked bigger.

We talked about random things as we stared. The day. The year. How I felt colder than she did. We discussed if I wanted another sheet or not. I said no. She got one anyway, and I thanked her.

We talked and we laughed. I saw things in the air that weren’t really there. She laughed AT me for that.

We wished we could see stars in the city.

I felt like I was thinking slower. Thinking fewer things than I usually do.

I fell asleep first, and she woke me. The rain will be an unpleasant way to be woken up, she said. I agreed, but didn’t want to move.

I could have sat there, under the endless gray-blue, with two pillows and a friend, all night.

There was just something. Something about the night sky.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Drop In The Ocean

She hadn’t changed. At least she didn’t think she had. She looked at herself in the mirror and thought Why do I feel fatter? I still fit into the same clothes… Her skin looked darker, the blemishes more obvious. She wondered if she ought to have noticed her collar bones and whether they were as they should be. She undid her hair and ran her fingers through it, changing the parting; to see if that made a difference. Did she stand out as beautiful? Or ugly? Did she stand out at all?

She heard words she didn’t understand all around her. It was a strange kind of incomprehension. It was a language she understood, but one she couldn’t always translate into meaning. Many questions unanswered, she nodded through so many conversations, it seemed. She mused over how insignificant those pieces of paper had turned out to be – after she carefully and proudly filed them away.

Her world seemed smaller than it used to somehow. In the midst of a sea of differently coloured faces, hers seemed less spectacular. The world was so large, experiences of people like her so many in number, that she had watched, mesmerised, as her life changed from being stand-alone; the only one she knew; to merely another…example.

She isn’t special. She’s ordinary. And so are most people. And like them, she fights mediocrity, futile a fight though it may be.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Random Things That Make Me Happy

Inspired by a new friend who hasn't been around for as long as it seems. Written while my studying lay undone. It's hot and it's late. Perhaps that's why.

My laptop, my rocking chair and my quilt.
Movies with my mom and cheese popcorn.
Dinners with my dad.
My personal trainer.
IM’s that wake me up at odd hours.
A puppy that chewed just a little too hard on my toe.
Deepa. And everything about her.
Girls on the PU drive in bright yellow peep toes.
Packing for holidays.
Shopping for holidays.
Bijayini Didi
Sarcasm that I just don’t get.
Stripper shoes.
French manicures that make people stiller than I’ve ever seen them.
Pigs, Woody and Him.
The stuffed Chandra and Derek.
The real Chandra and Derek.
Padma ma'am, MOT, VBT, Coordination and Stereo
Lawrence, Pankhaj and George.
My twin.
Quirks in my family.
Random relatives who love me JLT.
Pulling legs.
A book that I remember parts of at strange times.
Orissa and Aja.
SMS and Non-Forwarded email.
Letters and webcams.
Randomness and D-O-R-Ks.
Losing to someone who was simply brilliant
Conversations during long walks that last till 4 am.
Coke, Eskimos with whipped cream, Chicken Tikka Sandwiches and Icecream – not necessarily together.
Jazz A Capella
People who bring me Malteasers.
The fact that my grandmother thinks I am perfect.
Being a science nerd.
Confusing people by telling them how things REALLY work.
Realising that there are a LOT of people who love me.
Lists like these.
Love, June 10th and September 28th.
Unintentional romance.
Being a “pool of me” or “muddy and cold”
…and getting away with it.

Dreams On A Cheque

Maybe it was the weather; the fact that it was a little cloudy… dark clouds teased us with the threat of rain. Maybe the looming end of yet ANOTHER semester makes one muse about the future. Then again, maybe it wasn’t half as romantic as that, and we started talking about our dreams and plans for the future simply because Aruna’s zoology class is downright boring.

My mind was wandering already, the way it usually does – jumping quickly from one random thought to another, when I got a note from Chetana, who sat behind me. The note seemed to be in an old cheque from ICICI of Roshni’s - undoubtedly one she had forgotten to cash…or one she simply could not use thanks to some circumstance only Roshni could get stuck in.

“So what up yo! Ok…imagine yourself when you are 25. Where do you see yourself? Give a description right down to what you’re wearing, and what’s on your mind. =) ”!

My first instinct was to laugh. Only Chet could come up with that in the middle of a class on vertebrate respiration and really expect and answer. In turned to pass her a bemused smile, and got a toothy grin in response. “Alright…” I thought. “Where do I see myself in 6 years…?”

Ever tried answering that question? Answering it is crazy hard! Every response created a Polaroid image…a single snapshot – speaking a thousand words on what we want our futures to look like. I was amazed at the ambition and diversity I found in one section of one class… Environmental lawyers and managers, science communicators, films in the making, wildlife photographers, social activists, resorts, time capsules, wedding bells, leeches and khaki – all from 6 girls in the last two rows of a single zoology class.

Everyone secretly wants to save the world. One wants to save the dolphins, another wants to fight for human rights. We all want to save the Earth from global warming or find alternatives to fossil fuels…or merely tell the world the stories of those who can. We also know that a single person can’t change the world…but that isn’t about to stop us from trying. From dreaming.

Proud of my friends, I secretly wondered what it would be like, six years from now…to meet them all again. Perhaps on Roshni’s boat, talking about out lives over glasses of champagne. Who knows? For now…this is the stuff that keeps us going; the stuff our dreams are made of.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Distracted By An Equal Music

It’s a large store. The walls are brightly coloured in red and yellow, forcing a cheerfulness on the room. The salesmen wear similar colours and walk around, looking uncomfortably happy – to make up for incompetence, I tell myself. The huge first floor has books and music on one side and stationary on the other side. This isn’t a book store, I think to myself. There is an annoying quality in the atmosphere here. Perhaps it has something to do with the disturbingly bright colours everywhere. I also can’t help but think that there is something fundamentally wrong with playing music that loud in a bookstore. I walk on anyway.

I pick up a book here and there even though it’s not the one I am looking for. I love the feel of a new book. Maybe it’s something about the smell of paper. My hands run over exotic parts of the world – Arabia, Nazi Germany and an unnamed part of an unidentified ocean – before I find the book I’m looking for. Unable to wait, I sit down and start to read. In seconds, I’m lost. A song I don’t recognise anyway fades away and I feel like it is me walking through that park in London as Michael Holmes.

The song playing in the store changes. This time, it is one I recognise and it pulls me out of my book. Frustrated by my own inability to concentrate, I try to read on, but can’t. Irritated, I give in. There is something fundamentally wrong with playing music this loud in a bookstore, I repeat to myself. But I close my book, tap my feet to the familiar song, and hum all the way home.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thoo Die!

One of the things I seem to have inherited from my mom is my obsession with movies. Not to say that I am half as well versed as a film student or anything, but I’m getting there! My mother and I can carry on long conversations filled with quotes of popular Hindi and English movies. As a matter of fact, we do it quite often and drive everyone else around us pretty much insane. It’s really, really fun!

I just got back from watching a movie that I absolutely LOVED – for the third time. I am fully aware that there are all these so called ‘intellectuals’ out there who thought the movie was frivolous and stupid. But you know what? I honestly believe that one needs a different kind of intelligence to appreciate Om Shanti Om.

Every possible Hindi-film cliché has been spoofed - right from the 'nahiiiiiiiii' from the 'Ma ka Dil' to the over exaggerated hamming scenes. Even existing Bollywood stars have spoofed themselves right from dance steps to infamous lines and traits. But it’s not just the quirky humour. One has to be really obsessed with Bollywood to recognise a young Sooraj R. Barjatya and Govinda…or the similarity of the ending with the older Hindi films, Kaarz and Madhumati. The humour was sometimes loud and obnoxious – like the drunken scenes with SRK and Shreyus Talpade – while at other times the humour was less obvious – like the fact that the director, Farah Khan, slickly named the villain Shiamak (as in, Davar). Call me immature, but I LOVED the south Indian movie shoot. I thought it was pure genius, and I drove my friends all nuts calling them ‘rascala’s for days after watching the movie for the first time!

The movie actually also had a subtle undertone of seriousness…commenting on the not-so-nice underbelly of Bollywood. I liked how it came up that Om Kapoor would be the star, but not the Om Anythingelse.

Om Shanti Om was a movie-freak's dream. The only person I know who possibly enjoyed it more than I did was my mom...but hey, I'm not the one who teaches film, and she has 30 years of movie watching more than me! Oh. And for all you stuck up ‘intelligent’ people out there…I only have one thing to say to you lot.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Moving On...

When something amazing happens in my life, I find it hard to forget about it once it’s over. The last few months, I have been living with the hangover of wining Global Challenge and going to UVM. I have talked to people incessantly about it, written about it, kept in touch with people I know I will probably never see again, not to mention thought about how wonderful it all was over and over and over...

Winning that scholarship and going on that trip will always be one of the highpoints in my life. But a few days ago I woke up and realised that I had my head in the clouds with the idea of something glamorous and exciting, while my reality passed me by.

I’ve reached a point where harping on that phase doesn’t make sense any more. It isn’t even the most recent wonderful thing to happen to me, and three months later, I’m the only one still excited by the experience. I was aimlessly looking through my computer when I realised how little I have done since then!

My laptop is now over three months old. I don’t have a single picture of Nrityagram on it... My blog hasn’t been updated since the 18th of August... I haven’t written a letter or a long email for TOO long... and I’ve lost touch with way too many of my friends.

I suppose it hasn’t been so long that I can’t now catch up with my life and carry on, with my feet – and ego – firmly on the ground. So I’m locking all those memories up tight in a little box, putting it away, and returning to reality. About time. All I can say is this: I’m glad that I look around to find my family, friends and life... more or less where I left them.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


With Independence Day around the corner, we were surrounded by images if ‘India Shining’. Television, the newspaper, and programmes at college and at home celebrated India’s diversity, culture, progress, wealth and energy. I felt proud and privileged to be a citizen of THE country to be in right now – the centre of scientific and economic progress, in the running to be the world’s next super power. I felt proud to be Indian…until one scene made me wonder…

The Oberoi is my dad’s favourite place to eat in Bangalore. It being fancy five-star hotel, I consider us lucky to be able to eat there whenever we please. We had dinner there a few days before Independence Day. It really had been a lovely evening – brilliant food, to be eaten in air-conditioned comfort. On our way out, we passed a young girl standing outside the Chinese restaurant, with a baby in a pram. She wore a shabby maroon sari, with the end of her pallu tucked into her waist. Her hair was tied tightly in a braid – in start contrast to the blow-dried curls of the women she watched through the window. She watched the sleeping baby and I found myself wondering if she really was all that old herself.

A few days later, we celebrated independence. We celebrated our progress, our economic growth, our freedom of religion and expression… I celebrated my privilege of doing what I please, my supposed ‘equality’ with anybody else. But as I did, I couldn’t get out of my mind the face of that girl – not much older than me – and her silent plea for the ‘equality’ I was born into by accident.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Global Challenge!

I gazed out of the window on my flight home with mixed feelings. It would be nice to see mom and fatty again… really great to be in my own bathroom – not to be shared with ten other girls - and my own bed. I was looking forward to telling friends and family about the Vermont experience! But a part of me didn’t want it all to end!

In the seven odd days I spent in Burlington, at the UVM campus, I packed in so many things I had never done before!
I got to experience life in a dorm…
I had the nicest roommate I could have asked for…
I became aware of biomass as a real and feasible energy source and have now become paranoid about energy conservation…
I got thrown in the lake and made a friend in the process…
I made friends from all over the world…
I saw a rainbow that was a perfect semi circle…
I learnt about electricity from a man wearing a rainbow coloured lab coat and a headband with coloured lights all around, in a way that involved blowing up a pickle and watching people’s hair stand on end…
I was part of the first group of teenagers to ever pelletise grass…

And I said so in front of the Governonr, the Senator and the US Ambassador to Switzerland!

It was an experience I will never get sick of talking about. And it’s an opportunity for anyone between the ages of 14 and 18! It gave me the desire to do something proactive about scientific issues that I care about, and has given me a platform to do it on! Anyone else interested?
Sign up for this year’s competition!! If I can win, you can!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Driven Up The Conventional Wall

This is techincally a made up dialogue - a result of combining real conversations with two or three of my aquaintences. And just so you know, if I EVER - by some cosmic disaster - begin to talk like this, you have my full permission to thwap me on the head with a dictionary.

X – Meghna! Dah-ling! How are you…it's been too too long! Let me give you a hug!
Me (after the air above each cheek has been kissed) – Hey... yes it has been! Been busy with college plans that's all. What are yours by the way?
X – Oh I decided not to go to college. I realised that the conventional education system just wasn't for me. I'm going to take some time to get to know myself. Explore my soul. Spend some time to work on my sound. You should hear me sometime!
Me – Oh, you're into music? I didn't know you were!
X – I never was really. But it seems to have found me you know? My sound is quite indescribable... I try to combine a whole lot of things really... a kaleidoscope of all my talents if you will. I despise these conventional musicans who "experiment" with a hotch potch of too many things! Simple combination of everything. That's the key.
Me – *ahem* really... That sounds... great! Where are you planning to learn?
X – I am doing it myself. How hard is it eh? I think one learns best when it comes from within oneself.
Me (biting back the urge to yell) – yes, maybe...but still, you don't think some training would...

X – Maybe for other people, but you know how I can't be conventional. It's a curse really. So! What are your plans?
Me – I decided to do a B.Sc... Taking chemistry and microbiology.
X – Aw Meg, you haven't changed a bit! Still the same old square science dork I knew and loved!
Me (trying to laugh off the irritation) – Am I? Heh...
X (using hand like a fan) - God. I don't know how you take science. There's no room for any originality! How do you know where the white suit ends... and you begin?
Me – Right. Well... I'll manage... So you just turned 18! Did you do anything special?
X – Nah… Everyone looks forward to their 18 th birthday. I decided to celebrate the day I turn 17 and three quarters.
Me (choking on my drink) - *cough* what?
X – You know how I hate to be…

Me – Conventional! I know. It's not a bad thing you know?
X – No I suppose not... it's just so difficult to stand out!
Me – Everyone seems to be so caught up with being "different" these days. Being conventional is so rare now, maybe I'M the rebel here!

X - Oh you DO know how to make me laugh! We both know who is the weird one between the two of us.
Me - Eccentricity isn't cool when it's put on you know...
X – Yes, you're right! I despise those people who pretend to be different, but aren't really...and dislike things only because everyone else does, and quote motivational quotes all the time. You know, Confusious summed it quite nicely when he said...
Me – Good heavens, aren't you a being a little hypocritical?
X – Not at all. The difference is, I actually believe the quote! Now, tell me... don't you think that the new book by... oh whatshisname... the one nominated for the Booker this year? Don't you think it was simply ghastly? Never read anything more pretentious in my life!

Me - *faint*