April 23, 2013

Poem: Answer & Question

"I wonder who you're loving now,
I'm guessing we won't work this out...
You know what they say, you can't have it 
Till you want it bad.
I'm way past that. Believe me.
If you could be in my life, like you've been on my mind
It'd be so easy.
I know what they say. They say you'd be happier,
Better off without me. 
I'm sure it's hard to see me.
I'm sure you don't believe a word. Cause it's all been said before.
And we're so far from where we were..."
- Skyler Fisk 

...And It rained again today, making me relive that quiet walk, 
 That seemed to have taken place so Many miles away away from reality.
Holding hands, and letting the heart speak Instead of the mind...for a change.
When silence did finally settle down between uS, the bridge closed...
For a second, it seemed aS though the world belonged to you and me.
For a minute, the world seemed to fall awaY...
The only truth then: was the One that I'd been trying to fight.
One where yoU would not be just a shadow of passing time.

But a memory that grows stronger wIth every tick of time, 
When the World stops to care about me, 
You'd still be sOmewhere near.
Just around the damN corner perhaps, waiting to hug me.
Doesn't even matter how little the affection is now, but...
Maybe just to tell mE that you might still love me.
And my dreams would take me away to a thousand diffeRent places, 
I would be trying my best to keep myself from falling, 
Back into those same old Follies, the so-called mistakes.
But mY wayward mind will still insist on looking at the memories again,
It will flash all those memories Of you and me, back in time, in the rain.
When there was no Umbrella for shelter, just us together...
 And the question keeps haunting me throughout the Days and the nights.
Even when I am talking tO you, when you seem so close to me. But still far away.

April 21, 2013

Entry: The 500 Word Competition - When Love Bites!!

Story no 11: Chocolate Pastry by Aniesha Brahma

My relationship with Arjav had always been strange. We always fought, screamed and hanging up the phone seemed like the only natural solution at times. And yet, there was a part of us which loved each other a little too much. Almost to the point of being rather insane, I would say.

It was actually a miracle that we parted ways. Okay...I admit it, I initiated our parting of ways. But it wasn't the parting of ways which made me think that love truly bites. It was the way we did it.

"You know, maybe we shouldn't be seeing each other anymore," I said, angrily, "No, not even as friends. You can never be my friend."

"Alright, calm down," Arjav said, pleasantly, "You're disrupting the peace."

"Let me!" I shrieked.

We were sitting in the cafe, talking about things. Rather shouting about things and perhaps, still not willing to let go off what we couldn't change. At least, I couldn't. I wonder now, whether it was a blessing in disguise, that there was no other customer in the cafe. The only person eavesdropping on our conversation was the guy behind the counter.

"You want to eat something?" Arjav asked.

I glared at him. Here we were in the middle of a heart-to-heart. Or in my case, a heart-to-deaf-ears! And all he could think about was food! I made me secretly wonder how on earth had I never seen that his love for food would always score above his love for anything else.

"No, thank you," I snapped.

He flashed me a grin and went to talk to the waiter. I crossed my arms in front of my chest, and stared out the window. My attention came back to the table, when I saw there was a chocolate pastry in front of me.


"Here," he said, slicing the pastry into two. He picked one slice up and put it in my mouth, "Eat it."

"Are you insane?" I spluttered through a mouthful of chocolate pastry, "Who breaks up by feeding someone a chocolate pastry?!?"

But he was grinning at me. Something about his grin made me boil over.  The next minute, I had seized the other half of the pastry and smeared it across his face.

"Happy Break Up to you too!"

Instead of getting mad at me, or swearing at me, Arjav began laughing.

Love bites - we both discovered that day. Trying to split a chocolate pastry with a girl you're about to dump isn't the brightest of ideas. Neither is throwing the pastry back at the boy's face either.

It was one of the last memories that I have of us together. The only other time I had seen him, I had "runaway" from him. Or at least that is what everyone who's seen me claimed.

"You didn't need to runaway, you know," Arjav had told me months later.

I had snorted, "I wasn't running away. I was just walking really fast in the opposite direction."

Note: I didn't win this competition, but it was amazing to be nominated for this though :)) I loved taking part in this.

April 18, 2013

Soldier for Women: The Kind Stranger

"Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words will never harm me."
- Nursery Rhyme 

The Kind Stranger

It was the year 2006. The first year when I'd finally been allowed to travel to and fro school alone. I was so excited to be making the trips alone. In fact, I had actually been quite excited about traveling alone. Being sixteen, of course, the first taste of freedom always seems like a little bit of heaven. 

With great excitement, I boarded the auto rickshaw, next to young man. He looked about twenty years old. I had never been fond of the middle seats in autos, because you get crammed between two strangers. And sometimes the experiences are not pleasant. Since many a girl and woman have become victims of eve teasing in that very seat... 

Anyway, this twenty something had with him a huge box from Dominos. He caught me eying the packet, and then grinned at me, when our eyes locked. Now, right before the auto could start, another man took the other seat in the auto. He was reeking with the smell of alcohol, and he almost had no control over his body, it seemed. Instinctively, I leaned towards the twenty year old man. 

He looked around and noticed the newcomer. He smiled at me, "Sister, why don't you exchange places with me?"

I nodded my head blankly, not quite sure how to react. We traded places, and he shifted himself at angle so that there was no way the drunken guy could grope me or harass me in anyway. 

"Do you want some of the food?" he asked, pointing to the Dominos food packet.

I shook my head. I wasn't quite used to seeing drunken men in broad daylight. Before this, I was always traveling in the safe shelter of my mother or father, or an older sibling. I'd never faced a situation like this before. And till today, I don't know what would have happened, had the nice twenty year old not traded places with me. 

"Relax," he told me, when it was his turn to get off the auto, "You will find people like him all over the place. The trick is to keep calm and protect yourself." 

I wanted to tell him a lot of things.Like how I would also find people like him as well. Ones who stood up for women, you offered their protection to women they didn't even know. They took one look at a scared kid and at once began to call them "sister", not out of habit but because they really want to.

I never did find out what his name was. But he was there on the very first day I stepped out into the world on my own. I believe he was the guiding light. Perhaps the Universe's way of showing me, not every stranger I meet would have terrible intentions.

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

Soldier For Women: My Mother's Father

"The main reason why a daughter needs a dad is to show her that not all the boys are like the ones who hurt her." ~ Anonymous

My Mother's Father: My Grandfather 

My mother's father passed away even before my mother got married. It is, therefore, no surprise that I have never seen him.But the stories I've heard about him from my mother has painted a vivid living image of his in my mind.  My mother's favorite sentence when it comes to describing him is, "He was born way before his time. He had too much of foresight, you know. And no one in his family appreciated that." 

He had predicted the Bengal would get partitioned and had asked his father to move to Kolkata as soon as possible. His father had refused, telling my grandfather to mind his own business. But when his prediction did come to pass, his family lost everything. In stead of saying, "I told you so," my grandfather took everyone of his surviving family members in and helped them get back on their feet. 

He married my grandmother, and I believe that the marriage was a happy one. My mother was the only sister among her five brothers. She says, that looking back now, she didn't realize that she was gifted with the equal amount of liberty given to her brothers. Her father had quietly made sure she never felt discriminated against. And perhaps, that is the reason, me and my sister were brought up in a very liberal atmosphere.

My mother was allowed to play cricket with the boys, she was allowed to run around, and even shift to Pondicherry to finish her studies there. My grandfather would brave the hot Sun and stand there, and watch his daughter captain her team. He was quietly appreciative of her efforts. He would only smile when relatives would point out that being a daughter of the house it was her duty to know how to cook, clean and sew. I don't know what he replied to these comments, but my grandmother would smile and say, "The whole life is left to do such things. Girlhood is meant to be enjoyed. Let her be happy." 

My grandfather never forced the institution of marriage on my mother either. He believed that being caught in the maya of household would put shackles on the feet of his daughter, who had grown used to running wild with the wind. He had argued his way into making sure my mother had the time of her life, until he passed away. That's when my mother had no choice but to get married. 

However his legacy lives on in her. Even today, she's not very fond of cooking, and she doesn't let me enter our kitchen either. Twenty three, she claims, is the age to be doing things I love. Not boiling and sweating in front of the kitchen fire. My sister too, didn't learn how to cook, till she moved away from home. My mother always said we'd learn when we had to. And sure enough my sister became one of the best cooks in our family now.

My grandfather's serious face had kept all his children at a distance from him. But he was always encouraging when it came to my mother. Watching her play sports, quietly observing as she tried to teach herself how to ride his over sized bicycle, and even appreciating her talent: painting. 

My mother is a woman of the 50s.Sometimes I shudder to think what her outlook on life would have been like, had she been brought up without the liberal approach of her father. He is her hero. And in someway, he is mine too. Because the family my mother married into, did initially have a daughter-son discrimination. My mother did everything she could to stamp that feeling out. 

Today, there are three kids in our family. My sister, my brother (my uncle's son) and me. But the rules of the house are all the same for us. 

And I believe I have my mother's father to thank for that. 

 This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

April 17, 2013

Poem: Acrostic :)

You knocked on my window, when I'd shut myself out from the world.
On second thoughts, I decided that tonight to be one silly girl.
Under the watchful eyes of the moon and the twinkling stars,
A friend seemed to need help, because he was coming back from the bar.
Really! I didn't know it that night, that you'd wake the next morning and not remember,
Even though the myth says that people only get this way in December.
And there I am again, the little fool that I've always been.
Just when I was getting used to a life alone, you had to come barging in.
As you walk by, you keep talking to me, making it almost a part of your day.
Cursing myself sometimes, because there's this stupid thing where you randomly come in and then go away.
Klutz, dramatic, unmindful....some of the words which just fit you so well.
And before this, I would wait....but now on these stupid thoughts I don't even have time to dwell.
So, I'd tell you now: if leading on and letting someone down is part of your stupid game,
Someone really, truly needs to tell you: you're just being lame!

P.S.- There's a hidden message in the poem. Brownie points to whoever finds it! ;)

April 15, 2013

Poem: Now You Know

"Don't talk to me when you're bored.
I don't exist to entertain you."

There's a reason, why I love keeping my distance
From people. 
I don't like it when people come barging into my life,
And make me get used to them.
Because I love living in isolation, 
it becomes hard for me to adapt to new changes.
Or even accept a stranger one.
There's a reason why I don't believe in talking to someone 
Like they are my best friend one day,
And forget all about them the next.
Because people hurt. Everyone knows that.
Except your stupid heart.

There's a reason why we were told to never get 
our hopes up. Even during depths of despair.
Because most of the time, the one person you'd
begin to count on...is almost never there. 

In all these years, the people I've known, 
the people I've loved and the ones I met in passing.
They all showed me the same thing.
People will hurt you. And you still get to decide who 
was worth the pain...

But I'm so tired now, and afraid of getting hurt again.

I've had just about enough, 
And I've fallen prey way too easily too many times.
And now you know, why you can never bring those walls down.
Why you can't ever catch me...even if you chased me to the 
end of this world.

I'm like the sand. I'll slip through your fingers every time.
Now you know, my life doesn't hold a place for you. 
I don't even know who it will eventually belong to.

I'm not going let myself make the same mistakes all over again.
I'll never let myself walk with someone else in the rain.
I really think that I've finally had had enough.

Now you know...I won't let you talk to me just because you got bored.
Sure as hell won't let you into my life because you had nothing better to do...
Now you know, why I am distancing myself from you.

April 12, 2013

Book Review: Tantra


Author:                            Adi 

        Apeejay Stya Publishing
Publication Year
Number of Pages:
        344 Pages

Genre:                            Fiction/Fantasy 

Price:                              Rs 195

About the Book:

Anu is a leather wearing, no-nonsense professional guardian with a reputation for killing the most dangerous vampires in New York City. But when her enemies murder the one person she truly cared about, all she wants is vengeance. The only clue points to New Delhi, so Anu puts in for a job transfer.
In India, she finds more than she expected. For one thing, her fellow operatives have made a truce with the vampires.
For another, it’s way too hot to wear leather.
At first, it seems Anu's biggest challenge will be evading the nice boys her aunt wants her to marry. But when children start disappearing, she discovers forces older and darker than anything she’s faced before. All of Delhi is in danger, especially the sexy stranger who sets Anu's pulse racing.
To prepare for the coming battle, Anu must overcome her personal demons and put aside years of training. This time, her most powerful weapon will come from her mind, not her weapons belt.

About the Author:

Adi grew up reading fiction books by flashlight, hiding under the covers, pretending to be asleep. While it must have affected his academic life the next day, he still went on to get degrees from Stanford University and Harvard University, which he uses in his life now as an entrepreneur and researcher.
Adi has also published a poetry book and a minor textbook. He wishes he could withdraw all copies of said poetry book from the market. At the time, it seemed poignant, but now it's just embarrassing. The textbook still seems all right.
He splits his time between India, Dubai and Zurich. Deeply impressed by the vast religious history of India, he could not help but pick this topic for his first novel.

The Review:

Let me just start by saying this is the first ‘official’ review I’ve ever written so be a little kind on this reviewer.

I’ve only recently been introduced into the wonderful world of reviewing and discovered the joys of being a member of blogadda.com. When Tantra was announced as one of the books to be given away for reviews, I didn’t pay much attention to it. But for some reason, the cover page haunted me for a while. It wasn’t before long; I decided to lay my hands on his book.

During the last week whenever someone asked me what I was reading, I would say, “Tantra.” On being questioned what the story was about, I would simply reply, “Indian Vampires.”

But of course, Tantra is more than just about Indian Vampires. It took me awhile (yes, I know I was a little dense at this time), to realize Tantra basically referred to as the Tantric magic, we’ve all heard stories about growing up and still do.

I loved Anu Aggarwal. It has been awhile since we’ve seen such a kickass Indian female, bogged down with the typical expectations of settling down with someone nice, yet managing to dodge all that, because she already leads a double life.

Adi is a wonderful writer. His vivid descriptions transported me to Delhi, and special mention of all the chase and fight scenes. He writes the action scenes so well, that the reader feels everything is happening right before their very eyes!

Of all the characters which Tantra introduces us to, I loved Amit – Anu’s co-partner in fighting the vampires, and in this particular case, the evil Senaka. I loved the funny banters these two shared throughout the book. Even during crucial fight scenes.

Anu is torn between her two worlds: one of fighting the vampires and the other of following her heart, and falling in love with the handsome Gaurav.

This book is definitely worth a read for anyone who’s interested in mythology and wants it to be blended with modernity. It really is one of the nicest and engaging read that I’ve come across in the last year. 

Rating: 3.75/5

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

April 8, 2013

Poem: Please, don't!

Seriously. Just stop.
With the sweet words,
the cute way you flirt.
With the witty remarks,
And everything that makes
her speechless.

Stop saying things which
makes her heart race,
stop hinting at the future,
or telling her dreams.
Stop feeding the hope
that she has kept in her heart.

Because if you are not going to
catch her,
Please don't make her fall for you.

I've seen too many of them victims,
and too many of them being led on,
Broken down and led astray.
Because they believed everything he said.
They told me they were reading the signs,
and there were strong hints all along.

Then they turn their tear stained faces,
and ask me, "How did I read him so wrong?"
While I wrap my arms around them,
Comfort them and tell them there is a better tomorrow.
I wonder why would anyone do this to someone
They claim to love? Or hint to really, really like.

Please stop making her fall for you,
If you're not going to catch her.

I wonder how you'd like it,
If someone else got your hopes high.
If someone you really liked led you on.
And then left without so much as a goodbye?

Would you like it if someone made you fall
for her,
Without the intention of ever catching you?

So don't tell her your sweet words,
And stop watering the hope in her heart.
You don't know how long it takes for her to forget.
Don't make her do something she would forever regret.

If you really don't have any wishes to catch her,
Let her be.
Don't even think of messing her up, by making her
fall in love with you.

April 7, 2013

Poem: Tonight

I would have been scared to be alone,
Especially on a night like this one.
I would not have gone to the places
where my sleep has fled (tonight).
But that was a long time ago.
And don't you know, I am all right again.
I used to always say things have a way of falling
in place,
Right around the corner, there always is something happier.
And looking at the sweet weather, the lovely gentle breeze...
I have nothing to say to you tonight.
I screamed the words but they fell on deaf ears,
And I tried my best to tell you...
But tonight, I am glad you didn't listen.
Tonight, I am pretty happy to be by myself.
I am not scared, no...not even of the rain.
Because now I know, no matter what happens, 
there is always a way to begin again.

April 5, 2013

Poem: Tug of Love!

A single heart; suspended by a thread 
and thus began the tug of love.
Between the boy and the girl.
When he wanted her; she didn't want him
When he loved her; she was busy chasing another.
When he waited for her - she was head over heels for another.
And then he moved on; and her gaze turned towards him.
Now she wanted him; but he'd already found several others.
When she finally found the love; he spat on the love.
When she waits patiently for him - he's busy sleeping around.
And then when she finally moves away; he comes back.
But not in the same way like he'd done before.
Yet you would still find that they are stuck 
In this lovely tug of love..
The single heart suspended by the string,
Between the boy and girl;
This brilliant cycle where no one is spared of ego.
And the poor heart is the one suffering.
In this tug of love.

April 4, 2013

Poem: Reprising, Remembering (I will never forget...can't forget)

"And if it happens to rain, I will remember you and smile again"

Two years ago, this was the day my life -
changed. Back then, I remember being
almost paralyzed with shock and happiness.
And a voice reprimanding me. And would 
till my sanity almost died. Because I remember
it like it happened yesterday. 
Walking...in that torrential rain.
Together: but alone. Two people briefly together.
When nothing else mattered; except
That kiss in the rain.
Every time the breeze begins to smell sweet
And the cool wind begins to blow;
My mind takes me back to that time and place,
Two years ago. The mad tug of war, 
Still keeps me up at night - despite the
days turning into dust. Stuck in that 
day - though trying to move away.
Because something or the other leads me 
back to you. Can you really be 'just friends' 
with 'someone like you'?
I'm getting tired now and old - and slowly,
my heart is growing cold.
Rolling my eyes at people who claim to 'really'
like me. I've heard this story before.
Don't take me for a fool anymore.
My luck ran dry, a long time ago.
And I wonder if you will ever know -
That I remember you every four of April;
Printed deeply into my mind.
But about that you're never going to find;
Out. I'll bury those feelings far from where
You would be easily be able to see.
And you would think it doesn't even bother me.
Because I'm really, truly tired of being sorry.

April 1, 2013

BSR: Help A Child Study

Activity: Help A Child to Study sponsors the higher education of meritorious underprivileged students, supporting them to achieve dreams of a better future. We sponsor all formal courses above 10th, including 11th and 12th, diploma courses, degree courses, B.E., M.B.B.S. and Postgrad. Through education our students are able to escape the cycle of poverty through their own talents.

Details: We are very proud of our students - who are the children of labourers, small scale farmers, weavers and other families with low incomes. These students have enormous potential to succeed and only need financial support to do so. We are thrilled that today some of our graduates are placed with large companies such as Mahindra Tech, L&T, and TATA Consultancy Services.

Support: Education, higher education, sponsorship of students.

Note: We are looking for financial donations to support the higher education of our students, most of whom live in rural areas of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. I am exercising my BSR. You can too with three simple steps. Visit http://www.blogadda.com/bsr/ and support the NGO's.