Saturday, May 23, 2009

You Always Find Me

Listening to Sufjan Stevens, eating oatmeal cookies
I'm sure that cinnamon smell still lingers in my breath as I exhale
Now I'll add Jeff Buckley and Rosie Thomas to this list, nibble at another crumbly cookie and wonder when I'll see you both again :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Texas Times

A big thanks to the stranger who made this for me :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Looking for More?

Try for your daily dose of hot Koko ;) for tales of Singapore..

Monday, May 12, 2008

To Austin, with Love

I was taking an exam today, and it suddenly hit me.

It's been a year since I took a plane to College Station, Texas. And while I was writing about RPCs and their design issues, suddenly my head was crowded with images and impression of my last few days living in Nagle Apartments.

I was back again with my luggage at the edge of the street, waiting for the GroundShuttle van that was to come get me. The hat was in my hand because it would get crushed in my bag; dunno why I didnt give it to the person I'd got it for, but got her something nicer and now it's up on the wall, a reminder of all things Texas :)

Here's a batty video of three kids under a Bat Bridge. Oh, those were some awesome times in Austin. It's a real pity I won't be visiting there anytime soon...maybe someday... oh well.

Austin was a great experience, for many many reasons. And today I'm nostalgic enough to "write all down" before the mood lifts :)

The ride to Austin was silly, but fun. For company, I had two Amitabh Bachchan fanatics! The songs playing were from the movie "Sharaabi"-- "Twelve o clock, in my house-- there was a cat, there was a mouse" :P You've gotta know it to appreciate it, people!

JP had his arm permanently out the window, enjoying the feel of the wind whistle through his hair and restlessly pull at his hand as it rushed past. He clicked some funny/embarrassing pics of me as I ate peaches. And then I returned the favour for him ;) It was rather silly. He kept clicking picture after picture because he wanted a special kind of effect, he wanted the background blurred and he wanted my eyes to look at him a particular way-- I was giggling by the end of it and he had to give up :)

Ronak was, of course, lost in the music ;)

And then I met some of the coolest people ever. One of the sweetest, cutest, most awesome couples I have ever met, or can ever hope to meet. I think they're the reason I eventually decided to fall in love with Austin, and they shall be the reason if I ever go back.

She made me a rum n coke, and the most awesome mojitos I ever tasted (of course, I refuse to drink any mojitos after that, just in case I change my mind ;) ). We played Clue, and I won by mistake :D He played some awesome music because he had to DJ at one of the coolest clubs of downtown Austin the next day, and he had to practise. By the end of the evening, I was high on the drink, the game and the music. No wonder I had such vivid dreams that night. Funnily enough, they were about the music, and the things it reminded me of.

We also met a glamourous Angelina Jolie look-alike, and another great guy who helped me save face the next day by literally pulling me up many feet of rock when I was trying to scramble up at Rheimer's Ranch. :)

The silly idiot that I am, I had this weird notion in my head that if my nails were slightly long, they'd act like talons n I'd be able to climb like a wild cat :D well I was acting like a wild cat for sure-- because of all the yowling I was doing while hanging in mid-air :D

I felt like Cinderella's stepsister up there. It finally took Jorry's glass slippers to fit me nice and snug, and to get me to shin up Dead Cat's Wall like I knew I could. (There is an interesting reason why that wall has that name, and it has nothing to do with a feline.)

I don't think I'll ever forget the way Ronak manages to scale the wall so powerfully, with his "butt hanging out", like the experts with us grumbled :) sheer strength and monkey-genes :D I guess he had too many sprouts when he was a little boy, eh Ronak ? :)
And Jorry got up there and clicked for us some of the most amazing pictures from that height. It's a view you feel you richly deserve after huffing and puffing and risking the hair on your head as you balance on tiptoe, with nothing but a rope around your waist to reassure you! But the grossest part, I believe the only gross part about it all, was sharing helmets :-s Stinky, sweaty and saline. ewww!!

On our way back to our car, we saw some other walls that other more experienced climbers were tackling. One of them is the Lovers' Cove or something. Apparently, it's quite a rage with local high school kids ;)
I cut my nails that night.
The lovely couple gave us another lovely night to remember. She kept worrying about how she would sneak in lil ol me into a club for grown-ups ;) I was repeated warned not to drink at all! The bad part of the evening was that Ronak and JP were having a blast all over downtown Austin, and I was being hit on by old men who wondered why I didn't want their phone number ;p

Twas fun to visit the UTA Campus (we played with huge yellow noodles! :D ) and the Capitol Building. It was not so much fun to be attacked by a magpie on the way!

Hmm... twas not fun to get some startling revelations, and to have a flash of hindsight :-s

But hey, twas fun to vist Mozart Cafe later. Oh, the lake, the view, the wooden deck! Lovely :)

Twas fun to shop for friends back home. The girls only wore the t-shirt once, and then too only to please me I guess ;) I'm too polite to ask. But next time, they'll get silly old chocolates!

The drive home... came after dinner at a Thai restaurant where Ronak had some kind of fire-bowl soup :) JP's shoulder came really handy for a snooze. And I heard Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" on his ipod.. and remembered IIT Delhi Rendezvous '05.

I miss my couch in The Tradition..I miss the green and sometimes red gunk JP made me gulp down.. I miss teasing Ronak and listening to Pink Floyd with him ;D I miss Firefly nights, and oatmeal cookies that I helped bake once. I miss dabbing everyone's noses with cinnamon powder to keep things "spiffy" ;) We played football in the corridor one time. JP made me barbeque chicken and mashed potato once! :) :) And somewhere in my room, I have an envelope from MIT which has tips on how to give a fabulous massage, scribbled over the back flap :D I was watching a veritable professional at work! ;)

I already told ya all about the iHop breakfasts, but I didnt write about the magical night when the last of the Harry Potter books was released. Barnes and Noble was all done up, and so were the people inside. The most under-dressed of the lot had atleast Griffindor scarves to pledge their allegiance! A lot of people hung about in robes and witches hats while some sat and sipped coffee at the little Starbucks corner and revised the older Harry Potter books as they waited for the clock to strike twelve. And in little nooks and corners in the shop, were designated platforms, where you could feel as if you were magicked into Hogwarts. One corner had an eager "Colin Creevy" click Polaroids of you as you posed with a blowup of Harry Potter :) Another corner had a few punky teenagers playing with a gawdawsomely HUGE snake and talking about pythons and Basilisks quite casually to a group of gaping people gathered around them. Then of course, there was a fortune-teller's table at one platform. She read my fortune through tea-leaves and told me that there was something unexpected, but good, about to happen to me ;) and there were all these fun Potter puzzles and knick-knacks, like his signature pair of round-lenses spectacles, that I was too late to grab ;) The picture you see is of when we went to watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, midnight show! ;)

Also didn't tell you about the cool trip to the rodeo and the absolutely sad jokes we were subjected to by the rodeo clown.

On the very last day, those goras got a lesson in Bhangra. (By the way, JP seriously objects to being called a whitey :D )

Khel risky tha, whisky ne kiya beda paar, khel risky tha!

(No Mom, I don't drink. Not whisky!)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sunrise, witnessed from the Skies!

Inky blackness of night and the only thing I see out of the window is a bright pinpoint of light at the helm of the plane’s wing and the flashing beacon of light overhead that outlines the plane’s silhouette momentarily. Above and below is the silence of the heavens, but the sight that caught my breath and almost moved me to tears with its beauty is the array of seven stars of the Great Bear, twinkling brightly right outside my window.

As I write this, the fingers of twilight are stealthily snatching the sky away from the night and the stars do not appear so bright anymore. The dark shadow of the wing is sharply etched against the lighter gray line of the horizon that is slowly widening to become a lighter, brighter sky. I am about to witness my first sunrise from the skies.

So what is a horizon against which the sun can rise, when one is suspended in nothingness over space?

It is an ever expanding, ever lengthening band of light that takes you further and further into its depth. The science of it is suddenly clear to me as I imagine our little plane stepping out of the shadows into a world of light. And as the gray sky above the plane’s wing gradually evolves into blue, my heart beats faster in anticipation of the lightest of all these shades of blue and a band of light which will soon stretch across this strange, endless horizon.

The ribbon of sunlight is at the edge of our horizon now, and the blanket of clouds beneath us can now show the spidery patterns and patches of sunlight that are filtering through…

The old lady to my right doesn’t want me to write anymore, or rather watch anymore. I haven’t let her sleep all night with my continual peeping at the sky outside. I beg her for five more minutes and witness the splendid ascent of the sun, long awaited but glorious as ever.

It’s morning. A morning like every other on planet Earth, yet so different for me in my airplane world.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Shop of Wonders

Here it is...

A tiny shop around the corner from Starbucks
Had caught my eye
The big painted sign said “Sarge’s Army Surplus”
It was always closed when I passed by.

The scene in the window was tantalizing—
Tantalizingly in a disarray
Whenever I saw those heaps of uniforms
I couldn’t bring myself to look away

I never stood outside the window long enough
To get a decent look inside
There was always something else to be done
And the shop was always closed, besides.

Maybe one day I just got lucky
The shop was open when I walked by
I wouldn’t have noticed, but for the smell of leather
That wafted to my nose as I walked by…

The shop was open, yet empty
And I was excited, yet scared
It seemed like I’d stepped back in time
My jaw dropped open; I just stared.

A strange and shiny device on the shop’s counter
Made the time-machine feeling more surreal
I think it was a cash register
It was contraption with a handle on a wheel

And, arranged quite naturally around this quaint work
Was a battalion of bottles of the Shoe Polish cadre
Bottles and bottles in strategic formation
With shoebrushes and shiny wooden kits, to boot.

And to my left, in disrespectful piles
Were confederate uniforms
Right next to the lovely blazers
With badges and stripes sewed on…

I found my feet, and I took a step forward
To admire the leather belts further on
And when I saw big gleaming buckles with Texas motifs
I reached out to touch the cold metal, almost decided to buy one!

But the pricetags—ah! They had a different tale to tell
And I knew I’d have to be content with just the look and feel of everything
No wonder, then, that at a Shop of Wonders
No one stopped to buy anything!

Then a rack-full of hats proudly saluted me
Hats with different shapes and motifs
Round headed, hard-backed, soft felted hats
Buy one for the Sergeant, or to gift one to the Sheriff;

And stacked high against the back wall
Were rows of boots, standing to attention!
They stood in long, black, shiny lines
And shone in all their polished perfection!

Rows and rows of those shiny boots
Up on the racks and down by the floor
Boots of all sizes, boots in all shapes
Boots brand new and some that were aged..

Some that were rustic and some that were quaint
(Again, I looked at pricetags—
This time I felt quite faint!)
But I was afraid to really touch, lest some wondrous dream might break

So I just walked around with my hands in my pockets
and looked at them sandpaper and all of them dockets
Stopped by the grand mirror that stood by the hat-rack
Just inviting me to try on a Sailor's hat!

I obliged promptly, and put the hat on
I grinned at the mirror; my reflection grinned back
I think I did look fetching
And did a little curtsey to that!

Yes, the hat was lovely, but I put it away, and left
Maybe I’ll go back to the Shop of Wonders some day
The Sailor’s hat will be waiting, on the rack by the giant mirror…
Maybe I'll go back there and buy it, some day!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Jo kuch reh gaya

I'll add it all, pakka promise.