A hanging tune……

A foggy, chilly morning. A usual, relentless workout at the gym as the instructor pushed us to the limits. A pause and a change of workout regime and a change in the background track. My  whole body washed over with a distant thought, some pleasant change of mood. The track being played was ‘Shattered Dreams’ by Johnny Hates Jazz. The tune was, as if suspended in air, time froze as my mind wandered over to a very hot, sultry afternoon.

It was a regular, hot, Sunday afternoon. The radio was my favorite companion as Sunday afternoons implied a feast of popular English numbers, those were not FM days. That day it was post lunch as i lazed around reading a book. The phone trilled in the background and i got up to answer it. On the other end was my bosom friend from college calling up for some general chit chat. College days implied studies but the ‘in’ thing was possessing a boyfriend and i had none and my friend had one so she had a ‘happening’ life. After listening to interesting details i hanged up to retreat to my music corner.

Then came the number ‘Shattered Dreams’ and as the music played on all i did was feel sorry for myself as i had no boyfriend. The phone rang again and i got up to answer it expecting my usual list of girlfriends. I said ‘Hello’ and waited expecting a girls voice, what followed was a very deep hello. ‘Who’s this?’……completely taken aback, ‘Hey i’m A…you’re friend’s brother’……What?!! The brother i admired from a distance but never got the guts to strike a conversation, completely tongue-tied i replied ‘Hmm……what do you want?’ and it came out all completely wrong. He replied ‘Sorry i did not mean to disturb you…….my sister is down with fever and she requests the lecture notes. Could you possibly?’ Oh! he was just calling for some silly notes, what was i expecting a call for a date??!! <Silly, silly me>

‘Sure, i will drop them to her on the way back from college tomorrow.’…I replied.

‘ No, i will pick them up or how about we meet outside your college, you can hand them over to me?’……….he replied.

Was he asking me out? Or is it just brotherly concern? Whatever it was, my heart did a flip flop and i readily agreed and well finally i could at least talk to the boy i was admiring for a while.

The track ‘Shattered Dreams’ played melodiously this time in my head and well it signified my first date. Just plain , simple fun with no connotations attached.

Back to the present. For a whole minute i became that silly, naive girl again bringing back memories of a very interesting, happy afternoon, my growing-up years. The instructor hollered in the background and a rigorous workout transformed to bunch of sweet memories of happy days, carefree days and days when i dreamed, dreamed the impossible too!

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After Effects of Movies

Watching a movie is always a great form of entertainment. Going for movies is a treat by itself. However after having kids people like me seldom step out to catch a movie in a theater instead wind up on my couch to watch it on the computer or the telly. Its easy that way, kids are comfortably at home and I do not have to get suitably dressed tagging the kids along.

However there are severe after effects of watching movies at home. Apart from the umpteenth time i have to get up to answer to various calls of duty, the movie itself can be a cause of real concern.

Now some movies are pretty intense i remember watching ‘Heroine’ on the computer and the next thing i do after the completion of the movie is to feel like the character myself. The character suffers from various emotional and psychological issues, one wrong word from my better half there i was lighting up like a fire cracker. I’m very sure if i had been watching the same movie in a theater i would have got time to assimilate and discard unnecessary information. The mind i believe takes some time to switch off and on and in the house that time if not adequately provided causes unprecedented behavior. Foolish you might wonder!

However the bright spot is happy movies causes happy behavior. Watching ‘English Vinglish’ was a real treat, the movie was light, completely entertaining and had great performances by the cast itself. The setting was US of A and nothing could be more visually appealing. After watching the movie i was so in high spirits that i remember breaking into a song and dance routine with my tiny tots. It felt awesome!

By and large my experiences have taught me that while watching movies at home the kind of movie and the timing is very important. To prevent volcanoes and tornadoes inside the house a light-hearted  movie is always welcome and its better to watch intense movies alone, when nobody, especially the spouse is away.

Shopping in Paradise

Shopping is always exciting and the festive season, apart from various other connotations also implies a whole lot of shopping. Shopping for clothes always tops the list for me and my association with Shoppers Stop is dear. Dear, because it was the first biggest store which opened up right near my house when i was still in college (which is quite far back in time) and so that was where my being a mall rat all began. I would spend hours at this huge store just browsing through their latest fashion lines, bags, shoes, jewelry, just name it! And now here i am participating in this wonderful contest to put together an ensemble of my choice from my special store! Well if i had a stash of money to splurge, this would be my ultimate shopping experience.

Festival time heralds time for bonding, discovering our culture all over again and just being completely swept with emotions. Festive season implies for me dressing up to the hilt and the aura is such that it is always ethnic wear/ Indian clothes for me at this time of the year.

So there, the following is my ultimate purchase from

http://www.shoppersstop.com

to enrich my wardrobe this time of the year.

The first is an ever gorgeous sari. Folks this is my choice.

http://www.shoppersstop.com/catalogservlet?productId=9376902&categoryId=329042

I cannot steer away from red or its varied shades when it comes to a sari. Red to me symbolizes womanhood, power and makes a strong statement. It also indicates happiness and that’s my state of mind during this season.

Next on the list are the accessories.

The clutch comes next.

This can be found in http://www.shoppersstop.com/cat-Women-Womens-Accessories-Wallets–Clutches-Hidesign—Clutch-262-316262-8577942.html

Well then of course comes the shoes. When deciding on shoes i always (most of the times!) follow a mantra that my bag and shoes should be coordinated

So people here is my choice.

This pair of awesome shoes can be picked up from http://www.shoppersstop.com/cat-Shoes-Womens-Shoes-Sandals-LEMON—Sandals-262-337522-8116222.html

That sums up my ultimate get up for this festive season.

As for jewelry, well folks i quite like the one the model is wearing with the saree. However i do need to wear a watch on my left hand and that would be this one below.

I am all decked up and ready to go partying! Anyone coming??

The Longing

I yearned for a break in my hectic daily schedule.So i awaited the Dussehra holidays with much anticipation, I was going home, as in mom’s home. Funny, it is still where i feel most at peace and a strong sense of belonging. The flurry of shopping, packing followed by journeying over we arrived at Kolkata. Yes! The city of Durga Puja, chinese food, rolls and mishti (sweetmeats).

One stride out of the airport gates and there was a vibrancy in the air as the whole city was gearing up for the five day long festivities. Never mind the slight humidity in the air, loud noises, traffic snarls. My joy knew no bounds for me it meant lots of rest, chatting sessions, food and fun.It is important to add i do have kids and well they are just three, but it felt great just the same.

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There were still a few days left for Durga Pujas to begin and so what followed was a mad shopping spree by moi. Its not that i buy only this time of the year and well i had promised myself that i wouldn’t join in this crazy ritual this year, my kids already had enough clothes. But hey! what the heck! Kolkata worked its magic on me and there i was on the streets of Gariahat, haggling, pushing, jostling but hugely enjoying myself as i hopped from one shop to the other looking for clothes, jewellery and the works. This i believe is the only time when my mind and heart truly and completely belongs here, i would rather be nowhere else!

Shopping over, the festivities begin. Each day of the puja means a new set of clothes, eating out profusely and well the clock is relegated to the back of the house. As days merge into nights, it feels like a 24 by 7 celebration time.

First on the list is meeting with old friends, and well it always feel like back to school and like time has stopped. We pick up instantly from where we have left, the coffee shop guy is totally exasperated as we keep asking for new things since our adda(chat session) seems no sign of abating.

Then is meeting with family, my very old grandmother. Seeing her so frail brings back strong memories of my childhood when she would lovingly pamper me and provide a space for do-as-you-like. Time stood still for a second, but when i glance back i see another era coming to an end and along with it another chapter from my childhood.As i take my leave she waves silently from the balcony. Will i see her in my next visit? Will my childhood be safely preserved for some more time?

Then comes the cultural performances. During the durga puja as every nook and cranny celebrates the arrival of the Goddess, they also do that in style with lots of song and dance thrown. So we have small podiums set up as the local talents come up and well it is a feast anyways. Little ones to adults, perform to traditional, modern as well as hindi songs and then their is vocal music of course. Hence what follows are nights of pure unadulterated joy, lots of music, dance and street food of course!

So there the last day has arrived, its Vijaya Dashami and as the goddess takes her leave i cannot help feel sad! Ma, will i be able to see you next year ? Ma, will my family and friends be fine for the next year? These questions assail me. Age i believe has its effects and mine is losing my loved ones. As we married women prepare to bid adieu, the boron, my eyes water and my heart feels heavy. As a child i remember i used to feel sad as it meant the end of holidays and we have to get back to our studies. As an adult i harbour fear, fear of loss, fear of separation, fear of tragedy.

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The departure of the goddess implied its time to pack my bags as well and head back to my karmbhoomi. My parents our sad , the whole city becomes glum. I guess its the reflection of my mood. Life goes back to normal, with new clothes in my suitcase, sweets for my friends and a bunch of love, memories and photographs we catch the flight back home.

As the plane soars above i catch one last glimpse of the city. Longing to get back again, longing for the next Durga Puja, longing and longing more. My child starts crying as she misses her grandparents too, reality check, my job begins, the vacations are over.