Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Urban Architecture


Says a Market to a Mart...

In the mist of
        Boulevards, Esplanades and Promenades
a Bassti,  a  Mohalla and a Chauraha
got lost.


Friday, November 18, 2016

"A visit to a Bank"

I  missed writing an essay in school on this topic. 
Last week, as I was waiting in the queue at a bank, I tried to recall, why my English teacher, never came up
with this subject for an essay.

With more than 20 people ahead of me, I had ample time to wonder, how my initial lines of 
this essay would have been, if my school had given me this topic to write.

So 19 years back, my starting lines would have been.....

Yesterday, I visited a bank in my area. There was a security guard at the gate, holding
a gun in his hand. As I entered the bank, I could see, different counters for Depositing and 
withdrawing cash.
Some people in the queue were holding a Paying in slip to deposit money.
Some others had a token in hand, with a number printed on it. They were waiting for their token number to be called out, to approach the counter.
Senior citizens at the bank, were given seats as they could not stand in queue for long. Bank staff was friendly and attending to each customer at a time.
When I approached the counter.....

I didn't get time to take my school essay further.........
My  turn came up & the security guard [ he didn’t have a gun in hand,this time] let me in. 
I entered the bank premises.
19 years on, the scene inside the bank was no different from my essay.....

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Dripping Roof...

Phase 1- Aurangabad
Tarpaulin sheets would cover the sides of the auto. Not that, they keep us completely dry. Winds accompanying the heavy downpour continue to splash drizzles on our face. "Haath baaher kaadu naka re" - the auto-driver says in Marathi, as we attempt to take our palm out of the tarpaulin sheets to feel the rain.  This is how, 5-6 school goers, packed in the back seat of the auto, would ride their way to school.
I was, one of them....

Phase 2- Mumbai
Mumbai rains made Aurangabad downpour look like drizzles. From purchase of rainy shoes to aligning an indoor cloth-stand, bracing up for monsoon became an annual affair. Train delays become acceptable. A typical rainy day, would mean, take a 9.35 AM "Ladies Local", tune into FM Radio and hear RJ Malishka say " Iss Khoobsoorat Baarish mein, ek garam chai ke saath, ye gaana toh banta hai..."

Phase 3- Chennai
From South West to North East Monsoon was quite a shift. "Bay of Bengal depression", "Cyclonic winds" suddenly became a part of my monsoon vocabulary..
There is a rationale behind every rain, is something Chennai taught me. But the rationale doesn’t linger long enough.
Today, when my kitchen window rattles and power supply quietly mutes itself, enhancing the sound of the moist winds…. reason behind the rain vanishes.What stays on…is the symphony of the raindrops.

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Valley Memories

Prominence of Green is hard to miss. Airport cushions, Sign-board on shops, Bill Board advertisements- come with a Green backdrop. Javed, our 1st local escort drives us through the famous Amar Singh College of Srinagar.
Like any other Indian citizen, he asks for better roads, talks of tax payer’s money and better civic infrastructure. We gradually ask him, about the security concerns of the State and he is quick to retort, it is a media glorified issue. He insists there is more normalcy than what is projected. We try best to empathize with his assurances, but the presence of CRPF stationed at various locations, silently tell a different story.

Amid conversations & moderate showers in sub 12 degrees temperature, we reach "Dal Lake". Luxury is not to be hurried, and "Dal Lake" forces you to slow down.
A quiet sail on a Shikara connects water-borne houseboats to concrete roads along the Lake. "Nazira Palace" our houseboat, is our home for next 3 days. Zuhoor-our Houseboat manager greets us each time as we step out of the Shikara and step in to our Houseboat. Be it Maggi +Toast for Breakfast or Kashmiri Pulao with Dal Makhani for dinner, food in House-boat is served steaming hot. Zuhoor ensures, we take the food, while it is hot.

We would not have brushed up our negotiation skills, had it not been for Driver Wasim's cautions. Pony Riders and Sledge Owners of Gulmarg & Sonmarg, earn their living from its domestic tourism. It needed some bargaining to get a fair deal.

The following day, we have Younis driving us down to Pahalgam. En-route Pahalgam, Younis talks about 2014 Kashmir floods, introduces us to Kashmiri Kahwa. Each time we drive past a Dargah or a School, he mutes the car audio & silently drives on.

By Day 4- we are already familiar with words like "Phiran"and "Wazwan". We have tasted the Kahwa, felt the Pashmina Shawl.
Khyber Cement hoardings on the skyline of Srinagar- introduce us to a new word, as they read - "Mazbooth Tameer, Mehfooz Kashmir".

Charms of the Valley continue to surprise, even as we reach the airport for departure. There is a Multi-layered baggage screening, prior to security check.  But what blares louder is the message that an average local tries to convey.
From Javed to Younis, from a hand-loom vendor to a Pony Rider, they all have 1 common understanding “The Valley thrives on tourism of snow-capped mountains, let not security concerns ruin it".
With this message, we fly down to the warmth of Chennai.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Your Offline Moments....

If you smile the sight of such handwritten fonts, even though you very well know this is not handwritten- Your offline moment has just arrived. Here are a few more offline moments that can be cherished
Inquisitiveness to guess the contents inside a colourfully wrapped gift box is slightly higher than checking the validity period of an E-Voucher 
Bundling a bunch of Old Newspapers and turning it into an attractive showcase object, is something, we cannot try with Online Editions. 
If 2/- Rs of free coriander gives more satisfaction than 20/- Rs Cash Back- you know where to head for vegetables. 
Your office decor still requires you to have a Spiral Notepad, Paper Weight, a Pen stand,
though all essential docs are saved on the Drive, not in the Drawer. 
We cannot explain to an Online Store with 99% uptime- the urgency of milk packets when guests arrive un-announced. 
Picture this- Excavating an Old Tin Box from a Bag of Disposables- Repainting it with Acrylics and making them re-usable. Somehow, the whole concept of “Best out of Waste” doesn't fit to Email trash.

A world without Internet co-exists. Just find your offline Moments….

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. 
Entry Prompt- "A World without Internet"

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Floored Fiction

   Transfix your eyes, on the cemented floor
 Teleport yourself to the world they show
In colours they speak, on curves they grow
At dots they pause, off lines they flow
Take a look at designs, the house entrance wears
Powdered fingers & a bent spine have stories to share.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Secret - Hidden Clues or Revealing Hints ?

 This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 56; the fifty-sixth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write.  

Blog a Ton- Runner Up Medal
Selectively picking up cues, did not yield any results. In 4 hours, the team of 5 could not decode it.
Erected on the sides were 6 Pillars. The pillars were artistic projections, just like the false ceiling on the top.
Creations on the wall, Graffiti on the floor, gave a dressed up look. A deliberate attempt to conceal or mislead...
Rupturing their thought process was a phone call. Caller gave a vital hint, which made the team step back and look down.
Every member of the team looked for tarpaulin sheets randomly covering some objects.
Tarpaulin sheets bore some crude cuts on them. All the team had to do now was, look for "Selectively Erected Creations Rupturing Every Tarpaulin".  As a reader, all along, you were reading a "Secret"

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton . Participation Count 12