Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Unrequited Love

Oh gym!

I sigh…

Not from overweight

But wistfulness

Every time

The morning’s nigh…

From the moment I first

Lay my eyes

Upon you

I realized

You could never be mine…

How will I ever

"Measure" up to

Your lovers

Who walk

Like the seconds

Of a digital clock

And talk,

As Bush on Iraq,

Of everything

that’s lard…

Whilst I am

But a dreamy

Hamburger eating bard …

Who, but I, knows

What it is to have loved

And lost…

So in grief I binge

On potato wedges

From last spring

As my fridge


Sunday, July 13, 2008


Soumya and her folks had gathered at her grandparents’ place in Lucknow to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. After the celebrations everyone went to their respective rooms to sleep and Saumya, as usual, sat in the veranda with her nani who was oiling her hair. Nani noticed that Saumya was unusually silent for herself tonight. She had noticed that even during the celebrations.

“What’s up kid? You alright baby?” , asked nani.

“Hmm..” Soumya replied, noncommittally.

“Boyfriend trouble?”

“Kind of..”

“Care to share?”


“And may I ask why?”

“Because you’re my nani.”

Nani laughs “ That’s unfair! Kyunki nani bhi kabhi cool thi…”

“ Ya.. But nani had just one boyfriend all her life.. Poor old nana, that is.”

Nani had a twinkle in her eye “And what makes you so sure of that?”

Soumya whirled around “ Whoa, whoa!! You’re not telling me…Sheesh! Why am I even asking? Of course you didn’t.. I mean you couldn’t..”

Nani was smiling a really mischievous smile now.

No way nani… Really? Like really, really? You had a

you know what??”

“ A boyfriend Soumya.. the you know what was called a boyfriend back in our times too, you know. Jesus! You’re way too prude for your times, girl!” Nani said banteringly.

“Oh freak! This is crazy. I mean it is hard to imagine nani young, let alone her having a boyfriend.” Saumya thought in what was almost dismay. Then when she could find voice in her throat she hesitatingly said, “What was that like?”

“ Well.. very heady. He was a student of my father’s. He used to come to our place for some ‘extra classes’”, nani winked.

“Oh nani, don’t, for God’s sake, use insinuations. I’m scandalized enough!”

“Oh silly girl! Don’t jump to conclusions! He was a gentleman. A very well-read one at that. Said all the right things. And he knew it. Knew which book to recommend to which girl so she’s completely in love with his choice. He’d talk of life, meaning, ideals, beauty, aesthetics in a way that’d make you believe it all ran through his blood vessels. You know, not in a dry, intellectual manner, but in earnest. Every girl I knew him to have met found in him a soul mate.” Nani was looking at the flower-pot in the veranda as if she could see through it, smiling a half-smile.

“ Ah! A case of unrequited love, you mean?”, Saumya said almost with relief.

“ You jump to conclusions too fast, girl. Well , yes, women did swoon over him but your nani here was quite a head-turner in her days”, Nani said smugly.

“Aha! So you got him all floored, huh?”

Wait a minute! Did Saumya just see her nani blush??

“Oh my God! You’re blushing! Even after like a thousand years from then! Oh freak! You did get over him, right?”

Nani replied after a moment’s pause. A moment that could easily have gone unnoticed. “You get over everything, honey.”

“ Hmm.. so what happened? How did you end up with nana?”

“ Well.. my mother was opposed to the match. She thought he was too much of an intellectual to make a stable husband.”

“ And nana was not?”

Nani laughed out so loud that made Bozo, their lazy Alsatian, raise his sleepy head and cock his head. “ You impertinent brat! Well, let’s just say your nana was more of a family man than the other guy was.”

“ Hmm… does nana know?”

“ No”

“ Wow! You told me what even nana doesn’t know! Am I honoured! By the way, if I were you, I wouldn’t have trusted a rash kid like me with my secrets. I mean, what if I accidentally blurted it out. Not to say that I would.”

“ Well sweetheart, it won’t matter even if you did. Your nana and I are past that stage in our relationship where these things matter. With as many years as we have spent together you become almost the same person in different bodies, meant not necessarily in a romantic way, so much so that you almost forget that you’re husband and wife- in the manner in which you think of it when younger”

“ Did you ever feel a sense of loss, nani? Like, did you ever regret it?”

“ Sweetie, always remember, in imperfect moments it is the easiest to think in terms of ‘what-ifs’. Let me put it this way. Has it ever happened to you that you were sitting in your school bus and a guy gets on board and for some reason you want him to sit next to you? And it’s not even as if he resembled Brad Pitt.”

"Yeah... has happened a few times."

“ Well life’s like that at times. You meet people you are inexplicably drawn towards. Perhaps it has something to do with some greater connection or maybe it’s their aura and vibes that yours mesh in with. Whatever it is, sometimes you just have to get down at your bus stop and move on.”

“ You know what, Nani? What you just said, I think, may have the answer to my boyfriend crisis.”

“I’m glad about that. Although let me warn you that you’ve got to find your truth on your own. What I experienced in my life is only one of the ways of living life. And you should know it as one of the possibilities and not as a certainty. Sometimes, you got to make your own mistakes. Just remember to be true to yourself and that life never stops.”

“Hmm…” Soumya went over to nani and hugged her.

“And there’s another thing I want you to know, baby.”, Nani’s eyes glistened, with, perhaps, tears of affection. “When I see you, my beautiful, darling grandchild, who brings so much of joy to my life and that of everyone around her, I realize with all the certainty in the world that every decision I made in my life was right because it lead to you…”

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Picture Abhi Baaki Hai

The blogosphere is rife with reviews, views and opinions on Jane Tu Ya Jane Na.. This piece may have undertones of a review but is not one. I loved the movie and it did make me very nostalgic about my college days. For those who haven't seen the movie as yet and won't be mad at me for throwing the suspense away (there isn't one by the way, the end is very predictable.. you can guess that from its box office success) the movie is about Aditi and Jai who are the best of chums in college, very much in love but also very much in denial. They are a gang of very everyday people like you and I. I could relate to the movie because the people in it and the circumstances they find themselves in are very real.. the kinds you actually experience in college. Which is what that weakened my defences against it despite a less than perfect start (read a song and dance sequence in college premises.. i can't recall doing that). For instance, there are mismatched equations - remember how we made the closest of our friends being their sounding boards when they fell in love with someone who was in love with someone else (didn't they always manage to find someone like that?). Then there is finding of true love on the rebound, people living in make-believe fairy tale romances not having the courage of facing the truth of their situation. And remember how there is always one such girl in the class who is in a relationship with a double-standard-male-chauvinist-control-freak much older than she is? Well there's that too. And then the backbone of the story - Jai and Aditi.The chemistry between Jai and Aditi is so obvious that the whole world can see it but they. So they move into relationships with different persons. And eventually they realize that they are made for each other and before an irreparable damage could happen (like marriage of either, or the last-minute-airport-scene going kaput) they make a stitch, just in time.

It made me think of all the Jais and Aditis back in college. Of some who were in love but never realized and are now with different people. Of the Aditis who ended up marrying the double-standard-male-chauvinist-control-freak. Of the Jais who couldn't profess their love in time. Of the Meghnas and Jais who still continue to remain in their make-believe fairy tale romance not having the courage to face the truth of their situation. Of the Aditis who flew to the U.S before the Jais could do the last-minute-airport-sequence. In fact, it was simpler for Aditi to snap out of her relationship with her control freak fiance because he was a mean guy. What about those Aditis who committed themselves to nice guys and even married them before they realized that they were in love with their Jais? They'd probably live the rest of their lives in denial. Should they have the courage to be honest about it and act upon it, the society will stigmatize them as "bad women".

But the movie has hope in it. That when your intentions are real the Grand Will acts to make happen what you in your heart of hearts really want, preempting an irreparable damage. So maybe there is more than meets the eye in case of all the Jais and Aditis and Meghnas that I've talked about. Or maybe, just maybe, picture abhi baaki hai...