Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good Bye 2009!

I am back to US, people, after a 15 day trip to India. I came, I ate and I went back. These were the general sentiments of my family after my trip back home. While almost everyone was unhappy about the very short trip I made, the chat walas, the mithai walas and the namkeen walas of Bhopal were the unhappiest of the lot the day I was leaving. Nobody cried just like 1.5 years back when I was coming for US except my mom of course. This trip was marked by completely illogical conversations, for example statements like “Anusha you need to lose weight” and “Anusha ek roti aur, thoda chawal aur” uttered in a single meal by the same person (yeah you guessed it right) and heavy doses of what ma ka dil goes through (ma ke dil pe kya beetati hai yeh tum abhi nahi samjhogi etc.). Dad maintained his stoic poise and Sandeep felt I did not get enough things for him given the numerous times he has bailed me out!

I wanted to meet a lot of people, but the ones I met made me realize what a wonderful family I really have. Specially my brothers – Sandeep, Raja Bhaiyya and Prateek – the three pillars I have (I wanted to call them Gandhi ji ke teen, you-know-what, but I thought that would be rude) touched my heart in ways I had least expected. Brothers care in a very very special way and I say this because these three showed it this time numerous times. Bhaiyya log, aap logon ne Rakhi* ki laaj rakh li.

Also, with Jan 1 round the corner, I think it is time to retrospect again. This has been an amazing year. As far as I can remember, this has been the greatest year I ever lived. It was marked by amazing experiences at every level. I did things I never thought I would or I could do. In fact, about a lot of things, I amazed myself. I had some of the most meaningful conversations with my best friends. I had some of the most relaxing times with a friend I never thought I would be able to ever spend time with. I had some stunning celebrations this year during Guru Purnima and Diwali. I lost a few things too. Some losses were more devastating than others. Some of them permanently damaged my personality. Some can call that a change that happens to everyone every few years, though I wonder how different change is from deformation. But I would just let them go and not brood over it on this blog too. I have my spare time and Varsha around to think about it! You get the drift, right? But 2009 has been magnificent in every sense of the word. I would love to have a few more years like this one minus the losses of course!

So people, this is going to be the last post this year. And I will take a moment to specially thank you for all the comments you posted this year. Trust me, comments mean a lot to me. All those who have been bribed or blackmailed to read and comment here, I want to tell you that you guys have been doing a great job! Varsha, Amit ji, Shrijeet you guys are great! Even after being bribed and blackmailed so much, you still come, read and comment! Hats off!! And then readers like Megha , RR and Sachin– the only thing I can say and which may make any sense would be thank you for being so kind to me with your regular presence here. Thank you so much! Any silent readers? I would say don't bear it in silence, speak up! All others, like the anonymous dudes who are identified so easily by their usage of certain words (kia, velli etc), well it would help if you guys are more regular in commenting, but umm, err, okay, never mind! I won't be too mean. :-P

So let me wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2010! Let’s have wonderful memories to retrospect in December 2010! :-)

* Rakhi is a holy thread tied by sisters on the wrist of their brothers on the full moon of Shravan. (In times like these when Rakhi can come with a last name like Sawant, I thought I should clarify!)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The month that is..

I have always been residing in the Northern Hemisphere. So it is winter time in this half of the world and my favorite season ever. My dil goes umm umm umm...

For me, the 10 days of winter break were always more precious than the 2 months scorching summer vacations. Incidentally, ice cream which is trademark summer dessert tastes best in winters. One big reason for winters being such a special time was that my mom and dad would take their year end vacations in December last week and it would always such nice family time. The vacations would start with nice Christmas celebrations in school and no exams in January. It also is birthday month for the two best and most special people I know – Ila and Sandeep.

Bhopal can get quite cold. At least it would when I was in school with bright sunshine everywhere. One of the best things about winters is food. All those hot preparations – from sambhar to aloo paratha to methi paratha and what not. Couple that with unlimited doses of tea and it is feast time. After having that garma garam khana and idling for a couple of hours in sun outside, I would tuck myself in the razai and get a couple of hours of sleep. Oh my God! Can there ever be a better relaxation!!

December would be exam time in college. But given the fact I never studied, I could carry on the eat-food-idle-in-the-sun-and-tuck-in-the-bed routine quite well in Indore too. Even though there would be no mom-made food, but heck I was in Indore! A hot plate of garadu or steaming Calcutta roll or the awesome moong daal halwa at Sarafa, followed by a cup of coffee at Buddy’s cafĂ© was the perfect recipe for perfect winter time with the perfect people in the world.

And then I was in Pune. It never gets that cold in Pune as it would in Bhopal or Indore. But still it is very very special time. A plate of sizzlers at Yana’s followed by chat at Kailash bhaiyya’s thela or paratha at Chaitanya and a cup of coffee at the Wanowrie or MG Road CCD. Or if you are tired eating outside, you could actually go to Shrijeet’s place and aunty would make some real nice sooji ka halwa. You would just eat your way to glory and tuck your self in and have fun.

But food was not the only thing that made winters in Pune special. This is the time for Sawai Gandharva mahotsava. I remember this one time I could not get tickets and I heard the program standing outside. This would be the time when there would be a lot of concerts in Pune. You could go to a Jagjit Singh show or Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma ji’s concert or the one and only Zakir Hussain saab. It was a privilege being in Pune and I cannot tell how much I miss that.

Winters in Dallas are not bad either! For one it is much colder here. Nothing compared to the rest of America. But it is cold for Indians from Bhopal, Indore and Pune. One of the best things I like is the warm jackets and coats that I can wear here. The fact that it also helps hiding all the fat you get after eating all that food is purely incidental.

I am visiting India this winter. It is going to be a very short trip, but still I am looking forward to it. Nice mom made food, some birthday celebrations, meeting all those wonderful people back there would be so nice..

The small snow flakes you see here are a small dedication to the month of December!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…