Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shriya - Update

Dear Friends! 

Just a little post here to update you all about the SaveShriya campaign launched by Fortis Foundation. 

Tweets 14,621
Re-Tweets 3617
Total Tweets 18,238

Which means that Fortis foundation will contribute INR 1,82,380/- for Shriya. It translates to 2 months of ERT for her. Which is a big help for Jaydeep and Shivani!

All these tweets were generated in just about 15 days - through word of mouth, through a friend re-tweeting and then another friend re-re-tweeting, through people like Aman sir and Deepak Singh making it their mission to sit the whole night to tweet for Shirya, through celebs like Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan, Sandhya Mridul tweeting and spreading the word to hundreds of others! It was all made possible by people like you and me.  

And I want to thank everyone who read about Shriya here on my blog and cared enough to do something for her. Thank you and you should know that you are a star!!

And finally I appeal you all once again to not forget about Shriya. She needs the ERT (each ERT costs INR 90,000/-) twice every month for at least another 15 years. Keep tweeting, keep mailing and keep talking about Shirya when you can, where you can. And when you have a little more cash, please do not hesitate in helping financially as well. It is a little girl's life at stake!

Take care and God bless!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Joy of Giving

Dear ones,

October 1 - October 8 is the Joy of Giving week. Renowned healthcare group Fortis Foundation has launched a twitter campaign to support Shriya and raise awareness for Gaucher's disease. Fortis has agreed to sponsor one ERT treatment for Shriya. Each ERT costs INR 90,000. And they have also agreed to donate INR 10 for every tweet for Shriya. This is the easiest way you can help Shriya over the next couple of weeks. 

So how does it work? You just need to have a twitter account. To Tweet visit (http://www.fortishealthcare.com/saveshriya) press “TWEET NOW” icon, put your twitter ID and Password. An auto generated tweet message will appear as “I just donated a tweet for saving SHRIYA you should too #saveshriya http://bit.ly/QZndfy”. Make sure you don't change this message. And then just press TWEET. You DO NOT have to draft a message. All you have to do is click. Three clicks and you donate Rs.10 for Shriya's next ERT. 

You can also send your other messages after this tweet message. Multiple tweets from same user will be treated as 1, so when you RT, you are spreading the message and we need to do it at a large scale. Additional tweets should be ending with “#saveshriya http://bit.ly/QZndfy”. 

Fortis is targetting 8500 tweets. Now this is to cover the treatment of ERT. This is also the bare minimum number we want to reach to help sponsor a month's treatment for Shriya. But 8500 is not the upper limit. There IS NO upper limit and this rare but huge opportunity is for the next two weeks only.

Do you think your tweet matters? It does. I was very lucky when I visited the Fortis website (https://saveshriya.fortishealthcare.com/) today afternoon just to check the status. And here's the screenshot I was lucky to take. anusha30 is my Twitter handle. And my tweet was re-tweeted by atleast 5 other people. That's atleast Rs. 60/- for Shriya!! And I am not even popular or active on Twitter. So yes, your little effort matters. It matters a lot for a family really struggling hard to keep the hope floating for their little girl.

Here's a little video Fortis has created for the campaign. 

Please visit, please take a moment to think and please donate. You will feel very happy. It is the Joy of Giving week after all.

Thank you for all you are doing. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Save Shriya

Dear Readers,

I write this post asking for a favor. Please read the entire post with a little patience and consideration.

Shriya is a 2.5 years old baby (born on May 31st, 2010) diagnosed with Gaucher's disease. It is a rare genetic disorder caused by a hereditary deficiency of the enzyme glucosylceramidase, which leads to a collection of fatty material in the spleen, liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, and bone marrow. Little Shriya was diagnosed with Gaucher's Type 1 when she was 3 months old.

Here are the links of the case history and doctor's certificate.


  • Enzyme Replacement Therapy (ERT): This is the only life saving treatment available world wide. ERT replaces the deficient enzyme with artificial enzymes. These replacement enzymes are administered in an outpatient procedure through a vein (intravenously), typically in high doses at two-week intervals.
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT): This surgical procedure has been used for severe cases of Gaucher's disease. In this technique, blood-forming cells that have been damaged by Gaucher's are removed and replaced, which can reverse many of Gaucher's signs and symptoms. This is a high risk treatment and is very rarely administered.

Monthly ERT is the only treatment option available for Shriya and she needs to undergo this at least until she is 18 after which oral medication can be considered. This enzyme needs to be imported from USA and costs 1650 USD and the dosage (and hence the cost) will change as Shriya grows up. The invoices till May 2012 are uploaded on the website. I have the invoices for the month of July if you want. And you can always request for the latest invoice from Shriya's parents and they are always prompt in replying. I am saying this based on my own personal experience. 

How can you help?

1. The biggest help this family needs at this time is financial. Any sort of financial help is most welcome. If you can contribute 100 USD great! If you can contribute 100 INR great! No amount is too big or too small. I have posted the donation details at the end of this post. I have used the online transfer without any hassles. I have always received prompt reply from Shriya's parents with proper acknowledgement.

*EDIT October 4th, 2012 - Fortis foundation has started a twitter campaign for Shriya. Fortis has pledged to donate Rs.10/- for every tweet with the tag #saveshriya. This is the website - https://saveshriya.fortishealthcare.com/. All you have to do is go to this link, click on tweet and submit. You do not even have to draft a message. It's all done for you. You can post as many, RT as many times. All you have to do is click. Easy, right? I have decided to set aside a time and RT 10 times a week. That's a 100 bucks a week from one person. If we can sustain only this, that will be more than enough! Yeah, that easy!

2. If you are a doctor or someone who can help with the medicine (enzyme) please do reach out to Shriya's parents. I am sure any and all information will be very useful for them.

3. Spread the word! Please spread the word! I can understand if you cannot help financially. Sometimes, we just cannot. But if you are reading this blog, I am sure, you can also copy paste this information on your twitter/Facebook/blog accounts and send it to your local charity chapters. Here is the Facebook group link. 

4. If you are in Delhi, you can make time to visit Shriya and just share your precious time with the little girl at the AIIMS whenever she gets in there for her treatment. I am sure you will feel as good as the Sethis. 

5. Whatever you can think of!

I assure you the validity of this post and all the links posted here. I have verified this personally and I truly believe in the cause. I am sure you will do everything you can. :-)




Please make your donations in the name of SHRIYA SETHI
Account No. 911010065008502
Axis Bank Ltd,
A-13 Swasthya Vihar, Vikas Marg 
New Delhi-110092, India. 
IFS CODE:  UTIB0000055

Contribution in Foreign Currency can be sent to the PAYPAL Account: jay_hcl@yahoo.com
Please also mail your contribution details to shivanisethi0206@gmail.com for  tracking and acknowledgement purpose.


Jaydeep Sethi (Father)
E-mail ID: jay_hcl@yahoo.com
Phone No: +91-9958284420
Shivani Sethi (Mother)
E-mail ID: shivanisethi0206@gmail.com
Phone No: +91-9810033778

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I am travelling home to Bhopal. J I had big plans for this trip but as it goes with planning, most of my plans are bombed. So I thought a simple trip to home is always harmless. Let’s make it.

So here I am sitting in Rajdhani Express heading to Bhopal. Yeah, the best train in India. A lot of people, specially my parents and especially my dad, are not too fond of traveling in the AC coaches. They say that the tainted windows and curtained partitions rob the “experience” of traveling Indian Railways and you can get this “experience” only when you are traveling in the sleeper coach. I have a theory on this, though. You see, while a lot of Indians are making a lot of money, the “core” middle class “Indianness” remains the same. The “Third AC” is the new sleeper class and the “experience” pretty much remains the same.

Take for example, this trip. Being my dad’s daughter, I was the first one to get on the train after being almost an hour and a half early to the railway station. It is a matter of pride and habit to do so which I doubt I will be able to get rid of in this lifetime. Once I am on and comfortably settled in my seat (after taking the maximum space possible for my two teeny weeny bags), some others start getting on as well. Three young men get on first and one of them, unfortunately for him, has a broken shoulder. His friends made fun of him constantly and at the same time ensured that he's always comfortable. The young men are speaking excellent Hindi. At the same time, their informal tone is unmistakably “Bhopali”. And then the most interesting person of this trip boards the train. He must be in his late 50s and let’s call him Uncle ji. Our Uncle ji has graying hair but he has been given a middle berth, which he understandably doesn’t like. He asks the young man with broken shoulder if he can take his seat. That’s the first thing you always do in Indian trains. You exchange your seats. You “adjust”. Our young man’s plaster is hidden under his shirt and he explains why he can’t change the seat. Our Uncle ji gets very furious. Not because he is stuck on the middle berth, but because the young one was so callous to even think of wearing a shirt on when he has a broken shoulder. To shirt kyun pehen rakhi hai? Pardarsan (pradarshan) karo nahi to huemin kya pata ki tumhara haath toota hai. The young man did the pardarsan alright for the rest of the journey. Our Uncle ji decides to step out for a while. Everyone around me exchange meaningful glances to not “encourage” this Uncle ji.

As our Uncle ji is coming back, he stops at the adjacent aisle and asks a gentleman where he is going. Second rule of train travel – It is your primary business and personal duty to know where everyone gets down. The gentleman replies that he is going to Kanpur but he will get down at Delhi. Uncle ji doesn’t like that one bit. He literally shouts at the man and says getting down in Delhi is all wrong and that he should actually get down at Jhansi. And my aisle starts laughing uncontrollably.

Dinner is served soon (it is Rajdhani Express afterall). I refused dinner since I had a very heavy snack. Uncle ji is mad again and I am lectured on how I should never skip dinner. Well if he had the means to look into my stomach contents, his advice would have been to skip meals altogether the following day as well. 

I wake up very early in the mornings whenever I am traveling. I love watching the sunrise through the fields from the train. As kids, Sandeep and I would also open the window to breathe the fresh morning air. This morning was very beautiful as well. The monsoon greenery was all over. The best colors known to the human kind – bright pink, deep orange, sharp blue, soothing green – were creating the golden hour. The fields had new crops growing and I could almost feel the softness of the new leaves. I tell you, it is magical!

The day goes by with breakfast and lunch served. Uncle ji has a heavy breakfast, burps heartily. He then scolds me for reading in the train and then starts reading the newspaper. And I smile, in spite of myself. People are listening to the music, watching a movie or just idling by before the lunch is served. And then everyone sleeps again after lunch. Once the tea is served, people get ready for casual conversations. An aged uncle is searching for his chappal (footwear). Another rule when you travel – People will take care of your luggage, but your chappal is your responsibility. His wife finds it for him 4 aisles down. God knows how it got there!

And as I start noticing the conversations around me, I am surprised how much people have to talk about even to complete strangers. Tax, VAT, Corruption, Manmohan Singh, BJP, movie stars – it is all covered. Soon they also start talking about the young generation and how the whole family dynamics have changed over the years. 

As I write this, we have just crossed Maharashtra and have entered Madhya Pradesh (MP). The train passes many hills and the art work of monsoons is evident everywhere. I stop writing and bask in the beauty thoroughly. I realize fully now that I am going to be home. The feeling of being home is the most relaxing feeling in the world!

Times have changed. I have upgraded from the sleeper to the Third AC. People are carrying all sorts of gadgets with them in train now. There are even charging docks everywhere. They use a freshner in the compartment. I see a suave gentleman reading through the Wall Street Journal on his iPad. I am even surprised to see one young man from Bhopal speaking flawless Tamil (he has a business there). Another man tells that he is originally from West Bengal but loves working in Bangalore. Times, indeed, have changed a lot but it still is all so familiar. Like I have been through this drill all my life. The more things have changed, they more they really have remained the same.

I have refused dinner today as well. There is a hearty meal awaiting me when I get home. In the meantime, there are still some interesting conversations on and I think I will pay attention to them, maybe even become a part of some.

This is me signing off from B4, Rajdhani Express, India

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reading or eReading?

The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.”  - Anthony Trollope 

Like everything else evolving around us, books and reading in general has also evolved tremendously over the past few years. Even though dedicated e-book readers existed for a while, the biggest revolution in the field came when Amazon launched Kindle in 2007. It captured the imagination of a generation and it soon became the most popular Christmas gift. I received my Kindle as a Christmas gift. :)

The competition within the e-book readers market is very stiff. Of course, Kindle and Nook with their e-Ink displays remain the most popular readers by a distance. However, when Apple launched the iPad, even Amazon could not resist the temptation and launched Kindle Fire which can let you read books and do more. Whatever e-book reader you may have, though, the advantages are many. I can now carry about 3500 books in a single device which is about the size of a fiction book. No more wondering how to dispose the books which I do not want anymore. And I can now pick and chose what to read when I am travelling.  

But does our brain process a e-book the same way as a regular book? This is a very interesting question. Studies suggest that it takes a while for our brain to adjust to a new information medium because it disturbs the balance between the focal and peripheral attention. But apparently with repeated usage, our brain gets used to the idea. Naturally, our brains are tuned to information with a physical address or entity. Secondly, while we do have an advantage of having an instant dictionary and even web access for more information on our e-book readers but scrolling and typing on e-book readers could be more distracting than engaging.  

I personally mix and match. I can read realms of fiction on my e-book reader. But when it comes to “learning”, I much prefer to have a paperback. Maybe it has got to do with how my mind has been conditioned coming from a generation of textbooks and notebooks. But maybe this generation of kids who are exposed to digital media like never before, will have different preferences.  

All said and done though, there are very few things which give the thrill of the touch crisp pages and smell of fresh print.  

Two beautiful questions for the day - What are you reading next? What are you reading on next?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shantaram - A Review!

I have what I would like to call a writer’s block. Blogger’s block would probably be more apt. Some may just brush it as pure laziness while others may give a condescending smile on yet another blogger who lost the steam. Whatever it may really be, but it is true that I can’t bring myself to write any more. Lots of people have asked me why I stopped. I have thought about it a lot and the best explanation I can come up with is that life doesn’t happen to me the way it did 4 years back. I am not as sarcastic as I used to be and I enjoy making fun of people and myself only occasionally now. My life has moved on quite a bit, the people in my life are not the same anymore and times have really changed. It isn’t that life is boring or anything. Infact, there is much more going on. I am busier than ever. But most of my writing now happens in the personal journal rather than this space which has been my venting zone for far too long.

However, every once in a while I do visit this blog as a visitor. Ironically, I have to apply one of the illegal motivations that I used on most of the regular people here on myself to visit my own blog. (FYI, a bribe to self of two plates of panipuri is what usually works). Yeah, its come down to that! I read the stuff and wonder. Sometimes it feels like I am reading a stranger’s life, maybe, even intruding someone’s private space. But then, here I am writing, maybe venting a little bit too, again about something which I don't mind sharing with www at all.. J

So, I just finished reading Shantaram, a magnum opus by Gregory David Roberts. It is an epic autobiographical yet fictional story, running over 900 pages, of an Australian convict who escapes a maximum security prison and finds himself in Mumbai living in a slum, speaking fluent Hindi and Marathi, setting up an illegal clinic for the city’s poorest, spending months in an Indian prison, working for the Mumbai mafia and in some Bollywood movies, going on a war in Afghanistan, beating opium addiction and trying to redeem himself in the midst of many lost loves.

It really is hard to separate fact from fiction in Lindsay Ford’s tale. As per Greg himself, most of the events that find a mention in the book are real but the characters and story are fictional. Lindsay meets a local city guide, Prabaker who becomes his best friend without either of them realizing the depth of the bond. The unusual friendship takes Lindsay or Linbaba, as lovingly called by Prabaker and eventually everyone he knows in Mumbai, to a small village called Sunder in Maharashtra where he actually gets a new name – Shantaram, a man of peace. But it isn’t until Lin goes through an adventurous and brutally tumultuous life marked by faith and philosophy, freedom and betrayal that he comes to measure the full meaning of this name and why he was given the name.

The book deals with detailed description of life and challenges in slums, the brutal yet surprisingly honorable working of the mafia, the innocence and generosity of people who have nothing more to share than a home cooked roti but a heart big enough to encompass the whole world. One of the endearing themes of the book is how Lin falls in love with Mumbai herself. It is a beautiful account of the great city I fell in love with the first time I saw it. The famous Mumbai monsoons, the Leopold's cafe and numerous other places to eat, Ganapati and Haji Ali, the dabbawallas and the Zaveri Bazaar - they all find a mention. But the most beautiful thing about the book, perhaps even the most emotional one, is to see my country and my people through the eyes of an outsider who in the end is no different than one of our own. It is true that Indians, the middle class Indians, not the stinky rich or even today’s information technology junta, are one of the most loving, accommodating and hospitable people in the whole world who somehow make tradition and modern work together in spite of, sometimes because of the contradictions, with a sense of humor like no one else has and a smile and happiness that bubbles forth from the core of existence in spite of everything that goes on in and around them. And when Linbaba tells the tales of these wonderful people, you sometimes find tears making their way into your eyes from the deepest corner of your heart.

The book isn’t without its flaws. It is too long for one and sometimes you just know what is going to happen next. Some of the characters and events are just one too many. Some of the names are made up without any thought or research (like a Sardar named Anand Rao!!). Greg succeeds supremely when he is accounting his facts in the fiction but fails more often than once when it comes to fiction itself. Another thing that I find a bit hard to believe is when Lin says and emphasizes that he never killed another person even when he was in a war engaged as a soldier in one of the most hostile war zones in the world. But the description of Afghanistan and the war is beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time.

It is a very good book. I strongly recommend it. But you will have to give the book a chance. Maybe after the first 100 pages, you will see the big heart of all the characters and the amazing, miraculous life of the author himself.

Is it a masterpiece? Maybe not. But who cares, yaar? No, Linbaba? J

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Krishna Govinda!!! Reloaded!

I will tell you story today.

It was the year 2008. I was given a small stretch assignment at work which should have been completed in 3-4 days. It was some investigations on an application of which I had no idea. The application team was working on a project which was in total shambles and they had to get all hands on board. Typically my bosses avoid looking at my direction during emergencies unless it is an emergency which requires us to vacate the building. But this time they didn't have a choice. And I thought I knew what to do and kept postponing this work until I actually realized that it is not as simple as I thought it would be. Not for my peanut sized brain anyway. And I had realized that only a divine intervention could now possibly save me. I had to prepare a spreadsheet and was supposed to share my findings and that spreadsheet to my boss on a call. I was in a soup and really needed something to calm my nerves before the call. 

My usual cure for nervousness is music. And being in the situation I was, I needed a bhajan and that is when I heard this for the first time. 

I instantly fell in love with this. There is certain effortlessness in Bhanu didi's singing. There is an ethereal softness and the bhakti is unmistakable. I heard it back to back for a couple of hours while filling something in that spreadsheet. Somehow my boss liked what I filled in there and asked me to do some more investigations on that. The next meeting was in two days. Needless to say, I was in a similar situation and had to get back to Krishna Govinda. And my boss liked my spreadsheet even more and asked me to dig even deeper. This wasn't a simple stretch anymore. I was complete and dirty into this project working on an application of which I had no idea about against a crazy deadline and with a team where everyone was getting on top of each other (and I say this very politely) to get the work done. I was finding myself in a situation every single day and everytime I would turn to Krishna Govinda to calm my nerves. And magically it would happen, things would work out and I was strangely finding myself winning over some really tense moments. 

Well, things eventually do work out. But how we go through the time before they do is the important thing to note my lord! Krishna Govinda always came up to my rescue! Always!! And then there were numerous satsangs in Dallas when I would attempt to sing this. Dallas AOL always was kind enough to allow me to have my way and let me sing a few lines. They would actually join in the fun! 

This is a very very special bhajan. I had the good fortune of doing the Sahaj Samadhi Meditation with Bhanu didi this weekend. There was no electricity today at the venue and it felt actually being in a Bikram Yoga class. She lead a meditation session and answered numerous questions (without a mike walking around the packed hall to ensure everyone could hear her) with a certain calm and poise I usually associate her brother with. :) I had the good fortune to listen her sing this real up close. And when she sang, it was with the same effortlessness and it was the same ethereal softness with the unmistakable Bhakti. 

I sang and I clapped and I was in a moment with the familiar feeling of being at home with complete strangers. 

It was a moment I felt grateful for this wonderful life!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The girl next door..

She is a friend from work. I just love the easy going demeanor she has. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Women of Substance

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I really loved this click a lot. I had clicked this one during our Yercaud office trip earlier this year. A small tribute to all the wonderful women I know!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hope - At the Traffic Signal

The week started with the worst kind of nightmares you expect at work. Big release around the corner, projects running in red, the usual chaos on the floor and yeah, yearly appraisal looming around the corner. Work can get really crazy at times. But you already know that! But in the midst of all this madness, something beautiful happened the other day. Something which gave me a lot to cheer about.  

I drive down to work daily. The 40 minute ride gives me enough time to plan my day. Sometimes I sing and that somehow makes me forget about the traffic I have to battle everyday. It puts me in a zone where all I am really bothered is the next note and how to zoom around and be right in front of the red signal. I think it is the monotony of the routine which makes you want to block your immediate reality out of the mind. I suspect everyone who drives in Bangalore have their own way of coping with traffic and stress like that. 

However, sometimes, something happens which snaps you out of that reverie. I was at the signal near St. John’s Hospital on the Hosur Road. (I work at EGL, Bangalore). This is a really long signal which can make you wait for 3 minutes if you are lucky to cross the signal in one go. During peak traffic hours, you may have to wait for almost 5-6 min before you can move on. It was such a morning. Somewhere at the end of that sea of vehicles stood an ambulance with its siren on. The really loud siren made people turn around. It sounded a desperate plea more than a warning signal. For a split second no one moved. And then all of a sudden, as if there was one collective consciousness and not our individual selves, began the honking from everyone waiting there. Everyone wanted to make way for the ambulance. Some moved left, some right a bit to make space. And soon the ambulance was moving amidst incessant honking. People actually peeped out of the windows and called aloud to make the person ahead of them move. People out of the way of the ambulance did not just wait. They all honked.  

It worked. The ambulance could move ahead of all that traffic and was right at the front before the signal turned green. It gave me goose bumps. I did wonder about our emergency management systems and how badly we are equipped to handle something as basic as this. But more than that, this small incident gave me hope. It made me believe in the human spirit that means only good. It also made me believe that we all can make a difference if we uphold the spirit of contribution.  

It was wonderful and it had made my day!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Free Spirit!

I had not seen a face more beautiful than hers. She looked familiar as if I had known her as a friend forever. She had a perennial smile and could laugh at will. And when she laughed, everyone and everything around her would laugh. The flowers could bloom and the raindrops could shine. She walked with the grace of a swan, the pride of a young maid. She spoke the words of a Zen with the innocence of a child. She walked through the clouds with her feet firmly grounded. She was with everyone yet she was different. She looked at me once and she said a thousand words in her glance. She wanted me to do something and I could have done anything then. She met for a moment and yet she touched lives. She believed in love and yet she did not fear the hurt love might bring. She was special and she made me feel special, if only for a few moments. 

She was everything I ever wanted and ever wanted to be.  

I saw the free spirit today, I met a free soul!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Second Homecoming

Yeah, yeah, I know what you are thinking and possibly even asking in the online gossip rooms. What has happened of me in this last one year? I have been getting a lot of concerned calls and comments on this blog asking me whether I was still alive, or worse I got married or something. So let me begin this post by assuring you all that I still exist and am very much single. Some of you might argue that existing and being single is really one and the same thing, but yeah, whatever.

So what really has happened of me in 2011? Lots, to be honest with you. So much so that I could have posted reams on my blog and blogger would have actually started charging a handsome for every post. But I did not have the heart to post any of it here. That’s because none of it was funny or just a tidbit. They were major happenings, the kind of events which shake the earth beneath your feet, make you cry like there is no tomorrow and change you as a person forever. You try to hold on to things and people. But you realize that they are gone and your tears will not bring them back. You are humbled and brought down to your feet and 2011 suddenly starts feeling like 2008 all over again, if you know what I am saying. No, you don’t blog about such things. You write them in your personal diaries and cry every time you go back and read them.

But my dear readers, if there are any left that is, there are a few things which you might be interested in knowing. Three of my favorite people got married – my cousin Rachana, my good friend Amit ji and my best friend Varsha. “Varsha”, probably, has been the most used word in this blog after “I”, “me” and “myself” so you all already know her. She is married to prince charming from Pittsburg - Shashank. I do have a hand in helping these two meet. You see, theirs is an arranged marriage and the ceremonial tea which Varsha took shyly in a tray when she met Shashank for the first time was made by yours truly. Like coffee, a lot can happen over tea as well and Varsha and Shashank can vouch for that. The celebrated and highly bribed commentator on this blog, Amit ji got married to this amazingly warm person Archana. Now I do take some credit for their marriage also because I have a habit of taking credit for everything good that happens around (? Ok, in spite of) me. The thing is Amit ji, at one point of time in his life, decided that he will never ever marry. And at that precise point of time in his life I let out a laughter louder than a F18. That, people, was the turning point in his life. But to be honest, one look at Archana ji is enough to understand why Amit ji is married to her. Yeah, she is that good. And finally, my sweetest and naughtiest sister Rachana married this cutie pie from AhmadabadRavi. Do I have a hand in this too? Hell yes! Rachana could never have married any guy without my approval and she knows that bloody well!!  

But for these joys of life, I can’t imagine how I would have made it to 2012. Almost everything else tested me. I was tested for life and the results came positive. Wow! I like that sound of that! But in the midst of all that, I completely ignored this space. I did not feel like writing. I am back not because I have found an urge to be funny again. No, no, not that. But my friend Vishu, disguised as an anonymous, made me realize that it has been almost one year since I last posted. This has been my longest time away from this blog and I almost felt a little sad. It is not time to say sayonara, yet. But one more year of draught of posts, I think we can then call it a day.

Let me take a chance to wish you all a wonderful 2012. I don’t know why but I have a feeling that some wonderful things are in store this year. Some are shouting Armageddon already but hey, it might be the best thing that happens to us, who knows. Look forward to hope and happiness, take care of your health and your loved ones and love a little more than you did last year.

I sure am going to do all of that!