Colours called F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Life can get busy, and sometimes you feel out of place, out of pace in it yourself. And, you find yourself in times when you stand in front of the mirror and ask, ‘umm, where are you headed? what are you doing? is this what you want?’ and go on till you find yourself exhausted. It is quite ordinary though to have these questions pop up, every once in a while, and experience might suggest that such episodes allow you to reflect, retrospect; you tap your compass a couple of times and set it back to the right direction. I think not only is this natural, but also absolutely necessary to happen.
And, people have different and personal formulae to react to these questions. Some take a few days off work to relax and unwind; some visit family & relatives; some take to traveling to a new place by themselves; and some meet friends. I fall into the last category. Almost always.
Call it a miracle, every time I have felt the slightest discomfort and an eerie uneasiness about life, these few friends – my core group – suddenly decide to appear (or join me, meet me wherever I am.) Friends from all over the country and the world come together, and voila! – you find yourself amidst laughter, poorest of jokes, lots of camera clicks and the warm feeling that life’s back on track again begins to sow its seeds. Of course, it is not something I can quantify very easily. This core group that I speak of, is made up of choicest gems of people I have met in the last 8 years. Some at the very beginning of my glory days (read: engineering college!), and some I met along the journey that I started those 8 years back. I must also add, I have been blessed with the time and energy to make it to these meets that are so meticulously planned, which only goes to add the adequate dose of colours in my life!
I am not going to write a thank-you note for my core group here, or go on to acknowledge how special these bunch of people are to me (I call it core, it is only redundant to type anything further!). This post is only to reiterate to myself and my readers how friendship is perhaps the most important ingredient of life’s rich recipe, and how liberating it is to celebrate its bright presence in our lives, every once in a while!

After all, someone rightly said – Friends only know to walk into our lives, and thereon to just stay!


Old City, New Girl – the sublime discovery

#written on a rainy evening sitting by the window in my apartment in London, posted only now.

When I landed in London,
along with two pieces of luggage I arrived here brimming with excitement and my
dreams sprinkled all over. I was going to be in a new country all by myself and
the uncertainty of how days would unfold gave me a high every time I wondered
about it. The time had come – to experience newness in life, to open my mind to
a different culture, to explore and discover a new me. That was the dream,
after all. And I was not going to let go of this wonderful chance, I said to
myself as I stepped onto the streets of London on my first evening. 
I spent my time walking
amidst castle-like buildings and sprawling lush lawns. I found company to visit
places on the outskirts – small towns like Twyford and Henley-on-Thames,
Brighton’s beautiful (and sunny!) pebble beach, Wimbledon, the Roman Baths; and
sometimes even to share the pure joy of uninterrupted shopping as well. Other
times, I would hop on tubes on my own, turning every direction my heart would beat
for and I was hardly ever disappointed.
But, whenever I sat down
to capture and pen down my thoughts about London, I’d invariably find
something missing. What could I possibly say about this beautiful city that
wasn’t said before, that wasn’t captured (even preserved) already. So I always
kept it for a later time and date, hoping I’d figure out the Midas touch that
made this city so special for me.

In just over two months
I had fallen in love with London. I began to share a very special attachment
towards it, like the city was my own. And it made me wonder to the point of
enticing me to find out the real reason for my unconditional love for this
city. Was it my exciting job, my weirdly wonderful team mates at work, my small
and cozy apartment in Stratford or was it my independence. I kept thinking –
closed-lip when out and aloud when in a shower – what has this city really
given me…
Actually, the answer was
right in front of me all that time. Only, it had taken me a while to reach to
that realization. 
During my first week in
London, I met someone – a colleague, friend, companion – whatever name you’d
want to give. A complete opposite of how and who I am. Disciplined,
sophisticated, having some clear goals in life, living with reason and logic –
but at the same time, he also knew to enjoy life and its eccentricities, just
the way I did. And it made us tick from the very beginning. Our innumerable
conversations sitting at a dining table are perhaps some of the choicest of
moments I’d savor for the rest of my life. 
I wonder sometimes,
would I have enjoyed the train journey home from work as much everyday had it
not been for his company; would my visits to Hyde Park have remained as magical
had he not come with me to share that bench by the lake in the rain; or would
my knee have hurt more had he not walked with me that evening and taken care
that I get home safe in one piece… or would that Sunday afternoon be any
funnier had we not turned up wearing clothes in the same colour-combo
(absolutely same, believe me!). 
When I had come to
London, I knew it was going to be all ‘me-time’ – away from the usual
hustle-bustle of my life back in India, away from all things and people
familiar and I’d take a step closer to understanding myself better. But now I
know, the joy of discovering oneself lies in sharing oneself – one’s happiness
and sorrows, one’s dreams and hopes, one’s successes and failures –
with someone else. Now I know, the strange love I feel for London is actually
the warmth of love for this friend – with whom I learnt to share my fears and
fantasies, my trials and tribulations.
As beautiful a city as
London truly is, it can get equally tough on you. It is fast and keeps you on your
toes – quite literally. And, in the daily drill of chasing our goals,
unintentionally sometimes, we forget to notice the small joys of living. So,
for a few moments, take your mind off the innumerable post-it notes stuck to
your laptops/PCs at work, refrigerator-doors at home and try to find the
special, unique feeling that puts a smile on your face; that makes your city,
your life even more beautiful for you! Who knows, you might find a friend for
life just the way I did! 

The Debutantes

It was my first year of engineering at BITS. Shruti and I were sitting in my room reflecting and fiddling with a pen and paper. We had a few classes that we very conveniently gussed to enjoy the part-winter part-summer afternoon gorging on Lays potato chips and a few five-stars, chatting about how much our lives had changed since we stepped into this isolated yet truly magical town of Pilani.

The exciting topic of our discussion those days was this new Poetry Club that two of our friends were very keen on starting on campus – with the mission of – “bringing all poetry lovers under one roof”! Enthused that we definitely were every time we talked about it, that day, we both would clearly remember, also unleashed our innocent creativity out of us, as we laughed and penned together this ‘cute’ and absolutely close-to-heart poem. Dedicated to both of us, from the both of us.

Dated: Sometime in Feb, 2004.

The Sky and The Ocean

The sky and the ocean
Share much more than just friendly affection,
Each being other’s reflection
Complemented one another with utmost perfection.

At the horizon when they meet
Their beauty makes hearts skip a beat,
The ardent line of smile they spread around
Leaves everyone spellbound.

Every cloud in the sky
The ocean appraises,
Every wave in the ocean
The sky apprises.

What lies beneath the ocean and above the sky
Deep secrets they share and light moments that fly by,
What makes them laugh, what makes them cry
No one knows, though many try.

And they share a love so eternal
Which is beyond praises so lexical,
They fill everyone’s life with glee
Oh! yes dear, it’s you and me!

Well, what we did after writing this was even more childish! We cycled out of our hostel to show “our” poem to a poet-friend and garner his compliments. His smile said it all, and we beamed with joy! Later that evening we rushed to others too with the poem in our hands like kids running with their pastel-sketches or first paper-planes! Gosh, we really did that, didn’t we!

It marked the beginning of something new – a new feeling, a new outlet to emotions, a new perspective, and a new perception of each other. It still brings back fond memories of our ‘young’ days when all that really mattered was to have extended lunch hours in the mess till the mess-bhaiyas asked us, politely enough, to leave; to cycle around the campus touching every single road; to control that irresistible-talking-phenomenon the night before a test; to sit under our tree till wee hours chatting; to misplacing cycles in Meera Bhawan for the greater good. And ahh, so many more! Kiddish that we really were back then, it nevertheless gave us the adrenaline to go crazy and keep that crazy side of ours alive even now!