Monday, November 30, 2009

Is it December already?

For the last 25 years of my life, year-end has always been coincidental with a sharp dip in the mercury, freezing temperatures, multiple layers of warm clothing, bonfires and binging sprees.
At the risk of making this blog appear more like a weather column (my last post being on the rains ;)), I want to put on record how sorely I miss the winter season.

For god’s sake, it’s December and I am in my cottons and sleeveless and pastels and all things that are summer. 365 days of summer (and that’s more boring than the flick – 500 days of summer). On this one account Delhi scores a brownie point over Chennai – always. I do not get the feeling of movement towards the closure of the year.

Though I have spent all my winters before this year in Delhi, my most memorable chill has been during my brief stint in Chicago – nothing beats the beauty of the snow - Here’s the post.

I love waking up to the cold nip in the air, the frosted windows and breaths, the foggy mornings, the smoggy afternoons, the almost zero visibility on the roads, the all-day twilight, and then the dense darkness, the groundnuts sold on the roadside along with a halo of luminous gas lamps, the excuse to indulge in gastronomical treats such as gajar ka halwa, gulab jamuns, dry fruits, chikki, and what not so that you are warm, the comfort of the thick quilts, yet the instant dismissal of the sweaters and coats at a wedding even though it’s freakin’ cold coz you want to look your best (weather notwithstanding), the frost bites on your toes that force you to wear two layers of socks (I have the record of wearing three!!!), the once-in-a-while sunshine that brings a snug feeling only because it is winter…Winter is priceless…

Most people I have met prefer other seasons instead, and I in the true spirit of being me, always beg to disagree … the following quote is dedicated to them,
Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

Wishing you all a happy and chilly year end…

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Raindrops on roses...

The local headlines in Chennai, a city am still learning to get accustomed to and growing attached to, maybe bordering on even falling in love with, inspite of all the idiosyncrasies, read something like this:
"Heavy rains batter Chennai"; "Torrential rains flood the city"

My FIL had sounded high alert this Wednesday itself. Frankly, I hadn't been giving second thought to his warnings and words of caution simply because I was being chaperoned everyday to work and it didn't really matter how the weather was, second work pressure has been a little over the top!
However, our driver gave us the royal ditch by not turning up on both the days with the so called "torrential rains" - yesterday and today. On Friday, I was furious - I hated the auto ride, the flooded streets, the dirty wetness in the feet, the dripping umbrella, the messed up hair...

But today morning, when I got up to the sound of the turbulent downpour from the menacingly dark clouds above - spatting on us mortal with a venomous vengeance - I smiled and opened my bedroom window wide.
I lingered my gaze out for quite a long time - in that seemingly thunderous outburst was tranquility that is sometimes missing in the most silent of places, in the blurred scene there was clarity of thought.

I had to go to work but I couldn't bring myself to complain. I recalled the wonderful times when all us kids in the neighborhood used to get together and play frisbee in the rains; the joy of splashing in water is unmatched - believe me.

Anyways, I put on some good loud bollywood music (for those interested: Love aaj kal, New York and that stupid chiggy wiggy song ;)), and geared up for work. I had to take a rick, pick this colleague, who's more a friend, R, from her place and then travel to office.
When I reached the street next to my place, my first reaction was Oh my gawd!! There was almost knee-deep water on the roads, that were now transformed to rivers and u bet, I was so excited.

Water flooding our auto, R wading through the river to reach us, cars splashing water to right uptil your face - there was mayhem in the city and I was in the middle of it! I was mightily kicked - I mean c'mon, am I in a metro city or what? Though, this time I did not feel like cribbing about the infrastructure or rather the lack of it.
I always miss Kodak moments and was able to capture only one or two low resolution pics on my mobile camera. Posting one here.

The situation was much worse in the evening - it took us almost an hour to reach home and when I got off the auto I just didn't feel like opening up the umbrella - I hopped and skipped in the rain, savoring the wonderful feeling of the water drops falling on my cheeks and tiptoed home! It sounds crazy, but I feel like doing the frisbee thing or the aimless splashing around once again - there are only very few things that can salvage your soul from the chaotic depressing misery of everyday reality, and getting wet in the rain is one of them.

I love the person who wrote:
Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain

Happy rain dancing, everyone!


For as long as I can remember, when it comes to anything new - a new school, a new job, a new challenge, a new assignment, I have always been super excited. I love the charged electricity in the air around me, the anxious enthusiasm to get things done in the best possible manner, the emotional connection with the task at hand, the euphoric success at the end of it...

And one such rather small but nevertheless a mission in itself was the creation and release of the first organization-wide newsletter. A month of running across the entire floor, after-5 meetings in chilly conference rooms (only colleagues would understand this :)), fervent discussions on name, content, design, and every small detail, clash of ideas and preferences, consensus building and compromised choices - whoa - we, the team, are one determined lot and we sailed through...

November 6th saw a few of us suffering minor cardiac arrests and panic attacks as we hurdled across some last few hitches - but all's well that ends well - Mélange was on time, and yes everybody finds their baby perfect - so did we!

However, this is just the start of what will command continuous dedicated effort - maintaining the content, quality, and interest in a monthly newsletter is a daunting task.
Well begun is half done they say. Touch wood.


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