Sushant- A Shinning Star

Its been 6 days but I cannot get over it. The heartbreaking incident of a hardworking, brilliant young man who decides to quit life, is too much to handle. Everything seemed to be going well for him, at least career-wise. Now that we all know his story, he was a AIJEE topper and was enrolled in prestigious Delhi Engineering College. But he finds a different passion during his college days and takes that critical decision to quit academics and gets enrolled in acting/dancing classes. He does well right from the beginning and lands up a commercially successful and long running TV serial just after he bags a Nestle’ advertisement. Several TV  serials and dance shows later, he would get his big break in Bollywood. He also seems to be doing well in his personal life too as he is in a steady and strong relationship with his onscreen co-star. At the time when TV serials were ‘THE’ thing, Sushant’s career gets rolling and he gets quite a few prestigious film offers. He is launched with a star-kid which is pretty uncommon for a commoner/outsider like him .But I guess its all because Sushant was obviously brilliant in his dealings. His -DCE capable brain combined with his handsome looks were working tremendously for him. His movies – KAI PO CHE, MS DHONI, SHUDH DESI ROMANCE, PK, CHICHORE to name a few were remarkable. Sushant made sure he was not type-casted in a particular role.

A few years down the line, somethings were not so perfect for him. Like his long-term relationship of 6 years breaks down just when he is doing so well in his career. Its been 4 years in Bollywood and he has already done 4 prestigious movies, one with Aamir Khan too. Sushant seem to be moving ahead swiftly , atleast looked like so. After the first one, he is in a few short relationships but they fizzle out like the normallydo.

Given the fact the he has a brilliant mind, Sushant also dabbles, in Astro–physics, astronomy and is interested in science as a brilliant mind would be. That made sense as he had won the National Physics Olympiad once. He owns a huge telescope that is perched in his balcony which he uses to gaze at stars, (more specifically he looked at the rings of Saturn very often) and to quench his thirst for the unknown in the cosmos. He is called to IIT’s , NASA , USA and several prestigious universities abroad for guest lectures for his academic brilliance and to share his success story with youngsters.

Somewhere in between all of these, Sushant is not happy, he wants more success more creative contentedness, and he is not getting it as fast and as much as he wants. Brilliant mind that he had, he is dissatisfied with his achievements. At 34, he is not settled in his personal life too. Depression sets in and there is no one to truly help him out of this mess that he thinks he is in or that he actually is in. It seems possible that he regrets breaking up with his long time first girlfriend who may have been the best person to love  him and or handle his sharp ,creative mind.

Memories of his mother pains him immensely as is visible in his social media account. He had lost her at the very tender age of 16. But he had struggled himself out of it like a shining star all this while. But the toll now is bigger and monstrous and he needed a family of his own to have his back. All this seems to be missing. He has a big house in the posh Mumbai, he is a multimillionaire, has a decent number of movies in hand, has several siblings, father, a girlfriend, friends but he lives all alone with his dog in his sprawling 4 -bedroom apartment in Bandra. His creative manager seems to be sharing his apartment though.

About 5 days before this incident, his current girlfriend walks out of his flat after altercation about his manager sharing his house. A week prior to that , news comes about his ex-girlfriend getting engaged. Its hard to understand whats going on Sushant’s mind but surely some of it is losing his girls one by one. At 34, he is left alone. Albeit with a decent career and monies but they could not help him out of loneliness.

I feel so terrible that such a brilliant young man was so lonely that no one was around him when he needed one the most.

Not a particular fan of Sushant earlier and I regret it, I would remember him for his sheer brilliance, brave mind and for being such a charming handsome young man that he was. That critical time when Sushant dropped out of DCE to join television may have been a turning point in his life and he may have saved himself from most of the miseries that he faced in his life.

This is my tribute to Sushant and I hope he has found his eternal peace.

But this was not needed Sushant, you could have found a better solution, you were brilliant mind.

NB- Thoughts expressed in this page are my personal views and my point of view, it can be wrong as investigations in Sushant’s death are still undergoing.



Deja vu

56It was close to 28 years. Rose was flipping through the pages of her memories. She would often do it , when the past gripped her in a hard embrace. Rose opened her facebook page again, it was easier now to look for lost people. She typed his name but could not find him. She then tried looking for his college FB group. There he was , the same charming face but with a few wrinkled lines around his eyes. His face remained same after almost 3 decades , so was her aching heart. Rose sent him a message asking him about his life. Getting a reply from D was next to impossible. He belonged to the unpredictable lot and she wondered if that would have changed. From the Facebook pictures D seemed to have a happy family and that sort of made him even more unreachable.

Rose turned over to YouTube music and listened to D’s songs , a few more times. She blessed the guy who had uploaded these songs on their last alumni reunion about 7 years back. She had stumbled over these songs in a similar manner about 2 years back. Even then Rose had left a message for him, but he never got back. That was so typical of him, Rose had a smile on her face as she resumed herself.

This time again, hopelessly though, she threw a message for D on FB. When Rose checked her cell phone in about 10 minutes, D’s message was waiting. She was surprised. A life without D, for 30 years flashed in front of her eyes. A life that could have been. A life full of possibilities, dreams, love…

In between the morning errands Rose chatted with D. He sounded ecstatic ,on getting her message. He asked for forgiveness for everything that happened or rather didn’t happen, told his compulsions and how he had felt guilty until now. Rose was pleasantly surprised, at how he had not forgotten about the small details of their short courtship. He remembered her peeking out of the hostel window, her dress that day, the clasp of her hand and her fragrance.

He remembers all, he said. It was surreal then, it was surreal now. Rose went back to the train journey when they had met for the first time. As they bid good bye after about 10 hours of traveling together they had exchanged their addresses because back then there were no email or cell phones. After having exchanged letters for a few months, D was knocking at her hostel door. No, he had not informed, it was a surprise! Rose was told she had a visitor, she peeped from her 1st floor window which opened right on the guest waiting room outside of the hostel. There he was, waiting. Rose screamed for N, her bestie who came running to see what fell upon her. N was more overwhelmed and excited than her. Subsequently for next 15 min the window was crushed by a bunch of hostel girls who wanted to have a good look on D. As Rose got dressed to see him, her heart was pounding loud. She was all of 19 and had never dated anyone and to see D again was an unknown territory. She had only  few minutes to be composed and not look overwhelmed. D was the man of her dreams- handsome, suave and a perfect charmer. For about another year Rose would weave her life around this moment but for the rest of her life she would be left with an empty heart.

Next few days together, had gone fleeting like moments. While D promised to return, he could never. Rose waited for a year and with a heavy heart crushed the nest that she had so lovingly woven. Next 30 years would be busy in raising kids, making a career, looking after parents and traveling. Rose couldn’t forget D. Although he had left without saying goodbye, she still loved him for the gentleman that he was. For the one journey he had made just to see her again. While Rose got married after 2 years, D would take 10 more years to settle down. The flushes of first love can never be forgotten for sure.  It casts a magical spell. Even after 30 years.

That day after their first chat, they spoke for about an hour. D sounded the same person, as charming as ever. Rose was quivering as she heard him, going back to time, again and again. The voice she had so yearned to hear all these years was right there in her ears. Laughs , smiles , tears, excitement, romance….they experienced all the emotions in that one hour. They went back to those few days and paid a tribute to the sweetest times of their lives. D seemed relieved of a good deal of burden. Rose was happy, just happy to be able to hear his voice, once again.

The ruins of heart flashed up in bright lights and life seemed to be different just a bit. For what was shattered in thousand pieces and left behind, had being picked up. That place in heart which was abandoned for long was getting its due. Joys of heart have strange reasons, really. Suddenly, everything else in life seemed trivial and the heartaches seemed to have ceased. They were not meant to be together, nonetheless it felt like souls were at peace finally.


Badhai Ho- Movie Review


The movie certainly deserves an applause and a review. Thought, it would be a shame if I could not or would not write a review.

A movie touches its pinnacle of success when each of its characters are well written and well played. Badhai ho is a perfect example.

This is, refreshingly, a story about parents.The movie belongs to Neena Gupta who does not need dialogues to act. She does all with her expressions,when she looks at her husband lovingly or at her kids, longingly.
The father, Mr Kaushik and the sons have been played to perfection. Lets not say anything about the grandma, who is a perfectly-explosive-at-all-times-grandma ever.
Ayushman, a young man coming to terms with the issues of his own life, cannot handle the tricky and sensitive situation his parents have thrown him into. As a result, he temporarily disowns them.He realizes later, that despite his good job, his socially amicable demeanor and his classy girlfriend, he is not as progressive (in terms of unconditionally loving his parents) as he thinks himself to be. In that moment, the film gently nudges us to ask ourselves, if we are.

Sania as Ayushman’s girlfriend does not have much scope but sparkles whenever she has her moments. When her mother is ridiculed by Ayushman, she recognizes it as a non-negotiable issue and dumps him. That, is a strong character in a miniscule role.

The not-so-patriarch of the house and a supremely empathetic son/husband/father played by Gajraj Rao is the most lovable character of the movie. He has his own moment when he gets to talk to his future-daughter-law for the very first time. How he lets all his guards down to enjoy his moment thoroughly, is a pure bliss ! To keep everyone happy, he is perennially cajoling his mother, supporting his wife and dealing with issues of his sons.

To me, he is the hero!

Kaushiks are THE system, representing a typical Indian colossal mix of goodness and backwardness; they deserve to be renovated, even if it means a trial by reputation.

Verdict- Shame , if you haven’t yet. GO GO GO…..!

The Goloka Temple ,Hillsborough, NC


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It was a sunday and like every other weekend, Ani had planned for trip to a temple about 3 hours away from Charlotte. It was a quiet drive , mostly plantations and countryside. Though I never saw enough farming this side of the country as much I saw in Mississippi, South California or Pennsylvania. Nonetheless, it was a nice and pleasant journey.

The temple is situated amongst a local community , not too big but yes surrounded by vast nature. The dome shaped temple immediately mesmerized me. There was a stairway to reach the main temple complex which was a small round hall with devotees. I was surprised to see several white people here who were  actually taking care of the events.


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We took part in bhajan and some preaching by the founder of the temple who was a old white guy. It was followed by a delicious Indian supper. While having supper, a white lady at next to me and told me that her husband is a chef and had made the food. I was surprised again.

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The only thing which I didnt like is that one of the organizers forced us to buy a religious book. This could have been easily avoided and instead a straightforward approach for donations would have been more appropriate. Since we do not read religious scriptures, we had to leave it away.

That being said, the overall experience of visiting this small yet fascinating religious community was great. I plan to visit it again in spring of 2019.


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Copyright Trey Ratcliff

It was just a day in Chennai after about 27 years. Things didn’t change much except for the metro line and some skyscrapers.

The city clean, the people mind their own business, are  conventional and food is typically very south. Missed the trip to Marina beach because it was raining the whole day. The streets were old fashioned but very clean, graffiti at certain places with very prominent temple structures all around.

The cab driver told us Rajnikant and  Kamal Hassan lived nearby. I would not have mind going around Kamal Hassan’s house to have a glimpse…if it wasn’t late night!

Thus, Chennai makes a quiet mark in my memories.



Call me…


Year 2002, I had acquired my first phone. Life has never been the same since then.

Of course ,back then it was a manual, sized like a cordless phone and without any smart screen or smart features. Nonetheless, it filled up the holes of my life in more than one ways. Calling home and friends was on the tip of fingers now, chatting with friends was handy so much so that I refilled monthly message packs (not sure if they exist now a days)

It served as a lifeline for a long long time. When no one was around physically, besties were just a phone call away. On a lonely drive back home, it was a safety tool.

Of course the smartness of a cell phone has gone ahead of my intelligence and I seem to forever trying to catch it up. There are so many features in my phone that I fail to keep up the pace with. I don’t like it when at times I aint able to get control over some and then it becomes a nuisance like the whatsapp messages which cannot be ignored unless I block the person. The forwarded memes are another irritating pieces of art!

The best feature is that a camera is handy all the time to capture the fleeting moments of life and that we can immediately share them with friends and family. The social media has its own pros and cons but I would like to look at its advantages and be happy about it. It cannot disturb you until you want it. Connecting with long lost school and college buddies has been a source of tremendous happiness. It feels like I have got back my fun-filled days which is actually a delusion!

It is a gift of technology to the mankind and I appreciate that it was introduced during my lifetime!

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Favorite Place- Goa


Sharing an image of my happy place, a faraway location I want to return to again and again.

Again- Sulakshana Pandit


This lady manages to remain in my thoughts consistently. With her demure personality, which personified the roles that she did in her decade old career and the silent love she had for her first leading man never ceases to surprise me.

A gentle sensitive soul Sulakshana, despite making a moderate success of an acting career could not deal with the harshness of the industry and personal disappointments and now lived like recluse, her dewy soft voice however remains fresh in my memory.

Sanjeev Kumar was her first lead actor and had been so in many of her movies. His name was associated with Sulakshana and its being said that he didnt continue the relationship for too long and broke off with her after avery brief time. No one knows the real reason but its again said that Sanjeev fell madly in love with Hema Malini, the super star of those times. However, Sulakshana waited for him till the end, that is like literally till he breathed his last at age 47.

In an interview she accepts that once Hema Malini was married to Dharmendra, she suggested marriage to Sanjeev but he was heartbroken and decided to remain a bachelor. Sulakshana too, then decided never to get married.

This may have been the turning point in her life. Had she tried to get out of love with Sanjeev, she would have found someone else who could have loved her better or loved her at least. But Sulakshana would never be able to get out of this mess in her life.

Sulakshana was already having a crunch, getting roles as she was 30 plus in age and had crossed the prime of her life in terms of a Bollywood career. Sanjeev’s passing away sent her into a deep depression. She was ready to live a life without being married to him but she could not deal with him being dead. Soon after her mother, who helped her to be strong and resilient all this while, also passed away. Sulakshana’s whole world came crashing down, literally.  For several years she lived alone in her massive seaside flat and lost touch with the real world.People recall seeing her on her balcony for endless hours ,talking to herself. She seemed to be a totally different woman than what she used to be.

Her family consisting of her sisters and brothers were probably busy in their lives as everyone had a family to look after. One sister paid the electricity expenses and other replenished her monthly groceries. More than that , no one must have really bothered. Sulakshana would live a lonely life for next 2 decades, until 2006.

It was not until Jeetendra , another one of her leading hero came to her rescue, wand then her youngest sister took her home. It was when a reporter recorded Sulakshana’s pitiful living conditions in a magazine with her pictures, Jeetendra came forward to her rescue. He helped in selling Sulakshana’s flat and her sisters helped in buying another couple of flats for her so that there is a steady income to sustain Sulakshana.

Sulakshana now lives with her youngest sister Vijayta. She looks better in her recent pictures and videos. Although , she does not look like she has fully recovered from the trauma she suffered. I could only guess how bad would have been her circumstances for the 2 decades while she was all alone, when Sanjeev was gone.

I wish there was a biography on Sulakshana’s life, so that I could know the exact dateline of what happened and when. Have you ever heard of someone who has lost the purpose of life once their loved one has abandoned them?

I have not.

NB- I recently read that Sulakshana was the only earning person in her family of 6 siblings and her mother. After her father passed away early in her life, she was not left with any other choice but to continue earning for her siblings to grow up and be decently educated or trained to earn a living for themselves. All that happened as planned but once everyone left the nest Sulakshana was also left with no savings and no further work. She was over 35 and as an actress her life was over. So the lesson here was as an eldest sibling while you take care of your family, you should also leave some savings for yourself and think of an alternate career.

Equally important is that you should also lookout for a life partner to spend the second half of your life. Sulakshana missed some important planning in her life and while everyone just took advantage of her monies out of a successful career while it lasted, she let her life adrift.



Fleeting moments


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Our lives are made up of big events and tiny moments. Ultimately, life is fleeting and oftentimes it’s these small moments we want to remember or relive.

More often than not we create, enjoy and preserve the big events of our life. Well, may be we learn to enjoy the not-so-big events too, as we grow older. But usually nobody cares about the tiny moments and sometimes they do visit our minds when we are long past them. We think about them again and smile to ourselves for the beautiful memories these tiny events had created for us..

Life is made up of thousands of such mini moments which add joy and makes our life what it is. Because the brain cannot contain the millions of memories of each incident, it releases itself of the smaller events – erases them, keeping intact the memories of the bigger moments. It has two-pronged effect as it keeps the brain space available to contain current memories and so that the small incidents which have little and no relevance do not come to our mind repeatedly.

We need to document these small, fleeting moments so that we can relive them again.


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Pour some sugar on me

Sweet delight…..

Once upon a time I twas so fond of Boondi ladoo made out of Desi ghee. The ones that I got to taste in Allahabad, the habit became rather an addiction and I used to eat one each morning with my cup of tea. So much so that when I relocated to Delhi, I had some friends who would carry them for me.


In Delhi, I could never find anything which matched the delicacy of those laddoos. Then it was the chocolate cake from one particular bakery called, Angels in My Kitchen. For seven long years I would eat cakes from only this bakery and no other sweet would fancy me.


Then was the time when I conceived my son, the sweet tooth casted an even bugger spell on me, I was in Hyderabad and I went crazy for Gujias from a particular shop. These were sweet stuffed with Mava , coconut and sweet fillings and then was wrapped with a sugar coating. The hormones played further havoc and sweet consumption increased. In the 4th month of conception, after being diagnosed with Gestational diabetes , had to completely stop eating sweets. Even my carbohydrates portions became small  and that was the time when I realized sweets never did any good to anyone.


Its been 3 years now and I occasionally indulge myself. I like to eat a piece of cheesecake every after 2-3 month and yes I have gotten rid of the craving for good.

Best food are fruits and veggies and a small portion of carbs and meats.

Ask me about it!


Going Crazy


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One crazy morning in the year 2013, I just decided to dump my 7 year old job and an outrageously troublesome marriage of 17 years , purchased a one way ticket to San Francisco and took off in 747 jet in the middle of the night. I had the emotional and mental support of a couple of friends. They pushed me as I was not able to take that final step. They could not see me suffer any longer in that brutally cold and loveless marriage rest of my life.

That was probably the most crazy, outrageously impulsive thing I ever did in my life. From being a simple girl who would not even take a small risk like ordering a new dish from the menu, I had become a risk taker.

This bold step had multidimensional effect in a few years. I met my future soulmate, went through marriage again, pushed my limits further and had a son, traveled the world and gained more wisdom and confidence and attained peace within myself.

Without realizing, I had also set an example of a dynamic modern woman among st my friends and colleagues.


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Remembering Kyle Plush


This one incident had such deep impact in my mind that I was constantly thinking about it for several months.

Kyle Plush was a 16 year old sophomore who lived in Cincinnati ,Ohio with his loving parents. One fateful evening as he was leaving his van to go for his tennis practice in his school, a very tragic incident happened which proved fatal for him. Before getting out of the van, he tried to take out his tennis gear from the back of the van. The back seat buckled from his weight and pinned him down deep into the boot of the van where he had keep his stuff. As he hung in that position, pinned and forced down under, he told Siri, the automatic assistant of his phone, to place two 911 calls.

The 911 dispatcher could not or would not get the location of the vehicle and the officers would search random cars before closing the incident.Kyle struggled  for his life for 7 hours.

Officers who looked for him could never find the location of the Van. When found several hours later, Kyle was found unresponsive.

Kyle was a young boy of exceptional intelligence. Instead of calling his parents he chose to call 911 through his phone assistant. He knew that would get faster help, knowing all the while that chances of him surviving were minimum.

Here is the excerpts of the two 911 calls he made before he succumbed to the accident.

“Help, Help. I’m stuck in my van outside the seven hills (unintelligible) parking lot,” Plush tells the dispatcher. “Send help. I’m going to die here.”

In a second 911 call, he tried again. “I probably don’t have much time left so tell my mom that I love her if I die,” the boy says in the 911 call. “This is not a joke, this is not a joke. I‘m trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van in the sophomore parking lot of Seven Hills (unintelligible). Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”

Parents of Kyle Plush, Ohio teen who suffocated in minivan, push for 911 system changes. In a televised interview to NBC, they said 911 emergency dispatchers and first res-ponders across the country should have the ability to pinpoint callers via GPS/mapping technology, just like Uber drivers.

Short ‘n Crisp – New Jersey


Im running one year  late but atleast I caught up!

It was 7 months that we were staying in Dallas while Ani was travelling every week to  New Jersey before he decided we should for, no reason stay apart.We flew to the lovely  eastern coast of  America and got to live in New Jersey for almost two months .

The first sight which caught my eye was the grand shipyard along the bay of Jersey and the huge crossover bridges over the bays and rivers. The city had a rustic , industrial feeling and the sky scrapers of New York added another dimension to it. I had seen many movies made in New Jersey and also heard about the huge Indian diaspora living here from hundred of years.

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We were staying just 12 mile away from Manhattan, New York.The first stop was Times Square of course, followed by the museums, twin towers, Empire State building  and the Statue of Liberty. The streets of Manhattan were crossed every weekend just so that the memories would remain etched in the minds forever.

05Memories of New Jersey are special because it was the fist East Coast city I ever visited. The difference  in architecture, topography  and weather between California, Dallas, Omaha and New Jersey were stark. And the time spent in Jersey will remain in my heart and mind forever.




Hauntingly Beautiful- Priya Rajvansh


Priya Rajvansh was born in 1936 as Vera Sunder Singh, in Shimla. She had 2 brothers  and she grew up in Shimla until her graduation. As he father got posted in London in the UN mission she got to do a course in Royal Academy of Dramatic Art  in London. In 1962, while she as in London, Chetan Anand ( Bollywood director) spotted her in one of the pictures clicked by a London photographer and managed to sign her for his film- Haqeeqat. The movie went on to become a box office hit.

Priya was soon in a relationship with her mentor who had recently separated fom his wife. Priya would refuse all the outside movies and decided to work only for Chetan Anand. Her next movie came 6 yrs later in 1970 which was also a super hit. Chetan Anand casted her in all his movies, giving her the lead actress roles’ against Raaj Kummar, Rajesh Khanna, Dev Anand and Naveen Nishchal. Despite being a highly talented actress, her anglicized accent and western demeanor did not click well with the Indian audience.

Priya Rajvansh acted in only 6 movies in a span of 22 years from 1964 to 1986. Chetan and Priya never got married but lived together all these years. She never had children with Chetan. Priya moved into her own bungalow after Chetan died in 1997. She inherited a part of Chetan’s property along with the Chetan’s children from his first marriage.

Priya inherited Chetan’s Ruia park Bungalow in Juhu.Mumbai and stayed there once in a while, perhaps to relive and recount the sweet moments she had shared with Chetan. In March 2000, she was found dead in the bathroom of this bungalow. The step-sons were taken into custody along with the maid. The speculations were that, Priya wanted to sell off her share of the property as she was caught up in financial troubles and the step sons perhaps wanted her share of the property.

Whatever may be the case, it was a ghastly end of a highly refined woman who lived to love. She made a mark more as a devastatingly beautiful women than as an actress. This was the end of yet another actress who loved harder than anything else in her life.

Vera Sunder Singh certainly deserved to have the curtains fall gently over her last show.



Lost-Rajni Sharma


Rajni sharma was a pretty actress of the 70’s. She did have a long career span but it consisted of only 26 movies. Out of which only a handful were successful. Balika Badhu being the best among st them. I liked her pairing with Sachin and the sweet exotic and fresh feel she exuded.

Although she may not be known for her movies but the fact that she just disappeared after her last movie in 1991 , is a fairly intriguing feel. No body knows, where did she retire, whom did she marry and how does she look like now. Its sad when the stars holds so much limelight in their younger years but when they grow old, they have to live a secluded life away from media.  Some of them deliberately become reclusive as they want their fans to remember only their younger years through movies and some do not get importance from media and hence are left out.They are neither missed , nor fondly remembered much.

In fact they get lost in this vast universe , never to shine again. That is quite a sad end to a once glittering image they have enjoyed in the prime of their lives.

Rajni Sharma may be an old graceful lady, mother , grandmother with the same sparkling doe-eyes and a vibrant smile and lives amongst us but we may not recognize her even  if we happen to cross our paths on a normal day . Ironical situation for an actor not to get recognized in old age even though their face was their identity in prime of their lives.


I hope Rajni Sharma is living a fulfilling life somewhere amongst her loved ones.


Forlorn- Sulakshana Pandit

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Sulakshana Pandit

More tragic has been Sulakshana’s life. Like her sister, she too fell for the leading actor (Sanjeev Kumar ) of her debut movie, Uljhan in 1975. She was doing better as compared to her sister as she had a singing career from age 9. She worked from 1975 till 1988 with all the leading heroes of Bollywood as a lead actress ,with most of her movies doing better than average.

Sulakshana and Sanjeev Kumar shared an easy chemistry and worked in seven films.  Sulakshana fell in love with Sanjeev during the filming of Uljhan (1975). However, at this point of time he was already madly in love with Hema Malini. Sanjeev,  who could never overcome the heartbreak after Hema Malini allegedly turned him down, was not receptive to the idea of marriage anymore.  Sulakshana and Sanjeev were best friends and they spent lot of time together. Once Hema Malini was married, Sulakshana suggested marriage to Sanjeev Kumar but he refused citing his heart problems. Sulakshana vowed to never marry anyone. Sadly their friendship could never bring them closer than that.

047 Years after Hema Malini had married Dharmendra, Sanjeev kumar died of a cardiac arrest and along with him, he took the soul of Sulakshana Pandit. She had been in love with Sanjeev Kumar for a decade and was devastated with his death.  Although she says in her interviews that she knew Sanjeev Kumar would never marry her or anyone else, but in her heart, she may have been waiting for a magical intervention. Around the same time film offers plummeted and her playback career had already halted. Her mother’s death further catapulted the sensitive Sulakshana’s breakdown. “These deaths had a lasting impact on me. They took a toll on my health. I was mentally disturbed and shaken for the longest time,” she was quoted saying.

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Sulakshana in her heydays

She lost her mental balance and stopped meeting people and coming out of her house. Meanwhile, she was in severe financial problems.  In 2002, she was living in an apartment with no furniture. Her former leading man Jeetendra came to her rescue by convincing his brother-in-law to purchase the flat. From the proceeds of the sale, she was able to pay off her debts and purchase two apartments. Her sister Vijayta Pandit and brother-in-law, music composer Aadesh Srivastava brought her home. With a delicate physical and mental health Sulakshana was confined to her room again. Although, now she had her sister Vijeta by her side.

Sulakshana Pandit may have given up her health and life for Sanjeev Kumar, but she did not get anything in return. Her talent- abilities as a singer, performer and artist could not get justified. Her career was cut short in her early thirties and she mised out on having a family of her own. Life would have been different , if she would have let Sanjeev Kumar go. Life would have been different if she would have foreseen that unrequited love does no good, ever.

Life would have been different if she had courage of thinking about a life without that one person who probably didnt care as much.

Here is wishing her lots of peace and good health rest of her life.




The Curse- Vijeta Pandit


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June 2018- I read a lot of material on Bollywood actresses, especially who had faded away into oblivion, whether achieving success or after being a one-film wonder. This will be first in a series of posts that I intend to write on several actresses whose lives have intrigued me  totally.

One such actress is Vijeta Pandit. As I dug hard into the times gone by, I came to know that she ( and her sister Sulakshana)  came from a reputed family of musicians from Haryana. Her father Pratap Narain Pandit was an accomplished classical vocalist. The famous classical vocalist, Pandit Jasraj is her uncle and her brothers are the famous musician duo – Jatin and Lalit and her sister Sulakshana  being a popular bollywood   singer of her times .

Vijeta was launched by Rajendra Kumar with his son and their debut movie (Love Story) was a runaway hit. However, Vijeta after the movie decided to quit films as she had fallen in love with Kumar Gaurav, the Hero of her first movie. Of course the relationship  didnt culminate into marriage. After a hiatus of 4 years, Vijeta made a comeback and did a few more movies but, by then the audienceshad forgotten her conveniently.

She  then married a director, Sameer Malkan for a brief while and then finally married Aadesh Srivastava, a music director of films like Baghban and Raajneeti. Vijeta and Aadesh ,for  a decent time, were well-settled with two sons while they looked after her ailing older sister Sulakhana Pandit.  Vijeta’s other sister, Sandhya Singh, was murdered in 2012 by her own son. Barely a few years ago Aadesh ‘s brother had also tragically died in a road accident.

While Vijeta  took care of her ailing  sister Sulakshana who mentally had not been keeping well ,she also took care of her family and sang few songs for her debut album made by her husband. Unfortunately the album was not well received.

While Vijeta was braving her life, she suffered yet another blow, Aadesh was diagnosed with Multiple Myoma in 2010 and he finally succumbed to it a couple of years later. Vijeta’s life came crashing down as she lost her only pillar of strength, with whom she had so bravely fought the injustices of her life.

A visibly broken Vijeta was seen in her husbands prayer meet and everybody in Bollywood seem to have hugged and consoled her for what she deserved but had not got in her life.

It seemed, her family is cursed said those who believed in such things . With so much talent and such good family history of renowned people, this girl had been through many tragedies, one after the other. Success always eluded her except for the first time.

She has two teenaged sons with Aadesh and I wish and pray that they bring her all the joys that she had always dreamt of but had never received.


Google images

Wing Haven


Google pics

Most of my adventures are not initiated by me but by Ani. I grow up on them and get surprised that I actually follow them with more passion!

One Sunday afternoon, Ani decided that we would be going for a bird watch trip in a private garden in upscale Charlotte, namely Myers Park. This trip was basically meant for our 3 year old , so that he can have some outdoor time with trees, birds, squirrels and butterflies. Once back home, I dug out the history of this house and its garden and found that it had a fascinating story to tell.Perhaps, I became more interested in the gardener than the garden!

This is about a passionate story of a young couple who got to know each other while in college and the decided to get married in the year 1927.

Elizabeth Barnhill told Eddie Clarkson on their first date in Boston, where he was working and where she was attending the New England Conservatory of Music, how she and her mother had raised white-winged doves.  After five years of courtship in seven states and one foreign country, Eddie and Elizabeth became engaged. Eddie’s father urged, “Don’t let that pretty, little auburn-haired girl get away.” Eddie proposed and drove his Essex auto to Uvalde, Texas in 1925 to give her an engagement ring. 

Excerpts from;  A Bird in the House; The Story Of Wing Haven Gardens

By Mary Norton Kratt



Edwin purchased a house on a small lot on the Myers Park, Charlotte, before he driving down to Texas to propose Elizabeth. Edwin would add 8 more of adjoining lots in the next 10 years. The 10th lot was purchased in 1956 by Eddie and 11th lot was purchased by Wing Haven foundation in 1990.

Google pics

The garden was conceived by the two lovebirds, who met in Boston in the early 1920s. Edwin Clarkson was a real estate developer from a prominent Charlotte family. Elizabeth Barnhill was a passionate gardener from Uvalde, Texas, who was in Boston to attend the New England Conservatory of Music to become a concert pianist.

Elizabeth’s childhood years in Texas were spent in watching her mother prune roses and scatter larkspur and poppy seeds on the roadsides. She had raised white doves, squirrels, a raccoon and a pig. No matter where her musical career would take her, Elizabeth knew she would always have a garden at home.

In the months before exchanging vows, Elizabeth mailed letter after letter to Edwin, each containing detailed sketches and building instructions for their house. It would be a two-story house with a raised brick terrace off the living room so she could move the piano outside for garden parties. The rooms would have large windows, to draw the outdoors in.

The wedding took place in 1927, and when the Clarksons arrived in Charlotte after honeymooning, Elizabeth insisted on going straight to the home she’d only seen in her mind’s eye. As they pulled up, she was amazed to find the house surrounded by a red clay lot with no greenery except for a few pine saplings and a scrawny willow oak. The house had met her expectations, but she was sad to not to see the garden of her imagination around it.

Google Pics

The very next day, she began digging, tilling, and planting. Hence the garden-work started in 1927. Like the house, Elizabeth designed the garden herself. She laid it out around a cross of intersecting paths that run the entire property, each one ending at a fountain or statue.

But in 1930, when she was bedridden with for a long time as she gazed out of her bedroom window, she became fascinated with the various birds flitting about in the garden. She ,then made the decision to dedicate the garden to them, prompting the addition of birdbaths, feeders and fruit plants, for birds to feed on.


To New Beginnings- 2018

The new year rang in beautifully!

Talking to kids , parents and friends and then celebrating the birthday over dinner where the waitresses sang me happy birthday was a bit embarrassing yet was fun !

Promised myself a healthy new year with 5 days a week in gym. Three years taking care of baby that I yearned so much gave me immense happiness.

Time to give something back for myself. Starting with good exercise and healthy food is something Im focusing on.

More time for writing, seeing new places and crocheting are next on the list.

                                                        Ashley River, Charleston

Life-The Amish Way

As I read more and more about Amish, the fascination and intrigue kept growing. Last week , finally I had a chance to travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania the Amish county to see the real people.

I had lots of information about Amish before I started my journey, a journey I never thought would come my way but life often gives surprises! So on a beautiful summer day in June,2017, I took Interstate 95 from New Jersey. As soon as the city ended, the beautiful green forests crept up by the highway. We had entered Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the landscape reminded me of my place, full of green foliage. The drive was about 2 and a half hours, needless to say, I didnt realize how the hours went by.

Amish are of Swiss-German ancestry who emigrated to Pennsylvania in early 18th century. They are known for simple living, plain dressing and do not use modern technology including electricity, automobiles and telephones. They value rural life, manual labor and humility, what they believe to be God’s word.They have their own one-room schools and discontinue formal education after 8th grade, at age 13 or 14. Until the children turn 16, they have vocational training from their parents, community, and the school teacher. Because they believe, education until 8th grade is enough to do what they do for a living i.e .farming, carpentry, household work and other related works within their community. The population (which doubles every 20 years) of Amish as of 2016 was 308,030.
I got to see some breathtaking views of the place , mostly Lancaster county. Taking a guided tour of a place called ,’The Amish Village’ where they have tried to show a glimpse of Amish life was amazing. Then we went into the country side entering into some of the real villages and watching Amish work in their daily routine like in the farms or just riding their bicycles to run errands. The people I saw wore their traditional dresses with women in white bonnets and men in black or straw hats. Then I visited some of the tourist shops to get some souvenirs, the place has been marketed for tourism from 20th century and I guess, it has also become a source of income for the Amish and other locals. The beauty and the integrity of the place and the people has been intact and we get to see how these people have managed to live life without the modern day technological advantages.

I enjoyed the whole day in nature’s lap and promised myself to return someday…

Here are some of the memorable pics from the Amish County.


Murder AT Delphi

From Internet

I have been wanting to write my thoughts on this horrific incident which happened a couple of months ago at Delphi, a small town about 70miles away from Indianapolis. For some reason, this case really “grabbed me”.

Two teenage girls, 12, and 13 decide to go for an evening hike when their school is off for a day. The girls are dropped off near Monon High Bridge (An abandoned railroad bridge active from 1897-1956) at around noon by a relative and a time is fixed for picking them up later in the day. The girls do not show up at the designated time and are informed to police as missing by dusk. Their bodies are found next day less than a mile from the bridge on a private property, in the park.

Interestingly, in one of the girls phone , a video is found which is later identified to be of the suspect. So now, police has a picture and a video/voice of the suspect. The girl who was brave enough to capture the video is dead but the killer is still at large.Not many cases where they have voice and a picture but after about more than 1000 tips and the reward money going above $100,000 , this seems absolutely scary that the killer is out and about in public even now.

NB- Above picture was taken by one of the victims from her phone.

One of the other reasons , why this news caught my attention is how police has been dealing with it, its been more than 3 months, they have not released any information as to what were the cause and nature of injury to the girls or for that matter whether they have been sexual or non-sexual in nature. I cannot help thinking about this news item, if it had happened in India!

While , I keep the little girls in my prayers, I learn a valuable lesson- Never ever leave your child alone.

No, there is nothing called a ‘Safe Place’.There never was.

                                                                  Google pictures

NB- Latest picture sketch released by Police in July 2017

Badass Kangana

Google images

Idea to write something about the gutsy Kangana came when I read another post which said that the recent chat show on her  by Karan Johar was staged by Karan himself or the TV channel for their TRPs and that if Karan was indeed offended on Kangana calling him a ‘Movie Mafia’ and ‘King of Nepotism’, then he would have edited those scenes. The writer went over to say it was all for money and TRP and that Kangana deserved a 4th National award for her drama on Coffee with Karan.

Well, before the above mentioned writer could even blink an eye, Karan, opened his big mouth and said that, Kangana should leave Bollywood if she does not like it and that she has been playing the ‘Victim’ and ‘Women’cards all along her life in Bollywood. Kangana , as usual, gave him a slap across his face by saying that , she was now playing the Badass card and that Bollywood is not a small studio that he has inherited from his father and it belongs to everyone who wants to work here and she slammed up the whole fight by saying , now that he has adopted a daughter by surrogacy, he should be teaching her all the cards.

What I want to say is that if it had been a staged show, the later spat would not have happened. Kangana has come a long way , from rebelling against an over-strict dad , from living in a small city, to the struggling times  in Delhi to the wrong men of Bollywood, who of course she kicked out on time, and the sleazy actors who had a good time with her but chickened out when she wanted her relationship to be public. She has beaten all odds to be here where she is today. With 3 national awards and several back to back box office hits, she has proved that she is a hard working,honest and confident woman what we all should become. Sooner than later. She does not want to work with any of the Khans because she knows now scripts are written around her role and that’s a huge feat for a female actor in Bollywood.

She comes across as emotional, confident,brash at times but otherwise soft spoken girl who will treat you good until you rub her on the wrong side. You are a dead meat then….she will go tooth and nail to kick your butt and will win for sure because she had been nice to you while you were thinking of taking her on a ride.Look at her vocabulary now and you cannot believe that she has really worked hard on it. The way she trashes the mean and selfish people is amazing and the way she has risen in Bollywood without a godfather is unbelievable. People say she used Aditya Pancholi and Adyayan Suman. I hope they are able to help themselves first before helping anyone else.

Kangana Ranaut….way to go girl. Kick ass, badass, slut, witch….whatever they call you, you are a winner all the way!

And Im exasperated ,when I see women not supporting women….anyways.

Here wishing you a 4th one soon.



Its just a break….

Catching up with life, crochet, cooking, baby, hubs, friends, shopping….

Soaking up life….

Will be back shortly…..wait for me…


Valentines’ 2017


It was a lonely Valentine this year as hubs was traveling but not very lonely because I got to spend it with my baby. Just me and him , and his naughty antics which would make me insane on any other given day. But I enjoyed it on this special day as I remembered the time when I carried him for those not-so-enjoyable days, but overwhelmingly emotional days, when each day I would pray for him to be safe, growing inside me.

A mother-son relationship is simple and straight. Its about love and nothing else.

So we enjoyed the day with a trip to the park, some cake and ice-cream in the evening. Because , sweets aint a regular thing at our place.

Hubs had been calling us since morning, not a usual stuff. I’m sure , he missed his valentine son too!

So, celebrating it over this weekend , we and our little bundle , who is otherwise called a devil….

Happy New Birthday

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Hubby sneaked in a cake to be lit at 12 am sharp. Son didn’t like it much, he just hated the color enough not to even taste it,discarding it at the first  sight! But he insisted on lighting the candles every time we got the cake out from the fridge , for next 2 days till it lasted!

Having a vacation courtesy husband’s off from work since Christmas. He is looking after the baby and I’m on a roll, doing my stuff!

Good beginning to the new year, hope it stays this way….all my life.

One of my friends husband wished me- Happy New Birthday…( happy new year+Happy Birthday) Lol

Wishing you all good luck and good health in 2017 and all your life.

Dangal- Movie Review

Dangal- Movie Poster

Dangal- Movie Poster

That gut-wrenching soul-chilling scream of the father to his daughter when she is about to lose the qualifying match once again, will always echo in my mind.


And it is my take home message.

Though I do not identify with the gender stereotypes shown in the film because I come from a fairly gender neutral society but I realised how fortunate the girls from North East are. And that we should make the most of it (by pursuing our unconventional dreams and passions) because we do not have to fight with the society for the choices we make in our lives.

Since Aamir Khan competes only with himself, it was hard to pick any negatives from the film. I could only feel that this movie contradicts his earlier one ‘Three Idiots’ in terms of how much a parent should interfere in their children’s dreams for their future.

The newcomers have got the best of out of it, learning the art of perfection from the master himself. The charm, enthusiasm and freshness of the Fatima and Sanya will remain in people’s mind for long.To be able to portray the characters as wrestlers would not have been an easy task. It’s a treat to watch the passion and thrill in the girls’ eyes every time they are onscreen. I particularly liked the character of the cousin brother who sticks with them till the end and isn’t it lovely to have a brother who stands by you in all your fights.

Its normal for Aamir Khan to make a brilliant movie but what next…!

Ab Perfection ko kaise improve kiya jaye?


Shot by- AR

Shot by- AR

The first thoughts which come along in the mind with the word is a flickering candle or a lamp flame. In a dark night , just one flame is enough to lit up the room, to get everything done from cooking to reading. When I was young, I clearly remember studying in kerosene lamps whenever there was an outage , which was more than often but we never complained.

With the invention of inverters and generators,the usage of candles and lamps became less frequent. I don’t remember the time when it became a fashion to have candle lit dinners. Candles and their small yet meaningful flames lit across Jantar Mantar around the time when ‘Rang De Basanti’ was released. If I remember correctly, this trend started only after the film had a similar sequence. For every single time when people wanted to voice their opinion against the system, Jantar Mantar would be lit up in candle flames. Whether the issue was resolved or not , the mass had a way for their say.

Candles remind me of certain Diwali nights when diyas would get over or the oil would all be consumed before the night, when I opened a pack of them and put them across all windows and doors. They are less messy than diyas for sure. Birthdays are another occasions when you hunt for candles and blowing them in a room filled with lots of noisy friends and guests, hold special memories.

In terms of people, flames are always referred to ex! May be because , flames extinguish too fast. Although ex-flame always refers to an interesting, torrid and passionate affair even when it is remembered in a past tense!

The other flames that warm the heart and the entire surroundings are the ones that burn in the fireplaces during winters. Winters that are colder than a 1 degree or even lesser. I could understand the concept of a fireplace only in Shillong where each of the room has one and it has to be lit in the evening if one does not want to shiver in cold all through the night. Since India does not have the system of centralized cooling or heating, the indigenous methods like fireplaces work efficiently in colder places.

Last but not the least, each of the 10 evenings spent in Goa , 2 years back, were worth every single penny I spent on that trip. Thanks to the candle lit evenings which started as early as 6pm and carried on until mid-nights. Those wonderful nights are the one of the few extraordinary moments, I would wish to get  back to again and again…..and again!

Goa- 2014

Goa- 2014





Because I was not allowed to have a boyfriend in school and college, I had quite an emotionally stable life. Come to think of it, not being in a relationship had been a bliss actually. But then, I had my share of crushes so to say. This guy, lets name him ‘M’ ,was in my class with same elective as mine so we almost attended all our classes together except the practicals. Even though , having an affair was a strict no-no from mom, I thought , having a crush was not a big deal as it did not have any strings and also mom would never come to know about it!

Slowly but steadily, the crush was getting harder and one of my closest friend decided to take some charge. She asked one of the other guys to ask M if he had a girlfriend and that I liked him. I was not very happy with this situation now because this was being forced on me and I was kinda happy in my cocoon and really didn’t want to know if M was interested in me or not. Also, M was quite oblivious of my feelings for him and I didn’t want to jeopardize , whatever minimum talking terms that we were on.

Anyways, the news reached me in a week , that M had a girlfriend already, back in his hometown and hence no further questions were asked. It would take quite a few days for me to come out of coma and I felt terribly guilty. Guilty of god knows what….! For the rest of the semesters, I chose not to tell any of my friends about anything personal and of course the equations with M changed for the rest of the years in the university. I avoided to look at M or talk to him anytime during the classes and non-class times that we classmates would get together.

About 12 years later I met almost all my school mates and college-mates on FB except M. It would take another 9 years for M to get into FB.

Just a couple of months back, one day I was looking through the probable friends FB suggests and when I found M’s profile in it, I found myself smiling. Since there were no pictures in the profile, I sent a message asking if he was the same guy that was in my college. In the reply , M just said yes and that he was roll number 54. Well, after a few weeks , he uploaded some pictures of him and his family on his account for all to see.

I was horrified to see what had become of a handsome lad in a span of 20 years. Here was a middle aged stout man with a beer belly ,his hair was all orange because of henna and I assumed it must have all gone grey and I was staring at a face which looked about 20 years more older than our age. I could not sleep that night…wondering about what must have gone through his life that he grew old so fast. Then I wondered , if I have also grown that old….then I also wondered why was I wondering about him. I had always maintained that age was just a number and its our attitude which actually matters but a look at M told me , may be it was not the case. I remember seeing him as a 20 year old guy and I saw him now 20 years later, I was ready to see some changes but not such drastic ones. I realized, if we abuse ourselves by smoking or drinking or by taking too much stress , it does take away years out of our lives. One has to keep fit and make sure we rally against nature by staying fit and happy.

M looked old to me that day and I felt as if I was looking at some ancient temple in Bali. In a flash, I was in the morning classes when I used to look at him during the first class of the day and felt cheerful for the rest of the week!! As I smiled and remembered the old times,I  took my jacket out for my evening 5 km walk.

Bali- Google images

Bali- Google images




Small word , big responsibility , bigger repercussions if broken.

The only people who would carry on believing in us even when we break their trust, is immediate blood family. Rest everyone will, at the most will give you a second chance and then would either leave or chuck you out of their lives.

Trust is a huge virtue , being ‘true’ is the biggest portion of it. When young, we are being told to be truthful, honest and keep our promises. When we grow up, apart from these we also need to know the unspoken words and sentiments of the people we love, lest we hurt them unknowingly. This get complicated in today’s times.

A vast sea of promises, emotions and words play games between two people. It is up to the hard work of these people if they choose to go that extra mile to keep their friends, mates or partners happy. One of my friends casually mentioned a few years back, that its all about performance, professionally and personally too. Until then I had not known the value of the performance in personal life. I took all my relationships a bit casually and I didn’t know, I could work hard on it.

For me, all my relationships were equal and I didn’t treat anyone differently. I believed in equality but little did I know that each person is different and they ask for different things. Some need space, others security. Some are vocal about their feeling other are not and one need to know them better through their actions. Some would make you feel special and expect the same back, some would be just plain honest and simple, others would be diplomatic still be honest.

Trust in all cases cannot be broken, for it leads to a damage that cannot be mended ever. I still believe , if the core of our heart is honest and we make some extra effort to know the other person inside out, we would always see that thin line which we should not never cross.

Respect the trust that the other person has put on you. Leave before you have to break it.

Google Images

Google Images


Omaha Shot by- AR

Shot by- AR

The only time when things were urgent was when I was leaving the house, for the second time. This time , I had an air ticket to San Francisco. Unlike last time ,I was not scared of anyone to find me out in the city. I knew , as soon as I would check in the flight, I will become ever more elusive for rest of his life.

The scheduled flight time was 0245 hours and I had stayed at one of my friend’s house the previous evening. I had left him a letter saying that I was leaving the house. It was with a copy to police station and my lawyer. I had informed my kids many weeks prior to that. I didn’t get any call from him while I was at my friend’s house the whole evening. He always took time to take a decision and probably he gave it a night before he could decide to take any action against me. Little did he know that one night was enough for me to move onto the other side of the world.

For me that evening and that night until the aircraft started taxing on the runway, was the most urgent night of my entire life. I still remember, when I was walking towards the boarding gate , I met one of my trainees on the way and exchanged pleasantries with him. I urgently needed the TIME to just zoom past and the aircraft to be in air at 35000 ft.

That urgency, I felt that day still gives me goosebumps…and I have never needed it anymore after that uneventful night.

California Shot by- AR

Shot by- AR




Google Images

Google Images

I realized the concept of waiting only when I read ,’ Waiting for Godot’ pretty late in life. I’m sure most of us don’t even know that such a philosophy exists.

So this means that all we do in our lives is, wait for something to happen. It does not necessarily mean that we don’t live in the present but that we always always wait for something to happen and focus all our energies towards it. For example in my case, first I was waiting for my soulmate to arrive in my life, when he did come, I was waiting for us to get married, when we got married I waited for the baby to arrive, then I wanted to move to US, now I want to get the green card, besides I’m waiting for my kid to join school so that a I can start working. Probably when we get the green card we will want to buy a house of our own and then move into a bigger house, simultaneously I would want the kid to take up a sport or a hobby as soon as he starts with his schooling. I would also be waiting for my older kids to finish their studies and and then wait for them to come to US to finish their doctorates or work for a good multinational company, then probably I would want them to get settled in life. Meanwhile, once I’m settled with a good job, I would like to get involved in a charity and sometime between all of these I would want my parents to travel to US  and live with us for a few months.

Phew….that was just a summary of the major things that I wait for in my life to happen, I cannot even talk about the smaller things! Samuel Beckett expresses this concept of life in his play called- Waiting for Godot. Though I had to read it several times over as it is difficult to get to the meanings that writer wants us to know, nevertheless, I did finally!

Why do we have to consistently wait for something in our lives? Is it because that is what is called ‘Life’ or is it because we cannot really focus on something which is happening in the current moment? Or is it because we believe that better things happen only in future and not in the present?

How would it be if present could become the best moment of our life and we do not have to wait for a future moment to be happy?

Highway 1 Shot by- AR

Highway 1
Shot by- AR




The Rockies at Denver Shot by- AR

Daring is someone who is adventurous, brave, undaunted and carries heroism in his blood. Daring is braving icy cold weather when you have just a tee and shorts on. Daring is appearing for an exam without any studies, daring is taking on a project which you know nothing about, daring is bringing up kids as a single parent and daring is looking after your old parents rest of their lives. Daring is standing up for your own self and also others. Daring is kicking off your job when your self-respect is on stake. Daring is forgiving an old friend and initiating the lost friendship all over again.

We have been daring in our lives atleast a couple of times. The dare increases with age when confidence of losing decreases or rather does not matter any more. As we grow older, we realise that we need to be more brave and let our indomitable spirit lead us.

So many times we are pushed down by our own perceptions of things and other times it is the unwritten laws of society that we so idiotically follow. Only when we cross our lines of courage and determination, we realise that its actually boundless, our body and spirits. These limits that are mostly self- created or by our family. The key is to know that each one of us is capable of touching the sky regardless of our family background, class, gender, country or education for that matter.

Daring is letting go and beginning a new life, even when we don’t know whats in store for us.





Rekha And Amitabh

Google Images

Google Images

Of all that I have read and heard about this couple, it seems like they did have a chemistry between them, a great one, in fact. Rekha was infatuated, in love and wanted him all for herself, but Amitabh opted out. I don’t not think he would have confided to even Rekha about his feelings so declaring it to the world is out of question. Or may be he did and later on backed out. It seems for someone who wanted to have a good reputation and class and was so ambitious, having an affair would have been a crazy decision. May be Rekha was just his ego-trip….or something to spice up his life as with Jaya it was becoming kind of complex. It may also be possible that Amitabh didn’t even listen to his own self in this matter and that’s probably why he can be seen so discreetly quiet about the whole thing until today.

That way it was easier for him to save his marriage and the family. Rekha, on the other hand ,to some extent and more than one ways has acknowledged the love between them but has stopped short of saying anything in particular. That saves a lot of explanation for Amit and Jaya really!!

If you ask me, I would love to see Amitabh Bachchan kneeling down to Rekha and asking her to marry him when he is say 90. Telling her that he missed her and he should not have done it. That also means that I think Amitabh did have feelings for her but just didn’t have enough courage to get out of his marriage. Which was okay in those times. But I would love to see them together sometime in real life too.

One way they  gave  us the most enigmatic love story of Bollywood, and in others they lost some of the best moments of their lives that could have been…

After a long time, listening to this song.


Winterset- Madison Shot by AR

                                                          Winterset- Madison
                                                                 Shot by AR

It was not long before I realized , there were no more birthdays cakes for me. In fact, out of those 17 long years, I remember, only the initial few on which I got them.

When kids grew up, they started saving some money to buy me a chocolate and when I started working, my colleagues would get a cake for me.Future years would go on to make up for all my lost birthdays though. As later on my kids would even save some money to get me a cake and some gifts. I still remember, a card made by my son which said it was for the best mommy of the world.

But father of my kids who was also supposed to be my friend, lover and life partner, never cared. A few years down the line in the marriage, I also stopped baking cakes for him on his birthdays.  I could not care less too. Of course, I never wished him a happy birthday, I mean, are you crazy! Kids also never did anything special for him and his birthday would pass off just like any other normal day of our lives. So, after several years of cake-less birthdays , on one birthday evening , he got a cake for himself.

It makes me think now, how mean a person could become when he gets a birthday cake for himself but never for someone who he shares the house with. Can anything get worse than this in a marriage. It also makes me think, if my friends a,colleagues and kids were not there in my life, I would have died of depression and loneliness.

If given a chance again, I would follow Michelle Obama’s mantra,’ When they go low, we go high’. I would probably buy him a big black forest cake now. That’s a better way deal with someone who belittles you and has never appreciated you. What do you say!

Winterset- Madison

                                                                Winterset- Madison



Sunset – Texas (Shot- AR)

And I thought I was a conventional girl. I grew up in a lower middle class family back in 80’s and my parents were both working. To be able to instill middle class values in my system , mom didn’t have to do much. It was a campus life and everyone else in it had the same set of values: middle- class. The school too didn’t have a dynamic population and we were cropped to think alike. In fact, I still remember there was just one girl in the entire school who wore skirts above her knees and dated boys. Until 12th grade my hair was cut in a bob lest I spend more time in front of the mirror than studies. But once I went to college, which was a residential university away from home,I grew my hair into a blunt. That is the only adventure I did in college. Mom still used to style my clothes and send me packets of them every 6 months. No, I never had any complaints about my dresses, In fact after 25 years of school, a classmate told me I was the most well-dressed girl of the neighborhood….phew…!

Okay , back to the topic. So, back in college,I thought myself to be a pretty conventional girl of 90’s. Skirt hemlines were never above knees. Mom had put strict restrictions about dating guys and back then it was never the ‘IT THING’. So , I never dated anyone, either in school or college. Of course , I had my share of crushes , but then they just remained crushes all throughout those years. Classes and hostel, hostel and back to classes was the routine and in holidays it used to be Granny’s house which was at about 10 kms distance.

I was the only one in the entire hostel who had a bicycle and I used to go to my classes in that while everyone else used to walk down. I didn’t think it was being bold and but thought I was just being pampered by my parents for living so far away from them. I think ,I always had some extra perks because of the extra income that Mom was earning for the family.

Now there were a couple of groups of girls in our hostel who were fashionably way ahead of me in terms of dressing sense but even they didn’t wear jeans or trousers or shorts skirts. These particular girls were more attractive in all terms and had no qualms about short term friendships or relationships with boys. Now-a-days it has a name -‘Friends- with- benefits’. I must say that I was not aware of such things then and that these girls were way ahead of my intelligence too.

My perception about myself was good. My grades were in between 7 and 8 and I think I was an average student and good character ed girl so to say. So, when parents decided that they had found a good match for me at 21, I was okay with it because I always obeyed them and I was told that I could continue my studies after marriage which of course didn’t happen. I would realize much later in my life that at that time of my life, I was neither a career-minded girl nor a strong- willed one to have refused to them lest I would hurt them.

Anyway, so much so for next 17 years. Then, I saw this conventional girl kicking her bad-ass marriage and a secure home with kids to free herself from all the shackles which were pulling her down all these years. Finally, I go out and find myself a guy and tell him, we are good to go. For marriage that is. So there I was, out in the world, once divorced and remarried and living according to my wishes finally.

All these years, I still thought I was a conventional girl, in terms of values that I held, the principles that I followed and of course the short term and long term decisions that I made every single day.

My dressing sense still remained simple, no hemlines above knees, no friends-with-benefits kinda relationships and a law abiding person at all times. So, when someone recently told me I was a bold person and not a conventional one, really gave me goosebumps. After a couple of sleepless nights, I finally realized that it is actually how something is perceived individually and boldness or any other characteristic for that matter does not have a contained meaning and can vary how it is perceived by an individual.

My perception of bold was different until today and I realized how one needs courage to be able to break free of a marriage.Especially in India, to be able to kick a marriage and fulfill your wishes is considered to be bold. Nobody dares it for society has unwritten rules and everyone meekly follows them however unhappy, discontent or sad it makes them. People may resort to extra-marital affairs but would not dare to get out of it. Now, that is what I don’t believe in.

I’m a conventional girl, I told you!

Elkhorn- Nebraska Shot by -AR

Elkhorn- Nebraska
                                                                                                                                                    Shot by -AR


Elkhorn- Nebraska Shot by -AR

Elkhorn- Nebraska
                                                                                 Shot by -AR

A million dollar word…Silence…!

Most of the times, it saves you a lot of energy, time and other expenses. But when you need to, you need to just get it out of your mouth and your system.

Haven’t we innumerable times vowed to ourselves that we would remain silent and would not utter one single word? But then, haven’t we found ourselves all fucked up from inside when we just hear all non sense and still do not fight back with words? Personally, I would not label myself a chatterbox or a talkative person. Having said that, I also am not a quiet and all-of-it-will-pass person. Till some years back, I was a no-nonsense person but now I have graduated to a-selective-fight-for-cause-only person. That saves me a lot of headache. Initial few minutes are difficult though, but then if we try a bit harder, its doable 😉 , being silent, that is.

Okay, so is it wiser to be silent or to be lets name….rise to the occasion? I believe, it really is better to keep quiet when the discussion gets going towards argument. I have started not to believe in defending myself unless its a dire situation. More often than not arguing has all the chances of taking it to another level ie., heated arguments.  Is it really worth it, spending so much energy and time on something when we can instead make use of our time in doing something more worthwhile. Even with a family member and a loved one…I have started believing that silence makes peace and does not let things go out of control.

Having said that, I must say that once in a while like in a couple of weeks though, you must speak up, logically though and for a reasonable cause. So that people wont take your silence for granted and think that things do not matter to you anymore.

So, be silent, listen more, see even more and observe in abundance!

PS- Silence should not lead to miscommunication though, stay careful.

Lake Tahoe Summer of 2013

Lake Tahoe
                                                                         Summer of 2013


  1. strong and barely controllable emotion.
    “a man of impetuous passion”








Historical Fiction

Realistic Movies

Kishore Kumar

Chicken Barbequed


Tea Assam






His first birthday  just after the month we had met. I didnt know what to do, so I asked one of my friends. She suggested a cake and a bouquet of flowers should do. I finalized the order , a chocolate cake and a bunch of 50 red roses. I made sure it was delivered right at the stroke of midnight. I got a call back a little later. He had to lie to his folks about the sender, nonetheless everyone lapped it up and were amazed at the huge bunch of flowers. Thankfully , no one had a sixth sense! He loved it, he told me next week in person.

Would I do it again? 5 years down the lane, I paid a surprise visit to him in his office at Omaha, Nebraska. Took a cab, collected a huge cake and a bunch of yellow lilies and took off to his office, with the baby in my other arm. He was surprised and could not stop blushing! His colleagues welcomed me in the office and we all went to have a birthday lunch together.

His birthday is round the corner again…Im planning a bigger surprise this time….shhh!






New Beginnings Shot- Selfie

New Beginnings
Shot- Selfie

To grow old together with the person you love, admire,look up to and most of all respect, is the ultimate dream.

We have been together since last 5 years, which actually seems just like a year or so. Courting years were marred by troubled marriages on either sides but we sustained it all by staying together as much as we could. Staying together ,like all the possible hours of the day except while being at work, really helped get us that feeling of togetherness. It also helped us build the trust factor for each other despite the havoc s we were personally going through for all the years.

That determination of staying together no matter what , brought us so close that when it was time to leave as work demanded, I almost broke down. But then, those 2  years of togetherness would supply a lot of comfort and would further provide me a solid state of integrity. The never ending six months that we stayed apart saw us get back together atleast three times in total. We, silently decided, this was not the way we were supposed to be. Traveling across the country to be with each other was taking a toll on both of us. Moving in, was the next intelligent step. So there I was, chucking my job of 7 years to be with someone I knew only for 2 years. But, it would be soon that we would realise the importance being together. The year, that we spent together, yet away from our individual homes, away from the comforts of known surroundings and people, in a different continent made us get more closer than ever. That one single decision made us realize the importance of how much we could sacrifice for each other, just to be together. That also told us, in its own unique way that we were incomplete without each other, cliche of sorts, but true for our story.

Togetherness, in its own beautiful way has made our story. So the message out there is, go for it, if your hearts screams for it.

Make your own destiny with your beloved. You will know it how it turns out to be, only if you try it.







Sunrise- Dallas Shot- AR

                                                                           Sunrise- Dallas
                                                                                 Shot- AR

Need it every once in a while especially with a toddler at home. Last 3 months were super hectic as we were relocating to US. Hubby came first to arrange for house and stuff before we arrive lest we are troubled. But the pain of separation for both, the wife and tHE son was much more than expected. Nonetheless, we roughed it out and were worn out after the journey across the continents.

To add to it was the missed flight at Heathrow and then to top it up was delayed baggage once we reached back. Yes the entire baggage was left at London, talk about the efficiency of airlines. Shopping for everything, jet lag, the toddler creating chaos, body ache and the need to rewind for the entire loop from last 3 months was necessary.

It took a whole 10 days to unwind, recharge and rejuvenate. Few shopping trips for the new home, some extra long hours of sleep, and extra cups of good old Assam tea helped. Hubby took care of the little devil with some extra trips to playground so that I was not hassled with his tantrums.

And I’m all set…for the American Dream!

Sunset by home Shot- AR

Sunset by home
Shot- AR




Love it, when its full, love it when its new and love it when its half…. The shine of it when glitters over the sea and over the silver sand is plain awesome. It lights up the whole ocean and forces us to rejoice in the wonders of it.

Of late , have not got enough time to recuperate in the lap of nature but I still remember when I would sit in the balcony on a full moon light and immerse myself in the silver glow of it. Taking a walk on a full moonlit night by the beaches of Goa is ethereal.

Its amazing how moon has become a part of our lives through folklore, legends, festivals and dreams. Its imperative that we give so much importance to moon as it is an integral part of cosmos and more importantly of our planet. We see it every day and night barring a few hours and brilliance of its glow is unique and cosmic.

So, when I see the moon gleaming its shine from my window ,down to my bed, I only get mesmerized and wish it could stay longer.Its beauty is in its constant-ness, though everything in this world is bound to leave or go away, we can bask in the glory of a lifelong relationship with the moon.


Google images

Google images

Some people are perennially confused about the decisions they have to take in life. Some are momentarily confused while others remain firm on their decisions, having clearly seen the outcome of their decisions long before they make it. I come in the third category, although I make my decisions spontaneously but I do not regret them at all. I make peace with the bad outcomes beforehand , if any and move ahead with them. Most often than not, I tend to be happy , more so because I have had already made up my mind not to fuss or sulk even if things do not go my way.

I guess, my secret of making decisions promptly is listening to my heart rather than the mind. I do get confused about which flavor of ice-cream to choose or which shade of red lipstick to apply but then these are insignificant issues. I, then take 2 or 3 flavors of ice-cream scoops and choose a pink lipstick instead!

Some of us are confused about whether we have gotten over our ex or not . They believe they do, but then, invariably they mention and think about their exes in their everyday activities, conversations and often write about them in their blogs too!

I think its an unnecessary exercise to keep your past in your present especially if there is no hope of getting back to it at any point of time say if the ex has been really bitter about you and left in an awfully disgusted manner from your life.Why are people confused about important things like life, at all?  Don’t we all know that whatever happens , happens for good and the best way to move ahead is to look for a clean slate and begin all over again!

Being confused also states a vital fact about oneself – that one has not been taught to be firm while growing up and that one has fears of losing things and hence is scared to make firm decisions. Well, time to adapt because , its the survival of the fittest after all.

All the best!

Caught and shot- AR

Caught and shot- AR



Well, I consider myself to be obsessed with freedom, straightforward communication and honesty. I have never come across anybody like me but yes, everyone, I’m sure is obsessed with something or other and if you aint then you lack spirit of life. Excessive obsession when hinders normal life, is termed as OCD but who cares as long as one is enjoying his life! Being obsessive about a certain thing in life gives you reason to live, to persuade one-self and to relish the joys of achieving that perfection which one craves for.

Some people are obsessed about health, some about neatness, some fuss about their loved ones and some really worry too much about being organised. Some women I have met, have been meticulously obsessed with keeping the house in a very certain way like pillows and cushions upright, tumblers sparkling clean, beds made 24/7 with curtains drawn or pulled apart at specific times of the day, some of them have been crazily involved in the lives of their husbands and kids (even when they are in their late teens).Some are crazy fashion addicts as they have to dress in a certain way for every occasion formal or informal.

Obsessions are involuntary thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in our minds. These obsessive thoughts are often distracting and when you turn them into a routine behavior and ritual and are considered harmful, they become compulsion and they then classify themselves as Obsessive Compulsive Behavior.

There is a line between healthy behavioral routine and an obsessive behavioral routine and we need to identify it so that we do not get trapped into a vicious cycle of obsessiveness which is alarming for us and people around us. Although the behavioral pattern of each individual is different and may have massive margins of variations, say for example, cleanliness for one person could be just sweeping or vacuuming once in a week but for another it would be like every time he sees dust on something he feels a need to wipe it clean. Both are healthy habits but it becomes dangerous when the later would put aside important jobs and would spend major time in cleaning the dust because he just would not be able to concentrate on other chores until he gets rid of the dust. To me, that is obsession.

Also,one of the major things that qualifies as obsession and is totally unhealthy for our mind and body is the inability to get over an ex. When one stalks, thinks, imagines so much about the ex that he does not live his current life, its obsession….dangerous obsession!

Obsession is good when it is used positively to get a goal in life such as a career goal or a health goal or simply when a goal for a social cause is set in one’s life. For me, I’m obsessive about having greens every day, going for hikes once a week, going real out of the way to help friends and setting day-to-day goals to get a most productive day.

Okay I missed it, some people are obsessed with food and others making money…!

PS- I’m obsessed about Mathew Mcconaughey and that’s because he gives 100 % to his work. He inspires me to work harder for everything that I undertake.




Sorry….Its not so hard

Small word but the most powerful one to make or break relationships, personal or professional. One word ,which if you genuinely feel , would change you forever towards some event or person or you.

Sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes we don’t, in either case when things go wrong one of the persons need to step back so that the relationship is not damaged. Most of us are caught up in out sweet little ego trips and are unable to render an apology, whether or not it is due. Over  a period of time and experience I have also realized that people forgive and forget easily if you apologize even when it was their mistake. Most of the times , its our ego which stops us from bending down but then why not if the person is an integral part of our life.

Sometimes I do remember the people I have lost because I burnt the bridges after crossing them. At times I miss them and wished I had apologized , they would have still been there in my life….

Life is short and crisp….no time for any ego trips really, lets just try to hold all the good people rest of our lives.

sorry handwritten




Dramatic is Rakhi Sawant and the show called Big Boss. Dramatic is when you think you are are normally overwhelmed at some development in your life but the other person says,’ Cut the crap’!

Dramatic is when you have to be formal at some event or to someone, forcefully. Dramatic is, all the Indian soaps along with their soul stirring music. Dramatic is when you have to cook up a story to get work done in government departments in India. Dramatic is when you have to explain something which has not happened in real life but you have to because your boss will not sanction your leave otherwise.

Drama is bollywood movies which makes our lives so colorful.Come to think of it, without drama , life is lifeless and almost impossible.On this note, lets watch this one peppy number…Parineeti is one of my favorite new gen actor.

Broken ties

Aai Google images

                                    Google images

The first time Aai came to stay with us was for 2 months in January 2016. Because her son had stayed out all these years after school she never could stay with him.It had been more than 15 years that she had ever stayed with her son for so long. her son would come over to his mother a couple of times in a year or on a special occasion like diwali but had never stayed for more than a week. Aai longed to live with her last borne and hence as soon as her son arrived in India after a year of staying abroad , he sent for her. this time it was special, he had been blessed with a baby boy and Aai was more than ecstatic.

Aai was not keeping too well this year. she kept sleeping at odd hours and was tired all the time. she would not get into the kitchen for any purpose even to make goodies for her son nonetheless she tried playing with her grandson. Later on she would know that she was misdiagnosed for thyroid and was taking wrong medicines for a long time. after a couple of weeks of staying at her son’s place, she confided that in spite of her health, she liked staying in Hyderabad. She also started to confide in me. The bond between two women had started to begin and we would sometimes talk late into the night. Most of the times I would be asking for her secret recipes and the ones that her son loved while he grew up, sometimes the conversation would lead to people. people who were no more there in Aai’s life, her husband, her previous daughter-in-laws. Aai had 2 sons and unfortunately both were divorced and fortunately had remarried. She said at times she got concurrent nightmares about the divorces of her sons . She confessed her fear of her sons being cursed for their marriages.I would quietly would listen to the never ending tales of her and would encourage her to get out for morning and evening walks more often. She mentioned that she had one major regret in her life, that her younger son would not share much with her unlike her older one. I attributed this trait of her husband to the fact he had mostly stayed away from the house after school. Aai said , her son had been seeing his first wife for more than 5 years but he never mentioned it to her or anyone until they were ready for marriage. Although there were disagreements in the house about his choice of girl but eventually all agreed. Aai said , she had told everybody that she does not want to lose her son and its better that everyone accepts the girl and it really does not matter even if she was from another religion, caste, creed or state. Their family belonged to the upper caste in Maharashtra, the Patils, the warriors from the clan of Shivaji and were staunch believers of caste system since time immemorial. It was actually a matter of great disgust to everyone in the family that her would-be daughter-in-law was from another religion and caste. Somehow the family gulped it down with a pinch of salt as they didnt want to lose their son who they already saw so very less.

Aai’s health and the bond between us started getting better, she started confiding more in me. It seems , she never liked her son’s first wife for she dressed like a man and had no mannerisms of a daughter -in-law. She was totally overweight and would do nothing about her health. Aai also mentioned how she would make beef and meat disrespecting their family values of being vegetarians and that she would argue with her son about how she cannot leave eating meat ever. Aai resented these arguments between her son and his wife and knew she could not help the bitterness everyone in her family was facing whenever her son and his wife were visiting them. Aai resented the fact that her daughter-in-law never put Bindi or Sindoor or wear a Saree even on festive occasions and that she was always in salwar or jeans even if people came visiting them. On their first diwali after the wedding,Aai said her daughter-in-law went to sleep at 6 in the evening when it was time for lighting the diyas. All the relatives who came to wish for diwali were surprised why the bride was sleeping on the eve of diwali.

One time, Aai had been visiting them along with her older son. Both the sons were sleeping in the hall on a makeshift bed as Aai was asleep on the double bed in the master bedroom. Her daughter-in-law was supposed to arrive by an early morning train from Mumbai. When Aai got up in the morning she was shocked to see the daughter-in-law sleeping with her husband even while he was asleep with his older brother. ‘She does not have any sense , she is not of good character’ , Aai had concluded to me.

It was very difficult to comprehend why would someone hurt everyone in the family at one go. Why someone would or could slap their spouse, or even why they would carry on their ego trip when it was supposed to be a love marriage. Sometimes, when there are no answers , time decides to deal with the unwanted things. And so whatever had happened, did happen for good, I told Aai.

Aai visited us again this month for we were traveling abroad to settle down once for all. She looked good healthwise and mindwise. She told me to take care of her son and grandson. As I held her in a tight embrace, she got all her answers and I was content to see her equally content face.

Peace Google images

     Google images


Hogback Covered Bridge

                                                                 Hogback Covered Bridge

To be able to do the things that you love to do…is pleasure to me. People may have different pleasure depending upon their habits or hobbies.Habits like getting up late or smoking etc are not good for health yet they give pleasure to one who is habituated.

Come to think of it, pleasure by itself may only last for a few moments but it creates a good and lasting mood and memory of that good time which motivates us to look ahead with zest. Now a days with mostly hectic weeks ahead, we look forward for a pleasurable weekend which would unwind us.Sometimes even a good coffee gives us that break!

For me painting, writing, going for a 6am walk , reading a historical fiction book or having a phone conversation with an old friend is pleasure. Pleasure is driving Mom and Dad around for their regular errands or just cooking them a good meal when at home. Taking Riaan to the park or simply for a mid afternoon walk when he can go crazy running around is pleasurable! Pleasure is spending a week in a shack, losing track of time in the beaches of Goa.

Of course , nothing can beat the pleasures of grooving in a night club leaving everything back at home. But that’s been a while and Im not very hopeful of those good ol’ days coming back anytime soon!

Nonetheless, I find out something pleasurable to do every single day because life is short and we ought to relish every moment of it.

Goa Shot: Ani

                                                                                    Shot: Ani



The most amazing things in the sky- Clouds of course after Sun, Moon and stars. But if sky was not there we would not be able to see Sun and the stars? Isn’t it? May be not because to us what seems like a container for sun, moon, stars and the clouds, is actually a void. But the beautiful way these are seen to us is all because of this nothing called sky.

So this post is about the amazing clouds which unlike Sun, stars and Moon change their shapes every moment They are different in every part of the world. There are cotton clouds in California where I lived for more than 2 years, almost clear skies in Mid west America and grey ones in Hawaii. In India, the clouds change as per the seasons. You would hardly find any during the heat wave in the northern part of India and its almost the same in western and southern India. The east however is different, the rain clouds come rushing every now and then barring in January.


Having lived in the North India for most of my life, I have learned to look for clouds when the heat becomes unbearable! The Rainy seasons brings about water laden thick dark clouds which are also called as Cumulonimbus scientifically. That reminds me , I did have Meteorology in graduation in a few of my semesters!

I love the home clouds in Hyderabad too. For they are abundant through most of the year barring a few in summers. During rains like from May onward, thick clouds gather over the sky all day and night. Sometimes they move fast like a scene in a time lapse clip but what I like about the is the glow they have after dark. Its enough to lit up the balcony and makes it a dream like scene.


The most awesome experience was the San Francisco evening cloud cover. everyday as the clock struck 4 in the evening, a thick cover of clouds would cover the city. The traffic lights and the headlights would have to be on to drive in this fog. The clouds would cover the ground and so was called fog cover also.

Clouds make an important part of my life really. On a gloomy mood, the grey sky gives me a break to come out and sit in the balcony and check out the moving clouds. Sometimes looking at the clouds I even try calculating the time they would take to make it over my balcony! I can feel that this fascination for clouds have transpired down to next generation. The first thing Riaan points out after rushing out to the balcony are the clouds!

4 (1)

Lessons from Punjab

Vill 1

This post is for the amazing people from the fabulous state in the northern part of India- Punjab

Since Dad was in Air Force, I always had Punju schoolmates. And then best of the lot  came along while in Fauj for next 15 years. They taught me to work hard and party harder. Slog in the kitchen making breakfast-lunch, take care of the kids and then wear your best dress and stilettos to get out for an evening drive at 80km/hour in whatever car you have! Go to Gurudwara every Sunday and do seva and then get in the party mood in the evening with your close friends.


People from Punjab are known for their sheer hard work, honesty and happy go lucky personalities.So much so that the entire race can be generalized for these characteristics! I had a chance to be in this lovely state for a few days way back in 2000 and I really saw what I had heard. The crops are grown almost whole year. Rice is followed by wheat, and I’m sure, my state where the staple is rice, cannot grow as much rice as they grow in Punjab. Punjab essentially being in an arid region,  is capable of only growing wheat, bajra, maize, sugarcane, barley etc , but it produces Rice like a subtropical region would do. Its only because of the people and their capability of putting up hard work through the year.


The colorful dupattas and jutties hung in the small shops, the sprawling canals for irrigation, mercs and limosines zipping down every now and then on the country roads and the jovial spirit of the people taught me a lot about them. Unlike most of the states in India, Punjab has managed their water well by Bhakra Nangal, the dam.The canals have been neatly drawn from the dam and  integrated within the fields to give continuous supplies of water.There are mall like shops in the middle of villages supposedly made and owned by NRI’s which caters to the young and young at heart!! The younger generation have been indulging in music and singing from a few decades now and they are doing really well. Come to think of it , I think only bhangra music goes with rap and pop like no other regional stuff does. They have been blending it really well- I really love listening to the foot tapping numbers by Honey Singh!

And of course the food which is yummy! From Makke di roti to Chole Bhature , from Amritsari Fish to Tandoori chicken, from Lassi to Dal makhani…they have been world’s favourites! Punjabi kudis have dominated Bollywood as well as the woods of the south and lets not even talk about the handsome Punjabi hunks! From time immemorial Bollywood has been boasting of some good looking people that only are bred in Punjab!


I started to think about  writing this post when a particular incident came to my mind from last year. Riaan was about 5 months old and we went to visit the San Jose Gurudwara one day. Its perched on a hilltop and is amazingly made, as all Gurudwaras are. There were 2 weddings going on while we visited the place. One seemed to be of an affluent one, most likely of some well settled business man’s daughter as the bride and the groom were getting their pictures clicked with a bunch of bridesmaid wearing purple dresses. Another seemed a simple one where the ladies were taking the bride to the main temple for the rituals. Having enjoyed all this we went to the inner part where the Granth Sahib is read and spent sometime there. After that we went to the Langar section where food is served 24 hours a day. Just when Riaan started to get restless, an old lady sitting next to us offered to hold him as we had our food.


As the conversation started she introduced her grand daughter to us, a girl of about 14 or 15 years. She told us that they drove about one hour to be here and that they make it atleast once in a month.To me they did not seem to be from a much affluent status, but they were here in California to realize their American Dream. I’m sure they worked in some southern California orchard or vegetable farm because they still spoke in Punjabi and were dressed still like farms folks do back in Indian villages. And while visiting Fresno a couple of months later I saw a Punjabi family getting back from the grapes orchard, and hence I could relate. As we drove back from the Gurudwra, I was forced to think about this family who must have left everything that must have been owned by them back in Punjab and though they didn’t know even Hindi (forget about English) and they were here. The faith that they must have had in their hard work and mental/physical capabilities were way too high for anyone from any other state in India. I could foresee the kids and grand-kids of this family doing well in coming years. And by another 30 years, the generation would be affluent in all senses!

So what is it that make Punjabis so strong and sturdy? Do they have it in their genes? To rough it out and get the best of the life possible for themselves and their kids? Oh that’s not a question really !! They have it all…whatever it takes to live the life to the fullest.

Lessons from Punjab- Work hard, Eat , Pray and dance to live life!


Gurudwara San Jose



Movie Review :Udta Punjab

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Google Images

Udta Punjab : Shahid is his usual self, well-balanced in every act. He plays the role of a spoilt and narcissist popstar from the current generation and he sure rocks in it! Kareena lacks grit and intensity in a role that ironically, is the voice of the film. Diljit Dosanjh more than makes up for her and other loopholes of the film which are,of course just a few. Kickass performance by Alia as she shuts her critics up and gives a tight one across the faces of all the Morons who troll her for nut’s sake. She has undoubtedly got the legacy of her father in terms of understanding her character in this film. The otherwise sophisticated, Alia breaks out of her comfort zone and flaunts her prodigious potential. The impact of her powerhouse performance stays with you long after you leave the theatre.

The story is appallingly beautiful which is set in, apparently the most fertile, culturally rich Punjab, a state which can also boasts of the most hardworking people in India. The film shows how drug menace has seeped deep into the system and has sadly taken away generations of youth who, could have been the best entrepreneurs, farmland owners, businessmen or simply musicians. The movie shows how the pillars of the system who are supposed to take a state ahead have corroded it dangerously and how it has affected thousands of families in Punjab.

The Bombay High Court has done a marvelous job by letting us watch the movie, that is , the way it was made. Abhishek Chaubey has done a commendable job, again.

PS- An ASI has never looked as handsome ever 🙂

A 4 out of 5 and a must watch!!

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