College Diaries-chapter 3-At The Saurabhs’!!

Now that I am a grown up, earnings, savings, bank accounts, extravaganza stresses me out. One evening I logged into my bank statements of 2009-10 and I was shocked to see my prodigal side yet I was not regretting the then lavish times. Memories rolled back in my mind and one of the best times that we as a college gang spent together were at the Saurabhs’.

The two Nair boys of different years had become our great friends. While  the girls of the gang stayed at the hostel under the college regulations, the two chose to spend a li’l extra and stay as flat mates. They were so complimentary to each other. For our simplification, we chose to call them out by their nicknames. Although a few more characteristics could help one separate their identity πŸ˜‚.

  The flat was in a residential colony called Bhoopsandra.Their den had  two rooms with windows that helped them peep into the neighbours’ home. They were  decorated enough to not let the visitors’ expectations down. One of them also had a TV with a cable connection. There was a skimpy kitchen on one end. And if someone would scan that square, one could say it was a well equipped one. Here, I would like to mention that the girls contributed to the maintenance of the premises. 

Although we never worked really hard during our weekdays but we all waited for the weekend, especially the Saturday!! The college used to get over by 1:00 PM,and soon we all would be swarming out of the hive. A mega group stood outside the college entrance arguing over where to eat the lunch. Often it was our favourite kitchen- the Nandinis and at other times we would split into different restaurants. However ,the most consistent outcome was – that we four always stayed together until our last day in the college. 

After that massive unlimited lunch, we drove on our bikes to our rescue spot. Absolutely, drained after the fun of one whole week and the hogging on Saturday afternoon, the first thing we splurged into was sleep. We slept until the doorbell or the phone rang and  the older Saurabh was abused for not letting the fifth mad man in. He was the charm of the weekends, came from a different college, travelled two hours on the weekend ,sacrificing his relaxation hours in travelling  to spend the weekend with us.

  The evening opened with a ginger tea by junior S and some Parle G. The menu for the dinner was discussed and the three musketeers drove to the nearest grocery shop and shop next to it to get their weekend quotas. Cooking was no major issue because except the senior S, all knew their bits and chased them to perfection. Some music played in the background. We talked, bullied, chased each other but there were no clashes what so ever.

An understanding beyond exception existed and continues to exist.

The nights were often the best times. We often served our home cooked dinner with a reality show, throwing in all sorts of nonsense comments and then moved on to watching a pirated movie on the laptop and finally it was only some of our favourite music pieces. 

It often rained in Bangalore and we were all Ghazal fans. The nights were all about some good lyrics, some cold ,some drizzle, some mad but not heated discussions ( obviously with no conclusions),some disgust over the masters program, some remorse of what would we gain out of these years, some cheers over our good times, some dance in the high spirits, some glasses that were toasted together, some clever comments, some mad moments, and some bizarre memories!!

There was no end to those Saturday nights but the Sunday sun blazed over us. The charmer cooked us breakfast-our favourite poha with a ginger tea. We did our journal clubs after ordering food from the cheapest restaurant nearby. We brimmed our tea glasses many a times throughout the day. There was no routine except for having fun together. The Sunday went off very quickly and we two were dropped to our hostel to start for next mad week and hope for the even madder Saturday night!!

  We laughed, we laughed and we laughed our lungs out. It could only happen when we infamous five met at the Saurabhs’. The memories don’t past me and have been etched forever. The extravaganza looks perfectly normal to me today because it was the best investment ever!!



Who is a good reader? I don’t know!! What I know is I am not a good reader. A habit that I have tried to inculcate over the years but have never succeeded. When some of my more intellectual pals discussed politics, thrillers, or economies my prime goal was to use my two ears-GIGO(get in get out)-that’s an easy strategy when you know  that you do not know anything. I had never been the first one to miss a discussion on Bollywood. The zone has been limited and I had never bothered to broaden it. 

I often, mentioned to a good friend that I would like to start reading. He was the one who both read and wrote beautiful pieces and had a selection of books to go through. He suggested me a trick to start with simple, less tantalising stories like rom-coms. I almost thought on his idea and glimpsed through the book shelf at WH Smith. The prefaces did not appear to gain my attention. Yet, the fact a good writer needs to first read could not be overlooked by me.

Having finished my training and driving lessons, I was left with ample time to do something more. I tried painting, writing some romantic poetries and cooking but of course, how much of that fancy food could I stock up in my tummy? I needed something more passive yet occupying. My partner is  extensively into reading and I left the responsibility of finding me something that will grip me for hours.

He went to the local library and picked up a thriller for me. The story was woven around a business corporation in Sweden and its lost heir. The author went into extreme detail to let the reader’s imagination tinker. With every page one could imagine how was the set up of a room, the whole village, the characters, the cafe, the kitchen and the coffee brewer, the atrocities, the gamble and the vengeance. Every tiny detail painted a picture. A picture of thousand senses. 


Initially I was reluctant , read a chapter a day, trying to build my interest. But before I could realise the story turned into a case of finding of a lost soul and how it had not been discovered for 37 odd years. The author has woven an intricate web and despite all my efforts to imagine I was left clueless. Like I was the journalist, I queried- what may have gone wrong? Who was the killer? What was the motif?

I was on an off  that weekend. After finishing the daily chores, I sat on the couch with the  500 pages  , I was curious beyond surprise. The why , who and how would not let me sleep. So I started again at 9:00 PM on the Saturday night and continued till 5:00 PM on the Sunday evening with barely a four hour sleep,30 mins of freshening up and 30 minutes of meal. 

A sigh of relief cuddled me when I eventually discovered what happened to Harriet Vanger. I closed the blinds for some sleep but my brain never slept and kept revising the events and the investigations. 

It was in ages that I had picked a book with no expected conclusion and a story that intrigued me. My imagination was set on fire. Every little conversation, love making,city travel, decoding the encrypt, and connecting the bits kept me into it.

Finally,  I have discovered  my taste. A good thriller was an adrenaline rush for me. This is passive yet employing. I had enjoyed reading for the first time . The author has written a trilogy and I am yet to dig in the remaining two. 

Perhaps, the moral is try before you deny!!

The Comeback 😊😊

So this time you are sitting in your study and you receive a telephone call,” Hello there, how are you? Do you remember me?” You stand near the telephone stand with a bewildered expression on your face,your right brow raises, you voice is muffling and your mind is trying to guess and you reply,” Is it Natasha?” The voice replies back,” Oh!! So now you don’t remember me!!” You in  your apologetic tone answer back,” I am sorry but I cannot recall.” ” Well, I can understand it has been nearly 20 years that we spoke.”,the voice replies with a chuckle. The chuckle rings a bell to you and you jump and shout,” Hey, Fatso how have you been?”. And the conversation continues for hours where in you learn that your childhood friend has come back to the town. You plan a date with her and the memories blossom again.

A comeback of a person who left you with fond memories is always a delight. We all have had such experiences which bring smiles and tears on our faces at the same time. The good time spent in the past and reliving it again can never be replaced by anything better.

Whenever I think of my post graduate programme which lasted three years, I always wonder what did I achieve out of it. As I did not continue to practice what I learnt for those three years. It was a waste of time academically and contributed nothing significant to my career . Yet,it was a time that I would wish to come back again and again in my years to follow. I made some classic friends and some classic memories. Those three years were the years when I lived the way I wished to. They were the years when I did everything but read the big books. The years where me and my friends sat for hours together and dreamt of our future good lives- the dreams that we never lived.


Life was like smoke, no boundaries,no life path ,no looking back,no regrets and no remorse. All we had were us and our dreams.

We are in touch still and quite aware what is going on each others’ lives but I and perhaps ,all of us are waiting for the comeback of those times.

However, not all comebacks are desirable. Sometimes, some sore times dribble back with some entrances. You don’t want to welcome them but you want to give them a chance thinking may be things will turn around, the broken trust  will revert, the tears shed will fade away and you and them will be in better situation.

Unfortunately,the skeptical you doesn’t leave you in this case. The disbeliefs persist. You want to know if there is a motive or is it an honest try? Is something being disguised in the name of comeback. Hold on, breathe and do not hush!! Rekindling what left you burning at one point is not want you want again. Perhaps being cautious and guarding yourself against the intentions -good or bad – is not a bad idea.

The point is life is mixture of good and bad experiences. One has all the rights to be happy and all the rights to discard what is going to rot and embrace what is going to bring many more beautiful moments.

The comebacks

The  shiny bright eyes,

 the warmth that lasted,

the memories that it etched, 

when the  times were crafted!!

Reincarnate, revive ,

Relive with me 

I am waiting for u,

I am waiting endlessly!!

The New Year’s Eve !!

I am someone who is particularly excited about the New Year’s Eve. This is perhaps around my belief that things will be bigger and brighter in the new year and hence the celebrations should begin.

We were all set to see the fireworks at the Big Bang in London. The train tickets were booked, hotel room was paid for and the see tickets were purchased too. I had finished working for the winter break and I was shopping for the same on the 29th.

I laid down my plans for the 30th including a visit to the beauty salon, nice and relaxing long bath, packing the bags for a three day stay at London and shopping list for London in the new year . That is what I saved the money for!! 

I was looking forward to tick my London’s new year fireworks this year and I felt my throat was sore on the 29th evening. It was that time of the year but I did not wish for it. I simply wanted to go!!30th I was shivering in my duvet, my thermometer blinged 101 C and I was struggling to swallow. The nasty viral attack had began. My husband was back from work that evening and decided to cancel the bookings but I still was not ready to give up, so I said to him,” If I think I can’t manage by 31st morning ,we shall drop it.” 

Convinced him the next morning ,sipped a warm tea ,sucked on some lozenges and wrapped myself in layers of warmers to set us for the London trip.

We spent the whole 31st afternoon in the hotel room to gear up for the night show. We needed to stand for 4 hours with another 50,000 in a temperature of 4C to let the sky glow with fireworks shooting out of the London eye and  lasting ten minutes. I was adamant to be the part of that rush,the cold and the wait. 

But before the everlasting evening I needed to feed in some good Indian dishes to lighten the day. We went to a bhelpuri house in a narrow street in the central London and ordered food from different parts of India. The best amongst was the masala chai. A few lozenges were down again and then we headed to our zone to stand by the Thames. 

The area was well gaurded. People hushed from all sides. Friends, families, mates and couples with some drinks and snacks  in their hands lined up to get the security checks done .

The Thames was quiet yet beautiful, reflecting colors like never before. Cold wind blew and we were hugging each other. Few Chinese girls in front of us were cracking some jokes. Some Europeans were enjoying the fags. An English couple kissed to feel warm. An Indian couple held hands tight to let the cold breeze past them. The sky was clear, the Stars twinkled and it seemed as if the entire world was around the silent waters waiting for the new year to start with new hopes and new wishes. There was joy all around.

The wait seemed to be never ending .whilst parts cheered,some were tired and sulked. The feelings were mixed but the sky and the waters were still. The moon lit up in one end and at the other end London eye stood like a rainbow and kept changing colors.

The  fatigue was creeping up yet they were singing and laughing to let the joy not die.Finally  the countdown began. All eyes were on the building behind showing the seconds to go for the new year start and within no time fireworks started from London eye. A sight that leaves one amazed.

With 50,000 pair of eyes watching the city glow and crackle, the new year begin.

There was music, joy,open sky ,colourful waters and faces that twinkled like the stars up there. The warm hugs and constant exchange of happy new set in a new energy.

London New Year’s Eve 2016 show 

I whispered into his ear,” Happy new year Mr. Hubby, the box is ticked.” And we were back to the room!!


Finding myself !!

I was looking into a mirror today. First I saw few pores on my skin, then I saw a few brow hair growing in awkward places and then I saw chapped lips and finally I saw my eyes, my tired eyes .I was thinking I am still in my early 30s and I am looking tired. Why?? I needed sometime to contemplate,sometime to rethink,sometime to talk to stars, and sometime to look into myself,my tired eyes!!

  Evolution is an undeniable process. From the times the two cells meet and unite to give birth to a zygote,it keeps evolving and this process of modulating oneself to changing times and people leads to a question- where am I ??

My tired eyes were guess searching for me-the me who was fresh like a rose petal,the me who was innocent like a baby,the me who was pure like a pearl of water and the me who was bright like the twinkling star.

In the hustle bustle of education, job,family and running daily errands I seem to have lost the realisation of my existence.

In the start of my journey, I thought with every box I tick I will be successful and more accomplished and nearer to myself. But while I was churning my goals I lost the time with the fresh air, the stars and the sky . My eyes were gazing at the tele more than into any real eyes. I was surrounded by gadgets and they operated at my touch but I was not in touch with anyone, not even myself. That is how much I miss myself !!

I want to go back to my home where the two cells met and evolved to design me. I want to lie flat on the mattress which lies on the terrace there and twinkle my eyes with the light of those stars, then I want to close them tight and imagine my magical tree that can fulfil my every wish, I want to feel like I own the world and I want to once again believe in myself.

I am looking into the mirror again in the pursuit of finding myself!! My tired eyes are losing their shine,their reflection and their perspective yet hoping for a magic to hold me together and wind me back to those days when I was ME!!

It is a joke!!

So if you are ever stuck with the health care system in a country which is set up by the government , this is what happens to you- one day when you are travelling to work in the bus you look out and you look at yourself and you look at the time that has passed by and you start laughing thinking may be you were not well THEN.


In the process of recollecting the dates you realise that you discovered your system was at fault in April. You were eager and worried and you rushed to your GP. He advised a series of tests. Your blood was sucked liberally and drafted with phlebotomist. Not only this you were subjected to those ant bites in your bum because a vitamin or mineral deficiency could have lead to what you are experiencing.

Well well, you are over a few weeks now with undiagnosed diagnosis. You are regularly seeing your GP and in May you have got a file which says all your deficient boxes have been ticked,bloods are normal and there are no signs of infection .” But it is not happening,” you mention. “You need further care.”, he says. And you are referred. A sigh of relief -YOU ARE BEING REFERRED!! You know inside you are not technically far away from finding out why,when and how !!

It is June now. You are entering the specialist’s clinic. Problems,possibilities and presumptions -all are being discussed. Another pile is distributed amongst the staff and you. You are being asked to fill the consent-You think- I am dying and you need CONSENT😳-cure me!!PLEASE.

As the team works only on Wednesday you are booked in for more invasive tests. Obviously you work somewhere as well even though you are not well to pay for the petrol for the trips to GP centre and the specialist corner. So after a lot of settlement in the mid of July you get a Wednesday appointment with the nurse for some advanced test which is likely to reveal -ALL IS WELL!!

The results will take two weeks and you have been given an excercise regime to pass your time meanwhile. You are nearing the end  of July and you hear the good news-ALL IS WELL.

There starts a new cascade. You are given two sets of forms now, probably it is all consent ,consent and consent. Further they emphasise that please return these forms after four weeks.By this time you have got used to the exercise and you are trying to feel that you are recovering but you question,” what was I being treated for?”

You fill in the forms and return them in the middle of August and the reception informs you,”There is a presentation conducted every Thursday as our specialist comes only on Thursdays and he will explain you what the procedure is like.” You want to laugh hard but you smile and politely ask,” When is the next one?” She says,”The following week Thursday ,September 1st.” You are dying hard to put your name down and you agree to come.

September 1st-discussion on CONSENTπŸ‘ΏπŸ‘ΏπŸ‘Ώ. So now you are eager to know when is the procedure starting . The nurse is very polite and says,” the other hospital will get back to you. Normally this is within two weeks but in your case it has been 6,and I don’t know why.?”And  perhaps you don’t know now,why were you seeing the GP in the first place.😳😳

Well, you call them every week religiously having not heard from them. The calls go in voicemail and one find day in October you recieve a call back,” Dear , we are trying to follow them up for you and soon you shall recieve a letter .Immediately get back to us then and we shall take you on our list.”

Relieved again but not for long. You recieve a letter in December 1st week .

 The letter reads-Please fill in the eligibility criteria form and if we think you qualify we shall take you on the list. We must inform you that this is Christmas time and the branch would be closed until 10th of January next year so we cannot establish anything in that time period .Many  thanks xxx

And you are left with waiting to make a wish from Father Christmas -hoping to get treated by next Christmas !”πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


An apple finder!!

There is never a right time for a right thought. I am inquisitive and I want to know if only I am off beat. I want to know if anybody else wants to be an apple finder or not. A survey,an idea or a mere write up.

Now who is an apple finder? I have chosen this name for someone who wants to start his own something and spread it like a virus,be it a whole mankind or be it a whole tech series.

When Newton saw it (the apple ) falling,he discovered the laws of action and reaction. His discovery shook the existing beliefs and the Mother Earth appeared to have been bestowed with powers never found before. Such was the glory of the falling apple in his time.

Long before Newton existed, Adam and Eve’s apple act started a whole lineage. Me,you and sir Newton are a product of that one bite by Mrs. Adam. Had she not tried the little red ball, I would not have written on  the concept of an apple finder!

The last one I can remember had a movie just released. His expertise in making life easy, in taking away the load from my and your brain and bridging the gap between family and friends has been remarkable. After my attempts with nearly all kinds of smart hand pieces , I have fallen in love with his insatiable apple.

We all know these three apple finders but my worry is how many of us think of being an apple finder and in what terms. Did they do it to with an intention to find wealth or glory? Did they think that one day the apple will be their trademark ? Or was it pure serendipity ,a noble thought or a mere greed? 

Again we all are aware what happened in each case but what matters is the outcome. What matters is, did it help the society,did it generate another science,or did it guide to a brand new concept ? 

An apple finder is some one who is not thinking only of what benefit would be raised for him in terms of money , fame,satisfaction or invention, but he is the one who thinks will my invention and innovation  benefit those who would understand and afford the science. He thinks beyond the mortal outcomes. He thinks of a change, a change that will create an impact.

He could be someone who thought assembling a torch in Rupees 100 can provide light to those remote areas of the world, where there is no power source other than the sun. He could be someone who decided to take a projector and few DVD’s to a slum where people did not know what Cinema is like. Or, he could be someone who creates an app in the existing apple and makes the daily chores happen on a finger touch for million of those toiling in the tiny cubicles. 

The sole idea may be any virtue but the impact decides whether he was a true apple finder and the impact is no less than a joy,a comfort and a lead.

I am figuring out my way to be one and then probably I would in-script on the apple I shall hold. It was never easy and it will never be in future too but one day some of us shall find a way to create that impact that will last. 

The story of an apple finder begins but never dies off . It keeps reminding us of the idea every now and then ,even while I am trying to penning my thought. The story of an apple finder is the story of anyone who would connect the mankind with the little strings and re -create the phenomenon of every action has equal and opposite reaction!!

Are you one of the apple finders?? Do let me know:)