Archive

observations

The front of the line at the bank

The front of the line at the bank

Having been a city dweller all my life I, possibly like a lot of other city dwellers, share a love and hate relationship with it. But, I guess, it would be safe to say that I am really glad to be living in Delhi at this point in (troubled) time in the history of our country.

Even though internet connectivity in our cities may not be the best, it still works out for me to be able to use our debit/credit cards or internet banking to buy most things I need without having to stand in front of the banks or ATM machines to withdraw cash. I am also, fortunately or not, really bad at keeping a tab at my regular expenses so I don’t compare my expenditure, now that I am buying things online versus buying things from the local neighbourhood shops or the roadside vendors.

Personally for me, I have almost forgotten how our currency notes look like, now that I have had nearly no cash for the past month. I really believed for some time that the phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ didn’t apply to me any more.

But I’m happiest for not having to wriggle through my pockets and to worry about how I would manage to give the auto guy the change or wondering if the delivery guy would have any change because I forgot to tell while ordering, that I only have a 1000 rupees note with me. So this is great! For the longest time I wished I could just swipe my card and pay for things instead of having to go to an ATM or to figure out how to find change for bigger currency notes. But I still love all the street food and It seems quite unlikely that they will keep a debit/credit swipe machine or use PayTM kind of services to transact even in the distant future.

What should I do now that I have to pay my house help and the cook their monthly salary? One doesn’t have a bank account and the other wants cash. Even if I could give them their salaries electronically they would need cash to then go and buy their vegetables and things with cash from stores that sell things that are cheaper than the ones available at supermarkets that could take payments online. Both these ladies don’t have smartphones and surely they will find it difficult understanding the sometimes complicated payment and returns processes because they are not literate.

The dance!

The dance!

So thus, began ‘the dance of the cashless‘!
  • Two and half hour wait in a line outside my bank without any success
  • Almost 19 km covered on the cycle trying to find a working ATM
  • Approximately 44 ATMs visited
I’m still a novice at this dance form. There are people who are masters in this art of lining up and standing for an entire day, everyday. But this is one art form I’m more than willing to be a total crap in and so wish that this dance gets over really soon.
Advertisements

odd-bird

I am waiting
but the world isn’t
nor is life

There is a buzz all around
while I sit indoors
It is not that
all that goes around
is great!

But my mind keeps telling me
there is a hell lot of amazing
out there

Instagram feeds me
with a host of amazing artists
Amazingly fit women and men

YouTube keeps playing
beautiful music with
amazing dancers performing

Wonderful writers, poets, singers,
performers, comedians, historians,
doctors, geologists, athletes,
sportspersons, painters, illustrators,
designers, potters, engineers,
architects, adventurers, and
so many more amazing all around

But I am still waiting
working towards, at least, that one thing
I can someday be amazing in.

IMG_2291

I was born and brought up in a city where it rains cats and dogs every monsoon. Where monsoon is probably bigger than monsoon itself as it rains sometimes even in winter. For several reasons that may sound absurd, I used to hate rain all of those years I lived in Calcutta. It always used to get flooded the moment it would start raining with all the filth of the drains overflowing all over the place. I have hardly visited Calcutta during monsoon in the last twelve years so i wonder how it would be now. But then, I was mad about cricket all throughout my school years and rain meant no cricket. We would do some exercises and sometimes play football, which i still do not enjoy much. I think I would have also hated to get wet going or coming back from school. My uniform used to stay exactly as it would be in the morning when I would enter the school and when I left with all the folds intact and the tie perfectly resting over my belt buckle.  So I had my reasons for disliking rain till I shifted to Delhi.

Once in Delhi, I realised that rain or monsoon wasn’t particularly bad. Yes, it still flooded the streets of Delhi and probably caused more slush on the road due to its overly dusty landscape but it still felt somewhat different. I wasn’t playing cricket any more so I guess one big reason for not feeling too bad about rain was that. Also, I think I started observing life and nature better. But most importantly, it hardly rains in Delhi so there isn’t much to hate. Before it could get to a point of irritation it would disappear. In fact, now I wish for rain. It is the only relief between the past and the coming winter.

When I was in Calcutta, I had to wade through water unwillingly. Now I wouldn’t mind wetting my feet in a puddle unless I have a meeting to attend. In fact, I remember a few years back, in Calcutta, I was stuck in a traffic jam inside a car in crazy rain and I loved it. With my vision blurred due to the pounding rain on the car’s glasses, I suddenly felt more vaguely connected with nature.

This year, the monsoon in Delhi seems probably the best in the past twelve years. We have had a full week of rain now giving my wife and I this rare opportunity to do some odd jobs around town and then make an impromptu decision to have chai at a small shop by the road and then to go to Andhra Bhavan for lunch. All of this while it rained. To top it off we were travelling around in autos so the cool breeze, the rain drops and the occasional passing-car-splashing-rainwater made for a wonderful experience. Everything was so deep green that it almost seemed to make me feel like diving into them if it were possible, that is.

The sound of the raindrops falling on the ground is so soothing. With time I am realising that being in the city all my life has made me feel so lustful for nature that even the smallest of instigation makes me feel happier than I may be at that moment. The view of trees, flowers, mountains, snow, rain, sea, lakes and absolutely anything natural is simply uplifting. As for rain, I just realised that another reason to like rain now is probably the fact that my wife loves it.

IMG_1777Oh Calcutta, you are so old!
So old, your body is crumbling
Looks like you would just fall
You have been standing for so long
You must be tired
You must be shaking

But they won’t let you sit down
They won’t let you take a breath
The moment you start to crumble
They would replace that part of you
With something ugly

They say it’s modern
But they know not what is modern
You have seen modern so many times before
But it wasn’t like today

They know not what you are
They care not what you feel
about what they do to you
If they did they would mend you
When you hurt
Not wait till you crack
They would love you for what you are
and never let you crumble, at the first place

Oh Calcutta, you are so old
It hurts me to see you crumble
I wish i would draw you and
you would heal with the magic of my pen
But i have no magic pen
nor a strong persona

I dream sometimes of how you may have been
So elegant and so sophisticated
So intelligent!
But now you look despondent
You look lovelorn

I want to say i love you
for you are the one who
brought me up to be a man
with a heart
But i myself have left you now
In my search for what i can be

Oh Calcutta, but you still stand proud
You still believe in the seeds
You had sown and
some shall surely grow
and those shall hold you afloat.

IMG_0954a

There is something very endearing
about long shadows
May be it is because of the time
of it’s occurence.

Early mornings, when the whole day,
with all its possibilities, is ahead of you
and evenings, when your day is done and
it is almost time to relax.

It is like taking a deep breath and
stretching yourself to ease.

The seconds move in slow motion
and you start to notice the everyday
in a whole new light.

Suddenly you are so much more aware
of all that surrounds you
Your consciousness expands,
encompassing this new layer
to your reality.

You gather some weight and
descend deeper into
a warm yellow glow fading into
a cool comfortable sleep.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/c52/7114646/files/2015/01/img_0827.jpg
It is a beautiful winter day
Morning came with extreme chill
as if one, unwilling to let go
of the warmth of the blanket

The day brought in the sun
who has been reluctant
after a long hard toil through summer
sparing only a few hours
from its time off
Thus, the shadows stayed at an incline
It’s like everyone is unwilling
to get off their recliners or beds

The few hours that the sun let off
brought so much cheer
The grass feels fresh
The air crisp and light
The light plays with shadows
in ever so creative forms
The dogs and the drivers
hiding under and inside others cars
in the previous season
are now occupying the best spots

Now the evening is here
and the sun is retreating fast

From my corner
I can see the long shadows
pulling the curtain down
on a beautiful winter day
making me feel desperate
for having missed another chance
to catch a little more warmth
before its cold and dark again.

time travellingAfter several years
I wore a wrist watch
Now everytime i glance
towards my wrist
i am transported
to my days at school,
when wearing a watch
was a mark of growing up
same as having a moustache
Like unofficial badges of manhood

Now everytime I glance
towards my wrist
I travel time.