Category: Biographical

The Reunion XXXVI: The Story Continues

It has been a long time since I told this tale, or rather, continued it. The last blog in this series was written more than ten months ago. Why? Is the story over? Far from it. Then why? Maybe it is because I have said whatever I wanted to say, the pent-up emotions have been let-out, released, given vent, and…

‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – IV

‘Spicy Tomato’, the pack of chips read, as I extracted a couple from the bag, put them in my mouth, and closed my eyes, enjoying the spicy crunchiness. The laptop lay open in front of me, the cursor blipped expectantly, the keyboard lighted, waiting…. I warmed my hands with the cup of tea which Vaishali had just handed to me;…

‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – III

The Naukuchiatal is a lake of nine corners nestled high up in the mountains. Our destination was further up from the lake, near the Club Mahindra Resort property of that area. The road is narrow, and paved with stones, and can be used by only one vehicle at a time. So, if one finds another vehicle coming from the opposite…

‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – II

I inhaled deeply after a long time, as I saw that familiar sight, had my first glimpse of my friends – the mountains. There was a constricting feeling in my chest, a pang of emotion, a physical pain of happiness at the reunion, as I looked at them. Happiness can be painful, sometimes! The mountains stood in the distance, covered…

‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – I

As the car turned the bend in the road, the dust settled, and the cacophony of the cities was suddenly left behind. Green trees, tall with age, and bent with the continuous suction generated by the passing vehicles, stood by the side of the road, and swayed, as if welcoming the travelers; their leaves forming a yellow and green carpet…

Sleep-Wake – 3

A feather flutters in the wind close to me, as I walk towards the well. It is white, and blue, and indigo, and iridescent blue. It is a peacock’s feather, shiny, magical, like the one which the dark-skinned God, Krishna wears in his hair. It flutters and shimmers and entices me. I run towards it and pick it up, as…

Sleep-Wake – 2

The wind blows across the open ground, howling, creating small eddies of dust. I kick the stones on the ground, then run after them, barely avoiding slipping on the scales of mica that lie littered across the field. They shine, like scales of fish, and are as slippery, a thing of wonder to a child’s eye. I pick a handful…

Sleep-Wake

Sleep, wake. Sleep, wake. Sleep, wake. That is how life goes, from day to day, day to night, night to day. Life exists in binary; sleep-wake, happy-sad, alive-dead, yin-yang. Sometimes we are asleep even when we are awake, and sometimes we wakeup when we sleep. Both the worlds are real – sleep world and waking world – while we are…

And then I woke up……

(Continued)….. The color of the sky, which had turned from orange to crimson some time back, is indigo now, the color of the ink I have seen my father use in his fountain pen. The ink spills, spreading across the sky, darkening it, blotting out the light, the crimson glow. The chirping of the birds is dying down, the animals…

And then I woke up……

I am young again, very, very young, a child. It’s an open field, and darkness descends. Birds are returning to their nests in the surrounding trees, making a lot of noise, happy noise. They are happy to be back home after the day, safe, without having been eaten by any predator. Safe with their loved ones, with their children in…

Young Love

What does it take to love? A look? A smile? A touch, the bat of an eyelid, the careless flick of hair? The fabric of her cloth which flutters in the wind? The way her lips curl when she smiles? That one tooth of hers which is crooked and stands out when she laughs, throwing her head back, sending my…

The Reunion XXXV: The Ganga Aarti

By the time everyone finished lunch, it was already early dusk. The sun was nearly gone, and a cold darkness crept in from all sides, even like the fog that had congealed into a dense curtain over the warm waters of the Ganga. I pulled my cap tightly over my ears and made sure the children were well covered and…

The Reunion XXXIV: When Men turn Godkillers

I looked at Vaishali as if waking up from sleep, my eyes blank, my mind still faraway.  ‘Come, lunch is served,’ she said.  I was still in a daze. My heart thudded loudly in my chest, as if I had just run a few miles. Few miles? I had been to the eternity and back. The world seemed colorless, compared…

The Reunion XXXIII: Lunch at the Goleria Kothi

By the time our boats hit the banks at Ganesh Ghat near Goleria Kothi, it was early evening and we were really late for our lunch. A cold wind had started to blow, and a soft mist had descended on the opposite bank of the river making it difficult for the eye to see very far. All of us were…

The Reunion XXXII: The Boat Ride on Ma Ganga

The next stop in our itinerary was Goleria Kothi, a heritage property on the ghats of the Ganga, where we would have our lunch and witness Ganga Aarti, a time-honored tradition of worshipping Mother Ganga every evening with fire lamps. It was a sort of fire worship offered to the deity by the priests on the bank of the deified…

The Reunion XXXI – The Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Gyanvapi

A lot had changed in the vicinity of the temple since we were here last. The temple area was being renovated, encroachments being demolished, and a pilgrimage corridor was being built for beautification of the Gyanvapi area. The area of construction, or rather demolition, had been cordoned off but it was still possible to peek between the aluminum sheets and…

The Reunion XXX – Visit to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple

And thus, the cars sped that morning once more, through the crowded and familiar streets of Varanasi. Crowded, but less crowded than we remembered them, and much cleaner. Familiar, but less familiar than before. It pained me to realize that I had started to forget the streets of Banaras and, if left alone, may not be able to find my…

The Reunion XXIX – Jyotirlinga: The Pillar of Light

Next morning when we woke, I felt light-headed and happy. No, it wasn’t just the drink we had last night, it was something else. Yesterday, I had exorcised the ghosts of my past, made my peace with God, bowed my head in acceptance and vowed to start afresh. I could feel the bitterness of the past receding, leaving a sweet…

The Reunion XXVIII: It’s a late night

I had walked away from Rahul Joshi, my head still reeling with the talks we had had. But I was glowing inside, happy for him and amazed how each one of us had travelled his or her own path and reached his or her own destinations; and such amazing ones too!!! I will always remember Rahul’s ‘Doctrine of Nothing’. The…

The Reunion XXVII: A New Perspective

Meanwhile the girls of our batch had something of their own cooking. Most of them were dressed in formals – Indian suits, lehnga-chunnis and ghagharas etc. and they giggled and chatted and gesticulated. They had prepared something and were ascending the stage for the presentation. Alka, Srabani, Neeti, Ruchi, Puja, Payal, Meenakshi, Stuti, Monica, Rajul and Payal, stood in a…