Neha

"I don't want to do this.... do you really want me to? I mean.... how can you imagine me doing anything even close to that!!!"

"But we need to begin somewhere, right? And what's the problem in meeting a guy? You can take your sister along if you are not comfortable with us and there's always a first time. This is how it happens and this is how you need to go about it also."

"Dad... how can you even ask me to go and meet any random guy and then decide whether I'd want to spend the rest of my life with him?? I know arrange marriages happen that way, but I'm not ready for anything like that and neither opting for it. I'd want to know whom I'm marrying and not discover the person in due course of life!"

"In that case, tell me who you want to marry and we do it that way. "

"Hah, if only I'd have had someone, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all."

"Look, it's high time you think about settling down. Just because you don't doesn't mean that I don't do anything about it either. I am your father and I know what's good for you. So, listen to me and do as I say."

"Come on, Dad. You can't be doing that!"

"I have to...no more discussions on this now. I'll let you know whenever something good comes up. Take care and don't sulk about this now."

"Alright, let's just leave it to that. Will talk to you later. Take care, bye."

Another one of those calls that made her anxious and scared. Get married.... settle down... high time!!! Feeling helpless, she turned to look at the time. She was running late already! To reach there at 2, she should have left by then. Hurriedly, she took a final glance in the mirror and picked her bag while running out of the house. Luckily, a free auto rickshaw happened to pass while she hailed him to stop. Avoiding the usual negotiations, followed by arguments, she readily agreed to the price the driver asked. There sure was no time to get into all that... and then, she was late!

Descending from the auto, she looked around for him. He was not to be seen anywhere. Calling his number did not help either as it was unreachable. This irritated her to some extent. They were to meet for the first time officially and he was late!!! Yes, it would be the first time they'd meet though they'd known each other for years now. She was excited and had been looking forward to it for quite some time. Her cell phone beeped with an incoming text message. "I'm near Barista...where are you?" Huh, she'd need to cross the road. Without wasting a second, she dashed for the subway.

"So, how's it been? I'm sorry, I reached late... needed to drop a friend somewhere."

"Ah, that's OK. I too just reached." She smiled making herself comfortable and opening the menu card."And we finally meet! Isn't it strange... we've studied together, known each other for years, and yet, meeting now."

"Yes, it is! But isn't it because of you! I had been saying for so long that we should meet and it's been six months that you have moved to the city; however, it's only now, you have found some of your precious time for me."

"Now don't get started with that. You know how busy it's been for me. Anyways, what will you have?"

Their conversation started... just one of their regular conversations... with a difference. Instead of being connected through a telephone... here they were... face to face. Nothing seemed different; in fact, the physical presence of the person only added to the charm of all those talks that were otherwise general and regular.

Time does fly... especially when they get talking. It was already 8! This seemed unreal... either she was dreaming or her watch knew how to fake time! She had to leave now. Reluctantly, they did bade goodbye, but not before agreeing on a day to meet next.

"Madam, where do you want to get down? Madam, are you listening? Are you alright?" The loud voice of the auto driver broke her thoughts. Having given the necessary instructions, she realized she was still musing over all that he'd said earlier in the evening. While retiring for the day, she remembered what her father had said to her that afternoon. 'Later,' she thought to herself, 'all that can wait.'

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Neha

Have you ever tried listing those moments that bring instant smile on your face and an overwhelming feeling of joy? Yeah...right, the purani jeans and guitar type effect.... those little memories that you treasure... those that are now thing of the past, yet you want to relive them all over again.

On my way to office this morning, many such moments came to my mind - of school, college and friends. Each one of them makes me happy, brings a smile on my face and makes me want to go back to . Alas! Time machines are still far away :(.

  • Waiting for parents to visit us (in boarding) on the first weekend every month. In fact, waiting more for all the goodies or tuck they were to bring!
  • Saving pocket money for those once in a quarter exits (outings to the Kulri Mall Road in Mussoorie)!..... and rushing straight to Amitash for those heavenly momos!
  • The chit-chats and gossips in the dormitory after the lights were off!
  • Walking back to Wynberg (junior school where our dormitories were) every evening and actually racing to get there at the earliest.
  • Those sudden inspections by Mr Martin (headmaster)... and then trying to notch points for the house by wiping our shoes clean with the back of our socks!!!
  • Hiding 'tuck' in dhobi bags when Aunty Verghese came on her raids! Trust me, they were not as much fun as they sound!
  • The study hours when we sneaked in Archie and Tinkles between our text books! And then getting caught and being punished....
  • The occasional movies in the Common room and not to forget, Saturday dance evenings there... Saturdays were never as eagerly awaited as then!
  • The lengthy projects that did everything, but in vain, to ruin our summer vacations! And then, me making and remaking them to get that perfect handwriting!!!
  • Finishing our lunch tiffins much earlier than the scheduled breaks and then hunting for other's tiffins (wicked, na?)! Couldn't help it....others' tiffins were always tastier :))
  • The March Past practices that went for hours and hours and hours... with friend who were hell-bent on not listening to your commands!
  • Literal House wars complete with shouting slogans louder and faster during Inter House competitions. Every medal counted...
  • The 'do or die' attitude on every basketball match and then treating the entire team, even when we lost a match :). Not to forget the innumerable sprains I suffered and then the doc giving me option to either not play basketball ever or sit with a broken leg... of course...I chose basketball :))
  • 'Rainy Days' in school! Never did any other holiday make us so happy! Though guess the Princi used to bribe the rain Gods... the rain would stop just 15 mins before school and begin soon after the morning assembly!!! There was something fishy...I tell you!
  • Frozen Maggi in tiffins! Has anything else tasted so good ever??? It was a sure shot treat for any and everyone...anytime!
  • Chai sessions in college canteen with hot samosas and gulab jamuns. Anything is a feast with friends... ain't it? :)
  • The sasta, tikaau and delicious dosa and pav-bhaji in that small, but nice, restaurant outside college. Loved its coffee also... though had to urge them to make it really strong!
  • Bunking college and watching movies.... or better... going for boat rides in Yamuna, with pop corn and wafers! The best part was when we bunked our English class and the English professor caught me while crossing the fence!
  • The perfect coffee sessions with loads of gossips at friends' place! Especially, when one was home, hurt with a brick falling on her head! Two brew the coffee, 3rd one heats the milk and the 4th one pours and serves... certainly the best coffee I've ever had :) .... Kurkure and Lays added to the effect :)

Ahh... I can go on and on and on.... every moment and every person sharing those are special. Time cannot rewind, but memories remain and bring a smile whenever they cross your mind. What about you, blogdosts? I'm sure you too have fond memories and I'd love it if you'll share them here :))).

Me waiting for your reply. Take care and stay precious :))

And before you get furious as to what's happening to me keeping my promises... I' m working on the next part of the series. I know it's more than a month now, but I thought a break in between with different posts will help me come back to it fresh. The next post will only be the fourth part of the series.... pucca promise :))

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Neha

Hey guys...am really sorry. You'll have to wait for the next part of 'Is This Love?' Yeah..yeah... I know I promised the next part last weekend. And trust me... I have been trying to write since Saturday too... but guess am going through some serious writer's block at this time. So, I'd rather leave it for now and come back to it a couple of days later. I'll sure keep my promise this time. Come on, you guys can trust me...you know that! :)

And yes, a little belated now....a very Happy Independence Day to all of you! This had been a truly independent day for me with no socializing... no lunches to catch up with.... no other plans.... just me and my tanhai :)))). I have done nothing productive all weekend, except having good ol' gol gappas (am sure you haven't forgotten my love for them!) and some footwear shopping :)). Now this was something I had really been looking forward to for quite some time - some quality 'me' time. Hadn't I even wished for it in my last post! It sure was one of those weekends when I spent time with none other than me and I loved it thoroughly!

During my stroll in the market yesterday, I overheard an angry father asking his daughter the need for coming all the way just for the one dress she wanted. Her mother further questioned the need to take the same dress twice! The family seemed to have come all the way from Faridabad. The girl only looked at them saying nothing :). This reminded me of one of those market expeditions when I made Dad accompany me on my hunt for that 'special' top I wanted to wear for my birthday party! And that too in three cities! Finally, when I did pick up a 'top', my Dad exclaimed - 'You are one difficult person!' That was also one of those rare occasions when he didn't bargain! Kaneez will second Dad on this one... she has had her share of experience when we went to get a bag for me!!!

On a different note, a blogdost asked me recently that why do I not write on social and current issues. The question was justified too as blogging has much more to it. However for me, this is a completely personal space. There is the media and so many others to state and express their opinions on what's happening in and around the world. It's simply overwhelming! For me, this blog is a passion, a medium of expression, to talk and share. And then, hearing from you and reading your comments make me feel listened to :). And would you really like me to write on social and political topics? Do tell me. However, honestly, I'd still steer myself away from them. (I know I'm one stubborn person! :) )

I'll come back with the much awaited part of the 'Is this Love' series in my next post. You can murder me if don't!

Till then, take care and stay precious :)

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Neha

Yes, I have been away for quite some time now. Of course, the blame goes to everyone and everything else, but me! Yes, there has been lesser free time, but more of a cluttered mind. And the last thing I can do then is write :((. By the way, blogdosts, did you notice something? I've just updated my blog link. I felt that the previous one made me sound really bored and depressed (though that is definitely NOT the case!), so this new one here. Isn't it a good and positive change?? (waiting to know from you)

The last few weeks actually swept by, leaving me with no 'me' time! That sort of irritates while I crave for a long lazy weekend when I do nothing but sleep, watch TV and write! With so many tasks pending for the weekend coupled with socializing with family and friends, you can't expect anything much either. A friend suggested that I should get married, but I still fail to understand how will that sort or help things!!! It will, in fact, then be everything multiplied with two! And that sure solves nothing! Yeah, I know I am sounding like one of those headstrong feminists, which, rest assured, am not :). Just that I'm not in the favor of doing anything for the wrong reasons. I definitely don't regard marriage as a way to reduce or delegate household chores.

On the other front, I am on way to a healthier me (or let's just say - a lighter me!) Remember the amount of chocolates I had been gorging on! Though keeping in tune with my thoughts on that, I have not joined any gym. For me, taking the staircases instead of the lifts and the escalators is a better option. I have stopped binging and am trying to eat a little more healthy, while resisting the oh-ho-tempting, but calories-laden, food :). So that also meant cutting down on coffee and chocolates...and guess what! I have reduced that to once a week!!! Now, I sure deserve an applause for that... go on, I am waiting! However it's always so easy to go back to unhealthy ways; so, my dear blogdosts, I need a lot of motivation to stick to this! You guys listening, na!

And yes, there's something more I am looking forward to this weekend - a get-together with my college friends - the famous gang of Four! It's been years since we sat together, chatted, gossiped and had some real fun! Though there's a catch to this.... this is going to be a get-together on the Internet... Video Conference with coffee :))! Of course, it was my idea, for who else can come up some thing as bizarre as that! Well, couldn't really help it with all of us being in different cities and I've really been missing all of them a lot lately and so this get-together. Hey, this sure does not sound that crazy...does it?

As for my blog, I hate becoming so irregular here; but I promise you at least a post per week from now on... and whenever possible...more :)). My book will take some time, thanks to the proof-reader going on a vacation; while I'm working slowly but steadily on my next one. So, while I do all that, you keep safe and stay precious :)

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