Neha

You are right! This topic is inspired... no, not from anywhere else, but the latest Cadbury's advertisements. They have moved me so much that I am starting a little campaign of my own. And wouldn't I be so happy and excited if you all, my blogdosts, would join in with me too!!! That would simply multiply the joy infinitely! So, let's begin from Oct 1 and celebrate the month as the Joy of Giving month!!!

All we need to do is to give a small little gift to someone. This could be anyone... your parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, peers, the local general store wale uncle, a rickshaw puller...just about anyone. Give them a sweet little thing and be rewarded with their smile.

But from all that you would know me, I'd never keep anything as simple as that (I know...that's the wicked me :)!) So the catch here is that your gift should be something you yourself like & value. So, all those clothes you were planning to get rid of or your old worn out utensils DO NOT count! And why this rule??? Simple - it's easy to part with things that have lost their value, but to gift something you like and treasure. Now, this could range from your favorite candy to your favorite pen!

I, for my part, am picking chocolates :). 1) It's a universally known fact that I am a chocoholic! 2) I've never liked to share my chocolate. In college, my slogan was - Chocolates & Boyfriend are NOT to be shared!

So....there goes.....starting day after, I'll write each day of my experience...I'll even try to click a picture of the receiver (if they allow me, that is!) and post them here. Hope to hear from all of you about what are you planning to give as your little bundle of joy :)

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Neha

OK...a tag for a change :)

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4?"
'...concentrated powers lie untapped in our minds...' from Ruskin Bond's 'The Sensualist' - my latest read!

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can & touch air?
You kidding me!!! I am in office (yeah yeah...I know it's a Saturday!!!) and people here will be sure that I've lost it!

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
'Friends' at midnight :)

4. Without looking, guess what time it is?
5.30 pm!

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
... aah, I am running 11 minutes ahead...it's just 5.19pm :((

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
People behind me discussing work and beeps from the printer...God, someone put in some papers in there!!!

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
Morning today...was on my way to office.

8. Before you started this Q&As, what did you look at?
An email from my boss :D

9. What are you wearing?
A green and orange suit :)) (just the white missing to make me look like a complete flag!)

10. When did you last laugh?
Have been laughing nonstop at the Dandia dance we just had in office!

11. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Fire Exit sign!!!

12. Seen anything weird lately?
Yeah, dandia dance to punjabi beats....can't get weirder than that!!!

13. What do you think of this quiz?
Some one as bored as me coined it :D

14. What is the last film you saw?
Love Aaj Kal and that was on my birthday...been ages!!!

15. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?
Give me the money first...rest later!

16. Tell me something about you that I dunno!
Difficult one...okie...Did you know I love Salman? (Even if you do...how do I know? :))

17. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Get rid of this money business! Everyone should enjoy life...not having to work for it!!!

18. Do you like to Dance?
Of course!

19. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
Ummmm....Princess!

20. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
Lolz....I'll let his father decide :)

21. Would you ever consider living abroad?
Nope...am in love with my country :) ...small stints would be fine (Is my Boss reading this???)

22. What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
'We don't need you...get down there!'

Hmmm...not bad at all...and now for my tags...I tag Ani, Sarika & Vijay! There you go guys :)))

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Neha

There are moments when you feel low and down, and there are days at stretch when you feel just that. I suddenly have this overwhelming need to have people around me. How many...I don't know and who...I still need to figure out. Naah...not that people have boycotted me or something, but just that everyone has got too busy with their own lives and that too... all of them together. A very dear friend tried to cheer me up the other day with all possible ideas and there I was ...talking like a complete cynic about any and every suggestion he made. But you know what, that's how I am at times - completely crazy and difficult!!!! Though I know for sure that there's something missing somewhere or is that just my imagination going haywire again!

Aah...that would be too much of a psychological study of myself right now. I am really good (...or so I think) when it comes to dealing with friends' issues and problems...but when it comes to my own, I am a complete dud! No...don't get me wrong. I do not want support or advices. In fact, I'll just not talk to those who try to do that. All I'd want then is to vent out, then get some clarity and then decide the next step! Isn't that so simply simple :) ? Now the problem is that you rarely have people who will let you speak your heart out without 1) interrupting, 2) advising, 3) being judgemental... or worse 4) all of that!!

Now imagine.... a friend pouring her heart out to me and I go on to tell her that whatever she is saying or feeling is absurd or maybe just go on with my dadimaa lecture! Not that I am not capable of advising, but will never do it unless asked for! You need a shoulder, I'll be there.... you need to cry, I'll wipe your tears and may be provide extra tissues also....and when you just need an ear to listen, I'll do only that. (Am I not sounding like a too-good-to-be-believed kind of person!)

Having said all that, I still feel terribly miserable (what a word!!!). All my plans are going down the drain, all my friends are busy - one is busy with her job, the other one is getting engaged this weekend, others are either working or in their home towns. I now feel that I should have had more friends, or better, I should have made the efforts to be in touch with more friends. It's always been this small cozy world I revelled in! I feel sorry now...for myself! And I am missing all those who were always around me and have now moved on with their lives.

Trying to figure out a fix for this, I am back to something I always enjoyed - reading! And with the number of books in my hands currently seem to fuel the urge to savour them soonest possible. I'm on 'Life is Perfect' right now... after completing Almost Single. Guess would have liked it better if I hadn't read Almost Single. Soon after this, I am starting with the Twilight series. Or wait, I think I'll first read the latest Ruskin Bonds I got myself... there are two of them and will sure not take more than a couple of days.

However, I am sceptic...will all this reading actually help or make me more aloof from my surroundings and people? Guess I am only thinking way too much and that this is just a phase. Well, you'd also see a hike in my posts here during this phase as writing then becomes my only refuge. Don't worry, I'll not bore you to death with my oh-so-lonely posts! Urgghhh...going on the same lines all over again!!!

I guess I need a break from myself! Will need to figure out what to do. Till then, take care and stay precious and enjoy all the holidays coming our way :)

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Neha

So you get up early...or wait, let me put it better.... you are woken up early by an unwanted call from your landlord! God...what's with people at this insane hour? Anyways, he informs me that he is going to get the carpenter. Now that's like a 'WOW'!!! All this long weekend, I had been imploring him to do just that, but he finally does it on a day when I need to rush to office! Anyways, you really can't do much with landlords...they always seem to have the upper hand.

After about half hour, comes the man, much waited for - the carpenter. He goes on to check every faulty door...banging and knocking it in between! Why does he need to do that? He sure can see that the hinges are not right and need to be changed...or that the latch is coming off! Why all the knocking and banging??? So after all the inspection, he goes about to calculate the cost, then runs into an argument with the landlord for the same and then marches straight out of the house! I, on my part, can do nothing...but try to make him (of course the carpenter!) negotiate. But he insists that he only does quality work and that's what he is asking to be paid for and goes out. My landlord then turns to me and laments. 'That's how these people are... you see. For such little work, they want all that money!' And while I nod, trying to agree with him, the carpenter comes right back in and declares that he needs three new hinges and some nails etc etc. Aah...so much so for all that argument!

The man set into action about ten minutes after that, having procured all the necessary things, while I settled down to finish my breakfast as well as supervise. His work done, he proudly showed me the the 'quality' work he had done...and I, of course, agreed with him much too eagerly. Having got this done, I rushed out of the house with my handbag and the many locks. There was something missing and I realized what it was only after I had locked the main door....I had forgotten my lunch bag! So, I unlock all the numerous locks...go back and get it and embark on my way to office.

Now start the negotiations with the wretched dilli autowallahs!!! Trust me, I love Delhi, but hate the public transport system here...and more so, hate these autowallahs. They never want to go by the meter and they will never state sensible fares. It's like they are doing you a favor by taking you to your destination...so you might as well just pay what they ask for!!!

After a lot of negotiations, I finally get to office... only to find that my system would not let me log in...the domain is not available. Can things get any better? I call the IT people telling them that I cannot log in and they ask me to raise a ticket. That's like another WOW....how am I suppose to raise an online ticket when I cannot log in??? So they do sense some logic in my question and say that they will 'promptly' send someone. The promptness is evident in about 25 minutes after the call.

As I settle down at work, my cell starts blinking 'Pop calling...'.

'Yupp, papa.'

'Where are you?'

'Office...where else?'

'When will you get free in the evening?'

'Around 8...why?'

'I thought we could all meet...'

'Wait...you are in Delhi??? and who exactly is this 'we all'? OK..hold on papa, I might get late, so that's not possible.'

'How late? And this is urgent. And yes, I am telling you we have to meet...not asking if we can.'

'In that case, I cannot.' (God...I hate sounding like that!)

'OK...do what you want....' Then comes the dial tone (or the disconnected tone!!!) again.

As if I was not having a great day already! I let things be and get myself down to work again. The extension phone rings just then.

'Neha, are you free just now? Needed to talk.' That was a colleague.

'Yeah...come over'

In a while, she comes and tells me that she will not be able to make it for the trip to Mussoorie (something I had been planning for 2 months now!) as the other girl is not joining in. My Mussoorie trip down the drain....again....noooo, I will not let that happen. I am going on my own....I do not need company! Now, that's like the icing on the cake! I sure don't want anymore of this CAKE now!!! I'm feeling diabetic already! Will the baker of this superbly appetising cake please understand that I would not mind dull, boring and monotonous days!!! OK, I had been cribbing about monotony for some time... so what? They say He knows what's best for us...and this sure is not the kind of fun I was looking for!

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Neha

I couldn't wait to get home last evening. There were these last few pages left in 'Home' (by Manju Kapur) and I had to finish them ASAP. Having decided already on my next read, I settled down to savour the climax of the novel. Just then I heard some sound from within my house! I chose to ignore it completely.... another figment of my imagination, I was sure!

A good read... gets a little detailed and a little boring in between, yet no other author can capture the Indian domestic life as well as her. I put down the novel, my mind still on its many characters and the way their life would have moved forward beyond the last page of the book. That's another problem with me... I'm completely absorbed in what I am reading, even when I am not actually reading it. So when I started Brida, I got a little restless... thanks to my living the character completely!

I turned on the television while I went over to the shelf to pick 'Almost Single' - my next read. I was idly surfing channels when I heard another sound again. I put the TV on mute and tried to listen intently. Of course, it was somewhere from within my house! OK, let me be honest... any such kind of thing freaks me out...completely! I got up from my bed and went to the other room with silent steps. My heart beats were audible when I moved towards the kitchen...and before I could switch on the lights....something fell. I shrieked and jumped and ran back to my bedroom.

After a few seconds of gathering myself, I mustered all the courage to return to the kitchen.... this time, switching on the lights before. And there it was.... a big black rat seated on what it assumed to be its throne (a carton on the top most shelf) looking at me sheepishly. Now this is one guest I hate in my house. They are big and black and filthy and scary enough to give me nightmares! 'But I know how to deal with the species,' I tell myself. Then I go and get the mousetrap, tear a piece from a slice of bread, dip it in ghee and place it carefully in the trap. Smiling victoriously, I look up to where IT sat (vanished then!) and return to my room...my bed and my new book!

The book is good...about singles like me :))) and I don't realize it was 2.30 already! 'You'll have the book with you tomorrow as well,' I console myself while reluctantly putting off the lights! And in what seemed to be another minute, my cell phone rings! 'Pop calling!!!' One of the better things in a cell phone is that you can silence the ringer without having to disconnect! God bless the person who came up with that idea. I do just that and cover my head with a cushion and doze off. And...it rings yet again!!! My Dad.... not a man to be unnerved with as many unanswered calls.

'Hello,' I manage to mutter sleepily.

You are still not up....it's 8 in the morning already!'

'Papa, it's just 7.30 and what is it early morning? I'll call you later!' (Come on Dad...let me sleep!!!)

' Isn't it late? What time do you go to office?' The same concern in his voice which is always there every morning, on every occasion!

'Depends, Papa....I'm sleepy!'

'Depends on what???' OK, he sounds a little angry now.

'Depends on my client calls....you know I deal with clients who are based in the US of A... so I return late too, na...now let me sleep...pleeeaaaase!!!' I am pleading literally.

'OK, there's some work....get up and grab a pen and paper!' My Dad won't budge!!!

'What do you want me to write now? Why don't you SMS it to me? I don't have a pen handy...'

'What do you mean...get a pen and WRITE!'

OK...so that's a command now! I get a notebook and a pen and wait for him to speak.

He begins reading...wait...what is that!! A Bio data!!! Naah...not again...not this early in the morning!!! He can't do this with me at this hour. Matchmaking at this hour....GOD...NO!!!! And he reads...with complete details and declares, 'I'm coming to Delhi next week.'

'What for? You surely are not serious about this, Papa...right?' My mind is racing with all the future possibilities...dad coming here...meeting the guy...then making me do it...then....I don't even want to think beyond it now!

'OK dad...wait...hold on....I need time....and I am not meeting anyone I don't know!'

'You know someone only after meeting them. I'll call you next week.'

'But dad...listen....' my voice is lost in the dial tone...or is it the disconnected tone (I am handicapped when it comes to vocab...you know :) )! So, the call is disconnected with the usual not saying Bye!!! I stare at the screen...eyes wide open now. 'What a start to a Thursday!' I mutter, drag myself out of the bed and go straight to the kitchen.

And there it was...fallen pray to my trap! I smile to myself....victoriously as I watch the little black intruder look on silently from the trap. Ah...some things still happen the way I want and direct them to...so what if it's just the mouse and the trap!

Note - sorry blogdosts. This was written last week, but could not post it. Anyways here it is now. As for Dad...he is NOT coming now :))))).

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Neha

The last week has been like any other week... a mixed bag of happy and not so happy events! Yes, there have been quite a few upsetting things that happened. First is that I have put the print of my book on hold. Now, if that is a bad news or a good one, I don't know. Moreover, I'm a little unsure of the reason why I did it. To be honest, a part of me said that it was not worth getting printed. Yeah, I know...so much for the months of hard work I put in getting that done... phew! I guess I'd better work a little harder on the next one!

Before I go on further, here's another promise I had made and am keeping as well (am so proud of myself!!!). Remember, I had promised that I will have Gagan read your comments and write to you. Well, here you are... some words straight from Gagan:

"First of all I want to thank everyone who prayed for me. I literally need that and still many things to recover that I know now. I know I should thank in a big manner to everyone who prayed for me.... Zafar, Neha..Lagan and Promila. I also would like to thank all blogs reader like Pushkar, Zafar, Jalpesh, Anirudhha, Aamir..and all others...cos they have prayed for me and it is because of them I am here today."

So that's straight from his heart and once again, thank you, blogdosts, for all your prayers and words of comfort!

And now, back to my complain box, the second upsetting thing was that I did not hear from a single blogdost after my last post! You all wanted to know the guy's side and when I did post that, no one responded :(((. And that surely upsets me! Zainab told me that she didn't have anything new to say, while another friend tried predicting the story, but all of this was offline! Now, before you come up with any reason... or let's call it an excuse, I am sad! Come on, I ought to know your comments...good or bad. They help me write better... in fact motivate me to write! But then, that's OK if you don't want me to hear from you :(((. Guess have got too used to hearing from you, responding etc etc. It's like another small world in my own where it's about people who connect for a common interest and each one becomes part of the another one's world :).

And yes, I have finally resumed reading again, thanks to the Brida I received for my birthday. I treated myself to a few more books from the Book fair over the weekend and today, a colleague has given me the entire Twilight series! Wow... I'm so excited and feel so rich! You know what... after every book-shopping experience, I am like that small child who wants to wear all the new dresses immediately. Similarly, I too want to savour them at once! Alas.. I will have to read them one by one!

So, by the time, I complete Brida and then pick my next read... you all take care and stay precious :)

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Neha

The January chill gave a warm feel for some reason. 20 kilometers on a bike in this weather and hour was sure not a welcome ride, but it felt different today. The Sunday evening and the winters only added to the charm of the ride as it kept the nasty traffic indoors. He usually avoided being out till so late... however, today, time had run out of him.

He had planned it to be a normal lunch meet followed by coffee and that too if need be. Of course, she was a great friend; but whosoever would spend the entire day together! There was an eagerness to meet though no hurry. He had known her for years now and he had never considered their meeting to be so important. Somehow, he felt that this friendship was different and it was the trust and comfort they shared despite the distance between them, which made it strangely beautiful. He has had friends and still has plenty and has even been quite popular amidst his group. Yet to feel so close and connected with anyone was quite unlike him.

Everything had a place and time in his life, and all that he didn't deem important enough had to wait... his rules in life were simple. People and relationships were equally important for him as were his goals and ambitions. All along he thought that everything is crystal clear and sorted, but for this one person! Their longer than normal conversations didn't leave him exhausted or drained out. He never ran out of things to talk about and her cheerful demeanour only added life to otherwise mundane topics. She was different and he seemed to have known that always.

"Where have you been all day? I tried calling you, but you didn't care to answer!" His roommate stormed as he entered.

"Was with a friend... ohh, the cell is still in the silent mode. No wonder, I haven't received a single call," he adjusted the settings of his cell phone.

"You mean you didn't realize that all day! Whoaa... you got to be kidding me!"

"Gosh.. I'd need to call all these people right back before they set out to butcher me!" He scrolled through the list of calls he had missed.

"Do that later. First tell me, who were you with today? And moreover, do you really think you need to keep a cell phone with you??? You never take calls anyways!"

"It was a friend I met after many years today. Just forgot about the cell phone! Have you ordered dinner?"

"Yes, it's lying there waiting for the almighty to bestow it with their highly attention!"

"Good... let me make a quick call back home and we will have dinner."

"Make it really quick... I can't wait all day for this now!"

He glanced at his roommate's face while going to the other room... 'he can drive me crazy!' he thought to himself and continued with the call.

That night, as he lay on his bed, he recalled the time they had spent together. They had only one thing in common and that was their school and yet, everything else seemed to fit so well. Of course, she is different and so is their friendship. He was sensitive towards her, but then, aren't you sensitive towards all your friends?

Questions flooded his mind... it was like one big jig-saw puzzle. The more he tried to fit a piece in its place, the more unfit it looked there. By then, sleep was befalling him and while he succumbed to it, there was one thing he was sure about - no other girl had ever made him feel thus.... how??? He still needs to find out.

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