Neha
Last week, I spoke about the backward journey I was about to begin, to make good of all the time lost, to revoke the damage done in this last one year and my tribute to Dadaji.

On December 18, it was a year since Dadaji went. It was around the same time last year when he had starting working on publishing my book. Our last conversation had been about it and I was to send him the proof-read copy the following weekend. And that Friday, the unexpected happened and left us all in a state of denial and shock.

Last Saturday, we held a small prayer service in his memory and it was then, I presented the first copy of my book to him - Armaan (desire). The dream to see the happiness and pride in his eyes will remain unfulfilled, but I'm happy that he had read it. The book that was to be a surprise for him is now a tribute.


Blogdosts, Armaan, my second book of Hindi poems released on December 18. There is largely a feeling of contentment and satisfaction. Though I wanted to see the book in Dadaji's hand, I'm sure wherever he may be, he is looking upon us and I hope he is happy.
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Neha
Yes, I have been away for a long long time now. The last I wrote was some time in October and it's already December! Time flies, I tell you.

And no, I haven't been away due to bloggers' block or something. All this while, I was working on something I wish I had done long long ago.

Something that will remain a dream even after its realization.

Something that will remain incomplete even after completion.

A week from now, it will be a year since Dadaji (grandfather) left us. Or better put, left the mortal world; For he is still there, somewhere; For I can still feel his presence around me.

All this year, I have questioned myself about life, about death. Suddenly everything seemed so hollow, so inconsequential. The day it all happened and the days following it seem a blur. Our bodies worked mechanically. And each day since then, I tell myself - He was with us this time last year. This fact deepens the loss, makes it more unbearable to think of all those lost moments/occasions I could have spent with him.

But then, isn't life always so beautiful in retrospection!? It's only at times like these when you realize that time does not wait nor does life.

This one year, we cried, we laughed, we worked, we lived. Life did not stop then and it still goes on. Life still gave its fair share of happiness, surprises, disappointment, sorrow.

The vacuum remained. There was and is always something amiss. And I know that at many moments of this past year, I have not been how he would have wanted/expected me to be. At times, I reacted impulsively and at others, I lost my cool too quickly. I knew he would scold me, had he been around.

To say that I have regrets, is true.

I regret for not being what he taught me to be.

I regret not acting how he always wanted me to.

I regret for crying out my helplessness and not counting my strengths.

I regret for letting my sorrows take over me.

I regret for turning a blind eye towards all the blessings he left behind for me.

How much of this I can restore, I know not. All I know is, wherever he may be watching me from, he will not be very happy.

To say that his absence made me do what I did would be more hurting to him. For he made a strong person of me, a person who withstood all troubles and sorrows without a frown. And he was proud of me.

My backward journey begins now - to make amends, to restore peace, to bring back the lost happiness.

A year later, I have let people and circumstances affect me and that brought out the worst in me. It is now that I need to tread back, for it is now or it will never be.

Dadaji, a week from now, I will complete a task that you left half done. And that will be my tribute to you. And all that I do now towards accomplishing the dreams you saw through my eyes are my goals. I went astray, I fell weak and lost my way without you. Now no more. I can feel you close to me and I can see the disappointment in your eyes. Now, no more.

For now, I will be what you always wanted, I will do what you always said and I will act how you taught me to. And I know you know all that I did, you understand why I did that and you will forgive me.

Blogdosts, A week from now, I will bring forward my tribute for Dadaji. I have spent the last few months in preparing it. Though I cannot make good of the time lost, I am trying to value what I have left with me now.

Till then, take care and stay precious :)
Neha
Here is this week's dose of Fundoo Fridays!

Have a great weekend, blogdosts :)
  • In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry said: "They’ll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." Only a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, Perry hit the first and only home run of his career.

  • Shampoo was first marketed in the United States in 1930 by John Breck, who was the captain of a volunteer fire department.

  • At the end of the Beatles’ song "A Day in the Life," an ultrasonic whistle audible only to dogs was recorded specially by Paul McCartney for his Shetland sheepdog. No wonder your beagle loves the Beatles!

  • Apple co founder Steve Wozniak earned money in college by selling "blue boxes" to other students. A blue box attached to a pay phone created the proper signals to allow a user to make free phone calls.

  • Gorillas do not know how to swim, and they sleep about 14 hours a day.

  • Elvis Presley made only one television commercial an ad for "Southern Maid Doughnuts" that ran in 1954.

  • Goldfish lose their color if they are kept in a dim light or are placed in a body of running water, such as a stream. They remain gold when kept in a pond or in a bowl with adequate illumination.

  • Male monkeys lose the hair on their heads in the same manner men do.

  • Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, was originally an instructor of deaf children and invented the telephone to help his deaf wife and mother to hear.

  • Camel’s-hair brushes are not made of camel’s hair.They were invented by a man named Camel.

  • One alternate title that had been considered, but then discarded, for NBC’s hit Friends was Insomnia Cafe.

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Neha
Does this happen with you too? All week, you hate getting out of the bed, stealing those five minutes of sleep from your already-late routine. But on Saturday morning, when you are adamant on sleeping till noon, your eyes pop open at 6.30 am and refuse to sleep. That's exactly what happened with me this last weekend! I tried to pamper and subsequently curse myself to sleep, but nothing worked.

So there I was, wide awake at 6.30 am on a Saturday morning. To make good of the early hours, I did get myself into action and....
  • Made myself ginger tea and savored the newspaper, something I hadn't done for weeks.
  • Prepared a to-do list with all the work that had been piling up for ages!
  • Got myself to dust and clean even before the maid showed up!
  • Got ready early and was out of the house by 10!!!
So that was me on a Saturday morning. Impressive, huh! All the list of work also included going to a Goonj centre. Well, I had these two bags full of clothes in perfect condition, I hadn't worn for over a year. What better way to ensure that they reached people who really need them.

Along with other things, there was also this visit to the bank, on my to-do list. With the way these private banks have automated everything and made it all so convenient that it is absolute pleasure to see how quickly your job is done and of course, how well they manage your account! So, there I was at this bank inquiring about their products etc.

While the executive went to bring me some leaflets and papers, I noticed an elderly gentleman on the counter next to me. He was instructing the executive what to do with his investments. I watched him intently. The way he sat, talked, motioned with his right hand and adjusted the pile of papers in front of him. And before I realized, there was this sudden stream of tears running down my cheeks! Yes, I was crying! Right in the centre of a bank with at least a dozen strangers not more than ten feet away from me.

And wait. I was not only crying. I was sobbing away! All this before I could brush aside the sudden swell of emotion or even reach for a tissue from my handbag.

Why?

The gentleman had this uncanny resemblance to Dadaji (my grandfather). It's been not even a year since he left us. He visits me almost every day in my dreams. I talk to him, share everything with him...all in my dream. And here was this person, who was so similar to him.

Suddenly, the gentleman looked towards me, smiled, got up and left. I could not smile back. I was still too overwhelmed to react. Just then, I heard the executive's hurried steps behind me. Before she reached the counter, I excused myself to the water station. Soon after, I collected the papers and walked out, not looking anyone in the eye, lest they see my swollen eyes and red nose tip!

I walked sullenly towards home, thinking about what just happened.

Was it really me who just broke down in the middle of a crowded bank?

Was it really me who could not keep a check on her emotions?!

Was it really me who cried, almost like a baby, in front of all those people?

Guess it's all those pent up emotions that gave way to tears that day.

All said and done, I miss him a lot.

I still haven't found a way to deal with life without him. I still find myself helpless in situations where I need his advice.

When I call up home, I have this strong urge to ask about him. Then, the realization comes gushing in. He is not there anymore. He won't talk to me on the phone like he used to. And I cannot complain to him about everything around me, like I used to.

And I still talk to him the way I used to. I feel that he is listening to me. When I look at his pictures, I feel he is saying something to me.

To say that life has moved on, would be incorrect. It's only time that has passed. This time has not healed the wound. With every passing day, the realization of the loss gets deeper.

I don't know how much more time it will take me, but with what happened last Saturday, I realize I'm still inconsolable.

Neha
Today something got me thinking! Yeah, sometimes I work a little on Saturdays too!

I was surfing through news channels in the morning when I saw him! And then I realized! I have written about almost any and everything here, except the one thing/person I have at one point of time been hysterically mad about!

The one person who would and still does make void all my right-wrong judgement abilities.

The one man who attracts me as much as he did when I was a 10 year old!

The man whose craze my father feared would spoil me to a point of no return!

The person who adorned the walls, the mirrors, the cupboards of my room!

My friends and cousins teased me to the hilt and yet that did not deter me from buying more of his pictures/posters!

In a basketball final match, my friends held out his poster to me so that I scored baskets! They sang the songs from his movies and trust me, both of this did wonders to my performance that day!

My cousins counted and recounted his pictures in my room and never stopped even at a 100!!

My little sister never got a chance to decorate the room the way she liked (we shared a room). She could do nothing but live with her fanatic sister so crazy about this man!

Who is he??? Look out for yourself and tell me, isn't he so dashingly handsome!!!

Okay, I'll admit! He is also an actor whose acting skills I never vouch for but there has always been something in him that is just so hard to resist! Something that still gives my butterflies in my stomach...that kuch-kuch-hota-hai feeling, you know!



Yes, The SALMAN KHAN!!!

Isn't he so amazing???!!!


Ohh, I still feel the same when I watch him! The grown-up me doesn't watch all his movies now, but absolutely love him! And I have and can still watch his movies 'n' number of times - 'Maine Pyar Kiya', 'Hum Aapke Hai Kaun', 'Baaghi', 'Love', 'Andaaz Apna Apna', 'Judwa', 'Pyar kiya toh Darna Kya', 'Hum Dil De Chule Sanam' (Pre-interval only!) 'Jab Pyar Kissi Se Hota Hai', 'Heroes'....the list can go on and on!

Happy Weekend, blogdosts!
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Neha
Travelling always fascinates me and more so when it's by train! The crowds at the platforms, the various peddlers selling their goods, ranging from eatables to soaps, locks, chains, newspapers, books and so on.... I simply love everything about the whole experience.

My hometown is an overnight journey away from Delhi. Past experiences ensure that I reach the station well before the scheduled departure time of the train, or well, I am usually running with my bags, knocking any and everyone while making my way towards a moving train! So, now the 'matured and learned me' reaches the railway station at least 45 minutes earlier, buys loads of books and hoards herself with potato wafers, chocolates, bread cakes etc etc. Somehow, I have this illusion that whatever you might eat on a journey never makes you fat!!! Now, don't ask me where I got this theory from. I believe in it completely and follow it too!

But last Friday was different. The auto driver took the longest possible route (he was charging by the meter!) and I was able to reach only a few minutes before the train left. Usually you do get eatables and books in the train, so I comforted myself thinking that I would buy them later. Little did I realize that I was taking a different train (Rajdhani) which started early evening and would reach Allahabad by midnight and which meant that there would be more waking hours!

Ten minutes into the journey and my fears came true. No vendor came by! No books, no magazine, no wafers, no chocolates! I was headed towards the most boring train journey. I longed for them and I cursed myself for not carrying a novel in my handbag!! I skimmed through the contents of it a couple of times, hoping that a book would magically appear behind my wallet or a chocolate would be hidden beneath the case of my shades. Alas, that was not to be!

I settled down, still biting my lips! Being the only female passenger in the coach, I had no one to talk to and the window seats were taken, and hence even the view was out of bounds.

So while I sat there...too angry to think and too bored to distract my mind, a conversation began. Now, if you have travelled by the Indian Railways, you'd know what types of conversations spark off in such journeys. You have people from different parts of the country, different age group, different beliefs and different opinions.

This was the Patna Rajdhani and most of my fellow passengers belonged to Bihar. The conversation began from who they thought will win the next elections, drifted to the development in the state, steered to the corruption that devoured it in the past to the racist attitude of Delhites towards people from the state and finally a debate cum fight over 'God-knows-what' between a businessman who was visibly high and an idealist who would not relent.

And all this while, I sat there, my head swinging from left, listening to them speak as if their lives depended on what they said. And yes, I had company! A 12-yr old boy, who looked a 10-yr, was as bewildered as me looked at the adults around him with eyes wide open. He was at an advantage though. He could openly laugh at everyone and no one seemed to mind. So he did just that, and would also break in with his one-liners, all this while listening to music on his i-pod and playing a video game! Finally, wisdom dawned on the idealist, who realized that his counterpart was drunk and too rude and he refused to talk to him! While the 12-yr old and I waited for some more action, we were disappointed, for now the discussion became much more sober between the sober ones of the lot.

Now, I was left on my own again. I looked around and saw a business magazine lying on the berth. Having taken the owner's permission, I started flipping through its pages. And guess what, I actually ended up reading almost all the articles in there! How much did my non-business mind understand and what did it make out of it, I have no clue! But yes, I was seriously reading...for once a business magazine, word to word! Now that's a different story that I don't remember one bit about any article, except the one on Commonwealth games and the expenditure behind it!

Dinner time discussions were not too interesting and soon after, people rolled out their beds. The 12-yr old's father tucked in his son lovingly, while telling him of all kinds of ghosts that might visit him if he didn't sleep. The boy, of course, was smart enough to laugh it all of. The drunkard grumbled and turned on his berth, almost falling off each time.

A pretty eventful journey, one would say. The auto ride, no books or chocolates, interesting fellow passengers... and a fight!
************************************************
It was a short trip back home, blogdosts, and even before I knew it, I am back to Delhi. I have spent half my life away from home and yet, I feel homesick even before I leave home!!! Any remedies?

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Neha
We all want to learn.
We all want to achieve.
We all want to succeed.
We need to help those who can’t on their own.
Standing at a traffic light, several children approach us begging for alms. We shoo them away.

So many of us have maids and servants whose children are working for extra income in the family.

We all visit roadside dhabas and small restaurants for food and drinks and promptly call out to the small boy serving!

And we all say we wished that every child in our country received education, but such things remain in our talks only.

All of us think and feel the need to do our bit towards the society, and never know from where to begin. 24 hours a day are never enough and weekends are always too short. Yet, not always do we have to share our time as there are ways through which we can reach out to those who really need us.

But before we sit and curse the lack of time and energy for things we want to do, but cannot do; let's visit Vidya and Child. I urge you all to click here once and see for yourself what a big difference a small initiative can make. I agree we cannot change the world, but we can bring a difference to a small part of the world around us.

My cousin has been associated with Vidya and Child for over ten years now. I have visited a couple of their school functions and the calibre and capabilities of the children have always amazed me. Greeted with a cheerful 'Namaste', they go on to exhibit their talent so confidently!

Come forward to do your bit for those children who have every right to education, every right to fulfill their dreams, but lack resources.

Please support by clicking on the link below: http://www.giveindia.org/give/pledgepage/VidyaandChild01

This festive season, let's spread cheer & happiness in the lives of underprivileged children by giving them what they rightfully deserve – education. Let's support this institution, which is selflessly working towards the betterment of our society. Currently, Vidya & Child reaches out to over 800 children.

Come forward to gift a lifetime of joy to those little ones who have lost their smiles amidst poverty and illiteracy. For if we can't do the little bit that's within our means, we lose the right to shun the beggar boy asking him to go to a school the next time he taps on our car window.

I'm counting on those near and dear to me to help Vidya and Child achieve its dreams. Remember, every donation helps and no donation is too small. Is it too much I am asking of you blogdosts?

You can maximize your impact as Vidya & Child stands a chance to win a matching grant from GiveIndia to the tune of Rs 12 Lacs.

You will get 80G receipt via email soon after your transaction for tax deduction purposes (For donations coming in from bank accounts in India).

Five minutes of your precious time could be life changing for a child in need. So go for it and make a difference. Thank you in advance for your support, blogdosts! Let's spread more smiles this festival, bringing more lights in the lives of many!

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Neha
A full-on weekend! Yes, that's what it was like this last Saturday and Sunday. A big trait of a Virgo woman is the meticulous planning she puts into every event, even a weekend! I decided to let go off it this time. A less-planned-more-impromptu trip to a friend's place had me all replenished to look forward to the coming week.

You know what happens when two friends meet after a long time. So much to talk about and you guessed it right, so much gossip!!! The subject may vary, but the core remains just that. So while, we women are obsessed with clothes and shoes and chocolates, we are equally obsessed with 'gossip'!

No wonder then that Sneha and I talked away the whole Saturday night. We talked about cooking, friends, family, shopping....the list can go on and on. Even the delicious chhole-bhature, which she cooked for dinner and which I overate could not let slumber fall on us while we pursued (over?) our bestest hobby - gossip!!! Poor soul had to go for an early morning lecture on Sunday and could barely get some sleep, while I slept through till noon!

Sunday was a bit planned though. And the planning was for lunch only. A big, healthy and delicious South Indian meal at the famous Laxmi's in Noida. I skipped breakfast to be able to enjoy each course. And it sure was heavenly!

I started gorging with this awesome dahi badas (lentil dumplings in curd)! Don't these look so appetizing!

The main course consisted of a Rawa Masala Dosa (pancake made of rice and black lentils stuffed with spicy mashed potatoes) and butter milk!


And then the best part - South Indian filtered coffee!

Don't these just look amazing. Of course, I could not have anything after all this the entire day! But it was worth every bite and spoon and sip!

Have a good week ahead, blogdosts! take care and stay precious :)

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Neha
You all hate me, I know. And you have every reason to. After all, I have ignored this space for so long now. And these once-in-a-blue-moon posts with useless information will never suffice. Hang on, blogdosts, I am trying my best to get...uhhh spring back!

Bear with me just some more time....

Here's your next dose of Fundoo Fridays...
  • Dr. Samuel A. Mudd treated the leg of Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth. His actions produced the expression "his name is Mudd," signifying utter disgrace.
  • With U.S. trademark No. 2,347,676, the sad emoticon ":-(" gets the same protection as a corporate logo or any similar intellectual property. Although seen on millions of e-mails, the mark is now officially owned by Despair- a "de-motivational" company that sells humorous posters about futility, failure, and depression to "pessimists, losers, and underachievers!
  • Boxing was the first sport to be filmed. Thomas A. Edison filmed a boxing match between Jack Cushing and Mike Leonard in 1894.
  • Basketball is a famous American sport invented by a Canadian who was working at a YMCA in the U.S.
  • According to manufacturer Spalding, the average life span of an NBA basketball is 10,000 bounces.
  • Although only 9 inches tall, an adult roadrunner can keep pace with a human sprinter.
  • A kangaroo mother holds a reserve embryo inside of her after her first baby has crawled into her pouch.This serves as an emergency back-up baby, should the first one die prematurely.
  • In 1982, young Sarah Michelle Gellar acted in the first commercial ever to mention a competitor by name. For Burger King, she claimed that the burgers of Burger King’s competitor were "smaller." McDonald’s sued her as well as Burger King. In the same commercial she claimed, "I only eat at Burger King." After that, Gellar couldn't eat at a McDonald’s unless she was in disguise.
  • Koalas and humans are the only animals with unique fingerprints. Koala prints cannot be distinguished from human fingerprints. Luckily, few koalas pursue a life of crime.
  • The footprints left by the Apollo astronauts will not erode since there is no wind or water on the Moon. They should last at least 10 million years.
  • Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney sang under the alias Apollo C. Vermouth.

Happy weekend, blogdosts!

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Neha
It's almost a month since I wrote something and even now, I don't seem to have anything to write! Yet, to ignore this space for too long lurks on my conscience. So, I thought I'll share some more of the 'Useless Knowledge' updates I get :). And add it as a regular feature to my blog...under Fundoo Fridays!!! What say, blogdosts? Liked the idea?

The concept of this would be to post anything which qualifies the following parameters:
  • The post could be of pictures, words etc.
  • The content should not overwhelm the reader in any way.
  • It should prepare or gear them up for the upcoming weekend.
  • Humor will work best.

So here goes my first update on 'Fundoo Fridays'. Would love to see you taking this up too!

  • Bears can easily overtake even the fastest Olympic sprinter.
  • Ben Franklin wanted the turkey, not the eagle, to be the U.S. national symbol. He considered the eagle a "bird of bad moral character" because it lives "by sharping and robbing."
  • Australian scientists have identified some species of baby spiders that bite off the limbs of their mothers and slowly dine on them over a period of weeks. Researchers hypothesize that this maternal sacrifice keeps the young from eating one another.
  • The human tongue registers bitter tastes 10,000 times more strongly than sweet tastes. And that’s the bitter truth!
  • A cat’s jaw can’t move sideways.
  • Albert Einstein never learned how to drive a car.
  • On the psychology front, while you may know that agoraphobia is the fear of leaving home, so does everyone else. Replace that Useful Knowledge with a phobia that’s far more common - the fear of returning home, No, it’s not called homophobia; it’s called nostophobia. Lots of authors suffer from nostophobia, especially the fear of returning home and having to write a book chapter before their publisher asks for the advance back.
  • A kangaroo cannot jump if its tail is lifted off the ground. It needs its tail for pushing off.
  • Gatorade got its name from the Gators, the University of Florida football team who were the first to test it.
  • Beethoven poured cold water over his head when he sat down to compose music, believing that it stimulated his brain’s creative process.
  • Not that he was immature, but Napoleon concocted his battle strategies in a sandbox.

So much for this Friday. Take care, blogdosts! Have a great weekend!

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Neha
A rebel as always, I chose to celebrate the 101st post, rather than the norm 100th! So, before I speak, .... errrr write....., further, join me in singing - Happy 101st post to me!!!! :))

Going by my averages and trend, I am one laid back blogger. When I started blogging actively, I thought I'd be able to write at least one post in 2-3 days. And I quite successfully did that too for quite some time. But then, those were the days when anything and everything inspired me to write. Subjects were in plenty and it used to be difficult for me to pick one over another. And now, I seem to be looking for a subject to write - almost everything seems too boring or uninteresting or not worth blogging. While I am still inspired to write on a few things, ideas vanish when I actually begin to write!

I am bad with keeping promises too. Every time I promise to write more, I disappear completely! I still struggle to find the time to update this space little more often that I do. And I really marvel at all my fellow bloggers who are able to do it so effortlessly. Hats off to you, blogdosts! You need to share the recipe, errr....the secret, with me.

I'll keep this post dedicated to my super achievement! More later :)

PS: My maid finally returned last Sunday! It's been a long time since I felt so happy and, of course, relieved!!

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Neha
And I have been away for a long long time now! Why? Don't ask for even I don't know! I have been reading blogs off and on, leaving comments off and on, and even attempting to write a post off and on. But alas! The post would just never be written completely, leave alone published! So to sum it all, I have been at my laziest best! You want to spank me for this...come, right on! That might just work!

Apart from my regular job, there's nothing spectacular that I have been doing to justify my absence from this space. But yes, there sure has been something that has taken much of my free time and all-so-much energy! Some thing that I have had to do these past few days (almost a month!!)!!

No, no! It's nothing as engrossing as having to finish the Twilight series or as relaxing as taking out time to vacation! It is a self-imposed punishment. Yes, almost!

My maid is out vacationing in her hometown! Wait, don't get your lips twirling into a smile yet. That is not it! She did get me a replacement, who came and was willing to work, but she had a condition. She wanted me to pay her directly and a different (and more!) amount than I pay to my current maid. When she said this, I refused flatly. I had every reason to! All terms and conditions had been agreed on with her in the presence of my maid and now she was backing out!

"You might as well leave as I can very well manage! These things were already agreed on and now that you are backing out, I don't need your help!" These were my words to her spelling 'GET OUT!', which she promptly did.

With those heroic words, all I actually managed was to set my routine upside down. As from then onwards, my mornings begin not with holding a toothbrush, but a broomstick! Then comes cleaning the kitchen followed by preparing lunch! Then getting ready for office! Reaching home close to midnight and washing clothes before taking a shower and calling it a day! Even the regular emails-checking and facebooking have taken a toss. And trust me, though I have learnt enough lessons on cleanliness etc., I have never really been taught how to sweep the floor, do the utensils or wash clothes!

The only person who would really be proud of me doing all this is my Dad! He has always fretted that in the absence of our mother, he has not been able to teach his daughters the typical 'girl' jobs! After all, a girl is supposed to make a home of a house! And sweeping, mopping, washing... all form an integral part of the process!

So, Dad! There, I give you another chance to be proud of me! For while, I committed a stupidly brave blunder of showing the alternate help the door, I have been braving it out even more with each passing day, praying and hoping for my dearest maid to return soon.

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Neha

"What's the use of me staying in a flat, when you always stay with relatives when visiting Delhi???"
''Staying with you means loss of time.... everything is so far from our place... and am coming for business... not pleasure!''
"Fine... go wherever you want... why will you listen to me? Anyways, let me know when you reach Delhi.... take care... bye."

And so ends the conversation. And this is so usual whenever Dad is visiting Delhi. He prefers to put up with relatives in Old Delhi... something that I naturally don't like! And that's something I hate about having a business family background.... Dad never has time for me! But I guess, even those with their parents in service would have similar views :(.

And then, as usual, he would ask my brother, Ankit, to inform me when they'll reach home. And as usual, he does decide to stay with me and of course, his ego never allows him to call me and tell me that! My dad, I tell you!

But it's always been like that between me and him. It's a special bond that only we two understand. Like any father, he always expected the most from his first child and in this case, it was me :(. I remember hiding my test copies from him as even 19/20 was never good enough; so when he asked me if I wanted to study in a boarding, I readily agreed! Why not... Dad wouldn't be there to see my marks! And then, he ensured that I never got anything that easy! In fact, I was made to earn it. So if I wanted that doll with the pink bag, I had to achieve a certain position in class! My first skates were the prize for getting through my boarding school's entrance exam and my first basketball was the reward for winning a competition! He always wanted me to be there... on the very top... ahead of everyone.... while I always feared that I might fail him!

After Mumma, Dad changed but little did his zeal diminish..... his zeal to see me excel in everything. He was never so strict with Shivani and Ankit and I felt trapped... amidst his expectations, hopes and dreams. But yes, never did he push his decisions on me. I was free to decide which subjects I wanted to study, how I wanted to shape my career, where I wanted to pursue my studies and I know he'll not question me even once when I tell him about the guy I'd want to marry! Though he was taken aback with my decision to work in Delhi.... who-so-ever has heard of a girl working in our entire family! But Dad has always been the one to define the norms and not simply follow them. After all, he sent his daughters to a boarding school and not his son, and now when his daughter wanted to work away from home, he was all there for her. He told my uncles, 'I've brought her up that way... After all, I want to see her independent and take her decisions for herself. ' I still admire the kind of confidence these words of his ... not in me, but his upbringing.

Staying in a city not your own, working, and then making decisions that seemed so trivial with Dad around, was not an easy task. There were occasions when I broke down on a call with him and told him that I wanted to return home. All he says then is - 'No worries... ghar aa jaao... business dekho... par khush raho; aur yeh sab toh chalta hi rahega... bhaago nahi, saamna karo.'

True that he's not my idol, but he is a source of my strength. In those times when I want to give up, it's his words that make me go on. I don't share everything with him, but even then, I know that he trusts me completely. A typical businessman, he will only talk business, as for him, a general conversation is loss of time (n I hate that!). At times I wonder, who does he love more - his business or us! Shivani says it's his business, Ankit says it's his work... but Dad had once said - he loves me the most :))), and I boast of this even after 11 years of him having said that

Completely at a loss of words when it comes to expressing himself, Dad is a vulnerable sweetheart! We dread his anger, but as all children, know how to work around it! And he would never let me hug him! And he'd never look into the camera when clicking a picture! (You'll know what I mean when you see this picture :) )

And once when, he said, "It's not a small thing to stay alone, work away from home and establish yourself, especially for a girl and I feel proud of all that you've done," I knew I've not let him down. The spark in my father's eyes told me that he does loves me the most and even though he'd never say it, I know that we mean the world to him!

I love you Dad, for all that you are and for making me what I am today and most importantly, for being my father!

This is in response to the contest 'Tribute to Dad' organised by blogadda in association with Pringoo!

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Neha

The world looked blurred from a distance. And it had been that way for quite a few days now. Everything I saw, everything I did, all lacked clarity. It seemed like a cloud enveloped my vision.

For those who guessed it - yes, it was my eyesight! I was first advised to wear spectacles when I was in class 7. The very idea of looking a little studious and, of course, serious with a bespectacled look appealed to me! My father lost it when he saw me in my new avatar and my mother kept a new name for me - buddhhi! (old woman!)

This new look soon lost its sheen and while I kept updating the frames every year, I never really wore them. Except for those rare occasions when I'd suddenly remember that I own a pair of those nerdy glasses! Though I'll admit they worked wonders in a debate competition, for if nothing else they gave me that look of maturity judges expect from the speakers. Of course, they also came in handy when I had to cramp up notes for the annual exams in not more than twenty four hours.

That was it...until now! Now, the moment I switch on the system I put on my glasses. For without them, I feel handicapped. And little by little, the realization has dawned! My eyesight is getting weaker!

I can go on to blame.....
..... my job which makes me sit at the computer for 10-12 hours every day!
.....my laptop to which I am glued for the next 2-3 hours after work!
....my addiction to reading. I always carry a book and read whenever I can!
....and MOST IMPORTANTLY - ME for not wearing glasses regularly!

So while I can blame any or all of the above, there is no escape from not wearing specs anymore. The latest check-up indicated a decrease in the eyesight and consequently an increase in the lens power! And with that little change in the lens, the world became clearer. So here I am, glued to the monitor, writing away and reading too...but none without my bespectacled look!

(The bespectacled me giving a presentation last week)
To say that I am enjoying wearing these would be a lie. Wonder if it's just my carelessness or age showing up (sigh!).

Neha

I was going through the archive when I came across this I posted over a year back. Somehow, I really like it (the big-mouthed self praiser that I am!).

This one is dedicated to all the women who read this post....It's something I go back to when I need the motivation and confidence to move on.....Hope it works for you too :)

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE a youth she's content to leave behind....

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age....

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE . a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. one friend who always makes her laugh.. and one who lets her cry...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored....

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. a feeling of control over her destiny..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to fall in love without losing herself..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... when to try harder.... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW.... how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW.. .. whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... where to go... be it to her best friend's kitchen table.. or a charming Inn in the woods.... when her soul needs soothing...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW.. What she can and can't accomplish in a day... a month...and a year...

And blogdosts, don't forget... you are worth every happiness, every joy in the world. You are most beautiful, most intelligent and the best. Don't let anyone take away that feeling from you. For if that happens, it (or the person) is simply not worth it!

Neha

Date: June 1, 2010
Time: Late evening
Venue: Internet

Me: Hi, how are you?
Friend: Hi, I'm good. How have you been?
Me: The same old dull routine. You tell me how are things at your end?
Friend: Nothing new
Me: Hmmm
Friend: Hey, listen, I am looking for a job. Can you help?
Me: Sure, I can try. Which field are you looking into?
Friend: Well, right now, anything would do. You suggest.
Me: Well, you have done something in finance, right?
Friend: Yes, Been into bank auditing, but my work exp. is all out of India.
Me: Doesn't matter. Send your CV. My cousin works with ICICI. I'll ask him if he can help.
Friend: Great, thanks. I'll send you my CV soon.
Me: BTW, what is your salary expectation?
Friend: Well, you tell me. How much does one need to survive in Delhi?
Me: Now, that's a question!
Friend: Lolz
Me: Lolz

**********************************

Date: June 2, 2010
Time: 9.30 am
Venue: Outside the building where I stay

Landlord (Head sticking out of his door): Neha!!!
Me (looking back wearily): Yes, Uncle!
Landlord: I had asked you to come speak to me yesterday.
Me: Yes, Uncle. But I got back really late from office last night so couldn't come.
Landlord: No issue. Could you come now?
Me: I need to give my blood samples for some tests; is it OK if I come in after about half an hour?
Landlord: Yes, that's be fine. I'll wait.
(After 20 minutes)
Me: yes, uncle.
Landlord: How are you doing?
Me: Good, uncle (posing a fake smile)
Landlord: You've never introduced me to your father. I've met your sister, brother, cousins, but not your father.
Me: (Why the hell he wants to meet my father!!!???) Uncle, he rarely comes on leisure trips to Delhi. And he hasn't come for a business one also for quite some time now.
Landlord: (smiling his wicked smile!) Ohh! But I would love to meet him!
Me: Sure, uncle. (Reaching my wits' end) You wanted to discuss something.
Landlord: Yes, You see there's this verification drive going on; so I need to get the papers made again. You are just like a daughter to us, so I never really bothered before.
Me: Thank you, Uncle. I, too, would need the renewed deed.
Landlord: And I would need some information from you to get it done.
Me: Sure, uncle. Let me know what you would need.
Landlord (After taking down all the details): And as the deed will be renewed, I'll put the increased rent there.
Me (wide-eyed): But aren't there still 2-3 months to go for that? I mean, the year is yet to end according to the last deed.
Landlord: How does it matter? A month here and there is always workable. And then, you should have no problem with the money. You earn well!
Me: (How dare he say that!!! What does he mean by 'earn well'?? I don't have a five-floor building that I can rent out and sit at home and do nothing!!!) Not really, uncle. You know how expensive surviving in Delhi is!
Landlord: But I need to get the papers made soon.
Me (accepting defeat): Ok, Uncle, go ahead and get it done.
Landlord: So, it increases by 10%, okay?
Me: Of the initial amount, right?
Landlord: No, no; 10% of the increased amount.
Me (exasperated): But, uncle, shouldn't it be of the initial amount? That's how it works!
Landlord: No no. It's the amount that is currently applicable. You can ask anyone.
Me (accepting defeat, the second time!): It's ok, uncle.
Landlord: And yes, you know na how much loss we have incurred this month. There's still repair work going on in the bathroom.
Me: But, isn't that on your floor. And I stay on the third floor.
Landlord: Yes, yes. But we are spending a lot on it as two pipes burst!
Me (feeling my head would burst too): Yes, uncle, I can understand.
Landlord: So, you see, I am shelling out a huge amount there and needed a favor from you.
Me: (I'll kill you if you increase my rent for the stupid pipes that burst in YOUR bathroom!) Ahan, sure, tell me.
Landlord: If you could give the money earlier...
Me: Ok, uncle.
Landlord: You must be getting late for office....you carry on...
Me: (Now, that's an early realization!)Yes, uncle, I should leave now.
Landlord: Do come over for lunch some day; you never come...
Me: Yes, uncle, sure...
Landlord: And please, try and give the money earlier..
Me: Yes, uncle, I will
Landlord: And I'd be delighted to meet your father someday...
Me: Yeah, uncle... (And I hurry off, just too relieved to get out of there ASAP!)

******************************

Talk about how much is required to survive....

Neha

There is this site I have subscribed to 'Useless Knowledge'. It sends tidbits every day and while none of it useful, it sure is interesting to read.

Read on and do tell me if you did (or didn't) find it interesting.

  • A dolphin produces notes 100 times higher than the highest note a human soprano can reach even in the shower.
  • In old Siam (today’s Thailand), white elephants were so rare that they were automatically the property of the emperor. To punish people, the emperor would give them a white elephant, because while they had to care for it, they were forbidden to ride or work it. Hence, the modern term for something totally useless: a white elephant.
  • The first commercial vacuum cleaner was so large that it was mounted on a wagon. People threw parties in their homes so guests could watch the new device do its job.
  • In ancient times, the traditional color of bridal gowns was red. The wife of Napoleon III broke the tradition and wore a white gown. Then, brides began wearing white gowns (which were worn only once) as a symbol of their wealth.
  • Some sharks swim in a figure eight when frightened.
  • The average human eyelash lives about 150 days.
  • Phobia: syngenesophobia Fear of: relatives
  • The name of the game may originate from the days of its origins in Scotland, when it was strictly a "Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden" sport; hence GOLF.
  • Warner Communications paid $28 million for the copyright to the song "Happy Birthday."
    Ferdinand Porsche, who later went on to build the famous sports cars bearing his own name, designed the original 1936 Volkswagen.
  • Should members of these actual clubs be considered slightly deranged: Committee for Immediate Nuclear War, the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Mushrooms, the Order of Manly Men, and our favorite, the Institute of Totally Useless Skills?
  • The world’s first electric traffic light signal was installed 75 years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East 105th St.
  • About 27 tons of dust rain down on Earth each day from space, making a total of almost 10,000 tons each year.
  • Sharks have a sixth sense that enables them to detect bio electrical fields radiated by other sea creatures and to navigate by sensing changes in the earth’s magnetic field.
  • Camels eat just about anything. When camels are really hungry and there is no food around, they won’t think twice about gobbling up people’s tents, sandals, or blankets.
  • Colgate was the first toothpaste sold in metal tubes rather than jars.

The one I like the most is syngenesophobia (Fear of relatives)! I surely suffer from it!

And tomorrow, blogdosts, do come back to find your names in the gift-list; for this time, I haven't forgotten the promise I made :)

Till then, take care and stay precious!

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Neha

So I have been playing this hide and seek game here for quite a while now! This blogger's block is lingering for more than usual. And of course, I have more reasons than one for becoming so laid back.

But that sure should not give you any reason to think that any action was missing. For there are still things to talk about beyond the ever-rising mercury! (For that, I actually feel the need of an air conditioner all the time! Does Shahrukh's thanda-thanda cool cool really work? I think not as I haven't seen those ad this summer!)

And from the many adventures around me, I'd give the award to 'House on Fire'! The reward, of course, is that it gets talked about 'here'! Right over to the action!

A working Saturday is a sad day for me. No matter how hard I try, I cannot make myself to work. Though it does motivate me to reach office as early and leave as quickly too! Clients are usually not working, so that's a respite!

So, come last Saturday and I was up at 6.30 (and that is way too early for me!) and in office by 8! Phew! Beat that! And back home at 5! Trust me, even hot sweltering evenings are better enjoyed at home! So there I was cooling my heels after a long hard day at work. With some shopping to do and a late-night movie to catch, I sure needed some rest.

And then, I heard! It was some thumping/thudding sound, or may be banging, coming from afar. Paying no heed, I continued day-dreaming.

And it grew louder! And nearer! And louder! And nearer! More louder and more nearer!

Till I realized that it was actually coming from my roof! I sneakily opened my bedroom's balcony door, sure to find the monkey family enjoying a Saturday evening too!

They were not there! Nobody was there. Just the bangs and the thuds.

I rushed to the main balcony to check from the front. Before I could look up, I had to look around me! For there were all these people on 'their' balconies and the road...all looking towards my home, rather my rooftop!

I looked up and saw black smoke fuming out! And before I could think what's wrong, I heard people calling me out, 'Get down! What are you doing up there!?'

The gen set of the tower on the roof was smoking away! Which tower? Well, it's the MTNL mobile tower! Yeah...right on top of my head! Or better put, on the fourth floor of the building, where I dwell on the 3rd! Now, don't get asking what it is doing there. After renting out the basement, 1st, 2nd & 3rd floor, this was the best my landlord could do to make some more moollah! And seeing that very tower be the centre of attraction (distraction! Worry!) this summery Saturday evening made me first worried, then fume!

I started for the stairs and ran back towards my bedroom! For whatever might or might not happen, I needed to carry my handbag with me! Oh, and what else did I need then? I have never made that list of things to carry when your house catches fire. So just the handbag was fine, me thought.

I rushed downstairs, clutching my handbag in one hand and mobile phone in the other. In my bathroom slippers! Still wearing the sweat-ridden top and jeans I had been wearing all day. And all the while, thinking if there is anything else I need to take along! Maybe some of my funky jewellery. Or at least, a decent footwear! Or my laptop! And some pictures!

You can laugh there, for now as I write, I realize that there were still all my important documents inside my home with the burning tower on the roof! My certificates. The fruits of my entire life's hard work and toil! Yes, not once did I think about them!

And while I ran down the stairs, I called my landlord's number, which was unreachable.

Then I called up his wife, who was not at home either!

Woww! Was I going to be the only victim had I stayed back! A thought comes and goes.

I had still another flight of stairs to descend when the lady at 100 took all the details. 'I'll send the fire brigade,' she had said calmly before hanging up.

There was a whole crowd on the road, on the balcony, all of them spilling over, all of them looking at my rooftop. The black smoke continued, the banging got harder!

I called the MTNL Customer Service and told them in hysterically that their tower was on fire. 'Please call the fire brigade, Ma'am,' he said calmly before hanging up!

I stood there trying to calm myself down, worry and anger now beginning to take over!

Then came two policemen on a PCR bike. They went to the neighbours. Took first-hand information. Debated whether to go upstairs before the firemen arrived. Shook their heads and subsequently rubbed their bulging tummies. Looked up again. And decided they should check for themselves.

I tailed them upstairs. Watched them go to the rooftop. Well, if they did feel scared, which their hesitant footsteps showed, their eyes betrayed that emotion. They are trained!

After a quick recce, they made their way downstairs. Wrote down my details. While I gave them the information, I so wanted to tell them that I was not responsible for the fire. I wanted to tell them that though I hated working on Saturdays, I never got as mad as to set my own rooftop afire!

I think my innocent eyes convinced them and they went on to call MTNL. And voila! They got the same reply!

Then came the firemen. Some with the bulging tummies (those who stand and instruct!), others with flat ones and instruments in their hands. They went to the rooftop, did some more banging, broke a thing or too, I suppose. Then some more banging with louder instructions from the one with the bulging tummy. The original sounds from the box had died. The smoke ceased. All that remained was the sound of them breaking the box and the voice over the walkie-talky!

Another fifteen minutes followed before the firemen decided that the needful has been done and they could call it a day. They made their way down, not before telling me nonchalantly, 'Don't worry, madam. Just a short circuit. We have taken care of it.' Don't fires break out due to 'just a short circuit'? Before I could ask, they had left and left me with my thoughts.

The action was finally over. Thankfully, the unwanted attention was also over! By now, people had left their balconies and the roadsides. An occasional glance from here and there was all that the tower attracted now.

Relieved with the sudden silence after an hour and half, I locked my home and made my way downstairs. A shopping spree and a good movie were something to look forward to after that ordeal. Now if you want to know which movie I watched... well, it was the much-hyped Kites! Yeah, that WAS another ordeal!

PS: Blogdosts, I am calling off the surprise gift thingee for the first two comments. Call it superstition, but the two times that I flagged it, I received heart-breaking news. But keep heart, I am going to send a gift to all my regular readers (and comments also!) and will post their names in the next post. Till then, take care and stay precious!
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Neha

We plan. We dream. We desire. We long. We hope. We pray.

Amidst all this, we, sometimes, forget that there is that one great power above us, who guides and controls us. It doesn't matter how meticulous our planning has been, how perfect and how detailed. At the end, what happens seems all planned and laid out. We try to control our lives and forget that it is, actually, life that controls us.

And death. Death that takes away our soul, our life. Death that marks a halt to all our plans, our dreams, our hopes, our prayers. Rich, poor, successful or not, we cannot avoid it. It comes to all of us. The means vary, but the end remains the same. For we are all mere mortals.

Such are the thoughts that are clouding my mind since morning. ever since I received the news. Ever since I let it sink in to me. Ever since I realized what has happened. This morning as I welcomed a new day at office, with the usual checking of emails that lay unread, little did I know that there would be this news awaiting me. The subject line of that email said it all - Kati Passed Away This Morning. I felt numb for a while before I could feel the tears trickling down my cheeks. Yes, she was terminally ill and the news shouldn't have been a surprise; yet, it was a shock. For I still hoped that she would regain her health. I, still, prayed that she would emerge victorious in her fight against cancer; and I, still, wished that she would make it to India for my wedding. To put it honestly, I would, sometimes, (even) imagine her reactions during the various ceremonies and rituals while attending her first Indian wedding.

She took it all in her stride, never once complained. The pain she went through never reflected on her face. Spending a day at Day Care for her chemotherapy sessions and returning to work next day seemed normal to her. And all this while knowing that nothing can be predicted, nothing will remain forever, nothing is there to stay. The thought that, finally, she is rid of the pain and suffering that she endured for so long is a consolation.

It's hard to believe that she is no longer among us. Her memories will stay forever and I pray that her soul rests in peace.

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Neha

Don't you feel like acting mean, rude and shrewd sometimes? Or do you always want to be the goody-goody, lovey-dovey person? Trust me these past few days, I have got enough opportunities, and been tempted too, to put it across at people's faces!
...people who do not matter to me....
....people who have absolutely no significance in my life and neither I have in their's (so it's mutual)....
....and those people who would not care any less for me, had they not wanted a favor or help or maybe just that extra attention...

Yes, such people! And when such people call again and again, they barely know what test they are putting my patience to! They don't know me as well as to sense the indifference in my voice. Therefore, it'd be unjust to blame them.

You might tell me not to be bothered and not to let it linger on in my mind. Trust me, it doesn't! For two minutes after the call is disconnected, I am back to what I was/have been doing. However, the time spent in trying to suppress the ever-growing irritation during the call and then another two minutes of trying to vent it out after the call are, at times, too much to handle.

So, the next time I receive a call from a person, who grudged me for my position at work and who questioned my capabilities as his/her manager (obviously not saying anything to me directly), asking me to see is there is a suitable position in my new team in my new office, I want to say that I don't have positions for people who'd only backbite and only create a negative atmosphere!

So, the next time I receive a call from a person, who is actually not a friend and with whom I have merely exchanged greetings sometimes, complaining that I never answer calls nor do I bother to call back, I want to say that I am obliged to do neither.

The next time when a so-called friend, who hasn't bothered to call for ages, asks me to do that little favor of editing the resume or doing a small write-up, I want to make count the number of times when I tried to reach out to them and they didn't care to respond.

And I'd do all this while thanking them in some corner of my heart.
For if they had not been the way they are, I would not have known the value of others around me.
For if they had not behaved the way they did, I would have lived on in my world of illusions.

I would have, then, still thought that everyone around me loved and cared the way I did.
I would have, then, not half respected and valued all those who take the brunt of my anger, which was actually meant for that some other selfish being.
I would have, then, still believed that everyone can be trusted for I hadn't yet wronged them.
I would have, then, still not really understood the way the world works.

And yet, I would still love to give them that little piece of my mind. I would make enemies, I know. I am in those moods these days when the after-effects cease to matter anymore. Any remedy for this, blogdosts?

And yes, I know I vanish after making fake promises of posting regularly. Blame it on no one else, but me! I am experiencing bloggers' block and for once, I seem to have run out of words to write! I am trying to get back....hang on...

Some of my blogdosts also reminded me of the contest that I started last December, but dropped midway. I'd like to start it again. With this being the first post this month, I'd send a gift to two blogdosts who leave the first two comments on each post. This is valid for all posts this month! And I'll send a special gift to that 'one' blogdost who leaves a comment regularly this month.

I hope I made up for being away for so long.

Will come back soon with more. Till then, take care, blogdosts, and stay precious.

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Neha



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Neha

Friday night was a nerve-wrecking one! When you know you are in for a surgery, however small or big, the next day, a person like me cannot get much sleep. And to top it, you are told to reach the hospital at 8 in the morning! I don't remember reaching any place that early, except school and basketball sessions!

Nevertheless, Friday night had me making calls to my dearies and irritating them to the hilt with my fears for a surgery! Amidst all this, I was constantly praying that all this passes soon and I get better! The fear got the better of me and robbed me of a restful sleep that night. Waking that early was a chore and more so was getting dressed to check into a hospital!!! How I was still wishing for a miracle to happen!

We reached the hospital well 30 minutes past 8 and went straight to the admission counter. The person out there tells us that there were no rooms available, rather beds, and that we 'd have to wait for the discharges to happen which would be post 11 am. I sighed. It felt like a receptionist telling us that there are no rooms available in their hotel, while we go on one of our adventurous, fun, teen trips! I sure didn't know that I needed to book a bed for myself for a well-planned surgery!

We called my doctor who asked me to check into the Day Care for like she said, the surgery was a must!!! We marched to the second floor where I made the in-charge speak to my doctor and who BLATANTLY refused me a room or bed as he had none either! WOW! It was getting exciting! During all of this, I realized that I have not had severe pain after Thursday and I was feeling much better than two days back and that I felt that I could go on with some more conservative treatment instead of having to undergo a surgery. And then it struck - Was it God's way of answering all those prayers straight from the heart when I cried and wished that I am saved from this surgery?!

We discussed it with my doctor, who agreed to give it more time as the frequency of the nasty pain had decreased. She said that she will do a check-up again after 3-4 days and unless I have that excruciating pain, we would not have to take the last resort!

So, we returned to the comfort of my little home. It was bliss! To spend a Saturday in the familiar walls of your own home, instead of a gloomy hospital room is a blessing. Though I spent the day resting and ensuring not to exert myself lest the dreadful pain returns.

And yes, all your prayers and wishes worked miraculously! They have saved me from a surgery (Am I blowing the trumpet too early, keeping in mind that I still have the verdict pending?!). But believe me, I feel and am relieved, while I cross my fingers that the pain stays far away from me! I feel weak, but that can still be taken care of with a good diet. I can actually see people, who know me personally, frowning while reading those words!

Nevertheless, I am feeling a lot better and hope I do not have to go through this surgery. Thank you, blogdosts, for all your kind words, prayers and wishes. They worked!!!

Neha

It's already almost the mid of the month (Lower thy brow....I did say almost!) and this would be my first post! Before I give in any excuses, I'd tell you that I'll be equally infrequent here for the rest of the month too! Well, nothing to really say much about it here, but I have been making some new friendships lately and they are keeping me and will keep me quite occupied. And before you go on to guess about my new found interest's', let me be the first to tell you. Yeah, it's the doctors and medicines and hospitals again!

You know what! I have been gifted with this really superb thing of having some new (and unheard of!) ailment every once in a while. And at those times, when I may rejoice for not having fallen sick and visited a hospital for sometime, darkness looms and I find myself struggling with a sickness I've never heard of before! And most people around me are equally unaware!!!

This year has been special. Since Day 1, I have been visiting various specialists ensuring that they don't get out of job. There was this time when I was taking medicines for four different things from four specialists, when, one fine day, I called it quit and left having either of them altogether! The very sight of medicines was making me sick. I fared well too. Suddenly, all of those little creepy and unwanted things (read ailments) started to disappear and I felt good and healthy again, with a stronger resolution to stay that way always.

But alas, that was not to be, and here I am, with another strange, peculiar and unheard of ailment. And it only gets serious with time as after trying to treat it for sometime now, the doctor says that our last resort is a surgery!!! Yeah yeah, you got it right! I am in for a very minor surgery, which the doc says will help me recover soon. Well, the doc knows best, so I'll leave it to her to decide the best medication.

As for me, I am nervous. OK, I have been admitted to a hospital many times, but the very thought of a scalpel gives me goosebumps. Though I have asked all my colleagues to visit me with fruits and not waste money on flowers and am ensuring that all my relatives in Delhi are very much in person with me while I undergo this little ordeal. Don't get me wrong there! To avoid any sort of hassles to my near and dear ones, I have already done and completed all the necessary paperwork, and by the way, that includes getting the admission slip too!!! So, you see, I have been quite a good girl :). However, I surely need all the moral support that their presence will bring to the dull and lonely private room of the private hospital where I'm supposed to check in tomorrow morning!

But worry not, blogdosts, for I'll be back soon and will ensure that I make up for the lost time and read all that I may miss during these days.

Till then, take care and stay precious, my blogdosts :)

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Yes, blogdosts, I need you again! It might sound selfish of me, yet, there is no other way that I can think of to gather good thoughts, prayers and blessings...as that is exactly what Kati needs today.

A colleague and a very good friend and human being, she has been fighting a lone battle against cancer for over a decade now. Currently, she is in the ICU in a hospital in Boston. She had been in India for nine months till September last year and had been undergoing chemotherapy here. However, her health deteriorated when she reached US and it's worse now. The medicines and therapies don't seem to be working and as prayers work more than medicines....I urge you to keep her in your prayers as she needs them most today and so does her family and friends.

Though I have known her for less than a year, she is an epitome of strength and inspiration for everyone around her. Even after having told that she would need to take chemotherapy as the last resort to cure her cancer, her zest for living life to the fullest never took a back seat and she made many friends in a country where she hardly knew the local language! A very determined and strong lady, she never let go of her positive attitude. We, from office, took turns to be with her at the hospital during her chemo sessions and once she would wake up, we'd discuss the latest books, movies, theatre and so many other things. While leaving for the US, she gifted me a stack of books, including the Twilight series, and promised to make it to my wedding whenever it takes place.


I want her to keep her promise and I need you, blogdosts, to help her. Please pray that she copes and recovers and wins against the odds. Please pray that she walks out from the hospital as her smiling and healthy self again. Please pray that our Kati wins this battle and emerges victorious.

Prayers work miracles and we've proved that once before on this blog. Let's do it again, blogdosts.

Neha

Picked this from Melissa, liked it and so replicated it :).

This is an ancient picture....my elder cousin holding the little me in a tea leaves basket. She has and is always there with me and for me. And it's difficult for me to take a decision without her. She is not only my elder sister, but one of my closest friends, my guardian, my confidante...and my Godmother! Love you, Di :)

See you soon, blogdosts. Till then, take care and stay precious.

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Neha

Are we all not so hooked onto Facebook?! Okay...count me in the clan...for there are rare days when I go on without logging in once just to see what my friends are up to. Yes, I do take the pains to read the various things posted on my wall...just to see what people have been up to while I have been missing from Live action!

And there are these status updates there, which are simply so refreshing. You can get the mood of the person through their status message! You like or dislike, agree or disagree, love or hate....you cannot IGNORE them! After my previous sad post, I had to do something to make it up for all of you [ain't I so nice :))]. So, during the last week, I have captured the various interesting status messages of people.

This post is entirely by all my FB friends and for all my blog friends and readers! [Except for minor edits, I haven't made any changes.]

Read on....

  1. Just because people grow old, does not mean they grow up.
  2. Beatitude=Having a day & the unit to yourself :)
  3. Behind every beautiful girl, there's a dumb ass guy who did her wrong and made her strong..
  4. Dreaming of a hill top, sitting under a big old oak tree, with a my favourite novel and big cup of Hot Chocolate in my hands, bit of a fragrant breeze of wild and colourful blooms all around. . .. Ahhhhhh blissssss!!!!!!!!
  5. Delhi's Daredevilss.. will cheww up the Mumbai Indians...!!! Mr.Thackrey hope ain't reading this ...!!!!
  6. Good things take time, Great things happen all at once....
  7. If women didn't exist, most of the money in the world would have no meaning.
  8. I came, I saw, I started to conquer... but then I got tired and said to hell with it.
  9. Today was not my day at all - everything was a mess - literally! Do I need a vacation? Do I? Don't I? Do I?..........................I do! :(
  10. Docs ought to be given intuitive intelligent comps (to maintain their speed) so that they can "type" instead of "write" prescriptions....
  11. I have decided to see if alcohol is the answer to all my problems.
  12. It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat. Everything I eat has been proved by some doctor or other to be a deadly poison, and everything I don't eat has been proved to be indispensable for life. But I go marching on.
  13. I might not be your Knight in shining amour, but do have an Aluminium foil...
  14. I think my guardian angel is on dope.
  15. Today's Goal: #1. Get out of bed before 12:00pm: Failed. #2. Stay away from Facebook: Failed. #3 Be cute, charming and adorable: Did not attempt. #4 Get drunk: In Progress.
  16. Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
  17. As Time Goes By....Things just Cease to Matter......and that Paradox is called Life ! ! ! !
  18. Would like to know if anybody knows how to use the Internet??? Mine is stuck on Facebook...;-)
  19. If people say something bad against you, judge you as if they know you, don’t get affected, just think think. That the dog doesn’t bark if he knows the person.

Thanks dear FB friends! You people make my wall something to look forward to every day :)

Till the next post...take care, blogdosts,and stay precious :)

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Neha

You reach out to a *friend* with open arms, willing to share her miseries, and even more ready to help her out of them....providing all the support you can. And then suddenly the *friend* disappears from the scenes without a hint, and you remain there to face the truth, to realize that it was all an 'in-your-face' lie. You didn't once even think that it could be a farce, a fake. You trusted your *friend* and that's the only wrong you did.

Yeah, you got it just right. This happened like last week and my heart and mind are still reeling under that effect. I need to get my thoughts straight and understand why, in the first place, was I led on to believe in all that was said to me? Like any other individual, who could have been in my shoes, I did not only sympathise, but empathised with the victim. Yes, I believed that she was the victim. And the sole reason behind it was that I had been a victim of similar circumstances and so, I only thought it right to hold out and be there for her.

And isn't that what most of us do, if not all? We believe the person who we know (supposedly) and are often made to think that everything that the person says is true; that the entire world seems to be conspiring against him/her; that he/she has been wronged and all that! And we have even more reason to believe in all of that if we have been in a similar muddy situation ourselves!

As for me, all I can think of is that my choice of the person was wrong and so I was prejudiced. For there is no other way that I can justify all that happened. The pride I take in my friends has been affected and I feel cheated. That does not make me suspect others around me; but it does make me more careful of my choices. I don't want one incident to make me feel this way for others around me. For I have friends that I still am proud of for they are who I chose for myself. And even now, they give me the assurance that this is just a one-off incident. Yet, the words remain - I feel cheated. There is anger. There ought to be anger. But it's not for anyone else, but myself. The damage done, the retrospection over, I need to move on from here....only a little more cautious and careful... I am not the one to forgive easily, I'd rather let go.

Will not let leave you all on such a note, blogdosts, and will make up for it before the day ends. Till then, take care and stay precious :)