Neha
It was a pleasant morning today. I did debate about whether I should go for my walk and eventually, put on my jogging shoes and headed out.

For the record, I have finally set out a time for regular exercise. Gyms suffocate me and there are no courts (badminton/basketball) near or around my area. So, I gave myself another chance at morning walk/runs. I was never an enthusiast in that, but so far so good. I am going steady and intend to continue till Monsoons after which I will have to join a gym.

There I digress!

OK... so back to the park. With the school vacations having started, many children come with their parents/grandparents. They bring their cricket kits, badminton rackets along or simply have fun on the swings and slides.

This morning, there was a 6-7 year old playing cricket with his granddad. He was bowling while his grandfather was making vain efforts to get out and be able to continue with his yoga. Each time, he'd let the ball hit the wicket or get caught by his grandson and ask, "Am I out now?" To which the boy kept saying 'No'.

It was a sweet scene and usually little boys prefer to bat than bowl. And here was this little guy who just wanted to play along with his grandfather.

I smiled when I saw them playing, being reminded of the time spent with my grandfather. I never played cricket though. I used to accompany him on his morning walks quite often on my holidays. He was a regular for decades but had to quit when his knees became really weak.

Those mornings used to be fun. We'd hire a small bicycle and he would teach me to ride it, holding the seat from behind and jogging alongside. Sometimes, we would go to the nearby park and play.

On our walks, he would tell me the names of various plants/flowers planted in the neighborhood. Of course, he would regularly check my memory/knowledge too!

I remember a morning when we sat in a temple compound and he taught me how to read a wall clock. He would test me now and then when he returned after work.

Some mornings, we would visit an old couple who lived on the next street. They had a guava tree in their backyard and while the three sat and talked, I plucked sweet green guavas with a long bamboo stick.

Most of our Sunday mornings were spent in our terrace garden where I'd earnestly try to help him with gardening. He loved plants and even after we moved to our apartment, he maintained many potted ones.

These and many more memories are coming back to me today. Those moments which I relive every time I think of Dadaji and which eventually leave me crying. I know I should be happy thinking of them, but the realization that it's past now and I will never get to meet him again is heartbreaking.

But then, of course, as they say - we should treasure those moments for the happiness they always bring to us. Life is not the same without him, but also, all that it is today, it is because of him.

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Blogdosts, I have been in the process of writing this post for 4 days now and finally able to publish today. Thank you for putting up with me. I am a thankless girl, I know :(

Will see you real soon. Till then, take care and stay precious :)
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Neha
There was this time in July 2008 when I was frantically looking for a new place. The landlady of my then flat asked me to move out as her grandson was getting married and they needed rooms for the new couple. So, I was made the scapegoat.

Those who've tried looking for rented accommodation in Delhi, will understand my pain. Cursing my luck, I ventured out looking for a suitable option to move into, but even after a month of fishing around, nothing materialized.

And on the last day of the last week of my notice period, an agent showed me this place.

At the first look, I hated it!!! The owner of the place wad due for a knee replacement surgery and so could not climb to the third floor. The previous tenants had not bothered to close the balcony doors either and then being the monsoon season, the place was a disaster. I was sure I was not taking it.

Reluctantly, I walked in to see the rooms. Nothing great. I moved towards the balcony and I was held captive at once.

For there was this one place in that crowded area which did not overlook into another balcony! All I saw were trees followed by a playground beyond a government orphanage which were single storey rooms.

I stood out there for a while and reconsidered my decision. The place could be made into a home, for sure! And I took it.

Here is the view from my balcony, the one factor that made me take this place:


Isn't it so calm and green? Trust me, there are not many people in South Delhi who can boast of such a view from their balconies.


Everything was good till one morning a couple of weeks back when I found a heap of twigs lying in one corner of the balcony underneath the water cooler.


My experience told me what it was and I could not let it remain there. And of course I have my reasons for it:
  • Being underneath the water cooler meant that it will sooner or later drown in the water spilling over from the cooler.
  • I would definitely never let incessant chirping ruin my days and nights.
  • I cannot and will not let my favorite corner of the house to be occupied and forever dirty!
And so, it began.

The twice-a-day everyday battle. Every morning and every night!

After getting dressed for my morning walk, I go to the balcony, peep underneath the cooler and stretch my right leg to pull out the twigs. Then, I collect them, wave my hand with the pile before throwing them away.

And every evening, I repeat the exercise.

And they are always around.... perched nearby, looking at me.... probably cursing me. It is to them I wave before throwing the pile away.

To tell them that the place they have selected to build their sweet home is not a good choice.

To symbolize that not only a lurking cat, but even over flowing water means the end of their not-even-started family!

And that, I AM NOT willing to let them take my favorite corner!!


This battle (or struggle?) has been waging on for quite a few days now and neither of the side seems to be giving in. So whatever and whichever way it will be, I'd prefer to be called a home-breaker than a cold-blooded murderer!!!

Isn't that better of the two options, blogdosts?
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Neha
Just a quick post - I am here, very much here! And all those who blog regularly can vouch for that as they sure do get my comments on their posts.

May be I'm getting too lazy as work is like always and yet, I'm not able to blog. I have a few posts that are incomplete! The last one that I left midway was early last week when I wanted to announce the completion of my 7 years in Delhi on May 12!!! Now, that's surely not the way I wanted to do it :(

Nevertheless, I am around and trying to get back to my once-active blogger self. Please put up with me (no false promises on time). Till then, you'll always hear from me on your blog :)

Take care and stay precious :)
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