Friday, May 27, 2005

a few questions

Fate, destiny, karma.

how much of it is written in the stars,

and how much in our own hands?

Is it hindsight, that compels us to believe,

in what the stars foretell?

Or is it okay to ignore all the cassandras ,

and to plod ahead in my own path?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

a trip down memory lane

mayurah nrityanti
Originally uploaded by bilbobaggins.
"Jungle mein more naccha, kisne dekha? goes an old saying in Hindi. I can answer that I did.
This was back when I was at J.N.U for the master's program (as an aside, a master's degree does not do jack for mastery over a thing). It was the 4th semester. GRE madness was finally over. We were all busy wrapping up our projects and dissertations and sending our letters of acceptance/declines and yada yada yada. Things got hectic and that's when a break really helped. So at 5 in the evening, a few of us left our confined lab to take a leisurely walk. Mid- April, not really a time for rains but it threatened to do so that day. J.N.U has a ring road within the campus. You can start at point and be back at it in half an hr. It was always fun to take that walk as it offered views of the abundant greenery nature has blessed the place with. I still remember the curving labernum lined road leading towards the admin. Block, and the two bougainvillea laden stretches right in front of it. J.N.U is the most beautiful during April as everything is in bloom and the view is a treat for the senses.
Enough digressing, back to the walk. So we are mid way through our walk, right at the spot heading towards the parthasarthy rock. We are still on the road, when we paused. You cannot be human if you did not do so. In front of us was a flock of peafowls. Actually one peacock and a few peahens. Now imagine this, the weather is just beginning to get hot and its all dusty. And then you hear the clouds rumble and the day gets a little darker. Its not raining yet, but it is going to. And you have in front of you a peacock that is in preparation of unfurling its majestic beauty and actually dancing. That, dear friends, is a concert, no MasterCard in the world can pay for. For this you have to be in the right place at the right time.
It so happens, that we were. What followed is what is being shared here and will forever be etched in my memory.
So, the peacock starts dancing. Some peahens are watching but gradually leave. That leaves our dancing peacock with two peahens at two opposite ends. The peacock knows now that the stakes have just gone up. He starts dancing towards hen A. She is not too interested. Fine, the peacock does a 180 degree turn and starts dancing towards hen B. she is not too interested either, but by now hen A is miffed and she leaves. The peacock is now dancing for all its worth. They left finally. Don't know if the peacock was successful in its mating game. But, we got a show and yes it rained a few minutes later.
Soon, we were all done with our program and left in different directions. The ten of us are scattered all over the world but still carry in our hearts the memories we acquired.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Some vignettes from an evening well spent.

Originally uploaded by bilbobaggins.
Seen on a T-shirt in the subway : We all need something to believe in ........................I believe I'll have another beer.
That's what the evening was all about:beer, good authentic homemade Indian food and all my colleagues, having a nice time.
I am the sole Indian in an all-Japanese lab. Need less to say, much curiosity exists about all things Indian. This dinner was long overdue and hopefully some curiosity was satisfied about how an Indian family entertains. Mom had gone all out with her cooking. I was designated to explain to our guests what each thing was made of. Funnily, plenty of lentils figured on the menu. Finally I said yeah you guys eat a lot of beans as in tofu, we eat a lot of lentils. That worked for then.
Bossman had brought his toddler along, who once again had the run of the house. A three year old kid who is more of a Mexican jumping bean than anything else. And yes, he is familiar with naan, but just to be on the safe side, had brought his cheerios along. He enjoyed his snack and later, thankfully the food, that mom had taken pains to make non spicy while still retaining the flavor.
No, a dinner is not complete without my good friend in the lab getting drunk on one glass of beer. Yes, he has a strong case of Asian glow and no tolerance whatsoever for alcohol. But guess what, the first thing he wanted was beer. After dinner, he also wanted to know what he was having for dessert. Yeah you guessed it. He loved the rasogulla the best.
The final round in any Indian dinner has to be saunf. That took some explaining. Its herb (!), it's a mouth freshener, its an after meal digestive. I think my Asian glow friend just had enough of my explanation and he did not trust it much. So he asked my brother, this green thing, it looks like grass, is it legal. My bro the smart ass said without batting an eyelid. Its not, but we have diplomatic immunity. Its ok.
That and mom literally fed the jumping bean lil sugar lumps from her hand. I had to tell her, Ma, it's a kid, not a horse.
All in all, a fun evening. I believe I'll drink to that, or smoke some of my illegal stuff.