Saturday, March 14, 2015

Change..When I discovered a new me..

I stared at the offer letter for a long time, thinking over and over again; unable to decide I called up my mother. “Hi Ma, I need to talk, will it be possible for you to take an early leave from office and I don’t want to sit at home, so let me meet you at that coffee shop near your office.”
This was what I had wanted from the beginning but now somehow I was very scared. All through the metro route the only thought that plagued me was how I will survive in another city. All through my 22 years of existence I had stayed in Delhi with my parents and now with this job I will have to Mumbai and I just wasn’t ready for it. By the time, I reached coffee place in CP, I had decided that I will tell the HR people that this is not possible and they give me another role, I will be happy to do anything they say.

“So what’s up?” My mother asked, as ordered her coffee, “I got Mumbai as my location” I replied in the saddest of voices I had heard myself utter, “But why? You always wanted to work in movies, isn’t it? You only took this campus offer because it was giving you an opportunity to do so. So why are you running away?” , I looked around and with a  heavy sigh I replied, “because it’s a new city, I have never lived away from you, I know this city, it’s my city, I have friends here, there I don’t know anybody, how will I survive alone?”

She smiled and indulgent smile and then took my hand in hers, “That’s called growing up, you need to live alone, understand what it means, it will show very different perspective of life, I am scared for you too but also very happy that you are getting this opportunity, take it as a challenge of starting over. Make new friends, in a new city with your first job, life is going to get pretty interesting for you.”

I had huge butterflies at the airport as she helped with my luggage, and suddenly I raced to her and hugged her deeply, “Ma, I don’t want to go, please, I don’t think I will be able to survive, I will miss you, bhai, dad and my friends.”, she hugged me back, “have faith in your mother and take this leap of faith, Just go for it, start something new”

Mumbai, was my new best friend, It helped me discover who I am, soothed me when I cried and celebrated with me my successes, something starting something new feels like the most difficult thing ever, sometimes change helps in looking up, looking at something new, like I felt when I finally found a second home after Delhi in Mumbai!

Like where they love change..just like in the new video of Housing.


Sometimes, when you feel all is lost without hope
When you can’t see the silver lining in the dark clouds
When there is no light in the damp dark corners
You wish, someone would come to comfort you..

I stood drenched in the rain, as the clouds thundered
Dampened and defeated, tears mingled with raindrops
The whole world had collapsed, and I was alone
I wished, someone would come with umbrella of hope

I entered the lonely room again, burdened and bitter
Why me? I asked several times as I looked again
At the termination letter, they called it pink slip
I wished, someone would come to wipe away tears

I stared outside at the gloomy night draped in rain
When the loud knock woke me from my reverie
Confused, who would come at this hour of night
I wished, someone who could tell me morning is coming

I opened the door, and my neighbor,  an old lady
Stood smiling, with a tiffin box in her hand, as I stared
“I saw you crying, from my window, let’s talk”
I wished, someone would tell me this is not a dream

We sat across the table as she laid the dinner for me
“eat, it’s the answer to everything”, “but, you don’t know”
I started to protest but she forced me to eat
I wished, the deep pain in my heart would just go away

She sat in silence as I gobbled up the food, just like my mother
“beta, sometimes we only make problems, and think,
You are still alive and healthy, just be thankful”
I wished, I could just stop the world right there

She took my hand in her old wrinkled ones, caressing
“I don’t know what is troubling you, I just know
That when you lose hope and belief that’s when you lose”
The wishes were coming true,  dark clouds were moving

And then I went on talking, telling her everything
She smiled and said, “You are like my child, the one I found
When you moved here, alone and I can’t see you like this
Whatever happens I am there for you always”

Just hearing those words, My wishes came true
“I am sorry aunty, I have not been spending time with you”
“relax beta, I know you are always looking out for me.
And I will always be here, your guardian grand mother”

And suddenly I realized, that pink slip doesn’t matter
It’s the time we spent with people, the bonds that we make
Which are not dependant on any letter or office
I hugged her tightly, as all my hope and strength came back

“this is just a small battle, beta, there will be bigger ones
And always remember I will still be there across.”
And we spent the night away talking, catching up
Suddenly the light was shining warm and bright

The night had finally ended, lighting the dawn of hope!

Just like to
Housing believes in the inimitable power of optimism. #together

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Group Hug..of Hope

Sometimes when there are small steps big paths are laid down easily,
Sometimes it only takes a few drops
to lay the foundations of big lakes
Sometimes it's only a few hands joined
that can stand against everybody...

It stood there always, from my earliest memories as a child to now, protecting the smaller plants and nurturing them in its shadow. It's a small park, the only one in our small locality which still has some green colour it. To me the small flowers and the big banyan tree serves as a reminder that peace is still present around me, something that I miss in my busy corporate life.

It started out like any other day, where I was rushing to office as usual late. Quickly remembering if I have everything with me, my wallet, my phone, ID card and run to the car when I heard the argument. Dismissing as the usual thing, people today have such less patience and such huge ego, these arguments are now an everyday thing, but a few words caught my attention, “the tree is my friend”, “you can get any order that you want”, “but sir, I have orders to cut it down”, “We need parking space”.

Curious I decided to go and find out, the voices seem to be coming from the nearby park. Reaching there I found out that my frail grandfather was standing next to two smartly dressed men and shouting at the top of his voice, quickly I rushed next to him to just solve the matter, “Dadu, what is happening, what's all this?”, he looked at me with a forlorn look, like I would not understand, “Nothing beta, these people have decided to reduce the size of the park, and build a parking space for people like you since the number of cars have increased and there is no place to keep them. For that they need to cut down this tree and a few plants and make space. I am telling them that they can't do this, this tree has been with me since my childhood and I will not let it be murdered”

One of the man then spoke up, “Look Ma'am, this is an order from local municipality and you all have agreed to it, look I have signatures and its not that we are destroying the entire park, just a part of it and please its not call a murder, we are just cutting this one tree, please make him understand, else I will have to call police to take him away.”

Before I could say anything, he replied resolutely, “Do whatever you want, I will not let it cut, you people have destroyed the entire planet in name of development, my rivers, my air but this is personal and if you have to cut this tree, cut it along with me.”

With this, he went and hugged the tree as three of looked helplessly, hastily I told them, “look, why don't you come back in the evening and we will sort it out.”

And I left for office, but I just couldn't concentrate on work. The question of whether it is a murder or just cutting of another tree, kept on troubling me. I left early for home to get it resolved. Just as I was about to reach home, I saw a huge commotion outside the park, fearing the worst I rushed inside the park, thinking I will need to take dadu home, even if by force.

Inside was a completely different scenario, all the children of the locality were sitting around the tree that my dadu was still hugging and a few other elderly people had joined the hug, the two officers of the morning were standing with an angry look along with a few police officers and the angry parents were calling out to children and their parents to come back home.

Seeing me, of the angry mothers started out, “It's all because of your grandfather, look they are not letting police do their duty, its just a tree. The space is so much needed, we are buying a new car next month and where will we park it, please ask him to stop the melodrama.”

I don't know what got to me, but I saw the birds resting and the leaves dancing to the breeze and I went beside my dadu and smiled, “go home, Its now my turn to hug my other grandfather, my banyan tree, Don't worry I won't let it be murdered.”

He looked at me with disbelief, then smiled, “Thanks beta, I am so happy” and then I joined the group hug as more and more of us joined, hugging the old tree and deciding we will not let it be murdered.

We sent an application and the authorities relented, we explained to everyone why saving that one tree mattered and now when I look at that tree, as it sways with the breeze as people sit underneath its shadow, my heart fills with hope, optimism, yes there is humanity and love still left. Let's protect our environment around us, we can do it with a few small steps..of HOPE!!

Let's revisit the CHIPKO movement and hug the trees around us!! Let's renew the HOPE and OPTIMISM in humanity!!

Image source:

Just like the optimism and hope that is reflected by Housing, check out

Women's day in India?? Really?? Ohhh I get it you are joking..

“No” the word echoed in his mind, how could she say that in front of everyone he muttered to himself, and the way she laughed with those other men. She needs to be taught “a lesson”, the man in TV was saying right, women are only supposed to do household work and not roam about in night, and she hangs out with men, laughs with them, he will teach her what it is to be a woman. He raced past her on the signal, opened the bottle and threw the acid on her face, as she screamed. “Lesson well taught”

Happy Women's day!! Ohhh the new discount offer, celebrating me as a woman, whereas hundreds of them are being “taught a lesson.”

She always wore tight jeans with that bright red lipstick, thinks of herself as that actress, he chuckled. “Women are like sweets, if you throw them the dogs will come” he read in the newspaper, nodding, “of course the man is so right”. He followed her that night when she got down from her cab, and called her names. She quickened her pace as she entered the dark lane, where he confronted her. He wiped off that red lipstick before “teaching her a lesson.” And did you say rape? But she was wearing jeans, doesn't she know? “Lesson well taught”

Did you say women have equal rights, of course its changed so much. Only the rapes and molestation cases have increased, but yeah let's celebrate “Women's day”

They drank alcohol and were looking to have fun, while she was walking with a man at 9 PM in night. They decided of course she is immoral, to roam about at this hour and must be having relations with that man, so she is spoiled. They called out names to her laughing, but to their surprise she replied back, answering them in equal tone. Furious they took out their anger on her, pulling out even the intestines, “making an example out of her”. They cried its inhuman, they looked shocked, “but she is a woman right? We were teaching a lesson.”

We are debating about freedom of press and speech, Do I even have freedom of being a Woman? But who cares let's have contests and post messages on Social Media, Isn't It Women's day, did you say respect?

Where everday of being a woman is a question,
what do we do for celebrating the women's day?
Just a token, just another hype of a day?
Or are we teaching our sons, brothers, husbands
what it means to respect a woman?
We sit in high chairs and dismiss all the noise
“these bloody feminists” what more do they want

Just the dignity to live with freedom!!

Image source:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mr.X and Ms.Y and the "Pimple Tragedy"

This is a story of Mr.X and Ms.Y and their "Pimple tragedy"  sung by Ms.D and the day saved by our valiant Garnier Pure Active, so read on!

Mr.X woke up as the sun rays filtered his room
The crisp winter mornings and promise of dawn
"nooo" he screamed as the mirror looked back
The monster red pimple was smiling on his nose

"But today is my first date, and this looks ugly"
he almost cried in despair and even rhymed
"you ugly red pimple why today? let me destroy you 
otherwise my dreams will be trampled like fresh dew"

he sang the last part almost like an opera 
much to the dislike of Evil Ms.C, who asked him
"But what will you do now? ha ha.." he replied 
"can you please go away?" as he cried..

"I had dreamt of this special day for so long
amongst the fresh flowers, and this is so wrong
why did it had to come today? what will I do?
how will I show her my face? What do I do?"

In despair he sat, as the pimple glowed 
basking in the unhappiness clogging the pores
Evil Ms.C laughed out, "its your fault you know
now cancel it quick, and then feel low"

He walked with heavy steps, sunshine gone
the black clouds hovered ending the lights of dawn
Just then entered our hero, with a splash of water
the garnier pure active, providing shelter

"Don't worry my friend, the date will go on..
use me, and see how we end the pimple's con
your dreams are mine and let not a pimple end it
I am with you, now quick use me don't just sit"

The sunshine was back, as the clouds withered away
and with a spring in his steps he danced away
the pimple was soon gone, the magic had begun
and his date happened as the pimple made a quick run

Elsewhere the Ms.Y was drowning in unhappiness
the red monster pimple was singing in celebration
she cried out loud, "oh dear god, why why a pimple
when I was meeting long lost friends to mingle?"

"I wanted to look good, to be the center of attention
please, please take away this, I don't even want to mention
why are you being so unfair, have some mercy on me
show me a solution quickly otherwise I will flee"

Our hero appeared again, emerging underneath the bed
"my lady I am at your service, don't flee instead
lets fight to make this monster go away forever
use me always so that I ensure it comes never"

She danced with joy as she held the garnier neem
"you are not just a face wash but a  true saviour
of all  good things you are the one I hold dear
now the evil pimple has to go away forever"

The hero saved the day for Ms.X and Ms.Y and others
as they hailed him true hero, hugging one another
Ms.D Finished her singing, to a thunderous applause
"Garnier Pure Active Need" you are the true santa claus 

To know more about the product visit: and

Monday, January 19, 2015

Is Laundry only a "She" job?

The crisp winter morning, with inviting sunshine
she woke up with a spring in her steps, excited
the oozy oranges and the scent of fresh books
it was an earned holiday after a gruelling week,

"what's for breakfast?" he called out from bed
"whatever you decide" she playfully answered
the breakfast was quickly on the table, as she dreamt
of the lazy sunday afternoon with books!

with the rocking chair kept under the sun, 
she was about to step in, when the call came,
"hey riya, please send me the final presentation"
with a deep sigh, she got back to work!

The evening dusk was yet to come, the sky orange
the chapter one promised to be compelling
"hey riya, what's this yaar, you didn't wash this?
I had this evening planned with my friends."

"what will I wear? I had specially asked you to."
In shock, she still answered, "you have so many."
"yeah right, but you can't wash this?
I slog myself out, to not even have a t-shirt?"

She calmed herself down, to not scream
and she wrote down a list, irritated he tried to look
here just write down, the tasks you did for home
and here your going and coming time from work

Surprised, he tried hard to remember and wrote down
in between he got the point, as he stopped
he looked at the timings, which were almost similar
and the tasks widely different, his list too short

he stammered as he replied, "hey, I never thought"
"Yes you never did, why is laundry my task?
Like you I am a business student, never a laundry.."
"I just thought, you always do" he said sheepishly

"Yes rahul, I always do, because you never did
because you can't get yourself to operate this machine
although you can play complex video games,
you never thought this takes time no? or effort?"

"Let's play a simple game, lets reverse the role
I will follow the tasks and timings you have written
and you follow mine, then let's see, how it is?"
she laughed at his horrified face, amused

"Dear husband, its not that difficult, lets divide it
don't just feel what I do at home is worthless,
and yes Laundry is NOT ONLY my responsibility
I am not saying you do everything but lets divide?"

He smiled for the first time in the evening,
"well, you have made your point well, and wait
I just need to make a call right now"
"Hey Ma, thanks for taking care of all my laundry"

“I am writing for #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob activity at in association with Ariel.”

Ariel’s survey conducted by AC Nielsen

Sunday, January 11, 2015

If only there was a pencil inside every gun...

A foe turned friend..seriously?
the gun mocked the broken pencil
as it lay amidst the splattered blood
"this is to stop you write, you get it?
and you are talking about friendship
you should be asking for forgiveness"

The pencil asked, with an angry tone,
"hmm, so tell me, If I stop there are
numerous like me, how do you stop that"
this time the gun did laugh,
"Fear, ofcourse what else, simple
What I have done, will be a reminder
and you will not write what I don't like"

The pencil smiled for the first time
"But that's a very small area of influence
don't you think? just the thinkers
who wanted to use me, that's small"
The gun looked surprised, thinking
"But fear rules all and everybody"

The pencil shook its head, smiling
"What I influence is  mindsets,
I create new thinkers every time I write
who agree and disagree with what I do
I influence people to think, to grow
Fear is temporary, it wears off soon"

The gun looked discomfited, 
"but then how do I prove you wrong?
I do not agree with what you wrote."
"very Simple, become friends with me
and write, let people hear what you say
and then simply let them decide"

"But" the gun shouted, "its my religion"
"its about my feelings, you hurt me"
"of course it is and hence prove me wrong
find a voice for your anger and write it
create new thinkers who debate it with me"

"But that won't make you stop, then"
the gun asked, and the pencil replied
"No it won't but it will let people decide
it will make them think about you, your point
and how I am wrong, use me and write"

"That's why I said, let's be friends,
You can't rule with fear, and anger
but you can always rule hearts with me"
And finally the foe turned friends 
as the blood of hatred dissolved in Ink!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Sri Lanka! The ultimate backpacking experience!

The ancient history that still stood in glory
cycle rides exploring the ruins with stories
the wildlife that called out among the forests
and idle beaches with beautiful sunsets
It was a journey of a lifetime, with smiles
among the warmth of sun and happy cries! 

Sri Lanka, the land of beaches, sun, breeze and ancient history, its a land where you can experience everything depending on what you choose. The best part as a traveler, it is light on your pocket, here is my travel experience of a 6 day trip to Sri Lanka!

The itinerary:

The Six Day Itinerary was as follows:

Chennai Train Station, India
Day 1: We landed in colombo at 3am and then we took a taxi to colombo fort station, since our first day stay was in Habarana. We had decided on habarana being the center point for our visit to polonnaruwa and  Sigiriya. To travel in Sri Lanka, trains are a super medium, the stations are clean and the trains do not cost a lot, so we took a second AC compartment confirmed ticket for our train to habarana. Most of the train journey, which was a five hour journey went to sleeping and in between eating mangoes and local fried stuff.

We reached habarana and from there took a tuk-tuk to our bed and breakfast place, we had already booked our hotels relying mostly on the tripadvisor reviews. The place was nice with clean room and bathroom and then we decided to have lunch at the place only before starting out on our journey to sigiriya. We took bus halfway and halfway tuk-tuk to reach sigiriya around 3pm. The weather had fortunately become windy with dark clouds with slight rain and we started our expedition.

Sigiriya- Sri Lanka, World UNESCO heritage site

It was an exhilarating climb up, the 600 steps but absolutely worth it, you marvel at the architectural capabilities of people in that time. The ancient paintings still are beautiful to look at retaining their colours and the view from the top was just breathtaking amongst the ruins. 

Ancient paintings Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
View from the top, sigiriya, Sri Lanka!
Post that, we ate at the local market, enjoying the famous egg hoppers and rice rotis with sri lankan fish curry and then it was a long sleep to the next day.

Day 2 : The next day morning after breakfast we took the bus to polonnaruwa, which is about 45 km away from habarana, without much of wait we got the bus and with our luggage at the back it was an easy one and a half hour journey. We took bicycles and after a brief visit to the museum started our journey to the ancient ruins, after an initial 2-3 km ride, you enter the first cluster and then the famous quadrangle.

Local Buses, Sri Lanka

Sleeping Buddha, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka!

Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

On polonnaruwa and things you shouldn't miss, I have another post. Post that we had local lunch and then took a bus to kandy with the help of local people. Kandy is about 130 km away and the entire journey took us around 3 and a half hours, we reached kandy station around 6 and then took a tuk tuk to the hotel which was quite near the railway and the bus station. We then roamed around the kandy town, to the lake and market place and the temple of tooth and had dinner.

Day 3: Day 3 started with us taking a bus to Nuwara Eliya from the bus stop at kandy and we reached in 3 hours to the mountain town, we roamed around for an hour drinking heavenly tea at local stores with the local delicacy of rice and coconut roti. We returned back quickly to our bus stop to take the bus to kataragama from where we had to go next day for our Yala Safari to see some leopards!
Kataragama, Sri Lanka

After a 5 hour ride we reached Kataragama and then went about exploring town,visiting old temples and eating more egg hoppers!

Buddhist Temple, Sri lanka

Egg Hoppers, Sri Lanka

Day 4: The next day was morning safari to yala, to just see some wildlife and catch the sight of the leopards! we got lucky and actually saw the elusive creature jumping of the tree, saw elephants wildly playing and a crocodile fight. After the awesome safari experience, which also included seeing a beach in the middle of a forest, we started off towards Mirissa.
Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Mirissa was actually a discovery, beautiful beach and amazing shacks. After having a quick snack we quickly climbed up a small hill to catch the sunset and it was the most beautiful sunset ever, the ball of red going down in the water, it was just magical. Followed by the most awesome dinner, listening to the waves, having fresh seafood as the candles lit the beach up!

Sunset at Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Day 5: The next day we were just in water as it was a beautiful cloudy day perfect for a beach outing and after a Sri Lankan curry breakfast and an amazing fish curry lunch we took the bus for our journey to hikkaduwa, which took us through galle and some amazing seaside scenery. It took us hour and half to finally reach our destination and we quickly went to check in at our bed and breakfast stay.

After an evening of roaming on the beach and having delicious tea we had a great dinner at one of the numerous seaside restaurants where you hear the waves splashing as you eat a splendid dinner our favorite was the egg fried rice, which I guess is a speciality of Sri Lanka and the fresh grilled fish.
Giant Turtles at Hikkaduwa Beach, Sri Lanka

Hikkaduwa Beach, Sri Lanka

Day 6: we went early morning to again spend the afternoon in sea water, but first we saw giant water turtles as they floated near the shore, and it was simply amazing and exciting. Hikkaduwa is a perfect beach for non-swimmers like me, since there are no big waves and you simply float in water and I had the most amazing time there although because of lack of swimming I couldn't do the snorkelling which I am sure would have been a great experience

Post lunch, we took a bus to Colombo and reached in 3 hours to the fort station again where it was raining, and we just roamed around the city, buying tea and spices and finally having a great finale at the famous german pub, from where we took the meter auto to the airport for our flight back home!

Near Fort Station, Colombo, Sri Lanka

It was a trio which was my introduction to backpacking and Sri lanka truly gives you that oppurtunity! A trip which has made me travel more! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Dreams of hopefully a new year..

The little bird on the window looked at me
wide eyed and hopeful it questioned...
"what do you dream of in the new year?
Is it job, love, money or prosperity?"

I stretched my hands to touch its warm feathers
"I dream of all those things and some more"
Its eyes twinkled and it asked again
"More? what more can you ask for?"

"I dream of pavements where I can walk
with out feeling eyes tracing me
I dream of places I can go all alone
without fear walking alongside"

I dream of parks where I can sleep off
under the shade of green trees
without hearing things and mocking
laughters and scary eyes"

I dream of rivers that can flow
without the plastics choking them
I dream of girls being born
and be allowed to live just as they are"

The little bird smiled out loud
"I hope and pray that one day
your dreams do become reality
and here's to a wish of truly 
a change in the new year"