November 07, 2010

Just friends... Or more?

Hey! You beautiful girl, my friend
Umm... I wanted to ask something
Are you just a friend to me or am I in love with you?
I wish I knew. Can you tell?

I adore you. I like you. I respect you.
You make me feel happy
You make me feel kool
I do feel something in my heart, when I see you
I long for your company
I look forward to see you
I want to be there,
Doing everything you do

What was the last time I told you
how, just how beautiful you are?
You're way too gorgeous, dear
For me you're a star
I admire you a lot
For what, I don't know
But I admire you a lot

I love to walk you to and from the college
Even though it means walking as slow you do
I love teasing you, and your "Shut up!"
And I find you not just beautiful
But very attractive too
You know... I feel a strange attraction for you

There are a million things I want to write about
Can fill all the pages and still not be done with
Your beautiful eyes, your graceful walk
Your mesmerising smile, your elegant mannerisms
And the way you laugh and the way you talk...

I have other girl-friends too
They too are all nice 'n' pretty 'n' attractive
I love, respect and adore them too
But I don't feel for them what I feel for you

What is it that I feel for you?
Are we just friends or more?
You're a special friend, I guess
But how special? How, how special, can you tell me?

Hey gorgeous! And what do You feel for me?
I wish I knew
And may I talk to you about this confusion of mine
as honestly as I can write it down?
Eh, see, I'm confused, and maybe a bit shy too
I dare not ask this to my other lovely friends
Would You tell me what is it?
This question has got me wondering 'n' wondering
Would You help me sort it out, please?

Are we just friends
Or, eh, more?
I guess I love you
Just want to be sure
That I really, really love you
I just want to confirm
Hey dreamgirl, please tell me how to! 

Related: What is love?

October 13, 2010

Watch a match in stadium. I just did!

So, what is it like to watch a cricket match in stadium, eh? If your team is winning, the icon player dominating and a rapturous crowd at its vocal best, be sure as hell that watching a match can be an exhilarating experience. The euphoria multiplies when, even as you are in the stadium, your friend calls you: “Hey, I just saw you on TV!”

I'm writing this minutes after India defeated Australia in the second test and won the series 2-0 in Bangalore. India won, Sachin slammed a double ton and then a half-century (hit four sixes), I was sitting in the front row of the best stand, got featured on the giant screen at the stadium soooo many times! Delight, delight, delight!! Can you ask for anything more!

Aussies can speak Hindi, dance Bollywood style
India made history and all, everyone knows. But do you know Aussie players are learning Hindi and Kannada too? Phillip Hughes and a couple of Aussies who are not in the playing 11 were sitting near the boundary, i.e., close to us. “Learn Hindi!” one guy screams to Hughes. “Theek hai, theek hai,” Hughes replies with a grin, to our obvious amusement! Spectators passed some more comments. “Chalo, chalo,” Hughes retorts.

Haha... Even more funny was when he and Steven Smith broke into an impromptu Bollywood-like dance: shaking hips, moving hands and all. But then they got nice comments too: “Come to Bollywood”, “Yo! Cheerleader”. Haha... Good fun :)

Everyone saw me on TV
Past night at office, after work, got to have the unbound pleasure of seeing myself on TV! Oh dude, I was like “Woooooohoooooo!!” Past night it was just I who saw myself. Today, as I come to the office after the match, six of my colleagues plus so many people in the office canteen told me they saw me on TV today! Our news editor just told me he saw me twice! Yo man, I am famous already! Haha...

Don't miss the experience
Dude, seriously, do watch a match in the stadium (when India is likely to win). Ask me. Watched four out of five days' games. And now, after endless dancing, screaming and cheering (no booing), my voice is like perhaps how Rani Mukherjee would sound when she catches cold. And because of clapping so much, my hands are as red as the poor, defeated Aussies' face.

For today, the final day's play, the stadium was nearly filled to capacity. And when a thus-filled stadium, capable to seat around 65,000 people, has viewers getting into Mexican wave so often, the joy is like something you can't experience anywhere else. Here comes your turn, and you go “WHHOOOOAAAA..!!”

Thank you :)
Thanks to our sports editor who gave me the free passes for pavilion. Thanks to the jolly guys sitting near me. Had great fun cheering and hooting. Thanks to my job, whose timings allows me to go have fun throughout the day without having to take leave, and which enables me to get free passes! And of course, thanks to the players for putting up a great show.

September 29, 2010

A man's account of unsolicited male attention in B'lore

When I told my friends during the final days of my college in Dehradun that I'd be going to Bangalore for studies, they predicted I'd revel in the female attention I might get there. I wish they were right.

In Bangalore, people did get drawn to me, wanting to be more than friends. Just that all of them were homosexual men. (Nothing wrong with being gay, just that absolute strangers approaching me out of the blue seems intimidating.) When not being accosted by these gentlemen on MG Road, I've had a pimp on Brigade Road diligently trying to make me avail of his clients' services. I stayed in Bangalore for six years. No girlfriend, just these experiences. Sigh...

Gay: You hungry? I: I've just had bananas :-/
Location: MG Road, Bangalore's hip and happening place.
Time: About 4 pm
I was roaming around on MG Road. Had gone there for some bird-watching (get it, aye?). But well, looks like another kind of bird, a queer one, was watching me there. A thin, young guy (must be in early 20s, wearing three-fourths and had Shaggy-like hair) asked me sheepishly, in a Goofy-like accent, "Dude, are you hungry?" Well, I had just had two bananas, and told him so.

I thought, why would this stranger be concerned whether or not my nutritional requirement has been met? Oh crap! It struck me, maybe he meant the other hunger, not the one the stomach craves for but an organ a few inches below it. Man! And to this guy—who's looking nervous, stupid and desperate—I've told that I've just had 'bananas'! What a jerk am I! (All this thinking happened in a flash.)

He perhaps read too much into my fruit diet and a glimmer of hope replaced nervousness in his eyes. Realising my folly, I just dashed off.

'Hi darling, what do you want?'
Location: The lush, green, vast Cubbon Park. 
Time: A bright, sunny, Friday afternoon
This incident happened when I had gone to watch actual birds, in nature's lap. I thought I should get off the beaten track and explore the hitherto unknown areas of the park. There were couples in every dark corner. One young guy (looked like must have failed all his school exams) felt he and I would make a good couple. He came up to me and said, "Hi darling! What do you want? Come here."

The emotion in his words could give inferiority complex to Shah Rukh Khan. Ruined my experience. I wanted to sit in nature's lap, and there I got accosted by a guy who wanted to sit in my lap. Of course I walked away as fast as I could.

'Come to my hotel room'
Location: Near Press Club, Cubbon Park
Time: About 6 pm
Was waiting for the traffic signal to go green so that I could cross the road. "Excuse me," said a distinctly masculine-looking man in a distinctly feminine-sounding tone. He asked me how to get to a hotel, where he was staying. I told him he could get a bus from near my office, which was just across the road. He dared ask me, "If you are not doing anything, would you like to come?"

S**t! This did him in. Damn it! I told him I'm a journalist and gotta go to office. No sooner than I told him about my occupation, he dropped the idea of catching a bus from across the street and said he would take an auto to his place.

But I don't get it! Why me? I should have been a chick-magnet. Why am I gay magnet instead! I know it's a cliched question but seriously, why?

'Lady hona?'
And if all this was not enough, there's this pimp on Brigade Road. This is where you get to see the young crowd any day. One fine evening past year, I was standing near a fruit shop on the road. Then came a man (in his mid-40s, looked like a typical Bollywood villain) in old, dirty clothes, stood next to me, and asked, "Ready ho na?" (Meaning, are you ready?) Ready for what, I thought, and asked him. He repeated himself. This time I heard him correctly: "Lady hona? College ka lady?" (Want a woman? College-goer?)

Damn it! I just moved away, disgusted. What crap, I was thinking about my sweet, beloved friend there and there's this pimp asking me if I want to screw someone! 

It's not a one-off incident. A few months later too, when I was standing at the same place, gleefully licking the vanilla softy I had just bought, the pimp came again. I moved away before he could say anything. "Hello, listen..." he called me, but I walked away. Every time I go to Brigade Road, that pimp will be there, looking at me. Heck!

Why do they think I'm such a person who'd be interested in, well... 
Once when I shared all this with a school friend (a perfectly sleazy guy), he explained it could be because I've got my left ear pierced. He said left ear piercing is an identifying mark for gay men. I don't know if that's true, but since then I got my other ear pierced too. Thankfully, I've not been approached since. Therefore, I'm happy and gay. 

August 05, 2010

Back For Good: Robbie Williams joins Take That

Can there be a better news? No, sir. Take That, the original line-up, is back together..!! WOOOOHOO!! The five, original five, back together, after more than 15 years. Robbie is back in the band! YIPPIE!!! Man, it's so exciting... Click here to read about it.

So, why is it such a big news to me? Four out of these five guys have been performing for the past four years anyway. Their comeback song had won my heart right away. The musical implications of Rob's entry is not the main reason that pleases me. That he agreed to join and that the remaining bandmates accepted him is the real heartwarming news!

Yes, the friendship has been restored. The hatchet has indeed been buried. Bitterness gone. Hurt healed. Egos overcome. Unholy pride abandoned. Reconciliation prevails over resentment. Forgiveness, finally, and acceptance. Friends-turned-foes are friends again!

Man, you should have seen For The Record, the 2005 documentary about the band's heydays, their break-up and post-break-up scene. They were such a rage! I had cried when in the documentary the bandmembers announced they were parting ways. Gary had to try so hard himself not to cry while announcing it. A generation of teenagers had plunged into depression. The UK had to set up helplines to console devastated fans. I was so overwhelmed upon seeing that part.

Then started the rivalry between the bad boy Robbie and the frontman Gary. Former bandmates, pitting themselves against each other. Friendship, lost. Love, lost. Brotherhood, lost. Hatred, resentment, despise, malice... In. Ah, that hurts me.

Friendship is sacrosanct
For me, my friends have been the mainstay of my existence. Have made excellent friends in school and college (love you, guys). Got pseudo-friends during post-graduation. I know how it feels when someone close becomes distant all of a sudden. I know how it hurts when someone you loved so dearly (we're talking about friends here) starts taking you for granted and chooses ego over you. It hurts like hell. I've wished I knew how to make nice. Have sometimes revelled in the joy of imaginary reunion too. The joy of being back together... I have longed for it. Still do.

That's why I am so happy that these guys are back. Even if they don't produce a single album, I won't mind. That friendship is back, differences have been settled, harmony is restored. That's what is most important. Everything else is trivial in front of friendship. I am so happy! I hope they stay together, forever. I hope no one fights, they all have a great time together.

And I hope they stay safe and well. I was very happy upon learning of Boyzone reunion too. So unfortunate that Steve died the way he did. May his soul rest in peace. I feel for the rest of the Boyz. I hope Take That remains safe and sound and gives us great music. I hope they rule the charts and re-establish themselves as the ultimate pop band! Wishing you love, luck and success...

In the twist of separation, you excelled at being free

Can't you find a little room inside for me?
—Take That in Back For Good

July 30, 2010

First anniversary of my 2nd innings in Bangalore

Yeah... On this date, one year ago, I had arrived in Bangalore in search of a job. Not that I eagerly wanted a job. Just that parents didn't let me have a laidback, freewheeling time at home so thought of going far away from there.

Hmmm... So 12 months since I came here. Time flies really fast. It's been two years since I had started my journalism college. Man... Anyway, wanna know how was my "job hunt" like here?

Did I say "job hunt"? I should be saying "job kill". Yes, I didn't hunt jobs, but killed my chances of landing them. For example, reporter's job in The Hindu. A perfect example of how a dream-come-true can be turned into a nightmare. Of course, my ephemeral stints (of four days and one day) at two content writing jobs before and after that are not even worth mentioning.

Let's make a timeline of these past months:
July 30, 2009: I arrived in Bangalore
August 10: Applied for internet desk of The Hindu
Aug 10-Aug 30: Kept thinking I would get a call from The Hindu. Didn't get it.
September 1st week: Started my first content writing job (at monthly pay of Rs 8,500)
Four days later: Got up, took bath, got ready, had breakfast, left for office but stopped midway, in disgust and frustration. Decided to leave it. Split-second decision. Wrong, of course.
Next eight-nine days: Brooding over the frustration over which I left my job
September 19: Took membership of British Library
A few days later: Decided to do internship in The Hindu. Got starting date of internship as November 1st week. Kept waiting till then
October 23 or 26: Started internship one week ahead of scheduled start
till December 1: Reporting for The Hindu. (Boy, what a time!)
December 1: Gave test for sub-editor at The New Indian Express
till December 22: kept postponing going to The Hindu to collect internship certificate and send stories as freelancer
December 23: Went to office, discovered I could contribute only feature articles, not news stories. Disappointed. I had thought I could freelance that's why I had discontinued internship
December 24: Get an email from city editor of The Hindu. I am offered a job. A reporter's job! Wooohoooo!! Tone set for a joy-filled birthday, for a change. I went office wearing my new Reebok shoes for the first time, with my bling-bling and guitar
December 25: My birthday. I am happy that I got, nay, earned that job at The Hindu. My phone is not switched off and I'm happily answering birthday calls. But some jerk in our building stole my vest that I had kept on the clothesline for drying
December 30: Was supposed to be the day when my entry into The Hindu was to be sealed. Was supposed to be the last scene before "happily ever after..." gets played. I messed up in that last scene. Most unexpectedly. Of course, unwittingly. But tragically. Poor me. Awww...
January 1: New year! Bah.. Who cares, especially after unwittingly losing out on a hard-earned job!
till January 6: Nursed the flicker of hope that I'd get my dream job, that I had earned and lost, that of a reporter at The Hindu. January 6 clarified, "Not this time, buddy."
till February 12: Gave a couple of online tests for content writing exams. Cleared them but didn't go for interview. Bah, not interested
Feb 12: Got email from editor of The New Indian Express. They want to hire me! Had given test on December 1. I knew I had done well!
Feb 15: I join a content writing job. The Hindu job had slipped out of hand, so gonna take no risk this time. Man, got bored to death. What boring work. After a couple of hours itself I wanted to run away from there. And when I did run away at the end of the day, I never came back
Feb 22: Watched Backstreet Boys and Richard Marx live in Bangalore, from first row..!! WOOOHOOOO!! Yeah yeah..!!
Feb 23: Short, formal meeting with editor-in-chief of The New Indian Express. So short and seemingly insignificant, I wonder why was it held!
Feb 24, evening: I get a call from editor, The New Indian Express, asking me when can I join. (Looks like I made it, but still too early to tell, after The Hindu experience.)
Feb 26: I sign the offer letter, join the office. Nailed it. Finally. Done. Yeah!
since then: going to office daily, chopping stories ruthlessly (as I'm trained for) and having fun with it

Since then I've watched an IPL match of Bangalore vs Delhi and live concert of MLTR too! Hmm... Good enough. Well, past one year has... Will I be correct in saying it passed by rather swiftly? Man, I dunno. I'm just glad that it went by. Any fond memories? Ummm... Yeah, interning at The Hindu. That was fun. Although tiring, I had  sound, refreshing sleep at the end of the day.

Ok, any fond memories on personal front? Haha.. None. What is important is that even though I got neither my dream job nor my dreamgirl, it doesn't mean I can't or won't have it in future either! Right? Right :)

July 10, 2010

Who am I and why am I here?

Who am I? I ask this not from a spiritual or philosophical point of view. But really, who am I? Why was I born? What's the purpose of my life? What is it to achieve which I have taken birth?

This question haunts me. I see people who are very successful in their fields, how people love and adore them without any bounds. The whole nation gets emotional when Sachin Tendulkar raises his bat after scoring a century. Everyone loves him. At that time I want to be like him. Currently the football world cup is going on and everyone is cheering for the mighty Dutch team and feels sorry for the heartbreaking loss of the Germans. I want to be cheered for too.

Then at the live concert of Richard Marx, Backstreet Boys and most recently, MLTR, I saw the crowds going crazy for those guys. I too want to sing songs and ballads of love, life and heartbreak, of joy, sorrow and pain and earn my entry into the hearts of millions. I want to be known, to be recognised, to be loved and remembered after I am gone. Look at Michael Jackson, gone but still the King of Pop!

The problem is, I don't know yet what it is that I want to do. Of course, currently I'm employed as a sub-editor in a reputed national newspaper in India's IT hub, earning a humble pay. Is this what I want to do? Stick to the field and wait for my promotions or increments, as and when they come?

When I was watching some Superman movie, I wanted to be him when I saw people (in the movie) looking at the flying wonder with awe. I want to be like Peter Parker (alter ego Spiderman) and Tony Stark (and thus Iron Man). Then, while watching Salman Khan's Wanted, I wanted to be a super cop! Not just wishful thinking, I really want to be.

And whenever I watch my favourite movie, an animated movie about a horse, Spirit—The Stallion of the Cimarron, I want to be like him. Of all the things I don't know, one thing that I do know is that I don't want to be a horse. But as I write all these things, I can see that whatever it is that I have to be, I want to be admired, loved and respected. People should recall the name Hemant Gairola with love, gratitude and respect. But how to do it? What do I do to be what I want to be? What field, what stream?

Universe/God/Higher Self... Anybody there?

June 21, 2010

A letter to MLTR

Guys (I mean the members of MLTR), this is a letter to you. I don't think you'll come across it. But, to quote Harold Robbins, from Never Love A Stranger, "It is strange to write something you know may never be delivered but it is stranger still to imagine it will be."

I wonder if you remember. In Bangalore, in June 2010, you had a small performance-cum-fan interaction in a retail store before your concert that evening. I too got a chance to say something. Well, I became tongue-tied—as I was star struck and nervous—and fumbled and mumbled words that you couldn't understand. Whether you remember it or not is important, what is important is what I wanted to say. And here it is (I hope it reaches you):

I was 17 when I had first fallen in love. (Now I realise it was puppy love, but at that time I was madly in love.) She had big, beautiful eyes. All she needed to do was just look at me once with her those mesmerising, enchanting eyes, and I was in seventh heaven. And that was when I came across your Angel Eyes. She had angel eyes. Your song had the words for my unexpressed feelings: "Angel eyes, rays of hope that hypnotise... Lightning up my life"

I used to become euphoric when she used to "blind me with her light". Ah, your this song was the theme song of my teenage romance. At nights, I would lie on my bed, headphone on, listening to this song over and over, and I used to lose myself in her eyes. The beauty of your song complementing the beauty of her eyes. Ah... The theme song of my first love!

And when it was my last night in the township where I had lived for all the 17 years of my life, I remember listening to Blue Night while staring outside the window. I knew it was our last night there, was looking at the star-studded sky, the view obstructed by the huge tree outside my window. "When the blue night is over my face, under dark side of the world in space..." Was lost in my last blue night in my beloved place.

Well, three years after these things, I had actually fallen in love. True love. And when I was deeply, deeeeeply in love, she abandoned me all of a sudden. And then your Watch Your Back became the theme song of my heartbreak recovery. Yes, "The wolf inside her is never satisfied, she's like a spider and you could be the fly". Exactly, that's how I felt upon discovering the truth about her. Here I felt it, there you sang it!

Well, after she left me, I started my post-graduation and there seriously fell in love with a close friend. I could never tell her. And then More Than A Friend became the theme song of my longing. "Tell me you'll care for me now and forever, I'll give anything to hear you say, that I'm more than a friend." Ditto! Exactly what I used to feel (and still feel)!

I have always found empathy and sympathy in your songs. Could connect to them so easily. Guys, I love you. Thanks for churning out these beautiful songs. They are so close to me. Thanks for doing what you do. Thanks for continuing to do it for so long. Thanks for sticking together and thanks for coming to India. Wonderful performance at night! And I hadn't imagined that you guys speak so well, winning audience with your wit! Hope to see more of you wonderful people...

Love and gratitude
One of your biggest fans

May 27, 2010

A walk to remember. Thank you, muggers

Visualise this: late-night walk on empty roads on a moonlit night. Ah... Beautiful, isn't it? No. Not for us Bangaloreans. There's no Batman looking out for us here. Muggers are. I had a shameful and embarrassing encounter with two such gentlemen one fine night, adding another inglorious chapter to my misadventures in Bangalore.

It was 2 am, I was walking towards my apartment in Basavanagudi after finishing work at office (at Indian Express Circle). Yes, in the dead of the night, I chose to walk 9.4 km to my room. Had given my motorcycle for servicing, so the only other option to get to home was taking the office cab. This meant that the commute that takes me 15 minutes on my bike would turn into three-hour Bengaluru darshan. Heck! I was in no mood to travel "cattle class", to different corners of the city, before I'm dropped at my place. Weather was awesome. A cool breeze was flowing and the sky was clear, moon was out (just one day shy of full-moon night). Perfect for a walk. Enough peaceful time, I thought. And so I started my ill-fated walk.

The streets that are jam-packed during day wore deserted look. Only occasionally would some car whizz by. Had walked some two-three kilometre when two ungroomed rookies on a khataara motorcycle approached me and asked time. 2 am, I said. They went. This was at Corporation Circle, an area that stays abuzz with traffic during day. 

Some five-six minutes later, I heard the sound of a motorcycle from behind. Looked back. It were the same ruffians on the motorcycle. They were about 100 metres away when I saw them. They were approaching me. I wondered: "They had just gone from here, what are they doing here again? Do they want to ask time again? What is it?" I stopped walking, waiting to ask them what I could help them with now

The bike stops near me. The guy on the pillion tries to grab my hand. Oh yeah! Now I get it: They are trying to rob me! (When at 2 at night, two loafer-looking people stalk you and try to grab you at an isolated street, you can be sure they are trying to rob you.) So, the guy on the pillion tries to get hold of me. But, come on, am I a dummy that he can do whatever he feels like! He just manages to graze my finger. I run towards the centre of the road. (Untill now I was on footpath, law-abiding pedestrian, even at 2 effing am.) The wannabe mugger runs after me with a foot-long, rusted machete in his hand, and a crooked look on face. And then... The most embarrassing thing happened.

I ran away, screaming "Help! Help!" So shameful! All this was happening in the central part of the city, which keeps seeing a steady stream of vehicles even at night. So, here is what the scene was like: Me standing in the middle of the road, desperately waving at the cars passing by to stop and help; the wannabe muggers standing at some distance, watching if any car would stop to help me. Even though I was frantically screaming for help, no car stopped. But cars kept coming, one after other. So the thugs thought it was better for them to leave. And they left. Phew! Then I hired a cab and reached home. Excitement over.

Now, see, whenever I used to read those crime stories in newspapers that how some person got robbed at knifepoint, I always used to think: "Let somebody try to rob me, I'll thrash them alrite!" In my imagination, I have floored these robbers with my Akshay Kumar-like roundkicks and twisted their arms with Bruce Lee-like manoeuvres. In my dreams, I have actually drawn their blood with their own knives (slashed their palms, to be precise)!

Heroic job. Isn't it? And that day, I had a chance to actualise my dream that I have dreamt so often. Imagine, how cool would it have been! The newspapers would have glorified me the next day. The story would have read like this: 
"Two robbers did not know what was in store for them when they tried to rob a journalist. Hemant Gairola (22), who works with a leading English daily, was walking towards his house about 2 am after finishing work at office when two motorcycle-borne youth tried to rob him at knifepoint. However, the young journalist gave those muggers a taste of their own medicine. Hemant, who has formal training in martial arts, vanquished the two robbers with his devastating kicks. He left the robbers writhing in pain, licking dust. He then called the police at 100 and waited till the patrol came and took away the muggers, who were trembling with fear and pain.
The city administration has decided to honour Hemant for his bravery. A teenager who lives in a building where the incident happened captured the whole action on his mobile phone camera. He has uploaded the video on YouTube and it has gone viral. Even Terminator superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger saw the video and has invited him for dinner..."

Man, how cool would that have been! I'd have become a hero overnight! Bah! I missed the opportunity. Well, no crying over spilt milk. Wise men make more opportunities than they get. That's what I thought as I was ruing over the lost chance. So, I decided that after a couple of months, I'll again go by foot at night. But that time, I'll be prepared. I thought I'd resume working out, restart my taekwondo classes. Then, when I'll feel I'm ready, I'll again embark on an adventurous walk. I was planning for a flawless victory in that mortal kombat. Wasn't sure if I should be hiding a sword or a baseball bat under my cloak. Yes, I planned on wearing a long cloak, like Neo did in The Matrix. Muggers, you want some, come get some! I'm a hardcore WWE fan. I'll smash you like an idli. I'll beat you to pulp. Na, chutney.

I was fired up. Then I thought, jaane do. Maaf kiya. Have been commuting only on my bike since then. 

May 08, 2010

What is love?

Love is what I'm feeling right now. Love is when I just see her new display pic on a social networking site and get delirious, euphoric, and crazy with unbound happiness, so much that just want to scream at the top of voice that I love her! Love is when it takes just one look at her sweet pic to make me overflow with gratitude, so much that I have to fight back the tears of joy. Love is uncontrollable joy (I want to run, scream, fly) and pride that I feel upon looking at her. Love is when just a look at her 3x3-inch photograph releases feel-good hormones in every cell of my 6-feet tall frame; I feel light as a feather, feel like I can fly. Love is when I feel so mighty at her mere mention that I feel confident of winning the world with my one hand tied behind my back. Love is when all it takes is just one look at her (photograph) to melt my heart and make me fall for her all over again, head over heels.

Love is the audacity, and optimism, with which I've changed my relationship status to "committed" on social networking (which means I am committed and she will be). Love is the hope that one day, very soon, I'll get to talk to her again, we'll be friends again and she will see my love and she too will love me. Love is perseverance, with which I'm still trying to make nice after the heartbreaking fallout. Love is patience, still trying even after 18 months' failure of making nice. Love is the pain of the disappointment, the frustration of dejection, the hurt of the snub.

Love is loyalty. Love is holding on. Love is sincerity. Well, love is going on :) Haha.. Love is a stupid attempt at rhyming. Love is me trying to write poems just because she does. Love is breaking into a smile all of a sudden, recalling the merry moments of bygone days of our warm friendship. Love is when her elegant, sophisticated, over-emphasised mannerisms floored me effortlessly. Love is when I got lost in her beautiful eyes and wanted the moment to freeze.

Love is knowing that it's going to be alrite again. Love is incomprehensible faith and inexplicable optimism. Love is what I feel for her.

I love you...

April 26, 2010

White shoes are not for faint-hearted

The worst time to wear your brand new white sports shoes is the rainy season. All it takes is one drive in downpour to soil your proud, new purchase. Splash, splash! And dirty, muddy water renders a dirty look to your no-more-white and no-more-new-looking shoes.

These were pre-monsoon rains here, which marred the beauty of my dear new white shoes (I emphasise, my “dear” new shoes). Partly white and partly not. Looks like they are no more virgin. I’m heartbroken. (sigh)

The possessive, perfectionist person that I am, I washed them up completely. A bit of detergent powder, a bit of detergent soap, a lot of brushing and even more hoping and praying. KABOOM! All this later, my shoes looked as good as new! As if they are virgin again!

However, my joy was short-lived, as another rain soiled my brand new, white sports shoes yet again. What hurts more is that the repeat-tragedy could have been averted. I had reached office before the first hailstone hit the earth. Yes, hailstones! I rushed down from second floor of our building, just to rejoice the sight of hailstones. Hailstones! Yippie!

Yippie no more. Suddenly out of nowhere came a gushing stream of dirty, muddy water and… I'm heartbroken again. I can write no more.

February 22, 2010

Backstreet Boys in Bangalore (Woooohoooo!!)

WHOA! Amazing, amazing, amazing!! Eeeeehaaaaawww!! Oh my God, I still… Oh, baby! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Yeah! Shout, scream, it’s the Backstreet Boys, baby! Right here in Bangalore! Woooooohoooooooo!!
February 21, 2010. When the “Greatest boy band on the planet” came down to Bangalore for a live performance. A whole generation of teenagers grew up on their love songs. Hitherto, only a BSB video on TV was enough to make me euphoric. “Oh my God! A Backstreet Boys song!!” If just their 2D image on my 21” Onida TV used to excite me like hell, imagine the delirium of seeing the boys in flesh and blood, L-I-V-E, from a distance of no more than 10 ft.

Yeah, I skipped lunch, rode bike like crazy, braved the blazing sun for an hour while standing in the queue, and ran so fast to claim a space in the front row. And a hundred others who were standing in the queue like me ran their fastest as well. Everyone wants to see the BSBs!

They were the main-event, so obviously the show started with other lesser known bands. The crowd, which kept getting larger and louder as the show progressed, was getting wild with anticipation.

Even as an amazing rock band, Jayce Lewis, was belting out a number, Howie sneaked into the backstage. That was our first glimpse of the boys. I felt sorry for the less popular rock band: though the lead singer was straining his vocal chords with utmost sincerity and the punk with funky hair was playing bass guitar superbly, it was Howie who drew the loudest cheer in their act, simply by stepping into the dead end of the stage for a couple of seconds. And then Nick stretched his neck from behind the curtains to see the crowd. AND EVERYONE WENT CRAAZZZZYYYYYYY!!!

Performance by five artistes later, the stage crew started preparing the stage for the main event: “BACK-STREET-BOYS! BACK-STREET-BOYS! BACK-STREET-BOYS!...” The whole crowd was so loud that the boys could have heard them even if they were sitting in their hometown — Orlando, Florida.

Crazy with anticipation. Yes. Thus far we had only seen them on TV. That’s it. The legends. On their first visit to India. Audience didn’t seem to mind the 20-minute time gap in preparing the stage. Even namma Kannadiga annas who were preparing the stage, while wearing fluorescent green jackets with CREW written on it, were cheered. “CREW! CREW! CREW!...” The poor chap, brooming the stage, wondered what happened.

And then the stage went dark and we knew the time has come. And then came the moment of the lifetime. The boys! On the stage! Live! In flesh and blood, here in front of our eyes. Yes sir, this is not a dream. It is a dream come true! And then…

“Everybody yeah…
Rock your body yeah…
Rock your body right…”
The blonde-haired Brian started singing. The assembly of fans became delirious. It’s for real!
“Backstreet’s back, alright!”

And then started what was perhaps the best night of my life. They belted out hit after hit after hit. And the crowd sang along with them. Brian waved at the front row audience who were continuously waving at him. We just got to see how hot Nick looks. The crazy, tattooed AJ is really cool even though he is losing his hair. And we learnt that Howie can do moonwalk!

Ecstasy, pure joy. Euphoria, delirium. Ah, pure pleasure. The whole experience was like, if I die tomorrow, I know I haven’t wasted my life. I got to see the Backstreet Boys live from front row! I wish the night hadn't come to an end. But it had to. But no regrets. It was the best night my life!


January 30, 2010

Our Father in heaven, in Thy name I err

I've had a few misadventures in Bangalore, which are moments to cherish forever. This is one such incident that took place on a bright, sunny, cheerful day. Or, a typical Bangalore day. Holy Christ! I almost embarrassed myself that day. So, here's what happened.
Happily singing a Westlife song, merrily swinging the pack of new T-shirts I had just bought on sale, I was heading towards British Library. Right next to the footpath on the way, on MG Road, is St Mark’s Cathedral, where I noticed people sitting in the prayer hall, listening to some sermon. Ever since I had read 'Sermon on the Mount' in school, I’d been inclined towards Christianity and have been curious to attend mass prayer/attend a sermon. Having all the time in the world that day, I thought, why not do it right now!

I headed towards the entrance of the hall. Two beautiful, young women, dressed in exquisite saarees, were sitting outside the entrance and greeting everyone who was coming.

“I’m not a member of the church. I want to know if I may attend the function,” I humbly asked the girl who stood up to greet me and hand me some booklet. “Yes, yes, please,” said the other girl, looking a bit perplexed. Why this expression, I thought.

I was curious, did anybody tell her that whoever had smeared heaps of makeup on her face had done an awful job at it? And do they put so much labour in getting decked up for a weekly mass?
I took a seat in the prayer hall. The pastor was talking about love and marriage, Adam and Eve and related stuff. So that’s today’s topic, I thought.

I knew of the phrase “dressed in their Sunday best” but it's only that day I understood how seriously they take up dressing and appearance. Men, many of them, were wearing what was perhaps one of their best suits. And women too stood out, courtesy bright red lipsticks, over-zealously applied mascara and shades of make up on their eyelids and cheeks. Little girls were wearing frilly pink frocks.
I remember telling myself: "C’mon! It’s a sermon, why is everyone dressed as if it's someone's wedding!"
And why has the pastor suddenly shifted his focus from Adam and Eve to Jonathan and Sharleen? Who are Jonathan and Sharleen? I’ve read New Testament; there are John, Joseph, Jonas, but I can’t recall any Jonathan. Or Sharleen.

I was busy trying to recall any reference to Jonathan and Sharleen in the Bible, when the pastor said something about blessing the bride and the groom.

And then a man dressed in a grey suit, and a young lady dressed in a flowing, white gown appeared out of nowhere and started walking up the aisle. And then three great revelations dawned upon me.
1. Jonathan and Sharleen are not ancient, biblical characters, but 21st century people who’re getting married this day.
2. I have gate-crashed their wedding, mistaking it to be a sermon.
3. I’m an idiot.

I chided myself and quietly sneaked out of the other entrance, deciding against confessing to the over-made up ladies at the main entrance of my misunderstanding. As I stepped out of the hall and rushed towards the exit gate, I was just seeking forgiveness from God for gate-crashing the wedding. Oh, yes. I did say a silent, quick prayer for Jonathan and Sharleen.