Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Heading home.

I have no words to describe the excitement I am in. Heading home - to her, to my pets, to love, to MY place after nearly 03 months. So so SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Xmas Blues.

Our first Christmas tree. 12.12.2010
Last year this day, this is what my home looked like. Babi had decorated our first Christmas tree and we couldn't have been happier and proud at our own achievement. Fast forward to today and here I am stuck in this tent - freezing temperatures outside and cold in the inside. From the hints I have collected, I know Babi is upto some surprise. I know that she has added some more stuff onto our tree and that she's re-arranged the furniture so as it doesn't look cluttered and she also had some ideas of new furniture. 
As much as my situation sucks, I am also excited beyond measure planning what all to do once I get home.

So I have flushed away the blues and am trying my best to be happy. Why shouldn't I? I am going home in exactly 4 days and more importantly, the Savior has risen. Hallelujah and Merry Xmas to all of you! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lest you forget! (II)

The last letter of Capt.Vijayant Thapar (Robin) which he wrote just before he laid down his life for

 OUR BETTER TOMORROW at the age of only 22. During the Kargil War.

Proud to be an INDIAN.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lest you forget!

Every time I look at that picture below, my eyes go moist. I wonder how much courage this officer must have gathered to go out there where lies the mortal remains of her martyr husband and salute. How much pain she should have camouflaged to march towards the body and stand there. Still. Strong. And Salute. A thousand eyes fixed on to her. A hundred cameras focusing her every breath and another thousand odd, zoomed onto her eyes, in an air that filled with whispers and wonder and sympathy and adulation. Yes, she walked through it all and did something that we can't even possibly imagine. Then Capt. Dr. Rajshree Gupta, from then to now - you're always in our prayers and we cant stop admiring your courage. Respect.

Captain (Dr.) Rajshree Gupta, Army Medical Corps (AMC), salutes the tricolour-draped coffin of her husband, Major Vivek Gupta of the 2nd Rajputana Rifles, who died fighting the enemies. 

Well, I wonder how many of us take time to remember all these heroes. How many of us are even concerned about their families, about their dear ones? How much does the social networking and the media project this/them? An actor gets a tattoo and we have a page that is dedicated to rant about that, but a soldier lays down his life for our country, for you and me - he'll live for barely a week or so in the media, two more days maybe in someones status, another one day maybe in a magazine and then he becomes a page in history book that we seldom open.

This is not what we want. This is not we should be doing.

These valiant men could walk bravely ahead, knowing that death awaits them only because they thought that even without them, their families would be taken care of, looked after, given respect and love by us. By each one of us. Take that assurance away from a soldier and you cripple his determination forever. Never to return.

So take a moment off and think about how lucky we all are to be born in a land that is so full of such courageous and brave men, who wouldn't think twice to lay down their lives for you and me. Yes, Aee Mere Watan Ke Logon, Zara Aankh Mein Bhar Lo Paani.. Joh Shaheed Hue hai Unki, Zara Yaad karo Kahani.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Missing the season!

Among the things I miss being so far away from home and a proper civilisation for that matter, is shopping for Xmas and New Year greeting cards. Its such a release to browse through the cards while simultaneously thinking about the person whom you're getting it for. That connection we feel while we do something thoughtful for someone else, to make them so worth the effort. So fulfilling it is. That's what I miss right now. That's what I want to do right now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Bestest Friend - Tonu.

Sometimes in life there really are bonds that are formed that can never be broken. Sometimes you really CAN find that one person who will stand by you no matter what. There is a good chance that many might find it in their spouse, but there is also a chance that that one person who knows you probably more than how much you know yourself, is the same person who has been standing by you all along!

A few pictures from the many we have collected in the past 10 years.

Delhi 2007 
Tonu's Day before the Wedding.

Near Taj Mahal

Military Training 08 
AFMC 2006

Farewell @ AFMC

IIIrd Term AFMC 03
And that one person for me is definitely my bestest friend - Dr. Sharad K Sahai, whom I call Tonu. 

Even when we chilled out together as a group, I knew for sure that I saw a friend in him. A real friend. And that feeling is still fresh, just that now I know FOR SURE that for me, my best buddy is none other than this moron. My bud Tonu. :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happily Armed!

Though being in uniform was a co-incidence, so happy that destiny landed me here. Now, this is what I love most!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

With pain and fond memories.

Babi and Me just before leaving our home

Signing the Dining-Out book.

And so I was dined out officially out of the unit I’d served for more than a year. It was quite an emotional moment for my wife and me. So many memories we have collected here. And all beautiful and all that gives a happy spot in the mind for memory to rest. It feels real bad to know that none of this is going to be there anymore. I’d never get a chance to work with this team ever in my life again. And never would I command a group of such faithful men, the Gorkhas!

This unit will always be missed and we will always pray for the unit to achieve greater glory anywhere it goes and in anything it does. Jai Gorakh!

When Heart Bleeds - II

There were a few readers who got back to me and asked me how Neetu was after reading the entry When Heart Bleeds.

Well, I dont know where to begin. There is bad news. Neetu, after fighting a brave battle with her illness succumbed to it on the 12th day. She came into consciousness a day prior to going away for ever where she asked her sister to take care of her parents. She told her parents to never grieve over her absence. And just before she could talk anything further, she got an other massive seizure.

When I hear this, I feel that she knew that she was going to die and this was her last conversation with her loved ones. And as if God had timed her rendezvous with consciousness, she was pulled back into coma. Her parents, her sister, her students and the villagers miss her to this day. She's become the synonym to bravery to many and the ideal daughter to the others.

As for me, I miss her too. I havent met her, talked to her, nothing. But so much I've known about her that I wanted to meet her in person so much. I wanted to hear from her dad that she has come out of her misery and is fine and hearty. I wanted to see her live life like the way every girl her age deserved to. I miss the chance to have seen her through all that. But somewhere in my heart I am also glad to know that she isnt suffering, fighting for life.

God bless her soul. And her family. 

When Shiju met Mira.

Mira and Shiju
Happiness was palpable on the faces of these two people when they met each other face to face. Flying down all the way barely for a week from Bahrain was something I couldn't have imagined him doing for anyone but her. All all this from a person who said he would never ever get married. He often gave himself descriptions like "chronic bachelor" or "always single" and many times I seriously thought that he would always stay bachelor. But I think when the stars are aligned and you meet 'that' person, you know you want to be with them for the rest of your life. That's clearly what happened in his case and I am glad that it did and the person who he'd do it for is her. Mira.

You should have been there to see the blushing and the tension on both their faces. Mira looked stunning in a dark blue sari and Shiju was dressed in formal wear. And to see them both together was stunning to say the least. Once they both officially declared their interest in the proposal, we took Mira out for lunch and we had a great time. There was fun, laughter, happiness, wonderful food and genuine bonding. Everything just the way we had wanted it to be. Something so worth all the pain I had to go through to be there just to attend this event, all the way from Rajasthan. All this effort to see that smile on my brothers face and my SIL-to-be's face. Something I know I never wanted to miss, and something I know I will cherish for all my life. The day my brother met his companion for life.

All I can say is I cant wait to see them as a married couple and go through all that ups and downs and tread all those paths in which happiness lies. God bless you darlings! Hugs and kisses.

Meet the awesome Miss. Mira

For all those who came in late, here is a fabulous news – My little brother is going to get engaged soon. Feb 12th. And we couldn’t find a better match to him than this stunning girl – Mira.

Mira is an engineer by profession and hails from Ernakulam. She happens to be the best buddy of a distant relative of ours through whom we got to know that there lives miles away a beautiful girl whom we could consider to bring home as my brother’s bride. Girls can go on and on when they talk about their close friends, and that’s exactly what I thought when Aathi was describing her – with all the superlatives that one could imagine. Could she actually be this sweet, I wondered?

Fast forward to today and now we know Mira as if we’ve known her for ages. She’s down to earth, pretty, simple and elegant, got an amazing sense of humour, would always be smiling, terrific in cooking, singer, dancer, very friendly, easy to talk to, and above all else – totally and absolutely in love with Shiju. Well, what else can I say- we got the best we could ask for.

I think its a sibling  thing – you want your brother to get the best of everything. Well, I just feel  the same too. And with her coming into our lives – I couldn’t be more happier about our fate and for him. He thus joins the brigade of happily married men in sometime and what better than getting married to someone who loves you back just the way you do!

While the engagement and wedding preparations are already on, I don’t miss the chance to be grateful to the Almighty for the turn of events in our lives. It could have been anyone, but thank God its her! Our very own Miss. Mira.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dare you complain. Huh.

Did I tell you guys that I am suppossed to be studying for my speciality exams that is on Jan 15th and despite that I am in the deserts training. Well, here is it. That shit has happened and its nearly a month now. Many of my friends on leave, sitting in the lap of comfort at home, and on leave, are complaning that they are not able to study. Well, these pictures are my answer to their whining. Conclusion : People, there are guys stuck in god-forsaken places till a fortnight before the exams, so where ever you are, and if you are not here - the exact same place I am, you are still better off. Much much more. So stop complaining and get your asses back to the comfort than rant. Fuck no!!

The night sessions. After the generators go off at 2100hrs and when the outside temperature drops to about 7'C.
Yeah. The mornings. Hate it. The only light being the sun and temp rages to about 42'C.
So, thank God that you are not here. And dare you complain. To me. Ever.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Find the cat in this picture.

Can you find the cat in this picture. I seriously took 2 minutes for this one.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Faith in Faith

Its Navratri. 10 holy days in which Hindus pray to Goddess Durga for her infinite blessings.
I try and go to the temple every evening. I have made it a routine now. I want it to last atleast for this ten days. Its doing me good. Because I can feel this tranquil that comes over me everytime I go there. The peace. That unmeasured belief in the idea that beyond the power of human imagination is a force that sees, measures, controls and repairs it all. That faith. That feeling. That’s what attracts me there.
Today as I stood there praying at one of the altars, a gush of wind blew on my face. I felt that its God’s way of telling me that He could hear me. But just then, the same wind extinguished the holy flame that lit up the place. Which put me in a doubt. Do I take it as a bad sign?
Just then I realised -that’s where faith comes in right? The faith that no matter what – the one you trust, you believe, be it God or Man, would never let you down in any way. The faith to have no second opinions and the courage to accept that.
And this became the golden thread of my conviction and brought me closer to the force I believe in. THE force I have FAITH in.

When Heart Bleeds

So, lately it has been quite emotionally obliterating at the work front. One of my staff has his daughter admitted in a tertiary hospital in Delhi and she is in a terminal stage. She has been diagnosed with SLE with severe complications in the heart, brain and kidney. She was being treated for the above conditions in Nepal, near the place where they belong, and now they are here. Under our care. Its been 9 days now since she has been put on ventilator after she suffered two major seizures. And there has been no signs of improvement, yet. Infact, the blood work-up says that she is drowning with almost 99% chance of fatality. But besides her sits her father and mother who’s been with her for the 18 yrs of her life. All 18yrs when Neetu had been every parents envy.
Neetu had been an achiever ever since kindergarten. She has never stood second. Be it studies, co-curricular activities or sports. She used to excel in this all. But what made her the blue-eyed of everyone was the modesty she possessed in limitless amount. And that wouldn’t be too surprising for anyone who knew her father personally because he was an epitome of dedication, honesty and modesty himself. Neetu could sing, speak many languages, used to teach many children in the neighbourhood, knit clothes for winter..she would do it all. All this till the beginning of this year when one after life unleashed misery on this dream-like family. Neetu started falling ill and she never really recovered inspite of the medications she took and despite the numerous doctors she visited. And how would she, she wasn’t correctly diagnosed till very recently. And in all this time when she was being treated for the conditions she never really had, she was there getting worse. Nearing the stage she is in now.
Today, she is here. Living, yet life-less.  Just a few minutes before she got that massive seizures she told her mom not to worry and that she needs to return back to their home in Nepal because her younger sister was there all by herself and her exams were near. How she would assure her mom that things would be alright soon and that she was feeling a lot better than what she was already.
When I think about Neetu, I am overwhelmed at the unwavering courage she possesses. I am also convinced beyond doubt  that all the stories her dad would tell me on the phone, whenever I call him to find out how Neetu was, is so true. How the old man would try and get some strength while proudly speaking about his elder daughter. He would ask me, “Sahab, when will she be ok? She will be ok na?”. And my silence or my desperate attempt to give him an answer that wouldn’t be too harsh to hear, would answer all his questions. Yet he says, he is hopeful that Neetu will bounce back to life. I know exactly what that feels like, because I was there too nearly a month back, while taking care of my father-in-law. And for the same reason, I told him to hang on inspite of knowing the bleak prognosis because I saw a miracle in my life with Babi’s dad.
All I want right now is her to be better. A lot better. I want her mom to finally wipe her tears and smile. I want her father to know that hope is a good thing. Beyond anything else, I want Neetu to live the life she deserves to live.

I just wish that when I call her dad tomorrow, he has something better to share. The silence and the pain in his words are killing me. Its bringing me to my knees. Please pray for her all of you. Pray for the miracle she so much needs.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dispelling Darkness.

My Bedroom Window

I was lying on my couch
Lazy in my head, tired in both legs
Sleepy in my eye, drowzy I was oh my!
Deadlines on the wall, pissed at subjects all
Tossing with hesitation, all I wanted was some motivation!

As if someone heard my mind,
Something happened that removed my blinds,
The sun broke its way through the curtains in might,
And put an end to the doubt and dark of the night.
How it dispelled the darkness and brought light
This was just the inspiration, the one I needed to ignite.

So much we can learn from Mother Nature just by keeping our senses open.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fantastic Four

Pictorial notes on an outing with Babi's dad and sis. We had a great time. And it was fun to eat, eat and EAT. Nothing is more fun than eating. Atleast for me.

Salt N Pepper - Malayalam Movie (2011)

Nothing has made me laugh so much than this scene from Salt n Pepper. Awesome awesome!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hello Goa!

While coming back from Belgaum, to Trivandrum - to home, my friend Sayan and I had a small transit through Goa.

We were there for nearly 4 hours. And we walked the streets in the sun. We ate the most lovely breakfast from Longuinos. Sausages, ham, cheese omlettes, crispy brown bread toasts, and drank lots of peach ice tea.
Its always wonderful to have conversations with Sayan. He'll always have some information to share. Like this time when he told me how sausages can be home-made. He told me how the casings of the sausages are derived from the intestinal tract of farmed animals and how the filling was made from ground meat and often salt, herbs, and spices. He told me how his mom cooks the best sausages he has tasted, and has promised to get Babi and me some when he comes back from home.
Then we went to a store that sold Goan Port Wine and I got a lot of that packed. Few for us and the remaining for our friends here. I like the sweet taste of port wine. And its smell is so deep. Then we hit Natural Icecreams. Naturals has some of the best ice-creams. I specially like the tender coconut, fresh chickoo and custard-apple flavors. How they derived their flavors from fruits. Amazing. And then, full in the tummy, we headed back to resume our journey. Happy. Full.

And I couldnt wait to reach back home. I just could not!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Surprise with Samsung!

My wife is a new entry into the world of Samsung Galaxy and its got her addicted. Well, the better way to put it would be ADDICTED. Its made her happy, and nothing tops the charts for me than to see her smile. Well, thats it for now. Smile you all. Its contagious.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mystic Moonshine

In the last night here I sat and looked at the skies above, 
It is here that I spend many a night, alone, cold and away from love. 
I watched the moon, how alone he would stay awake, 
Shining, shimmering, never complaining, till the dawn would wake. 

I wonder how it would be to be like the moon, 
Alone, cold, but still with a radiance so bold. 
The clouds came and tried to kill the praise, 
But how he would not give reason for disgrace, 
Still shining bright, yet ever so alone in the night. 

How we glorify the sun for its endless radiance, 
And how we forget about the silver blanket, for not just once. 
Yet, there he stands – in beauty, in duty, in perfect balance, 
With an enigmatic mystery that would never change.

Happiness. Smiles.

So, after nearly a month of separation I am going to head home today. I cant even tell you how much happiness floods my heart at this time. Getting to meet and spend time with my 3 'B's that I have missed so much. To soak in the warmth of my home. To eat the lovely food that my wife would cook. To play with my most lovely doggies. To have fun-times with my sister-in-law. To watch my father-in-law getting better. To have my mobiles working at all time, and enjoying an uninterrupted network. To go catch up with some movies in the movie-hall. To meet friends. To study (well, thats not really what tops the chart presently!). All this, and much much more.

Everyday I would take out my diary and scribble so many things in my TO DO list. Things I need to do once I get home. And when the list would explode, I would tear it away and begin all over again, adding new ones and subtracting the ones that have been side-lined with ones that take more priority. The sheer joy in planning all this. Aaaaah. And to be getting the chance to execute all this in about 3 days. This is bliss!! 

Moreover, when I head home, I am going to ask for the remaining bunch of leave I have accumulated. And when it comes through - well, I guess - Its PARTY-TIME!!! :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Non-artistically Artistic.

So, I have realised that I enjoy my ball-point pen scribbles now. Dont we all scribble something on the paper at some point of time. Sometimes we do it when we are bored, sometimes when we talk on the phone, sometimes while we are in some class. We all do it. Quite often. And havent there been times when you look at what you have done and gasp to yourself - "MY! That isnt bad at all."

Its been the same for me. When the shapes started taking decent shapes, I took more time for it, just out of sheer interest now. And today, I love doing it. My friends say that my art has a uniqueness to it and it makes me happy.

A shot at it atleast, isnt it?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

4 a.m. Sunday.

Sitting in my shack and sipping hot cocoa while looking at the rains - it was magical. Washed away all the blues and geared me for a fresh new start. Refreshed. Rejuvenated.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lucky and Nasty.

Lately I have got the opportunity to meet so many pathetic people in many walks of life. Some I could avoid, but many I had to and will have to endure. And there are many like me who suffer these organisms which are not even close to being human. I was thinking to myself - who could possibly love them? Who would put up with this big bag of shit? I guess that is exactly where FAMILY comes into the picture, because I doubt if they have even a single friend. Family sticks by you no matter how dirty you are, no matter how dumb you are and how much you hurt them. They would still find a reason to love you and hang on in there for you. Haven't we heard the phrase - "that's a face only a mother can love". Your own family will be there for you inspite of all your short-comings. If it wasn't for their families, left to us, we should have beaten the living day-lights of them. Period. Morons.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Poem It Was - The Sunny Sunday.

I walked the roads that circle the falls,
It was Sunday and it seemed to have nothing in store but some beautiful rainfall.
Just as I would think the road ends, it took a turn,
And threw me into a realm that I miss to return.

Beautiful water-laden skies, and the air so cool,
I saw lilies on the banks and also kingfishers diving into the water pool.
I saw little flowers with hues many,
And also a lark, that sang a song - oh so pretty.

The old temple that still treasures the divine,
The tree that hasnt moved since more than decades nine.
The soaking mist that the falls blew,
The peace, that made me think of you.

The hanging bridge that connected the two sides,
And the strength it has to allow people cross a thousand times.
All that and many more just in a day,
Why wouldn't I call it - a perfectly beautiful Sunday.