*Picture from agfarson.wordpress.com
It’s raining in Pune. The night is still young but the skies look set for an all-nighter. The street lamps are glowing like fairy lights; they twinkle with every falling raindrop. The stars are all under cover but you can figure they are there somewhere, enjoying the sudden shower. The stars love anything that brings shine to the world – and takes the dust off leaves, pebbles and balcony railings.
Mom loves it when it rains at night. “I could lie listening to it for hours.” she would tell me. “It makes me dreamy, hopeful and cozy.” Mom’s poetic like that, and she would even wake up the next morning all chirpy and fresh and eager to let the post-rain winds flood the house through open windows. On occasion, the morning after would turn out sunny – the sun fiercer than ever. “Where do you think all the raindrops went?” I would tease her. “We will have fresh ones tonight. And we can both sit by the window, our hands warm around coffee mugs. Wouldn’t that be fun?”
I wonder what kind of a morning it will be tomorrow. Will the first rays of the sun brush my cheeks when I am still dreaming? Or will the two sparrows I have been lucky enough to find every morning choose to forget it is a Monday and let me sleep on? I can’t say.
But, for now, I can hear the pitter patter of raindrops. They are musical, peaceful and soothing. I think I will listen to them for a while longer. Who can tell? Perhaps this night and its music is the embodiment of yesterday and tomorrow – near yet far, continuing yet complete.
I first read about Halloween in a story-book I got for my fourteenth birthday. It piqued my interest – you know, all those goodies and chocolates people have ready for you, the fun costumes you get to dress up in, and the glowing jack-o’-lantern at your doorstep. I especially loved the lantern because it gleamed so. (Erm, actually, it was the best possible use I could think for a vegetable I detest.)
Outside Shiv Mandir in Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi
I travel to Delhi tomorrow. After almost eight months of living away from the madness. And while I can’t claim Pune has been particularly sane, I have been away from the morning Metro rush, the honking cars outside my house, and the slight chill in the air that starts coming in this time of the year. But madness, really? This evening, randomly, I realize I have actually missed it all!
[Thriller | No. of pages: 325 | Price: 200 INR /-]
These are murderous times. Criminals run amok after killing hordes of people, often without the strong “vengeance” so advertised by 80’s Hindi cinema. Music is murdered every day; civil rights are murdered every minute. Little wonder then, that murder mysteries continue to fascinate readers across ages. What is a good murder mystery? One that comprises a strong plot, well etched-out characters, and a satisfying resolution. Uday Satpathy, in his debut novel with West Land Publishers and Bloody Good Book, makes a genuine attempt at a fast-paced, intriguing thriller. His frequent obsession with “brutality” and its manifestation, however, becomes his undoing.
Durga Puja in C.R. Park, Delhi
The sunlight is different. More golden, less yellow. It touches you differently – more softly. When this happens, Mom says Pujo is approaching. That glorious time of the year when my Bengali neighbourhood looks lovelier than ever and the air is delicious with luchi, aloo dum and khichudi. I feel it in me today, even away in Pune. Durga Puja is not too far.
As we celebrate India’s 69th Independence Day today, why not rewind to some awesome things we used to do to celebrate August 15? Saturdays are blessed as it is and today is perfect for a beautiful trip down memory lane!
1. Wait in line for your share of motichoor ke laddoos, handed out by the school captains, and then gulp them down quickly so no one else can steal them.
2. Dress up in tricolour clothes without feeling conscious at all and groove to “I Love My India” in the school auditorium.
What do you do first thing in the morning? No, I am not about to suggest yoga and a glass of lemon and honey – practice before you preach, you see. I have intermittently tried stretching and waking up my sleepy nerves with lukewarm water. But then, the prospect of shutting my eyes to five more minutes of dreams is often very inviting. There is something, however, which you should definitely NOT do immediately after waking up.
There’s something very special about attending a friend’s engagement. You feel a great sense of surprise that everyone is growing “big”, apprehension that the impending wedding may take your friend far away, and excitement about dressing up and digging into awesome food. And then, if you also get to explore Hyderabad – the city of Nizams – it’s a priceless combination!