Saturday, 23 April 2016

The Alchemist in me

World Book Day❤️ 

The night of 7 January, 2016. It is almost midnight as I pick up the most coveted book from under my pillow. He has been smothered underneath for more than ten days and today, he sees the light. Rather I see the light. The Alchemist. Invariably I'm pulled into the world of Paulo Coelho. As he urges me to follow my dreams, I sit up. I read and reread the shepherd's journey through the desert, his quest to fulfil his dreams and his meeting with the alchemist. Mysticism, magic and dreams bind me with the pages.

It strikes two as I read- "when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true". A strike of lightning hits me. What do I wish? To keep issuing tickets at a godforsaken place? Or to dream bigger? To wish for the moon and the stars? Every time I read the alchemist, I infer something different. Every time it is a different set of words that touch my heart and captures it. 

The clock keeps ticking. "The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times", Coelho chimes on. How many times have I fallen? I've lost count. How many times I've risen from the depths? Always. I have been the maker of my own destiny. Is this going to be my destiny? Can I rise above my fears and do the unthinkable? The unimaginable? I needed answers. More. 

"Remember that wherever your heart is, you'll find the treasure"...Where is my heart? It is at home. It has always been. However far away I've flown out of my nest, I've been longing to get back. But then, where else do I have it? In books. In words. In my writing. Sentence by sentence my heart pulls up. Picks up pace. Thunders. By 5 am, I am ready. To take the plunge. To fall into the depths and rise again. I start typing and retyping. Daddy comes in with a cup of tea and asks why I'm up so early. I smile. He need not know that I was awake the whole night. 

By 8 am, I'm ready with my resignation letter. A tough decision. But a happy one, nevertheless. My life has always been built on compromises and sacrifices. But whose isn't? This is one more sacrifice- but for myself. To save my rotting soul. To kindle the real me. "It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting"- his quote. My life has never been boring. Every day is an adventure. Every night an awakening. But that  night with The Alchemist, I overcame my fears. My inner demons lay slain, ripped apart. I've set my soul free. Not chained to the rails anymore. 

When someone asked me- "what are you planning to do next? Work in a big company?", I felt like laughing. No darling, I'd love to dream and live. Look for the alchemist. Hunt for the treasure. The soul knows...he knows. Coelho sleeps somewhere in the book box, unaware that he has kindled a fire. Set a soul free. I owe you one, the alchemist. Some day, we will together comb the desert sands for the treasure❤️

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Namma Chennai da!

The relentlessly hot sun that is 'sunnier' than Sunny and the heat that sizzles more than the spiciest sizzler. Welcome to Namma Chennai- the large sized oven. There seems to be no respite as day after day the sun becomes warmer and the neighbors smell like sweat tankers. Bathing four times a day, drinking gallons of water and eating tonnes of water melons- nothing helps. The jugs of juice shunted inside the system exit within minutes as sweat, that reminds us of henceforth unknown folds and crevices in the body.

The power outages- both announced and unannounced hit us with vehemence. The apt timing selected by TNEB for power cuts is exactly 11 pm. You slug it out in the kitchen, read the kids a story, smother them to sleep and by the time your head hits the pillow, the AC's hum that sounds Beethoven-ish stops with a boom. End of bliss. I am wondering if this 11 pm power cut is a deliberate measure by Electricity Board in connivance with Population Control to bring down the already dipping birth rates. 

The single cloak that Chennai's women sport- the proverbial 'nightie' which is an effective mosquito repellent during the monsoons now act as an umbrella shading the body from the heat. The larger the size, the airier it is. Buy 5XL size. Would form a shade all around you. 

As for the guys out there- the lungis are airy, but mind you, donning the lungis and sleeping atop terraces of apartments might land you in jail for indecency. The three-fourth shorts has suddenly found prominence. So are the hairy muscular legs on display. The best dress to beat the heat and remain safe would be the Raj Kiran special patta-patti trousers and brown veshtis that were white once upon a time, folded 3 inches above the knee. A few more inches up, you may give Sunny a run for her money;)
Ah! Coolest pic- Rajkiran with his Pattapatti ;)
Chennaiites have taken to the 'tanda tanda cool cool' powders so much that you can make out who has taken bath and who hasn't in the city bus. The ones who were lucky enough to wash themselves with ferrous sulphate and water solution will definitely spot the tell-tale white make up, as if dipped in the entire month's flour rations! Those who haven't, dare not venture near them. The 'sexy sexy' deodorants that they have gassed themselves with might have evaporated faster than the water bodies of Tamilnadu in peak summer. Still if you want to discover the hitherto unexplored 'fragrances', take the chance. Even sarin might spare you, not the underarm odor of the ambassadors of axe!

The easiest and reasonable dish to cook during summers is our all time favorite 'thayir sadam' (curd rice) paired with 'sutta vadu maangai' (stolen raw mango pickle). Having a stomach full of curd rice in the hot summer afternoon and crouching before the AC vent, all you can imagine as your eyes force shut down is the Swiss Alps where the Bolly Kollywood heroes and heroines run around singing, ekdum nanga! Envy!!!

If this is the plight of us humans, imagine the life of cows and trees. Thankfully the cows are chill, awaiting the name of Gurgaon to be changed to Go-gram. It gives them a high and I do wish Chennai isn't renamed Chen'go' going by our love towards cows and their urine. Birds- the occasional pigeons that practically live in our bedroom windows take shitty revenge on our closed windows by pooping their hearts(and stomach) fill on the motor. 

Despite the vagaries of the sun and soaring temperatures, we love 'theri' and the long wait at the malls for tickets. We have the penchant to fall for the two hundred rupees thrown at us for an election campaign meeting at 2 pm. We still love our nannari sarbats with a fag. Was this the Chennai that was flooded and sinking under the rains? I wonder. Rain or shine, we love it- with ferrous sulphate sweat dripping down our noses. NAMMA CHENNAI DA!

p.s.: Bitchy post- alright, its 3 pm and I am almost drained of all hydration
p.p.s.: I wish I could write more often, the writer's block is an imaginary situation created only by my laziness;)
p.p.p.s.: I am in love with Pankaja Munde and her selfies :P