Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Silence prevailed in the room. Maya and Sid stared at the ceiling as they lay on the bed. After 20 minutes, without looking at Sid, Maya said, “I think, I know what’s missing in my life. I want a baby.” Sid said, “You know my answer. I am not prepared for it.” First time in the seven years of her marriage, she felt that the age difference between her and Sid had caused a huge difference of opinion. It was the first time; she was forced to contemplate whether she made the right decision by marrying a guy who was 5 years younger than her. Till date, Sid’s silence had never perturbed Maya. But Sid’s curt replies with regards to this topic made Maya furious. She said to herself, I am 35 and am I wrong if I desire a child? Tears rolled down her eyes as she thought along those lines. Her tears were not hidden from Sid. He turned her face towards him and said, “I will think about it”.

They turned their back towards each other and pretended to sleep. Sid never wanted to be a father. He just did want to be responsible for someone else’s life. He knew that he would never be able to forgive himself if he failed to give his child the right upbringing. He hated the atmosphere in which he was brought up. Born in an Indian family in Mumbai, Sid had abhorred the Indian education system and the appurtenances that came with the Indian culture. Children were forced to respect all elders irrespective of the ways the elders behaved. The elders never earned the respect and it was just that was given to all older people by default. For most of the lessons that were taught in school, there was no reasoning. Certain things had to be believed and not questioned. The same was the case with religion. Sid thought that ideally every person should have the option to choose their religion. But he knew if he ever divulged his thoughts to people in his family, he would be termed as an American. He also knew that the only person who understood him was Maya. In years, Maya never questioned Sid’s opinions. She may have not agreed to them but she respected them. A true Hindu by religion, Maya always told Sid that I agree to what you say but I am at an age where it is too difficult to alter my beliefs. I have been conditioned to think a certain way since I was born and it too late for me to change my ways. Maya had always been there for Sid. She loved him unconditionally and put up with his weirdest quirks. He realized that a child was the least he could do for Maya. An hour later, Sid said, “Maya, I think we should give it a try.” Maya immediately turned towards Sid, kissed him on his cheeks and said,” Everything will be fine.” They went back to sleep or perhaps acted to do so. For the next few weeks most of Maya and Sid’s love-making sessions were governed by the sole thought of conceiving. One night, over dinner, Sid said, “I cannot do it. I cannot do it to you with a purpose in mind. Sex has always been a natural extension of our relationship. I hate the fact that the emotions that once seemed so innate are now ruled by the idea of conceiving.” Maya felt hurt but she knew Sid was not wrong. She sipped sangria from her glass and said, “I agree. Let things happen the way they are meant to happen. Let’s not force ourselves into this.” For the following two months, Sid and Maya never got involved in anything remotely passionate. Life went on as usual. Before going to bed, Sid and Maya would talk for hours about books, music and movies. Sometimes in bed they would also read out loud, short stories of famous authors. Maya missed the sex and felt somewhere she was responsible for it. She wondered whether Sid missed it too.

One evening, Maya was just about to head out to a party. She wore a turquoise colored dress with fine steel gray embroidery. She accessorized it with a steel gray purse as well. She looked in the mirror and she knew she looked pretty. As she opened the door to leave the house, she saw Sid coming. She looked stunning and Sid could not take his eyes off her. She said to Sid, “I am off to a party and will return late.” Without saying a word, Sid just grabbed her by her waist and kissed her zealously. The purse slipped from her hand. Sid could not figure out the way to remove her dress. She tried to say,” The zip is right below my right arm.” But even before she could complete the sentence, Sid had shut her mouth with his. Sid had no patience to find the zip and almost tore her dress. Typically Maya would have taken offense to Sid tearing off one of her expensive outfits, but not this time. In no time they were in bed. They just took a break in between to have dinner and then they were back in bed. All the pent up sexual energy had finally found an outlet after a hiatus of approximately 2 months. It took them 2 months to come back to square one. Finally they enjoyed not only dinners and discussions but also sex. One night as they lay with their naked bodies intertwined, Maya declared, “I am pregnant.” Sid kissed her on her forehead and said, “I am happy for you’. Maya wondered if the ‘you’ would someday be replaced by ‘us’.

Nothing changed for a month to follow but then Maya said that her mother would be visiting her during the last 2 months of her pregnancy and it would be best if they moved to a bigger place. Maya said in fact she loved Jersey City and thought some neighborhoods were perfect to start a family life. Apartment hunting in Jersey City kept both Sid and Maya busy for the weekends to follow. They finally zeroed on an apartment in Newport, Pavonia and Maya was absolutely delighted about it. On the train ride back from Newport to downtown Manhattan, Maya could not stop talking about the new apartment. She kept describing to Sid how she would want to set up her new apartment. Sid listened silently and feigned a smile. Maya said she had to do groceries and so Sid decided to head home alone. On his way back from Union Square to East Village, Sid kept thinking about the new apartment. He chose to walk instead of taking the subway. He hated the idea of moving to Jersey City. Newport had one bar; they would not go bar hopping any longer. According to him, the place lacked character. It was not cosmopolitan in nature. It was perfect dwelling for Indians who wanted to mingle around just with Indians. Every fourth person they saw was an Indian. The town seemed silent, fine-looking, convenient but seamlessly boring. He said that the neighborhood seemed beautiful only because of the spectacular views of midtown Manhattan which lay across the Hudson River. He knew that they would no longer watch movies of Coen brothers or other great directors in the IFC center at 12 since it would take them approximately 30 minutes to reach the city. And to top it all, the frequency of the trains on weekends was not that great. He wished if they stayed somewhere near SOHO but Maya wanted to move a little away from the city. These were all the things that came slowly with a marriage and he detested all of them. He thought eventually all of it would just make him complacent. He did not want to say all this to Maya. He had already thrown a tantrum about having a baby. He did not want to make Maya upset especially when she was expecting a baby. He feared any further arguments would impact her health negatively.

On the first of the following month, Sid and Maya moved to Newport into a 2 bedroom apartment. She also changed to a 9 to 5 job in Exchange Place so as to save time commuting. The new apartment also brought a whole new gamut of changes to both Sid and Maya’s lifestyle. Maya made it a point to go in the evenings along the waterfront for long walks. She would admire the exquisiteness of the city from the other side of the Hudson River. New York City looked gorgeous but somehow she always preferred to stay on the other side of the water. She also made it a point to eat on time which meant that she would no longer wait for Sid so that they could have dinner together. She was more conscious as she knew there was no one to take care of her. Had she been in India, she would have been totally pampered. She missed home a lot more these days. She was more conscious about the books she read. Slowly the frequency of Sid and Maya’s discussions reduced. Typically Maya would have loved to see a movie like ‘No Country for Old Men’ but now she evaded any type of movies which had even the slightest streak of darkness or violence in them. She sometimes wanted to see them but she feared it could have a negative effect on the baby. She remembered her mother’s words, “Be very careful or what you read and watch during these nine months as they help in shaping the mindset of your child.” Not that she agreed to what her mother had said but she did not want to take any chances with the baby. She also sometimes wondered why most great movies always had at least a speck of darkness in them.

Sid missed those long late night discussions. Sid realized all of it was lost. Life was so much fun without the child in the picture. Now it had become a routine and Sid hated routines. He loved to decide what he wanted to do just on that day’s morning and was never fond of planning ahead. Maya would want to sleep on time and would no longer adjust her schedule according to Sid’s schedule. The only movie she had seen in the past 2 months was Namesake and she could not stop weeping after the movie. Sid got bored and had left the movie half way. He could not understand why the movie touched Maya so much. Maya thought that Sid had less of an Indian cultural baggage or perhaps no baggage at all which is why he did not relate to the movie. Not that he was Americanized but he carried no baggage of either culture. She hated herself for thinking of Indian culture as a baggage rather than a heritage. Distances slowly began to grow. Sid started staying late in his office working on his research. By the time he would be home, Maya would be asleep. They would see each other only on weekends initially. After a few months, Sid would party out with his friends on Friday nights and return home Saturday mornings and would spend the entire Saturday completing his sleep. He never felt like going out with Maya on Friday nights since he knew she would avoid any sort of alcoholic consumption. Also, all the topics he wanted to talk about were softly dodged by Maya. Now the only day they saw each other was a Sunday. Sid would just ask how she was feeling and how did her appointments with the doctor go. Sid himself never accompanied Maya to her gynecologist. Maya felt horribly lonely. She wished Sid was around to talk to her in the evenings. She looked at herself in the mirror and noticed that the baby had begun to show. She found herself ugly and said, “If I find myself so ugly why would my husband want to be around me.” Sid was perpetually absent for all the important events. Be it visits to the gynecologist, the first time the baby kicked and now he did not even inquire about her health on Sundays. The only question he would ask her was “What’s for lunch today”? He would quietly take his lunch to his room and start working on his research.

Maya’s cell phone rang in the middle of a Tuesday night. It was her mother. She said, “Your father had a paralytic attack and will be bed ridden for a few months to follow.” She wept loudly and she wished Sid would hear her but Sid was not around. She was terribly upset about her father’s health condition and equally upset about the fact that her mother would no longer visit her. She felt very lonely. She had not been out on a vacation for a year. Sid and Maya had planned a cruise to Alaska around this time but all the plans had been scrapped for reasons unsaid.

Sid’s silence had never troubled Maya. In the seven years of their marriage, Sid had never gifted Maya. She was perfectly fine with it. In fact she would always say to his friends that Sid buying flowers for her was completely out of question. Or in fact Sid buying ladylike gifts for her was next to impossible. He loved to take her out for vacations and gift her books, music albums. But buying her cards, soft toys, clothes, jewelry was not something that he had ever done. Maya had adjusted to it but now for the past eight months, they hadn’t gone out for vacations and Sid had not gifted her anything. Today, she needed someone to make her feel special especially since she was so lonely, unattractive and was experiencing a lot of hormonal changes. But now she could never imagine that happening. In fact she pictured Sid having a one night stand with a random girl. She still did not suspect him to have an affair. But if he had one, she would not be completely taken aback.

She fell asleep thinking about the imperfect atmosphere that had been created for her child. In her obsession to create the perfect ambience she had unknowingly created the opposite. Around 3 hours past midnight she heard a weeping sound. She immediately turned on the lamp placed on the table next to her bed. She saw Sid sitting on the side of the bed with tears in his eyes and a rose in his hand. She knew what his next words were going to be. She guessed he wanted to part away and wanted to give her a rose before they parted away. This was the last thing she wanted in the eighth month of her pregnancy. She was about to tell him, “Please don’t say anything. I know it and I won’t be able to deal with it alone. And most importantly Mom is not going to be here and I have never felt so lonely ever before in my life” But instead, she said, “What happened?” Sid said, “I was mugged at gunpoint while returning home from NYU. On the train ride back I just thought of the things I wanted to do before I die. And the first thing that came to my mind was to gift you a rose.” Maya and Sid hugged each other and wept.


Weather.com predicted a snowstorm. The snowstorm was to start tomorrow in New York City and continue for 3 days. As per the news channels, this was going to be the worse snowstorm of its kind. Zi was excited as she hadn’t seen a snowstorm ever before. But the fact that she could work from home for the next 3 days, excited her even more. She could evade the early morning rush of the New York Subways. She did not have to iron her clothes for tomorrow. She did not have to get dressed with 3 layers of clothing. The snowstorm actually brought a smile on her face. She kept idling her time by surfing through Facebook and other random sights. In no time she fell asleep.

She woke up next morning, a little later than usual as she did not have to travel. She prepared some green tea, scrambled eggs and toasted waffles for breakfast. She felt like having an elaborate breakfast as today was going to be a relaxed day. She sat right next to the window and sipped her tea and took a bite of the waffle.

From the sights outside, it was evident that it had snowed all night. The roads were covered with white snow and seemed extremely pristine. She had not seen such clean roads ever before. She could barely see any vehicles on these roads. She stayed at the 28th floor and all she could see was snow falling with a steady frequency. She could still see the Empire State building from her window. She wondered, if it would ever snow so much that the Empire State building would be buried under snow. Somewhere she secretly wished that it happened. She gazed at the steady stream of snowflakes. The snowflakes seemed to have a rhythm, a mesmerizing magic as they fell. It felt like a white pebble followed another one. In five minutes of staring at them, she could identify patterns in the way they fell. With each falling snowflake it seemed difficult for Zi to take her eyes off them. It had been an hour and she had not moved an inch from where she was. Soon she was resonating with the snowfall. Each snowflake seemed to connect with her life. Some snowflakes connected to the past, some to the present and some even to her future. Each snowflake unfolded a new story. She could never keep track of a single snowflake. She saw it and then it suddenly disappeared into the heap of snow. All she had was glimpses. She could not trace a snowflake to its start nor to its end. While the snowflakes seemed similar, they also seemed disjointed from one and another. All she knew was that the snowflakes would eventually melt. She wasn’t too happy about it. She stood there was hours as if the snowfall had hypnotized her. At times the snowfall become more ferocious than before, but that did not distract Zi. Observing and trying to trace through the snowstorm kept her involved.

Ten hours later the snowstorm stopped. Tears rolled down Zi’s eye. She stood right beside the window and bawled for hours.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Shravya stood still. People around her said “Everything is going to be fine”. Not a tear rolled down her eyes. She knew he had abandoned her, on the day that meant the most to her. She just told her mother “Take me away”. She left to a near by hill-station with her family. She stared at the picturesque landscapes contemplating about life. She never imagined a three year relationship to end this way. Those were the most beautiful three years of her life. When she got back home, lots of relatives visited them trying to console her parents. She realized that people would never let her forget what had just happened. It was then; she knew that she could no longer stay in India. She took the next flight back to New York City. After reaching her apartment, she bawled as loudly as she could. She was dull, gloomy and depressed. She knew she had to move on but found it extremely difficult. On Google, she searched for ways to get rid of depression. She read an article about hydrotherapy and decided to give it a try. Every morning she went for a swim. Her mind would just go blank in water and she loved that feeling. The moment she remembered her past she took a shower. She would cry and her tears got amalgamated with the drops from the shower; her wail got lost in the sounds of those water drops. It helped and she was sort of able to expunge those dreadful memories. Her boyfriend tried to reconcile. He apologized for developing cold feet on the day of the marriage. But Shravya knew she could never get back to him. She could no longer spend the rest of her life with a man whom she loved but could not trust. She deleted his emails without reading them and never picked up his calls. Her friend, Ajay asked her out for a date. Ajay was in a relationship for past seven years and he and his girlfriend were still going strong. He always told Shravya that he was ready to jeopardize his seven year relationship just for a night with her. Shravya had initially taken offence to this statement as she found it morally incorrect. But now, she chose to ignore those scruples and finally agreed to meet him. She got dressed in her best outfit and looked stunning. Ajay greeted her warmly and they decided to hit a nearby bar. After downing a couple of shots, Shravya felt light headed. She took notice of Ajay’s sexual advances and she did not try to evade them either. After downing a couple of more shots, they checked into a hotel. The moment they stepped into the room, Ajay pinned her to the closest wall and kissed her passionately. He satiated his lust and she lost her virginity. After an hour, Ajay was fast asleep and Shravya left quietly. It was the most miserable night of her life. She felt distressed about losing her virginity to a man whom she never loved. She felt dirty. She knew that Ajay would be honest to his girlfriend and never hide anything that happened that night. Somewhere the feeling slowly sunk that she was to blame for destroying a beautiful relationship. Her throat was dry because of the weird combination of drinks she had taken that night. She felt miserable. It was pouring heavily that night. She got completely drenched. There was water all around her, but none that she could drink. She stepped into the train. The train was relatively less crowded. She was weeping. The lady sitting next to her offered her water. In spite of the dry throat Shravya knew water would do no good. She stepped into the house and she still chose to let her throat remain dry. She sank in her bed and at the same time a feeling of emptiness sank inside her. She realized that a therapy would only help her forget incidents where someone else wronged her. She knew that she would never be able to redeem herself of the guilt of devastating a relationship especially for a night that she herself never desired!!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Ride

Just a swipe and you enter the train station via the turnstile. You always have those morning blues when you are heading to office but not in New York City. It is just the sheer vibrant atmosphere, the number of people around you that metamorphose your dull drab feeling into pulsating emotions. People here hurry to wait. You rush to catch a train and you may end-up waiting another couple of minutes for the next train. Just look around and you will find so many people, some enjoying music on their IPod, some reading a fascinating novel, some trying to solve Sudoku, some browsing through the headlines, some chit chatting with their colleagues, some lost in their own world and some like me just absorbing the milieu around them. And by the time you can soak the momentum of the rich events around you, you have reached your destination. Time just flies here and the train ride seems to be the shortest journey of your day. But surprisingly after an eventful day at work you experience the most divergent feelings in the same train-ride that takes you back home. The vibrancy now seems so dreary. You see people around you but somewhere the feeling sinks in that in spite of being in such a huge crowd there is not a single soul that you could converse with. Not a single person with whom you could share your happiness, not a soul that could read your eyes and comprehend the distressing emotions they veiled. The fact that you are so lonely in a crowd just elongates the duration of your journey. In a span of 12 hours the same 15 minute train ride is both the shortest and the longest journey of your day!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Seeing him in pain

I see a seedling tiny and stout
That burgeons to be exuberent and sound
It is bliss ,watching him grow
It is a joy, seeing him learn

But now he is so torn,so forlon
It hurts to see him in pain
I yearn to see the withered him bloom again

I still recollect his beautiful eyes
That looked at me with innocence and naive delight
I can't forget that glint in his eye
When he vexed me with his mischievous deeds

But now he is so torn,so forlon
It hurts to see him in pain
I yearn to see the withered him bloom again

I crave for those instances
When he annoyed me with his wonts
I wait for those moments
Where i could tell him he was so wrong

But now he is so torn, so forlorn
It hurts to see him in pain
I yearn to see the withered him bloom again

Today he makes my eyes moist
With a sole prayer to see him in joy
I wish he overcomes this phase of depression
And there prevails a feeling of exultation
Blessings for him persist in my every supplication

I know he is so torn,so forlorn
I beleive my prayers will make him sane
Someday I am sure to see the withered him bloom again

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My first Case Competition

"All good things come in small packets"
The above saying seemed to be absolutely true with respect to my first case competition.I thought that all my team needed to do was comphrehend half a page,garner knowledge about the topic and then present it.But soon after, the realization dawned and i knew that this competition would be asking for much more commitment than I could ever expect.Commitment to analyze,commitment to work and most importantly commitment to maintain the decorum of a team.You gain so much of global exposure when you work with people from different cultures.It is absolute fun but it also teaches you so many lessons.I have learnt so much about team dynamics that probably 2 years at TCS did not teach me. Today, I learnt my first lesson that flexibility is the key to survive in a team. We toiled for quite some time and then made a presentation. Off late i have improved on my culinary skills and I categorize anything edible as food with right flavour or food with too much odour or food which is bland.And all i can say about our presentation was that it lacked flavour.Bland would sound too deprecatory. And it could not be relished even after adding the right amounts of salts and spices.The presentation was followed by the question answer round.The presentation seemed to be a cakewalk in comparison to the Q&A round.The answers required a clarity of concept and thorough undertsanding of the topic and even the smartest people would have a tough time answering them. I knew all the way I wasnt at my best. But then like always being your best is not quintessential.Learning is what I was here for. Learning is what I yearned for. May be people around me won it but I learned a lot from this experience.Learning that would help be a winner tommorrow.And like i said earlier "All good things come in small packets",let me keep this blog small as well.

Friday, July 13, 2007

My tryst with the corporate Industry

My tryst with the corporate industry began when I stepped into one of India’s topnotch IT firms. My happiness knew no bounds despite the fact that I was signing a bond to serve the company for a specific period of time. But within a month I realized what a grave mistake I had committed. A friend of mine once told me that” when you enter an IT firm you are like the horse that is eager to grasp and within a few months you get converted to a donkey. And then you are so comfortable being a donkey that you don’t want to be a horse again.” From that day I decided I would see to it that I am never transformed into a donkey. But I was pretty doubtful, whether I could be classified as a horse. Jokes apart, that sole aim kept me going and I did pretty well for myself. Certifications to taking trainings to becoming a module lead and then to finally becoming a project lead. But the way was not easy. In a company strewn with politics it gets tough to carve a niche for yourself. There are times when you think your effort is not recognized. Most people have a complain with appraisals and like most of them, so do I. But more than leniency bias or halo effect the most important thing that never gets mentioned in performance review training is that the manager often happens to look at the qualities which characterize him. If he some years before had been a technical guy who would die or may be kill for his project he would but of course rate a guy similar to him much higher. So your appraisals depend a lot on the similarities you share with your seniors. And in this process even the creditworthy people don’t get recognized and off course sycophancy, nepotism, favoritism do come into picture. But trust me these factors spur you to go ahead and plan your future and they are probably a blessing in disguise and a curse monetarily. And thankfully I faced the same issues and decided to do my masters. Today was my last day and I can rightfully say "I am free of bonded labor". Anyways I guess I like writing about the corporate world and keep pinging this blog for new updates..........

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


In this world which resembles a mirror maze
You unentangle me and set the fire in me ablaze

You delight me
You mesmerize me

With you next to me
Everything seems so right
Life seems so nice
The pretentious world seems idealistic
And even lust seems so sanctimonious

But times change
And we walk different lanes
I feel a chasm in me that no one can replace
But the feeling refuses to fade

Distances this time so far but yet so near.

It’s these distances that bind me to you
It’s these distances that don’t let me wander
It’s these distances that speak in silence
It’s these distance the bring us closer

My eyes hallucinate your presence
My arms yearn for that warmth
My hands crave to hold your hands

I see you after an eternity
Seems like a desire since ages, now comes true
I revel in furtive exultation

But my eyes can’t look straight into your eyes
My hands tremble when you hold them
Everything that once seemed so right
Now suddenly seems not all that right
My life seems covered with a cloud of uncertainty
And perhaps I don’t see signs of any rain of surety
Some things have changed
Probably we have changed

Distances this time so near but yet so far