Thursday, July 27, 2006

Beauty...What is it???

With the beauty pageants creating superfluous hype and columnists arguing and counter-arguing whether they obliterate preset morality, I tried figure out …What is beauty all about? “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Outside appearance fades, what is important is having a beautiful heart, soul and mind. When one is beautiful inside, it radiates from the outside.”…our views echo with such analogous diplomacy.

But do you think people genuinely believe in this? Then why do every matrimonial ad demand beautiful, slim and fair bride even if the groom is immediate descendant of orang-utan! Fanatical hypocrisy, isn’t it? Do they want life partner or model whom they can show off? These people dream of rare tall, thin, and fair specimens of apparent human perfection which represent the whitewashing of Indian norms of beauty. More importantly, they have begun to play an enormously significant role in the lives of the average Indian woman. The intimidating fact is that even parents want their daughters to look like a glamour doll thereby hurting her morale irrevocably. The only faction benefiting are the beauty product companies which promise unfeasible transformations. This “beauty” philosophy hasn’t spared even the corporate world. Good looks facilitate that critical head-start. Why this prejudice?

We have certain stereotypical perception when we judge beautiful people. We think that beautiful individuals are talented, creative and sensitive; that they have an ability to exert a positive influence on others. Those, who have not so pretty, or absolutely unappealing faces, are usually perceived as people who cannot boast of such qualities and traits – just an instant visual contact is enough to conclude so. Unattractive people are usually perceived as someone unhappy, malcontent, presumptuous, stupid and exhausted with their own lives.

Do you disagree with me…Then tell me how many of us check orkut profiles from our friend’s list without heeding much attention to the photo? It’s nothing but human temperament…Our visual senses are formulated to assess people on basis of superficial factors but our neural senses are rationalized to identify beautiful souls…but who cares to identify? Social consequences of human appearances are enormous…can’t help it…Can we?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Old friends...Only their memories linger behind!

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon. After devouring on delectable pav-bhaji, I grabbed my remote and perplexedly toggled through channels with eyes half closed. I was almost dozing off, when suddenly my phone rang. Tanya was on line. It was almost five years, since we met. We were best friends in school. Bunking P.T. period, playing pranks, gossiping, sharing tiffin, solving worksheets…we did it all together. But then her dad got transferred to Delhi and we departed with promises of regular phone calls and e-mails. Initially we called up every week...then it reduced to once in a month and then only on birthdays. Since last two years we were completely out of touch.

Her call was a pleasant surprise to me. After the initial “hi” s and “how are you” s, we were in complete loss of topics. Promising to meet her at our favorite ice-cream parlor that evening, I slouched back into the comforts of my sofa cushions. My equations with her had changed. We dint share the same kind of liaison. Uncanny void had crept in our relationship.

This made me speculate…Are our relationships governed by distance and time? Is it because our priorities change? Or is it law of life? Are we so selfish that we let go people once we know that they won’t be around anymore? Or is it….out of sight out of mind? Are old memories like compilation of wonderful moments; we recollect, feel nostalgic and then move on? I fail to understand…what is it that undermines the glory of friendship?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Memories seldom fade!

It was an important day for her. Priya had recently joined a reputed corporate firm. Recognizing her capabilities, her boss had given her opportunity to handle a prestigious presentation, which few freshers even dream of. She was confidence personified, but the magnitude of the assignment sent a quirky uneasiness down her stomach. Brushing away her anxiousness, she once again assured if everything was organized, got into her Santro and switched on her favorite music station.

Scrutinizing all the details of the presentation, she drove smoothly down the lane, when suddenly the radio resonated with “Durr se koi aaye, kahin chupkese wo dil mein sama jaye….saajana...” It bought back elapsed memories. The episode was still fresh in her mind.

Horizons always rocked but this time it was special as it was her final year, last festival of their engineering epoch. STRINGS, her favorite band were performing that night. Completely engrossed, her body swayed in harmony to the music of …Durr... when unintentionally, she stepped on someone’s foot. She turned around to apologize, lo Behold, it was him. For a moment her eyes met his and she could almost hear her heart throbbing in exhilaration. Mortified by his bamboozled look, she turned around right away. She couldn’t believe her eyes, she was seeing him after two years and he hadn’t changed a bit. He looked the same, tall dark handsome with those soft brown eyes which still stared in bafflement. How much she loved him even today! Time and distance truly makes heart go fonder.

The crowd swayed frenziedly and the ardent emotions of the song made her face glow with ecstasy. The song was almost getting over with the guitars strumming raucously and the crowd roaring in complete dissonance. The ambiance was ideal and the mood perfect. She felt she won’t get a better occasion to confess how much she loved him. With her heart thumping hysterically, she turned around only to find him gone. Her eyes searched for him but he had vanished. She felt completely cheated and thwarted. She had lost him again.

The screeching horn of the adjacent Honda city bought her back to reality and she smiled with a glint of regret. The radio crooned Enrique Iglesisas’s Hero. Would she ever find her hero? Wherever he was, she still loved him and she knew he would always occupy that special place in her heart. Brushing away her thoughts, she once again ensured if everything was ready for the presentation. Hmmnn...After all nobody can ever forget their first love.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Giving Away My Daughter

This is from a father's perspective

She looked stunning, just like her mother. Heavily bordered Kanjeevaram sari, chunky gold ornaments, aromatic jasmine strings adorning her lustrous braid and her cherubic smile enhanced her beauty. It’s my daughter’s wedding today. Caught in turmoil of emotions, my heart felt like lead. My eyes brimmed with tears…tears of joy??…they were tears of contentment. She noticed them. I couldn’t escape her questioning eyes. I brushed away the tears and blamed the musky smoke. But she knew the reason and gave an assuring smile.

“Papa, I would never leave u”, she had said when I teasingly remarked that Arun(her fiancee) was waiting.Daughters grow up so fast. I still remember the day when I was handed this little bundle of joy. Deep blue eyes, I affectionately named her Neelakshi. Everything she did amused me. From a naughty toddler to confused adolescent, from Daddy’s little girl to responsible daughter, her growing years were so delightful. Caring daughter, wonderful cook, established writer and an efficient engineer, she is all rolled in one and I am sure she would make a superb wife too. The pride, the satisfaction, the elation bought back my surging tears.

Today, I am giving her away. New place, new relatives and mounting apprehensions, I know my daughter would handle them tactfully. I would miss her.Her absence would haunt me now.

Deep in her childhood memories, I was enjoying the nostalgic feel when suddenly my thoughts were disrupted by the priest chanting… “mangalyam tantunanena mama jivana hethuna kanthe: badhnami subhage! sanjiva sarada: satam ” . Amidst the rhythmic mela-thalam of drums and showers of akshadai, my daughter made a grand entry into the connubial phase. My emotions fiddled between anxieties to thrill, just like the first day of her school when I left her in the classroom among strangers. Then she was a tot, now a woman but she would always remain her Daddy’s little girl!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Shell Shocked...But Mumbai moves on!!

Utterly stunned and frozen in trepidation, I saw the news of serial bomb blasts. Eight of them, in the first class compartments of the Lifeline of Mumbai…local trains at eight different places, all in western suburbs at peak hours left the entire country scandalized.

My mom works in Santacruz and the news sent a cold jerk down my spine. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening; all I could do was to try contacting her. With mobile lines jammed, landlines dead and heart beat soaring I felt completely helpless. Fortunately, she had taken the previous train and reached home safely. That was a close shave. The turmoil of emotions I went through during those ten minutes, ranging from terror to anxiety, from anticipation to relief is beyond description.

The news channels splashed the bloody sight throughout…from splattered blood stains, severed heads, and limbs to headless torsos, the prospect disgusted me. Humanity???...Does it really exist? What kind of sadistic pleasure do these psycho lunatics derive from such inhumane acts? Do they really know what they want?

Mumbai…I still can’t figure what kind of attitude this city has…whatever be the catastrophe and however intense, it jumps to control the situation to minimize the inconvenience. Locals spontaneously sprang in to help out the victims even before the professional help arrived. This city is nothing but “never say die” attitude personified.

But is it fair that our beautiful city becomes the target of natural calamities and human terrorism recurrently just because we manage emerge out successfully? But whom to blame?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Contrasting Match

Oh Lord! The sun looked blushingly beautiful,
With the smoldering golden rays adorning her periphery;
Perched bashfully across the firmament, like a daughter dutiful;
She fondly gazed the sea, with hidden adoration deep inside her core.

Oh Lord! The sea looked delightfully angelic,
With green blue hues stretched across the horizon;
He never lost his cool, unruffled and imperturbable forever,
Even when the surging waves tried his tranquility.

When the birds returned to their nests,
And life began to slow down to rest;
She audaciously expressed her undying love,
And he acknowledged his constrained passion.

Against the wishes of the sky seething red,
And the approving sanctity of the moon and stars;
She sunk in the glory of his deep dark ecstasy,
And thus the contrasting match lived happily ever after!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Moments To Cherish

‘Engineering College’...The most wonderful phase of an engineer’s life. Three years down and one more to go...everything seems like a beautiful dream. The unlimited fun we had is beyond description. The entire experience has been enriching and elevating. Our engineering curriculum is so well designed that it not only provides proficient engineers but also efficient managers. C’mon who else can complete six technical subjects with twelve chapters each within a span of two weeks and still manage to clear with a decent first class! Isn’t that incredible! Precise time management, expert in meeting deadlines, unruffled even in extreme stress and competent in technical skills….That’s a preview of an engineer…Where else can you find a better professional?

The biggest mystery of engineering…Lectures…I still don’t know why are they conducted...probably for the stipulated 75% attendance…lol…we too manage to grace the occasion for the same. But we can’t afford to waste our time…so we do utilize it in some fruitful activities like mugging up wordlists, solving aptitude papers, completing journals and assignments…c’mon we are sincerity personified…ahem… at least sometimes! Occasionally we do indulge in throwing chalks or paper balls on the front bench geeks …if the professor is lenient enough.

Now the most important aspect….Friends, without them we could have never survived. As far as my experience goes, I have met some of the most wonderful people in RAIT.Different backgrounds, varied personalities, distinctive perspectives….I had the opportunity to interact with all kinds and it in turn broadened my spectrum of perception. Politics to career, current affairs to relationships, we discussed and analyzed all of them over samosas and coffee. Those comforting words after heart breaks and over-night analyses on what went wrong….be it exam results or relationships...they were there when we needed them the most. Lord! Life wouldn’t be so beautiful without them.

College Fest…be it IEEE techfest or HORIZONS…these were the only occasions when displayed our genuineness and sincerity towards work. Team spirit and hard work, we always managed to put a successful show inspite of internal politics.
Engineering has been a wonderful experience…full of mixed emotions…truly class apart and just a year left…hmmnn…feeling nostalgic. Uhh...why can’t engineering be eight years long!