This weekend, I was at Cafe Mondegar's at Colaba. A friend was going away to his hometown for a few days, so we thought we should grab a few drinks over the weekend. Incidentally it was the very same day I'd purchased a new camera. So, flaunting my spanking new Canon EOS 450D, feeling extremely macho and creative, I spent the evening having a blast. After dropping him off to the bus station, everyone dispersed for the night. I was to wait for my parents at hotel Marine Plaza at Marine Drive. Beautiful hotel.

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So here I was, sitting at the lobby, quite drunk from the drinks back at checking out the settings of my camera when this pretty female sits beside me and starts enquiring about the cam.

Girl: Hey, nice camera. Can I check it out?

Me(shamelessly staring(actually trying to focus from being tipsy)): Sure. Used one of these before?

Girl: Yeah. I'm quite into photography. I love clicking photos.
(Silence for sometime as she checks the settings, evidently quite fascinated with the cam)

Girl: Hey, is that Axe you have on?

Me(very VERY surprised): Yep. How did you know?

Girl: My boyfriend...(and the dreaded hopes went crashing down the drain and I could hear a hundred violins playing the saddest song in the world, lightning struck a tower, clouds rumbled, a cat mewed...)

Here was this really pretty girl, also a little drunk, chatting to me about her boyfriend and how she loved the deodorant he uses

- which is Axe -
- which I have on me as well -
- which I wish I had applied more of at that point of time -
- which would have drowned the stink of sweat that I was positive was reeking from me -
- which I realized might have been the beer too -

But what the heck right?

Alcohol has an interesting effect on people. On me at least.

Me: Hey, I got about half an hour to kill, and the lights are great out on Marine Drive. Wanna go for a walk?

Girl: Sure. My friends will take time anyway. Two of them are busy making out :P

(Alcohol - See my point?)

So we had a nice walk along the seaside at Marine Drive, chatted about stuff like we'd known each other for years. As it started drizzling, we decided to head back to the hotel and call it a day, or night in this case.

Great night eh? Axe definitely has some effect!

In any case, beer makes you smart. It made Bud Wiser :D

Before you guys draw any conclusions, I did take her number.(yea yea, she has a boyfriend, so what?)

P.P.S. Drinking alcohol is injurious to health, and should under no circumstances be consumed by minors or if you are or about to drive. Drink responsibly, be safe.

Note to self: Purchase more cans of Axe.

Note to readers: All pictures in this post (except Marine Drive abd Budweiser) are clicked by me with my shiny new camera. Hope you like them :)

What gets you down and depressed? Is it something you want but cannot get? Is it something you try but fail to achieve? Whatever it may be, never, EVER give up.

Bad dreams happen. Not too often but they do. Every now and then, you wake up in the middle of the night, scared that the monster will eat you, or you will drop from the sky like a rock. Don't deny it. It happens. Hell, shit happens.

I've always been intrigued by things paranormal, be it spirits, hauntings, ghost houses, voices...whatever. They're perfectly normal and real in my mind. For it's true that there's stranger things in real life than in fiction. And for that very reason, I've never been scared or spooked by stuff like these. Midnight visits to cemeteries, ghost stories, even movies, I'm interested in them all, and hence, not too jumpy about them.

Last night, I was fast asleep, from an exhausting day of running to and from a friend's place. At around 2.15 am, I stirred. Something didn't feel right. But I was too drowsy to even bother to open my eyes. At that point being half asleep(y'know, the stage of lucid dreaming, the in-between place between reality and the dreamworld where you find Never-never land) I was barely aware that I was awake. Suddenly I heard two very distinct, short noises that sounded very much like "WHOOO WHOOO". I thought(or imagined) something move from the living room into my room and out the window through me...yes, through me. At the very same instant, a mild shiver-cum-shock went through my body, the kind you feel when you touch both ends of a live battery to your tongue...a mild tingling sensation. I tried to open my mouth to say "Who's there" but for a split second I felt I couldn't even open my mouth. When I finally could, I was halfway through my sentence. It freaked me out. For the first time, I felt spooked. Even scared a bit. I lay in bed, eyes shut, praying, for God knows what. There was a cold chill in the air, though it never struck me as odd then. Anyway, I never did get back to sleep that night. The feeling had jolted the sleep right out of me. Adding to it, all lights out in the house, and the dense foliage outside my first floor bedroom window illuminated only by a single tubelight lit on the ground floor made for a really really hallucinatory feel to the night.

I shifted rooms for the night.

Maybe it was nothing, just a bad dream that woke me up and I imagined it all to be real. Or maybe it was truly something paranormal that passed through my room. I don't know. All I know is that for the very first time in my life, something spooked me. I've had bad dreams before, but nothing has ever felt quite like this time. I wonder whether it really was a dream after all, and if not, what was it?
Read this one up in Shobhaa De's post and it strikes a real deep note.
Do check it out:

Notes to a terrorist...

Few days post our Independence Day celebrations, things have again started to go back to "normal". People going about their mundane humdrum lives - office, work, parties, movies...the works.

India's judiciary takes ten years to settle some cases, and even longer for more complicated cases. How is the US judiciary able to settle cases so fast? Are the cases in India so complicated that they require tens of thousands of days to settle out? No.
I really cannot comprehend what those causes may be, and even if someone listed them out to me, I'm sure they won't make much logical sense.
Kasab has had one hundred witnesses testifying against him. Video footage shows him guilty. How then is the man being kept locked up, with no verdict visible in the near future?
Weird? Barely.
Things seem bleak in my eyes when it comes to justice, at least legally. I've come to believe that it's easier to personally settle matters than to take it to the court, because frankly, does anyone have the time to run to and from the court for months at end(at the very least)?
All the talk of being law abiding and doing my own thing to help the country move ahead, at times it seems like I talk to myself. The Reliance Natural Gas fiasco that's been ensuing seems to be headed towards a legal war that'll go on for five years at least. Common sense doesn't prevail when it comes to law because in law, Truth has Various Facets. That's why, every lawyer, even the defending one, speaks the truth, as he has vowed to. It's the manipulation of facts that they're good at. Finding loopholes. Some cases seem like strokes of genius to my inferior brain.

Anyway, this wasn't a rant. Just some stuff that ran through my head when I read Shobhaa De's post. Again, do go check it out if you haven't already.

That day of the year, when every one of us remembers to stand in attention to the National Anthem, when we feel all "mushy" and "patriotic", when we hear Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle and Rahman sing melodies in tribute to our great Nation. A day when we remember the Jawans out there at the border, fighting for their lives so that we can sit in the comforts of our home and enjoy a cup of tea while watching the Independence Day parade "LIVE from Delhi".

One day? Just ONE DAY?

Why, I ask, why just one day to remember everything that you stand for, everything that this Nation that shelters you is made of? One single day to honour the lives given, of the lives taken and the lives lived to provide for the safe journey from the bus to our home. One single day to remember those of yesterday that made our today what it is. One single day when reporters, radio jockeys, and every media person in the cities look towards the green and khaki stripes to say "Thank you for keeping us safe."

These men in uniforms regularly guard the borders of our nation. The conditions that they have to live in is shocking, but awe-inspiring, and yet, their spirit remains indomitable. When they're not risking their lives(read: times of peace) they're the most open hearted yet humble men and women on the planet. But in times of war, they're the ones who are up at the battlefront, shouting the Nation's war cry and surging ahead into the fray. They're there right from the flatlands to the most difficult battleground in the world.

Have you ever wondered what it is to be out there, at times in zero visibility, at times in sub-zero temperatures, armed with only a gun and your comrades by your side, running into the fray, knowing fully well that there are thousands of little metal spikes hurtling towards you faster than a speeding jet which can pierce your body and come out the other end before you've had time even to realize that it just did. And yet you do not stop. You keep going, praying to God not to live, but to die, and when you do, take a few enemies along for the ride.

As they say, Jai Jawan.

This video sent goosebumps down me when I saw it.

And the nation, each year, gives them One Day.

This year, on Raksha bandhan, college students in traditional attire tied rakhis on the wrists of the Indian Army soldiers on the outskirts of Amritsar. If that's not a gesture we should take notice of, I don't know what is.

When I started writing this post, I thought I'd write something about how Independence is overrated, how we take it for granted and so on and so forth. Then, I realised, it isn't about what Independence is taken to be, but what it really is. The no-longer-recent Mumbai terrorist attacks made that very clear, they kind of evoked the patriot in me. Participating in the Peace Rally(link) held out here in Mumbai was an eye opener as well(also, a little correction to an error I made in the previously linked post - link), but it also showed me, and the common man what power the masses have, what we, the people can do if we consent to one decision. The power to take that decision and execute it, now THAT'S INDEPENDENCE.

They said they would come back,
Promised that they'd return.
They walked away with their heads held high,
Not once did they turn.

Battles raged, many fell,
but they never gave in to despair,
For they knew someone back home awaited
with their name in prayer.

I'm proud to say this every day, whenever I have an opportunity,



Sing in the shower.
Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
Leave the toilet seat in the down position.
Never refuse homemade brownies.
Strive for excellence, not perfection.
Plant a tree on your birthday.
Learn 3 clean jokes.
Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full.
Compliment 3 people every day.
Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
Leave everything a little better than you found it.
Keep it simple.
Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Floss your teeth.
Ask for a raise when you think you've earned it.
Overtip breakfast waitresses.
Be forgiving of yourself and others.
Say, "Thank you" a lot.
Say, "Please" a lot.
Avoid negative people.
Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.
Wear polished shoes.
Remember other people's birthdays.
Commit yourself to constant improvement.
Carry jumper cables in your truck.
Have a firm handshake.
Send lots of Valentine cards.
Sign them, "Someone who thinks you're terrific."
Look people in the eye.
Be the first to say hello.
Use the good silver.
Return all things you borrow.
Make new friends, but cherish the old ones.
Keep a few secrets.
Sing in a choir.
Plant flowers every spring.
Have a dog.
Always accept an outstretched hand.
Stop blaming others.
Take responsibility for every area of your life.
Wave at kids on school busses.
Be there when people need you.
Feed a stranger's expired parking meter.
Don't expect life to be fair.
Never underestimate the power of love.
Drink champagne for no reason at all.
Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.
Don't be afraid to say, "I made a mistake."
Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know."
Compliment even small improvements.
Keep your promises no matter what.

Marry for love.

Rekindle old friendships.
Count your blessings.
Call your mother.

by H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Well, I started off the day thinking there are days, and there are days.

Stuff goes wrong every once in a while and as a guy named Murphy (NOT Dr. Dolittle man! Sheesh! Read more!) once said, "If things can go wrong, they will....well, something on those lines anyway.

Guess what? Got proved today.

It's like all the goof-ups, all the little events-that-follow-murphy's-law came crashing down upon me. It all started with my post earlier today : link

Bad moods were just the beginning. Come evening, I had to meet a friend for some grub. So I drove down to the mall nearby (by "nearby" I mean a few kilometres away at the very least :| ) Sounds simple? Not so in my life...

First, the car wouldn't start. A little bit of tinkering and it roared to life, and it's this old 1994 model of a 118 NE. So when it roars, it ROARS! So, roaring and growling away, I drove out onto the main road. At a traffic signal, there was a HUGE buildup of trucks, buses and tankers. Poor me got stuck between two trucks like a sitting duck for the traffic cops to pull to the side for "breaking the signal"

First of all, I don't get the concept of "breaking" a signal. If I broke it, would I actually stick around in my car waiting for someone to arrest me?
Would you?
I thought so.

So after squabbling
with him for sometime, he agreed to a tiny fine of a hundred bucks. Money received, he turned all friendly and chatty and went ahead to check out my car. "Waah, kya mayentayen kiya hai!" he says with a marathi accent thicker than you can cut with a knife. (for all you engreji babus and babys, he said "You've maintained it well." After happily(read: grudgingly) discussing the specs of the car, I was on my way.

Then my friend doesn't pick up her phone, so I wait for sometime before deciding to make my way to Vashi. The drive to Vashi was probably the only relaxed point of my day with a half hour drive on the open freeway and a nice long bridge. Upon reaching, I realized that my car window had broken from within.

Perfect, innit?

Better part of the next hour and a few hundred rupees later, I was back on the road and making my way back home as quickly albeit as safely as possible to bide the rest of the day off in the safety of my own four walls.

On the upside, I found a pimped up brother for my car parked at my colony's entrance today. Too cool! I just HAD to park next to it. Check 'em out:

Pictured right, my car. Left, his pimped up chak-de-phatte brother :D Sexeh aren't they?

Where is your cell phone? Under a pile of clothes
Relationship? Single (mads, kuch kar! :P )
Your hair? Military cut(partly Ghajini, but who cares :P )
Work? Taking a break
Your sister? Married and writes damn well!
Your favorite thing? Long drives and Seashores
Your dream last night? That I was flying
Your favorite drink? Rum n Coke
Your dream car? Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren
The room you're in? My room
Your fears? Small confined spaces and partly heights(gotten over that bit)
What do you want to be in 10 years? Rich and happy! :D
Who did you hang out with this weekend? School friends
What are you not good at? Dancing
One of your wish list items? A Hoverboard(seen Back to the Future? yeah, that one!)
Where you grew up? Mumbai meri Jaan!
Last thing you did? Had lunch
What are you wearing? Shorts
What aren't you wearing? Don't get ideas!
Your pet? Want a wolf or a large German Shepherd
Your computer? Sony Vaio laptop
Your life? Confused
Your mood? Sublime
Missing? Friends
What are you thinking about right now? Which camera to buy...
Your kitchen? Is well stocked
Your summer? Goa baby!
Your favorite color? White, black and red
Last time you laughed? When I tried teaching someone to drive
Last time you cried? While watching a movie
School? was the best!
Love? Happens when you least expect it.

I tag everyone who reads this post :D

There are days, and then there are days.

Ever had one of those when nothing seems right? From the time you wake up in the morning and the lights are too bright, or everyone seems to be shouting even while talking to you? It’s funny, one day you’re perfectly chirpy and everything’s just fine, and then you wake up next morning.

Bright bloody sunlight! Why did the sun have to come up today? Can’t it be night for a few more hours?

Okay okay mom! I’m up already. You don’t have to shout so much! Geez…for the sake of two minutes of rest. The geyser’s broken so no hot water. Taking a bath’s a pain too, and the soap falls down the pot. Yuck! I’m never putting my hand in there!

Everything everyone says pisses you off, no matter how simple the statement might be.

Mom: Eat fast, you will be late! (Duh mom, why do you think I’m half dressed anyway??! And all this while I’m thinking “Swallow, not chew! Swallow not chew!”)

Even something as simple as the conductor asking if I have a ticket or not gets a crack at it – “Why do you think I’m holding a ten rupee note under your frikkin nose man! Daan de raha hai kya main?(translated – am I giving charity or something?)
So much drama...crap…and you have not a clue in the world as to why that’s so. But it is. So deal with it.
Yeah right!

Bad days make for bad moods(yea yea…laugh you perverts…yes you too.)
That makes for bad grammar, which I hate anyway. So excuse my English at this point coz any and every criticism to it will result in a lengthy and extremely irritating comment on your latest blogpost using the worst possible English.

Thank you.

For the nicknames we gave each other,
for the times we shared a plate in the canteen,
for the pranks we played on each other,
and those that we played on others,
You shall always be there in my heart.

We played, we fought,
we learnt, we taught,
sometimes serious, sometimes silly,
some were lame, some plain crazy,
But for all that we were, we were good fun,
It was one for all and all for one,
As the musketeers we braved each day,
with our swords held high and enemies at bay.
But now, after so long, our ways have parted,
and we barely get to meet,
And every time I hear your voice,
My heart skips two beats.
For in comes flooding all the memories of the good ol' days,
My eyes stay dry but my my heart cries out,
not with sorrow, but with joy.
The memories are those most dear to me,
even those of tears,
for whenever I've cried, it was with you,
You made me forget all my fears.
For these moments of untarnished bliss, I thank you today,
As I shall till the end,
These thoughts I pen down this special day,
For you, my dear, dear friend.

This one goes out to all my friends, old and new, personal and online. Wherever you are, however we may have met, know that you're very precious to me.

Happy friendship's day!