Dreams: October 2007


Dreams are answers
       to questions
       we haven't yet
       figured out
       how to ask.

To you, this Karwachauth ...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007
What do I do to show that I love you and care for you the most? Actually, nothing! That is the love between us - we really do not need to do anything for one another and still feel the love in everything about and around us.

There are several stories that suggest why one should fast for Kawachauth. But, my purpose is very simple. This one day, I filter out every other feeling, senses from my system, and survive just on the essence of love.

This Karwachauth, while you were away, I was waiting for the moon. Usually, when I see the moon through the sieve, I share a smile with the moon - and the moon winks back and tells me, "There is only one besides me, who lightens up the darkness surrounding you - look at him now" and I abide by and look at you.

I waited, until midnight. But, could not see the smiling moon in the sky. Was I disappointed? Surprisingly, no! All the while, I looked up the sky, though I could not see the moon, I could see a part of the sky that was bright. There was this mysterious blaze like radiance in the sky, that made me believe that the moon was right behind, hidden - but, smiling at me, as usual. Not for once, did I feel that I did not see the moon.

And not for once, did I feel you were not right next to me holding the glass of water. All around the house, I can see, you are smiling at me. Sometimes, when I smile at the white walls, my friends might think I am crazy. But, you know right?

And can you imagine, if a hidden moon pleases me so much, what would a full moon do?

Whats are you reading today?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Browsing through a blog, I found this interesting array of books. And the idea to highlight the books I have already read seemed quite interesting. Needless to mention, I need to catchup...

Most of the books that I read these days are management related, but I need to get on my fictions. These days I am reading - Innovator's Dilemma and Innovator's Solutions.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
3. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
4. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
5. Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
7. 1984 (George Orwell)
8. Who Moved My Cheese? (Spencer Johnson)
9. The Inscrutable Americans (Anurag Mathur)
10. Falconer (John Cheever)
11. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
12. A House for Mr. Biswas (V. S. Naipaul)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Painted House (John Grisham)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. India in Slow Motion (Mark Tully)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. Transmission (Hari Kunzru)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. 1984 (George Orwell)
34. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
35. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
36. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
37. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
38. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
39. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
40. Shalimar the Clown (Salman Rushdie)
41. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
42. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
43. The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Mitch Albom)
44. The Bible
45. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
46. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
47. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
48. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
49. Bleak House (Charles Dickens)
50. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
51. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
52. Girls of Riyadh (Rajaa Alsanea)
53. Great Expectations (Dickens)
54. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
55. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
56. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
57. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
58. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
59. In Xanadu (William Dalrymple)
60. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
61. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
62. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
63. Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice)
64. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
65. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
66. This World is Flat (Thomas Friedman)
67. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
68. Les Miserables (Hugo)
69. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
70. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
71. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
72. Beloved (Toni Morrison)
73. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
74. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
75. The Summer Tree (Guy Gravriel Kay)
76. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
77. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
78. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
79. Notes to Myself (Hugh Prather)
80. Silence of the Lambs (Thomas Harris)
81. Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck)
82. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
83. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
84. Emma (Jane Austen)
85. The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)
86. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
87. From Russia, With Love (Ian Fleming)
88. Black Beauty (Anna Sewell)
89. Kane and Able (Jeffrey Archer)
90. Animal Farm (George Orwell)
91. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
92. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
93. Sons and Lovers (D. H. Lawrence)
94. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
95. A Suitable Boy (Vikram Seth)
96. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
97. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
98. Matilda (Roald Dahl)
99. Ulysses (James Joyce)
100. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)

Dhunuchi Dance, Ramleela and my Black Saree...

Saturday, October 20, 2007
This was my third pujo in Bay Area, outside home - The TV was playing the non-stop routine of Durga Pujo celebrations all over India, on Hindi News channels. I turned off the television, cursing - "why do they have to show it all the time, as if making fun of me!" But, after three years, I have come to terms and have actually, started enjoying the Pujo. At least, you can see that everyone is trying their best to get the same fervor, smell, cadance of the pujo as back at home. Or, at least you are not alone to feel ... well you know !

Anyways, for today, Let me start in the reverse order of subject...

My black Saree - the designer saree that Didi had got me during my visit to India this June... is awesome! And awesome was the upper that Piyu had designed for the saree ...! So, I could not wait to be in the crowd in that black saree... Shekhar, after trying 3-4 coats / blazers - decided to wear the blue sweater that he always wears to work. I did not mind - after he got his hairs cut in the crew cut style yesterday - I am ok with him wearing whaterver he likes ! How bad can the dress-up be compared to those crew cut - and right on the Puja day. But then, he is not Shekhar for nothing :)

Anyways, while I was dying to get in the pandal and find someone who had a better saree than I had (which I doubted so much), there was some more wait in store for us. Parking! After juggling a lot from one parking to another and after resorting to some of Indian ways of finding a spot, we managed to get a place - after 15 minutes.

Dhunuchi - After I got down the car, I do not know how I got inside the pandal and what drew me right infront of the Mother, witnessing the Dhunuchi dance. I think, I was just pulled by some mystic force. I kept there standing, seeing one by one many dhunuchi dancers, swaying in frenzy to the tune of the drums and of the smoke that came out of the lamps in their hands. I kept looking at 'Ma' silently, without wishing for anything - but looking at 'Ma' I felt - she knew it all!

Ram Leela - Just when we were about to leave the Pandal, we went inside the temple and were amazed to see Ram Leela being played. It was indeed a pleasure, because even in India, I do not remember when I had last seen Ram Leela. Just yesterday we were teasing Shekhar about where he got his theatrical demeanors when he said he used to watch Ram Leela a lot during childhood. Anyways, it was perfect, because when Lakshman appeared on stage roaring against the injustice that Rama was faced with, they made it so real to the India Ram Leela, that the sound system went off - for 10 minutes, the technical disruption caused audience to enjoy the viewing even more. For some reasons, I felt Lakshman (could be Rama also) was the sound technician. Anyways, it resumed after a while and we saw until Lakshman cut Surpanaka's nose.

Well, tomorrow is Dashami. 'Ma' is all set to go back to where she came from ... We all will wait another year for her homecoming - May nothing change in any of our lives, if not for better!

Durga Puja and the "Dhai Sawaari"

Being the youngest of all siblings and that too with a big gap has its own perks. Like, for Puja - not only Ma-baba would buy me clothes, but both my didi, jijaji and dada-boudi would send in advance (if they could not make it to home) clothes for puja. Showing off the clothes to friends and neighbors was a pre-occupation of the Puja times. While, some of my friends would keep their clothes hidden in the closet until the day of the Puja (which, I never could understand), I would make it a point to hang them out to show whoever visited us before / during Puja. And, if you do not know, I had a new dress to wear for Mahalaya and from Shashti to Navami, both times.

With its perk, there was an annoyance being the youngest. And that was the fact, that I never became an adult while at home. I have always remained a kid - for instance, we used to take 'rikshaw' to the Kalibadi and my Dad would hail one of those Riskshaw's standing under the shade during bright October noon and ask the old rikshaw driver, "Dhai Sawari (2.5 seat), Kalibadi. Kitna Loge (how much)?" I still remember the stare of that old rickshaw man. He would look at my Dad, then at my Mom and then stop at me. Mind you, these are the times, when I would be either in college or be at home on Puja vacation from my Office.

Another interesting part of Puja was the fact that since you are dressed in your best, you catch quite many eyes in the Pandal. For example, the guy who always wanted to talk to you in college, might muster the guts and say hello to you. And you would be so much in trance of the environment there, that you would infact smile back and talk a talk. It was perfectly fine to go to college few days later and give a "go to hell" kind of look to the same person whose outfit you complimented in the pandal.

During one of those incidents, when you were exctatic by the flirtatious glares of a handsome bengali from your college while waiting on for the Bhog to be served - my mother would shout at the very same guy and tell him "give this little girl some khichudi". "Ma!", would be all I could say then...

Well, today I am all matured. I manage complex and even more situations perfectly well. And I so well know that my Ma-baba have no doubt about it. But, on occassions as these ... when puja is around and I wear a saree (for the sake of it) and pretend to show it off, when there is no one around ... I yearn so much for someone to call me "Dhai Sawaari" and "that little girl" again ...

Ma - Baba, I miss you. Durga Puja .. where is "Pujor gondho" .. the smell of puja ... ?

[I have written about these incidents earlier also .. but every puja brings back the same old memories ... ]

It's you ...

Friday, October 19, 2007
"Marriage means seeing her all the time... you wake up, she is there; you eat, she is there; you read, she is there; you watch tv, she is there; you are alone, she is there; you are in a crowd, she is there; you go to bed, she is there ... Sounds bad, isn't it? Not... if she is the right one ... and then you want to be with all the time! "

- Raymond advices Robert to get married to the girl he loves, in one of the episodes of 'Everybody Loves Raymond'

Durga Puja ....

Sunday, October 07, 2007
" You are my festival "