Monday, November 14, 2011

Don't Look Away

I know a girl
When she smiles
The rain comes pouring down

A longer day
I may stay my ground
Be drenched from head to toe

A younger age
I may have a dream
That tells me not to go

A smaller town
I may close my eyes
And see her once again

I know a girl
When she smiles
The rain comes pouring down

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

For Old Times' Sake

I was eight when I first heard Boney M's Holiday songs. I've heard each of them a thousand times now, but one of them that instantly stuck with me was Auld Lang Syne. More so because I had no idea what it meant. No one at home seemed to be able to tell me. And since my only link to the outside world was Doordarshan and Akashvani, I had to learn it like one of those romantic spanish phrases, like Formas de Amor, like Besame Mucho, ones you never understood but just sounded cool when put in song.

And then I grew up and finally got to know what the words meant. It didn't really make much sense though. Old times' sake. "Should old acquaintance be forgot, for auld lang syne"? Shouldn't you rather be remembering your old buddies, for old times' sake? Someone else told me it just meant "a long long time ago". Mm, that made sense, I thought. And so that's what it meant for a long, long time.

After school you grow up a whole different way. The song remained forgotten for years. Life's what happens to you when you grow up, I've heard. Heck, no kidding. When I heard it again, almost twenty years after I first learnt to say the phrase, it wasn't so "senseless" anymore.

For the sake of some of the best times you've had, you have to let go of the past.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Are You Watching Closely?

"We'll see you again, inshallah"

"I'm sure we will" I replied as I turned my T-card around for the last time. In a time not too long ago I might have got a little moist around the eyes. But Saudi and its experiences have hardened me somewhat. I've closed some doors around me which I will not open again. I've been warned the floodgates come unexpectedly and they're tough to stop once they come. But that's not today.

D and I talked on the drive back home. About nothing in particular. The new speed limits on the roads, the kababs at the new place downtown. "Five years have gone by real quick man." I told him as I parked the car and gave him the keys. "It's been five years?" His mouth opened like one of those colon-O smileys. "It hardly feels like two, chief."

"It feels like yesterday." I smiled as we hugged goodbye.

I handed over my passport to the customs officer. He looked at the picture on it, looked up at me. Turned to a page cluttered with older exit stamps and made his mark on one corner. "Ma salaama, habibi" he handed me back my passport and boarding pass. Go in peace, my friend.

It's not a place I've grown to love. It's probably not even a place I would yearn to come back to. But here, I have gained a little, lost a little, learnt a lot. Made some new friends, been forgotten by a few old buddies. Survived the red-brown sands and 52 degC. Eaten the most fattening meals of my life. Learnt to call a friend a brother. Seen some relationships last a lifetime, others not so much. The ride may leave you dizzy, it may leave you ecstatic. It may scare you to death, it may make you want to do something crazier. But the ride is the thing. As the brown city got smaller and smaller, it's neatly arranged streetlights fading to a mesh of criss-cross lines, a little part of me, I leave behind.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Long Road Home

Tell me a story
Of tomorrow
Of purple dreams
And orange hope

And a rainbow walk
Where I never tire

Image used without permission

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dance of Life

"Nah, I'll come get you", K said just before she hung up. K and I met up for dinner a couple of weeks ago. It's been over five years since I met her. We ended up having a great time, probably one of my best dinners in and around Houston, and reminiscing the good old days.

We've both had our share of difficult times since then. And in their differences, they have been kind of similar. We chose to get over them in different ways. I buried myself in work, so much so I had no time for much else. K did the same, but with a difference. She buried herself in something she loved doing. She still does it today, almost a year later, with such enthusiasm that just bursts with freshness each time. In most of our trials, the ends justify the means. It's not to say that what one does is better than the other. But in our acceptance of what has happened, we often decide, unknowingly, what we were always meant to do. Hopefully a glimpse of what life has in store for us - for the better.

Otherwise K hasn't changed much. She's still as chic as ever, but worries about how good she'll look in every snap. Still dances as if no one's watching. Still has that mischevious honesty in her eyes.

One of my recent favourite songs played on the car stereo on our way back. "I've been doing some singing too of late. Let me sing along with this one, tell me what you think eh?" K was at it as we swept through the Houston night. In a little stray thought that played in my head, the night was suddenly silent, except for the wind through the trees whistling my admiration out loud.

I had a smile as I walked up back to my room at the hotel. Call me behind the times if you would, but independent, confident women always give me goosebumps.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Enough Already

I'm not one to comment on socially sensitive topics. But this whole Sania news just doesn't allow me to do the same thing this time. Hate mails and comments and news just keep piling on day after day. Everyone suddenly thinks Sania should be the role model India never had. How can she marry someone who has previously been accused of match fixing? Doesn't she know cricket is an Indian religion? Doesn't an alliance with someone like this destroy and defile our nation? And does she know he's been married to someone previously? We as a nation are worried for her safety and security! What if his ex-wife attacks her and we lose our best tennis sensation!! And the worst part is OMG WTF he's a Pakistani! Surely being the responsible Indian she is she CANNOT even THINK of even associating with people that we are at war with??

Give it a rest guys. Let's forget the fact that what Sania does with her life shouldn't be anyone's business. It's like we've just gone back twenty years. To blaming everyone in the nation for something most of them aren't responsible for. To looking for reasons to find fault when there are better things to do. To just wiping out all those initiatives, all the music and lyrics for love, peace and brotherhood. These are people with us, people around us, people like us. When an enemy has a face, he shouldn't be your enemy anymore.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Guy Love

For the ladies - if you've heard it it's true: guys can't handle emotion, at least not with other guys. We're probably crying the river inside and all that, but on the outside it's a whole different story. I've had a few of these "guy" experiences myself, and I thought it's about time they were put down.

WWWTS: What we want to say
WWEUS: What we end up saying

G1: Hey, why do you have a palm pendant around your neck?
G2: Oh this is 'coz I got engaged a month ago. My fiancé has a similar one too around hers. It's supposed to go like - hand-in-hand, you know.
WWWTS: Awww, so sweet that is! *sigh* I wish we had this back in India too! *double sigh*
WWEUS: Neat! Fancy those Chinese traditions, eh?

G1: So how was your vacation?
G2: Awesome. Did a bit of traveling. Finished too soon though - now it's back to work and hell!
WWWTS: Yea, I know. But I'm glad you're back dude. Things are kind of tough right now. At least now there's someone I can depend on.
WWEUS: Tell me about it. So, 'sup?

G1: D tells me you're leaving?
G2: Yea, had enough of the oilfield man. And of this place of course.
WWWTS: Well, I had the best time with you around man. Will miss having you around. Am sorry to see you go, you know.
WWEUS: Hahah, true. I'll probably go next.

G1: How's L doing? You guys getting married soon or what?
G2: Oh, we broke up last week buddy. Some things didn't work out.
WWWTS: Nooo! But you guys were perfect, I thought. Been together for two years right? Are you sure it's not something that can be worked out? Everything's got to have a solution yeah? Surely there must be something I can do to help?
WWWEUS: Oh, bummer. Pizza?

I guess guy love doesn't go much deeper.