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Thursday, April 29, 2010

When I lost a bit of me...!!

There are a number of things that we own, cherish and derive satisfaction from. At all times, we feel great joy from these things that we call it as "OURS". If a small sapling that we sowed in the earth blossoms into a nice plant that flowers and then fruits, Why is that we draw great inspiration from it? Why is it that we feel such an elation about it?
If some one has ever created anything, there is the an overwhelming pleasure that one derives from their creation. I can imagine what it must be for the likes of Mastero AR Rehman or Ustad Zakir Hussain. What could it have been for the Wright brothers who built the first air craft? What could it be for the artisan who has sculpted his sculpture? The way he handles it displays not the finest craftsman ship but displays the love, the passion and the delicateness with which he has created it. He may have favourites amongst all his sculptures but the same tenderness of affection remains with all his creations.
There is a jubiliation that every child feels about a small picture that he makes, the small craft that he/she makes. The delight that a little girl experiences about the dish that she creates. The euphoria that a mother experiences after her new born. Every body goes through this divine sense of exultation with any form of creation.
So the desolation is quite understandable, when their creations are either destroyed or lost or tampered. It is not a little wonder why there was so much hate mail against the remix of the orginal numbers. When these creations become a part of them the grief turns into a misery. So, How does one overcome this sense of despair that comes with a loss of their creation? I don't know if it helps just to own up and say "I lost a bit of me..."?!?

Friday, April 23, 2010

My tryst with RIGHT ya WRONG??

I visited Madame's Saloon again, This time not for any service but I owed her the money, The remaining Rs320/- that I had to pay her. I was extremely upset with Madam. I had already cribbed to a couple of my friends and had earned their sympathy but I was still unhappy as I believed that Madam had ruined my skin, all the suppleness had just vanished. What else could I expect if she rubbed my face with that stone like thing that i felt on my face.. So I decided to tell her that I was terribly upset, dissatisfied and unhappy. I rehearsed a couple of times, What I would tell her and how I would tell her, But when i reached there, I forgot my rehearsed lines and I told her what came thus.." Aunty, I had to pay this money.. However, I feel that I have already paid enough for the kind of service that I received. I am very displeased about this..."
Before I could continue, Madam interrupted.. "No Ma.. How can you tell that..?" I am surprised, You can check in the whole of Erragadda about Madame's Parlour.. Every body knows about this place. I dont do any thing for money. How can you claim that it is not good???..."

And slowly, I tried to pitch in "Aunty, I just told you what I felt, here is the money..."
Madam was furious.."No Ma, I dont need your money, I dont care about your money. You know, The IAS officer(I forgot the name that Madam mentioned) comes here and she is so happy, Then that University Vice Chancellor(another name that I forgot) comes here and recommends everybody here. I do so much charity maa.. This parlour is not any means for my livelihood. God has given me enough ma.. I dont need your money.., You know the famous Gyanecologist in Hyd( Madam never missed the names but being new to this place, let alone the name of Gynec, I even forgot the name of the hospital that she dropped), She visits me here and quite satisified. You are the only one who thinks of it as not a good service. "
Not enough, she brought the old diary where I had scribbled my name and Number and what I paid and what I owed..Somewhere, in the other part of it were some testimonials. She started turning out the pages, See ma.. See for yourself.. She held some page to my face, There was something written like what did not work for one of the visitors at Labelle worked for her at Madame's) I started feeling a little miserable, If all of that pain was something if only I imagined, If she had done a neat job though her process was a deviation from the regular process followed everywhere.. I held to my stance and replied.."Aunty, I do not want to be seeing any testimonials, Perhaps they felt that way but I told you the way I felt.."

I could see Madam was visibly upset, her voice was a little shaky. She replied "Thank you Ma.. Thank you.. You have told me what you felt ..and you have paid me.. "She was thrusting the money back into my hand which I had intially tried thrusting into hers and when she refused to take it, had tried placing it on the shelf near the mirror. She was saying "Have done so many free services, I donate so much to charity..." I cut her immediately, I also do enough charity aunty, I am a volunteer with UNICEF, I volunteer for Green peace.., It is not about charity, It is about the way i felt about the service. The girls did a shabby job on my leg, I showed it to you that same day, It did not look like I had gone through a pedicure..."
Madam cut me to say, "Don't blame the girls ma.. They also do very well, They stayed in late for your sake..."
Madam was still talking.., I could not handle it anymore, I said "Aunty, I only gave you my feedback, But I did not mean to be hurting you.. I only intended to tell you the way I felt.."
Madam said "That is enough ma.. you have given me the feedback, Thank you very much...That is enough, that is more than enough..But I do not want the money" When I tried shoving the notes in her hand, she further replied, "Please ma, leave.. If you want you can throw it outside, But Am not going to take this.. You have hurt me..Please.." Madam was in tears.
I was confused, I was unsure what I should be doing next. I was feeling very sorry. I should have perhaps paid and left instead of giving a feedback. I replied "Am really sorry Aunty, at this age if I should be hurting you, I dont mean to do that, I happened to tell you only what I felt,.."
Madam interrupted me and said "You are like my daughter, go raja go.. You came late, I agreed to do everything that you needed, any where else you go, they charge you for every thing..I only thought, If my daughter asked wont I do..? I treated you like my daughter, You are still like my daughter, You can come whenever you want again, I will still service you.. Go now girl. Go Home. Dont worry! am not upset..You leave raja..."

Walked out, feeling more miserable than I ever thought wondering what to do with that money. I decided I will channel it to some right cause, And I have kept that aside to direct it towards community service..

But to think of it, I dont know if I hurt Madam really?? In case I did, Was I not justified in doing so.. What more could I do when all I got was instructions for someSelf Service..?? We all go in for spas and saloons to feel nice and pampered, Was I not justified when all I went through was the agony of rubbed and scrubbed and bleached...? I am still confused!! Could I have dealt differently? Was there a need for me to hurt the Old Madam..?? Could I have just left the money with her, Thanked her and left??
Sometimes, I feel What I did was right and sometimes wrong...? Right ya Wrong???

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My experiment with TORTURE...

Sometimes, It so happens that you get so used to some things and some people, you just can't do without them. I used to be a regular at Lakme and there was either Kasturi or Sukanya who were expert in their own domains or areas(like Sukanya always did my facials, Kasturi took care of manicure and pedicure) It had been sometime since I visited a saloon for various reasons, locating one in my current region, the distance, the time available, cost etc and etc. I do not know what came over me, I ended up going to an indegenous parlour, one which was just besides the hospital at the end of my house. I have made a couple of such trips to few such parlours in the past and some of them were pretty okay, while few were a little stuffy, and a few others were as good as it can get, But my recent experience at Madame's parlour was an experience to remember.

Madam has two girls working for her, Heena and Sangeetha. Heena was assigned to do the pedicure and Sangeetha was assigned to do the facials.
Heena and Sangeetha were upset with me that I had gone in too late and they were supposed to be leaving and they had this additional assignment coming their way which their Madam had asked them to attend to before they left, so they must have been secretly cursing me for walking in too late. I apologised and suggested that I come in tomorrow but Madam thought that was unnecessary. Madam had made the decision, so both Heena and Sangeetha had to make necessary arrangements to go back late that day.

It seemed like, My apologies to Heena and Sangeetha would not have meant anything to them. I let things presume and they took to their jobs but I had a problem. I did not want my brows to be done after the facials. It looked like, this request of mine was causing more inconvenience to them that they had to shift roles. So Sangeetha reversed roles with Heena and set up to begin the pedicure process. Heena started with my brows. Madam was monitoring Heena, asking her to pull a hair out there, extend the angle a little, give a stretch to the edge. They made it appear to me like the most veteran doctor trying to bring in that practical learning to a new intern under careful scrutiny of her eyes. As the daunting task of facials began and so also my woes begin.

As they started rubbing my skin, I felt the smell familiar. I was confused, as to tell or to not tell.." Even as i thought, I blurted "I hope that is not a Bleach". Heena was too taken aback and there was no time to think and she honestly and promptly replied "It is a bleach Maa'm!" I said "I do not want a bleach please..!" Heena was confused. That was the regular process in their facial procedure.. and I was requesting her to stop the bleach. She sought her Madam "Madam, She does not want bleach.." Madam was not impressed with this. She chose to negate Heena's statement without replying anything. I resisted again and said "Please.. I have never bleached except for my marriage and I dont like Bleach ..." I pleaded further to stop the bleach.

Madam intervened this time like a session Judge trying to control a furious defendant in the witness box. She said with a sense of authority and control "It is not bleach.. Its a cleaning agent..!!" I dont know why I shut up and kept quiet when in my mind I was still yelling like a wailing child.."I dont care what it is but I dont want it.." I had no idea why it never saw a voice..I Kept mum and they had in the meanwhile packed my face with that bleach. Madam had instructed the intern to leave it as it is for 5 mins and stepped aside. I took this opportunity to plead with Heena to remove the bleach. It was even less than 2 and half mins and Heena obliged and started removing the white bleach pack from my face. Madam returned back with a faster pace than with what she started and quizzed "..started taking it out.. 5 mins up..??" I gathered Heena found it difficult to lie but some how managed a half lie.. "Yes Madam.. only 4 Mins but our lady here wants it to be removed.." Madam, was not very happy with it and she asked Heena to wait for another minute and so it was removed after another long minute.

Sangeetha was rubbing my legs around my calf muscles, and I had my eyes closed but It was very hard on me and felt as though she was rubbing my legs and claf muscles with rocky sand. Then, The same procedure of rubbing on my face began, this time around Madam herself was doing all the rubbing on the face as Heena came from a very conservative family and she could not afford to be leaving any later than 7.40 PM, while this happened the rubbing on the legs also continued with in between scrubbing on the feet, Suddenly, there was this realisation of the truth that this experience on the leg was a little tolerable. My eyes still remained closed, and the rubbing on the face began to feel worse! In my mind's eye, It seemed like Madam was rubbing my face with a pumic stone, I was struggling and once in a while pulling away my face, feeling like a chicken upside down hanging on the hangar of the moving cycle. I was letting out some Ah.. s and wooh..s hoping to hint the Madam that she was hurting me. There was no steaming, no black head or white head removal process but my mind could not afford to think any of these things. All that I could think was when it could get over. The rubbing continued, only this time with the application of some greenish paste. I thought it must be some home made bleach. My face was burning and it was a torture, I Imagined myself in a cell 8*6, It was a little big or no bigger than that, and there I was in the Jailer's hands who refused to get off me. I made a small litlle prayer and I wanted to be released. My prayer was answered and I was released. The paste was all over my face. Madam left me alone. By then, Sangeetha had left too when her brother had come to pick her up. I was so distressed that she had left behind her a very shabby job on my legs.

I was all alone in this cell, My thoughts began to run awry, Nothing else mattered to me other than my escape from here. Madam had covered my shoulders with a towel. I used the same towel to wipe off that paste on my eyes and some tit bits of it had managed to enter my eyes also. With great difficulty, I opened my eyes and took a view of my cell. I guaged the cell once again to plan my escape. My plan was ready but was not sure about the execution of this well made plan. I was beginning to feel like one of the woman Protagonists in Sidney Sheldon's books that I had read in my school. I decided to get the feel of the environment before I flew. I got up from my non -reclining recliner and saw myself in the mirror. I looked like a terrorist with some green paste all over my face, who can just pass off in the forest completely un noticed. I cared less for the way I looked because I was planning the escapede. As my gaze landed further down to my legs in the mirror I realised the missing Pyjamas, courtesy my pedicure. I reasoned, It was still Ok as I had a long kurta on thankfully, and moreover with the green paste no one would recognise me. The other good thing was my house was just around the corner. So I decided to stuff that Pyjama in my bag and walk out. Next, I had to unplug the charger of my mobile and disconnect the connection. I thought I would do that just before I walked out. I decided to check if I would catch any attention if I tried walking away from that chair where I sustained all of that torture. It was some sort of a rehersal for me before the actual attempt. So I walked into the loo, I peed with some caution to avoid some unnecessary noise. I walked back to my chair. One last problem, If I encountered this, I would be gone. The last problem was the biggest problem, It was my bike that I had parked inside the compound. No matter, how silently would I unplug the charger or how quickly I can stuff my Pyjamas in or If I stealithly walked out even beating the most stealithiest of the cats, My problem was the bike. I was scared the moment I start the bike, the noise it would make and would be caught a Red-Handed-thief slipping out.

I considered the other option to push it out but If I did not start but pushed it stealithly out of the compound then what if I got Stuck at the gate, lost balance with the bike while trying to push open the gate and fall down much to my embarassment. It might also be possible that if i pushed it, given that I did not have the luxury of time and what If Madam came down looking for me..

I had one idea, which was not very appealing as there was a dependency. I knew my husband would be back home, So If I called him and asked him to come down with the duplicate key and silently, stealthily take away the bike then I would quicly walk out. He was just a call away but there might be an unending list of questions that might come as to why he should come over and stealhily take the bike away. While I was still looking at options to solve this one last Problem, Madam was back. I suddenly became an obedient student of this Madam. Madam then reviewed my face and then said "..moist the paste on your face with some water, do a little rubbing and then wash off your face..." I was getting angry, I came here for a service and was not in for self- service, If I had to wash off this pack. I still obeyed like a good student and walked into the wash room, without any rubbing or scrubbing just washed away all the paste.

I was back, in my eagerness to get away, I never reminded her about the steaming or removing the white heads. But Madam had a different take on my face.."See, you are white heads, nothing..So clear!!.." she commented.

I still had the need to express some dissatisfaction, now with that comment on my face.. I only remarked, " My nails are very dirty, My legs look like they need a pedicure, It does not look like it got one.." Madam replied with great pride" the girls used the same pack that was used on your face.. it is just that it has gotten under your nails.. I still agreed to disagree with her that the pedicure was good enough. I did not want to go through another self service for cleaning my nails. But I had no stamina to fight back, I decided to pay and leave.

Madam charged me 620 rupees. While I dressed up and packed, Madam suggested that I should come in for figure correction. I said " Am Fine Aunty.. I dont need any correction..!!" I was very assertive. She laughed a dry laugh and said "Fine?!??.. U are Fine??..." I replied.."Yes, Am fine.. " I have no idea, suddenly where this courage came from. Madam mellowed down and said.."Yes, you are ! Only that you will look more beautiful if you came in, we will make you look very toned." I said "No Thank You"

To my dreaded embarassment, I was not carrying enough money. I paid her 300/- and told her that I live in the apartment just around the corner and insisted she note my number. Madam handed me a diary and I quickly scribbled Paid -300, To pay-320. Mobile number-**********. Madam did not seem to mind this too much. I decided I would pay her up the next morning before I left to work and vowed never to step in there after that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Going back on the Bangalore Lane...!!

It has been a fantastic experience growing up in Bangalore... ! Having been born here and raised here, the earliest that my memory serves me was vastly vacant spaces, soundly serene, many lakes, chirping birds of all kinds including sparrows and cuckoos.

The working population largely comprised of engineers in PSU's like HMT, BHEL, BMEL, ITI,or organisations like ISRO, HAL, NAL or doctors who were private consultants or worked in Bigger Hospitals, Professors, Readers, lecturers and a couple of lawyers. It was a sight to see the buses of these organisations in the early hours of the morning and employees working here would wait at the designated pick up points with newspapers in their hand discussing the headlines. Men and women were dressed in their uniforms would leave early and return back early. If it was not any of these, you would have had them working in the banks or schools.

Bangalore had lesser vehicles, lesser waiting at traffic signals, lesser pollution and more trees and more green. The densely populated areas in the erst while Bangalore was Jayanagar, Basavangudi, Malleshwaram and a few more areas like chickpet, cottonpet, MG Road etc.

Cash Pharmacy on Residency Road, India Coffee house on MG Road, Cantonment were some of the noteworthy landmarks then.Some of the oldest reputed colleges are St Jospeh's college, National College, MES College, Mount Carmel College.

MG road was a ncie hub to catch up on and have nice stroll while Basavangudi or Malleshwaram was the place to savour some nice south Indian traditional savouries or rich Coffee.

It is worth mentioning the growing up watching the Saturday DD when they would be playing a hindi movie and the Sunday DD played a nice kannada movie. Dr. Rajkumar, Dr.Vishnuvardhan, Shankar Nag and Anant Nag had a knack with their acting and they made movies which was truly appealing and truly entertaining. It was when radios still had a pre dominant place in the life of Bangaloreans If one tuned into the radio station they would hear, "Idu Akashavani...Vaartegulu..Odutiruvavaru...."...". or they would have heard "Idu Vividhbharati, Vanagiya prasara kendra Bengalooru..."

Those were the days of the early Bangalore until things gradually begin to change with the growing number of Malls and usual sight of felling trees, the high rise apartments, half dug roads making way for Metro trains, Congested traffic, rising mercury, floating population and increasing pollution.

But there is always something to Bangalore, its warmth, its culture, its people, its openness.There are somethings in life that changes and in mine too marriage took me to Hyderabad but the calling will always remain with Bangalore. Among a thousand things that I miss Bangalore, a couple of them worth its mention is the Cauvery water(Ah!! so sweet it is.. Someone once told me Vijay Mally's Beer beats any beer in the world as the water used for their processing is but Cauvery water), Rangashankara, The chat street that we had named it as for our local mouth watering delicacies. Davangere benne dosas... Ahh!! Miss Bangalore!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Welcome to the Rock Station!!

Hello, This is Captain "AshesofRoses" here... You have just landed at the Rock Station. The temperature out here is 40 degrees and the night seems to be warm. Thanks for choosing to fly with we wish you a pleasant stay here... Have a great day. Thank you.

:-) Well.. That was on a lighter note walking you through a brief introduction to Hyderabad. It is almost three and half months since I moved to Hyderabad. If I take the liberty to personify this city, For some odd reason, I feel this city is masculine by gender and his temperament is easy and comforting. When I moved, I still had a very strong affliction to my own place and bidding it good bye and settling in any other new city could have been a big deal for any body. But, Just like the male species which is smitten with love or infatuation, call it what you may but has its best behaviour on till they hook on the targeted female..ditto, it was very courteous, appealing and appeared safe.

I liked the Biryani, the irani Chai, the mirchi bajjis, cut bajjis, pappu, mughlai pan, Hussain Sagar lake in the center of the city, Eat street on the bank of the lake(eating here late evening with nice cold breeze) seemed very romantic. So much to visit, so much to explore.. much beyond Barristas, coffee days and Java city. From shilpa Ramam to Lumbini Gardens, The dance-show boat ride, Laser show, NTR gardens, Krishna Rao Park, Birla Mandir. And still there is enough and more to explore, Durgam cheruvu to Dola Re Dann, Golkonda fort and Ramoji Film city.

Now that I mentioned Film city, This is a film crazy city. People here are movie buffs. I freaked out the first time when I realised people here can watch a movie at Rs. 25. No! am not April-Fooling. The city might be having the highest number of theaters in my estimation. I was a pillon rider and suddenly we passed across a theater which read balcony Rs. 25. All baffled, I told my husband what my eyes had just seen but could not believe and my husband added more to it, My ears heard more than it could sink, He said "Don't be surprised, people here can watch a movie for Rs15/-" . Wanting to share this amazing peice of information, I called a few friends of mine and told them about what I saw, keeping what I had heard to share it in person... and they were equally confused leading them to think real-out-of-the-box. One of them suggested, "..Guess you could not have seen the digit 1 before 25, The price must be Rs.125/- but your eyes must have caught sight of only 25.." Well thats Rock Station for you..!

I think it has been long since I kept you wondering why the name "Rock Station"?? well, You understand a "Hill Station" There are these hills of various dimensions and shapes- Small, big, huge, short and high, there is a plenty of nature cultivated plantation which keeps the place so chill and cool. Now for some contrast, One can find huge rocks, boulders and other huge forms of naturally formed and petrified matter here. It gets heated by the Sun and emits a lot of heat and making its surrounding very hot. Hence the name Rock Station.

While I talk about heat, emission of heat, it is transporting me back to my days in college of my plus two. The first thing learnt in chemistry was enthalpy, With any reaction emitting heat into the environment keeping the pressure constant.. So before chemistry begins to rock me, let me leave you here, before I come back to the Rock Station again...!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

with Love.. from both of us..

Agony aunts.. , Dr Cupid and hot line counselors.... No offense to anyone. I dont know how many sought advice. I have no clue how many lives saved. I have no idea how many relationships worked.. ! But I definitely found the all-in-one in Him. No false babas, matajis ..NO! NO!! I dont trust them.. have never trusted one..

But to trust in Him, Sir, You(the good looking man in tees and jeans, with Black berry and Ray-Ban, )taught me.

You practised what you taught. To let go, to believe, to trust and to build.

I would not be surprised, if he gave many a men a complex and I would not be surprised if they hate him for it. It would not be surprising if many others hold you in awe for it.

Whatever, I think I can't write more as I fall short of words for this tall old man who helped me and my husband build our relation by trust , by forgiving, and to build by being a compliment to each other. We still have a long way to go, but our building blocks have been set in place by unblocking those blocks in building relationships, which we owe it to him who helped us believe in HIM.

If this world had more people like him...Then, May be i would have not been writing about this good old smart man who along with his wife have set a living example..