Sunday, January 30, 2011

To a hundred billion castaways..

Got up a little early today. Saw Adi smiling in sleep.

Sat quiet for some time. Have been little restless for few days. Some of my friends unhappy with their work and/or life, some of them bored and listless and worst still, some of them showing signs of desolation.

Last night Adi took a promise from me, to buy a yellow engine train for him next month. For next few weeks he will be happy waiting for and later playing with that train. I never see him bored. I think if we have a dream or something to look forward to, it is unlikely that we will get bored easily.

Not many of us face any dreamlessness in early years. In middle school, I was fascinated about comics, later I looked forward to score well in matriculation, and then I found myself looking for a job, and after that for a partner.

Possibly we can exclude ‘look for a partner’ from some of our friends who care or dream only about their job or are just over ambitious; and those who carry too high expectations; and also those who have apparently stopped just because it could not work out so far.

I know some friends of mine, extremely talented, those have chosen to take up a job commensurate to meet their family life requirements. They do repent, sometimes, of not following their dreams.

I also know some friends, equally talented, and have chosen to follow their dreams, but not been able to adjust to a family life. They too repent, of not settling with the marriage and its blessings, at right time.

Dreams demand madness (or selfishness) and marriage demands adjustments (or sacrifice). This remains the dilemma of our lives. And we become what we choose.

But when go too fast and focused on our dreams, and when we have all that we wanted, the question of ‘what next’ comes haunting.We end up growing faster than our age, to some of us, who have been in the habit of achieving our goals quick and early, mid life crisis too comes a little early. We get confused with what we have achieved and what we could have achieved. We get bored easily but at the same time feel very reluctant to come out of the comfort zone.

Marriage helps..

My personal view is marriage helps. You could be lucky enough to get a partner who supports you following dreams. Though it may take a lifetime to realize whether you were actually lucky. But such partners are worth all the hunt and the heartburn.

Even otherwise, I prefer marriage. Happiness comes to us in many forms. These are not necessarily the ones we could actually dream or anticipate. But we need to ‘Open Up’ and must not confine ourselves just because of an unfulfilled dream or choice.

I travel, read, and make new friends. I believe, they are amazing levelers. And I have found that this world offers more than we could ever dream of.

..handling an early mid life crisis

Mid life crisis does come to all of us, sooner or later, perceptibly or actually.

Possibly the most important thing we need to learn is how to keep the right balance between work and personal time. Imbalance is understandable if it exists for sometime (say for a month or so), but beyond that, it definitely requires an action from our side. And that includes taking some risks. Otherwise it may fill us with an annoying sense of purposelessness.

Options are plenty, if we look for those. Plan two vacations in advance. Duration doesn’t matter much but try to keep it short. Go to the places or people you really like to visit. The best part is, when first vacation is getting over, you know that very soon the next will follow. Hobbies help; may be joining a fitness program or tennis classes too; it could also be learning guitar or harmonica again.

Most of us know now that there is no end to where we can reach or of how much we can earn; but we must remember that its just one life for all of us. Nothing comes in between when we try do what we love to do. And it is never late to try.

You may never know an old friend is just waiting for you to join in the return journey..

..Walked out this morning I don’t believe what I saw
A hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore
Seems I’m not alone at being alone
A hundred billion castaways all looking for a home..

(John Mayer, Message in a bottle) 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mr Ressel Live..

“The train is slowing down. I think station is coming”, said Kuhoo. “It must be cold at the platform. Please don’t sit anywhere there. Instead get inside a waiting room”.

We had reached Londa Station today around 12:15 AM in morning. From there Kuhoo and Adi had to proceed to Yeshwantpur (Bangalore). And I had to get down, to catch Goa express to come back to Panaji by morning. I had accompanied her till Londa because her ticket was confirmed from that station only.

“I will”, I said in an almost swearing tone.

I got down. After a brief halt, the train moved on. Didn’t like that sight; but saw the train going, for a while. Few minutes later, I realized I am standing on an almost deserted platform without any trace of civilization.

It was cold there. I started looking for a waiting room. Found men’s waiting room. And found that locked. Finally a little disconsolate, I sat on an iron chair on the platform.

“Why don’t you come in there”, a voice come from behind. I saw a young married girl standing behind, pointing towards ladies waiting room, which surprisingly, was open.

“I am fine. Thanks”. I found the proposal a little strange.

“Don’t worry, there are many men sitting there already”.

I checked inside. I found two old women, one old man, around four-five guys sitting there. And I found another girl sitting half awake. I thanked and sat there.

“Where are you going?”

“Panaji. Waiting for Goa express”.

“We are also going to Goa”, she sounded happy with the coincidence.


“My name is Rashi. This is my cousin Payal. Actually I am on my honeymoon trip to Goa”.

Two girls on honeymoon! It was difficult to hide the surprise on my face.

“No, no. Actually my husband had to come as well. But he couldn’t because of some urgent work. He will reach Goa day after tomorrow”.

“I understand”.

I tried hard not to smile. I thought of the lucky idiot. Sister-in-law accompanying his wife on honeymoon.

“We could not get direct reservation in Sampark Kranti. Therefore we had to get down at this station. But we don’t mind since there is not much luggage. My husband is very particular about traveling light. But I will have some luggage on return”.

“Planning lots of shopping? Add cashew nuts in your list”.

“Yes that I have already noted. Actually I have also heard about the flea market, you have to bargain but you get real trendy stuff”.


She was quiet for few seconds. The other girl, Payal, was sleeping as if she hasn’t slept for months.

“We are from Punjab. But I have studied in Delhi. Payal also is currently studying law in Delhi. We normally take flights but you know flights are so costly these days. And trains are so much of fun. Enjoy the scenery, enjoy tea and pakodas, so comfortable, no?”


Then I acted busy. Picked up my mobile and typed a new status on facebook as if I was replying to some urgent message.

She waited desperately, “Why are you going to Goa? You stay there?”

“I am in Goa on a work assignment for few days”.

“Wow. Then you must be knowing all the happening places to go to. I have downloaded information from internet sites”, she took out some printed papers and fumbled. “Could you please tell me how to go to these places?”

“Don’t worry, you won’t get lost in Goa. And if you could get lost, then you would enjoy Goa the most”. Payal got up smiling. Possibly she wasn’t sleeping at all.

Rashi's mobile rang. She went to the door and started talking in low tone.

“She isn’t scared anymore”, Payal spoke, unexpectedly.

“Scared?” I tried to understand whether that was a compliment.

“We weren’t too comfortable because those guys have come inside the waiting room. We saw you outside. We needed company. Among all strangers, we thought you could be the lesser evil.” There was faint smile on her face.

I was a little taken aback. But this was understandable. I sat quiet.

“Which coach are you traveling? Which seat number? ” Rashi came back asking.

“B1/ 28”.

“It’s not too far. We are at B1/ 39,40”.

Train came. Slept peacefully in the train. Got down at Vasco station.

“You like to come with us? We are taking a cab. We can drop you if you like”, said Rashi.

“No. Thanks. I prefer the bus”.

“Hello, you didn’t tell your name?”

I smiled back, "I am Ressel Live". And then moved towards Kadamba bus stop.

“Strange. He doesn’t look like a Christian”, I heard Rashi saying to Payal.

Payal looked at me for few seconds. Finally she smiled, “I guess he is actually Ressel Live”..the lesser evil.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A place over the rainbow...

The very first day, I had decided to call Kuhoo and Adi at Goa. And by weekend, it was like calling them ‘whatever it takes’.

She loves beaches… opposite to my preference towards hills…and then Goa offers somewhat a mix of the two..

First day, we spent some time in evening at Miramar beach. Joined a group in kit flying and then sat quiet for the sunset. Later we joined the cruise on the river Mandovi .

Perhaps there is something in the air or the world is changing. We noticed the slow moving traffic, honeymooners’ confidence and then people sitting on roadside benches.

Last two days in Goa have been amazing. Fun in the air and in the eyes, I joined my crazy ones for Baga beach, Aquada Fort etc.. did shopping of 'God-knows-what' at every street and corner.

Mobiles off..two days completely on..water sports, tatoos, sand-castles and a lot of mindlessness.Two days of doing nothing..or not doing anything..whatever explains it..

No story to it feels like..being part of this place over the rainbow..

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where time takes a break...

I came to Goa on 6th January, in a little grumpy state of mind, as I wanted to stay in Bangalore for few weeks after Delhi. May be it was also because I couldn’t connect to Goa in my last trip, in 2008.

I hadn’t checked my mail. I wasn’t sure about the locality of the guest house/ hotel accommodation. I landed early morning and went straight to meet Sonu who was staying here for some work.

By evening, I knew I will be staying with my team mates - Utsav, Adwait and Niti, in a place called Caranzalem in Tiswadi district, near Panaji.

And after office, when I was returning to guest house, quiet and tired, an affair started.

This time Goa didn’t refuse to recognize me. I saw the cruises and casinos on the river Mandovi and then crossed passed Miramar beach to reach a small sleepy place called Talegaon. My friends stopped there to pick up some grocery and then soon we reached our guest house, called Darius Avenue, in quiet and lovely place behind Model Millennium society.

I had never seen this side of Goa and that this close. Unlike last time, when I stayed in a classy but secluded resort in South Goa; this time, I have developed the feel.

Well, only two more days have passed since, but the description below may explain, that the impression Goa has already created in my mind is nothing less than, magical.

On 7th morning, Utsav and I went to the beach in front of our house.

It’s relatively quiet beach and almost of half of it, is the home of the fishermen.

The means and end

And some unfortunate ones caught in fish-net..

On 8th morning, I had nothing much to do. Booked a ticket for Kuhoo to join me at Goa during next weekend.

Utsav and Adwait had plans to visit the Iron Ore mines of Sesa. Niti had planned to go to “ShriMangesh Prasanna” temple in Ponda (spelt as Fonda) district. I didn’t want to be left alone; I joined Niti for the temple. The temple is called “Mangeshi” temple. Lord Shiva is with a moustache and beards here.

We ditched the cab; took a local bus. En route I again sensed the flavor of Goa as the bus took the route next to Mandovi river.

A barge in Mandovi river (A barge is a flat bottom small ship that carries goods from Jetties (like pick up points) to deep sea ships)

St Francis Xavier church (Also called Goencho Saiba or the Lord of Goa. His dead body is kept in the old church)

The Mangeshi temple (Mentioned in Skand Purana; and the Shivalinga was established by Lord Brahma himself)

Later Utsav and Adwait joined us at the Mangeshi temple. The second half of day was planned for Aguada fort and Baga beach.

Aguada fort (the place where some shots of Goa in movie Dil Chahta Hai were taken)


At Baga Beach, we saw a very ‘generous’ crowd. We had lunch there and enjoyed the waves. I did Jet Ski and returned after a coffee in evening.

Today is Sunday. But some office work needs to be completed first. Once done, in second half, we will plan going somewhere.

Time will take a break again..

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year

Spent last 31st December and 1st January driving among the hills near and around Nainital.

We realized that this is one of the places where flowers bloom unattended. And the stars shine not only in sky but also in the hearts and eyes of people.

One gives what s/he has; joy, pain or unconcern. People in this part of the world give you joy even if they don't have it for themselves.

On 31st December, we started but had to drop the plan to go to Almora, due to heavy rains in Nainital area. We eventually drove to Nanak Matha, a place that has perhaps the most peaceful Gurudwara in India.

On 1st January, in morning we went to Golu Devta temple at Ghorakhaal (a little above Nainital) and then spent the afternoon/ evening with a bonfire at a small cliff house on the top of Bheemtal.


• To reach there, we need to take the upward road at the junction where we take the down cut for Nainital.

• Golu Devta is incarnation of Lord Shiva and the temple is around 100 years old. Here Lord Shiva has fair skin and he rides a horse.This temple has hundreds of bells. Legend is, if you have a wish, place a bell anywhere in the temple premise, it gets fulfilled.

Bheem Tal

• After the prayers, in afternoon we went to our Moushaji’s house in the forest at the top of Bheemtal hills. His house is near to the house that was used as forest house in movie Koi Mil Gaya.

• We cooked in the guest house and spent the evening just sitting in verandah, talking and watching the evening fall. We did a bonfire. Had dinner and came back to Haldwani by night.

Wish you all a happy new year.