Little drops of memories
That trickles through your mind
And lie on the crevices of consciousness
Why don’t they erupt forefront?
And make you do things which you want
Uncertain wishes that follow you like creepy shadows
But have no form in reality
Why in drowsy slumber
Are they neither awake nor dead?
Little drops of memories
That clings to your mind’s ceiling…

Who said I can’t write happy poems?

I can smile
As I rub off the layer of frosted sadness
That had dully settled
On life’s window panes
Who said I can’t dance?
Like a carefree bee
In delicious smelling anticipation
Who said I can’t shine?
Even if like the quivering candle
And light up the nude darkness of your life
Who said I can’t smile?

Fairy Princess

Am a fairytale princess
Surrounded by delicate tendrils of dreams,
Which I grow out of little pages of magic.

Am a fairytale princess
Who shuts the eye to thorny reality,
And lives on the edge of romantic illusions
Writes sweet sad poetry
Waiting for her prince charming

I am Rapunzel
Locked away with clipped wings
Ready and eager to grow new wings
I am Cindrella
Fighting the world’s atrocities
With my innocent thoughts
I am Snow White
Who shuns fairness creams
And is fairly impartial to films and books
I am Thumbalina
Small in shape not in stature
A school girl trapped in an office
I am Sleeping Beauty
Asleep while awake
Awake while asleep

Am a fairytale princess
Surrounded by delicate tendrils of dreams,
Which I grow out of little pages of magic.

Seeking Shillong

The trip to Shillong. Circuitous roads through dew laden rain forests. It actually began on a dismal note.

Excited and ready since 8 in the morn, it was upsetting to wait for the driver to turn up for more than an hour. More so because the particular driver never turned up. Our dear Prime Minister also chose this fortunate day to come to the city. As a result all the roads were jammed. Finally driver no. 2 arrived at 9.30 and after much deliberation with Naurin we went ahead with the trip. I was fuming, patience not being one of my virtues and waiting for 2hrs one can hardly expect to show that. The later we started the later we reached and it being a one day trip we couldn’t afford to be late.

Anyways we began and as we eased out of the city, the weather became pleasant. Luckily even the otherwise stubborn rains didn’t play spoilsport. My eyes drank in all the green. Though I won’t say I remembered much of my earlier trips to Shillong, I was filled with a strong sense of déjà vu. At lightening speed my mind embraced the lush foliage, slopes of pineapple plantations, khasi faces, ‘khublei’ written on every writable place. Jorabat now boasts of a ‘Red Ranch’. Bernihat is much more crowded and later in trail is Nongpow.

The driver somehow turned out to be quite a nuisance. Mr. was really not in the mood of wasting any time any where and wanted to rush us away. Inspite of his protests we got off at Nongpow. I started clicking all the shots which my mind was anyways clicking. Nongpow is the land of pickles, pickles in big jars, pickles in little jars, tangy pickles, spicy pickles, hot pickles, sweet pickles, all begging to be eaten.

I bought plenty. Bamboo shoot and chillies, Naga sour fruit, only chillies and garlic. After buying these slightly expensive pickles I felt appeased, just like how Kumbhakarna must have felt after his hearty meal every 6 months. Shopping done, we settled at a small tea shop/restaurant. We snacked on chops and hot tea as I mused about the old world charm brewing along with every sip of the tea. I also bought a pack of White Rabbit while Naurin bought Malaysian onion rings. In half an hour, refreshed we set out once again.

To meet Shillong. Shillong dripping from pine trees. Hiding in the meandering paths. Peeping from behind the hills. Wearing a foggy shawl. Gushing from the small streams. Sitting on bamboo shoots, hanging on bamboo sticks. Suckling pineapple.

About an hour before we reach Shillong is Barapani. Naurin and I spent some nostalgic moments remembering Class 10 picnic. Barapani so blissfully still, so serene it evoked something in you. Though I wanted so much I dared not to ask the driver to stop so I could take a few shots.

In another hour we reached the Scotland of the east. The high and low roads of Police Bazaar. The interesting crowd lost in various nooks and crannies. As I listened to mom I realized how it could have been 10 -15 years ago. Chiller, greener and more beautiful. I can imagine khasi women in dresses covered with woolens all hoity toity in black pencil heels. Men in suits, long over coats and ties all the year round going to the cinema or sitting by the fire sides reading. I can imagine the pretty umbrellas on the ladies arms and the pitter-patter of rain on the tin roofs. I can hear the guitar strings, the smoke coming out of chimneys and the pavements washed with rain.

What I see now is a shadow of the past culture, no way lesser. Pretty girls in bling attires, boys with cheeky messages on their T shirts “I want money for alcohol research”. I won’t say I was overjoyed with the market, but it was a different experience altogether.

Shoes in Shillong are really dainty, just like the pretty feet of the gorgeous petite women there. What’s even more surprising is that they are found even in size 4 and 3. Unluckily I could buy just a single pair because of the dirty looks mom was sending my way the moment I drifted into any shop.

After literally walking up and down Police Bazaar we had lunch at Hotel Broadway. Nothing less than chicken with bamboo shoots and chilly fish. The restaurant was done up tastefully with lanterns covered in bamboo frames and little cozy alcoves. It was again nostalgia time, this time for papa. This was the hotel where he had fallen sick with hernia.

After lunch we headed to Shillong peak, Upper Shillong. It was 4 in the evening and we were skeptical about being allowed in the restricted area. Nevertheless it was worth it simply because of the breath taking view.

As expected we were not allowed to go to the peak, but what we saw on the way made it worthwhile. It was definitely the highlight of the day, another round of pictures followed. Mom shopped fresh vegetables, Shillong being famous for potatoes. Inspite of it being the height of summer it was so cold up there that I regretted not having taken a sweater.

From there we headed to the Lady Hydary Park. That proved to be a slight disappointment as it too had closed down at 5pm. Thus exhausted and left with no other option we began our return journey homewards.

On the way I renewed my acquaintances with “Vicky James Memorial tombstone”, Grace’s Café, Naba’s rice bowl, Super Bazaar, various pickle shops on the roads. I also made friends with Po-po Horn, Horn do please, Father truck (a truck painted in all white and with Jesus’s photo in the front) and various Hanuman trucks, Guru Nanak trucks all the while wondering how trucks came to have religions.

Little drowsy, I bit into onion rings now and then, and gazed at the flying tree tops in the twilight. We flew through the darkness and saw clots of light interspersed with night. Tiny specks like fire flies saying bye bye…

Hard Decisions ????

What is more important company or employee? Where does the ethics fit in the gamut of survival and churning money. It’s true all professionals behave like chameleons or rather like frogs “JUMPING FROM HERE TO THERE”. In such a world how does a company behave? More so when the company is drowning.

Is it fair to just come and announce that starting tomorrow we begin downsizing the company. What if you are given a termination letter which has nothing to do with your performance? What if you know your name is on the list? How is it to listen to a thousand rumours? Your name dropping in out of the list? What if only one person has to be chosen between you and a colleague and you know the other person has been doing really well. What if they keep you and chuck out someone else just because you are less expensive? What if you don’t know if you really want to continue inspite of not being in the list?

What if this is the second month of your job and this is the kind of disillusionment you meet. What if you know that the person you are gossiping with is going to be sacked, but you don’t have the guts to say so? What if even without asking for it you are given the assurance which is nothing but a lie? What if you find out that from the very next day you are not supposed to come to the place you came everyday? What if you come to know you have been terminated with immediate effect?

What if you start feeling bad for a person for whom you felt no real love? Why even today I fail to give a hug to the person who needs it? Why do I fail to console someone? Why this hesitation? Why is it so difficult to say what you think?

Where does one leave behind the idealistic virtues which you had forever nurtured? Why don’t you have something called savings? Why can’t you resign? Why if you resign you have to fall back on your parents? Why wouldn’t anyone believe why you are resigning? Why does it matter so much what others think? Why will you still take the selfish way out and not resign immediately?

Who is responsible for all this shit? Why is everything veiled under the word “hard decisions”? Why am I asked not to be emotional? Why have I been asked to be selfish and secure my position?

To hell with everyone, I would rather be emotional. Only that makes me feel I am alive.

Away with company loyalty

As you chart your growth in the unchartered terrains called ‘career’ do you leave company loyalty far behind??
10 years ago working at the same place for 7-8 years was perhaps called loyalty. Today it is called lack of ambition. 1 year, even 6 months is enough for one place. Things have so changed that they have actually done away with the concept of a loyal employee. But what of stability? Even stability has no value whatsoever. Today as I go for an interview, people ask me what I have been doing at a not so happening place for so long, “so long being 1and half years”. It is taken as the first sign of not belonging to the so called successful lot. It is a little embarrassing if not difficult to explain that I am in the same organisation out of choice because I am enjoying it and not due to lack of opportunities.
I am really old school in these matters; I had rather thought I would be appreciated for being stable. But it doesn’t seem so. Now jump I will, and just watch out how.