All posts tagged: personal

Pen, paper & poetry

Poetry can truly transcend time and geography, and make you believe in the equivalent of a fairy tale for adults; a kind of serene, beautiful existence where words can smell, touch, smile and cry. The Street: Octavio Paz A long and silent street. I walk in blackness and I stumble and fall and rise, and I walk blind, my feet stepping on silent stones and dry leaves. Someone behind me also stepping on stones, leaves: if I slow down, he slows: if I run, he runs. I turn: nobody. Everything dark and doorless. Turning and turning among these corners which lead forever to the street where I pursue a man who stumbles and rises and says when he sees me: nobody [Original: La calle] Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath “I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my lids and all is born again. (I think I made you up inside my head.) The stars go waltzing out in blue and red, And arbitrary blackness gallops in: I shut my …

What will be, will be

We walk through life not knowing what would’ve been if we had taken the other path or made the other choice. And we find comfort in dismissing it as destiny. Through time, destiny has become inseparable from religion, spiritualism and in the bigger picture, life. Objectively though, it seems to be yet another measure to give order to all the chaos in the world. It helps, the way the it helps to have hope and faith, to believe in something bigger than ourselves and our circumstances, to even surrender in the name of a bigger plan for our life. Chances are that those are the very elements that make our ‘destiny’. Destiny is often intertwined with fate, and somewhere along the way, the two meet astrology. Astrologers claim to be able to predict our destiny, and sub-consciously, we are inclined to believe them. In fact, sunsigns, zodiacs and horoscopes have exerted more than their fair share of influence on people by becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. I can’t say if it’s a factor of age or experience, …

Of this & that

This is not a comeback post. Pledge: I have decided to stop blaming my work-life imbalance, fleeting weekends, social obligations, and deadened-by-work-thought flow for my persistent inactivity in the blogosphere. I hereby pledge to revive my blogging life. Awards: This one is long due. Thanks to Aadil for awarding me The Lemonade Blog award, and to Valerine & Varun for the International Bloggers Community award. I hereby pass these awards to Thethoughtfultrain, Manchitra & Jayesh for their comforting presence in the blogosphere. Corporate  woes: I dedicate this to all my fellow-mates in the corporate jungle. Cheers to survival! Mini book review: Tin Fish, a book about an adolescent’s boarding school life, post the emergency period in India. It’s a walk down memory lane, a back-to-the-basics lesson in friendship, and a breezy read to momentarily transport you from the complexities of adulthood. (Author – Sudeep Chakravarty) Advice: I have been aching to learn something new, something radically different. Any advice, besides a language, an instrument & a sport? Lately, I have also been fantasizing about freelance writing. …

Tick-tock

The blogosphere, it seems, it steadily disintegrating itself from my life. I crave to get my blogging and blog-stalking hours back. Damn inefficient time management in life outside of work, as though it doesn’t flaunt its ugly head all day anyway. I’m 3 weeks old in the working world, not yet neck-deep in work, and already begging for an extension in my 24-hour days. Slow down time, prithee. If I write any more in this brain-dead state, this post will be nothing short of a rant. So here goes, one of few those chain mail poems that I still remember and find very apt at this point: Have you ever watched kids On a merry-go-round? Or listened to the rain Slapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? You better slow down Don’t dance so fast Time is short The music won’t last. Do you run through each day On the fly? When you ask How are you, Do you hear the reply? When …

The moral microscope

Life is filled with contradictions, cliches, constants and conflicts. There are no absolutes, no black & whites. We tend to govern our lives with fundamental principles, but the rate at which these principles evolve is also the rate at which we mature. And with maturity comes a sense of incredulity at the things we have believed in,  prioritised and valued. Personally, whenever I muse about moralities, and more now than ever, my arguments scatter on uneven grounds. On the one hand, life is way too short to assess each situation under the moral microscope and do what seems “right”, than simply embrace a moment and flow with it. This is particularly true when you purely believe in science, or disbelieve in any form of rebirth. Karma, I suppose, comes into play only in matters which exert an influence, good or bad, on others. On the other hand, however, a society devoid of morals will undoubtedly become a chaos fest, and the guilt does bear a certain inexplicable weight on the mind. I guess my dilemma is …

Graduation day

Commencement officially marks the end of student life, even though in our minds, the transition was made the day we finished our last exam in college. We’ve entered the next level of that video game that never ceases to fascinate us. Treasures have been found, hills climbed, landscapes traversed, battles fought and won or lost, accomplices identified, cheat codes memorized indelably. The time has come to remodel the avatar and refine the tasks. Staging black gowns and graduation hats, the class of 2009 officially ended its undergraduate tenure. There were smiles and flashes everywhere; Commencement 2009 at SMU (Singapore Management University, from where I graduate) became the culmination of all memories created and collected over 4 years. My own ineffability thus far was transcended by a sense of delight and hope, and a tinge of nostalgia. The commencement address, delivered by a member of the Keppel Coporation, was, in all aspects, disappointing, dismaying and demotivating. The R word was justified in being featured in the speech, but certainly not expected to consume it entirely. Tell …

Of Rural India & The Aasha Build

The soul of an Indian is incomplete without a journey into the heart of rural India. The 2 weeks I spent in the slum region of Hegdenagar / Kamanahalli (to which I partly owe my long absence from the blogosphere) has transformed my perspective on India’s development, and my own ambitions and issues. Hegdenagar is an ignored little village, about an hour’s distance from Bangalore city, and a few decades’ development. Honestly though, I had imagined a replica of the Dharavi slums, and Hegnenagar’s cemented, albiet small and dilapidated houses, alleviated, if only for the shortest time, my anticipation of the living standards of our rural countrymen. I learnt later that most Dharavi-styled slums stand on illegal land, and Habitat India has fought its fair battle to abide by the law and take Hegdenagar through its first stage of development. The same houses which teased us with a heartening peek into rural life, home 8-10 families in their 300-350 sq-ft boundaries, math that left me bewildered. Constructing new homes for such families that could afford …

Take me home, to the place, I belong

When you’ve lived away from home for an extended period of time, you start to feel like a leaf, blown far away from its tree by the wind. Its roots though, which nourished and nurtured it, continue to deepen, as though replicating gravity that tends to draw you back to the earth you belong to. The plane ride back to India from another country is a journey of nostalgia. There’s something sweet, touching and homely about it. Perhaps it is that warm feeling inside, a sense of belonging, a knot that seems to have been tied again. Perhaps just the change in air. The last few minutes before the plane hits the ground, with the seat tilting forward, ears blocked, thoughts turbulent, eyes trying to absorb the city lights outside the window… And then it happens. The thud. The sound of tires screeching. Ears pop open to sounds you’ve known and lived among for years. The accents, the language. The smell of the air freshener, that you know will soon be replaced by salivating aromas. …

Happy Birthday Blog!

T hree-6-5 days ago, this was just another wordpress.com weblog H ere its umbilical chord was cut, it became The Shooting Star. E nchanted by its first post, first reader & first comment, this blog S ang its way into the blogosphere, with cliched themes & bizarre. H ome to 105 posts & graced by 16,000 readers, now is a moment O f reflection & joy, and gratitude & celebration. O nce upon a time, a blog was merely meant T o be a goofy forum; today it redefines communication I n a world where time & ideas are hard to find. N ow I deviate from this happy, proud occasion, G lad indeed that The Shooting Star has defined S omething in my life that was once mere anticipation. T hrough this journey, my blog has become a part of me A s I write this, I think about the future and what has been R eally, all I want to say is, dear blog, Happy Birthday! On The Shooting Star’s first birthday, I …

Tagaytay City, Philippines

Somewhere among the clouds lie the highlands of Tagaytay, green and misty, 2 hours away from the busy city life of Manila, the capital. It is here that I spent the weekend, treated to a gorgeous view of the Taal lake, and among people so warm and friendly that it almost felt like home. The trip was sponsored by Accenture, for a 3-day Student Leadership Conference (SLC), during which all of Taal Vista was filled with what I believe to be some of the brightest minds in the Philippines. It never ceases to amaze me that despite our geographical remoteness, the journey we undertake as students tends to bind us in no time at all, like we were always in it together. The SLC was styled with seminars conducted by senior Accenture executives, and intersparsed with team activities that made me feel like a college freshie again! The highlight of the stay was the post-conference bonding with students from different parts of the Philippines, including Baguio, Cebu and Manila. It took me less than a …