The Lost Earring

Walking steadily towards her office, she entered in a hurry and went straight to the washroom, as usual, to freshen up and get started with her day. As she saw her reflection in the mirror she noticed that one of her earring was missing. Damn! she had lost it again. And within a split second, she was transported to a memory. To him.

 


It was their second date, kind of. Elevating a relationship from being good friends to dating is different in a way. You suddenly start seeing the other person in another light, yet when you are with each other, it is still similar to being old friends. So, there they were – Delhi’s winters. Her new scarf and earrings. His leather jacket. Expensive coffee. Random talks. Getting a bit comfortable yet figuring out what is it between them.

He noticed her earrings. It was a bit different from what she usually wore. It suited her, swirling every time she nodded her head. She knew he would notice it. They were one of her favorites, a gift from her friend.

As the day slowly progressed, she couldn’t clear her thoughts about him. Overthinking about other parallel worlds in her head and looking into his eyes, she just couldn’t decide what she wanted. He was being cutely nervous, the kind which happens when a guy really adores someone. She smiled and they continued walking around.

After a while, she went to the washroom to take a break, and as soon as she saw her reflection, she noticed her earrings missing. It was a mild shock. She thought, maybe he magically caught hold of them when he was checking them out just to tease her.

She went out and mockingly asked him to give her earrings back. He looked surprised. Clearly, there was no teasing happening here. And that’s when she got worried. With her ‘Oh my god! I lost them’ face, she looked at him, telling him that she had dropped her earrings somewhere.

And just like that, he started his way back, tracing their steps wherever they went. Halfway, she gave up. Disappointed that they won’t find them. But he was way ahead, scouting for them, as if he was on a mission. She looked at him from afar, and thought to herself, rather made a little bet to herself – If this guy finds both my earrings today, I will consider this as a sign and would definitely take things forward. Well, that was one of her ways of making decisions, expecting the universe to give a sign.

She walked upto him and tried looking around with him, recalling all the places they walked to. To one far end, where they walked and stopped for a while, was lying one of her precious earrings!! They found it and she smiled to herself, a bit eassured, a bit nervous. Her heart started beating a little faster and her head pictured a Monica and Chandler like perfect eight!!

‘It is just one of them, and even if that is it, I will better keep this as a souvenir. I guess I am just being too optimistic. This is not a movie. Let’s get practical and move on.’ , she thought. ‘But what if we find the other one? Could this be it?’, her mind wandered to the possibility yet again. She brought herself back while he was still looking around. She asked him to stop but he insisted on looking for the other one,  once more. Smile again from her, but he was too busy to notice.

She looked at him and her heart reiterated her wish. It was a kiddish thing to do. Yet it made her heart warm. Once again they walked the same path in the opposite direction, this time till the end. And just when he started to look a little disappointed for the first time, amidst a grass patch, she found her second earring. It looked like it was waiting to be found. Waiting to fulfill a wish. Her wish.

She wore both of them, and for the entire evening, he kept a check if they were in place. It gave him an excuse to look at her every now and then, and her to blush a bit.

That evening, she introduced him to her best friend, taking a step further as she decided. It simply felt so right. They had an amazing time together. Her friend loved him too. The girls decided to go back home together and all three of them literally ran to catch their bus. When they both said goodbye to him and finally settled down, she once again checked if the earrings were there. They weren’t. While running to catch the bus, perhaps, she had lost one of them, again.

When she told him that, he said he will buy her a new pair, only if she promised never to lose them. She said she would try, but it might not be possible,given her bad luck.

She never got a chance to try and keep the new ones safe.


Looking in the mirror intently in her office washroom, she tried to remember where she could have lost them. She thought that if she went back again, she might find this one too. So, keeping her bags on her desk, she went outside on the road to scout for her lost earring once again, this time, all by herself.

As she walked back to her desk, a little disappointed, the thought of him and the time they spent crossed her mind and all she could wish was that, perhaps, in future, she might not only find, but will also keep a complete pair safe, adorning them with her bright smile.


Till this day, she has two single pieces of lost earrings in her collection. Not to remind her of the ones she had lost, but the ones she managed to keep, as souvenirs, as memories.

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The Devil wears Prada

I am a little paralysed yet bursting with energy right now. Returning to my safely tucked baby exactly after two months. My precious. This blog. The background score tells me, ‘Tu na jaane Aas Paas hai Khuda‘ and with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face, I hereby wish to express myself, yet again.

It’s funny how certain things have started melting me within seconds, while certain hardcore situations amazingly leave me tin hearted. (*Someone will definitely smirk here. It’s a big word!*).

Quarter-life crisis and a whirlwind of realizations. That’s what I have been up to. And maybe perhaps a little bit more. With a lot of uncertainties, pushing myself towards things and situations which I thought were right. Trying to do something different yet slipping back to my comfort zone.  Result? Self-criticality, disappointment and anxiety of going nowhere.

Enters The Devil wears Prada. A de-tour from a long working weekend ahead. And here I am.

So about the story – A writer. Unaware and totally uninterested in Fashion Industry. Lands as an assistant to the best fashion magazine editor-in-chief in town. Only to learn the most important thing about herself.

Without giving any spoilers(*Although I think it is too late for that!*), it is a portrayal of how you can know what you want by knowing what you don’t. And you know the kind of life you don’t want when even after trying your best with complete integrity and honesty, you feel what you are doing is not you. That’s when you place a cross mark on it and move on.

And once again, picking up what I wanted to put in my bucket, based on my current needs, I happily enjoyed a one time watch. See it when you are really in mood for a chick flick and the fashion world. (*Anne Hathaway looks amazing by the way!*)

P.S. Kind of reminded me of Confessions of a Shopaholic. Maybe because of the fashion connection.

 

 

 

 

Begin, Again.

दस्तक हुई इस दिल पे,
एक हल्की सी आहट हुई,
तोड़ा झाँका बाहर,
तो तुमसे मुलाकात हुई

खुले पिटारे मे थी कुछ बीती यादें,
उठे सैलाब सी हुई अनकही बातें

कुछ जानी पहचानी सी हैं ये मुस्कुराहट,
एक गुज़रे हुए सुकून जैसी है ये आदत

तेरे होने का ही है ये सारा असर,
कुछ पुरानी कहानी, कुछ नये मंज़र

 

the fire within

Fire, the destroyer and the creator, just like its counterparts (air, water and earth) is both powerful and indispensable. It has the unstoppable energy to make or break, the assertiveness to make its action binding and the passion to burn brilliantly. Its spark can bring down everything to ashes if it gets outraged or it can instead illuminate the surroundings, if a different path is what it wishes to embark.

And right now, this is the element I could relate to the most.

It all started in my grandparents’ house, when sitting besides my grandmother, I could imagine the necessity of fire to purify the soul of my loving grandfather. The flames did their job, rising up and beyond the pyre, leaving behind nothing but ashes, to mark the end of a beginning, re-announcing the inevitable truth in the most supreme form – ‘Nothing is permanent.’

Little did I realize, amidst the chaos in my life, there was another fire, slowly spreading through the book of my life. The pages which were once written with utmost love and care were suddenly caught up in flames as I went through some unforeseen turns. A few got lost, while the leftover yellowed parchments still struggled to preserve the precious memories. It was an indication to move forward, I guess, along with the cracks. The book now consists of blank pages, to be written afresh, yet the stories which once existed are now being held as shattered pieces, their remnants still flying in the air as light ashes, the tiny black crystals withering away from the corners, illuminating like a firefly in the backdrop of the extinguishing flames.

Just as I was about to establish the nature of my relation to this element, we met yet again, this time with a different purpose. My family was gathered to witness the marriage ceremony of my cousin, and there they were, the flames once again doing their job, to take in all the offerings and mark the beginning of a new relationship. The fire burned slowly, brightly and brilliantly to purify the newly created bond, showering blessings over everyone present.

It occurred to me then, that perhaps it was not I who was encountering fire in those places, not the least bit by chance. It has been always there, simply trying to reflect what I felt during all those times – my deep desire to cry out loud for the loss, to get past some dead-end bridges and to enjoy the warmth of a happy occasion.

And so, I hereby acknowledge and bow to the fire within. The fire, which has brought me back to the place which defines me, yet again. 🙂

 

Day 19 – Peace.

There is a different kind of wave floating across the country. After the Uri attack and the corresponding “surgical strike” by India, the entire landscape seems at a whole new level.  Cold War. Boycott. Hatred. Intolerance. Nationalism.

I am not here to advocate any of these or talk about what happened. I am just a civilian and I am worried.

I do not doubt my army, rather I care for it. I have utmost respect for the Indian Armed Forces and that is primarily why I want to advocate peace as they will be the first ones to face the consequences of a war, if it happens.

I am worried for the lives which in turn will be effected internally, in our country and theirs, with people losing their loved ones and living in constant fear and uncertainty.

I am worried for the so called attempt at Cold War, for not working with Pakistani artists, for stopping indulgence with anyone who belongs to that country. Even if it seems rational at some remote level, how far would we able to do that? We can not completely erase the cultural traces, not all of a sudden.

We have a huge history and our relationship with the neighbour is as always, quite complicated. All this calls for a well thought out and a planned step further, especially keeping in mind the internal state of the nation.

Kashmir has always been in a pickle. Army strategies have been politicised by all sides. Every few days, there is some sort of ruckus happening near the border areas. Capital city has been on alert ever since the attack. Villages surrounding border had been evacuated causing farmers in Punjab great losses as they left almost around harvest time. Pakistani TV shows are going off air. Directors are declaring that they will not work with Pakistani actors any more.

No one knows what will follow up next. All I humbly hope for is peace. Just like everyone out there.

 

Day 16 – My story behind Dhoni’s “Untold Story”

My dad cleaned bowled me this Sunday. No, it is no longer 90’s when he used to play cricket with us. But he still managed to pull it off by offering to take me to the movie I had been cribbing to go for since morning that day.

He had been quite busy, just like every Sunday which begins with his typical military schedule to finish maximum tasks. Apparently, that is what Sunday means to him – Spend time finishing all the non-office work. (Sigh! I know. That is how my brother and I get to laze around. Because he keeps things in motion. :P)

So, easing my way for the last day of the week, I grabbed the Sunday paper and landed up on the review of “MS Dhoni – The Untold Story. “. I think that was the final trigger. The ultimate reminder that the movie is out, finally! I had been waiting for this one anxiously ever since the trailer was released. If you don’t believe me, check this(Yes, I have proof.):

https://pallavisinghal.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/day-7-keep-blowing-your-mind-away/

I was almost ready for the worst case ‘go alone scenario’ after no one in my family seemed interested when my knight in the shining armor swooped in, making his princess stare at him in surprise! Yes. That was my Dad’s filmy entry in the story. I was so taken aback (and quite suspicious that this was just a way to cancel later)  that I told him about the timings and the duration of the movie twice!! Anyway, we made it to the movie, well before show time. 🙂

Now,  coming to Neeraj Pandey’s latest creation – MS Dhoni, The Untold Story. What I really loved about the concept is that it is the story of a living legend, whom we all have seen rise and shine as the captain of the Indian Cricket Team. This makes him a curious subject for a biopic, for he is someone we know, not too well of course.

And that is why, the famous world cup scenes, his typical shots (the helicopter shot!), his different hair styles – all ring a bell. Even so, the ever so real characters in the background, be it the father who wants him to focus on a secured and safe career, the mom who butters the tough dad once in a while, the teasing but lovable sister, friends in good and bad times, coaches, colleagues, his boss, the mentors, his love..everyone seem to make his world believable and so damn real.

These characters bring life to the story, which unfolds layer by layer, and even though it gets a bit too extensive at times, you want to go with the flow and crave for a bit more. The end brings a sense of satisfaction by completing the circle at the ODI World Cup of 2011, wrapping up at the high-point of Dhoni’s life perhaps. After all, it is supposed to be the untold story of the “journey”.

The movie made me realize how amazingly appealing yet difficult it is to achieve simplicity and hardwork. Dhoni clearly reflects the two qualities. His life is like a clean slate which had that one goal of being a cricketer clearly written in bold letters, and rest everything followed. The love is a bit unexpected, making him no better than any of us dealing with the heavy emotions.

The journey is interesting, making it subtly evident that Dhoni is a man of actions more than words. He speaks whenever necessary, putting his thought process clearly even when he is bombarded with so-called mild “depression”. His inner struggle reflects clearly on the way he improved his game and that is why he is an inspiration.

A special mention to the way the sponsors were advertised. Point scored there!!

I feel non-cricket fans would be able to enjoy equally as there are lots of emotional moments to be savored in addition to the adrenaline of his shots. Overall, a well bundled movie. 🙂

Personally, I liked it. More than that, loved the company I had. 🙂

Day 15 – Not everybody is running a marathon

Two years back, I finished a 5km “sample” marathon run and to my surprise, I was able to complete it, without much practice. This year, I got over ambitious and signed up for a 10K run. And as I manage to get my ass in the park every other evening (with some unavoidable breaks) and struggle hard to finish the milestone for the day, I realize that this is one thing I had estimated a bit too much on the positive side.

During the breaks, I look around to see people strolling in the park, kids running around and ladies walking leisurely, sharing their daily dose of gossips or newly tried recipes. As I absorb the surroundings, I am able to mentally visualize that the scene in the park would have been the same for the past 45 minutes I spent there, the only difference being, I noticed it only when I sat down to relax.

When I reach the park, all I think about is my goal for the day and how I can improve at least a bit today. Everything else seems irrelevant at that point. While I am on the track, I  notice other runners closely, their stamina and their style of running. And sometimes, luckily, I come across coaches who come there with their students, slipping me a tip or two, encouraging me and making my day.

There are things which you know only when you start “doing” them rather than simply planning them out. I now know that I cannot be like my athlete friend who can finish 10K easily. Since running is something that I had picked up only last year, that too only in small proportions, I have practically understood that I am an ordinary person whose stamina is even more ordinary! And to improve, I have to really push my limits.

I have started loving these little sessions as I try to chip them out from my schedule everyday. They are important not only because they make me feel energetic and good about myself, but from time to time, they unknowingly drop by small life lessons which I often need to be reminded of.

“You choose your own battles. And once you do, you find your own companions, you identify your own angels and demons. Not everybody will be able to help you. Not everybody will be able to understand you. You will be on a different path which you carved for yourself and the sooner you accept that fact, the better off you will be. Because, not everybody is running a marathon.”

 

 

Day 14 – The “Dream”

Does life really get in the way of your “dream”?

So your childhood wishes eventually have to vanish into thin air because there are other things that come in the way?

Think about it. The dream. Your dream. Or have you stopped dreaming altogether?

I know I stopped some time back, when in my foggy head I was “busy”,  but in reality I was absolutely clueless to where I was heading. In fact, it was more or less the feeling of being half-dead, a zombie race where I did not know what I was doing!

I didn’t do anything for all that I had wished for and began to lose track – slowly and eventually, like a domino effect. I wanted to start college again, work on a select number of things that interest me, earn money through them and live happily ever after. (Yeah, that was pretty much it!)

But in the hustle of trying to do what is meant to be and what I wanted to be, my end line became a little too blurred. I just kept moving, without any definite meaning. In fact I even forgot that I used to have a dream because the constant not happening of so many things prevented me from going forward. It was like a vicious circle from which there was no easy escape. And amidst all the hustle, the dream became a lost hope, where in it was shadowed by the unlimited ifs and buts – “Perhaps, it is a bit too late. Maybe the moment is gone and so is the dream?”

And then I met a child. A 6 year old girl with a dream -to become an actress. A confident and determined dream that never seemed to look beyond the heart’s desire. Another 10 year old. He wanted to be an astronaut.

Without even realizing, instantly, these little angels brought me back from the half-dead world. Life sprang up into that child in me, who was hiding behind the heavy desk of the over analysing adult. The child who always dreamt and desired without any boundaries started dancing happily inside the practical adult, who now deeply wished to balance out both – a combination of practicality and wildness, imagination and perspective.

I now have that zeal to experiment and do things that interest me, keeping in mind the other tasks that need to be done within the limited time I have. Everyday, there is one thing crazy and one thing which keeps me sane. And I am happy. Happier than before. 🙂

Turns out, it is never too late, at least not to dream. There is always a third door. A way out. Dreams are meant to be seen and fulfilled. Weird, ambitious, funny, amazing, fascinating, fantastic – whatever they are, they should be met with the guts to pursue them. Every time, all the way!:)