Monday, November 5, 2012



We all look forward to Saturday. Some for the simplicity in it being the weekend, some for the drunk prone nights it’s know for and some for just finding time for themselves. I used to look forward to it for a combination of the three, with a fewer number of drunk episodes.
Saturday to me was the one day I could spend time with everyone, friends, strangers, family and me. Whether it would turn out to be gloomy or sunny, Saturday was THE day for me. The relief it brought with it of not having to wake up in the morning and go to school, the idea of lying snuggled up in bed, the special pancake breakfast, it all carries so much meaning now. But sadly, I hadn't realised it back then. During school days it was just the weekend, a day that defined fun.

Mornings were usually spent with mamma, going with her to Commercial Street in Bangalore. Partly to just be with her and partly to try and get her to buy me some new shoes or clothes. We would roam around for hour’s together window shopping, through the narrow shop filled streets Comm. Street is known for. It’s amazing to think of all the possible things people sell to try to make a living out of. And somehow ma needed all of them, every other weekend.

By late afternoon all the shopping would get us both hungry which led to us grabbing a quick bite in one of the oldest (and best) kaati roll places in Bangalore to date – LAZEEZ. Their rolls are the best definition I can use to describe heaven on earth (one of the many reasons why Bangalore is so truly incredible.). All in all, a Saturday afternoon Kaati Roll lunch for 60 rupees. This was followed by a lazy afternoon at home watching a movie with ma or rather any pointless television shows. Eventually ma would fall asleep and I would be chatting over the phone with a friend, whispering. Since back then we didn’t have mobile phones and were forced to use the landlines which was ever teenager’s biggest dilemma. To try and get something through to the other person without our parents overhearing the juicy secrets, had they been pretending to sleep of course.

As the day progressed, early evening meant papa would be home from work. This called for the weekly Saturday evening ritual of Khari biscuit and chaha. Khari biscuit being a light and fluffy ribbon shaped biscuit best eaten when dipped in tea (chaha). There would only be three of us eating the khari biscuits but ma, pa and I would end up finishing almost all of it. This Saturday evening ritual of course needed a venue for it to take place and in my case it was our O-18 balcony. With two wrought iron white benches and a small moda (round cane stool) to keep the biscuits on, we would stare out into the swimming pool area and playground looking at all the characters of Diamond District that passed by. Sometimes laughing at their gait or sometimes admiring the cute kids reminiscing in youth. Two generations, one same thought. And now that I think of it, some family just like us must have been doing the same thing looking at us. Kastu was in Singapore back then and the balcony gathering session would usually be when we would call her up and tell her we were missing her. The Shelar’s are at their best and their worst when they are together, sometimes even if the ‘together’ part happened through a phone call.

However there were a couple of Saturdays here and there when I would spend the afternoons with some friends or one good friend over coffee. Even though we’d meet each other every day in school, being able to meet up in Coffee Day or Barista was considered a ‘cool’ thing back in School. Funny thing about childhood, you would never have anything to not talk about. The most random and inane topics would find laughter and curiosity as their company. There was nothing good or nothing bad, everything seemed perfectly alright to us. Either way the Saturday afternoon would turn out, I was always home for Khari biscuits, sitting in the quaint little balcony laughing with ma and pa, thinking about Kastu and leaning over the balcony railing looking at everyone that walked past.

Saturday evening brought with it the traditional dinner outing. The joy I got out of picking a place to try out every week. We would ponder over for hours as to which place we should try each week but would never able to make up our minds till we were sitting in the car on our way to God knows where. But the last minute decisions were what made the whole evening so much more fun. Chaos and confusion would lead to pa getting fed up and just driving towards MG Road or Indiranagar. Some dinners were beyond scrumptious while some on the other hand left us wondering how some of the restaurants were even running with such a bunch of ‘namunas’ managing it, this including the namunas making the food as well. But that never seemed to bother me. I wasn’t at home on a Saturday night. That was the coolest thing to have achieved then, a new story to talk about for next Saturday.

The Saturday night dinner had to be followed by dad driving us back home. This was one of the best parts of the day. Sitting in the back seat of my Astra, just behind pa’s seat, (Kastu’s seat was behind ma and mine behind pa) listening to Rohit Barker and DJ Ivan’s house and dance session on 91.9 fm. By 11 o’ clock most of the streets used to be deserted as half of Bangalore was either out at clubs or sitting at home enjoying the night. It was just us and the Bangalore’s city lights with music playing in the car that suited the moment so well. Some Saturday’s wouldn’t end there though. We would sometimes stop by at the LEELA Hotel outside our house and sit down for a cup of coffee and Barista. The Leela Barista is the best Barista outlet in whole of Bangalore. Half of it opens out into the garden area and the other half remains on the inside with a ceiling painted over with clouds and mirchi lights twinkling in between them. A perfect setting for a late night coffee wherever we would choose to sit.

After reaching home and changing into our night clothes, I would continue the ritual of sitting with ma and pa watching tv and talking about everything that amused me. Sometimes this led to pa and I watching a movie will it got over, which would inevitably lead to me watching it alone as he would start snoring a few minutes after the lights went off. 

I had mentioned my Saturdays being a combination of spending time with family, friends, strangers and myself. The late hours of Saturday, after the dinner and coffee would finally allow me some time to do what I liked. A ritual for myself in a way, tuning in to Barker and Ivan’s mix on 91.9 fm, plugging in my creative mp3 player to the speakers and lying down on the bed listening to it. Thinking of friends, family, life and where it’s leading to, music and how perfect the Saturday had turned out to be. The best day of the week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth overlying our hard hearts." - Charles Dickens

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Donald Draper presenting the Carousel.

Nostalgia - it's delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, "nostalgia" literally means "the pain from an old wound." It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn't a spaceship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards... it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the wheel, it's called the carousel. It let's us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.

Goosebumps every time i watch the clip. What a script.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Ugh it's been ages since I've done anything I like! Need a new life! :(

Friday, October 21, 2011

People and songs

It's not the most obvious thing in the world, but I am sure we've all realised it at some point in life. Every person in your life is remembered or related to with some song you've heard. Sometimes It's the best feeling in the world to be reminded of the person every time you hear the song and sometimes it's the worst.

I have always be one of those people who customises ring tones for every person in their contact list. The ability of these songs to unconsciously ring a memory in your mind when the person calls, is a feeling that have always brought immense happiness to me.

This relationship between a song and a person is a result of many instances that have happened in my life. The first moments spent together, personalities the songs matched, the first time introductions, the embarrassing drunk episodes, those intimate moments when they just happened to be playing in the background and lyrics that seemed like they had been written with that particular person in mind.

I enjoy all kinds of music genres. And to an extent I believe it is only because of these links that the songs share with important people in my life. It's possible to forget what has happened in the past and move on, but it's amazing how songs can bring back a myriad of memories which have been hibernating in our hearts and minds for years together. Everyone has had people walk in and walk out of their lives. And this whole concept of 'it's the ones that leave footprints in your heart' is a load of crap! If they left then they weren't meant to be with you anyway and what is the point of their footprints being left behind when those footprints are only going to walk all over you, stomping heartache all along the way? But nevertheless, we have good and bad memories linked with everyone and sometimes it is nice to be reminded of those happy times spent with each other.

I had five extremely close friends that I would do anything for out of which four have remained. And this post is a result of me standing near my window watching the pelting rain outside, wishing I was with all of them together sipping filter coffee and getting drenched in Bangalore rain.
So to Adeesh, every time you call I hear 'watch the sunrise'. I don't really know why this song is linked to you but It's been my ringtone for 2 and a half years now and it's not going to change either :)
To Sejal, our song has always been bitter sweet symphony even though you may not agree with it! And to you as well, It's not going to change! :)
To Nangu, you will probably remember this song as the one you loved during your devdaas days. But I will remember it as our song all the way. Carnival of rust.
To Smita, I think we liked this song because of the movie. I have been wanting to set 'Say what you need to say' as your contact ringtone for over 4 years now but I still haven't done it! Nevertheless, It always brings a smile to my face when I hear it :)
And last, to you who I don't have one, but multiple songs related to. You didn't stay my 'wonderwall' and you promised your 'fix you' abilities for life, but things change and all I can really say is that they still make me nostalgic. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Diwali Blues

Diwali is around the corner. The decorations that have been put up in Little India do no justice to what Diwali actually is in 'Big' India. But then again, I am living in Singapore!

Ma and Pa had visited kas and me in Singapore for diwali last year and they're going to be here this year as well. Mom very lovingly brought us one of those tiny kandils (lanterns) to hang in the house last year. But after spending all my childhood years staying up and waiting for my dad to come home and help build the kandil with, it really is a horrible feeling to be away from it for 3 years. I know I should be happy that they make it a point to celebrate it with us every year but I miss my colourful kandil, hand painted diyas and rangoli welcoming home.

Dad, mum, Kas and I would end up sleeping really late the morning before diwali and Kas and I hated the fact that we would have to wake up before the sunrise. We were like zombies being forced to bathe and dress up. For those of you who don't know, Indian families that celebrate Diwali in a big way spend hours before the big day making sweets. Thankfully we are one of them! After a certain point I wasn't allowed in the kitchen as I would quietly sneak in every 2 minutes and gobble up all the shankarpalis (diamond shaped sweet thingis - my favourite!) In fact I used to feel really bad when ma wanted me to go and give them to the neighbours. Obviously the full quantity that ma put in the plate originally, would reduce to half by the time I reached.

Diwali evenings were spent waiting for family friends to come home. But for those few minutes before they arrived, we'd sit in the balcony under the kandil and surrounded by diyas, listening to the silence that made way for the sound of the millions of crackers being lit all over Bangalore. There were probably thousands of people on the roads or in their houses bursting crackers, but it was only the sound of the crackers that filled the air and added more life to those evenings. Sometimes I wish Bangalore wasn't so dear to me.

I sit here for the 4th time, away from home and reminiscing about Diwali in Bangalore. I still feel the same. I don't think I can hold on to the visual memories of diwali spent in Bangalore for long. But the memories that found their way into my heart, that of stealing shankarpalis, painting diyas and making the rangoli with ma, making the kandil with dad, lighting fuljhadis with kastu and listening to the silence that spread happiness through Bangalore air, will never burn out.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bangalore days

For hours we sat on the same familiar steel and cane chairs, sipping mochachillos till we half froze with no jackets to wear.
Never a silent moment to feel awkward in because every silly little word uttered we'd want to remember for memories to laugh over next year,
We'd laugh over how the sweethearts sat for hours together looking at each other not uttering a word, and it would only be later that we would realise we were doing the same thing with each other!
Those peaceful lazy Sundays spent with mum and dad will forever keep them young in my heart for what I found funny always found their company.
Parents never grow old, they just become younger as we grow older.
Friends go both ways. Either you win some or you lose some. But the ones that are meant to stay, stay for long and strengthen with time and distance.
A partner who never loses sight of the big picture is a partner to keep, for it is only someone of great virtue and courage who can love you no matter how many miles away you are from each other.
Each time I go back there are more memories waiting around the corner everyday. Bangalore greets me with open arms and a heart bursting with love and happiness which don't have an expiration date.
You're like a time capsule that blocks out all the stress, the tears, the heartache, the longing, the sorrow, the problems and the unfulfilled urges and expectations. Bangalore, you will always be in my heart and mind, all the time, never failing to bring out a smile.