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Archive for the ‘musings’ Category

Two things happened before I met her again

On Monday evening, I got a call from Mathew informing that Lize has been admitted in hospital because of labour pain. Lize and her husband had the reputation of coming late for every engagement they had to attend. I was pretty sure that the child would follow his/her parent’s footsteps and come late than the 10 February deadline.

But the child decided to make its presence felt on 17th January’s evening. We all were at the hospital waiting for Lize to deliver. However due to complication Doctors took a decision to caesarean late evening. Finally when the operation completed, 18 January had already dawned. Kavya was born just after midnight of 18 January 2011. A little underweight, the baby and her mother were in good condition. After waiting with the happy parents, we went home. I had to be in office the next day.

The next day when I reached office, another surprise awaited me. I was promoted after missing an opportunity 6 months back.

18 January was turning out to be a good day.

I decided why not meet her today and hopefully complete hat-trick of good news.

I messaged her to meet me in the evening. She did not reply for a long time. I thought she might not be interested after all.  I learnt after marriage that she kept her phone in her purse and would not look at it for many hours. Finally she did reply with a confirmation.

We decided to meet 6:30 at Dadar. The day passed like that with more office issues than thoughts about her. With so many rejections, I had stopped being excited about these things.

I started around 5:00 from the office. At around 6:00, she messaged me "I left"

I smiled. My devil mind and my eager fingers was tempted to reply "I Right".

But the question was about impressing the girl and a message like this would put the odds against me and my sane mind decided against messaging her. I was as usual on time and surprisingly she did not keep me waiting much.
Dadar is a pretty crowded station with lots of restaurants and place to sit. It was not my first trip to Dadar to meet a girl and I had a good idea where to go.

But then she stumped me. She did not want to sit in a restaurant and she would prefer sitting somewhere and talking without the waiters disturbing us with bills. Only place where waiters would not disturb was "Cafe Coffee Day" but she did not want to sit in a restaurant at all.

We decided to walk to Shivaji Park and talk there.Shivaji Park, a big public ground and a very famous landmark is almost around 15 minutes walk from Dadar station. I suggested we can also talk while walking.

So we started walking and talking as we walked. I told her about me and she told me about her. We talked about our expectation regarding our partners and we talked about everything that we could think of and can help the other to make decision.

We walked along the busy Dadar streets talking, sharing and discussing our life. Shivaji Park still eluded us. Neither of us were aware of the road to Shivaji Park nor we felt the need to ask somebody. We were just engrossed in our talk that it didn’t matter that we were walking for a long time. When the light finally started fading, we decided to come back to Dadar station failing to find Shivaji Park.

Shivaji Park was the destination but the journey was more interesting!

Walking back I had made my decision. But then it was always a one-sided affair but I needed her to confirm too.  It was a good thing that the decision was based on us rather than the complete family

She had also made a decision. When we finally parted way in Dadar station, I asked for 2 days time to revert with my decision. Later she told me that When I told her about two days, she was pretty sure my answer was No.

I bid her good bye and asked her to message me when she reached home.

As I took my train to Borivali, I almost knew that my search was over!

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The “meet the girl/boy meetings” for marriage are really the odd meetings. The idea is to have people talk and understand each other in a very very short amount of time. In Indian context it becomes even more difficult when the parents and relatives get involved. Everybody is looking at the boy and girl and expects them to know each other and talk about their future in front of everybody.

Not only its difficult but rather embarrassing. I for one always insisted that I meet the girl at a neutral venue. However my mother did not approve of it and said that no parent would approve their girl to meet a boy alone.

I found it rather amusing. I wasn’t calling them in some shady secluded space but in a public place. I was being the best of gentleman or what I knew of being the best of gentleman. I talked to them politely. I tried to get most from the discussion and told them everything they asked or did not ask about me especially what matter for a girl to choose her husband.

I even paid for the hotel bill.

During the last 2-3 searches, she insisted that we meet like many others searching individuals. I did not argue. But the results were the same.

Denial!

As a matter of fact, I found that girls preferred to talk without their family. They were more forthcoming about the type of husband they were looking for without being judged by others. The Indian family structure prefers to give less rights to their girls. Although this is changing fast, we still like to be stuck when the family want to take decision for the girls.

So when Amu’s family wanted to meet, I did not have high hopes. As usual my sister-in-law and mother made the house neat and tidy. Its amazing that our house could be transformed from clutter to highly organized for such special occasions.  The time was fixed at 4:00 PM Sunday, 16 January 2011. As always I was always the same person without preparation or special clothes for the occasion.

They came a little after 4:00 PM. She came with her Mother, her elder sister and her brother-in-law. I had already seen her on Facebook. I had sent her my photo in the mail.  She was in the same white dress with the green dupatta as in her Facebook photo.

We had some snacks specially brought for the occasion. As expected it was odd. My mother and brother talked to their family understanding their family line-up. It seem my mom’s cousin brother was once their neighbour.

I, meanwhile was stealing a glance at her. It would not been appropriate to stare at her especially in front of her family. They asked me about my job and salary. I asked her what were her expectations. She wanted a man with good heart and stable financially in his life.

I satisfied one condition completely and one somewhat. 1 out of 2 is not bad at all.

My mother wanted to seal the deal and asked me to go in my room and talk. I said a firm “No”. It did not look like a good idea with both of us talking in my room with my and her family waiting outside. I told them I wanted to meet her alone maybe in a day or two.

After the usual discussion on the families and village and the ancestors and our jobs and current bad state of public transport, there came an awkward moment when there was nothing to discuss. A long silence with people looking at each other. Anybody who must have attended this kind of meetings knows this silence.

Finally relief arrived when her mother said that they better get going. I told them, if they decide to go-ahead we will meet in a day or two sometime in the evening.

I took her number. They went away that day with the promise of meeting again.

I decided to meet her on Tuesday as Mondays are always busy.

2 days from that day, life was going for a big change!

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Detour!

As I alight on the Churchgate station for a new day at work, I take a right instead of the subway. I have been doing this since the last few days. The road from the station to my office goes through the business district with building around.

The route from the right is longer but takes me along the sea. While coming to office, one station prior to my destination, I look out of the window to find a cloudy sky over a somewhat raging ocean. The weather seems pleasant than the usual humid Mumbai climate.

I walk toward the sea from the station. The shops don’t open that early and the road is much quite at this side of the town. The bustling business district is just maybe a kilometer away. The Buildings at the side of the road still have the old world charm. They have not been taken over by builders who build ugly glass building called offices with limited colours like blue and grey.

I cross the Hotel Ambassador. Everybody tells me that there was a revolving restaurant at the top of the building. I am not so sure of the rumors. A quick search on the Internet reveals that there indeed a revolving restaurant offering a breathtaking view of the Queen’s Neck;lace called the "Pearl of the Orient".

On the left is the renamed "Pizza by the Bay" It was earlier known as "Jazz by the Bay" where live jazz was performed by upcoming artist every night. I am not sure Jazz is still played there. Mumbai is a fast city. The concept of sitting relaxed eating and listening to music is probably alien to the metropolis.

These buildings were built when Mumbai was just starting to grow into a metropolis. When it did not matter if it was called Mumbai, Bombay or Bambai. Debatable issues which I have no wish to fall into.
I cross the road they to reach the Marine drive promenade. The sea beyond the walls is not as raging as I imagined it to be but still the waves splash the wall with little fury. People on the promenade are a relaxed lot. No office rushing people here.

I want to sit there and enjoy the sea and its breeze. Amu and I would sit here in the evening before marriage. We haven’t come here in a long time. Maybe we should again and maybe on a morning. The mornings are much quieter here. The occasional joggers with the whole music and pedometer and all that fancy gadgets and shoes and the whole attire.

The health conscious wear shoes. I see a middle-aged man with bright green t-shirt and brighter green shoes. Thankfully he is not wearing any green shorts. Another jogger lady experiments with bright blue pair of shoes. Another jogger ahead is comfortable with mellowed down blue shoes.

A middle aged woman in salwar tries to run through her weight. An aged man walks with a brisk pace. They all try their own version of something called exercise. A man in fifties is making a strange gesture of clutching his both hands and making a movement as calling everybody to him. A closer look reveals that it his his version of exercise. 

The young couples facing the sea oblivious of the surrounding. There is more privacy in the morning. A girl in a burkha comes along with her boyfriend. Love still find a way in a conservative society.
Then there are those loners who sit by themselves watching the sea. And there are the college kids who come in dozen admiring the early morning sea and sky.

Servants of affluent families are there to walk the dogs. I think walking with the dog is the best way to connecting with your pet. I guess a dog has become more of a status symbol now.
A boat with two fisherman wobbles in the sea. Early morning catch it seems.

As I turn toward my office, the clouds are just clearing up. The sun shines through the clouds and the first bead of sweat breaks from my forehead. An indication of the day to come? Maybe!
An extra 10 minutes than my normal way but mind recharged for the day!

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Bangalore is far away from Kodaikanal and Kodaikanal is far away from Ooty.

The South India trip was more exhausting. Based on our experience of earlier trips, Me and my friends had decided that we would take it easy. But we spent more time travelling than visiting the places.

Somewhere in the trip, just after new year, I got a call from Amu’s family again. I was totally lost who was calling. A couple of angry phone calls from office had completely ruined my mood.

I told them again that I would be out of Mumbai and would be coming later that month. Finally when the trip was completed, I was back in Mumbai. I opened my email to find one more proposal from a matrimonial site. There was another mail from my colleague in office who had sent a proposal from his neighbour’s acquaintance.

It was not like that I was getting proposals every week and it had so happened that there was no proposal for months putting my mother in panic mode and now in January 2011, I had got three proposal to choose from.

My mother always insisted that I match the horoscope so I sent my complete details with my horoscope to all the three girls. The first to reject was the one recommended by my friend. They probably did not like my photo because out of 36 supposed to be matched points in the horoscope, we matched 28. We did not even meet.

Meanwhile Amu’s brother-in-law called me again. I had not forgotten about it but then I had not followed it either and I couldn’t recall that they had sent me the mail. It was from her brother’s id and I said “I don’t remember”

Later Amu told me that she was angry when I said that I don’t remember. She snatched the phone from her brother-in-law and told me to look again. I apologised and promise to look again. She had decided that if I did not remember, she would not pursue the proposal further.

Thankfully she did not take the harsh decision.

The second was a girl (girl no.2) from far-away suburbs on the Central line of Mumbai local trains. She worked in the other end of the town, Churchgate. Compared to that, my travel to office was luxurious. I asked her to meet me in Dadar. She came with her brother and father.

We talked for sometime but then I did not feel it clicked. The girl looked good but she was the person I could say “hi” to someday but not one I would like to spend my life with. I still gave it a “50-50” chance with the promise of meeting again.

Meanwhile Amu’s horoscope was shown to our astrologer and apparently it did not match much. Going ahead was out of question now. I got a call from Amu’s brother-in-law enquiring about going ahead. I told them about the horoscope thing but they said that they had shown their astrologer too and he said it matched to the minimum points. Coincidently her mother and my mother believed in astrology.

I did not have answer to her brother-in-law’s query. I told them to talk to my mother because she had the horoscope checked. They called my mother and asked for a meeting. My mother told them the same thing but they said that it matched on the border and it didn’t harm if we met each other. My mother suggested to have a meeting in the temple again. The date was fixed to 16th January 2011 which was a Sunday.

Meanwhile after thinking it over, I was ready to say “no” to girl no 2 irrespective of what would happen with Amu. I decided to meet her again to see if meeting her alone would make me change my mind.

I met her 4-5 days before meeting Amu and we talked. It did not click again. Although saying no is very difficult task and I have said it a couple of times if not always, it stills difficult. Getting a negative response is quite easy and expected.It became more difficult when the girl was keen on the proposal.

I tried calling her to say no but she did not pick up her phone. Finally I SMSed her my answer. SMSing a critical decision like that on phone is not a good thing to do but I do agree its the easiest.

And just like that I was down from 3 to 1. With the horoscope going against us, I really did not have any hope for the Sunday meeting. But I was not keen on meeting them in the temple because of my earlier experience a month ago. I suggested that we meet in our home which was a walking distance from the temple.

And then without any expectation, I waited to meet her family on Sunday!

================================

………………..To Be Continued

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Its that time of the year again when I look back at the year gone by. Earlier I would have lots of post mapping them would make the task easier. Now as I write lesser here, there is not much of a help.

The photoblog takes most of the time. Posting one photo a day has become a ritual, a habit. More than a thousand photos and without a break is an achievement. But then I miss writing here.

Its not that I have much to write here too or maybe I am just plain old lazy.

But its time to look at the year that went by!

Undoubtedly the biggest event was finally meeting Amu. When everyone said that there is always someone destined for you, I laughed. All these years I have seen people meeting with their partners but the destiny always missed me.

So unexpectedly at the start of new year, when I did not have any expectation, I met her. Its been 7 months since our marriage and life is a different ballgame altogether. Relationship and marriage is about understanding, patience, love and trust and for both, its learning on the job.

So for that single reason, 2011 would remain the most loved year of it all.

On the professional front, it was a year of learning new tricks with a major role-shift. I changed from being led to leading. Decision making changed from “them” to me. It also increased my stress level but then its part of learning.

The photographic interest became more than just an interest as money was spent on upgrading my kit. It was learning again when I took more than 16000 Photos and that statistics speaks volumes in itself. I still click with an instinct but understanding the technique a little too better.

The writing took a downhill with Full2 Faltu seeing lesser action. I guess it was giving more importance to other things in life and keeping that soft corner for writing closed. There was once a time when not putting up a post for 3-4 days would make me impatient.

Now I accept that I am not a writing machine. I am still at 3 figure post numbers  after 7 years of writing while my photoblog crossed 4 figures this year. But then in my defence, with more that 16000 photos a year, I have all the fuel to keep the photoblog going for years.

I stopped or let me say I wrote fewer post because I write what I want and when I don’t want, I don’t write. This blog is a place I want to visit when I decide to visit memory lanes. So good and bad and whatever in between, I will write when I feel like.

Its a new year and I decided to keep my eyes open for the world around me. Make some observation and speak my mind of. I don’t know how successful I will be but then I have never made plans and I don’t plan to stick to one. That’s why I don’t have a new year resolution.

So in a year when doomsday prophecies are making round and without any expectation, I prepare for a life full of expectancies and surprises.

And with the same surprise and hope wish all the few readers of Full2 Faltu a very happy and hopeful 2012!!!

 

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Last week I was hospitalized. The reason was simple. I had a panic attack and my blood pressure shot up. My heart beats went on an over drive and I walked to an emergency room.

Amu constantly tried to calm me but herself was very scared seeing me in such state. There was no physical discomfort but the fear of something happening was so overwhelming that I could not control the situation and it shown on my face.

The blood pressure and the heartbeats wouldn’t come down. I tried to think something else ending up thinking the same. Finally I was advised to stay in hospital so that they could monitor me. I was connected to a heart-monitoring machine where I could hear a beep everytime my heart pumped blood. I became more conscious of my heartbeats and then I started to calm myself if I though they went faster.

Actually by then the medication had done their work and the heart beats were under control but my freaky mind refused to believe and I was constantly thinking that I may be having a heart attack any moment even though all the 4 ECG reports in the span of 1 month reported of a healthy heart.

It had all started before my Europe trip when lots of work had me all stressed out and thats when I noticed my high BP. The high BP was only for that particular moment and would come down when the situation was controlled.

It was not the first time it was happening. But day by day, I am feeling more frightened. I don’t know what could trigger a panic/anxiety attack sometimes with or without reasons. And everytime I feel that small heart of mine racing faster than a Ferrari. I can actually hear my own heartbeats and I have this fear of even putting my hand on my heart just that I can’t offend it and it stops beating. The heartbeats are accompanied by irrational thinking and I see a very good possibility of having a heart attack and that makes the situation worse.

Come to think of it, its a bloody vicious circle!

Now I am seeing a doctor who has put me on medication and observation. Looking at my progress, I may be advised to see a psychiatrist. My mind has just gone cukooooo!

A panic attack is a very dangerous state for the person who experiences it. My whole life flashes before me and I think of my family’s future. Actually thinking about my family future, I should be calming myself but that does not happen.

I googled panic attack and its advised that I need to talk about it. Speaking about the problem is the first step of curing it.

So here I am talking about it! I don’t know if it will help but I will try

Everyone says that its all in the mind and I know that. But I also know that I am not myself when I get those attacks.

Like Aamir Khan said in 3 idiots

Kabhi Kabhi is dil ko batana padta hai “All izz well”

And that is what I am going to do.

So my dear heart, “ALL IZZ WELL”. Nothing to be afraid of. I have an army of family and friends who will help you get better. Who will help you beat normally and together we will grow stronger.

As for you who are reading this, pray to God to give me strength. I know I am making a mountain of a mole hill but the way I stand now, it looks like a mountain.

So help me God! Amen!

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I guess I have grown up the corporate ladder. Now I am taking one day trip to other cities. These one day trips are good because it just like going to the office and then coming back home the same day except that the medium of transport is an airplane.

One day before Diwali and the airfare had shot up more than 3 times. People rushing to be home for the holidays. Considering the morning flight, the evening flight is not full. All the seats in my row are vacant. Most of us are home

Being the first Diwali after the marriage means I have to be home before tomorrow. Amu is waiting.

35000 feet up in the air, I am on my way home.

Even after so many flights, I have a scary feeling every time the plane takes flight. I have to calm my nerves when the plane takes flight, more when I am travelling alone. Its not just the flight but I think I am more scared nowadays…of everything.

For an unknown reason.  Hope this feeling passes out.

Maybe the feeling is because I am not alone now. With the responsibility of another person, I am worrying about the future, But then her "Don’t worry" can work wonders too. As everybody sleeps around me and I can even hear someone snoring over the engine’s sound, I am going through my wedding pictures. The marriage will be 5 months old 4 days from now.

Its the time of knowing each other.

We have married late in life and we have lots of catching up to do. I want to hold up to every moment that passes. The wait was worth it!

In all my trips to Delhi, this is the second most fastest stay here. The earlier one was back in New Year eve of 2010 when I landed just before midnight and was out of Delhi by 6:00 AM.

On my flight and return from Delhi, I have been travelling on Indigo flight. I was surprised to see the same hairstyle for all hairhostess until I realized that they were all probably wearing a wig. Having the same Uniform is mandatory for Air staff but same hair style is taking the matters just too far.

Its after many days I felt like writing. Just expressing without any topic to discuss. I want to write but work and life takes preference over writing. With a photo blog that demands attention everyday, F2F takes a back seat and then subjects become old and I lose the enthusiasm to write about that topic.

Reaching home in couple of hour and publishing this. Hope you all have a good Diwali

Wish you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali from Amu and Me!

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