The Most Beautiful Smile In Bangalore

It was a day out with a friend in the by-lanes of MG road. What started as a beautiful fun loving day was destined to finish different. A girl’s day out means spending hours in a shop and then hopping on to another for more. Realising it’s 6:20 p.m. I was anxiously looking at my watch and my friends who weren’t content with their purchases. 6:30 p.m. and am a dead girl, thinking out loud that I need to go. I need to be back in my hostel the moment the clock struck 7:00. Hurriedly I left the girls back frantically searching for an auto. But the guys were playing funny and asked 200 bucks for that stretch that took at max. 120 bucks. Finally found this guy who looked in early 20’s and was ready to take me, but as I was already half nervous seeing the clock strike at the 6:40 p.m. bar; I agreed to pay him an extra 20 for whatever amount that showed up.

The first thing I remember is tucking over my bag, and closing my eyes tightly and imagining coughing up 250 bucks as fine for turning up late to the hostel and getting a letter signed by my father that I wouldn’t repeat the same ever again. The mere thought of calling up my dad and telling him the offence before the hostel director, send shivers down my spine. Opening my eyes I realized it was a very unfamiliar route the auto guy had taken. I could see Chamarpet flying by at 6:50 p.m. and had no clue how far was Girinagar from there. And then 6:55 p.m. when I’m nearly crucified I see Hanumanth Nagar flying by. And I screw my head out of the auto to verify did I read it right! Girinagar was hardly 10 minutes from there which was my destination. I sat as if I was meditating, looking nervously around, and back and forth at my watch, chewing my inner cheek.

The auto halted before the big black gate and I showed my face to the hostel guards and they had registered my entry. I glanced over my watch and realised there was still 1 minute left to 7 p.m. and I was there. I couldn’t believer my eyes and the halleluiah feeling within. This auto guy covered that 40-50 minutes distance in just 19 minutes along with traffic pauses. I sat silently in the auto for a minute gasping and checking the auto meter.

Just when the auto guy looked at his mirror for me to pay, I said aloud “Shukriya Bhaiya!” He gave me a huge smile and turned back to thank in return. I repeated “Shukriya!” He lowered his head and nodded in acknowledgement and returned a big smile. I gave the auto guy 200 /- and as I was turning, he stopped me and was returning 20 bucks. The meter read 160! I said “Aap rakhiye”

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The Light, A Hope Wished For

[My tribute to memoirs of some extraordinary people I have come across in my life, who just added some touch in my being unknowingly, which is beyond expressive gratitude. Some people in everyday life, I never got a chance to thank again!]

I was going through a fellow bloggers post, when I came across one of his write-ups; that reminded me one of my experiences in the similar lines.

Those were the days when interns began, which required commuting between Double Road and Girinagar [in Bangalore, WI office was located at the former location, and college hostel at the latter]. For a day or two, I took an easier way out and went around by autos. But I figured that the auto guy took me on a jolly ride at times, plus I wanted to so go out and commute in the buses. I love traveling by bus, all by myself, with breeze hitting my face, and I retreating to my world.

I picked up courage on the 3rd day, and decided to return back home by bus. Since didn’t pay attention to the locality on the first 2 days, I went about asking people, and guards of  showrooms about the nearest bus stop. When I reached the bus stop, I felt totally helpless, with the language barrier at its max and not knowing which bus plies on what route. After asking several bus conductors and frequently looking at the watch [it clocked 6:15 pm, in  all the questioning, and had hostel limits clicking away] one bus driver simply asked me to climb on and he said he’d leave me at the Shantinagar bus depot. I asked how much, he said Rs. 3/- but he refused to take it, and simply smiled back. Little did I know then that the bus depot was hardly 200 meters, and a walk-able distance. There is where “The Light, a Hope Wished For” appeared.

Maybe I was looking so horrendous and screwed up, I have no idea, but that’s the best bet; when I asked which bus goes to Girinagar, pat came the reply it just went by and that was the last bus. I was in 2 minds, whether stay and look at options, or abandon my high-spirits for today. I was still thinking when the lady who replied about the bus just leaving, pulled my hand and said “come along, this bus will take you till there”.

On the bus, she introduced herself as Jyoti, when we struck a conversation. She was some 26 year old, who resided at Srinagar [btw a locality in Bangalore is called the same] and I didn’t realize her intentions, till she got down at Lalbagh West Gate. That was coz that bus would take her upto her stop, but she decided to help me, and tell me about the bus routes and the transit points if I missed the slot. I never before felt so embarrassed and thankful to a stranger at the same time. She advised I learn the local language to avoid being cheated by people, and she helped me right upto Sita Circle [My hostel was a walk-able 15 mins from this stop].

Though I didn’t really learn Kannada, and my vocabulary restrains to words of necessity; yet that one day is so memorable in my life. Thanks to Jyoti I traveled by BMTC buses every day after that one. I have wonderful memories to cite, and replay in my mind. Thanks to Jyoti, I noted the bus routes that took me to my destination. Thanks to Jyoti, who sensed some apprehension in me, and decided to help this stranger all the way. She acted out of her limits, and I salute the humanness. How so I wished everyday on that bus route 36 C, I could spot Jyoti and smile back at her and thank her. But she just lighted away my nerve and disappeared.

Dare To Be Different

What do you want to be
When you grow up?
Maybe a pilot or an actress
A swimmer or an astronaut
A musician or a Sachin Tendulkar
A dancer or a painter
A story teller or a scientist
A rockstar, or a teacher
The grin follows the enthusiasm
After renewed ambitions are pronounced
And then comes a time
Tom foolery is no longer accepted.

What do you want to be
When you grow up?
Maybe an engineer, or a doctor
And a manager later, perhaps
IIT’s and IIM’s beguile the holder
Something below is not accepted
Not to the imagination of the receptacle
But to the feed of the imagination

The process begins its cycle
Nipping the bud at the right time
Jolting of the innocent mind
By the society that watches it
Go about every minute
To secure a track next to the other rat
Not all land in the same league
A little lesser, they settle for
For a promising brighter tomorrow
Pockets all stuffed, the status-quo intact

Together they stand the knowledge quotient of the nation
Pushing themselves, to harp the yield
Hushing the asphyxiation growing within
Every evening, the feel of the misfit
And the next morning, strengthening the surrender for the dependents

Years of slavery, is now beyond tolerance
Attempting a dig, at the yellow pages
Once they dreamt of being
Would realignment satisfy their gut?
Would their inner self reach tranquility?
The fantasy given a mould to shape
Behind protests of the perverse society
Some make it big, at peak of maturity
Whilst others grudgingly get back, to their mundane lives
Compromising to the status-quo.

Questions that hog the mind of the rat in me:

1. Isn’t India tired of Engineers/Doctors/Managers?
2. Why can we appreciate the plethora of possible professions in USA; but give no opportunity alike here?
3. Why cannot we treat all professions with equal dignity?
4. Why do we have a nation full of knowledge workers, yet just 30% employable coz of right knowledge/domain skills?
5. Why we crib about unemployment, when 1 vacancy is fought by 10,000 aspiring candidates?
6. Why we point fingers and criticize those, who dare to be different?
7. And when they succeed, we change colours and yak about their uniqueness?

Dedicated to the latest read, a person who changed his course of profession from the rat race to the dream he desired – Gaurav Dagaonkar

Small Wonder

Saw this girl the first day
And didn’t pay much attention like the rest
Wonder how she felt then
There wasn’t much perceptible in the diminutive figure
But the moment she set her foot on stage
Set a fire far and wide
Making a loud statement
That she belongs here and will one day
Own all the paths leading to it
In our memories and her promising potentials
She grew incredibly tall in the months that followed
And nothing seemed stopping her
Not even the five feet that she was
Crossed all roads and jumped all terrains
To reach for the horizon she seeks
Met people, minds across
Waded through murky jungles of condemnation
Being reduced to ashes on numerous occasions
Yet rising and growing each time
Despite soiled knees and grazed elbows
If not for the world, but for herself
Making the stronger her shield from the languishes
Time had in store for the weak and unscrupulous
The thousands of times her ideas were questioned
For the dominance that was shown
In doing things right, the first time
The moments she took hold of
And did it her ways
The blames and the scuffles
And emerging of the phoenix
Undeterred and un-wavered
Today when I look back
I see a girl with toothy smile, clutching a bouquet of roses
With a promising life ahead
Carrying along with her all the good faith she shaped
Among many of us
Some still hidden to be discovered
But the blessings and the words of heartfelt beliefs
Entrusted upon her, waiting to be taken all along
A girl once written off
Proved she doesn’t require to be tall than what she is
Coz she already is unconventionally
With all the confidence oozing in her
And the magic she has within herself
That makes me adore her
For her being the ‘small wonder’ I have a high regard for

I Saw This Woman

I saw this woman enter the door
Among several others, she looked effervescent
They walked their usual roads
She broke from the crowd and headed straight

I gave her this glance
Which said, you do stand out from others
She wished another woman
Who was equally pleased
Seeing someone approaching her way
Atleast her grin reflected my thoughts

I came across this woman
More of times that followed
Wondered how she managed to stand out
Each time I saw her, managed a smile cheek to cheek

One such day saw the extraordinariness in her
Felt sad seeing she was differently abled
But it would disgrace her, if I referred her that ways

Yet she had the power
To control the happiness of those several
Who worked around her
And it made me appreciate her more

For she was the blessed one
Picked up by a special God
Who thought there are ways to tell people
Things can be done extraordinarily
Even with the simplicity at work
Greater heights can be achieved
Even with the restrictive forces pulling one down

There’s just that energy that she contains
Which fights back all that pulls down
A woman of sheer enthusiasm
With an attitude that says, she’ll grow
And she’ll keep others happy and cared for.

[A sweet lady I came across during my internship, professionally very sound. She didn’t have fully formed fingers/or they were amputated am not sure off, But she has 2 fingers on one hand and 3 on other, normal than the rest]

Shirish

A flower that gives life,
Blooms even in harshest adversities,
Thats’ what the name means.

The bud enveloping the petals so firm
Inside lies the secret of life giving power
The juices all white and transparent
No colour biasing and no taste preference

Wherever it positions, creating a climber to hold onto
For the other that is in need
The other may not even have to whisper
Just turn around and give one soulful look
Perhaps that may too not be felt

There are strong vibes that flow through
Of energy at one end, and synergy at the other

The flower that is not infested by pests
Which seemingly keep targeting its stalk

Like the sun advancing the day, and intensifying its glare
Year after year, the reach of the flower expanding by folds
The roots gaining more of ground,
The bark thickening with a strong turf
And the richness being savoured by many
All forming a network of links
Chained together for as long as one can remember
Its the flower that gave life