Jab We Met!!

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Hello friends! Excited to be back on blogger after such a long time, and that too with lots of exciting stories to share!! It gives me immense pleasure to tell you all that I am engaged now and will be getting married soon!! It's an arranged one for me. Today, I would like to share how I felt when I met my better half, M, for the very first time, what were my thoughts, apprehensions, concerns, etc.

This was taken on our second visit to Mocha.
M is closely related to one of my Dad's college friends, Uncle S. So, it was Uncle S who suggested M for me. It was 13th July, Sunday, and our meeting was scheduled in the evening at a cafe called Mocha. At that time, our house was being renovated. Throughout the day I was engrossed in renovation work, exploring and selecting designs for the rooms, furniture, etc. It was in the evening that the nervousness started building up. My Mom-Dad made sure I was well-dressed with perfectly ironed clothes, straightened hair and light make-up. It was around 15 minutes drive from my place to Mocha. I was escorted by my Dad and Uncle S. On the way, I was constantly wishing for a message/phone call from M/M's family saying that M has some urgent work and hence the meeting would be cancelled. However, that didn't happen. Within 15 minutes we reached Mocha. Two minutes later, M arrived in a Santro Xing. He got down from the car and greeted Dad and Uncle S. After a brief chit chat with M, Dad and Uncle S left for M's place. M was wearing half-frame specs, a red-coloured round-neck Tshirt, black jeans and dark-coloured sports-shoes that had fluorescent laces. Half-frame specs made him look slightly nerdy. First thought that crossed my mind was, I unnecessarily made efforts to dress-up well because this guy is so casually dressed! Anyways, we went in. A waiter asked us whether we would like to sit outside(for hookah) or inside. M turned around, looked at me, and asked, "Hookah"?? "No thanks", I said, and we went inside. "Who smokes a hookah during a formal meeting? Silly guy!", I thought. As we sat down, he immediately said "Wassup"?? Well, I have never been able to figure out the apt reply for Wassup! Should we tell what's going on at the moment? Should we tell about our lives in general? What about our lives? Work? Friends? Home? I mean this Wassup always leaves me confused!! The moment M said "Wassup", a waiter came to take down the order. Thus, I escaped answering to Wassup! "Kitkat shake is very good here", M told me. "Yes, I 'll have a kitkat shake without cream", I said. M ordered an ice-tea for himself. Then, we started talking about general stuff like work, college, family, friends, movies, football(it was FIFA final that day), cricket, music, travelling, food, etc. Basically, we talked about everything but marriage/pre-marriage/post-marriage stuff! Being reserved, at times it gets really difficult for me to strike a conversation with a new person. However with M, I was at ease. I liked his smile and found him quite friendly. We talked for nearly 45 minutes, after which Dad and Uncle S came to pick me from Mocha. M and I exchanged goodbye smiles and left for our respective places. On the way back to home, Dad and Uncle S, who were curiously waiting for the meeting to end, bombarded me with questions! How was the meeting? How did you find M? How was the conversation? Anything positive? Anything negative? This is the biggest repercussion of an arranged marriage. You meet the guy for an hour, and after that you spend hours explaining your parents/friends/relatives what was good, what was not good, etc. The point is, one hour is too less to know someone and form an opinion about him/her, forget about analyzing and then sharing your analysis with other people. So, when my Dad and Uncle S asked me about the meeting, I just told them that the meeting was good and as such nothing negative came up. I reached home, slipped into my night pyjama and tshirt and relaxed myself, thinking at least next 2-3 days won't be eventful. Two hours later, Dad got a call from Uncle S, "It's a yes this side. Come to M's place with boxes of sweets". The moment I heard this, I went numb..... and blank....

P.S. : I have recently restarted Piano playing. Sharing a video.. Do watch!!

Annual day sound-check... after 8 years!

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As I had previously mentioned in one of my posts, my school(BBPS, Rohini) recently completed its 25 years. To celebrate the glorious occasion, the principal, teachers, students and ex-students came together to add grandeur to this year's Annual Day, held on 19th April. I was among the few lucky ex-students who got a chance to contribute to the celebrations. Around three weeks before the event, I got a call from my school's instrumental-music teacher, Devraj Sir. He told me that a big event was being planned and he wanted me, along with few other ex-students to participate in the orchestra. I had last participated in my school's Annual function in the year 2006 i.e. eight years back. In the last eights years, I have given many stage performances. However, I always missed being on the stage that was a part of my growing years, the stage on which I performed for the very first time, i.e. my school's stage. Hence, when I came to know about this event, I was thrilled!! Preparations, rehearsals, re-connecting with my friends from school orchestra, sharing my experiences with budding violinists, chatting with teachers like long lost friends, and off course being on that very stage, it was all like a torrent of nostalgia. I could recall and experience the same frenzy as used to be years ago. The tiring rehearsals, cribbing over our annual-day dress(kurta-pyjama), discussing how good/bad the refreshments were, criticizing the sound-system, determination to get a good feedback from Principal mam, efforts to escape foundation and maroon lipstick make-up, watching other performances and deciding how ours was better than all of them, I mean everything was still the same!!

The Orchestra team(With few members missing)

After every annual day, we used to miss the whole process of preparations and excitement. There used to be a kind of void for a few days. I can feel the same void now. On one hand, I feel sad that the whole process of preparations and excitement is over and on the other, I feel equally proud and happy that I could be a vital part of this process. After a long time I got a chance to see little children perform. It was like watching my own childhood before my eyes. This time even teachers participated in different events like singing, orchestra, dance and ballet. It was simply heart-warming to see them perform with so much of poise. On the whole, it was a memorable and an unforgettable experience. This particular annual day will always be remembered in future and I'll be able to tell proudly that I was right there when it happened. Cheers to BBPS Rohini!! I wish my school endless years of glory and success!! :-)

P.S. Will share the performance videos as soon as I get them!

A new family member :-)

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Recently we were joined by a new member in our family, my newly born nephew, Palaash. Heartiest congratulations to my cousin, S and sis-in-law, R on the arrival of their bundle of joy. Few days back was his naming ceremony, followed by a dinner party.  Here are few lines:

He clung tightly to his dear mother,
Unfazed by the surrounding crowd,
They stared at him, and he wondered,
What this circus was all about,
As the crowd dispersed a bit,
I gently took him in my arms,
Wary of causing minutest hurt,
I held his head within my palm,
He smiled at me, he played with my hair,
And then he looked at the lightings around,
Unaware of the joy signified,
By the lightings and the musical sounds,
The next moment he cried for his mother,
She came running as she heard him weep,
Amidst the noisy music and celebrations,
He just longed for moments of peaceful sleep...

Welcome to our world little champ!

The hassles of dressing up!

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Have you ever faced a situation when you had to get ready for an important event and at the last moment you realized that the dress you had decided for yourself turned out to be ill-fitted, was not ironed well enough to be worn, was turned down by some of your family members, didn't have the matching accessories, etc ?? Well, I hope the answer would be 'Yes' for most of the people. For those who say 'No', salutes to them. Talking about my own family, my dad falls into the category of those people whose job is to give a thumbs down to every outfit selected by their family members! Me, mom, dad and my bro are four completely different characters when it comes to dressing up. Starting with my mom, she is the one who plays safe. Well aware of Dad's habit of giving a thumbs down at the last moment, she tells him well in advance that she'll be wearing this particular saree/suit for say a family function. In case Dad doesn't find it that appealing, they both mutually decide and finalize a saree/suit. Next comes my brother, the laziest person on this earth. He decides what to wear around 15 minutes before our scheduled time of leaving from home. To be more precise, he actually relies on me/mom to select clothes from his wardrobe. If our selected clothes do not appeal to him, then we are the ones to be blamed! Talking about myself, I am ridiculously stubborn about dressing up and it often leads to heated arguments(yes, even I can be a part of heated arguments!) between me and my dad. When I decide to wear something casual like jeans/capri/top/shirt/tshirt, he asks me to go for something ethnic. When I decide to wear something ethnic like suit, he asks me to wear some different suit. Even when I select the best suit in my wardrobe, he asks me to wear lehenga/saaree. When I select a lehenga, he asks me to wear a saree and vice-a-versa. So basically, he asks me to wear anything but my choice of clothes. However, living up to my heights of stubbornness, I rarely give in to his whims and cries. And finally comes the most interesting part, my Dad. He decides what to wear well in advance and we make sure that his clothes are ironed properly and ready to be worn. Let's take an example of a formal suit. We make sure that when he gets back to home, he finds his suit absolutely ready. Once he wears it, we all realize that the tie doesn't go very well with the shirt. So he checks his wardrobe and instead of picking up a tie that goes well with the shirt, he picks up a shirt that goes well with the tie.  Once he changes the shirt, it doesn't seem to go very well with the trousers and changing the trousers means changing the complete suit! He then again checks his wardrobe to find a pair of trousers that go well with the shirt. Once the trousers are finalized, he tries to find a blazer that goes well with the newly selected shirt and trousers. Men always have some hopeless blazers that are not a part of any formal suit and have to be mixed and matched with different combinations of trousers and shirts. My Dad tries to do the same and then one by one we reject all such blazers. Finally, he decides to slip into one of his band-galaa suits. So the story that begins with a tie, ends with a band-galaa suit, shirt/tie beneath which go completely invisible! And people say women take longer to get ready!! :D Leaving you with a video from our jam session. Do watch!

Random thoughts

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There are three kinds of people in this world:

Type I - These people can never understand the person within you.You'll be tired of explaining but their questions will never end. Rather than understanding why you behave in a particular manner, they'll question your behaviour and hence, you'll always end up playing a game of questions, answers and further questions. In short, these people know a lot, but understand nothing.

Type II - You'll explain and they'll understand.

Type III - They'll understand even before you'll start explaining, rather you won't really have to explain much.

The understanding and lack of understanding associated with these three kinds of people is usually independent of the amount of time you spend with them. At times, you tend to go blank with a person you might have known for years and sometimes a new person comes and fills in those blanks! Most of us would have come across at least one person of each type in our lives. I am mainly intrigued by Type I and Type III. I have met people who literally question things like why you like mountains and not sea, why you like sand and not snow, why you like whisky and not wine! On the other hand, some make me feel as if they understand me more than I understand myself and that too without bombarding me with questions. World is full of different kinds of people. We tend to get along with those who understand and accept these differences instead of questioning them. All the colours are different because they are supposed to be different. There is no reason for blue being blue and green being green. But then, some people don't look beyond colours to admire the beautiful picture they make. I have come across some such people too. While talking to them I sometimes doubt my abilities to explain and understand and sometimes end up here on blogger, writing posts inspired by those inconclusive conversations! I scribbled few lines while I was fiddling with these thoughts:

I don't know why sky is blue,
I don't know why grass is green,
I don't know why hills are beautiful,
I don't know why sea is serene,
I don't know why birds fly,
I don't know why flowers blossom,
I don't know why stars twinkle,
I don't know why rains are awesome,
All I know is,
I like the colour of sky,
I like to see birds fly,
I like the blossoming flowers,
I like the twinkling stars,
Some find me sweet, 
Some find me obscure,
Some like me less,
Some like me more,
Only if I could say,
And only if the world could see,
Beyond being liked, beyond being sweet,
I like being me!

Before signing off, leaving you with a video from our latest jam session. Do watch!

When my friend got married...

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First of all, I would like to congratulate my childhood friend Deeksha, who got married last week and stepped into a new phase of life. May God bless you with all the happiness in the world. :-)

Talking about Deeksha, she was among the first few friends of my life. I must have been around 6-7 years old when her family shifted to a first-floor flat in our building. In those days, there were around 8-9 children of our age group in our neighbourhood and we all used to play together in the evening. Hide and seek, stapu, gallery, sun moon land water sea, oonch neech ka paapda, tipy tipy tap, langdi tang, pakdam pakdai, vish-amrit, dumb charades, badminton... all these games were a part of our beautiful childhood. Academically she was an average student. She would often tell me how her dad would give her lectures by highlighting my good academic record! Once she jokingly told me that going by how much her Dad praises me, he should actually adopt me!! As we grew up, evening games were replaced by evening chats. Sitting on the stairs of the first floor of our building and discussing all kinds of nonsensical topics is something I'll always miss. The thought of getting married would literally scare the hell out of us! Over the last two years, we have had so many conversations about funny guys we have come across and who among the two us should/will get married first.  When she got engaged last year, first thought that crossed my mind was, "Deeksha Kohli, you are the one getting married first, and I am loving it! :D". Slowly and gradually as her wedding day drew closer, the feeling that she'll be leaving soon, started sinking in. On her wedding day, I spent a lot of time with her. Knowing as well as feeling her excitement, nervousness, anxiety and watching her become a bride was an interesting as well as moving experience. That day, I captured this moment when she was lying down and resting after some morning ceremonies:


I'll fondly miss the lovely days of our childhood and friendship, including birthday parties, conversations, pulling each others' leg, fun at festivals like Holi, Diwali, Lohri and Janmashtami and not to forget the bhandaras at our society's temple!! There is a part of her life about which she never talked and I never asked. But I certainly know that her life was not as lovey-dovey as it seemed. I heartily wish for her new phase of life to be full of unconditional love and joy. May she live like a queen with the king of her heart. Congratulations and best of luck!! 

P.S. Deeksha : Me and Prateek missed your jaimala because at that time I was crying in the lawn and he was trying to cheer me up by repeatedly telling me that crying would ruin my make-up!! Love you loads :-)

Happy New Year!!!

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Hello folks! Wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year! Hope the coming year brings with it lots of excitement and joy for all. An year has come and an year just went by. 2013 was quite eventful with lots of memorable moments. For me, the highlight of 2013 was "Enchanting Engineers", the music group formed by me and some of my colleagues.

After completing engineering in 2011, when I started with my job, I really missed having musicians around me. During my schooling, I was an active member of our school orchestra and in my college I actively participated in the events of our music society, Madhurima. I got to interact as well as perform with various people who were talented and extremely passionate about music, the way I am. There was always an enthusiasm and excitement to meet such people and bond with them over music. Initially I didn't find any such people at my workplace. There were times when I used to feel that my music will get lost somewhere within me. I was not in touch with people from my school orchestra or my seniors from Madhurima. I really missed my musical sessions with them and the thought that I might not be able to have such sessions again left me desolate. Later in 2011, our company was acquired by a bigger company, Synopsys. Through Synopsys I got in touch with Jagminder, our IT expert and soon came to know about his guitaring skills from some youtube links of his performances. Similarly he came to know about my musical skills through some of the youtube links of my performances in college and this is how our interaction began. Slowly and gradually I met more such people in Synopsys who were passionate about music. Last year in the month of June, we all performed at our company's annual function, and it was then that we gave ourselves the name "Enchanting Engineers". After the annual function, we decided to meet for monthly jam sessions. We started with these sessions in the month of June and ever since we have had a string of jam sessions. In these sessions, we sing and play songs, record some and cherish some. The purpose is to take out sometime from our busy schedules and engage ourselves in what we are passionate about, i.e. music. We are not professionals and don't intend to compete with professional singers and musicians. We simply love music and hence there is always an excitement and enthusiasm to go to the office for jam, even if it's a Saturday!! My colleagues who are a part of Enchanting Engineers, have become more of friends now and it's great fun. We laugh, smile, pull each others' leg, and off course sing and play music. Once again I have musicians around me, talented and passionate about music, the way I am. I can just thank them for filling my life with music once again. The feeling of desolation that I initially had, is gone now and I am truly loving this phase of my life, full of music!! Leaving you with some of our recordings. Do watch, and once again, Happy New Year!! :-)