Monthly Archives: January 2013

The land of smiles.

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It was the peak of winters.Another misty December afternoon and we were all set for our next trip coming almost a year after the previous one. We had promised ourselves this trip on the day we were boarding the flight back home and ending our first trip together in Malaysia . And after a year we re ready for it. The trip started off with me being down with fever. God has “perfect ‘ plans at times . Much against everyone’s wishes we chose Thailand as our destination  and we re truly happy we did that.Well, the first leg of our journey started amidst chaos and  mess , a part of the package deal that comes with your wedding may be . 😉 The excitement  fizzled out a bit, in fact a lot. which was partly due to the fact that I was unwell and partly becoz of the ‘surroundings effect’ , say in a ratio of 20-80 :D. and to the extent that I might sum up the whole trip in just one post, while the one about our last trip was 59posts long . whooo..Is this what life does to you in just a year ? hmm..still wondering. A lot to wonder with no answers available. The best things is that we cherish being together , it’s just the ‘surroundings’ that keep stirring up the storms. 😉 :D. And as long as you are happy together nothing or ‘no one’ else matters. And I see a digression here, I am moving miles away from the subject. So better get back to the subject before I go completely off the track here.

A celebration called life     Thailand was going to be a great option to unwind, relax and chill . Pattaya is a place where I discovered and learnt much more and completely opposite of what  I expected . So I am going to write more about this particular aspect of the place rather than the usual  travel details. You would usually go to this place for a good 4days of fun n relaxation .But it turned out to be a place for retrospection, analyzing and deep contemplation. made me see life from an all new angle. Its a wide known fact that the place is famous for its abundant nightlife and of course for the ‘ladies of the night’. Loaded as it is with beer bars of all description, a profusion of go-go bars and live music venues, and plenty of large discos that open at 22:00 and go on until late. Middle aged singles mostly from west would stay there for months hanging around with girls half their age for both companionship n fun.This is the main reason for many tourists to be here but not for all.  It would be wrong to stereotype the place. It is quite feasible to ignore all this and spend your time in refined bars, plush malls and upmarket residential areas, or, indeed, lounge on a quiet  beach.All you see around is a crowd of happy and carefree people, both locals and foreigners.  A can of beer, a relaxed walk on the beach or a stroll on  the road. Thats what sums up a perfect life. ..just that simple. What if life was that simple and carefree? . It actually is. Its just a matter of perception. We are just bent upon making it complicated. In the end life is about living. Why not do just that. LIVE.

The place starts getting more lively and resplendent as the night sets in. Things kick off around tenish. The whole town starts buzzing with activity. There are bands playing live music. There are these alluring ” ladies of the night ”  enticing the men around with their seductive smiles and gorgeous looks . Dressed to perfection they light up the whole promenade with their chuckles and charm. You can not help stopping by and having a close look. Even I couldn’t resist staring and secretly admiring them for their beauty and vivaciousness. The place and the women will never find approval in our so-called morality books but then who are we to judge. There’s no harm in doing what you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone. They were doing exactly that. Some were there for fun , some looking for greener pastures in the west if they find a good guy from the west, some we heard had their whole families depending on them for a living . They were into the ‘trade’ to support their families. Even I was guilty of jumping to judgement at times. But eventually learnt that you have no right to judge someone unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. As they say ‘its easy enough to preach morality on a full belly. Morality is the custom of one’s country. Cannibalism is moral in a cannibal country. Our ideas of morality are too shallow . Who sets the standards  and the moral code? . We have different concepts and different perspective on the issue. Its just a matter of perception , acceptance and maturity. And I was in sync with all three here. Sometimes you find wisdom and knowledge in the most unlikeliest of places. Every single person whether good or bad teaches you something. Saw life from a new angle and learnt how to smile n celebrate.

The moment is now..Count your blessings , don’t waste time waiting for perfect tomorrows. God was being a little innovative this time so wanted me to learn the new lesson inside the deep-sea. This was when I tried my hand at adventure sports and went para-sailing. G was the first to try and landed perfectly after a few minutes in the air. Then came my turn. My parachute was in no mood to make a smooth landing as everyone else’s and carried the adventure a little further by dropping me down in middle of the vast sea. It is not hard to imagine the plight of the person who is not comfortable with even boating because of the phobia of water and suddenly finds himself in the sea drowning deeper n deeper. Those few seconds replay your entire life before your eyes. My first thought was this is the end I might not go back to surface again, what an end to the trip. The very next moment those you love the most are in your thoughts..you think was it the last time you saw them ? But  just when I  started “drowning” deep into my thoughts, God somehow decided to say “lol..Just kidding ‘ and popped me back to the surface. Phew..what a relief to see the boats and people around.

I forgot all this while that I had the life jacket on and was tied to the parachute so I wouldn’t have drowned that fast . But my thoughts saw no logic. It was not my time to go yet .God had second thoughts may be. So eventually I was “rescued” and came back by another boat.And  here I see my better half filming my ordeal so casually with a smile..hats off..I mean seriously wont u even panic for a sec man? Can life be any funnier than this ? I was completely at a loss of words here. Its good to be positive but to this extent??? Amazing!!! 😀 😀 .

On a serious note I realized that day that the distance between life and death is actually so thin. Its just a matter of a few seconds and a few breaths. Things change in a snap. Life is transient. What if those were my last moments? I might have gone away carrying a lot of regrets , lot of unfinished things , lot of wishes, longings. So why not make them all happen while you are still alive .  I put a lot on my to-do list that day and made many promises to myself.  Gradually I am Striking off the “done” stuff from my to-do list but the promise part was broken the very next day when G got on to my nerves and had me yelling and shouting . ( promise#1 I’ll never fight or argue with those I love ). Well promises are to be broken and are breaking day by day and the video is a source of entertainment for everyone these days n poor me being a laughing-stock. My version  of the story still goes  ‘ I struggled bravely and came out like a fighter “. And it is NOT funny. Ignorant people .huh. :p :p

Coming back to normal life or should I say coming back to life  we decided to explore some more of the town. Pattaya is world famous for its cabarets.Shows like Tifanny’s and Alcazar introduce you to the famous ‘lady-boys’ who look so feminine and so eternally beautiful that even the best looking women would envy them for their looks and for the grace and elegance they present themselves with. You wont feel even for a second that they are actually men. The shows are truly mesmerizing and the actors just superb .  They were earning their living by displaying the immense talent that they have.

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. What tops my ‘unforgettables’ list is the Thai massage. Truly Ultimate and out of the world experience. The relief and relaxation it gives you at the end of a long tiring day is incomparable . At the end of the massage session they literally have to shake you out of the slumber you slip into during the relaxing massage. Miss it like anything. I would love to visit the “Sin city” again for its happy mood,warmth, fun as it somehow instills these qualities in you too. They are contagious.

Our next destination was Bangkok. Just another Big city, no different from a normal metro city. First thing I noticed about the place was the network of electricity wires. In hundreds n hundreds all tangled and unconcealed hanging loose outside the shops and houses. I still believe the electricity/telephone department people there must be  some kind of super heroes to carry out repairs through that labyrinth.

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So that was the first impression of the city which lasts till now.  Bangkok being the capital city was way too crowded and fast moving than Pattaya. Life was different here. We could see regular working class people, people with families which we dint see in pattaya. Bangkok too stays awake and alive till late night but the nightlife was not the same here. You would see the ‘ladies of the night’ here too but they were not a majority as in Pattaya.Or they might be in majority in certain areas that we might have missed visiting . It was the Christmas time so the town was abuzz with excitement. full of shopping complexes, malls and small shopping stalls ,the place caters to all your shopping needs and has a lot of other activities to offer. You just need time, a lot of it to explore the place. We had a limited time but as on our every trip we utilized every second of it .

They say you cant touch the soul and pulse of a place unless you travel in their local transport. We traveled a lot on the sky train and the boats. The city has an excellent network of transport both land and sea. Due to the infamous traffic snarl ups in Bangkok people usually prefer to travel by sky train or boats which are so well connected with every important place of the city. Two days of stay there was fun. We visited various temples, malls, animal safaris and many small n big markets for lots n lots of shopping. As far as the shopping part goes, as always I literally had to drag G to the clothes showrooms while he longingly looked at some electronic stuffs counter or stared at random people with a bored look. He would grudgingly walk in. Similarly  he had to shake me every time I zoned out and froze outside the bags and jewellery showrooms.  A usual scene whenever we go out shopping. But somehow we managed to pick some great stuff and see some wonderful places. 🙂

Still a lot was missed out . You can’t explore all in such a short span . But we saw the best of it. Talking of the food we missed out the local food intentionally. Sea-food was not our cup of tea. I never relished it and after a really bad experience with the same in Malaysia we decided not to experiment this time. You could easily get Indian stuff there and moreover Mc d and Kfc never desert you. They always come to your rescue in strange lands. But we truly relished the local fruits especially guavas and mangoes. Might have eaten tons of those in these four days.So tempting and delicious.

The hotel we stayed in was owned by an Indian family from Delhi who were settled there for almost 30 years now. To my question on how they manage staying there in a strange country with strange people who dont even speak their language and not even English, the lady replied ,”I spent half of my life here.Its “home” now.”.True,you are no longer bound by borders and boundaries. It’s natural to develop a bond with a place you gave half your life to. In contrast to this we met a young man , an Indian who was an employee at the same hotel. Throughout our stay I found him feeling lonely sad and out-of-place. He would quietly serve the order and leave.Never heard him say even a word or even smile. I couldnt resist asking him the reason . He told me he came about two years ago in search of a better future in this country but could never adjust. He was longing to go back to India and in his words ” once I get a chance to go to India I’ll never return back”. Home is home after al. This place can never be home for me.  Here’s one person who has made a strange country her home for years and is very happy and another one who always did and always will find himself a stranger there . Life’s strange ! Same human beings but so different. A matter of adjustments , emotional equations or just a different way to look at things ? Still wondering how to sum it up.

So a lot to ponder .Those four days have been full of insights , revelations and lot of  surprises . They say such things and people cross our path for a reason . There was some learning to do and a whole lot of fun.

I learnt we must enjoy life despite the odds . Well its YOLO so make the best of it .

I learnt  “Lets not judge”

Do not wait  as time and tide wait for none . Well can’t say of time but thank God the ” tides” spared me, well literally. 😉

Last but not the least through our endless fights, tiffs and arguments  I learnt that you can never change men .They will always be annoying and they actually get better at it with time…  G so diligently proved it throughout the trip. 😉 😉 😛

But life is beautiful anyways.. These chaos and quarrels only spice up the life ..

So Keep living , keep loving, smile a lot , frown a little , fight a bit, get mad , get crazy , be weird but don’t let the fun die. Celebrate life, every moment of it.

Language of hearts..

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For ages our hearts
This love did bind.

But what all I wanted,
what all I craved for
I could never tell
you could never find

Thousand of words
keep crossing through my mind
Not a single of which
I can mold into a word

Cant you feel these emotions untold and Unheard ??

The longing

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That writing on the grave removed the shroud from her memories…

Every moment came  alive and flashed through her mind as if it was just yesterday………………………………………………………………….

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That was the day when she first saw him…………..

A beautiful day was just over. The sun was going down, after spreading colors in the horizon, paving way for the night when the world of her dreams would come alive, that will turn into hopes when the next morning steps in…

There was something special about that day. she felt her heart beating faster . Something she felt….. something different was there…she knew something is going to happen that day……

And it did…..

The setting sun blessed her life with hues that day. the day she always longed for, had dawned. Her prince charming swayed into her life. He was charm personified, and had the looks to die for

That day she felt her prayers have been answered. He was the one she always dreamed of spending the rest of her life with. luck had smiled at her. She glowed with happiness. glow on her face, glint in eyes and smile on her lips.. That’s what dreams are made of.. and she too was busy weaving the strings of one…

Her life was going to change. This day was going to add a new chapter to her life. Winds of change had taken over

It was a river of hopes. She just flowed into and kept moving with it.. on and on…..  Unaware of the rocks that lay  hidden in that river. The rocks against which the fragile dreams crash and die…

And those rocks were going to strike her any moment now…

Days turned to  months and hearts got fonder.Another beautiful morning was born. She was happy that day. He wished to meet her. Holding on to her racing hear she waited for sunset, for the evening, which was going to be a part of the many special evenings they spent together, when they loved and rejoiced like there is no tomorrow….

It was the same place where their love blossomed…

That huge mahogany tree stood a witness to their love… to her wait and his promises.

He held her hand but she did not feel the warmth. his hands were cold

.His eyes glowed and dimmed in a flash. It was not the same glow that he always had when he saw her . Something was missing.. What was it..?

She stood there with an apprehension for the unknown, unseen, uncertain.. which dimmed out the glow from her eyes too

“I will long for your hand my dear” ,he said with a faint smile. “I hope I will hold it in mine one day.. and our hands would be locked together, forever…wait for me. Next spring we will be together….”

Something within her broke.. was he going away from her?

She couldn’t speak a word , just stared at him with blank eyes. He  was not going alone ,he was carrying away with him a part of her life.. and   perhaps her future too..

He kissed her goodbye and rode into darkness which took him miles and miles away from her.. to a distant land. Giving her the gift of wait that she had to cherish till he was back.

For long her eyes kept staring at the trail and the cloud of dust left behind,  knowing not whats gonna happen next..

But that cloud failed to dim her hopes. She knew she would feel that touch ,that warmth that magic again. She was waiting to be enchanted once again….

She knew he will be back……………………………..

Then the wait started and her agony too. Days turned into years, winters to summers,  autumn to spring, ,but nothing changed for her

She remembered his parting words time and again..  “I’ will be back”, the magic in these words made her come alive once again.. alive to start another day of endless wait.. “I will.. be back”…she gave her whole life to this one promise.. She kept waiting for another evening, another spring that will bring him back to her.

But that spring never came.. She was not destined to see the spring. .Autumn in her life had come to stay…forever and ever..

Another day, another pain.. The morning sun brought with it many chapters of life but a new page never unfolded

Time…”.The healer ”,as they say, kept passing, but it healed no wound, alleviated no pain.. Each breath she took deepened that pain more and more .His words which were once like music to her ears had now turned coarse. They still rang in her ears but their sweetness was lost . His words, his promises, his memories cut her through so deep……………………

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It was a warm morning. She woke up to another day of  hopes and wait

She heard people talking in hushed tones

A  word was spread that he was coming back.

Was he? back to her? Back to  her   world?

She was ecstatic….

Will the years of sorrow, agony, pain and loneliness be rewarded? Was he back?

Yes, he was…….at last………Back to her, with her, for her……….

He kept his promise…

Amid crowds and crowds…she tried to catch a glimpse of him, dying to see that charm which once kindled the fame of love in her heart years ago..

There he was,  ,right in front of her. But this time he failed to ignite that love.

Rather her whole world came crashing down on her.

He was there … but sealed up in a box….

His love ,his promises all sealed up inside that box of wood.. and so was her future..

Perhaps this was the reward for her years of longing and pain

God, they say He cares…perhaps he did but she failed to understand this form of care…..and could not dare to question Him either..

She turned back dragging herself somehow. Back to  her “life” again..if it could be called life. But she was back,  carrying the burden of that wait once again in her eyes ,with questions unanswered. At least she deserved a last goodbye…

That last goodbye was her debt on him.

She was left to carry that agony with her till. she lived

Lived?…..or covered the distance in this journey of life day by day, bit by bit, waiting   for the time that would put an end to this journey one day…and to this agonizing pain too. Another wait had started for her…

Days kept passing. After three months one day  she gathered up courage to meet him at his grave. She wanted to feel the peace that he lay in, after storming up her life, and ask him why he did this to her..

With hands shivering, she put a white rose there, and her eyes stopped on the epitaph. which  read.., “I die longing for your hand”

Every emotion stormed up inside her.. she was happy, sad, relieved? no words could define that emotion..

“He did not betray me”…Tears rolled down her eyes which eased out her pain a bit..

The meaning of those words on the grave ,no one could get but her

These words, that one sentence fetched a respect for her years of  suffering ,and for her tearful journey . It answered all her questions,

Did it ?Did it really answer all her questions? Was it the real answer? The one she longed all her life to find??

Did it answer the questioning eyes of people that she faced for years.. which made her lower hers as if she had committed a sin.She had been living with this sin all her life. The tears washed away a lot out of her life but they could not wash away this sin . She felt a fulfillment but she was not complete. A void was still there. The void left by that sin.

She sought redemption…

She decided to visit that land that strangled her dreams. She wanted to know what exactly happen  there, why he never came back alive.

There was much more that was lost in that faraway land. Her world , her dreams, her hopes, her youth, her future, her whole life. That land owed her it all. And it must return it back to  her……..

Another warm autumn day was about to be over.With the setting sun,she set her feet on that land…with hopes and fears in her heart.. not knowing which one would emerge stronger

Which one of these would she hold on to. Which one would win? Her hopes or her fears ?

But she was there ,trying to collect bits and pieces of her dreams in that distant land

Will this land return back to her all  that she lost here?

Will the setting sun start another chapter as it did years ago?

She was yet to see it…………

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The longing..II (redemption)

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With a mind full of thoughts..she dragged herself slowly towards a small park..

Sitting on a bench she re-lived her life with him all over again..in her thoughts. Day turned to dusk, lost in her thoughts, standing on the side of a narrow country road suddenly she realized where she was. Her thoughts turned back to the present and questioned her  “What next” ? Where next from here?? Where would she go next… She had no answer to it..

“May I help you cross the road lady”, a deep husky voice rang into her ears, and before she could utter a word she was on the other side of the road with the stranger holding her hand firmly. All she could do till now was stare at him. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. He was a young man of about 20-22, tall handsome..and that familiarity, resemblance..stirred up her thoughts again. It was him. But how could it be him. Wasn’t he..? Why is God doing this to me.Why cant I let those clutches of memories off me. Soon she shifted her mind from emotions to logic., gathered up her senses and muttered, “Thank you..”.. “My pleasure” , he said softly with a smile.. “But do you mind me asking what brings you here? Never seen you in this town before”  “Ah..a relative”..after a pause  she spoke up engrossed in thoughts.. “ I Have come to visit some distant relatives..Thanks..May God bless u”..He gave her a smile and took her leave. She stood there watching him going away and melting into the dusk………

She spent that night at the house of an elderly lady whose reference she had from an old friend before she started from home. Next morning  she went to visit the local church. After the prayers she came and sat outside in the yard thinking of the last night’s chance meeting with that stranger and also about where and how to go about her search for which she was here.Then suddenly she caught the glimpse of that young man again. Fixing her gaze in that direction she tried to recognize him and by that time saw him moving towards her smiling as always..and before she could gather up her strayed thoughts he was right in front of her.. “Greeting ma’am”..he spoke up  softly. “ Here we are again. Life is a string of co-incidences. Isnt it? Plan to move around the town today? It’s a beautiful place with interesting places to visit and yes, even nicer people”..he said jokingly..I am sure you would have a great stay here”… “Oh yes”,she  said .. “Nice place..it is”..,with a faint smile, but this time this smile reflected in her eyes..

Days went on and she went on to see that young man more often.These meetings made her know that his name was Mark. He worked at the mines there, and was in love with a village girl, Martha. Their love was facing hurdles as Mark was a poor man,and with his petty job he could never afford a house to live in for him n Martha. So they never knew if they ll ever get married or not.But still they were happy together spending each day as if there’s no tomorrow.She saw their love blossom..which was so close to her own..Mark and Martha were just like them in their prime..bubbly,vivacious, fun-loving and so deeply in love..their love for each other made her forget her pain… and also her purpose for a moment..

Days went on..then one day she met Mark and spoke of her purpose .She told him who she came here looking for..

Mark dint seemed much surprised and with an ambiguous smile he said.. “So you are here at last??”.. She couldn’t understand what he meant.. “Yes..but….”   “Don’t be surprised ma’am”, he interrupted..”not only me but the whole town knows it.come with me…..”

He took her to an old house..it was a huge house almost like a mansion,in the outskirts of town..it seemed as if the house was locked from long. Still strangely everything though covered in dust, was in order. Making his way through the things he opened a big wooden box. Heres the treasure he left you. With eyes filled with amazement she stooped down to have a look..The box was full of letters..a lot of them may be in thousands…addressed to her. “That day he was finally going back to meet his people, to meet you and bring you here..to this house”,he continued, “but destiny had something else in store. The train crashed and so did his dreams.Thats what fate is”, he sighed, “But we all knew you will come here looking for him as that’s what his last words were. The house is more of a monument for people around”.

“So he too waited for me the way I did” ,She murmured and sighed at the cruelty of fate. Tears flowed down her face. She cried and cried. She wanted to cry every tear out as  it had to be the last time she shed tears for him.. She will no longer betray his memories by crying. He deserved something more than her tears and her sighs. He deserved respect and love,which dwelled only in her smiles as he always loved to see her smile..

She smiled, Smiled at the irony of life.

She had already seen the worst, nothing could sadden her now.Nothing more, nothing next.She felt something beyond the worldly things.

Perhaps That’s what we need. Just one moment,one right moment  to purge, unburden and purify the mind and soul, which marks an end to a lifelong of sufferings.What else could she ask for. What was more important than his undying love for her ,it was something beyond life and death, she was happy..happy that she got true love which people crave for all their life. And today she found out what she came here looking for..She felt relieved and smiled. Couldn’t understand why but she was liking this.She was liking being happy..Oh how much she missed it.This smile, this feeling..

She always thought that years of suffering had hardened her..but no she was still that little girl at heart who cried at the drop of a hat. But this girl was learning to smile now and her same memories gave her strength to carry that enchanting smile of hers which once was like a burden to her.

Her next day started with a new spark.the morning sun was different today..instead of the gloom it brought with it for years and years,today it carried rays of relief  and happiness. Mark and Martha  were her first thought of the day.She thought of their innocent love.They showed up outside her house in the morning. With a heavy heart and tears they bid her goodbye. But she shed no tears. All she had anymore now was her smile. “Here’s my parting gift to you both”..she extended an envelope towards them, “I am handing over the abode of my memories to you.Get married and start your life together in this beautiful house”  .With all her heart she blessed and wished them a life full of love and happiness.She gave her all to them. Her dreams, her hopes, her smiles her  emotions and saw her whole world shining in their gleaming eyes. She had gifted them a lifetime of togetherness which she could never get for herself.. and got her world back in return. Their tears of indebtedness and grateful smiles……answered all her questions…was it anything less than redemption..??