For it was not into my ear you whispered 
but into my heart, 
it was not my lips you kissed, 
but my soul...
I know that when you look at me
There's so much that you just don't see
But if you would only take the time
I know in my heart you'd find
A girl who's scared sometimes
Who isn't always strong
Can't you see the hurt in me?
I feel so all alone

I wanna run to you
I wanna run to you
Won't you hold me in your arms
And keep me safe from harm
I wanna run to you
But if I come to you
Tell me, will you stay or will you run away

Each day, each day I play the role
Of someone always in control
But at night I come home and turn the key
There's nobody there, no one cares for me
What's the sense of trying hard to find your dreams
Without someone to share it with
Tell me what does it mean?
"Change is the only constant thing in this world"

I see change everywhere, 
Within me, Around me, Outside me.
Everybody is changing, 
Everything is changing,
Values of relationship are not the same, 
Meaning of friendship has changed too,
What we meant to each other earlier,
Doesn't hold true now,

Yet, is it that difficult to hold on?
Or is it that preferences "must" change?
Cause' for me, I'd prefer to be where I was
And to be who I was
That's my comfort zone,
Contrary to what life wants, you say?

Well the love, care, smile I share
Makes me special, makes me bold
Must make a choice here
To let go of it or hold on to them
Because values makes me who I am
And if I change them, I'd lose myself

So here I will stand, 
With my values straight and tall,
Will go on in life with my values intact
But will also accept life in all its shape and size! 

Those were a few thoughts coming right off my head as I write this post on change.

I think I'm on a very steep learning curve which is a combination of constantly learning new things and unlearning a few old ones. This transition is tough and in a sense causes a lot of emotional turmoil within me. I see so much change around me. Its like I've suddenly become aware of my surroundings and my brain cells are attracting all the information. Like a rewritable disc, the old information is getting replaced with newer versions. I'm sure things were constantly changing around me, but its just now that I'm really seeing the impact.

I'm shifting to a new house. I'm stressed. I'm anxious. But I know I'm capable of handling a lot more than just the stress of shifting homes.

As they say, everything happens for the better, so this change too, will make me stronger & bolder.

Will log back in from my new house...see ya soon!!!
He was lost and searching for a path
And one fine day she came around
He was inspired and drew courage and strength from her
To face the world and fight the battles

Together they went in search of success
She told him what was right and what was wrong
She showed him the future which she saw
She taught him all that she knew

Then he saw the first light of success
And then many more followed soon
He shot to fame and saw money and glamour
He met people and made new friends
He saw a new path which she couldn’t
Because she was still seeing the old path that they followed

The new path seemed enticing
Because that is where he saw his future
And thought he had achieved what he had set out for
He thought he was destined to be amongst the glitz and the glamour

The old path became less important
Because it was boring and not exciting anymore
Now he didn’t want the old path
He probably didn’t want that path ever
But he compromised to reach where he is today

She felt she gave it her all
But he thought he was suffocating all this while
She said her intention was his success
He said she was opinionated

He left one day
Taking the knowledge, strength, and courage she gave him
He lost his focus in the glamour world
She gave up after several tries

Now they are on their chosen paths
She is happy where she is
She knows what her real ground is
For she always did the right thing
So there is nothing for her to fear
Because with knowledge, strength and courage with her
She can build an empire at her wish
I saw this in Kiran's blog and thought its a cool idea to pass this on.

I'll try to summarize about me in this post..though I know this post is not enough :)

ABC's of Jayashree:

A. Age: I’ll be 34 on May 3rd! Man...the number is very distressful...

B. Bed size: How does that matter?

C. Chore you dislike: Clearing the table after a meal..I mean it just spoils the whole fun of the yummy meal..

D. Dogs: Nope and will never keep one. Too much maintainence.

E. Essential start to your day: A good hot cup of ginger tea.

F. Favorite color: Black & White.

G. Gold or silver: Silver. I love it! Not very fond of gold, Indian's over do it.

H. Height: 5′ 6″

I. Instruments you play(ed): None. I only sang, there were others to play the instruments :D

J. Job title: Professionally - Quality Consultant & Entrepreneur. Personally - Full time mother, housewife, blogger, and an upcoming photographer.

K. Kids: Only one - son 6 yrs old.

L. Live: Brought up in Kolkatta, native of Nagpur, lived in Delhi & Hyderabad and now living in Bangalore.

M. Mom’s name: Amma

N. Nicknames: Wow..I have so many...Swati, Jay, Jaya, Shree, and Mummy :D

O. Overnight hospital stays: Last time was when I had a severe attack of a slipped disc..was in the hospital for 1 week.

P. Pet peeves: I do not accept lies. I don't really agree to the concept of hiding information from people who are very close to me.

Q. Quote from a movie: "Mere Karan Arjun aayenge"....hahaha!

R. Righty or lefty: Righty!

S. Siblings: Jayram

T. Time you wake up: Every weekday 6.30 am, slightly late during weekends.

U. Underwear: What about them?

V. Vegetables you don’t like: None actually..I'm not a fussy eater.

W. What makes you run late: Trying to do as many things as possible in the little time that I have.

X. X-rays you’ve had: Spine.

Y. Yummy food you make: Everything...I'm a good cook!

Z. Zoo animal favorites: None, not very fond of animals, but I admire elephants!

Thats a sneek peek into myself. Feel free to share your ABC's as well...
Have you ever looked back at your life and seen who are the people you are in touch with? Do you realize that there some people with whom you are still in touch, irrespective of where you are and how busy your life is. These people could be friends, colleagues, pen-friends, acquaintances, neighbors, walking friends, gym friends, anybody...but somehow you have always been in touch with each other. And then there are some people who at some point in your life were very significant, like your best friend, and for whatever reason, today you are not in touch. Have you ever wondered why? A relationship which, at one point, was very important to you, is now so insignificant. Isn't this strange? How does this happen? Why does it happen?

Imagine, if you were in touch with all those people you've met in your life, how would life be? How would it be if you were to wish every single person on their birthday, anniversary, etc. Send your new number to every single person, or imagine this, if every single person were to wish you on your birthday! Very hectic and stressful, I'm sure!

As I think more on this, I believe, this is the law of nature. Like every season comes and goes, so do people come and go in your life. Like the trees shed their leaves with the changing seasons, same way people change their preferences. Situations change people. You are no longer the person you once upon a time used to be. And this may lead you to let go of certain people or relationships because you are unable to keep up with them. Its a conscious decision sometimes, and sometimes unknowingly.

But what you are left with at the end are a handful people who remain in your life. Why are these people still in your life? Are they now your best friends with whom you share every little detail of your life? Maybe not. But still, somehow you are concerned to know how they are and still make that effort to dig out their contacts to keep in touch. Why? Why are they not-so-important, yet so important to you?

Maybe thats the way life is. You probably only remember those who made an impact in your life, from whom you've learnt something significant, in whom you've found the most comfort, or probably you bonded at some level. The moments spent with that person and the memories of those days are something that we all get attached to and always want to cherish. Hence we keep going back to those memories because they give us comfort and strength to move ahead in life. Every time you take a step forward, you want to be reassured that you have someone to fall back. And hence you look back once in a while.

Its a dual effort though. Its equally important how the other person feels about you. And sometimes, when there is a mis-match, either you get eliminated from their lives, or they get eliminated from yours. And what remains, is a handful of people who have made a difference.

People who are really meant to be in your life, will remain, come what may. Rest will automatically get flushed out!!!

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that's alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that's alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie, I love the way you lie

I can't tell you what it really is

I can only tell you what it feels like

And right now there's a steel knife

In my windpipe I can't breathe

But I still fight while I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right
It's like I'm in flight high of a love
Drunk from the hate, It's like I'm huffing paint
And I love it the more that I suffer, I suffocate

And right before I'm about to drown

She resuscitates me, she fucking hates me, and I love it 
Wait, Where you going, I'm leaving you

No you ain't, Come back

We're running right back

Here we go again, It's so insane

Cause when it's going good, it's going great I'm Superman with the wind in his bag 
She's Lois Lane
But when it's bad, It's awful I feel so ashamed I snap
Who's that dude, I don't even know his name
I laid hands on her, I'll never stoop so low again
I guess I don't know my own strength

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn

But that's alright because I like the way it hurts

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry

But that's alright because I love the way you lie

I love the way you
lie, I love the way you lie

You ever love somebody so much you can barely breathe when you're with them

You meet, and neither one of you even know what hit 'em

Got that warm fuzzy feeling, yeah them chills, used to get 'em

Now you're getting fucking sick of looking at 'em

You swore you've never hit 'em, never do nothing to hurt 'em
Now you're in each other's face spewing venom and these words
When you spit 'em, you push, pull each other's hair
Scratch, claw, bit 'em, throw 'em down, pin 'em
So lost in the moments, when you're in 'em
It's the rage that took over, it controls you both
So they say it's best to go your separate ways
Guess that they don't know ya, cause today
That was yesterday, yesterday is over, it's a different day
Sound like broken records, playin' over
But you promised her, next time you'll show restraint
You don't get another chance life is no Nintendo game
But you lied again now you get to watch her leave
Out the window
Guess that's why they call it window pane

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn

But that's alright because I like the way it hurts

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry

But that's alright because I love the way you lie

I love the way you lie, I love the way you lie

Now I know we said things, did things, that we didn't mean

And we fall back, into the same patterns, same routine

But your temper's just as bad, as mine is

You're the same as me, but when it comes to love
You're just as blinded
Baby please come back, it wasn't you, baby it was me 
Maybe our relationship isn't as crazy as it seems
Maybe that's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano
All I know is I love you too much to walk away though
Come inside pick up your bags off the sidewalk
Don't you hear sincerity in my voice when I talk
Told you this is my fault look me in the eyeball
Next time I'm pissed I'll aim my fist at the dry wall
Next time, there will be no next time
I apologize, even though I know it's lies
I'm tired of the games, I just want her back
I know I'm a liar, if she ever tries to fucking leave again
I'm gonna tie her to the bed and set the house on fire

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn

But that's alright because I like the way it hurts

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry

But that's alright because I love the way you lie

I love the way you lie, I love the way you lie

The willingness to listen,

The patience to understand,

The strength to support,

The heart, full of love to care and just to be there,

That's the beauty of a true WOMAN!

Be the strength that you have always been, 

Be the change that you have always been, 

Be the rock that you've always been, 

Be the growth that you've alway been, 

It shouldn't take a special day like today to wish a WOMEN, 

As women need to be celebrated everyday!

More power to you, you lovely ladies!!!
The Bhagavad Gita talks of the capacity we have to take joy and loss equally. But we find happiness only in one, not the other. Profit, victory, success are pleasure. Loss is not. Loss is deprivation. It is to be looked down on; to be avoided at all costs. It is a sign of failure. It is considered a tragedy. A sportsman losing his gold or a lover losing his beloved is used with great dramatic and emotional effect. Yet there is a satisfaction which can be experienced in loss. Melancholy is not altogether negative. It can be dignified and can demonstrate character. Wordsworth calls it ‘majestic pain’, such that the immortals feel...

You might wonder, how can one experience satisfaction in loss? It seems counter-intuitive to think that in loss there can be peace. But there can be peace in loss. Because in that situation there exists something other than the result: it is the action. Deep satisfaction can arise from having done the best one could possibly do.

Swami Parthasarathy talks of the joy of action well-accomplished. To strive, to struggle, and to not succeed must be your motto, he says. This seems a bit strange. What use is struggle if it doesn’t result in success? Results are not under our control. Just because you did your best doesn’t mean you get the reward. There is no such law. If this is so, why would one work? Because, even though results are
never guaranteed, satisfaction can be! You can be entirely content by doing your action perfectly. The pain of loss will be offset with the bliss of satisfaction with oneself. If you have left no stone unturned, done all you could possibly do and yet failed, there is still a great feeling of satisfaction within. The action itself brings satisfaction. There lies the importance of dedication in work. That you worked hard and gave what you could makes you strong enough to bear the loss, if any. The peace continues despite the loss. The pain will not be accompanied by sleepless nights. Sorrow will not give rise to agitation. That much can be guaranteed in a world of very few guarantees.

Satisfaction in loss can be experienced in yet another way. When one knows, finally, that nothing can be done, craving ends and you experience peace. The result has come in, the suspense is at an end and nothing remains to be done. You have done what you could. The mind is at rest.
This of course is not to be misconstrued as the martyrdom of self-pity usually demanding others’ pity too! It is not about wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve and using one’s misfortunes as a talking point, or enjoying one’s pain. It is not a game to be played to avoid effort. It is not complacency with the less-thanperfect. It is simply finding happiness which is within our control instead of depending on factors over which we have no control. It is a peace that comes, spontaneously, out of a job well done.

There is tremendous power in action. “May you live a hundred years working,” says the Isavasya Upanishad. Action brings about satisfaction, prosperity and purifies the personality. Then losses and gains become insignificant. And happiness becomes consistent. That’s why it is said that to be a loser’ is not all that terrible – in fact it could do you good.

Janaki Santoke

This appeared in The Speaking Tree in TOI
This is the month of Love. Most of my fellow bloggers have written a couple of posts on "Love". My post called What is love? earlier this month, talked about Love in general. I didn't touch upon too much on the details of love. A fellow blogger with whom I share an uncanny resemblance in terms of thought talks a lot about the entire emotion of love in depth in her blog through stories and poems. Yet another fellow blogger blogged about true love in her recent post.

I have never really been able to say what love is really. I know its a beautiful experience and a very strong emotion. I am probably at a stage in life where I cannot really pin-point and say this is love. All through the years I've seen and heard many stories revolving around love. Many people have done many good and bad things when in love. Well it cannot be justified who is right or wrong but as they say all's fair in love and war! One question I often ask myself is does true love really exist? My attempt in this post is to bring together a couple of incidents of how love has changed people in many ways. And these form the basis of my take on Love.

Their's was a love marriage. He was a successful top notch guy in a big firm. She quit her high flying career as an air hostess to give birth to their two beautiful children. Slowly motherhood started taking a priority and she gave it her all to be a good mother, wife, daughter-in-law, daughter, & sister. In the interim, he found solace in a new secretary who joined him. How it happened, why it happened, are questions I will try to answer some other time, however, now the reality was, he was all for this "new woman". The new woman claimed she loved him, he claimed he loved her. Maybe true, maybe she used him just as a stepping stone for her success in life. The wife in the meanwhile after confirming her doubts
confronted her husband. He said, she lacked the "punch" and the "perspective" the "new woman" had. The wife now went on a journey of self doubt, anger, frustration, guilt, devastation. She cried a lot and then decided to transform herself. She now took out some time for herself and groomed herself better. She found herself a good job which brought back her confidence. She joined a gym and lost oodles of weight. Today, she has a 6 digit salary, designer clothes, and an anorexic body. He claims he loves her now. Is this true love? Was the man right, leaving her for another woman because she didn't carry the right attitude to stand next to him? Or was she right, when she decided to transform herself for a man who gave in to another carrot?

She was just out of college and this was her first job. As all girls of her age, she developed a crush on her boss. He was charming, young, dashing, drew a good salary, and he noticed her! She did her work diligently so that she could earn a brownie point from him. He made sure he gave her more work so as to make her come back to him again and again. They fell in love eventually. Things were great for a few months, until one day they got caught by his wife. He was in a fix. He loved the girl and he couldn't leave his wife. He told her that he would get divorced and get married to her but he needed some time. Over the next few months, things started to look different. He was spending less time with her and more time with the family. She understood, thinking that after the divorce he would not be able to spend quality time with the children. She went with the flow only to realize much later that he went back to his wife. She felt cheated and devastated. Wasn't it selfish on his part to leave his wife and go for her in the first place? Or wasn't it selfish on her part to continue the relationship even when she knew he was married?

Another married girl fell in love with a married man. They both were madly and passionately in love with each other. They both prioritized the current relationship as the most important thing for them. Slowly time came to chose between family & kids and the existing relationship. The girl chose to give up everything she built over the years for this one person. The man was in dilemma and decided to take some time to take the decision. He didn't want to rock the boat. To him it was about maintaining the balance of both the boats. She didn't agree. She said if she can make him the priority, why can't he? But he wanted the best of both the worlds. They contemplated on the decision for many months and finally gave up on their relationship. Was she a fool to leave her family for him? Wasn't he too self obsessed or too selfish to demand the best of everything?

This brings me back to my question, does true love really exist? In all the above cases, all the characters were in love. They wanted to move to the next level, however, for some reason, they couldn't. Lets just dwell upon this thought for a little while. In the true sense, everybody was willing to give up the love for something else thinking that the new life would be greener for them. So you see, its about themselves. WIIFM (What's In It For Me)! The moment, I get something better, I'd conveniently move there. Now this looks greener and the other side of the fence looks like a dessert. Its a matter of convenience really. As human beings, our survival instincts tells us to do what is the best for us at any situation, even if we have to lose someone in the bargain. Here I would safely call all of us extremely selfish.

But I thought love was selfless? Wasn't it about giving your all, heart and soul? Wasn't it about going that extra mile in the relationship? Prioritizing that one person, even if it means you have to let go of a Mr or Miss Universe?

In the true love that you shower, there is selfishness because in your giving, lies your taking!!!
Love Her...when she sips on your coffee or drink. She only wants to make sure it tastes just right for U

Love Her...when she is jealous. Out of all the men she can have, she chose U

Love Her...when she has annoying little habits that drives you nuts. U have them too

Love Her...when her cooking is bad. She tries for U

Love Her...when she makes you watch corny love dramas while the sport is on. She wants to share these moments with U

Love Her...when she spends hours to get ready. She only wants to look her best for U

Love Her...when she buys you gifts you don't like. She puts in all her savings for U

Love Her...when often her eyes water suddenly. She actually had a thought of loosing U

Take time to make her feel special in every way you can and even if you don't, SHE'LL LOVE YOU ANYWAY, because its never been about her, its always all about U!!!

This came as a text message from a dear cousin.
Someone has written these beautiful words. Must read and try to understand the deep meaning of it. They are like the ten commandments to follow in life all the time.

1] Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a "steering wheel" that directs the right path throughout.

2] So a Car's WINDSHIELD is so large & the Rear view Mirror is so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, Look Ahead and Move on.

3] Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.

4] All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don't worry, they can't last long either.

5] Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don't forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!

6] Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, "Relax, sweetheart, it's just a bend, not the end!

7] When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn't solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.

8] A blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your vision!"

9] When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

10] WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes away today's PEACE.
She opened her eyes and saw Ma standing near the door talking to a few people. There was a lot of crowd. She saw some familiar faces, and some unfamiliar ones. She started feeling a kind of ecstasy inside her. She knew she had just 12 minutes with her. Her brain was going through a sudden transformation inducing memory flashes. She felt like she was in a dreamland reliving old memories.
It was my 12th birthday that day. I wore the red polka dotted dress that mom bought for me. I got ready, waiting for my friends to turn up for the party. The dining table was set and my father was going to bring the cake on his way back home. It was 6.30 pm and my friends started coming in. All looking pretty and colorful. Mom had planned for some games and everybody got involved and lost count of time. It was 8.30 pm and dad still didn't turn up. Mom kept on trying on his cellphone, but there was no response. The door bell rang, and mom rushed to open the door. I was shocked to see the police, and a little later I heard mom screaming and crying aloud. I couldn't understand why, but later realized that Baba met with a tragic road accident and died on the spot. I stood there clueless.
Her fathers face stood in front of her eyes. She cried and said, "I miss you Baba". Her eyes were closing. She felt drained out. She looked around the room and saw Piu standing in the corner and crying. With her hands she asked Piu to come sit next to her. She looked at Piu and smiled, hiding her pain.
Piu and me have been friends for 20 years. Time just flies. I remember the first day in KG-I, I sat next to Piu and ever since, we've always been together in times of highs and lows. She is such a strong girl, slightly plump, but very pretty. Her curly hair is her best feature, don't know why she wants to straighten them. She handled her breakup with Arindam so well. I'm proud to have friend like her.
Her head was hurting. She closed
her eyes for a moment.
Ma, will be not be able to bear all this. I was the only one that she lived for. Ma has been my inspiration all through my growing years. How will she manage everything? No she will, she is so strong. I wish I could become like her one day. I'll miss mom's food though, she is a wonderful cook. She has so much patience and eye for detail for everything.
She saw her mother's beautiful face and tears rolled down her eyes. She wanted to capture her face in her heart forever.

I should not have gone to the bank today. I had no clue what was in store for me. All I wanted to do was withdraw some money. I don't know from where that guy came. I thought he just wanted my money, but he was actually running away from the police. He caught me by the neck and pointed a sharp knife on my throat. He said he won't harm me if I cooperated with him. I did. I told the police to let him go. They didn't listen. They started coming towards us. I told the guy, to run away. He said he won't because the police will shoot him. I begged the police to let him go, they didn't listen. They said they would make sure nothing happened to me. I thought they really would. But the guy slit my throat. I didn't realize what happened until I saw a stream of blood flowing down my dress. I collapsed. I don't know what happened after that.
She lay on the bed with her body tilted to the left. She started feeling a sudden loss of sensation in her body. She felt like she was slowly falling into a black hole. Ma was sitting next to her. "How you feeling Shompa?". Shompa just nodded her head with a brave smile.

She gazed at her mother. A part of her wanted to get up and hug her. She tried too, but she felt very weak. She wanted to say so many things she had never said. She wanted to thank her for all that she had done to bring her up. She took Piu's hand and kept in on her mother's hand and pressed it hard with all her strength. Piu will always be there for Ma.

She felt a little dizzy. Her eyes felt very tired as though she hadn't slept for days. Darkness started surrounding her. She felt like she was leaving her body and moving into a peaceful world. She heard her mother crying and she couldn't bear it.

Her mom's cries became fainter and fainter until all she could hear was silence.

Shompa moved on!
"Can I get you a drink" asked a voice. She turned around to see who it was. It was Him, tall, dark and quite handsome. He was 45+ wearing a grey suit. He had salt and pepper hair, which infact, suited him a lot. A cool watch and nice shoes. "Yes, thanks! Some vodka with lime juice and ice would do just fine" she said.

The National Leadership Institute was conducting a Leadership Development Program once a year. Nominations were invited from top MNCs and Banks. Participants belonged to the senior leadership teams and the objective of the training program was to enhance skills and share industry best practices. The 3-day program always ended with a cocktail party at a 5-star hotel. The party was almost midway. She looked around, some nibbled on starters, some had drinks in their hands. "Here. Would you like some starters", he asked handing over the drink to her. "No, I'm fine. Shall we sit here?", she asked. They both settled down on a table near the wall. The view was great. A beautiful lake in front, and the street lights adorning the road.

The 3-day training program had made them quite comfortable with each other. During the training program, they were put in the same team to present their point of view. They shared the same working table, drew, colored, and discussed points. They chatted for a long time over the drink, finished their dinner and then it was time to leave. They exchanged numbers and said they'll stay in touch.

Back in Chennai the next morning, she had thought the 3-day training would be a nice break from the hectic and monotonous lifestyle she led. However, the training turned out more strenuous with very little sleep. The bed in the hotel was too stiff, she thought
. "Ma, you are back! I'm so happy to see you. I missed you...Muah!" said her 5 year old son. "I missed you too" she said, giving him a tight hug and a big kiss on the forehead.

Life was the same. Office-meetings-home-homework. This was her life for the last 5 years. She was a 35+ single mom, managing finances and responsibilities alone. After her divorce, she didn't want to be a burden on her parents. Though they helped her through her pregnancy, and contributed significantly in bringing up her child, she was very clear that she wanted to be financially independent. Divorce had left her lost and confused about what she wanted in life. She was emotionally turmoiled. She lost confidence in herself and her abilities. She had very few friends and she always avoided getting emotionally involved with anyone. It was her parents and some good friends, who gave her immense strength and saw her through those difficult moments.

The phone beeped aloud "New text message received". She checked her inbox to find a message from him, "I'm in your city, can we meet today at 7 pm?" She quickly gathered her thoughts and replied back "Yes".

One meeting after the other, they came close. She gave in to her resistance for him. She had fallen for him. He too had fallen for her. It was very difficult to come out of her insecurities of a broken marriage, but she dared it. She seemed happy and confident. Everything around seemed fresh and alluring. She was getting dragged into his mesmeric personality. She longed for him. His thoughts gave her hope and a feeling she couldn't really understand. She dreamt of him and a future together. Their conversations moved from text messages to late night phone calls. Deep inside she was scared, will her heart break once more? Something inside her was not willing to go all out and make him hers. Everytime she wanted to break free, the thought of her son stopped her.

One day, he popped the question to her. She was startled. She went numb. She couldn't believe her ears. Really? she thought to herself. They discussed at great length of how they could make things work out especially with her son. It almost felt like a dream. Everything was going her way. The stage was set and the date was fixed.

A week before the wedding, she went to his house where his parents lived. They were warm and friendly and had accepted her with her child. The relatives seemed a little pokey. She ignored their glares and remarks hoping that its just a matter of time. One close relative said aloud, "She is a divorcee, she has a kid, she is a socializer, maybe thats why her husband left her. Maybe she doesn't have the character thats expected from an Indian bride". She was appalled by the statement. She looked at him. He looked away. She went up to him and looked straight into his eyes. He looked away. She understood. He didn't have the guts to stand up for what was right. He was just another man who didn't have the balls to shut up people for his girl. He too gave in to the pressure. He was 45+ and still unmarried, did she question that?

Something within her snapped. Her heart broke. Everything came crashing down. It was all over.

She walked out.
Love is in the air...Its the season of love, and spreading love, and everybody in Bollywood is on a patch-up mode. Koffee with Karan endorses that along with the awards seasons where everyone seems to be hugging and pecking on cheeks. Do they mean it really? Well lets just say Bollywood is making an attempt to put all animosities behind and making some smart moves (read quickly encashing friendships with the No.1's). As for us, we are happy with the juicy stuff we get to hear, read and see. I wish we could all be like that in real life..The other day, my FIL refused to go to some function in a relatives house..reason being that relative didn't turn up when there was a function in our house..I was like why do we get into all these issues? Where is the issue anyways? We don't go to so many functions because of time constraints and if were to go by the best traffic standards Bangalore boasts off, then we would reach a function only if we left 2-3 hours prior to the event! Who has the time to deal with such pressures? Don't we have enough at work already??

Coming back to love..(I did digress from what I wanted to say na :)) what is love really? Do I believe in love? Yes and no. I always believed in the fairy tales, how I wished a man would come in a dark horse and sway me off my feet and take me saat samundar paar..but that can happen only in Bollywood. The "perfect guy" list was made umpteen number of times in my life, only to realize much later, there existed none! Not to disown the fact that some were pretty
close to the list, but again the list was more or less incomplete.

Why do you need love anyways? Why do you need that mushy stuff, the coochi-cooing? I mean all that is really melodramatic, and it takes away from you the reality....remember the incomplete list?

So coming back to what is love? Not that I really know, but I think with the experience I've had in my life I can reasonably summarize. Love is about giving your all to that one person. Prioritizing that one person. Everything revolves around that one person. Taking all decisions keeping that person in mind. Caring for just that one person the most, even if it means neglecting the whole world (you'll pay for it later, remember :)). Basically, setting yourself up for doom!!! Hahahaha.....

Honestly, if you can live with that one person with "peace of mind" and retain a "piece of mind", then its worth it! For all those, who have not had either of the two, do not lose hope, you will find our own Bollywood...mere Karan Arjun aayenge....
Many people believe they need a strong ego to live a successful life and to progress in their spiritual pursuits. This is not true. We cannot be successful in either the external or internal world while we are tossed about by a powerful ego. What success in both realms does require is a strong will.

The difference between ego and will is that the ego is blind but the will has vision. Will has its source in the pure Self. Ego springs from avidya, a false sense of identification with the external world, and is usually concerned with preserving self-image and self-identity. Ego is characterised by stubbornness, selfishness and unwillingness to compromise.

The ego is like a little pool. An egotistical person is like a frog crouching in that pool – his world is small, his borders insecure. He has only a vague awareness of the trees around the pool, and he cannot begin to imagine the frog-filled marshes just beyond. From his perspective, only his own feelings and his own voice are meaningful.

The power of will, by contrast, is like a spring whose source is the Pure Being. It infuses the mind and body with enthusiasm, courage, curiosity and the energy to act. This intrinsic power of the soul is called iccha shakti,and it is from this force that all the various aspects of our personality, including the ego, derive energy to carry out their activities.

Becoming successful in the world requires a strong will, and that strong will needs to be properly guided so we develop a strong
personality rather than a trivial, egotistical one. A strong personality exhibits tolerance and endurance. It has the power to ‘vanquish’ an opponent, but chooses to forgive and forget instead. When egotistical, on the other hand, we demonstrate our weakness by answering a pebble with a cannon. We lose composure the moment our feelings are even slightly bruised. We have a hard time forgetting injuries we have received from others, but an even harder time remembering how much we have injured others.

A strong ego is as much of an obstacle in spiritual practice as it is in worldly matters. The stronger the ego, the bigger the hurdle it will create. However, the solution is not to kill or weaken the ego but to do our best to purify, transform and guide it properly. We can do this by employing both our intelligence and our power of discrimination. In other words, when we meditate, practise contemplation, pray, study the scriptures, serve others and seek the company of the wise we make our ego purer and less confined, and this in turn inspires us to move one step forward. As we do, the purified ego, accompanied by a sharpened intellect, gets a glimpse of the next level of awareness, and naturally aspires to reach it. Thus the ego becomes the tool for purifying and expanding itself, and in this way the petty ego is gradually transformed into an expanded, more purified ego.

Along the way it becomes increasingly apparent that this transformation must end with the ego dissolving and becoming one with the pure Self and experiencing its union with Universal Consciousness. As the ego of a dedicated seeker merges with the Infinite, all confusion disappears, the veil of duality lifts, and the purified ego sees the whole universe in itself and itself in the whole universe.

Pandit Rajmani Tigunait

Interesting article appeared in Times Of India, Speaking Tree.
Between July and December of 2010, I've had a rollercoaster ride with friends. Earlier last year, I fell out with a friend. I dont want to talk about it because there is nothing left to talk.

But here's the interesting part.

Sometime in August I got a call from "M" a school friend of mine. I was shocked. We spoke to after 16 years. He was in Bangalore for a few days and we decided to catch up. We met up in a coffee shop and I reached a little early. But from far, I saw him walking towards me, and nothing had changed! NOTHING! We shook hands and settled down for a nice converstation. We started from where we left. We last saw each other when we passed out our 10th Std exams. I heard him out, he heard me out. Twists, turns, highs, lows, we shared it all. No judgements about who we had become, status, money, fame, knowledge, mattered!!!

In October, during my visit to Nagpur, I got a call from someone. The voice sounded familiar but I couldn't place him. And then he laughed and I laughed and we kept laughing, because that was my friend "G". Oh God! I thought I'd never see him. I left all the work in hand to meet him as we were meeting after 8 long years. And when I saw him, nothing had changed! NOTHING! We spoke, we ate, we laughed, we cried a bit, but we were so happy to see each other. "G" had done very well for himself, but not once did he make me realize that. He was the same old friend, who didn't even have a bicycle in school and we both used to walk back home to give each other company!!!

In December, an old collegue from Amex "R" replied back to the several emails I had written to her earlier. I was so happy. She accused me of having absconded and I accused her the same. We spoke to each other after 6 years. And we picked up the converstation from where we had left and nothing had changed! NOTHING! Something very nice she said which shall always remain with me.."You are one person who I think is definitely worth keeping in touch". That moment, I felt, I had made a difference in her life for her to say something like that. I felt good after a very long time!!!

In late December, "M" passed on my number to "RRD" and she happened to call me while I was at work. In the midst of a very important email I was typing, the lady on the other end said, "Guess, Guess". The voice sounded so familiar and finally I figured
out it was "RRD". A cute little thing that she always was..full of life, enthusiam, positivity, 16 years later, nothing had changed! NOTHING! She spoke about her life, marraige, motherhood and it didnt seem like we were not in touch for 16 years!!!

Friends are such an integral part of our lives. We spend so much time and the attachement is so strong. I thought I had a strong memory, but all these friends remember much more than I do. They all told me of instances where I made a difference to them, which I had forgotten. Point here is, I was important to them and hence, they remember everything about me, the same way that I remember everything about them...

We have all grownup to be different individuals and have acheived at lot in whatever we have done. Yet, in our own way, we have never forgotten what we have done for each other.

Relationships are based on solid foundations of trust, compassion, and humanity. And when these integral bricks are missing, they definetly break down. The broken friendship taught me a lot. I wont blame it on destiny but certainly say there was a divine intervention to tell me that even if one didn't care enough for me, I have many who genuinely do!!!
Tea drinking is an elaborate affair today.

I am ardent coffee drinker and am in love with anything coffee. An ex-colleague suggested we meet up at Cha Bar to catch up on some business initiatives we were trying to put in place. I walked into Leela Galleria and looked for the Cha Bar. Parked in the basement of Leela Galleria, it is seamlessly attached to the Oxford Bookstore hosting itself in a quiet corner. The book store houses a great variety of books and stationery.

The ambience of Cha Bar is contemporary with shades of white, black and silver. The mood is intantly set to pick up your favourite book and settle down in one corner with your favourite tea and something to bite along. They have an elaborate ten page menu (I think, maybe more) of different teas that you can choose from, one page for coffee and a section called Other drinks.

Funnily, I didn't look at the coffee section. I was so amazed at the varities of tea and decided to order Earl Grey Tea.

Something caught my attention
in the adjoining table. The tea ordered by the lady in that table was served quite elaborately. Milk was served in a cow shaped vessel, along with a miniature strainer and a small bowl to keep the strainer!!! Talk about making that perfect cup of tea for yourself!!! Having said that, there are teas that you don't need to prepare yourself, they come in glasses that have a "monkey" as the handle!

The short eats are nice but pricey. However, the tea is far cheaper than Infinitea on Cunningham Road.

If you love to experiment with your tea.. do give Cha Bar a shot!!!

Name: Cha Bar

Location: L1, Leela Galleria, The Leela Palace Kempinski, 23 Airport Road, Bangalore (08025211234)

Speciality: Exotic teas

Cost: >Rs 200 per person.

Verdict: The variety of short eats were limited, service was slow, however, one must definitely try out their wide range of teas. Cha Bar is a host to many book launch sessions and panel discussions which can be quite a pain since the entire cafe is occupied and they don't serve anything that day.
A beautifully written article on how to live life without feeling apologetic about anything and everything that you do or have done in the past. We always end up being too critical about ourselves and keep on monitoring our way of living and behaviour. We try to please people just to earn those extra brownie points with them. We keep looking for approval from others all the it ok if I call you at so and so time??? Is this dress looking good on me?? Why would you want to check if you could call at a particular time? If making that call was important, you would call anyways, won't you??

We are constantly fighting a battle within "what if I'm not accepted by others". We are always trying to fit ourselves into the society and we are ready to make compromises to improve our self worth and self image in front of others. Our check points of whether we are good or bad seems to be lying in how people perceive us.

I believe awareness is the first step to change. You can read the entire article here.
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Beautiful words by Louis Armstrong...
An old school friend and I were catching up and as usual our entrepreneurial instincts were at its peak. He suggested taking up a franchisee of a Bengali sit-down luncheon...6 Ballygunge Place. We were planning this in Nagpur, our hometown. After we got off the phone, I did a little research and found that they were already there in Bangalore. Without wasting much time, I booked a table for the next day!

Having been brought up in Kolkatta, Bengali cuisine is my all time favourite. Food is the soul of Bengali's and they are known for their culinary skills!

Tucked in the first floor, adjoining a Cafe Coffee Day, 6 Ballygunge Place is a very simple down-to-earth place. The tables were full and I could see a LOT of Bengali's under one roof.

Getting down to business, we ordered Mangsher Chop (Mutton Fritters) for starters. For the main course we went for Bhapa Elish (Steamed Hilsa in Mustard Gravy), Begoon Bhaja (Shallow Fried Brinjal), Kosha Mangsho (Semi Dry Mutton) and hot Loochis. Other things available and must try were Morrollla Maacher Bhaja (Batter Fried Fish), Moong Dal with Aam Adaa (Dal with Mango & Ginger). You choose from an array of sweet water fishes, Daab Chingri (Prawns baked inside a tender coconut). Choices of Pathuri (a mustard and coconut flavoured wrapped in banana leaf and grilled). Mocha (Banana Florettes), Elish (Hilsa) Crab and Prawns will be relished by you.

For desserts we went for Mishti Doi... and it was Yummmm!!!

So, if you relish Bengali cuisine or want to try out something different, you know where to head out to!

Name: 6 Ballygunge Place

Location: First Floor, 612, 12th Main, Indiranagar, Bangalore (919342140520/41521390)

Speciality: Bengali food

Cost: >450 Rs

Verdict: The service was extremely slow, which was definitely a put off. But the place is definitely worth trying out!!! for the entrepreneurial stint..well that's under discussion right now!!!
As the year comes to a close, the tradition of making your New Year's Resolutions stares you in the face. It's a time for all of us to look back at who we are and what we have done. It's a time for us to look forward at who we want to be and what we want to do and accomplish in our lives.

A New Year's Resolution is a commitment made by someone trying to change a habit or part of their lifestyle. Usually it is something that is meant to change life for the better or what is perceived as better. With the coming of a new year, it is a symbol of rebirth and a great time to make a positive change to one's life.

The concept of a New Year's Resolution has been around for hundreds of years.

And for hundreds of years many of the annual self-improvement plans are broken. Some resolutions are never really started while others make it a few weeks or months before being dropped to the wayside. Quite often it is the difficulty of change and the comfort and ease of just keeping things the same that causes us to fail at the resolutions we make each year.

Change no matter how good it might be is a hard thing to do. Many of us live with bad habits and bad situations but because it is easier to just keep going we never make the effort for real change.

The New Year and the chance for resolutions and change give us all hope but most of us don't do what is required to make the change.

Achieving your goals and making resolutions that are attainable is not an impossible job. Just follow a few simple rules and you too can be having success making positive change. And don't forget, it doesn't have to be January 1st in order to make a change. Be open to possibilities and let change happen.

Don't dwell on the past or the future, as the wise Kung Fu master once said, "The past is history, the future is a mystery but today is a gift that is why they call it the present!"

One day at a time, one step at a time we can all succeed.

Happy New You...err Year!!!