Jan 28, 2011

The Borrowers

I was a huge fan of a book called The Borrowers as a kid. It’s a Fantasy novel written by Mary Norton. It talks about little people,about an inch high that live hidden in houses and survive by borrowing things from the human inhabitants of the house. Here is a picture of the book -

I always thought that Borrowers were fictional characters but now I am convinced that they are real. Infact , I am definite a few of them have taken up permanent residence in my house. How else can I explain the things that go missing? I never seem to find a stapler or scotch tape or an eraser when I need it. And pens! Borrowers seem to be inordinately fond of pens! Whenever I need to make a note I spent so much time searching for a pen that I end up forgetting what I was supposed to make a note of.
Its not that they are just after stationary, they like to “Borrow” food as well. The other day I reached for a tea bag to make myself a cup of tea but couldn’t find any. The same thing happens with instant coffee sachets, cheese slices, cookies, chips etc. I am sure I stock up pretty well and I can’t finish all this food so fast now can I? And they simply Love chocolates. There is no other explanation for how the chocolates in my fridge finish so fast? I am sure I just ate 1 or 2, oh well may be 3 chocolates out of that big box but now the whole box is empty!! It’s GOT to be the work of borrowers!
And how about needle and pins? Have you ever wondered where do all the pins and needles that we keep buying go? I wonder what they do with them. Use them as swords to fight?
Another thing they love is socks. I am sure they use them as coverlets to keep warm at night. They seem to tire of socks pretty soon and leave them at the most unlikely places like under the bed or sofa or behind the wash basket before making off with a new one. They have an uncanny sense of timing and they filch a thing just when it’s needed the most, especially things like loose change or passport photographs.
Sometimes they borrow things and return them by putting them in the weirdest of places. Many times I have found the TV remote wedged under the sofa cushions or my favorite silver earrings in a pen stand or my watch in the bathroom. I have lost count of the times when we are all ready to go out but I can’t find the car keys or the house keys. I run around trying to look for them while the rest of the family members stand about frowning and tapping their feet with impatience. I wonder why they frown at me, it’s not me who hides the keys in my jeans or simply plonks them behind that flower vase is it?

You can’t really get rid of the borrowers. They just appear out of nowhere, decide they like it here and then simply make themselves at home. I have heard that there is just one sure-fire way to get rid of them. Just two words that they dread the most – Neat and Organized. But then I really don’t want to get rid of my borrowers. Infact I like them a wee bit. I am so used to sharing my house and things with them now. It would be so mean to become “organized” just to get rid of them. Hell, I hate that word even more than they do !

The Bracelet - A tag

Shail Mohan of Shail’s Nest,a blog which is one of my absolute favorite haunts tagged me to do this tag on The Bracelet, a Young Adult Fantasy Novel written by Ishaan Lalit or kid #1 of the Weaving a Web Blog fame. Weaving a Web is a fabulous blog by Ritu Lalit who also happens to be Ishaans mom.She often writes hilarious accounts of the escapades of her family - Kid #1, Kid #2 and DIL; and I always find myself looking forward to the latest happenings in their lives. So imagine my delight and surprise when I found out that Kid #1 aka Ishaan Lalit is now a published Author!
This is what the back cover of the book says:

Abhay stood up. He was in a field of grass. Then he heard horses coming. Abhay looked to his right and then to his left, and saw that he was surrounded by horse riders. They stopped just before the dense grass and waited. A man appeared out of nowhere, walked up to him, and held up his hand revealing a bracelet.What is the secret of the bracelet? Why is everybody after it? And who will get it: the Tantrics or the… Arthrakshaks?Abhay, an ordinary college-going boy, is thrust into a world of secrets, lies, deceit, and supernatural entities. He finds out that he is an integral part of a war that he must win to save himself and his family from destruction. Will he be able to do it? To find out, read this fascinating novel that you just won’t be able to put down!

And here is the Tag !
1) What does the name suggest? Could be anything you know, even “Oops its my wife/girl friend’s birthday, what do I get her” Just put it down.
For some unknown reason this name suggests a diamond Bracelet with a Big Ruby in it – I don’t know why, but this is the first picture that popped into my head!

2) If your loved one presented you a bracelet, what would you want it to be made of? Alternatively if you had to present a bracelet to your sweetheart, what would you pick?
a.) Gold
b) Gold and rubies
c) Diamonds babe, just diamonds
d) Whateva, its gotta be expensive and look it!
e) Simple iron kada, or a silver one. Not showy
I am torn between Silver and Diamonds. I love them both! But I am clear on one thing – It should be intricate and delicate. Nothing Showy or Chunky for me!

3) Suppose your bracelet (or kada) had magical qualities (Like Aladin’s lamp) what magical qualities would you want it to have? Let your imagination run riot … anything, money, power, world domination, elixir of youth …. Just pen it down – or punch them keys.
Hmm.. Now this is a tough one ! Dont care much for money or power or the elixer of youth.I think given my love for travel I would want to be transported to whatever exotic location or adventure trail that fancies me at that time!

4)Do snakes scare you or do you get strangely fascinated by them?
I don’t think they scare me. I am rather fascinated by them. I hadn’t seen a live snake (now don’t drop down dead- I’ve seen snakes in zoos and all but they don’t compare with snakes slithering about in their natural habitat) till I went to Lonar Lake a few years back. It’s surrounded by a forest and our guide told us to be extra careful because of the cobras that abound there. Everybody else was treading about carefully where as I told the guide I’ll pay him extra if he would just show me a snake ! I did see a King Cobra and what a fantastic sight it was!

 5)Harry Potter could speak Parseltongue. Do you wish you could?
Not Really. That would be sort of creepy.I have enough trouble speaking Japantongue. (Or Japanese as you might call it!)

6) What do you dream about? No this is not about day dreaming, it’s not about wishful thinking, its about being in dreamland.
One recurring Dream – That I have failed in my Maths Examination! It’s more of a nightmare actually !

7) Do you remember your dreams?
Yeah most of the time.

8) Ever had your dreams interpreted?
No. No need to interpret the one dream I keep having. I used to hate Maths at school and flunking the subject was a huge fear ! Funny I haven’t studied Maths for over 15 yrs now but still have nightmares about it!

9) Do you keep a dream diary?
No. I just have one dream over and over again! Don’t want to record it!

10) Your favorite wrist jewellery?
a). Bangles
b) Bracelet
c) Expensive Watch
d) Friendship band
e) Taveez or sacred thread (mouli)
Expensive watch actually. Not much of a fan of Bangles and Bracelets I’m afraid! 

Wow ! Parseltouge and snakes and Dreams-This tag makes me all the more curious to read the Book.
I am going to be there for the Book Launch at Café Coffee Day GK 2 on 30th Jan. Hope you guys can make it too !
And Now I need to Tag 5 people to copy+paste the cover and the back blurb (in bold and italics) and also answer the questions !
And I tag –
 Any one else who fancies this tag can do it and please tag a few of your friends to do it as well !

Jan 20, 2011

Quirky Quirks !

I am a rather quirky sort of person, even if I say so myself! Some colleagues at work were discussing quirks the other day and after I had rattled off a few of mine to them the general consensus was that I am the undisputed queen of quirks. That conversation as well as this post by Scribbler inspired me to write a few of my eccentricities here! 
  • Now this really weird - I write with my right hand but I sew and use a knife or scissors (to cut things) with my left hand. I can’t write with my left hand or sew or cut with my right-hand tho !
  • I absolutely can’t stand it if people dog ear books. If I ever see you dog- earing one of mine – God help you!
  • I simply can’t fall asleep without reading at night. If I am not at home and I don’t have a book with me I stay awake for hours.
  • Plane journeys are real tortures because all I do is think about sharing the same space and breathing in the same air as so many people. It sort of freaks me out.
  • Sometimes I get this urge to re-read certain sections of a book that I have already read. And I can’t rest in peace till I have picked up that book and read that portion. If the book was a borrowed one, I simply have to buy the book and read what I want to.
  • I can never bring myself to eat leftovers. If there are leftovers most probably they’ll get thrown/given away ( I know, I know it’s not a good thing)
  • I need my space and hate it if I am always surrounded by people. I have to have an hour of “Me Time” everyday or I become horribly cranky.
  • As the regular readers of this blog might know, I am a chronic list maker. I simply can’t survive without a list.
  • I hate it if my food touches in my plate. If my chapatti is soiled by some curry or vegetable I find it icky. Yes I do dip my chapatti in the curry before I eat it. I just want to do it myself and not have it touch other food on my plate.
  • According to me, Rice is supposed to be eaten in combinations with rajma or kadhi or dal makhani. I can’t really understand how people can eat rice with any vegetable or curry. (Yeah I guess thats the North Indian in me speaking!).
  • I see dried leaves on the path and I absolutely have to step on them. What to do I love the crunchy feeling!
  • I am at my brightest from 4 am to 8 am. All important work, serious thinking, decision making is done at that time .After 9.30 pm my brain cells are just about dead. I simply can’t function!
  • I need sunshine as much as I need air to breathe. Sunless days leave me morose and very depressed.
  • I get into these funny creative moods. When I think of something I absolutely have to write it down then and there. God help anyone who tries to disturb me when I am in those moods. I will either not answer or I will snap at the person. Actually most probably I’ll just snap! Another thing is, you ask me to write something creative and perhaps for hours, even days my well of creativity will just about run dry and I’ll just sit around dawdling my thumbs. Then suddenly something clicks and I will dash off a good article or blog post in minutes!
Now that you know weird I am, I hope you are not going to run away and desert my blog :)

Jan 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday#8

Pics clicked by my 12 year old niece Shaivalini !

Jan 14, 2011

Haiku - Lonely Moon

Solitary moon
in a starless sky
Celestial beauty on a lonely night

written for Haiku Heights. Prompt - Celestial 

Jan 11, 2011

Give me some Sunshine !

I am a sunshine person; I need the day to be bright and sunny. On Bright sunny days you will find me as chirpy as a squirrel but cloudy dull days just make me immensely depressed. I simply can’t muster up enough energy to do anything, and I spend all my time moping around. The more cloudy it is the bleaker my mood! I am the kind of person who would gladly hibernate the drab winter away and only come out when the days are long and sunlit. This winter, Delhi seems to be going through a rather long patch of dreary days and it’s just about making me lose my sunny disposition! I go to work peering out at the world through a thick fog and I come back home in total darkness. Believe it or not my favorite place these days is the office because at least it’s bright in there even though the lighting might be totally artificial. I hate sunless rooms so much that my dream is to live in a house that has sunshine dappling on floor boards and dancing on the walls all through the day. Right now, I would do anything for even a scrap of sunlight! I am the one who complains most about the heat in summer but then I always pay for it when God gets his own back by giving us these dismal winter days. Another bone I have to pick with God is that my birthday falls in January and every year, year after year when January 6th dawns, there is a chill wind blowing and the sky is overcast. I yearn for a birthday when the sun will shine merrily down through a cloudless sky, but no, all I get is a cold gloomy sunless day!
I usually try to cope with winter blues by wearing really bright colors. I truly believe that dressing smartly and in bright colors is a sure way to cheer up! I also make sure that there are always flowers in the house. However gloomy it might be outside flowers never fail to perk me up! Infact Feb- March are my two favorite months because by then the sun starts shining brightly again and the Delhi Gardens are all redolent of flowers! Another thing I do is make sure the house is well lit. My electricity bill shoots up in winter not because I use the heater a lot but because I switch on every light in the house in order to drive away the gloom!
So tell me my friends, do you suffer from winter blues and what do you do to drive them away!

Jan 9, 2011

Overheard at a wedding ….

So we went to a wedding in Chandigarh. A Sikh friend’s daughter was marrying a Goan Christian with the lovely name of Ashley. And no the bride was not called Scarlett or even Melanie for that matter!
 As we queued up waiting to wish the newlyweds, I heard the fat matronly lady in front of me loudly whisper (and if you haven’t heard a Punjabi lady whisper let me assure you that the whisper will carry to the farthest end of a crowded room) Hai Hai nii ! main sochaya munda gora hai. Yeh to Indian nikalya, woh bhi kala !

(For non Hindi/Punjabi speakers: although most of the fun might get lost in the translation, here is what it means – Oh my god, I thought the groom is white (as in foreigner). But he’s an Indian and that too a dark one !

Jan 6, 2011

A note to myself on my Birthday!

6th January 2011
So you turn 36 today. Very hard to believe isn’t it! Yesterday I caught you peering into the mirror looking for tell-tale lines around your eyes and mouth and heaving a sigh of relief when you found none. You don’t really feel 36 do you? Infact, you don’t even feel thirty. Only a month back you told a good friend how delighted you are that both of you still retain the same exuberance you had when you were in your twenties.
It’s good in a way that your birthday is so close to New Years Day. Because then it can truly be a beginning of a new year, a whole year filled with endless possibilities.
Last year, was a year you wish would never come back again- all it brought with it was disappointments and totally unexpected health complications. Somewhere in that extremely stressful year, you lost your optimism and sense of fun. You became frustrated and upset when events totally beyond your control turned your life topsy turvy and scared the hell out of you. You regained a bit of your optimism by the end of the year but you are still filled with bitterness about the plans you made so painstakingly and meticulously that came tumbling down like a pack of cards.
But the last year did teach you a lot about yourself didn’t it. You realized that under that whining complaining exterior was a determination of steel and reservoirs of strength that you never knew existed. It helped you tide over the tough times and look for that ray of hope even when the night was utterly dark. I really admire the way you tried turning the disadvantages into advantages and made the best of what life handed you.
My message to you this year is Learn to accept things as they come, and stay positive when things don’t go as planned. Yes, I know, Life is not fair. Accept it and move on!
Be patient, you will get what you want; you always do, if only you would be patient. And while you wait and toil for what you want, be happy and Bloom where you are planted.
Learn to take life a little less seriously, laugh more and don’t sweat the small stuff. And by the way, it IS all the small stuff! And while you are at it, try to control that prodigious temper of yours a bit!Learn the art of diplomacy, it’s high time you did. I know you love your sarcastic sense of humor a lot but tone it down a bit will you! Especially at work!
It’s never too late to fulfill your dream (you know what I am talking about), so roll up your sleeves and get down to work right now!
Never lose your sense of adventure and fun, Keep up the zest for travelling and exploring new places. Keep reading, keep learning new things, make new friends and pick up the threads of old friendships.
My simple wish for you this year is Be Happy. This is going to be an exhilarating year. A year filled with sunshine, laughter, good friends, good books, lots of travel and infinite possibilities. Enjoy it and celebrate each day!

Happy Birthday Ruch ! The best is yet to come!

Jan 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday#7

Snow Peak at Badrinath - Can you spot the ganesha ?

Jan 4, 2011

100th post !

So this is my 100th post. Wow! Although for a span of two and a half years 100 posts are rather less. But then I haven’t been very faithful to my blog, ignoring it for long bouts in between and then taking it up whenever the whim to write struck me again.For someone who once dreamt of becoming a writer, I should have been the first to jump aboard the bloggers bandwagon! Actually I did not! Somewhere between finishing university and starting work; my writing flagged, reduced to a trickle and then finally stopped all together. But whenever I had a few moments of solitude, I often caught myself wondering if I should start writing again and if I did, would I ever find an audience?
Nirjharini was started in April 2008, when I was not at a very happy place in life.I was in Japan at that time; lonely, desolate and facing very adverse circumstances.This was by no means my first visit to Japan, but I think it was the only time when I wanted to pack my bags and flee from the land I love so much. I badly needed something to take my mind off my troubles and started this blog as a desperate effort to channelize my thoughts towards something positive.And so I began writing again, slowly, hesitatingly, unsure about what to expect.It was a slow journey, but somewhere along the way, came the thrill of discovery that I could still write, a sense of “hey I still have it in me!” especially when the comments from my readers started trickling me. I was amazed that there were people out there who not only read my blog but actually enjoyed it too!
This blog was started on a whim but is now so entwined in the fabric of my life that I simply can’t imagine doing without it. This blog is my personal haven, a safe cocoon where I can be truly myself. My friends have often told me that that they have discovered more about myself through my blog than they would have otherwise. Nirjharini was never meant to be a place to rant or write about my personal life, it is a place to pen down the thoughts swirling in my mind, a place where I attempt to do some creative writing and try to better myself every day.
When I started blogging, I thought blogging it would be a solitary journey, but along the way I met a lot of wonderful readers, most of them fellow bloggers, who nudged me on with their encouraging comments.And so a big Thank you to you, my faithful readers, because had it not it been for you this blog would be gathering dust by now!

This journey is just beginning and I am sure it is going to be a fabulous one. For I made a promise to myself this year, to never ignore this blog again and to make it a place worth visiting. So, come along my gentle readers, travel with me. I am sure you won’t be disappointed!

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