All Is Calm, All Is Bright

‘I can’t do this,’ I sigh to myself as I rest the side of my warm, worried forehead on the cool metal rim and stare out of the window. Silhouettes of trees – sometimes huts, sometimes just the bare, undulating landscape but mostly trees – whizz past. ‘They’re all going away from me, even the trees’, I reflect as the train speeds on in the opposite direction.
I look around inside, everyone on board is asleep. I return my gaze to the scenery. ‘It’s dark.’ Both literally and figuratively. ‘I really don’t see anyone on my side. It’s a lone battle I must fight. And win. I have to do this on my own, for I’m at the point of no return. It’s all my fault.’
The barely-lit countryside has me rapt. It reflects my state of mind; brooding, quiet, morose. (At least someone is like me.) Yet, there’s a certain charm about it. The view is alluring.
I see a flicker somewhere afar. ‘I think we just passed a village. Distant lamps light up my vision momentarily, only to disappear,’ I ruminate.
‘I’m not surprised though,’ continues my soliloquy, ‘the lamps vanished just like those fair-weather friends of mine.’
‘Ah look! A light twinkles in the distance again. But this isn’t one to fade away. It isn’t transient like those village lights. It’s luminous! It isn’t like the trees, waving as I journey past. Instead, it moves along with me. It’s constant.’
‘Oh! It’s a star!’ With this realisation an immediate calm descends on me. I feel at peace, almost. Its silent communication is spell-binding. I wonder what it’s trying to say. I feel a surge of hope after so very long. The star travels alongside, lighting not the landscape but a fire in the cold hearth of my heart.
Maybe I’m not alone; maybe I have a companion somewhere in the skies. Maybe someone, somewhere is looking out for me after all. ‘I can do this.’

Taazgi Ka Dhamaka

“Without music, life would be a mistake,” said Friedrich Nietzsche and rightly so. I’m one of those people who have a playlist on every gadget; from my PC to laptop to iPad. Heck! I even got myself an iPod when I could’ve managed well with a mobile phone. Such is the love my heart holds for music and I can’t go a day without listening to or singing (in my not-so-melodious voice) a song. They say you can never overdose on music. Word!

Songs have an uncanny knack of neutralizing one’s bad mood. Not to mention they possess magical healing powers that can raise one’s spirit and energy level in no time!

For someone who is an avid music lover, you’ll find, my playlist is a conglomerate of diverse music genres; ranging from Rock to Sufi, Pop to Ghazals, Devotional to EDM and songs from Bollywood to Regional Cinema as well. Here are just the ones you need for some Taazgi Ka Dhamaka!

I’m too hot (hot damn), call a police and a fireman,
I’m too hot (hot damn), make a dragon wanna retire man!

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk you up with their catchy lyrics and super peppy music that’ll leave you energised. Don’t believe me, just watch!

Speaking of catchy lyrics, how do we forget this one from Delhi Belly? Tongue-in-cheek, brazen and absolutely uplifting, Bhaag D.K. Bose created quite a stir and for more reasons than one. It still has you grinning when it plays. Let’s not get into the details, we all know why it got the attention it did. 😉

This one’s a refreshing rendition of the legendary ‘Duma Dum Mast Qalandar’ which is a spiritual Sindhi song written by Sufi Saint Baba Bulleh Shah in praise of Sufi mystic Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.

Energetic music is synonymous with high decibel songs, right? Wrong. Sometimes, the calming effect of a serene ode to nature works wonders too. Energy and calm in the same sentence may sound like an oxymoron. It isn’t though. Try it and see for yourself!

While we’re discussing Bollywood of the 90s, I must mention Ram Lakhan. Anil Kapoor, besides being my all time favourite, is one of the best looking Kapoors Bollywood has seen. My Name Is Lakhan, is not only a memorable song but its stunning picturization and typical Anil Kapoor dance moves have left a lasting impression; especially on the ‘90s babies’.

Remember Powerless by Nelly Furtado? Sprinkle it with some Punjabi beats and behold the perfect concoction of taazgi and energy to beat the blues!

Talking about energetic music and giving Rock music a miss? No way! This is where I bring in ‘high-decibel’. Chester Bennington has to have the most tuneful scream in the world! Linkin Park has my heart when it comes to rap-rock. As for what others think, in the end, it doesn’t even matter!

Who doesn’t need a little encouragement and pick-me-up from time to time? Trust Katy Perry to be that ray of inspiration when you feel low. ‘Cuz I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar.

Any playlist is incomplete without Bhangraaa! Here’s a collection of some foot-tapping numbers, performed to by the likes of Yuvraj Hans and Harish Verma, two shining stars of the Punjabi Film Industry. They up the energy quotient of the already well-loved songs! Don’t miss their colourful attire! Burrraahh!

Aaannd saving the best for the end, this is the video of superstar Allu Arjun and the brilliant singing sensation Anushka Manchanda, grooving to the Colgate MaxFresh beats, with some MaxFresh Moves! Watch the video and enjoy your dose of Taazgi Ka Dhamaka!

I am blogging for #MaxFreshMove activity atBlogAdda in association with Colgate MaxFresh 

Puppy Eyes

Don’t know why I sauntered to my living room window for a peek; call it intuition, if you please. There they were! Three balls of fur huddled and struggling over a bowl of food. Their unrestrained tails wagging at top speed. Yes, I’m talking about a litter of adorable puppies; two whites and a brown.

I write this, however, in memory of the other 3 babies who were lost to human negligence.

The security personnel of my building complex (bless them!) share an incredible human-animal bond with the strays in our locality, petting and feeding them biscuits. Street dogs particularly; cats are aloof, condescending and suspicious, albeit endearing in a mysterious way!

The management of the complex I live in doesn’t approve of harbouring strays. (Well, curses to them!) So, when the litter was born, our neighbours in the adjacent building took them in, to keep till they grow strong enough to take on the world.

I smile as I recall my first visit. 24 baby paws crawled up to me, licked my feet (that tickles!) and stared with beady eyes. In that moment, I realised I’d made six new friends; the best a person can have.

Choosing a favourite is practically impossible! The golden fellow was an over enthusiastic, exceptionally friendly one. The black-with-white-patches, was remarkably obedient; he’d just come and sit quietly by my side. On the other hand, the one with shiny black fur, turned out to be quite a little drama queen! Ignore him for a minute, and he would lay down flat on the ground, pretending to be sad. He’d then roll over, looking expectantly for a pat and treat.

Dogs have pretty, moist eyes. They attack poor, unsuspecting humans with weapons of innocence and cuteness. It’s unfair, I tell you! Those puppy eyes can melt the iciest of hearts.

Time constraints don’t permit me many visits. I was in the dark until the security guard informed me how the little black one was the first to succumb to an accident. A biker ran over him at mid night as he was crossing the road with his mother. I blanked out for a moment, numb. Mr. Black Beauty… No, this can’t be… But he was so small! He went on to explain how the other 2 babies met the same unfortunate fate; all in a matter of two consecutive weeks. My buddies! Mr. Patches and chubby Mr. Golden Bully; oh how I’ll miss them!

Such motorists should be fined, jailed and have their license revoked. Though laws are meant to protect defenceless creatures from the brunt of human recklessness, unfortunately nabbing these criminals is nearly impossible. The loss has left us all rattled.

They’re nearly 2 months old now and fast outgrowing their first home. Their protective mommy is training them to survive in the big bad world. Them return sometimes for a treat or two and I watch them from the vantage point of my first floor apartment. The yip-yaps and shrill calls enliven the atmosphere. They play games that resemble hide-and-seek, catch-and-catch and mock-wrestling; much like human children. While one prances, the other dawdles off with the empty bowl in its mouth.

They’re a delight to the senses. Simply looking at them can lift one’s spirits. I miss having them in the vicinity all the time. I also miss my other 3 tiny packets of love; R.I.P, my angels.

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