Closure

Door locked

(Source)

I don’t believe this happened,
Can’t accept it’s over,
There’s a lot I’ve left to do,
Still haven’t got closure.

Countless doors to shut,
I’ve people yet to meet;
Untold places I must visit,
Many fond memories to greet.

Please let me go back
Just one last time,
I’ve unfinished work to do,
Lose ends left to tie.

There wasn’t an opportunity,
It happened too fast;
I’m here in the future now
But not done with my past.

The present won’t make sense –
Not until I return;
I miss where I come from,
I’m waiting for my turn.

This place is beautiful,
The people nice and sweet
But my restless heart dedicates
To home, its every beat.

Take me back to my city,
The city of love and joy!
So I can see it one last time,
So I can say good bye.

A Tribute To Sir Alan Rickman

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With due respect to any celebrity I’ve ever liked, no one’s demise has left me feeling this sad. My heart sank the instant I read the news. A sense of emptiness lurks in the air; as though I knew him. I feel like I’ve lost a relative. Perhaps, I have. All of us, in fact. We, who are bound to each other with an invisible thread of unfaltering loyalty to a phenomenon called Harry Potter, lost one of our own today. There are people, yet awaiting their Hogwarts letter; I believe I received mine in the form of the first book in the series. The day I turned the first page was my first step into a world that would be brought to life in films – where my beloved character would be portrayed by my most favourite actor – Sir Alan Rickman. A versatile actor with stellar performances to his credit and I will still remember him as Professor Severus Snape. The Half-Blood Prince. No other actor could’ve done justice to the role, like Alan Rickman. I loved Professor Snape for the enigmatic ‘villain’ he was, for I’m predisposed to favouring dark characters. I admired him for the hero he turned out to be. I shall continue to respect him for his loyalty in love, life and death. I cried once when Snape died. And then again today. My heart hasn’t stopped grieving, my mind cannot accept it, nor can I wrap my head around this loss. I can only pray for my childhood idol’s soul. May the good Lord bless and keep you, Sir.
We lost a legendary actor and a man of exceptional character and poise. Hogwarts lost one of its Headmasters, who in Harry’s words was “probably the bravest man (he) ever knew.” We lost our Potions Master. We will miss you every time we turn to page 394 and raise our wands in salute. You will live on as a part of us. After all the years. Always.

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He Walks Beside You

“तेरे साथी मेरे कदमों के हैं निशाँ

तू ना जाने आस पास है ख़ुदा |”

“My footsteps are your companion,
You don’t know (realise) God is beside you.”

This quote is from a song that never fails to give me goose bumps. Aas Paas Khuda from Anjaana Anjaani, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra.

I’m a theist through and through. I don’t doubt the existence of God, the one supreme force the Universe reveres. An absolute believer and fervently spiritual (not necessarily, religious), the instant I read this week’s IndiSpire topic, several quotes in praise of God flitted in and out of my mind. From mellifluous Bhajans to Holy words from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji; from profound Sufi songs to the heart-warming Hymns we sang in school. Finally, my mind rested on this one.

Life is made up of crests and troughs. This phrase acts as a guiding force when I feel down. It speaks of what He wants us to believe. There’s nothing God can’t fix. Know that He’s always by our side; invisible but never indifferent. He’s our permanent go-to person; a parent, a teacher, a best friend. When you feel overwhelmed, you know who to turn to. He’s always watching out for you. Mightier than all your problems put together, He’s the Almighty. Trust, that He’s been, is and will always be with you.

This post is written for IndiSpire, Edition #83

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The Man Bun

One insomniac night this week, lying in bed and going through my Instagram feed, I came across a picture of our very own gabru Punjabi munda, Karan Kundra in this surprising new avatar. I let-slip my phone which landed smack on my face *ouch* Hey, don’t you laugh! You would’ve done the same, it is that beautiful. Look!

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His Instagram has had regular updates in the past week with pictures of him flaunting this stunning top knot. He’s currently in Hong Kong shooting with Sana Saeed, for an all new season of Life Mein Ek Baar, on Fox Life India. So does that mean we get to see him look amazing like this on the show? Woohoo!

Honestly, I’ve disliked the long-locks look on men, I’m all for short hair. Even John Abraham’s flowing tresses at one point, couldn’t impress me. (My opinion, though you probably don’t care.) I’ve had a recent change of mind, though. There’s no denying that the few men who can actually pull it off are jaw-dropping, head turners.

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

Earlier this year, Shahid Kapoor was seen rocking the top-knot in Dubai. After the buzz cut in Haider, his lustrous mane’s all grown out and ready for Udta Punjab. (The upcoming film also stars Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor and Diljit Dosanjh – who makes his Bollywood debut) Grow on, Shahid! No complaints hair… Err… here!

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In this exclusive photo shoot with MW (Man’s World) Magazine for their April edition, Shahid looks incredible. *phew* Is the AC in here even working?!

Is it hot, or is it hot?

Is this hot, or is this hot?

Just FYI, there’s a difference between a man bun and a top knot. The former is, simply, long hair tied back in a bun. The top knot is a combination of a man bun and an undercut where the sides are shot and the hair in the middle is long enough to tie up. They clearly aren’t meant for everyone so steer clear, unless you have the flair, flamboyance and looks to carry it off.

Speaking of panache, here you go – Hrithik Roshan wearing the man bun. What can this guy NOT do, Greek God of Bollywood that he is!

Such beauty! *cries*

Such beauty! *cries*

The word ‘God’ reminds me – Bollywood’s demigod Shahrukh Khan sported the man bun in Don. Many did not quite approve of it. Neither did I. (Just saying.) You’ve got to admit though, that SRK knows how to rock everything that’s thrown his way! There’s a reason he’s the ‘Betaj Badshah’. The King Khan. Whatever Shahrukh Khan does is cool. Just because.

Shush, no one questions the King

Shush, no one questions the King

All this drooling, umm, Googling – who said drooling? Me? Nah! – takes me back to a tiny incident that occured recently. So, there I was waiting at the bus stop, staring into space and minding my own business, when I saw two impeccably dressed men. One of them sported a beard and a super neat top bun. I can’t recollect how many buses I missed or who walked past me or where I was or even who I was, until they were out of sight. It’s crazy I know but that’s an extremely rare sight in my city.

We need more Bollywood hunks picking up this trend and NOW! I believe Ranveer Singh, with his adorable eccentricity, will carry it off with aplomb! The Pogonophile in me also believes we need a word for ‘an admirer of man buns’.

Let me know what you think about the man bun & topknot. Yay or nay? Which Indian celebrity would you love to see sporting such a hairstyle?

Till then let’s hair – hear – it for these handsome celebrities! Round of applause toh Bun-ta hai na, boss!

Bradley (Brad) Cooper

Bradley (Brad) Cooper

Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom

Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf

Jared Leto

Jared Leto

Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

David Beckham

David Beckham

Aaaanddd…

Zayn Malik - Who would believe the lad is only 22 years old?

Zayn Malik – Who would believe the lad is only 22 years old?

Moody Poetess

‘Write a 2-minute poem,’ they said,
I yawned, as I rolled out of bed,
Stretching, tripping, scratching my head,
‘My two minute poem.’ Yep! That’s what I read.

I’m a moody poetess,
Rarely sorted, mostly a mess,
“What shall I write? Umm,”
I say to myself;
Well, that’s anybody’s guess!

Sleepy as I am, I sit & jot
Every stray idea, plot, thought,
Can’t let this brain rust and rot,
Bless this poem, oh dear God!

So, as yarn is spun from thread,
I conjure this off the top of my head,
My body is tired, eyes feel like lead;
Now that I’ve done what they said,
It’s time I get back to bed;
‘My 2-minute poem,’
Yes, that’s what I read.

This Poem is written for IndiSpire, Edition #81

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Once A Xaverian, Always A Xaverian

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The thing about clichés is that they’re done to death but undeniably true.

This apparently sudden expression of love for St. Xavier’s is probably because I re-visited it yesterday. From the moment I took my first step towards college from Mullick Bazaar crossing, it was an onslaught of memories. What struck me first was that I was actually walking, not running; which I’d do quite often because I was late for class almost all the time.

Walking past the Church, I checked my reflection in a car window; had a scuffle with my own bag, trying to find my ID card; walked in through the green gates, peering into the Chapel; listened to the sound of the fountain that surrounds the towering St. Francis Xavier idol, as my senses soaked in the welcome feeling of a familiar place. Everything I did was still the same, only probably, for the last time.

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I walked past the stairs – which had become an inescapable part of our daily exercise routine (take the stairs to the 4th floor every day and you’ll know) – and straight into the canteen. Ah! The all-time favourite hang-out spot. Well, besides the Green Benches (in the campus) and Delights (outside) of course. Speaking of which, you cannot miss Au Bon Pain, Cha Bar, CCD & the likes on Park Street which are more often than not, haunted by Xaverians across all departments and batches.

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From frequent group presentations, that definitely made friends out of class mates, to uncomfortably-frequent exams, meeting-up-to-discuss was an unspoken necessity. Speaking of which, I’d like to know how much money these cafes made off us, considering we needed their ‘free’ Wi-Fi all the time *wonders*.

The lush college grounds, Room No. 7, the Computer Lab. and of course our classroom, hold so many fond (or not) memories. What is closest to my heart is the Catholic-institute-aura of college. It reminds me of my Alma Mater, Pratt Memorial School, right from the Christmas decoration, the sound of carols emanating from some distant room, the ‘Christmassy’ feeling in general, down to the green & yellow facade in particular.

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I’ll never forget the times, when I was still a school student and I’d walk past the beckoning yellow-green building with fervent longing and tacit prayers; while the structure greeted me with stoic silence.

Let me tell you I’ve been a consistently good student but by no means a topper. Frankly, I stood no chance of ever studying in the most prestigious institute of Kolkata, St. Xavier’s College. (Not like that killed me or anything; in all honesty and fairness, I wouldn’t swap my three years at JD Birla for anything in the world).

Nonetheless, if an opportunity knocks, take it because, well, an adage says it does so only once. So, this one random day in the month of March last year, my friend suggested I put in an application for a PG Diploma course in Integrated Marketing Communication at St. Xavier’s. My first reaction was, ‘Yeah right. I’m never getting through.’ Talk about optimism.

It’s an impulsive chance I took, without too much thought, which paid off more than well. I have some sense of direction now, which is definitely better than not having any *shrugs*. Some crazy-fun friends to last a lifetime, the respectable top-brass of the Marketing Communication Industry to learn from and a suitcase full of memories; I’m taking back a lot from St. Xavier’s. Lame-pun alert! Xavier’s is my favourite brand. Get it? IMC? Brand? Not funny? Uhh, okay *sighs*.

Thank you, St. Xavier’s. You’ll definitely be one of my most cherished experiences. Ever. Nihil Ultra! *the feels*

With love,
A Xaverian

sxcCrest150yrs

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.’

Who’s The Boss?

Today has to be the worst day ever! Who does my boss think he is anyway? Let me see HIM meet the deadline with the cart-load of work we have to finish. He needs to get a grip and stop yelling at me as though it’s his birth right. The old man is off his rocker, I tell you! If only he cared to take note of the trouble his employees go through to keep this place running. If it wasn’t for our round-the-clock slogging, he would’ve been out of business ages ago. Kaput!
Oh, how I wish this day does a somersault and turns things around in my favour for a change. This dungeon of an office needs some freshness, both literally and figuratively. However, for that to happen, I’ll have to hope for a miracle! I really need a break. Maybe I should take a stroll for a while to divert my mind. Just some me-time and then I can get back to the grind.
Hey, wait a minute. I hear some music playing outside. It’s a peppy song and the voice is entrancing. The singer must indeed be a superstar with that kind of talent! I can hear a cheering crowd as well. Sounds like people are having a good time. What do not go hand in hand, are FUN and this sorry excuse for a ‘work environment’. It’s surprising that I hear sounds of merriment coming from anywhere near this depressing place. Wonder what’s happening downstairs. Wait, let me check and fill you in on the goings-on.
Hi, I’m back and you won’t believe what I’m about to tell you! Oh my God, I’m over the moon. So, I walked out to see what the hubbub was about and guess what! There I saw them – Anushka Manchanda, singing a catchy number in her enthralling voice and the immensely gifted actor, Allu Arjun, dancing to the beats in perfect sync. Doing what they do best, they had the mob rapt. How should people not be mesmerized, when they have the singing sensation and dancing king performing live! I struggled to make my way to the front and saw them up close. Stood there enjoying the performance and for once, did not mind being jostled by a swooning mob.
Artists of such stature performing on the street right outside my office! I could pinch myself and still not believe it! It’s like they were sent as an answer to my prayers. My day is made! So, I guess my #MaxFreshMove was making a move out of office. Taking time off to do what I want, instead of what I have to, seemed like the need of the hour. After all, the real boss of my life is ME. A million thanks to them for bringing a much needed whiff of freshness into my stifling work life. God is good. *All hail* May magic like this happen more often!

I am blogging for #MaxFreshMove activity atBlogAdda.com. Are you?

Dream Team

It was snowing and the view from atop the mountain peak was spectacular. Cupping my hands around my mouth, I shouted my name. The echo responded. Then I heard it again, and again, and again. Louder each time. Err, isn’t the sound of an echo supposed to fade?
Then I felt myself fall off the cliff, as my chin slipped off my palm and my face slammed into the desk in front. I woke with a start. Oh great, I was daydreaming again. I do that a lot. Like, all the time.
It had not been an echo but my class mates trying to get me to join them for a game of Dumb Charades. I raised my hurt nose a little and peered at the teacher from my seat in the last row. She was droning on without the slightest inkling of how deathly boring she always is. Well, time to wake up, I thought as I muffled a yawn.
I heard music playing in the school grounds. Sounded like a concert. I strolled to the window and saw a large crowd of my school mates gathered in the basketball court. That’s strange. Our school fest was over last month and the stage had been dismantled, right?
I walked out of class without the teacher even bothering to look at me and made my way to the grounds. I had to investigate for myself, to know whether I was seeing right or losing my sanity to the History lesson.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! There was Anushka Manchanda, singing an incredibly melodious song. By her side was superstar Allu Arjun, regaling star-struck students with his impeccable dance moves. They had the crowd spellbound. Their fans were screaming themselves hoarse. What a wave of freshness they’ve brought to this utterly boring day, I thought to myself. That’s when I heard the two of them call my name. Huh, what? Me? Really? They want ME on stage with them? By the time I could absorb the feeling of this unbelievable moment, someone stepped on my big toe. Ouch, look where you’re going, I screamed.
Oh! Oh, God, no! Not again! I was pulled out of reverie-mode by my friend who had stepped on my foot, on purpose, to wake me. The teacher was yelling at the class in general and me in particular. She was going on about how I could have the cheek to sleep in her class and how she would have to write a note to my parents. Her scolding though, was having no effect on me. I was replaying and savoring every moment of my dream. I mean, it isn’t every day that celebrities with enviable talent call you to join them on stage! So what if it’s only in fantasy land?! They sure make a ‘dream’ team (pun intended). I was energized all right, and wide awake, mind you. You could say my #MaxFreshMove involved no movement at all. I did sleep my way to freshness after all! Ironic, isn’t it?

I am blogging for #MaxFreshMove activity atBlogAdda.com. Are you?

A Missed Call, A Discovery & A Hero

Samar didn’t realize when his mobile phone screen lit up. An unknown number flashed as it vibrated on silent mode. He had to finish off a truckload of work and couldn’t afford to look beyond his desktop monitor. He had mentally convinced himself to pull an all-nighter in the office itself, so as to not get into trouble with his awful boss again.
He tore himself away from the computer after what seemed like ages and walked towards the cafeteria for a breather. The office was semi-dark and deserted. He felt a chill run down his spine. A picture of his office team hung above the coffee machine. Vinay’s bright face smiled back at him. Vinay Sharma, his colleague and buddy. Samar missed him and wished he’d just come back; wished he hadn’t left them so soon; wished that terrible accident had never happened.
Just as he sat himself down to work again, he noticed the cell phone. It displayed 40 missed calls, all from the same number. “Who is it and what could be so urgent?” he mumbled. It was then that his office landline rang. Startled nearly to death at first and extremely confused consequently, he ignored it. No way was he taking a random call at 2.20 A.M, that too on the office telephone.
Barely had he resumed punching figures into the MS Excel Sheet, when his mobile screen glowed again. Apprehensive and trembling slightly, he received the call – which would’ve registered as the 67th missed call if he hadn’t. “Hello?” He hesitated into the receiver. *Scratch-scratch-scratch*, a lot of static, and *click* it disconnected. No one spoke from the other end. This continued for the next hour, at once every 15 minutes. Sweaty now, even though the AC was blowing chilled, he stood up and staggered to the window. “This is creepy,” he stuttered, “so creepy.”
Frightened and walking swiftly away from the phone that rang for the nth time, Samar stumbled into his boss’ dark chamber. ‘That’s odd,’ he thought. ‘This place is supposed to be locked, isn’t it?’ Switching on a light, he decided to snoop around a bit. ‘Might help clear my mind,’ he figured. He had no choice but to stick on in the office anyway. Mr. J. Patel, a little golden plate glinted on the table. ‘What a horrid man!’ To Samar, it had always seemed that his boss hated Vinay and it was because of this that Samar had despised Mr. Patel in turn. ‘A monster in human skin! Yes, that’s what Patel is.’
Vinay’s worried voice drifted into his mind. It had only been 2 days. He’d frantically tried to say something about Patel. What, Samar shall never know, as the call had been interrupted by loud, beeping sounds and disconnected before he could finish. It was Vinay’s last call on that fateful day, about an hour before the accident. A puzzling accident no one knew much about. Neither Samar, nor Vinay’s family and surprisingly, not even Mister-nosey-Patel (though Samar really doubted it).
Rudely jolted back into reality, when the landline on Patel’s table rang, Samar was scared out of his wits. Quivering, he answered it. A whisper and *click* it disconnected. Drawer. Yes, it sounded like the voice had said ‘drawer’. Looking down, Samar noticed the desk drawer ajar. His jaw dropped. Patel’s desk drawer, which was always locked, had somehow slid open.
Managing to pull himself together, he began rummaging through it. A note fell out onto his lap. The words Samar read and the name signed at the bottom, brought tears to his weary eyes.
He called the police immediately. Patel was arrested. Next day, the news read, ‘Boss accused in suicide note…’ Turns out, Vinay’s ‘accident’ hadn’t been one at all. Samar’s suspicion held true; Patel not only knew (and concealed) what others didn’t but was responsible for it too.
Patel is under trial for psychological torture, ever since. Samar has faith in the judiciary. He believes justice will be served. Samar’s colleagues celebrate him as a hero in the office, even today. He in fact does feel like a hero to his late best friend, though he isn’t sure how it all happened.
How a chance discovery (or was it?) of the note led to the path of truth. Strange, how a missed call led to the discovery in the first place. And mysterious still, Samar was never able to find out who had been trying to call him. For, when he dialled the number, a voice amid loud static whispered, ‘Please check the number you have dialled.’ *scratch-scratch-scratch * ‘This number does not exist,’ *click*.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.