Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No wonder its one of the seven wonders

Yes, finally I made a trip to the Taj Mahal in Agra. A trip that I had been contemplating since a long time finally happened. Having seen it umpteen numbers of times in pictures, I was very keen to watch this beauty with my own eyes.

The weather was at its best. It was a warm winter morning, bright sunshine and a very pleasant weather - perfect to spend the day out. It was a sheer treat to watch Taj Mahal in person. No amount of words can do justice to this man-made wonder. It speaks love of great volume that Shahjahan had for his wife Mumtaz Mahal.

One look at Taj Mahal and you fall in love with it. Even I looked at with wonder. The perfect symmetry makes you think the brains, mastermind, the effort put in to create it. Each and every angle of Taj leaves you in awe of its beauty. The beautiful carvings on marble, the colored stones leave you amazed. I feel so happy to have visited the monument of love. How much the emperor loved his wife, can be imagined by the structure created in her memory. The beautiful gardens outside the Taj Mahal are well maintained with seasonal flowers and neat and clean fountains running.

I had a great time admiring the grandeur of Taj for a long time... Ofcourse, there were a lot of pictures taken from every angle possible... and yes, it truly deserves to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World...

On my way back, I visited Shri Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Situated in the dingy lanes, its quite an ordinary structure from outside. The moment you step inside, you cant help but admire the idol and the way the whole temple is decorated. The temple attracts many tourists from all over... As usual, there was a huge crowd and we really had to push through the way forward.. Honestly speaking, I was a bit scared for my Mom had the crowd gone wild. But I guess, God takes care of his souls. You feel so much at peace once you are inside. The way everyone prays and calls out Krishna makes your heart go out.

I had a good weekend specially the Saturday which was well spent. All decided in just a matter of hours and it worked out very well for me. Given a chance, I would like to go Taj Mahal again and admire it during the night on a full moon night across the river Yamuna.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Can we fight against death?

Is there anyone who can fight against your destiny, against death and come back? I guess No. Last Friday I lost a colleague and a dear friend to the cruel hands of destiny at a young age of around 35 years.

It was a Friday morning when the whole unit had decided to go for an outing to nearby farmhouse and indulge in various team building and fun activities. Whole day was
He had a Cardiac Arrest and by the time he reached hospital, he had already passed away. The doctor declared that he is 'brought dead'. No amount of fighting/argument with the doctor could bring him back. Before us, laid a lifeless body that was playing chess a few hours back...

I came to office with a heavy heart on Monday. There were prayer meetings for him. Every time someone takes his name, tears well up in our eyes. We were six Project Leaders in the same unit and it has been extremely difficult for us to accept the fact that he is no more. We miss him at every point. Now he will not come to my desk and ask for a toffee or a chocolate. Nobody will crack a joke and make the moment light in a serious meeting. Famous for his apt use of one-liners, we miss him immensely.

He used to sit next to me and every time I look up, I find an empty desk. We are still in the state of shock, grief. So many times we get the feeling; he will appear from somewhere and will be sitting at his desk. His books, papers, notepad, certificates are still lying on his desk. Nobody has the heart to touch them or remove them. His seat is still vacant. Nobody has come and sat there. Our GM very appropriately said that there will never be a backfill/replacement for him which is normally done when a person resigns from the organization. We may add a new Project Leader but he will not be his replacement.

We still feel his presence around us. I am not sure whether the time will come to accept the truth that he is no more and he will never come back.. I bid good-bye to an empty seat every evening while leaving. We all miss him...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Army Day

This post should have come up 4 days back on 15 Jan. But nevertheless, better late than never. Today I wished all my fellow friends who are in Army. I wanted to tell them that we recognize their sacrifices, efforts laid in the line of duty to protect us and our nation. I always say: We sleep peacefully, because we know that they are awake.

I have said this time and again that I have a special place for Armed Forces in my heart. I have always wanted to be a part of it. Now that I am not a part of it, I try to get as much knowledge about it as I can. I know getting the knowledge may not help any of the soldiers or officers but that is my way of getting associated with it.

I think about the hardships faced during training, field postings - days, months spent away from family, friends, loved ones in a remote area where getting even normal water is difficult sometimes. Places like Siachen, Ladakh where breathing normally is a problem. There are the places where people once posted, tend to health problems later on. We are sitting in our offices, houses, roaming in the malls... We dont even have an iota of information of what they do for us and our nation.

I know that unless I am a part of the organization, I cannot do much for it. But yes, I remember their sacrifices and have them in my thoughts and prayers. I wish for their safety. I pray for their long life. I wish them happiness. And yes, my salute to them. You are the BEST... My way of acknowledging the difference you make in our lives.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cold Weather and Cold

One of the disadvantages of extremely cold, freezing, chilly weather is the running nose, cold feet, hands, red nose, watery eyes... So this time even I could not escape from the cold considering that I have quite high immunity. Not sure how I caught it.. I am fully covered in 3 layers, no ice-creams (boohooo), no cold water... Its just that I have been washing a lot of clothes for the past 3-4 days, but I am used to it.

Now it has become painful. Sneezes, the feeling of sneeze when it just stops at the last moment at the tip of your nose, blocked nose, choked throat, heavy head and a bad body ache... Nose is blocked so I breathe through mouth which makes my mouth dry, which results in being thirsty.. I drink more than usual water resulting in frequent nature's call!!! Its no fun...

Craving to eat sweets or something spicy... Right now I crave to eat aloo tikki or chaat or ice-cream but I am not allowed to... It cant get any worse than this.. Sleeping in this state is even worse. The moment I lie down, I cant breathe.. After a few mins, even the mouth gives up... and moreover I cant breathe through mouth.. its uncomfortable... And on top of all this, you cant skip office due to deadlines coming up... Have been sneezing since morning and it continues to play the game of being about to come and stop at the last moment.... So in all its a bad state to be in...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hai Guzarish!!

Finally I managed to see Ghajini,last Sunday, starring Aamir Khan. It made me fall in love with Aamir Khan all over again. Each and every movie of Aamir Khan holds a special place in my heart. The movie has a lot of violence and is quite gory but that does not make you look away from Aamir Khan.

His role as Sanjay Singhania, the business tycoon suits him perfectly. He fits very well into the role. Even the role of a tiger out on a revenge is played with perfection by him. The way he loves his heroines, the way he wins her heart, the way he sings for her, his expressions, his charm, his personality grows on you.

Yes, I agree that I sound like a teenager in school totally in love with an actor. Ever since I saw Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak almost two decades back, I fell for him. It started with cutting his pictures from magazines, newspapers, collecting his posters, postcards, reading every article about him and moreover watching his movies again and again.

His first wife, Reena is from Dehra Dun. I had this deep desire to see him or meet him whenever he came to Dehra Dun, but somehow that could not be achieved. Now I will have to wait for that magical moment when I could meet him personally. I dont know what will happen and how will I react. My whole family knows about my liking for him. So much so that in my house, Aamir Khan is addressed as Mr.____ Khan where ___ is my name... :-)) When its about Aamir Khan's movies, there is nothing good or bad. They are simply Aamir Khan's movies and I have to watch them once, twice, thrice.. as many times as I can...

I guess the admiration for him will continue to grow. Now I want to meet him atleast once, see him, talk to him and have an autograph signed for me... May be someday this wish of mine will be fulfilled...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Back from Jodhpur

New year eve was a lot of fun. I had gone to Jodhpur for three days and it was a great time off from the monotonous life here. Visiting the cities of Rajasthan had always been one of my dreams and Jodhpur was one of them. Its a beautiful and colorful city with wide roads and comparatively less traffic.

Though my train reached 4 hours late, it did not dampen my spirits to see the city. Jodhpur was bright and lovely with wonderful weather. The sun was out and the weather was at its best. Very pleasant. I loved the city the moment I stepped out. It was all colorful and very warm people.

I visited the Air force Station and had a close look at the MIGs, Bisons and the ATC as well.. The view from the Air Traffic Control room was breathtaking. We were explained the technicalities of the aircrafts and how the ATC works. All thanks to my friend who is an IAF officer for taking me around and showing the aircrafts. He understands my passion for the armed forces and the aircrafts and was kind enough to take me around.

The new year party was no less. Attended it at the Air Force Station Officers' Mess and it was a different experience. Not that I have not attended any parties in Officers' Mess but this one was NICE.. Great crowd, great food, great drinks, and above all, absolutely fantastic music. Each and every person was dancing on the floor. From a kid to a middle age to an old person. Everyone had a ball of a time. The DJ was one of the officers only and I was quite impressed by his collection of songs and the way he managed to keep the mood of the party as well as the guests.

This was my second new party that I attended in my life and I had a ball of a time. And ofcourse with so much enjoyment, shopping was also involved, though I had not planned. Jodhpur is a shopper's paradise and yes, at very reasonable rates, if you know where to shop and bargain.

I would love to go back to the city and spend some more time there. May be a full fledged trip to Rajasthan is something I should plan.. I know I am a travel freak or some may call me a nomad or vagabond as well. I enjoy traveling and will do so till I can.. :-)