Thursday, February 16, 2017

Post Valen'day Thoughts

I belong to the generation who watched News, one-day matches live from Sharjah, Gulzar’s movies on Doordarshan and discussed it the next day in college. Unlike now, we believed what all we watched on TV. News in the newspapers used to be fresh, and not already read and devoured on TV channels and Internet. So some of the incidences shown on TV infused in my mind so deeply that even after decades I think of them often.

I never fell in love the way they do in films, nobody does. But seeing it in the lives of celebrities intrigued me. A person committing suicide after getting rejected in love never had my sympathy. Just like Elizabeth Bennet I believed in pride and self esteem. Admired successful people, especially if they were from economically weak background. At this point I read about Syed Modi’s murder. Syed modi married to an another shuttler. Inter-religion marriage and must have been against the wises of their parents. What a lovely picture of love and romance that was! But he was shot dead at the gate of KD Singh Babu Stadium Lucknow. I still wonder why the lady didn’t just go for divorce and parted ways.Why he had to be killed?

The other stories involved Kamal Hasan, who every North Indian adored after the block buster EDKL, left his wife to marry his pregnant lover. I read very sophisticated Vani’s detailed interview and felt her pain deeply the way young girls do. Dimple Kapadia, who got the most expensive ring (in India at least) from her beau came back to films to raise her daughters.

After three decades Kamal Hasan, who does not believe in the institution of marriage, divorced twice and got into a relationship and parted too. I was happy to see vivacious Vani’s pic at a book launch in Bangalore. Ameeta has become the queen of Amethi and contesting for election against Sanjay Singh’s first wife Garima Singh.

So, where is love? In small pieces here and there in moments and memories, may be.

Monday, February 13, 2017


Day 1/7
Solo travelling may be a bliss, but travelling in a group has its own joys. I met five of my group-mates who were from different countries of Europe, at Rishikesh. All of them but Ami were into Hinduism and Yoga, which brought them closer to me. My trip began well when Matte suggested shopping from the crowded market of Rishikesh. She took a long time to find a kurta, loose and long enough to cover her knees. She took me to a gem jewellery shop and also bought herbal products of Patanjali and Himalaya. Actually I felt like a foreigner and she a native.

Devprayag is 46 miles from Rishikesh Which is on the way to Guptkashi, our destination for the day. It is a place where the two rivers meet and then is called the Ganga. Alaknanda from Badrinath and Bhagirathi from Gomukh, 18 km from Gangotri temple. I had seen this amazingly colourful confluence from the the road many times before, but never thought of walking down to take a dip. How much the company you keep can change the way you look at things. I walked down, touched and heard the holy water roaring. I came back carrying that sound and sight in my heart


My white companions were prepared for the holy dip at the confluence. Then I knew the urgency behind buying the long kurtas in Rishikesh. No way they wanted to temper with the sanctity of the place. Thank god they have not seen us bathing at Sangam during kumbh.

 By the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi stands an ancient temple. Lord Rama meditated here after killing Ravana, the demon king. 

We continued our journey and reached Kedar Camp which was my our abode for the next seven days.