Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Girlfriend Issue

It had already been a few years in college , and i was looking to get a new look for myself!!
i thought of flirting with a stubbled look, and i managed to grow a beard during the winter holidays.
Job done, i waited for the college to reopen , and tought i would give my girlfriend one almighty surprise!!

however, when we met up outside the college , i found her staring at me , in utter distatste. Then she walked off in a haste , without caring to exchange pleasantries ! i ran after her , caught up , but she wouldn't speak.

After nearly an hour, when the first period was over, i again tried to ask her the reason for her getting cross!!
She looked at me straight in the eyes, and declared "I hate that Unclean Stubble! Don’t know what you were really upto during the holidays, but i think you are a filthy dustbowl at the moment! Might be possible, that you haven’t even bathed all this while".

Crestfallen, i had to put up with her haughtiness for the rest of the day ! There was no more enthusiasm left in me to bring any more variations into my stubbled look. The next morning, i was back , once more outside the college gate, clean shaved like before!!

"Hi, hero!!",rang out her sweet voice! She was standing behind me ....with that familiar smiling face, once again!!

“Shall we bunk college today , and go off on a date??” she was chuckling........

Friday, 27 December 2013

5 Gifts to Secure My Kid's future

    For the records, i'm still some way off from having kids, as i've just kickstarted my career....

But there's nothing wrong in planning some  gifts for my kid , as and when he/she comes into existence! Here's what the dormant Dad in me has thought about the Five best gifts that i can gift my kid : 

A Lie-Detector enabled Google Glass

Technology needs to be embraced big time, but at the same time, it should be foolproof. A Google Glass for my future child would seem to be an exotic gift from a Dad, but I want it to be having an embedded lie-detector , that will help him/her stay out of shady characters' grasps. My child shouldn't grow up suspecting any and everybody around him, with a perpetual frown lacing his eyebrows. I want him/her to be gracious to people around him/her .But this politeness shouldn't be exploited by mischief makers , and that's the reason I want to gift him this specially customised Google Glass .

An Invisibility Cloak

These are hard times, as with success comes the liabilities that are hard to shake off. Many of the high ranking officials today are a victim of the corrupt system , despite not being bad individuals themselves. But since by complying to the dubious practices that are prevalent , they run a lesser risk of rubbing some influential person the wrong way, they are forced to become yet another pawn in the game.

I want my child to become a protestor again wrongdoings, no matter what, but I also want him to be safe from evil eyes . I want him to fight against malpractices, but from under the Invisibilty Cloak , so that he can serve the nation like a real-life Mr India.

A green playground

When I was growing up, I always thought about smashing windows by six-hitting, or celebrating vigorously on scoring a goal on the field. Little did I know then that green patches in the city would be obscured by highrises......and  children would smash opponents only on the computer screen or celebrate after killing 50 opposition men on the virtual battlefield.

I am afraid, I am a believer in the old school of 'SPORTS' lovers , than Computer game addicts, and so I would like my child to sweat it out on the playground to find out the real joy of sports. But the rate at which our fields are disappearing makes me wonder whether he'd get an opportunity to ever play on a green field in a busy metro city. I wish to gift him a green playing field, which will only be frequented by sports lovers, and immune to encroachment from potential promoters.

A Sizeable Bank Balance

Come to think of it ...... From education to vacation, food to clothes: money is damn necessary in every sphere of life these days. And as a parent, I would look to gift my child with simply the best that I can afford, and also hope that there's a guiding force who will egg on my child when I'm not there to help him around. I think I can entrust HDFC Life with the responsibility to show my child the best way to utilise whatever savings that I make in my life as an honest Doctor .

A "backward-class" Certificate 

Divulging this pains me beyond comprehension, but as a Dad who wouldn't want to see his kid suffer the ignominy of repeated failures in competitive examinations, just because he/she didn't happen to be 'privileged' , leads me to hope that i can gift my kid with a Reserved Category Certificate. I myself have been a victim of this utterly disgraceful practice in Entrance Examinations, where i have failed to get into a suitable college at first chance despite securing a good enough rank, while many of my schoolmates have sailed through , by being backward. I have fought on to become a Doctor , but a few of my other worthy friends couldn't become so. With my head hung in shame, i have to say that this is one place, where i have voluntarily cast my sight downwards, as i wouldn't want my kid to fail . With the percentage of reserved category seats going up every year, it's imperative that i turn 'backward' so that my kid can have an easy path to success.
( P.S. :  writing about this last gift almost brought me to tears, because as a proud Indian, i shouldn't have stooped low. But that's the way of life for us it seems in this great country , that is pegged back by narrow-minded bureaucrats , playing the vote-bank politics to good effect)

Friday, 20 December 2013

Future of amateur Biking: how to promote Bicycles globally

It's the Mercedes of rural India,safe, pollution free, cheap & can negotiate the 'kutcha' roads with élan .....yes, it's the Bicycle, that I'm talking about! But has urban India warmed up to the advantages provided by cycles? Is there a scope of establishing Bicycles on a strong foothold? Let's see!

From my experience, I can say that for quite a long time, I couldn't figure out how to keep my balance on a bicycle. But when I tried to learn it properly, it took me one single autumn evening of four hours , when I struggled with keeping my cycle straight, wobbling all around, getting all muddy on the dew covered field . It's aptly said , that nobody can learn cycling unless he has fallen from it! I found it out to good effect that day!
The magic trick was when an onlooker asked me to look straight ahead & keep my head still, when all the time I was intently looking down at the handle, trying to keep it horizontal! After that it was a cakewalk !

Learning cycling had given me advantages! On days when there were strikes in Kolkata, I could still visit my college , by cycling all the way! Not to forget the amount of strength imparted to my calf muscles when I pedalled along on weekend mornings for a few happy hours!

Here I go with my blueprint to make bicycles more prominent ....albeit with assistance from technology:

1) Sell bicycles with a fitted GPS system. Anything with a hint of internet in it attracts today's young generation easily.

2) get a custom made Android /Windows app, which can attract bikers of a particular city to come closer. It can integrate with Facebook & Twitter to let a person know who else from their friend lists are avid bikers. They can arrange meets on weekends, and build up a healthy cycling ethic!

3) the app should be enabled with info about all the nearby repair stations , as well as cycle stands' lists. It should show the most suitable paths that are feasible for bikers.

4) people can customise their apps to add the location of their fellow bikers in their apps. This can be aided by integration with FourSquare. The 'Mayorship' does attract a fair number of takers, so bikers' frequent visiting points would be visited more or less regularly!

5) Revenue can be generated from the app in the form of advertisements from Tyre companies or cyclists' gear selling companies. Almost all leading sports brands have new gadgets and biking accessories like shades, bodysuits, helmets that can be alluring for the amateur bikers,so it should not be too difficult to attract these ads.

6) the app can have a system to include particular 'hashtag' based searches, to find out other amateur biker communities from around the world and to interact with them!

7) the app should have the ability to Upload pictures, so that bikers can show off their new vantage points or shining new accessory for their cycles and build up camaraderie !

8) Corporate sectors can take up the responsibility to promote biking in the Tech Cities that are coming up around the country. A few cyclists only zones exist in these techies' training zones already, I believe, and I do wish this becomes the trend. This can have the dual advantage of keeping the Tech cities pollution-free, as well as infusing a fitness regime among the techies, who have to sit for long hours at stretch at their work stations.

9) in the tech cities,there should be a cloud based network on the corporates' servers , that could store the data of individual techies' miles covered on cycles! There can be announcement of monthly perks for the top three techies who have covered the maximum distance on their bicycles! This will increase the urge to cycle more regularly!

10) once a month, there can be bikers' races announced over fixed distances. The corporates can back these endeavours!

So there goes my 10-point memorandum of how or promote cycling globally, with the help of technology! Hope it can throw some light on the future of amateur biking!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Tablet-nama : Tabletting A Better Way!

Me & my Tablet , engrossed in each other's company , oblivious to the world around us!

Make a note of the fact that I'm an obsessive compulsive user of the tablet! 

Or rather ......tablets!

Oh....I'm a doctor.

Confused?? Please don't be. Either way , you're right!
Both electronically, and therapeutically, I am in close association of tablets!

My everyday life with my Tablet:

"Whenever, wherever, we're meant to be together,
I'll be there & you'll be near,
And that's the deal my dear!"  had crooned Shakira!

She might as well have been referring to my relationship with my tablet!

It's large, it's podgy, the RAM is often dodgy ,
But I never ever cease to sing my tablet's eulogy! 

An occasional glimpse from the person sitting across, a few envious glances cast sideways from the person sitting beside, even a few blatant stares down on the screen , making you a little tab has been the subject of public scrutiny on numerous occasions! Although I won't say I am desperate to shower the limelight on it, I would be lying if I say that the silent smirk, or a gloating feeling doesn't knock on the mind , when others look at it longingly!! Come on, snazzy gadgets are meant to be eye-catchy & are eligible for show off, aren't they? Otherwise, you could have walked around with crude circuitry , that score zero on the beauty front! 
          A quick check of the new medicine brand names, a read-up on the latest tablet ensures I dont lag behind at any time! There's no need for me to squint and struggle to read the fonts....the ample screen size takes care of it!  Better still, during resting hours in the doctors' duty room in my hospital, there's this urge to relax by seeing a few music videos, and the giant 7" screen is there to ensure I dont miss the television at all! If there's a live cricket match going on, some of the other junior doctors too join in for a collective match viewing experience,  if live streaming in is available! The patients & their parties too look at me , with added respect, as the large gadget is hard to miss, once you turn up with it , in the hospital wards !!

True it is not 2010 anymore, when the first tablet PCs took us by storm, but , in India, a good-looking tablet in your hand can sure turn a few heads !!

The mirror selfie with my Tab

 Coming to another use, even the Pope was seen clicking a selfie, and so did US president, with a few other heads of states, at a recent event! Who said guys cant pose for selfies? I sure do, and make it a point to use the large screen of my tablet to good effect, while clicking group selfies,  where we dont have to crane our heads too much to fit in the screen!! 

Selfies or Normal photos, my Tab can do all 
 Noting down a few lines that come to the mind, clicking photos around and posting them online, or being on social media ...nothing is difficult, with my tab in tow!
One hand is already preoccupied with my tab ,
while i hold an a platter on the other

But all good things do have a flipside, and the large size makes it almost imperative that I have to carry it on my hands all the time! When I long for a Momo or an ice-cream from a roadside stall, the question of where to place the tab, comes up quite often. 

I've managed to circumnavigate this apparent problem as well. 

I look left, I look right...quickly unbutton one of the lower buttons of my shirt, slip the tab in, and enjoy the momo poker-faced. Job done, I take  it out coolly once more.  The few incredulous onlookers around me can always be wished to have a good day!!

           my own way to get my hands-free, despite keeping the tab safe

A Better Way with the Yoga Tablets: 
With the scintillating new Yoga tablet opening up a world of possibilities with its innovative styling, here's how it can be used better:

The grip at the side makes it all the more attractive can be grabbed firmly but comfortably. 

The Yoga tablet stands on its own....can there be any bettter way than this??

you can read at will on your tab, on train or car'll stay easily gripped!

Plonk it down on your table , and enjoy a movie on it!

The Ideal Tablet:

An ideal tab should be like a newspaper: spread it out, enjoy the large view, read all around, then fold it , and place it in your pocket !

Thus, the tablet must be flexible, so that you can bend it like you want, while reading !
 It should be foldable , so that after using, it can fit into the pockets with ease! 
 The tablet should have the finger print authorisation feature, so that unless a finger print is recognised by the device, the touchscreen won't work! 
The tablet can have a sensor, that works by sensing the pulse rate , that will alert the person, if the heart rate goes below 50 . Usually, these episodes can lead to complete heart block & subsequent blackouts . A tablet can warn in this regard, and be a great life-saver!

so that's my 'Tablet-nama' .... chronicling my experiences with a Tablet in my everyday life,the possible uses of the Yoga tablet and how i would like an ideal tablet to be !!

Summing up my relationship with my tab by a few lines from Westlife: 
We got a little world of our own,
i'll tell you things that no one else knows!!

so, certainly,what would i do without you,tab??

Sunday, 15 December 2013

When She Called....

I could sense nervous energy building up within me!
As i was instructing the junior campers about the position of the Andromeda galaxy, and how to point the telescope towards it correctly, my mind had been already sent into a tizzy!!
It was dark at the Astronomy camp-site , but the incredible star-lit sky had enough light to help me keep a tab on her movements in and around me!!
 She was one of the new campers, seeing whom for the first time at the railway station,at the onset of our journey , had sent a few flutters in my stomach! But i was too reclusive to go up to her, although the heart longed for it!
  Interaction hadn't been possible all this time, but my peripheral vision had given me enough to convince me that it was imminent! I had found her struggling with her thick winter garments, the red torch light and the immense volume of  star-chart xerox sheets in the semi darkness! Even though I was helping some of the others around with my knowledge, i caught her looking at me! I too was a camper, but i had much greater practical knowledge of how to use the telescope & i thought the time had come at last , when she would ask me for some help!I fancied my chances at impressing her in the very first chance!!

  "Sir, can you please show me how to locate Orion on this chart??",the sweet voice finally rang aloud just behind me!

I was excited moment of glory,finally...
I swivelled back hastily,"yes, sure..why....uhh.........??"

In my excitement,i had completely missed noticing the 'Sir' title , to her adressee!!

The aged gentleman was peering down already through his thick glasses , on the sheet, while she looked on intently!!
She was holding the star chart across for the senior instructor , who had just arrived behind me!!


Medi-'sin' or Medi-'shave' ??

"There's no reason for me to believe you belong to this ward!"
I was the subject of this predicament, on the first day of my Medicine ward posting! The admonisher was Dr. Sen, a young lady doctor of my medical college, who was especially pleasing to the eyes, & was the subject of many of our final year medical students' fantasies ! She wasn't much older to us in age, but by virtue of her degrees, was senior to us in hierarchy! 

"I hate that smelly stubble. I'm sorry, but you look less of a doctor,& more of a hooligan. Now, if you would please go out ....! "
I was shooed away ignominiously , in front of the patients & my other batch mates!

I didn't waste anymore time!

Winning over her heart was a priority , because, she was the female boss dreams are made of! I rushed back to the hostel, shaved off the stubble real fast & within twelve minutes, I was at the door of the ward again! 
" may I enter....err....Mam!"
"You , agai.......", and she stopped short , glancing at my face,"ummm....oh yes, please join!" 

The change in attitude was palpable! 

As our eyes met, the strictness was missing! Rather, the twinkle in them gave away an air that I might have a chance at some 'preferential' treatment!

My clean shaven look had bowled her over!
I joined in......

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A 'Close' shave ....for her!

"Utsa, look here, I've come!! "
She won't look!
"It's been a long time you're angry dear....!"
She buried her face even more!
"Sweetheart, I am sorry ..... Please forgive me! "

I was still being ignored by her.

 My beloved Utsa was cross with me , for the singular reason, that on the previous day, we had gotten close enough while cuddling...& we had rubbed our cheeks passionately,forgetting all about the stubble , that I was growing over a few days! As the sharp beard ends grazed against her tender cheek,with a loud shriek of "OUUUUCCHHH",  she had torn away from my embrace, looking disgustedly at my face, while clutching her bruised cheek! Tear had welled up in her eyes, & she had left the room, shouting "Go away, I don't want to see you.....go!" I had left in utter bewilderment! 

But I had learnt my lesson! So, the very next day,I had got rid of the stubble & turned up in her room , wanting to resume our camaraderie! 

But till now, my efforts were in waste. From the very moment of my entering, she had not even turned to look at me,hiding her face in her hands.

Getting closer to her , I grabbed her hand. She instantly started vehement protests to wriggle away! Gently, but firmly, I put her soft fingers to my cheek! 

Now, she no longer protested. In a fraction of a second , she was staring at me , with those round little eyes! A radiant smile spread across her face as she surveyed my smooth countenance. My clean shaven look had bowled  her over . She leapt onto my lap & voluntarily rubbed her cheek , happily against mine! 

My three-year old niece Utsa & me were best friends again !! :) 

Utsa & a clean-shaven me ...pose for a Selfie , post our reconciliation 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

All 'bout Cranberry : a 'Breezy' journey from Infatuation to Love!!

at one of our Medicos parties
   Sometimes, casual flings do cause serious changes in a person’s mindset!! My affair with Cranberry Breezer started off in the most bizarre of circumstances, in the midst of one of the busiest roads of Kolkata, and developed into a long-lasting affair! Did my tongue not want to distance itself from the entwining effervescence of Cranberry breezer, once it got embroiled emotionally?? Did my friends too develop this habit, but from entirely different scenarios?? We’ll fret about them, but first , let me tell you the tales!! Ahoy, here we go!!

   Three of us school friends had met after a long time . One of us had made drinking his favourite pastime,one had never even taken one sip of an alcohol , while I was the proverbial middle-class amongst drinkers, having a drink or two a year! So, when Debayan declared that we should end our day with a few pegs, Saptarshi was on the verge of fleeing the discussions straightaway, but I managed to hold him back! We decided to settle on Cranberry Breezer, as the optimum solution for our diverse mindedness, and it was Debayan , who did the formalities of queuing up at the alcohol outlet, and buying the bottle , while Sap looked for places to hide himself . Anything related to alcohol was akin to sacrilege for him! Now , the buying did not mean the end of our problems.....where to drink it , because we were on the road in busy Kasba , South Kolkata, with every possibility of being picked up by the police vans for drinking liquor on the road!!! And bigger still, how to open the bottle ?? Now, we three were hardcore professionals, and we had no intentions of getting our front teeth knocked off, in trying to bite off a beverage cap, in an apparent attempt at displaying bravado. So we searched for possibilities . No shop would allow us to use their bottle openers , seeing a liquor bottle. It was then that I had a brain wave seeing a parked bicycle . I hinged the breezer bottle on the gaps in its carrier, and wrenched open the cap! Putting the bottle to my lips, i was energetized instantly, as if a magic potion was slowly making its way down from my tongue ,and into my alimentary system, cajoling the soft tissues inside! After such a morale-boosting victory, the Cranberry tasted even more heavenly! I was rather circumspect about Saptarshi, but even he was forced to change his opinion , as he enjoyed every sip of his !! 
Thus started my infatuation for Cranberry flavoured breezer!!

Jump cut to the Durga puja time,in Kolkata:
     Ashtami evening, the period when revelries reach an all-time high, isn't exactly the time, when you try to convince people regarding maintaining their sanities , so it didn't come as a surprise, that , en route to the famed Maddox square, my locality pals made it a point to stop the cab in front of a liquor shop in the neighborhood ! I could sense that this was probably the last straw,and to prevent any mishaps, i begged them to let go of alcohol for the night! But they wouldn’t have any of it,so what transpired was a melee, and at one point , the taxi driver even threatened to throw us out of the car! But as a last-ditch attempt to salvage myself, i threw in a suggestion , that if they invariably HAD to indulge, then they could go for Breezers !! They seemed to contemplate my point , and at last settled on the Cranberry flavour! I realised , that it was respect that they had for the mere taste of Cranberry flavoured Breezer, that compelled them to abstain from harder drinks that night! It was probably the only drink other than other high-content alcohol-laden beverages , that I could have managed to bargain down to , otherwise, the situation could've been pretty out of control, with everyone getting tipsy! 

She was apprehensive with the first sips,
which vanished thereafter
The third instance I can recall , was after graduating as a medical student ,when we attended our first conference as junior doctors . My girlfriend , a teetotaller , was averse to drinking, but after talking her into getting one Cranberry Breezer for herself, she took a sip, and I could see it in her face , that she enjoyed this dual feeling of indulging herself in alcohol, yet not ruining her senses at all!! It appeared to me that the cranberry breezer came to her as Guilt-free pass to celebrate her medical graduation with aplomb!

The main reason for me narrating these instances is just to highlight the importance that a flavour has , in choosing its patrons!! People with varied backgrounds , and with a myriad of taste preferences unanimously embraced this Cranberry breezer, simply because of the ecstasy associated with every sip of it! I personally would advocate , what i like .......after a long day at work , when the senses are getting numbed, pamper yourself with one bottle!! That bittersweet aftertaste, that lingers in the mouth , as the real thing goes down , is something that anybody can appreciate! The first sip is enough to let you know , that this beverage has been designed , with a lot of love , and care, to caress every taste bud of yours!! It is not as if you get to judge the Cranberry Breezer, it's rather the other way round, ie, the Breezer itself assesses your mindset, and allures your satiety centres into a sense of fondness, giving rise to that ephemeral feeling of being loved!! It's short, sweet....and undoubtedly a sexy lap dance on your tongue!!!

So why wait?? Latch onto a bottle, and savour every last drop of it.....and mind it, it’s NOT to be passed around! You’ll not be getting any remnants, when the bottle returns to you!! 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Formula into Formula 1

“One last lap, and you’re out,” was the prompt from the Team Principal.

It was her Fifth lap of the test drive & her performances were abysmal. Especially,the last lap was a disaster:  the lap time was the worst of her career perhaps!

She shut her eyes !
The jeers of Formula 1 male chauvinists began to ring louder in her ears, "A female driver?? Wouldn't even last one race! Let her be in Go-Karting ! At least , she won't be killed there", they had chanted! Her ears became hotter under the helmet. It would be a huge embarassment for her backers , and might actually shut the door for future female racing enthusiasts into the sport. 

She gritted her teeth, strengthening her resolve as her silver machine sprung to life , one last time.
The engine roared....and off she went...

This time , she raised the bar! She blazed round the arena, with her tyre rubbers burning ! The lap time was too good to  be true!
She had proved her mettle in front of the sponsors !
The team principal was stunned ! 
FIA was indeed going to have a female driver in its ranks for the first time in years !

She climbed up her cockpit, opened her helmet , shook off the sweat from her hair!
The exuberant chants of her peers appeared distant , as she looked out at the race track!

She could already visualise the chequered flag at the finishing line! 

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

the prompt : 'This time, she raised the bar',  should be there in the post.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Foray Into Bangkok

 "Sir, wake up! Your flight's landed at Bangkok! " , the petite Air Asia air hostess was smiling at me!
'Wait a Minute', I thought , ' Bangkok?? Really??' , I asked myself!
"No, you dimwit , it's Neptune you've reached", the devil inside my head was sarcastic, at the frivolity of my thoughts!

I remembered being smitten by the new attractive airfares of Air Asia from Kolkata to Bangkok on the World’s Best Online Travel Fair, on their website and planning to buy tickets for a vacation, without thinking twice.....but I had only been on their website..... When did I actually get up on the flight?? 
Or was I having retrograde amnesia??
Or was I in a time machine ?? 
Or...or..or..... Whatever!! 
Time had flown, that was evident , and I had reached the land of the White Elephant, so no more contemplating .....I got up with a smile and proceeded to check out.
Now, I've heard the Thai people can be quite spectacular in greeting their guests, but still, the feeling of being ushered into a foreign land with such generosity?? I was feeling happy! The confusion ,about how I ended up in the glitzy capital city of Thailand, from the Online Fair page of Air Asia, regressed to the very back of my mind!

Grand Palace
Emerald Buddha 
 Things started unravelling quickly, as the imperial KING's PALACE (Grand Palace) stood in front of me. I was barely out of the airport, and had taken a cab , but the first spot I was to visit was already there! The intricately built structure had me awed.......oh, what a start to the proceedings . And as a double bonanza to start off , the WAT PHRA KAEW , within the same complex housed the Emerald Buddha , a stunning statuette that drew gasps of admiration from my fellow tourists too!

Now , the surreal events got even more magnified , as I started skipping from one thrilling tourist spot , to another with whatever in between being blurred from my mind . Was I in some other time warp? Hard to tell, as the things were happening too fast.

Chao Phraya river
            Chao Phraya river: goodness ......I was stunned, as the sparkling blue waters reflected the spell of enchantment that had descended upon me! The majestic WAT ARUN stood tall , and reminded me of all its photos that I had seen in travel books. Just across the river , a ferry ride away, was the WAT PHO , that had the imposing statue of the reclining Golden Buddha .... I pored to look closely at him. I would not believe my eyes, but he indeed seemed to smile at me , and blinked his eyes reassuringly, before appearing as the beautiful statue once again! I rubbed my eyes , was it for real?? No way to confirm, I thought .....but it felt nice!

Wat Arun 

Golden Buddha at Wat Pho

Lumpini Boxing Stadium

The charming home of Jim Thompson , the Lumpini Boxing Stadium , all were specific landmarks that simply raised my excitement quotient . My camera was also working overtime,there was far too much to click all around me!

The FLOATING MARKET at DAMNOEN SADUAK : I was hooked! Now I regretted, oh, why didn't I bring my girlfriend along? She could've had a blast , with all the bargaining that was being possible here at the Venice of the East! The small boats in the canal ,were full of goodies. I looked around, other tourists were making a killing , with some incredible deals they were getting . My bargaining skills had not been honed to perfection, but I still managed to buy some veggies and fruits . The mind once more went back to the thought: ' I had bought tickets for her too....why didn't she come then??' , but were quickly replaced by ,' forget it , this is happening fast! What's wrong with a short solo tour ??'

Before long, I was staring at teeth-baring sharks , that appeared to be swimming above me?? How on earth......uh oh ... The SIAM OCEAN WORLD inside the SIAM PARAGON mall! My word: the marine creatures were all above us, and it was unbelievable to realise that it was the only possible place, where I could actually get to the bottom of their world, and yet be alive!!
The brands at the mall were all renowned names from the world of fashion , but , I was forced to curb my instincts not to spend a fortune there......'some other time', I consoled myself, and got out. It was Saturday, and, my mind was set on going on a shopping spree at the famous weekend shopping place: CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET.

Cool tees, mobile cases, tote bags for the girls in the family , junk jewellery.....all were picked up.. And I started giving myself a pat on my back , for making shopping so ridiculously easy ! Now , I was not a shopaholic , by any stretch of imagination , but the attractions were too much here , and I was bound to splurge ! And I felt that I had conducted my plans to perfection !
Grabbing some Thai delicacies from the street , I munched on happily, deciding , that a Thai spa was mandatory here! So off I went ,for some traditional Thai massage at Ruen Nuad! Ahh....those hands of the masseuse .....felt so nice ! They loosened up my body's hidden knots with panache! I smirked, thinking of the stories that I would have to tell friends back home.

Route 66 Nightclub
It was already dark, and the dazzling face of Bangkok was starting to make a bold statement! The skyscrapers made a pretty picture and glorified the skyline! I was growing restless too.......yes...... The Nightlife Baby! Bangkok is well known for its naughty self, post sundown , and I wanted to get a feel of it ! It appeared that I was on a guilt-free pass to revel in the spirit of glamour all around! ROUTE 66 should be the place to bring a crowning jewel to my day and I entered the nightclub , with the wild side to my conscience gearing up for one hell of a party! The music was loud, the ladies were gyrating , the drinks were fabulous, and I let go of my inhibitions in all the melee ! I completely lost myself, doing the crazy dances, and I did not want to get out anytime soon...........when ........suddenly , I got a thump on the back of my head ! I turned around to look at a rather dark corner, and was stunned to find Mom!!

She was staring at me with a queer expression, ' where were you? Sleep talking?', She asked! 'Bangkok', I replied promptly! 'What? Why were you sleeping on your laptop keyboard??' , she looked dumbfounded by my announcement! The reality check forced me to hastily look around to find my laptop screen , with AirAsia's webpage open on one of my browser's tabs, and Bangkok's famous tourist destinations open on another tab! 
Bangkok had always attracted me with all its beautiful locales, and i harboured desires to visit it some day. I was so attracted by the flight ticket offers on Air Asia's World's Best Online Travel Fair page, that I was on the verge of booking the tickets. In order to plan my trip, I was surfing the web pages depicting Bangkok's tourism . While going through them,I had somehow dozed off, and mentally forayed into Thailand!

Embarrassed , I was at a loss for words to explain myself . From Bangkok's casino , to my room in Kolkata , it was too much of a journey ,and stating that I was 'virtually jet lagged' wouldn't have been an understatement! But I had made up my mind......this dream was not meant to be shelved, it must be converted into reality ....and sooner ,rather than later, I plan this trip to Bangkok, a place, where I have never been , but was on a joy-ride , 

courtesy one incredible offer from!!  

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Selection !!

He had been left out, yet again, from the squad. 
Performances hadn't rewarded him with a place in the team.
He was shattered. The team was supposed to leave for the series in Australia in a few hours, after their grueling training camp, that was being held in his City only and he was in his room, not talking much, silently cursing his misfortune. 
It was time to start packing , and return to his hometown and prepare once again for the domestic tournaments, but he didn't feel like doing it! He didn't wish to return home at all!
His vision blurred......."no, no, control yourself", he tried to reason with himself," you're becoming too emotional" !
"Maybe, a shower is all I need",  he thought and went to the bathroom.
When he came out, he was a little unmindful, but his eyes suddenly caught hold of his glowing phone screen.  He remembered he had put it on silent, and then forgotten about it.
Picking up the phone, he was stunned:   38 missed calls in 10 minutes!  he wondered what was going on.
He proceeded to check out the numbers, and saw most of them were unknown.  Another call came right in, this time from his Dad, and he received it eagerly,  to be greeted by , "Son,Congratulations on your maiden call up!"
His brain went into a tizzy, was he dreaming?
"Hello, hello,son... are you there ?"
"Yes, Dad.... please explain! i don't understand"!
"My goodness, you don't know it yet??", his Dad sounded incredulous, " It's all over the TV, they are showing it in news was just announced 10 minutes back! One of our fast bowlers just got injured in a freak incident, and has a ligament injury, so the selectors have got together & picked you! Pack your things, come on, be quick now!! You are supposed to leave in a few hours' time! Where have you been?? they must have called you to inform you , by this time??"...his Dad was going on, speaking breathlessly!

He was stunned!
But there was no time to get carried away!!
 He rushed to pack in his things,....but this time,he had a broad smile across his face !!

Friday, 8 November 2013

celebrating togetherness: .....the platinum day of Love

 "Hey titas!stop!.... STOP! " .....was a female voice beside me that urged the puller of her rickshaw to stop. It was still early days in college ; I was almost running as i was late for Anatomy class . I looked up at the owner of the voice & vaguely recalled that this was the girl who had passed snide remarks at me for shooting paper bits from rubber bands at other classmates , the previous week. I was so pissed off with her then, that i hadn't even noticed that the girl had a sweet face, which i now could see.
    Getting up on to the rickshaw , i said "thanks for this. . . . . umm...errr." and realised i didn't even know her name. Rather embarassed , i blurted out , “Sorry , i don't recall your name. ." . "Papiya", she said with a smile!
Thus began our friendship from a rickshaw ride , which quickly changed into a mutual liking . We became inseparable in college , sitting together, having tiffin together as well as returning after college hours together. I understood, little by little , that Cupid had struck me , a feat that i had thought impossible in the past, as i poked fun at other guys having girlfriends. Classmates began to tease me but i was unable to propose to her . Once or twice, i had tried to utter the topic of relationships but she had made it clear that we two were "just good friends".
      Then the days started getting dreary. I was almost head over heels in love , even managed to churn out a poem or two (never knew i had poetry within me) !! My mind started playing the proverbial ‘guitar’ in every occasion that i was with her, and she often caught me unaware, gazing longingly at her. Inside my mind, the Devil was tearing apart my thought processes, as he made it impossible for me to focus on anything! Right through the day, my conscience kept telling me , that the time was rife to profess my love for her, come what may, and that in our current scenario, i was not going to go anywhere, rather than stay on as a loyal sidekick of hers, when she decided to commit to any other guy!!
    One fine evening ,i decided , enough was enough and sent a long text message which declared all my inner feelings & stated that if we were not meant to be together as a couple , it's better that we don't stay together at all, because my feelings for her were growing incessantly by the day. Deep down, i felt maybe even she loved me, but she was unable to realise it. I thought maybe if i was away from her,only then she would realise it.

     What followed was a stage of utter confusion. I avoided her at college ,and  sometimes most awkward situations arose due to this. Best friends for such a long time were complete strangers now. Friends reported that Papiya was found crying , but i tried to hide my inner troubles and strived hard to put up a normal face. Hours passed in college , that turned into days and days into months, and no signs of any reconciliation . I began to wonder how i would put a person whom i loved and  saw everyday , out of my head.
  Then IT happened. 4months later, it was the first IPL semifinal and i was in front of the television when my cellphone flashed a message. It was from Papiya and my heart skipped a beat. As the text opened , my jaw dropped and as i read on those magic lines(i don't share those lines, some things are best left personal) ,i didn't understand what i would do . Here was something i wanted so dearly for so many days, and now that it was achieved, i felt rather empty. It was close to midnight already, and needless to say, i was too elated to sleep that night!

The next day indeed turned out to be our Platinum Day Of Love ,as it was an emotional getting together . Friends helped us get over our awkwardness and cheered for us . We looked at each other and smiled, for the first time in so many months! We were akin to some celebrities, who had taken over the college , as all our batchmates made a huge fuss over the proceedings, and embarrassed us to the core! And , we did bunk the last few classes , to set out for our first ‘official’ date!
Sitting by the famed Rabindra Sarobar Lake in South Kolkata, we tried to inhale the air of relief and unbridled joy , surrounding us! None of us spoke, but from time to time, we cast glances at each other! It was strange......but it felt good to be back together! And oh, yes, we held hands, rather clumsily at first, then snugly, as good times beckoned!!
        It's been 5 years since we got together , right through college days, ending college, and foraying into the lives of Medical Interns! We've had excellent times and vociferous argues, but we do feel splendid together, and the day of our Platinum Day of Love still lingers ,as if it was only yesterday! Like the purity of Platinum, and the unconditional glow of its exteriors, the purity of the emotions of that day , and our glowing smiles , have stayed on, fresh in the memory! That’s the essence of that one special day, which was not extraordinary by any stretch of imagination, but the happy events had eked out a prized niche for the day in the vault of my mind ! Hope to stay this way . . . . . . . . :)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

10 tips for a Safer Kolkata....

"Kolkata tops the chart amongst India's safest cities....yet again"
Am I dreaming? Yes, actually , that's a headline, conjured in my brain, for a newspaper , some day in circa 2020! But for that to occur, a lot of existing loopholes in the city's security planning needs to be overhauled! It's not something extraordinarily difficult to craft, but the problem lies in implementation ....since the roots of evils have grown too old to be sheared off in a jiffy! Crimes have become more sophisticated, with technology aiding the criminals like never before.

Now , for people who are vulnerable in these difficult times, here's what i feel are the options to stay safer, because , at the end of the day, there's only your presence of mind that can save you, from a potential threat:

1. pepper spray: this one is a tried and tested weapon, and has a pretty high efficacy, if applied accurately. keeping one such spray handy is a useful solution!
2. karate: another rather useful approach is to engage in direct combat! it doesn't pay to become a lazybones, so try and learn some self-defence! a few karate steps can actually be life saving when faced with a one/two-to-one situation!
3. having a small Swiss-knife in the handbag can be reassuring for yourself. While jackknifes might get caught in the x-ray machines of metro rails , there's less chance that a Swiss knife would be confiscated. And if used with the right kind of precision, it can inflict some serious damage!
4. avoid travelling alone at late hours, and preferably, have a male companion who can be trustworthy. If office hours compel you, do insist on carpools, and make sure that you are not the last person to be dropped off!
5. when returning at late hours,opt for illuminated roads rather than shortcuts to save time. This can indeed be safer, as you are in less chance of being ambushed in the dark.
6. if caught in some nasty situation, i'd rather suggest , rather than panicking, try to buy some time, by offering negotiations
7. save your energy for the right time, and keep your senses alert! it might help to attract attention of policemen at just the right moment! And every criminal does tend to take his guard down at some moment or another. wait, precisely for that moment, and try to strike at places , where it matters the most!
8. always have your phone in hand, with the keypad not locked , while walking alone, so that you don't have to fiddle with the lock code, when you really need to fire that call. Having Smart Suraksha installed in the phone , is truly of great importance.
9. Never try to hitch a ride back home, with an unknown person. who wants to embrace danger willingly??
10. Finally, you might hate Geography to the core, but i would suggest that you have an in-depth knowledge of the landmarks and streets in your city, so that you are not completely at a loss, in case of some trouble that is taking you elsewhere!

all said and done, there's still this deciding factor called LUCK , that decides whether you can manage to combat! But a person who is by habit a pessimist, will give up long before she is defeated, while those with a confident attitude, and courageous nature can attempt to mould some luck their way, by rising to the occasion , and being street smart!