27 December 2007


I'm not the first to rail against life's injustice
And I will not be the last.
But when I set out to do the math,
The balance left me aghast!

A forgettable childhood with few good memories,
A comfortable life with easy repast,
An understanding brother, a devoted friend,
The only legacy from my past.

Admirers galore, my share of second looks,
College life, in a flurry, it passed.
Happy-go-lucky and cheery outlook
Helped me make friendships that last.

A sharp intellect and sound genes
Made education a blast.
Some good luck in my work life
Brought me opportunities vast.

Prolonged wooing and a quick wedding,
To my sail, my hubby is the mast.
Got the best gift of my life
Without even trying, at long last.

Traveled to lands afar,
Got to know the world is vast.
A foreign stint, a timely return
My country's soil I hold fast.

A naive nature, a candid tongue
An easy target for people fast;
A forgiving heart and a short memory
I am programmed to outlast!

Wisdom and maturity
Learned through struggles past;
In the role of a mentor
I am eternally miscast.

A lot achieved so far,
Some more to go in my dreams vast,
Blessed am I in spite of my struggles;
Until next I sit to lambaste!

- Ni.Shi (yours truly)

26 December 2007

Small things...

I have been in an introspective mood these last few days. Perhaps that is why I feel the need to pen down my thoughts on this blog in such rapid succession.

I find that little things in life have the power to give one much pleasure-

  • The smile on my neighbour's child's face when I gifted him a toy unexpectedly.
  • The look of satisfaction on my hubby's face when I went to see his favorite movie even though I didn't expect to like it much myself.
  • The look of wonder on my dad's face when I typed an important and lengthy email for him in 5 minutes (supersonic speed by his standard).
  • The pleasure of having learned something new on my mother's face when I taught her how to reply to an email.
  • The happiness a stranger feels when a child smiles and reaches out to him / her as a gesture of trust & acceptance.
  • The pride in a parent's eye when his/her son or daughter(no matter how old) is praised or lauded unexpectedly.
  • The feeling of being lucky when one reaches one's destination much ahead of anticipated time after a long journey.
  • The look of pleased surprise on your parent's face when you gift them their favorite old-time actor's autobiography or a VCD of their favorite songs.
  • The feeling of contentment when all ones' dear ones get along harmoniously like a well-oiled machine.

Visit to my hometown

I had been to visit my parents' place(maika) in Baroda with my husband over the Christmas holidays after more than a year. The visit was short and planned quite suddenly. However, it was among my best times ever spent in Baroda ever since I left it a decade ago. The journey both ways was shorter than expected. I met some old friends, spent a lot of quality time with my parents and also got to relax and be pampered for a change! I think what helped is that there were no undercurrents or tension involved in this visit.

I got to see Baroda in a new light. It has changed quite a bit over the years. New and fancy buildings are cropping up everywhere eating up a lot of empty spaces. Lot of malls and restaurants have sprung up. The festive occasion of Christmas had people teeming on the streets, movie theatres, malls as well as restaurants. Though the mall and multiplex culture is not as rampant here as in the metros, it is catching up fast. I've never seen such crowds or traffic jams in Baroda before. Never were Xmas celebrations so obvious in the city as they were this year. One could see a Santa Claus at every corner, the entire city was out having fun on the evening on Dec 25. So much so, that our neighbour's son found a Xmas gift from Santa under his pillow on Xmas morning! It was surprising considering that they are a conservative Vaishav Gujarati family!

Inspite of this change, I love that the people of Baroda are still rather simple and homely. It is basically a quaint royal city with a lot of history and therefore rooted in conservatism. There are a lot of snacks/chat joints & coffee shops for college crowds, but the Barodians are inherently not foodies unlike the Puneris. Of course, some things still have not changed - such as things are still a bit disorganized and chaotic. The parking on the road-side is pathetic and the city could do with some major spring cleaning. It was the time of election counting during my visit and there was palpable tension on the streets as to the outcome. There are clear Modi and anti-Modi camps and there was a lot of speculation as to the results. Though I never take much interest in politics, this was something I garnered from the bits and pieces picked up from newspapers, media, conversations with friends and acqaintances and word on the street.

The shopping complexes of Baroda still tempt me and I do most of my shopping there. I love the fact that you enter one complex and can find a shop there for almost anything at reasonable prices. And oh yes, nothing beats the chat of Baroda and the sweet n savory shop named "Payal"!

All in all, this visit reconnected me to my hometown and helped me look at it more objectively this time.

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