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The stranger

Like every Mumbaikar, I had been praying for the monsoons to hit the city and provide some respite from the heat that was on a mission to burn us all. Now that the clouds had finally decided to fly in for their annual visit, they seemed to be as angry as the sun. This has been happening every year, leaving us with only two choices, to either drown in our own sweat or to let the ruthless downpour do its job.

As the metro approached Andheri station, people started lining up at the door. With the coach nearly empty, I shifted to the corner seat next to the door. I was just two stops and 4 min away from my destination but that didn't stop me from grabbing my favorite seat the minute it got empty. That's how we have become, always running after something better and not appreciating what we already have.

It was almost 9 PM. I climbed down the stairs of D N Nagar metro station, clutching my umbrella and feeling tempted to use it to push away the crowd. It didn't take long for me…
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The Creeper

Do you remember the day you were born? I do. Or, at least I would like to believe that I do. My tiny arms pushed against the mother earth, cracking it open so that I could get the first glimpse of the new world that was going to be my home. I was expecting some kind of magic but reality seemed to be far less magical. It was cold and dark outside and I almost regretted being born. But I shrugged off that thought and decided to give the world one more chance. Tired and pale, I rested my head on the bosom of mother earth and fell asleep.

Things looked a little brighter when I woke up. It wasn't dark anymore. Something far up in the sky shined brightly. It was the sun, I learned later. I felt stronger and noticed that I was not pale anymore. My arms were now turning green and a tiny leaf was about to unfurl, my first leaf.

Many cold nights and sunny days went by and I grew taller, or may be I should say longer because I could never rise up and away from the earth. I was surrounded by…

The fuzzy, dynamic space around us

Have you heard of the inner circle-outer circle analysis? I remember being made to do this analysis in one of the moral education classes in school. First, you are asked to draw two concentric circles and write "ME" in the center. Then, in the inner circle you write the names of those who you are (or you feel) closest to and in the outer circle you put down the names of your second-level associations, which may include extended family members, cousins, friends, or whoever you think are more than just acquaintances but cannot be included in the inner circle. I can't recall what was the point of this exercise. May be we were being told to form close associations with only a bunch of people and have some restrictions before letting anyone enter our inner circle. I had a problem doing this exercise then and I am still unable to put names on an axis of zero to infinite emotional bonding.

Something prompted me to rethink about this analysis and it has been clouding my thought…

Healing and conquering myself, one tiny step at a time

"It is not the mountains we conquer but ourselves."
-Edmund Hillary
Two years back, when I had set out on my first trek in the Himalayas, I did not know what I was getting into. It began as a quest, a search for the place that I was dreaming about for the last few years. Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand did turn out to be straight out of my dream and I still cannot believe it. I remember sitting on that large asymmetrical rock for more than an hour, looking at the snow-clad mountains and scribbling in my diary as the cool wind blew in my face and the sun tried its best to warm my fingers. 
Less than a year later, I went back to the mountains and it was then that I realized that I was meant to go back, not once or twice or thrice, I just have to be there every once in a while. May be that recurring dream had a bigger purpose than calling me to the Valley of Flowers. May be someone up there knew that it was just a beginning. And now that it has started, it shall go on till my…

Something has changed

I was talking to this friend after a long time and the first two questions he asked me were, 'What movie did you watch last weekend?' and 'Where are you traveling to next?'. I refused to answer his questions till he first asked me how I was. We laughed and he said that he keeps seeing my updates on movies and travel and wonders when he will find time to do that.

I have always loved to travel. I remember once my parents asked my brother and me to make a wishlist of things that we wanted. I had added 'Trip to Delhi' to that list. Then came a time when all the focus was on board exams and competitive exams, and the joy of traveling was forgotten because it mostly meant going to a new city to give some exam. 
It all restarted once I came to Mumbai, 13 years back. Before I landed in this city I had turned into a shy, timid girl whose friends used to help her cross the road and get a rickshaw for her so that she doesn't have to talk to the rickshaw-wala. I can&#…

Being single among non-single girl friends

We all have had our own bunch of girl friends at some point of our lives. They are the ones who we shared our notes and secrets with. In school, the frequently discussed topics used to be anything from 'who could fail in which subject' to 'who is getting what on their birthdays' to 'who has a teeny-weeny crush on which boy in the class'. In college, the points of discussion remained more or less the same except that some of our friends had a boy friend or a fiancĂ©. That usually marked the beginning of an end of the precious girl gang as slowly each of us drifted apart. Some of us got married and had kids, while some others moved to a different city or country in search of a dream career. In my case, the latter holds true. On the other hand, most of my girl  friends got married over a span of ~10 years. Interestingly, I am almost the only one from my old girl gang who is still in the process of enjoying singledom and in return gets subjected to queries, free ad…


The girl, who had expressed an urge to live despite what she had gone through, is dead. She must have been a strong-willed woman, wanting to live, face the world, restart her life, become a doctor, serve people, have a family, love and be loved. Not many of us would have that kind of strength. Being in that situation, wanting to die would not be considered insane. But she wanted to live...that is what pains me the most. It is only for this reason that out of immense hatred, I am compelled to support the appeal for capital punishment. Those men do not deserve to live, walk on the streets, lead a normal life.

However, will a death sentence put an end to the ongoing epidemic of crime against women? I don't think so. Does that mean we shouldn't do anything for what has already happened? No, we should. But what? I don't have a clear answer to that but it would be something along the line of the famous welsh proverb, "If every man would sweep his own doorstep, the city wou…