Monday, November 26, 2007

On Mistakes

I'm being lazy and putting up something I wrote two years ago.


No one ever sets out to make a mistake. It happens, due to ignorance, carelessness, foolishness. Mistakes remind us that we are not yet perfect. That we are not smart enough. That, perhaps, we are not as adult as we would like to believe.

I am a fool because I make mistakes. Because I trust in others. Because I believe in dreams. And it hurts if those dreams shatter, and I am left picking up the pieces. Sometimes, there are so many pieces that it is not worth the effort, and all you can do is walk away. And live a new dream.

The right thing to do with mistakes is to learn from them, and move on. Because each one teaches us something new. Ideally, each mistake should be the last of its kind, if we have learned the lesson. But then, we rarely do. We are what we are. One mistake, or even a series of them, rarely serves to change our character, to make us wiser. We continue in the same blundering way, making mistakes, hurting ourselves.

But I would rather be a fool than a knave. I would rather be fooled than fool. I would rather believe in others than stop believing in anything. I would rather make mistakes than be afraid to live. I am not worse because I am a fool. I am only more true, more trusting, more hopeful. I am a dreamer. The princess might have to kiss many frogs before one turns into a prince.

I am only human. After all, we all make mistakes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Where I grew up, Diwali was more about noise than about light. I always longed for a Diwali with lots of lamps and candles, with love and good company. This year, I had just that. A few friends joined us at home for what I feel was a perfect evening - the presence of friends, good but simple food, cheerful conversation, and a festive feel. All of us went around to a couple of more houses later, and Diwali - for perhaps the first time for me - was about people, not crackers or lights. Diwali, for Gujratis, is also the end of a year and the start of a new one.

May this new year bring light into all our lives.

My Visit to Bangalore

Bangalore was one major city I hadn’t visited (unless you count a visit paid when I was about six). Therefore, I had a lot of curiosity to see what it was like. I fulfilled my desire recently, when I flew over to visit my oldest friend. Let’s call her Effe.

I loved the city. Bangalore really has wonderful weather – I had been sceptical of all the claims until I landed and the breeze caressed my face. Throughout my stay, it was cool, breezy, with light drizzles at times. Pune has weather like that for a couple of months in the year. Bangalore – so Effe said, though I suspect she might be trying to make me jealous – is that way most of the time.

I spent a lovely weekend there, enjoying the company of Effe and, intermittently, of her boyfriend who was christened the Man-Friend on my first morning there. (The story goes this way: I kept referring to him as “the boyfriend”, and Effe protested that it sounded too juvenile. So he became the more grown-up Man-Friend.)

We went on long drives on tree-lined avenues and wide highways. Once Effe was driving me away from the city, and I was delighted to see a rainbow right ahead of us. “It’s been ages since I saw a rainbow!” I exclaimed. As we drove closer, we could see the pale colourful arch curve right across the sky, like a gate welcoming us into the countryside. “I can’t remember when I last saw a complete rainbow like that!” I said. And then, next to the first one, we could see the faint colours of another rainbow. “I don’t know when I saw two rainbows!” I cried. We clicked away on my camera, trying to capture the image for ever. But nothing can replicate the breeze, the drizzle, the exquisiteness of that moment.

The next day, the Man-Friend was driving. Out of very kind deference to my aching back, they insisted that I sit in front. And I enjoyed the best view in a exhilarating ride. At one time, we went out on a highway that was still under construction, so that there were very few vehicles on it and we got miles of wide, deserted road. The Man-Friend got into his element and speeded till we touched 120 kmph. Probably not a wise action to perform on an old Maruti 800, but we weren’t complaining.

The lovely road with parks on either side, that she took me on a drive on

The sun shimmering through the trees

Look closely: can you see a faint rainbow to the right of the first one?

Would you like a ride in a Rolls Royce?

The long open road stretching before us

They took me out to dinner too, at excellent restaurants. Effe, of course, stuffed me at home as well and shouted at me when I protested. At least there was no embarrassment between us, both of us having become roundly well-fed specimens of womanhood.

On my last night there, we went to a place called the 13th Floor, which is – you guessed it – on the 13th floor. It gave us an amazing view of the city. Sporadic pre-Diwali crackers and frequent airplanes added some movement. Pictures, unfortunately, did not capture the view well enough.

View from the 13th Floor

A street decked up for Diwali

And I leave you with this final picture that records Effe hard at work, and my first encounter with dhansak.