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Week 40: The One with Doing

The title sounds a bit weird, right? But that’s on you – you sleazy mind! All I mean to say is that this week finally saw things happening. Thoughts and plans were converted to action.

Quick updates on the “doing” part –

  1. Ran 21 kms this week (in 4 sessions overall).
  2. Attended two challenging cardio sessions at the gym. We have classes at the gym, for an hour each, where they make your muscles realize that they exist. Painful realization, this!
  3. Wrote, recorded, edited and published one of my poems ‘Chai pe charcha’ on the blog and my YouTube channel. Come on, show some love, subscribe!
  4. Started reading The Last Juror by John Grisham.

Almost a year ago, I remember walking down the garden with a friend as we discussed about Dwight Eisenhower and one of his quotes –

Plans are nothing; planning is everything

One might decide the fact that he/she wants to go from pole A to pole B. But that is just a plan. Plans never help. You make a plan and then what? Nothing! You can reach there by flying or walking or running or trotting (that is, if you are a horse or a dog – but the chances of you being a horse/dog are feeble if you are reading this). The plan is good but what about it? It is helping no one, including you.

Continuous planning as you keep doing things is what counts. Lifting your left foot and placing it ahead and then lifting the right one and placing it ahead, and keeping on doing it repeatedly, is what I mean by planning and doing. There might be a puddle and you might have to take a detour. Or there might be a cow in your way (quite possible if you are in India) and you have to go around it. A lot can change in the process of getting to pole B. But that will be taken care of in the continuous planning bit. That is the only way you might reach pole B. Think about this when you make a plan on doing something; think about the planning it requires too.

No, I am not high on weed. This actually makes sense!

One of my managers also told me about this sometime back. If you are reading this, you know I’m talking about you.

Also, this week I got #MaaKaPyaar delivered at my door. Well not at my door really, FedEx took it back to their courier facility, because I wasn’t home when they came to deliver. But whatever, I went to their facility and got my parcel the same night. Mom and dad sent me dry-fruits, chikkis, khakras (YES I’M GUJJU), mom-made chivda (YOU’RE THE BEST, MOM!) and bhakarwadi :’) I know they don’t read my blog (because, they’re not too well versed with English) so I left a WhatsApp message conveying my feelings. I can’t don’t say “I love you” to them, but they read it in my “Got the parcel, chivda is so so good!”

MaaKaPyaar

I don’t call them often or say it out loud. But, I love my parents and I miss them. There is a small, teeny tiny guilt that comes with living so far from them. Not because they need me, but because I need them. Before my eyes well up, let’s move on…

On a completely different note, I started reading Mirza Ghalib, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Jaun Elia and Ahmad Faraz this week. If love is a piece of cloth, then Mirza Ghalib has pulled each and every thread out and painted it with his feelings. Such powerful writing. And such command over the language. His couplets have two to three completely different meanings associated with them; you interpret it based on your thoughts about it. The same two lines might be talking about the lover or God or someone else, based on how you take it. I am in half a mind to translate one ghazal a week in English and publish it on this blog. Tell me your thoughts about it via a note/comment/message.

Exactly a year back – I was in Udaipur. Having a sumptuous meal at Ambrai on the south west corner of lake Pichola, overhearing a few guys singing and playing (guitar and conga) Hindi medley of my favorite songs!  I have recorded a video of 12 minutes of their roadside performance. Probably 1/4th of their overall performance. And it was not even a performance – just 4 guys sitting on the roadside footpath, playing these songs and enjoying themselves. What a night!

Udaipur

One of the best cities in the world – Udaipur.

PS: Adrak (ginger) is over. Which means no good chai till I lift my ass from this bed and get it from the store downstairs. 😦

PPS: I have 5 days off in February. Suggest places to go to/things to do? It is fucking freezing here, so keep that factor in mind while you suggest. If you’re hosting me, I’M COMING TO YOUR CITAAAAY!

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Posted by on January 22, 2018 in Zindagy Weekly

 

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Chai pe charcha

Chai ka bhala ab lafzon se kya kahoon
jab dil se yun baat nikalti hai,
subah ki ek, dopahar ki do
aur shaam ki teen toh banti hai.

Chaahe aashiq kaho chaahe kaho nashedi,
mai’n pyaar ke pyaale mein bhi, thodi si to chai bharta hoon,
mehboob to aate jaate rahenge,
main cutting se mohabbat karta hoon.

Hai’n dost mere aise bhi
jo coffee chaav se peete hai,
samaj nahi paata par sochta hoon aksar
ye saale aise kaise jeete hain?

Starbucks waali cappuchino pee le
ya vo 200 waali pheeki espresso wahi,
tu laut ke phir aayega tapri par shaamko
aur lagegy tujhe udhaar waali cutting hi sahi.

Fir nakhre kyun karta hai tu,
sophistication ke aad mein kyu marta hai tu,
chal ek kaam karte hai
shaamko nukkad pe milte hai,
tujhe adrak waali special pilaata hoon
teri hone waali bhabhi – jo ye bhi nahi jaanti ki tera bhai kon hai –
uske baare mein batata hoon.

Mohabbat waali koi baat nahi
mohabbato’n ke chochle nahi hote aasaan,
par mohabbat shayad mujhe kabhi hui hi nahi,
phir manaa leta hoon apne dil ko ye kehkar
ki shayad, ye zaroori bhi toh nahi.
Ye crush hai,
hafte mein ikkis baaees toh hote hai
bed par 2 logon ke liye jagah nahi boss,
apan toh taang failaa kar sote hai

Chalti rahi hai ab tak zindagy
chalegy aage bhi aise hi sahi,
thodisi tulsi, thoda adrak phudina,
chini chai mein apne utni hi,
crushes se one-sided pyaar hota hai apna jitna.

~KK

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2018 in Poems

 

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Week 39: The One with Ramdayal, Ras-malai and wRiting

It is a Monday, first long weekend of 2018, around 1 in the afternoon.

Some bad news: Last week I realized there is a mouse in my apartment. We’ll call him Ramdayal. Ramdayal is not a rat, he is a mouse. A house mouse. How am I so sure about Ramdayal being a mouse? I did some research (of course after ordering for some rat/mouse traps). Ramdayal has small feet, very small head and is maximum 5 centimeters in length. I will not share pictures, Ramdayal doesn’t like being clicked. This will help.

mouse

Now, some good news: Ramdayal was caught in the trap, alive, and is out of my life. Let’s talk about something else.

Exactly 365 days back, I was in Sawai Madhopur with Jessica, and we were enjoying roadside ras-malai on our quest of finding tigers in Ranthambore. We did not find any tigers (or rats or mice) but we found our mutual love for ras-malai! Today, I’m in Manhattan, sipping warm water (I like doing that) and having basil fried rice for lunch, thinking about how time flies. Jessica, if you are reading this – As I have told you a hundred times, I miss that trip! Let’s just go back to India and keep searching for tigers, or ras-malai! And share sunsets, like we did in Jaipur.

Jessica

Since we are on the subject of how time flies, I want to tell you guys how I try to capture time – by writing. Write, or better, start a blog! If not that, at least write for yourself. Keep a log of the things that you do. Why? Three reasons –

  1. It will be hard to lie to yourself.
    Often we make things up in our head, design situations that are more in our favor and make ourselves feel at ease. But when we start writing about something that we are not sure of, on a page (or anywhere), I don’t know why but our head automatically tries to rationalize our thoughts and we find it difficult/weird/wrong to write about that thing (before being very sure that it is true/correct/not just made up). Better if you are writing on a blog, because it will be more difficult to write about something unless you are very sure about it being true/correct, because you are sending it out – in the universe. You try to get to the end of it and make it right, and by right I mean truthful.

    [I digress, but one of my ex-girlfriends used to write the word on a piece of paper when she was unsure of the spelling. Writing made it more natural and easier for her to decide the correct spelling, because it looked right (for example, receive and not recieve). But I believe that works with the ones who read a lot.]

  2. You will be slightly more organized.
    Thoughts are like Pad Thai noodles. They are all jumbled up, disorganized and intangible. But when you try to write, you see it take shape. You try to put a structure to it. Now I’m not saying everything in life should have a structure, but it is easier to go back and follow something from start till the end (maybe to figure our a way to do it better, or maybe to re-live it, or maybe something else) if there is some connection and some structure to it.

    I love Pad Thai, just FYI.

  3. You *will* meet someone.
    I haven’t yet, but I guess if I ever find the love of my life – I am sure it will be through my blog. Or at least my blog will play a major role in it. Why? Because I pour my heart out here. I write about almost everything, including my vulnerabilities, on here. And if it was going to go somewhere with her, she would definitely be interested in knowing about me – and hence will read my blog from end to end. Yes, you are right, she can know about me from me, but it will be a tad bit difficult to describe everything with such details and timelines, no? And I believe she deserves to know, if she wants to. Trust me, there are very few things I can recommend that you do with absolute and complete certainty that I am right. This is one of those.

Lastly, do it for me.

I have received a lot of gifts/opportunities because of this blog. And I would want to receive one more – of you telling me about your blog journey, say 20 years from now. It is a magical journey, and I’m just half way there, or probably not even that much!

We’ll meet next week and I’ll keep you (blog) posted.

PS: Ramdayal smiles just like I do when I am in front of a camera.

PPS: Someone bring me ras-malai!

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in Zindagy Weekly

 

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Week 38: The One with ‘Ello 2018!

It is the first Sunday of 2018, around half past four in the evening. I have made the best, at least in my opinion, chai in the world, and I’m enjoying it as I write my first of the 52 weeklys that I am going to write this year. Yes, that’s my first resolution. It is a new year but most of the things are the same – New York’s weather is still snorting marijuana and the weather app reads the temperature in negative (in Celsius of course; don’t speak to me in Fahrenheit, it’s stupid!) almost everyday.

Lots of things, on personal and professional front, happened in 2017. Quick recap, of mildly important things that 2017 witnessed:

  1. I started working Full-time in an investment bank.
  2. Moved from Brooklyn to Newark to Bombay to Manhattan (with serious intentions of living in those places for good, till the time I felt I needed to switch).
  3. Learned that I should not use the term “for good” that liberally.
  4. Started adding ginger to my chai while making it (completely changes the taste of the chai; I was the (self-declared) best chai-maker in the world, but after the ginger stint, I believe we can safely extend that to the universe level).

Overall, not too bad a year for me, 2017.

Never been a big fan of resolutions but this is the first time I am making some –

  1. Ride the bike around NYC, shirtless. I don’t mind riding the bike shirtless even now (if the weather permits), but if I do, people *might* feel uncomfortable on the streets and *will* throw garbage at me. We need to remedy those – so decided to get fit and in a good shape.
  2. Be financially aware.
  3. Learn and speak fluent Spanish. Latinas are waiting to throw themselves at me, is what I think they’re saying when they talk to me in Spanish. Need to learn the language just to confirm that. Also, at least something on the resume should be true!
  4. Write on this Zindagy Weekly thread consistently. I missed you guys, and your comments. I don’t write for the audience but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t make me feel good to that know someone is reading. And honestly, thanks for sticking by me on this thread so far. 🙂

Four is enough I guess.

Oh and let me tell you how I started 2018. A friend and I went up on the building terrace (Super, if you are reading this, I am sorry for going on the terrace, my friend insisted) to watch the fireworks for the New Year’s Eve. The terrace door doesn’t open from the outside, so we usually keep a small rod against it to keep the door from closing. Yes, exactly what you are thinking – no rod was in place and bam! The door is closed and we were locked on the terrace. We could’ve called 911 but then I’d have to explain why did I go to the terrace when the board on the door clearly advises (read, warns) otherwise. So the only option we had was to climb down the fire escape. F.R.I.E.N.D.S fans, aren’t we! I climbed down the fire escape, in negative 15 degree Celcius, without shoes (because they were slippery and there was frozen ice on the fire escape) and without the jacket (because it was a very long jacket and was coming in my way of climbing down). Honestly, I was a bit scared, but I had the adrenaline rush to do that. A rather adventurous New Year! But now when I look back, I like how I started 2018 – just watching the fireworks would have been boring.

Changing gears, I went bowling yesterday. And then we played pool. Shocked to learn that I don’t suck at either of the two. And I pulled a nerve while bowling. :/

But, totally worth it, look at the score board –

Bowling

Came back home around four in the night, threw myself on the bed and slept like a baby!

Good first week, this. *Raises the chai cup* Here’s to 2018!

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PS: I need a heavy-duty winter jacket, and one that is not too long!

PPS: I live in midtown now, come over for chai? Bring biscuits. Cookies and cupcakes would work too!

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2018 in Zindagy Weekly

 

Pale blue chudidar

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In her pale blue chudidar, on seat 15A
she sits quietly staring out of the window.

Whispering, “We’re about to take off and I’ll call you as we land”,
she neatly tucks her phone in her bag.

As the flight rushes on the runway,
she squeezes her fingers tight
with her left palm.
She probably doesn’t know that I’m still looking at her
and watching her discomfort, in her calm

Trying to get a shut-eye,
she leans on the window.
Little does she know even the sun wants to play
with her a bit, from behind the clouds.

15 minutes in the air,
the air-hostess comes with refreshments,
gives me my coffee black and
leans to wake her up.
“It’s okay, she’s with me, thank you”, I blurt

…in my mind.

The flight lands and her phone buzzes with
I’m at the gate, hon:)

Her sleep is broken
and so is my heart

~KK

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2017 in Poems

 

Drenched

crow

As I read about people offering
food packets and shelter,
to the ones stranded in the rains, on the streets, away from home,

A crow stares at me
from the branch of the tree right outside my window,
getting drenched,
probably thinking about his family.

~KK

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2017 in Poems

 

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Week 37: The One with realization

Sunset time today in New York was 7:57 pm. I remember it was around 8:35 pm just a month back. Days are getting shorter, summer is coming to an end. Seconds, minutes and hours, days and weeks are passing by so quickly! Today as I sat back with a cup of chai, watching the setting sun, I realized we have so less time and so much to do; so much that we want to do. Food for thought!

This morning I made a couple of calls back home. Talked to mom for a few minutes and to dad for a few. Dad reminded me of how the frequency of my calls was decreasing every month. I made a mental note to give them a call every Sunday.

Making a cup of chai, around noon, I started reading random scuba divers’ blogs. Read a bit more about scuba diving, the expenses, the lifestyle, the ups and downs. A couple of hours into it and I found my reading travel blogs. Few of them were very good! Started surfing the idea of being in their shoes, doing what they were doing. Started chalking the idea of how would I do it, if I were to take that path. Thought about a few things, tried to make a to-do list and assigned a timeline to it. I don’t want to reveal those things just yet because I am afraid that if I do, the pressure of performing and living up to them might affect my actions. So let’s see how the it all works out. One thing I must do is track my expenses. I have no idea of how much money am I spending monthly. And that is a scary space to be in.

The week, overall, was not bad. Work-wise, it was a bit taxing. Remember about my big Tuesday meeting of this week? It went well. Turns out this coming week looks scarier. Let’s see how this one goes. Health-wise I did not make much progress. But a positive from this last week was that I wrote a poem and it made me feel good, very good. Also, I made dabeli (It is an Indian dish). I love dabeli! Have a look –

dabeli

I watched Jab We Met and Wake up Sid after so long! Classics, both of them. One goes through tons of emotions during and after watching Jab We Met. That happened today while I was in the corner of my room, sipping morning coffee by the window. This was a quiet week and a calm Sunday. A calm before the storm? I hope not!

PS: I am still contemplating the December trip to India.

PPS: Yes, I had two cups of chai and a cup of coffee today. But, hey, it was a Sunday!

 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in Zindagy Weekly