Wednesday, 18 February 2015

When a Green Zone loses out to Development

Source~ Wikipedia. Image by Mike Peel
As I had promised my grand daughter, Sheila, we were headed to the Zoo in Goregaon, Mumbai. She was quite excited, as any twelve year old would have been. As we drove down the six lane road, I saw vehicles zipping by on the East-West Freeway which shot past overhead. Signs that this was the year 2026 and not the decade before it. The morning grey haze refused to brighten as the day progressed.

"You know, Sheila, when you were a baby, this place used to be a verdant green area~ all 3160 Acres of it! It used to be even called 'the lungs of Mumbai' and rightly so. We used to visit this place ever so often and we have fond memories of it...going for long walks, the boating at the lake, all those film shootings because of the scenic landscape and the fun of a picnic there on a Sunday. We often brought your mother here to play when she was a child."

"Where's all that gone?" Sheila asked in bewilderment "I can't see any sign of it."

"Can you see those tall buildings? That used to be 'Chota Kashmir', one of Suburban Mumbai's most loved picnic spots. The pictures I had taken will give you an idea how beautiful it was. The flora and fauna there was its highlight. Remind me to show you the pics when we reach home. As we drove, I pointed out to the right. You see the huge parking lot and sprawling food court? That's where the lake was" I sighed with nostalgia in my voice.

"None of this was there at all. The Metro shed, Freeway, Business district, Residential buildings for rehabilitation projects and of course, the Zoo, where we are now headed. It was a massacre of the green vista~ the few trees which were spared withered due to the rising pollution. As for the birds and wildlife... "

"Wait a minute. Did none of the people in the area object to plans so insensitive to ecology? Did you not protest? And what about you, specifically, you, grandpa? You are so vocal about issues that are close to your heart. Your voice could have made a difference. Couldn't you have spoken on behalf of the trees who can't speak? What did you do to stop this massacre?"

I could not look her in her eyes. Innocent but determined eyes.
"I was occupied in other causes at that time. I admit I could have done better."

"Your 'better' is not good enough now, is it? I can tell you this for sure. If I were in your place I would have fought tooth and nail to preserve nature's gift for the generations to follow me."
Shiela seemed really upset. "Let's turn around, grandpa. I am in no mood to go to the Zoo anymore."

P.S.
What was this all about? To readers outside Mumbai and India, here's a newspaper report about the proposed destruction by the civic authority.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

There's Magic In The Air


There's magic in the air!
Is that just a saying with flair?

I can feel it, sense it, I swear
All around me in the air

Am I not making sense?
Can't you see with my soul's eyes?

In my mind there's magic
Vibrant, flowing magic

The magic in the air's dancing
So is my mind dancing

Our magic dances t
o one rhythm
Synchronicity springs from this rhythm

My soul sings in ecstasy
The mind soul fusion is divinity

Come, join us in this rhythm divine
Let universal magic thrive..









Sunday, 11 January 2015

Ode to Authenticity


I

I am

I am what I think

I am what I do of what I think

I am what I think about myself

I am what I think about what others think of me

I am what I have learnt, heard, seen and felt

I am what I like and dislike

I think, do, become

I have become

I am

Me

Friday, 26 December 2014

Blog Picks~ Top Seven Of 2014


As the year speeds by and nears its end, time for a recap and pick of the Top Blogs in various Categories. Versatility tests a writer fully and I keep expanding my range.  2014 has been a year during which I have noticeably evolved as a person. The Blogs possibly reflect this..Here's a sample from each category.

A) Humour~ why not tee off with a dash of humour? Even serious topics when narrated in a lighter vein make for interesting reading.

1) 
God, my Robot Anita and I

Anita, my personal robot keeps arguing with me on just about anything our minds can grasp. This time it was about whether God exists or not.

'Look, I am a child of science', she said with pride. 'Made in a sophisticated laboratory and powered by the wonders of technology. I believe what I see, what science can prove. My master is the one who created me. I don't believe your God exists' (See Blog Link for more)


B) Storytelling

1) If There Was Ever A Braveheart, He Was One
Thirty seven years ago, on Oct. 22, 1976, the small town of Vasai was for the first time privy to the joy of a modern cinematic experience. The Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna starrer Hera Pheri was the popular film with which Sapna Cinema was thrown open to the eager audience of Vasai.
The Cinema theatre was leagues ahead of any other in this far flung Western satellite town of Mumbai (then Bombay)

2) Tip Toeing Her Way To Success
The sun had not yet risen, the skies were mellow. The golden sands of the beach were inviting..she hesitated for a moment. How pristine, undisturbed is the beach, unburdened by any feet on it. Swept clean by the change of tides the night before and unsullied by tourists who would come in later in the day. How dare I be the intruder, thought she?
She then gingerly tip toed with her arms swaying to maintain her balance.

C) Linkedin Posts

1) 3 Key Elements Of Personal Branding
It is well known that a strong presence across Social Media platforms is vital in building one's Personal Brand. What and how we communicate gives a sharp focus to the way we are seen by the world. In my view there are three key elements that are integral to each person's brand. 

2)
 Ahh! The Joy Of Telling A StoryAs I let loose my creative flair
Weaving a plot out of thin air.
And the words, they keep flowing
Wrapping me in their magic. 
Wonder which brings me more joy..
The story or the joy of creating it?

D) Spirituality

1) My Spiritual Journey Answered All My Questions
'We are spirits, in a material world' ~ Rock Band, The Police
We are born into this material world where our perceptions of our surroundings are ruled by the senses, what can be seen, felt, heard and smelt occupy our minds the most. As a natural consequence, we spend a majority of our lives pursuing objects and pastimes that please our senses. As our desires get fulfilled, new ones give birth in this unquenchable cycle.

E) Poetry

1) In Nothingness Is Everything
I
I am
I am this
I am that...

In order to read each Blog, click on it's title. 

Wishing all of my readers the best of this Season and in the New Year!

Why not Connect on other Social Media Platforms?
Let us discover common interests.
about.me



Tuesday, 23 December 2014

When It's Party Time


Yes, the drive was pleasant, along Marine Drive, and the evening was young. The skies were a riot of colours painted by a sun which had just set. My mood was sinking too. Oh God! Only if I could have somehow avoided attending this party.

Dare not invite the wrath of wifey! (the party was hosted by my brother-in-law). What was the occasion? Well, do the months of December and January require reasons to party? Besides, this was the big Party night of the year~ New Year's Eve. No, don't get me wrong~ am not a spoilsport at all. I do not grudge others having the time of their lives or drinking themselves silly either.

It is just that I happen to be on the other (the right?) side of fifty which has reset my preferences. Also, I have been a teetotaler for half of those fifty years now, yes, twenty five years. So hanging around forever holding a 'mocktail', as it is referred to, in my hand does not exactly thrill me. While the clock whizzes by for guzzlers it c r a w ls when I am not the one laughing out loud without reason. (Hey, if you like your drink, don't give me a dirty look. I enjoyed mine in my youth too.)

I kept myself in circulation and said Hi to the people that I had to. Aha! Why didn't I think of this before? The door to the balcony was so inviting. I quietly made my way past the action. The music sounded less threatening here. Below me, Mumbai was at my feet. Marine Drive (or The Queen's Necklace) facing the Arabian Sea offers one of the most majestic views of the city at any time of the day. At night, the necklace sparkles.

After a while I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around to see a familiar face. "Hi! Have I seen you before?" I asked her. She smiled and said 'Think, think..we have met not once but twice. You are the Writer, right? No wonder, this party must be suffocating for you!'

I immediately reassured her.'Hey, that's not the case. Just came out for a breather.'

'Not to worry', she giggled 'I am bored to death too. By the way, I am Shania. If I recall, you are Vijay, right? We met at Sunil Uncle's wedding and then here at the house warming do.'

'Wow! You amaze me. Let me guess~ you must be my Bro-in-law's cousin's wife's third cousin's niece's closest friend.'

'I like this. Even I am terrible at remembering just  how am I related to whom!' Shania laughed. 'Where's your poison? Oh, so we are both aliens here! SOS~ Suffering Outcast Souls. Lemme think...look, these guys are barely into their second or third drinks. This is going to be one long haul. Many hours till midnight too. So, why not sneak out for some fresh air?'

I was hesitant 'If these guys figure out, they'll be annoyed.'

'You think they'd notice. Even if World War III were to break out, they'd be the last to know!'

She held my hand and led me to the entrance. We had to jostle our way through. The thump of the music was deafening.

As we emerged from the building, she waved her outstretched arms in the air. 'Ahh! to get away from that claustrophobic scene'

The entire road was abuzz with cars and youngsters turning it into their party zone.

I sighed and said 'It's only slightly better here.'

Shania hailed a Taxi and gave him directions. 'Just watch'

We alighted at a stretch where the action had thinned out. We sat on the parapet overlooking the sea and the waves crashing into the huge tetrapots. I could smell the salt in the air. Shania began shivering in the pleasant chill. I gave her my warm jacket. 
She swung around to sit facing the sea and I followed suit.

I watched her face, the glint of 
the bright city lights in her eyes.Leaning back, her hair being tossed around by the breeze, she admired the sky 'What a lovely, clear night. I love watching the stars. The moon's also so,so beautiful!'

I thought to myself that the bonding between us happened so quickly. She was less than half my age but that hardly mattered. We got along so well! I smiled.


She waved to a hawker and we feasted on salted peanuts.
'Care for some coffee?'

'Look, I'm not in a mood to go over to a coffee shop'

She waved to another street vendor 'Try this~ delicious South Indian Coffee!'

That it certainly was.

We sat there quietly just watching the city go crazy. All of a sudden things quietened down, many well lit rooms in the tall skyscrapers went dark..only to be followed by the blast of firecrackers, hoots, shouting and whistles. Oh yeah, it was midnight.


She shook my hand and wished me 'Happy New Year!!'

Wishing her in return, I ran my hand through her hair and said 'You are such a simple chirpy kid. That's a rare breed. Stay that way.'

Walking on the pavement, the city  on one side and the sea to the left, we headed back to frenzy.

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