Target Fitness

A few months ago I decided to adopt a healthy lifestyle that I was hoping to sustain for a lifetime. While at the back of my mind, weight loss was an important goal, it was never the prime one. Not because, it is not an issue because it surely is, but I was planning to change for a better life ahead.

Today, after almost 4 months, I decided to look back at the time gone by to see where am I heading.

Since it is my blog where I have no obligation to impress someone, I can be brutally honest. I said so, because I have never (yes, never) before been able to talk so freely about my weight issues before an audience.

There have been no miraculous results as far the weight goes, primarily because I haven’t invested efforts of that level. Mind you, when I say so, I am well aware of my pace and I am pretty confident that this snail pace is going to continue even in the days to come. Though the good thing is, I have stuck to one thing, keeping carbohydrate intake to minimum and regular exercise. The exercise levels fluctuated but I have never stopped the work out.

The salads have been on but more than them, I have come to like the fruits. There has been a slow but sure shift in my liking for fruits. I have come to enjoy snacking on them. Breakfasts have been oats and free from all sugar though in the Mango season I did add it on a number of occasions but successfully avoided adding any sugar (or even honey) on 100% occasions.

I am not too sure what should be the parameter to assess the results. If the overall feeling is to be counted, I am surely feeling fitter than I was four months ago. All the aches and pains I had begun to develop (slight pain in my shoulders, sometimes in the knee too) have been a thing of the past. I have lost one dress size, moved back two holes in my belt and lost 5 kg thus far.

While looking for inspiration over the Internet, I came across countless weight-loss diary blogs where people had undergone dramatic change in terms of weight in the time I have been actively working. With those examples in mind, if you’d look at me, I am sure we all would agree 5 kg is nothing exciting.

What actually is exciting, is the fact, that I have learnt to adapt to the lifestyle changes and am at no point missing out on any of my favorite foods. I still eat pizzas, pastas, sweets, chocolates and everything part of the many festivals in India. It is just that I either have learnt to draw the line as to where to stop or else I workout enough to burn the extra calories. So the scales haven’t shifted right so far.

I am letting my body come to terms with living with less sugar and salt for the life ahead. Yes, cutting fats is on the agenda, but I have never been consuming them in excess anyway, so I am not being too harsh on myself on that front. The one good thing that has happened in this process is, I have come to learn a number of ways of cooking up Oats and even successfully managed to rope in my mother to love eating oats in breakfast daily. That is something major because my mom is the world’s easiest person to lure to consuming carbohydrates at any hour of the day, despite being a diabetic.

My skin has shown definite improvement though nothing dramatic. I definitely look 5 years younger than I did in the recent past. I feel happier mainly because I have this realization of having taken the reigns of my life in my own hands. These small achievements are doing wonders to help me feel alive, like any person should.

The song on my mind: Ziddi Dil ~ Mary Kom 

Baat Niklegi Toh Phir

My relationship with Jagjit Singh dates back to my infancy. My parents, my elder brother and my maternal grandfather have been lovers of his music, that’s why falling for his compositions came naturally to me at an early age.  The delicate charm in the way the words leaned on the tune and the profound poetry was gifted a resonance in his ghazals is one of the many qualities that has made me seek refuge in his music all my life.

I have grown up in the air where my family loved discussing his albums at length, not limiting themselves to the connotations of the poetry or the magical symphony of the musical instruments but going beyond to find bits and pieces of the life of the singing duo ~ Jagjit and Chitra Singh.

BNTP-2

Being a huge fan of Jagjit Singh, picking this book came naturally to me. The book’s title are the opening lines of the Ghazal that is among my all-time favorites since adolescence. Ironically, the melancholy and haunting lyrics of the same bear an uncanny resemblance to my life. It makes me feel a strong connection to it beyond my love for Jagjit Singh and his timeless music.

“Jagjit Singh chose lyrics that went beyond the usual theme of love and longing, wine and roses, to speak of metaphysics or the tribulations of daily life.

He gave the Ghazal a younger, more contemporary appeal.”

Though I have been aware of an earlier work ‘Beyond Time’ mentions of which have been made in plenty in this book, but somehow I haven’t had the opportunity to read it.

The book is a beautiful take on the life of inimitable Jagjit Singh whose integrality spans over few known and many unknown aspects of his life. It was a pleasure to read about Jagjit Singh’s childhood, his yearning for music and dedication to learn it from every source he came across.

I enjoyed reading about his college life where Jagjit Singh spent all his time and energy practicing music and performing in various competitions and how he managed to pass the exams. It was fascinating to learn about his journey in the early years where I was amazed to learn he was a skilled hockey player but pulled himself out of the college team to save himself for his ruling passion of life.

I loved the nuggets about how he came across the then strugglers, but now accomplished names of the film industry like Subhash Ghai. The book mentions about his many friends in the early years, who later became an important part of his musical journey.

The book also highlights the phase of life when Jagjit singh met Chitra Singh, how their paths crossed on a number of occasions before their relationship blossomed into a lifetime affair. I couldn’t help but note that the author has kept the narration as close to real highlighting the flaws of the maestro along with showcasing the treasure trove of his talents and qualities of being a true gem at heart.

“He made the ghazal sound cool with Western instruments and stereophonic recording. Singing easier-to-understand poems set to semi-classical or simple tunes made the ghazal a means of touching the heart of the lay listener.

He made the singing style so attractive that people wanted to understand even the most difficult words of the poem.”

I had always wondered why the Ghazal albums with poetry in Urdu had titles in English, the mystery has been answered in the book and how. It was amazing to learn that besides many languages, Jagjit Singh has recorded in Nepalese too. On the other hand, Chitra Singh who was well-versed in almost 17-18 languages, learnt Urdu from Jagjit Singh.

I was left in awe with Chitra Singh’s learning skills at the way she had learnt and made her diction and voice mould well to the soft, bass notes of Jagjit Singh’s voice.  The book talks at length about the personal struggles of the Singh-ing duo as well as how the various popular albums came to be. The anecdotes are the ones that would tug the heart-strings of every music lover.

I wish to congratulate the author on the successful portrayal of the real face of the tinsel town. It was heartening to read about how the established superstars of the time didn’t feel the need to allow fresh talent an opportunity in the industry, when young Jagjit Singh was still struggling to find a break in the industry. The author has put forth the facts without being preachy or judgmental, adding to the grace of the narrative.

For me the highlight of the book are the many photographs shared from various stages of Jagjit Singh’s life that keeps this book from getting dreary at any point. The chapters in the book have been artistically parted using photographs and lyrics from the most celebrated Ghazals. The beauty of this arrangement lies in the fact, that I could almost hear these Ghazals play in my mind as I read through the 225 pages of the book.

The language is rich, narration impeccable keeping the reader feel as if you aren’t reading a biography but watching the events happen live before your eyes. In the final pages a list of all his works has been mentioned. I couldn’t help but feel proud to own most albums on the list, while taking note of the ones I need to get to not miss out on any of his compositions that are accessible.

I particularly felt that the book would have benefited from more interactions with the people whose lives and careers were touched by Jagjit Singh, the ones shared in the book are few and far between. I have been a fan of Jagjit Singh’s spiritual creations (particularly Hey Ram) and also the albums in which he had paid a tribute to the yesteryear legends. Calling his final few albums lacking in appeal doesn’t do justice with his music.

The final pages that showcase a poignant description of Chitra Singh’s life in current times, left me shaken. The book also mentions about Chitra Singh’s campaign to win for Jagjit Singh the title of Bharat Ratna.

The book presented to me many known and unknown facts about Jagjit Singh’s life, leaving me feeling inspired & enthralled beyond words. Having read this ‘book to be treasured’ I feel closer to the man and his music in a way one feels having known someone personally, all his life.

About the Author – Sathya Saran is one of India’s best-known journalists and editors. As editor, she made Femina the most successful fashion and lifestyle magazine in India.

She is also the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling biography Ten Years with Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi’s Journey and has recently published Sun Mere Bandhu Re: The Musical World of S D Burman with HarperCollins Publishers India. She is at present working on a number of books in her capacity as consulting editor with HarperCollins Publishers India.

  • Title – Baat Niklegi Toh Phir  ~The life and Music of Jagjit Singh
  • Author – Sathya Saran
  • Publisher –  Harper Collins India
  • Genre – Biography Music
  • Pages – 225
  • Price – INR 699
  • ISBN – 978-93-5136-382-8
  • Rating – 4/5

The song on my mind: Baat Niklegi Toh Phir 

Digging Deeper

I wasn’t back to a blogging hiatus after writing this post. Instead, all this while, I was busy digging deeper with my bare hands, trying to unearth the facts, the truth, the reasons that had led me to land in a situation like this.

I won’t pretend and state that all has been going well with me. Let’s reserve all the goody talk for other places and get down to the real deal here.

I have been in a mess for a very long time, at least I feel so. I shared a glimpse with you here, but that is definitely not the whole picture. The whole picture isn’t very clear to myself either, but I am frantically trying to rub the steam of confusion off. After the many very helpful, reassuring comments on my last post, I sat back to think what had been the real cause of the unrest in my life.

” I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people’s lives, problems, wants, set the course of my life. Once I realized it was okay for me, to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to happen in my life.” ~ Sye Wells

On one such occasion, I chanced upon reading the above lines and things began to change for good. What has been the real cause of unrest, isn’t actually Pari, but my own attitude. I have nurtured this habit of giving too much importance to everyone in my life, but myself. This has on countless occasions lead me to lose much more than my peace of mind but I have yet not learnt my lesson well.

In the three decades of my existence *gosh, did your jaw just drop?* I have done very few things for my own happiness. In retrospect, I can see even those handful of things were dictated by the wishes and liking of my forever controlling-my-life, parents. It is amazing that they never had to force me to do so, because my mind is programmed to let it happen as a ‘default’ function.

I have spent many days reflecting, digging deep to know when it actually started. I wished to reach the roots of the menace that is now standing tall like a beanstalk, threatening to steal the joys of my little princess. I might have let many wrongs happen with me, but ever since Pari walked in my life, I have gradually learnt to draw the line. I have learnt to say ‘NO’ and mean it.

Dawn of realization, that it is my habit of letting people dictate what I ought to be doing, thinking and how should I be reacting in every situation has been the real cause of my agony. These non-stop, unwanted, unasked for advises have been conflicting with the very loud and clear voice of my conscience, creating imaginary arguments in my mind. The noise of which has been driving me crazy over the years I have returned to live with my parents.

Sometimes you don’t realize, you are actually drowning when you’re trying to be everyone’s anchor.

But, enough is enough. I had to put my foot down for my own sake. For the good of my well-being and my sanity. The very fundamental rule of life is, till I am not happy as an individual, I can never ever be a sane, sensible, responsible parent to a child. It was this realization that had me take up the herculean task of breaking the (bad) habits of the other residents in my home to shove unwanted advises down my throat and worse still, making sure I acted on them.

From how should I treat Pari to what should I buy for her to how should I bring her up to how menial my earnings are. The blabber has been endless. I am well aware, changing people in their old age is impossible. But, making them see, what behavior is acceptable and what is not, is my responsibility. Even if it means waging a war at a mental level, I am up for it.

There is no force equal to a determined woman.

It was a given that I had been preparing to plunge in fire where the road to reclamation of my very being and my voice lay miles from the start point. But, I had to do it, if I wanted to lead the rest of my life on my own terms.

The resistance I initially faced, was purely directed to break me emotionally. There were days at length when my parents wouldn’t speak to me despite living in the same house and even eating all meals together. Then came the most dreaded phase of confrontation. It was when my parents with my daughter in their lap chose to confront me and hammer in my head the feeling that I was ‘no good’.

I was told in plain, clear words that I was nothing but a dependent woman with a child whose only responsibilities were to look after the child, take care of the house and ensure its smooth running.

As raw or blunt it may sound on this blog, trust me when I say, it felt like someone had poured molten metal in my ears. I was scalded. So was my soul. I bled and wept for days at length. Food was no longer a necessity for my existence and I had no memory of the times when I ate any meal properly for months at length. No one, yes, no one seemed to care either. But as the anger cooled down, the molten metal inside me, cooled to replace my frayed nerves and broken spine with those of steel.

It was a point of no return. After having endured so much pain, I was no way going to return being the docile, obedient weakling. Not anymore.

All this while, I had been resisting to declare an open war, but my parents had made it easier for me by starting it. Now that the tough part was done, all I was to do, was as my conscience dictated. Life isn’t a movie where at the end of three hours we come to know where our decisions would take us. Nevertheless, in due course of time, life hints us in many ways, if what we are doing is the right thing or not.

Cutting the long story short. In the past many months, I have continued to sustain on my earnings, bearing all expenses of my and Pari’s needs myself (like always), have successfully adopted a healthy lifestyle, learnt to love myself, sleep much better than I have in the past decade, have seen Pari obey my instructions better than ever before and most importantly, feel peace fill up my life, slowly but surely.

I am far from done in uprooting the many weeds I have let bloom in the garden of my life, but the results thus far have been very encouraging. As I continue to dig deeper in my heart, I am amazed to see myself reaching unseen heights at a steady pace.

The song on my mind: Ye kya jagah hai doston ~ Umrao Jaan

After The Crash

  • Title –  After The CrashAfter the crash
  • Author – Michel Bussi
  • Publisher – Hachette India
  • Genre – Fiction
  • Pages – 386
  • Price – INR 399
  • ISBN – 978-1-4746-0204-4

Synopsis – On the night of 22 December 1980, a plane crashes on the Franco-Swiss border and is engulfed in flames. 168 out of 169 passengers are killed instantly. The miraculous sole survivor is a three-month-old baby girl. Two families, one rich, the other poor, step forward to claim her, sparking an investigation that will last for almost two decades. Is she Lyse-Rose or Emilie?

Eighteen years later, having failed to discover the truth, private detective Credule Grand-Duc plans to take his own life, but not before placing an account of his investigation in the girl’s hands. But, as he sits at his desk about to pull the trigger, he uncovers a secret that changes everything – then is killed before he can breathe a word of it to anyone.

Review – The book has an intriguing cover that captures the essence of the plot with precision and beauty. One would appreciate the beauty of the cover once you delve in the realms of this crime thriller. The dragonfly on the cover, stained in ink and blood hints at the private detective’s journal that forms the spine of the plot revolving around finding the bloodline of the protagonist, Lylie.

The title of the book is simple yet perfectly suiting the premise of the book.

I am a huge fan of thriller books. The minute I read the synopsis of the book, I knew I had to pick it up because the plot wasn’t looking for a missing person; instead the identity of a young girl was unknown for 18 long years. The recommendation by The Sunday Times on the cover of the book gave me the final push and to say the least, I am glad I picked this book.

The book has been originally written in French and translated in English by Sam Taylor. One cannot miss the comparison made by The Sunday Times to works by Steig Larson. This was perhaps they share the genre of the plot, however, I personally felt Larson’s works come across as more profound (in making an impact on the reader) than this book.

However, this book is an absolute delight for anyone who loves reading crime thrillers because it’s lucid narration, rich vocabulary and fast pace keeps the reader rushing back and forth attempting to connect the dots and seek a solution to the ever-magnifying mystery. The beauty of the plot lies in the sensitive, close to reality description of the characters in the plot, where enough room has been given for each of them to grow, except Lylie.

” Even as the global economy expands, families still feel the same, age-old desire to be reunited around a Christmas tree, or a birthday cake, or a bride and groom, or a coffin.”

I felt the author holds back from talking at depth about the protagonist around whom the whole book revolves, perhaps to resist the readers from guessing the solution to the mystery. I wish to congratulate the author on successful portrayal of the character of Malvina, her pain and suffering in the years of her growing up. It not only comes across as sensitive and poignant but also moves the reader, evoking emotions of sympathy for the young girl. You’d feel similar emotions stir in your heart for Nicole.

“It is true, fate is like a playground bully, always picking on the weakest, but still… there are limits.”

As a parent, I couldn’t help wonder on many occasions, how would I have reacted or acted to protect my child had I been in the shoes of the Carville or the Vitral family. The plot is captivating and intriguing with hardly a pause in the action, thickening with every page you read.

Besides, holding back from sharing life from Lylie’s point of view the one thing that I believe could be changed would be the abrupt way the book finds answers to all its questions. After slowly building up the plot, the answers seemed to pour in fast and quick. Given the length of the story, I am sure extra 30 pages wouldn’t have hurt given the fact, the book is unputdownable right from page one to the last line.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys reading thrillers that keeps the reader on their tenterhooks, leaving you craving for more even after the mystery has been solved.

About the Author – Michel Bussi has won fifteen literary awards, making him one of the France’s most prestigious crime authors. When not writing fiction, he is a professor of Geography at the University of Rouen and a political commentator.

After the Crash is to be translated into twenty-six languages around the world and is his first book to be published in the UK.

Rating – 4.5/5

The Curse Of Surya

  • Title – The Curse Of SuryaThe Curse of Surya
  • Author – Dev Prasad
  • Publisher – Random House India
  • Genre – Fiction
  • Pages – 302
  • Price – INR 299
  • ISBN – 978-81-8400-622-3

Synopsis – Sangeeta Rao, a beautiful, feisty reporter at Channel 7 TV in Singapore, rushes to Agra on a special assignment after an early morning phone call. At the Taj Mahal, she meets Alan Davies, a charming Welshman. But a terrorist attack on Mathura’s renowned Krishna temple turns them into fugitives from justice and the duo must decipher a series of complex cryptographs and unearth the illustrious Shyamantaka that belonged to Surya, the Sun God, to prove their innocence.

Joined in their quest by an elderly Frenchman, Anton Blanchard, the duo race against time in helicopters, motor boats and yachts. In hot pursuit are the brilliant and daring SP Nisha Sharma and the most ruthless terrorist organizations. Before she realizes it, Sangeeta is trapped in a world of betrayal, deceit and horror. Fast-paced and gripping, The Curse of Surya will keep you hooked and on the edge of your seat while you unravel one of the biggest mysteries in 5000 years.

Review – The book has an interesting cover that captures the essence of the plot well. The color scheme used, cleverly hints at the precious Shyamantaka to be the centre of the plot lying midst the land where once Lord Krishna lived, well-depicted in blue (correlating with Shri Krishna’s Shyam Varna). The title hints towards the origin of the Shyamantaka that comes to fore right at the start of the book.

The story starts off with various protagonists coming to India from Singapore, UK and the US for a business trip that eventually turns into a treasure hunt filled with deceit, discovery and horror. The plot is a fast paced thriller with all the events mentioned happening in a short span of two days. The book keeps the reader on tenterhooks while enlightening the reader about the Indian mythology and architecture built during the period of Lord Krishna.

I wish to congratulate the author in being successful at blending fiction with mythology while limiting the number of characters in the plot for better impact. The book is divided into short 75 chapters that begin with the time & location of the events in the plot. However, I fail to accept the many coincidences used to keep the story going. The Shyamantaka on one hand has been talked about as the most searched, precious and full of magical powers gem stone and on the other finding clues leading to it, has been shown to be a piece of cake for someone who had not been seeking it till now.

Secondly, the ease with which Sangeeta and Davies decode the puzzles comes at an unacceptable pace. A precious jewel that no one had been able to find in the past 5000 years, is unearthed in under 48 hours. In my humble opinion, it is too big a call to be acceptable even in a fiction novel. I wish to give due credit to the author for the commendable research done with a good insight into Hindu mythology and  Indian history to correlate incidents/ folklore from Lord Krishna’s life.

Being a regular reader of the ‘thriller’ genre and having read the books by Dan Brown, Ashwin Sanghi (his Krishna Key in particular that revolves around a similar subject) and Ravi Subramanian, this plot becomes a bit difficult to swallow to my logical mind. The way the mobile network and the GPS systems have been shown to function well in the dungeon inside a well or in high seas comes across as improper and forced.

The book had been unputdownable for me but the poorly plotted climax comes across as a hasty attempt to wrap it all in a happy ending. Though I have a number of questions to pose to the author, I am holding back to avoid any spoilers. However I’d like to cite a simple example. Someone dying within minutes of being injured by a bullet in the leg was too much for my scientific mind to swallow after seeing someone survive, after being caught in the middle of the sea in a Tsunami.

The book has a simple language, revolves around an interesting premise but suffers majorly on the editing front.

I’d like to recommend this book to someone who is looking for a thriller that makes for a breezy read without indulging in too much logic. It would surely make for an interesting travel companion.

About the Author – Dev Prasad is a senior IT professional currently working in Bangalore. He has held senior management positions at various European and American multinational corporations.

He has written, Krishna: A journey through the Lands and Legends of Krishna and Pitch It! (that won the prestigious ISTD Book Award in 201) before this book.

Rating – 2.5/5

Awkwardness -2

Please read my earlier post, Awkwardness, to understand what has been going on so far.

As time ticked past, the ice between Pari, her bus friends and Nina slowly started melting. They started having fun during their ride to and from school. Though Nina’s father still wasn’t friendly with us, but since the kids had shifted gears to becoming friends, I was happy with the way things had been shaping up.

Though Nina has been quite reserved and shy, but I have seen Pari looking forward to meeting Nina in the bus. This is because Nina never gets down from her car till the school bus arrives, much to Pari’s dislike. While I was happy that the two girls had become friends, my new-found joy found another roadblock in no time.

In the school Pari attends, snacks and lunch are served in school. Children are not expected to carry lunch boxes. But my little fussy eater darling, who doesn’t like eating sweets, is often left hungry because snacks many times have muffins, cakes, porridge and the like. After having a word with Pari’s teacher, I soon started sending a fruit box to serve as a healthy snack.

But the other kids in Pari’s school carry loads of chocolates (read as,more than 3-4 big bars of Dairy Milk/ Mars/ Snickers etc.) in their bags normally. Not only chocolates but Kurkure, Crax, Lays and the like to be eaten during bus travel. Since the school is pretty strict about the children being served healthy food, all the junk is forbidden from being eaten in school.

So the party ensues in the school bus. Unfortunately, Pari’s gastro-intestinal system doesn’t quite like these snacks and gets upset. It wasn’t much of a worry till Nina got friends with Pari because Pari’s other buddies, bring fruits or home-cooked snacks. But, Nina’s bag is always overflowing with potato chips, chocolates and the like. In no time Pari started having a sick tummy. Despite my efforts at reasoning with Pari, the episode has repeated thrice in the past few months.

I have no control over this situation because I just can’t stop another child from eating what he or she likes. I can only try to make things clearer for my child who, at 4 years of age, succumbs to temptation seeing other kids eat packaged snacks and ends up falling sick. It is not that Pari is intolerant to any or all of these snacks, but over-indulgence in them gets too much for her system.

While I was still wondering how to end this chaos, something new came up.

One fine day, while waiting for Pari’s bus in the afternoon I saw two boys (aged around 26 to 32 years) riding a brand new Royal Enfield. One look at them, who were smoking at a nearby shop, I didn’t like the way they were passing remarks at the school girls heading back home. Though I was highly uncomfortable watching what these two men were up to, I kept quiet.

A few moments later, Nina’s father arrived with Nina’s elder brother (who is around 9 years of age). Watching them arrive, I looked at Nina’s father who was standing quite far from me to see how he’d react to the two boys passing remarks. He didn’t looked bothered a bit.

Hardly a minute passed and two very pretty school girls (whom I believe are in class XI or XII, because I have often heard them discuss the Chemistry lectures on their way and by the sound of it they look like they are students of senior secondary classes) passed the two boys smoking on the Royal Enfield.

The next moment the boys kick started their bike and were now trying to talk to the two girls. The two girls didn’t look panic struck but in my head, I was. I know, I over-react on more occasions than needed, but I could feel restlessness build up inside me.

Neither the girls changed pace, nor did the boys who were now circling the girls, every few seconds, bother about the onlookers. The two girls looked like they were enjoying the extra attention but the bits and pieces of their conversation that the blowing breeze trickled in my ears, hinted, this was not how acquaintances or friends or even boyfriend or girlfriend talk.

The boys weren’t scared of the many vehicles passing by (because there is a big school near the bus stop) or of the stares they garnered. After five long minutes, the two boys chose to let the girls go their way and turned their bike towards the shop (where they were seated earlier). My crazy, restless mind was about to heave a sigh of relief just when the bike stopped right where Nina’s father and brother stood. The two men got down and hugged Nina’s father. My eyes were now glued to the corner of my eye watching what followed.

The next instant, my jaw almost dropped to the road when Nina’s father along with the two rogues (ok, I choose to label them so) passed a lewd remark about the two school girls before a mad guffaw. I have to admit, eavesdropping is not good, but what I saw and heard that day has left me disturbed. Very disturbed.

I was aghast, how could a parent behave so irresponsibly in the presence of his 9 year old son. What kind of a message did he just pass on to his boy, that it was fun to eve-tease? I don’t know, I might be taking this way too far. But, I tend to judge people around me, especially who can impact my child directly or indirectly.

This was not the only time I have seen Nina’s father being friends with people I’d avoid like plague. He seems to be friends with a lot of people whom I’d not think too long before labeling as rogues (cause of their actions, despite coming across as pretty rich given the clothes, mobiles or the cars or bikes they own).

I am amazed, how this series is going beyond one episode and the title I initially gave, fitting well into the happenings thus far. I sincerely hope, I don’t need to scribble another post in this series. Fingers Crossed.

The song on my mind: Khambe Jaisi Khadi Hai ~ Dil 

When 4G saved my grace and smiles

Last month, when I was busy preparing to attend my cousin sister’s wedding, I had taken due care to plan my assignments in a way to not interrupt with the preparations.

Unfortunately, a day before we left for the wedding, I got a call from a client requesting me to submit a few assignments, due after ten days, in a day’s time. Panic struck, I at first thought of refusing to oblige right away. But on contemplation, I decided to go ahead with burning the midnight oil and making submissions despite the scheduled travel.

With an upset mind and a heavy heart, I managed to have the assignments 80% done before I dozed off to sleep. The following morning when I woke up, I had time enough to do the final packing with no possibility of finishing the assignment. My parents convinced me that since we were going to be staying at my Uncle’s home, I could finish the assignments and submit from there.

In the back of my mind, I was skeptical about this whole setup. But, I had no option of cancelling my trip or to step out from this assignment, in which I’d already invested 5 months of hard labor.

We landed at my Uncle’s home. After initial pleasantries, catching up with the extended family and putting Pari to bed, I raced to finish the pending tasks. Time was ticking fast and my 3G connection wasn’t helping me one bit. In my mind, I was cursing the moment, when out of sheer over-confidence I’d agreed to make a submission way ahead of the deadline.

All the modern technology just makes people try to do everything at once. ~ Bill Watterson

I could feel my fingers go numb as I frantically typed on my laptop. Every webpage seemed to take forever. Looking back, I can attribute it to the mix of my anxiety, fatigue, my excitement for the wedding and my effort to cram up too much work in a few hours that had got me stuck in a fix.

I was sweating profusely despite the AC running at 24 degrees, just when I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. It was my cousin brother Aditya. Without a word, he offered me a glass of water. Tears rolled down my eyes but words failed.

Aditya gave me a moment before asking, “Would a faster Internet connection help bring a smile back to my sister’s face?”

Without a thought, I blurted, “But I am already using 3G”.

To this Aditya said, “I’ve got 4G that works at lightning speed”.

I was too stressed to be relieved by his words, but when he asked me to sit back and tell him all that was needed to be done, my eyes slowly widened in disbelief.

Picture10

Aditya connected my laptop to their home’s Airtl 4G Home wi-fi network. Not only were the web-pages loading faster than my imagination but attaching files, downloading videos, browsing and even uploading pictures and documents seemed to occur in the blink of an eye.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic. ~ Arthur C. Clarke

That night, I not only managed to make submissions on time, but also found time to catch up with my cousin after a gap of five long years, all thanks to Airtel 4G. I can’t thank Airtel enough for introducing the ‘Fastest Internet Ever’ and can’t wait to get it for my mobile and home too.

P.S. –  Are you ready to take up the Airtel 4G Challenge? Watch the video to know more.