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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Musical Rhapsody

 Image source: Pixabay

"Ah-ha-ha, what a mellifluous, rich voice! What expertise and look at the utter bliss on her face!" Nina was gushing in rapturous whispers to Nikhil, who was still upset with this disruption to his sacred weekend sleep routine!

It was a Sunday morning at 11 a.m and they were ensconced in an auditorium along with what looked like a majority of bald and greying heads, most likely aged relations of the performing artist. Nina had received the free invite for the carnatic vocal concert, courtesy her boss who happened to be related to the lead singer. He had better things to do on a Sunday morning and hence large-heartedly given her the tickets and ordered her to take the standard-office-allowance-permitting-bouquet along with his visiting card stuck to it.

The program had promptly begun at 10 a.m and was going on full swing by the time Nina and Nick came in at 10.30 a.m. They fumbled in the dark to find empty seats, managing to stamp half a dozen feet, land on an already occupied seat (who wears all black to such events?) and finally finding a couple of seats wedged between two older couples.

Uncle 1, sitting next to Nick tut-tutted disapprovingly at Nina's whispering and she settled back to lose herself in the world of carnatic music, something she had never heard before.
Wouldn't matters be a lot easier at office if she could pal up with her obnoxious boss?
She could imagine casually chatting with him over coffee discussing his immensely talented relative. Hmm...that would be nice!

The relative in question, the lead singer seemed well in her 60's and in full form, belting out what looked like chart-busters from the Carnatic world, going by the ohhs, aaahaa's and vigorous head-nodding and lap-slapping that the audience seemed to be cheering her with! 
"You know Nick, the lap-slapping thing there," she said pointing to the stage and also sideways to their immediate neighbors, "They are keeping track of the rhythm...amazing na?"
That earned her, throat-clearing from Uncle 1 and a glare from Aunty 2.

The songs all seemed alien to their ears but also somehow familiar. 'That must be the greatness of classical music, it is the birthplace of any kind of music,' Nina wisely mused.
She was further enthralled by the amazing harmony between the singer and the supporting musicians who played the mridangam, ghatam, the violin, the veena and the morsing. She learned that thanks to a quick search on Google by peering into her phone inside her over-large tote. Spell-bound she listened to the entire performance for the next hour, ducking into her tote every once-in-awhile to google her doubts. By the end of the concert, her mind was completely made up. Life does come around in a full circle!

She vividly remembered her whimsical childhood years when her mother begged her to take up some art form....music, dance, embroidery! But no! She had insisted on taking up a more vigorous art-form - Taekwondo! A few weeks of the intensive back-breaking training dissuaded her from further interest in any form of martial arts. Skating came next and she confidently visualized herself gliding across the park on wheels while normal mortals trudged on their feet. The repeated falls and minimal progress even after a month, deflated that dream dramatically and she started making excuses to get out of it. 

Painting seemed like a relatively more comfortable occupation and she was soon enrolled for it. While her peers graduated from crayons to paints, little Nina was happy coloring by numbers. Her enthusiastic new hobby ensured all and sundry received her hand-made scrawls for all occasions. Her doting parents proudly pinned up her art on every vertical surface and proudly showed them off to all who visited their home. By the time she was in 8th grade, her drawing file which her mother studiously maintained had grown to several editions. Sadly the quality of art left much to be desired Nina realized, when one unwary visitor remarked how well her mother had preserved her infantile scribblings, on seeing her latest creations!

Now was the perfect opportunity to renew her mom's dream of a musical angle to round off her darling daughter's talent cornucopia. 
She mentally visualized herself sitting on the very same stage giving her own performance, her entire family proudly watching her from the first row of audience in a filled-to-the-brim auditorium. 

A train of audience, bedecked in a bevy of kanjiveerams and jasmine flowers was coming out of the auditorium, knowledgeably dissecting the various aspects of the performance. Nina told Nick, "Go get the car from the parking, I'll be with you soon."
She quickly scanned the stage and watched the musicians pack up and file through the back entrance. She hurried behind them clutching her bouquet. Someone was distributing tea to all in the green-room. She spotted her new idol and 'guru-mata-to-be' gaily chatting with one of the organizers.

With a glowing smile, Nina approached the Artiste and introduced herself. Eagerly she held out the bouquet and bent down reverentially. At the same time, the tea-man came with his laden tray. Just as she was rising after touching her musical goddess's feet, the tea-tray clashed against her head flying up and crash landing all over Madame Artiste!

The Artiste was dumb-founded as she found herself splattered and showered with several cups of tea and water from the bouquet...damned florist, hadn't emptied it before selling!

Pandemonium broke loose with the organizers screaming for towels, mops and more and the Artiste frantically dabbing at her gorgeous kanchipuram silk saree. 

Thankfully the tea hadn't been too hot, Nina noted. Discreetly plucking off her boss's visiting card from the toppled bouquet, she slipped away from the scene.  
Today might not be the best day to ask her new idol to become her teacher....it could be a while before she could do that! 'How long does it take a person to forget another person's face?' she wondered as she spotted Nick waiting outside in the car.

Nick asked her, "What took you so long?"
Nina replied, "Oh, just having a cup of tea with the Artiste! She insisted when I went to give her the bouquet."

********Mischief Managed!!********

Read other stories from Nina's World: Click on tag/label #NinasWorld

14. Holiday at Shiny Valley - Chapter 1
15. Holiday at Shiny Valley - Chapter 2

16. Holiday at Shiny Valley - Chapter 3

Disclaimer: All the characters in the Nina's  World series are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.


Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

To Dear Old Friends

 Image source: Quora

To Dear Old Friends

Remember dear girls, that chai so hot,
Old Krishna from the canteen brought?

Eccentric professors droning on,
Slide presentations that made you yawn,
Canteen was our sole refuge,
Saving us from boring lectures' deluge,

Remember dear girls, that chai so hot,
Old Krishna from the canteen brought?

Worrying over filling journals for Prof Briganza,
Praying he would come down with influenza,
And suddenly one of you shrieked,
"There goes Sheena with Fareed!"

Remember dear girls, that chai so hot,
Old Krishna from the canteen brought?

The Bold & The Beautiful we mooned over,
Contemplating who would be Ridge's new lover.
Wondering if Prof Shah would ever retire,
Complaining how much that Vipul does perspire.

Remember dear girls, that chai so hot,
Old Krishna from the canteen brought?

Thrown out of class I was one day,
Drowned in misery I was that day,
Cheering me with hearty laughs that day,
Dear friends you saved me that day.

Remember dear girls, that chai so hot,
Old Krishna from the canteen brought?

This was me reminiscing my college days, with my best friends, our group that secretly called itself G1 for group 1 (how lame right?). And undoubtedly, the best memories of those youthful days were of course the times we spent in between lectures, lunch, bunked lectures and lectures you got thrown out of, at the college canteen. 
A rather modest canteen it was, that had a man named Krishna running it. We rarely got anything edible there besides his chai for a humble Rs 5 for a glass or Rs 2 for the cutting that we obviously opted for. On occasions he announced hot samosa/vada pavs, which cost a princely Rs 7, which we desisted from shelling out. On 'special' occasions he even offered misal pav, which was basically the samosa pav stuffing refurbished, remodeled, garnished and served. Anyhow it all depended on how hungry or how low we felt to devour even that!

The times we spent here mocking, joking, crying, raging, bitching, complaining, finishing assignments, discussing everything under the sun over a cuppa are indeed the ones that I shall cherish for ever!

Here's to you my dearest friends, G1 rocks till date!

Purani jeans aur guitar.....

This post has been written in association with Chaayos & Blogchatter on occasion of Friendship Day, 7th Aug'16.

Update: Yesss!! I won this contest!!

Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Sunday, 7 August 2016

The Meeting

Mili was going to be late for the meeting. The traffic snarl, the incessant rains, the absent maid....arghh! These were just the beginnings of a day that she knew would get worse eventually.

 Image source: Pixabay

She nervously drummed her fingers on the window pane, absently tracing the pattern of the rain-drops lashing against it and alternately glancing at her phone and watch every five seconds.
The cabbie, her usual, sensed her restlessness. "Bas das minute aur madamji, pahaunch jayenge," he assured her. (Just ten minutes more Madam, we'll reach.) 
Ten minutes more! It was already 8.50....she had to be at the office atleast a few minutes before 9.00 to discuss matters with the rest of the team as the meeting was scheduled for 9.00 a.m. She wished the taxi would move faster...or, wait a minute, she actually felt a bit relieved that she had ten minutes more before all hell broke loose.

A surreal feeling settled over, what would it be like if she couldn't make it to the meeting today? Maybe, she could turn back home in the same cab, change into PJ's, jump into bed to watch back-to-back rom-coms all day or maybe browse herself silly on the online shopping sales, read that new paperback she'd picked up months ago, have a looong chat with mom, try out that macaroon recipe.....ohhh, the options were endless and with each passing second, they seemed way more tempting than the prospect of attending the meeting. 'What a wishful thinking that was!' She sighed inwardly.

A few years back, she would have shied away from all these options, they sounded so, so, unprofessional and unbecoming of her position as CFO to one of the oldest corporate in the country.
Today's meeting was one of the scores she'd been attending along with the other top executives of the company to negotiate the terms and conditions of a landmark takeover deal. Each passing meeting seemed to get uglier and she had a premonition that today's would be the mother of them all!
Couldn't her company have acted with more restraint and less aggression? Didn't poise and dignity mean anything, any longer? She hated the cold vibes of hate and fear all around. A transition that promised a lot of friction, ruffled feathers and redundant jobs was bound to generate that!
What was it with gaining absolute control, supremacy and stamping your brand all across the new take-over? It reeked of greed for power, an all-consuming selfish ego accompanied by a bunch of spineless yes-men!
If only she had a stronger sway in the proceedings!

"Madamji, pahaunch gaye," (Madam, we've reached) the cabbie turned to announce when he noticed she was still looking out of the window, wrapped in her thoughts.
Shrugging herself alert, she picked up her smart laptop bag, handbag and stepped out.
"Madamji kal same time na?" (Madam tomorrow same time, right?) asked the cabbie.
Mili paused for a second and replied, "Das minute rukiye, hum bas aa rahe hain, meter chalu rakhiye." (Wait for ten minutes, I'll be right back, keep the meter on.)

Mili was surprised with herself but felt a new jaunt in her step as she pressed the elevator button and mentally rehearsed her parting shot to the Big Boss! 
She did have a sway over how things proceeded in her life, didn't she? The job offer from a budding new start-up did seem promising...a place where thoughts were fresh and open, minds less jaded.
Sometimes wishful thinking does happen for real!

I am with Team #CrimsonRush for the #BarAThon from Aug 1st - Aug 7th.
Today's blogging prompt is Wishful thinking.
You could find out more about this lovely blog marathon at BAR.

 Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Sweet Temptations

Today's blogging theme on #Day4 of #BarAThon is 'Caught Red-Handed'.

The phrase caught red-handed is used to indicate that a person has been discovered in or just after the act of doing something wrong or illegal.

The possible instances when one can be caught red-handed presented themselves to me.

1) Being caught in an act of crime.
2) Catching someone planning/discussing an act of crime.
3) Being caught with literally one's pants down in an act of debauchery.
4) Planning to apprehend someone carrying out an out-of-bounds operation or mischief-making! (A classic example being, Candace the over-wrought sister whose sole aim in life is to catch her two brothers Phineas & Ferb red-handed while executing their over-the-top experiments in the backyard and exposing them to Mom!....Yes, I watch this cartoon too!)
5) Gathering evidence to apprehend someone who vehemently disputes his crimes with irrefutable proof. (This one was suggested by my friend Tulika e.g. videotape evidence to prove, the husband snores!)
6) Being caught/catching in the act of surreptitious gluttony.
7) Catch some one spying/ogling.
8) and more: Please feel free to suggest!

So what happens when you are caught red-handed, say in an act of surreptitious gluttony? (God forbid that you have to resort to clandestine kitchen raids to pacify that diet-starved, growling tummy!)

Let's make the scene more graphic shall we?

It's midnight and you are out there in the kitchen, rifling through the refrigerator to tuck into that last gulab jamun. The one you refused at dinner seeing your wife giving you that warning glance. Thoughts of that vile blob of calories had made it impossible for you to turn in. To appease the little monster in your tummy you are forced to ransack your own refrigerator at this unearthly hour.....such are the times!

Just as you jubilantly dip your fingers into that bowl of syrupy nectar, the overhead lights turn on! Your eyes are having a hard time squinting and adjusting to the sudden harsh glare and your heart-beat has accelerated to a dangerously high 150 beats/min or more!
The sight of the nightie clad, hair-rollered wife, hands on the hips with that 'Aha-caught-you-didn't-I' smug look on her face further escalates the alarm!

Ann....nd freeze! Let's freeze the moment and go over what happens next in ultra-slow-motion.

You mumble, mutter incoherently, laugh self-consciously, the noise sounding pretty in-congruent in the situation. The ceiling crack and the flooring pattern seem equally interesting and worth introspection. Mentally, you are cursing yourself for the poor timing, the blasted gulab-jamun, the cursed diet-plan, the wretched weighing-machine, the over-bright fridge-light and a million other things that led to this moment! 

You are also wishing for a few miracles, a) Being swallowed by Mother Earth into her deepest chasms - not likely that she will oblige, since you remember you didn't sign-up for the last eco-friendly drive in the society, b) A flying carpet or an invisibility cloak....but damn you didn't inherit anything beyond a rusty old trunk filled with junk! Even a handful of Sandman's dust would be welcome to sedate your glaring adversary! But sighh! You realize no such magical interventions are possible. 
Shoulders hunched, head drooping you pull your fingers out from the sticky syrup bowl and are about to assume your sheepish look and deliver a full-blown apology.....when something clicks!

It is a Eureka moment for you! Self-righteousness and Assertiveness have just arrived to your rescue! Accompanying them are the minions Instant fibbing and Dramatics. Hallelujah! 

Shoulders thrown back, head erect, hands slip back into the bowl and with a look of sheer annoyance you deliver, "You startled me! This is the last one and I am not sharing it with you. My blood sugar took a dip and I got all woozy." You pause momentarily for effect and are satisfied to see the smug face in front of you, turn to a worried one. You masterfully plough on,"Thankfully I remembered this little devil in the fridge. Now don't stop me....I may go into a coma if I don't have this right now!" 
And there goes the gulab jamun to it's justful end. 
Pah! So much for being caught red-handed! That was a cinch, wasn't it?

I am with Team #CrimsonRush for the #BarAThon from Aug 1st - Aug 7th.
Thanks dear team mates for pushing me for this post!  
You could find out more about this lovely blog marathon at BAR.

­­Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Friday, 5 August 2016

The Perfect Match

A match made in heaven everyone agreed. The stunningly beautiful bride Diya and the dapper groom Vivek were the perfect made-for-each-other couple. 

 Image source: Pixabay

Diya coyly flipped through the huge wedding album as Vivek watched alongside, nuzzling her neck and occasionally running his fingers through her silky, dark tresses. 
They lingered over the candid and naughty pre-wedding shoot images and Vivek remarked,"Babe, you look forced, almost sad in these pictures.....not as natural and happy as you look now."
Diya's face clouded but she recovered quickly to retort,"That day I had a bad headache and the photographer was getting on my nerves, so I guess it must have shown in the photos."
"Oh, is that so?Why didn't you tell me baby? I would have called off the whole shoot for another day!" remarked Vivek, gazing at Diya's spotless visage.
Diya got up and stretched herself languidly, "I am going to have a long shower before I start the unpacking; feeling so grimy after that long flight. It was so lovely of your parents to pick us up at the airport, surprise us with the album and a packed home-cooked lunch so we could continue our honeymoon just a wee-bit more till we rejoin office tomorrow!"
"Hmm, they love you...who wouldn't!" sighed Vivek, "Hey, wait up, I'll join you too...!"
Diya blushed and went into the bedroom of their newly rented and fully fitted apartment. She found her red handbag and dug around searching for the keys to her suitcase. Her fingers wrapped around something small and soft and she pulled it out. It was the tiny shoe....the last fragment linking her to her old life, one she hoped she had erased forever. Yet, this tiny reminder she couldn't bear to dispose of, however hard she tried!
"Ahh! There you are...waiting for me to scrub your back is it? You lazy woman!" Vivek playfully chided her, wrapping his strong arms around her slender waist as she hurriedly stashed the tiny shoe right in and wiped the lone tear with her arm.

I am with Team #CrimsonRush for the #BarAThon from Aug 1st - Aug 7th.
Today's blogging prompt is Tiny Shoes.
You could find out more about this lovely blog marathon at BAR.

 Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Thursday, 4 August 2016



Awakened by the kiss of dew,
 And warmth of the rising sun,
He unfurled his lovely white petals,
This little flower bloomed to a bright new world.

The caress of the gentle breeze,
The rustling chide of the leaves,
The drone of the bees and the flutter of the butterflies,
He could not have enough of.

"Is not life ever so beautiful dear mates," he said.
The older blooms sagely silent, nodded along.
For tomorrow they knew, they would be gone,
Why spoil the little one's fun.

Eager to play with the wind and sun,
Awoke little fellow early next morn.
His mates many were missing the fun.
Where could they be, he pondered.

On the earth below he found them lying,
Withered and faded, barely whispering.
"Smile and stay cheerful little one," they said.
"For soon from the earth, we shall rise again."

Today he lay, where they had lain,
Weary yet happy to rest after all he had felt and seen.
"Smile and stay cheerful little one," he looked up and said.
"For soon from the earth, I shall rise again."

Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

A flower is so ephemeral and has such a fragile life....and yet its life is so simple and fulfilling!

I am with Team #CrimsonRush for the #BarAThon from Aug 1st - Aug 7th.
Today's blogging prompt is Fragile Lives.
You could find out more about this lovely blog marathon at BAR.