Lengthiest BlogPost Ever! :O

Right now. This very moment. I am not happy. NOT HAPPY.

As in, I am not particularly sad, but I’m not happy either. Which is okay, right? It is a normal, human thing to be NOT happy. Besides, it’s well past midnight; gloom of inexplicable origins is allowed to set in, at this hour. I guess. I have not been posting in such a long while. The fact is, I have not been the ‘writer’ person since quite some time now. Every post has been more or less of an effort. An act of clinical quality. You have to post on the blog, coz u are a ‘blogger’ and have not posted in such a long while. Heaven knows when I descended into such a sad existence, doing things coz I was supposed to, and not because I wanted to.

Well, I guess there are lots of reasons for this slight change in me- from being a compulsive blogger, to a reluctant one. Some of it is un-shareable (what I can tell you is that these reasons are sad. Really sad- for me). Some of it stems from the fact that I have not had any recent fiascoes, emotional upheavals or nagging doubts, anxieties etc that often prompted my outbursts in the form of blogposts. Life is going smooth. Some people might also call it ‘boring’ or ‘non-challenging’ :P .. I mean let’s face it, no matter how much we hate to cry, acknowledge and experience sadness, hurt, anger and all the other negative emotions, aren’t our lives made richer, and seductively( though strangely) beautiful coz of the ‘lows’, as much as the ‘highs’. Although, as I keep telling anyone who’d listen (and I did this more often in those horrible IMI days/moments when the world seemed to be horribly ugly and incomprehensibly complex): I would pick a boring life instead, thank you very much! I can’t take pain for all the spice in the world. I do not WANT all this ‘learning’, thanks but no thanks!!

Okay, right now there are a 100 things on my mind, which I should be recording in this blog. There is this old, half written post ( about Arps n Avina’s Del visit), Mannat’s return to Delhi ( for which I can’t thank god enough!), something about journalism ethics, w.r.t what kind of reporting should be allowed when dealing with criminal cases which invite considerable public attention ( keeping the dignity and privacy of the victims and their families in mind **see footnote). then there was something about how I am as good as ‘no good’ for people who make me tick, who help me survive, and to whom I owe virtually every good thing in my life, and well.. more…

But you know what, I am feeling better even as I write all this. Well, certainly less gloomy than I felt a while back:O Dunno how this works!

I think I’ll def. post that half written post at the end of this one. Oh! another thing that’s been bothering me since quite some time now; ‘bothering’ may not be the right word though. It has just been occupying my attention lately.

If I really get down to thinking thinking about some things… taking stock of my life in the past few years, I have made a few decisions w.r.t some people. People who were nothing but good to me. People who made me do nothing, but smile. People who were always there. Heaven knows why they did, but they did. And yet, I chose to part ways with them. Coz their decency towards me was far exceeded by almost unacceptably inhuman behavior towards others. Or certain others. In any case, I wish god had either not created them or had not created such a faulty version of them. Anyone who has been through this should know, that it is not easy to run into someone, and not smile at them- or even acknowledge them, when that someone has nothing but genuinely smiled with you, and for you. As in, it’s easy to despise them for what is despicable. But then the conflict between the good (to you) and ugly (to whoever) images, is not pretty. I mean, it is certainly an easy choice. But not a happy one. :-/ I am sure those who have not experienced such a situation will not be able to see any sense in this. I could not, either, until I was faced with it!

Worse still, now some of the good Samaritans in one’s life are carefully picked out, while some others who have not exactly bothered with that role (n far from it!), stay put. They get my smiles, my curtsies, n good wishes in general :O I mean, genuine ones. I just think sometimes, how sad it is, that some of those who really did work to earn it, do not! I mean it. It is sad- for me. It makes me sad. Not that I would do things differently if given a chance, but I do wish that things were different! Bah!

You know, as I am blabbering.. I realize I’m making less and less sense, but I feel more and more at ease. :D :D

Oops, you know what..just now, I happened to come across an OLD chat with Ritz … wherein she had requested me to (urgently) enquire something abt some iPOD model, in Delhi … now this sucks BIGTIME coz this was like ages ago, and as per the chat, I had promised to get back ASAP. And as far as my memory goes, I forgot all about the ipod the moment I logged off the chat. Yep! No recollection at all, of the responsibility I had undertaken.. And I guess she never brought it up either. What kind of scum am I! Feeling really guilty now.. coz this is not the first time I have done something like this. I do this ALWAYS. As a rule. Somewhere maybe I simply don’t care about people’s needs, and more so, for people who DO care. About friends!... God, kill me! .. it sends guilt waves down my throat to think of how the poor girl swung into action recently, when I had enquired about some language classes in Jodhpur (for Meet). She actually researched on it, ( n got back PRONTO) more sincerely than I did!! *makes a mental note* I’ll scrap her right away, and apologize for the iPOD thing… I wonder if she recalls this :O

(I’m on a roll now. I’m liking writing- mindlessly!) :-)

Okay, now, here it is… The Post .. half- written, as you can see, and incidentally, this was meant to be the intro post of this blog, but it never turned out that way, I guess..

Today, is a special day!

One, the day marks the launch of this new blog (with a template, too beautiful by my standards :D ) I am not sure how long this one would last though… unlike earlier, when I held everything close to my heart, really really close and sacred, in a never-to-let-go fashion. Things have changed now.

In the past few months, I have gained the stark realization of just about how little we can guard our material life against predators- strangers, or friends, acquaintances, terrorists, political leaders, ANYBODY! Beyond a point, it seems, our physical space remains no more our own- it is a bitter truth, yes.. but well..

The world has a way of violating into your space, really. Things are such that you could be walking your way back home, and a tiny ant on the road (so very insignificant in proportion to you- so valueless/ worthless in your life/ perspective) can conveniently take the most discomfort causing positions in your body, to annoy you, make you painfully miserable for any reason under the sun:

§ Why do you walk on this road?

§ Why do you walk with both feet?

§ Why do you look like god made you from the scrap material in his factory?

Oh, anything …. Believe you me! And you know, you cannot simply ignore them on the grounds that they are an inch long nonentity, with no value addition in your life; They have the impudent potential to make your life miserable- unless you can really set them right, and right outside the purview of your life.

Basically, the harsh reality of life is that it is only so much your own. So, in many ways, it makes sense to let go of things you own- and don’t agonize yourself over which uninvited guests are violating your proprietary rights. And, as in the case with the ant, accept that the ants will be there. And will be there, impudently so. Fight them if you wish, but don’t agonize over why they do exist at all- coz they do. Phew!

So this time, I start this blog- not with the hope that it shall be nurtured, and bred for eternal growth. This will be my slate- you know, wherein I can write, erase, rewrite for a new day. And when it outlives its purpose, I shall discard it.

I know it sounds cruel – but well, we must all perish. And we do. :)

By the way, that should explain the name of the blog: Tabula Rasa

It means a clean slate – ‘The mind before it receives the impressions gained from experience’. Though of course, we cannot presume to have minds in that state, now. Not with so many impressions, experiences, ideas, knowledge, opinions etc.

But this is what you would want a mind to be, sometimes. In all it’s purity.

Pristine, and rational. Hence, the Blog has been christened such.

Now, for the second reason as to why yesterday was special.

****** ends abrutptly!

Oops, this post was supposed to be about Arpita and Avina almost winning ( but as luck would have it otherwise, not really!) the Pediatrics quiz at SAFDARJUNG HOSPITAL the same day!! It was wonderful meeting them, but the joy was soured by the not a happy conclusion of the purpose of their Delhi visit!.. It will sound cheesy now ( even to Arps I know… who is just about as emotionally handicapped as I am!), but back then, I had made a crude Certificate for them … dunno what prodded me to do it, the same night! But I did. Only, I slept midway after making the certi, while writing the post… the days that followed left little time to get back to this, and I left this project abruptly! Anyhow, while this may seem out of context now, my message for the kids was: You were GOOD! And you are! And Cheers to ur team :)

Today, I am on a roll. I have no interesting tales to tell. No silly stories, that would engage attention. But I do have things to say. As usual, random and uncertain about the audience.

Today being a chutti day, as the power went off, I got a chance to do *nothing* practical for a while .. say, switching between T.V channels etc, I got a chance to be with myself after long, and suddenly got this strong urge to reconnect with my two favorite characters (people?):

Dagny Taggart and Francisco D’Anconia , Atlas Shrugged.

Impulsively, I brought my well-charged laptop to Nanima’s room (these days my refuge, coz unlike my room it is air conditioned, and even otherwise is a cooler spot during summers) .. well, I opened up the ebook (Atlas Shrugged) and revisited some of my fav. Portions, mostly those which portrayed the characters of Dagny and Francisco. These two people have a very special place in my heart. It may sound ridiculous or incredulously fanciful but well, you know what.. these two were people I always knew somewhere. All along. LONG before I actually discovered them in paper, in Ayn Rand’s book. And no, I did not know (envision/ conceptualize/ perceive) them as staunch believers in anything akin to Objectivism or such. I just somehow always thought of these characters, with a common understanding/ motivation, or philosophy, that was not the one writ large in people’s lives, in the world we grew up in. In fact, in the days when I was preparing to leave Jodhpur for graduation in Delhi, I had lots of time on hands, to do what two years of Board –Schooling and Science-ing had never really let me: to give shape to my stories, some characters. I could write, and I had sketched out these two characters (mostly in mind) though some on paper (on my desktop), back then.

But soon after, I moved, and that was it. And well, I couldn’t have done anything beyond that anyway. I had seen too little of the world back then, and the characters had very little meat. They were like two ill-defined figures, shaped in smoke.

Strangely, these people had something in common with Elizabeth Bennet and William Darcy, too! Which amuses me.. coz well, much as their story is close to my heart ( primarily coz of the aforementioned reason), their characters are nowhere as strong, meaty, relevant, or even closer to the *real* world as the other pair. But, I still remember, I was reading some article in Sunday Times one morning, and came across the description of Elizabeth and Darcy .. and I rem. feeling an adrenaline rush! …. I knew them, already. And I wanted to know more.

The next day, I issued a copy of Pride and Prejudice. And goodness, did I flip one page after the other, in the excitement to discover more and more about these two characters. Somewhere, though it was an enjoyable read… and yes, those two are still close to my heart.. somewhere, they did not have the same soul as my kids. (Did I just say ‘KIDS’? :O) anyhow.. so I just had to come to terms with the fact that Darcy and Elizabeth were not what I had wanted them to be. They were just 10% of it.

And one day… suddenly.. out of the blue! … I was reading Atlas Shrugged and before I know it, I am practically meeting two long-lost friends – almost in flesh!- in its pages. This time, my heart was practically skipping beats ..! I knew them, I knew them! … Nope.. the idea of productive achievement being the greatest morality etc etc was not the point at all- I never knew it before I had read it!! .. There was something about them, that I just KNEW since quite some time now. And boy, was I glad to see a good glimpse of those people in real. The fact that someone else had already conceptualized (years before) that which I had suspected, does exist, was enough to make me fall in love with the book. And with Ayn Rand. Till date, I would attribute my passion for Ayn Rand’s works as much to her philosophy as to her portrayal of these two central characters. (in fct, despite being a believer in her theory, I do have my differences, on some grounds.. not that Ms. Rand would care a fig about my opinion on her opinion :P !!)

So anyway… I do love the characters. Both. A hell lot. Though here, I mean more my ‘kids’ than Frisco and Dagny, but yeah, it is to some extent, the same thing.

You know, anyone who does Ayn Rand mentions Howard Roark as the ultimate symbol of her conception of the Ideal Man. (he being the protagonist of her first bestseller, The Fountainhead) Invariably, this happens coz for some reason, The Fountainhead is the more popular choice – maybe coz it was written first. However, Ms. Rand herself acknowledged that the book was simply an overture to Atlas Shrugged, which contained the ultimate idea of her philosophy. And showed its rightful culmination. The protagonist of Atlas Shrugged, John Galt is the real, perfect Ideal Man. Coz he does not make the mistakes (in Rand’s view) that Roark does. Incidentally, Dagny makes the same mistakes until the very end of the book. (PS. The mistake being – being the beast of burden for the incompetent, free riders in the world, who have nothing but despise and ingratitude for the competent First Raters like Roark etc- and are a nuisance in the latter’s achievement of the goal of highest productive achievement) So if u ideally need to pick the perfect male and female embodiments of Objectivism, it would be Galt and the female lead from The Fountainhead, Dominique (whom by the way, I donot like half as much as Dagny. I almost do not like her!)

But my favorite is neither Galt nor Roark. My vote goes to Francisco D’Anconia. I just think his is the most human, correct and admirable character amongst them all. And (SPOILER ALERT!) .. I really think Dagny should have gone to Him in the end! They belonged together!

Of course, if you have read this mile long manuscript till this point, (without cleverly skipping paras, that is) I can only er.. congratulate you *or maybe wonder what’s wrong with you… this is 9 pages of my rambling, which I started past midnight, n I conclude as the sun looks set to rise !!!*

Whatever, I am happy I did this. I feel lighter :) And definitely not NOT-happy anymore :D ..


** e.g one kid apparently commits suicide ( or is murdered), and the next thing you know, you are being told everyday, piecemeal, about the number and kind of ‘male friends’ she had, her ‘love life issues’, insinuations on her ‘character’ etc etc .. disgusting or what!! This struck me when I was going through tons of newspapers at Jagori, culling out news report on violence against women, and went through the news reports for Arushi murder case!! Who on earth gave the reporters the right to disgrace a poor little girl, barely 14!.. to splash out her private life to feed the strange voyeurs like us who had little right to poke our snotty noses into her Orkut scrap book!! Yep .. believe it or not, they actually reported things like .. the police have dug into her private emails and orkut account and have found scraps which hint at ‘love affairs’ with three guyz!! .. and they went on to quote from a few scraps.. I mean comeon! … let the police deal with those facts, and reach a conclusion! Instead, they whip up masala dishes sprinkled with the blood and ashes of someone who lost their life, and now, thanks to them, their dignity!)


Harry Potter: Snape and Lily dissected by a Fan :)

Time for some Harry Potter fan fiction written by me :D

I have been exploring the Lily-Snape relationship lately. The character of Severus Snape, has always intrigued me, particularly since his real story of love and sacrifice for Lily was revealed in the last book. A man known all his life, as evil and cold and heartless to all, and yes, grossly wrong in his preference of the Dark Arts (he becomes a death eater- a member of Lord Voldemort’s army of evil wizards). Also the man who spends his entire life saving the son of the only woman( person) whom he deeply loved all his life (and even after she dies)- despite the fact that she snubs his love in contempt of his Dark leanings, and goes on to marry his arch rival James Potter. That this man dedicates all his life, (and also his death) to her, makes his tale the most soul-stirring. I personally developed a strange sort of liking for him- despite his unambiguously evil traits. And so have hundreds of other Harry Potter fanatics.
Snape is one of the slimy-oily-nerdy-looking, forlorn wizard boys in Hogwarts belonging to the Slytherin House, which has bred mostly dark, evil wizards (though he is a genius at some magic subjects – and purportedly proficient in some bad magic). Needless to say, he is despised by most on the campus, including James Potter (who later goes on to marry Lily, to father the protagonist of the story, Harry Potter).
Lily and Snape have been childhood friends ( neighbours), and it was Snape who told Lily about she being a witch ( having been born to non-magic parents, she was unaware of this fact for long, unlike Snape, who always knew he was a wizard.) They are good friends throughout, and Snape is shown to harbor love for Lily since the day he observes her playing in the park, for the first time.
In contrast to the hero James Potter – who has a healthy childhood, full of family love and affection, Snape grows up in a broken home, witnessing fights and ugly scenes- and has never known the love of parents. (and may that’s partly why he grows into an extremely bitter, cold and vindictive man)
This scene takes place after a fight between James Potter and Severus Snape (the former is like the poster boy of the campus- a famous sportsperson, an arrogant hero and well, another suitor for Lily Evans. He often bullies the ‘loser’ Snape with his friends, ostensibly for Snape’s Dark leanings.) In the fight, Snape gets agitated and provoked into calling Lily a Mudblood ( a horrible word of abuse – for a wizard/witch who is not born in a wizarding family, hence considered not ‘pure’!). This provocation is due to mixed feelings of disappointment and envy towards James Potter (also his potential competitor for Lily’s affection), and Lily’s growing disapproval of his company of dark wizards.
In this scene, we see how Lily and Snape’s relationship terminates. I have used my imagination in an attempt to explore the why’s and how’s on each of their minds – w.r.t each other. Since JKR has never dealt with this aspect at all- leaving her fans at the mercy of their imagination. We really wish she had dealt with this angle a bit more- since it definitely constitutes a richly gratifying story; This, and the relationship of Lily and James (whom she detests initially, due to his ‘poster boy arrogance’, but grows to love and marry him, later)
JKR’s revelation in an interview that Lily may have married Snape instead of James Potter, had Snape not opted for the Dark side, makes their relationship ten times more interesting, and worthy of an analysis!
Again, the purpose of this exercise is not to commit the cardinal sin of trying to ‘add’ to the sacred bible in any manner! It’s more of a personal attempt at understanding the characters and the dynamics of their relationship.

*Snape is at the gate of Lily's hostel.. requesting to be forgiven for calling her a mudblood in a fit of anger*

“I’m sorry.”
“I’m not interested.”
“I’m sorry!”
“Save your breath”
It was nighttime. Lily, who was wearing a dressing gown, stood with her arms folded in front of the portrait of the Fat Lady, at the entrance to Gryffindor Tower.
“I only came out because Mary told me you were threatening to sleep here.”
“I was. I would have done. I never meant to call you Mudblood, it just – ”
“Slipped out?” There was no pity in Lily’s voice. “It’s too late. I’ve made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater friends – you see, you don’t even deny it! You don’t even deny that’s what you’re all aiming to be! You can’t wait to join You-Know-Who, can you?”
He opened his mouth, but closed it without speaking.
“I can’t pretend anymore. You’ve chosen your way, I’ve chosen mine.”
“No – listen, I didn’t mean – ”
“ – to call me Mudblood? But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?”
He struggled on the verge of speech, but with a contemptuous look she turned and climbed back through the portrait hole…
(here, I change the scene.. Lily does not go away yet. She stays)
“I can’t pretend anymore. You’ve chosen your way, I’ve chosen mine.”
“No – listen, I didn’t mean – ”
“ – to call me Mudblood? But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?”
“Because.”, he replied, with prompt assertion. ‘Just because.’
Lily, her face contorted in pained anger, repeated his words, to drive in the sheer absurdity. “Just because?” “So are you telling me Sev, that you expect me to sit pretty, at peace with you, with myself.. after watching you harm innocent souls, for no rhyme or reason. To let you hurt others, play with human lives, and defy every single norm of civil human existence, and blindly smile it all away?”

The intensity of his gaze, which had a hint of soft earnestness a while back, seemed to be replaced with a piercing shot exuding pain.
“Innocent souls..” , he repeated, brushing aside the notion almost contemptuously. “They are not innocent souls, Lily. None of them is. Everybody gets what they deserve- I wish I could show you their real faces; The truth of cowardly weakness and sheer incompetence, under the garb of innocence."

She had been taking in all his words, eyebrows slightly arched – a look of resignation and contempt on her face. “I do not even wish to comprehend what theory you have been feeding your mind with- to justify your guilty pleasures-”

He cut through her words, without registering the message. “You do not understand this- you are too clean in heart, too pure of soul, to see what people are capable of. What they deserve. It’s a game they are all playing between themselves- all the time! Me and my friends get brandished as ‘evil’, because we beat them at it. You think any of these people wouldn’t want to enjoy the power, the victory over any of us if given a chance? It’s just that we don’t give them the chance. The Dark Lord and his able followers are rising in power way above them, and they are scared for their lives.”

Strained by what she felt were his lethally bizarre notions about life and the world, Lily’s arms unfolded, and moved behind. She leaned against the wall for support; Somewhere, she realised, the physical gesture reflected a sudden desire to distance herself from Snape: From his words, from his figure. From his life. He did not seem to notice this, however; He continued speaking breathlessly, to convey the fierce conviction in the correctness of his belief.

“Don’t you remember your muggle sister? I could bet my life she would cheer for joy, if you were to be pained in return for every good thing in her life. She hated you for your talent, for the fact of your superiority in every aspect! She hated you for what was good in you, Lily. You think people like that deserve ‘justice’? Half the ‘victims’ you feel sorry for, would secretly rejoice in sadistic pleasure, when those around them go through the same torture. I can bet my life that if it were not for the inhibition of rules, students here would settle all their scores with rampant use of the dark arts. But no one has the guts to own up to this reality, do they! The Dark Lord and his followers do. The others are too weak to win over the greatest and the most powerful, and so they make a hue and cry about his ascension to power- to stop him, to prevent their defeat. You think such existence deserves ‘justice’? To reward them for what? – their weakness? Coz they surely do not have real ‘good’ to be rewarded for.”

She looked into his eyes incredulously, as though hoping to find an answer there.. what had gone wrong.. and, why!
“Do you realize that I am one of the ‘people’? If all people are sinful and undeserving of justice, why use different parameters for me? My existence possesses the additional evil of being muggle born, doesn’t it?”

Snape’s face flinched as though her words had served a whiplash against it.
“You are not.. them, Lily” He stammered in an effort to string his words together. The stuttering betrayed the fact that even the thoughts were not - strung, in the first place. “There are some … good .. souls .. rare.. I concede that we may hurt some of them in the process. But it can’t be helped- call them the inevitable damages of war..or whatever you may.”

“Splendid logic!” her voice was sharply sarcastic, and thick with disdain.
Smiling wryly at her sarcastic indifference to the hint of warm affection his words bore for her, he inched closer to her; Lily did not withdraw. She was not sure whom she could see advancing closer to her- the young boy who seemed to have no dreams bigger than a world of magic where they lived happily, playing and laughing together. Or a cold, vindictive man with an aim no higher than to avenge an undefined wrong, against some unidentified force.
“But, I will never let you suffer for all that is wrong in this world, you know. I will protect you, always. Till I draw the last breath of my life. Always, Lily”, he said softly.

His left hand was positioned fiercely against the wall, across her. Yet, his words were not fierce, but sounded like a soft plea; and a promise that yearned for the reward of faith in its spirit. And for a moment, she felt her knees go weak, and her heart, numb. She slowly slid down, and sat herself on the floor- every movement a painful effort; He followed, and assumed the position beside her, as though expecting some response, though hardly anticipating much merit in whatever it would be.

“I wish I had never known you. You are too far on the path of evil for me to not abhor your existence; And too closely connected with my life, for me to not be hurt by my abhorrence.”

“I thought we were best friends. Since always. And forever…”

“Best Friends? What do you expect of me as a Friend, Severus? Good wishes..? Prayers… that you may get everything that you desire … everything that makes you happy? I cannot bring myself to do that! What you seem to desire, what seems to give you pleasure, sends a shiver down my spine, Severus. And shoots a stroke of guilt in my heart. Because I find myself making excuses to me, for what you are.. I find myself attempting to lie to my own conscience about you. And I am ashamed of me. I’m disgusted with myself. Thanks to you! And your.. ‘Friendship’.”

Snape, who had been taking in every whiplash of a word from her, with alert attention, now blinked slowly. He drew a deep breath, as though to say something in his defence; but then, having quit the idea, added what was to be the final message.
“You will never understand me, Lily. No one ever has. I never got my due honour in life, you know. I fight my battles alone. But, fight I will. Even if they get me at the end, I will have earned honor, in death. ”

Though he had affected a tone of finality and farewell, his manner and haunting look in the eyes betrayed a yearning for comfort, for hearing and justice from the quarter where it counted the most.

Lily got up to her feet, steady and sure. She had reached a conclusion about the man who stood before her; And about their relationship, which had, in its early days, shown promise of a bond of lasting love and trust. It was an easy choice of the right and just, over the unreasonable and unjust.

“There is no excuse for evil, Severus. No kind of insecurities, failures, problems or challenges in life will justify hurting those who haven’t imposed the same on you. My only tribute to our former friendship would be if I could help you see reason some day- even if I must serve as your ‘damages of war’. I only hope, by then, it’s not too late for you to make amends.”

With this, she turned and briskly climbed back through the portrait hole.

Lily does end up serving as the ‘damages of war’ – Lord Voldemort kills her and James Potter, while their son miraculously survives ( Lily dies protecting him, with an old piece of magic.) This loss breaks Severus Snape, who then vows to protect her son against the Dark Lord, for as long as he can (his tribute to his love for her)
In a way then, both Lily and Snape kept their word to each other.
The way I see it, Snape has developed a lethally negative psychology, mostly due to his adverse childhood circumstances. He has grown up with a feeling of being victimised and wronged from all sides, and has taken to venting his frustration recklessly everywhere. This is taken to an extreme where he begins using this as an excuse for everything that he choses to do, for selfish interest. Hence, his arguments lack coherent logic or rationality, but he will always use the same line of defence for justifying everything he does. This is something that Lily ultimately recognizes during this conversation, and takes the final call.
Umm …I kind of understand this psychology now, having seen glimpses of it quite closely in real people.
I still have to work out HOW JKR claims Lily could have possibly loved Snape enough to marry him- even minus the choice of becoming a death eater. He would still have been a slimy, mean-looking, sulky, anti social kind of an insecure person, with a lot of baggage, and explicit interest in dark magic!
Before I forget, need to work out Ron and Hermione’s angle too – Stella and I discussed this at length, the other day. ( Stella is a dear friend, and co-HP fanatic I first met at the bus stop :D during JMC days..) Anyhow.. both of us are pretty hassled attempting to figure out .. given their personality traits, HOW and WHY would Hermione and Ron pick each other ( especially, the former falling for the latter!) …

Opening picture ( picked from web-creation of some HP fan) : Severus Snape looking into the famous magical Mirror of Erised ( reverse for ‘DESIRE’) – which shows a person what they truly deeply desire in life, in the reflection. Here we can see Severus Snape looking into the mirror, and he sees himself with Lily Evans :) Awww… fantastic fan art I’d say! :D :D

Cheers n God Bless!



Helllllllow people!
It is just so difficult to believe that an year has passed since we bid goodbye to our seniors .. I mean, the night I wrote the post on that occasion is still as clear in my mind as would be yesterday! I donot like clich├ęs, that’s right.. but oh, Time DOES seem to fly!
We received our farewell on March 16- quite a grand affair, I’d say. Though the fact that we had a company visiting campus the next day, was a fun-spoiler; while some of us were up chit-chatting till 5:30 in the morning… many others retired to bed early :-(
And our grand plans of holding a chen music-gathering or at least a fun games gathering all night were pooh pooh-ed :-( It was something of a dharam-sankat though, when on 16th morning, Amit brought us the news of who all were shortlisted for the company next day (his own name missing from the list :-/) Ironically, while one was happy for the ones shortlisted, my first response was .. “haw… we won’t be able to have fun tonight .. !” .. To which, Amit replied (promptly) .. “why not… we’ll stay up all night… we’ll have fun” … “Errm..” I repeated (knocking some sensitivity into the discussion- comeon, how does it feel if all your friends are enjoying a rare farewell moment, while you are trying to get some courtesy sleep- for a godforsaken interview the next day!!) … “Comeon ya, yeh log nahi honge na …hum kaise enjoy karenge” …
To which, he replies..(a note of protest) “arre toh kya hua .. yeh achcha hai .. shortlist bhi na ho pao.. aur enjoy bhi mat karo :( ” :O :O .. Well, point well taken!
Screw these schedules sometimes… things just don’t fit!
Anywho… the farewell was a good affair. We added some good spice to the night with the photo session of course. No no.. not your boring ‘fake pose- fake smile’ photos naah! .. We are a creative lot. We are a fun lot :D .. sooo we had lots n lots of creative n fun shots… :D … We took snaps for various permutations n combinations.. Sample these :

It began with (People shouting) Hey.. all girls … all guys, now…. All Commercies, all Arts-ies.. All DU-ites.. ( which effectively meant kicking out farji or part- DU-ites such as karishma etc :P) , all DU-and allied ( meant, including those previously mentioned) ..then, what was supposed to be the ‘HR Summit team’ … ( eventually infiltrated by every other single soul in the batch.. :)), ‘Empezar team’ ( again, the same story) .. and then, the classifications got crazier… The stage-cum platform was one freakin’ open photo studio with a dozen cameras clicking @ 30 pix per minute .. the camerapersons practically jumping from one ‘mood-group’ to another, at their beck n call!! ..
The category snaps were followed by pose snaps … aah … from A-The-Awasthey-Pose ( which basically had all of us – chanting – ‘A-The-A-The’ :D :P , to Bhuppu pose ( right hand on the neck-collar, left pointing outwards), to Sud. Suri Pose - … [Our SAP prof… We have created a comic character SAP-MAN after him.. Meggs ( my co creator) might want to be the first one to blog about that one though] .. , to Vijaya Pose .. to Mamta Ma’am pose ( an expressionless, deadpan face- with a hint of mamta on it ;) )..
That was followed by the dance party of course… which by the way, is not the same fun as last year … coz our new warden has acted really geeky all year, n put a time limit – of 1 o clock … ! .. Gawwdd.. even during the dance party .. I kept getting flashes of our seniors’ farewell … *spooky* .. I’m such a Flashback person, I tell you!
Errm .. though.. major point of difference.. our seniors were pretty senti and some of them cried bucket loads .. I kept taking breaks between the dance n asking people .. when are we gonna start crying … n u know … acting all ‘goin-away-ish’ :D :D … See, I knew- the cold fish that I am, I was not going to cry; still, I do like the karan johar movie stuff :D … ( hate me.. hate me)
Finally, Mansi did the honours…and a couple of others… :D :D I dun like to see Mansi cry though … :-/ anywho.. she did .. at which point, we decided to move out n get some fresh air!
Ummm …. One weird problem at such moments is … there are ‘groups of friends’ everywhere, and during the last few moments .. you want to be with all … steal time with all ! … (not to mention, the weird traitor feeling you get everytime you are with one group – and not with the other)!
Ooh… there was this very nice token we were given … A huge poster containing a collage of our pix in the last 2 years (life at IMI – batch of 2007-09) .. anddd a huge white Hanky (and a sketch pen!...)
While the dumb me started jumping about telling the organizers that hankies are supposed to be a baddie gift… I was shown the sketch pen … ! So, we were supposed to circulate the hanky around and take farewell messages from friends ..
Well.. this was some scene …as by this time ( 3-ish I think) .. most of the people were high – in spirits or on spirits – but high nonetheless .. :D … we were in the amphitheater ( Do I need to mention that I threw a fit to get my sketch pen replaced .. (yellow!! .. how was I supposed to get comments from people In yellow!!) .. then … lost the new sketchpen ( somebody stole it!) ..n then minutes later .. lost the entire kit ( minus the hanky which was with me) .. I did suck up to the organizers n got a replacement tho! :D ..
Okay .. and two amusing tiny moments .. in brief ..
1. Nirmalya comes around looking most jobless amongst us all … I thrust my hanky into his hands. Write on mine.. He takes it obediently. Moments later … I discover him empty handed …:O ..
Junta busy exchanging messages ..
ME ( wailing): “Where did you keep my hanky?!”…
Nirmalya( lost): “What hanky!”
Me ( whining) : My hanky … my hanky!! I gave it to you …
Nirmalya (now I notice- rather struggling to stand steady on his feet) .. : No, you did not.
Me: (shooting annoyed looks)- WHERE IS MY HANKY!!!
(spot it on the grass…) : Here it is!.. see you threw it around!!
Nirmalya (now affectionately examining the hanky with eyes wide open- and a dazed look): Nice Hanky yaar!! ….
Goes on: “I’ll write this message only”…
and then he did! .. So, ladies n gentlemen, my first farewell message … “ Dear Shruti..Nice Hanky yaar!”
:D :D …
[I shared this amusing story with Meggs .. and she seemed to think that I am easily amusable – IF that’s a word at all!] …
2. This one… I laughed at it ( n my state) for hrs
So we are all doing good … talking etc .. n for some reason .. and one ‘junior’ did something funny… errm this JUNIOR technically, is several years my senior and several feet taller … and well, I have to stretch my neck while talking to him- and get this automatic respectful feeling of junior-ity always! I never realized the irony in our equation until he did this …
Sajjal was leaving … so they said stuff to each other .. like .. u know .. “okay, dude, had a nice time with you! …” *Junior now turning to me .. in the same spirit*
Picture this: .. hand over my head … like one deals with a little kid jumping around like an overwound toy ..looking 3 feet down… to meet my level …
“Nahi seriously Shruti, had a very nice time with you … It was great having you around as a SENIOR!” .. :O :O …
(Me .. looking 3 feet up ..) … “Really!!” … And this was perhaps the most memorable message I have gotten in the past few months … I kept laughing at the irony of this scene for hours.. and of course later.. eventually, even Ajay JUNIOR and Co. saw the humor and laughed along :D :D
PS. Like every good thing is ruined by some small odd bit of development, so was this night. I categorically recall having had such a disappointment at the seniors’ farewell as well! .. Someone has to say or do something, that would add bad taste!
It didn’t last long though. Gave it a pass. In times like these, it really does feel good to know that we are moving away. Too much of anything is bad. And people …. Don’t get me started on people. People suck. BIGTIME. I know you and I are people too. And so, yeah! We do suck. Big time! It’s just that people can be fun too. And some can be real special. So that kinda compensates for the sucker-moments.
But, Oh am I glad we are moving apart.
Sure, we’ll have memories. We might even yearn for the good times spent here.
Sure, we’ll have difficult times ahead. Who knows, life could be ten times more ugly outside of the B- School. But, heck! We won’t know until we move on, right! And life ahead will have it’s own charm, along with the flipside (like life in a B-School did).
Partings are well made. Specially, partings like these. I say this, at least for me.
Will write again soon. A real post, and not such a random account of a day’s event.

So long! :-)


Bharatiya Sanskriti Speaking...

Namaskar, Main bharatiyata hoon.

Shayad aapne mujhe pehchana nahi...

kya keh rahe hain aap? kya main aapko dikhti nahi?

Kya? aajtak aap mein se kisi ne mujhe theek se dekha nahi?

Zara dhyaan se sochiye, thoda kasht dijiye apne bharatiya- chit ko-

yaad kijiye- kahin toh dekha hoga..!

Roz roz, kahi na kahi .. toh mulakat hoti hogi hamari.

Haalaanki maine aapko bhali-bhanti pehchan liya hai!

Dekhti hoon main aapko, wa aapke bhai-bandhuon ko bhi.

Jee haan, bade gaur se, dekha hai.. nazdiki se pehchana hai maine aapko-

Aap wahi hain na,... jo bus stop pe har subah 9 baje khade hote hain apna bag lekar... shayad daftar jaane ke liye ... haan daftar hi jaana hota hoga, tabhi toh paan ki peek vahin bus stand pe thook dete hain, aap. Ab zahir si baat hai, daftar ke shouchalaya mein jaakar thookna toh bharatiya sanskriti ke virudh hoga. Ya uski tauheen hi maan lijiye.

Aji hum seedhe saade khadi-lote wale log, kab se is pashchatya sanskriti ke mehenge washbasinon ke mohtaaj ho gaye. Nahi, nahi, aisa ghinn vichar man mein utpann karne se pehle main mitti mein kyun na sama gayi! Oh! maaf kijiyega..aapke komal-nirmal bharatiya man ko thhes pahuchane ka irada nahi tha mera! Bharat ki mitti se koi bair nahi hai mujhe- ho bhi kaise sakta hai- shayad mera vyaktitva usi mein toh samaya hua hai. (ab ise dwi-arthiya 'pun' na maan lijiyega- main poori sanjeedgi ke saath yeh keh rahi hoon- Vanar sena ke mere bhai-bandhu, apni gadayein neeche rakh dein- bhool chook maaf! )

Haan toh, kya kya ginaoon main.. aur bhi bahut mulakaatein hoti hain humari.

Aap wahi hain na, jo sadak pe chalte chalte pe badi mehnat se, diwar ka ek sundar kona dhoondte hai, uspe apne varsha-ritu ki chaap chodne ke liye.

Bada hi vishaal hriday hai aapka, maana padega! Badi hi khule, vikas-shil vichar dhaara hai aapki. Mazhab ki uchi diwarein bhi aapko aapke karam- dharam se dagmaga nahi paati.

(Main saakshi hoon iski- us chuninda diwar pe chahe Mahatma gandhi ka sandesh chapa gaya ho, ya Shiv ji, hanuman bhagwaan ka poster- chitra ityaadi ho, aap ne ek baar jo thaan li, woh bedhadak karke hi dum lete hain. Aapko mera kshat-kshat naman! )

Kuch yaad aa raha hai?

Chaliye thode aur yaadasht tez kara doon.

Bus mein bhi toh dikthe hain aap. Bheed bhari busmein. Dhakke khaate hue.Seat pe baithi, ya saath kadhi hui, apni bitiya ki aayu ki kanya ke saath sahanubhooti prakat karte hue. Shayad sahaanubhooti sahi shabd nahi hoga. Kuch toh prakat karte hain aap.

Kabhi kabhi toh pratyaksh roop se! :O

Pata nahi, woh bachchi kyun vichlit ho jaati hain- saham si jaati hai, uski chehre ke bhaavon se toh kuch aisa prateet hota hai ki woh ro hi na pade. Ya shayad aapke aansoon chalkane ka prayatna kare.

Wahi pashchatya sanskriti ka asar hai janab, yeh toh main bhi dekhti hoon. Uske vastron se hi pata chal jaata hai, uski samasya ki jad. Jeans- top pehni hoti hai woh ladkii, hai na!

hmmm... par us bitiya ka kya, jo salwar suit mein hoti hai.. maine aapko kai baar usse bhi sahanubhooti- ya jo kuch bhi aap vyakt karne ki cheshta karte hain, -woh karte hue dekha hai.

Khair chodiye.

Ab main ghar ki baatein kya bataaon. Wahan bhi apne bharatiya- jharokhe se dekhti hoon main.

Aapki ardhangini ko bhi dekha hai maine. Sach! 'Ardh' shabd ka sampoorna arth ab samajhti hoon main. Sab kuch toh aadha hai uske vyaktitva mein.

JAb tak aap na ho uske saath, tab tak poori kahan hai woh. Aap duniya-dari na sikhaayein, toh ghar kaise chalayengi woh. Ab zaahir se baat hai, sikhaane mein sakhti toh baratni padti hi hai. Ati-uttam karte hain aap. Ratri dhalte hi, thode kadak bhaav se samjhaate dete hai, ardhangini ko uski galtiyan. Kitna thak jaate hain aap, shaaririk roop se- laatein aur ghoosa maarne mein khaya piya sab nikal jaata hai. Arre! mehez do-chaar thappad maarne ke baad bhi toh doodh ka gilas peena aavashyak ho jaata hai. Tab jaake toh woh ardhangini hone ka farz nibhati hai, aur apne aadhe-adhoore angon (haathon) ka prayog kar, doodh laati hai


Ab toh maan gaye, ki maine aapko dekha hai. Bahut karibi se samjha hai aapko.

Oh, kya aap yeh keh rahein hain ki maine bhale hi aapko dekha ho.. mere varnan se kahin bhi yeh pata nahi chalta, ki main kahan dikhi hongi aapko.

Arre mere Vanar- sainik, bahubali, zara kuch apne dimag par bhi zor lagao.

Kya mera aur tumhara vyaktitva bhinn hai?

Tum ho ek bharatiya. Tumhare vachan, karam, tumhari soch, dhrishti, tumhara hasna, bolna... in sab ka jod hi toh mera astitva banata hai. Bharatiyata tumse utpann hoti hai, hai na? Main toh ek vishaal darpan hoon, jo tum aur tumhari kaum ke sabhi vyaktiyon ki chaal-dhaal, soch-vichaar ka pratibimb apne seene mein sahej kar rakhti hoon.

Tum saare jaise, Main waisi.

Haan, magar yeh baat jaan lo ki mera vyaktitva, mera charitya sthir nahi. bilkul nahi! Aaj se hazaar saal pehle, main kuch aur bhi thi. Ajanta ellora ki gufaoon mein tum abhi bhi meri purani chavi ke kuch pehlu paaoge. Jao, himalaya ki chotiyon pe baithe rishi muniyon ke sandeshon ka jo maine varnan kiya hai, us par nazar daalo. Shayad rooh kaanp jaaye tumhari! Itni kampan ho jaaye shayad, ki kabhi raat ko chup chup ke Angrezi filmein dekhne -aur agle din bhari sabha mein unke 'begairat khulepan' ki kadi aalochna karte hue- bhi nahi hoti hogi!

Ab toh pehchaan liya na mujhe?

Ab soch rahe honge, kyun aayi hoon main tumhare paas. Saakshat. Mujhe pehchaan toh paaye nahi tum. Mujhe dekh kar kush khaas khush bhi nahi lag rahe. Shayad main utni aakarshak, ya khoobsoorat nahi ki tum mujhe apna sako. Kya duniya ke saamne seena thok kar yeh kehne mein jhijak hogi tumhe, ki main tumhari amanat hoon? Tumhari rachna hoon, tumhari hi jaagir? Kya mere daag tumhare malmal ki dhoti ki sundarta kuch kam kar denge?

Par mere bhai, main toh tumhe dhanyavaad kehne aayi thi! Kyunki aajkal phir nagade bajakar apna rahe ho na tum mujhe? mere raksha karne ki kasamein kha rahe ho. Aur mukar nahi sakte tum, tumne chilla chilla kar mujhe apni amanat bhi ghoshit kiya hai!

Apitu meri samajh mein yeh nahi aa raha, ki tum meri raksha kisse kar rahe ho? Aur kyun? Haalaanki mere apne vyaktitva ke varnan se yeh spasht hai, ki mere mein sahej kar rakhne wale gun aaj ke daur mein kam ho gaye hain. Par chalo, ek kshan ke liye maan lete hain, ki main anmol hoon. Apne andar abhi bhi Gargi, Maitreyi, Rani LAkshmibai jaise veeron, vidushiyon aur Mahabharata, Kamasutra jaise bhinn shreni ke uttam saahitya ko kise had tak samaye hui hoon.

Par kya ho sakta hai mera? Agar tum meri raksha ke liye aage na badho toh?

Main toh ek darpan hoon, bataya na maine. Tumhe dar hai ki main kahin toot na jaaon? Arre, moorkhon, kya farak padta hai isse! chaknachoor bhi ho jaaon mein, toh mera ek ek kan ek ek darpan rahega! Samaj ke pehluon ko darshaate hue. Kuch atiuttam, kuch pehlu nichle star ke. Wahi toh mera uddeshya hai. Mera karam.

Mere naam pe stri-jaati ka aur shoshan mat karo, karayon! Shayad, shoshan karna toh tumhari pravratti hai- chahe woh bus mein ho, bus stop pe , ya ghar ki chaar diwaron ke andar. Aur main darshati hoon tumhari saari pravrattiyan- aur kar bhi kya sakti hoon main.

Mita nahi sakti- yeh mera dharam nahi!

Par haan, mere naam par, meri aad mein, aise ghinoney karam na karo! Tumne jo kiya, mera woh hua. Aise nahi hai ki maine jo roop dharan karne ki guhaar ki, tumne use paane ke prayatna mein aise kukaram kiye.

Kitni aasaani se jhooth bol diya tumne. Kya socha? main ek mook darshak ki bhaanti dekhti reh jaaongi? Kyun? Tum mera shoshan kar sakte ho, kyunki mera vyaktitva bhi tum ek stri roopi dhaanche mein maante ho? Tumhari ardhaangini?- Nirbal, sehemi, goongi, aadhi-adhoori?

Kabhi kabhi sochti hoon, ki agar main bharatiya sanskriti na hokar, bharatiya sanskrata hoti- ya phir yu kahein ke purush ke samaan pehchaani, samjhi jaati, toh kya aaj tum jaise do kaudi ke gunde mujhe choo nahi paate? Mera sade-aam yun jalsaa na nikalta, aisa kashtdaayi pradarshan na hota, jaisa ki is desh mein aajkal stri varg ke sabhi sadasyon ka hota hai-

Aisa lagta hai ki hamari jhaanki nikal rahi hoon, rath pe sawaar ho hum. Apne kandhon par, apne budhe-buzurgon, khandaano, desh, kaum, aur sabhi falana dhamkaanon ke laaj-samman ka bhoj utha ke chal rahe hon hum. Rath ke saarthi ko pehchaante nahi, apnate nahi, samajhte nahi. Apitu, darte hai usse, ghinn si hoti hai usse. Uske haathon mein rath ki dor dekh man saham uthta hai. Lekin sabki nazarein hum par hi tiki hoti hain - kuch mein sawal hote hain, kuch mein shanka, ya aarop, kuch chand nazaron mein aasha hoti hai, kuch mein laachari.

Aur sabhi yeh apeksha rakhte hain ki hum muskurate rahein. Apni peeda andar dabakar, unhe ek sunahari, surakshit zindagi ka sapna dikhaayein. Aur jo na has paayein hum, dard aankhon se paani ban kar chalak jaaye, toh phir isi jhaanki pe patthoron ki bauchar laga denge yeh log, jo abhi fool barsaane ke liye khade hain, hamare swagat mein.

Kash! Kash main bharatiya- sanskrit-I na hoti! Ab mujhe yeh nahi hona!

Kash mera vyaktiva hota Bharatiya- Sanskrit-A ka!

Afsos, sach toh yeh hai, jo main bharatiya sanskrita hota, toh main kuch nahi hota. Shayad purush jaati ke gun sab mil kar bhi, le hi na paate roop aise vishal, swachchand darpan ka.

Yeh baat tum bhi jaante ho, aur main bhi.

Isiliye shayad main aajtak ek stree- ek Sanskriti ban kar reh gayi hoon. Aur baaki Streeyon ki tarah, Stree hone ka kar chuka rahi hoon.

Kabhi buson mein, kabhi gharon mein, toh kabhi mangalore ke pubs mein.

Signing off…