Friday, December 07, 2007

A trip to Lourdes...

Had to leave for Lourdes early in the morning, so didn't sleep the whole night. Later, in a li'l more than slightly sleepy state, took the train which was supposed to cover the distance from Bordeaux to Lourdes in 2 hrs and 45 minutes. As soon as I settled down, sleep overtook me and there I was lost in my dreams while at the same time, taing care of my bag. Suddenly at one point in time my eyes open, and what lay in front of me was one of the most amazing scenes I have ever scene.

The skies were overcast with clouds.. dark ones above and what looked like slightly lighter ones below and the sunlight peeking out from somewhere in between. I blinked my eyes as I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was almost like a layer of snow floating in the air with clouds above. The sunlight looked like some kind of a light coming from beneath the snow. The first word that came to my mind when I saw that was.. "Heaven". Well then added to the existing beauty were mountains and lush greenery. Well the initial scenery changed but it was still beautiful.

Approaching Lourdes,I could see a river/stream running parallel to (but at some distance) the train line. Amazingly clear water. At some points you could make out whats beneath the surface of the water even from the train.Finally at the station, I go out and see this huge board of 'Office de tourisme' which had a touch based information system. while just looking at it, a sweet old lady came along and asked me "Do you want to go to the Grotto?", I smiled and said "yes". Then that sweet ol' french lady gave me two alternate directions to reach the grotto. So sweet of her considering she was struggling a bit with english.

Thus started my walk towards the Grotto. The one thing that I notice in Lourdes was that it was perhaps the only french city that I had seen till now which had sign posts at every crossing and gave extremely clear directions. Thus leaving no scope for you to get lost without a map. To add to the whole experience of walking to a pilgrimage site was the fact that it had got cold and I was not as equipped for it as I would have liked to be and on top of that it was raining continuously (I had no umbrella).
Finally reached the Grotto. in this, there are three separate chapels in the same building. The top floor is the chapel of mother Mary. Once you get inside, a distinct feeling of peace and calm just sweeps over you, encompassing you in a wrap of warmth and such emotion which I'm unable to describe in words. I have felt a similar feeling eve in Notre Dame and Sacre Couer in Paris and various temples and other religious places in India but the strength and intensity was different here.

Visited all the three chapels and sat for a long time on the top floor.. there I just lost track of time. This Grotto is supposed to be a place where many sick and old people of all religions, castes and races come. Although mainly a catholic place, it is equally good for anyone. I later realised that I spent almost 3 hours just in the three chapels and not seeing the paintings, etc but just being there.

After this went to 'la grotto'.. which is basically a cave like structure where Mary was supposed to have made an appearance. The walls of the cave are always wet. water just seeps in.. from where I couldn't figure out. And lit a long candle. There are candles of different thicknesses available to light for your prayer. Each of these candles are generally 6-8 feet long. And yes I also got some holy water which is supposed to have healing powers, just like Ganga.

Well my visit, although am not a Christian, I touched the holy water at the church and prayed. I kneeled. I dunno the traditions or the prayers.. but I talked with God (thats my way of praying). I thanked God for what I have and prayed for everyone, my family and friends. And yes I also asked for a wish. This place is supposed to be one where people say that any wish that you ask for is granted.. your wish always comes true. One of my friends, who didn't believe in all this when came here wished for something.. and against all odds, it did come true. Lets see if my wish comes true or not.

But irrespective, the place and the visit has had such an effect that I'm sitting here writing this blog. Even though I have just returned from Lourdes, tired, cold, extremely sleepy with eyes hurting and hands frozen.

So this is for God.. I don't know the form, gender, religion of God and I don't believe in either of these concepts. God is just a concept to me. But I believe in its presence (using 'it' to avoid any gender or form). And hope my wish comes true.. Amen!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Ok people.. this is not about the popular television series (Although I admit being hooked to it frankly.. damn! season 2 is getting more engrossing with each episode.. I hope all the news of the 11th episode being the season finale, because of a writer's strike, doesn't come true....). So anyways, before I drift to a different topic.. this one is about the real heroes.

The thought started after I had seen a movie called "Platoon" (heard about it from a friend.. was not sure had watched it so went for it). Well as it turned out.. I didn't remember the movie so guess hadn't watched it.. an amazing movie. It was just "A gritty and emotional look at the lives of a platoon of American soldiers as they patrol, fight and die in the jungles of Vietnam as seen through the perspective of a young recruit." (courtesy: IMDB). However, it did make me think about the life of soldiers.

The life of a soldier.. when I compare it with my own, I see a stark difference. Well think about it. People will obviously say.. "They have a difficult life". But perhaps they wouldn't have given it a deeper thought. Its not only about the instability of life in the field. Its also about the smaller things. Things that we take for granted. Life on a day-to-day basis.. simple things like food, clothing, communication.. even things as simple as your daily ablutions. Life's so difficult. Yet, they lead that life and find meaning in the smaller things. That is what makes me look up at them. They live at the most difficult places and the most difficult situations.. and still do it without a single grimace. If we, on the other hand, see even the smallest bit of discomfort, we get so disturbed.

Yes, you would say that they are trained for all of this and I would agree to that. But even then, just think about it. They make the choice of going through all this. This is what makes them so great.

Now moving from their life to their work. They fight for the country, for the people of their country and for things they believe in. How many of us can even fathom that kind of responsibility? We also fight for people, for beliefs but how far can we go. And then, if you ask them, they say.. we just do our jobs (well I got that response). What a job!!!!

Its not that they don't have any imperfections, but I admire them for the good things (as I always try and look for the good things rather than find flaws). I say.. what a job, what a life and what a MAN!!!

Well, I'm simply in awe of them. Perhaps thats one reason why I love watching any movie, reading any article on soldiers. It shows you so much. Really now I am in the position.. "Gosh! there's so much to say.. but really can't find the words.." So I would just wrap up here with a dialogue from one of my all-time favourites 'A Few Good Men'

Sam: Why do you like them so much?
Jo: 'Cause they stand on a wall................. And they say "Nothing's gonna hurt you tonight. Not on my watch."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Why is it..

Why is it?

Why is it that whenever I think,
I'm scared if the subject is me?

Why is it that even with so many people,
I never see anyone who'll be my support?

Why is it that even with all the glaring lights
I stand here lost like a person blind?

Why is it that seeing the rainbow,
The only colour I see is black?

Why is it that when the winds brush past me,
All that encompasses me is vacuum?

Why is it that even my friends and family,
I find them as good as strangers to me?

Why is it that even in all of my independence,
I still see a deep dependence on something?

Why is it that in spite of all this depressive thinking,
I'm always there, smiling, enjoying and looking at the good things?

Perhaps because I don't think about myself...
And thats how I deal with it..

The 'One'

Here's another one from the stable of 'love'.. Sorry people.. but it just seems that I'm too full of this feeling today.. need to get some of it out.. so taking it out on all of you.. :D

Well, there is the strange story.. There was me, who was keeping happily to herself, until there came this guy in her way.. This guy whom she wouldn't have let herself cross paths with, had it not been for other forces (real ones.. not the filmy types though.. but can't give details). So there was the guy and they crossed paths. And as it had to happen, she liked him. She had not let herself really 'feel' for a long time. Not let herself go. But this time, she does try... and tries her best at that. She tries not to think about it but just go with the flow. But the guy is almost everything she could have asked for. Obviously not 'everything' (nobody is perfect), but the other stuff is not that important. And she just kinda goes with the flow and starts falling for the guy.. the 'One'.

She thinks to herself that she should stop.. perhaps this will never happen (that has been her state of mind for as long as she remembers.. 'why?'.. she has never tried to figure out). But then she decides, maybe she should take the plunge. Let herself be vulnerable to what is called the 'heartache' and what might become the 'heartbreak'. She fears that if she speaks her mind, it might ruin everything, but then this time around.. she might just do it.. just for the heck of it.. just for being completely tired of waiting and thinking before doing anything..

But the 'One' doesn't understand the subtle hints of the woman, the scared little person that she is (very unlike her general attitude).. What if he takes everything that she has done in the wrong sense? What if everything that she treasures now goes to waste? Is it deep enough to commit herself or should she just stay at liking? (I think this one should be to stay at liking and let it develop from there).
Well anyways, those are the thoughts that are going on in her mind. But she promises herself.. she won't think too much.. and let whatever has to happen, happen. Try her best to go with the heart rather than the mind. Let her heart take the chance. And hope that the 'One' understands and something good comes out of it.. for a change.

The feeling called love..

Ok.. so I'm sitting here tonight.. thoughts of writing a blog engrossing me but what to write about is something that is still boggling me.. is it going to be the topic I generally end up with so many times.. love? I guess the answer to that is.. yes. (Ok people don't run away..or maybe you can.)

I have had some experiences.. or can I really call them experiences.. well but love is something which has always confused me. I guess I'm just plain scared to take the chance. People say that it is strange that I've never been in a relationship (funny, it seems, with all the gossip that must have done the rounds about me.. I dunno how many times). But the strange bit is that I've never gone beyond friendship (although might have tried to fool myself a lot of times..) Never have I let myself be really serious, perhaps maybe just the one time (I guess that was also more of the immaturity rather than the true feeling).
So frankly speaking, I don't think I know the feeling called love or do I? Its ironical that I believe very strongly in a love marriage (I'm scared of the whole concept of an arranged one) but I still don't have anyone in my life. Maybe by keeping myself from falling to the depths of the feeling called love, I'm keeping myself from hurt and pain. But this is not going to work.
This time, I've promised myself.. I will make an honest attempt and a positive one at that. Although I know that perhaps nothing positive will come out of this, but this time I'll let myself take the chance.. or at least force myself to. Dangerous signs... "Yes, I like you. I would love to be with you always.. through thicks and thins. Only that perhaps this is never going to happen."

Oh!! the dreams of that one man, that one day, that one moment, that one long-needed hug and that one lingering kiss... the one that will make me feel love for the first time... and the wait.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Homo Sapien

People.. this is one thing one can never stop being amazed by. It is said that no two persons are the same. Think about it this way. The population of the world's growing. So each time there's a birth, a new person comes into existence. How many kinds of permutations and combinations are possible in a human being which has resulted in so many people on this earth.. no two of whom are exactly the same.

First you are in your house, and you try and understand the differences in the people around you. Then the scope increases to your locality, your school and your playgroup. Then as you grow older, it further increases to your college, the place where you work and other social or professional networks. At each step, your area of exposure increases. Home, city, State, Country... At some point you think.. this is the point where I guess I have seen enough to assimilate all that comes my way.. and then suddenly, there is another experience with some other person, maybe from the same country or a different, same background or different, maybe even from the same house or the same time.. An experience which would unsettle you completely.

Its amazing to see.. if it is God or Science or DNA.. whatever you believe to be the origin of the human race.. so many differences and yet somehow each human being is equipped with all that is needed to adjust to each of the various permutation and combination which results into a new person and a new experience. So different we are, yet this one thing is so strongly common amongst us all.

Marvel.. the creation called the 'Homo Sapien'

So different.. yet so alike

The sun's going down again on another one of the days
The yellow turns to orange and the orange to red
There.. I see the red and blue coming together.
Amazing isn't it, like it is forever.

How the colours come together
And still stay what they are.
Just like two different people coming together
Each of them while being one and merged
still have their own shades intact

The things in this world, I wonder
So different yet so alike

The sea and the shore is also the same
So is the horizon

Everything in this world..
So different yet so alike

Saturday, August 25, 2007


My friends its you who always
Come and brighten all my days
Although physically you are far
Yet it seems just here you are
Sitting next to me and talking
Or just besides me walking
Every waking moment that I have
And even when sleeping I am
I think of you and gather
The good times we had together
I gather and then realize that they are
Actually forever engraved in my heart
How I wish I could meet you again
Be it summer, winter or rain
I miss you so much I can't say
And can't forget you come what may
Now I'll stop here or I'll cry
Anyways I have to go as my time’s gone by

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Love... Musings

Falling in love makes the world go round
That is what everybody says
But there is a doubt in my mind
and unanswered it stays
Aren't you always in love?
In love with your family and friends
In love with yourself
And in Love with life...
If its true then you should always be dizzy
And if there's another love
Still a thought keeps me busy
Love is omnipresent
Love is all encompassing
It brings along joy, elation and happiness
And also satisfaction, gratification and success
Sometimes there is hurt and fear because of it
But growing in love makes you better and that makes the risk worth it