plaitsnponys

Where Talent meets an audience…

The Last Sunset…

So is this the end of the world as we know it? Lounging in the stifling comforts of a bedraggled former paradise is the silent hope that none of that was ever true. That somehow somewhere there was someone watching over the calming force that swept past her face and coaxed her into its harsh absurdity. The ram shackled remains of Satyr’s betrayal was all that rippled past in cruel contrast of the cold cataract of emotions pursing through her veins. 

The shadow of that day had long since weakened on her retina. The light had escaped from behind her creative lashes- like her essence had been drained from her being the way the women in Mumbai’s slums would beat the dirt out of the laundry; the purpose a polar opposite. A broken record, the memory kept playing before her eyes- like a futuristic pair of glasses forcibly adhered to her skull compelled her to relive it’s morbid veracity. 

Satyr aka Satyaram was the boy who would leap off the tallest branches of the village landlords mango trees to steal the prized fruit for her rosy lips. He would turn up bruised and battered like a war veteran fresh from the barracks at the Line of Control, clothes stained with the recently brewed muck of the dark earth below the tree top he had just abandoned . He would merrily lead Parkiram, the frazzled, thinning old man, who technically used his cheap coconut leaf broom to beat up errant village lads more than to rake up the stubborn leaves his beloved trees would shirk off in disgust during the scorching summer months, through a physically draining set of laps around the massive property. All for Pari, he would  justify to his pricking conscience. 

And His Pari loved the attention she got from the boy she so idolized. He was not mean like tall Raquib or petty like Manveer or proud like Laheera . He doted on her like the big brother she never had and the village panel never saw it any other way. He loved Ammi’s ghee fried chappathis that she would faithfully dole out early Sunday morning and Baba’s slow and tired tales of how the irregular monsoons wrecked havoc with his annual yield. 

He would sit glued to her side from dawn to dusk like her own personal slave, all governed by her late grandmothers death bed wish. A much younger Satyr, whose family drowned in the throes of financial turmoil, crouched low at Baddi Ammi’s bedside, waiting with baited breath for a faint whisper of a command- a glass of water, an extra sheet of cotton to cushion her aching bones, anything. But besides an occasional grunt or groan in agony, no sound escaped from Baddi Ammi’s parched and cracking lips. And then she spoke, in a volume disputed by those around, for the sole purpose of Satyr’s hearing ability. “Pari…” She croaked as she made an effort to reach for his young hand, He knew what his Baddi Ammi had asked of him as the light went out from behind her eyes. But that was years far gone for Pari to recollect any such binding contract, in her youthful languor, skipping around while the others bid adieu to Baddi Ammi.

Now, well into the mesmerizing beauty of her youth, she failed to comprehend the complex set of thoughts that Satyr tried to force upon her. Faced with the impending ‘doom’ of a loveless marriage and a partner qualified in age to be her father, she knew not of the “ways of the world” her Ammi kept referring to that prevented her union with Satyr. She had forced herself to believe that the feelings had been mutual and not much against any such “ways of the world” her Ammi kept mentioning much to her chagrin. Neither did she understand how a union that had the blessing of the family matriarch could withstand any other such obstacle the world could throw at her, them. And in all of this, Satyr had left her side- exposing her to her first taste of disappointed hopes. Unable to wrap her tender mind around her bleak future after the ruckus at the village carnival involving a hot headed priest, a stubborn Satyr and a distraught Pari, resignation seemed the only alternative. 

Under normal circumstances, he would have been the one to help her out of sticky situations but he too had fled, leaving not a trace behind as to his whereabouts, taking with him his family- lock, stock and barrel. Growing up with him through school and tears, she never really understood the employer relationship her father shared with Satyr’s family. A simple contradiction to the exertions of a willing heart. 

And yet here stood her last sunset, dipping behind the shades of murky blue in a hazy blur at the edge of the horizon. The betrayal had left her broken, irreparable and unforgiving in the cold light of the morning that would dawn. Societal doctrines barred her from attempting any of the  youthful responses of freedom she had learnt all too well. But Satyr had left, and with him he had taken all the possible eventualities of hope, freedom and happiness..never to return. 

And her last sunset sunk behind a thick creamy curtain of the deepest blue she had ever seen..

 

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
Rabindranath Tagore

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Canada: A World in a World…

Grow outside that little shell, O caterpillar!

The world so vast and wide awaits,

Lined with mindless beauty and praise,

A heaven with depths of grace…

O Canada! Our educated minds offer us promises of the famed Niagara Falls and the CN Tower, but what they fail to mention, that little asterisk at the top, is the promise of utter fulfilment. Let’s go over the promises and compare it with the reality, shall we?

Niagara Falls. A dream in itself. Education teaches us of the horseshoe falls that separates Canada from the United States of America. The reality spells a different tale. The drive past Industrial Hamilton and on to the postcard like Niagara on the Lake winds you like a sucker punch to the solar plexus would. Quaint little tourist homes painted in light pastel colours offering B&B’s line the streets of Niagara on the Lake. White Horse carriages. Flora..

While the actual town is teeming with tourists making their way through the myriad stores offering ever so enticing wares, the bustle thins to a trot as the majestic wine county arrives. Vineyards line the entire boulevard up to the lake itself and the proud owners can boast of more than just a rich grape harvest. With grape wines that threaten to hit the horizon, the expanse of the green carpet is nothing less than mesmerizing!

Jackson Triggs Winery

Coming to the falls. The drive begins with a subtle rustling of what seems to be a distant river. Once the thicket of trees clear, the subtle rustling transforms itself into an imposing roar and the sight is enthralling! What appears to be a field of the most blue water you can perceive, garnished with billows of whipped cream like foam, is the actual build up to the famed Niagara falls. It is entirely hard to be underwhelmed at this juncture. And before you can actually see the massive expanse of tumbling water and the death promising plunge to the eventual bottom of the falls, you lay eyes on God’s own promise: the rainbow, which like a ballet dancer gracefully positions itself in a steady arch of the VIBGYOR chromatic spectrum.

Niagara Falls

That’s when the falls begin to appear slowly, the spray of the descent rising up in a spotless white cloud. And when the picture is finally complete, you realise why it was a dream in the first place! The grandeur of this natural wonder makes the many miles of travel to see it, so completely worth it for every tourist also pushing past and against the safety rails while competing for the best vantage point of the falls for the ultimate picture. A memory. A lifetime experience.

Niagara Falls

The wine county. Yeah, you have to come back for a second glance. It is truly worth the time! Like a shard of a dream, a movie you never thought you would be in. And an actual vineyard? You can reason all you like but nothing beats the satisfaction of being able to eat a grape straight off the vine and then spit out the seeds embedded in it. While the winery and the manufacturing process is engrossing, the dream-like experience is something a movie can never give you.

Jackson Triggs winery

Downtown Toronto. That’s the home to the famed CN tower, if you didn’t already know. It welcomes you from a distance, a landmark of epic proportions. And only when you finally do ascend to the dizzying height of a hundred and fourteen storeys to the glass floor and feel the tingle of fear in your toes, do you begin to appreciate the civil engineering that has gone into its making. While they so confidently encourage you to jump up and down on the glass, as if defying the load bearing capacity of the massively thick glass designed to hold up to five times the capacity it is supposed to handle, courage comes only to the fearless children you see pounding on the glass with their little body weights. And if you read the brochure a little carefully, even the carpeted portion of the glass floor is also made of glass! That is just to give an illusion of solid ground to the faint hearted! Ah, the view! Even the Absolute Condos in distant Mississauga are not to be hidden from this wonder. So you get the gist…

Below the CN Tower, Toronto

But that isn’t all downtown Toronto has on offer for eager tourists to feast their eyes on. Once in, you can’t help but wish you could marry Hollywood royalty to live on that street: The Bridle Path. Home to stars like Jim Carey, The Bridle Path is a must have postage code for the “IT” people in Canada. With the most basic houses starting at a few million dollars, there is no wonder why this neighbourhood is exclusive and fairy-tale like.

The Bridle Path, Toronto

The Toronto harbour cruises. While the jovial tour guide gives a comic introduction and a completely magnetic commentary to the history of downtown Toronto’s metamorphosis from an industrial hub to a commercial metropolis said to house more than 2 million people, the slowly plummeting temperatures are no deterrent to marveling at the beautifully still back waters of the Toronto islands where many a Hollywood movie have been shot. The return to the main land only reminds you that an hour has passed when it felt like minutes instead!

Downtown Toronto

Moving further east is the very stately capital of Canada: Ottawa! While you are left stunned with the sheer magnitude of Parliament Hill, the Peace tower and its many tolling bells and martyrs room leaves you gawking in admiration.

Parliament Hill, Ottawa

And you’re sorely mistaken if you think that Ottawa is just about that! The Cathedral of Notre Dame with its gold leaf design on midnight blue ceiling is so beautiful that it can give you a complementary spondylitis too. Stained glass windows line the huge sides and add a rustic charm to entire decor of the church. That isn’t all either!

Notre Dame Cathedral, Ottawa

There’s the Natural Gallery of Canada with its Ron weasley terrorising spider up front and massive.  And for those of you who enjoy the peaceful murmur of running water and the associated beauty of marine life, there is always the Rideau Canal and Hog’s Back.

Spider, National Gallery of Canada

Hog's Back, Ottawa

Further east is the capital of Québec, Montreal. While the traffic clogged streets and complicated navigation is a sure minus point, the end result is well worth it! The Notre Dame Cathedral, Montreal is majestic in all its humongous glory.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Montreal

St. Joseph’s Oratory at the top of a hill, with its panoramic view of almost all of Montreal is in simple terms: Gorgeous. While the oratory in itself is filled with tourists, some in search of a genuine miracle, a visit to the room of crutches is truly humbling. The dim glow of hundreds of candles doesn’t fail to shed light on the stories of lives attached to all the crutches left in that room by their former owners. Inspirational, if not anything else.

St. Joseph's Oratory, Montreal

Waterloo. No, not the ABBA track. Waterloo, Kitchener. The actual places. Steadily growing and with a rustic beauty of its own, Kitchener is a quiet little town visible for miles from the windows of any high rise in the vicinity. Even a gloomy and cold day can’t reduce the natural beauty of that place.  Waterloo on the other hand is noted for its University, the campus of which is nothing short of incredible and impeccably maintained.

Kitchener

Heard of Mennonites’? yeah, you get a glimpse of Mennonite folks with their horse driven buggies and head scarves and sober clothing. How refreshing! Simplicity, the very definition.

Mennonites, Waterloo

Coming home from all this serves as an eye opener to the world. A world of its own in this massive world we live in. For those lucky enough to have witnessed and felt what I did in that short time will understand the real depth in the above claim. For the rest however, my word is credible enough to merit a chance, a visit, maybe.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.”

Saint Augustine

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is the change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living”

Mary Ritter Beard

Canada- chances

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In Memoriam of Finn…

He found his true calling in a gym class shower and never looked back after joining Mr. Schuester and his Glee club. True he was the head cheerleaders’, hot jock of a boyfriend, but Glee! was his other side, an alter ego perhaps.

His charming smile had Barbara Streisand competition Rachel drooling all over him- reel and real life. And who’s to blame her for that? A jock with a heart, personality and who could belt out songs too. His tussle with Noah Puckerman over Quinn Fabrey’s attentions drove him straight into ready Rachel’s arms and opened up his eyes to chance at true love. Finn- He had me at Hello!

Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith, or popularly called Finn, was part of Glee’s star studded cast for all of 4 seasons. And while he added nothing but lustre to the already brilliant and engaging show, his personal life suffered from the strain of it all. Rehab came calling and after what seemed to be a recovery, he was back on the streets, arm in arm with the love of his life, Lea Michele. But that fairytale ending was not be and the false façade shattered quicker than it was made.

Cory Monteith and Lea Michele

Cory Monteith, Glee! star and heartthrob of millions like myself, passed away ever so suddenly on July 13th 2013.

A part of me refuses to believe the dreadful news- a state of shock I find myself in. But to the hero of one of my favourite TV shows- You lived your life like A Candle In The Wind……

Cory Monteith

R.I.P Cory Monteith

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On a Wall in the Middle of Nowhere…

 

“Happiness is not found in self-contemplation; it is perceived only when it is reflected from another” Samuel Johnson.

“Destiny has two ways of crushing us- by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them.” Amiel

“But Love is such a mystery.

I cannot find out;

For when I think I’m best resolved,

I then am most in doubt” Sir John Suckling

 

Somewhere in the middle of these thought provoking quotes and the blistering summer heat, a wall in the middle of nowhere is the best retreat. While the rest of the world bustles past in hurried anxiety, the solitude offered by their disregard is utterly refreshing after a rush of utter chaos. While the drumbeat of the distant music is like a gateway to a parallel universe, the ‘wind-provoked’ dust circles with hyper activity right before your eyes.

In the middle of Nowhere

Somehow in the pandemonium of the crowd and the idyllic bystanders, the world is still a tranquil  space to withdraw from it all. While the rest of the world may assume it to be the tiredness of the week that was, a few others feign a false pride and refrain from any form of interference; their decision a blessing in disguise.

It is in that choice of loneliness that the true state of meditative contemplation is achieved. We are blessed beyond requirement and forever fail to see it. Look at that frail boy who cleans up after you at the restaurant you just left. Where is his light at the end of the tunnel? While we are all trapped in a warped web of incessantly crying ‘I’ and ‘Me’, we forget the other plural pronouns that exist simultaneously. The needs of those immediately affected by our actions are forgone and  most often neglected to a degradable degree. In letting go of that basic responsibility, we lose a part of our true identities. While family comes before friends and Forgiveness is the foundation, the grasp of conniving vices never cease.

Love is an emotion forever misconceived. While the movies orchestrate an event as epic as the extinction of dinosaurs, implying the life-altering aftermath, reality sings an altogether different tune. It is that subtle seize of all senses when the ultimate realisation does eventually dawn. Fight it all you can and the amazement of the power wielded by that one person never diminishes. Consent to decisions you would never imagine even faintly possible, against character and all will power come to pass.

Interrupted by the sound of the present, a familiar voice clambers into my thoughts and occupies my attention in all completeness. The conversation breathes a breath of fresh air into the stale and brings to the fore a conflict of emotions. Emotions far too dominant to conceal with any ease. But the world interrupts and the dilemma reinvents itself into another- hankering. That said, the solitary wall returns to its original state.

Destiny. In all simplicity, it is the force that claims to control our already mapped futures. And while Happiness is interlocked with it, Destiny always springs that surprise at every corner in life. ‘Embrace Serendipity’ a friend once advised, ‘It is then that you get to experience Life in its true sense’. Never have words made more sense than at that very moment. Right before my very eyes is my whole life, a life millions only dream about. Love, Family, Friends and that loop. Is Happiness really centred on any other eventuality?? Quite frankly, it isn’t. It is just the decision to be content with what one has and doesn’t have. The grass never is greener on the other side. That common phrase was never completed, in fact.

So where did it leave me at the end of all this? Seated on a wall, in the middle of nowhere, with the world making a ruckus. And did that in any way hamper this thought process? Well, I would respond in the negative.

 

Reason thus with life:

If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing

That none but fools would keep.   Shakespeare

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