events family.friends Goa chronicles

I’ve been hospitalized, being treated for Covid. Here’s the full story.

After months of not traveling for work, I took a wedding shoot assignment. I traveled to Kolkata. The wedding went fine. The same evening I returned, Princy and I got a chance to adopt two cute three week old pups. We named them Dona & Paula. I poured myself a whiskey. And later that night, I had fever.

Dona (black), Paula (brown)
Paula in my arms

The next day was a Sunday. I went to Manipal hospital to get myself tested for Covid. A reliable RTPCR test costs 4500 rupees there. They were closed for Sunday.

By the next day I thought of trying free testing service from Govt. health centre. A rapid antigen test came negative the same day. They also did a rapid malaria test which came negative the next day (Tuesday). I wanted confirmation, so went again and requested for RTPCR – I was asked to get it tested on Wednesday.

I gave my swab sample on Wednesday. On Thursday, I got a call saying they mixed up my sample (the result would have taken two more days). The same day, my wife paid 4500 at Manipal to get a RTPCR done and got her result the same day (she tested negative). I too decided to do the same on Thursday. I paid the money at Manipal, and gave fresh swab sample (it was a horrible experience as I coughing and the swab collecting lady kept asking me not to cough – how does on stop coughing at command)?

The result came negative the same day. But this had already been five days of nightly fever. So on Friday I visited a doctor in the hospital. He asked for a blood test. I went to him with blood test report on Saturday. My platelet counts were very low. A new blood test was taken – the platelet count was falling fast. I was tested for dengue. I seemed to have a mild trace. I was admitted. Typhoid was also being explored. Rapid test came negative and confirmatory test would last three days (eventually being negative for typhoid).

The platelet count improved in few days with medication. But I kept coughing. So a CT-SCAN was done on Monday – there were traces of Corona virus in my body. I was re-tested on Tuesday (RTPCR) and tested positive for Covid. So I was moved to the Covid ward the same evening and was put on Remdesivir (the most effective anti viral that we have so far). Fever went away (took syringes in the tummy).

It’s a Saturday as I write this. Eighth day in the hospital (five days in just one room – in the Covid ward). I can go home by Monday, I have been told. These have been two shitty weeks. Every day, few needles go through the body. I need more medicines than I eat food. But I am good. I can work all day. I am also glad I was insured. Total bill so far has been 2 lakh (two more days expense to be added) – at least not going from my pocket (at least not all of it).

The cough is there, but so is its medicine. Can’t wait to be with Princy, Dona & Paula. Princy got tested again in the mean time (free one this time) and she remains negative. Yay!

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39 days to Chicago Half – Also, a quick visit to Hyderabad

Biwi flew to Ahmedabad last Friday. Five days ago. She will return to Goa the coming Friday. The morning after she left, I went running again. The same six kilometers as the previous day. Slightly faster though. Later that night, at around eleven, I took a taxi to the airport. Izaz bhai has been my reguar cab driver since past few months. He usually wears a white shirt (uniform). He was wearing a t-shirt when he came to pick me up.

‘You are looking younger in this t-shirt’, I complimented him.

I meant it. He spoke for a while about the need for uniforms during day-time and all that. When we reached the airport, he decided not to charge me the extra night time fee. ‘Some other time sir’, he said smiling. So sweet!

My flight from Goa to Hyderabad took off at around one in the night – and because the entire row in the aircraft (on my side of the aisle) was vacant – I slept occupying all the three seats. Tried sleeping rather. Didn’t succeed much. It didn’t help that the flight was a short one.

I landed between two and two thirty and slept for about an hour or so in the transit hotel at the airport. One can book a room on an hourly basis at this airport – which is pretty cool. The room was absolutely tiny though – not much space around the bed. But the bed was cozy and I could relax somewhat.

I was in Hyderabad to shoot an engagement function of few hours. Val – the girl, had been my junior in IIT. I headed the design department for IIT Madras’ technical festival during my last two years there. In the final year, Val had worked for me as a photography coordinator. Her job had been to make photographs based on the requirement of the rest of the design team (for brochures, posters etc.). Now, after so many years, I was her photographer! Life comes a full circle. I mean, yeah not exactly full in this case, but what somewhat circulish?

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The function got over by around 11. My flight back to Goa would depart only at 03 pm. So I called up Radha and asked her if she was free and if we could catch up. We ended up catching up. Even if it was just for fifteen, twenty minutes. And even if the restaurant where Radha took me could offer nothing more than veg pakodas and sandwich (which we could not finish anyway, given that I had to rush for the airport and all that).

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I liked the hairstyle of the cab guy who drove me from the Goa airport to my flat.

‘Dominique, you have got a great hairstyle’, I told him, while on our way. I don’t remember now whether he thanked me for this compliment (which I genuinely meant) but I do remember him explaining to me how his hair used to be so much more silkier when he was younger. ‘I am sure’,  I said. He didn’t give me any discount once the trip was over.

Next day, I tried getting up in the morning (to go for my run) – but failed. So I did some weight training instead (later during the day). This was day before yesterday – 15th August – India’s Independence day. Po – the rockstar, wanted me to come over to a restaurant-cum-bar in the evening, where he was performing, and shoot a video for him. I did that. It was also good to note that, that place was serving beer even on 15th Aug! Things that can happen only in Goa! ? By the way, you so totally HAVE to view the short clip below to see how amazing Po is on guitar (it might take you a while to guess the song though)! ?

Po’s rocking guitar skills

Yesterday, I tried once more to get up early enough to go for my run. Yesterday, I failed again. So, did some weight training again. Today morning, I finally got up. 0530 AM. Yay!

But I was so sleepy that I sat on my chair and slept again (didn’t have a great sound sleep last night). Tomorrow morning, I will get up and  do a 8k. There are only 39 more days to go for the Chicago Half and there is only so much that I can screw up when it comes to training!

PS: the feature image is a photograph that I made in the lounge of the hotel, where the engagement was held (Park Hyatt, Hyderabad).

family.friends movies Review

Goa, Brooklyn, New York and St. Louis

Last night, I forgot to carry the house keys when I went out with biwi to a restaurant to catch up with a couple friend.

I realized it the moment I closed the door and I was like fuck, fuck, fuck.

But it was too late to do anything about it. So I didn’t think much and we all enjoyed our food and wine and conversations. While we were at it, I did check with my landlord over Whatsapp if he had spare keys to the house by any chance. He didn’t. Eventually we called up another couple friend who live in Goa (very close to our own house), and then we went over to their place and I had a Tuborg there and biwi had some Baileys and then we had some more conversations, followed by a good night’s sleep in their spare bedroom. The next morning, they also shared with us a phone number of a guy who opened locks. That guy soon came over to our place and he took 800 bucks and after 15 minute of effort, opened the door for us. Biwi and I did nothing much during the day but in the evening we watched this movie called Brooklyn, on our home projector. I loved the way the movie was written and shot and put together as a film. Below is a trailer for those who haven’t seen the film and though the movie is not for everyone, lovers of fine subtle cinema would get what I have to say about this movie.

From a ‘story’ perspective, the movie managed to remain just above that threshold that’s required to keep any story moving forward without making you fall asleep. The story could have slipped off very easily, had the makers tried to be any more “arty” with it. I appreciate the way the makers managed to get the movie just enough dramatic – like that supposedly spicy food that has just enough spice for it to be called spicy – anything less and it would be labelled bland – anything more, and it would be called playing safe.

In a typical commercial movie, it’s very clear what the protagonist wants and there are serious obstacles in her journey of trying to get what she wants – especially if she ventures into a new territory.

In Brooklyn however, the leading lady Eilis, in spite of venturing into a new territory (moving from Ireland to US) – wants very little from life and there is not much of an obstacle in her journey anyway. This typically makes for a boring story but this movie has just enough going on for you as an audience to care about watching Eilis doing the things that she does and meeting people whom she meets. The story gets powerful (and thus safer) as the film progresses and ends almost perfectly well.

I also loved everyone’s acting. And the colour tone of the film. And the costumes. And the details given to how everyone looked – the makeup, the hair and all of that. And the way most scenes were designed to take place in locations that avoided the need for tremendous amount of money to be spent on visual effects and grand sets to create a world from 1950s. I have been trying to write a short story where biwi can play the lead protagonist and I can shoot for zero budget, and so I know how hard it is to write anything worthwhile when you have constraints. I like it every time I see a nicely written movie. Brooklyn was a nicely written movie.

I might end up going to Brooklyn for a day or two in September.

New York I mean. Just like that. No, not because I watched the movie. LOL, no. Not like that. I’ve just been having this feeling (since last few days) to go visit Sweety, my sister, who lives in St. Louis. To reach St. Louis from India, you either fly to New York or to Chicago (and then take a connecting flight). And so I have been thinking about spending few days in New York before I fly to meet her. There is nothing much to do in St. Louis anyway. By the way, call it a freaky coincidence if you will, but I was reading this book by Mark Twain called Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (have been reading it since last year actually – had picked up a cheap paperback copy from Jasidih Railway station) and the hero of the book, while on his river adventure, crosses St. Louis – of all the places in this world!

It might not sound like a big deal but till like few days ago, if you asked me where St. Louis was, I would have probably told you ‘in Italy’.

Yes, even when my own sister lives there – I didn’t know about the city. The thing is, she has been living there for only about a year I guess (she was in some other city in US before that), and though I am sure she told me where she was moving to, when she moved to St. Louis, who the fuck remembers a name like that? I didn’t. And so when I felt like visiting her and therefore asked her few days ago where she lived and she told me it was ‘St. Louis’ and then a day or two after that, I was reading this story by Twain and then Huckleberry Finn starts crossing St. Louis and I was like WTF man – is this happening for real?

On the lines of my WTF emotions, there is something else I’d like to share. A few days ago I was on my way from Goa to Bhopal to shoot a wedding. It was not a direct flight. I had few hours of waiting time at Mumbai airport. I decided to have few bottles of Tuborg and felt pretty good about it. I even published a Facebook status saying how drinking during transit was so cool and all that. And then I mostly slept in the Mumbai Bhopal flight. And then worked hard in Bhopal for the next two days. On my way back to Goa, I had a similar waiting time in Mumbai. But this time, while waiting at the airport, I had coffee and muffins and wrote emails. The Mumbai Goa Jet flight was surprisingly full of people in spite of the departure time being so odd (0230 AM – early morning). I took my seat. A nice window seat. And I thought I would have a nice sleep and all that, given that I was so tired from working all day. But sleep didn’t happen. No, not because of the coffee. The guy who came and sat next to me was fucking high on alcohol and kept chatting very loudly with three of his friends, all seated in the row behind me. He was the only one from that group, seated in my row – occupying the middle seat. And he fucked up my sleep. I wasn’t sure any more if I still liked the idea of having alcohol while waiting at airports during flight changes. Definitely not for everyone. Do it only if you are going to sleep after boarding. Like me. I still remember the last (and only) time I was in New York. I had just one night to spend in the city (had arrived from Boston and had a morning flight to catch for LA). I spent most of that night, drinking with a friend who was attending her school reunion party and had decided to take me along with her (this was the first time we were meeting in person). So anyway, I drank, drank and drank. And then I puked some and then as the sun was about to rise, I somehow managed to reach the airport and caught my flight to LA. And yes, you guessed it right, slept all through those six hours. And puked some more after reaching LA. I mean not at the airport or anything like that. But puke I did. And I think, I will end this post on that note. However pukish that note might be. Bye.

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I took out my new Samsung Note5 to shoot raw photographs

Biwi and I went for a monsoon trek in Goa yesterday and I thought of trying out my phone-camera capabilities in a real-world scenario. I got myself a new Samsung Note5 about two weeks ago. Those who want to know how many “megapixels” the phone-camera has, fuck off. Everyone else, yes, so what was I talking about? Phone-camera capabilities, right.


I love the fact that this phone has the option to shoot photographs in DNG (equivalent of RAW mode that bigger cameras offer).

The above photograph shows me trying out the phone-camera on the first day of receiving the phone. I showed this image to biwi today and the only thing that she had to say was – ‘how booby I look’. ‘You occupy just 20% of the frame’, I sighed.


For those who don’t know what shooting in DNG or RAW means, well, simply put, it captures a much wider range of exposures (and overall range of colours) in a single click (of course limited ultimately by what the camera’s digital sensor is capable of). Now this really is very important for most professional photographers – except may be those who work in the news industry and don’t have enough time to edit there images. Because only when you have a raw digital photograph, you can truly extract the colours and give all your images a consistent look, that pleases you. Trying doing the same with a Jpeg image is just a software gimmick (based on smart algorithms). A Jpeg file simply doesn’t have the extra information on colours and exposure (captured from reality) to rely upon. As an upside, a high resolution Jpeg image would only be around 4 to 5 Mb in size, compared to 25-35 Mb that a raw file will end up taking (or more – based on the camera type / resolution).


A racing event started as Biwi, I and a few more trekkers waited for a bus (that would take us to the trekking start-point). I was so happy – I could begin testing my phone-camera capabilities even before the trek had commenced 🙂


The starting point for the trek was about one and a half hours bus ride from Panjim. From there, it was a roughly two hours trek to a waterfall. There wasn’t much climbing involved – but the route was slippery at many places. And it kept raining for most part.

A walk on a leaf is a delicate act! 😛



All the images in this blog-post were copied from the phone to my laptop and then processed in LightRoom. Most were shot in DNG but not all. The picture above where biwi is posing in front of Santrem waterfall, was accidentally shot in Jpeg. It still is a good photograph but do you notice, compared to all the other images, it lacks that certain depth and richness and vividness of colours? If you don’t, you don’t have to shoot in DNG really! 🙂 And if you do, well, this is why having raw images is important!

Let me also talk about a small issue with Note5 that makes it very easy for you to miss storing raw images (happened a lot with me yesterday).

You can save raw picture files only when you shoot in a “Pro” mode that the default camera app offers. But “Pro” mode is not the default setting of the camera-app. You have to manually change the setting (it takes a single click though). The camera then retains the “Pro” but only as long as you don’t go for video. And this sucks. I was shooting few video clips too yesterday, using the default camera app. And every time I would go back to taking pictures after that, the “Pro” mode was deactivated – and that meant no raw files. 🙁 I didn’t realize this many a times – and ended up with several Jpeg only files 🙁 I hope that as I start using the phone-camera more often, my muscle memory grows and takes care of this issue (by making me automatically check the mode before shooting).

What is a monsoon trek without some slippages and falls? 🙂 By the way, the blur that you see in the above two images was unplanned (and though it works for these two, I lost many shots because of it). The learning is, you cannot rely upon the camera app’s default ISO and shutter speed settings (even in good light) to shoot action / fast moving stuff. This is probably more of an app issue though – or may be there is a sports mode (that I am yet to explore) that doesn’t let the shutter speed fall below say 1/200 seconds. Until then, I will stick to manually setting up my ISO and shutter speed the next time I go out shooting.

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So what are my concluding thoughts?

I think it’s a brilliant camera in the right hands. I already know it would not be very effective in low light – but the same goes for my GH4. From morning to early evening though – I don’t think I need to carry any additional camera for street photography (or when I am on a vacation). I shall try shooting with my phone more often now and see how my feelings evolve. What do you think of these photographs by the way? Still want to buy a DSLR to get better pictures? 😀

family.friends Goa chronicles snaps

Misre & Misri visited us in Goa – a picture story

Last week, we hosted Misre, Misri and their cute little daughter (let me name her Pinga – will explain why later). By the way, I just checked the last time Misre got a mention on – and oh my God, it was such a long time ago – the day I had killed him.  Anyway, let me come back to the present. Misre is alive and kicking of course.


Misre, Misri, Pinga and biwi (left to right of photograph)

We took them to Miramar beach the first evening. We are lazy of course. You would agree if you knew where we live (hint: very close to Miramar beach 😀 ).


Misre evaluates his journey of being a father.


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Why is papa so dumb, wonders Pinga. :P

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It was Misri’s birthday the next day. Misre would also celebrate his, few days later. Somewhere in between, while at a beach, I asked biwi to take a new profile picture of mine. I look like I just had sex on the beach and am pretty happy about how it went but don’t want to show that on my face. Or may be I just look like I am not sure what to do when I am supposed to pose.



Pinga puts on her slippers to go out and celerbate mumma's birthday in a restaurant.

The family takes a quick walk after the celebation is over.

One evening, Pinga shows me how I look when I am clicking pictures.
PS: yes, that is what I use my cycle for, these days :D

Thanks to Misre and Misri, I finally went and saw from close quarters, the mini swimming pool that we have in our building. I got back with some amazing father daughter moments, I must admit. I didn’t swim of course. The pool is too small to swim properly. Also, I am very lazy. Wait, did I mention that already?

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Pinga, shocked to her core, moments after daddy dipped her inside the pool without any warning.


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Raising a child requires many skills.

As days passed, biwi and I decided not to be so lazy and go to some beach far from home. It was Misre’s birthday.

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Biwi on the left, Misri and Misre in the centre and a random couple on the right (of the photograph).

Pinga's reaction on seeing Jon Snow return to life. :P

I think this is the right time in the picture story to explain why I have named Misre’s and Misri’s daughter Pinga. Soon after she landed in Goa, Pinga became her favourite song. She made us (and her parents) play the video a million times. Galla Goodiyan was her equivalent favourite too, but it would be awkward to call her Galla Goodiyan. 😀 So Pinga it is.

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Misri and biwi do a little dancing as a live band performs in a restaurant where we are to celebrate Misre's birthday. Misre is busy looking after Pinga. I am busy taking pictures.


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And thus ends the picture story. Misre, Misri and Pinga flew back to Chennai yesterday. To compensate for Pinga’s absence, biwi and I have started talking to each other the way she would talk to us – “will you play with me Amrit?” and things like that.

events family.friends

Mujhe to teri lat lag gayi

Beimaan, Dil bada be-imaan
Hota nahi aasaan isey hai samjhana
Beimaan, Dil bada be-imaan
Tere liye shaitan
Meri naa ek maana

Dil jeete yaa main jeetu
Dekhungi dekhega tu
Lo dil se sharat lag gaye
Mujhe to teri lat lag gayi, lag gayi

Biwi chose the above song for her first dance class in Goa. And the song for the next three classes. I have joined her class. They say na, biwi husband ko apne ishaare pe nachaati hai. A wife makes a husband dance on her moves. How literal can it get? 😛

I suck at learning dance steps by observing others dance. So may be I am the weakest student in the class. The class only has women. And few girls. I am the only guy.

And because I already told biwi how strongly she needs to improve her verbal communication when teaching dance steps (else, I can never remember which leg to move first, which hand to move next), I must write here what I didn’t tell her after the class. The things that I liked. I liked the way she spoke to everyone in the class. The way she greeted them. And how it didn’t really feel like it was her first class. Or that she was seeing most of her students and talking to them for the first time.

But she still needs to improve her verbal communication. For my sake. Was it the right leg that had to be flicked at the count of eight or was it the left? Eh, never mind.


And in less than two weeks, I shall be a married man!

To begin with, I am kind of lucky that MRP discovered me. Having lived with her for an year, and having lived away from her for about the same time, I kind of know that I am going to like living with her and growing old with her and doing fun things with her for a long time. When a girl doesn’t consider having even a single ‘worried’ discussion with you when you decide to leave your job and become a freelance photographer, you know that’s the kind of girl you ever need to hang around with. Call her wife, call her friend, call her life-partner, call her by whatever relationship tag – the name does not matter really. With her around, life feels more complete than without her, this is for sure.

The feeling of finally getting married after around two years of courtship is a beautiful feeling I must say. Viase, if I think about it, I have kind of felt married to MRP since already a long time now. Of course I do feel like having random sex with random ladies once in a while but guess that’s a normal thing anyway. Because such feelings start and end at sex. Because, I never feel like trying to get to know any more girl anymore (in a boy-girl emotional sense). Because I never think of how life is going to be like, if I lived without MRP – a feeling like that simply never occurs! It’s weird, but even when not with her, she exists out there, available, reachable, there for me and mine – all the time. Just like my family. And my best friends. Just that unlike family and friends, I like sleeping without clothes with her.

Like many of you who question the institution of marriage, I am not an ardent believer myself. So why get married? The way I see it, it feels great to involve so many more people – family, friends – many who had been out of touch for a while – in this celebration of one’s decision to start a family with someone. I had initially thought I was not going to get too excited about this wedding you know. A wedding is just a wedding after all – just an ‘event’? But I guess I was wrong. I mean yes, it is just an event all right – but it is a very special intimate event where so many people are making an effort (and spending money) to be with you. It’s a humbling feeling. I am so much thankful to everyone who is coming over to Ahmedabad from all parts of India (and few from outside India). Now that the big day is just few days away, I am feeling super kicked up. This, even when I have been attending on an average one wedding every week, for the last few months. 🙂 Apni shaadi to apni hoti hai. 🙂

On work-front, Shaadigrapher is evolving beautifully. Subbu is now an official Shaadigrapher because there is simply too much work to handle unless Neelabh chucks his job like I chucked mine. But for some reason, he is okay with the life that he is living – 5 days a week office work and photography once in a while, restricted mostly to weekends (or by exhausting his fixed annual leaves once in a while). Shall be meeting him in the evening (have a morning flight from Delhi to Hyd in few hours). There’s a shoot in Hyderabad in the night that both of us are covering. A joint shoot after a long time. And the dude getting married is a hostel wing-mate from IIT. So I hope to run into few insti junta which will be a bonus. 🙂

As I leave this post here, it may be a good idea to pick up from where the last post ended.


  • Reached Mumbai from home and shot a Punjabi ring ceremony (the guy who hired me loved the work so much that has booked me for the May 2013 wedding already)
  • Saw Barfi with Subbu and MRP in Mumbai and was touched by the intensity of Barfi and Jhilmil’s love – wonder when will I feel something so intense for MRP
  • Two maddening days of wedding shoot in Punjab (a place called Hoshiarpur) – made some great friends there
  • Neelabh flew to US for work
  • Travelled to Shimla from Hoshiarpur and stayed in a cheap hotel for like 8 nights – did nothing but walked on the same roads again again, ran a few times and concluded my stay with Shimla Ultra Half Marathon. Walked most of it. MRP didn’t speak to me for most of the time during this trip because she had gone for a pregnancy test and I didn’t call her on time to ask her what the result was.
  • As I was in Shimla, Subbu booked a movers and packers to shift my stuff from Mumbai to Delhi – he had found a new job at a new coaching insti.
  • I returned to Delhi from Shimla – all my stuff was in transit. Subbu, I and Subbu’s friend from BITS – Chempro found for us a new flat in Delhi. As we moved in, the stuff from Mumbai arrived and we spent few days setting up this new place.
  • Flew to Srinagar and spent four days in and around – with first three days shooting my first Kashmiri wedding. Was extremely disappointed later at not being able to share pics from that wedding because we forgot to send to the client our standard contract that made it clear that we had the right to upload few pics to showcase our work – spent two nights in a houseboat.
  • Returned to Delhi. Neelabh was back to India and he had brought for me a Glidecam. He couriered it to Delhi and Subbu and I spent good time trying to learn to use it.
  • Spent a lot of money in buying a lot of video-shooting equipments
  • Subbu and I flew to Ahmedabad to make Shaadigrapher’s first official wedding film
  • Because Subbu was in Ahmedabad, made him do some pre-wedding shoots for MRP and I – MRP hated the pink Sari that she wore for the shoot – I hated the way I looked when I saw the picture – we still loved the pictures (using one of those in our informal wedding invite)
  • Flew from Ahmedabad to Bhopal for a three day shoot and from there directly to Nagpur for two additional days – made good friends in Nagpur – and the flew to Mumbai
  • In Mumbai, stayed with Tiwari and Tota for few days and wrapped up my first Christian wedding shoot in between (Tota and Tiwari hadn’t been talking much for a while and my heart broke to see them like that – but guess these ups and downs happen in all good relationships; the beauty of a great relationship is that over the long run, the ups matter more and keep us happy while the downs can go fuck themselves – I mean if Tota and I can finally get back to being our old normal selves in spite of me almost having screwed up his life and faith once upon a time, I am sure real relationships thrive – they are like bloody cactus – difficult to die even when there is not much of a water or sun (Total later told me that the two of them are getting to talk more often now – thank God! – wish to see them shake a leg or two when they come for my wedding)
  • Went back to Ahmedabad to attend a Pooja that was organized by MRP’s parent in a cute little temple to take care of some issues that a pandit had pointed out while matching mine and MRP’s kundli! I am so surprised that these pandit’s even today can justify getting paid to recite shlokas and can come up with so many reasons to do so! I am sure sitting inside a temple and pouring water mixed with milk over a stone-penis (shiv-linga) and repeating sanskrit lines after a pandit, can take care of unforeseen issues between a would be married couple. The only thing that I remember from this three hour sitting were those two or three mice who kept showing up from different corners. They looked cute in the beginning but annoying (and frightening) after a point. Just like blonde girls I guess.
  • Flew to Delhi with MRP. Mom had already arrived in Delhi from home, to help us do some more shopping – so the three of us did some shopping. And had some coffee.
  • Because once again, Subbu, I and MRP were together – we made Subbu shoot some more pre-wedding pics. This time both MRP and I liked the way we dressed and looked. 🙂
  • MRP returned to Ahmedabad and after few days I flew to Amritsar for a 2 day, yet another Punjabi wedding shoot (yes, I know I have been shooting and shooting and shooting all the time :P) – took out time to visit the Golden Temple in early hours, being there feels just like going to Baba Mandir in Deoghar; just that there is no lake inside the campus in Deoghar. But you know, similar air it sure had.
  • Spent Diwali with Mummy, Subbu, Mausa-mausi and cousins – ruined it by watching Jab Tak Hai Jaan

A belated happy diwali dear friends – hope you didn’t pollute the environment and yet had great fun. Live life king size. Mummy, good news, I won a prize. The see the you.

And fuck, in less than two weeks, I shall be a married man!


Last few days…

…of regular office work. Unless I decide to come back to it after an year – the time I have bought from the company where I work. The time for sabbatical.

I am so glad I have shifted to mac. The sturdiness and the neatness is unmatched. The 21 inch imac screen looks like a palace of snow. And I its king.

I am loving the Mumbai rains. Even when I am not cycling to office anymore, unlike last year. A, because the cycle was stolen from my Santacruz flat few months back. B, I don’t live in Santacruz anymore.

After a long gap, I would be seeing myself running again. Have settled for something higher than half marathon but lesser than full. It’s ultra-half. 28k. But the best part is the location. Shimla. Fuck. The idea of running 28k in hills is so kickass. Daunting at the same time.

So many things I am waiting to do, once I am off from the firm. Learning horse riding (so that I can do the Manali-Leh solo horse trip sooner than later; they teach it pretty cheap at Mahalaxmi). Practicing rock-climbing (so sad that never did it after the one month grueling course at HMI in Darjeeling last year). Getting back to all the pending books that I was gifted by Lux because I made cover-page designs for her research journal two years back. Regular Shitooning. Catching up with Til to create some fresh music (something that I can use as tracks in some of the wedding videos I would be shooting – really inspired by the making of Womania song btw). Til told me he is Indore these days but would give me a buzz when back to Mumbai for coupla days.

And the other important thing is surprising MRP with a wicked-ass heart-melting gift that I have in my mind which I want to present to her on our wedding day. I know exactly what I want and would need to work on that – will need some effort, but would be worth it to see her expressions when its unveiled on 29th. By the way, MRP and I also plan to shoot a Bollywood style number over the couple of months – which we will play probably on the Sangeet day. Ah that reminds me, the first thing I need to do is design a wicked Wedding Card invite. And I am not going to send e-invite to anyone. That just sucks man. Writing emails and telling people to come to your marriage – with a bloody scanned card. Sheh! How much money does it cost really to send some naaice real card. I am not getting married online or something, am I? So why should the card not be real? Will delegate the job of printing and couriering to may be 😛

It’s fun staying with Subbu by the way. The only thing that we keep asking each other all day is – ‘ek coffee banao na. please.’ LOL! And LOL se yaad aaya. Subbus has this new habit. While speaking to people, if he finds something funny, he says LOL. LOL! I understand writing LOL on blog (but more on chats). But saying LOL as a word? LOL! How freaky is that. If what he finds is funny enough to be LOLed – he should laugh out loud. But he can’t just utter LOL, can he? I mean I give up!

Fine, need to finish one last report as a Business Consultant. Phir aish hi aish. Aap bataao, kya haal?



2012 February chit-chat

‘There is only one thing that I have taught him’, said Ali’s dad when speaking about the only thing that he had taught his son. ‘That in life, one should be the horse that runs ahead of other horses. The horse, on whom everyone bets’. Well, that explains why Ali is the way he is. I looked at his dad. He reminded me of Virus. Life is a race. Ali is the horse. Running always. Just that, that evening when we had this little conversation with his dad, he was getting married. Congratulations Ali.

Tota keeps telling me I have become like Ali myself. And therefore I have no more rights to taunt his ways. His way of living life. Or lack of life. I wonder why I changed. And when I think about it, I don’t think I changed at all. I have always acted and behaved (and even tried speaking in the same accent) as the people around me. May be that’s because my papa always told me that there is nothing that you can’t do if anyone else in this world can do it. Or may be I am generally making my papa sound responsible for the way I am because it always feels good to blame others for all the weird things in your life. So, what could I do if I had Tota and Tiwari for company in IIT but a running horse as company in Ahmedabad? I started running myself and LOL, I haven’t yet stopped.

I have this feeling Ali got married in the exact same garden where Tota had gotten married. To Maina. In Gwalior. In my flight to Gwalior from Mumbai, I ran across Ali’s cousin whom I had met a few times in Ahmedabad. Do you believe in the institution of marriage? She asked me.

I have a very personal take on this one. If you are already living in with someone, and you like living that way, why not as well get married? Why? So that your status gets somewhat legalized and your respective parents and families get to meet together on a particular day to celebrate your official union-ship? I mean, that’s pretty much how I look at marriage. An event that someone who has found a person worth living with, should not mind letting take place in his / her life. Marriage is nothing more. Nothing less. An event that brings few benefits. And costs some money (but people throw party and do shopping most of their lives anyway – with or without marriage – so no big deal about it).

‘You have grown thinner’, Kates remarked when I met him in hotel Park Inn in Gwalior. The place where baratis where made to stay. ‘You have grown thinner’, papa had remarked when I had visited home the weekend before that. I was in home so that I could formally introduce MRP’s parents to my parents. And to rest of my family who was available. Her parents had come over for the weekend so that things could be closed.

‘You have copied Amitabh Bachchan, haven’t you?’, Nanaji commented on sasurji’s french beard.

‘No, no, I have had beard – and full beard, since a long long time. These days I keep the french because otherwise it itches on the sides. When I was getting married, they asked me to get a shave at least for that day. So I took a shave. Only for marriage. Between then and today, I have hardly kept a clean face. I remember once when MRP was a baby and I removed my beard. Poor child. Started crying. Couldn’t recognize me.’

By the way, it is funny that I had beard myself when we had started dating each other – MRP and I. Generally saying. I hadn’t met her papa then.

‘Kehtaji is a good man. Straightforward. Just like Polu’, Nananji told papa after having conversed with sasurji for a while. My nick name is Polu if you are wondering who that duffass is. My family liked sasurji. And sasu-ma. I never asked sasurji and sasu-ma how they liked my parents and nana-nani and dada-dadi. I generally don’t ask such questions.

Sometime in the morning today, I asked MRP to close her eyes, think for a while and write down the following in a piece of paper.

  1. Where she sees herself living five years down the line
  2. What she sees herself doing five years down the line.

She closed her eyes, thought for a while and wrote something. I did the same. We passed on our respective folded pieces to each other.

  1. Goa
  2. Running a cafe

She had written.

  1. British Columbia, Canada
  2. Writing a book and taking pictures

I had written.

Aww, we are so cute. LOL.


God, it was pretty fucked up

The calf died. Papa fell down and inured his left shin. Multiple fractures.

It was Sweety who called me up to inform about this. And then she suggested I should go home. I did not understand why she asked me to go home. Why ask someone else, if you are worried, why not go yourself? Also, I knew she didn’t have any job so it made it easier for her to just go home whenever she felt like. I asked her where she was. She said she was in a train. Traveling to Delhi. She was in the train when mummy called her up and broke the news. Why didn’t mummy call me up? I asked her. I don’t know, she said. I told her I would call up mummy and figure out what to do. And that once she reaches Delhi, she should book a ticket to home for herself.

When I spoke to mummy, she was in my parents house in D-ghar. Papa was in a nursing-home. She said she had just returned from the nursing-home to change and all that. I asked her what exactly happened. ‘Papa has got fractures in his leg but there is nothing to worry about. There is a little swelling over the injured shin. Once that goes away, plastering can be done.’ And then she briefly touched upon the story about how it happened. The jumping calf and stuff. ‘Hmm’, I said. To which mummy advised – ‘you come when you were planning to come, there is no emergency here as such’. I said ok.

I was planning to go home sometime in November so that I could be with my parents when MRP’s parents would visit us. They were supposed to visit my parents so that the relationship between MRP and I could be formalized and stuff. Things parents do you know. But now with papa’s accident I wasn’t sure when to go.

The afternoon I joined office (after the Monday off for Bakrid, when we returned from Murud to Mumbai), I got a panicky call from mummy. ‘Please come home, we are moving your Papa to Patna and I am not sure how I am going to manage things there.’ I booked a one-way ticket and the next afternoon I reached the emergency room of the clinic in Patna where papa rested over a bed. His left leg – below the knee, looked pretty fucked up.  I looked at if for some time. God, it was pretty fucked up. I wanted to post a Facebook update instantly. But that felt immoral. So I just forwarded the picture I took on my phone to Subbu, Sweety and MRP. And then looked at the leg some more. God, it was pretty fucked up.