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The Break-Up

“We aren’t really heading anywhere, are we??”
“I need some time”.
“Its been eight years already. How much longer do I have to wait?”
“They’ll take some time to come around”.
“I’m tired of hearing that !”
“I know”.
We can’t carry on like this”.
“Hmmm”.
“You have to tell them today …..or…..or lets just call it quits”.
No!!”
“I hate myself for saying this…but I think I’ve waited long enough. Walking away is better than this hanging uncertainty”.
“You don’t understand….”
“No! YOU don’t understand”.
“Is that what you think?? That you are the only one who suffers?”
“I don’t know about suffering…but you seem to be the one who doesn’t care”.
I don’t care??! So its all my MY fault now?”
“Thats for you to decide”.
“You know what?? I think you were right!! Walking away from each other would be best for us”.
“Are you dumping me?”
“Weren’t you the one to start this thing first?”
“Okay fine! If this is how you want it to end, so be it”.
“Hey! It was YOUR idea! You are the one who wants it to end!”
“Yeah right. So blame me! I wonder why I stood by you all these years!”
“You didn’t!! You weren’t there half the times I needed you!”
“Oh! So this is the gratitude I get.”
“You get NOTHING!”
“I’m outta here”.
“Good bye“.
*SLAM*
—–
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—–
—–
—–
—–
—–
—–
Ding Dong.
“I can’t“.
“Neither can I!!”
“Marry me”.
“Right away”.

But it was another 18months before they tied the knot!

Some wait that was 😐



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I love standing in a downpour.

(The BF thinks its creepy, but what does he know?? He’s the one who takes hot water baths in summer *Shudder*)

I’ve always loved the first few showers of the monsoon. After the first week, when washed clothes refuse to dry and the floor is forever damp and the hair lies limp on my head, the novelty of the rains fades away 😦
Reality strikes back and I get into addressing the more pressing issues of ironing clothes dry (pun unintended 😀 )and making sure the kids are safe from the sniffles!

But the first few days…Aaaahh!!!
The first rain on a hot, dry and dusty day is like a boon from the heavens above 🙂
The air practically sizzles with the sound of water turning to vapour. The earth releases its secret aroma, a secret more sacred than the Coca Cola recipe 😉 . The trees look suddenly greener, cleaner. Flowers turn a vivid hue of their original selves and people like me rush to the terrace to soak in the warm drops.

Last week, we had a slight shower just when the city was on the verge of becoming a melting pot.
I rushed out to the terrace and Lui came after me. She out-did me in her enthusiasm for the rain. At the first feel of raindrops, she giggled with delight and stuck her hands out from the railing, wanting to feel the drops on her hands. A part of me thought it prudent to send her back inside.
But another part begged me to let her have her fun 🙂
So I picked her up and held her as the slight drizzle cooled us off. Lui, usually the hyper-energetic kid who cant stay in one position for long, clung on to me, cheek-to-cheek and sang the alphabet song 😀 . We swayed gently to her tune and she raised her face to the skies, wanting a more heavier rain.
Shobby stood near the door, calling out to us. I coaxed him to come out, but he’s gone on his father!! Not a drop of cold water is allowed to touch his warm body 😐 !! He just stood there, watching the rain!
Me and Lui stood looking out at the road for about 20 minutes.
20 of some of the best moments of my life!!

Sure, we got soaked, but not to the bone….the rain fizzled out after a while. After about fifteen minutes, the earth was dry once again 😐
I took Lui inside and toweled her hair dry.
“Mumma, hum kal phir baarish mein jayenge”, she declared.
“Sure”, I smiled.
“Lui!!! Baarish mein jaane se bukhar aati hai”, said Shobby the spoilsport.
Lui looked at me, questioning the wisdom of Shobby’s comment.
“We’ll go”, I gave my consent.
“Yaaaayyyy!!!” yelled my girl with the biggest, brightest smile on her pixie face.

Yaayy indeed 😀

Alas, it hasn’t rained since. Lui kept pestering me to bring in the rains (like Yeah, Momma can do anything!!)
The sky is clear. The sun is burning down and more than anything, I want that next shower to happen soon as possible.
SO looking forward to swaying in the rain, listening to the alphabet song 😀



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Its been nearly 10 years since I’ve bid adieu to the Army life. And I still can’t get over it 😦

Last week, I saw an army staff car on the road and my heart ached with longing. For the uninformed, this is what an army staff car looks like :-

Ambassador Staff Car

Look at that beauty!! That gloss!! Only one word comes to mind – REGAL. Army ambassadors come in three colours – black, dull olive-green and off-white. But its the black one which is by far the BEST!!

Yes, that is what the ambassador (or the lovingly called Amby) car is all about.

We spent a major chunk of our childhood travelling by the Amby. I’m yet to experience the same comfort in any other car 😦 .

The Amby had a roomy interior, a high enough ceiling and plush velvet seats which sank comfortably beneath our weight. Three people could sit in the front as well as the back with ample elbow space between them, without the worry of bulky seat-belt buckles digging into their posterior!! One could sit back and rest their head and have a wonderful snooze while the amby cruised smoothly along . The sturdy vehicle never allowed any pot-holes to disturb its occupants’ sleep 😀 .

The height of luxury was when the car had an interior fan of its own. A Small tiny contraption which would blow hot air into the face of the people sitting at the back. Rotating fans were  super-luxury. You really had to be a high up in the army to deserve them!!

Whenever we travelled from Dehra Dun to Delhi, we’d take the Amby, because no other vehicle on earth could compare with the comfort that the amby provides!! Dad’s driver, Surinder bhaiya used to treat the Amby like his baby. He would lovingly wipe down every speck of dust from the hood, vacuum the car twice a week, wash it everyday and essentially, give it more attention than his wife! Even when he retired , he found it difficult to part from his baby and so Dad appointed him as the driving instructor for the new drivers in his office. This way, Surinder bhaiya could spend some time with the Amby everyday 😀

The other vehicle of which I have fond memories, is the Maruti Gypsy. A really convenient vehicle, I must say. No fancy parts, just simple utility. You could load the entire family into it , plus 10 bags and there would still be space for more 😀 . Once in a while, if parents were not travelling with us, we could convince the driver to pull down the hood 😀 . Bliss!!

Maruti Gypsy!!

Sigh. Its been so long!!

I now hear that many senior officers are now demanding the new fleet of high-end cars for official purposes. The poor things. They have no idea what they are giving up on!! The ambys now also come with air-conditioning. So what’s their grouse?!!

But we have no say now. Dad’s retired and we no longer have access to these wonderful mode of transport. Sad 😦

The only part that irritates me is the use of ambys for politicians!! What a disgrace to such a wonderful vehicle. How they degrade its standing 😦 . Some politicians are now demanding SUVs. Well, let them! They don’t deserve the royalty and presence of an Amby anyway!

The BF does not understand my obsession with the “Elephant” as he likes to name the Amby. He’s just ignorant. Because he’s never had the first-hand experience of it. He may jest as much as he wants, but he can’t hide the fact the main reason he makes those quips is because he covets these vehicles himself. He will deny it till the end of time, but I’ve caught him looking lovingly at army jeeps more than once!! Specially the open-doors one –

The Jeep

Is it some wonder then, that when he took driving classes, he chose to drive an old used army jeep?!! Naah… 😀

Those days are gone……with not a single member of the family in Army anymore, there is no likelihood of any of us ever getting a chance to sit in those vehicles again. So I can just cling on to my memories and be glad that we did have a chance once. And  a million thanks to Dad for giving us a lifestyle which actually makes my life feel complete 🙂 .

* All images sourced from google images.

“What would I do without thee, O Google?!!”

 



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Dehra Dun Days

 

For some unknown reason, while driving to work today, I was reminded of Dehra Dun?

I guess it was because of this song I was humming……ever heard it before, this “Tumhe chhede hawa chanchal…” from a movie called Salami?

If you haven’t , here it is :-

Please ignore the video, or at least try to ignore the bad acting and awful clothes.

But do check out the red cap that the heroine wears at one point. Totally digging the way it balances  precariously over her hair. Awesome acrobatic hat, that!!

Anyhow, the song is very pleasant (along with the rest of them from this movie). It was shot in IMA, Dehra Dun and the one reason I’m going on about is that, IMA shared its boundary, for a considerable distance, with Kendriya Vidyala New Forest or, KV FRI as it was popularly known.

Thats my school, from the inside (image courtesy : google Images)

 

Forest Reasearch Institute (FRI)....the most majestically sprawling structure I've ever seen!!

Passing out Parade at IMA

The movie ran to packed houses in DDun, for a simple reason that, who bothers to shoot films in sleepy remote towns like that? So we watched the film with bated breath, trying to locate instances when our school would come into view. Mind-blowing suspense!! But sadly, the only thing we could see was the school gate, towards the far right of the screen when the camera focusses  on the IMA entrance gate. It filled us with pride, that school gate 🙂 .

(On a totally different note, we used to stay in the cantonment area and the first year I was there, we used to cycle to school, a total of 8km of uphill route . Amazing stamina we had. Not to mention, an awfully thin frame 😀 )

Back to the movie, the song was shot in Mussoorie and you can see how beautiful it is!! In fact, the whole of Doon Valley is one beautiful place. At any location in Dehradun, you just have to turn your head and you can see the busy town of Mussoorie standing majestic on the first of the Shivalik Ranges. From Rajput Road, Mussoorie was a distance of mere 30 km. It was a weekend ritual in many homes , to drop in to Mussoorie for the weekend. We had a school picnic there once and it was wonderful. I LOVE sleepy hill-towns (I’m so much a hill person….give me a nice hillock and I’m ready to rear cattle, chop wood and grow my own produce. Bliss!)

And if you ever go up the Gun Hill on Mussoorie and peer down, you can see a lovely green town at the foot-hills, which is DDun, and then miles and miles of plains stretching as far as the eyes can see. Turn yourself 180 degrees and you can see the Shivaliks extending into the Himalayas. A sight for sore eyes…… 🙂

Road to Mussoorie (Image courtesy: Google Images)

 

View from Gun hill (Image courtesy : Google Images)

 Look closely and you can see the Shivaliks rising on the left-top of the image. And the top-right shows the plains extending outwards. This is a left side view if you look down from the Gun Hill towards DDun. Breath-taking , isn’t it 🙂

Another thing DDun is famous for, is the Doon School. A Large green complex with high walls, safely segregating the elite students who studied there from the common public outside. Doon School was bang opposite Dad’s office, and around Term-end time, we could the road on both sides covered with cars of models which we hadn’t ever heard of. Mercedes Benz, if I remember correctly, was the cheapest car in that collection.

Yup, elite, they were. Stinking rich, we used to call them then.

If only they had a better uniform. At least for sports. The shorts with one leg light blue and the other dark blue and the shirt with one side light blue and the other dark blue, so that the entire appearance was that of a 2×2 check box , didn’t really look attractive. Far from it!!

Anyhow, I digress.

I spent three most satisfying and heart-warming years in DDun. My friends from there are now spread far and wide acros the globe. Am sure they all miss that place too. People who still go back to DDun say that it has lost its charm post becoming a Capital (of Uttarakhand). Hmm…you can’t win all battles, can you? I remember the days of the agitation well. Loads of young boys from colleges would gather around schools, weilding large sticks and threatening bodily harm to students if the Principal didn’t close down the schools ASAP! We LOVED those days. Never mind we had board exams round the corner. Unscheduled off from school is every student’s secret desire come true 🙂 . How we craved those days!! Some kids in school had elder siblings from these colleges and they used to ask the ‘bhaiyyas’ to come in and make sure the school shuts down!! Our Principal those days, had a very trying time. KVs, unlike local schools, come under the Central Goverment jurisdiction. Any decision regarding the school has to be taken at the Central level. Princi used to call up Delhi and ask for directions….and then there was a nail-biting wait ,where the babus up there took their time in figuring out what was to be done. Meanwhile, the Princi had to cajole the protestors to let go of the young kids (whom the protestors threatened to harm). Meanwhile, our teachers tried their best to cover the syllabus in whatever limited time they had in their hands.

Given youth and our careless ways, we didn’t realize the importance of those days. I remember a Mathematics teacher once confessing, that the people living in Upper UP, the Garhwal region to be precise, were a sadly neglected lot. The government didn’t provide them with roads, electricity and even primary education. The villagers were facing innumerable problems and the best solution to the problem was, creating a new state altogether.

Looking back now, I realize how badly we failed as a nation. Governance of the states didn’t really work out and we are now back to being the little clusters of populace that we were before Independence. How long before some outsider raids us once more? Divided , we already are!!

History does repeat itself, doesn’t it?

Anyhow, I went totally on a tangent there. Back to DDun once more.

The valley and the foothills of Mussoorie are a treasure trove of flora and fauna. and some really lovely picnic spots. Heck, just park your vehicle on the road side and you have picnic spots on both side of the road. It is that beautiful!!

If you ever get a chance to go that side, do take out time to see Kempty falls and Sahastradhara.

Ice-cold water in Kempty Falls (Image courtesy : Google Images)

Sulphur Springs at Sahastradhara (image courtesy : Google Images)

 

The Kempty Falls pool contains ice-cold water throughout the year. So even though the sun might be beating at your back, be prepared to come back with frozen toes once you dip your legs in there 🙂 . Sahastradhara is famous for sulphur springs, known to cure many ailments (I know not which. Kindly google it 😀 )

I sincerely wish I had my own  snaps to put up here. They are, alas, safely stored at mom’s place in B’lore. She refuses to part with them, even though she may not know whom they belong to or who the people in the snap are!!

Someday, when the kids are old enough and the BF is willing enough, we might take a trip to DDun. I want to relive those memories again. Go back to those old haunts which seemed so much a part of my life. Birpur, Aam Baug, Paltan Bazaar, Clement Town……they sound so distant now, so far away.

I want to reach out to them once more …….

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PS : Now that I’m on a nostalgia trip, do tune in to read the reminiscing on Bhatinda , Udhampur ,B’lore and Delhi…..Maybe sometime next week 🙂

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