आज कोण जाणे का, पाडगावकरांची प्रकर्षाने आठवण येते आहे.
वाटतंय, भरल्या डोळ्यांनी वर पहावं, तर दाढीतल्या दाढीत काहीस मिश्किल हसत म्हणतील,

तुमचं दु:ख खरं आहे,
कळतं मला,
शपथ सांगतो, तुमच्याइतकंच
छळतं मला;
पण आज माझ्यासाठी
सगळं सगळं विसरायचं,
आपण आपलं चांदणं होऊन
अंगणभर पसरायचं !


Delhi and Dreams!

How do you feel when you take an exam, expecting it be grueling and it turns out to be a cakewalk? My Delhi trip was a pleasant surprise like that.

As I haven’t traveled much before, the idea of only two girls exploring Delhi on their own was a bit scary. But it turned out be a lot more fun than the hassle I thought it would be.

As a tennis fan I always wanted to see Roger Federer play live. When IPTL provided that chance in Delhi, I wanted to go, because visiting Taj Mahal was also on my bucket list since quite long. Thanks to my bestie,  I could tick both things off my list. 🙂 Thank you Pradnya!

Delhi has plenty to offer for a tourist. Jantar Mantar is fascinating, specially if you are even a little bit interested in astronomy. We spent a lot of time there observing the structures, reading the information provided on boards and internet to understand how different yantras work. The understanding of physics they had 300 years ago, even without the modern equipment is remarkable.

India gate was calm and serene even with the crowd there. The cleanliness and decorum the Army maintains there is laudable. Visiting a war memorial makes you appreciate the scarifies our soldiers make for safety. Acknowledging their efforts the is the very least thing we can do.

Agra visit was a another memorable day. Taj is beautiful, and gigantic! The sheer size of it makes you feel insignificant and wonder how did they even manage to build such a magnificent structure. The art work is also breathtaking. Shubharanbh of visiting the wonders of world happened with the Taj. Hopefully, I will get to visit the other six also, soon! 🙂

The Agra fort generally plays second fiddle to the Taj, but it is a must visit if you are in Agra. It was as captivating as the Taj. The amount of details people put in building structures in those days to make them insuperable is awe-inspiring. And I realized even if you know the history, it’s worth taking a guide when vising a historical site. Live narration makes it more memorable. We really wanted to visit the prison where Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj was once held captive but the place is in the area of the fort held by the Army, which is not open to the public.

Train route was disrupted that day, so we had to take a bus back to Delhi. What’s a trip without some or other plan going haywire! We got to travel by the famous Yamuna expressway. The road is nicely maintained but the journey still broke my back! Ouch!

The best part of the Delhi visit was the IPTL, the thing that made us take this trip. It is not serious tennis, but you have other tournaments for that. Watching my favorite players in person was worth all the efforts taken.

12th December 2015 is a day I would never forget. I’m not the one to believe in luck, but courtesy a lucky draw by the IPTL team, I got to meet the players of Indian aces team. After passing a lot of security hassles, there we were, in the same room as Sania Mirza, Aga Radwanska and Fabrice Sontoro.

I’m Sania’s fan and meeting her was nothing short of a dream come true! Being a tennis fan, meeting a current world No 1, a world no 5 and a legend was a moment to cherish forever. Sania was sweet enough to sign an autograph for me as well as for my sister. I wished her all the best for upcoming season and she acknowledged it with a smile and a ‘Thank you’.  Aga was cute and energetic while Fabrice beamed gracefully as he signed the souvenir tennis ball for me. I know I sound completely starstruck, but I indeed was!

Then came the “Aji mi bramha Pahile..”  moment. I still can’t believe I was under the same roof as Roger Federer. I saw him laugh, I heard him speak, I saw him play..

Even now, when I close my eyes, I can see him, clad in white & sky blue Nike T shirt, sliding across the court hitting his signature slice backhand. It was surreal! Watching him live in action was a dream come true!

I’m glad I did this trip. It did give me some pleasant memories to last for a lifetime.

Apart from that we also visited Rashatrapati Bhawan, India Gandhi memorial, Humayun’s tomb and Lotus temple. We roamed around Cannought Place, did shopping some of Delhi’s famous markets. We never got bored, every place was worth a visit. Delhi metro is a wonder in itself. Even as a complete stranger to Delhi, it was very easy and convenient to commute by Metro. The maintenance of whole metro service, the stations and the app totally defies our beliefs about “the system”.

As a tourist, I actually loved Delhi. I’m not trying to trivialize issues Delhi and Delhites face in day to day life,  but it might not be as bad as it is portrayed. Delhi is a city with such a rich past, and present also, being the capital of India. It shouldn’t be famous for what it it is famous for. I hope it becomes better both in terms of environmental and personal safety, sooner than later. Delhi deserves more!

Here’s to a wonderful trip to a “Dillwali” city, cheers!

एका कवयित्रीस

प्रिय शांताबाई,

जन्मदिवसाच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा !

काही काही व्यक्ती कधीही न भेटता आपल्या आयुष्यावर खोलवर ठसा उमटवून जातात. तशीच तुमची कविता पावलोपावली सोबत करत आली आहे.
तुमच्या कवितेशी माझी खरी ओळख जरा उशीराच झाली. पण बालपणापासून आजही पाउस सुरु झाला कि मनात “पावसाच्या धारा येती झरझरा, झाकोळले नभ, सोसाट्याचा वारा” ही ओळ एकदातरी फिरून जाते !
पुढे कविता म्हणजे काय ते कळण्याच्या वयात “पैठणी” वाचण्यात आली, अन तेव्हापासून “शांता शेळके” नावाच्या कवयित्रीने मनात घर केलं, ते आजतागायत.
तुमच्या कविता/गाण्यानी खूप भरभरून दिलं. पावसाच्या कवितानी न भिजताही भिजवलं , “गणराज रंगी नाचतो” सारख्या सहजसुंदर, आणि “जय शारदे” सारख्या भाषेवरच प्रभुत्व सिद्ध करणाऱ्या गीतांनी कुठल्याही कर्मकांडा शिवाय पूजेचा आनंद दिला. “काटा रुते कुणाला” ने रडवलं तर “आलि सखी आलि” सारख्या अलवार रचनेने अक्षरश: वेडावलं! थोडक्यात म्हणजे, प्रत्येक भावनेला तुमच्या कवितेन शब्दरूप दिलं.

असंच जेव्हा कातरवेळी चहाच्या कपासोबत तुमच्या कवितेचं पुस्तक चाळताना एखादी ओळ नव्यानं मनावर कोरली जाते, तेव्हा वाटतं तुम्ही अजूनही खूप लिहायला हवं होतत. तुम्ही इथे अजूनही असायला हवं होतत, असं खूप तीव्रतेने वाटतं. पण त्यालाही तुमचं उत्तर तयार असतं!

असेन मी नसेन मी, तरीही असेल गीत हे..

फुलाफुलांत येथल्या उद्या हसेल गीत हे!

पुन्हा एकदा जन्मदिवसाच्या शुभेच्छा. आणि फक्त एकच मागण आहे, जमल तर परतून या…

Random Musings

सावली देऊ शकणाऱ्या वटवृक्षाने आश्रयाला आलेल्या पांथस्ताला रस्त्याच्या कडेची इतर सारी झाडे सोडून तुला मीच सापडलो का, असं विचारायच नसत..

This is one my favourite quotes by Vapu (author V. P.Kale). It can be roughly translated to -“a tree that is capable of providing shade, should not ask “why me” to the pedestrian that takes refuge under it.”
If you are capable of helping anyone, you shouldn’t hesitate and think why should I always be the one who helps others.
I think the paradigm extends to any good deed in general. If you can do a good deed, you should consider it as a privilege and not as a burden.
I for sure will always this quote if I ever hesitate to help anyone or even if the thought “why am I the only one paying heed to this red light” ever crosses my mind!

Read.. Write..

I am not writing as often as I would like. Well, I am not even reading much these days. Hope that changes with purchase of the Kindle! Reading inspires you to write and nothing has greater soothing effect than penning down those haywire thoughts in your head!

लेखकाने लिहत जावे,
वाचकाने वाचत जावे,
वाचता वाचता एक दिवस
लिहिणाऱ्याचे हात घ्यावे!
( कवी विंदांची क्षमा मागत!)

There is a hope after all

Yesterday I was chatting with a friend on whats app. She had her status message as “A proud Indian”. I asked her, “Can you give me one reason to be proud of this country? I want to be proud of it too, but I can’t think of any reason to take pride in“. She replied “I can’t give you reasons. You have to find them yourself.  You have to feel it yourself.” I couldn’t argue with that logic and the topic ended there.

Today I left office a bit early. If you are a Punekar and own a vehicle, you would know how jam-packed Pune’s main roads get between 7-8 PM on a weekday. Senapati Bapat road is not an exception. It was 7.30 and I was near Chatushrungi temple when I heard the siren. There was an ambulance few feet behind me. The road was completely packed and nobody was trying to make the way. Four minutes passed and I was getting agitated. I was trying desperately to get on the side of the road but there simply wasn’t any room. Nobody seemed bothered or may be they were, but like me, they didn’t know what to do.

Then it happened. A guy in that crowd parked his bike on the side and went to the signal in the  square ahead. He started managing traffic there and requested people in the front to make room and people coming from opposite side to stop. Once people in the front started moving, the road for the ambulance got cleared soon enough and it crossed the square in next two minutes which would have taken another 15 minutes otherwise.

It might seem like a small thing but it was big for whoever was there in that ambulance. I fervently hope they reached hospital in time and are okay.

I wanted to stop and compliment him for the good deed but I couldn’t. Nevertheless, witnessing this incident gave me hope. May be not all is lost yet. People are not that bad and when led by good example, we can be a well behaved, compassionate society. A mob is not always heartless. May be.. may be.. there is a hope after all!

Oh, and by the way,  Happy Independence Day!  🙂