Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Clandestine Whispers

It’s crawling inside me somewhere,
Stealing the tranquility of my existence,
Singing with a dead voice
In the pitch dark of the night.

It loves me with a bondage flare
And somehow knows me inside out.
The church bell chimes like death to me
When it hisses like a hell born knight.

It’s quiet in some eerie corner here
Waiting to put me into sleep,
I never saw it coming near
But it’s already deep inside of me.

Freezing chill, its sadistic cheer
Breathing into my broken soul;
Not content, it craves for more
It’s her; wish she would set me free.

Sarcasm plays; her words like fire
Oh Guilt, why hold me so dear!
But I sailed triumphant through anguished dawns
Now she won’t let me rejoice or be alone.

-Vaisakhi Mishra

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Guardian Angel

There goes the lullaby of love
That tears the stained curtains of pain
A voice so angelic, peaceful and serene
I fall in its embrace, and all struggles seem vain.

A face that smiles despite the anguish
Of letting go of dreams so dear
But sees the reflection of what it sought
In a young visage it adores with a heart, so clear

I rattle and chatter, my day long tale
There is a smile that listens to every word I scream
Murmuring roses fall short of words
For that smile shames innocence; O that benign beam.

A pair of hands holds the crazy bivouac
To satiate the needs of a demanding fool
Yet not one word of complain is ever heard
It’s a magical, never failing, meticulous tool.

Marching across from place to place
Attending the requests made ungratefully
The tired feet just halt for when
That smiling face has to hear me attentively

The smile, the voice, the tranquil face
That ease my life beyond words I have
All belong to my best best friend, God sent
My Mom has all the love in the world I crave.

- Vaisakhi Mishra

No matter how much we write, we will never find enough words to thank our moms or even describe the simple greatness her presence silently radiates. 

P.S.: ‘I am writing a Tribute to Mom in association with Parentous.com

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tracks of the Tale

Title: Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai
Author: Rishi Vohra
ISBN: 9788184953053
Cost: INR 175/-
Pages: 266

Rating: 3/5

A line I loved from the book:
“That’s the way. Be happy. They say that life may not be the party we hoped for but we may as well dance.”

The book “Once upon the tracks of Mumbai” is Rishi Vohra’s first novel and a very promising read too.  The story is all about Balwant Srivastav or Babloo as his friends call him who is trying very hard to be happy in every possible way he can. But in the opening pages of the book it is evident Babloo does not have many friends for the simple reason that he is different. Our protagonist is autistic and neglected by the society but in reality his disregard for the mundane self obsessed society draws more logic and weaves the fabric of the entire book. The “slow at everything” Babloo dreams big and of love and life and Vandana – enters our heroine. Vandana is a honey trap for all, unintentionally, and is the only person who treats Babloo with some dignity. As the story moves ahead it develops a total filmy taste and becomes more like ‘new wine in old bottle’ but the catch here is the new wine is yummy and old bottle makes you to yearn for more slowly and steadily.
 The story has some villains too. Sikander and the sidekicks initiate the tension that grows and blows up in the face later in the story. Also how can one forget the stress created by the nonchalant family of our innocent protagonist? By the time the book approaches the climax you feel like you have figured out the story but just when you are ready to dive in Rishi Vohra makes you realize it’s a mirage. Though you know the end the journey is way too delightful to let the end spoil the fun. Plus there is a hero in making “The Rail Man” that makes the whole story quite interesting.
  1. I am a fan of Rishi Vohra’s narrative already. The story flows with easy covering each and every aspect the readers can think of, with skillfully crafted words.
  2. I loved a lot of “Mumbai” Babloo makes the readers see through his eyes. Bandra is one of my regular hangout places in Mumbai specially the area around St. Andrews and I could see each and every place the writer drew a vivid word picture of. (Though mention of Mira Road as a “far flung suburb” made me kind of upset too)
  3. The innocence of Babloo and the small talks he had with him “his best friend” were in a way hilarious.
  4. The meeting of Manjit Singh and Babloo and how it was not just some blink and miss.

  1. The Bollywood touch to the story. Though it might appeal to a lot of people as a reader I am not very fond of the Bollywood invasion on the Bookowood.
  2. The recurring mention of Vandana’s American dream wheel angle.
  3. The climax was a bit rushed. The impact of the climax needed to be strong but in reality the jolt is a bit subtle.
  4. Use of cal-local abuses seemed to break the flow a bit and made me wish the typical Hindi words were avoided.

Overall the book is a quick sweet and refreshing read. It had scope of incorporating more story in it but the transformation of Babloo from some petty creature suffocated in an overcrowded city, living an uncertain life like the trains on the tracks of Mumbai, to the successful, self super hero is an interesting one and may touch the emotional chords of many. Also the book can easily be made in to a movie, and if that happens its is going to be a good one for sure. And especially for Mumbaikars - a trip to Churchgate and back from maybe Borivali and you can easily finish the book making your regular train journey fascinating. I would rate the book a 3/5.

Also to know more about the book and the author do visit the book website : www.rishivohra.com

Sunday, May 5, 2013

There's Always a Door

“Will give you a treat at the blue frog when I get my first salary, for now let us eat at McD please”, Shipra urged, while I was busy teasing her for not giving me a treat over her getting placed, which was due two months now. Just then Shipra’s Mom called and asked us to rush home, in a very worried tone. When we reached home, Shipra’s Mom sat in the living room, with a haunted look on her face, staring dead ahead at the T.V. Its volume blaring at its highest, may be hoping that somewhere they would say it’s all a lie.
Each word, breaking and shattering the dreams and with those dreams, hope. Eyes watery, wanting to scream out loud, but silence was all she could manage in the shock. Two months ago Shipra got placed in Satyam with a six digit package, and today that very placement seemed like a curse.
Within a week Satyam’s shares were down to nothing, the company was delisted from NIFTY, it was on the verge of closing, Satyam’s future was cloudy and Shipra’s grief had no bounds.
She was my teacher, the ace student of her class, not the top rank but always in the top three. She was the only girl out of the six student selected by Satyam that year from my brother’s college and she decided to help every other student of her class in studies so that they could get placed too. Dedicated, hardworking, loving and kind, that is how my mom saw her and my brother got chided for not being anything like his best friend. And for me she was one of my favourite people in the world. I always looked up to her and even though I was five years younger to her she was my best friend and we shared everything with each other.But now, she was broken, cocooned in her grief and no one could do anything to console her. Upon getting placed with Satyam, she had decided not to appear for other interviews, to give the others a chance. Now, the placements were closed.Life had played a foul game with her and she was back to square one with the future looking bleak and uncertain.
“Am I that bad? Don’t I deserve it? Or have I done anything wrong? Why did this happen to me?” Shipra cried.
It had been four months since the Satyam breakdown. Every classmate of hers had a joining letter but her, and with all the ex Satyam employees out in the job market, a fresher didn’t stand much of a chance.
“My whole year is wasted. I didn’t even appear for any entrances, my life is a waste, what am I going to do?” an inconsolable Shipra complained.
Then my mother told her about the people who lost everything in the Gujarat earthquake.Back then we used to stay in Surendranagar, Gujrat. I was very small, but I did have a faint memory of the horror and screams. She then told Shipra the story of Vikram Uncle, though I didn’t remember him well I remembered he had a jewellery shop in some mall that crumbled into dust in that ill-fated quake. Also she said that he used to stay on fourth floor and jumped out of the window, to save himself, when the earth broke havoc. He had broken his right leg, but not his will. Now eight years later, he has four shops in Surendranagar and Ahemadabad, just because he didn’t give up and decided to draw the lines of fate in his favour.
It was either this story or something else that jolted Shipra out of her depression, but anyhow after that day, she was all geared up to challenge fate itself. That very year in November she appeared for CAT, the most difficult of the management exams in India. With barely seven months of preparation she got into IIM Bangalore, one of the most prestigious management institutes of India. And her feat did not cease there. She aced in her class again.Two years of firm dedication, rigorous hard work and achievements got her placed in DELL. But somehow that did not satisfy her. She worked there but aimed for more. Within a year she started a Software training institute with my brother and two other friends of hers.

“I am leaving my job”, Shipra told me while we were finally enjoying a pizza at the Blue Frog.
“Your brother and I are going to start a consultancy firm along with our training institute”.
“Why didn't he tell me?And when did this happen? Why are you telling me now?”
“A week ago our loan got sanctioned, and this was going to happen someday. After I realized jobs weren't reliable, cause if companies like Satyam can dissolve, any company can. If that company is my own, at least I will be upset at my failure and not question my calibre cause of someone else’s failure. And I am telling this to you now because tomorrow we are having a surprise for your mom and would need your help, after all, all this is happening because of her, right?”
Her words made me realize, what people say about ‘life throwing lemons and us trying to make lemonades out of it’ is perhaps true, because, when one door closes,somewhere another door is open. All we have to do is, keep trying the knobs.

Vaisakhi Mishra

P.S. This is my entry for Chicken Soup for the Indian Entrepreneur's Soul. I wish to get my story published in Chicken Soup for the Indian Entrepreneurs Soul in association with BlogAdda.com 

proof read by JD (coz he said jd not eon)...:)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Gypsy

Gypsy juggling all the way
Broken thoughts, fates' shackles - away.
 A colourful wagon drives my home
Cheery me is people’s fantasy gnome.
I sing from pages of my travel trove
Those surely make ‘least animals groove.
A wanderer and lover of the country side
I swing by brooks in my Romany pride.
Children dream of my dreamy tales
I rest with the winds where moonlight trails.
I chant the song of life for the worried class
They call me a jester and let my lesson pass.
I am blissful on the inside and on the out
I let my steps wander without freckles of doubt.
There is so much more and so much less
For a wanderer like me, the world is my palace.
I take a turn and then go straight
Then a small spring and some castle’s gate;
Kings and queens let people see me
As a far land being, with magic worth a peek!
Kings are gone but I still roam
No pride but a trip to find some dome
Where old still breathe, the magical days
I am a gypsy and will be, but now need to find my place.

Vaisakhi Mishra

p.s.- picture courtesy google :)