Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Has it been 13 years already? :-)

13 years ago, on this day, I started this blog on a whim. What started in the beginning as an outlet to keep myself from being bored, soon turned into something that has been a constant throughout. Even through my prolonged disappearances and the false promises to be a regular, this space has always been there at the back of my mind, like a long-lost friend, waiting for me to reach out to her. 

Pic Source - Magma Digital

This blog has seen me evolve from an amateur writer to someone who can express herself clearly. It has seen me through relationships, friendships, life’s ups and downs, happy memories, sad ones, almost everything that has made me into the person I am today. And my evolution can clearly be seen in my writing as well. When I read those posts written in 2006 to the posts that I write now, I can see the difference myself. No, I am not saying that I am ashamed of the old posts. They were written by the girl who had her head in the clouds and stars in her eyes. They were written by the girl who was hot-headed and always wanted to please everyone even while putting herself at an inconvenience. They were written by the girl who was immature and idealistic. They were written by the girl who had a tune in her head, a spring in her step and a story always in her mind. They were written by the girl who was learning what it was to step into the big bad world and learn what it was to be independent.

You know, sometimes I miss the older versions of me. Especially the happy-go-lucky version, the one without a care about anything in the world, the one who knew she could do whatever she wanted. This was the version of me who was gung-ho about trying new things, having new experiences, etc. I partied every weekend, binge ate every given opportunity and basically treated my body like I owned it. Night-outs were the order of the day (err.. night!) and the next day was the usual, office, routine, up and about, swinging endless cups of coffee, red bull and other such energy providing drinks. Impromptu trips were planned over drunken nights, and impulsive decisions were taken only not to be followed through and sometimes very rarely followed through. Vacations followed standard steps - take the cheapest flight, rough it out at the reasonably priced hotels and live in the moment, no planning, no sticking to a schedule, one backpack to fit everything and budget was the way to go. Life decisions could wait, planning for the future could wait and the main thing in life was living in the moment, having fun.

But now I “think” I am a lot more grounded. Plenty of things have changed from back then. My definition of fun has changed a lot. Maybe growing older does that to you. Marriage, a child, job, career, running a household, making it a home, these things now take priority over reading, dancing, writing. At the beginning of this year, much like every year, I took up the reading challenge and challenged myself to read 25 books. A friend had commented that if that happens with a baby in tow, she would be impressed. At that point, I thought, come on it is just 2 books a month and 24 books will just whizz by. We are now in the 9th month of the year. I have read exactly 5 books to this date for the year and none of them were life-changing or heavy-duty. Rather, they were watered down versions of chick-lit. And honestly, it doesn’t even cross my mind until I see someone post about a book they read. It has been years since I went out to a club. I don’t remember when I last danced. Like I said, priorities have changed. Life now craves for the mundane, the ordinary, the routine.

This blog is one of those routine things. It’s like a deep-rooted tradition, if not a post regularly, at least a post a year. When I completed the post on Ekalavya, almost 2 years after I had written part 1, I was pleased to say the least. It had been sitting in my drafts, in my mind and every single time I opened my laptop, it would remind me that I hadn’t yet finished the post on Ekalavya. It is definitely not something that I would say is my best work. But it is a start after ages of not having penned anything.

For the longest time, there was this deep sense of unrest within me. Like something was nagging my soul. Words that would form and then disappear. Sentences that would start and then vanish. When I started writing again, those flutters of strife started fading. I felt contented and instantly calm.

People emote in a variety of ways.    
Some talk. Some cry. For a few it is through the arts – music, dance, painting. For some others it is through actions.

Me – I write! 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Ekalavya - The Mahabharata Chronicles #16 - Part 2

Krishna glanced at the taut figure sitting by the lamp, reading a manuscript. The spine straight, the shoulders rigid, the light dancing across his eyes, making it gleam.

He announced his presence.

Drona, looked up from the manuscript that had caught his attention, and looked askance at Krishna.  He imperceptibly nodded his head, indicating that he had set the plan in motion. Not one to even miss the smallest of things, he discerned what appeared to be a tiny tear at the left corner of Drona’s eye. He chose to ignore it as there was nothing that he could really say to soothe Drona’s frazzled mind, however, the Acharya looked into Krishna’s eyes, and told him, “You do realize if guided properly, this young man could have been the greatest archer in the entire universe. You just deprived him of that chance and maybe his whole life.”

Krishna held Drona’s gaze steadily and remarked, “I know!”


Ekalvaya was disheartened. He was dejected over the turn of events. He knew he couldn’t be moping around like this. He had a tribe to lead and now had to focus upon other things. But how? His entire life, he had focused on learning archery and being the best there was and now even that was snatched from him for no fault of his. The pride in him refused to accept what had happened. His ego refused to accept defeat. He wanted to show the man he had thought of as his Guru, that losing a thumb did not make any difference.

He started practicing with fervour again using his forefinger in place of his thumb. With days, he got better. Though he would never be the archer he once was, he was at least following his passion.


Krishna looked over at Bheema and Arjuna. They were visibly excited at the prospect of visiting Magadha. Much acclaimed for its hospitality, they were looking to have a good time, after completing the objective for which they had set foot on. They reached the palace gates, where they announced their arrival to the sentry on duty. They were received with much aplomb, even though Jarasandha – the Emperor of Magadha, was well aware of the intentions behind this sudden visit. Over dinner and wine, the well-meaning banter, took a more serious note when talk switched to wrestling. It was no surprise that Jarasandha was a well-known wrestler, his fame had spread far and wide as did the mystery of his birth and youth. Called upon to honour an invitation to fight anyone of the three guests, the emperor, known for his sharp tongue and suave wit, remarked that he would fight an opponent who was worthy of him – Bheema. He said he wouldn’t fight a weakling archer like Arjuna, nor an escapist who runs away from the battlefield like Krishna.

Hearing his emperor speak thus, one of his chief guards behind him, turned around and took stock of the visitors. The familiar faces of Arjuna and Krishna, deeply etched into his memory, threw Ekalavya off balance. He was flabbergasted to see them and was even more surprised that his emperor was going to wrestle with Arjuna’s brother. A sinister feeling that no good could come out of this crept upon Ekalavya. He had grown to regard Jarasandha as a father figure and mentor, soon after the emperor had taken him under his wings and made him commander-in-chief of one section of his mighty army. Jarasandha had given him hope when there was none and Ekalavya had pledged his life to him. 

It was over in a matter of minutes, once Krishna had shown the idea to Bhima. Ekalavya had watched the entire match with keen eyes, not missing a thing. Months later, he could still hear and see in his mind’s eye, each whisper of the breeze, each leaf that fluttered, the hushed and eager breathing of the audience, the sly glances that passed between the Pandavas and Krishna, the stricken eyes of the emperor when he realized that this was the end and the victory march by Bhima.
Months later, whenever he practiced each day, he would recall the vow he made to keep fighting for his emperor’s forces and those that he allied with.


Krishna looked at the man standing before him, clad in warrior garb, holding a bow that was obviously self-fashioned. He spine ramrod straight, his stance defensive, it was clear that he was itching for a fight. The eyes which once showed humility, now portrayed belligerence tinged with a hint of bitterness.

Ekalavya looked at Krishna, remembering the two instances that he had met him. Two very different circumstances and now this one. He had attacked Dwaraka upon Duryodhana’s orders, instigated by him to avenge his emperor’s death. His mission was to kill Krishna and here he was standing in front of him, the boy he had met a long time ago in the forest, the one who was in a twisted way, his cousin.

“I possess the answers you seek” said Krishna to Ekalvaya. “But for that, you must finish what you have set out to do.”

They duelled. The outcome was of course evident. And at some point, Eklavaya realized it too, that he was fighting against a force greater than a mere mortal. While the warrior in him didn’t give up, his body surrendered. The aggression in his eyes faded, replaced by the acceptance of his fate. In his final moments, he sought of Krishna, the answers to his questions.

Krishna gently placed his hand on Ekalavya’s head, and told him that his greatest falling lay in the fact that he did not follow the words of the man he considered his Guru, the man he offered his thumb to as Guru-Dakshina. The reason was his ego. And because he had let that ego take over, his path had strayed away from the righteous and allied with Duryodhana, thereby making him formidable. And therefore, in order to cleanse the earth of the adharma that had rooted in her, it was necessary that this happened for the greater good.

Grahanam - A review!

It has been quite some time since I penned something on this blog, and even longer, since I wrote a movie review. But there is no good time ...