I LOVE eavesdropping in local trains!

So, I’m back to blogging about my train journeys. Yeah, yeah. I absolutely love it.
Any problem? No. Good.

Anyway, I’ve realized that I’ve been travelling by Mumbai Locals since 2001 -that’s 12 years of second class journeys – with old nagging aunties, who manage you give you an entire body massage from Malad to Dadar, with their gyrating pelvises, that allows you figure out almost every inch of their body, some of them even resorting to naughty ass pinches. And their ability to pick a fight with a groggy, sleep-deprived me at even 6.30 am is commendable. Earlier, I used to enjoy it, and when I was on a 3 year break from trains… I even missed it. Now, I just ignore their rants by plugging in my headphones. La la la… nothing can disturb my morning mood if there’s good music in the background.

But there are some days where I just plug in my headphones & mute the sound. Yes, I eavesdrop in the train. And don’t tell me you don’t! It’s much better than somebody sticking their head into my newspaper & reading it along with me. At least my approach is a little more subtle, and until I don’t acknowledge their talks, I’m safe. :P

Anyway, this particular conversation did not even allow me to plug in my headphones, it was such interesting content! I was hooked almost till my stop, and just as I was about to get off, it got even more interesting. No, I got off at Dadar & moved on. If I didn’t have work, I would’ve stayed on :P

So, this lady caught my attention with her dramatic entry herself. She made such a hue & cry about the non-existent crowd entering the train at Malad (believe me, it was one of the better days!) And she stood right next to me. By the next stop, she was joined by her friend and soon enough, they got into an animated conversation about life, love and other things. I pretended to be engrossed in my phone.

They moved beyond small talk & started talking about their current reads. Lady M (stands for the lady who entered at Malad) starts telling Lady G (not gaga, Goregaon) about the Krishna novel she is reading. After a short description about the book, this is what she says, “I just lurrvveeeee Krishna (yes, Lord Krishna!!) he is sooooo hot ya, no wonder he has so many gopis around him! If I was around, I would have definitely fallen in love with him!”
I couldn’t gauge the reaction of Lady G, but I was zapped. I had to stop my jaw from falling to the floor! I closed my mouth, and pretended to look out at the ugly overhead wires & find beauty in it.

Next, she starts describing her love life, and how the guy she loved for 7 years left her for someone else, and how difficult it was for her. But now she is doing better. She still misses him, and thinks about him (Im sure she stalks him on FB). Lady M also goes on to give her friend love advice (no, really… she did. Its like heartbreak taught her everything! )

Then, Lady G gets into a philosophical mood and asks Lady M how one should figure out if it IS indeed true love. Hold your breath, and this is why I love trains, and bollywood, and romcoms, and eavesdropping!

“Guitar bajta hai…. you can feel it, you can hear it. You just know! Like a Karan Johar movie…you would just know yaar. Hehehehehe” *more giggles from the 2 of them*

At that very moment, I dug out my earphones cos I was sure they would catch me from my reactions. And guess what I see? My train pulling into Dadar Station! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo, I yelled in my head!

Damn it, that’s it for now.
More tales when I hear something interesting. Let’s pray that happens soon!



Goodbye & Hello

Blood is not thicker than water. 

She was not related to us, but she related to everything connected with our lives.
She was not a family member, thrust upon us by default.
She was someone my dad worked with, and someone we chose to get close to.
She was much more than a family friend, she was a part of our family.
After my mother, she was the next person closest to that title.

She came into our lives unexpectedly, like a breath of fresh air.
She connected with each family member individually,
and each of us share a different, special bond with her.

She was originally from USA, stayed a few years in India,
and then traveled across the world with her husband,
reaping the benefits of his job – which required him to be on the move, constantly.
She took in each new place, got into its soul and made it her own.

Making friends came naturally to her.
She never ran out of topics of conversations. Or things to do.

There was always a stray dog to save, or a kitten / pup to adopt.
There was always a shopping trip, or a gazillion ladies wanting to spend time with her.

There was always more gossip to give her,
more life decisions we had to share with her.

We were apart for more than 12 years,
yet she was connected to us virtually.

We hadn’t heard her voice, or met with her in recent times,
but when she wrote her letters, we could imagine her saying all of that like she was next to us.

She loved India, the culture, the crazy roads, the shopping,
the Mumbai chai, the rotis, the delectable food, the kurtis.

She wanted to make a visit to India, once again.
Or at least wished for us to visit her in Vilnius.

She was a beautiful soul, one that touched many lives.
And whoever met Judith, their lives were changed forever.

She did have quirks, she wasn’t very comfortable with technology,
She hated Shania Twain,
She worried a little too much.

But she loved with all her might.
And she could read between the lines.

There were many letters written to me,
just because she read something more than what I’d written on my facebook post.
And opening up to her would come naturally.

There was nothing stopping her,
from spreading her inner light to the world around her.

Until one day, cancer visited her.
And drained her of her energy.
Her light was still bright, her spirit still strong-willed.

But there was only so much she could fight.
The cancer weakened her, took over her,
and soon, the world would miss the sunshine that she kept spreading.

When the pain was unbearable,
she freed herself from its shackles and let go,
leaving behind an inheritance of good will & fond memories for us to cherish.

There was only one other person whose death affected me like that.
And he was our link to her.

She wasn’t related to me,
but she related to me, in a way that nobody could.

Blood is not thicker than water.
And love is the only language needed to connect with someone.

Miss you Judith, and wish I had one last chance to meet you.
But I know you’re watching over us.

And every time I chance upon sunlight, you will be remembered


The hues of romance…

This post has been selected as a Blogadda WOW post (Dated 15th September).

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The waves were lashing against the wall they were seated on.
The sun had just set, and the dusky amber sky created the perfect backdrop for a romantic evening.

She was twiddling her fingers,
nervously playing with the diamond ring he’d gotten her.

She stole glances at him, and looked away almost immediately.
He was observing her through the corner of his eyes.

They were used to typing away their every thought, their every emotion.
They were so used to the green icon pinging on their screen,
that now, when they were face to face, they were at a loss for words.

She wondered, had their online chats jaded their relationship,
and cast a grey shadow over their very first meeting?

They had talked about this meeting for months,
they had gone over every detail of his first trip to Mumbai.

They wanted to meet at Marine Drive,
no matter how cheesy it had sounded.

Now that it had been accomplished,
they were left with a deafening silence.

She decided to erase the chat history in her head,
and start over.

“Hi, I’m Saloni.”, she said,
her cheeks turning a pretty shade of crimson.

He was taken aback at first,
but was relieved that she decided to break the ice.

“Hi, I’m Rahul. Naam to suna hoga.”

She finally let go of her apprehensions and laughed like there was no tomorrow.
And just like that, his heart melted all over again.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda
(prompt: This week your post should have five different colours acting as adjectives for five important words, around which your write-up revolves.)

A Journey of Independence!

She began working at the age of 17.
She is turning 30 this year.

And this journey of 13 years has defined her in ways that even she did not imagine.

She wanted to start earning, so that she could help out with the finances at home.
Her dad took ill just about the time she got her second job.
And she has come a long way since then, with her father smiling down upon her.

She was always had a way with words; we would call her a sweet talker.
She could sell ice to an eskimo, and her second hand windcheater to her younger sister, for just Rs. 100/-
(gullible, wannabe school children, I tell you! :P)

After an initial stint in sales at Just Dial, she moved on to work at some of the leading call centres.
And that’s where she realized her true calling. As a Training & Quality Coach, she loved everything about her job.
And decided to pursue exactly that.

She went on to work with Leadership Management India & The MARS Hospitality Services,
and acquired immense experience working with leading clients.

Today, she is successfully her own boss.

Setting off on your own is not that easy. It requires immense hard work.
The sense of responsibility that comes with it, is equal to the freedom you enjoy.

And she manages to balance that scale perfectly well.
She pursues her passion for photography with the same dedication she has towards her business.

Street-smart. Fiercely independent. Quick thinker. Uber confident.
She has been the perfect role model for me, to spread my wings & fly.

From her I’ve learnt, that to believe in your dreams, you need to first believe in yourself.

She is my sister, Vanessa Pereira. And this is her journey of independence.

Written for the Indiblogeshwaris Ladies Independence Special Contest
in association with http://womenentrepreneursinindia.com/