Friday, July 31, 2009

The star shines on DNA

My moment of fame with the tennis star Leander Paes. He had come to our office as a guest sports editor. We shook hands with him. It was great fun....he is really handsome! :) :) :)

Trek to Malavli…

I love the rains…but not in the cities where the rainwater gets mixed with garbage and muck! That’s why I wanted to venture out in the nature to celebrate monsoons. My idea of a day in the rains is going to a picturesque place- may be a hill or a forest and enjoying the cool breeze with a group of crazy friends and chatting over a hot cup of tea :) .

That’s why I decided to visit Malavli, Lohgad for that matter. Malavli is a place near Lonavla. The two forts- Lohgad and Visapur are situated here. Lohgad is a comparatively easy fort to climb but is really far from Malavli station. After two weeks of persuasion, 8 of my friends agreed to join me. Two of us came from Mumbai and the others from Pune. The walk to the fort is always the most interesting part of the trip.

With beautiful waterfalls on the way, what else can you ask for? But it is a pity to see people ruining the nature’s beauty by throwing garbage around and drinking alcohol in the waterfall and misbehaving. Anyways, we ignored all these facts, and walked past the waterfalls in the rain, teasing and pulling each others’ leg. All my friends- Rohit, Rohan, Sanket, Parag, Supriya, Rujuta, Amey and Joanna are crazy souls.

After a long and tiring walk, we decided to have lunch at a small tapri which had a hilarious name- Nature’s Miracle or something! It took those guys 2 hours to prepare anda curry for us! And we had to wait there calculating the time left with us for climbing the fort and reaching the station on time to catch the local train. We discussed history of the forts and assigned one of us as the raja and others as the mavlas and senapatis. The raja assigned constituencies to his sena. I got the Mumbai constituency (Bandra to be specific ;). After the stupid discussion, the food came and we hogged on it.

The climb to the fort was easy and we reached in half an hour. The view from the top was breathtaking. There was a lot of fog and nothing could be seen from the top. There was wind flowing in great speed plus the rains and the visibility was very less. We couldn’t see anything ahead of us and were actually freezing. We couldn’t wait there for more than 20 minutes and had to leave.

We climbed down and had a cup of tea- our saviour from the cold. The walk to the station was very unwelcome as we wanted to remain there and continue enjoying the beautiful sceneries.

We reached the station and with a heavy heart bid au revoir to our friends. That was a day to remember.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Back to school…

‘Those were the best days of my life…’ goes a Bryan Adams song. And this exactly what I felt when we had our school reunion on 5th of July. It was like reinventing the good old school days.

All this happened thanks to my good friend Rajeev, who with the help of other good friends organised the whole plan. I could only help in the brainstorming sessions, contacting people and making charts, as I was here in Mumbai.

We got the school hall after my friends persuaded the principal for it. They had to convince her for more than an hour! And on the D-Day another sister came to ‘supervise’ ‘what we are doing’ and gave us instructions like don’t paste the charts on the walls etc etc. we somehow managed to get rid of her ;)

We all were looking forward to this day and were nervous that very few people may turn up. But on the D-day 60 people attended the function, making all the organisers happy. All were in for a surprise as the gang had collected school photographs from all possible school friends and made a movie out of it called ‘Flashback’. It was indeed very nostalgic watching the movie and the moments we all had shared together.

The coolest part of the reunion was meeting friends after years and being surprised when some friends turned up with their wives and when we came to know some girl-friends have become proud mothers! Some friends had gained weight (including me) and some were ‘jaise the’. The first words from any friend I met… “Kitni moti ho gayi hai!”

Even though we all met after many years, the rapport we shared was still the same. Everybody remembered each others’ school pet names and were called by the same name! Chats about trips and picnics we had, whom we would tease with whom were- were the highlights of the day.

We played games like musical chairs, bombing the city and dumb charades to revive the annual days and Christmas celebrations in the school. People were even cheating, as they would in school. Then there was this embarrassing ramp walk for the must wanted (?) crown of Miss Stella Maris and Mr Stella Maris. The girls had to judge the guys and vice versa. The guys obviously had loads of fun judging the ‘new-found’ beauties and showed their appreciation in form of claps, cheers and whistles!

The photo sessions were never ending as all wanted to capture these memories in a frame. It seemed that posing with all possible friends was everyone’s only aim! The day ended too soon for all of us. Everyone enjoyed every bit of the day and went home happily with the memories of the day.

Now, we are planning for a 2012 reunion and wondering whether 100% people will come with their spouses! ;) Three cheers to our school days…hip hip hurray!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

June- a rocking month!

June is my favourite month. Any guesses why? Coz it’s my ‘birth-month’ :). But this month I had more than one reason to celebrate. I have listed them in four parts, as follows:

Reason to celebrate no. 1: House warming

I found myself a chic pseudo- 2BHK flat (coz 1 room is locked by the owner) on the Hill Road, Bandra. (I can see those envious eyes ;). Courtesy my friend’s distant relative, we got the flat at quite a reasonable rent, after a lot of house hunting (see blog titled ‘House hunting Blues’ to know more). The place has it all- fridge, TV, washing machine, microwave, etc etc… and is damn close to Banstand and Hill Road shopping market. (Don’t be shocked if I add that we have shopped only once on Hill Road and never been to Bandstand since we started staying there!).

Reason to celebrate no. 2: Launch of the hotel ‘Imperial Palace’ in Goregaon

Being a journalist, sometimes these perks help brightening your spirits. Me and my friend-cum-colleague had gone to this hotel launch in Goregaon (we had to pay toll to enter this particular area). The hotel is located in the outskirts of the Goregaon suburb and I could never imagine that there could be so much greenery in this city until I saw the view from this hotel’s 9th floor. The Imperial Palace was inaugurated by the CM Ashok Chavan and IT minister Gurudas Kamath and other few politicians. The speeches got over in 30mins flat which was very surprising. We then strolled around the hotel seeing the imperial and common suites with great views and even greater prices!

The place was slightly overdone with lot of gold and chandeliers. Getting through the food was a problem as there was a 100-yard long line for it! The best part was the celebs. We spotted Minissha Lamba when we were touring the place and immediately went to her and clicked a pic with her saying, “One photo pls ma’am. We’re your fans!” That was our ‘wannabe moment’. After that we spotted other tinny weeny stars from the silver as well as TV screens. All in all, it was a fun day.

Reason to celebrate no. 3: My birthday!

Its been a week since my birthday now, but I cant just get over it. Thanks to my boss, I got a chance to go home and celebrate my buddey. Lot of surprises were in store for me: first one being my parents and bro cutting a cake for me- they have done it before when I was small, but I hadn’t expected it at this grown up stage. Second, my dad actually gave me a gift- a card and a personal diary. This doesn’t mean that he hasn’t ever gifted me, but not such senti stuff. Third, my friend Joanna gifted me a Shin Chan diary (my fave cartoon) with wishes from all my good friends. Lot of efforts went in compiling it. Fourth, my boyfriend Amey gifted me nice and sleek Fastrack watch. I wanted to buy one for a long time and had decided to buy on my birthday. But he bought it for me and completely surprised me. Love him :). Fifth, I met all my friends and we had a blast while having dinner. Not to mention, another cake too :). Sixth, wishes poured in the form of calls and SMS and some from really unexpected people.

Thanks all for making my birthday, a day to remember.

Reason to celebrate no. 4: Durg-Nagpur trip

My roommate, Samali got married in Kolkata and we had originally planned to attend the wedding and explore the city where my darling Sourav Ganguly stays. But unfortunately, due to lack of holidays we had to settle for the reception in Nagpur. But the smart kudis we are (we means the other roommate and myself), we thought why not visit another friend- Shruti who stays in Durg, just 4 hours from Nagpur.

The train journey was very disappointing and as I am not used to travelling far distances by train, it was a little hectic for me. We boarded the Jnaneshwari Express on 26th night and had a seat fiasco. Three people claimed our seat and then the TC came and solved all the problems, finally! We reached Durg the next day at 2pm. Shruti took us to Bhilai in her car and we drove through the ‘empty’ streets as the Mumbaikars would call them, coz there was hardly any traffic. We met her fiancĂ© Aditya in his newly opened restaurant Dwarika and had awesome food there. I drove a bike- Activa :) after so many days!

From the steel city we reached the orange city in 4 hours flat. We were welcomed by the rains in Nagpur. The city is pleasant and very ‘non- crowded’ with great British buildings all over. There are many government offices and even a Legislative Assembly in this second capital of Maharashtra.

In sometime, Samali’s make up artist arrived and started applying layers of make up on her flawless face. Then she got dressed up in a maroon sari with lot of gold jewellery to accompany the embellishments on the sari. She looked good but her husband, Biswajyoty, whom we fondly call Basu couldn’t help laughing. We went to the 3-star Tuli Hotel with the bride and groom. As the guests hadn’t arrived yet, we took some photographs in funny poses all over the hotel (this proves that we are born crazy!). The reception was well attended and we couldn’t help smiling when Samali and Basu had to force a smile when unknown uncles and aunties came to congratulate them. One of the unknown aunty actually kissed Sam on her forehead- funny! We were given the job of ‘gift girls’- to collect gifts which the couple received.

The returning journey was rather hectic. People kept on blabbering and switching the lights on and off.

But all in all, it was a fun trip. The three days just flew away giving me fond memories for life.