Soar

One fine day you will wake up,
From a slumber you’ve long wanted to wake up from,

To run away from the place where you don’t belong,
To run away from darkness,
To run away from the unhappy.

One day you’ll just want to let go,
And breathe,
Just for once.

And when that day comes,
Let go.

Break all the chains and fly,
Fly and soar.

And live,
Just for once.

New Year’s Eve 2016

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After having known about their good work for a year, I finally got a chance to be a part of an event of LetsRISE, an NGO working towards several causes in Pune. The plan was to celebrate the New Year’s Eve with the children of victims of sexual exploitation at a night creche in Budhwar Peth.

As we entered, the children were all sitting quietly, their hands folded, all in rows (so adorable, trust me!). They all greeted us with a warm “Namaste”. Even though some of us were as new to them, as they were to us, not once did they stop smiling at us.

They sang songs for us, recited various poems, came and spoke to us, and were just their lovely selves. Such amazing kids, it is nothing but unfair for them to be seeing the life they are, at such an early age (the kids are merely between 2 – 8).

“We never see the same faces again”, one of the LetsRISE volunteers told me. It broke my heart. Even though a lot of efforts are being made by groups like Chaitanya Mahila Mandal (who started the creche) to protect the children, given their conditions, they vanish quite easily.

LetsRISE is therefore working to build these children a permanent home in Moshi so that can be taken away from such an environment altogether.

Please help us make these children’s lives better, join our noble cause.

To volunteer, contribute or donate, contact us on talk@letsrise.org.in.

For more, visit us at http://www.letsrise.org.in/

Namita & Abhishek

Nam Abhi

 

It is extremely rare to find friends in life who you can be extremely transparent with, who you can act absolutely crazy with, talk absolute crap, dance weirdly in front of and not worry even for a second of being judged. That is what these two mean to me. And all those who know Namita and Abhishek, know that they come in a package, ek pe ek muft. So, I could obviously not write two different posts for them. (Chances are, they wouldn’t even have taken the pains to read both. 😀 )

It has only been a year since I know you two. Do you guys remember the days when we referred to each other as “aap”? The only first two months we ever respected each other, and thankfully so. We slowly revealed our awesomeness after that, and it was nothing short of finding my soulmates. I mean who even thinks of going to a place like Goa in a group of three, and coming back having had the best time of their lives. (Quite a recreation of Dil Chahta Hai.)

The best part is that we don’t feel the need to have anyone else with us when we are together. And we don’t even have to be doing anything most of the time, just lazying around in the bed saying absolutely nothing, watching crappy movies, playing cards or simply spending hours talking on the terrace is all we need. And the way we never bother taking two bikes, no matter how far the distance, the way we scooch and slide and blame the other’s ass being fatter than ourselves, and finally manage to fit on the poor little thing.

All that apart, now that I have you guys, I know that there is never going to be a day in my life where I am going to feel like I do not have someone to talk to, or that I don’t have somewhere to go. I know you are going to gloat in this forever, but I am still going to go ahead and say that I feel extreeemeely lucky to have you idiots in my life, ‘coz not everyone has the kind of friends who come rushing only because the other had a bad dream and woke up crying.

Cheers to us!

Lots of Love,
Paaji.

From A Letter to Him

My Love,

I did not write for so long because I just do not understand how I will ever be able to sum it all up in words … the happiness I feel when I wake up every morning, knowing there is someone thousands of miles away, whom I have not seen nor touched, who has not met me either but loves me more than anyone ever has … the calmness I feel when I know I am the luckiest person in the world … the tranquility that washes over me when I go to bed every night, knowing there is someone who loves me just as much as I love him, knowing that now that I have you, I am complete.

Love,
Me.

Letter – 2

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Dear Poonam,

You are absolutely the lovliest person I have in my life, and may I say the most forgiving too. I have never EVER been able to do anything for you, and for that I am genuinely sorry. You were the only person I had when I came to Pune. I was so annoyingly naive, but you were so patient, so tolerant of me. I wish I develop even half the patience you have.

I want to tell everyone through this letter, how you have always been the most responsible among us cousins. The eldest of all, there has never been a time that you have failed your duties. You have been an idol for us all, most because of the devotion and sincerity you show towards things, be it your studies, your work, or family.

The fondest memories I have with you are the movies that we have watched together. You are the reason why I am such a movie buff, you are the one who laid the foundation for it. 😀 Remember the time you, me, Ashwini, and Rashmi went to watch ‘Albela’? #absolutelynostalgic

Another fond memory I have is our trip to Lonavala. That was the first time I travelled by a local, and I had loved it so very much. The time we spent at your place doing absolutely nothing, our trips to MIT tekdi and the amazing tandoori chicken we used too have at the University corner have been some of the things I will always treasure.

I still remember how, when we were kids, you and Aniket would always team up and mock me as “pav-vada”, “pavagad”, “powder”. Oh I hated it so much. But, as we grew up, I discovered what a gem of a person you are, and I have been fond of you, since. Most importantly, I want to thank you for shaping up my career. I owe all my success to you. I have no idea where I would have landed up, had it not been for you.

On an ending note, I wish you all the happiness for the little bundle of joy that you are going to receive not too long from now. I swear I just can’t wait. Trust me, you are going to have a really hard time making me leave. 😀 I would ike to ask for forgiveness for all that I have not done, for all the times that I have failed as a sister, and I would also like to thank you for bring just the way you are.

Love you lots,
Pau.

Give Your Heart a Chance

We have all been there, absolutely all of us, when we have felt betrayed, cheated, sad, hurt, angry, and simply exhausted. You feel angry for having trusted people, sad that you let them hurt you, and exhausted because your heart had been trampled on, a thousand times over. You slowly start losing faith in everything, the friendships, the relationships, and basically the fact that anything good can come from pinning one’s hopes in people.

However, there also comes a point in life, when you want to start trusting again, just try a little; but because they ask you to get wiser with experience, you are a little more apprehensive now, you want to protect your little heart from everything that can remotely hurt you. So you stop yourself, each time life gives you a chance, to let go, to take that leap, to start living, once again. I might sound completely from the Romanticism Era when I say this, but guess what, sometimes you just have to let go, and see what happens. You cannot keep planning your moves, it never works out anyway.

So, let go this time. Make peace with people you have wronged, they don’t say life is short for nothing. Maybe they are fighting the same battle? Try doing that, and see how you can actually feel your heart inflate. Trust again, even if you get hurt, accommodate as many people as you can, even if they walk out. Forgive people, and ask for forgiveness, live on the edge, knowing you would fall, and fall in love again, even if you have broken your heart, just like you live even when you know you are going to die.

That’s all for today.

Lots of Love,
Smilesalotlady.

Letter – 1

Nupur

Dearest Nupur,

My very first letter had to be for you. I am so very grateful to have had you in my life, like a rock for so many years. It must have been like 15 years back when I first befriended you. But I so vividly remember that time. I don’t know where to start from. We gelled up so quickly, and then there was no looking back for us. I don’t think anyone must have ever seen us parted. The assemblies, the lunch breaks, the PT periods, there wasn’t a minute when we weren’t together. Our friendship is one of the most cherished things in my life. The way we could talk about anything and everything under the sun, the way we would hum our favorite songs together and, oh! how we gossiped. 😀

Do you remember how you would cut out Leonardo di Caprio pictures for me, and I would get Shahid Kapoor’s for you? (Mine is still cuter than yours BTW :p ) I still remember how you would only get the things I liked in the tiffin. And that is not it, the way you would decide the people I talk or don’t talk to was the cutest of all. I was so so naive, but I always had you watching my back. You, who got me to improve my handwriting, who taught me not to trust people so easily (still failing at that one), and most importantly taught me how to be friends with someone so unconditionally.

Me, on the other hand, have failed time and again, to be even half as good a friend. I could not even be there on the most important day of your life. And I am truly very sorry for that. On a parting note, I would say, that I wish you all the happiness in the world, absolutely all of it. I am glad that even when you are married now, we still share the same camaraderie, and I know now that it is going to be for life. I promise that I will visit you soon. Hope this letter will tempt you just a little into forgiving me. Thank you, dear sweetheart, for being my friend. I could not have been luckier.

Lots and Lots of Love,
Prajakta.

Letters to You

Dear Friends,

It has been a long time since I have reached out to you, like not even months, it has been years altogether. And I am heartily thankful to you all for having been so patient with me, and being so supportive of me with whatever was going on. I have missed your birthdays, your weddings, and even the get-togethers. I have no explanations, no excuses, and no justifications for what I have wronged.

However, there is a way I can make it up to you guys. I am going to reach out to you, through my letters, here on my blog. And the only reason why I have decided to go the “public display of affection” way is because I want everyone to know what lovely people you are, and how blessed I am to have you all in my life.

So, be patient, and wait for your turn. Hoping you would love it. 🙂

Love,
Smilesalotlady.

Book Lovers, Welcome Chaabook

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We have all been there when we have had a cupboard full of read and re-read books, and we just can’t figure out what to do with them, especially if you are a possessive freak like me, and can’t bear to part with your books. I am also aware that it might just be because you love the way it feels when the books greet you each time you enter the room.

Guess what? My friends Pratik Datey and Sourav Chaterjee, along with Sanal Somasundaran have just made our lives easier with Chaabook, a platform to swap books with other readers. That way, we never have to minus the books on our shelf, and even get to read more (may I also say free of cost). Trust me, it means a lot to someone who spends a quarter of their monthly savings in books.

Not only does Chaabook allow you to swap books, it also allows you to donate books, and will soon enough even allow you to re-sell them too. All you have to do is log in to chaabook.com, either with the help of your gmail, or facebook account, create a profile, and add the books you want to swap. While adding the books, you can put in the names and other details of the books you would prefer your book to be swapped with.

You might want to be a wee bit careful since the condition of the books is not going to be pre-examined by the team. So what you can do is check the number of swaps a user has made, before exchanging a book with them. That way, you can be sure that the book you get in exchange is in a good condition. Also, if it is a same-city swap, you can always see the book before the barter. Chaabook also allows you to add users as your friends and check their reviews and suggestions. Pretty cool, eh?

Again, for the philanthropist readers, Chaabook also gives an opportunity to donate books to NGOs. NGOs can register and source these books free of cost. For further queries, please check http://chaabook.com/faq/ or email to support@chaabook.com.

Hoping you will all stop by!