Thursday, November 21, 2013

Being real is beauty

One day, we were driving through Corniche, Qatar.
Papa was driving. Cheriyachan (Papa's younger brother) was sitting in the passenger seat.
Achamma (Paternal Grandmother), Amma, my sister Anu and I were sitting in the back seat. If there is a place in Qatar which reminds me of Dubai, its Corniche and West Bay.

City lights, tall buildings, cars were all around me. Except for the annoying traffic, it was not bad at all.
I did quite enjoy it. Lost in my own thoughts, I stared out the window. That's when Cheriyachan commented, "Wow", looking at something outside the window. And of course, as a reflex, our heads turned to the right side.. And believe me, I was awestruck.
It reminded of something my teacher said in Malayalam class : When the background is dull, the picture seems brighter. The moon shone bright in the dark night sky. The moonlight reflected on the water and that was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Seeing the reflection dance on the water ripples was indeed a feast to our eyes.

What fascinated me was the fact that, even though there were a lot of tall buildings, cars, lights and everything man-made, what caught our attention was a 'natural' thing. Once we saw the moon and its reflection, we forgot about the other so-called-man-made-beautiful-things (Or should I say the fake things?). Everyone does appreciate the beauty of nature. And yet, people are doing everything possible to exploit the nature. Wow.. The irony!

The world is filled with 'fake' things. So, when we see something pure and natural, we are just drawn towards it. We can't help it. Because, we are always attracted to those things that are rare.
Its more like the case of people these days. If there are 7 billion people, there are 14 billion faces.
What people act like in front of us are not who they really are. Some just pretends to be our friends. They are just fake. Outside and inside. So, when we see someone who is actually pure at heart, we feel a special kind of attachment towards them and the need to know them more.

Every small thing about the nature is so beautiful that we can never get enough of it. Each time I see the moon or a even a butterfly I get mesmerized by it all over again! Similarly, the people who are not fake and not two-faced are the most beautiful people born. They are true to themselves and to us. They never change so that everyone will love them. They just be themselves so that the right persons will love them.

I guess that's something we all should learn from nature. We should just be natural and true to ourselves. Never be fake because that ain't attractive. Be real. Be different. Be you.
Smile 'cause that the best make up anyone could wear. Its natural. Its beautiful.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Somethings I left out to say

This post is not about any social issues or any 'Revolutionary Ideas of a Stupid Teenage Girl'. It's a bit more personal this time. Lots of things has happened in this mess called 'Life' and I haven't mentioned them here.
So, this post is about everything I missed out. I'm not really good at writing down personal stuffs, if you haven't noticed. So read at your own risk.

A life changing incident happened. I moved out of Dubai to Qatar.
I had to leave my friends, school, teachers, the beautiful city...
All this happened two months ago. But I never felt like writing about it. Maybe because it brought back a lot of memories which still makes me regret coming here.

 27.06.2013, Thursday, my last day in OOIS. It was an unforgettable day! Also because, it was Talent Day, we all had loads of fun! Dance, Music, Mime.. you name it! By the end of the day, horror slapped me on my face when I realized that those moments were my last moments in OOIS. I might never be a student here again. It was my last my day with my friends at school living our life without any worries!
The day before 27th, my classmates along with my other friends organized a surprise party for me.. at school! It was awesome! After P.E. class when I reached class, everyone started hooting and clapping for some reason I don't know. But who cares?! I joined them. That's when I looked around the class and saw everyone standing around me with balloons. There was a Cake on the table.

Then everything happened in a rush.In the next 5 minutes, all balloons were burst. Cake was over with more than half of it on my face and hair.

Guys, I know that you are reading this. I just want to thank you all for being there for me during everything. Whether it was bad or good, I knew I could always rely on you. Even during my first day at my new school, you all mailed me wishing me luck and reminding me that you will always be there for me, no matter what.
Those idiots I call best friends, made this for me! Aren't they the best?
Thank you for everything! For changing that timid girl into the owner for this blog. For making me confident and giving me support every time when I went on stage for any school program. For being the shoulder I could cry on and the hand that would wipe away my tears. For laughing along with me after every lame joke we cracked. For gifting me those unforgettable memories. For just being yourselves and caring for me. I could write a whole book of reasons for why I miss you all so much and why I can never forget you! Only you people have seen the most craziest, happiest, sad and stubbornest and maddest version of me.

We've known each other for more than 5 years. It's such an ill-fortune that our ways have separated. But, don't worry. It's not the end of the world. So, we will meet again one day. And that one day, we will laugh thinking about those stupid fights and tears and memories.
Aren't you looking forward for it? Because I know I am!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kargil War

Dear Indian Readers,

Do you know what day it is today? Obviously, it's 26th of July 2013. But do you know what's special on this day? Today is 14th anniversary of the Kargil War.

"Kargil War? I haven't heard of that.", For those of you who thought this, here is some information.
Kargil War was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place in 1999 between the months of May and July. It took place in Kargil district of Kashmir. Quoting Wikipedia, " The cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into positions on the Indian side of the Line Of Control ( LOC,) which serves as the de facto border between the two states."

The Kargil War is also referred as the "Operation Vijay"... and that being the reason, today is called the "Vijay Divas". I saw Papa's posts on Facebook about the Vijay Divas. He went a bit nostalgic when I asked him about it. Papa was in Indian Navy and he had a memory to share about the Kargil War. He had written about it in his blog, and here is a copy-paste of it.


Vijay Diwas 1

Vijay Diwas

1999 June - July days.. It’s raining cats and dogs in southern parts of India… South-West monsoon lashing the Konkan shores with ferocious beating.

And in North West of India, what’s raining are shells, bullets, bombs, rockets etc.. Yes, let me invite you to one of those days of Kargil Conflict between India and Pak in 1999 May- July days.

I was in Navy, posted at Goa, Dabolim Naval Air Base called INS Hansa. All Naval Air Bases are named after some birds like Garuda in Kochi, Rajali in Arakkonam, Madras, etc. for obvious reasons. I was Chief-in-charge of the Second line maintenance Unit for the Russian made Kamov 25 Helo( Helicopter). Our job is to support the Front line Air squadrons and ship borne flights to ensure serviceability and operability of the ‘birds’.

As you know, Kargil was a ‘localized’ conflict and not a full fledged war. While Army and Air force was in the upfront, Navy’s contribution was to ensure, there were no attacks through the Arabian Sea to the western parts like Gujarat and Mumbai. For this purpose Navy had mobilized most of its fleet from western command based at Mumbai and some major destroyers from Eastern Fleet based at Vishakhapatnam. All the fighter aircraft and helos were onboard their respective ships.

With Monsoon at it’s peak, Arabian sea was at it’s roughest and sea state was generally ‘6’ ( very rough with wave height generally 4 -6 mtrs) and for a sailor, the toughest of time in the sea. Ships roll and pitch at the max amplitude causing even the toughest of the sailor to succumb to sea sickness. It’s never easy to sail at these conditions, but that’s no excuse. Captains have no options to choose from. And they don’t look for them too….

We were on alert and have to maintain all critical spares at all times and keep them ready for a short notice requirement. My men were reduced to minimum as many of them were assigned on other general duties. We were all discussing the daily happening at the front line and our blood were fuming at some of the un-soldier like activities by Pak army. Our daily meeting with the Officers in charge (OIC) turned out to be blood boosters and we were all eager to be part of the action, some how.

And there we are…., I am called upstairs to the O I C and he shows me a ‘signal’ (Signal is a Military telegram send through morse coding) from the leading destroyer ship from R class, INS Rana. It says something like this… IN 574 stbd ( right side) Landing gear brace strut Pt No….. cracked. INS Rana reaching goa port with the U/s helo at ….. . Request supports for repair and replacement.

OIC writes ‘na pls’ in the signal and hands it to me. We had around 8 hrs for the preparations till the ship to reach Goa Mormugoa port in Vasco. Rana was sailing off- Mumbai and they would rush firing in all cylinders to Goa and by then we had to prepare the substitute for the cracked brace strut which connects the wheels with shock absorber to the aircraft body.

It was not the usual what we expected. Scenario is very serious. Helo is standing on support jacks. We need to replace the brace support either inside the ship hangar or we need to lift the whole hello to the jetty, by a large crane, and try replacing the strut on the jetty. Second option is not practicable because of many reasons, like arranging and setting up crane on the jetty, dangers of jacking up the helo out doors with the windy and rainy conditions etc.

We decided to go with the first option, but it had many difficulties of it’s own. The helo hanger inside the ship is a small room, which can barely accommodate the helo. The sea state even along the jetty was not good causing ship to move, even if she is tightly moored to the bollards. And jacking up the helo to almost 1 meter to offload the wheels on a moving ship is highly risky. Jacking up the helo, onboard has never been done earlier.

To know what happened later, milthe hein break ke baad….."

Over the turn of events, Papa became busy and he never got time to complete this post. But fortunately for you, he did tell me what happened next.
The Helo was successfully repaired and the ship returned to the war front. They did this on war foot and Rana went back to guard our waters near Karachi. Later it was told that NAVY's strong presence in Arabian sea prevented an escalated war.

Papa was awarded this 'commendation' by the Commander-In-Chief during the Independence Day Parade in the year 2000.

Wow...I am so proud him *pats him on his back* !

Another memory he had to share was something that happened when I was 3 years old. So, obviously, I
don't remember it. We went and lighted candles at the War Memorial, Visakhapatnam in memory of the
War Memorial, Visakhpatnam
soldiers who died during the war. This happened in the year 2001 on the July 26th.
I'm glad I have done that and I hope I will get to do it again. 

Before ending this post, I humbly request you to close your eyes for AT LEAST 2 minutes and pray sincerely for those soldiers who are sacrificing their lives to keep us safe and sound. 

Let me remind you, 2 minutes is next to nothing.
Even a lifetime of prayers is not enough.
Are you thinking how I know this? To quote Papa,
"We are ignorant about life of soldiers. So we become apathetic about it."

Think about it and the respect will come as a reflex.

With utmost Love and Respect,

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The story of the birds on my balcony

I have been thinking about writing about these birds on my balcony for a week. And today is the day when I finally put my thoughts into action.

I live in second floor of my building. There is a small balcony attached on the bedroom. To the left side of my balcony, we've kept some old cardboard pieces. One day, we started to notice a Myna coming and depositing twigs and sticks and even chocolate wrappers on top of these cardboard pieces. The climate was really hot. So, Papa suggested, "why not make a nest for the bird?". So, we put another cardboard piece and adjusted it in such a way that it made roof and a door. We also put two bowls ; one, for water and another for food grains. So in short, it was a luxurious life for a bird!

After some days, when Amma went to give the bird water, she saw 3 eggs in the nest!

And from that day onwards, everyday I used to go and check whether the eggs had hatched. And one fine day, I heard chirping!Yes, the eggs had hatched! Believe me, it wasn't a very beautiful sight. They were really small, featherless and pink. Yuck!

After the eggs had hatched, it was not very easy to go out and stand in the balcony. The Mama Myna and Papa Myna will razz and fly over our heads. It was scary. Especially how they come out of nowhere. What to say... they are very protective.
Mama Myna on duty

 After 2-3 weeks, the babies grew feathers. But something disastrous happened. One of them went missing. How that happened is still a mystery unsolved. I believe, that a crow ate it. Or else, it might have fallen off the balcony.

Some days ago, when I checked, one of the remaining two was trying to get out of their 'home'. It was as if it wanted to fly. And it looked as if it could fly. I told Amma, to take off their door, so that it can come out and fly. We took off the door. The two birds came out. One of it had injured it's leg. The other one looked perfectly fine. We left them like that and went back in.
The Myna parents came home and started razzing like crazy! I didn't know why! Was it because they wanted us to close the nest's door? I don't know. What do we do now? I don't know. We just left it like the way it is.

Next day, I was ill and couldn't go to school. Amma went with my sister, downstairs to drop her to the bus stop. Over there, she saw the injured baby myna. The mama myna and papa myna were close by. They were trying to save their baby from the hungry crow sitting nearby. Amma wanted to take the Baby myna with her to put her in the balcony again. But when she went close to it, the Mama Myna came and poked my Mom on her head and flew away! My Mom gave up soon and came back upstairs. The other Baby Myna was nowhere to be seen.

I don't know if they are alive now. I feel guilty over the whole situation. What if the birds were not ready to fly? I shouldn't have told Amma to open the door to the nest. I am calm now because I keep reminding myself that, this is how Nature works (Papa's words, by the way). Only humans question the nature. The animals and birds just accept everything the way it is.

The heart breaking part of the whole story is that, the Mama Myna still comes at times. It goes inside the nest, looks around and flies away to somewhere-I-don't-know. I wonder whether it is looking for it's kids.