Sunday, December 11, 2011


"Oye Sunny tune meri shadi ki cassette dekhi?" exclaims one of my relatives every once in a while, knowing completely well that I have managed to sit through that entire thing at least 4-5 times earlier. 

And you know what, I have been going through the same charade for last 20 odd years.. Right from my Massis to my Mamis to cousins to even my mom, everyone wants you to watch the same cassette/CD over and over again. And we so gladly do it, don't we?
And we all know that there would be "Baharon Phool Barsaao, mera mehboob aaya hai" at the entry of the girl..(believe me that moment, the girl is the princess, no matter who it is :-) ) and then there would be the rest of the repetitive play-list.. ending aptly with "Babul ki Duaen leti ja.. ja tujhko sukhi sansar mile" and we can't help noticing the bride crying watching the same scene every time she watches it on CD..

And well, the others who are made to watch the Video are more concerned abt the fact that they look good in the video.. praying that their plates are not heaped up with food while they were captured.

I am sure there isn't a bigger moment in anyone's life, or shall I say, an Indian's life than their wedding. I am sure every girl would have painted a picture of what kind of lehanga she would wear.. where she would get her make up done.. or even the matching dress for the groom.. And I am sure she would smile every time she thinks about it. 

And well, the wedding is a huge affair specially marked with some Mamaji or Buaji getting angry for not having got their share of attention.. or someone getting drunk and making a silly spectacle.. Oh, it is all fine. We all need a little drama, don't we?.. We are all fine with it! :-)

And there are some sad scenes of a girl fainting while carrying the 40-kg heavy dress with loads of jewelry and sitting through those traditional chores that go on for hours together.. and well the video has its share of item numbers too, dances by cute little cousins or sisters, some prepared while others impromptu and the oh-so-famous baaraati dances where some drunk uncle suddenly realized his dancing talents and pounces on the arena with his famous Nagin dance moves accompanied by yet another equally or more enthusiastic dancer who pretends to be a snake charmer...

So, overall, no matter how many classic movies you might watch, no matter how emotional you might get, call your first date as heavenly, call your first kiss as a milestone, but nothing can beat your wedding date. Especially if you're a Punjabi.. :-)

Well, the times have changed. We got the songs replaced in the video CDs, the videos are much better quality, artistically shot, we have dances with better choreography, lesser angry mamajis or chachajis.. and lesser food on the plates thanks to the calorie conscious new-age aunty-jis.. 
But I'm sure the girls still  get goosebumps thinking about their wedding, the guys still care to make their Bride feel special and secretly hope they can match up with the woman who looks heavenly on that day.. and the vidaais still end up with an ocean of tears.. 

Ah, well, it might go on and on. But I'd rather end it here.. and end it with one of the most romantic songs of the yesteryear's Marriage Video's era.. "Suhaagrat hai ghunghat utha raha hun main, Simat rahi hai tu sharma ke apni bahon main.. "  (thats what the guys care abt eh?) ;-)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

That Moment...

and she was one in a million. Unperturbed. Uncorrupted. and so pure.
Calm n Composed. With those deep eyes.with a look that told that she knew it all.
Yeah, She was aware. She knew what he wanted. She knew what he thought.
She was focused. she was there. right there. with him. for ever.
She had no hidden motive. She had no games to play.
She smiled. and her eyes sparkled. Oh, she knew it all!

and he was left breathless. It was a moment. Just a moment.
and the moment just stayed with him. forever.
and he was a different person. since then.
He was in love. Oh yeah, He was in Love...

.. to be continued..

Friday, November 25, 2011

The world according to Mr. Manaktala!

So here is the deal. I decide the topic and I have no clue what I am gonna write about. Hope I scribble something meaningful today. or else, as usual, the post would end up being in the drafts. Anyways. Who am I writing for? Myself! Do I really care? Nope. So lets post this gibberish today anyways, whatever I end up with!! :-)

Ok, anyways. for the record. I love Calgary. and I have realized that I love Calgary despite having to cook everyday and wash those utensils with tough stains(Ok, I admit here that I've been exploiting my roomie by acting tired and sad and making him fix most of the meals) but anyways, I love Calgary.
Picture this. And well, it is not to make anyone jealous. Every morning there is an anticipation of snow. Every morning. And It almost makes up for not waking up next to some girl who I would love. Well..lets not get there!
and watching it snow is beautiful. I do not remember how it would have felt watching my first rain or the first stroke of lightening.. but I distinctly remember the first snowfall. and it felt heavenly.

And there is a river that flows next to my apartment. and there is a beautiful garden adjacent to it.. I have seen the trees from being lush green to getting crimson red to yellow and now leafless.. U know what call me a hypocrite, but honestly in India, I could hardly appreciate nature.. Do we see trees anywhere around us? I mean I love India.. more than anything but seriously man, those makeshift gardens or colonies with a few random trees thrown in here or there.. Nope, My dear! that isn't nature! :-)

And I wish, the calm in the atmosphere here just remains with me for a long time. The air is so relaxed here. Someone in India just put us on a Hi-speed mode and we forgot to realize the pleasure in that Calmness, that laid back attitude.. the relaxation, having nothing to do.. "Dil dhoondta hai phir wahi fursat ke rat din.." (that's the song am listening to right now) :)

and lets end the crappy blog right here.. i want to write about something else now..

I want to walk in the nights here in Calgary at -45°C.. I want to travel to obscure villages just to have a tea at a random kiosk.. exploring the most beautiful spot in any town I am in.. driving to unknown places while listening to the most amazin songs, smiling and dreaming at the same time.. learn new art forms.. languages, movies, instruments, new sports.. and perhaps, get back to those dance classes someday.. watch the weather change the colors of leaves in yet another town.. fall in love with someone I can witness all this.. in some other city.. so much man, so much.. 

And yess.. along with all this, I still wish the person I get eventually in my life helps me in cooking and washing those utensils.. U gotta be practical, eh! :P

Saturday, July 2, 2011

confessions of an adoloscent photographer..

Let me start with an oft repeated cliche' that says "Beauty lies in the eyes of a beholder". Well, never ever has that made more sense to me than now after I got my hands on this camera. Like every photography enthusiast, I bought it since I like traveling and now I feel I travel, perhaps, because I have a camera. In any case, I am loving it. Every bit of it. Right from getting the settings right to the framing/composition part.

And perhaps it is just a part of it, a miniscule part that too. Whats more exciting is that sometimes a good picture can add so much more life and vigor in an otherwise a mundane or an ordinary subject.
Every picture is your own creation. You get a complete freedom to choose your subject or the settings. And every picture says a story. Or, shall I say, every picture taken with utmost love and care says a story.

A camera needs a lot of personal attention. You might, perhaps, miss out on enjoying the place while you are busy clicking the pictures, but, in a way, aren't we seeing the the same place, through the eyes of the camera and with much more care and intricacy. Sometimes, finer details and nuances about a place or a person that we tend to overlook come to life with a camera. I wonder how many times I would have loved the smell of the earth when it rained but with a camera you tend to add another dimension to that heavenly feeling when those tiny water droplets on the blades of grass astound you. A camera makes you observe and observe in the real sense.

It is completely meditational. You forget everything else and just immerse yourselves in that subject, be it a river, or a person or something as ordinary as a pebble. I used to hear these photographers talk about aesthetic sense and how much beauty is hidden in this world and all you need is a keen eye. Now, it all makes sense. Every bit of it.

And frankly I do realize that I have a long way to go. Like every art, photography takes its own sweet time to develop within you. And I like it that ways. I like walking the harder path to salvation. And to me my salvation in photography lies not in winning some contests or putting up pictures on social networking sites which is liked by many.

To me, a victory is as simple as making an ordinary things look good. To make a person fall in love his picture. To get the real beauty of the place on my pictures. To feel that I have done justice to the subject.

And perhaps, most importantly, my salvation in photography lies in deciphering the real beauty in everything I see. ..

Sunday, May 22, 2011

losing my religion -2

It is actually futile to define what u want out of life. or what is it all about. I have walked almost on every street this city has(yes, I have walked a lot) and all I wanted at that moment was to just keep walking. out of the set of constraints I was born in. where I have defined what life needs to be like. drew boundaries to what it needs to be like. out here, I just came out of those boundaries. and I didnt want to define them again.

and somehow I dont care what the city looks like. what monuments or sight seeing it has to offer. All I want out of my city is that it challenges me. A Challenge to start my life all over again. with making new friends to getting to know the routes. Learning the new language to getting used to the weather. My travel is more inwards.

and Calgary has been all that and much more to me. I wake up every day with a new resolve. that today I would work better. that today I would finally find an accomodation and make some friend who could be my roomie. haven't been successful but the city gives me hope. It keeps me going.

Life is good as long as I have this inner drive to make new beginnings. coz the dreams shatter. coz the world we make around ourselves comes down at the slightest blow of wind sometimes.

Well.. sometimes, it feels while you keep drifting, that there should be an anchorage. the 'theherav". but then, you can't ask for things in your life. let them happen to you. ..

till then keep moving. stay inquisitive and hungry for experiences. stay curious!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Losing my religion!

I am sure nothing can replace traveling to unknown places. U can never capture the essence in pics. You can never talk about it and convey the exact emotions. and why would u want to? this experience is something which becomes an intrinsic part of you. While u might want to share the feeling with your loved ones, you also want to treasure a lot of it for yourselves alone. Unless someone dear comes, stays with you and goes through the same experience, which would be heavenly. But then, doing it all alone has a different flavor to it.

So, a week here in Calgary, a place as alien as it could have been and now a week later, it feels so much like home. I remember the apprehensions I had the first day I landed at the airport when the immigration officer said,"So Sir, your Work Permit expires on 24th Oct 2012, but I'm sure once u see the winters here, you're gonna go back much before that date!" Well, let me put the facts straight right away. it get really cold here. and by that I mean it could touch -40 degrees. Yes, you read that right. and coming from India where it was +45 degree, I'm in for some real adventure! Bring it on, Mr. God! :-)

more later.. processin. . . :-)

Friday, March 18, 2011

the Karma confessions!

Ahh. So another day of doubting my genuine nature. Am I doing it right? Am I living the right way? and what is the right way? who is to judge? who is to decide? What is the absolute truth? Ah. whatever.

I think my Karma is screwed up somewhere. Somehow things don't set right. Something goes
wrong somewhere. There is a hindu faith in destiny and good deeds that you wud get what u deserve and whats written in the stars. And there is my faith is fighting for what you want. Not letting the things that you aspire for from all your heart go away. and am not giving up my fight for sure.

So, what am I talkin abt? What essentially I am talkin abt is that how long would I keep fighting for something that I deserve. Is it that my bad Karma keeps me away from it? Then I believe, I should channelize the energies to the right direction. Better get my Karma in place before I go for the fight. or rather fight to get Karma in order, before anything.

and this confuses me more than anything, and when nothing works, lets get back to what does everytime. lets get back to inner conscience. Lets get back to the one up there. Mr. God am coming home to you tomm. no other go! :-)