Quite matter of factly I started blogging just to catch attention of people, to be noticed and maybe to be even taken seriously. I never quite caught on with the phenomenon of blogging initially. I just wrote different kinds of things, poems and all and posted it. I had always fantasised about being known and renowned for my writing ability. I was a clear cut wannabe when I started out on the blogging circuit; I actually thought blogging would impress the ladies, hard luck there. I made a blog wrote some poems and forgot about it, after some time I read a blog and the spark ignited again but I had to make a new blog. And like that I was never constant with one blog. A few posts and I got bored and left. This happened over and over again. Until I struck upon the idea of the Prince of Prose blog.
I declared the blog open with a very proud and whimsical introduction. Aptly followed by a very dark poem about a beggar. It was quite a disturbing and hopeless time in my life. The 12th Board Exams had just gotten over and I was struggling with college. It suited my frame of mind and hence I made the blog. I poured all my angst into it. Sometimes creativity, sometimes thought sometimes just someone else’s Apricot. Then college began, along with the journey of fiction, I wrote two incomplete novels at 12000 words each.
I’ve missed writing in the blog for 3-4 months at a time but I’ve still stuck with it. So on the occasion of my 50th post I thank you all for sticking with my blog, my long obsessive and flowery writing and my irregularity. Thank you all, I’m very much indebted to you!
Food, Silver, Love, Worship, Moonlight all have a common synonym, Chandni Chowk. Translated to English it means Moonlit Lane. Whether it’s your first time or hundredth, Chandni Chowk will always leave you in awe. The crowd, the traffic, the rickshaws travelling at breakneck speeds almost over your head, the intoxicating amalgam of smells good and bad, that is indeed the true essence of Chandni Chowk.
Chandni Chowk is the most major street in the walled city of Old Delhi, which was originally called Shahjahanabad. The walled city, which includes the Lal Qila or Red Fort of Delhi, was established in 1650 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It was designed by his daughter Jahanara Begum Sahib, who also made significant contributions in the landscaping of her father’s new capital.
Chandni Chowk runs through the middle of the walled city, from the Lahori Darwaza (Lahore Gate) of the Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid. Originally, a canal ran through the middle of the street as a part of the water supply scheme. It was initially divided into three sections:
- Lahori Darwaza to Chowk Kotwali (near Gurdwara Shish Ganj): This section closest to the imperial residence, was called Urdu Bazar, i.e., the encampment market. The language Urdu got its name from this encampment. Ghalib noted the destruction of this market during the disturbances of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and its aftermath.
- Chowk Kotwali to Chandni Chowk: The term Chandni Chowk originally referred to the square that initially had a reflecting pool. It was replaced by a clock-tower (Ghantaghar) that was damaged and demolished in the 1960s. This section was originally called Johri Bazar.
- ‘Chandni Chowk’ to Fatehpuri Masjid: This was called the Fatehpuri Bazar.
Chandni Chowk is easily accessible via Car, Bus, and Metro. Situated near the Old Delhi Metro station it is also very easily accessible by Rail.
We got off at the Chandni Chowk Metro Station and walked down towards Chandni Chowk heading towards Red Fort passing by Gurudwara Sis Ganj to our right. About around 150 metres we turned towards our right, heading into Dariba Kalan, the world famous silver market. We were welcomed into Dariba Kalan by the smell of the world famous jalebis of ‘Old Famous Jalebi Wala’ who has been making them at that exact place since the 1850’s. Costing Rs. 250 per Kg they are a must have when you visit this place. The address being 1795, Dariba Corner, Chandni Chowk.
As you head into Dariba Kalan, you’ll see Silver Jewellery shops on both sides; innumerable silver trinkets hang on every wall and decorate every display window. Amidst all the shiny silver a handcart stole our attention; it had a very interesting item for sale, a speciality of Chandni Chowk known as Daulat Ki Chaat. This incredible little dish seems made up almost entirely of air, as it is essentially just milk froth. They start making it at about 2 o’clock the night before, and insist that their only contribution is to churn some creamy milk and whip up its froth – the rest is the magic of the winter dew. This whipped froth of milk is set in a large brass pan, and some khoya and finely sliced pista are sprinkled on top. The entire delicate ensemble is brought to the market in the morning on a khomcha (a cane tripod), where if you ask nicely, the man will scoop out a generous portion of the froth, powder it with bhoora (unrefined sugar) and khurchan, and hand it to you in a little leaf bowl. A spoonful of it just vanishes in the mouth, and has a very sophisticated, understated sweet taste to it. Any reasonable person would demand a princely sum for such an ethereal treat. Yet in the by-lanes of Shahjahanabad, a dona of Daulat ki Chaat sets you back by exactly 10 bucks!
Heading further down Dariba Kalan we stopped at a shop selling about 50 odd kinds of Crispies, I tried a very spicy one and having liked it I bought about 250 gms of it. (They are so spicy that 2-3 leave me teary eyed.) As the Dariba Kalan road came to a T-point we took a right turn and headed towards Jama Masjid. Even though I’ve ventured into Chandni Chowk a couple of times, I never got a chance to visit the Jama Masjid. The time was enough and the company was perfect, I had no intention of leaving with this monument still undiscovered by my lens. It cost me Rs. 200 to get my camera inside which I found extremely stupid because most monuments which only charge for video cameras but in Jama Masjid, the charge for all cameras was the same.
The majestic monument was brilliantly lit by the sun peeping through an overcast sky, the diffused light and shadow lessness made it an amazing atmosphere to click portraits. I felt blessed to have my camera around and the sound of my shutter clicking felt almost like a waterfall. We exited the Masjid complex through the Meena Bazaar side; we stopped to buy some Attar and Soorma.
All the walking had left us very hungry and we decided to head to the famous Karim’s of Chandni Chowk. We exited from the Matya Mahal side of the Jama Masjid complex and headed straight down the road to Karim’s. Very sadly there was a lot of crowd outside Karim’s and we couldn’t get a place to sit, hence we had to go to a neighbouring restaurant called Al-Jawahar. We ordered Mutton Barra, Keema Naan, Palak Paneer, Chicken Ishtew and Butter Naan. The food was not par with that of Karim’s but it did serve the need, it satiated our hunger.
We headed out with renewed zest and vigour and decided to walk the entire length of Meena Bazaar. 300 yrs ago this bazaar catered to the luxury trade of the imperial household, specialized in exquisite carpets, rugs, jajams and shatranjis; takia-namads and quilts; shahtus and pashmina shawls; costumes; velvet pardahs and chiks; embroideries with zari and brocades; and a wide variety silks, woolens, velvets and taffetas which the Mughals used in their daily life; precious stones, exotic jewellery and indigenous ornaments; gold and silver utensils, fine wood and ivory work; brass and copper wares; fine arms and armaments; coloured ganjifas and indoor games; jafran (saffron), kasturi (musk) and other spices; and innumerous other stuff which could not be had even in the adjoining Chandni Chowk market, and it was privilege of the king that this rare and precious things were available only in the ‘Fort market’ for their exclusive choice. Now all that is available at this market is merely cheap junk, third class items and other oddities. Sad.
There was so much more to see but alas we were almost out of time. We had to head back home; our everyday lives were calling out to us. With heaviness in our heart we headed back home leaving behind the glory of Chandni Chowk with a promise to surely return one day.
I’ve had many chances to introspect in the recent past. I took them all by the throat but I didn’t make much out of it. I’ve seen fleeting glimpses of my childhood in my dreams. Almost as if the universe is calling out to me, telling me something. It’s difficult to listen to the Universe when the volume of other things in life is turned up so high.
Everything has fogged up once again. I’ve been trying to find my strengths for the longest time, yet something or the other just slips by. I have no clue where I am and even more confused about where I am headed. Is life this difficult for everybody? I have seen people with predefined careers, heck even a predetermined life. I have seen people jot down their life in a graphic timeline on paper. I was just left in awe. If someone were to ask me to do that. I’ll merely doodle a lot of question marks on that sheet of paper. People always keep saying Life is like a game of Chess. Damn. Suddenly I remember all those chess matches I lost. I was never any good at it. The future just keeps eluding me.
Your future keeps clawing at your head and feet. Asking you to take the prescribed path. Prescribed not by you but by others who have seen life and don’t want you to make the same mistakes they did. But what is life if not a scrapbook of mistakes, regrets and lessons learnt? I bet the misdoings and grievances tally higher than the happy occasions in anybody’s life. Do you, Can you always be guided by your conscience or rather the moral voice in your head? Which, I daresay is nothing but a collection of the years of unnecessary advice that is shoved down our throats.
Since I’m almost incapable of summing up what I’m good at, I’ll merely take a dig at seeing what all I am absolutely horrible at. I do not mean talents, hobbies or even sports. But feelings, emotions and decisions. I am going to discuss the things that I think may be wrong with me.
I am known to make the stupidest of decisions. Countless people give me oodles of advice regarding Dil, Dosti, etc. I ask for even more. But at last, in the fag end I do what instinct tells me to. I don’t care if it’s right, wrong or even morally sound. I believe in listening to my heart. I feel that it’s better to cope up with a mistake than regret not having listened to your heart. As far as I think, Regret is the worst thing to have in your life.
I’m overtly emotional about the smallest of things. The minutest of things leave a deep impact on my mind. I simply don’t have the heart to see sorrow around me. It pains me to see others cry. I try to help others with everything that I possibly can. But mostly people take it in the wrong way. Some think that I’m being over clingy while others just ask me to shove off. And this has happened so many times that I’m now afraid of actually caring about someone. Even if I feel bad about someone and even though my heart tells me to go talk to them, help them, I try to keep my distance. I try to keep my bubble from being burst by others.
I’ve always been the first one to gel with new faces around but I’m never able to change that into sound friendship. Somehow in all these years I’ve made many wonderful acquaintances but rarely have I made very good friends. I know I’m bad at keeping in touch, I know I get diverted to other things very easily. But why must it be always my duty to work things out. I’ve tried and failed, once and again, rather too many times. I’m just too afraid to try again and lose all hope that these people who I call(ed) friends never bothered much about me.
I’m known to be majorly confused about what I want to do in life. When I was small I wanted to be a fighter pilot, I grew up slight and wanted to be a research scholar, I again grew up, now wanting to be a pianist. The list kept growing and growing. I tried new things, I liked them, I found out that I’m good at them and I kept doing them. People say that I’m too confused. Dad says that too many abilities spoil a man. Proverbs say that one can only be a ‘Jack of all trades but master of none’. But why? Why can’t someone desire to excel in more than one field? Is it others feel threatened? Or is it really that important to stick to the status quo? I shall never know.
Photography was finally able to define my moment of existence, my need to hold on to the past, my chance to revel in the beauties of nature, my desire to be cherished. The nostalgia, the science it all fascinated me and for a change something was able to take ME by the throat. I’ve decided to take the toughest decision in my life. I’ve decided not to let my life direct my photography but rather I’ll let photography direct my life.
I have the most wonderful people by my side right now. People who understand me. People who see through my charades of happiness and tell me on my face that I’m wrong. The fake care and belonging is gone. I have finally found friends who appreciate me, believe in me and I’m sure they will stand by me too.
Ishan, those battles of wits, those unnaturally humorous comments. They make life so much better.
Arpit, the more confused you get, the more I get a chance of actually pointing out what’s wrong and actually being able to care and help someone after a long time.
Abhinav, those Milds and Golds are bad but they open up my mind, 2c and 3 would be boring without you.
Vanya, my soul sister, our wavelengths match at every point, the love for nature, the inability to tolerate fake people, the guts to carry on. And so much more. Heck, our dads even had the talk. Thanks sis for unknotting my mind. I don’t think anybody else could have.
Jeeshan, for being the first person in Amity who I could talk to, for the Cool Blues and the car rides. For finally mustering up the courage to let me drive your car.
Devesh, for being a privy to our talks, for constant entertainment, its fun to take your case. 😀
Sargam, for clearing some long withstanding doubts in my head, for doing the stuff I can only dream of, for blazing a new path and showing me that is possible, for sharing the inner turmoil of the mind. The talks, the frequent conversations, the infrequent exchange of ideas, the exchange of dreams and the love of photography.
Lilypad, for changing me for the better, for making me able to see myself in a better light, for having faith in me when I had none, for supporting my craziness, for putting up with my whimsies and mad desires. I know it’s too soon to say but yes, you are like a pivot in my life. I can hold onto you and let go of everything else, I can be free. You almost taught me to be free; you are more than a friend, more than a lover and so much more than an angel in my life. You make me want to be better than myself; you make me want to improve. You bring out the best in me.
But still many questions remain. Questions that have come to stay for longer than what I’ll be comfortable with. I have everything a person could dream of yet questions are all that my life has come to be composed of.
What do I want?
What should I do?
Where do I go?
Is this wrong?
Is that right?
Is Insanity a trait of normal human existence? Or is it just my bane?
Life seems so dreary and boring sometimes. I’m locked up in my house studying for my year backs and writing a term paper. You’re studying Engineering, People say; hence you have to work hard. I do work quite hard thank you. I tried the entire first semester to catch up with the studies, to be a good boy. Studying with full vigour and enthusiasm. A bunk once in a while with friends to see a random movie or relax. I made sure to catch up with the work the next day. Lots of good it did me. I got two backs, one each in Maths and Physics.
And I got a 4.5 pointer which is almost a failure in the word of engineering nerdness. I buckled up. Dad threatened me to study harder and that if I get another back he’d stop giving my fees. I was perturbed about it for exactly 48 hours. Then I forgot about it.
I had found the perfect company. A bandwagon of 5 guys. Ultimate fun. No one could have asked for more. I saw all of them getting involved with girls. Heck even I tried. Fell flat on my face as usual. Still we had oodles of fun. I made new friends, female friends too. The end result being 3 backs, debarred in 1 subject and 4 pointer. Could anything else go wrong?
Most of you must have seen me online on facebook 24*7. You must have even wondered once or twice. Is this guy really so useless? Doesn’t he have a life or friends? If truth be told, then yes I have a life, a rather rocking one. And I have so so many friends. Just none who live nearby enough to hang out with. Arpit lives in Ashok Vihar, Abhinav in Ghaziabad and Jeeshan’s in iffing Canada. What’s distance when it comes to wanting to have fun, eh? Well it does evidently matter when you always need a driver since you don’t know how to drive. But now I learnt to drive. I’ve been driving quite well but heck; no one lets me drive alone. What if I parked the car up a tree? What if I saw a pretty face on the road and got distracted? Excuses, excuses, excuses.
In reality I don’t really think I have any friends. I stay at home all day. Face glued to my laptop’s screen. I call myself a photographer but never really go out to shoot. Well it’s boring to be alone all the time. My mom says I’ve become a social outcast by socialising on facebook. I asked her if she’d let me go to a party. She said no. She even takes away my internet connection just because I’m online to long. Damn what does everybody want from me? Some say I don’t know humility; some call me desperate, some say I’m a retard. Damn am I really? How can you say that? How well do you know me anyway? Does anyone know me at all? Does anyone care? Questions, questions and even more questions. They never really get answered.
Guys give you importance if you know many girls. But girls never give any guy a fair chance. Unless, a) They are in dire need of help, b) They are bored or c) The guy looks like Adonis. But I guess the rate at which these girls are going. Even Adonis would be sitting at home. Crying in his mother’s lap. You go up to a girl and say hi and she’ll look at you as if you’ve just asked her to give you both of her kidneys. Ease up women. Just because we’re talking to you doesn’t mean we have wet dreams about you or want to make kids with you. And then if you’re nice with a girl, a few days later somebody would be bound to ask you if you have a crush on that girl. Just because you give someone a little attention doesn’t mean you’re head over heels in love with that person. Damn!
People are so possessed about the fact that somebody may like somebody. How the hell were you born? Did the stork bring you in? Special delivery? Everybody is so clueless these days. So much perturbed about things that shouldn’t be even thought about. What if I like a girl? What if I like every girl I meet? Is it really such a big deal? None of them ever liked me back so what good does it do anyway. Now if I dated every girl I met, now that would be very disapproving and disturbing. But heck I don’t even want to do that. I’d be very happy to be stuck with one girl all my life. Given that I atleast get along with her.
Oh and the funniest thing. I’ve seen girls go bonkers over a guy who I wouldn’t even call a guy. Shaved arms, shaved chest, eyebrows plucked, what the fudge? And the best is when they open their mouths and the beautiful uncultured language comes out. But hey that’s all cool. Girls don’t care about looks everything else. Only looks matters. So what if the guy can possibly ditch you after the first time you make love? So what if he makes mms clips of you making love and posts it online? So what if he dates 15 girls at the same time? So what if he disrespects your friends and family? So what if he embarrasses you in public? It’s all good as long as you can flaunt him in front of your other girl friends, with his mouth shut of course.
What girls find wrong with me is my weight. I love to eat, I’m lazy, I love watching movies and not doing stuff. Hey I’m the perfect guy aren’t I? I have the guts to be myself no matter how fucked up everything is, I have the sincerity to treat all people with respect. I by mistake have been taught to be nice to women, I again by mistake was taught never to wish bad for others. And you want to know how that’s helped me so far? I’M OFFICIALLY FUCKED UP!
Auf Wiedersehen. Chau. Sayonara. Adios. And Peace OUT.
Even though I have no persistent and ardent readers, i’m sure some of you may be wondering how my life in Amity is going on. I most certainly won’t disappoint you regarding that.
Amity most certainly has a very big college campus going by NCR standards. It is situated just 15mins from Atta Market and barely 5 minutes from Kalindi Kunj. My department however is in sector 125, the bigger of the two Amity campuses.
So the first day as you all would have already read was hectic. The second consisted of briefings by the HoI and others. We were also introduced to our faculty, admin and mentors. This was followed by auditions for the talent hunt. I had this urge to sign up for all the competitions which included Choreo, Music – Vocals & Instrumentals, Creative Writing, Acting, Extempore and Fine Arts. But somehow I felt it would have been too proud and boastful a move.
So I signed up for Instrumental Music and Creative Writing. Surprisingly or not, that I don’t know, I didn’t win either. I was given a topic as messed up as ‘College is the reset button of our lives’ on the very first day of college. I kept going over the same points in the essay, I couldn’t find the room for creativity in the topic though, i’m not complaining though.
Then when I went for the Instrumental Audiion the teacher kept staring at me. I hadn’t brought my keyboard since it weighs 25 kilos but I found out that a friend had brought his. So I decided to play on it. I put on some techno beats and started playing trance, but the ugly @#$%& stopped me asked me to play piano. I stared at her blankly and tried to play what I could recollect of What I’ve Done, I sucked big time.
The auditions were over and I knew I was out. Had I got through to the finals, it would have been more catastrophic, I didn’t remember any other song on the piano. After the finals were over we were let off. I was shit tired and collapsed on my bed just after I reached home. Did I mention we aren’t allowed to wear casuals in college? We are supposed to wear shirts and trousers.
Then third day was industry interactions and I swear I had never been so bored in my entire life. Everybody was talking about placements after B.Tech when I had already to do a master’s. These entrepreneurs are crazy. ( To be related with Obelisk’s favourite phrase: ‘These Romans are Crazy.’) I had to bear continous lectures for a rime span of 3 & 4 hours before and after lunch respectively. Insane I say.
Then the HoI told us that we all had failed in the surprise proficiency test. Wasn’t it obvious already? Anyways it was required for us to take the bridge classes, for recap of 11th & 12th. We later found out that these classes were for the faculty to get to know us. No studies for two more days, except the maths teacher who made us start on differenciation.
Then the actual classes started from monday. I was put in the 2nd batch, CS2. Thankfully the two friends I had made were in this batch too. We sat together and enjoyed. Slowly and steadily the ice started breaking and the masks started fading away, we could see our classmates as what they actually were.
I struck up a friendship with the ClassRep who was and still is undoubtedly one of the sweetest girls in my class, her name being Vanya Rajput. Then I started talking to two more wonderful ladies, Astha and Rupali. And our group kept growing and growing. It now consists of Jeeshan, Vanya, Astha, Rupali, Lalit, Ishan, Shruti, Sanjana, Vishakha and a few more about whom i’m not sure which group they belong to. And ya, don’t forget me, i’m in the group too. Well that is a recap of all that happened till now. I didn’t however go into the finer details. Anyways take care people. Chau.
I couldn’t sleep last night. The thrill and enormosity of a new life starting was too much for me. I was extra anxious about the new day that would be today. I rolled over many a hundred times in bed but still sleep didn’t knock on my door. I took to twitter to idle away the time that would be otherwise wasted trying to sleep. As usual I met the nighttime gang, well not the complete gang anyway. Metalsaint and KirtiB were up, however the Ullu was somehow missing and so was the UlluHandler. After around the 20 odd tweets I fell asleep. Then was woken up by Mom at around 7:30. Got up and went to print out a few pre-requisite documents for college. And as expected of me, I had overlooked a few minor things in the checklist. They were:-
I didn’t notice that 6 passport size and six stamp size pictures were required. And as usual the ones I had were nowhere to be found.
I didn’t mention either my name or my registration number on any of my Pre-College assignments.
There were these two things, one my tenth class pass certificate and the other my twelfth class pass certificate. I had collected neither from my school. And both were required at the university for registration.
But I couldn’t miss my first day at college just because I didn’t have a few things. I tried to print a few of my passport size photos on a glossy sheet but they came out too darn big. And after printing I realized that I was out of glossy sheets. By the time I gathered all that was needed for registration it was already nine, the time when my college began.
So I rushed out in the hope that I would reach in 10 minutes to the maximum. But again my luck was cursed and I was stuck in a jam for one and a half hours. And I couldn’t even run to college since it was like 6 kms away from where my car was stuck. And well neither am I cut out for running. So I sat there waiting for the jam to clear.
I had a proficiency test from 9:30 but I reached the insti gates by 10:45. I took the 2 hour test in about half an hour. I didn’t have any idea that they were going to give Chem, Maths and Physics questions in the test along with Computers and English. Well I kind of attempted every question in Computers and English to make up for my ineptness in answering the questions of the other three subjects. The test got over at 11:30 and we were supposed to go down for a havan but we didn’t go untill after 12. So it kind of messed up the day timings.
The havan was from 12 to 1 which gave us half an hour less for our lunch break. I grabbed half a sandwich and a slushie and went to get the photographs that I was missing from the school gate which was almost 1 km away from the computer science building. I had already climbed to the 4th floor atleast 7 times during the day and this bas just once more. I headed back to the assigned room for registration and verification of documents.
Well I guess its criminal to say this about the seniors especially since they were so helpful and cool, but they were hitting on every girl in my batch. The registration process was however totally mis-managed and what should have taken less than half an hour took almost 2-3 hours. Then when everything was done and I was ready to go home it started raining, a total downpour. I waded through knee deep muddy water to get to my car and my feet were already sore from all the walking I had done. It took almost 1 hour to reach home, traffic jams in Delhi suck.
I know that this is a very sucky account of such an exciting day but I’m too tired to write a better one. Hope you all bear with me this time. And anyways I have to prepare for a creative writing competition for the talent hunt tomorrow. Goodbye guys. See you in Twitterland.