Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chocolate Factory

I still remember the familiar whiff. I loved waking up to that and feeling so blissfully content at the aromatic essence engulfing our home. I would peep into the elaborate bakery and glance at the milk being stirred, the chocolate being blended and the sugar being grinded. It would all seem so magical to me. My mother was always the busy one. She would be bossing around and telling the young chefs and other helps to get moving. It would soon be opening time. “The Chocolate Factory” as was commonly known in the village was famous, one of its kind. Everyone knew the chocolates made here were sinful and yet heavenly. It was a must for every occasion, every party and even for regular eats.
The Chocolate Factory boasted of innumerable flavors, of white chocolate, coffee blended, black currant, orange essence, mint chocolate and liquor chocolates. I loved the pretty packages in which we sold the assorted boxes for every occasion whether it was birthdays, anniversaries, marriage or Valentine’s Day. I loved my fantasy kingdom and always felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.
Linda who was the cashier was particularly fond of me, she would always slip me a chocolate and grin at me. It was an unspoken secret not to tell mother that I was already indulging in chocolates at the beginning of the day. My favorite bit was to run into the kitchen and grab the ladle which was stirring the.. oh so heavenly chocolate. I would love to lick the ladle and that was the best ever. I remember boasting to my friends that no chocolate could match the taste and flavor of the remaining chocolate sticking to the ladle. Of course, I was the envy of my class. I was “Charlie”. I lived in the Chocolate Factory in the tiny village of Versaille.
The Chocolate Factory had its own heritage. I remember my father telling me the story of how great grand father had started a small chocolate shop selling only chocolate bars and how he was this magician who could create the best chocolates. The ingredients were unknown to anyone and only our family possessed the secret to the unknown. From a small shop it was know a brand in itself, we were known for our range of chocolates, chocolate bread, chocolate sticks, chocolate paste, chocolate powder… it was so “chocolaty” and so utterly heavenly.
I knew that I was to grow up and run the Chocolate Factory. I would love to help out mom running small errands of turning the mixture, cutting small stars for the packages. It was an adventure everyday for me.
The best part was Christmas when we decorated our factory. We had our own specialty of a chocolate tree, we would spend ages making the perfect chocolate tree even the decorations were colored chocolate and the star on the tree would be sparkling and very irresistible. All our friends and families would gather around the tree and we would sing carols together and enjoy the Christmas Eve dinner.
I always dreamt of making the Chocolate factory even bigger, I would have a chocolate kingdom where we would be the connoisseurs, the adventurous and the chocolate people. I thought of sending our chocolates all over the world and everyone would speak of us and our recipe. We would be on television, the radio and travel books would speak of one of the must visits before you die and of course we would be very rich and famous. I would travel around the world and give talks of the importance of chocolate. How it would always be this miracle, it could fix things, join broken hearts, create a miracle when none existed- it was an aura and a discovery which I would share.
Suddenly, I was being shaken by Andy. I looked up to see him grinning at me. He smiled and said ‘day dreaming again’. I smiled back at him. I was really day dreaming of an era gone by and a decade ago. We had all moved on. I was now in New York. I was a lawyer, a wife and I rarely had the time to pause and think. I was rushing through life and each day was passing. It was rare that I dreamt of the Chocolate Factory. I must go back I felt. I belong there and I need to go back. I remember the row which followed, the endless arguments, the countless fights. But I was determined, determined to go back and reclaim what was rightfully mine. I wanted to rebuild my empire. I wanted to be Charlie again.
Today is the big day. I open the door and place the welcome sign on it. I re arrange the chocolates carefully on the counter. I glance up and give an imaginary hug to mom and dad. I looked out to see whether anyone was there. I had left a lot of things to pursue my dreams, my heart. I knew Andy would understand and someday it would all be fine. For now, I was in my Chocolate Factory and after years and years I felt at peace. The bell tinkered and a small child walked in. She reminded me of me as she handed the coins to me and pointed at the chocolate box. I smiled in my heart. It was true. Finally, I had re built my empire but I had a long way to go- me and my chocolate factory.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Irksome questions

This is my list of questions which irk me for which I have no answers. There is no right or wrong way but its a great puzzle and I would love people to think about it- get irked, get puzzled, get bugged and surely wonder!!

So here goes- in no particular order!

1. Does planning in life help?
2. How important is luck/fate?
3. Why do we have days when we are so low?
4. Is chocolate and junk food a solace to troubled souls?
5. Do we ever practice what we preach?
6. How is it that the other side of the grass is always greener?
7. "Sex and the City', 'Friends'- feel good factors?
8. Is food a perpetual substitute?
9. The "Weight" issue (touche, touche)
10. Attempts at creativity?
11. How to survive the mundane?
12. Workplace- the days/nights of our lives- true/false?
13. The chick support group/the gang of gals- how imp?
14. Men... I mean do I need to add more??????
15. What's an ideal date/guy?
16. Are we all in the endless pursuit of happiness?
17. Where is the mind its own andwithout fear?
18. The elaborate and extended family- boon or bane?
19. Our to do list before we die?
20. The desire to do but never the time- is it applicable to each of us?
21. Are we all lazy or is it just me/
22. Learning to be satisfied/contentment- is it worth it?
23. Live your life courses?- Does it really help? (Get a life!)
24. WHO AM I- THE ZEN OF IT ALL?

The rhythmic Singapore flyer

One fine day, I was sitting and staring at the long winding and terribly confusing agreement and thinking on how I would ever get through drafting the agreement. I heaved a “Sigh” and looked up only to see the giant Singapore flyer moving rhythmically cyclically. The view is from my office on the 27th floor! The vagaries of having an office overlooking the expanse of the sea is that one goes on a self driven cruise more often than desired in one’s mind only to reinforce the “cage” of the four walls at work!
If you have managed to read my gibberish in the paragraph above, I would now like to talk about what I initially set out to write. To me….. the Giant Singapore Flyer doing the 30 minutes cyclical round signifies the life and times of Singapore and Singaporeans. Let me illustrate by citing the following examples-

- everyday as I board the shuttle to the MRT for work, the clock ticks and I look impatiently at the time.. 7:58 am, 7:59 am and as the clock strikes 8:00 am, a jolt, Mr. Lee (our shuttle driver) smiles patiently and slowly moves the bus. I see Mr. Lee everyday, smiling and wishing each one of us good morning, driving the 4 minute stretch, hearing the same music, driving in the same pace and going back.
- When I am rushing to walk from the bus stand to work, I see a very aged man picking up the dry leaves and twigs from around the bushes on the pavement. He mechanically and very carefully picks up each twig, examines it and with a sigh of contentment dumps it in his garbage bag.
- Entering office and trying to keep my cheerful spirit I bump into the lady who helps in cleaning the office. She is diligently scrubbing one corner and continues to do so till she can probably see her face on the side board.
- As I look around my office I see some of the people working from the wee hours in the morning until the very wee hours of the night or the next day working their way through complicated agreements and documents whilst never tiring with the same.
I pause and I think, I wonder and I actually marvel at the cyclical quality of the lives in Singapore. The deep diligence and devotion to the work they do. To do the same job with such satisfaction and contentment is something I admire. My restless soul is always looking at the future and is never content. I love trying new things and experiencing so much. I look around and I see such fulfillment in the eyes of the people. I admire that quality, I admire the diligence and the way they do their job. As I continue staring at the giant rhythmic flyer it seems to me that it symbolizes the lives of the people in Singapore, moving in its very own motion and staring majestically at the city, very akin to the people who go on with their work defining Singapore as a “fine city”. Suddenly, I rattle back to reality and my agreement and somewhere around the corner the man bends to pick up the dry leaf which just fell from the tree.

The picture of life

Painted colours, vibrant winds
Strokes of love ,with that heartfelt touch...
The pastel breathes
The picture blends
A shattering silence
Yet, the air strikes the music of life
The eternal bliss of starlit skies
The rustling leaves of oakwood trees..
The mindless glee that swept within
Soon,lightning and thunder creeps acrossthe winds howl by your side
But a strength I get by feel of you
An ease I know as i see you
And as nature calls and howls
I stand with you by my side
The canvass of life which speaks much more ..
Paints get washedthe colours speak no more.....
Portrait is soiled..
I look with not a tear in my eye
My beloved left without a sigh
And as nature covers her grave
The canvass falls
The canvass of my life brutally ends

life- how random can u get!!!!

As I sat and wondered about my favorite subject “Life” I momentarily paused at a thought. The thought being is how are we always craving to be on the other side, wondering if this were to happen how would it be and if my life were to be different in this aspect how would it be… I wonder about the other side of the grass! Would I be thinking the same if I were on that side. What is that ultimate level of contentment?

I ask myself is this feeling of dissatisfaction with all of us? Is it something which is necessary to drive us in our ambitions or lack of it? Is dissatisfaction not good as it limits our horizon displeasing us with our current surroundings? The big question is dissatisfaction a driver or a deterrent?
I look back at my life and see that I have always craved for that extra edge, craved for the wee bit more. Has it helped me where I am? I would think it has, the dissatisfaction pushes me to do more things and be adventurous however, it can also be a nasty devil and really make me dislike the present.
Where does one draw the line in one’s mind? I keep wondering “ Is the other side of the grass greener or just different”?!?

Peek a boo

Peek a boo plays
My soul
It leaps, hides and shudders
In constant flux
My imagination become my hiding place;
My experiences become each time of
the booo
The fear and excitement at the game
Are my constant companions
The hunt is my journey
And the seeker is always me…
Peek a boo plays my soul
Running through without a goal
In this game of hunt and seek
I love to loose myself amidst
And as I journey through I find
I have lost myself far behind

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The times

How times have changed
where I was to where I am
too much too soon
Sometimes I get tired of the race
the race against time and circumstances
people and so often against myself
The race is long and I am just beginning
exhaustion creeps in, boredom seeks in
one is tired beyond bounds
but the zest never dies
the zest to experiment
the zest to move on
the zest of feeling and being alive
Amidst all the changes and things in motion
I realise that in this world of change
and times...
Me and my ideals, my never ending desire to experience life in all its facets .. has not died
and hopefully never will.

Where the mind is your own

From dawn to dusk
and dusk to dawn
against the sparkling sunrise
I welcome another day in paradise

A day with bright and sunny skies
of luscious greens fluttering by
I open my mind to see
Oh! what a beautiful world it can be

I see the meadows in my mind
whilst staring across the traffic's end
I feel the gush of rain
while running through the puddle main
I glisten in the brightest beams
as I am blinded by the computer screen

I smile to myself in endless glee
I know I have conquered the fleeting mind
I crib no longer about troubled times
and welcome this day in my own paradise

Thursday, August 21, 2008

When it rains...

When it rains
It only pours
And my heart fails to soar
Each day we clutch and claw
But the sands of time blow only more
The more we dig
The more we see
What is not meant to be
People squander
Desires change
Destiny turns
And as I feel the pouring rain
I can’t help but wonder is it all in vain?

Incredible India

I close my eyes and visualize
The bustling crowd
Amidst the deafening noise
The familiar clutter and the constant chatter
Shrieking cries of vendors plying by
The tinkering bells at the holy shrine
Shrieking hoarse for the all mighty’s grace
The smell of gastronomy at every step
making one a glutton without any stress
The smoldering sun and the sweaty mess
The dust, the confusion adds only to the zest
But enter into a trance I do
I see, I feel and breathe again
I feel the warmth of the smoldering sun
I feel the closeness in the deafening sounds
I taste life in the roadside snack
I have found my knack
Winding my way in thy crazy mess
Where what you do is everyone’s business
I feel annoyed and jubilant
Its incredible and irritatingly familiar
I open my eyes and heave a sigh
I know I traveled to reach the dome
Yes – its true. I am finally home!!!