Selfless stranger#4

The day finally arrived when Amit was supposed to join his second family i.e OFFICE. Being his first day, he decided to be over punctual so he reached office at 8.55am. The housekeeping staff and security agent misunderstood him to be a salesperson and didn’t allow him to enter the office. Amit tried to convince them and suddenly realised about the joining letter. On verifying the joining letter he was allowed in. The security guard smirked and said,”Aaj pehla din hai na kal se sab thik ho jayega.” Amit greeted him and entered. The housekeeping staff were busy with their routine cleaning activities. Occupying the sofa at the lobby area, he picked up the freshly arrived newspaper,it was stamped. Amit was kind of irked by the office assistant’s promptness. The office assistant offered him machine made coffee and made him comfortable. After about one hour, he enquired about the regular timings of the office staff. The guy with large spectacles and high waist pant with a tucked in shirt spoke in a blunt tone without even looking at him,”9 to 6.30, but these guys have informally modified it to 10.30 to whatever they like”. 

By 10.30 people started arriving, each one was grumbling about the uncertain rains and issues they faced while travelling. Some of them also discussed about their plans if the rains continued till the evenings,” Marine drive chalenge, party karenge bhai, blah blah…” Amit wondered how did these guys have confidence on the predictions of rains. Anyways, Amit was called by the Hr executive Liza one of the typical South Mumbai girls. She visually scanned Amit top to bottom and raised an eyebrow questioning,” You are the new joinee….ok please handover your documents and take a seat at cubicle 45 north.” Before Amit could respond she went back swiping the access card. Amit looked puzzled which documents? handover to whom? And how do I enter the office area without the access also how do I find this cubicle? Why was she so fast with her instructions or may be I am slow, people here are busy….he spoke to himself.

Amit gathered all the documents, requested the office guy to help him with the access door. On the entrance, Amit witnessed an extremely large office floor divided into rows and columns with all different numbers and directions. Left side aligned the conference rooms and glass enclosed cabins, right opposite to the conference room was the HR bay. He was unable to locate Liza, next moment he was distracted by the same fragrance and he knew it was Naina. In business formals and an ever smiling face, she looked like one of those corporate models. Naina noticed Amit and gave him a warm welcome smile. She observed Amit waiting at Liza’s desk for quite a while. She approached Amit and asked him if he needed anything. Amit told her that he was waiting for his joining formalities. On knowing that Amit had reached office so early and he was waiting since morning, got her to work. She called up Liza and asked her to report immediately. Liza appeared after couple of minutes, she questioned Liza in a sharp authorative, ” Why are his joining formalities pending? I had sent an email informing you about his joining but I don’t see anything done yet. Liza arrogantly answered,”I was busy with some other work will get this done now.” Asking her to hurry up she walked back to her cabin assuring Amit that Liza would get things done. Liza whispered,” Think of the devil…..”

After finishing the joining formalities, there was a small welcome and introduction ceremony. Amit was handed over the welcome kit and bouquet of flowers by Naina. He was extremely delighted by her warm gesture….he looked at the the flowers and thought of them as the most precious and fragrant flowers of his life. He was offered complimentary lunch by the office, Naina asked him if he was comfortable. The concern and hospitality shown by Naina…reminded him of his Mom who always was worried for him, about his lunch. Amit experienced privileged treatment and was just floating in his own world with Naina.

Just then he heard someone whispering,” Bakre ko halaal karne se pehle….”. He couldn’t understand the pessimistic attitude of people around. Amit was busy going through his induction videos, since Liza had asked him go through all the videos which contained the company policies. Once he was done it was late around 7.45, he noticed there was no one in the office except for the housekeeping staff. He left the office and reached at exit gate where he saw that it was raining heavily outside. He decided to walk towards the bus stop. While he was walking a silver Honda Amaze stopped by and soft feminine voice spoke,” Lift?”. Naina peeked out of the window and Amit jumped with the idea of travelling with her. Without a second thought, he got in….

Stayed tuned for more updates….Mumbai rains are really very unpredictable.😉


Selfless stranger #3

Traffic sucks in Mumbai especially during weekend nights. Seems like people are just dying to party hard. But for most of office going crowd its all about movies, pubs and dine out era. Crossing all the hurdles of traffic and parking queues Amit and his friends reached the Cinemax multiplex at Bandra kherwadi. They checked in at the security gate and rushed towards the popcorn corner. On entering the Screen 2 audi they were surprised to see the seats occupied completely inspite of it being the third week of the movie ‘Tanu weds Manu Returns’, the lights went out before they could reach or even trace their seats. Struggling with the camera lights and row numbers they finally reached their destination. But they discovered their seats to be engaged by a trio. In puzzled yet soft whispers Amit asked them ,” Could you please help us with your seats numbers?” On quite a mini investigation the trio found out that their seats were a row below the one they were currently occupying. Suddenly Amit got a whiff of the same fragrance during his interview encounter, Naina……but in the middle of these misunderstanding he shrugged off. In an apologetic tone they changed their seats and settled down. Amit and group had lost the beginning but quickly occupied their seats and then began the epic scene where  “Kangana and Madhvan discussed their complaints with the counsellor”. What a scene, there was a roar of laughter, people whistled and applaud their performances. Every married person in the hall could relate to the couple on screen.

Amit noticed this girl among the same trio, she was laughing and also tapping on the back of her companions. They seemed to be pulling her leg. During the movie her whispering tone caught Amit’s attention he was trying to relate her to Naina. But could not recognize her because of the darkness in the hall. She rested her head onto the shoulders of one of her friends. Amit could no way concentrate on the movie, his friends witnessed him watching over this girl …they started teasing him over the distracted gesture. He asked them to shutup and continue watching the movie.

He wondered is she Naina? If yes who are the other two guys her friends, brother or someone special. He tried to have a sharper look but realized his friends watching over hence decided to move on with the movie and check out during the interval. The character known as Papiji in the movie and his epileptic attack again broke thunders of laughter. His one liners motivated people to whistle out of appreciation. After a while the lights were on and INTERVAL showed on the screen.

Amit walked down to get coldrinks. On his way down he turned back and was shocked to realize it was Naina. Her head was still rested on her companions shoulders the other one got up to leave. They had close talks, Amit just couldn’t believe Naina in her figure fitting black top and beige jeans, her lips sparkling and reflecting the yellow lights due to the gloss she wore. The guy with her also looked quite handsome and she seemed to enjoy his company. Amit was dissapointed he was reluctant to go back. But for the sake of his friends he went back. Who is he? was the question which mattered the most.

Amit was uncomfortable watching Madhvan getting close with Datto : kangana’s look alike. It felt as though his heart was pinching. The second half of the movie was too difficult for Amit. His friends watched him get restless, they asked him about the reason. But he flunged a reason about the movie being useless and wanted to go back home. But they coaxed him to stay. After about an hour it was “End” and the audience got up to leave. On the midway stairs Naina caught a glance of Amit and called out. Amit looked at her and gave a fake smile.

She stood their with her companions and waited to speak to Amit. She intoduced him ,”This is Amit, the new recruit of our office and Amit this is Raman my younger brother and this is Anurag my elder brother cum bestest friend. He is going back to Australia tommorow so we guys had to hang out today.” BROTHERS….! shit man how could I misinterpret. Their was a glow on Amit’s face as if he had gulped an energy drink. He just couldn’t cover his happiness, excitement. She asked him and his friends how they found the movie. His friends replied back saying that Amit didn’t like it and wanted to go back. He hesistantly denied saying, ” No no the after experience of the movie was much better.” They looked puzzled at each other. But only Amit knew which after experience he spoke about. He readily took his friends for a treat and they were amazed and surprised with Amit’s crazy behaviour.

Selfless stranger # 2

On a Monday morning its always extra energy, extra traffic and extra punctual crowd on the roads, trains etc. Amidst all the Monday fever, Amit was all ready for the interview, documents stacked up, couple of rehersals of the interview were conducted in the mens washroom in the front of the large sparkling mirror. Walking out of the washroom towards the waiting area he enquired about his queue number. The receptionist requested him to wait since the senior manager was on call with some client. Amit patiently waited at the lobby area, assuring himself, that he would definitely crack the opportunity. He began revising about the plans and investment options he would explore if he gets the expected package.

Meanwhile, the receptionist calls out his name and asks him to proceed towards the cabin on her left. Amit enters the cabin and greets the manager. The man at other end seemed to be middle aged man in his early forties. He introduced himself,” Hi Amit, myself Rajdeep Arora, how you doing?” Amit smiled and replied back. The introduction phase moved on to professional front. Amit basically was a software engineer with great analytical skills and optimistic attitude. Mr. Arora tested Amit on technical and analytical front. Arora seemed to be well pleased with Amit’s aptitude and attitude towards the case scenarios he put forth. He was asked to wait for the results in the waiting area. Amit was happy with his performance at the interview as well as wished to work with such jolly and motivating manager.

After a while, the receptionist informed him to wait for the HR round as the HR manager was out for lunch. It was lunchtime, Amit was quite nervous for the HR round, because he believed that he possessed poor communication skills which put him down. He prayed deeply to keep up his morale for the final round. Waiting at the lunch hours, he watched people move in and out with their lunch boxes in groups laughing, gossiping, discussing technical issues. Some of them collected their food orders from the security desk. Delicious aroma of different food items especially home cooked made him more hungry. It reminded him, to make a call. He moved out of the office area to make a call. After about fifteen minutes he was back waiting for his turn. Just then he was distracted by the perfume applied by a young girl in red indian formals. She stood at the reception counter and started speaking to the receptionist. Amit just couldn’t get his eyes off her, she didn’t seemed to be one of those extraordinary beauties in the office but there was something which drove his attention, her perfume, her ever smiling face or may be her soft spoken sweet voice.

Amidst the conversation she suddenly realized something and walked towards the cabin. The receptionist then asked Amit to proceed to the same cabin. His heart began pounding as if it was about to break open his rib cage out of his chest. He got very nervous and walked reluctantly towards the cabin. It was the same girl in red churidar, it is impossible to utter a word in her presence he thought himself. She welcomed him and made him feel comfortable with her soothing soft feminine tone. She began enquiring about his previous company, academic qualifications, family whereabouts. Then came the grave question about Salary expectations. Amit just couldn’t understand how to put forth his expectations. Gathering confidence he spoke,” Previously I received a package of 3.5 and now my expectations would be somewhere around 6L per annum.” The HR manager smiled back and went through his salary slips and interview performance reports. But Amit was unable to concentrate on the whole process, her perfume drove him crazy…it had this warm sensuous aroma created to attract the opposite sex. His heart and eyes drew an imaginary boundaries through her virtual figure. Meanwhile she spoke,” Looking at your past records and performance reports you would be a valuable asset for our company. But we have a budget of maximum 5L for this position. Also you would be granted different complimentary allowances. So do let us know what your decision would be.” Without taking a second Amit readily agreed to the offer. She gave him the documents to be submitted while joining and greeted him,” Welcome aboard Amit. Hope you enjoy with your second family here.” His happiness knew no bounds the words family tickled him, he smiled and replied back, “Thankyou so much ma’am.” 

She stood up to leave but turned back and said,” Please call me Naina.” His eyes gleamed and heart jumped in happiness and exclaimed Thanks Naina….

Selfless stranger

Naina reached office and flipped her wrist to check her in time. Later on she realized that her wrist watch was on leave today sitting on her bedroom window. So she opened her handbag to pull out her cellphone which could serve the purpose. But as it is  well known fact that a girl’s bag is a big mysterious box you never know what all could be sitting inside. After a couple of minutes, she entered panic mode, realizing about the misplaced tragedy of her dear phone.

Her colleagues helped her out by calling onto her cellphone which unfortunately was switched off. Some of her friends turned into CID cops claiming,” kuch toh gadbad hai Naina”. They advised her to call the customer care to block the sim. She promptly agreed and was about to call the customer care but at the same moment her desk phone rang. The person on the other end spoke warmly,” Is it Naina? Myself Amit…have you lost your phone…?” Naina instantly spoke rudely, ” Look Amit, whoever you are don’t even plan of playing with phone its locked and has tracking system activated, cops won’t spare you.” Amit allowed her to finish and then calmly replied back, ” Look Naina before you misunderstand me further, let me tell you I have handed over your phone to your father. Just wanted to inform you hence called you.” He abruptly ended the call, Naina was stunned. There was no way she could call him back, number of questions troubled her. How did Amit know/meet her father? Her phone was switched off/locked, then how did her father come to know about Amit? Firstly how and where did he find it?

She quickly called up her Dad. Her father told her about the series of incidents which occured in last couple of hours. Naina’s brother had met with an accident and was admitted in the hospital. Her father tried reaching her couple of times but after multiple attempts he got to know that Naina had misplaced her phone which landed up with Amit at the ticket counter,  which he had charged. Due to which he could receive her father’s phone call and told them about the device found. Her father sounded tensed hence out of humanity he offered help. Naina’s brother was in need of blood especially the one with group A-ve which was rare. Luckily Amit’s blood group was A-ve, he readily offered to donate blood and then took Naina’s office number to let her know about the phone.

Naina was shocked and extremely guilty about the way she dealt with Amit. This guy from nowhere had gone out of the way to help her family as well without even accepting a word of Thanks. She felt apologetic for Amit and asked her dad about his contact details inorder to thank him for his selfless gesture but the poor guy had not even left his contact details.

Naina was extremely ashamed of her inhumane words towards Amit. She rushed to the hospital to meet her brother who was out of danger now, but could not get rid of the memories of this Selfless stranger….

शिंगाड्याच्या पिठाचा ढोकळा

नवरात्रीमध्ये आपल्याकडे काहीजणांचे सलग नऊ दिवस उपवास असतात . मग अशावेळी निरनिराळे उपवासाचे पदार्थ आपल्या हाताशी असलेले काही वाईट नाही . शेवटी तुमच्या घरच्या मंडळींच्या लहरी सांभाळून स्वयंपाक करताना तुमची दमछाक होताच असणार . म्हणून मी घेऊन आली आहे उपवासाचे खास पदार्थ फक्त तुमच्यासाठी.
शिंगाड्याचे पिठाचे पदार्थ उपवास विशेष असतात त्यामुळे आज आपण करणार आहोत शिंगाड्याच्या पिठाचा ढोकळा. त्या साठी लागणारे साहित्य पुढील प्रमाणे आहे:
२ वाट्या शिंगाड्याचे पीठ
१ वाटी भाजलेल्या दाण्याचे कूट
२ वाट्या आंबटसर ताक
खायचा सोडा

१. सकाळी शिंगाड्याच्या पिठात थोडेसे आंबटसर ताक घालून भिजवावे.
२. २-३ तासांनी त्यात अंदाजाने मीठ, वाटलेल्या मिरच्या व आले,शेंगदाण्याचे कुट, थोडेसे जिरे व सोडा घालून हाताने चांगले ढवळून घ्यावे.
३. नंतर स्टीलच्या चपट्या डब्याला तूपाचा हात लावून त्यात पीठ घालावे व कुकरमध्ये १/२ तास वाफवून घ्यावे.
४. जरा निवल्यानंतर वड्या कापून घ्याव्यात.
५. वरती थोडेसे ओले खोबरे व कोथिंबीर घालावी.

१. हा ढोकळा उपवासाच्या चटणी बरोबर वाढावात.
२. आवडत असल्यास वरून जिऱ्याची फोडणी करून ढोकळ्यावर घालावी.

हा ढोकळा फार सुंदर अथवा खमंग लागतो . नक्की करून पहा व तुमच्या प्रतिक्रिया आम्हाला कळवा.
उपवासाच्या आणखी मस्त रेसिपीस साठी तुम्हाला इथेच यावे लागेल.
कारण आम्ही बनवतो “यम्मी लाईक मम्मी” देसी फूड्स.

For english recipe please reach here .

शिंगाड्याचे काही उपयुक्त गुणधर्म पण आहेत:

  1. गरोदर स्त्रियांसाठी अतिशय महत्वाचे.
  2. आजकालच्या थायरॉईड ह्यावर देखील खूप औषधी ठरते.
  3. टॉन्सिल्स वर उपायवर्धक
  4.  शरीराला हवे असणारे फॉस्फरस, मॅग्नेशियम, कॅल्शिअम व फायबर्स ह्या एका फळातून आपल्याला मिळतात.


लाभले आम्हास भाग्य जन्मले मराठी ….


आजवर इतकी वर्षे इतर भाषांमध्ये वावरून, असे वाटले की अजून मराठीमध्ये आपण लिहिण्याचा प्रयत्न का बरे नाही केला? कदाचित लहानपणापासून इंग्रजीच्या सानिध्यात राहून मराठीमध्ये विश्वासाने लिहिण्याची हिम्मत कधी दाखवता आली नाही, पण काल माझ्या आईशी बोलताना मला जाणवले की ज्या आईने मला “आई” म्हणायला शिकवले अशा माझ्या मातृभाषेपासून घाबरून जाण्यात काही अर्थ नाही . हा माझा प्रथम असा प्रयत्न आहे त्यामुळे माझ्या ह्या माहेरच्या बोलीने माझ्या चुकांना पोटात घ्यावे अशी विनंती करते.

मराठी भाषेचा मान त्याचा इतिहास सांगण्यास मी पात्र नाही. एका मराठी घरात जन्माला येऊन, मराठी संस्कारात रुजून जो जगण्याचा आत्मविश्वास मला ह्या भाषेनी दिला तो काही आगळा वेगळाच आहे.

आज माझे लग्न जरी एका अमराठी व्यक्तीशी झाले असले तरीही माझे मराठीप्रेम अबाधित आहे. हा माझा माहेरचा स्तंभ मी माझ्या जन्मदात्या आईला समर्पित करते. तिच्याच मराठी संस्कारात वाढून ह्या भाषेच्या गोडीचा मला आस्वाद घेता आला.
अखेरीस मला पुन्हा एकदा म्हणावेसे वाटते:

लाभले आम्हास भाग्य जन्मले मराठी ….


Happy Teachers day

It was my daughter’s open house at her primary school. She kept on pestering me to meet her class friends listen to their stories, their mischiefs. My daughter studied in the same school I had passed out from, reason being I always wanted my daughter to be moulded by those hands which shaped my present. But on her open house I was surprised to see all new faces among the academic staff. After all it had been around fifteen years since I passed out, I was a bit dissapointed about this restructure hence was hesitant or passive to meet any of her teachers much. After collecting her progress report we started heading back home. But my daughter as usual started emphasizing on meeting her Dimple mam, i tried to tell her that we would meet her next time. Actually I was quite disturbed seeing those high tech teachers and their mechanical way of dealing with kids, I am not saying there were bad but just that they lacked the warmth in their teachings. But my daughter was very adamant on meeting her Dimple mam, reluctantly I agreed and headed towards one of the classrooms. We knocked the door and stepped in, my 6 year old ran towards this lady and tugged her. Then I noticed her teacher was an old lady may be in her late 50s, hair all grey, somewhat weak in her posture, silver lined spectacles and red bordered goldenish cotton saree. I walked towards her, in order to greet her. On moving close to her teacher, I realised she was my childhood and most favorite Rajni mam. She was all favourite for her warm nature, caring and ever smiling gesture. She was our Maths teacher, who not only taught us maths but also narrated value add stories in her own unique and soft voice. We loved her because she was the one who not only made Maths our favourite subject, but also aporoached with problems physical, mental, emotional we always had to tell her and she helped us out of it. Looking at her I was so happy, nostalgic and just couldn’t control tears rolling down my eyes. She looked puzzled at me, I told her mam this my daughter Niksha and I am your ex student Nihara. She also held my hand and tears rolled down her eyes. She patted my head and enquired about my well being, my family. We both just could believe to meet each other. She then told me,”Your daughter is just a replica of your childhood. The way you plucked flowers on the way to school and forced me to tuck it into my hair. This little one plucks flowers, gets scolded by the gardener and gets thoses roses for me.” I turned towards my daughter and told her,” Darling, her name is Rajni mam not Dimple mam”. She looked back at her mam and stood in the cameraman pose and spoke aloud,”Smile please.” Rajni mam and myself smiled at her and she pointed out at her mam and said,”Look at those dimples Mama. Thats the reason I call her Dimple mam.”

We laughed at her silly but witty remark. She then handed over a small red rose to her Dimple mam and asked her to tuck it into her hair. I was so touched by all this and hence wished her Happy teachers day even when it was not one, I don’t know why I did so but I did what I felt. 

Thankyou teachers and all my gurus who have poured every bit of your divine souls in shaping our futures n present.

Happy Teachers Day…..

God bless your parents

It was raining heavily on a busy weekday evening. Felt like the clouds were about to burst and engulf the entire city. People were in a hurry and worried about reaching back home to escape the after effects of this havoc created by the nature. I also stood at the edge of a bus stop waiting for my bus to travel to Pune. Completely drenched I was grumbling about my state standing there all alone complaining about how my husband is irresponsible and might be enjoying in his cosy office cabin. Just then I noticed this old lovy dovy couple in their 70s waiting at my bus stop. Meanwhile the bus arrived, I was about to board the bus but I noticed that the couple had only one umbrella and the old lady had to enquire something at the travel agent’s desk, she was trying to help her husband board the bus and walked back to the travel agent shop balancing on the narrow creaky wooden plank connecting the road to the shop. She was not able to hold the umbrella due to her shaky hands, but strived to strike a perfect balance they looked so happy with each other. I saw her getting wet due to the windy atmosphere without giving a second thought I got up, went out to her held the umbrella for her, got her back to her seat, I loaded their bags on the upper carriage and made them feel comfortable. Asked them if they needed anything else and was about to get back to my seat, but she held my hand and pulled me towards her, patted on my head and said,” May your parents live a long n healthy life”. Her words touched my heart such small selfless gesture of mine added to my parents life…what wonderful blessings.

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