Monday, April 21, 2008


Everybody's Free
(to wear sunscreen)
Mary Schmich
Chicago Tribune

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97... wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Warning: Mush Ahead!

‘What is love but care?’ said a friend once. A bald one at that. I have wondered ever since. Pondered. During those hours alone on the terrace. In the acoustic chaos of power cuts. While sipping steaming chicken and crab soup on rainy evenings. On auto rides when her hair caressed my face, the smell of her perfume filling the entirety of the moment. Of the space.

What is love but care?

Care to look. To see. To wonder. To notice that little tentacle of hair that waves in the wind and seems to have a mind of its own? Isn’t that love?

Care to remember things about someone. Care to tell someone they are wonderful?

That phone-call every time it rains? Is that not care? Is that not love?

On those evening-walks in the drizzle when the city is a beautiful blur, when every breath is breathed in the true consciousness and fulfillment of breathing. When you look around and say to yourself, how will I ever leave you?

The butterfly that sneaked into your room at night? You gently hold it by the wing, awestruck by the incredible mystery that a being so beautiful would exist, and cautiously let it out through the window. What is love but care?

That phone call after the fight, when you feel utterly miserable for being as nasty as you had been?

It is care that makes you hold her close even after Mr. Big O has come and gone. And we come back to the original question. ‘What is love but care?’

Love is care.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Singing in the Rain

Have been very very happy for the past week. Mostly because it's rained almost everyday in the afternoon. And for a host of other reasons that include (but are not limited to)
  • airy and cool metro vestibules.
  • kosha mangso and porota at Golbari.
  • quite a few long and nice walks.
  • a realization that happiness comes in tetra packs of pulpy mango juices with extra plastic glasses.
  • waiting for a weekend trip to Shantiniketan.
  • a beautiful musical rainy evening at a friend's place.
  • rose syrup, cheese dosa and coolfi at Rallies.
  • a super girl with a beautiful smile.
It's raining as I write this. I am stuck at home. And I am not complaining. 'Cuz I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining...' :)

Oh and here's a picture I took just now. Nothing brilliant. But just for keepsake and fond remembrances.