And just like that the year 2009 went by. Exactly the same way went ’07 and ’08 with the blink of an eye, leaving me behind with many exciting moments, many reasons  to smile, many moments of pride and success, and some same old blank sheets, and that same old yet to realize dream.

TED India

I was not writing on this space for quite some time now. Quite a few drafts were lying unfinished in the drafts folder. First one was about my TED experiences, how I felt that men who do not take the tried and tested easy road, the one with a 9 to 5 job, wife and kids, end up studying about crocodiles and dragonflies and exploring the Himalayas and green deserts. While the women who don’t take the tried and tested road, the one with a mangalsutra and a kitchen, end up becoming feminists.

All the interesting female speakers at TED India were fiery passionate and ass kicking feminists, and just a few of them were teachers. I don’t know why there was no female economist or techie or architect or etc. In that sense it was not a great representation of women achievers at TED India. It is not like we don’t have female business persons or economists or techies. We have them in plenty. Why there were none in TED India that’s a different question.

To my great pleasure and honor though, there was my fellow TED Fellow Rohini Rau who is a medical student and a sportsperson. She is a sailor. She sails for India and is running for the next olympics, if she reaches there, she will be the first women sailor in the world to take part in Olympics. Here is a long list of her gold medals and trophies. But she didn’t speak at the TED stage, neither at main stage nor at Fellow’s pre-conference. She should have.

A Ranting we will do

That is the title to another unfinished post from my draft folder. It was about how it had been over a month that I didn’t write anything here, one of the longest breaks I took from blogging – and not a soul asked me where have I gone. Clearly no body gives a shit. I could be dead for all I know but no one would care. This is the dark side of social media, you don’t exist if you are not constantly out there, you are only as good as your last post,  as old as the length of your post.

Nothing remains, no memory here…

The reason I didn’t write for so many days was, well, because I could not. A lot have been going on in life, many things changed after I moved to Delhi. Over the past few months only good things have happened to me, no not good, GREAT things happened.

First, I got the dream job I always wanted, then I got the much awaited TED India fellowship. With the dream job came traveling opportunities I always look for, so I went to Lucknow towards the end of October and then to this place called Samode Palace in November for Breakthrough Retreat; Met the who’s who from the world of technology entertainment design and much more at TED India; in fact there are some incredible TED moments that I am yet to write about – saying ‘Hey Shekhar!’ to Shekhar Kapoor and shaking hands with Shantanu Moitra without knowing who he really was and then later realizing I am actually a fan of his music — to name a few.

Yet there has been a feeling of emptiness around me, something seemed missing. Nothing seemed to excite me or make me overly happy.

I was there at TED in this awesome Infosys campus among the coolest people having an experience of a life time yet I wasn’t kicked, that sense of enthusiasm that comes from within wasn’t there. When we came back from Samode after the breakthrough retreat, our executive director asked us, what was the most wow moment of the strategic planning at Samode. I couldn’t think of a wow moment.

That little girl disappeared

Remember the little girl who was walking, searching and smiling? Well I lost her this year. I can’t find her any more these days. The road she was walking came to an end so she took a turn, a different road. And then something happened and  she just disappeared.

In front of the Samode palace there was a big old banyan tree. When the rest of my team was away exploring the palace I stood in front of the tree and a vision came to me. That girl must have changed into a shadow and then become one with this banyan tree. It’s as if the tree absorbed her. Now she stands as this big strong structure firmly rooted, withered but wise, all encompassing, facing the storm and rains, giving shelter and shadow. She will be there forever like that tree, a tree doesn’t move or cry, a tree feels pain but you can’t see or hear, a tree looks deep into your eyes but you can’t read her looks, a tree talks to you but you don’t hear her. A tree has no friends.

That’s what I have become, and now I know why I was always so fascinated with trees.

And the tree has a dream too, that is still there…

The dream of being in a relationship. Just for a while, just to know how it feels to be with some one for more than couple of hours, to know what more does a couple do besides having sex. How it feels to come back home from work where a man is waiting for me, and to not get a booty call at some weird hours of the night. To know how it feels to have an intelligent conversation over that government policy or that new trend in social media  with him sipping the morning coffee after a night of passionate sex. To know how it feels to not wake up early and sneak out of his room like a thief, how it feels to wake up, smile, stretch, cuddle up and fall asleep again.

Relationships for life are not for me, when I see myself in the last days of my life I see me alone, but I still do dream to be in that relationship once, the one which has no fear, one that may not have commitment but is unapologetic. I still dream to meet a man of substance, courage, principles, kindness and respect.

This body has become old, the hair has fallen, remaining ones are graying, it is fat and big and shapeless. There’s a beautiful starry eyed girl trapped in this body. It is that banyan tree.