04/01 Direct Link
The strangest of things can happen to you, at the strangest of times. You pray hard for something, even turning to the Ďpower of your thoughtsí and concentrating all your energy on that channel. And you are rewarded by silence. Cruel, painful silence. Until one day, wham, all of sudden, when you least expect anything, you get what you only dared to dream in the darkest recesses of your heart. But you donít want it anymore. The craving is gone. Replaced with a calmness that you wish youíd got earlier. Tell me, arenít prayers answered too late, a blessing really?
04/02 Direct Link

Can you imagine the happiness of a nation of a billion people resting on the wrists and shoulders of a mere 11 Indians? Mine is, today. Never considered myself to be a cricket fan, but here I am, glued to the television, waiting for the big moment. And itís finally arrived! I smile quietly to myself, soaking in the victory. Suffered nervous moments at the start, almost dejection a little later. But the anxious anticipation was worth it all. The entire nation must have risen together in a roar when Dhoni nicked the ball for a fantastic 6. Well-done boys!

04/03 Direct Link
Day three and already Iím at a loss for words. Iím restless today. Have got accustomed to bantering at this hour of the night and my co-conspirator is missing. Itís a weekend and heís not working for sure. Itís not a good sign when I connect my mood to somebodyís presence, or in this case, absence. Big question Ė how do I rise above that? Even bigger one, do I want to? Itís a nice feeling, this warmth inside you. The little green dot next to his name brightens my night. But I must go now. I see him online, finally!
04/04 Direct Link

Is it easy writing words of wisdom that people nod their heads at? Pearls that will† get repeated over and over again? Shared between friends, lovers; tweeted about, posted on Facebook, mentioned on blogs? Am I kidding myself? After 15 years spent writing for other people, today I have the time put down a few words of my own. And what do I do? Nothing. Thatís right. I have excuses to make, games to play, statuses to update, pictures to upload, friends to chat with, long-distance romance to conduct. Everything but keep the promise to myself. Write Sonali, just write.

04/05 Direct Link
Life is fragile. Life is uncertain. How often have we heard these clichťs? One minute youíre coasting down happiness highway, and the next youíre pulled up abruptly when your car goes into uncontrollable spin. Nothing you do can stop it from happening. The body crumples, the soul wisps out, dangles uncertainly, and loops away into whatever dimension itís supposed to go to. What happens down here? Authorities administer traffic control, channelling grief along its lane; people drift past, stopping to stare momentarily at the accident site and move on. Life stops for no one, and no one stops for death.
04/06 Direct Link

Grief makes me uncomfortable. This is a recent realisation. I cannot cry in front of others; let them know I am vulnerable or capable of getting hurt. But when others let down their guard and let the eyes cry, I am left standing helplessly. I donít know what to do or say. The right words elude me. Donít get me wrong, Iím not emotionally detached. I cry a lot, copious amounts of tears. But I like to be left alone, mostly, when I do so. And I donít think false words can help someone going through their moment of weakness.

04/07 Direct Link

Everybody told me to put myself out there if I had any intention of getting a man. And I thought, Ďcome on, there are better ways to do ití. And I didnít. But when all else failed, I tried. Result? Zilch. Itís like this Ė every time I take the extra effort, I either get myself someone vacuous who just wants to get laid, or I frighten them away with my initiative. Iím confused. What exactly is a woman supposed to do? Do I invariably like the kind of guy who doesnít fancy me? All through life, thatís whatís been happening.

04/08 Direct Link

Am I too sensitive? All my life Iíve been told to Ďdo unto others as they would do to youí. Then why do I end up disappointed? If I can be excited, happy, sympathetic, sad, proud, angry, concerned for others, why canít I expect the same from them too? I believe when you have nothing good to say, donít say anything at all; If you have no words of encouragement, keep silent; If you canít be happy, donít be jealous. Donít be a heavy weight if you canít be a support. That is all I am asking, that is all.

04/09 Direct Link
Do I find inspiration only when I get sad or upset? What is it about negative emotion that makes poets or writers out of all of us? All over the world, the best poetry has been written about sorrow or broken hearts or loss. I find myself emulating the same, unknowingly, of course. I have been spewing, yes thatís the word, 100 words of my thoughts every day, and barring one, every single one has been written when Iíve been sad, angry, hurt or disappointed. It doesnít make me a miracle writer. No, it just makes me a nag. Sad.
04/10 Direct Link
I had no idea I was capable of such cruelty. The sudden influx of mosquitoes, and racquets thereafter, has turned me into an ugly sadist. All my life Iíve advocated peace and kindness. But thereís something so satisfying about the sizzle of a mosquito crisping on the wire-mesh of these Chinese products. Simple hand-held devices that you swing around when you see a blood-sucker approach. ZZZzzzsing! The mosquito flies smack into the mesh and is burnt crisp, if itís lucky. Unlucky ones get burned and lie writhing on the floor. Out of humanity, I pick up my slipper and wham!
04/11 Direct Link

Things are picking up at work. Though calling it work is doing it injustice. This is more like life. Iím doing what I want, mostly when I want to. Trying to get into a situation where I can pick and choose what I want to work with. The deal with living should be to not work like a donkey and then lie on bed wondering what to do with all the money. Have it, spend it. Try and save a bit for the later years, when the bones are-a-creaking and the mind isnít working. But mainly, live for the now!

04/12 Direct Link

The wait is finally paying off. I enjoyed my time-off from conventional work and the tedium of office and the rigmarole of daily commute. After suffering pangs of worry and bouts of anxiety, things are looking up. Writing for books is something Iíd have killed for. Luckily for me, I neednít do anything of that sort. Tender Leaves has come at the right time. Mentally, Iím fresh Ė free of any baggage I might have from last year Ė and eager to sink my teeth into good work. Itís not plenty of money, but itíll do for now. My wants are simple.

04/13 Direct Link

Iíve come to the conclusion that Iím fickle. It takes just a look, a warm smile or a reason to be together, for me to get a crush on somebody. I wonít deny heís cute and, given the circumstances, just out of my reach, that makes him all the more enticing. I sense a bit of attraction from him too. If only weíd met earlier. How much earlier!? A 5-year kid at 30 means he was never within my grasp. I didnít know younger boys existed. But look at it this way. At least it takes my mind off Texas.

04/14 Direct Link

We want more. We always want more. Never happy with what we have. Thereís always a niggle, a nagging doubt, ĎCould I have got more? Could I have asked for more?í Unless I learn to recognise and still this inner voice, Iíll never be satisfied. Quitting the cushy and well-paying corporate life wouldnít be easy. I always knew that. Now Iím starting slow. Being able to live is more important, correct? I agree, but then why do I feel dissatisfied with my lot? I have to learn to be able to ask for more, at least when I deserve it.

04/15 Direct Link
How do you estimate your capabilities? They say true genius is always unsure and diffident. Do I classify as true genius then? I always seem to have trouble putting a price to my talents. Am I undervalued, in my own eyes? If I do that, how can I expect others to appreciate my services the way I would want them to? Is it fear that makes me undermine my own capabilities? But fear of what? Of not getting clients or work? I need to set clear standards and expectations. When I charge my clients, I should do so absolutely fearlessly.
04/16 Direct Link

Age is a number. So is the amount of beer I can drink at one sitting. I can drink any number, mind you. Itís the day after that worries me. What four full bottles would do to me two years ago is easily accomplished by just 2-3 pints today. Sort of takes the fun out of a drink-binge, doesnít it? But hey, why am I even complaining. What if itíd gone the other way? Imagine the horrors of that! Never thought Iíd say this but at 36 I need to count my beers. But then, age is just a number.

04/17 Direct Link

Men in India are so well-equipped sexually. Besides the usual, they possess sensory ends at their elbows and shoulders too. How else do you explain the urgency with which they seek out women to rub shoulders with? Do they consider us equals? Partners in crime in their needs? Crime it certainly is. Can you ever enter a crowded area in India, and leave without feeling violated and seething in fury? Platforms, streets, malls, restaurantsÖ everywhere men preying on women, trying to get a quick high at our expense. Disgusting! It boils my blood, makes me seek vengeance, with a vengeance!

04/18 Direct Link

I saw myself on television today. Not exactly on television, but the programme that aired on television 2 weeks back, I saw that on the computer today. Felt great, seeing myself on screen, knowing 2 weeks back a lot of people across the country were watching me. My diction, my thoughts, the poiseÖ I was impressed. Was that young and confident woman on screen really me? I had thoughts, serious, valid thoughts and I could put them across to succinctly. Canít wait to share it with people who matter. Canít wait to see what kind of a response it gets.

04/19 Direct Link

Is this a global phenomenon, men preferring a certain kind of woman to date and quite another to mate? I get admirers frequently, but more often than not, they stop at fun, adventure, thrill and excitement. And eventually marry some quiet, sober, Ďsubservientí girl. I wonder if, for all the modernity and openness of Indian men, they are really capable of looking the new Indian woman in the eye and taking her for what she is. Docile girls, traditional girls, girl girls get married. Meanwhile, I wait for someone who takes me for what I am Ė not just an image.

04/20 Direct Link

Change is so unexpected. It creeps up on you, without your intervention, without any warning. I never considered myself to be proficient in the kitchen. It would be a chore, planning meals and cooking for myself back in Mumbai. Ready-to-eat meals and quick fixes was more of my expertise. Salads, soups, noodles, pastasÖ at times healthy, mostly unhealthy. But here I am, at home now, discussing with my mother, menus for lunch and dinner. Not stopping at that, I take pains to cook. And I actually enjoy it and look forward to it. If thatís not change, then what is?

04/21 Direct Link
Whenever we decide to say somethingÖ Let me rephraseÖ Whenever I decide to say or do something to someone I like, I wonder how I will appear. Will I look foolish? Will I end up feeling like I never should have taken the initiative? How do we know how much to put ourselves out there? I wrestled with these doubts until a friend made it clear. It doesnít matter if you feel foolish. We all do, at some point or the other. What counts is that you donít look foolish. Act cool, act natural, and itíll be a breeze. Promise.
04/22 Direct Link
The single woman from our school is me. One of three actually, but I stand out because of my Ďbackgroundí. Lived in Mumbai for 11 years Ė the city of all sins, in India; worked in the advertising industry Ė even worse!; stayed alone Ė wonder what she did that for? Ever since my school mates (boys) got to know of my single status, they think Ďthe pickings are ripeí, or some such metaphor. Iíve lost count of the number of invitations to get a drink, to party, to go trekking. Itís annoying I tell you. Canít I be single and yet unavailable?
04/23 Direct Link

Iím writing this late, 3 days late. What was going on in my mind then? I thought I was getting more regular with my writing. But then I discovered, much to my dismay and delight, that entries are accepted even 3-4 days late. Terrible, isnít it? When entities that claim to be serious and unyielding suddenly go soft on you and say ďye, ye, go onÖ we know just how difficult it is to be regular.Ē Ok, so where was I? Yes, talking about my lack of discipline. Somewhere somebody had mentioned the 21-day golden period. Is it really true?

04/24 Direct Link

I saw two men of my dreams yesterday. Up close and sort of personal. Swapnil Bandokar and Rahul Deshpande are the latest sensation in Marathi singing and I managed to get tickets to their fusion concert last night. The rains did threaten to make it a washout, but my willpower was tested and fervent prayers answered. Rain it did, but the programme was shifted to an indoor venue. Sigh, watching them from the fourth row, while they did what they do best Ė sing Ė was possibly the best night I could ever have, outside of my home, with my family around.

04/25 Direct Link
How weird is this? Iím sitting here with my uncle while heís discussing my cousinís potential brides with my parents. Had his wife, my aunt, been here, sheíd have some snide comments on how now his is the next wedding in the family. Not that I really care for what she says or thinks. Itís amusing how she doesnít let go a chance. What fun itíll be if I surprise them with a groom one day, with absolutely no preamble. I donít want fanfare anyway. Just go to the court and let the world know ďhey, guess what, Iím married.Ē
04/26 Direct Link

How important is education? Yes, it lands you a job, gives you money, makes you self-reliant. But does it also give you a Ďsocial tagí? Wouldnít agree with me, right? Well, it shocked me today, and Iím really ashamed of myself for it, when I judged a person on the basis of the educational institution. Itís a big reality. However much we try and hide it, itís there. Starts as a child, when parents look for a school, a pre-school even! Then graduation, post-graduation. Seems like, somewhere along the way, we forgot it was education that counts, not the institution.

04/27 Direct Link

Every family has secrets. But those are usually secrets of the family, kept from the world. Not secrets within. Telling one thing to one person and something else to another is confusing. How is one supposed to keep track? My favourite quote in life is Ďwhen you tell the truth, you donít have to remember it.í And itís so true. Avoids many misunderstandings, keeps you relaxed, not focussing all your memory in trying to keep up with the latest tales lets your mind be free to make other plans. I am an advocate of calling a spade a spade, always.

04/28 Direct Link

People have kids because they want them or because itís something that has to be done after a certain number of years of being married? I have been introduced to this guy Iím supposed meet for Ďmarriageí. The biggest worry I have is if the guy wants to be a father. Iím not sure about my motherhood instincts. I donít seek fulfilment through pregnancy and midnight feeds and walking-the-talk to lull a cranky child to sleep. But most people automatically assume thatís what all women desire. Iíll be ostracised for thinking otherwise. Iíd rather be labelled selfish than be unhappy.

04/29 Direct Link

2 more days of writing 100 words. And Iím stuck again. A little push. Thatís all I need. I should be able to get there. Spew some words, write some drivel, just get the task over and done with. As I do with so many things. Bah, just 52 words completed here. Another 48 to go. Actually 68 by the time I reach the end of this sentence. That was 20 words after my previous count. Not bad. Drivel can get you quite far. And I just have to get to one number, the first 3-figure number. The number 100.

04/30 Direct Link

Bleh! I start negative. I want to finish one month and see what I can do with it. This month I concentrated on writing my thoughts. In the next I will try my hand at poetry. Think I have it in me to do that? Limericks I can manage. Rather well, in fact. Even silly poems for people. But writing serious poetry, that too a limited number of words. Tough. But I shall persevere. I have a goal. I want to tell myself that it is possible to write every day. I quit my day job for that, didnít I?