Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Elsa Diaries 4

I really miss Elsa. It’s been 2 years now. Life choices do keep me busy. I have so much to do, to decide, to understand and to choose. It is scary as every day I am made to realize the urgency of the decisions to be made. There’s always a flutter in my heart—I work, I study, I meet people, I fall in love, I fall out of love, friends depart, friends’ grow apart, new relationships are forged, domestic woes, living alone woes, maid and flat mate squabbles ,money, shopaholicism, loneliness, claustrophobia and the burning desire to do breakaway from mundane. Yes, Life does keep me busy.
But on the days that are the worst, when living gets overwhelming … I desperately look around to seek reprieve, and grieving for Elsa gives me a certain sense of relief. In a way I feel joyful. I go back into the past, to simpler times, I find myself reminiscing the times spent with her; the cuddling (she never cuddled much, hence they were precious), the chases, the games we played –hide and seek, our squabbles, her silly ball, I would steal, to peeve her , the companionship, and the walks. Ahh!!! The walks!!!! I shed tears, sometimes little, often buckets and then I go for a walk alone, I watch people, birds, dogs and cats , cars and buildings , I look away --- I stare at the sea, I stretch, I breathe and I sense calmness , I postpone life for a day and just feel.
Grieving for Elsa always helps…

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yer Yer Yer... Undone !!!

There’s my life, it’s only been 24 years, and yet I find myself wishing I get back a few of my past years (they are after all My Years) , even though I still have more than half of my eternity left. What is it about the past that makes us always want to go back to either change, relive or rectify??? I often ponder, sometimes lament but I don’t wish to unmeet a single person I’ve met.

And then there is the future. I am so scared to age and yet I can’t wait for things to fall in place, but when I walk down a street and see a woman with a child, I wince. And the fact most these women are fat gets to me even more. Two years back, I might have not even noticed the woman, and few years before I actually found babies cute.
It peeves me to realize that I consider marriage and babies a part of life’s plan.

And here I am with my life, which is mine, so precious, so eager and effervescent. I’ve seen and felt so much and you don’t know so much of it. I feel the need to tell you, to explain , relate stories, my experiences, my happiness, my sadness, it’s strange--- it saddens me that it doesn’t make a difference to you.

But pray we meet someday and you love me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Clarifications!!! My info is correct and checked..;)

I went through numerous blogs , wiki page and other Baba related info sites, a lot of the information seems stunted, incorrect and conflicting. While writing the article , I found myself in a quandary , because much of the information even i had gathered about the saintly young sepoy was hearsay.

Hence I spoke to an old friend of my father's who commanded the Nathula Brigade few years back (mentioned in my blog), and all the stories, the facts and the lore have been confirmed from a man who spent 30 months there, carrying out the rituals mentioned.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Do Try this at Home ...

I cooked the other day, and it turned out exquisite, homely and extremely delicious.
And so easy to make. I’m proud of this meal.
Special thanks to Suveer, he really knows his ingredients.

This may seem like a lazy Blog post. It is.

I stepped out of my home by 12:30 pm and went shopping. The day looked unusually bright even from behind my dark glasses. I groaned my way to the market which is quite near my humble abode, but nevertheless tiresome to walk to on a sunny afternoon. As I walked up the slope past the bagel shop, I deflected, and considered lazing on the café sofa and gorging on a bacon or smoked salmon bagel. The patrons looked attractive enough. But I was resolute to cook a meal.
I lengthened my stride up the hilly hill, dodging the speeding cars up and down the narrow path. The flamboyant red blooming Gulmohar tree lifted my spirits, and the bright Cassia fistula made me all gay. I stopped and looked up at the colours around me, they were only a few trees, yet they seemed to cloud the gloom around.
I walked down the slope now towards the quaint Pali market.
The quaint Pali market isn’t old world at all, it may look like a small village market, but it sells everything. No wonder super markets don’t last very long in this area.
From a feisty vegetable vendor who amazed me with her collection of exotic food items –Avocados, Zucchini, exotic herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil, varieties of mushrooms, sprouts and so much more, I did not understand,
I purchased some humble and familiar vegetables.
1. Three packets of button mushrooms.
2. Ice berg lettuce –green and the red leaves.
3. Rocket leaves.
4. Two big round lemons (nimbu).
5. Broccoli.
6. A Packet a Baby Corn.

The mom and pop stores impressed me further by their collection of imported food items -- exotic chocolates, syrups, cereals, juices, jams, pasta, desserts, collection of cheese and so much more.
I purchased the following:
1. A small bottle of Figaro Olive oil
2. Mozzarella cheese (50 gms).
3. Slab of Parmesan cheese.
4. A packet of Salami and sausages.
5. Organic wheat pasta.

I was being indulgent and naïve, the salesman conned me. The simple
Semolina pasta, which costs so much less, can also be bought.
6. Oregano seasoning and chilly flakes.
Back home within an hour, my friend and me got to work. I wanted a minimum effort, minimum cost meal. Well the cost factor is a variable. On different days I feel differently about it.

Cheesy Baked mushrooms.
Ingredients: A packet of mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, salt and oregano.
1. Wash the mushrooms properly; make sure you rid it of all dirt.
2. Pre heat the oven to about 190 degrees Celsius.
3. While the oven is pre heating, carefully remove the stumps of the mushrooms from the cavity. Don’t throw the stumps.
4. Grate a portion of mozzarella cheese; add salt to taste and a teaspoon of oregano.
5. Take a small quantity of olive oil in a bowl, and with fingers dipped in olive oil, stuff the mushroom cavities with the cheese-salt-oregano mixture.
6. Lace the tray with olive oil, and bake the mushrooms for about 20 minutes.

Ingredients: Mushrooms, Ice berg lettuce (red and green), rocket leaves, oliveoil,
Balsamic vinegar.

1. Wash all the leaves properly. It is important you wash them at least 3-4 times.
2. Take a large deep salad bowl (or a patila); place all the leaves in it, you can add cherry or cut tomatoes, if you like tomatoes. I don’t.
3. Sautee a packet of mushrooms in olive oil (or shrimps) and put it in to the bowl.
4. Pour a generous quantity of olive oil into the bowl
5. Add a dash ok dash or three of balsamic vinegar and salt to taste, squeeze a whole lemon and little bit pepper.
6. Great a generous quantity of parmesan cheese into the salad bowl. Quantity depends on you. But more cheese, the better. Mix all the ingredients gently.
7. You can also add Kiri cheese cubes.

Balsamic vinegar happened to be in my fridge and I used it and it really enhanced the taste of the salad. Having a friend who knows ingredients really helps.

I prepared a simple Alio Olio pasta, this is my desi version and it tastes alright.
Pasta sauce:
1. Heat some oil in a pan, and cook 3-4 tablespoon of garlic paste. I bought the garlic paste from market. So much easier.
2. Cook the broccoli, mushrooms and baby corn, add chilly flakes, oregano, salt to taste and add some more finely chopped garlic cloves,4-5 cloves would do good (I love garlic flavour).
3. Let it cook for a while. I really don’t know how long, I just sweat it out in the kitchen, and keep tasting to see if it tastes alright.
Some people find Alio Olio extremely bland, you can add a little quantity of tomato puree to zing it.
4. You can add salami, cut up sausages or even boiled and fried chicken.
5. The pasta is easy to cook. Boil some pasta in water for 8 minutes. Add salt before boiling.
6. Drain the water completely, take another container, heat some butter, slightly burn the butter, toss the pasta in it and then the sauce. Pasta is ready.
Well a meal is ready.
Baked mushrooms, Salad (it tastes like gorgonzola salad) and Pasta.
Have the baked mushrooms and salad as starters along with toasted bread with butter. The combination is extremely delicious.

If pasta feels too staid or passé, here is an alternative:
Baked Lemony Fish:
Ingredients: Fish (I generally use Rawas or Salmon) , juicy lemon, salt, pepper and paprika.
1. In a bowl, squeeze lemon to get a decent quantity of lemon juice.
2. To it add, salt and pepper, and small quantity of paprika (optional).
3. Poke the fish with a fork and marinate the fish ( Rawas or salmon taste wonderful) for at least 3-4 hours.
4. Bake it.
You can do the same with chicken.

Bon appetite!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Extraordinary Love

Love is extraordinary; it has the power to destroy and to redeem.
I think I won’t really ever understand true love. My being on this planet has become so abortive and selfish that I have begun to gauge everything I do in those terms. I do have visions of great love, of probable love; I might be in love too as I write this, but unfortunately I realize I will never go down the path of greatness in love.
I’m selfish, I deceive, I measure and I demand. I rationalize that if one loves, one needs to give... The other person that is. If one loves one needs to be big …the other person that is. Success is imperative, for the other person that is. There is no room to make mistakes, no room for hurt, no room for doubt and one’s own shortcomings, no room for the ‘me’ first… of the other person that is.
I receive, I receive I receive. Does this scare me, no, not really… I’m shielded by the fallacy that I am a victim, and like the terror makers of the world, I feel I have the cause, the right and the luxury.
And if I do find this will be extraordinary…. My extraordinary love.
Impossible, bizarre … no it’s the premise of a modern day tragedy. How Homer glorified hero worship, justifying the need and cause of war, I wish to glorify My Extraordinary Love. Some people are made to fight, and some are made to be loved… I am made to be LOVED. I don’t seek to be a modern day Aphrodite; my endeavor is much more humble, real and practical ... Just one person and My extraordinary love.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sad Demise of the Coffee Paper Cup

If you think I am overreacting, check out the folowing link: Sad Demise To Coffee Paper Cup

Let me know if its atleast worth a thought.
I hope this trend doesn't catch on.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Elsa Diaries 3

Before Elsa came into our lives, we three were quite indifferent to the existence of dogs. We neither loved them, nor did anything to harm them. After Elsa, our perception and sentiments underwent an overhaul. We fell in love with dogs, all kinds, big small, pets and pariah.
In Kalina, a bitch gave birth to three extremely cute puppies, two females and one male in the woods behind my house. Our neighbors’ daughter started taking care of them, but as you know how things like this go, after couple of weeks, when the pups started growing up, the mother (our neighbor that is) became rather impatient, and started discouraging the daughter from engaging the dogs too much.The daughter soon lost interest. The puppies would often stray into our back yard, and I would love playing with them. Elsa of course did not like them at all. She had an aversion to the folks from the canine family, all of them unfortunately.

Laali, Kaali and Faltu,I really don’t know who came up with the names, though my mother did have a knack for keeping uncanny and rather inane names.

Laali was a really beautiful bitch, a good looking one, she had very soft features and her coat was a yielding reddish brown. She was everyone’s darling, everyone of course comprised a small number of people.
Kaali was a black colored bitch and my favorite. She wasn’t very friendly, very wary of humans and always seemed troubled.
When she was a puppy, she’d been hit by a stick, luckily even though it was a bad hit, she survived and was perfectly fine within days. But I surmise she developed a sense of doubt and fear coupled with the realization that she was dependent on humans, so I presume this always kept her anxious and apprehensive. It took me a long time to befriend her; she would only come to me and my mother.
I think the regular feeding of the puppies started after Kaali was injured, she was suffering right in my backyard, and she was extremely cute.
Faltu, this bugger was a dirty brown, brusque fellow, extremely sociable and I think he spent a major part of his life trying to convince my family and couple of others to adopt him. I wish we had, Elsa of course would have been furious.
All three never grew too big, they were miniatures and I guess it increased their cute factor.

In matter of months, my family became the primary caretakers of the puppies. And the 4 years that we did, were extremely eventful, joyous and quite crazy.

It would be quite a task in containing Elsa, if she was out venturing in the garden, and the puppies would stray in too. She would bark wildly, chase them, and our entire garden would echo of frantic yelps and incessant barks. Elsa would chase them all over the garden, uprooting flower beds, trampling the vegetable beds. My mother use to occasionally leave out red chilies, raw mangoes and spices to dry out in the sun, they used to be placed on a bed sheet on the ground, and Elsa would run over them, ruining it all. But Elsa never hurt Laali, Kaali and Faltu.
And even though the chases often got difficult to handle, I remember we use to never be angry, it would always end in laughter, hugging all the dogs, providing them reassurance and solace. Like little children fighting in a park and parents getting involved. The analogy here is definitely open to debate. But that is how it was for me when I was kid.
I often replay the chases in my mind, the puppies would be playing in our back garden, I had a huge garden, well maintained and cared for. Suddenly Elsa would come out of nowhere, all of us would get mobilized, Munnu bhaiya,our gardener , my father if he was around, other helpers and me , running all over the garden, yelling out Elsa’s name with my mother rooted at a spot, not moving a muscle giving a running commentary, oh she’s gone there, chase her chase her, someone just pick up Kaali , Laali’s stuck in the hedge, get her, Is that Faltu running behind Elsa, get him get him, he’s such a silly dog and so on and so forth. The meal after these particular chases were indeed entertaining with each of us relating a different part, and Elsa sitting either at my feet or on the sofa, aware that we were discussing her exploits.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dinner with Friends...

Life will always keep one busy, even if we feel it’s going nowhere, or we are frustrated with the tedium or plain simply jaded. Hours zoom, days fly by, and in matter of no time you’re on the other side of an uncomfortable age (at present 25 seems to be that age).We try to stave off the routine, the dull hours and days, and we realize the practice is pointless.
So when I got back the other night after a wonderful dinner with my closest friends, I realized it is indeed possible to still time, to slow it down.
Friends, they are good time turners, time stoppers. You go back being the 13 year old you were, laughing silly, teasing, bickering and even exposing shades of a former self you thought time had expunged. One more astonishing thing I appreciate is they make the present too look hopeful and the future not too grim.. for those few hours.
I’m lucky to have a wonderful bunch, and every time I need time to still, I go out for a dinner with my closest friends.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Neighbourhood just got Scarier

When PC suggested that it would be prudent to delay the IPL tournament as providing security cover for both the general elections and the tournament would not only stretch the security forces, but also elevate the possibility of a probable terror attack, the IPL chief Lalit Modi wasn’t too keen on changing the dates as this would lead to big losses for the BCCI and the sponsors. The IPL tournament since its inception has always been mired in controversies, there has been attacks on the format of the game, the method of acquisition of the players, the cheerleaders and the over commercialization of the sport- If that is indeed possible in cricket. Now all arguments for and against these very many issues stands open to debate and discussions-It is cricket and this is a democratic country. I agree with people who are for it, and I also understand the ones who are against it (though it is so much less tedious to watch a 20 over match and Shah Rukh dancing, and not getting paid for once and instead paying, wouldn’t you say!).
However to weigh security and lives of people against money is something I cannot bear to either understand or witness. India is a mob (As Rome was), the basic sensibilities lack in crores, and they will throng in lakhs to the various IPL matches. One would expect the educated, the informed and the ones in power to be more responsible and honest (pun intended). Lalit Modi and the BCCI refuse to postpone the tournament, they suggests holding the matches on non polling days and hire private security; the government response to it is Luke warm. Where it should be sternly barring the IPL tournament, it is only seeking non disclaimer certificates from the organizers, so that in case there is an attack, it can safely wash its hands off any responsibility (see TOI, 6th March).
I realize that rescheduling will be tough, with a crammed ICC calendar, sold broadcasting rights and many other encumbrances it will be no mean feat, but I know all this is negligible when compared to a cost of life. We can argue, that just because hotels are attacked, people cannot stop going to hotels, just because trains and certain cities are bombed, one cannot stop travelling or visiting these places, however we fail to understand, that an IPL tournament is not a way of life. It is entertainment. Postponing few matches isn’t succumbing to terrorist might or giving in to fear, it is about respecting life, fear and the consequences to be suffered. In more practical terms, it is about understanding feasibility and limitations of the already stretched, bullied and harrowed security forces, the easy exposure to terror tournaments of such significance would have and would you really trust Private security in an event of such magnitude?? Lets us not make it even easier than it already is for the terrorists.
Our neighborhood is indeed scary, where private interest and self of the government and IPL takes precedence over a human life. The government will get the non-disclaimer letters, IPL will go on, TERROR…it seems to be lurking in every nook and corner. And as for you and me if anything happens, rest assured we’ll move on….
CHUCK de India...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I missed my train..

I have a right to be angry...
So I end up writing a heart felt anecdote on Elsa, and then a critique on Women..
It's been a long day...

Elsa Diaries-2

We decided to call it a night. It was late (about 11 pm) and I had a chemistry paper the next day. I liked chemistry. We got up from the dining table and looked around for Elsa. It was a daily ritual and a habit before sleeping ;like sleeping itself, no matter what, we’d always take Elsa out for a walk; be 10 at night, or 2 in the morning after some party, and not any of those short- do your sussu walks, but a long walk. The walk was a healthy custom. Especially during our (dad and me) stormy fights, we would always resolve it on our walks, it always initiated a dialogue, then a discussion and finally a reconciliation. You see in these walks, Dad and me could never walk apart or too far away from each other. Elsa always made sure of that. If one of us would lag behind (it would always be me), Elsa would stop, and not budge an inch, till the person caught up.
When my parents were in Bombay, we lived on a tiny hill which was a small army cantonment with only one unit called Kalina military camp. It is a really charming place, with lots of trees, plants, flowers and a massive play ground. Very green and picturesque. It looked as if a small hill station had been compressed between two gates. There was only one concrete road which stretched between these two gates. Our walk started from one gate to the other, it was a reasonably long walk. Elsa loved these walks and would always get excited.
So this particular night, just when Dad was about to leash Elsa,I’ll have to stop here and interpose,Elsa loved chasing dogs, cats and lil children. When I look back at the initial years with Elsa, most of my memories get eclipsed by the chases. They were classic out of the movie chases; Elsa would just zip out and off we’d go running behind her, the entire camp echoing with my, my dad’s and Munnu bhaiyas screams. .. Elsaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. It used to be quite a spectacle. The chases were innumerable and each with a unique twirl.
Back to the story; door was slightly open, there was a dog outside, sleeping (blissfully I am sure), Elsa barged out, my father was unable to leash her on time, and Elsa ran behind the dog. My father panicked.I’ll have to stop here again and include another piece of information;couple of nights before, an officer of the unit had lost his dog Pasha, it was a smart mountain breed, and it was never found again.
My father ran after Elsa, his slippers came off, and off he went chasing Elsa barefoot with extremely loose jammies on. I followed, went a short distance, came back picked up the forgotten leash and started again. I could see my father had already reached the next block. Now between our house and the next, there was a dark patch, no street lamps and flanked by heavy undergrowth. I kept running, panicking at the thought of Elsa being lost and sound of my father screaming.
Suddenly in the middle of the dark road, I noticed a silhouette and an outline of two standing ears. Elsa was sitting in the middle of the road, quite shaken. She had not gone very far, I think our screams and shouts and her inherent nature of not being too far away from us made her stop in her tracks, my father of course missed Elsa in the dark and continued running. By the time I called my father back, he’d already sent a search party out -perks of being a commanding officer in the army.
He bellowed at Elsa, who was clearly befuddled by our reaction. I could not help but grin after a huge sigh of relief…. My father had outrun Elsa.
We got home and related the entire story to mom, she infuriated dad even further with her Milkha Singh jokes. … Elsa retreated to her safe corner.
We were abruptly awakened at 2 in the night; Dad had forgotten to call off the search party… Elsa retreated even further off.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Elsa diaries-1

I just watched Marley and me, and all my memories, wonderful memories of ten years came rushing back. While watching the movie, I was transported into my life 12 years back; to the day we got Elsa home. The day had not really started well. We were moving to Bombay from Bathinda. Everything at home was a mess, tempers were high because our Truck was supposed to leave in a day and a lot of things remained unpacked and chaotic. Also we were to travel to Jalandhar to collect the pup; by late morning, we were contemplating ditching the idea of driving 250 kms. However it seemed that Mohey aunty had already started preparing dinner. It would’ve been rude not to go. The drive to Jalandhar was no better. Almost two accidents and a forgotten packed lunch later, we reached Jalandhar late night fuming and extremely hungry, attacked the dinner Mohey aunty had prepared for us, and were ready to call it a day. We were shown the pups, but the three of us were too tired to acknowledge and appreciate.
Next morning after breakfast, I saw Elsa with her mother Hilda in the garden. It was an extraordinary sight. Hilda was helping Elsa climb the stairs (an art Elsa finally learnt years later).They seemed to be in deep conversation, it looked as if mother was bracing her daughter for the future ahead. I had always been scared of Hilda, she was a big dog. She had this aura of ‘I’m no cuddly dog’. I dared not approach any of them. So I watched from a distance, Elsa was so tiny and delicate, but I could see she was a bouncy little thing. I loved her already.
And then mother and daughter were separated. It felt really cruel, I could feel both of them weeping, and it broke my heart. Elsa was the smallest of the 8 litters, the blessed 8th, and aunty also informed us that she was definitely the rogue of the bunch; I wasn’t surprised. We welcomed Elsa into our lives with open arms, excited at the prospect of nurturing and loving her. I got a glimpse of what my parents felt when I had been born, and clearly for all of us, Elsa was love at first sight.
And so started our life with Elsa.
Of course I’m sure Elsa did not feel the same at first. It was definitely not what she was expecting, not a warm beautiful home with a big garden her mommy might have told her about. She came into a completely disheveled half empty home, I could see the disappointment in her eyes, when I put her on the floor, she did not go venturing anywhere but gave a disapproving look around and then looked up at me with unsettled eyes. She stayed close to me the whole day. We hardly got much sleep that night, and most of the time Elsa slept on my lap making it very clear that she wasn’t very happy with the arrangements. We three were very eager to please Elsa, so we got her treats, played with her and tried to keep her happy while being in the constant frenzy of packing. She did respond warmly, but we all realized our lil’ Elsa had the ‘princess mentality’. And even though the last two days in Bathinda were hell, there was a change in our demeanor especially my father’s. Elsa’s arrival took the tension off the air. My father had been very high strung, constantly yelling when things weren’t going right but now he was calm and happy. Things continued to go awry, with stuff breaking while packing, constant mix ups, boxes not loading properly, but no one was particularly upset. I remember how one of the packers dropped a box while taking it downstairs and Elsa first giving a startled jerk and then barking stridently at the person, and we were all gushing over her reaction forgetting about the box. Elsa became the highlight of everything.
We moved into a guest room the day after our truck left for Bombay. Mohey aunty had warned us that when pups are separated from their mother, it takes them a while to settle to their new environment and might cry often. From what I remember, Elsa cried only the first night and that was because she did not find her bed (a cardboard box, which I had lovingly set up with our old clothes so that she gets use to our body scent) very comfortable. I got her up on my bed, and she slept quite blissfully and might I add horizontally—a habit which became a huge problem later as she grew in size. I smiled to myself as I felt Elsa’s warm fur close to my face and the gentle rhythm of her beating heart, she felt comfortable; Elsa had accepted us into her life too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Last day at C.

As I stared out the window,I was trying to comprehend the strange feeling I was enfolded in...
It wasn't sadness,definitely not glee,I was cold,it was really early morning,and the AC in the Volvo I was traveling in kept the air quite chilly.Around me there was a mixed group of people,old,young,really young.I also spotted a girl I knew by face from college. I did not acknowledge her,nor did she acknowledge me.I guess the feeling of detachment towards our Alma mater and everyone a part of it was mutual.
The bus rolled on. There was deep melancholy coupled with a sense of relief.
The sentiment wasn't very comfortable.I was at loss,because it seemed that I had to resign myself to the fact that fate still refused to take on my responsibility, and it was all on me again...Rather it continued to be all on me.this was familiar.I went back into time,to the evening at the Bandra-east bus depot,it was evening,after I got all my stuff loaded into the holding carrier of the bus,I hugged my still hadn't registered in either of us that I was moving out.Even then I was aware that it was all on me..I was on my own now...Both of us shed some tears.

Engineering college had been tough.In the second year itself I realized that I lacked the astute reasoning of an engineer.I struggled through most of my exams,at one point almost failed a year. I tried hard.when friends partied,I stayed home,and still managed to only scrape through like all others.I marveled at my strength,which still feels like foolishness at how I trudged along the four years ,sat through excruciatingly long, senseless(to me),complex and befuddling lectures.Even though I tried hard,I think my genuine lack of interest did not help in making things easier.
and yet I trudged along,chained and bounded by no one but my mind.
Of course all this is in retrospection.Retrospective rationalization. If only..

The bus stopped at a rest stop,I was surprised that it had covered so much distance.In my stupor,I did not realize.I checked my phone,saw couple of missed calls and messages,and I smiled.Somehow the last four years seemed worth it,at least for those few was my friend Druki calling to know if I was alright. I still have those moments of reassurance.