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Friday, August 15, 2008

A Walk To Remember

It was a pleasant Sunday evening and after practising a few RC passages (CAT beckons me), I felt the need to greet Lord Hanuman, residing just a few metres away from my house and it had been a long time since we met. I generally don’t visit temples wishing for things to happen because I believe, God understands my needs, recognizes my capabilities and bestows me with things I truly deserve. But when something really nice happens in life, I make it a point to thank Him in person for being with me and this visit was no different as He had blessed me with a lucrative offer from Tech Mahindra.

On leaving the temple, I embarked on a walk which today, I feel is the most cherished and best reminisced. Even before leaving home, I had decided to take a walk in my locality (one of the evergreen places in Chennai – Ashok Nagar) and so pocketed my mp3 player. Music freshen my thoughts, I imbibe in me the enthusiasm to enjoy brought back memories. If ever I could experience an indeterminate sense of joy erasing all worries troubling my mind and dispelling unwanted feelings stemming from my heart (at least for a while), this should be the first instance. As I start with the next paragraph, my finger nerves are ordered by the heart to key in the correct words to make sure no feeling is minced and my mind is instructed to make sure emotions are best expressed. This’s accomplished if I succeed in making you take a trip down your memory lane once you finish reading this write-up.

I left the temple, switched on my mp3 player, started off with Pehla Nasha (Jo Jeeta Woh Hi Sikander) and the walk began on a feel-good note. I walked a few metres and looked up to see a dark sky with no stars above me but as I looked down, I could visualize footsteps of a 7 year old boy carrying his violin on one hand and holding his cousin with the other hand. I halted for a while just hoping if I could listen to any conversation between them.You may wonder if that was hallucination ? Yes, I did hallucinate but I just hope I could re-live the past. That 7 yr old boy still lives in me and I love him more than anybody else because that child was me, 13 yrs back. Everytime I cross the temple, I breathe memories of the days I did no harm, got no anger, never bad-mouthed people and above all, was adorned by almost all in my family. As I think deeper, I’m reminded of the days when as a kid, I played cricket with my cousin and my neighbours on sunny afternoons outside the temple. But I’m best reminded of the evenings when I carried that stringed instrument cursing all Gods for having invented it. I was cajoled by my parents to attend violin classes but I detested complying with their cajolery at the expense of playing cricket.

As I proceeded a few more yards, to my right, I gazed at an old building with a board outside ‘St.Mary’s School’. That intent look touched my nostalgic nerve and I wondered if I could knock at the gate to meet the Big Miss ( The headmistress of this school is referred as ‘Big Miss’ and she resides just behind the school ). This was the first school I ever attended as a 3 yr old and I’m reminiscent of the days I attended school with no books but a snack box and a water-bottle shouldering me. I turned right and there, at the crossroads is the apartment where two of my friends live. When I think of them, I’m reminded of those sunny afternoons when we, as children, danced for the song 'Muqabula Muqabula' on the cycle rickshaw after one of those exams. As I leisurely walked a little further and looked up, I was unable to view the sky as I was sauntering on a road with trees on either side (those are rare sights in modern Chennai but that’s Ashok Nagar for you) and at that street beginning was the house where the then Principal of my school Mrs. Lakshmi Subramanian once lived. It brought back horrendous memories of days when my mom threatened to take me to her if I fail to eat green vegetables (even today, I hate green vegetables). As I passed by her house, I found my mom’s words only amusing and laughed at my innocence. The road that leads from her house, I would say, is one of the best stretches in Chennai and if I were given the task of naming roads, I would call it ‘The Joggers’ Paradise’. This stretch is semi-circular shaped and it's one of those few roads where one gets to breathe fresh oxygen 24X7 and seldom disturbed by jarring horns of vehicles - Tranquility at its best. I ambled a little further to find the office of my local Cable TV operator. One of the happiest moments in my childhood was when my dad gave the nod for a cable TV connection at home. If I’m right, it was the summer of 1998 when I went through those anxious moments - seconds took minutes to pass and minutes looked hours. I pedalled my way from home to that office atleast 10-15 times that day just to make sure the connection was done at the earliest.

As I finished walking the semi-circular stretch, I entered one of Chennai’s well-maintained broader roads, the 11th Avenue Road .This best exemplifies the term ‘arterial road’ and despite the continous buzz of vehicular traffic, pedestrians are given enough space to walk and one doesn’t find sand gushing onto the face. And there situated is the Madras Corporation Library. One look at it, I rewind myself ten years back when my friend and I were barred from entering just because we were wearing shorts despite the fact that we were just 10 yrs old. Direct opposite to that library is a narrow street housing many apartments and one of them is ‘Gokul Flats’ where my childhood friend once lived. Incidents there, best substantiate my childhood innocence and exuberance. That was the apartment outside which I played cricket in the evenings and the flat A-1 was where I played video games with a 4th standard social text book beside me. In the name of joint study, I used to go to my friend's place and play video games till my eyes got weary of the rays being emitted from that 12’ TV set. It was also that apartment terrace where we once studied computer science together only to fail miserably in a class test. It was such a nice feeling to think of those days and just one look at that apartment sufficed for those thoughts to flash across my mind. I was so much moved on retrospection. Yes !!! Those were fun-filled days.

As I came back home, I felt Happiness is best realised when one finds things once done, amusing. Also I felt something had dented my heart and got a feeling of having dropped something very precious on the way. I exclaimed to myself ‘How about continuing with the walk for another half-hour atleast ?’ - To regain the lost possession

What I missed, was the happiness I had acquired during the walk. Although past incidents are sure to remain etched in my memory, they’re best felt and acknowledged when I actually take a walk and revisit. It's indeed a special feeling when trees on Joggers' Paradise smile at me by a flutter of their branches everytime I pass by. It was certainly A Walk To Remember.

Is my task accomplished ? Did I succeed in making you take a trip down your memory lane ?

78 comments:

mona said...

well... isn't that beautiful??... lovely post... very touching.. sure u took me down memory lane... n i ve experienced it too... in fact i experience this every time i land at d station frm hostel n take a walk home... there's always a smile on my face... for all d sweet memories come to me!!!... its true... nothin can bring u more happiness dan ur childhood memories n d place where u grew...!!! thanks for dis enjoyable post.. keep writing.. it touched my heart...!! cheers!!

theslasher said...

nice one.. it did take me back to those days wen both of us played the video game in my fathers room, i still remember tat the joystick wasnt a proper one ( if u dont press properly it wud hit u with a jolt)..
life is too bad we cant rewind our days back:(

Rajesh said...

@ Mona
Thanks...glad that u enjoyed...it was such a nice feel while writing

@ theslasher(Anand)
yeah da...was such a nice feeling...the days we played cricket outside ur flat, video games are times that goes uncompensated..was such a gr8 feel while writing...glad u enjoyed

Matangi Mawley said...

:) some walk indeed.. on tht note- one can never escape from memories! pleasant- not-so-pleasant, however they might be- every time i see "next regional service will begin at .... hrs" in DD, I am reminded of "calcutta"! With hardly any knowledge in english, i stepped into the city of joy; when i saw this note on tv on my first day at cal, i rushed to my mom- announcing proudly that we could still get tamil pgms! ( i thought regional meant only tamil pgms!) i was in 2nd std!

Rajesh said...

@ Matangi
that was sweet...to be frank,even i used to b happy. Since, I always lived in Chennai,there was only 1 regional language

ani said...

its so nice when you just try to do the same things that u did when one was a child.. trying to meet up with the teachers.. friends if u haven't seen them for ages..

walking down the same streets.. trying to do the same things.. that one did .. and it would always bring a smile on one's face.. as you would think how did i do that then.. and why.. because now it would just not make sense.. but then thats what makes you ..you... because what you have done.. and this makes cherish all those things..

i hope i can have a WALK TO REMEMBER when i come home.. that would be really cool thing to do..

Shruti said...

walks around ur past are always fantastic...they fill u with so many nostalgic memories..and ur so lucky to be living in the same city even after 13 odd years that 7 year old had spent with his violin walking on the same streets...

very honestly..i have never walked on the same roads on which i was taught walking..those were sands..sands of the beautiful Jodhpur..but i guess u lose some..nd then u gain some..

i could visualize each and every milestone u passed..amazing read..

and i must confess..i am..to an extent jealous of u for having a walk to remember..
its something i can never have..along the sands of my birth place..cuz i had been moving out of every city after every 2 or 3 years!!

amazing read once again!!

everything burns... said...

really beautiful...no offence, but i found some of the parts more...ummm... like carefully worded instead of a continuous flow as shud be in such an experience... nonetheless... held me thru till th very last line...

Rajesh said...

@ Ani
Yeah...very true...Wish u have one very soon...mark my words..solitary walking along the roads where u once did al childhood acticities s somethin very spl

@Shruti
Hmmm...ya,...to an extent I'm lucky to have grown here...its a spl place 4 me...and definitely a walk to remember

@ Jahnabi
Well...maybe but that was not intentional...I wrote it with the flow. I dint take breaks after each parahraph...and it took 3 full hrs to write...there's nothing to word carefully..maybe..anyways thanks for the comments

authentic_since1983 said...

thats amazing man..
really touched my heart..
u know i'm planning to take a similar walk tomorrow...

it really reminded me of my childhood..

thanks a lot for this post..

Rajesh said...

@Ankur
Thanks dude...was it as touching as your stories???anyways I do accept...this write-up is, in my opinion, best till date and MY FAVORITE too... :) :)

A WALK and a WRITE-UP to remember.. what do u say??? :D

Divkiran said...

Oh yeah it totally did!!!

nostalagic and so very toucing

blogrollin u, don wanna miss on more action here :)

nivedithasperceptions said...

Sometimes a simple thing like a walk can make you feel so good and revive all the beautiful and long lost memories of life. It leaves you refreshed and happy...

Express said...

:-) what a brilliant read! Never been to chennai, but still could relate to most of it. Living in the same city you spent your childhood in is the best thing ever! what ashok nagar is for you, vashi is for me :-)

well, as far as attaining happiness is concerned, it sure is in the events and in thoughts than in things. So losing happiness depends on ur current thoughts, coz no1 ever loses or gains it. yes, I learnt this 4m that post, opinion.

Memories!!! *nostalgia*

Cheers!

Matangi Mawley said...

blog updtd.. n wd really like u'r comment on this post..!

Rajesh said...

@Divkiran
Welcome to my blog...glad u liked it...it shud indeed b nostalgic... thanks for the blogroll and i guarantee u very good posts in the future as well :)

@Niveditha
Ya...very true...small things do bring a smile on ur face...

@Express
Thankd a lot...if u happen to visit chennai,gimme a call..i ll take u around ashok nagar...superb place...i'm sure u'll like the place...

@Matangi
Ya...sure...on my way there...

suhanisoniya said...

hhmmm..that was surely a walk to remember & while reading it felt like we were there with u too on the walk..

"Happiness is best realized when one finds things once done, amusing."..i'll remember this line as a quote from u.. :)

Rajesh said...

@ Suhanisoniya
This's the best comment I shall ever be bestowed with...when u say u were there with me, really goes to show ur involvement while reading...thats indeed a pleasing comment...thanks a lot

Yeah...this is a line I've written after some INTROSPECTION..hope u agree with me on this :)

Roo-Ba-Roo said...

Its a memorable evning walk and I am sure everyone wuld like to have it one...nice posting..

and two more things....congrts for job offer and Best of Luck for CAT. Hope u wud survive and wud'nt b CATvictim...

Cheers
Sandy

Rajesh said...

@Roo-ba-roo
Welcome to my blog...thanks for ur wishes...I'm hopeful of putting up a good show in CAT..lets hope 4 the best..Keep coming

lukkydivz said...

damn sweet!
i am so desperate to get doused into memories. dont wanna grow up!
by the way feelings were perfectly put into words ;)

Rajesh said...

@Luckydivvz
Thanks a lot...glad u liked it.. Perfect is it??? Well..thats a compliment..Thanks anyway...keep coming..

nikkita said...

hey rajesh...

i guess its long since this was posted..and im sorry for being so late...
well...this was indeed a walk to remember..and so was it a post to remember..
its all about keeping the child in u alive..wat keeps u rooted and happy...
lovely and umm i wud say magical writing..
keep posting..
cheerz!!
luv:niccku..

Rajesh said...

@Nicku
Thanks a lot...it's a POST TO REMEMBER for me...one of my best-felt write-ups....the moment i came back home...I decided...this wud be my next post and since i was a lil busy with something, I wrote it a week after the walk....

Adjectives keep changing...Magical!!!!..was it?? Thanks anyway

No need to apologise...happy u read it..ppl r busy with daily work n i understand...thanks anyway...yup..the child in me is still alive and i hope he lives in me forever :)

ANWESA said...

u made me travel thru Chennai..ur trip down memory lane cud b visualised by me..gr8 post!

Rajesh said...

@ Anwesa
Through Ashok Nagar it is...anyways it was just a part of Ashok Nagar.. there r lot more places of visit here...thanks 4 ur comments

akanksha said...

Amazingly Expressed! :-)

"Happiness is something u feel when u're amused by things done in the past"- Very Well said my friend.

Going through ur post,,I cold gather memories from my own chilodhood...I could do anything for not eating those green vegetables that used to haunt me even in dreams( I still dont like them ;-) )

For me too, it was a day i cant forget when i got a cable connection at home!

U Rock! keep writing :-)

Rajesh said...

@Akanksha
Thanks a lot buddy...Cable connection was something I was dying to have...frenz all around glued to their TV sets and I was a poor guy watching DD...atlast my dad agreed.. wow!!!!what a day it was...I loved writing it too..

A WRITE-UP to remember..

Thanks for reading...keep coming...

Divs said...

Nostalgic *tears* really!.. i remember violin classes too :).. wish we could go back in time.. n njoy it all over again..

enchanted illusionz said...

u din take me down my memory lane, but u made sure dat i took ur trip wit you & sure luvd it too. m fond of taking walks , infact i do it evryday, sort of makes me realise hw gud life is , not jus yesterdy , but today too.
It's indeed a special feeling when trees on Joggers' Paradise smile at me by a flutter of their branches everytime I pass by. It was certainly A Walk To Remember.
esp luvd des lines.
& hey busy wit cat prepz eh , me too. gud luck wit it!

Rajesh said...

@Enchanted
I'm happy that I made u and suhanisoniya join me in that WALK TO REMEMBER...glad...

Yeah...CAT prep going on....all the best to u too...do well..

You know what???That last 2 lines are my fav too and my first attempt at such sentences...happy that u liked...keep visiting..

RINZU SUSAN RAJAN said...

ya sure u can blog roll me... by the way i ahve three more blogs... i do write lots of stuff...

this post was great... i went bck in time... as in childhood and teenage...!!!

gr888......

Divya said...

oh yes you did :) i feel all nostalgic now.... those walks after music class and tuitions.. was reminded of all that.. kudos :)

Rajesh said...

@ Rinzu and Divya
Welcome to my blog....glad u liked...keep visiting..

Still thinking said...

Hey Rajesh,
Coming to you from my blog, thank you for leaving a note - now I'm glad you did that.

I have never used this word to describe a person's writing before, speech yes, but I have to say absolutely 'articulate'. I'm sure your gonna soon fulfill your desire of writing that book :)

Beautiful post! Making me miss home so much right now. Reminiscing is what I do best when I wanna appreciate my NOW. And hey, congrats on that job offer too :)

Rajesh said...

@ Still Thinking
A warm welcome to my blog....

Oh...!!! Thanks a lot.. 'ARTICULATE' is something wow!!!...m honored.. thanks a lot...even for me, REMINISCING is fascinating...and its one of the few things I do well.. and thats wat drives me to pen down such articles..

Glad u liked it...keep visitng..

MAN IN PAINTING said...

@rajesh
last time,i thought i have posted the comment..
Brilliant one..
Whenever I think about lonely walks,J.Krishnamurthy comes to my mind..Usually after those long walks he would just talk to a tape recorder...
When we walk actually our consciousness too will start a journey..Sometimes to thae old lanes..very rarely to pathways unknown..
expecting more...
MIP

Shruti Sharma said...

yer topic title reminds me of a poem n it was also title a walk to remb.....gud work but

keep it up!

Rajesh said...

@MIP
Oh...fine...who is that J.Krishnamuthy??? Like MIP, is he a VIP??? Anyways..thanks for reading..keep visiting..

RiverSoul said...

You have really outdone yourself thistime.
I was really taken down my own memory lane, when the days were for fun and fun and then some more fun!
When you did not have to grind ur nose in 600 paged books.
An excellent post.
Thanks for bringing up reminiscence of the olden, golden days.
As for your question, yes.
You have succeeded.
:)

Rajesh said...

@ Riversoul
Thanks dude...My success apart, happy that I was able to bring a smile on ur face...glad u enjoyed...keep coming...

This is infact, my fav post till date

Trinaa said...

woooww...yes u did succeed...m feeling pretty nostalgic right now
waaaaaaaaahh :(( ...i wanna go back to school..!

ps:thanks for stopping by my blog..do visit again :)

Amrita said...

Yeaa u did succeed in taking me back to my school days...
God understands my needs, recognizes my capabilities and bestows me with things I truly deserve.
something that echoed my thots..

Divya said...

yep.. i've blog rolled you btw...
and tagged you too :P

Rajaram said...

It is indeed a remarkable blog. Such thoughts do come in often but it requires your skill set to describe it so beautifully. I have always wanted to comment on your amazing blogs but never got the time to do it.
I have gone through most of your blogs (may not be in details) & have always been amazed with your writing skills.
Keep up the good work & all the best for your future.
Athimber

Ayushi said...

im glad u shared this with us.
oh yes, u were successful in reminding me of my own memories...nostalgic...but at the same time, i am glad for today, i really couldnt care less about my past(that does not mean i have forgotten anything, or that im ungr8ful, but i've learnt that nothing can hurt more than carrying the pride of ur past achievements, introspecting n gaining inspiration, are however, all right)...but thats my outlook and what gives me peace :)
i have given a long comment,widout even realising it...im so short of time nowadays that ive put up a notice on blogger that i wont be available fr comments till d 1st

gaurangi said...

I'm reading ur blog for the first time, and i regret, why didn't i read for so many dayz. you write truly beautiful and magical.
I was also hovered over by the lovely memories of my childhood, the way i played, studied, those roads where I walked wd my frens, my school...the most beautiful things ever. I wonder how true these childhood dayz are, without any misery, any tensions, loads... and Im loving them more after reading ur post.
wanna visit Ashok marg once...
Gaurangi

Rajesh said...

@ Trinaa
Welcome to my blog...glad u liked it...keep coming

@ Amrita
Thanks yaar...that's something I believe in...God bestows us with things we deserve...thanks 4 reading...keep coming

@Divya
Thanks for the blogroll and the tag...wud do the tag very soon :) tc

@Rajaram
Thanks a lot Athimber...pleasure having u here...glad that u commented....this is a post very close to ma heart...n m glad that u have commented...thanks once again

@Ayushi
Thanks Ayushi...glad u read it...no prob if comments are lengthy...they infact give the correct reviews...thanks once again...

@Gaurangi
A warm welcome to my blog...well its an honor to c ppl regretting for not having read my prev ones...m honored and humbled...happy that u've visited here...no prob..all my previous posts ll stay here forever...u may read them as and when u find time and leave ur comments...glad u enjoyed reading...keep coming

Once again...thanks a lotttttttttt :) take care dear

nikita g said...

well u did succeed in your task! u reminded me of my good old childhood days & now i cant stop smiling while remembering all those amusing times...
thanks for giving me this little HAPPINESS :-)

kp writing and recounting such incidents...

Rajesh said...

@Nikita
Thanks a lot 4 reading...happy that I cud give u LITTLE HAPPINESS...keep coming...tc

Prashant Sree said...

Hi Rajesh,

Great to see some introspective writing. The fact that so many of us like those moments of short-walk, is mainly coz, as we began to learn to look inside, the more enlighten we become. The more the feeling of happiness/self-fulfilled feeling.

And reg CAT, how are your SIMCAT's going on...

I would like you to check out my blog too.,.

Regards,

Ps said...

Good luck for your CAT.
Did this post make me nostalgic?Well--not really--to be honest! But glad u enjoyed reminiscing.
Cheers
Preeti (just a mother of two)

Rajesh said...

@Prashant
Hi...Welcome to ma blog...SIMCATs are going ok dude....unable to clear the cutoffs...hoping to improve..
Will definitely urs too

@ps
Welcome to my blog... Alright...no prob if that dint turn u nostalgic...keep coming

Red Soul said...

hey, random blogger !! :)

joiedevivre said...

turly very nice

and yeah,,pehla nasha is one of my fav..

hav blogrolled u

Sach! said...

well written...you surely took everyone down your memory lane and in my case, made me nostalgic about many things :)
And all the best for CAT (Wish me too :))

Btw..my post was a tribute to the land who brought me up...nothing with memories and of course! wanted to say a special thank you to the photographer.


Take Care!

Rajesh said...

@Joie
Yeah...thanks for the blogroll..

@ Sachi
All the best 2 u too for CAT...glad that u enjoyed..keep coming

Miracle said...

Hey thats one of d best posts ever...almost made me relive my gud ol days... sometimes somethings give you a kind of inexplanable happiness and satiety that can only be felt by oneself...am sure you felt that extreme peace after this walk... some walks are worth to be remembered...greatest being our walk of life till date.. :)
all d best for CAT and yur new Job.. :)

Swayam said...

sniff sniff.... loved it absolutely... i miss my childhood days too, anything i'd do to trade them back...:)

Rajesh said...

@Miracle
Thanks a lot...glad u liked it...hope I do my CAT well...thanks 4 ur wishes too...keep coming

@ Swayam
Welcome to ma blog...ya..those were fun-filled days...

Sahefa said...

I love the description of your blog. Your blog is really cool...thnx for stopping by my blog

Meghna said...

beautiful and touching!

Rajesh said...

@Sahefa and Meghna
Thanks for reading...keep coming.. this's one of ma fav posts

Fantasies of a Lifetime said...

sorry dude was deprived of the internet for a while. . . .lovely post , and it did take me down the memory lane too. .Ah!!! those were the days, weren't they?. .I really can't believe am all grown up already :(. . .

Fantasies of a Lifetime said...

ummmm,I did read ur post , I really did.

I meant , down my memory lane,all the memories were so far away in time. . .all the fun seemed long back. . .& urs seems that way too , since all the instances dates back to ur school days

Rajesh said...

@Fantasies
OH...alright...thanks for reading...keep coming..take care

Sophiagurl said...

Hi Rajesh, thank you for visiting my blog and I am honored that you liked my post =)

I read your post and it gave me a feeling that you are a kind-hearted soul with a very good heart.

Lovely walking with you down memory lane. Hope you keep visiting=)

RiverSoul said...

Hey,
My blog's been updated
:)

Rajesh said...

@ Sophiagurl
Thanks a lot...keep coming

Rajesh said...

@ Riversoul
On my way there :)

Ferrin B said...

totally. you totally succeeded in making me take a trip down memory lane. college begins this week and your post reminded me of all the memorable times i've spent at school and how i'll miss those terribly..

Happiness IS indeed best realized when one finds things once done amusing. lovely post rajesh

Rajesh said...

@Ferrin
Thanks a lot...feels gr8 when u take such walks and it makes it all the more spl wen ppl post such nice comments abt the walk

Shruthilaya said...

This blog was particularly out of the ordinary cause it makes the readers connect to their childhood memories. This was just beautifully expressed.. Hats off! Never better :)

Rajesh said...

@Shruthilaya
Thankd alot...pleasure having u here always...keep coming...hoping to produce good articles in future as well :)

Gauri Mathur said...

Lovely!!!!:-) i read tis before also,but i don't know hw i forgot to comment..:(
Keep Empowering!:-)

Rajesh said...

@Gauri
Oh...thanks a lot...glad u liked.. Empowerment??? does it empower u??? hee...hee.. :)

Tara said...

Sometimes the smallest of things give you the greatest of happiness. A little gesture, a little smile, 'that' moment bring so much warmth and content with them that your heart and you feel very good. So was it with your Walk to Remember. I remember the first time I read this post, I went

"Wow! This is so well written that you almost see yourself walking down that lane and can feel the fresh air and the rumbling leaves!"

I had got a good comment then, can't quite remember it now. Well, I am trying to make my comment match up to the standard set by you with this beautiful post.

Such good posts (I think this is your best by far) make you sit and ponder and push your own limits. There are two kinds of people, ones who write and ones who leave a mark. And I don't need to tell you where you belong...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post, it made me sit back and walk down with you!

Keep up the great work and looking forward to more such posts!

Tara

Rajesh said...

@Tara
When I poted this post, u were the ones who, I knew wud enjoi the most coz in ma prev post then, u had compared me with Chethan Bhagath for taking out things from ma life n penning them down...so this was one such...and i loved this..so thot u too would like it..

Glad u read it now...thanks for dropping by...