Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Honestly? I am scared.

I don't want to get raped. I don't want to carry a pepper spray.

I am not even angry. I am just scared.  What if I get raped? Rape is scarier than most people realise. 

I don't want people telling me how to be safe. What to do so that I don't end up facing such trauma. What to wear, where not to go. Please stop doing that. Just start telling men not to rape. Tell your brothers. Tell your friends. Tell your fathers. Remind them everyday. Teach kids in school. Tell them to talk about it openly. Regularly.   I feel, this should become an important part of everyone's education. 

Men need to come out in the streets to give support to the woman in their lives. 

And yes, understand this. Media adds to rape culture. You favourite actor pinching his heroine's butt; your favourite rapper objectifying woman; men in movies not taking no for an answer; all of them encourage this culture of sexual objectification of woman. Unless we stop objectifying woman, rapes will keep on happening. 

Do you know what causes rape? Rapists. 

How long will the outrage in the media last? One week? A month? Learn to be outraged everyday. By lewd comments, by stares, by catcalls, by unwanted attention. Protest at the smallest instance of sexual harassment. Talk about it. Start a debate. Tell people-"I got harassed. It's wrong and I am outraged. I will not stand it."

Today I make a promise to point out every instance of objectification. I will not keep quiet. I will shout, if I have to. I will not shut up, even if people give me looks. 

Steaming and in your face. 

Because I want a safe world for all of us. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dealing with different

I must have been 11 when I encountered the concept of "gay" . It was new year's eve and we had all come for a drive. Me and a cousin saw a guy give another guy a peck on the lips. I looked at my cousin and we both went "eww". I am sorry.

I was in a girls only school.When I was 15 some girls teased others by calling them "lesbo".  It became the cool thing to do. I must have teased someone too.  I am sorry.

When I was 17 I started reading up on homosexuality and wondered why anyone would be attracted to the same sex. I didn't get it. My stance was let them do what they want to. Their choice. I wasn't an ally. I am sorry.

In my 2nd year of college a girl proposed to me. It was weird that she didn't realise that I didn't swing her way. I was freaked. Now I know what it must feel to live in a world where you have to pretend to be someone you are not. All the time. I am sorry you have to go through that. 

In the beginning of 2012 I read up more on homosexuality, took part in online forums and discussions and tried to understand the LGBT community better. There is so much more to learn. I am sorry I didn't start earlier.

I am sorry for judging. I am sorry for not understanding. I am sorry for the ignorance. I am sorry for the indifference. 

I am sorry. 

I have been recently told by a friend that he is gay. His sexual orientation does not change anything.

Today, I am an ally

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Ideally I should be able to walk from point A to point B without being subjected to a single cat call,  comment or whistle. Without a single stare. Ideally I shouldn't have to worry about this when I step out of the house. I should not have to think twice before getting onto a crowded bus, because some man may "accidentally touch my breasts or behind. I should not have to worry about some guy following me. 

And when it's dark and I am walking back home I should not be scared that an unknown face will try to thrust his penis into my vagina even though I was repeatedly shouting "No". I should not have to worry about the police telling me-"You asked for it." Or some woman telling me I was wearing the wrong clothes or took the wrong route. Or the uncle across the road questioning my lifestyle. Ideally.

I am tired off explaining that you should not question the victim but the rapist. Catch the criminal, don't victimise the person going through the trauma of being raped. Set your priorities straight.

Safety. The right that most cis-heterosexual men get but which everybody else has to fight for.  I want to be safe without having to fight for it. 

It's not that complicated, you know. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

We shall meet again.

I hate goodbyes. I know it's a very cliche thing to say but yes I said it. I am not the kind of person who can't let go or move on when the time is right. I didn't cry at my school or college farewell. I know I won't cry when my current course ends. Because I know from the beginning that this end will come. But when it's sudden and unexpected I find myself not liking the feeling. It's uncomfortable. It leaves a lump in the throat. It makes me sentimental. 

The word goodbye is dreadful. A simple bye seems less final. I like the idea of saying "I am coming back" instead of saying "I am going." Bengalis and Maharashratrians have this tradition. 

In Bengal when we celebrate Durga Puja and when Maa leaves us on the 10th day, we chant "Asche bochor abar hobe. "- This will happen again next year. " Maa is not leaving us, she will be back next year. 

In German there is a saying that says you don't meet a person just once. So if you're saying goodbye , know that you shall meet again. 

This  cheers me up. Goodbyes need not be forever. We part so that we can meet again. 

The next time I need to say goodbye  I will say instead "Until we meet again."

Update: To read my poem on Goodbyes and letting go "And then sadness prevailed click  here
I have also written a piece on trying to cope with my granddad's death. Read it here

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Of whatsapp and helplessness and LDRs

The most important thing in any relationship is communication. But for people in a LDR it IS our lifeline. It's the only thing that keeps us going through days, weeks and months apart from the person we love. 

When communication fails because of technical  problems, it is frustrating. Not only frustrating but greatly annoying. I depend a lot on whatsapp to talk to A. And for some network problem, my messages are delivering really late, for the last few days. We haven't been able to chat properly. Phone conversations everyday are not possible. 

It is still possible for us to call each other up. A friend of mine is also in  LDR. His girlfriend is in USA. They can't even call each other up every time the net is down. 

Technology is apparently a great boon for people like us. But we are so used to it that when it fails we tear our hair apart. One feels so very helpless. 

The internet is vital. It makes talking everyday easier. But it does in  no way replace the security, the warm fuzzy feeling of us being in the same city. Of being able to meet whenever we want.

Communication is important. It sucks to have to depend on the moodiness of net for it. Hopefully A's whatsapp stops being moody and works properly again. Soon. 

P.S I hope that the long distance part is temporary. It's not something I had planned o. But things don't work according to our plans,  do they?

Here's a cute youtube sog about goodbyes by  regular indie youtuber Bryarly Bishop Hard to say goodbye

"And I won't lie - it's hard to say goodbye

 It's one of those things that won't get easier with time
But if you wait, I promise I'll wait, too
Until the day that I can make my way to you "

Dating sucks: My entry for the Get Published contest

"Love is a four letter word with infinite power"

I don't like cheesy love quotes but I like this one. I can relate to it. Love definitely has a lot of power. Things change when you fall in love.

Though I have written fiction I have not written a lovestory yet. And now I want to. Lovestories seem simple right? Boy meets girl; they fall in love; live happily ever after(or not). But I don't think writing a lovestory is that easy. There is a lot of emotion involved. That is why I have never really attempted one. I think I will, now that HarperCollins has a contest on Indiblogger. Bloggers can write about "Real Love in New India. " Good incentive right? And since I do have a plot...

My story revolves around Kaashvi Sahni, a 21 year old drummer who wants to form her own band. Its about how her journey of discovering love. Its about having to kiss many toads before you even have a shot at finding your prince(Failed dates, first kisses, bike rides, long walks, phone calls, facebook chats. A little hesitation and loads of confusion. That's what finding love is all about. 

Kaashvi's search for "the one" began when she was 18, when she decides to go on her first date. And now, at age 21,  a couple of break ups and countless dates later, she hadn't found her special someone . But she is determined. She decides to chronicle her experiences in her blog. The question she wants an answer to is something all of us have asked at some point of time. Do we need to find love or does love find us? 

When I was  thinking about what kind of lovestory I want to write my mind wandered and I recalled all the stupid blind dates I had gone through, all the jerks I had encountered, all the confusion and all the heartbreak I went through.  Just to find that "special someone". The things we do to find love! I think the whole process of dating is stressful. And this is what inspired me to write about a girl my age who goes through all of this(like everyone else.) Being a blogger myself I decided to tell Kaashvi's story through her blog. 
Sounds interesting? I call it old wine in a slightly new bottle.

Extract: Kaashvi's first blog entry-Dating sucks. It really does. I am not saying that love sucks and that I don’t believe in love. All I am saying is dating sucks, The whole process of dating. The mind games, the trying to impress a person; the trying to understand if the other person as emotionally involved as you are; all this is too stressful. I don’t know much about love but I have been on too many bad dates. I have been in a relationship in the past but right now I am single. I think for the last few years I have been trying to understand what love is. I still haven’t been able to figure it out. In the process of finding “love” I have obviously gone through the motions of dating. I now realise that I hate it. I hate the whole proceed of dating. I used to blog about music and will still do but now I want to write about my experiences and what I feel about love.

This is my entry for the Harper Collins-IndiBlogger Get published contest which is run with inputs from HarperCollins India and Yashodhara Lal

P.S If you think you would like to read my story when it's done, do vote for me here

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Khushi, lights, pollution

I don't do anything systematically. Not even pouring oil into diyas. I just pour it randomly and see which one I have missed. I am weird.

I didn't make a rangoli this year, for Diwali. We didn't light up our home with colourful electrical lights. Neither are we bursting crackers. No, we are not mourning. We are just lazy and environment friendly. And maybe a bit lame for not celebrating Diwali properly.

Anyway. The point is. Happy Diwali. Etc etc. May this Diwali bring prosperity in your lives. Just go read facebook status updates for joyous greetings. Don't make me type all this.

P.S: Please make sure you don't call woman "bomb", "pataka", "fuljhari". She has a name, call her by that name. And if you don't know it, you have no need to call her. Period. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to murder someone is an important thing to know.

I am thinking of ways of murdering people. People get away with murder. What kind of murder will I get away with? I was wondering. And asked a few friends too. They unfortunately could not give me a satisfactory answer. Either I have violent tendencies or a very keen curiosity about murders. 

It's a weird thing to admit. I want to make a list of ways of murdering people and getting away with it.  I hope I don't get arrested for writing this. But I do need to know how to murder people. For research. In case I want to write about  murders in the future. 

I wonder if someone has written a manual for it. 
Random Oneliner #5 

A walk in the rain is inspirational. And for the 1st time in this city I enjoyed getting wet. Drenched, to be precise. Maybe because I was walking alone. 

I do like the rain. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New and old.

I have a brand new background. Thanks to my friend and fellow blogger Samik. He is great with such stuff. Designing backgrounds, logos, painting. Even my header is done by him. He is this multi talented guy who can paint, sketch, sing, play the guitar, click great photographs AND write. It's overwhelming. It's as if he is good at whatever he does.

And ofcourse he is a great friend. He is always ready to help. Always. He is one of those people who do not think twice about helping other people. He will go out of his way to help anyone who needs it.

I wish we met more often. Had the time to. But we don't. That doesn't change the fact that I treasure him as a friend.

He is one of the purest souls you will meet. And he is one of the sweetest guy  I know. His simplicity is what makes him different. And I know he will stick to his ideals, no matter what. As a friend, he will stick by you, even if you don't. He is that kind of guy.

I want to thank you Samik; for your countless re-designs of my blog background, for all the logos you made for me, for all the ideas you suggested to me and for all the techie help you gave me. 

Update:   25.1. 2014 Samik has written a guest post for me. To read it, click here

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More people needed. More words needed.

What happens when you become so attached to a character you create that you don't want to share it with the world? What happens when that fictional person is an anchor in your world of words?  A sort of sanctuary? Something that helps you believe you can create more. That you can be better. That no matter what happens, that baby step you took will always be there with you. To guide you through every step you take. 

I wanted to write Anushka's story since I was 14. That time I didn't have the skill or imagination or even intelligence to write it. I started writing it when I was 19; when I had finally decided that writing was my calling. I had by then realised that writing not just fun and games to me. I definitely wanted to be a published author.  After that I took it  very seriously. And started writing. College and studies came in between. But I wrote. I was not disciplined. Still I wrote. And on an impulse send it off to an nondescript publisher. They never got back to me. Rejection hurt me. But I saw where I was lacking. So I rewrote some portions. This time choosing my words even more carefully. 

When I was satisfied I showed it to a few friends. For the first time, someone other than me read it. ( I am not counting that publisher.) And they liked it. I was relieved. But this time, I am not ready to send it to publishers. I want to be ready. Soon. Pretty soon. 

I know I still have a lot to learn. But I also  know that I have it in me. Even if I am not 'there' yet. I know can  reach there. I just have to look back at Anushka, to be sure. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

The "When I finally get my own place" list

The list maker is back. I was bored of studying nutrition yesterday so I made a list of things I want  when I have my own place.

1. One wall will have a huge bookshelf. From one end to the other. And Agatha Christie, OHenry, Pablo Neruda, J.K Rowling, Paelo Coelho, Kahlil Gibran, Jacklyn Moriarty, Alexander McCall Smith will have pride of place on it

2. I will have a red wall. 

3. And a desk. 

4. And a softboard placed over my desk. I will stick a huge world map on it. To be wistful about places I want to visit and to mark the places I have been. 

5. I also want loads and loads of pens on my desk, ready to be used. So that I never run out of ink. I keep losing my pens.. I will buy the 3 rupee ones. So I can keep on buying them without feeling guilty. 

5. I want a small terrace. With a deck chair. To come up and look at the stars. To grow flowers. And for long glances at the moon. 

6. I will have a hammock. To laze around with a book.

7. I will have an espresso machine. For the instant caffeine high. 

8. I also want a landline with an answering machine. I always wanted one. Whenever I read about them I was fascinated. I want to record fun messages for callers. I have a list of funny answering machine messages, somewhere. 

9. I want a huge bed loads of pillows. I do love pillows. 

10. One of the walls will have framed photographs. To look at. And smile. I wish we had framed pictures at home. I already know which photographs I want framed. 

There will be other things in the house too. But for now, these are the things I really, really want. 

P.S: The Title of this post is inspired by a song by Aqualung. You can find the lyrics here

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Z : Zestfully yours

Zest for life is important, I feel. It's a rare quality. Not everyone has the enthusiasm and excitement to lead life with full heart. And it's one of the qualities in a person that I admire. It's not easy to be cheerful and positive. It's not easy to not worry. It's not easy to just live. Like you are enjoying every minute of it. Very few people can do that. Really enjoy life. My mom can. A can.  And so can my friend Sayan. All three of them, are generally very happy people. They know how to live! They enjoy every moment. It's inspiring. 

My mother is enthusiastic about anything she takes up. Be it teaching, tatting or making stuff with beads

Sayan is so sure about the great future I will have that every time he says something good about me, I feel encouraged. He is generous with his compliments. And knows people well. His words are meant to praise and encourage. He does that with such elan. 

Even my mom is like that. She is a step further. She is the one who can see silver linings in any situation. Her words come like a ray of hope. It's as if she knows, that after the bad time the good time is  round the corner. As if it's peeking and waving at her. She says she is not worried about me. She says she knows I will do well. 

Because she has this enthusiasm for life, she is also generous. She is the kind of person who will never refuse to help you. Whoever you are. 

A has the ability to adjust to any situation. Which is on of the things I admire in him. He too always manages to find a way to be happy, satisfied. 

And so is Sayan. Content. Yet he knows he wants more. And  sure he will get it. Which is one of the best things about him. 

It's encouraging to have such people around you. It's nice to know that one can find happiness in the smallest of things. Like making a bracelet with beads. Or discussing what kind of life you want with a friend. Or telling someone not to worry. It helps, you know; to have people like them around. It's as if they know no other way. And that's how it should be, right? Enjoying  each day, as it comes. Living life like it's meant to be lived. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Y: Yes, you know it

You know you're  a hostelite when...

  • You believe that more detergent means cleaner clothes.
  • You try to find ways of making the hostel food more interesting.
  • You glow when you recieve a parcel from home.
  • You would eat anything your mother cooks when you get back home.
  • Going out to withdraw cash is an event.
  • You start comparing prices of  everything you buy.
  • Sleep is the biggest luxury of your life.
  • A month before  going home, you start counting days.
  • You need to 'shotgun' a bathroom every morning.
  • You shift places to get the best network.
  • All  phone conversations take place in the corridor.
  • You periodically   borrow ketchup, pickle, maggi, earphones, shoes, clothes, laptops and everything else from anyone who is willing to share. 
  • Your room is sacred. Your bed, even more so. 
You know you're a hostelite when you are a hostelite. Even though we crib, at the end of the day it's not that bad. 

Update: 5.2.2014 I have a guest post by Amateur at this on what you learn when you relocate to a new city and experience hostel life. It's a fun read on gaining independence and learning new things. Read it here  

Monday, October 8, 2012

X:Xcuses, Xcuses.

X-rated. No this post is not x-rated. But that's the first thing I thought with X. Then I thought of X-mas, and X-factor and XL.  And then X-men. I don't know what to write about with these words. I  also thought of X-ray. Honestly I have nothing to say about these things. So I decided to look up the net. Well, the result was that  I wasn't  inspired by the words I found.

I think I am going to end this post. There is no point. And oh if anyone likes scrabble and wants a list of words starting with X, here's the link

Any suggestions on what I could have written about? 

P.S: I promise I will do better tomorrow. There are only two letters left. Tough ones. Wish me luck. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

W: Wit and wisdom

"Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure."

Having knowledge is not enough. Reading and memorising and understanding thousands of books may be  one of  the key to intelligence. But  knowing where and when to use  that knowledge that makes a person  wise. 

What measures intelligence, though? I don't think I.Q tests and other psychological tests can measure intelligence accurately. 

Someone quite wise had once said that the true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. I don't think that's true . Imagination cannot exist without knowledge.  Ignorance can never fertile ground for an imagination to grow.  I think it's a combination of both knowledge and imagination. What it knowledge if you can't use to well? If you can't create something worthwhile with it?

Wisdom apparently 'often requires control of one's emotional reactions'. I dont know about that as I am not paritcularly wise. Nor do I personally know anyone who  is wise at all times. But people around me do have what  they call 'moments of wisdom'. 

What do they mean when they say someone is wise beyond her years? What has age got to do with wisdom? Probably nothing. Except for the fact that age is supposed to bring with it the wisdom of experience. But sometimes it does not. And sometimes, even the young like us show wisdom; not expected from us. Sometimes that wisdom is discarded. 

One is not born wise. Wisdom is acquired. Likewise it can't be spotted easily. 

Intelligence on the other hand is more easily catagorised and pinned down. Psychologists claim it can be measured. I would rather it was not. Because intelligence is of different kinds. And should not be compared. 

Wit, on the other hand is a different thing altogether  I  admire anyone's ability to say funny yet clever remarks. Here too, knowledge plays a part. A  knowledgeable person will be able to play with words. Will be able to twist them  and use them to his advantage. Will be able to sound more knowledgeable than he is. And that is  a skill worth admiring. To be able to say what you want to and to be appreciated for it is an art. I would treasure it. 

But the person I would treasure the most is the one who has the knowledge and is willing to share  it. That's why teachers deserve all the respect and love they get and more. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

V: V-day

Valentines  Day is SO not my thing. Neither is candlelight  dinners and red roses. I am not into the conventional idea of  romance. I have never celebrated V-day. This year I tried to make other people's v-day special. By selling them chocolate. 

It's not as if I don't like romance. I love it. But I can't follow the herd. I find romance in letters and love-notes  and in books gifted to me by that someone special. Flowers wilt. Chocolates are eaten. One runs out of sweet nothings to whisper.

Knowing what the other person would drool for is romantic. If A would have ever bought me a "cute little teddy" I would accept it graciously but wish he knew me better. 

I find romance in laughing together. In singing stupid songs on the phone. In A coming up with the idea of giving adjectives for each other with all the letters of the alphabet. In listening to each other's crazy ideas. In accepting that A will rarely stay up late and chat. 

When I think of romance I think of poetry and beaches and the full moon. Or a lighthouse. Or looking at train schedules. Or  sudden 'boos' and mid day hellos on whatsapp. 

I am not the most romantic girl you come across. I don't like cheesy lines. I am not impressed by expensive gifts and meaning-less words. I enjoy watching all that in rom-coms. It looks good on screen. But what I want is different.  What my guy does for me should be done just for me and not because other guys do it for their partners. I am just lucky I have that kind of guy. I don't need Valentines day to celebrate romance. 

P.S: This post is dedicated to A as he came up with the idea for it. He is after all my idea-man. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

U: 100 words: Ultimate power

Ultimately she would have her way. He would be hers. He did not love her. But he would. Sooner or later. She had her charms. No man, had ever been able to resist her. And she knew that.

She wanted him. She knew he didn't love her. She wasn't sure if she did. But she was definitely attracted. No man had ignored her before. This man had dared to. Had the power to. She would strip him off this power.

He would fall hopelessly in love with her. And then, she would leave. Shredding his heart into pieces. Like always.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

T:Today there is a change...

Today I ran down the stairs. I was not as fast as other people are but I did. It felt good.  I am going to run  down again  tomorrow. And the day after. And after that. 

It’s an everyday thing . Running down stairs. But I can’t. It’s not as if I have faulty limbs. Some of you know this already. I am scared of running down stairs. It’s a phobia. I am not exaggerating.  Whenever I have to run down stairs I get nervous and really scared. An uneasiness sets in.I can’t explain it. My feet refuse to listen to me. I just can’t run down. If I am in a hurry I hop. I never run. I have tried, before. And failed. I always end up hopping.

But today, I tried. And succeeded. Because I finally decided that I want to get over my phobia. Today I wanted to do something unexpected.  Actually, it’s not just about today. I want to stop doing what is expected. I don’t remember when I started doing that. I was never the sort to care about what others thought of me.  But now I do. I need to stop caring about people’s opinions once again. What others think of me is none of my business.

“The best of us must sometimes eat our words” Albus Dumbledore had once said. I am not the best but I think I have to eat my words. Which is okay. Who said that I can’t change my opinions? Who said I have to remain the same? I was scared of changing. Scared of eating my words. Because I had gotten scared of being judged. No more.

I want to run down stairs without feeling scared. Anyway, I  bang myself here and there ; every now and then and  trip over stuff on a regular basis. Why am I scared of falling then? What’s the utmost that will happen? I will fall and hurt myself and get a bruise or two. 

 I don’t want to be scared anymore. That’s  why I will run down the stairs everyday. And increase my speed, gradually. Until I can run as fast as everyone else can.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

S: Spas and smells

Spas smell weird. I entered one near our hostel in the first month of shifting to Mumbai. A friend wanted to check it out. I could not stand inside, even for a minute.  I came out. I have an aversion to strong smells. Colognes that are too strong give me headaches and I can't enter a room that has been sprayed with perfume. I even had this phase when I felt like sneezing whenever I smelt something too strong. And spas are a mix of too many strong smells

And then I am not too much of a fan of massages either. I don't like  head massages and  I am not too sure if I am a fan of body massages. I know I don't like weird oily stuff on my body.   A spa is certainly not the place for me.

Talking of smells, I love the smell of coffee. It gives me such a high. It's not as good as actually drinking coffee but they say one is not supposed to drink so much coffee. So I make do with smelling it. 

Another smell I love is of the gandharaaj flower. I don't know what that flower is called in English. But it smells lovely. There was one tree, in the lane of our old house. When we shifted to our new place, that was one of the 1st things I missed. 

Old books smell great and so do babies. Ac rooms smell good. But I can't stay in them for long coz I feel cold. 

I don't like the way banana smells. Or the smell of ciggies in a closed room. Or oils. I don't like how coconut oil smells. Probably one of the reasons I hate oiling my hair. 

Smells are an interesting subject to explore. It's fascinating that certain smells uplift our mood and certain smells repel us. What a meal smells like affects its taste too. That's why it's important for food to smell good. And that's why people with a cold ( and a blocked nose) do not feel like eating. 

People say smelling lavender is beneficial. I bought  lavender incense sticks, recently. One of the weirdest things I have done on a whim. Specially because I used to be allergic to them. And yes, they do smell good. Don't know about the beneficial part. 

Since spas were created to provide us with a relaxing environment  spa owners should come up with customised options. Give me a spa which has my favourite smells. Without the massage and dim lighting part. Add in  a few books and play my favourite musicians on repeat and you've made my day.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

R: Randomly talking

Random Oneliner # 4: I hate being so dependent on facebook. I need facebook. To share and re-share cool articles and pictures promoting feminism. To keep in touch with my group. And most importantly to share links of my new blog posts. I hate needing facebook so much.  And I hate the fact that I love using it. And that I miss it when I don't log in.

Facebook is a habit I want to grow out of. Or maybe not. 

P. S - My Oneliners are never one liners and that's why I cannot tweet. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Q : Queer turn of events

Queer. Interesting. Unpredictable. Memorable. Fun. 

Those are the adjectives I would use for today. We celebrated Traditional day at Sophia Polytechnic, today. We were therefore supposed to dress up in traditional wear. Most of us really made an effort to dress up. After giving a stupid test in the morning, we all hung around; some of us clicking pictures, some of us roaming around. At 1, the whole polytechnic assembled at the basketball court( or should I call it the temporary dance floor?) And danced like crazy. It was so much fun! At three, 5 of us left to watch Barfi. A lovely movie, no doubt.

But here comes the queer part. As soon as the movie got over, it started raining. Cats and dogs and bulls and cows. There was no way we could step out of the mall without being drenched. Three of us are  hostel-ites and  have a curfew and  had to reach our hostel soon. So we braved the rain and set out. And got drenched immediately  Now we had to look for a cab. Four- five cabbies refused us before one guy agreed to take us to our destination. 

We had a lot of traffic. And then the cabbie decided to drop us half way because the place was flooded. So we waded through water; not knowing where the footpath is; almost tripping. Holding hands, we walked through muck. Wondering whether to giggle or whine. Thank God, we reached our hostel in time. 

We rushed to the common room, kept dinner for ourselves and went for a shower. And now here I am. In the common room. Blogging. Surfing the net. Craving for a hot mug of coffee. 

Yes, It has been a day to remember. The day we dressed up, danced and got drenched. 

P: Preserve your memories

People have forgotten how to take photographs. Its now about how good a picture looks and is it upload-able on facebook. Its now about posing and giving the perfect smile and wondering if you are looking good. Its now about getting a great angle and sufficient light and the right background.

It was supposed to be about capturing memories. About giggling and everyone coming together for the "kodak moment".

Saturday, September 29, 2012

O: Oh my hair!

Once you decide you need a haircut, you just can;t wait. It always happens with me. Yesterday I decided I need a haircut and went to the parlour near my hostel to ask the rates. Her rates seemed fine to me and I decided not to wait till going back home, to get one. I would have got it done right then, had I been carrying enough money. I asked her if she was open on Saturdays and she said she was.  So today I decided that I will go out at five and get a nice new haircut. After more than 8 months, I must add here. At  5.!5 I left the hostel and in 5 minutes I was there. Guess what? It was closed. Disappointed, I came back. I am feeling restless now. I want a haircut.

As I said, now that I have decided that I need a haircut I can see loads of problems in my hair. Suddenly I can see split ends which I didn't bother caring about all this while. I suddenly do not like the shape of my hair anymore. I just need to get my hair cut. Soon. Tomorrow. It's been ages now. 

I have never really experimented with my hairstyle, since I took the reigns of how to get my hair cut in my hands. In std 10, I decided to chop off my waist length hair and get a cool new style. The hairdresser called it "steps" and it really suited my curly locks. 

A few years later, another hairdresser suggested I try layers instead of my steps. So she gave my hair layers. Which looked good too. And the next time she gave me a combination of steps and layers. To be honest, it did not look that different to me. 

Last year in January I got my hair cut really short. The shortest I have had in a long, long time. It was a sort of  bob cut designed for curly hair. It looked cute. I didn't have my "soft curls" for about a month. Then my hair grew and my curls came back. 

I think I want to the "long hair" look again. But my hair still needs shape and so I still need to get it cut. 

Most of us get hysterical when given the wrong cut. That's why we don't experiment much with our hairdresser. I had changed my hairdresser once and she messed it up. Even though I explained to her thrice, what I want. 

I think I have second thoughts about getting my hair cut here, in Mumbai. But I just can't wait another month. I really, really want it cut. Fingers crossed,  the person at the parlour  does it well. But then, why even take the risk. I might as well as wait and ignore the nagging feeling that my hair looks unshapely. I don't know. I am confused. It's my hair, after all. I want it to look good. And nothing can save a bad haircut. 

I love my curls. I love the colour of my hair. I do love my hair. And if I get a haircut, it should be good. Otherwise, all hair may break loose. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

N: Not the same

Now a comment about the male species. They may not come from mars but  that does not make them easy to figure out. This is not an extensive research as guy behavior is not something I have been dwelling on. With only a measly few years of experience I came up with some observations about guys in general. Remember that this is a generalization. No way am I saying that all guys are the same. But they have a few key quirks which are common.

Guys like explaining things. They explain the smallest of things in great detail, specially if it concerns them directly.  They also assume that you know nothing about the subject. For example;  most guys assume that girls don’t know much about gaming. Another thing they love to explain is sports. Any sport. And they go on and on. Infact they are know it alls. They just like to explain. Even if they know nothing about the subject they pretend like they know. It is both amusing and frustrating.

Also, once they are depressed they go on being depressed. Maybe because they don’t believe in eating chocolate. Or dancing alone in a room to their favourite music.

Guys  do think a lot. They think about everything else except feelings and emotions. And when they do think about an emotion they just don’t know what they are thinking.

Their egos are easily bruised.  These bruised egos hurt as much as physical pain does. I do not understand why.

I think most of them sometimes get scared of the woman they know. Even the grown adult ones. Woman seem to intimidate them. Maybe coz they don’t understand us.

Getting over a broken relationship  they were intimately involved is difficult for them because they do not talk about their feelings with anyone. Guys in relationships sometimes talk about what is troubling them; with their partners. But, that too is rare. They don't want to to think about it more than they have to. I think it's  a defense mechanism. They don't even want to ask for help. It's the ego thing again. The biggest issue they have.  The natural thing we woman do to comfort someone is to ask them what's wrong. Right now I am talking to a friend who is upset and I am asking him why. He refuses to tell me. He is telling me to bunk it but I can't because I am not a guy.They just don't talk.  They just beat around the bush.  I wish they did but that's how they function. 

Guys  just don't want to grow up. For them, the world is still a playground. All the guys I know, once in a while say or do something really kiddish. And it's not once or twice. They just randomly come up with ideas that make them sound like 5 year olds. Two of my friends, do that quite often. 

I don’t even want to talk about the burping and farting and scratching their balls in public. Let’s simply not go there.

The male species is very different from us. But that’s okay, right? We like different. And we will learn to live in harmony. Someday.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

M: M n Ms

Maida is here to stay in my life.  I think I must have used thousands of kgs of maida in the last four months. In the bakery, whatever we make requires maida. You just can't escape from it. Actually I should say flour, but we Indians tend to call atta flour. Technically, atta is whole wheat flour and maida is called flour. 

Anyway, maida with sugar; maida with butter; maida with eggs. There is maida in everything we make. It's intriguing how one ingredient can taste so different in different recipes and in different proportions. 

I taste every product I make. Before joining my course I have hardly consumed  maida. I have never really baked cakes, nor do we use that much maida while cooking. Except in pasta.  I love pasta. Making and eating it. 

My mom has been a friend for a long time now. I think it was three years ago, when she had accompanied me to Pune, where I had gone for an interview. Those three days I had her all to myself. After a long, long time. Those three days we bonded over cheese spread sandwiches and murku for breakfast. That's when she became my friend. 

I am glad I am close to her. I am glad I can be myself with her. I am glad she doesn't judge. I am glad that she is so generous. I am glad she is my mom. 

Memory is one of my favourite words. We all have a story to tell because we all have memories. And memories matter. What would you be without your memories. Think about it. And that is why Mneme is my favourite Greek Goddess. The muse of memory. I have named my laptop after her. 

Monsoon is my favourite season. And it has hardly rained in Mumbai; this year. It has hardly rained anywhere ; this year. I miss rains. I miss getting wet in the rain. I know, it sounds weird; but I still love jumping in puddles. 

Moody, is the first thing you will notice about me. Ok, maybe not the first thing. But if you know me well, you will know that I am moody. That I have no control on how fast my moods change. And if you are close to me, you have somehow handled my moods pretty well. My mom, my sister I, AK, A, Kaniti have all dealt with my mood changes with elan. Thanks! 

Mixed bag. That's what this post is. There were so many things starting with M that I wanted to write about and I just could not decide. So I decided to write about  all of them!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

L: Lists

Lists and me have a long  history. Very few people are list maniacs. Those who are, inevitably end up being compulsive list makers. I am one of them. I have made lists ever since I remember. Lists of everything under the sun. My favourite books. My favourite smells. My favourite words. The ideal guy. Things I need to buy. Things I want . Things I hate. My list of lists is endless. I even have a list of all the lists I have made.

In class 11, I met AK. Who happens to be another list maker. Imagine my joy when I found that out! Infact we made our ideal guy list together. We made quite a few lists together. 

Last year, I reconnected with S (also known as Amateur at this.) She too is a list maker. There are very few list makers in the world and when one finds the other, an eternal bond is forged. 

Whenever I am confused about the oh-too-many-things at hand, I make a list. And feel better. Suddenly the world seems more organised and less like a mass of confusing here and theres. 

We list makers have lists tucked in everywhere. I sometimes make a list of things I want to say to a person, lest I forget. 

I was over the moon when I found Confessions of a list maniac in the library. Even though it's written for young adults, I loved reading it. Just because it was about a compulsive list maker. The numerous lists the protagonist writes made it such a fun read. The author herself confesses that she absolutely adores making lists. 

I am not organised, otherwise. List making is more than being "organised". It's fun. It's comforting. And one of my favourite things to do. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

K: K...not Kiran!

Kashmir. Raipur. Russia. Ahmadabad. Denmark. 

My roomie and I  were playing connections the other day. And yes, it was fun. It had been ages since I have played any game. Or turned to any sort of entertainment that does not need me to switch on my laptop. 

I used to love playing such games. Still do. We played a lot of board games and card games at home; as a family. Rack-O, Monopoly, Uno are some of our favourites. 

Then there is the memory game. Even though I am absent minded, I am pretty good at memorising consequent words. Wonder why I can't mug up boring notes! 

We have forgotten the value of such games. I don't want to sound preachy, but these games do help in bonding. I know I am close to my parents because they made it a point to spend time with their children. They made sure we spend quality time together. Some evenings we sat together in the living room and three of us- my mom, my sister and me sang songs; while my dad sat back and enjoyed the songs. On some days we just chatted about our day. 

On Sundays, we all read newspaper supplements after breakfast. We subscribe to 4 dailies so there are a good number of supplements. My dad is big on telling jokes. My sister and I know most of them so we take turns in delivering the punchline. He calls us his shahgirds. This word is sort of untranslatable but loosely translated it means that we are his disciples. His able students. And we will carry forward his legacy of making people laugh. 

I dont' tell much jokes here. Probably it's a father- daughter thing. Like singing countless songs is a mother- daughter thing. 

My parents have given us a lot of freedom. Both of us can voice or views, debate, argue, discuss. We have talked about so many things with mom and dad. Intelligent discussions. And learnt a lot. Such openness has broadened our horizons. 

We should all take time out from our laptops and smartphones, from our TV and our social networking, from gossiping and cribbing; to spend time with our loved ones. To talk, to play, to bond. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

J: So J

Jealousy is  an inevitable sentiment in any relationship. It’s funny when your friends get jealous if they see you close to other people. It’s cute when your boyfriend is jealous when you talk too much about this cool guy who happens to be a friend. But when jealousy turns into possessiveness, it’s time to see red.

There is a very thin line between being possessive and being jealous. Many a times,  it is not apparent that  the line has been crossed. Possessiveness sometimes translates to having the desire to control the other person’s action and the need to dominate. Often it is the result of deep-rooted chauvinism .

Possessiveness is something I cannot tolerate.  No one can control my actions, no matter how much he or she loves me. Possessiveness is not a sign of love. It’s a sign of a desire to own someone. In a romantic relationship, one partner may show a desire to decide what their partner wears, a desire to know where their partner is going, who he or she is meeting; there is a need to know what their partner is doing at every minute. In extreme cases, there is a desire to dictate what one’s partner should do; all the time.

In many cases both partners are possessive. In most cases(here I am citing straight relationships) the male is possessive about his partner. His partner may not have male associates, friends; his partner may not decide what to wear or where to go on her own. In such cases of extreme possessiveness violence is also involved. Obviously, such relationships are unhealthy.

In cases of parent-child relationships if parents are too possessive of their children; it will hinder their personal growth as an individual. After a certain age it is necessary for children to learn to make their own decisions. If they are not allowed to do so,  it will lead to clingyness and unhealthy dependency. Such dependency will again deter the person from being able to move on and learn to live if and when their parents expire.  Such people fail to have normal relationships with other people. They also may need counseling or psychological help.

Jealousy on the other hand, does not do much harm. Unless ofcourse it’s envy. The green eyed monster. Though envy is a synonym of jealousy, it is a more intense emotion. Envy. So many things have been written about envy. So many poems and plays are based on this emotion. Woman are said to have mastered the art of being envious. A very stereotypical view, I must add. It’s a lot of things. Resent. Spite. Even hatred. Jealousy seems, less complicated, less harmful. 

Semantics define jealousy as the base emotion which may give birth to possessiveness and envy. Its like a river with two distributaries.

It's fascinating that one emotion can imply so many different things.  They have different undertones at different times they are used. Emotions are complicated, ain't they? And language is an amazing thing.