5 Dec 2014

transience

Everything turns into a memory – good or bad – and is stored in the recesses of your mind only to be called upon when life manages to replicate some part of the memory at some point, a smell, a sight, a sound, a word…

PC

I lie curled up in a ball, my favorite pillow yielding no comfort.

My tummy is hurting so bad that I can’t stand up. I will myself to think about something else but the moment my thought process leads away from the pain, a sharp jag brings it back to the focal point somewhere between my ribs and my waist. I hear the clink of vessels in the kitchen next to my room and I wander into a tale of self-pity in my mind – I lie here, suffering, and my mother doesn’t care enough to come cuddle me, say a few soothing words. She gave me some medicine about an hour ago and that was that. Self-pity can be very comforting and very destructive – a few tears leak out of my tightly-closed eyes. It would be years before I realized that there is nothing my mother could have done about it. On the other hand, the way she reacted is what inched up my threshold for pain and for that, I am thankful now.

***

I lie curled up in a ball, my favorite pillow yielding no comfort.

I knew that I’d just gotten past the point of no return. Three years together have come apart at the seams. I’d parroted about a point of no return but when it really comes to pass, I feel dissociated despite the questions about the future that has a big, gaping hole in it. I think what makes me want to break things is that someone who is supposed to know me well chooses to believe the first rumor that comes around. It would be long years before I understood that when you have had enough, the first excuse is enough. I vow I’d never let a boy get me this low ever again. Now and forever, I come first. Me.

But that doesn’t stop me from beating myself up secretly for failing. The baggage is piling up.

***

I lie curled up in a ball, my favorite pillow yielding no comfort.

I feel winded, like someone had taken the air out of my lungs. The long, long post that highlights everything that is wrong with me. Surprisingly, I am not angry at the writer; in her defense, I’d started it. I always thought that I’m only as flawed as the next human being, but seems like I’m more than. I know it is pure spite that is spilling out, that I wasn’t half those things by many other people’s accounts. But I’m like that chef, one bad review trumps twenty good ones. Way to kick a person when she’s down, I tell the author in my head. Forgiving her is easy, chit of a girl... forgiving myself is what is going to take a long, long while.

***

I lie curled up in a ball.

It is only when you are dying that your life flashes by you, they say.

I close my eyes tight and picture frames like the ones from 1 Second Everyday run by my mind’s eye – a half-eaten bowl of rice and a picture book about a hat that grew larger and larger, a beating that came after the kulfi in the fridge was checked on too frequently, Lego blocks in a yellow tub, a raggedy brown bear that wasn’t cute but terribly loved, Rachel, the dinosaur who has travelled all the way to Dubai – farther than I have ever gone, buttons that were bought to make earrings for best friends and forgotten in a bag, the blue credit card that has been buried at the back of the wardrobe, the picture from Grade 10 that brings a cringe to the face, Ma’s biscuit cake, pushing the cousin off his cradle, losing pets, writing stories, talking to the mirror and sometimes the pillow, hospital visits that swung between the best and the worst, the unbearable drama in some relationships, the astounding simplicity of others, one billion thoughts a day, life – past and future. 

***

The best moments of life and the worst are temporary. In the end, they are all relegated to one barrel of memories, each just a blip on the radar of my existence.

2 Dec 2014

"God is a Gamer" - Book Review

PC
I have been walking around with this book in my hand for weeks now, looking for an excuse to not read it. When I expressed the requirement of having to compulsorily read it for the review, my colleague made an apt statement:

“If you read and average of a books a week from now and we’ll assume you will live till you are 80 years old, you will read a total of  2912 books. Now, do you really want this to be one of those limited number of books.”

For someone who hasn’t read more than 50% of even the classics, the sound math put things into perspective. 

Yet I ploughed on for another couple of days to ensure that my review is not biased by my personal views on writing and fiction.

God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian is India’s first bitcoin thriller. A storyline that weaves through global streets and paced at breakneck speed, the book is a huge improvement on the previous thrillers I have experienced from Indian authors. But the sheer number of characters which have been introduced with a pointlessness that numbs my mind is surpassed by the amount of effort that has gone into making those characters… well... point-ful. Unfortunately, the effort goes to waste.

Let me break it down for you.

Cons:
•    The grand finale/reveal falls flat on its face – insipid to say the least.
•    Too many focal points to the story, all good in their individual capacities, but together lose focus and thereby, are ineffective. Like someone mixed upma, parathas and KFC chicken and then threw in a taco and some beans for good measure.
•    Weak characterization; most characters have been given roles with a lot of meat on them without actually letting the readers get to the meat. This, again, is a fall out of the above point, lesser focal points would have given more scope to elaborate on the intricacies of each character line, which in turn would have added to the storyline.
•    Flimsiness – of everything. Not one character, not only event could hold my attention.

Pros:
•    Bitcoins are fascinating, I did follow the whole rise and fall of the actual Cotton Trail and all, and this book educates readers on why that is so.
•    A lot of research has gone into the writing bit of the book which is much appreciated; there are no half-baked facts on gaming, poisons and such which are covered in the book.
•    The language is simple and clean, straight-forward even. No bad grammar and typos and whatnot.

All in all, this is a book you should read when you are travelling for over a couple of days and you don’t have the focus to read a good book because of all the vendors going chaay, chaay, kaapi, kaapi, idli-vadeeee every few minutes, but you still want to read something to keep your mind off the rowdy crowd, the unnecessarily inquisitive aunty and the extremely judgmental college student in your compartment. Or if you are one of those people who carry a book around to show off.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian bloggers at blogadda

17 Nov 2014

Sunday Mornings

My eyes flutter open. My lashes are still heavy with sleep and my breathing is still making that transition.

The first thing I see is you, sprawled on your tummy with your face turned towards me. I smile at this very clichéd, very poetic scene: a ray of sunshine is creeping in through my chocolate brown curtains dappling your face with a single streak of light across, your small snores and the fast swish of the fan are the only noises that break the silence of Sunday. Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, I decide.

It is comfortably cold, the kind that makes me tuck my toes in securely. I lift my head up half an inch to check if you are cold, if you need a podapu*. But I see that you have purposely stuck your feet out of the covers, one of your many little idiosyncrasies, one of many that come together to make you, you.

I smile sleepily: those moments when you are being you flit hazily through my mind – insistent hand movements that you make when you are talking about someone at work who you specifically don’t like, the yikes face when you realize you have forgotten to do something that I asked you to, the helpless face when I’m crying about family, the smile that sneaks out when you see me search absently for my phone with one hand while the other is clutching  a book which has my nose buried in it, the way you flop onto the bean bag with a thud that always earns a scowl from me….

That thread of thought leads to another, less pleasant one: all those times when I have, hands on hip, yelled at you for things that you don’t do and shut you up with sheer, unadulterated, acidic temper. I immediately feel sorry for you, for having to deal with it… It takes even more out of me because you almost never react till I shut up for good about it. I’m thankful, I’m grateful.

I know if I wake you up now, you will drag me all the way to Church for half the day. So I’m quiet as a mouse, I give myself up to the thoughts flitting around again; they don’t really make any noise, either.

You mutter something about a costing report in your sleep and I say pffft involuntarily – your obsession with work is something that I will never understand. But I have a feeling that I’m mirroring you in my career, I aspire to be you…. That’s gotta be a good thing, right?

I realize that I don’t question this anymore – there used to be a time when my face had a smile for you but my head was bursting at its seams with questions – I don’t know when those questions faded away, though. Have I learnt to go with the flow? Or have things just solidified, like truth or a fact, like how the sun will never rise from the west?

I am overwhelmed, suddenly, when I realize that for once in my life, I’m at the right place at the right time.  I’m where I’m supposed to be. So I touch the wood on headboard superstitiously, silently thank my stars and shut my eyes tight, before snuggling in a little closer. This moment is mine and I promise myself that I will get it right this time.


*podapu: duvet

P.S: NaBloPoMo is obviously shot to hell. Sigh.
P.P.S: I want this to happen to me. Double sigh.
 

6 Nov 2014

NaBloPoMo - Tonight

Tonight, I will be me.

Tonight I shed the inhibitions that society foists on my persona, telling me to be a certain way because it is cool, telling me not to say things which are not.

Tonight I break out of the mould that the world has cast me in, to make me easier to categorize, to fit me into a convenient ‘type’.

Tonight I walk out of the binds of tradition and religion, the chains which wind themselves around my feet – they started when I was a child and now they have become too tight, they hinder my steps, leaps and bounds.

Tonight I shatter the judgments that humanity has cast on me, I rip off the labels and the tags that trail around in my wake.

Tonight I tear apart the stereotype that I ‘belong’ to, I wring out the lessons I learnt to ‘fit in’ and cast away the cloak I hide me in. 

Tonight I step out of the stilettos that society has me wearing, to make my butt look shapelier in the fancy pencil skirt, for they say, a desirable woman should have a shapely butt.

I let the green grass caress my bare feet, I feel the wind rushing through the unbraided locks of my hair, the lips are devoid of the “color-of-the-season”, the eyes are bare and the clothes lack a fancy label.

The feeling of comfort that spreads through my veins, through my person, is a better high than any substance can ever give me. This is the best present I can give myself, to be me.

For tomorrow is a battle I intend to win.

5 Nov 2014

NaBloPoMo - OneWord Prompt: Earrings

Her pearl drop earrings mesmerized him – the perfect curve of her cheek that was the backdrop to the pure, pristine white piece of jewellery seemed to have hypnotic capabilities that he wasn’t capable of comprehending. He had never paid much attention to random women before – just a cursory glance, one that was demanded by Nature and his birthright as a full-blooded male. But this one caught his attention right the first time her dupatta whipped across his face, when he was crossing the road from Forum to Koramangala – a scene straight out of a movie and yet, one that remained with him for a long time to come. 

He will never know her name, her favorite color or the way she likes her tea. She will never even know that he exists. But that brief quasi-meeting would ensure that every pearl drop earring he saw from then on, would take him back to the road from Forum and Koramangala. 

Ah, sweet unrequited attraction.

PC

4 Nov 2014

NaBloPoMo - The Serenity Prayer

Oh Lord, give me the serenity to accept that sometimes there might be another side to the story;
Give me courage to understand that some people are just morons;
And give me wisdom to understand the difference between the two kinds.


I have come to that inevitable point in life when my newsfeed is filled with wedding pictures and even baby pictures, in some cases. My best friend from school tells me that, come February 2015, I’ll be the only single friend she knows and I’m filled with a desire to pump a fist in the air for this achievement of sorts (I do realize that it is not a competition :P). Another friend tells me that I'll be maasi in exactly 8 months. I feel like I'm suspended in a place where all these are alien concepts, so to speak.

The reason for my version of the Serenity Prayer is something else though.

I notice a trend:

1)    Find boyfriend.
2)    Make boyfriend’s life hell with tantrums, post sap on Facebook.
3)    Break up with him three dozen times and get back together with him three dozen times. Restart cycle.
4)    One fine morning, realize that boyfriend is not good enough for you (this will coincide with the time that you complete your post-graduation - at least with people I know)
5)    Get married to an NRI from US/UK/Ireland/Australia/Timbuktoo within the next six months. Or less.

My issue is not with the ditching of the boyfriend – I realize that some people are not cut out for braving a "tough" life (with a boyfriend who might not be settled in life) and are happy taking the easier way out. I also understand that you dated because the age you were at called for it and you didn’t think of the amount of money the boyfriend will have in his pocket by the time you are ready to get married when you were drunk on love. As long as the marriage is happy, I could care less.

My problem is the grieving period, so to speak, after the relationship. Most of these girls are married less than six months after I hear about their breakup and I wonder. I wonder how the fuck they are able to dispense off with the person they fell in love with and promised forever to so quickly and install someone new in their place, someone with big pockets who will gift you MAC makeup and Victoria's Secrets coupons, someone you hardly know.

I know I might be sitting on a high horse and passing unnecessary judgment where it is not required and sometimes it might not even valid, but I find it very unfair to the institutions of both marriage and love that you don’t even pretend to take time to get over someone you said ‘I love you’ to with your whole heart.  


PC
Or maybe none of it was real.
Which makes me so naïve and silly that it is not even funny anymore.

3 Nov 2014

NaBloPoMo: OneWord Prompt - Takeoff

Her feet had faltered when she had stepped in, her head was pounding from the duress she was under. After a point, she had blanked out her thoughts and was concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other, just to ensure that she could function normally. As normally as she could at the moment, anyway.

She found her spot and sank in, trying to wipe sweat off of her face with cold, clammy hands. All her instincts told her to leave, find the exit and walk way, while she still had the chance; but she grit her teeth and held her ground, she had to be at the meeting or it would cost her company millions in dollars. The door finally closed and a handsome steward went through the mechanical motions of safety and security – but she was shaking like an aspen leaf caught in the hurricane by then.

The procedures were in motion, the flight was second in queue for takeoff. She sat in her seat desperately trying to control her breathing, failing, hyperventilating…. She had never feared flying, initially. Hell, she’d been flying since she was three. The fear had just creeped in from somewhere, she never could pinpoint an exact incident that had led her to her aviophobia.

She was contemplating throwing up when she decided enough was enough, people flew all the time and she was being silly. She had leaned back into her plush seat when the Captain’s voice rang through the cabin: clear, precise and soothing.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Captain Zaharie Shah, welcome to Flight MH370…

And then the flight took off.

PC

Promptlink

2 Nov 2014

The Month That Was.... October '14

There was a reason that I started The Month That Was… series back in July 2011. To keep a track of what happens when so that, when I look back at the year that was, all I see is not just a blur but a clear account of, what my boss insists on calling, hits and misses. I’m thankful to those posts. And I’m restarting them, after a failed attempt earlier this year.

PC
October taught me the art of being patient. AND how. There is something I have been waiting to come through since the month of September (which still hasn’t, btw) and it has taken everything that I have to not have a major meltdown about it. Everything else in life has been put on hold for this one thing but it is like God is waving it my face and saying, “Bitch, please. I have all the control”.
Anyway, I shall probably know something by the end of this month, so you guys will know shortly.

October taught me to endure pain by throwing the very-not-looked-forward-to-aerobics classes in my face. Every cell in my body wanted me to stay in bed and skip out on the next class but I pushed forward. Mostly.

October also saw me reading so much lesser. I invested in the damn Kindle in hopes that I won’t go broke shopping in Blossoms. But what has actually happened is that, the device has been loaded with all the books I want and then stashed away safely in the cupboard. All I have now to show for it is a bigger credit card bill. So much for that. NOTHING can replace paperbacks and hardbounds. Sigh.

October also saw my blog transition. I started researching on revamps for Mr. Phatichar and ended up with a new blog for myself. Two months of head-breaking changes later, I’m so excited to be writing here that it makes me think it is all worth it.

October also left with 200 bucks in my salary account in the end. Which is a first. The balance is usually in double digits.

October saw me fist pumping to be the last one in my school friends gang to be married. I also got news that the girl I had sleepovers with, who got married a few months ago, is having a baby in exactly 8 more months. While I am happy for her, I’m still working out how I feel about it. Not that it is any of my business anyway.

October has been the laziest work month yet. I have OCDs about exceeding targets, this month has been about doing just about what is absolutely necessary. Lack of motivation, lack of direction basically. And I don’t like this attitude which has set in. Working on it.

October saw Mum dropping and cracking the screen of her iPad. I haven’t even finished paying for it, dammit!! Damn you, stupid, careless jostler at Bannerghatta National Park!! October saw me missing family around Diwali for more reasons that just the damn Ghar wali Diwali ad. Diwali day itself was spent moping around and if it hadn’t been for friends who pried me out of bed and shoved a sparkler in my hand, this Diwali would have been worse than my 2012 one, which would be saying quite something.

October has also been about procrastinating. Right from the bathroom slippers that need mending/replacing to a much-needed visit to a doctor, everything has been pushed into November. I have promised to kick myself if I don’t finish everything that’s been pending by the end of the first week. Anyone willing/wanting to assist can drop by my office in Koramangala. No, there is nothing in it for you except the satisfaction of kicking my butt, good and proper.

I also am reeling under the shock of turning the calendar to the last but one page. Figuratively, of course, actual calendars are so passé *slips cool shades on*. WHERE THE FUCK DID THE YEAR GO?? Forgive my violent outburst, but I’ll be entering the 25th year of my existence in less than six months and it feels like I have done nothing at all.

Now that I’m done freaking out, I wish y’all a very happy Movember. Men, pliss to oblige. Women too, if you can bear being hairy for a month. It IS for a good cause.

PC
So Mr. November, how you doin’? ;)

31 Oct 2014

Venturing Into The Unknown: Chronicles

One fine day, my colleague comes and tells me there is a dance class/aerobics thingy right next to the office for reasonable monthly costs. Point to be noted, she stressed more on the ‘dance’ bit and I fell for it, hook, line and sinker. To cut a long story of me slowly heading towards obesity short, I ended up joining.

*Just to give you some background, I wake up at 7.30, work a 9-6 sedentary job, go back home, have dinner and sleep and that is the extent of my ‘physical activity’; the most exercise I get is when I lift my hand from my plate and put food in my mouth. I’m guessing jumping around in the shower doesn’t count as part of it.*

PC
So on a fine Thursday evening, fighting my OCD about starting on Mondays or the 1sts of a month, I slip on my sporty shoes, haul on a pair of borrowed pink pants, find the largest tee I can find (to hide all the loving handles) and ambled off to the studio. I discovered several things, one of which is that I have the stamina of half a peanut, that also one of those blackened, ugh ones. Half a jump and I'm already huffing.

Some other random things/observations/whatchamacallit:

1)    We have a different instructor for each day of the week. None of who believe in warm-ups or cool-downs. Which invariably results in me getting a very painful stitch on one side and spending 80% of the class bent over double, grunting through the pain. While seemingly everyone else, including the 50-something-year-old, keeps up.

2)    This is the first time in my life that I’m not the teacher’s pet (yes, I am/was a nerd, we all have pasts, okay?) but the uncoordinated buffoon in the background who gets everything wrong, turns left when everyone is turning right and basically is the bull in the La Opala shop. The knowledge hurts.
PC
3)    There is no graceful or feminine way of exercising/doing aerobics. You will look like a grandma doing her own version of zulsa™ (Zumba+salsa) to the music in her head, but you will have to deal with it, accept the fact that you will never look like Deepika Padukone when SHE works out.

4)    Hot instructors are NOT a myth. My Wednesday Woman has a butt that is just.perfect., hair that has just the right amount of curl, big, beautiful eyes and dance moves which would make Travolta proud. And she wears the cutest exercise-pants-thingies and racerbacks. Oh my, my. I don’t think I have to spell it out that I have a HUGE girl crush on her. Smitten, I am.

PC
I kid you not, she looks like this, except for the dark eye makeup and the blonde hair.

5)    I have robots in my class (who are skinny, little skanks who are snooty and uppity [but this might just be my jealousy talking], so I don’t know what they are doing there in the first place). Why ‘robots’, you ask? (Even if you didn't ask, I'll tell you) Because they pick up steps in less than a second and keep going for 55 minutes without even stopping. Every twist is rightly done, every kick is perfectly executed. Just to give you comparison, I pick up steps only in the last rep and keep going for all of 5 minutes before I stop, panting like an excited Labrador. Makes me wonder if they ARE actually robots.

6)    This is the worst part - I sweat like it’s nobody’s business. And it IS nobody business. Hardly two minutes into the class and my tee is soaked through and through. I kid you not. By the time I leave I look like someone played the bucket-on-the-door prank on me. While people tell me this is a good thing and fat is burning and crow is cawing and all, I look like I lifted some fifty weights and did some major workout, when all I did was jump uncoordinatedly around, pointing my toe at the wrong times. Also, the robots? They don't break a sweat... they are just... dewy. WTF?

PC
Bonus point: All the ‘next days’ of the first week? Anything I moved, except probably my eyes and teeth, hurt like a muthaphakin’ muthaphaccer, making me aware of muscles and parts of the body that I didn’t know I had.

All in all, I be in a dilemma. I love food. I can't stress that enough. And exercise is a bitch. I can't stress that enough either. But still, I have hope that someday… someday I might be as stamin-ous (like I have said before, I reserve the right to make up my own words on my blog) as my Wednesday Woman.

But that day is definitely not today. Sigh.

P.S: And I have people like her on my feed who are so hot and live such healthy lives that I feel guilty drinking even water. P.P.S: Gah.. don't laugh.
P.P.S.S: God created food. For people to eat. Man created exercise. It is unnatural. (Just some excuses that I make up to feel better about skipping class on Tuesdays when there is a MONSTER instructor who makes me pick up 2.5 kgs in each hand and squat-walk all the way across the room. Six times. Like I said, MONSTER.)
P.P.P.S.S: HAPPY HALLOWEEN, y'all. Go watch Annabelle.
 

29 Oct 2014

Star Gazer

Nothing about my life is clichéd so I never thought that my future would start in as clichéd a moment as when our eyes met across the tables. He had smiling eyes – you know the kind... the ones that are permanently crinkled on the sides, seemingly under the influence of some private moment of suppressed hilarity. I had come to trust myself to read men’s eyes well, experience had taught me that he who has intentions, none of which were good, always came with sweet talk but smiles that never quite reached the eyes – which is precisely why I liked this one, brown-eyed and long-lashed and laughter-filled.

He had just looked up from the book he was reading – I was and am a subscriber of the Darwinian theory and the fact that the book was Kafka on the Shore was what clinched the deal for my subconscious. Impeccably shabby, his pale blue shirt was far from pristine but very becoming of him and the denims were worn well enough to warrant the “favorite pair” tag. Add to that a day’s worth of scruff, he hardly made the cut to qualify as the 'regular gentleman', but those eyes. Those laughing eyes.

I don’t know what he saw though.

***

He looked at me with a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. The first time we met, he took my hands in his clammy ones, bent down to my eye level and told my daddy that he had a very pretty daughter. Looking back, that was the moment that my life changed forever. And looking forward, that was the moment I will keep willing away into oblivion.

***

The next time we met, we sat at the same table. Life had taught me to reach out for what I wanted to make myself happy and I had asked him out within five minutes of small talk and his laughing eyes twinkled with mischief as he accepted. What started as assertions on Murakami’s excellence ended up being a conversation that trailed through everything from shoe laces to the Universe to fishes in the local pond - I was very surprised that he knew where it was, further solidifying my very favorable first impression. I blushed when he said the brilliance of star dust would have trouble competing with me.

But I never blush.

***

On my 12th birthday, my parents had deemed me old enough to stay home by myself and I was very proud to have been given the responsibility, not realizing that, for them, it was just a matter of having their freedom back, being able to live like before, before the time the unplanned, unwanted child had arrived. He came knocking one day when they were out shopping – I wonder why I opened, I never usually opened the door for strangers. But then again, he wasn’t a stranger. A clichéd tale in the making, perhaps?

Looking back, I realize that I never stood a chance – his depravity never left me with one. He had picked his prey well for he had read me like an open book and understood that whatever happened, whatever he subjected me to, I wouldn’t break, my pride wouldn’t let me. Nor would I tattle, my courage wouldn’t let me.  

Once that was established, slowly, he proceeded to shred my soul.

*** 

It wasn’t a wonder that we, he and me, ended up under my fluffy duvet covers, desperate for breath and each other. Clothes had become an irritation as I gave my virginity up, at age twenty two, to someone who valued the bubbling feeling that virginity really is, the hope and the trust, that comes with spread legs. At least I hoped he valued it. My heart appreciated the fact that my insides were turning to mush, not from fear and pain like it has always been, but from those gooey feelings that I’d always hoped to feel. My head exploded, not from the inability to contain everything from the seventh circle of hell and shame, but from love, love exploding from the deep recesses of a heart that knew not the meaning of such words. 

***

He always slept over – he made sure he came only when no one was around. I had always lain away from his side, the putrid smell of dank sweat mingled with the metallic aftertaste of pain filling my senses while he snored precious minutes of my life away. I couldn’t leave the bed, he was a light sleeper and he would be even more brutal if I did or said anything that he did not like. So I lay by his side, suffocating any and all emotions, strangling sobs before they arose and battling demons who had stolen away my sleep.

***

Spent, he slept through my epiphanies and my hallelujahs. The crook of his arm held my buzzing head to his chest while the other hand held my warm body close to him, pinning it there. Strong that he was, fear was far from my mind for it was busy drowning in the feeling of finally belonging to someone who wanted me for me. His fingers that were splayed at the side of my face channeled my tears of ecstasy on to the duvet – the pillow that had been, till then, witness to nightmares and keening sobs, full of doubt, self-pity and lack of will to live, was finally spared.

***

He was extremely displeased when I left for college. He tried his best to get me to stay, to enroll in a college near home but there was nothing, not hell or highwater, he could do to make me stay, not even in the same country as him. As the landing gears of my plane retracted into the huge body, a shudder of relief went through my soul, though the lady in the aisle seat was too posh to notice and I had thanked my stars for that – I’d learnt to fight my own battles. He had made me stronger than I ever could have been.   

I haven’t seen my parents in a decade. They never came to see me either.

***

I woke up to an empty bed but the crackle of sizzling bacon in my pan quelled the tiny bubble of panic (some things never really fade from the mind, do they). I smiled as I allowed myself one more cliché – I pulled on his shirt, oversized as it was, and tiptoed into the kitchen. He smiled that scruffy smile at me, swung me up on to the kitchen counter and handed me a plate full of scrumptious food and the conversation continued from star dust to his long lashes to Orhan Pamuk and his ways.

Once, he brought up Lolita but the look on my face stopped him from going further; but him being him, he dispelled the minuscule black cloud with a wave and moved on to Pavlov Stellar, surprising me once again with his impeccable tastes - after all, all of these, and him, were my choice. My own.
And it had taken me five years of agony to get there. I deserve it.   

***

I am a woman, I look past my past to embrace my present. The battering I took, mind and body, is for no fault of mine and I refuse to blame myself for it. I choose to ignore the swampy mess and the unpleasant creatures floating in it which are waiting to drag me down. Instead, I look to the stars and see gleaming hope for a life yet to be lived in them.

I am a star gazer. 

PC

- Inspiration derived from the very, very, very inspirational Dominique Christina.

27 Oct 2014

Obligatory Transition Post - Confessions of the Chocolate Obsessed to Cookie Crumbs Inc.

Sometimes there are those things in your life which are precious but redundant. You carry them along on your journeys but your steps become slower, for the weight of the past keep pulling you down. Every once in a while, you need to shake yourself free and start afresh, even only if it is to ensure that you are walking in the right direction.…

.......Blahblahdoodlespapoodleladeedaa...

....

....... I could bore you with more speeches about what Confessions of the Chocolate Obsessed meant to me and my reasons for wanting a whole new place to write at or I could just throw the figurative door wide open and say “Welcome, have a cookie, won’t you?

PC: Here
Poke around, see if you like anything, let me know if something doesn’t work, drop a line. Or two.
As for me, I start again from scratch. This time, the writer is going to be an adult (so to speak) who has spent a decent amount of time making lemonade in life, paid her own bills and fought with herself and everything she stands for to invest in a Kindle.

In a nutshell, welcome to the next phase of my life. 
Cookie Crumbs Inc.

PC: Here

P.S: I’d also suggest you invest in a bag of Chips Ahoy! and grab a glass of milk to go with it. They really should start paying me for the amount of good PR I do for them, no?
P.P.S: I was serious about the ‘lemme know if something doesn’t work’ bit.
P.P.S.S: I hate Wordpress -_- Justsaying.
P.P.P.S.S: Blogging when you’re supposed to be working be the shitza :P And I’m sure you’ll agree. 


5 Oct 2014

Bards of the Blogosphere: Chapter 4 (Week 3) - The Perfect Crime? #CelebrateBlogging

Note: This is the fourth chapter in the "Game of Blogs" by BlogAdda for the team "Bards of the Blogosphere" 


Read the previous part here.

***

He was always just out of reach…. the happiness he radiated brushing against her fingers but skipping away just before she could catch hold of it. Finally, she catches up and stands by him, she holds out her hand and takes his but that is when he collapses, her horror-stricken eyes reflecting the growing pool of blood by his side and the last breath leaving his body in a whoosh before she could even start reacting… She stood there, helpless, not understanding how her world had fallen apart when it had only just come together… 

Jenny awoke with a start. She was drenched in sweat and the dregs of the same damn nightmare were clouding her senses. She ran a careless hand through her hair and shook her head clear of the cobwebs, which was when she heard the creak of a key in the front door – she immediately knew that it wasn’t her nightmare which had woken her up.

PC: Here
Considering the circumstances and being the person she was, she didn’t wait for an excuse to dismiss the strange sound – she slipped out of her bed like a cat on prowl and tiptoed to her door. She made her way into the dimly lit passageway, cautiously, and peeked out into the sitting room. All her senses on red alert, she became very aware of another set of shallow breaths which were not her own.

She almost jumped out of her skin when a hand clutched hers tightly! It was only habit that kept her from screaming out loud but her heart was still in her mouth when Shekar’s familiar form came up by her side; the expression on her face prevented Shekar from asking her what was up but he’d heard the creak too. Little more than a sliver of dim light at the Duttas’ bedroom door, which was opposite hers, showed Tara’s face framed against it - half worried, half scared and fully alert. Apparently, Jen wasn’t the only light sleeper in the house.

Jen’s eyes got accustomed to the dark by then and a slight rustle of cloth against metal drew her attention. For the second time that night, her heart made its way to her mouth - a creeping figure was making its way upstairs towards Roohi’s room, this was no regular break-in for the intruder seemed to know exactly what he wanted and where he could find it. The figure had just turned the pillar and was getting to the stairs.

PC: Here
 Her body went to autopilot: fear and training lent wings to her actions and the adrenaline start pumping through her veins. She, swiftly but quietly, strode to her room with Shekar following at her heels, without a clue as to what was going on. Seeing them both go into Jen’s room, Tara slunk in as well, just in time to see Jen retrieving her Glock. The Dattas’ eyes widened in shock – Jen had hardly seemed to come across as the gun-toting type. They opened their mouths to give voice to the million questions that were turning their brains to mush but a steely glance and the sense of purpose on her face stopped them. The seriousness of the matter hadn’t made itself apparent to them yet.

Jen went back out into the hallway and crept up to her previous vantage point, the intruder was making his way up the stairs and the dim light on the side of the top step cast a weak beam of light across his face.

Him!!!

The adrenaline made her feet fly - she half-ran, half-sprinted towards him. Her movement caused him to turn but before he could find out what was causing the flurry, Roohi opened her bedroom door, walked out groggily and called out to Tara.

Perfect, thought Ahuja, and leveled his gun at the child, he had fitted the silencer beforehand.

Put that thing down before you do something that you’ll regret for the rest of your life, Jen’s voice rang through the house from the bottom of the stairs. The tone of her voice made Roohi snap out of her groggy state and she looked up to the see the murderer pointing a gun at her.

It was a standoff, one that didn’t look like it would have anything even remotely close to a happy ending.

PC: Here
 ***


Read the next chapter here.

The team Bards of the Blogosphere comprises of Divsi, PRB, PeeVee, Arpita, Datta, Neeraj, Nupur, Sulekha, Maria and Roshan.


24 Sep 2014

Bards of the Blogosphere: Chapter 5 (Week 2) - The Calm Before the Storm #CelebrateBlogging

Note: This is the fifth chapter in the "Game of Blogs" by BlogAdda for the team "Bards of the Blogosphere" 




Read the previous part here.

***

“Leaders on the dais and my dear countrymen, a very good morning to all of you!”
 

The crowd roared its approval, with a fanaticism for a political figure that is second nature to Indians alone. The Minister basked in the approval; he sometimes couldn’t decide what he had stepped into politics for – the power or the popularity – while the former gave him the control he craved for, the latter was what went straight to his head like a glass of fine, heady wine.   
 

“I stand before you to ask you, my brothers and sisters, for help…”
 

The crowd quietened down, eager to know how they could help their great leader. 



PC: Here
“…help in grabbing an appalling problem that is weakening the very fabric of our society and removing it right from the roots!”
 

The crowd went ballistic. The Minister smiled and waited for more than a minute before raising his hand. But the moment he did, people stopped clapping abruptly and quietened down.
 

The Minister’s aide sat on one side of the podium, thinking about how he had the crowd eating out of his hands. I don’t have to worry about the next elections, if we keep going this way, he thought wiping spittle off the side of his pan-stained mouth.
 

“Kidnapping the budding youngsters of India and selling them off to the highest bidder for flesh trade, drug peddling, cheap labour, organ transplant, begging and child pornography – there are criminals in the country who are becoming richer than the Tatas and Birlas by doing such nefarious, utterly condemnable activities. One minute the child is safe, ensconced in the love and care of her family and the next, she is stuck forever in the grubby corner of some brothel, lands away from everything she calls home and forced to service men twice her age and do other unimaginable acts. Is this what the world has come to? IS THIS HOW WE TREAT THE LAKSHMIS OF OUR HOMES?!!”
 

The crowd was lapping it all up, he made sure of that. He was a powerful story-teller; his words had moved stones, in the past.
 

“As a son of the soil, as a citizen of this great nation of Bharat, I feel ashamed of myself. Ashamed that I’m not able to protect my daughters, my sisters…. The fact that these men exist, in itself, is a black mark on my face, on my reputation. And I refuse to stand by and watch anymore. I simply refuse.”
 

Cy sat at the podium, waiting to see where this is going. He wondered if something good could actually come out of it – on any other day, he would eat his hat rather than believe an Indian politician but today, today was different. He had an audience with the Minister later and he hoped against hope that that would be a step towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
 

“Let me tell you something….1779 children were kidnapped from their homes and trafficked in 2013 alone. One THOUSAND seven HUNDRED and seventy nine. Does that sound like a statistic to you? A mere number? Let me put a face to that number then, let me enlighten you on what that number means. The “mere” statistic means that, last year, close to two thousand families lost a child – parents losing the apple of their eyes, the one who they gave birth to, nurtured, cared for; siblings losing their playmate, the one who they sat down for dinner with, shared chocolates with, fought with…. All reduced to just a number to us. 

PC: Here
We don’t care, do we? We sit in our houses and say ‘that will never happen to us’ and continue with our lives, not bothered that for every number in the statistic, there is a family ripped to shreds, a life lost to a baseless, animalistic need, need for money, for physical pleasure, for cheap thrills…. An innocent, beautiful, full-of-life child sent to hell to rot for the rest of her life.”
 

The crowd had gone deathly quiet. The purport of his words was sinking in. Jen thought, this, right here, is a lesson in influencing people… Dale Carnegie would be proud. 
 

“I have a request, my dear brothers and sisters, a favor to ask of you loving people. The Government, the ruling party can do only so much to prevent such grave crimes. We do not have eyes and ears everywhere, nor do we have the manpower to combat and put a stop to human trafficking in a country that is home to more than a billion people. 

So I ask YOU to be our eyes and ears, YOU to be our manpower, to co-operate with the authorities to ensure that the action plan we forge is implemented successfully. Report suspicious activities, alert authorities where necessary, stand up for what is right without fearing anyone or anything and put the country’s needs before your own. I ask you to help us save little girls from becoming just another number in yet another statistic. Will you do that for me?”
 

Hearing the rousing words, goose bumps rose on people’s skin. Every last able-bodied man and woman in the crowd swore to be a better citizen and Jen was appreciative of the Minister’s efforts to create awareness, despite being supremely skeptical of the ilk of politicians.   
 

After a few more words on the same lines, the Minister bid adieu and went back to his seat on the podium for a few minutes to a standing ovation, much to his aide’s delight. When the next speaker started his speech, he, quiet as a mouse, walked off the stage and asked to be taken back to his room. 

Almost no one noticed… except Cy. And Jen.
 

Together, but far apart, they thought, “So this is it. In some time, we shall know if the efforts will bear fruit.”
 

And Jen sent up a small prayer towards heaven, “Please keep him safe, Lord. Please.”
 
***



Read the next chapter here.

The team Bards of the Blogosphere comprises of Divsi, PRB, PeeVee, Arpita, Datta, Neeraj, Nupur, Sulekha, Maria and Roshan.

14 Sep 2014

Bards of the Blogosphere: Chapter 4 - The Phone Call #CelebrateBlogging

Note: This is the fourth chapter in the "Game of Blogs" by BlogAdda for the team "Bards of the Blogosphere" 



Read the first part here, second part here and the third part here.

***

Her denim cut-offs drew a few glances as Jennifer made her way through the mass of humanity that was spilling over into this lane from Kinari Bazar. But her eyes were scanning the crowd for a hint of red. By the time she spotted the burkha-clad lady who had called her earlier, her tee was sticking to her back and she had started feeling the weight of the camera slung on her side.


PC: here
The black lace burkha prevented Jen from seeing any part of her contact but her eyes, but the eyes said it all, didn’t they? There were eyes that spoke of the kindness of the soul, some of depravity, some spilled over from carrying the burden of existence for too long while others did little to hide the malice that was mingled in the blood, definite and inseparable. The woman turned around and their eyes met over the milling crowd, Jen knew that she had found the right person.
 

But she knew better than to approach the woman. She maintained eye contact but poked around casually in the box of chudis in the stall next to the woman, her army of colourful bracelets giving her the perfect cover. After just a while, the mysterious woman started off at a swift pace, not looking over to see if Jen was following. By the time Jen noticed that she was on the move, the woman had almost been swallowed up by the crowd. But not quite.
 

Jen dropped the tinkling accessory and took off on the trail of the contact who was to lead her to her destination. The woman turned a corner. Jen turned the same corner a few seconds later but to her dismay, the woman had vanished! Her eyes darted from one person to another, she was just about to give up when she saw a wisp of red disappearing into a doorway on the far left.
 

Wiping a drop of perspiration off her forehead before it could cloud her vision, Jen strode towards the doorway, with a premonition that her destination was very close. She entered the darkness that shrouded the doorway with faith that comes with having walked a hard path in a life riddled with pain and suffering – there is a point in space and time in one’s life when implicit, innocent trust changes to deep mistrust of everyone and everything, which further mutates to a kind of strength that helps one cut through everything that stands in their way between them and their goal – that is true faith, however negative the connotation.
 

The darkness engulfed her but just until her eyes got used to it; Jen spied a small table on the reception desk – the place looked like a run-down hotel that lost its charm and its customers at the turn of the century. She walked to the table, the soft tiptap of her boots unsettling what looked like at least a decade’s worth of dust – only the swishing trail of her burkha-clad friend that started at the door and ended at the back door, off to the left, told Jen that she was in the right place. 

She spied a single key on the table and picked it up, wondering what it opened. Closer examination revealed a room number, 14. She looked around quickly and made her way to the right where she had spotted room number one. The passageway got darker as the dank smell of disuse filled her senses, she finally came to stop in front of one door, slid the key in and opened it. The door swung open quite noiselessly, surprising for a place like this, one would think. She stepped in and flipped a light switch, hoping against hope. She was rewarded when a single zero-watt bulb switched on right in the middle of the room, illuminating a Nokia 1100 placed precisely at the centre of a table.  

PC: here
From this point, the routine was familiar to her – two strides to the table, she picked up the mobile and switched it on. Her foot tapped impatiently making a click-clack against the wooden floorboard. The instant the light came on, she clicked once on the green call button and then again. The call went through, the urgency of the matter highlighted by the immediacy of reception – less than half a ring later, Jen spoke into the phone, “Is everything ready, has the school perimeter been secured?” After affirmation, she enquired, “When is it going down?” She paused for a long minute, patiently listening to the answer – her general impatience quelled by the gravity of the issue, she took matters of life and death very seriously.
 

“You realize what the consequences of bungling this up will be, right?”
 

One minute later, the call disconnected and she set the phone back on the table where she found it. Instinctively, she slid her hand under the table and Jennifer’s fingers came into contact with hard metal. One hard yank later, the Glock came away in her hand and a note slipped down to the floor. She retrieved the note, taking care not to leave marks in the dust – leave photograph with key, it said. She checked the barrel of the gun, it had a full clip left in it.
 

Everything wrapped up to satisfaction, Jen placed the note on the phone, retrieved a bottle of Absolut from her backpack and doused the phone and the table top with it. Then she held the lighter to the side of the flimsy wooden table till the flames caught on. After making sure that nothing else would burn down, she was very meticulous that way, she backed out of the room, out into the passageway and to the reception once again. 


PC: here
A handkerchief came out of backpack, the key was wiped clean and placed exactly where it had been found. A happy, carefree Roohi smiled at her from the photograph, she was drawn to the childlike innocence, a quality that Jen herself had lost a long time ago – she forced herself to place the photo, face down, next to the key.
 

Jennifer stepped out the doorway, into the blazing summer sun of Delhi, for once actually she was actually glad for it. A few steps towards the Bazar, she hailed a cab asking to be taken to the airport.
 

It was 12.47 p.m and it was like she had never been there.   

***


Chapter five is available here.

The team Bards of the Blogosphere comprises of Divsi, PRB, PeeVee, Arpita, Datta, Neeraj, Nupur, Sulekha, Maria and Roshan.


10 Sep 2014

"Private India" - Book Review

I have had a long-ish relationship with James Patterson novels and the sheer thrill of reading about murder and mayhem keeps me hooked to the genre that he has mastered. I remember reading my first Alex Cross novel while I was still in school, publicly aghast and secretly thrilled at the kind of language and the ferocity of the crimes described. It was a very good way to lose my innocence, in a manner of speaking.

The remnants of the thrill (for it’s been a long time since I had my nose buried in a James Patterson title, I hadn’t even heard about the more-than-6-book-old Private series) ensured that I added “Private India” to my cart when I happened to edit a book description at work. But just before I went ahead and bought it, came BlogAdda’s book review program, I tried my luck and the book was delivered in less than a week’s time. For free, mind you. Imagine my delight.

I haven’t read Ashwin Sanghi, nor do I intend to. I have to admit that it was a bit of a dampener to have him collaborate with Patterson – I really did expect a mess of a book. And at 450-odd pages, I was wondering how I was going to finish it in time for a review. But I needn’t have worried, the print is HUGE and hence it took me all of 4 hours to wrap it up.

Read the blurb here:

First, the bad:
•    What. Is. Up. With. The. Drama!!! So much of Bollywood-style dramatics happening throughout the story, almost making it seem like someone had a movie in mind rather than a book. Jack Morgan’s presence feels useless, to say the least.
•    Though the background story of the lead is a run-of-the-mill one, it could have been dealt with in a much more engaging manner. I feel that the whole emotional angle has not been exploited completely.
•    Trying to Indianize western characters is one of the big mistakes Indian writers make. We should stick to our own kind of characterizations without trying to ape the kind of descriptions of characters that the Westerners have. Capturing the nuances of Indian-ness and the quirks that come with being innately Indian are not only very interesting but also something that most pop Indian writers ignore.
•    The plot within the plot hasn’t been executed well, thereby making the bigger picture of terrorism seem like just an appendage when it could actually have added to the story.
•    The usual Patterson villains are creepy and eerie, the villains in this book are sort of bland.
•    Jack Morgan’s somewhat lukewarm acceptance of his friend/lover’s murder is disturbing.
•    I failed to fall for the underdog lead character, which is actually a first. 

Now, the good:
•    Classic James Patterson-style narration – a chapter about everything else and then a chapter about the murderer, alternated. I loved it, to say the least. If this was penned by Sanghi, he has managed to carry it off with élan.
•    Slow build-up to a fitting finale, most of it was executed well, making it a very racy read. Staccato bursts of chapters keep you riveted.
•    The ending leaves the thread open to more from the series and if executed better, I’d definitely like to read.
•    A drastic reduction in the number of typos and spelling mistakes and grammar errors from the last so many Indian-English books which I have read. Only a few phrases stand out as having heavy MTI, so to speak.

On the whole, a decent read. Next time you settle down for a long train journey or find yourself out of things to do on a Sunday afternoon, pick this one up. Whether you like it or not will depend on what literary diet you are on: Kafka-lovers will thup at the book while Bhagat-lovers will be overcome with joy.

I consider myself to be somewhere between the two, so I give the book a 3.2 rating out of 5 - 3 for the mystery, 0.15 to Patterson and 0.05 to Sanghi.  

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

18 Aug 2014

Mandatory Murphy Bashing Monday


Monday is the day

•    Cats decide to scratch me awake
•    Heater decides to not heat
•    Soap decides to disappear
•    Cats (again) decide to play with the roll of toilet paper
•    Shampoo decides to get in my eye
•    I forget to pick out clothes, as usual, and I have to make do with one of my black T-shirts.
•    Blow dryer is missing
•    Straightener not working
•    Can’t find my Lacto Calamine
•    Leaning Tower of Clothes in my wardrobe decides to tip over
•    Whiskas gets over
•    I forget to pack last night's alu sabzi for lunch (which is going to rot by evening:/)
•    Bag is not packed
•    Laptop charger is not around
•    Shoes pinch
•    Activa doesn’t start
•    Petrol is below the red line
•    Caretaker wants caretaking money
•    Wallet is empty. Like EMPTY empty
•    Hunger pangs are clawing the stomach lining
•    Traffic light, which is ALWAYS green when I usually pass, turns red
•    Huge bus decides to plonk itself right in front of me
•    Another huge bus decides to plonk itself on the other side
•    Bag straps are too tight
•    Remember that I forgot kajal
•    Accidently bonk the office laptop on my desk
•    Pantry runs out of all kinds of food
•    Friend doesn’t show up on time (so I can crib and get it out of my system)
•    Day starts with escalations after escalations

Monday is also the day when 

•    When my sweetie pie in the office brings THREE WHOLE BOXES of Chips Ahoy! and hands them over to me, making me want to bear hug her all day long.


Fuck you, Murphy :P

P.S: For those who are not familiar with Chips Ahoy! Here:


 

13 Aug 2014

My Dearest....

.... Daughter,


People say your life changes after you have a baby. They say that, apart from the complete change in the focal point of life, one starts to live for the baby. I wonder if that is true – I find it difficult to care about most people beyond a certain level, I can’t picture myself giving my everything up for anyone else other than my own mother. I wonder how much I will love you, whether I will be any good at it.

What is the world like when you are reading this? Right now, I hear news – the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, Beyoncé’s song; flights being shot down, disappearing; people, societies, cultures being bombed out of existence, massive corrosion in safety to human lives…. Yes, that IS the order of our priorities. Has anything changed? Become better? ....Worse? I pray not.

Forget the world for now – we are capable of being truly ignorant of how insignificant our individual lives are in the face of the bigger picture, so let’s make use of that talent – tell me about you. What are you like? Do you look anything like me? Do you like to read? Dance? Or are you more like your Father? Do you pick out tomato peels from food like your Uncle? Do you sneeze explosively like your great Grandpa? Do you know how to ride a bike? What are your favorite subjects? Do you love English like I do? Whoever you are, remember that you are the best you, possible. It is easy to get caught in a society full of comparison, trying to be better than this person at this and that person at that. But, trust me, just like we all have unique thumb prints, we all are so very unique that trying to better someone at something will only be like pitting oranges against cows. Unless you are setting world records.

Also, always remember to say “thank you” and “please” and then smile afterward. People might laugh at you, for believing in such supposedly outdated manners, but being nice never hurt anyone and never cost anything. And keep in mind that your aukaad is shown, not in how you treat your seniors or your peers, but in how you treat those who are beneath you. Waiters are not there for your convenience, rickshaw drivers are not your personal drivers and nobody in this world is yours to order around. Humility and politeness are two forgotten traits that both your mother and your grandmother are determined to inculcate in our offspring.

By the way, little one, do you know that there is a theory that we were born of stars? That we are made of stardust? How truly awe-inspiring is that? To know that we are truly precious. The theory fascinates me to no end. But if I love you as much as I am supposed to, I’m sure I’ll think everything you are made of is better than stardust itself. 

By now, I’m sure you have heard my holier-than-thou litany about how I don’t believe in religion. And yet, we pack up and go to Church on Sundays, we walk around temples and the nav grahas, you see me fasting and whatnot. Don’t be confused. Always remember that you are but a tiny, very tiny (but cute), part of humanity and that there is always a higher power to surrender to. That the God we say resides in us is that conscience that pricks when you put a foot forward on the wrong path. Abide by that, and with our blessings, you will never go wrong.

Take care of yourself, won’t you? It is okay to go nuts once in a while. But live healthy, mind AND body. With family history of a wide spectrum of diseases, it is important that you treat the body that God has given you right. It is the only body you have and if you damage it with as much Coke and fries as your mother has, you will have to face the consequences yourself – there IS no spare.

Fall in love as many times as you want. But marriage is for life, so choose wisely. Having a boy around might be fun but unless you are independent and strong, it is easy to lose your own identity in the relationship. Respect yourself. Very important. But don’t take yourself too seriously – you should always be able to laugh at yourself. And never, ever, ever toy with anybody’s emotions. Breaking someone’s heart will hurt you more than anything else can.  

Being alive is not an easy feat, my love. Life constantly throws googlies at you to test you – there will be highs so high that euphoria will go to your head and there will be lows so low that you will just want to give up. At some points, life will be a breeze but at most points, every single day will be a struggle to just get through. But regardless of which point you are at, keep in mind this too shall pass. It’s gotten me through some tough times. And never forget that I will always, always be there – you can come to me for anything without fear of judgment or consequences. We will ride the storm out together, if that’s what you want.

And whatever you do, however you live, you must always be able to do two things:
1)    Look yourself in the eye in the mirror and sleep a good night’s sleep.
2)    Never be ashamed of owning up to who you really are, in front of anybody. 

I promise I will try and give you the very best of everything I possibly can. Promise me you will be the best you, you can possibly be.

So much to say, so little time… I now realize that a lifetime is not enough to prepare you for life.

Lots of love,
Your Mother, when she was 24.

7 Aug 2014

Things That I Have Gotten So Tired Of, Lately.

In no particular order....

1)    Explaining to people how a “blog” is different from a “blog post”. Seasoned bloggers say it has been a long time since they posted a blog and my ears turn red from all the self-control I exercise.

2)    The whole losing weight drama. I eat. Then regret. Then exercise. Then eat. Then regret. Then forget to exercise. And it goes on. Somebody give me some motivation to stick to SOME form of exercise so that I don’t have to give up on food.

3)    Blogger and its three billion bugs.

4)    My current life. Nothing wrong with it. But I keep feeling nothing is happening in it. Do not ask me to elaborate because that will probably require 40 posts.

5)    People saying there is no food for vegetarians in this world except grass and leaves and then laughing about it. It is so funny that I forget to laugh -_- Am I being judgmental about you orphaning the baby goat and the cute little chick? No right? Then leave me alone. 

6)    Slow Excel sheets. Sometimes I think God created MS Excel to test my patience. Yes, I can be that self-centered.

7)    Kittens pooping in such large quantities. Makes you wonder how they produce that much shit that smells like nobody’s business despite being so small and so cute. (Explanation on why I’m talking about kittens in another post)

8)     Captcha. HAS to be the bane of my internet existence.

9)    Dish washing and laundry. No matter how diligent I am with these chores, there always seem to be more to do.

10)    Of people calling me Pri or Priya. Makes me want to never talk to them again. I don’t know why I feel so strongly about it but I do.

11)    People interrupting me while I’m reading and people pulling my headphones off when I’m listening to something. 

Oh, reminds me.... watch this:


What are YOU tired of?

28 Jul 2014

Lack of Lustre

I washed the clothes. I did the dishes. I scrubbed the kitchen floor to a shine.
And I picked up the groceries.
Then I sat down and riffled through the stack of congratulatory cards on the side table,
All of them wishing us a very happy married life.
 
The shine had faded from our eyes, but the cards hadn't seemed to notice.

26 Jul 2014

Randomness Rattling Around In The Head


•    I don’t understand people who say they haven’t read Harry Potter. Don’t understand as in me no comprende. Don’t understand as in my mind stops making sense of the words that come out of their mouths after that. This applies to people who say they hate reading. Not the ones who dislike reading, I understand it is personal choice. But they say they hate it. I feel like a five-year-old then - I want to pout angrily and say I hate you
 

•    Grammar is easy when you have to write, but marking someone else’s copy down and answering their questions as to why it has been marked down is just painful. Also, the number of twisted sentences I have to read every day is even more painful – makes me want to go back to happier times.
 

•    My blog reader thingy has finally conked out, leaving me stranded with so many blogs that I have been stalking for years and the painful task of having to transfer feeds individually, manually. Also, goodbye to the days when I follow someone via GFC. How do you manage your subscriptions? Any leads?
 

•    In the last couple of weeks, I have eaten out only twice (as opposed to every single goddamn day in the last two years), and cooked pasta, pudding, rotis, dal, chaawal, alu ki sabzi, salads, dosa, frittatas, pancakes and soya sabzi ALL BY MYSELF. And I find that, considering she didn’t give me any practical training whatsoever, Mom has equipped me well with all the knowledge I need to start using a full-fledged kitchen without too many accidents. My faith in myself grows by the morsel.
 

•    My 25-by-25 list is almost ready and I’m wondering if I should post it as a post-post or a page post.
 

•    I read through my own About Me and find it a little frivolous. Left me wondering if I’m frivolous. I like to think that I'm not. But for all I know, I might be.
 

•    The worst/best part about working with the Books category on Flipkart is that every day I find a couple of titles I really, really have to read right that second. No prizes for guessing who went broke buying books and more books this month.
 

•    I have been a ghost around the blogger world for a long time now – dropping by to read a million posts and never leaving a comment. I realize that the reward for a blogger is the comment that he/she receives and I wonder why I’m denying that joy to some really nice writers.
 

•    Also, I find myself skimming or closing tabs when I chance upon posts for contests and I detest myself for judging. But, but…. So many around!!
 

•    Thrift shopping is addictive.
 

•    I’m going back to my black phase – no more colors and all that sissiness for me and everyone who says my wardrobe needs color and go boil their heads.
 

•    I miss my Enid Blyton days. Those days which weren’t tainted with the knowledge of how bitter and nasty the writer was, allegedly.
 

Most importantly, WHERE THE FUCK HAS THE YEAR GONE?!! IT’S JULY-AUGUST ALREADY??!!