30 Jun 2011

The Small Victories...

A day becomes awesome when a lot of good things that you have been waiting for happen, all together.

Flashback: From when I was a wee li’l thing I have been the type who gets hyper-excited about almost everything. Case of Illustration: Ma says we are going out to get chicken for the dogs and I’m already out, cap on and sneakers tied, even before she completes the sentence. You get the point.

The good part about such enthusiasm is that it’s almost laughably, foolishly easy to make me happy – you point a puppy/kitten/fields of flowers/chocolate bar out to me and I’ll gurgle contentedly for the rest of the day. I manage to pry happiness from almost everything (that makes me a very low-maintenance girlfriend. N, are you listening?:P) And the bad part? The disappointments. When even that small thing you wanted so bad and expected to get, is just out of reach. And the stupidly sensitive fool that I am, I bawl my eyes out every time, even now (ashamed as I am to admit it).

People say disappointment makes us cynical. I demand to differ. Though I have been disappointed n number of times, some big-some small- some life-altering, this enthusiasm to take on life and all it has to offer hasn’t dulled yet and even at times when the prospects seemed bleak and the future, uncertain, I never stopped dreaming about how I’ll make it big.

Not IF I make it big, WHEN I make it big (stupid, daydreaming Arian that I am:P)

When life handed me a big, fat lemon, I sat in a corner, had a good cry and then got up and made lemonade. Dozens of awards slipping away, positions denied, coveted objects deprived of and so much more. But, with the help of the amazing people I have in my life, I moved on to realize that they didn’t matter THAT much after all.

And it is because of those disappointments that I learnt to cherish even the smallest of victories.
Victories like people telling me that they love the way I write and that they look forward to seeing my updates on their dashboard (Anu Krishnan, I’ll always remember you for that), being recognized for my blog, the n number of likes and comments, a followers list that is growing every day; I can only say thank you from the deep crevasses of my wee li’l heart and hope that you all understand what a huge deal it is for me and how much it all means.

These small victories help me go on. Put one foot in front of the other even when nothing else seems worth it. They make me believe in who I am, what I can do. That I can reach out for my dream, catch it and hold onto it tight.

Cut To Present: Getting back to the point (I know, finally. Thank you so much for putting up with the senti rambling), today was awesome because I had two of those small victories and they have made me happier than ever.

1) ‘Love on the Rocks’ arrived (details on why). Solid proof that the Adda people think I am capable of a little more that utter nonsense. I hope I do justice to it. (Is it unforgivably wrong that I loved the bubble wrap as much as the book itself?)

The set, complete with a hand-written poem and autograph,
a letter from Adda and a couple of bookmarks.
2) I got a job as a freelance writer. Not at all a big affair but something that I have been wanting for a long time now. I can’t say much more than WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! (I know, juvenile. But I’m not ready to grow up just yet.)

Anyway, though I’m hardly living the dream, I have enough to keep me going on full steam for the near future and I’m happy being a happy person. Ultimately, isn’t that what all of us want from life?

Cheers! :)

P.S: Chandana, wish you a very, very, very happy birthday girl:) God Bless... And to all the beautiful and 'epic' (:P) things due to you in the years to come! <3
(I tried inboxing you, failed :|)

P.P.S: Spaceman Spiff's blog is a read you'll never forget, especially if you are a Mallu:D. Head over and make sure you go through the archives with a fine tooth-and-comb as well!

28 Jun 2011

The 'Epic-ness' of The Social Network

Claimer: Intended for those people who think it is about them.

Unrelated Statement: I’m 94.86% sure that I’m possessed by Facebook.
Reason I Think So: I can’t seem to go three minutes without logging in and logging out (even though I don’t do much else). This month has been the most inactive-on-FB one for me but it still shows up on my most visited tab.

On an entirely different note, I admit to being a FB stalker.  I go check out other people’s walls, people on their friends’ lists’ interesting posts, notes that they might have written and such (if that’s what stalking means). I don’t get what the big deal is, we used to do that on Orkut and Myspace and all those other networks and we do it on FB as well. You don’t? Hah. Are those your pants that just caught on fire, liar?

Anyway, moving one from my psychological-ownership-status and my creeping-people-out skills, have you ever noticed that people’s behavior changes drastically on FB? Like suddenly the world is filled with awesome, super-cool people with such happening lives going on such politically correct holidays with their perfect family/amazing friends. Even their problems are hep and makes you go ‘ooooh, I wish I had that one’. And all the girls have that perfect pout that makes you wonder if you missed The Pout Revolution. There’s a trend pattern, I suppose.

I have decided to make a list of the top five actions on FB that peeve me out so much that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. So here goes:

5) The Like-rs.

See, it’s ok if you actually like the picture or link or whatever. But to do it just to start a conversation with that guy/girl is just lame. When I find people who have liked almost every picture/link/update in every album/wall of every friend on my list (and theirs), my respect for the ones who NEVER like ANYTHING grows.

(These ones never like because they are too cool to like mere mortal stuff, which is another story altogether.)

4) The ‘Abundant’ Photo Albums.

O.k, so you went on vacation. We, unlike you, are not interested in seeing 3 photos of you absent-mindedly digging your nose or 5 photos of the sand by the beach. We are: 
(i) already familiar with the shape and size of boogers (thank you VERY much) and 
(ii) familiar with the texture and feel of beach sand; some of us have actually been there as well, you know.
A trip to your chacha’s biwi’s brother’s once removed cousin’s gaon does NOT warrant an album of 226 photos.

And we definitely don’t want pictures of your eyes, hands or other body parts, especially not feet. We’re familiar with the concept of Converse too.

Also, try and take pictures of the vacation for the sake of preserving the memory, which is what photos are for in the first place, rather than taking photos to establish your ‘cool’ factor on FB.  

3) ‘Check Inbox’

(Note: I admit that I have been guilty of this one)
If you have EVER sent or received a personal message on FB, you will know that when you have a new message, a red notification appears over your inbox icon. You don’t specifically have to go and wall the concerned party to ‘check inbox’ and make sure that you make everybody on both your lists burn from the knowledge of not knowing the ‘scoop’. No need for the excessive put-on secrecy about a non-happening.

2) The ‘Me’ Albums

Ah, this is my pet peeve. The first time I saw an album titled ‘Me’, I thought maybe the person was asked by an online friend to post a few pictures of themselves so that they could see what he/she looks like. I was gravely mistaken.

I have people on my list who have albums of 100+ photos of ONLY themselves in different poses, photoshoped, tinted, altered and whatnot. I can’t help gape at the sheer i-am-searching-for-an-appropriate-word: Narcissus himself takes a backseat to them. If you have the time to put in THAT much work on that album, then you are even more jobless than I am and that is really saying something.

And you know what’s worse? When other people copy the ‘idea’ and come up with one of their own. End result = feed filled with weird preens and fake pouts. All this has me thinking five times before I upload one picture and I do not know how much more of this I can take before I decide to deactivate my account for good.

1) The Frandship Requests  

My privacy settings are pretty tight, so the only way to contact me is to inbox. Turns out, it is A Bad Idea.

(Note: The following copied directly from my inbox)
“You are look so butiful in profile ya. Can v be friendship request?”
“Hey gurl wanna friendship be with me”
“If u dont mind may i add ur friend list???????”
“aah.. bt jus experienci ppls..!!! bein ma frien?” ( I have to this date not worked out what that means.)

“Hi, can I join your friendship?” to which I couldn’t resist but say "Dude, you sure you want to JOIN it?" to which he replied "Ok sorry madam.i m not that type of Boy just i like Ur profile that's why i requested Ur friendship.trust me.Forgive me please"

I swear to God that that convo is as real as I love chocolates.

One guy even had the audacity to say, “Hey, send me request”. I asked him if I knew him from somewhere to which he said, “No, but I want to seeing your collage fotos”.

Kill me. With a serrated knife.

Ah, us weird humans.

26 Jun 2011

ChickLits... Aargh.

I have been feeling a little guilty this past month, since all my free time has been directed towards writing and not much towards reading (the original reason I started to write). And hence a hurried visit to the library had me picking up an assortment of books one of which was Isobel's Wedding by Sheila O'Flanagan. I fell for the pretty chick on the cover and the blurb at the back. 

Looked like a chick-lit, read like a chick-lit and felt like a chick-lit. 

The back cover read:
Four hundred and twenty pearls hand-sewn on to the wedding dress. The Mediterranean honeymoon booked for months. A pile of presents bigger than the Everest. And her lovely Tim, with his jet-black hair and navy-blue eyes, the most perfect bridegroom a girl could wish for. Except, two weeks before the wedding, he changes his mind... Isobel's wedding is off. Her world in tatters, Isobel turns to Spain, a new job, a new life, and as many men as she can decently manage. But part of her knows she has to go back home some day. And that, despite all that happened since she left, she still has unfinished business...


Not that I have anything against chick-lits (am I saying chick-lit too many times?:P). They are good timepass when you are sitting in a bus, bored to death of staring at people and your ear phones have decided to go on a holiday. They are light, easy-on-the-brain and mostly fun (if you can ignore the wafer-thin plots). They don't masquerade as something that they aren't either. Literature written by women for women about (what they perceive to be) women. As simple as that. I have even enjoyed some chick-lits like Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin and such.

But this? This is 600 pages (599 to be exact) of pure rant. Granted that even rant can make sense and be fun (Like Poulomi Das's random rants:P) but this.. *shudders* First it's agonizing over the dumping. Then it's agonizing over the break up. Then it's agonizing over going abroad. Then about sleeping around. Then about the new guy. Then the old one yet again. And the agonizing doesn't stop till the very end. Ms. Flannagan could have wrapped it up in a crisp 250 pages and made life easier for everyone concerned.

Apart from wasting one whole day of my life (I have the unfortunate habits of not resting till I finish a book and not leaving ANY book incomplete, however boring it might be), I gained nada from this book, not even a new word to my vocabulary*sigh* The best part? *note the sarcasm* It is supposed to be 'The Number One Bestseller". Wow. 
It also made me wonder if we, women, are like that in a relationship... over-analyzing everything, clingy and weak-minded. I hope not *shudders again*

And we wonder what guys/men have against chick-lits and why chick-lit authors are not take that seriously. 

Moral of The Story: Next time you reach out for a chick-lit (for alleviating-boredom purposes only) make sure it has no more than 300 pages, max.

In other news, I have been selected (YAY!) to review Love On The Rocks by Ismita Tandon Dhanker by BlogAdda. I haven't been big on Indian authors (except Chetan Bhagat, of course) and I can't wait to change that. The plot sounds interesting, looking forward to the read

23 Jun 2011

15 Day Challenge: Day 13

5 characters I love from T.V shows

Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) 

Sylar alias Gabriel Gray (Zachary Quinto) 

Patrick Jane (Simon Baker)

3) F.R.I.E.N.D.S (Oh, how I love them!<3)
Rachel Karen Greene (Jennifer Aniston)

Monica Elizabeth Geller (Courtney Cox-Arquette)

Horatio Caine (David Caruso)

V.I.C.I alias Vicky (Tiffany Brissette)

Ok, ok I cheat. But I can't just ignore some and be grossly unfair na?:P

13 down, 2 to go:)

21 Jun 2011

15 Day Challenge: Day 12

"Would I Rather"

1) Live without music or live without T.V.?

Without T.V, gotten used to that in the hostel.

2) Eat a bar of soap or drink a bottle of dish washing liquid?

Drink the dish washing liquid. Ugh. Still, got to be easier than munching a whole bar down.

3) Be called a racist or a traitor to your country?

Definitely racist. I'd never live being called a traitor to India down. 

4) Be trapped in an elevator with three fat men with bad breath or with wet dogs?
     Why isn't "getting stuck with Milo Ventimiglia" an option, disappointing.

The dogs, I have 5 wet, dirty ones all over me all the time at home anyway.

5) Have a beautiful house and an ugly car or an ugly house and a beautiful car?

Beautiful house and ugly car. I don't like cars much in the first place unless it's a Ferrari.

6) Always say what’s on your mind or never speak again?

Never speak again. I would hurt too many people otherwise.

7) Have it all or know it all?

Know it all, then I'd know how to have it all too, right :P

8) Be forgotten or hatefully remembered?

Be forgotten, any day.

9) Be able to read everyone’s mind all the time or always know their future?

Mind reading is a superpower I have always prayed for:D

10) Eat a handful of hair or lick three public telephones?
YEWWWWWW, gross. handful of hair? No, the licking.  
Er, the hair. Ok, the licking.  
Oh God, how about neither :|
Ok FINE, the hair then *choking noises*

12 down, 3 to go:)

P.S: THANKYOU, BlogAdda for the Tangy Tuesday Pick!! <3

15 Day Challenge: Day 11

If I could only live off one food and one beverage for the rest of my days,
what would they be?

I'm too busy cooking up some more stories and thereby am not too keen on elaborating this out - you can breathe easy...for now :P

Unrelated note: Writing stories makes me happy = less stressing out on HOW to get rid of frequent writers' block => bolt of realization.

Getting to the challenge question:

1) Food:

:P You thought chocolate? You thought wrong *smug smile*
(Not chocolate because I am not sthupid: 
I have chocolate everyday => I get sick of it => I get over my obsession => blasphemous => sin => burning in Hell! I don't want THAT now, do I?)

It would HAVE to be the Gourmet Pizza (wahi, hamra Dominos-wala) with extra corn, tons of olives, a whole load of jalapenos, three sachets of oregano and great, big dollops of cheese on it. Apart from the cheese-burst crust, that is. And I can't stress on the 'great, big dollops' enough. 

Did I tell you I am a sucker for cheese? 
Well, I am. A BIG one.

2) Beverage: 

HAS to be coffee. For two reasons actually:

- It's the only fix which ensures a perfect day ahead (during normal days) and makes sure I remain awake (during exam times). 

(The fact that I STILL manage to fall asleep by midnight after 3 cups of coffee while I remain awake almost the whole night otherwise, says how awesome my exam-preparation skills are)

-  The sheer variety of the concoction you can whip up in less than ten minutes!! Cold, hot, frappe, mocha, cappucino, whatnotino... You get the point. 

So to sum up, I adore my coffee.

Pepsi/Coke come a close second though.

So, thank you Repubblica italiana for pizza and Rep├║blica Federativa do Brasil(?) for coffee.
I love you both theeeeeeeeeees much.

11 down, 4 to go:)

P.S: Have you heard King of Anything by Sara Barielles? I'm addicted.

18 Jun 2011

The Bike Ride

Ting! My message tone.

“Vaa di poratheku” (Come outside).

I see him outside my window, on his black Karizma, aviators on, completely drenched from the rain and a huge grin on his face. My first thought was that he had had fever yesterday and now this; but I knew there was absolutely no point in reminding him of that or asking him to get back in somewhere warm.. He was just like that, a major pain in the ass. This man drives me crazy.

He looks straight at me and sets my insides on fire. Just like that. That’s all it takes every time. And I don’t know if it’s good or bad that he doesn’t have a clue that he can do that.

‘Erangi vaa di pothe’(Just come the hell out) he texts again.

I smile. Shaking my head and putting on my sternest face, I go out to tell him off, maybe persuade him to come in and wait the rain out.

His grin grows wider as I go out the gate. He swipes the water off his face and says ‘Keru’(Get on).

I said, “Are you frikkin’ crazy? Pani iniyum maaritilla, ennata. Agathotu keru” (Your fever isn’t even better yet. Get inside).
“Jaada erakkandu keradi” (Stop throwing a fit and get on).

 He has this look in his eyes as if daring me to get onto the bike. He knows that my instincts to unleash my wilder side are warring with my eternal goody-two-shoes image. He’s the only one who even knows I have a wild side.

I ignore the butterflies that erupt.

“Njan varunilla, ponael pokko. Vayyande aaya ennodu parayan varandannu maatram”. (I’m not coming, go if you want. If you get sick just don’t tell me)
“Nee varum” (You’ll come.)

“Jitin, please. Paranjal kekku” (Listen to me)
“Ok listen, one round… you come with me and when we get back I’ll come in and dry my hair and drink your shitty hot chocolate and whatever. Deal?”

My resolve was weakening. “How long is this ‘round’?”
The handsomely evil glint is back, “Very small, promise.”
“One round.”

I get on and hold onto the sides real tight because I know from experience that if I don’t, I’ll end up in the middle of the road on my backside with a hard bump. By now, I’m also drenched completely. He gives me the helmet, I refuse. He knew I would. It’s creepy how well he knows me.

Off we go with the torrential rain hitting hard on our faces, the icy wind chilling us to the bones. The roads are empty, not even animals dare defy the rain this day. He rides fast but I detect a holding back. I couldn’t resist a jab, ‘Enthu patti? 175cc speedne modal edukkathadu nthe?”(What happened  *smirk* Not taking advantage of the 175cc speed?). “Ennittu venam nee kadannu kaaraan.” (For you to screech the house down? No thank you). “Hmph.”

I realize we were going to the old fort. The scene changes from city roads lined with shops to the wide NH.

I’m actually glad I came. A drug-like euphoria spread though me as I extended my hands out… This is the closest I’ll ever get to flying. I'd always cherished our bike-rides for more reasons than one. Then I realized that he was looking at me on the rear-view, I held his gaze for a full minute, then I had to look away. Self-consciousness struck and I pulled my hands back in and wrapped them around me.

Something made me look back in the mirror. Disappointment colored my emotions when I saw him looking straight; I preferred self-consciousness to disappointment I realized.

I knew this was unhealthy on so many different levels and my friends had tried to help. Initially, they told me it was a crush and that it would go away with time, then they told me I was in love and I was besieged with tips on how to make him fall for me including one about seducing him (none of which I had the balls to try), then when they realized I’m never going to tell him anything nor was he going to come out of his oblivion to the way I feel, they gave up.

It would have actually been funny if I wasn’t head over heels for him.

I had no clue what he thought; neither did he put me into the ‘pengal’ (sister) category nor had he ever given me the slightest reason to believe that I was his ‘type’. Girlfriends came and went but no one serious enough to hold his attention for long. We had always bordered on the kind of friendship that was laden with potential but nothing ever happened. And after two years of holding my breath, I’d given up and resigned to have my insides twisted and heart thumped every time he came into my vicinity.

“Enthe onnum mindathe, kilukampetti?”(Why aren’t you saying anything, chatterbox). I snapped out of my reverie, “ Eey, onnum illa” (Nothing).

That was the instant something changed. I don’t know what made me… will never know, I guess. I put my hands around his waist, pulled myself flush against his back and put my head on his shoulder. I felt him stiffen… I waited for him to tell me I’d gotten the wrong idea… to gently let me down for I know that whichever way we chose go, he’d never hurt me on purpose.
He didn’t say a word.

He relaxed slowly against me and rode on in silence. I stole that moment from a lifetime and savored the feel of his jacket, the way he smelt, the curve of his stubble-roughened cheek. I knew it wouldn’t last long. I didn’t care anymore actually, I'd stepped over the cliff headlong into the gorge; I was ready for the pain of heartbreak.

He stopped right at the top… Perfect place, so to speak. It was like the Gods were mocking me – reveling in the beauty of Nature when I was going to get my heart fractured, probably forever.

The winds whipped our hair up to a mess. The rain had eased up to a drizzle and there was the glorious view of my beloved naadu (native place) scenery in all its beauty, freshly washed by the rains.

The engine puttered to a stop. Still not one word.

I slowly eased off and got to my feet. I couldn’t bear to look at him in the eye… I started walking.

He caught hold of my hand from behind and pulled me back. My heart stopped; here it comes I prepared myself for stinging words, resolved not to cry. At least not in front of him, never in front of him. I had sworn to myself I’d never let him see how much exactly he’d gotten to me.

I turned around still not looking at him. He got off, parked the bike and turned, never once letting go of my hand, as if he feared I’d run off (which, in all fairness, I was close to doing). He lifted my face to his with a finger.

“What took you so long?”

P.S: My inherent Malayali-ness has surfaced with the feeling that English would just not do justice to the guy’s character and hence the dialogs in Malayalam. And if you do understand the language and find that the translation is inaccurate or sounds silly, please understand that my translation skills are very poor.