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Thursday, December 22, 2011

The best Christmas gift ever!

I read somewhere that a good memory is the best gift one can ever give/ get. And I totally believe in this.

So, imagine how happy I must have been when a couple of days ago, I went to my grand father's place and he brought out all the old files that my grand mother had saved up for different reasons. :D Most of them contained newspaper clippings of recipes, good thoughts, poetry and crochet designs. We even found the "Congratulations, Star!" celebratory note that my grandparents and uncle and aunt had written for me and got published in a local newspaper when I had passed my board exams and greeting cards made by Bik (my cousin) and me for her. And, then! Then, I found an old diary that she used to write in, in 1960!!! I was all over the place, dancing happily. :)
A half-made card made by Bik. Other assorted newspaper clippings. :)

Nanima's diary! :D *happyface*



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Changes


So many things have changed in the last two years. I don't feel the same. I don't behave in the same manner. And I don't have the same reactions to things. It's...weird. But I hope it's right. I mean, I feel alright. So, it must be right. Right?

Oh, well, that's it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

She's here!

Where, she = Sun! :)

Sun is back in Bombay for a month. There is going to be much frolicking about for the next month using this as an excuse to do everything that we've always wanted to do! :D

She arrived on the 28th of November and obviously, Moon and I were there to receive her at the airport with flowers and welcome cards. Then, we spent the night at hers and the next morning, it was like the last two years didn't exist at all. Daddy, as usual, was screaming at us for random reasons and we were all 18 again, huddled up on a bed chatting with each other.

I do look forward to spending more times like this. Going shopping, watching the twilight movie to ogle at shirtless Jacob, going to Matheran for the New Year and celebrating around a bonfire, baking cakes, going clubbing - just some of the things to be done together. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

If I could be...

If I could be a Greek Goddess, I would be Athena.

If I could be a Disney Princess, I would be Pochahontas.

If I could be an X-men, I would be Cyclops.

If I could be a superhero, I would be Batman.

If I could be a cartoon character, I would be Welma Flintstone.

If I could be an Avatar, I would be Grace Augustine.

If I could be a person in my real life, I would be my dad.

If I were...

If I were a Harry Potter character, I would be Luna Lovegood.

If I were a Pride and Prejudice character, I would be Kitty Bennet.

If I were a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. character, I would be Phoebe.

If I were a Sex and the City character, I would be Carrie Bradshaw.

If I were a character from the Shakespearean plays, I would be Lady Macbeth.

If I could be a colour, I would be a rainbow. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Update

1. Still unemployed.

2. Still a student doing one of the most unemployable degrees in the world once again - MA in Sanskrit Lit.

3. Still the stupid girl who never learns from her previous mistakes.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dear Young Self

#DearYoungSelf is trending on Twitter today.

From "#DearYoungSelf, die." to "#DearYoungSelf, Don't bother with Engineering." - people tweeted everything they regretted doing or not doing. And people cracked jokes: "#DearYoungSelf, please buy 100 kgs of onions and store it safely somewhere." to "#DearYoungSelf, create a website where everyone can network. It will work. Trust me." 

I was thinking about what could I write. So many things came to me - don't come back from England topping the list, of course. But others, like "#DearYoungSelf, don't give that tailor that lovely dress. She'll screw it up." or "#DearYoungSelf, don't worry about those two extra pounds. You will regret not taking back that experience with you." But what did I finally tweet? "#DearYoungSelf, don't change."

I used to be very happy. I used to be excited about things. Then, I was confused. Then, I was unhappy. And then, I was confused some more. I was scared. I was depressed. Now, I am more confused than ever. So much so, that I don't even know whether to be happy or unhappy. But, I know one thing. I shouldn't and no longer have place in my life for regrets. I don't wish to change anything. It's all okay. It's all a learning process. And a few years down the line, none of this will matter. It will seem silly that these little things seemed so big. All the things I believe(d) and do(did) make me what I am. Why would I want to do things differently just so that they could be perfect? No, I'd much rather just be me. And, like Kyra puts it, try to get back to the "happy post wali Star". :) I can't promise. But I can try. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 7

Most Underrated Book

Okay finally, a topic which was difficult not because there are too many books and I had to choose one but because I don't think any book is underrated as such. I would have said Bridget Jones' Diary. But I don't think it's underrated at all. If anything, it has it's own proper place in the world of chick lit. It's the whole genre of chick lit that's underrated. Ditto graphic novels. Or any type of commercial fiction. Thus, it'd be unfair to point out just one book (I eat my own first sentence. :/) when there are so many great books in an underrated genre. So, I decided on this one from the "open category" of the genres:

The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie: So many people I know hate Salman Rushdie and his works. But I happen to love him. The world thinks he is a genius. But, only for his Midnight's Children. That's all that they'll ever talk about. (Or, of course, Satanic Verses for its controversial quality.) But The Enchantress of Florence is really good. So many of my senses were evoked while reading this one. It is well-written, well-narrated, funny, sensual, magical and just generally, all other adjectives that are awesome. :D Unfortunately, it has been overshadowed by the presence of Midnight's Children. But I hope not forever.

Bref, go read. :)

*This beautiful image is courtesy Google images, of course. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Genuine Koschans

1) What does one do when a certain ex-boyfriend is now feeling lonely and calls one up and one doesn't know how to react?

2) Seeing as virginity for women is given so much importance in India, how many brides are really virgin when they get married?

2.1) Seeing as the "first night" is given so much importance in India and made a big deal of, how many couples really, actually have sex make love after the long wedding day just because "it's the first night"?

2.2) So, everybody wants their first time to be beautiful, wonderful and all those things. But of course it's never going to be. You'll fumble around and not know what the fuck to do. Besides, it'll pain like a bitch. (2.4: Is it the same for boys? I've heard it is but was never really convinced.) So, how do all these people call first times "beautiful"? And more importantly, why do they leave it to the first night of marriage? Are they so eager to start the fuckery that marriage is? (Pun totally not intended.)

2.5) If a girl remains celibate for a long time (let's say 2 years) will it hurt all over again when she becomes sexually active again? [Okay, that's enough. Stop laughing and answer the question. I only ask coz needless to say I've never been in that situation.]

3) Is it really everyone's mothers who are always the problem? All the cases I know of, including mine, the problems are always the mothers. In that case, why do the films always show the mothers as being this nice, selfless, doting women? (3.1: Are all mothers prejudiced and judgmental?)

4) I know this question has been asked over and over again by a lot of people but really, what is it with people wanting their children's pictures as display pictures?! It's scary when their status updates are something like: "What the fuck do these in-laws think of themselves?" No. Kidding.

5) Is money really the most important thing in the world? More important than your relations and ethics? And please, before your reflexes jump in and say "of course not!!" think for a moment and then answer. Because I think the answer might be yes for me.

6) Whether we die in 2012 or not, can we please kill all the T.Vs?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

13th July, 2011

Remember all those things I had said about Bombay being horrible? I take it all back. I take every single, little thing back right now.

But, in return I want this senseless rubbish to stop! Why is Bombay targeted like this every time? No matter how much smaller than before, today's bomb-blasts brought back the horrifying memories of the 11/7 Mumbai train blasts and the 26/11 terrorist attacks on the Taj and other near-by areas. That icy, cold feeling around your pounding heart when you hear the news because you were supposed to be there but for some reason changed your plans. You don't know whether to be relieved or sad for the blasts. And then, the sudden slicing of a red-hot iron rod through your stomach when you realise that your friends hadn't changed the plan. The jitters running through you coz the phone lines are all jammed and down and you have no way to contact your family/ friends and know if they are safe. Everything comes rushing back to you. All the pictures, the news footage, the stories, the blogs you had read - everything comes back to you. And you are just left hyperventilating, wondering why nobody is replying.

And then, things calm down. Phone lines open. You hear from your family and friends. Everyone is safe. It's like a huge burden has been moved from your heart. You are fine. Still disturbed by all the other innocent people who died. But your life has not stopped. It's once again the 7:22 CST local the next day. As usual. A candle light protest walk, 2 months of heightened security and the same apathy and we are back where we began. 2 years and a new blast. New anxiety over family and friends' well-being, new out-rage towards the inhuman act/ our inability to deal with it, new candle-light walk, new articles about Bombay's resilience and spirit in the newspaper, newly heightened security, new politicians vying for a vote-bank and then finally, once again, the old apathy returning. 

And I am angry. I am SO angry that my city has to go through this time and again just coz Bombay's supposed to be awesome. I want to rip all the terrorists in the world to pieces. If you want to terrorize and kill people because they don't practice a certain religion or don't speak a certain language or don't bow down to your King or don't believe in Star Trek or whatever other absurd reason you might have, I don't think you have any rights to stay alive. In fact, I think you should die a slow, painful and horrible death that I wouldn't even wish for the biggest of my enemies.

But more than that, I am sad at our reactions and our inability to do anything. When will we learn and do something about it? Every time something like this happens, I feel so small, insignificant and useless. What could I have done? What can I do so that this doesn't happen again? I still don't hate Bombay enough to sit back and not feel anything when it is in pain. I can't see it going through all this all over again. For the first time in the last 8 months, I am crying for a real reason outside of me. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 6

A Book that made me sad

I've read quite a few depressing books but being the sort of person I am, I tend to forget things I don't like/ things that disturb me. (Actually, I tend to forget things. But, here, this applies better. :P) However, Partition literature (and I've read a lot of it) has always stayed with me. I talk about Indian partition lit, not Irish, German or Palestinian. And I think that is because I can relate to it and I know people who have gone through it all. So, it was very difficult to choose which one of all the Partition lit books I've read should I put up here. The two works I was the most confused with are The Ice Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa and short stories by Saddat Hasan Manto, particularly, Thanda Ghosht. So, finally I picked The Ice-Candy Man simply coz it's a book whereas Thanda Ghosht is a short story. And yes, I know it's a very lame way of choosing but that's the best I could do.

It was also made into the very nice film-1947: Earth.
The Ice-Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa: It depicts the horrible times of Partition but at the same time it's a bit aloof since it's narrated by a child from a community who was never affected by the Partition. However, I think it is that aloofness that gives the book it's impact. Here are these horrible things happening to people, committed by their own friends and neighbours and all these people feel nothing! "Until yesterday, we were the best of the friends but today, you are nothing more than a Hindu/ a Muslim to me. I am going to kill you mostly because I fear if I don't do it first, then you'll kill me. And while I am at it anyway, let me find some of the most gruesome ways to kill you coz if not, the other people from the community will mock me for being a sissy. So, I'll kill you even if it kills me inside." And the best thing about the book is that it's narrated by an 8-year old girl. Her innocence really puts into perspective the pointless violence of the Partition.

I know it's depressing and I cried through most of the book but at the same time, I would really recommend everyone to read it coz it's so beautiful!

*Picture courtesy Google Pictures

Friday, July 1, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 5

A Book that makes you happy.

When it came to a book that makes me happy, I had a 100 names bombarding through my head, vying for attention. "Pick me! You know you want to!" said every one of them. Should it be my childhood Enid Blyton memories? Or the Harry Potter series? (I think people have had enough of my fan-girly squeals about HP. So I chucked that choice. :P) Or a couple classics that I really like? Or the Terry Pratchett books? Or some of the really good chick lit that I've read recently? Everyone reading this blog knows what a sucker I am for chick lits. So, finally, I decided on some chick lit of the 19th century. ;)

That is one kickass cover for this book! :D 
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: This was the first classic I was introduced to in my school library and immediately fell in love with Darcy and Elizabeth's amazing story. :P (What? I was a 12 year old girl! :P) And then, when I started college, this was our first text for our first year lit class. What's more? It was taught by my most favourite prof ever! So, whenever I think of this book or read it, I am reminded of my school day fantasies of meeting a perfect Darcy (Of course, now I can only laugh derisively at those fantasies but well, that innocence was something. :)) And of the brilliant discussions with Chhaya Mam in lit class, the presentations we had and the way we compared it to Bridget Jones' Diary and Sex and the City. :) Also, of course, of watching Colin Firth in the BBC Pride and Prejudice series and drooling over him. :P And then, re-re-re-watching the lake scene with Sun and Moon. What lovely memories! :D :P

So, I get a classic and a chick lit all rolled into one with a man that, of course, can only exist in books, but a Colin Firth, nonetheless, to fantasize about. Of course this book makes me happy. :)

* Picture courtesy Google Images.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quick bitching type rant

I was so happy earlier in the evening. I had gone out for this stand up comedy show at the Comedy Store, Mumbai and it was all nice and all. But this place is 2 hours away from my home, like ANY decent place to hang out in Bombay. Really, the suburb of Bombay that I live in is pathetic. And obviously, this show was not going to be held at 8 in the morning coz I have to go back home. So, when I reached home after the show, it was already 12:30 or so. And of course, there were the silent looks of accusation. Conversation was impossible coz no matter what you say the only response is going to be "Of course I am sleepy. I woke up at 4:30 for you and haven't slept a wink since then. But how can I sleep if you have still not returned home yet?"

Yes, of course, everything is my fault! I should listen to you and live my life *just* the way you want me to coz if not, how will you live vicariously through me? Therefore, I must study until I die and do a "safe" job for a woman, like teaching, and be the most boring person ever on the Earth. But since I am not that kind of a person, I have ruined your life!! I'm like the worst possible daughter ever!

I mean, come on! What the fuck was I thinking? I am in Bombay, not Delhi. And I am 22, not 16! How can I even think of making my own decisions once in a while and go out in the evenings? (I *so* refuse to call this a "night out".) It's not like I go out everyday. Just one or twice a month. And even that, mostly early evenings/ late afternoons. But no. I can't ever come back from these places happy AND stay happy even later. It all HAS to be fucked up by them. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yeh hai Bombay, Meri Jaan

Something to go with my last post: one of my favourites from old Hindi songs, Yeh hai Bombay Meri Jaan from C. I. D. sung by Mohammad Rafi and Geeta Dutta





Rafi:
Aye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan
Zara hat ke zara bach ke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan
Ha haa, ha ho ho, ho hi haa ha haa
Hm hm hm hm, hm hm hm , hm hm hm hm hm
Aye dil hai..

(Kahin building kahin traame, kahin motor kahin mill
Milta hai yahan sab kuchh ik milta nahin dil) -2
Insaan ka nahin kahin naam-o-nishaan
Zara hat ke zara bach ke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan
Aye dil hai..

(Kahin satta, kahin patta kahin chori kahin res
Kahin daaka, kahin phaaka kahin thokar kahin thes) -2
Bekaaro ke hain kai kaam yahan
Zara hat ke zara bach ke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan
Aye dil hai..

(Beghar ko aawara yahan kehte has has
Khud kaate gale sabke kahe isko business) -2
Ik cheez ke hain kai naam yahan
Zara hat ke zara bach ke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan
Aye dil hai..


Geeta:
(Bura duniya woh hai kehta aisa bhola tu na ban
Jo hai karta woh hai bharta hai yahan ka yeh chalan) -2
Tadbeer nahin chalne ki yahan
Yeh hai Bombay, yeh hai Bombay, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan

Rafi:
Aye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan
Zara hat ke zara bach ke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan

Geeta:
Aye dil hai aasaa jeena yahan
Suno mister, suno bandhu, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan

Rafi:
Aye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan
Zara hat ke zara bach ke, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan

*Subtitles not accurate.

The Bombay Blues

This post has been bubbling up in me for a couple weeks now. Finally decided to put it down.

I have been doing some careful thinking about why, despite so many efforts to make myself happy, I still end up unhappy, dissatisfied, confused and moody and even worse, end up blaming Bombay for it all.

The most important thing of course, is that I had one of the best years of my life when I was in England and then I had to come back to this life and now, it's as if that year just disappeared. Poof! Like it never existed. I am back here, still struggling to establish some semblance of independence in my life and still unable to move out coz of financial issues. This is the biggest complaint I have about Bombay. It's too fucking expensive trying to live here. I most definitely can't afford to move out but I can't even socialise often enough - can't go out for movies, dinners, to the theatre etc as much as I'd like to coz it's too expensive. And being the sort of person I am (was?) this is vital for me. I still do go out every now and then but it leaves me feeling extremely guilty.

Secondly, I can't seem to decide what I want in my life. I was so sure, so sure that I want to teach before I left India. But then, things changed. Publishing and writing fever gripped me. However, when I came back, things just kept happening to me. I panicked about some things, made some wrong decisions and somehow landed up a teacher today. Now, I love it, I do. But I find myself feeling inadequate and dissatisfied at the end of my work day. I have made a difference but it somehow is not enough. So, it seems like I'm this grouchy, moody person who lashes out at people at her whims and fancies. And of course, the most important reason why I can't stop this teaching thing and venture into publishing/ journalism is coz this is giving me good money at the moment, which is important for the loan-repayment. So, I keep chickening out of stopping it.

But, the most important reason why I feel dissatisfied and angry with Bombay is because I had epitomized it. It was THE Bombay, MY Bombay, the city that made everyone's dreams come true, the glamour city, the city for everyone. And when I came back, it's as if that city existed only in my head. The reality was something else altoghther. Ugly. In fact, Mumbai has probably not changed much. But I have. And I can't stand some things about it. Most of all, the pace of life here, which eventually leads to other reasons too.

I hate the Mumbai locals. I hate the way people zoom past you and give you dirty looks when you are too slow for them. They don't have time for anything/ anyone. 9:27 Dadar local, 10:03 Andheri local, 8:15 AC bus. If you miss one, there is a domino effect where you miss the connecting train, the bus and you are subsequently late for whatever. I recognize that I was the same before I left. I had a lot of extra-curricular activities that I was involved with in college, plus I used to travel 1.5 hours each way to reach college, 6 days a week, was not bad with academics either and also somehow managed to fulfill my social obligations. But Leeds had such a different pace of life that even though I have readjusted myself to life in Bombay, the pace tires me out immensely. The heat, the noise, the pollution and the crowd, everything irritates me. What I hate the most is that people don't understand this. They give you the regular "You have changed and become a firangi. You lived in Bombay for 20 years and in Leeds for one year and you still can't get used to this life again?" No, damn it, I can't! Stop gloating about it, stop showing off how many superman/woman-ly qualities you have and how you can manage everything. And most of all, stop looking at me as if I am the world's most pathetic weakling for not being able to cope up with this pace of life. Really, do you know that I judge you for not living your life, just the way you are judging me right now for not living life at this ridiculously crazy pace?

Plus, of course, there is the situation at home. I am "independent" so long as I make the "right decisions". What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Even going out with friends and returning at 11 has to be justified.  There are constant arguments to establish the smallest of the things. And of course, each argument has the quintessential "You've become too Westernized...you don't care anymore...blah di blah fuck blah shit blah." Somebody really needs to tell Indians to tone down on the Bollywood drama blackmail thing that they do. I might be stupid, young and incapable of making my own decisions. But I've got too used to it. I will do everything that crosses my mind and is physically possible for me coz if I don't, it'll keep going around in my mind until it kills me of a headache. I don't want to regret not doing anything in my life. Also, I can't stand my parents making those faces at me. I can't stand anyone and anything from my old life.

Everytime I think of what will make me happy, I have to remind myself that being in England is not the correct answer. The situation there is so bad, I'd be jobless. So, yes, coming back was the right decision. I just wish it could make me happier. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Second Free Hugs

Last Sunday, 12th June was the International Couchsurfing Day. And for the second time in my life, I had the pleasure of participating in a Free Hugs event. The first time was last May, also as a Couchsurfing event.

This time, the event was held at the Gateway of India and at Marine Drive. When a fellow couchsurfer put up on the forum that we should do "something" on International CS day, he suggested Free Hugs as an option. But I guess everybody was apprehensive about whether it'd be a good idea or not in Bombay. So, they refrained from saying anything more than "We're in, whatever the plan. Let us know." Finally, (thankfully too) a Free Hugs event was decided on.

To be very honest, even I wasn't entirely sure of how it'd go and I really hoped that there wouldn't be any ugly scenes or anything. To top it all, I was the only girl from the Forum to be there. But, I have blind faith in CS. Not only do I find it safe, I've always seen that CS manages to lift up my spirits and restore my optimism. It's in the philosophy of trusting, sharing and exchanging that the faith rests. Of course, it doesn't give me best friends forever and all. But it gives me a hope that if a bunch of strangers can trust, come together and spend time - whether it's a heritage walk around the city, a sit-down dinner and a chat, a hike or an evening of hugging random people on the road - the world's innocence is still alive somewhere. In fact, at the end of the day, one of the guys even dropped me home in his car. I was meeting him for the first time but I had no qualms going alone with him. You might call me stupid but this is the kind of faith I have in CS. I'm not saying there are no bad experiences there. But the percentage is just very little.


And about the Free Hugs, what can I say? The experience was extremely liberating. We baffled many people, scared many people and made many people happy. :) But more importantly for me, this time, I made myself happ(y) (-ier than I have been in the last 6 months or so). Plus, there are probably at least 5 new CS-ers in the world today, thanks to us! ;) Also, I met many like-minded people, some of whom, I absolutely adored! Such genuine, nice people. :)

And as far as my worries about unpleasant experiences were concerned, when I was surrounded by 14 awesome boys, I didn't even notice any lewd glance that might have come my way! :)

Okay, moral of the story: Couchsurfing Rocks! :D

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Internet Whore

My mum thinks I am an Internet whore. (No, she did not say it in that many words and yes, I am.)

But.

BUT.

I am actually only Facebook, Blogger, and Twitter whore. Whereas my mum thinks that I am a chat whore. Which I am TOTALLY not. I am almost always offline on all the chat things. Or invisible.

So bottom line: My mother is wrong. WRONG. And as usual, I am not. *sniggers*

Okay, that's it. :P

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I used to think there are two types of people. The ones who have been to the New Zealand and the ones who haven't. Now, I feel there are two more. The ones who have been to Turkey and the ones who haven't. *Sigh*

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 4

Favourite Book of your Favourite Series

This is so difficult! I love ALL seven Harry Potter books equally! But if I had to choose one, I'd choose Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Ideally I'd have chosen Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. It's one of the best examples of a written piece I've come across in fiction. But then, Sirius dies at the end of it. So, no go. He was my ABSOLUTE favourite character. :'(

So, why Prisoner of Azkaban? Because it's funny and it's different. Rowling uses a number of awesome narrative devices to bring out the hidden secrets. I loved all the concepts - the unregistered Animagi, the hidden passage to Hogsmead, the time-turning, the Divinity classes and so many more. Admittedly, these devices exist in all the other books as well. But I specifically like this one. Also, this is the only book which has got nothing to do with Voldemort. For once, the world doesn't revolve around him. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Obsession

I find myself obsessing about unnecessary things so much these days. Why did he say this to me? What must it mean? Why did she look at me like that? What does she think about me/ my outfit/ my shoes/ my hair/ my nails, the fibres of my top etc? What must I do so that they don't think I'm weird? What must I say so as to not offend them? Almost everyday, I obsess about unnecessary things like this to the point that I get massive headaches. :/

It's not important what random XYZ person you've met once in life (or worse, you've not even met, just seen) thinks about you. I have GOT to re-learn to let go and not care!

I miss my old confident, self-assured, I-don't-give-a-damn self. :/

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Off to Delhi!

Yello folks!

I sound so cheerful coz I'm going to Delhi in 2 hours! See you all in 4 days with some stories. :D (Hopefully, they won't be Shit, I was raped stories but whatever.)

Bye, Bombay. I hope I never have to see you again. (I know I will. But there's nothing wrong with hoping, is there? :D)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Week one of Isolation: Not so Isolated

Sunday: Spent with family. At least I was on Marine Drive.

New Dress from Colaba Causeway :)
Monday: Work. Went to the Oxford Store in Churchgate to read and chill in the lovely Cha Bar there, went shopping - Colaba Causeway, walked around to the Gateway of India and got a haircut.

This, btw, is what my hair used to look like. *Sigh* I'm still in the I-miss-my-long-hair mode even though my current look is not exactly short hair. 
Tuesday: Work. Watched Hangover 2. My one line of criticism: Hangover 2 is to Thailand what Sex and the City 2 was to Abu Dhabi. But it was a hundred times more watchable than SATC 2.

Wednesday: Work. Listened to the Beatles, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Evanescence. Really Random, yes. (But at least isolation, unlike the last 3 days)

Thursday: Holiday. Slept. (Read, nothing remarkable.) But again - isolation. Good.


My Baking Paraphernelia. Not enough for me AT ALL
Friday: Holiday. Revisited the pleasures of baking - baked a well-turned out chocolate cake and miserably failed at baking chocolate chip cookies and olive bread. I really need a real oven. Isolation too. Good day.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate sauce and fresh cherries

Saturday: Baked a fabulously turned out Apple-Cinnamon cake. Made pakoras and chai while it was raining and made orgasmic sounds while eating them.


Hot onion pakoras! :D
Sunday: Cooked Pasta and baked another chocolate cake.

Arguments

Parents: No, you can't.

Me: Why not?

Parents: Don't ask questions. When we say you can't, you can't.

Me, in my head: Yeah, right. THAT is going to convince me. 
Me: Sorry. Too bad that I've grown up. I will do exactly what pleases me.

Parents: If we had been strict with you from the start, we'd never have had to see this day. Now you have no regards for our emotions or any respect for us. You take us for granted. You don't ask for permissions at all these days.

Me: Oh, if I knew asking for your permission would have changed your answer, I would. You are never sold on any of my ideas. So, I have little option but to go ahead and do it anyway. Plus, I like making my own decisions.
Me, in my head: They are almost always wrong but at least I have no regrets. Also, you must record those lines. You have used it one time too many. You know that they don't affect anymore, right? Of course, completely different matter that most of the things you say have stopped affecting me because... okay, must stop having dialogue with self. They are still going on about something.

Parents: And we mean nothing to you? Does asking us before making your decision make you feel smaller?

Me, in my head: No, it changes my fucking decisions. All that emotional attyachar and pressure. And mostly logical arguments.
Me: Dad, don't start going all Bollywood on me. I like doing spontaneous things and I feel I don't do them often enough. When an opportunity presented itself, I decided to take it. That's all.

...Blah...

Parents: We don't want to argue with you.

Me: Good, neither do I. I'm still doing exactly what I want to do.

Which, btw, is going to Delhi for 3 days to visit Akshardham. :) My cousin, who is studying Architecture, has to go there as she is writing her thesis on it or something. She wants company and I want out of this city, even if it's for 3 days. Admittedly I will be able to do nothing but see the route from Delhi station to Akshardham, Akshardham itself and the route back to the station. I still can't wait to get away from here. As you can imagine, my parents are so not happy with two girls going to Delhi on a totally unplanned trip. But it's exactly that part which is giving me the *proverbial* erection.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 3

Your Favourite Series

The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling: There was no competition here. I started reading Harry Potter when I was in seventh or eighth grade. And I love the books even today. You know you go through phases of the series books? Like, the Malory Towers series phase, the Famous Five series phase, the Nancy Drew series phase, the Feluda series phase, the Sweet Valley High series phase, the Twighlight series phase, the Mills and Boon series phase etc? Well, there is no phase as such for this series. I can read them over and over again anytime I pick anyone of them. They are just perfect - for children, for adolescents, for adults, for men, for women, for boring aunties and Pompous-Ass uncles, for interesting creative writers, everyone.

Rowling  creates a whole alternate system of life! Ministry, Judiciary, Laws, Banks, Transport, Flora and Fauna, History, Geography, even things as minute as playing/ collecting cards and flavours of sweets. I think it's just sheer genius! The way how every event can later be traced into something meaningful (maybe not so much in the 7th Book but in the others) and even things in the third book can later be chained onto something perfectly sensible in the 6th or the 7th book is great. It must have required so many efforts and such hardwork and yet she manages to make it look like it's easy, this story-telling business - it just goes to show the talent of any writer.So, yes. Favourite Series: The Harry Potter Series. :D

That's a picture of the box set of Collector's Edition of the Harry Potter series which I intend to buy when I can. As you can see, I'm clearly a big fan. :D :P I seriously love this series and I think people who haven't read it are missing out on something awesome (Go read it!) and people who don't like it, you can't recognize amazingness when you see it! (Read it again. :P)

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 2

A Book that you have read more than 3 times

The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor: Since I wrote my Dissertation for the MA on it, it has to be the book I have read the most number of times. ;) I think this is an awesome book! Tharoor has rewritten the Mahabharata, the Indian Movement of Independence and the contemporary political scenario and drawn amazing parallels between the three. It takes serious amount of genius to be able to do that well. If you are interested in mythology, history and literature, you'll love it for it's style. If you aren't but you have a good knowledge of politics, you'll love it too, for it's humour. :)

My copy of the Great Indian Novel. Special memories (not necessarily good ones :P) related with this one. Have still kept the post-its intact on it. :P [Also, because this was gifted to me by Mungi. ;)]
I seriously recommend throwing yourself into this world, where Dhritrashtra is actually Nehru (or is it the other way round? :P), Pandu is Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhismapitama is Gandhiji and Indira Gandhi is equivalent to a 100 Kauravas. Here's my favourite example of why people should read this book. Written for Gandhiji after his first Satyagraha movement for the peasants of Champaran:

Groupies with rupees and large solar topis,
bakers and fakers and enema-takers,
journalists who promoted his cause with their pen,
these were among his favourite men!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pride

"Sar kisi se firoh nahi hota; haif bande hue, khuda naa hue."

- The Story Teller's Tale by Omair Ahmed.

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 1

Day 1: The best book you've read last year.


Since I love Chick Lit and have read a lot of it last year under the pretext of "research", the best book I have read last year will come from this genre. Sorry if you don't think chick lit is worth it....go, find another blog. :P


Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding: Considered to be a pioneer in the genre of chick lit, I think it deserves every bit of praise that has been accorded to it.A story of an ordinary-looking girl, with little general knowledge, a few bad habits, insecurity, an uncanny knack for falling for the pretty bastard and wishing for her Prince Charming to come and sweep her off her feet. Sounds like any of us, no? Helen Fielding started this trend of writing about lives of ordinary single city girls, making them extra-ordinary with her unique flair for humour. :)

I absolutely loved it and was found laughing out loud on several occasions while reading it. :)



* Pictures courtesy Google images.

The 30 Day Book Challenge

Got the idea from this blog. :) 
This does seem like something that will help me calm down. *pause* A bit anyway. Since I love reading fiction - something that transports me into a different world, where I can forget my own life and lose myself in someone else's - I will hopefully have a lot to say in this department.



 So here it goes:
  • Day 1: The Best Book You Read Last Year
  • Day 2: A Book That You’ve Read More Than Three Times
  • Day 3: Your Favourite Series
  • Day 4: Favourite Book Of Your Favourite Series
  • Day 5: A Book That Makes You Happy
  • Day 6: A Book That Makes You Sad
  • Day 7: Most Underrated Book
  • Day 8: Most Overrated Book
  • Day 9: A Book You Thought You Wouldn’t Like But Ended Up Loving
  • Day 10: Favourite Classic Book
  • Day 11: A Book You Hated
  • Day 12: A Book You Used To Love But Don’t Anymore
  • Day 13: Your Favourite Writer
  • Day 14: Favourite Book Of Your Favourite Writer
  • Day 15: Favourite Male Character
  • Day 16: Favourite Female Character
  • Day 17: Favourite Quote From Your Favorite Book
  • Day 18: A Book That Disappointed You
  • Day 19: Favourite Book Turned Into A Movie
  • Day 20: Favorite Romance Book
  • Day 21: Favourite Book From Your Childhood
  • Day 22: Favourite Book You Own
  • Day 23: A Book You Wanted To Read For A Long Time But Still Haven’t
  • Day 24: A Book That You Wish More People Would’ve Read
  • Day 25: A Character Who You Can Relate To The Most
  • Day 26: A Book That Changed Your Opinion About Something
  • Day 27: The Most Surprising Plot Twist Or Ending
  • Day 28: Favourite Title
  • Day 29: A Book Everyone Hated But You Liked
  • Day 30: Your Favourite Book Of All Time
Oops, just realised so many books are going to be competing on almost all days. :/ :P But I somehow, I'll decide on one. Toss coins, draw chits, close my eyes and pick etc. :P You guys are welcome to add your own titles for each day that I put up...whenever I put them up. :P
If you take up this challenge as well, then leave your blog url as a comment and I will link you as well. :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

More Rants

Dear God,

I know that assholes with their perfect lives, perfect jobs, perfect babies, perfect Saturday night romances, perfect fucking everything were not enough. I know that them blabbering on with their "Life without marriage is so pointless" unsolicitated advice on my precious Saturday night is not enough. I know that living in a fake city with fake people with fake fucking everything is not enough. I know that hating my life as much as I already do is not fucking enough.

But did you have to pile on like this? You could at least have given me a day's notice or something. That IS the protocol, right? I thought I deserved at least the Sunday off.

Sincerely,
Too fucking angry for words.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sunday Morning Blues

*Rant Alert* Run for your life!

I hate people here, their façades, their I-have-the-upper-hand styles, their attitudes, their fake sympathies, their hidden glee at your misery, their thoughts, their morals, I hate everything about them. With a vengeance. They are so.....so....so.... Aaaaarrgghh!!!!

And I hate myself for letting them affect me.  These fucking hypocritical flaky condescending assholes.They have got nothing but their fake-ness running for them and that will eventually come to an end. So, why should I be bothered or harassed? But God help me, I am.

How the fuck do you have the uncanny ability to take something I said and twist it around to either make it sound like you came up with this brilliant shit just now on the spot or make it sound like you have never heard of anything crappier than that in your entire fucking rosy life? To look me up and down whenever I am wearing something pretty as if it's the worst outfit you have ever seen but then you *obviously* expected it from me? To explain the smallest of the things to me loudly in public as if I am a fucking retard? To advise me about my life as if I am totally and completely incapable of handling it by my own self? To make me look like an idiot in front of my boyfriend? To be have to be the fucking better one every fucking time? To be the bitter fucking medicine coated with fake sugar? Why the fuck can you not get out of my life? Why the fuck can't I kick you out of my life?

That's it. I hereby make a resolution today to not talk to any fucking one for at least the next two weeks. Do my job, sulk in my room, watch fucking TV and stupid films, sleep, read, eat, write. ALONE. Everything alone. No phone, socializing, no fucking thing. I don't want anybody. I don't need anybody. I just want to be left alone. Forever. Especially by some people I hate. Still with a vengeance.

Get out, get out, get the fuck out of my life! I hope I never have to see all these monsters ever in my life again when I come back from my two week isolation stint. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weekend Getaway

I went to a beach called Titthal near Valsad (Gujrat) last weekend with some cousins and their friends and their friends' friends etc. (Yes, I do realise that this was the third time I've been to Gujrat in 2011 but at least, this time it wasn't with annoying relatives asking me when I'm planning to get married and all. *phew*) And it was quite a lot of fun. :) On Saturday, the weather went a bit crazy and there was so much sand everywhere - in our eyes, hair, noses, ears, mouths, food, bags, clothes etc - that we didn't dare to take our cameras out of their relative safety inside the bags. But I've never seen a more violent or a more beautiful sea than when I saw it that day. On Sunday though, everything had calmed down and we all played many games and had fun on the beach. :)
Early morning walk on the beach :)
Cloudy Sunday Morning
Garden in the premises of a Jain Temple





























A tiny flower growing amongst the weeds - looks like a Chinese Rose to me.






Pomegranate flowers

Any idea what flower is this?
Yellow flowers, I guess? :P
Portrait photography skills, à la Star! ;)

Monday, May 16, 2011

History of India - VIRitten

The whole of the last weekend, I was attending a wedding, a family function and meeting too many people (especially the family types) for my comfort and tolerance levels. So, I just wanted to spend last evening alone in my room, moping about nothing. I cancelled my plans with Moon and decided I'll go home and try to concoct a cake without an oven or a cooker for my parents' anniversary today. But the thought of going home wasn't really appealing either. So, THEN I decided to go watch a film. Alone but not really alone coz there'll be people around me, you know? And while leafing through the newspapers to find a good Shor in the City or Stanley ka Dabba show, I saw that Vir Das's History of India stand-up comedy show was playing at St. Andrews in Bandra. I knew it'd be a major drain on my pocket but what the hell, I wanted to watch it and be on my own and not mope. And it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made! :)

Artists: Kavi Shastri and Vir Das 
Written by: Vir Das
Ashvin Gidwani's Productions
Rating: 5/5

Vir Das is simply hilarious. He has written a brilliant script incorporating various important events from the history of India with exactly the right kind of humour inserted at exactly the right moments. Ummm, well, at least humour inserted at exactly the right moments. :P About the right kind of humour, depends on how you see it. Vir Das just screws everyone up. He comments on anything and everything under the sun and more often than not, his comments are quite rude. They are true. And he plays on stereotypes, like most comedians do. But he doesn't spare a thought to being politically correct. So, if you are touchy or sensitive about anything, maybe it's not for you. But if you are willing to take everything in the right spirit, you're going to love this piece!

 The act is obviously proud of India and I'm sure Vir Das is too. Either that or he is a damn good writer and actor. It (The act, I mean) is proud of everything that India was, is and is capable of being. But even so, it is completely unapologetic about it's satirical punches and about hitting below the belt. I felt it was quite cathartic to sit there and recognize the problems but find them funny as well. Makes them seem a lot smaller than they are/ seem to be otherwise. :)

I would most definitely recommend everyone to watch this one! :D It's a great way to spend your time. Plus, it's always a bonus when they scrub themselves up well. ;) One advice though: Remain inconspicuous. Don't turn up late or munch anything loudly. Or move for that matter. :P







* Pictures courtesy Google Images

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Television-for-the-Intelligent Revolution

My mum watches a lot of TV. And I don't blame her. It would be perfectly normal and natural to switch off your mind and vegetate in front of the television after a tiring day. But the problem is that she watches a lot of shit on TV.

I mean, how regressive can these daily soaps get?!!! And how can my mother stand watching them is completely beyond me. And then, the problem arises when not only does she watch these soaps, she starts identifying with all the poor, weepy, look-at-me-I'm-sacrificing-so-much-for-everyone bhartiya nari types. I mean, really!!

There is this one soap called Balika Vadhu, which started off on a very promising note about the practice of child marriage and why it's bad. That was 2 years ago. Today, the child bride and groom have grown up and are some 20 year old people. The boy goes to the "Big city" for his further studies and falls in love with someone else. You know, normal again coz this is the age for fooling around, not fucking 8 years! But the useless TV show keeps focusing on how the boy went out to the big city and lost all his values and culture, stopped caring for his family and respecting them, doesn't know the value of his wife blah blah blah. Everyone seems to have forgotten that this marriage is fucking illegal!

My predicament: My mum watches this shit. Everytime she does so, she over-analyses every word that comes out of mouth and somehow twists it to mean that I don't care about my family anymore. I mean, all I have to say is that Saturday is the only relatively free day I get and so I want to go meet my friends and she is convinced that I have completely let go of my family, don't care for them anymore, lost all my values (When did I ever have the same values as them anyway?) and have no sense of responsibility towards them. And really, I completely blame it on all the bullshit that the TV feeds her brain. She is absolutely fine in the afternoons, chatting, joking and even feeling proud of me. Then, in the late evenings, after she finishes watching all her daily soaps, she is all mopey and depressed coz she sees herself in them. Gawd!

Indian television (Or even American or British television for that matter - watch Coronation Street, Desperate Housewives, Jerry Springer, Supernanny etc and you'll know why.) is so fucking retarded. We need a big "television for the intelligent" revolution.

*It's a coincidence that this post happened to fall on Mother's Day. I swear this is not a gift for my mum. Anyway, if I so much as mention Mother's Day to her, she will start again with how "westernized" I am and that she exists for me only one day of the year and more shit on those lines. Really, I wish my parents would tone down their flair for Bollywood-type drama.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Random Non-updates

I want to write more. Honestly I do. But I just don't know what. I have nothing interesting happening in my life. At all. Work, study, work, home, eat, sleep, work.

I teach, by the way. English and French. Interesting enough. Waaaaaaaaaay better than translation, let me tell you.

And I'm learning Sanskrit. That teacher is quite useless to be honest. But whatever. "The class" keeps me on my toes and I am steadily progressing, which is great. :)

Ummm, apart, I have become very strange. I laugh and smile and go through things but I don't feel anything. In fact I feel nothing at all. I have a massive niggling doubt that everything is going wrong in my life but I am not able to place it. And I can't even share any of these things with anyone. Not even with Sun and Moon. And that's not because they don't understand or I can't explain or anything. It's just coz I have suddenly become so closed, it's difficult to open up. In fact, my diary is the only place where I can put everything in words. And sometimes, not even that. It requires so much effort that I would much rather just carry on the I-am-fine-and-normal charade.

Oh, and my students didn't like FRIENDS!!! I mean like, wtf? Anyway, that's not even important. Important is that I have put up a beautiful FRIENDS poster on my wall and also all my family pictures, pictures from my time at Xavier's and pictures from England on my wall. My mother went a bit crazy but I know even she likes it finally. That's my happy place, this beautiful wall in my room :)

And I've bought lots and lots of pretty bangles! :D Bangles are my new fashion craze. I am always seen wearing bangles of different sizes, shapes, colours and makes. :D

Ok, that's it for now. Will write later. Maybe.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Doll

My pretty niece (the same one I was ready to steal a couple months ago. And still am.)


That's my mum holding her while I entertain her to click pictures. :D

Today, I came one step closer to being the favourite aunt! :D :P Doll wanted to do nothing but hang out in my arms. :P Of course, that has got more to do with her loving my necklace to play with than loving me. But still. :P

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Vagina Monologues

Produced and directed by: Mahabanoo Modi-Kotwal and Kaizaad Kotwaal
Cast: Mahabanoo Modi-Kotwal, Dolly Thakore, Jayati Bhatia, Avantika Akrekar and Sonali Sachdev
Rating: 6/5



The moment Mahabnoo Modi-Kotwal made all the men in the audience stand up and applauded them for being there instead of the IPL match at the Wankhede stadium, I knew I was going to love the next 70 minutes or so. She just had a way of saying things, even things as simple as "Please switch off your mobile phones", that you wanted to laugh with her if she laughed, cry with her if she cried and rage with her if she vented.

Actually, the evening had begun on a not-at-all promising note. Moon, two of my cousins and I went to the Comedy Store in High Street Phoenix Mall, Lower Parel here in Mumbai for the show. The Club was super expensive, had bad lounge lighting, loud horrible music and obviously bad management. We were waiting outside the club for about 30 minutes and then, inside the club for more than 30 minutes before the show began. So naturally, we were quite pissed off. (Incidently, if anyone wants to know my ratings for the club, it would be 2.5/5.)

But the show more than made up for it. It was a complete laugh riot, which had still maintained it's sensitivity. Exploring all the possible avenues of womanhood through the vagina, the show narrated so many individual stories and stories of half the population of the world - some heart-warming, some heart-rending, some touching, some empowering, some brutal, some pleasurable...the list goes on. The monologues explore sexual pleasure, orgasms, conditioning, repression, rape, child sexual abuse, periods, child-birth and even a Vagina workshop to teach women how to love and respect your vagina. These were the stories of a Parsi woman who had repressed herself for decades and decades, a Maharashtrian woman who "had had some experience. With men.", a Punjabi woman whose husband had a shaven pussy fetish, European women who were raped during the World Wars, making innocent victims of them, a girl from Louisiana who faced sexual abuse when she was 10, women who attended the Vagina workshop conducted by a woman, a woman who had a moan fetish and who had changed her preferences, of genital mutilation etc. Every single one of the Monologue was given such consideration and was delivered perfectly. The play has managed to capture the essence of what it feels like to be a woman, to have that anatomical place "talking about which is considered as bad manners today".



Jayati Bhatia, (extreme right) in her role of the woman with the moan fetish drew the maximum amount of applause. Even Avanti Akrekar (extreme left) with her ability to modulate voice according to operatic necessities and Sonali Sachdev (in the front) with her strong acting and accent modulation skills stole everyone's hearts.


All in all, it was awesomeosome!! I loved the play to bits and would definitely recommend anyone if they get a chance to watch it. :)

*Images courtesy Google Images.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Conversations

Me: Mum, I miss baking very much! Please buy me an oven.
Mum: What is it with you and buying things? Who will take care of it, clean it etc? And anyway, I know you won't use it often enough at all once the novelty wears off.
Me: Mum!!! Baking urge!! Please be reasonable!
Mum: *Sigh* Okay. I've got some sand from Rajasthan.
Me: *waiting for explanation*
Mum: *None forthcoming*
Me: *cautiously* Sand?
Mum: Yea. You can bake with it. It comes out just fine. That's how they do it there. *March off*

Bottom line: Baking urge still not satisfied and growing stronger. *frustration*

*****************************************

Mungi (my awesomeosome friend from college): So, how did your teacher training course go? Did you make new friends and all?
Me: Yea, it was good! And I did make a few really good friends! :D I also flirted a lot with this one girl! :D
Mungi: WHAT?
Me: *giggle, giggle*
Mungi: *guffaw* I mean, I flirted, gooooood. A lot, very gooood. One, very very good. GIRL?!! It seems leaving England has affected you in a much deeper way than I thought. :P

blah, blah, blah...

Talking about smoking et al...
Mungi: What is post-k...komint...
Me: Post-coital cigarette? *explanation*
Mungi: Ah, ok. Why do people go so gaga over it?
Me: Because it feels awesome?
Mungi: *shocked look*
Me: *realising the implication* ... is what I've heard...
Mungi: *shocked AND unconvinced look*
Me: *suddenly enjoying this* No, really. That's what I've heard. I've not had sex ever since I started smoking.
Mungi: *shocked look back*
Me: *making weird faces trying not to laugh*
Mungi: *uncertain laugh* Let's go to college.

Bottom Line: I love scandalizing people. :D But also, I love Mungi to bits. :D

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Addiction

DV (Devil Voice): Oh, yay! There it is!!
AV (Angel Voice): Yeah. But you shouldn't. It's not a good for you.
DV: Oh, come on. It's just one. One won't make a big difference, right?
AV: No, that's just your addiction speaking. Just one today, just one tomorrow, just one day after...and then, it will all add up. Besides, it won't help you quit.
DV: But you never said you wanted to quit. Did you? Were you ever trying to do that?
AV: But of course that's what you want to do, right?
DV: Yes, but eventually. When you feel ready for it, right?
AV: But that is not defined!
DV: Ah, who cares? Anyway, you haven't had one in 2 weeks!! Surely if you just feel for one after a nice, satisfying meal, it should be fine.
AV: No. Not at all. Because you are stronger than that urge. If you clamp down on this feeling right now, you will be able to overcome your addiction.

I *in a small voice*: But I am not addicted. I haven't had one in two weeks. And before that, another week. And before that, another week and a half. And before that, another 2 weeks. And before that...

AV: You kept a count and you're telling me you're not addicted?

Thankfully, my AV is the dominant one in my head so far. Except for, of course, the above mentioned once a week or once a fortnight slips. But I get sternly reprimanded for those times. Hopefully, AV will continue to dominate me. Amen.