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

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..

(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

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

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

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 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.)



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


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.


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.


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


"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. :)