Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dussehra Memories

Happy Dussehra!

The past 10 days have been rough - physically and emotionally.  

Physically, as I was fasting (Yay, I did it without killing anyone!). Emotionally, because every single day for the past 10 days, I have been wallowing on "Bhopal memories".

It included 3 days of the year that parents told us "not to touch books/study", thanks to 'Book Pooja'. Those 'Kanya bhog' where we were fed Puri halwa, revered and paid by not just one but multiple aunties in the neighborhood till we could not eat a morsel and then some more. I used to particularly enjoy the lack of control my Mum had at the number of puris I ate. I felt like a free bird going out of my home and returned like a overly stuffed bird...

I miss the Durga pandals, the trip to Kaalibadi and the Bhatsoovar trips.I miss the 'Mela' feel. I miss the 'larger than life' celebrations. Okay, I miss almost everything. I just don't miss being a child. I find being an adult who acts childishly, much more fun and less stressful.

But sadly, no one calls a 31 year old for Kanya puja; or for Puri halwa.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Beginning of a Journey

Being 30 isn't as bad as I dreaded it would be. On the contrary, I feel great!

I feel more focused, more relaxed, a little mature and quite uncompetitive. I feel no pressure to prove anything to the world at large. I am yet to achieve complete peace within myself but I am definitely enroute.

I can still be a child though. It helps me connect with my 5 year old. Together we watch cartoons, read illustrated books, dabble in art, make a mess of the house, go to parks and girly shopping sessions.

She is mostly my partner-in-crime which actually limits my crime level to sneaking icecream from the fridge. Yet sometimes I do feel she is as mature as I am. Now, I don't really know if it is a compliment for her or an insult to myself .

My soul-sister introduced me to a book called "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne several months ago. I am not a fan of self-help books and thus I delayed buying it until now. I am yet to read beyond a few chapters but the gist of what I read has impressed me immensely.

The author along with her co-authors talks about the law of attraction and how we are given what we ask for. The universe responds to our thoughts and wishes. Most importantly it is a journey of positivity and positive thinking.

The book's audio version(available on YouTube for free) and movie version are available for those who find reading self-help books mundane. I prefer the book, thus going through that path.

Positivity in itself sounds so easy to do and follow. It has been something that I have been consciously trying to inculcate in myself for almost a year now. It is difficult, especially if you read newspapers and watch news. If you watch Indian television serials, then may God help you!

September being my birthday month and conveniently the earliest I can start, I am off on a journey to attain positivity. My first target is to keep thinking, speaking, doing and spreading positivity for a year. Hopefully by then, it would become a habitual way of life.

Wish me luck and feel free to kick me back to my senses if you find me off the path to positivity.  

Thursday, December 31, 2015

I Miss You!

I wonder if I ever really meant anything to you.
I wonder if it hurts you as much as it hurts me.
I wonder if you too want to hate me but fail like I do.
I wonder if you already hated me to start with.
I wonder if you even give me a second thought.
I wonder how I deserved this ache.
I wonder if I was just a passing fancy.
I wonder how I lost my grip on my heart and myself.
I wonder how and why I loved you so.
I have a bundle of questions to go with the pain
I get a painful answer from my mind so aloof.
You never loved me, or you wouldn't hurt me so.
You never cared enough,to hold me when I walked away.
You never felt enough, to pull me back from the dark
To you, I might just as well not exist
When all I can do is think about you.

I miss you terribly, but I don't regret walking away.
It showed me I didn't really ever have you.
It taught me to lock my heart far far away.
It will eventually give me the strength to stop the tears.
It will help me to stay strong when my heart falters at your name again...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Scary Tradition

There are things you grow up to detest, things you vow as a child never to do when you become an adult. But alas, the irony of times, you are faced with situations where the only option available to move forward would be to break that sacred vow.

20 years ago, I would sit with tears threatening to jump out of my eyes while my mom went about the routine. It was a family ritual, of sorts. Mom would chop off my hair the way she liked it regardless of how I liked it. Dad and my sis would shower appreciations on how great the ‘new’ style suited me to placate my tiny ego. I was 8, being suggestible wasn’t a weakness back then. The tears would then be replaced by a cheeky grin and a bloated self-image. Ignorance can be a bliss indeed. And thus the ritual repeated itself every few months. It took some years before I worked up the courage to stand up and say “Enough of the home-grooming, I need a ‘barber’ outside home”. As if they were waiting for me to say it, they agreed.

My next hair-cut day was much anticipated, ofcourse only by me. I imagined getting a royal treatment; only God knows why. We first went to a salon where they told me to come the next day as my hair were oiled (Guess customer satisfaction was not huge back then), we went the next day to hear the lady who cut hair is not available. Evidently my dad was pissed and I felt betrayed. It definitely didn’t seem to be part of the royal treatment. Result, we decided to go to the local barber who cut my dad’s hair.

I didn’t have much hope left yet it felt better than having a haircut at home. But I looked at my dad’s hair and wondered if I was making a mistake. The establishment turned out to be a small but tidy one, with pictures of movie stars/actors on one wall with different hair-styles. I was told to choose one, but I felt confused because all pictures were of men. I think I chose a long haired version on Akshay Kumar to which the barber gave me a 5 minute long sermon on why ‘that hairstyle’ would not work on me. I should have felt irritated, but far from it I was pleased. The guy was taking an effort and was trying to convince me. He was giving me the power to choose; and I felt powerful. Spiderman’s uncle was right, “With power comes great responsibility” and I felt the weight of that responsibility even when I was given the power to choose my haircut.

So I did what felt the easiest at the time, to give that power back to the barber and ask him to give a haircut that he felt would best suit me and my hair. He was visibly elated and got to work immediately. 15 minutes and then when I looked in the mirror, I saw a boy wearing a frock. Aghast at the extreme boy-cut as opposed to my mom’s girly layered cut, I dreaded going home to her and accepting that I’d rather have her cut my hair. The family had a hearty laugh and the mom-cutting-my-hair-tradition was restored for the next decade too (after that, I found other places to cut my hair).

However, I had resolved that I shall never cut my daughters’ hair because I neither have the skills nor the right temperament. Plus it felt very wrong to be the victim and then to make my little girls a victim too. But sooner than I knew, I grew up, became a mom and had a little girl with bouncy curls. For 3 years, hair-cut for the little girl was never on my list of worries (though I did get her hear tonsured for my ease), but now that the girl had hair long enough to be tied (a look we doted on; as in pic) into different styles, it was time to ponder. Durga somehow grew into a phase where she wouldn’t let us tie her hair, we had to coax, threaten and force her to atleast comb it. Result: She mostly ended up looking like a desert lion (no offense meant to the lion!)

The search for a good hair-stylist began and I stumbled upon the names of several celebrity hair-stylists. You would have to pay up a mini-fortune but it would be assured that the end-result would not be a disaster. After pondering over it for weeks, between which she insisted on going bald, I took the hard decision. She wanted bald, I wanted some structure. If things went real bad, she would get her wish. If I do manage to get some structure, it would be definitely better look than the present lion’s mane look. So, I took up the scissors, towels, clips and comb and went ahead. She was supportive but beautifully uncooperative and being a nervous wreck didn’t really serve my case any benefit.
 45 minutes of tug-tug, combing, chop-chop, clenched fists, hissed threats and non-cooperation movement by the little one (when she refused to sit down and walked off and I had to beg her and bribe her to take the seat again), we had a new hairstyle. Durga loves it and so do I(pics to be updated soon). Wondering if this is going to become a tradition of sorts between us too. For the sake of my sanity and on behalf of the little girl, I hope not...

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Friendly Open Letter to Mr. Arvind Kejriwal

 Dear Mr. Kejriwal,

India is rejoicing and so is the BJP along with it's ardent supporters. We have a wave of people Congratulating Mr. Narendra Modi for the stellar performance. I am not joining the whole country in doing so, I shall wait to Congratulate him when I see him manifesting our hopes into reality. Fingers Crossed!

Now, this note is not a sympathy card, I think I owe it to you. In all honesty, I might have written to Mr. Rahul Gandhi too, but I feel sympathy for the guy and I just hope that he wins his internal struggle. At a juncture when you might be wondering where you went wrong, I wanted to give you my assessment. I can say this in the light of my interaction with a large number of people in the past 4 months including my immediate family & friends and the decision I arrived at before inking my forefinger exercising my right to vote. I have openly supported NaMo.

Evidently when I write this, you might be disinterested to read. But I write this so that you continue to stride ahead in the political streets without being held back by the loss of this LS Elections. The 2014 Elections were a slap on your face but I hope you take it as a slap by a mother to a toddler to correct him/her. You jumped prematurely into the LS election scenario.

Corruption is a huge issue in our country and every single Indian comes across it in their everyday lives. This was one of your pet-agendas and that endeared you to us. A day when we don't have to bribe anyone - from the temple priest to the local politician/goon, seems like a reverie. Your fight channelized against corruption gave us hope that maybe the reverie might come true, even if partially! Your words and selfless appearance, quitting the civil servant badge to come into politics, only made us pin more hopes on you. Bang, before the others could see what happeneds, you got the chance you were seeking, to be the CM of our National Captial, Delhi.

But you failed miserably to deliver anything you preached! I may be mistaken, but this is how I see it:

You had the opportunity to show us you meant every word you shouted yourself hoarse over. Yet you chose to resign over a silly matter (ofcourse, you would have faced much more tougher situations ahead). Either because you realized that doing is much more harder than saying or you simply became overconfident. I say overconfident, because you took the Delhi win as a sign of a pan-India AAP wave.

Now saying that, I will tell you something you must be unsure of right now, there was a pan-India AAP wave. But 90% of the people in the wave wanted to give you a chance only after seeing you delivering some of your claims. Had you delivered on your promises in Delhi and targeted the next Lok Sabha Elections, I assure you, you would have had a pride-worthy lead.

You however chose to jump the process and expected against reason that the people of India shall put you(or your newly formed party) on the top most position in the country just on the basis of your promises, proudly exhibited anarchism, anti-corruption stand and your complete lack of experience in running even a state. You MUST give us Indians a little more respect than that.

Apart from all these, you chose another failing strategy - drama. To be honest, we are totally bored of drama; whether it is on the Television or the Political scenario of my country. When it comes to television we can switch it off, what do we do with politicians? We try to bear them as much as possible, but when the new ones try to resort to it, we knock them out (or atleast we wish we could). Please do refrain from it in future. Let your actions speak and kindly mute your drama.

Now one very personal but friendly word of advice: In the next 5 years (till the next LS Election) while you try to revamp your political strategy and have some experience to speak for you, please appoint your local dhobi to iron out your clothes for you. Some wise man said,'Clothes maketh a man.' I don't completely believe in that, a lot more makes a man. But wearing clean, ironed clothes can't hurt and that look is not so anti-AamAadmi as you think.

Do, for the sake of the country, wish Mr. Narendra Modi a successful term where he delivers what he has projected- the development of our nation because apart from politics, the lives of us countrymen depends on it. Hopefully, if he succeeds, a lot of my countrymen who rejoice when they get the citizenship of another country, shall think again and feel proud of being Indian again. Maybe, along with development an acute sense of patriotism shall instil the country too.

Jai Hind!


A hopeful, proud & young Indian.
{P.S.:I lifted your photo from Google and I place no claims to it being mine in any manner whatsoever}

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I have opinions, thoughts, complaints, questions, grievances, disappointments, hopes, gratitude, joy ; all these are a part of me but mainly it's all a part of my life as a social being.

I am an Indian. You can call me patriotic; I am. I can have never-ending debates with you about how great my country is, if you dare to bring disrespect in your voice for my country. In recent times however, I have had to do these debates with myself.

Even though my country claims to be a free country, I do not know how my freedom is worth anything when I cannot really exercise it. But it's high time that I rise above the self-loathing and self-pity of being a part of the powerless common man.

But how? I honestly do not know how to answer that. Power seems to lie in the hands of politicians, goons and unbelievably rich people; and I happen to fall in none of these sections. Politician - will I? ; Goons -no way!; Filthy rich - I wish...

All said and done, I wouldn't switch my present (personal) life with anything in the world. The best part of being a common man is the bliss of being ignorant to anything and everything that happens around you - unless it directly hits you. Even when it hits us, we lie curled up for sometime but you will always find us up on our feet in no time and we just move on.

I have grown up hearing the phrase "The pen is mightier than the sword." Now is it? I do not know for sure. What I know for sure is that the pen is definitely mightier than the sword when it comes to my long term outlet and peace of mind.

So what do I plan to do? I plan to write - with intensity and integrity.

P.S.: Pic found on good old Google; if you know who owns it, I would happily give due credit.

Monday, November 25, 2013

NCC Day & related Nostalgia

Today at Facebook, I come across the post wishing "Happy NCC Day". It was posted yesterday, and claimed that ti was the "65th Raising Day"(raising or rising was meant, I can't be sure!), but I have no memories of such a day being celebrated despite being super-active in NCC for 3 whole years.Can be because of a good-for-nothing A.N.O.

But the post ignited the nostalgic trip back to the NCC Days. How Col. Abraham Habi's speech got my attention and I enrolled because every single student in my class enrolled (I thought if everyone would be at the parade ground, none of the Professors are gonna take a lecture just for me, so better to join the crowd); how the first comments I got from my seniors was that "she won't last, she can't do it"; how the Army Instructor from the Battalion (7K Bn) looked perplexed because he din't have a uniform in my size; how I was the only one who turned up for the second parade session among all my classmates ; how I screwed my Second year Statistics marks(got only 80 and being maths, it was a full scoring subject) as I had been on almost year-long camps; how I was initiated into shooting/firing and last but not the least how I met Col. Ashwini Sudan at my very first camp.

Apart from the 'Upar Kadamthals','Shooting sessions', 'some very good friends, senior & juniors' and the long 'Parade' sessions that went on from morning till evening the best thing to have happened to me in NCC was getting to know Col. Ashwini Sudan (Sudan Sir as I fondly call him). He was everything I din't expect him to be (till I had just heard about him). From 23th Dec 2004 (yeah, we were safely under his wings while the Tsunami struck) he has been a father figure in my life; a person who has always been there with unconditional affection, motivation, inspiration and words of wisdom for me. He puts so much faith in me and in a selfless manner; that time and again I am motivated to work harder for some dreams he has planted firmly in my heart. I don' know if I'd ever achieve it, but I'll definitely give it my best.

Serious part aside, NCC was nothing like it is understood to be :

1. Brings in discipline to your life: Really? After having strict disciplinarian parents, it felt like a breeze. The camps were like  extended picnics.

Lesson: discipline can be knit into your life only if you wish it to, there is no way forcing it. The ones like me will always have a way to wriggle out of it with flying colours.

2. You learn to dress and carry yourself well. : Generally yes, due to the strict uniform rules and stricter rules about how it must be worn- clean, well ironed, well fitting clothes. Thanks to my size, I had to get a uniform stitched and since it was my Dad's hard earned money I insisted that I shall get only one. And because of the 'senior' tag I soon got and the Best Cadet study sessions, most of the times I would be seen in NCC track pants, a tshirt & track jacket. Luckily they needed no ironing!

Lesson: Being plus size has its very own advantages.

3. You learnt to adjust : When people have to share a classroom with about 20 others to sleep in, wake in, change your dress in, study in, practice in , it is inevitable that you'll have to adjust. But being a people's person, I enjoyed everything but the dressing part (for which, I drove everyone out and put a sentry on the window and door (even though just for 5 minutes). Yay, they did learn to adjust; for me, it was part of the picnic.

Lesson: You can't teach a nomad nomadic ways.

4. You learn to be prim & proper: Ahem* Ahem*.. that is farthest from the truth as can possibly be. The girls were supposed to tie a "figure of 8" with their hair which was a particularly tiring task if you had long hair (it involved parting you hair in the center, braiding both parts equally and then a complicated twist and turn in the back which renders the end-result of a lying 8 digit) , so our fix- most of us (actually all except the beauty conscious ones) would tie the knot tightly and neatly on the first day of the camp and fix it neatly with pins & net and then forget about it. With the 'figure of 8',the next hair wash definitely did not figure till we reached back home! We learned to sleep in dusty, unswept for ages classrooms without a seconds thought, we learned to sleep without our home's pampered care of mosquito nets or ACs (a fan or two in working condition was a bonanza).

Then comes food- I heard most of my counterparts crib and cry about it, I have never had a problem. I got my special "rotis" from the officers mess and though the food was repetitive, it was essentially clean & have never found any "unexpected" ingredient (which I had found at hostels before). It was "Bada Khana" for me every single day. The habit of eating only after brushing, went down the drain at camps. With 5 am as reporting time for the Parade, the bathroom area would be flooding with juniors in a queue to get to their morning duties. We were above that; a few mouthful of water from the drinking can spit out, we would take out those Britannia Tiger biscuits packets, put a few inside the mouth and shove the rest in the uniform packet; fuel till the breakfast and the brushing part happened when everyone rushed to the mess with their plates for breakfast. We would have the bathroom all to ourselves, by the time we'd be done, the queue at the mess would have gotten better too.

Lesson: A lot of habits can be tossed in the air and arranged to suit our convenience.

There are way too many misconceptions and lessons learnt from the NCC which couldn't possibly be told in a single post. But in short, I am extremely happy to have those days as part of my memories (I have come to value a lot of stuff which before that felt like default pleasures), to have found those wonderful experiences and people from it and to have that C certificate with an A grade in my certificate-folder. Shall I enroll Devu into NCC when she grows up (given my wonderful experience in it): NO! Not unless she really wants to do it , has by then convinced me that she would be up for it and that too only when she is big enough to win a verbal battle with me.