Friday, December 21, 2012

The Black Dots

Have you ever had second thoughts about travelling in a bus? Have you looked suspiciously at every man in a bus and imagined how you were going to counter these men if they tried to misbehave with you? I have. And trust me none of those black dots in your display pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and BB are going to help me get over this feeling.

We're all equally outraged with the brutal assault and rape of a 23 year old girl in a moving bus in one of the busiest and most posh areas in Delhi, but sitting in the cozy interiors of your house and changing display pictures is not what is going to help. I have often come across women who ignore eve-teasers because taking them on apparently invites trouble. Sadly, that doesn't do the trick. It only makes their resolve stronger. 

When my sister first grabbed a lecherous man by the collar and threatened to drag him to the police station, an elderly passer-by on an evening walk asked my sister to let go of him for her own safety. The lecher apologised called her 'Sister' instead! Those are the morals of an eve-teaser. It is only when you grab them by the collar that you become their family. The elderly man praised my sister for defending herself bravely but he asked her to avoid roughing up men like that. That lecher was a daily wage labourer if I remember correctly.

The 6 men involved in this gangrape incident: Bus driver, conductor, fruit seller etc. I don't understand how we're ever going to educate that class about respecting women. I don't understand how the police are ever going to able to control a segment from committing crimes when most of them derive most of their monthly income from that class. What I understand is, if you're lucky you will come back home alive everyday, unharmed.

Just a couple of days after this incident, about 10 other rape cases were reported from different parts of the country. We've heard buffoons tell us about how women should wear proper clothes, follow the Indian culture and not get out of their homes after dark. It is ridiculous and funny at the same time that we still assume we could be a superpower with such brilliant ideas of preventing rapes. We have a police commissioner who claims hunting down 370 buses was an uphill task and says routine checks are only possible theoretically, calling this case a blind case when he had witnesses. Yes, this is the police that claims to take care of us.

We have no idea who's going to fall prey to another group of men again. What can we do to protect ourselves? We need to be alert, carry pepper sprays, pointed objects, rods and everything that can keep us safe from men. Make-up kits are passé. Before trying to look good, we need to concentrate on being safe and alive. Let us first prevent our lives from being scarred rather than just protecting our faces from them. It is sad, but maybe this is what it has come to.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lose weight now. Are you asking me how?

I've been obsessed with weight-loss for over 4 years now. Idly, I'd type 'Weight-loss from the face, losing weight from the butts, reducing arm fat, how to tone my legs better' into the Google search bar. It would open up a list of videos, articles, blogger tips, ORDER NOW pop-up windows about some pills that always had a Before-After corner where both the pictures belonged to different people. Anyway, I was obsessed only with the idea of weight-loss online. Once the laptop was turned off, I'd go back into the world of fat, sugar, carbohydrates and the calories would come running in to to hug me.

My history with fat:
Fat and I go back a long time in history; 13.07.88, the day I was born, to be precise. I was born fat. When I went to play school I weighed 3 kgs heavier than the tiny kids and was taller by an inch. Most of my grand parents' friends would visit us every month and ask me the same question: "You've grown so tall and heavy, which class are you in now?" I'd give them the same reply every month. My grand father's friend once asked me: "Which course have you taken up in college?" "College?!" My eyes popped out at that thought. Didn't I tell  him last month that I was in class 9? "Uncle, I'm only in class 9," I smiled and served him a glass of water politely. "Oh, in that case you must lose some weight beta! You look older for your age." I could have either thrown water at his face and asked him to leave or just do something about my weight. Honestly, I did nothing of the two.

There was a time when girls in my class weighed 24 kgs and I weighed 27 kgs, gradually they put on weight and weighed 42 kgs. How could I be left behind, I went on to weigh 72 kgs. And probably 4 inches taller than the rest of them. I reached an all-time high of 80 in class 12. But it was baby fat and it would go, most of my relatives would tell me, okay the only relative who said that to me was my mother.

When I entered college, I stayed in a hostel and learnt how I had to be attractive to make more friends. I'll tell you about how I lost 13 kgs in 8 months without ever going to the gym:

  • My daily diet was the watery daal for lunch and the African continent-shaped rotis. It was the first time I was away from home, so I tried to save money by not buying chips/chocolates/biscuits. Dinner was the same. 
  • My room was on the 4th floor, so I'd climb stairs at least thrice daily.
  • I walked all the way from my PG to my college which was about a kilometer away from my PG. I'd also walk back home from there.
  • There weren't washing machines, there was no mommy to wash my clothes. Every weekend, 2 hours were spent in a battle between dirt on my clothes vs Surf and my hands. I'd be dead tired by the end of that exercise.
One day, I noticed that the space between my jeans and my waist was enough to carry two people my size. Everyday people would ask me how I was losing weight, sadly, I didn't realise what I was doing to lose weight! I'd shrug my shoulders and they thought I was hiding my secret diet from them. Sigh.

It has been 3 years since college and I haven't gained half-a-kilo since then, but I haven't lost weight either despite putting in a lot of effort. I keep reading articles about Yoga, gymming, the correct exercises to lose weight from specific parts of my body, acu-pressure, liposuction, ayurvedic/homeopathic/unani medicines. I've read them all, tried them all and haven't lost more than 10 grams.

 What I haven't done is what I did back in college - Junk food replaced the watery daal/rotis, no climbing stairs, washing clothes only in the machine, but I walk, and I walk a lot, which is why I'm stuck at where I stopped. While writing this down, I realised what works for me and what doesn't. The four bullet points work; Google, although very supportive throughout my obsession, didn't quite work in my favour!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Came. Saw. Shopped. And Dropped!

"Oye! It's Ramya's birthday in 15 days!" screamed Snigdha. "Venue will be her place only. No more outings on birthdays. That's becoming increasingly boring now!" Phew! I heaved a sigh of relief. We didn't go through any gruelling voting sessions this time. We'd vote, only to vote again and again and then choose the best of 3, followed by best of 5 and then finally giving up on deciding the venue! Sorted.

"You guys, what are we gifting her?!" That damned question. Sigh. We've been friends for 5 years now. The first year we met in college I remember gifting her a photo album. Bad choice plus bad gift. Why? Here's why: 

  1. Nobody really needs photo albums when you have a digital camera and all your photos are already on Facebook. 
  2. I forgot to remove the price tag.
  3. I packed it very nicely and she thought it was a wooden case where she could keep her paint brushes.


The next year we all got together and gifted her a lot of stationery items since she was so fond of it. The following year we took her shopping and asked her to choose something for herself. (The best year ever!) The next year we decided to gift her clothes. And this year was not very different from the first. The worst part was that we knew her well enough to know exactly what she didn't want, not so much what she did.

Mission find-her-a-gift-or-die-of-shame began the very next weekend. Snigdha, Shoili and I met in CP and quickly rushed to a CCD nearby. Snigdha was the most organised of us all. She took out her notebook and started scribbling: 
  1. Clothes- Done
  2. Chappals/Shoes- Maybe not. If she doesn't like them, nope, we didn't want to be GeorgeBush-ed.
  3. Earrings - She doesn't wear any. But what the hell, we can gift it to her. If we like it, so will she. In case she doesn't, we'll take them back for ourselves.
  4. Stationery - Given her enough already.
  5. Bag - She just bought one last week.
  6. Ganesha idol? - She has way too many of them at home already, moreover it's her 22nd birthday not her 50th!

"That's it guys, there's nothing else that we can gift her," she analysed the list carefully again. "Yes, that's about it. She has all of it, there's nothing we can gift her." 
I looked at Snigdha with a You-Cannot-Be-Serious expression. "What do you mean there's nothing we can gift her?!" She shoved her notebook at me, "Look! Do you see that list?" A cursory glance and I realised that we had indeed put down everything that made 'Ramya' on that piece of paper. You might have heard of dead ends, but this was going to be the dead-end of our friendship and our lives if we didn't find anything!

One cup of cappuccino and we were pumped to go out and raid the Inner Circle! Shoili was Snigdha's junior from her hostel. All she knew about Ramya was her face. "Gift her a dress! Or maybe cool electronic items." We both turned and asked her to just shut up and walk like she was invisible to us. Shoili could have best been used as a hanger for our shopping bags. Juniors are made for that kind of stuff.

In about 45 minutes, we had completed one 'Parikrama' of the Inner Circle. A pleasant September morning turned into a scorching June afternoon in an hour. There we were, back to Block B. We started walking again without speaking a word. Janpath. Obviously. On our way, we came across Tantra. Right outside on the window was a T-shirt that said 'State of my mind' with clouds and a broken TV. "That is so Ramya," words flowed out of my mouth as I gaped at the shirt. "Of course, that has RAMYA written all over it!" exclaimed Snigdha. "No wait, that has 'State of my mind' written on it," chuckled Shoili. "Shut up, I know that's what you're going to tell me, so guess what, I'm not talking," and she finally shut up.

That was just 200 bucks. Our budget was 1k. Happy with our discovery, we set off with a spring in our steps to see if we were going to be lucky again. Janpath was, well, very Janpath. I don't know why we thought we'd unearth some rare artifacts there! Half an hour more, and that was the end of Janpath. Experiment failed.

We were walking back like Zombies. Our legs hurt, but our futile efforts pained us more. We spoke little or nothing on our way back and stopped by a corner to catch our breath and satiate our throats with water. Out of nowhere Snigdha had a crazy idea. With a determined look on her face she spoke "I'm buying a CD!"  A CD? Like a movie, music, what? CD? Before I knew, she had already bought one. A blank CD. Errmm.. okay.. "I'll make a movie out of our pictures!" Now THAT is exactly what we should have thought of before starting that Dandi March to Janpath. Anyway, it was a super idea.

But hey, that was her idea. What was I going to do? I thought a little and I beamed. Snigdha knew that I had come up with something more. She gave me her Tell-me-what-you're-thinking-or-I'll-hit-you-hard-right-now expression. "I'll bake her a cake!" I exclaimed. "Brilliant!" High-fives were exchanged, half-hugs shared and poor Shoili felt used and abused.

The entire shopping fiasco ended up like a fairy tale. Ramya's birthday was one blockbuster birthday. We cut the cake that I baked, watched the movie that Snigdha created and Ramya quickly changed into the T-shirt we had bought her. Her mother and sister thought we had ordered a customised version of that shirt specially for the crazy birthday girl! We ate, drank, laughed at her, laughed at ourselves and finally realised that the end is always happy.

This post is a part of the contest at in association with

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Diwali, Y U NO come sooner?

There is one question we ask people at work in August, every year: Is Diwali falling on Thursday-Friday or Monday-Tuesday? God cannot be unkind, it cannot fall on a Sunday. Priority task for those staying away from home: booking seats on IRCTC and eventually being able to get reservations in the 5th attempt, if you're lucky, and you're set for grand festivities!

Come October, and the only discussions over lunch at work are probably about how many days are left for Dusshera/Diwali. However, the preparations for the festival over weekends are like Physical Education classes in school. You always thought of them as 'free periods' while the PE instructor physically tortured you with exercises till you dropped dead in the heat. 

When I woke up this morning and opened one eye to check the time, it was 6 a.m and also a Saturday. Saturday, as soon as that word popped up in my head, I automatically fell asleep. I was woken up 3 hours later by mother's shrill voice. I thought it must have been her daily attempt to please the Lord, but no. I could hear Utho beta, 9 baj gaye! It was only 9, on a weekend, and I was expected to be awake for God knows what! Mother's reasons sometimes fail me.

I didn't like the idea of waking up so early, but I eventually did. It is almost impossible to sleep with a shrill voice piercing through the walls of your delicate ears. The table was laid. A big glass of milk with Bournvita and a slice of chocolate cake that I had baked for myself last night. Whoa, this was a new development. Any way, I brushed my teeth and sat for this one-of-a-kind breakfast. My mother sat beside me checking out Kareena and Sara in the Daawat-e-Walima pictures in Delhi Times. "Amazing daughter Saif has, she looks too pleased that her mother's ex-husband, who left her, is now getting married to his latest girlfriend!" "They're all used it Mommy," I replied relishing the cake.

We finally got down to the main issue. "You're tall enough to reach the tiles on top in the kitchen, right?" asked my mother nonchalantly. Of course, I am. You are my mother and you know that already. The breakfast on the table made it impossible for me to tell her that. I nodded my head in agreement. With another sip of milk, I looked up at the fan. Dirty. It wasn't going to end with just the kitchen. As soon as breakfast got over, Mommy handed out a duster to me. 

I was told to go out and dust the kitchen windows. Then wash them with detergent soaked dusters followed by a dry wipe. Ditto with the main door and the back door and the third entrance to the house. I was done with all of it in 1.5 hours. Dishevelled, I was making my way back through the front door when my attractive neighbour magically stepped out of his house. There I was in my ugly PJs and 2 chocolate brown dusters on my shoulder, gazing at this man. A short chat followed. Yes, getting the home ready for Diwali. How are you? Where have you been? ( Like seriously, where were you when I was wearing pretty clothes throughout the week?) He told me how he was the pilot of that plane that carried Kareena, Saif and the family from Mumbai to Delhi. (Highlight of the conversation. I've been very interested in that wedding, though asking him if he took autographs would be a stupid question. He didn't tell me that he did. It meant that no autographs were taken.)

I entered the kitchen and VOILA! There stood my mother with 2 more dusters and a ladder. It dawned upon me that a modular kitchen is not worth the money if it cannot clean itself. One corner to another, I watched dusters change colour with every wipe. I had started at 9. It was 1 when I got over with the cleaning. I saw my nails, they didn't look like my hands. I looked into the mirror and I could spot a cobweb on my head, dust on my face, grease on my shirt. Lovely! I looked like I was ready for a Halloween party.

I told mother that I wanted to rest. She didn't deny me that. So I lay on my bed and I soon dozed off. I woke up half an hour later and quickly took a bath. Lukewarm water. I could have slept in the bathroom. By the time I was out, it was 3 p.m and lunch felt like it was insufficient for the 4 stomachs that I seemed to have grown. I don't remember when I hit the bed and fell asleep again. A peaceful, dreamless sleep. 

When I woke up, I felt like I could have slept for another few weeks until Diwali was finally here. How I wish I could do that. Sigh, I already have a list of everything that has to be done tomorrow. Sunday, there you go, down with the cobwebs, to the naali.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Glad It's Over!

We know what teenagers are like.  We’ve all been through that stage where our hormones trolled us into believing we were adults. Infatuation, crushes, minimal forces of attraction were terms that only meant one thing – LOVE! Ironically, love was something we didn’t really know of back then.

Rachna was just another 13 year old. Fretting over pimples, trying to fit into her 18 year old sister’s shoes, clothes, social circle etc, comparing whether her Math text books had more problems than her best friends. And, Rachna was crazy about her class teacher in school. He looked all right, but when Rachna compared him to the scrawny boys in school, he looked nothing short of a Greek God.

He wore the correct shoes with the correct clothes. Every girl in school was madly in ‘love’ with this teacher already. Dimples and nicely cut hair, clean shaven and eyes that would shine every time his students needed help - what more qualities does a teenage girl seek in a crush? Rachna felt her desperate attempts to seek his attention were overshadowed by the smarter chicks who strut around confidently around him. In a bid to be one-up on them, Rachna decided to write him a love letter.

How does one proceed to write a love letter? She picked up a letter-writing book and ran her finger through the index looking for a love letter, unfortunately, there were no sample letters. Her love story started with a shy Good Morning Рon most other occasions her jaw would drop so low that it was impossible to utter anything coherent. She wrote what she saw people write in the movies Рshe poured her heart out, just like some actress in some movie had, some clich̩d nonsense about how they were going to make it till the end and all that jazz. It seemed a little too perfect to her, but then that's how she wanted her love story to be! She blushed and did not write her name in the end at all. If they were meant to be, he would find out. A few little hearts danced around her head with a few glittering stars.

She carefully placed her letter on his desk the next morning, in between the attendance register. She kept her fingers crossed, hoping she’d get what she had always longed for, a fairy tale love story, her prince charming. When Mr. Prince Charming entered the class, Rachna crossed her fingers so hard that they could have almost broken her metacarpals. 

As soon as she saw him open the letter, everything around her played in slow motion - her heart sank a little lower to her stomach, the sleeping butterflies in her stomach woke up with a stir in response, cold sweat beads formed on her forehead. She saw his expression go from good to bad to ugly to worse … until he finally tore it apart into little pieces and dropped it in the dustbin.

15 pieces of her love letter multiplied by a million - exactly the amount of pieces her heart broke into.

Tears welled up in her eyes but she had to show no emotion. Her friends would probably disown her, laugh at her and do everything a teenager did to make another teenager feel miserable. Of course, he was her class-teacher; he knew it was her handwriting even though it had no name.
Lessons learnt: Never write down a love letter in your own handwriting, especially when your teacher knows what it looks like and your class has only 22 students.

She couldn’t study well for his paper due next week - final exams! She plugged her iPod into her ears and wailed for hours listening to the saddest songs and downloading even sadder songs that she could manage to find under 'Heartbroken couple songs MP3 download', 'Cheated in love songs MP3 download', 'Love songs  Sad MP3 download'  on Google. She filled up her personal diary with paragraphs after paragraphs about how she had to show that heartless beast that she was doing great without him. The very next moment she felt she couldn't fall in love again. She switched on the TV and saw Kajol sobbing uncontrollably to Rifat Bee 'Mujhe mera pehla pyaar nahi mila..'. It was getting worse by each passing day. She didn't speak to her friends at all, none of them bothered either because it was exam time. The entire next week she tried to avoid eye contact with him, she couldn't just leave school, that wasn't even an option for her. Okay, she couldn’t concentrate.

 A quick calculation showed that she needed 55% in his paper to clear the hurdle on to the next class. She studied enough to secure 55%, wrote enough in the paper to score that much too.

When the report cards were finally being given away to the parents, Rachna was only worried about Prince Charming’s paper. It was awkward to be in love with someone and then fail their paper. That morning she kept her fingers crossed for a good 30 minutes. Failing his paper wouldn't just ruin her reputation before him, but would also mean a grand lecture from her parents at home. It felt wrong to be standing in front of him; it suddenly struck her that she was beyond foolish to have done what she did. She was WRONG, so WRONG!

She couldn’t pay attention to the conversation between her parents and Prince Charming. Her fingers were still crossed because she didn’t want him to complain to her parents about her absurd behaviour. She peeped into her report card and saw a 56 against his paper. She didn’t know whether she had earned it for herself through what she did to him or if she had really studied only that much. There was just one thing she could write in her diary that night: Why must everything have a happy ending? Why can't we just be glad that it's over?

PS: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead is purely coincidental, except maybe a few instances where Rachna was Yours Truly. 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Day in Bhangel

I do not remember when and how I adapted myself to this little village. I was scared of crossing the road because I'd been hit twice by people coming from the wrong side on a one-way road. Today, I just have to anticipate the speed at which the cars/bikes must be approaching me from around the bend. I raise my hand without even looking up at the vehicle and cross like it's cake walk. Cake walk in two ways, the figurative one and the literal one where you step on the cake the cow decided to leave on the side walk.

The cattle will find you anywhere. Most of the time when you're wondering why there's a traffic jam on a one-way road, it's a cow or a buffalo who just planned to take a little break, chewing endlessly on some imaginary gum, ignorant to the incessant honking behind her. The cattle here are cool like that. I guess they have the Gujjar blood running at 87263920139437238 kmph in their veins.

The Gujjars are both cute and absurd. Cute, because I've seen young married couples holding hands and strolling happily. You almost want to ignore the man's white shirt gone dusty-brown with a collar that's probably been sewn a dozen times so that it stays like that for another few months. His chappals may be covered in dust, but he never leaves his wife's hand. The wife is all colour-coordinated in red and bling! More bling and red that's just so red that it could hurt your eyes. She smiles all the way. You naturally end up appreciating the couple because he doesn't seem like the man who'd beat her up unlike the rich Indian doctors settled in US who turn into wife-beaters because they weren't paid enough to wed. She doesn't seem like those women who'd even have the hots for another man.

The really absurd Gujjars are the ones who travel with me in the bus. They'd fight with the conductor because they want to pay just 5 bucks for 15 kms. Absurd. Then they also manipulate the conductor's words and turn him into the culprit, get into a fist fight and end up breaking their skulls over 5 bucks. Absurd. Though there are a few nasty conductors, but I'm partial to them because they never misbehave with me. They always give me this cute smile and I always get my change before the others. They're my friends.

Amazingly, all this doesn't bother me any more. They could be the best or the worst people, I give a damn. The fact that none of those men make dirty passes at me in local buses as opposed to Delhi is more than comforting. There are Audis, and then there are cart pullers, there are HIG apartments, and then there are little tents right outside your building that houses a family of 15. I had never lived in a place full of paradoxes in my life, ever!

While I was in school, I was picked up by my father's army jeep. My college has been stereotyped as the house of the posh, bitchy, elite women who travel in nothing less than the Delhi Metro. And here I am, travelling in a broken, local bus, listening to Snow Patrol on my phone while most others are probably still stuck to Pardesi, Pardesi jana nahin.. My co-passengers never finish a sentence without using expletives. They'd probably hold your collar faster than lightning could strike you. A lot of these instances have put me off the materialistic pleasures of owning a cool laptop or a smartphone because I'm trying to be a part of this crowd. They don't look like they cheat on their women, though they might cheat on their Workshop owner or wherever they work. They'll fight for every penny because they know how hard it is to earn to be able to afford a one-way travel worth 10 bucks. I might not have liked this place at all initially, but I wouldn't be wrong to say that it has indeed taught me to remain closer to reality.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Action. Masala. Entertainment

I was busy chatting with my mother over a cup of cold coffee when I looked up at the clock. It was 8 already. I was late by 5 minutes and I knew my regular bus must have left. I grabbed my bag and rushed towards Bhangel T-point. About 100 metres away from the T-point, I could see my bus disappear around the bend. Luckily there was another PS Choudhry bus right behind it.

I hopped on to the bus. The stoppage time (nobody decides how long that is) is generally about 5 minutes. Since there weren't too many people at the bus stop today, the driver decided to wait a little longer. 2 school kids in crumpled shirts and dirty shoes took the second seat. Impatient 15-year olds who have spent their lives in this tiny NOIDA village and think very highly of themselves.. yes you could also call them your typical Dilli ke ladke, that's how I would describe them.

About 3 minutes later one of them threatened the driver, "Chalta hai ki nahi?"

Now drivers don't take these warnings very seriously. This is something they get to hear 3437237 times in a day. He kept looking out of the window trying to get more passengers.

Shabby school kid: Aakhri baar pooch raha hoon, chalta hai ki nahi?

Driver: 4 bus aur ja rahi hain, itni jaldi hai to utar ke doosri le le.

School kid leaves his bag on the second seat and goes and sits on the first bench.

*Action sequence begins*

School kid: Kya bola tu?

Driver: Jaa shanti se baith, chal rahe hain.

The bus roared to a start and we finally made a move. In the meanwhile, something got into the school kid. He got up and slapped the driver thrice in a completely filmy style. An old lady who was quietly watching this scene got up to speak. "Kyu maarte ho beta, school jate ho, padhte likhte ho, ye sikhate hain? Wo itna bada aadmi hai.. usko maaroge?"

What do Bhangel-bred school lads know of morals? He signalled the driver to stop about half a kilometre later. This boy and his friend were about to get down when he went to the driver and slapped him again. Now this last one was your *CHATAAAK* slap right on the driver's left eye. His eye instantly turned red. The driver looked at the boy for a good 3 seconds and waited for him to get down. In the rear view mirror, he saw where the boys were going.

The lurking tiger behind that driver's pitiable face was exposed within nanoseconds. He crouched and leapt out of his seat, caught hold of a wooden laathi and ran out of the bus in a rage.

I quickly looked at my phone to check the time. I was horribly late, but did it even matter when there was live action unfolding right before my eyes?! I got down from the bus and my eyes started following the driver. The speed at which he was following the boys, he'd surely have put a few Olympic athletes to shame. I saw him hit one of the boys on his legs. I saw that boy fall. In response to this adrenaline rush, I actually wanted to clap and scream, "You go man! Get the other one, KILL KILL!"

I looked around and saw the others pretty worried. I quickly converted my grin into a morose face. When I turned to look at the crime scene again, a bus was blocking my view. The conductor screamed, "Aa jao, City Saantarr, City Saantarr! (read: Noida City Centre)" All right, it was time to get back to the monotony of real life. I took the bus and thanked the Lord for a lovely kick-start to this Friday morning!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Diary of a Socially Awkward Pig - Overview

The socially awkward penguin memes were created after spying on me. Why do I believe that? I'll tell you why.

The first time I got to know that I was socially awkward was when we were standing in line at Barista and I didn't really feel like placing the order. I went back and sat in a corner to avoid the ones who had seen me walk away from the counter.

The next time was at a store when I accidentally asked this guy about the cost of Rin. He looked around and pointed at someone else. I still didn't know why. Then I saw his son running up to him. Oh, he was a customer. I didn't even say sorry, would that have helped after what I did to his character? :P

Then I remember sitting in the Physical Chemistry class in M.Sc and doing complex matrices. I had always been good at matrices. The teacher asked me the answer twice and I answered him correctly. When he asked me the diagonal of the third matrix, the class suddenly fell completely silent. 'Zero!' I shouted. 'What?! NO!" he looked devastated at my reply. The class turned to look at me as I sunk in my chair a little deeper.

The problem with having a group of odd people is, that most definitely you will be the one walking alone. So this one day we were walking to the metro station. 2 of my friends had to bitch about some female so they walked a little ahead. 3 of us were walking merrily until both of them started talking about their hostel and the magical creatures that inhabit it! So I walked a little faster but still couldn't catch up with the bitchy ones. Somewhere in between the 2 pairs walked the socially awkward pig!

Cut to current situation. At work. I was talking to this girl about how I travel to work and she suddenly looked over my shoulder, excused herself and walked away to greet another woman! Okay, may be she'd say hi and come back. Both the chirpy birds flew across to the conference room. I got back to my table.

At lunch. Group of 6 girls. 5 of them sitting in a circle and chatting away to glory. Deep conversation happening. Guess who was sitting on the outskirts? Yours truly.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

That ridiculous question

The first time someone asked me that question was when I was 5 years old. Class 1. Miss Helen Cutler.
"Child, what do you want to become when you grow up?" I shrugged. There wasn't much that I had seen back then. I knew my auto-rickshaw driver, my Dad, my mother and Ma'am. None of them did anything that was remotely interesting to me. After pondering over the question for some time, I said - "Drawing. I want to draw. I want new crayons." I really don't remember her reaction.

Visit to discover Indian blogs I grew a little older, reached class 5. "What do you want to become when you grow up, beta?" I wanted to be a singer, a dancer and everything that I saw on TV. Then came class 10! What did I want to become? I wanted to get into class 11 and think about becoming something later! Class 11 happened. "What do you want to become? Engineer? Doctor?" I didn't know really. So I took up both, Math and Biology. "Dekh lenge kya ban-na hai!" I thought to myself.

By class 12 I knew I didn't want to turn into either! There was something that I wanted to do, but I didn't know what that was. Very soon, I was in college, pursuing Chemistry and hating it too! So I knew Science wasn't something I was made for. Anyway, I continued with a Masters degree in the same, due to lack of options! And then, I had had enough of that question. I didn't know what do with my life!

Magically one day, I went for a walk-in interview at a place where my friend was already working and got selected in an hour! I thought I could silence everyone who asked me that question now. I wanted to be an Editor and now I am one! *in your face* The deep satisfaction that I felt can be likened to the lull after a storm. But the storm wasn't over yet. Lightning struck again.

Yesterday, my boss seemed very impressed by my performance in the last 8 months. Then came the damned question, "Where do you see yourself by the year end? I know it is a tough question but I want to know your opinion about what you want to do with this profile further."
The ghosts of the pasts came rushing back to me with such intensity that they trampled over me and left me in the sub-conscious state. This question doesn't seem to end! "Now what do I do with my life?!" Le Sigh.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


I'm so depressed right now that the only title I could give this post was "Phoonnneeeee!" There is this sinking feeling while I see everyone in the house turning things upside down to look for it. It is a lot like me, doesn't talk - stays on silent. I've never lost a phone in my life. The first time I started using a personal mobile was in the year 2004. 8 years is a long time, and I hadn't lost one yet!

Maybe this is God's way of showing me that shit like this happens. And it can happen to anyone. Where the eff are you? Why can't you just walk into my hands out of no where? 13 missed calls later, you should be responsible enough to come back to your maalkin! After turning the pillows on their heads, waving the broom like a warlord under the beds, dad was quite proud of the amount of rubbish that I had managed to sweep off. These praises don't seem to work any more.

Here I am, sitting with a long face. Whining about the best thing that could ever happen to me - my little phone. I mean it wasn't little, it was an E 63, but compared to all these people who're looking for it right now and screaming at me about why it was on silent, yes it was a little thing. My phone has battery issues. It is therefore only proper to keep it on silent. It is? It WAS.

While all you homies scream at me about how it would have been if it wasn't on silent.. well, how's and why's for such questions have no point. It is gone. That is the problem on our hands. FIND IT you guys. Okay?! Till then I'm going to sit here and whine. Great, now dad asks me, "Aren't you sad you've lost it?" Well YES I am! But I don't think it is proper to cry over it right now. If it was possible, I'd have made a new one again, but I can't do that. Eff you, dear phone. Stay in that dingy corner where you're hiding. I'm not going to come and find you. Suit yourself. Bleh.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A tweet love story

I came from a smaller town. A town named Facebook. I was quite the dude in my part of the world. People would like even the stupidest joke I wrote on my status, the silliest picture I'd share from one of the million pages that I had liked, the shortest comment I'd make on a picture/status... Yeah, they thought I was really cool.

I'd get about 7 messages everyday asking me to add them because my profile was awesome. They'd look for ways to get in touch with me.I'd call them wannabes. Then one day I packed my bags and moved ahead.. to the city where all the who's-who of the world resided- Twitter. There were times when you saw these celebs on the big screen, today I was tapping my keyboard and watching them respond to me on my laptop screen!

They knew me as the @BhookhaBhediya on the micro-blogging site. I'd tweet about everything under the sun. From cricket to condoms, books to boobs, philosophy to chemistry. Very soon, I had tons of followers. No doubt the females always had more no. of followers, I was catching up soon. One fine day @Bheegi_Billi followed me. Okay, another weird handle. I didn't take any note of her until one day she re-tweeted me.

"@BhookhaBhediya My gf and I broke-up over religious differences. She thought she was God. I didn't."

Pat came the reply from a certain @Bheegi_Billi "we broke up over animal right issues RT @BhookhaBhediya My gf and I broke-up over religious differences. She thought she was God. I didn't"

And then started a lame conversation. "@BhookhaBhediya Clearly you were the wild cat and he was a domesticated animal? @Bheegi_Billi."

@Bheegi_Billi well he was an animal, and I treated him like one. The animal rights group got offended! @BhookhaBhediya

Oh well, we tweeted, re-tweeted, favourited each other's tweets for the next 1 week. There were times when she DM-ed me about things we couldn't openly discuss, then we started #slytweets, group discussions, creating our own trends. From twitter, we came down to each other's FB profiles. She started liking my profile pictures one day, in turn I liked all her pictures, wall photos, albums, status messages and so on.

Clearly, she figured I had a lot of free time. We had a choice, we could either write messages to each other on FB or tweet. I don't know why, we never resorted to FB messages, not even wall posts. Twitter was where we'd see each other every day. Every minute. It felt like home every time she featured on my TL. My mentions page would start rolling faster than my TL every time she was around!

And then one day, I mustered the courage to tell her that I was attracted to her. I DM-ed her. "I don't know how you're goin to take this, but I'm addicted to you!"

I didn't want to tweet to her to check her DMs. I thought she'd assume I was going to be after her life. She suddenly tweeted "#FF @BhookhaBhediya only 10 more needed for 500."

OMG! She #FFed me? She had over 5200 followers. 7 of them actually followed! I realised I was a fool. She must have some 1000 people going gaga over her already. Why would she be interested in me?

And then she DM-ed. "I think I like you too :)"

It has been 3 minutes now. I'm still stuck on the DMs. Could this be the beginning of a tweet love story?
A Bhediya and a Billi, I just hope this doesn't end up with the animal rights people. ;)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mom and Me

When I first stepped out of home to go to school, I waved back at her. I did not know where we were going. Daddy was taking me somewhere. I had a bag on my shoulders, a bottle in my hand, but I had no clue what they were for. A 100 metres away from home, I turned my head around, my eyes searching for her from between the trees that stood tall outside my house. I couldn't see her clearly. Where were we going this early in the morning?

A few hours later, I was among 20 unknown faces. All of my age. We played a little, cried a little, fought a little, and I waited for her to come and tell me why they were fighting with me. She did come, only when I cried my eyes out. She told me nothing was wrong. They were called Friends. That's what friends do!

A few years later, I'd go to school so that I could see a little less of her. Tuition time! 5pm -- Mother calls. She was my alarm clock back then. One call, and I knew it was time to get going. "Why?!" I thought to myself. "I wasn't running away!"

I hated taking her calls. Ditto in college. Mothers calling while we were having fun was not very cool. Specially when they were calling you to ask when you were going to be back! It was a girls' college. Why couldn't she trust me.

In the past five months, the tables have turned. I walk out of the office at 5pm. Exactly at 5.30pm I check my phone for my mother's call. She doesn't. 5.40 pm - I call her almost scolding her for not calling me, "Don't you know that you're supposed to call me and ask where I am? What if I was run over by a truck!" She just laughs. 

There are just so many things that I've figured out in these 5 months that I didn't realise in 23 years! She trusts me more than I can imagine. She doesn't call because she knows that I'll be home before she knows. I get worried when she doesn't call because I care for her, just like she did when I was younger. Bringing up kids is not easy! And turning into individuals that your parents want you to be like, is even tougher! Life is complicated and yet so simple.

One thing that will always remain -- Mom and me. The easiest, most convenient and the loveliest relationship ever!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Lot Like Love

The last time we saw each other was a year ago. I loved that touch and the way we looked just perfect together. I'd look into the mirror and feel complete. Every time I went out, I'm sure there were about 10 girls who looked at me all green-eyed. 

As time passed, we both grew up. It wasn't the same anymore. My reflection wasn't the same. It was time to let go. But I knew he wouldn’t be gone forever, I knew he'd come back to me, whenever I wanted him to! “Till then, I should try and get used to my new self,” I thought to myself. I started to understand a part of me that wasn't pretty, didn't get any attention, but was still likeable.

Gradually, I started liking myself more. There were people around me to whom it didn't even matter how my world had changed! They never let me feel how my world had changed over the past year.

“It is all in the head…”

Everything was the same again. The world shone ever so brightly. The seasons came and went like every other year. The days and nights were more obedient than they had ever been before.

And then one fine day, from the abyss of time, appeared a sublime image of us in my head. It was a sign. I realised that it was time to get him back. We had to unite. We were always meant to be together. I was craving to see us together again. That is when I visited the barber again and got myself the same hair-cut like last year’s. Well, for now, we’re inseparable and it does feel a lot like love!