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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

NO..YOU CAN HAVE NOTHING

This post stems out of my frustration from the fact that of late all my demands (as my parents see them) /requests (how I see them) have been met with a ‘NO’. I have been hearing so many no’s that my brain has found a direct relationship between how badly an offspring wants something and the aversion of his/her parents to that idea or thing.

Simply put:

“The more awfully you want to have or do something, higher the repugnance to it from your parents.”

It is like parents come fitted with some meter which can instantly gauge the love of one’s offspring for a certain something. Mind you the meter has not stopped working just yet! It then goes on to send some sort of waves (which I assume are intrinsically negative) to the brain, which is what results in parents panning their heads from left to right and not stopping unless the poor child gives in. If this panning is not taken seriously by a child and the demand is made repeatedly, the panning gets aggressive. Panning is often accompanied by a sound emitted by these waves on their way out of the parent’s mouth, which is commonly known to mankind as ‘NO’.

Even after this mind blowing analysis, I don’t want a Nobel Prize in Science, all I really want is to reverse the very mechanism of this meter that my parents seem to be fitted with.

Let me list down a few of  my requests that have been quashed in the recent past:
  • To get a dog
Father’s Reaction: It is impossible to get a dog in this house..you should be more practical with your demands.
*end of discussion*

Mother’s Reaction (Who was so far listening to it all): Yes, it’s not easy to care for a dog.

My Reaction: We can manage..at least give it a try and things will fall in place.

By the time I completed my brief argument people had vacated the room and went about their chores.
  • To get my ears pierced for a second time
Mother’s Reaction: After contorting  her face to an unimaginable and never-seen-before shape she told me “NAHIIIII!! (Hindi for NO) Kaam wali (maid) jaisi lagegi! The standard one set of piercing is just fine.”

My Reaction: After a few seconds of giving her a blank stare *went to my room and sulked*
  • NEED to buy new clothes
I am sure that this is one situation that every girl has dealt with.

Mother’s Reaction: Honestly, there are no words that can do justice to her reaction. I can almost see the fire in my mother's eyes every time she hears me even hint at something like this. I know in some deep-dark corner of her heart, she wants to set stuff from my wardrobe on fire and most importantly me, because this ‘need’ rears its ugly head in my head every once in a while.

However, there were days when her reaction to this need was not so fiery. I faintly recall her words from those days and they were something like “Tu apna ilaaj kra le..pagal hi ho gayi hai.” This was her way of telling me that I needed to see a psychologist asap as I had lost it..completely. Like all my other requests, this one too is highly inappropriate.

Need I tell you my reaction?

Well, I have learnt a few lessons over the years. So now whenever I have to say something about getting new clothes I approach my mother with not just caution but also with a fire extinguisher (that fire in her eyes will spill out any day now) and supreme agility.

I am glad my parents don't read my blog. If at all they were to read this post, I will be disowned and any requests to be taken back in will be met with a (You guessed it! I will skip saying it as I don't want this post to have excessive negativity).

*Retires to her room and starts working to reverse the functioning of the evil meter*

Saturday, 29 June 2013

OH DEAR CHILDHOOD!

I decided to write this post for two reasons:
  1. I miss..miss..and terribly miss being a kid; and
  2. The obvious..I am guilty of not writing for what feels like ages.
I am almost nearing the completion of a quarter of my life and with every passing day I only seem to be missing my childhood even more. To be more precise, let me list down the things I miss the most about childhood:
  • FREEDOM OF SPEECH

    If anyone of you reading this happens to be the human rights activist types please don’t take the sub-head literally. When I say freedom of speech I mean saying only politically correct things. When I was a kid I could talk all I wanted and sometimes even say the most horrible things and yet get away with them (are bhayi..bachche mann ke sache hote hain). If my parents did ever get upset with me for saying certain things, all I had to do was make a sad face- enough to melt their hearts :P.      
  • PURPOSE OF LIFE

    Err..what exactly is that? I thought I was sent on this planet to eat, drink, sleep and make merry. But then soon I entered adulthood. Purpose of life translated to what it is for most of us. Get a job with a fat pay cheque and ace every household chore so that one fine day my prospective mother-in-law doesn’t pack me off back to my mai-ka (mother’s house..as I write this line my mind replays the scene of my grandma talking about me and my cousins to our mothers and saying “Ye ladkiyaan apni sasuraal mein humari naak katwaengi”). As of now I have been able to accomplish neither of these goals, so the purpose hangs in there like an elusive trophy.
  • THE WORLD IS A STAGE..INDEED

    Mr. Shakespeare, after all these years of hearing this famous statement given by you, it finally makes sense. The world is indeed a stage sir and the audience is anything but kind. You falter a bit and the critics will unleash their wrath on you. Having a bad hair day?? Brace yourself for all those judgemental looks.  In contrast, as a kid I didn’t have to give a damn about how I dressed or how my hair looked because I was cute anyways (not being boisterous..it’s the case with all of us).
      
  • MAKING MY PARENTS SMILE OFTEN

    The little I would come from school and completing my homework was a sure shot way of putting a smile on the faces of my parents. They would praise me and the graph of my self-worth would touch the roof. But then I wonder what changed as I can certainly not bring my office work home. If at all I work beyond my office hours my mother will ask that if I am so indispensable for my company that if I took some time out for household chores the company would come crashing down (yes..no real breaks..I can’t afford to be seen around doing nothing, lead a ‘purposeful’ life or die). In such a case all I can do is respond with a blank look to pretend that I was engrossed in work and tuned out of everything else. There are times I feel like asking her..“Isn’t this a part of the purpose?” For some strange reason I feel making them smile is only getting harder these days.

Enough about the joys of childhood, let me talk about adulthood. These days it seems all about enduring the long metro rides to office every day, giving a co-passenger ‘the looks’ and hoping that she would realise that her weight is about to squeeze the life out of me and she should rather lean on to a non-living thing.

Amongst all this madness, there are times when I am able to steal some moments for myself (when my guilt inducing parents are not around). In these moments I wonder why it is so easy to find reasons to be grumpy about. I would love to be that kid again whose smile could calm people down even when they were about to blow their lids off. As a kid growing up, going to office and making money seemed like ultimate bliss, but today I think I should only let my parents do that.

Today I miss the careless smiles and uncluttered brain. Though adulthood is not really a punishment, but comparing it with childhood I can’t help but ask myself “Why the heck did I have to grow up at all?”   



Tuesday, 1 January 2013

HEART BREAKING END TO THE YEAR OF 2012

As per the Mayan calendar, the human race was to end in 2012. But I guess what the Mayan calendar really meant to convey was that humanity would end and Mayans predicted it quite accurately. On the night of 16th Dec, 2012, a Delhi girl who was out on the roads of the city with a male friend of hers, at a not so late hour, went through a spine-chilling physical and sexual assault. Her friend too was brutally assaulted. The girl was raped and put through unimaginable physical torture in a moving bus and finally dumped on a roadside by six men. She lay there unconscious with her friend when some policemen saw the two, covered the girl up in a sheet and took them to the hospital. The doctors there fell short of words when asked to describe her condition and were amazed to see her alive despite arriving at the hospital three hours after the unfortunate incident.
This news was soon flashed all over TV and newspapers. The city went numb with fear and disgust. People talked in hushed tones about this everywhere from the Metro to the office canteens, while the doctors in the hospital struggled to save the girl. This female was an iron lady and had no intentions of giving in. Right from the moment when she encountered the perpetrators she had been fighting, now in the hospital she was fighting death. She showed the will to live despite all and soon her health seemed tad better. The hushed tones grew into one loud and firm voice. This voice encompassed emotions which had been simmering for a while now. Unfortunately we waited too long to let them over-flow. Not just Delhi, but the entire country was angry and sentiments ran high. Protests and prayers across the country united the citizens. People questioned those in power and demanded befitting punishment for the culprits. Meanwhile the girl was flown to Singapore to save her failing health and may be calm down the scenario in India which once had Central Delhi locked up from all sides. She breathed her last in Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore on 29th December.
Honestly, going by the fight she had put up, for once I really thought that she might just pull through it. She paid the cost for awakening a nation of people who had been taking it all, lying down till now. I must say, it took a lot to prick our conscience. A family lost its sunshine, a child who was chirpy and a brilliant student. But now that we are up, it’s time we don’t rest unless the needful is done. The momentum must not be lost unless the guilty are awarded exemplary punishment and the anti-rape law amended. Out of the six culprits, one falls a few months short of being an adult and hence has chances of getting away with a maximum of three years and that too in a reformatory home. It would be an utter disappointment for two reasons: first- this one is said to have assaulted the girl most brutally and second- this case clearly qualifies as ‘rarest of rare’. I say the police makes the faces of the culprits known and gives them a dip in the sea of people and let these six realise how it feels to be helpless and know what fear is (human rights activists, please excuse as these six only ‘seem’ to be humans).
The girl lost her life wishing to see these men being sent to their rightful place. It’s time her last wish is fulfilled. Nobody and nobody at all has the right to rob a female of her dignity and overrule her right over her own body. We can’t afford any more of this, the government must prove to us that we didn’t waste our time and vote on the voting day. I don’t think me or anyone can ever write enough conveying the anguish each one of us feels. From the deepest corner of my heart I wish the girl’s family all the strength and pray for the innocent life lost.
This fight has to be won without any more sacrifices and the scum bags have to be shown their place. WE HAVE TO KEEP GOING..THERE’S A LONG WAY AHEAD OF US!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

THE GENDER WAR

In this post I will be talking about a war, a war I was fighting since I was the height of the table in my drawing room. Somehow I realised too late that my side of the team as well as the counterparts had moved out of the battlefield long back while I stood there thinking that the enemy could do with a few more whacks.

Being a kid meant all the good things, say wearing pretty dresses, getting cuddly stuff toys (at times getting treated like one), not having to worry about walking long distances (one sad look on the face & you will be lifted up by a noble soul i.e. either parent) & not worrying about bad hair days (a kid with messed up hair equals cuteness). If there was something that would ring alarm bells in my head, it was war with my male contemporaries. It’s funny how as kids I & my friends viewed the people in the world as two major tribes- the male tribe & the female tribe. I must confess that I took this tribe thing tad too seriously & as I mentioned in the beginning the war lasted comparatively longer for me.
So courtesy the tribe divide I viewed boys as vile creatures who:
a)      had no brain;
b)      were always mean; &
c)       couldn’t even remotely come close to the ‘friend-zone’.
Studying in a co-ed school meant enemy was all around me & could attack anytime so, I was always on the defensive. I have distinct memories of thrashing up guys starting from my kindergarten days (I guess in nursery I was trying to understand the enemy & its tactics..so you see, this battle began real early). I have thrashed boys for a variety of reasons..some for the good, some unintentionally (c’mon now..accidents happen) & some simply because they dared to mess up with my brother (I & my brother were a team back then & messing up with my brother was my copyright).
Few years down the line, I felt like some veteran of the war who took pride in talking about her war glories. On the other hand, some members of my tribe had started interacting with the opposition in a cordial way. I didn’t view those friends as traitors, they simply confused me & made me wonder- How in the world you can have a normal conversation with boys..aren’t they the same brainless counterparts who we are supposed to protect our tribe from? But in the due course I accepted the possibility of cordial relations with boys.
By the time I reached this point I saw that my friends had taken yet another leap. They were developing soft corners in their hearts for the opposite camp members (having first crushes of their lives). I would listen to their mushy talks & try hard to understand the games god was playing with their once-normal brains. The next step was eventually the intensification of feelings & then my friends were crying their eyes out as they were heartbroken for some or the other reason (You see, life sort of came a full circle..enemiesàfriendsàmushy timeàheartbreakàenemies).
Somewhere in my head where I had buried the memories of the gender war a light bulb was lit. The enemy was at it again, hurting my tribe’s members. But because this time it was a consequence of love gone sour (that involved the boy & girl equally) I had no plans of restarting the war. Instead I built my own kingdom, at a safe distance from boys, they were allowed only till the periphery of my castle.
Another few years down the line it was time for some introspection. I asked myself if living a guarded life meant not living life at all. So the war veteran went back to the war planning room (that’s where my brain has always worked the best :P) & raised a question for herself to answer:
“Boys don’t bite or eat girls alive, nor have there been any such cases in my war years so why this animosity & fear?”
The answer was clearly an enlightenment that was always waiting at one of the entrances of my kingdom:
“Boys are like my own tribe, made of flesh & blood, have both a heart as well as a brain & are certainly not cannibals.”
With this question answered my kingdom welcomed all the same, the world now seemed more like the world map in an atlas & was no longer the earth divided into two tribes. Ultimately & gradually some decent interactions happened with the new found ‘amicable’ contemporaries. Today when I count the people who matter in my life I am glad to say that some of them are males & central parts of my life (lift your jaw back up please).
Now the memories of gender wars from the younger days make me giggle. I am sure you & your friends have been there & done that (though I don’t know if you took it as literally as I did).
So here’s to the serene co-existence of women & men!
*PEACE & LOVE*

Thursday, 2 February 2012

F.R.I.E.N.D.S :)

The lone pack of chips eaten up in no time, the coffees & cold drinks, half a dozen people eating out of the same plate, sitting in the sun & talking like it’s the last day we are with each other. At times ordering food more than our appetite & then pushing it into each other’s plates & acting all thrifty & finally tonnes of those seemingly trivial but immensely special moments make me feel like the richest person on earth.

FRIENDS: when god thought of creating this relation he must have been in the best & kindest of his moods. He made friends because he knew that no human could bear to live alone in this huge world. Though he had already thought about making families but he thought of friendship because he knew that friends can be the some of the strongest pillars supporting people in their lives when the family seems lost or judgemental.
I have to admit, when I say this word out loud or even silently my heart fills up with immense warmth & I can’t help but smile. It is said that in your bad times one should count his/her blessings, as per me the word ‘blessings’ here is a metaphor for friends. Friends indeed are an extended family. You fight with them & regret it later, you have the best times of your life with them, you make memories with them, you cry with them, laugh with them, gossip with them, pour your hearts out (you get the gist..don’t you?).
Today I happened to be going through pictures of my days so far in college & the pictures almost left me teary eyed (this college wraps up in another 4 months). This college has given me the most amazing people & I am more than glad that I can count on them as my friends. I have always been a homebody & have hated going out much leave alone lying to my parents to go out. But here*drum roll* I have learnt to tell lies :D (The harmless white one’s of course). College became my second home. Deadline for reaching home was gradually extended because I want to be in college a ‘little longer’.
Inside this campus, life is carefree, easy going & almost every good thing that I can probably think of. Here I have shoulders to cry on, lunch boxes to smuggle food from (literally), backs to lean against & hands to hold. However tomorrow shall hold a stark contrast with deadlines to meet, cut-throat competition, politics & hardly any time for oneself courtesy the numerous responsibilities.
Whenever I think of myself sitting in my office on my desk somehow I am pretty sure that I will think about college at least once every day. The rhapsodic days spent here shall be my drug to make it through those arduous days. On second thoughts there’s no denying that the future has its own charm. I would love to have those bash-up-your-boss discussions with my friends \m/. The catharsis will charge me up to deal with another round of work days.
There’s so much I want to write but somehow I think I can never write enough about these lovely days. The best testimony to my feelings is a smile that is reaching the eyes right now.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHILD WITHIN?

Every year when some festival rings in I ask myself the same question: “What happened to the child within?” I have distinct memories of me looking forward to festivals as a kid. Now that it’s Diwali time, I wonder where the enthusiasm is gone!

As a kid I was somewhat sacred of crackers & even today that hasn’t changed much. I was never a dare-devil who would light crackers in hand & throw them in the air just a few moments before they would burst. Watching me light crackers was often a funny sight for my parents. First, my brother would remove the paper so that I would have ample time to run away to a safe distance :D. Using an incense stick I would light a cracker & run for my life with the incense stick tossed god-knows-where & my hands tightly pressed against my ears. After a while I would re-enter the scene like someone who had been a part of some robbery trying to avoid the policemen on patrol. Soon my father would inform me that the cracker went off & I would be the *proud-one* B).
Back then in school we were made to sign innumerable pledges to ‘say no to crackers’. Irrespective of my resolve while signing the pledges, I would burst crackers anyways (C’mon now! I was only a school going kid back then.) Gradually as age caught up with me (trust me I am not as old as I sound), I developed an aversion to the same crackers that made me smile & feel like a war hero(ine).  Now the noise & the pollution annoy me.
Right now when I compare these two different ‘ME’ I wonder what led to this difference?!?! Irrespective of our age, all of us ask ourselves this question at some point in our lives. Aging or growing up sounds all good courtesy the apparent (refer to article: Wise enough yet?) wisdom, financial freedom, the fact that your parents start trusting your choices. But seriously, all of this sounds worthless to me right now. The reasons are simple:
·         I am no longer interested in bursting crackers, suddenly it’s all too juvenile (you would like this only if you are the environment-activist kinds);
·         I don’t run around my place eager to place more diyas than my brother in various corners of the house;
·         I am content making a twisted face every once in a while when I have had enough of locals singing in the temples & out of the loudspeakers, because they are too loud & I can’t hear my TV properly.
Based on the above-mentioned reasons I officially declare today: I HATE GROWING-UP! {..& mind you wrinkles are placed way low on my list of reasons..for the time-being ;)} I hate it how I let the kid within me (not an actual kid O.o) succumb to the so-called responsibilities & maturity. Hold your horses..I am not shunning adulthood, I am simply going to allow myself to let loose a little. :D
NOTE OF HONESTY: When I sat down to write down this piece of my mind, I was quite sure that I will end up blaming the elders of the house aka parents for making the festivities so boring, but now I say unleash the carefree kid in you & watch it infect others. We often complain “Nobody bothers”, however we never say “I should try.” J
HAPPY DIWALI PEOPLE..CELEBRATE IT LIKE IT’S YOUR LAST TIME & BE SAFE!!  :D

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A HIDDEN HISTORICAL TREASURE




Central Delhi is synonymous with offices, eating joints, all in all an atmosphere bustling with activity. Daily a number of people come to their office, toil & head home. Not many of them are aware that this part of Delhi also hides some of the most exquisite pieces of history like Ugrasen Ki Baoli. This monument is hidden between the tall buildings.

Ugrasen ki Baoli is one of the many unexplored monuments in the capital. What adds to its lack of visibility is its location on the primarily placid Hailey Road. It is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Ancient Monuments & Remains Act, 1958. A small garden leads to the entrance into the baoli. The very first look at this beauty of stone overwhelms you with its grandeur. The main entrance welcomes you with the information about the monument inscribed on a rock, which reads:
The Step well (Baoli) is an underground structure for the storage of water, mainly constructed to cope with the seasonal fluctuations in water availability. The step well is said to be have been built by Raja Ugrasen, the forefather of the Agarwal community. The architectural features of this baoli resemble those of the late Tughlaq or Lodi period.
It measures 60m along North-South & is 15m wide at the ground level. Built with rubble & dressed stones, it is one of the finest baolis in Delhi. The main feature of the structure is the long flight of steps leading down to the step well situated in the North. The steps are flanked on both sides by thick walls with series of arched corridors.”


One of the arched corridors leads to a staircase which takes you to the terrace. The terrace gives a top view of the apparently bottomless well. Not many people know about this place or frequent it & hence it is not crowded. The stairs are something one can’t help but marvel at.
This place is at walking distance from the Barakhamba metro station & the entry is free. Once you have spent your time here, you can head to the Max Mueller Bhawan to stuff yourself with delectable food at an affordable price. So if you think you have seen the city & seen it well, think again!!