It’s been a while.

It has been a long time since I have had the time or inspiration to write about anything- here or otherwise.  It has been busy and trust me when I say this, I am not used to being busy. I have no idea how the days fly by and it is a welcome change. Life back at home was stagnating, to put it crudely.

Post graduation- ohmygod is it hard or what? You’ve got to study, run around for your dissertation, prepare for conferences, keep up with your social life, eat food, breathe… get the drift?  I came to a land quite far off from home and I did not expect to find family here. But I did. I miss Mamma and I miss home, I miss my grandparents and friends who speak a similar tongue. Nothing would ever change that, but to have amazing people surround you eases the transition. I found three beautiful people who make me believe that maybe, just maybe, the sisterhood of travelling pants could be a reality.

I knew I would make friends, I am someone who does that easily, but to have people who are kind, caring, goofy and as good as family can get (when you’re away from home) is a relief. Here, I am not just pursuing another degree, but also trying to find who I can be and how I can grow as a person. Every day is a learning curve- from learning to sieve the bullshit from wisdom to understanding how different people are and how small things can make a huge difference. I’ve learnt to sleep with the lights on and learnt to ask if the music is okay- things I usually never bothered to ask- but it somehow comes from within because they do the same for me. As a side note, all of us have the same, and I mean the same choice in music (double yay). I’ve also learnt that I am usually always hungry, especially if someone else is cooking (nomnomnom)

From my room, I have an unobstructed view of this huge tree that has cotton pods hanging from its branches. Every now and then, a group of kids (I cannot believe I am calling UG students kids- I used to be one of them just a few months back!) gather around at midnight to lather each other with cake and I am reminded of all the birthdays I’ve been through and all the friends I’ve had. I often wonder, while watching them run around- trying to escape their friends who have cake in their hands, whether they have any idea how precious all of it is. The memories.

We do everything for only two reasons- to make happy memories or to build a happy future. Here’s to two years and eight more months of a life that better be worth the wait. Here’s to memories being made on the way to happiness. Here’s to friendship and more importantly, family.

 

The story of lightness.

This is the story of a girl who remembers being upset ever since she began making memories. In an attempt to deny herself of the melancholy that ate her up, she built a world where she believed in something unique. She wanted to fight her demons with something that was alpervasive. She wanted to fight but she had no way of knowing if her make belief could be true someday.

The clock kept reminding her of the seconds slipping away. She couldn’t wait much longer for what was about to happen. Then again, she could not do anything but wait. The decision was drastic, yet it had a sense of planned precision which she took pride in. It was the kind of decision that would only make sense to those who’ve been through something similar. But who has? Who has ever felt that they were made of light?

The sliver of blood flowing from her wrist oozed with a gentle grace, reminding her of the dance lessons she went to with her mother, every Sunday. The mudras and the expressions,  the sound of the tabla, the shower of the ghungroo and the walk back home that was usually filled with mango ice cream dripping on her frock. Mango was her favourite fruit and her favourite colour. Nani used to seal baby mangoes in jars and keep them in the sun while they turned into pickle. “Would we turn tasty too, in the sun?” She always thought Kalu kaka needed pickling. Why else would he fight with Ma for a few rupees every morning when she sat down at the door for the day’s bazaar? The door had a tiny step. Every lakshmi puja, Ma and nani used to soak rice powder in water for her to draw the tiny Goddess feet. It brings good good luck, shona. She would trace the foot steps of the goddess till the Pujo room where it always smelled of incense and rose petals. There were two hibiscus flowers and a few dozen Nayantaras scattered, waiting to be kept at the feets of the Hindu Gods that Nani worshipped, by her. Nayantara. That’s how she got her name.

Every evening after drinking her warm milk from the special copper glass, she would sit at the verandah and count cars. Some days she would wait till five hundred. Five hundred cars passing by, with more than five hundred people. Each with a new story, with a tiny glimpse of a girl sitting at an inconsequential verandah. Five hundred vehicles heading toward five hundred destinations, all in the matter of one evening, while little Nayantara sat under the opalescent moonlight that sieved through the grilled extension of the floor above. Light had enchanted her ever since she had learnt to move. The sifting of light through the spaces between her fingers in the dead of the afternoon, while all the adults slept (sleep, or else how will you study, shona?), the resilient entrance of the street lamps’ light at night, after everyone else was busy with dreams and the darkness that awaited beyond closed eyes, kept her awake. She stayed up conjuring patterns on her skin. Skin that metamorphosed from fair to dark because of light. Skin, that changed with time and age. Skin, that bore the only acknowledgement to being a receptacle for the light that existed in her world. Skin, that carried a surface for light to paint on. Skin, which a dozen men would trace, but none as sensual as light itself caressing her.

The dance lessons gradually became and impediment. How will you go abroad to Bablu Mama if you don’t study, shona? So the sound of dance made way for books, and in books, she found the science of light. With each new formula she understood how it traveled and where it came from. With each new paragraph she unravelled more than she ever had, and yet none of the books could tell her why she fascinated the entity rather than the logic. None of the books in Dadu’s library had the questions she wanted to be asked and didn’t know the words for. Was she really made of light?

As she delved deeper into the physics of it, she grew accustomed to the night. And the light of the night. The sun in its reflected glory. The sun, when it was beautiful. The sun, when you could look at it directly and talk. She felt like a moth trapped in a kaleidoscope; there was just one light yet so many places it came to her from. It confused her. It gnawed at her from within, asking to be let out. She was bursting at the seams. Ma could never empathise with her. How can light be destroying you from within, shona? But it was! A ball of light, as beautiful as it would look from afar, was a burning lava of heat, an intensely packed pouch of energy that could not be contained any longer within the frail body of Nayantara. She needed to know if she was made of light. She had to know. And it had to be let out. There was no other way. It had to be done. The very weapon she had chosen to fight had let her down.

As the blood pooled by her side, she saw the reflection of a reflection. She noticed the gentle bulge of the body and trace of sharpness bordering at the verge of just becoming a blur. She saw the moon shining off her blood, and smiled. She felt light. She felt the light.
Ma opened the door to the verandah where she lay. Drink some tea, shona.

“Ma? Save me..”
The light reflected off the fear she saw in her mother’s eyes. What have you done, Nayantara? Why..wh..why?

“Ma, we are made of light!”

Indeed she was made of light. She saw it in her mother’s eyes when she danced at the age of three. She saw it in her nani’s love when she arranged the flowers before pujo. She felt in her baba’s voice on the first day of school. She saw it in the blood that was reflected on the moon that night.. No wonder she liked the moon more, it could see her rather than the other way round. The light she sent off was the light she saw.

She was the light that she was drawn to.

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Light in all her glory. (Pictures clicked by, yours truly)

Holi thhi!!

It was Holi today. The festival to celebrate the beginning of a season and also, to make sure no one resembles themselves but smothering them with colours. WoOt! It is the best festival EVER. I love it. I wait for it, earnestly every year. A lot of my friends aren’t pro-holi, given that the colours (called abeer in bengali) aren’t herbal or organic, so there’s the huge issue of skin rashes… and then, people start slinging mud and eggs, rotten tomatoes, the entire mass of things-we-don’t-want-on-our-face.

But I love it. More because, I don’t mind a few rashes and acne on my face. I have so many, anyway, what harm could a few more do, right? And there’s children running around with cute little water guns (pichkarisand uncles and aunts boozing away, halfway down till Sunday, everybody’s hands are pink and faces are red, nails are filled with colour which refuses to come out and there is bhaang everywhere. Bhaang is the best Indian concoction of an illegal (?) drink, and even children gulp it down, cause well, Burra na maano HOLI HAIIII  !

I live in a colony, so the mud slinging and tomato throwing remains contained to a minimum and there is just a lo of water and colours and drying up in the sun, while lying on the grassy lawn, tripping a little on the bhaang that you were given by the adults of the colony, all of this while really bad bollywood songs are blasted on the hired speakers and you’re so thrilled, you actually dance to them like there is no tomorrow. And then when the body begins to ache, you slug back home to sit under the shower, trying in vain, to get back the normal complexion. It sounds dreary and scary but it is double the amount of fun than what I can possibly describe. Imagine, running after your buddy to paint his/her face a shiny golden or a smoky green…which all, in the end, turns to black cause all the colours get mixed up.

It is a day to make amends and forgive, forget and hug things out. It is a day to make merry, to drink openly, to eat great food and visit relatives, cousins, friends, the shizz. It is a day where being dirty is accepted. It is a day where being high is the norm. It is a day where there is colour everywhere… happiness, joy and rainbows being farted out at every corner. How cool can a festival get? Yes, I look like a red-faced bozo right now but I loved every moment of getting painted and thrown water balloons at. It hurts like crazy (that’s the only minus point), but then again, we pay good money to play Paintball, which also hurts life crazy. Tomato-tomaato, then?

Here are some really ugly photos from the day that was, and will always be the day I look forward to every year.

 

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Birthday!

A few weeks ago, I stepped out of my teens and entered the much-advertised 20s. Sounds incredulous! *imagine hands thrown out* Finally in the twenties, finally, the decade that shapes my life, finally life, finally this, finally ALL!
And what did I do to celebrate this life changing day? Nothing, nothing at all. I removed the details from Facebook, closed my wall, asked my BFF not to post mush and I was all set to have a no-show birthday. But then, a few people called and then some more did. And some of those who weren’t even in the expectation-list called and I was pleasantly surprised. I know, my birthday wasn’t a river of booze or a plethora of cakes and gifts, but it was what I wanted and I was more than okay with what I got.

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The family and my new Haircut!

Frankly, 20 is not much different than 19. I got a new haircut (chopped off more than half of it). Bought a solitaire ring with mamma. Went for dinner with the grandparents and met a dear ol’ friend. My cousins are here, with me and the entire family looks so happy.

We had to buy two cakes, the younger one also wanted to celebrate her ‘Happy Birthday’, though the original date for hers is in October! Kids, they make you laugh!

Cheers,
To a new decade and hopefully, wiser choices, better words and more memories.

A really mediocre post.

I found a dried rose in a really old diary of mine, the one I had in class 10. I can’t recall who it was from, cause I clearly remember not receiving any roses from the boyfriend I had at that time. And besides, I am not a very red rose person. I’m not a rose person at all.

I found a tattered piece of paper with a poem on it. It’s not written by me and it isn’t written by any of my friends but it is a poetry on friendship. And I can’t recollect who’s handwriting that is. (Yes it is handwritten so it had got to be from before the computers over took our pages)

I also found my old book of Idioms. I have my favourite ones dog eared and some are even underlined. And the book right beside it (The Fountainhead) also had similar underlined paragraphs. There was a time when I found idioms beautiful and that made the base for me to appreciate complicated sentences. No, actually, helped me understand the beauty of simplexity.
Simplexity is a word made of complexity and simplicity. There’s also a book by the same name.

It is amazing how I’ve grown and how people around me have come and gone. There once was a person who was important enough for me to have saved the rose he had given to me in a dary and now, I can’t even remember who it is from. There once was a friend who thought me worthy of poetry and now she’s lost to the new memories I’ve created. There was once a time where my mother bought books for idioms and now, she watches me read Rebecca and Shantaram.

Contentment comes from within and the family plays a huge role in it. By family, I don’t just mean parents and siblings but also the few close friends you have. I’m blessed with more than a few such friends apart from the loving family. I mean, my grand father just sent me a text stating how proud he is of having me as his grand daughter, and my mother is coming all the way to Burdwan to see me off for the teeny test I have, not because it is a test but because she has a holiday and she’s free, and my grand mother asks me if I’m pooping alright and another one sends me food from the other side of the street! I have friends who’re there for me no matter what and I have a flatmate who agrees to delay his date to collect something for me from home (a letter for college, beat that).

And who knows, even there people might get shelved into a folder in memory and gather dust until one day, where future me, finds a blog post written about them while rummaging through older ones. Or, I come across a note scribbled on my phone. Or a random message.

Sigh. 🙂

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Why the new year turned out to be happy after all.

The first words that I have said to anyone, be it my domestic help or my best friend, in  the last few days have been- Hey, happy new year! But then, what is truly so amazing about this year, or for any such beginning for that matter? Almost a week into 2013, it is turning out to be exactly like last year, maybe just a little more grown up. So what makes 2013 MY year? How am I going to let this year define my life? This is definitely not going to be a post on my achievements from last year or the mishaps from the past. This is not going to be about how i grow as a person this year or how my life will change because of what I eat.

The new year is really never good. The partying made my back ache and my neck cramp. I danced like a mad-woman and my hair was knotted and tussled. It is even worse for those who follow the drink-puke-pass out-drink cycle the next day, thanks to the hangover. Why o why do they say that the new year is good, or happy? January first, for most people is a haze of aspirin and missed calls.

This New Year party thingumajimmy that we all participate in was the best I have ever had till date but the days that preceded it made it what it was. It wasn’t all sun-shine and stars, trust me; there were tears and waiting in  the sun for your boyfriend to turn up, and there were last-minute panic phone calls to your girlfriends about what to wear and then ultimately looking stunning! Trust me when I say this- I had not expected the new year to be this great. Oh! and there was almost a break-up that was on the cards, but that dint happen thankfully.

My blog has hit 9,000+ hits already and it is not even a year old. I have already typed an application for an award to the Indian Dental Association for topping my college. I did not break up with my boyfriend, and we look so hot together. I have the best pals in the world. My parents just booked another apartment in another city. And life looks sunny! The last month two weeks were probably the most fun two weeks in the history of my life (minus the days in Thailand, of course) but this was so much fun!

My cousin, who is studying the US (so proud) wrote to me about how his friends ‘love’ my blog. Thank you, people. *big shout out*. Oh. And the drummer of ‘p a r i k r a m a’ messaged me himself AND gave me his number. I probably shouldnt be bragging about it but sc-o-o-o-o-reeee! And even better- he praised this blog and I quote ‘Very inspired writing’.

My brother and Mr. Mahajan here made me get my lazy arse back to the laptop and type-type-type. And thanks, to all of you too! Your praises make me write better, lyk rlly mks me wryt bttr. (laugh if you got the joke)

I remember, on Christmas Eve, my friends and I stood in queue (we broke in) and fought really hard to get into the Church and it was totally worth it. I cry every time I step into a Church and that night, while the Priest blessed me in His name, tears flowed down my cheeks and onto my tee and then to my jeans. I was overwhelmed by everything I felt and everything that was blessed unto me and everyone I had met. I cried because I felt blessed more than anything else I felt.

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I remember crying my eyes out when I saw my friends acting like a couple before me. I missed S so much I couldn’t help but cry. I felt like  a limb was being torn away from me. Everytime the couple held hands, a part of me ached. And then we met and there were smiles and tears and jokes and going out and hatred and discoveries and love and all that shizz!

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I remember laughing like a kid while playing Taboo with all my friends then throwing Santa caps in the air, followed by Shisha and then dancing in the winter chill, it was all worth it. Drinking a peg or two of whiskey and the holding on for my dear life while swaying my head to dance numbers for 6 straight hours without rest. I have never dont this and I never exercise so my body was shocked to do that much work with so much attitude in that much time! 😛

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All in all, this year is off to a good start. The praises for my blog and the praises for my photography have made me happy. I found a boyfriend who is an idiot and loves me like one. I found new friends who’re dating my best friends. My best friend finally had her first kiss. I understood how mature we are all becoming and how childish we still are going to be. I love my parents and my grandparents.

Happy New Year to all of you. Continue to de-tangle (or mess it up even further) with me !

The irony called family.

I belong to a nuclear family. And we are as nuclear as it gets- the only child of my parents, the three of us currently live in three separate geographical locations altogether. I meet my mother every possible weekend and my dad flies down (or vice versa) to meet us. And today, being Diwali, I had gone to visit a friend’s place. She is a Punjabi, with a joint family, occupying two apartments in one building. The grandparents live along with the two brothers of the family, their wives and each couple has two children. Essentially, their house is always open to all the kids of the colony an we actually have had meals after meals at their place and have never felt out of place. It is funny, how I, being from a nuclear family, yearn for that kind of noise and banter while they, the joint family party, cannot wait to be in peace. Even though this feeling is a fleeting and passing thought, it is a thought nonetheless.

Let’s analyse a sentence, one word at a time: Your parents scolded you.

YOUR:
Lets see, your parents scolded you for something, anything. Not your neighbours, not your friends’ parents but yours. They have the right and authority to do so. Besides, if they don’t boss over you, then who will they boss over? And most of the times (yes, mostly) it does turn out to be good for us. We do benefit from it. And OUR parents, specially Indian parents, are super protective about us. I’m a girl and I know the number of times I have to listen to the words ‘Reach home before it is dark’. When your parents scold you, thank god for the fact that they are there, doing just that, alive and breathing and beside you, in the same room. Thousands of children would give an arm and a leg to just get scolded by their long lost parents.

PARENTS:
Who gave birth to you? Who paid for your first date? Who made you coffee while you studied for your finals? Who sat with you through your first nightmare? Parents, right? So when they do get a little mad and angsty about something you did- whether big or small- just let them scold you. The world wont break down if you heard them talk loudly and you are never to old to get scolded. Never. They care, probably more than that weed-smoking best friend of yours and their judgement is definitely better than the weed-smoking best friend. Trust them and let go.

SCOLDED:
Just cross your heart and promise, to yourself, that you will not abuse your parent come what may. Agreed, they scolded you for something petty and made you look silly in front of the girls of your class. Agreed, they have no sense of when and where. Just close your eyes and count to ten (like i’ve been told to do) and thank god for them being there and agreeing to bear with all the non-sense you think is cool. All they have done is discipline you. You deserved it, at least some of it, in the first place. They might be over-protective of you, they might even shelter you more than necessary but that is only because you are still that baby boy/girl to them and they love you, to bits. Stop analysing each of their words and understand the root cause of their so-called scolding.

YOU:
They scolded you and shouted at you because they still have hope for you to improve. They still believe that them, investing their energy and time on you, is useful and helpful. They want you to be a better person and they want you to grow into someone larger than what you currently are. YOU- thier child, thier hope. The moment they stop believing in you, they will stop ‘harassing’ you. And there will be no sadder day in this life for you, than the day your parents stop keeping faith in your abilities.

FULL-STOP:
Yes, the full-stop is as important as the words. It marks the end of something. It marks the end of the episode (of anger and possible bloodshed!) and marks the beginning of another chapter, a new chapter without the faults of the previous one. A better chapter. A happier chapter. And thus, with the punctuation called full-stop comes the end of my banter.

What I wanted to state was, that despite all the fights and problems, issues and heartaches, there is a very strong glue that binds every family together and it is unique to every family that is there. Every individual family have their own set of good and bad times an it takes a lifetime to understand the intricacies and dynamics of it. An outsider to a family will never fully understand or accept the mesh work of events that bind a family together, only those who are a part of it will hold on to it. Life actually does depend on it, so yes, they will hold on tight. One family will never fully understand another and thus, arises the irony of being a family. The irony is that despite being fragmented again and again, the family always rises as one strong unit in the very end and then, breaks up again only to unite in the time of crises.
It is very easy to stand at a distance and judge the dynamics of any group, be it a family or an Olympic team. Every unit has a way of functioning and it is not necessary to understand everything. SOme things are best left undisturbed if they function perfectly.

– Cheers to family and togetherness!

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A family that travels together, stays together.

Memoirs of a Memory with a Song.

Don’t you just detest it when a perfectly brilliant song is ruined because some jack-ass halfway around the globe decided to make a memory with you precisely when that song was playing and then BAM! three months later he isn’t there and the perfectly brilliant song is pooped. Yknow, there are categories of songs- the mediocre, the good and then, there are the brilliant.

The mediocre are the ones which find their way into your playlist because
– someone gave them to you via bluetooth
-a dude shared his playlist with you to get you to listen to grunge rock
-a break up
-PMS
-by mistake
-really sad sitcoms which make you think ‘wow that song is brilliant’ and then you download it and listen to it on repeat for 567 hours and then, by the end of it you are ready to puke.
-initially a brilliant track which slips to the mediocre because of *surprise surprise* the MEMORIES.

The good ones are good primarily because they are cult classics, I mean, Pink Floyd will never become mediocre because a d-bag decided to ruin it for you. NO! You always come back to life after Pink Floyd, literally. And then is John Mayer and Coldplay and ABBA (and ronan keating). And Death Cab For Cutie (at least some of their songs. I don’t know why they decided to sing for Twilight- the Meet me on the equinox). Some songs never die. I mean, yeah whatever some guy might ruin one or two of those ‘classic’ songs but forgive them. They know not what it means to dance to ‘I will follow you into the dark’. Word of advice, limit these classics to those you know will NOT let you down. Ever. EVER. Like best friends or parents or children. That way, no one can ruin good songs for you. 🙂

^that is a really cute rendition of I Have A Dream, ABBA. Watch it :’)

Then come the brilliant ones. These are comprised mainly by The biggies themselves, each of us have our personal favourites and I wont name mine but you would which songs figure in your list of brilliant, wouldn’t you? The ones which you always listen to, anytime all the time. Like I could listen to Fix You for-evvvver and never get tired of it and I would not let anyone ruin that song for me. No one is allowed to dedicate it to me. No one is allowed to expect it from me. This is MY song. and will remain so because it is too precious for me. The words are too personal. If this song is dedicated to me by someone I love and then he breaks my heart (or whatever) then these very words will prick me and make me bleed. So I wont let anyone burst my bubble. And if you really love me, you wont dedicate this to me.
You could, however, dedicate a ‘Baara maheene mein baara tareeko se’ to me because that song is already hopeless. It means all that you want a love song to and then too it doesn’t stand a chance of getting ruined with a memory because the song already is at the lowest level of music. Seriously. LOWEST.

^Don’t watch this if you aren’t ‘READY’

Now, it isn’t just sad memories that attach themselves to songs. there are songs to which you have joys and birthdays related to. There are songs which make you smile no matter what. there are those songs to which you danced on your first night stay or the song you sang to your BFF after the epic fight or a song you dedicated to your mom on mother’s day. Some songs become good from the mediocre scale because of the memories so never underestimate those underdogs, you!

^Like this one, that I’d love to sing- fights or no fights, we are stuck with each other Pie. Oh, Happy Birthday! 😀

But getting back to the sad stuff (because sad things always appeal more, sadists we are),
I missed out one more category of songs. they are the happy songs which mean nothing. Or sad ones, the blues, which say absolutely nothing to you. Yknow, the kind to which you were introduced to because someone dedicated them to you. The conversation goes like:
Random person who knows you- ‘Hey, this is a nice song and I, in my right senses dedicate this absolutely nonchalant piece of music to you!’
You- ‘Oh, alright gracious man/woman/person, I shall listen to it right away’
And then you and that person become really good friends, lovers, pals, siblings, online facebook open relationship partners, whatever, and slowly you drift away BUT the song still remains on your iPod/Walkman/Really awesome phone like SGIII. And while you’re on a long journey the song begins to play and you remember that friendship (or affair) and just…smile. No bitterness, no joy either but just a memory that does not affect your emotion.
Like, right now, I am listening to ‘Addicted’ by Enrique. No, don’t judge me it is a really nice song okay, whatever. And  this song has become rotten by all the so-called dedication but still it has managed to remain on my playlist and I have no memory associated with it whatsoever. None!

So, lesson to be learnt is just one:

Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.

Don’t fight the memories and don’t fight the world from making them for you. If some guy, in his mushy weakness dedicates ‘Perfect two’ by Auburn to you, just smile and listen to the song. And then, remember the song. Memories are a part of life. We wouldn’t stay up at night if it wasnt for those wretched memories and future-planning. Happy or sad, songs and memories are intricate and you can’t argue over the fact that a little bit of heartache makes the songs even more beautiful, ’cause lets face it- even though you categorise them as mediocre because of the sourness attached to them, they are still there on your playlist, aren’t they?

Let life play itself out. 🙂

A final treat for you-

-entangle.

Unexpectedly good days!

I’ve successfully given two of the three exams! And good news, they end on 21st which means ONE full week of vacation without mommy at home. Yabadabadooooooooo! Although I wont do nothing wrong, but still this feeling is unparalleled. To celebrate this achievement of freedom from 3 whole subjects for a few weeks atleast, my roomates and I went out to watch Ishaqzaade.
Oh, review? I’ll tell you the story in a few words- slap, marry, sex, revenge, dead mom, political rivalry with hindu-musalman spats, apology, marry (again), sex (again), love, kill each other. Story is bleh. Parineeti Chopra is mind blowing. Arjun Kapoor is oh well, I hated his character so I guess his aim to portrat a sick jerk paid off too. I like the title track and that’s about it. I want to watch Ek Tha Tiger nowwwwww!

After the movie, a tub of popcorn and a glass of Georgia cold coffee later, we realised we hadn’t catered for dinner so we headed for our favourite Roll shop. Trust me, there is no better Roll place than Calcutta (or burdwan okayfineiknow). And there, I saw this family, hindi speaking, fairer than the average bong and strangely exuding Army vibes. The lady was asking for a sweet shop to taste ‘mishti doi’ and I, being the ever helpful and ever talkative soul that I am, dove in to guide them to my favourite mithai joint in Burdwan. And then, I asked- where are you from? And out came the response I love to hear- We’re from Pune and uncle here, is posted in Burdwan. And I went Woooooooah! Army people! Yay yay!
You would not understand the kin-ship I felt and the feeling of oneness and belongingness that I had in me while talking to them. With us army people, it’s like everyone knows everyone and everyone has this unique bond to the ONE soul institution- NDA. Within minutes, we were talking about Pune and Khadakwasla and NDA and when Dad was commissioned, when uncle was commissioned, where their son is studying, what aunty does. We even found a mutual friend in the NCC, jadavpur branch and life was suddenly good again. I realised that no matter what, no matter where I go, what I do, how I end up..this tag, this label is something that I would bear proudly and this tag will make me feel at home at all costs. Noone will understand the feeling of walking into an Army Officer’s Institute in any part of the country and knowing that you shall be treated with utmost care. Fort William, while I wait there every weekend for my car, still makes me smile. There is something special about being involved with the ‘fauj’ and being a fauji ‘beti’. Only in there will I be known as Bhatta!

And while walking back, I was explaining all of this to my roomie. Trying to make her understand maybe t percent of what I was feeling- the joy and elation of knowing that there is a CSD, the happiness to know that an ‘uncle’ is around and is bound by responsibility to take care of me during distress. Ah! Inexplicable to those unaware of the Army Life :’)
I happened to mention one of my friends of long ago studying in the IMA, Dehradun to be a fauji. Lets call him a ‘Noun’. And while eating the Rolls that we got packed, my phone rang with an unknown number. The man on the other side said that apparently, my phone number had been scratched on a seat of some bus with my name..some crap. I thanked him for informing me and hung up. 10 minutes later, another unknown number. I picked up the phone, hesitantly, ab kya ho gaya? On the other side was a guy, decent voice, english speaking and did I mention decent? That kept me from hanging up. He asked me to ‘guess’ who he is. Annnnnnnnd guess what!!?? NOUN had called.

Noun! After almost 5 years. I spoke about him TODAY. To my roomie. And TODAY itself he called! Wowowowowowow! And we spoke and caught up. And we pulled each other’s legs and joked. And exchanged phone numbers. Life was good, again.

And incidents like these, moments like these make me go on. It’s wonderful, the life army has given me. It’s amazing, the number of friends and ‘nouns’ I have met because of my dad’s profession. I salute these men. And I am so so happy to be a part of this.

-sometimes, life just untangles itself for you. ❤

Stretch. Stand up.

Till where can you stretch? No, I do not mean ‘stretch’ in the true sense of the word like elasti-girl stretch..because that would just be perverted and cheap!

Not her!

By ‘stretch I mean- what is your limit? Have you set any standards or are you floundering about this big beautiful world till you get to a point in life where you can look at yourself and say ‘Eh, not bad’? Are you okay with being dependent on people around you? Even if those people are your closest, truest buddies, would you pile on to them for every little thing in your life or would you rather open a dictionary to look up the word P-R-I-D-E?
God, Almighty, Allah; whatever name, has given you two arms, a pair of feet, a head with a brain in it and a heart. Use that heart to get yourself to feel something. I’m going to hint at: ego. Yes, everybody says that an ego is a terrible thing to have. And we all know one fact (thanks to House MD): Everybody Lies. To me, Ego is nothing but Self Respect. Weigh things out proportionately and nothing in life is bad. Jealousy is good too, it’ll make you perform better if you know what I mean 😉

Anyway, I digressed.
Ego. Ego is good. Ego is necessary. Without an ego, you don’t really know who you are or where you draw the line for someone. For instance, how much would you let a friend support you? Yes, I said friend. Omg, now don’t jump up and say ‘But he is a friend so he is SUPPOSED to help me out’ or ‘She is a sister, more than a friend, she loves me’. Trust me, after a point, you need to frikkin’ stand up on your two feet and look down at the world with contempt. Contempt because, the world gave you a friend who halts your growth. If you have no one, then you have noone to either push you up..or pull you down. Friends are great to share, enjoy, vent, bla bla bla. But when a friend becomes a means to get what you otherwise wouldnt be able to get on your own, then you must rethink your so called friendship. Yeah, friends become family after a point but they can never replace your family.

A few days back, this friend of mine was telling me how lucky she is to have been able to live with a family which she got to choose and a family which so SO loving and so much cooler than most others. That she ‘got’ to choose to live with them and that she’s one of the lucky few. I’ll tell you one thing; my family is not perfect by any means.. I mean i could find a trillion things that I’d love to change, alter, add, do away with but never, in my wildest dreams, would I choose some other family over mine. It maybe broken but it is MINE and I will guard its integrity till life leaves me.

Draw a line. Live above it.

Respect yourself. Respect what your family has (or hasn’t) provided you with. Fill in those blanks that stare gapingly at you. Get off your sweet ass and do something about it instead of leaning on people. You have a spine, use it and stand straight.

One day, the world will know you for who you are and not for who you were with.

Break free if it's a facade.