Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tough Cookie

Lately I've discovered the joy of baking.

I started out with a disastrous attempt at chocolate chip cake, which tasted more like burnt chocolate pieces in baked floury brown coloured something a few months back, and have now turned into a more confident baker, having successfully made choco lava cake with awesome molten chocolate oozing out and cookies.

There are thousands of recipes available online for the eggless cookies and cakes, and it would not make much sense if i were to write one more recipe. But one annoying thing i found in such recipe was no one told me where i could go wrong. or what do i do if the dough is not firm enough? and if they said, they've tweaked the recipe a bit, they never mentioned how they tweaked it? or if they're giving tweaked recipe, which was the original? what nonsense, i say. not everyone here knows how to bake. if we knew, we wouldn't be looking at your damned recipe, no?

So i'll talk about my three attempts at cookies, and how differently they turned up. First the ingredients. This was mostly passed on to me by DesiKhichdi

1 measure butter (i used regular amul butter, you could use white butter)
2 measure all purpose flour (today i substituted this with whole wheat flour)
1/2 measure cocoa powder (add more if you like more chocolatey)
1 measure sugar (i used brown sugar for chocolate ones and regular white granulated for other cookies)
1/2 spoon baking powder

now, what i did was, i reduced butter quantity. i used about 70 percent of required quantity. instead of 2 measure flour, i used little over 1.5 measure. and sugar too, i used about 70 percent of said quantity.


Mix butter and sugar together. Sift the flour and baking powder 2-3 times and cocoa powder (if you are making chocolate cookies) Mix all ingredients to make a firm dough. if you are making plain cookies, don't add cocoa powder, and add 2-3 drops of vanilla essence instead) If you have used less butter like me, you may need to use some 3-4 spoon of milk to make the dough firm.

Now put the dough in cling wrap or ziplock bag and refrigerate it for 30 mins. Roll the dough.. about 1/2 cm thick. cut with cookie cutter and bake them. Now since i used microwave with convection option, i'll tell you the temperature there - 200 degrees for 15 mins.

The first time i made, the dough was too soft, and the cookies spread :| and i kept it for 40 minutes because, i read everywhere 40 minutes. Well, the OTG takes 40 minutes, but microwave takes lesser time. The cookies were charred and there was no way to eat them. I was disheartened. Also, since the dough was so soft, i could not even cut it properly. But then i looked up some youtube videos, and i realised, if you couldn't roll the cookies, you could just make small rolls of the dough and put it at some distance in the tray and eventually, it will spread itself because of the heat and well, it will take a proper round shape of a cookie. this happens when the butter is more in the dough.

in my second attempt, i used less butter, and some 3-4 spoon milk to knead the dough. Hence, the dough was firmer, and i was able to roll it properly. and was also able to cut the cookie properly. Yeah, my Dabangg cookies :-) I kept them in for 10 mins, but later realised they could do with 3-4 mins more, and about 15 minutes was the time required in my oven. You may want to have a trial and error with this.

In my third attempt, my mom said she wanted to taste plain cookies, without any chocolate flavour (i know, how can anyone choose anything else over chocolate) so this time, i used whole wheat flour, white granulated sugar and vanilla essence (i may have put in more than 2-3 drops because i almost dropped the bottle, so they smell very vanilla-ey, but 2-3 drops should be good) 15 minutes of baking later, i felt the cookies didn't look as brown as i'd like them to be. so i put them in for 5 more minutes, and came out just perfect :)

I'm not a cooking expert, and so I am not very sure of substitutes of ingredients, and i do look up the internet quite often for all my queries. You may want to look up other places before you try them out!

At the end of it, I was very happy with the outcome. My mother was never into baking and is a bit possessive about anyone cooking in her kitchen. But over past few months, she has come to let go of her inhibitions and is being supportive in my cooking adventures. The plain cookies were her 'farmaish' :-) I was really happy when she asked me to bake them, almost served as a seal that she not only trusts me with cooking, but likes it also. When your mother appreciates food cooked by you, it gives you a tremendous high. :-)

Oh, and next on her wishlist is an apple pie. :-)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wrong Number

It is kind of sad when the only calls you receive are wrong numbers. I mean, as if I didn't know I have few friends, this is kind of rubbing it in.

Over the years, I have been receiving calls for a Bharat. It's been over five years now that I've been telling people that My Name is Not Bharat and I am not a Man. Well, not really, but you get it, right? This Bharat's number is very similar to mine, apparently, the only difference being my number starts with 982xx and his number is 992xx (rest all numbers are same, from what I've gathered over my research with wrong number for Bharat). What is annoying about this wrong number for Bharat is an uncle who calls invariably at 11 pm, and keeps asking, who am I. "Pan tame kaun bolo?" (but who are you?) he'd ask. And later on, when I would pick up the call (I had stored the uncle's number as "wrong number uncle") and say, "na, Bharat nathi" (no, this is not Bharat), he would go, abbe yaar, fari thi wrong number, sorry. We kind of developed mutual respect for one another, and I stopped yelling at him. And he is now being very careful with dialling Bharat's number.

Coincidentally, the CA firm where I interned, my boss's name was also Bharat. Such is life.

And then there were calls for a Ritu. Ritu is an aspiring air hostess, who had registered her name at the air hostess training institute. Unfortunately, she gave my phone number instead of her own. Ah, well, to cut the long story short, because, really, I'd rather be a space shuttle than an airhostess, I politely refused. I don't get calls for Ritu anymore.

And then, the other day, there was Setia ki aurat who had called to talk to Setia. She sounded drunk and angry, and I was afraid she might come out of the phone and beat me up. "Main Setia ki aurat bolti hai". Now all I am hoping is Setia has returned home, because the wife sounded really angry. Or maybe staying away from house was a good choice. That day, Setia ki aurat was the only one to call me.

But then, sometimes, when they call asking me for my dead grandfather, and selling life insurance to him, I feel like punching them. I mean, the man has been dead since 40 years. How can your records be sooo outdated? All the records are also in my dad's name! I mean, c'mon, 40 years! So I lose my mind and I yell at them sometimes. Sometimes, I evade their questions and I even threaten that I'll go to the consumer forum and also sue them for mental harassment. Ah, well. Next time, I'll just say, no, this is the Satellite Police Station. (stop laughing, Satellite is the name of an area in Ahmedabad, like Juhu, Andheri, Koramangala)

But then, do you know what is worse than screaming to the person who called you? Well, being yelled at by the wrong number aunty.

So today my phone battery was at it's lowest, and I just felt like we both needed our space. So I left it charging in the bedroom while I went down for lunch and all other jazz. I came back to my room an hour back, and I saw 7 missed calls from the same number. It was an unknown number, and unless the call is from a known number, I don't usually call back. (abbeyaar, they keep trying to sell me some correspondence course) 15 minutes later, the phone rings again and I pick it up. The conversation was in Hindi and if I am not mistaken, it was Setia ki aurat only.

me: hello?

male voice: kisi ladies ki awaaz hai


me: kiska kaam hai?


me: (raised voice, still not yelling) kiska kaam hai?

female voice: SADIA KA


Now, I'm not sure if she said Sadia or Setia or if she was really Setia ki aurat again, and she was Setia ki aurat and she was scolding me mistaking me for Setia, dude, does she think i'm a dude? Does my voice sound like a dude's voice?


#ThatAwkwardMoment when you get more wrong numbers on your phone than the right numbers. #ForeverAlone

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Bully

There is a thin line between sibling rivalry and bullying. Most of the times, parents ignore the bullying part, as any other sibling fight. But they don't quite realise how they are harming both of them.

The bully gets a sense of accomplishment of having bullied a weaker one. She's the one who knows about the latest fashion magazines and can drop brand names in regular conversations as matter of factly. Oh, and she's all but thirteen. You call her on her birthday to wish her happy 13th, and she gushes, 'oh, i am so excited to be a teenager now'. She has recently discovered her sexuality, which is normal, she is an adolescent, the age at which you become aware of yourself. And this is when she starts wearing skimpy skirts and clothes straight out of movies and loud make up. I am 25, and bloody, I don't even own a lipstick.

And then, the worst of all, she lies. Cousins, same age, born 15 days apart, she wants to be more loved, more pampered. She knows how to manipulate her mum, who holds a grudge against the other girl and get her to scream at her. How can an aunt hold a grudge against her own niece? Oh, hello? You think your life is one big fat sooraj barjatiya movie? shitty things happen, and this is one of them. Perhaps manipulate is too strong a word to be used, but hey, kids these days are way more aware of things than we were when we were their age. I mean when I was 13, these girls were born, and I just knew I was allowed to hold them once in my lap under an adult supervision. Try giving an instruction to kids these days. Perhaps it's just the kind of upbringing. But I'd probably judge it and call it bad parenting.

Her mother posts her photographs on facebook and comments herself, 'how beautiful', 'gorgeous', 'perfect'. I know the only person in the world who thinks i'm pretty is my mother. also, maybe sister, but they also point out i have flaws. She is the smartest girl in the entire class because well, she knows so much about fashion. She only wears clothes from united colours of benetton. Oh, and she only spent 6,000 rupees for the skirt she wore on her 13th birthday party. that too when there was a sale. she is never wrong. and her mother panics when she gets less than 85 percent marks. she is so bright, how can she score less marks?

What will happen when she grows up and realises she's not the most awesome thing she is made to believe she is? One fine day, she'll grow up and see that people her age are smarter than she is? More popular than she is? Will she ever realise that there is more to a person than the brand she wears?

If you think that was bad, what about the one she is bullying? same age girl, born 15 days apart? She has lost an elder sister 2 years back to a mysterious illness. the cause of the illness was never known. she suffered for 8 years before she breathed her last breath. When she was alive, she used to bully her younger sister. I'd let it go, because she was bedridden, and she was a child. she would have wanted to go about playing, but she had broken bones, enlarged liver and she knew she was dying.

But other than her, the other girl was also bullied by the first one. no one believed her when she said the first one cheated, because, well, she never would cheat. and the mother-daughter duo would together bully this little girl. it pained me every single time i was around.

the little girl's grandmother, her father's mother, once accused her of stealing. all she had done was hide her grandmother's 20 rupees because she was rude to her mother. there have been times when i have wanted to slap her grandmother. i have avoided any kind of social gathering which would involve me coming on same platform as her. even though the older girl's death was inevitable because of the medical condition, they made her death even more painful. i had once made an elaborate plan on calling anonymously to police station and get them booked under child abuse.

coming back, the little girl lacks self confidence. you ask her simplest arithmetic question, she would not answer. when she is having a milk chocolate bar, she would always, always share. if she is eating a bowl full of pomegranate, she will insist you take a handful of them, even if you don't like them. She is in constant need of validation. she has zero fashion sense. she tries to ape the 'fashionista' of the house, and no points for guessing, gets ridiculed, publicly by the cousin and her mother.

her grades in school are slipping. not slipping because well, she was never at the top. she barely manages to pass. her mother, is a different species altogether. i don't even want to get on to that. one day, at a gathering at naani's place, i just couldn't take their shit any more. i took her with me for a drive, and got her a McDonald's burger and fries and all that she wanted to eat, and she cried. she cried and cried and i felt so helpless. it is so much easier to tell strangers to be nice to their kids, but way more difficult to tell that to family. they are in constant denial.

i am worried what will happen when she grows up? how will she survive the bigger bullies? bad bosses? other failures and setbacks life throws at you? And how will she survive successes? will she feel guilty of successes she gets? trust me when i say, when you have been a victim of being bullied, you feel guilty for every pleasure in your life.

more than me, her parents need to understand she is being bullied, they need to take a firm stand on this.

bullying is serious and it needs to be dealt with seriously when it is so unhealthy.

till then, i am trying to invent new ways to avoid family gatherings.

am i an escapist? maybe I am. maybe i am just being little selfish here. it breaks my heart every time i am around the group. might as well just avoid them.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One Thing I Need When I Die

I know that I am going to hell. Not because I am a bad person. I'm awesome. Just that i think heaven does not really exist. It's a myth.

It's like unicorn. I think the one who first imagined he saw a unicorn must have actually seen a rhinoceros. When he must be stoned. There is no other explanation for that.

Anyway. I'll make this post short.

I really don't mind going to hell, because i know all the fun people will be there, but hey, god, can you ensure i have unlimited high speed internet and free wifi there?


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Another Vikram Samvat year comes to an end. There are so many calenders we follow that we celebrate more than one new year. Of course, the CA geek in me also celebrates a new financial year.

Lord Raam has never been my favourite. (what, you don't have a favourite god?) Also, I'm not a very religious person, I guess. I don't visit temples regularly, nor do I do the pooja in the house every day. Though, I do pray fervently during exams, because, well, it's at impossible times like that when you feel God is your only saviour, and you desperately hope he exists somewhere to make things better for you. (read you = me)

Diwali is obviously associated with Raam returning to Ayodhya from Lanka. (here comes the mandatory Pushpak vimaan came before aeroplane part). Now, if you dig into history, Raam is the strongest competitor to Jesus when it comes to religion being reason to war/violence. I mean, c'mon, why didn't Raam get his birth certificate? That would've made things so much simpler. (do we bring in modern day Uttar Pradesh corruption statistics now?) Mayawati is a wise woman. She has made sure to leave her statues all over the place so that no one doubts she was there. ZOMG. She might be the Kalki avatar.

I know, I know I'm digressing, but then, hey, it's Diwali night, I'm generally upset for all the things wrong in my life. And this is my blog, I'm allowed to say whatever I want to.

There was a time, when I tried, or I thought I tried, to manipulate the 'universe' in giving me what i want. then came the time when i just gave it all up, and waited for things to happen, when they are destined to happen. The whole make it happen vs wait for destiny to take its own course battle. Right now, I am just tired. And I'm not even sure of what I'm tired of. Perhaps it's the quarter life crisis. You see, the whole career, life, where the fuck is it headed thing. But then, it just sucks.

I'm moody, I cry randomly. In fact, as I type this, I'm crying, and I don't even know the reason. You know, I'll let you know if I feel I trust you with my feelings. What is bothering me. If i don't tell you, please don't get offended. It's not you, it's just me that I have decided to trust a complete stranger over close friends to pour my heart out. Sometimes, it's just easier to tell a stranger. You, on the other hand, are going to be with me all the time. Even though you may not say, you may judge me. Also, while I say you may judge me, i am judging you. see what i mean? So i'd rather not tell you what's pulling me down. i'd rather sit with you, laugh and generally be silly, than show my weaker side to you.

Also, this time, I've decided that when i do let someone into the personal zone, i'll make sure the person is a real person, and not just a ghost like figure. No, you don't need to know the details. I shared a very special relationship with that friend of mine, and i am not going to let you judge it. But then again, I'd like a hug, time and again, and not just >:D< (the yahoo! messenger hug smiley, yes, that was there before gtalk took over)

So, what is it the point I wanted to talk about in this whole post? *there is no secret ingredient - kung fu panda* there is no point - nirwa mehta. and since this little space in the interwebz is mine, I will type and post whatever i feel like. it may be incoherent, like most of the things i usually say, but then, this is exactly what is me.

i am tired. tired of giving explanations and disclaimers. go away, everyone.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Friend needed

One of the topic that gets often repeated on my blog is letting go and moving on. Or how I am sometimes holding on, rather, clinging on to a lot of things, that I refuse to move on.

Sometimes, writing about them is like some kind of assertion.

And here I am, once again, writing on similar lines.

It's not that I am not happy. I am. But, there is a void. I will be there for family and friends, when they need me the most. If they want an advice, they'll get one, but more often than not, i am the shoulder they cry on. It doesn't mean I don't get affected. I cannot detach myself completely from the people I love. If something is bothering them, it bothers me. They might feel lighter after pouring their heart out, but then, I am the one who has taken it all in. I feel pulled down by all the weight of their thoughts and feelings.

Maybe it's all my fault. They didn't ask me to take their problems to heart. But I am that way. I sense someone is upset over something, and they might need an outlet, I just have to be there. Probably an unresolved childhood issue to be that one important person who listens.

But then, on the other hand, I find it difficult to express my thoughts. I feel, if I am hurt, or something is bothering me, only I can deal with it. No one else has been in the position that I've been in, because it could be, at the most, a similar position, not the same. Only I can deal with my issues, and no one else. Also, I feel it would be wrong for me to get anyone else to be part of my problems.

There is so much bottled up, and there are so many issues with me, that I do not trust the other person to look at me objectively and empathise. I don't want to hear, 'it's okay, life hai, khush raha kar, don't bother'. no. i know, it all. theory sab pata hai.

I think, I just need that one friend. One friend who would not judge me. And listen. Just listen. And give me a hug. Which I badly need right now. I know, all my friends have good intentions for me. Even the ones I know only virtually, but it takes loads of courage for me to get talking. It doesn't come easy to me.

One of these days, I will face my fears, and get that courage. I hope I find that friend soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Letter

I don't remember the last time I got a handwritten letter delivered to my home. The only letters that come home addressed to me are either my admit cards for exams or some random bank related documents. I don't remember the last time I held a letter in my hand, in anticipation of what might be written in the letter.

I love surprises. Maybe I am romantically filmy at times or I live in a part-imaginary world. And I am forever hopeful that someday, a wonderful surprise will come my way. I'm fascinated by the very thought that the contents of the letter may make me incredibly happy, or they may be just mundane updates, but the fact that someone has taken time out to write a letter and address them to me, makes even such boring updates special.

In fact, times have come where i'd rather text someone, unless it is absolutely necessary to call and talk. I'm not blaming anyone here. I'm mostly a loner in real life, though I love company and I crave for friends. I'm still a loner, with very few friends. Also, letter writing for most of them was the 7-10 marks question in English exam. Once school and college is over, no one wrote the letters.

And then there are emails. But there was a time I wrote long emails in great details. To my sister who was in US. Between 2000 and 2003. Long, long emails with painful details of what has been going on in the house, the relative gossip, the new pranks I've played on grandmother, the new ways dad has found to irritate me, or how mum reacts to the crappy soaps she has recently discovered. But then, even they stopped once she returned.

I can almost imagine how an envelop will feel in my hands, with my name and my address written on it, not sure what the contents would be. The smell of paper, the way words are written, does the person cut the 't' properly? how does he write his 'g' and his 'a'? does he write print or in pretty cursive writing? how am i addressed? Dear? how does the letter end? with love? lots of love? love and hugs? hugs and kisses? forever yours?

I would love to receive letters.

Maybe I should start by sending out one :-)

Lots of love,


Monday, October 3, 2011

Where are you?

How do you know when you meet the one?

Suddenly people around me are getting married. It's like some kind of epidemic. Just sometime back we were all in school, no? No. That was a long time back.

Some are marrying/have married their childhood sweethearts, while a lot of others are going the arranged marriage way. I am neither for or against any set up. Each has its own pluses and minuses, and like everything else in life, you just get lucky at times.

I've not met any prospective 'groom' in an arranged marriage set up. Also, my parents are a bit clueless on how to go about finding someone who might be interested in getting married to me :P so that is totally an unknown path. But then, I've heard some stories about such setups. Not all are pleasant. "So what are your hobbies?" they ask. Jhakh maarna is my hobby, i'd answer. I mean, to these standard questions, I, on a personal level, have no standard answer. There are a few things I like to do, and some things which I would like to do, but they are so generic. Who doesn't like reading?

And then, 'can you cook?' thoughts, chemistry - all that is important, no? cooking is not something that cannot be learnt. Also, would the guy feel offended if i ask back, 'yes, i can, can you?' Not being a "feminist" here, but hey, i'm kind of romantic that way. I'd love it if the guy would cook a special meal for me sometime. So, yes, just the way, you could learn, so can i. Now, talking like this, if i were on a first matrimonial date, i would scare the guy off.

So respect to all those girls who've been through the grind.

On the same, yet different note, I think I have this awesome ability to make guys feel nervous. I sometimes freak them out. Of course, I tell them it's their loss and not mine, but then, it leaves me wondering, what the fuck did I do wrong? Oh, wait, I know, they were the wrong guys!

Ah, well. So the other day, there was a small discussion on the twitter timeline about how do you know when you meet the one. I said, you'd know. Now, that's a very vague answer to begin with. I've had the "I know he is the one" feeling sometimes, and was I wrong or what! And I know all about destiny and right time, right place thing. Just wish sometimes, when I am in that weak moment, that there was someone around, to tell me that things will be okay. That one hug while I just cling on to him and he holds me back. Yes.

So yes, I do feel lonely at times, and these days more so because well, my friends are all busy with their lives, either moving, getting married or having babies.

It's almost at that danger level where I'd cling on to anyone who'd be nice to me. of course, better sense prevails most of the times :-)

Anyway, whoever he is, in the words of Bridget Jones, I hope he is not "alcoholic, workaholic, commitment phobic, peeping tom, megalomaniac, emotional fuckwit or pervert."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

That time of the year again!

So with the Shraadh ending today, having remembered the dead ancestors, we now look forward to a month of festivals, and a new Vikram Samvat in 30 days' time. (btw, I love the name Vikram. sucha swoonworthy name it is!)

Anyhoo, so Navratri starts tomorrow. Since we Gujaratis have started taking over the world, navratri celebrations are marked with the 'Dandiya'. Now, every time someone mentions this, I fight an urge to correct them that 'dandiya' are the two sticks which are used as props, and the dance form is called "Raas" (as in Raas-Leela). Saying, "I love Dandiya" would be equivalent of saying, "I love eating chopsticks". And the dance form of clap-twist-jump-clap is called Garba. Even bad dancers like me know how to do it. The way everyone down south is born with Carnatic music, we in gujarat are born with preinstalled garba. You can never be a bad garba dancer. Unless you are my mother, who is a horrible dancer. She does garba steps like a 2 year old on crack. (which is a very disturbing analogy, kindly pardon)

So, though I can dance and all, I am not a huge fan of it. Couple of reasons, too much crowd, bad bollywood music, giant insects and most importantly, lack of friend circle. I've always had very few friends, and well, currently well, let me not talk about it, i get depressed. Also, never got hooked to it because when we were in schools, we would invariably have term exams in this period, and after school, institute of chartered accountants of india has ruined my life. So yea.

Of course, I do have some memories associated with this festival. And I love telling stories. So I'll ramble away a few incidents about the festival that well, everyone calls Dandiya. *cringe*

I was 7-8 year old, and our school had organised garba for children. (you see, navratri is the festival of 9 *nights* and back then, the garba would last all night long, literally. now you have a deadline of 1:30, but back then, it was less nuisance and the garba would actually start picking pace at around midnight) Since we were young, and we could not take part in midnight celebrations cos of school the next day, our school organised garba from 7 pm to 10 pm for us. I distinctly remember this one because well, my dad was supposed to pick me up from nani's place and drop me to school, by 6:30. He did not turn up till 8 pm. I was almost on the verge of crying. He probably thought that I was upset because I missed the 'fun' for an hour. I felt bad because *one* day I asked him to be on time, and he was not. He was never on time when we had to reach school on time for picnic. He still is never on time when I have a flight or train to catch and he is dropping me there. It's funny how certain things done unintentionally could leave such a deep mark in someone's mind. I hold no grudges obviously, cos maybe he was busy. But maybe, giving someone you love, one day of your life, would not be that bad an idea. You don't have to be there for her everyday, ask her how her day at school/college was. But if she's participating in her first moot court competition, which is also her first public speaking thing, just be supportive. I digress.

Other incident was I think in 6th or 7th standard. Either of these years when there was an 'adheek maas' which meant an extra month before the diwali. :p so exams and all over, diwali in november, school organised inter class garba competition. Very enthusiastically I participated. I was perhaps 3rd or 4th worst dancer in the troupe. So we were paired up, some 20 girls and 10 pairs. We practiced every day for an hour in the morning activity period, and all the happy hormones released made me all happy happy. But then, my dance partner fell ill. I was left without a dancing partner and well, I cannot dance without a partner on stage. I almost cried. The dance teacher, who knew us all since we were toddlers, saw me, felt pity, and convinced another girl to be my partner. She reluctantly agreed, because well, she was worse than me in dancing. I still remember how much I had enjoyed being on the stage. I still remember how incredibly thrilled I was when we exited after the performance. We won against our seniors that year. The garba we danced on was this one. (this is only the link to the song, and not the actual performance.)

And then one year, I went to CEPT. Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology. This was probably 5-6 years back. Everyone on the ground was doing only ONE step. no variations, no groups - everyone performing only one step, and on the beats of dhol. That was the best ever experience.

It is something like this

That was the last of navratri celebrations. This year, if nothing else, I do want to go out, have fun till wee hours of morning, tea at kitli, and some friends to laugh with.

Universe, are you listening?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Philosophy

So yesterday, my cousin and his wife came over with their 1 year 9 months old daughter, Dhyani. Dhyani is the kid I am currently obsessed with. She's at the age where she's just learnt to speak proper sentences, recognises people (yea, she loves me, just like any other kid, we can relate well because of same mental age) and repeats everything we say. So, on one side, she'll tell you, "i love you" and very next moment, sing 'dhinka tika' and hold her skirt (or shorts) and do the cute step salman khan does.

And the inexplicable love for peek-a-boo! i've not yet seen a single kid who doesn't crack up in this game. I melt every single time she calls me "Ninu". (what ya, Nirwa is too hard for a kid)

Yesterday, while she was here, I was on the swing in the porch, and she was in my lap, and I got the swing in motion. My mother sat across us on the chair and extended her hand towards Dhyani so she could clap whenever we would go near her. The kid found that incredibly amusing. She cackled up every time she managed to 'clap' mom's hand. Then, mom extended both her hands, and the kid went crazy. She would now clap her with both her hands. Then my mum suggested that Dhyani uses her legs to give her the 'clap'. (yea, we're quite creative when it comes to playing with kids) and Dhyani's happiness knew no bounds.

All this while, she's sitting in my lap. I had to hold on to her tightly so she doesn't fall off. And I just wondered, look at her. She's sitting in my lap, no safety gear to hold her from falling, and she trusts me so much that i won't let her fall. The kid has not yet learnt how to be cynical. She doesn't question anyone's actions.

The other day, I had gone to their place to play with the kid. They live on the 3rd floor and the room's windows fell on the main road. Their apartment is on one of the busiest crossroads with a flyover and all, so its quite noisy there. Suddenly, the kid looked out of the window and shouted something. I couldn't make out what she said, so i asked her mother. Her mother said, that she's shouting out to "Panditji", who's the watchman. She just randomly does that. When my uncle, i.e. her grandfather came in the room, my cousin's wife asked him to shout out to the watchman because Dhyani wants to say 'hi' to him. He called his name, Panditji looked up, and Dhyani waved both her hands at him.

Few minutes later, we were sitting in another room, and the doorbell rang. The sweeper had come to collect garbage from the house. Dhyani went, "Natubhai!!" And Natubhai responded with a smile. Dhyani smiled at him and played peek-a-boo with him till her mother got the garbage.

Kids are so unassuming.

We were also so unpretentious once. When did we stop being one? Why do we question the intentions of other people all the time? Why can't we be little more trusting? I'm sure, for every fall we have, there will be someone to help us through.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The case of a missing calculator

The other day I realised my calculator has gone missing. Whattodo, whattodo.

I dial a number.

"Hello? CID?"

Immediately, the doorbell rings. They're fast that way.

ACP Pradyuman: Aapne aakhri baar apna calculator kab dekha tha?

Me: Yaad nahin.

ACP: Socho, Daya, err.. Nirwa, socho.

Me: (with sweat beads on my forehead) shayad.. last time may mein exam dete waqt dekha tha. shayad use bhi kiya tha.

ACP: Is ghar, aur ghar ke aas paas ka saara ilaka chhan maaro. Abhijeet, pata lagao, har jagah puchhtaachh karo. Ho na ho, woh calculator idhar hi kahin hai. Aur Daya, kuch bhi ho jaaye, goli matt chalana.

(in the mean time, the entire team puts on cotton white hand gloves. this is done so that they do not contaminate the crime scene, but of course, cotton gloves are perfect when it comes to not messing with evidence.)

Sr. Inspector Abhijeet: What is this? (holding up today's newspaper in his hands)

Me: Err.. Newspaper?

Sr. Inspector Abhijeet puts the newspaper in evidence bag and sends it across to the forensic lab.

Cut to forensic lab where Dr. Salunkhe is having purple, pink, turquoise and yellow coloured liquid bubbling in various glass containers. He's examining the newspaper and also tries to extract fingerprints from that.

Sr. Inspector Daya: Sir, koi suraag mila?

Dr. Salunkhe: Mila nahin, milk.

Sr. Inspector Daya: Milk?

Dr. Salunkhe: Haan, Daya, milk.

Sr. Inspector Daya: Lekin newspaper pe milk kya kar raha tha?

Dr. Salunkhe: Mujhe iss newspaper par se doodh mein jo chemicals hote hai, woh mile hai.

Fredricks: Shayad kisine cake khane ke baad yeh newspaper chhua hoga.

Sr. Inspector Abhijeet: Ya phir kisine doodh ubalte ubalte yeh paper chhua hoga

Sr. Inspector Daya: Ya phir koi chai bana raha hoga, ya hogi.

Cut to my home where the entire CID team is interrogating me and my Dad.

ACP Pradyuman: Iss newspaper pe doodh kaise aaya?

Dad: woh doodhwala bewakoof hai. Newspaper pe doodh ki theli rakh ke chala gaya.

Somewhere, Fredricks is trying to open a cabinet in my studyroom.


Me: Nahinnn, it's a glass cabinet, push the glass, and the magnet will release itself. stop. stop. dont break it!

(I go and open the cabinet for him. i notice he has crazy eyes and decide to stay away from him)

Freddie finds an empty ballpen refill in the cabinet.

ACP Pradyuman: Daya, Abhijeet, jao, jaa ke dekho yeh pen ki refill kahan banayi gayi thi, aur yeh pen kisne kharidi thi.

Me: But..

(everyone storms out of the house without listening)

Cut to a factory which manufactures ballpen refills. Don't ask me how but the CID team manages to find the exact batch when this refill was manufactured and who was the wholesaler, the retailer and ultimately, the consumer, Me. Of course, I had purchased the ball pen refill some eons ago. Like other stationery items I had. But this particular evidence didn't lead them anywhere.

Cut to my home.

The mother has returned after spending a day with her sister, oblivious to the entire CID team visit.

Mother: what is all this?

ACP Pradyuman: Dekhi, aap shaant ho jaiye, baith jaiye please (i know, its a meira kumar line, couldn't resist)

Me: Mom, my calculator is missing, and CID team is helping me find it.

The mother walks coolly to my room, and magically, like Jaadugar K. Laal, puts her hand in the bag i took during exams and along with the question papers, out comes the calculator.

ACP takes the calculator from the mother's hand and slaps it hard.

Cut to the CID bureau. ACP looks menacingly at the calculator and says the golden words, 'kho gaya tha? ab jail mein baith apne aap pe ginti karte rehna, dino ki, phaansi ka order aane tak.'

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why should classic films not be remade

I have a voracious appetite for Hindi movies. I can watch any kind of them, the good, the bad, the mindless. In fact, one of my many guilty pleasures is watching south indian films dubbed in hindi, like indra the tiger and jung - one man army and such cult movies.

I've grown up on a steady diet of films. My first movie in theatre, i still remember was "Hum". I was 4-5 years old, and I so badly wanted the jumma chumma dress kimi katkar wore in that movie. That was a cult song


I grew up in 90s, and that was perhaps one of the worst decade for hindi film industry. Govinda had suddenly blinded everyone in his yellow and orange pants and Karisma Kapoor, who looked like Randhir Kapoor in pink frilly frock and other actresses had just entered the industry. The outfits they wore were hideous, to put it mildly. Kumar Sanu thought he was a good singer and because of lack of social media, no one trashed him!

Also, no denying that 90s had it's share of awesome movies. I loved Khalnayak, and Jackie Shroff looked so hot and droolworthy in Ram Lakhan, and of course, Salman Khan <3 despite movies like Chand Ka Tukda and Suryavanshi.

But then, satellite television opened a whole new world for us. So along with Byomkesh Bakshi and Chitrahaar, we were served a healthy dose of hindi movies on channels like Zee Tv and Zee Cinema.

The first time my dad saw me glued to tv, watching Haatimtai with tremendous intensity, he got worried for me. He thought I'll end up with overactive imagination if i keep watching such stuff. He also thought naagin and nagina would be a bad influence on his younger daughter's miniscule brain. Yea, that happens when you have an elder sibling who's good at pretending that she's wise.

But then, I saw Sholay. And Zanjeer. And Don. And so many that I can't list them here. The intensity, the awesomeness. After seeing Swarg (please youtube if you've not seen this kvlt movie starring Rajesh Khanna, Govinda, Juhi Chawla) I thought Rajesh Khanna had a black shawl permanently fixated on his back. But no, he made me weep uncontrollably when I saw Anand. And then there was the incredibly adorable Rishi Kapoor, flirting with Dimple in Bobby or the way he sang, 'main shayar toh nahin' for Tina Munim.

And then came a time when they started remaking hollywood films. Whether it was good or bad, i don't want to comment. I had not even some of the original versions to compare, and if I was entertained, well, okay with me. (i am keeping the creative right and credit part away. plagiarism is a complete no-no, and i strongly believe that the person who got the original idea/story, should be given due credit.)

But then, trouble started when they started recreating hindi movies of the 70s and 80s. When Ram Gopal Varma remade Sholay into Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag, I went to see it in the theatre, out of curiosity. Amitabh Bachchan, who was playing role of Babbar (so much for creativity) looked like some baba on crack.

Needless to say, it was a disaster.

Then, Shah Rukh Khan thought it was a good idea to remake Don. Now, Don was not even a cult classic. It was just a normal, 80s, masala movie, with Zeenat Aman as an added bonus. I'm no fan of SRK, and SRK in double role, with one role of Vijay, the bhola guy, *ugh* absolutely annoying. To add to it, the movie had Priyanka Chopra playing Zeenat's role. Yes, I DO NOT like Priyanka Chopra. It was a horrible movie with horrible twist. And I shall just leave out the karzzzz starring Himesh Reshammiya out of this, no? #ok

So these days, the trailer of Agneepath is making rounds. Karan Johar has decided to remake this movie. Here's the trailer, for those who've not seen it

Sigh, call me crazy, but the first thing I didn't like about the movie was the Shloka mashup. I mean, one side, they yell Ganpati Bappa Morya, and suddenly go to Twameva mata, pita twameva, and suddenly jump to Achyutam Keshavam.. its like.. what? decide!! I know all Gods are one and all that, but seriously, wtf.

Anyway, so there is lot of outrage among people about the movie. The movie and its dialogues are so deeply embedded in our minds that it will be very difficult to remove the image of amitabh bachchan sitting on a chair and saying, 'vijay dinanath chauhan' and accept hrithik roshan say it. Comparison is inevitable. And most of us will still see the movie, just so we can compare it with original and say how this movie is not even 1/100th of the original. So, the movie, thought it will be a hit, it may not be able to strike a chord to the audience.

Here's a free advice to all the directors.

I have very fond memories of watching the original movies. Please don't mess them up. I will watch Sholay and Don (original) a hundred times over, but not watch Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag or Don (new) even for half an hour.

Also, I'll still watch Agneepath and I'll trash it. Ok?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Busting the Myths

So when I decided to write a post busting the myths about Gujarat and Gujaratis, I had a few points in mind which I had decided to take up. But out of curiosity, I googled up "myths gujarat" and to my disappointment, most of those results were about the 2002 riots.

Sigh, there is hardly I can do to change that. Most people have formed their opinions based on the opinions given on news channels, which are otherwise not taken seriously. It's sad indeed. If you'd like to get any clarifications, you know where you can reach me.

In the meantime, I shall bust some of the lesser controversial myths.

Myth: Gujarati food is sweet.

Truth: Okay, so we like to add little bit of jaggery or sugar in some of the food, but that does not mean our food is sugar-syrupy. It's like assuming every Punjabi's staple diet is paneer. Oh, wait, that's a fact. :P Anyway, just to make things clear, we also put in other spices, like salt, chilli powder, et al. Try eating Kathiawadi food or food from Surat (trust me, you don't want to miss out on surti food - it's awesome) and you'll agree with me. In fact, the food served in restaurants which serve Gujarati thali is the culprit for such myths floating around. Do not judge gujarati food by the food eaten in such restaurants. If you come to ahmedabad, let me know, i'll tell you which places to eat at. ok?

Myth: Gujaratis do not drink alcohol.

Truth: Why not? Who says you have to be born in a certain city to consume alcohol? Let me clarify. Sale and consumption of alcohol is legally banned in the state of Gujarat. That does not mean people here cannot or do not drink. I do not want to comment on the illegally obtained daaru in the city. At the same time, please note that we do not go berserk on first sight of alcohol when we go out of Gujarat. Well, at least most of us don't. So, let's just stop complaining about unavailability of legal daaru in the state. Can we focus on other things, please?

Myth: Gujaratis do not eat non vegetarian food.

Truth: Well, a lot of us don't. I am a vegetarian. But at the same time, there is this lane, right in the heart of the city, where you get perhaps the best roadside non vegetarian food. :D

In case you don't know, there is a fairly large population of Jains in Ahmedabad. Some followers of Jainism do not even eat in a restaurant where they serve non vegetarian food. The lane I just told you about, is in the old city, which is also a, to put it diplomatically, communally sensitive area. Also, a large pocket for Jains. And they all live happily there. If only people could move beyond 2002 riots. I digress.

Myth: Every household has an Baa, high on amrit.

Truth: It happens only in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Also, this was a joke. We all have Baa, just that they're as mortals as you and me.

Myth: Gujaratis break into Garba at every opportune moment.

Truth: Well, we do break into Garba on festivals, like, Navratri, Sharad Purnima and happy occasions like shaadi, but just because we get any happy news, we do not break into garbas. Also, it is called GARBA, and not DANDIYA. Garba is the one where you go clap-jump-clap and dandiya is the one you dance with the sticks in your hand. Also, the dance form is called Raas, because the sticks are called Dandiya. (daandi - stick)

Myth: Gujaratis only eat dhokla, khaman and khakhra.

Truth: Seriously, agar aapko lagta hai ki gujaratis sirf dhokla, khaman aur khakhra khaate hai, toh Gandhiji bhi aapko kahenge, #aapchutiyehai

You know, while I write this post, I got kind of distracted and wondered why do I feel so strongly about this place? Surely everyone feels so much love for the place they were born at, and while I say Gujarat, I do include the whole of India. There is so much about the country that I am proud of. And since I know Gujarat better than any other part of the country, I can say things about the place with authority.

So what is it about the place? Perhaps, I need to write another post for this.. :-)

In the meantime, tell me, what all do you think about Gujarat, and if its a myth, I'll tell you the truth about it! :p

Also, I've kept Narendra Modi and politics out of this, at least I've tried to, so I'll appreciate if it is kept out of comments space too :-)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Body Guard : Movie Review

I'm writing a movie review after a long time. But it has been a long time since I saw a movie where i left the theatre saying, 'what the fuck was that?'. And not in a good way.

So I am a Salman Khan fangirl, and let me say it upfront that dude, the only thing good about the movie body guard was Salman Khan. But seriously, what was the whole purpose of making this movie?

I'll leave the technicalities of the movie aside.. i have no clue on how i can judge the cinematography or whatever shit. But i'll tell you, the movie had NO story, which would have been okay, if it was a no story well told. Know what I mean?

Also, a spoiler alert, if you're planning to watch this film, you may want to read this after watching, so that your movie watching experience does not get clouded by my pointed questions.

1. Who the hell was that other girl? Was she kareena's friend? if yes, why was she staying with kareena, sleeping in her bed, using the same loo, even if the house is a hugeass house? why not another room? Till the end of the movie, i thought her sole purpose was to get killed by mistake by the goons (one of whom was aditya pancholi. yes, he had kajal in his eyes). but no, she brought in the twist in last 15 minutes making everyone go, 'what the fuck?'.

2. Aditya Pancholi reminds me. So in this sequence, he plans to kill kareena with the help of a toy helicopter. He was remotely handling the toy, with the hopes that the fan will kill kareena, but of course, man is faster than machine, and kareena runs away from a flying toy helicopter. Wouldn't it have been easier to have planted a bomb in the toy helicopter and flown it next to kareena and blow her off? Of course, they should've done that in the first 5 minutes of the movie. (ps, but then, after killing her, please give me all her kurtis, ok?)

3. Raj Babbar playing The Godfather. I rest my case.

4. Asrani. Asrani is at his creepmax best in last 15 minutes. Please watch the movie, and keep this point in mind, when he asks that kid, 'divya aunty (kareena) ko pehchana?' fucker, the kid has met divya aunty for the first time, how will he know? sapne aate hai? And even in the end, 'beta, divya aunty ko bye bola?' mind your own business, dude, why are you so obsessed with the kid saying things to divya aunty? huh? HUH?

5. Salman Khan <3 <3 <3 He's the best thing about the movie. But yaar, why did you have to run in that song? Priyatame, only Hrithik Roshan looks hot while running. You, on the other hand, look like you're jumping on a trampoline. Also, you are adorable, i loved the way you said "hello" while picking up the phone. At times, when i want to bug my sis, i also answer phone like that and keep saying hello in different ways. you reminded me of myself, and i wanted to pull my own cheeks then. yes, his point is completely random.

6. Lekin yaar, whatever you say, salman is a sweetheart. I dont remember any other actor commanding whistles in the theatre the way salman does. Audience in the theatre went crazy everytime he did/said something. That's the thing about a super star. I clapped a few times too. I didn't whistle, because i can only whistle the tapori whistle. This putting finger in mouth and whistling i need to learn.

In the meantime, please, if you're making any such mindless movies, at least have some stories or let them be well written.

But then, Atul Agnihotri has come a long way from his "Hello" days.

A must watch for Salman fans, you wont be disappointed, till last 15 minutes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How to show you are not my friend?

You hate my guts. In fact, you hate everything about me. Following me on twitter and being my friend on facebook was your guilty pleasure.

Or maybe I was your facebook friend because at some point I played farmville and you wanted me to be your neighbour so you could increase your farm size or hoped that someday I will send out those bushels of grapes or whatever shit you grew on your virtual farm.

But since you had hundreds of friends, you never quite realised I had you on limited profile list, where you could not have access to my wall, my photographs, and I had blocked and reported spam to all farmville and cityville notifications. Yeah. #win

You unfriended me once on facebook. But few weeks later, you again wanted one more neighbour in your farm. You added me again. Never quite realising I never got any of your notifications to join you as a neighbour. And seriously, I can't even tolerate you in real life, why would I want you as my neighbour in a virtual world? *shudders* Also, I was just being polite by accepting your friends request.

And then twitter. Ah, twitter. Lovely, lovely addiction. Even there you follow hundreds of people, while I'm baffled how people keep track of so many people they follow. I'm struggling, but slowly increasing the number cos there are so many awesome people out there!! I digress. So coming back to twitter.

As I mentioned before, you hate me, but going through my tweets, which doesn't have settings like limited profile, were open. You could read, laugh at my tweets, agree/disagree, but never reply. Why? Because you are way above me. It's below you to reply to my lowly tweets.

But you started hating me, and so you had to let me know. You unfollow me. But, every other hour, you visit the profile, read my tweets and burn yourself in anger towards me.

So, seriously, how old are you - emotionally and mentally? And how seriously do you take yourself? And Social Networking?

And not that it matters, but seriously, why are you so negative about everything in general? What is it about people and relationships that make you so insecure that you start taking virtual relationships so seriously?

If my presence didn't affect you, why go to such lengths to show you are not my friend? :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Second Freedom Struggle

Yeah, right.

All those who're going, "we support Anna Hazare in his struggle for getting us second independence", please go read up definitions of democracy. Also, before posting facebook statuses like act of police of putting anna in jail is undemocratic, please look up the definition of undemocratic also. I could post links here, but am just too bored.

I'm sick and tired of people comparing the delhi police arresting hazare and company with the british atrocities. Please go back to school and read history. There is a difference between fasting against britishraj, and fasting to armtwist the government in a theoretically fully functional democratic country.

I'm not justifying what the police or the government did.. but at the same time, what anna is doing is blackmailing. I've read bits and parts of the drafts of the bills, but since I've not read them fully, I shall refrain from commenting on them, but I remember anna had said long back that he will go on fast from 16th august if the bills are not passed. Now, that's a threat. Secondly, you refuse to accept the fact that the government has drafted a bill. If you don't agree with teh bill, show your outrage against the draft, getting it redrafted.. But giving such watertight deadlines, and refusing to acknowledge any steps taken in the direction is just arrogance.

Also as @shenoyn pointed out these guys are all talking about bringing those who're corrupt/taken bribes to task, what about those who've paid? What about the evil itself?

Oh, don't give me the at least some step is better than no step in that direction crap, I know all that shit. I support the cause, not the method. I want India to be a corruption free country, but I refuse to support Anna in his fasting mission.

I refuse to call this fasting drama a second struggle to freedom. We have already been freed 64 years back. It's because of that freedom that today I am able to write this blog, you are reading this, and Anna is fasting. The constitution of a soverign socialist secular democratic republic of India gives me the freedom to express myself. But it does not give me the freedom to coerce the government.

Yes, there are thousands of things wrong with the people running the country, and yes, we complain that we only have chosen them, and I don't even know what is the solution to that. But I refuse to support a fast unto death threat.

Just because someone wears white kurta/pajama and a Nehru topi, he doesn't become a Gandhian. I've known and met Gandhians in my life and they are very, very, humble and sensible people. How many other Gandhians are supporting hazare? Also, who decides he is a Gandhian? Just because he goes on a fast, he is a Gandhian? Gandhi was a great man. He was one of the men instrumental in getting us this freedom, with the help of truth and non violence. Not with threats or coercion.

Anyway, I'm done with my #outrage here. You may want to see what the rest of the internet world is searching for about Anna Hazare

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I always find the drive to Gandhinagar soothing. The highway connecting Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar is beautiful and lovely trees and small time village theme restaurants on the way. The concrete building of Gujarat High Court is also on the way, with the Indian flag flying high. I've always been fascinated by the building. Further ahead, you will find corn sellers. Yea, boiled and roasted corn. Amdavadis love the American Corn served hot with spicy and tangy masala. And right before you enter the state capital, the beautiful Narmada Canal welcomes you. They have these boards written there to discourage those who come there to commit suicide. Yea, all these lakes and canals are favourite spots for committing suicides.

I've always found suicide to be the extreme form of action. What if someone suddenly changes his/her mind after taking the plunge. You jump into the river, and you suddenly feel, you want to live because you've had a brilliant idea, what could you do? Especially when you don't know swimming! For someone with a wavering mind like mine, contemplating suicide would be metaphorically committing suicide. (you got the gist, or should I explain more?)

So today, on my way back from work, as radio played main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya, I took a right turn towards Gandhinagar instead of the usual left towards home. It was drizzling and occasionally sudden gust of wind would bring down some heavy drops of water. The windshield would get all distorted with the rain and the wiper would clean it up in one swift motion. Had I been a philosopher, I would have said that that's exactly how we should see our life as. No matter how distorted our life seems, one swoosh of wiper and you'll be able to see your life clearly.

I hardly drove for twenty minutes when I saw the green board, "Welcome to Clean and Green Gandhingar". I didn't intend to drive this far. I looked at the phone screen to see what time it was (yea, I don't wear watches on regular basis). It was 10:40 pm. Whoa. I lost track of time, I guess. So I found the nearest exit and took a u-turn back to Ahmedabad.

There are certain songs which trigger off a series of thoughts and you get so absorbed in them that you get drifted in a completely different zone. Yea, getting into such spaces while driving on highways might not be the wisest thing to do. Especially when all the windows have started fogging and the visibility has considerably reduced.

So I was lost in my own thoughts when the car right behind me started flashing on high beam. Bugger, I thought, and decided not to give him side for being such an obnoxious driver. He started honking insanely and the flicking of headlights was blinding me. Alright, who am I teach a lesson to the crazy kids showing off their father's money? I gave the car it's way and the fancy new Audi A6 with the "Applied for Registration" stuck on the name plate zipped past honking itself to glory. Jerks.

Few minutes later I took the turn towards my home and there I saw it. A crowd of 25-30 people had suddenly gathered near what seemed like an accident sight.

A brand new Audi A6. Applied for registration.

Four men, aged between 23 to 26, died on the spot.

They were coming back from a 'ride' in the new car which got delivered today.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dear Young Self,

Dear Young Self,

So you've grown up to be me, so whatever you've done, you've done it right. Of course, a lot of things could've been different. But then, it won't be as much fun, no?

But then, you should've read more books. You picked up reading quite late, and there are thousands of books which you wish you had read, you have bought them and they are resting nicely in the bookshelf. Pick them up and read. Trust me, you won't regret. And if your friends think you are a nerd, well, so be it. They've grown up being losers anyway.

Internet will be addictive. You will meet wonderful people through this medium. They'll become your greatest friends. But, then, they will remain just that. You will know only their internet identity and only what they tell you. Go out and meet real people, make real friends, have crush on people you've actually met/seen. Virtual identity is just that. Virtual.

Before you make career decisions, think. Ask yourself if you like it. Look up other options. Do not just blindly follow the decisions your dad makes for you. He may be knowing a lot of things, but then, he doesn't know everything. Learn to say no, or eventually, when you grow up, and you don't listen to your dad, you'll get distanced.

Along with accepting failure, learn to accept heartbreaks. You will come across men who will hurt you so much that you'll start up distrusting every other guy who comes in your life. Don't let one person's act scar you for life. Have faith in yourself, your heart will heal itself. You are stronger than you think.

Be a little selfish. Love yourself a little more than you love people around you. It's not wrong.

Enjoy the #smalljoys of life.

Keep in touch with your friends. I know you like to go into your shell and not keep in touch withe people, but it only harms you. Go out, make an effort to keep in touch with them. Meet them, call them up. You'll feel better.

But then, all said and done, just be your awesome self. You may want to regret a few decisions, but then in the hindsight, it always happens for a reason.

lots of love,

older, but not wiser,


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yes I Can


So exams are not the barometer to show how awesome I am. But then, clearing one part of the toughest exam of the country (trust me, cracking IITJEE and CAT is *nothing* against the ordeal called chartered accountancy, still not sure why I took up this course) is just an awesome feeling.

It was not my first attempt at CA Final exam. If the three year long internship at Deloitte wasn't grueling enough, CA Final course was enough to make someone suicidal.

So, after a couple of attempts when I got an exemption (it's a complicated process how marks work, just read, don't go into technicalities - not worth the effort :P) in finance paper, I finally decided to take it one group (4 papers) at a time. So this time in May, I took 3 papers (1 subject exempt). For the first time, I stayed up all night for the last exam of law. I think after the exams got over, I was almost hallucinating. Staying up till late (say 3 am) is one thing, and not sleeping for a moment for over 36 hours is another. Especially when there is so much stress and you don't do it on a regular basis.

I got 58 in that paper. It is somehow very heartening. Not that it's a fantastic score. But it's not a borderline score for so much effort you've put in.

For now, seeing the words "PASS" written on my marksheet is super comforting.

I've finally managed to break the vicious cycle.

Yes, I can.

ps - yea, I think I am still hallucinating. Am travelling for work, currently in Coimbatore, leaving for Ooty on 21st, returning back home on Sunday. I feel highly emotional right now. I want to hug my mommy right now.

pps - I've cleared ONE group, and I still have ONE more group before I become a CA, which I will take in November, so I'm almost there :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Whats in a name?

Well, that depends on your name.

If your parents have named you Nirwa, then a lot.

So a lot of "new parents" are in search for a unique name for their precious child. Especially when you put up pictures of your "Prince" and "Princess" on Facebook, you must ensure that the name of your child is such that it garners comments like, "nice name!" from people you never wish you'd known.

I digress.

But not so long ago, when a little girl was born in a shady little dingy hospital in the lane of Ahmedabad, the overly joyous parents thought, let's give her a name which just rhymes with her sister's name. It doesn't really have to mean anything, but we'll indulge her by telling her that it is derived from some Sanskrit word. Of course, they said it with such conviction and confidence that the little girl believed them. In fact, she still believes them, and uses similar conviction and confidence to answer awkward questions by strangers, like, 'nice name, what does it mean?'.

But as they say, only those who've experienced it feel the pain.

Well, only when you are named Nirwa, do you understand the feeling when you get addressed as Mr. in all the mails. Its worse because your name is not even a unisex name, where you could give the benefit of doubt if the person has never heard your voice. (again, there are some girls who have manly voice and vice versa, so it'd be a lost case then.. ) So yes, I do get addressed as Mr. in a lot of mails.

And not just Mr. Nirav Mehta, but as Mr. NIRWA Mehta. I mean, really.

And then, there is the spelling. So, even when you read my name as Nirwa, see it in mail, or if you are writing it down, I spell it out for you.. so, despite all these efforts on my part, how hard is it for you to take down my correct spelling? It is NirWa and not NirVa. Ok?

I'd like to, however, mention that people are quite creative. Among other names that I've been given, some of them are..

NirMa (yea, you have no idea how hard it is being addressed as a detergent soap, i always want to sue my parents for that)

Niwas (hmm.. )

Nirwan (yea, i have no idea what it means, do they mean "nirvana"?)

Nirvana (no points for guessing that)

Niru (now, no offence meant, but I had an English teacher by that name, and never quite liked being called by the same name)

So yea, that's about it - these are the wrong names I've been addressed as.

But then, people who love me, call me Ninu, and they're allowed. :-)

So here is an advice - you may think that there's no big deal about names - but it's always nice to remember their names and address them with their correct names. Just because the other person is too polite to correct you everytime, doesn't mean you annoy the shit out of them. Also, if it's a joke, it just gets stale after sometime. It's not funny, and it's just annoying. I usually start ignoring you then.

Anyway, all that aside, it has finally rained in Ahmedabad. It rained as if God was making up for every hour the temperature here crossed 40 degrees.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Zen Approach

Zen essentially means meditating and discovering inner self and generally going on the path of enlightenment. At least that's what I could figure out from whatever wiki article I glimpsed through.

Now, though I'm not exactly going to take that up, I like the ring of the phrase "Zen approach" and so, I'll say that "I'm now going to practice the Zen approach."

So there have been lots of thoughts going on in my mind lately. Though I tend to write and talk about certain things, there are loads of things I don't talk about. It would take me a lot of courage to talk about them, and I always feel that talking about it will not help me in anyway. It is my problem, and only I can find a solution to it. Talking to others, who are not even part of it, will not affect it in anyway. Though when it comes to giving gyaan, I happily tell whoever cares to listen that talking about your problems will help you overcome them. In fact, I even lend an ear and give some super solutions to such problems too.

But my thoughts, my emotions and my feelings are closely guarded secrets. I'd say, only one person has been able to get a partial glimpse of it, and perhaps that was also one of my weak moments. No matter how strong you are, everyone has the tolerance threshold. So I broke down.

Anyway, coming back to the point, as I said, practicing the Zen approach. I've decided I'm going to stop worrying about things, about people and try too hard to make certain things happen.

There are certain things I desperately want to happen. I feel very strongly that these are the right things to happen, and if you want to live your life, you must do everything you can to make sure things happen the way you want. And why not? Is expecting one's own happiness such a selfish thing? And I have tried to make them happen. Gone out of my way, at times, to ensure that certain events happen the way I wish.

Now, when I think of those events, I feel I've been manipulative. How I acted like 'god' and tried to create things. Maybe I was interfering. Which makes me wonder how would have things turned out if I hadn't interfered/intervened. Also, what if my interference was also part of the scheme of the conspiracy of universe? What if.

So now, I've decided I'm going to let things take its own course. Do not interfere in the mysterious ways the universe deals.

If certain things are destined to happen, they will. Let me not spoil my present worrying about uncertain future and trying to make it certain/preplanned.

And I'm not sure about my belief in God. Let's just say, our relationship status is, "it's complicated". So, assuming there is God, let him be the only one who knows the plan, and unfold it as and when He thinks it's fit. Because the more you try to mess with him, the more he will tease you.

Maybe its time I send a friend's request to God. :-)

Que Sera Sera

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Second Chance

Opportunity doesn't knock twice.

Says who?

And why shouldn't opportunity not knock again? Isn't realisation and making good of your mistake all the part of the bigger scheme of the universe or something like that?

We all deserve a second chance. In fact, I've been reading a lot about Karma lately, and even that is all about second chance. In that case, the second chance lasts even beyond one lifetime.

There are two kinds of relationships. One you are born with, other you choose. While we may choose not to live with/stay away from the ones we're related to, at some point, we do indulge them, and get back to them despite all the differences. Because we just love them, and deep inside that we know that sometimes, even we took them for granted. So we are ready to give them a second chance.

Then there are the ones we choose. Friends, good friends, very good friends, more than friends, so on and so forth. We choose to be with them, because we connect to them on certain level. So yes, they have annoying quirks too. At first, we like them, *because* of those quirks, then we like them, *despite* those quirks, then we *tolerate* those quirks, and lastly, we can't take those quirks anymore and we leave them. Right. So those quirks were perhaps too much, and too difficult to live with, but then, how many times did you try talking about it? Did you ever try make that person realise how deeply you get hurt? Yes, so old habits die hard, some of them are so extreme that you wonder the rate at which the moods oscillate, how come the mind hasn't fallen off! But if once, the person realises that problem is him/her, you do give them another chance, right, especially when you love them so much?

But you know, more than all that, I think the most important thing is, to give yourself another chance. Just because you've been deeply hurt once, doesn't mean that you don't give happiness another chance. So you had something beautiful with someone, and it doesn't exist anymore, so why not move on and start things afresh? Why should your past be so overpowering that you don't even give your future a second chance? I know it can't be easy, and its easy for me to sit in the comfort of my room, lying on the bed, write this post, but for someone who has actually been through it, it's not as easy as it appears to be. I'm not even saying that it's easy. All I am saying is, how hard is it to give yourself a second chance?

Yes, so there might be some strings attached, but that doesn't mean that those strings can't overlap... At times, all it requires is a little bit of courage and loads of faith.

Everyone deserves that happiness.

Everyone deserves that second chance.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Karma is a bitch.

According to,

Hinduism, Buddhism . action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: in hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman. Compare bhakti ( def. 1 ) , jnana.
Theosophy . the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person's deeds in the previous incarnation.
fate; destiny.
the good or bad emanations felt to be generated by someone or something.

I have always believed that we are here for a reason. To learn something, to teach something. Everything that happens, every person we meet, there is a reason behind it.

While we cannot blame everything that happens in our current life, shitty jobs, bad boyfriends, in-laws from hell, etc to our deeds of previous life, because that will mean giving in to situation without working towards saving things, a lot of things that happen I'm sure there is a karmic connection to it all.

Perhaps we're at the shitty job so that we value the next job we take. A jerk for a boyfriend will mean that when you break up with him, you know what kind of guy you don't want! It doesn't mean that you have a bad relationship and something bad is happening to you because you've done something bad in your current/previous birth and your karma is catching up on you. Well, at least, not always.

So there are times I wonder why did I come across some people... people who were friends, some more than friends, people I'm related to.. or why did my little cousin have to die at the age of 13, and suffer for over 8 years before she passed away? Why did my aunt have to die at the age of 54, just when everything was finally settling down well for her.. why couldn't she live to see her son marry? She was perhaps the simplest people ever to have taken birth in our family of eccentrics. She did deserve to see and pamper and play with her granddaughter, right? And at the same time, when we all see the super adorable niece, we all just can't help commenting how her habits are just like my aunt's. I know, this kind of comparison is unfair on so many levels. But I think we all say it because we all want to reassure ourselves that the aunt is around, like a guardian angel, looking after the grandchild. Is that also karma?

There are a lot of things I want to write about, but I just can't get myself to talk about it. More so because I am not the kind of person who could easily talk about things. Even to people who are closest to me. Yes, I whine and I complain and get annoyed at my dad and others, and vent it out, but there are a lot more deeper feelings and thoughts that are never spoken about. Perhaps I will never talk about them. It takes a whole deal of courage for me to talk about certain things. Perhaps it is my karma to be the silent listener and observer and lend a patient listening ear to everyone who needs it.

If you are reading this, this post may sound a bit incoherent to you, and you may not exactly get what I'm talking about. I guess, on some levels, even I don't know what I'm talking about. I guess it's just a phase when I talk utter nonsense. :-)

But seriously, if God does exist, and Karma is his idea of getting back at us, let me tell Him that He has a sick sense of humour and His idea #sucks.

I would like to end the post by sending out a small little message across the Universe, which according to Paulo Coelho, is conspiring to give us what we want, that hey, Universe, give me what I want, and no one gets hurt, ok?