Friday, March 29, 2013

Have we met before?

Not a line you'd expect to hear in a Police Station, no?

Or at least hope you don't hear in a Police Station.

Few years ago, my passport came up for renewal.  But since my old passport was made when I was still a minor, I had to undergo police verification before they issue me the new passport.  (rules have changed now, and don't ask me the questions, I don't know the new rules) 

The verification was done in two parts.  First part was where I had to go with documentary proofs that I exist, along with a neighbour who would be a witness of knowing me.  Second part required me to meet the Police Inspector, who would look at my photographs I had provided and look at me and make sure that both the people are same the same evening.  And everyone knows no one looks like their passport photo anyway.  Oh, wait, I mean, no one looks like their Facebook photo.

So, I went with the documents and neighbour and mother to the police station and after the witness had signed papers, she went out with my mom, who was waiting for me to finish off the documentation.  So, I was with the verification officer and I submitted my photographs and other documents and then the conversation with the verification officer went something like this:

Officer: और जो भी कुछ देना है वोह दे दिजिये.
Me: और कोई डाक्यूमेंट्स बाकी है?
Officer: नहीं, और कुछ देना हो तो दे दिजिये.

It took me a few minutes (considering I'm not too bright in taking subtle hints) to figure out he was asking for a bribe.

I said, नहीं और कुछ नहीं देना है and left the place.  I came back in the evening with my dad where I told him my act of bravery.  He didn't react to that much.  Though he did ask me if I wanted to see where judicial custody of people under arrest is held.  And he pointed to the picture of a wanted criminal on the soft board and told me he looked like me.

Anyway, so later in the evening, no one asked for any money, and the PI cleared my form without any questions.

That was a few years ago.  And that was the last time I visited the police station.

I visited the police station again today.  This time I was the witness for my neighbour who got her passport renewed.

When I went to sign as witness to the verification officer, he looked at me for good 10 seconds and asked, 'आप पेहले भी इधर  आ चुके है ना?'  I said, yes, for my own passport verification.  He beamed. 'देखा, कैसे पहचान गया!' I laughed awkwardly and left the place.

Came back home and narrated the story to the parents.

The father reacts, "so now he remembers you as the only girl who refused to pay the bribe - if you ever get arrested, I'm not bailing you out".

I am starting a "Anticipatory Bail Fund for Nirwa" YOUGAIZ, kindly donate generously.

Monday, March 25, 2013

You are what you watch

I have always loved Hindi movies. 

I can sit through *any* movie and enjoy it.  Really.  (except horror, they are not movies)

Movies have influenced our thoughts at so many levels. (no, I'm not going to talk about my own, because my thoughts and theories are immensely boring).  Every generation gets influenced by the cinema of their time.  My father still thinks he looks like Rajesh Khanna.  (no, he doesn't)  And my 14 year old cousin is in love with RK. (not Ranbir Kapoor, but some on screen name of some actor in one lameass serial - Madhubala - though, Madhubala is not the worst serial - it is waaaaaaay behind Sasural Simar Ka in the ranks of world's worst serials, I digress)

But what about my generation? *my generation makes me feel old :(*

I belong to the generation where one girl found Tulsi her ideal. 

Hi, baa,
And one girl has grown up to believe that she is a tomboy and loves playing basketball.

And one girl was the wisest of them all.  She grew up to believe she is an icchadhaari naagin.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Getting back on the track

It was 4 am.  I tweeted, "Sleeping at Brahma Muhurat because waking up at Brahma Muhurat is too mainstream".  Okay, I don't remember if I actually posted it or I had just thought it and found it funny because Brahma Muhurat, which is considered the best and most auspicious time of the day is roughly around 4:30 am.

I thought it was so funny that I am up till so late, talking to friends in other timezones, reading tweets, blogs and cursing my life.  And then sleeping and waking up at 9 because seriously, who cares about sunrise?

It was at that moment when I hit my lowest.  My career was not going anywhere (still got to clear those 4 damned papers) and I was going to be a year older in a few days and I was left with hardly any friends in the city and all my crushes were one sided.

And then I cried myself to sleep.

I decided to start evening walks.  Go out and have some fresh air and sunlight.  The idea was to tire myself physically so that I fall asleep at a decent time of 1 am instead of Brahma Muhurat.  I started with 30 minute walks and I was so physically out of shape and lacked stamina.  I could barely walk 2 kms in that half an hour.  Because I was trying to walk too fast.  Baby steps.

I then decided to work on the distance and gradually increase the speed.  30 minutes became 40 and then 50.  With distance, even speed increased.  I started getting tired, but would still be up till 2 am, because, internet.

I downloaded the app, endomondo and started tracking my distance and time.  Now, the GPS is so ridiculous, it tracks different distances on different days for the same route.  So I don't take the distance seriously, but it helps me stay 'accountable' and the increasing total distance covered gives me immense pleasure.

There was still something missing.

15 days back I decided I don't want to walk in the evenings because it is too hot, and I would keep waiting the entire day so that it's evening and I can go for a walk.  I was so much enjoying my walks.  I spent entire day obsessing over evenings.  It was then that I decided I'll go for walks in the morning.

I kept an alarm for 6 am and slept at 1 am.  Struggled to sleep.  Because I was so anxious of waking up early, I could not sleep.  Previously when I've tried this keeping alarm at 6 am routine, I would end up waking at 5:55 am and turn off the alarm and go back to sleep and wake up at 9.  That day when I woke up at 5:45 am, I got up from the bed.  If I would have gone back to sleep, I would have been ashamed of myself.

I was up at 6, and went for a walk at 7. (Yes, I like to take my time to be mentally alert - I'm usually online from 6 am to 7 am, come say Hi to me, ok?) I came back after an hour and I felt great.

Sunrise is a wonderful thing.  So is the fresher air.  The nicotine smell at the chai tapri on the other side of walking track was replaced by agarbatti smell.  Birds were happier and chirpier.  And so am I.  I am annoying chirpy and happy in the mornings.  I was the only one to laugh loudly when a crazy dog came running in the walking track and started chasing bees.  (okay, my laughing did make one cute guy who was jogging smile at me, but still)

I now sleep by 10:30 because I invariably start feeling sleepy (because these days I wake up by 5:30 without alarm) Also, cutting down on the caffeine helps.  No coffee after 4 pm.  At least till the time my body gets used to the waking up early thing.  But no caffeine in a while.

And studies you ask?  Well, that part I'm still working on.  Still trying to figure out a way to keep myself interested in studies, but hey, I'm getting there.  One day at a time.

Oh, and did I tell you I no longer open Tweetdeck the moment I switch on the laptop? Is my twitter addiction over?  What will I do with my life now?

But on the positive side, all this waking up early and going for walks has made me a happier person!  Oh, and as a bonus, I think I have even lost some weight.  Maybe 100 grams or so :P but I'm less fluffier! :P Not too bad, eh?

So, it's still a long journey, but I'm getting there.  One day at a time.  Year 2013 will be the year of change.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

If I were a bird

Today morning I spent a great deal of time observing birds.  I usually do spend a great deal of time observing birds, but today morning was different.

The peacock is one beautiful, graceful bird.  At the risk of sounding reverse misogynist (if such a thing could exist), peacocks are the only species where males are more beautiful and attractive than their female counterpart. [if anyone takes an offense to this, let it be known to the world at large that I am cute and I should be forgiven for everything I say - you may burn my effigy, though]

Anyway, so peacocks are beautiful, beautiful birds.  [it's funny because the Hindi for birds is chidiya, and when I hear chidiya, the common domestic sparrow comes to my mind, but it's hard to call a peacock a chidiya. Same goes for owl. Dude, owl as a chidiya is hard to imagine. Anyhoo, I digress]  As I was looking at the majestic birds, one of them chose that opportune moment to run across the garden.

That was the scariest thing I had seen in recent times after that ghost girl in the attic in The Grudge.  The peacock shed all it's grace and ran on it's two distinctly ugly (like God *had* to give a flaw) feet.

That is when it struck me, the birds *run* on their *two* feet.  Let me clarify, ever since I was a little girl, and my father took me around the society showing me birds, squirrels, rabbits and snakes, I have known that birds have two feet.  But I have always seen them perched on those feet.  Never really saw them *run*.

And then I saw a bunch of mynas running in similar fashion, though not as scary as peacocks.  I was so fascinated by the birds running that I almost bumped into a supremely cute looking guy.  [I wish I *had* bumped into him, though, *cough*]

What is so weird about someone running on two feet, you ask? We, as humans, also run on two feet.  Well, the thing is, we humans stand vertically when we run.  Birds body is horizontally placed on their feet - so they have to balance themselves to ensure they do not fall backward or forward when they lean.  This makes me really sad now.

It makes me sadder by the fact that despite having wings, some birds chose to walk/run/jump.  I mean, if I were a bird and I had wings and could fly, I would never stop flying.