Monday, March 16, 2015

I've moved!

Hello, everyone!

Thank you for taking time out of your lives to come here and read what I have to say. I never made any sense and I still don't make any sense.

But thank you to all those who've read, commented and reached out via emails (sometimes, not all of you write to me, and I wonder why! I'd love to hear from you).

But now I've moved to my own domain. :D YES YES! :D :) change your bookmarks! :) 

I'll continue to be awesome even there! :D 

This blog shall be here, but I don't think it will be updated on a regular basis. 

I'm still playing around with the new website and some things may not work.. and if you find any glitches, let me know! 

Thank you for your love and support, even if it was just reading the blog silently. :)


Sunday, March 15, 2015

New beginnings

The leap of faith.

When I decided I do not want to crunch numbers for the rest of my life, it was a hard decision to make.

I wanted to write, tell stories.

Well, who pays writers? My father, the cynicism gene in me is inherited from him, snubbed me down saying, "who will read what you have to write?"

You see, my dad has always been the one person whose validation I have always wanted but never got.

So when you tell him that you no longer want to pursue chartered accountancy, a sure-shot well paying career because "you want to write", all hell breaks loose.

But as they say, sometimes you have to take that leap of faith and follow your heart.  Life is too short not to take chances, especially when you feel so strongly about something.

So when the opportunity of being a business journalist came by two years back, I grabbed it with both my hands and my legs and everything I could manage.

While this was not essentially the sort of writing I was looking for, it did help me hone my skills.  From my first copy, which was kind of disastrous, to put it mildly, to now, when most go without any major edits, I believe I have come a long way, even if I say so myself.

I had to convince my father to let me take up this opportunity because if it doesn't work out, at least I will not regret for the rest of my life that I didn't even make an effort.  Better I blame myself for the failure than him for not even letting me try.

Of course he has mellowed down a little since.  While he may not essentially accept me as a writer, he does feel proud (according to sources aka mother) whenever he lets his friends know what I do for a living.  Every few days he asks me to type out a text for him or sometimes a mail for his boss (without really acknowledging the fact the "writer" part of me there) and mom and I have a good laugh about it afterwards. (He still gets as excited as I do when my story gets published in the paper, especially with a byline (they are hard to get by) :D)

I have gained back the lost confidence.  I have some direction in life.  It may not be in the best of shapes, but it is shaping up well.  I am hopeful of future.  I want to believe good better things are stored in for me.

Some of the lowest of low times don't make a lot of sense when we are going through them, but in hindsight, they all fit into place.  As if those things were meant to happen at that time.

At times, all it needs is a little courage.  A courage to make that choice.  Of letting go or holding on. It is all about the choice.

And as you ponder over your options, have a look at this video?

↵ Use original player
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Saturday, March 14, 2015


My cousin's wife gave birth to a 2 month premature baby in October 2012.  When she was born, she was so tiny, she could have fit into my one palm. My niece was in neonatal care unit for about two months.

For a few seconds in those two months, her heart stopped beating.

Doctor had very casually said that he hopes the lack of oxygen for the few seconds the heart didn't beat has not left any permanent damage on her brain.  

It broke my heart to see my niece in the incubation box. 

Moments like these make you question the existence of God.  (honestly, I am still not sure if God exists.. I'm probably still sitting on the fence, shifting goalposts as per my convenience. Hopefully, if God exists, He/She won't judge me for being so indecisive.)

She was discharged from the hospital after two months, and she looked tinier than the time she was born! 

So small, so frail.

I did not visit her for a few days.  I was afraid that the germs and external elements I would bring in her immediate proximity would not be good for her already weak immune system.

But then, she started growing up.  She started sitting upright, crawling and eventually walking. 

She had her first tooth, which was painful for her and made her cranky.

She has a weak immune system.  Gets cold and cough very frequently.  She catches viral infections easily.  But she comes out stronger each time.

She is a non fussy eater.  She loves milk.  She loves peacocks.  She thinks the peacocks talk to her and the one she saw in the evening told her hi.

She does not like it when you flush down her poop because she feels sad her potty has gone away.  If she spills food and you ask her who spilled it, she does not put the blame on anyone else, but she just casually admits it fell on its own.

She calls me Nini.  She has big eyes, full of wonder.  When you blow soap bubbles at her, she runs around to catch them.

When I saw the two year old run around catching bubbles, and then laughing when they burst right on her face, I thought of the face I saw through the glass when she was just born. 

This little girl has fought against odds and survived.  She is a fighter.  She still frequent bouts of cold, cough and fever, but she pulls you with all her strength to show you her new friend, the spider on the ceiling in the corner of the room.  

Just seeing her run around in the house is such a great feeling.  She's a bright child, this one.  

Some times, all you need is faith.  Hope is just round the corner.

In the meantime, have a look at ?

Sometimes all you need is you!

Yesterday was March 13.  It was a Friday.  Friday, the 13th.

If horror movies were to be believed they are the most terrifying days ever.

But it was a day I slept peacefully, with hopes in my dreams.

It has been a long time since I had a nightmare-free sleep.  You see, some times you really don't know what is pulling you down.  You just wake up feeling low, go to bed feeling low and spend the rest of the day in between feeling low. 

Reaching out to family and friends is the most natural thing to do when you are feeling low and rightly so.  After all, they are our support pillars and our strengths.  We all get by with a little help from the friends. 

However, when things look gloomy, there is only this much even the friends, family and well wishers could do.  These are the times you need to spend some time with yourself, by yourself and introspect.  A little bit of soul searching can lead to amazing results. 

When life throws bricks at you, build castle out of it.

I have realised that spending time with myself is the most therapeutic way to get my optimism back.  I tend to be a generally happy person.  I do not have many hang ups about people, about life.  I have stuck around in tough situations and I have passed a few tests and failed a lot.  But every time I have fallen down, taking a step back and evaluating the situation has usually helped put things in perspective. 

Go for a walk, a run, a drive or jus a coffee by yourself.  Read a book, see the clouds change pattern, disconnect yourself from the internet.  Smell the flowers, the freshly mowed lawn or freshly baked bread.  Always wanted to pick up that hobby? Now is the time.  Learn how to play the guitar, sing a song, knit a scarf. 

If you cannot be comfortable with yourself, how will you be comfortable with others? Embrace solitude, meditate. 

Last evening, as I sat, sipping my cup of coffee, writing, I realised there is so much more to me than a validation from someone who does not mean anything in the bigger scheme of things.  That I need to consider myself important for others to consider me important.  (my mom, however, thinks I am the most amazing person to have set foot on the earth, she may be biased, though.)

I came home, thanked the universe and the forces that have played a role in my existing at this moment at this place and got ready to face the challenges it has set in my path.  I may or may not be prepared, but I am ready to face them.

Isn't that is what people say, playing is far more important than winning? 

I'm ready to build my castle with the bricks lying around me.

Speaking of building, you may want to check out

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Coping up with the nightmares

So since last few months, I've been having terrifying nightmares.  Thankfully, just like my dreams, even my nightmares haven't come true.

But it has not been a pleasant experience.  All these night terrors are beyond my conscious control. I wake up with a jolt, mostly glad that I am not really trapped in enclosed places or stranded in ocean in a boat.  Being stranded in ocean in a boat is one of the most recurring nightmares and it is terrifying because I have unusual fear of huge water bodies and these nightmares are not helping.

Last few months, I woke up with annoying pain in my teeth which was followed by uncomfortable headache and neck and shoulder pains.

Considering my love for WebMD, I have gone through most of the diseases there and have died and resurrected multiple times.  So Nirwa Mehta, WebMD, self diagnosed the pains as sinus.  Because #forevercold has been one of the annoying things growing up.  I just assumed the pains in the usual sinus zones is because of cold/upcoming symptom of cold, but when the pain vanished a few days later and I didn't have a runny nose, I dismissed it on the ginger, mint, pepper water I have in the mornings to have boosted my immunity that I'm fighting the flu.

Yeah, I know, I need to see a doctor for more reasons than one.

But then last week, the teethache went too far.  It was so uncomfortable and I thought I am losing all my teeth.

Asked my dentist friend if I should see my dentist.

My dentist is this really nice man who has extracted all four of my wisdom teeth because of the overflowing wisdom in me.  Willing to bet the new Volkswagen he drives is paid for by our family.  Yeah, we have a family dentist because having a family physician is too mainstream.

Anyway, he has a good look at my teeth, announces my teeth are in good condition, and I need to meditate to relax.




You see, I went to a school where I learnt Yogasan for 9 years.  (yes, I have certificate to prove the same, also Bharatnatyam. Heh. Heh. Heh.)

While learning Yogasan, the most difficult part was meditating.

You are just sitting there, trying to concentrate on your breathing and trying to get into a state of thoughtlessness.

See, that's not going to happen.  My mind is so full of webs (other than inter-webz :P) that a part of me is terrified of looking into it.  I'd rather let the webs in my mind lie as they are than clean them up because I am not sure how I will deal with repressed memories.

At times I am not even sure if they are repressed memories or situations I created in my head and were so real that they now seem like repressed memories.

Brain, my dear friends, is a wonderful and scary organ. It is very easy to lose hold of reality and assume completely imaginary scenarios as real.

So, meditation is not going to work.

Today morning I woke up, brushed my teeth and went back to sleep.  I didn't sleep-sleep, more like lied in bed till I got bored of lying in bed, and in those moments I felt like I felt an earthquake.  I was in the sleep-awake zone.

I experienced the 2001 earthquake and ever since if I've been stressed, my mind plays tricks and makes me feel like there are tremors.  It is terrifying.  Because it feels so real and there are no tremors and you cannot explain anyone you just felt an earthquake that never was.

So coming back - how do I cope with these nightmares. There has got to be a way where you do not have to look into your mind to ease your mind, right?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A lot can happen over coffee

I love solitude.  After spending a week socialising with people, I need the weekend by myself to recuperate and rejuvenate myself to face a different set of people the next week.  The cafe near my house offers me the solitude I need.  I spend my Saturday evenings here, order a coffee, and spend a couple of hours reading.  It is the Valentine’s Day week, and maybe it is the pinks and the reds everywhere, I decided to re-read the first book I wished was my life story.  Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  

“One cafe latte, please”, I place my order and find my usual empty corner to sit.  A few minutes later, the waiter comes with the milky goodness of caffeine with a heart made on the froth.  Usually it is a leaf. Valentine’s Day effect, I guess.  Wait, is there something written on the tissue paper? 

There is something scribbled across it. What the fuck. It reads like “Hi! :)”  I called back the waiter and he said, “Madam, the gentleman here gave it to me to send you.” 

“Who?” I asked.

He pointed to the guy in another corner, reading a book by himself.  

Oh, I’ve seen him here often.  Usually by himself too, occasionally accompanied by a guy, but mostly alone.  He looked up and smiled.  

This is the first time I gave him a proper look.  He has a two-day old stubble, is wearing black rimmed hipster glasses, a grey pullover and one of the warmest smiles I’ve ever seen.  He is attractive.

And that makes me awkward and conscious.  What am I supposed to do? Should I call him? Am I supposed to sent another tissue with ‘hi’ written on it? Or should I just send back a smiley? Should I smile back?

Oh, god, no, let me just be invisible.  Look away and pretend I’m not here. 

Please, please please. 

Oh god, he’s getting up. 

No, don’t come up to me. Oh god, he’s coming up to me. 

“May I?” he asks, pointing to the empty chair in front of me. Damn, should’ve put my bag there to show I am accompanied by a bag.

“Sure,” I squeaked. 

“Hi, I’m Arjun,” he said.

“Naina. I’m Naina.” I said meekly. 

“I hope I’m not disturbing you,” he said.

I come here to escape from people. And try as hard as I could to remain invisible and here is someone, a complete stranger, trying to talk with me.  Calm the fuck down, Naina.
“No, not really,” I said.  There is a strange feeling in my stomach. Oh, this is the proverbial butterflies in the stomach.

“Do you come here often?” he asked.

“Yes, I usually spend my Saturday evenings here.” I said.

There is silence between us, as he looks at me smilingly and I try to avoid gaze while fidgeting with my fingers.  Oh man, what do I do with my hands under normal circumstances.  Today I cannot seem to make up my mind whether to put them on the table, or under it, or cross them or just cut them off.

We sat there in almost silence as I fidgeted my fingers to the point I feared they would fall off while slowly sipping my coffee. Heh. Who am I kidding. I almost gulped it down.

“May I have the pleasure of taking you out for dinner tonight? I know of this really nice pizza place.” he asked warmly.  Do I hear an accent?

I’m sure he sensed my awkwardness and is trying to make me feel comfortable.  But I’m like the deer caught in the headlights.

Did a complete stranger, who doesn’t look like a psychotic stalker-cum-killer, has a cute stubble and clean set of teeth just asked me out? Really?

What should I do? What should I do. 

“Um, okay.” I said.

I asked for the check, and the waiter told me it was already taken care of by, well. Arjun.

Okay, flattering.  Almost creepy, but flattering.

Apparently, the pizza place he has heard of is nearby.  We chose to walk.  That means more awkward moments where I struggle to keep up the conversation.  

Arjun is an entrepreneur and has a e-commerce platform.  He recently moved to Ahmedabad and spends most of his evenings in the cafe we just met.  He had been gathering courage to come up to me since past 3 weeks now and was disappointed when I did not come here last weekend. 

What. This is too much for me to digest.  How can anyone find me attractive! I am a fashion disaster, I don’t wear any make up, I am far from being skinny, when women trot around in clothes which look like handkerchief wrapped around them.  

We talked about his experiences in the city, and how he has been liking it, and when I told him I’m a journalist, he could not stop grinning.  Oh god, now even complete strangers don’t think I could be a journalist.

“You are Naina Shankar?” he asked. I did not tell him my last name.

“Yes, that would be me. How do you know?” I asked.

“I read your analysis on the upcoming election and why the populist policies will not work in the long run. Nicely written.” 

Hot guy has read my article. He knows me. Must act calm. 

“Thank you.” I managed to say.

Now would you just stop staring. I don’t eat pizza with fork and knife. I am going to eat it like a normal person, and no one looks good while biting into a pizza. Stop staring.

After an hour long ordeal where we talk more politics and then some more politics, he calls for the check. Should I offer to pay? Should we split? Should I just sit around twiddling my thumbs?

“I’d like to pay for the dinner.” I say.

“Dinner is on me. But you could treat me to the dessert.” he cocked his head and smiled. 

Okay, fair enough. 

Just as we left, it started raining.  Damn these unseasonal rains.  We had to walk back to where I had parked my car and we were drenched. I started sneezing.  Obviously, the dessert is postponed to a future date.  Not happening today.

I sneeze again.

“I live nearby, why don’t you come up and put on some dry clothes and wait for a while till rain stops.  You’ll fall ill.  Plus, its unseasonal rain, won’t last long.” he said.

Considering I just got up from a two month long viral infection, the idea of warm, dry clothes is tempting.

“Okay,” I agreed and we walked over to his apartment. 

He gave me his shirt and trackpants to change into while he made a mint and ginger tea for both of us.  Okay, he’s a nice guy and hard for me to not like him.  He’s fun too.  I don’t remember laughing so hard on political jokes in the longest time.  It’s like, he just gets me.

We sit on the couch looking at the rain while sipping our tea.

“Well, we shall keep the dessert for next time,” I say.

“Of course.”, he said.

The air between us suddenly becomes heavy.  I’m feeling thirsty.  I get up to fetch a glass of water while he suddenly holds my hand and pulls me down.  I look down as he takes my hair off my face and tucks them behind my ears. I feel like electricity has passed through me. My breathing becomes heavy as he brings his mouth nearer to me.  And in that one moment of passion, we kiss.

Monday, February 23, 2015

One life

"You have just one life, live it up" is one of the most abused clichés ever.

It is the classic version of #YOLO because you live only once.

(Actually, it should not really apply to Hindus because we are the patron saints of reincarnation so technically, Hindus shouldn't really give the lame #YOLO excuse for doing stupid things.)

Coming back to the topic at hand before I digress too much, mostly people go #YOLO for doing stupid things like drinking themselves silly and driving or smoking/snorting up stuff which gets you higher than Superman's balls just because you can.

But then not many of us take the #YOLO path when it comes to things that really matter.

How many of you regret not having said or done things you should have?

Yes, we all have regrets of having done/said things, but that makes perfect sense because you actually did it without knowing the outcome (which is not in your hands) and it just didn't turn out the way you expected it to.

But not doing/saying things because of hypothetical adverse outcomes and regretting it for the rest of your life?

Do you really want to be on your death bed, wondering what next avatar are you going to take, a lizard or an ant or a pig, regretting what could have happened if you had told her you love her? Do you really want to live the rest of your life knowing that she/he was the one who got away because you didn't try?

Or you wish you had taken the toxic people out of lives? You'd be surprised to know how many of these are there in your lives. They are the ones who have nothing good to say about/to you, have super narcissistic tendencies and are overall assholes but you have been a pushover all your life because well, it takes time to realise you are being emotionally abused.

All it takes is courage. The courage to say no. The courage to say yes.

It is so liberating.

You really have nothing to lose to take that one step.

If you feel so strongly about something, go for it - the gut feeling, the instinct - act upon it.

Many a (love) stories never happened because of lack of courage. Let your story not be one of them.

After all, you have one life.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Freedom of Speech and Expression is overrated.

No, I'm not against it - yes, we have fought very, very hard for this freedom and I am extremely grateful to be living in this country which allows me unrestricted freedom of doing and saying anything and getting away with it.  

There are few things most people on internet have taken for granted.  The fact that you were able to attend school without getting shot at is a good thing.

That you could be a woman and drive on your own at 3 am, with probably a threat of a stray dog running after you, is also a good thing.

You know what else is a good thing? You can make fun of your prime minister *and* get away with it.  

You, as a common man (heh), have the right to form the government.  You have the right to BE the government.  Democracy is a wonderful thing.  Scary and terrifying at times, but wonderful nonetheless.

There have been self styled crusaders of free speech over the internet, who have taken upon themselves to take up the freedom of speech and expression battle.  

Humour is subjective.  Stupidity, however, is not.  It is universal.  You'd expect these crusaders of free speech to be rational too, but that assumption would be one of the gravest mistake.  You see, these are the people who are the newest breed of activists.  Hashtag Activists.  They are full time outragers.

You try reasoning with them, you'd be named a troll.  Or a Sanghi (which I assume has something to do with the RSS, not the feed-wala RSS, the other one) or a right wing nut.  Because questioning their stupidity and countering their lack of logic makes you a right wing troll. 

So, the crusaders one day decide that they have the right to organise shows which have "offensive" jokes.  Now, mind well, the organisers had put up disclaimers that the jokes will be offensive.  Again, as I said, humour is subjective.  

Now a lot of things go here.

Since it was put up on YouTube, you had a choice to not see it.  You exercised your freedom of choice.

The show organisers exercised their freedom of expression, however offensive.

While it could have ended there, it didn't.

Certain section of the demography chose to take an offence to that.

Why take offence when you saw it out of choice? You had a choice to close any time you wanted.  But you saw it and took an offence, your protests are wrong.

See. That's where I get annoyed.

No, their protests are as much legally allowed as your jokes.

See, the same democracy that gives you freedom of speech also gives him freedom of expression, in this case, protest.  (not justifying violence here) but if an individual, decides to be offended, and files a police complaint - why is it wrong? Just because you put across a disclaimer, does not mean no one could take an offence.

So if someone files an FIR and police/court takes its legal course of action, and points it out to you, it doesn't make them a "right wing nut" - in most cases, it makes them rational, logical human being.

If an obscure "religious" organisation decides it will get you married if you're out on Valentine's Day, you do not blame the government.  Best would be to ignore these fools for their stupidity, but if you can't, because you're a self-styled crusader of freedom of speech and you have taken upon yourself to save the humanity from going "right wing crazy", file and FIR, try having faith in the judiciary.  Yes, it sound funny especially with thousands of legal cases stuck for years, but well, I am not sure how writing a fucking listicle will help?

Or going outside their office asking them to get you married because they threatened they will.  No, not funny, but stupid.  You are encouraging more loonies to come out and threaten.

I am all for freedom of speech and expression.

But I thank my stars every single day that I am born in a country like India, where despite all things that are wrong with this country, I am allowed to write this piece and you are allowed to read this.  

The fundamental right which makes it possible for us to sit in the comfort of our home and laugh at the pinstriped suit of the head of the nation or his speaking Star Wars while standing next to Wolverine - it shows that the country is way tolerant than we give it the credit for.  (obviously, HUGE scope of improvement there, but at least we're not Saudi Barbaria, or under the watchful eyes of the beloved Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, right?)

This freedom, is hard earned.  People have died in the past so you can live today to enjoy this freedom.  But using it wisely may not be a bad idea, right?

I know, it is hard, as a professional outrager, to think rationally, but try, maybe?

You are a journalist - despite all the cynicism the media gathers, pen is still powerful than the sword.  Media has the power to make or break governments.  You are the fourth estate.  Pick your battles wisely.

And to end it, to take words from the show you so religiously defended, every time you call yourself a journalist, ISIS beheads a real one.  Make it stop.

PS: No, if I don't like your jokes, find you unfunny, I am not a Modi bhakt, I just have a sense of humour which does not agree with yours. Deal with it. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

If I'm on deathbed

Yes, if.

 You see, I don't doubt my immortality.

 Also, as a Hindu and a high caste brahmin I have utmost faith in the idea of rebirth and reincarnation. (I also sometimes believe I'm an icchadhaari naagin, but that's only the childhood trauma of having seen ALL icchadhaari naag-naagin movies - dad always feared I'll start believing in them and living in a world full of imagination, far from reality, if I keep watching them. But then, loneliness makes you do strange stuff.. coming back..)

 I have utmost faith I'll probably be alive to see the end of the world. And going by the current state of the world, I don't think the day is too far. 

But then, if I ever die, I need to have a resurrection plan. See, a leader of a certain faith (not taking names because dude people take offence to any and every thing these days) also took like 3 days to resurrect from the dead. So I need a resurrection plan which is awesomer than any of the ones we've had till now.

 So I was YouTubing some videos of medical miracle and we've all seen the brain transplant scene (please pay special attention to Suresh Oberoi before he finds Mithun in the room.. Amarrrrr... amarrrrrrrr... amarrrrrrrrr)

and the heart transplant scene from one of the regional language movies from down south.


Cannot believe how fantastic these movies are. I mean, the dude was running with the heart in his hands. The heart flew out of his hands, and broke glass and fit itself into the empty cavity in patient. No one was worried that the glass shards were still stuck in the heart! (yes, I have my priorities right) Anyway, the point is, these things are over and done with. I was still looking for inspiration.

Till I stumbled on this gem from the movie Clerk.

Please watch it before proceeding because I don't want to give out spoilers.

 **** spoiler alert! here be the spoilers ****

 So if I die, I need you to being me nearer to uninterrupted, censor-free, high speed WiFi connection. I am so excited at the prospect of the internet seeping life back into my lifeless body that I am almost looking forward to dying.

 Some day.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Live Tweeting: Conquering Kaali Naag

So today morning I was just reading up about the Kurukshetra War which is the mythical war in the epic Mahabharat - the original Game of Thrones - on the conflict of succession of dynasty between the Pandavas and the Kaurawas - the cousins. (if such war were to happen between my cousins, pretty sure I'll emerge as the Kalki avatar - maybe this is my true calling.)

Mythical war - interesting. Because these mythical wars and stories have laid foundation of Hinduism - so basically, the entire religion based on myths. OMG.

Not that I was reading it for the first time.. I enjoy reading up on Hindu mythology as and when the whimsical mind of mine demands.  So one thing led to another and I was listening to this bhajan by Narsinh Mehta. (No, I'm not related to him, nor am I related to Harshad Mehta, the bull.)

And then I ended up reading about the Kaali Naag and it made me wonder what if this event was live-tweeted by the characters involved?

Well, look no further, here's how it may have happened.

(Disclaimer: NO offence meant - please do no burn my effigies. I do not intend to hurt your religious sentiments - don't we all say how religion (based on myths) teaches tolerance?)

(Disclaimer2: If you are not sure how Twitter works, you may not really enjoy reading it. In which case, I suggest you watch above video and song along - I love that song.)

@K4LIY4: Checks into *blocks and reports @Garuda for spam*

@K4LIY4: *spews venom* #literally. Ooo. Look at those poisonous gas bubbles in the Yamuna. #lulz

@LordKrishna: Let's go play ball near the solitary tree near this poisonous river because why not.

@KrishBuddy1: Dude, don't climb the tree, okay? Notice the red flags - the river is poisonous, only one lone tree here. Plus, Kaliya is not really your buddy.

@LordKrishna: *smirks*

@KrishBuddy2: No, really. Stay away. Here, catch. *throws ball*

@LordKrishna: Excaaaaaaite at the prospect of climbing the tree I'm forbidden.
                          Heh. Forbidden tree.  We all know the last time someone was forbidden from a tree how that turned out. #AdamFan4Lyf

@KrishBuddy1: Heeeeey, wtf. Don't climb the damned tree.

@LordKrishna: *drops ball in Yamuna*


@KrishBuddy2: Now what? Who's gonna get the ball?

@LordKrishna: Brb, getting ball. *jumps into the river*

@Nagini1: Who in their sane mind would come here, kid?

@Nagini2: If our master wakes up, he'll kill. Pls to go back. #Kthx

@Nagini1: Are you lost? Or have your enemies tricked you coming here? Else you wouldn't be here.

@LordKrishna: Nope. I'm just here for the lulz.

@Nagini1: You're kinda cute, your parents must really hate you to let you come down here. This place is full of poison, you know.

@LordKrishna: Nope. I'm beloved Krishna. Go wake your husband up. Tell him I'm here to say hi. (and also get back my ball)

@Nagini2: Here, take all the monies we got. Go back. Hell hath no fury like the dude we're wives to scorned.

@LordKrishna: Nope. Cannot go back without taking the ball, babbeh.

@Nagini1: *pinches feet* *tucks moustache* wake up, @K4LIY4, look who's here.

@K4LIY4: Wtf. Go away. I'm napping. *spews moaaar venom*

@LordKrishna: Giu back my ball.

@K4LIY4: You asked for it, kid. *wraps self around @LordKrishna*
                    #SelfFive *takes a selfie* #WrapAroundKrish #Yamuna #Home #DontComeHomeEver

@LordKrishna: Dude, cannot tolerate so many hashtags.

                         *gets into hulk mode*

@K4LIY4: *lets go* whaaaat are you?

@LordKrishna: *takes weight of the universe and jumps on @K4LIY4's head*

                          *takes a selfie* #jump #IAmViraat(notKohli) #dancing #love4dancing #instadance #danceoftheday #power #IAmGod

@Nagini1: Omg. Pls stop. You'll kill him.

@LordKrishna: Ah, well. Okay, hey, @K4LIY4 leave Yamuna alone. Go away.

@K4LIY4: Totes, kid.

                   *takes a selfie* #ByeByeHome #KrishnaRules #Buddies #Goodbye #SadFace

And that is how the Kaliya Naag left Yamuna.

Except, willing to bet that despite the poison of Kaliya Naag in the river, the water was much much much better than the present day Yamuna water, which also has tears of previous governments working out of the national capital.

If you enjoyed reading this, you may enjoy reading Kaun Banega Draupadi Ka Pati, Samudra Manthan, Yaksha Prashna, and Twitter Gita.

Again, do not burn my effigies. Or kill me or something.

I am cute. I have dimples and I come from land of Gandhi and Modi. Thanks.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Struggles of being a journalist

Being a journalist is not easy.  Especially when you come without a degree in journalism or any prior journalism experience.

You see, some of us come without baggages. 

I have come across some really, really smart people and am glad they are the ones who write news based on which people form their opinions.

At the same time, there are a bunch of conspiracy theorists whose ideas are terrifying.  My first instinct is to make fun of the media but then I quickly realise I am now part of this circus myself.

I am torn between two worlds.  Of a rational reader who takes everything with truckloads of salt.  And a journalist who tries to be honest to her profession and tries to give a balanced write-up on the news that are presented to me.  

Every time I write a story, I ask myself, am I being honest to myself as a reader? Well, at least I try.

I am still in awe of people who have been around way longer than I have.  I blush like a teenaged girl when some of them recognise me because honestly speaking, any sort of attention makes me wonder. (totally blaming the lack of confidence about myself to the years I spent studying Chartered Accountancy that drained me out of all my energy and positivity.)

I want to reach out to most of them and talk about their experiences, but you know, most of them are so wary of people approaching.  Or at least I think they are.

As I said, as someone who comes without any baggage or any knowledge of years of gossip about them, I am approaching them with a fresh slate and I genuinely want to know them.  But all your moves are probably questioned.  It baffles me. 

Oh, and who you meet, who you interact with over Twitter - they all become topics of gossip for months to come.  Like really.  

No, I am really interested in meeting people, listening to their stories.  I find them fascinating. 

So will I stop doing what I enjoy because some people may take it otherwise?


I will still go out of my way to compliment someone.  Because a compliment never hurts. 

It is nice to be nice.

But in journalism, it being nice makes people suspicious.


I just don't want to get disheartened and question the choice of my career.  If any senior journalists around have a word of advice, I'm all ears.

Friday, January 23, 2015


All of you animal and dog lovers who advocate #AdoptAStray, I have some good news.  I have half a dozen strays in my lane to offer.  

The adorably cuddly creatures are a delight to have around.  Here's why:

1.  Our lane (6 houses in total) have had 9 pairs of shoes destroyed including a pair of shoes which a neighbour paid Rs. 15,000 for. I admit I laughed at it because serves him right for taking my parking spot.

2.  Ghaghra of our domestic help went missing the other day.  Investigation revealed BigBrownDog3 took a fancy to it and snatched it from the place where it was drying and ran away with it.  It was found near the Amul garden outside our society, a good 200 mtrs away.  The domestic help refuses to wear the ghaghra again even when I offered to get it dry cleaned.  While it is highly amusing and I am laughing really hard as I type this, poor thing was traumatised that a dog ran away with her ghaghra.

3.  Last night I had to sit outside my house in the car, all locked and rolled up windows because all six of them decided to get into a fight.  Amidst all the growling and barking, they didn't realise that I had silently parked next to them.  After a good 10 minutes, one of them realised an alien object next to them and looked directly at me.  And growled.  I'm going to assume they recognised my presence and not any paranormal presence because that would scare the shit out of me.  Guess seeing me had a calming effect on them because then all of them decided to form a circle and sit while looking in different directions.  Each took turns at random interval to look in my general direction.  It was terrifying.  I was not sure if I could now try and get into the house.  Then as luck would have it, they just decided to get up and leave at the same time.  Maybe God does exist.

4.  Our pet peacocks, which have been adopted by the mother, (no, they are not our pets - do not sue me - they just come home and have food and water at our place. I just like to call them pet peacocks) are being chased away by these adorably fluffy growling creatures.  Not something that makes us happy.  Peacocks are pretty to look at and we like them.  At least they do not bark at us.

So yes, I, on behalf of our entire neighbourhood, am offering these balls of fur for adoption.  Since so many of you are advocating #AdoptAStray, kindly look no further and come over and take them.  Take them all away.  Goddess Saraswati (because Vasant Panchami tomorrow) will bless.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

24 hours without phone

So last week my phone decided to switch itself off at will.  It had been bothering me off and on for a month but the entire week last week was super frustrating.  It took me about six hours to figure out a pattern.  If the pressure on the power button to tun on the screen was less or more than optimal pressure, the phone would switch itself off.

It was frustrating especially when I wanted to click pictures of food and birds taking shower in the bowl of water we kept for drinking especially when one bird attacked a squirrel when it wanted to drink water from same bowl.

It was frustrating in general because if I'm bored at work and wanted to go through Twitter or post other awesome observations, and I would turn on the screen only to realise the stupid phone was switched off since a while (and I don't even know how long).

So finally I gave in to the frustration (I prayed every day to God that please please please let the phone be alright and I will do whatever you tell me to - well, God didn't listen to my prayer - not gonna listen to whatever He asks me to do now - maybe it was God's little way of teaching life lessons that 'lyf sux, lol' or something like that) and took the phone to LG service centre.

Since it was out of warranty, the dude even told me that if motherboard has gone mad, I may need to replace it which will cost me 13k. It's like I might as well get two new MotoEs with it and have four phones. (because dual sim and two phones - you guys, please don't make me explain jokes.)

Anyway, cutting long story short, I was without phone for a good 24 hours.  It made me a little cranky.  And also how much of a technology slave I am.

Like I could not tweet for the duration I was in office. Sure Twitter is accessible, but as a rule, keeping social media out of work computers. (Also, don't even remember how the web client works - who uses Twitter for web anyway?) That made me sad.

I had no access to phone numbers. I wanted to schedule a few appointments for today, and I could not because those damned numbers - who remembers them? Maybe a physical copy of numbers may be a good idea - need a minion to write down the numbers and decipher some names I have stored as "Babu Fruit" and "Vikas Zen" (okay, Vikas Zen may be the dude I've met in Zen cafe, and aah, no wonder I had forgotten his name. OMG. he must think I'm a horrible person when in fact I had just forgotten his name. :()

Anyway. No WhatsApp.  No texts. (when I did turn on the phone, I had some 8 WhatsApp conversations and zero text alerts - just goes out to show no one texts me. :( ) (sad also because of the 8 conversations, only 3 were from "people" and 1 was a good morning forward, and 1 was a message from Dad which he had forwarded and 3 were group messages which are muted - basically, no one loves me. :(

No alarm in the morning.  Because I don't have a clock in room - maybe I should get an old fashioned alarm clock for my room. Because you never know when your stupid phone ditches you.

And no calls. Like, no one even calls me. :( I am such a delight to talk to. Why wouldn't anyone call me? My phone has been functioning since last 2 hours now and not a single call. :(

Basically, 24 hours without phone taught me I can live without my phone.

And nobody loves me.

(yea, blaming it all on the hormones - already had 2 Nestlé Munch and 1 single finger KitKat)

Feel free to message me today and ask me to join you for a coffee on Friday, ok?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Two years

It has been two years since I last cried myself to sleep at 5 am feeling absolutely worthless.  The feeling where you do not realise you cross the thin line between feeling extreme irrevocable sadness (which you eventually overcome with time) and clinical depression (which requires therapy and lot of love and patience).

The two years have been good years, though.  I realised I am worth more than I was made to believe I was.  That despite all the quirkiness and the geekiness and my love for Salman Khan, I deserve the best the world has to offer, just like everyone else.

I have learnt that I'd rather live with "oh, wells" than "what ifs" and that life is too short to regret letting anyone know how you feel about them, especially if it is love.  So what I am a prime and shining example of unrequited love. At least I am not giving up the hope! (Yes, Karan Johar and Yash Chopra would be extremely proud of me)

I have learnt that I enjoy being with people as much as I enjoy solitude.  Solitary walks are my "me time" - the time I look around and observe nature.  Some times I wish I carried my phone so I could take pictures.  But then other times I am glad I don't. That is my one hour away from technology.

It has been two years since I realised there is a limit to being a pushover.  And that everyone should fight their own battles, and that I cannot be fighting their battles for them.

From being a timid, under confident girl, I now do not feel awkward talking to people.  I have realised that while I suck at small talk, I still like talking to people.  That 2012 was one of the worst years of my life and at times I am glad it happened because in hindsight I realise that that year shaped my outlook - it made me realise that I need to get rid of toxic people from my life.  I cannot let them thrive over my positivity and energy.  That if you have to try way too hard to make things work, then it is probably not worth the effort.

I can't wait to find out what this year has stored in for me.  I am very, very excited about life, even though it sometimes decides to conspire against me.  After all, it is all supposed to work out in the end, right?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Science of falling in love

It's funny how everything has chemistry involved.  You thought it's your heart that falls in love, but actually it's your brain with little help from the chemicals secreted in that tiny little brain of yours.

I always thought I fall in love easily.  But then, I am rational too, when it comes to love.

Example: I may have harboured feelings for Salman Khan all through these years - falling in love with him all over again every time he would smile or hold that intense gaze or just laugh his heart out, but I also know I can never let him take me for a drive.  (I mean, I'd rather take him for a drive, heh.)  Even as a fangirl, I am open to people making fun of his terrible movies.  So, you see? The rational part of me kicks in when I see bullshit around.

But celebrities apart, I would still fall in love easily.  (and easily fall out of it - because one sided and when it's not reciprocated - the negatives are glaring in my face like red flags, like the chances of the person being married or something?) 

So maybe I need to fall in love smarter.  I mean, so many people around me have found The One, how hard could it be for me? (well, apparently, very - where are the single, interesting men who are not assholes?)

Anyway, so I came across this article which talks about falling in love with anyone.  It's says how talking to someone, and answering few personal questions, and having a few commonalities between two people, you could fall in love.  Apparently, someone conducted an experiment in a lab, and the "subjects" ended up marrying each other six minutes later.  Like, really. (I am willing to be a subject in such experiment, provided the other subject is kind of cute.)

But is it really that simple? Who am I to answer - I just confessed I fall in love easily.  It doesn't take too much to make my heart flutter. (of course, staying in love is harder - because you know, the feeling has to be reciprocated by the other person to continue to stay in love - maybe that is also one of the reasons I fall out of love easily too - perils of one-sided love)

Also, the writer here has mentioned very important point - that for the experiment to succeed, both persons have to be open to the idea of falling in love with that other person. (yes, so that means I need to find such a subject - looking for subjects - send in your applications with recent passport size photograph)

So, yes, I am looking for a love enthusiast willing to be part of the experiment - where we are both willing to fall in love with each other.

Here are the 36 questions: (after answering these we have to look into each others' eyes for 4 minutes - so yea)

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling ... “
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share ... “
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

So, any volunteers?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How to be a celebrity visiting Gujarat

Celebrity is a wide term.  I am using it to even include diplomatic celebrities, like heads of nation and #WorldPeace organisations and movie stars and basically everyone who has been written about in newspapers at least once in their lifetime.

How do you visit Gujarat as a celebrity?  Here are the pointers.

1.  Always, always go to Sabarmati Ashram because that's all we've got as a tourist destination.  Like, really.  Ahmedabad has nothing to offer otherwise, except my amazing company, though.  I am a delight to be around.  (like really, your trip to Ahmedabad is waste if you don't meet me - I am cute, have dimples and am adorable :P)

2.  Always say kem chho.  Nothing pleases us Gujaratis like seeing non-Gujaratis, especially non-Indians go kem chho on us.  If I ever go to Japan, I'll totally go konichiwa on everyone I come across because I'm cool like that.  So, kem chho is the Gujarati konichiwa and we love it.  (If you're British with an adorable accent, even I may find it amusing)

3.  Announce you love Gujarati food - like really - what is there to not like about our food! If you're non-Indian - it suits your taste buds because it totally kills your perception of Indian food being too spicy.  Every Gujarati worth his sugar would be delighted if you know the difference between dhokla and khaman. (yes, they are different items)

Okay, can't think of more right now, also because I got to get ready for work. But I'll be back.

Extreme excaaaaaaaaaite at tomorrow being a holiday because nothing pleases me more than a mid-week holiday.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

How to annoy me little less

Disclaimer: This is a rant. Trying hard to be generic and avoiding particular issues because I feel like it. (yea, I may generally need to cry a little and a hug and a nice cup of coffee and I'll be fine - no, nothing wrong, just pissed at the rest of the world)

Last few days, my bullshit tolerance has come down drastically and I am not proud of that.  I am usually cool as cucumber but then as they say, you do not want to anger a patient person.

Having said that, let's be clear - stop being stupid.  No, really.  It is really not that difficult. Please stop being stupid and bullshitting.  I am a nonviolent person.  I do not harm anyone.  But when you display your stupidity in all majesty, I have to try too hard not to punch you in your face.  This makes me cry.  YOUR stupidity makes me want to cry.  This is not a good thing.

Okay, this is mostly about people being insanely stupid but since I cannot say specific incidents (without risking giving away their identity, mostly because I am not into public shaming. It is not my duty to reduce stupidity quotient of the entire world)

Anyway, people also need to appreciate small gestures people do for them.  Instead of telling me then and there what else should I have done.. and how I could have done it better (which I did without you telling me I should because you are my dad GRRRR I HAD DECIDED I WONT GET INTO SPECIFICS BUT TOO HARD TO RESIST THIS ONE) Just for once say thanks and that you are proud of me. GRRRR GRRRRRRR.

Okay, rant over.

Not really, but if I go on, I will end up saying way more - and never say things when you are upset. OMG. I need to get dressed too.

Ok, need a hug. :(

Monday, January 5, 2015

Investments vs Returns

One of the biggest lessons I learnt last year was to invest in a relationship only if you are getting equal or more returns.

That is is okay to be selfish enough to expect equal amount of love and affection and respect in return for the emotions you are investing.

This was an important lesson mostly because all my life I have taken upon myself to make sure I rescue people out of the emotional shit they are going through by sacrificing my own emotional (as well as physical) health. (you see, then I would not just eat my own emotions, but also emotions of the people I am being the anchor to - now I have made amends, though.)

I'm not saying I am no longer available for them.  I am.  But expecting that they respect me in return is what I have realised is not wrong.

Every one of us goes through shit.  We all have our battles to fight and demons to slay.  I am fighting it out on a daily basis, and so are you.  They may be different, not saying mine are bigger demons than rest of the world.  But then, if you are going through shit, that does not mean you walk all over me because "you are the only one I open up to".

If you think I am so important in your life, be nice.  Just be nice to me.

And by relationships I mean all kinds - friends, siblings even parents.  I don't know how to elaborate this without offending the "Indian traditions"(because parents have such strong hold on so many of the decisions we make, that they forget that we are individuals and our happiness could be independent of their happiness and they need to accept us as someone who can decide for themselves and some times, we don't need their validation or approval for certain life decisions), but some day we shall catch up over a cup of coffee and talk about it.

On that note, I will end this post.

Mostly because my mooli ke paranthe are ready and omg, first monday of 2015 and I got little running around to do with the information department getting the passes for the upcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and Vibrant Gujarat events and so much chaos, my god.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ashadh Ucharam

I'm pasting it here so it remains here forever. Because I love these couplets. :) 

Ashaaadh uchaaram...megh malharam
bani baharam... jaldharam...
Dadooor dakaram... mayur pukaram....
tadita taram... vistaram....
Na lahi samharam... pyaas aparam.....
nandkumaram nirakhya ri....
Keh radhe pyaari... mein balihaari....
Gokulll aavo... giradhari......
Re..ji re... Gokul aavo girdhaari....

My phone may or may not be possessed

So I had decided I'll do something awesome when the sun rises in 2015.

I slept through it.

It was awesome.

But then I woke up at 9 with phone battery at 12%.  I plugged it in and when I was ready to face the world, I walked down at 9:45.  My phone battery had reached 50%.  Hmm. I'll just use mom's phone's charger and it should be cool.

However, I forgot.

I made a call and decided I will go window shopping.

You see, I don't *need* new clothes, just *want* them.  Just window shopping, I promised myself.

That's when I decided I will stop being slave to technology.  I decided I will not recharge my phone all day and see where it goes.

Yes, I carry a power bank, and yes, I carry a charger too. I could totally recharge my phone, but hey, I am not going to break my first resolution in first few hours of new year no?

By the time I left for window shopping, battery was at 40%. (I had made just ONE phone call.)

I got a pretty new kurta from FabIndia (why are all the things I want so expensive? Why can't things just appear out of thin air for me? I mean, I totally deserve that)

Came back, and quickly fixed a quick lunch, left for work (ate at office, because cannot reach late on first day of new year, also salary day) and saw a WhatsApp alert from V which went hi hihihi hi.  Okay, I need to reply, I'll do it when I reach office.

Fuck. Battery at 16%. Wtf. I didn't even do anything. Was my phone, that was in my jeans pocket, heating my body or what.

Anyhoo, so I quickly text V that hi hi hih and happy new year and will mail.  Rest of the conversation happened over 34 odd emails sent back and forth.

Now, I had kept the data turned off since I reached office - got to keep that battery till I reach home - don't want mom calling me to tell how she found 6 parrots when she went for her evening walk and panic that she couldn't get through.

At 4 I think of checking if I got any whatsapp messages. I turn on the data, and even while sitting idle, the damned battery had gone down to 8% in 2 hours.

No, no one had WhatsApped me. Like, no one does. :(

In the mean time, I decide to turn off the phone.  (I checked Twitter only once to reply to a DM which had a link to some Twitter gossip. :D)

I just got home and mom made me grilled cheese sandwich (basically, roasted bread on tawa and put a cheese slice between two breads and had used Amul's garlic herbed butter to toast it) and I wanted to instagram that, but couldn't because phone would die on me. :(

I felt so miserable not being able to instagram my food. :( :( :(

Anyhoo. After I turned off the phone and turned it back on, the battery remained 8%.  I mean, it is 8% even now, good 2 hours after I turned it off and back on.  Maybe there was a rogue app which needed the quick fix (switch off and switch on) or maybe my phone is possessed.

I'm willing to bet it's the second one.


Setting phone on fire.