All I Want For Christmas Is...

...a box full of Christmas Movies, nothing else.

Santa is just a costume and gifts are just excuses; using these two, all people want is to spread love.

This may sound hysterical but its true.

I read a Christmas based book, The Gift by Cecilia Ahern (who now, has become one of my very favorite authors). Its a beautiful book, and I recommend it to anyone who's as crazy about Christmas and lesson-teaching stories as I am. This is an extract from the book: (note how vividly she describes everything, and how true all of it is)

'On Christmas Morning, an air of calm settles outside. The emptiness on the streets doesn't instill fear; in fact it has an opposite effect. It's a picture of safety, and, despite the seasonal chill; there's warmth. For varying reasons, for every household this day of every year is just spent inside. While outside is sombre, inside is a world of bright, frenzied colour, a hysteria of ripping wrapping paper and flying coloured ribbons.
Christmas music and festive fragrances of cinnamon and spice of all things nice fill the air. Exclamations of glee, of hugs and thanks, explode like party streamers. These Christmas days and indoor days; not a sinner lingering outside, for even they have a roof over their heads.'
In my old school, on the walls along the staircase, there were quotes and Thought-for-the-day's pasted. And I read the quotes each time I passed. One of them I recall clearly, and a few days ago, I realized its true-ness.

Its nice to be important, but its more important to be nice.

This Christmas, lets try to be a little nicer. Family, friends, strangers, anyone.


If you could wish for one thing this Christmas, what would you wish for?

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Bonjour India!

I was lucky enough to be a part of the twelve student group who were sent to the FIRC- French Information Research Centre. (Thanks Daggu :))

Little did I know, as I climbed into the twelve seater minivan, that I'd learn something entirely different than what was expected.

We were there to witness a story narration by a professional French Storyteller. Now, I've never met a storyteller. I didn't even know that a profession like that even existed. Telling stories for a living? My kind of thing!
As we walked inside the gates, I saw the chairs and tables covered in clean, white linen and multi-colored satin bows on them. There was a round table and chairs around it. I've always, always, always, wanted to sit at round tables covered with white linen. And there should be a champagne glass in front of me. I've seen those only at weddings, and somehow, that mood isn't created. But those chairs around the tables? For me? Yay!

And then I saw around twenty-five little French kids, all dressed as if they were out for a picnic. There were other schools too, but they naturally caught my attention. They, as I found out later, were the kids from Lycee Francaise, which is a French school for children from classes sixth to eighth. The event was pretty formal and they were running around, playing and I immediately smiled, seeing what they were doing. We stood, as we were a little early, looking around, and surprisingly, they approached us. First came the boys, and alomst all of them had golden hair (not blonde) and the Zac Efron hairstyle which I totally LOVE! This one:

Only less weirder. So I couldn't stop staring at them. I was too nervous too actually talk to them so I let the others talk.
And then, behind me, this group of French girls come and say, "Quelle est votre classe?" Which is your class? I look nervously at Shubhra. " Dixième," she tells me. I repeat.

We look at each other for a while...a little more broken French.
"Je t'aime ta jupe, " I like your skirt, I tell one girl.
"Merci, merci", she says happily.
Then they go back. We roamed around for a bit, as we were early.
And then I noticed something- there was French Jazz music playing in the background. And the little French kids, they started dancing! Just like that.
There were many people there, all of them older, and they didn't care. They started dancing, doing weird, funny little actions.
Just like that.
I couldn't take my eyes off them. Would I dance with all those people looking at me? No. Why?

Finally, we took our seats, and this French boy turns around and looks at me. "Bonjour," I say. He grins and holds up two fingers, the victory sign. These kids were COOL.
The event started and whenever anybody on the stage said Bonjour, just as a form of greeting, all those French kids would shout Bonjour back.
The group-song competition started...first up was our school and the name of the song was announced.
And surprisingly, all the French kids started hooting and giggling. "Whats so funny?" I asked them in French. One of them said managed to squeeze in between giggles,"Sarkozy...Carla Bruni."
I couldn't make anything of this answer until later I came to know that that song was dedicated to Nicholas Sarkozy by Carla Bruni.
Those kids were giggling.
Our team was singing, it was a slow, romantic, melodious song. Everybody was listening quietly. And one of the French kids, he started clapping. Slowly, with the beat, holding up his hands. He looked at us and gestured to us to do the same. Clap for our team.
There were students there in the age group of fifteen to eighteen years. There were college students and post-graduates. There were teachers and adults.
And here is this twelve year old foreigner telling us to clap, cheer for our own team while everyone listened quietly. Obviously, when the song ended, we did cheer. But that was different. Cheering for a stranger, and sincerely, is much, much different.
It was the French kids' turn then. They ran to the stage, pushing each other. All of them wanted to be in front. As I looked at them, I saw myself. I. Group song. Pushing. Laughing. Not caring that we're on the stage.
They sang enthusiastically, tapping their feet on the ground, almost jumping. After the song ended, they clapped for themselves, and one of them even jumped off the stage and fell face down on the grass. I couldn't stop laughing. (No, he did it intentionally!)
Another school's turn. They became very excited when the heard they would be singing Champs-Elysees, a popular French song. They sang along to every word, encouraging everyone to join in.
Then was the time for story narration.
One of them, Clarisse was the name, would be narrating a story. They cheered for her, and they cheered good. "Clarisse! Clarisse!", they yelled, clapping their hands. "Relaxe! Relaxe..." they kept saying...and it was so refreshing. When everybody sat on their seats, prim and proper, these children were jumping up and down, supporting their friend.
She narrated the story beautifully, avec action et al.
Then came, Muriel, the professional French story-teller. Muriel here, had vivid, red, curly hair and she wore a so many beads and necklaces and bangles. But the way that woman narrated a story- awesome. She mostly narrated folktales. She traveled all over the world and collected folktales from different cultures. What inspired her to choose a profession like that, somebody asked.
Because, she said smiling wickedly, when I was twenty, I was much in love with a guy who loved stories.
She was fifty seven now.
She told us mostly folktales, about devils and angels and heaven and hell. About how the city of Los Angeles was built and why people say 'Uh-hun.'
"Its all about," she said, "finding the right story for the right person at the right moment."
The French kids were the perfect listeners. They gasped and 'oohed' and 'aahed' at the right time and every once in a while, they'd raise their hands and go, "Madame! Madame!" and ask questions. Even in the middle of the story. And nobody minded.
Then there was a play, La Petite Chaperon Rouge. The Little Red Riding Hood.
"Thank you everyone for coming. Now you can all proceed to have lunch, we have chocolate croissants and hot chocolate and sandwiches waiting for you."
And the French kids exclaimed and ran towards the food.

And at that moment, right then, I wanted to be one of them.
I had to be one of them.
I had to.
They were so...carefree, unrestricted.
So unaffected, it was amazing.

I wanted to be able to go upto older, intimidating (?) strange teenagers and talk to them casually.
I wanted to to dance on French Jazz, not caring that a group of snotty teenagers were staring at me.
I wanted to make the 'V' sign AND look cool.
I wanted to hoot after hearing the Bruni-Sarkozy song.
I wanted to cheer for my team, absolutely not caring what anyone thought of my screams.
I wanted to jump and laugh on stage and not feel conscious.
I wanted to jump off from the stage, rock-star style.
I wanted to yell my friend's name among a meeting of serious, sophisticated people.
I wanted to jump because there was hot chocolate for lunch.
I wanted all that.

Because they were happy people. The real happy.

And I'd settle for NOTHING less.

Where has the heart gone? Where has the spontaneity of actions gone?


*raises empty wine glass*

To the French Spirit!


P.S. There's a chilly nip, or rather, Christmas in the air. Bring on the warmth, whatever may be the source. ;)

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The Human Aspect

In times of a crisis, different people react in different ways. During these times, many people overlook the little things. The small details which escape the eye. Or the small details which makes your will for survival stronger.

I like to call it 'The Human Aspect'. The Human element.


I saw a very excellent documentary on Discovery, Surviving Mumbai yesterday. And noted down these small details.

The gunmen rounded up some guests in the hotel and this woman, she was wearing a black evening dress. When they were rounded up, she quickly wrapped a black pashmina around her.
To appear as a 'conservative, middle-aged woman' to the Muslim gunmen. I think that was very quick thinking on her part. Or it could've earned her the gunmen's wrath.

This guy, he's hiding in a room in The Oberoi or the Taj (I forgot which one). He looks outside the window and there is a house in front of the hotel. He can view the inside of the house and he sees a man...brushing his teeth. The hotel in front of him is burning down, and he's carrying on brushing his teeth. Like nothing's happening.

A woman remarked that the terrorists wanted to wash their hands or something, but they couldn't open the taps. They could open-fire among a crowd but couldn't open a tap. "But when you have a gun." she said. "Everything is possible. Isn't that interesting?"

The staff of the Taj hotel were extremely helpful. They sealed the guests inside the Chambers and themselves remained outside and led the terrorists away from the Chambers. This guy who worked in the Taj had the chance of getting out and getting home to his wife and children, who lived just three blocks away. But he decided to stay and help. He died two days later. Vir Sanghvi wrote an article a while back, praising the dedication of the staff at Taj towards its guests even in such a crisis.

Anjali Pollack said, "When the doors finally opened and light spread out, a commando walked in. And I swear, at that moment...he looked nothing less than Brad Pitt to me."

I have a book which recounts the experiences of women detained at Concentration Camps during world war2.
One woman wrote that there was this other woman in the camp, who used her very limited ration of margarine to smear on her face, instead of spreading it on the bread. And they were given very little food.
There were a group of French women, who went inside the gas chambers in Auschwitz singing Marseilles.

In the camps, everything was so filthy and dirty, you couldn't clean up properly. Women's heads were shaved off and sparse little hair grew on them. But once, these girls encountered a French man who was exiting from the same door as them. He held the door open for them and said, "Apres vous, madame." Which means, after you, ma'am. That little gesture made them feel a bit more woman again.

My stupid keyboard's given out and on screen keyboard is not fun.

More later.

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The Only Thing

I go out, take in- a deep, long breath
fresh, so pure, almost dizzying
tangy, wet, oh the typical rain scent
Let it rain, I say. Let it rain.
You know why?
'Cuz this scent's the only thing, we both can smell.

I look around, move-the wind passes by
cool, so crisp, almost heady
nippy, ruffling, oh the typical rain breeze
Let it rain, I say. Let it rain.
You know why?
'Cuz this wind's the only thing, we both can feel.

I extend, my hand-and a drop falls on it
chilly, so raw, almost stunning
spotless, sparkling, oh the typical rain drop
Let it rain, I say. Let it rain.
You know why?
'Cuz this drop's the only thing, we both can touch.

I sit down, and listen-the sound of the clouds
brusque, so loud, almost pounding
snarl, rumbling, oh the typical rain roar
Let it rain, I say. Let it rain.
You know why?
'Cuz this roar's the only thing, we both can hear.

I look up, the sky-a vast stretch it is
blue, and black, almost bruised
murky, so sombre, oh the typical rain sky
Let it rain, I say. Let it rain.
You know why?
'Cuz this sky's the only thing, we both can see.

The Only Thing.

So dear rain,
Please do come again.

P.S. And this is my favourite song. :)
Death Cab for Cutie is SO good.
I'll Follow You Into the Dark

I will.

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Hide and Seek

You're here; we smile, knowing

I look away and back
You're gone.
I look around; and you've

I smile; 'cuz I know
And I look away-and back
You're here.
You grin, I laugh.

"Hide and seek?", I say
The glint-in your eyes, is

"I hide, you seek", you say
Roll my eyes; fine, I say
Close, you order; I do
I look away-and back
You're gone.

Behind the tree, between the leaves
Think I; look around, but you've

Behind the rock, hidden, laughing
I look around, but you've

Scratch my head, frown
Wondering; where possibly could
You have gone?

And then, see I, a shadow
Laughing-to myself; I walk
Stealthily; towards you, smirking

"Ah-ha!", I shout, pointing
But that-not you,confused
Not you.
I look around; but you've

I sit; despondent, miserable
I've lost you, I think, forlorn
I've lost you, this is it.

And there, you are, smiling
I cry and jump and hit you.
And you grin; I laugh-again.

You'll never, lose me, you say
But stubborn I, still, hold on
to you. Go on, try, you say

Afraid, nervous, but try
I look away-and back
You're here.

Convinced, happy, I smile
"Look away", you tease, I glare
You grin, I laugh-again.

What now, you ask, I shrug
"Hide and seek?", you ask, with a glint
"I hide, you seek", reply I.

You raise, eyebrows; challenged
Close, I order; you do
You look away-and back
I'm gone.

Let me hide,
Let me lose myself.
But please dear love,
Find me in the End.

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Undo it

Every once in a while, you hear something or see something that makes you appreciate what you have in life. That makes you thank your lucky stars. That makes you laugh at yourself for worrying about stupid, trivial things just five minutes ago.

L, the sweet, funny L, who made me laugh as we walked through the Haunted House, who made me smile instead of scream, is alone. I've just met him a few times, but I liked him instantly. Twinkling eyes, goofy grin-how could you not like him? He had all the comforts in the world.
And now, everything's gone. In a flash.
His father passed away today. How can it be? I had seen him healthy and happy on Diwali, laughing. Not fair, this. L's 13 too young. It can't be.
My Saru went through something like this last year, a week before finals. I remember her cry as I managed to call her from school; I remember trying to say something, anything but nothing came out. I remember everything.
I am unable to get it out of my head.
I'm in two minds over going there tomorrow. Can I bear to see the tears instead of twinkle?
Can I bear to see him like I had seen my Saru?
I don't know.
I just know that I want it undone.

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I am talking to Daggu, and time flies by. We're talking. Still.

Suddenly, I see the buses, at the other end of the field moving. "Bye!" I yell, and run off after the bus. I'm gonna miss it, I know. I run and I run, but my bus is gone. I still don't give up, still try to look for it, when suddenly, I trip. And crash on the ground.
Knees, bruised, hurt. I'm covered in dust, sitting on the ground and my bus is gone and its cold and I don't know how I'll get home. Pathetic, is my state. Barely anybody came to school today, so nobody could hold the bus.

Slowly, I get up and move a little, stretching my legs. Then I remember- Mallika's staying back today. She'll have her phone. I go back inside the building and find her. She tells me that I can go back with her, she'll leave at 4. Okay, I say. Lets see Behind the Scenes of Interact Thunder [Which is like a Battle of the Bands, scheduled for tomorrow!]
I hang around watching what they do, occasionally helping them out. Then we go to B.P. to eat something. When we get back to school, I find out that there's still loads to be done. She'll have to stay till 5 30. That won't do for me.

I decide to take the Stayback bus, which leave at 4. Although they take a longer route, I'll be home before 5. I search for my route and find my bus. I didn't want to be the only one in the bus, so I waited to see if anybody else was there.
There was.

So I got on it and settled myself nice and snug on the second last seat. I braced myself for fifty minutes of pure torture, with nothing to do. Tired, but alright. A boy, fat and bulky but cute, about three years younger than me, comes and stands beside my seat. Dressed in a jersey and shorts, football coaching after school, I think.'Hato, yeh meri seat hai.' he orders.
I'm exhausted and comfortable and I don't want to move an inch. I know I won't win if I fight, so I put on my sweetest voice.
'Aaj baithne do, pleaseeee. Just for today...' I say. His expression changes as I say please. 'Okay you sit' he says, and takes a seat adjacent to mine.
Magic Word. Or maybe because I look like a pathetic mess. Doesn't matter.
But Motu's face rings a bell in my mind.
"You're Sanchita's brother, right?" I ask him. Sanchita's my friend. I don't know her very well, but she's nice.
"Yes" he says and we start talking. His friends too enter the bus and take seats around him.
Awkward, uneasy, I look outside the window. But they were all smaller than me, so I hoped that they'd be busy in their own babble. They were.
Motu opens a bottle of Coke and holds it out to me. 'Didi?' he asks, asking me if I wanted a sip.
I'm touched. Seriously. I'm very touched. After a rough day, if a small kid offers you his beloved Coke, that seems about the kindest thing anybody can do.

As the bus starts, so does their conversation. They argue about who played the best and its clear that Motu's a bully. He hits anybody who says anything against him. But he's a good bully, not a harmful one, I realize. Good kid. I listen to their conversation, which contained a wide range of expletives. But since I've nothing else to do, and they seem pretty funny to me, I listen.

Enter Blue Jersey. Blue Jersey is taller than any of them, smarter and obviously much more respected. Motu daren't hit him and Blue Jersey daren't say anything to Motu. Mutual respect. But all the other guys were made fun of. They all looked up to Blue Jersey, they did. Anybody cracked a joke and everyone would look at him; if Blue Jersey laughed, the joke's funny. If he doesn't, katta! They all wanted Blue Jersey's approval.
But Blue Jersey's popular for a reason. He's the funniest, his mind the dirtiest and well, best in football, I gather.The bus stops and many people get down. So does Blue Jersey.
After some time, its just Motu, one or two people in the front and I.

Motu and I talk some more, when this guy older than any of them, in Ninth I'm guessing, comes at the back. He's wearing really weird jeans. "Aapka stop kaunsa hai?", he asks me. I reply curtly, and turn away. The jeans is giving me bad vibes. Weird jeans sits beside Motu.
"Chal yaar, mai tere ko ek gaana sunaata hoon." he says to Motu.
Motu refuses in his usual cute funny way. And surprisingly, he asks me. "Aapko koi gaana sun naa hai?"
"No, thanks." I say. Weird Jeans is actually Weird.
"So if I sing, aapko koi problem toh nahi hai naa?"
"Its your mouth, do whatever you want." I reply.

And. Believe it or not. He actually starts singing. Singing.
And not the latest hit. No. His song contains phrases like,
'Party mein jaaonga,
Scent lagaoonga'

I look at Motu, appalled, and he looks at me, appalled. I resist the urge to laugh, lest I offend him. Soon, I learned that he isn't the type who takes offense; his songs are entirely for our benefit.
And dear Lord, that was just the start. After that, came MANY other songs. 'Dil de diya hai...' and others. The guy just sang non-stop until he got off the bus. He kept asking us if it bothered us and after a while, we started replying in affirmative. But the guy was sincere to his singing.

It was when he started screaming in my ear that I asked him to get lost and he did.
After an hour, I bade goodbye to Motu and got off the bus. As I walked back home, a lame dog growled at me and I dodged him and almost got crashed into a car; truthfully, the lame dog scared me more than anything else had in the entire day.
And finally,
I reached home.

All my love,

P.S. Check out this link here. Its NaNoWriMo, a novel writing compettion, 50,000 words. I can't take part because I have pre-boards this month...but if anyone's interested, please go for it. :)

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Keep dancin, Shah Rukh

There are two kinds of people in this world: The ones who love Shah Rukh, and the ones who hate him. I belong to the former.
Well, okay, there are the ones who don't know Shah Rukh but, whatever.

Shah Rukh Khan has always been, and will always be, my favorite actor. The way he runs his hand through his hair, his two-dimple grin, his eyebrow-arch, all spell out this : A King indeed. ( I don't have a crush on him; he's older than my father!)

But on screen Shah Rukh is just the tip of the iceberg; there's so much more to him thats hidden from the world. His devotion towards his kids, his Mills-and-Boons love story with his wife, his love for sports, his charming personality and quick wit makes him just about the most popular actor in India.

This season of IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders won only a single match, I think. But I supported it throughout.
He's a self-made man, this Shah Rukh. Completely self made.

I'll meet him one day, you'll see.

Happy Birthay Shah Rukh. :)
These words are not empty; there's genuine affection behind them.

Anybody who says that Shah Rukh ain't good doesn't know what he's talking about. My opinion, pardon the tone.
And anybody who says 'Shah Rukh budhha ho gaya hai' is just deluding himself.
He's forty four years young today.

Aamirs and Brad Pitts are all good; but Shah Ruks's still Shah Rukh. Unbeatable.

Dude, you rule. Literally.

I don't care what anyone says; I know him from past life.

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Good enough?

Every so often, these thoughts, they enter my mind, sometimes strong, sometimes weak. A random photograph, a song, a passage from a book, triggers my mind and I think.

Am I good enough?

Do I have what it takes?

Will I make it?

The people around me are sophisticated, poised, shrewd. They know how to get what they want. They know how to get around. They know the way.

They’re aware of the tactics, and they don’t mind breaking the rules. Morality comes later.

They are the types who won’t mind shoving it in your face; they won’t mind clawing you to get ahead.

They have it all, people say. They have it all.

And again I think:

Am I good enough? Good…but is it enough?

And then…then the Voice spoke aloud again. The very same Voice which had helped me when I needed it, the Voice which had guided me forward when I couldn’t see, the Voice which was always by my side. The Voice which urged me to move ahead no matter what, which kept me grounded when I floated above.

And the Voice told me, as it had always done, “The only person you need to be good enough for is only, and only, you. As long as you're honest to what you do, they cannot harm you. ”

And instantly, all my doubts, fears, insecurities were washed away. All of them. As long as I knew that I did my best, that I gave it all I had, that I was the best I could be…t’would be alright. I needn’t be good enough for them. I needed to be good enough for me, and for me alone.

They are whatever they are, but I'm not bad. I have a positive outlook, loving family, supportive friends and and numerous reasons to smile.


Thats what I am.


"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it; people like me. " - Al Franken

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Fighting...but for what?

When I was in Second (Or Third or Fourth, I don't remember clearly), there was a boy in my class named Akshat Bhandari. He always sat on the second-last seat in the second last row. We used to have 'seats with partners'. I always wanted to sit with him, and so did my friend Ashna. We both wanted to sit with him so much, that we started fighting over it. I came to school early so that I could be his partner. Ashna would come, give me an angry look and stalk off. And some days she'd come early. We both got so into this fight that we even resorted to some really, really desperate measures. We would push each other, pull each other's hair and a lot more. After a time, it wasn't about sitting with Akshat any more. I didn't care if I was Akshat's partner or not...all I cared about was that I had to beat Ashna to the seat. I had to have that 'in your face, I win this time' expression on me.

Often, when we're fighting, we lose sight of what we're actually fighting for. The prize at the end of the fight doesn't matter as much as the satisfaction which comes after beating others. Sometimes, maybe, its a good thing, I don't know. But usually, in this case, we fight pointlessly.
We don't care about winning the prize...all we care about is winning from them. Defeating them. Making them lick dust. Okay, thats a little far-fetched. Anyway...

When you're in such a situation like this,
Take a look around.
And then think. "Does it really matter?"

Does it really?

Akshat left the school the following year (not because of us, I hope). And I really, really hope you don't read this Akshat. I'm not that crazy now.
Also, I'd like to apologize to Ashna, wherever she is now.
I'm sorry. Twice we both wanted the same partners (remember in KG when Akshay came to sit with me? I'm not still gloating over this, swear).
Anyway, you can have both of them now. It doesn't matter to me.

Is this what they call 'closure'? ;)

All my love,

P.S. If you're from Ahlcon, please, please, please don't read this!

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My ok-ok Diwali

Happy Diwali, people!

Well, belated actually.
All in all, this was an okay-okay Diwali. Some problems were solved, some new cropped up.

The best I could come up with, due to my non-existent artistic skills.

Lats year's was better, I think.
No it was as bad.

I love how everything is enveloped in lights. And when I try to take a picture, sometimes it looks like there are colorful musical notes suspended in air. Like this:

And this:

This was the view from the eighth floor in my building last year.

Which were, unfortunately, simpler times than these.



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The Magic Words

As we grow up, we learn so many new, different things, gain knowledge and one day, we may become All That. But its important not to forget the little things that we were taught, because in the end, those are the things that help us.

What did your Nursery teacher tell you when you were little?
"Never forget to use the Magic Words," she said.
No matter how old you are, no matter how accomplished or learned you are, the Magic Words are the words you should never forget to use.

Its a simple concept. The Magic Words don't involve any hocus-pocus; but they are just that...magical.

Magic Word Number One:


A 'please' can do wonders. A request is always much more effective than an order. A request can almost make the other person obliged to do whatever you asked them to.
And I don't think that 'please' doesn't exist in close relationships; if I want to borrow something from a person I know really well, I know that she'll give it to me, never mind that I request her or order her. But a please reminds both of us that she's the owner. That I can keep it for as long as I want and do whatever, but a request is always appreciated. In contrast to saying, "I'm taking this."
I've convinced grouchy government employees with a 'please'.
Appeal from the heart and see if you don't get it.

Magic Word Number Two:


Now this a Magic Word people are fast forgetting to use. A 'thanks' goes a long way. After receiving the change or being let in through the door first, after a stranger hands you something that fell down or after someone holds the elevator for you, a thanks is a must. Everybody likes to feel gratified once in a while, knowing that they did something for which you're grateful to them. A thanks can make someone's day, knowing that they helped a person in whatever small way. And whoever said that thanks isn't needed in friendship, said it wrong, according to me.
Everyone likes to hear a thanks sometime or the other. Everyone.

Magic Word Number Three:


This sorry is the most important Magic Word of them all.
When I was little, I swallowed short stories. And one little story I clearly remember.
Once there was a pine tree and a cane plant planted alongside. They were the best of friends but their personalities were very different. The pine tree was arrogant, proud of its size and strength and refused to bend in front of anyone; whereas the cane plant was humble, ready to accept his defeat if need be. The pine tree often made fun of the cane plant, how it bent easily by the softest breeze. But the cane plant just smiled; he knew that he did nothing wrong.
One day, there was a huge storm that ripped apart everything. Torrential rain and hail, thunderstorm destroyed everything. The pine tree which was too proud to bend in front of anyone was uprooted instantly; but the cane plant, a modest little thing, bent along the direction of the wind and was miraculously, saved. Saved from the storm which uprooted the gigantic pine tree.
Never be so proud that you cannot accept your defeat; never be so proud that you're unable to admit your fault; never be so proud that you can't utter a little sorry.
Gukka says that she cannot say sorry; that she 'has too much ego'.
A sorry can melt the hardest of hearts.
Any day.

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It seems as if the only certain thing in my life…is Uncertainty. Everything right now is uncertain. Uncertainty comes with the Wait. The waiting, the wondering...will I get it? Will we go? Will it be OK? Will something happen?

Answers: None. Only the Wait.

I wake up one morning, thinking it to be any other normal day…and suddenly it seems as if the whole world’s tumbling down. And on the day something should happen, the huge feeling of anti-climax envelops me.

This Uncertainty, this makes each emotion extreme. Every single one. When I’ve lost all hope and I think, this is it. Ain’t gonna happen. And suddenly it does…obviously, I’ll be overjoyed. Over the moon. Bliss.

And when…when I wake up in the morning, excited, anticipative thinking, yes. Today’s the day. What I’ve been looking for. It all crumples down with the swish of a feather. With one wrong decision. Then I’m crestfallen, downcast.

It’s a wonder I haven’t been diagnosed with Bi-polar Disorder.

And at the end of the day I lie in bed thinking, ‘If only…’

What could have been had I…? The possibilities are endless. So are the outcomes.

With each decision dictating the next turn in our life…how do we choose the correct one?

With everything uncertain in the life, do we learn to go with the flow…or do we plan even more relentlessly?

With the world moving by in a rush, how do we keep our feet on the ground while keeping pace?


"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next" - Ursula K. LeGuin

I'm not blaming uncertainty; because in the end, uncertainty is what makes life enjoyable. I'm just saying...its not very easy to live with. Sixteen is not easy.

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Pearls of Wisdom

'Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there's nothing to make it last.'

'My dad always said that when you're struggling with something, look at all the people around you and realize that every single person you see is struggling with something and to them, its just as hard as what you're going.'

'And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever.'

-Dear John, my favorite Nicholas Sparks<3

'There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I have loved someone with all my heart and soul, and for me, that has always been enough.'
-The Notebook

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The Zoya Factor

The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan

One of the best chick-lits ever written by an Indian author, The Zoya Factor will glue you to itself. Anuja Chauhan, the mastermind behind lines like Yeh Dil Maange More, Oye Bubbly! and Nothing Official About It, has come up with a different writing style altogether.

By some twist of fate, advertising executive Zoya Singh Solanki was born the exact moment that India clinched the World Cup back in 1983. While on an ad shoot with the Indian cricket team, she breakfasts with them and the team scores an unlikely win. Some of the players start thinking that Zoya may just be their lucky charm, as they are defeated by the weakest of teams in her absence, and indeed, that IS the case. Whenever Zoya breakfasts with any team before a match, they win. Pressurised by the eccentric IBCC president and the repeated requests of the team, Zoya agrees to accompany them to an all-expenses-paid trip to Australia for World Cup 2012.
But whats a story without a sprinkle of romance?
Indian skipper Nikhil Khoda flatly tells her that he doesn't believe in luck; only hard work. Nevertheless, he is amused by the quirky and obsessed-about-being-cool Zoya.

But the best thing about this book is the hinglish language. For example,

'Wahi ki Zoya ko Australia bhejo, we will take good care of her and everything.'
'Complimentary hai jee, waiting de vaaste.'
I read an excerpt of it online, and bought the book the first chance I got. But as soon as I got it, we had to leave for Jaipur. All through the journey, my head was buried in the book. Dad kept saying, "Bahar dekho! Look outside! Look at the people and everything" But I couldn't. To hell with Jaipur-shaipur. Zoya had me hooked.

Here are some excerpts. Hope they get you interested too.

'Which is agony in advertising because when all the snooty ad people think Karol Bagh-type, they imagine a pushy wannabe in a chamkeela salwar-kameez with everything matching-matching. Someone who says 'anyways' instead of anyway, 'grands' instead of grand and 'butts' instead of butt. (As in, she has no butts, earns twenty grands a month, and lives in Karol Bagh. Who does she think she is, anyways?)'

'Any time an auntie at a party asked him, 'Beta, vot you wantu be ven you grow up, hain?', he'd chirp 'I'm-going-to-be-a-soldier-and-fight-for-India!'. And then everybody would go all moist eyed and sigh,'So cute'. While I spent my childhood and adolescence dithering over lawyer/banker/fashion-designer/nurse, he remained committed tp playing with his tanks and singing chal chal re naujavan.'

'No more I've-been-wanting-to-kiss-you-all-evening kind of stuff.
It was depressing, of course, and sometimes I wondered if I had misheard him or something (kick you all evening? kid you all evening?). That one measly remark had fully put me off all the nice, normal, well-to-do boys my dad had made me meet on various weekends, which was, of course,completely pathetic. I kept dreaming these cheesy dreams where Nikhil Khoda, a resplendent in his Indian Blues, showed up with a bouquet of pink tiger lilies at the Mother Dairy booth where I stood in queue with a stainless-steel doodh ka dolu on my arm. Really corny stuff. If anyone ever were to find out, the shame would kill me...'

Read and enjoy!

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Taylor, Kanye and the President

VMA, 2009

Twilight Jacob (cutie!) just announced that Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video. The crowd cheers, Taylor Swift, shocked and ecstatic, goes up to the stage to receive her award. Begins her acceptance speech. She's thanking everyone, expressing her gratitude.
"I mean, I sing country music so thank you so much for giving me a chance to win a VMA award, I-"
And suddenly, Kanye West (oh yes, him again) interrupts her. This is what he says:
"Yo Taylor! I'm really happy for you, I'm gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all the time! One of the best videos of all time!" He shrugs. The audience boos him away. Beyonce's mouth forms the little 'O'.
I mean, seriously.
I'm not all that fond of Taylor Swift ("You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess..." I mean, come on!) but here is this 19 year old girl, excited, eager, dressed as Barbie meets the Silver Disco Ball receiving her first ever VMA. She was so happy, I thought she'd practically trip over her Sparkly Silvery Dress on her way to the stage. And then this total jerk of West interrupts her in the acceptance speech, saying how Beyonce deserved it more than she did.
After West left the stage, Taylor, TOTALLY crestfallen and speechless, is unable to complete her speech and has to be escorted back.
But whats with Kanye West? Why did he interrupt? What went of his father's if she got the award?
I've decided not to make my pukey face if I hear Love Story again. Poor Taylor. She was stunned.

Afterwards, Barack Obama was asked to comment on the incident, and get THIS, he called Kanye West a jackass!!!! Mumma Swear!
I know it was really inappropriate, and not how a President should behave, but how cool is that?
First, the very fact that Obama watched the VMA and knows who Taylor Swift and Kanye West are proves that Obama, in fact, is the President of Today. He knows about these things. Can you imagine our President doing that? Not that she's supposed to, but still...I guess people would connect with the leaders more if they knew that they are quite the same as us. I'm sure she's a very nice lady, but the fact remains.
Second, I think is pretty obvious. He called West a jackass. I know I'll be getting shoes thrown at me for saying this, but I think that was pretty cool. Nobody says that to anyone, except the opposition parties to each other. Obama said West was a jackass.
Go, Obama, go go!
I think he is one too.

We want a President like that. We want a leader like that. One who watches the VMA. One who besides doing the duties and all, takes a little time out to connect with the people. We want people who were born 80 years ago to stop ruling the 21st century. We want change. We need change. India needs change.

And I think that Obama's Beer Summit was genius. Avoiding the racial issue from blowing up by inviting both the men for a beer at the White House was unheard of, until now.

Boo Kanye! Doob mar!
Its okay, Taylor. You'll get over it someday.

P.S. To watch Kanye diss Taylor, click here.

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I'm sixteen!

So yeah. This is it. I did it. Made it to sixteen. A little pat on the back right now would be appropriate.
My life supposedly turned 'sweet' on the twelfth day of this September. 'Sweet sixteen' is not supposed to be all that sweet, you know. They say sweet like they say sick. As in, this guy says, "I rode a dirt bike man, it was sweeeeet! It was SICK" So it wasn't really sweet or sick.
Sweet in this case, I think means that this is the age, baby. To do wild and crazy things. To cross lines. To make new ones. Take it or leave it, you won't get another chance.
Go crazy. Lose yourself. BE sixteen.
Is this change supposed to come overnight? 'Cuz I'm still all same.
The only change is that I have a few more belongings now, presents you know. :D
And many more memories.

I'm a TOTAL age wimp. I don't know what that phobia's called, where you're scared to grow old, but I SO have it. I'm trying not to think that next year this time, I'll be seventeen, ALMOST an adult. An ADULT. I can barely tie my shoelaces, I mean, come on! Ok, I can tie my shoelaces , but still!

Except the oh-no-I'm-sixteen-going-on-seventeen-part, my birthday was pretty good! Now I HAVE to write maine kya-kya kiya, or the birthday fever will never die.

11 September- Okay so I woke up at around 5 in the morning. I hope you know what a birthday can do to a hyper-excited kid(?).
Mallika gave me a present in the bus. But the genius had, for some reason, squeezed in some amount of diluted fabric paint in the tape or something. My first present of the day, I ripped the wrapping paper apart and bam! My WHITE shirt now has permanent blue spots on it. Never mind.
In class, I felt like a queen! Haha...I'm not THAT small. Got a few more cards and presents (Daggu, thanks for the singing card!) and two beautiful bouquets. :)
I kept asking the teacher if everyone could sing 'Happy Birthday' for me. By the end of the day, they could write a song about how much they hated 'Happy Birthday'. :D
And seriously, they REALLY thought I knew nothing about the cake. Right! But break was ruined by stupid Yoga Workshop. Matlab, seriously. Yoga workshop on my birthday...I'd rather take double maths. And how were we supposed to do dhyaan or whatever when the yoga instructor standing in front of me had the HUGEST butt ever? Me, the girl with unstoppable, crazy laugh. Especially when there was 'pin drop silence'. Then its absolutely mandatory that I laugh.
Moving on, I came back to the class, cut the cake and got it plastered on my face. YAY!
I carried my bag of presents and bouquets with ABSOLUTE glee to the bus and then from the stop to home. And that was 11th.

12th September|The Big Day: My dad told me to hang up the phone at 1 in the night. Woke up around 8:30 or so, showered, went to the temple and the rest of the day was how a Party Day should go, you know, GIP, food, fun. Whatever. Yawn. SO over it(not).
Except by the end of the day, I wanted to crush the phone under my mum's heels. Fortunately, I didn't. Came back from mall at around 5, met up with other friends, and FINALLY when I thought I could lie down and watch TV, Ass and Prerna came over. Not complaining though. 'Twas sweet of them. :)

13th September (yeah it was a birth-weekend!): Dad's present still remained! I asked him to take me to My Sister's Keeper. And the only hall where it was still airing was in Select Citywalk and thats far and he still took time out! Though I cried my eyes out on that one. Seriously. That scene with the collage that Kate made totally had me bawling. Oh, well.

But the fun is not over, my friends! 20th September is the Dance party that I so naively promised. Yeah, yeah...I'm rubbing it in. After all, I don't turn sixteen everyday, do I? ;)

Srishti (16 and 6 days old)

P.S. Stupid Blogger's taking too much time to upload photos. Will do it later.

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Because of you, I know now. That sometimes, its okay. Its okay if I don't cross the finish line first. Its okay if I don't cross the finish line at all. Its okay if i just stay back and cheer for others.

If something is not going according to the plan, if something doesn't turn out the way you wanted it to-you have to learn to accept things. To let it go.

When we're all running after the same thing, fighting for the same thing and cribbing about the same thing, I learned from you how to stop. To breathe. And to look around. Then realize- it doesn't matter.
I learned from you- how to stop caring when you don't need to; and remain Unaffected.

I argued and I cried, I tried a hundred times. But I couldn't get what they had. But then I looked at you. You. Odd. You didn't want what everyone was after. You were happy, content, satisfied.
So Unaffected.
And I realized. Thats what I want to be.

People fight around us, they shout, they argue about the smallest of things. I get sucked in. But then I look at you. And you remain Unaffected.

People want more. They become clones of each other, get dictated by each other and blindly wait for the next upgrade. But you remain Unaffected.
You do so well what I want to do.
Draw joy from trivialities in life. If things are not working out, be okay with it.
Not care what's being said about you.
To enjoy being on the Cheering Side.

And remain Unaffected. From things and people who don't matter. At all.
That how I wannabe<3

You May Have Won The Rat Race But You're Still A Rat.

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The grass was swaying lightly in the wind. The sky was a light blue, with a weirdly shaped snow white cloud, here and there. The park was full, as one would expect on a Saturday evening. Little families were sitting on the ground on sheets, huddled together. Children were running around in all directions, and obviously, the noisiest part of the park was by the swings. We walked up The Hill. Of course, Hill was hardly the word for it. It was just a slightly raised part of the park. Just a little steep.

The park was the ever-so-crowded, Indraprastha Park, the ultimate destination for any kind of picnics or outdoor Sunday brunches. At the Hill, it was a little less crowded, but just a little. This was Delhi after all. From the top, I could see the trains. Was it some kind of station? Trains were just standing there. But whatever it was, I really love looking at trains so its not like I minded. We just walked aimlessly, taking in the fresh air, the noise, the smell of the cool grass air, everything.

When suddenly, the very intelligent me gets an idea.
"Lets do roly-poly!" I say excitedly. He looks at me quizzically.
" The ROLY-POLY", I said slowly and loudly, as if explaining to a little child, which I might as well be doing, given his expression.
"The what?" he said.
"You don't how to Roly-Poly?" I asked disbelievingly.
He looked at me as if I was speaking Irish.
Matlab, seriously. Everyone knows whats a roly-poly! Everyone. Even the computer-nerds type who never go out.
"Buddhu", I said. "Its when you roll down the hill lying down on your stomach and then you roll and then you're on your back and then stomach and like this, ghoom ghoom kar! And its so much fun because you go on rolling and rolling and you don't know when or where you'll stop and you may just bang into someone or knock someone down! those serials! The woman rolls down the stairs, dropping the thali, its contents spill everywhere and then the weird background music plays." I snapped my fingers. " Aise."
I said all this with such gusto that he couldn't help laughing.
"Okay", he said. "Lets...roll-poll down the hill!"
We did it. We rolled down and down and further down, finally coming to a halt because the slope ended. Laughing, we got up, shaking bits of grass from our clothes. People all around were staring at us, like we were a couple of retards. He held his hand out and I took it and stood up.
"I guess we overdid it, haan?" I said, looking around and well, seriously, a lot of people were staring at me like I was a freak or something. Hello, it was only a they hadn't done it in their time.
"No," he said. "You've got leaves and feathers stuck in your hair."

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Murphy's Law

I'm saying it now, and I'll stick to it forever: Murphy was a GENIUS. Seriously. Newton, Einstein, guys were all great, but Murphy here, is my favourite.

Murphy's Law basically states this:

Anything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong, at the WORST possible time, in the WORST possible way.

The British stage magician Nevil Maskelyne wrote in 1908:

"It is an experience common to all men to find that, on any special occasion, such as the production of a magical effect for the first time in public, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Whether we must attribute this to the malignity of matter or to the total depravity of inanimate things, whether the exciting cause is hurry, worry, or what not, the fact remains."

Which, is like, SO true! And this is Murphy's Extended Law: If a series of events can go wrong, they will do so in the worst possible sequence.

Actually, I think that the probability of something going wrong is less than something going right. Because, in life, there are obviously MORE right things that have happened to you than wrong things, unless you're Lindsay Lohan from Just My Luck (and anyway, if you ARE Lindsay Lohan, then Murphy's Law probably doesn't even apply to you).

For example, lets imagine that this cute guy's in your school or college whatever. You've never talked or anything. Lets say you, your friends, he and probably his friends are in the canteen. So he'll NOT look at you when you just cracked a joke and everyone's laughing. He'll NOT look at you when you look positively angelic. But he WILL look at you when you're choking up on water and coughing uncontrollably and your face is all red. Murphy's Law.

Another example. My internet's been working totally fine over the past so many weeks. I've never had a problem with it. But two-three days ago, I needed to send a REALLY important e-mail and BAM! The connection's lost. Internet's not working. All this past month, I've been whiling away my time on Facebook, or just surfing the net looking for nothing in particular, and the ONE time I ACTUALLY need the internet, its gone! Murphy's Law.

Or maybe you've gone somewhere and you're reallyy hungry and the only place around for food is this restraunt that serves so-so food. But you're ravenous so you just eat it and fill your stomach. When you come home full and filled, it turns out your mom made your favourite dish! Murphy's Law.

This is a parody of famous lines in Thomas Moore's Lalla Rookh:

I never had a slice of bread,

Particularly large and wide,

That did not fall upon the floor,

And always on the buttered side.

Although I'm not very fond of the Law, I really have to thank Murphy for making us aware about the Law. And its prevalence in nature.

Murphy's Law isn't applicable all the time. Once in a while, or if you're REALLY unlucky, then twice in a while. :P

But the fact remains. Such a law exists. To avoid getting Murphynated at any special occasions, you can be like Monica and make a list of all possible things that can go wrong and provide its solutions. Or you can just live with it and bear it when it comes. Because people DO get murphynated a lot other times, than JUST during special occasions. In that case, the second option would be better. And more reasonable.

Signing off Murphynated,


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Dil titli saa...

Commercials on TV are of all kinds. Some are funny, some are meaningless, and some make you search, look for the meaning. But...very rarely does a commercial stay with you, long after you switch off the TV (yeah I know, TV Philosophy! :P). The commercial I'm going to be writing about is not anything genius. There have been far better commercials in the TV World. But...

I think almost everyone must have seen the Airtel ad. Here's what happens:
Small Saif meets Small Girl. He wants to be friends, so he gives her a friendship butterfly locket. She accepts it. They become friends. But suddenly, Small Saif has to leave the town forever, for some unknown reason.
Many years later.
Small Saif is now big. He is lying on the bed, gazing at the photograph of Small Girl, who must've grown up now too (henceforth referred to as the Butterfly girl). He decides to go back and look for her. Woh fira yahaan wahaan, but couldn't find her. He passes by some kind of protest, and notices a girl in pink shirt. She gestures him to move forward. He does. Now home, or Hotel, whatever, he switches on the TV. On the news is the same protest and the girl in Pink Shirt. But the picture quality of Airtel Digital TV is so good, that he notices a butterfly necklace around the Pink Shirt Girl's neck. Its the Butterfly Girl! His when-I-was-a-Boy best friend! He rushes there immediately.
He reaches. He's about to go and talk to her when SUDDENLY, suddenly...Kareena passes by. Apparently, Saif's never seen a girl THAT pretty, because he can't keep his eyes off her. Now there are two things he can do: Revert back to his original plan- reunite with the Butterfly Girl OR...go and talk to Kareena. And it BROKE my heart to see that he chose Kareena.
Butterfly girl just shakes her head.

But, why, WHY in the world would he choose Kareena over his long lost best friend? Why? Is that how guys are? Ready to ignore a lifetime of friendship for a Kareena they've never seen before? Unless he was psychic and suddenly got a vision that he would marry her in the future, I can think of no valid reason backing his action. Do guys get distracted THAT easily? He came with the purpose of finding his friend. He found her, but chose to forget her just because he saw Kareena. Well done, Saif. Kareena is SO lucky.

I don't know why, but it made me incredibly sad.

Signing off as a faith-loser in Mars,

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A few days ago, I caught up with a friend. 'Friend' may not be the correct term, but whatever. "We broke up", she said. "Ohh" was all I could say. And then I was shown something which horrified me. "See, I did this", she says. I see a distinct 'M' carved on her stomach. She had cut herself with a knife, the shape M and was actually happy about it. And it was pretty large. "Oh my God! What have you done?!" I yell, freaked out. "Relax, its nothing. I got a tetanus, you know" she said with a wink. Some achievement. What kind of thought process would actually make someone do something like that? I'm all for eternal love, but this? I actually plan to get a tatoo (way, way into the future). The name of my One True Love, you know ;) But to cut myself for a JERK? No way :O


My maths teacher reminds me of Boman Irani from Mai Hoon Naa. I have NEVER met a more scatter-brained and absent minded person in my entire life. Some of her pearls of wisdom include:

Ma'am: (Angry because nobody is studying) : 9th D...

Class: Ma'am 10th D!

Ma'am(?): 10th D. You are the worst section of 9th...


Ma'am: Q10 is the last exercise of this chapter...


Ma'am: You have to show the working, as in you don't have to show the working...


Ma'am: Srishti, start writing and top stalking...



Maybe someone threw laughing powder over everyone, because this month is turning out to be the most Hilarious month EVER! The only thing I did sincerely all month is laugh. Well, laughter is the best policy. Wait, that was honesty. Wasn't it? Anyway, He Who Shall Not Be Named swallowed a nail today :D


The weather's pleasent, the company's beautiful so how can I help not smiling? Slowly, I'm learning to face my fears and work on them, trying to prioritize and failing, and also trying not to be sad about D-Day, which is getting closer everyday.


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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

No, not the Cyndi Lauper song. Because girls do just wanna have fun. Atleast I do. But the song is nice too. And so is The Way You Look Tonight by Tony...hold on, I forgot his name. Tony something. Or something else. And I've recently discovered, that the lyrics to the song One in a Million by Miley Cyrus (tsk all you want but everyone secretly likes her) are true. So much that it is actually freaky. Like:

"They say that good things take time, but really great things happen in a blink of an eye"
Which is like, SO TRUE. 11th of August was an amazing day. So amazing that I had forgotten that such amazing days even existed. I think that all the amazing things happened because I woke up at 5:45 in the morning and absorbed all the positive energy along with the fresh air. Really, you wouldn't believe how much your-day's-gonna-be-good-today energy is getting wasted each day. I've vowed to get up early each day from now.

On a different note, I've completed P.S. I love you which was funny and sad at the same time and started Gone With The Wind which is interesting and boring at the same time. Interesting because of the famous Scarlett-Rhett love story and boring because, I really can't relate to it. And also, I found out that Crimson Tide is really not that boring as I thought it would be. Its pretty good actually. So quoting Denzel Washington,
"In my humble opinion, in the nuclear world, the true enemy is war itself"

Who agrees with it? Raise your hand!

*Raises hand*

And what about John Lennon? He, I think, is the one who deserves to be quoted. Didn't he say that Beatles were more popular than Jesus? Sheesh. Some nerve. Not that he is necessarily wrong. Another one of his famous quotes

"A part of me suspects that I'm a complete loser and the other part thinks that I'm God Almighty"

Huh. I could say that for a lot of people.

The weather's nice. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is facing some stiff competition ;) My dad's promised me some good kite-flying lessons.

The actual fun part of going to school is doing what you are not supposed to do. So in no particular order, my favourite things in school is:

-Being thrown out of the class with friends. Makes the day worth coming to school.

-Eating while the teacher is teaching. Food never tasted better.

-Laughing at nothing in particular. And once when you start laughing, absolutely cannot stop.

-Roaming around in the corridors. Why else were they made?

-Some nice, pretty sights ;)

-Swings. So what if I'm almost 16?

-Canteen lemonade :D

-And obviously, when you can't stop giggling while you're getting scolded. Its SO not Jungle mein Mangal, I tell you.

Tab tak ke liye, shampa khair, khuda haafiz, goodnight kal milte hai, isse samey par

aur dekhte rahiye Kaun Banegaaaaa....Crorepati.

*tadadada...KBC's music plays*

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