For lack of a better post

Its been very, very long since I have blogged and I deserve a slap, totally.

And I deserve an even tighter slap for what comes next-

Witness this conversation,

Me (watching someone opening the their lunch box): You're having your food now? Its eleven-thirty, my food is finished at eight in the morning!
Girl #1: I know, I'm really hungry, I haven't had anything since morning.
Girl #2: Me too, except Jili's cheese toast.
Girl #3: I usually eat early in the morning, but today I didn't.
Me: Yes, because I asked for a statement from everyone in the class.

Which, sadly, is what you get when there are only six guys, and the rest all girls, in your class.

Now this,

Random Girl: You know, in a village in India, there's a tradition in which new borns, little babies are made to bathe in boiling, hot milk.
Me (horrified, more so because I had just read Six Graves to Munich, and its SCARY): How sad! Think of all the poor babies.
Ess: How sad! Think of all the milk wasted.

Now this is one guy who I would like, to be in my class.

See the difference?

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Ohh, everything's okay!

Fifteen days ago, we met at the airport. Oh no, I'm not about to narrate a romantic encounter; my French Exchange partner! Raphaelle looked like a little, shriveled up creature when we first met at the airport because first they had taken a train from Grenoble to Lyon, then from Lyon to Paris where they spent the night at the airport and then they took the plane to India; so everyone was very, very tired. And so it began.

There are so many, so many, things I could say about the past fifteen days, its not even funny. When Raphaelle came to live with me for two weeks, she was an absolute stranger to me. Our virtual conversation had been limited and we didn't know each other at all. And of course at that time, I didn't know that language was gonna give us so much trouble. And to spend all hours of two weeks with a person to whom you have never spoken in your life is a scary thought; especially if you don't share a common language.

The French pronunciation is so different that even if you know the word they are saying, you're not able to understand. One time in the car, Farah and Raphaelle asked me, "Can we 'ave zose, circle, circle, sweet zsingz, uhhh, orange and sweet?"
"Jalebi?" I asked.
"Yeah, yeah!" they said. "Can we 'ave zose with onioney?"
What I could make out of that peculiar word was...onions.
"You want to have jalebi with onions?" I asked, weirded out.
Everyone burst out laughing; jalebi with oninons would be the strangest thing ever.
"You know, zat, 'onee? 'Oneen?"
"Honey!" Jili offered! That makes much more sense.

There were so many hilarious situations like these, when we couldn't understand what they were saying and interpreted something else entirely. In the beginning, I felt like banging my head on the wall out of frustration but as the days passed, we understood each other better and by the time they were about to leave, I could complete Raph's sentences easily. If were standing in a place, Raph would say, "What we wait?" which meant, what are we waiting for. If she wanted to know how much time was left till we reached a place, she would say,
"How many times, we uhhhh, we....uhh..."
"-reach?" I would say, and she would nod. Every time they understood something we would say, there would be an expression of great realization on their faces and they would say, "OH! Oh yeahhh!"

And the French, or maybe Europeans in general, have amazing manners. Too much of them, if you ask me. After every second sentence, Raph said thank you. No kidding. When she asked me if she could take a shower and I would say, yes, of course, even then, she would get a big smile on her face and say thank you. It's very French to say thank you, she told me. And every morning and night, she would wish everyone in home good morning and good night. " At my 'ome, " she told me, " we wish each ozerr all ze time. My muzerr make me, uhh, kiss 'er goodnight everyday."
I can't remember the last time I kissed my mother, let alone kiss her goodnight. It makes me wonder if I'm a little ungrateful to the people I know.

Their food habits are equally proper. And strange, if you ask me. She eats no spices at all. She can eat anything at all, if there's no spice in it. And I mean no spice AT ALL. I don't understand how they swallow all that bland, plain food. I find food pretty much tasteless without spices.
"Izn't it....odd," she looked at me to confirm if the word she used was right or not. I nodded. "Zat in France, it eez so cold but we do not eat spice, but in India it eez so 'ot and you eat so many spice. It eez....laugh, laughing?" she asked me.
"Ironic," I tell her.
"Ironic," she says.
But I guess its okay, because the French are more fond of eating sweet stuff rather than salty. Her every meal is incomplete without deserts. There would be a nagging voice in their head if they did not eat deserts. And in the breakfast, they have never taken salt. Never! Once I made her try idli-sambar for breakfast and she ate one idli with such a disgusting face that my mother took pity on her and gave her her beloved bread and confiture(jam).
And they eat so little! They hardly take breakfast and don't even snack in between meals. I live on snacks! Partially, because no matter however much I eat, I don't gain an ounce but I think everyone here is quite fond of little snacks. Hence the snacks before dinner tradition in Indian parties. "We will starve when we got to France yaa, " Navya said to me. " I'm gonna take lots of biscuits and Haldiram packets to France, in case they expect us to wait for mealtime or something."
"But my brozerr eat so much," Raph told me. "I don't know 'ow can 'ee eat so much. 'Eee do a lot of sport. I'm sure, if 'ee do not do sports, 'ee become a very, very fat man."

This one time, Raph and I were waiting outside a restaurant for the others.
"Srishtee, " she says in her French accent. "In France, on zuh roads I see so many, so many people kissing and 'olding 'ands, walking togezzurr, but 'ere, I see nobody!" she held up her hands in surprise. "In our school too, zere are so many, so many coouples and zey are always kissing, but 'ere, nobody!"
It was quite funny.

And they loved traveling by auto-rickshaw. 'Tuk-tuk', they called them. Lets go by tuk-tuk.

But not everything was hunky-dory. My partner, and I'm not talking about the French in general, mostly didn't like Indian things. All she bought was 4 scarves and box, although she had carried a lot of money for shopping. She didn't like Janpath, hated Dilli Haat, couldn't stand Red Fort and didn't buy any souvenirs. She preferred going to the mall and the amusement park and parties and drinking rather than going to any historical monument or seeing anything ethnic. Which was a little disappointing, but it was okay because I tried my best and if they didn't take interest, it was their loss. I'm all ready to soak up everything French. :D

In the beginning, a lot of us couldn't establish a rapport with their partners. We were all so sick of them and their English. "These French people, " I said, "are like a bug you can't get rid of. And the worst part is, you paid for that bug. " We were all very glad when they were all taken to Jaipur without us for two days. Because staying with them all the time meant taking care of them every second of the day, and that is not easy. I will never take my parents for granted now. Even when we Indians talked, we talked about these French as if they were our kids; we discussed about their habits, their likes, dislikes, and all. So aunty-ish, I tell you.
And that when the French were so unconcerned and unaffected by all did we did for them. As soon as they saw their friends, they jabbered away in rapid French and forgot everything else. But I guess thats everywhere. Our teacher told us that we'll do the same when we go there, its natural.
French people were also quite flaky. Sometimes, their mood, humeur, was so good they couldn't stop gushing, how nice Indians were. And sometimes they were very curt and short. "I can't wait to go to France to create a fuss and watch them take care of us."
I couldn't agree more. These past two weeks, its like we don't have a life of our own. We take care of them all the time and have no time ofr our freinds, or for our hobbies. There's this constant nagging, worry in our heads if they are feeling fine.

There are just so many, so many things I've learned these past few days. Raphaelle is one of the most awesome people I've ever met. She travels so, so much and she told me all about her trips to New York and California and Egypt and morocco and Europe. She has great knowledge about every city she has visited and our shared love for movies made it very easy for us to make conversation once we were in the humeur. We have had so many long talks about different cities and places. You know how every city is mostly defined by a typical thing of that city? Like if someone says Paris, I would say fashion. If someone says New York, I would say Times Square or I dunno, maybe a fast paced life. If someone said USA to Raphaelle, she would say crazy people.Absolutely bizarre! And I used to think London is more industrial kinda city, more about jobs, Paris has more artists. But Raph says thats not true anymore. There has been a great mix of culture and you can't really define a city by just one thing typical to it. Its just a great, big, mish-mash now. In this mish-mash, so much mixes together and emerges as something entirely new and different. Like we start with primary colours, Red, Green and Blue but if we keep mixing and mixing, there's no end to the colours we develop.

We've had deep, insightful talks like these in addition to the extremely stupid situations. When Raphaelle saw my French notebook, she had tears of laughter in her eyes. " Zis eez my life, zuh things I do and you are studying eet! Eetz too funny!" she said, laughing.

It was quite sad yesterday, when the whole day we talked about her going away. Six months, we kept saying. We see each other after six months. "But you know, " Raphaelle said. "Six months eez nothing. Tell me, what izz six months in life? They'll pass like zis!" she snapped her fingers. "You go to school, you do 'omework, you ski in winter, make snowman, and zen you are 'ere!"

At the airport, everyone was saying all this cheesy stuff like, "Don't cry that its over; smile that it happened" and all that. But we didn't shed a tear. I mean, I was sad and all but I needed to be on my own for sometime now too!

As we were coming back after taking her to the airport, I remembered when two weeks ago, I had come to pick her up. When she had gotten in the car, she was sitting at the back and she had strapped her seatbelt on. I've never, ever put on my seatbelt, especially when I'm at the back. So I told her, "You don't need to put your seatbelt on, its okay." Raphaelle had smiled and said, "Ohh, everything's okay!" and kept her seatbelt on.

Two weeks later, her words seemed true. That yes, everything IS okay. Its how you make of situations that make them okay or not okay. You can get along well with a stranger with whom you don't share a common language or culture and have the time of your life or you can sit and crib and cry about it.
Everything is okay; its what you make of it. There were good times and bad times but, all's well that ends well.

This was just one small episode in my life; maybe I'll have many, many more like these. If I get to make new friends and learn new things about different cultures, lifestyles and maybe even languages, I'm sure I'll love it.

You know how everyone and everything, people, things, places, all have separate distinct scent? Raph's scent is still lingering in the room, I sometimes catch a whiff of it. But I know it'll be lost in a day or two.
 Until six months later.

Cuz its not the end; its actually the beginning.

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Don't Rain on my Parade

“This award is bestowed upon a fellow blogger whose blog’s content or design is, in the giver’s opinion, brilliant.”

Some rules of the Game:

a) Show off your honesty (and modesty) by thanking the person who gave you the award and link to their post.

b) List 15 honest things about yourself. Cheating makes you lame, so just play along, all you taggees.

c) Select 7 other bloggers you think deserve this award and pass it on to them.
d) Notify said bloggers about the award and invite them to be the honest ones next.

Okay, so first: Thanks TUIB, I think that your blog is absolutely fabulous. I get to read all kinds of stuff there, from beautiful poems to classy book reviews to just simple, childhood experiences, all written straight from the heart. You're awesome! :)


1. I am super-paranoid when alone. I mistrust everyone, which is really stupid because people have better things to do than scheme against me. That doesn't stop me from mentally calculating escape routes, imagining worst case scenarios and planning what I would do in case something goes wrong.

2. I love shops. I love their colorful displays, their logos and the names written artistically, how there is so much stuff in there, sitting on the shelves, waiting to be bought. One day, I'll have a shop of my own and it will have all kinds of weird, whacky stuff in it which the kids can buy and then take it to school and make their friends jealous.

3. One of my favorite books ever is..The Princess Diaries. There. I said it. Most of my friends have chucked those for good now, but I feel absolutely no shame in saying that yes, I still read them at night. I know that most sane people dismiss them as crass and it is for giggly, 13-year olds but I love them. I've been reading them since I was 12 and I have gotten so familiar with Mia's ramblings, her references to New York and food and TV and movies, the irritating way she goes on and on about how her life is over, that whenever I'm a little sad or lonely, all I have to do is read an excerpt and I feel satisfied. It feels like home to me. 

4. If I get a chance to play a role in any movie of my choice, I would choose the role of Parminder Nagra in Bend It Like Beckham (Titanic, which is my favorite movie, doesn't count. The movie AFTER your favorite movie) primarily because: a) Jonathan Rhys Meyers would be in love with me. b) Keira Knightley would be my best friend. c) I'd be a terrific football player. d) Its the perfect mix of Indian-ness and western-ness, football and weddings which is something I very much admire as its very hard not to lose yourself out there. e) Gurinder Chadha is an amazing director and the cast and crew looks so much fun, evident in this video:

5. I'm a compulsive shopper. If I see something that I like, I buy it. If I'm not able to, I fantasize about buying it and what I'd do with it until I buy it.

6. I love reading maps. Although my sense of direction is hopeless, I can sit and stare at a map for ages, reading the names of all the places there and trying to imagine what the people in those places would be doing right now. Coming back from school, ordering pizza, taking out the laundry....millions of individual lives on that one tiny piece of paper.

7. I want to work as a Romance Director for some time when I grow up . Its not an official profession, but I once saw on Travel & Living (TLC from 1st of September!) that the really expensive honeymoon resorts, which have every facility you can possible imagine AND MORE, hire a person who thinks up cute things for the honeymoon couple to do, and then lets them take the credit. Like if the husband wants to gift something to his wife and he doesn't know what, the Romance Director gets to know the wife by talking to her, interviewing the husband and all and then thinks up of the perfect gift and the best way to present it, letting the husband take all the credit while the wife goes "aww, I love it, OMG, this is just what i wanted." The Romance Director's laughing, seeing all this and will get an AMAZING load of money for doing this. Hell, I'd do it for free.

8. I love movies which are set some years back, like in the early 1900's or so. They reflect a beautiful charm, which is hard to find in movies these days. 

9. The whole of 9th and 10th, Brinda Ma'am kept trying to teach us French. But we didn't study; we were more interested in talking to her about perfumes and Paris. Now that I'm a part of the French Exchange, all I want to do is speak French all day. Shubhra and Surabhi teach me, since they are very good at French. I want to be able to converse with my french partner when she comes here, but more importantly impress her 19 year old brother when I go there with my French skills. Even though I studied French for a long time in school, I couldn't speak a coherent sentence in French until the the French Exchange news and the other day "I'm going avec elle" got out of my mouth.

* I think I forgot to mention it. My French partner's name is Raphaelle and she's coming to live with me in October for 15 days. She's absolutely cool, not only because she has an older brother (Pierre), but also because she travels a LOT and will have great stories to tell and (hopefully) wouldn't be the Snotty-French-Girl-Difficult-To-Bear when she's here. I'll go to stay at her place in May for 15 days and I CANNOT WAIT!

10. I classify activities into bad things (studying, doing anything assigned to me, basically things I should do) and good things (watching TV & movies, reading books, basically things I want to do). So if I have to do a bad thing, I need a good thing to look forward to because if the good thing isn't there, I won't be able to sit through the bad thing and eventually fall asleep. Thats why no matter what is on, I have to watch TV from 10 to 11 in the night. Like, I didn't mind the half-yearlies in September since October and November will be two great months. Besides, we are SUPPOSED to get bad marks in 11th, otherwise, how else will we learn?

11. I really LOVE stories that have strong, female characters, ESPECIALLY if they are evil. Like Wilhelmina Slater from Ugly Betty [ Whats the matter, people still view me as a drop dead gorgeous fashion Nazi] or Sue Sylvester from Glee [You know, the way you use your mental illness to help these kids is really inspiring. I'm shocked you're not married.]
But hey, good female characters are fun too, like Dr. Brennan from Bones.

12. I want an accent like Hilda's from Ugly Betty.

13. Ever since I've started studying Psychology, I absolutely love to provide a psychological reason justifying a behavior or an event. It really irritates other people sometimes. :D

14. I once bought a Superman t-shirt because the guy selling them was really cute. Pathetic, hun?

15. There's a girl who lives in my building, and when I grow up, I want to be just like her. She has an amazing sense of style and the hugest collection of formal skirts ever. Every evening, i meet her in the elevator, coming back from work wearing her sophisticated skirts and heels or going away to party. Also, she wears really good perfume.

Okay, so I tag Daksha,Neetu , Ketan, Priyanka Mishika, Soin and Rohith.

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Pass yaa fail?

My dad sent me this text:

" I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now, he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft."- Bill Gates

So I texted back: Does that mean I'm allowed to fail?

Dad: If you want to fail, be sure to turn out like Bill gates.

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Post # 50 :)


'Its like forgetting the words to your favorite song,
You can't believe it, you were always singing along,
It was so easy, and the words so sweet
You can't remember, you try to feel the beat'

Once upon a time, there was a little boy. A happy and healthy baby, he was born into a very privileged family, the kind that seem to lack nothing. They were a wealthy lot, not just in money, but in other things too, that mattered much more. They were kind and loving, looked out for their friends and were generally popular. The father and the mother of the little boy loved each other immensely, and why wouldn't they, since they had every reason to celebrate life as they knew it, every other day.
When their son was born, they were naturally overjoyed, and having a large family scattered across the globe, all of them came together to celebrate.

He was born a beautiful baby, and even at this age, everyone could tell he would grow up to be a handsome man. Friends and well-wishers never stopped arriving, as they envied the couple's good fortune, cooed at the baby and stared at him in wonderment.; his mother was over the moon and his father couldn't be prouder.

As he grew up, his parents never saw a day when their little son wasn't up to mischief. He caused chaos in the house, running up and down all day, disrupting the household work, breaking valuables and teasing the life out of any girl that came by his house. But yet nobody minded, because all they had to do was take one look at that adorable thing and all their anger would vanish.

As years passed by, he became an absolute charmer, as he greeted his mother's friends warmly and shook hands with his father's friends. His mother saw the mischievous glint in his eye and would just wait for the moment he would make her burst into laughter. Being an artist, she painted scores of paintings which she treasured deeply. She would display them proudly in the hall and gaze at them, content.

This family of three would go for vacations with friends, buy ridiculously expensive items and led a happy life. But by no means was this boy a brat. You see, born and brought up in the high society had taught the mother an important lesson- if you can't stay grounded, you can't stay at all.
She taught her son the most basic of values, and taught him to respect everything, from the food he ate to the people he met. She taught him to be sincere and polite, kind and humble. As he listened to his mother day after day, he turned out to be one of the most loyal, charming and genuine person one would ever have the good fortune to meet.
So even though his mischief did bring back a few complaints, his parents knew his heart was in the right place. A crack here and a joke there always did good to a person's soul, his mother used to say.
As he became a teenager, and grew taller and more handsome every day, he had a strong, independent mind of his own. He had heard and seen enough to attain a good judgement of what was right and what was wrong. He had grown up to be vary smart indeed. His mother secretly loved passing him the phone as girls giggled madly over the line and asked to speak to her son. She was very, very fond of him and they were one small happy family for a while.

Until one stormy, fateful evening and a terrible evening it was.

The mother, that evening, decided to drive to the local store to buy some groceries.
As her son reached home that evening, he was exhausted. His football coach had started rigorous training, and that boy was an exceptional player, best he had seen in a long time, he used to say.
So as he came home that evening and found his mother nowhere in sight, he just assumed that maybe she was with a friend or probably caught up somewhere. After some time, when he had taken a shower and cooled himself off, he tried calling her and found her unreachable.

He called his father, and he too, was equally puzzled. After hours of calling and checking up on the possible places where she could be, they finally approached the police.
The police, to be fair to them, carried out a thorough investigation. It was revealed that she had bought the groceries and then was never seen again. The car was left abandoned on the road. There were few passersby on the road because of the bad weather and there weren't much leads to follow.

The father used his contacts to make sure that people on the case worked to the best of their abilities. An extensive list of suspects was made and were interrogated thoroughly, but still nothing was found. It was as if she had vanished in thin air. The son got into a wild fight with some boys of another school who suggested obscene reasons explaining her mother's disappearance.

Seventeen days after that terrible evening, the mother's body was found outside her house, tossed carelessly at the edge. An autopsy of the body reported that she had been assaulted and murdered by being stabbed in back and chest and struck on the head.

Misery struck that family from then on. It was as if a cyclone had come and devastated everything they had ever known. You see, they were the perfect family across the street with the perfect house. No matter what, nothing this bad ever happened to families like these- they were the people to whom the local club first sent the invitation on special occasions, the people whose lawn smelt of freshly mown grass and house of potpourri. Murder of the mother didn't fit anywhere in the picture.

In the first initial days, the father and son were by each other's side. Friends and acquaintances mourned with them and rarely left them alone. Condolences were expressed and food and flowers arrived but the fact remained; neither of them had ever felt grief like this before and they didn't know how to deal with it.
As the weeks passed, they started to get on with their life but somehow, neither of them ever recovered from the trauma. A tragedy may bring out the best in people or the worst. For the father and the son, it brought out both.

They both worked harder than ever before, put on the bravest face possible while trying to help each other out, hoping that the killer be found. The father buried himself in work, hoping to fill the void caused by his wife's absence . Everything has a cause, he used to think. What had gone wrong here then? He couldn't for his life even begin to IMAGINE why anybody would even consider hurting her like it had been done. He completely involved himself in the investigation, worked ruthless hours but as the days passed, the case, like all others, began to lose momentum.

The son tried to gain some sense of normalcy in his life, as he became the 'dead woman's kid'. He avoided the pitying eyes, and was rash at any discussion that involved his mother. He busied himself in friends and school, sports and work, ignoring the sympathy.

Slowly and unknowingly, a distance crept between the father and the son. At first, they had been inseparable, supporting each other throughout, but the mother's absence started to gnaw at them. She had been like the glue of the family, the butter of the sandwich, keeping them together. They both stayed away from home as much as possible, avoiding each other. The father saw his wife's shadow and his incompetence in catching the killer in his son. This in turn made the son realize his father's lack of support and love at this time, making him bitter and resentful.

Time passed and the lives of the father and the son, which had always been interconnected in different ways soon took a separate turn. A time came when they would barely nod when they passed each other; they had learnt to live without each other.
The son, as he occupied himself and got on with his life, never saw one moment where he was truly content at the end of the day when he lay on the bed. He could never be the same former self he once was; it was like something inside his heart had died.


Until one beautiful, sunny, ordinary day when all that changed again.
You see, on that day, a little girl came along....

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Ronaldo is SEXY.

Here are a few random facts about my knowledge of football:

- I possess none.
- But I'm freakishly excited about today's Argentina v/s Germany.
- I'm supporting Argentina, mainly because their coach is Maradona, and the name Maradona sounds SO cool. I wish my name was Maradona. Also, because yesterday was Ritika's birthday and she invited all her German Exchange friends and all they talked about was their stupid German Exchange for the whole FIVE hours and I'm starting to get just a LITTLE bit irritated of Germany.
- Its saddening that Portugal got out so early, poor Ronaldo.
- Ronaldo's expression in Shakira's Waka Waka at 2: 09 is INSANE. REALLY.
- Waving Flag is so much better than Waka Waka.
- Though I like the thing that Shakira wears in her hair in the video.
- Kerala is the second-most-football-crazy state in India. When I went there this summer, there were all these slogans painted on the walls, like 'Argentina Fan Club' and stuff, which aren't there anywhere else.
- The most-football-crazy state in India is West Bengal, but I guess everyone knows that.
- Also, I've finally decided I'll support Real Madrid and Manchester United because of Ronaldo&Kaka and Rooney respectively.

Here are a few random facts about Kerala:

- There are just TOO many trees, I'm sorry. They're taking the phrase 'Go Green' way too seriously.
- They have huge, airy houses (flat culture doesn't exist there) with even bigger ceilings. Guess what the view is from the balcony? OF TREES.
- Beaches and Sea is the awesomest thing EVER. Delhi should have a beach. I don't think I can ever get tired of looking at the vast, endless expanse of sea/ocean. Its beautiful.
- Black soil we read about in Geography? Yeah, its REALLY black.
- The golden sand in Calicut was coarser than the black sand in Kovalam.
- Everyone there eats directly using their hands, so each restaurant has a separate area that says 'WASH'.
- Most restaurants don't serve mineral water. They boil the tap water and mix a herb in it which turns the water slightly red. I didn't pretend to be a vampire at all.
- Keralites, or maybe south Indians in general, I dunno, shake their head in a funny way. Like Noddy does, only 360 degrees instead of his up and down. But the problem is, you can't tell whether its a yes or a no.
- Everyone there has a smile on their face and goes around grinning all the time at everyone. I wish people in Delhi were like that. Here, people hurl abuses at you for no reason.
- HORRIBLE clothes.
- NO HOT GUYS. Outrageous, really.
- There is a British and Indian name for a lot of places, like Cochin and Kochi. Thiruvananthpuram and Trivandrum.
- Beaches are so crowded.
- Waves are POWERFUL!
- In movies, they show the hero and the heroine are having the time of their life at the beach. But they always skip out the part where they should feel so ICKY after going to the beach because sand is everywhere. Movies lack any kind of practicality, really.
- Their biggest movie star there is Mohan Lal.
- Fort Kochi is not actually a fort, its old Kochi.
- And its AMAZING! They have all these cool streets like Princess Street, Rose Street and there are a lot of homestays there which are fickin expensive, even more so than Taj.
- The wind at Kanyakumari's shore is SOOOOOOO strong that I could swear my feet got lifted up in the air for just a second.
- Everyone there goes around wearing hats and sunglasses because the sunlight is so strong.
- I couldn't find one McDonald's in the whole of Kerala.
- Kochi airport is gooooooood.
- There was stuff like Ratatouille (yes, like in the movie!!), lobster and steak in the daily menu.
- Kerala has great spices, apparently.
- Lighthouses are cute.
- India's coastline's view from air is awesome.
- Shells are cute too.
- They also eat a different kinda rice, which are fatter in structure and bad in taste but more nutritious.
- EVERYONE WEARS A DHOTI. Not pretty. Though I wore it once too. :D
- In spite of, or because of, all that, Kerala IS extremely beautiful.

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Worth a thousand words?

Inside an elevator.

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Not Intrusted

Everyone knows that no one really studies before July after you've completed tenth (doesn't apply to science people). But the school can't let us stay at home for WHOLE three months, can it? So this is what my school does- makes us reach school at SEVEN A.M. in the morning. Yes. Seven. Because its too hot at 7: 45. It lets us off at 1. Because its too hot at 2. This would've made sense, just a TINY, TINY bit if we had something to do in school.
For example, yesterday
First Block - Played Pictionary.
Second Block- Made up plans for tomorrow's trip but then dumped them all.
Third Block- Roamed around in school.



Its like this everyday. Anyway, coming back to my post topic,

We have workshops every single day. Career Counselling. People from different organisations come everyday to make us aware of all the options we have before we make a decision. Mostly, we are told about the unconventional, lesser known careers, which is rather fun. Like yesterday, we had a guy telling us about animation. Did you know that the entire Avatar was shot in an airport hangar?!! Wait, I'm going a little off the point now.
So we have very different people coming up and talking to us. People in my school don't accept anyone new easily. They poke fun and mock them, unless they judge them cool enough to listen.

There came some people who spoke a little differently. With an accent, or weird pronunciations. Face it, nobody's perfect. There was this one guy who kept pronouncing interesting as 'intrusting' and kept saying 'You needs'. So maybe its a little funny. Once. Twice. Then you've had enough with the mockery.
This is one thing I don't get- if people speak in a different way, why does the rest of the world have such a huge problem with it? Is it the reluctance to accept someone unusual?
My dad always says, if the content in your speech is good enough, if there is power in your words, then it doesn't really matter how you say it. People want to listen to you.

Last year, we had this teacher who broke up words, like she'd say, "Consti...." Pause. "Tution." "Legis...." pause. "Lation". When she started to teach us, many people inserted a 'pation' after the consti, before she could get to tution. But then everyone started to realize, she was a really, really good teacher. The best in her subject. Soon everyone forgot about the consti, and listened to her eagerly.
New Kid started making fun of the 'intrusting' guy and I told him to get over it.
"Come on, Srishti," said New Kid. "Don't be such a Mother India."
That doesn't even make sense. How does not making fun of somebody make you a mother India? Its not even called being nice...its just plain, common, courtesy.
And the New Kid is a published author.
Go figure. :|

We were taken to an old age home today. It was nice, but I certainly can't say moving. Everyone treated them like they were time bombs, who could explode any time and start crying and narrating their life story. They looked happy enough. A girl in my class started crying. Really. She did. :|

One important point one uncle there raised was, why don't we have religious studies as a subject? Not centered on one particular religion, but a basic, common understanding of all religions. After all, religion is an integral part of any society, its important that we know about it.

He's telling us about his childhood days. :)

He's telling us a joke. Everyone was laughing crazily when he finished, but I didn't get it. Something' really, really wrong with me.

I also had to stand up and tell them how cool it was to be there! I used some really good Hindi words. :D

Also, I really, really like Regina Spektor. That woman is a genius. I love her music. Its all about Lady GaGa and Mariah Carey these days....Regina Spektor trumps all of them. Here is one of her coolest songs-

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Can I get some fire?

So on Saturday night, I was at the New Friends colony market. Its a really good market actually, with loads of good restaurants without the snobby air of it.

I was with this other person (henceforth referred to as 'Uncle') and this another person (henceforth referred to as 'Ann').
We were waiting for our juice and I looked around aimlessly. There were food stalls and magazine vendors, as I checked out their titles.
Then Uncle pointed to us, a group of three girls. Look at them, he said. They're smoking, his voice more patronizing than usual.
I resisted the urge to say "So?"
Ann looked mostly unconcerned.
Uncle looked at them, disdain clearly visible on his face.
"Do y'know, smoking is prohibited in public places?", he told us in a matter-of-factly tone.
And then I realized something-
He wouldn't have given them a second glance, if instead of those girls, there were a bunch of guys standing there and smoking.

Which they do all the time. But does anyone bat an eyelid? No.

He still had an expression of distaste on his face, as if he'd swallowed a particularly juicy fly, and I half-expected him to go over there, snatch the cigarettes out of their hands, stump them beneath his feet and yell, "Batameez!"
I didn't want to say anything or I'd be chastised for Not Knowing Anything and Speaking Without Thinking.

I was a little confused; as far as i had seen, he was a man with modern views.
Then why this prejudice?

This question is not directed at him, but to all people in general who have a problem with ONLY girls smoking in public. Or smoking at all (or anything else, for that matter).

Is this how its supposed to be, then? Even though smoking in public places is banned, when guys do it, thats alright, but when girls do it, its not? Is that it? Now smoking is a guy's domain? Isn't that sexist?

In this day and age, when we pride ourselves on having a female President, when the gap between girls and guys is fast getting bridged, where does a prejudice of this sort fit?

Merely allocating a third of seats in the Legislature to women isn't gonna do the trick. Sexual prejudice is deep-seated, and needs to be combated in our everyday lives. The very mindset of people has to change. Handing out political power doesn't necessarily mean change. Its little things like these that matter.
Now I'm no smoker, nor do I think that its a very good habit. I mostly dodge the fumes, as I know that passive smoking is equally harmful. But I don't believe in this kinda prejudice.

In 10th, in Political Science, we had a chapter- Gender, Caste and Religion. It taught how discrimination takes place in each of these three.
We study about it so much, we make notes, we get marks and sometimes even straight A's. But when it comes to practical application, we fail miserably. Then we go back to our rigid, old-age, dead beliefs (not implying that these are ALWAYS bad), wholly convinced we are right.
Theory is BASED on practical application. If after reading about all kinds of biases, being explained how they are wrong in a thoughtful, logical way, we still cannot apply it in our lives, then its safe to consider our entire year absolutely wasted.

On a completely different note, I'M GOING TO CAMP!!!
Youreka, thank you, thank you, thank you for existing! 11th June, I board the train for Chakrata, or Room on the Roof. My major will be watercraft. I shall learn all about rafting, reading water currents, paddling and all that. I haven't yet decided on my minor.
Maybe I'll be awesome at my major. Maybe that one week will be the best week of my life. Maybe I'll meet the love of my life.
Who knows? Anything can happen.



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I'll miss you, Ma'am

Dedicated to Brinda Ma'am, the awesomest teacher ever.

So we were a mixed section. I am, or rather was, in tenth D. Here, there were nine students with French as second language and 30 students with Hindi as second language. French and Hindi classes were at the same time, so needless to say, we were thrown out of the class, since we were the minority.
Our fun started with this. Going out and looking for an empty class wastes a lot more time than waiting for the teacher to come in the class.
Ma'am, we always went in the opposite direction so you'd find us later and we'd study lesser.
We always pretended that we didn't know the class we were supposed to be in even though you told us to be there the previous day.

We knew how you loved to talk, so if we weren't in the mood to study any particular day, we thought of topics in which we could engage you. Wines, cheese, Paris, other teachers, your students, interior designing, your travels, Michael Jackson...we knew how to make you talk. And we loved you for it. And yet again, when we had spent the entire class talking about all this stuff, and the bell would ring, you'd say "Don't make me talk tomorrow, children".
And we would smile sincerely but still do that the next day.

I never got my Get Ready to class, and you still forgave me. My French notebook was an assortment of doodles, lyrics of songs, quotes, everything but French.
You always said that you'd call my parents but you never did.

Its funny, but we actually looked forward to French. Not because we could sit back and relax and just chat. But because we could do that AND study, both at the same time.
Because you became our best friend, Ma'am. Because we never could get enough of you, no matter what. Because you gave us hundreds of thousands of assignments and made us do them while consulting us about your perfume. Because we could call teachers by their names in front of you.

We love you, Ma'am. You ask us if other children mimic you and we can honestly answer yes. Then you'd laugh and tell us to show you. And we did.
You shared with us all your experience, some even personal, and told us all you could.
We came to your house to study, just before the French board, and couldn't help gasping at your beautiful house, which you had mentioned so many times before. I still remember sitting at your beautiful terrace, talking about everything.

Yes, Ma'am. You're the best, Ma'am.

All my love,

P.S. I never ate the chips of those sixth class students. Neither did I leave that note. Swear, ma'am.

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Set Free




Well, okay, stupid MCQ's are still left. But thats just for 20 marks. On 31st. WHO CARESS??

The point is, I'm almost free from the exams which have been ruining my life since practically the whole year.
And they went smoothly. In your FACE, CBSE. Heheh.

My Leesha's back and thanks to her, the room of my wall now adorns a gianormous New Moon poster. Edward yo. :)

These few months have been very, very hard. But now, I'm ready to take on April-May-June. Which are hopefully going to be one of the best months ever.
In fact, last exam just got over today and I already snuck out to a place where minors, such as myself, are not really, umm allowed. But I didn't take part in any of the err, activities, so its cool.

Since the exams are over now and every person on this Earth who I'm even remotely associated with is very concerned about those, the obvious question now is:
What next?
What are my plans for future, and stuff like that.

Well, I, after great deliberation and negotiation, have decided to choose Humanities.
Needless to say, I've been met with a lot of skepticism, criticism and a huge amount of advice.
Many (Mostly Apoo) says that I'll be wasting my time and ruining my future and not utilizing my 'mental aptitude' to the fullest.
That I'm crazy to take this and regret my choice later.
That I'll have to live in a rented apartment with cheap momos as my dinner every night, because I'm gonna have to work really hard and will receive very little in return.
That I'll struggle and struggle my whole life and still be denied the appreciation I want and /or deserve.

All I can say is, first do your homework right and then come and talk to me.
For the first time in my life, I'm actually excited about studying something. To hell with everything else.
Of course, it is true that I'll be stuck with a bunch of dopes who'll not be able to distinguish photosynthesis from photography, but who cares.
What I'll be studying for the next two years is:
English- Everyone has to study that. I want to study that.

Maths- Which will be my death I'm sure, but its always nice to have a challenge.

Economics- Love it as of now, but lets see.

Political Science- This...should be interesting.

Psychology- CAN'T WAIT!!

I'll also be studying French and Biology, but from somewhere else.

Some may say that my choice of subjects is really not respectable, whatever, but its better than Science, where even if I spent my every waking hour studying, I'll still only be acceptable.

I met a lot of great, self-actualized people today. I wish I were like them. Hell, I wish I WERE them.

My pathetic existence never ceases to amaze me.

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Black Valentine's

They decided lets meet.

Lets meet over a coffee.

@German Bakery

They took a table. Ordered a coffee. Laughing, chatting.
Not a worry in the world. Except placement exams, He thought.
But He was with Her. Who cared about exams?

And suddenly, blast.
Everything's black.


They had to amputate His legs. She was ninety per cent burnt. Barely alive. Negligible chance of survival. He was still unconscious.

Government officials handed a cheque to His mother. His mother tore it up and threw it on his face.

He died yesterday night. She's on the brink of death.

All they wanted,

was coffee.

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They're coming.

I don't think people get it.

I know I have boards this year okay. I KNOW. I don't need people reminding me every two minutes every SINGLE day.
As if I need every auntie to go, "Beta, boards hai iss saal!"
As if I need the whole world's advice.
As if I need my every action dictated by the fact that I have boards this year.

They say it like its a disease, that I have to be cautious.

As if my whole life depends on these exams, as if I'm bound to collapse into a big heap of nothingness if I don't score well in 'boards'.
I don't care what anyone says, I WORSHIP Kapil Sibal for scrapping them off.
9th is so lucky. They have Gardening as a subject. Gardening. I want to Garden.

This sucks.
Maths sucks.
Life sucks.

Oh and, support Shah Rukh Khan in his stand against the incredibly stupid Shiv Sena.

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Hun. Who's the Idiot now?

While the world is going on about the brilliancy and excellence of 3 Idiots, here's what Sagarika Ghose has to say.

"The film (3 Idiots) tells us that India's system of higher education is idiotic, teachers are lisping semi-insane brutes who drive students to suicide, rote learning is always bad and the IIT's produce nothing but Lamborghini-chasing mercenaries who are only waiting to land corporate jobs in the US.
....Of course, the film is a fictionalized version of the IIT's, and perhaps a better reflection of the vast number of engineering colleges mushrooming across India, which are indeed soul-less factories where real education is substituted for cramming. And, of course, we are not meant to take 3 Idiots too seriously, as it is after all just about having an escapist laugh and not thinking too much. After all, if you think too much, you may discover that 3 Idiots is a dangerous, preachy and sanctimonious film that disdains all forms of hard work; that subliminally condemns studying as a pathetic exercise in rote learning and scorns the sadhna of higher education.
The film establishes that unless you are naturally gifted scientific genius like Ranchordas Chanchad, there's no point wasting time with your books. Then you're better off singing songs or becoming a wildlife photographer. As if becoming a 'wildlife photographer' is a sweet, extracurricular hobby that doesn't require hard work and determination and an equal amount of sadhna.
....The incredible popularity of the film shows that as a nation we are in no mood to study and are delighted that idiocy is at last legitimate.' - Sagarika Ghose

Popcorn, anyone?

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Ghost in the Pink Fur Coat

January 9th, around 7:30 Pm

Its dark. Very dark. I'm hiding behind the Cycling Machine in Rita Aunty's balcony. Chonu and Nishant are behind the chair and Partho's somewhere too. Its still very dark. The garden in front of the balcony is rumored to habituate hundreds of varieties of insects, worms, an occasional monkey and even snakes. Chonu and Nishant are fighting, and the scene, the place, the sounds make me nostalgic.
We're all in Rita Aunty's balcony.
We're playing Hide and Seek.
We're waiting for the 'seekers'.
Suddenly, the door in her balcony, adjacent to the Cycling Machine, which opens into the house...creaks open. Slowly. We all freeze. I remain very still. A figure steps out, hooded.
Its very dark and I can't see who it is.
But one thing drives the fear out of my mind.
The figure's wearing a pink fur coat. Its definitely not a ghost. Ghosts don't wear pink fur coats.
Its Rita Aunty. Dressed for her evening walk.
I can recognize her coat anywhere, anytime.
But I'm again scared. What if she gets mad finding the four of us in her house without her permission? What if she bans us from playing in that area? She didn't know we were here. Yet.
And suddenly,
There's a quick tick and the balcony is illuminated, all sign of darkness gone.
There's light all around- to reveal four not-so-small-people crouching behind chairs and Cycling Machines in her balcony.
"Arre!", she exclaims loudly, very, very astonished, as she took a step back. Even after her exclamation, we all remain hiding, hoping against hope that it wasn't us that she saw.
It was.
But none of us move an inch. She stands there, shocked to the core, unable to move. My hand flies to my mouth so the sound of laughter is muffled. I'm about to tip the Cycling Machine over, I'm laughing so hard. But I don't want her to hear.

One Minute Later (during which, all four of us are trying to cover our laughter, STILL CROUCHING, HIDDEN, while she's plain shocked, speechless)
"Wha-wha-what...?", she finally manages. I can understand. There have been a lot of thefts lately. And crouching there in her balcony, I bet we didn't look any less than thieves.
"Playing Hide and Seek, Aunty! Hide and Seek?", Nishant calls out jovially.
We all come out. She gapes at us.
"Sorry, "I say.
"No, no, its perfectly alright, I was just very surprised..." Understatement of the year.
She walks back inside, all thoughts of evening walk forgotten.
We somehow stumble out of there, and as soon as we're out of her earshot, burst into laughter.

Oh yes. Saturday, we were out playing in the biting cold and this happened.

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Shooting the Moon

There's something about The Pogues which makes you want to throw off your shoes and dance on the table.

Which reminds me of my favorite scene from Titanic.

I'm against choosing favorite movies because you can't have one favorite movie, you have a bunch of favorite movies. But Titanic is an exception to that rule. Titanic is the awesomest movie ever known to humankind on Earth.

Its so cold that my nose has turned into an abnormal shade of pink.
There's so much fog that I can't see whats five meters ahead of me at eight in the morning.
Smoke, or whatever that thing is, comes out of my mouth even at noon.
I haven't seen the sun for days. Okay not days, hours whatever.

Lesson of the day: Do not walk with your shoelaces untied because you're too lazy to bend down and tie them.

It always hurts more in the cold.

Also, a haircut and a blow-dry are a lot more effective than I gave them credit for.

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This is it.

2010's here. I have a feeling its gonna be something special.

Yesterday, I was in the suckiest of moods and I wished, and I really, really wished, that I wanted to be someone else. I didn't wanna be me anymore.
I actually thought that if I wished hard enough, I would wake up and find myself in someone else's body. Someone who wasn't me.
Someone self-actualized.
Someone totally in touch with themselves.
Someone less confused.
Someone less so-easily-influenced-by-anyone.
Someone, when they're shelling peanuts, the shells break up into two perfect pieces.
Someone who always has more time than things to do.
Someone who's a good planner and a good time manager.
Someone who can please everyone and Someone who, when goes to bed at night, can sleep a good night's sleep because they've done whatever they should've done that day.
Someone who doesn't go, 'CRAP!' because they haven't been able to stick to their deadlines.
In other words, Someone...Perfect.

I don't know if anyone like that exists, and if they do, I'm so ready for soul-swapping.
I'm sure there are people in whose life, everything just goes right all the time. Like they're a walking contradiction to Murphy's Law.
I'm nowhere NEAR that.

But after a long night of thinking, I've realized that even if I'm not all that, I could be. In a much lesser degree, but still.

Last night, I got this text:

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to make it right.
Happy Sparkling Twenty Ten.

Another chance for us to make it right.

And I'll take that chance. I have to.

Yesterday, I asked Ess, 'What are you gonna do tonight?'
'We're going out,' he had replied.
'Where?', I had asked again.
'Wherever destiny takes us,' And although he was obviously being dramatic, and joking, this phrase has been repeating itself over and over in my head since midnight.
Wherever destiny takes us.

I really feel something special's in store for this year. I really do.

The first three months, there's nothing but study planned. After that, I'll be free. Not only free, I'll have three months off.
To do whatever I like.
The thought makes me dizzy.

Happy New Year to all.

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