Monday, 16 November 2015

The death of conversation.

While putting up an act if cleaning my cupboard, I came across an old letter that I had received from my best friend in middle school. Nostalgia filled up in me and WhatsApp-ed her. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hey! Just found the letter you wrote to me back in school, filled with nostalgia. What's up?

*after 3 hours*

Her: Hey so good to hear from you! I'm great, wbu? How's life?

*after an hour*

Me: All good :D

- - - - - -

Well, that's about it. And the conversation died. Let me point out here that the letter in discussion was sent by her when she hadn't seen me for 15 days, and telephones were still too expensive, so she sent the letter with someone ( whom I do not recollect right now). I do not doubt for a minute that in a universe where there was no WhatsApp, where I would've written a letter to her, we would've caught up with each other more warmly. I wish to draw your attention not towards why our chat ended quickly, but towards the use of mode of conversation.

Think about it : haven't we forgotten how to communicate ?

How many of us can write a long letter to a close one right now? Not many, I believe. Internet has changed the way we live, talk, dress, and communicate. We expect instant gratification, we want instant replies. We probably don't realise it, but we are too insecure or too egoistic to write an "I love you" or a "I miss you" and wait for even a day to receive a reply, let alone a week. We do not know what the other person is thinking, and that freaks us out somewhere deep inside us. What if the other person is not missing me? Will I come across as desperate?

I'm guilty of generalising a bit here, but I stand firm on the point that the art of conversation is lost. Technology has made us too complacent and we strive for real time information; having forgotten what it is to put out your heart in a letter and the expectancy of a response. This is just one of the many ways in which we have allowed technology to alter our lives.

The feeling you get in writing and receiving letters is not something that can be described in words. If you haven't experienced it, nobody can explain to you. Like most other feelings, it has to be felt in order to be felt.

Conclusively, I'd suggest you to write something, not text it, but write it. And let me know in the comments how it goes! :D

Monday, 27 July 2015

The Lizard Phenomenon

Recently, a lizard had crawled up on the wall of a bathroom in the girls' hostel where I live. There was some commotion in the area, and the girl who was going to enter that bathroom gave a cry. Being aware of the fact that I'm not scared of any reptiles or insects, one of them called me. Under one minute, I had guided the lizard in dustpan with a broom and thrown it outside.

This got me thinking. Why were some people afraid of lizards while others weren't?

One of my earliest childhood memories consists of my mother moving to a corner while my father chased after a random lizard which would have entered my home. Not once did my father teach me how to scurry away a lizard, I just watched him while he did it, oblivious of my mother, who would be waiting in the other room; and I believe it was  sometime around this point of time when my mind registered the fact that lizards are not scary or dangerous, they can simply be released out in the open without any problem.

I call this The Lizard Phenomenon. We seldom realize how impressionable we were as kids, and hence how many fears and insecurities we harbor in our adulthood were contracted in those first days from our parents.

We are conditioned to be afraid of what scared our parents. The father-son duo which is scared of heights is not mere coincidence or genetics, a much deeper force is at work. The kind of intimacy we have with our parents in our formative years ensures this. My Dad always lives with a perennial fear of road accidents , and I drive really slow!

Bottom line: many of your fears may not be your personal, you may have merely absorbed them from your parents (or perhaps, an elder sibling) who, in their place, experienced something which planted that fear in them.

What are you most afraid of? Is that fear yours to keep? Don't be afraid of the lizard on the wall. Just slide it on a dustpan, and release it out of the window.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Return Journey

There are some tasks which become easy with practice and persistence, like chopping vegetables, jogging a mile, solving algebraic equations. And there are others which never become easier irrespective of the number of times we do them. The top most on that list is leaving home to go back to your hostel .

Until this summer, I'd never come back home for more than a few days from the hostel due to academic commitments. But this is the first opportunity wherein I got to spend a long vacation here.

If the journeys back to hostel were difficult before this one, it's turned impossible this time.

Do you know that heart-wrenching feeling, when your throat is dry and you want to cry, but you're too 'grown-up' for that, and it's a bad thing because all this wanting to cry stays inside you and makes your chest heavy! And I swear that I'm not exaggerating even a tad.

It's a stupid reason to cry: that you're going to follow your dreams, to grow up and learn things. There's not enough justification for the tears and hence they don't come out.

Consider this: it's winter and you enter the warm shower. Stay there for 2 minutes and it's difficult to exit. You leave the shower, nevertheless, because you have to go to work, college, etc.  Now imagine that you have some time and you decide to indulge yourself to a warm bath. You sit in the tub with lots of foam and a book and maybe some music and relax for a couple of hours, and you suddenly realize that it's time to go somewhere out (in the cold) and you gotta leave the warm comfort behind you. That's how I feel after this long holiday home.

Don't get it wrong, the hostel is not bad. The people are pretty good too. And I give good business to telecoms operators each day. But it's just not the same.

There's no pampering back at hostel. It's just not like home: where I am showered with hugs and kisses all the time, I get fed well before I feel hungry, it becomes my fundamental right to sleep beside Mom each night (leaving Dad to settle somewhere else) , where I am the center of their universe and everything I love to eat is stocked. I am Mom's designated driver, trolley pusher, errands person, kitchen help, shopping assistant. Mom is the guinea pig for my recipes and she cruelly snatches away the cup of tea and hands me a mug of milk, "Tare calcium levu joiye, chai ma na hoi kai nutrients, growing age che!". (You need calcium in this growing age, don't drink tea, it doesn't have any nutritients)  I've to claim that I'm full at two rotis, if I want 4 . She stuffs me with the mangoes I heartily dislike because she likes them. And Papa calls me every evening to ask if I want anything from the market. Every evening.

There is no end to the list, and no saturation point to accept and give all the love.

I'll have to pack my bags in a couple of days, but I'm not done yet. I am not done being pampered, I've not yet gone for enough dinners and drives with my Sister and my brother-in-law (check out my previous post), Mom thinks I still haven't piled on enough fats to help me survive at hostel and I still haven't gotten around to making Dad buy himself some new shirts.

As Nazim Ali so aptly states,

"Ek muddat baad mili qed se aazadi.....
Par jab mili aazadi, To pinjre se pyar ho gaya......"

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

In memory of the forever spent..

Three weeks ago, I stood clad in heavy clothes and threw rose petals on the couple as they made the last circle around the holy fire. The bride, as most of you know was my elder sister,Nidhi. This post is a feeble attempt to put in a few words what we share.

It takes having an elder sister to know how its like to have one. She is a blessing beyond all others. That "story-pick" article making rounds on the internet lists only some of the advantages of having an elder sibling.

As far back as I can think, we have spent a lot of time doing nothing and everything. From timing our medical check-ups to having oranges while watching T.V. each evening. We've spent innumerable shopping hours on the streets , and while we were still younger, sat upside down to see how an upturned face looks. Crazy stuff, yes, I know. But you're bound to do that when you've spent forever with someone. All those times when Mom would go out leaving me to her care, we spent the simplest and most innocent days of our lives. No, we still fought for the TV remote and the first chocolate cookie in packet, and she often made up stories to fool me (few of which, by the way, took years to come into light), but those are traditions, aren't they?

Few years back, she left home to go to college. While I was too proud to cry, I missed her terribly. And when she would come home on weekends or holidays, I would  bunk school and sit with her all day, eating the delicacies prepared for her and trying on all the new clothes she'd bought for herself and me, and filling her up on the latest gossip into the wee hours of the morning. But every time she would go back, I felt dreadful and alone. Even after she had been away for a couple of years, I never learnt how to say goodbye.

She has been my biggest support during all the lows. She is my ultimate go-to person , whether I am exhilarated or depressed.  

How did I feel when she was getting married? I don't think I can put it into words. Between the mountain of work that needed personal attention, I didn't really feel it sink in. I was just too busy being the second most important person in the household. I am told that I made quite a sight, running around on the day of wedding, holding my lehenga , having disowned my heels so that I could literally run. :P  And oh, of course, making sure her hair and make up was fine. But trust me, it was the most exquisite feeling as she took the pheras.

I gloated with pride as I saw her sitting in the mandap, wishing her a forever of happiness! <3

Monday, 12 January 2015


<a href="" title="Visit to discover Indian blogs"> <img src="" width="80" height="15" border="0" alt="Visit to discover Indian blogs" /></a>

Sunday, 11 January 2015

A Foe Turned Friend

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. He was a snobby, sarcastic new-comer. I was the popular, well-established class monitor. The year was 2009, and we hated each other from the time we set eyes on each other. At least I did. Suddenly all my girlfriends were talking about how nice he looked, and how he was very secretive and how he had a strong, masculine voice that naturally made them swoon! But he didn't speak much, he would just sit all day and this went on for the entire first week, observing everything, getting acquainted to things around. The teachers also seemed to be a part of this. They all wanted to know how he did in his previous school and were constantly checking on his comfort at the present school. I felt agitated and was pissed off. After all, I was supposed to be in the limelight! How could a new-comer take my place? And how dare he was aware of the answers to the questions which I was not aware of? So I was very conflicted and I was revolting to the entire going-on internally. I fought his very presence, acting as if he didn't exist, and when I did acknowledge his presence, it was with a tight-lipped smile and an indifference. I wouldn't hear what my friend's had to say about him, though I would end up listening to bits of gossip about him . It is through them that I gradually learnt things about him! In turned out out we were extremely similar in many regards, the things we liked, we'd apparantely been to the same school, and we lived in the same locality, and we just didn't know each other up until now. A game of fate? Maybe. Also, we also ended up travelling to the school by the same bus. Another revolting two hours where I had to bear his much celebrated presence around me. But something happened, and I still don't think I understand what it was. One fine day, unexpectedly, he asked for a pen during one of the periods, and I ended up asked him for his book in the one of the others. We started talking with each other. And the rest is history!  The human mind is the most incomprehensible and unreasonable thing at times.We hate and love people for no reasons, and, sadly, also judge people without thinking twice.