Monday, September 27, 2010

Appa's Surprise

The other day I was typing for my appa. We were both engrossed in our work when appa suddenly got up, walked out of the room and disappeared. After a while he walked back into the room with his hands behind his back, and gave me this expectant smile. He said, "I got something for you." And then he gave me this bar of chocolate. I melted. I love my appa!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


You know how to tickle my heart
Making me smile silly smiles again
You know how to make me blush
Making my face red and even my ears warm
That until now I didn't know love could explode behind the ears
You know how to keep a cool face
But I can still smell the jealousy
And that’s what makes you cute
I can no longer organise my feelings
Because you have thrown them astray
My heart quakes

Saturday, August 28, 2010


It’s not easy having a sister or being one especially when you and your sister are so different. We even look physically different. My little sister is taller, smaller and an introvert. Then there is me: shorter than average, chubby and an extrovert. I am not afraid to voice my opinions and she tends not to say anything. I have a loud voice and she has a quiet one. I have been living away from home since I was 7 and she has never been away from home in her 22 years of existence. She can deal better with compliments and I can deal better with criticisms. I don’t like keeping my emotions bottled up whereas she keeps them tightly bottled up. I am brusque while she is gentle. I am restless and she likes her routines. I can’t get up in the morning and she can’t stay up late. And these differences have become stark after 19 years of growing up separately.

Honestly, if we weren’t sisters then I don’t think we could be friends. We would not be able to connect on a lot of levels – fashion, music, opinions, career, etc. I don’t remember us ever having a sisterly or even a girly one-on-one talk about crushes, heartbreaks, dreams, doubts or Brad Pitt. And how can two healthy females not talk about him! There has to be something wrong between us for that to happen. And there is. We still sleep on the same bed but we know nothing about each other's life. From the serious things like 'what do you want to do in life' to the inane things like 'when was your last shoe purchase", we never REALLY talk.

Of course, we do have our moments but I want more. I want everyday to be a giggly, clothes-borrowing, secret-telling, dream-sharing event. After all you can't just get a sister over the counter. I really want to communicate and know more than just her blood type, birthday and menstrual cycle. I don’t only want to be a sister but I also want to be a friend. So, I guess as the older sister I have to take the first few steps.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Meet Alfie

The only one-of-its-kind in the world and that's because I stitched him up for my mom. He is kinda ugly and asymmetrical and rough around the edges (I suck at stitching). But therein lies his charm. He is cute because of his abnormality and eclecticist - part soap dish, part cotton, part cloth. I hope you will love him like my mom has grown to after getting over her initial fits of laughter.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


A lot of times, it takes another person to point out things that you take for granted. Things that seem so mundane and ordinary but are actually really precious and extraordinary.

I was on the phone with a friend and he asked me what I did last night. So I told him that I spent last night inside my parent's bed - all cosy and warm - listening to my dad tell stories with my mom, sister and brothers. Then my friend said to me, "Wow, your family is really close". And I said, "What? What do you mean?"He replied, "I mean you guys seem to love each other and to spend time together. I don't remember the last time my family did that."

Then it really hit me just how blessed I was to have a family that really loves each other. My brothers still kiss me on my cheeks. Luckily (or unfortunately) they never went through a phase where they thought kissing or hugging their sisters were uncool. Rather my sister and I used to run away from their affectionate onslaughts. My parents still let us snuggle into their warmth, even though they protest especially to our cold feet. My dad still needs to be hugged before he falls asleep. There is still a fierce sibling rivalry for food. There is still a need to run to our parents and complain about my brothers. And in the end, we still love to gather in a big, warm bed basking in each other's love.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Home - not so sweet!

So, I finally did two months ago. And by that, I mean putting in my papers and taking my sabbatical from my fast, hectic, crazy world of work. At that time the notion of home was warm, friendly, familiar. It was so nostalgic that I was really excited to come home and spend time with my family and get to know my culture better. But reality is a PMSing amazonian bitch.

Don't get me wrong. I love my family but you know how families function and dysfunction. Trying to fit in after being away for a long time is not so easy. Trying to find a flow can have many awkward moments and misunderstandings. You see, I have been in boarding since I was seven years old. After 11 years of boarding school, I went directly to college and straight into another hostel. Then I did PG Diploma and stayed in yet another hostel. Then I started to work and lived on my own for nearly 3 years before sharing an apartment with two other friends. So, for my 19 years of existence, I have learned and adapted to an independent lifestyle where "I" becomes a necessity. A survival technique. And when "I" meets the "We", things can pretty intense. I thought I was prepared for the "culture shock", but I clearly was not. And is not too.

I know parents love us and want the best for us but sometimes they also need to let go. I don't mind listening and trying to learn new things. There is always room for improvement and I know that I have a lot of space to spare, but they also need to know what they can store in that space. Everything and anything can't come in. Things need to be processed. I know that I am living in their house and there are house rules to follow like in any other houses. But they also need to learn how to adjust. I am trying to adjust to a new and healthier lifestyle, like waking up at 6:00am, but they also need to give my body's internal clock time to adjust. I need time to adjust. A few days is not enough to adapt to a whole new and different world.

In Delhi, I would sleep around 2:00 am and wake up around 7:30 or 8:00 am. Because a lot of times, my work schedule dictated that kind of routine. It's not healthy but to also force my body to wake up with only four hours of sleep is not healthy too. The other day I woke up at 7:00 am. I thought that was pretty good but everyone was already awake by 6:00am. Plus it did not help that there were some morning guests who had come to meet my parents. So, I got scolded for my "bad habits" of sleeping in late and then that went on to other topics like "not knowing your culture", "not knowing how to cook", etc.

I can clean. Can cook. But I am not the domestic kind who is happy to be busy with household chores the whole day. I need to do something else. Something more. And that is the hardest thing that I am facing right now. Especially when you are idle the whole day and you are used to a lifestyle where you are always churning out ideas and racing to meet deadlines. You are always on the move - mentally and physically. So, at the end of the day I am not tired, but rather restless. Wanting to do something. Create something. Anything.

I know I am sounding like an immature brat. A shrew. A workaholic with withdrawal symptoms. A self-centered person. I know I have gone all over the place with my ranting but at the end, I still love my family and I don't regret coming home at the end of the day (or so I keeping tell myself or else I might kill myself). Home is not romantic. It's chaotic. Frustrating. Suffocating. Adjusting. Giving a lot. It's really tough. But it's home and you know know what they say, there's no place like "home".

Monday, June 07, 2010

Nearly got molested. Again and again and again...

Yesterday I nearly got molested in a shop. And sadly this is not the first time I have been sexually assaulted. I have had men sneak up behind me while they were masturbating. I have sat in an auto with a friend where the autowala was jacking off. I was once surrounded by boys who had stopped their car beside me and tried to get me inside the car. And right now I am so angry and tired and just plain disgusted. Why are men here so perverted and why can't I enjoy one day where I am not verbally, physically and emotionally violated!

Yesterday's incident made me so helpless. I knew what that man was trying to do as he tried to corner me, touch me and repeatedly tried to lure me back into the dark corners of his shop, but I was so shocked that all I could do was shout at him and warn him. Now I wish I had physically injured him. Actually I wish I had castrated him.

No matter how long I have lived here in Delhi and have learned ways to avoid and ignore such abuses, I am still not immune to them. Over the last eight years I have had to become more vocal and aggressive while dealing with men, but inside I still get scared.

I never call an electrician or plumber when I am home alone. I never take calls from unknown numbers. I never get friendly with male colleagues until I know for sure that they are nice, decent guys. I carry a pepper spray in my bag. I have learned a few self defense moves. But no matter what or how many precautions I take, I can never forget that I am still a woman and I can never ever let my guard down. Or else what happened yesterday might happen. And the next time I might not be so lucky like I have been in the past.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

An old short story I wrote a long time ago and recently found

The sun rises over the horizon, slowly warming the damp earth and waking her from her slumber. The land is bursting with different shades and combinations of green and brown, speckled with tiny reds, oranges and blues. An entourage of Ambassador cars drives through the Western Ghats as the Nethravathi river meanders along the way. As the river gushes along, the green hills of Kadri reveberates with the cars' purring, startling chattering birds and squabbling monkeys. Along the way a yellow road sign indicates that the Dharamsthala is only a kilometre away. An hour and a half journey is about the come to an end.

The passengers sitting inside the cars are ordinary looking middle-aged men with methodical eyes. They wear starched pressed suits with white shirts and are lost in their own thoughts. They know that they have gone over the facts and figures countless of times, but don't want to leave anything to chance. As the Manjunatheswara temple comes into view, the men sit up and adjust themselves. The cars stop outside the temple gate and the men step out. The temple's grand wall and intricate designs guard and exalt Lord Manjunatha.

The men cross the threshold and make their way across the enormous courtyard seeking the golden lingam. Whispering prayers and footsteps of devotees enhance the serenity of this sacred place. It is a world that defies all logic and laws of what they, as scientists, have adhered to for so many years. Formulas and axioms make sense to them but they also acknowledge a force beyond their scientific comprehensions.

The men take off their shoes and walk up the step toward the priests who are waving incense sticks, chanting and expecting them. The sounds of bells resound with the faith of the devotees. With bowed heads, pressed hands and bare feet, the scientists approach the saffron cladded men, who will sanctify their venture. They solemnly place their offering at the foot of the Lord Manjunatheswara's statue, seeking his divine blessings. With a miniature model of a satellite in its rightful place, the rites begin.

The scientists adhere to age-old traditions and exchange their formal attires for simplicity by removing excess layers of clothes. Thousands of kilometres away, men in a flight control room put on their earphones and talk into their microphones. Men in two different worlds do their own rituals to launch a satellite into space - some with their technology and some with their prayers.

As the priests start the puja and chant in their trance-like baritone voices, simultaneously crisp voices crackle in the air. Ancient vedic text and scientific jargons harmonise in a chorus. Sterilised voices repeat cryptic codes of aerospace. The puja intensifies its pace and a static voice commands a countdown. When the countdown nears to an end, the head priest pours ghee over the ceremonial fire, provoking red, blue and white flames into the heavens. The blaze then changes into an inferno of a rocket as it propels upward like a shooting star. As it goes further up and slowly disappears into the stratosphere, the men fold and raise their hands to a pranam to the celestial being who blessed their venture.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Just Shouldn't Cook

People who know me know that I don't like cooking. It's not like I can't cook to save my life but I just don't like cooking. It stresses me out. So when I do cook, I do it in a very haphazard manner. I don't really put much thought or effort into it. It could be pasta and tomato soup. Or Christmas maggie (masala maggie, sweet corn vegetable soup, tomato, spinach, beef and egg). My cooking modus operandi is whatever ingredients I lay my hands on goes into the cooking pot (I also usually use only one cooking pot to cook everything because I also hate washing utensils. Yes, I am lazy).

Anyway, what I wanted to tell you is about the dinner I made last night. Like all the meals that I cook, I wanted to cook something that was quick and effortless. So, I grabbed the soup packet and some vegetables - beetroot, cabbage and carrots. Chop, chop, snip, snip, stir, stir, simmer, simmer. I went away to freshen up and when I came back after a few minutes, I was shocked to see this.

For a minute I thought a lizard had fallen inside and died, spilling its blood in my dinner. But luckily the reason was not as gruesome as it indicated. It was the beetroot! Phew.

This has to be one of the most disgusting and unappetising meal ever prepared. No sane person would eat this…except me. Hahahah! I ate two bowls of it but without really looking at it. It really wasn't bad once you got past the look of it. :-P

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Whoa, Man!

Yesterday as I was sipping my first cup of coffee in office with some of my girlfriends, one of my male colleagues came up to me as said, “Congrats, man. You guys must be so happy about the Women’s Reservation Bill. It must be awesome for feminists like you guys.”

My smile disappeared. My twisted lips uttered “eh”. Then my words finally came out. “I hate it when people call us feminists. Just because we want basic rights, don’t want to be harassed by men and want a voice, how does it make us feminists? Why am I a feminist?”

So he said, “No, I meant that you guys are independent and you know…sorry I didn’t mean it that way.” Poor chap, I didn’t mean to sound angry. I was honestly more curious but my mannerism after being in Delhi for more than eight years (will talk about it some other time) is brusque. Anyway, I did say thanks to him for the sweet gesture.

This started a conversation around the table over coffee and cigarettes. Luckily for us, we are mostly surrounded by men who respect women and supported the Women’s Reservation Bill but there were still some skepticism about it. Like will the women representatives be capable? What if it’s just nominal power? Will they really work for the betterment of the society? Why does India need reservation quotas? If women think they are equal then why do they need special treatment?

I think it is an historic moment. It still needs to be approved in the Lok Sabha and the implementation is going to be a tough task but it’s a start. There are risks involved but its potentiality cannot be ignored. And yes, we needed this 108th constitutional amendment not only as a political and economical leverage but also more importantly, as a social one. We need this leverage for equality because we are regarded as innately inferior. It’s a necessity and not a special treatment because we still live in a world that is, sadly, unfair to women and girls. Millions of women across the country find themselves excluded from opportunities, vulnerable to exploitation and denied recognition. But it cannot be denied that these same neglected women are the ones who form the backbone of the informal sectors, households and society.

So, whatever misgivings there are about this bill, the biggest misgiving is the failure of politicians and people to realise and acknowledge a woman’s potential.

Monday, March 08, 2010


I am bored.
Of you.
Of everyone.
I don’t have the patience to bear with you.
To hear you out.
Your stories.
Your guilt.
Your troubles.
I am sick of it all.
I want to get far away from all this.
I just want to be left alone.
By you.
My loneliness comes from you.
Your absence makes me aware when I am left alone.
If I go far away from you then I won’t feel this emptiness.
Give me back my solitude.
Leave me alone.

Friday, March 05, 2010

India Hockey Team hwaiting!!

Last night I went for the India vs. Spain hockey match. And yes, India lost 5-2. But that is not the point. What got me so sad and mad was how the crowd was so easily discouraged and discouraging. There were still a few minutes left before the game ended and there was no way India could catch up unless something miraculous happened like the ghost of past hockey legends possessing the bodies of the Indian hockey players and scoring 4 goals in less than three minutes. The stadium grew quieter and people started leaving even before the game ended. That must have been so painful to the players who were playing so hard. They might not have been in their best form but they did go into the field to give their all and win. Having played sports in school, I know that the worst thing you can do to a team is to abandon them. It is the most discouraging feeling when you see your supporters leaving the game. No matter what, supporting till the end can really make a difference. Even when you lose you don’t feel like you lost everything. So, there I was in the stadium screaming my lungs out and not giving a damn about people staring at me. India Hockey Team hwaiting!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I just realised that coffee is very expensive. It really is. I even have an equation to prove it to you. Yes, mathematically.

Work + Work + More work + Late nights – Sleep + Difficult clients x Tight deadlines – Friends – Family + Angry Boss x Stress + Pimples x PMS - Raise = Coffee

* Drinking my 12th cup of coffee at work *

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

To a Tea

So, what happens when you work hard, have no life, run dry of ideas and whatever ideas you put out there just shrivels up and dies? You feel like shit! Hahahaa! So, I decided to have fun with some of the ideas and give them some life. Here is one of them (after more than one year of just sitting and gathering dust and cobwebs in my folder)! :-P