Monday, August 22, 2016

Rush Hour

Was this a panic attack? 

She googled for symptoms. 

Sweaty forehead: check
Choking: check
Feeling unreal or detached from surroundings: check
Hyperventilaton: check
Nausea: Not yet, but almost there

The traffic wasn't helping her. She checked Google Maps which flashed 35 mins to reach home. 

Licking her lips, she tried to distract herself. She opened her Instagram account and then appeared the Niagara Falls. Everything around her reminded her of the painful moment she was going through. She closed her eyes, and shifted in her seat. 

Her mom offered her a water bottle. NO, a voice in her head screamed. 

"You okay?" her mom asked. "You haven't said a word since we met"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just not used to this"

"Oh, yes the weather is a little humid, but you'll get used to it. So, tell me, how is your job going? Have you got a promotion yet?" her mom asked

"More importantly, what did you eat at the airport?"her dad chipped in.

"Please leave me alone. I'm in a spot of bother now" she mumbled.

Her mom turned around concerned. Her daughter lay sprawled in the backseat in a pained expression. 

It was a familiar sight for her. This happened each time, she and her husband arrived at the airport to pick up their daughter. Her daughter was always paranoid about losing her luggage at the airport so she never let it out of her sight until she was home. 

"Should we stop for coconut water?" her dad asked. It was a family tradition that that they stopped following ever since their daughter moved out of the city. 

"Please don't stop, let's get her home''' muttered her mom.

Finally, they reached home. 

It felt like a vacation of a lifetime. Dropping her backpack to the floor, she rushed to her room like a mad woman. She couldn't stop grinning.

There. She finally liked the picture of Niagara Falls on her Instagram feed, sitting on the toilet seat. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Vow to Wow when you finally say 'I DO' !

The whole world is getting married, while I'm left wondering what is a good title for this blog post. Some of the marriages that I attended in school, have already failed, while some of them are now being termed as a 'compromise'.

After seeing all these marriages fall apart, hearing my own heart break a several times, maybe it's too late, for most of us, to try to put our faith in love, once again. Marriages are no longer a choice- it's more of a routine, which happens in your 20's. I've had several mood swings regarding this topic, so leaving my personal opinion aside, I just wanted to share something I read recently.

I am currently reading this book 'Eleven Minutes' by Paulo Coelho. There was this amazing passage where the girl talks about love. When you fall in love with a bird, you actually look at the freedom with which he spreads his wings, and travels the world. You wish he would take you with him, far, far away, into the open wide world. Because you fall in love with him, you want him to be, by your side all the time. So, you cage the pretty bird, and stare at it, all day long. But now, the bird loses his freedom, as well as the will to live. You fall out of love with him, because he doesn't express himself anymore.

Sounds familiar? I'm no one to give anyone advice, nor am I anyone to take advice from anyone. All I am saying is, don't lose your flight. And don't be the one to cut someone's wings. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My encounter with a young couple

The only time I get to spend with other people is during my daily trips via shared autos. People watching, as you all know is my favourite passtime. No, I wouldn’t mean to demean them by calling it my passtime, actually. It is unfortunate that people nowadays forget the hidden beauty of knowing others by simply observing their behaviour. These shared auto encounters are the most painfully bumpy and slow rides yet the most fun-filled moments of the whole day, for me. Frankly, I prefer this moment than the moments when I meet my real friends during weekends. I love the uncertain vibe that strangers carry with them.

The other day I met this young couple. They weren’t actually a couple, as I found out later on. It was the day rains hit Gurgaon for the first time this season. Naturally, the girl had to pinpoint the obvious a dozen times. The boy nodded on like an automated toy. It seemed that the nod was a reflex action whenever the girl pointed out the rains. The girl droned on about the beauty of rains. The romance in the air. The chill breeze sweeping her hair on her face. Now, if in normal circumstances, a girl threw pointed hints about rain and romance, any other boy would have spoken about bhutta, long drive, walk, or something!! It was all too easy for him. She was just a giggle away from giving him his first rainy wet kiss. I was getting intrigued by the boy’s silent battle. Surely, the guy wasn’t friend-zoning this lady! I noticed she was getting restless too. She then directly suggested that they should go for a long drive on his bike and then he should drop her home. He stared at her for a few seconds. There were prominent suspicious frown lines on his forehead. I was egging him on to refuse her but then came the nod. There was triumph in the girl’s eyes whilst the spectacles perched on the guy’s nose hide his brief emotions. Our eyes met as I got off at my stop and I was sure I saw distress in those eyes.

I might be wrong about all this. Maybe the guy got off too and told her simple and straight that he doesn’t want the long drive, the walk and her. Maybe the girl felt he wasn’t good enough for her and let him go. Maybe the rains planted seeds of new-found love between them. Maybe the parental units intervened and made them part ways.  It taught me the chick was a real marvel at getting herself asked out. It made me feel the guy wasn’t ready to let her face the truth. The girl wasn’t giving up. The guy might be in for a few more troubled dates. A lot of maybes. You got your bus. Or a metro compartment. Or a local train. Don’t switch off while you are travelling. Keep your mind ticking, maybe you will end up finding out what you are missing out on.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I can do anything for a job, Master!

This post might make me lose a lot of friends, but hey, if you are my friend, you know I give a damn. Ever since I started working, during my minimal contact with some chosen junior friends, I realize we don’t talk about anything except internships, CGPA, exams, moots, publications in journals, who is working in which firm, benefits of higher studies- AARGH, I think I will break my damned keyboard any moment now in anger! The list is endless. Why this CV obsession, I ask?

In college, I used to wonder and ask the same thing to my batchmates and seniors. They only brushed me aside because I was not a good student and I was accused of being casual in my career.  People kept asking me to switch to sports journalism and said I don’t have the aptitude for law. Pray tell me, in which career aptitude manual was it written again, that your job should be your passion? So, umm, guys who like cricket should go play cricket for India, right? Girls who like shopping should work for Westside, right?  Of course not, you say, with a sheepish smile. Another world changing revelation which I was told was that if I don’t have publications or a good CGPA or fabulous internships, I am going to be an unemployed, sad, unmarried old maid (yes yes, the other analogy is good grades=good success in your love life, yes I’m serious!) I know some people with great grades and an orgasmic CV, who are struggling to do well in their jobs. I also know some people who strived hard to make their CV run into pages, who ended up getting jobs where they wanted, but hate the shit out of it. What is the point of it all, I ask?!

The biggest nincompoops on the face of earth are those who work with an NGO or volunteer for one, just to build their CV or to get an entry in Harvard University or the like. It is like you cheat the children or old people you are volunteering for. How fucking materialistic can you get?!

Ranting won’t help,  because I have tirelessly tried putting this point across, but in vain. My solution is to answer their queries and kill these people in my head slowly and steadily. Do you have a better solution?

Whether you are from an Ivy League University, whether you have a pay package of lakhs, whether you slept with someone just to get a promotion, I sincerely, sincerely hope karma will come and strike you down.

I am glad I enjoyed my college life to the hilt and didn't worry too much about my career. I went with the flow, woke up later after I graduated when the time was right and opted for what I love. I was fairly successful in whatever I did, and I am glad my efforts did not go in vain. And after I started working, I realized concepts and intellect matters, not mugging endless pages of words and numbers. A little part of me wants to go up to all my detractors and show them what I am but then I realize it's not worth it. People talk because they have to talk.

P.S.- I know some people would go, “Damn, this is one jealous bitch.” You may keep your money and gold plated resume, and my middle finger, while you are at it.
P.P.S.- I promise this is my last serious post. The funny Mads is coming out of hibernation soon! :Dc

Monday, May 27, 2013

Value your life... just like I did ;)

The last time I scribbled out here was a formal post for the Yuvraj Singh meet (Cough cough) written by a zoned out Madhuri. I promised myself I will get back to blogging when I am myself and it shouldn't be a fake Me out here. So, here I am, and I did miss this little space where I barked whatever came to my mind and my blogger friends stood by loyally without making any judgements. 

Speaking of blogger friends, I attended Harshita's wedding- my first blogger wedding. I met Arpit Rastogi too there and needless to say, we three hit off awesomely well and I had a blast. Met Abhinav in Bangalore in December (again) and I must say he is becoming more handsome as he is ageing :D Currenly with my best friend turned blogger Sreeja in Delhi and she's the reason behind the glow on my face (And the pimples because of the sleepless nights we have due to our constant chatter!). After a chaotic 1.5 year after graduation, this is the happiest zone I have ever been in, touch Oliver Wood. There's a lot of changes in my life, mentally, emotionally, biologically (Still a virgin! I was talking about my weight loss, perverts!). Where do I begin? 

I don't begin :P

Here's a little piece I wrote for a friend who was supposed to give it in Toastmasters and couldn't write a speech due to paucity of time. That friend didn't plagiarize this speech in the end, so here it is! I promise you, it is not preachy and it does have the Madhuri touch in it!

How often have you heard your peers talk about regretting the time they missed out on spending with a person they recently lost? Or that popular, multi-talented jock who got stuck with a 9-9 job and was never again content or successful in his life.  Or surely you aren’t that insensitive to not have shed a tear or two at Rahul’s expression when Anjali boarded that train.

Let’s not forget the guitar class you never enrolled for. Or the ballet class you added at number one in your now-dusty to-do list. So, the morning jogs you keep postponing everyday, can be done with those crutches you will wake up to every morning, isn’t it? And you know you are going to be invited for the wedding of the girl you aren’t going to ask out, at least in this lifetime, right?

Friends, before you hit me with brickbats… or rather actual bricks, today we are going to have a little introspection in our respective lives. I want you all to close your eyes... I’ll keep mine open to watch out for those bricks coming my way…. And think about at least 5 things you could be doing now if you weren’t at your respective companies. *waits for some time* You could think of more than 5 things, am I, right?

The words ‘shall’, ‘will’ and ‘must’ should be knocked out of the English dictionary. Such wistful promises are not going to do you or me, a favour. It is in our best interest that we do not depend on reincarnation to bring us back as the person we are in our next birth. Why not enjoy each minute of what you are doing? Wait, wait, wait, I know what your first defense is going to be-Everyone is supposed to hate their jobs. It will end up badly. I’m safer here, in my cocoon. Maybe. Maybe, you will hate what you are going to take up next. Maybe, the chick or guy might turn you down. Maybe, those salsa classes might not help the ever clumsy you. Behind all these silly permutations and combinations, the risk might be worth it. Dodging obstacles was all we did our whole lives. When the 10th and 12th Boards didn’t gobble us up, aren’t we up for more?

So go for it. Pick up the phone and talk to your family, not your boss. Order that extra costly pizza and see that movie you have been meaning to watch, with the friend you have been dying to meet. Because when you go to bed every night, you shouldn’t dread tomorrow’s dawn.

P.S.- What shit is blogpost upto? :O I can't format for nuts! And no, I won't shift to wordpress :|

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Yuvstrong and how!

The finals of Natwest Trophy 2001 launched a flamboyant, young left-hander from India into the record books. The journey after that was as dramatic as it was heart-warming. From a T20 World Cup winner to the ‘water boy’ of the team.  From being almost out of the side for the World Cup 2011, to being the Man of the Series and bringing the Cup home.  Controversies haunted him throughout his career. Yuvraj Singh has seen it all.

Everyone remembers the image of a sobbing Yuvi after the finals. Those tears returned to many a cricket fan’s eyes when Yuvraj Singh was diagnosed with a rare germ cell cancer between his lungs. An emotional cricketing world rallied behind him for support. People prayed for him, sent their wishes on various social networking sites. Someone known to uplift the spirits of the dressing room was now left on his own to deal with a matter of life and death - literally.

Instead of shunning himself in a corner, Yuvraj tweeted his progress regularly for his fans and the rest of the cricketing world. It was as if he owed this much to his people.  It is ironic that it was only during this phase that people could find out more about Yuvraj the person Yuvraj, rather than the cricketer Yuvi. Many didn’t know that Yuvi had founded an NGO – the Yuvraj Singh Foundation - way back in 2009. More than himself, it seemed like he was assuring the nation that he would fight and end up on the winning side. Through social networking sites, he regularly cheered for Team India not only in cricket but also in other sports.

The man who had won India two World Cups had another battle to win, yet again single-handedly. His efforts speak volumes of the mammoth will and determination that he possesses - qualities which can win you half the battle. He uploaded pictures of his bald self after his chemotherapy treatment, proving that cancer was nothing to be ashamed about. Many cancer patients wrote to him saying that he is an inspiration to them, to which he encouragingly responded back. He thanked each and every one profusely who came to meet him or talked to him, like Anil Kumble, or Sachin who had said he would matter when it would matter the most, before the World Cup 2011, or Zaheer Khan who had said he would be the man of the series of the World Cup.

As Yuvi had tweeted, ‘Comeback is not a challenge, it is a statement’. Welcome back, Yuvi! Your story only proves - “Jab tak balla chalta hai, thaat hai!”

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gone- II

So, I was sitting on my bed, reading ‘The Glass Palace’ by Amitav Ghosh (It’s lovely, btw), when I suddenly wanted to call Mom. We usually talk at 9, so I waited. I called up at sharp 9 and my call was on wait. It has happened before, c’mon, my mom is a normal insaan, she gets calls all the time. But my intuition said something was wrong, and I just knew what was wrong. She called back after sometime and made small talk (which she sucks at). Before I could poke her about what was wrong, she broke it to me. My grandmother (Patti) had passed away.  And the creepy part was that I felt it, right from 8:30, which was kind of the time of her death.

I didn’t cry as much as I cried when my grandpa (Thatha) passed away, because of the circumstances (I work, so I had to be professional and all that, so I couldn’t go with red rimmed eyes and a headache the next day) Yes, I wanted to go to Chennai but my parents told me not to come because it’s not worth going all the way, just for a day, that too when she is no more.

I dressed up without looking at the mirror the next day. I couldn’t see the mirror because when I saw myself, I saw Patti. She was, of course, definitely more good looking than me, but we resemble a lot. When I tried to recall till what standard she studied, or some of her stories when she was small, I realized with a jolt that I did not know anything about her childhood. Her father was a Doctor, and she wanted to become a Doctor too, but couldn’t, because she had to look after her brothers and sisters. It was always Thatha who ran the show. He talked on and on about his life, while quiet Patti cooked for us, washed and folded our clothes. She didn’t study that much, but I clearly remember her grinning and tell us (me and my sis) about her grandfather boasting that his grandkid reads English newspaper :D

She used to be very inquisitive about everything. She poked her nose in whatever textbooks my sister and I used to read. I used to wonder why she read the heading of the textbooks or opened them to browse. I never asked her. I should have. 

She hated cricket and always supported the opposite team, be it Australia or Pakistan. And whenever she told Pak or Aus would win, they always won K

I remember the Sharjah cup when Sachin went berserk, my sister, Thatha, mom and I went berserk too. We didn’t let Patti sleep the whole night by thoroughly discussing all the matches. We slept the next day till 10, but sweet Patti, had a disturbed sleep all night, but she was still up by 4 to cook for the house. And no complaints from her, just a scowl when we informed her that India won :P

I wish I had learnt to cook from her. I wish I hadn’t snatched the remote from her to watch my random serials or cartoons, which made her sleep early that day, out of lack of anything better to do.

I wish I had forced her to tell more stories about her life. She never spoke about how her father in law used to insult her in his letters to my grandpa. She never spoke about how she felt when my grandpa came to see her for marriage. But she always went inside another room when my grandpa spoke about the first time he saw her. And a pink faced Patti would emerge from that room after a while :P Once at an airport, one random lady had told my granny that she is very beautiful. My grandmom blushed so hard when she told this to us.

She had weak bones, she fell down a lot of times, in a lot of places. Once, she fell down while climbing an auto, and she was very quiet when she was home. As usual, I asked her how she was feeling and there were no injuries or anything, so I went back to Thatha or doing some other crap. My sister used to sit down, more with Patti and talk to her, so my sis later told me that Patti was upset because she felt embarrassed when people had to help her when she fell down. She was always independent, so her last few years were terrible. She had Alzheimer’s, almost, immediately after Thatha passed away, for 3 years.  Her last memory of me, was that I was still in college. I could never give her a reason to finally be proud of me, that I was working in a different city and living independently.

She used to always tell me and my sister that we look great. Frankly, I started looking good only in college… How could she even think I look good, forget great, when I was in school ?!?! I never asked her why she lied to me on my face. 

I had called her during my college internship in Delhi. She asked me if I had found any hot guys. She was this traditional, orthodox woman, who would have really liked it if I married a Tamilian, same caste and all that, but for some reason, she always asked me if I found any good looking boy. I never asked her why she did that.

My sister and I, at some point of time, decided to say ‘I love you’ to my grandparents every time we talked. I think we read it in Cosmo or Femina or somewhere that you should keep letting your grandparents know that you love them :P The result was awesome, my grandpa used to gush and say, I love you too or I miss you. And my granny? She said “Hmmm…okay.” I was aghast when I heard that, and I wailed “You don’t love me!” And she dryly replied “Ok ok I love you” I think my future boyfriend also wouldn’t create a racket like this to profuse his love for me, man! I was adamant, and I went on, “How much do you love me, Patti?”  And she replied, “BIG BIG BIG BIG!”

I never told her that, THAT was the cutest I love you, I have ever, ever got, and I ever, ever will get.
There was this one time, when my sister and I had called them and my granny picked up. As usual, I demanded that she should give the phone to my grandpa, because as I said, my grandpa was always in the limelight, so I hardly talked a lot to my granny (Sorry Patti, I’ll not do that in our next life together) And my granny tried unsuccessfully to put an accent, and she went like “He has gone to the market. Who is calling?” I squealed with excitement and shouted “PATTIIIIIIIIII” and she sniggered and told, “This is his secretary speaking.” Not to be outdone, I asked her why he has gone to the market, and she replied, “Gone to buy bhajji. Do you have any message?” (All this in pure English, I swear)

I never reminded her about this conversation and I never told her how cool she was, and the accent she put on, was ACTUALLY good.

My grandparents used to travel by Navjivan Express every summer to visit my family. My granny fell down in the bathroom many times. Plus it was more than a 24 hours journey. I never asked her how she put up with all that, just to come to a place which didn’t suit her.

She stitched cushions and made a sofa out of thermocal for my barbies. And even made tea for my tea set (which but obviously my dolls never drank, and I ended up throwing their share) and gave me biscuits for my kitchen set. And she put up with me, when I woke her from her nap, saying I was hungry or the dolls were hungry or asking her if I should dress one Barbie up in a mini skirt or in full pants.
She never asked me what I wanted to become, she never asked me what my grades were like, she never criticized me for my bad temper, she never advised me about anything. I never realized this either. My grandpa had these questions for me, but my grandma never had. She was actually the only person who never questioned my actions, but continued loving me. 

Grandmothers are special and I lost my second and last special person in my life. And I know I am not going to get unconditional love from anyone, anywhere, ever again.

P.S.- Grammar and Formatting Nazis can please try not to do a Madhuri and point out my mistakes here. My granny passed away on 5th June, 2012, in case anyone wants to know...