Har har! The wedding season is here!

It’s the middle of the night, I have to doll up for two pre-wedding functions tomorrow and here I am, trying to make those dark circles more prominent. Way to go, Mia! The recipe for a sweet disposition and a decently made-up face definitely consists of late nights and late night snacking.

A part of me really doesn’t give a shit about the zits, the dark circles, the grumpy face and the angry demeanour that are sure to make me the belle of the ball. I mostly just care about the food. Weddings are an extravagant affair anyway but in India, the judgemental stares are mostly directed towards the buffet.

Me? I don’t judge. I merely stuff my face with gulab jamuns and pakodas and I’m looking forward to just that (and chilling with the cousins).

However, at times, my worn pyjamas and chinese takeaways almost manage to lure me in. Did I mention I get to binge-watch TV shows and binge-read books? I am probably the only person on the gruesome planet who is yet to watch Stranger Things.

(Yells out to the wilderness: Anybody out there in the same place as me?)

And, as of 22nd December 2016 with nine days until 2016 ends (YES FINALLY), I have ten more books to read this year if I am to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I decided to read 150 books in 2016 and as I am a big fat braggadacio, I went around telling everyone about it. So far, I’ve managed to read 140 which is pretty decent. But but but, I still have a long way to go before I accomplish my goal. While I know that I’m horrible at accomplishing goals, the Goodreads Reading Challenge is something I manage to complete every year (and then brag about it of course).

As if 2016 wasn’t already a clusterfuck, Mia, the legendary bookworm who prefers to go by bookdragon because dragons are cooler than worms, won’t be completing her reading goal this year. Wow. I said that out loud. That wasn’t so bad now.

It sounded much worse.

*cue existential crisis because if I can’t read 150 books in a year, who am I even? What do I do? Stop reading altogether? WHAT IS THE POINT OF MY LIFE THEN?*

It’s not like I’m writing like I’m running out of time. To be honest, napping like I’m running out of time is more like it. I’m not even sorry because naps ftw. If only I were a wee babe again…

Also, although 2016 has certainly been a clusterfuck for the world, it’s treated me pretty okay. Sure, hell did break lose. I did fall sick and had a difficult time coping with it. But, I did plenty of awesome things too. I should write a separate appreciation post for those. 2016 has been nothing if not eventful.

As 2016 comes to an end, I am unfortunately reminded of my resolutions. Nope, not stuck to any. I’m still fat; I’ve still been inconsistent with the blog and I don’t even remember what else I had resolved to do.

The thing is, it is very easy to feel like a piece of shit due unfulfilled resolutions. But, remember, we don’t need reasons to feel like pieces of shit. We’re all trash living in a garbage bin and trying to make the best of it.

So what if I’m still fat? I’ve realised it makes me really huggable.

So what if I barely wrote anything? I know most of the Hamilton soundtrack by heart.

So what if I didn’t do something that changed the world? I am pretty sure I managed to make it at least a little better by trying to be just a little nicer.

Fuck resolutions. Let’s just raise our weary glasses to the fact that we survived Brexit, Trump and Modi’s demonetisation.

Bye-bye, Bunky

As a kid, I believed that every wish made on an eyelash would come true.

Now, this wasn’t because I was gullible. I questioned and I experimented. My belief came into existence because at the age of seven, I wished on a fallen eyelash for two materialistic possessions that seemed crucial for my existence.

I regularly wished for a bunk bed and a bean bag.

A  few months ago, I had accompanied my dear mother and my aunt to a furniture exhibition. All I remember from that experience is the abundance of free candies and the presence of beautiful furniture that managed to grab and hold the attention of a disinterested seven year old. Oh and the fancy vegetable chopper cum peeler.

It was there that I first got acquainted with the existence of bunk beds and bean bags.

They fascinated me. It was a bed with a ladder! And a chair that could mould itself according to the size of my butt and my posture! Science! Wow! Miracles!

Safe to say I was persistent and obstinate in my demand for a bunk bed and a bean bag to both, the universe and my parents.

(What a brat!)

I wished on every eyelash for them. Every. Single. One.

Maybe it was the universe or maybe it was my doting parents, but the following July I became a proud owner of a bean bag.

I remember taking turns with my friends to bounce and jump on it during my birthday party. I warmed up easily to my bean bag whom I named bean bag.

We moved to a new flat soon after my 7th birthday. Our new home was bigger, airier and I got my own room. I shared it with my grandparents but it was still a lot more space than I was used to. I was very excited.

My parents gradually began the long, expensive process of furnishing the house to their taste (and mine). I got Tom & Jerry curtains, a proper dressing table and my very own bunk bed with a cute little ladder. I called it Bunky.

I was a goddamn coward as a kid. Ghosts terrified me. As did the dark. I refused to sleep on the upper bunk because I was terrified some malicious entity would whisk me away in my sleep and my darling grandparents wouldn’t know until the next morning. By then, it would be too late and I would be lost for ever and ever and ever.

I had an active imagination. I read a lot.

Don’t judge me.

I didn’t sleep on Bunky. However, I would often climb up the ladder and curl up with a book. I would remain undisturbed for hours.

When I did start sleeping up eventually, I realised that Bunky offered privacy that I would not get any other way. I could put up posters and I did. High School Musical taught me to get my head in the game and Shahid Kapoor was super hot.

I wasn’t scared anymore because I had won a Harry Potter frame at the mall which I stuck on the wall. Harry Potter watched over me as I slept with his wand drawn out.

(His wand with a phoenix feather and not…you know…)

I could keep a stack of books with me and never get bored or worse disturbed. There were times when I would be reading so silently that my mom would spend hours looking for me. I would be found only when I slithered down the ladder.

I had become quite good at climbing up and down ladders.

When I began writing in earnest, there wasn’t a better spot to jot down some words than Bunky.

I had stuck glow-in-the-dark stars to the ceiling. Staying up gazing at the ceiling became a past time.

Bunky had become a haven of sorts for me. I spent years making it my own and loving the bed. I understood why beds were such a big deal during Shakespearean times. Beds are a reflection of the owner/user. The pillow I used (a multicoloured turtle shaped one), my three sheets- duvet, shawl and the typical solapuri chaddar were an expression of my personality. My sense of individuality was on a constant rise.

But as all things must, this blissful period too came to an end.

I eventually stopped sleeping on the bunk because my grandfather  complained (he slept on the lower bunk) that the bed moved too much as I rolled over in sleep.

Then my dad passed away and I ended up sleeping in the same room as mom to fill the emptiness he left behind.

I turned twenty this year. My mom had been trying to convince me to dismantle the upper bunk for the past three years.

I knew that I wouldn’t be sleeping on the upper bunk ever again. Due to lack of use, the sheets and the mattress used to get incredibly dusty. Bunky became a place to dump broken toys and other things.

It was time. I gave in to mom’s wish.

Three days ago, she called a carpenter and Bunky was dismantled. Bunky has now been reduced to a few planks of wood and a mattress.

Sure, the room looks brighter and feels more open. It is airier and my sister and I now have an entire wall for our posters.

All of this doesn’t make up for the strong sense of loss I felt when I first entered the horribly empty room. My gut sank and I felt lost. The room felt alien to me.

If I am being honest, I hadn’t expected such an intense reaction from myself. I barely called Bunky Bunky anymore. I hadn’t slept there in over three years.

But damn, it hurt. The hollowness of the room mirrored a hollow pit in my stomach. I couldn’t bear to enter that room for a few days.

Turning 18 didn’t feel so much like a loss of childhood as this did. I won’t ever slide up the ladder with a book in hand ever again. I no longer have my very own reading nook. I won’t ever fear falling off the bed and landing on the person sleeping below ever again. I won’t ever sulk away on the upper bunk ever again. I won’t do any of the million things that I used to up there.

I am 20, I no longer have a bunk bed and this eerily feels like the time to start adulting for real.

A Love Letter to Myself

Dearest Mia,
I am writing this letter to you, love, so that we remember. The past one year has not been kind to us. Why, you demand. Because we stopped being kind to ourselves. Something shattered and the shards remained buried deep within us; corrupting us, killing us.

We have been so sad. Medication barely helped. After a point, it was easier to give in than to fight. But, remember this, remember this always, depression is not your friend. Depression is a vile, beautiful woman than seduces you into her smothering embrace. She manages to be both the most wonderful and the most horrible thing to happen to you. Wonderful because she persuades you to stop trying, to give into the pain. Her embrace is so easy to get lost into and who doesn’t like easy?

But easy and good are not the same and we failed to understand that.

Depression makes you hate. It makes you hurt; it makes you want to hurt others. It is manipulative and masochistic. You take a knife and cut yourself believing that you are doing yourself and the world a favour. That’s depression.

But, love, you are not doing anyone a favour. You are giving in to hatred and when hating others stops being enough, you turn to yourself. You turn on yourself.

We know each other the best, don’t we? We know where it hurts the most. We know what hurts the most. And we attack relentlessly. The worst part is that we believe that we deserve this cruelty.

Love, I want you to remember that you are human and you are one of the good ones. People love you because of the bits they get to see. We see the entire, completed puzzle and yet we don’t love ourselves.

It’s high time we learn how. I am trying to learn how, you should too.

We have to remember to be kind to ourselves. Kiss that smooth palm, caress that soft cheek, indulge, be affectionate. Forgive.

We must learn to look into the mirror without feeling the bile rise.

We have to stop apologising for looking ugly when we don’t and when we do. There is a certain beauty in ugly that we should learn to notice.

We have to stop apologising for wanting, for needing, for craving.

We must stop apologising for existing.

You, darling, are not a waste of space. If you can convince so many others, why can’t you fucking convince yourself?

You are not the evil incarnate. I’m sure being the evil incarnate takes a lot more than mere jealousy.

Remember, you are worthy of kindness, of compassion, of concern and care. You are worthy of love. You won’t destroy every heart you touch. You won’t hurt every person you talk to. Good things can come out of being associated with you. And your mother sure as hell doesn’t wish you were never born. Even if you do, at times.

Believe me. You are worthy of love, of friendship, of puppies, of birthdays, of a kind smile, of miracles, of luck and of life. You are worthy.

Please believe me.

Love,
Mia.

The Pizza (Pondy #2)

I love sitting next to the window while travelling. I love watching the trees, the houses, the people pass by. I love the strangeness of it all.

While going to Pondy from Chennai, I did have a window seat but the blazing sun did not let me draw open the curtains. The next best thing to do was to do nap and I did nap but not for long. I was sitting by myself with no one to talk to so I decided on watching a movie recommended by someone who knows movies. My eyes were fixated on Brad Pitt knocking out a guy twice his size on my teeny-weeny screen when suddenly loud music in Tamil broke out from nowhere.

I paused my movie and looked up to see that they were screening a movie in the bus. Awesome. Wow. The only problem? I knew only a few words of Tamil (mostly swear words taught by my TamBram internet friend) so I could not understand anything happening in that Tamil movie. Nor could I watch Brad Pitt beat up any more guys because the Tamil movie was very loud.

Finally, after three to four hours in the bus, we landed in Pondy. I loved Pondy right from the very first glimpse of the endless blue ocean. What can I say? I’m a sucker for Poseidon.

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My face after looking at my beloved Poseidon

The place we were staying at was called Les Hibiscus and it was on Rue Suffren. If you ever happen to go to Pondy, I will highly recommend Les Hibiscus to you. You won’t meet a nicer person than the owner, Pascrane Uncle in the whole of Pondy.

Our room was a beautiful blend of Franco-Tamoul culture with colonial furniture and paintings of Hindu goddesses.

 

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Beds fit for princesses!

 

The weather was way hotter than what I had anticipated. I am a Mumbai girl, a summer child. I have never seen a winter that wasn’t mild. But the heat on the east coast was a real, living monster. My friends and I sought refuge in our cool air-conditioned room from this vile creature.

Too lazy to get out of the pyjamas we had put on, we decided against venturing out for dinner. We chose to order pizza from a place called Farm Fresh. Why pizza? Because pizza.

Dee is a vegetarian so she opted for a regular Farm Fresh pizza while Tash and I being the meat-lovers we were opted for something large and with chicken.

 

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The small pizza turned out to be the same size as a medium one from Domino’s and the large pizza turned out to be someone that could fill Joey’s stomach for sure.

Did we mind?

Nope. Not even a little bit. Screw weight gain. Screw dieting. We devoured the pizzas.

Farm fresh had enough vegetables for it to qualify for a vegetarian pizza. Every slice of the chicken pizza had more chunks of chicken than an entire Domino’s pizza. The pizzas also had proper cheese that made our vacation start on a cheesy note.

 

Dee's Farm Fresh pizza

Dee’s Farm Fresh pizza

Our chicken pizza!

Our chicken pizza!

 

Did I mention that the base was sourdough? Have you tried a sour dough pizza base? No? Then, you are missing out on something splendiferous.

When I visit Pondicherry again, I am definitely ordering a pizza from Farm Fresh. It was the second best pizza I have ever tasted and I have eaten a lot of pizza.

Our tummies were now bloated. Our senses satisfied with the gustatory pleasure they had received. The three of us now slithered into our beds and fell asleep.

It was the start of a week of the most sound sleep I would get in the 20 years of my life.

The Departure (Pondy #1)

It’s been two weeks but I still remember the day as if it all took place just yesterday. It was a day of firsts, it was a day of adulting and most of all it was a day of sweating profusely.

April 14th, 2016: The day Dee, Tash and I went on our first parentless trip together.

I had just escaped from the clutches of my end of the semester examinations. I had survived the ordeal. I had emerged victorious in the first battle but there was one other skirmish I had to win before I could put my guard down.

Packing my bags.

Damn son, the worst part about travelling is packing me bags. Do I have enough pants? Do I have enough underwear? I haven’t forgotten my toothbrush, have I? Are my clothes folded properly?

It’s stressful.

My suitcase was packed and ready by 1 am and the flight left at 9am. We had decided to reach the airport at 7.30 am which meant I would have to open my eyes to the world at 6.15 am which gave me just over five hours of sleep.

Now, five hours of sleep isn’t all that bad. But try telling that to the past me who had gotten through her exams solely by burning the midnight oil (as well as the dawn oil).

Weirdly enough, I ended up oversleeping. My uncle drove like a pro and we reached the glorious new terminal of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport in Mumbai half an hour later than we were supposed to.

A quick hi to my friends, a quicker good bye to our families and we were off.

We checked in our luggage, collected our boarding passes. Then came the endless security queue. We waited and waited for what seemed like an endless time but in reality was about fifteen minutes.

The airport staff declared us to not be mass murderers, crime lords or terrorists and we walked towards the gate until we spotted a loo and realised that we really really needed to pee.

So we did. We peed in peace at the sparkly clean airport loos, brushed our hair and contemplated grabbing some breakfast.

All was fine and perfect until Dee’s phone rang. It was her mother informing us that our flight had left without us and that we were to stay put in Mumbai for rest of our lives.

Well, no. I’m exaggerating a tiny bit. Dee’s mum just asked to hurry after which we checked out watches, realised the airport was a silent one and that we were waiting for boarding announcements that would never come.

We ran. If you were at T2 that day and noticed three fat girls (well no, I’m the only proper fat one) run like the wind, then that was us. Hello!

Thankfully we boarded the plane just in time. It took off in another fifteen minutes.

Problem two. We hadn’t had any breakfast. We were starving. Plane food sucked too much to be consumed after paying 300 bucks. We shall starve till we reach chennai, we decided valiantly. No wasting our (parents’) money on yucky plane food.

What we had forgotten was that we were in an Air India flight. The airplane may or may not fly (mostly it will) but Air India always serves food (so I learned).

Hearing the cacophony of noises made by our tummies, the staff of this particular Air India plane proceeded to serve breakfast.

Dee and Tash opted for the vegetarian meal. Me? I’m a hardcore non vegetarian. Being a non vegetarian eater served my taste buds well this time.

The breakfast included this huge sweet bun along with a small packet of perfectly melty butter. The bun was delicious. It was sweet but subtly so and so soft that it dissolved in our mouths.

The vegetarians had idli sambar but me? I had an omelet. It was an egg omelet stuff with more eggs, cheese and mushrooms. It was served with a side of beans and potatoes. Bliss, I tell you.

I would’ve put up pictures but I ended up stuffing myself up with it before I managed to take pictures. It was too damn yum.

We landed in Chennai before time. It was hot. We felt scalded and burnt and uncomfortable. We took a taxi to the bus stand and then walked towards a nearby KFC for lunch.

The weird thing was, we were all of wearing jeans and t-shirts- nothing special. But everyone, and I mean everyone kept on staring at us. The rickshaw wallahs accosted us offering us rides (not free ones, mind you.)

We trudged towards KFC, struggling with our bags and dreaming of an air conditioned environment.

Entering that particular chain of KFC is the most relieved I’ve ever been. The sun had blazed mercilessly and we were starving again.

We ate burgers and fries. I had a Chicken Zinger, fries and SevenUp. My own version of heaven.

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The burger was huge and it had enough crunchy chicken to make me happy. The bread was fresh and soft. The fries were crispy. Kentucky Fried Chicken is bliss.

We took a ric back to the bus stand and hunted for our bus. After sitting in the heat for another fifteen minutes, the bus roared into the bus stop and we set off.

When the three of us became friends four years ago, we were learning french together and dreaming of visiting Paris together. Now, Paris was a tad too farfetched so we decided on Pondicherry. Why Pondy? Because Pondy was a French colony and now is a Franco-Tamil city.

Keep an eye here to read about all our adventures in Pondy!

Be a happy potato ^_^

IT’S MY BLOG BIRTHDAY!!!

Two years ago, on this day, my friend Sam convinced and motivated me enough to start a blog. Two years later, today, Diary of an Introverted Schmuck still continues to exist. It’s so fabulously shocking and exciting that I lasted this long!

Sure, I have come very close to quitting quite a few times but I didn’t and I feel so proud of myself for that. It’s so easy to quit but equally difficult to persist. I am so happy today that I persisted because this unknown little blog here? It means the world to me.

So firstly, thank you so much if you’ve read whatever I have been writing all this long. I couldn’t have done it without you. I love you so much! I hope you actually like what I talk about here.

Last year, to celebrate my Blog Anniversary, I had my friends write stories or poems on a series of prompts. You can read the first post here. It’s ‘Eclectic’ by Leanna. I got to post some really good pieces last year!

This year, I have been struggling with mental health issues. Depression and anxiety make you cherish happiness a lot more. I am so grateful to be happy today that I want to spread some sparkle around. I want to make every person reading this post feel so appreciated because you are. I’m glad you exist.

So here’s what we’re going to do-

  1. Fill up this form. ( https://docs.google.com/forms/u/0/d/1kWCzuDsz4CqNxcGtxCZbv0vIWtFIlY9b1E_3OdZvnDI)
  2. I (with my friend Mallika’s help) will pair you up with someone. It’ll be a chain or sorts. Person A will be paired with Person B while Person B with Person C and so on.
  3. What you have to do next is to write a nice, uplifting email to that person. The email has to be long-ish because I’m sure you will have a lot to say. Maybe you can list out the reasons why the person needs to exist or why is the earth not all that bad. Or maybe you could share something you are passionate about or talk about your favourite book. The choice is all yours.
  4. Also, you have to send the mail to diaryofanintrovertedschmuck@gmail.com
  5. That person, in turn mails another person and the chain continues

 

Ten of the best and most beautifully uplifting mails will be posted here on this blog. Beauty should be shared with the world.

You can make someone’s day. You can make someone feel so happy. You can spread a bit of sparkle.

You will, of course, get some sparkle in return!

The google form can be filled till 12th April, 2016.The emails must be sent till 30th April, 2016.

If you can’t send the email for some reason, please do not fill up the form. It won’t be fair to the person you’ve been assigned.

Here’s some virtual sparkle for you! ***

 

 

 

I hate mashed potatoes

Yesterday, I did a thing I had never done before. I made mashed potatoes.

My exams are a few weeks away so I have my study leave going which basically means I have to eat at home. That’s a relief because me mam is a really good cook. Except she isn’t always at home. Throughout the day, she is at work being all busy and chemical (she works in a textile chemical laboratory.)

And I am left at home to fend for myself. Normally, my sister, cockroach, makes something for the two of us. She might be only 13 but boy, is she an excellent cook!

Sometimes, just to see me suffer, she refuses to cook. Then I have to enter the kitchen and do the thing I suck the most at-cook. Making chai or instant noodles is an art that I have mastered.

However, when it comes to cooking food that is even a little complicated, I suck.

Yesterday was another such day when I had to risk blowing up me mum’s beloved kitchen to satisfy my primary need for food. Instead of calling up mum for advice, I turned my mate, Sam. She used to be someone who wasn’t all the proficient at cooking either but now she manages and pretty well in fact.

Sam suggested I satisfy my potato cravings (GO POTATOES!) and try making mashed potatoes. She explained the recipe in detail. It seemed doable.I commence by selecting two of the prettiest potatoes you will ever see. I put them in a vessel filled with water and lit the gas. The poor little potatoes were now boiling.

Or so I thought.

Within ten minutes, I took them out, expecting the potatoes to be boiled and mashable. That minute, my granny entered the kitchen. Thank goodness for her wisdom or my mashed potatoes would have been even a bigger disaster. She pointed out that the poor petit pretty potatoes were still pretty raw.

I put them up for boiling again, this time with a duration given by aaji (my smart granny). In my excitement of the potatoes boiling, I had also put a cup of milk with way more butter than me mum would approve in a pan to warm. But only after what exactly Sam meant by ‘pan’. A panaroma shot? A frying pan? Pan, the Greek God?

Guess what she meant.

I hurriedly shut off the gas under the pan. This was becoming more and more complicated by the minute. There was a point when I confused whether I was cooking mashed potatoes or brewing a vial of Polyjuice Potion.

After a ridiculously long time full of false signals, the pretty petit potatoes finally boiled. I mashed them. I mashed them like I was mashing the faces of my sworn enemies. I was mashing the potatoes like The Mountain mashed Oberyn Martell’s head.

Then after adding the now-mashed potatoes to the butter and milk (buttermilk?), I stirred the paste. And stirred. Stirred some more. Stirred till my brain felt like it was about to explode due to the lack of mental activity. Stirred till my hands gave up. I was left with something I thought was the ready version of mashed potatoes. It was a touch and go sort of situation honestly as I had never tasted mashed potatoes before.

Fortunately, I was right and these were mashed potatoes.

I served two servings- one for me and one for my sibling, the human cockroach. I took my bowl, sprinkled some pizza seasoning on the mashed potatoes because pizza seasoning makes everything better.

I took some of the weird-looking pasty stuff in a spoon and put the spoon in my mouth. It tasted good. Well, it tasted buttery and buttery is always good. A few spoonfuls later, however, I suddenly realised I was no longer enjoying the mashed potatoes and had actually abandoned the bowl involuntarily.

After a few more spoonfuls, I realised I kind of couldn’t stand the mashed potatoes.

The very same thing was repeated with my sister. First, cockroach praised my mashed potatoes a lot. Then she stopped eating them and promised to never not cook when it was just the two of us.

Just then me mum returned from work. I made her taste some and finally someone who genuinely felt that the dish was tasty. She couldn’t have a lot (the remains from my plate as I was feeling nauseated because of all the butter.) So we kept the bowl away.

For once in my life, I attempted cooking and god, I was so horrible that I am taking a vow of cooking chastity.

Okay, cutting myself some slack here. The mashed potatoes weren’t all that bad. They tasted just like mashed potatoes should. It seems like I just did not like the way mashed potatoes taste in general.

There’s no relief for me in this self-discovery. I prided myself on loving potatoes in all forms and now there is one dish of potato that I don’t like much.

Cue existential crisis of sorts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being sick is like

Hello Blogosphere! Fear no more! Or fear even more. It’s all relative and I totally get that. The thing is, I’m back.

I was sick and stuck at home for a greater part of the month of February. There was a time when I didn’t mind being indoors so much. That was when I was watching Doctor Who. I finished watching the newest season, series 9, in December.

Confession time: I don’t know what to do with my life any more.

Okay, I admit I am not that lost. I make plans and draw up schedules but when the time comes to follow through what has been scheduled, I’d rather watch Doctor Who.

The cure for a TV show/ book series obsession normally is to get obsessed with another show/book series/movie franchise. I did that. I did just that. I got into Star Wars. I had long,endless discussions about Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala with my friend, Sofia. I listened to and watched Jimmy Fallon’s Star Wars A Cappella Medley on repeat. But the discussions came to an end and I got a little bored of the medley.

Also, this was in January.

I decided to watch Hannibal in February and it was way too intense and gory. I am almost through season 1 but I couldn’t binge it. A Hannibal binge might just result in some serious mental scarring. I’m not denying its absolute brilliance but not everyone can stomach Hannibal. I mean, he is literally shown cooking human meat. And then feeding it to his guests. Argh. And those poor schmucks have zero idea that they are basically indulging in a bit of cannibalism.

After a few episodes of the cannibalistic Hannibal,  I was left with a dire need for some light-hearted comedy. Enter Jane the Virgin. I have already caught up with the show. It is the best thing I’ve seen in a very long time (Since Doctor Who, probably). I can’t even begin to fangrl about it. But if you haven’t watched it, watch it NOW! It is funny, romantic, sensible, outrageous, dramatic- all at once.

Jane the Virgin has all the plot twists that you would expect in a soap opera or a telenovela but they aren’t lame here. Rather the show makes fun of all the soap operas. I find it to be a satirical genius. Also, Jane is such a relatable character. She isn’t me, but she is the person I’d like to be.

Then there is Rafael Solano.

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Jane’s reaction exactly. 

 

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Look at that smile!

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AWWWWWWWWW

Safe to say that I have developed a bit of a crush.

I have also thought of a short story which could possibly end up as a full fledged novel. That isn’t scaring me. Not even a little bit. Due to my absolute lack of fear, I haven’t started writing it yet.

February was also me mum’s birthday. I gifted her a pair of pants and a nice top. I had also planned on taking her out for dinner wearing the aforementioned pants and top but then I fell sick and mum ordered me to stay at home. Meh.

In Feb, I have been more or less stuck at home. I might be an introvert but I am also human. Human beings are social animals and my introversion has its limits. It’s driving me insane now. I can’t wait to go back to school (well, college but back to school sounded like a song…oh wait! Grease 2!). I can’t wait to fight for a seat in the train or cuddle up next to Geet in class (and also eat her tiffin. I know you’re reading this, Geet. And you know what I want. Yes, you do.) I want to have a cup of chai with Amreen and snapchat with Zaitun. Most of all, I want to make fandom references with Kellu.

Yeah, I miss my friends.

Meanwhile, I have another couple of days of doctor’s appointments. Then I will escape these shackles and take my first breath of freedom.

Till then, be a happy potato, you.

 

It felt like Flying Away

In the 19 years and 6 months of my bookish life, I have had some of those nights when I felt alive. When anything and everything seemed possible. When I felt like everything’s right within the delicate seams of the universe.

The night when I saw Ed Sheeran live with was one of them. Eating Rustomjee’s ice cream on a windy winter evening with the salt of the sea in the air and on my lips was another.

The most recent night happened a couple of days ago.

26th January 2016. India’s 67th Republic Day.

***

If you ask me if I am spontaneous, I will firmly tell you that I don’t have a single spontaneous bone in my body.

Or I would have.

The night of 26th January was a chilled winter night. I sat on the terrace of my building with a few peers. We were playing Truth or Dare. Nostalgia is much needed at times.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I don’t have much of a filter for my thoughts anyway. So the cringe-worthy memories were absent.

As the clock struck twelve, two things happened.

One, my ass began to freeze because of the icy (Not really. This is Mumbai we are talking about.) floor.

Two, we began to receive calls from the irate parental units. So my friends and I decided to disperse for the day.

All left but three. For once, we could actually see the stars. I couldn’t help but stare at the constellation Orion which is the only constellation I know.

The three of us talked for a bit in the freezing Mumbai air. It was a pleasant change from the perpetual heat and sweat.

A perfect night for a drive, as my friend suggested. The other friend agreed.

I was in a dilemma. I knew that mum would be absolutely pissed if I chose to go. I don’t have an official curfew. But nor do I have a life other than books leaving aside this particular incident.

I so wanted to go. But the urge to conform was very strong.

I decided to actually practice what I preach and flip a finger at conformity. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. No alcohol. No drugs. No cigarettes. Just three people in a car talking about life and shit.

Wild, I tell you.

I love the night. It is soft, velvety and the time for the writer in me to rise. Also, the moon and the stars come out only during the night.

A short ride ended up being an hour long. I fell for my city all over again. Why, you ask.

Because of the endless roads. Deserted but not quite.

Because of the reflection of the sparkling lights on the gentle waves.

Because of the sheer exhilaration of viewing a side of my city that I hadn’t seen before. 

Because I could feel the infinite possibilities in the air and more.

Because of my friend’s magnificent driving skills.

Because I felt like I was living my life for once.

Because I felt like I would die without regrets if I were to die.

Because I could feel my hair whipping around in the wind whenever the windows were down.

Because I felt free.

Because it felt like flying away.

Nothing but The Perceived Truth

Sometimes I find it difficult to breathe. I probably shouldn’t write this much less post it, lest someone I know will read it and get worried. The likelihood of that happening is pretty darn high as almost everyone I know read my blog.

But I am still going to write about it and even more post it. I lack a sense of self-preservation, don’t I?

Sometimes it gets so difficult to breathe. Not the kind of difficult when you have a blocked nose. More like the panicky kind of difficult that happens when you are lost. Or when your world is spinning out of control.

Is my world spinning out of control?

Not really. It is all okay. I do not exist in the time of the Great Plague or any of the world wars. Now seems to be the best time to live in.

And it is. I’m glad that I exist now. That I get to read all the books I’m reading. I get to watch so many movies; so many TV shows. There is a lot of good music to listen to. I have good friends. A family. If I count all the things I should be grateful for, I won’t ever finish.

But sometimes, it just does not feel enough. I am me. I am this person. But I don’t feel like me. I feel that the real me is trapped somewhere inescapable.

Society tells us to conform to so many things. Right from what to wear, the people we should talk to, what kind food to eat, what to watch, what to read, what to talk to the extent that we are conditioned to think in a certain way.

I used to be perfectly content in this conformity. Good grades, good friends, decent clothes etc. My biggest rebellion was reading books my mum wouldn’t approve of and reading them way beyond my sleep time.

Now, I rebel by buying books whenever I want and not adhering to mum’s book ban. Yeah, I understand that I own too many books- a lot of which I haven’t even read yet. But isn’t it better that I’m spending my money on books than alcohol or drugs?

Another act of rebellion was supposed to be getting inked. I had expected a lot opposition and drama at home. That didn’t happen. Everyone took it quite well. And I’m glad they did. I have no desire that my life should turn out like an episode of Gossip Girl or One Tree Hill.

But I felt a little disappointed. I am not Katniss Everdeen. I understand that but at times, my imagination gets carried away.

Conformity…

Tomorrow India will celebrate it’s 67th Republic Day. The Government adopted the Constitution on this day. In India, we hoist the flag and suddenly start overflowing with patriotism. There is a parade in the capital, activities in schools and colleges, speeches, patriotic songs, and a whole lot of WhatsApp messages and Facebook statuses.

I no longer see the point of it all.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud to be an Indian chick- with my gorgeous brown skin and inborn multilingualism.

But to be told that I am patriotic only if I attend these speeches or sing those songs and do certain things seems a lot like propaganda to me. Propaganda calls for conformity. And I am not a big fan of conformity.

Not in all cases. Not complete obedience.

If I let someone else think for me, what’s the point of living in a democracy?

If I am in a state of complete conformity, then how do I create something unique that will actually be remembered in the years to come?

If I don’t dare to use my brain cells, what’s the point of having them?

This gets me into trouble more times than I care to count.

But I don’t I care.

I don’t give a shit anymore. But the thing is, I have been conditioned to care about what other people think and I can’t help but fear being reprimanded.

This fear leaves me out of breath.

I believe that I have offended enough people already. I think I should shut up now.

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