Monday, December 29, 2014

A cliched post on 5 things that I learnt in 2014

1. Maturity:
Sensitiveness towards trivial issues, expectations, attachments thrown down the drain; this year has definitely made me majestically more mature. Credit goes to people for whom this line by Owl Cities makes perfect sense: "With friends like these, who needs an enemy?"
After all, nobody owes you, nobody owns you and vice versa (except family, of course).

2. Teaching kids:
People who say "those who can't do, teach" are morons. They say so without experience. It's a challenge to introduce people who don't speak a single common word as you to something, anything new. We almost lost our patience when we had to teach children from rural Laos English but some dancing and singing did help. So it was all work and all play! But the end results were wonderful, especially when I saw this kid chanting "How are you? I am fine." in English as he did somersaults on the playground.

3. Indian food is the best (says everyone):
Earlier, whenever I used to go out, I used to strictly avoid Indian food. Who wants to eat routine Indian stuff when they are dining in a restaurant, right? But apparently, no amount of pizzas and pastas, burgers and steaks, satays and sushis, noodles and dumplings are going to satiate you like a plate of chicken malai tikka and a bowl of rasmalai does. During my internship in a Germany-based company too I was pleasantly surprised to see the Germans queue up almost everyday at the Indian stall. Bharat Mata ki Jai!

4. How to complete your Masters like a pro:
Juuuuust kidding! I struggled more than ever during my Master's course but as they say, there is light at the end of a tunnel and every dark cloud has a silver lining. I graduated with average grades, gained plenty of technical knowledge and experience from the power engineering course, a service learning trip to Laos thereafter and an internship before landing into my first job as a researcher.

5. Definition of broke:
All this while I have ignored the internet definition of  'broke': "when you have too much month left at the end of your money." Now I truly know what 'broke' means.

Now that 2014 is almost over, I've lost no weight (gained some, in fact), hardly traveled, saved no money and most definitely haven't found love (nor have I searched this year :P ). But one thing is for sure: I've learnt a million things, the above 5 being the most significant. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ten Terribly Tiny Tales- Part 2

Where is home?
It's where you were born.
It's where you now live.
It's where your forefathers have built a house.
It's where your Mom is.

He completes the source code in a jiffy,
He has blue eyes,
He plays football,
He is chivalrous,
But the Truth?
He is a poor substitute.

Adults, yet mentality of infants,
Didn't speak a word to each other,
For two whole years,
But somebody had to give in, right?
After all, they were friends.

Small town boy, with a good eye, then,
World renowned photographer now,
"What's the secret of your success?" they ask.
He smiles and says with unwavering humility, "Fate!"

Will it ever dawn on you?
That filth is not outside, but within,
That you're not as perfect as you think you are,
That you have no enemies but are intensely disliked by your friends,
Well I think it's time, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee.

'Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who's the fairest of them all?', asked MJ.
The mirror replied, 'You racist! Don't you know?
 It doesn't matter if you're black or white.'

She said, "The night is dark and full of terror."
He said, "The night is young and full of splendor."
A nuptial bond, a house and two children is what they shared.
But a common interest, never ever!

That day will be your happiest,
When a man you love doesn't say,
"You look beautiful."
But, "you are beautiful."
Even the thought made Gita blush for one straight hour.

"Oh holy spirit, come and enter the coin",
they chanted as they placed their fingers on the Ouija board,
Little did they know, that they were entering their doom,
And the spirit wasn't holy.

Mom told her,
"Isn't it high time to be just a little lady-like?
Let me buy you some red lipstick."
She casually mumbled,
"But all I want is a red hockey stick."

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Of all the sorts of OCDs I suffer from terminally, the obsession with a particular word over a period of time is most affecting me of late. I get on everyone's nerves (and even my own) using the same word time and again, sometimes in every sentence, and even though, it's excessively annoying, people laugh a tad bit at this addiction. I'm still getting over the word 'dubious'. You see, it describes everything around me and happening to me often - my thesis results, my job prospects, the food I eat, my relations with friends, the glances that I get sometimes from random people in public places are currently at an extremely 'dubious' state. Holy molly, I love the word 'random'. Random people. Random songs. Random curry puffs. Random babies. You do realize that I'm randomly adding the adjective 'random' in front of random words.

Be that as it may, my current obsession is with the word 'vapid'. The dictionary defines it as dull, uninteresting, bland, insipid, etc. But can you really define what's vapid or who's vapid? Can you really put a label on what's interesting and what isn't? E.g. this post might be extremely vapid to many but quite the opposite to the others. Vapidness lies in the minds of the beholder really! How do you define an interesting person? Some may feel it's a person who likes to travel the world, who prefers an adrenaline rush during an adventure sport to a cup of coffee with a friend on a Sunday. But the very same things might be consider as a cover-up for having a boring personality. Ok, maybe I have a vapid personality then ;). Some may feel partying hard, bowling, getting sloshed are the ultimate ways to be deemed non-vapid. Some might prefer an interesting conversation or a good book to that. Most individuals might find geeks vapid. But they don't do vapid things, they do interesting things in a vapid circumstance or environment. There also is a myth that those who are unique are actually interesting. However, being different is not always being interesting. Take Luna Lovegood for example: excessively weird and excessively vapid. So next time you generalize the term vapid, think again. Loquacious extroverts can also be extremely vapid and so can incisive introverts. It all depends on your perspective. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Revenge is my middle name

An eye for an eye, I tell you! Suddenly I feel a humongous pang to seek revenge, like the devil inside me just burst out. Don't ask me what, don't ask me why, just trust me on this one- Revenge is always, I repeat, always better than forgiveness! Here are 5 reasons why:

1) It's just too sweet: Ah, the craving, it just doesn't fade, does it? However forgiving a person you are, the mental satisfaction you acquire as soon as this dish called revenge is served cold is absolutely impeccable. No amount of guilt can overbear this sweet, satiating feeling!

2) Let us be fair: You might tell me "life isn't fair!" But justice comes to those who seek it!

3) It helps you move on: I've had fights with friends many million times, and I proudly proclaim that I'm a pugnacious moron. And if fights don't resolve things, they definitely aid you in moving on with life.

4) Self-esteem rebuilt: People have called it ego, hence I let things go, in the past! But a person without a backbone might as well be a slug! Bleh!

5) They always come around, they always do: Forgiving and forgetting gives people chances to make the same mistake repeatedly. Vengeance makes them realize it, apologize and become a better person.

All I'm saying is, never ever intentionally hurt anyone, but if they do, punch them in the face, and never look back!

"Man cries, his tears dry up and run out. So he becomes a devil, reduced to a monster."- Kohta Hirano

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ten terribly tiny tales

Dark as a pit,
Bitter as neem leaves
Empty stomach, with a palpitating heart,
Coffee was her drug.

Beautiful liar, that one,
Thought her looks could kill,
He was blind, she didn't know,
He fell for her words.

Mother went to heaven - they said.
Hope she's back soon- said she and ran out.
The little one just wanted to play.

Dejected by everyone,
School, college, university.
He didn't care.
He weighed 140 kilos, and in love, with food.

It's tomato sauce, they exclaimed.
He smiled and said, "Believe what you want."
It was blood, the artist wanted his 'bloody' Oscar.

'Assam' said Barman.
'Darjeeling' said Bhutia.
'Munnar' said Thomas.
'Illam' said Khatri.
Chai was a 'hot' topic.

How long is forever? - he asked.
Only a while. - she grinned.
That did it.

She loved all things bizarre,
'Cause she too was in a similar category,
Squid ink pasta was her favorite.

Roses should be banned,
pontificated the rude boy,
like his childhood home,
they had many pricks.

False teeth, 83, diabetes,
Rasogolla can take a hike,
She wants liquor chocolates.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Best Friend

This is not just about a particular person, it's about all the best friends I have / I've had in life. They say, you should just have one! But when you're on the move every few years, it's hard to determine who's going to steal the show forever. I do have two such people who in all probability may make it till 'forever', though, Shiwangi and Swarnali. Now Shiwangi is the sweetest girl who has done me innumerable favors which I can't ever repay in life. We came to be friends about 7 years back and her position in my life has remained undeterred. With Swarnali, on the other hand, things are slightly twisted. My mother only recently came to know that we are best friends even though we've been so for more than 4 years and was flabbergasted beyond measure, as if I've hidden the darkest secret in my life all along. The reason: we have been at loggerheads with each other so many times, not spoken for months on end and judged each other like nobody's business. But we've also been through thick and thin, each other's partner-in-crime, in school, tuition or otherwise. And the greatest thing is, we've never really presented our 'mature adult' (if there IS any) self to each other till date. There have been others too who've momentarily coined/ been coined the term 'best friend'. The list is endless - Radhika, Meenakshi, Dibya, Sanjna, Yuhina, Meghna, Shreya Sharma, Prezona, Rounak, Satyam, Sabiha, Shaloma, Uttari, etc., etc. each of them situational BFFs and some, still cherished. Now, of all the pals I've made, why have only these few made it to the list is the big question? Now, who exactly is a best friend? Back in college, most of my hangouts have been with my roommate, among others. Yes, we've been good friends, still are. Many have pointed at her and asked, "She's your college BFF, right?" And each time all they heard was denial. They've pointed to Gauraang and exclaimed, "But he's your EE BFF, right?" Denial one more time. So, it doesn't matter how long you've known a person, how often you've hung out, how much you've not had fights or fall-offs, been in touch, the BFF or as it is in my case, BFFA (Best Friend for a while), can only be the one whom I personally am fond of the most, unconditionally. Because, despite 100 wrongs, they must have done something right! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

The journey is the destination!

Malaysia trip, January 2014, in pictures! (As I spare no detail when I write, and sometimes there's no fun in that)
Cuz we love our selfies!


Life is but a dream

Looks like we are ready to camp

Nom nom, satay!

One of the oldest rain forests in the world 

If you need to contemplate about the universe

Enigmatic, boogey-covered orang asli baby

Everyone loves a cute kitty


Fruitless and fun-filled night safari


Distasteful lunch

Time and tide wait for none

Proving a point is what we love!

weirdo tapir

the female and the male

drama in the jungle too

stick insect

Brave boy :P


Civet cat caught our eyes


Invisible thinking cap

Bird's eye 


Seeing and showing-off

The gang- yo!

Viewpoint view

An attempt to be as enigmatic as the orang asli kiddo

Result of our ragging

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Date a girl who travels, I say, or don't, how does it matter?

I'm the sort who feels claustrophobic in a party, awkward in a large group, suffocated in constant company, deadbeat when confined to a place for long. Traveling is in my genes. A long holiday doesn't imply party time, it means discovering a new place, or rediscovering an old place via a new path. Just today, I read a blog post about how you should NOT date a person who loves to travel. Something about how you can't handle her and all that jazz. Though beautifully written, I say, how does it even matter? When wanderlust consumes you, nothing else matters!
As I embark on yet another journey on the eve of Lunar/Chinese New Year tomorrow, here's a list of the top 15 destinations I've been to in the past few years (there are so many that I've missed orredy lah, oops I mean, already) :

1) Masai Mara National Park, Kenya:
Why I went: Masai warriors, my love for the wild

2) Neora Valley National Park, West Bengal, India:
Why I went: To get even more up, close and personal with Kanchendzonga than I've been in Gangtok

3) Sandakan, Borneo, Malaysia:
Why I went: The origin of the Orang-utans and proboscis monkeys

4) Chennai, India:
Why I went: Mum's conference, essence of the South

5) Tioman Island, Malaysia:
Why I went: Snorkel, eat, eat, snorkel

6) Changu Lake, Sikkim, India:
Why I went: Snow fight, relive childhood yak ride memories

7) Singapore, Singapore:
 Why I went or rather came: First time non-parental guidance provided foreign trip, pre-21st birthday bash

8) Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, India:
Why I went: Ghost stories of Rani Roopmati, Forts of Mandu

9) Cameron Highlands, Malaysia:
Why I went: Strawberry-picking, Tea and scones, Strawberry-shaped cushion and Vegetable Shopping

10) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
Why I went: It's my 2nd home.

11) Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India:
Why I went: It's my 3rd home.

12) New Delhi, Delhi, India:
Why I went: Definitely not because it's not safe

13) Melaka/Melacca/Malacca, Malaysia: 
Why I went: View of the South China Sea from A Famosa Fort

14) Temi Tea Gardens, Sikkim:
Why I went: Sip tea amidst the tea gardens;cherry blossoms signifying the impending exams

15) Cheratin Beach, Malaysia:
Why I went: To have a beach all to ourselves, wildlife river cruise

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Music therapy

"One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain." - Bob Marley

Music therapy is actually a THING! I 'googled' it and there was a whole Wikipedia article about music therapy and its detailed history. But let's not go into all that. Concisely, music is a therapeutic solution to a variety of diseases- cardiac, neurological and psychiatric. It's a remedy for adolescents with mood swings, adults with difficulty in social skills and emotional developments. It's known to alleviate patients suffering from dementia, amnesia, aphasia, schizophrenia, depression and coronary heart diseases.Well, thankfully, my case isn't so severe (YET ;) ). I only require music as a cure when I'm convalescing from mild physical illness and missing home; wanting an ego boost after a fight with a friend; recuperating from a heartbreak or when studies bog me down! Eating alone, traveling in public transport, insomnia, boredom - music is my redemption. Have you ever felt that the lyrics of the song is just right for you? Not too subtle but not exaggerated as well? That's the best kind of music. Have you also felt like the chorus is so catchy that you can't get over it for days? That is also the best kind of music. Have you completely not related yourself to the song and still like it for its theme and beat? That's also the best kind of music. Like someone once said, "All music is beautiful." Sometimes music is enough, no meaningful lyrics necessary. Music calms your state of anxiety, decreases depression and elevates you mood. It releases your rage, diminishes your despair and glorifies your gladness.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Shreya Sharma

Is it because it's her birth month? Is it because I'm reading a book written by her cousin brother which is based in Gangtok and brings me an insurmountable amount of nostalgia mostly of her? Or is it because we haven't properly communicated for as long as I can remember? Maybe it's all of the above which makes me miss my namesake so much. You see, it's not just a name that we share. Our bond is unbreakable. In the past 6 years, I've met her just twice for a short duration, we haven't talked over the phone except "Hi, happy birthday" for a year and a half. And still our friendship remains.

Shreya Sharma a.k.a. Phhuchchu a.k.a. Baby Doll (called with sarcasm) despite having the same name is so darn different from me, in both behavior and appearance- she, the cheery, friendly and not-a-care-about-the world one and me the poker-faced, introverted and trying-not-to-care one; she the short, fair, cute one and me the tall, dusky, geeky one. One, never falling and another unfailingly in love (and changing with season). One a pure veg and another who can't live a day without non-veg food. One allergic to drama and another a drama queen. Yet, so similar. Both extremely talkative among their friends, overly annoying and pretty smart. Both sharing the same love for books (non-academic, of course), cute kids (only cute kids, mind you), sarcasm, Arjun Rampal and momos. Both highly repelling 'chamelipan' or 'naekami'. Both extremely attracted to slapstick humour - she the "laugh-er" and I the "cracker".

No we've not been mates since we were toddlers, no she was never my 'best friend' and no, I don't know where she is now and what she's doing. All I know is that she's my long distance friend and you see, it's not just a name that we share.