December 21, 2014

Musing: "Be Still, My Broken Heart"

"Death does not happen to you, Lydia. Death happens to all those around you, who are left trying to figure out how to get on with their lives without you in it."
- Stiles Stilinski, Teen Wolf

I have faced death from close proximity a number of times. Either my heart was too numb or I was too young to realize what Death really is about. A person you love with all your heart simply ceases to exist.One minute they're there - the next not. And I guess that's what made me extremely wary of people who are there one day and disappear down the rabbit hole the next.

But this blog post doesn't deal with that. It deals with the fact, I have to get up from bed every morning, still chase the same dreams I was yesterday and pretend to move on in life, when my head still screams at me, "You should've tried harder. You should've looked more. It's all you. You're to blame. You and You Alone."

Motu, Potki and Sid 
Last morning, all three kittens had gone for their morning stroll. I was in my Yoga Class. And my mother didn't notice Sid had not come home. Jeet Singh was busy cleaning up the litter boxes. Sid had a habit of straying away from his siblings but he was clever enough to get back home. But yesterday - luck parted with him.

November 22, 2014

Book Review: A Scandalous Proposition by M M George

A SCANDALOUS PROPOSITION 
by M.M. George 


Source: GoodReads/A Scandalous Proposition Page 


Publisher: IndiReads
Date: 2013 

Format: E-Book 
Link: GoodReads  Amazon 
Price: I got mine as a part of a giveaway! 

Summary:

“What is your price, Mira?”
“You’ll never be able to afford it!”

Feisty, small-town girl Mira Talwar is just finding her feet in Delhi when she encounters the hottest bachelor in the country, Ranbir Dewan. The sparks flying between them sizzle with sexual tension, but when Ranbir puts a scandalous proposition before her, she turns him down spiritedly.

However, they have to work together to engineer a happy ending for their siblings, who have fallen madly in love but are too afraid to tell their respective families. The plan they cook up throws them more and more into each other’s company.

Can Mira overlook Ranbir’s indecent proposal and give love a chance?

About the Author: 

Get a copy of the book and you'll find out about the author! ;-)

Review: 

I got interested in A Scandalous Proposition by M M George ever since the IndiReads page began promoting the book. When they announced the giveaway, I entered hoping to get my hands on a copy.

I downloaded my free e-pub version yesterday and loaded it to my Nook Book. And within a couple of hours I'd finished reading the breezy novella penned by M M George.

The story is quite simple, fast paced and reminded me of the Hindi soap operas - with the middle class, high morale female and the archetypal alpha male in the lead. They rub each other the wrong way and their bickering is funny to read.

Even though the end is predictable it's quite funny to follow Ranbir and Mira as they keep crossing paths. And while they claim to dislike one another, they are both strongly attracted to each other.

Because it is a novella only the protagonists' characters are deeply explored. Other characters are presented only to act as catalysts towards the duo's inevitable ending: the happily ever after.

This book is a must-read for the fans of romance genre! 

October 31, 2014

Musing: Why I Choose NOT To Get Married At 25 (or anytime soon)!

I know posts like these have been doing the rounds on the internet of late, but I just have to vent about this somewhere. And what better way to keep a check on myself than broadcasting my thoughts all over the web via my blog. (Thank God I write - I think I'd have gone crazy by now had not been taking deep breaths and reminding myself I'd end up getting my revenge on print!)

I was dragged, practically kicking and screaming, to a family get together. (I keep telling my mother how much I loathe these little dinner parties and rightfully so.) My brother and I are the only ones left among the whole effing family tree of cousins who have reached the 'eligible age' of getting married. So everyone wanted to know when they'd finally get married because - well, hold your breath - they want to celebrate our wedding before old age claims them as victims. 

I wanted to roll my eyes and tell them that getting married is the last thing on my mind. When my abbu (second uncle) insisted that he would be too old to do all that is necessary for my wedding, I told him that the money he has decided to spend on my wedding, should just be given to me as a gift. Hell, I could fund myself a world tour with it! Of course, except my brother and my mother, no one was amused by this suggestion.

I find it hard to explain to people why I'd choose not to get married. I get misunderstood (like my brother-in-law thought I believe getting married was something unnatural...I mean, what the hell?) and seriously judged (not to name names, but plenty of my school friends, think that I should get married because firstly, they'd get to enjoy an elaborate party -keep up this line of thought and let's see if I end up inviting you guys to the party- and secondly, because they believe I'm getting old too and I'm downright strange for not wanting to get married)!

Darjeeling 2012: How I wish I could go back there!!!
I was discussing life with Soumma the other day. According to her, two of our classmates are doing well, because one of them landed a job at a National Bank after Masters and the other sailed away to Minnesota for his PhD. I shrugged and said, "But I still would say I'm living an adventure." She'd smirked and said, "But that's self boasting."

Well, maybe it is. But I am rightfully proud of the little things that I achieved which led to the bigger things. It had always been my dream to become a write one day. And it was my mother who supported the decision throughout. She didn't complain about my endless purchasing of exercise books, and once I could get them for myself, the pretty range of notebooks. I bought myself a new notebook despite already having a good six unused ones in the cupboard. I'm a hoarder of pretty notebooks.

I love writing and I honestly would love to write a novel one day, which would put me on the map, much like the way John Green or J.K Rowling got put on the map. Since I didn't give up on that dream, and kept waiting for opportunity to come knocking on my door, my hard work paid off when I bagged a writing contract with IndiReads. 

This keeps me busy because I'm forever thinking of new plots, new characters and there are times, I fall off from the face of the earth and refuse to even come out of my room. I'll go back to normal in a week or so, and pretend like I'd never disappeared. I dare you to find me a guy who'd respect me and trust me enough not to take this personally, and accept this as a part of my very fatal flaw. I'd marry him in a heartbeat. (My ex-boyfriends went running when the crazy Aniesha had come to the surface). Of course now I've made friends with my crazy version, so the new friends I made in 2013, all knew about how crazy I could possibly be. 

Singapore 2014: I love my own company. That is why I'm never alone or bored!
After the painful experience of a breakup, I'd learned the most valuable lesson of all times: Learn to love your own company, that way you'll never be alone. Truly, I've never felt so good about myself. I love books and I've made sure I've an endless supply of them. (When sometimes I am too cranky and begin to obsess over sitcoms but they don't last very long.) But my relationship with books is very serious. Granted that my preferred genre is Young Adult...I still get a kick out reading a very well told story.

I might be one of the few 25 year olds who is on her merry way of living her dream, and is at the same time grappling with writing her MPhil thesis, under the supervision of a very nice guide. (I never seem to be able to meet deadlines for some reason - getting distracted seems to be my special gift). 

So whoever wants to get married to me for the rest of their lives, should remember, that when I begin reading a book or obsessing over a tv series, they're going to have to put up with my endless rants and theories. Show me a guy who's going to live through that without wanting to strangle me at least once and I'll show you my wedding venue.

And these are just two of the many qualities that I would look for in a person..my list goes on with should be able to cook, would be able to do the laundry and so and so forth. 

If you are 25 and are married, or about to be married, or got married at 25, no offence to you. But some of us are wired differently. While I find it heartbreaking to see so many of the friends I grew up with conforming to the norms of the society and start talking about their weddings, I'm so glad God blessed me with a mother who thinks marriage does not necessary have to be the ultimate plan of my life. I don't care how boastful this sounds - but of all the people I went to school with - I'm still the one going through life as though it's a wonderful adventure. 

I might have changed. But the unparalleled happiness the change brought me has made everything that I lost during the change worth it. 





October 12, 2014

Product Review: MatrikaS Paper Products

The Three Products for Review 
As a writer, I'm perhaps the easiest person to buy gifts for. Give me a journal or a notebook, I'm a happy girl. I have even hoarded a lot of pretty looking journals because I've not been sure what to write in them. I occasionally like to take them down, print my name on inside the first page, and put it back in my drawer of notebooks and journals.

It is no surprise to me then that Swarnali recommended I apply for the MatrikaS Paper Product Review. While filling up the form, I mentioned that I like notebooks and I love writing in them. Then two weeks later, I got sent the three journals/notebooks in the picture above. 

Let's look at them one at a time.

Cube Works Notebook, Rs 110, A5, 160 pages
The brilliant Cube Works Notebook. The doodles are too cute, and for me it's the perfect place to plan my next stories, novels...write out detailed character sketches. Treat it like my own little scribbling place. The paper is of a high quality - so whether you use an ink pen, gel pen or a use-and-throw ball pen - it glides over the surface. Making avid writers like me very happy souls.

5 Subject Notebook, Rs 212, A4, 400 pages
The notebook everyone has been raving about, because who doesn't want to carry just one notebook where all the lectures could be noted - it's strategically divided in five sections. I've used these kind of notebooks all my college and university life. And this one arrived just in time for me to begin planning my MPhil thesis. (Of course I also like to keep one section for random poetry or stray story ideas that keep walking into my head without the slightest warning).

What the 5 Subject Notebook looks like on the inside
And now we come the journal which had me at the first look. For me, it was love at first sight with:

Cube Works Journal, Rs 259, A6, 256 Pages
It has sections to plan ahead. To make lists of things you want to get done. I'm saving it for the next year. Because I already have an on-going planner/journal for 2014. As someone who swears by quotes, I'm sure making big plans for the coming year, by putting in inspiration quotes inside the journal at random pages.

And that's me, holding on to the love of my life 
Anyone who gives away journals and notebooks is my best friend forever. Right now, MatrikaS Paper Products ranks very high on that list. I don't know what else I can say to tell you how happy I am with the products. I'd definitely recommend getting hold of the very pretty and very useful writer's equipment to anyone who loves writing or wishes to write. Or is just plain bored of carrying that bland notebook to college.

Add a little color to your life, if you are a student or a very bored office goer. Go get the Cube Works Notebook.

Add a little thrill and fun in you life...by getting the journal. Make up random lists...and see if in the course of time, those things come true.

Add a little organization into your messy college notes. Use one section for a certain paper. 

You can find MatrikaS Paper Products in the links down below:

Website: http://www.matrikas.co.in/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MatrikasPaperProducts?fref=ts








September 28, 2014

Musing: Another Piece of my Childhood

"A sister is a piece of childhood that can never be lost." - Marion C. Garretty 

The First Picture of Us Together, September 1989.
September 2014. 

"I still remember the first day you were brought home from the hospital," my sister tells me as we drive from Parkar Parade towards her house, "there was a power cut, and I spent the whole day fanning you."

I smile. Our mother had told her repeatedly, that I was the helpless tiny thing and since she was my elder sister, it was her duty to take care me. Words that I think she took to heart. Because even today - my sister refuses to come to terms with the fact that I have turned twenty five. She still thinks I am the baby that was brought from the hospital, and that I belong to her...and anyone who wants anything to do with me, needs her stamp of approval.

If you don't have an elder sister, I cannot explain. And if you have an elder sister, I do not need to explain. 



December 2010. 

This was taken during my first trip to Singapore. I have admitted to being positively terrified of being alone with her back then. Because it had been a long time since we'd been alone together. 

My sister had left home for NUS in 2008, the year I came to Jadavpur University... so the time I was truly turning into an adult, from a schoolgirl - my sister was not around. 

I have to admit, it was plain annoying, pretending not to understand a lot of things...and keeping a lot of secrets. I used to watch my other friends with stronger bonds with their siblings, sharing almost everything under the Sun with them.

"Maybe it's the age difference," a sympathetic friend had once told me, "I am very close to my sister because we are a lot closer to each other's age..."

October 1997.
The First Trip to Pondicherry that I can remember, 1997
Thirteen and Seven. 

Those were our ages back then when this photo was taken. And it seemed like a never ending age gap. We had sat around at the dining table, talking nineteen to the dozen, about when she'd be in college I'd still be in school. A school that had decided to label as, "Roopsha's sister" as soon as I'd set foot there.

I still remember the day when the teacher selecting students to perform a dance number for our annual function had come into the classroom, called all students by their names. Suddenly, she scanned the classroom, calling out, "Roopsha's sister, where are you?" And thus began my resentment for having to live up to her shadow...

It was not easy being "Roopsha's sister", I tell you. She so good at everything: studies, singing, well-liked, and she has a charm, that makes you want to do whatever she asks you too, no matter how ridiculous you might find her demands. Everyone who has come across my sister has managed to love her, despite stating that she is a Queen and they are all her subjects. If there really exists the art of getting your way - I believe she's mastered it. 

The only sisterly memory I have attached to that first trip to Pondicherry was when my sister whispered to me in the middle of the night from the upper berth to the next, "Oi! Do you want to have a chocolate?"

It was more than a piece of chocolate for me. It was the start of something new, I had believed. Little did I know, it wasn't going to be that easy to breakout of the little sisterly rivalry we had going on. (My sister believed I was the favored child, and I believed for the longest time I was the ugly and dumb one in the family. Being the youngest in a joint family often does wonders to your self-confidence!!)

2011, 2012, 2013... 2014

August 2014: Cab Selfie with the Sister :)



So, I decided to visit my sister, using most the money I'd managed to save up (and of course being helped by our beloved little mum!) 

And during this trip, I found it a lot easier telling her about all the things that I'd been up to during my BA and MA days - and how MPhil has been an enlightening experience...

She even took me out dancing...and here's a bigger improvement, I no longer feel bored in the company of her friends...because no one treats me like a kid anymore. My brother-in-law is a key element for that too... "Aren't you twenty five? Stop acting like a kid!"

That's still a little confusing. Since my brother insists on still treating me like a kid...something that keeps bringing us back to being at loggerheads all of the time...and that had once upon a time, seriously stopped me from confiding in my sister. 

"Having a sister is like having a best friend you cannot get rid of." - Anonymous

I realized another easy way of making sure my sister treats me like a grownup. I just tell about the new friends I've made, and who are older than I am, but treat me like an adult. Of course - they like indulging me...but they are people, I can safely say things too, without the fear of being snubbed with the obvious, "Well, but you're still just a kid..."

"Ah, but they've met you when you're already an adult. I have known you ever since you were born," she likes to argue.

"Don't worry. You're my sister. And I will always you best." I assure her with a laugh. 

"You better." She grumbles. 

In many ways, I am not sure who's the elder sister and who's the younger one. We both throw tantrums and we both expect the other to pick up the pieces, when everything else seems to fall apart. We fight, we scream, we disagree...but we end up declaring a truce after awhile. It is pretty annoying to be the sister of a woman who is almost always right about things. 

I trust her judgement. Because all of her predictions have turned out to be true... *grrrrrr* And now that I'm older, I realize that by pretending I'm still her 'baby' sister - she tries to protect me from the world. It's just too bad, that I've already realized how cruel this world can be. 

But I also discovered the great secret of life: Nothing will ever get you down, unless you let it. 

My sister really is a piece of my childhood. I'm just glad we're at a much happier phase in life...where I don't have to pretend to be a kid anymore. I can be myself - and without bothering about the fact if it offends anyone else. ;-)

September 18, 2014

Musings: An Ex-Student Talks About #hokkolorob

I have been away from home since 23rd August, but that does not mean that news does not reach me. I have hardly ever used my Facebook page or my blog for anything other than creative purposes. But what happened on the night of 16th September is unforgivable. It made me think when I have a platform to voice my feelings, I should bloody well use it. After all, we want to be heard. What better way to do it than broadcast my thoughts on this blog of mine?

Since I have not been present remotely in the city, I asked my friend, Indrani, to guest post for me.We went to college together for five years. We became the best of friends. And never in our time together we have never experienced something as heinous as the 16th September night And this particular incident has left us both shocked beyond words. Still, on my request, the following are her words and her feelings about the whole matter:


Jadavpur University, the name that floods my mind with sweetest of memories. 5 most important years of my life I've spent there made friends, best of friends... 
Silent witness to history, glory, inventions, discoveries, cultural and social revolutions is my University. The music of life plays throughout the sprawling premise. every day tons of students, friends, people, musicians, artists, dreamers gather here the energy is perennially bustling...And finally the fest each student in the University wait for this week of pure festive joy that one of the greatest Cultural fests of Kolkata sees, Sanksriti, organized by the AFSU/FETSU each year.
A young couple without harming any soul any where were simply on their own. I am not going into any moral policing here about what one should do, one should not. A bunch of hostel students,drunk in their own ideologies wanted to teach this couple a lesson and how did they do that? 
By dragging the girl inside the hostel and attacking her physically. Abuses, molestation, wild violent thrashings continued for God knows how long
And the girl wanted justice.....justice is probably the most widely used yet abused word in the current state of conditions in our beloved state
The respected VICE chancellor ├žouldn't'take any action at that point of time
no one knows why. What's better he wanted the victim to be out of the campus and not even near the gates ( how we all know she is the masked monster lurking around the campus and not the bunch of scoundrels who shamelessly pounced on her) { here am at a loss of words}and when the students decided to stand against this horrible, inefficient, ass-licking, political puppetry, all hell broke loose within 7 hours of 'gherao' and peaceful protest ( I repeat- peaceful, all that these students had were musical instruments and slogans as weapons) the VC came up with  this brilliant plan of killing it down by calling up police (read goons in green ganji) at the dead of night when these students were peacefully , calmly protesting against the crime. The police stormed in the University gates when suddenly lights went off ( let me tell you here, being a student of the University for 5 years, the electric switches for lights is essentially inside the VC) office and in that darkness at odd hours of night lashes broke out on innocent, unarmed students where so many of them were beaten to pulp, they were shocked, traumatized, girls were groped, dragged by the breast, beaten up...
          Guys, lets use a little bit of common sense:
These students cannot really attack the goons or hulk for policemen sent to the campus also, in support of my writing, kindly refer to TOI coverage of the incidents and the flurry of videos that depict the truth. This is ghastly. For humanity's sake this is one of the esteemed Universities of the State where students come to make friends, learn, enjoy and realize the spirit of youth. This is meant to be safe, this is meant to be peaceful after all these an institution where knowledge is believed to pass down through generations where bonds between teachers and students are meant to last for eternity cannot have a a cruel, inhuman, criminal in the name of VC.  
Kindly sign the petition and get the pain in the name of VC out of the post and out of this beautiful center of education
Here I request all of you to come together in solidarity with the bravest of brave students of JU and help them get the much deserved justice!
 http://www.change.org/p/chief-minister-of-west-bengal-immediate-resignation-of-vc-and-registrar-and-fair-enquiry-into-the-incidents?recruiter=36941377&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

Please click on the above link, and sign the petition. As a human being, as a student of JU, I request everyone to sign the petition.
If anyone else wants to guest blog post and spread more awareness about #hokkolorob, do get in touch with me. Thank you, guys. And do remember to sign the petition.

September 17, 2014

Singapore Diaries: A Musing on Turning Twenty Five

Because I have been missing Pippo like crazy these past couple of days, my sister decided to gift me Muffin on the night the clock struck twelve and I turned 25 years old. 

That was the 12th of September 2014. And I have been meaning to blog about that for the longest time...but, oh well...you know what they say - old age tends to catch up with you. ;)

Okay. I lied. It doesn't. Age really nothing but a number. And while I freaked out about 25 and pulled a stunt that took me away from home, far from where everyone who know me and care about me, would've probably forced me to celebrate my 25th birthday - I forgot the flaw in my plan. 

I was going to be spending my birthday with my Elsa. Who really is a Queen of celebrations (I think she gets that from our mother). I was not really surprised by the notebook. Everyone who knows me knows about my love for writing. The best thing to give me is always a pen and a notebook, and leave me to my thoughts.




But my love for writing is not the point of this particular post. The point is to tell you how I had to celebrate turning 25, when in fact, I had made the elaborate plan to get out of it...

"Oh, I asked my lab friends to come for your birthday party. You'll get to meet them," my sister tells me one of days we're home. She is busy working on her laptop, and I've abandoned all pretense of trying to figure out what Jakobson had said...and am busily playing with my phone. 

The only words I catch are 'birthday party'. Oh, no!

"What are you talking about?"

"You know...the birthday party for you. For turning 25. Our friends said they'd come..."

"What exactly did you tell them? My baby sister is turning 25, please come to her party?"

"Well...yes."

By now I was utterly perplexed, "They don't even know me. Why would they come for my birthday?" My plans of slipping into being 25 was getting ruined...

"You met most of them at once...and well, you know Madhubrata's mother." 

I rolled my eyes, "I met her father, Didi. This is so weird..."

"Oh c'mon...all of them agreed to come. Isn't that sweet of them?"

"Oh sure...it's a party. Why would someone turn that down now?" I retorted, sarcastically. I didn't tell her the whole party scene was upsetting me because I felt no happiness over turning 25. I was almost dreading it. But she's older than me. So my little age problem would probably get dismissed. And because I continued to look miserable, she said,  "Look,why don't you invite your friend too?"

"Because he'll say he's busy. He hardly returns my texts, in any case." I muttered.

My birthday came. And spent it watching Nancy Drew and going to the East Coast Park, in the middle of answering texts, phone calls and IMs. I sang Rachel Platten's words to myself in order to make myself go out of the house that day:

"Nothing ever happens if you stay in your room,
Nothing ever happens if you leave the party too soon..."


Since my sister had to work in lab, I had to go with my brother-in-law, Satyaki da, to see Finding Fanny. I really don't understand why people are raving about it. They bloody killed a cat. And no, I don't that a least bit funny. Oh, well...

The day of the party dawned. By that time, I felt bad. My poor little Elsa...going out of her way to make her Anna feel at home. What she didn't know was, if I was home, I would probably escape somewhere, switch off my phone and refuse to meet anyone. Of course given the friends I have,they would have hunted me down and made me celebrate my birthday. Anyway, we got the house all cleaned up before the guests came. Post 8:30pm, one by one, they started to arrive. 

(Unfortunately I forgot to take too many pictures that day. And I really wish I had. Because the party had unleashed a string of fresh characters on me.)

My friend Rini claims that people watching is one of the best pass times ever. I have to agree with her. If I tried to write about every single one of our guests, this would become an awfully long and boring blog post. So how about I just tell you about my cousin and my sister's lab friends who like to define themselves as 'nut jobs'. Well, they clearly have not met some of the people I know. Nut jobs don't even begin to define them... (The cousin doesn't define herself as a nut job,by the way...that's just Queen Elsa's subjects.)


The girl in green is my Queen Elsa. (Those of you unfamiliar with Disney's Frozen...just look up the scene where she says, 'You can't marry a man you just met.' Both my mum and I burst out laughing and agreed that sounded exactly like my sister. So Queen Elsa i.e. Roopsha Brahma Banerjee (my didi) is married to Satyaki da (also in picture), and the lady who got cut out of the picture is our cousin, Sohini (di). The only one in the entire family who does not use my nickname. (And thank God for that.) 



And these are the people who are my sister's friends from lab - Jeremy, Nikhil and Madhubrata di. (Yes, the girl whose father I know -_-)


And here is Didi and Madhubrata di again, with Arun. (You know I keep remembering the politician Arun Jaitley every time I hear this name.) Anyway - they claim to be crazy people. I guess they are. Most of the people I've met in my life have been a little crazy. But I guess all the best people are. 

Even though I'd met a lot of the other people who'd come for my party...I ended up talking to these people in the pictures the most...each of them come with a different story, I have to write a separate blog post for that. 

All I can say right now is, I am glad they came to my 25th birthday party. They made me miss home a little less, and feel much more like a grown up. I still cannot believe I've reached the landmark of a quarter of a century...Wow, 25th. You lived up to my expectations.

And because we have to go out now, this blog post will not get the profound ending I ought to have given it... 

P.S. - Do remember to keep an eye on this blog. You really need to meet the interesting characters - I'm sorry - people I met on my birthday party day. ;)

September 10, 2014

Singapore Diaries: Of Bicycle Rides & Coffee Evenings

East Coast Park, as the Sun goes down...
Every time someone asks me what have I been doing while my sister and brother-in-law are busy at work, I say...I'm busy with my own work. And when I finish working (or just want a break), I often walk down to the East Coast Park and spend a good amount of time there.

This week, I think I even stayed there till 8:30 pm one time. Because the place really is beautiful. And I get to ride a bicycle in peace. Something I've missed doing over the last few years of growing up...

It really did feel like I was a kid again....riding the bicycle, with the wind rushing past. Apparently if you learn to ride a bike, you are never going to forget it. No wonder it felt so wonderful...






The Bicycle 

I insisted on this bike because I was not really sure if I would remember to balance myself. It turns out, I did remember. And quite well at that. It was one of the best evenings here... 

We did go out for movies, and dinner, and lunch...they have always been nice. But the whole riding the bike along the east coast, being able to gaze out into the ocean...surely takes the cake. 

Another really nice thing about yesterday evening was finally being able to meet the Coup d'East (the bloggers group I happen to keep raving about) Captain, Prashanth for coffee. (And Teriyaki Chicken and Potato skin!)

With Prashanth

I guess by now I've met the maximum number of my team mates, and the numbers only go higher up.

Singapore is proving to be fun. And I hope to have even more fun by the end of this week...

It is quite a big deal for me, anyway.

Let's see.

So far the trip has been great. I've not done the touristy things because apparently we have covered everything before...

Until next time.
Take care, everyone!

September 4, 2014

Singapore Diaries: East Coast Park & A New Friend

Last week when I got bored out of my mind, and decided to do a bit of exploring of my own. And in some stroke of miracle I found the way out of this beautiful maze Didi and Satyaki da live in called Villa Marina. Then my GPS took me to the East Coast Park. So I had walk for 19 minutes. Well, big deal. I still haven't hired a bike and rode around the park yet. I keep saying, "I'll do it tomorrow." But tomorrow, sadly, has not arrived yet.

East Coast Park...looking at the ocean 
And...so I kind of walked as far I dared to stray. (Yes, I'm a little bad with directions. So I was careful. I will still be careful when I go biking either tomorrow or day after. Let's see.)

Walking around the ECP last  week...

And then, when I was on my way back from getting dinner. I made a new friend...


I had been missing Pippo a lot. So I thought maybe it was the Universe's way of telling me that there are other friendly cats around too. I just never seem to notice them. Isn't that funny?

I really hope I run into him again! :)



August 30, 2014

Day 30: My Hopes For My Blog


Day 30: YOUR HOPES FOR YOUR BLOG 

I started this blog when I realized how powerful this platform is. True, I don't blog about things which would "trend". But this space feels so mine...absolutely mine.

I hope more and more people discover this blog. Realize there's much more to the unstrung ramblings of my musings... :)

August 28, 2014

Day 29: A Confession


DAY 29: A CONFESSION 

2013 was one hell of a year....and I'd never want to trade it for anything in the world. The good times have just begun!!! 

August 27, 2014

Day 28: Most Embarrassing Moment


DAY 28: MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT

Well, quite a few make it to the list:


  • falling down the stairs in college
  • when everyone realized who I had a major crush on
  • when said crush decided to annoy the hell out of me by saying very weird things
  • falling down while coming down the stairs in the Westside store
  • ...and usually I just laugh at these moments and put them behind me!!!

August 26, 2014

Day 27: What's In Your Closet


DAY 27: WHAT'S IN YOUR CLOSET


  • Clothes
  • Jewelry
  • Diaries
     
  • Books
  • A kaleidoscope
  • Notebooks
  • Fabrics
  • and more clothes!!!

August 25, 2014

Singapore Diaries: The Flight & Then Exploring Villa Marina

I had arrived on Saturday...my plane delayed by 4.5 hours to Singapore. I had actually been looking forward to this trip. Which, by the way, is a first for me. I was practically shipped off the first time in December 2010...and the next time, my head was too up in the clouds to care about being out of the country. Not to mention the jealous and snide remarks I had to endure for being lucky enough to travel out of the country 2 times in a row. But this time it was different. 

I was not being shipped off against my will. Nor was I suffering from the whole love is an open door syndrome. I wanted to do something for my 25th birthday. Celebrating it with my sister after nearly seven years seemed like a good plan.And by God, it took such a long time to execute. The saving began from last year. And lastly,the timely arrival of my arrears, helped to let me by sufficient dollars. (Although being the generous and loving brother-in-law and sister, they haven't let me spend anything yet. Except the cab ride home...and I insisted on paying that and why we'll find out soon!)

So my very paranoid sister called me on Wednesday night and asked if I could travel to her house by myself. I shrugged and said, "Sure...why not?"

But she went on to give me explicit directions about how to reach her house...etc etc and then we both realized she'd mistakenly believed I'd be coming down on 21st of August. I had to correct her...I was going on the 23rd, but coming back on the 21st of September (and at an ungodly hour). Don't make me go there now!!

Anyway...Saturday dawned. And everything went smoothly (except the Rs 3,006) I had to pay for the excess 7 kilos. (People really haven't heard of this amazing service called worldnetexpress.com...I wish they had. It guarantees delivery in 72 hours..and let's poor students like me who saved every paise possible for this trip save their next month's stipend.) Even the guy who was weighing by luggage felt sorry for me. And despite my passport clearly stating I was born in 1989, he assumed I was a kid from school.

"Aap khud inti chhoti ho, itna barra luggage kyun layi ho?"

And another thing - everyone happily assumed that I was someone who could speak in fluent Hindi. Well, I sure burst their bubbles that early in the morning. Anyway...as I waited for the plane to arrive...I observed my fellow passengers. I'm not as lucky as our resident Shameless Blogger. I didn't run into any interesting people...except a didi, who just wanted to get back home to her husband and was whining about it. I found myself secretly praying that my seat wasn't next to hers.

I'd asked for an aisle seat because, it's easier. The window seats have never attracted me anyway...given that I'm pretty mortified of flying. The stupid guy stuck me at the very back seat of the air plane!! I'd settled down on my seat, feeling confident no one would come this far back. But a guy a little older than myself trudged in and asked to get to his window.

Yes, most of you might think that I'd spend the rest of the journey talking to him. But this dude was whispering sweet nothings into his phone and blowing kisses...from what I overheard, his girlfriend was pretty distraught about him going off to Singapore. I couldn't help but roll my eyes when he told her to go off to sleep...it was 12:30pm!! Who sleeps at that hour??

I had better things planned for my journey. I'd already finished Missing by Meg Cabot, while I waited for the plane. I eagerly began to read Paper Towns by John Green. I had no idea when we'd soared into the sky...and I'd drifted off to sleep. I was up since 4:00 am!! I woke up when the air hostess shook me awake saying, "Ma'am, lunch.."

Air India was the only airlines I'd taken to Singapore before this...so imagine my shock when as I ate my lunch, they pushed a strolley down the aisle, saying, "Would you like something to drink?" And I spied bottles of scotch, whiskey and probably every other alcohol on the planet...I had issues with booze. Don't ask me why...I just do. I don't think being 'cool' is equivalent to boozing.

"No,thanks I'm good."

She must have felt sorry for me, "have some water then?" And promptly poured me a glass.

"Do you have any beer?"  the dude next to me asked.

He must have seen my look of utter disgust..because our journey was spent in silence. Anyway,I was too involved in Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Speilgman  to care really. If the dude is a blogger, I bet he's describing me as snooty bookworm, who wouldn't even say hello!!

I really liked DrukAir. The air hostesses were really nice. They kept offering refreshments...always wanting to know if you're okay and concluded the journey by offering mints to all the passengers.

You know, I owe John Green a big thank you. His book saved my life from boredom...and I'd never had a more entertaining flight...although the number of flights I've taken so far is limited.

There was a huge queue at the immigration, but I was too busy worrying about my beautiful purple luggage to care. I had to know it was safe, because...well, all the gifts were inside my bag. And I had to pay fucking Rs 3,006 for the excess baggage. Grr...

Once I'd been cleared...I rushed off to find my beloved bag. You see this is a middle sized suitcase my mum gifted for my 25th birthday. (Don't worry...you guys haven't missed it yet.) I guess it symbolizes getting out of her house! I found it sitting patiently for me in belt 22...after having asked an official about it. Then I took a taxi and tried to get home.

"They usually know where Villa Marina is. Rare exceptions they don't..." my sister had told me. guess what kind of  cabbie I got? the rare exception... she'd given me explicict directions just in case and they came in handy,  as he cross-checked it with his GPS. And soon we were at Tower 21.


I clicked this picture today...when I came home on Saturday, it was nearly 9 o'clock. We went out yesterday for a movie. It was a good movie called "Boyhood". And today I had huge plans to explore the place in the afternoon -but it kept raining. Finally after I had coffee in the evening, Iwent down to the poolside to sit and write. It is a beautiful place indeed. 



But I decided to sit on one of those armchairs around the swimming pool and write my heart out...then I came back home again.And had to go out to swim...which I didn't mind in the slightest. I like swimming. I only wish, I knew how to hold my breath for a long time.

I guess this trip will be different from the previous ones. For one, there are people my own age here now...in fact, friends I've know for quite some time now. And I'm not as scared as I used to before. I guess I've really started to grow up...will post about some more adventures tomorrow!


Day 26: My Hidden Talent


DAY 26: YOUR HIDDEN TALENT 

Ummm...I guess I haven't discovered that yet. But I do have a knack of picking up lots of hobbies. Maybe that's my hidden talent.

August 24, 2014

Day 25: My Biggest Regret


DAY 25: YOUR BIGGEST REGRET 

It took me nearly twenty two years to find myself...I wish that had happened sooner. Besides that. Nothing really... :)

August 22, 2014

Day 24: What Attracts You (in Love)

DAY 24: WHAT ATTRACTS YOU (in LOVE)


  • Honest conversations that go on till late into the night...
  • Someone who likes cats and would adore Pippli-Pie :D
  • A lover of books, movies and music
  • Someone who can write. Or tries to at least.
  • Sense of humor.
  • Caring, warmth and loving nature.

Day 23:If You Won the Lottery


DAY 23: If You Won The Lottery...

Start my own publishing house.

Travel the world.

Build a free library.

August 20, 2014

Day 21: What Makes Me Sad


DAY 21: WHAT MAKES YOU SAD


  1. Backstabbers 
  2. Lack of faith 
  3. You choose to be sad 
  4. I choose happiness over sorrow, every day :)

August 19, 2014

Day 20: What Makes Me Happy


DAY 20:WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY 

  1. Pippo darling <3
  2. Red roses 
  3. A walk in the rain 
  4. New notebooks 
  5. The smell of books 
  6. Learning new things 
  7. Reading 
  8. Pet-sitting
  9. Baking 
  10. Writing 
  11. and the list is endless... 


August 18, 2014

Day 19: My Favorite Movie


DAY 19: MY FAVORITE MOVIE


I loved this movie. I loved every single minute of watching this movie....And every time I am in a foul mood, I go back and watch this again :D

August 14, 2014

Day 17: My Favorite Blogs


DAY 17: YOUR FAVORITE BLOGS 

  1. The Vigil Idiot
  2. Dip-tea Blogs Here
  3. The Shameless Blogger
  4. b00k r3vi3ws
  5. One and half minutes
  6. Dreams n Drama
  7. ....and all the random blogs I read!!! 




August 12, 2014

Day 16: Thoughts on Education


DAY 16: THOUGHTS ON EDUCATION 

My mother always said that the sky is the limit when it came to learning...and I've always believed that. While I agree that bookish knowledge is important - I sincerely believe that teaching yourself all the life skills is also very important. 

I have his mad urge to be self-sufficient. Perhaps that's why I've taken up innumerable hobbies... :) 

I don't like the rote-routine ways in which we're taught in our schools and colleges. It limits creativity. And becomes at the end of the day, a memory test.

I have the highest respect for anyone who has taught herself anything...be it an instrument, a skill or simply the ability to see something no one else can.... 

August 11, 2014

Day 15: Where Will I Be in 5 Years?


DAY 15: WHERE WILL YOU BE IN 5 YEARS?

Working my dream job, living with my family and of course, Pippo.

Maybe with a wealth of books to my name.

A couple of best sellers wouldn't hurt.

Traveling.

Weekend trips.

Being in touch with my best friends.

Being able to sew almost anything.

A much better baker and cook.

:)

August 10, 2014

Day 14: 3 Healthy Habits


DAY 14: 3 HEALTHY HABITS


  1. Brush my teeth every day, twice, without fail :D
  2. I practice yoga, thrice a week.
  3. I always wash my hands before eating...or use a hand sanitizer!!! 


August 9, 2014

Day 13: What's inside my fridge?


DAY 13: WHAT'S INSIDE YOUR FRIDGE?

Well, I guess milk, butter, eggs....lemon, vegetables, jars of jam, peanut butter.

A stray bar of chocolate.

Chocolate chips.

A forgotten dessert.

Bottled spices.

Whipped cream.

Fish.

Chicken.

Salami.

Sausages.

Minced meat.

And...you'll have to ask my mother. This list is written from memory, recalling all the times I've opened the fridge, trying to snoop around for food! :D

August 8, 2014

Day 12: My Favorite Childhood Book


Image Courtesy: Google Images 

DAY 12: YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BOOK

Long before I found out the reality of the Grimm's brothers' stories, I loved the watered down and sugar coated versions we were read out as kids. And Disney put a whole new spin on it too....So doubtlessly, my favorite childhood book was a copy of the children's version of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

I do own a copy of the original too. But my love for the story remains as strong as ever. In fact, it has even inspired me to write Indian adaptations of these beautiful stories.




August 7, 2014

Day 11: 10 Favorite Foods


DAY 11: 10 Favorite Foods 

I am not a foodie at all...but being friends and siblings with people who at least one favorite food has helped me pick up a few dishes that I will like - if not love. A recent conversation between my friends was one where everyone had an item of food they said they would kill for...and I kept thinking and thinking about something I would kill for. Too bad, nothing very concrete came to mind. Anyway - here's my list:

1. Phuckas/Golgappas/Pani Puris - whatever you choose to call it. This tops my list thanks to the crazy sister who insists that this was the best thing ever invented on earth.
2. Doi Maach 

3. Cupcakes (especially the ones I make for the family!) :D


4. Ice-Cream sundaes (especially if someone makes them for me!!)

5. Brownies with ice-cream (homemade version)

6. Chicken Sweet Corn Soup (and I love the version Gauri di makes for us)

7. White Mushroom Sesame Chicken 

8. Doughnuts (especially the ones found in CCD :P)

9. Chicken Rezala 

10. Crispy Chili Baby Corn 

Yes, I know...my food habits are terribly boring. Here's hoping my Knight in Shining armor turns out to be my complete opposite. For one thing, I wouldn't have to mull over the menu - thinking about what to order when we go out to eat. 

By the way my go-to beverage is either lemon iced tea or fresh lime with soda. And rarely, green apple soda. I hardly ever order anything else! ^_^