Posted in confusion, head and heart, love

That thing called LOVE


No, this is not one of those mushy mushy love blogs with a few lines of love poems thrown in. Neither does it talk about the beauty, joy and purity of love. Nor does it cry copious tears about lost love.
It is just the story of my confusion about the whole concept of love. I was in a relationship for two long years before I called it quits amidst a lot of tear and pain. The boy I dated is probably one of the best people I have or will ever come across. Then what could have possibly gone wrong, I hear you say. Well, that is exactly what this blog is about. Not that you are unaware of the problem. Mills and Boons and Bollywood have made us savvy of the little tug-of-war game our head and heart often play tearing us apart in the process. And that is exactly what happened.
I was only in high school when I started dating. Back then he seemed to be the best thing that ever happened to me. My life seemed like a dream, thanks to all the teenage love stories I had read and the movies I had seen. But then something strange happed and it changed my whole world- I grew up. I started to realise that the things that I had deliberately been turning a blind eye to, were some of the most important things in life. I realised that as we step into adulthood, much more than just ‘love’ is required to keep a relationship going and that is exactly when deep cracks started to appear in our relationship.
A relationship that all our friends once idealised was fast breaking up never to be mended again. Very soon the foreseeable happened and we parted ways. For me, somehow the head always wins. I am not too sure if that’s the way it should be but I guess that helps me move on quicker.
Posted in friends, friendship

Aston Saga

They say “friends are the chocolate chips in the cookie of life”. Well that’s the best way I, a chocoholic, can describe my friends. In my 23 years of life, I have come across myriads of friends-soulmate(s), jerks with the heart of gold , pen pals (yes, I did have a couple of them), jealous ones (not the best people to have around but they spice up your life nonetheless) , motherly ones (they keep you grounded and save you from going broke by the first week of the month) , dare devil ones (trust me they fill your life with all the adventures that you can one day proudly tell your kids about), the loaner/ banker(the ones who are always ready to loan you a tenner) and the list goes on…

I just had this random idea to pen down a few things about my friends at Aston. Well, we are more than just friends now. We are one big family; with all the family drama included (I hope Ekta Kapoor is reading this).
# Anjali- She knows black magic. How else do you think she knows exactly what’s going on in my mind without me having to give her a cue about it? But, it’s quite scary to have such a friend around cuz you know you can have no secrets, she’ll always do her small telepathy thingy and get it right out of you! I would categorise her as the ‘motherly’ as well as the ‘dare-devil’ one – rare combo, I know. I don’t know how I’ll let her go on the day she flies back to Dubai for good. I am deliberately postponing the thoughts about the Anjali-less Birmingham days that I’ll spend after that.
# Mirrin, the noodle queen-The Chinese looking Indian with a Gujju accent ! Well, she’s the only one on whom I can’t stay angry! Her antics keep us entertained and the endless nights with our adventures with the “magic wok” have secured her place in my BFF list! In spite of being a total crack, she is the most lady like girl in the group. Mirrin and I have this special gift- we can laugh without any reason! Yeah, it’s crazy, but when Mirrin is around we can laugh on random things and go absolutely crazy. And then there are her endless stories on the 2 Fs. Not for nothing did I name her the F-Queen (before you allow your mind to get dirty, let me tell you, it’s not the F you think it is).
# Shri Ram Sharma Bharath Ganesh Anantharaman (gimme a sec, I’m breathless..) – Oh boy! I wish I hadn’t met him in the first place. It’s now going to be so difficult to detach myself from him. He’s an absolute jerk but my first friend in Aston which gives him a special place in my life. He can irritate the s**t out of me with his long tales on how he is an HSBC premier customer and his endless Vedic tales! Well now you know why he is the senior citizen in the group. With a para long name and a profuse supply of wit and humour (though I’m the butt of most of his jokes (sigh)), he’s one of the closest friends I have ever had and will possibly ever have. (I can so imagine the look on his face!)
# Karthik aka Bhaloo/Motu/Teddy Bear/Punching Bag- The cuddliest and the most beat-able one in the gang! He has always been more than just a friend. Though sometimes I absolutely hate him, he is more like a brother I never had and when he gives me a bear hug and kisses my head I know he feels the same. Though we didn’t really start on a good note, the later months proved that the first impression you have is not always correct. I’m going to miss him like crazy when he finally goes back to India. More than anything else, I’ll miss his pot belly, something so comfy that it can give Kurlon Mattresses a run for their money!
# Krishanth/ Kruushath/ T-rex- (Well, technically, he shouldn’t be on the list because of all the hatred I have for him- 21 points in my hate scale of 1-10) Anyways, T-rex is the guy I love to hate. He’s the most chilled out person I have ever met. His happy-go-lucky and optimistic attitude is what I love the most about him. But, let me tell you a small secret: when God was creating him, He ran out of hearts so he used a plastic blood pumping machine instead! Krushanth just can’t stay without pulling my legs- it’s like oxygen to him- absolutely necessary for his very survival! With an unmatched sense of humour, he’s the kind of guy who can sit and discuss literature and music with me and the next moment turn around and talk about sports, politics and science with the others.
# Manisha aka Aunty- She was the first girl I became friends with after coming to Aston, so she’ll always be special. I have had numerous fun-filled days and crazy girly nights with her. She’s very caring and is very sensible in nature. She was always very protective about me and would fight the guys when they would go on cracking sad jokes at my expense. Given below is one conversation I had with her, which I’ll never forget.
(Me: Manisha, I don’t like your boy friend at all. He doesn’t know when to talk and when to keep his mouth shut.

Manisha: Yeah, I understand but trust me, he’s not a bad guy, he can just be really crazy at times.)
She said this so earnestly that I couldn’t stop myself from hugging her.

# Sudarshan aka Suddu- He has his own way of doing things. Whatever game we played we had to keep in mind that Suddu will require 2 extra minutes. Not that he’s dumb (quite the contrary, in fact) but because no matter what it is he’ll laugh his heart out the first 2 minutes and that too without any reason. Suddu is the quiet one in the group who occasionally comes up with things that literally make us roll on the floor laughing. And how can we ever forget the hilarious fights that Suddu and Manisha have, to keep us entertained.

This blog means a lot to me. I laughed a lot and cried a tear or two as I was recollecting memories from the past one year. They say, time flies when you’re having fun. That’s exactly what we are experiencing right now, weeks are just flying past and our days to head back home is nearing at a break neck speed. I have already started the count down for when we will all disperse taking different paths in life, never to meet again. I know, initially we will make the full use of the boon called internet exhausting all chat boxes and networking sites. But as days will change into months and months into years, the number of IMs and emails will decrease only to turn into occasional thoughts about the good times we’ve had together. Well, that’s how life is.
May be on a dull day or an exhausted evening, when we are burdened with the responsibilities put on us by the world, if we will look back at this one year, a small smile will appear at the corner of our lips and make the world look a bit more bearable.

Posted in holidays Hong Kong

From Hong Kong, with love

I am just back from my Hong Kong trip. It was one of the most interesting trips of my life. It taught me how to survive in a place where no one, absolutely no one, speaks your language and what they speak is all Greek to you. It was a complete adjustment in terms of weather, lifestyle and everything you can think of. I was lucky to find 3 very nice people without whom I wouldn’t have had half the fun. Maria Toner , my roommate (from Ireland) (oh! she was a complete sweetheart) , Alexander Crespo Paunero (aka AlexanDRA Crispy Potato) (from Spain) who kept us entertained by falling in my traps and being played pranks on.. (oh! how he hates me) and Oana Propescu (from Romania) who was one of the sweetest persons I have ever met. I can fill pages after pages of blog about my amazing experiences there. However, that is not possible given the looming deadline of my dissertation: 15,000 words in 3 weeks! (God help me!!) So, I want to note down a few striking experiences without which this trip would not have been what it was. Right, here’s your guide to one of the most beautiful places in the world- Hong Kong.
1) When you are waiting in the queue to reach the till, and it’s your turn, the hand gesture of the lady at the till (to ask you to come to the counter) looks more like she is pointing at some door right behind you!
2) They answer phone calls with something that sounds like “why?” instead of hello. Alex once went “why what???” when someone called him by mistake and started to talk thinking it was someone else.
3) If you ask Chinese people “did you eat?” they’ll answer “eat”!! I always thought that it was to confirm what I asked but soon I realised that that’s how you answer yes or no in Chinese- by repeating the verb, either in positive or in negative!
4) They love their jelly. It can range anything from turtle meat to beans, they’ll just relish it.
5) Knocking on the table after a meal is a sign of gratitude to the host! For us in India, it would be a sign of impatience and hence wont make the host or the hostess very happy.
6) While quoting a discount on an item, they’ll quote what %age you have to pay and not the other way round which is the usual way for us. Think of my joy followed by disappointment when the lady at the store announced that all the items in the shop were on 90% discount!
7) This one almost got me into the black-books of the HongKongese..
I am so accustomed with the UK popular culture of holding the door open for the person behind you to enter that in HK too I would do the same. On that fateful day I was walking out of the “mini-bank” on the campus when I saw an Asian guy walking towards the door. I walked out and was holding the door for him till he neared the door. When I assumed that he was at the door and must have held it for himself, I let go of it. I turned my head on hearing a squeak only to see that the dude was now squashed between the doors as it had never dawned on him that he was supposed to hold the door himself and not expect me to hold it for him while he walks through. Anyway, on that day it became clear to me that holding the door open for the person behind you was definitely not what people there did and thus it better be avoided.
8) Almost anything is food in HK- saliva of birds to hooves of cows, chicken feet to pig skin, and yeah, let’s not forget the duck tongues and dried sea-horses. HK is a paradise for experimental foodies. It can almost be ranked as one of the extreme sports. Well, it takes more than just the urge to try new food to eat cubes of beef blood in your noodles.
These and many more experiences turned my visit as colourful as the night sky of HK itself. After a month and a day when I was on the plane, on my way back to B’ham and I looked down at the City of lights, I knew that was leaving behind a part of me there…
Posted in movies

35mm in 15 years


“As the cars made their way through the tall pine trees I felt like they went right past me (zoom) and when the head lights were lit, I had to close my eyes as they were too big and bright”, my mum was excitedly explaining to our neighbour after our big day out at the movie. I was around 9 years then and that day we had gone for a family outing at the movie theatre to watch Roja, the latest super-hit. That was a good 15 years ago. At that time the whole phenomenon of watching movies on the “big” screen was a sheer luxury in my part of India, Cooch Behar, a small foot-hill town in West Bengal.
Those words said by my mum came back to me a few days back, muffled by the years, when I was watching the movie again in my friend’s laptop. I couldn’t stop wondering how fast the world has progressed and how fast things have changed. Once when I was watching one of the IMAX 3Ds, as the archaeologist chiselled away through the rocks a chip flew towards me and I actually dodged to avoid being hit on the head. That was when I stared wide eyed and came back and explained my friends in the very same way my mum had done some 15 years back.
I now wonder, 15 years from now if I have a daughter of my own what movie watching experiences will she have. What will get her dumbstruck and ,well, sweep me off my feet?
Posted in Uncategorized

Durga Puja

The air must be smelling sweet with ‘sheuli phool’, the light breeze must be sending shivers down the ‘kaash phool’ beds by the roads, ‘pujo barshiki’ of ‘Ananda mela’ must be on our living room table already… scaffoldings blocking the roads must have from a long time only gathered smiles from the ever-complaining bengalis.. little kids must have already planned what to wear on those four days.. sitting miles away, how i miss the things i thought i never would..

Posted in friends, friendship, Uncategorized

Moving Houses

Moving houses has never been my favourite job. One, they are utterly hectic. Two, I feel extremely sad when I leave a place that has been a home for me for sometime. And three, because it’s the time when my friends complain a lot.

They say, I have way too much stuff to carry around. But, c’mon, I am a girl, I am supposed to have stuff.

Anyway, today I was cleaning up the attic, and throwing stuff either into bin bags or into boxes and wheelies bags. This exactly is the part I hate about moving, This digging out of stuff that transports you back to the old times and gets you real low.
I found the note pad that Krishanth had given me to make notes for my dissertation. It was apparently his lucky note book that got him through his under grad and MSc dissertation. I found the hand bands we were given for the Traffic Light party we went for after our second term exams. I found the small black wallet I used when I lived lived on campus, and sitting inside it was my laundry card (and I know I still have 5 quid on it). In a bag (that was a bad impulse purchase and thus spent it’s whole life buried deep under old clothes) I found torn pages of the Sun4U catalogues. I found the small envelope that had the dried flowers that Bharath had picked for me from random gardens just because I said they looked pretty. I found a card that Mirrin had hand made for my birthday which said- “I know we have not known each other for too long but hell we are closer that chuddie-buddies”.
I had to take a break from it all. As I sat on the low bed of the attic and a tear tickled down my cheek, I was left wondering how I reached here. When did life get so complicated?
Posted in Uncategorized

Where has chivalry disappeared???


We were walking down the stairs of the city square after a meal at Weather-spoons on that exceptionally chilly evening. The sky was overcast with dark clouds and the winds blew hard. Embracing herself to keep warm, Mirrin tells Krishanth, “Wow! It’s really cold today, isnt it?” To which Krishanth replied, “I know. It’s so f**king cold. Thank goodness I am wearing this warm jacket of mine” and walked away.
Well, what never appeared to him is that, the small chitchat that Mirrin had initiated had nothing to do with the customary British discussion of weather but a hint to give her his jacket as she had not got hers from home that day.
Better late than never they say. Well, it dawned on Krishanth soon enough and an embarrassed Krishanth did apologise and offer her his jacket but by then the dye was cast.
Well, as you can guess, he was the butt of all our jokes for the rest of the evening!
Posted in Uncategorized

Adventures of Tintin and Two Little Kids in Cooch Behar

tintin-409248_1280Tintin, Snowy and Capt’n Haddock- a major part of my and later my brother’s childhood were spent in reading adventures about them- it was like our staple. We whizzed with the shooting stars and dived under the seas in the shark shaped submarine. My favourite character of the series was the perpetually angry, swear word creating and unintentionally funny Capt’n Haddock.

Posted in Uncategorized

Wake up, it’s the day you have been waiting for.

All the time we sit and wait for our life to begin , we never realise that we are already living it.

Would we still be the same and do the same things if we did realise that this is the time we have been dreaming of? It is now time to live the dream and not wait for it any longer to hatch. Unlike the eggs of a big fat chicken, these dreams can actually hatch whenever we want them to. Key words here- ” when ever WE want them to”.
I have always waited “to grow up” and get a tattoo, go glob trotting, party more and learn to not give a shit! Last night while going to bed I realised that I am already in that phase of my life (and I’m still waiting for it). Hello!! It’s the time to do all that and more. Well, I could have done them even a couple of years ago but no, I was “waiting to grow up”!!
I realised, it’s not like an alarm that goes off to say- ” Heya! time to start doing what you have been waiting all your life to do”.
You have to just jolt up one day and give yourself the permission to start living your life.
What the hell! It’s your life after all!
Posted in Uncategorized

Keeping him alive

I love writing. I write to vent out my pent up emotions, I write to make fun of people or (as in most of the cases) of myself and my immediate surroundings. Sometimes, I can also get a little preachy and write pages after pages about life and philosophy.
But never before did I have to write something that made me feel so uncomfortable yet passionate and important at the same time. It felt like a job long due. It was easy to keep Gogol’s memory aside all these years but when I started reading Amar Uncle’s books, I realised how hard he was trying to keep Gogol alive in his works, the translating then became more than just a weekend hobby to me. The whole thing became more of a strange passion from the deep sense of responsibility and i started doing it religiously. Maybe because I felt that it was the only way I could pay a tribute to my long lost friend- whose love I can never forget.
For one last time, I wanted to bring him to life- for the good times’ sake: for the times we had puchka together, for the times he got KitKat bars for me on the way home from school, for the times we fought about who was better at Indian Classical music- For all the fights and all the fun.
Gogol, you are truly missed. No, you can never be replaced.