Red… For Hadia

SO we enter the abstract domain. Hadia, the inspiration behind this activity has herself asked me to write on “Red”.  This is what I feared. For me, anything that isn’t particular to the tee becomes nauseatingly close to psychoanalysis. And that scares me to pieces.

Yet, these are some disjointed thoughts that I associate the colour to.

*****

Mohabbatein was an all-round snooze fest. And as in every desert there blooms a cactus, yours truly took away a key message from the movie. Red Flower = Love, and Yellow Flower = Friendship. This of course was a part of the ever elusive Rose Day celebration in the cool college. And then the college I studied in had its own Rose Day celebrations. The only red roses I received that year were in a bouquet from a girl *cue confusion*. To her I remain eternally grateful for opening my eyes.

On a side note, I justified to myself that one offers red hibiscus to Ganesh idols because it’s “love”.

*****

I owned a red salwar kameez once which was just as gaudy as it was loud. It was bought for a school annual day event where the women were all “wives”. Of course the red was to be synonymous with married women. And that dress I wore whenever I felt like dressing up as Indian. I did the whole shebang with a bindi, and earrings etc. This phase went on till I realised the dress was suitable only in the context of “Ye Desh Hain Veer Jawaano Ka.” The only red I’ve worn since are a sporadic kurta here and there. Associations with choodha-wearing brides make me too conscious.

*****

I had an allergic reaction last year to who knows what. My face was swollen and was the shade of tomatoes. I ended up in the Emergency Room and then the ICU. But when I looked myself in the mirror, I realised this is what it must look like when an author says “he/she turned a brighter shade of red with embarrassment.” For me embarrassment is felt in the stomach, seldom shows up on my face.

*****

I remember my mother crying when I first started my period. I was 10, maybe 11. And she cried when she shared the “news” with her mother, then with her best friend and finally just cried every time she mentioned it to anyone. I didn’t get it then as to why she was crying if specks of blood showing up every month were normal, as she explained. A year later, the cramps began. Now, I cry every month yearning for the first decade of my life when I wasn’t bending double over my stomach.

*****

Marilyn Monroe looked like she had it all when she wore red lipstick. I think it was one of the late-night movies I sneaked a glance at oblivious to my parents. And then I noticed almost all of the “English film women” wore red lipsticks. At a discussion with peers (fellow preteens), I think one friend said it looked better on screen while another said it looked better on their skin tone than Indian actresses’. I bought my first red lipstick last year after a hijra woman I was interpreting for told me it would make my eyes stand out. Boy was she right.

*****

Priya Wal looked so damn cool in her red highlights in Remix, that Anwesha was my ultimate idol when I was in school. I wanted flaming red hair. Till I discovered naturally red hair. I realised I could never have those, or carry it off as confidently. The last time I was envious of the same was when I saw a senior colleague who carries off the red curls with better panache than Katrina Kaif in Fitoor. In my head, whenever I rebel, I have red highlights.

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Here Goes Nothing…

Ahem. I am going to blog like nothing happened. Let’s ignore the last year when I completely gave up on writing. Ok? OKAY.

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“Oh God Why Me?”

I turned another year older last month. Honestly, I cannot pinpoint to anything that’s changed in the last year. The last few years though? A LOT.

Responsibility comes with age, said my school teacher. Ya, right.

I cannot for the life of me point to one phase of my life where I didn’t feel that I wasn’t surrounded by kids. Too many negatives in that sentence. Basically, I’ve always felt like I was surrounded by immature kids who could do with some growing up.

Which gets me to my current phase in life.

I don’t blog as frequently as I used to at one point. I take on more work than what I can humanely accomplish. Which leads to muddled up deadlines and a lot of apologies. Much like the kids in my class.

See, there? I am actually growing more rash, as I grow up.

One might argue, that growing up is actually about taking calculated risks. But really, I am too much of a scared kitten for it to apply to me.

SO what are the risks I have taken in the last few years? Let’s see…

  1. I decided to let go of a career I dreamt of having since I was a kid. Sigh. (The sting never leaves, does it?)
  2. I have decided to get totally disconnected to any mainstream news and pop shows. (Still getting there!)
  3. I decided to be a teacher. (This is not funny.)

I put myself up for scrutiny every day. Every single day. The fellow teachers, the snotty 17-year-olds who cannot even cook their own food, the neighbours, the friends. Everyone judges me, because I am a teacher.

And no, this isn’t the snide, oh-you-must-be-teaching-because-you-can’t-do-anything-else kind of judging. That I can deal with. It’s the career-advice and job-accomplishments type of judging. Big deal, you say?

“Everyone gets that!”

NOT really.

You see, the problem is this: Not all of us might ever have dealt with a civil engineer. Not all of us know exactly what a doctor does. Nobody wants to know what an architect does. Or even a designer for that matter. None of us have a clue what CAs do! But here’s the thing, every single one of us, has had a teacher. Probably for an extended period of time. This, apparently, qualifies all and sundry to tell me how to do my job.

Now here’s the thing, I am new to this job. I never professionally trained to be a teacher. But I am one. And if I need advice, I’d rather go to someone who is a teacher rather than ask you, Madame and Monsieur Randome. You, who were teachers for one glorious day in 10th standard when you lorded over a bunch of 10-year-olds.

Also, everyone who is a teacher has only one advice for everyone else. You learn on the job! You’ve no clue what a class will be like unless you’re there – experiencing that hate emanate from a multitude of sources. Hate, or awe. There is never an understanding or appreciation for what you do, in my very vast experience. Kidding.

There’s a silent understanding – ‘I will behave. Hence, it is my right to demand that you end the class 10 minutes earlier than scheduled.’

I get this, and I do this; because even if I may be this young-ish teacher who is still figuring out how to carry on talking when a 100 faces are furiously stabbing at their iphones; I was on the other side of the table just a few moments ago. And while I demanded of my teachers to be a little more considerate towards me, a person balancing her education and a job, I think I can extend the same courtesy to my kids.

Moral of the story? As I grow another year older, I’ve realised educating someone isn’t entirely my cup of tea. Not yet at least. I will probably need advice. Not yours, though. Maybe advice from the people I am trying to learn with. My students.

PS. This birthday bought some awesome gifts. That deserves its own post! 😀

Retrospect.

Have you ever felt that you should have had an experience much before than when it actually did happen?
A lesson you should have learnt earlier in life? Say probably, to make lesser mistakes, lesser painful ones later in life?
Or I’ll put it out loud, to have a better story at social gatherings?!
I feel that way now. In fact, what I’m experiencing now should have happened a decade back, at least good marks would be assured!
I’m at Sathya Sai Prashanthi Nilayam railway station in Andhra Pradesh. At 2.35am. Trying to ignore the stink of the public toilet of the Great Indian Railways while watching an uncle unwrap his inner wear from a dhoti to give the latter to his wife who feels the chills. More importantly, I’m waiting for a train scheduled to arrive at 7.30pm. Yup.
There’s a man who’s spouting phlegm from what I suppose is a nose. While I hear men peeing in the adjoining loo. Yup. The silence!
If you’re wondering why such dry descriptions: this is the essay I should have written when in school! For the countless students the Indian education system churns out everywhere and every year, none have escaped the mandatory “One hour at the Railway Station”.
I am no exception. Not only did I write these essays with less than  half a heart’s interest, I also made them up. Honestly, who didn’t?
That interesting lady in your essay from a night waiting at a station was actually Ruskin Bond’s creation. That girl with a flower basket was his too. The time you missed your train was probably your parents’ experience or the time someone left a bagful of money which you dutifully returned was something your tuition teacher read in the newspaper, and suggest you write it to make your essay “stand out”.
I had a standard one myself, where in the rush of a Mumbai local, I’m separated from my parents (which would never happen. We always travelled by road. Ha!), found by a police inspector who then takes me home to worried parents.  There! Happy endings! 😛
Unfortunately then, I didn’t have the wisdom of what I do today. It’s the middle of the night, I want an upper berth to sleep through the day!
All I get instead is a wailing baby, irate passengers talking of how the train wouldn’t arrive for hours, and an over stuffed man who farts at regular intervals. Or is that his snoring?!
Either way, a dead station in the middle of nowhere, accompanying sleepy grandparents, a jugal bandi of fart/snoring with wailing baby makes for so much better an essay, right? At least my English teacher would have laughed if not marked it the highest. Or is a child getting lost “stand out”?
Never mind. At least this blog post happened thanks to an actual wait at the station. 🙂

Magic of my own!

There’s a reason why this place hasn’t had a post in ages. Lethargy, mood swings, no time, health, studying being some of the excuses. But mostly, it is because there was nothing I had to say or do…

Honestly, I realised that it has been 5 months since my last post only when some friends pointed it out to me that they were actually waiting for a post on the blog!

So let me be upright about this, I may have followers, but I never kid myself into believing that I have readers. Or readers who’re regular, probably people who peek in every time I post something and then forget it.

But thanks to the few who remembered! J

So since the last post was to do with magic, I think I could continue to do the same. Especially because, that’s what I have been doing for most of the last two weeks.

For those who do not know, Pottermore, the website by J. K. Rowling as a continuation to the Potter world that she created, is up and running. And I have just been there, and there, and all over there since it opened for everyone.

Yes, it seems a lot of craziness on my part to be stuck on to a world that is simply fiction and to be engrossed in the extension of that fiction. True, that the lady is only cashing on on her success, but honestly, it’s just a bit more of magic into my world.

I started reading the Harry Potter series when I was in the 5th standard, and to my own surprise, I took very well to the series. For one, it coincided with my entering a new school and new surroundings completely. I was a new kid, whom everyone knew, because the teachers from my old school were now here, and I was given that special treatment. I will not deny it, I got most of the pampering from most of the teachers and had that extra bit of freedom that was elusive to others.

For a while, that was what Hogwarts was to me, a new school with lots of new cool stuff to do, stuff that my old school didn’t have. Hence, Pottermore, is now a simple extension of that nostalgia.

I know this is lame.. 😀 But that’s the welcome! 


This may seem like PR for the site, but honestly, it’s more than just that. I got sorted into a house, which was unexpected. I always thought I’d be in Hufflepuff, but surprisingly, I got sorted into Ravenclaw! Like the house where everyone is intelligent, in an eccentric way! 😛 I am from the house of Luna Lovegood! How nice is that?

That is right after I got sorted! 🙂



And then now, I have my wand, a 10 and three quarters, solid hornbeam phoenix feather core wand. And the wand chose me. Mind you! 😉

THAT is my wand. Which I am still getting used to. Yes. A wand.  Okay,  go off now! 😛


It’s a lot of nonsense I know, to be brewing potions online and to be duelling and collecting chocolate frog cards to win house points; but then it is the summer vacations! And it totally beats being a crocodile at any time of the year! 😛

So there you go. Another pointless post! 😀 And another reason for you to think that I am crazy!


PS. The post may make it seem like I am 11, and waiting for my letter from Hogwarts, but I just did turn 21 last week! 😀 Seeing that this is my first post in 2012, Happy New Year folks! 😀 Hope the first four months have been great for you too!  

Children’s day and My box of Magic…


Children’s day was/is the day I would await the most; apart from my birthday. For the sole reason that my dad is one of those rare people who gets a cake as well as gifts for the “occasion”. So basically the fantastic memories from my childhood have a lot of children’s day memories.

Such memories and other special ones were always hidden by me, something that I hid in the deep recesses of my book shelf. So that it would never be found by anyone. My box of magic.

As a kid I always had this wonderful idea that I’d find something that would bring magic into my life. [Blame it on the ideas of magic lamps/portkeys/glass slippers]. I know it is a fantastically romantic idea, but I have always wanted the perfect life with the “happy ending” in it.

So all the small things that I found pretty and well, cute, would go into a pretty box. It had all these ribbons stuck to it et al. I guess the box was gifted to dad by some client on Diwali when I was in school (probably primary). Still can’t remember what it held, but through the years, I’ve always dug it out and added things to it.

This is what my magic box looks like:

That’ THE box!
The Magic!



And the contents (if you can’t see clearly) are a lot of things from different phases of my life: there’s my LA Santa hat, some 4-5 pendants that look like small bells, all sorts of ghungroos and bells that I tore out of pretty key chains, my invitation for my Fresher’s party in FYBMM, my school bus pass, Mahesh Tutorials id card, my first pass for the rock show at Ruia in 2007, there’s a sealed packet of sands from the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean that I bought in Kanyakumari when I was 12-13 etc.

My mom and sister think it’s absolute trash that I’ve wrapped in two net duppattas (in fashion when I was in primary school). I doubt if I touched it after I was in 18. But today, I was looking for some badges from Wikipedia that some friends got back for me as a souvenir from its 10thyear celebrations, and I found the box by accident.

Funnily enough, even though it was only two years back when I last saw it, today when I see it, it still reminds me of all those sweet and happy childhood memories. I was sitting at home brooding about how pathetic it is to be alone all day long and have nothing to do – when I found this so called magic box.



Turns out, it is a magic box after all. After so many days of groping in the dark for some reason to smile, I found a box full of them. Magical memories. And my box full of magic. J

1.1

It’s been a year since this blog was started. A year and one day. And there’ve been 12 posts since, or so blogger tells me. Things have changed since this blog started, I think and post now or rather think more and post. Maybe that’s why I blog so little. An average of one post per month is rather horrible. And blaming writer’s block too isn’t the solution.
So I guess I’ll do what I promised myself when I started this. Write about whatever I think and do. Interesting, funny or otherwise. Hopefully this 2nd year is a lot more fruitful and creative in terms of what I write. But then, thanks for reading me! J And for commenting on what little I put up! J


There won’t be a barrage of posts now, but certainly no drought either! Hopefully this stays on!

That’s a random image I came across on google images when I 1st started this blog, it isn’t me and isn’t mine either!

Growing up in the New Year!

So for two Sundays now, I’ve been on a shelf cleaning spree, and there are quite a few revelations and other secrets! J

First of all, it’s the New Year, and I hope to give my abandoned blog a bit more time and attention along with some not-so-serious content.
For all of those who don’t know (Coz almost everyone on FB does) I went to the Veer Jijamata Udyan and Prani Sangrahalay (Byculla Zoo), Nehru Science Center and Nariman Point yesterday along with some friends. So just out of nowhere, it rang true somewhere that I’m growing old!
Now, before you start talking to me about Olay and its wonders, I’ll tell you a few facts. I have parents who’ve roamed with me a lot, I am to turn 20 in April, and I’ve worked a lot in a field that gets me roaming. So? So, I obviously get nostalgic at places and reminisce about them to others. Why is it so strong now, I wondered? And it was pretty simple, roaming with friends who don’t really roam much, and cleaning a shelf are two things that’ll always remind me what I was.
I’m having that phase now!
I found those wonderful things that we called “notes” in school, but were actually chits that you pass around when the lectures are on in a book. Tucked away in a corner of my shelf, that treasure trove almost made me cry, because they had everything! The flavour, joys, fear, fun of school! They had small scribbling, letters to god knows who! References to weird names we kept for people, flowers between my pages, a chocolate wrapper, a locked diary, a slam book with “Never forget me” notes from people whose faces I can’t even place now.
I messaged a friend, who asked me to bring it along the next time we meet so that we’d have a “laugh”….I doubt that a lot, because whenever I see those or any photographs from school, I think of the girl in braces who was the know-it-all grandmother, little-miss-two-goody-shoes who had no time for behind the back talks but felt on the top of the world when she’d read newspapers to the assembly.
I miss those days. And more so, because that treasure trove can’t be recreated! I don’t have a single similar “note” from college, because we have cell phones to pass on messages! And I hate that. It good to have those little bits of papers that remind you of a different world in a different time.Highlight of the trove: A drawing that proclaims me to be “Miss World 2000” 😀


The one in the middle is me, 10th standard farewell at school! 🙂

Then there are those that make you wonder if you were the one who even wrote those! Like a “Who am I?” 500 piece article that I wrote for my 1st assignment in BMM, it makes me cringe in embarrassment and shudder to think of what would people think if they read it now!
Finally, came the killer of them all yesterday, when while passing Currey Road station I screamed out, “I used to take that bridge to office”, and later in the day, “That’s where my dad used to bring us for ice-creams”, or “When I was younger, that was my hang out spot”. Yes, all of those people with me thought of me as a grandmother. They always have.
I wonder which is worse, to have seen so much at an age when everyone is just discovering, or to have seen nothing and remain oblivious to all the wonders that I’ve already seen, and act as a chaperone to others.
Either way, I feel old. Suddenly. And I am to turn 20. No, this isn’t a run up to my birthday. But just wondering, if I’ll ever stop missing the 10 year old or 15 year old me, who’re probably eons away from the 19 year old me.
It’s New Year now. 2011. And we’ve left behind another year, another trove of memories. And I know, 2 years down the line, I am going to miss all of this! J
Happy New Year…