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Read THIS First..
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

A New Year, New Living; beyond everyday...

I've done it again! Surprised myself, that is- by coming up with this post- when I had intended to abstain from posting on New Year Resolutions, what with the pointless messages (since who has ever fulfilled their resolutions?) and such a busy schedule that I thought I wouldn't get the time to write anyway. I had thought I'll re-post my last year's piece on New Year Resolutions (I resolve to...), however useless it might be! But then, as I unfolded this Saturday's (Dec 24th) issue of Mint Lounge (which I really enjoy reading. That's a different matter I subscribed to Mint to increase my economic and business related knowledge of which I just read the headlines :P), I was hooked to the cover story! It was on how we can make 2012, or our life for that matter, last longer, by engaging in activities that are fulfilling and that will make memories worth cherishing! That was what the whole paper was about. It spanned 14 whole pages, but I read it anyway, slowly, carefully, to take everything in.

Anyway, the point is, I was SO influenced by the things they said, I couldn't help jotting stuff down in my diary and thought it would be even better if I could arrange it into a blog-post! So here are a few points I think are worth trying. Not in a single year people! That wouldn't even be possible, but in our lifetime. These are really simple things, that can make us grow internally, love infinitely and live fulfillingly (I know that is no word, but it had to rhyme!). And yeah, if you aren't capable of reading really long articles, you better stop now :P

1. Mending cracks with a friend
A friend who was with you in Class 1, or someone you loved but lost contact with, over your busy lives and long time periods? It would be so emotionally fulfilling to see them again, to be able to talk to them about the lovely moments we shared. This is something definitely worth trying. They're all in our Facebook friend list, why not give them a visit too? :) I can think of a few names I would love to see again, let's see how this works out!

2. Cut the fast food
Now THAT's gonna be difficult! In these times of pre-packaged foods, what we consume is mostly inorganic and preserved. But, apart from health reasons, we can enjoy our food better when we've taken out hours and our energies to create something (like spices). Though I'm not fond of cooking, I guess it would be worth a try.

3. Freewheeling!

One of my favorite ideas! It says 'ditch the car, get a bicycle'. You may wonder if I'm mad, preferring a bicycle over a car, but yes! I have always loved bicycles and now I guess, it would be quite cool if I could move around in one. For one, I could save on petrol, my pocket money and the environment and two, I would get some exercise! (Dad, I know you'll be reading this! See the hidden request? ;) )

4. Puzzling!
Having to solve a really big jigsaw puzzle, one that could take you months to complete, having the family to sit and work on it once in a while. That sounds fun! We could preserve the puzzle as a sweet memoir, one that would make us remember the time we spent on putting it together. How about a family photo puzzle? :) There were mentioned a couple of websites that could help create puzzles for us.  

5. Creating your own signature scent!

This is something I'm definitely going to try. The recipe for making your own perfume is so simple! We just need some essential oils, base oil, alcohol ad distilled water, along with some creativity and personal taste! It's all about mixing stuff together, adding more of what you like to get your own scent. That would mean visiting the small lanes of old Delhi to reach apothecaries that stock the ingredients. A really simple recipe, that's going to be fun to try. :)

6. Play with Clay
Clay pots are something we made in Art class in school, maybe just once. The uneven surface, the funny shapes and the clay scent, it was all that we enjoyed at that time. But why not now, too? Wouldn't it give us so much pleasure to be able to have our hands around the clay, watching with marvel the shapes we can create? There's a Delhi Blue Pottery Trust that offers a six month course in pottery, and the course fee isn't even exorbitant! If I'm able to get admitted to a good college and have the valuable resource, time, in my hands, I'm definitely going for it. If not now, some other time for sure. It's been added to my list!

7. Going back to the Pen
I am such a hypocrite! Here I am, typing down these words with so much gusto and talking about how we should not let go of the pen. But still, I will try, since these words from the paper were quite influencing- " The written word, as a creative art, was once about individuality of expression. A writer was defined by the kind of pen he used". These words could also be quite depressing for someone like me, who hasn't written an essay with a pen (apart from exams of course!). Even notes in college are photocopies from different books and the subjects too boring to make your own notes. No wonder I'm the only one who finds my handwriting legible. :/ And to think there was a time when I did nothing apart from writing (with pencils, I mean) and drawing. There was a different kind of satisfaction, one that I'm going to renew now. :) 
(anyone volunteer to be my typist??? I'm obviously not going to write down the same things twice!)

8. Back to your Mother Tongue
We've all been raised up to learn English- the most important of all languages, if we don't want to make a fool of ourselves as and when we grow up (though that's a different matter I've discovered now it really doesn't make much difference. You could excel in any language, just be dedicated to your job, and life). And an even different matter that I have always loved English, making faces when I had to learn Hindi at school. But isn't it true that you're kind of recognized by your own culture and regional language too? I remember getting Punjabi-learning books when I was young (and hadn't seen the real world and had too much enthusiasm), but I wasn't dedicated. It wasn't something I had to excel at to get good marks (Don't blame me for this outlook! Point your fingers to the education system here!), hence I still can't read in Punjabi (here goes my reputation :/). But I think I would like to go back to it, and I think you should, too. :) (not to Punjabi, confused people, but to whatever language is your Mother Tongue- Urdu, Malayalam, Tamil, Asamese, whatever!)

9. Climb up rocks..
Considering I always get so excited I could cry, at the prospect of adventure sports, this is one point I would want to work on like crazy! Rock climbing! Forget all the health and body, stamina blah blah reasons they give, I just know I would love to do that, and that's it! (Thank you Mint, for giving names of relevant clubs in Delhi). And I loved this line from the paper- "Climbing is a pensive, personal and challenging sport. The ground is our comfort zone, we are safe on it, and so to take just the first step up a wall, even if roped, is to walk past fear". :)

10. Wildlife Photography
I can say nothing on it except that you probably already know I've been crying out in a hoarse voice since the last two years, begging my parents to take me to some wildlife park, but I still haven't been to any and I'm still crying over it. Not that I am not independent, but not old enough to go on my own (wellll, maybe :P). 2012, Please! Let you be the year I FINALLY get to see the mystical forces of nature and wildlife and of course, to photograph them. ;) Away from city life, into a jungle. Really worth a try! (My Mom thinks I'm mad for thinking like this, but I don't think so. I know we have a 'real' and 'practical' life to live, but we can surely give one day to some senseless desire, that is always much more fulfilling).

11. Plant. Bonsai.
Before I read this, the only thing that came into my mind at the mention of the word "Bonsai" was the extraordinarily yummy pickles made from Bonsai-oranges and gifted to us by Mom's friend's Mom! But the idea that I could have one such plant in my own home is quite interesting. It doesn't even require much space and to see something grow at your own hands, and the final result of so much perseverance, the idea is surely  inviting. :) 

12. Give a gift that lasts...
It's so tough to think of gifts to give to our friends, relatives and other people you want to present gifts (in some cases you actually don't WANT to, then this point can be ignored). One such idea here, I think, is genius! Find out what the person is really interested in (gardening, photography, art!) and gift them a yearly subscription of a magazine related to their field of interest and one that's not easily available on the stands. That way, the person won't only think of the occasion on which you gifted them, but also of you. (The italicized lines are from the paper. I'm not a plagiarist, just so you know). And this is in no way, my indirect manner of giving you ideas of what you can gift me. I'm not that far gone. :P

13. Build a family tree...
This can be quite challenging, what with the enthusiasm in the family to extend the family as far as possible, spreading across the whole planet! But it would be so much fun too, visiting relatives you haven't seen in months (or years!), and maybe even discovering that the weird guy in your chacha's neighborhood is actually your dad's brother's wife's second cousin! A website, could be of help. I want to try this out! That would take a really long time, considering the huge number of cousins of cousins I have, but if I'm successful, I could have my own huge family tree painting in the living room (I get such weird ideas from fiction. Blame Harry Potter and Sirius Black in this case).

14. Visit a museum a month
Even this is something I've been bawling over. But now I think I am capable of going on my own. I still haven't even seen the National Museum in my own city, just because no one bothers to accompany me! Mom, please don't think it's a direct threat (if at all you will read this), but I'll start off on my own if you don't come with me! Museums can be a wonderful source of knowledge and learning. It's so much better to learn history and about landmark events through art.

15. Breathe!
Usually I'm not a yoga type of a person but I sure am concerned about my health and living peacefully. This one talked about how our breaths actually control our life. I don't have much to say except I'm following this from now on. An excerpt from the paper- "In Sept, WHO reported that with rapid industrialization, India is one of the worst affected by air pollution and an epicenter for lung diseases. Our age is one of short, sharp, half-lung breaths. No wonder, we are so angry all the time. Breathing is the metronome to your day. To control breath is to control life itself. To realign life, begin with one, full, deep, clear inhalation. Breathe, now."

There were 50 such points, of which these 15 are ones I'm definitely gonna give a shot! Apart from these, I listed down a few of my own
- Learn Geography: I admit I'm not so good at it, and it's such a shame considering the fact that I would love to move around the world and discover new places.. Work on it, work on it!

- Record : My scrap-file still hasn't been justified, scraps from papers are still lying around pointlessly. About time I file them properly!

- Learn a new language: Something I've been trying to do since the last two years and almost did this year, but backed out at the last minute. 

- Concentrate: Whatever I will do, I will give my full concentration to it, to be able to learn something valuable. Multi-tasking has its side effects, one of which includes lack of concentration. Take things one at a time. :)

Really, there are such wonderful things, waiting to be explored, and here we are, scraping off the stale days all the time. These things will make memories, and will mark the time we did them, thus making and marking our years, and subsequently, our life. :)

Of course, all this isn't possible in a single year, and these aren't even my resolutions, but things I discovered must be undertaken in our life. These are so simple, so easy and really, just so small, but the happiness and fulfillment they have the power to give us, is too overpowering. I will try these out, will you? :)
Wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year and a life full of enjoyment and smiles. :)
Love, Spread Love, Live. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

A completely CRAZY day with friends!!!

The alarm clock buzzed the soft, soothing tune (another reason why I always end up being sleepy than ever!) and I carelessly hit the snooze button (the obvious first step). I have no clue if it buzzed again, but I got up with a headache and saw the time. It was 11.53am! Aneesha and Richa (two of my cool buddies) were supposed to reach my place at 12! Not that I expected them to be on time, but still. I should at least have brushed my teeth till then! :P

Anyway, like normal Indian people, they reached an hour late, laughing and smiling and I knew it was a perfect day for some much needed post-exam fun! We chatted and gossiped and laughed and discussed and argued, all while munching chips and gulping down coke. They had even got a couple of scrumptious pastries and surprised me by presenting two beautiful and lovely handmade cards and a small gift! It was apparently my belated birthday celebration! (Isn't the bee just so cute? :D)


We are the kind of friends who like to throw away 'formalities' into a large smelly trash bin! We wanted to have fun, and after rummaging in some cupboards, I got out a few old games. The boxes were dirty but we didn't mind a single bit. We rejected chess (not so much fun), the business game (as if we didn't have enough of the business stuff already), tambola (three people wouldn't be much fun for it), speller (reciting the spelling of Czechoslovakia? Nope!) and finally settled on Hangman! Something we played with a million years ago! It was actually fun though, creating names with those plastic pieces, arguing over the score, guessing stupid stuff and clicking pictures (obviously!). 
Hangman, while we played. :)

That was when we realized that we were feeling ravenous. We decided to order in from Dominos. I really don't like talking over the phone with strangers (Thank God for that. It means I wouldn't ever have to resort to working in a call center. Not that I want to, no way!) so Aneesha was the one who called the outlet and ordered two medium pizzas. They already had our home address and number on records, since we frequently order from there. As soon as she disconnected the line and we saw each other, some kind of weird understanding passed, and the three of us immediately decided we don't want two pizzas and in less than a minute, Aneesha called them back and requested for a change.

However, to our surprise, the guy refused! He curtly told us that the order's ready and can't be changed. Hello? We placed the order less than a minute ago! How can it be ready? I took the cell from Aneesha and said, "Hello? Are you going to change the order or not?" (Yeah, I felt very bond-like). He said No, it can't be changed. That flared up the anger in me and I asked him to cancel the order. "We don't want anything from you", I blew into the tiny cell phone. The (shamelessly rude) guy said, "Then we won't accept any orders from you again". "Fine", I yelled and hung up!

We laughed at the idiocity of it all, but we wanted the pizzas! We were hungry, and so much in the mood for pizza that we couldn't let it go! Richa then called from her cell, and like the idiots that we are, we placed the same (changed) order and of course, the guy got suspicious and when we gave the address (which of course, was the same), he refused! That was SO unfair! I mean, just for asking for a change in the order? Dad would obviously take care of it though, I thought to myself, but we wanted the pizzas! We decided to actually visit the outlet, the same one, and gorge on pizzas there! Yes, we are that far gone! But then, that's what makes us crazy. ;) 

We decided to visit the park for the photo session (they wanted their pictures clicked by me! OK, by the camera, which is really good, but still, I was supposed to click, right? I hadn't even experimented with portraits photography, so I wasn't sure I would be able to make them happy). We were totally in the mood to have fun. For once, I didn't feel awkward as I squatted on the ground, to click their pictures from different angles (it was because I am now much more confident, okay? And not because there wasn't a single other soul there, except for a funny looking aunty who stared inappropriately long at us every time she walked past, and of course, some dogs who were basking in the sun). 
 On the slide before the dogs barked!

They posed on different swings and I clicked. Once they were on top of a short slide and I was clicking, when I heard the many barks of the dogs! They were somehow disturbed and chasing each other. I looked around to see Richa's eyes wide with fear. She screamed to God for help (hahahahhaa) and immediately slid down the slide, while I struggled to get out of her way (not much success though, the side of her head hit my camera, which shut off on it's own!). We went crazy laughing out at the situation, while Richa tried to give an explanation. (she said dogs can climb up slides! As if the dogs would leave me, who was on the ground, and go for them, on top of swings! LOL!). We anyway carried on with the session for a while, before Richa completely freaked out when she saw the time! We still had to go to Dominos and she had her tuition class too. (Imagine, tuition in college!). But the photo session made me realize that I CAN click good portraits! We loved the pictures!

Cute pictures, right? :)

We hurried out to find a rickshaw to take us to PVR, a five minute thingy from my place. The rickshaw puller demanded more than necessary, and I wasn't going to take in more unfair stuff than what I already had endured with the pizza guy. We refused to take it and started looking for another one when a frantic dog came rushing at us. Reflexes made both, Aneesha and Richa jump into the rickshaw! I stood there, trying to shield myself from the dog, which I realized was the one that roams around in our neighborhood and whose life I had once saved. Well, kind of. It wouldn't bite me, if it had any manners. I refused to get on the rickshaw because the puller was smirking! At me, at my friends, at the situation! How dare he? He thought we couldn't do without him, did he? I refused to get on it, so both of them got down as well. (Quite some show we put up there). That's what Ego does. It's a very strange, weird and dangerous thing.

We started walking in the hope that we'll find another one, with Richa walking speedily in front of us (wow. She was really serious about her tuition class). However, we did not find anything as we continued walking and soon decided to walk the rest of the length, since now we were so close it would have been stupid if we took a rickshaw! High on adrenalin, laughing and walking fast, we soon reached the doors to Dominos. Smirking, we got in and innocently looked up the menu. Ordering pizza, pasta, coke and chicken wings (that looked extraordinarily yummy from the picture on the menu), we sat down to wait. While our order was being processed somewhere inside the kitchen, we took pictures and wondered who could possibly be the guy who blacklisted my address. We spied on the people who picked up calls for home delivery and soon enough, a guy with spectacles matched our description. He was curt and looked like a strict school teacher. The no-nonsense types. We looked at the name plate and remembered it, in case it came up in the future, I would know.
(That's me, with Aneesha and Richa respectively) 

Our food arrived and we hungrily grabbed it, not bothering with any formalities (like, "you have it first", du-uh!). The chicken wings didn't look as tasty as they did on the menu. We asked them if it was the same thing. It was the strict guy that answered and he offered to get it a little more baked. We agreed and then, it wasn't so bad after all. We finished everything, too full to even move, but we couldn't possibly sit there all day. Or night. Whatever. We left the place but I had a suspicious feeling that they knew. Of course they would, we gave them the same number we used to call them, I realized with a jolt. But whatever, what could they do?

We said our goodbyes and I reached home, immensely satisfied and feeling that intense happiness you only sometimes get when you're really feeling exhilarated! When it's your heart that's happy and pumping like there's no better thing. (well, what else could a heart do anyway?). It wasn't over though. I switched on the laptop and filed a complaint, requesting them to remove our address from the blacklist. Soon enough, Dad got a call and the chief said he'll make sure nothing like that happens again. Ha! Take that you 'no-nonsense' man! :P

It was fun while I transferred the pictures into the laptop and e-mailed them to Aneesha and Richa. I uploaded some on Facebook (of course!) and we again re-lived the moments online! It was an amazing day. It may sound absolutely crazy or totally boring to you, but it was certainly much more to me. We had so much fun, after such a long time. Aneesha and Richa, I hope we always stay such friends, loving each other and continuing carrying out crazy ideas, no matter how old we get. :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Just a simple thought....

I have no clue what I'm supposed to call this feeling, this inner desire to just start typing down here, despite the fact that I have an exam after exactly 43 hours and I still haven't picked up the book to revise (it's lying by my side, looking SO innocent but so not tempting!). Funny how everything seems like an unexplored territory during exams and you can't help thinking about things you otherwise won't, during 'normal' days. For instance, I love making (and experimenting) different kinds of teas during exam days, which is quite funny because I'm just averse to the idea of having anything to do with cooking. And kitchen. I prefer being the consumer. Always. :P

Anyway, just a little while ago (when I had the book in my hands) random thoughts flowed into my small head and the need to put some of them down was too overpowering, because well, it's a small head and needs to be de-cluttered so that some of the stuff that would be useful in the exam could make it's way in. Oh God! This is what exams can do to my sense of humor! 

I was wondering why people choose to live such complicated lives. I'm not talking about the thousand or so relationships everyone has, totally twisted, but just about simpler things in life. Like going out for some leisure time and when they return, they're not really happy because they got 'only' two t-shirts? C'mon people! You just got two brand new tees, that too on impulse, can't you be happy about it, instead of going, "I think I got the wrong color"?  

Or worrying too much about what other people might be thinking about them. Why do they worry at all? Do those 'other' people even matter? Think like this- those who matter are the people who love you unconditionally. Even if you spill over a drop of soup or have your shoes covered with mud or waste, they're not suddenly going to hate you for it. Besides, people only think of you as you think of yourself. It's simply your choice to either make a sorry face and just stand there admitting you forgot the lines in the play, or instinctively cooking something up and sprouting with confidence, ending up as a star!!!

Another thing is having too much on your plate but still continuing dropping dollops of workload, side by side trying to ensure the stuff doesn't start leaking off the plate. You bet it will. Eventually. Can't we just do one thing at a time? Slowly, gradually, understanding and enjoying it completely before we move on to the next? But I guess for some people it isn't even a choice anymore. It's a lifestyle, especially if you are a kid. I've seen kids under ten years of age going to school, dance class, music lessons, abacus, some evening sport club- all in a SINGLE day!!! What's up with the parents anyway? I'm glad a lived a cool life as a kid, inventing my own games, choosing my own friends and having fun in my own way!

Anddd the thing that's digging into my head since a long time is- why do people choose to smack their heads, literally churn out their brains and molest the keypad by typing-deleting-typing-deleting-typing out words that are just so hard? I mean, it's great to have a good vocab and even greater if you use it into your language or into your articles easily; but when you actually chew off your fingernails trying to think of fancy words to include into your text, is it okay? I might be hauled off by the ethical police for saying this, but unless it's an essay that will be marked or something as or even more important, why spend time worrying over it? I know I can write a well worded essay, with fancy words we usually only see in dictionaries (actually we don't even notice them in dictionaries), but when I'm typing stuff here, on my own blog, about my own, personal thoughts, shouldn't I just write what's coming into my head? Agreed, I need to make it comprehensible, but I'm just not going to fret over how there are so many million words in the world and I need to use so many of them? Well, it's a personal thought and others' views might differ.

It's MY choice how I choose to live. It's simple. And I love it that way. :)

God! See the exam magic? I've actually talked sense! Since a long time! Why doesn't this magic work with the exam subjects? We could actually get a lot less stressful then. And a lot more intelligent, since exam marks tell us how good we are, forgot? :P
Now I have a suspicious feeling that the green book's going to be upset with me. What if it doesn't let me read from it? I guess I better start, getting 'marks' is SO important! 


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