Read THIS First ..

Read THIS First..
Each word on this blog is the original creation of the writer. You better not copy it!
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Happy Reading!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thank you, 2012!

It's that time of the year when I tend to be the most excited, for maybe some totally weird reasons. You'd think the end of a whole year, meaning a year more towards doom or The End, should have me worried, but then again, why should it? It's the holidays, I'm free to get up at noon (yes, I do), sit under cosy blankets and just read till eternity, get excited at the prospect of wishing all those special people in my life a 'Happy New Year' with personalized messages, and feel amazed at the way the clock just strikes 12 and people go crazy! It's such a sweet feeling.

Now as the year's coming to a close, I'm thinking back to all that happened this year. One thing is definite, there's been more of the good and great stuff than the bad, unlike 2011 which was like, the suckiest year ever for me, if that's even a word (It isn't. At least according to autocorrect it isn't. But hey, according to autocorrect, even 'autocorrect' isn't a right word. Stupid technology). Anyway, here I am listing down all those things I'm grateful to 2012 for. Really. :')

1.  For finally granting me the fortune of living a life free of entrance exams and its useless worries! Okay, maybe not exactly, because I was still very much into these making-my-head-spin-like-crazy exams till the first 4 (or 5?) months, but still. Being accepted in a school for MBA, in Delhi, in a government university, was very much a reason to be happy and finally free. (That's a different matter altogether that college isn't really "free", but still. No more parental nagging!)

2. New college. I know I've been going on about how it's made my life so 'sucky', but not really. I mean, I am at least getting to learn new things which I didn't learn before, finally getting some real, practical education in a field I sometimes find boring, but still. I'm not going to say anything negative in these thank you notes. So, I'd be getting an education (and a nice one at that), new friends (read next point), new experiences and insights into wildly differing human behaviour (people who make it into the 'corporate'? They're weird as students)

3. New friends. Really, even though there might be total weirdos in my class (and yes, I don't feel like such a weirdo now. I've discovered more varieties), there actually are some "my" type of people! With one of them, it was 'friend-at-first-sight' kind of a situation, and I'm sure, she's going to be a friend forever. With the rest, it was gradual, but I'm totally glad to have them as friends. :D (To those whom I tease a lot, that's because you're liked, silly! ;))

4. The new 'me'. Not technically, because I'm still the same old me: the book nerd, slightly weird, dreamer, klutz, and whatnot. Still, I think with time and especially with this new college, I have slightly changed. Personality wise, I think. I'm not such a cry baby anymore (okay, I am a bit, but I should retain something of the past, no? Hold on to traditions and stuff!), I've learned to forgive (or call that 'don't-give-a-damn-to-what-you're-uttering' attitude), and even though I still get 'lost' while in class (and even in tests. Damn it!), I'm still able to recover quickly, because you know, of the fact that I despise being dependent on anyone and asking people to repeat stuff is something I myself don't enjoy! And I think my dressing sense as well, has improved :P 

5. Grateful to God for doing some wonderful stuff in my family! Thank you God for all that you've given. We're forever thankful, just need you to continue showering your blessings! :')

6. For books! I took up the Goodreads challenge, set a target of 50 books to read this year! Guess what, I'm at 58 right now ;) I don't know, books just sort of are a breathing mechanism for me. I just-cannot-stay-without-them. Can not! Tell you what, I read something like this somewhere and I wish: wanting to learn Braille just in case you go blind, so that you'll still be able to read books. It's not in an offensive way, but just a thought- how would you read if you can't see? Anyway, I got to read a lot of great books, learned a lot of stuff, saw my book blog grow into something people actually liked! Thank you, really! :D

7. For the Kindle! Oh you deserve a separate point, dear Kindle. Just to be clear, I'm not pro e-books as such and I just download the free e-books from Amazon. If I have to purchase, I'd rather go for a physical copy. I love the Kindle because it helps in light readings when I'm in no mood for something heavy, when it's just 'read-something-light-and-go-to-bed' sort of a feeling. And of course it's sometimes useful in a boring class, that little dear is just so easy to open and slide between the pages! ;)

Quite right!

8. For all those moments when I felt life is simply beautiful! It is, though, if you actually think about it. If you see what you want most of the time is just materialistic and honestly, it doesn't much matter. Remove that and you'll find everything beautiful! 

9. For all those times I was able to do just what I really wanted- read the books I'd been dying to read, go out and photograph just those things in just those places at just the right moments, just as I'd planned, to see some 'thought of' dreams taking shape for real. I've loved them all. :)

10. Birthday! It was awesome. Thanks all those who made it special! :)

11. Before actually typing all this, I asked Rachit and Usama for a few suggestions, meaning, what they think one should be grateful for. While Usama is busy cooking up schemes to overtake a couple of planets in a galaxy not yet discovered (you can mention those in the comments section!), Rachit mentioned these:

- Not Dying (yeah, turns out that 21 Dec 2012 was a hoax from the Mayans!)
- Meeting Rachit, Usama, Gunsheen, Ridhima (on my birthday. Yes, it was the awesome-est of all! :D )
- Not being in any relationship (uhh... okay. :P )
- Not mentionable. :P

I'm sure there would be a lot more I'm not writing at this moment. What do you think you've been grateful to 2102 for? Was it good, bad, or a mix?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How do you feel?

If you're rooted in a mass
Of beings different, 
Pitying you probably, for you're
Not 'them', sticking out sorely
How would you feel?

If you ever speak and
It goes to the wind
For they have priorities, overlook
Your little voice, meaningless
How would you feel?

If your little heart flutters
At a sound, you turn and
See it/they smiling, at another
Their backs to you, indifferent
How would you feel?

If it's easy being alone
You do it with grace
Doesn't mean it's desired
Still they leave you up to it
How would you feel?

If you find yourself
At the intersection, with the
Forgotten past behind, the unknown future
Ahead, and the present muddled, conflicting
How would you feel?

Be in those shoes, at least once
See, what your indifference does
To drown another soul, in pain
Insecurity, inferiority. If this is you,
How do you feel?

The above picture was taken from Google (where else?).
The above post is the product of a very weird state of mind. Ignore if it doesn't make much sense.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ticks and crosses...

Every person has their own perception of what constitutes the ‘right thing’. What’s right for you may just be horribly wrong or unforgivable for me. Isn’t it logical? Everyone is a different personality, with their own set of brains (hopefully), thought processes, living environment and background. Naturally, our perceptions, ideals and morals would vary. Even then, from a general humanitarian point of view, there are certain rights and wrongs that I feel we all should know and understand. Whether we choose to do the right things, is entirely up to us. 

#1. Wrong: Cheating in exams is not right. You copy from others, from the guy who's spent some time preparing and studying while you were getting drunk, you use your Android phone and apps for the right answers, you don't care if you're copying shamelessly from whoever. The nerdy classmate whom you never include in your 'fun plans', suddenly becomes the limelight when it comes to copying from him in tests. Not right. 

Personally, I would say it's kind of natural for us (Indians) to cheat. God knows if not the whole freaking population has been involved in some sort of cheating or the other. Still, that doesn't make it right. Have some respect, for yourself and for the others. People cheat because they want marks, they want good grades. Why? Does it in any way make you learn anything? Make you smarter? I don't think so. (Yes, I know that in some cases marks determine a lot of things and can make huge differences. It's just a pathetic truth about our system).

Right: Even if you want to save yourself from flunking, at least cheat till what is required for you to pass. Why copy the whole thing, word for word? You have brains, please make use of them. It's not really that hard.  

# 2. Wrong: Hurting others in any way is not right. Some of us have this tendency, this urge for sweet 'revenge'. Not right. You, for one, have absolutely no right to make anyone feel sad about themselves, or inferior, or angry. Why can't you just keep to yourself and to those who matter? Seriously, some people have all the time in the world to discuss and plot such trivial tactics that it makes my heart squirm. It's scary. No one is actually interested in anyone else's life so much. If they are, they're going to talk to you about it. I do. If I like someone, I'd like to get to know a lot of things about them, so I'll simply ask them. Do that, will you? Stop being a snob.

Right: 'Teaching' anyone a lesson is totally uncalled for, kiddish and stupid. If someone hurts you, why the hell do you have to hurt them back? That just makes two people miserable instead of one. Heard of this word, 'ignore'? Works wonders, I tell you. Try not to take too much notice of what cribbers speak about you. You know yourself better than anyone else, even if they're psychologists. Trust yourself and learn to leave people alone! 

# 3. Wrong: Being rude is not right. Really, in my 21 years of life, I haven't encountered as many rude people as I'm doing these days, the past few months, especially. Where people get this attitude of being rude, thinking they're being cool, is something I can't grasp. At all. There are real, freaking people whom you're being rude with. They might be sensitive, they have emotions, they're not robots. When you push someone deliberately while getting on/off the Metro train, it's not cool. Maybe you just screwed up some happy person's day real bad. When you tell someone how 'boring', 'uncool' or 'weird' they are, it's not right. You think people act like a bore on their own? They're trying really hard, alright? Just have a little bit of sense.

Right: Just be nice. To all. That's all I have to say.


Agree with me or not? Did you notice how I've written such a short post? :| The scarier thing is, I find it hard to write like I used to, these days. The worst part is, I haven't read a book in the past week. I don't even feel like it, in fact. I mean, I'm considering returning three books to the library without reading them. And I was dying to read them some time back. I just hope it's a reading slump or a writing slump or whatever harmless thing. 

Anyway, I hope to be back soon. Holidays are almost here! There are some interesting prompts floating around the blogosphere I hope to participate in, and Abinaya will kill me really soon if I don't make a post for the two awards she very kindly gave me! :P Hope you're having more fun than me ;) 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mixed Signals...

Before any intelligent person sues me for plagiarism, I'll tell you myself that the title isn't mine. I read a Nancy Drew book with this name, once upon a time. The feelings are the same though. If you've known me or read this blog long enough, you'd know how I do not like this word: 'change'. Honestly speaking, it makes me uncomfortable. Ironically, I like how I learn something new every single day, and the way in which small new things unfurl themselves, changing right before my eyes, I can't help but feel that sense of wonder, the one that makes you stop and look at things and really admire the tiny stuff you otherwise would never notice. 

For example (as usual going completely astray from what I intended to write), I seem to be noticing a lot of tiny things during the day, most days. People, for one. If I find someone fascinating, I have a hard time keeping my eyes off that person, which is something I need to work on. I mean, looking at people just because you find them interesting? Makes you look creepy :P I wish someone invented special eye gear so that it seems like you're interested in whatever's happening around you (like in a class) but you can actually take your eyes anywhere and observe for as long as you like. I swear, I could write a whole person if only I could. ;) 

Pic courtesy: Google ji!
Apart from people, I think I have this weird fascination for just about anything. Airplanes fly overhead and I have to look. Even if the sky has a plane flying every two minutes, if I hear it, I have to see it. Then the other day I was so bored, I actually counted the number of tiles on a portion of the cemented ground (one hundred sixty something!), that too from three storeys above. These days I love not talking to anyone much (yes, even less than usual), preferring to listen to music or observing simple plants and building structures, the clouds and the ground, and just about everything. God! Either I'm too wella or totally disconnected from the real world, which is something that happens when I have too much non-sense work, so much so that I refuse to do it at all (yes you guessed it right, like right now!)

Coming back to the point, our lives aren't really all that simple, are they? I mean, yes they are, in a way. Sometimes I feel it's all black and white, yes or no, love or hate, either I like something or I don't, either I'll talk to someone a lot or not at all, either I'll like a person totally and think (read dream) about awesome scenarios and the next moment, I'll get upset with one small thing they did/said and get sad over how pathetic life can be, that I can't even get to talk or know more about one single person! I mean, it gets so confusing! It's like I'm living my teenage years all over again. The confusion, the way I can totally lose it at the drop of a hat, the sudden liking/disliking, grudges, pain, then the next moment filled with laughter, butterflies and smiles. 


As if there isn't enough confusion in the world already, people have to behave so complicated too. I don't just 'get it' why anyone would act fake. Just be what you are, say what you mean, love who you want. Why can't it be simple enough? Where does it get hard? I fail to understand. It just makes it harder for me as well, to try to figure out what the other wants, what they feel, if they mean what they say. I may seem 'arrogant', but at least I'm honest. And true. If I like you enough, I'd make efforts to talk to you, to get to know you better, trying to make you like me as well. True, it would hurt if they don't reciprocate, it would hurt real bad, but at least I'd know that I made a move, a bit of an effort. Better than regrets.

It's sometimes hard to get my head wrapped around this concept. I mean, even J.K. Rowling kept 'love' as the main message behind Harry Potter. It's not so hard, really. Just forget what people will say, go ahead and talk, make some noise, do what you want, love everyone, tell people if you love them, it's more important than loving from a distance, wish your parents a nice goodnight each night with a hug and a kiss, hate less, if you don't like anything, ignore it! Leave it, the end! 

Isn't life about you? About how you want to live it? What's wrong with wanting to stay out of cities, in fascinating places, meeting nice people, having fun, loving those you want in your life, not thinking about those things that've been deeply ingrained in our minds already? Career, jobs and the monotonous stuff? I still haven't been able to think of these as *very* important. Probably because I'm not facing much of a problem and maybe I don't know about how it is necessary for survival for some people. Maybe. But it still doesn't change for me. There's a concept of the way I wish to lead my life, to live, that I have in my head, a picture that keeps on changing everyday, adding even more fascinating stuff each time I think something different. Why then, does it seem so 'weird' to you? To me, it doesn't. And I promise you, at the end, I know what matters is my own choice and I'll do it all. I just hope I don't lose this craziness streak by the time I'm ready. On second thoughts, I don't think I'll lose it. Much. I'm getting crazier everyday as it is! :P

Someone take me here already!!!
PS- Oh God. Is it just me or really, I've just written such a load of...... what? I'm-so-sleepy-and-going-crazy-counting-all-the-work-I'm-supposed-to-do and still I decide to type randomly whatever comes to my mind? Yep, it seems like it. Dear new readers, I'm usually not this insane. Please excuse this sudden bout of mental-ness. 

PPS- Such a morose mood can always be made better with a Mom-made steaming cup of nicely made coffee! :D 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Back with a smile :) And crazy stuff :P

Statutory warning: It's a *very* long post! 

Once there was a girl recently turned 21 who was essentially a ‘dreamer’ personality, meaning she thought more from her heart than from her brains. So no wonder she was is one big drama queen who sometimes always acts on impulse! Like she did a few days ago by posting that she’s so sick of her hectic such-a-wella-MBA college life that she’d be stopping posting on her much beloved blog for a while. Okay, no need to snicker and give me that ‘I-told-you’ look. I know, I know. I can’t stay away, even at the risk of coming across as a hypocrite who doesn’t even stick to her own promises!

Anyway, now that I’m back (and you guessed it right. I have a ton of work for tomorrow. For those new comers here, I mostly blog when I have loads of work, so much that I decide to leave it all and write first ^_^), I’d begin with how awesome (well, almost) my day yesterday was! :D

The not-so-awesome thing in the morning was our Spanish test. I thought I knew it well and that I’d be able to do it okay, but ha! As usual I was surprised when I couldn’t recall even the basic-est things in the actual test. :| And it’s not that the oral test went good too. Honestly, I was disappointed. Our day was scheduled to end at 2.30 and I had decided that I really need a break, so I planned a visit to my two libraries at Barakhamba Road (M.G. Marg, to be precise). I mean, a trip like this could totally make me happy, I knew it and I was feeling quite rebellious. You know, the kind of a thought that says, ‘I will not leave anything I like for these sadists!’ (Ya ya, quite dramatic)

The issue was, Mom doesn’t want me to go alone, ever (even though I have been there alone a couple of times, telling her only afterwards among the pattering of emotional dialogues) and my usual friend who accompanies me to the library was busy, so I was kind of looking for someone. I had a vague thought, which then turned into a seemingly good, though slightly impossible idea. I asked dad to ask my brother to please accompany me for the day. Now, it’s not that he’s not helpful, but he’s so not a reader, like, not at all. I’ve tried a lot of stuff, but it’s no use. Anyway, I gave him some pointers, emotional blackmail stuff, to communicate to G (let’s call him G, his first name’s inital letter) while I was struggling with basic espanol in college. He called in between and I did some more emotional talking and he agreed! Obviously, I was “too” happy already. Our first brother-sister hangout! He’s such a foodie, I actually had to tempt him with food I’d take him to eat. :P

So I met G at our metro station and we got in a train bound for wherever (our station comes in between, so who cares where it’s bound for, right? ;) ). While we were chit-chatting, rolling eyes at silly talks by young guys and girls, planning where we’d be going and (obviously) what we’d be eating, the train gradually got more crowded, slowly, slowly we were almost stuck with people from all sides and were stuck at the back. Now, our destination is a station after the horrendous, one hell of a station, Rajiv Chowk, where if you go and see from the top of the stairs, you’d get an idea of Dilli’s overflowing abaadi. G was nervous about the prospect of trying to get down through that one huge mass of what resembled human beings stuck with glue. I assured him saying that a lot of people will get down at Rajiv Chowk and hence we’d have some more breathing and moving space. Yeah, right.

This is what I mean by the abaadi thing ;)
Even though G was sure we’d still be stuck as, he reasoned, people will board the train as well, I was more optimistic. I thought we’d move towards the gate when the crowd gets down and stay there. Easier said than done. There was a couple tight next to us, having a similar discussion. Now, as the train rolled in and we saw the crowd, we were just rooted to our places from shock. It was tremendous. G was tugging but I was stuck. I didn’t want to leave the safety of my spot and face the incoming mass of frenzied Delhites! So the end result was that we were even more farther back, totally stuck to the back doors, with even more people now gelling into each other, so that no one was quite standing straight, but bent at different angles just to keep standing. I took a deep breath. I’ve faced worse, I reminded myself. I caught a snatch of conversation from the couple where the girl was asking the guy to start moving forwards. I whispered to G that we’d just follow this couple as they made their way through. Should be easy for us, right? But the train started moving and they were still deciding.

I asked G to start moving. And that was when I heard the girl suggesting the guy that they’d follow us. Smart move, girl. That was my idea! Now, G said a lot of “Excuse me”s (which isn’t much use, by the way. It just gets people to shift their butts a bit to wherever they find easy) and thanks to him being so much taller than me, I was able to avoid anyone else from the front. To tackle the sides, I used my elbows to make my way (obviously, you can’t expect me to just glide along with strangers. I hate unnecessary contact with anyone. And it’s not that we have very decent people here) and while trying to keep my bag to myself, regretting not shifting my ponytail to the front, we lugged through, with the clever couple following behind. We reached a bit more than halfway when G stopped. We were quite near the doors and with a bit of pushing through, we’d be able to get out when the doors opened.

They did and G struggled out, motioning wildly asking me to get out. I put one foot ahead, right shoulder making my way and raised my other foot to follow when I just felt cold air on my left foot! I had lost my left jutti! I put my foot back but all I felt was people’s feet and their useless shoes! I know I should have been frantic, but you know what I did? Stood there and started laughing. Like a total maniac. An uncontrollable laugh so that I wasn’t able to utter more than two words to the girl behind me that I’d lost my shoe! I gestured to G to get back inside!  Bewildered, looking confused with the fact that some people were just watching me bemused, G tentatively stepped back inside. I was still laughing and lunging my foot in all possible directions, as ‘looking’ was not an option. It wasn’t just possible. I heard the guy behind the girl behind me sound confused and slightly frantic owing to the fact that the girl and I, basically, wasn’t moving forward and just laughing my head off like a total idiot.

Then I heard, in between my attempts to still look for my shoe and controlling my laughter, the girl say in a voice that said, ‘Du-uh. There is a problem’, “She’s not getting down here. She lost her shoe. We’ll get down at the next station now”. Oh my, the first time I noticed how girls can actually be so understanding. Relieved that I’m not stopping any frantic passenger, I started moving my foot over other’s shoes and finally! I found mine! I took some frantic time shifting it so that it was once again, fitting me right and I saw the doors were still open, more time than usual. I asked G to get down fast and I followed (funny how people gave me space to move easily :P). As I squeezed out and started laughing again, I saw the couple behind me getting out as well and making their way upstairs. God, it was so funny! G looked amused, contrary to his usual reactions that are always something like, ‘don’t do this. You’re making me embarrassed’.

This is already a very long post. I’ll make the rest of it short :P

So, we went to the first one and I immediately went straight to Fiction, showed G the section on sports and started looking through the shelves. I picked up three books and switched on the Kindle to use Wifi (as I still don’t have it at home and my library friend told me here it was free :P) and downloaded some books. :D I came back to find G stuck with a book on sports. It was him who was finding it hard to get out. (Very happy!) Then we visited the other one, had yummy stuff in the cafe, took an auto and went to CP, to KFC, had more fun (read: food) and as we were going towards the Metro station, I saw an old man I recognized from pictures that were floating on Facebook. The man is a retired bank officer and because of some problem (don’t remember what exactly), he travels daily from Sonipat and comes selling cute little puppets in CP. I wanted to get one, I mean, you get kind of sorry. Though we shouldn’t. You should feel inspired and proud. But still, I got a puppet in pink! (What else?) Here are the pics:
   Do Eeeee.

The primary reason the day was so fulfilling was that we enjoyed together. A lot. I can only thank God for giving me reasons to feel happy when I most need them, which leads to blogging too ;)

PS- I better get back to college stuff now. If I don’t want that stress and teachers to ruin my mood tomorrow :/ Tuesdays are the worst for me, I swear. I hateee that day. Can’t divulge the details or I might get chucked out without a degree :P

Monday, November 12, 2012

Blog hiatus and more!

Hey guys! I'm using this post to make a few announcements, some of which might not be pleasant (at least to me :/ ). No wasting time here:

1. I think I'll take a blogging break for a while. I'll be posting book reviews on my book blog, but those too, the required ones or those I write on a whim (I don't know, I can do that sort of a thing. I'm very moody and impulsive). Reason being, I'm running dry on ideas these days and whenever I start typing here (believe me, I have 5 draft posts just from the beginning of November!), I leave it in between, as there isn't that 'spark' in what I write/how I write/when I write. I'm kind of worried. What if I'm losing this ability to string sentences together and write as I used to, because of this annoying college? It's scary, if you think about it. And unfair. But it might also be that I'm in a slump or something, and I hope this is the reason. Aww, you got disappointed? (It's my wishful thinking, I know. God knows you'd be delighted and happily dancing!). Don't worry, I know myself. I might just bounce back pretty soon! ;)

2. I had a very nice birthday this year (It was on 9th Nov!) and I was thinking of posting about it, but I guess now this'll have to do. I met with some amazing friends, most all of whom I had first met online. (Facebook seems awesome sometimes ^_^) Those guys totally made my day far more happier and amazing, not just by being there and making me laugh like crazy, but also by gifting me some ah-may-zing books! 

Rachit gifted his copy of Bartimaeus (by Jonathan Stroud) and that copy was quite special to him. Thank you Rachit! :)

The best gift I guess, is by Usama: *squealing in delight!* Insurgent! The second book in the Divergent trilogy we were dying to read! Thankyouthankyouthankyou Usama! :D 

Awesome, right? :D
Then, I had asked for the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and I had got book number 4 and 6 on Raksha Bandhan (God bless my non-reader brother! He didn't know which book comes first in the series) and so I wanted to get the series completed just so I could give it a start and so I got books 1,2,3 and 5! :D

3. We had this small Diwali party of sorts in college today. And yes, contrary to what I initially wanted, I did wear Indian traditional. And even though I look like an aunty, I'm including a picture! :) It was fun! Speaking of which, I wish all readers and everyone, really, a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali. May your lives be bestowed with limitless happiness, laughter and smiles and I hope each one of us gets wiser and better day by day. Enjoy the festival, people! Lots of love and hugs to you all! :D

                                   I'm looking at the other camera! For those who're clueless, I'm the one in pink!

Happy Diwali! I LOVE these real Diyas! :)

PS- To those who'll miss me: I love you! :') I'll miss you too, but I need to get my mind free from useless thoughts, so I'll be doing some serious filtering. You know, I really don't want things like work (college work, what else?) to be spoiling anything I like. And so I'm going to go kick some stuff out from my mind and then I'll be back as awesome as ever, or maybe even better! ;)

Oh, don't get senti, if you know me, you'd know I'd be back soon (I can't just leave this just-like-that, no?) and then I know I'll look like a dramebaaz, but who cares, right? ;) 

See ya! Season's greetings! Be good! :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

On life, books and learning. :)

Hola gente! (Spanish for 'Hello people!'. We've started with Spanish in college and to me, it's about the only useful and exciting thing. You bet I'll write in Spanish too sometime, once I learn how to string sentences and paragraphs. I've even thought of doing some reading, if downloading a book titled 'Spanish tales for Beginners' counts). Oh, by the way, Eid Mubarak! Not that I celebrate the festival, but I do like it, thanks to it being a gazetted holiday, which is a long, wonderful weekend for a stuck-up-with-crazy-college kind of a poor thing girl like me. Before I begin, did I mention I've been to Amritsar and back in the past two days? I guess not. No one asked how it was. :| I'll write a separate post for it (maybe, because I want to write something detailed, as it was more than awesome. And that would be too long to be a blog post!). 

Okay, back on track, there was a time a few months ago when I read a couple of interesting books and wanted to write about them. Not a review, but other things that kept swirling around in my head because of those books. And I had a row with my brother (as is our daily routine. Don't worry, I still love him. Kind of), because of which I was so mad that I was stuck in my own room, without the laptop, with an overwhelming urge to write. So I began writing in a funny notebook I have where I jot down things I need to do, mostly about blogging and crafts and similar stuff and none of which ever gets done (cursed notebook?). It's not really surprising that what I wrote that day stayed there till today (Yes! I finally had the time to type it down here. Eid Mubarak people! :D). What's crazy about this article (or whatever) is, it spans 7 pages (3 and a half pages back to back) and the variations in my handwriting is mind boggling! I vaguely remember a new year resolution I made for this year where I said I'd use more paper and pen. I'll scratch that right now. Okay, here it is (just as I'd written). I'll blabber about New Year Resolutions in December; believe me, it'll be really funny, so do stick around. ;)


At first I thought I'd include these thoughts into my review of some books that did an awful lot of things to my insides. Not anything bad, but emotional stuff, really. But I wanted to talk about it at length, so I'm putting this here. Maybe I'm in such a state myself, where every book I read goes way deep in my head, perhaps even more than the author intended. Or maybe I'm in a really lucky phase of my life where I've been having this great fortune when it comes to reading books. Or anything remotely book related. I mean, I just completed 'Underworld' by Meg Cabot, among my favorite authors ever and overwhelmed, I posted about it on her FB fan page that has an awful lot of fans and I've seen about a trillion bare posts but guess what! She replied to my post! In her own words, it was 'like I'd died and gone to heaven'! That too on a day when some 'not-worth-my-time' people had been pissing me off, so that this was what caused the first real flutter of happiness. And what happens when I get pissed off or too happy? I read like a log.

I know that's not even a proper metaphor, it's 'sleep like a log', but hey, if logs really can't sleep then they really can't read either, right? Anyway, after the longest introduction ever, I'd like to get to the point (finally). The two most recent books I've read are 'Divergent' by Veronica Roth and Belle Teale by Ann M. Martin. Both are completely different kind of books, one a YA fantasy, set in a dystopian world with a sixteen year old protagonist fighting for herself and her family, and the other picked up from the Children's section of the library on impulse, about a ten year old girl living with her Mama and Gran in a small house up a hill. The common thing in both is that they really, really touched me somehow, in their own different ways.

Really! :D

The protagonist for Divergent is Tris, raised to think, believe and act in a certain way. In her case, selfless (if it doesn't make much sense to you, read its review here). For me, Tris represents every human being as they would be if they were in her situation, like we all are when we're young. We're taught a zillion things right from the time we show up all new and raw in the hospital (or trains, in some dramatic instances). What elders supposedly feel is right or wrong or bad or terrible or good or beautiful or ugly or happy or sad. And if we're living where Tris is (which is a society in Chicago, that's divided itself into five different factions, each representing a trait all faction members must have and a certain way they should act), we'd understand. Tris and her family are Abnegation- the selfless and that's what she learns to be. However, as she grows up and nears the Choosing Ceremony (where 16 year olds are free to choose the faction they want to be in for the rest of their lives), she actually considers what kind of a person she is and finally chooses what her heart says.

The point is, however we're taught to behave or think like, there's always a part of us that's what we really are. We're really not machines, after all. We're freaking humans with brains, with the ability to feel and think and have some characteristics that define us. And what reason is big enough to not accept that fact? Sure, I'm usually polite and kind too, but that doesn't mean that's all I am. Sure again, I take pride that I've inherited these characteristics, but I'm also not my Grandmom or Mom or Dad or even my bugging brother. I'm someone new, someone different and even though it's not related, I happen to be a Scorpio girl. (The astrology sign!). Scorpios are generally thought of as proud, haughty beings and if you're in that group who believes this, let me tell you the words actually are 'powerful and intense'. Anyway, how I act doesn't mean I'm not really how people see me. I've heard things like, 'You don't seem to be a Scorpio' and then they drift off probably thinking I'm some fakey. Which isn't true. I happen to have been raised by the gentlest, politest person ever (my Grandmom) and environment does have an impact on how one turns out to be. 

So yeah, I'm a gentle Scorpio; with a built in J gene, I might as well admit. Despite all those lectures about how not to feel that way, it sure comes out sometimes. The point of all this blabbering is, just learn to accept yourself the way you are, like Tris did. It's up to the 'people' to accept you that way. :)

On to the second book, Belle Teale. The best thing about reading a book with a child as the protagonist is that it gives such a fresh, clean and beautiful portrayal of the world, where they have the sense and desire to notice beautiful little things around us and narrate the story with everything as they see it. Belle Teale comes from a poor family living with her 'now-getting-forgetful' Gran and struggling Mom. Her school's getting 3 negro kids (whom the adults call 'colored') and one of them, Daryll is in her Grade 5 class. Now, the thing that affected me was how the author puts across the differences in the way children and adults think and the different kinds of upbringing each family gives their kids. 

The parents of 'white' families protest outside the school, resent those kids and it's natural that their kids would feel the same too. On the other hand, Belle's Gran and Mom specially ask her to be nice to those kids and all she can think of is, why wouldn't she be nice in the first place?'. All this shows how kids learn what adults teach them, otherwise who would care if their classmate isn't white? The story dates back to the 1950s but the message is quite clear- hatred breeds hatred and love creates love. Your children learn what you yourself believe in. Make them learn to love everyone and trust me, they'd learn every other thing so much better. Children's minds aren't all that warped, not even those who're bullies. It's what their parents and elders tell them, how they're expected to behave (like a boy gets beaten up by his father for talking to a colored boy. Why would he continue talking to him anyway?).

I'm just too enthused by this book, I can't think of any more to say (not that I've just written the world's biggest blog post by a nerdy-durdy ever!) Whatevs.

Point 1: I am what I am (No, not Reebok)
Point 2: Reach out and touch someone (Not AT&T either)

Signing off!

Is it just me or do you too, feel the above thing was too emotionally charged up? And some places it didn't even make sense :P Doesn't matter though. One thing from the funny notebook is out! It might not be that jinxed after all. ;)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Morning Sunshine award! :D

I realize my last post was about an award too. What can I do though, if awesome bloggers are showering their awesomeness and kindness on me? :D

This time the award is from a blogger I highly respect, not because he writes great stuff (oh yes he does. The stories can take your breath away!) but also because he happens to be a really kind person. The going-out-of-your-way-to-help-you kind of a kind person. ;)

Thank you so much Usama for this custom award: Morning Sunshine Award!  I appreciate it very much. :) To know why Pages from a Young Diary received this award, click on the link above! 

Now, the reason I'm creating this post immediately after receiving the award (I know, I can get a bit shameless :P) is that I find the questions Usama has asked, so exciting! Without any further delay, here they are!

1. Name one superpower you'd definitely like to have, if you could.
I guess it'd be the ability to fly. Not speed flying, as I'd most probably hit trees or buildings, considering how clumsy I can be, but yes, definitely flying. There's also a reason behind it. I have quite vivid dreams and since a long time, I get these dreams on and off where I'm far above the land, sometimes in a flying chair (and I'm not kidding) and sometimes making huge leaps over the sea. I even like watching people from the upper floors, I guess it's a fixation with being somewhere from where I can spy see everyone. ;) It'd be totally cool to be able to fly! 

2. An amazing clear-water sunset beach with cool breeze & exotic fruit trees OR a beautiful green hillside with a landscape of close cropped gardens & a breathtaking waterfall, choose. 
Oh God, this is so hard. How about both? Okay, I should learn to make hard decisions, it's about time. I'll go with the hillside then, because of two reasons. One, I love hills and mountains anyway (the being on a high plane fixation?) and two, the waterfall! I'd absolutely love that! I want to go some place like that right now! I mean, have you seen real waterfalls from hills? Not that I have seen any (except for one in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh), but still. They're absolutely beautiful. And oh-so-majestic. :D

3. Are you a morning person? If not, would you rather be one?
I used to be a night person, right before I joined this new college I currently attend. Now I just don't have the strength to keep upright till late night. :P However, I don't think I'm still a morning person yet, as I get up pretty close to a dangerously-late-for-college time. Still, I'm happy being a night person. If there's something to be done, I'd rather stay up at night and do it. There is absolutely no guarantee that I'd get up early in the morning. Besides, there's something comforting about the night-time reading (what else do you think I do?). Even though if it gets scary (Harry Potter gets scary by night, trust me) and I do that weird switching-off-the-light-in-a-jiffy-to-avoid-monsters thing, it's still something I like. 
4. Do you read books? If yes, which one took you longest to complete?
What-e-question! Yes, I do. I've been reading ever since I could. Usually, I pick up fantasy books (as those are the ones I've been with since childhood) and I finish them pretty quickly. I take time with the other books, those dealing with human issues, family stories or stuff like that. I can't recall any particular book, because I've read a lot of long books, but they've been those I read very quickly. There are some books I didn't continue reading, like 'My Experiments with Truth' by M.K. Gandhi and Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery. I'm reading a book called 'In other rooms, other wonders' by Daniyal Mueenuddin, which is taking a lot of time. Not that it's bad, but probably not the kind of book I usually read. It's a family drama, a rich family based in Pakistan. I'll write a review soon. ^-^

5. You have a time machine, you can't change your past, which year would you like to go to and why?
I'm not particularly fond of the past. Sure, I adore my childhood days (only those related with family, mind you. I hated school) and I also like how Delhi and life in general, was back then, but still. I'd rather go see a bit of the future. You know, just a sneak peak, because I don't want to spoil the surprise either. I would just like to know if I'd successfully be what I actually want to be. That way I wouldn't have to worry much ;) Let's say year 2030. I'd be 38 years old then, quite the time when I should be able to achieve what I wish for. :)

6. If you're given an option of getting one post from your blog published in a magazine or a journal, which one would it be?
Umm, I think it'd be 'Born to Climb', a short fiction completely based on my imagination of how it'd be to mountain-climb. It's not the best-written post (because I think there are better ones) but it's close to me, as it is a near perfect replica of what I want to experience. :)

7. Is your blog a window to the world or a window to your self?
Both. When I began blogging, it was just for me. My blog wasn't even open publicly. I simply came here and wrote stuff I had been thinking about. Gradually it became a virtual diary-of-sorts, long after I realized I cannot really maintain a physical diary (I tried a couple of times. Irregularity was persistent :|). After a while I decided to let others see it, with a lot of expectations and anxiousness. I'm a very private person by nature and value my privacy way beyond anything else, so at first I only showed it to my friends. Facebook helped. I got good reviews (it's always great to know people like what you write and that definitely is an encouragement in itself!) and then I opened up a bit more. I began writing more about personal stuff, which is how it becomes a window to the world too, I guess. I learned a lot with blogging, met amazing people and learned new perspectives, which is something I think is very much important. I learned a lot by writing and that's how it's a window to the different faces and aspects of the world. :)

I wish there were more questions. It's such fun to be thinking about this stuff! :D Once again, a heartfelt thanks to Usama. :) 

Monday, October 15, 2012

More Awards Shawards. ;)

Anddd it's a Liebster award! Privy Trifles at Memoirs of Me generously presented this blog with a Liebster award. 'Liebster' is a German word for 'lovable'. Aww, thanks Privy! :D

There are a few questions asked by Privy that I have to answer. Without much blabbering (don't you think I'm blabbering less these days? :|), here they are!

1. Define yourself in one word.
Yeah, that answers right about everything I do. Or if you don't want the 'confused' theory, I'll say 'honest'. Believe it or not, that's a virtue I value. Highly. :)

2. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
That is a scary thought, you know. I've been paranoid with the idea of eternity since forever, multiplied a thousand times since I saw the movie 'Tuck Everlasting' (where a certain family drinks from a spring from where magical water gushes out that makes you immortal). Really, being the thoughtful kid that I was, I had cooked up a very scary scenario about what might happen if I stick to a certain age forever. Not even Edward and Bella have been successful in changing that perspective. :P

Okay, I shouldn't go away from the topic. Especially as I have about 15 minutes to write this whole thing. (Admitted. I'm in the computer lab because a lousy metro train took double the time to reach my college station, apart from the horribly loong line at the check out, so that I was undoubtedly late and the class was locked. Yes, we're actually treated like criminals. Anyway, that's life).

O-K-A-Y, the age at which I'd like to be stuck, not forever, but for a certain time maybe. 25? Someone told me people look their best from 25-30 and I'd be old enough to be doing whatever I want, like crazy, mindless mountaineering. ;)

3. If you knew the world was ending in 2012, what would you do differently?
I'd leave college right in between and get out and do all those adventure sports I've been dying to do. Did you see that guy yesterday, Felix Baumgartner, who set a record for the highest freefall? He jumped from 1,27,000 something feet! You know, crazy stuff like that. Or maybe from a lesser height. That guy was right in the stratosphere and it looked incredibly lonely and high from up there. I'd probably chicken out.

4. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
Considering what an ancient bloke person I am, I think I'd go way back in the past to the time when the first Olympics were held in Ancient Greece. This has nothing to do with the recent super-thriller I read, based on Olympics (Private Games by James Patterson). Okay, maybe it is, but still. I'm kind of obsessed with things that are hard to find in reality. ;)

5. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
Hermione! Totally. One, she's a witch, and a very smart one at that. Two, I admire her for her courage, wit and confidence. And oh! She has muggle parents, just like I have. :P

6. If you got a magic wand and could change only one thing, what would that be?
Isn't everything changing too much already? :| I would do something to stop the unpleasant changes, probably. Okay, being 'rational' and considering current circumstances, I'd change the education system of the world, not just my country. I mean, at least the institutions shouldn't produce machines, right? Help kids get a perspective. And oh, also that every single person in this world starts loving reading. ;)

7. If you could ask your future self one question what would it be?
"Did I do all that I had wanted to do?"
"Did I stand up to those who didn't believe in what I said?"
Oh, that's two questions. :P But I'd want to know if I will be able to stick to my own self and not get bogged down by others, which is something I actually try to do. :)

8. What is your most prized possession? Why?
Not one, but all books I have (fiction and interesting ones, strictly). I believe they're really powerful and not just fantasy stuff that takes you to a different plane. Sure, it does, but it also opens you up to a lot of things you could otherwise never know. 

9. What is the one thing you feel is most mis-understood?
The importance of work/career. People sometimes misunderstand work life as their whole life, which is in no way true. Why should we spend all our life just focusing and fretting over our 'career'? There's a lot more to life than just what you're doing for a living. 

10. One thing you would like to tell Me.
Here it is, right in the picture. :P

All in good humor, people!
I'm supposed to pass this on to a few bloggers too. Get ready, awesome people! (I'm not awarding this to those I've already presented with some award or the other.)

1. Anisha at Not Just My Allegories
2. Rinku at Mosaic
3. Sukku at Thoughts on Platter
4. Saloni at Onomatopoeia

There's no compulsion for you guys to make a separate post out of it. If you want to, I'd like you to answer the same questions I answered, asked by Privy Trifles. They're really interesting and I enjoyed thinking them up, half in the free time in the morning, some in a lab class and some at home. ;) Thank you so much! :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

A random update on a funny life!

Hello awesome-people-who-I-hope-are-kind-enough-to-not-have-forgotten-me! Ugh, see? I don’t write for a while and there goes my ability to string a simple sentence. I swear, if my college or this ‘professional’ degree does anything to hamper my style or my ability, I’m going to sue them. After I get the degree, of course! ;)

This again is a random post, borne out of the desire to do something rebellious. Rebelling against the stupid and incredibly huge amount of boring stuff we get as ‘homework’. I know I’m going to be slogging hours after this, doing Google searching (because I learned in the first semester-about the only useful thing I learned- that Google stuff is better, because it gets you more marks than if you do the work on your own), but at least I would be satisfied, as I’d have done something I like doing, like complaining talking about college and stupid stuff. It’d basically be an update on life. I know, my life’s too boring, considering I remain at one place a.k.a. college practically the whole day, but still. I’m still the good, old, funny me.

1. Kindle!!! And book related stuff!
Notice how I've cleverly included The Casual
Vacancy in the pic? ;)
I FINALLY got around getting a Kindle for myself! *Dances* I wanted it for my birthday, but considering all the mental pressures I am subjected to on a daily basis (read college), I couldn’t wait. So it’s an advance birthday gift. Of course, the good thing is, I will be able to ask for a book series as a gift on the actual birthday (I think I’ll go for the Vampire Academy series), as I’m pretty sure my family would feel that thing, about how you should have at least something on your birthday. It’s totally an Indian thing, I guess. Anyway, I got my hands on the Kindle yesterday. It’s the basic model, which is about the only model introduced in this country and the experience wasn’t really good. I mean, the salesperson was so enthusiastic about suggesting I get a tab instead. Crazy people, I tell you. See it in the picture. As simple as it is, I so love it already! And this in no way suggests I prefer e-books over paperbacks. This is only for the free e-books or those I desperately want to read but they're not available in India, and for reading while travelling and while in class.

You know how it is. Bedtime reading is obviously still reserved for paperbacks. Which reminds me, I’m one book short of completing my reading challenge goal (Goodreads reading challenge of reading 50 books in 2012. I’ve read 49! :D). I think the last book for completing the challenge should be something really major. Like The Casual Vacancy by JKR! :D Also, my family people surprised me with a new, small-and-much-needed-bookshelf. Say yay! It still isn’t enough, though, to fit all those books. I’d be needing a new one next year.

2. Sports day!!!
Yeah, really. The college sports day, where we had different schools from the University participating and competing in various sports. We had a real fun of a time! Adorning our college t-shirts, our group really did stand out from other schools, not to forget we were so awesome in so many games! I just want to end this here, you know. I don’t want to talk about my role anywhere, but anyway, how does it matter? No one reads this crazy stuff anyway. I might be re-reading this when I’m some old granny living in Iceland to have a good laugh. With real teeth, I hope. I did have fun (cheering in every game), but if you know me, you know there must have been something weird. Let’s see.

I was officially participating in an event called ‘slow cycling’. You know, like you have to go real slow and the one who reaches last wins? A day before I thought it’d be helpful to at least practice it once and so I went out and borrowed a bicycle from a sixth grader (no kidding. Though, her bike was totally my size). I practiced well and then thought of riding the bike for some time to hopefully rekindle those memories of the awesome time when I was younger and not had to worry about things like college. I was actually thinking of all those wonderful things when I had a small ‘accident’. No, I didn’t fall, but had two crazy dogs run after me so that I was in another lane speeding on the bicycle, shouting ‘aaaaaaaa’ at the top of my lungs, with two dogs barking and running after the bicycle. Not getting into the details of what I did to stop those mad guys, I was safe. And the funny thing? As soon as I safely got into another lane, I couldn’t stop laughing with the absurdity of my life. Yes, I’m totally insane. Anyway, coming to the Sports day, the cycling event didn’t even happen. You can say it’s alright, I got something to laugh about, but what about when I was shouting, people would have definitely seen me? I mean sure, it was night and it was pretty much deserted, but still. Everyone isn’t deaf or blind. I mean, my brother heard me. And he was playing volleyball or something. On the totally opposite side of the park!   

Next, I decided to participate in ‘Carrom’ for fun. It’s not exactly a sport, I know, as much as it’s a game, but it’s India and anything can happen. ;) The initial round itself took two to three hours! My game lasted for about 20 minutes I guess. I won, of course. The second round was less fun. Yeah, I lost, but the bigger thing was, I had to leave watching the awesome game of kho-kho just to play this dumb game. After that, I didn’t even know if I had qualified for the next round, as I had left the place by then. Finally, tug-of-war! I had promised myself that I’d do my best and not give in to the physical strengths of the huge guys in the opposite team. So when sensible people saw we’re losing, they let go of their end of the rope so they wouldn’t fall. I? I was in full mood and enthusiasm, so much so that I didn’t give in, as a result of which I went travelled about 10 feet. With the rope. On my belly, sprawled on the ground. Okay, it sounds funny and maybe it was, but I’m so used to such stuff that I could only burst out laughing at the whole thing. I’m that weird.

3. Other stuff!!!
So we had the second picnic for fans of the awesome HT City editor, Ms. Sonal Kalra, at Lodi Garden on Saturday. It was absolutely wonderful, of course. Apart from meeting Ms. Sonal (who’s incredibly charming, by the way) and my other friends I actually made because of her, I really liked the place! I had never been there before and I so loved it. If I lived anywhere nearby, I would have spent all day there. And I’m not even remotely kidding. It’s peaceful, there are tombs and mausoleums with amazing history, there are a variety of birds to be found and I love the trees!

And these birds are cute too! ;)
These are about the only interesting things that have happened so far, which is a lot if you consider my life’s present status. It almost seems like I’ve had a nice holiday or something. And really, it feels so good to be rebellious. I mean, we actually have GDs tomorrow. On four topics. I haven’t even started preparing and honestly, I don’t want to. I hate speaking. It wears me out and not just mentally. Desperately waiting for 5 more semesters to end, so that I’d finally be living my dream of mountaineering and if it doesn’t work out, I’m turing into a sanyasi in the Himalayas (about the few things I like about India), at least for the time I get my real self and my senses back :| If college keeps it up this way, be assured I’ll be posting here a lot! ;) I’ve an award post pending (Privy at ‘Memoirs of Me’ gave me a Liebster award! :D) and of course I miss my Theandric Thurdays!

Have you been up to anything interesting lately? (Answer if you actually reached here, I’ve written one hell of a long post!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Born to Climb...


I rolled down the window and half poked my head out, immediately feeling the sharp whip of cold air, making my hair fly out, all over the place. I involuntarily make a gasp and reduce my eyes to tiny slits when I hear that smug voice complaining, ‘Dad, she’s doing it again!’ I pull back in and give a deathly stare to that whiner of a brother. I saw dad smiling knowingly. I smiled too, he was the one who knew what it was all about! It wasn’t as if dad already didn’t know, I was right behind the driver’s seat in the car that was taking me to the place I’d been dreaming about since years!

I don’t know when exactly I decided to do mountain climbing. I don’t even know exactly when I started liking the idea, it just came and then stayed and grew until I went crazy over just the thought of it, read books and stories about mountain expeditions and started working out to get fit enough to not get rejected on health basis. I just got on a what-do-you-call-it, a “high”, thinking and imagining being on the mountains, first just because of the beauty, then I saw myself in proper gear, doing the hard stuff, using a climber’s language and terms! It wasn’t as if I’d been to the mountains many times before. It was just the opposite, rather. Just twice and I didn’t even ‘feel’ that feeling even until August last year when I was on a trip to Shimla. I just enjoyed the freshness and the beauty of the place, nothing more, nothing less.

But now was the time! I couldn’t stop grinning all the way to Uttarkashi, all the way to “the” institute with young girls and boys, super enthusiastic in their greetings, their excitement so contagious, I had a hard time breathing normally. The place was huge and just so... green? I never had seen so many greens together, with solid brown rows of uneven mountains in the background. There were three separate wings, a small one-storey building serving as the library and around 25 small cabins interspersed over the ground! Cabins! Just the kind of thing I'd love! 

“I wish I could pretend to be younger and stay here in this amazing place!” whispered dad, who I knew would have loved it as much as I would, but he was way beyond the age limit.

Xavi looked around with an expression of wonder and curiosity. “Are you sure you wouldn’t freak out and call us at 3am tomorrow and beg us to take you back home? Think about it, you’d be alone. These are all strangers. You don’t know one single person here.” As I gave him an exasperated look, he continued in a surprised tone, “I don’t just get how you act so brave! You want to do all kinds of scary adventure sports, you love horror stories, you’re willing to get lost in these huge mountains with total strangers, miles away from home, you’ll be living in camps, carrying tons of weight and stuff, and you still don’t get nervous? You don’t act like a girl and it’s scary!” He turned his irritated expression to dad to see if he agreed, who in turn, hugged me close.

Dad spoke in my ear so Xavi wouldn’t hear. “You know you’d love it. It’s an altogether different world. It’d be just you, your individuality, your beliefs, and all that love in you that will be sent out to these wonders around you. When you climb, it’d be you and the rocks, the magic will make you keep moving until you reach your destination. You’d feel no fear, no what-if, no scary propositions. Promise me, you’d just live in the here and the now. Don’t think about us, we’d be fine and happy knowing you’re enjoying here.” I again had that feeling of ecstasy just listening to his words. My vision blurred and I didn’t know if the tears were because of the happiness or because of the fact that I’d be seeing them again only after a month! I had never been anywhere without them. I guess it was a mix of both.

It was time. They had helped me register, followed by the verifications and check-in. I hugged them both, giving dad an extra hug for Mom, who stayed back home to overlook the minor construction work we were getting done. Xavi still looked dubious and I gave him my most-cheerful smile, making a last attempt to make him get it. I don’t think it worked, for he seemed to be even more doubtful than before.  I waved them goodbye, watching Xavi sticking his head out in the manner in which I had done. They gradually became a small golden spec that soon disappeared in the wisps of white smog, leaving me on my own, a different individual already, ready to take on the dream.


My roommate was a lean, wheat-complexioned girl who wore a perpetual smile and eyes round with excitement. “Hi, I’m Aamya” she said sticking out her hand with clearly bitten nails and shaking mine with enthusiasm. I was sure we’d be great buddies soon, as I get along well with people who’re just like me. Bitten nails, loose track pants and a casual tee paired with sneakers, mmm.. quite a lot like me.

5 days later

Mr. Raghuvan Veer (or RV, as we called him unoffically) came marching from his office door out into the base field where our group of 50 people stood waiting for our first ever outdoor climb. The ‘real ’one, we called it. We had been learning a lot about mountains, climbing expeditions, the methods, gear, people who’ve made history and all super exciting stuff, only that it had been theory. We’d be on the field in just a few more moments and the enthusiasm was so much there, I could swear I was able to just see it around everyone as a full body halo, just light blue in color. As RV ran an instruction to get organized as planned, we shuffled amongst us and I found myself in the second of three rows, with Aamya right behind me.

The session started and God! It was so much fun! We were bundled up with ropes and a harness, helmets secure, and instructed to work up on the fake rock wall, as high as we could go without the danger of a fall. Aamya and I had made a silent pledge last night that we’d be the ones to scale it the highest. Now as I looked at her squinting at the top, judging the height, I knew we could do it. We learned the different kinds of gear for different cracks and rocks for about an hour, before we were told to ‘let go and just climb’! Even though it was fake rock, gaining height gradually was deeply satisfying. Of course we fulfilled our pledge, the Law of Inevitability at its best.

10 days later

RV smiled and I couldn’t help grinning too, just like the other 49 who I bet, were already on that wonderful “high” I felt all the time in this place. From a book I had borrowed from the institute’s library, I read about this great feeling. It wasn’t just me, I had come to realize. All those amazing guys who’ve ‘been there, done that’ described it perfectly, ‘It’s pure ecstasy. You don’t believe in all the world there can be a feeling better than this. Your heart beats out loud, but it’s at peace. You are just ‘you’ and you can stay like that as long as you want. When you feel the rock under your hands and feet, you connect.’

This ‘connect’ thing seemed to be the only part of those lines that I couldn’t really identify with yet. I wanted to just rush out and start with the climb. It looked insanely beautiful, behind RV, the vast expanse and the majestic look. We’d be out there for 5 days at a stretch. Awesomely brilliant, I thought as we started up the slope in our planned formation.

It was just after lunch that we reached the real part. The trek had been smooth till now, a gradual slope. Now we faced a boulder the size of a multi storey building with many storeys in height and 100 times that in width, a big deal for us first-timers. As I fixed my gear on my backpack, I watched the others getting ready. Aadil and Maya, a couple in their early 30s seemed to be the most excited as they helped each other set up their gear. Their laughter ringed out around, causing others to be bold enough to laugh out loud too, releasing any sort of anxiety we might have had. I returned their thumbs up sign and waited for Aamya to check and recheck everything. “You got the clips?” she asked and I shook my bag in response, which jingled with the sounds of the clips. She smiled, “It’s going to be ah-mayzing! I just know. I can feel it. Can you?” I just adored this girl, she seemed to know the right kind of things to say at the right time and just when I needed them.

“Yes, I feel it too.” I say.


I finally came to understand what those guys meant when they said they could ‘connect’. It was purely, magic. You know, people should definitely encourage kids to read about magic. It’s real, it’s there and we need to keep our minds free enough from the usual clutter we’re surrounded with, to understand what the world is all about, how magic works, what life is all about. I could feel it in the rocks, hard, smooth, soft, damp, that sweet scent, the sense of wonder when you fit the right piece of gear at the right place. There was just me, my mind, my soul intertwined with that of the mountains, unaware of my body. It was just the climb and the rock and the peace about it all that mattered. I was a born climber, I knew it and here I was, living it up, making it true. Proof to the world that wishes do come true, that the greatest thing one can do is to connect with one’s own self, to achieve a sense of spirituality so deep it makes you forget about your physical presence and takes you to a plane you couldn’t have ever imagined.

I felt the edge first with my right hand fingers. Ecstatic, I clipped in the final gear piece in place and used it as a support to heave myself up. My right leg went first, followed by the rest of me. Yeah, I was very well aware of my physical presence now, not to forget the scars running in my right arm, but it was pure joy as I yelled an achiever's victory. I heard celebratory shouts from below, but I was again distracted by the scenes in front of my eyes. Those brown mountains I first saw from a distance was where I stood now, the camp site too far for me to make out more than tiny white dots. The wind was cool, not icy and I felt a slight shiver run through me, more from excitement and the zest of achievement. Here I was, miles away from the materialistic clutter, a real, living being in pure essence, united by my being and.... what is that? Uh.. I forgot, I'm not the only one. Aamya was scrambling up the top and I bent down to help her. "That was one hell of a climb, but I just loved it!" she exclaimed and then turned silent as we stood up and she saw all around. She spoke softly, as if the loud voices would disturb the peace of the place, "It's beautiful, no? I could stay here for ever and ever."

"Yeah" I said and smiled. "And it's only just the beginning." It took one more second to again get into that climber's high. It was too frequent and seemed to be the dominant feeling here. Well, that's the magic of the place, no?

The End

Aah! Now I’m feeling like myself again. This was fun. I mean, I actually had to work today, which was supposedly the only Saturday we got off in this semester (which ended yesterday, by the way. Say yay!). Obviously it made me even grouchier than I usually am. I still have a bit more to do, but I had to write this down. You know how it is, work and stuff can’t stop me from doing what I like! Anyway, I’m not sure how it’ll look like to you, all that I’ve written. I’m actually not qualified enough to write so much about something I’ve never experienced. But I still felt like it, based on how I imagined it could be, how it would feel like. If you know me well, you’d know I’d love to do this kind of mountaineering sometime and I hope I do. And when it does, I really wish it turns out to be even greater than how I expected it to be!

PS- This was also inspired by the book ‘Jump’ by Elisa Carbone that I’m reading currently. It’s about teenagers who’re in absolute love with climbing and about their adventure. I’m loving this book. The terms I used (including ‘gear’, ‘harness’, etc) have been used in this book and that’s how I came to know them! Also, this is sort of rock climbing, not mountain climbing. I fused them both!

PPS- I know the pictures aren't exactly related to climbing, but I wanted to include self-clicked ones only! 


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