Read THIS First ..

Read THIS First..
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Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tea for Two Tuesdays # last!

When Preeti Shenoy said this is going to be the last prompt, I never thought I would feel this sad. After all, the last three weeks I've only posted here thanks to her creative prompts, or the blog would've been February-2012-empty! So before I start I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to Ms. Preeti, because of whom I've come across some amazing people with equally amazing blogs! Thanks a million and I hope we'll get to participate in some other kind of prompts sometime later. :)

This time there are questions to answer, the kind of questions that tell what kind of a person we are. I guess I'll have to answer seriously; I don't want to be taken as a self-criticizing-lunatic who's always talking about her clumsiness. :P

Question# 1. If you had Rs.50,000 to just blow up (you have to spend it on YOURSELF. Giving to Charity or buying gifts for others not allowed), what would you spend it on and why?

 My Answer: My plan of travelling solo here won't do because one, I'm still too young (:P) and two, budget constraints ;). Sooo, I'll work towards my other mission- to have a huge room with wall to wall bookshelves, filled with all the books I've ever read (including the kiddie ones) and all those I want to read. I guess I'll spend around Rs. 30,000 on this or add another 5000. That would give me approximately 175 books (if the average's Rs. 200). Not bad, I could live a couple of years easily with such a haul! For the rest of the amount, I'll buy a Kindle. Probably Amazon. Even though I'm kind of opposed to the idea of e-books (but that's only because I'm kind of 'traditional', loving all things old and ancient), I think I ought to have one, just for the sake of it! :P

Question# 2. Name three of your closest friends (not family or spouse) and say why you love them.

My Answer: That's a tricky question. There are many people I love, but two are really close and those I'll choose over the rest in a situation that demands it, like this one.

Apoorva: For being kind enough to let me stay with her during the first day in college, when I didn't know anyone (she was with her Mom, but I was totally alone), for staying through with me all these three years, having fun, providing help and guidance and being a face I could turn to during all kinds of situations- happy or sad, and who's always the first to know whatever's happening with me. :)

Kanika: For being the person who gestured to me to sit with her in Class X when we were shuffling seats and I couldn't find any free bench, for being the only person I've sat with since that day till the end of school, for bearing with the snob that I used to be (don't believe it, I'm only exaggerating), for bringing along friends, ready to celebrate the birthdays, for telling me about stuff not related to books! :)

Since I'm not actually cruel (just try to forget the last prompt post. Please!), and I would feel terrible if I left anyone out, I'm categorizing the third person as a group (sorry!). Shivani, Shruti, Sunmeet- for being the buddies I've had the fun of my life with, Aneesha and Richa- for making our group studies the fun it ought to be, Rachit- for hearing out my ramblings and helping with all things technical. :) :P

Question# 3. Name three books which have profoundly affected you and which you would recommend to everyone to read.

My Answer: Tricky question again! I love 99% of the books I've read, but the three that have had a profound effect on me would be:

1. The Harry Potter series: Though I've always loved reading, my real mania with novels began with Harry Potter. It isn't just a magical story. There's a strong message on the power of "love" behind it, which I feel has been expressed in a subtle, yet strong manner. If you haven't read all the books yet, I would ask you to read it.

2. The Secret Garden by F.H. Burnett: It's the kind of classic I can read over and over again. Wonderful descriptions about everything- the war, the ruins, the new towns, the feelings and emotions the little girl protagonist goes through- all of it left a deep impact and kept me thinking about how lonely life could be for some people, why we need to appreciate our life the way it is, for it could be a lot worse. 

3. The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson: Among the first books that threatened to make tears spill out. I read this a long time ago, but I find myself going back to it often. I love it for its descriptions of the beautiful city of Vienna, for the wonderful story line and the way it's been told, for giving out the message of innocence and love and how pure relations needn't be only blood relations. :)

Question# 4. If you know for certain that you can never ever fail, what would you attempt to do?

My Answer: Well, there are a lot of things I want to do and if it's given I'll be successful in that, I would attempt to:

- Go Scuba diving. I would anyway do that, I never thought about failure! I've always wanted to do this, ever since I learnt its full form in school. A funny kind of inspiration, but that's true! (By the way, SCUBA stands for 'Self-Contained-Underwater-Breathing-Apparatus' ;))

- Ditto Paragliding and all adventure sports.
- Write as many books as possible!

Question# 5. What is THE ONE THING that you want very very badly?

My Answer: That's harder than I thought it would be! I'm grateful for whatever I have, but the thing I want real bad is- freedom. Freedom to do all things I've always wanted to, most of which I haven't still done thanks to this city that's gradually turning into a crime city. With news channels blaring with horrendous news, parents feel pressed not to let their kids out on their own, and this has stopped me along with many other kids, from living the carefree life our parents lived. (I'm still grateful though, when I see kids these days. It's even harder for them!).

Judging by the length of the post, it seems I tried to put in the most, from among the things I wanted to. Dismayed as I am with the end of the Tuesday prompts, I'm hopeful for more new features I can participate in and there's always Preeti Shenoy's lovely blog! :)

After all, 'the end is the beginning of something even more beautiful.'

PS- Don't forget to grab this best-selling author's latest book, 'Tea for Two and a Piece of Cake'!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Confessions of thyself...

Anndd it’s Tuesday! Meaning author Preeti Shenoy’s Tuesday meme, which for this week is: “Write a sentence about yourself, first sentence starting with T, second with E and third with A (as it spells TEA). If you want to write more, write four more sentences, but they have to start with C, A, K and E respectively. (CAKE).”

Though I’m going to bend the rule a little and write a little more than a single sentence (I admit, I have a problem with anything ‘short’, clothes included.), I hope I’ll be able to pass it off and readers wouldn’t want to kill me. (You wouldn't be able to anyway, I’ve hidden my contact details! Ha!)
Considering how I’m always told that people love the ‘honest’ side of me, I decided to completely overwhelm them and write nothing but pure facts. After all, people matter in life, right? 

Sooo, brace yourselves guys! Here goes:

T- Totally a Thinker. I’m one of those rare species who really appreciates God’s greatest invention- the ability to talk to yourself in your mind! I might look aloof on the surface, but there are a million thoughts about you zooming around in my head! (Hey, you! Your cap’s a little lopsided. Check the mirror, will you? :P)

E- Enviousness is a trait all Scorpios have (technically, it’s called jealousy, but I like to keep myself in a positive light). Especially with all things branded and cute, and stuff related with my personal interests. Anyone’s spoiling it for me, or if they’re not being grateful for the stuff I could kill for, I've developed a strong dislike for them. And it’s very tough to change it. Very. (Jeez, I sound so......dangerous. :P)

A- An over-sentimental who would look for meanings in all words you utter (or not utter), pauses included! (Why did you pause? Was that followed by a lie? I can’t believe you!!!). Yeah, I know that’s too much. But that’s it, as well. I dunno why my sibling calls me a Drama Queen! Huh!

Since I already mentioned how I don't like anything short, I'll type down 'sentences' for CAKE as well. :)

C- Cruella-de-Vil’s long lost step sister! Yes, I’m very cruel, especially towards my younger brother. Sentence over, now I’m Rs. 500 richer! Before you stop reading further because it’s not making sense, I asked my family to describe me with these alphabets. That’s what my dear brother said- “Cruel”. And challenged me to write it for all to read (the poor guy has no clue how meagre the readership for this blog is!) and said I’ll get 500 bucks for this! (Yeea, now you know how much I’m cruel ;))

A- Attentive to everything weird. Normalcy’ doesn’t excite me much, so I’m always on the lookout for stuff that’s out-of-place and get so involved in it that the real, ‘serious’ world lies ignored, on the side. No wonder I get funny looks if I compare some evil person to a parsimonious pixie!

K- Klutziness is my domain. I really believe I could do a P.hd in the subject and excel worldwide! Breaking fragile stuff, tripping over practically flat pieces of land, speaking when I know I shouldn’t, taking the wrong turns- these are everyday things for me. :)

E- Exclusive. Everybody wants to go boating, I want to go Scuba diving (though that hasn't happened in reality, yet. Just an example). I would find something interesting, and then a whole group of people would find that interesting too, then it wouldn’t be long before I opt out of it. Sad, really, but it can’t be helped.

So, that sums up things, about me, stated very clearly, that some would already know and some would find so amusing they wouldn’t even believe. *Sigh*, nobody even takes me serious! 

PS- Sunday, World Book Fair, Pragati Maidan, Delhi. I’ve got an interesting event in the morning I would like to participate in, but I’ll try my very best to arrive at the WBF by 2.00pm and meet Preeti Shenoy herself! :D

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Incomparable relations...

I'm scurrying around my room, grabbing things and stuffing them in the shapeless bag, refusing breakfast to the annoyed maid, feeling a burst of corticosteroids that make me unnecessarily nervous at the prospect of entering late to class (that's a different thing that actually I'm let off without even a warning, but I still remain a sincere student. Just not sincere enough to be on time!) The only thing that keeps my palpitations in control is the continuous stream of text messages from my bestie, who always reaches college on time (I say that's because she lives near college, but she says it's because she's habitually punctual). It's these texts that say "Class not started yet" or "Just a couple of students here" that give me some unidentifiable satisfaction that I'll not be embarrassed after all. 
                                Being a weirdo who takes longer than necessary to understand if a situation is problematic, I would have landed in many useless arguments or worse, embarrassing moments, had it not been for my bestie who has super powers and knows precisely what's going to happen and helps me out without even me knowing about it! Be it changing the direction of the discussion if she senses it's picking on me or helping me deal with raucous extroverts who're intimidating, she does it on her own. I don't ask, and most of the times I don't even know. What is it that brings out this selfless action? LOVE.

Apoorva (to your left) and Me. (Don't ask what made us pose with a huge flower pot :P)
There's a party to attend and I'm wailing. I don't want to go, I create millions of excuses just to skip the event, because I don't want to make a fool of myself. Because the theme for the event is 'Indian'! I've always been the T-shirt-Jeans sort, and the prospect of having to wear an Indian suit is unthinkable! But I'm always present at the event, having a good time, feeling good about myself, comfortable in the Indian attire. That's only because four superb people I call my super-friends have been pouring an incessant stream of encouragements, helping me pick and choose the dresses and accessories, linking arms and walking at the party as one amazing group, with five confident girls. Including me.
                                  I missed out a lecture (OK, lecturesssss), or announcements or the special samosa at the canteen or the latest gossip (hey, I don't miss out on everything! There ARE things I don't miss out on, like........... whatever. I'm not going to overuse my brain for this, you see). Or when I have an unfinished assignment I need help with, or when the maid's on leave and Mom hasn't packed my lunch (she's a very good Mom, okay? She's working and leaves home when I'm not even awake!) or when I need help buying a gift for a family member! I have four saviors who will enable me to cover up for all the 'misses' and help me with every and any random thing I ask for! What is it that brings out this selfless action? LOVE.

(From top) Sunmeet, Me, Shruti, Shivani, Apoorva
I'm seven and running home from the bus stop. She takes me into her arms as I fling myself at her and start chattering about the day's adventures at school and in the bus (1.5 hours in the bus calls for some fun ;)). She listens patiently, nodding and shaking her head at appropriate intervals, helping me get comfortable and lays down the scrumptious lunch she's taken hours to prepare. Years pass and I know stuff about my religion, about our relatives, about India's past, about the art of stitching and every little thing parents don't have the time to talk about. I'm thankful to you, Grandma for instilling the power of patience and gratitude I learnt from you, I'm thankful to God for choosing ME to be lucky enough to be brought up by you.
                               I suddenly wake up from a horrible nightmare and immediately feel a soft wrinkled hand across my forehead. Before she says anything, I feel better and stumble off to sleep the next instant. I'm reading the mystery/horror novel before bedtime (again!) and feel too scared that the characters will somehow come live and meet me in the bathroom. It's her, who voices soothing words, holds my hand, prays with me and makes me sleep peacefully. What is it that brings out this selfless action? LOVE.

Me, Grandma and my brother (This is the old me. Like 6 years ago!)
I'm a capable student. I have all the books I've always wanted (well, almost!) and I'm fairly well behaved. I feel comfortable at all times I'm in the heaven called home. I can do my room as I want, I can sleep in late during holidays and I receive constant encouragement in any thing I wish to do. The academic awards that adorn the drawing room cabinet have my name, but the real stars are those whose names it does not hold. My FAMILY. They have made me who I am. I might not be the best, but they certainly see me as one. And the wonderful feeling it gives makes me feel privileged. 
                              I can laugh like maniacs without feeling self conscious, since they too, would join me and we would become a laughing-like-maniacs-family. I can play scrabble all the time I want, though I'm not so lucky with the time I have the laptop (I have a sibling). I can bring forward an overcooked and half burnt parantha and still it would be relished by them. I can make crazy demands (like a sudden urge to tour the historical monuments or the zoo) and they would patiently listen and reassure me that it would be done (with sarcastic remarks from my brother, of course. And that's a different issue I still haven't toured those places!). What is it that brings out this selfless action? LOVE.

My family...
I'm greatly thankful to Preeti Shenoy for this creative prompt that enabled me to ponder over and value the wonderful people in my life. The prompt was, "Can a relationship be like a tea stain? Why, or Why not?". 

While I've talked about the people who literally make me live through the day, I say I connect with them through just one simple bond. The all powerful - LOVE. I don't believe in defining relationships. I just know I love them and that's it. A tea stain is something that's undesirable; a blot that attaches itself to you when you don't want it and sticks there, looking ugly and getting furious and frustrated expressions for its presence. Sometimes it takes a long hard wash or aggressive scrubbing to make it go away and sometimes you have to abandon the affected cloth because it refuses to go. I wouldn't say a relationship is like a tea stain. Tea stains are undesirable. Loving relationships are not.

(Preeti Shenoy's third book "Tea for two and a piece of cake" is releasing tomorrow!)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Show stopper? Maybe NOT!

Okay, this is totally random and unplanned. Not that my posts are planned anyway, 99.9% of them have been typed down after a-strong-urge-to-just-type-down-anything-or-I-might-throw-up kind of a situation. And this is one of those instances as well. Like always.

So, we had this totally hyped about fest at our college, which I was very eager to go to. We didn't have our college festival last year at all and this one was planned out fantastically, spread over three days! The first day, i.e. today, was the one that was most awaited for, because we had this biggie singer (whom I hadn't heard of, but that's only because I'm not so interested in "in" music) performing for the so-called "Star Night". Everyone happened to know him and there was a craze for the passes for his show. We being the host college students didn't need any passes, of course and I assumed the guy must be good. And he was, or so I thought when we heard his songs blasting through the speakers at full volume (and a couple of them were SO common I felt stupid not knowing).

Anyway, I reached college in the afternoon and saw....... barriers and policemen? To add to it, there were so many people gathered outside the gates, I wondered if the 'super star' was there already! But all I saw was frenzied people getting crazy to enter. Enter MY college. Du-uh! What's so special about my college anyway, I wondered and rolled my eyes and made my way to the looong line. There were about 7 fully built guys in leather jackets (black) and walkie-talkies, checking ID proofs (not to forget ridiculously getting serious about their job!), so that we emerged getting bumped into 7 different scary (and kinda funny) looking 'security' people they like to call 'bouncers'. 

We found a sunny spot and watched the solo dance performances, getting on our feet every now and then to grab something to eat or to meet random people. For me, the best thing about such fests is the opportunity to see people clad in party clothes! Some fashion disasters are such a laugh and some make us want to shut our eyes and take the scary image out of our minds. And such funny things keep on happening, too. Like the time we went to the restroom and a girl came trotting in. And I really mean trotting, because that's what it looked like. She must have been trying to do a cat walk, but it went totally wrong. She swished herself in front of the mirror and started doing weird things with her hair. While I waited for my friend to come out of the stall asap, I suddenly heard the wannabe girl starting to sing along to the tune of whatever song that was playing. And not just singing. (Shrieking?) Singing loudly and twisting herself in front of the mirror. Or that might have been a dance. God knows. I just remembered getting out before I lost my common sense! Where do people get such (over)confidence from anyway?

Time passed chatting and roaming around and soon enough it was 6pm. The time of the performance. And whoa! People were just going crazy. I could not and still cannot understand the logic behind it. Whole lines of people were seen outside the gates, some holding up their passes, some trying to sneak in and some who were doing whatever business they were doing. :P I cannot understand the frenzy and craziness behind it. True, he's a singer and a good one at that (maybe), but what makes people so mad that they can jostle each other and stand squished between many people, so that when they moved, you had to move too, like a whole mass? Or making a big lighting pole fall because they're just so many and even the ground cannot hold them straight! That's just not my type of thing, so I sulked at the corners and at the back. With my friends, of course. 

Sulked because this is something that doesn't happen in my college. It's something that one hears about happening at other colleges and something to be read about in the newspaper and treated like an everyday piece of news, and not to be thought of again. But all this happening in my college was new to me. I wasn't used to it and I didn't like it. Maybe because I do not like crowded places and this was filled with many screeching/hooting/shouting creatures and I could not stand it. Because then I tend to go into "silent" mode and try to ignore everything around. Again, maybe because I dislike change. It made me think of the fest I knew in my first year of college. Simple as, well, anything that's really simple. And I had enjoyed so much. I have nothing against others, who were all enjoying to the fullest (at least seemed to be). It's just something that I don't identify with.
Picture from Google. Though the scene at my college was pretty much the same. And wilder.
What made me really mad was that it was already 7pm and the 'superstar' hadn't arrived! As if we don't have to travel in the chilly cold and get incessant phone calls from parents! People were getting really impatient and did weird things to pass their time, like throwing empty plastic bottles in the air or stuffing the over priced food in their mouths, down to their gluttonous stomachs! Mr. Superstar arrived and I had mentally already decided that I don't like him. Even though the crowd cheered and oohed and aahed, I felt anger rising in me, which slightly abated once songs started playing. But those were recorded ones. He first put only a couple of rap lyrics into the mic and left his gang, oops, band members to sing the rest. Then it took another 20 minutes to make the crowd shift a little at the back, since they were too near the stage. It was all maddening for me! 

To add to it, we found out that he was only lip syncing and throwing a few lines live in between. That completely put me off and we went to have some ice-cream. And then we left. Though thanks to the lovely 'superstar', it took 15 whole minutes to get the car out to the main road, since there was so much chaos! Police cars, normal-people's cars and so many random people! The kind who don't really know what's happening and decide to peep in and see what the 'hulla' is all about! As if that wasn't enough, the Metro train made me wait for whole 15 minutes before rolling onto the platform. So much for the much-awaited "Star Night". I didn't enjoy. Much. But others did. And that's where I realized the difference between them and me.


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