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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

An Introvert’s Guide to the Galaxy

It’s one of those things that you never asked for, yet it was bestowed upon you. Yet, unlike Spiderman’s powers which lead to kickassery (like who wouldn’t want to swing from buildings across Mumbai’s traffic?) , being an introvert pretty much turns you into that awkward person who spends most of his time standing in the corner of a room full of strangers.

Being an introvert is something I have fought with pretty much all my life. Next time, I tell myself, I will be outspoken, social, the one who talks to everyone. And next time comes and goes, and the corner and cellphone become dearer than ever. Someone I know says a person can’t really change who they are intrinsically, try as they might, and I’m pretty much starting to believe them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no soft spoken girl who barely talks. Put me in a small group of people, old friends or one-to-one interactions, and I would probably fill in all the awkward gaps with everything from talks about the weather, leaving babies in Big Bazaar to the incredibly smelly pigeons of Andheri. But put me in a large group of people I don’t know, and chances are I’ll be looking at the clock more often than not. It isn’t as much about not enjoying the company, but more about being painfully aware of how unfriendly you’re looking to the others.

Over the years, I’ve realized there are certain things most introverts do or have faced to get through this uber social world. Maybe it’s just in my head. But then, maybe not.

  • Cellphones are your knights in shining armour. Keep them charged people! They’re your access to Facebook and Instagram and all that awesomeness that’s just so much easier to get to without having to go through actual interactions with other human beings in the room. And when faced with a life-or-death situation, where you realize everyone is actually looking at you to say or do something, pretend to get a call and walk away with your head held high.
  • You will be called a stuck up bitch at some point of time. When you’re too shy to go up to people and start conversations, even if you’d really like to, people assume you think you’re too good for them. You can try explaining to them to change their mind, but then for that, you would have to talk to them first. So just get used to it. Revel in it. There really isn’t much choice.
  • Getting into Sales would pretty much be the death of your career. Unless you’re one of those gifted people who can suddenly transform into a kickass salesperson the moment you see a potential customer, stay away from it! No one is going to buy from you just because you look pretty. Actually, who knows.
  • Keep your fridge and laptop hard disc stocked. Nothing beats curling up in bed with comfort food and a movie or show you haven’t seen instead of going out into unchartered territory. Pssttt… new seasons for Greys Anatomy, Orange is the New Black, GoT, Suits & House of Cards are just around the corner! Gear up!
  • Love yourself. Whoever you are, whoever you want to be. If you don’t mind being an introvert, just be. If you hate it, change what you want. Leave your cellphone strictly in your bag, identify the few people you do know at a party, ask them to introduce you to others. Sit with new people in the cafeteria each day. Go try a sales pitch. Say hi. If nothing else, smile.

Nine out of ten times, I don’t manage any of these things. But that one time I do manage to go out of my way and be social, it feels like an accomplishment. And for the most part, I’m alright with that statistic. The few days I’m not, I remind myself to try harder the next time. And then I switch on the show for the day, and curl up in bed with A, and bombard him with the stories of the day until he tunes out and turns up the volume of American Horror Story. And life's good, just the way it is.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Of Babies and Billis

Before you jump to conclusions, neither are happening in my life anytime soon, so you can heave a sigh of relief (I know I would have!).

But what did happen is this sudden crazy obsession that I developed with adopting a cat. I really can’t explain it. I am intrinsically a dog person. But given our lifestyles, have pretty much accepted that keeping a dog as a pet is completely out of the question. A cat, however, seemed to be much easier to handle and take care of, specially by two people who still haven't completely figured out how to take care of themselves.

That said, me being the over-obsessed ME, I HAD to conduct all the background checks humanly possible, starting from following a gazillion animal groups, to googling everything to do with cats and first time cat owners (let it be known that crazy cat lady memes made me pause for a second, but didn’t manage to completely deter me), to talking to everyone I could think of who would know anything about cats.

And of course, talking to friends and families about their opinions.

Now, anyone with even the slightest bit of wisdom would be able to tell you, that that’s the BIGGEST MISTAKE ever. NEVER ask people about something you’re obsessed about, because they will invariably give you enough emotional and scary stories mixed with a little bit of logic to scare you off your goals FOREVER.

Now, anyone who knows me will also know that I came super prepared with every answer possible, and definitely managed to combat everything and send them flying in the opposite direction full Kill Bill ishtyle (add a little Hanzo swoosh for style). But what did come out of all these interactions were a list of very pertinent questions and statements, which I am quite thankful for, and which did eventually help me decide on the way ahead. Here are a few of my favourites, along with my answers, which can probably be used by you if you ever got the sudden crazy idea of adopting an egomaniacal creature.
  • What will you do when you go for a vacation? Stuff it in my suitcase and sneak it onto the flight?
  • Do you know of vets? You mean people who used to be in the army?!?! Oh, THAT vet. Next on my list, once I figure out a doc for myself.
  • What if it tears up your favourite dress? More shopping, Yayyy! On a serious note, I shall learn to actually clean my house.
  • Who will clean the poo? Self cleaning litter yo!
  • Who will walk it? Cats don’t walk, they sleep!
  • Can you afford it? It can play with my credit cards?
  • Cats are judgemental creatures dude. Billi kameeni hoti hai. *Dumb struck. Absolutely no response*
  • What does A think about this? Wait, I need to ask him?!
  • Are the two of you in that stage in your relationship that you can handle such a responsibility without it impacting you negatively? Err…

OK, so I gave much more intelligent answers than that, except the last one. And the billi kameeni hoti hai one, because really, how does one respond to either of those?!

All in all, the decision has been made to not go ahead with such weird whims as assuming one can take care of another living thing and not torture the crap out of it. And I have to thank all the beautiful people in my life for it.

But here’s the one thing I have to say to everyone. The next time you meet a newly or not-so-newly married couple, ask them these questions, instead of asking them “When is the good news?”. Because, really, I have to believe, that as responsible human beings we all realize, that these questions are so much more important when it comes to popping out babies than anything else, no? Ask them if they’re ready for the responsibility, the expense, the reduction in holidays, the doctor visits, their relationship changing. Because I really really have to believe, that if adopting a cat would raise such serious (and valid) concerns, surely, these will be raised before pressurizing couples to extend their families, no?


P.S. I’m very lucky in that respect, with zilch pressure from anyone about starting a family. At least at the moment.

P.P.S. I am in no way saying that babies are judgemental or kameene. These things cannot be said aloud. You know.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

On Adults and Adulting

“We’re adults! When did that happen? And how do we make it stop?”

Meredith Grey might have her life’s hat on backwards, but she definitely managed to capture an entire generation’s thoughts into those sentences.

It’s funny, because technically, we turned into adults at the age of 18. But the actual brutal impact of it just doesn’t seem to hit you until almost a decade later. Because, you see, while you’re suddenly grown up enough to have a driver’s license and decide the fate of this country, life’s lesson’s haven’t quite rained down on you just  yet. (Maybe that’s what the much older Drinking Age limit is about, you know?). Because while you grow up hearing and thinking “Do that once you’re grown up…”, you never really are quite grown up enough to do most of those things. Here are a few examples of all the lies you’re told about being an adult, which reveal their true colours to you, a little too late.

“Party all you want, when you’re older.” You have zero amount of energy to party, when you’re older.

“Get a dog when you’re living on your own.” Sure, I can barely manage myself living alone. I’m sure I can completely be trusted with a sweet lil creature. Specially since even a bamboo plant didn’t manage to make it in my care.

“Make your life’s decisions on our own, once you’re grown up.” Yes I can. No, I don’t always want to. Will you figure out how and when to renew my passport for me, please, pretty please?

Sure, I love being an adult and being in control of my life. But some days, just some days, I just want to run home, hand over the reins to my parents, and let them take care of things. I don’t want to fire the maid (while she abuses me in Marathi and I stare at her blankly). I don’t want to go grocery shopping (Kanda kaisa diya?). I don’t want to coordinate what time the plumber and the AC repairman should come. And I definitely don’t want to deal with the fungus growing on my clothes in my cupboard after every bloody monsoon!

I don’t always want to be an adult. I don’t always want to be in control of my life, of my decisions, of the consequences. And when something goes wrong at work, won’t it be awesome to call your parents to talk to your boss and just sort things out? It’s so much easier to sit back and let someone else decide, and be responsible for you.

Some times, just some times.

Until the next Sale season comes, perhaps.

Because come what may, I do like being in charge of my credit cards!

P.S. I just realized how bloody girly and irresponsible this post makes me sound. But you know what, exhaustion gets to the best of us. Deal with it.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sugar Talk Diaries

I grew up with an insatiable sweet tooth, something that demanded some relief post every meal of the day. And while on most days I would settle for chocolates or as a last resort a piece of jaggery, Mom for the most part did her best to put up something new every few days.

You see, my Mum happens to be a bit of a wizard when it comes to the kitchen, and especially with desserts. Something that the entire family (including cousins, near and far), have come to love and look forward to. And am sure it must’ve come as quite a disappointment to her, when I refused to even enter the kitchen, let alone show any signs of her sweet inclinations near the oven. She would take classes for strangers, and I would refuse to learn.

And now, when I’m sitting far away, in another city, I find myself sometimes (still rather rarely) inclined to make something sweet. Of course it never ever turns out the way her’s did, but my experiments till now have at least not been disappointing (except for one bad episode with Custard. Warning to readers, NEVER follow the instructions on the box!).

In fact, I had been looking forward to this weekend, after a rather tiring month, to do nothing but sleep, a lot. And that I did, all of Saturday morning, then afternoon. Suffice to say my day pretty much began at 5PM. And then I was wide awake. And hungry. And craving.

So I decided to bake some apple crumble (thanks to some old apples lying untouched in the fridge, which had been bought on the pretext of eating healthy)

And then baked some fruit cake.
And then some more.

Yes, it was all edible.
Yes, it didn’t taste bad at all.
No, it didn’t taste like Mum’s.
But it was good.

And chopping up apples to no end actually helped relieve a pretty bad mood I had woken up with. Stress buster identified.

So I figured I should finally take up what my Mum’s been trying to get me to do forever. Learn her recipes. Except sadly now instead of an in-kitchen live session, it’ll have to be an over-the-phone lesson and memories of how that dessert was supposed to be. Serves me right for being such an adamant kid.

But I’m kinda looking forward to it, you know? It’s like my very own “Julie & Julia”, except, my Mum is so much more than Julia Child :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Speaking of Passion…Here’s a Passionate Giveaway!

So while I might completely struggle with the concept of being sans-long-term passions, I’m actually very proud of a friend who is not only super passionate about some of the things she does, but has had the balls to actually chase her dreams!

I never endorse brands, but this one just makes so much sense! So while my fashion sense may be awkward at best, I completely gawk at her looks and her ability to put together awesome ensembles and accessorize. And she started her own brand Random Tantrum.

And, if things couldn’t get any better, they have a brilliant Giveaway happening RIGHT NOW! Go go… Check the brand out on FB or Insta and definitely give her Blog a read!!

Psstt…. And if you end up being one of the lucky winners, gimme a cut, please? Pretty Please? Details given below!

Image courtesy: Random Tantrum
Image Courtesy: Random Tantrum
Image Courtsy: Random Tantrum
How to Participate in the Giveaway
Happy Accessorizing people! :)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Of Life & Passion

It’s been a weird week, and an even weirder weekend. And not even the good kind of weird. I spent the week feeling sick, and the weekend in bed, literally sleeping more than 16 of my last 24 hours. Something just doesn’t seem right y’all.

And the time that I am awake, has been spent in a stupor of a crazy headache, along with that annoying thing of randomly hearing my heartbeat in my head. Oh ya, that’s a thing now. I’ll go into THAT some other time.

But the reason the stupor doesn’t seem to be lifting is because there are a gazillion questions which are buzzing around in my head. You know the kind that haunted us during our quarter life crisis? But I’m supposed to be way past that damned landmark crisis by now.

So what the hell, head?!

What are you passionate about?

It’s one of those questions that has haunted me my entire life, I now feel. It’s been asked by some very close people. One had actually said to me, the fact that there is nothing that I am so passionate about, that I would care enough to be weighed down by, means I have nothing to hold on to, and no reason to stay. And that’s scary.

Heck, it even led to a tattoo one day.

But the simple fact is, what are you passionate about?!

People swear by soccer, by cooking, music, or dance, things they can escape to, things they escape for.

Sure, I love a lot of things, but not all the time, not all day.
Even my blog is about anything and everything all the time. I can’t think of a better representation of my life than that!

But does that make me completely disconnected and abnormal, or just like every second person, so completely normal?

And I’m not sure which answer, is worse.

So tell me, what are you passionate about?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Minute

She tapped her feet impatiently, and looked at the clock. Time, was of essence. Precision, even more so. Their life worked like clockwork, day after day. Routine was their source of comfort. Obsession, people called it. Attention to detail, to time.

But then she found out, what she wasn’t supposed to. About the other woman. His other life. And chaos seeped in.

She looked at the clock. One minute to seven.

A minute.

That’s all that was left to her plan.
In a minute, he would walk in, as he did every day.
In a minute, he would find her lying on the floor, in a pool of her blood.
Semi-conscious, ideally.

He would run to their medical box, kept in the cupboard in the study. It was well stocked with all the necessary items, of that, she had made sure. His surgical skills would kick in, and he would be working on her wrists, even as he dialed for help.

With clammy hands, she looked at the clock, as the minute hand silently slid into place.
The knife she held in her right hand worked with surgical precision, and with one sharp movement, she cried out, looking down at the crimson trail now forming down her arm.

She smiled, as she heard the click of the door, and footsteps. He would be reminded of where his heart truly lay, and would finally leave her. And come back home.

Downstairs, he entered their living room, and paused.

Did he leave the light in his office on? Or did he switch it off?

Cursing under his breath, he turned and headed towards his car, knowing he wouldn’t sleep a minute that night otherwise.

“Stupid minute details!”

This post is part of the A Word A Week Challenge.(Week 2: Minute)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


She woke up with a start, in exactly the same way she had each night recently. 

As her eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness, she became faintly aware of a sticky weight on her waist. And then she felt it, the rough hand resting against her skin, the owner blissfully asleep, unaware of the torment building at his touch. She gingerly lifted his arm and slipped out from under it. Grabbing her dress off the floor, she quickly tip toed out of the unknown room, making sure not to turn and see his face. 
Another day. 
Another man. 
Another instance of clouded judgment.
Taking a deep breath, she walked out into the starry night.

This post is part of the A Word A Week Challenge.(Week 1: Cloud)

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Word A Week

So it's Monday, and it's time to give out the word for the week! But being the generous awesome person that I am (Ya, I know, totally awesome Monday mood I'm in), I'm giving out all the words for the month. So go ahead and plan and do whatever you want with them!

Happy Creating People!!!!

P.S., If you have no clue what I'm talking about, suggest reading this, and the rules given below:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

It's Challenge Time!!!!

So this has to be one of my laziest and most un-creative (is that even a word?!) patches ever! It has been forever since I’ve written, or felt like writing anything. And while it’s so easy to blame all the duties of life post marriage for lack of time, the simple fact is, me being the lazy person that I am, barely have any of these duties, and have an amazing hubby who does more than his share. And his share includes comforting me after I reach home drenched in sweat cursing the Mumbai gods and traffic and distance and everything under the sun.

So I decided it’s time to do something about this lazy patch. This blog has been my life for way too long to give up on it so easily. So here’s what I plan to do. I’m starting two challenges. Challenges for myself, and challenges for any of you who choose to indulge and jump in on them. I’ll make it fun, I promise!

Challenge 1: A Word A Week

This isn’t anything new, and I was inspired largely by FatMumSlim’s A Photo A Day challenge. So this is how it works:
  • Every month I’ll make a list of random words, one for every week of the month.
  • The challenge starts with a new word every dreary Monday morning.
  • And then you have a week to do whatever you want with that word. A blog, a story, a musing, a poem, a photograph, a sketch, there’s no restriction. Use the word directly, or contort it to mean whatever you want it to. One word, every week.
  • Just mark me on whichever medium you display it or give a link to, on Facebook or Instagram…whatever suits you, so I can keep track of who all are taking the challenge.

And if anyone apart from me actually takes this up, well, let’s compete :D

No, I don’t have a prize for you, whatever the hell happened to creative satisfaction!! Hmph!! But I will throw in a pretty cool badge to put up on your site :D

Challenge 2: The Non-Cookery Challenge

Now before getting married, I made it super clear to A that I don’t cook, and I have no plans to start any time soon. Then he was sweet enough to move to Mumbai for me, away from all his mum and my mum’s yum food. So out of feeling rather generous I promised him I’ll cook for him once a week, every weekend, just to keep his tummy happy. Because come on, cooking every Sunday isn’t really that big a deal now is it?

But as time went on, weekends seemed more useful to sleep in, and tummies were happy hogging on shawarmas from the various conveniently located Andheri joints, even if our pockets turned a little weepy.

And yesterday after long, I actually felt like cooking for the poor starved boy. No, I still don’t end up making daal makhni and butter chicken for him, but something is better than nothing, right, even if it’s continental?!

So here’s the next challenge. Cook one dish every week. Whether it’s just an appetizer or a dessert, as long as it's something in the kitchen made by your own hands. And while I know too many people around me who are experts and actually cook every day and I would love for them to participate, I’d especially love it if you’re one of those people like me, who doesn’t cook, and struggles, and needs a push to do it more often.

So this one has no restriction on what to cook or how. Just cook. Once a week, any time, take a pic, and tag me. You want to just put a pic with a title, go ahead. You want to share your horrifying / awesome experience, I’d love to hear it! You want to be generous enough to share the recipe of your creation, well, you truly are selfless!!

I’m doing this because publicly failing to cook might motivate me more than ignoring my husband’s pain filled hungry eyes (I’m good at not wearing my specs / contacts and ignoring faces).

So PLEASE join me, motivate me, and bloody help me cook!

Totally looking forward to seeing stuff!
And hopefully creating some stuff myself!

Will keep updating FB / Instagram with details.

Challenge Accepted!
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