|The Indian Christmas|
Dec 27, 2011
Dec 22, 2011
1. You try to fit your entire body into the area in front of the heater, so that it can keep all of it warm.
2. You wear your tennis shoes everywhere you go (they keep your feet toasty warm), including the bath room.
3. You wake up at 11 a.m. and decide to fall back asleep just because it is too cold to get out of bed.
4. The fridge seems useless and you start keeping things inside it in order to keep at normal room temperature.
5. You try to hold the book you are reading in bed with your blanket, because you don't want your hands out of the blanket.
6. You are unable to move your arms, or any other part of your body, because you are wearing too many layers of clothes.
7. The Delhi Govt, which almost never does things on time (they still haven't taken off the Common Wealth Games bus boards) , closes all schools for 20 days even before the 20 days begin.
Dec 20, 2011
I have been told more than once that childhood is the best time of your life, which is why I wasnt exactly *happy* to be turning into an adult.
But when I did, and as I slowly discovered all the benefits of being an adult I realised that for now, its all good!!
Here are a few *awesome* things about being 18.
1. You are no more referred to as a "minor". Gosh I hate that word. Bloody discriminating.
2. You are taken a little more seriously by your parents (and everyone else) who until now, have been treating you as a "minor". With the legal benefits you are suddenly in possession of, they begin to take you a little more seriously.
|Silence! I'll sue you!|
4. You can become someone's guardian. Although I really don't care to adopt or whatever, being a godmother would be cool.
5. You can drive. Although for most people this might have been on the top of the list, I don't think being 18 is a matter of concern for the Indian police. With the number of cars on the road, you could be a 9 year old in a driver's seat and get away with it.
6. You can have your own bank account. No more carrying cash or using mommy's or daddy's credit or debit card to book movie tickets. You can flash around your own. Agreed that once in a while the cashier may tell you that you do not have enough money in your account and he/she wonders if you're carrying some cash. But it is still worth it!
7. If you were very docile and gullibe (and stupid) as a child and entered your real date of birth while making online accounts on youtube, gmail, etc, you will no more be bothered by annoying warnings and restrictions saying that you need to be a certain age to have access to such content. You can finally make a google+ account just to see how good or bad it is.
|Wanna see my ID?|
For all the adults out there reading this and thinking "wait till she gets a job", suck it up! Being a child might have been fun, but being an adult has its own moments.
Nov 14, 2011
It means it's time to get a haircut.
I despise haircuts. I hate those quarterly trips to the beauty salon.
That can be surprising for most of you out there, considering that I am a teenage girl, who should ideally wait for those times. But funnily enough I don't. Here's why!
* Layers or Steps?
Deciding which hair style to get this time is a pain. Getting the same one you got last time just adds an element of banality to your life. But getting a new one comes with the risk of 3 months of hair trouble.
I usually let the hair cutter do what he wants. But every once in a while it does not turn out very well.
Getting a hair cut can be awfully painful when your hair cutter is in a hurry to go flirt with the waxing lady. Although I religiously brush my hair a hundred times before leaving the house for a haircut, the dude always finds a knot or two which he yanks so hard that I fear leaving the salon with a bald spot.
And since he's busy watching the television or talking to the hair cutter next to him, he does not notice the furious expression on my face that wants to pick each and every hair of that streaked head of his.
*No, I DO NOT want to use your shampoo.
There are some hair cutters who are extremely chatty, while they snip and snap the scissor around your head. While I'd prefer the chatty ones to the ignorant ones, they chatty ones can often get pretty annoying.
In the middle of the conversation, just when you are beginning to alter your opinions on haircuts, the hair cutter starts talking about how you should buy the amazing shampoo cum conditioner that the salon has come up with. It makes your hair smooth and silky and shiny. And guess what! NO chemicals!
When the guy is marketing and cutting your hair at the same time, you do not want to offend him too much. Not at the cost of a bad hair cut!
Sometimes I wish my hair would cut itself. No salon, no hair cutter.
But THAT is something I will just have to leave to the future.
Any other complaints against hair cutters people? Let me know, in the comments below ;)
Nov 4, 2011
It was a trend to have posters in your room with sarcastic comments on them. I bought a garfield poster which said 'I'm not always right, but I'm never wrong'. I bought another one saying 'Those who think they know it all, really annoy those of us who do'.
My dad helped me stick them to the wall with double sided tape.
I thought of how I would be the person my posters made me. I could keep my room messy so that people would believe that to be my reality. The funny quotes on my posters would make those lines seem like my own. Garfield's relaxed and egoist attitude would make mine seem the same.
Every adult human has a mask. They use it make their friends like them, to seek approval from their bosses, to make the opposite sex want them.
And before they can even breathe in what's happening, the mask that they try to use to be accepted is not a mask anymore. That's right, it's as if you wore a mud pack for so long that now either it won't come off or either you'll be so used to it that you won't notice it's there!
Until off course death do you part!
And that is exactly what happens to more than half of our world population. (the other half lives in poverty)
But that can't end well be because even if you manage to please every person on the planet (which is practically impossible considering the kind of bipolar diversity our earth holds ), you will fail to please yourself, which is ultimately the only thing that actually matters.
So much for being a show boy/girl.
Might as well sit in your room of empty walls with a bowl of popcorn and a remote control in your hand and enjoy the world that you create for yourself.
Oct 31, 2011
I do however encounter some human presence when I'm out jogging. There are the dog walkers, there are the elders taking their after dinner stroll, AND there are the GUARDS.
This is the critical time for a guard's job. It's the time during which the criminals are most likely to strike, with ambitions that the guards hope to crush. But when I pass the guard who sits at the back gate as he merely talks to another nocturnal friend on his phone, I can't help but wonder, if a potential robber or some other criminal upto no good crosses his path, what are the chances that the guard will be able to do something about it?
First of all, no criminal in the history of crime, ever crosses any human being who is likely to cost them their night of glory with a knife and gun in their hand and with a naughty look on his face. My point is that no thief can ever be caught unless he is found picking the lock of the door he's trying to open. And chances are that he'll put all his hope and energy into making sure that doesn't happen.
The god damnned thief could be someone casually walking in through the gates of the colony, just like the people who live there.
Second of all, even if a thief is caught trying to climb over the protective walls, the skinny guards are not equipped sufficiently to be able to fight them. I'm not trying to be cynical, but chances are that the sticks that they carry around with them won't do much. Those sticks look more like something they carry around to have a psychological affect on any sinister who tries their luck. My guess is that those sticks are capable of being snapped into pieces if they were ever mistaken for sugarcane.
Alerting the other guards by blowing the whistles which uncertainly hang from their necks seem to be their only hope. But even then, for thieves who are well equipped ( and by that I mean anything from a knife to a rifle ), another two or three bamboo sticks wouldn't really matter.
Oct 27, 2011
As I sat on the sofa of my home's family room, I had an epiphany. The kinds that make you want to become atheists (well, i already am one, but we'll save that story for later).
I realised that for the past 4 hours I had been finding excuses to not do any work that involves pleasing my tutors.
And it's not out of sheer hatred, it's because I hate to disturb their miserable lives.
My Maths tutor for instance, has a habit of getting mad about the smallest of things. Even when I find new methods of doing things, he digests it once he has grumbled over how his way is better.
Taking my accounts tutor into account (that sounds like something he would say), he reminds me of those old women who sit in the sun washing clothes slandering their neighbours and whoever else may be on their facebook friends list (hypothetically assuming that they know how to operate anything that was invented after the light bulb) . Half of my hour long class goes into listening to his complaints and trivial problems that are apparently problems as astronomical as a black hole that I always think about falling into when I'm pretending to listen.
Don't get me wrong. Both of them are really smart when it comes to teaching their subjects, but it seems to me like they are constantly trying to find things to be unhappy about.
Well, then I guess not doing the home work that my tutors gave me would be an altruistic act on my part and will just give them something new to wine about.
Oct 15, 2011
Sep 30, 2011
April 2008: 48 kgs.
May 2008: 46 kgs.
June 2008: 45 kgs.
July 2008: 44 kgs
My first customers were my parents. The first thing I did was throw out all the chocolates and sweets from our refrigerator. Then I replaced butter with low calorie butter, cheese with slimz cheese, and coke with diet coke. No chips were allowed in the house except special diet ones. I even threw out all the Bourbons and chocolate cookies and replaced them with Tiger and Parle-G instead! We checked their weight every week. I assured them that they would lose weight soon. But their weight started going up instead.
Sep 15, 2011
(also published in the Hindu : http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/article2442489.ece)
Sep 9, 2011
I know that at this moment you are trying to figure out how this would work? How would we survive if no one works? No one produces food! No one takes care of the criminals! Think a little more. With all the machines we have today, we don't need humans to produce all the food. With no money around, there is nothing for criminals to rob! Whatever we do, we don't do because we HAVE to, we do it because we WANT to. If you like to teach, you teach. If you like to do social work, that is what you do. You want to be doctor? Then be it!
This video explains it all!
Sep 1, 2011
But that's not what I say aloud. To my mom I say, "Coming in 5 minutes."
The fireworks began!! I am actually scared of swimming, but I was willing to jump into a 12 feet deep pool. Maybe get some water in my lungs, NO BIGGIE RIGHT?
But gavels? Woah! BIG BIGGIE!
From that day onwards, 90% of my time was spent thinking of ways to get out of this big mess. But my dad was adamant. He would take me there.
Now, I had a new happy place, the time the meetings would finish!
I guess the end of the meeting was no more my happy place! The people around me were not geeks any more. And I was in no mood to kill my parents.
Not only had the D-Day lead to me feeling better about my speech, but over the years, being part of the club made me more confident as a person. I became more open about coming out of my comfort zone and doing things that initially sound very scary and undoable. Sometimes you need someone to force the BITTER PILL down your throat!
Now, when my parents insist on me joining a class or a club or a program, I willingly accept. After all, who knows what it might have in store for me?
Aug 28, 2011
My group came second in the local competition. Although we didn't get anything in particular as a prize, we learnt an incredible lot. TYE actually teaches one how to be a leader, which is what makes it so amazing and inspiring.
Link to TiE group on facebook http://www.facebook.com/TiEDelhi?sk=wall
Aug 26, 2011
Being Happy, and not knowing it!
So keep the smiles coming all day long!
Aug 23, 2011
Aug 19, 2011
I say courage because the Arabs seem to have overcome the fear of bullets. We see a pattern each time. The people revolt. The ruler freaks out. Orders the army to save the day. Army comes and shoots a few. Crowds Disperse. But after one week, they're back. Back and fully alive! Growing bigger and bigger in number.
It seems to me, that they don't care to live if living means being oppressed and having to feel threatened by arms and ammunition everyday
What is surprising is, is that the army doesn't realize what it's doing. It (the army) just doesn't realize that they are among those being oppressed by the rulers and if they decide to side with the people, they become responsible for a free and happier nation! That is one feeling that is hard to bear. Isn't it?
Another thing is, is that the rulers have a huge advantage i.e.. of being rulers of conservative countries where a large part of the country may not want modernization to take place, not that it surely will if a government is formed, it's just that their mindset makes them think so. Guarding their culture is important to them. But yet, we see all kinds of people on our TV screens protesting on the streets.
The rulers on the other hand fail to see the kind of consequences that they will suffer whether they are thrown off or not. If they are thrown off, then their fate rests with the will of the country. If not, then they live a life disturbed by regular uprisings and unstability in the country, which in turn leads to fall of the economy and pressure (which subsequently leads to isolation) from the outside world.
The longer they try to stay in power, the more they are messing with any luck they may have in the future.
These Arab people have all the moral support of the world, and also the empathy of countries who have gone through struggles against oppression.
Here's hoping to seeing them join emerge from their bad times soon!
Aug 15, 2011
I didn't think it was worth writing about, since I didn't see more to it to be anything more than a port.
But going through some of the pictures I took there, I realized what a big deal it was. I thought of all the people-Europeans, Asians, South Americans, setting assail from there homeland, for the land of opportunity, hoping for a better life. They all had their own reasons for doing the same. The also had their own stories.
|A picture among the exhibits at Ellis Island of some newly arrived immigrants of the country.|
His daughter who was ten years old when she made the journey, saved some of the many things her mother brought with them to their new home.
Another such family, is that of Diab Catoni Thomas, who immigrated to the United States from Lebanon in 1892. After working for 9 years peddling dry good in Virginia, Diab returned to Lebanon where he married Ramah and had two children. Mary and the children, Salene and Alene, immigrated to the United States in 1907. The family settle in Virgina where Diab opened a succesful general store. Diab and Mary had 9 more children in America, bringing there family to a total of 5 daughters and 6 sons. By the 1930s the family had moved to Mullens, West Virgina where they operated a grocery store. Diab died in Mullens in 1971 at the age of 103.
|A statue of Annie Moore, the first immigrant processed at Ellis Island.|
|One of the counters where the immigrants were processed into the country|
All these people brought with them their cultures and their traditions, which makes the United States as diverse as it is today.
For us, travelling to the other side of the world is nothing but taking a 24 hour long flight. For them, it meant taking a 2 month long journey. (Remember? No airplanes!) They did not know whether they would have enough money to return, or when they would talk to their family ( Remember? Not many communication services.)
Ellis Island marked the beginning of a new world, one where people lived together, worked together, learned to accept each other. I hope to see many more Ellis Islands in the world soon!
Aug 10, 2011
THIS TOO SHALL PASS!
Source: helpothers.org (Posted by Aditya)
Jul 24, 2011
A 10-years-old boy visited a soda shop, climbed on to a stool and asked the Waitress, "What does an ice cream sundae cost?"
"50 cents," answered the Waitress.
The youngster reached deep in his pockets and pulled out an assortment of change, counting it carefully as the waitress grew impatient. She had 'bigger' customers to wait on.
"Well, how much would just plain ice cream be?" the boy asked.
The waitress responded with noticeable irritation in her voice, "35 cents."
Again, the boy slowly counted his money. "May I have some plain ice cream, please?" He gave the waitress the correct amount, and she brought him the ice cream.
Later, the waitress returned to clear the boy's dish and when she picked it up, she felt a lump in her throat.
There on the counter the boy had 15 cents.
She realized that the boy had enough money for the sundae, but sacrificed it so that he could leave her a tip.
The boy had learnt how to be selfless and caring. Most people today barely understand what it takes to be those things.
Little acts of Selflessness and Kindness make our world Bigger and Brighter, and more importantly, HAPPIER.
In a world that tell us "go get it all", it's also nice to GIVE ALL WE CAN.
Jul 14, 2011
For those of you who haven't read the story of the old lady and the cab driver, here it is. It is one of the most touching ones I have ever come across. Enjoy!
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living.
I pulled up at 2:30 a.m. in front of the building from where I was supposed to pick up a passenger. It was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away.
But, I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked. "Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice.
I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. "Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said.
I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. "It's nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated". "Oh, you're such a good boy", she said.
When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?" "It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly. "Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospital". I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. "I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
"What route would you like me to take?" I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city.
She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighbourhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now." We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.
The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. "How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.
"Nothing," I said. "You have to make a living," she answered. "There are other passengers," I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. "You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you." I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light.
Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID, BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
You won't get any big surprise in 10 days if you share this with ten people. But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate place.