Memoir: My Love Story with English Language

You know how I actually came to learn English? I studied in a school where speaking in English was compulsory and if you didn’t, you could be punished or fined. But within our groups, speaking in English was a taboo. None of us was too confident, hence it was awkward to start with. Whoever spoke a little more English than others, was sure to be made fun of.
“Achha.. Bohot Angrezi aa gai hai?” (Have you learnt to speak English now?)
English was the only paper which I looked forward to preparing and appearing. I did not like the casual attitude that people had for the subject; making it appear like it was easy and it didn’t matter. For me, it was a different science to work on English. I’ve had similar (but a little lesser) affection for other languages too. Although I always scored the highest in English, speaking in the language was a different ballgame. Most grammar teachers were very strict and child-beaters for some reason. So there was nothing to learn over there.

 

I used to write diaries since 4th grade. In my absolutely rubbish English (which I didn’t care for) mixed with Hindi words, writing the diary was the best utilisation of an hour in the day. Also, I had forbidden everyone from reading my diary, and it worked because I didn’t have any siblings. So this was like a royal secret. Today, these are highly embarrassing pieces of my heritage that I have to protect to death.

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What Being Bed Ridden Teaches About Life

What Being Bed Ridden Teaches About Life

As far as I can remember, I’ve had a very good immunity to diseases (no touch wood). Hence, before 2012, I had never been bed-ridden for a continuously long period. In 2012, right after the month, I graduated from college, I met with an accident. I don’t remember how it happened (even today). I woke up in the hospital with a nice lady by my side, asking me to relax. She was the one who had taken me from the road and brought me to the hospital. But I didn’t know a thing. Basically, the accident. those twenty minutes of my life have been erased from my memory. They say I had made 4 calls in that period. I called Papa and also told him to come and see me. I don’t remember a thing of that sort. A lot of people express their shock at this but medically it’s a very normal thing. This is your brain’s way of absorbing shock.

So ya, this accident made me bed-ridden/jailed for more than a month. My face was destroyed (And to my mother’s shock, no doctor was giving any guarantees of recovery. The badass that I was, I didn’t give a damn about it.), my lips were swollen to the point that we couldn’t check if my teeth were fine (I couldn’t eat for a week), there were stitches below the nose- above my lips, my knee was badly hurt and I could not get up or walk without support. It would have been fun to post the pictures from then but I don’t happen to be a sadist so won’t.  Continue reading “What Being Bed Ridden Teaches About Life”

Low Budget Travel to Kaas Plateau

Low Budget Travel to Kaas Plateau

There was so much fog, we could hardly see the road; and we drove the car through it, absolutely point blank with the fog light on. But there was no choice. We had to keep moving. If someone was coming from behind, they would hit us. It was getting dark and we were wet and cold but the kid within us was happy because it had won. Today, the kid had literally walked on clouds!

About Kass Plateau

Kaas plateau is a plateau in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra, 22 kms from Satara city and 136 kms from Pune, declared as one of the United Nations World Heritage Site for its historic volcanic formations on its terrain and huge water bodies- beautiful lakes mesmerised with the mountainous and the greenery reflecting on them. In monsoon, Kaas blooms with more than 150 types of grasses, shrubs and flowers.

One Mesmerizing spot we found on the way

How to Reach

We took a late night Duronto from Ahmedabad to Pune, so as to reach Pune by 8 AM. We had booked a Zoom Car (a startup that rents good self-drive cars at effective cost) for our journey to Kaas. There are two ways to reach Kaas. You can either go through Tapoli via Mahableswar or through Satara. The former way is longer if you just have a weekend in hand, while Satara is just 118Kms from Pune so you’d reach pretty much in 2 hours (maximum 2.5 hours if you take excessive pee-chai breaks) through NH4 with roads that look like they have cut mountains and made way for themselves. Our aim was to reach Satara by 11:30-12, so we had the rest of the day to our journey. Continue reading “Low Budget Travel to Kaas Plateau”

Glimpses from the Artsy Udaipur

This was my second trip to Udaipur in the same year. When I went there in February, I had a little time at bay, me and a friend; we had decided to skip looking at the City Museum and, instead went to the old city.

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And this time when I am back, I am even more intrigued with the same question I had left with, the previous time. What makes Udaipur so creative with its wall art, sign boards and those little things they do to stand out. Is it a part of the creative and colourful culture of Rajasthan? It has lakes, forts, and all the Royal palaces, for sure. But this is something I just could not ignore.

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The Other Angle: Long Time No Sleep

 

effects of staring at the phone

 

The immense machoism or coolness attached to staying up till late night or being night owls has always amused me. It may have started with a necessity: some college project, hostel habits, exams, an important office presentation; but when it ends up becoming a habit, it could drive you towards hell. Thousands of research studies with lakhs of samples prove that lack of proper sleep (7 to 8 hours) is unproductive and unhealthy, leading to risks of depression, accidents, and even deaths.

A study shows that moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments equivalent to those of alcohol intoxication. After 17 to 19 hours without sleep, performance was equivalent or worse than that of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.05 percent. (via Huffington Post) Basically, the traffic guy should also ask you, ‘Have you had enough sleep?’ just like he asks, ‘Are you drunk?’

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How I travelled once a month for an entire year!

I was going to turn 24 last May. Just like I turned 25 this May. “23” was one hell of a year. It’s perhaps like that for a lot of people. There’s so much to do, so many expectations and somehow you always fall shot. It can get depressing, and everyone around you seems to be doing much better than you. Then “24” sets some imaginary benchmarks. Especially the society around you, who wishes you should have been married and pregnant with your first child until then. But luckily not my folks, they were instead worried that if I do not pursue post-graduation now, when will I do it? (about which I still haven’t decided anything) But somehow I heard it made me think that the clock was ticking, for all the important things that I’ve always wanted to do.

Like most of us, I had dreams of travelling (although I never put travelling as a hobby in my CV, for that matter, I never had a CV) and I thought I too will travel one day, when there’s stability and I have the time and the money. And then I thought what if I die before that time or money comes into my life? There are/were some really inspiring friends (on Facebook) who were travelling for their job, some travel as a part of their job and some just travel. I respect them so much. I did not have that luxury. I had my company, which is almost like having a baby. It is your first love and your responsibility. So I decided to find a midway out. Most of the times we wait for new year to set a resolution but I made one on my birthday, that 24 is going to be the year when I travel once a month, mostly weekends but at least once a month. I made the resolution first and then figured out the ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and with ‘whom’.

 

L to R: Diu, Jodhpur, Kaas, Dandi, Ranthambore, Dang, Sula, Mussourie, Jaipur Literature Festival, Udaipur
L to R: Diu, Rao Jodha National Park, Jodhpur, Kaas, Dandi, Ranthambore, Dang, Sula, Mussourie, Jaipur Literature Festival and Udaipur

It’s been a full circle, one full year today and I’ve fulfilled my resolution. It’s not been easy.

Continue reading “How I travelled once a month for an entire year!”

You are like your Mom: Tryst of an Indian Mother and her Daughter

There’s a thing about us Indians, our parents are literally called Gods and then secretly we start treating them as perfect human beings, people who can’t mistakes, ever. Especially, moms. For me Mum had to be someone perfect, always and I guess that’s why I always found more flaws in her. And so the more she pointed out things I could do better, the more I’d point out things that she should change. I kept thinking that she didn’t make an attempt of understanding me when I did the exact same thing to her.

 

1. Early embarrassments and more:

I remember myself usually dancing while walking on the streets, holding her hand and I guess, embarrassing her to death. I don’t know what the real matter with me was but dance was my thing and it was too much of a public embarrassment. On the top of that, I would keep humming or singing all the time. I don’t remember people watching me and laughing, they probably would have, who cared! But Mom would be embarrassed. Then I remember her being furious on me, a few times when I’d do really silly mistakes in Math or when I just wouldn’t get up from in front of the TV, just one day before exams. But that’s when it’s the most fun, right?

Mom and me

Then in my teens, I categorically remember embarrassing her once again. There were guests at home and there was this ‘Whisper’ ad on TV and I had asked out loud out of sheer curiosity, “What is a pad, Mumma? I remember her words, trying to cover up, “It’s not relevant for you right now.”

“But what is it!!!” I demanded an answer “Aartuuuuuuuuu” she tried to hush me. It is this tone of hers that has stayed like as if the final warning bell has rung; like a law has been broken or something. And then ‘Good girls don’t argue’, ‘wear some jewellery’, things I have always disappointed her at.

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