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Yes, I am in college now. And I have found my place. I am getting to live the life I always wanted to – free of preconceptions, free of assholes nonsense-talking-brainless-sub-normal-creatures.

All through the last years of school, all old people told me to focus on studies only and not to pay attention to boyfriends and love and crushes. Apparently, they have the power to ruin your life. Its something like what Styrofoam did to Bolt. So now that I am finally in college, I am thinking about love. No no, freaky boys dont ask me to come on a jog with you in the morning. Thinking about love, as in philosophizing. Arm chair, good for nothing philosophizing which is more often than not a consequence of joblessness. So here are my conclusions:

1. Love, in its mushy form, usually leaves deaf, dumb, blind and brain dead.

2. Love is NOT the stupid ‘prize’ you get at the end of Treasure Hunt. So stop searching for love. Live, study, work hard. That way at least you have a good life even if you don’t have love.

3. Love makes you, and only you, blind. The rest of us unfortunately still have to see you behaving in the yuckiest way ever in public. This is one thing I support Bal T. You’ll know how weird it is when a 4 year old asks you ‘Didi, vo bhaiya aur did jhaadi ke peeche kya kar rahe hai?’.

I am not anti-love. Love is good. But what I hate is talking about love like its Roti, Kapda or Makaan. You can live without love in the form of a boyfriend/girlfriend. Thats it. Just live. Love will come when it has to.

*yawn* I am sleepy now. Will continue with the unrelated nonsense tomorrow. 🙂

Indu.

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The Big Move

So finally I am here. CH4-306. Thats my address for the next four years. And I believe I wont have too many choices about things I could do, other than hanging around alone and blogging. So, I think I’ll blog more often.

Yes. The feeling of being a complete misfit is more overwhelming than any form of excitement about being here.

Let this not make you feel that the place is bad. It is awesome. The Director is pretty good. To get an idea of how good he is, you should know this – this was the first my dad didn’t sleep off in the middle of a program which has anything to do with my education. Its not like he is not interested. But very few things can hold his attention for more than an hour. So yes, the director is good. The faculty looks good. Most of them are pretty young. The food is good. Very good, in fact, for a college. The infrastructure is awesome. Like, totally awesome.

So basically, the place is good. I just need to find my place here.

Good night for now.

Indu.

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A New Beginning

The wait which began 45 days back finally came to an end today. On the 15th of May, after having Tea and Maska Bun at Lucky Tea Stall(and subsequently vomiting it out) and hitting my head real bad, I did manage to do test surprisingly well. The score was such a shock that I checked it some 5 times. 🙂

And then from “Dad, dont you dare and try to brainwash me for Goa. I am going to Pilani no matter what.” to “Ok listen. I am going to Goa pakka. Dont fill up any other choices.”, it was quite a journey. Opinions from people – useful and useless, asked for or absolutely uncalled for, well formed and nonsensical – were thrust upon me.

And then the last few days when thoughts like ‘Nahi mila to?’ , ‘Achha hoga na’ and other anxious thoughts flooded the mind. Finally today, the first of July, its all over. I have some idea of how the next four years of my life will be.

Apprehensions are still there. Will what I thought of as a new phase of life, be that great? Will I finally find a place where I belong? Will I be able to get over my past? Will those bad dreams stop now or will there be worse? Answers for most of these questions will take at least another one month.

As for now, Goa ahoy! 🙂

*cue that stupid background song in Bachna Ae Haseeno which plays when Ranbir reaches Australia* 😛

Indu

PS: Is it just me or does somebody else also feel Ranbir Kapoor got a nose job done after Bachna Ae Haseeno?

PPS: Lucky Tea Stall is awesome. You don’t get to sip tea in front of an M F Hussain original anywhere else in the world. The Maska Bun is yummy – lots of butter with just a hint of strawberry jam. Perfect.

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Sorry

I intend to make this a non bitchy personal post. Forgive me if I do not stick to it.

The sorry in  the title is for the neglect I have shown towards my dear blog. I do miss writing. That, inspite of the fact I am no great writer. I can’t write a simple one line my mother needed me to write  just a couple of hours back. Coming back to my negligence, I think its got something to do with twitter and facebook making it easier to express those teeny weeny thoughts which otherwise could materialize into a longer blog post. And I was a 60 year old cranky woman who has a habit of passing judgements about anything and everything, I would attribute it to the ‘fast-life’ of the ‘present generation’ and then go on to give lectures to anybody who didnt pretend to be deaf. Ok there I go the bitchy route again. Correction time.

So on the personal front, whats new? Well, everything. I finished 12th standard. *dances around in a circle* I think I managed a couple of decent admissions. But more importantly, I earned my freedom. I am now free to do so many things including learning Persian and reading Premchand. These are things you can’t do if you are in India and you have taken Science and you aren’t sure of which way you want to go. I mean, at the beginning of 11th I could say I am going to study economics at DU. So no boring stuff for me. I will live my life. But that isnt how it works. Not for me at least. Its not like a slogged for 2 years or something. I watched TV almost everyday. I went for movies. And the night before JEE, I was at Akshardham watching the water+laser show, which by the way is awesome.

So essentially, I am back to being me. I am back to doing things I like.

I have lost all that extrovert thing I had developed in the last couple of years. I talk to people. But I dont really care to make any special efforts to socialize. But to my inner circle, I am still the same chirpy, albeit a little detached, Indu. 🙂

And strangely, I am now at peace with everything around me. Not expecting much from people helped. Do your stuff and move on. Thats it.

A certain mannerless brat has been going about being rude on facebook. I would wonder why cant he shut up. And then, Bam! I realized that is what is his job. He is the villain in my story. What else could I expect him to be? I did end up blocking him. I have better things to do than to see his display of brainlessness.

Other than that, whats new? Nothing much. Random thoughts on random things. For instance, why should Warren Anderson be hung? The guy flew down to India against the advice of so many people just to express solidarity. He could have just stayed there in the US. Maybe we should value the fact that he did visit. If somebody is to be blamed, it is the Government. They were the custodians of public interest. They were supposed to see that safety of the people is not compromised. If the factory wasn’t operating with bare minimum safety standards, why was the factory allowed to operate in the first place. And the other issue I have with the Government is that why wasnt enough compensation given out to people? You cant expect a company with a public listing on New York Stock Exchange to give adequate compensation. Just because Union Carbide then and Dow Chemicals now are not paying you money doesn’t mean you cant help your own people. Why are you waiting for Dow to clean up the factory site? Shouldn’t you be doing it? And I am sure that the treasury has enough money for that.

The third issue I have is the fact that no lessons have been learnt from the Bhopal Tragedy. From where I see it, the airline industry is going exactly the same way. Tires of airplanes in India get punctured more often than my Dad’s bicycle’s tires do. If in every three days I dont see the news of an emergency landing at some airport, I feel something is not right. The committee set up after the Mangalore crash to review airline safety is full of IAS babus, whose closest association with airplanes are the free tickets they manage to get, and bosses of airline companies. I, personally, have refused to travel in any plane run by any Indian operator. Except maybe if I go to the Naxal hit areas. Being in the air is probably safer around there.

Thats it for today. I am sleepy now. *yawn*

Good Night folks. 🙂

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Going by the set rules which define one’s ‘matrabhumi’, I am a Malayali. But I choose to call myself a Gujarati. I was born here and apart from a period of 7 and a half years, I have lived in Gujarat all my life.

I was 9 when the riots happened. I had come back to Anand a year ago and I had started hating Gujarat for it was here, that I went through the most scary times of my life. (Click here to read more about my riots experience.)

All the coverage which Mr. Modi has been getting is making people from outside the state believe that we Gujaratis are a very intolerant, fascist lot. And this is absolute  bullshit. Yes, bullshit. Look at the tweets by this certain @AkhilRana . Scroll down his timeline. Most of his stuff is bizarrely funny and misinformed. I mean, Mahatma Modi?? Seriously WTF stuff. But 1 particular tweet of his, in which he said he was proud of Gujaratis because they were protecting Hindutva, disturbed me.

This is not what we are. We love our God. We pray to him. We celebrate him. But we don’t fight and kill for him. The 2002 riots were an exception, not the rule. You don’t believe it? I have lived here for 10 years and I have started from hating the people here to loving them. That means something, doesn’t it?

There is a chain of bakeries in Anand called ‘Everfresh Bakery’. They owned 2 out of the  5 odd shops right outside the Jagnath temple here. During the riots, one of their shops was burnt down. The reason was obvious – the owners were Muslim. But this wasn’t Gujarat.

Gujarat is the place where the shop re-opened and they moved to a place twice as big in the new shops constructed by the same temple. Gujarat is the place where the upvaas food is bought from Everfresh Bakery. Gujarat is the place where every year, a Ganesh Pandal is erected right next to the oldest mosque and madrasa in the town. Gujarat is the place where the Tazia during Muharram is erected with the wall of the Swaminarayan temple as a support and the Muslims in the locality light up the sculpture put up by the people from the temple as well. Gujarat is the place where everyone buys fruits from the Pathan simply because he is the best in the business. Gujarat is the place where two sons of the caretaker of a Mosque are hailed as the pride of the state.

What I am trying to say is that what happened in 2002 was nothing but a bunch of sickos in positions of power who figured out that the fear in the minds of people could be conveniently used to gain some political advantage. The average Gujarati is only concerned about the well-being of his family and his neighbours, his food and the money he saves. He is a man who loves peace. But he is also a very vulnerable man, quite like all of us. And it was this vulnerability of his which the saffron and non saffron vultures feasted on.

My appeal to anyone who reads this, is not to see Gujaratis as a bunch of paranoid people who swera by Hindutva. Because we are not. We do not like killing people of any faith. We like peace.

Indu.

PS: Let me clarify, I am not justifying 2002 or supporting Modi, or any other accused. I strongly believe that all those accused must be tried and even hung to death if found guilty, irrespective of their post, position or power. Just don’t be so judgmental about Gujaratis as a community.

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It’s all NCERT’s fault. They make the textbook so boring and the teachers so stupid that nobody ever pays attention in their English classes, even our dear Ms. E. So, she gets her English all screwed up and doesn’t quite understand the words she uses to describe herself. And being the angel I am, I can’t quite help but do my bit and teach her what her English teacher, or English language teacher, as umm.. well.. *somebody*(I do have a lot of words I could use here, but lets just leave it like this)  likes saying it, should have.

Ok, Ms. E listen pay attention here. Stop admiring your nails.

Lesson 1: Straight-forward != Rude: Being straight forward doesn’t mean you have to be rude to everybody. You cannot hurl abuses at someone and say that you are being straight forward. Straight forward is when your intentions are not ‘tedha‘. You get the point right? And also, straight forward has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. So get that word out of your orkut profile.

Lesson 2: Diplomacy != Sycophancy: Let me use the very same example teachers use to confuse you, to clear your head. Not being nasty about the dress your friend wears on her birthday is not being a sycophant. It’s just being nice. Diplomacy is saying the truth an a civil, polite, well-mannered way to everyone, even if they are not an influential teacher. And sycophancy?.. Remember the time you told a teacher she didn’t look 40? That is sycophancy. So next time you accuse somebody of being diplomatic, remember me ok?

Ms E, will you please stop thinking of new poses for your new facebook profile picture and listen!

Lesson 3: Happy-go-lucky is not about showing your teeth when you top the class: Happy-go-lucky, carefree, bindaas babe and all other synonymous words are probably what you love using in the ‘describe yourself in a minute sessions’, right? Even if it is after you have just come back after crying in the washroom or cribbing over how the other person cheated and got more than you in the unit test. You can call yourself happy-go-lucky the day you actually smile after failing a test. So that’s another thing you have to change in your profile, right?

Ms E, this is it. You are still fantasizing about the various romantic possibilities you could have with the tall new boy after he agreed to get a picture taken with you? You can go on and make a complete fool of yourself. I am not helping you out anymore. Aakhir main bhi to insaan hoo. 😉

Actually, go ahead. You are an angel. You are a gem. You are perfect as you are. Nobody should ever change you. After all, you are my only steady source of entertainment and humour. 🙂

Indu

PS: I was unfortunate enough to have been audience to XYZ’s how-i-got-chased-by-dogs-at-4-in-the-morning story this morning. Sad. If you are clueless, read previous posts.

PPS: Dont think of names of girls starting with E. I know none.

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This was one of the two reasons I really liked Navratri. The other being that I could stay up really really late. Staying up late was exciting because those days, I would be in bed by 9.

Coming back to Mumbai Thi Gaadi Aavi Re. It basically an action song. Like ‘If you’re happy and you know it’. But done in Garba style. Its usually the kids who participate. But you always have Aunties, who are 6(or maybe 8 ) times the size of Kareena Kapoor and share attention seeking behavioral patterns similar to Himesh Reshamiya and Rakhi Sawant, who jump in to do what they do the best – act stupid.

We used to have a competition for ‘Mumbai Thi Gaadi Aavi’ in our campus. They weren’t actually competitions. The big people in the XXXX club would move around with a notepad and would pretend to write down things. At the end they would give all teams a ‘prize’ which would a ten rupee note in a colourful envelope. Yes, just 10 rupees for a team of like 15 kids. Such stingy people they were (and they probably still are).

These ‘competitions’ used to be big things for us at that time. There were fights over who is to be included in the Gaadi and who is to be made the leader and all that typical nonsense kids usually fight over. I remember one particular fight which had this snobbish girl 4 years elder to us fighting with another girl who wasnt all that sophesticated saying that she didnt even know English. See, I always said we were breeding snobs in our school.

Then there was this really creatively stimulating challenge of naming the Gaadi. After some 20 mnutes of ‘dimaag ke ghode daudana’, we would usually decide on either ‘Gujarat Queen’ or ‘Flying Rani’ or ‘Navjivan’, all of which are names of real trains. But they sounded fancy then. No, Navjivan wasn’t fancy. It was special because it shared the first 3 letters with Navratri. So that was it.

The song kept repeating the lines ‘Mumbai Thi Gadi Aavi Re… *insert some gujju giberish* ‘ and then sing paragraphs and paragraphs about various things the Gaadi did. And all Gaadis would go around in a circle following the actions of the leader who tried her best to invent new steps by looking around at what others were doing. So creative no?

In the beginning, the pace would be slow and the Gaadi would do all boring things like stopping or going slow or blowing the whistle. Then the madness would begin. The trains were made to jump, do Bhangra on ‘Ye Desh Hai Veer Jawano Ka‘ and what not. The guy who was singing the song could make us do anything then, absolutely anything I tell you. It would all culminate with the Gaadis being asked to run.

‘Gaadi Jaldi Jaldi *sthg* Re’

This was the bit I enjoyed the most. Everyone would just start running. Running like a herd of cows who were scared by a firecracker or something. The Gaadis would get all mixed up. People bumped into each other. Quite a few kids would fall down. And the very young ones would just stand and start waling till the elder sibling pulled his/her hand and he/she could join the madness as well.

And then at the end we would all hunt down our team mates and wait eagerly for our result. Yes, we used to be really excited because those ten bucks meant we could get Centre Shock, which used to be ‘the’ thing.

So thats the story of Mumbai Thi Gaadi Aavi. One of the most fun things I did as a kid.

Here’s a video so that you get an idea of what this actually sounds like.

Indu

PS: You must know that the use of Mumbai, and not Bombay, has nothing to do with the Tiger or his warring cubs.

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