My hateful world… welcome!

I have always feared sharing my opinion. Not because of being judged for having a contrary opinion but because I simply am never aware enough to support it effectively. What we say in public forums often shape others’ thoughts, makes them think otherwise or influence them. That is why it is important to be accurate in facts and information. We cannot mislead people around us just because we believe this to be a version of truth.

But right now, I am tired of feeling stifled, of having the patience to read better, listen carefully so that I can award the much-needed benefit of doubt to everything going wrong in the world. I do that. I am very generous in giving the benefit of doubt to everyone, but there are always exceptions.

This is not a political post. Well, it can become one, but I am planning to write a least edited (only for grammar) post because it is exactly all these edits and sanity checks that make us so cautious of what we truly want to fearlessly believe in and say out loud.

I do not enjoy babies and little kids so much. I don’t understand what’s the big deal, why they cannot be ugly or are always cute/ adorable. They are okay. To me they are little people who hopefully will not grow into idiots, read well, be honest and sincere. To me these qualities matter much more than being cute.

I don’t think it is important to pro-create. As humans, we have a thinking mind to decide whether we want that responsibility or not. Whether you want the burden to create a legacy. Whether bringing in another person in this world, as it is now, is fair to him/ her. Whether it is okay that you plan your future around your children taking care of you in your old age? What if they turn out to be assholes regardless of your nurturing? What if they want a job/ life far away and cannot pursue it because they already have a ‘job’ sorted out for them?

I don’t think that in this day and age, girls should be asked to move out of their own house into their husband’s, after marriage. It is simply not fair. At all.

I don’t think women are better than men. I don’t think men are better than women. I think we each have our strengths and weaknesses. They can be wonderfully combined to become a strong unit. I do not believe in one-upmanship basis gender. Except our physical definition, there are only personality attributes that make one better than the other. Anyone can be smarter, stronger, fitter, prettier… anything.

I don’t enjoy being told what to eat, when to eat. I trust myself to be as accommodating as possible to everyone around me. so please don’t tell me that Sai Baba asked everyone not eat meat on Thursdays.

I don’t like being forced in to religious traditions. I believe religion is a very private matter, how I practice it is my business only. I am religious and have faith in god or a super power that does have a role in our lives. Maybe it is because I don’t have the nerve to be responsible for every fuck up in my life and I like to say “Why god! Why me?”- even though I know it’s all my doing 😉

I resented being told that I am ‘the girl’ and that I will always have to adjust and adapt. I do not know of a single boy whose parents brainwashed them into believing this since they were born. Now adapt and adjust are the two most abhorred words in my life. I still do both but like to believe that I am being choosy about it. I am fooling myself, I know that.

I absolutely hate humour based on wives, especially by married men, most of whom are happily married to their lovely wives. “Where are you?” from a wife is nosey and insecure, from a husband is protective and caring. What the fuck!

I don’t judge abortions and pre-marital sex. Both so overrated. Abortion procedure is a medical marvel and any women undergoing it consensually should be allowed to, whether married or not. Sex,in itself, is soooo overrated and private that we shouldn’t even bother commenting on it if it’s not between you and your partner.

I detest the new broadcast regulations. Words like condom, vagina, boobs, sex, blowjobs are being considered taboo but clitoris is okay because the idiot censors didn’t know the meaning. This happened. Having five-year-old girls dance sensually on chikni chameli on national television is okay but a smoking a cigarette on screen is blasphemous.

Wow! That’s a lot of hate. Next post, about things I like.

Unfortunately, this post was one of the easiest that I have ever written. Imagine the bile stored in our systems. I have been mulling over writing something like this for a very long time. Some time ran out of time, sometime out of nerve. Over the years, I have receieved a lot of flack for having these opinions but I am now confident of what I like and don’t. This list, as we grow up (never old) can either go longer or tighter. I wish mine remains short and tight. Who wants to spend the rest of thier lives hating when there is so much wonder around us.

Leaving this with a 🙂

Image source: Pinterest.com

#greatplacetowork

An ode to Avian

There was never another place like this one
A place which is warm and droll
There were never a better lot of people
With big hearts and a good soul
There will never be another random laugh or shout on the floor
There will never be demands for chocolate cake, momos and more
There will never be a place I can call more my own
But as I leave it now, I give it to you on loan
Just for a bit, not too long
Until I make up another A.C.E song!

You know you enjoy your work when you don’t realize how three years passed. You know you enjoy your work when you dress up especially for it. You know you enjoy your work when you miss your colleagues who are on leave. You know you enjoy your work when you work at Avian Media.

These three years have seen me go through a lot of change in life- personally and professionally. I saw myself become a better worker and team player. I saw myself going from single to married. I saw myself handling a ton of responsibilities in life and at work. I saw myself cry during reviews and appraisals. I saw myself tear up when my team mates did a good job. I saw myself walking down the floor rows singing and dancing for no apparent reason. I saw myself as the center of everyone’s attention when I would tell a story. The list is endless, because I did a lot of things I never got a chance to do anywhere else.

Avian had me at Hello.

From the very first day till the very end, I have been completely smitten by Avian. But I should mention that no organization is what it is without the people in it. The people- I can fill pages about the gang there. I was lucky to have known a few of them and befriended by a lot of them.

Even though I consider myself a word wiz, this post was rather difficult to write. I wish I could capture Radheshyamji’s ever smiling welcome, Amit’s wise cracks, the conversations while waiting in front of the ladies loo, the early morning banter with Arshiya, the fight for a place for the team to eat lunch together, the sharing of many meals and recipes, the AC on AC off saga… and many more. But somethings are better remembered than said.

We didn’t have a gang or a group of girls at work. Thank god for that. Can you imagine, in an office almost full of women, there were rarely any bitchy moments. No harsh comments or judgment. In fact, I can give you one good thing I liked about each of my special friend

Would you be surprised to a see a super boss with child like finger nails? Shivalika is one of the strongest boss women I have come across. She is relentless and will not tire easy. In time, if I manage her strength and Madhuri Dixit’s appearance- I think I would become a superwoman.

The biggest reason to come to work everyday was Ragini. I suspect she was the reason for many to do so. Who would not want to be welcomed with loads of wonderful compliments each day- from nail color, to eye make up, from outfit to shoes, from reports to interactions, from documents to presentations. Ragini’s fair working ethics and balance between heart and mind was one of the most inspiring things in my life. Even though she is a month younger than I am, I hope I can one day be as good a mentor/friend as she has been to many and me.

Anu, the girl who we would all like to marry. For all the goodness in her heart and sincerity in her actions. But mostly she is like the taste of Pulse toffee- just went it gets too sweet, you are hit by an unsuspecting khatta to spice it all up.

Nikita and Mayuri, names I will take in one breathe, forever. Two kids with big dreams. Sometimes I am afraid for them but I know if they are together nothing will stop them ever.

Tanushree, meek and mild at first but she is fierce and proud. A dream team mate one can ever ask for. I want to be friends with her forever because I know she is going to places and I want to go there with her.

Eisha, the revolver rani. The girl with mad curls and even madder driving instincts. Her dry sense of humor challenged me and I am so happy she so much smarter than she lets on. It’s a good strategy.

Riticka, the girl with a fetish for shopping and all things chic. Sometimes I look at her and I wonder how one can be made so pretty, delicate, kind and nice. She reminds of Jane Bennet from Pride Prejudice. She has all her qualities.

Mansha, she gives love like there is no tomorrow. She only knows how to love with a whole heart or none at all (beware of this beauty!). I believe life will get easier for her in time, it always does for the good souls. Eventually.

Neeraj, a super women who is committed to deliver the best at work and at home. I have heard her life stories and while I don’t think I can manage any of what she does… I know she will only get better at it.

Parul and Vanshja, these two made me work hard for their friendship. Shocking they resisted me for so long and sad that I didn’t get to spend too much time with these spunky ladies. Parul makes us big girls proud with her good sense of fashion. Vanshja, my mascot of sarcasm, I do really wish I hadn’t spent so much time being afraid of her.

Deepti,this pretty little smart girl who has no idea just how wonderful she is, looking for a perfect love story which I am sure she will find in time because she deserves it. And some lucky guy deserves her as well.

Silky, I also want to have her spunk in life. This one will stop at nothing to enjoy work and life to the best, and she will take her baby princess in tow. I admire the way she has taken charge of own life and how bravely she can make decisions for herself.

Linett, you want to work with her. Fearless is one word that springs in our mind when you imagine her. Undaunted, no matter how scary the client is or how big the task is. And in her confidence you may rest yours. Also, if she likes you, she will share her delicious food with you.

Avika, you silly kitten, even she made me work so hard to be friends with her. But its all well paid off because once she pinches your arm, you know you have made it in life. I love how expressive she is, in touch with her feelings and never shies from showing them. Hahahahaha… actually I am only friends with her because her husband is such a fun person. And Karan too.

Sreya, I want to promise her that I will grow a spine before its too late. I know that will make her very happy. She speaks her mind and is not afraid to call it as it is. Bade hoke main tumhare jaise english bolna chahti hoon.

Amit Jamwal, tumse milke dil khush ho gaya. The most wanted person in Avian. Everybody wanted a piece of him. I made my move once all his previous season girlfriends left. Mouahahahah (the devil in me) the most strategic friendship I have ever planned. The aim was to have a good laugh and that we did. I don’t think I laugh as much as when I with him. It’s a good change to laugh instead making others laugh.

Martand Piploda, my prince and work husband. Hahahaha… I was privileged to see a very different version of him. He let me into his inner mind and I have to admit, funniest guy ever. Look beyond the determined and hardworking exterior and you will find this boy who really know how to enjoy life and has a plan for it.

Rahul Ghosh, looks like I have known him a long time now. He can be liked so quickly and once you are caught in his web of charm there is no letting out.

Manu Matthew, the dreamer. Actually no, he knows exactly how it is but doesn’t show it, in the off chance that it all is actually true. If people all around half even half his optimism to see the best in the rest, I am telling you, there will be peace.

Moving on to the bigger fish. (Yes, I fear no one)

Nithiya and Shobhana can never let you down. They will always have a solution to all your problems. Listen to it with a smile. Follow up till it is resolved and never leave your side. Its an honor to have been guided by them.

I was also privileged to have won a smile from Pandeyji, many times over. I think if he wasn’t so busy, we would have made great friends.

Nayyar sir hugs like papa. That I can say now. He makes me feel tiny and taken care of.

Girish is a man-boy with so much energy and spirit, he puts most 20 year olds to shame. I am lucky to have seen him in action many times, doing what he does best- talk you into things you wouldn’t even be thinking of- from hiring the a PR firm to bungee jumping for a high cliff.

Nikhil took me out for lunch and loved talking to me so much that he wouldn’t miss a chance to do so. It took a lot of courage and coordination to think grammatically correct, be witty and still make sense whenever I talked to him. All that practice has made me very good at it now.

Nitin, he is a genius magician with a Midas touch for people. He is the most chilled out CEO there can be. Else, I dare you all to find one who would let you make fun of his lunch. Of course, right after that he has the full right to a big spoon of whatever you are eating.

See I told you I can do it. I managed to give you that one special thing about a lot of special people in Avian Media. Phew! The list is long because everyone is deserving and it was easy because everyone is just as or more awesome.

But this is not good bye. Just a big thank you.Thank you everyone and wish you all an exciting life.

A little story

Who doesn’t love a love story. It could be a fictitious one or a real, I have always found an audience for a love story.

When we were in college, all my hostel mates would sit around me, to listen to the love stories I would concoct for them. Most of them being single then, it made for a fine way to pass time. I would imagine the boy- tall, lean, athletic, dark hair, eye shape, fashion sense. Hell, with my description, I would leave little to their imagination. I would then imagine the ‘meet-cute’- how their paths would cross, the first words, the blossoming friendship, the growing attachment and then a finale- which would by default always be wonderful and magical. These would be times when these then single girls would return to their rooms, hopeful and a little bit in love with the dream I spun.

(If anyone one of the IHM hostel girls- batch 2007 are reading this and would like to either deny or corroborate the effect, please do comment)

While I would draw these beautiful love story for others, I would forever cherish one sweet story for myself. Today seems to be a good day to share it with you all-

This one started 11 years ago. On this very day (hence, the post)- October 5, 2015. Actually, lets back track. It started few months before, perhaps during a rather boring lecture when instead of falling asleep, a girl thought it would be so much better to fall in love. Well not love, but she was a teenager, so you know the drill. She thought this one boy in her class deserved much of her attention. And why not, he was tall, handsome, dripped of sincerity and kindness, pretty much the text book stuff for a good looking good boy.

You know how girls like to talk and share. Well, so did this one. And innocently enough, she confessed to her classmate about her crush on the tall boy. You should know something about the girl. She wasn’t this conventional pretty slim girl in fact pretty much the opposite. She had this vivacious boisterous personality, mostly to mask her constant self doubt about her body shape. But since no one knew her at this college, she chose to be the person she always wanted to be. (More about her later. perhaps another post. Let me know if you would be interested.)

So it was the confession which pretty much cocked things up. The classmate’s then boyfriend was great pals with tall boy and she thought “how wonderful it would be to double date!”. And suddenly, just like that, the tall boy knew. The girl was mortified. she has been ‘crushing’ boys all her life, never having to face any of them. But she could see that this one was walking towards her.

Well, the nerves had already given up and all she needed was a charming nudge from the tall boy to blurt out her real feelings. It was out in the open. He knew. And she definitely knew that he knew. Are you with me??

Now to put things in perspective, all of this happening to a boy who is 21 years old and a girl who is 19 years old. In the first few months of college. And we go back to October 5, 2004.

I can’t say what went inside the tall boys head. But a few days after this incident, on a beach front albeit a supremely dirty one, the tall boy asked the girl a question that would change her life from whatever she though she knew. At 7:05 PM on Tuesday, October 05, 2015, things will never be the same again.

I am talking about Nikhil and I.

10398624_149572585284_5341816_n

This here is a 2004 version of us. With friends on a trip to Alibaug. I can say that now. I kept this trip a secret for a long long time. We did not know a thing about eachother as individuals, not counting family, history and such.

226223_6773544534_7681_n

A friend took this picture of us. We are now students in second year of college. By now, I am so far gone… smitten out of my boots and mind. And I still did not know even half of him. But I knew that he was one of the nicest people I had met so far. and he was beginning to like me just the way I am.

100_0838

By third year, we were officially a couple. Inseparable since first year college, apparently planning a future together. I was then told that should we marry, I would need to get my ears pierced (the Kashmiri way). oh it was such a issue because he refused to don the bengali traditional dulha ‘topor’. The irony is that I did get them pierced and now he doesn’t care if I wear anything in them.

1936464_125844661764_7507478_n

And then we graduated. With no plans or talks about our future so far. Except for the mandatory dreamy talks of what life would be like and how much money we would like to earn. But we survived the three years of college. Of course not without fair share of fights and shouts. But in the end, we had also become really great friends and which lot hasn’t fought and still stayed thick?

Us

We then moved to murkier ground. From being with each other every waking hour, we got separated for our first jobs. Him in Mumbai while I in Delhi. But it was cool. In fact, I had such a great time in this long distance relationship that I recommend it to everyone. It was then, when I finally learnt how to think without Nikhil near me. It was also the time, I devised creative ways to go to Mumbai several times to be with him. But I also learnt how to live away from him, still have fun and go to bed missing him and loving him more.

DSC048161918555_410684733012_7313952_n

Then enters the truly adult phase of our lives together. Now in the same city, we were living in separate houses. Challenges a plenty, we learnt a lesson through it all. We saw eachother in times of sorrow, failure, new jobs, more jobs, no money, some money, weight lose, weight gain (as can be seen in the photos) family acceptance and what not.

421776_10150545677626765_1171535018_n

Eventually my mother got restless. Inching towards a decade of being ‘special friends’ (yes, she said that!) and yet no sign of a future. How can that be!!! Quickly, lets throw a grand party. Dress up the boy and girl. Get the guests horribly drunk while getting the couple engaged. The fate is sealed. Parents were pleased and we both a bit broke.

DSC03897But the courtship continued and we became even better friends now. We shared our passion for food, for music, for lazing around, for enjoying eachothers company. And I still did not know the half of him. Which kept me on my toes and alert for new information.

Pallavi_Wed_fb-344

And then came the inevitable. Another grand party and this time we both were truly broke. Well, Nikhil, more than I. We were now closing a decade and we had to make the move. Why I speak so casually of this wedding is because even though it was a sacred ceremony tying us in a union forever. Even though I knew little of him, his thoughts and inner working of his mind. I knew I wanted to be with him since I first came to be with him. So wedding or not, this was man would laugh at my jokes and forever find me funny. And I knew I will be with him.

10152521_10152103100446765_734454923000515279_n

Then something fantastic happened. I woke up next to him and I realized I would get to do this every day of my life. And instead of dread and boredom, I was looking forward to it- His company, his absurd jokes, his total lack of understanding that I am woman and not one his chum pals, his calling me ‘chotey’/ ‘small’, his OCD in the kitchen. We took this fantastic trip to Goa and I fell in love with him a bit more. If that was even possible.

IMG_20141108_225822602

And the we completed a year. Just like that… whoosh went past a year of being married. And I can finally I say I have been granted sanction into his inner sanctum.. into his heart and mind. With little expertise and no arrogance, I think I know him bit better. I also realised that this closeted man who shares little and expresses even less knows a lot about me. More than he even let on. More than marriage, I begin to understand this relationship as a partnership and as a friendship. One that is fiercely loyal, extremely honest, terribly demanding but eternally loving.

IMG_20141220_211947

That’s us now. After 11 years. Just two kids. Forever.

PS- there is a chance Nikhil will hate this post. He is a horribly private person. And I am quite the opposite. But it’s my blog and he is my life. So tough!

A slave to myself

Life should be like the sheets on my bed. Fresh and wrinkle free!
Life should be like the sheets on my bed. Fresh and wrinkle free!

The bed sheet is crinkle free, tucked tight. The clothes are sorted into categories- outside, inside, good, casual, night, home, etc. The shoes all in boxes and packets. The  room is relatively dust free (as much as possible in Delhi). The Things To Do List in my mind is endless. It is perpetually running, checking things off, adding more and dropping some. I wasn’t always like this although I don’t remember any other version of me. But I think I truly became this person in college, when I moved out. I had a lot of stuff and not enough room to store. So I planned, innovated and disciplined myself. Little did I know that in the process, I would become a slave to myself.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking about how to maximize my trip around the room to do all things I ‘have’ to do. My room is 10×12 feet and the bed in it is 6×5 feet. Do the math.

When I see Nikhil sprawled on the bed the sheet wrinkled, crinkled under him, at times I have an ‘Awww’ moment and then I try to untuck the sheet from under him. While he is still sleeping. You see what I am getting at?

At times I am bum tired and all I want to do crawl into the untidy unruly mess of bed Nikhil left behind. But I can’t. I may lie down for a bit but then I drag myself up to fix the room and sheet before I allow myself to rest.

My life is full of these instances. Sometimes I appall myself with my need to control the small, basic elements of my own life.  Actually the need controls me. Once again, a slave to myself.

This compulsive need to have everything in order is beautiful yet ugly. The outcome is beautiful but the effort and the sadistic person you become in the process is ugly.

How I wish I was one of those people who did not give a damn. Who did not care that the toothbrush is not in its rightful slot. Who did not mind sleeping on crumbs of samosa on the bed. Who did not care that the laundry is not laid properly and will have wrinkles. Who did not bother press folding the undergarments before putting them in the rightful place. How I wish I was a little like Nikhil.

But that is not the story. I know a person who would not sit anywhere once taken a dump for the fear of passing on potty fumes. I know a person who would offer clean loos at a close friends house, if it needed one. I know a person who clean the kitchen till one can eat of its platform. I know a person who hates compliments on h** beautiful thick luscious hair. I know a person who would want anyone to take a bath after a big job. I know a person who doesn’t like messy hands and dishes while eating food, so eats roti sabzi with a spoon.

Aren’t idiosyncrasies fun? They make people so much more interesting. Their plights, to many maybe amusing unless you are one of them and you totally get it. I wish whoever is reading this piece, has gotten this far and is also a slave to oneself- Smiles. We are not alone. We are never boring, never bored,

How lucky are we!

The Big Step

The first post has given me sleepless nights. It should not have since it’s a blog and it’s free will. But I am very nervous writing this because this is a big step for me.

I have been writing for as long as I can remember and my only audience has been me and sometimes my sneaky cousins. No, wait, one time I read passages to my best friend at school and her then boy friend. It was about them. And another time, I think Nikhil read some bit. Overall, the only pieces I have ever made public are all on Facebook. As status updates!

In order to change the situation here, it was important to first decide to join the band wagon and have sleepless nights wondering what I am going to write about. Critical question which kept me up for long when epiphany struck and I decided, I simply cannot write to please anyone but me. As that’s what I have been doing all my life.

Welcome to my small-big world. If you stick out beyond this post, then you will find that it indeed is small-big.

I don’t have too many passions (thus small), but the few I have are cluttered at many levels (thus big). I will write about bacon. About shoes. About Spice Girls. About Forrest Gump. About bacon, again. About Chinese food. About Marian Keyes…

Because these are a few of my favorite things…
IMG_20140128_171323