today

Smell

There was this perfume I used to have two years back which I thought got discontinued until my friend pointed at it at a shop recently. I bought it immediately. Now that I use it, it brings back memories from two years back when I has just joined college for my post graduation. Its strange how you associate so many memories with a single smell. The smell of maggi being cooked is another on which brings back happy memories, mostly. Except some where I am fighting with my sister over who will get more of it.

There was this one scene in Harry Potter where the love potion, Amortentia, emits a smell which is different for everyone according to what attracts them. Hermoine smells fresh parchment, freshly mown grass, spearmint toothpaste and Ron Weasley’s hair. I would love to get hold of this potion just for the smell. Definitely not using it, that would just be scary. 😛

I guess I would smell mud after rain, old books and after shave. 😛

Another question I have about smell is that how do mothers and babies manage to smell soooo good all the time. I repeatedly keep asking my mother what scent she uses and apparently she doesn’t use one. Yeah right, Maa. 😀

I will end this random musing on this note. All you people out there, keep sniffing until you find the right one. 😛

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That’s What’s Up

Years ago, I came across this song called ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and it is one of the best songs on the theme of a home, about belonging, about love. For a long time I heard many other songs by them but it wasn’t until I found this song called “That’s What’s Up” when I fell in love again.

And here’s the video of “Home” as well in case you’re interested. It’s a beautiful song. Also followed by the lyrics for That’s What’s Up which you most probably won’t pay attention to because of the adorable video. *_*

I’ll be the church, you be the steeple
You be the king, I’ll be the people
Well I was feeling such a mess I thought you’d leave me behind
Well I was being such a wreck I thought you’d treat me unkind
But you helped me change my mind

I’ll be the sun, you be the shining
You be the clock, I’ll be the timing
Well I was feeling such a mess I thought you’d leave me behind
Well I was feeling so upset I thought the sun never shined

Then I found.. forever
Hey hey love
We’ve been best friends forever darling
That’s what’s up

Forever
No matter what
You’ve got my love to lean on darling
That’s what’s up
You’ve got my love to lean on darling
No matter what

You be the book, I’ll be the binding
You be the words, I’ll be the rhyming
While I was feeling such a wreck I thought I was losing my mind
While I was feeling such a mess I thought the sun never shined

You be the bird, I’ll be the feather
We’ll be the best of friends forever
While I was feeling such a mess I thought you’d leave me behind
While I was feeling such a wreck I thought you’d treat me unkind

Then I’ll find.. forever and always
You’ve got my love to lean on darling
All the days
Forever, come what may
You’ve got my love to lean on darling
All the days
You’ve got my love to lean on darling
All the days of our days, yeah

Love is our shelter
Love is our cause
Love goes on forever
Yeah love will lead us all

Love, it is our honour
Love, it is our all
Love goes on forever
Yeah love it is our home

Oh, yeah, that’s what’s up..

100 Follows

When I joined WordPress, it was just a way to express feelings, reflect, wonder and things like that. 😛
Now I am at a 100 followers, I know that’s not much but it is unexpected considering that very few of my friends follow me on WordPress. I really didn’t tell many people about it, just a select few. It’s good to know that 100 people might read something that you wrote.
I remember a friend used to bug me to death until I responded to something he wrote or drew or a song that he had told me to listen to. I was never that way. Not to that you extent, at least. I think that also borrows from how you were in your childhood. I was never the kind who would raise their hands if I knew the answer, who would jump up and show the teacher that they had finished the sum. I was the kind who would not turn submit the homework just because no one else in the class did. Enough digressing, this is for whoever is following this blog – which is more of an effort at self-reflection. Keep following and thanks for sticking by me. Suggestions are always welcome. 🙂

Angry Indian Goddesses

If you haven’t watched the movie, go watch it now. Because seldom does Bollywood make so much sense! 😛 This post is about the music in the movie that has caught my fantasy.
Here are the hilarious lyrics.

Teri teenage umariya,
Ladaaye nazariya,
Teri teenage umariya,
Zero figuriya,

Galliyon se jaaye,
Mera dil lalchaye,

Tu dikhta hai singham,
Mere pehle you don’t come,
Tu dikhta hai singham,
Hone de sangam,
Chipku badan se jaise ho chewing gum,

Main aayi leke aas,
Par na bujhe meri pyaas,
Mera dil dola re,

Mera pyar atom bomb,
Ashiqon ka nikle dum,
Mera dil dola re,

Main hun chori no.1,
Babua stop making fun,
Mera dil dola re,

Hmm..
Chal hatt..
Chal muye..
Aaye haaye,

Kayi lene aaye the,
Kayi lene aayenge,
Meri thokar khakar rote jayenge,

Koi churan khata hai,
Koi tonic pita hai,
Par mere saath na koi jeeta hai,

Dikhta na koi,
Gabru jo de de,

Dikhta na koi,
Gabru jo de de,
Mere jism ko,
Passion ka lesson,

Main aayi leke aas,
Par na bujhe meri pyaas,
Mera dil dola re,

Mera pyar atom bomb,
Ashiqon ka nikle dum,
Mera dil dola re,

Main hun chori no.1,
Babua stop making fun,
Mera dil dola re!

The song takes a hilarious take at men who are not able to please women. A woman is expressing her sexuality by asking her partner to perform better and she is also making jabs and taunts at him which will definitely bring a smile to your face. It is amazing how they have tried to capture the lesser talked about side of sexuality which is a woman’s perspective in this song. It is the female gaze coming into action who demands just another basic right which is more than often either taboo-ed or forgotten by half of the world. The word play will tell you, she isn’t afraid of resorting to other means to please herself since she has been searching for a very long time and no one has come up to the mark.

On Leaving Home

The aroma of coffee in the morning..
The pleasant winter sunshine of the afternoons..
The brisk wind of the winters in the evening..
The glittering remnants of diwali in the night..

I will be back.. For these things that I love.. For some things are loved more deeply. 🙂

-S.

Kasol Revisited

Day 1 – 21st October

I make my journey from JNU to North Campus, to meet the people who are going with me. Our bus leaves at night from Majnu ka Teela. It is a little awkward since I have met most of these people for the first time. At night everyone packs and we leave after a delicious dinner of homemade khichdi. We wait for the bus, it keeps getting delayed but it finally arrives. And the journey towards Parvati Valley begins.

Day 2 – 22nd October

Almost half the day had passed until we reached our destination but the journey was beautiful, with mist floating down the valleys when the sun began to appear. There were tall trees and I knew we had reached when there was an evident chill in the air. Our hungry souls directly made way towards Cafe Bhoj. We ate to our heart’s delight and then looked for a hotel. After getting some rest, we decided to have a bonfire and we started walking towards the campsite with torches in our hands to ward off the eeriness that the mountains possess by default. We reached the riverside where we sat on a round table and talked and laughed and drank and smoked. Then we walked closer to the river, so close that our voices were drowned by the sound of the flowing water. It was cold, very cold and the fire didn’t do much in warding it off. It was finally time to sleep.

Day 3 – 23rd October

I woke up before everyone else, except S. The first thing to do was take a bath and dry your hair in the mountain sunshine. We had delicious lunch consisting of schnitzels, falafels, lafas, oreo shakes, ginger-lemon-honey tea, etcetera. We then made our way towards a place called Chalal but were never able to reach it. Instead we found a place beyond the bridge, among the rocks where hot steam rose like mist from mountains and I wasn’t afraid of feeling cold again. The moon was high in the sky, all around us there were mountains – snow capped. And even when nothing was visible, the snow was shining bright, reflecting the moonlight. The rushing pristine water of the river, threw up water droplets which shone like diamonds when they caught moonlight or light from a torch held by a passerby on the bridge. My words can never do justice to what I saw that night.

(The night was spent deciding who wanted to stay for one more day. 4 of us decided to stay back and then 3 hours were spent cancelling and booking tickets)

Day 4 – 24th October

Yet again, S was the first one to wake up and we once again made our way towards Chalal after everyone left post a hearty lunch. This time it wasn’t our lucky day. The police caught us but let us go without much hassle. We went to Jim Morrison cafe and the sandwiches there were to die for. The trek was totally worth it. I was too happy to register much. Happy because it was Kasol, for another day. Once you go there, you never want to leave.

Day 5 – 25th October

We went to Magic View Restaurant, didn’t really have the patience to look at the view because I was too tired from all the climbing. Who wants to work on a vacation anyway. This vacation was so much different from the last time when I was all sober and the weather was not so good. This time the water had completely changed its color and you could almost see the water-bed. It was a “good trip”. Can’t wait for the next one. Will put up the pictures soon.

Day 6 – 26th October

Back to Delhi. It was like some other world. Definitely not a good one after the serenity of the Valley. Well, all good things come to an end.

Beds

I know it’s a strange title for a blog post but this is very very important. It is a journey. A journey traced through beds. So as told earlier, I have been travelling a lot and here is a description of all the beds I slept in.

Hostel Bed, Mumbai –  So that is home for now, my comfortable little bed facing a window where I sit with my laptop all day owing to the amazing internet connection with a cable charging my phone through the laptop because the architects were dumb enough to place 10 electric sockets at one single point in the room. Super tiny bed, but I like it because it’s mine. Best bed for now..

Friends’ Flat, Mumbai – I doze off on the sofa, I am told to sleep inside the room. Too sleepy to argue, walk like a zombie to the bedroom, put my mattress near the friends’ flatmates’ mattress. There is some shoving and pushing in the night and I think I slapped that person in my sleep while turning over. Well, very comfy bed, room is a little humid, but never mind.

Train Berth, Side Upper, Mumbai Rajdhani – A bag lay at my feet because I couldn’t leave it anywhere else because it would get stolen of course – Indian Railways, duh! Very uncomfortable, very cold, must remember bringing own blanket next time because this one had bed bugs and smelled strange.

Hostel Room, JNU, Delhi – Shared a bed with a friend in her Hostel Room. I sleep like a log because I am always tired for some reason or the other. Super comfortable and super clean bed – very much unlike mine. Friend keeps getting conscious that I am not comfortable and I have to keep reminding her that I sleep like the world doesn’t exist. Only con – No power point nearby. Network access only at the head of the bed. Yes, JNU is weird like that.

Another Hostel Room in JNU – This one was on the ground floor of another hostel, very cool and the corridor was very silent. No crying babies in the morning. Took my own blanket, power plug at the head of the bed, where network was available. Brownie points to this huge ass bed, I could only cover 25 percent of it.

Hotel Room, Kasol – I take up the best location on the side because hello, elder sister. View on waking up – of the mountains. Blanket is a little smelly, curse self for not bringing own blanket. All in all, satisfactory.

Friend’s Flat Delhi – Yay, a bed of my own. I clean it and make it and sleep on it. It takes me half an hour to spread the sheets properly and constant nagging at people who step over it, to keep it clean. Second best bed for now! 😀

Train to Home, Lucknow Mail – Side Upper again – This time the emergency stop alarm thingy is right next to my knees and whenever I turn it bangs into the walls and makes a loud noise. Thank God I brought my blanket. Indian Railways is lame. Sorry, not sorry.

Home, Lucknow – Back to the most comfortable bed, logically but it takes me so much time to sleep on it, because I am not tired anymore, because Home and Maa ke haath ka “healthy” khaana. Will give it two more days.

Good Night! 😀

Another Journey

Long ago, a friend wrote something about living out of boxes. This phase of my life is all about that. Every other month I am packing my bags to go home, to go on a vacation, to visit friends, etc. And of course right now I am writing because I can’t sleep in the train.

Goodbyes are hard. Specially for people like me who get all sentimental and awkward. To leave one place and to go to another brings with it a million changes. From keeping your brush on a different table to using somebody else’s toothpaste. Everything is so new, but it is so easy to adapt. When people ask me why and how I pack so light, I think it’s because I always use lesser than I have. Be it in terms of money, food or whatever.

I adapt to places as well. I think that is also because I have been to so many in my life. I am not a vagabond, though I would love to be one. I know this is really random but isn’t this what this blog is all about. I also noticed that as the posts get more personal, you really have to know who I am to understand the context of what I am saying. I have always been so bad at giving context. One of my friends says I would become a good stand-up comedian because of this and my roommate constantly chides me for not explaining things to her properly.

See, it has happened again, stream of consciousness. Well, so long for now. Will try to sleep once again. Otherwise there’s another random shitty post waiting to be posted. 😛

-S.

Home is where the Heart is

So I am all done with my documentary on the M-ward of Mumbai. More about that later. For many days I have been planning to write on all the places I have lived in.  After reading Varun Grover‘s article, I was finally really inspired to do the same. So here’s a short personal account of all the places where I have had a temporary home in! 🙂

VARANASI

I was born in the city of Temples and Ghats. I was too little to remember anything but I have since visited it twice and it’s a beautiful city if you want to laze around and just sit at the ghats and read a book. The city in itself is a madhouse, too much traffic and too many people. But that is the beauty of old cities. There is a mix of culture and modernity that you just cannot find anywhere else. I have somehow always been kind of proud that I was born there because of it’s rich cultural heritage. Now, when I pass through the areas where we lived earlier, my parents point out those places to me, the place where I was born, the place where they came to have lunch every weekend, the temple they visited on their birthdays and so on.

KANPUR

So my next stop was Kanpur where I spent 7 years and changed 3 schools and 2 homes, as far as I remember. I made a lot of friends, my memories of which are really vague now. I am obviously not in touch with any of them anymore, but I do remember that I was close with a lot of them! Now a relative of mine lives in the same locality and it beings back so many memories. I was a single child back at that time and the games I played at that time alone, the swing in my porch and the bees that stung me, the neighbours I had and the cricket matches my uncle took me to, the mix tapes we made and the terrace without the railing, the diwali with my cousins, the hiding in the cupboards, the fun I had in dusting the corridors and then riding my bicycle (with stoppers) there, the rickshaw that came to pick me up every morning and the dreaded swimming classes, the hatred for school and love for cable TV, the visits to relatives’ houses and meeting and forgetting people, the sweets that Grandpa bought everytime he visited and the dosa place he took me to, near my house. Omg, I miss Kanpur. Now when I go back, I hate it, because of the crowd and the pollution and zero traffic sense. But now that I sit and reminiscence about it, those were beautiful days. The days of carefree childhood.

LALITPUR

Lalitpur is a quaint little town near Jhansi, and it is also close to maternal home, while Kanpur was close to my paternal home. My sister was also born there. I lived there for 2 years. My memories of that place are mostly of my neighbours, with whom I spent most of my time. We used to play all evening until it got dark. It was also the time when everyone had those video game consoles and I had one too and it was also the time when I watched Nickelodeon for the first time and went gaga over it, the first time when I made a best friend, Divya, only to lose her in a year, the first time I stayed with another family, all by myself, because my mother was in the hospital during her pregnancy. There was a guest house next to my home, which belonged to a relative. The garden was open to use for all and that is where I learnt to ride a bike.

BANGALORE

This was a major shift. We had shifted from a town to a metro city. The energy was crazy and so was life. I was juggling between classes and computer classes, book clubs and extra co-curricular activities and ace-ing everything except academics. There was a library right behind my house which  I unfortunately found out too late, there was a Punjabi Restaraunt near our house which made the most amazing shahi paneer ever. My father took us to new places every weekend and we travelled like crazy – to Tirupathi, Nilgiri, Ooty, Munnar, etc. I went to this amazing book club where they gave us cold drink and cake at the end of every session. I found some of my friends from those days on FaceBook.  Those two years were undoubtedly the best years of my life. I often wish that we had never shifted, but apparently my parents didn’t like living so far away from their own families so we had to come back to North India. Now, I think to myself, that maybe I did the right thing by shifting because I feel that Bangalore had given me what I needed in terms of developing my personality, but had I stayed, I couldn’t have fought for what I loved and figured out what to do in life without anything being imposed on me. It is difficult to explain, but being in Lucknow gave me much more freedom to choose whatever I wanted to do next in life.

LUCKNOW

Lucknow was a new low after Bangalore but I gradually got used to it. I have spent the maximum part of my life there and that is where home is even now. 8 years in Lucknow, and I was a grown person too, I remember almost everything but mostly I remember hating my school. In the last four years that I stayed there, I made some really good friends and that is the only redeeming fact about that school. All in all the city is a great place to live in. It gives me respite from the rush of the big cities I go back from every holiday.

DELHI

I had entered college and was living in the Hostel, a much different home than any I had lived in before. It was a big, bad city and I was a little girl. With time it grew on me and I began falling in love with the freedom I had got for the first time in my life. This thirst for freedom just became bigger and that is how I moved on to the next city.

MUMBAI

My present home, one year in a flat and this year in a Hostel. Mumbai has given me the freedom I could have only dreamt of, friends that I know I will cherish for life and memories and experiences that have made me who I am now. It’s only when you live here, that you will know why it is called the City of Dreams. Every other person is a walking and talking book, whose pages and stories will amaze you. Here I am to be another book in the library, hoping to be the one most issued and to be an inspiration for other writers. 🙂

Letters for Love/Being Unwanted (Guest Post)

Before you wonder why I didn’t title this post ‘Love Letters’ or ‘Letters of Love”, I want to explain and ask you at the same time what Love means to you? To me it means so many things, even hate, but this is a letter written for Love, not out of Love, not about Love but just for it. Make what you can of it. 🙂

Oh and also Special thanks to our writer, i.e. not me but someone who I begged to write this for me, since I have been too busy with work. And he hasn’t let me down. I love your writing, I really do. Here it goes:

BEING UNWANTED

So today, I will like to confess one of the feelings that come to me more often than others. I, for some reason, always find myself with people who are facing some crisis. With time this thing rooted deep inside me. I started feeling satisfied with the knowledge that maybe people needed me sometimes even if it was only in their moments of sorrow. Call it a lame effort to be wanted by others or an attempt to hold some place important in others’ lives. Or maybe I think too much. Someone told me that I always look for tragedies, but this is just what I have become. I don’t mind tragedies a single bit because I feel that people reveal their innermost feelings at that moment. I wish I could take those moments of closeness, the belonging to merrier times also but almost always I find myself getting sidelined for someone else who simply makes their way into lives of others when the grass is green and when they don’t have to live through autumn. Then again I start looking out for the next estranged soul. I fully agree that my life may seem tempting to others. Some people have in fact asked me that why do I even get sad, but its ingrained in me. I try to be alone at times hoping someone will ask about me.

This feeling naturally comes, when I see people enjoying with others, I find myself looking at people’s happy faces thinking it would have been so fucking amazing if I would have been the one sharing that laughter, if your smile would have started from your lips and would have stopped at my cheekbones. I always try to find a crevice in people’s conversations to an untold secret which would act like a thread that would keep us entwined forever with each other. I love to gradually fade into the background watching how people react to my absence.

You have been a great support to me amidst all the negativity. As I have said a million times, a lighthouse in the cold wild raging sea, a drop of water in the scorching heat of the desert, that last breath for which a man craves on his deathbed, those last few  of oxygen in a man’s tank on a faraway planet.

P.S. – You are the one who I believe can take me out of this perpetual turmoil. Only you have the charm.

A Reply

I think I am cast in a very different stone. I am the kind who wants to be with people in their good times and their bad. If they choose to be with me only in either one of them, then I carve out a different path for myself, far away from theirs. For me, it’s always all or nothing. The only thing I hope for is that I make you a part of all my seasons. That, I think, could be the best gift I could ever give you.

P.S. Don’t talk about lighthouses, they drive me crazy! 🙂 ❤