Why I cut my hair?

The answer to that one question that people never stop asking, “Why did you cut your hair Palak?”

When I was in school, I wanted to grow up to look beautiful. In my eyes, I wasn’t beautiful as a teenager. I detested sun screen, so I was tanned throughout the year. I was too late to consider threading my eyebrows and as I recall someone told me that my face looked slightly manly. I did not believe in the concept of make up and I still don’t except for eye liner and lip gloss. Importantly, for most part of my school life, I wore a medium/long bob haircut and to me short hair never seemed beautiful. Every woman who I admired back then for her beauty had long hair, so my idea of beauty coincided with long hair. Thus when I decided that I have to look pretty for my school farewell, the obvious initiative on that front was to grow my hair long.

For one year, I did not get my hair cut. I used to massage my hair with hot oil at least once a week. I used to wear two plaits to school every morning. Barring natural conditioners, I did not put anything on my hair. At the end of that year, I had grown my hair to a reasonable length. As I believe, I looked pretty decent for my farewell. That farewell kind of strengthened my idea about beauty and long hair. I decided that I’d keep growing my hair. With time, I grew more apprehensive of salons, haircuts and hair treatments. I remember walking into a salon for a hair trim at the end of my first semester in college where the lady who managed the salon showed me a short hairstyle in a magazine. I got so terrified that she’d inconsiderately chop off my hair that I walked out of there and began reconsidering the hair trim.

Every time, I sat on the chair for a haircut, I insisted that only the dead hair and the split ends be cut and the hair length should not be compromised. If the barber cut them shorter than my expectations, I would mope for an entire week. I was conscious about using a single brand of shampoo and conditioner. Any time I felt that my hair feel rough after a wash, I switched brands. Eventually I grew wary of store bought conditioners, because my hair felt weighed down, so I started looking up DIY conditioners online.

In my final semester, I remember walking out of my hostel room one morning and realizing that the girl who lives two doors next to me has cut her hair. She had gorgeous straight hair, the kind that they show in shampoo ads and now she was wearing a short bob. For that entire day, I could not come to fathom that someone with such lovely hair would commit such an atrocity by chopping them off. The idea felt strange.

I graduated from college and moved back home. That year is not one of my good years. All I remember doing was re-reading Harry Potter. In October that year, I went for a hair trim before some dinner party. After I got ready, my mother told me that my hair look the same no matter what I do. That night, when I looked at myself in the mirror I could see what she saw. I always looked the same. I kept my hair open at most times and at other times I tied them in a pony tail. I could not do those fancy Youtube/Pinterest braids. In spite of being this invested in my hair for 4 years, my hair never grew over a certain length and my hair texture did not improve beyond a point. In fact, my scalp grew oilier with time, forcing me to wash them every alternate day. On some mornings when I woke up, my head felt heavy. That’s how I decided that I have to cut them short.

I first pitched the idea to my mother who out-rightly dismissed it citing my efforts over the years and that my hair are beautiful. Listening to her response, I scrapped my plans but only temporarily. With time, my hair started seeming like a liability to me. No matter what pack I tried, things remained constant. They stopped making me happy and the idea to chop them off kept revisiting me. For six months, I pitched the idea to every person I knew, and the unanimous outcome was that short hair will not complement my face according to popular opinion is broad. I even took a couple of online quizzes on whether I should cut my hair. I believe it is human to seek validation before you act on a decision. I was looking for that validation because I was scared that this might turn out to be an erred decision. I had doubts that I’d look ugly or messy or that I would never be able to grow my hair long again. So, I just wanted one person to nod their head in agreement but no one did.

It was April and I was headed out for lunch with my parents. That day as I was getting ready, I frantically tried to make my hair look less oily and that is when I decided that I have to put an end to this every day struggle. I told my mother in the evening that I am getting my hair cut short. We walked to the salon together. Once my hair were washed, a guy combed my hair and asked me how do I want to get them cut. I gestured with my hand slightly above the shoulder. He looked at me baffled but I told him that I have made my mind. He suggested that I opt for a hair treatment rather than chopping off a good 12-15 inches. I politely declined his suggestion. The woman who manages the salon insisted that my mother should stop me from giving up on such fine hair. But I stayed firm and that is how I managed to walk out with a medium bob.

When I looked at myself in the mirror, the hair cut appeared much more pleasant than what I imagined it to be. It felt light and it made me look young. My mother approved of it, my father said it reminds him of how I looked as a child and my brother-who was sick of my long hair- said that I am never growing them back. I asked my mother to take a picture and shared it with friends and family. I put the picture on Instagram and captioned it, ‘Just like that the tresses are gone’. Almost everyone I shared it with was taken aback at the abruptness of my decision. A cousin called it a wild brutal move where I butchered away my hair without any qualms. I had a friend who exclaimed, ‘But you loved your hair, why would you do this?’. As and when people saw me in person or in pictures, they felt sorry that I let such gorgeous hair let go. Another friend made me promise that I will grow them back.

For days, it felt odd because every time I ran my fingers across my hair, I got to the end too quick. Plus, I had a lot of time cleared up that was previously involved in managing them. Now I just had to brush them once and they were done. I could blow dry them in 5-7 minutes. I felt this strange sense of liberty not only because of the convenience that short hair came with but because I saw through a decision and it made me happy.

What my hair taught me back then was that when you come to attach yourself with something, you continue to invest in it incessantly. But when that thing ceases to satisfy you or make you happy or feels like a liability, then you should stop. I had an unhealthy obsession with my hair because I had nurtured an irrational idea that beauty coincides with long hair. Now that I look at myself and my old pictures, I definitely look better with shorter hair. I have people tell me that I look cute something that I hadn’t heard in years. It makes me look young, it makes me look sorted. For six months, I toyed with the idea in my head only because I was scared. Just imagine, if I wouldn’t have gone through with this, if I would have simply listened to all the warnings that came my way, I would have never realized that short hair appeal my face more. And I would have never been able to save myself the time, effort and dissatisfaction that came with my pursuit of beauty.

I learned three significant lessons from that haircut:

  • there is always a time to stop ploughing into a venture
  • have the heart to act on your decisions independently- it might yield good results and if it doesn’t you can devote your efforts to set things right; either way you will have an anecdote to share
  • beauty should never be standardized, let it be more like, ‘to each one their own’

Who knew haircuts could be this profound? At least I did not.

Also, in case you are curious, these are the before and after pictures.

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Of food that spells home and hope

Poha. I don’t have a count of how many times have I cooked Poha. I don’t even have a count of how many times someone has rolled their eyes over how often I cook Poha. That’s how often I cook it. As a kid, I never enjoyed Poha. Between my brother and me, he was the Poha person and I was the Maggi person. Sometime he would accommodate Maggi in a meal, some days I would accommodate Poha in a meal. After all, that is what siblings do.

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For the uninitiated, Poha is nothing but flattened rice. I grew up in Madhya Pradesh where no matter which city you are in, the streets are flocked with Poha Jalebi stalls. Poha is among the staple forms of breakfast in the state and definitely the healthiest, given that the other options are all deep fried- samosa, kachori, bhedai, to name a few. Not only that, it’s simple to make too, all you do is stir fry mildly soaked Poha in with salt, red chilli powder and turmeric, add onions and roasted peanuts and top it with namkeen, some extra masala and lemon to taste. However, it didn’t seem as simple when I first made them.

I was 12 and my parents weren’t home for a week, which left me, my brother and my grandmother at home. There was a Sunday when I proposed that we would eat Poha for lunch because I was sick of eating all those North Indian takeaways which basically are differently cut cottage cheese in cream gravy. My brother had his reservations because elder brothers always have reservations and because he found the idea- of his favored Poha being subjected to my experimental cooking- quite discomforting. An hour, an errand to the grocer and a couple of arguments later, I served him Poha which he told me was dry, needed a little salt and a lot of lemon. To me, it was Poha which did need salt but it didn’t need the green chilies, coriander, fried potatoes and that dash of lemon and sugar. I couldn’t understand why the recipe needed so many small ingredients and why did the recipe span across so many steps.

Over the years, I have learned to cook Poha. A lot of Sunday breakfasts at my home are made up of Poha. My brother who once eyed my Poha with contempt often favors mine over my mother’s. To him, what I make is the virgin Poha; I stick to the classic recipe without any deviations. And we do have a couple of deviations at our home, one recipe has fried onions over raw onions, one recipe includes peas and tomatoes, one recipe is Poha bordering on lines of Upma. But what I make is the classic Poha, the one that we have grown up eating.

I often joked that if I were to ever go in a Masterchef Audition, I would make Poha for the judges and spin an emotional story on how this stands for my childhood and my first serious step in cooking. My mother would then point out, how my chances of making into the Masterchef were so bleak, given that I didn’t cook at all. I knew how to make a few variations of sandwiches, instant noodles and pulao. Primarily, I was comfortable with a recipe that required salt, black pepper, red chilli powder and turmeric. But beyond that cooking seemed like a different ball game altogether. Why my mother had shelves full of medium to small jars of whole spices, ground spices, mixture of different spices, dried herbs, perplexed me. Every Indian household has a namakdani, a circular container with 9-10 small bowls to keep everyday spices and when I opened ours I couldn’t tell the garam masala and dhaniya powder apart. My mother who is not only a brilliant but a zealous cook occasionally encouraged me to learn a few recipes citing concerns over what will I eat once I move out of the house and what will I cook once I get married. But I never succumbed to her persuasions.

I moved to Bangalore in November last year. For a month, fascinating food made its way to my plate. Like the beetroot at lunch every Wednesday, the Greek salad which had more feta than vegetables to even qualify as salad, bland under cooked lady finger, lady finger cooked in a tomato gravy, pale green scrambled eggs with a hint of salt, under cooked chick peas and kidney beans, fried rice that contained a whole star anise in every second bite and lentils that had no gravy and no taste whatsoever. Thus, what my mother could not achieve in years, Bangalore achieved in a month. I made a call to my mother asking her for the recipe of Dry Urad Dal. That evening, I bought split urad from DMart and marched into the kitchen to make something that spelled ‘home cooked food’.

I put half a bowl of dal in one bowl of water. I added salt, turmeric and baking soda to it and let the water boil on the stove. As my mother had explained it to me, the trick here is to let the dal cook in the water till it is al dente. This prevents the dal from being a mushy mess once it’s finally done. The original recipe requires asafetida and cumin seeds, however I did not have any of them, so I stir fried garlic, onions, green chilli and tomato in that order. I added salt and red chilli powder to the vegetables and tossed the boiled dal in them. I let the dal simmer on the stove. Once it was cooked, I added garam masala and finally like a true Sanjeev Kapoor patron garnished it with coriander. Since one day calls for one experiment, I decided to do away with making dough and chapattis; instead I bought a pack of ready to cook chapattis from a nearby store. At the end of the meal, I felt satisfaction. My dinner reeked of simplicity, flavor and a little bit of home.

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That night and on the nights that followed I sent pictures of my food to my mother. She was surprised at the transformation and so was I. But like they say that necessity is the mother of all inventions and my kitchen experiments were probably a result of my longing for home cooked food. On the night of lohri, I craved the achari aloo that my mother usually makes with the oil and the spices leftover after cooking stuffed karela. I called her for the recipe but maybe she was at the Lohri celebrations and hence did not take the call. Finally, I fried the potatoes and made the masala purely on instinct. I took a bite and felt that though it was close to what my mother cooks, there is something amiss with the taste and the color. My mother always warned me that if you add garam masala during the process of cooking, the final dish will be of a darker color; since I was aiming for dark color with the potatoes, so I added the garam masala and it elevated the color and the taste.

Then one day, I made chhole (chickpeas). Because no matter where I had eaten chhole in Bangalore, they were never cooked through; they always felt slightly undercooked as if they needed another whistle in the pressure cooker. My mother has two variations for chhole as well- the one that we call langar wale chhole because I first ate them in a langar and the one that she makes with bhature. Langar wale chhole are cooked in a gravy of tomatoes, onions, ginger garlic and turmeric. However I am biased towards the latter, because they are both spicy and sour and make for a comprehensive feast for the taste buds. So I made the latter sans the bhature because one experiment at a time. The most cumbersome vegetable that I made was ladyfinger perhaps. The amount of attention it demands in drying, cutting, cooking and keeping it from sticking to the pan is baffling. I mean, if lady fingers were human, their behavior would warrant therapy for being so attention seeking.

Not all days were triumphant in the kitchen. I made over cooked moong dhuli dal. I hate overcooked dal but how do you hate the product of your own hands. If you have made the mistake of keeping dal in the refrigerator and eating it the next day, you will know how lumpy it feels while gulping. That is how my fresh dal tasted. My cousin and I spent two hours trying to make besan ka chilla and we started at 10 in the night. Two hours of our lives were dedicated in getting one chilla whole out of the pan and when we did manage that feat, it tasted dry. We scraped off the scrambled bits from our plates, listing out all the other (read better and viable) things that we could have made for dinner.

I cannot identify the exact stimulus which sustained my interest in cooking over the last few months. Cooking at home is definitely simpler, cheaper, tastier and healthier (read less creamy and oily). I have always enjoyed eating what my mother cooked for us at home over restaurant food. Given a choice, I would never go to a North Indian restaurant because my mother’s food is a very difficult yardstick to match. So maybe I find comfort in the fact that there are a few modest recipes where I can come close to what I have grown up eating.

There was this day when I was making kadhi and I took out 7-8 jars of spices. My cousin laughed and remarked, “Didi ghar par jitney masale hote hain woh sare dalne hote hain kya?”. (Do we have to use all the spices that we have at home?) Remember how I felt about all those small ingredients and steps involved when I first made Poha. Between that day and this day, I have made a huge turnaround. I no longer find the expanse of the spices housed in my mother’s kitchen perplexing; in fact I have a 16 jar spice tower which houses a variation of ground, whole and dried spices. I have seen quite an eventful (read tumultuous) 2017 and if I can come up with even one thing to smile about, I take the time and appreciate it. My transition in the kitchen is undoubtedly one of them. Some things just require a little effort and commitment. Sometimes there are hidden possibilities in what we are inadequate at. I took a chance at trigonometry after 8 years and I understood that; the same topic that led me to believe I’d fail my class 11 final exam. But that is a story for another time. This was about my takeaways from kitchen- an open mind, an honest effort and a little confidence can yield happy surprises.

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What about you? What have been your lessons from cooking so far?


In case you are interested in reading more about food and hope, you should hop on to my previous two part post-

 

Bangalore: Trail and Beyond II

The first post that I decided to write on Bangalore was going to be titled ‘4 Weeks and 4 Houses’. Because my first four weeks in Bangalore were in four different houses. The first house was the service apartment that the company offered me. It was a 2 BHK furnished apartment and made for a gloomy welcome to Bangalore. Why, you may wonder. Because I have realized that vacant spaces accentuate the feeling of loneliness. I was just coming out of my home to this colossal space entirely at my disposal. Everything felt strange and confusing. I even deliberated on the room I should sleep in because choice my friend. In retrospect, that room was a good decision because as I realized much to my horror later that week, the other room had a balcony, the door to which had no bolt. Now imagine how peacefully I must have slept, constantly imagining all possible ways for an uninvited person to enter the apartment. Add to that, the experience of going to breakfast buffet the next morning and realizing that you are the only woman without a hijab in the room. By the time the waiter brought the coffee to my table, I noticed that everyone’s staring at me, so I rolled the pancake and sipped my coffee on the way out.

The second house was my cousin’s who opened the doors for me with home cooked food, good coffee, television and affection in aplenty- all things that I hold dear. It was a Friday night when I moved to her place. I remember how my manager had advised me to not travel late evening and wait till the next morning to move. But I had gone back to the apartment with open curtains in the living room and a switched on geyser- two things I would never do before leaving for work. Before my paranoia over the safety of the apartment could resurface in full, I booked an Uber, packed everything and left. Even Uber endorsed my decision because of all the cabs that I had taken in that week, this one was unbelievably on time and devoid of any arguments with the driver. Maybe I yearned to be rid of the apartment, maybe I yearned to see a familiar face, maybe I yearned to talk to someone in Hindi, or maybe it was what the driver who drove me from the airport told me, you should visit family the first time you are in a city, it is comforting and I cannot agree more to that.

The third house was my school friend’s. I had to look for a house. Before I moved to Bangalore, on a friend’s friend’s recommendation, I had a look at this website called ‘Colive 247‘. If you have heard of Nestaway, Colive parallels their model but seems more reasonable and has single accommodation options. So, I shortlisted two flats which according to their website were fully furnished flats in a gated society. Now when I actually visited one of them what I saw was a big room divided into spaces  to make it look like a flat, in a society which had a gate, a deserted foosball table in the middle of nowhere, a guy in the elevator telling me that the WiFi just doesn’t work and a worked up prospective flatmate (worked up because I walked in on her when she was spending some quality time with her boyfriend). The flat had a bed and a mattress in the name of furniture and felt like an over stuffed carton with no room for ventilation. From there I began the quest for a house in Bangalore again. In order to visit the flats during the week, I moved to my friend’s house. Of our six nights together, I think we slept on two. Because we talked, mostly involuntarily, as if talking was something as natural and inevitable as blinking. I discovered Truffles because of her, I discovered the ubiquitous ‘V-335E‘ route because of her, I discovered samosa kachori breakfast in Whitefield because of her, I discovered shared cabs because of her, I discovered that the touted ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S.’ life can exist in real life too but importantly I discovered her again and that people can bestow warmth on you even if you have done very little for them.

The fourth house was my permanent address in Bangalore- if 9 months qualify as permanent. I remember a sentence from my English textbook, ‘Television sets are selling like hot cakes these days’. If I were to use that idiom in Bangalore’s context, I would say, ‘rented flats in Bangalore sell like hot cakes’. I lost two flats because I needed sometime for consideration. Almost every flat that goes on sale during the week is sold out on the weekend. So in a desperate bid, I paid the token amount of 5000 rupees on a flat. Because the house hunting began looking like a race to me and I had to come first at the end of this week. But somehow I didn’t like the flat much, something about it didn’t fall right with my gut. Partly out of instinct and partly out of newly acquired habit I kept scrounging through ‘Flats and Flatmates Bangalore‘ in a bid to stumble upon something that I was missing all along. Magically, I found this old ad saved in my bookmarks. It was a completely new flat and magically, it was still vacant. I visited the flat on Friday and it looked perfect to me.  It was a completely new property, the balcony overlooked a pool, the block overlooked a lake, it was accessible from my office, there was a departmental store opposite the apartment, the deposit was 15,000 less than the earlier flat, it felt breezy and calm and it just seemed perfect. Endangering the token (which I recovered a couple of days and Whatsapp conversations later) that I had paid on the previous flat, I moved in to the latter on Monday and strangely, the house still seems perfect to me.

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I have a lot of memories of ‘breaking in’ in the house and Bangalore. One of the first decisions that I made after moving here were to make a choice between a bed and a bonded mattress because I had the money for only one. I went to a furniture store right next to my apartment and booked a mattress which was going to be delivered the next evening. However, my parents made me revisit the decision citing my OCD for cleanliness and by next morning I found a second hand bed with mattress. I visited the mattress store in the evening to cancel the order and the sermons that shopkeeper made me hear on negligence sent me on a guilt trip for days until a baniya friend explained to me that his sermon was only a sales tactic employed to make me sway from the cancellation. I remember convincing someone- passionate about the craftsmanship of making a mirror- to make me a wall mirror for 800. I remember going to the departmental store to stock up on essentials and coming home with new found respect for my parents because maintaining supplies is such a tedious task. I remember going out for food with a friend, always overeating, always laughing at our quirky college stories and quirky flat stories and always finding new scoop on our best friend.

In January, another cousin of mine moved to Bangalore for six months. Most of the ‘breaking in’ in Bangalore happened after she moved in with me. I am one of those fortunate kids to have experienced those fascinating old school summer vacations at nana-nani ke ghar (house of my maternal grandparents). She has been an essential part of those vacations and when she moved in here, she brought that charm of garmi ki chhuttiyan to this house and my life. We finished our dinners with mangoes, we took detours for ice cream and chips, we teased each other by eating our Maggi Chings slow so that the other person finishes first, we played Antakshari on nights and realized that even after a decade we still recall songs from 1990s and early 2000s only during Antakshari, we watched old cheesy Hindi movies on Friday nights, we spent Sundays sleeping till afternoons, we went to a Baadshah concert and bragged our Punjabi by singing along every word to ‘Wakhra Swag‘, we queued for 90 minutes to take a roller coaster ride at an amusement park, we went on a scavenger hunt 18 kilometres away at 7 a.m., we did ‘I don’t know how many’ pizza nights, we made bad restaurant choices and good chaat choices together, we walked to the bus stop from our offices with chips and muffins in hand, chattering all along without any care in the world as if we are still little kids and as if this is nothing but that coveted summer vacation. We even tried doing the ‘sagan ka lifafa’ act (exchange of envelopes of money between relatives typically seen at the end of a visit to a relative’s house or auspicious gathering) and we cried the day she flew from Bangalore, just like old times. I remember how we used to text each other in October last year hoping that we’d up end up in Bangalore together. However I never believed it would happen because when do you get this lucky that you get what you wish for. But I got lucky, in fact luckier than I ever imagined.

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I have never felt comfortable at any place other than my home in Gwalior. I have never warmed up to the idea of having an address away from my actual permanent address. I have been in Delhi for three years and ended up disliking a city that I was always fascinated with as a kid. I have always cringed at the idea of change, in fact I recall shuddering at the idea of Bangalore as I packed my belongings. However, as I was telling my best friend last week, I like Bangalore. Bangalore has been the home to the many ‘firsts’ in my life, including the first of warming up to a new city. At the end of sixty days, I might not be here and it will feel odd to not go through the Herculean task of finding a cab for office and flinching over the surge pricing, it will feel odd to not wander aimlessly in departmental stores, it will feel odd to not mentally evaluate distance in terms of kilometers but in terms of time and traffic, it will feel odd to not cook dinner and sending pictures of it to my mother because both of us believed that I cannot amount to much in the kitchen, it will feel odd to go back to weather that demands fans on full speed and air conditioning and to a June that doesn’t have blankets, it will seem odd to not have your North Indian perceptions of South Indian food being challenged as you are presented with idlis that melt in your mouth, vada that produces a crunch sound as you bite into it, sambhar that is sweet, coconut chutney that has mint in it and dosa that’s fluffy and thick on the inside but ghee roasted from the outside. I think I cannot explain it well, but overall, it will be odd to not be in Bangalore anymore.


This is the second part of the post that I started writing on Bangalore two days ago. You can find the first part here.

Bangalore: Trail and Beyond

I have wanted to write about Bangalore for a long time now. But the handful of people who read my posts, know how little I write; often once a month and twice in a few lucky months. Once every two months, my best friend complains how spaced out are the chapters in the story I started writing in April 2016– which I was meant to complete in that month but still remains incomplete. I am not going make any excuses here, I am lazy, undisciplined and I allow life and people to affect me. That’s how, the post that I wanted to write on the Christmas weekend is being written right now.

Bangalore happened in my life at a time when things were not only not looking up lately but in fact were looking grimmer and grimmer by the day. My mother often remarks that I complain a lot. Partly, I agree; I had seen better days at a time when I barely valued them. But this time in early 2016, when I decided that I had to move, move anywhere on the map, I had a solid ground and more solid sense of desperation. In 2015, I worked on an assignment that required me to move in and out of the many plants of a pharmaceutical manufacturing unit in 45 degree Celsius when the person I was reporting to constantly reminded me that somehow my gender makes me unfit for the assignment. I ended up having a knee injury, a doctor ringing a threat of an approaching arthritis and branded inefficient for denying doing something that did not fall within the purview of the engagement. I walked with a swollen knee for 6 months and resentment that I have carried far beyond those 6 months.

For the latter part of 2015, I worked on a lot of things that required me to manipulate, the kind of manipulation that challenged the value education lessons I had imbibed deeply. The more I worked, the more I felt that the concept of ‘choice’ is being forfeited from my life. No matter what work was assigned to me, I was expected to do that without any qualms. I was expected to travel 50 kms a day for a month even when I complained of motion sickness, I was expected to work for 11 hours a day for August and September including Sundays for 1500 rupees a month, I was expected to sit through midnight on the last date of every return filing in a year, I was expected to put up that farce of sitting in office for 7-8 hours even when there was no work and ultimately I was expected to fold my hands and ‘beg’ for a small termination letter- essential to make the move official- and put up with a couple of malicious remarks. Now you see why I hate my career so much? My work took a lot of my confidence and a lot of my zeal away. In case you are regular a here, you can see why I sing no praises about my choice of career. I was desperate for change. I was desperate to make a move out of that place. So I moved to Bangalore, for professional reasons and in search of ‘mann ki shanti’ (mental peace) that an astrologer once told me I will never find. So I moved to Bangalore violating a strongly held notion that I cannot function anywhere beyond 300 kms from my family. Surprisingly, I did and so here I am putting pen to paper about my little adventure in Bangalore.


Since the story so far have stretched beyond the original estimated number of words, I have split this post into two parts. The second part which I will be posting tomorrow details on my stay in Bangalore.

The one too many half wits we meet in life

  • The one who is a hungry fly

That time when you are in the kitchen and cooking something for yourself or spending some quality time with your food, this person will hover around you, eyeing your food with greed laden eyes.  They will incessantly comment that your food looks delish or gourmet even though it’s just instant noodles or a tomato cucumber sandwich.  Feeding them once in a while is okay but constantly having them in the vicinity with eyes fixated on your food does not count as a pleasant experience.

 

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  • The one who is always whining

Have you met this person who is constantly agonizing over everything and everyone? For example, they may hate their job, they may hate the process of looking for a job, they may hate the ‘good’ offers that they are getting and then they hate that they were rejected for those offers. I am not against hate, hate all you want. But what sets me off is how vocal they have to be about their hatred and how little do they do to improve their lives. These people are never satisfied with anything that they get and they pounce on first opportunity to complain.

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  • The one who is always arguing

These are another set of vocal ones. No matter when you look at them, they are constantly arguing. Be it for their desk that hasn’t been set up or on someone not complying to their standards of punctuality or for a certain compliance that they have to oblige to. The moment you say something to them, they will pick a loud argument in an attempt to assert their point and establish their superiority.

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  • The one who is not so subtly sexist

We all know this one person who constantly pitches the idea of marriage and mentally clocks the birth of our children. They come up with remarks like 24 is the best age for women to get married because any later than that makes them undesirable in the eyes of a man. When you ask them about their marriage plans they deny stating that they have better plans for life rather than ruining it by getting married. They talk about girlfriends generically and question how do men put up with their girlfriends. They tell you that you cannot single -handedly look for a house or assemble furniture or get a deed executed or walk a km to take a bus or talk about a sport or discuss stock markets because you are a woman. And if you do any of these or the myriad of other things that they deem women incapable of doing they wind up the conversation saying that you are different, that you are not like other women. When you try to point out their sexism, they tell you that they cannot be sexist because they have a sister. Wow.

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  • The one with the flawed reasoning skills

Let’s imagine you have cooked potatoes but on tasting them you realize that they are slightly raw. This person will suggest that the potatoes- the ones that you bought fresh the same day- remained uncooked because they were rotten. When you explain the concept of acid rain to them, they throw you a puzzled look and render the theory of gases infusing with rain water a myth. They believe that the refrigerator will stop functioning if you keep a warm dish inside and that the microwave will blow apart if something is overcooked accidentally. I don’t know how, but they have the ability to jump to the least logical conclusion in every situation.

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  • The one who is smugly uninformed

I remember a friend asking another friend (who is based out of Karantaka) what language did she watch Baahubali in. She replied Hindi, to which he further questioned that why did she not watch in South Indian. She replied that it released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi and since she does not understand the former two, she watched it in Hindi. He then looked surprised that why did it not release in South Indian. You see how ignorant that sounds.

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I have known someone who believed that Kolkata is a state and that Darjeeling is in Kolkata. I have known someone who did not know who our first President was. I have known someone who thought that BJP and Congress are the only two political parties in India. I have known someone who did not know that when you carry a number from the denominator on the left hand side of the equation, it goes to the numerator on the right hand side and they were in college. I have known a person who did not know what evaporation is and said that it is not a part of their syllabus, so they are not required to know the same. I think a lot of credit goes to Karan Johar and Kareena Kapoor movies for popularizing the idea that being dumb is cool, but really it is not.

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  • The one who is a senior with zero regard for young

Have you been in a situation where you were required to meet someone at a senior position and they kept you waiting? You fix an appointment, personally confirm the same with them and then when you take a good 50 km detour to meet them, they are busy. It is not about them being occupied that sets me off but it is about that blatant lack of concern for your time, that unapologetic demeanor and that absence of basic courtesy to at least send a small message to reschedule.

I remember applying for an internship where the recruiter failed to call me for the scheduled interview six times. Almost on half the occasions, he reached me after days for rescheduling. After the 6th time, I politely declined that I cannot go through the never ending series of rescheduling, he expected me to understand that he was a busy man. While I understood the same what he failed to see was that even I had commitments that I was setting aside to make time for his offer.

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  • The one who is obsessively defensive

Picture this: X is a young man with a very naughty son. The kind of son who drives him crazy on days by making screeching noises, by ripping apart soft toys, by crying incessantly in social settings, etc. On some days, X cannot help but wonder how peaceful his life would have been without the prodigal son.  But the moment an outsider suggests that X’s son is stubborn and may be causing them a lot of trouble, X will hold their guard and completely oppose such a claim. At that point, X’s son will be a kind soul who has given them nothing but contentment.

This is simply one example of how defensive can X be. They use this trick every time someone voices an opinion contrary to theirs.

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  • The one who markets your opinions as their own

Imagine you told a friend that you want to go to Wayanad for a vacation. The scenic beauty coupled with a lost world appeal would make for a fulfilling visit. The next day your friend repeats the same sentences word by word to another person branding it as their own desire. It does not stop there. Your opinion on a stand up comedian, your taste in music, your taste in sports, your impression of your colleagues, your startup idea, your evaluation of a business model, no matter what you share with them, the next moment on, they make it their own. Things get strange, when they pitch your ideas to you calling them ‘original’. Just like the gift reshuffling on Diwali in an Indian house, they come knocking your door presenting a gift that you had given earlier.

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  •  The one with the noble intentions

Your friend gets rejected in a number of interviews. One night, in a non drunk conversation, they tell you that their parents believe the reason for their failure in securing a job is the people they socialize with including you. They further state that they agree with their parents. Over another conversation they call you cheap. They constantly put you in social settings with people you despise. They call you smug because you believe in helping yourself. They tell you that your analytical skills cause them stress. They tell you that they had requested their friends to compliment on your appearance even if they believed otherwise. They even tell you about that conversation with a friend where they concluded that you are stupid for not liking a movie. Basically, they say everything that could be deemed unfit for a pleasant conversation.

The moment you show that you are hurt, they say that your hostility is hurting them and they have always held bona fide intentions for you. All you can do is silently wonder that how can someone with such benevolent intentions utter such unkind words.

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Honorable mention: All the Ola/Uber drivers

  • who accept your request, ask you for directions, reach your pick up point and then deny going to your destination.
  • who accept the request but don’t even start moving in your direction until you call and ask them to do the same.
  • who accept and cancel the ride because they don’t want to cross the Marathahalli bridge or the Kundanahalli signal or the Sony signal or the Silk board or anything that comes in your way.
  • who claim that they are at the pickup location even when they are in an entirely different block. When you tell them to come to the actual location, they demand you to locate them.

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This was a small list of all the people who add that dash of thrill and excitement in my day. No matter where I am in life, I always manage to find people who forfeit my faith in humanity and add to the list of interesting anecdotes. Just when I think that I cannot run into someone more stupid, my life throws another funny surprise at me.

Here’s a small toast to the never ending loop of half wits that I get to meet in my life.

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What about you? Have you had the good fortune to meet the people I have mentioned in this post or do you have even better stories to share? Let me know in the comments 😀

Pokemon Go is like Campus Placements

I was one of the earliest victims to have caught on the Pokemon Go bug. I had never watched Pokemon as a child. The only instance that Pokemon surfaced in my life was in class 6th, when I had to make a cartoon character on a chart paper as a part of holiday homework (don’t think of the rationale of that, holiday assignments are never meant to make sense). Being the artistically challenged soul that I am, I passed it on to my cousin who made a Pikachu and that is when I registered the existence of Pokemons.

Earlier this July, a friend told me about Pokemon Go, that how one can find Pokemons in real time as they move around in their city. And  from what I recall, I told him, ‘That is so cool’. I have read many articles on the game, talking about the rise and decline and the rise of Pokemon phenomenon, about how it affects our economy, about how the game is the fulfillment of every fan’s childhood dream- to become a Pokemon trainer. Everyone is trying to rationalize the breakneck success of the game, but if you’d ask me why I decided to play, the answer is simple, ‘that it’s a cool idea’.

The day I downloaded the game, I wanted to take a long stroll and familiarize myself with the ways of the game. But for two weeks I just could not materialize on that plan. I caught 3-4 Pokemons within my home but outside was quite a dismal story because I did not have time. The only way to accommodate it in  my day was to take a morning walk which I kept on avoiding for the risks involved. Yes there are lecherous men but at the same time there is a likelihood of bumping into many Aunties that I know. All it would take are a couple of namastes and halfhearted grins for my Pokemon Hunt to transform into a Main Milansar Hun Mission (I am Social Mission).

So last Sunday, my dad had a few errands to run; because I am jobless (or mostly deemed to be jobless) I accompanied him. While I was in the car I decided to try my luck at the game. Somehow, luck favored me- which is rare with games and me-because I continued to find Pokemons everywhere I went. That stroke of luck lasted the entire day. In between grocery shopping , catching a movie and dinner outside, I managed to find 40 Pokemons, right from the comfort of my car seat, which is ironic because the whole point of the game is to get people walking but hey I am lucky and lazy.

Yesterday was Sunday, the day when I am deemed to be most jobless in the week and there I was again, in the front seat of our car. I had opened the app and was watching the screen like a hawk. Yes, I know the phone vibrates when a Pokemon appears on the screen but I have spent a lifetime being wronged by games, I could not risk missing any Pokemon. In the 40-45 minutes drive, I could only spot Rattata, Pidgey and Spearrow, that is, the three most non exotic Pokemons out there. The oddity is that it was the same route as last week, where I had caught a Venonat, a Krabby, a Poliwag and an Eevee and today all that buzzed my screen was Rattata. On my way back I missed a Staryu because my screen froze (read, that last year’s update to Lollipop is a gift that never stops giving). The morning drive turned out to be a great disappointment.

Come evening and I was out again, this time with a definite goal- catch whatever that comes your way Palak. Before I initiate further, you should know that I am always running short on Poke Balls, owing to many injudicious throws in the beginning of the game and a general fault in my assembling when it comes to sports/games. So I had 10-12 when I left home and I continued catching Pidgey after Pidgey. With some 5 balls in my hand I took an aim at a Pidgey with Combat Power (CP) 57; it was a great throw  (this is a game terminology and not an attempt at gloating) but it broke free from the ball. I took another great throw but that wretched Pidgey escaped again. I had already seen a fair share of disappointments with the game since morning, so I was in no mood take a wound at my ego by the likes of a Pidgey. I took another aim, it dodged the ball. I took a deep breath, measured the throw and when I flicked the ball, the Pidgey was inside the ball. That is when satisfaction hit me, that I had a decent Pokemon to speak for the last 5 minutes and 4 lost Poke Balls. It was then that I could peacefully walk into the store my mom had taken me to.

I was helping my mother look for clothes when my screen buzzed. I was shocked to see that I was surrounded by 2 Zubats, a Pidgeotto of CP 146 and a Horsea of CP 76. Without waiting further I pressed on the Pidgeotto, took a aim at it and caught it. I kept my eyes closed for a second praying that it does not escape, is is likely for a Pokemon of high combat power. Unfortunately it did break free and when I moved finger to take another aim I realized that I had no Poke Balls. Being surrounded by 5 Pokemons and having no Poke Balls in hand, if that is not hard luck, I don’t know what is.

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While I was moaning over my loss on the way back home, I remembered college and placements. We had three tiers of companies for placement, the highest paying super blue, followed by blue and then light blue (because I don’t recall what that category was named). Any student could accept only two offers. Come to think of jobs like Pokemons, initially we save our efforts for exotic offers because who likes a Rattata right at the beginning. However when nothing good comes our way, in a desperate bid, we take a leap at the blue companies. Now picture yourself ecstatic at having earned two offers from blue companies and there comes a super blue Pidgeotto striking at your doorstep. But what can you do do now, there are no Poke Balls left.

What you have, is a curveball thrown at you maybe because life wants you to understand the virtues of patience or maybe because life is that insensitive friend who never misses a chance to take a dig at you. I don’t know what it is for certain, but I have decided to not squander away my Poke Balls in haste in Pokemon Go and otherwise in life.


This is my Pokemon Go story, maybe a tad dramatic but wholly authentic. Do tell me about yours in the comments.

My life is a Red Velvet Cake- I

Over a certain lunch in December, someone said Red Velvet Cake and by the night I had decided that I want to bake one. Before you read any further please note that I am not a sweet tooth, I am a morbid calorie counter, I have no special affection for Red Velvet Cake and my association with cooking begins and lasts with  watching Masterchef Australia every year. I simply acted on impulse because someone had recently pointed out that I never do a thing on a whim. But that is a story for another time. Right now, I want to talk about how I decided to bake a Red Velvet Cake on an impulse.

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So this was Monday midnight, when I had set myself a goal. To cook something, you need a recipe or be that skilled at cooking that multiple impulses lead you to culinary perfection. Since I fall in the former category, I began looking for a recipe. I needed a recipe that did not require eggs because my mother is a vegetarian. I found many, courtesy Pinterest and patiently read through each one of them to single out one from a blog called Gayathri’s Cook Spot. However her icing was quite an Achillean task to achieve for someone like me who displays not an iota of finesse in the kitchen. My search for a frosting recipe culminated on a recipe from Martha Stewart, which required me to whisk cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence. Seems easy, right; however not that easy if you have no clue as to what cream cheese is. Yes, that is how alien I was to the world of red velvet cakes. I did not know what the velvet stood for. From what Google told me, making cream cheese requires two days and I did not have two days because the things with whimsical decisions is that they vanish as swiftly as they occur.

Come Wednesday evening and I went looking for packaged cream cheese. A friend told me about a store that he believed certainly sold cream cheese. I believed otherwise because they had once given me clueless stares when I had asked for Parmesan cheese.As it turns out, they did sell cream cheese, however in a tub of the size that could easily last for two cakes. I bought that because I believe in excess and I did not have an alternative.

It was six when I walked in the kitchen. I opened the recipe on my phone, placed it on the shelf.  I took out three bowls, a cup for measurement, a cake tin, a hand beater and a couple of spoons. I took two deep breaths and contemplated if I should be getting into this. Before I could think any further, I peeked onto my phone for the first step. It said that I mix the essence and cocoa powder in one bowl, mix the flour and the baking powder in another and beat the sugar and butter in another. I measured out portions for the first two steps and mixed the ingredients. For the third, I wondered if I should opt for yellow butter or white butter. Lesson for life: never give yourself a choice Palak, because other people may rationalize between the options but you will go on to over think and you do enough of that already. Yellow butter it was in the end.

When I looked at the pictures on the blog, Gayathri seemed to have mixed butter without melting it. I followed suit. It took me two minutes to realize that this could be the downfall of this entire exercise, that there was no scope for refrigerated butter to mix with sugar, howsoever aggressively I beat them. So I let the butter rest for a couple of minutes and then tried softening it with a spoon. It took me a good half hour to beat the butter and sugar and I still wasn’t confident if it was the right consistency.

Next, I had to add curd to the butter mixture.That got me thinking, if I had enough curd or any at all. One glance at the top shelf and there was half a bowl of curd placed behind the milk container. I needed 3/4 cup of curd and I had 1/2 a cup. It was going to be 7 which meant I won’t be able to get anymore from the nearby market as well. Here is what I did, I beat the curd with a spoon for a minute and deluded myself into believing that this is enough, this is exactly what the recipe calls for. I then added the curd mixture with the beaten butter and sugar. The butter and sugar was a thick lump and I was having trouble in completing one round of mixing the curd into it. What the consistent effort of moving the hand beater gave me was red butter smeared hands, that began to slip every time I tried mixing and since I am not blessed with promising biceps, my arms began to hurt. I then took an electric blender but the blade continued to get stuck in the lump of butter.

One hour down, all I had achieved was butter on my hands, butter on the hand beater and butter on the electric blender. I wiped the butter on the mixers with my hand, washed my hands and then gave another try at it. It just wouldn’t mix. I wiped the mixer again and washed my hands. As I wiped my hands with the already crimson towel, I wanted to cry. Cry at my stupidity on believing that I could bake a cake, that too a red velvet. Cry at my stupidity on forgetting that I am not cut out for kitchen.

Enough had been done, I could not foresee any fix that would make this process easier for me. Lesson no. 2 of the day, some things are meant to be seen from afar and admired and not to be reproduced by your own hands;  Red Velvet Cake was that for me. If life was nothing but a piece of cake, then I could see nothing but trouble ahead.

On that note, I walked out of the kitchen.


Have you ever tried anything out of character? Did you succeed at it? Or did you give up on it as I did with the Red Velvet Cake.


Image has been sourced from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Presently from inside my head III

  • In one of the few interviews that I have appeared for, I was asked about my weaknesses. I had very confidently spoken about my introversion, on how I take some time in mingling with people. At that time, I would always imagine what a nightmare would it be for people to work with me. But lately I have realized I may not be that bad a colleague. Yes, I may not flash a smile at you as you begin at my office or swarm my way through your lunch table conversations. But I might come of help on that day that you are struggling, crack a joke or two in crunch hour and be a continued source of information ranging from office politics to Pokemon Go. Or maybe I am a nightmare – not the kind that haunts you for days but the one that you eventually make peace with.

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  • I am not fond of my immediate superior at work, the woman that I have been reporting to for a year now. Our mindsets don’t match and our approach to work does not form a peaceful parallel. Naturally, I have never given her a thought beyond that office space and working hours. Last year, I had discovered a dear friend at work who left a month after we started talking. In the days that followed, I had felt a void. Like you have a joke to share but you cannot see the person who’d laugh the most with you or you are confused on a point but the person that you were least hesitant to approach is not sitting next to you. I would still reach my friend through a text or a call. But come to think of it, my superior has been working here for 5 years. She has seen many people come and leave, some of whom she must have enjoyed working with or conversing to. She talks lesser than she used you to last year and hers may not be a very pleasant situation at work.
  • I was one of the many unfortunate people who tried participating in Xiaomi’s 2nd anniversary flash sale yesterday. I managed to press the buy now button which led me to the Xiaomi Mi5 product page. I selected the model and the page continued to load for over ten minutes before I hit refresh. The app displayed the usual product page with a discounted price of 22,999. A friend told me that his app displayed out of stock the second it was 2 pm and that the browser’s timing was 2 second behind. On reaching the internet, I found many such stories where people with as fast as a 50 mbps connection failed to grab the coveted Rupee one deals. Some people verified the MIUI ids displayed in the winner’s list and as it turns out quite a many do not exist. Out of the hundreds of comments that I had read only two people claimed that they were successful in buying a power bank. The admin of Mi India’s facebook page continued stating that the stocks flew off in .01 second and there were other promising discounts that people should have a look at. But my point is, if that is what was meant to be the USP of the 2nd anniversary celebrations then why not be upfront about it. Why not publicize the discounts in the first place rather than putting up a farce in the face of a flash sale and tricking people. I know, rupee 1 is far too good to be true but that is how naive I am, I believe in good things and giveaways. I would have liked my belief to be upheld, even if it was for someone else.

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  • As a child, I may not have foreseen what I was going to become when I grow up but I had foreseen myself to be financially independent. I have always enjoyed saving whatever came to me as pocket money and then spending a part of that savings into a thing I sought to own. I am 23 and I am not earning. I am studying. I believe it takes a different brand of patience to be 23 and to not be earning. To be doing what I am not very confident about and to be believing every day, that this will fulfill at least one of my childhood dreams- being financially independent. I look at all the things that I can do, the places that I can be to, the products I could buy and how little have I earned in these years. I have not been raised in deprivation, my parents will happily buy me anything that I desire, I have a good amount of savings but right now I desire to freewheel with money and freewheeling with my parents’ money  will tantamount to one thing- guilt.

P.S. I think I am coming to enjoy writing in an unrestricted fashion because this lets me put whatever’s going on in my head to paper howsoever varied the thoughts may be individually. What do you enjoy more, writing with a sense of direction or carefree rants like this one?

Presently from inside my head- II

  • Have you been on Pinterest, seen all the DIY crafts and been excited to try them? I feel that, however I had never been remotely inclined towards anything that my crafts teacher made me do in school. It always seemed an inconvenience to me. Perhaps because she would ask me to get a poplin cloth or a matty cloth or some other cloth, and try embroidering a flower on that and then a leaf and then a climber. But did she ever ponder, what use would that cloth be of to me. Nothing. However, I can make use of a lot of things from Pinterest, flowers and fairy lights in upcycled bulbs, centrepieces from wine bottles, photo monogram or any of the mason jar crafts. Even if they may not qualify as being useful at least they will look stunning in the living room and that supersedes all.

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  • Don’t you think that they should just stop telecasting Friends? I love friends, I have my favorites too, ‘The one where no one’s ready‘, ‘The one without the skiing trip‘, ‘The one where Ross got high‘, ‘The one where everybody finds out‘ and most episodes from the first six seasons. However, from Zee Studio to Star World to Warner Bros. and now to Romedy Now, television has compulsively fed us with images from the lives of twenty somethings trying to survive in New York to the point that I am no longer fascinated to see them. I don’t laugh at certain jokes, the laughter track irks me now and I have analysed it to an extent that their world appears unreal, unattainable, something about it that cannot be reproduced given our economy and hostility.
  • When we are young, we constantly repeat to ourselves and others that we will not change. But I have changed and my perceptions have changed. I used to read a blog on Tumblr. Any post that I would read felt as it was my own life, my understanding of reality presented in better poetic words. I read the blog after some three months today and every thing seemed alien. I could no longer feel the resounding appeal of her work, I could no longer sympathize with her agony. So I say, I have changed. And this is simply one example of the many stances that have shifted lately.
  • Often when someone approaches us and bares their raw emotions to us, they don’t demand from us to make sense of the chaos. They simply want us to listen. I am not denying that some people appreciate being led to the solution, likewise some people want to clear their head so that they can unearth the solutions themselves. So, the next time someone wants to talk, do not draw out a pros and cons analysis of their situation, just listen, they’ll figure out the rest themselves.

Presently, from inside my head

If I am looking forward to an innovation at this point in time, that is a gadget which helps me transport a smell to another person. Like a small jar where you can trap the air in your vicinity and send that to someone so that they can smell the divinity you are surrounded with. How did I think of this? Every time I cook and I stand edged against the shelf, on the precipice of breaking into tears, it is the smell of the food that supplies me with hope of not having completely failed in my effort of bringing something edible to the plate. My food always smells thrice as good as it tastes. The time when I made coffee cupcakes, I was so drawn to the batter as I mixed the lukewarm coffee milk solution into the flour and the cocoa powder. Once the cupcakes went into the oven, the kitchen began to smell like a cozy patisserie round the corner. I had never imagined that I had it in me to cook something that smelled so magical.

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I am 23 and I should be earning. I am 23 and I should be earning. I am 23 and I should be earning. I am 23 and I should be earning. I am 23 and I should be earning. Who said being 23 came easy.

I want to be a success story. For instance a FitBit success story, even though I don’t own a FitBit but a Jawbone Up Move and Jawbone does not run success stories on its blog. However if it did I would not make it, because for that you have to move and I don’t move but sit and yearn to be a success at moving. If you think of it, the magnitude of your commitment to say x is directly proportional to the intensity of your desire to achieve x. I fail that relation because my desire may be very strong but I commit very little to it. So, afterall I am a success at something, of a being an exception to this relation. And I am not just talking about being a success at FitBit but making a general comment on wanting to be a success in life and the omniscient void when it comes to working towards it.

If you meet me in real life, I come across as a neat person. Eight on ten days I look neat. But these days there is something about my appearance that is odd, that is not neat. I haven’t been able to figure out what that is but I know that there is something, that irks me every morning when I am getting ready.

Imagine, you met a certain person at a certain place and point in time. Everyday both of you’d be in the same place, you talked and grew fond of each other. Eventually you reached a point in time that they moved to a different place. But you are in the same place and on some mornings you sit where you’d sit earlier and miss watching them walk through that door and want to resurrect that time in this time. Even though, to long for this, is pointless because you are both closer than you were then but the longing is still housed in your heart and is housed as a compelling guest that keeps on revisiting you.

On some days, I have this unexplained urge to go out alone for say a quick snack or coffee or looking for clothes and on some such days I have done that. However every time I am out alone, people look at me in a strange light as if there is something embarrassing or worrisome about being out and lonesome. So every time I am out on my own, I rush through the entire affair which is contrary of what I was trying to achieve, to be able to sit in peace, undisturbed. If only there was a way I could do this without thinking about others.

I don’t wear ornamental jewelry or conspicuous jewelry. I like an understated appearance. However I am wearing a black dress at a cocktail party in a month and I have bought a golden neck piece to go along with that. Now, every time I go through a shopping website I end up saving a number of jewelry pieces, minimal elaborate and intricate ones. The voice in the back of my head coaxes me to proceed to checkout. But I don’t. But I know that one day I will. One day I will end up collecting an entire lot of ostentatious jewelery that will always seem too tedious or unwieldy to wear.


 

Image found on the given link.