Saturday, December 15, 2012

Elementary School Shooting

I rushed to the elementary school to find my son. I was worried sick since the moment I got the phone call. I was already crying because I had a horrible feeling in my gut. I got to the school and found my little baby boy weeping next to a police car. His teacher, who was also in tears, handed him over to me with a weak smile. I hugged him and showered him with kisses. I picked him up and got into my car. On our way home, I had a change of mind and went to his favourite Ice Cream shop. I bought him the biggest one that he had always cried for. I had never bought it for him before since I knew he wouldn't be able to finish it and he would have to throw it away. As I had guessed, he ate just a part of it and we threw away the rest. Then, I took him to the beach and let him go a little closer to the water as he wished. Then I took him home and watched cartoon with him all day long. For dinner, we had nuggets and fries. Before he went to bed, I gave him his Christmas presents- all of it- even though there were 10 more days left for Christmas. I let him sleep late that night.

Earlier that day, as I drove to the elementary school, all I could think about was how I wouldn't be able to watch the excitement in my son’s face as he opened his Christmas presents. Maybe I had half a decade left to live with him. But maybe all I had was today.

For you never know… some maniac may turn up at your son’s elementary school and shoot him.

Friday, November 2, 2012

180 Characters And A Jail Pass

The Indian cyber world has been going agog since the news of the arrest of  IAC (India Against Corruption) activist Ravi Srinivasan on November 1st for posting a tweet against Karti Chidambaram, the son of finance minister P. Chidambaram has been released. Turns out there is a law that is against people publishing something online that is offensive that defames another person. If that was the case (and if the Indian government actually checked online) majority of the Indians would be behind the cold bars for the above said offense.
I find this quite absurd and disturbing that a free country like India has an act that curbs the freedom of speech. I believe that a man should be free to voice his opinion with no distinction between whether the opinion is acceptable or not. If no negative opinions are to be released, people would suffer as there would be no one to react against the unscrupulous corrupt acts of the government.

 Ravi Srinivasan has refused to apologize or take back his opinion. Good going, I would say. I hope this doesn't make the Indians take a step back from reacting against what is wrong. You can still find his tweet stating, “@ravi_the_indian: got reports that karthick chidambaram has amassed more wealth than vadra.” in his twitter account. Too bad he didn't realize that a 180 character tweet sent out to his 16 followers would land him in jail. Next time I tweet about my cat’s foul smell, I will make sure to ask him before hand whether such a tweet would put him in deep distress.

PS. He is now released on bail.

PSS. I don’t have a cat.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Touch With Feminism

Feminism had always fascinated me for I believe that I wouldn’t be able to sit here typying this out if it weren’t for the feminists that fought for gender equality years back. Recently, I came across something that brought out the feminist in me. Nothing much, but do read on.

I was on my way to my hostel after the weekend at home. I was at the railway station waiting to board the bus to medical college. The bus was so packed that there was barely any space left to breath. As I got on, I noticed that four men were sitting on the seats parallel to the driver’s seat. In India, those seats are usually reserved for women. In a country where the mightiest wins, this is a necessity. Just to confirm; I was new to being a residential Indian, I asked a woman standing at the tip on my nose whether those seats where reserved for women. She nodded in agreement as her hair went up my nose. I pushed forward and asked those men whether those seats were reserved for women. At first they didn’t seem bothered by my presence. But as I continued my “How could you?!” stare, one man turned and said, “mole avidey ninnondi” (girl, you stand there), in his funny dialect. I stood there and repeated my question.

Finally, my presence started to cause a stir in their personal space and they slowly got up. Not a second were the seats left without an ass on it. The moment the men got up, five ladies jumped at the occasion and sat in the newly discovered seats.

Me? Oh well I was left standing.

Ee penn vargam... nannaavoolla. Orikkalum.
(The women clan… will never develop. Ever.)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Freshers' Day- Part II (The Programme)

Read Part I before you read Part II.

The programme started with a welcome speech and then the seniors took to the stage. They called a guy from my class and gave him the first task; to hold a mic and lip-sync with a song they were going to play. They played "Gangeeeeey", sung horrbily by some senior. The guy lip synced quite well and that put off the programme to a good start. Then a senior, AJ, as I would refer to him from now on, and another senior, a girl, got on stage for a dance... a love duet. It was a slow song and it went on beautifully. The couple swayed romantically along with the song. AJ looked quite bored. Maybe a little embarrassed. After the dance was nearly over, the couple walked off the stage, with a flower in their hand, swaying to the music. They approached to the freshers crowd extending the flower in their hand. AJ came towards me, and my friends started nudging me. Some idiots called out my name and I felt a blush peeping in. Our eyes met, he smiled and then he turned, walked back and gave his flower to one of my clasmates, Anu. ET TU BRUTE? I swear!
The girl gave her flower to Harsh, my friend. Anu and Harsh were brought forward to the stage. They now had to do another couples dance to a love song. The dance went on gracefully with such elegance that they looked like Romeo and Juliet during their secret meetings. They ended the dance with Harsh nearly on the ground, presenting the flower to Anu. The task was so well done that it was the most applauded task among the others. I still tell Harsh that if he had given me the flower, I would have said yes a million times.
There was a loud applause from behind as a line of boys-dressed as girls- walked into the hall. They wore 'chattayum mundum' and golden earrings. They started dancing around the vilakku. As the song neared to its end, it changed its tracks and the barbie song sarted playing. The guys put on shades and starting jiggling to the barbie song. All in all, it was a crazy, funny routine.

The rest of the juniors got called up one by one or in groups. The remaining freshers thinned by the minute. One fresher was asked to drape an other guy in sari. It was quite the fashion with no pleats or folds or anything. It barely covered up the guy.

I was up somewhere towards the end, along with my roommate. This is the lame part. They asked us to rest a ball behind us and walk to the end of the stage. An easy -and did I mention lame?- task. As we reached the end of the stage, they said, "OK, you can go and sit." That was it? THAT WAS IT? It did not reach even one percentile of my expectations. Though I did not ever want to go up to the stage and dance or sing, I expected something better.

As the program came to an end, the first years' were asked to proceed to room number 210. It was time to eat. Two girls that were fasting went home. I didn't go since all my friends were there and I usually walked back with them. Though I had broken my fast earlier, I couldnt eat. I didn't care about all the guys in my class... but I was really bothered about what the random muslim boys outside would think. A girl usually doesn't fast only at particular times in a month. No, I wasn't going to let ANY boy think of me that way. Thus I continued my fast and helped the other guys eat by serving them. It was fun, I won't complain.

Later on, on my way out of the college, I asked one of the second year student why they had given me such a lame task to do. "Because you wear a scarf, we assumed you to be the silent type." Silent? Me?
For heaven's sake, please don't judge me by my head gear. I am anything but silent. I have three years in this college right... I'll show you. Oh i'll definitely show you. 

Freshers Day- Part I (My Marathon)

Freshers' day is a day celebrated to welcome the first year students into the campus. It was a long wait for me and it finally took place yesterday. The programme was organized by the senior students of the english department. The students had had their Freshers' day a week back and that had created quite the stir among the other students. We were informed at around 12:00 that they were giving us the party at 2:30 in the Chavara Hall. Anxiety and fear wreaked in the classroom. And thus, I begin the small story of excitement, fun and a bit of swearing.
It was 1:30 and the French period had just started. Our old and retired French sir walked in and started his usual speech in broken English about 'vous avez' and 'nous avon' (lets hope that how it's spelt). All of a sudden I felt a pull in my stomach. I nearly screamed. It felt like a pac man was gnawing at the flesh of my stomach. I felt nauseated. My friend, Abhi, kept on calling me from behind to let me know of some new joke that he had come up with. As funny as the joke was, I wanted to ask him to shut up. Suppressing the scrutiating pain, I waited for the class to get over. It was 2:30 and I had a choice to either go to my hostel and have my medicine or go for the Freshers Day party, taking in the pain.

I felt angry and betrayed by my body. And that's when the swearing started. "Fuck my life" I said as I got up from my seat. "What?", asked Vishnu, quite alarmed at my agitation. "I'm going home. This fucking pain is killing me. I may kill someone, anyone. If AJ asks, tell him I went home. Bye." And I stormed off. I walked... nearly ran to my hostel. I took the shortcut that I was told not to take and ran as fast as I could. This Freshers Day would not come around again and I knew I was going to miss it. On the way, a man, in a comment like way, asked me, "engottekka moley ottam?" (Girl, where are you running to?). "Goooo dieeee" I sang in a low voice. Please don't give me that look. I was really frustrated.

It was 2:45 when I reached my hostel. I broke my fast by  taking a pill and fell on the bed. I was dripping in sweat and I could barely breath. I laid there for 10 minutes and then I was up and ready to go. I felt calmer and more energetic. I changed into another salwar and I started my marathon run again. I reached the college by 3:10. My next task was to find where the Chavara Hall was. I asked a senior I saw on the way and she gladly pointed it out to me.

I reached the hall right when the principal was getting down from the stage after delivering his speech. Lucky me, I was on time. I took a seat behind Vishnu. She looked really surprized that I had made it back. I, myself was surprised.

And I finally felt glad that I was after all not going to miss the party that I had waited for so long. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

First Night- The Maniyara

Before any of the 100s of people that are here just because of the first two words in the title get hyper-super-duper excited, let me clear your anticipation. This is a post about what happened BEFORE the maniyara... not during or after.

Yes, I grant you permission to leave.

At around 9 pm, the new couple had reached home from the groom's residence. My sister, the bride, ran off to take a shower and the groom was swept off in the crowd towards his maniyara; the room given to the new couple. My cousin brothers surrounded him and demanded to be given Rs. 8000 in order to be let into his room. He took all the tricks in his pocket and tried to shoo them away. But the boys had made up their mind. I popped up in between and demanded that the girls get a share of whatever being given to the boys. After a lot of talking and a lot blabbering, the groom and the guys shook hands on a deal of Rs. 5000 where the boys get Rs.3000 and the girls, Rs.2000. Fair, that's what I thought, since they were the ones that did most of the dealing.
He was then taken down for a rich dinner, after which he was taken back to his room. The next demand made by the boys were that the money be given to them in ready cash that night. A couple of them were off to different states in a  few hours and they wanted their part then and there. F, the groom, swore that he had not carried enough cash with him and that he would pay them the first thing in the morning. An hour more of talking and the demand remained the same. It was finally decided that he would borrow from one of my father's brothers. For all I have, I just don't know how it happened, but somehow he convinced the guys and did not pay them one coin.

Then it was the girls' turn. I, along with 4 of my cousin sisters, took the bride to a separate room (a room that will one day be mine xD). There we dressed her up in 3 layers of salwar tops and 3 pants and a hell lot of pins pinning this end to that end. We tied the 'naada' (ropes?!) over and over again and plaited them along with all the other ones. We were testing S's patience, but she seemed to have a lot of it. we put on an inch thick of make up, tied her hair up in a ponytail, pinned a bunch of jasmine flowers, covered her head with her shawl, and then walked her to her room.

We stood outside her room and started singing mappila songs. The groom was inside, simply waiting with a smile. We demanded that we wouldn't let her in unless he either sang or recited a Surah. Since he did none, we swore we wouldn't let her in unless he did so.

After five minute or so of singing and teasing, he came and tried to grab her hand and pull her in. Now that's where things kind of got out of hand. This ragging kind of stuff is done by those young adults.. or youngsters between the ages of 13 to 30... or any one mature enough to understand what is going on. Four of my uncles started getting agitated. They started behaving as if we would make the bride sleep down on the floor and not with the groom. They started getting angry and asked us to let her go. We restated our demand but they didn't bother listening. F let go of S's hand and all the uncles, mighty a they are, started pushing her towards her room. Us girls tried pulling her back. This went on and finally she was in since we couldn't hold on to the mighty men. We were so angry because this was not how it was supposed to go. The adults were not supposed to interfere.

According to the plan, he was to pull her in, we pull her back, he pulls her in again and this time we let go and make a lot of noise till they close the door. That's the usual way. But this time, it was as if an angry mob had attacked and my sis got hurt. After she walked in, she started sobbing. In between the so called fun, her wrist got twisted and it hurt her bad. F started consoling her and the tension grew. "It's because of her", one of the uncles said, pointing at me. My eyes welled up, not for being accused, but because I believed it was my fault too. I went near her and asked her if she was alright. I felt a huge lump in my throat and asked her again. My dad got pretty tense at this moment and screamed at me in front of everyone.
Dad, screaming at me.
PS: This is not my dad. You know that right?

 I started crying and screamed back at him saying that she is my sister and that I shall stay until and unless I knew she was fine. I shouldn't have screamed but I was far from being concerned about anything else. S told us all she was fine and the crowd slowly started moving out of the room. Still crying, I took out the Dairy Milk Silk chocolate that I had been hiding and opened it to give F and S a bite.
 "Shubharambham", I said. For a good beginning.

I leaned over to my new brother-in-law and told him to take care of her.

"Definitely.", He said... and that's when I finally felt at ease.

The door was about to be closed when my sister put her head out, laughing.

"Pattiche", she said. I fooled you. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Please Don't Sing!

When I was in grade IV, I had just joined the school choir and was really excited to sing. The music teacher positioned himself next to the piano and motioned us to start singing. "When i'm down...", we began singing Raise me up by Westlife.

"Stop." The music teacher said. "Something is wrong. Some one is going off tune. Sing again from the beginning."

We began all over again, just to be stopped by him again.

"I can't understand who but someone is going totally wrong. I want you to sing individually."

Around 6 kids sang and then it was my turn. I just had to utter the first three words when he started laughing.  
"You are the problem. Haha! I'm sorry. We can't include you in the choir." He said oh-so-rudely. My eyes welled up as I walked off stage with a broken dream of being a world famous singer.

I guess the teacher felt bad later on, because he called me to the side and consoled me. "It's just that your voice is not going along with the others. Your sound is like that of a man. It's like two rocks being rubbed together. I'm sorry.", he apologized.


That day, I swore I wouldn't sing in public ever again. I kept my word except for singing around in the house. My sister swears her ears bleed, but my house is a place I don't give a S to what the world thinks of me. 

Me, on my grade 4 birthday.
My biggest fear at the moment? That I will be asked to sing by the seniors in college. As much as I do not want to ever defy them, I will have to. Lets just hope they don't get mad.

Can you sing?

Friday, June 22, 2012

College: Day II

My first strike =D. Not mine exactly. The KSU held a strike today so classes went on only for 15 minutes and we were let off. Since I had to pay off my first term fees, I went to the office. They made me wait for 2 hours; till all the students had paid their fees. That was the one reason what changed a lot of things. By the time I got out of the office, The college was nearly empty and all the girls had gone home. There were some boys in groups sitting here and there. 

As I walked towards the gate, I heard, "chu chu". My heart raced as i foresaw the future. "chu chu" it went again. I turned. 7 to 8 boys were sitting on the steps. "chu chu" was their way of calling me over. I went halfheartedly. I kept turning back to see if my saviour of a friend was anywhere to be seen. No such luck. 

"Come Here", they said. 
"Are those sandals the new fashion?"

"Yeah it is." I lied. It has been around for a long time now.

"Is it new?"

I merely nodded.

"Don't wear it from tomorrow onward"

and then it went on. I stood there and listened to all their criticizing comments and taunts. I responded cheekily at first and then realized silence was the better choice. They called me over smart and over zealous and what not. They asked me which school I had attended previously and I paused a moment wondering whether lying would be a better choice. Being an NRI brings along with it a lot of 'jaada' so its a common fact that many of them don't like NRI students.

"Far" I responded. and I regretted it right the next moment. "Abu Dhabi", I added.

"You couldn't tell you Abu Dhabi properly? You think we don't know where Abu Dhabi is? Do you know English? Can you speak properly? We'll ask you in Malayalam, you reply in English. OK?" Around 5 of the guys spoke at the same time.

I looked around all at the same time and I froze. They were such handsome men. Why did they sound so angry? One of them particularly interested me. I noticed that he was the one that taunted me the most. He looked so frigging adorable.

I wished deep inside for them to let me go.

"Go." they said. I heaved a sigh and continued walking to the gate.

"chu chu" There it went again. This time from another side. I turned and saw a lot of guys on bikes.

"Come here", they called. My heart sank and I didn't have it in me to go through it all again. I walked towards them with my head down.

"Sania, you go." I heard my senior friend say those magical words from behind the crowd. I did something between a walk and a run  and I was out of the college within seconds.

Around 5 minutes later, I was still walking towards the bus stop when there it went again. "chu chu". I swore in my mind and turned to where I heard the noise from.

"Come here.", two guys called. This time, I took whatever I had left of my courage and said I have to go and walked away.

"We'll see you in college tomorrow. Beware." They warned. Some how, I didn't seem to give a POS about them. I later found out that they were just some by standers trying to misuse my situation of being a fresher.

I swore never again to walk alone in the college. 

TTYL.  Let me go buy a new paid of sandals. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

College First Day

After fourteen years of school life, my expectations of a college life were over the roof. It was a long wait and finally, today, my first day of college came along.

At 9:00 AM in the morning, I had already missed my bus and had come to college with dad. I stood there, outside the college gates and took it all in for one last time. This is it. The beginning. A deep breath and I was in. 

A senior guided me to my classroom. Four girls were seated, one in each bench. I went and sat next to the prettiest one in a multi coloured dress. We sparked a friendship on the spot. By each passing minute, more students walked in and before long, the class was half full with girls. Then walked in the boys. Five of them. My subject is B.A Functional English; not much demanded by the male crowd. We hoped more would come in later on. Sadly none more.

As we sat there, discussing what college would be like, a lady in blue and white walked it. Frankly, it was hate at first sight. She stood next to one of the student and asked her why she was smiling. Senior; Trying to rag. "why are you doing this? why are you doing that?" she went on and on. "Don't laugh" she glared at us. She looked at me and spoke more fiercely, "naaley muthal, full scarf chutty varanam. ok?" (Wear full scarf from tomorrow onward). I nodded. I was prepared to do what the seniors asked me to do, unless it degraded myself. She got up, gave us a glare again and walked away.
Thankfully, the other seniors seemed to be more friendly and fun. They were banned from entering our class to prevent ragging. Therefore we stayed confined in our given class as long as possible.

Later, when I met a male friend of mine standing outside my classroom, I (obviously) went and spoke with him. After he left, the Blue-White chick called me again. "Why are you talking to him?", she inquired. She seemed to be in love with the glaring business. "I know him. Thats why." I replied. I was losing interest in being scared. She seemed more irritating than scary. "Don't talk to him. Don't try to be that friendly." She said. Oh.. Only if i could ask her to mind her own friggin business. I kept my mouth shut and walked back to class.

Towards the ending hour, I was called by 3 guys, again, to be questioned about who I am. They weren't rude. Just showed a bit of seniority and I was free to go.

And that, was my first day of college. A lot more happened, but nothing much of importance. Tomorrow is an other day. Another day of hopes and expectations. Insha Allah, I will love this college.

I guess I already do.

Thank God.

PS: So freaking many cute guys! Oh trust me, I'm going to LOVE it out her ;) 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Beauty: Not To Be Appreciated

I hail from a very democratic country, India. But if you ask me, I would say that my household is anything but democratic. Freedom of speech is one main problem we all face; especially girls like me with a huge mouth. I can start talking and not cease till I feel satisfied. I am never rude and I make sure of that. I say what I think and don’t always think about whether the others like it or not. According to me, a fire in my mind is better put out than let burning. 

Recently, I was exaggerating the beauty of the houses, one my father’s and one his brother’s. The intention in my mind was to let them know how grateful I am for all their help and how magnificent their hard work was. Too bad that I did not know it would all strike me back one day. My mom pulled me in and spanked me with a lecture about how to keep my mouth shut. It turns out you aren’t supposed to speak about the beauty of things because if some day something happens to it, I would be blamed. They would say, “She had her eye on it since the day she saw it. She is the reason for the doom of it all.” I gaped with an open mouth when my mom informed me of how it didn’t matter what my intention was, all they heard was that I really liked it and I had an eye on it. How absurd is that? 

This is a common ideology in India and many other places too, I guess. That is why many parents insist on putting a black mark on their child’s face. They believe that when a passerby looks at the beauty of the child, his eyes would be diverted by the black mark on its face, thus, his ‘eyes’ not falling on the child. Absurd, I tell you. Stupid superstition. 

I believe in it minutely too, I can’t say I don’t. But I find it weird that a beauty cannot be appreciated. Taj Mahal must have broken down to debris if it was for this superstition to actually be true. 

Someday, I want to be around people that won’t mind when I talk what I actually feel like and where I don’t have to hide my true feelings about anything. That’s the real democracy. That’s where you can voice your opinion and be heard and not taken negatively. That’s where I will raise my children. 

After all, what is beauty if not appreciated? Would you rather be quiet and silently enjoy a masterpiece or tell it to the world and let them know what you feel?

Friday, May 25, 2012

The 14 Year Old Boy

As I embarked the last flight to India, I reminisced on all the flight experiences I’ve had as a child. A date popped into my mind and I knew that was by far the best flight memory I have had.

It was June 20th, 2006. It was the last day of school, but I had skipped it to catch my 4 hour long flight to Calicut, Kerala which was via Trivandrum, Kerala. The school was hosting a party and I was going to miss it. I was definitely mad. I sulked all the way to the airport. While waiting in the line to board the flight, I was nudged by a little girl who, you’ll come to know, made my day. This girl, well, she had a brother. I am a little lost on how I’ll explain this to you, because this guy was and still is the biggest crush I’ve ever had in my entire life. Maybe he liked me, maybe he didn’t, but that somehow didn’t matter. I felt like a geek fantasizing over the football quarter back. The girl told me that her family was also boarding the same flight. I was ecstatic.  No, that’s an understatement. I just about cried with joy. Missing the school party no longer mattered. The cute boy was in my flight. Nothing else mattered. The world was perfect.

I distinctly remember wearing a long black skirt with a white shirt. He wore a black shirt paired with a tattered out blue jean. He looked enchanting and I gawked gladly. After boarding the flight, I crossed my fingers and silently prayed that he would be seated next to me. I wasn’t that lucky though. The flight seats were divided into six seats in each row as 3 and 3. Between these seats, there was a small gap through which you could see till the far end. I strained my neck and looked through it with some hope of spotting him. Imagine my surprise when I saw a familiar face looking back at me through the same gap. He was seated around 10 rows from mine and he still turned to have a look. My heart raced and I felt a rush of emotions. 

The gap between the seats
The stare-athon went on for the whole duration till we reached Trivandrum. I opened my Harry Potter book in between just so that I didn’t seem to be having an fanatical disorder. The flight took a break for 10 minutes in the Trivandrum airport. I knew he wouldn’t get down over there so I sat at ease. I guess he did not know whether I would descend or not because I saw him get up and having a good look at all the seats. The flight was almost empty when it took off for Calicut. I had 15 more minutes and this would all be over. I hoped time would go slower. We hadn’t said a word to each other but we both seemed to know what was going through each of our minds. He looked so delicately featured at that age of 14. I knew I could stare at him forever.

We landed safely and the passengers rushed through to get their luggage. I walked slowly because I knew the story was coming to its end. I stood back while my dad and elder sister went to get the luggage. I couldn’t spot him anywhere. I believed he went to help his dad out. I patiently waited and muttered up the very little courage that my 13 year old self could. When I saw him walk by for the last time in a long time, I waved. At least that’s what I intended to do. I had frozen. My hand paused in air and it looked like I was saluting him. I felt my cheeks burning as I slowly withdrew my hand. I was relieved when he grinned and returned the salute. I strained to see which car he was getting into. But the crowd was moving swiftly and my mom pulled me to get into our car.

It was raining heavily and I couldn’t see anything. I hoped I would see him again. I didn’t know that it would be 4 years before I saw him again. I don’t know whether he liked me back then. But I firmly believed that he did. No one used Facebook back then, and so, it was hard to get in contact with him. When fate finally let me let him know about the crazy emotions I felt for him, he had already moved on and had a girl friend that went to school with him. I went into a state of desperation and went to the extent of begging him to be my boyfriend. He declined politely and told me that I would be his second option if he hadn’t met his present girlfriend. I know he sounded like a jerk, but for the 14 year old me that was hope. I met many more boys after that but no one ever had the same effect on me. I was mesmerized by how he leaned when he stood, how his hair looked really unfit for his head, how his freckles looked like tiny beauty spots. It took me 5 years to finally get over the fact that he would never look at me the same way he looked at me from the flight.

I fell for a boy at the age of 11. I was 16 when I finally got hold of my life and let go of it all. But I know that if he walks past me right now, my heart would race and I would shudder for words.

I barely know him now, but I still love that 14 year old boy that travelled with me for 4 hours.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Facebook, Until Death Do Us part

The bride walks elegantly down the aisle, towards the man in a black tux. His eyes admire her for a moment and then his hand is impatiently tapping on his iPhone. He had just updated his status on Facebook. "My beautiful bride is walking down the aisle. Aren't I the luckiest man?!".

After the priest had said his speech and the couple had exchanged their vows, the priest spoke, "I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now change your relationship status." The couple returned to tapping their phone and changed their relationship status from 'Engaged' to 'Married'.

Sooner or later, this will be the scenario. Maybe, this has already happened. I was reading this online when my sister ran into the room. It seems her friend had updated her status, and it was worth hearing. She read it out loud for me and my mom to hear.

She said, "GOING TO THE LABOUR ROOM. Pray for me guys!".

After a fraction of a second of shock, we all burst out laughing. This lady was going to the labour room, probably in a lot of pain, and she gets time to update her Facebook status. I am not criticizing her act, just merely laughing at it. Her intention might have been to let all of her family and friends know of her situation, and I support that. But this event proved how much reliant on Facebook we are. Lets just hope that her husband or a friend updated her status for her. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Funday Sunday

The volunteer group with the kids. 
I had recently gone for a volunteer event held by an organization in Abu dhabi. The event was specially held for the specially challenged children to just play and have fun. We, the volunteers were asked to help them out in times of difficulties. I had a lot of fun running around and playing soccer with those kids that were purely innocent. They were not afraid to speak their mind. And somehow, that made them superior to all the other "normal" people. They were truly special. 

One boy, I believe his name is "Gaiz", was the center of attention for quite some time. And her is why...

He was kicking a ball when suddenly, he placed his right palm on his chest and slowly sat down. For a fraction of a second, we all were silent. Ours eyes widened as we looked at each other. As soon as reality hit, all the volunteers ran towards him and crowded around him. We could see the pain in his face. His eyes were tightly shut and he was breathing heavily. two girls ran to get help. while the others remained to try and help him out.

Within a moment, a man who had come with the special needs children came forward due to the chaos that was around the boy. He asked us to move and then sat cross legged next to the boy. The boy still looked in pain but the caretaker didn't seem to mind. After a while which seemed to be so long due to our fear, the caretaker poked him slowly and asked "Over?"

The painful curve in the boy's face turned into a smile. He opened his eyes and started laughing. He was up within a moment and back to running with the ball.

The 12 volunteers stood there dumb-founded. A minute ago, there was a boy with a possible heart attack and now he was happily playing with the ball. The caretaker, who spoke very little English, comforted us. He said, "He was joking. Always joking."

The boy had fooled us.

Around half an hour later, he fell again, but this time, we all laughed nervously hoping that he was just joking.

Yes. He was still joking.

The boy lying down is the heart attack faker.
And that's me behind him. =)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What's your story?

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms” ~ Muriel Rukeyser

Trains are my most cherished mode of transport. This is due to a variety of reasons including the freshness, companionship and speed of the mode. Last year, during my vacation in India, I happened to board a train to go to Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It was a 6 hours journey and thus we had chosen the sleeping compartment. This is not the normal metro train you see in this modern age. I am talking about century old trains running on steam engines (like the Hogwarts express).

I occupied the top bunk which was reserved for me earlier. After all the lights went out, everything fell into silence and all I could hear were the rustling of the train engine and the white noise of the wheels turning on the rails. As I started twisting and turning to get some sleep, I noticed some light emission on the opposite bunk. Since I wasn't getting any sleep, I turned to gawk at the person. It was dark and staring in the dark is licit. The light suddenly went off and the person started talking.

Inside the train. 

"Urangiyo da?" (did you sleep, my dear?). By his sound, I assumed he was a man in around his 20s.

 "I'm sorry", he said again. I could hear notes of regret and sadness in his voice. This was followed with some murmurs and nods. 

I must have fallen asleep somewhere in between because the next time I looked, 4 hours had passed and the man was no longer in his bunk. He must have gotten off at some station. I cursed myself for falling asleep. I wanted to know what the man looked like. Did he have a beard? Was he tall? Did he have black eyes?

Unanswered questions kept popping in my mind. I felt uneasy and curious. I wondered who he was talking to. Maybe a lover? What is his story? Does he have a lot of friends?

For the next few days, these thoughts clouded my mind. Every person I looked at, I looked at differently. Every one has a story. Every one has their baggage. I don't know the story of the man that occupied the bunk next to mine. But I'm sure he has a novella of a story to say. 

Every train journey has a story to tell. For some time, we all are a part of the same journey to our final destination. Some may live while some may perish... and that's their story. 

Has there been an incident that has changed your perspective?

What's your story? Find it, tell it, share it and celebrate it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Salt and Ice challenge

I was surfing through videos on Youtube when I saw around 10 videos relating to a challenge called "The Salt and Ice challenge". Usually, all the cool things that people do involve resources that are unavailable for me. This one required only salt and ice.

Yes, I ran to the kitchen.

My sister gave me the crazy look when she saw the cheeky wide grin on my face. I was excited! I powdered my arm with salt and then placed ice on it.

(^ this is not me)
Do I regret it? A little bit. I did not even feel the cold of the ice for a bit. And then it started to sting. That's when i dropped the ice and ran water through my arm. The spot where I place the ice turned first white, then pink and then a deep red. IT started burning and stinking all at the same time.

The irritating sting refused to let go even after around 10 minutes.

I was planning on trying the Cinnamon Challenge too.

I changed my mind on trying challenges. I am too much of a chicken.
Buck Buck baaack 

On the other hand, a heartfelt thank you to David Powers King for giving me a shutout on his blog. Do check out his blog everyone. =)

Have you tried any of these challenges?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Surprise! I bear no gifts

Gifts are a necessity at parties. When you are invited for a birthday party, the host may ask you not to bring gifts. But you should NEVER go without gifts. They may not be expecting it but deep down, they are.

When I was in grade 6, I was invited for a birthday party. The birthday girl was one of the "cool" girls at school and I felt excited to be invited. I picked out my favourite dress and assorted my best ornaments and was ready to go. I decided I would buy her a gift on the way. Since I was a kid, I was broke, and so I asked my mom for some cash.

"Why do you want to buy her a gift? She is inviting you because you are her friend. Not for your gifts. "

I tried to reason with her and told her it would be rude to go without any gifts. My mom was adamant and refused to lend me cash. She said something about our religion and celebrating birthdays.

I had half an hour to make a plan. I took out my card stock, oil paint, stamps and ink and sat down to make a card. It turned out to be pretty decent. Inside, I wrote

Don't worry about the past, It's gone.
        Don't worry about the future, It's not here yet
Worry about the present, because I haven't got you any.

I was embarrassed to show up without any gifts. I did any way! She had the most amazing  ice cream birthday cake and I enjoyed a lot at the party.

When her birthday came around the next year, I was sad but not surprised when I was not invited for her party. Though I got to know who my real friends were, this was quite an embarrassing event for me.

Now, I buy gifts for everyone since I have some good amount of stocked up cash.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Things I've done

I found this in a tumblr post. I had to cross off the things that I had already done. Kinda puts everything in perspective. The things I haven't done yet and the things that I have actually missed out on doing. Makes me feel like I haven't seen a 6th of what this world is all about. Try this out yourself.

Graduated high school. 
Kissed someone.
Collected something really stupid.
Smoked a cigarette.
Got so drunk you passed out.
Rode every ride at an amusement park.
Gone to a rock concert.
Helped someone.
Gone fishing.
Watched four movies in one night.
Gone long periods of time without sleep.
Lied to someone.

Snorted cocaine.
Failed a class.
Smoked weed.
Dealt drugs.
Been in a car accident.
Been in a tornado.
Done hard drugs (i.e. ecstasy, heroin, crack, meth, acid).
Watched someone die.
Been to a funeral.
Burned yourself. 
Ran a marathon.
Cried yourself to sleep. 
Spent over $200 in one day.
Been on a plane.
Cheated on someone.
Been cheated on.
Written a 10 page letter.

Gone skiing.
Been sailing.
Had a best friend.
Lost someone you loved.
Shoplifted something.
Been to jail.
Dangerously close to being in jail.
Skipped school. 
Had detention. 
Got in trouble for something you didn’t do.
Stolen books from the library.
Gone to a different country.

Dropped out of school.
Been in a mental hospital.
Watched the “Harry Potter” movies.
Had an online diary.

Had a yard sale.
Had a lemonade stand.
Actually made money at the lemonade stand.
Been in a school play.
Been fired from a job.
Taken a lie detector test.
Swam with dolphins.
Gone to Sea World.
Voted for someone on a reality TV show.
Written poetry.
Read more than 20 books a year. 

Gone to Europe. 
Loved someone you shouldn’t have.
Used a coloring book over age 12.

Had surgery.
Had stitches.
Taken a taxi.
Seen the Washington Monument.
Had more than 5 IM’s/online conversations going at once.
Had a drug or alcohol problem.
Been in a fist fight.
Suffered any form of abuse.

Gone surfing in California.
Had a hamster/guinea pig.
Pet a wild animal.
Used a credit card.
Did “spirit day” at school. 
Dyed your hair.
Got a tattoo.
Had something pierced.
Got straight A’s.

Been on the Honor Roll.
Known someone with HIV or AIDS.
Made-out with someone.
Played on a sports team.
Snuck out of the house.
Swore at a teacher.
Gone laser tagging.
Had a boyfriend/girlfriend.
Been on the TV.
French braided.
Driven a car.
Performed in front of an audience.
Been in love.

Had a blonde moment.
Been on a train.
Seen a ghost.
Gone bungee-jumping.
Been to Mexico.
Crashed a car.
Sky dived.
Been kissed in the rain.
Made an 11:11 wish.
Drank alcohol.
Forwarded a chain letter.
Made a mistake.