Sunday, December 28, 2014

Quirky Chhokro: PK Review

PK is a movie that talks about maintaining a good looking physique and a streak of quick adaptability if you find yourself naked among a group of people. And Raj Kumar Hirani does just that, and so intelligently, with the knowledge that OMG! Oh My God had exposed the crux of his work stark naked a good two years ago.

Aamir Khan as an alien on a mission to find his missing remote wanders the streets of Delhi in search of God, the keeper of all things unknown. His search takes him through various religious customs and practices, and the movie reiterates the message from Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar to the tee. However, despite the blow of a used idea, PK holds itself together like Fevikol ka jod.

If there’s an award for intangibles, there’s nothing more deserving than Aamir Khan’s ability to treat every project with the sincerity of first love. To compare the sheer dedication with which Aamir has lived the character of PK with the effort the other Khans put in their projects would be sacrilegious. Right from his silent imitation of dance steps in “Tharki Chhokro” to his airing of frustration at a workshop of god’s idols, it does not pain me to know that Boman Irani and Sanjay Dutt did not get their expected share of screen time.

Raju Hirani comes across as a man whose face could be superimposed on the classic Mickey Mouse watch from Disney; looking at which would make you smile, irrespective of your age, but the fact that it’s always Mickey’s hands that rotate around as needles could be either appreciated as a signature style or be flouted for its lack of creativity. The resemblance of the movie with Hirani’s previous works is so uncanny that you can actually play Zoobi Doobi to the video of Love is a Bhesht of Time and none would be able to tell the difference. The presence of a questioning protagonist who is both quirky and lovable, a lady who serves the role of an ignorable love interest, music that tries hard to bring back memories of a time when lyrics actually mattered but fails to impress, and humor that you can enjoy with your family make this movie as enjoyable as it seems familiar.

However, unlike Hirani’s previous projects, PK dips to the Mariana Trench in the climax. While the first half effortlessly makes you believe in a concept from “science-fiction”, the climax makes it just as hard for you to digest the possibility of “Sarfaraz ko phone lagaao” and everything that follows. It seems like the writers answered the first few questions beautifully on an exam, but scurried through the last for paucity of time.

Overall, the film does justice to the time of the year at which it’s been released, leaving a sweet after-taste after the hotch-potch that was served in 2014’s main course. While both Aamir and Hirani take the cake, the movie leaves you nice and contended, wishing only for a Tapasvi-ji print mink blanket to wrap around yourself in the cold.

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Dummy's Guide to Paeri Pauna

While “bending over” and “going down” on your family members may have incestuous connotations in the West, it is quite the way of offering respect to your elders in India. The question of whether to paeri-pauna or Namaste an elder has an answer as simple as that to the question of peanut butter or jelly: it’s best to go with both. However, in this age of time-is-money, here’s a little guide to help you demarcate the paeri-pauna worthy from the Namaste candidates.

The thumb-rule to follow in performing a good paeri-pauna is to remember that there is an inverse relationship between the level of generation and the extent to which you must bend: older the generation, lower you bend.

So, a well performed paeri-pauna on your dada-dadi and nana-nani is one in which you bend it like it’s yoga time and reach for their feet. The chacha-chachi’s, mama-mami’s and bua-fufa’s can be satisfied by just touching their knees. The only exceptions here are the ones who complain of goddey-mein-dard. Their age puts them at a weird stage where despite belonging to your parents’ generation, they’re retired and have grandchildren. In another twenty years, you can expect them to be all: Main toh apne par-potey ko goad mein khila ke jaaungi. With such stubbornness on their part, it is best to round up their generation level and reach for their feet, lest you want a lecture on your sanskaar.

Moving your hands upwards for the even younger generation, it is completely acceptable for you to bust your cousins’ nuts. Most of them deserve it anyway, given how they have to be all good in the eyes of your parents and cause those unhealthy comparisons.

Moving on to more complicated relationships such as friends of said elders, you must touch the feet of all your grandparents’ friends. Given how most of them are above the age of seventy, they are used to everyone touching their feet all the time. It becomes a habit: you try to break it, they break you. So, be in their good books and go all the way. Offering to carry their veges whenever you run into them in the colony gets you extra aashirwad points.

However, there’s no real requirement for you to touch your parents’ friends feet. A warm Namaste with a fake smile that shows such joy on meeting them like they’re doppelgangers of Deepika Padukone will be enough to feed their egos. Unless your parents ask you to touch their feet, which is mostly a subtle hint towards: kucch saal ruk jaao, inki dosti ko rishtedaari mein badlenge. Take some learning from the above and know that even though “Hi, uncle” and “Hi, aunty” seem perfectly fine to you whenever you see your friends’ parents, if it’s someone from the opposite sex you’re trying to impress, remember that the way to his/her parents’ hearts is through their feet.

Now that the basics are clear to you, be careful and avoid some traps that a few relatives may set up. If some elders stop you from paeri-pauning them, not letting you touch their feet with words like, “arrey arrey, buddha banayega humein”, you must not throw in the towel, but keep pushing to touch their feet even if they bend and grab your arms. ‘Cuz if you give up, you will bring immense embarrassment for your parents, who will force you to touch the said elders’ feet, while arguing with them through the words, “arrey, baccha hai aapka”. And if you emerge victorious, you will make your parents’ chhaati swell because of the sanskaars they have raised you with.

Another situation that commands attention is a family function when all the relatives stampede the arena one after the other. You may feel like saving on some energy and keep touching all the pairs of feet, one after the other, as they appear in a continuous order, without even looking up to see who you’re greeting with such respect. I know it’s tempting to bend once and finish it all at once, but watch out for the cousin who will walk in right at the end of the queue and you will end up touching his feet. A slight chuckle might follow, causing you much embarrassment and restraint from busting his balls in front of all the elders present. Be alert to avoid such faux-pas!

And if by now, you’re sick of realizing how you respect others while no one respects you, know that the Golden Rule of Paeri-Pauna applies the other way round too. Younger the generation, least you bend to touch them with your hands. Haven’t your parents been paeri-pauning you on your face all through the years? What more respect do you want!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Ghar Aaja Pardesi: The California Boulevard, Gurgaon

You know how there’s an unwritten rule about pooping your gut out before going for an Indian wedding? It helps you clear enough gastric real estate to realize full worth of the shagun ke paise right down to that one rupee. However, the opening of The California Boulevard (TCB) at Gurgaon quite recently demands for such a rule to be written down in ink on something as sacred as Amitabh Bacchan’s right arm, with the word “shaadi” replaced by the restaurant’s name. Because, it would be nothing short of blasphemy to visit this holy shrine behind IFFCO Chowk Metro Station on a stomach half-full.

TCB’s first restaurant at Rajouri Garden left quite a few enthralled by the sheer passion with which the team had brought together themes of Hollywood, Harley Davidson and international music to a part of the capital for which beat-boxing is nothing other than the sound of heavy sirke-wale-pyaaz induced burping. But just a year since its inception, TCB has finally hit G-Town, a place where it more belongs, and how!

With a larger area to put their love for Hollywood on display, the place takes you back to the time when you first crossed the Gurgaon toll booth and were amazed by the city’s resemblance to Bangkok; except this time, it doesn’t take a giant like DLF to give you a glimpse of some foreign land. While the signature Harley at the entrance and Walk of Fame remain, the restaurant boasts of a “Regal Cinema” replication that plays classic Hollywood movies in HD and a bar that looks stunning, to say the least. Further, the two striking surf-boards and a Lakers Basketball wall piece that adorn the open smoking area are sure to dazzle your eyes even if, in all honesty, you’ve never watched any sport but cricket.

To all the Baniya’s who fit the description of “paise toh aa gaye but class nahi aayi”, TCB is the perfect place to learn how to spend one’s money and create an ambience which is nothing less than that offered by the Westin’s and Vivanta’s despite keeping it well within the budget of the Honda City’s and Hyundai Verna’s.

However, the primary selling point of the restaurant lies not in its d├ęcor, but in its hospitality and product offering that complement each other wonderfully. It all starts with a valet escorting you to your table, after which the management ensures that your glasses remain full and your entrees arrive at the perfect time. The service seems so impeccable that if one were to understand how the management keeps a watch on all your moves, sensing your every need, it would be creepy as creepy could be. The fact that a personal attendant remains camouflaged in the vicinity and comes to your attention as soon as you require may leave the over-anxious worrying about the servers almost hearing all the poop jokes that you crack with your family at the dinner table. But the staff’s non-judgmental eyes are quite reassuring. And it goes without saying that not all dinner company is as obsessed with bowel movement humor as yours truly.

If one is known by the food he eats, TCB is sure to put you through a multiple personality (dis)order, but in a good way. The menu flaunts of offerings from Italy, Mexico, Japan, South East Asia, Arab and Europe, all done beautifully: authentic, where necessary, and fusioned where found magnificent. The Mezze Mezze, Spring Rolls, Quessadilla and Bruschetta are nicely done, but Dilli ki Chaat and Paneer Sushi remain the stand outs. The former, for the crispy spinach base, and the latter for giving a fancy touch to what is basically a paneer and mushroom pakoda. But both, most importantly, for catering to the heavily Punjabi taste buds that we carry around Delhi NCR.

The chef’s originality shows in a number of dishes, like in the sensuous Khumb and Singhade ki Galouti, and in the TCB special Kulfi Gazzak, which on first look appears to be a block of chocolate, but as soon as the server blows on it with a flame torch, the chocolate casing melts, hinting at an inviting kesar kulfi underneath. The dessert screams food porn like none other as there’s no better description for it than imagining a chocolate nigga’ pressing on top of a Caucasian kulfi in the heat of the moment, missionary style. Uncomfortable sounding to most, but we all know that it’s worth it.

It goes without saying that the team at The California Boulevard knows its business from the back of its hands. The more than generous portions of zucchini, egg plant and other vegetable assortments in the form of Greek Vegetable Moussaka and Cheese Enchiladas among many others stand evidence to the fact that both Chef Karen as well as the proud Harley loving, Sardarji owner, Rajan, make beautiful mothers. You can almost picture Rajan looking at you lovingly while you have your food, proud of the fact that he could make you have your veggies. He ensures that your trip to the restaurant is like a trip to your maaika, where your magnanimous mother gives you much more than she takes. He stands at the exit to see you off, with tears rolling down his cheeks. It’s difficult for him to hide the love he feels, or maybe, it’s just Karen chopping some onions for her next creation, which you must catch while it’s still fresh to eat.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

An Honest Summary of Half Girlfriend

If Chetan Bhagat’s contribution towards making Indians read has to be depicted graphically, the graph will take the shape of a bell curve. I mean, yeah, he got a huge population hooked on to some easy literature, but if he’s going to continue writing Bollywood screenplays in guise of books, you might just think of saving some effort and skipping the 250 odd pages of text to go for the big picture stuff directly. And for the few who wouldn't care for the movie either, here’s presenting an honest summary of his latest: Half-Girlfriend.

Half Girlfriend is very cleverly marketed as a story of Madhav, a Hindi speaking Bihari who falls in love with Riya, an elite Delhi girl at the prestigious St. Stephen’s College. It deceives you into believing that the story would revolve around the travails of a person who cannot speak English. However, it is a story about being horny for someone way above your league and then giving it the name of true love. Considering the number of guys who jerk off to images of Deepika Padukone every day, the plot seems relatable. Only if it were as easy as whacking the weasel.

The leading pair makes it to the esteemed college through the sports quota. It’s a fact that need not have been so explicitly mentioned in this Dummy’s Guide to Indian Stereotypes. Because, how do I put it mildly? They’re both dumb as fuck. The two bond over basketball and soon enough, the Bihari suggests games involving her basket and his balls. Riya, who isn't up for such shenanigans, forces on him an arrangement of half-girlfriendship, which is understood to be a relation more than friendship but excludes the physical-whisical. (Super shit deal, I tell you.)

The Bihari male hormones soon get the better of Madhav, who professes his love with a: “Deti hai toh de, warna kat le.” Riya chooses the latter and kattofies, telling Madhav to never contact her again. Months pass before the Bihari boy can gather the courage to speak with her again, and when he does, Riya hands him her shaadi ka card complete with chocolates and stuff.

Heartbroken, our man throws away the card and cries his eyes out while pocketing the chocolates. Why? Because free food trumps true love, that’s why.

With Riya married off to a hotel-mogul in London, Madhav realizes that there isn't much to look forward to in Delhi. He therefore decides to go back to his village Dumraon to help his mother in running her rural school. But before he leaves, he sits for placements for HSBC and makes the panel realize that the interviewers themselves are facing a mid-life crisis and need to STFU. They offer him a job because all it requires to land a job is to go all mean girl. (I don't know what a casting couch is, but a casting grouch is this one. Totally!)

Madhav declines the job offer and leaves for Bihar because it makes a good scene for a Bollywood movie- idealistic and shit. Except, not really.

Madhav, or Mr. Jha, as we will now call him, starts helping his mother at her school, where they need funds to build toilets. As the government officials are unable to help in any way, the next obvious step is to wait for Bill Gates to visit their school and give them some money. Who thought about making some moolah by getting a job at HSBC instead? No one, because we’ll get the founder of Microsoft to build our toilets, FTW!

As luck would have it, Bill Gates decides to visit Bihar with his team from the Gates Foundation. To get Bill to pay their bills, Mr. Jha has to organize a little song and dance performance for the delegation and deliver a speech in English. (And this is when you realize why he being poor at English is the central theme of the story. And this is also when you fail to understand what he was doing at St. Stephen’s for three years. Oh wait, he was trying to get into some girl pants.) #Prioritiezzzz

Jha-Man soon enrolls himself for some English classes at Patna, the city where he also runs into Riya. ZOMG, how did this happen again! Totally did not see it coming! (Totally, did.) Riya is now a divorcee and is working with Nestle. Madhav, with renewed hope of love, now helps her with setting up her little apartment, and in return, our lady helps him with his speech, telling him to read Chetan Bhagat to improve his English #LOLZZZZZZ

Very close to the day of the big speech, Madhav takes Riya home to his mother, who gives our pretty lady the stares. The newly-in-love do some jumma chumma de de on the terrace, after which Mr. Jha delivers his speech and gets a lot of money from Mr. Bill Gates.

Immediately after the grand event, Riya memsa'ab goes missing. When Jha sa'ab goes around looking for his lady love, he receives a letter from Riya in which she tells him about her terminal lung cancer and how she has decided to go underground and die alone because she doesn't want him to take care of her in her last days. More like: enough of your nonsense, gavaar. Except, the letter ends with an “I love you”. (Girls, I tell you.)

Jha-Boy looks for Riya-Babe all over Dilli-Bihar, but to no avail.

Three years later, Riya’s landlord from Patna finds some of her journals from the apartment and hands them over to Madhav Babu, who thinks it will be torturous for him to go through them because her painful memories will come rushing back. So, what must he do with the journals? Keep them safe in the attic? Throw them away? Burn them? Hell, no! Take them to Chetan Bhagat, he says.

(At this point, you’re all like: Dude, this makes absolutely no sense! I mean, what has C-Bag got to do with this?)

Apparently, Mr. Bhagat is also confused to see the journals. He is told that Riya had asked Madhav to read Chetan Bhagat’s books to improve his English, so that’s how he thought it would be best to take the journals to the author. #LogicDividedByZero

Because if there's one symbolic memory that you have of your half-ex, it is of her being a supporter of Chetan Bhagat's literature. *slow clap*

Let’s just say that we’re glad she didn’t ask him to read Wren & Martin.

Moving on… Madhav, who we will now call Dr. Logic, tells Chetan to dispose of the books the way he pleases. Mr. Bhagat bids Dr. sa'ab goodbye and dumps the journals into the garbage bin before he decides to go to bed. Except, with so much literature lying in his book rack aka the koode daan, his conscience is all like: Bro, utth ja. Dekh shayad koi story mil jaaye picture banane ke liye.

Chetan then reads the journals through the night and phones Dr. Logic early morning. Dr. sa'ab reaches C-Bag’s room soon enough and is asked to read some of Riya’s diary entries. #Picture Abhi Baaki Hai Mere Dost

Through the journal, Madhav learns about the domestic violence his lady had to go through in her marriage, about how she was sexually abused as a child and about how Madhav’s mother had told her to stay away from him because of which she had to make up the cancer story and leave Mr. Jha to his own misery. (Wow, so much plot twist. *yawn*)

Dr. Logic remembers that Riya always spoke about wanting to be a singer at a bar in New York and therefore, she must be in New York. (Here, we accord him the title of Sherlock.) Mr. Holmes requests a few of his friends at the Gates Foundation to get him a three month internship in Manhattan. They oblige and Sherlock travels to the Big Apple in search of cray-cray. On his last night in America, he finds out where the crazy woman could be singing, runs seven miles in the snow to reach her and stands in front of her while she sings with her eyes closed. #CreepyFeelzzz.

Riya opens her eyes at the end of the song and both cry like do kilo pyaaz katwa diye. Then the couple heads over to Riya’s place to do what bunnies do because poori book mein nahi kiya.

(So much naatak for just one moment of action! I mean, college mein hi settlement ho jaati toh all of this drama wouldn't have happened. Too much moral of the story, this.)

The story (umm?) ends with Mr. Chetan Bhagat being shown around the rural school by Madhav and Riya, who are now married and have a son (awww?). Also, this Chetan is very vella, visiting schools and all!

Given how the storyline has so much depth, it is worth mentioning that through the course of the book, the author touches upon all possible social evils that he can spell out, including but not limited to illiteracy, domestic violence, corruption, casteism and sexual abuse. There’s also a hint of cancer and hygiene. But most importantly, the book is about the two biggest social evils of all: an author’s attempt to star in the movie adaptation of his book, and stupidity. Both, not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Open Letter to Shah Rukh Khan

Dear Shah Rukh,

I always thought that if I ever find the opportunity to speak with you, I would tell you how proud I feel to have studied at St. Columba’s School. The school has been one of the prime institutions of the country for generations, but regardless of all its qualities, the fact that you went to school at Columba’s has made me feel just a little bit more special about calling it my alma mater. Similarly, I feel proud to be a resident of the colony you grew up in, to be sharing the same sunsign with you, and to have had a prolonged fascination with girls from Modern School.

With such devout fangirling and unwavering faith on my part, complete with getting myself a “COOL” locket from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, I think it’s about time you realize your responsibilities and stop making me look like such a fool.

I’ve always maintained that you’re one of the wittiest actors in India, with immense class and an unmatchable persona. You’ve delivered some brilliant performances earlier in Chak De, Swades, and uncritically all over Karan Johar’s fluff bazaar. You’ve been funny and charming, almost emitting some divine light from your dimples every time you tilt your head and do that thing with your eyes, like magically pouring Roohafza into a glass of milk only with your gaze. But if you pick up that glass of milk and throw it at my face like you’ve been consistently so in Ra.One, Chennai Express and now HNY, expecting me to like it, I’m sorry but I’m not trying to spend a suhaag raat with you. Today, I find myself to be in complete agreement with the review of your latest movie given by none other than a gentleman whose idea of wit is “good night and kiss to pillow and kick on ass of mosquito”. I think I deserve better than that.

For years I have judged fans of Salman Khan, picturing them being chin-slapped as you raise your arms in slow-mo; imagining them being shot by a machine gun whenever you go all hiccup-laughter. I’ve appreciated Aamir for his perfectionist spirit, but still held strong that your personality trumps his even on your worst days. But today, you’ve failed me in my attempt to look all pretentious, proclaiming how all rickshaw pullers love Salman Khan whereas you are the beloved of a more sophisticated audience. Your behavior now resembles that of a baboon who has climbed too high a tree to take a dump, and then lives in a false belief that the lowly denizens of the jungle will worship his droppings like a divine fruit from the heavens, with nutritional content of lauki or some such.

Yes, your movies are still making money, and I’m glad that you’re the second richest actor in the world. But does it please you to know that whenever people are asked to speak of your best works, they all take names, none of which belong to a recent time? If it’s all cool with you, I don’t see any reason why I should complain. Maybe, we’ve just developed into people with different tastes and I’m the one who doesn’t understand your idea of entertainment. Maybe, every time that you raise your arms in the air, I wrongly interpret it as a gesticulated depiction of your steadily increasing lameness. Maybe, I’m just jealous that my facebook home feed is full of status updates from girls who I’ve been crushing on for years, stating how they know that your movie is going to be idiotic, but Shahrukh love *starry eyes, hand-hearts and SRK nipples*. Maybe, I’ve been a faux-fan, whose love for you hasn’t been as unconditional as that of many others. Or maybe, I’m just really jealous of your hair. Maybe! But if getting an eight pack does that to people, I think I know why I won’t be working towards an abdomen like that any time soon. I just love my pack of chips too much. It's the Farah Khan to my Shah Rukh of a tidh. Unhealthy, yes, but who cares as long as I'm ready to spend money on a bag of air.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pitthu Times in Faridabad

There’s a certain kind of pretentiousness that comes with growing up in an all boys’ convent school. Not only do you learn about the difference between the pronunciations of “the” before a consonant and a vowel pretty early on, but when your relatives get together for a little celebration and ask you to “beta, prayer sunaao”, you immediately start off with “Our father, thou art in heaven” while the cousins from the DAV’s go full gung ho reciting “Humko mann ki shakti dena”. The only kind of competition you can offer to that is with the Gayatri Mantra, the meaning of which again is not something you’re aware of and the cousins immediately take over to explain the arth, even if explaining the arth to the arth would be quite a challenge for them.

I grew up dealing with such issues, trying to reconcile myself with the fact that what my school friends called “Lock and Key” was more popularly known as “Vish Amrit”. It was embarrassing to admit that chants like “posham-pa bhayi posham-pa” were way more fun than shouting about your pockets that followed the song, “I sent a letter to my father”. However, I was glad that life offered some solace in the form of annual visits to my maasi’s place in the summer vacations.

Even though my maasi lived in Faridabad, which is now almost a conjoined twin of Delhi, but it wouldn’t be out of place to state that back in the 90’s, it was more like the elder brother who decided to take care of the kheti back home, so that the younger Delhi could study and go to the UK. Faridabad is where my cousins got out of their house every evening and rang all the doorbells in their street to collect the kids for a game of maaram-pitti and pitthu, so that they could after-party with “Dum-sharaaz”, who still roams about our country dealing with a name mispronunciation like it’s a Qutb-ud-din-Aibak in LA.

I grew up never mentioning the game of pitthu to anyone in school, being skeptical about the kind of reception it would get at a place where Pokemon cards and Gameboys were a thing consequent to family holidays to Dubai and not because of a Hindi-dubbed cartoon channel. It may make me sound extremely unaware at this age, but I still feel that a lot of my school friends have never experienced the joy of sorting pieces of marble from a construction site into a little pyramid bang in the centre of a road and then syngergizing as a bunch of ten into a cricket formation. It’s sad how despite being such huge cricket fanatics, so many of my peers would probably not know that pitthu is a game with an equivalent of a wicket keeper and a set of fielders, all trying to hit the member of the opposite team with a ball while he re-stacks the pieces of marble that he had struck with the same ball a minute earlier. They probably wouldn’t be aware of the irony that the “bowler” and the “fielders” are in opposing teams. And how the game has some influences from baseball, where three strikes or misses in breaking the stack on part of the bowler lead to his dismissal.

My trips to maasi’s house were full of evening games, pakore, camping activities on the terrace over a chaarpaai and moments with my cousins that remain close to my heart till date. It was also my cousin sisters who taught me how to cycle, breaking the belief that boys are more macho than girls quite early for me in my growing years. Pedalling on my cousin’s bicycle while she held it from the back and then constantly blabbering to her, not realizing that she had let go over a minute ago, helped me get over the fear that I would never be able to ride a motorbike as an adult. Well, I still haven’t ever ridden a motorbike all by myself, but knowing that if I ever need to, my cousins from Faridabad would come to my rescue real quick, is a sense of relief that I can sleep with every night.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Tattoo With A Double-E

I know tattoos have probably been around since the time everyone from my grandparents’ generation decided to get an Om symbol etched at the back of their hands, but times have changed. If I so severely judge my printer every time that it begs to get itself inked, that high maintenance son of a Canon, I see no reason why I wouldn’t judge someone who shares the same interests as my inkjet despite not being an accessory to my internet-running-machine. My facebook feed is infested with pictures of flabby arms with a red swelling that would’ve been better if given by a hundred mosquitoes, but sadly, almost always, a tattoo machine and a brain that fails to see the future are to blame.

I would probably stay shut if the little body art has got something to do with your mom, but if your best defense will be that you got her name written in Chinese, some Yo Momma shit is got to get real. So, here’s a list of tattoos and what my brain thinks they say. ‘Cuz my brain is like Shakira’s hips. *Hi5* if you can make the inference, and if you can’t, congratulations for featuring on this list.

The Dragon Wagon

I know you love Honey Chilli Potatoes and Gobhi Manchurian, but asking your tattoo artist to copy the design from Berco’s menu card on to your bicep will only end up making you look as Chinese as the bees rupaye wali diwali lights. There are certain things you need to consider before you get that dragon on your body. Like, if the Singapuri noodles you have at the fast food van are actually called “Chomin”, or if looking up Hentai on Google Images will throw some pictures of hens wearing neck-ties, or if the only reason to travel to Thailand is Bangkok massage, and a realization that “abey, yeh lady-boy toh apni Katrina se bhi zyada sundar hai.” If the answer to any of those questions is yes, you don’t need a dragon tattoo, praa! You already think you have a dragon locked in your skin fit jeans, no?

My Name is… *Chica Chica*

If I could explain Maslow’s Need Hierarchy to you, the world would’ve been a better place. But we’ll do with a Thick-Brained Hierarchy till then, and it goes: For every person with an IQ defined by a fraction with the denominator zero, there is a need to remind himself of his existence on the scientific chart for nomenclature of living species. A constant urge to know that you belong to the class “homo sapiens” aka humans is not extinguished till you get an indelible mark on your body that screams out your name, staring at you as a permanent reminder of your inconsequential existence defined by the number of selfies taken in Maurya ka bathroom with the hashtags #selfie #maurya #loo #justafterpee #nohandwash #badboy. To cut it straight, you get your name tattooed on your arm and wear Being Human. You’re like the god of cool. All hail Salman bhai.

P.S. I meant Rushdie, but never mind.

The Floral Butterfly and the Tribal Ribald

I’m a big fan of the flowers and the butterflies. They speak originality like they are Made in China products. Where did you get your tat? On your ankle or the lower back? Or your shoulder so that it shows when you wear a tank top? It’s lovely how you think you got it because you resonate with the butterfly, which symbolizes freedom from the pupa but is still answerable to the pyo-pa every Saturday night with a: “papa, friend ke ghar pe padh rahi hoon” while dancing to Honey Singh with the Jaanu.

I also love how your Jaanu has that tribal thing on his shoulder. It totally goes with your nature inspired design. Why don’t both of you run to the forest where you belong? Here, take some aashirwad while you go. Scoot!

The One Word Deep Metaphor Something

Wow, you’ve got some deep shit printed on your skin, yo! Your wrist says “Breathe”. That’s a good reminder to self if you’re Hazel Grace or Baba Ramdev. Same difference if you don’t know who the first is! I also notice your brethren with words like “Success”, “Courage”, “Forgive” and “Forget”. What are you noble sire? Seven characters from Deepak Chopra’s tweet or a motivational poster bought off Janpath with a bad illustration that is your face?

The Henna Tattoo, FTW!

Now this is one tattoo I’d recommend you to get if you haven’t already. Why don’t you get the one in which they make a checkered section on your palm and full solid orange colored blocks at the top of your fingers with one diagonal trail of flowers running down your index finger at the back of your hand? That’ll add one more person on my friend list to make me feel weird about people getting married already. But, I don’t mind! Anything as long as I get an invite and your shaadi has some good Chinese in the name of honey chilli potatoes.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Good Night with Dada Dadi

Having grown up in a joint family, I have always been extremely close to my grandparents. From as long as I can remember till the age of fourteen, when I got a separate room to myself, I would sleep with my dada-dadi every night. I’d slumber away with my arms spread out like Christ the Redeemer, with dadaji on one side and dadi on the other. It was one of the many perks that came with being the eldest grandchild, like having the whole family including the unmarried chacha’s and bua’s gush over you all day, clicking photographs, getting you toys and taking you for evening walks every now and then. I was quite the head-turner for twenty-year-old women in the colony too, and the erstwhile young peeps of the Ahuja family would take me for a handsome number of evening strolls frequently. In hindsight, I was probably being used as a prop to get some action by almost everyone in the family except my grandparents. But aware of the testosterone high in one’s twenties, I refuse to judge.

I was a very well potty-trained child. Even though the dadi and the bua, at times, speak about how “kitni tumhari potty dhoyi hai bachpan mein” to express overflowing emotions of love, I understand the sentiment because over-dramatization is pretty much a norm in my family. However, I’ll be honest that vomit retention and management was not one of my strongest skill sets. The family would take a number of steps to keep me from puking and ruining the bed sheets at night. A small bucket for me to puke into would be kept right next to the bed and newspaper would be spread on the floor because I was more of a Bhim than Arjun when it came to hitting bulls eye with my projectiles. I was also made to have a spoonful of brandy as charnamrit for keeping the inner beast calm, but its effect was more of keeping me from remembering the mighty battle the grandparents and the parents fought every night, cleaning ulti at 2 a.m. I would just wake up in the morning, puke some more and trot smilingly off to school.

The dada-dadi not only bore the brunt of the extra responsibilities, as mentioned above, that came with letting me sleep with them but also never complained much about my sleep-talking or involuntary rotating of my body around its axis like I was some veer-putra of the dharti ma, kicking everyone and everything that came in its path, which was mostly my dadaji’s head and my dadi’s stomach.

Now that this is shaping into a little narration of my time sleeping with my grandparents, it would be important to mention that my dadi has never been much of a bedtime story teller. Your grandparents must’ve told you some stories in your time, but my dadi knew just one little story which she narrated to me every single night! It was called the “ganje ki kahaani”. Its appropriateness for a six year old and morals are kind of questionable, but I’ll let you judge for yourself. Story time! Yay!

So, there was a ganja who used to sit on top of a baer tree. (Side note: Don’t read it like Baer from Moser-Baer. I’m talking about the little green fruit called baer. Or beyr/ber?) He would give baer to all the passers-by who asked for some. One day, a lady came up to him and said, “Ganje ganje, thode baer toh dede.” To which the ganja said, “Jholi aage kar”, and the lady replied with “Jholi mein mere kitne chhed hain.” Then the ganja said, “Haath aage kar”, and got the reply, “Haath mein mere kitne chhed hain.” (I know it sounds kind of crazy because I don’t know haath mein chhed kaise hote hain, but when asked, I was told that if someone spreads open one’s hands and arms, one is unable to catch baer. Sounds legit, but I don’t know how much my dadi would score on the CAT even if it tested us on Verbal Ability in Hindi.) Moving on, the lady suggested that the ganja wrap some baer in his pagdi and lower them from the tree for the woman to collect. But as soon as he lowered his arm to give the baer, he was pulled down and put in a sack, which the lady carried on her back into the forest.

The woman walked and walked till she really badly wanted to go pee and couldn’t hold it till she got back home. So while she went away to relieve herself, the ganja came out of the sack, filled it with stones and hay and ran back home. The woman then carried the sack back home, cursing it continuously in the choicest of Punjabi cuss words because the hay pricked her back and she thought the ganja was pinching her patootie. She was in for a big shock on reaching her home in the forest when she found that the ganja had escaped.

The next month, the lady came back to the baer tree and asked the ganja for baer. The ganja said, “jholi kar” and then “haath kar”, getting the same old replies from the woman. So he recognized her to be the witch who had tried to kidnap him the previous month and said, “Tu wohi hai na jo mujhe bori mein bandh karke le jaa rahi thi!” The witch immediately defended herself with, “Nahi nahi, main toh teri mummy ki saheli hoon. Dekh mere haathon mein tel. Abhi teri mummy ke baal kanghi karke aayi hoon.

The ganja was asked to lower his turban for the baer and was again pulled into the sack. (Smartass!)

This time, the witch held her bladder tight and ran back home. There, she asked her daughter to cook the ganja while she got some groceries from the market. On returning from the market, she saw that the dish was ready and she happily sat down to gulp it all down. While she ate the human meat, she offered some to her daughter. The daughter refused to touch it, ran to the door instead and sang aloud: “Apni kudi nu khaale oye; apni kudi nu khaale oye.” Turned out that the ganja had cooked the witch's daughter instead and served the same to her own mother. End of story! 

It may seem like the story had no moral values to convey and the plot twist is a little screwed up because apparently the ganja looked like the witch’s daughter, but my grandparents have given me a lot of such seemingly insignificant yet wonderful memories, which I will cherish for a lifetime. They have continuously showered upon me unparalleled love that they communicate in ways that they know best. It still continues in words like, “Main toh apne par-pote ko dekh ke jaaungi.

The ganje ki kahaani, in my dadi's gentle voice, has also brought the Secret into practice and instructed the Universe to give me all that I had grown up hearing about. Ganjaapan! It still remains with me like blessings from my dadi, who makes it a point to cover the bald-patch with her hand every time that she touches my head to give aashirwad.

I can possibly not express the amount of respect and love I feel for my grandparents. But this is just a little expression of gratitude for giving me company every night during my growing up years. Thank you! They collectively made the good nights some of the best nights I've had.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Dummy's Guide to Selecting a DU College Society

The new session of Delhi University started a little over a month ago and if things still go about like they used to when I was in college, college society auditions must be at their peak right now. Or maybe things happen too soon nowadays and the recruitments have already been done. But loyalty towards the society in the first two months is equivalent to Charlie Sheen for at least half the new recruits. So, if you plan to ditch your current society and join another in the guise of “my parents don’t allow me to stay back so late, here’s your guide to deciding on which college society to join.

Street Play

The Street Play society is one of the most sought after societies in college. I mean, why wouldn’t anything that recognizes your talent in being able to shout at the top of your voice for hours together and sing raunchy ‘90s songs like “chhat pe soya tha behnoi” be appealing! This society will probably have the most number of rounds when it comes to auditions, but trust me, the only basis they reject you on is “bhai, yeh banda bada South Delhi type hai; iske bass ki nahi hai”. Except, if you’re a hot girl. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves, every society in a co-ed DU college has a hot girl quota.

To be able to fit in, you must have an undying love for street food, a collective crush on the lead dancer from the Dance Society, a soul that cannot keep itself from dancing to the dhol and a palate for adrak wali chai. Don’t worry about the script; the seniors will anyway not accept anything that you write, and mostly work on it themselves. The boys must look earthy with stubbles that would give Markand Deshpande a complex. Parallely, the women needn’t worry too much; they just signed up for a free daily mud pack for the next three years of their lives. Stubble, optional.

Being a member of this society will be a brilliant thing to put on your CV because it’ll teach you team work and blah blah among other important things like how to not let the person who bought Maggi from the canteen have it himself, and how to fit thirteen people in an auto rickshaw and then not even care to check if it breaks a world record because abhi toh dhol bhi fit kar lenge.

Dance Society

Now, I'm a firm believer of the fact that every woman is beautiful and the media presents a very skewed image of what should be considered good looking *cue for the feminists to applaud*, but let's just say that the Dance Society kind of, by chance, in a way happens to house all the women from college who fit the image projected by the media in a great way. But it's such a strange coincidence because the street play peeps dance most to Yo Yo Honey Singh when the muse for all his music is in the Dance Society.

To fit in this club of showstoppers, you need to be extremely hoity-toity but believe otherwise. I mean, you don't wear Zara and then dance to cheap Hindi music for fun. You dance to cheap Hindi music because you want crazy audience response during your performance at the next college fest, or because you think OMG, this new song is so funny and chhichhora, he he he. Also, an affinity towards green-room girl politics masked under glittery eye-shadow is kind of a given.

The guys will mostly only be a handful in this woman dominated club, and be well built. But whatevs, they're just needed to flex muscles, lift some women during performances and do the usual moon walk shit.

Music Society

Being able to play an instrument or sing beautifully isn't the only requirement of MuSoc. You must, at all times, be ready to sing a Happy Birthday song in harmony whenever you find out about someone's birthday. As a girl, you must be sugary sweet, just like your voice and be able to rock the Western accent like no other while singing an English song, and then also amaze everyone with an equally beautiful Shreya Ghoshal cover. The boys may either part their hair from the side like a nona bacha and proudly exhibit the fashion in which they meet the expectations that Hindustani Music had of them, or be the complete opposite with a goatee, crazy hair and a band with a name like Fusion Mafia Collective something.

A collective hatred for Punjabi Music from anyone other than Jaspinder Narula and a love for Coke Studio and Coldplay is a prerequisite. Also, member of MuSoc or not, you can’t help but be friends with these guys! They’re pretty awesome.

Commerce/Economics/Entrepreneurship/Marketing Society

The mystery of the purpose of this society’s existence will bring Agrasen ki Baoli to shame. These guys will organize one event towards the end of the year and will be mostly seen freaking out about “bhai, koi contact nikaal sponsorship ke liye”. I don’t see the point in why they get to gloat about being a part of a society the whole year round. The only skill you require to get in is to have a relative who will be ready to sponsor the event. Most of their work involves arranging for flower bouquets and mementos for the judges, and go around for sponsorship meetings. Also, if they fear that people might not turn up for the event, they’ll put in a word with the Principal, who will make it mandatory for everyone to attend with threats of compulsory attendance or some such.

More publicized than the event will be their after party photos on facebook, which are nothing but pictures of a bunch of people dressed in formals having dinner at Berco’s. Also, someone needs to tell them to stop going on about how much of a success the show was.

Another word of caution: If the society members tell you that one of the benefits of joining would be that you would get the experience of organizing an event, which is like a crazy big deal with companies when they come for placements; trust me, it’s not. You don’t even get to officially go for Antaragni or Oasis at IIT-K and BITS, Pilani, respectively. What’s the point in getting to go about: “Bhai, unofficially jaane mein koi panga toh nahi hai?” all the time!

Probably the only reason you should apply for this club is if you’re one of those start-up guys who has a photo of Steve Jobs as your computer wallpaper and you keep making random websites all the time. It’ll just go with your image; that’s it.


The Placement Cell will have people who believe their stint will help them secure better placements at the end of three years. Also, they have an air of self importance that says, “I’m in the P-Cell, I’m so smart, you’re so dumb. Haha.” I mean, they’re nice people, helping us get placements and all, but some of them just need to drop the attitude a notch.

If your college happens to have a Photography Club, join it only to find an excuse to spend time with your crush who might happen to be in it. They’ll just go for a handful of photowalks to Chandni Chowk, Agrasen ki Baoli, Old Fort and then passively compete with each other on their respective facebook photography pages.

And if you can’t make it into any of the clubs, I’d suggest you join AIESEC. I don’t know about work, but you’ll learn some dance steps in the name of “jive” which none of your non-AIESECers will give a shit about. You’ll have ample stories about who got with whom and be seen around Khan Market a lot.

And, if you decide to join none of them because time nahi hai, then congratulations, you’re already in the Society for Mutual Appreciation for Praveen Sharma and Ashish Kalra, while you worry for your upcoming CA exams.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kudi Namkeen!

If a famous Bollywood song is to be believed, the samundar wields the power to turn women into namkeen. I’d prefer mine to go take a dip and come out as Aaloo Bhujia. Except, I don’t really know how visually appealing she would look draped in a packet of Haldiram’s. However, in this age, when such a radical shift is being made from desi namkeen to American food snacks, I believe it’s the perfect time for some namkeen emancipation. Trust Ekta Kapoor to buy this idea for a few krores. More so because the namkeen is a woman calling out for attention from the society, and as we’ve already seen, the best medium to spread her message is through a daily soap. The biscuits are the unimportant male characters with names like Monaco and Bourbon. Except for Marie; that one is just transgender.

Aaloo Bhujia

The Aaloo Bhujia (AB) is like the peppy didi in her early twenties who is just about to get married. But don’t let the word “peppy” confuse you with an image of Preity Zinta. Think more on the lines of a new face trying to pull a Kareena Kapoor from Jab We Met. She’s the one who does not shut up about her love for gol gappe and wishes to play pitthu with the colony ke bache. Her backless choli and long Sardarni hair are to die for. She’s a favorite with the kids, to whom she brings a taste close to that of Lay’s Masala Magic, but is still thoroughly Indian. Dare you call her an aunty, heartburn de degi, heartburn.

Bikaneri Bhujia

The older, more mature, and spicy like you cannot handle that shite – the Bikaneri Bhujia (BB) is the saree clad boss of cougar town. The Bhabhi of the house that AB will be marrying into; the BB will be your bet for the character who turns out to be the vamp some day, except, she won’t. She’s like the female version of Ronit Roy from Kasautii Zindagii Kay. You know this is the closest Indian telly can get to Meryl Streep in a saree with a sleeveless blouse.

Have you also seen those fat brown globules of shit in the Bikaneri Bhujia packet? That is Ram Kapoor inside of her, refusing to pull out!

Khatta Meetha

The Sakshi Tanwar of Namkeenville, she doesn’t give you as much acidity as the others. You think the kids will love her, but there is just so much mamta right there that teens growing up on American Pie and the like just don’t get going with that taste. You can expect her to go all: “Aww, mere raja beta ko dudhu chahiye”, when the son screams for MILF (Munchies I Label as Food).

There’s a mole on her upper lip to help her live up to the khatta image but everything in the namkeen is so boring, complete with peanuts and sabudana puffs that you just want to distribute it as parshaad and convince people that it’s so nice ke isse vrat mein kha sakte hain.

Moong Dal

The Baa of Kahaani Haldiram Ki, this namkeen is so bland that it just goes into this endless loop of nobody-wanting-to-have-it and it-does-not-frikkin-end-it’s-still-staring-me-in-the-face. It’s there, offering nutrition related sanskaar in the form of salted daal without any unhealthy masala, but sher ke munh ek baar bhujia lag jaaye toh phir kya kar sakte hain. You put a rubber-band on it and keep it aside, but no one is ready to do the dirty work of finishing it.

Navratan Mix

You know this shit will make your vocal chords burst because of all the spices it hits you with. And then it’s like you just stepped into Rajasthan, and Ila Arun jumped in front of you, refusing to leave till you let her woo you with “Dilli Sheher Mein Maaro”. With a name like Navratan, it promises you some nine different types of ingredients mixed in one, but one fistful down your throat and you recognize it to be Dadi-Sa or the like from Balika Vadhu: paise (read: ingredients) toh aa gaye but class nahi aayi.

Nut Cracker

The Goddamn Vamp! Oh this thing is so damn sensuous, it’s like your nuts are on crack. She tempts you into falling for her and indulge in some adultery. You want her with the whisky, and her body on your rocks. With the curvy texture et al, she is the mistress of spices. You know it’ll be extremely painful later, and a moment of pleasure is not worth the consequences. But, you learn it the hard way. A hangover, a glass of Eno and some spicy moments down the dark alley are enough to remind you of your Moong Dal (read: nani).

Badam Lachha & the Others

The Badam Lachha is the Bollywood cameo that comes every Diwali and makes your day extra special. The Boondi is like the Ramu Kaka; present everywhere, yet hasn’t been honored with the status of a namkeen. And what, you ask, is the person who just wrote such a zabardasti ka blog post? It’s the namkeen you get when you misspell Bhujia to start with a C and end with a T-I-A.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Issey Kehte Hain Hip-ocrisy!

Dear Yo Yo Honey Singh,

If only your mental faculties were underdeveloped enough to not understand that a rhetorical question kind of loses its essence if you follow it up with a ridiculous answer, would I have let this pass. But you just came up on my television screen wearing a weed-print kurta hanging from under your sweater/t-shirt/hip-hop and there’s only so much I can stand!

If I were to do a line by line translation of your definition for hip-hop, someone might put it up on the Wikipedia page for the hyphenated term, and I fear that. Or, so you wish! But, it would’ve made a little sense to do your research on the topic before making an educational video on the subject, where you wear little teddy bear shoes and then try to have them make out with each other in the name of hip-hop. No?

I’ll try to break down your words for you here and let you judge if they make any sense in the context. I’m letting you use your better judgment here! It’s surprising that I am expecting so much from you when all you care to give me is some shakkar-paare if you win a Grammy, but the joke’s on you.

It’s amazing how you started as a music director and made friends with bade bade “ector”. I mean, it’s unbelievably impressive how someone can make friends in one’s own industry of work! Like, being a CA, I am hardly friends with any accountants or finance guys. I wonder how hard I would have to work to be able to make connections with some tax consultants. Many congratulations on your feat! You are the X-“fector” of superhit picturein, and the heera in the koyle ki khaan. I’m in all agreement about you being the middle class boy turned superstar, but the thing that you call “charter” is actually an out-of-place tractor. Also, you could wish all you want for a charter, but I get to be the Chartered Accountant here. You see what I did there? Some people call it a PJ; in your words: hip-hop.

I wish your song was more aptly named “Issey Kehte Hain Hip-ocrisy”, because clearly you don’t give a damn about kudiyan shudiyan; and all the brown rang, blue eyes, bebo diyan gallan and high heels can take a walk. Also, at times I wonder how much it would cost to get a white “ginni” among a thousand other things. A million dollars? How would you know, but; you clearly don’t give a damn.

Now, because we’re having this conversation, I want clarity on some matters that we, your fans, don’t completely understand. Like, I can’t really tell if that little Golu in the video is a representation of you at the age of what, negative five? But, if the pehle gaana that you heard was Ass Like That, I send my heartfelt condolences. Also because most of us are so uneducated, I think it would have been a better idea to have spelt out the full form of DNA in the song. People are confusing it with I don’t know what, when all you really want to tell them is that hip-hop ki samajh aapki Delusional Narcissistic Ass mein thi.

There’s one thing that I’m really happy about though. You finally thought of writing a song for little pre-schoolers! You’re not just encouraging them to think of a world without chocolate and suggesting that Bournvita is good for increasing doodh ki shakti, but also pointing at various things and calling out their names to help little babies learn what they’re called. Aww! I’ll give you a firm thumbs up (your back) for your intention, but here come some corrections. So, those tight black pants with golden zippers that you love to hold at the crotch and call hip-hop are actually called Zara pants. I’ll admit, my lady friends gave me that piece of information, but never mind. The tokra that you point to is called “mangalvaar ka parshaad”; the dance step in the end is called “bhangra”; the closing your thighs together and going down is not a hip-hop step but “susu ka rokna”; and my butt cheeks are called Yo and Yo, respectively. Now call out your name once more.

A big fan,

Yo! Yo!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Raksha Bandhan Tips

#1: Kaju Barfi > Cadbury Celebrations

#2: If your sister ever got you a Livestrong band as a Rakhi knowing how lame it was but it made you super happy because you were in your wannabe phase in 2006, your sister's the best, bro.

#3: Protecting your sister starts with taking her Rakhi shopping a night before Raksha Bandhan and also suggesting which Rakhi you'd like on your wrist. Win-Win!

#4: Know that all the cousins who tie you Rakhi's are not cousins; they're sisters.

#5: It's the day when you meet both the papa ki side and the mummy ki side of the family. Kurta Pyjama up!

#6: Make your plans about the time at which you're supposed to go to nani house and let the paternal relatives know a day in advance. There's a chance the mummy will go on cribbing incessantly about delaying her program from as soon as they leave till Rakhi next year. It's a loop, bro.

#7: If you're supposed to send a Rakhi overseas, 15 days in advance is a safe time to put it in courier.

#8: Don't forget to keep a hanky in your pocket on Rakhi Day. You might want to rub off the tika after a while. Also, who calls it a tilak in Delhi?

#9: Buy a small gift for your sister to show that you made the effort to get something and give her some good cash. She'll love to spend it the way she likes. Trust me, it's really tough to shop for girls. Really tough, bro!

#10: Rakhi earning > 368843135799 x Kanjak earning

#11: As two sisters, you can tie each other Rakhi's and feel like it's a legit thing. It's really cute. Sachi!

#12: Be a man and let that crush tie you a Rakhi if she wants to. With small Rakhi's come great responsibilities. It's the need of our nation.

#13: Aaloo Poori for breakfast. Chhole Chawal for lunch. Woohoo!

#14: As brothers, we wouldn't mind getting some gifts either. It's not mandatory and we don't expect them, but it'll be a cool surprise.

#15: It's advisable that you buy a Rakhi of cotton threads. The silken ones keep opening again and again. Or in case you want us to keep coming to you to tie it repeatedly, it's a separate thing.

#16: Don't be afraid of the Bhaizone. Sisters have friends!

#17: There's no such thing as chhota sa piece of the mithai. Eat the whole damn thing.

#18: Cartoon Rakhi's should stop when your brother crosses the age of 13. Except if his name is Sarthak Ahuja. Spongebob Squarepants Rakhi in 2014, woohoo!

#19: Sit on the carpet during the Rakhi ceremony. Rakhi tying while sitting on the couch is so videshi, bro!

#20: Sisters keep a box for earrings. Brothers, keep one for Rakhi's.

#21: Seen Salman Khan's silver bracelet with a blue stone? It's a collective Rakhi from every sensible woman on the planet. There's a reason people call him Bhai!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

You're Not My First Love

I know you were not my first love. You were not the one who helped me recognize what love felt like; not the one to share my firsts; not the one who made me relate the smell of freshly beaten coffee to a specific person. You were not the one I imagined dancing with to every song that played on the radio; and not the first to boast of having cumulated the knowledge to write my biography in a few months. I know you feel like someone stole your rights. I know you wish you could be there to claim them.

I know you were not my first love. You were not the one who scarred me; not the one who left me convinced that I would only get married someday as if making a compromise with life. You were not the one who left me feeling like my body bled every time I heard the name, and then feel it trickle down colorless and thin on either side of my nose. You were not the one I longed to be with for the longest time; not the one I romanticized in my head as a blessing personified. I know you wish you could go back and relieve me of the pain. I know you wish you could hold that power on my heart someday.

I know you were not my first love. You were not the person you’ve heard about for months; not the one about whom my confessions speak tons, in sighs that you feared could turn into tears. You were not the one who left me with a lesson to build walls, fortify myself against what seemed like a calamity in disguise of ecstasy. You were not the one whose walls you try to see through, wanting to break them down, but trying to climb them instead lest you break a part of me with them. I know you wish I had never put myself in a shell so that you could experience me as the first did. I know you wish that every day.

I know you were not my first love. I know you wish you could be there, in the first’s shoes, witnessing all that I had to offer then along with all that I offer now, being sure about making it so far if you could be in those shoes. I know you wish we had grown together, playing games that did not put the heart at stake but nurtured it like never before. But there’s something I wish you could know.

I wish you could know how easy it was for me to fall in love back then; and things that come easy lose their value with time. I wish you could know that I don’t just love you with young emotion, but with a mature decision that doesn’t dwindle like the former. I wish you could know that I could build my walls higher, but they’re just high enough for only you to climb through; to enter and then feel safe with me in their confinement, yet open for us to welcome our family into.

I wish you could know that you haven’t filled someone else’s shoes; you haven’t been asked to wear a pair that would pinch and hurt. I wish you could know that you’re just my size and I’m ready to share my shoes with you.


This post is an attempted response to “I Want To Be Your First Love” by Josie Marie on Thought Catalog. You must read it to know how beautifully she expresses her emotions.

P.S. Also, I've tried to write it from a unisex perspective. I can't imagine I do so much sap at times!

Aaaand, Thought Catalog published this post on their website. Check it out here :)

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