So as I sit with my coffee mug and try to enjoy the bitter Delhi winters, my phone breaks out singing “too close” by Alex Clare and a known name flashed on the screen, it was Baani. She couldn’t get her head around some new facebook settings and she flipped out. So I logged on to see what was bothering her and I realized that facebook had a ribbon on my timeline which said “2013 year review: Top twenty events.” I decided to click on it and find out my year’s review. It stated out some pretty major changes in my life in the current year. My recent travel stories and my freshman year of college were amongst the top events, followed by some posts which gained maximum likes and comments. So that’s how facebook summed up an entire year of my life.
Monday, 30 December 2013
Saturday, 28 December 2013
I attempt to write about the change in lifestyle, opinion and priorities we experience as we step out of college in to the world of fending for yourself and what better time to write about it than on a Monday morning, right after the customary coffee cup.
I have been up since five, scurrying around to get ready for the two hour journey that takes me to office from my home. The breakfast will just have to be rolled up in Aluminum foil because getting late is not an option: they will charge you a half day's salary. Besides, you are perennially struggling to beat your supervisor in the race called 'I got here first' and somehow he is always there, sipping his morning tea while you frantically urge your system to boot up and record your attendance.
Thursday, 26 December 2013
Starting today we begin a new segment on our blog - The Book Reviews. As always our bloggers have given their valuable feedback on each of these books very delectably chosen and dissected. We believe Indian authors have a lot of potential and talent to be nurtured further to make them international best sellers. Our attempt at bringing you the best of them.
It is a story of my High School days. I was given an assignment to read a Novel and then write a synopsis of the same. The thought of reading English stuff has captivated me, since time immemorial. High School days were the days, when I was high on various aspects. The fad of Bikes kept haunting. I was high on hormones too (testosterones in particular). Friendship, first love (crush), dreams, board exams; there were many elements.
Monday, 23 December 2013
It was 2004, when Congress came to power once again, sidelining the strong and courageous government of NDA, led by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The country subconsciously knew, Atal Ji ka time ho gya hai and at that moment they hardly saw Advani Ji as the next PM; hence Congress was voted to power. Congress emerged as a strong party in 2004 general elections under the shade of UPA-I. The big names like Pranab Mukherjee, P. Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh did added loads of power to the parliament. The first half of the first financial year was good and productive, India did felt Incredible! With Lalu Prasad Yadav making railway achieve the required impediment, the stations were found cleaner and safer.
Saturday, 21 December 2013
Before I protest I will celebrate. I will celebrate that I still can express myself without fear. I will celebrate before they snatch away that freedom of mine too. I will roam the streets with my head held high in my “western” clothes and my “morals” lose before my likes and dislikes are declared as treason against the state.
Before I protest, I will mourn. Mourn that my love now has to abide by the directives laid by the Judiciary system of my democratic country. Mourn that my country which has always had a place for invaders and foreigners now has no place for 1.2 million of its population. Mourn that instead of moving forward we are slipping back into the dark ages. But mostly I will mourn that my country rewards hypocrisy and condemns love, bravery and honesty.
Friday, 20 December 2013
You are constantly in pain. The kind you can't describe in words. The kind you say is unbearable, unstoppable and has bothered you for at least three months to several years, every single day, every single minute. The only change is the amount of pain in different areas of the body. Yeah it is chronic pain but there are a lot many other things that are bothering you. Like the unexplained fever that stays on for months. Then you keep forgetting things. You experience fatigue most of the time as if some unknown power has snatched away all your energy and most definitely affected your quality of life.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time for love and (no) time for hate..
Seasons, they are all beautiful. They come with a tip-toe, very coyly at first, and then grow more comfortable as they settle around you! They express themselves in full force and then subside, quietly carrying you onto the threshold of the next.
Sunday, 15 December 2013
How to tell a truth from a lie?
In all the years I have grown up, the truth from lie has been separate like water from oil. But, today there’s a grey. I know of people who don’t like that colour. I somehow love it! (Half my wardrobe is grey or white). Grey is a dubious ground of a black truth or a white lie. That which belongs to neither. (However, this philosophical thought is not the reason of my affinity towards the colour. I groundlessly entertain the idea of fragmenting this colour.)
Friday, 13 December 2013
“Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh!”
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh!”
Christmas every year reminds me the sleigh, reindeers, Santa Claus, snow, North Pole and the dreamy celebrations there with fog and mist and everything which will change the mood and bring the festive spirit in me! Advent is a season observed by many western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of nativity of Jesus at Christmas.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
“She wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her..” ~ Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth: How images of Beauty are used against Women
The Beauty Myth. It’s a transformative book. Hard hitting. Unabashed. Powerful. Just the way I love my feminism to be. Back in America, she famously said, Beauty provokes harassment they say, but then they are looking through a man’s eyes! How I love this woman! And Nandita Das, back in India, the one who says that ‘Stay UNfair, stay beautiful!’.
Monday, 9 December 2013
Photograph was a rarity before facebook. As and when I remember facebook I remember hundreds and thousands of faces swarming in front of my eyes. I remember them just the way they look on facebook. It might be their 10 year old snapshot or a mug shot or the pic of a baby in cradle. The baby can be their new born or sometimes their sister’s / brother’s new born. There have been incidents when I got utterly confused on seeing an image as I was not sure whether to wish them congrats on the pic or message and be sure first! Whatever you click goes in to Facebook. Everybody thinks he is an ace photographer once he receives a couple of good compliments. I am not complaining here. I am guilty myself as I click a picture and assume it has come out gorgeously! Posting and liking photographs is everyone’s priority task on FB.
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Let us take a random scene from our lives. You are inside a book store with no particular book in mind that you want to purchase. You see books arranged in sections – romance, mystery, thriller, non-fiction, self-help etc. You get to the romance section and see huge bookshelves with literally tons of romances all stacked up closely (let’s admit it; romance is the most written genre). Now, assuming you don’t have the time to pick every book and read the first couple of pages, what are the factors that will make you pick a particular book from the infinite options available? The answer would be – an attractive book cover.
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Long forgotten are the days when people in India read books because they were classic or listed on the HT bestseller list for more than 4 or 5 weeks; now they read books because either a relative or the colleague next door has written it.
I remember, on our first official date, my Ex questioned about my area of interest and I replied with, “I prefer books over anything and everything” instantly she made a comeback with, “have you read this extremely witty novel ‘Oops! I fell in Love!’ by Harsh Snehanshu”; conspicuously she disclosed her deepest feeling coveted carefully under the name of the book but to my own surprise I ended up reading the name of books she has read.—An Average Indian Reader she was.
Who is an Average Indian Reader???
A person who flits between books by J K Rowling and Jack Trout, on a wheeler stall at a railway station and ends up buying a “Bollywood on Paper” novel by Chetan Bhagat or by Dimpled Durjoy.
An engineering graduate who started his reading career with a novel, his friend referred to him saying, “Padh bhai! apni hi kahani hai!”. The engineer definitely got fascinated with the extreme simplicity of language and enamored by the pursuit of similar life book served with.
Few days down the time line the engineer who once had innocuous attitude towards everything related to books is now found visiting bookstores like Crossword and ends up buying all the books based on college romance, mostly by engineers.
This engineer, slowly and gradually starts growing with time into an avid reader with a taste. He spends all his days reading, partially blushing and partially getting sexually aroused.
Then one bad day when it’s raining outside; a slanderous comment from a random guy in class makes him stagger, “I don’t read Indian authors, because all they write is Crap”.
He feels hypothetical and makes an erratic decision of shifting from Chetan Bhagat to Dan Brown or Paulo Coelho. Choosing Dan Brown or Paulo Coelho has got no primal research behind them; they are just the names on HT bestseller list other than Bhagat and Durjoy.
With time this enthusiastic and lucid engineer has turned into a reader; who is now on a journey of literature where he will be dismayed thinking about the time and money he wasted on Indian writers; he will get to experience the real feel of reading-between-the-lines and he will be pleasured reading books from the West and the Middle East and with this an avid reader will rise and an Average Indian reader will die.
In the contemporary India, reading is a journey, where a person gets excited by the Metro reads; discovers more with the books from Middle East and finally ends up drinking numerous cups of coffee in a bookstore while reading an exquisite tale of romance or magic coveted in a beautiful jacket either by P.G Wood House or by Ray BradBury.
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Time passes and seasons come and go. Each season bringing new hopes, inspirations and leaving us with memories! The year is divided into seasons. We have summers, winters, spring et al. Just like life keeps changing and is never constant, likewise seasons keep changing as well! It is really amazing that you inure yourself to a season and then you realize that it’s time for you to adapt to a different season now. In life you adapt to circumstances but you soon realize that now it’s time to face new challenges and set new goals. Yes, both life and seasons are all about dynamics and you have to be on your toes always. Every season brings new hopes and aspirations.
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
What we used to do before Facebook??? This question made me think for a while…. It felt as if it’s so integral part of our life that we can’t get a proper answer or remember what we actually used to do! It triggered another teaser in my brain; when did I started using Facebook?? And the answer is in 8th standard class, secondary section. Well I might get the exact date and month too if I check it on Facebook timeline, but I would go with this.
Monday, 2 December 2013
Payal: Hi Geeta
Geeta: Hi wassup
Payal: Hey what are you doing tomorrow? Would you like to stay over at my place? I will make your favourite pav bhaji and we can watch the season 10 of Friends together... Parents are out of town.
Geeta: Wow... sounds great. Even I have to tell you about this guy from work who asked me out today.
Payal: What are you saying! Is it Pramod, the new joinee? Tell me more about him, do you have his photograph? How does he look like? Where does he stay...
Geeta: Relax, relax... (whispers), tomorrow I will tell you all about him... oh and I don't have his pic yet, but I will try to source something from the HR friend Jigna, she has his resume and pics na.
And the next day they chatted and giggled all night through. Geeta described Pramod and Payal visualised his appearance. Not so tall, not so smart, has a moustache, but seems to be really cute... They met Pramod together the next weekend and had a great time! By the way Pramod tagged along a friend, Akash, who later asked Payal out!
EVERYTHING HAPPENS ON FACEBOOK:
Payal updates her status message: Parents out of town :)
Payal sends Geeta a PM: Hey wht r u doin tom? Would u like 2 stay over @ my place? I will make your fav pav bhaji n v can watch de season 10 of Friends together... Parents r out of town!
Geeta replies to Payal: Hey yeah, saw ur status message... liked it too. Let's do it. Even I hv 2 tell u abt this guy fm work who asked me out today.
Meanwhile Payal's status message gets 8 likes and 4 comments.
Comment 1 from Pradeep (uncle): lol... even you should have come with them to my place beta, it has been so long we saw you... chachi has been asking about you. And did you meet Sahil? Bhabhi said you have been avoiding.
Comment 1 gets 9 Likes.
Comment 2 from Agnes: Hey who's Sahil... tell us more
Comment 3 from Megha: Hmm parents are out and how abt Sahil ;)
Comment 4 from Payal: @Agnes, @Megha, nothing yaar, my chachu is just kidding... Sahil's a distant cousin
Payal quickly changes her Facebook privacy settings where Pradeep chachu can't see her posts anymore.
Payal PMs Geeta: Wht r u saying! Is it Pramod, de new joinee? Pls send me his facebook profile link... lemme see how he looks like
Geeta: Here it is - https://www.facebook.com/prramodarrora24613, he's not looking too good in de dp but he's really cute
And with a few minutes, Payal checks out Pramod's profile and pics. She scrolls down until September 2013 and checks out all his photos. She notices he has posed with one particular pretty girl in most of the pics tagged as Neha. She goes to Neha's profile. Neha's profile page has umpteen pics of Pramod, some quite 'couple' types. Payal gets inquisitive and scrolls down till August 2013.
Neha's status message then read: Best day of my life... found my soulmate... I know u'll want to know more... for now, let's just call him P (Pyaar)... (blushing).
On further research, Payal sees that Neha's relationship status is "committed", she has a lot of pics of her several weekend trips with Pramod and Pramod's relationship status is "single".
Payal sends Geeta a PM: Check out Pramod's photos with Neha, check out Neha's profile... looks like Pramod is seeing her... you should teach him a lesson. Don't worry, he's not too good for you. We'll talk about it tom when you come over. Boss is back. TTYL.
Geeta is shocked. A heartbreak via Facebook! She checks out both Pramod and Neha's profile and pics. Payal seems to be right. And as she wonders why he asked her out, she gets a PM from Pramod.
Pramod: Hey Payal, can't wait to meet you this weekend!
Geeta is infuriated and does not reply.
And the next day Geeta and Payal spent all time cursing Pramod and discussing how 'all men are the same' over pav bhaji and lot of tissue papers.
- Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli