My First Ever ‘Proper’ Trek! – Part 2

Beginning from where I left it….
For those who want to catch up with the first part, please scroll down and read it. 🙂

So, we were guided by three trek leads – Vinayak Sir, Dhanashree ma’am and Siddhant Sir – all three experienced trekkers. A friendly and enthusiastic lot, we all immediately warmed up to them and to each other too. We all started talking and joking with each other during the tea-break itself – So yeah, I was sure – this was going to be one heck of a trek!! 😉

As we went ahead, the trek leads kept giving us inputs about the terrain – there was an ascent, a plain and then the descent. So we were mentally prepared for what was awaiting us. We walked along, halting for brief moments, absorbing the beauty around us and capturing these moments to cherish when we go back home. 🙂 ❤

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Picture Credits: Dr. Parag Pathrudkar (Parag Uncle for me) Doctor by profession, Photographer and Poet by passion! 🙂

Amidst all of this, whenever the wind would blow real hard, I would involuntarily stop and replicate the Titanic Pose – yeah the one where you spread your arms wide open(although I did it alone :P). I must have done it at least 10 times, until Parag Uncle asked me to pose the exact same way against a scenic background and clicked my pic – that probably was my favourite pic from this trek, because those who know me are aware that I’m not much of a poser, and that I’m better behind the camera than front of it – but there I was – POSING! It just happened! And the picture speaks a thousand words – of me relishing the moment, trying to contain the blowing wind in my arms, topped with that “I’m on top of the world” feeling. Just perfect…And the quote on my T-shirt was apt too –
“Enough is never quite enough”!
Stands true for my insatiable trekking craze! ❤ 😀

And at the beginning, it was super cold – we took our sweatshirts along, but who knew 20 minutes through the trek the sweatshirts would be all sweaty! This is one trek tip I will keep in mind for sure – in moderately cold weather, you don’t need to tag your sweat shirt along – you’ll end up tying it around your waist more than putting it on!

As we went on, the ascent came to an end and now we had the plain terrain. The pathway here was lined with crab homes on both sides! And I didn’t even know these were crab homes, until Satish Uncle (Doctor, and a nature enthusiast)  enlightened us all. We went a little ahead and voila – we saw a crab – A small little crab lying sluggishly in a muddy puddle. Dhanashri ma’am picked it up so that we could have a better view and some clicks too! 😀

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The crab…looking straight at the camera! Or wait – Did we force him to?

After a walk of around an hour and a half, we finally took our first break. Where? By the riverside, with the river gently cooing beside us. Here we had our Chikki and Paperboat break. We sat for a while on the rocks by the river, again – absorbing nature’s stunning beauty. As people living in the city, we’re not really used to seeing crystal-clear, sparkling rivers, that have a mystic fragrance. So this was indeed a treat to the eyes…..<3

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The river!! Credits:To-be Doctor Sharayu Kand 😀 Again, to-be doctor by profession and artist by passion! 🙂

During this break, I spotted a snake – curled up on a rock. Not knowing whether it was alive, I asked Parag uncle. And then the entire group gathered there. Gentle prodding with a twig made us realise the snake was alive and slithering! It actually got a bit panicked, I think – but so did we! So we left it at that – didn’t bother to disturb it any more than we’d already done! 😛

After this was the fun part – we had to cross the river! If it were raining, the river-crossing would have been a little difficult, we’d probably require help from the trek leads. But the weather gods were in our favour, so all we had to do was take off our shoes and socks and cross the river – by ourselves (Of course under the watchful eyes of the trek leads!). The feeling of the cool water splashing against bare feet – it was so relaxing! No foot massage in the world could probably replicate this level of relaxation! 😀 ❤

After everyone successfully went across the river, we then started with the actual route that would go through the dense jungle. Until then we were on the simple, not-so-complicated route.

“What’s the point if we keep walking on the plain road with trees on the sides? Let’s amp it up a little!” were Vinayak Sir’s words.
And he warned us, “Keep walking, don’t stop anywhere and always ensure you are with one of the trek leads. There’s a probability of you encountering snakes and in rare possibilities, even a leopard”.

Ahem, what?  A leopard?
But then he brushed it off saying that animals venture further into the jungle when it rains, so the probability of encountering one is quite rare. But we still had to be watchful.

Now this terrain was tough – narrow pathways (with enough space for one person to go through at a time) climbing through rocks, amidst all the slush…phew..it was a task! But we cruised through it too and then we reached the topmost point – right above Gupt Bhimashankar (Hidden Bhimashankar – will elaborate on that later)

So at this spot, there’s a temple on the top. This is the exact place where you can spot a lot of Shekhrus and monkeys. And guess what? We spotted both!! Shekhru, also known as the Indian Giant Squirrel or the Flying Squirrel, is the State animal of Maharashtra. It’s huge, with a tail that has a bright red flare – it’s elusive, but the tail makes it easier to spot it.
Spotting the Shekhru was like a childhood dream come true – I wanted to see the shekhru live ever since I was in the fourth grade – the first time I had seen one in my Geography textbook. And I finally spotted one (albeit 12 years later). And as mentioned earlier, animals go into hiding in the monsoons, spotting  monkeys was surprising – probably they were enjoying the beauty of the monsoon too!

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Look at his pose! Credits: Siddhi Pendse (A dear friend of mine, also an avid trekker – who went on the same trek two weeks after me -and managed to capture this monkey!)

After this, we went downwards, again crossed the river– towards Gupt Bhimashankar. This is where the original Shivlinga (One of the 12 Jyotirlingas across the country) is located – which is why devotees throng this place. And the waterfalls – just perfect! Milky white gushing waterfalls – falling atop the Shivlinga – the sight is purely marvellous! Visibility of the Shivlinga is low during the monsoon, owing to the gushing waterfall right above it – but we never the less managed to see it. Again, hotspot for filmi photo shoots – we had an elaborate photo session here – individual and group.

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Credits: Parag Uncle! 🙂 The waterfall over Gupt Bhimashankar!! ❤

While we were nearing Gupt Bhimshankar, we had encountered a huge log of a fallen tree that blocked the pathway. It had strategically fallen – either you had to climb over it, or go below it. Now I’m tall, so I easily climbed over it. But the girl right behind me – she was shorter, so she went the other way. And then we laughed over it, and got to talking. That’s where, I became friends with Meera –a bubbly, cheerful teenager. I love befriending people wherever I go. And it was Meera this time! (We later promised to keep in touch and now, I have a friend for life!) And Meera was my companion for the rest of the trek. 😀

We trudged, chattering along the way knowing that the trek was coming to an end. And so did it.

But the end of the trek was disheartening. The trek ended exactly behind the Bhimashankar Temple. And this place was full of refuse from the temple– plastic bags, pieces of cloth, flowers and other things. We had to literally walk through all this litter and unbearable stench– making us all wonder – is this true devotion? Why can’t people conserve, respect and adore nature as much as they worship God? The end of the trek was distasteful. I could see efforts made by the local governance – they had put up banners asking people not to dump waste, there were garbage bins placed. But no……merciless humans, managed to choke the serenity of a religious place too. This is not how we wanted our trek to end… 😦

Anyway, we got over it….

We made our way towards the temple, which is an architectural wonder.<3 There were sweet shops and corn shops lined up the temple stairs (climbing them up was a mini-trek in itself!). We made our respective purchases and finally reached the main gates – and headed for lunch. 🙂

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The Bhimashankar Temple

We had a sumptuous meal at a local dhaba – rice, dal, roti, ussal, shev bhaji (Local delicacies), – warm, tasty food to satiate our voracious hunger.

And after the trek leads had counted the number of people, we headed back to our bus – way home to Pune, back to the polluted, urban jungle – far away from nature’s placidity……

And of course, after a trek of 10 kilometers, burning 950 calories – we slept like babies on our way back home!! 🙂

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Another scenic view!! Credits: Parag Uncle! 🙂

Special thanks to Parag Uncle, Sharayu and Siddhi for lending me the photos! ❤

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My First Ever ‘Proper’ Trek! – 1

First of all, apologies! I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted something. And quite some followers even asked me why I haven’t come up with a new post (it feels so good when you have such eager fans 😛 )…So yeah, as soon as I got some time off today, I decided to post this article ( which is something I was supposed to do almost two weeks back). Anyway, better late than never 😉

On 29th July 2018, something historic happened in my life – I went for a trek! And please note – it was my first, full-fledged trek!

Okay don’t start wondering why I’m so over-excited about this…(which you probably must be doing already!) Hold on….and read to know!

The craze for trekking in me probably arose because of the three times I climbed the tekdi behind my college with my college friends (yeah you guessed it right, we bunked lectures to go up there! 😉 ). So yeah, Hanuman Tekdi has to get it’s due credits in instilling in me this seed of trek-craze.

**A quick post-it for those who aren’t aware what Hanuman tekdi is – it’s hillock which is shared by the three of the most prestigious educational institutions in Pune – BMCC, Fergusson and Symbiosis. It’s a 45 minute climb, you can go up there have your lunch and then descend – all in 2 hours. And we’re quite proud of this Tekdi, because yeah, we get the privilege to escape without being caught loitering around in campus! 😉 😛

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The view from Hanuman Tekdi. Urban jungle vs Real jungle. The grey terrace which you can see is a tiny glimpse of my huge college. Credits: me, myself!

Getting back to what I wanted to tell you!

So the “historic” event in my life –
The Bhorgiri-Bhimashankar Jungle Trek!!

It was organised by an upcoming trek group in Pune – Via Ferrata Adventure Solutions. And as soon as we got to know about this trek, we immediately signed up for it.

Apart from this being my first ever “proper” trek (I will keep repeating this to amplify it’s importance 😛 ), this trek was special for a couple of other reasons too:

  • It was mom’s FIRST trek EVER. (note the drastic difference between First ever ‘proper’ trek and First ever trek). Quite a sporty lady – my mum, that is! 😀
  • Mom’s medical college classmates with their daughters were going to accompany us. And they are a fun lot – super cool doctors and even cooler girls!! 😀 😀

In the morning as mom put on her shoes, and her backpack – I couldn’t help but smile. And then,  she sheepishly grinned and  said – I feel like I’m a kid!! I grinned back, knowingly – it was a much-needed break for her. 🙂

So we were picked up from NH-50 (Pune-Nashik Highway) at around 6.30 am, which was after an unavoidable delay of half an hour – so imagine what we must have done waiting impatiently on the highway at 6 in the morning! Ranging from passing comments on a group of bikers to stopping a random bus, we did it all to kill that seemingly never-ending half an hour. No patience we have!

And then when the bus arrived, the people already in it had occupied the front seats, and even though there were 8 seats vacant enough for us, we girls opted for the last seat (yep, the jerky roller coaster one). And we don’t blame anyone for our unsuccessful attempts to catch up on some sleep. 😛

And as the bus cruised through, we just knew we were out of the city limits – because wherever we looked, there was greenery and extensive lakes – we didn’t even have to look out for any sign boards. For the rest of the journey, all we did was excitedly spot those far off waterfalls, gently falling through the mountains. No sight of the urban jungle, no smoke, nothing cramped – far away from the city, here we were – breathing pure, untouched air and experiencing what it feels like to just look aimlessly outside the window, without getting bored. Soothing to the eyes, to the mind and the body, too… ❤ ❤ ❤

We also stopped by in a village on the way and had breakfast – the entire group immediately split into two – missal and poha. And among them all,  I was the only one who didn’t drink tea (I hate tea), so yes, I was the butt of all jokes there! You aren’t a true Punekar – was one of the taunts (Man, that hurts!) 😦

So after this fun journey, we reached Bhorgiri – it’s around 10 kilometres away from Bhimashankar. We were to trek this entire distance and then get into our bus which would be waiting for us at Bhimashankar. Before we began the trek we all had our filmi photo sessions – with the wind blowing in our hair and all! After this, the experienced trek-leads gave us instructions and a few trek-perks: Chikki, an apple and Paperboat! Like eager kids we all took our share and put in our backpacks. 😀

And then….the trek began….!! 😀

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That’s the exact view from where the bus halted – the foothills of Bhorgiri! Credits: The one who’s better behind the camera!! 😛

To be continued……………………….. 😉

21!

 

People, a reason to cheer up – I’ve turned 21 today! I thought why not write a blog and post it to, you know, commemorate this special day, on which the weird me entered the even-weirder planet earth.
So this is basically the 18-year-old me writing a letter to the 21-year-old me. There will be lots of pleading, ordering, convincing, advises thrown in, prep talks, some funny stuff and drama. Buckle up, and prepare yourselves to listen to the rant of 18-year-old Jess!

 

Dear 21-year-old Jess….                                                                                 8th July 2018

Heartiest wishes – upon turning 21.
I know it’s tough out there for people like you. So yeah, Congratulations – for 21 years of successful existence. And though your journey until now has been a roller coaster ride(it’s like that for everyone, so don’t make a fuss out of it), I must say, you’ve done a good job. There were happy times, there were tragic moments, a dash of confusion and chaos, and mess (It’s you, so of course), and there have been times when you barely managed to scrape through – and after being through all this, you’ve landed here today.

And although you have seen the world three years more than I have, I would still love to bring to your notice a few things which you should keep intact and a few other things where you should let go. So here we go…

First of all, stop singing Taylor Swift’s 22. You’re 21 – have the patience to wait for another year rather than conveniently altering the lyrics to
“I don’t know ‘bout you,
I’m feeling 21….”
Doesn’t rhyme and sounds stupid. So stop right now.

You are different. So be that way. Do whatever it takes to keep your weird quotient intact. And you need to accept the fact that it’s perfectly alright to not like what everyone else likes, or does( they may not understand, but you needn’t care). Be #Dhaasu in your own way.

It’s okay if you prefer Fifty shades of Faber Castell Sketchpens over Fifty shades of Grey. It’s fine if you’re colourful – if you don’t follow norms. Remember why you chose Bohemian Blues as your blog name right? Because that is exactly who you are – a free bohemian soul, who finds joy in doing things which the world may find boring. “MAY”.

Stop being paranoid about crows, especially when you haven’t done anything to piss them off. Not every crow or wait, no crow flying past you is going to peck you. You have this stupid habit of ducking when you sense the presence of a crow near you. Grow up, please?
(This grow up was applicable only for this issue)

After a string of unsuccessful friendships, which taught you many lessons, you’ve finally managed to forge some friendships in your graduation years, who you know will stand by you for the rest of your life. Don’t let them go. Treasure these special people. I remember how, when you were me, how friendships terribly failed. It wasn’t your fault always, but it’s okay. You learnt your lessons and moved on.

Don’t give a dime to people who worry about your career more than you do. You maybe confused, and that’s perfectly normal. It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to take your time. Don’t succumb to any pressures and create a mess.

Don’t let anyone define “ beauty” for you. You’re beautiful only if you can see the beauty in others. Inner beauty. This is what you’ve been listening to when you were growing up, so make sure it sticks with you for the rest of your life.

Please learn to put on your swimming goggles properly. They have a catapult effect (which you must have realised the last time they hit your eye) and if you don’t want to go blind, for God’s sake put them on carefully.

Remember how I would always carry a novel with me everywhere I went? What happened now? Grew big enough to not feel alone even among a huge crowd? Start off with it again. It’s an order. There has to be a novel in your backpack or handbag everywhere you go.

Family. These are the ones you are going to treasure the most. Because at the end of it all, it’s going to be one of these shoulders you’ll be crying upon. They are your backbone, your cornerstone, your crutches when your legs stop moving ( Yep you got it right, Gone Gone Gone – Phillip Phillips). So hold them closest to your heart. Remember how they don’t sleep when you are upset and crying over another ruined friendship (as usual)? That’s what fam is. They’ll be with you when the rest turn their backs against you.

You laugh loudly. Many even bring it to your notice. But I won’t ask you to stop doing it. Because the way you laugh makes others laugh. Spreads cheer in this dull world. So, continue.

Also, you talk loudly. Only know when to keep your decibel low. Otherwise, talk as loudly as you want. Not everyone has that khanak in their voice which automatically makes people take heed of what you’re saying. You have it. Don’t let it go.

Relationships. They’ve become essential to validate existence and identity (sense the sarcasm) Thankfully, I don’t need to lecture you on this because you and I are on the same page with this. Live your life, free of any bondage. The right things will set in at the right time.

And yeah, don’t let anyone’s fashion sense influence yours. I know you won’t, but still, better to put it down,na? If you are comfortable in your jeans and plain tee, so be it. No one’s opinions as to how you dress should affect you.

And it’s okay if seeing the poor little kittens soaking in pouring rain breaks your heart. And if flowers blooming in your garden lights you up. For others, they may not be things to be sad or happy about, but they are for you. And that’s perfectly alright.

You seriously need to stop paying attention to petty issues. Learn to let go. It’s not going to help you, you’ll end up getting exhausted. So categorise what needs your attention and what doesn’t.

And yeah, you always had this dream of leaving a mark on this earth right? A mark which will make you immortal? While you’re still struggling to find out what it is that will help you do it, let me tell you – your blog has already done it. You have left your mark – before the age of 21.

And before that temper of yours flares up, let me take leave.

Happy Birthday, dear….And all the best for your journey ahead.

 

Love,
18-year-old Jess.

 

#TanClan

Born in a family of fair-complexioned women, I was always insecure of my dusky complexion as a kid. It never really bothered me, until one day, my friend in school pointed out the difference in mine and my sister’s complexions. Now I didn’t know it mattered so much and I couldn’t answer her back, so I just kept quiet. The song “Mai aisa kyu hu” kept ringing in my head till the end of school that day.

I went back home and narrated this to my “fair peeps”. And then they explained to me that it’s not the complexion of the skin, but that of your heart that really matters. That was enough for me. Because I knew I had a heart that would make even the Chaand feel shy! (Exaggerated :P). So I made peace with myself and accepted my dusky complexion and even sang the song “Hum kaale hai toh kya hua, dilwaale hai!” (I still do!). And then, the questions about me being dusky also died down.

Now. My complexion has come into focus again. Reason? I got back to swimming regularly.

I remember when I’d learnt swimming in the summer of 2nd grade, the tan had taken almost 9 months to fade away. And let’s accept it: no amount of sun screen can keep that tan at bay. Until then all the aunties would be like “ Kya hua…kaale pad gaye??” As kids, these questions don’t really bother you. But as you grow up and become more conscious, these questions are very annoying.

So last year, when I contemplated taking up swimming again, the question I asked Ma was:
Ma, What about that ziddi tan?
To which Ma replied,
What’s more important to you – Swimming or that stupid tan?
Of course, Swimming!! ❤

Now, whenever I come across any acquaintance at the grocery store or anywhere else, the first question flung at me will be,

“Arey beta, tu kaali pad gayi?!
And my eyes will involuntarily roll.
“Haan aunty, swimming jaati hu na…….”
“Arey beta kya zarurat hai itna karne ki………blah blah blah..
(A point at which I turn a deaf ear)

To be true, answering these aunties (and even girls) is a waste of time and energy. Paste a grin, add a few nods, hmms and haan’s and you’re sorted.

These incidents may seem common and funny, but they have certainly set me into thinking.
And I haven’t found answers.

I do not understand society’s obsession with fair skin.
I cannot understand how being born in a dark colour is anyone’s fault.
I cannot understand why girls can’t run under the blazing sun or dive deep into the pool because they love doing it and  it’s their passion.
I haven’t understood the logic behind those matrimonial ads that say :
“ Wanted: Fair-complexioned girl” ( for their son who’s probably a piece fallen off a coal mine)

And worst of all, I don’t understand why girls give in to these norms set by society for them. We bend and break under the pressures of this ruthless society, and they keep setting higher barriers.
I know girls who are consciously aware of the fact that they’ll die if suddenly pushed into a water body, but still refuse to learn swimming because of the tan.
I have seen girls who give up swimming within 2-3 days just because their complexion got darker.
Seriously? Your colour is more precious than your life? And please don’t even utter the words
‘Mere papa / mera bhai bachayenge mujhe mai doobi toh’.  
I’m not saying swim every day, but at least learn it as a life-skill.

How and why should it matter to anyone? If you’re scared that you won’t find anyone to get married, you need to get that thought off your head. True love sees the complexion of the heart, not that of your skin.

You should do what you feel like. Do what liberates you. Do everything that makes you feel more confident by the day. And yes,
Flaunt your tan proudly.
Be proud of dusky.
Be proud of dark.

Be proud to be a part of #TanClan.

 

Mamma…..

My maternal grandmother, “Mamma” as we fondly addressed her, was one fiery, strong woman. She was an independent woman, and though feminism wasn’t much talked about in those days, I now know she was one. She held her head high in the toughest situations life put her into. I remember how she took charge of Grandpa’s garage when he met with an accident that left him immobilized for a long time. I never really looked out for any role models beyond my home, because I always had two feisty women – Mamma, and the daughter she brought up, my mother  – to look up to. My sister and me, we were always treated at par with boys…and both of them made sure we learnt everything that was in our reach!
Mamma had been an integral part of my childhood…and was the coolest granny one could ever have!

It’s 31st May today. My granny was born on this day. It’s her 75th Birth Anniversary and if she were here with us, we’d indeed make this day memorable. I wanted to make this day special even otherwise, which is why I wrote this letter…

 

 

Mamma…

It’s been three years since you left us. We carried on with our lives (exactly the way you would have wanted us to), but let me confess – Your loss has created this void in our lives and still, even after three years, it’s hard to believe that you’re not here, with us. And in every little thing that I do, all I miss you a lot and wish you were here with me….

I just wanted you to know that…..

I wish you were here to see how I carefully pick out vegetables – following the exact tips that you gave me:
Tomatoes – Firm, red and not spotted, Potatoes – Never pick the ones that are slightly greenish, Onions – press the head and don’t pick it if it’s soft….and so many others…I will never forget.

I miss those “Information exchange” evening walks the both of us had. You’d tell me the medicinal usage of every plant and tree that we passed by. Till today, I remember that the tree around the corner on the opposite road is used to treat kidney stones and the one five buildings away cures arthritis…In return, the naive me, would keep chattering about all the stuff that would happen in school or college – telling you about all my friends who had boyfriends or girlfriends in class. Each time you’d listen patiently (even when it was a repeat telecast) and then in the end, mischievously grin and say ,” When you have a boyfriend, tell me first, okay?”
….Of course, you would be the first person to know….

I wish you were here to see me put up the Christmas Star (and the lightings also) confidently, all by myself. And also to watch the fun when the other boys in the society fumbled with the wires and bulbs! If only, like me, you would be the one who taught them how to do it… When I do it effortlessly, I realise how well you had taught me to do it.

I wish you were here to see the perfectly round, soft chapatis that I roll up now. Unlike the khaakras and maps of countries that I’d make when you were around, I’ve finally mastered the art of making them – exactly like you taught me to do – Yes mamma, I roll the folded triangles into perfect circles…
If only you’d be here to relish them…

I miss that chilled passenger in the back seat of the car when I was learning to drive. Yeah no matter how much I messed up with the gears and forgot to press down the clutch while changing gears, it was always pacifying to watch you smiling from the backseat. That proud look you’d give every passer-by that said – “Look, my third generation is driving!!”
And when I got that panic attack of not wanting to take up driving again, those words of yours still ring in my ears… ”I learnt to drive in those days, back in the 1960’s. Your mom did too. It runs in your blood, girl – now get back in there and start driving!” ( And man, did I dare not do it!!)

I miss you whenever I put on my socks the wrong way ( yeah I still do it sometimes). I remember how when in 4th standard, we rejoiced when I finally learnt to put on socks the right way! Until then, you would always be the one to put them on for me…

I miss that lip-smacking pudding you’d prepare –and even though mom follows the exact same recipe, it never tastes the same….

I wish I’d learnt to climb trees when you were coaxing me to. I never paid heed after a few failed attempts and now when the mangoes at the top of tree go beyond the reach of my stick, I always regret not listening to you…

I miss you when the White Lilies bloom…your favourite colour and favourite flower…I still can recollect how they didn’t bloom for three years despite the tending you gave them and I also remember the mini-party we had when four stalks budded and bloomed at a time! And yes, don’t worry, Mamma, your garden is being taken care of!

I miss those Work-days we had…when I was your assistant! “Go get the spanner! Bring the box of screws! Find a bolt matching this screw….Hammer this nail into the wall…” If today, I’m well versed with the names and uses of every tool, it’s only because of you…

I miss that lullaby you’d sing to me, whenever I was upset and put my head onto your lap…You knew I’d grown big enough for you to sing me that lullaby…But you also knew it was that very lullaby that would calm me down put me to sleep..

I miss how you’d keep all sorts of names for the hard-board boxes, wrappers, coloured papers that I’d save back for my art work…and how you’d  stop anyone who wanted to throw away my box of “crap” saying, “It’ll break her heart. Keep it back”

I wish you were here today….to see that I have my own blog. You were always a fan of any little thing I wrote – be it that essay on ‘My Summer Vacation’ or that childish poem on ‘Baarish’. 354 people follow my blog, Mamma…I wish I could see your proud face…

I miss you a lot. And I know you were already aware how much I’d miss you in your absence, which is why you had prepared me in so many ways – some which I cannot even imagine…And yes, I’m not troubling Ma too much…and I am following all the instructions you’d given me and will always do…

I also want to say something I never said to you while you were with us…A heartfelt Thank you. Inspite of everything, you made our childhood worth remembering….you were and will always be my Superwoman. ❤

 

Lots and lots of love,
Your grand-daughter.

JACK!! <3

 

My affair with Jack goes a long way back….. Whenever the news of my arrival would reach my native place, Jack would be all ready…eager to meet someone who loved him truly…. I vividly remember the 3 ½ year old me checking him out 😀 !! The moment I reached my ancestral home in Konkan, I’d run to the backyard…only to see him sitting atop a huge pile of logs of wood…the mere sight of him would make me drooool!!! 😛

So let’s meet my love… Jack…  🙂

 

 

 

Gotcha people!!  ;D

My fondness for Jack is something known to my entire village now! My people there would keep 6-7 jack fruits ready upon the pile of wood a day prior to my arrival for a week-long stay! And when I reached home, I’d shoot towards the backyard just to see if my unsaid demands have been met! 😀

Then the customary ‘Tichki’ ceremony would take place. In the presence of all the elders of my home, I would give 3-4 tichkis to each jackfruit (that’s how you find out if its ripe enough for consumption – it was taught to me by my great- grandma when I was a kid) and confidently declare,

“Hyo pikla…aaz kaapuyat” (This one’s ripe..we’ll cut it today)

With an approving nod, the chosen jack would be taken away from there. And all the people witnessing this actually knew which ones were ripe. They would just see if I would find the right one…and glee… I always did!!

I’d hear them say, “Your kid is smart” (I know, I know!! :P)

I have a record of eating an entire jackfruit in one sitting. And yes – no tummy ache or anything after that 😛 ! (Touchwood!!!). Imagine the look on my family’s faces (both immediate and extended) when they discovered that the entire jackfruit had been devoured by me – a 4 year old kid! A feat na? I should have had the sense to check out with the Guinness World Records people…even Limca Records would do! 😛

Reactions varied from…
“How did she…….an entire one??!!!!”
“Here have some coconut oil…you won’t get any tummy trouble!”
“I hope you didn’t drink water over it!!” ( A rule to be strictly followed, by the way – else you’ll end up shrieking at the Doctor’s with a terrible stomach ache! – Never happened to me though :P..Touchwood…again!!)

And my reply was simple..
“I don’t want anything…nothing happens to me!” 🙂

And I guess that’s the day when Jack fell in love with Jessica. (Why won’t he? I stood up for him against the masses…and cleared false allegations levelled against him……my poor little tough guy…!!)

Even today, whether I visit my native or not, my summers are incomplete without my Jackfruit quota. And whenever I go to the local bazaar to buy one for my family,…( I have to share here..its not free na 😛 ) the ‘tichki’ ritual is still intact as it was years ago!
This is the normal conversation:

Me : Bhaiyya, this is Kaapa…I want Rasaal..see its over there
Bhaiyya : How do you know? Are you from Konkan?
Me: ( With a broad grin lighting up my face) Yes…I am!
Now a little enlightenment here.
Quite a lot of people don’t know that Jack is broadly classified into two – Rasaal and Kaapa.

Rasaal – It’s smaller in size and each “gar” (the fleshy part inside) is very sweet and jiggly. It has to be consumed the day it is cut open. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it! Even among Jack lovers, Rasaal fans specifically are typically hard to find.

Kaapa – The one’s which are not small 😛 The bigger and comparatively harder gars. They can be consumed over a period of 2-3 days. Preferred among jackfruit lovers. I won’t say I don’t like it – but I’d prefer rasaal over kaapa any day.

 

The sad part of our romance is that I get to see him only during these summer months..It’s tough..but I put up a strong front during the rest of the year…..I eat jackfruit chips…or something else that contains jackfruit….

A lot of people have so many complaints against Jack…
“Urghhh…he’s so smelly…can’t bear his smell!!”
“How can you even stand his sight…he looks weird!”
“I hate him…he made my tummy ache like hell….”

Well to all those people, nothing comes in between my love for Jack…After all, true love is accepting each other with flaws and all…

I’d still like to make my point here:
Jack has no flaws…it’s the people who are crazy…..Jack is the BESSTTTTT!!! 😀 😛

 

My tryst with Public Transport!

I desperately wanted to get into BMCC (my senior college) right away after my 10th. With my 10th score, I would have easily made it into the college in the first merit list itself. But as per my dear  family, I was still not prepared to sustain the atmosphere of a “City College”.
So from their side it was :
“We’re not sending you ‘so far’ ‘so soon’. You can go there after 12th
Like I was going to evolve in those two years 😛

To be honest, I always felt that it was a cunning saazish – to ensure that I studied hard enough in my 12th boards to make it to the high cut-off of my desired college…which I did anyway…so that’s okay. Win-win situation for both. 🙂

Now. My college is right in the heart of Pune city, which is quite far from my home. So naturally, this question came up:

“Ma, how will I travel? It’s far na…”
“By bus, beta” (She probably knew it would come as a minor blow to me, hence the usage of “beta”)
“But Ma..I don’t really know that side of the city well..”
“It’s okay. Initially no one knows a thing. You’ll learn”

I braced myself for 4 hours of travel every day.
And did I learn? Hell, yeah!! Not only ‘that side of the city’, but also what travelling by public transport exactly is!

I’ve tried to bring to paper my kaleidoscopic experiences and lessons learnt as a public transport commuter for three years! Read on to know…. 😀

  • The virtue of Patience :
    Endless hours of waiting at bus stops….has definitely taught the impatient me the virtue of patience. In 3 years, public transport managed to teach me something that my family couldn’t in 17 years of co-existence. XD.

    Keep calm…the bus will arrive at its own sweet time any which ways  🙂

    This is the magical chant. You need to keep repeating this to yourself. It works.

    And do not commit the cardinal sin of learning up a bus time-table. That will only bring in more disappointment and frustration and aid you to lose your cool. 🙂

 

  • Unagi – the state of complete awareness :
    I can safely say that I’ve achieved Unagi. Maybe not completely, but enough for my survival!
    Three things to keep in mind:
    – Don’t fall
    -Keep yourself safe from falling people (apparently people lose their grip and stability in a bus)
    -If someone falls on you….two options are available: Save them from falling or Dodge.

    Pick-pockets around. At all times, keep one eye on your bags, backpacks, handbags, polythene bags, paper bags, all kinds of bags.(Unless you want to get out of the bus feeling lighter)
    And in case lady luck favours you, and you manage to get a seat, doze off, but better beware of the drivers and their thrilling brake applying skills. You sure don’t want to get out of the bus with something broken or swollen. 😛

 

  • Men will be men :
    No matter how you dress up, at all times, there will be those few idiots who will keep gawking at every woman who passes by. -_-  Comments will be passed, nudges…and the same old story…

    Funny incident: This drunk guy got into the bus. Fell on one lady. She started yelling, “He fell on me intentionally” This drama continued until someone realised the guy was drunk and he reeked of alcohol. The conductor took things in his hand and told the guy to get out of the bus. While he agreed after hurling few abuses, the comic part was when he fell on two more women while exiting the bus! The women were fuming, half the passengers were angry and other half, laughing!

    But again, there will also be these chivalrous men. They will be like:
    “You can occupy my seat if you want to”
    Some will oblige. Others will give them the ‘why is he offering his seat to me’ look.

 

  • The conductor keeps the show going :
    “Pudhe chala, pudhe chala” (Keep moving ahead, keep moving ahead)
    “Pudhche pudhe sarkat raha!” (People ahead keep moving ahead)

    Yep. That’s the conductor. Especially in a crowded bus, locating the conductor can be a task. But thanks to this war-cry of his, he’s easily detected.
    But on a serious note, the conductor can literally make the bus dance to his tunes (Ting-ting). 😛

    There was this funny incident, when a guy’s backpack got entangled with the conductor’s money pouch. Both parties didn’t notice. The guy’s stop arrived. He hurriedly made his way through the crowd, dragging the conductor along with him!!
    The conductor, almost out of the bus, half-irked half- smiling, said “Kick me itself out of the bus…that’s all that is remaining now!” Poor fella!
    But the laugh we passengers had!! 😀

 

  • Vacant seats are vacant for a reason :
    In a crowded bus if your eyes fall upon a seat that is vacant, DO NOT get excited to place yourself upon it! It’s vacant for a reason.Reasons may vary from:
    -Technical issues (screws may be loose)
    -It may be wet
    -Gross reasons like someone may have spat or puked on it. Don’t squirm. It happens.

 

  • Arguments add the required tadka :
    You will get to witness a whole range of arguments. Starting from minor bickering to verbal squabbles to full-blown brawls – we have it all on the menu!

    Agendas for the arguments will generally be:-
    -This is ladies seat (Ladies vs. One ignorant man/men)
    -This is senior citizen’s seat (Senior citizen vs. Some adamant youngster or fake Sr. Citizen)
    -Shift to the men’s side and don’t stick to the ladies! (Ladies vs. Men)
    -I don’t have change. (Big shots with no chutta vs. conductors)

 

  • Monsoons…..well…. :
    Wading from flooded bus stops to make your way into a cramped bus that has a leaking roof (which by the way, makes you feel like you’re still outside)….is annoying.The stairs of the bus will be slippery. Even if you get into the bus, you yourself will wonder how you managed to do it…There will be leaking umbrellas all around.
    And yes…that one big fat uncle, who prefers not to take off his dripping raincoat (even if it means soaking the people around).Also, people gleefully step on your foot/feet/footwear, painting it in the plush colours of the monsoon slush. -_-

 

  • Women will be…err….women! :
    Women have this ability  of calling their seats from ten miles away. They’ll fling whatever they have in hand – handkerchiefs, handbags, purses and even phones (the Smart ones) just to reserve their seats…Well..I’ve witnessed this too!

 

  • Last row seats should come with a caution :
    I’m saying this because the very first time I had occupied one of those seats, I had almost got flung outside the bus from the back door. Thanks to the excellent speed breakers and the driver’s toofani driving skills.

 

  • The joy of sighting the direct-home-bus :
    You’ll understand this only if you have had to switch buses to get home. And the mere sight of the bus that will take you home directly calls for a mini-celebration!
    The joy of watching that bus arrive and the motive to get into it no matter how crowded it is….is unexplainable! 😀

 

 

This journey of three years was indeed filled with bitter-sweet experiences and memories. At times ,any of this comes to my mind, it makes me smile. Travelling by bus has left me with so many incidents funny, scary, weird….I have treasure load of stories to narrate! When I look back, I realise that I learnt so many things. I came across situations where I had to make a call… defend myself…raise my voice. All of this has only made me stronger…and of course smarter 🙂

And I do realise what Ma actually meant when she said “You’ll learn” 🙂

 

The Muzzy Grammar Nazi tag :) / :(

Okay. Conceptual clarity.

Grammar Nazi.
HURLED AT : A specific clan of people whose veins and arteries carry Grammar, instead of blood.
HURLED BY : General slaughterers of the English language.

I have this habit of correcting peoples grammatical errors, misspelt words and pronunciations (In my defense, I would like to term it as ‘service to mankind in general’-even if it annoys many 😛 ).

Screenshot_2018-04-27-16-28-59-1
Exactly the kind of service to mankind I was talking about! 🙂

And I wasn’t really aware of this term “Grammar Nazi’ until someone used it for me! A little research and I get to know what it really means:

Grammar Nazi – Someone who habitually corrects grammar and/or spelling mistakes made by others in a conversation, both on and offline.

I did not know whether I should take it as a compliment or a taunt. So whenever you’re confused…or muzzy…switch to the neutral gear..

After all the ahem and uhmms…I accepted that was me… I had unwittingly earned this tag, probably after spending 14 years in the “Convent environment” – where grammar and discipline are the heart and soul, amongst everything else!

But still, to call me a Grammar Nazi? That hurts, na! Grammar Genius or Grammar something else would be fine. But Nazi? Considering history and all…..second thoughts….

I’m  sure a lot of you all must have tauntingly had this tag pasted upon you…especially if you’re a Convent product (this also invites the “Convent wale” tag) or even otherwise, if you have a good command over the language.

Well….let’s have a look at common traits and characteristics of Grammar Nazis.
So if you’re a Grammar Nazi (Genius 😛 ) you could totally relate to what I’ve listed!

  1. Even 10 years after passing out of school, you can rattle the types of tenses and clauses after being woken up from a deep sleep right in the middle of the night!
  2. The sight and sound of the teeniest grammatical error rings that alert bell in your brain. You raise eyebrows. Your ears prick up. And you’ll have this immediate urge to rectify the detected error right then, right there…sadly enough, it’s not possible always…

    Screenshot_2018-04-27-16-28-34-1
    This actually happens!!
  3. The Wren & Martin is your grammatical Bible. These guys should get their due credit. They stood by you through thick and thin (5th to 12th standard 😛 ). And whenever you looked up to them, you had to do it with a dictionary by your side!
  4. You yourself face a grammatical dilemma at times! You write something…you look at it…something here just doesn’t look right!! Is the tense wrong? Is the sentence formation right? Punctuation?………..blah! -_-
  5. The very people who tagged you, will run to you for help when they find themselves in a grammatical crisis!
  6. You sympathize with your fellow Grammar Nazi brethren!! Whenever the language is murdered in any form anywhere, your eyes will immediately meet! :)(Aaaaah…that sense of reassurance!!)
  7. And sometimes…those rare golden opportunities where your fellow Grammar Nazi makes an error!! The joy of roasting the poor fellow! XD
    Screenshot_2018-04-27-16-28-50-1
  8. You have your moments of embarrassment too!! It’s like you’ll be making a big fuss about someone’s error and while doing this you’ll unknowingly end up making a mistake…which will be promptly caught by your otherwise unaware-about-grammar fellow!
  9. Punctuation matters…a LOT! Because you know the entire meaning of the sentence changes owing to the presence or absence of the humble family of commas and full stops!
  10. And then there are those times when all you can do is sit back and watch the language being slaughtered! It’s free entertainment in its own way 😀 !
Screenshot_2018-04-27-16-28-42-1
They nailed it! 😀

 

I had to be very alert while typing this article! Didn’t want 6 and 7 to be pointed out in the comments section!

If you could relate to the blog and if I’ve missed out on anything, feel free to leave your peculiar Grammar Nazi traits in the comments section!

 

So people, have fun reading! And thanks a lot for following Bohemian Blues! 🙂
It really encourages me to write and come up with new stuff!! 🙂

Naamkaran Ceremony of my Blog!

Pehla baccha hai….accha naam rakhna padega! LOL!
This was the exact thought in my head when I was looking out for an apt name for my….err…baccha.
And believe me (or not), it took me almost a week to finally choose something unique and catchy.

To be honest, some of the blogs that I religiously follow have out-of-the-box, whacky names…so I had to activate my think tank to get something hatke out of it…

PART 1
“How about Tattletales?” I pinged my sister while she was at her workplace.
Now a quick detour. I was watching FRIENDS Season3 Episode4: Thanksgiving Lightning Confessions.

B1

I think you got the gist of what I’m trying to say here!

After an hour she replies “You know what it means right?”
I quickly replied, ”Yeah” (rolling my eyes) and sent her this too.

IMG-20180426-WA0002

She plainly replied, “Think of something better”
“Duh…okay…”

 

PART 2
Now…I always had this fascination for the word ‘Fernweh”. Its a beautiful German word that means ‘longing for a distant place’ or simply….Wanderlust.
And just to give it an Alliteral effect, I suffixed Fernweh with ‘Flutters’.

Fernweh Flutters. Sounds nice

Heading to the Approval Department (Mom included this time), which by the way, flatly rejected my proposal citing “it makes no sense” as the reason….. -_-

 

PART 3
Suddenly, another German word “Luftmensch” popped into my head.
Luftmensch – Persons with tendency to dream….

Luftmensch…what…?….Loiters…?
I cannot understand my affinity towards Alliteration (Probably it was the easiest Figure of Speech 😛 )

So I concluded…if Fernweh cannot flutter…Luftmensh cannot loiter….
Didn’t even head to the Approval Department….

 

PART 4
Just after dinner….My sister asked me, ”How about The Lone Musketeer?”
I snapped back, “I don’t want my people to think my blog is about a single girl who is ranting about her boring life” (Little clarification here: Single life rocks…;) )

But again I wasn’t able to come up with something nice…so reluctantly I agreed…

 

PART 5
The very next day, I came across an article in  Times Life – Bohemian Embroidery in vogue.
Something clicked. I kinda knew what bohemian meant…some hippie gypsy thing…but just to make sure, I looked it up in the dictionary. There it was, gazing back at me..
Bohemian – An unconventional or non-conformist artist or writer

THAT IS SO ME!!! 😀
My eyes lit up.
I lit up 😀

Okay. What goes with Bohemian…
What does any person with an unconventional way of life face?….Hardships?….or better..Blues?? (See….Alliteration…again :P)
And right there….

BOHEMIAN BLUES!!!!
Sounds cool enough.
Got it approved too! 😀

 

Finally my baccha has a name….!! 😀