Happy Birthday, Baby!

Hellooo people! Don’t ask me what I’ve been doing all day today –  (apart from work, of course, where I had a tonne of writing to do!) – I’ve been singing – When you’re happy and you know it, Clap your hands, Click your fingers and whatever else the song asks you to do! And the reason’s pretty obvious, my baby’s turned ONE today!

Along with the work and singing and other nonsensical stuff, I was also busy with revamping the look of my website – Birthday hai, naye kapde bante hai na? And well, I know I’ve been changing the look of my website quite a lot over the past year (can’t help it, no theme that WordPress offers agrees with me – I mean, c’mon, can’t they create something that suits my taste and personality?!). And when I finally found a theme that ticked all the check-boxes, I got to know that my website doesn’t support that theme – yeah, I rolled my eyes. Sheer injustice. -_-

And if you want to know to what level I was annoyed, just ask the WordPress Support Team – I chewed their brains for an hour – with them trying to explain me what has to be done, and me not understanding anything what they trying to convey (Technologically handicapped that way – don’t understand much of it – I myself don’t know how I managed to set this website up! 😛 ). I finally gave up and decided that I’ll choose some simple theme and customize it myself – which took me quite a while, and here I am – with some time off to write a post to commemorate, celebrate this day – which is very close to my heart. Because this day is when the writer in me was born – and this is no lesser than the day I was born! ❤

I’ll take you through how it all began –

Writing a blog was always on my bucket list – a dear friend of mine (Thank you, Kalash ji) even got me in touch with his friend who already had a blog, so that I could figure out how to go about with it. This was way back in 2015, when I was in first year of grad. Imagine, after three years of hesitation, struggle, wondering if I’ll be able to write, and maintain a blog – I finally decided to give it a go. 🙂

And I really didn’t know what the response would be – and I seriously wasn’t aware about the effort and guts this takes – but I think I kinda fared well. 🙂

When I was in the “NO ONE READS WHAT I WRITE” phase, I always had two of my biggest fans by my side – Ma and my sister. “Write for yourself – don’t bother about who says what”, said Ma. My sister, she said keep writing, don’t bother about the likes and comments- that’s what I do – even now. So yes, a big thanks to the only tinkas this writer has when she is besahara!

Of course, as a writer, when I put up my thoughts on a public platform, I won’t deny that it all comes with a hint of nervousness and excitement at the same time. What will the feedback be? Will they read? Will they like? These questions keep clouding my mind – even as I am writing today’s post!

But yes, over the past year, with around 15 posts in my kitty, I can now say that I’m now becoming comfortable with writing – more importantly, sharing my life with the world.

I honestly hadn’t thought I’d be up for this commitment – I’m that kind of a person who keeps flitting between things – but I’m glad I came through it! I know now, that if there’s something that I can stick to without getting bored or tired, it’s Writing!

And well, as far as my blog is concerned, I’m very very proud of it. (Not to be bragging or anything, but yes, I’m a proud Mama!) So much so that at times when I’m bored, I keep reading, re-reading posts! It may sound weird, but yes, I do it. My posts show me how and how much I’ve evolved – initially I didn’t know what to write, but when I see my most recent posts – they mirror my life. And I know that I will never run out of topics to write about till the day I’m alive and kicking – because I’ve realized that my life itself is a big, long and one heck of an interesting story (which I sincerely hope, keeps getting better by the day), bits and pieces of which I would love to keep sharing with all of you.

Oh and yes, this journey wouldn’t be possible without all of you, who actually read what I write. I know quite a few people, who no matter how busy and occupied, spare a few minutes to go through my blog and inbox me the feedback. Even apart from those, I know I have a silent following too, who just reads and doesn’t report back. And then I have my friends who will leave back comments on every post – no matter what! Oh, and those who message me – When’s the next post coming up? – when I haven’t posted anything for a while – you guys are the best! To all these people, thank you for being a part of my journey – you are the ones who motivate me to keep writing. ❤

Not to forget the whole lot of fellow bloggers from India and across the world who follow the blog and make an effort to leave back encouraging comments– to all of them, I don’t know you personally, but thank you too! 🙂

If you ask me what the highlights of this one year were, I’d definitely include two things. On the top of this list has to be when one of my articles got published, for the first time on a Canadian website – I felt like I won an Oscar that day – okay wait, not Oscar, the Booker prize! (I still feature in the top 30 articles list on the website – www.obaawoman.com, in case you missed out on it!)

And how can I forget almost winning – take note, almost winning, not won – the Backpacker’s Panda 30 day Intern Trip competition where from over 3000 applications all over the country, mine was down to the top 30 and then to the top 6 – and all I had to do to reach there was write my heart out about my love for travel! 😀

I believe my passion for writing is going to take me places! And boy, I’m thoroughly enjoying this phase which following my passion has got me into! ❤

But yes, there’s still a long way to go – I have 105 organic followers – (the earlier 354 followers were a goof-up by WordPress) but yes, 105 in a year, not bad na? I hope many more join me – which is why I keep telling you guys – share among friends and family as much as you can na? Okay do it as a gift to my baby today! :P. And I hope you guys stay tuned to this journey of mine – and bring in some more people to tune in too!

And for the celebrations part, we’re having a pastry party at home today – little joys in life must be celebrated right?! So diggin’ in those chocolate pastries this evening! 😀

Aaah and a little clarification – for those who were concerned that I misspelt the word ‘Happyness’ on today’s WhatsApp status update announcing the birthday – no I haven’t forgotten the spelling, I just took it out from one of my favorite Hollywood movies – the Pursuit of Happyness. 😀

So, tada people, keep me in your prayers, and I’ll keep you too (who’ll read my posts otherwise :P) and I’ll keep writing interesting stuff and promise me, you’ll keep reading! 😉

And I cannot think of ending this post with anything better than a TAHE DIL SE SHUKRIYA! Love you all!! ❤

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Letter-wala Love:

It was a lazy Sunday – with newspapers (Sunday Times, Pune Times and Times Life to be specific), crumbs of toasted bread, a cup of cold, unfinished tea– all sprawled over the floor. Sunday is the only day of the week when we have no arguments over the newspapers – there are three for the three of us – unlike the routine weekday newspapers which are just two, leading to constant squabbles over newspapers in the early morning. So that’s our typical Sunday – you’ll find our heads bent over the newspaper, with the early morning sun basking off our oiled heads!

As usual, I picked up my Sunday favorite first – the Times Life – it is full of interesting articles, with pretty unique and relatable perspectives on many topics. As I picked the glossy newspaper, the first thing that I came across was the interview of Aditi Rao Hydari – a popular Bollywood actress. And then I saw a part of the interview that was highlighted with huge pink quotes – “Love has become a convenient emotion”. This sentence was so easy to understand yet had such a deep meaning and set my thoughts off – and that’s exactly what I’ve written about  – about where I draw my inspiration for true love.

For me, the most ideal couple that I always look up to is that of my maternal grandparents. They together, were a power couple, one that people still remember till date. And if you ask me why, I have tonnes of reasons to list down.

The first time Papa (as we fondly addressed him) saw Mamma(I’ve mentioned her at many instances) was when she was carrying a bundle of firewood, all tied up and walking towards the courtyard of her home. A distant acquaintance, Papa along with his older brother had come visiting Mamma’s family. The courtyard was full of humor-filled conversations and piping hot chaai. That’s when Mamma walked in from the main gate and made her way to the backyard (where all the firewood is stored – even now). That was right when Papa told his older brother – “This is it – she is the one I’m going to marry”

 Now apart from being the stunning beauty she was, my grandmother was a woman of great skill. Her petite frame would easily trick anyone, making them think she was very naive, delicate and timid  – all of which she was not! And her intelligence was something which was talked about in the entire village – Papa must have surely heard about it all!

So that’s how they got married – and moved to Mumbai to make their lives.

IMG_20190214_162857_LL (1)
An old photograph – circa 1961

My grandparents both had diverse personalities – it often amused me how two people, so opposite in nature can put up with each other! But they did – they did it for 45 long years, since 1961 till the day Papa finally passed away in 2006.

Papa was known for his constant chatter and easy-going nature, whereas Mamma for her quiet nature. A known acquaintance, who is more like family and whom my grandparents often visited rightly noted this difference and put it into words – “For every three sentences your Grandpa spoke, your Granny had one solid comeback!” quipped Uncle Shailesh, who was fondly reminiscing those chaai-pe-charcha memories with my grandparents. He also mentioned that their conversations were so interesting to listen to – their banter never ended!

Also, Papa loved sweets – the best of the halwaais in Mumbai were his close friends – and you’d often find Papa chomping on freshly prepared laddoos in their shop (a tradition he managed to continue even when they relocated to Pune!). On the other hand, being a diabetic, Mamma kept herself away from sweets and  yes, she wasn’t really fond of them either.

Papa had this short temper, which flared up at regular intervals, whereas Mamma was this cool-headed person who took things easy.

I can just go on with the list of differences they had – I think I’ll have to dedicate an entire post to that! But I think you got what I’m trying to say here – that’s who they were, two different individuals with one life.

Papa would always tease Mamma – she had a beautiful name- Crescencia (Crescent moon in Spanish) and Papa kept complaining that it was too long a name to pronounce! So he would address her as Cresin (a name which Mama later legally adopted). Apart from Kresin (the C became a K, for pronunciation sakes), he would call her by a host of other names which were homo phonic to hers – and though it would annoy her, all she would end up doing was laugh!

Mamma on the other hand was proud of Papa’s intelligence – she always bragged about how he knew the ‘paun-pada’ or the multiple tables of quarters and how he was the one of the smartest student in his class. She also admired how Papa gelled along superbly well with her family (his in-laws) – he cared so much for my great-grandmother, that she was utterly crestfallen when the news of his death reached her.

What bonded them together? Despite being starkly different, how did they carry on for 45 long years together? Well, they had this mutual respect and unshaken faith in each other. When Papa fell ill, Mamma took over the business reins and put up a stoic front, and kept running the household. Not once did she complain, not once did he question or doubt her. They did have their share of heated arguments, squabbles and bickering  – but they kept it all aside. You should have seen the team they were when some important decisions had to be taken in the family – two sharp brains – quickly weighing the pros and cons of the situation, of the decision and then firmly going ahead with it. They’ve faced some of the toughest times together – but they prevailed. They survived it all. And what was it that lead them through these storms? If it wasn’t steadfast love for each other, I don’t know what it was…

“That’s the palest I have ever seen her” – said Mamma’s sister, right after Papa’s funeral. And though Mamma put up a brave front – we all knew that she had lost what she held closest to her heart.

The kind of upbringing they had, expressing love was never a part of it. They never expressed, never gifted each other anything, nothing material – it was just pure love that was based not on show off, but on deep respect, understanding and affection for each other – which reflected in their actions. Their’s was love during a time when it wasn’t convenient – when letters were a mode of communication, when being away from each other meant almost no interaction at all. But they survived and thrived, setting an example for me, for us.

In our times of status-update love, it’s all about fake display. Like I keep saying relationships have become essential to validate existence. More of a pass time, no one’s bothered about the other’s feelings and emotions. It’s indeed difficult to find, to create, to build a relationship that my grandparents (and probably even yours) had. 

 In our instant generation, where everything from noodles to messaging is quick, is it going to be possible to find letter-wala love? The slow-paced, take-your-time, be yourself, I’m always here for you kind of love?

In this status update-wala generation, is it wrong to expect letter-wala love? Is letter-wala love still in fashion? Or is it like letters, gone, outdated and long-lost?

Some questions are always left unanswered……  

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To those who made a difference :)

I didn’t want to begin this blog on a negative note – but I cannot deny this fact either – the last few years of my school life were pathetic. I don’t have any fond memories from those years, apart from a handful of friends, whom I still hangout with.

Further, junior college. It was fun. I had finally got out of the suffocating atmosphere in school. I was myself in junior college. And it was a lot, lot better than school. No wait, it’s wrong to even compare both – because, junior college was liberating. It had set me free. And you can’t put a price tag on freedom. It’s priceless.

And then heading to senior college, I discovered a completely different side to myself. I was at my best in my graduation years. And I can quite confidently say that those who met me in senior college would not relate to my earlier version at all. I took up everything that came my way – right from heading events to ultimately becoming the Ladies’ Representative. The last two of my graduation years were the best – because they had brought out who I truly was.

But through this journey from school to junior and then senior college, the one thing I will always remember are my teachers – those who made a difference in my life.

And today, I will be telling you all about my teachers who genuinely made a difference in my life. There were teachers who taught me what was in the book, and then, there were these angels – who went beyond books and managed to leave a long-lasting imprint on my mind with their words and actions. And I remember and cherish the latter, much more than the former. I’ll be narrating some very specific incidents which I remember very vividly. There were defintely more incidents, but these were the one’s that touched me the most. To all those angels in my life, this one is for you.

I have to begin with you, Miss Aileen.
“Take 10 demerits and fly away” – (all KBians will relate well to this)
On seeing someone ruining their paper sheets in art class, these were the words which would echo in the class. And the laugh we all would have!
But Miss, you were much more to me than that. Every time I receive a compliment about how well I gave the presentation, or that I don’t have any stage fear, my mind immediately drifts back to kindergarten – and flashes of how you would make me me stand in front of the whole class and sing the song are right in front of my eyes:

“Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que Sera Sera, what will be will be…………..”

At that age, I would sing it so confidently, just the way you had taught me to.
You wiped away my stage fear even before I got to know what it meant. And Miss, I cannot thank you enough for this.
And of course, you did teach me the right song – the lyrics (which at that age, I didn’t understand at all)  are such an encouragement whenever life comes to a chaotic standstill. And I know I can just sing away my worries!

Miss Nisha, you had the gentlest, kindest soul. My second mother, in school. After the wonderful things my sister told me about you, I was very much eager to enter into secondary school just because you taught the higher classes. And just like my sister, you took me under your wings too. I will forever cherish everything you taught me. You will always hold a special place in my heart – for nothing specific, but for everything! After passing out from school, I realised you were the teacher I was going to miss the most. I remember how the last time I’d met you, tears rolled down my eyes – you meant that much to me. And how quick you were to give me a warm hug saying, “Baccha,I will keep you in my prayers always”.

Miss Juliet, you made it a point to narrate one short story with a moral everyday in class. 4th class I remember. You did it – every single day, without fail. Every day began with a new story and left us with a moral, with a value that we were going to carry ahead in our lives. Although I don’t remember every story you told us, I sure know that the values are etched in my mind and heart forever. Thank you – the morals those stories gave are a treasure trove that I proudly carry around everywhere.

Miss Pradhan – an inborn artist with a marvelous talent, and the best Marathi teacher –I loved your art classes. I had lost touch of the creativity in me over the years in school, but in 8th, when you were our art teacher, I changed. Your encouragement, the personal touches you gave to improvise my paintings, your tips to improve my art work – all helped me realise that my creative side wasn’t dead, it had just fallen asleep! And you successfully managed to wake it up! And I cannot thank you enough for that.

Miss Nazira, apart from being the fantastic Hindi teacher you were, I very well remember something you’d said when I needed it the most. The Student Council for the year was announced and I was a bit disappointed at not being nominated into it. I brushed it off, saying it didn’t bother me. But when a classmate taunted me over it, it hurt. And you probably noticed the hurt in my eyes– which is when you told me this :

“Beta, dekhna, zindagi mei har acchi cheez apne samay par aati hai.
(My child, everything good in life comes at the right time)
You deserve something much better than this. And you will get it.”

And years later, when I pinned up my Student Council badges in Junior and Senior college, these words echoed in my mind – exactly the way you said it. And then I knew what you meant. You may have forgotten these words, but they are something I’m definitely carrying with me for the rest of my life.

Moving on to my junior and senior college teachers – I can go on and on writing about them, which is why, I thought it best to write about them in the next post.

So stay tuned and catch up with the next post! See you then! 🙂

 

So here we go…a little about me… :)

Well…for starters…I’m a convent school survivor! Not only school, even junior college..(though I have to admit that junior college was better). And as of now, I’ll be graduating in the month of July from one of the best institutions of commerce in Pune (BMCC).
Don’t ask me about my future plans! In a confused state of mind..its like I know yet I’m not sure…best, chuck it for now..
Umm..what else should you know about me?…uhmm..okay
I’m fluent in five languages (English, Hindi, Marathi, Konkani and German).I’m a proud polyglot and its something that I love bragging about! And I share the exact polyglot status with my sister, so we kinda have a secret code language!:p And man, its fun!
I loveeee to read! I’m not a geek, but a voracious reader who won’t notice anyone’s existence when there’s a book in hand. I can read anything and everything that I lay my hands on with an enviable speed (don’t miss the smirk on my face here! :p). But novels and poetry..they’re special…they are food for my soul 🙂
I’m a singer too – professionally trained in the art of bathroom singing. And I also love listening to music..its my stress buster :).
I’m extremely creatively inclined. I like drawing and painting. My pallets and brushes and colours are what I call my “Weapons of Mass Creation” 😉 Sometimes the Poetess in me also awakens 🙂
Photography is something that I’m passionate about. I’m a living proof that you don’t need a DSLR to win a photography competition!
I’m trained in Taekwondo (A Korean martial art form) and I love playing Badminton. Also, Swimming! I’m a hard-core Cancerian and a Aqua-holic water baby!! 😀
Apart from this, I’m a child at heart who finds happiness in the smallest of all things 😀 (Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens kind of person) Also yes a chatter-box whose jaws ache if shut for more than half an hour.
I would list myself into the Ambivert category-I love having lots of people around me but after a while I’ll start questioning the existence of everything around me.
And If ever you need an example for a living Paradox..you can safely go ahead with my name.

And I have a sweet tooth ( or should I say sweet mouth? Coz I can gorge on sweets unapologetically at any moment 24/7 365 days of the year!)
Okay this needs a special mention: The above mentioned me , is a loyal FRIENDS fan :D. Suits follows closely.
Oh and yes..I’m a conscious and vocal feminist…who believes in equality.
Lastly, writing is my passion…join me on my Boho-journey…and you’ll see! 😀bb4