Friday, July 10, 2015

Diet and Dieting- What we need to know

Summer. For some it is an opportunity to flaunt their perfect figures in shorts and trendy tops while for some it is time to hide dollops of fat acquired during the winter in baggy tees.

I happen to come in the second category, thanks to the evil named PCOD (Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease) and 3 years of neglected diet.



After suffering a lot both physically and emotionally due to the medical condition, I have finally understood what it means to have a healthy, balanced life and how important it is for each and every one of us.

Any health problem associated with sedentary life style and unhealthy eating habits is like a Nemean Hydra that just keeps on sprouting two heads each time you cut off one. Trust me, I have been there.

With PCOD comes not only serious hormonal imbalance and weight gain but also severe mood swings, lethargy and self-confidence issues. Medicines are generally not suggested because they cause only temporary relief from the problem and end up resulting in further hormonal imbalance. All the doctors I have visited suggested me only one thing- exercise and  a balanced diet.

We all have written long, rich answers for a balanced diet at school but I don't think any of us realised the actual importance of it at that time. I do now.

A balanced diet might sound boring but it is very important to stay healthy and fit in the long run. After I decided to put an end to my laziness and join the gym, I also started eating healthy you have no other choice when you are at home :P)  and believe me, just after a month of it, I can totally feel my body being lighter and more flexible than before.
                    
Balanced diet is nothing but proper, nutritious food taken at proper timings and intervals. I know hostel life takes away all the resolution of eating proper what with the late night hunger demands and hurried stuffing for breakfast. But we can at least give it a shot.

Breakfast, being the most important meal of the whole day shouldn’t be neglected at any cost. A lunch rich in all carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, proteins and minerals should be mandatory. A light snack in the evening followed by a protein rich, light dinner in the night should complete the balanced diet for the day.

Being a complete vegtarian, I had intially my fears about going short on protein but with a bit of reserach and help from my trainer, I could follow a protein rich diet with pulses, curd, chana, cheese without much effort. 


A balanced diet might sound boring but it is very important to stay healthy and fit in the long run. After I decided to put an end to my laziness and join the gym, I also started eating healthy you have no other choice when you are at home :P)  and believe me, just after a month of it, I can totally feel my body being lighter and more flexible than before.
                    
Balanced diet is nothing but proper, nutritious food taken at proper timings and intervals. I know hostel life takes away all the resolution of eating proper what with the late night hunger demands and hurried stuffing for breakfast. But we can at least give it a shot.

Breakfast, being the most important meal of the whole day shouldn’t be neglected at any cost. A lunch rich in all carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, proteins and minerals should be mandatory. A light snack in the evening followed by a protein rich, light dinner in the night should complete the balanced diet for the day.

Rather than taking 4 complete meals in the day, eating small amount of food at regular intervals is also recommended especially for those who are dieting. 8-9 small meals consisting of fruits, nut etc would keeps your hunger pangs that come with dieting at bay.  

On contrary to what people think and believe, dieting is not ‘stopping to eat’ at all. Rather, it is more of completing the food cycle of a day in a particular method and time and restricting certain kinds of food.

My gym trainer and dietician told me to eat anything I liked (not junk food of course) but to eat them in sufficient amounts and at proper time. I have seen many people crash dieting and gyming at the same time which resulted in body weakness.

One thing that people don’t realize about crash dieting is that you might lose your kilos very fast, but you will gain double the amount equally fast. In Rujuta Diwekar’s words, Crash diets are like fake jewellery, bure time mein aap ke kaam nahi aata! and more funnily “Crash dieting is like a fling with a bad boy (even when you are in it, you know it’s not going to work long term)” and once you ponder over it, you realise how true it is!

I have also noticed that from the time I have started eating balanced meals at the proper time and exercising regularly, I don’t even crave for stuff like chocolates, chips and other junk I used to eat randomly before. I hardly ever feel hungry except at meal times.

So balanced diet my friends, is the key solution to all the vices of diabetes, heart diseases and all the sickness that we are prone to these days thanks to our sedentary lifestyles.

And when you are bored of eating similar food everyday, you can make it interesting using Honey Diet which adds sweetness to the food without hampering your health!

This post is written for Dabur Honey

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cricket se naata, Zindagi se rishta!

If there is one word that unites every single person of our country inexplicably and irrevocably, it is Cricket. Be it a toddler or the greyest head in the family, when there is a cricket match on, all the heads of an Indian family can be seen huddled together with various degrees of anxiety on their faces. 

Watching a cricket match with family has its own fun but owing to the fact that I had been a resident of a place called 'hostel' for the past three years, 2015 Cricket World Cup was spent watching with the entire hostel shaking with trepidation. 

29th March, 2015 dawned and was imprinted in my memory not only because of the memorable match watched with the entire hostel (plus 10 hostels in the vicinity who were shouting themselves hoarse) but also due to the war I had to wage to keep myself updated with the score. 

It so happened that my department decided to feed us food for free on that very day. It must have been their idea of a treat to accompany the nationwide treat of the World Cup but it was the biggest hindrance ever to our planned hollering with the match.

The day passed peacefully till 12:30 when my phone rang. There was a universal groan of sympathy from my friends who were sitting on any place available in the crowded dining hall. I decided to ignore the phone call and sacrifice mine and the entire departmental girls’ lunch treat.

“Khabar jaak Ma’er bhog-e” (Let the lunch treat go to Durga Ma’s bhog), I said, to encouraging nods from my friends.

But 5 phone calls and a final outburst from the teacher coordinator later, I decided to go after all. I knew no one would be willing to accompany me so I did not even bother asking. Being the student coordinator of the event was showing its darker side.

I was about to get up when two friends of mine screamed. Fearing a gas explosion or worse, a sixer by Austalia, I gasped and turned.

Tui uthe gele to here jabo!”(If you get up from here, we will lose), said one of them while the others looked at me, horror drawing on their faces.

Let me clarify this thing first. We all were sensible, logical girls in general but when it came to cricket, especially the FINAL, all sorts of superstition caught us in its grip. We had been watching the match without shifting even a centimetre from our positions for the past two hours- positions that would ensure no boundaries and maximum wickets. And me getting up from my ‘position’ on the dining table sandwiched between 4 people from all the four sides would definitely mean endangering India’s chances of winning.

What to do then?

I gingerly placed my pillow in my position, draped my friend’s over-long plait on it so that it resembled my hair and extricating my limbs from the crowd, cast a last, sad look on the TV screen and made my way to the sweltering heat outside.

The moment I reached the gate, I started running towards the college. Not a single soul was to be seen in the college campus. Trying to keep the wave of frustration at bay, I calculated that it would take me around 20 minutes to go the department, get the coupons, go to the other mess, get the food packets and return to the hostel. 20 minutes of missing what might be the most crucial points of the match.

Out of breath by the time I reached the department, I considered my options. A google search while running/jogging/meeting an irate teacher was not an option. So, I decided to use the inbuilt personal assistant of my brand new smart phone- Cortana.




All I had tested of it was whether it could sing and dance. But now, desperate times called for desperate measures!




Voice recognition mode on, I quickly gave it instructions to open UC Cricket and keep me updated on the scores. And Voila! My problem of getting match updates while continuing my job at hand was done in a jiffy!


20 minutes later and 10 food packets in hand and eye on the my mobile screen, I re-joined my friends to see the match.

“Thank God you came. You know what...”

“Watson got out, right? Yeah, I know”, I said grinning and enjoying the looks of surprise on their faces. Thanks to Microsoft and UC Browser!

Written for UC Web. Watch their ad here!






Thursday, July 2, 2015

Save the Species- Before it is too late

We all know the magnificence wildlife has around the world. We all are aware of the important role they play in maintaining the balance required in our ecosystem. We all are not unknown to the absolute danger some species are in. But what do we choose to do about it? Nothing.

It was only when I was researching this topic that I came to an acute realization of how real this danger is. It is not just a snippet from the news that we read and see, 'tch-tch' on the conditions of state and forget. It is not just a fact or figure that slips out of our memory as per our convenience. It is something that every human on the face of this earth is responsible for.

You don't murder someone and let the fact slip your mind, do you? And in the context of wildlife on the brink of extinction, we are pretty much the murderers because it is us and only us who are responsible for what is known as the 'sixth greatest extinction wave'on our earth.

Though the selection of which specie should be protected is based upon various of factors like its economic value, its public perception and sometimes, pure chance, I strongly feel that each and every specie labeled as endangered should be conserved while there is still time.

Following is my top three list of animals which need to be saved immediately-

1. Asiatic Lioness-
This is a Lion specie found only and only in India now. History has it that they were formerly living in many countries like Persia, Arabia, Mesopotamia but heavy hunting eradicated their numbers in all of them. In India, before the colonial rule, Asiatic Lioness were found in many states like Bengal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra but ruthless hunting reduced their population to dangerous levels. During the revolt of 1957 in India, a single British officer shot about 300 lions. 

And we claim that humans are the most intelligent beings on earth. What is the purpose of such intelligence that shows no humanity towards beings that are as much part of the planet as we are?

The unfortunate fact is that its number as dwindled so much that it exists as a single population in Gujarat. There are approximately 201 Lioness left now. Naturally, it is labelled as 'EN' or Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

2. Indian Wild Ass- 
The fate of Indian Wild Ass, also known as 'Khur' seems to be similar to that of Asiatic Lioness. Previously having a healthy population in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, the last remaining herd of this specie is found only in Gujarat and Rajasthan now.

Though the British officers and Indian Maharajas had spared this poor animal from hunting as they did not find it interesting enough', the Mughal Emperors took their place instead and hunted it till it was driven into near extinction. Accounts of History show that the Mughal emperors took great pleasure in hunting this animal and there is even a painting of Akbar surrounded by Wild Asses shot by him in the Akbarnama. 



With Gujarat as its only habitat now, Wild Asses is also categorized as Endangered by the IUCN. Though their population has been carefully increased in the recent times, ecologists fear that a massive death might take place due to the weather of their current habitat. Conservation therefore, is a major concern now.

3. Gharial-


Gharial is a crocodile specie native to India. It is characterized by its long body and a long, thin snout which it uses for catching fish. Its population met with a horrifically drastic decline in the past 70 years where its number fell from 10,000 to approximately 200 individuals. The main reasons of this were killings for skin and eggs, by fishermen etc. A large number of Gharials were killed in the recent times due to depletion of water bodies and the fishing nets used in them.

It is labelled as 'Critically Endangered' by the IUCN. Do we need any more reasons to save this animal? 

It is high time that we took our share of responsibility and started worrying about the plight of our planet. We won't be sitting so peacefully if there were 200-300 number of humans left on this earth, would we? Then why the negligence shown to the animals?

Despite the conservation efforts taken up by every country in the world, the endangered animals have their numbers dwindling. The major reason is the loss of their habitat and natural conditions required for them to live in. This is the extent of damage that we have done to our planet. And if we are under the illusion that we would survive in this epidemic, then we can't me more wrong. 

Steve Irwin has said, "If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.” 

Let us start loving wildlife now. Let us start saving wildlife now. 

I am participating in the Save the Species contest for the book “Capturing Wildlife Moments in India” in association with Saevus Wildlife India,  read the reviews for the book ‘Capturing Wildlife Moments in India’ here “


Monday, May 11, 2015

My Mom- My First Expert

Mothers have to be the most wonderful beings on this earth. And I know that everyone would agree with me.

What is even more wonderful is to have a mother who supports everything you do. My mother happens to fall in that category. It doesn't matter what I say I want to do; my mother will always encourage me to go for it. She has her full faith that I can be a writer, a professor, a Mars-reacher and a Fluid Mechanics expert all rolled into one. And nothing I say, no negative energy and doubt I effuse makes any difference to it.

My mother is also someone whom all my friends love. Keeping aside the amazing food she cooks, she somehow manages to com across as a friendly person and all my best friends, when they come home, ignore me completely and kick start a conversation with my mom!

Though I have thousands of happy memories with my mother, I would like to recount a fairly recent one which made me love my mother even more.

It all started with my sudden fascination with a typewriter.

I don't remember the exact point where it started; I just remember sitting in my class one day and pining for one.

A friend of mine (who happens to be pretty selfless and benevolent), looked up to me and instantly was like- you want a typewriter? I could get you one. Many are rotting in our factory at this moment.

Without thinking anything, I jumped at the chance. I completely ignored the look my best friend was giving me from the side which clearly questioned my sanity and practicality. To be honest, I never expected my friend to be really serious about the whole thing. I mean, who gets a type-writer for someone, right?

A few weeks later, he called me and asked me if I was really serious about the typewriter thing for he could get me one from his house (which is in Howrah). Me, busy on Facebook and not thinking much, mumbled a yes.

He warned me that the thing was really huge and really heavy but I think I failed to register all that in my fantasy driven thoughts.

My world came crashing when he really did turn up with a typewriter that weekend to our college (Which is in Haldia).
When I finally registered the gravity of a 30 kg typewriter being brought by a friend who was no older than me from a place that was 200 km away from the place we studied all because of my sudden whim, my head spinned with the realization of the stupidity I did.

My best friend continued a tirade of disbelief of what I did seeing that I had come to my senses but the harm was already done.

The biggest question now was, how do I take the monstrous thing home? And what the hell do I tell my parents!

I suffered in misery for about a month with my friend getting irritated on one side for not showing any enthusiasm about taking the typewriter home and my fear on my parents' reaction.

Finally, I mustered up the courage to tell my mother. She was silent over the phone as I told her the story, tears spilling out of my eyes for some inane reason. She said only one thing as she kept the phone- I will tell your father to pick you up from the station.

WHAM.

Such a short conversation with mother was no good. Fearing my fate even more, I boarded the train, shouting down my friend's insistence of coming till Kharagpur (where I live) to deliver the typewriter.

Trust my luck for the train to be late by 5 hours that day. I normally reach home within two hours, that day it took me 7 hours. I could not even leave the train and board a bus home because I couldn't possibly drag the typewriter on a break journey all by myself.

Trying to ignore the stares I got from my fellow passengers, I wallowed in self-pity and misery for the entire trip.

Finally, Kgp came.

I expected a very angry father waiting for me at the station, but he was uncharacteristically cool. I did get a minor scolding on the way for being so foolhardy and bothering people with my silly fancies but it was milder than I was expecting. The only thing on my mind was my mother's reaction.

She was uncharacteristically silent when I got home and surveyed the typewriter quietly and after what seemed like a long, long time, she said- It has been a long time since I typed on one. I nearly jumped with happiness then, trust my mother to be such a sport!

She turned smiling towards me then and said- I hope your father wasn't too hard on you. I told him not to be since you had already repented over your whimsical decision without our scolding.

I hugged her, hard, and the happiness of owning a typewriter, finally kicked in.

Next day, we both cleaned the dirty old typewriter for about 3 hours and then, she even taught me how to type with proper fingers and all!
The typewriter after a good bout of cleaning :P

Trust a mother to be an expert in everything! Love you Mom! :)


Prose cannot explain what she means to me, I will try a poem instead-

She is the one who inspires me
the verse of my heart; my soul's melody.
the lullaby in my darkest nights
the battle song of all my fights
the symphony of the words I rhyme,
my personal conch in the sands of time.

She loves me with no demands
through all my tears, she holds my hand.
never a word that would sting me bad
a smile-generator when I am sad.
she is person I wouldn't replace for another,
she is the person I love-my Mother


This post is written for Godrej Expert.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

My Look-Up story- Humans of New York

I won't lie. It has been a hell of time lately for me. There have been too many things going on with me, around me that I was on the edge the entire time. In a bad way. 

I don't know at which point this actually started, I only remember it building up and up till I was overwhelmed. The past few weeks had days when I had a constant lump in my throat, the smallest of things making it grow larger by the minute. There were days when I felt powerful urges to cry, to scream, to relapse into isolation and just shut away from people. 

I wish I could say I was just PMSing :P 

I wish I could tell for real what actually bothered me so much to drive me off my usual cheerful demeanour this way but there are certain dark holes inside your heart that you are too ashamed to give voice to because they simply throw away all that you believe in, all that you strive for in a single, shattering moment. 

A had a few moments of realisation lately and some of them broke me. 

I came home for the much needed weekend break (which got extended to a week-long break :P) and started healing myself, one book at a time. 

Every book I read, or re-read, acted as a band-aid on my heart. Some newly acquired Enid Blytons helped. Some favourite Agatha Christies helped. Scout and Atticus Finch helped. The Book Thief (that wonderful, amazing tale!) helped. John Dryden helped. Even Shakespeare helped :D

I won't say the healing was smooth and went without a hitch. I wonder if any process goes without a hitch after all, except in the overly optimistic movies. There were hitches because the realisations I came to about my current position in my life and in others' could not be magically glorified after a few peaceful days; they never do. 

But I was dealing with it, in my own way, through books and scribbled words and plugged in earphones.

What actually filled me with positivity was this book that arrived today-


I cannot begin to explain what a beautiful, beautiful book this is. 

I started following the FB page of HONY quite some time ago and was touched by many portraits Brandon Stanton did under his project of capturing the NY city and many more places. I was ecstatic when he came to India and I saw some amazing portraits of our people through his camera lens. 

But holding this book in my hand and flipping through its pages, though 400 portraits that took my breath away. I was overcome with so many emotions and ended up laughing and crying over it. There it was, humanity in all its essence, humans in all their glory, feelings, situations posing for one man's camera and sharing their stories with him. I was overwhelmed by the thoughts people have and how, in essence they matched with what goes in our minds, in the minds of the people around it. 

It was a book that made me connect to something bigger than all that we bother ourselves with, a book that assured me that hoping was all right, it is all that takes us through some days at times. 

Through 400 portraits, Humans of New York filled me with a strange optimism. Through 400 stories shared in this book, sometimes through a few words, sometimes through the eyes of the people in it, sometimes though their smiles made me hopeful about the future again. 

It made my naive take on things seem okay, seem human enough. And it taught me a few important lessons as well. 

I loved many so many stories from the book, but this one was one of my absolute favourites

Yes, it is a treasure and I am so glad I own it!

This post is written for Housing.com.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Change called College

College is that phase of one’s life when suddenly, everything changes. One moment you are at school, at your home, under the supervision of your parents and then all at once, you go to an unknown place full of unknown people and start a new life from the scratch. 2012 was the year that change happened in my life.

When my WBJEE seat allotment page said “Haldia Institute of Technology”, I promptly turned to Google to see what it had to say about it. Wikipedia describes Haldia as one of the biggest and most influential towns of West Bengal owing to all the industries and factories situated in it and HIT as the oldest and one of the best private engineering colleges of the state.

The first thing that welcomed my first steps in one of the most “influential towns” of WB was the mode of transportation. It was more or less a slab of wood on 4 wheels cycled by humane means. “Thela Gadi”, I said in horror, “Van” some seniors glared at me. Next were the series of tumbledown huts lining on either side of the road on the way to my hostel. “Shacks” I said, “Khopcha” was chorus. The sudden plunge from the safe home atmosphere to the bustling environment of a hostel was unsettling. But what was even more unsettling was the sight of the railway station visible from my room’s window. The first week of college couldn’t end fast enough for me to go back home in the weekend.

My first year passed in pretty much the same way – enduring five days of college to rush back home at the slightest hint of a holiday. It was only when the first year of my college ended and all my bags were packed shut for the hostel shifting that I realized what the college had given me and why it seemed so hard to leave the hostel.

I don’t know whether it was the drowsy hours spent in the classroom, or the “Golpo” sessions in the labs; the last minute scrambling before a test, or the late night “Cha” and “Adda”; the level of “Lyadh” with its ever increasing slope, or the sudden inclusion of the terms like “Cazz” in my vocabulary but somewhere along the journey the “Thela Gadi” became “Van” and the “Shacks” became “Khopchas” for me.

You can’t stay away from the charm of the college and even my weekly escape home couldn’t stop me from falling in love with the place. You can’t stay away from the endless discussions where every other person has the confidence of an expert and you most certainly can’t stay away from the ambiance of sharing a room with three other people for the first time in your life.

College had seemed scary to me at the beginning because the change involved was so drastic. But three years down the line made me realize that a change it was; a change for the best.

College is about discovering new things but more importantly it is about discovering yourself in the face of every situation that crops up. College changes you in irreversible ways, teaches you things you never thought existed and moulds you for the best. In 3 years my college life has given me memories that will make me smile for the rest of my life. It has taught me some lessons the hard way but at the same time given me friends who find funny side of everything. It has given me people I would never forget, made me incapable of treating potato as anything other than the hostel food, taught me to be shameless when it comes to tasty food and made me much wiser than I was 3 years before. 

This post is written for housing.com



Saturday, March 14, 2015

A friend in need...

There are some days in your life that you cannot erase from your memory. Days that are dark and filled with misery but lighten up with the love someone shows and gives you the courage to get up and walk on. 

In my life one of those days came as 1st February 2012, the day my grandmother passed away. I had just returned from the hospital, and I had the enormous task of not letting my grandfather know about what had happened. I was the only one at home and it was with enormous effort that I lied to my Dadu. That was the first time I was actually grateful that he could not see. 

I lay on my bed, my body numb with shock and my mind mercilessly playing that one image of my Dadi lying on that hospital bed, how her hands were still warm when I shook them, and how the blood had gushed out when the nurse pulled out the IV. 

I could not cry. I just could not. I could not accept the fact that she was never coming back. Even after 3 years, there are moments now when I involuntarily get to thinking what I would tell her when something major comes in my life. That is how it always had been and there is nothing crueler than the person you have grown around for 17 years being snatched away from you like that. 

My parents came, along with a couple of relatives- details my brain took in vaguely as I continued doing a detailed survey of the bedroom ceiling, my Chemistry notebook (I had my exam on 3rd) in my hands. 

I remember replying to my father's queries on when my practical exams were going to end so that he could do the reservations to Rajahmundry for the final death rites. I remember the hushed tones of that conversation, the closed door of my Dadu's room, the way my mother's eyes kept filling with tears automatically. 

My mind still refused to register what had happened and the only thing I remember thinking as soon as I heard that we had to make a journey was that I had to get books. Journey=Novels. The mantra I had been following since childhood. 

"I need to go to Antara's place", I said suddenly, jumping from my bed. "I need to get some books to last me a one week trip", I elaborated. 

I called her before I took my cycle out mechanically and cycled to Antara’s place. I stood at her doorstep waiting after I rang the doorbell. She came then, and before I could even start talking, she hugged me, hard, so hard that my insides seemed to melt from their frozen state. She just held me like that and I remember whispering “I don’t know what to do” repeatedly into her shoulder.

I was never a hugger. My mother is the only one in my family who has the least bit of inclination towards showing physical signs of emotion and I certainly was not of that category. I don’t have the memory of hugging my sibling, or my best friends or anyone for that matter.

So that was my first hug, a proper one and it did something to me. Something warmed my numbed heart on that chilly February night and when she released me and I saw in her eyes the empathy I had been unknowingly searching for, I felt a strange hope in my chest.

She never said anything that night, did not give me those empty words of comfort and condolences that I learned to hate in the coming days. Sometimes a whispered word, a look of understanding, a touch of love work more magic than an elaborated talk. I got all of those that night and I will always be grateful for that. 

I returned back home with a stack of Agatha Christies and the courage to cope with my loss. 

There is a quote from one of my favourite books Winnie the Pooh where Christopher Robin says to Pooh : "Promise me you will always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think." Antara is the friend who always reminds me this. The first person I call when I feel low on self esteem because I can always rely on her to give me that tiny nudge to bring me back on track.

Oh, what would we do without such friends! 

This post is written for Housing.com

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I so wanna remain a spinster, my friends are too awesome and other things.

I know.

I know I haven't updated my blog since a really long time and I also entertain the possibility of all my imaginary readers giving up on me as a lost case scenario but hey, I have been busy.

At least, I would like to imagine myself as being busy. Super busy. Impossibly busy.

Terribly jobless in reality. Sigh.

Some quick updates: I am in my third year of engineering, 6th semester and still hopelessly lost about what I want to do in future which is without any exaggeration, 'looming ahead'. I still have no interest in what I am studying and I don't even try to change that. It is true. Don't judge me by my marks. Rather, don't judge me at all.

Sometimes, I wonder which one is worse- strangers judging you or people you actually know and like doing that.

Anyway, back to the updating thingy. I am currently sitting at home bunking classes because
A. It is my Dadi's death anniversary tomorrow
B. I have never had any inclination to attend college and any reason to bunk it is embraced by me with open arms.

Spring Fest 2015 at Kgp just got over which was
A. Super disappointing
B. Pretty much the same really.
(We are too above being excited by fest thingys anyway. What say Arpita? My fellow let-us-roam-on-the-streets-of-kgp-during-SF-in-pyjamas-when-everyone-else-is-looking-super-hot!?)

I just realized how very contradicting the two sub parts of the above point are. Weird.

I had Red Bull which
A. Was a super disgusting version of Grilinctus cough syrup
B. Pretty much failed in its purpose of boosting my energy levels because I dozed off within minutes of drinking it.

I did a mini-project (super mini-project if you ask me since it ended in just 3 days. Yeah, I know.) at IOCL which was
A. Super awesome
B. Super awesome

I mean, that was one of the rare times when people treated me and a bunch of other 3rd year undergraduates with supreme importance as if they REALLY meant when they said that we were the 'future' of Chemical Engineering.

Me, future of Chemical Engineering. Ha. Me, who can't even write a page of abstract about the project I would like to do. Me, who doesn't even CARE about not being able to write an abstract about the project I would like to do. Me, who... You get the drift right?

I also spent my winter vacation at Vizag (as usual) and reached some horrifying conclusions about the community I belong to.
Don't get me wrong, I am one hundred percent proud my culture, my upbringing and the ways most of the things work in my family and other similar families around me. I mean, my parents are decent, hard working, affectionate and sincere people (like all parents) and I believe that we (my brother and I) would grow up to be decent people as well but there are some things that you just cannot refrain reaction to. Even if it is in silence. On your blog.

Okay, so the thing is, South Indians are OBSESSED with marriage. As in totally, hugely, literally obsessed. They see any girl with a B.Tech degree and any guy with a year of job experience as prospective bride and groom and it is just.so.frustrating. 

I am so glad that my parents are not like that. But wait. I do not know about it. My father hardly ever expresses anything over such topics and my mother, is well, my mother. And on top of them is my aunt. I mean, some lady just has to drop in and gush over how beautiful and accomplished I am (which I am not) and she will probably marry me off to her son in a jiffy. 

That... that sounds pretty pathetic. And I know I am just exaggerating it but I just can't help it. It is as if I am being educated just so I become more eligible a commodity in the bazaar of marriage. I am not talking about dowry. Our families, despite all shortcomings in the area of marriages are mercifully exempt from dowry and shit. But that's only one plus. Believe me. 

I know I am exaggerating it all again and that there is every possibility that I would have the independence to work after my parents marry me off but why do I even need to worry my tiny little brain about stuff like marriage? I am not even 20 for God's sake! 

So yeah, there is your South-Indian families in a nut-shell. Graduation/Post-graduation is the prefect time to marry your girls off. (Even guys I swear). Ta-da!

Lovely? NOT. 

And this fear is something that I can't even share with most of my friends who are all bongs and who have a ridiculously forward attitude about the matter. I mean, so do my cousins and all other people of my generation but it is not my cousins who would be in charge of all this right? It would be my family.

And family doesn't just mean my parents who would be totally okay with me marrying after my PhD (as if I would do it) but my obnoxious relatives as well who (refer to the above mentioned points) are marriage crazy.

And this is not because I am a girl or anything. My poor cousin who is just like 25 or something goes through the same. It is just that in our families marriage is seen as the only way of 'settling down' and they have a really RIDICULOUS age set for it. 

So if I do not get a job or an M.Tech seat after my graduation, there is every possibility that you would see my marriage invitation on my blog after a few years. 

Oh what won't I give to drop a bomb on all of them and remain a spinster for all my life. 

Now that would be worthy of a plot twist. Aha! 

Though that would mean all my fantasies about a love story which I have been spinning since class 10 vanishing in a puff of smoke but when did those have any possibility of becoming true. So yeah, it is a total win-win situation. 

It is probably here that I should mention that I am ranting about a completely different topic than what is bugging me at the moment but I don't want to sound bitter and bitchy on my blog. Which I would if I start writing about the actual bug-zone region. So bear with my overly exaggerated rants about South Indian families and their marriages. You have something different to feed on than the stereotypical Idli and Dosa. 

On a completely different note, I would like to mention a few things that kept me going in my current bugged state. 

1. Neil Gaiman- This man can WRITE. And imagine. And write about those things he imagines in a way that would seem so so SO REAL. Thank you Antz for this one. Oh, the number of things I owe you for. If you like dark fantasy, you should totally read him. He.Is.Awesome. Period. 

My favourite so far is The Ocean at the End of the Lane. But then I loved The Graveyard Book, Coraline, Stardust and Neverwhere as well. I mean, you just cannot NOT love what he writes. And he is such a comfort when you are down. 

Mr.Gaiman, you simply rock my world. 

2. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries- If you love Pride and Prejudice, you will simply adore this. There and Pride and Prejudice adaptations and then there is THIS. Totally awesome. But then, what else do you expect from Hank Green huh?

Apart from these, I am also reading a lot of classics these days and the current one is The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy. So far, it is pretty good. 

And then there are your friends. Believe me, if you have friends like mine, you have the mental strength to get out of any crisis (though mine wasn't any CRISIS. Just me blowing things out of proportions with my imagination).

Be it Rimli with her I-told-you-this-would-happen (I swear she is psychic), or Huttu with Why-are-you-crying-over-what-you-know-is-true (insert mocking tone and humorous abuses) or Antara with the prefect words of comfort and empathy you can ever expect from anyone or Sushmita with You-are-the-best-and-anyone-else-who-disagrees-is-going-to-get-a-bashing-from-me or Arpita with the perfect balance of sarcasm and sense, my friends rock it and I just would be lost without them. Guys (I don't know if you are reading this), I owe you. 

Well, that's all for now. I leave with the assurance that I am NOT morbid because though I worry a lot, I still manage to get out of my moods and smile and talk around and get back into one of my morbid moods again :D It is a cycle. But hey, this is me and you are still reading my blog despite all of it (insert- conversation with imaginary readers). 

Reading my way out of my gloom, 
Yours, 
Kirti