Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What Women Want

From time immemorial you’ve been guessing what women want,
Is it what you are or is it what you flaunt?
Let me clear the air and spill a few beans for you,
You can breathe a sigh of relief and thank me too!

Like the King of the Jungle you have a Mane going on,
You think, like him, your beard makes you look strong?
You think it defines your manhood...masculinity, you say,
No! No! No! For us, a clean shaven look is more manly any day!

You want to look wise, so you flaunt a new Goatee,
It makes you look mature, you say it’s classy.
We’re no facial hair police and want you to be free,
But since you asked, please reserve this look for when you are eighty!

There is something about a Stubble that makes you look lazy,
It’s not only about hygiene; it can also give us a rash that can sometimes be crazy.
It makes you look like someone who really doesn’t care,
Of all the things in a man, Insensitivity is something women really can’t bear.

Sideburns make you look confused, like a hippie out of school,
A Chinstrap is pointless – like an attention seeking fool.
You think a Moustache makes you look brave because you flaunt the hardest challenge in a beard,
Believe you me, just like the Soul Patch it only makes you look boring and weird.

If you don't want us to chant 'I hate that unclean stubble', SIMPLY strut a Clean Shaven look,
For the Ladies it means, you’d do anything for us by hook or by crook.
It means you’re an Unpretentious Gentleman and you love your Gal,
That’s ALL women want, it’s that simple, my Pal!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

“How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d”

― Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard

In simple words, this quote means that virgins/nuns (vestals) forget about the world and the world forgets about them as well. In this scenario (spotless mind), when they speak to the lord, all their wishes and desires are fulfilled and they receive eternal happiness (sunshine). Although, in the context of the poem vestal means virgin, in the context of the movie it could mean a clear head.

So I saw this movie yesterday (a tad too late I guess) and it has now become one of my favourite movies ever. The thought behind it aside, the narration of this love story is so unique and beautiful that it totally blew me away.

ESoaSM is a story of two individuals who fall in love and then separate due to circumstances. They then decide to undergo a procedure which helps them erase that phase of their life. But even though they forget each other, their feeling towards each other reunites them in another mysterious way. When they find out the  nasty things they said to each other before separating earlier, they feel that they will yet again face similar problems and decide to go different ways. But it’s not easy... is it?

When the movie began, we thought that this procedure was the best thing in the world. It would make heartbreaks and deaths so easy. It would make ‘a fresh new start’ a reality. However, as the story went ahead, I realised how important memories were. Even if you try to kill them, your feelings don't change. Sometimes you need to learn from mistakes. At other times, you need memories to feel the warmth a million times over. 

The movie made me realise that a spotless mind may not be the happiest. You need to let go of certain things and live in the moment. You need to love and learn from your past to get eternal sunshine for NO life is beautiful without the experiences you’ve had, the memories you are making and the things you will remember for the rest of your life.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Who are we to judge?

For the longest time I loved my country for two reasons – our freedom and the way we co-exist peacefully despite our varied differences. I took pride in the fact that our country has so many different people yet we kept our prejudices mostly to ourselves and loved our neighbours whole-heartedly. There was discrimination but in most cases we were not open about it and dealt with it in the most elegant manner. I thought we were progressing and that the discrimination in our minds was lessoning as well.

And then came the Supreme Court ruling that states homosexuals to be criminals in the eyes of law unless decided otherwise by the parliament.

Hopefully this absurd ruling will be revoked and Supreme Court will decide in the favour of Gay community. Hopefully this will not go to our lethargic parliament who will keep the bill for 20 years only to pass it back to the Supreme Court. Hopefully we will move forward but for now, we’ve become a nation of archaic beliefs and I undoubtedly don’t want to be a part of a society that follows a regressive school of thought.

Really, who are we to judge? Each one of us has qualities that make us different than the other. What is right for you might be wrong for me. Does that make you a criminal in my eyes? A person who goes against the rules of society is as it is fighting a hard battle. If the law of the state doesn’t stand by him, how will he stand up for himself? And if he cannot come out in the open based on the fact that he/she will be called a criminal if he does, do you realise the increase in the number of suicide cases? So many would get married out of societal pressure and then cheat on their spouses because their natural desires would not be fulfilled. Even more will end up having children and then breaking their family in due course of time because their relationship will not be as it should be.

A few years back I told a friend that I might not have children. She fumed and asked me why did I get married in that case? That was the first time I associated love and marriage with procreation. Before that, I just wanted to be happy spending the rest of my life with a person I loved. For me, first came friendship, then emotional attachment followed by physical attraction. Having children was never a part of the deal, was it? Similar is the case with people who choose to love the same gender. If being with that person makes them happy, why bring in biology in it?  

Morality and procreation aside, who is the Supreme Court to call a person unnatural based on consensual sex? What goes on in my bedroom is none of their business. If gay sex is unnatural, then anal and oral sex should be deemed unnatural as well. Go ahead, call all of us, heck, yourselves, criminals.

It is sad that the world’s largest democracy’s highest law making body has failed us. This is clear discrimination which none of us should support. Straight or gay, it is OUR choice. And we will not let anyone put us in jail for that.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Whom Should You Marry?

Someone who would care for you and not about ‘what would others think’.

Someone who might never cook for you but praises your effort even when you forget salt.

Someone who would rather get bored with you than socialise just to look good.

Someone who is your best friend first before being a lover, spouse or anything else.

Someone who willingly agrees to dress up for you rather than dress up for the occasion.

Someone who might leave the towel on the bed but is willing to dry the sheets with a dryer if you get annoyed.

Someone who would skip meat just because you want to share your salad with him.

Someone who would hold back your hair when you are coping with a hangover even though you beat him blue when he has one.

Someone who would say Thankyou and Sorry when he knows you want to hear it.

Someone who would kiss you and hug you when you most need it.

Someone who would save his argument for later when you get angry so that peace is restored.

Someone who might not share his ice-cream with you but shares his dreams.

Someone who would tell you that you look the best without make-up.

Someone who might not remember important dates but knows it is your that time of the month and be compassionate.

Someone who would give you pleasure first before thinking of his own.

Someone who might not buy you gifts but seems to be God’s greatest gift to you...

And when you find that someone; treasure him, love him and care for him. For the clichéd things in the world are really not important. It is how you build your life together that matters. If there is warmth in the house, there is everything.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sob Factory!

Scene 1: I haven’t seen my family since 6 months. A package arrives with mom’s handmade mithai, my favorite peanut chikki and a gift for me. As I open it, I burst into tears and not only cry but cry with hiccups. The Boy is shocked and doesn’t know what to do!

Scene 2: When I tell my mom about scene 1 on phone I choke up again.

Scene 3: I bid adieu to my MIL at the airport who came to visit me for a few weeks. Surprisingly, tears flood my eyes. Weren’t we supposed to be happy when in-laws leave? They must be super awesome!

Scene 4: I speak about my child-free state with an aunt on the phone. I begin to choke. Wasn’t this a conscious decision?

Scene 5: We’ve bid farewell to quite a few close friends here in Bahrain and dropped them at the airport. I’ve cried every single time!

Scene 6: This one is classic. I have a cousin who is 8 years younger to me but I share the most precious bond with her. I hardly speak to her over the phone. But whenever I meet her I cry like a little baby on departing. Thankfully we meet often, but those tears just tell me how much I love her.

Scene 7: I chat with a long lost friend over the Internet and tiny droplets fill my eyes. Why am I like a little baby?

Scene 8, 9, 10: I watch a movie, I hear a sad story, I see someone in distress... those glands go berserk! Seriously, I have 10 times the normal tear glands.

It is not like I keep crying all the time! If I am in a difficult situation, I fight it out and hardly shed a tear. I laugh a million times more than I cry. But when it comes to relationships, I get all choked up. I don’t verbally tell people that I love them or miss them, but my watery eyes do. Either my tear glands are over-working or my heart is excessively filled with love. I’d like to assume it is the latter!

Does that mean people who don't cry are not loving? Hmm, that cannot happen. The Boy loves me and I have never seen him cry! Lets try to get the science behind it.

It is evolutionary. I am neurotic!!!!
All tears come out of tear glands, or lacrimal glands, found way up under your upper eyelids. We cry when they break. Emotional crying is nothing but evolutionary to get sympathy. Scientific research has shows that "if you are quite empathetic to the suffering of others, you may cry more frequently than the harder-hearted. People who are anxious or neurotic cry both more frequently and more easily than others. And extroverts tend to cry more often during negative situations and are less likely to cry 'happy tears'."

I am just protecting my nervous system.
There have been studies that indicate crying and the release of tears is a way to bring the nervous system back to a normal equilibrium of sorts. If someone continues to cry and be in emotional distress for a long period of time, the stress could cause physical consequences like a stroke or heart attack. Hence crying may be the body’s way of calming itself down (part of the parasympathetic nervous system) and returning to a normal state.

Like always, let me blame it on the hormones.
Studies say that on an average men cry once a month and women cry 5 times (I really don't know where this study was conducted. Even I don't cry 5 times a month!!). Prolactin and estrogen are both hormones found only in women that contribute to crying. So once again, its the bloody hormones.

There are a lot of theories out there. But emotions cannot be studied in a laboratory. No wonder we don't know anything about love as well. I just have one theory, I am very loving and caring and so I cry!! It is showing the world my vulnerability and that is the only reason I feel awkward. As long as I don't cry during a difficult situation, I am fine. Yep, chuck the science, I'm okay being a sob factory!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Women in the Bigg Boss house

Poles apart - Tanishaa Mukherjee and Gauhar Khan

I am guilty of being a Bigg Boss addict. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed Rakhi Sawant doing her antics, I’ve tolerated Rahul Mahajan’s irritating laughter, I’ve sailed through Imam’s mentally unfit behaviour, and I’ve laughed with Salman. But this year, the show has stooped to a totally different level and it is making me cringe.

If you watch this show you already know about the two love affairs that have emerged in this season – Armaan - Tanisha and Kushal - Gauhar. Armaan Kohli’s claim to fame is the fact that he is the son of a famous film producer and has acted in a few films that unfortunately did not work out for him. Tanisha Mukherjee comes from a family which is hugely successful in Bollywood. She’s Kajol’s sister, Nutan’s daughter, Ajay Devgan’s sister-in-law, Rani Mukherjee’s cousin, and the list goes on. She hasn’t been an accomplished actor herself but has apparently been a part of a 100-crore venture ‘Son of Sardar’. Anyway, even though the two actors haven’t had as much success as their family members, they are independent and have been working on something or the other.

Since these two are from the filmy background, they became friends in the very beginning. Also, they have pointed time and again that they are from a different ‘class’ and others are not upto their level. If this was not atrocious enough, they have now fallen to a newest low. Tanisha has been taking Armaan’s tantrums from the very beginning. Even when he’s in the wrong, she supports him like a 'true' friend. She brings him food and water and massages his hair. In return, Armaan trashes her at every given opportunity. When she tries to stop him from fighting, he tells her that he has come alone to this show and she means nothing to him.

You would think that a woman, an independent woman, would not tolerate this and start to ignore the man whom she met only a couple of months back in this moronic place. But no, she takes his anger and says she understands this behaviour! She holds his hand and says I know you are a good man but it is only your momentarily behaviour that can be annoying. In return, he pleads guilty and says he respects only his mother and her in the entire world and would never harm them in this lifetime! Ha! Both being the black sheep of the family have their insecurities and anger, but to take it out on another person is totally not justified.

On the other hand there is outspoken, opinionated, strong character of Gauhar Khan. If you would look at the forums, she is touted as being dominating and loud by, you guessed it, men. Armaan Kohli obviously doesn’t get along with her and Tanisha has had her problems as well. Kushal, being close to Gauhar stood for her when another contestant passed lewd comments during a task. It was done in a light manner but crossed a few boundaries. When Kushal reacted, he was thrown out of the show. So much for men who stand up for their women! 

During a weekend show, a caller asked Armaan Kohli the reason for his behaviour. He apologised and said it will never be repeated. So far he has tried to transform himself. But for how long? And why is Tanisha even taking this behaviour? The viewers look up to celebrities. This is a reality show which is believed to be not-so-scripted thanks to the live feed. How these celebs potray themselves has a huge impact on the audience. Armaan Kohli is just trying to show that it is okay for men to treat women in this manner. By smiling through it, Tanisha is trying to justify his actions.

When will our women stand up for themselves? If even the supposedly ‘confident’ ones succumb to pressure, how can you expect the other half to speak for themselves? I am sorry Tanisha, you might be dignified in certain mannerisms, but you have let women down.

Here is to Gauhar Khan; I hope she wins. Only because she has the ability to stand up for herself and not let us feel humiliated.

*Image from here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


This week I’ll be celebrating my 31st birthday. Considering the kind of year it has been, I can safely say life after 30 is not exactly the same as before. Maybe it changed for me a year prior to that or maybe it changed six months later, but it does change. No matter how hard you try, staying up and partying from dusk to dawn is not easy. And that is just one silly, minuscule aspect of it.

Health-wise it was one of the worst years for me. There were weeks when even walking wasn’t easy. Of course I did not give up. One of the most important things to do in distress is to stay calm so that you can think clearly. I did and thankfully discovered new ways to protect myself in the process. Hopefully, they will work in the future as well. If they don’t, I would start afresh. Yeah, I am 31 and wise!

Owing to this, I had plenty of mood swings. Since I am so over-the-top optimistic, I kept the smile going. This really confused my brain and I felt elated and low at the same time. Stupid brain I tell you – it can be fooled very easily which further strengthens my belief in the supreme power of the subconscious mind

Anyway, let me not blame it on the poor 30’s. Shit happens. Amidst all that, plenty of good things happened too. Like I travelled so much. Like the way I received unfathomable amount of love from the Boy, my family and my friends. The blogging world is a huge blessing which helps me keep sane at all times. Love came from unexpected quarters just like these two complete strangers who praised my writing through email. Now these are non-bloggers whom I don’t know. And when praise comes from such sources, you can’t imagine the happiness. Let me quote them and show-off (it is my birthday week afterall!):

Dear Nisha,
I just wanted to drop in a line to say that you write so beautifully, I just cant stop reading.
The best part is that your writing is so simple, earthy and unpretentious that it never fails to put a smile on my face, irrespective of how my day is going.
I really feel (if I'm aloud to feel out loud), you should write more often. (Although you would be getting that a lot) :)
Do write a book..which will be followed by many I feel..!!
 P.S You might have your own cross to bear (which I can make out from your blog), So hope you find your way over it or around it..:)
God bless you always..!! 

Hi Nisha,
Your blog is so wonderful, that i have been reading it the whole afternoon right upto your Jan 2012 posts.
It made me smile, which is tough these days coz i'm goin through tough times...!!
I must have felt like this after 2 weeks..which is a long time for me...Thank you..God bless..!!

When you read such heart warming messages you really feel blessed and every problem becomes a secondary issue. And so, whenever things weren’t so hunky dory, I assumed that somewhere out there was a guardian angel looking out for me. Probably you were one of them... it just makes me so grateful. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sulking, Answering and Wishing

I've been struggling a lot with writing a blog post without any particular reason. I am also sulking because I have not won any contest in the last few months. Highly demotivated to type anything! So, I picked up this from my drafts. Assume you are Oprah and I am on the hot seat: 

1 - Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.

I’m not such a bad cook as I pretend to be. You see, I’m super lazy. I don’t want to cook for people and so I let them feel I’m average. Smart, right? Lately the cooking bug has hit me hard. Just two days back I baked a boozy Kahlua cake which was to die for! Shhh!

2 - If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?

It’s a tough choice between men with sick mind and terrorism. I’d choose the former.

3- Do you like to dance?

Oh yes, a lot! I feel like its my birthday when I go clubbing. Haha! Yep, I’m very high on birthdays.

4.Would you ever consider living abroad?

For the rest of my life! You can go ahead and call me names but I can’t imagine going back to India for a lot of reasons.

5. Does your name make any interesting anagrams?

The iPad calls me Mishap all the time.

6. Who made the last incoming call on your phone?

Oh my sweetheart and a very close friend – Noorien. And then we went on conference with another one. It is always such a riot.

7. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer?

Lol! I’m so ashamed of this now – the latest episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians!
8.Last time you swam in a pool?

It has been more than a year. I developed some stupid shoulder problem because of it. It has still not gone. Hate it!

9.Type of music you like most?

I don’t want to answer slam book kind of questions. I am 30.

10. Type of music you dislike most?

Ok. I am still 30. For 17 more days!

11. Are you listening to music right now?

I don't like to listen to anything when I'm writing. It annoys me a lot. I ask the Boy to shut up as well!

12. What color is your bedroom carpet?

It is all rented, so it wouldn’t matter. Yes, even the spoons are rented!!! They were new when they were given, FYI. And it all comes as a package. You should be jealous right about now!

13. If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?

Nothing. It’s a nice house. I would like better neighbours though.

14. What was the last thing you bought?

My husband gifted me a nice watch. *blush* I would like to assume we bought it together!!

15. Have you ever ridden on a motorbike?

I find them scary, very scary!

16. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?

I’m never say never kind of a gal!

17. Do you have a garden?

No. Although I’d love to have one – with a gardener ofcourse. Told you, I am super lazy!

18.Do you really know all the words to your national anthem?

Yeah. I was in school for 13+2 years. And we sang it every single day.

19. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?

What an awesome day! Haha! What can a lazy person think, hmm?

20. If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?

I am a Bigg Boss addict. So, these days I would like to give a piece of my mind to Tanishaa Mukherjee who is acting like such a loser in the BB house. What's with her dressing sense? It sucks!

21.Who sent the last text message you received?

A friend telling me that another friend delivered a baby girl. I can't stop smiling ever since!
22.Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?

A travel portal. Wow.

23. What time is bed time?

Anytime between 9 pm to 4 a.m. Depends on the day of the week. 

24.Have you ever been in a beauty pageant?

Does Miss Fresher count?

25.How many tattoos do you have?

None. I’d like a butterfly on my shoulder someday. But it’s too painful. So maybe not!

26. If you don’t have any, have you ever thought of getting one?

Same as above!

27.What did you do for your last birthday?

I’ve talked so much about my last birthday on this blog that I sound like a 16-year old. Check November posts for reference!

28.Do you carry a donor card?

No. But I’d like to donate all body parts. Can someone get my cute smile too?

29.What time do you get up?

Anytime between 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.  – depends on no.23.

30. What Inspires You?

Humour. If you can make me smile – you are awesome and I would like to be like you!

Happy, Happy Diwali people. Spread a million smiles!
This is the only time I miss India a whole lot.

Friday, October 11, 2013

On Being Childfree

Maybe I am being too honest and writing this post too soon. Or, maybe not. Since I don’t assume things to change in the near future, I hope to save this till eternity. It has been almost 5 years to our marriage and being child-free has left our neighbours, maids, relatives, laundry guy, cleaners, nieces ... devastated! Everyone we meet looks at our ‘empty’ life with sympathy and tells us how they would be ‘praying’ for us. It is ironical that the same woman who will be ‘praying’ for us adopted a child and now regrets doing it because he is not a genius. Shameful -  that is all I have to say.

Anyway, children are amazing. I love to play with them. I respect and admire people who bring up these little ones in the best way possible. I love my nieces and nephews to bits and look at their pictures a whole lot. I love my friend’s children and aww when they call me maasi. I don’t know if they will love me when they grow up to be teenagers, but I am sure I will love them till the day I live. Love without possess - that does make me feel like an angel though!

Does that mean I am dying to have children of my own? No, not at all. I live in a very small country which probably has the most comfortable life in the world. It is as good as living in India without having to deal with traffic, inflation, relatives, the works. We have contemplated moving out a lot of times just because we have become too complacent in life! The sample of population that I have in front of me is of married couples in their 20’s or 30’s with a lot of disposable income and free time. Everyone seems to be happily married and has kids. So -  no bachelors, no divorcées, and certainly no couple without a kid.

That leaves us with no choice but to dodge the question. We are clear in our heads but to explain to everyone is a task. Now the Boy has always been someone who cares a damn about what people say. He is very vocal about his thoughts and I admire the brave rebel in him. But me, I have views that I am scared to share. I hate to go against what is considered normal. I am slowly learning from him how to stand up for what I truly believe in. It is a process that would take its own sweet time.

That brings me to the reasons for our decision. Are we selfish? Are we scared of responsibilities? Do we have health issues? Do we wish to travel without any guilt? Do we wish to save all our money just for ourselves? Do we think children can make us miserable? And again, are we selfish? – Yes, all of the above. 

At first it was only one of the above. But over the years we have discovered all the more reasons not have kids. I would not say that I never think about it. I do. I do think and talk about it a whole lot because I want to have a life without any regret. I don’t want to feel 10 years later that we should have thought it through. I speak to the Boy every now and then. I read blogs and memoirs of people who don’t have kids. I read about parents who are miserable. And then there are those who think kids make their home lively and bring new meaning to their life. Not only that, I also read hateful posts by people who think our sole purpose on earth is to reproduce. The more I talk about the issue and read about it, the better I feel about our decision.

Only recently, the Boy said that if we feel the need to have a child after 5 years, we have the option to adopt. I was surprised because I thought he was against the idea of adoption. Then I told him that my mother feels it is better to connect with a charitable organisation which would take care of several kids in the same amount of money that we would spend on raising just one child. He liked that idea too.

And so, if we feel the need, we would do just that and not over-populate the earth (with no offense to people who don't agree with us!). We would try to romance all our life. We would splurge on our nieces and nephews and be the best aunt and uncle ever. We would travel the world and show-off several passport stamps. We would indulge in random dancing and singing and playing at home to keep it as lively as it already is or could be if there was a certain baby in the house.

There is no doubt in my mind that innocent antics of children bring happiness to your home. But if they are the ONLY reason for your happiness, then you have a problem. Not us. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Forrest Gump - a movie to watch, revise and learn by heart!

This weekend we revised Forrest Gump. For the uninitiated, it is a Tom Hanks movie in which he is a man with low IQ but immensely gifted with every other quality. The movie makes you smile from the beginning to the end and if you still haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it to you.

There are several things you can learn from the movie. Here are a few learnings that I thought I’d share:

*If you have any short-comings, a loving mother is all you need. If she tells you that you are no different than the rest of the world, you would grow up believing that and be much more confident. Forrest’s mother was like God to him. She told him 'don't let anyone tell you that you are different.' He followed everything she said and rightly so.

*The saying ‘Be kind to everyone you meet’ is not stressed hard enough. Jenny was the first friend Forrest made as a child just because she let him sit next to him in the bus. They were inseparable there on. Forrest’s love for her is the kind of stuff fairytales are made of. It was just her kindness that gave her that treasure.

*Never use the word promise or forever if you don’t mean it. Forrest always kept his promises. He promised his friend Bubba that they will catch shrimp together. Even after Bubba dies, Forrest kept his promise which not only made him a millionaire, but gave a lot of hope to several other people as well.

*When someone says that he wants to die, don’t believe him. Give him all the love and support for he needs that to live. Forrest saves a life while fighting in Vietnam. The soldier doesn’t want to be saved because he knows he will be crippled for life. Forrest goes ahead anyway. He later becomes his partner in the shrimping business and leads a fulfilling life.

*Life is not about being smart or dumb, it is how you take things by your stride. Gump wasn't the smartest guy and so he saw life from a very different or what some would call, juvenile perspective. When he gets shot in the buttocks, all he sees is the joy in getting ice cream! He dedicates himself in playing table tennis in the hospital and becomes a national champion. If only we all could move away from our problems the way he did.

“Stupid is as stupid does.” (You are what you do), “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you will get.” (Life is unpredictable but in the end, everything works out just fine), “You have to do the best with what God gave you.” (need I say more?), “Sometimes, I guess, there just aren’t enough rocks.” (even if you try to forget, sometimes you just can’t move on),  "There's only so much fortune one man needs, the rest is just showing off." – are a few sayings from the movie. Now I know which movie to watch, what to quote, whom to remember whenever I’m blue.

The movie captures history beautifully. From Elvis Presly to Kennedy to Vietnam war, there are a lot of references to the current affairs in the period that the movie depicts. Tom Hanks is as awesome as ever. And there are songs that would make you feel happy whenever you hear them.

Go ahead, watch it, and then again!
And if you ever get a chance to eat at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company , don't forget the garlic bread. The one we had at the San Francisco outlet was to die for! See, Forrest kept his promises beyond the movie as well - the shrimps are simply divine!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The kind of posts I wish to write

Let me start by saying that this is my 8th post for the month of September. In my 6 years of blogging, this is the most I have written in a month. To add to this record, there are ten unfinished posts in my drafts folder for the same (idle) time period. The time I have spent writing stuff that doesn’t make any sense, I could have read so much. So today, I decided to do the same – read. 

Every time I read I realise I have such a loooong way to go. Ideas, language, words – there is a huge scope for improvement.  Anyhoo, apart from the meaningful stuff that goes around in the written world, I so wish to write on the following topics in the years to come:

*I wish to talk about adorable babies and their annoying parents. You love them, I get it. But please don’t fill my wall with their pictures. If you were my mommy/daddy and you were putting my picture in all its glory, I would have disowned you. Right from their first rain, to Janmashtami, to first day at school – you just can’t do this to them and to, well, us! Holiday season is just starting and I fear for my life!!!

*I wish to talk about sex. Yep, the stuff that happens before babies. You see, we do khi khi kheee before marriage. But after marriage, sex becomes all about ovulation, fertility and contraception. A naive girl is suddenly expected to become a sex machine and pop out babies. If there is no baby, people think the couple is not having sex. I want to clear the air – you can talk about sex and do khi khi khee long after you’ve been married and that there is no correlation between babies and the chemistry between the couple. The only thing that I am jealous of is the fact that parents have a much more adventurous time doing it with a baby sleeping next to them. What fun!

*I want to talk about the difference between Indian and American television. Owing to a recent Netflix addiction, we’ve been watching too many drugs related series. I admire the creativity that goes into making these thrillers. But I need a break from Meth! On the contrary, all we see here are saas-bahu sagas. I don’t know which culture is better – the stoned one or the one that makes you want to get stoned!

*I want to defend men on this forum. I've been blessed with an amazing set of men in my life. I know it is not the same for everyone. But it is our duty to love and cherish the good ones. Poor guys, they have been at a receiving end recently and a lot of them don't deserve the generalization. To do that without sounding like an anti-feminist freak is a task. Also, I don't understand what is the big deal in being a woman? I want equality - they are as good and we are as bad. 

*I want to write humour. But apparently, nothing without the word sex, fart or booze is funny enough. Political humour is something I can never do. I can make fun of my husband, but for how long? I can talk sarcastically about my lazy ass but then eventually I would start feeling guilty. I can make fun of the lady next door who is always screaming on her three small kids and has ruffled grey hair that she never combs. But then, struggling parents would start their what-do-you-know crap. Ah, till I learn, I’ll just read. 

On a remotely similar note, here is a recent conversation between me and the Boy. Maybe I can record these and start my humour posts. That should work, right?

Me: I’m so glad I don’t have a job. I really can't take any scolding.
Boy: If you were me, tumhara kya hota?
Me: Awwww babyyy... your boss scolds you a lot?
Boy: No. You do.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Food for thought

Hope – it is the strongest word I know. Everyday we wake up in a hope of having a good day. Whether you are perfectly fine or going through a dull phase -  hope is what keeps you going.

Any activity you start, you hope to complete it successfully. From cooking a meal to completing a project to losing weight, you hope to have a positive outcome.

“I find hope in the darkest hours and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”Dalai Lama

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus.

But is it hope when you expect a negative result? Do you say, ‘I hope not to finish this task.’? And when you hope that, is it really hope? Oh, too many ‘hopes’ in that sentence.

Hope is the premise of my life. Being positive is my attitude. Staying strong on these two is my character. Hope cannot exist in isolation. 

And what happens when things happen against hope? If you have the other two traits, you hope for a new dawn. That’s why I say, hope cannot survive in isolation.

It is the degree of these three that defines how your life will be. You can make your life fulfilling or just let things be by not inculcating these virtues.

I promise to stay strong and hold on positively to hope. You have to promise me the same.

“Hold on, God knows what he is doing.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Seven ways to be happier

Surround yourself with happy people. Leave the angry ones for Mars.  

Say a two-line thank you prayer each day. Even if you are a nonbeliever, gratitude helps. 

Take out a few minutes to do something for someone – call up an old person, make tea for your house help, help someone park the car...

Have happy thoughts and broaden your lips to smile. People might think you are a moron smiling to yourself, but believe me; it does wonders to your happiness.

Be a good listener. That can mean so much to someone and make you happier. (I don't think there are selfless good deeds.)

Sing aloud. It lifts you up. A lot.

Exercise, dance or jump around. Your body will thank you and your stress levels will come down drastically.

All these methods are tried and tested. I have only one aim in life – to be the happiest person I know. I think I am getting there. Are you?

Monday, September 9, 2013

A those-were-the-days kinda post (Part 2)

If you asked me to choose one friend from the huge bundle that I have, I would be torn like a mother of several kids being forced to pick one over the other! Each one of them is special in his/her own way but now that I have to choose one, I would probably choose Y.

I met Y when we were 16. Oh, the sweetest age. I had changed my school and she was one of the prettiest girls in class. That should never be a criterion to befriend someone, right? Somehow she became my friend and I was on top of the world!!

We were like always together. Her mother use to fry frymes (not sure of the spelling!) in the morning and pack a big box. All mothers should do that. Forget healthy, they make the best memories! We use to sit on the same bench and monitor the same classes and take the same extracurricular activities. Apparently, her parents were told that I am a good influence on her. Ha! She made a boyfriend (for life) in the same year!

Now why do I choose Y over all others? That year was extremely difficult for me. I was moving from the comforts of one school to the chaos of another. My health use to attract undue attention and I needed someone to take care of me when I needed it. Y was the first one to do that. I found comfort in her company and the rest is history.

Y even accompanied me for my first date ever! I was nervous as hell but with her expert guidance we managed well. Her house became a love nest and well, I don’t want to divulge the rest!

We then graduated from the same college. My previous school friends joined us and we became the inseparable ‘Nisha and friends’. Before you start accusing me of having a huge ego, this title has a story - the type you-have-to-be-a-part-of-it-to-love-it.

Y even read my first story and edited it. It was my first and only story that got published in a children’s book. She encouraged me the most when I needed it. She even reads this blog religiously and now accuses me of being sold off to contests. Can you blame her? She is my most well-read friend and I trust her opinion a lot. But Y, contests encourage me, so just let me participate! And before you forget, I won my first contest because of you!

The month of September has given me the bestest friends. Today is Y’s birthday. She has taught me love and loyalty like no one else. I wish her the same warmth all her life. Lots of love...

P.S. I doubt my 'other' friends read this blog until I send the link and force them to read. But just in case you are one of the 'other', I would choose you if it was your birthday!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

A those-were-the-days kinda post!

If I had to choose one phase from my student life, it would be my MBA days. I am usually a very living-in-the-present kind of a person, but my MBA days are the two most beautiful years of my life that I wish to go back to.

I did the course because my friends were doing it. We went to the best coaching centers in town, we spent thousands filling out admission forms and we religiously took the Mock test every week. I even fought with my family so that they would let me go to another city to study. That was my first and only act of rebellion! Eventually I took admission in the same town, for comfort and for easy dating!

Yup, I had my priorities figured out!

The Boy and I had been chatting online for a while. In two years we had only met twice. If our relationship was to move further he had to be in the same city as me. Not that I didn’t believe in long distance relationships, he just had to be around me for a while to understand me and my situation a little better to be able to think of a future with me. As fate would have it, we both studied in the same city for two whole years.

That time was glorious. We had tight schedules from 8 to 8, Monday to Saturday and semester to semester. In between classes, projects and tight schedules, we use to find time for each other. It wasn’t easy, but we made it. Our institutes were some 25 kilometer apart. I use to courageously drive across highways to meet him! It was my hometown, he was an outsider and so it was me who had to make extra efforts. But they were so worth it! I just love, love those memories.
My favorite spot at the Boy's college. Yes, I am terrible at photo editing!
Don’t get me wrong, we were good students as well. When it came to studies, we didn’t let our love life affect it. Sometimes he tutored me and gave me his project reports. In return, I cleaned his messy room! We did well in our respective colleges and secured good positions in the end. Awesome balance, you see!

The interior of my Institute

Those classes where we tried to study!

The only corridor where you had some privacy.
People were often found here chatting on phone with their 'loved ones' !

I made some life-long friends during this time. Noor* studied in the same college as me when we did our bachelors. But our paths never crossed. While doing MBA, we got close because of our roll numbers. That was the beginning of a life-long affair. We had a love hate relationship from the beginning but we survived. We got close to Nik* as well – roll number you see. Also, Nik needed a scape goat for his projects. I was the most sincere of the three and played a big role in him getting his degree. We made friends with Pri and then we four were inseparable. It is Pri* who makes me laugh the most. It is Pri I turn to when I need advice on life. Different friends – different specialities!

And then there was the course. The one thing I learnt from MBA was how to Google effectively! No, seriously. I also learnt about the PE ratio, Brand Management, Organisational Behaviour and the works. Even though I never applied much of the above, I remember most of it. That’s the thing about doing Business Administration. You learn practically more than theoretically.

I gained a lot of self confidence during this time. The crowd was pretty average and that always kept the ego high. I met people from diverse backgrounds and learnt how to adjust with each one of them. I let go of my inhibitions and learnt how to face an audience. I learnt I needed to be more emotionally mature to handle angry professors. I learnt I could do well if I wanted to...

I wish I wrote this post 6 years back when the memories were still fresh. I'm nostalgic today since its Noor’s birthday and I happened to look at old pictures (I bought a new camera phone during the last semester!). Noor taught me how to never say no to fun. I love her for that. Happy Birthday my babe.

Noor - Most of her pictures are like this.
For some weird reason she hated being clicked!!

*Names are not real!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When we went to Amreeka!

I always thought America was a different world. It took us 2 stop-overs and 25 hours to reach San Francisco from Bahrain. By the time we reached, we were dead tired. The drive from the airport to the city was quite boring – we both thought to ourselves – is this it? 

Never trust your first impressions – that’s what the country taught us. It grew on us and each day was better than the earlier day. 18 days and I never once felt too tired to explore more, except on the last day – more on that later.

We explored a bit of California, the obvious Las Vegas, the awesomeness called Niagara Falls and the city of New York. We saw less, we experienced more. What I mean to say is, there is nothing to tick mark in the cities we went to. But everywhere you go, you are bound to have fun. That’s what made the trip awesome.

I am sure tid bits from the trip will feature in my posts here on. For now, I will let pictures and captions do the talking. There are 30 pictures here, I would like to call it an express tour of the destinations we went to!

Americans are really high on their bridges - San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge in the background :)
We loved the parks - This is a minuscule section of the Golden Gate park. It was fabulous.
The Japanese Tea Gardens in the Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. It smelled of heaven.
Shops in Haight Ashbury, the hippie district of San Francisco.
SFO is good mix of beauty and raunchy!
Daily dose. Literally, daily. I told you, we had a lot of fun ;)
The famous Alcatraz Prison, SFO
The prison from inside. We barely knew anyone who was sentenced here.
Imagine going to Tihar, now that would be something!
The Zig Zag road in SFO. Every hill station in India can have one of these.
But sadly, no one cares :/
The pristine beaches of San Diego. First dip in the Pacific Ocean :)

I love people watching. I can observe for hours and not get bored. It's a talent :D
The Dolphin Show at San Diego Sea World. 

This Seal Show was hilarious. Americans are the best entertainers. Really.

This was a Dolphin Show at night. The whole stadium was dancing to their tunes. Loads of fun.

And then we went to the sin city called Las Vegas.
It is divided into two areas - The Strip and Downtown. The Downtown is more fun.

Freemont Street Experience, Downtown Vegas. It was barely a 500 metre stretch with 3 Live bands performing simultaneously, walk in Casinos, a Sound and Light show every hour, amused people, amusing 'artists', shops, etc etc etc.
The same stretch. There were girls wearing lessor clothes... 
The stretch had a Heart Attack street named after this restaurant.
It was a burger joint displaying the ill-affects of having a burger.
The waitresses were dressed as nurses. Yet the place was full of people!
The much hyped Las Vegas Boulevard. Lights, cars, people, Hotels, Casinos, restaurants.
One walk down the strip is enough.  
Vegas has Venice, Paris, New York - all in one city.
It's a different world. We found it average! The shows, however, are unbeatable.
And then we flew to Buffalo to witness the Niagara falls.
No picture or words can express the experience. 
This boat takes you under the Horseshoe Falls where you feel the mist. It is the bestttt thing in the world.
You have to feel it to know it.
These are the smaller Bridal Veil Falls. It's amazing to walk under it.
You can see a rainbow wherever you turn. You can't ask for more. Ever.
Oh, Times Square, New York.
Again, New York is an experience.
Even though you see people everywhere, you end up relishing each moment you spend here.

The Boy and the Wall Street Bull!

It wasn't easy to reach this building. Only a true fan will understand my enthusiasm! 
The Empire State Building. I missed the view from the top...

That's the picture of NYC from the plane.
The Central Park is in the centre. Look how organised it is. Loved it.

This lady is not worth the 4 hour queue. It gave me such pain in my feet.
Thank God it was only the second last day. Otherwise it would have spoilt my trip..  
Central Park, NYC. This is one of the many benches the Boy sat on with me lying on his lap :)

There are many more pictures. There are many more stories. They will come in their own sweet time. After this vacation, all I want to say is... divide your earnings in three parts. One, for necessities. Two, save as much as you can for old age. Then use the rest to travel beyond your city. There is no better gift you can give yourself.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Your Phone is Spying on You

The world is becoming a scary place to live in. My Android phone peeps into my Gmail. It digs out my flight details, my check-in dates at a hotel, the weather in the city I am in, the weather in the city I am going to and puts all the information on my screen. 

Really. I was amazed to read that my flight was delayed just by looking at my phone. I did not have to click on any link. It automatically scanned my Gmail, checked for the status of my flight and let me know. It also wished me a safe journey.

This GPS location thingie is becoming a nightmare. What if I don’t want anyone to know? My friend went to her mom’s house for two days. She deactivated her Facebook account because she didn’t want her in-laws to know (who, by the way, live in the same city as her parents.) She didn’t want anyone to 'check her in' anywhere at all! 

The day we landed in San Francisco, the Boy bought a new mobile number. He started getting random calls from people asking him where he was! Obviously, it was a mistake. My brain started working in myriad ways. I told him that he checked-in on Facebook at the hotel earlier in the morning. Maybe someone is tracking us and wants to rob us. Overdose of Discovery ID and National Geographic I tell you.

This is not all. The way these devices store and use information can be embarrassing. Now I saw Ye Jawani Hai Deewani in an Islamic country. They did not show ‘the kiss’. How could I miss a Ranbir kiss. So I looked for it on Youtube. A few days later, the Boy was looking for something on Youtube and was amazed to see the suggested videos for me to watch (I was logged on to Youtube while looking for the video). I HAD to disclose the reason lest he thought I watch Mallu porn.

You have to see the suggestions for his id – NewYorkers react to Google Glass, India vs Pakistan 1996, Android 4.3 on Nexus 4. Ah, I am the lech of the house.

Ofcourse it has an upside.  I can never get lost. I can always find water. And I can always turn off my GPS, my internet and everything that makes a phone smart. But what if I forget?

Earlier, if I didn’t want my parents to spy on me, I would just delete Internet Explorer history. Now I have no clue what all to delete! I mean, if I don’t want to be spied on, I will have to Google the whole process. 

Thank God my teenage days are behind me. I pity the kids of today – they have no privacy whatsoever!

This is just timezone that the phone spied on.
I should have taken several other screen shots too!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Status update (!)

* I have unfinished posts in my drafts folder. It seems all I've been doing in the last few weeks is write for contests. I've come to realize that I work well with creative prompts. I need ideas, encouragement, motivation and so much more to come up with something decent. I don't know if it is a good thing or not!

* I have discovered a new way to heal. No, I don't want to jinx it by writing here. I am superstitious that way!

* That 'stuff' and a lot of planning for the upcoming trip has left me with no time to breathe. I want to take it easy. I want it to be no big deal. But I can't. My mind has a way of thinking too much. Arghh!

* We won at a lucky draw recently. We have never won something that way. We are not randomly lucky. So, this was a welcome change. It was a holiday package to Dubai which we sold off. Ha! Oh well, we have been there twice. So...

* Talking about winning, I won 'The best dressed woman' in a crowd of about 500! The Boy had his office party where all the employees came with their families. I thought I was an overdressed expat until they called out my name. I panicked for silly reasons I usually panic for! The Boy held my hand and took me to the stage. I don't know how many men will be able to do that...
Since then, I haven't been able to contain my enthusiasm! Sometimes, we need to let go of our apprehensions and just be.

Owing to awesome travel plans, I'm bidding adieu to blogging for 3 weeks now. When I'm back, I will hopefully be able to write without creative prompts. Probably panic less. Maybe think less. And definitely be more enlightened. Isn't traveling the best thing to do? Thank God for such blessings!

Happy reading, everyone! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Actions speak louder than Words

I am sharing what 'I Saw and I Learnt' at BlogAdda.com in association with DoRight.in.

She always woke up before us and said her prayers,
Took a bath and finished the morning affairs.
With her hair rolled up in a neat bun,
She seemed to me like the most hardworking one.

When there was no housework she would be seen knitting sweaters,
I would sit beside her and learn a set of jumbled letters.
With a smile on her face she would explain when I spelt wrong,
No harsh words? No slap on the face? – I was bemused all along.

She would switch off the lights when we left the room,
She would save a coin for a certain day of doom.
She would carry used chaat pattas home and throw in the bin,
Leaving water running was perhaps a sin.

She would give us the best slice of cake,
She would always cook for us, even if she was out or had a headache.
It would take a few minutes. No big deal – I would hear her say,
That composure was an inspiration at the end of each day.

She would give all her savings to someone in need,
She would let no one know about her good deed.
And then she would run up the stairs for it was the best exercise,
I call her an All-in-One, a Superwoman to be precise.

She never told me to do this or that,
Being strong headed, I would have opposed like a brat.
Instead she let her actions speak,
I thought that was clever, a brilliant technique!

And now; I imitate her in a million ways.
I save for a rainy day, I smile through a difficult phase.
Polythene bags find little space in my house,
Like her, I invest in the future without a grouse.

Even simple things like rolling the socks,
Packing a suitcase or checking the locks.
The same things I found annoying as a teenager
In more ways than one, I’ve become exactly like her.

Order, Discipline, Calmness
Compassion, Diligence, Patience, 
Ah, now and then, I find myself doing random acts of kindness,
But you wouldn’t know ‘cause I’ve learnt NOT to aggressively profess.

This and so much more from a woman like no other,
Better than life, situations, or any school teacher.
Her subtle ways have always been my supreme mentor,
I’ve seen and learnt so much from my darling MOTHER!