Archive for the 'Confession' Category

5 Black Things I STILL Want to Own

Whenever I say with glee and smug satisfaction, Black is my colour. My Ma contends that black is no colour at all. Few weeks ago when my father was very unwell, my parents were scared of a relapse. You know how parents have some superstitions. My Ma stealthily takes me aside (so father doesn’t hear) and say, ”you know, dear, I am very scared. You were sitting in a black dress near your father’s bedside. Why would I see you wearing black? It is bad omen.” And I calmly reply, ”Mama, that’s because I wear black a lot. Haven’t you noticed last three days I’ve been wearing black dresses.” Ma couldn’t argue with that and I am very happy to let you know there was no bad omen. My father, thank God, is doing well.

So, with so much black clothing and black devices, are there any more black things I aspire? oh yes! 5 more black things I could do with:

1. Black ornate bathtub: I love bathtubs. When I go on vacation, before booking a hotel I check, Do you have a bathtub, sir? It maybe awkward, but let me tell you it is very important criteria especially on a vacation. 🙂 I found something like this on Pinterest, but I could with do more ornate one. 😉

bathtub2. Black three-sided bookshelf: Actually the bookshelf does have four sides, all I want is my bookshelf to surround me on three sides in a room. yes, heard it right. On three sides. My current bookshelves are proving to be very inadequate. I want something like this (again Pinterest image of a wardrobe actually), but of course, with a preference for a larger space in middle to put a bed, where I can lie and read in those very comfy postures.

bookshelf3. Black Moissanite ring: I am not fond of jewellery, esp gold ones. Diamond is passè. 😉 I want a simple ring with black Moissanite. Something like this would do nicely. (It costs around $1500 last I checked.)

ring4. Black iPad: yes, you heard it right, I want a black wi-fi enabled iPad. Hopefully I will win it in #WhatTheBlack

5. Little black dress: I know, I know. 2 months ago, I bought 17 dresses, most of them black. In fact, my wardrobe is predominantly black. I remember posting this FB update few days ago, leading to a wry query in the comments  about ‘Morticia audition?’.

Yet, my search for that perfect little black dress is incomplete. There is still one out there that is waiting for me.

This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at

A Close Shave

A leisure trip to bookshop usually lifts my gloom. Needless to say, it also lightens my wallet. Today’s trip was no different. I had just seen off my sister at station.

When your dear ones depart, a strange knot forms inside stomach. Suddenly nothing seems as good as it seemed a day ago. My theory is it is easier on the people who go, harder on the ones that remain behind. Therefore, my trip to bookshop.

After an hour armed with packages, I hailed an auto rickshaw to home. And then I remembered a friend had mentioned a party tonight. I called the friend to ask if party was still on.

While talking I noticed that the auto rickshaw driver bumped twice into a motorcycle and a car. I asked him to take it slow. I checked, he was not drunk. I am good at smelling it out. 5 years of practice in crowd-ridden buses of Delhi.

Me and my friend fixed the meeting details and I joked that he should wear a pink T-shirt so that I can make him out in the crowd. We hung up. That’s the last thing I remember. Last thing before the accident.

Continue reading ‘A Close Shave’

Angels of the Day

…are the auto-wallahs I met today.

Yes, you heard it right. 🙂

Truthfully, most harrowing thing that I have encountered in Pune has been its auto rickshaws.

Some days ago, I was actually stuck with an auto driver, who was taking me round and round the same place, asking directions to random people, taking random turns. I got very scared inwardly since I didn’t know my way to home either and it was about 9 already. I finally ordered him to stop, threw some bills (even though I was still within mile of my source point) and ran away.

Pune auto rickshaws have used every trick in the book to cheat me. They usually tell you incorrect fare, since meter shows only distance covered. Once, they used Bombay or some other place rate card (which had higher rates), lied to me that in the morning newspaper tariffs have been increased, had faulty meter that stopped in between and now they demand unreasonable price. Of course, I have deflected most of them barring once or twice, because I can easily calculate the fare correctly.

So today, when hurriedly paid some bills (usual fare) to the auto wallah and was rushing out to office, he stopped me to hand me some bills back. I gaped in confusion.

He was forty-ish bespectacled Muslim driver with hennaed hair and beard.

He explained, I had paid him more money. And I remembered then that I had flagged auto away from home so obviously it was less fare. Gingerly, I told him, no one ever takes less. He dismissed my observation with curt “Banta nahi to kyun lun.” Loosely meaning, if that is not the deserved cost, why should I take.

I was so touched by this gentleman’s gesture, I blessed him hundred times in my heart. For reinforcing my faith in people. And auto wallahas. 😀 God bless him!

Similarly, on my way back from the malls of my swine-flu city, where I had accompanied a friend to find a nice gift for her husband (What do you gift men, by the way, besides clothes, accessories, wallets, cologne?), I easily found an auto way back. By meter. It is a minor miracle since I live in bit far-end of city; and auto rickshaws refuse to ply at times.

Next time I complain about auto rickshaws, remind me of this post. By the way, is there anything we can do when autowallahs refuse to ply and overcharge? 8)


Something’s happened to me.

My presence of mind has gone for a toss. I do not see the obvious.

poster_suzy_zoo_birthday_months_calendarI have always been wee-bit absent minded, I live in timelessness. By timelessness, I mean I never realise what today’s date is. If I happen to notice the date, I will remember – Oh, Today is K’s birthday! It also means that because I have no sense of time in my personal life (in professional, I can be as good as you can get), I am rarely the one to close a meeting or call (unless it’s a deadline to be back at home or an emergency of sorts). It also makes me passive in relationships, I usually react rather than act. I prefer if someone else decides to initiate/end a meeting or call or take the relationship forward or vice versa. There are several pitfalls of such behaviour though. But I digress. This time I have taken my absent-mindedness too far.

smsThe two examples I am going to share involve my two blogger friends. I will call them R and G. So R had told me her real name several months ago. Yet when a discussion about real names came up recently, I asked her name again. She told me. I found her name very familiar. I dismissed it as general forgetfulness. Imagine next day when I receive a sms from R, I realise I had saved her number in my phone along with her real name. Her real name flashes on my screen every time we sms/call each other. Yet I was clueless!


Another friend, this time a personal friend and fellow blogger told me how a person G had tracked her down at a social networking site. I went on tell my friend about my interactions with G in the past. Late at night while I was about to sleep I realised that G had also tracked ME down in the same social networking site and sent me an invitation too. That email was lying unread in the mailbox. Why didn’t I relate and tell that to my friend while we were discussing!!

Several nights, when I go to sleep, I belatedly register the intended meaning of what my friend had tried to explain me on chat during the day. During the day, I had rushed to berate him while he had said nothing that was strong or bad. He, being a sweet gem, had let it pass. Believe me this has not been first occurrence, where I have jumped to take offence at something unintended and innocent. This is typical ‘tubelight’ behaviour that has never been associated with me. It doesn’t sit well with me.

To put an icing on my cake, I keep losing things. Other day I dropped the book I was reading while travelling. The book was Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. (Yeah, it has a movie made on it too.) Reema gave me a soft copy of it while I was lamenting my loss of losing an ‘unfinished book’ (As if losing the book after I had read would have OK). Thanks, girl! 🙂

natural_jute_bagToday too I left behind a jute bag carrying my lunch, milk, scarf and some papers (Thank God, there was no money) in the auto. Darn! I miss my glass of milk.

Btw, Happy April Fool’s Day! I wish I could say I was making a fool out of you. But every word here is true. 😦 Meanwhile, here is my last year’s April Fool’s Day post.

Birthday calendar courtsey Smiley me.

My Sister Doll and Me

Prologue: This post is for my kiddo, my sister. She is in her early twenties, yet to me she feels like a kiddo. She is away for a week and I am missing her. So this post is a sort of profile on her (and us). Warning: This is a long winding, personal post. You may skip if not interested.


Doll and me. Chinese doll-looking kid is my sister.
It is her fav picture. A framed copy of it lays on her bedside table.

I remember the first time I saw my sister in the hospital. A white cotton-like baby wrapped in white sheet. She was so fragile that I was scared to hold her in my arms. Later when she grew old enough to eat solid foods, her feeding time would be a treat for me. A nightmare for Ma because my sister wouldn’t eat any baby food, and I would happily eat the baby food meant for her. I don’t know why I liked it!

Continue reading ‘My Sister Doll and Me’

Robbed on A Busy Street

jobless_robbedIt was this bit of local news that prompted me to write this post.  Do not dismiss this news story as just another crime. Crime sometimes walks right into you, your home. As it happened to me. In our Capital City, Delhi. Yes, here you go with my story. How I was robbed recently.

Continue reading ‘Robbed on A Busy Street’

My Personal Resolutions For 2008

This is the first time I have ever taken a New Year resolution. I read somewhere that to commit oneself to own resolutions, it is important to make your resolutions public. This helps you to track your progress and dedication on completing your resolution. Here are my 6 simple resolutions:

1. Work on my physical fitness. TrekkingNot in terms of slimming, I am slim. I need to increase my physical stamina. Even small physical activity exhausts me. With my current lifestyle, where I sit through my work and during travel, I need to consciously take out time for some physical exercise. I will then go for trekking this year. 🙂
How to do this
• Have a walk everyday.
• Join a gym or weekend dance classes for regular physical activity.

2. Save few bucks. I need to judiciously invest my money and generate wealth. I have some buying objectives such as I want to buy a house and buy a scooty for my sister, have a new laptop. I also want to have sufficient money to donate to my favorite charities and NGOs. Save money
How to do this
• Meet a financial planner and chalk out the best investment plan.
• Keep track of all personal expenses. Currently, I can not tell you how much I need to sustain myself for a month. Restrict my expenditure to minimum essential.
• Learn and dabble in stocks, funds and IPOs.

3. Blog regularly. I write at four blogs, and am irregular on all four these days.
How to do this
• Create a weekly plan for blogging. A designated day for each of the blogs including team blogs. Write more
• Write more this year. Whenever I have an idea in mind, I should get to writing rather than stacking the thought away in notepad and WordPress drafts.
• Burn regular summary feeds on subsequent blogs as well as my blogger Blog portfolio.

4. Add more pages to my blog. It has been long time that I wanted to add two pages on my blog: Links that will list useful links in various genres and We Need a Big Change, a page that lists all my articles in the series.
How to do thisBday Cake
• Simply add pages by end of February. Why February? Because it is month of my birthday as well as my blog’s birthday.

5. Complete Saturday to-do tasks. These are the personal tasks that have to be done on Saturday when I have chutti and also a day various other offices are open. These tasks include like collect my graduation degree, withdraw PF from my last employer. You can imagine how lazy I am if I have not collected my graduation degree yet.
How to do this
• Paste a Post-it on mirror in my room listing the tasks to be done. Post-it
• Plan and create reminders each Friday to determine what task to finish on Saturday.
• Scour all relevant offices for first two months on priority to get all my work done.
• Delegate tasks to friends who can manage these with ease.

6. Take stock of my life. Clearly think my personal objectives in every sphere: finance, family, work, health, social responsibility.
How to do this
• Introspect and create an action plan.
• Implement the action plan.

What are your new year resolutions?

8 Random Facts About Me

Ruhi tagged me to write 8 random facts about me:

1. I am a wannabe movie director. Secretly, I desire to make it big there. 🙂 My kind of movies are Kabul Express, Bheja Fry, Dil Chahta Hai, Rang De Basanti, Forrest Gump. (Feel free to criticize them) 😛

I also have a post graduate degree in mass communication and journalism. I gave up an offer of working in a leading Indian TV channel due to nightly work hours. I try to feed journalist in me by writing about issues I would have as a journalist. I love my work as an Instruction Designer. I bet most Indians do not know what it is. We primarily work for clients abroad. Google the term or write a comment, me gonna help you understand. 🙂

2. I realized, recently, that I can be very rude when it comes to it. My Dad and one of my friends are two people capable of bringing out the worst in me. 😦 One person I feel instantly guilty after being angry with is my sister. She is so lovable.

3. I love my company, I like being alone. Yet I cannot shop alone. I need someone with me to guide me through: to tell me how a dress looks or to give me more shopping ideas that I can use.

4. I am a coward on inside. I discovered this, years ago, while playing a computer game. In the game, you have to break the walls, using bombs, to navigate . At each level, there are worms you have to combat. I would always take “flight” approach instead of “fight.” Once I realized this inwardly, I went on to bomb all the worms and cleared all the levels with top scores.

Trekking In real life, I consciously push myself to do all difficult things that excite me. I jumped from a high cliff into deep Ganges, climbed rocks (rappling) and rafted across Ganges. You would say, no big deal. But it was a big deal, if you looked at my group of friends who spent at least 15 minutes on cliff top to decide if they should jump. I was scared too, but did not brood much. To the surprise of my friends, I went up and asked them to make space for me to jump. My friend looked up in surprised and asked, “you sure?” In his words, before he could turn back and see, I had jumped! 🙂 That was how cliff-jumping kick-started for others. Though one of the friends hurt herself (not very seriously) as she landed improperly in the water.

But I am still scared of childbirths, stitches, fractures, and surgeries. I have Angst-o-phobia.

5. I have never cooked before in my life-except some occasional rice or chapatis. These days, because my grandparents are away, I am staying alone. I have cooked several Indian dishes like paneer, rajma, chane. Sometimes they taste real good, and sometimes there is some mistake. Like too much oil in paneer, one time forgot that chana was still boiling. They burnt at the bottom. 😦

I am throughly enjoying my cooking experience. There is creativity involved in cooking as well. Yet I think, when I start my family, and if I cook everyday for my whole brood after work, I may have to sacrifice my other interests as reading, writing, movies. Uh, I don’t want to sacrifice these, I need to find a balance later when it comes to it.

6. I used to have photographic memory at school. I just had to see something once, I would remember it forever. Perhaps that is why I academically excelled all through school without slogging a bit. But now I have poorest working memory. I hardly remember anything. Several ideas that I think I can blog or write about get lost everyday due to my forgetfulness. I can never state my daily diary. Yet I remember some things that happened long back. I am yet to figure out for myself how my memory works currently. Sometimes, extent of my forgetfulness scares me. Could it be more?

7. I am perhaps the most choosy in the world when it comes to food. The list of what I do not eat is too long. I am a vegetarian, I do not even eat onion and garlic. That rules out any Chinese, Thai or Japanese cuisine I may want to eat.

I am not even Coke or Pepsi fan. I drink them very rarely. There are very few sweets I eat. But I love spicy junk food like Tikki, alloo chat, alloo kabli (a dish with spiced up boiled potatoes found in Bengal) or bhelpuri.

8. I feel I am the most misunderstood person on this earth. 90% of the people in my life may not have the accurate perception of me. I do not blame them. I react and deal with different people differently. For one I am very introvert, for other I am like granny, I am very bossy for other, I am quarrelsome, I am softie. I think I don’t know myself. I just react by the instinct. Some believe I am very wise, some think I am lethargic (and they are right 🙂 ).

I have to figure out for myself, which of them is essentially me.

I tag Dinsan, ManofRoma, Amit, Pradeep and Melani for this meme in case they want to. 🙂 Anyone else who wants to do this meme is welcome.

Why The Kite Runner Moved Me

I have been trying to wonder for past few days why The Kite Runner had shaken me so hard. As I wrote in my last post about this book, I had felt very lonely and wanted to reach out my friend. My friend, unfortunately, was unavailable.

I eagerly read reactions from others who read the book, also spoke to other readers of this book. Though most seemed to like the book and were moved, no one seemed to be as shaken as me. Deep in my heart, I knew there was some darker reason for my intense reaction to the book. It was a niggling doubt, but I have finally gathered the courage to admit it. It is high time I faced the truth. It concerns my little sister.

My sister is MSW (Masters in Social Work) student, some years younger to me. Like most younger sisters, she holds me in esteem, without me doing anything special to earn her esteem. She trusts me completely, and looks up to me to guide in every situation. Though I believe I have never given her a reason to break her trust, I am sure I have failed her completely in latter.

Like Hassan in The Kite Runner, my sister is as pure and loyal. For her, my word is the last word. She has never complained, she never will. But it is difficult for me to hide my guilt. My sister was interning in an organization in an alien city, at least 6-7 hours faraway than the city I live in. She was very unwell—with a malfunctioning liver that would not digest her food, a swollen hand due to a spinal cord stress, and a viral fever. (She told me about her hand too late, and I had advised her to consult a doctor immediately.) When she was unwell, struggling alone in that unknown city, I was only advising her, instructing (sometimes harshly), how to take care of herself. I did my best to provide her every comfort that money could buy. But I did not give her what she wanted most, what perhaps could have been her cure.

I did not give her my presence, my shoulder to lean on. I understand her too well to know part of the reason for her sickness was loneliness. Instead of visiting her, what did I do? Kept myself as immersed in work as always. Perhaps I did not even speak to her adequately, because when I am at work, I don’t remember anything. That’s how I have been. I have been known to go without lunch for months. It would either take either throbbing headaches or some caring friends to remind me that it is mealtime. When I am at work, I don’t remember if I have an ailing granny at home. When I am home, I do not remember that nasty colleague either. So until my day at work ended, I never remembered my sis was ill!

Of course, if she called me in day, I would call her back. But she is my sister, has similar genes. She wouldn’t call when she knew I was working. She slogged herself in that organization in such a state of illness. Such heightened commitment when you are just interning! And what I did, I shouted at her, in my frustration and guilt, why are you going to work? Why are you eating this? Why don’t you get the physiotherapy done? Find a better doctor? Buy almonds, buy this, buy that…I will send you more money… All reeking of money, as Amir said in The Kite Runner. No real concern or love.

When I read The Kite Runner, it all came back to me. I knew what the color of Amir’s guilt was. As soon as my sister’s internship was over, I put her in flight to our parents’ place. She wanted to meet them. She was lonely, needed love, home-cooked food, and thorough medical check-up. She got it all and now she is better. She has returned today, we had a very happy time together after long time. She will leave tomorrow, leaving me her warmth.

Like Hassan, she has thought nothing bad of my attitude. No complaints from her, but I know me better. Now that when I am writing his post, she is right here beside me, and she will be the first reader of this post.

I hope I do not turn out like Amir.

P.S: This is also my first personal post.


Pain is such an abstract and intense feeling that everything else disappears into the oblivion. I have a fear of pain to the extent that it can be qualified as phobia. I even looked up for the right word. It is odynophobia—fear of pain. A quick search on Internet helpfully provided me with another choice. Psychiatrist call it algophobia—it is defined as morbid or abnormal fear of pain. Well, I refuse to believe I am in the latter category. I have a sane mind sitting on my stooping shoulders.

I am surprised that I am beginning my first post writing about pain. Strange! It is not at all the case that I have undergone or am undergoing a lot of pain in my life. I just happened to glimpse into a transient world of pain. I am glad I am able to call it transient. I have always been scared of pain—both emotional and physical.

I remember seeing a guy, who had broken his leg, being taken to the nearby hospital in a cumbersome rickshaw. He was visibly in pain. He was constantly pleading to rickshaw-puller to go slow. The rickshaw-puller was actually walking and pulling the rickshaw slowly enough not to move his already broken bone. The guy was still in terrible agony. I had witnessed this incident years ago. I have not been able to take that image out of my mind since that day. I still associate the image of that guy with broken leg with pain.

I have been fortunate not to get a broken bone in my life. I pray hard to God that I remain that way always. I am scared. I am scared of childbirths, I am scared of all sort of physical pain that comes by in a normal life.

Emotional pain, I realize, can be as tormenting. Though in a different way. You lose track of the entire world around you. You either lose your appetite or gain it in an abnormal way, depending on the kind of person you are. Some people become overtly aggressive, others withdraw into their cocoon. Some want to talk about their angst, others carry it around in their bosom. You give in to impulses, do strangest of things without any clear rationale. Like I did with this first post. I admit I have odynophobia, though there is no escape from it.

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