Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Great Mysteries of the World

There are a lot of things I don’t understand. Now, I’m not a rocket scientist, a PhD or even the college topper. But frankly, I really think the below mentioned puzzles will leave even the best of them dumbfounded. At least for a few moments. I think.

The Bhaaiyyya Syndrome
Why do only Delhi girls say “Bhaaaiyyya” and not the Delhi boys? Or any other city girls? How did this syndrome selectively attack only one gender of a city and not the rest of the population? What weird gender and geography specific gene mutation is this?!

To Scratch or not to Scratch
On an average, you will find 63% of the men standing on the street scratching their balls. On an average you will find .02% of the women on the street scratching…well…anything. Of course these are random stats I just made up. But the fact of the matter is, we all sweat and we all get uncomfortable. Manners just skipped one gender somehow on this count.

The monthly Drug Dealer
Why, oh why, does a chemist wrap up sanitary napkins in that black polybag and slip it across conspirationally to you? Why must I feel like a drug dealer every time I ask for a pack of Whisper?! WHY is it that something that almost 50% of the world’s population goes through every month of the year has to be hidden and kept all secretive?! Why is the advertising so uncomfortable (Don't mind, lekin aapke peeche...)?! Why is it something to be hidden from the male gender and to be embarrassed about? What is the big deal?! Unless you’re one of those girls who pretends that every time she uses the loo it's just to finish her make up (because women are clearly too pretty and delicate to have any normal digestive functions), I ask, again, WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?!

Har Haath Same Pose
Why Rahul Gandhi somehow never managed to find the time to give four different poses for his Outdoor campaign is a question I asked every bloody day while heading to office. EACH bill board shows his exact same photograph. The only change is the person standing next to him…the woman…the kisaan…the muslim...the worker (Cover all demographics. Brain wave wonly). And him. Same pose. They were even too lazy to invert the image and move him from left to right, you know, for the sake of breaking the monotony. I mean you know, obviously, it couldn’t have been rocket science. 

But, who would they have then managed to blame for not getting enough votes if the ad agency got everything right? But that’s besides the question. This blog is NOT a political forum. Otherwise I’d also be questioning the sanity of the 16 people who voted for amchi hari mirchi Rakhi Sawant.
Photo Courtesy: DNA

Bitch Please!
Girls are frankly the best friends you can ever have. They’re supportive, loving, caring, and really know how to make you feel better and get out of the dumps when it comes to guy issues in life. But it takes exactly a nano-second to turn them into the biggest bitches in the world. I am yet to meet a girl who is TRULY happy when her female friend lost weight / topped in an exam / got a promotion / went ga-ga over her wedding…anything where she was competing as well… There is a reason that female bosses are the worst...unless you’re a guy. Then, there’s hope. Maybe.

Why are some watsapp emoticons so damn confusing?! Like, why are there cats doing the exact same thing as the bald (humans?!)?? 

And what the hell is this?? 

And how does this not look like pink granny panties to anyone else?!?!
Seriously, isn't there a bum in there somewhere?!

The reason I know I'm not the only one finding them confusing is because a friend regularly sent an emoticon to her boyfriend when he was feeling low, thinking she’s gifting him virtual chocolates. “Awww…You’re sad…Here take this!”
Silver lining to his day, I tell you!

The Mind Numbing Delhi-Mumbai Debate
I don’t even care to recall the number of times I have been asked which city I prefer and why. And I definitely can’t understand people’s fascination with this topic. In the past 4 years of my life, I have tried every possible answer to the question, from the direct (Both are crap), to the diplomatic (Oh, both have their positives) to the topic-changer (Ooh, look, birdie!), but the one thing I’ve realized is, my answer DOESN’T MATTER. Because the only reason that question is ever asked, is for the questioner to give her / his view point about which city s/he likes better. What is amusing is that the majority of the times, the person asking the question is an incumbent of one of the two cities, and has never really lived away from home for a long period of time…ever. On what authority they form their opinions is beyond me. But what really really befuddles me is when a South Mumbai girl passes a snide remark about a South Delhi girl being rich and spoilt and stylish and vice versa. That’s the point when I want to take out a Hattori Hanzo, swish it through the air, and hope they see their reflection in the blade (and the fact that there is literally no difference between the two, and they’re as spoilt / rich / self-centered as the other, both go crazy over Zara, and neither can name all the stations in the local train line / metro) before their airy head goes flying off and hits the opposite wall.

Okay, so maybe I got a little carried away. And am quite sure I made a lot of HUGE presumptions and pissed off some people. But take it as the rant of a curiously confused mind. Like, these things can’t be mysteries to just me, right? Err. Right??

P.S. I grew up in South Delhi, have lived in Delhi and Mumbai, and have been known to apparently say Bhaaaaaiyaa at times.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dapoli - A land not so far away....

It was the first long weekend, and hence A’s first trip around Mumbai was planned. Given how it seems that all of Mumbai moves into the Lonavalas and Kashids around holidays, we hopped onto a plan made by friends to visit Dapoli, a far off non-commercialized beach in Maharashtra. Or so we thought.

The objective of the trip was simple: spend two days away from the hustle bustle of life in Mumbai…and just relax. After an initial scare of almost booking non-AC rooms (Oh, the travesty!), we finally settled in on Silver Sands Resort, based bang on the beach in Dapoli.

The ideal time by road is around 3-4 hours, given it’s just a distance of around 240 km to the beach (the town itself is 215 km). But the ideal time might get hampered by discovering 3 punctures in your car wheel, construction ALL the way leading to a single lane highway and a never-ending Shiv Sena rally. So after leaving from our homes at 6, we finally reached the resort at 1 pm, a mere 7 hours of driving in the treacherous sun.

At this point I should point out, A did all the driving, and my job was to sit in the passenger seat and entertain him and Sunshine (our friend sitting in the back-seat…and this just somehow seems like a very very apt name for her, even though she might kill me later) by fighting over the radio, or talking, a lot. Both of which I’m very good at. So maybe A should be the one doing the cribbing. But then again, I’m the one writing.

Being hit by a cool breeze the moment we stepped out at the resort pretty much made it all worth it. We stepped right out on the sand, and had the vast expanse of the roaring ocean in front of us. Mumbai now seemed like a far off figment of our imaginations.

The Beach

The pretty beach when you point the camera away from Chandni Chowk ;)

Murud, where our resort was located, is actually supposed to be one of the longest beaches in the Konkan region. It boasts of clean virgin sands, very little commercialization, relatively cleaner waters, and absolutely limited sightings of a particular species called human beings.

It’s known for its cool weather, but perhaps the best time to visit it is, well, two years ago.

Because what we found were oil deposits on the beach, frothy water, and chaat stalls and a crowd that made me think of a cross between Chandni Chowk and Juhu Chowpatty.

The Resort

The Breeze and the Greenery....

Silver Sands has one HUGE thing going for it, and for that it shall always be recommended, it’s ON THE BEACH. You step out of your room, and it’s the beach. And the food was scrumptious and the waiters friendly and accommodating. But what you do give up on are some basic amenities like a bit of hygiene in the bathroom (the tub looked like it came out of one of my murderous fictions) and any particular issues you might have against sharing your rooms with other living things, specially lizards.

By the way, did I tell you, I’m petrified of lizards? Petrified to the extent that I have regular nightmares about them? And can’t even think of sleeping if I spot one in the room? And mind you, these were no ordinary lizards. They had Godzilla like noise making abilities! Well, almost. But they did make a bloody loud knocking noise all the damned night long! Loud enough to make one of the girls get up in the middle of the night to open the door because she thought someone was banging on our door.

So it’s actually a really good thing that we went with a close group of friends with no plans of getting much sleep at night. So I at least had company in which I could try and hide my fear of the tiny reptiles.

I didn’t actually manage to hide it. At all. But. Oh well.

The Verdict

It wasn’t the ideal trip. The beach was no longer what it used to be, thanks to oil spills and commercialization. There was a random version of para-sailing (but not on water?!) and camel rides on the once virgin beach. The resort had an ideal location but wasn’t very well maintained.

Was it better than Mumbai? Absolutely!

Is it a romantic getaway? Maybe, if you don’t mind a threesome with some creepy crawlies.

Did we achieve our goal of fun and relaxation? There were friends, cards, dumb charades, roaring waves, and a whole lot of food and liquidity. There was no way that goal wasn’t going to be achieved!

Casualties? The cutest whitest kitten stuffed toy and the feline species in general.

Overall, I’m very glad we did this trip. Will we go back? Probably not.

I did chill...A LOT.
Warning: Plan your exit strategy before plonking down in one. Trust me.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Great Indian Circus: Behind the Wedding Scene!

Ever since I was a kid, I was very very confident that I wasn’t interested in a religious ceremony and all the jazzy preparations that go along with Indian weddings. What I wanted was always clear - go sign a document in court, throw a small party for people you really care about and want to celebrate with, and go on to live a happily married life.

I was told a million times my choice would change once I grew up.
It didn’t.

And then I decided to get married to a Punjabi Munda.

And all hopes for a wedding on a piece of paper went up in smoke faster than I could say the words ‘Punjabi Munda’.

And that’s when I found myself pulled into a whirlwind seven months of preparations and all the drama that makes up a big fat Indian wedding. And here’s what I learnt from the experience:
  • To begin with…you have to shop. A LOT. For things you’ll barely ever use. Because. Just Because.
  • Life suddenly ends up revolving around exactly two things: Work. And Wedding prep. Work during weekdays. Shop on weekends. And work and shop in all the by-chance-free-breathing-moments you may have somehow managed in between.
  • I know you may want to be super involved in everything to do with your wedding…The venue, the d├ęcor, the menu, the invites... My advice? Don’t bother. You are the one person who won’t really get to experience any of the above. Specially the food. Damn. Not getting to eat is my biggest regret. Specially when I hear people tell me how yummy the damned fish and kebabs were. (Where the hell was the fish?!!?)
  • Your camera guy will spend more time with you than your own family members during the actual functions. Whether that’s a good thing depends on whether you like being told to swirl in the 8 degree temperature corridor in a 20-kilo lehenga and still manage a smile that doesn’t make you look like a potential murderer. You WILL end up killing them in your blog eventually. But at that moment, he’s your closest family.
  • Your jaws will ache. From smiling at aunties cracking jokes I never seem to get. From smiling at aunties asking if your cheeks have got rashes (No, it's rouge, but thank you for trying to cause a mini-panic). From smiling for the 10000+ photographs that technology now allows to be taken. From smiling at the pandit when he forgets a few not-so-important things like the mangalsutra.
  • You will unquestioningly touch anyone and everyone’s feet. They look older than you? Do a mini suryanamaskar.
  • You will get less sleep than your most happening college night. For days in a row. And you’ll have to smile through it. Every damned second.
  • But having said all that, I have to say, I surprisingly had much much more fun at my wedding than I had ever imagined possible. I was kept away from all worries by my parents, given a lot of pre-sleep and pampering before the big day, and loved and cared for all through.
But more than anything else, I was highly overwhelmed by the number of people who came from all over the country, and outside, just to be there on that date. Family, childhood friends….It’s overwhelming to know they’re all there, for you. And you wonder in awe, since when have you become important enough, to deserve so much love and attention. It is, by far, the most touching thing in the world.

And for that, thank you.

P.S. One of the biggest REAL lessons I have learnt? Remember how someone invited you to their wedding at a slightly inconvenient date, around a meeting, or a holiday, or one of those things? And you politely declined, thinking, among the thousands of people attending, you won’t really even be noticed or missed? Bullshit. Your absence was noticed. And missed. And put on a hitlist. Trust me.

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