Category Archives: Random rants

Fun experiences at home during the lockdown

Over the recent years, I have travelled more in seek of new experiences and less to see new places. When the nationwide lockdown happened, I was confined to my house for nearly 3 months. Those familiar with me asked how I coped with not being able to travel. Honestly, if not for the need to be able to stretch my limbs for some physical activities, there wasn’t a day when I felt the need to travel. There were ample things through which I could gain new experiences. Here are some fun experiences during my lockdown.

The first three were motivational experiences that the government of India had assigned as tasks to thank the Corona frontline warriors. All to be performed within the confines of the doorstep of every Indian household. Keeping all the memes and politics aside, participating in them was something I personally enjoyed.

  • Clapping & Clinging of utensils: Calling a day long voluntary Janata curfew on 22-Mar-20 was a preamble to the lockdown. In the evening, Indians were asked to clap their hands, cling plates with spoons or make any sound that would reach the Covid warriors. The outcome had various perspectives from people with varied background. However, our family did our bit by actively participating in it. While I clapped, my mother went a step ahead and blew the conch from our balcony. If not anything, hearing so many types of sounds from the ENTIRE city/ state/ country in unison was a once in a lifetime experience.
  • Flash a light: It was like revoking the real meanings of festivals like Diwali, Christmas or Shab-e-barat by celebrating a day of lights on 05-Apr-20. I personally have a thing for lighting clay diyas and I could not miss this opportunity either. We hung LED lights and mobile flashlights on the outside walls and lit candles and clay diyas on the balcony. And seeing the entire city go off at once and watch the horizon blinking with flashlights was another experience that gave me a high.
  • The flower shower: On 03-May-20, the Indian defense forces took to the skies to salute the Corona warriors. The IAF choppers showered flower petals on various Covid designated hospitals across the country. Also, there was fly-past of various airplanes / jets/ choppers through the length & breadth of the nation. Having an inborn corner in my heart for airplanes, I couldn’t help but run out on the terrace and catch a glimpse of the two C-130 Super Hercules that flew from up north in Srinagar to down south in Thiruvananthapuram.
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The candles in my balcony

The nature bestowed upon me some unique experiences as well.

  • Watch squirrels grow from babies to adults: From a pair of squirrels nesting in our bathroom windows to their four new borns taking over our entire house as grown adults, our family has witnessed it by staying at home during the lockdown. Even as the babies were learning to walk, they had us a hard time. They would try to sneak into the house through the bathroom ventilator and often fall inside the bucket or they would simply forget their way out of the house and wander aimlessly. Lucky that a couple of times, they fell into the buckets with only an ounce of water, got their tails soaked and would just not be able to balance themselves. All we had to do was keep an eye on them by checking the bathroom or ensure they found their way out of the house without touching them, every time they came.
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The squirrels of my house
  • Watch a goat deliver a pre-mature calf: With a farmer who came to my backyard to graze his herd of goats, it was one of those days when one of them sat amid a bush and started to cry. The she- goat was 2 months due to her labor, but the pain had started early and the entire herd had surrounded her. The farmer telephoned a Vet who arrived in a while and helped the expecting mother to have a safe labor. The baby was removed out of her body whom we initially thought was still born. However, the little one wriggled in the hands of the Vet with a wailing cry giving a sense of relief to the vet, the mother goat, the farmer and to our family who watched all this unfold in front of us.
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The farmer with his goat and her new-born calf
  • Watching a million butterflies: With permission from the authorities, it was loss of a family member that drove us to a riverbank to let her mortal remains flow in the holy river Cauvery. But as if it was a soothing balm to our family that was going out for the first time during the lockdown, we were surrounded by a million butterflies around us. Under the canopy of red gulmohars flanking the empty roads, the mighty Terminalia trees (need to fact check the correct name) holding up the banks of the river flowing full, with ABSOLUTELY no one to disturb them in an otherwise overcrowded weekend destination, these butterflies were flying FREELY, literally. It was as if we lived a scene out of a fairy tale.
  • Star gazing: While at the terrace, we even witnessed a meteor shower and a comet. The Lyrid meteor shower is an annual phenomenon that can be usually observed around April. Apart from that, the comet SWAN was a treat for early risers, visible from May 13th through for a week.
  • Watching the sunset: As I worked from home, I was bummed indoors from morning to evening. So, winding up my day by watching the sunset from my balcony with a cup of tea was my excuse to get my daily dose of vitamin-D. Probably, the beautiful evening views from my home was something I had long forgotten as I returned home after dark on a regular work day and went chasing sunsets at fancy travel destinations on holidays.

And yet, there were several experiences that our family created for ourselves. Apart from sharing long conversations and discussions over shared meals, there were several things that we did in collaboration and had our share of fun at home.

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My experience of taking mango delivery through India Post
  • Setting up our own home-gym: With pleasant breeze in the terrace, good night view, ambient music and peppy music under the starry sky (considering that the sky was its clearest during the nationwide lockdown), we set our own gym on our terrace with DIY dumbbells and stands.
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The night view from my terrace
  • Growing our own kitchen garden: Brinjals, green groceries, beans, tomatoes, drumsticks etc. were just a few things from my parents’ own backyard kitchen garden that helped us to reduce the number of visits to the stores.
  • Enjoying homegrown fruits: Watermelons, muskmelons, night shade berries, mulberries, avocados and Papayas are those that our fruit relishing taste buds were able to devour from our own backyard. Not that we have a big space in our backyard, these were all grown in pots with the wet waste from the kitchen that went into composting.
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Homegrown Fruits and vegetables
  • Celebrating birthdays of friends & family members: Baking birthday cakes, making streamers for decorations, sending video wishes and experimenting in the kitchen, these celebrations were fun and different from the usual. In the middle of all this, someone sends a watsapp forward of reminding the pre-Covid situation of how strangely we all ate a cake into which someone had blown air from their mouth to put-off the candle 😀
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DIY birthday decor in the making
  • Mask making at home: I took my mom’s help to learn sewing and that is a new skill I picked up during the lockdown. Apart from making face masks with upcycled fabric, we made new caps, T-shirts and backpacks at home for our personal use.

Oh, I had shared a list of activities that I had planned to do during the lockdown. Have you read it yet? Here’s the link: (Click here to continue reading)

Poetry out of inspiration ;)

<04-Nov-13> <09-Nov-13> <14-Nov-13>

<25-Nov-13> <27-Nov-13> <30-Nov-13>

A dedication to the THREE MOST SPECIAL PEOPLE of my life : Lee, Jazz and Hi 🙂

My THREE Besties
My THREE Besties

I call it the SWEET November… a NERVOUS November… a LOVELY November… Lots and lots of memorable things happened in this one month… Birthdays, weddings, travelling, sitting, eating- every bit of the month is special..

To start off with, my two BESTIES got hooked.. rather than being happy for them, it is an ugly sadness that has engulfed my mind.. A feeling of loneliness has hovered my thoughts.. They have moved away from town and now I wonder when I will lose out on my other friends as well… Anyways.. YOU three are the ONLY reason for the person I am today… atleast in the last 6yrs.. and I WILL MISS YOU ALL A LOT…. May god bless you all with lots and lots of happiness and love.. All the love I have for you has inspired the new poetess in me.. Kindly bare with me :* So, here it goes….

Angels appeared from the deep blue heavens

They gifted to me- roses tied with coloured ribbons.

Little did I know, it was indeed a Pandora’s box,

Which wasn’t a boon, but instead a mystic hex.!!

So, now what do I do ? I thought.

There is nothing left, for everything is lost.

And in the course of this throes of life,

Here they were- ‘The Angels of my life’.

They were sent for me from the saviour above

Little did I know- who they were? They came here how?

Wrapped with some golden leaves

Tied with string of pearls and morning dews..

‘THREE WONDERFUL FRIENDS’ I called them- which meant et all.

They stood by me in every moment of hardship and song,

They were here to lift me when I had a fall..

They kicked me when I was wrong..

They crayoned the beautiful colours in my portrait,

They brewed an ocean of nectar from a phial of poison.

Soon it was time for us to depart,

There is no way out, we just have to move on.

I now know what it is when friends dwell apart,

It took me so long to realise the jist of it-

‘This life is nothing but an evanascent shower,

which leaves the ground as dry as ever.’

061

I hate to grow up..!!

Recently, I had been to my hometown on a weekend.. The few hours I spent with my little cousin made me all nostalgic about the good old childhood days I spent there.. He took me to the front yard of the house and placed his pets in a line.. “On your mark.. get set… Peeeee” went his whistle.. It was a race organised by him for 3 tortoises & a cane turtle that he found in the paddy field.. Just as the race began, the turtle turned backwards and began to run(or walk rather).. I saw my little brother panic.. It was very funny and I found it very cute at the same time..

The Tortoise & the turtle race
The Tortoise & the turtle race

There are some small things about life that you miss a lot when you grow up.. The little innocence of being a child, those priceless toys- sand castles, straw tents, slushy puddles, paper boats, pull carts of dried coconut tree branches.. We ran naked around the house and the estates- We NEVER knew what SHY meant..

Children enjoying their shower in a small stream amid the greens of our estate
Children enjoying their shower in a small stream amid the greens of our estate

And then, when we grew up a little more, we did it for competitions- To see whose paper kites flew higher and stayed longer in the sky.. Whose wooden top spun longer, Which catapult shot the farthest, Who had the most number of marbles.. Who caught most number of dragonflies in the empty horlicks bottle.. Who lit the room brightest with their collection of glow-worms.. And further, I remember- stealing an empty glass jar and a cotton towel every weekend with my older cousin- All just for the sheer sake of fishing in the stream nearby.. And, we’d be the proud fishermen of the collection in my grani’s lotus pond..

Internet photo- Fishing in a stream
Internet photo- Fishing in a stream

And then.. Our capital increased… Our toys also got more sophisticated.. We started boasting of our collection of tazos, TV-video games, hot-wheels cars..

My little cousin's collection of cars
My little cousin’s collection of cars

We would wait for guests, uncles, aunties to come home.. Cuz they would buy Cadbury gems for us.. Parle poppins, Blue n yellow wrappered Aasay toffees.. We did not expect any expensive chocolate bars..

Ofcourse I witnessed the era of Beyblades & Pokemons too.. But, I considered myself a little more grown up by that time..

Soon I started to earn enough to suffice the crunch for that ONE most expensive toy that would COMPLETE my collection of toys.. But, it is too late now for I have over grown the age of collecting toy cars.. Now people respect me only if I have the REAL ones.. and that too the MOST expensive ones.. Chocolates should be imported and a little bit of rum/vodka in it would spike it up.. Tents mean only those paid camping in expensive holiday resorts.. Now, I frequently fly in aeroplanes.. Spin at the casino.. Even to get into a slush pool.. I’d pay a fat deal at an exotic spa…

SHIT MAN..!!! How I wish… that innocence was not gone.. How I wish.. I had NEVER grown up…

Learning to Rock with MLTR

<04-Oct-13> A throwback post

With a short break from work, I have decided to just relax in the comforts of my home and slumber.. Meanwhile, over the last few days I have been digging out all the old and long forgotten music CDs stocked up in my cupboard.. Like the saying goes, ‘Old is Gold’. Old music makes me feel so good and relaxes my worked up senses.. Iron Maiden, Metallica, Dream Theater, Linkin Park, Aerosmith etc. etc.. You call them masterpieces, classics of rock or whatever- They NEVER cease to soothe the metal head in me.

But in between all of them, I stumbled upon this one- Micheal Learns To Rock..!!

This boy band ain’t any metal masters.. But the lovely tune, nice guitar and simple lyrics that can be so easy to relate… Just makes me feel so good each time I take a listen to them. With their compositions like: Sleeping child, Out of the blue, Paint my love, you go away, take me to your heart, the list goes on… There is something in their music that lifts up my spirits and pulls in a very pleasant mood even after a screwed up day..

Movie/Music reviewer/Critic- This is not what I usually do. My mind is so occupied with my work that I have even lost track of my interests and likes.. I don’t remember when or who has updated the list in my phone’s music player last.. But, finding this CD suddenly has made me all nostalgic..

MLTR: You guys are AWESOME… Love you so much for creating such awesome music..

RESPECT \m/

mltr

Catastrophe Vs Champions’ trophy – A salute to the bravehearts

A Catastrophe & a Cricket trophy – Yay..!!! They sound similar- I found homonyms…. And so.. Both these individuals struck India together…

The 13-Jun-13 cloudburst at Uttarakhand has shook the entire country.. Thousands dead- thousands rescued- thousands are still stranded in the remote villages of the flood stricken Indian state without food, water or even a piece of clothing to cover themselves.. And atleast 5000 more are feared to have been washed away by the fury of the Himalayan Tsunami.. While the central government refuses to tag this as a national calamity (Oh.. So.. What is the minimum number of people that has to die to get this tag??), the dirty politicians are trying to make the most of this scene to make hay for the coming elections..

Rescue of the stranded in progress
Rescue of the stranded in progress

Despite unfavourable weather conditions, the Indian army & airforce is struggling day-in and day-out without even bothering for their lives- all just to get those thousands of pilgrims out to safety.. And in the midst of all this- 20 personnel from the Indian army & airforce have lost their lives in a chopper crash in Uttarakhand. And still they are doing their best and beyond that to save the thousand others….

Meanwhile, The Indian Cricket team has lifted the ICC Champions’ trophy-2013. In the cricket maniac country like our’s, no one gives a damn about what’s happening next door when you have a cricket match telecast live. The winning team gets a whopping 2 million rupees as prize money.

india-icc-champions-trophy-2013

Back home, BCCI has announced Rs. 1 crore as a reward to each member of the winning team..!!!! WTF..??? Seriously……!! The MAXIMUM reimbursement that a soldier can expect for his life is 5 lakhs in India even after battling worst conditions (be it natural calamities or LOC/border issues)… and  winning a cricket match(with mere 8 teams which consider cricket as a game worldwide) means 100 times a Soldier’s life…???? 

We can expect some Bharat Ratnas, Padma Vibhushanas etc. to be given away like toffees from the national pocket to our cricket stars in the coming year…!!! No one cares for the recent scam that had struck BCCI- The nation seems to have forgotten that already…

I am not against cricket – But why do we always forget our duty to give credits to those thousands of soldiers who are risking their lives just to ensure our safety..?? Does being a soldier mean just dying..?? Isn’t there a value for their lives.? Don’t they have a family ? Don’t they have ambitions ? Don’t they have feelings ? Aren’t they the most rightful and deserving owners of the junk money from the national coffers ??

I am searching for the answer.. I will wait for the answer… I will wait..

One BIIIG salute to the BRAVEHEARTS… We owe you everything….

Fear of Travel.. It is in your Mindset..!!

Agoraphobia is considered the most incapacitating of anxiety disorders. To be more precise- The fear of travelling ALONE.. It is all in your mindset.. What do you think will happen to you if you go out alone? You will die of a road accident or a plane crash..? A bunch of trouble makers will harm you..? A group of bad men will molest you..?

People… Get a life.!!  You need to just come out of your frame of mind.. Harm can be caused to you anytime. What will you do if the ground beneath your house sunk in.? What would you do if a bunch of people barged into your home with clubs and hoses ? Your trusted neighbor of several years might knock at your door for all wrong reasons one day.. Or what if your best friend / family member is battling for life in a distant place.. Will you still step back to remain in the safe confines of your home?

You ain’t doing anything worthwhile with your life if you hesitate to travel. Just step out and explore.. It is just a state of mind you want to leave unchanged.. Rather, think of adventures.. Such incidents may happen; but how you fight it out, what experience you gain out of it is more important. You can have so many stories to tell to your grandchildren when they grow up.. You should at least travel just to know how a car runs on gasoline, how a pull cart is fueled by the mechanical energy of a living being, how a train moves without tyres.. How will you measure the expanse of the sea.. How will you feel the snow on your hand..? You will never know the simple things of everyday life until and unless you travel.. And not always you will find a partner to travel.. At times you will find inner peace only by travelling alone.. It will help you to know yourself better, you will understand what your likes and dislikes are.. You will feel free without having to adjust to somebody else’s way of doing things.. So just get ready, pull up your socks, jump in and have a NICE trip ahead.. 🙂

Use these simple tips when you travel(alone or as a group):

* Use the public transport as much as possible- This is lighter on your pockets and there is a floating population which is much safer than hiring a private taxi.
* Interact with the locals- it helps you to build your social network, learn about the culture, history etc.
* Carry a pepper spray in your bag- it will come in handy at some point of time.
* Always carry a candy/chocolate in your bag. It will help you to regain your strength when your blood sugar level drops and you get semi-conscious. Low-sugar can happen to any normal person at any time.  
*  Learn 1 or 2 kicks and punches for self defense- it will come along a great way..!! 

And this last paragraph goes to all those IDIOTS who poke their stinky dirty leaky noses in my travel affairs.. Ask me of what is the pleasure of traveling ? I first traveled alone when I was  10 .. A distance of 240 kms by a KSRTC bus.. But of course, for several reasons, day travel it was.. My parents and friends are confident about me finding my way out of anywhere in this whole wide world.. What’s the problem with the rest of you to let me go..??  YOU are hesitant, YOU are scared, YOU get petrified, YOU are a loser, NOT ME..!! Let me go..!!

Communication gap…?? Fill it..!!

I’ve been a keen observer of people for most of my life, speak up only when forced to, silent when my presence is not a mandate.. Here are some matured talks I’d like to do after analysing the different people I have met and various situations I have gone through over these years..

You find someone good looking ? Walk up: Go tell him / her about what you think. Initially you might get back some dirty stares(a tight wack across your face in rare events), but that person for sure will blush from within and start feeling good about himself. Don’t you feel good when you make someone feel good about themselves..??

Someone’s wearing a nice dress / shoes ? Compliment them. A smile on their face is assured 🙂

You feel cheated in a relationship – Sort it out. It’s better than spending your life with a lie that never was true.

Feeling left out in the crowd? Open up. Just say ‘Hi’ with a handshake with a stranger and just see- you have a friend to accompany for the rest of your day..

You have an inclination for a civil partnership ? Talk it..with your parents. They know what’s good for you better than you know about yourself.. And you  have the right to do what you like to.. Don’t deceive yourself and mess up another innocent(your-to-be-fiance)’s dreams too..!!

Feeling low about your importance at work ? Speak up to your boss. Beyond a point, an employee’s primary need has less to do with money, and more to do with how he’s treated and how valued he feels (quoted by: David W. Richard). Give it a try before thinking of putting your papers- You might end up missing out on a chance.

You don’t like something about your best friend ? Tell it..!! You have every damn right to let him/her know.. You’ll be the betrayer if not..

Someone’s troubling you ? Discuss it with your partner/friend/parent. Share it with someone at least.. Together you will be able to find a solution. No matter how old you are, you are not strong enough to stand alone by your stride..!!

Getting bullied ? Glare it right back at them.. Don’t let anyone force you into silence.. Everything has a limit..!!

Students… You know the answer for the question that the teacher just asked ? Tell it out- If it’s right, you’ll be the hero. If it’s wrong, you will learn something new. You are not losing anything either ways.. you see 🙂

After a lecture, you have a doubt ? Ask it out.. No matter how silly it might sound to the others.. 1. They too would probably have the same doubt but be hesitant to ask.  2. You are clear about that 1 hour long boring session and are taking back something useful.

The doom’s day is here..? this time- you SHUT UP–  It’s very important not to let your emotions take over entirely. Remember that this is just a passing phase / conversation, and people will think better of you if you speak calmly and slowly. Acting calm makes you seem collected and in control, especially if other people are freaking out around you.

Worst case— You are that extremely shy one just out of your cocoon for a flash of a time..?? Write it up. Write it to the authority asking them to explain, write it to a dear one to express what you feel. But, that’s all. All the other feelings- save them in your shelves. Might help you to author a book someday..

But, remember… you have to fill the communication gap at the end of the day.. DO NOT LEAVE anything unsaid, untold.. For only you will know what is in your mind..

SpeakYourMind

PS: The above rules do not apply if the affiliated institutions are governed by Indian politics.. Do not dare the above lest you shall be counting the bars there..!!

OMG..!! Life has changed..!!

<18-Sept-09>
I want to go back to the time..
When “Innocence” was ‘Natural”
When “Getting High” was “on a Swing”
When “Drinking” meant “Rasna” 
When “Dad” was the only “Hero”
When “Love” was “Mom’s hug” 
When “Dad’s shoulder” was d “Highest” place on earth
When your worst enemies were your “Siblings”
When the only thing that could “Hurt” were “bleeding Knees”
When the only things “Broken” were “Toys” and
When “Goodbyes” only meant “Till tomorrow”.. 
Oh My God..!! Life has changed a LOT.!!
Enough of originals.. This one- I received as a SMS forward sometime back.. But, this still holds so much power and means much more every time I read it… Every time I read it: it makes me feel older- And then I start wondering “OMG– I’ve wasted so many years without doing anything constructive out of it.. And i’m already so old..!!! ” AAaaargghhh… it’s not a nice feeling at all..!!
 
And this one was my status quote on FB during my last year in college: 
“No poem, No beautiful thought, just a tribute to d times v fought.. another year more and then we part our ways.. No insane talking, no crazy pics, our meetings would be dependent on a mouse’s click.. The parties would be corporate, the innocence lost, we would be earning, but at a frnd’s cost.. we wud b professional, we wud b sane.. then these lines would be not more than a walk in the memory lane..”
And every time I find this on my wall, I’l be like: “OMG..!! what have I done to myself..?? What happened to all my dreams…?? Why don’t I have time to catch up with my friends and laugh over a plate of fried rice with ten hands grabbing for food from it..!! or whatever it means to being a student meant to be… ” Baaahhh… It’s definitely not a good feeling..!! 
A boy from the Yerava tribe in Coorg
A boy from the Yerava tribe in Coorg

My desire to light up the World..!!

<02-Oct-12>

I want to:

* Be the little worm that lights up a lost way to give some hope
* Be a candle flame that lights up a world of darkness
* Be a beacon that lights up to guide a lost vessel
* Be a beam of laser that lights up to mould a metal block
* Be a sparkle that lights up the pretty eyes
* Be a ray of sunrise that lights up the colours within a kaleidoscope
* Be a distant star that lights up a romantic night

Eeewwww……..

Wondering where all this sudden fancy is coming from??

I saw this kid walking around the mall last night, when the power went off suddenly.. And then I saw this little red light that moved like – on and off- on and off- on and off— and then glowed ooonnn & off!! I knew that the little boy had found his way to reach his mom in the darkness- or vice-versa- His mom had traced him out..

Then, it was nostalgia that took over my mind.. My heart was craving to go back to the good old days of childhood when I too walked around with a pair of such pressure sensing buttons under my heels that would light up my road and that used to make me feel soooo proud every time it blinked..
HELL YEAH..!!! I want a pair of those light up shoes now..!!!

Been trying to google it ever since.. and found a few options as well..

* Buy the largest size from the kids’ shoes segment.

* Light up shoes (this one does not glow at the heels but at the tongues..!!)- A minimum order of 80 pcs accepted.

But finally— A good deal: I found these really punk looking light up shoe laces (Damn cool..!!)

Light-Up-Shoes

So, I’m ordering for a bunch of these glow up laces right away..!!