Friday, 18 December 2015

Open Letter To My Childhood Dream

I've been meaning to write to you for a long time. I think I was just constantly trying to convince myself you weren't important enough anymore. I've been in love with you ever since I was 7 years old. And who can blame me; after all you were a pop star who had it all. With a flawless voice and the ability to hit notes which even dogs could hear, you were my hero.

Things were looking up for us. You could find me singing to myself pretty much all the time (as long as no one else could hear) and I'm not embarrassed to admit how many hours I'd spent practicing my Grammy acceptance speech in the shower. I know I was never vocal about our relationship. I'm sorry I wasn't courageous enough to be open about it. I was a clumsy little girl with no confidence and a self esteem to match, and you, the exact opposite. You were everything I wanted to be. People would laugh at me if I told them I was hoping for a future with you. No one would understand.

I hate to think you would be assuming that my obsession with you was merely one of those ephemeral childhood desires that fade away just as quickly as they are conceived. There was nothing insincere about my fervid declarations of our love, I promise you. How would I know that life would soon conspire against me – against us? Of course, my self-esteem refused to help me when I turned to it for comfort. I was so certain that I was not good enough for you. I could have sworn that you thought I was an incapable novice with no chance of improvement. My fascination for you slowly begun dwindling until I tucked away this part of me in the depths of my heart.

But my love for you never completely disappeared. I still left all the windows open and all the doors unlocked, hoping you would come back; after all, we were bound together by those tenuous threads of passion which refused to snap. In hindsight, I believe I should have fought harder for us. It was thoughtless of me to have given up so abruptly, and not a day goes by when I don’t think about it.

Nevertheless, I write this letter to you not just to make amends but in the hopes of getting back together. The windows are still open and the doors still unlocked, and even though you’ve changed, I hope this time you’ll come in and stay.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Busting BuzzFeed's Buzz

Now, I’m not one to shell out unsolicited advice to anyone. However, here are a few words of wisdom that might take you a long way – kindly do not make life decisions based on the flobbity-jillion BuzzFeed quizzes taking over your Facebook profile nowadays.
Yes, apart from providing us with a comprehensive list of GIFs for every occasion, BuzzFeed has also started introducing quizzes for online users. So while I was snuggling in my blanket watching the Oscars and fangirling over the much talked about selfie that instantly went viral, a few of my Facebook friends were posting results to the plethora of personality quizzes. I too quickly jumped on the bandwagon and was bowled over by how awesome these quizzes made me think I am. (Which Beatle are you? Psychedelic John Lennon. Which Queen of Comedy are you? Ellen DeGeneres. What city should you actually live in? Paris, FTW!)
I did not care that the algorithm was actually quite messed up, or the fact that the person who made the quiz probably has no qualification to assess which flavor of ice-cream I am or what super power I should have. I did not understand that in all likelihood, nobody on my Facebook list would really care about these results. I was obsessed and fell into a downward spiral of quizzes. And more quizzes. And more quizzes. Until I came across this.

This launched me into contemplative zone.

If BuzzFeed has to decide which haircut I should go for, then it’s time for me to step back into reality. Why was I so addicted to a few questions that would ultimately just accommodate me into some categories? Why was I letting myself be analyzed by a few algorithms? Why did I want to know which celebrity butt should I have unless it's Darren Criss' on a plaque for me to keep in my cupboard next to the jar of James McAvoy's eyes and Chris Pine's face? Why did I have such creepy thoughts? Why were my brain cells deserting me? Why do I care about which cookie I am? When will I ever get a life?
So, these wondrous moments of epiphany were followed by my going through a list of super absurd quizzes and trust me, I saw quite a few.

HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE PIZZA? (You think this is a joke?!)

THESE were the quizzes that I had been waiting for my entire life. Taking these quizzes is the only way to know the answer to all of life's essential questions. Who cares about finding a high paying job and worrying about getting good grades in college, if according to 'What Grade Are You Getting In Life?' you get an A+? Honestly, how do you expect to go anywhere in life if you don't even know which rockstar you should hook up with, or which fast food chain you are because obviously, your entire personality can be summed up as “Subway”. Plus, now that I know what my inner potato is (french fries FTW!), I think I have successfully unlocked the greatest unanswered questions of life.
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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Road To Oblivion

There is something about the way the autumn leaves fall. From their graceful flight to the ground to the way they arrange themselves on the concrete, almost perfectly. Graceful, yet tragic.

But there was something tragic about winters, wasn’t there? Autumn is probably a reminder, a warning that a ruthless season lies ahead.

Lucy detested winters. As she walked down the narrow path trampling upon the withered leaves, which rustled beneath her black suede boots, she began thinking of all that lay ahead. Like all other winters. With all roads and highways that would be closed due to the snow, she would have no choice but to stay in her house. Witness it all. There was no escape for her. 

She couldn’t discreetly drive away to her best friend’s house. Or have a summer job.

Yes, she preferred waiting tables.

But with a few months left before she would turn 18, Lucy tried to tolerate. Just four more months and she would become an adult and graduate. Move away from this one horse town and call her own shots.

She brushed aside the lock of light brown hair that she had inherited from her mother, took a deep breath and started walking towards her home a little more confidently. She crossed Gemini Diners and started missing her summer days of serving people shepherd pies. 

She wanted the money, but more than that, she wanted to forget about her life and wanted to chat and joke with other waitresses or get people food

That wasn’t so bad, in fact that wasn’t bad at all.

As she continued walking back home from school, she reminded herself of talking to Molly to convince her mom to get her a part time job in her cafĂ©. Lucy was certain she would be willing to help her, even though business was slack during this time of the year. Winters in Wester Hill was a time when everyone spent most of their time snug and cozy inside their houses with their families, sharing the warm feeling of simply being around the people they loved most. 

But all Lucy hoped for was finding a new way to escape the hellhole she was supposed to call home.

Immersed in her own thoughts, she suddenly caught her reflection in the glass door. She liked the way her gleaming wavy chestnut hair fell on her shoulder. Her lips pink and delicate. Even though she didn’t like to think of herself as attractive, sometimes she thought she really was. 

With a slender figure and a height which did not require her to wear heels all the time, she thought of what Jo told her the other day. “It’s like you deliberately want NOT to look too good. Wait till prom and I will make sure every millimeter of your face is covered in makeup!”

At that moment though, her eyes, soft vivid blue, twitched and recalled something she could never run away from.

Her father.

She tried dressing down in front of him, thinking that it would help. Like tying her hair in a boring ponytail, or wearing sweatpants and extra loose T-shirts at home or always going to school dressed in a pair of jeans, but it never helped. She could never decipher how to avoid it. It was then that she felt her eyes burning with tears welling in her eyes, threatening to roll down her slightly freckled cheekbones. She blinked furiously, rubbing her eyes with the back of the sleeves of her jacket and continued walking.

“You’re home early!” 
She unlocked the front door and saw her father in the kitchen.

“Yes, honey. Guess I missed you, eh?”

There he did it again. THAT smirk. Emotions were running high. She felt like bursting into tears and crying and screaming and throwing things that were in her way. But no, she asserted, she wasn’t weak. She'd resist. And she'd object. Like each time before. But this time, she would succeed.

She looked at him with repugnance, not wanting to be caught looking weak. Pushing her hair out of her face, she quickly turned back to go upstairs and shut herself in her room without a second thought. But somewhere in the back of her mind she was certain she couldn’t escape. No matter how much she wanted to.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

A sound of hurried footsteps followed her as her father came from behind and grabbed her with a force so strong and powerful, she could barely breathe, let alone resist it. His arms were now around her waist and his breathing was harsh and rugged in Lucy’s ears. She could smell the alcohol on his breath, and she winced as his facial hair rubbed against her cheek. She felt her body shiver fiercely under the clutch of his hands, and then a terror seized her heart.

She gave in. Whom was she kidding? She WAS weak. And powerless. And helpless.


Lucy blinked awake the next morning with an ambiguous understanding of what happened yesterday. It was like one of those moments, where just for a millisecond, you don’t remember why you ever felt so weighed down and tormented. That time when you forget what’s wrong with your life.

Oh, yes.

It all came rushing back.

That man, violating her again. Muffled screams of pain and agony.

She was still curled up in the corner of her room against the wall, sunlight seeping through the windows of her room on her glowing skin, now purple with bruises and enveloped in scars.

Her face was pressed to her knees, and her eyes still throbbing with desperate, angry pain. She had spent most of her night silently crying in the corner of her room. And like every time, she swore to herself that she wouldn’t let this happen to her again. She swore to be strong enough to not give in the next time. She swore to be courageous enough to run away. She swore to never let there be a next time. Like every time, she swore.

She didn’t eat anything that day. She refused to speak to her mother who persisted in bringing her little comforts like soft blankets, her favourite food, but Lucy just looked at her with tired, tears stained eyes and continued to lie there.

When she refused to go to school her mother, too, snapped at her instead of consoling her. It was she, after all, who taught her to be in denial, to endure the suffering, to lie or better still, to remain “silent”.

Dear Diary,

He ISN’T my biological father. He can’t be.
But I can’t break down right now. Four more months to go and I’ll escape.
I wish I wasn’t born into this world. I would have ended my misery sooner. But a voice inside my head keeps telling me, “FOUR MORE MONTHS.” 

Maybe I might move away when I get into college. 

Maybe I can begin my life afresh.

Disappointingly for her, she couldn’t hide behind the comfort of knowing that the man wasn’t related to her by blood and that if her biological father existed all this would have never happened and she would have lived a normal life with a normal family who loved her. 

Because he WAS her biological father. Also an abusive alcoholic, but only behind closed doors.

Their two story house, built in Victorian style with a drive way and a small front lawn, looked like any other house on the block. But nobody knew of the horrific incidents that had been taking place inside the walls of this beautiful house.

Her father was also, a well-respected real estate agent who no one could ever imagine would be sexually abusing his only daughter.

Lucy was repulsed by men. Any male. Even if it were a five year old boy, because she knew what he would grow up into. After what a man whose genes she inherited did to her, she wasn’t to be blamed.

She was afraid. Perhaps this was the reason why she never came out to talk to anybody about the abuse. But it certainly wasn’t the only one. There was guilt and shame which accompanied her fear. Her mother chided her when she mustered up all her strength to confide in her. Her mother feared that he would end up abusing Lucy all the more if she confronted him. And Lucy feared rejection. She feared being labeled as an “outcast”.

Lately though, her father hadn’t been keeping very well. And Lucy didn’t really mind that. She tried to feel guilty about feeling “relieved” because of it, but she couldn’t.

Those days, she felt liberated somehow. Her friends noticed the change but couldn’t gauge the reason behind it. She caught up on her pending homework and started enjoying cheesy romantic comedies. Consequently spending lesser time over thinking about her “secret” or what her life would turn out to be.

“Hey, I heard your dad was hospitalized yesterday! Is it something serious?” 

“Well, the test results aren’t out yet. So no one knows. But I don’t think it is anything serious. It’s probably just a flu.” 

“So, it means we’re on for the movie tomorrow?” 

“Yeah, sure.”

It was a little strange answering Molly’s question about her father. That was the time when reality finally hit her hard. Her father would soon get betterand then everything would go back to what it was like before. Or not.

She walked home and went up to her room feeling inexplicably exhausted after the thought of it all. And that was when all thoughts were severed from her mind.  


I am scared. Scared because I don’t want to be alone in all of this. No, I do not expect you to forgive me after a wave of epiphany; neither do I hope that you will understand the situation. I want to be as pragmatic about it as possible. Yes, I know, I have pretty much ruined you for any potential relation you will ever have – friendship, marriage or motherhood. But I have problems, Lucy. Problems lie in my own head, and the battles that I have been fighting for the longest time still persist. You are my child – my ONLY child and I would never have a vendetta against you. The monster is in me, and I think I have to accept it.  

I am not seeking an apology. I am trying to find an outlet. Because I feel so much more disgusted with myself than you do. And at least there is one thing we both are sure of – in a matter of days, we both will be liberated.

-Dad (if you can call me that)


Lucy was stumped, and re read the note continuously until it made sense.  

She couldn’t fathom what prompted this sudden realization from her father. Sudden inundation of emotions began flooding her mind. The note was an apology…sort of. She did not comprehend as to why he had to write this letter with such ambiguity. Some parts couldn’t even make sense to her. 

And the parts that did – well, that left her all the more disgusted with the man who was supposed to be her “dad”. Did he really think it was THAT easy? Write a crappy note for permanently scarring her soul – for turning her into this cynical person who always thinks a million times before trying to trust even her closest friends? She read it again. If he wasn’t seeking an apology, he was certainly trying to invoke pity in her heart for himself.

No, she could not forgive him. She did desperately want to get past this trauma, but it wasn’t as trivial as this. Every time her father blatantly ignored her shrieking pleas to leave her, every time she woke up after the indescribably painful act feeling more disgusted with her father and herself- those were the times she promised herself to not to forgive him. Ever.

A few hours later, her doorbell rang and she anxiously opened it.

“Lucy, we need to talk.” 

“Yeah, but tell me where were you, Mom. I was worried sick over here. Were you still at the hospital?” 

“Yes. Honey, your dad’s test results, they were out this morning.”

“Oh. So where is he?” 

“He’s not here. Lucy, I want you to sit down and listen to me carefully…”


“Lucy, you can’t lock yourself up in your room the entire night. You should know we’re in this together. If you don’t want to talk to him, it’s fine. But you have to go the doctor first and… ”

Words were unable to escape her mouth when she stormed opened her bedroom door and saw Lucy… lying in a pool of blood… with self-inflicted cuts.

Sorry, Mom. There were a lot of ways I thought I could get on with my life. None of those ways included this. I could live with a sexually abusive father. Or a voiceless mother. But not with an incurable disease. So no, I don’t forgive him. And I don’t forgive you either.

Note: This story was originally written for a short story contest which you can find here.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Inner Monologue of an Introvert

Dammit, I have to go to Rhea's birthday party today. Wait, that means I'll have to change out of my pajamas! What are the chances anyone's gonna notice what I'm wearing anyway? Pretty high, actually. Crap. I'll just throw some jeans on and leave, she said she's only inviting a small group of people.
Geez, why is the metro always so crowded? Don't these people have anywhere else to be? I can never find a place to sit in here. OH FRIGGIN' FINALLY! A spot right next to the door. Now I can just sit and listen to some music until I reach my station.
Oh crap, everyone's here already. And look at the number of people! What are we doing, filming Lost? How can one person possibly mingle with so many of these people?
This place is too loud. Why did I say yes to coming here today? And why won't this woman shut up already? No seriously. How does one even manage to concoct such utter nonsense to talk about?! Well, let’s see where this conversation is headed now.
God! I spent the entire day looking for vintage dresses. Those are my latest obsession!”
Okay, I have an upper limit on conversation and noise, and my cup is currently overfloweth.
And I thought it's only girls who come up with useless crap to talk about...what is up with those himbos right around the corner? I mean, I’m all for an interesting conversation - it doesn’t even have to be intellectually stimulating, but why do you have to be SO freakin’ stupid?! You are a bunch of grown up adults for Heaven’s sake!
Great, I’m stressing already. I should eat something to calm my nerves. OOH, look at that, there's cake!
I need to chill. And be positive. Positive vibes. I did not come here to sulk and mope in a corner. I should initiate talking. But how do I just “blend in”?
That guy looks nice. Maybe I should talk to him. No, that'd just be awkward. How does one even come up with small talks? All I can come up with is a huge vacuum of awkward silence.
And these people are utterly boring anyway. I have more fun talking to my own self than them. No, that’s not a weird thing to do. I can only rely on my own self when I’m need of an intelligent conversation. And my two closest friends. Dammit, why aren’t they here?! It’s such fun when we hang out. After all, you have to have a certain comfort level with a person before carrying out long conversations with them. These knuckleheads would probably even start talking to a pole. Ugh. Does nobody understand the concept of “alone time” anymore?
Oh shoot. He’s smiling at me. Oh my god, is he coming over to me to talk? Crap. Gotta do something. Think brain, think! Oh yes, my phone. I’ll just pretend that I am on a call. Oh yes, works every time.
*OH HEY TANYA! -How have you been?! -Me too! -Seriously? -No way! Hahahahahaha!*
Okay. Danger averted. Those were some seriously awesome acting skills I displayed. This could be my alternate profession. Could I put it on my resume?
-Acts tremendously well in order to avoid social contact.
Maybe not. I pretended to talk on the phone when in reality I would just let it go to voicemail. Somehow, a ringing phone feels like a ticking bomb in my hand. And again, I’m NOT weird. The rest of the people are JUST as weird or else no one would have ever come up with the wonderful option of “text messaging”. It’s a blessing, I tell you.
Now, let me think of how to get out from here. Should I just stealthily sneak out?
Nah, I’ll just make up an excuse. I’m not feeling well, have to head back. Always works. Before I get introduced to more “friends of friends”, I should execute my exit strategy.
All this socialising has left me with people-overload. Damn, I can’t wait to snuggle in my blanket and watch Doctor Who. Now THAT’S how you spend your Friday evenings.
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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Guilty Pleasures: Got No Shame

Everyone's got one, even you.
Don't lie, I know there's something you do that you're not exactly proud of.

Even though my list of guilty pleasures could go on for…well, days, I’ve decided to share some of them today. And I find so much joy in doing most of these things, that even though they made it to my list of “guilty pleasures”, I’ve never felt a single pang of remorse.
On a rare occasion I'll be too ashamed to admit that I like something that I know most people don't like, but I am usually pretty outspoken when it comes to my guilty pleasures.
And it’s time we glorify and celebrate our ridiculous life choices AND own it. So, shove aside those self-proclaimed hipsters and admit that you right there are ah-mah-zing. *now snap your fingers in Z-motion and turn your sass on*
A lot of people are ashamed of being honest about what they love just because someone else might not find it “cool” or “rad” (although if you use that word in 2013, chances are you are neither). And who gets to decide if something is “cool” or not anyway? Is there a list which declares what’s hip or lame? Or that you must be ridiculed just because you like every Sandra Bullock movie or read unhealthy amounts of fanfiction?
I’ll admit that my first reaction when I see a group of teenage girls crying hysterically and freaking out about a One Direction concert is probably to make fun of them because I’m just a mean person like that, but I respect the fact that these people aren’t afraid of what others think of their weird obsessions. They love it and they own it!
Now is your chance to reveal yours to the world, or at least the internet, or at least to whoever reads this blog. Anyway, I'll start:

1.   Glee. This show is stupid and cheesy and weird. And I freakin' love it. (Especially Klaine). And it’s not that fake high school kind love which you get over in a week. It’s the real thing. I still watch it every time I can even though I’ve seen every episode more than twice. Such gooey drama and lovable characters. Who could resist? Not me!
Yes, there are parts of the show which have poorly written and repetitive plotlines, but I’m going to say it again just to put it out there. I STILL LOVE IT. 
And Glee sing-alongs? Best thing ever.

2.    Rocking out musical numbers in the privacy of my own home. I do this all the time. It's impossible for me to not shift my shoulders to the guitar riffs, and the drums beats. But no, I don’t sing in the shower like normal people (which is a shame since bathroom has great acoustics!), I just do it when I’m alone in the house. I even go through the pains of Google-ing song lyrics so I can belt them out perfectly. Sorry neighbors!

3.  Reading fanfiction. In my defense, it's oddly addictive, and I think it's very under-appreciated by the world at large, specifically the writing community. It’s so creative and seems to be an outlet for some very gifted writers. Clever people with talent that I can only dream of. I do admit the fact that there exists some terrifying crap out there which might scar you for life, not because of the writing quality, but because why would anyone in the right mind write fiction built around Voldermort and Darco Malfoy in a romantic relationship? But there are creative writers out there too, who can make you fall in love with those beloved fictional characters you drool on, all over again. So yes, I read fanfiction. Not only that, but sometimes I write fanfiction, too. And I’ve only ever told one other person about it.

4.  Watching trashy reality tv. *hangs head in shame* Okay, first of all, I can feel you judging me. Second of all, I know they are terrible and obviously staged, but I love the drama. It's so much fun to watch men and women who have no idea what they're doing live together and listening to their mindless chatter about the "bitches" in the group. Of course, this is when they're not unashamedly trying to flirt with each other. That just makes me want to throw up. People make fun of me for this one. This is of course before they point and laugh at me. But sometimes a bit of mindless entertainment is the perfect precursor to zoning out after a long day.

5.   Sleeping till noon. If you're anything like me, your mornings begin after 12pm. I don't know if I have acquired some sort of a sleeping sickness, but I tend to sleep like someone who just returned from a day of enormous manual labour, when in reality I hardly even get out of the house. This particular guilty pleasure might get me fired from any potential job in the future but hey, I'm not complaining! Twelve hours of sleep is simply divine.

6.    Cheesy 90’s boy-bands. I guess we all know that the 90s was an awesome decade. Okay, I might have been only 5 years old before it got over, but you don’t get cute boys doing jazz hands and singing about how much they love the girl anymore (no, One Direction doesn’t count!). So yes, my playlist includes Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, Westlife and what not! I love the music, I love the boys and I love the lyrics. And you can judge all you want while I go and listen to Westlife's greatest hits. No, I’m not ashamed.

7.     Unusual laziness. One of my guilty pleasures is displaying acts of such unusual laziness that would make the mere mortal lose faith in humanity. I bat an eyelid and get tired. I throw myself on the bed like I just returned home from war. In reality, it would be a miracle if I am even able to carry myself to another room. I use my toes to pick things up and would rather push stuff under the bed than get up and throw it in the dust bin like a normal human being. Also, right now I'm sitting on a bed filled with food crumbs. Toldya I was weird.

8.    Eating Nutella out of the jar. I do this way too often and at the same time feel guilty about it. Because when I tell people they look at me like I'm a crackhead who steals children's candies. It's not -that- bad okay? I’m pretty sure a lot of people do this.
I love it so much that I actually prefer eating it on its own, without bread or any other accompaniments. Seriously, it's like heaven in a jar.

9.    Watching sappy romantic movies. And crying. Every time. Not only do I watch these movies, but I watch them over and over again. Yes, to the point that I can quote them. Watching them so many times usually results in emotional breakdowns, but I CAN’T STOP WATCHING.
“Hey, wanna see A Walk To Remember 80 times?”
“Done that!”  

10. Celebrity gossip. If there is one guilty pleasure that I'm massively guilty about, it is this one. Yes, I admit that I am obsessed with the daily snippets of celebrity gossip. Sometimes, I open laptop and find myself casually checking out E! Online or I find myself unhealthily drawn towards finding out Taylor Swift's latest beau or wondering why did Kim and Kanye name their baby North West (seriously, why?!). After watching award functions I go online to fawn over the celebrities' gorgeous dresses or get some dirt on the after party gossip. Yes, I too am thinking of getting a life.

11. Darren Criss. I'm not sure if I'd call this a guilty pleasure, per se, since well, I'm pleasured by it, but I’ve never exactly been guilty about it. With those honey-hazel eyes, adorable smile and the ability to work even pink wayfarers like a boss, I would let him take advantage of me anytime, any day. It’s not just the fact that he’s supermegafoxyawesomehot that makes me turn into a lonely little puddle of drool whenever I look at him, but also his incredible acting skills and unparalleled awesomosity. Shrines should be dedicated to him! And if you don’t already love him, then I suggest you watch A Very Potter Musical.

12. Whipped Cream. I deeply love whipped cream and not in some creepy or perverted way but I genuinely adore it. I couldn't care less if I put it on top of everything I eat or spray it in my mouth right out of the can. It is like riding a Unicorn underneath a rainbow in the month of May. I put it on chocolate chip cookies, waffles, pies and even in my coffee. No kidding. Ergo, I think it's time we all agree that whipped cream makes everything tastes better and simply makes life easier.

13. I have a filthy mind. This is true. Try to beat me at "That's what she said". Go on. I dare you. It never gets old. I can’t believe I’m as old as I am and still find it funny. And I'm not really sure if it's something to be proud of, but who doesn't love an atrocious mind? Apart from my parents, I mean. I feel dirty just admitting this. Though it does feel good getting it all off my chest. (That's what she said.)

14. Watching lame sitcoms. I am guilty of watching the lamest, cheesiest and the most nonsensical sitcoms ever created. I am yet to fathom what takes over me but once I am in my pajamas snuggling in my blanket my IQ diminishes to -10. I cry at the corniest moments even if it means breaking into tears when the guy stops the girl at the airport and decides to declare his love. These sitcoms never really get renewed for another season but that never stops me. Yes, I might be a little pathetic. Please don't judge.

15. Putting on pajamas as soon as I get home. No matter how early that time may be. Even if I head home after college at 1pm to spend the rest of the day at home, I am in pajamas within moments of walking through the door. I don’t care if I have to get redressed in an hour, or even 5 times that day. They’re comfy and one of the easiest guilty pleasures out there.

16. Listening to music which is deemed sucky. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I just never matured when it comes to music. Sure, I like some nice artists whose music doesn't make me want to hang my head in shame when I admit to liking them, but I listen to mainstream music more than anything. Go ahead, laugh it up, but don’t tell me you’ve never loved it yourself. No matter how much you hate it at first, it’ll end up playing on the radio station you listen to a flobbity jillion times and more till you finally succumb to its audio prowess and can't help from bobbing your head after the first beat and attempting to do a series of ridiculous dance move by the time it's finished.

17.   Pizza. No, wait, food. Any kind. As long as it tastes good. Anything at all. It's not that I eat too much. It's just that I don't exercise enough. I know it's important to pay pretty close attention to what you eat, but sometimes I just like to take a step back and think WHY? Life is short and food is good. One of these days I'm going regret eating that extra slice of double cheese burst pizza and pay for eating those 6 chocolate brownies, but for now, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of them.

18.  The Vampire Diaries. Before I begin explaining this one, let me just establish the fact that I’m not a fan of vampires and neither am I intrigued by werewolves. I certainly do NOT find someone making a meal out of you and reveling in drinking your blood fascinating or romantic. Having said that, I ask you to watch the first episode of this series and you would definitely say, “Damn! That’s interesting… I want to know what happens next.” Nobody sparkles, a vampire creepily stalking humans is barely minimal and there is an actual plotline. Beat that, Twilight!

19.  Taking extremely long showers. I’m the worst water conserver on this planet. Even if it takes me just 10 minutes to wash my hair and soap down, I just HAVE to spend at least 10 more minutes to simply stand under the shower and enjoy the spray. And maybe preen myself in the mirror for another 5 minutes after that. Judge away!

20. Starting new projects and not finishing them. So this usually happens because there are just so many creative things that I want to do or make that I simply don't have the time to follow up on the things that I started before. No wonder my “to-do list” is never ending. And the worst part is that I continue feeling guilty about it and still don’t make time for it.

There you go. Those were some of my guilty pleasures and although a lot of them are embarrassing, they’ve helped me make it through the day more than once.
So, share your guilty pleasures! Shout it from the rooftops. Give yourself permission to be proud of what you love and enjoy every minute of it. Tell people about your crazy obsessions, no matter how lame or cringe worthy they are. It’ll just make you one step closer to learning to love without the fear of judgment.
And if someone still makes fun of you, pity them. They clearly have never felt real passion. 

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

FAQs To An All-Girls' School Woman

I’m a freshman in college who studied in an “all-girls” Christian school. Inevitably, the inundation of absurd questions follow suit. And trust me; the questions get increasingly ridiculous each time. Also, heartbreaking as it is for me to mention, those questions are primarily raised by girls.While I am building up the fortitude to face the intensified third degree, I undeniably admit that sometimes I wish to sit on a rocket and fly as far away from this world as possible.

I understand most people think that girls studying in a single-sex school must be from a different species altogether that are yet to adapt to social conventions and learn how to carry on a normal conversation without coming across as “overblown”.

However, as someone who has seen both the worlds, I can assure you that experiencing the ambience of a single sex school should definitely make it to your bucket list. I find it exhilarating to be in a place where there is no one to judge you and your actions do not exactly depend on the person whose attention you are vying for. You don’t care how you look because your crush isn’t sitting next to you and you can freely act like a chimp on steroids because there will always be others to join you.
But before I could explain all this to people, they shoot the following asinine questions at me.

“Ermhagerd! Girls are such b*tches! How did you manage to survive?”

If only I had a dollar for every time I was asked this question, I would hire people to dig up a hole to the very core of the Earth and shove those sexists in it! I understand that dealing with countless puberty-stricken girls is not the argument that I would use to help my case, but dealing with hormonally charged girls AND boys? No, thanks. Adolescence is already the most arduous time of a girl’s life. If you exacerbate this situation by adding boys into the equation then it would imply having to cope with my insanely raging hormones ALONG with trying to look pretty in order to impress my crush. Honestly, I would pick relatively less painful ways to die.

Neither would I ever want to vilify my own gender by calling every girl a "b!tch". In my fourteen year long school life, I have come across people who made life a little more grueling for me, but I wouldn't blame the entire female species for that. I would just blame it on the fact that some people are inherently not good persons. Because I have female friends and they are the best things that ever happened to me.

“Are you an over-the-top feminist? ”

Before I begin elaborating this particular point, I would like to say that I could never gauge people’s animosity towards feminists. A few days ago, a girl in my class proudly declared, “I like talking about women empowerment. Oh, but don't worry. I’m not a feminist!”And that’s exactly why I get worried. It rendered me quite disappointed to hear a girl say this, especially in a country like India where the onus of “ghar walon ka moonh kala na karna” remains tied to your gender. Et Tu, Brute?! Feminism is not a movement to slander the male species but it is a movement about advocating equality. That is what single sex school does to girls – it makes them celebrate feminism, not disparage it. Yes, we happen to like the color pink. No, we are not interested in becoming “tomboys” because we are too busy having fun being who we are. You would never find a girl from a single sex school say, “I have more guy friends than girls” or “girls are always jealous of me!”. Loyalty towards your gender is embedded in girls hailing from a same sex school. There is nothing better than that.

“Don’t you feel so much better studying with DA BOYS?!”

This is such a controversial topic. I had interacted with “boys” many times before, I had friends with boyfriends and yet there were people to pester me with statements like, “you have to experience the atmosphere of a co-ed institution”. While I did certainly want to “experience” it, I had never braced myself for what came next – which was a big, fat nothing. I still don't comprehend what the fuss was about. You might spot a handful of cute guys and might finally understand what having a "full-time" crush feels like. But if you're anything like me and have your heart set on a fictional character, then it is futile. Today, I only long for the times when it was alright to fix my clothes in the middle of the hallway or not shave my legs. Things that used to be the least of my concerns are currently my most crucial ones. I can no longer declare fearlessly why my stomach hurts or why I don't want to get up from my chair or why am I in a horrible mood. (There is only one reason for all of these three things). 

“Um, do all girls studying in a single sex school turn into homosexuals?”

Firstly, I do not comprehend what would be so objectionable even if someone is a homosexual. Secondly, it is a ridiculous question which states that single sex schools promote homosexuality. If people think that a person would change their sexual orientation according to their convenience, then they seriously need to work on their IQ. If students study in a single sex school it does not imply that they have never seen what a person of the opposite sex looks like. Unlike what some people might think, such schools are not prisons wherein students are confined for life. They have lives outside schools where they meet and interact with all sorts of people. Somehow, I found this question disturbing and derogatory on so many levels. Often, the people asking this are ignorant and homophobic and, well, I have a serious problem with both.

Having cleared the air surrounding same-sex schools, there are still a few things I have to mention. No matter how impish or awkward you can act and get away with in an all girls’ school, reality is despondently different. In the real world, you have to mingle with people of the opposite sex who sometimes happen to be intimidating or incredibly good looking (or really creepy and repulsive), thus causing your confidence to dwindle. Which is why the greatest years of my life were spent in a place where I could look my worst and daydream that perfect guys who are akin to my favorite fictional characters do exist out there somewhere (they don’t).

Good luck surviving in the real world!

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Open Letter To My Best Friend - Part II

Dear best friend,

Since I couldn’t really DO anything brilliantly special for your birthday this year, I thought I’d write you another letter. (Maybe this could become a birthday tradition, eh?)

And I’m feeling particularly sappy, so I get to tell you how much I love you a million times or in a flobbity jillion ways and you can’t do shit about it. *sticks tongue out*

There are multiple reasons why writing this letter seemed like a perfect gift (the best I could come up with, anyway).  1) I’m broke and unemployed, 2) I enjoy writing, and 3) You deserve to know how awesome you are every now and then.

You’re special. I’ve never really had a lot of people I feel comfortable talking to. So every time I was low or upset, I usually resorted to ignoring most of my problems instead of figuring out where things went wrong and attempting to make things better. But we met and became friends. And for some reason, I thought you could be the person I could confide in. After being friends for over a decade, sharing the craziest of dreams, stories and fantasies, my trust in you has only grown beyond light years. You’ve made me realize the importance of having friends, and maintaining relations. You’ve helped me value my relations. So much of who I am and how I think is thanks to you.
I may not have been the kind of friend you wanted me to be. I may not have been there to share the best moments of your life, or the worst. The highs or the lows. But I promise to do the best I can. You’re one of the pillars of my strength. And I promise to always try to be one of yours.

Sometimes I wonder how you know me so well. I’ve always had a handicap of expressing my feelings verbally. But you know things even before I tell you. (Seriously, what kind of sorcery is that?) You know when I am upset. You also know when I just need someone to sit with me to share the silence if I don’t want to talk. Or when I’m just being stubborn. Somehow, you just know. But you never give me the luxury of being in denial or get fed lies. It's one of the reasons why I'm indebted to you for life.
I promise to tell you things. Express my love and fears. I’ve been working on it for a while now.
I love you. There’re not a lot of people I’d take a bullet for. I don’t think I tell you enough.

There are so many words that I could use to describe you -generous, helpful and implausibly caring; but out of all of the adjectives that you are, I think the one that is most accurate is kind. It is a type of quality that makes you irreplaceable. And no wonder being friends with you all these years has made me someone I’m proud to be. Your kindness is unrelenting and I’m certain it will bring all the awesomosity in the world that you deserve.
I promise to always be here, somewhere in the background to remind you every day, lest you ever doubt it.Words are insufficient, but you need to know how awesomely awesome you are, so they’re going to have to do for now, anyway. 

You’re smart and intelligent. And no matter how lost you feel, I know for a fact that wherever you find yourself, will be the right place. It breaks my heart to think of you struggling, because I know sometimes you do. Because, I do, too. I know it feels like the world is being a jerk to you sometimes, when people are mean, or when life is changing and everything is just way too overwhelming, but I know you can endure it. You’re tough. Even if you’re exhausted or busy or mad, I know you make time for the people you love. And we have known each other for a long time. Maybe that’s how I know you’ll be able to deal with difficult and annoying people easily.
I promise never to leave you alone, not because I am incredibly creepy or annoyingly clingy, but because I love you too much to ever let you go.

You care. Everyone else bails. To be honest, I expect them to. Times get rough and I’m not fun to be around when that happens. People don’t like being around in times like these. It’s a burden. But you stay. You stay even when things look bleak. You let me talk and cry and never make me feel guilty for needing you. You’re selfless and loving. And it surprises me because I’ve never known caring like this. You’re inspiring.
You deserve so much more than this little letter, but since I don’t know how I could ever repay you, this is an attempt to do just that. I promise to return the favor even if it takes a lifetime, because I’m not going anywhere.

You and I grew up together. You and I learned about life together. We’ve seen each other move from clueless pre-pubescent kids with coloring books and crayons to teenagers with embarrassing obsessions and truck loads of school work. Trenched through disappointments, heartbreaks, regrets, only to wind up on the other side so much stronger.
I promise to be there to see you become stronger as you move past hurdles, tumbling and falling on occasions. I promise to be there to be your personal cheerleader and applaud with every ounce of my being when you win all the battles.

Among every promise I make today, I think there’s a need to include an apology. I’m not perfect (I know, shocker, right?). For all the unnecessary drama, utterly pointless rants and the hullabaloo that I created in your life. I’m sorry for ever taking you for granted, doing and saying whatever came to my mind with blithe disregard to your feelings. You never hesitated to call me out on my immaturity or let me get away with it. You can be brutal in your opinions and advice, and yet that brutality is laced with all the affection in the world. I am sorry for being self-centered. But I am getting better by the day; or at least trying to be. And the journey from being immature and selfish, to a better person has been has been a learning experience.
There are times when I do not like you too much, because sometimes I think you care a lot and I don’t deserve it. As trite as this may sound, I strive to be a better person because of people like you in my life.
So, I promise. You have given me an important place in your life, and I promise to always value it.

You complete another year of your sheer awesome existence in this world today. No matter how far we've come, how busy we’ve become or how much we’ve matured, nothing can change the care and the affection that I have for you. I am thankful I met you in the 2nd grade. Because life without you would’ve sucked.

Happy birthday, woman.

Love, always.

P.S. Of course I cried while writing this. Of course I did. We're saps.

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