Back in December 2020, when I was still in Mumbai, Komal and I would enact this famous exchange from K3G in a British accent and have a good laugh! Two months and two flight cancellations later (thx to CORONA), I AM here, in England, in my cute little room. Finallyyyy, Lovelyyyyyy!
12 hours of flight and 2 hours of road journey later, I reached the cold and rainy Sheffield only to meet some of the warmest and most welcoming folks. From the friendly Pakistani cab driver, who told me he has been living in Manchester since ‘85 driving me through serene towns and countryside, telling names and norms of the places. To the God-sent Nan, a student from Thailand helping me carry my three heavy bags, or my classmates, Carlyn and Meilany who I’ve only virtually met until now, dropping off groceries because I’m in quarantine. It’s all good.
Jan & Feb, when I was still in Pune, I had the most chaotic, fun time. My course began on zoom and I started living from novel to novel, writing and reading every single day.
There was a weekend trip to Bhima. On another week mom and dad tested positive for Covid and recovered. All this while, Apmg and I roamed around making new friends and having some fun evenings out.
Then I took a trip to dance at the grand wedding of my best friend, Sam. What a memorable time! Some snaps from all of that –
Nothing more to say this week. Can’t wait to explore Sheffield on foot as soon as my stupid quarantine is over. Also hoping to get back to blogging here regularly. Ciao!
*11.38 am* cloudy & gloomy; Current Month – January, Feels like – June.
I remember, as a child when I was put in daycare, this old aunty would teach us many prayers and shlokas. One prayer had a line that said, ‘dear god, help us grow upfast’ (the Marathi translation sounds better). I never understood why exactly were we praying to grow up, wasn’t it going to happen naturally? I still did it, I prayed. I mean who’d dare disobey the strict aunty, right? But here I am, somewhat grown up, realising that the adult world is utter bullshit. It is boring, let me warn you, and exhausting, than what I had imagined it to be. As an adult you constantly have to fulfill someone’s expectations of you and also try to do what you wish. How do you tread those waters without disappointing one or the other you tell me. End rant.
I celebrated the New Year’s Eve lying in my bed, almost asleep. I cut my mandatory birthday cake at midnight and went back to bed. And to everyone who gets excited when I tell my birthday is on 1st of January, umm, shut up! Nobody likes combined celebrations, okay? Some even forget its my birthday and wish me Happy New Year first. That’s just unfair.
On 1st, I had a long lunch with my best one, who I disagree with on most things. Sam and I are heading in different directions in our lives. She, marriage and I, well I’ll tell you shortly. Here are some good pictures from our time together.
The day ended with a nice dinner with my parents.
It wasn’t as exciting a day as I would have wanted it to be but it wasn’t bad either. I guess birthdays aren’t as fun when you grow up. I am grateful.
As soon as the birthday melancholy was over, I had to start shopping and packing my bags. I am moving to the UK to finally pursue a course in writing.
I think that explains my absence from blog writing for the last two months. I spent an overwhelming and amazing month in Mumbai, resigned from my job and with teary eyes, bid goodbye to the city and the people that housed me for the last three years. It will always remain extremely special for countless reasons.
That concludes today’s blog. I don’t know when I’ll be able to update again. It might come from the other side of the world as I begin a new phase of experiences in England, or something before I set off, talking about all the nerves.
Until then, wish you a Happy New Year 2021. Hope we get through the awful virus crisis soon.
Here’s a collection of some special moments from Nov-Dec 2020
*7.30 pm* Had a stressful day today with too many things to do and very little time.
So I picked up a pen and began writing in my diary about everything on my mind. That’s when I thought of going back and reading about some Septembers from the past. I wondered what I was doing 1 year, 2-years or 3-years ago. Turns out, there’s nothing. Even on my blog site, barring last year’s sad update I haven’t written anything in September. I was intrigued. So I searched my Google photos to look at any pictures I might’ve taken in September, or any event I might’ve attended. Nada! I have literally no memories of September. Probably because nothing ever really happens in September. The weather isn’t hot enough to go to the beaches, nor is it cold enough to go to the hills for a trip. I think the only way to describe September is the leftover showers it brings from July and August. It is an uneventful, dull month and if it isn’t obvious already, I don’t like it very much. But here I am, breaking the no-writing spree of September and putting out something today.
I am like any average person. I complain and stress myself out for having too many things to do but I also thrive in such situations. The rush before deadlines, or the sigh of satisfaction while marking a task complete gives me a crazy high. That’s the sort of a day I’ve just had. The weekend, however, was extra-ordinarily amazing.
I went for a long drive with my friends, Sam & Apmg (or as Alexa says Apmm) in the outskirts of Pune. We walked around farms and grazing pastures trying to shoot a cool video. This is the first time the three of us created something together and the process was extremely exciting. I couldn’t believe how smoothly we all played our parts and brought our little vision of a video to life.
Despite the receding monsoon season that brings sudden rains, we were lucky to have a pleasant weather & good lighting throughout the day. The sun wasn’t too harsh and it hardly rained. It was a beautiful day to walk through Sugarcane fields and Chrysanthemums beds. We also found a random off-road secret spot. A huge rock under a tree that cast its massive branches like the tentacles of an octopus hovering above, overlooking a pond.
Enjoy a little glimpse of my weekend.
Heading out to meet those two goofs again for a little tea party. See ya next week. Ting!
Last Sunday, I stepped out of my house after two months. My parents and I planned to visit some old family friends who had lost a loved one recently. Unexpectedly, it turned out to be a much-needed getaway after months of digital screen time. So, post a light lunch, we wore our masks, sanitized our hands and got in the car. Our destination was Kadus – a village where both Mom and Dad were born and raised.
We drove on a fairly empty highway that had luscious green carpets on either side of the road. The sky was filled with various patterns of clouds and the sun rays peeked from the crevices. Every year I make it a point to go on at least one road trip in the monsoon season. It couldn’t happen this year, but this unplanned visit to my village was close enough to be considered my annual monsoon getaway.
Once we reached the village and met with the family we were visiting, Dad and I took off to pay respects to the local deity that he has been worshiping since his childhood. At the temple, he surprisingly met two of his school teachers. He had last seen them in 1980; he was overjoyed. They were equally delighted to see him as he was. As he spoke to his teachers, I saw my father become a 15-year old school boy again. He stood before them with a smile that stretched ear to ear, his hands automatically folded behind the back as he addressed them ‘Sir’. In that fleeting moment, Dad had transported back to his childhood and it opened the floodgates to nostalgia. For the next two hours, I just listened as he shared countless anecdotes from his younger days with a childlike glee on his face.
Later, we went to the dam and walked on the wall that stood between the clean blue water on one side and the vast green fields on the other. It was a beautiful view made even better with Dad’s stories. He told me how he and his friends would drop their school bags in the classroom and run to their farm, roam around bare feet in the sun or take a nap under the trees. He told me how they would climb atop the hill, face the strong gusts of wind and have the best time of their lives. He also told me how they would camp near the dam, cook their own dinner and even try some beer. I couldn’t stop wondering how fun Dad’s childhood must’ve been, and how much he had changed on the outside now. I could sense that he wanted to be a mischievous little village boy, run atop the hill and face the winds once again.
Dad has always been a good storyteller. He always has the most detailed descriptions of his adventures. I also know that he used to write a diary in his younger days and that makes me wonder if I got the story-telling gene from him. After our fun day-out, I urged him to take up writing again. I asked him to pen down one page, a single memory of whatever he remembers, every day. He seemed quite interested in the idea, I hope he does it. What a fascinating memoir it would make!
Our last stop was my mother’s childhood home which is currently under reconstruction. We are hoping it will be ready soon so we could visit our quiet little village more often. Until then, here are some pictures from the unplanned Sunday visit to my village.
*12.43 pm* I love Decembers. The cold winds, cozy sleep under the blanket, the warmth of hoodies, holidays and the party mood, hot chocolate at any time of the day and conclusions. December has it all.
For the last two weeks I was occupied with a lot of work. On the first weekend of December, I attended the Comic Con event in Mumbai where the company I work for also had a fun stall selling Superhero merch.
Next week, it was the usual 10-7 routine, but then on Friday night I attended my office’s annual party. It was the craziest night in months! A karaoke-slash-dance party where everyone was sloshed and how. I got home late at night and just after two hours of sleep, I had to wake up and go on a road trip with my friends.
The weekend road trip was a much needed detox from the routine I’ve been stuck in. We hopped on the train from Mumbai to Mangoan, a small village near the Kokan sea shore. Next, an ST bus ride on the undone rural rode from Mangoan to Mhasala, and two tum-tums (six-seat autos) from Mhasala to Borli to Diveagar beach were as tiresome as they sound, especially after the exhausting party the night before.
Despite the long journey, the country roads and the clean, fresh air made it extremely pleasant.
Once we reached our abode, everything seemed worth it. We walked down to a little Konkani place to have the most authentic and wholesome seafood meal and then headed over to the beach to see the most beautiful sunset over the sea. The sky was painted in vivid shades of white and blue to yellow, orange and red. We were stunned, sitting on the wet sand by the sea, wondering at the spotless beauty of nature!
Post a scrumptious dinner of fried masala prawns we walked back to the beach at night and the sky surprised us even more. It was the peak night of the Geminid meteor shower and we spot a couple of shooting stars while the sea waves gushed back and forth near our feet.
It was a calm, fun and tiring weekend that charged me up for the upcoming week where I have tons of things to do before I leave for my year-end vacation to Kerala to attend the wedding of my favourite couple.
*03.18 pm* engrossed & amazed by ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’ by Yuval Noah Harari
Last week was tiresome as I had been thinking or rather overthinking about my career situation. I have been ranting about it on my blog for far too long, I know. But it is one of the most important things in life right now. I often question myself and the web – Why is it so stressful?
To seek answers, I have often found myself turning to The Book of Life and it has helped me put a lot of things in to perspective. I realized that we all, at some point, have grown up with a notion that we’re meant to do something great when we’re older, be someone notable and make a difference in the world. It is a beautiful dream to grow up with, no doubt. However, the fact is, when we are at the peak of our adult life (say ages 24 – 26) we realize that we haven’t really achieved anything noteworthy. The stream we wanted to excel in, the financial stability we thought we’d have or the cool job in another country we‘d be working, is all a distant dream. We are, in reality, working a 9 hour job near our house, have messed up sleep patterns due to an addiction to OTTs and no time or will to enjoy the earnings.
There is little that meets our expectations. While this isn’t true for every one & some people do achieve what they wanted, or even more than what they expected, most of us are just settling down in our schedules and being unhappy over the fact that we’re, after all, just average.
I really miss the time I was carefree. Back in school & college, I’d happily spend my days travelling, partying and living in the moment with a hopeful dream that one day I’ll grow up and be amazing. I am an adult now & nothing is as I thought it would be. There’s hardly any amazing. So naturally, self doubt, sadness, disappointment show up & the myth I grew up believing in, is still a myth.
It takes time (more for some than others) to accept that we are average, just like our parents, just like most folks all around us & it is okay. It is okay to be an average person and still strive to do better. This does not mean you settle or stop having hopes & dreams for your future. It absolutely doesn’t mean that you stop working for things you wanted when you grew up. It only means that you accept your present reality & work towards making it better, one day at a time. Accepting it will ensure that the way ahead is a happy ride, no matter how mediocre it is.
Also, I know I am pretty late to the party but Sapiens is such a wonderful book. If you haven’t already read it, please do. Highly recommend it. Being a Geology student, I am aware of theories of evolution of Earth & how different elements of physics, chemistry and biology got us to where we are today. But Mr Yuval Noah Harari has weaved all the theories so well together & in such a simple manner that even a layman can understand it.
I’m fascinated by reading about our ancestry & to imagine an alternate reality that could have existed, makes me wonder at the vastness & the hollowness of the universe & our existence. Blown away!
*11.30* in the middle of an extremely busy and productive work week.
Jack of all trades, master of none.
This proverb has never made sense to me. I have always found it boring to be a master of one when you can be a jack of all. I have been a jack of all trades since school. I used to participate in everything from dance and drama to yoga, from Olympiad and scholarship tests to rifle shooting and lathi fights – you could find me in every team, every group. And of course, Samadnya – my soul sister. We’d be together in anything, EVERYTHING and win. Most of it was to avoid sitting for lectures, but guess what? We would still be teacher’s pets (Samadnya being the Principal’s daughter was not the reason, or so I want to believe).
I loved being part of the competition. I loved the preparation, the hustle and the effort, especially when we’d perform and give it everything we had. I don’t want to boast (or maybe I do, for a bit) but I was also the Best Student of my class for two or three years and the head of my scout-guide group (not a big deal that one, but since I’m mentioning everything..) and then there were couple of times when I topped the class in the end semester exams. My school days were the best, I was an all-rounder who loved herself, and always wanted to do everything.
I loved to do all my homework in time, so much that my parents would force me to stop studying. But I would also play for hours without a care. Life was simple, I was carefree and happy. Eventually, school days were over and I moved on to college, one after the other, and then into the professional world. All this while, I had left behind the little girl in me who’d always be happy and cheerful. The girl who would enjoy studying the American and Russian Revolution or solve Algebra and Geometry for hours, who would play kho-kho with such conviction as if it was the Olympics, who would go train as a commando, or go camping at a remote village for months, who would swim in a pond with frogs, play King Lear’s daughter in the Drama competition and also win every dance contest in town.
I lost her. And damn! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I missed her. It only took a couple of people over a few years to pull me down on my self-esteem bar. I felt unambitious, inferior and self-conscious of who I was and where I came from for the longest time. I had loved every bit of my childhood and yet, I had grown up to hate it for most part of my teenage- why? Well, for one, I didn’t feel confident in the new world outside of school and second was influence. Influence works wonders if you’re an unsure teenager exploring newer things. But that’s a topic for another blog. However, it took a long time for me to accept myself and fall in love with me, again. It took a lot of self-convincing and assurance that the place I came from was beautiful with the most loving, and genuine people. It took a lot of effort to go back to my childhood and cherish those memories instead of looking down upon them as something to be ashamed of.
I’m writing about all of this today because I had a fulfilling day at work. I felt like the child in me was back – a child who would be excited to go for one dance practise after another and participate in literally, everything. Today, I reconnected with what I have always been on the inside – a jack of all trades, an aspiring master of all and proud. So I am just going to make this blog about telling myself “I missed you. Welcome back. The world is ready for us to conquer.”
Last week I bought my domain (finally!), now I just have to figure out the hosting, transfer, etc. Basically, the tech stuff which I’m clueless about and don’t want to end up spending more than I should. So here’s a public announcement – Developers Wanted(preferable if genuinely smart, thanx)
After spending an hour at the Cat Cafe Studio last Wednesday, I missed my mau way too much and decided to go home to see her. The moment I reached home, I smothered her with my hugs and kisses. Surprisingly, she didn’t even resist like she usually does with her scratching and biting. In fact she just stood still and let me cuddle her for five whole minutes, then she just jumped off of me. Mau will be three soon and she has grown into an even more adorable and beautiful cat. Urgh! I hate to live without her in Mumbai.
Next morning, Sanika (my bitchy, favourite little cousin) and I had the laziest day. We had a late breakfast (why don’t we just get fancy and call it a brunch?) and had long pending gossip session. I think I have never truly appreciated Sanika’s existence in my life. She is the closest thing I have to a sister and a childhood best friend. We know every embarrassing secret of each other. Despite that, she always turns to me for fashion advice (yes, me) and for dating advice (unhuh!) and many other things. We share a beautiful bond and I wonder what I’m going to do without having her to meet with every two or three months, as she heads to the US for her masters. I don’t want her to see me get all emotional, and because she rarely (or never) reads my blog, let me put it out here. I am going to miss you, Sanika. I hate that you’re going so far. I will always wait for your text from the trial room about the dress you’re trying on or how the guy you went on a date with, was.
Aarhh! Goodbyes are so hard. Two of my close friends, Rishabh and Apoorva are also about to leave for Europe for their respective courses, and I’m going to cry! WHY IS EVERYONE LEAVING?
Moving on (and also dramatically wiping my tears), let me tell you about my weekend. Saturday night I attended the wedding reception of one of my friends. On Sunday, I had a really lavish lunch with mom-dad and I could see the pride in their eyes and smiles when I paid for it. I am amazed at how these small moments have the power to give the most important, valuable bits of happiness.
Sunday ended with a late night coffee while catching up on a lot of chatter with a friend.
I got back to work on Monday and got done with many tasks. I felt super puffed and productive. Yet, I have a constant urge, a restlessness that is making me want to get out of here, out of the 10 to 7 corporate life where I’m facing the laptop screen the whole day. I mean, the work place, my new colleagues, everything is great. Even the boss is pretty chill. I am managing it all but I seem to have forgotten the main reason I moved out to this city; to do what I love and that is, write stories! After almost a year of adjusting in a corporate job, and now joining another one, I feel I have lost my main purpose, the main reason of changing cities. I desperately want to work in a creative role and not handle corporate communications, write technical content and feel creatively unsatisfied at the end of the day. I want it so badly that even writing this pointless blabber feels more satisfying than the whole day’s work on excel sheets. Why do I even do that, honestly? I need to work on all of this asap! I just don’t know how, yet.
Anyway, have to meet some friends from my ex-office in an hour and it is about to rain heavily, so rushing out Bye!
*5.43 pm* Truly delighted and proud of my cooking skills. Its hereditary, guys – I make awesome food.
It is quite difficult to write after a gap (of even 15 days). It is difficult to remember all the events that could be worth mentioning in my blog. My mind categorically forgets the occurrence and the sequence of everything I’ve done when I actually sit down to write about it. This needed to be fixed so I started maintaining a diary (back at it after 7 years) and every night, a new page (or four) were scribbled on. I wrote about my day, my raw and unfiltered thoughts, about anything new I must’ve learnt, my experiences and feelings about certain incidents etc. and it helped me gather a lot of unexplained emotion in one place rather than spilling it all out on this blog. I mean, it is fair to put it out here but now that I don’t write anonymously I’ve noticed that people judge me from what I write. So, I am just going to keep it clean.
The last fifteen days went from a fun weekend with my old friends, to being sick due to fever, cough and cold; from an overnight train journey to Kerala to attend a cousin’s engagement to coming back to work next day with deadlines looming over the head. A lot happened but thanks to my diary, I have a record of all of it and nothing will be missed. So, here it goes.
The weekend after my last blog post, my friend Apoorva (but let’s call her Ghar) came over and we met with the others- Adil, Grams and Aditya and went out for a game of pool. We also went tothe famous Prithvi cafe for dinner and spent an hour at the beach in Versova. This was perhaps the most relaxing weekend I had had in a long time. We talked and laughed endlessly about everything and anything. In fact, the fully packed Prithvi cafe went empty with chairs planked up on tables and lights shut by the time we got up to leave. That’s the thing with old friends, I guess. You could be covered in five blankets at minus thirteen degrees and they’ll just be there- talking and laughing with you, sharing a warmth that will be enough to keep you going (ngl, that really happened). No matter what place you’re at, and no matter how late it is, they will always have a way to make you feel at home. I’m so glad for old friends and laughter.
The following week, I missed work for a few days because of my cold and cough which shot up to an uncontrollable level- so much that Mom had to courier me the medicines asap. It got better eventually and I was ready to hop on the train to Kerala two days later to attend the engagement ceremony of the cutest couple ever – Saurabh dada & Karthika.
This was my first time to Kerala. But I remember making plans to travel here in the first year of college when I had a friendwho was from Kerala. Little did I know that 7 years later, I’d actually be there – at Ernakulum – a town I had once thought I was going to be a part of (the Universe definitely has a funny way ofgranting your wishes). I celebrated the union of two beautiful people and their families. Met some of the most lovely and warm folks with whom I danced and laughed. Everyone present had wide smiles across their faces, especially the new bride. Her laughter was so infectious, it made this short trip worth everything.
I had an image in my head about Kerala- wide rivers, yards full of coconut trees, small cozy houses with an organic farm in the garden with a cowshed and a tiny dug well, roads covered in beach sand and men in their lungis and meals full of delicious mix of flavors served on a coconut leaf. Kerala was exactly that and so much more! While I didn’t get the chance to roam around much, my short cab ride to the airport with folk music playing in the car (making for a perfect background score), wide stretches of greens and a little bit of rain to add to it made for a good glimpse of what Kerala has to offer. Yet, there is so much more to it and I am looking forward to explore this God’s own country very very soon.
Next day, I got back to work and it has been going all too well- except the fact that I haven’t had much money coming in for the last two month since I was unemployed. I have exhausted my savings too (which were hardly anything anyway). I just can’t wait for my first salary from my new workplace to get credited so I can buy all the books I’ve added to my Amazon cart.
On a side note, I started this blog on WordPress in June 2017 after two failed attempts on Blogspot and Campus Diaries. I really wasn’t into it back then. But I knew I wanted to write so I created this one and today, my blog is two years and almost 50 posts old, so yay me! Here’s to writing more and loving every bit of it.
*7.02 pm* Last few days have been quite disturbing. Some lessons, some beautiful moments and a crazy puke-filled night.
Last week, I took an important decision about my career and it has resulted in some (serious) repercussions. Argh! No point building up the suspense. I quit my job. One of the many reasons to do so was, it wasn’t making happy anymore. Another one being, my health, which is getting worse by the day due to the hectic commute and having restaurant food daily.
Ever since I chose writing as my probable career, I have been wanting to write stories (my stories), and put them out in the world. But that doesn’t just happen in a day, so I shifted to Mumbai and took up a content writing gig at a corporate firm. Its almost been a year that I’ve been working here, and I believe that it is time to move on to something that will take me closer to my dream. Obviously, the job has helped me polish my language skills and helped me learn a lot, but like Bunny from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani said :
Kahin pohchne ke liye kahin se nikalna bohot jaruri hota hai, sahi waqt pe kat lena chahiye nahi to gile shikwe hone lagte hai…
Well, the gile shikwe i.e. quarrels and arguments have already happened. I’ve made my boss really angry. I’m now supposed to work for the next 90 days and (like my parents have ordered me to) get home. But home isn’t going to last for long- probably a tiny break. I’m hopeful for whatever comes next, hopeful that it will take me to where I’m intended to go!
Luckily, it hasn’t been just me. Things at work have been stressful for a bunch of us. So me and some of my co-workers (or lets call them friends) went out for drinks last weekend. What started as a fun and lets-bitch-about-work night ended up being the most terrifying night of our lives. Let me tell you in short: there was some Vodka (or loads of it), then there was some public puking at a mall, we had two people pass out in the open, who we had to lift up and put in the car (literally). Yes, this scene happened and we had more than 100 spectators. It was quite entertaining!
Thankfully, I was one of the only two sober people but that didn’t help with all the embarrassment. Haha! what a memorable evening.
After all of this I needed a day to relax and I opted for cat therapy. I visited the Cat Cafe Studio near my house, sipped on some cold coffee, and had an amazing time with lots of cats and a dear friend.
This week began on a decent note. I have lots of work writing to do(the only thing I enjoy) and that has kept me busy as well as distracted from how bored I am with my workplace environment. I am planning to catch up on some new web-shows and movies in the next few days. Might put out a review soon.
Until then, sharing a super adorable moment that melted my heart!
I am trying to find words to describe how amazing the last few weeks have been. I got super drunk with my senior colleagues (the bosses, yes!) on a Monday night! A night where everyone present was literally rolling on the floor laughing for hours together. One of my most memorable nights in the city.
The weekend before, I had been to a nearby rafting spot on river Kundalika with my friends from work. It was the much-needed monsoon getaway in the company of some new friends who are no less than amazing!
I have had happiest nights of my life sitting by Marine Drive all night long, looking at the colours of sea change every minute. I’ve had crazy evenings driving through the suburb streets just to explore some quiet spots in this highly populated city.
Since the day I arrived in this sparkling hell of a place, nothing has been a cliché’. Every day, every night and every moment has been exciting and full of newness- may it be happy or sad- the struggles of living by yourself are real.
I have come to realize how important it is to let the inhibitions down, to go back to the basic levels of oneself and feel the sheer joy of just being alive.
I am in love with the kind of person I have become. I have let down all my inhibitions and I am loving every moment of life. I am going through an exciting journey of discovering myself, making moments matter and exploring the true meaning of joy.
And I think, the city and the people I have met here have been a big part of this journey. So when I think of this city Mumbai, joy is all I can think of associating with it. They call it a city of dreams, but for me, it is a city of letting go all the chains and discovering a certain sense of peace that is found in the middle of all the hustle and excitement.
I am high on life almost every moment in this city.