Showing posts from 2016

Jalebi Slam

I bought jalebis from a mithai store today, a mithai store - not a roadside cart - because my mother feels it is safer this way.

For six months after we came to India my mother boiled Aquaguard water so it would be safe enough for us to drink. For all of my life in Aurangabad - more than 12 years if we're counting my college vacations - my mother made pani puri at home from scratch so we wouldn't contract water-borne diseases.

For all our years in India since my parents returned from dad's chemo my mother would wake us 25 minutes too early, even when sleep was more precious to her than it was to us, even though the school bus for 8:45 AM class came to our stop at 7:20 - which is no time to even be awake if you ask my sister - to feed us "real" breakfast in addition to an unnecessarily tall glass of milk before school,
everyday, so she could give us enough fuel to last until recess and sustain our growing bodies through puberty.

My mother made cream spinach and b…

The Green Agenda

Growing up, my personal experience with environment conservation efforts, coupled with acute egocentrism, led me to believe that everyone else had had my eco-conscious upbringing, that everyone had a biogas unit, a compost pit, saplings and a home garden, solar heating, rainwater harvesting, a waste segregation system, a laundry timetable and a reduce-reuse-recycle habit in their homes. Imagine my culture shock when I moved to C.L. Layout in Bangalore for my B.A. degree. Solar heating is a rarity, waste restriction and segregation were unheard of, and eating out daily is the norm. It is not as much a matter of negligence as it is of convenience. I took no time to develop these errant habits, and it showed – my room began to exist as a mess, my skin broke out in pimples that I thought I was rid of, and my already delicate constitution was further endangered by takeaway McDonald’s and parcelled paneer rolls. I saved time. I saved money. I was always instantly gratified. I spent my days …


They say you need to love yourself before you can love another
My Warrior Princess of Badassery Two similar pieces of a jigsaw puzzle never fit just right with each other And if you and I are similarly odd similarly flat similarly skinny little pieces of a puzzle in hobo pants, war paint and Samurai hair At least I know that we are two ill-fated, slightly banged up irregular pieces of the same puzzle. And I love you regardless - I am almost glad I can't not.

"It is hard to stop loving the ocean"

I've washed you out of the clothes I took back from your apartment But the smell still lingers In the air You still linger In the breeze in my hair In that canvas still bare In the colors I do not wear Anymore.
Your love is a sweet vortex and I'm free falling out of reality
I speak my honest lies
As long as we can keep up the pretense your glitter laugh is my momentary truth sweet pirate-breath pixie
I was not made for winter - 
I was not made for your song and dance
For love, and sparkly lights,


Heyy everybody!

Yesterday a government official put me in a box (which I didn't even notice until my brother pointed out the giant ribbon on my head) and I'm still somewhat disturbed, so let me address this unruly tenant of the bed and breakfast that is my brain and get closure so I can focus on more important things to stress about, like not going to prison this academic year. #optimismingthru

Let us begin. We had some work in the passport department so my brother can enter and inhabit his CalTech mothership without any trouble, and the cop lady asked us some smart alecky questions about our citizenship and residence, and then the procedural questions about our age and where we're educating ourselves and my sister is a 23-year-old engineer and my brother is an 18-year-old future scientist and she asks me what I do and my mother, my brother and I answer at the same time saying "Bangalore madhye BA kartiye" (doing BA in Bangalore) and "English Literature&quo…

Breakfast for champions: coconut mocha smoothie

1. Chilled Dabur Hommade Coconut Milk (200ml carton)
2. 3 teaspoons of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
3. 1 teaspoon Magic Powder™ (instant coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg)
Mix well: Look at that consistency!
Drizzle chocolate syrup for effect:
And enjoy!
P.S. It's really very thick - one 200ml smoothie will legitimately suffice as breakfast. I couldn't finish even half - it's in the fridge now. But it's beautiful so I've kept it for when I run out of will to live as I try to keep up with Literary Theory

Objectification of Women in Indian Cinema

The irony in an independent, educated young woman asserting her freedom and right to wear what she pleases and sing along and dance to whichever item song she wants, cannot be missed. In this post, I will outline the objectification of women in Bollywood dance numbers as analyzed and discussed by Ms. Deebanjana Pal, at the "Gender in Cinema: Gendering Film Screens" workshop I attended this semester.

Ms. Pal presented her talk with the help of 4 clips from Indian movies from different time periods. Using these, she criticized notions about women even as they evolved. She also explored the sexuality of leading ladies in these films, in terms of overtly sexy behavior.

The first clip she showed us was Dimple Kapadia's infamous sarong scene in Bobby. Ms Kapadia's striptease there was a demonstration of the constant scrutiny femalekind are subject to: The heroine in that clip is shown to be unaware of being watched. She has no idea abut the creepy man in the background ma…

Taxation in Provident Fund

Firstly, what were they thinking. This is possibly the stupidest thing our Government has thought of for its employees. The Provident fund is based on the premise of ensuring welfare for one's own. When you take away anything from that already meagre amount, you place your employees in further financial insecurity. Not smart at all. And imagine all the bad press!

Age as a factor in dating

Some characteristics in potential dating partners are very grey areas - physical appearance, dating history, matching interests, and age, for instance.

For the longest time, I firmly held the belief that I should only date someone older than me. I held the view that since boys (in general) are dumber than girls their age, it would be safe to assume that I'd never gain anything out of a relationship with a younger boy. My stance can be debunked on many counts.
Firstly, many boys older than me are still dumber than me - case in point: Dumbshit. Also, Anant is both smarter and wiser than me, and he's two years younger than me.
Secondly, what if I were to date a girl? Would I want her to be older or younger than me?
Thirdly, what if I had never known about his/her age? I'd probably fall for him/her. The personality would (and should) suffice.
Lastly, I'd linked age with maturity, which is perhaps a fail approach. There is at least one conscientious, hella smart, kind, swe…

Why NOT to date that ENFP

(based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that classifies personalities based on the traits Extraversion versus Introversion, iNtuition versus Sensing, Feeling versus Thinking, and Judgement versus Perception)

To begin with, you will never actually, formally "date" one. They do not tolerate the formality and lack of authenticity of the whole dating thing. What will happen is, one day you'll meet them and you will be like ah what a cute, simple golden retriever and then you'll see them at a poetry club or protest and then you'll start hanging out and soon enough you spend every waking minute with this little shit and before you know it he/she has kissed you and you are no longer in control of your life. That's as simple as it is. An ENFP will charm your pants off and crack through the stone walls of your heart without either of you even realizing it. ENFPs are lovely. They work very, very hard to be.

Here are a few very valid reasons not to date the ENFP that…

Hobo Saturday™ - the logic

For the uninitiated, Hobo Saturday is every Saturday that you are forced to attend class on, and to pretend to care about getting an education, and when you wear your most drab clothes and no makeup or accessories and go through those few hours of class purely out of obligation. Here's a jingle about the same:
Hobo Saturday
Doesn't matter day
Don't bother with your hair
Doesn't matter what you wear 
Roll out of bed
Shake your sleepy head
And walk into class on Hobo Saturday

Hobo Saturday is less a state of mind, more a welcome break from the urge to dress well and look on point every single day of the week. It's an opportunity for 15 more minutes of sleep in the morning; a day when you can just relax and focus on more important things like enduring class, and let your true colors (or lack thereof) shine through. It is a day when you are encouraged to not let your dark circles or muted clothing affect your valuation of yourself, and a blessed day of liberating freedom fro…

Food poisoning: 3rd time :S

Hello my lovelies :)
It's time for a life update! This week has been eventful - I got sick, went to the hospital, rested, attended class and practice and on more than one occasion convinced myself I'm either clinically insane or dying of stomach cancer. Mercifully, I am neither.
Sunday evening was a time of indulgence, with chaat and TV, before yet another stressful week of college, but it took a nasty turn when I got violently sick, vomiting multiple times, the last time, with blood. The next day, my roommate took me to the hospital, where I saw the inside of an Emergency Room for the first time in my life. I was underwhelmed. It was sluggish and siesta-paced, until the doctors told me they'd have to insert a tube into my stomach to check for bleeding. I thought I could take it. However what I didn't know was that he tube would go down my nose. I had to swallow down nearly 2 feet of plastic tube, retching pathetically all the way. Fun times :| I admit there were tears o…

Instructable series: fashion

February is the last month of winter and the last month of low-pressure dressing up we have left. No more jackets, sweaters, scarves, tights or layers, and although that makes me and my insecurities very sad, I shall make the most of the three weeks that remain. And in order to help you do the same, here is a pictorial: This week in Instructables: Winter Dressing for the Pear Shaped! This guide is more about easy warmth, so I assume you already have on well-fit clothes such as your favorite basic LBD or jeans and plain tee or regular formals, along with appropriate footwear.
Layering, quite intuitively, is the simplest, most affordable way of keeping warm, allowing you to pair your good ol’ sundress with a chic cardigan or jacket, and spruce up your everyday college clothes with trendy sweaters and scarves.
As always, be playful with colors and prints, contrasts and textures, and DFTSA.

Instructables series: Classroom Conduct

How to Slack Politely We are all far too familiar with the dreaded but inevitable mid-lecture emotional breakdown of our less tolerable professors. Classroom discipline is a task when the professor is incompetent or the lecture useless. However, in the greater interests of humanity, and as an act of kindness, it is important to zone out or discuss vacation plans or even doodle - with tact and stealth.

To begin with, let me remind you of talking-relevant cheats in the mindless videogame that is, say, a Psych lecture. Firstly, never look at the person you're talking to. Conduct your conversation with your eyes on the professor or slides and your hands Dumbledore-style inconspicuously hovering near your face. Do not gesticulate or move your head too much. Also, if it weren't obvious, hush. This way, you will appear thoughtful and contemplative as opposed to rude and a painful reminder of the vanity of the professor's efforts. Naturally, this applies only in cases where you a…

Statement of Purpose (500-word version)

Until as late as the seventh grade, I disliked my English classes. I was taught grammar by rote, made to copy 'creative writing' assignments off the board, and one too many of my sensible and logical answers were not graded for not being worded exactly as directed. Until the seventh grade, I was a back-bencher by choice, not (at the time) by height order. I even got slapped for refusing to do my homework, which I considered was pointless anyway.

Then, in the first English hour of eighth grade, our new teacher, Mrs. Chakraborty, assigned us a writing task and let us complete it all by ourselves, without intervention. Grinning and eager, an enthusiastic first-desk student for the first time in my life, I finished the task (quite well, compared to my ill-read, sunburnt classmates) and was neither corrected on inane grounds nor humiliated, but praised, for functional grammar, clarity of thought and above-par vocabulary. Over the next few years, Mrs. Chakraborty taught me to organ…


As a person who once had EDs, this self food monitoring would have been alarming, but I control my emotions. I decide whether I spend all day asleep, hiding, depressed, or have my shit together.

Bite off more than you can chew, always.

I have recently signed up for beginners' level French classes at Alliance Francaise, along with dance classes and my new and improved (ha, jok) choir schedule. I would feel overwhelmed, but I signed up for this life. Therefore, I shall make the best of it, and try to bring some order into my life.

I've been making meticulous and incredibly detailed timetables for myself since 5th grade which have failed me since the 5th grade, partly due to my mildly ADHD brain and partly due to how little I cared in life. Now, though, I care a lot about many very significant things. (I have, by the way, discovered the secret to being badass and not caring about mundane, mainstream things - to invest your heart and soul in bigger things, like your art or your work)

This time, my timetable cannot fail, because too many of the activities in it are inevitable. Now all the free time I have will be spent in the confines of campus, so I will be forced to put it to good use for lack of variety in sn…