July 31, 2014

Potterhead. Always.

It is my undying love for J.K.Rowling's extravaganza, Harry Potter that I am not able to get over the franchise even years after it ended spectacularly. The books changed my life in a million ways. It is not just a story of Harry's final victory over Voldemort, it is in fact a tale of bravery, love, friendship, sacrifice, pride and innocence. Each character displays a certain depth and they end up teaching us a lot more than we take from what is just plainly written.

Album Dumbledore taught us that one can always leave their past behind and change for the better. That greatness is derived from the love people have for you and not by exerting power, which he shows by consistently declining the post of the Minister of Magic. 

Severus Snape taught us that love is timeless and unconditional. That once you love someone dearly, you will stand by that. ALWAYS.

Rubeus Hagrid taught us that wild was good. That if you wanted to pet a dragon and raise a three headed dog, it was just as normal as wanting to drink pumpkin juice. He taught us that not everything that looks ferocious is dangerous, 

Luna Lovegood taught us that being weird is cool. That believing in things no one else believes in is possible, if only you believe in your version of things no matter how crazy.

Draco Malfoy taught us what it is to be pushed into wrongdoing against your own will. That living with bad company, need not make you a monster. There might still be hope. 

Bellatrix Lestrange taught us that obsession was a dangerous thing. That obsessing over something or someone was going to get you nowhere except for being dead.

Neville Longbottom taught us that being an under achiever usually ends up winning crucial battles. That dealing with a past that involves parents that no longer remembered him and a grandmother who expects too much from him did not pull him down. 

Ginny Weasly taught us to be tough. That being a girl was not just gossips and giggling and making sparks fly from the wand, it is about casting perfect bat bogey hexes and being an amazing Quidditch beater.

Fred and George Weasly taught us to be jesters. That to laugh and to make people laugh was indeed the best medicine. 
We miss you Fred! :'(

Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin taught us that we always find love when we are not looking for it. That standing together to face death was the most important thing than having to let go for each other's safety. 

Hermione Granger taught us that it was okay to be the know-it-all. That pouring over books and being the one who always answers questions, no matter how crazy they are, comes in handy to handle the deadliest of situations.

Ron Weasly taught us that it was more important to be a friend than being that guy who always lives in the shadow of a celebrity. That ginger people are the ones adorned with the best sarcastic humour. 

Harry Potter taught us that bravery and selflessness are the traits of a hero. That losing your loved ones should not let you lose sight of your bidding. 

Voldemort taught us that power corrupts. That if a person knows no love, he knows no magic. 


J.K.Rowling taught us that a string of rejections and downsides in life cannot tear you apart. That pulling yourself together and believing in your stories is more important than anything else. Because 'No story lives unless someone wants to listen to them'

Let me know if there are other characters from the series that have taught you something, or if these characters have inspired you in a significant way. 

July 23, 2014


I wrote this particular piece nearly 6 years back. Back then I wanted to be like Chetan Bhagat, a Rs 99/- wala book writer. You can safely say, I was naive. My naivety will reflect in my rather flat style of writing below. But this short little story is closest to my heart because it made me want to be a writer one day.
Here it is: 
Spolier: It talks about me! :D

DATE – 20th September 1988
TIME – 7:15 am
In a not so well-groomed courtyard sat Mr.Chaddha on his armchair swaying back and forth. He was sipping his favourite Darjeeling cinnamon flavoured tea greedily like there was not going to be a tomorrow morning. He was a portly man in his late forties, though he looked much older, had a pot belly large enough to store food for an entire battalion and had a good natured face with a frizzled moustache. It was exactly 7:15 in the morning of that drizzly September day. The South-west monsoons were on the verge of its end. And so it rained pretty heavily to mark its last. Mr. Chaddha picked up The HINDU and read the headlines.

He tut tutted something about politics going to the dogs and put the paper down as if it had deeply disturbed his conscience and made his heart ache. The expression on his face was terrific, humanly impossible to even form for us normal earthlings, but then that’s Chaddha uncle at his diplomatic best. He pushed the troubling thought out of his mind and went back to slurping his lukewarm morning drink. Wait a minute, enough of him. Because, this is not his story.
No, it is not!

Three blocks away was a hospital – Sita Bhateja Nursing Home, run by a gynaecologist. No prizes for guessing who ran the nursing home, Dr.Mrs.Sita Bhateja. Right then she was in the labor room nursing a woman terribly in pain. The hands of the clock slowly ticked as the anxious parents of the aforementioned ‘lady-in-pain’ waited. Her husband had been informed the minute her water broke and the father-to-be anxiously started for the hospital. It was their first child after all. All this was happening in the Garden City of Bangalore; and the father-to-be lived in the neighbouring capital of Hyderabad, and he left instantly to be with his wife. He knew he would well arrive after all of it is over, but still the excitement and the anxiousness got the better of him. He was overjoyed. This over enthusiastic ‘father-to-be’ is my Paa, more specifically my FATHER. And yes, the lady-in-pain is my MOTHER, my Maa. Oh, now you are getting it, this story is about me – the child about to be born.

Let me tell you how my Ma and Pa came together.
They met in the strangest of fashions. Theirs wasn’t a love marriage. It was arranged as was the tradition at that time in the small village of Rajasthan they hailed from. The story goes that Maa was the pretty maid in her early twenties and she had heaps of prospects peeping through her doorway everyday; she had a hell of a choice to choose from.

‘I’m confused’ is what Ma blurted out after meeting each prospect in due succession. And then…… enter Paa-The dashing young man! He was smitten by the beauty and charm of the beautiful young lady and her confusion made him fall crazily for her. Their meeting was arranged, Maa and Paa saw each other and it was love at first sight. An alliance was anticipated and everybody expected an almost immediate formal announcement of an engagement. But my Grand-dad played spoilsport and like all the typical prospective groom’s sides in India, my grandfather said he would give his answer in a week or so, but Paa found that too much time to wait. Overnight, he boarded a bus, traveled nearly a thousand miles from Hyderabad to Rajasthan to get to Maa’s house and declared his wish to get married to Maa as soon as it was possible. That’s the best thing Paa did because if he would not have made it then Maa was being forced to say yes to another prospect. And if this alliance failed to happen, I would have never existed to tell my story.
Now it was all settled.
Paa said YES and Maa accepted it more than willingly.
And then they had ME.

No wait, they were still in the process of having me. Maa’s in pain and Paa’s still in the train.

That rhymed. I started training myself in such feats in Maa’s womb itself. So, you could say that a genius is about to be born.

While Dr. Mrs. Bhateja nursed my mum through her painful labour, my attention shifts over to the anxious looking parents of the mum-to-be. They were about to have their first grandchild, an achievement in itself and were bloody beyond happy. Today is the occasion of firsts.

Now, the moment of action. Precisely, at 7.16 am, a minute after Mr. Chaddha tut-tutted about the Indian polity, I was born. Like an angel to curb the negativities of politics which ached Mr. Chaddha’s heart even as he sipped his tea. I was the saviour who was born as the one who would shine as the lone light of hope and the end of the dark tunnel of the disappointing administrative machinery. I was born to be the source of relief to the balding gentleman three blocks away. But, unfortunately for him, I was neither of these. I am a baby, after all.

So, big discussions can wait for now. 

July 14, 2014

Confident and Fat

"Life would have been so much easier if not for the fat."
On an average, a relatively overweight person will think on the above lines more often than not. Say, 12 times a day. Obviously, I am making this statistic up because, let's face it, no one really gives a twit about what fat people think. The obvious corollary to fat is happy-go-lucky, so the 'not-so-fat' normal section of the society operate under the belief that fat people like to be well, fat.

Let me clear this once and for all. We are not Fat People, we are just People. Yes, there are times we have serious body image issues. There's also an added obsession to excel in other areas of performance because "beauty-wise toh beta aap bahut cute hain, sundar nahi!" Our life is one big calorie counting extravaganza and we live off water and air most times. How the day shall be lived will be decided by the ever angry weighing scale and one tip of the weight needle to the right is enough to get us prepared for a water diet. Speaking of diets, we know all about them! The General motors diet, The Banana diet, The Cabbage soup diet, The Grapefruit diet, The Juice fasting, The 3 hour diet, The Skinny bitch diet, The French Women don't get fat diet (You saw this right!).... Been there, done that!

Why this rant now, you must think? I have been fat my whole life. Wait. Not fat, Obese. I pretty much loved the entire 'cute' phase that happened before I hit puberty. After that it was all downhill. The attention was all way too negative and the I went spiraling down into a binge eating spree to help me cope with all this. By the time I was 18, I was the size of a baby whale with serious self-confidence issues. I clung on to anyone that spared time to talk to me, let alone be friends. My intermediate college years were the most difficult. I was not myself, I struggled immensely with my body image and my communication skills were a disgrace. If not for being good at academics, I would have been a nobody later in life. Good grades were my saving grace. It was after being admitted in one of the top colleges in the city that I pulled myself together and decided to turn my life around. One thing at a time.

My first goal was to learn to communicate. Before college happened, I basically had no working knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. Piecing two words together to make a sentence was a task. On my first day of college, at orientation, I remember trying to make sense of everything that was being said about classrooms, lecture halls, courses and stadiums. There was a moment of underlying exhaustion, coupled with panic and distress. I came home and lay awake all night trying to figure out how to get through classes. There were plans, and backup plans, and backup plans to those backup plans. Next day, miraculously, I found my way through the crowd. Because we were a small group in the History Graduate class, I felt noticed. The confidence was there, lurking at the back of my mind. I just had to reach for it. As days passed by, academics helped me get through tough classes and theories. I spent hours at home with library books and a dictionary wading my way through slowly. Steadily. In a couple of weeks, I felt confident walking the corridors. I was recognised, liked even. It was a major confidence boost. I also ran for Class representative elections and was elected. Mighty nerdy, but cool. I got over my fear of rejection in the coming years. I also learnt a lot about communication, language and life in general from Harry Potter (more on that, soon)

I believe acceptance is key. Acceptance and the will to change for better. I have not drastically slimmed down to gain a little perspective, I just accepted my flaws and learnt to excel past those. All this is easier said than done and I am still learning. Having said that, a part of me thinks I am just the best. Slimming down is definitely on my top priority list and I am getting there slowly despite being the lazy person that I am. I am also sure I will overcome my procrastination and transform into a better version of me.

Until then,
Be Fat. Be Confident. Be Fabulous!