Sunday, 28 April 2013

College na milega dobara

Phew! Exams are over!  Like a farmer waiting for rains, I had been desperately waiting for this day ever since I stepped in the hostel. It meant so much to me – freedom from books, classes   & lots of good time with family, friends, TV & shopping!

The last exam was also the toughest one – not just for me but also for Mr. Hubby. Poor thing tolerated my tantrums for 2 days – sometimes counseling, motivating me, and otherwise helping me with my doubts over the phone. I remember during school & college, whenever the last exam used to end, there used to be a loud “Hurray”, even though we knew exams awaited us the next session. But this time, when exams actually finished for me, I just stood up, looked at the paper & said “No more exams to take now. I am through.”

Since most of our batch mates were leaving the same day for their hometowns, & the remaining few had their last exam the next day, it was also a sad day. Me and a couple of my friends in the girls hostel decided to leave the next day as we wanted to relive & relish some of the most memorable moments spent in the hostel.  Looking back, it appears funny that the same place we awaited desperately to get rid of had become such an indispensable part of our existence that we felt like taking off few moments to remember the good times.

So, in a pure “college na milega dobara” mode, we planned our little girlie party. Abhilasha, who’s always proactive with the clicks suggested we capture each & every important place in college, beginning with our hostel rooms. But there was a problem, the rooms weren’t exactly in the same shape as we were all packing. So, I quickly prepared my room for some good frames & we began the photo session. Soon, more frendz joined over & we had an amazing giggling session. Nidhi was in a dancing mode since morning & she ensured each one of us, gave her company for “Radha on the dance floor” while Abhilasha got the perfect clicks. 

Next, it was time for outdoor shoot – the canteen, the lovely green ground, classrooms, the sunset point, the road where we had taken umpteen leisurely walks. Every evening, while taking a walk, I used to count the days left in the college. And on the last day, my eyes were moist as we took the Oh so longish last walk – as if I wanted to fill the beauty in my eyes before the bid the final goodbye. Had it not been for Nidhi’s reminders, Abhilasha & I would have to make do with hostel food as we were so totally out of control with our photo sessions, roping in everyone we spotted.
The lovey sunset view

The classroom

As we enjoyed our large pizzas, we recalled all the amazing pizza parties we had before, the midnight chai sessions, morning wake up calls, masti amidst some boring some enlightening lectures, burning the midnight oil before assignment deadlines, weekend masti, evening walks, impromptu jam sessions, midnight maggi & chitchat sessions  - moments that had now become golden memories. To make the last day even more special, we decided to stay awake the entire night & do full on masti & dhamaal. But there was a problem, Pooja had an exam the next day & was in the adjacent room. We didn’t want to distract her, but the fun was incomplete without her. I was already feeling guilty as she was dropping in time and again for quick 5 minute chitchat sessions before resuming her studies.

Umpteen presentations given here...

We moved to Abhilasha’s room & that’s where the real girlie fun began. What started off as a simple movie plan eventually turned out to be a super spicy gossip session. By 2 in the morning, studies could no longer hold Pooja in her room & she too joined us. Midnight tidbits, amazing pals, memories, facts, opinions & college life revisited – I take with me memories to cherish forever. I had dreaded hostel since childhood but when I finally lived the hostel life, I realized why hostel bondings remain precious throughout life. Thanks to my amazing pals Pooja, Abhilasha & Nidhi who made our last evening in hostel so special! 
Finally...the road to freedom

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

4 gone 2 to go!

The ratio now reads 4:2! Exactly opposite of the last time I updated my blog on the deadly exams. So, before I refill my arsenal for tomorrow’s fight, lemme quickly update you on what I went through last 2 days.

A week end break between exams sounds like party time, but when it does come in, one realizes things were better without it. Especially if one has more than 2 exams after the 2 day weekend, half of the energy is spent juggling between various subjects. On Sunday afternoon, I learnt the difference between distance and displacement that my Physics teacher had emphasized so much on in school. Even though I had spent Friday and Saturday studying for the later exams, I couldn’t even remember the names of topics! Back to square one! Nothing retained in mind and I had not even started preparing for the lengthy Monday paper.

The whole batch had been taking law very lightly, considering it to be a “cram and vomit” subject. But a night before the exam, we had our moment of realization. Watsapp, FB and the college mail was bubbling with notes and tips, powerpoint presentations that promised to get the entire Contract Act into your mind in less than 15 slides. But there was limited grey matter and unlimited laws haunting us with their numerous clauses. I looked at the Ganeshji in my room and said, “Sheer breach of code of conduct, why do people get into so many wrongdoings? Each act becomes an act and then we have to get our act together.” Hehe…

These days, immediately after waking up, I feel like a patient of short term memory loss and that’s why the morning revision holds immense importance. As if the ordeal I went through the previous night wasn’t enough, I had another prickly sense of realization the moment I began to write the paper. To know a law and to write answers are two things poles apart. Things had to be written in “a” sequence only using “the” specific words, else the meaning changed! To write or not to write became the question and one couldn’t write in the good old layman language.

In the middle of the paper, I also discovered that my “chanchal” mind had smartly distracted and was throwing me the idea of this post. I quickly hushed it up, though smiling at my shameless creativity. Since no contract is valid without a lawful consideration, I too did my bit to avoid the breach and somehow managed the jargons in the paper.

The next day and night was like an akhand paath (non stop prayer session) as today’s paper had anything and everything as part of the curriculum. Some friends, who couldn’t ignore their devotion towards IPL and Sir Ravinder Jadeja, took the chance of just brushing up the numericals. But galz are the scared lot. I went on and on and on but the course wouldn’t just finish!

I reached Just in time (which incidentally was also a topic in today’s paper). My friends smiled and pointed towards the front bench desk adjacent to the invigilator desk – the only vacant space left for latecomers. As the teacher distributed today’s paper, my mind instantly played a famous bhajan by Hari Om Sharan “tera raamji karengey beda paar, udaasi mann kahey ko darey” (why worry oh my dear sad heart, Lord will take care of everything!). And he did, the teacher had played a good Santa by giving so many choices that each one had something for himself!

As soon as I came to my room, I played the elimination round (yes, sounds funny but when I am through with an exam, I stack all those notes and books separately and just feel good when the stack increases with every exam, relative to the stack for pending subjects….something a friend taught me in school).

I know a lot of people might find this very stupid and melodramatic, but for all those people, I just have one thing to say “You have to step in my shoes to understand what it is like.”

Monday, 15 April 2013

My Hero – My Pa

Often we watch heroes on the celluloid who flex a muscle and smash the villain, and we go gaga. But, what are real heroes made of? Is it just about the looks, muscles, suave and macho appeal?  No, real heroes are beyond that. They are men of iron who have the grit and the guts to stand up for the right. One such hero I have admired since childhood is my father. And the admiration doesn't come by being his daughter; it’s his courage that makes me bow.

My parents were born in a society where women were considered nothing more than cattle – they were suppressed, exploited and kept confined to the kitchen.  Boys however, were encouraged to study and work. Born in a family with modest means, Pa had to work hard to get his share of education. At 20, he set off to the then secluded Andaman & Nicobar Islands on his first job posting. But the bug of enhancing his learning kept biting him.

He had seen his mother suffering in life due to lack of education & had promised himself he would take it upon himself to ensure no woman in his life remain uneducated. He strongly believes when u educate a woman, u uplift the entire family. He had 2 sisters and as per the norms, they were to be married off before their age crossed the adult mark. Pa stood up for them, argued with his parents to let them finish their education. It was tough to convince people of the elderly generation, and Pa took up the responsibility of their studies, channelizing his earnings to fund their education.

After my parents got married, Pa realized how my mother had been forced to leave her studies mid way for the marriage. While he too, like other men of the family could have ignored her aspirations, he promised her he would not let her dreams of education die. Having faced the music for his sisters’ education, he knew it would be a herculean task to convince the elders. It was a taboo to have a daughter in law show her face outside the veil, her studying after marriage would have raised eyebrows. But Pa had already made up his mind. He told his parents about his decision and when they showed immense resistance, he just had one answer, “education is a fundamental right, and I know by doing is I am doing what is right.” He promised his parents he and mom wouldn't let this affect neither the honor of the family nor their household responsibilities.

It was although a tough schedule for mom (I have blogged about it previously here), she was glad as she had her husband standing like a rock by her side, doing everything to ensure her dream of learning was fulfilled. With Pa’s support, mom not only got to continue her studies, she even did her Masters, which was a rare thing for girls in those days and went on to do her medical practice.

Today, Pa has ensured that all the women in our family are educated and independent. His spirit of encouraging education has extended beyond home, and I know several instances where he has single handed convinced parents to educate their daughters, often helping with the education expenses. He could have followed the trend of his times and taken a chill pill, but he decided to be the change he wanted to see around him. That’s what heroes are made of. I know words are not enough to thank you, but for the empowerment you have given us and for the change agent that you are, I salute you my soldier!

This post has been written for the "Soldier for women" contest by, in association with Gillette.

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Saturday, 13 April 2013

2 down 4 to go

The race has begun – the race against time. U count days till the exams are over and it seems a long duration. You start writing the exam and before you know it, the time’s over!
Pic courtesy:Google Search

So, as the blog title reads, 2 exams have gone and 4 more are left. That’s like 1:3! It’s funny that even though nobody scolds me for my performance, out of genuine care and concern, my family calls me up after every exam to ask how it was. Anybody who’s in the same boat as me would understand how it is. If I tell my father that my exam didn’t go well, he gets super concerned and starts making suggestions. Now I hate being a brat and say “You won’t understand pa.” so, I politely try to explain the subject or the issue in layman terms. The exchange goes till either one of us gives up. But it starts afresh as soon as the next exam is over!

If the exam does go well, the praises come so premature that  I wonder if I did indeed perform well as don’t wanna surprise them when result come.

Well, exams also do some distortion to my appetite. Before a tough exam, the appetite is in a dormant mode and as soon as the exam is over, all hell breaks loose! The mess food has to be really bad to control it then.

Same goes for sleep. Before exams, the sleep is banging the door hard. And as soon as the ordeal is over, it goes out of the window!

Today was a relatively easy subject.  I had promised myself a good night sleep and no skipping breakfast. My friend S also coaxed me for a longish walk last night (on the pretext that it would be our last walk in college post which we would be on our own in our hometowns…typical girlie senti stuff!). The walk and the extra ice cream got the DJ (digestive juices) rocking and I hit the sack in no time.

After hitting the snooze button for the 3rd time, I realized I had fall prey to procrastination. I had decided to cover 2 easy (but highly expected to come in exam) topics early morning, knowing completely that I am just not a morning person. The watch showed it was far from early. With exactly 2.5 hrs to go for the exam, I cursed my laziness and got my fingers working on the laptop.

But I had a promise to fulfill. Today was a must have breakfast day as I had been skipping it for 2 days now. I gave myself all sort of gyan about not ignoring one’s health and gulped down a can of juice with some biscuits. Donno why, I got extremely motherly with myself. “I need to have proper breakfast”, I thought. I saw my friend P going to the mess and asked her to sneak in 2 paranthas as I had no motivation to go to the mess. She smiled and seeing my condition, immediately got me some tidbits to manage by the time she was back. And in no time, P was back with 2 aloo paranthas neatly wrapped up in tissue. 

Paranthas is the favorite breakfast item with of our hostel mess caterer. I guess all hostellers don’t need a description as paranthas are same in all the hostels – thick, half cooked and mysteriously stuffed with a stuffing that plays hide and seek. As I tried hard to make up for the lost time, instead of focusing on the pending topics, my focus was more on the food  – 1st cribbing, then gobbling it down. Once I was done, I had to have tea else I wouldn't have felt completely fed. By the time it was an hour to go for the exam, I had done everything except revsion, with eating being the major activity. I quickly flipped through the notes and rushed to the exam hall. 

A 3 hour paper is like a relay race, u mess up any lap and u’r out. With barely an hour gone, my stomach started to take revenge against the stuffing it had been subjected to. I was in a fix, to cater to the paining tummy or the painful exam. I chose the latter. The tummy didn’t give up for almost an hour and tried its level best to distract my mind away from the exam. I kept pacifying it with frequent time checks. As soon as I was out of the examination hall, I told myself – every promise need not be fulfilled.
Pic courtesy:Google Search

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Look who’s here again!

With much sadness, I announce that its exam time again.  Exams I feel are like common cold – no matter how much u dread them, or try to escape, they are bound to catch u. Just like common cold, there is no perfect way to handle exams, even if you know the perfect tricks. There are always the surprise moments which leave you laughing at your confidence – sometimes at excess of it, or the lack of it. But nevertheless, like cold, they come once every season, you have to go through the rituals & they are gone.

As a kid, even though I used to write my exams on my own, yet, I feel they actually were the responsibility of my mom. Poor mom used to wake up with me at the odd hours, helping me with anything and everything. Sometimes motivating me when I used to get depressed, otherwise chase and scold me to study, then her sweet curd before I went to write the paper; and waiting for me outside the examination hall, immediately taking the paper and asking what I wrote. Mothers are like x ray machines – she used to get my state of mind by looking at my face. So, if I avoided eye contact with her, she used to say “hand me the question paper & just forget about it”, never even waiting for me to give an explanation. And mind you, this happened right through college!

But I have to admit that had it not been for the fear of her scolding, I would have never studied the way I did. Like most youngsters, I too didn’t realize the long term effects & used to study just to finish the task at hand and make mom proud during the result day. And I used to wait for the day when I would grow up and no longer have to write papers.

And now, I wonder what I am doing with myself. There is no compulsion to study. I am no longer answerable for any course I take up. Yet, I study. I get into the same activity that I had waited to get rid off! And when one level is over, I promptly enroll myself for the next one, raising the bar high, axing my own foot.

So , I have an exam tomorrow (and yes, look at my guts, I am blogging!) and because I don’t feel like studying the Oh so tough subject, I ask myself, what do I do to get me studying?  All the fears of scolding etc have long faded into history. The same parents, no matter how I perform, now appreciate me for having tried. Mr Hubby always encourages me to just give my best and dump the rest!

The only motivation left now, is perhaps to genuinely learn something, to add some value to life, and to try my best for future. All long term stereotype gyaan. No mom now to scold me and get me into instant action. No short term motivation! But that’s what I always used to dread. And now, when it has gone, I am finding ways to get a short term motivation! Life….hehe…

Me wonderzzz…

Oof, exams are here again,
Bringing with them lots of pain
No matter how much I study
Everything goes in vain
Yet, they say no pain no gain
In this world, u gotta sustain
So I whip my slowing brain
Before I go insane!

And as always, here are some Google pics...

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Why not first?

The world always looks at the person who’s the first. In this rate race, we all want to emerge winners. Nobody ever remembered the person who came second. Does that make the person at the second position inferior? Nope. It takes effort to even come second. One has to aim for the top and not all can be the winners.

I recently went to a parent teacher meeting. The kid who stood first was being praised by all; mothers made a role model almost instantly. The kid who came second stood away from the glory, his mother whispering “U too can be there next session, just work a bit extra hard my dear.” The teacher praised his talent however, gave the same gyan and the poor kid gave a helpless smile. The topper looked at him and gave him a “I am a topper look”. Watching this, from a distance, I was surprised. In a class of 40 bright students, getting the second position was also an achievement. Why not be happy and content with what u achieved today than dismissing it for better prospects in an unknown future? I wondered what we are teaching our generation. On one hand, we say, “there’s too much stress, take it easy”, on other hand, we smartly declare that anything below the top is just not acceptable. 

We all remember the person who climbed Mr Everest first, put the first foot on moon, etc etc. So does that wash it out for the second person?

Then, there are times when getting the second position is purely a work of destiny. A friend, who is a typical Mills & Boons afficionado, was cribbing recently that she is her boyfriend’s second love. She cried and wished she had met him a few years ago so that she would get his first love which would have been ideal, more romantic, blah blah blah! I tried to comfort her by telling her that it’s the present that matters, not the past. As long as their love gives them enough happiness, that’s the best for them. Even gave her some celeb examples. But she went on and on and gave me such arguments about the concept of one’s first love in life that surprised me. Nevertheless, I gave her some gyan about being content with what we have and also gave her a chocolate.

Recently, at a shop, as soon as I picked up a kurta, a lady came and said, “this is so beautiful, I was looking at this, but by the time I came to pick it, u had already picked it up. I won’t even get the same combination now”. There were several other good kurtas in the store, but since I had picked up this good Kurta first, she wasn’t willing to explore the second best alternative. “Wow, so this is like coming first in race”, I thought and smiled.

Me wonderzzz ….
The race has made winning such an important task that every day and everywhere, I see people striving to be the first one -be it in queues, corporate world, or even shops. Have written previously about it here...

Was trying to find some images from Google for this blog and here are some real funny ones I found!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Morning Sky

Clicked this one two years ago on our way to Corbett National Park. Whenever I look at the sun in this pic, I feel it’s like a shy girl standing behind a curtain and peeping; the moment your eyes meet hers, she hides back behind the curtain…

Monday, 1 April 2013

To like or not to like

Man is a social animal. It’s good to share thoughts, feelings and opinions. One of the reasons why we bloggers can’t resist our itch to blog! But my post today is dedicated to some men and women, for whom being social is all about useless, baseless updates nobody is interested in. Yes, I am talking about the hyperactive junta on social networking sites. I had been resisting myself away from writing this one, but a trip to my good old Facebook provoked me to blog it out.

We Indians love to network, and so when few years ago, Orkut came to India, we rejoiced in excitement! Just like Hindi movie brothers separated in Kumbh Mela, long lost friends got back in touch, thanks to Orkut. One could share pics, scraps, have a cute little profile and could even have unlimited sponsored praises from friends. That was not enough to satiate the appetite of social networking hungry netizens. Then came Facebook (FB) – like a super shakti avtar & started a revolution of apps. More benefits for free! Wow! Like kids going for bigger piece of the cake, we went crazy with FB. I even knew a friend’s daughter who made herself a little pouch to keep her stationery, made a face on it and named it FB.

It was fun – one could play games, use apps along with the regular Orkut features; until it came under the scanner of attention seeking junta. And now I see FB updates driving us all crazy. And if have a smart phone with a FB app, be prepared for the constant “ping ping”. The moment one reaches his/her homepage, there’s a field mentioning “what’s on your mind”. Always proactive at making their own assumptions, many people have taken it in the literal sense. So, you have people posting even the minutest details – from their current location to the stuff they are eating; almost like a dutiful child following his mother. You can even trace them by following their FB updates.

Once in a while if you had something special, it would interest us, but who would be interested in knowing what are you eating everyday (along with a pic!). And if by God’s grace, a picture has come out well, it has to be on FB even if it means bombarding your FB friends with constant updates.  I have even seeing some teenagers competing for number of “likes” and followers.

I have a friend who updates everything from her present state of mind to what she is doing etc etc…even if she or anyone in her family is unwell, you can see the latest status on her FB page, along with a pic of course!

Its good to share…but over sharing is annoying. I know someone who posts the entire 100+ pics album whenever she goes for some trip, and then asks “did u see the pics?” I feel like saying “Do I have nothing else to do in life than seeing each and every pic of urs?” Then I realized a better way of handling this – “the power of click”. Just go and like the entire album and you will be spared the torture. Who cares if I actually saw or liked the pics.

I know FB lovers, including my 14 year old niece will hate me for writing this post. But sorry people, I have no other option. I joined FB to connect and share – but when the pressure of “likes” qualifies to be “unliked”, my heart shouts “spare the torture”!!!
Pic Courtesy:Google Search