10 Things You Used to Do On Independence Day – And Should Totally Repeat!

As we celebrate India’s 69th Independence Day today, why not rewind to some awesome things we used to do to celebrate August 15? Saturdays are blessed as it is and today is perfect for a beautiful trip down memory lane!

1. Wait in line for your share of motichoor ke laddoos, handed out by the school captains, and then gulp them down quickly so no one else can steal them.

2. Dress up in tricolour clothes without feeling conscious at all and groove to “I Love My India” in the school auditorium.

3. Hope you would be picked up to hoist the flag and stand up on your toes just a little to look taller than you actually were.

4. Pester Mom and Dad to take you to the children’s park or neighbourhood restaurant where they had put up hosts of tricolour balloons and streamers.

5. Listen to the Prime Minister’s speech with a notebook and pen in hand as you had to write an essay on it and present it to your General Studies teacher.

6. Look up the calendar to see when Raksha Bandhan is. This Independence Day fell on a Saturday and you had a day off anyway. Bah!

7. Dig into some amazing chole bature and jalebis at the local eatery made specially for Independence Day. (and not lament about how it is a Dry Day!)

8. Read up all about India’s freedom struggle and have the dates on your fingertips. You had to ace the Social Studies exam which the whole class was constantly complaining about.

9. Jump in joy when the television played Independence Day special musical programmes. Not switch the channel once as you were satisfied and even delighted with very little!

10. Send everyone Independence Day greeting cards you had carefully made with card-paper. Pin the ones you received to your bedroom wall.


A Morning Ritual I’ve Abandoned

Morning Peace

Picture: zeus1001.deviantart.com

What do you do first thing in the morning? No, I am not about to suggest yoga and a glass of lemon and honey – practice before you preach, you see. I have intermittently tried stretching and waking up my sleepy nerves with lukewarm water. But then, the prospect of shutting my eyes to five more minutes of dreams is often very inviting. There is something, however, which you should definitely NOT do immediately after waking up.

Golden Morning Rule We Are Always Told But Never Heed: Don’t stare at, touch or interact with your phone. Just don’t.

Beyond switching off your alarm, that is. If you think hunting up the umpteen notifications from various applications will wake you up, well, it will. But the waking up will be a rude jolt you are better off without. Why find out where who is holidaying and eating and drinking when you have to be trapped in an office cubicle all day? You don’t need the relativity demonstration in your face just now.

Talking of relativity, you must also avoid in-depth analysis about the “other people” in your life. Morning is not the time to figure out what X has been saying about you, how Y feels offended as you haven’t called them up or how Z is going to hijack your long-awaited Sunday afternoon. Kay Sera Sera – whatever will be, will be. Letting all this hog your vulnerable dawn time is a rotten idea. And you bet it is vulnerable. Remember how an imperfect breakfast egg or bedraggled hair make you feel?

Mornings should be about you and how you are planning to spend the day doing something you love. (“Something”, I said, not everything. Be reasonable!) Wake up to a nice alarm tone, look at the sunlit sky, drink some water, kiss your spouse. Every new morning is a new beginning, a new chapter to your story. Even the prettiest of phones or the most important other people are not as central to this story as you are!

Moony Over Hyderabad

Moon over hyderabad

Picture: frank.itlab.us

There’s something very special about attending a friend’s engagement. You feel a great sense of surprise that everyone is growing “big”, apprehension that the impending wedding may take your friend far away, and excitement about dressing up and digging into awesome food. And then, if you also get to explore Hyderabad – the city of Nizams – it’s a priceless combination!

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The Enemy We Don’t See


I don’t think the biggest roadblock between us and happiness is stress. Or emotional turmoil. Or even too much work. I think it is simpler and more dangerous than that.

I met a man the other day who started a conversation on this note: “Today is a big day for me. I have crossed 5000 friends on Facebook. Isn’t that cool?” Super cool, I nodded. I felt like setting him a memory test that would need names to be matched to faces. But I refrained. I knew he would fail.

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The Mantra That Kept Her Going

James and Lily Potter

It was a slow Tuesday at work and Chhaya had one of her familiar headaches. Her headaches had really worsened over time and the best part of the day was right before bedtime, when her husband gave her a head massage. Sitting at her desk and staring blankly at her screen, that was what she wanted now.

She glanced at her phone and spotted her Mom sitting inside, smiling at her from the wallpaper. Chhaya wished she knew how to turn it to an animated GIF, like those wizarding pictures in Harry Potter. That way, she could feign a “Hello, how are you Mom?” every now and then and Mom would actually move her lips in answer!

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8 Totally Random Things I Overheard People Say in Pune

*If I have accidentally quoted you, send me a card.

Say that

*Picture from flatonmyback.com

Auto Wallah to an office-goer: You will need to pay me 80 bucks extra as I don’t personally like that area. (Girl starts to walk away frowning) Okay Madam, sit. It was worth a try!

Middle-aged woman to a shopkeeper: Bhaiya, you really need to give a chocolate free now that I have bought so much from you. My old nerves need a sugar rush. (She had bought a packet of Britannia biscuits)

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5 Search Terms That Made My Saturday

The internet is really the biggest human museum of our times. It allows you deep insight into the functioning of the human brain (and a bundle of giggles while you’re at it). As I randomly sat analyzing the kind of search terms that have led people here, I came across a few which deserve wider discussion and acclaim:

I write a poem about food paneer: Oh, you do? Why, that’s what I spend all my weekends doing! Here’s one dedicated especially to you lest you come scouting for odes to paneer again:

Dear paneer, why are you at a boil?
Is it because we fried you in hot oil?
But when we bake you, if you recall –
you are usually not pleased at all!
I suggest you put on a smile, there!
After all, you must have your share –
of worldly rules, of water and fire,
you can’t always have what you desire!

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Too Chicken In Love


*Picture from thegastronomicbong.com

I have been sitting at my desk in office utterly perturbed. It is a Wednesday that isn’t a mid-week (which other country still has working Saturdays?!) and there has been a lot of work through the day. But this is not why I have been perturbed.

The truth is, I have been facing severe withdrawal symptoms. It has been a whole four days since I had chicken and my self-control is fraying even as I blink! Back in Delhi, Mom and Grandpa knew about my condition and always ensured I got my dose. After all, it was an infinitely better prospect than being around a listless, disinterested individual who lacks concentration and drive. But here in Pune, I have difficulty in finding a supplier near my place. I need to walk down quite a bit or worse, hire an auto-rickshaw (please see this to know why this is doomsday!). R often tries to help me out but his late working hours interfere with our best laid plans.

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