Sunday, May 27, 2012

And I write

Writing is an addiction. A good one that is. And when you have a personal blog where you write your thoughts, your opinions and everything that going on in your mind. You ain't scared of being judged, for your friends already know you and readers don't really get what you are trying to say.

There are times when you are low and you write. There are times when you are too happy and share that with the whole world. There are times when you are lonely and writing becomes your companion. And there are times when you don't have any reason to write, yet you do.

I have heard the stories of the letter era. When people wrote to each other. It used to take a week to fifteen days for a letter to reach. A mother waited for her son's letter, a girl for her soon-to-be husband's letter. In the movies they showed how the heroine cried while writing the letter to the love of her life. Tears dropping on that old piece of parchment, spreading the ink, making it difficult to read. I used to laugh at it initially. Then my grandmother told me her stories, mother shared hers. I started developing emotions and sensitiveness towards such things. Instead of laughing, I started crying after watching such scenes.

By the time I was of the age when I had relationships, e-mails were a pretty new phenomenon. My first ever letter was an e-mail. Sadly I lost the account too and the e-mail too. But I vaguely remember writing a super sentimental mail which was "inspired" by several movie dialogues that I could twist enough to make them sound original. I remember paying a good 60 rupees for the cyber cafe access - which was equivalent to my college meal money for two days.

And now I blog. About everything. These entries stay here as a reminder. Of my thoughts and my mood. My highs and my lows. They remind me of people I met and people I lost. Some came along while some left behind. The thing that made me happy last year, made me very sad this year. How strange life was back then. How difficult it seemed then. And now when I look at the same life from this point, it seems less difficult, rather not difficult at all compared to the current life.

And every time I think I have written a lousy post. And after a year, the same post seems so awesome. Every time. The current time is difficult and bad, the same time from future seems easy. Isn't it all in our minds? And I digress again from the main topic. Wait, was was it? Ah, no not really digressing.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Passport office ordeal

Today was THE legendary day. It was expected to be a kind of day I wanted to remember and be proud of. And I secretly wanted it to be the judgment day too in my favour of course, but alas! 

I had an appointment at the Passport office. My passport is still valid, but I have changed some personal details and for that I had to reapply the passport. Like I mentioned in the earlier post, this time around I didn't want to go through an agent and pay him the bribe money to get my work done. Thus I wanted to make sure that I had all the documents they ask for. I was carrying two documents extra for each proof.

The reporting time was 2 15. I reached there by 2 just to be sure. I don't know why I had thought that I would be the only person for that slot as they have been so particular about the appointments and schedules. I saw a long queue outside the gate at two. Thinking I was early and fully prepared, I asked the person to let me in. And there was the first shocker waiting for me. He asked me to stand in the line. Since I was early, I readily did so without any arguments.

Now, there were some 15 odd people ahead of me, and 5 more stood behind me in two minutes. I realized that I wasn't a VIP who was allotted this time-slot for the appointment. I was one of many to be submitting my application.

I entered in, got the security check done, stood in the token line for five minutes. There were a few young people standing ahead of me. After good five minutes, I was informed that I was in the wrong queue. That counter was only for senior citizens. I told him that nobody in that line was close to being a senior citizen and I was in fact the senior most there. It didn't work. These people were the ones who were accompanying their parents/grandparents.

So I moved to the next counter. A right one this time around. The lady on the counter checked my application, verified the documents, checked everything. As I said that I was well prepared. And then came the catch - another shocker. I was asked to get an ad published in one National and one Local newspaper. I asked them why they had not mentioned it in the list of documents? They said that they had the power to ask for any documents; even the ones which ain't mentioned in the list. And their decision was the final one.

So yes, in spite of all the precautions and preparations, I came back - empty handed. I had to fill up a fresh application, take a fresh appointment and visit the office again with all the documents. Yes, too much hassle, but still better than the agent route. And the bribe route. I will visit the office a few more times, but I will get this done myself.

Ah, how boring of me!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Like always, I started writing about whatever was going on in my mind. I boasted a lot in the previous post. It said so much about how mahaan I am. I didn't think even once before posting it. But when the comments started pouring in, most of them were about how fabulous I am, patting my back, I felt so embarrassed.

Not that I was not expecting such reactions from people. But so many reactions? That surprised me. The last thing I wanted was to be told how mahaan I was even though I was one. Yes I am weird that way. I love to boast but when it comes to taking compliments, I develop cold feet. Well I have blogged about it, if you read me regularly, then you'd have read it.

Now, how to offend readers - one should learn it from me. I should be thanking them for reading my crap every time I write it. And my craps are too long! But well, they like me too much to bear with it.

Coming back to the non-conceited space, I was discussing humour with a friend. We were talking about how people do not get our style of humour. We went into this depression at some point as we thought we lacked humour. But the conclusion was that we have dry humour which people seldom understand.

Another conclusion of the discussion was that a depressed person should talk to us. We can change a person's mood totally.

I have been a nice daughter. I took mom to the dentist. She is scared of them. She had to undergo cleaning as she caught some infection and cavity problem. And I have realized that I will brush twice a day. Dentists are scary people. They can drill and then kill you easily!

In an unrelated news, this is the third day of writing one post a day. Again a few rants, but yes, a post is up for me. And a lot of realizations. I will write another post tomorrow too in all probabilities about my passport story. Hope that goes well.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Honest me!

Two posts back to back has never happened on this space. I have been pretty regular at blogging in past. I remember updating my blog every three-four days. When I used to go out of town, I used to write a post and set it on auto-publish mode so that the blog remains updated. There was a reason behind it - regular posts ensured more comments and followers. How silly!

Slowly it changed. Things changed. Circumstances changed. I started be more and more irregular here. Writing as well as reading blogs. But one thing I am proud to claim - there has not been a single month since I started blogging in which I haven't written any post. Ain't I proud of me?

Days are super busy like always. Apart from the regular work and more frequent lectures, I am busy getting my documents made. I had to change my address on all the existing documents and it is a pain in ass. I started it with the Ration card, then PAN card, passport, driver's license - phew. It's been one week since I have been running from pillar to post to get the documents in place. I filled the online application for the passport and PAN card, but I have to submit the physical documents too at the centre.

While doing these formalities on my own, I realized why people preferred to pay thrice the money and get things done through the agents. These agents not only makes your life easier, but you don't have to move an inch and things reach home. Yes you do have to visit the offices for verification, but that's about it.

And some of the agents even have inside "setting" with some officers. They charge you some more money and get things done quickly. Honestly speaking, I used to be one of such persons too who paid money to the agent to get things done and paid him some extra bribe money too to get my work done quickly and with less number of visits to the offices. But after realizing how our ministers were earning black money, I decided never to pay bribe to anyone to make my life easier.

And this was the first step. And that's the reason that I am struggling. It's been a week since I started the procedure and I have not yet got any document in my hand post the address change. I was lucky enough to get the election card well in time on the current address. This helped me to change the address in the bank account.

I am still arranging all the documents for the passport. And I don't know what will happen on Friday when I have the appointment for documents submission. I hope things go smoothly, and I hope I have sufficient documents. I have been contacting everyone who got their passport made recently to enquire about the documentation.

Nuances of going on the right direction taking the right path. Sigh! And I shall blog about that experience too. Probably a comparative study between the last time when I got my passport made through and agent and this time when I did it on my own! Yes yes, I am going to bore you people with a few more rants and stories.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nothing to write

"Nothing to write" can also be written about. Blogging is my therapy. I feel like home when I click on the new post button. The moment I start typing there, I feel my mind becoming lighter. Especially when I am feeling stressed or low.

Life is funny at times. How easy we get attached to people, things, surroundings, comforts. And when time comes for the test, you realize what actually stays with you and what leaves you alone. At times it's a blessing when the thing that leaves you alone is pain. But if it's happiness then? You hit the low.

They say that you expect nothing from life and you will be the happiest person. But does it really happen? Is it possible not to expect anything at all from life? No matter what you claim or think, a time comes when you end up expecting something in return from life. And when you don't get it, you try to detach yourself from that thing out of anger/hurt/ego/emotion.

Then again, this detachment depends on what that thing meant to you. If it did mean something, then you would not be able to stay away from it for more than a few moments. If you can stay away, then it was never meant for you. You never needed it.

Aren't we all like that? We get attached to and detached to things and people as per our convenience? While getting attached or detached, we think about only our feelings and emotions and we don't ever consider the opposite person. I envy things at such times, for they don't have feelings. You use things when you need them and then throw them away. Poor things don't even weep in the corner.

Yes we humans are funny species. We don't know what exactly we want in and from life. We keep running behind void, without paying attention to all the wonderful things around us. And we can't even blame ourselves for that. We never sit and think what do we exactly want from life, from people, from things and from us, ourselves.

And after writing so much about nothing, I still crib that I have nothing to write about. That's how useless I am. For topics like these, I can write a boring philosophical post when I am not at all in mood to read anything heavy be it even my own work. And still I manage to produce crap about the simplest and lightest topic!

God bless me!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Beach memories

Whenever someone mentions a beach, the first visual that comes to our minds is that of lying on a beach under some shade, sipping a cooler, relaxing in the beach wear, and our skin becoming tan-resistant automatically. If wishes were horses and those horses were for real.. We all have at least one favourite beach destination - Goa, Pattaya, Bali, Male - and so many other places in India and abroad. And all of us have at least one memory attached to those beaches, the water and the shore, the sunset that could make the whole beach look like a paradise..

But if you are born in a town surrounded by beaches, the definition of a beach and fun changes drastically. Just going there and running anywhere and everywhere without a reason and without bothering about anything or anyone is priceless. Don't I wish to go back to those days?

I spent my childhood in a small town called Umbergaon. I lived there for 15 years before shifting to Mumbai. Umbergaon is surrounded by beaches. My school was right on the beach. Whenever I used to get bored in a class, I used to look out and stare at the sea, the waves, the trees, the lighthouse, birds and people. During vacations, it was a ritual to go to the beach everyday to play. Mom always stopped me from going there in the afternoon, for I would fall sick in the summer heat, but I never listened to her. The moment she used to go for her afternoon nap, a few friends and I used to go straight to the beach to play cricket or any other game which could have been played even in our gully.

Slowly and sadly, I grew up, and started bothering about things like complexion and tan and skin tone. I started noticing the difference in my skin tone of hands and legs, and I freaked out. My hands were dark, almost black. Thanks to the Indian mentality of "fair girls are pretty ones", I stopped going to the beach during afternoon. I spent my vacations indoors playing boring games or watching tv.

In a small town, your knowledge is limited to cold cream for all seasons. And I am talking about late 80s and early 90s. Then came the stage when I became wise. I got to know about sun-screens and sun-protection lotions after I shifted to Mumbai.But by that time, I was far away from the beaches I loved and abandoned them for the love of self.

It's been 15 years since I left Umbergaon. It's been around 18 odd years since I went to the beach there in the broad sunlight. I have been to many beach places in the last few years, but this one remains the closest to my heart. It's a beach with huge heart and it will welcome Kyra too with open arms. Visiting the beach you grew up at, running there without a reason, sitting there without worrying about a tan thanks to Lakme Sun Expert - now isn't that an ideal way to have fun?

Here are some pictures of what's in store for you if you visit Umbergaon this summers:

The lighthouse on the beach


The most beautiful sunset I have ever seen.

So, when do you want to backpack?

PS. This post is being submitted as an entry for the Indiblogger Lakme Diva Blogger Contest.

Friday, May 04, 2012

The Archive effect

How often do you read your own old posts? Or do you even read your archives? I do. Especially the posts of the current month for the previous years. And it gives me different feeling - there is nothing happy or sad about it - it's just different.

And every time I think that I used to write well. I lack that flow, that touch now. I lack the topics, the flow, the style - everything. I rant, talk about same things again and again. And still people read me and comment. And I am sure I am repeating this too Nth time. Anyway I know I am hopeless like that and will always be this way.

So yes, the archive - the first post, second post, tenth post. Then comes the readers, and you become conscious - about formatting, language, content, topic - everything. You start writing for readers and comments. You start reading for readers and comments. The phase lasts for a few months - your writing is still good, but you ain't entirely yourself.

And then the realization hits you. You become yourself again. You restrict your reading list, stop commenting everywhere. Your readers drop, comment numbers drop. Now you are back to being yourself to a greater extent, but you have kind of lost interest from blogging. Good or bad, the readers did motivate you to write a post on every third day. These days your blog is dormant for days. You don't have anything in drafts. You have a lot to blog about, but it's all the same. Same rants, same achievements, same people and the same you.

You still write it - once in a week, or ten days. The same thing, without bothering, for you have hardly any reader who reads you. Those who do know about you and they are happy reading it. And it makes you all the more happy, for people who matter to you read you and share your life.And the interest comes back. You again start enjoying blogging.

It's not only about reading your archive. Read the old posts of the bloggers you like. There are a few people here whose posts I have read. Each and every post. From day one. And it's such a wonderful journey. You travel with them from beginning to end. You see them evolve as writers. You realize that they are more or less like you, and yet so different from you. And you realize that you connect somewhere, the reason why you are even at their archives reading 3 or 4 years old post.

It is amazing to see the growth of you as a writer. As a blogger. And as a person. You realize how you felt two years back about something and where you are now. And it's possible when you write for yourself. Write about what you feel and what you think. Write your thoughts, write your feelings. And blogging becomes beautiful. Something you don't feel obliged to do, but something you would want to do whenever possible.