The Bad Bad Day

It was a bad bad day. It was a not very feel-good day. You’ve probably experienced one of those before. I have too. No matter how many times you’ve had it, it is one experience that I hope we never get used to.

So where was I? Yes, bad day. What was so bad about it, you ask? Oh nothing. Nothing in particular. Just a day where you mess up a lot of things you could’ve not. You know, work things. Nothing major, just….things. I’m not being very eloquent, am I?

So what do you do when you have such days?  Seriously? The old me would’ve headed to the kitchen, made a cup of coffee, shouted a bit at amma and sat in a corner reading a good book. The new me, on the other hand, deals with such days by heading home, switching on the laptop and going through an entire season of FRIENDS/The Big Bang Theory/How I Met Your Mother/Mentalist/…., you get the gist. Effective, you’d think.

Nah.

So that’s what this post is about. (Yes, there is a purpose to this, you-snarky-person-who-is-grinning-as-you-read-this). This post is a celebration. For what, you ask? Celebration of an aberration. An anomaly. A deviation from the well-treaded path. This post is a hurray to the old-turned-new-turned-old me who is dealing with a bad, bad day by crawling in bed with a cup of coffee and a fascinating book and ending up writing a short post about it, that, in retrospect, doesn’t make much sense.

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The new-found freedom

It was only the last evening while talking to a friend on phone that it dawned on me that I’ve been away from home for nearly 6 months now. Which, of course, in the larger scheme of things is kinda like a drop of water in the ocean. It’s just that I absolutely loved these last few months. And I find that amusing ‘coz if you were to call me up at this moment and ask me to educe my memories of Bangalore, I’d probably come up with more rotten ones than the other.

Huh.

On second thought, that shouldn’t surprise me so, should it? En masse, we humans have this tendency to highlight the bad over good, haven’t you felt? Trashy movies, shoddy books, third-rate politics, mediocre celebs, their sub-standard tactics…all this makes us have collective mini-orgasms. The good stuff usually makes us go “Damn, why didn’t I think of that? And now I have to sit through others praising him. And smile while I’m seething with jealousy.”

And so, it is a truth universally acknowledged that bad experiences end up being a damn good story. And yes, I realise it echoes of the first line of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. And that, keeping in with the tradition, I’ve drifted off the topic. Focus, Navmi.

So yeah, Bangalore. I keep saying Bangalore ‘coz even though I’ve been here for just 3 months, life in Gandhinagar had been a breeze compared to that here. There, everything was handed out to us in a platter – all we had to do was to shell out a few bucks to keep ‘em coming. Here, we had to start everything from scratch. You know how you watched Ayesha paint her cute little apartment in ‘Wake up Sid!’ and told yourself “That’s how it is gonna be when I move to a new place”? Well, I really don’t want to rain on your parade, but THAT is utter bullshit. When YOU move to a new place, you’re probably going to end up in a P.G which advertises free wifi, “homely” food, and a bunch of smiling owners only to realise by the end of the month that (a) it takes an hour to load Google, (b) you can only have so much dal in a day (c) you are the little Red Riding Hood and the owners may as well be the big, bad wolves in your Grandma’s clothes. So there.

And then you are going to realise that life is bloody expensive. I’m not talking about the ‘No cash for petrol’ kinda crisis. I’m talking about the one where you realise a packet of Surf Xcel costs as much as a king-sized Diary Milk Silk! And once you realise the number of chips packets you consume in a month, you’ll start wondering how your parents could afford to stay off the streets. Seriously. But hey, jokes apart, there is nothing like being completely in charge of your finances that helps you grow up. A few of us taste the first spurt of this growth in your college days. For a few others like me, it’s a completely new arena. There is nothing as baffling as watching your carefully scripted monthly budget plan falling apart in the first week of the month. From then on, it’s like increasingly depressing cricket match. Theoretically, there is hope till the last over is bowled. And yet, you get a picture of how things are gonna be in those crucial initial overs.

And somewhere between all these, you’ll start getting hounded by a newfound worry that you are not doing enough for your parents – financially or physically, whether they need it or not. There’ll be times when you’ll be astounded by the heights of your selfishness in choosing to put your life, your dreams, your independence above that of theirs. You are gonna fret over those calls that start with “I have this headache for the last few days…” or “Cholesterol level is quite high…” When they call you up to inform you about the demise of an acquaintance or a friend or are uncharacteristically silent on the phone, you are gonna catch yourself wondering “If only I were there, we could have talked about this…” You are gonna brood over that for a while and will, almost certainly, try and shake it off by watching a movie or reading a book. After all, you gotta do what you gotta do.

And in between all these, strangely enough, you’ll relish the life you live. You’ll enjoy that you can go out at 9.30pm to buy a jar of jam. Or that you can go jogging in the morning just because you felt so. Or that you can blow off a good portion of your salary on books and no one is gonna give you THAT look. Some days you’ll go up on the terrace, look at the stars and simply lie there, listening to the distant rumble of traffic, the impatient horns and wonder where everyone is going. You’ll gaze at the apartments nearby and wonder what they are doing. You’ll have the luxury of being at your whims and fancies…

Some days, most days, that’ll be enough.

Blog Addiction!

Recently, a few of my friends asked me to recommend a few blogs, probably since I gush about “that post..!” every other day or so. Not just that, they seemed rather curious as to how I got into this habit of waking up and checking my WordPress reader quite like how I check ‘The Hindu” and ‘Mathrubhumi’.

Alright then, I’ll wait till you’re done laughing.

Done? Okay. So like I was saying, try as I might, I can’t recollect the day I got addicted to reading blogs. It’s kinda like some of those friendships we have – the one where neither of you can remember how (or when) you started hitting off. All you know is that one day you woke up… and bam! You were best friends. Now before I go off topic again as I am prone to (but you know that already!), I’d love to share with ya’ll some of those blogs that has kept me up quite a few nights and still has me craving for more.

  1. SHE in China: I’ve written about this blog many a time simply because it is THE best one that I’ve ever read. Jonna Wibelius (yeah, it took me a few days to get that right too), the Swedish author of Seen, Heard and Experienced in China has this amazing style of writing – though the blog is basically about her life and experiences in China, her readers often get a glimpse of life in Sweden and Australia (arguably two of her fav places) as well. Usually travel blogs include long explanations on the wonders of the Forbidden City or the story behind the Great Wall of China. But Jonna wrote about actual life there – about the cost of living, the process of apartment hunting, finding a gym, snippets of conversations with taxiwallas and her attempts of learning Mandarin among other.
  1. The Shooting Star: Another fav travel blog. Yup, I’m a bit obsessed with those. The Shooting Star is written by Shivya Nath, who describes herself as (and I quote) “Just a girl who travels”. That she does and how! To travel solo and “live with the White Thai tribe in a remote Vietnamese village, hitch-hike along Turkey’s Black Sea coast, swim with black-tip sharks on Malaysia’s east coast, spend a night in the highest inhabited village of the Himalayas” among many other memorable moments – not everyone’s cuppa tea. Apart from the mind-blowing pictures and Shivya’s very visual style of writing, the reason I adore TSS is how every trip she writes about is easily replicable by you and me (provided you have the will.) And as I’ve personally taken her advice many a time while booking a holiday, I’d say that Shivya knows what she is writing about.
  1. A Quest On Overdrive: Now now…how does one write about one’s own? Well, to be brutally honest, the only reason I started reading this one was ‘coz it was written by my former English teacher (Erm…actually she has never taught me in the conventional way, but that isn’t pertinent to the story). The first few posts I read didn’t mean all that much to me…don’t get me wrong – I liked what I was reading, but it was more of an ‘in awe’ kinda like. And then, to quote Hazel Grace, “As I read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
  1. Freebird: Now this one was recommended to me by one of the kindred spirits. I remember reading the very first post and rolling on the bed, doubling up with laughter. Tongue-in-the-cheek takes on current political scenarios, movies, trends…you name it, Alka Gurha has it. Occasionally, I have been surprised by a few nostalgic posts as well (Remembering Enid Blyton). Considering that she is a regular contributor for the Gurgaon Times, her sharp wits and list of accolades shouldn’t surprise you.
  1. Ashish Shakya: Now this one you might have heard of. Ashish Shakya is…well, he is a humour columnist for the Hindustan Times, co-writer on ‘The Week That Wasn’t with Cyrus Broacha’ on CNN-IBN and a stand-up comic. His ‘About me’ describes him as “Too lazy to type out full sentences.” I. Adore. His. Posts. Never politically correct, they make me laugh, think and laugh some more. That level of sarcasm – it’s a gift, I tell you.

 

So that’s a few of my favourite blogs. Any good ones that has caught your fancy lately? If so, do drop the link, will ya?

Happy reading!