Friday, 22 June, 2012

Warwick Diaries

Its been a full year since I wrote anything! And like always, the long gap makes me all the more conscious of what I write in this 'comeback' blog post!
Anyway, this one is about being a uni student in UK and it wasn't until my friend from India asked me 'How's life in UK?' that I thought of writing it...
Well....its fun and nice...and given the number of Indians around, you may actually forget you aren't at home.
But there will always be these little moments we'll miss when we go back home:

1) Going shopping and mentally converting all the prices to INR and then uhh...leaving a few things behind.
2) Its freezing cold and you have like a million layers on but drunk British girls walk by wearing practically nothing, screaming and puking all over the streets of Leamington Spa.
3) The waitress at Costa Coffee glares at you for not ending each sentence with a 'Please' or a 'Thank you'.
4) The fire alarm going off at 3 am at night (Seriously, why does somebody always have to try smoking in their rooms at this unearthly hour?!)
5) The cleaning lady comes knocking on your door the only day you decide to sleep till late.
6) You crave golgappas, namkeen, papad, maggi and all those things we so take for granted back home.
7) When vegetarian food tastes sucky, has no salt (of course!) and comes with fat and oily fries.
8) The Costa Coffee guy stares at you when you ask for 8 sachets of sugar (8 is normal!)
9) When the shops close down at 5 and you have nowhere to go :(
10) When u finally start cooking by yourself, discover there's always been a chef hidden deep inside you and start bragging to your family members back home (come on...I'm sure you do that too!)
11) That feeling when that essay is due the next day and you haven't begun writing yet.
12) It being sunny when you are about to leave home but raining when u do ;)
13) And when you do go back to get your umbrella, the wind ensures it is turned upside down and broken and you are drenched..
14) When you and the Tesco delivery man are down to first name basis.
15) When you feel handicapped if you don't have access to the internet (*shudder*) for even a minute!
16) When its summers and the sun just doesn't go down and there are girls in itsy-bitsy shorts everywhere (:D)
17) That moment of realization when water no longer means just water. It means either one of- tap water, still water, spring water, sparkling water, mineral water etc etc...
18) When you start categorizing the world into Chinese & non-Chinese (sorry, but true!)
19) When the pound rate starts going up just before the fee instalment due date... :(
20) And finally....when chips become 'crisps', college becomes 'undergrads', beer becomes cheaper and dissertation becomes a pain in the neck!

Thursday, 9 June, 2011

Remember Me?

Sometimes, I keep my mouth shut....And then, its too late to open it..
Here goes...

So I was having lunch with two of my friends (lets just call them Tomboy and Girly) at this college cafe..
Along come this seemingly unknown girl, A.. Right beside my table, she stops and then she goes- "Sonam!! What a coincidence! Fancy meeting you here...blah blah!"
She talked non-stop for like 12 minutes. She spoke about school (Oh! So she's a batchmate from school!), my course, my result etc etc. All in all, she knew a lot about me.
I obviously, had little recollection of her. Her face seemed faintly familiar and that's it. However, not having the heart to break her heart, I went along, nodding at all the right places, smiling broadly and appearing to be as pleased to meet her as she was. This was just a short meeting and I may never see her again.
But as god would have it, she didn't seem keen to leave and stared at my friends. I had no option. I introduced them to her.. Tomboy stared at me- wondering why I wasn't introducing her to them. I mouthed "Shut up", hoping she doesn't ask A to join us for lunch.
Then, A asked for my number. I obliged her. Then she gave me a missed call. I stored her number as A.

Months went by. She called on my b'day.
My cell screen flashed "A calling". I took her call- "Hi! I say.
"Happy birthday!!"
"Thanks. Nice of you to remember."
"Stop fibbing. You haven't even recognised me." (God knows it was not too late. I could still have agreed and asked her name. But for some godforsaken reason, I didn't. Instead-
"What rubbish! Of course I have! Your number is stored on my cell!"
"Oh great then...blah blah. Anyway, I want a favour from you..Please can you find out...blah blah?"
"Ok. I'll find out and call you back. And thanks once again!"

Two days later, I did find out whatever it was she wanted to know and called her.
"Hello!" (Shit! It was a male voice! What do I say?? Whom do I ask for??)
I hang up. (I DID message her later!)

I still don't know her name. I just hope she adds me on facebook!
P.S.- I hope she doesn't read this.

Friday, 27 May, 2011

Call me!!

Thursday morning. I open the paper. And there they are. A page full of them. Disgusting. But at the same time, ridiculously funny. Some make me laugh until it hurts.
I wonder about the kind of people who write them. I wonder what it is that drives them to this. I wonder about the people who respond to these. I wonder what kind of conversations they have.
Picture this-
" this Shayon?
"Yes. Hi, thats me."
"Hi. I am Deblina. I saw your ad in the paper."
"Go on. Tell me about yourself"
"I am 22. Hot. Good looking. Fair. And oh...very bold too."
"Wow! That's cool. Let me interview a few more candidates and I will get back to you. Btw, I must say you have very high chances of being selected!"

You must be wondering what that ad was.

Something like this-
"Shayon here 24 yrs looking for hot goodlooking naughty girlfriend. Life time committment. Call me 98xxxxxxxx."

These are even funnier than the- "For the girl I saw in the metro on 24th. Wanna be your boyfrnd. Call me at 98xxxxxxxx" kind of messages.

Yes. This isn't a joke. They actually have ads like these. Try it. Thursday- Telegraph t2.
You'll have a great morning.
Happy laughing!!

P.S.- The best one ever-
"Hi, I am Dev. Looking for smart girl for bold relationship (even married bhabhis will do). Age no bar. Call 98xxxxxxxx."
(I died laughing!)

Thursday, 24 February, 2011


In my entire life, I have never encountered a situation more hypnogogic (hey, I took GRE, remember?) than the Chemistry [why anyone would want to study that subject is beyond the way] class in school. So much so that it deserves an entire post.

It was an endless series of yawns, interspersed with rubbing of eyes and blank stares at the world around you. I used to yawn so frequently that I soon began to improvise and learnt how to yawn by opening my mouth the tiniest bit possible. Mind you, it was a wide-spread phenomenon and the entire class would go into a trance for the 50 minute period. Time would stop. Eyes would glaze over. Tears would flow. 40 pairs of eyes would fix glassy stares at the wall clock.

Now, at that time, 6 of us were very close friends and one of us had a solid steel ruler, quite different from the normal variety. One day, she dropped it on the floor in the middle of the class. A genuine mistake.
The "Clang!" was nerve shattering. 39 (+1) faces turned towards the culprit. The entire class came out of its stupor. All said and done, it was highly effective. People woke up from their power naps and looked around. Refreshed. A wave of renewed energy and vigour flowed through our veins.

Henceforth, it became a daily ritual. In the middle of each Chem class, the credulous ruler was taken to the edge of the desk and pushed over by the sly fingers of one of us. The teacher would peer at the culprit suspiciously, until the innocent look on her face satisfied her. The class would proceed until the bell rang.

Years later, memories of the class still have the potency to make me yawn. And this harmless incident never fails to bring a smile to our faces.

P.S.- What is the maximum number of times you've yawned in a minute? My personal best is 11 per minute, I guess- I stopped counting after class X. What's yours?

Monday, 21 February, 2011

For Delhi, with Love

Delhi. It’s where I spent some of the best years of my life.

A thousand places in one; it’s where dreams are woven.

Where dreams are lived.

Where friends are made. And lost. And new ones found.

Where love happens.

Where friends become family.

Where maggi tastes best after bunking a class.

Where long walks lead to the ridge. [And monkeys scare you away!]

Where sitting alone in a coffee shop earns you free cookies.

Where the 2nd lane behind McD always takes you home.

Where it never rains for long.

Where ‘chikoo’ and ‘paan’ flavoured ice creams taste heavenly.

Where the greenery charms your senses.

Where winters mean steaming cups of coffee at Arts Fac.

Where IPL bets always fail (Damn!)

Where cute yellow sippers get lost. And are found again :)

Where a ‘good day’ lasts forever.

Where a missed call denotes that the class has begun.

Where three aces spell money.

Where DUTA and DUSU ensure frequent holidays.

Where a game of LIFE makes your day.

Where December and Crossroads go hand in hand.

Where birthday cakes are rarely chocolate!

Where Ludo means endless hours of fun.

Where you can shop till you drop.

Where hot chocolate fudge makes you drool.

Where Saturday means a roll, momos and a movie.

Where a diva cannot shake a leg.

Where happiness comes in a packet of fun flips and costs five bucks.

And then is also the place

where ‘puchkas’ taste nothing like they do in Calcutta (No. Not even remotely close).

Where hostel food does one of 3 things- it either tastes good or it looks good or neither (mostly the latter).

Where girls in frocks climb over walls.

Where ‘badaam’ is well....’mungfali’ (:-P)

Where frequent bomb scares occur the day before tests. And no, they don’t get cancelled :(

Where they don’t deliver pizza at India Gate!

Where there are lesser number of guys in your class than your marks in Macro(!)

Sunday, 2 January, 2011

A Tale of Two Drinks

I have a special relationship with coffee shops.
Inevitably, every single time I have stepped into one of those, the following happens:
First, I have to wait. Yes. Wait for the other person. Every single time at a coffee shop. For a loong loong time. Until even the most seasoned waiters start feeling sad for me. (Yes. I have actually been offered free cookies at Barista more than once. And no. I am NOT kidding). Now, I hate waiting. I know, I know...most of us don't like it. But I totally totally despise it (the free cookies do ease the uh...pain, I confess!)
Anyway, once he or she finally turns up, I lash out (obviously). And then we both start talking (or fighting or playing Scrabble) and finally, we order. The waiter gets the drinks. And I always, always hate what I have ordered. Its either too bland (the Kaapi Nirvana at CCD the other day!!) or too strong or too icy. And always, the other drink on my table is extremely inviting and great to taste. After begging the other person to swap drinks with me (I rarely succeed), and having at least half of it, I mentally make a note of the name and decide to order it the next time around. And you will so not believe what happens the next time...
I order it. And yet again, it sucks!! And the other person's drinks tastes great!
Its a vicious circle actually. I'm sure the coffee shop people do this on purpose. No! I am not paranoid! And I can't, I just can't get myself to order the same drink as the other person. It sounds yuck the first time! And it mostly is crappy flavoured- strawberry or something instead of chocolate! And yet, it tastes good. Sigh.... I wonder when I'll start enjoying my visits to the coffee shop....

Thursday, 25 November, 2010

Say Sorry....the right way

Jennifer Cavalleri once said- "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

I, however, choose to differ.

It is only to those who are special to us that we say it to. For it is by saying it that we convey just how special the other person is and how much it matters to us that he/she must not be upset. If it weren’t so, we simply wouldn’t bother apologising. At least, I won’t.

A simple word, sorry, said in the right way (the most important part) goes a long way in cementing strained relations.

Most people use it as an extremely convenient escape route. There is nothing inherently wrong in it. What is wrong, however, is how they see it (and hence, say it)-

Err. Say sorry. Escape. Wow. Things have never been this easier.

Unfortunately for them, it isn’t so. The word loses its essence unless it is meant and more importantly, said in the right way. While nothing is more pissing off than a “sorry” that isn’t meant, it spoils your case further if said in a rush or without the suitable extra sentences required (for those who didn’t get it, I mean stuff like “I didn’t mean to”, “I will never do it again” etc. Although the receiver knows just how mechanical these ‘added frills’ are, it does help your case. Trust me on this).

It is inevitable that this discussion reminds me of an old friend. This guy has an absolute knack for saying sorry. He can say it so convincingly and with such finesse that it leaves you wondering why you were angry in the first place? And I respect him for this. Manipulative it may seem, but I still think ‘the art of saying sorry effectively’ is a very useful one and does come in very handy.