When I went to Mauritius! – I

Let me put it this way, I am not really a traveler. While growing up, my parents made it a point to take us to a vacation every 1-2 years. Kashmir, Darjeeling, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Ooty, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum- we pretty much covered the major bases of the country. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t really been enthusiastic about taking any trips around Bangalore. That, and of course the lack of company. Although I know quite a few solo travelers, I had always thought that it was the kind of dare-devilry I can’t really be bothered to attempt, mainly because there are a gazillion details you would have to take into account before planning a solo trip.

I got my passport in 2015 for a possible work travel. The travel didn’t happen, and the passport remained buried in some dark corner in a dusty folder, to be furnished as address proof as and when needed. I had heard my widely traveled cousin talk a lot about how a foreign travel changes your perspective, so when my college friend called me in April this year and asked me if I would want to be a part of an all girls trip to Mauritius, of course I said yes! Eventually there were 5 of us who decided to come for the trip, and we went ahead and booked a customized package with Meandering Travels, a travel agency based out of Thane, for the period of 26th June to 30th June.

Once we did partial payments for the trip, we got busy with our regular lives. Work, sleep, dance, eat, repeat – that remained my life for what seemed like the longest time, till it was 15th June and I realised that it was just 10 days before I went on my first international trip! And then began the packing of bags – discussions about things to carry, things to do, and foreign exchange. It was the first international trip for all of us, and our Whatsapp group consisted of long chats and talks where 5 of us, who hadn’t even met each other (we all had just one reference point – our common friend who planned the trip along with her flatmate), discussed the minutest details of the trip! The possibility of an extremely interesting trip left us excited and queasy. Days before the trip I sort of developed cold feet. I kept wondering if it was a wise decision – 5 girls travelling together, and that too abroad with no way of coming back except the day when we had our return flights booked! Before I knew, I reached Mumbai International Airport at 3 am in the morning – with anxious parents in tow, who felt they absolutely had to drop me in the dead of night 😀

6.45 am was when our flight was supposed to depart. After all the formalities, we roamed around and had our breakfast. We checked out the crowd traveling with us, and hopes of cute guys sitting beside us were dashed when we realised that there was an entire troupe of migrant workers coming in from Dhaka and Colombo in the same flight as ours 😛 But Mauritius is anyway a honeymoon destination, is how we consoled ourselves, and we went on to take our window seats in the flight.

The flight to Mauritius from Mumbai was a partnership between Air Mauritius and Air India. And as suspected, the crew from Mumbai was that of Air India. To be honest, they were kind of impolite, even refusing extra water when asked for! On hindsight though, the lack of drinking water was a tell-tale sign of the water issues we were going to have throughout the trip, but at that time we were just excited to be in the flight!

As we approached Mauritius, I realized why people love going there. The sight from the plane rendered me speechless – I had never seen so much green and blue in one frame!

Tiny Mauritius!
The color gradient!


We landed at this really tiny airport, did our visa formalities, collected our bags and proceeded to get currency exchanged at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International

The currency rate for INR to MUR at the airport is largely fixed at 1 MUR = 40 Indian paise. Whereas a Mastercard/Visa payment results in 1 MUR ~ 1.85 INR. Clearly carrying the card there is a better option, and most of the outlets accept cards. We of course didn’t know this, and it did worry us to not have as much cash as we had calculated, but it was too petty a thing to worry about, in the light of the gorgeous 1 hour journey we had from the airport to our hotel at Casuarina Resort and Spa in Grand Baie 🙂

After our check-in formalities at the resort, we quickly changed into our cute beachy outfits post lunch (which were two extremely sad pizzas that did nothing for my immense appetite 😛 )and went on to the resort’s beach across the road to view the sunset. The thing about Mauritius is that it is so scenic, so beautiful and so sparsely populated, that one really doesn’t have to do a lot of effort to get good pictures 🙂

The view of the beach across the road from our resort!
IMG_7322 (1)
Sunset at the beach 🙂

After sunset, we arrived at our hotel for some yummy dinner. And thank God for that, because at that point of time I was not just hungry, but hangry 😛 Vegetarian food is freely available at Mauritius, and the spread by our resort was delightful with rajma, channa, paneer, et al. I on the other hand of course had my eyes only for the non veg – nothing could have stopped me from trying the fish fillet or shrimps!

Post dinner we sat in the lobby in hopes of “catching some wi-fi”. That’s the only thing about that resort, I really wish they would have provided internet access within our rooms too, instead us pacing in the super cold lobby hoping for decent reception. After catching up with family and friends, and telling them all about our day, we retired early to bed – dreaming about the gorgeous, adventure filled Ile Aux Cerfs that waited for us on the other side of daybreak 🙂

Picture Credits: Thanks a lot Prachi for capturing all these beautiful sights 🙂

Small Wins

This seemingly random picture ( no filters by the way) of my left hand has a very interesting significance. And I am going to go ahead and bore you with my musings. 😀
In 2011, I joined Masters in Engineering in a prestigious University. As a graduate engineer, I knew shit (Thank you, laziness and Indian Education System). I struggled through the lectures and lab hours in MS, and my lack of confidence led me to develop the most disgusting habit ever – nail biting. I love putting nailpaint, but my ugly habit made sure that my nails were never in a good enough shape.
Time passed by. I graduated MS with a great score, got a good job with a respectable company.  But the nail-biting did not go away. It creeped its head each time I was stressed, and by the time I would realize, the damage was done.
I tried to stop. I made resolutions, even contemplated putting little chilli powder on my nails! My mom lost her cool each time she saw me biting nails, and kept asking me, “What is wrong with you?” Each time I went for a manicure, the beautician told me “Grow your nails no, they will look so graceful.” But to no avail.
It was not till yesterday that I noticed my nails. They looked, pretty for a change. The cuticles seem okay too. In last year, I did almost reach this length, but for some reason couldn’t sustain.
My long nails, though insignificant, gave me food for thought. Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves, during our attempts to achieve perfection, that we forget to celebrate the small wins. That jeans you couldn’t fit into, is loose for you now. That parantha you have been trying to nail for some time, came out as well as your mum’s. Or the nails are finally long.
There will always be new goals to work towards. No one is perfect. But don’t forget to give yourself a pat on your back every once in a while, for acknowledging the efforts you put in for your self improvement. Even if the right hand is still not up to speed with the left 😛

Apology Unaccepted

One of my Mum’s oft-repeated story about my school-life is of my habit of picking up frequent verbal fights with random people. It is a trait of me, that has rstood the test of time. I absolutely can’t let go of an argument I know I am goddamn right about! I have been accused on more than one occasion of being vengeful, and even petty. I am told it is “wrong to harbor grudges”, and that I should be “magnanimous enough to forgive.” But what if I tell you that forgiveness is overrated? That letting go is actually harmful to your sense of being and happiness? Crazy? Well, allow me to explain.
We are a privileged generation. We have access to the biggest boon of all times – Internet. Our forefathers(and mothers), did not have the luxury of having all the knowledge of the world on their fingertips. They were restricted to airing their opinions about current affairs, people, culture, traditions, weather to small gatherings only. But we, the millenials, are crazy lucky! Have an idea you want to share? Go right ahead and post it on any social media of your choice! It doesn’t matter that you wouldn’t have shared it, had you thought over it for more than a few seconds. You just got a 100 people affirming your belief, so it can’t be wrong, can it?
Except that it is. To some people. For valid reasons. And since it is online, people will choose to digress more publicly than they would have, had they met you over a drink. You can choose to respond, or you can choose to respond disrespectfully. But here is a thing, disrespect is uncool, even in today’s digital age. And it is also an oft-repeated assholery in social media.
Most of the follies people commit don’t launch nuclear missiles mistakenly; they are about how they disrespected someone by their actions or words. The disrespect can manifest in more ways than one. You might be getting bullied at school, at home, at college, at workplace, or at social media. But each time you choose to ignore it, and cover it in the garb of “forgiveness”, you are only deluding yourself, and harming your own sense of self-respect. Forgiving people might sound all zen, but it can cause great havoc to your happy state when you know in your heart that you were supposed to be retaliate but did not, because hey, forgive and forget.
“To err is human, to forgive divine.” The crucial word here to me, is not “forgive”, it is “divine”. Don’t try to be Him, even He doesn’t pardon that easy. Because if He did, “Karma” wouldn’t exist.

So forgive all you want, just don’t use it as an excuse to tolerate shit. Bhagwan banne ke chakkar me idiot mat bano please!

P.S : The word “Idiot” has been used to censor the original content for under 18 and above 50 😉

Image Courtesy: Pinterest


He decided to teach her a lesson.

It was raining incessantly from past couple of days. The weather was perfect for a cup of tea with a smoke. He decided to go to his favorite tea shop just 2 kms away, but it took him a mad 30 minutes of honking and breaks to reach. The tea shop was hardly crowded, the rains had probably deterred most of the regulars. He was about to leave, when he saw her.

It looked like she was heading back home from a gym. She seemed to be lost in her own world, walking on a desolate lane without any care in the world. But it was past 8 pm, what was she doing walking on a road so late? Shouldn’t she be at home, in such a weather? How dare she step out in those shorts? Anything above ankle is short, isn’t it?

He decided to teach her a lesson. He sat on his bike, the girl turned to see a bike starting but didn’t think much of it. She continued to walk. She was thinking about the workout she had today, she managed to dead-lift 15 kgs today. But she could do better, she should try for 18 kgs next time. She thought of taking out her phone, but remembered she had left at home to charge. Anyway, her home was just 300 meters away.

“SMACK”, she heard a hand go at her butt, bringing her out of her reverie, leaving her stunned for a second as she saw a bike sped past her, the same bike she saw standing 50 meters away a few minutes back. She screamed expletives, and yelled him to stop. She was shivering with anger, and she was..scared. It was a relatively lonely lane, completely residential, but due to rains everyone was inside their houses. One of the street-lights wasn’t even working, else she could have seen his bike’s number.

She saw a guy coming from the opposite side, who had stopped hearing her screams. She ran up to him, and told him what happened. And then, the guy said ,”Look he is coming back”, as a bike went past him. But she couldn’t be sure, he was wearing a helmet and she couldn’t see the bike’s number plate again.

She reached another lane, which was well-lit with more people. But she was frightened. She absolutely had to reach home as soon as possible. She walked as fast as she could. Suddenly she heard a vehicle coming behind her, and she stopped and turned. It was a bike, the guy wasn’t wearing a helmet. And he told her “Nice shorts, baby.” She managed to see the number plate this time, and kept reciting the number of his bike to herself till she got home, so that she didn’t forget.

That girl was me. This happened in June 2015, just a few lanes away from my home. And what did I do about this? I filed a FIR with the police. When I reached the station, the constable tried to dissuade me, saying that the bike’s number wouldn’t help and that there is no “proof”. I also saw him telling a girl who had come to complain about a boy harassing her on phone as to why did she befriend him and gave her number at the first place. I didn’t leave the station. I waited for more than an hour, till the SI agreed to see me. He took me to the spot of crime, and I was asked to recount the details again and again. I wrote down the complaint, with all the details and the address of the place where the incident happened.

But you see, I live alone in Bangalore. And needless to say, my parents were freaked out by my dare-devilry. Over that, I did not even know the local language, so I was kind of taken for a ride by a middleman, who insisted he was just a good Samaritan. The SI would only talk to him, instead of talking to me directly, probably because of the language gap. Since I had noted the bike’s number, they found out all the details of that guy the same day. But he probably by then had realized what he had done, and had fled along with his bike.

They kept a watch at his place for two days, before he returned home and they caught him. And mind you, he was no roadside urchin. He was an employee with a reputed IT firm, and married. His wife was out-of-town, and he had come with a lawyer and his brother and sister-in-law to the police station. His lawyer told the SI that the guy “was a family man”, and that I was mistaken, it must have been someone else.

A charge-sheet was filed and I went to the District Magistrate’s court to give a statement. My closest friend’s father is a lawyer, and though both she and her father weren’t even in the country at that time, they helped me as much as possible. I was scared to go to the court, I had zilch knowledge of the law. But the legal code required me to give my statement, and I went. It amazed me to no extent that at the court too, there were men leering at me, they were shameless and fearless.

The law mandates that the statement of such a crime has to be given in presence of a lady magistrate, with no one else in attendance. And that was followed. Once my statement was over, I left. I got to know that his lawyer in the bail application had stated “How can anyone recognize anyone with a helmet on?” I never mentioned a helmet in my FIR. Apparently, the middleman had given them the details in lieu of some money.

I didn’t follow-up on the case after that. I was advised by some of my well wishers to change my address, since the guy had all my details now. But it pissed me off. Why should I go through inconvenience when he was the criminal?

It has been 1.5 year since then. I changed my gym, and have never gone on that lane since then. I make it a point to walk through well-lit, crowded roads. But as the mass molestation case shows, even crowd can be dangerous. I never wore that clothing again, and for those interested, it was a knee-length sports tights. I don’t know if that was what Tempted him to do what he did, and then dare to come back twice. But I know for sure that it was his blatant lack of respect of my being that outraged me, and gave me the courage to go to a police station in a strange city. I just couldn’t bear the thought that he believed he could get away with this.

I have not stopped living my life, but I made changes, to be “safer”. Each time, one of the morally righteous Facebook crusader screams “Not all men”, I feel like banging his/her head in the keyboard of their computer. Because it may not be all men, but it is #YesAllWomen . There is no excuse for a sexual assault, not my clothes, not the time, not my lack of knowledge of local language.

It is shameful that our education doesn’t teach us the basics – I think every school-going child must know the basic procedure of filing a FIR and what ensues after that. The reason I wrote this today, is because not even one woman filed a complaint regarding the mass molestation. Even the girl whose assault was captured on CCTV didn’t file a complaint – we have such huge misgivings about the law and police in our country that we think that nothing fruitful would come out of the complaint. But that is wrong. You might be shivering down to your bones when they call you to the police station to identify the perpetrators, but you can still make sure that they don’t dare to do this with someone else, by speaking up.

I didn’t think the first post of 2017 would be my re-telling of such a traumatic experience, that I could never pen down before, but the recent news reports have given me a new strength to do so. And thanks to all my friends and family who supported me through that time, for it would have been quite hard to do that without your help.

Featured Image: Here

Romance Retreat

We Indians love our elaborate traditions and gaiety. We have many festivals all through out the year, and each is celebrated with joyous splendor and magnificence. But there is one festival that we love more than others, even more than Diwali – Weddings. The union of two souls is memorialized in grand ceremonies and extravagant show, and the Indian wedding only seems to get bigger and fatter with every passing year.

Since November-December is supposedly very auspicious for weddings, every year my Facebook news feed is religiously occupied during the marriage season with lovely pictures and picturesque check-ins of weddings and honeymoons and everything that precedes and follows it. And a very amusing trend in the matrimony “industry” (and I use the word “industry” because a lot of people mint good amount of money during this period) is the pre-wedding photo shoot. I saw it the first time couple of years ago, and it was absolutely adorable!!!! It has been long since then, and looks like this one is here to stay, except now, it has become kind of, cringe-worthy.

I don’t get it. What’s with these mock-up, larger-than-life pictures that look so unreal, like the romance has retreated from the life of the couple before it even started?  I saw a photo-shoot recently that left me astound – one picture of the couple was overlooking the ocean, the other on a mountain top with the obligatory Titanic pose, and yet another was in a forest! I mean, is it a photo-shoot or a 4th standard Geography-text book?

At the risk of getting unfriended by truckload of married friends, who have wasted precious money on those mushy and pretentious pictures,me – your oh-so-single friend is telling you that you that those photo-shoots are actually, very silly.

Tell me something, is the romance really about exotic locations or filmy postures? Ask yourself if this is how you fell in love with your partner, while getting photo-shopped on the top of Himalayas, or when he/she reminded you to go easy one that ice-cream because you are still recovering from a cold? Why is romance, or love, supposed to be so mythical and beyond the realms of a normal world? Isn’t it about practical wisdom, dealing with each day as it comes, and stealing moments here and there to express how mad you are about each other?

My parents didn’t have a fancy wedding photo-shoot, and neither did yours. And they still turned out pretty well. Look around you, don’t you squirm uncomfortably when you hear of young married couples struggling to make it work, irrespective of their marriages being love/arranged, because they are incompatible? Why can’t love be more, honest and straight-forward, instead of fake? Why not have a photo-shoot that shows the two of you living life like you normally do – enjoying that occasional glass of wine or goofing around each other?

As I sip my coffee and go through some really crazy photo-shoots, I have no clue whom I am getting married and when. But I sure as hell know what I am not planning to do –  A down-on-one- knee proposal picture with relatives in tow. Eww, no! Doing headstand together though, now that sounds interesting!

                                       What a beautiful inversion!

Featured Image : The most realistic honeymoon picture ever

Image source: Yoga Journal

via Retreat

The Thief

The robbers around us.

It was love at first sight when I saw my yoga mat for the first time at Decathlon, Banerghatta Road, Bengaluru. It was pretty in purple, dark on one side and light on the other, and double purple is never too much.

The mat that was love at first sight

The moment I stepped on that beauty, I knew we were a match in Yoga heaven – the mat just wouldn’t slip. It stayed steady and sturdy as I tried Warrior 2 and Downward Dog, much to the boredom of the salesman, and within a few minutes I decided to buy it.  The beauty, of 2150 INR, was available at a discounted price of 1800 INR, although I would have gladly paid even 2500 INR for it.

And so it began, my affair with the mat extraordinaire. The first time I did Chaturanga, the mat held me steady, not letting me go. The time I tried a variation of Chakrasana, the mat held me firm. It stood by me when I came to class on Yoga Day on 21st June 2016, and I loved it when it held me tight during my attempt at headstand, not slipping at all. It had lines all over it, including in the center, which made sure my posture was aligned when I practiced.

Yoga Poses I can do (kind of)

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I grew into practice, and it showed on the mat. People would come to me and ask where I bought it from, and while I readily told them, I was just a teeny-weeny happy when Decathlon India stopped manufacturing it. My purple mat and me were exclusive now, we were one of a kind.

As my practice advanced, the mat took the brunt of it. The threads starting coming off a little, but no damage, for it came with a guarantee of 2 years.  I would leave it with other mats in the yoga studio after my practice, which has a separate place for daily practitioners’ personal mats, and I would smile seeing it sitting like a princess, the special purple mat in the sea of ordinary PVC mats.

In October I became a little irregular with my practice, but the mat waited for me patiently to come and try Kaakasana one more time. So when I went to class after Diwali, I was excited to reconnect to my lovely mat; I knew it would be lying at the same place as I kept it before I left for home, tucked comfortably in a corner.

Kaakasana – way tougher than it looks.

But it wasn’t there. Maybe someone kept it elsewhere, and so I searched, knowing that my purple beauty would be easily recognizable, I had branded it with my name “SANJEET”, so that everyone knew who it belonged too. But I couldn’t find it. Class was about to start and I didn’t want to miss my session, so I moved on and took one of the mats kept for common use, the one brown in color, and oh so ugly and smelly. But the yoga practice must be beyond aesthetics, I told myself sternly, and continued to practice, scrunching my nose each time I did Ashtanaga.

After the class, I rushed to the personal mats’ holders, and I asked my colleague, who also comes to the same studio, to help me find it. But it wasn’t there! I looked everywhere but it was nowhere to be seen, someone had flicked my beloved yoga mat!!!!

I told the receptionist, a little angrily, that my mat is missing. I told my teacher, he said he would ask the morning receptionist too. THE  YOGA PRACTICE IS BEYOND AESTHETICS, and so the next day I took with me another mat, this time with my name all over it, so that no one touches it even by mistake. I continued the practice, but the new mat was nowhere close to my purple love. It would slip even for Downward Dog, and I would often have to lay a smelly tattered common mat over it, to give me the required grip 🙁

I kept looking for my purple beauty, my lovely mat that had Vanished into thin air, hoping it would turn up one of these days – maybe some innocent newbie would return it, apologizing for attempting to use the “bae” among all yoga mats.

But I also had to find a new mat, which I did this Sunday, when I bought a nice sturdy mat from Isha Yoga Foundation. It felt sturdy and firm too, and it is of fabric so perhaps more eco-friendly. I purchased it happily, hoping to continue my practice, although the loss of my purple bae still felt raw.

As I stood outside the practice room in the studio today, waiting for the previous class to end, I saw that the Creepy Weirdo. Mr. Creepy Weirdo embodies the worst stereotype among Indian men – middle-aged, rich and awful AF. He is a businessman based in Gulf, and has a huge house in one of the poshest areas of the neighborhood. He has an 11-yr old son, but isn’t ashamed to flirt with women closer to his son’s age than his own. I was glad Mr. Weirdo was in a previous class than mine, I wouldn’t have to deal with the unnecessary innuendos of “Shall I drop you home?”. But wait, what was the Weirdo doing his Shavasana on?

Brain-fuzz engulfed me as I realized, the mat on which Mr.Weirdo was resting his unholy bum, was my purple princess!!!!!!! I was shocked, I didn’t even know what to say. I turned to the receptionist and said “That man in the white T-shirt over there, he is using something that looks exactly like my lost mat.” She looked at me with a surprised smile and asked me “Are you sure? Wait, I will ask him today.” “Yes dear, I am pretty sure”, I replied, still a little baffled by what I just saw.

The class got over and Mr.Weirdo came out, smiling and waving Hi to me.I did an awkward half-smile, my eyes not leaving the purple mat in his hand, with its threads hanging out..Oh My God, that mat was mine!!!!!

The class was going to start, but I just couldn’t let that rascal get away with the mat he had clearly stolen. Mr.Weirdo, owing to his travel, hardly did 2 classes in 3 months, and he would usually use a PVC mat, a blue one that too. Even if he purchased the mat new, there was no reason it would look so..well-used.

“Hey, I had a mat exactly the same as yours.” I mouthed the words dryly, still staring at the purple mat, looking for my name, or an indication.

“Of course you did, it is from Decathlon.” He replied, with a cunning smile, like he knew what he had done, but he also knew he was about to get away with it.

“Yeah but Decathlon doesn’t make it anymore”, I was talking to him, but stealing glances at the mat, hoping to see my name, even if rubbed or faded.”

“Oh it does, it does, you should check it out. And if you want this, just give me 100 INR more than the MRP” He winked at me, and laughed.

And at that moment, I knew that this man, the Creepy-AF-Weirdo, had bloody stolen my mat, and was getting away with it. I had no choice but to smile and carry on to the practice room with a heavy heart, wishing there was some way to not let my purple bae go. I don’t know when I am going to see my lovely mat again, but that man stole it, and there is nothing I can probably do 🙁

P.S : After the class, I told my teacher that this man had stolen my mat. Even he remembered that guy using a blue-colored PVC mat, and told me that he would try to check out with the guy to figure out where he got the mat from. My heart says that mat is mine, and now it is with that rich, possible kleptomaniac idiot, perhaps in his car, gathering dust till he comes next time to the class after months.:-/

Featured Image Source : Decathlon South Africa

Yoga Images’ Source : Yoga Journal

Others: Decathlon UK

The culture we are proud of

Indian culture is great, no doubts about that.

We, the nation of 1.25 billion (and counting), are a proud nation. We love bragging about our ancient Culture – the science of Yoga and Ayurveda, the Zero we invented, our literature, the diversity of languages, respecting elders, abusing and harassing women…wait what? Am I insane? What am I talking about? How dare I question our great Indian culture, that worships Durga but kills a girl child? See, I am doing it again. Wow, I must be a Feminazi.

If you want to know about the great Indian Culture, ask that girl who takes the bus everyday, and stands in the corner with her bag covering her chest and hands at the back, hoping this would be enough deterrent for a potential molester. If you want to know about the great Indian culture, ask that girl who takes an auto/cab everyday, praying that the driver is a decent guy so that she doesn’t have to spend the entire ride under his lusty eyes gazing at her from the rear-view mirror. If you want to know about the great Indian culture, ask that woman who drives to work everyday after dropping her kids to school/day care, and is honked at incessantly even though she overtook the driver from right, because she is “a lady driver”.

If you want to know about the great Indian culture, ask that girl who is made to parade in front of a new family everyday, because she is of “marriageable age and dark skinned”. If you want to know about the great Indian culture, ask that girl who was called “a b*tch with an attitude” by a random stranger at the pub she refused to dance with. If you want to know about the great Indian culture, ask that girl who is flooded by hate messages in her inbox, because she chose to comment on a sexist answer at Quora. Or how about you ask that woman who is branded “sexually frustrated” because she spends long hours at work and pushes her team of men to do better on the sales pitch, while rocking that red lipstick and high heels?

Or, maybe you should ask that woman who can’t enter the Puja room during her periods about how great the Indian culture is. Or the woman who is told by her aunt when she is eating her favorite blueberry muffin “How will you find a nice boy if you keep stuffing yourself? Why don’t you eat a salad for a change?” Or maybe the woman who was broken up with because she was more  qualified and earned more than her insecure boyfriend.

The Indian culture will still remain great, because some of you will continue to bother the girls who didn’t say a clear NO to your advances, despite dropping hundreds of hints. The Indian culture will still remain great because I didn’t laugh on that horribly sexist joke you sent me over Whatsapp. And of course, the Indian culture will remain unlike any because a Hindu IAS topper chose to marry a Muslim IAS topper, and it was very obviously Love Jihad.

Do I need to specify that all this is “pungent sarcasm”? I guess I do, I don’t have the patience to explain it later to the protectors of “Bharat ki Sanskriti”.

Featured Image : Digital Artists Daily



Tonight is the night,
To miss the one I never had.
To think of the one who made me smile,
Yet bore me tears I could never wipe.

I know better than to miss,
For those who are meant to be are seldom missed.
But tonight is the night to think of him,
The dreams, the kisses, the laughs – all of it.

I hear his whispers all around me,
Piercing through the bitterness of the last fights,
In the darkness of the night I think,
Of the one I had and yet couldn’t be with.

Reality is ugly, backed by truth,
Love is a mirage, so be it,
Tonight is the night to give into illusions,
Of imagined hugs and all perfection.

Leap of Faith

How tough is it to let go and jump headfirst into something that you know is good for you?

2016 is upon us, and after 2 months of scribbling 2015 in the date column, only to strike it off and replace with 2016 later, we can safely assume that we are all well into 2016 😀 Now you might wonder where was I all this while, but considering the fact that I am a distracted being with toooo manyyyy interests and things on my mind, let’s just be glad I am writing this, okay? Man, so much performance pressure these days, I swear it is getting to me! Or maybe not 😛

Too many interests and too many things? Whatever happened to the Sanjeet of the past , with nothing to do except laze around and/or procrastinate? Well, it turns out, life happened. And oh boy, the way it has happened. This new year has been full of surprises, new things and people making way for the old ones. It began with my pretty sudden exit from my old job, to pursue something I had been looking forward to do from quite some time, to catching up with some old, albeit amazing friends, to cribbing about the construction that is happening ALL AROUND my lovely home of 2.5 years and to learning to let go of everything and take that “leap of faith”.

“Leap of faith”? Isn’t that too much of “gyaan” from someone who flips her lid too often and too soon? Who panics at the slightest hint of “change”? Yes it is. And you might wonder where all this is coming from. I think it comes from a fascination turning slowly into a habit – yoga. Yes, me, the ever-fidgety, took up yoga couple of months back. And it was insane, because I felt I had too much on my mind to actually indulge into a mindful practice, but here I am, and after 7 months of yo-yoing through this, I can safely say that I am getting a little bit of hang of it. I started doing it on the pretext of a more holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle, but the real reason was that in my limited exposure to it, I realized that it grounded me in ways I can’t really explain. It is just one of those things that you have to experience first hand, to really know how it feels. And mind you, it is not like you attend a single, (and expensive!) class, and hope to be “enlightened”. It takes time, and more importantly, it takes trust , the “leap of faith”, the understanding that your body and breath know what is best for YOU.

Not me, but I can do this posture!!!!

A lot of people find “paying” for Yoga, “a wasteful expenditure”, or “irrelevant and contradictory to the basic principles of Yoga”. Of course, for us Indians, having to pay for anything worthwhile is “contradictory” because we really love free stuff, don’t we, but then who am I to judge? For me, it is a small token of gratitude to those willing to teach me to accept myself as is.

I wouldn’t say I am “there” yet, I am not. I am still too prone to worrying about things beyond my control, or for that matter, in my control. But I feel I am now more open to taking that “leap of faith”, giving life a chance, because often the shackles holding us back are in our minds, and we are way stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

So, how has your new year going on so far? Any resolutions? Any resolutions that you have been able to keep up so far? Any new light of knowledge that has “flooded your life”, like mine? Share in the comments below!!!!!!

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It is a MAN’s world

Hello there, and we meet again! Life has been quite busy and too many things have happened since my last “real” post. But I think the time has come for yet another “heartfelt” post, and at the risk of sounding a “FEMINAZI” (Man, I love that word, so much power it has :P), I have decided to write about how it is “A MAN’S WORLD”.

Whatever stone you have been under, you couldn’t have possibly missed the amazing webisodes from Yash Raj Films, starring really talented actors and actresses, that is creating waves all over the social media. And if you haven’t had access to Facebook or Youtube for some reason (like you have indeed been living under a rock 😛 ), you can catch them below:

If you are reading this in a hurry, I will (try) to make a quick summary. A young man feels women have it all and therefore wishes hard to swap places with women. And as luck would have it, his wish gets granted. Yes you read it right, this series is about a world where women rule the world, and men deal with issues of eve teasing, workplace discrimination, period pains, and of course making babies. Please watch it, you absolutely gotta love it!!!

If you are a “FEMINAZI” (again, the word!!! *Drools*), just like me, you will love the series, laugh out loud, and yet think wishfully if there was indeed a world like what they show in the web-series. What I took away from the series was not the usual “jazz” (pun intended) about how unsafe women are on roads or public transport, but about how much women are discriminated against in their workplaces.

The reason I talk about this today because this is the most global issue of all. Women might be relatively safer in certain parts of the world, but workplace discrimination is something that is a real part of every ambitious female’s struggle. When Indira Nooyi, CEO PepsiCO, got up and said “Hey, women can’t have it all!”, there was a huge uproar. Here was a women, who has clearly broken every glass ceiling that ever existed, and yet she said that she felt guilty when she couldn’t give her family enough time. Does this mean men don’t feel guilty about that? I would like to say No, but unfortunately it is so much more acceptable for a woman to leave her job and sit at home to “take care of kids”, and be a “housewife”, than for a man to be a “stay-at-home” husband. And if he does dare to do so, he will be ridiculed and taunted by family, relatives, friends and whomever that comprises of those “chaar log”, till he is forced to reconsider.

Again, all of this happens to a woman post marriage, and there are many people who will argue that things change for men too, and I agree with them. But what about the time when a young unmarried woman tries to make foray into a workplace dominated by men???

I am an engineer, and I worked in semiconductor industry for 2.5 years, a field that it is not really rumored to be “women-friendly”, partly because it requires specific skills, that not many women have the resources to acquire. Add to that a large percentage of girls who are married off forcefully or otherwise even before completing their engineering, and you are left with a handful of women, maybe 2 for a team of 20, or none at all. The ratio is dismally low, and it goes even lower post marriage and kids. Luckily, many companies have been working in the direction of retaining talented workforce by giving them the flexibility of work-hours and such, but the point remains that how many times, a woman is really looked beyond her looks and given due credit for her abilities???

It is just so easy to dismiss a girl trying to make her mark, denying her an opportunity that she truly deserves, simply because “she is going to get married anyway and not really serious about being a long-term employee”. It is also very easy to call a well-groomed woman “pretty” or “hot”, and basically objectifying her in a very basic way, taking attention away from the real reason as to why she is here, with better qualifications or greater experience, working shoulder-to-shoulder with the same guy who called her a “hot chick”. And god forbid if she reveals that she enjoys an occasional meal out or a glass of champagne, because then she is here only for the “fun” of being in this industry, never mind that she works her ass off on all the crazy deadlines that are put up to her.

Of course this post will have dissent. It will ruffle feathers of the “chauvinists”, the ones who forward poor jokes about wives and women in general on WhatsApp, the ones who feel staring a girl till she feels uncomfortable is correct, because she is asking for it by travelling alone or wearing a dress, who think that women come to office only to hunt for a potential groom or to “pass time” till she is married off to a rich NRI in USA or Canada. Sorry, but no sorry. This is an unapologetic piece that calls a spade a spade, and I strongly feel that someone’s gender should play absolutely no role in determining their working capability, or the lack of it.

Women are venturing out of the confines of their homes. They are slowly starting to be everywhere, and though we still have a long way to go, at least in this country, rest be assured that none of my community shall stop till we break all those glass ceilings and prove our mettle. We are here to stay.

A cheers to a man’s world, for it shall soon be a woman’s world! B-)

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