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Friday, April 10, 2015

Ink Pen

My Obsession - Chinese Ink Pens.

This Cross pen set was gifted by a senior faculty of  IIHMR
whom i assisted in making a presentation
at Helsinki University, Finland in 2007. 
During my childhood i have this hobby of collecting chinese ink pens. As soon as i entered in class V, we were switched to write with ink pens. I am not sure though if it was V or VI. But i always looked forward to my fountain pens. 

My obsession with chines pen and using as a private possession was so much that i will never let anyone else use it. Like how friends ask for pens in class on missing pencil box. 

I remember once, i had a fig fight with a bengali boy of my class. Because by mistake or intentionally he has thrown my pen from my desk. Indeed deaf mamma was a front seater and class monitor. And this new admission didn't know what on earth he will have to pay for it. On top of that he was trying hard to become favourite student of our class teacher. Double trouble. It was in class VII. He was a stout heavy boy whom by no means i could hit and get away with it. 

But i had to settle the scores. 

So, like a mean girl that i was i pushed him off the stairs when school was over. And that was it. Period. 

When i came in college 

What was your obsession as a school kid ? Share !

Thursday, April 09, 2015


Dabur ka Hajmola, 

Chatpata Swaad, Jhatpat Aaram

I wouldn't have done justice with my childhood if alphabet 'H' is not for Hajmola. I was contemplating between Holi and Happiness and suddenly a much closer word with an instant smile came to my mind. 

There were two competitors, Hajmola and Hingoli. I was loyal to you know whom. When I was in studying in KV, there was an option to go to your home for having lunch or buy it from the canteen. Though carrying money was never encouraged at home but the lure for Hajmola made me ask for some. 

Next to our school was a small shopping center for township residents. And there, at the chemist's shop we would get 12 tablets for Rs 1. Enough for the whole day chattt patt...

The "chemist wale bhaiya" used to give us in a newspaper purchi and we would lick it away in between classes or while returning back home. 

Hajmola reminds me of my grandmother (we used to call her Amma). Whenever she used to visit us, her iron black painted trunk used to accompany her. In one corner would be a bottle of Hajmola and she will keep a vigil on it while asleep. Between me and my younger siblings, the real battle, you can call it a reality TV game show used to begun as soon as she retires in the afternoon. 

She will mimic as if she is in deep sleep and catch us red handed...but then it was late...Hajmola was slurped jhatpat !

Do you have any memories of Hajmola ? Share !

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


Gossip = Girls. Please Stand Up !

Gossip is an ancient form of art to articulate what necessarily be of no relevance, urgency or oh god damn anyone's business. Primarily, the genes are dominant in females species and recessive in male species. However, it has been found the recessive genes activate under the effect of ethanol in company of other male species and a plate of chicken tikka as centre of gravity. 

Even in Dar-E-Salaam Museum (Tanzania), i chose to gossip
with a monkey man and by default repeat
"Swear, you don't tell it to anyone" !
If you can't produce a baby, you go get it done through fertility centers. 

But if you can't gossip, you are less of a women or lady in making i must say. 

However, the effect of ethanol do speed up the gossip sessions in female species too and a dash of uncontrollable laughter, some dumb charade in the background and let your hair down affect. 

A working single women talk about her boss (worst is she too is a woman), boyfriends or the other showing thumbs down to another beautiful woman in office. A married women talks about her MIL, her husband and how he marriage has changed it.

However, the safest bet to gossip is men. I can say that with 10 strong years of experience of my boyfriend and now husband. Because with a bear in hand, he can't have his ears functioning properly but nodding oh hell yes. 

Next morning he won't even remember the names of the people that i have gossiped about, forget about let alone do match the following with faces. And the beauty is having a gossip session with husbands instead of girlfriends it that with your life partner there is never a dull moment. No fear of 'being judged', 'what will he/she think of me' and cent percent surety of confidentiality. 

For me, 

G for Gossip.

G for Girl.

G for Graduation in Gossiping..Gasp !

Share your incidence of turning into a Gossip Girl or missing them when they are not around !

Tuesday, April 07, 2015


Kill fear, My dear !

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There is a difference between being scared and having a fear of something or someone. I have following top five fearful confessions to make today: 

1. If a lizard is walking upside down on a ceiling i always wonder and keep monitoring her...what if she loosen up her grip and fall on me. It escalates even more if i am eating in the same room or the lizard has audacity to enter the loo - it act as natural fiber gurrdd ugrreghhh....flushh !

2. If i am walking in a park and there is a frog next to me or in my sight, i couldn't help myself getting pale. By all means i keep thinking he is going to jump and sit on my foot. And constantly think what will happen if i am wearing a skirt and it jumps right on the wrong places...Trrrr trrrr !

3. Just after our wedding, i used to fear what if my husband find out about my expenses on clothes and shoes. Even when it was a love marriage. Although i had earned my income, as a couple am I not accountable for joint savings and curtail lavish extravagant spending. BTW that fear has taken back seat, now i fear about the cost of raising a child with single income ! This reminds me i should have picked D for Diapers !

4. When my girlfriends visits, i fear that by all means if my washroom is not clean. Because for a women it matter a lot. Infact, the road to a women's heart is through a clear washroom. Isin't? It should be of utmost almost touching the height of cleanliness. So much so that, when you enter you forget its a washroom but a floral bed with automatic dispenser leaving lavender trails behind in air. I swear i never worry about the snacks. 

5. All my childhood, each schooling year, after every single mathematics exams, weekly test, monday tests, half yearly, final, board, i had feared getting flunked. I got rid of it post high school. Surprisingly, Sinha ji was a top scorer in this subject and its only then i miss mathematics. Period.

What do you fear most ?

Monday, April 06, 2015


My tea is elaichi tea.

Elaichi (Cardamom) and me has a special connection. It reminds me of the time when i stepped out to live in hostel with start of my professional studies - post graduation. 

A simple faded green pod of elaichi with black beads and its home sick aroma used to instantly console me and bridge the distance virtually in my mind. It used to create that temporary ambiance of home away from home. For many many years i have sipped elaichi tea as first thing in the morning or during night or whenever in despair or pain. 

No wonder my friends know me for making special 'elaichi' tea to steal away some me time and share with them. 

On a side note, tea is brewing even now as I have sat to catch up with A to Z blogging post. I have to finish off the lag from B to F today itself. 

Hey, tell me what's your favourite brew ? 

Saturday, April 04, 2015


Where Are You? Will We Ever...

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We used to live in a big joint family. Across the side alley was Dimpy's house. The most early or rather the first memory of friendship stays with her. Probably she was my first friend who was not my cousin. Because in  joint families you have  all your friends by default ranging from all age group. 

She was from a punjabi family who owned a renowned cloth store in the small town of Mathura. All the wedding trousseau and ethnic apparels. I think we were of same age and her faintest memories tell me she used to resemble like the "Rasna Girl". 

If you have seen that old advertisement on Doordarshan. For some reason, their family business got split and they sold the housed from our neighborhood to relocate permanently. At the age of 5, i was heartbroken as my only friend is gone and i have no one else to go and play with in 'aangan'. 

But today when i had to write a memory trail from the past, its surprising for me too, her name came to my mind. 

It's kind of unusual. 

It feels like some unfinished agenda is attached to her.

Like if i want to meet her again and ask where did you move. To rest those constant questions in my mind like, will we ever meet again? How she must be doing in her life? 

The way i anticipate, she must be married in a typical business punjabi family with 2-3 kids. The place my guess is she should be in Delhi, that's the place where most of the people migrate to from our hometown, leaving incomplete stories of love and friendship. Or may be she had done something different of her woen. My very very dim memories tell me she was witty and way too dominating. I was merely a follower. 

Dimpy, where ever you are, this is jsut to make you immortal through my blog and a seeking note "will we recognize other if we ever meet at cross roads of life"?

Do you have someone in your life, who you want to meet again to finish that story in your heart, a friend or foe or first crush? 

Tell me. 

Friday, April 03, 2015


Brahmin - Ok. No - Not Ok !

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I have been raised in a family who firmly believed and endorsed supremacy of their caste - Brahmin / Pandit. The ones who used to do worship of idols in temples and supposedly the most sacred of all - or so our vedic varnas believe. I distinctively remember i was not allowed to make friends with lot of people because Papa won't like the way their 'surnames' ended. I wasn't allowed to go to my classmates' ( i can't even call them pals) birthday parties. 

When i was in class high school, one of my christian friend (she was more than an acquaintance) has invited me to Christmas Party. At that age, the rebel teenager i was in making and on assertion of my class fellows, i was granted permission to attend to this party. Little did our narrow vision family knew that a christmas party is essentially celebrated at midnight.

Oh lord (hey bhagwaan) !

So, the bone of contention was Santa' delayed arrival. No cake before that. Well what to do. Simple. Tag along your father and younger brother ( as an intern who has to step up in father's shoes). I went like a lady queen with two body guards with disproportionately matched otherwise but exactly by genes. Like a Brahmin caste has to behave, chose not to enter the Christian premises for entertaining another religion while my eyes were fixed on the rum cake. By 11 pm, the patience level ran down and i was escorted back home with some Christmas goodies. Felt like a Cinderella, yes Indian version.

I freed myself from this very deep, tight, suffocating trap when i chose to have my specialization in 'Public Health'. It essentially meant lots of field work in rural parts of the country, living with them their life in bare minimum conditions, largely in tribal belts of Rajasthan. The small hamlets or cluster of village in Rajasthan are known as 'dhandis' with a culture of eating together from the same plate sitting on ground in a circle. I truly enjoyed that ritual and delicacies served with warmth of love and a promise - no matter what, this family stays together. So what its in the middle of a desert.

After reciting some of the field trip stories back home in all the glory with details, my family never showed interest again. 'Impure Brahmin' i had become, you see. Eating, drinking and having a laughter with Sudras (farmers, servants, laborers).

And the real turning point of my life was to get married in another caste - Kayastha. May be or definitely lowest point in my Papa's life (or may be now he has evolved). 

PS: Some noteworthy people of the Kayastha caste of India are-
  • Sinha Ji
  • Subhas Chandra Bose
  • Swami Vivekananda, born Narendra Nath Datta
  • Premchand
  • Sonu Nigam
  • Amitabh Bachchan
  • Shatrughan Sinha
  • Rajendra Prasad
  • Ravi Shankar Prasad
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri
  • Mahadevi Varma

Thursday, April 02, 2015


Who? Me? Really ?

"Wow, She is so beautiful", I have never heard this compliment till date ever since my existence of this planet. I have always craved for such compliments because everyone around me were getting those straight in front of me.And eventually in your young age you starts to question yourself, "Am I not beautiful"?


"Am I not that beautiful"? That means someone gets lost in it and just say it on your face, instantly giving a boost to your ego and massaging all over your cheeks with a blush.When i was young, the most beautiful woman whom i met was my mother. She used to look 99% like Sharmila Tagore - a very charmingly pretty Bollywood actress from 1970s. As i grew up, i used to ask her "Why am I not beautiful as you are? 

Then years later, when my younger sister grew up whole world differentiated between us. She was delicate, petite, straight silky hair like chinese dolls, careless, fair (matters a lot in India) and irresponsible. Perfect recipe for an attractive brash young woman in making. "Who I was?"Always an older sibling "didi" brown, wide mouthed, athletic, curly dry hair...In short, nothing feminine about it ! With this self critical scrutiny i grew up evaluating myself. Self doubt taking front seat, to say the least. 

Then after 20 years, something different happened. When i stepped out of my small sleeping town to a big city to do my MBA. One or rather many or all, i am not quite sure but definitely some genuine ones were a big fan of my ear to ear smile donald duck smile. They said, its beautiful. 

A surprise for me and big relief from the childhood jinx of not getting a 'wow, you are so beautiful' compliment.

The greatest shock of my life was during farewell in 2005 when i was given the title of "Madhubala Smile". 

Another Bollywood actress from 1950s. And i consoled myself, see there is a beautiful girl in me.

Have you ever felt this way before?

Share your story.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


Arrogance is Arrogant. Excuse me. 

We all have some parts and portion of arrogance sprinkled just in the right amount, so we think but others notice it. To suit it to our convenience  more often than not we defend it with 'respecting your self-esteem'. 

But in reality for every negatively marked behaviour, that, we exhibit a past incidence of 'politeness being  seen as a weak trait' is involved. 

Since politeness is so rare these days, people might just mistake it for 'hey, you need help'. 

Yes, you heart it right, for the young 'being arrogant' is the new cool. From here, if i look back, i was like that arrogant in my teens and had given sleepless nights to my parents. My younger siblings gave me and now next in line is my budding daughter all at 2.5 years make me come on my knees. 

How about my husband ?

How does arrogance affect this very essentially basic relationship, which is already marred by silos of responsibilities. Does arroangance make you powerful or help you address the issue at hand?

What do you think? How important or unimportant is arrogance? Why its mistaken as confidence and determination? 

Tell me your thoughts. 


Friday, March 27, 2015

Hit Me Baby One More Time !

If i recall my childhood, there are ample memories where i distinctively remember being spanked in line with my other younger siblings. And i don't think, i know anyone in my circle who didn't have this experience of getting whipped from her mother (primarily) ! If i see it from here, at 32, I would equate it with getting a bravery medal for the childhood, that, i have lived and fought for. The only thing, i wish, i could change is that like Ma Durga, my mom never hesitated in taking help from the props she could find in her vicinity to showcase her prakooop !

Come back to this time. 

I have become a mother and there is no way that, i don't repeat, what i have been treated with. But...the big question lies here. Hitting a child in the so called 'tum to padhi likhi ho' clan is prohibited.

Or i should say its  'an open dirty secret'.

But my argument is Indians are born fighters, its in our genes. Trust me if you leave a European or some posh class developed national here, they would go mad figuring out what goes where, when, who does that, why, how !

And that i am talking about basics stuff.