Friday, December 24, 2010

Punjabiyan di shaan vakhri!

Being a Delhiite, one group of uber-cool people one Cannot ignore are Punjabis. Sometimes I think they’re Indian-Americans. How? Well for one, geographically they always have that one (or many) relative in the States and that mamu/chachu/masi etc are always amazingly close to our Indian friend and land with a hundred gifts each time they visit saddi dilli. But what makes Punjabis so American is well, their Punjabisms: My best friend’s mom often talks to me in Punjabi and expects me to understand her; interestingly I do too, more often than not. Everyone in Delhi at least is expected to know (and possibly even follow) what Karva Chauth/Mata ki Chowki/Mehendi ki rasm is.

My boyfriend, the other day, showed me some random video on youtube with boys in a hostel singing some wedding songs (Punjabi of course) a night before their exams. They had these dupattas wrapped around their head and were playing dholaks while singing enthusiastically. While watching I was amused at their dress up and the fact that they had nothing better to do (study maybe?!) while my boyfriend was in splits, laughing till his cheeks were blood-red. Suddenly he glanced at me and went “Oh!”… “Wo ladke jananiyon wale gane ga rahe hai, typical shadi types, uski taang dekho.. auraton ke tarah dholak ke upar se dali hui hai”. I smiled and nodded. If I were to show him a Bengali or Malayali (Microsoft word doesn’t even recognize Malayali!) youtube video he’d definitely laugh like he was laughing then and maybe put it on repeat too, only to discover (via me) that it’s a very serious video. : |

Punjabi or not, you’ve got to know the rules. You should know the different names of their foods/festivals/rituals/clothes and you need to, Absolutely NEED to understand their weddings. Punjabi weddings are like a carnival; they go on for weeks and involve all relatives from everywhere. So US wale Bhai-ji/Masi ki beti pinki, Canadde wale Chachu, UK wali Bua are all a big part of this Carnival. My cousin, who is this no-nonsense independent journalist, and now a writer, is not at all a wedding person. Her worst fear are those sickly “Aunts” who keep asking when she plans to tie the knot. Yeah, she hates weddings. But a few days back, she returned from this Jammu Punjabi friend’s wedding all excited and narrating stories (almost gushingly) about the fun, the dancing, and the cross-cultured lot.

See, that’s the catch. You can never hate a Punjabi (or anything about them for that matter) because they teach you how to put down your baggage and enjoy your lives. Everyone has a bit of Punjabi in them, and that’s what pushes them to embrace life. How do I know you have a Punjabi in you? Well because you got the title ;)

Cheers! O Balle Balle!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

“Aap kuch lete kyun nahi?”

Somewhere between groggy sleep and consciousness of those annoying sounds you can always hear right before you fall asleep, my phone started buzzing with that wretched bright white light I so hate. A hazy unknown number stared back at me. The text was a Sher, or more like the PJ Shers. It read:

“Tumhe yun sajta sawarta dekh bola tumhara aaina;

Tumhe yun sajta sawarta dekh bola tumhara aaina,

This fairness cream is made in china!”

I did not know what to do about it. I mean c’mon:

A) This person, whoever it was, thought it was funny.

B) This person, whoever it was, thought I would find it Funny.

C) This person was clearly a friend of mine.

That was a disturbing thought. So what if I have a dark skin, should I really “take it easy” and laugh with these clearly racist ideas or should I Finally stop being so resilient and question this mentality. Indian racism is so deep rooted in the society that one can’t even sense it!

I’ve encountered a million “concerned” friends/relatives/relatives of friends who Assume my skin colour is a monumental problem in my life and that they MUST aid me with possible “solutions” for the same. From suggestions for home “remedies” to fairness creams, these most wonderful people have pitied me in every wonderful way of theirs possible. What is the need for pity, I ask? How hard is it to comprehend that a person can be dark skinned and extremely satisfied with it?

I would really like to know who came up with this brilliant idea of fairness creams and moreover who went ahead and advertised them in such Wrong ways. I would definitely give them a piece of my mind.

Anyhow, I replied to my texter buddy asking them who it was.

My phone buzzed again. “Well wisher ji”

I gave up.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Sitting amidst tall trees and wild creatures, i discovered, two things could happen.. one could either click many many pictures and feel satisfied with themselves or get lost in thoughts of a completely different time or situation.
The adventurer in me wanted to explore and click, was enthusiastic about recording these moments spend in wilderness. The dreamer in me won.
So i blog, for a small house about 4500 ft above sea level in a beautiful place called wayanad in kerala has given me time to stop and think. To think about the many things one often discards as unimportant or too much of a hassle.
I am a girl of nineteen and therefore my life is limited (yes i choose to use that word) to education.. that is college, entertainment.. friends, hangouts etc and family. Today my thoughts drifted particularly towards college, something i impulsively block from my memory.
When i walked through the gates of Sri Venkateswara College for admission, it seemed dirty, poorly maintained, haphazard but welcoming. Yes, i liked the place for what it was, a place i later christened as "Chaul" - inspired from the Bombay Chauls.
But as days passed in this college i felt lost (although you can't lose your way in the keyhole building), i started brooding and hoping for classes to be cancelled. I was never a brooder - Hell no! In fact, i thought i'd do great in college for i always took the initiative to talk to people..

That was my first mistake.
The first lesson i learnt in college was, Be Unfriendly.

By the time i quietened down, the College Societies had started with their trials.. Bad timing. I didn't feel like auditioning - not even for the drama societies.
Letting people know who i was, instead of making me comfortable to my environment brought me down. I felt exposed, to people who liked only those like themselves.

My second mistake led me to my..
Second lesson in college, Be Fake.

As the days grew into weeks, and weeks into months i made a handful of friends. It really felt like a great achievement, for by then i had given up. They gave me hope and i tried to get back to who i really was.. I got confident of myself and started answering and debating in class.

Third mistake.
If you want to be liked in college by classmates, at least in front of the professors.. Be Stupid.

I kept telling myself that all these lessons are not true and am just being cynical.. But no. Things never got any better. I started believing that "I" am wrong and that "I" should be what everyone expects of me. I write this because i know a lot of us fear insecurities, i am just putting mine on a platter.

It didn't take me long to feel the need to actively participate in college events, the truth was that i believed this would fill up the void in me. I joined fine arts, but i still think of them as "them". Fine arts never became "us" for me.

With all these thoughts cluttering my mind i still had space to appreciate my professors and satya niketan market (!) but the more i tried to cheer up the more i saw people mock me, disrespect me, ignore me or worse pretend to be friendly. Yes, i may sound whiny.. but hey, you could stop reading here.. I just need to vent it out.

Btw, have you guys ever wondered how Delhi's Uber Urbane youth is so Anglacised? Hey I have no issues with what you guys wear, or watch, or listen.. but that doesn't mean you get the access to mock my interests.
If i listen to mohit chauhan instead of chris daughtry, it may just be cause chauhan sings well too. ever thought of it?
if you don't know a certain character from a certain television sitcom you become "un-real", and if you haven't read a certain book, "what the f are you doing in eng hons DUDE?".

College brings with it generalizations, categorizations and over-expectations.
If you fit the bill, You're God.
If you don't, F off.

I just have one question to ask, "If I were to become like all of you, don't we all end up lacking an identity?"

Friday, April 2, 2010


Unsettled mind.
Clawing to reach that certain period.
Beyond the spectrum of "happiness" or "sadness".
Lacking basic human emotions.
Mind spiraling over uncomprehendable questions.
Ardent need for peace.
Phases of Paranoia.
Caged. Breathless.
Eyes witness haphazard images.
Desperate attempt at peace.
Deep breath, lungs choke.
Oxygen.. I need.
Oxygen.. I plead.
Blocked senses.


point of view.

Who can be the judge?
when God is himself in the Game..
On one hand lie meagre hopes..
on the other, excruciating Pain.

Thoughts are like the tumbling waves in the sea
the more one nears the end,
the more one is pulled right back to where it was born..

Shadows are the Dark side of ourselves,
only a mind that receives ample Light can see
that they follow us to our graves.

I do not understand Destiny.
I refuse to understand her,
she gets to me.
Perhaps its a generation gap
'cuz she definitely doesn't belong to our gen.

On the victory stand,
the winner is not judged by how tall he stands..
but by where his feet are grounded.