Saturday, October 19, 2013

The story of my tattoo

I’ve been meaning to get a tattoo for years now. It always was one of those things that fascinated me. Early on, I always wondered what drove people into having weird cryptograms, random art and characters etched onto their bodies…till I realized I wanted one myself.

There were a lot of times that I wanted to over the years and people who know me well enough will vouch for the fact that I’ve been raving about a tattoo forever. But in hindsight, I’m just glad that I waited this long to get a tattoo. I don’t even want to think about what I would have gotten inked had I done it a few years ago. I would’ve probably gotten something juvenile that I’m certain I would’ve regretted somewhere down the line.

Then, recently, I happened to read a lot about gratitude and how we take every little thing we have in life for granted without really being appreciative of anything. That’s when I started looking back and thinking about the gazillion things that are right in my life and that have been – even if it was just having somewhere to live or food to eat every single day! Some don’t have the luxury of having three meals a day. It was then I realized the number of things that I have been given that I’ve always taken for granted and I wanted gratitude to be a very major part of my life thereafter.  

When I read The Secret and I read about the magic rock, I wanted a magic rock of my own. Now I have, not one, but two of them. My tattoos that symbolize gratitude are my own little magic rocks that remind me day in and day out to be thankful for all things I have received all my life. For all the people who have made a difference in my life and has made it what it has been. I am very grateful for all that I’ve been through that has made me who I am today. I am grateful for all those who have hurt me to have made me stronger. I am grateful for all those who have believed in me and who stand by me, no matter what. I’m very grateful I have a support system of people who are patient, who tell me what I’m capable of when I forget myself. I’m very grateful for every single thing that has shaped my life – good or bad.

A day before I got my tattoo, someone asked me if I wasn’t too young to get a gratitude tattoo. It’s when I thought about it and told him that one can never be too young or old to be grateful for what they have. And I’m not.

Oh, and why in Chinese? Because I think the script is extremely artsy – and that in another parallel universe is another part of me.

Monday, July 22, 2013

..Till she started loving herself

Didn’t believe she was lucky
Until she saw the unfortunate
Didn’t believe there’s a place and time for everything
Until she left what she had to get something better instead
Didn’t believe in luck or serendipity
Until he came into her life despite the distance
Didn’t believe in destiny
Until he kept coming back to her
Didn’t believe the universe had a plan for her
Until every failure was followed by something better   
Didn’t believe in the power of dreams
Until she lived through one
Didn’t believe love could be found in the darkest place
Until he came from nowhere and swept her off her feet
Didn’t believe she could love another
Until she began loving him
Didn’t believe she’d be heartbroken  
Till he ruthlessly broke her heart
Didn’t think she would convalesce
Until she indulged into a new passion
Didn’t believe she would stop feeling lonely
Until she found company within herself
Didn’t think she would trust another
Till she started trusting her instincts
Didn’t think she could stop the tears
Until she didn’t have a reason to shed them
Didn’t believe she could love again
Until she fell in love with herself – all over again.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Battle through or be swallowed by the tide

We walked through the tranquil water expanse – knowing it was what I feared, he said it was necessary. I reeked of apprehension, but he promised not to let go. I held his hand as we stepped into the colossal waters. We began walking towards the fort on the other side. As we muscled on, the waters displaying their eccentricity changed from serene to bustling and demanded my endurance. Fear gripped every cell in my body, but we were half way there. I was left with two choices: battle through or be swallowed by the tide. There was no backing down now; as he promised, he hadn’t let my hand out of his grasp. There was little he could do if I chose to give up. He was my support, but only as long as I chose to have him. I picked to make it count. He had no purpose treading that path, but I had fear to overcome; he found purpose in mine and I found inspiration in him. Enduring the hostility of the waters, my hand gripped securely in his, we realized a new reason with every step we took towards the fort. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

My shining stars

Somehow, and I hate to admit it, I think I’ve turned into a pessimist with time. Someone once told me I was the queen of optimism. Just like time heals wounds, it creates new ones too… oh, there I go again! In all the cynicism, there is a part of me that has been lost. I don’t know if we realize, but in our everyday drama of combating through life, we often don’t value the presence of those who matter the most. We often take them and their presence in our lives for granted… that’s what love does to us, I suppose. But, it’s never too late, and here’s one for all the ones who mean heaps to me. I love you all boundlessly. I don’t have to name anyone; you’ll know who you are.
  • Despite all the tantrums, the late nights, the arguments, the pig-headedness, there cannot be another who has loved me more than you have. Thank you! I know you are someone who will be by my side, come what may and I can only be eternally grateful to you for that. My debt to you is my entire life as there hasn’t been a day in it that you haven’t been a part of. You’ve been my pillar of strength through thick and thin; I derive that will only from you. I only hope I can be as inspirational and supportive to my kids when my time comes. I love you.
  • Thank you for all the belief you instill into me, just by believing in me the way you do. I love how robust your faith in me is, and I promise to make you proud, always. You made me believe in the impossible and back myself always; I owe my belief in achieving the impossible coming true only to you. Thank you for being the eternal optimist and keeping me affirmative perpetually. I love you!
  • I know I gave you heaps of grief when you were younger, but my life would be so colourless with you. You are my support system, you keep my secrets, hug me when I’m low, kiss me when I’m asleep,  give me advice, have my back and the best part – you let me be me. Thank you, baby! I love you so much.

  • I love you for being so inspiring and going out of your way to do things for me. You are my Santa Claus – 2, and have been for as long as I can remember. You have always been my guiding light and you make me feel so, so loved. I hated how you would keep kissing me when younger, but now I know how much you loved me. I remember your friend ‘Piggu’ telling me that you had made such a big deal about me coming over to see you and kept telling everyone who would listen. I love you so much.
  • You remember the times we used to prank call people? Yes, we did! You’ve always been my partner in crime and I can’t forget that night we stayed up watching that lame movie – Judaai - bawling!! I will never forget that toast we made to each other, and that epic fall we had together. You have been a very important part of my journey… through thick and thin, I know I can count on you. Thank you! You always make me feel stronger than I really am. Mwah!
  • When I first met you, I didn’t ever think you’d become such an important part of my life.. but you have. You have always supported my million ideas, desires and have pushed me to do everything I have always wanted to. You’ve been my voice of reason, my light during dark times, my support when I was weak and my comfort at all times. All the times I’ve had with you will always be special to me…especially those 25 minutes we made the most of, when we were supposed to be doing something else! I loved how you came to see me despite being ill when you got back from Chennai and even you coming to drop me off before I left to Colombo. I love how special you made me feel throughout our time together; I’ll never forget any of that. You got me to believe in things I never did when I met you. Thank you so much! I love you.
  • We’ve known each other for almost 10 years now… and yes, we need to celebrate next year! I loved your birthdays back in the day and loved all the randomness. I don’t think I has as much fun as I’ve had with you, ever again. Those times were just insane! I still have that letter you wrote to me – which I found crazy hard to believe, but I’m just glad nothing has ever changed between us. I love how I can forget everything with you and even if we’re away for a while, we start off from where we left. Thank you for bringing immense joy into my life.
  • I can’t forget your accident and how we got through that. We went through different stages in the last 10 years, but did together. It has been lovely having you be a part of my life the way you have been. You are now officially, the one person I’ve known for the longest in Hyderabad. You’ve only made my journey easier sometimes by just being there. You believed in me and my abilities and always pushed me in the right direction. All the times I called you for advice, you had it ready. You taught me to love…Thank you.
  • I hated you, and you know it. But I’m so grateful we could get over it all to share something so special now. All the times you were my driver, my shoulder to cry, a cheapskate of a chap, will always be special to me. I’ll never forget you tipping all your whiskey into my glass when I wasn’t looking. I’m glad we went through similar things at similar times; just helped us be there for each other when needed the most. I’m super happy to have been with you through the years and want our bond to last forever. Thank you for being such an important part of my life.
  • You have inspired me always by being so strong and pushing through everything you have been through. You always called me a go-getter, and most of the times it’s you that gives me hope when I’m in the dumps. I love how supportive you are of everything I do. I loved how interested you are in ‘my project’ and whether or not anybody likes it, you will. I just know. I loved our essay emails and our conversations. I love you and am so glad to have you.
  • You were my second mother and I loved every minute that I spent with you. The other day when you said I was your sister, it moved me. You make me feel your own and always have. I have immense love and respect for you. You are one of those special people I want to have in my life come what may. Thank you!
  • I love the fact that despite meeting years later, we kicked off so well. I loved spending time with you when we’d come for the weekends. Your ghost stories were lovely.. But I didn’t know then that we would share such a special bond today. That all-nighter we pulled off drinking will be one of my fondest memories with you. I think you’re the perfect role model to have and the way you push me into making things happen, you’re amazing! I am so glad to have your backing and guidance – I know I can count on you. Thank you for being my guiding light in times when I have needed it the most. Your outlook on life is akin to someone very special to me – and you know who. Thank you! 
  • I love you more than you have ever known.. I’m just so so glad that we went to that concert together and the last memory I have with you is one of you kissing me goodbye. The time I spent with you that afternoon and how we laughed at lunch, will be one of my fondest memories, ever. I’ll never forget all our junction meets, the day I met you at Firangi Paani and asked you if you got a tattoo just by hugging you and you asking me if I can see through your clothes (lol), all the secrets, all those dreams we shared, all the tripping on the poor chap, you spending time at home like it was your own and of course, your call from HRC.. I miss you so much. I just regret not telling you all this before it got too late. Thank you!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Kritika for Chief Funster: My indelible two-week journey

We’re two days away from the big announcement of who have made the Top 3 amongst the 25 shortlisted Chief Funsters, and even the thought brings butterflies of nervous excitement. Every thought, every conversation I have, everything I say just seems to be revolving around the shortlisting and the announcement due in a couple of days. I even dreamt I bumped into Mick Vawdon (the lead singer of White Shoe Theory) at this gorgeous eatery (must be a sign?). My mind is racing with multiple thoughts of if, buts, maybes, but I reckon when you care enough about something, these thoughts are bound to come. Gilly said before one of the matches recently, “If I’m not nervous about a game, I need to go home!” Summed it up beautifully. 

 My ‘referee challenge’ post shortlisting has been one of the craziest journeys I have ever undertaken. Had it not been essential, I don’t think anybody would’ve even known about the shortlisting, except a few close friends. But since it was a part of the challenge to gain as much advocacy and support as possible, it had to be done, and looking back, it was one, very gratifying experience. For firsts, I had no idea so many people even cared – let alone wished well – about my endeavours. Two, the support I received from people I knew; some who I barely did, some who I didn’t know and still don’t, from different corners of the world has been overwhelming. People offering help for my campaign, writing me messages of support, was just all too sweet and humbling. Thank you! 

 When the first article of my shortlisting was published, there was a weird sense of introversion and it felt a little uneasy to be talking about the article, the shortlisting, the contest, my entry to people I knew. Their perception towards me had changed a tad shade – for better or worse – I didn’t like it; it had thrown me out of my comfort zone of just going about doing my own thing without anyone really knowing (like the contest for the World T20). 

But, my endorsements were the favourite part of my campaign; Alan Wilkins, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Daren Ganga, James Knight, Aadarsh Balakrishna, Gautam Bhimani, Pragyan Ojha, Luke Wright were few of the ‘big names’ on Team Kritika for Chief Funster. It was almost like this was scripted to happen – for me to have my heroes endorse me for something I’ve been dreaming about for so many years. If you asked me what perfect was, I would say, this was. 

 I feel blessed and extremely grateful to have been shortlisted from about 600,000 applicants; it is an honour. I’m not sure what I’m going to find out on Wednesday, but the last two weeks have been extremely exciting, given the magnitude of the challenge. There were lots of highs, not so many lows, but one thing I know is I did all that I could in those 2 weeks to support my shortlisting and did my best – whether it was going all the way to Raipur to get my endorsements from Alan and Daren or going that extra mile to have Ponting and Hussey on my team! All of it will be very special. I want to win and of course, it would mean the world to win having had all these great personalities vouching for me. If not, I’ll think about it on Wednesday.. but for now, I have my fingers, toes and everything crossed!

I’m just two steps away from my dream being realized.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Endorsement from Australian author and journalist - James Knight

James Knight
May 4th

Kritika Naidu, what a star! She would make a fantastic winner of your competition because I swear she is more Australian than many Aussies! I first met her when she and her younger sister drove several hours in India from Hyderabad to Pune to listen to Renowned Australian fast bowler Brett Lee play in his band White Shoe Theory.

Kritika astounded me with her knowledge of Australia, but more importantly, her enthusiasm for down under and life in general. Again I say, Kritika Naidu, what a star.

She would be a tremendous ambassador for her own country, and Australia.

I wish her the very best. In whatever she chooses to do in life she will do very, very well.

Yours Sincerely, (and with fingers crossed!)

James Knight

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Endorsement from Fox Sports presenter and commentator - Alan Wilkins!

Alan Wilkins
Presenter & Commentator
Fox Sports International

April 2013

To Whom It May Concern


I met Kritika last year during the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka where she was covering the event for one of the major sponsors.  From the outset, Kritika makes an indelible impression upon people with her engaging personality, her warm smile, her inquisitive nature and her willingness to help on any project with unbridled enthusiasm.

From what I have come to know of her, Kritika is an extremely adventurous and motivated individual who isn’t fazed by trying new things, tackling with relish any task that has been presented to her. An engineer by education, Kritika shifted fields as soon as she found an opening in sport, specifically cricket, led by her burning passion for the game, which is backed up by a sound knowledge of the game’s nuances as well.

I was particularly impressed by how she covered the ICC World Twenty20 by blogging, gathering exclusive stories, interviewing some of the world’s biggest cricket stars, shooting videos, keeping people engaged on social media sites and making a mark at the first opportunity she got.  

She continued to impress by quickly adapting in a new environment, exploring new challenges that came her way especially through the realm of television and broadcast production. Her hunger and tenacity led her to develop a different side of her personality – one which thrives on ambition. Kritika made the best use of her time in Sri Lanka by networking with people from the sporting fraternity including players, team management, television personnel, journalists and, of course, the fans.

Kritika is the perfect example of someone who dreams big and isn’t fearful of giving it her all to achieve them. I strongly recommend Kritika Naidu for the role of Chief Funster and being the Indian face of Australia Tourism for as long as the job requires, because I firmly believe she has the qualities and personal skills set to do maximum justice to the job.

Hyderabad is India’s centre for pearls and in Kritika Naidu, New South Wales would be discovering a rare gem to add to its rich portfolio for the world to meet.
Yours Sincerely

Alan Wilkins
Presenter & Commentator
Fox Sports International

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The one that got away...

I have been meaning to get down to writing this for a very long time, but somehow the prospect of writing about it petrified me. Maybe it was not being entirely petrified, but more of denial; denial of not wanting to admit that he was no more. Writing this would have meant I finally had come to terms with it and I didn’t want to. But then, the other night, while I was at dinner with a friend at the same place that him and I visited almost every other week, that emptiness of not having him sit across me, sipping on his beer and approving of my taste for whiskey came to me. I opened my message thread with him to see my numerous messages that had not been replied to. It was then that I grasped that I would never have him around to do all that he used to do.

The last time we were there, we discussed past-life regression and how it set him free. Perhaps, that was what freed him from the fiends of his past and truly liberalized him – free enough to drift away without pain. We talked about the law of attraction and concocted new theories to why things have happened in our lives. He was someone who understood the unspoken; he just knew where I was coming from. Whether we’d meet after a year or a month, we were always on the same page and kicked off right from where we had left it behind.

He was someone that I could trust almost as instinctively as I would trust myself; he was my secret-keeper and my accomplice in everything I did. We had imagined the most beautiful dreams that we could have had together for the different things we wanted. He egged me on to believing, keeping faith, trusting and pursuing all that I wanted for myself while I shielded his fears. If there is anyone who understood me better than anybody else, it was him. We complemented each other as well as anybody could. One thing he said that I would never forget is, “Don’t let anybody distract you or come in between you and your dreams; if they really care, they’ll only back you, not pull you down.”

Our last meeting before the accident was one that will never leave me; we laughed, and laughed for hours! What was a random, unplanned meet, turned out to be one of my fondest memories with him. He even mentioned that afternoon that he hadn’t laughed like that in ages. It was beautiful; taintless. The bond we shared was paranormal; when I once met him after about six months, I asked him if he got a tattoo immediately after hugging him. Till today, I have no idea why the thought occurred, but it did and he did actually get a tattoo – not a little one, but he tattooed his entire back!

It is said that there is a reason why different people are a part of your life at different times... I couldn’t have believed in it more after my time with him. If anyone made the most of their life, it was him. If everything has its place and time, it perhaps was his time, but not without having made a difference to many who will live on and fulfill his dreams for them. He lives in me and always will.

Ever since January 20th, my dreams have been only mine with nobody to share, and as I see it, that’s how it’s going to be henceforward.

I miss you Abhi, and miss you heaps.
I know you’re watching – you’re the light inside me to take me where I want to go.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 - The year it was

Another year has come to an end; it’s rather petrifying how time flies. While I deliberately reminisce over the past year, there are so many things I would have liked to do differently. My sister happened to ask me which year was my best, I said, “2012!” But was it really? There were opportunities that I blew, chances I took, faith I sowed and mistakes I made. But like my mum says, “You’ll never relish success as much if you didn’t know how disappointments felt.”

I didn’t apprehend travelling was going to be the highlight of my year. It was a spectacular year on that note, and one of the best things about 2012! Having voyaged from Bangalore, Coorg, Leh, Manali, Delhi, Pune to Sri Lanka this year, I’ve come to realize that travelling gives me a different high - one that is way more addictive than the drug that regales. Fronting the unfamiliar is daunting, but exhilarating, and my trips to Leh and Sri Lanka were precisely that! For most of my trips, I have Rohan to thank; he's been an amazing partner-in-crime and fantastic company! If I initiated the idea, he helped me see it through! None of the outings would have been the same without him.

I did things I had only imagined of before. A road-trip to Ladakh, my outing to Pangong Lake, sitting in the control room and the commentator’s box at the Palekelle in Kandy, watching the game from the team dug outs virtually, schmoozing with some of the game’s greats were thoughts only in reveries, but having lived through those, they’d always mean oodles to me.

There has been one monument in India that had me fascinated enough to want to visit it for years now - The Taj Mahal! Luckily for me, I checked that last year, too! Beautiful is an understatement for that gorgeous wonder! All I could do throughout my visit was gawk at its magnificence. If that's what a Wonder of the World made me feel, I'm looking forward to seeing another. Hopefully, The Great Wall of China next!

Travelling alone to a different country for me was always going to be challenging, especially since I have always been cosseted with company most times than not. To venture into a land with a different tongue was supposed to be tough, but not really; in times like those, you act on instinct and listen to the voice inside your head. The best part about the trip to Sri Lanka was of course, the cricket! I couldn’t have asked for a better first trip by myself!  

I marked off entries on my bucket-list like paragliding, river rafting, river-crossing and a few others – the most for one single year, which is an indication that I’m on my way of accomplishing all I want to. The year also reinforced my belief in – whatever happens, happens for the best. My trip to the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka was perfectly scheduled post my return from Bangalore, without which it wouldn’t have been possible. I can’t help but believe that, everything happens for a reason and there is a larger plan in place.

People talk about resolutions, but I’ve figured making resolutions is an absolute waste of my time. One, it takes me no time to break them, and two, I’m not determined enough to see them through the entire year. So this year I haven’t exactly made resolutions but there are a few things I would love doing this year. This year: No more ‘I can’t’, ‘It’s not possible’ and ‘It’s so hard’; instead, more of ‘I will’, ‘This is awesome’ and ‘What’s the opportunity here?’

2012 was supposed to be the year of the apocalypse. Of course, we knew better. I’m sure nobody stopped planning for 2013 because they believed the prediction would come true. That’s what we learn: to look ahead, hope for better things and strive to achieve what we have set out for.