Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Camaraderie in Kodachadari


By and large, I’d like to think that I am not quite a delinquent when it comes to mingling with people. But going to some place another with strangers would definitely pose a challenge. I did experience a part of that when I went to Leh a couple of years ago, but I knew one of them really well and met few of the others a couple of them, so that doesn't count,  I guess. That said, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to have begun my trails of adventure after moving to Bangalore. I have always believed that it is the people who make or break your experience of situations, and for that I am grateful for that particular bunch.

There are a few things that I take back from the trip as fondly as I can imagine apart from the misty mountains, the incessant rains, the plethora of greenery and some fond memories.

Firstly, camaraderie: every individual has contributed in making my trip just as memorable as the other. And without even a single one of them, it wouldn’t have been the same.

Two, the spirit. I would be quite off the mark if I said that it was a pleasant and cheerful journey throughout.It wasn't...at certain times, not even close. But it is because of adversities and distresses that one actually learns to appreciate and treasure the happy and finer things in life. All the randomness, the absurdity, finding something to smile about in harsh conditions, the feeling of cohesion was incredible!

And lastly, the escapade in the voyage we had undertaken. Right from the lush green forests, to my snake treat, to the enchanted waterfall, to the incessant rainfall, to the leech infestation, to the adaptation to uncomfortable conditions, to pushing yourself one step further out of your comfort zone, we saw it all. It was an incredible journey that will always be special to me for more than one reasons.

Monday, May 26, 2014

You know that feeling?... I do.

You wake up one morning on the wrong side of the bed and ponder over your frustrations. You think about how you’re stuck in a rut that seems impossible to leave behind. How your job is not what you see yourself doing all your life. How you have so many aspirations, but don’t have the means to fulfill them. How you can’t reciprocate feeling the same for someone who feels a certain way about you or vice versa. How it is difficult to find people you can trust. How you can’t seem to make time for anyone; not even yourself. How your life is a living hellhole and how you would do anything to get out of it….

Amidst all those disappointments, you meet someone who reminds you how blessed you are… and all of a sudden, you’re thanking your stars. They make you happy. Very happy…without even trying.  

A brief chat, a hug, a cuddle, a text message, or one meeting in months is enough to counter those negative emotions in seconds. You start believing in the niceties of the world again. You feel special. You know they’re looking out for you. You know they believe in you and your abilities – especially in times that you don’t. You know that they’re always just a phone call away and will always guide you right. You know that you mean just as much as they do to you, and it’s something that doesn’t have to be suggested or said. You know that you are blessed to have them. You know they love you… platonic as it may be, but with unrivalled intensity. You know you don’t need to talk every day, but they still care for you just as much. You know they love to see you smile… and just like that, you do. You know that feeling?

I do.

Monday, February 24, 2014

In good company

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” 
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

Before actually living by myself, I loved the idea of living alone. It was something I always wanted to do… just to know how it feels. At first, I was apprehensive about not having someone around, not being able to talk to someone, being left alone with only my thoughts and myself.  But now, it has been close to a month that I have been living by myself, and there are a lot of things I have learnt, primarily about myself.

I think I have come to be grateful and appreciate all the little things that I had taken for granted until this point in my life. I don’t have food arranged for every day, like I did for the past 25 years. I don’t have someone to give me a glass of milk because I’m too lazy to take it myself. I don’t have my bed made, my clothes washed, the dishes done, the house cleaned, groceries stocked, clothes folded and ironed, anymore. Thank you, Ma. I realize with every passing day how much you have done for me and I am truly indebted.

What I do have however, is lots of silence and time to discover myself. What I did not figure in 25 years, I have in a month. I have come to figure that I love my own company. I love the conversations I have with myself – they are brutally honest and extremely ridiculous even, at times. I love staring at myself in the mirror, and sometimes wish I could kiss myself. I have developed a new kind of love for myself - the empowering sorts. I have come around to love the silence around me. The riot that used to consume my mind has departed; it’s just me and my own banter now. My quirks are mine to accept and love.

In the darkness and silence of the nights, I have revived my flair and love for the arts. I don’t need to talk to someone all the time. I am happy hearing from people who care enough to talk to me, but the need is gone. I am a bit of a cleanliness freak. I love having plants. I don’t like someone else cleaning the house; I’d rather do it myself. I love the freedom to do what I want. I have also figured that I like cooking – it is not as drab like I used to think it is. I make time to read. I make time to talk to my mum every day. I don’t need to text or use my phone as much as I used to, only because I have better things to do. I am more responsible and utilize my time better. I don’t need to watch TV; I can do without it. I love sleeping in and waking up to the voice inside my head telling me that it’s time I wake up. I love waking up and having nobody to tell me what to do. I have time to reflect on how wonderful my life is and has been...knowing that this phase is a vital part of my journey to come.

I think I underrated how wonderful and gratifying living alone can be. I am very glad I am getting to experience it sooner than later. Everyone should live alone sometime in their lives – not to experience solitude, but to get to know themselves better.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Not my resolutions for 2014

No, I don't think I've ever really lived up to any resolutions I've made in the last few years, but, what the hell - there always is a first time, isn't it? I'm hoping the fact that I'm putting it out there on my blog adds pressure on me to actually do a few of these, if not all of them. There are a few things I thought of earlier, but thought better of them eventually.

Not doing these things this year: 

1. Cut down on partying and alcohol intake

I'm only 25 - this IS my age to party, be a wild child and do crazy shit. What the fuck was I thinking wanting to curb that?! There'll always come a time for moderation, but just not yet. If I've woken up with hangovers almost every other day in the past two months, it's evidence of the great times I've had. So, never ever mind.

2. Stop cussing

Did I just say what the fuck in No.1? Yeah... well. Twitter, being my reliable source for a lot of information, tells me that people who use a lot of swear words tend to be more honest and loyal. Believe it? No? Check Twitter; I'm not making it up. I'm not giving up on that because I don't want to. Cussing makes me feel in the zone - if it makes sense.

3. Stop being so sentimental and emotional

Oh, yes! I need to. I've had horrible phases where I've been overtly emotional over nothing or no-one. Must stop. But that is who I really am... is it worth changing my personality or who I essentially am because of some idiot or the idiot-equivalent of something? No. So never mind that either.

4. Be subdued around strangers

That's another one of the stupid things that came to me. I can't. I've tried. I mean, I can... but sooner or later (which is half hour later), my true colors ooze out. What's the point anyway? Like me, don't like me, I don't fucking care... (I love using that phrase after having Chris Newburg demonstrate it in different instances all night!)

Imma do all this though... 

1. Learn a new language
Spanish! Te Amo. Hola! Ciao! I'm underway already...

2. Improve fitness
There's a truckload of difference between being skinny and being fit.

3. Spend more time reading 
Imma read 50 books this year... or so is the plan!

4. Stop procrastinating
I'm on it already - got this post done, didn't I? Killing it already!

5. Spend less time on social media
I already have... believe me! Facebook pisses me off now. And I haven't changed my profile picture since the start of the Ashes. Progress! Whoopteedoo!!

6. Read another five autobiographies
I'm thinking... Ellen de Generes, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs? Yep.

7. Save money
LOL - that's the funniest thing I tried telling myself. I promised my mum I wouldn't shop until my birthday (in August), but did I mention there are other things I waste money on, like eating and drinking? No. She wouldn't approve. But no, seriously, I'll try. I promise I will.

8. Watch loads of cricket 
Think that is a given, but deserves a mention nevertheless.

9. Have a back-to-back movie day
Of course, they would include all my favorite romcoms - Notting Hill, Love Actually, The Holiday, Sweet Home Alabama, Two Weeks Notice, 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, P.S. I Love you etc.

10. Take a solo trip to a different country
Singapore, maybe.

11. Finish reading a book in a day

Another thing I should stop doing is waiting for the right time. By waiting for the right time, I mean, wait to be in the frame of mind to read, write, paint, etc. But based on the last year, I should know that while I wait for the 'right time' to come by, that beautiful thing called sleep engulfs me in its arms and before I know it, I'm dozing away to glory.... so chuck that too!

I'll work on the rest as we go along in 2014. This is just the start. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Why I will remember 2013

Why I will remember 2013

It was the year I lost my equivalent to a horse whisperer; he was the ‘Kritika whisperer’. I miss him dearly, even after a whole year has passed.
For all those who have gone out of their way to be there for me.
For the most fun I’ve had in ages since mid-October!
My tattoo. Finally!
My pixie cut… and I absolutely love it!
I got back to my own, happy-chappy, optimistic self after a long time.
I met some fantastic people throughout the year. (Those that have made my year special have heard from me in person.)
Some of the people I met have moved me to another plane. I am extremely grateful they happened to me.
My job with Wisden India
The first wedding of the family
My best friend’s wedding
My trip to the North-East of India
Australia winning back the Ashes in style
Russell Peters’ weekend (All 3 days - as special as it can get.)
The big fat Telugu wedding in November
The Best Jobs shortlisting
All the fantastic people helping me out with my campaign
The features during the contest
My night outs with the girls
My trip to Bandipur that beat almost every other trip in the last two years
My New Year’s Eve
The Halloween party
WAG feeling at the concert in September of my rockstar
Avicii’s concert
The lungi dance video
The number of all-nighters I have had and have successfully pulled off
The prawn masala at 5 am at ITC
Random musings from strangers that have meant heaps
Random messages that have made my day
Finding my Godfather-like figure
My two minutes with C.
Enjoying my own company heaps
The magic dust I possess
My new obsession with the word 'fabulous'

Things I’ve learnt 

Being grateful – it is one of the best things I’ve learnt this year.
Smoking is addictive.
Being fit feels awesome!
Family is the most important thing in life. Nobody will be there for you like your family will.
Some men are true gentlemen; they know how not to be creeps even if they have the chance.
A leopard can’t change its spots.
The virtue of selfishness
Spending your time in the company of pessimistic people makes you a cynic yourself.
When one door closes, another well and truly does open.
Some people care about you more than you think, while others claim to care about you lesser than they actually do.
Nothing lasts forever.
Even years later, some relationships are just the same.
Promises are seldom kept; often forgotten, if not broken.
Not everyone who compliments you has a hidden agenda.
Surreal things happen when you least expect them.
People who want to be in your life will find a way; those who don’t are not worth it.
What we tell ourselves matter more than the lies others tell us.
Don’t trust anything if you can't see where it keeps its brain.
This is the youngest or oldest I'll ever be - so might as well make the most of it and not curb myself from doing things that give me joy.
Don't depend on anyone except yourself.
Love yourself, follow your dreams and don't give up on things you really want for people - it's never worth it.

Motto of 2014 – I don’t fucking care…no-one fucking cares (Chris Newburg style)