Doggie Woes.

So this is my thing: You know how most kids go through an ‘I want a dog’ phase? And they scream and cry and do everything to get one? I haven’t grown out of that phase, and I won’t ever. I want a dog. And I don’t have one. And sometimes, I really have to whine about this or else I will die, and therefore this is going to be a whine-y, emotional, personal post. You’ve been warned.

I’m back in Chennai for the summer, and I’ve been going out, meeting my friends. So last night, I slept over at my best friend’s place. Her doggy, Elmo, is almost two years old now (he’s a German Shepherd). He is adorable, and I love him with all my heart. I spent a lot of time with him, and I felt this joy within me, this joy I’ve craved for ever since I was a little girl. But I know he’s not mine, and that this fleeting moment is all I have with him, just as with every other dog I’ve met. Just like the newest addition to my cousin’s family back in Bangalore – a two month old Labrador puppy (I can’t wait to get back and meet him).  I never for a second wished that any of these dogs were mine, because they are somebody else’s dogs, they were their very own, personal joy-givers, and I would never want to spoil that (not that I could even if I wanted to).

I have been through some tough times like every body else, and I look back at it and think that things would have been extremely different if I had a dog. Things would have been a gazillion times better. That is how I feel. Because during those times, that’s all I wanted – a companion, someone I could put my whole trust in.

My parents never bought me a dog, despite my numerous tantrums and crying and pleading and what not. They always told me “Next year”. It’s been fourteen years since. I guess they had their reasons – we lived in an apartment, and it would be impractical to raise a big dog here; my sister was still a baby; by the time she grew up she decided she was going to be scared of dogs forever – so basically, we never got a dog.

Which is why I have decided – that when I start working, and when I’m living on my own terms in my own little place, I am going to buy myself a dog. Or adopt. And he will be MY dog. I know it won’t be easy to raise a dog, I know I might find it to be the hardest thing in the world even, but I’m ready to do all that. I’m ready to do all that because I will love my dog very much, and he will love me back, and we will have a bond that no one in the world can break.

Friends are not Family.

I’m quite tired of hearing people call their best friends “sisters” and “family” and “brothers from another mother”. Because come on, that is totally belittling that awesome, amazing friendship you’ve got there! Family is family because you are biologically tied to them. By blood and by intricate patterns of genes that gives you someone’s smile, and someone’s hair and someone’s eyes. But friends are people you pick, they are people YOU choose by your own right, and people who have chosen you, by their own will, to go on this amazing journey called life. Out of the hundreds of people you meet, friends are those chosen few who love you not because they have to, but because they just do. Friends stick with you, give you a shoulder to lean on, share your joys and your sorrows not because they have to, but because they want to. I don’t know what better title there is to give than “friend”, because these are people who have got your back no matter what, not because they are bound by blood, not because they are “family”. But simply because they’re your friends.

I have the best friends in the world, and I am SO glad I have them.

Nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award!

Hey all! So here’s a really fun thing: The Real Neat Blog Award. I’ve been nominated (it’s my first nomination, by the way!) for the Real Neat Blog Award by the amazing https://inquisitivemindandstubbornheart.wordpress.com/ – thank you so much! 😀

So if you’ve been nominated, these are the rules:

– Insert the award logo onto your post (which is the blue image you see above)
– Answer the seven questions they asked you.
– Thank the blogger who nominated you.
– Nominate other bloggers and ask them seven questions and let them know you have nominated them !

So here are my answers to the questions I was asked :

  • What was the first word you spoke ?

I’d like to say it was something really cool, like ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ or some such fancy word, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t and I honestly don’t remember.

  • What is your comfort food ?

Chocolate. I need my chocolate. In any form – as an ice cream or a bar or a cake or a brownie or even just out of a jar (read: Nutella).

  • Where is the one place you’d visit if you had ample time and money ?

If I had ample time and money, I’d pack my bags and go on a trip round the whole world! I can’t pick exactly one place I’d like to visit, although Greece, the Maldives, California and London would definitely top my list.

  • What is the one habit you’d like to get rid of ?

PROCRASTINATION. I’m the queen of procrastination. I hate that I do it, and I keep telling myself I’ll change tomorrow.

  • When do you feel happy ?

When I’m swimming. When I’m with a dog. When I’m writing. But especially, when I’ve had a very productive day, and I know I’ve done something worthwhile with my time.

  • If you were given the choice of staying ever youthful and immortal would you accept it ?

No. Staying youthful, maybe, but not immortality. Then I’d never be able to experience the rush of doing something dangerous or the thrill of actually getting away with it.

  • Which is the one book that influenced you the most ?

Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. BRILLIANT book. I absolutely loved Scarlett, and for months after reading the book (and sometimes even now), if I’m feeling down, I think ‘What would Scarlett do?’. Scarlett would get the eff up, dust herself off, and carry on.

I’d like to nominate these bloggers because I think they have a real neat blog:

Alda, for her really cute blog : https://daggersandhearts.wordpress.com/
Karthika, for her very fun and upbeat blogging style : https://talkteenlife.wordpress.com/
Rameez Sheikh, for his brilliant stories : https://ofscribblesandscrawls.wordpress.com/
Matthew Black, who probably doesn’t need an award to know how amazing his blog is : https://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

Here are my seven questions to you :
1) What are the five things that make you happy?
2) Why do you write?
3) Are you a cat-person or a dog-person, and why?
4) If you could be any other person in this world, who would you be?
5) Which was the last book you read, and what did you think of it?
6) What is your motto in life?
7) What are a few things you hate about yourself, and a few things you love about yourself?

And that’s it! Happy blogging y’all! 🙂

It’s the time to ‘Social’ize!

Just a couple of days back, I finished writing all my end semester exams, and now I’m officially done with my second year of college! I’m so happy that I get to go back home to Chennai now for the summer vacation, I really am in need of a long, long holiday.

Two of my friends had to give us pending birthday treats, and so they decided to take us out after the day we wrote our last exam, and to also celebrate the end of another year of college. We went to Church Street Social (which is a resto-bar/lounge kind of place), which is quite popular with most Bangaloreans, because it is is such a fun and economical place to hang out – and they serve great food!

The interiors are done up like a rustic, country-meets-rock pub, with metal  chains and wooden floors and brick walls. There are big, comfortable sofas for larger groups, and individual chairs and tables for those who want a more formal arrangement. They also have a seperate room for people who’d like to smoke as they enjoy their food and drinks. The music they play is quite varied – it was different every time I’ve been there, so if you’re lucky, they’ll have something on that you like.

Scrumptious Honey CHilli Fries and Hot Tennessee chicken Wings

Scrumptious Honey CHilli Fries and Hot Tennessee chicken Wings

We started with Hot Tennessee Wings and Honey Chilli Fries, both of which were absolutely scrumptious. The wings were slightly spicy, with an amazing flavour, and the Honey Chilli Fries where delicious as always (every time I’m here, I make it a point to order them). On previous visits, I have tried their BBQ platter – which was super, the beef was melt-in-the-mouth yummy; and another starter dish of Chicken wings (I’ve forgotten the name) – but these were not as great as the Hot Tennessee Wings.

The chicken biryani - rice with curry style

The chicken biryani – rice with curry style

Next we ordered for main course – one cottage cheese and capsicum sizzlers, one chicken sizzler, one beef steak sizzler,one paneer makhani biryani, two chicken biryanis, and since I was in the mood for brunch, I ordered the Kiran’s Big Apple Breakfast tray. The food was simply DELICIOUS. Their biryanis are not really authentic biryanis – they come as rice with a chicken or paneer curry on top, which then has to be mixed before being eaten. Nevertheless, they were yummy, and the flavours were just great. The sizzlers were all very tasty as well. As for my breakfast tray, it was absolutely delightful. It had two fat fluffy pancakes with dollops of blueberry preserve in the centres, one masala omelette stuffed with capsicum, onions and tomatoes, a stack of lightly toasted bread and a bowl of jam and a stick of butter to go with it, a plate of french fries and crispy bacon strips, and a pack of oreos. I loved it. I love breakfast food, and brunches are one of my most favourite things in the world. The pancakes were oh, so soft and delish, the omelette was perfect and the bacon -oh, the bacon was damn good (but also very unhealthy, but oh, SO good). I enjoyed it very, very much.

My fabulous breakfast tray

My fabulous breakfast tray

Apart from the usual range of shooters and other alcohol, Social offers a wide and very creative range of cocktails – right down to their whacky presentation. We ordered the Cosmo explosion (which is supposed to come with cotton candy, but they seem to always run out of the cotton candy), a Screw-driver, a Red Pill/Blue Pill (comes as a red drink with a syringe full of a blue solution), a Trip on the Drip (which comes in a medical-intravenous-drip-bag kind of thing, complete with curly straw), and two ice teas – one peach and one berry. The drinks were all great.

really good-looking drinks

We didn’t order desert this time, but they do have some pretty good desserts. Their chocolate layer cake is worth a try. On the whole, Social is an amazing place to hang out – and for the quality of food and alcohol they serve, they are very reasonably priced. It tends to get crowded in the evenings and especially on weekends, so be prepared to wait in line. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a good time and some really good food!

Church Street Social:

Address: 46/1, Cobalt Building,Church Street, Bangalore

Timings: Open from 9 AM to 11:30 PM (and on Fridays and Saturdays to 1AM)

For that sweet tooth craving.

Today’s review is about a little cafe situated right opposite Mount Carmel College (where I study), in Vasanth Nagar, Bangalore. It’s called ‘Desserted’ and is actually a big old house that has been revamped and turned into a cafe, and this gives a nice homely feel to the place. It has indoor and outdoor seating (and even used to have a room filed with squishy bean bags, but does not any more), fairy lights, colourful posters and art pieces, vintage mirrors and cupboard doors in the oddest of places – like the ceiling, for instance- and nice old style wicker chairs and pretty hand-made paper lanterns. My friends and I are frequent visitors there – well, frequent would be an under statement. We’re there pretty much everyday, either for lunch, or to celebrate someone’s birthday, or to study, or just to kill time.

Today's delicious breakfast.

The delicious “American Staple” breakfast with a steaming hot cup of green tea. 🙂

Before I begin – I must warn all the meat eaters out there, that this place is vegetarian (except they serve egg, but nothing more). I know I know, but my friends and I are purely non-vegetarian, and we don’t feel a lack of choice here, we quite love their food. Now let’s dive right into the menu – all of us put together have tried pretty much everything on their menu, and we’ve found the food here to be very satisfactory over all. They serve breakfast all day through, and the breakfast options include waffles, pancakes with maple syrup, french toast – and my favourite, their American Staple, which is combination of buttered toast, eggs done according to your choice (scrambled, omelette, cheese-filled, boiled, anything), potato balls and a topping, if you fancied, of chocolate spread or melted cheese or blueberry topping or maple syrup over any of those.

Their famous cheesy mexican french fires and pasta

Their famous cheesy mexican french fires and pasta

Next we have the other dishes – ranging from french fries to spaghetti to cheese globes to different types of pasta to burgers to sandwiches and also some exotic sounding stuff like ‘Hungarian Langos’ and ‘Croque Monsieur’. The fries come with different seasonings and toppings (‘Desi fries’ and ‘Mexican fries’), and lots of white cream sauce. They’re absolutely delicious, and the perfect thing to order for a large group to snack on. The pastas are yummy and filling, and come with red or green or white sauce with pepper corns and zucchini. The ‘Croque Monsieur’ is actually a sandwich with lots of cheese, and it’s counterpart ‘Crouqe Madame’ comes with eggs. The sandwiches are pretty great too, but not too filling if your the type who has a very large appetite.

Red velvet cupcake and a slice of red velvet cake, both with generous amounts of thick cream cheese icing

Red velvet cupcake and a slice of red velvet cake, both with generous amounts of thick cream cheese icing

And finally, we have the best part of the entire ‘Desserted’ experience – the desserts! They have cakes, they have chocolate-filled crossiants, they have tarts, they have cheesecake, they have home-made chocolates, they have truffle lollipops, they have cookies, they have cupcakes – so many mouth-watering choices! The cakes are soft and moist, with thick, fudgey icing- my favourites are the choclate truffle cake (this one is absolute gold for chocolate lovers), the red velvet (although on some days it tastes better than on others) and the ferrero rocher cake (which is so filling, it’s difficult for just one person to finish one piece). The tarts are simple and tasty – I like their lemon tarts best. The cookies are big, with different flavours (yes, even a red-velvet one), but are a tad bit over priced. The chocolate croissants are lovely, and according to me,they  are the best buy there – but ask them to heat it up for you before you dig in! If you’re not into chocolate, you can have the plain butter version, which is just as delicious.

Now coming to the Sundaes – ice cream is ice cream, you gotta love it. They have a good variety of sundaes – including a Caffeine Withdrawal for those coffee addicts, and a fun, colourfully sprinkled banana sundae – but the best of the lot, and totally worth your money and strictly  only for chocoholics (and also severely PMS-ing women in need of the chocolate cure) is the D.E.T. or the Devil Eats Truffle a.k.a that bowl full of chocolate ice cream and truffle cake and chocolate sauce and chocolate chips. This beauty used to be on their old menu, but doesn’t figure in their new and improved menu – but they still do make it for us whenever we ask them, and they should for you too (you’re welcome)! Besides these things, they also serve a whole lot of other stuff, like mojitos, milk shakes, health drinks and snacks.

Desserted is a fun place to hang out, is almost always crowded (because of it being so close to a college) and offers great, home-style food. The service is not too great, because there is always too many people and too few waiters, but they’ve been working on it. I especially recommend this place to people who have a sweet tooth, because Desserted has it’s very own flavour, it’s very own charm when it comes to desserts.

Desserted:

Address: 42, 8th Main Road, Next To Mount Carmel Management Institute,Vasanth Nagar, Bangalore

My Moment.

April 11th found me standing in front of a select crowd, in a white dress. No, I was not getting married. I was about to read my very own short story out loud to an audience for the very first time. It was a big day for me.

It all began sometime in January I think, when my father encouraged me to send my application for Anita’s Attic, a mentorship program in creative writing conducted by popular literary fiction writer, Anita Nair (author of best-sellers like The Better Man, Ladies Coupe and Mistress). I sent it in, and was delighted when I got selected, along with ten other aspiring writers. They came from different walks of life, and also from all over the country – but I was the only one still in college, the youngest of the lot. It was a program spread over twelve weeks – we would meet up every Saturday, and Anita ma’am would discuss our works with us. She gave us individual attention, and catered to our distinct styles, helping us shape our writing and make it clearer and spot on. Anita ma’am even called in established writers, editors and even a publisher to speak to us about the literary world and the publishing industry and to clear all our doubts. Most of us worked on our own collections of short stories (me included), while some worked on a novel, and one worked on a non-fiction piece, one a travelogue and one a short film script.

It was really a fabulous experience. To meet ten other creative minds, and hear their distinct voices, to be part of such a creative environment, to learn so many new things and to gain insight on the publishing industry from some of the best – it was truly an experience! I have learned SO much. April 11th was a big day, because it was our “Graduation” day of sorts. We collected our certificates in front of an audience consisting of family, friends, other writers and the speakers who interacted with us during the workshop, and the press. After, we read out our pieces.

I was so busy the whole time, I only remembered to take a photo once I got back home!

I was just a little nervous, but I was so happy when I was up there, reading my short story. I was so happy that my friends were there to support me, and my mother, who had come all the way from Chennai just for this. I am so thankful for such supportive family and friends. I was overjoyed when people came up to me when we were outside the Rangotsav Metro Theatre (where our Reading had taken place) having coffee post the event, and told me that they loved my story.

Anita ma’am took us out to dinner after the event, and I really enjoyed being there. It was a really nice night. I am so happy and grateful I got this opportunity – it really was amazing. I rediscovered how deep my love for writing is and the power of the written word, and I’m pretty sure this is something I want to do all my life.

All eleven of us from Anita's Attic :)

All eleven of us from Anita’s Attic 🙂

All The People

“All these young people nowadays, so arrogant and rebellious,” the elders disapprove.

“And all these old people, so narrow-minded and old-fashioned,” the youth shake their heads.

“All these women, so fragile and always dependent,” remark the men.

“All these men, nothing but perverts and rapists!” lament the women.

“All these South Indians – dark skinned with funny accents,” say all the people from the North.

“And all these North Indians, just crass and uneducated,” say the people from the South.

“Oh, these black people- violent and criminal, every one of them,” declare the “white” people.

“Ah, these white people – pompous idiots, every one of them,” comment the “black” people.

“All these Christians are drinkers and sinners,” discuss the Muslim people.

“And all the Muslims are terrorists and killers.” ponder the Christian people.

But what all these people don’t really understand

Is that people are not

Just empty glass jars to be filled

With assumptions

And placed on different shelves judged by their shape, size and colour.

People, are people, and we should learn to accept, if not love, one another.

We are all not the same, but we are all equal.