Hair flips and some self-love.

On my very first day of college, I noticed this girl in my class with the most beautiful hair ever. It was looo-oo-oong, reaching upto her waist, thick and straight. And did I mention shiny? And so sleek and with the perfect amount of volume. I would steal glances at her hair, marveling at how it fell so effortlessly from that high ponytail. I even complimented her on it that day, and she was pretty creeped out (because she didn’t know me at all).

That girl (let’s just name her Miffy for convenience’s sake) is now one of my closest friends in college and we never lose a chance to creep her out by touching her hair every now and then just because it’s so pretty. It’s quite funny though, I don’t know how she puts up with us. I even drew her a little cartoon, which is this one here –

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Yes, that’s how much I loved her hair.

So anyway.
One day, my friends and I were having the usual completely random, brainless conversations that happen all day everyday (I’m exaggerating) and the topic of discussion was “I like your _________.” And we were discussing material things, not qualities or anything.

Imagine – IMAGINE – my surprise and shock when Miffy looked at me and said,”I like your hair the most!”

My friends are a beautiful bunch, and I’ve always admired and wished I’d had certain things that they have. Like fuller lips or a flatter stomach. And for the past two years I have secretly and also very un-secretly admired Miffy’s hair – and here she was, telling me that she loved my hair!

When she said that it dawned on me that every time I admired her hair, I didn’t realize that I ought to be happy with what I had myself. My hair is wavy and has a mind of its own – some days it is straight-ish and on others it is curly-ish. It never occurred to me that she too might have looked at my hair and thought it was pretty, just the way I looked at hers. Hell, it never occurred to me that anyone could have looked at my hair and thought it was pretty.

So basically, the moral of this seemingly pointless story is this : We all are beautiful in our own ways. Her beautiful may be different from your beautiful which may be different from my beautiful. It’s all about how you look at it. And that’s why, you should be glad however you are, and cherish whatever you’re blessed with. Girls can be a self-critical lot sometimes, and the grass is always greener on the other side. We fail to see that the grass can be as green on both sides, too! SO my point is – own it, however you are, and with whatever you have. 😀

*yayyy* *applause**throwsconfettiintheair*

And now for some hair flip gifs that own it :

(disclaimer : none of these gifs are mine, credits to whoever made these)

I have News! :D

I just realized I haven’t blogged about this one important thing that happened about five-six months back. For the duration of my udergrad, I’ve been staying at my aunt’s place. And GUESS WHAT. Six months back they got a dog!!! and HE IS THE CUTEST LITTLE BLACK LABRADOR PUPPY AND I LOVE HIM TO BITS. He came when he was only about a month old, so now he’s about six months old.

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Leo. ❤ The number One object of my affection.

I cannot tell you how frikkin’ EXCITED I was when I found out they’re getting a puppy. I’ve whined and cried about this a lot before – I’ve always wanted a dog. And now, I was getting the chance to finally live in a house with a dog! Like, that’s a whole different experience in itself and I’ve NEVER had it before, and oh, how I have CRAVED it.

Because dogs are like – well, they’re like therapy for me. They’re not like humans. They’re innocent, and they’ll love you completely and whole-heartedly and they’ll always be there for you. And honestly, I can’t tell you how much more better life is for me, now that we have Leo at home. He takes away all my troubles – all I need is to see him waiting for me when I get back home, and to get his hugs and kisses. I kiss him about a thousand times everyday, and I cuddle with him – and just, it’s the BEST stress reliever to ever exist for me.

I’ve become really emotionally attached to him in just this short span of time. Till now I didn’t know it was possible to love some one so much, my heart just swells every time I see his face and his eyes and his little paw-paws and his floppy ears and his cute little bum and his tail. I just love him so much.

But here’s the problem  – (and it’s a really big problem) – I only have another six months to go here, and then I’ll be graduating. I’ll be leaving Bangalore – that means I’ll be leaving Leo. And I know it’s going to be terribly hard for me, but I try not to think of it now.

I’m reassuring myself with the thought that in the next five years, I will be getting myself my very own dog (well, that’s the plan, let’s see how things go), and it’s a long wait, but something like this is worth waiting for.

My Music List.

So this post was going to be about something else, but I have been side tracked and this post is now about this video I just spent 30 minutes on :

Yes. The Best Blind Auditions of The Voice USA of All Time.

I don’t know how this video happened to pop up in my recommended videos list on YouTube, because I don’t even watch The Voice, but I’m SO GLAD it did. And can I just say -it isn’t even funny how wonderfully amazing listening to all of their voices made me feel.

It wasn’t even real after a while anymore, I was just drowning in the music, and in their voices – and it really made me feel the power of what music can do to you. I know it’s a pretty long video, but if you’re a music person, and even if you’re not, I think you should watch it.

Every singer brought a different feel, a different aura with his/her voice and style and it was just an absolute delight to watch them, and listen to them. It just reinforced the fact that music is such a beautiful, beautiful form of expression, and you only need to hear a little bit to feel and understand an ocean of emotions. I think I was just clutching my heart for the entire video, because it just made me so happy to hear them, and to see that their music was being appreciated, because it was so magical!

You get to know so much more about a person just from the kind of music they listen to. I always, always prefer to listen to music only through headphones or ear phones and not out loud, because I feel it’s such a personal thing (unless I’m at a party or a concert or some such event). But just because I feel like sharing this right now, here’s a list of the songs I’m currently into (in no particular order).

1) This Is What Makes Us Girls – Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey has, hands down, the most ethereal, haunting, drama queen voice, and there’s no one quite like her. This one is my favourite, especially because of the music interlude towards the end. I’m sure I’m never going to get over this song.

2) Smooth Operator – Sade

Because.

3) Careless Whisper – George Michael

I’ve been going through a jazz phase, okay? Also, I love this song. Who doesn’t?

4) Flosstradamus – Rebound (Daktyl Remix)

I can listen to this on loop. Love it.

5) Pani da Rang – Ayushman Khurana

The guitar. His voice. Enough said.

6) Tum hi ho – Arijith Singh

Although I listen to this song very rarely now, there was a time when it was on loop (for literally everybody) and it made me (and everyone else) fall completely in LOVE with the magic that is Arijith Singh’s voice. He sounds like an angel from heaven.

7) I Was Here – Beyonce

After having controlled the urge to put at least fifty other songs by Queen B in my list, I have restricted myself to this one purely because it gives me goosebumps every single time I listen to it. It’s just beautiful, how she sings it. And this video is just perfect.

8) Love On top – Beyonce

Okay, I lied. I put another one of hers on the list. This is my happy song. I simply love it.

9) Blue Ocean Floor – Justin Timberlake

I LOVE Justin Timberlake; I love his voice, I love his face, I love the way he dances, I love that his songs are almost eight minutes long because he puts so much detail into his music and I love him. He’s one of my top five favourites. And I have a seperate list of just his songs that I love, but for now this one shall suffice because it is be-yoo-ti-ful. (Also, I love Strawberry Bubblegum).

10) Unakkenna Venum Sollu – Benny Dayal and Mahathi

It’s a Tamil song, because why not? Such a beautiful song, it reminds me of why Chennai will always feel like home to me.

So that’s my very weird list of songs – they aren’t my top favourites, but I do feel connected to them in some ways. And thank you, if you’ve had the patience to go through the whole list, maybe tell me what your favourite songs are?

Basically, what I’m trying to say is, there’s some kind of magic in music, and we all feel it, and I think it’s what keeps the world together. 🙂

A Thing of Beauty.

Sorry I haven’t been posting often! My holidays are over, and I am back to Bangalore. The third (and final) year of my under graduation just started last week, and it has been hectic. (Well, hectic compared to my lazy holidays, but it’ll soon get busier than this.)

I go to an all-girls college, I think I’ve mentioned this before in a couple of my posts. It has been a different experience for me, because I have studied in a co-ed school for twelve years before this. The one thing about being surrounded by thousands of unique, beautiful and talented girls everyday is that I begin to unconsciously question myself. I start to think things like, “Wow, she has really nice, thick hair, I wish mine was like that.” Or “She pulls off that crazy outfit with so much spunk, I wish I had that kind of confidence.” Or, “Damn, she’s so fit, why can’t I be like that?!”

Without realizing it, I was going in a downward spiral with my own self-confidence, and it only struck me today when I read this quote:

I’m not going to spout any of that “beauty is only skin deep” and “it’s what is on the inside that counts” kind of philosophical crap. While I strongly and deeply believe that having a beautiful personality is very important, I also believe that being beautiful on the outside is a result of a healthy lifestyle and a desire to look and feel better – and these are important things too.

Every woman should feel strong and beautiful and I want to feel like that too. And I realized, there is literally nothing that’s stopping me from feeling that way – except myself! So here’s to every girl and woman, who like me, felt a little less beautiful whenever she saw beauty in another – Remind yourself you are beautiful too, work out, eat healthy, drink lots of water, laugh often, have a fresh no-makeup face or own that red lipstick if you want to! Oh, and don’t forget to compliment that girl you saw, and spread the love.

Stay happy, stay beautiful! ^~^

[all picture/gif credits to owners]

Why I hate cats.

I used to have a cat called Timmy, years and years ago. Obviously, Timmy is not around anymore. But I am convinced that Timmy was actually a dog, or at least a dog’s soul trapped in a cat’s body. Because every other cat I’ve met is unlike him, and also super annoying. They run away whenever I want to pet them, they hiss and  spit when I try to cuddle, they’re pretty selfish because they give me attention only when I have food with me, and basically – I have been spurned by one too many cats, and yes, I am bitter about this so I hate them all, because that’s how mature I am.

Also, because of this video (and millions of other like it): Scaredy dogs afraid of walking past cats

Look at these dogs – some of them are three times the size of those cats, and still they’re so terrified of them! That’s obviously because of how the cats treat them. It’s all supposed to be funny, but I didn’t find it funny at all. The cats were being just plain mean.

Right now, I’m in Kerala for my vacation – at my father’s parents’ home. They have a big garden, with lots of plants and trees. I was sitting in the porch in the afternoon, reading a book. And I see this cat. It’s a white and sandy brown coloured cat (mostly white) and he’s sunbathing in the garden. He’s been running around here past few days, and he’s seen me a couple of times before. So I figured, you know, I should extend my friendship and we could become good pals even though he was a cat. (I am needy and I look for love from every animal I meet.)

the cat in my grandparents' garden.  p.s.: sorry for the terrible picture quality

the cat in my grandparents’ garden.
p.s.: sorry for the terrible picture quality

But noooooo.

No matter how many friendly noises I emitted, or how many times I fake meow-ed to attract his attention – the cat just did not care. knew that the cat knew that I was trying to catch his attention. I just knew it. But there he sat, sunbathing, licking his paw ever-so-casually, paying no heed to my antics. I was trying to ignore the enormous beating my ego was getting, and I refused to accept defeat. Finally, after many long minutes of gesturing and acrobatics, I managed to get the cat’s attention. He looked at me with his green eyes, without blinking.

Great, I thought. I had now established eye contact. My next step was to approach him slowly, to let him know that my intentions were all good because they involved ear scratching and belly rubs for him. So I put my book down slowly, and got up. He put down his paw and I saw his body tense up. Please don’t run please don’t  run I’m thinking. The moment I put my foot outside the porch – that stupid cat scoots. I straighten up, and sigh exasperatedly.

“It’s your loss, cat!” I call out. “You lost out on all those belly rubs you could’ve got!”

I went back to my book, sulking. After a few minutes, I look up, and see the cat is back in his spot. But this time I don’t try to befriend him. Because I’m so done -I’m beyond done.

(and I comforted myself by thinking  that I at least avoided getting my eyes scratched out)

Maybe cats are nice – and I’m sorry if I’ve hurt the sentiments of the cat-lovers who are reading this post. But this is how I feel about them. Now you can go ahead and judge me for being part of that 0.000001% of the internet population who hates cats.

The Magic of The Movies.

I LOVE the movies.

I love the whole experience. You know, there are different kinds of people. There are people who think a movie theater is the perfect place to have a long, drawn out conversation, or to make out, or to check texts, and just generally not watch the movie. There is another tribe of people who don’t even go to the movies, because they prefer to watch it at home, illegally online, or on DVD – or worse, wait till it premieres on television. And let’s not even talk about the last kind of people – the ones who don’t even like watching movies. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

Me? I’m in for the whole haul. My best friend and I enter the theater with a whole game plan in mind. This is how it goes:

Are we hungry? Have we just eaten?
If we have not eaten, and we are hungry – then we buy the food right before the movie, not during the interval. A big tub of popcorn, with exactly the right amount of butter (read:LOTS, because we like to keep it healthy), additionally, a sandwich for her and a brownie for me if we’re really hungry, and two mandatory cold coffees. My friend then carefully chooses the toppings we want for our butter popcorn – usually we put barbecue or cheese – and then mixes it in artfully so as to coat every little piece of popcorn with this flavour.
Then we somehow manage to hold all of this loot between the two of us and trudge into the movie hall.
But- if we have eaten before, and we’re not hungry yet, we skip this step and head right in.

Next come our basic rules to be followed while watching a movie.
Keep our phones on SILENT. Not vibrate, SILENT. I don’t want anything pulling me out of the movie I paid good money to watch.
The next basic rule – more like common sense – is not to keep asking stupid questions about the movie.

Then comes the interval. If we haven’t got our food yet, my friend and I are out of our seats the minute the screen reads ‘Intermission’. We waste no time. We’re like ninjas. Because nobody wants to wait at the end of a really long queue and then miss a bit of the second half of the movie. No. And so we make sure at least one of us is at the counter ASAP. And then we proceed to place our order, collect our food, flavour the popcorn, etc.

  

Now if you’re watching a movie in Chennai – you might experience different sorts of crowds depending on the movie you’re watching. If it’s a Rajnikanth movie, or a movie of some such big star, expect lots of screaming, cat calling, clapping, hooting, whistling, and jumping from a very large section of the audience. If you aren’t the fussy kind, this will grow on you, and like me, you’ll tend to enjoy this as part and parcel of watching a regional, masala blockbuster movie. (Or even something like Avengers).

  

I’m very particular about the theaters I go to. Most theaters in Bangalore, at least the ones I’ve been to, weren’t quite satisfactory (except for PVR maybe) – especially considering the exorbitant prices they charge. Chennai however has some great movie theaters – even the old ones are good.

The whole experience – the lights, the amazing surround sound that I can feel right in my heart, the atmosphere that’s pregnant with expectation and suspense, the thrill of a huge 70 MM screen flickering to life- I just love it all. I soak it all in. And my favourite, favourite part is right at the beginning, when the production houses play their clips. Like the Universal Studios globe. Or Twentieth Century Fox’s simple yet unforgettable tune. Or the magical Disney castle. Or even the boy on the crescent moon for DreamWorks. And closer to home, call me cheesy, but the background music for the Yash Raj Films introduction clip gives me goosebumps.

There’s something really amazing about the movies – it brings people together. It makes us forget about our troubles just for awhile, and allows us to dream, and watch other people dream. It tells us a story, and it shows us the world and beyond. It inspires. And according to me, anything that has the power to inspire another human being, is a truly great and powerful thing indeed.

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! 🙂

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 🙂