There’s no escaping them.
Go to a mall, you run into a scary looking mannequin wearing a gaudy lehenga that was worn by some actress at her own wedding.

Try to cross a busy road, the chances of you being run over by a groom on a buckling horse are more than those of you being run over by a truck.

Try to ride a vehicle; well you can’t, because you are stuck in a traffic jam caused by over enthusiastic Baaratis who insist on dancing to badly playing tunes.

Reach home, check your phone for news, and wedding photos will fly at you like Hogwarts letters spewed by the fireplace at Uncle Vernon.

The wedding season is here, and nobody lets you forget that.

It is too much. People getting married doesn’t bother me; the fact that they want everyone and their mother to know about it is what gets on my nerves. Why all the show?

I’ve never understood why people save up money all their lives only to squander it in one go on their offspring’s nuptials. There have been cases of people going bankrupt only because they put all their hard earned money into creating a spectacular wedding! That doesn’t make sense to me.

To each his own, I get it; but I think it has got a lot more to do with societal norms and pressures than with one’s own wishes. Especially in India.

I attend weddings, and I’m aware that how a person spends his money is nobody’s business; but I do wonder about the whole point of it when I see plates and plates full of food discarded carelessly. The indifference with which guests toss their plates away makes me angry, because doesn’t food catering take up the largest chunk of the expenses?

The food at least gets consumed, though.

The flower decorations, on the other hand, cost a bomb and can’t even be eaten unless you have groundhogs on your guestlist!

Celebrity weddings are different, people argue.

Their work is all about being in the spotlight, people want to see every bit of their lives, they have earned every obscene rupee they spend, etcetera etcetera.

Why forty three receptions, though? Can they not invite everyone to one and be done with it already?

I think they are just extravagant affairs about extravagant affairs.

And I’m sure they get back all the money they’ve spent and then some by selling the wedding pictures to multinational magazines.

And then girls throng malls to buy the gaudy lehengas hanging off those scary looking mannequins.

It’s a vicious circle, I tell you.

The scale of your wedding is entirely your choice.
But it wouldn’t hurt to be a little conscious about expenditure by prioritising happiness over showing off. Unless you happiness lies in expensive knick knacks, of course.
I’m so not judging you.

So whether you wear Manish Malhotra couture or Manish Malhotra first copy, whether you call your appetizers ‘entrèes’ or ‘starters’, whether you book a five star hotel or a Mangal Karyalaya, please make sure that the wastage is minimal, explain to the Baaratis that roads are public property, and implore the groom not to antagonise the horse by digging those pointy Kolhapuris into its sides, because horses do not understand zebra crossings and nobody wants their obituary to read ‘slayed by amateur equestrian’.

And feed a few squirrels with those roses and tulips while you’re at it.


I have a confession to make. I haven’t read one book since the past eight months. It doesn’t mean I didn’t try to, it’s just that my attention span has gotten shorter and shorter to the point where even the first pages of some of the most well known classics have made me give up.

This is not me. I’ve read Othello and A Tale of Two Cities (both unabridged) when I was in the 7th grade, cover to cover. Even though I had found them mind numbingly boring then and my opinions haven’t changed much now, I did finish reading them!

In order to try and pick up my only hobby again, I went to a fancy bookstore. I thought the bright yet muted lighting, Kenny G’s saxophone, not to mention the sight of shelves and shelves of titles waiting to be perused would trick me into finally delving into the worlds I so badly wanted to escape to. I’d decided to start light, so I picked up a nice book of short stories by Ruskin Bond, knowing that the familiar world of Dehra and the antics of the author’s unusual pets would keep me glued.

It worked.

I read on, sitting in the wonderful bookstore which indeed is a bliss for bookworms, delightfully engrossed in reading about Nakoo the Crocodile, when a tap on my shoulder interrupted me. A lady in her sixties introduced herself and asked if I would be willing to help her understand her smartphone. I readily agreed because I’m helpful that way. As I answered all her little questions about how much data a five minute video consumes and how to delete unwanted photos from WhatsApp, I couldn’t help but wonder as to why a well dressed, well educated lady would ask a stranger in a bookstore for help when she obviously had a close knit family she could turn to. (I know this because she had come to the store with her teenaged grandkids). I casually mentioned that surely her grandchildren must be smart enough to know all these things. She said they did, but the only time they talk to her is when they want to play games on her phone, and her own children have no time to spare from their super busy lives to answer their mother’s queries.

This really made me feel awful. Not the fact that the people in her family had no time for her, but the fact that she was earnestly justifying their behaviour. Her NRI son had apparently told her to not watch any videos on her phone at all, because he was the one footing her phone bill and he didn’t want it to increase in case his own mother went on a video watching spree. She was afraid to such an extent that she refused to download a 2 MB video.

After answering all her questions and exchanging numbers, we promised to keep in touch. She thanked me and left, sweetly asking me to come over to her place anytime to savour her home cooked food.

I tried to get back to my book, thinking if I had ever taken anyone for granted to that extent, when my train of thought reminded me of my own grandmother, who passed away three years ago.

I remember teaching her how to use a digital diary, and the joy on her face when she successfully saved a contact was indescribable. I later taught her how to write an email. She used to write it down on paper and then patiently type it out. It was cute to see her wait for the reply to arrive. Aaji was incidentally the first person to realise that I liked to read. The first real praise that I’d gotten out of her was when I’d finished reading Jane Eyre, my first novel ever. She would tell anybody who’d listen that her little fourth grader had devoured a classic.

That book had catapulted me into the world of literature, and I haven’t looked back since.

This memory brought me back to the present, to the book at hand. I couldn’t believe that I’d almost given up on this fine habit because Netflix was more appealing.

With a newfound resolve thanks to the sweet stranger, I made two promises to myself: I would be more aware about the needs and well being of my loved ones, and would plunge headfirst into the worlds of wordsmiths; knowing that I would come out richer and worthier of the literary treasures that are waiting to be found.


Photo Challenge : Transient

This cloud, on its way forward

Spotted a parched mountain

Halted and changed forms

Descended as rain

Drenching the crown

And all that lives beneath

Enlivening the dormant cores

We call life
The cloud never stays for long

It remoulds itself

Into mist, sleet, snow or rain

Giving up its very existence

To quench the planet’s sere
Everyone eagerly awaits

The sight of darkening clouds

Yet as soon as the first drops 

Of liquid life fall down

From the grey canopies

They are forgotten
They say clouds are transient, impermanent


 A seed taking root

A cascading waterfall

A whitening mountain

An overflowing river

Are all gifts

From the ephemeral mass

We call clouds.

(The picture was taken by me last week, from the top of Raigad fort, Maharashtra)
P.S. :- I never mentioned that I won the   Sometimes Stellar Storyteller Six Word Story Challenge last week! 1st prize 😀

You can check out my winning entry here.

So I get to flaunt this badge of honour 😀

 Liebster Award

Another award nomination! Thank you Silas for  this wonderful acknowledgement! Check out his blog, he’s a wonderful writer and a fellow canine lover 🙂

The Rules for this award are –

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs
  5. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
  6. Give them 11 questions to answer

These are the questions which I’ve been asked to answer :

1- You have been given an opportunity to master one skill. What will it be and why?

 The ability to fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow and then sleep so deeply​ that not even the sounds of rampaging bulls can wake me up. I’m pretty sure it’s a skill.

2- One author, dead or alive, you want to meet. Who will it be and what will be your day plan?

I would really​ like to meet George R R Martin. He’s definitely alive, and my day plan will revolve around me trying to coerce him to just finish A Song of Ice and Fire already! It’s been four years since I’ve finished reading the whole series, The tales of Dunk and Egg, all the background stories, all the theories, even the TV series. And I’ve repeated this cycle thrice. I need the winds of winter to blow away to finally give way to spring; which still seems to be a distant dream 😦

3- If you ever became famous, what will you be famous for?

I’ll become famous for being the only person who couldn’t come up with an answer to the question, “If you ever become famous, what will you be famous for?”

4-Currently reading/doing/eating/wearing?

I’ve just started reading Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and intend to finish it. I’m listening to Charlie Puth’s “Marvin Gaye” while eating a wholesome breakfast of puffed rice cooked with stir fried onions and potatoes, with a light tempering of green chillies and mustard seeds, garnished with freshly chopped cilantro. 

5- If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, which color would it be?

Forest Green.

6- Do bald people use soap or shampoo on their head?

Liquid body wash, maybe?

7- What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard today?

 Salman Khan saying that racing tracks are for racing, not main roads.

8- What is the one thing you can cook better than anyone else.

I’m a fairly decent cook and can cook pretty much everything that has a YouTube tutorial, but I feel that my Chole Bhature rival my mother’s 🙂

9- Who was your most important mentor and what did they teach you?

 My English language teacher in high school. “Hope for the best and be prepared for the worst” is what she frequently used to say and I abide by it till date.

10- You are given an opportunity to start a new life. Where would it be? What would you be? What all would change?

 I would like to be a Panda living in the forests of China eating bamboo shoots all my life. My habitat would change, for one.

11- Do you believe in life beyond earth?

 Of course I do! In fact, I can safely predict that in 2035, Matt Damon is going to grow potatoes on Mars and survive there for 560 Sols.

My questions: 

  1. What’s your favourite condiment and why?
  2. Books or their film / TV series adaptations? Why?
  3. Why do people gossip?
  4. What inspired you to start writing?
  5. If you could live someone else’s life for a day, whose would it be and why?
  6. What’s your comfort food?
  7. What is the best way to make hypocrites realise that they’re hypocrites?
  8. Why doesn’t the weather stay cool and comfortable all year round in India?
  9. What’s your favourite dog breed?
  10. When is ‘The Winds of Winter’ coming out?
  11. Who’s your favourite Stand up comedian and why?

I apologise if the questions sound inane and nonsensical, but my brain refused to come up with deep and meaningful stuff today.

My nominations are :



tin sandwich

    Kaylee Marie

    Khushboo Dixit

    L.E. Hunt


    Thanks again, Silas!

    Grandma’s Letter


    While cleaning up an old Almirah,

    My hands sensed something rough;

    Peered in, took it out,

    it was an envelope.

    Buff in colour, dog-eared,

    It looked quite worn out;

    Opened it carefully lest it tore,

    But the paper was quite stout.

    Inside was a letter,

    written by you, Grandmother;

    Your beautiful cursive writing

    Unlike any other!

    It was addressed to my father,

    telling him to take care;

    Study well, eat proper food,

    all the regular motherly fare!

    It was written thirty years ago,

    I wish I’d found it earlier;

    We would’ve read it out to Father,


    Making him all the more surlier!

    But you’re here no more, Grandma,

    You’re somewhere up in the sky;

    But I’m glad to have found a new memory 

    to remember you by.

    I’ll put this letter in a glass frame

    and buff it till it gleams,

    And I’ll make sure father reads it,

    whenever upset he seems!

                      -Ginger tea fanatic

    The World Around Us

    All of us rush through life. We don’t even realise how fast the days go by. Almost half of the year has already gone by, and I’m sure the next half will be gone before we know it. Amidst the rush, certain moments make us stop and appreciate the world around us. I’m eternally grateful to modern technology for enabling us to capture rare moments and storing them forever. I love all animals, and have managed to click some nice pictures while rushing through said life. I’m by no means a photographer, and some of these pictures are more than five years old, so the quality might not be very good. But I’m sure all you readers will have smiles on your faces when you are done scrolling down. Stop, take a breather and enjoy 🙂

    This camel here is not a fan of rules, it seems 🙂

    I think this car was just in the wrong barkway.

    This cat has had a rough previous night.

    “Oh really? You think me sitting on a wall shelf would make a good picture?”

    Amphibians also need a soothing back rub, sometimes!

    This one followed me for a full ten minutes and would look sideways whenever I would turn around. I looked carefully, but it wasn’t Bran Stark’s Three Eyed Raven, much to my disappointment.

    “Warn me before taking a picture, will you? I’m a great poser!”

    This is my favourite one yet. I had pulled my phone out when I saw this cute Great Dane in an auto rickshaw, but I happened to capture this moment that the canine was having with his parent. The reassurance in the parent’s gesture and the utter trust in the dog’s eyes speaks volumes. I hope they are having a great life!

    One Lovely Blog Award

    Thank you so much Shubham for nominating me!! It truly means a lot 🙂

    There are certain rules which are to be followed when nominated, and all the nominees are supposed to follow them. Here they are: 


    1. Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them and link their blog in their post.
    2. They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image.
    3. Must add 7 facts about themselves.
    4. Nominate 15 people to do the award!

        Here are 7 random facts about me:

    1. I’m left handed.
    2. I’m mildly pyrophobic, I’ve never lit a matchstick in my life.
    3. I love reading good Harry Potter fanfiction. I ship Dramione 😀
    4. I am the slowest eater at any dinner table. 
    5. I can do embroidery.
    6. My current favourite actor is Jonah Hill. 
    7. I’ve wanted a Giant Panda for a pet for the longest time, and I still haven’t given up on that hope.

    My nominations are:

    1. doingitnaturalblog
    2. esther
    3. deliqute
    4. shatterthefourthwall
    5. felixstar4
    6. diyingmachine
    7. booksnmyself
    8. quiescentlistener
    9. ayusufr
    10. Raj
    11. Miss talkaholic
    12. Judy Redic
    13. thewordstrucksoul
    14. diganta misra
    15. dcbrandz

                              Thank you!

      My Furry Friend

      Dear Sunday,

      This blog is addressed to you, the best dog in the world, and not to the best day of the week. Not a day goes by (especially a Sunday) that we don’t remember you. Every quirk, every habit, every gesture of yours has been etched into our memories to be cherished forever. You were always a patient listener; looking at me with eyes that seemed to understand; vehemently shaking your head whenever I wished you’d say no; noisily snorting to express your indignation. So wherever you are, I’m sure you’ll gladly lend an ear to this little story of yours, shaking your head and snorting at appropriate times.

         You were one out of a litter of seven, and all of you had been imaginatively named after the seven days of the week.    

      Your parents, Rocky and Fluffy, lived with a family right across my house. Your mother was part German Shepherd and part Indian Hound, and your rather severe looking father was a purebred German Shepherd. The perks of being best friends with the family’s daughter meant that I could come to the house and play with you puppies and your parents at any time. Unfortunately, the family had to move to another city in a few months’ time and all you puppies had to be put up for adoption. You, however, were directly​ adopted by a family living nearby.

      I had been entrusted with the responsibility of taking you to your new home.

      I had to run after you on the day you were supposed to go to your new home. You were six weeks old. You couldn’t wait to explore the world around you, almost getting run over by a Sunny Zip in the process. I had actually fainted (quite dramatically so, losing my balance and holding on to a rather fragile shrub which collapsed right with me) when I finally got hold of you.

      You went to your new home which was not very far from mine, and I handed your little squirming, curious, puppy-self over, wishing the best for you, hoping to keep bumping into you during your walks.

      Your parents and my friend moved away; and without the racket that Fluffy and Rocky created, the colony was rendered rather quiet. A year went by. One day, as I was passing through, I saw you, all grown up, outside the main gate of your house, wailing your lungs out, pleading to be let in.

      You had been abandoned by your adoptive family. People walking nearby confirmed this, saying that you had been waiting to be let in since the past two days, and the family, for some reason, had decided not to care for you anymore.

      That scene was unbelievably heartbreaking.

      That was when my brother and I decided to break our ‘no-pets’ rule and take you in.

      Your fur was a mixture of gold, brown and black, and you had one floppy ear. You were the spitting image of your father. Except for your eyes. You had your mother’s eyes. You were basically the canine equivalent of Harry Potter.

      You had come to us physically fit, all your vaccinations in order, but you suffered from separation anxiety and had an aversion to water. (Not hydrophobia, you just didn’t like getting wet at all). You could not bear being tied up, even for a minute. You would seem extremely distressed and start howling, so we had decided never to tie you up.

      You also had weird chewing habits, with a special fascination for seat covers. You repeatedly tore up the seats of various vehicles owned by various people living in the society. We would brace ourselves every time the doorbell would ring, because  beyond the door there would always be an irate person holding up a thoroughly chewed up seat cover. You did this to three vehicles of the same person five times, until one day he noticed that you had never laid a paw on our vehicles, even when they were within a perfectly chewable range. Even we had not noticed that. You showed your loyalty in the weirdest ways.

      Owing to an ultimatum from your seat cover attack victims that we either send you away or keep you tied up at all times, we chose the former, because we couldn’t imagine tying you up even for a minute; we never would have subjected you to something that you were traumatised about.

      So my crestfallen brother took you to a shelter and came back to a dejected me.

      The next two days were spent in abject misery -me not talking and my brother not watching the television, both otherwise unattainable objectives, according to our parents. After coming back from school on the third day, I noticed the tip of your tail peeking out from under our car.

      You had come back! You had actually sniffed your way back home! Even the harried seat cover attack victim could not find words to express his discontent when he saw your exiled self back home in two days.

      You mercifully seemed to have acquired wisdom during your exile and had stopped chewing on anything that wasn’t food.

      Remember how you used to chase scooters all the time? And when the person used to stop and scream, “Kiska kutta hai?”, you would proudly run towards an exasperated, “wanting-to-dig-a hole-and hide-forever” – me and prance around, wagging your tail. I’ve faced countless strangers who’d tell me what a menace you were to the society and how it would be best to send you away. I would listen to them and do what teenagers usually do with unasked-for advice: ignore it. One of your chase – victims one day decided to return the favour and chase you back. You learned your lesson after that.

      Having said that, I don’t want to sound as if we let you become a menace and cause inconvenience to everyone around. We disciplined you using your bête noire: Water. You hated the feeling of water on your body so much that just seeing me fill up a mug with water would make you meekly go to your favourite place- our verandah, curl up and sigh. (Were you a cat in your pichla janam? That would explain me finding you one afternoon sitting amicably with a stray cat, having a silent conversation about Dog knows what.) But that doesn’t mean we never had to use water to calm your sometimes-hyper-excited-self down. I remember a scene I had stumbled upon in the backyard; my father, with a mug of water in his hand; you facing him, both looking intently into each other’s eyes. Father had you cornered, he knew you couldn’t escape; he propelled the mug forward, except that he followed a catenary curve during the motion, and ended up spectacularly drenching himself. You escaped unscathed.

      I had laughed uncontrollably then, and you’d had a happy glint in your eye and a doggie-grin on your face.

      You loved your freedom. The gate wasn’t a barrier for you, because you had learned to jump over our four point five tall feet compound wall. And when you couldn’t decide what to do, you simply used to just literally sit on the wall.

      When you weren’t jumping over walls and roaming around doing important doggie errands, you were an amazing guard dog. You would sit near whatever door my mother forgot to close when she used to be alone at the house. You would growl whenever any stranger would come, making them aware of your presence. You used to get confused about how to behave around a food delivery person, however. A stranger carrying food. Stranger. But food.

      Delicious smells that tickled your olfactory receptors, but also the scent of a potentially suspicious intruder. So you would resort to a weird “I-want-the-food-to-come-in-but-not-you” dance around the person, growling and wagging your​ tail at the same time, thoroughly terrifying him. The food delivery people still asked, “Kutta hai kya” before coming in, for a complete year after you were gone.

      The way you welcomed us every time we came back home from somewhere was delightful. Father used to get a special welcome from you everyday, with you running around him, barking even at sparrows if there were no potential threats to bark at, happily showing him that you were indeed a good boy.

      You would get super excited during Diwali. You would assume my elaborate Rangoli to be a welcome mat and would comfortably sit on it, and then sport a colourful bottom for the rest of the day. You also would love to venture out on Diwali night with an excited gleam in your eye. When all other dogs would strive to remain indoors, you would happily go out on your own. I used to beg to you, would even offer you to sit on the new Rangoli ( which would be drawn after the destruction of the previous one)  if that was what it took to make you stay in, but you would never listen. My family thought that you had defective ears that saved you from the din those firecrackers created, but I knew your ears were perfectly fine; you just had a fascination for pyrotechnics.

      You would come back home after the commotion had died and go to sleep peacefully, all curled up in your favourite winter blanket that I still don’t have the heart to throw away.

      You would stash extra food in some super secret place. I would see you carrying it in your mouth and taking it somewhere. Curiously, I decided to follow you one day, because an Indian tenth grader has nothing important to do in the month of February. You saw me walking behind you, so you stopped and looked at me with pleading eyes that softly requested me to go back. So I did. I still don’t know where your hidey hole was. I like to imagine that you were a Robin Hood of sorts for your stray dog friends.

      You started getting sick often as you grew older. You would skip meals, sleep all day, have a sad look in your eyes that would rarely go away. Trips to the vet didn’t help much. I remember a day when you had become so weak that you did not even have the energy to drink water. I had to administer it to you using a plastic dropper.

       You had isolated yourself during your final days. The pain in your soft brown eyes was too raw to watch. You would still make feeble attempts to wag your tail when you would see us coming.

      I could not find you at all on the New Year’s Eve of 2011. I looked for you everywhere. I finally found you on the terrace of our building, lying down, looking terribly tired and lost. You feebly licked my hand and I knew that it was time to let you go. I came down crying and told my father to call the vet. Just then, I saw you. You had climbed down the stairs and come to our backyard. My father gave you a little milk, and you surprisingly lapped it up. I gave you a biscuit, and you ate it, too. You then drank some water and started to walk out towards the gate. Worriedly, I started to follow you, but you turned around and had the same, softly pleading look in your eyes that requested me not to come after you. That final look of yours​ is something that I can never forget. It displayed love and gratitude, and a silent plea to let you go. So I opened the gate for you, knowing that you wouldn’t jump over the wall ever again. My brother was coming back home at the same time, and he saw you walking towards a temple that you usually frequented for playing. That was the last time anybody saw you alive.

       We spent New Year’s Eve in utter darkness because of a blackout. The darkness mirrored our moods. We were trying to come to terms with the fact that we might never see you again. We only hoped you knew that we’d done everything we could have to give you a happy life in the six years that you had lived with us, and we loved you more than you could have ever imagined.

      The dogs started howling after the customary New Year firecrackers had died out, and their stricken laments told us that you had finally passed on; but I’m sure as sunrise that you did not miss a final display of pyrotechnics.