Friday, December 25, 2009

Self Critique

How do some people manage to write the way they do? I look at people around me and realize that I will probably never be able to write as articulately as they do. I am a girl of horribly simplistic thoughts and equally simplistic writing. Maybe this stems from my overall personality; I call a spade a spade. In school too, I was the one who could speak well and write well, but never was I the one who could string together eloquent sentences or delicate poetry. It is for this same reason that I rate myself an average writer. No, I am not looking for compliments here, just admitting the truth! It takes a genius to write well, to make the whole world listen. Oh, and its not only writing I am talking about here! Those geniuses out there who spin their yarns, its so difficult for me to understand what they mean! They really make me question my intelligence. I am having my Homer Simpson moment now. Doh!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hyperventilating Insects!

"So, how was your Science Olympiad today?"

"Oh, it was soo easy Ma'am! Here, take a look at the question paper.."

"Hmm, so what option did you choose for this question.. Which of the following dissolves in water - a) oil b) salt c) insect d) paper.."


(So I decided to engage in some leg pulling...)
"Oh, but don't you know, insects dissolve in water much quicker!"

"No Ma'am! If you put an insect in water uski bus saans phool jaegi.."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nose Bejewelled

I was barely a year old when my mother got my ears pierced. She says "I took you out of sheer excitement." Perhaps she was scared that I would refuse to let someone drill holes in my ears later. Perhaps she did not want me to remember the pain.

Nineteen years later, a few days back to be precise, I got my nose pierced. Let me tell you, I was ready much earlier, but a certain friend scared the living daylights out of me by talking about "unbearable pain" and the "excruciating recovery period". I put off the idea until it completely slipped out of my mind, but it all came back when I saw a dear friend's nostril. On it perched a beautiful white stone, catching the light and glinting pompously. "If she can go through the pain, I sure hell can!", I said to myself.

So off I went to the piercer, with dear friend and three of her friends in tow (all with pierced noses). The five of us trooped into the pretty silver shop. What do you think I saw? A lady bending over a girl about my age, about to pierce her nose. Let me tell you, it looked as easy as eating cornflakes. The girl happily got up, paid and left. "Darn", I said to myself, "that looked pretty neat!". You can safely say that about that time, all my fears left me.

"Choose a pin for me, I'm confused."
"How 'bout this one?"
"Yeah that looks cool. Y'think it'll suit me?"
"I think it'll look especially good on you!"
"Ok but have a look at the others as well."
"Hmm how 'bout this? Or this? And look at this one!"
"No, no. And absolutely no to that!!"
"Well I think you should go with our first choice then.."

To tell you the truth, it didnt hurt one bit, big thanks to the piercer's expertise! She pushed in the pin in a split second and by the time I knew it, I had a beautiful stone glinting pompously on my nostril too.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


So there I was, interacting with a bunch of nine year olds, trying to get them to speak effortlessly in english.

"Lets divide the class into two groups - girls and boys", I said.


"Tell me boys, how do we brush our teeth? Tell me the whole procedure, step by step."

"We take a toothbrush, wet it, apply toothpaste on it, clean our teeth and tongue, rinse our mouths, rinse the brush. Done!"

"Very good! 10 points!"


"Ok, now girls. Tell me, how do you get ready in the morning?"

"We get up, take bath, brush our teeth, polish our shoes, wear the uniform, eat breakfast and leave home to come to school."

"Very good! 10 points to you too!"


"Ok, now I wont ask any more questions. Ask each other. Girls, ask the boys a question."

"Yay! Hmmm. How do you switch on the computer?"

"We switch on the UPS, then the CPU, then we wait for the screen to switch on, enter the password, then wait for the desktop to appear."

"Excellent boys! 10 points again! Now why dont you boys ask the girls a question?"

"Woohoo!" *whispering* "How do girls take bath????"

"No!! No!! Ask another question!!"

*more whispering* *sniggering* "How is a baby born????"



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pet-ty Issue

So I have pets. Not dogs, not cats, not hamsters, but squirrels. They are right there on my bathroom window and I just let them be. I have even stuck two pencils on the window so that it doesnt shut because of the breeze.
You know the best part about having squirrels as pets? They are really low maintenance. NO maintenance, rather! All I have to do is look at them, see them look back at me, admire them, see them admire me... SERIOUSLY! They display themselves only for me. If anyone else enters the bathroom, they go away and refuse to come back until that person has left. Its so cute to see them lounging around, flat on the stomachs! On days the squirrels have a party, I see the family stuck against the net to accomodate guests. They have a gala time. The guests then leave and the family retreats into their humongous nest.

So today I have a picture story for you. Let us very creatively call it THE SQUIRREL STORY.

There once lived a family of three squirrels. Mama squirrel, Papa squirrel and Baby squirrel. Mama and Papa squirrel built a beautiful golden nest for Baby squirrel to grow up in. One day, the family was sitting outside their home, relaxing and enjoying the gentle breeze, when all of a sudden A Big Human entered their territory.

The family was startled by this sudden invasion.

They sprang up from their drowsiness and fled A Big Human.

But Baby squirrel was brave. He came back to see who had disrupted their peaceful squatting. Well, well! It was only their good friend Rima!

No problem! Rima wont hurt them! Baby squirrel happily went inside his spacious home and waited for Mama and Papa squirrel to come back.

A simple story, but this actually happened today morning. I have been trying to write about my pets since a long time, and there could not have been a better way to introduce them. I dont think we will ever keep dogs again, so these little fellas really give solace to my heart. Thank you dear squirrels.

(click on the pics to enlarge them)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Am I An Egg?

As a child, it was a task for me to make small talk with strangers. No, I wasnt shy. I could stare at people constantly and even make them lower their own gazes. I could share the same space with them without breaking into a sweat. The problem was talking. I just did not know what to say. If someone asked me questions, I would smile and/or grin and softly answer them. People would pat my cheeks and say stuff like "You shy girl!" or "See how she's blushing!" and then the very next moment I would run away.

I look at myself now and see the change. No, I am not your usual case of "shy-girl-becomes-crazy-overtalkative-extrovert". I am still very, very reserved in the first few meetings with strangers but I dont hesitate at all to make conversation. I am probably the first person to start talking and the last to finish. Whether I am journeying or waiting for a seminar to start, I always nudge the people around me to engage in some talking. If they dont seem interested, I drop it. Then again I am irritated by people who yak their heads off and dont realize that everyone around them wants to scream and run in the opposite direction.

Of course with close friends, its a different story. I am probably the one who fools around the most.

My psychology teacher once called me a "slow-to-warm-up" personality. As soon as she said that, I saw a huge egg in my mind. Yes, thats right. An egg. Go figure!

So what am I? Am I an extrovert? Am I that-what-induces-egg-images?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson - Rest In Peace

I am too shocked and too pained by the news of Michael Jackson's death. I can only say that he will be greatly missed.

29 August 1958 - 25 June 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

West Delhi Plus

West Delhi Plus is a weekly supplement that we get along with Times of India. In honour of Mother's Day today, it invited readers to send in tributes to their mothers and tell the world what makes their relationship so special.

I quickly typed in a few sentences..

If I ever had to make a list of those who know me inside out, my mother's name would feature first. No thought, emotion or expression of mine if hidden from her. I do it not because its a compulsion, but because its truly such a joy.
Perhaps the best part about my mother would be her calm mind. I thank my stars for blessing me with someone who does not scream at the drop of a hat. She has given me the liberty to lead life by my own terms and does not question my decisions.
It would be such a cliche to say "my mother faced many hardships in life" - because who doesn't? What matters is whether you are able to emerge victorious. Today, my mother stands tall. I have learnt to live life through her successes as well as her mistakes.
Mummy, you're a treat.

I was sleeping soundly today morning when my brother ran in, "You're in the newspaper! You're in the newspaper!"
It was published!
(of course it was edited a bit)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Something New, Something Old

I got my first salary today.

:) Is this how I feel?
:D Or this?
There isnt anything better, so I would rather be :DDDDDDDDDD

After all, it isnt about the money (not yet!), but more about being told by the world "YES! You're worth something out here."

I havent really figured out what I'll do with the money. But the local gurudwara is surely going to see a rare visitor today. Why? I dont bother going there. Never ever. But today, the place just calls out to me. Plus my Badimummy (nani) is here, so she would have forced me to go there anyway.

I was out yesterday evening at the local market.
"Lakme ka naya collection aya?"
"Abhi nahi madam"

Grr. I could really do with some brand new makeup. Like Sophie Kinsella says in her novel, 'The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic' -

"As I walk into Smith's I feel my whole body expand in relief. There's a thrill about walking into a shop - any shop - which you can't beat. It's partly the anticipation, partly the buzzy, welcoming atmosphere, partly just the lovely newness of everything. Shiny new magazines, shiny new pencils, shiny new protractors. Not that I've needed a protractor since I was eleven - but don't they look nice, all clean and unscratched in their packets?"

Not that I am comparing myself to Rebecca Bloomwood, the rambling Financial Journalist (and protagonist of the series) who cannot even manage her own money. But just the sight of a creamy lipgloss or powdery blusher or shimmering nailpolish makes me go weak in the knees.

I roamed around a bit more. With no luck at the beauty supply store, I settled for the next best alternative - books. The local market doesnt have a bookstore, but there is plenty of choice as far as second-hand books are concerned. A few years ago, I would have turned up my nose at the sight of used books. But with age, stupidity gives way to humility.

My eyes feasted on the withered covers and crumbling pages. Every book seemed to have a story to tell. I picked up one without realising what it was and dropped it immediately. "What to Expect when you're Expecting".
"Wo chahye kya madam?"

Suddenly a handsome young man came and stood next to me. What features! I was actually taken aback by his presence. Such boys arent ever seen near dusty books. Anyway, I was there to look at books and not ogle at men and miss my beloved. I peeled my tired eyes and grabbed a paperback with a fawn coloured labrador pup embossed on the cover - "Marley and Me". I expected it to be yet another teach-your-dog-to-do-back-flips kind of a book. I flipped through.

"Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog"
"He's the only dog I've ever known to get expelled from obedience school."
"Marley quickly grew into an uncontrollable ninety-seven pound steamroller of a Labrador retriever... even the tranquillisers prescribed by the vet couldn't stop him."

Of course, I had to get this book.
Plus Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams". Dear Freud, if only you were alive today!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Surprise - What's Keeping Me Busy

Wow! My last post was wayyy back on 12th April! Thats probably the longest I have stayed away from blogging! But I wont say that I missed writing, because in the past one month I have written more than I would have normally written in an entire year. (I continue to have this dull pain in my right thumb.) But I certainly missed posting and hearing back from you precious people who care to read!

Saying that, I should have grabbed the laptop as soon as my exams got over and typed away. But as I mentioned earlier, I have a surprise for all of you! This very surprise has been keeping me busy apart from my exams. So you want to know what it is?

I got a JOB! (Let me give you a moment to laugh. Oh, you need more than that? :P)
Yes, yes, yes! I got a job! A real, paying job! The Dearest Lady who taught me German last year is off to Germany(!) for finishing off her thesis and I am her substitute in a school! Yay man! I am a teacher!!!!!

Ok, ok.. I know that I am just 19 years old and dont even go to regular college and I've just done the foundation course in German.. But whatever I know is more than enough for the little kiddies who are in class 2, 3, 4 and 5. And seriously people, I topped the bloody language last year! *gloats*

So there I was jumping away to glory in my salsa class. Suddenly, my phone shreiked out naseela naseela tere naina (I'm lame) and pierced through the loud music. I usually dont take calls while the class is on because it all breaks the rhythm. But that day, not only did I manage to hear the phone ring, but I also picked it up. By the end of that call, not only did I have a job as a German teacher, but also as the English Elocution teacher!

The school is in the heart of the city - Connaught Place. Its a small school that goes upto class VII, but thats the best part because I wouldnt have jumped into a HUGE school with thousands of children (they would have killed me). I work twice a week, teaching German to classes II, III, IV and V on Tuesdays and English Elocution to classes I-VII on Thursdays. This school has an uncanny resemblance to the first school I ever attended - Air India Modern, and thats what makes it all the more special. For a moment I actually thought that I was a little girl again with ribbons in my hair!

My dad cant stop raving about me. Well I cant either! My heart is swollen my pride. I take this as a message that teaching can be a worthy option for me. I used to line my friends up when I was really tiny and teach them some nonsense or the other. Then I advanced to teaching the maids english. My badepapa (dadaji/father's father) used to always call me "teacherji", because I would grab a ruler and make him sit down and learn poems. Then the Principal of my 11th/12th walla school noticed my patience with little children, and how they would always listen to me. She called me to her office one day and very seriously told me to give teaching a thought. All these incidents flit through my mind every time I enter a class.

Well, life couldnt have been better. The principal is apparently very happy with my work, and I am over the moon. The children are adorable. There are some who keep doing their own thing and refuse to listen, but most of them are all bright-eyed when I walk in. The very first day, a little girl from class 4 walked up to me and said that I resembled her Masi (Aunt). Then another girl came and told me the same thing. Then another.. By the end of it all, the whole class had Masis that look like me! Then last Tuesday, another girl came up and handed me over a flimsy heart-shaped thing that she had made with her lunch foil. It felt as if she had taken out her own heart and given it to me.

Whom do I thank for these wonderful moments? The Dearest Lady, the Principal for having faith in my inexperienced soul, the children, my parents, myself...? I cannot begin and cannot end to explain how grateful I am to all these people. This is perhaps a new beginning...

Sunday, April 12, 2009


*Lick* *Lick*

This cat disturbs my sleep almost every night with its Rawrs.

(click on the pics to enlarge them)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No Time

Its 12.05 am here. I am supposed to get up early and go to Connaught Place, but I dont have time. Its been ages since I painted my nails. Well, not ages. 6 days, to be exact. But thats a really long time. I want to cocoon myself, deep into the pinky-ness of my fluffy blanket. I want to be an infant again. I want to be hugged and cuddled. I want to wear pretty frocks and frilly socks. I want all that back again. When was the last time I sat back and relaxed? Truly relaxed? When was the last time I made an effort to dress up? That was 6 days ago too. Then why does it seem so far away? Have I lost all sense of time? What will happen when life truly tests me? Will I fail miserably, or rise high into the sky? I look at my bare nails and feel sad. Something is amiss. Something more important that not having any nailpolish on. I look at my hair. The ends split miserably. The old t-shirt that I am wearing has a small hole on the side. I badly need to sleep. I am the mother and I am the child. I have to stand up for myself, then take care of myself too.

I better go and grab that nailpolish.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fellow Traffic


(click on the pic to enlarge it)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Unsafe Drive Back Home

Aaah. What a great day of shopping! Bliss. I am dying to get home and relax those poor feet. I'll make some of my stinky noodles and watch a cheesy Hindi film. More bliss.

Why did those two people on a bike just shout at me? Did I do anything wrong? I wasnt even near them. Ignore.

My favourite part of the drive! Flyover! Flyover! Now whats that? Who is this honking at me again and again? I am going at a pretty decent speed! *Checks rearview mirror* Oh no! Not the weirdass bikers again!

No! No! Just get lost and leave me alone! What a great day I had, dont ruin it with your sorry antics. Hey, quit getting so close to my car! You might dent it! It already bears a few signs of abuse. Oh for God's sake...

The honking is getting on my nerves now. Oh no! A traffic signal, and the light's red! The bikers have got me now! Ok.. Just ignore them and look straight ahead. Let me go and stand between those two huge SUVs. *Blearp* *Blearp* Shit. Let me re-check if my doors are locked..

The lights are green and I have taken a left turn. The fools are still tailgating. Hang on, here they come. They are right next to me now, hooting some incomprehensible stuff. This is getting scary. Oh shit! They are banging on my window! What if they manage to break it? Will they throw acid on my face? The way its shown in the papers? Will they take out a pistol and shoot me? I hope I survive this ordeal...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Holi Hai!

First of all, a very Happy Holi to all of you! (I know it comes a bit late :P)

I fiercely oppose synthetic colours. Never did I find those hugely bright pinks and greens attractive. But sadly they have become the norm. When I was in school, we were always encouraged to buy herbal colours. Now that I think of it, school also helped me reach the decision of not bursting crackers during Diwali.

But whats the benefit of buying these herbal colours when most of the people use those syntheticy ones on me? Those shiny, sparkly powders with tubelights and whatnot mixed in them. A morning well spent on playing with the society people has resulted in rashes on my face and patches of colours that refuse to budge. :( I think I will have to be a little strict in future and roam around with a packet of my own colour, telling people to use only that, or nothing at all.

The celebration summed up in the best possible manner. A saintly south-Indian neighbour came up to me and dabbed a dot of sandalwood paste on my forehead.

Some colours refuse to budge

Family at war

(click on the pics to enlarge them)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

SONY And A Signal

I finally got my digital camera! Man I am super excited! It happened about two weeks back. I was dying to get one since a very very long time, so as soon as my dad landed here in Delhi, I dragged him to the nearest Sony showroom. (The model is W210 and cost me close to 13k rupees. That's a pretty decent price for a 12.1 megapixel resolution, 4x optical zoom and 2 GB memory card! For more information, click here. I got the one in black.)

I clicked this pic when I was waiting at the infamous Dabri crossing. Nothing special, but since I love trees and I love silhouettes, I passed a few seconds of my boring wait peacefully.

The driver kept honking even though the signal was red.

Interesting criss-cross of lines.
(Opposite Godhuli Old Age Home, Dwarka)

Atleast she's drinking DJB water.
(Opposite Godhuli Old Age Home, Dwarka)

(click on the pics to enlarge them)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dogs In Their "Nests"

I love clicking photographs with my Nokia N73 mobile. I admit its not the greatest camera, but at the moment it is all I have. I will start by posting my old photographs. Inspired by Mayank Austen Soofi to take this step.

Ok now. The photographs below were clicked by me on January 2008 (last year) at Janakpuri District Centre. That's a pretty chilly time here in Delhi.

 Now I dont know how the straw reached there, because its highly improbable that the dogs collected it and made nests for themselves, but see how they have perched on the wall!

(click on the pics to enlarge them)

EDIT : Inder tells me that the yellow stuff is not straw, as I said earlier, but plants that just died.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

I went for a walk with my mom yesterday and chanced upon this little buddy. Dont worry, he's not dead!

(click on the pic to enlarge it)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Petrified Pooch

I was feeling a bit queasy, but went ahead to meet my friend anyway. Came to this narrow, isolated road with no car in sight. Was going at a pretty decent speed when all of a sudden this brown, spindly dog jumped from the divider onto the road, and began crossing it at snail's pace. For a split second, the dog set his mournful eyes on me and put his tail between his legs. I slammed the brakes hard and my head nearly hit the windshield. (I am pretty short, so my seat is all the way in front so my legs reach the pedals. I know I'll bang my head and die if I ever meet with an accident!) The car had come so close to the dog, that he had almost disappeared from sight! I waited for the petrified pooch to move, but he just refused to budge! I honked a little but the poor fellow just stood there, shit scared. By this time I was really getting frustrated (not to mention, late). I slid down the window and craned my neck. There was the pitiful fellow. "Hush hush", I said in the most motherly voice I could muster. He came to his senses and scampered away.

Monday, January 19, 2009

How NOT To Take Care Of Your Mobile

Stupid eh? Yeah, I'm Stupid. Stupid like a fox!

Today I am going to tell you what happens when your brains take a walk.

Time : Early Morning (10 am, haha)

1. Get up
2. Go to the bathroom
3. Place mobile on sink (stupid thing no. 1)
4. *brush* *brush* *brush*...
5. Mobile slides into the sink and mingles happily with the water
6. Grab mobile and fish it out
7. Notice toothpaste stain on mobile
8. Put it back in water and rinse (stupid thing no. 2)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

For The Love Of Dog!

I grew up in a colony which had many stray dogs scampering about. Every couple of months, a fresh batch of pups would be born. Oh how cute they looked! The fat, furry body and those melting eyes. A head so small, yet so complete in itself. So much better than a newly born human baby!

I have heard people scream, yes literally scream, when they hear me equating a dog with a human. Oh no. Oh no no. I am not equating them. I am simply saying that dogs are better.

There was this time when I was taking a walk with my mother. A couple was coming in our direction. The lady was pushing a pram with a bonny baby inside, while her husband was walking a pug. As they went by, I whispered "how pretty!", "so cute!" and whatnot to my mother. The baby's mother apparently heard me because she smiled. I took this as a good omen and bent down to pat the flat head of the little pug. "A beautiful dog you have here", I said.

She was shocked out of her wits.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I used to call my grandfather "Daddy", because I had always heard my mother calling him that. He was an agile man in his youth, but as time went by his body gave way to Parkinsons. His movements became slower by the day, and his thoughts more disoriented. Part of his problems were also because of old age.

He would be extremely clumsy at times, and this would not only be a great source of amusement to others, but to himself as well. He would chuckle generously after making mistakes, and trouble his wife with absolute relish. He was a naughty old man.

The year was 2006. School was closed for the summer holidays. I planned to spend them with my grandparents. I was going to be alone with them for the first time, since Mummy could not accompany me. Little did I realise that this vacation was going to alter my life forever.

The initial few days were boring. To pass some time, I got down to some house cleaning. I raided a bed-ful of photographs, and found them in a pathetic condition. The albums were tearing at the seams, and most of the photographs were spilling out. I am a sucker for preserving old stuff, so I decided to rearrange all of them neatly and put them in a new album.

The next day, Badimummy took me to the market. We spent some time roaming around and eating. On our way back, we stopped at a photo studio and purchased a HUGE album. Oh, how my arms ached carrying it around till we reached home.

The next few days were spent in an absolute frenzy. There were thousands and thousands of black-and-white photographs to sort. Badimummy would sit down besides me and tell me the story behind every one. How Daddy would hang bedsheets in the background before clicking family portraits, how he would spend so much money on film reels, how he pursued photography as a side hobby.. I learnt so much about him from the photographs, even though he was himself present in none of them.

A week or so later, the album was finally made. Daddy knew nothing about the whole project because I had kept the whole affair a secret. I wanted to give him a surprise, and I knew he would love it. I brought him outside, seated him at the dining table, slid the album in front of him, and waited. At first, he merely glanced here and there absent-mindedly. But after a few minutes, he fixed his sight on the album and raised his frail hand towards it. He slowly opened the cover, and came face to face with a majestic black-and-white portrait of his father. His gentle eyes clouded with tears, and I saw an entire life flash before me in that one hour..

I Am Not Alone

Last night, just when I was wallowing in boredom and self-pity, my friends came to the rescue. Like a ray of light that brightens up a room after the dark night, they filled me up with warmth and hope.

I had just finished writing the previous post when a very good friend from my days in Bombay came online. She hardly ever has time, so I was surprised to see her. We chatted for sometime when all of a sudden another friend from the same "era" came online too. Wow. A double bonanza. We hooked up a conference and chatted like we did when we were little. This was happening after 9 years.

Later into the night, when I was feeling a little more happy and a lot less sad, my phone rang. It was one of my dearest friends. I knew she was distressed from the moment I picked up her call. 
As she healed, the last traces of my pain went away.

I am not alone.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Three Months, Then Solitude

I am sitting here all alone with no one to give me company. One of the rare days when I am online and everyone else is asleep. A feeling of desertion is taking over me. Why are we sometimes so afraid of the silence? So scared to be left alone? I feel like the whole world has left me and that I am running behind it, trying to catch up. I am feeling lonely and tensed. I want to break down and cry my eyes out. Today for the first time since 5th October, I am heart broken.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My New Year

I never have plans on new year's eve. One reason reason being I am not allowed to venture into the darkness at such a young age (by my parents). I somewhat agree. I would rather sit in my warm couch at home and watch tv than worry out in the cold about my safety. The other reason is that my family is most boring in terms of celebrating stuff.

But things changed after we shifted to this society. I have more opportunities to socialise and meet people. I am a people's person and love attending even the smallest party/gathering/pooja/etc/etc. So boy was I happy when my mother and her Kitty Party friends (Funny name. Is it because women sometimes fight like cats?) decided to throw a new year bash for the whole society. It was all decided barely 2 days before new year's eve, so everything was done in a jiffy. A simple menu was planned. Every flat was going to be charged a humble 100 rupees. Food for the whole family, good music, fun and games. In short - a great start to the new year. What more can a person ask for? But then every society has its share of rotten apples. A few dunderheads refused to pay the money saying it was "too costly" and that they were "not interested". Very well.

31st December arrived and the excitement within me grew. I got ready and went downstairs with my mother. The crowd thickened, and within the hour we had close to a 100 people. It was a success! But then I noticed that even those who had not paid the money had come down! Some people have no shame!

We put on some music and let the children play games like musical chairs and passing-the-parcel. The usual. There was also a bonfire on one end to keep the cold at bay. Little kids were running around and the elders were playing tambola. A few teens gathered around the blaring speakers to perform a dance. There was this incredibly flexible girl who was slithering all over the place. Everyone was in excellent spirits.

The evening was spent running around, eating, playing games, chatting and relaxing in front of the bonfire. The sky grew darker and the breeze became colder. My sides were aching from laughing so much. I kept looking at my phone now and then to make sure that we did not miss the stroke of midnight. Finally when the mood was at its peak, I looked at my phone again. 11.58 pm. Just two minutes more to the new year! The whole area started buzzing with excitement. Everyone gathered around. One lady rushed to me with a GIGANTIC balloon in her hands. The countdown began. 10.................... 9.................. 8....................... 7...................... 6........................... 5........................... 4........................ 3........................ 2................ 1....................... 0....................... BAM!