Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I sort people into categories. Over the past seven months, new ones have been created all thanks to my work-out sessions at the gym.

Gimme my medicine! *snort* *snort*

The Gorillas 
You know you've spotted a gorilla when you see someone with short legs and huge, muscular arms that stick out on the sides. Said arms remain stationary and move only to make that bottle of protein shake after the usual two hour work out. They have the ability to flex muscles in front of the mirror all day. Will go to any lengths to make others feel their biceps. Also known as The Frogs.

More! More!

The Screamers
The Screamers lift weights that are a hundred kilos too heavy for them. As a result, the gym resonates with their raucous grunts and snorts at regular intervals. You'll always find them bossing around the little helpers at the gym. They are never seen on treadmills, cycles or elliptical trainers but always found in the heavy weights section where regular mortals don't usually dare to venture.

Can you tell that I just worked out?!

The Sweaters
No, these aren't your regular woollen sweaters. These sweaters leave gigantic watery puddles all over the place. Equipment used by them is forever submerged in litres of salty sweat. Their clothes are wet, translucent and capable of putting at least one fully grown skunk to shame. Ironically, they never carry a towel.

Aah! Yeah!

The Moaners
This category is exclusively for the most out-of-shape members of the female species. They stick around the gym instructors like flies to a honey pot. When made to do the simplest of exercises, they bite their lips and contort their faces. Orgasmic moans follow. Innocent people outside the gym usually wonder what shady work goes on inside.

Middle Aged Men Pretending To Work Out.. They're usually retired and balding. They walk at 4 kmph but their real interest lies elsewhere. With eyes wandering all over the place, they glance frequently at the mirrors to check out that cute chick with the tight ass in the other corner of the gym. Relatively harmless.

What you starin' at?

The Starer
There is usually only one such person per gym. He goggles at others (usually with a startled expression) as if it's going out of fashion. Leaves no stone unturned in making you feel like you've got a giant worm coming out of your nose.
Then there is the other starer. He's usually the horniest guy in the gym and wants to ask you out before you can say "rape". He follows you around and wants to use the cycle just as you begin pedalling. Also known as the Gym Stalker.

Land Grabbers
You know squatters? They build homes on government property and refuse to relocate. Same is the case with Land Grabbers. They sprawl themselves over yoga mats in any free corner of the gym and spread their paraphernalia around them. Then you know they aren't gonna move for at least a couple of weeks.

The Slackers
Slackers roam around aimlessly in the gym with a distant expression on their face. Their clothes are crisp and devoid of sweat and their towels still reek of fabric softener. They sigh excessively and work out for not more than three minutes per machine. Any motivation to linger on is met with self-doubt and then some more sighing.

Blue Moons
Every gym has not one, but multiple Blue Moons. They usually show up only to renew their horribly expensive yearly membership. No instructor knows their names and even the receptionist greets them with, "So would you like to enroll in our gym?".

Mama says I'm pretty

Desperate Strugglers
The Desperate Struggler is either an obese woman trying to lose weight or a spindly man trying to gain muscle. Both religiously follow their routine, in vain. Eventually, they join the category of Blue Moons.

I just lost five kgs!

The Attention Seekers
Their necklines are a little too low and shorts a little too high. With clothes so tight, it's possible to make out the contours of organs. The slightest stretching means free porn for everybody.

Which category do you belong to?

Images via Wikipedia

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sometimes I Wish It Never Happened

You haven't truly learnt anything until you share your knowledge and experiences with others.
So I share.

Yesterday night I was chatting with a friend of mine and he asked me a rather uncomfortable question. Well, the question itself wasn't as uncomfortable as the answer.

He asked me whether there was anything I wanted to erase from my life. A question that I have always answered with a boring, "There's always something to learn from unpleasantness"; but this time, I paused and thought.

It did not take me long to figure out exactly what it was that I wanted to discard from my life like an unwanted weed.

I was about eight years old and not very different from other girls my age.

I was also a victim of sexual abuse.
It lasted a couple of years.

Now, you might be having a rather sorry image of mine in your head where I'm little, scared and crying. Thankfully though, that wasn't the case. My age came to my advantage. When you're that young, you don't fully comprehend what's happening to you. I happily sailed through my life and apart from those few tense moments, I was a content, smiling child who laughed the loudest among her friends. 

The real problems arose many years later, when I was in my mid teens. There was a growing awareness within me that I had been sexually abused. My unconscious was always buzzing with what had happened and that resulted in many behavioural and psychological problems. I became a bitter, rude and condescending person. I would frequently get into fights with boys and often went to the extent of beating them up. I was unsympathetic to the needs of others and often made cruel jokes at their expense. I felt disconnected with the other girls. Their supposed emotional and physical weakness disgusted me no end. I ridiculed them for not being able to handle their stupid problems and wondered how they could dwell for so long over insignificant matters.

Of course, with time I realized that I just couldn't continue with such behaviour and thoughts. I tried my best to become more emphatic, developed a softer attitude towards others and worked towards developing a calmer and more mature disposition. After all that hard work, I began to see that my anger had subsided and I had become a more pleasing person to be with. By the end of my teens, I was once again like any other person my age.

However, I was still troubled deep inside. I decided that the best way to get rid of all these teeming thoughts would be to share them with someone. I decided to confide in my closest friend. We talked a lot and came to the conclusion that I would only feel at ease once I revealed everything to my mother.

So, travelling in an autorickshaw one cold winter night, I decided to tell her everything. I started at the very beginning and poured my heart out. By the end of it, I finally felt at peace. From that day forth, I have never had a single unpleasant thought in my head regarding my abuse. It is done and in my past. I do not carry it forward with me.

Of course, I did confront the person in question about his actions. He broke down, apologised and wished he could take it all back.

Well, he can't.

And that is why I sometimes wish this never happened. It would have been a different life.. a different me..

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh! To Be Little Again!

(Most) children are innocent and with each day spent at the school teaching children, my belief is reinforced.

"You're little now, so you're called a girl and he's called a boy. What will you be called when you grow up?"
"Err... Aren't you a human now?"
"No! I'm a kid."

In another incident, a rather feisty boy from class III came up to me and said, "Ma'am, you know what Aditya told a group of girls from class IV?"
"No.... What did he say?"
"He said, 'Girrrrrls! Come here!'" (Saying so, he roared with laughter and poor Aditya flushed a deep shade of crimson.)

So you see. While we stand scratching our heads wondering what happened, almost anything makes a little kid laugh!

The youngest children I teach always love looking at colourful photographs and pictures. This always felicitates interesting conversation, which is basically the prime motive of my classes, so the other day I borrowed a book from the library. It was about the circus and had large photographs of trapeze artists, lions, the ringmaster, flame throwers etc.. When I opened the first page of the book and showed it to the class, they let out a collective gasp. Sensing that something was wrong, I turned the book towards myself and had a long hard look at the page.
"What's wrong guys? It's just a couple of lions!"
"Oh Ma'am! Can't you see? They're all running around in a circle and a couple of them are standing on stools! Waaaooow!"
Hmm.. I saw nothing spectacular in a couple of lions running around on their hind legs, but they did. Why's that?

The main reason for our lack of enthusiasm at the simple things of life is because we've been there, done that. We've all let out our gasps and had our share of wows. A tiny earthworm splitting into two tinier ones does not excite us. We don't hoot with laughter when we see someone wearing a foil hat. A puppy scratching its head off is mundane. Uninteresting.

When was the last time we asked an interesting question? Children do that all the time. They're full of queries. No answer completely quenches their curiosity. Some of their favourite words are "what" and "why". Why are your nails green today? What is in your bag? Why is that boy crying? What do you mean? Why are you so short? Why are your feet so small? Why are you shouting? So on and so forth. You'll get tired of answering but the questions just won't stop coming! That's the beauty of childhood.

Now the problem arises when these children grow up and turn into.. well.. us! Grumpy old adults sans enthusiasm. We hem and haw over how much we know, how much we've seen. I personally believe that the day we stop being curious and enthusiastic, we lead a pointless existence. Blessed are those who realize this! A couple of days back I got a beautiful message from one of the sweetest persons I've meet in life. Having recently acquired a job, he has little time for himself and those around him. The message goes like this (ignore the errors that are typical of forwarded messages)-

One day we will all be sitting and thinking hard about life...
How it changed from a simple college life to the strict professional life...
How pocket money changed to huge monthly pay cheques, but gives less happiness..
How a few local jeans changed to a new, branded wardrobe, but less occasions left to wear them to...
How a single plate of samosa changed to a full pizza, but the hunger is less...
How a bike always in reserve changed to a car always full of petrol, but less places to go to...
How a tea by the roadside changed to CCD, Barista; but no friends for gossiping...
How a general class journey changed to travelling by flight; but less vacations for enjoyment...
Maybe this is the truth of the journey called "life"...

I'm sure we'll all associate with these words (even if just a bit!). Hidden behind this message is a desperate need to be little again; to be untroubled and carefree again! We all desire to go back to that stage of life where stress meant an exam; a decision meant choosing the right subjects and sorrow meant getting over a crush! An extremely popular Facebook page with over one lakh "fans" is very appropriately titled- "I wish I was little again, when the hardest choice was picking a crayon".

Sigh... To be little again!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beneath The Smiles

You set off to earn your bread and butter, leaving a bonny baby and smiling wife behind. Driving through the chaos, you realize how everything you ever wanted from life is there for you, giving you a reason to go on and be happy. The usual grind at work does nothing to dampen your spirits because you know you're going to be home in a few hours. You just can't wait...
She says she wants to lie down. Pretty unusual for her at this time of the day. She's smiling though, so it means she's all right. Just tired perhaps. Let her rest, she needs it. It's difficult to raise a child without any help.
You enter the room and find her on the bed with her eyes open. She's smiling still. It's hot, but she's all covered up. Looks like her body's aching.
Are you all right? Why don't you get up now? It's been a long time, let's grab something to eat.
She doesn't reply. Her eyes are now shut. Has she gone to sleep? Maybe you should come back later and let her rest a little while longer. But what's this? There's water on the floor. You better wipe it or she'll slip and fall. Switch on the lights.
What's all this?? Get up, get up!
It's not water, it's blood. There's blood everywhere. On the floor, on the sheets.. She should have gone to the doctor for a proper abortion.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Big Ass Thunder Thighs!

If thighs could speak, here's what mine would say-

I was born chubby and soft. Then I was pounded to perfection by the deft hands of the maalish lady. In the comforting warmth of the winter sun, I shone like polished brass.
As time passed by, I realized there was something different about me. I was slightly bent and even though I was slim, I really wasn't. Still, at that age and time, it didn't really matter.
A few more years passed by and I ballooned out of proportion. I jiggled and wiggled in a manner that can scarcely be called attractive. Oh, what a low point that was!
But something happened! Like clay moulded into shape, I took form. I went in and curved out at the right places. I could see that even though I was still different, I looked better than most. I still jiggle and still wiggle, but God! I've arrived!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Invoking God's blessings!

Before beginning I would like to thank Rima for letting me spill out my thoughts on her blog! This is my first attempt so excuse me for not being as articulate and expressive as the owner of this blog is..!!!

In life I have learnt (through very hard lessons) to accept my limitations as a person in this world and not push those limits to enter someone else's territory. Yet there are a few things that still distress me and force me to leave my usual composure which I try so hard to maintain. One of those things is "ANDHVISHWAAS". I would have used the English word "superstition", but no, I don't think that word captures what I am trying to pry into. "Andhvishwaas", I would rather translate as blind and often foolish faith in some people or the "higher power" as we refer to. Here, let me make it clear that I AM NOT AN ATHEIST. I however fail to understand why people place their inner locus of control into the hands of others. These days news channels are full of babas-cum-conmen who fool people so easily, playing on this very faith. This really makes me think. Are we so unprepared to face life and its consequences that we find contentment in being blindly led by others?

I recently visited a famous temple in Vrindavan. Instead of coming out blissful and blessed, I was thankful for managing to come out safely without hurting myself or others. I'll give a brief description of what I saw there... atop a platform stood Radha-Krishna, surrounded by at least four or five pujaris. They allowed us lesser mortals to catch a glimpse of the deities for barely five minutes, only to hide them again. They claimed that an evil eye would be cast on the Gods if they were exposed to the crowds for too long. How that is possible, I don't know. What resulted was utter chaos. People pushed, shoved and even hit each other in order to "purify" their souls by having just one look at the deities. I actually witnessed two men in the crowd getting violent with each other. The pujaris, while standing next to Radha-Krishna, smirked at their control over the mad public. It is instances like these, when I hear about people either walking barefoot on stony paths or cutting themselves to prove to the Lord how faithful they are to him, that I realize the enormity of people's blind faith. It amazes me and depresses me at the same time to see people disrespecting the greatest instrument that they possess - their bodies.

I don't know why people don't realize that the very God's they are praying to have all once walked the earth we inhabit today; be it Ram, Krishna, Prophet Mohammad, Guru Nanak or Jesus Christ. They were all humans; the only difference was that they realized their full potential before "attaining" the status of God. It is in the hands of people to become God, but only when they become fully human. It has been proven time and again how the most ordinary human beings later do great things in life. Yet people, instead of focussing on their inner growth and development; delve deeper into this web of superstition and waste their precious gift of life. I don't know what others think, but I personally feel that life holds an opportunity for everyone to become God. How you utilize this opportunity is ultimately your choice and hence its repercussions are yours too. Stop looking above at the sky to find hidden meanings. Stop looking at the invisible God. Look within. In the end you will find everything there.

- Asmita Sharma is a 20 year old Psychology student from Lady Shri Ram College for Women. She is also my dear friend. She agreed to furnish the 100th post for this blog at my request. As stated earlier- she is not an atheist.

EDIT : I have since then deleted a lot of unnecessary posts, so while this may no longer  be the 100th post, it is still special!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bird Stalking

Here is something sinister I did about a year ago. I followed a bird around till it gave me one dirty, lethal look. I had to flee.


Friday, February 19, 2010

(Anti)Social Networking

A former classmate of mine who is on the verge of completing her Journalism degree (that I too had joined but later left, as regulars to my blog might know) recently uploaded a questionnaire to her Facebook account and requested everyone to take time off and fill it up. All for research purposes. Well, this is exactly the kind of thing I love doing.. filling up forms and all that! So I quickly clicked a few buttons and reached the questionnaire. All about social networking sites, how much time I spend online, what I do online etc. Pretty interesting, eh?

Now after answering sixty odd questions, my mind was buzzing with Facebook, Blogger and Youtube. My mind went back to the times when internet was more like a distant reality. Then I thought about the day I got my first computer (class III), the day that computer got an internet connection (class V), the day I created my first email address (again in class V, not to mention the long hours I took to cook up a funky name so that I could appear ten times cooler in front of my friends that I actually was!), the day I joined my first social networking site (Hi5) and so on and so forth. Since then, I have come a long way and so has the internet.

From Hi5, I graduated to Orkut. Hi5 became a thing of the past and it started being looked upon as a site for bacchas. Now, I kinda felt sorry for it. I would imagine a tiny person with "Hi5" instead of a head, sulking away in a corner, sniffing and shedding tears (I have this thing of feeling very sorry for inanimate things. When I was little, I would pick up a spoon to eat with and feel really sorry for the rest, imagining that they would become sad and lonely, and thinking, "Sorry guys, I'll definitely pick you up next time.").

Orkut became all the rage for quite some time. Soon, everybody was battling a silent war, an unspoken war. Everyone wanted more "fans" than their friends, people were obsessed with who visited their profiles, there was competition to be the proud owner of thirty thousand scraps. Of course, I too was taken in by this madness. Luckily, I regained composure quite soon and quit the site the moment reality hit me. Orkut drove many people to their virtual nervous breakdowns.

Life was beautiful after that. I could bask in the sunshine once more and smell the fragrant flowers. The world appeared to be much more pleasant with much less pretence. But BAM! Good things don't last forever! Requests from friends filled my mailbox, asking me to join this "Facebook". I got tired of deleting these godforsaken mails and finally decided to check out the site. A few awkward moments of signing in later (the site was at that time too full of itself, asking totally pointless questions and giving too much importance to all kinds of years like year of birth, year of graduation blah blah..), I was in! Well, I didn't really use the so called "book" for a long time, not until it was amended to become more friendly, warm and approachable (words that were till now used only to describe people!). What do I say now? I am hooked! Yes, I took to "farming" for a while, but then my "plants" died and I started getting withdrawal symptoms (for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, all I can say is you're better off not knowing!). But now I think I have finally found my grey cells and learnt to maintain a delicate balance between real and virtual.

But hey, there are times when the scale tips just a little...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mini Celebrity

What do you say when a little girl from class four asks you about your interest in writing? I of course, said that I am an ardent reader of books and love to write as well; and perhaps when the class would all grow up, they would get to read my books. All said in jest, because I don't think I would ever publish a book. But it was shockingly surprising (I wouldn't call it pleasant!) to see the entire class run up to me, carrying diaries, notebooks and even scraps of paper to take my "autograph". All because I am to soon become a high profile writer with little or no time to get back to my dear students. They pushed, tugged and waged war with ear other to get to me first. I was caught completely off guard and took my own sweet time to regain composure. The rest of the class was spent signing my name and giving out my cellphone number...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What Is..?

This is non-fiction, created from personal experience. Enjoy!

Horror is when you go to the kitchen to grab a bottle of water and see two pairs of eyes glinting in the corner, only to discover later that they are your pet dogs.

Disaster is trying to heave a six kilo blanket over your head, failing miserably, knocking off objects from the table, creating a major racket and waking up your father in the process who absolutely roars at anyone who disturbs his forty winks.

Sharing is pouncing into another person's lunch box to eat up her tasty aloo mattar and upon finishing it, offering her some soggy bread and butter from your own tiffin.

Health is rapidly climbing three flights of stairs without breaking a sweat and gloating about it, only to crash to the floor moments later because of a blackout.

Drama is making an attempt to skip school on a cold, foggy morning by saying that you can't move as you're "paralyzed" and that "it hurts to move".

Warmth is braving your first Delhi winter by snuggling close to your pet doggies in their bed, not worrying about the hair or the smell even though you have just taken bath and washed your hair too.

Punishment is waiting eagerly from morning to evening for your brother to come home with your precious packet of chicken biryani, only to see him come back empty handed as its Tuesday!

Retarded is being in school, firmly knotting your tie with the ties of two friends and spinning all over the grounds like a catherine wheel; then fleeing back pell-mell into the classroom when the Principal spots you from the opposite end and raises her fists in the air.

Gratitude is what you feel when your mother decides to give you extra bucks for shopping.

Laughter is sitting in class with your best friend and sniggering uncontrollably at the most random things like the Geography teacher talking about Kutchi people or something as remotely uninteresting as "La Mode" and pronouncing it wrongly in the first place, resulting in us breaking into peals of laughter.

Peace is hugging your loved one tight, giving out little sighs every now and then and not having a care in the world.

Relief is letting our a huge fart after an excruciating day of backache, stomach ache and general uneasiness and realizing that you weren't getting a heart attack after all.

Trust is not thinking once, let alone twice, when your boyfriend lounges on a beach filled with bikini clad girls a hundred times hotter than you.

Comfort is moving your bum just a little bit so that blood circulation returns back to normal.
Discomfort is being cramped in a metro train with a large flatulent woman on one side and a man with an erection on the other.

Focus is not feeling a thing even when an entire ice cube melts on the palm of your hand.
Out of focus is when you keep muttering "Hmm. Hmm." for the entire ten minutes that your mother narrates her shopping list, then ultimately asking "WHAT?"

Friendship is the ease with which you can sprawl yourself in someone else's house, no matter how early in the morning or how late at night. It is also completing each other's sentences and saying "I was about to say the same thing!" at least once.

Confidence is suddenly realizing that you can drive a manual transmission car even though you have been searching for a gearless one since ages.

Contentment is craving for something chocolate-y for a week, then finally laying hands on a rich chocolate cake injected with even richer chocolate syrup, with chocolate ice cream on the side.
Discontentment is buying more makeup that you would ever need and still wanting more.

Love is missing someone's presence even years after their death.

Obedience is listening to the Principal when she tells you to walk in a line, even though there are only two of you.

Curiosity is sneaking into the kitchen as a child to see what your mother has made, finding a bowl of halwa and taking a HUGE bite, only to find out two seconds later that it's a bowl of mashed, boiled potatoes.

Disgust is the feeling you get when you see a child throw up into his own hands. More disgust is what you feel when you see him eating it again.

Family is crowding around the dining table while the power supply has gone for a toss, talking about anything and everything under the sun; laughing, crying, discussing.

Mystery is being taught by a teacher for over a year, exchanging emails, chatting online, being buddies; but once you're done with exams and out of school, finding out that she is untraceable.

More might follow soon. Any ideas?