The perks of being a Fashionista


-My aunt had once told me, “never wear stripes with checks.”

In this picture, I am standing bare footed on a chipped wooden surface trying to pull up the zipper on my yellow frill skirt. My reflection can be seen in the background; there are clothes strewn about all over the floor along with sneakers and heels with its other half missing and there beside my twin (reflection) is a messy wardrobe.

Ever since I can remember I have always been fascinated by how the idea of fashion works, how everything has a rule, for example how patterns should never be worn with patterns and again how there are rules that contradict the rules before.  My aunt would pass on her wisdom on fashion often; in fact, she was the one who told me never to wear stripes with checks, she would point out my flaws almost every time. It is solely because of her that today I know the ethics of Styling. I would look into her wardrobe and awe at it; she would have her clothes neatly folded. She would have her leather, boyfriend denim jackets, blazers and overcoats hung on the left side of her wardrobe and on the right, there were four compartments. The top shelf was for jeans, she had many that came with all shapes and colors: straight cut, boot legged, Amitabh Bacchan cut, high waist, low waist, boyfriend and moms too. The second shelf was for halters and string-lets (camisoles); there was one light brown and nude tiger halter that she had, and I was in love with that halter neck, I remember trying it on one time and getting whacked for it a bit later. The third shelf was for Tees, there was a thing for tight Tees back then, which has come back to fashion today. The last shelf was for belts and scarfs. Her scarf collection was pretty impressive now that I think about it, she had one of every color. I would pray for my body to grow bigger so that I could try on her clothes and shoes and pretend as if I was going to a movie with my friends.

The other person who has influenced me a lot is my hoarder mother. She still stacks her old outfits in several wardrobes which no one was and is ever allowed to open; I remember she would shop for both western and ethnic attires at one go. Now that I think about it, she is a true shopaholic. She has different wardrobes for different styles. One for Sarees only, one for Kurtas only, one for nothing but western and has recently gotten pipe lines cut through the ceiling which are brought down by wires to hand her gazillion overcoats. She would often say, “Fashion revolves, don’t throw that away.”

Fashion has always played an integral part in my life in identifying my personality and also at many times, my mood. It gives me the freedom to explore my inner self and a sense of excitement that one can relate with something they truly love. When I look at this picture I can still feel the frustration of not being able to the get the zip undone.

My wardrobe comprises of garments as old as I am still neatly pressed and brand new. Since I followed the footsteps of my shopaholic mother and aunt I tend go back and forth between the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s ethnics; half of my wardrobe has all my favorite garments folded and hung on hangers whereas the other half just crumbled up in a bunch. I don’t throw them away though, never, the guilt of no knowing when I will be needing them would kill me.

Back in the 80’s clothes seen and worn in TV was impossible for anyone to get their hands on, it was the time when hippie fashion had made a huge impact on people in Sikkim. The only way they could wear the clothes was to get it tailor made. There was a different charm to fashion then I feel, people would have to wait for days to get a piece made and the fact that it was tailor made, everybody had a unique twist to their attire. Some dresses of the same material and same color would have puffed shoulder, some with sharp shoulder blades, some with a low cut whereas some wit Chinese collar, it really was one’s own design back then. Today we are used to the fast moving industry and getting things in a blink of an eye and getting them all at once, at the same time.

Today people from northeast India get exposed to not only European but also the South-Eastern fashion industry such as Korea, Japan and China and therefore most of them have a sense of infused fashion styles; where I come from, big malls and high end stores that we find in cities have still not been established and for the stores that are there, they follow the latter sense of fashion trend and also almost all showers import clothes from places such as Thailand, China and Korea.

Every time I went shopping back home, it would either be from this store called Zipper or Closet and the first thing that I would look for were jeans. It was and still is very hard for me to find the right size. Asian made jeans are either too small to too tight for me, if the waist fits the length is too small, if the length fits the waist is too big. It has become a mission for me to find a perfect pair of jeans in Sikkim. The other thing that my eyes goes to are jackets. Since I come from a cold place, I guess it is but natural to want jackets and so I would go through the racks for a worthy jacket that does justice to me. Before I would choose random clothes without paying any attention to the size and the quality; the trial room in these stores were always too small and so trying was always a pain in the ass. After having struggled to try 20 garments it would either come down to one or nothing. There was even a time when I hated shopping solely because of this reason. Today however things have changed, I feel like I have matured in the way. I choose the garments and decide which one is fit and okay for me to try on, I also color co ordinate the garments that I choose, the other thing that I do is pair and make a set, I feel this makes it very easy when it comes down to comparing one from another and decided on what to buy.

When I first came to the big city I was surprised to see how diverse the industry really is, maybe it was because of the cultural difference that the people from northeast and the majority of India have; traditional or ethnic dresses such as Kurta and sarees are hardly ever worn as casuals in Sikkim, Darjeeling and else where, (well apart from the old people). It was a liberating moment when I finally came to understand how untrue this notion was and I feel that I speak for most people when I say this but when you come form a small city or a state and you gain access to stores like Zara, Marks & Spencer, Mango etc. Especially at an early age, control over your wallet becomes hard and I mean like ‘I am ready to tear it open and even sell its pieces to shop’ hard. Now this might just be another confession of a shopaholic but the amount of shopping I did back then and still do makes no sense at all because half of the brand new items goes into what I call the future wardrobe-

 A future wardrobe is a wardrobe that you invent to stock garments that are either smaller or larger than you really are; it is preparing yourself for ‘what could go wrong or what could go right,’ also when you can’t find your right size, you predict your future body size and still end up buying it thinking maybe you will either loose weight or gain weight and wear it then.

When I started exploring western brands more I found out that the material of their garment was better then that from the stores I would shop form back at home and the price range was also very similar. The good part was that I knew then, what good quality material was and the bad part being that I couldn’t refrain myself from shopping. Most garments that I shop for back home can be found in Tibet Malls in Bangalore.

When I was still in Sikkim I wouldn’t dare buy anything worth more than a grand. The most expensive thing that I owned were my pair of classic adidas, which I still have till date. I was quite a good saver of money back then and so I had saved quite a large sum before joining college. When I came to Bangalore however, I finished it all in 6 months. The reason being that I shopped like a mad cow from Koramangala who for the first time in her life, discovered green pastures. I would buy worthless and useless things without giving it a second thought and in the end wouldn’t even wear them. They still must be lying around somewhere at home.

After realizing that my expenditure was going out of control, I decided to cut down on binge shopping and decided to shop wisely. So today my trick is to shop during sales online and in retail stores. The method is still the same where I choose matching outfits and compare them to others and also I look for things that I really need instead of things that I want. I choose to buy from stores such as Zara, Forever 21 and H&M because they have a wide range of clothes offered at reasonable prices, which goes up for discount during season sales. So if an entire set would usually cost me Rs.10,000, I make sure that I get it for at least Rs. 5,000. This is also applicable for shoes and accessories.

The other thing that I do when it comes to shopping is go on a little spree to wholesale stores like Viva Mall and Raheja Arcade and area like Commercial Street and Shivajinagar. Here, I can get garments for as cheap as 50 buck.

What really surprised me in Bangalore was the influence of Northeast Fashion or rather South Eastern Fashion over the rest of India. Flamboyant, Fashionable and Flashy as many would call it; City folks found the overly flowing flare pants, studded jackets, Poncho shirts and Midi Skirts fascinating and would often ask me where I got them from. Since there are many Tibetans living in Bangalore, I feel that they also have a big hand in introducing South Eastern Fashion to Bangaloreans.

Fashion today has made a whole new turn, I can still hear my mother’s voice as now I have realized that fashion really is revolving! and not just from the 60’s and 70’s but also mainly from the 80’s to 2000’s, which is a great thing for me as I can now dig into her forbidden wardrobes.

The colours, the material, the pattern and the styles, everything about it is wonderful to me. The details given above are but a mere definition of how a shopaholic looks into matters from a materialistic point of view. The materials however do not have to be of a high store brand, even road side sells and factory outlets does the deed of satisfying a shopaholic, because as I always say, “Timing and patience is crucial. The more you get with less the better.”

A ‘So’ but ‘Not So’ Trip


“You need to be very careful of how you behave over there” was the first thing my dad told me after announcing our annual trip to our neighboring country, China. He has always been a very precise nagger when it comes to doing things, has more than a pinch of ADHD running in his head and is always in a hurry for no reason.

So, our travel expedition was arranged like this, first China then Japan. Now, let me just add that I am a hardcore Japan Fan, mainly because of their animation and tradition, and I have even studied bits of Japanese; I love japan so much that I was studying to go there at one point. So, it was going to be one hell of a trip, (not saying that I dislike China). It had been a long time since id been taken anywhere, I was rotting in Bangalore for the last 4 years and the only place I had travel so far in the city was to Yelahanka New Town and Whitefeild.

It had been decided that we would start traveling as soon as I reach home which meant, I had barely 24 hours to rest because it takes exactly 18 hours for me to reach my beloved abode in Sikkim starting from my place then in Koramangla. However, the entire plan had been changed when i reached home, for the Japan Visa was not ready yet and had to be cancelled, the news broke my heart to the point where I just did not want to go now, because I figured that if I really had to go to China, all I would need to do is get on a car go up till Nathula Pass and – there China is a Gate away.

So, it was decided that we would go to Cambodia and Bali instead of Japan. To be honest I am not much of a sunny person so I wasn’t very enthused at the idea, “Angelina Jolie shot Tomb Raider there” was the only consolation I got from my mother and I had to buy it.

Little did I know what lied ahead of this journey, if i have to give a glimpse of it– over the past few weeks I was to get halted, my suitcase would get molested, I would get into trouble a hundred times, I was to get lost in the Forbidden City, which I felt was a very cliché thing to happen, I would nearly get sucked by a current and would be a part of a stampede.

But for now let me just elaborate on how the first half of the China Trip went. So after travelling in a long 6-hour flight we reached Shanghai, it was around 9 Pm; we took the metro to go to our destination but sadly my dad was not prepared for the vast amount of non-English speakers in China, he figured they would at least know a bit and what do you know no body in that godforsaken metro knew. Luckily I had an app on my phone that translated English into Chinese and a very kind man helped us out. When we got out of the metro station we saw nothing, like literally nothing, everything was shut, and only a few people were around, it was like 2 Am for them out there and after a brief 5 minutes of intense thinking we came to know that everything shuts by 9.30 over there.

The other thing that instantly came to my mind when I stood there on Chinese soil was that it was not even a single bit different from my place back in Gangtok, we were literally on MG Marg, it was cold, the entire flooring was the same, the people looked the same, even the shady lamp posts were the same, it felt like we flew for 6 hours and got into all that useless hassle to come back to the brigade road of Gangtok, Sikkim, well obviously it would be very different in the morning.

Fortunately for us, the metro was located right in the middle of one of the main attractions in Shanghai and so no cabs were allowed inside the territory and therefore we had to drag our large suitcases along with our tired asses down the long, dark, shady road which had about 2 lit street lights looking for people around in the world’s most populated country to guide us to our Hotel, which after an hour of searching was just a 15 minute walk from the metro station. How was that for an introduction?

The next morning I opened the curtain hoping for the sunrays to hit my beau-ti-ful boday and it was supposed to be summer then right? WRONG!! It was freaking winter and not just the nice snowy winter, Nooo! It was the rainy, bone chilling, head hurting freaking winter and I like a pro traveler had brought shorts, skirts and bikinis for the entire trip. So for the next 3 weeks until we reached Cambodia, I was to wear my Chubby Mother’s Clothes.

However, I got used to it, we all got used to it and our actual expedition began, which was (switch in tone) ‘Wonderful~’

My dad wanted to see ‘The Old China’ in Shanghai, like the one we see in the movies but to our dismay, Shanghai was now very concrete and commercialized, the only thing on a basic level that we saw were high buildings, big shops and people smoking everywhere and when I mean everywhere, I mean every where, just like in France. So basically our entire stay in Shanghai turned into a shopping frenzy. However there is one thing that I would like to add here and that is the ‘Food’ in China; I have never seen the variety of food that people can eat anywhere till now; now, if I was a very experimental person than this would mean heaven for me but sadly I am the very choosy one (just like my father) so nothing was right in that category, not even KFC and Mc Donald. Everything I ate was bland and had a very particular smell to it, which was good but just not right for me. Sometimes I would get exited over trying something new or over the view of the colorful street stalls on the way, but the only thing you would find there would be fried scorpion that varied in sizes, cockroaches, centipede, frogs, snakes, heart and brain of some weird animal, tarantula spiders, star fish and sea horses, Sea Horses!!! There were sea horses on a stick!; I want to add that I always imagined seahorses to be a very mythical creature (something that would come out of a fairy tale) and I had never seen one so that just adds on to the mystery of this elegantly detailed hose-like thing in my head so one can imagine how I felt and how my facial expression was like when I saw sea horses on a stick being chewed to glory.

After Shanghai was Xiang; here we would ride bicycles around the four walls of the city and visit the terracotta filed of warriors, which I thought was fake when I saw it in the movie ‘The Myth’ which had Jackie Chan fighting in it and we also go to watch the famous Chinese opera. And after that was Beijing where we would go to the great wall, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace and also, face terrible weather and get to see the entire Chinese population cramped up in one place and nearly get stomped over by them. But before all of this we went to the Jade Buddha Temple, which was our last stop in Shanghai and it was the most peaceful place I had been to in a long time.

Rapunzel Retold


“Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down the stairs” cried her husband who had kept poor Rapunzel in a big tower. Unlike the lady of Shallot, Rapunzel had the freedom to look out of her window and cry over her destiny, which was to be locked in that small room. Her husband was a rich man named Charlie and he owned a chocolate factory. He had lured (greedy) Rapunzel into his charismatic favors and had promised her that he would give her all the happiness in the world; he promised he would let her swim in a chocolate river and would allow her to eat all the strawberry fudge (as much as she wanted), he promised her that he would take her up to the chocolate tree house which was made up of wafers and cream and promised her to be there when she craved for salty gummy treats and eat them together.

However, the only thing, which was sweet now with her, was the long ladder made up of sugar cane, which she could not even taste for her husband would beat her up if she did. Every time Charlie returned she had to let it down out of her window for him to climb up.

On one such day when Rapunzel was singing (her singing was horrible by the way, birds would drop dead and blooming flowers would wither.) A young man was passing by the forest, he had just come from the carpenters house and when he heard Rapunzel sing, he felt like giving her a piece of his mind for he was not feeling too good that particular day. Just as he reached down the tower he yelled “ Shut up!! You old hag!” and right then Rapunzel stopped signing and looked down, ‘what a weird fellow’ she thought.

As soon as he saw her he fell in love and forgot what he was going to yell next for he had never seen such a beautiful lady before, “excuse me miss, I am terribly sorry, but can you tell your grandmother to keep quite for a while for there are some thugs on their way” he lied and just when he said that his nose grew a little, Rapunzel found it very odd indeed, then she replied, “ I am sorry sir but that was me and who are you?,” “ Me? My name is Pinocchio” he replied “ you have a very beautiful voice miss” he added, and just then his nose grew again, “ sorry sir, but your nose is growing” said Rapunzel, “What!!? [That old bastard] how dare he” cried Pinocchio and ran out of there leaving Rapunzel all alone again.

When she woke up the next day she found herself lying on a bed of grass, shocked she got up and found out that the tower had been crushed and shattered, but somehow she was fine. On one corner she found her husband lying dead, he had a candy cane sword on his hand. When she saw this, she felt a tremendous joy within her but still she was sad, for now she did not know what to do. She looked around and saw a frog come her way hopping really fast.

When the frog saw her cry he asked, “what is it miss? Why are you crying?”

“I woke up to find my house shattered into pieces and my husband dead” cried Rapunzel, “don’t worry miss, everything will be fine I am sure” said the frog,

“What happened here? And why was I not aware of it at all?” asked Rapunzel who was now trying to fix her messy hair and so the frog went on, “yesterday a wooden man stole the Golden Goose from the giants castle because a boy named jack traded magic beans for some candy that your husband makes, and so when the giant found out that his goose was missing he came down to look for it. In anger he wrecked the entire village looking for the thief and his goose; he must have come here as well and your husband must have tried to fight him; The legends say that the giant does not harm pretty ladies and so you’re alive you see?” said the frog. ‘The wooden man’ thought Rapunzel and suddenly she added “Oh yes! He had come by our castle yesterday!” The frog looked up and said, “ Yes! My friends were telling me that the giant caught him and was demanding his goose back but the man kept lying and his nose kept growing, after a while his nose had grown so long that it went up to the height of a tree, and so the giant took him instead. You see the giant was more fascinated by the man than his goose,”

“ Oh! I see” cried Rapunzel.

So for days Rapunzel was busy trying to get adjusted into her new life style. The frog and his friends helped Rapunzel and built a small hut for her to stay. As soon as they finished it, the frog called Rapunzel out and said ” can I tell you a secret”, “ sure” replied Rapunzel, “do you know where the goose is now?” he asked, “well I don’t know that Mr. frog” said Rapunzel, “why don’t you go inside and have a look” said the frog. Rapunzel whet inside her newly built hut and found a small basket on top of her bed, when she opened it she saw a golden goose staring into her lovely face giving her small quacks, “It is for you, so that you may live a peaceful and a wealthy life” said he frog from behind.

Rapunzel had tears in her eyes for she had never met anyone so kind in her entire life, because you see, she always waited for her prince and when she thought she had me him, she got betrayed and now, here she was with the kindest soul but who was a frog; “ we shall” said Rapunzel and gave the frog a kiss.

Suddenly the entire room lit into a blazing yellow flame and magical flurries came upon the frog and ‘Puff’ he turned into a handsome Prince. Turns out he was the son of King Arendale who had passed away a few years back and was cursed by the old witch from the other village who had poisoned snow white’s apple and had turned him into a frog; only a true love’s kiss would break the spell, but who would kiss a frog anyway, so he had given up on trying.

Rapunzel was speechless, just then the prince came up to her and said” my curse has been lifted, thank you” and he gave her a kiss and what do you know! They lived happily ever after selling golden eggs and lived inside the forest because happy endings in a castle had become to mainstream by then.

About Time


Do you have a favorite movie? Or something of that sort that does something to you after you watch it or read it?

I have one. Let me add that it is not too fancy of a thing; it is but a mere movie.

I’ve watched it uncountable times till now and every time I sit down to watch it again, it still feels like the first time.The movie is titled ‘About Time’ and the story could not have been simpler than it is. Well of course, alongside the very fantastical ability that the actor possesses which happens to be the power to go back in time.

This is not a review by the way.

I just love how the entire film emits positivity even when there are characters screaming curses in between the movie; I feel as though, wait, ‘feel’ is too weak of a word to describe it, it is like – ‘this is life’ and that it does, it really does teach you a valuable lesson, something like acceptance (well, for me at least) and by god believe me when I say this, I am always left overwhelmed in the end, I mean how pathetic am I?

Another point, I will not be naming or giving out the details of the characters who are in the movie, so please try and withstand my expulsion of emotions.

There is a subtle ambience in the movie; if you get what I mean. The balance between fiction and reality just touches you to the point where you could imagine yourself in it and the fact that there is a massive hole in the movie (the ability to go back in time) is just not bothering at all. And how in the world can spoken english in an accent do this to me every time?! I mean,I am here writing shit and judging my limited capabilities but still writing to my best knowledge and there in the world are people talking bullshit like-

-“how did it go?”

-“oh, very poor indeed, very very poor”

Okay, that did not make any sense but seriously why? Even I would like to go around saying “ after bit of a stumble and a rumble and a tumble” into whatever shitty line that I can possibly frame, well, more or less.

The truth is I just finished watching the movie again for the 30th time I think and what surprised me was that I could not remember what was coming next and why I say this is because I am very good in picking up dialogs. But here with this movie, I was so indulged into noticing things that I had missed out previously that I could not remember what was coming next and then it hit me that I did the same thing every time. I watched it and every time I found something new, I really don’t like to brag about it so much but sadly, I cannot deny it, I just don’t want to critically view the movie, the movie has no pin-pointed flaws (in my opinion)

Perhaps I like the movie because it just makes me feel so calm by the end of it and it does not have a dramatic effect on me, like Titanic or even Saw (Disgustingly Horrifying).

I just feel smooth; like the feeling smooth. So kind and so innocent that it makes me feel like loving despite the fact that it is just a movie and it makes me think about what I can do next to make it better for me, how there is always a second chance for us and how I can live my life or how I can help someone or be friends with someone who does not really fit in or how I should always remain positive no matter what. (OK I sound pathetic)

And I know that all of this sounds very cliché, but I cannot help it and therefore I will end this here. Thanks.

Flip Flop – a short film


Gautier and Ashwin are on a tea stall, going about their usual talk when suddenly they see Renie approaching . The two immediately fall head over heels over her and have a small imaginary sequence. However, they both come to realize that they like her and start a fit over her. Renie approaches them and asks for a phone, Gaurtier immediately takes out his and gives it before Aswin to win her heart, but she says that she needed to call her girlfriend. They go into a minor shock after coming to know about her identity and make up for being so juvenile and stupid.

The Condemned Cell II


The given painting is named the ‘Condemned Cell II’, the author of the painting was a Hungarian artist, Mihály Munkácsy. He was born in the year 1844 on February 20th. The Painting is now exhibited at the Hungarian National Gallery. The medium of the painting is oil on canvas. The theme of the painting is based on the truth that lies within the lives of the condemned men who get to visit their family for the last time.

During the 18th century there was a custom in Hungary that who so ever was condemned for any crime and was going to be hanged for it would be allowed to say his last farewell to his family, friends and relatives; they were allowed to visit him in the cell.

This painting represents the life of a condemned man who is going to be hanged for his crimes the next day.

This painting depicts the portrayal of emotions that has been displayed by Mihály Munkácsy.

Now lets look at the painting more closely. Somehow the first thing that we notice in the painting is the condemned man himself, perhaps this is because, first, he is only man sitting down on a chair, secondly, we can make out through his facial expression that he is sad, disappointed and ashamed. He stares down on the floor while everybody’s eyes are at him, usually there are two different meaning to this, 1. It may be because you are feared or 2. You are loathed and in case of Munkácsy’s painting, it’s the later.

Now we move on to the spectators who are seen in a bunch, if we look at each one of them individually then we can see a mixture of emotions that has been portrayed through each one’s eyes.

Let’s look at he guard, the guard does not seem to be interested in what is going on but does keep a keen eye on everything, his chin is down but the eyes are watching.

There are the relatives of the prisoner, however, in this painting the prisoner is a bit difficult to find because he does not have a uniform. He must have done something really bad but without knowing it, judging from his attire he is not from a poor family. It looks as though the guilt is killing him but at the same time he seems angry at the ones who have come to visit him.

The feeling of disgust has been portrayed very well in the eyes of the lady who is carrying the baby. She must be his sister in law.

The man with the hat and a black coat seems disappointed rather than sad, perhaps he is the condemned man’s brother.

The woman trying to look back could either be his aunt or his mother as we cannot see her expression but judging by her body language she is not very upset that the man is going to die; she is busy looking behind, more like looking everywhere, this make it evident that she is more into observing the area that the man is in, judging, loathing.

There is a man on the painting standing behind the man wearing the hat, he has a defensive stance, judging from this it seems that the condemned man must have lost his temper. We can see that there is a bible that has been thrown on the floor the plate has also been thrown on the floor. There is a woman who is seen crying; facing the wall, she must be his wife and the baby girl who is standing close to him must be his daughter. This I know because she does not react to what is going on inside the cell, she is merely doing her own thing.

Now, judging from the looks of it, the man must have started a fit with his wife, she must have been too sad and yelled at him for doing whatever he did, in anger and frustration he must have thrown a fit and hence the reaction of the relatives especially his sister in law. She must be close to his wife.

Another thing that gives out to this reasoning is through the reaction of the kids who are trying to look at the condemned man. He must have been there for a long time judging from the curious looks that the kids portray, he must be their uncle otherwise they would not be there. Now as I was saying, he must have thrown a recent fit and this can be told through the reaction of the kids, who pose a careful stance.

Lastly there is a woman carrying a basket at the other end of the room, in the entire painting she is the only one who feels sad for the man. She poses the expression of innocence; she must have brought something for the condemned man, because her basket cloth is not kept properly. She must be the kind of girl who would do well to people, give them food and love them. If we notice, she is not wearing any shoes unlike the rest of the crew this means that she is not a family member, she must have known the man somehow and so she has come down o look at him before his death, perhaps pray for him.

The few men at the background have no importance; they can only be a spectator to what is happening in the painting.

The Sixth


ONE

“And there he was, just sitting there like a moron eating his perfectly swirled cone ice cream. I never really got to know his deal, he seems so… I don’t know, wired~”

– Who? Jordan?

– Adam, Pay attention you dumb nut!

– Sorry, you were just going so fast; it’s hard to keep track when you’re talking.

– He gives me the creeps. Ugggghhh- Any ways, I have to go, mom wants me to drop my stupid cousin off at his dance rehearsal. See you.

– Sure.

So she waved goodbye, started her scooter and rode off. Her name was Sole.

She picked up her bag, turned her smile upside down while muttering ‘You don’t have to pretend to be strong you idiot, it just makes you look mean’ and left the table. Her name was Anna and they were best friends.

Sole and Anna were friends for almost 11 years now, Sole moved into the neighborhood when she was 5. She had long dark hair that curled up at the ends, eyes as big as the moon as her dad would say and a face that resembled both young Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz. Her mum and dad were transferred for work all the way from India. They worked for the forestry department. She was and she still is the most popular girl in school.

Anna on the other hand was the timid one. She had thin legs but a chubby face, which made her look like a potato on a stick, she seldom spoke to people. She claimed that no one liked her and use to cry most of the time. She lived next door.

When they first met,Sole gave Anna a pony doll, which she had brought not long ago at a Play store because she was crying outside the Varanda for some silly reason, as her mum would say.

They lived in Scotland.Today, they are in their senior year at the Castlemilk High School.


TWO

He takes out his journal; no body knows that he owns a journal, not his mum, not his dad, not even his fish William. He likes to keep things private, very private. He had a brother once, but he passed away, not long ago, it had just been 2 months, he choked on his food while eating it in his room, no one was at home. They found him head faced on the floor; it had turned blue, like a patch of faded ink stain. It is said that it was a sad day for Adam’s family.

He soon stopped talking to people after that; although he never really said much to begin with.His dad wanted to believe that it was because of Joe’s death, which made him that way, but his mum always said that he was special.

The only thing that he actually did in front of people now was sit quietly. He enjoyed listening to them talk, nod if any questions were asked and have an ice-cream once in a while, when the ice cream man came.

He likes the music that comes out of the truck. For Adam everything had to have a perfect symmetry or else it would not do.

Date- 17-june-2001

I know how they look at me, like I’m some kind of an alien in this world. Their eyes glance at everything I do around them, bloody humans. I don’t know why, everything that I’ve been doing is according to the plan, so where am I going wrong?? I need to ask questions or they will catch me.

– he scratches his head with he tip of his pen and peels off a thin layer of skin. It starts to bleed but he doesn’t notice –

I think they know about my plan, even Sole was looking at me weird yesterday; I think she knows. She has to go.

Wait; no she is my only friend. My only friend… my…friend… she wouldn’t…

My friend?? I have no friends, she knows. She was even talking to that girl. She thinks she can deceive me. Not this time. They cannot this time.

She knows. Joe told me so.

His eyes started to water, his heart was beating faster by the second and his hands were shaking for no reason. He quickly closed his journal, said something to it while kissing it goodbye and threw it under the bed.


THREE

“ I said no! it makes me look stupid mom” Sole struggled to fit in the dress her mom bought for her. It was a blue gown; she had to wear it for her uncles wedding this summer. “ Why did you buy in such a yucky color?? It looks like as though I’m covering myself with an ink stained cloth” , “ Its not your choice honey, this is the color that they chose for you to wear, so you have to, now stop whining and turn around, I think the edges need fixing” her mum replied while trying to pin her hem down. Sole looked out the window.

– Look there is that boy again. Is it just me or does everybody get the feeling that he is not well. Like psychologically.

– That is a very rude thing to say to some one Sole. And his name is Adam I believe.

– I don’t like the way he looks at me. (Sole shrugged a little)

Her mom was already downstairs by then, someone had rang the door bell. It was Anna.

– She’s upstairs Anna, I’m glad you are here; it has been difficult for her since Jay… She says weird things, she even yelled at poor Ron the other day, he left while cursing her.

– Don’t worry, I’ll talk to her.

Anna ran up the stairs and Jasmine headed towards the kitchen to make some tea. Right then she saw a few week’s old newspaper on the kitchen deck, the front page read “ The mysteries of Glasgow City: Is he another victim??” And then she saw her missing husbands picture.

How long has it been Jay? It seems to us as though you were here yesterday. I should have told you to stay. I’m sorry. Sole seems to be taking it rough; she keeps blaming Joshua’s kid for your disappearance, says he did some tantra on you. I hope she doesn’t end up like him. Strange. Lonely. God help us ‘

 

She then turned on the TV to see if anything regarding the cases were on. Nothing.

Her distant brother in India was getting married to a girl from London and although they had declined their invitation, they were forced to come for the wedding. Joseph said that it would help them heal.

So they were to leave for Manchester in about a week.


FOUR

Gosh! Its that creepy girl again, why does she keep staring at me man?’

Jordan walked as fast as he could while crossing Soles house.

Jordan Lewis was the son of an Italian Designer who lived a few blocks from Anna and Sole’s house. He was about 6 years older than the girls. He was here for a vacation with his girlfriend a year ago, they were supposed to be married this July. Every body said that they looked good together. She was the cake and he was the cherry.

Unfortunately though, they couldn’t. It read on the Newspaper as well.

—–

Once Anna was in a supermarket buying some grubs for the night when a pile of can fell upon her, some rug-rats were having a good laugh while she was crying on the floor and all of a sudden she saw a hand extend towards her, a young man, with a face so flawless and eyes so kind came down smiling on her and picked her up. ‘ its alright miss, you are fine’  he smiled; he was with a girl, they looked good together, they were to be married in a couple of months.

Anna fell in love right then, she thanked him asked his name, he replied ‘Jordan’.


FIVE

 

‘There he goes…Jordan (she gives a long sigh~)

Why cant you just look at me once? I am not the old Anna anymore. I even grew my hair for you.. (she got angry for some reason)

If that’s the case than I will start dating someone else, I will.. I will.. I will start going out with that weird boy who lives next to you!! ‘

 

“Stop it Anna, he is gone, he cant hear you. And let me know when you start going out with that weirdo” Sole gives a good chuckle.

“ Oh, what would you know” came a hostile reply.

‘she is sad’ thought Anna and invited Sole to come and sleep with her for the night. Her parents were out of town and would be back in the morning.

– we will have a good slumber, just you and me

– Ya, we will. (Smiled Sole)

She kissed goodnight to her mum who was staying with her best friend Julia for the night.

They gossiped and watched T.V, their favorite channel was on. HBO. Sole even got her manicure set. While sole was applying nail polish she felt the need to tell her best friend something.

– Hey, i wanted to tell you something

-Ya sure, anything, shoot!

-Well, you may not like it but I haven’t told a single soul about this apart from dad, and since dad is no more, no one.

-Is it something serious?

-Kind of, nothing too in-depth but, I just felt like i had to tell you. You were there when Jordan’s girlfriend went missing right?

(Anna took a step back and then a step ahead) -Ya, why?

– Well, that night, dad went to Jordan and offered my hand in marriage as a joke and he accepted. ( then she said in a paced voice) but i declined as soon as i heard him say that. You could have asked Joe if he was alive, he was there..

Anna’s face turned white, as though someone had taken the life out of her, she looked at Sole with an expression filled with sadness and disgust. then she smiled, she said that it was okay, then she went inside the Washroom.

It was probably around 11 at night that someone rang the bell.

“They must be here, they said they might just come home early. Ill be back” Anna ran down to open the door. Just then Sole saw a diary under the bed, it was titled ‘ If he is the cake then Iam the Cherry’


SIX

The date was 19th of June and the morning paper read.

‘ The mysteries of Glasgow city: one girl found dead on her bed – case of choking and the other missing!’

 

You can guess their names.

One Morning


The tingling itch got me up too early, it was hardly 5 and I could still feel the soothing warm air under my blanket colliding with the wind from the ceiling fan, the distant sound of squeaky tires and a few horns outside gave me a clear idea that the day was still grey; so i decided to reset my alarm a few minutes later than usual and went back to sleep. Its weird, I feel as though the kind of sleep that you get early mornings are the best, it is much more cozier and the body feels so much more relaxed, much like getting an instant fix for a throbbing migraine, like a soft moan worthy kind. The next thing that got me up was my horrendous alarm tune, the sound of a loud horn that goes on for approximately 2 seconds and then repeats itself. Does everyone do that? I mean, set their alarms to the most annoying, repetitive, sharp tune that is available on their phones or devices?? Anyway, that is what wakes me up every morning. My hand grazed across my hair and then the pillow like a snake trying to grab its prey, to get a hold of the phone and i shut it as fast as i could. I could barely open my eyes to look at the time, it was 7:31 am, now after this comes the early morning calculation part,”college starts at 9 no 10 today, which means i still have time; which means that i can get up at 9 no 8 no 8:30 today; that gives me an hour and a half to get ready and its 7:30 so i get to sleep for about an hour, hmm, okay” I click on one of my many presets to 8:25 am and again fall back to dream land. This time, i got up a minute early, so i quickly turned off my alarm to avoid the mood breaker. For a few seconds I stared at the dream catcher hung up on the curtain holder perfectly between the two black curtains, then at the mini iron board that has mini irons and PRESS ON! printed all over it which I have hung behind the bathroom door – Now, it was time for me to get up, I stretched myself and walked to the kitchen, put on the stove and placed the kettle and till then looked out of the window with two layers of opening and with one obstruction, first the netted window and then an iron bar and then the glass window. I looked down to the streets at the people walking, some in a hurry, some jogging, some walking their pets and while some just sitting there. The sound of car horns and the hammering of wood was getting louder by now. There is but one thing that i never got hold of, a comedic cry that always made me curious and every time I go out to see who makes it, I am always left disappointed; this one fellow who shouts a long’PEPAAAA~’ every morning, I wonder what he looks like when he makes that crowish-sound. Right then a frequent thought popped in my head, ‘does god only look at me? or like am I in some kind of a reality show that the gods above watch, where characters are in focus one at a time?’  What a stupid thought. Well, the whistle was up by then, so i made some tea, scooped a spoonful of honey while cursing the Dabur people for adding sugar syrup in it (scammers) but still adding it in the cup and went inside to wash up and get ready to start the day.

THE KILLING FIELD (WAT THMEY)


A bone chilling feeling still covers my body as I write this article word by word, but let me first add that a tour to Siem Reap to visit its incredible temples built by the hindu and the Buddhist kings is a must. This north western province of Cambodia offers its visitors one hell of a site and after more than many visits to this scattered world heritage just about an hour or so from Ankor Wat, on the northern outskirts of Siem Ream is located the Wat Thmey( killing fields). After the Cambodian Civil war(1970-1975) Blood shed, fear, anger became a part of Cambodia but it was with The Khmer Rouge Regime( 1975-1979) led by Pol Pot that tragedy began. Actions to clear the city took place in hours, the people were made to leave their homes, made to work, punished brutally and killed mercilessly. Those who were suspected of being against the government were killed and mass murder took place on the grounds of Cambodia. Pol Pot also noted to be the second Hitler enforced his troops to commit these crimes without any mercy. Men and Women were made to line up and were shot at the head at one go, there were Genocide rooms made where people would starve to death, their heads were drilled and were beaten to death. The children were thrown and banged against the tree so that they would die fast and before all of this their photo graphs would be taken.

“He would sentence everyone who was against, even suspected of being against the new government, there was no mercy here” said Sophoan,cab driver.

Pol pot is well known for many things, his communist views and an aim to built Cambodia into a more united nation. He was very close to the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, he admired his vision and looked at him as a role model. They would take tours and both would make frequent visits to and fro and would talk about the future of Communist China and Cambodia.

This heart breaking truth left the Cambodian’s so shattered that only after a long time did they decide to look back on this vicious truth. Buddhist temples and religious parks have been made on the killing grounds to pay respect and pray for the souls of the dead. Here at Wat Thmey pictures of the murdered and the process of Pol Pot’s killing has been put up. At the center of the park is a Big Glass structure where the skulls and bones of the ones who died during the Khmer rogue regime has been displayed.

This truth leaves any one who visit’s this site crushed but the amount of courage seen within the people who still look towards the future encouraged me, this truth is not a cry for help but a reason to stand up and fight.

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Just a little bit of ‘Crazy’


Growing up in my family has never been that easy. Well at least for the rest of my cousins. As for me, I loved all the craziness that went about from the bedroom to the kitchen, till the bathroom.

Let’s take my Grandma for instance. I have no way of really defining her but if I do have to portray her then I would go about it like this-

She has no regard for who so ever is around her and if you piss her off then imagine your life, slowly being sucked into the deepest and the darkest hole that has ever been created in this universe and while you are being sucked in, imagine your heart being torn apart bit by bit by her words and finally imagine living under the realm of the undertaker; But at the same time imagine yourself living on a hill-top, lying down on green grass and being loved and cared for by this amazingly loving woman.

And just as all old people are, momo (that’s what we call her) has this nag to go through stuffs, it doesn’t matter whose stuff it is, she just likes to go through them and if she likes something out of it then it goes inside her wardrobe; so everybody in the family keeps their private belongings to themselves, but since I love my grandmother more than anything in this entire world, I always tend to forget about this habit of hers, and so she always finds my packet of cigarette in my bag and starts yelling ‘ why are you smoking!!’ and as we have this special bond, we end up fighting. (if you know what i mean)

She has always been the light of my life, the main highlight, the funny guy, the defender; she is by far the strongest woman I have ever known and so I always strive to become like her.

However, old age is hitting her hard and memory is not what it used to be.

Before coming back to Bangalore this January I felt this piercing need to take something of hers (as a memento) and I saw this ring on her finger, it was a silver ring with a diamond on it and so I asked her to give it to me as a gift, when she said yes, it felt like I had conquered the world. Later that night while I was getting ready to go to sleep, my aunt yells “Oh My God!” startled I asked “ What is it?” and came the reply “ That’s my ring, I had lost it, where in the world did you find it?” there was some heated argument for a moment as I dint want to give her something that belonged to my Momo but she would not stop demanding for it “ it is not yours, it must be something similar but this is momo’s “ I said. “ No! I had lost it and she took it” she said; and after a long long quarrel, I finally had to give it back to her. Thinking about it now, it did seem too easy when my grandma said yes; by the end of it I had to settle for a bronze ring with a pearl on it.

Moving on, I believe that my maternal family has this half coo-coo mindset mixed with a cup of genius in their Genes; my late uncle would always dress up in his most exquisite suit that went along perfectly with his long overcoat which covered that 6”1 body of his, and would always wear it with a Khukuri which, he used to tag along with him, tucked behind his back and sit at home just waiting, you do not want to know for whom. Trust me. And yet, he was the most kind hearted and caring person you could ever find, sadly, his bad habits took him along with it.

Now, my younger uncle however has always been a character; his countless number of stories and incidents are just, well, not exactly what normal people would usually say or go through, for instance, There was a time when he had picked up a very unfriendly ‘Raja Has’ (Male Goose) and brought back home, he would say-  “i want him to eat up all the snakes and toads that enter our premises, there are kids here” and the second reason for getting the goose was for his ‘personal protection’; According to him, the Goose apparently was his bodyguard. Next, when we were kids, he would tell us stories; stories completely made up in his weird head. Ill be ending this small piece of mine with one of his imaginations which goes like this:

NOTE- He was eating rice flakes while telling us the story. Tone –scary, soft with sudden loud cries in between. 

 

 

“Once upon a time, in a far away land there lived a man and a woman who finally had a child after 8 long years of trying, the baby however had a very very loud cry, he would go ‘WAAAA!!! WAAAA!” every night at 12 o’ clock. It was during the time of war and many rogues came to the village to kill, or steal stuffs from the innocent families. The army and the king could not do any thing about it and so the villagers always had to live in fear.

One day the king found out that a baby had been born who cried all night and thought that the infant was possesed and that the people feared the baby’s cry would cause trouble and fear amongst them and so the kings demanded for the baby to be brought to his castle. –

 

Drops one rice flake while staring into our eyes.

 

WAAA!! WAAA!!! – the child cried, his cry was even more shrilled than an ambulance’s siren “TII-TUU-TII-TUU” “WAAA!!WAAA!!”. The king could not take another second of it and so he demanded the baby to be executed, but just as he was about to do so, a brilliant idea came about him.

Slowly picks up the dropped rice flake and eats it; still staring into our eyes (poker face)

 

“So do you know what the king did?” he asked us, his tone became softer and now he started whispering. “ The king, you know what the King did?”

We shook our head, swallowed all the left over saliva that was accumulating inside out mouth and then suddenly he yells – “WAAAAAA!!!WAAAAAA”

My cousin fell from his chair…  we gathered our gut, laughed at each other for a while and made fun of each other for acting so stupid and then sat down to listen intently again, but my uncle lit a smoke and said “ enough now”; we couldn’t take it, “ what? That’s it? That’s not even a story, you just yelled some nonsense for most of the part and the ending was too lame” we complained and begged him to finish it. After some five minutes he said in a normal, bland and a condescending tone,

“ so what happened? He took the baby and went to the highest point of the hill where the guards used to watch over the village at night and kept him there; so every night at 12 the baby would cry “Waaa Waaaa” and  he would cry so loud that the thieves and murderers never had the guts to come out ever again”

The End-

THE MASK


A writer can write what a writer wants to convey to people through his writing but only so much as he wants them to know. This poem may not tally with the other great writers and poets but it is based on a true story that fascinated me and inspired me to write.

It broke. The fish bowl,
and willy fell on the floor,
As I watched him slowly die,
There was not one bit of sorrow in my eye.

I watched him flap his fins and watched him trying to breath;
I saw him suffer and maybe for someone to pick him up and put him back in,
Mother came running when she heard the noise;
And when she saw me just standing there; started yelling on top of her voice.

She was dis heartened to see me just stand there,
She thought I would help when I never really did care,
I just left the room and and went upstairs,
Weirdly; I felt a sudden freshness in the air.

I started dissecting small animals after that time;
Cut then open and took out their intestines,
It started becoming a passion for me;
fascinated by the thought of killing.

And As I grew older with time,
My passion became a habit on the line.
Small creatures would not give me joy anymore,
For I needed something big, bigger than before.

I started to change and my interests for girls did not remain the same;
Homo sexuality, the nature of mind, now I started looking out for guys,
Pubs or clubs where ever I could find;
Would look for my type and seduce them all night.

Still there was one thing that haunted my mind,
And that was the thought of dissecting them;just the “one of a kind‟,
I took them home, and gave them wine,
Once they‟d pass out, committed my crime.

Years without a trail, I got through with it every time,
One after the other. Now I started losing my mind.
Why I asked, why this thirst?
Could it be because of that time, Willy being the first?

Now as I look back I remorse and whine,
For now ill repent and suffer for all of my crimes,
I made my name on the pages and on the news, I disappointed my family, became a kind of a muse.
And just like every other killer I made my name,
But now I can assure you that I‟ll never be the same.
But the courses of time will never look back,
For sympathy is the one thing that I will always lack.

Its not a Blog. Its a Universe