Keychains are wonderful. Yeah, I practice cagophily. I have been collecting keychains from the age of nine. As of now, I’ve collected about fifty keychains and more. I love all my keychains.

I love displaying my keychains to others. Well, as somebody said, owner’s pride is neighbor’s envy. All my keychains are displayed with great pride and affection in my room.

All but one. My most prized possession, tucked inside a soft pouch in my table. When I’m down in thee dumps or need inspiration, I take this round key ring out. The cold metal gleams in the dark. Yes. My most prized possession is the key ring (formerly keychain), which belonged to my grandfather.

My grandfather, through proxy, was in the service of the Indian Air Force as an engineer. He came from poor backgrounds, his father having died when he was fourteen. My grandpa had to quit school to make the ends of his family meet. And he had a huge family.

He had worked hard. And the fruits of his labour were reaped. From Italy to Switzerland, gramps went everywhere. By the time his first two granddaughters were born, my family was rolling in moolah (compared to the economic conditions of the 80’s).

My gramps turned 80 in 2008. To honour all octogenarians who were in the Indian Air Force, my grandpa was awarded this very keychain, an airplane model containing a clock, and a medal.

In 2010, he passed away. Unknown to me, he had left this keychain to me, knowing my love for keychains. And this is the very first keychain I collected.

Thanks, gramps.

For Writing 101, Day Twenty.



Music Review: Aashiqui 2

Okay, I know that this is a totally pointless topic I’ve picked up, but I love these songs so much that I felt I HAD to write a review on this brilliant music score of Aashiqui 2. The film itself was beautiful, dealing with the subject of alcoholism and its effects on relationships.

The background score, in one word: Fabulous.

Jeet Ganguli has done excellent work in composing the background score. Despite the conflicting emotions in all of the songs, the melodious feel is maintained.

As for Mithoon Tiwari, hats off. He has composed the two chart-toppers in this film – Tum Hi Ho (You are the one) and Sunn Raha Hai (Are You Listening?)

Here is a mini-review of all the songs:

Sunn Raha HaiIn one word: Brilliance personified. Ankit Tiwari’s melodious voice rings out as the essence of this youthful song (on a sad note) reaches the listener.

Sunn Raha Hai (Female): Shreya Ghoshal does a wonderful job of rendering this song, accompanied by Shraddha Kapoor’s tearful acting.

Milne Hai Mujse AayiLiterally meaning ‘She Has Come To Meet Me’, the song surveys the bitterness of a broken heart to the one who broke it. One of my favourite songs by Arijit Singh (apart from Tum Hi Ho, that is).

Bhula Dena : Makes you cry. Heals broken hearts.

Piya Aayen Na: This song, along with its powerful lyrics, captures the pain of a broken heart, which is trying to let go of the shadows of its past. A gem of a song, it is very sad that it did not get the much required popularity.

Aasan Nahi Yahan: Meaning ‘It Is Not Easy Here’, this song discusses the difficulty of being a faithful lover and understanding the meaning of what it is to be one. I think Arijit Singh should have worked better in his voice modulations over here, as the song ended up like somebody screeching in pain (though I loved the lyrics).

Chahun Mai Ya Na: ‘Should I Want Or Not’ is the main theme of this song, sung melodiously by Palak Mucchal. Sung lightly by the good combination with Arijit Singh, this was the only light-hearted song in the film.

Hum Mar Jayenge: Incredibly cheerful song, which is about what will happen if one in the couple dies.

Tum Hi HoSaving the best for the last. Arijit Singh proves his mettle once again in modern India’s most loved love song. I will advise translating the lyrics to anyone who doesn’t understand Hindi.

Meri Aashiqui: ‘My Lover’ sounds pretty much like Tum Hi Ho, except that even Palak Mucchal joins in for this soulful melody. It could have been much, much better, with some more stress put on changing the lyrics, so that it didn’t end up sounding like a carbon copy of Tum Hi Ho.

Aashiqui: The Love Theme: Just listening to this wordless expression of love makes your heart melt. Could have been better, though, by just adding a bit more tremor to this much-needed theme.

I just loved this absolutely wonderful film and BGM. And for those who frankly don’t have the patience to listen to all these songs, just try and listen to the Aashiqui 2 Mashup. It is a work of genius by itself.

For Writing 101, Day Nineteen.

Goodbye, Mrs Pauley

I sat on the steps, as the harsh-looking policeman rudely pushed the old woman down the stairs. She turned pleadingly back at them, but the tall guy near the door showed her no mercy as he threw her suitcase, filled with clothes, down too. With a sigh, she gave up and turned back for one last look at the house she had lived for sixty years.

My first memory of Mrs Pauley goes back to the day when I learnt bicycling, at five years of age. I had fallen on the road, and was alone, scared. Then, a kind old woman turned up. With a smile on her face, she helped me up, wiped the grime of my leg, and kissed me.

She took me to her home and stuffed me with sponge cakes. Yum. That was were my mom finally found me.

An introvert that I am, I hardly socialized with anyone. During these times, Jane Pauley was my bestie. The long hours of the eve (when I had absolutely NO homework) were spent in chatting with Mrs Pauley.

She had a sad life, she told me. Her husband had passed away last year, and her six sons, working in high-paying jobs, had abandoned her and gone abroad. She had no one in the world, she said, save her estranged sister, who had married a man from a different continent.

Their families had split due to the conflicts between Mrs Jane Pauley’s mother and Mrs Jean Howard (nee Pauley)’s husband. This culture shock had affected Mr Howard’s health badly, and some ten years later, he had died. This lead to even greater conflicts, which forced Mrs Howard to go to Australia.

Now that her husband was dead, she had no means to make her ends meet, let alone pay house rent. The usually genial looking landlord showed his true colours when he asked police help to evacuate Mrs Pauley.

I couldn’t take this anymore. I ran up to her, and kissed her, the same way she had done years before, only that she was down now and I was up. I helped her get inside the cab and gave her a goodbye hug. She smiled sadly at me, for what I believe is the last time.

Goodbye, Mrs Pauley.

For Writing 101, Day Eighteen.





Dentists : A Pain In The Tooth

I have ALWAYS been scared of dentists. Who hasn’t???

And I’ve always been the unlucky one in my family forced to visit them every now and then. No, I don’t eat chocolates. Nor do I eat all those mouth-damaging sugars. But cavities were always attracted to me. And so were dentists.

Their thin, long, instruments; their smiling faces as they prepare to torture the patients; the fake look of understanding and sympathy as they say “Everything will be all right”, when everything will NOT be all right; all these and more freak me out.

Yes, I really, really hate dentists.

Once you enter their ice-cold clinic, they’ll smile at you, and seat you on the torture seat, and tell everything’s gonna be alright, while thinking of the best way to cause you as much pain as possible.

They inject you with some tooth numbing liquid. It pains a lot and you wince. They smile at you, and say everything’s gonna be alright.

Then, they spray your tooth with all those disgusting sprays that is supposed to make your tooth ‘stronger than ivory’. You scream due to the shock and force of the spray. The dentists smile at you and say everything’s gonna be aright.

Finally, with sharp instruments, they fill the cavity with cement, and accidentally poke your gums. You cry out in pain. They STILL smile at you and say everything’s gonna be all right.


After the torture is completed, they charge you an exorbitant fee. No, you say. I didn’t get the tooth pulled out, I just came for the free oral health check up. Sorry, the now-unsmiling dentists say. That offer has expired.

Yeah, they are right, since the offer didn’t exist only.

So, dear dentists, please don’t pull our pockets on the pretext of pulling our teeth.

For Writing 101, Day SeventeenWriting 201, Finding Your Key Moment.


The ‘Sporting’ Spirit: Part 3

(Note this is the third part in The ‘Sporting’ Spirit series. The first and second parts are fun to read too!) 

As I went to sixth, I realized two things. One, I had found that I’m gonna be a miserable failure in sports. Two, I had lost. Just lost. The name ‘Sloth Aunty’ stuck to me permanently, making me (an ardent animal lover) hate sloths.

Last year, I was forced to participate in a long jump competiton. I fretted and protested, pretended I was sick and couldn’t participate, but there was absolutely NO other choice. I had lost my challenge with sports, and I was NOT willing to continue.

No, they said, no other choice for you. I grumbled and went to the long jump ground, thinking many things. I was a sort of unconditional teacher’s pet, so I was incredibly unpopular among students. To put salt on wounds, I was a volunteer too, which made me even more unpopular. I cannot be more unpopular than this, I thought.

I never knew just how much more unpopular this game would make me.

Well. No use crying over split milk. The game started. However much I hate to admit it, the boys were amazing – only at athletics. I enviously glared at the slim, lithe girls (who looked sooo like me, but performances in sports were reversed).

Finally it was my chance. I took a deep breath. As soon as I started running, everybody howled. Cries of ‘Sloth Aunty!’, ‘Madvaanthi (vaanthi means ‘vomit’ in many Dravidian languages)’. I was used to this. I could do this.

As soon as the arena came into focus, I leaped. Without any false allusions. Distance I had jumped? 5 cm. No surprise, I thought, as the crowd booed behind me.

The second run proved to have the same result. As I sat down, thoroughly exhausted, I thought. What is wrong in losing? People will make fun of you? You will have lowered self-esteem? Nobody will respect you? You will become unpopular? So WHAT???

There is nothing wrong in any of these. Why then, should we feel ashamed. Failure is the stepping stone to success. Failure teaches us. Not only do we learn (ahem) from our mistakes, we also discover our strengths. We learn what works for us and what doesn’t through trial-and-error. Though this might take some (actually a very long) time, we eventually discover what we are good at.

I discovered something. Though I had lost (miserably), some day or the other, I’ll finally find SOME sport in which I WILL outshine others. I have lost my adventurous spirit once, but now that I have found it, I’ll never lose it again.

For Writing 101, Day Sixteen



IPL Forever!!!

NO! NO! This CANNOT happen! And if it DOES happen, I CANNOT live!!!

Okay. Cool down, girl, cool down.

Just because the underworld don took over the IPL (Indian Premier League) does not mean you can stop enjoying it. But NO! The crazy guy’s gonna CANCEL it, JUST BECAUSE that match’s organizer didn’t give him a FREE ticket??? What the hell!!!

Sob! That means no more fun-filled vacations with cousins, munching snacks and cheering your favorite team ( Go RR Go!!!)…No more disputes with friends over the best-looking cricketer (And I still say it IS Virat Kohli ❤ ❤ )…No more celebrations and deliberations over the team ruling the roost (whether CSK or RCB)…And no more mad running around the house screaming with joy, or wailing with sorrow, over your fave team’s victory or defeat. No more fun thinking of awesome overseas players playing for your home team (Shane Watson and RR is a match made in IPL heaven). Oh damn.A great family-bonding league will be lost forever.

Well, I have to resort to other means to watch my fave form of cricket. No more telly watching. Switch to the Internet. Hail You Tube! But oh well, that mafia can’t bear to see us happy, so I guess he’ll block that too…

Why is my life so miserable suddenly???

For Writing 101, Day Fifteen

To Hunter-Gatherers, With Love

Dear Hunter-Gatherers,

We modern humans don’t understand you. Okay, we are all fine with the hunting-animals-and-grossly-eating-them part. But still, the big question is: HOW DID YOU LIVE WITHOUT SOCIAL NETWORKS???

Yeah, even though we don’t have the pain of hunting and gathering food, our life doesn’t depend on that. It depends on social networks. Frankly, we cant live a sec without it. How did ya guys connect with distant relatives and friends without social networks???

Din’t ya think ‘twould be difficult to express yourself without 🙂 😛 , and chat without LOL, ROFL, ABCD, etc.? Won’t your life be just spent on typing these long words?

We wonder how you managed. Reply back, please (if you know how to write, that is).


Modern Humans

(P.S. – I hope you can read!!!)

For Writing 101, Day Fourteen