Thursday, December 29, 2016

Little Things

Have you ever wondered exactly what makes your mornings good or your sleep a peaceful one? Why a small text can make your day or how an old friend can bring out your smile? What makes you happy and why do you need those regular encouragements from people that matter (or sometimes even form those who apparently do not)?
To start making sense, I would now have to narrate to you this one particular experience that lead me to think on this matter for a relatively longer period of time...

The Grumpy Walker:

Yeah, that's me. For my dear readers, here I am going to specify that when I'm in one of those moods, I prefer a walk. So a few days back when I was upset about some or the other completely obscene matter, I'd chosen to walk it off on the streets of Gariahat Market, just because. The vendors shouting out new offers along with the regular crowds didn't seem to be helpful either. 
As I headed down towards main market from Golpark, I got slowed down due to the early morning office hour rush on the footpath. That is exactly when the security guard of one of the apartments wished me "Good Morning Madam". It was absolutely unexpected. For one, I wasn't even sure whether he had directed the greeting towards me. So, I looked back. He was smiling at me and so finding nothing else to say, I just wished him a good morning back. 






A really small thing? Matter of no importance at all? NO

Facts you need to know:
  • I didn't know the guard
  • I'm pretty sure he's never seen me before either.
  • It actually wasn't creepy
  • No one cares during office rush hour, whether you are having a good morning or not
  • It was totally unexpected
  • It made me happy
Maybe I looked pretty pissed off that morning from even afar, maybe the guy was happier than most days, maybe he'd wished others as well, maybe so many other things. The simple fact that a person bothered to wish me even when we had no mutual business felt nice. One middle aged security guard on one particularly bad morning wished me... and that is all it took to cheer me up. 

What's funny is that I don't even remember exactly what I was so pissed about. Yet, I remember the one greeting that made my day. I haven't seen the man again, didn't even try looking for him. For, it was the gesture in itself and nothing else that mattered. 

Just Mom Things:

Moms are pretty special, to pretty much everyone. Well I have the perfect Indian mother-daughter relationship in my life. We look alike, we complain all the time about each other to each other, we fight a lot, we love to speak in high volumes and we cannot live without each other. 

My mother is a working woman (teacher) with a tight schedule and a professionally trained loud voice that will scare any kid on the street any day. Of course, I am thankful for that particular quality of hers during exams because it is among the only incentives that get me to study. 

Nonetheless, every time I score better or perform well, its only her that I think of. In fact, somehow I think, all us kids have that somehow ingrained in us: "What will mom say? Will this make her happy?".

Now as the popular saying goes, "It took 10,000 days to become an overnight success", my scores weren't that great this one time. I was completely freaked out about what mom might say and dreaded going back home. So I, complete with my school backpack, uniform and water bottle, decided to roam the streets (I thought they would be my new home after mom saw my score sheet) for the entire evening. 

At last, when my hungry stomach started making too many unwanted noises I had to go home. Mom was there...waiting. (I've mentioned earlier that she is a teacher. Well, she is a teacher at my school, who teaches economics in the higher grades. And I had scored "not so well" in her paper and surprise of surprises....mathematics. )

Yeah...tough luck. I just stood there waiting for the verdict, waiting for some sarcastic remark or some rebuke. She never said anything. She took me to the dining table, sat me down, took my bag and bottle and placed one big bowl of maggi in front of me. What was I doing the entire time? Isn't it obvious....I was gaping at her! 

This is what she said to me next "I knew you wouldn't come home on time and I know all your marks." One big sigh and then she continued, "Don't give up. Don't worry about me. Study what you like and I'm sure you'll do better next time." 

Not to make much of it, I'll just mention that I kind of sobbed over my maggi a little. But that was the end of vague decisions about graduation for me. 12th finals,I scored better of course and gladly that was the end of mathematics for me. 


Mom made an exceptional decision that night. She didn't react like I thought she would. She went on further to say that she actually believed in me, even at a time I didn't. That is something worth working hard for. It wasn't much maybe, but for the 16 year old me, it was way more than I'd hoped for. 


So...

Its the little things that add up to make bigger things. Focus on them and let them make your moment better. Make the most of the little things because you may find them anywhere, any day ;). 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Reconciliation

Have you ever lost a good friend?

A friend is someone you can trust, at any time of the day, but a close friend somehow matters more. They know your secrets, they know your preferences, they know how to cheer you up and they know what hurts you most.


Losing a friend is not something we are proud of, but is a situation that many of us have faced at some point of time or the other. Those little inside jokes and stupid little fun memories can haunt you for a long time even after you've stopped talking to them.

It may have been your mutual egos, your differences in opinions, a silly fight, or even involved a third person. The bottom line is that losing someone who matters that much is not a pretty feeling and it is something we definitely would try to avoid, if given a chance.

I had a similar experience. But suddenly one day my ex-friend texted to say he's sorry. What you need to know here is that he isn't the kind of person to apologize for ANYTHING at all. So it was a big deal somehow, though I had my doubts.



The thing is, we knew each other once... we may not be so sure of that now. So many doubts and so many questions arise that are in a way indescribable to me. Walking out on our friendship was his choice, not mine. I do realize that I let him leave, but neither of us realized exactly what we had lost back then.

Something he said made me accept the fact that he really was on the right track. He said, "Believe in me now, for it took some guts to call you up after all these years. I did it anyway because I felt I had to."

None of us have any idea exactly what the future holds for us. What we can do though, is take one step at a time and see how it goes. At the end of the day, when all your work is done and all you need to do is sleep, doesn't your brain sometimes seem to work overtime?


Every wrong decision you made and every single one of your worries come to surface and leave you alone to deal with it. During these times, I just call up a friend or speak to a sibling, for they are people, who get you at your best and even at your worst. To have had one such person walk out on you may be the worst experience ever. But what do you do when they decide they want back in several years later? Reconciliation may be the best option here, but would it be something you'd actually choose for real?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Coming Home

After a vacation at some distant place, there is a bittersweet truth we all have to face... Coming Home.


You see, coming home doesn't only mean returning back, it also has other disadvantages, such as resuming work and getting back to your daily hectic schedule. Of course, there are a lot of benefits at home, that you can never get any place else. Such as,

Familiarity:

From getting up in the morning, to making your coffee and tying your shoelaces for a run, everything is almost on clockwork at home. You don't have to think, you don't have to analyse... you are habituated to your daily routine. That is familiarity and you can rarely find it anywhere else.

Comfort:

No matter how comfortable your hotel or mode of travel was, the bliss of sleeping in your own bed and sprawling on your home sofa is totally different.

Friends and Neighbors:

Skipping up to your friend's place at ungodly hours and knocking down your neighbor's front door for an occasional chitchat isn't something you can do away from home. Even though you wouldn't indulge in such behavior on a daily basis, just the comfort of knowing that they are there, makes you feel better.

There's no saying what odd things you'll miss from home, when you are on a trip somewhere else. Home is a lot of things that somehow reflect your tastes. There is no place like home and it doesn't even have to be lavish and big. It is just that space, where you can rest your feet and lay your hair down at the end of a long day.

Monday, October 3, 2016

When there's too much to do...

There are moments, sometimes entire days or weeks when you feel like you simply cannot take any more tasks or chores. Stressful days such as these, leave you exhausted and feeling absolutely drained.
Avoid this "busted" feeling by doing a few simple things like:

Soak your feet in Warm Water:

Research shows that your feet are connected to your feeling of exhaustion. As we know, our feet are connected to the rest of our bodies by the Central Nervous System. Apparently a fungal infection or some sort of bacterial growth can lead to an increased risk of depression or exhaustion. 
So after a long day out, I suggest you soak your feet into lukewarm water for around 20 minutes. Not only will you feel fresh, but also more energetic than before.


EAT!:

"An empty stomach, is the Devil's lair". So when in doubt, just eat. 
Staying hungry throughout the day or forgetting your meals regularly is neither an option, nor a smart thing to do. Observations have shown that hungry people or those who do not take regular meals, get tired easily throughout the day. In contrast, people who maintain good eating habits, and have regular meals every day show better productivity at their respective jobs!


Sleep Better:

We all have known since elementary school that 8 hours of peaceful and undisturbed sleep is necessary for good health. But how many of us actually follow it?
People who sleep at irregular hours over a long span of time, or do not sleep at least 5-6 hours every night are more prone to heart diseases and hypertension.
If you are tired, sleep. It is as simple as that. A better sleeping pattern can only help you handle your daily stresses better, if nothing else.

Meditate:

Now that's not something our generation seems to have time to do any more. Yet, studies have once again proven the power of meditation. It actually helps you calm your frayed nerves and gets you to relax after a long and taxing day. 
I know, some feel sleepy during meditation, but apparently that's OK. Our psychology teacher used to say that feeling sleepy during meditation is a sign that your body has relaxed and is calm enough to go into "sleep mode".

Indulge Yourself:

Be it your favorite book, movie or ice cream...indulging yourself to lighten up the mood is never a bad idea. Favorites exist for exactly that reason...to make you feel better.
All those who have heard "I simply remember my favorite things" from "The Sound Of Music" will understand me fully.

Call Up a Friend (Or Visit One):

Even when we are far away and completely busy with our lives, we shouldn't ever forget our roots. Friends are such a great example of favorite things (or people). A close friend is the best remedy after a taxing day. They never fail to cheer you up, no matter what.


So go ahead and free yourself from your burdens. Time and tide wait for none. The best you can do is face each day with some spirit. Relax and enjoy some of your time, because that is the only way you can work harder and do better.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

10 Signs You are a Strong Independent Woman



There has been a great upsurge of strength among people in our generation. Yet, as always, there do remain some who think strength and independence are over-rated.
Let me get this one thing straight: If you are strong and independent you owe nobody an explanation as to why. You are a much appreciated species who are highly required on our planet and here's why:

1. You Can Make Things Work:

When it comes to getting things done, you can trust yourself. One of the reason why people perceive you to be strong and independent is that you don't require much help to get your dreams to come true.
P.S: But when you do, you are forever grateful, because your helpers matter a lot to you.

2. No Excuses:

Things need to be done and they need to be done stat. No excuses, no late submissions. You know it is difficult to take on some of those tasks, but if you keep complaining, you'll never get it done. Your iron will is what gets you through these times. Life may be tough, but so are you.


3. You Earn Some:

One of the major signs that you have become independent is that you can make your own purchases. Going to dad for everything may seem an appealing option, but it is the equivalent of no option at all.
If you are going to call yourself independent, it's time you start acting the part too. Start small and take your time. What matters is that there be no pretense as to who you are.

4. Men Aren't the Foundation of your Life:

The basic idea about being strong and independent is that you have a lot of stuff going on all the time, So getting a boyfriend for recreation purposes or due to peer pressure is just a hilarious matter. 
Men are required, granted...but not all the time. You have a life and you like it. There's just no time to  go goofing around over paltry matters. 

5. You have a Strong Support Base:

Be it your friends or your family, there has always been someone who believed in you...sometimes even when you didn't. Being "Self-made" is all too good a concept, but it is seldom so. Every person has to have some sort of support base to achieve anything in life. 
The reason you get to be strong, is because people believe in you.


6. You are the Group's Therapist:

There is always somebody seeking help or advice on something or the other. If a friend is going through a break up and needs some feminist backing, she knows who to approach.
It doesn't matter what time of the day (or night) it is, you're always up to answer doubts for your closest friends. For it was them who held you in your times of distress.
Also, there is no topic you know too less about. So basically, people could come to you for anything. The fact that you seem to be the kind of person who's got it all sorted, doesn't hurt either.

7. You Have Your Own Opinions:

A girl's got to have opinions and ideas about her life and the world. It is what it is and if people can't handle that, then its time you said "toodles".

8. You Have Your Own Style:

You believe that to make a lasting mark on the world, you have to be different. The idea is to be remembered and respected. Not everything is about money or fame to you. There are things that matter more and you seem to know that better than most.

9. You won't take "No" for an Answer:

Taking "no" for an answer is just not an option. There have been times you've heard it, for sure. But that didn't mean you backed down, did it? 
Strength doesn't come from sitting around and simply accepting things that aren't acceptable to you. No, you are the kind of person who will fight for what you believe in and wonder of wonders, even turn the future to your favor.

10. You may be Down, But Not Forever:

As depressing as the idea is, you do get down sometimes. These moments though not often, do occur and you have to face them nonetheless. The best part about being you, is that even in the darkness, you'll be able to see the light. No matter how hard conditions are, you can count on yourself to get right back up.

We owe a lot to the strong women in our lives, yet express very little gratitude to them, for simply being themselves. So, here's a shout out to all you strong and independent women jamming it out in the 21st century: "You're amazing. Keep it going girl!"

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

7 Reasons Why We Loved Mr. Darcy

In one of my earlier blog posts on Harry Potter, I may have slighted Jane Austen for her novels on English romance. Thing is, when I first read "Pride and Prejudice", it had a pretty lasting impression on me.
Old School romance was simple and uncomplicated by modern gadgets and smart phones. There were no social networking sites then and thus, people were left with the only option of conversing face to face. The rules to courting a girl were all stated beforehand. You either commented on her eyes or nose or voice, walked her home or simply married her.
For years girls have been drooling over the fictional Mr. Darcy. It seems to me that Mr. Darcy, in spite of his shortcomings, actually knew how the obnoxiously romantic heart of a woman works.
Image result for mr. darcy and elizabeth

1. He's Not Prefect:

Yes, you read that right. It is seldom seen that a woman wants a perfect somebody for her. Everybody has flaws and women know that better than most. The fact that Mr. Darcy was pompous and too proud of himself in his first meeting with our protagonist miss Elizabeth Bennet (Lizzy), only showed us his shortcomings. 
Yet, when we come to learn of his true loving nature by the end of the book, it becomes really hard not to fall in love with such a man.

2. The Mannerisms:

Mr. Darcy knew exactly how to behave. Having said that, I do acknowledge that some times he lost his cool and had bitter arguments with miss Lizzy. But that only let's us know that he could never be quite that cool and composed around the one woman he loved. 

3. Loving "Most Ardently":

He sure had a vocabulary to fall for. English is a language and you cannot get your grammar wrong on a date, EVER. Mr. Darcy, throughout his playful banters with miss Bennet or during his conversations with the other characters gave us quite a lot of time with the dictionary. 
Although it was a job, deciphering all those big words at the age of 10, I was still quite taken with his subtle taunts and wonderfully short monologues.
Image result for mr. darcy and elizabeth

4. Being There:

No matter what kind of trouble Lizzy got herself into, Mr, Darcy always seemed to have her back. The "being there" thing, is very attractive in a man and has nothing to do with the way he talks or walks. 
Darcy, even when he had been rejected, tried to do his best for Lizzy and her family. He reunited Jane and Bingley and even paid for Lydia's patched up marriage to the perverted Mr. Wickham.

5. A Project:

We all know that women love working on projects, be they household or work space ones, or even real life human beings. Women seem to like the idea of making the world a better place. They are also more emotionally receptive and sensitive to change. Mr. Darcy is so attractive even in his lesser times because,  we had to chip away on his outer hard shell, to get to know the real him.

6. Pemberly:

The hero always has to have a big mansion with pristine grounds, doesn't he?
It is known that a person's home, reflects their inner feelings. It is very difficult to avoid a well-kept man, with a well-kept home.

7. Equals:

Mr. Darcy may have thought of Elizabeth as a petty woman in the beginning, but as you go through the book, you understand how he starts falling for her, as he recognizes her as his equal. When he spoke about "a mysterious pair of eyes", I think he meant less about Lizzy's beauty and more about her wit, sarcasm and fun-loving nature.
Image result for mr. darcy and elizabeth
All-in-all, the Mr. Darcy kind of guy is a hard to find phenomena. Our love for Mr. Darcy hasn't diminished one bit, since the last 200 years. There is still hope for womankind, as long as more of Mr. Darcy's are around.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Connecting

No, I am not talking about your phones or your latest wifi connection. No, I am not even talking about talking in itself or about public speaking.
With technological advancement, they say human society has advanced too. They say we have evolved. They say, we speak our minds better, clearer and we have sound opinions and ideas of our own about this world we live in.... But alas, NO, I am not talking about that either.

Connection:

The Cambridge dictionary defines "connection" as the "The act of joining or being joined to something or someone else."

To connect:

There must have come a point in your life, where you suddenly met a person, completely out of the blue and you connected.
It may not have involved any particular conversation or any certain line of thought. This connection may not even have involved any sort of conversation at all. What I am indicating towards here is that comfortable space shared by two people (may be more) in which there is a special feeling of being together. Even though it is just the acceptance of the other person, or the comfort of their presence, for that one moment, and for that very reason, you do not feel the urge to speak, or explain yourself, or even explain that feeling.
Here I am trying to explain this feeling itself for instance, and coming up with words making no sense at all.

No, it doesn't have to be Love:

Connection here may refer to a quiet evening you spent with a couple of friends on the college lawn, cracking jokes till your tummy hurt. It could also be that special bond you formed with those strangers on the train, exchanged addresses with them or even phone numbers. Connection could also be finding a like minded person on a journey you initially decided to make by yourself.

What's special about it?

The bond in itself. The other day, I was on the auto, trying to make it to class before the last minute (as usual), and we got stuck in heavy Calcutta monsoon-time traffic (as usual again). It took us passengers approximately 2 minutes to get to know each other and share our honest opinions about the blasted weather, the blasted traffic and the blasted honking. From complaining about the regular traffic, to discussing puja vacations and how we planned to shop for it, we lost track of time. There were 2 middle aged ladies, there was a college guy and there was I. 
After some time, all the blasted honking, us being late for various appointments and all the bad weather, started to seem so fundamentally small. 
When I finally got to my class, I remember having made some joke about how if we had stayed on the auto for long, we may even have exchanged numbers!
I don't know those people in reality. I don't even know if I'm ever going to see them again, or whether I'd even recognize them if i did see them again. All I know, is that when we Bengalis started complaining about our native land and all the woes it has brought to us, something clicked and we connected. (Not the most romantic line ever, I accept)

Moments to be treasured:

These connections are unreal. You may remember some of them for a long time, or you may not even notice them happening. It is sad to see that people would rather stress on immediate goals and ambitions, than take little pleasure in these everyday connections that we form and bond over. 
We humans were programmed to socialize. Loneliness isn't a lovely feeling (Though being in a crowd all the time can be suffocating too) 
My point here is, (And what I'm really trying to say, for one) that stop, breathe, look around and really, truly, actually see what is happening around you. For everything will keep on happening, whether you look at it and recognize it, or not. Why miss out on these little pieces of heaven that just came your way by chance?
It takes a smart person to grab an opportunity, but it takes a wise person to recognize that precise moment when everything "just clicks together" and makes life a different and better place to be living in.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Being Daddy's Little Girl

Growing up everything may not have seemed like a fairy tale, but you always had your dad to make it all easier for you. Every girl deserves to have a special relationship with that first man in their lives. Daddy may not have always known how exactly to deal with some of your problems, but the important part is that he was always there beside you.

My dad has always been a constant support to me, no matter what. He always says "Don't be afraid to try anything new. After all, I'll always have your back!" Though such gestures of affection may be rare from men, a dad never fails to show his love for his daughter.



Here's a few things only girls who grew up as "daddy's little girl" will understand:-

1. He can never say "NO" :
Whatever you did, from messing up your room, to yanking the cat's tail, your father could never really bring himself to scolding you. Yes, there may have been moments where you got into a rebellious battle with your parents, but then it must have ended with at least dad on your side!
In fact, the reason why a father makes an amazing shopping partner, is basically because he can't say no to his precious little girl.

2. Foodies Forever! :
Your dad and you have similar taste when it comes to food. From greasy burgers to those salty fries, you know your favorite meal is always just a call away. These are mostly things your girlfriends wouldn't have had with you, but that is exactly why your dad makes the perfect partner for that perfect lunch.

3. Your handy when it comes to fixing things :
Being a daddy's girl, you've spent hours watching him fixing things around the house, while you would keep him company with your tales of school or your next door friend to him. Though you didn't appreciate it then, you realize that most of your workmanship skills were just handed over to you by your dad.

4. You've got a constant, patient friend in him :
When your father is your "go to man", you know you have a patient listener in him. From your troubles with study or work, to that fight you had with a friend or sibling, he is always there to listen to you and then comfort you.
Having play dates with your dad was fun, because he always took time to taste that imaginary tea you made or play with those dolls he bought you.
He realizes that he may not always be able to solve your problems, but that doesn't stop him from taking out time for you as you rant on and on.


5. You have a code language/nickname :
 Since you were a kid, you've been the apple of his eye and it is just natural for you to have an embarrassing nickname that only he calls you with.
You have that knowing look you can pass to signal whether mom's in a bad mood or when you share an inside joke. That was one of the best parts about growing up close to your dad: these little things made you feel special and loved and you still love daddy for that.


6. You have an honest and strong opinion :
Dad ensured that you grew up feeling loved and cherished. This is the reason, that you have such honest opinions regarding what you feel passionate about. He may have chided you from time-to-time if you went too ahead of yourself, but he always encouraged you to develop your own opinion and ideas about the world.
Give your dad some credit here, for wanting to raise a strong and independent woman.

7. He can ALWAYS cheer you up :
It doesn't matter whether you are 4 or 40. Dad always knows how to cheer you up. He knows your tastes, likes and dislikes and takes care of you in a way nobody else ever could.
From attending those tedious parent teacher meetings and then taking your side entirely, to asking about you after a weary day, dad will always know how to lift your mood.


8. He'll always be proud of you :
Remember how he clapped when you dressed up as a teapot for your fancy dress competition? You are always going to be special to your dad. The best part about it, is that he will convey the feeling to you not merely by words but also actions and gestures.
Every accomplishment of yours is treasured away by him at that special corner of his heart that is just reserved for you. Even though it may seem little to you, your father is always proud to see the way his little girl has come along.

9. You won't need to be anybody's "Queen", 'cos you're already daddy's "Princess" :
Being a needy and dependent person is the last thing you are ever going to consider. You were raised as a strong woman, who had the liberty to make her own decisions (backed by dad, of course).
You are not likely to feel an overpowering urge to have a male presence in your life always. You also know which traits are to be appreciated in men and which aren't.


10. You were never scared of camping trips and cockroaches :
I hear all the time about girls being scared of spiders or cockroaches or other insects or even getting a little dirty here and there.
 Growing up with daddy by your side, I'm sure you've been to numerous camping/fishing trips, fallen down numerous time while learning to cycle or made mud pies for him. What's more, you may even have been in his shoes literally, trying to put on his over-sized shirts or demanding to wear shoes and sneakers instead of those tightly strapped heels and sandals. It may have sent your mom over the edge, but then, your antics always made your dad smile.

Being close to your parents is a natural feeling. A mother-daughter relationship is always touching and one of the most intense relationships ever. But what makes a father-daughter relationship so special, is only something very few people can understand. It takes a strong and loving man to cherish and accept his daughter for who she is, while going about his daily work just to bring a smile on her face at the end of the day. It is more special to some, not because of the words exchanged, but because of that simple space shared by a supportive father and a responsive and appreciating daughter. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

6 Things only a Travel Lover Will Understand

Ever felt that rush while packing for a trip to some new place?
Only travelers and those who love travel can really understand the true joy and art of travelling. Here are 10 things that only people who love exploring new places can understand:-

1. You know the world map quite well:-

It has never been a problem to point out places in the map for you. This is mainly because, in most of your free time you keep surveying places you could go to in the future.

2. You've mastered the art of packing:-

Tips and tricks to carry light luggage and how? You've got it all. Its natural for you to finish packing your travel things way before others have even started.

3. Its rare you get to meet like-minded travel lovers:-

Not all the people you socialize with will get this passion of yours for travelling. But that hasn't ever kept you from exploring new places, just for the fun and sheer adventure. 

4.Its just you out there, making memories for a lifetime:-

Travelling is a fresh breath of life to you. Nothing seems like a problem, if only you can travel. Meeting new people in new places, trying their cuisine and conversing with them has an out of the world charm to it.

5. Travelling with someone makes it even more special:-

If you've got a travel buddy or friends who are as crazy and outgoing as you, you've got it all. They will never let you down when it comes to an adventure. Every journey with them is another bunch of funny tales you share at the dinner table.

6. Saving money for the next trip:-

You're always saving money for the next trip you can go on. There's no doubt that you have that travel fund box tucked under your bed or behind your clothing shelf, just kept out of sight. Its like crack to you and you'd rather live out of a suitcase, than not travel at all.

There's a whole world out there. You can never really run out of places to travel. Having new adventures every time you step out is a rare talent and being able to do so with others is even more difficult. Living out of a suitcase or a backpack can be pretty challenging at times. But nothing can ever be compared to the pure ecstasy of seeing a new place with your own eyes or having reached a destination you've planned for weeks. 


Monday, July 4, 2016

Becoming a part of the Harry Potter Fandom

The Cambridge dictionary describes a "fandom" as "a group of fans of someone or something; especially a very enthusiastic one". I for one, am a book worm and the first fandom I joined was one of Harry Potter's. 

There are some obvious reasons as to why young teens or enthusiastic readers completely fall in love with the flow of an epic tale. And there are other reasons that are not as obvious...

I have been a voracious reader since the 5th grade. When my dad gave me the final book of Harry Potter "The Deathly Hallows" on my 11th birthday (I'd not even started "The Sorcerer's Stone at that point), you can imagine my dismay at not having read the earlier books and my excitement to read them. 

The very next day when I went to school I found out that the tiny school library didn't have this book I was now desperate to find. surprisingly, it was our cranky old librarian who took an interest in my frantic search for the book. She asked me to get registered as a member at the State Library. Now you see, at that time, my dad was posted at Port Blair,  Andaman islands. The State Library here, was a little building housing an average amount of books. But for a first timer like me, who had never been to any other library, except for the little one at school...this was a dream come true. Books I'd never heard names of, authors with funny names, books in foreign languages, students wayyy older to me...it was like stepping into a world of books, where all the walls were literally covered with books. I'd been so anxious to lay my hands on "The Sorcerer's Stone" that I'd whined and nagged, till my mom was forced to take me to library in the evening. 

You see, I had been 11 when I read about Harry being accepted into a school of magic ...HOGWARTS... He had been 11 too. A vulnerable guy, with family troubles, a terrible past and yet a dauntless attitude with an adorable personality. How can you not sympathize or fall in love with him instantly? 

It is natural for every teenager to feel rebellious , out of place or lonely sometimes. I grew up reading J.K Rowling's masterpieces and would make it a point to watch all the movies as I turned every age with Harry, making it even more real to me.

My mom had trouble understanding, why I'd rather read about Quidditch than read classics like the Mansfield Park. No offence to Jane Austen, but at that point of time, flying on brooms seemed a lot more fun, than falling in love with the wrong guys over a proper English tea. 

Becoming a part of the Harry Potter Fandom was one of the best moments of my 18 years. Even as I realize, that it isn't reality...I still believe that J.K Rowling is a magician herself, for having created a world full of magic out of mere words. She has inspired generations. Harry is forever going to be "the chosen one" to me and to all other Harry Potter fans out there.

Be it Dumbledore,(who we later learned, duped Harry for most of his life at Hogwarts), Snape ( whose undying love for Lily touched all our hearts) or even Voldermort (who was just another shunned halfblood, who went the wrong way)...all the villains and vamps made some impact on us all. (Except of course, for Umbridge!)



Fred and George were among my favorites. I still love reading their mingled dialogues and cheeky tricks. Though I started reading to know more about Harry's life, I actually could almost always empathize with Hermoine. She was the girl who didn't have many friends who were girls, the one who always put up her hand to answer stuff. She didn't care much about the likes of Malfoy and read too much for her own good. Ron and his "Blimey's", or "Dunnos" was a forever refreshing and adorable character. One of the most touching moments of Ron and Harry's friendship is when Ron realizes that Harry didn't put his own name into the Goblet of Fire. I think that Daniel Radcliffe did an especially good job in that one. 

Fact is, I love being a part of the fandom. It was one of those de ja vu moments when I realized that there were others like me out there, who were just as crazily in love with Harry Potter and his friends. Mom is right...Harry doesn't exist in reality and there are no witches or wizards (visible ones) or flying brooms or moving portraits. But we from the fandoms keep them alive in our hearts, our minds and our memories of the good times we spent, curled up on a chair with one of those Harry Potter books for hours together. 

I think reason is over rated. I think quidditch is amazing. I loved Hedwig and I cried when Dobby died. I laughed at Ron'd stupid jokes and Hermoine's crazy rantings about books and potions and lessons. I felt as ecstatic as Harry did, when he flew on Buckbeak's back and as anxious as he did, when the first years were being allotted their houses. 

Though they aren't "real", they became a part of us as we journeyed through the roller coaster lives of Rowling's magical characters. Last but not least, to all those out there, who think Fandoms are "lame", I'd just like to say, that it's just a place or a group of people with whom we can express our thoughts openly without being nervous. Its just like any other community on the world wide web. Yes, we have have different likes and dislikes than you... and that's just it.. We're not wrong, just different.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

10 Good Reasons Why You Should Start Swimming.

Swimming is a sport, with endless benefits. For one, it doesn't matter what age you are. If you can stand...you can swim. It is especially relaxing and helpful in the blistering heat of tropical summers. Here are just a few reasons why you should put on that suit and go take a dip in that pool.

#1. Drives away the fear of drowning.

If you learn how to swim, you can overcome your fear of drowning, or your fear of water. Swimming is also recommended in areas that are prone to flooding or tsunamis...like in Japan. If most of the people can swim, there would be less threat of drowning in deep waters.







#2. Best exercise. 

Swimming burns approximately 500 hundred calories an hour. It is the best exercise, since water exerts less friction on our bodies, than the ground (while walking or running). It is easier to move in water and thus, easier to do more exercise swimming than cycling, running or walking all put together. 









#3. Total body workout.

If you are looking for a full body workout, swimming is the exercise you should turn to. It provides a full aerobic workout, that helps you to not only work on your arms and legs, but also your stomach, abdomen and your cardio-vascular system.





















#4. Age doesn't count.

It doesn't matter, whether you are 9 months old, or 90 years. To be a swimmer, you could be of any age. Old people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis too, are advised to swim, since it is helpful for joint movement. Babies, who are even 6 to 9 months old, may not be able to walk or talk, but can be taught swimming, because the water oriented environment is similar to the womb of their mother. 


#5. Cools your body.


After a long hot and tiring day, all you wanna do is just dip in the pool and forget your worries. Nighttime or evenings are especially peaceful and you can see the starts when you swim. Its almost like you were alone in the world, swimming among the stars, whose light gets reflect off the pool.











#6. Socialize.

When you swim, you are practically never alone in a community, association or club pool. This helps in socializing with the other members or neighbours who come to the pool regularly. Sports like swimming bring the society together, as they all work together towards a common, healthy future. The variety of gossip in the pool could range from daily work place complaints or funny moments, to discussions about spouses, siblings or even classmates. You would be surprised to know just how much you could actually learn from a fellow swimmer. I once met a physician in the pool who gave me advuce on the kinds of exercises I could do in water. Another time, I met a junior who was seeking some advice on how to study for the upcoming semester.

#7. Posture.

Have a hunchback even when your'e fully grown? Do not worry. Swimming is the ultimate answer to your problems. Swimming relaxes and works the joints at the same time, making them stronger and this leads to the betterment of your posture. The more you swim, the better your posture gets, eventually, with time.






#8. Builds Team Spirit.

Swimming can be performed as a team sport. Team swimming relays, simple team swimming or water polo are the best examples of swimming as a team. It builds a cohesive relationship among the participants and leads to a feeling of brotherhood and equality. Swimming in a team can help you work better as a part of something bigger and more important than you yourself. Being a part of a bigger team, brings out the team spirit in a individual.






#9. Boosts Immunity.

Swimming boosts immunity, and that is a fact. It clears your tonsils and helps in recovery after an injury or accident. Swimming flexes your joints and muscles, even if they have suffered during a previous incident. It is the ultimate exercise that will help you to jump start your life back again.










#10. Builds a better body.

Stronger. leaner, sharper, muscular and flexible. That's what swimming would do to your body. Many people take up swimming just as a means to lose some weight. But, it is to be kept in mind, that swimming, if left suddenly, may again make you gain weight. It should be practiced regularly, if not daily.




So get busy swimming this summer dear readers. It is the exercise for the season, and it wont even take much equipment (except for that swimsuit of your's) and it will leave you refreshed and feeling optimistic towards life.

When Snow Simmered

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