Mar 1, 2015

Train

It was somewhere between a slightly drunk rendition of a Six Pence None The Richer song, that I turned around gigglingly, towards the bar set up at the back. The entrance of the second floor establishment, was right beside the bar at the back end of the room, and I saw their party of three come into the lounge. 

The two men with their arms draped casually around each other, looking every bit the couple they were, laughing about something with their heads thrown back - and the woman with them sauntering in ahead of them, with purposeful steps, hips swaying slightly with her strides. Her face broke out into a toothy grin, eyes widening at the words that scrolled, projected on the wall at the back end of the dimly lit lounge. I heard my friend start to sing, and I forced my gaze back to the scrolling words and joined her once again. 

Kiss me, down by the broken treehouse
Swing me upon its hanging tree
Bring, bring, bring your flowered hat,
We’ll take the trail marked on your fathers map,

So kiss me. 


~

Waking up hungover was so much easier five years ago - what could have possibly changed in five years? My entire body groaned in resistance as I crawled out of bed. Slowly, I set about getting ready to leave for work and once I close the door behind me an hour later, I take my phone out to message my two best friends. 

Quickly I type a one liner and hit send, moving on to catch a cab with a slight smile on my lips. 

I met the most amazing woman last night.

~

There are more people in the dimly lit lounge now - and a few of them are looking on expectantly while the others talking in hushed voices, as she takes to the little clearing in the middle of the room, right in front of the song prompter. I am there with my college friends, a long planned reunion, and we were already slightly drunk from the party we went to before this, and we are fully expecting to move on from here to another party soon enough. We have taken an entire couch and a pitcher of sangria lies for us to devour. 

She has everyones attention at her first note. 

I see you driving 'round town with the girl I love
and I'm like,
FUCK YOU!
Ooo, ooo, oooo!

I guess the change in my pocket wasn't enough
I'm like,
FUCK YOU!
And fuck her too.

Dear God could the woman sing or what? I think to myself, staring at her owning the song, utterly mesmerized. She sings into the microphone as if being a regular rockstar was her day job, swinging her hips in time to the music. Vaguely I hear my friends - and the rest of the crowd, cheer her on as she hits a particularly high pitched note, and all I can do is stare at her. She turns in the general direction of my cheering friends and for an instant locks eyes with me. 

Before I could wipe the stupid dazed look off my face, she’s moved back to her next verse. 

~

'Oooooo deetails!' comes the instant reply from Bestie #1. Bestie #2 follows soon enough with a predictable 'Boobs?'. Men! I laugh to myself and switch on my system at work. Within minutes I am knee deep in emails and deadlines and presentations, with the sound of her voice pushed to the very back of my mind. For now. 

Bestie #3 catches me humming to myself as I wait for the printer to churn out my page around lunch time, and asks me whats that song I am humming. I give her the widest grin and she gives me a confused smile in return, before we are interrupted by other friends. 

Six hours later when I leave for home, I am still humming my song.  

Na na na na, na na, na na na na, na na naaaaa. 

~

By the end of the night, I had had enough alcohol in me to stumble over to the guys managing the song requests and put in my song. It happened to be the last one they’d take for the night. Only slightly tipsy on my feet, but highly skeptical of the vocal skills I had once possessed and hadn’t used since I graduated, I take the mike in my hands as my song comes up. I have my sights trained on the prompter, and behind me I overhear her take a look at the screen and gasp in delight at my song choice. 

I turn and give her a smile without much thought (all that sangria probably went to my head) to which she gushes, ‘Oh what a great song!’

‘Yeah, its been a favorite for over a decade!’ I murmur to her insignificantly, considering she has already turned away. 

I take a deep breath and get back to my song, as a general hush falls over the room. I allow myself to get back ten years in time, back to the carefree sneaker-wearing, basketball-playing, band-singer girl I was. Who could get on and belt a song right from the heart, without thinking about anything else apart from why the song meant so much. 

And this one did. Oh it really really did. 

Now that she's back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there's a time to change, hey, hey, hey
Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey   

I start to smile, when the hush breaks out in delighted sing-alongs because this ones a crowd favorite, and…. it looks like I still got game. Bolstered by the clapping and the cheering, I take control of my song like I'd never let go.  

But tell me, did you sail across the sun?
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?

My friend joins me, because we both sang this song together long ago in college, and she credits herself as the one who introduced me to the song. Our voices echo in perfect symphony, I was back in college when we had dedicated the song to our then boyfriends. 

Ten years on, her boyfriend was sitting on the couch in front of us, grinning and filming us sing together on his phone. 

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star–
One without a permanent scar?
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?

My fingers itch, wishing I had my guitar to play along too. 

~

The wind gushes past my face, as music blares into my ears, while I stand at the footboard of the train. I am in no hurry to make my way home today, smiling to myself as I take my usual moderately crowded 06.17 Andheri slow. My thoughts are a strange amalgamation of the woman from last night, band practices from long ago, cobbled streets and cheese omelettes. 

The last boy I sang Drops of Jupiter to, the one with the dimpled smile and the softest brown eyes. 

But tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet?
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back to the Milky Way?
And tell me, did Venus blow your mind?
Was it everything you wanted to find?
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?

I think about how I was so convinced of how life was going to turn out back then. 
I had never been so wrong.    

~

It is hard to ignore the slight shiver that runs down my spine as she curls her arms around my waist for my favorite verse. Apparently, its her favorite too. I shift so the mike is between us now and I put my arm around her too, awkwardly half-hugging her as we sing like we’ve done this a million times before. In reality, I have never done anything like this in a really long time.  

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken?
Your best friend always sticking up for you even when I know you're wrong
Can you imagine no first dance, freeze dried romance, five-hour phone conversation?
The best soy latte that you ever had and me

She turns to me and gives me that beautiful toothy smile, and I swear I am a goner. 

But tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet?
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back toward the Milky Way?
And tell me, did you sail across the sun?
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?

My friend catches the look on my face from the other end of the room, and smiles to me. Her boyfriend smiles too and zooms in on his phone camera which has been filming us all sing, to only me and her now. My friend fades out her notes until its only the two of us singing.  

And tell me, did you fall for a shooting star,
One without a permanent scar?
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself?

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na

And did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day?
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na
And did you fall for a shooting star, fall for a shooting star?
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na
And now you're lonely looking for yourself out there.

We finish the song together and it was magic. 

My friends jump up and everyones laughing and cheering and clinking sangria glasses together, happy to have had this slice of college back. Everyone feels 17 again. 

A minute later, I turn around to search for her, only to find that she’s already left. 

~

Its 11.54 AM in the night, and I am flipping through channels to see whats on TV when a beep on my phone alerts me to an incoming media file. Without particularly paying attention to my phone, I let it download. My phone alerts me again when its done downloading, and I swipe it open. Its the video that my friends boyfriend took last night of us singing. 

I watch the whole thing with a smile on my face. Singing along too, because its impossible not to. At the very end of the clip, I see her walking away with her two friends when I was busy hugging my friends and laughing and talking. 


Just before she takes the stairs to leave the room, she turns towards me and smiles. 

~

Annie.
P.S.: Full disclosure. Most of this story is not a work of fiction. The keyword being, most. Suffice it is to say that I have taken creative liberties with how the night ended. :D 

Gorgeous girl, this is for you. In a different lifetime, in a different place, we could have been something amazing together. Stay awesome. :) 

P.P.S.: Title courtesy the band that needs to be credited for coming up with the song that has been an absolute favorite for so many years now!

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Now Playing: Drops of Jupiter | Train (Taylor Swift live cover)

Feb 23, 2015

Sexy TV Hotties*

*this is a blatantly objectify gorgeous men post. Enjoy / skip over as per your tastes.

So. Hotties. Brad Pitt may be the original Hollywood golden boy, and the quintessential 'hottie', but there is no denying the fact that TV land is the candy store thats scattered with all kinds of mouth watering candy. Case in point, these fine, fine men.

Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter, Suits 


I have never been a fan of courtroom dramas (not even books featuring them) but Suits changed all that. Dressed that sharp in those superbly expensive Tom Ford suits & shooting off wisecracks like a boss? Sigh. 

~

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Arrow


People with doubts, must check out this post which pretty much summarizes it all.
Jesus fucking Christ, I am crying at those upside down pushups(?).



~
Matt Bomer as Neal Caffery, White Collar 


Such a loss for the straight / bisexual womenkind.. Look at that smile. :)
On the other hand, rejoice all gay men, you bagged one good lookin' winner. 

~

Joseph Morgan  as Klaus, TVD / The Originals 


Two words. British accent. 
People who refer to women as "love" are usually crazy creepy... but this guy? Mm.

~

Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore, TVD 

Damon's first look in the series... and damn. Hook line and sinker. 
Truth be told, I've been a fan since he was Boone Carlyle on LOST. Never quite figured out why his character was written off. His current whereabouts are as the sexy bad boy, Damon Salvatore on TVD. It is no secret that the passionate animal welfare / environmental activist that this guy is, is a MAJOR attractiveness factor for me. Can't resist a hottie with a golden heart. :)



So am I Damon, so am I. :P

~

Matthew Gray Gubler as FBI Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid, Criminal Minds


Hottest nerd on TV. He is not the stereotypical ripped hottie (then again he used to be a model, so he is understandably lean)... but damn! He is a talented artist, he is crazy funny in real life, and his acting skills make SSA Spencer Reid so ridiculously endearing


Move over Sheldon Cooper, someone's crazier AND has more Ph.D's than you. :P
(Disclaimer: He sports longish hair and an almost anorexic body for the first few seasons, 
which is not at all flattering IMHO. But. Nerdiness is SUCH a turn on!)

~

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, Supernatural 


Many have argued that he is probably not the best looking guy on this list, but then again, you know what they say about love at first sight i.e. at Season 1, Episode 1? :D Slammmm dunk.
Practically everyone knows I am a *HUGE* Dean Winchester fan. His character has all these goofy, funny and sometimes heartbreakingly poignant moments, its hard to NOT be in love with this guy. :) 

~

Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester, Supernatural


He is a GIANT of a gorgeous man. Clearly, he is the lesser favorite of the Winchester brothers, but a dear one nevertheless. But hands down, he is the better entertainer at a comic-con. I have spent HOURS of my life just watching the comic-con videos where my favorite three people from Supernatural have just acted like totally adorable doofuses :P

~

Misha Collins as Castiel, Supernatural



Castiel is the clueless angel thats just... appeared into the series and has remained a regular since. He is adorable, wears the same clothes, but has the sweetest puppy look on his face that can melt anyone. In real life, he is the prankster president of all things INSANE (with a pretty insane resume).  :P


Honorable Mentions

Niel Patrick Harris. Barney Stinson, HIMYM. Ofcourse, who doesn't love Barney Stinson. I always thought he was hot!! And to much dissent, I shipped Robin & Barney from the moment they liked each other for the very first time, till the end. Someday I will write a post about this ugh. :/

Patrick Dempsey. Derek Shepard, Grey's Anatomy. The hair. The way he says 'Mmm' while smiling adoringly at Grey. Whenever he said "It's a beautiful day to save lives!" in the earlier seasons, brings an instant smile to my face. :)

Eric Dane. Dr. Mark Sloan, Grey's Anatomy. Who has forgotten the McSteamy post-shower scene yet? NOT ME. And it happened ages ago! At one point, he sutures his own face. How badass is that. (I realize that is totally made up - I am guessing people cannot actually do that to their own faces.. but still.) 

Josh Holloway. Sawyer, LOST. Since he is not on TV anymore, he isn't on the list, but dayum that Texan accent and the dimpled smile! Also, I am such a sucker for bad boys. :/ How can anyone resist a hot conman?  

Chad Michael Murray, One Tree Hill. Again not on TV anymore, but the 17 year old me was so in love with this guy... I had his desktop wallpapers (& I must mention, I was not allowed to fangirl, because it was not "age appropriate" back then! :P ) 


~ Annie.

P.S.: I realize its unfair of me to write a sexy hotties list that doesn't have any females on it, maybe I will do a take two sometime in the future?
-------------------------------------------------------
Now Playing: Ready For Love | Bad Company (OST Supernatural)

Nov 16, 2014

Recap! (And this may get long!)

Considering this god awfully long tag of mine wont be done before the end of this year, I might as well do the traditional year end recap post right now.. So. 2014. Wow holy fuck its almost over. When did THAT happen?! :/ This year was filled with all kinds of ups and downs, but like always, lots of learning happened. 

You always have a choice, when you’re letting others make the call for you, you are CHOOSING to let them take control. 
I have never really talked about this publicly before, because I want to avoid drama, but after 3+ years of working in the animal welfare community, it finally came to a point where I threw my hands up in the air and said fuck this shit. This community is filled with the craziest, bitchiest… plain weirdest people I have ever known, and what bugged me the most was their refusal to listen to someone younger than them (read, me). Inflated egos, disorganization and politics - its all there. Like any other non profit sector I suppose, but this was just… unreal. I kept trying to not let it affect me, but full disclosure, it did. Badly. I do not like being hated for no reason (its not even the jealous-hate or the hate-your-guts-hate… its the I-truly-think-you-are-evil-hate!). My personal life which includes my friends, my guy.. is NOT available for flippant discussion. It made me irritable, upset and always so anxious. I don’t like feeling that way, because I LOVE being happy and witty, spread joy and confetti all around… I’m that kind of a sing and dance person. So in totality, life sucked.   

So I quit. And just to be clear, I quit the community, not my work. How can I ever abandon the responsibility of helping an animal in need? If I have motherly feelings for anything, its the fur babies.. and quite obviously, I can get fiercely protective about all of them. :)

Growing apart is sometimes a natural course of growing up. Accept it and move on. 
This epiphany happened this year. Something I had felt bitterly upset about for years now - growing distance between me and close friends / family, I have known for more than a couple of decades. I kept trying to find… reasons, why it happened or why it was happening, until randomly one July day I realized that there is no reason. We all just grew up, and we are all very different people. I am glad that despite people drifting away, I still have some besties who have stepped in to fill the shoes… and life is okay. Nothing major broke, everything works fine, distance grew but bonds haven’t been completely severed… they are just there. Keep calm and move on. 

Every once in a while, get away from everyone. Switch off the internet, TV, phone. Disappear. Feels fucking brilliant. 
I did this for two months earlier in the year, albeit for a study break (I did not do very well lol turns out I am… less smart than what I used to be with Math :P ). I ACTUALLY went off Facebook, people emailed to ask me WTF happened? Awww. :) Two whole months, it was awesome. I came back with the hugely appreciated ‘Minions, I am back. :D’ status and life got back to crazy haha. 

Even the most confident people have their moments of weaknesses. Sometimes you need your friends to be strong on your behalf. 
When I made the decision to quit, I was suddenly engulfed with this feeling of not knowing what to do next. I doubted EVERYTHING about myself, simply because I had been in the company of people who constantly put me down for so long. I have NEVER doubted myself - I was always confident in my abilities, and I knew exactly the kind of things I was good at, the kind of things I was okay at and the things I absolutely sucked at. It was always very clear. I had my life planned out, because I am that person who makes lists and thinks of 5 years into the future… and then suddenly one fine day, I woke up and I didn’t know who I was anymore. Cardiac-arrest scary. 

What do I do next? I wallow in self pity for a long time before Best Friend #1 calls me out on my irritated-ness and general bitchy attitude and we end up having a heart to heart where we practically break down all the problems to find solutions. Then Best Friend #2 tells me about how she believes in me, and how she tackled things when she was going through something similar. Then Best Friend #3 who didn’t really have much advice to offer, simply sent me a stream of jokes and made references to our situational jokes to lift spirits. And so on. I feel like the luckiest idiot in the world to have these people care for me so much. I love you all itna saara. <3 p="">

Take a leap of faith. Life will work out, and even if it takes longer for it to work out, its OKAY. Its a new experience. 
I had to redo resume for the first time in YEARS, and then I took up the next first fancy job I got offered. Haven’t sold my soul to the corporates back, still in the NGO sector, still changing and saving the world yo! :D I feel lucky to be around people that really do want to save the world. :) 

Do activities with your friends. Drinking yourself to a stupor does not count as a group activity. :P
I did beginners French with the guy and friends. We had SUCH A GREAT TIME. :D Also, makes for some pretty great FB updates lol. 

Age is just a number. Or so I will have myself believe, okay? 
I am not ready to consider that I am closer to 30 than to 23 (hitherto known as the heyday year). :/ On the bright side there is no one who has met me and guessed me to be above 25, which is both a blessing and curse, because on one hand, yay you think I look like a fresher, how cute, and on the other hand, aye! take me seriously, technically I am your boss! :P

Make time for doing what you like in life, and happiness will follow.   
Truly the biggest lesson of em’ all. Every time I have made time to do something that made me feel good, I have slept better, felt better, behaved better… just generally being a ray of sunshine for everyone around me. Such a happy thing to be no? 

TV shows with the best soundtracks, are my absolute bane. Wait, make that TV shows in general.
I am such a TV show whore, its not even funny! …. :/ I am OBSESSED, someone needs to compel me to forget how to erm.. get these shows in the first place. (TVD reference haha, and no you may not judge me for watching this inane show, because Ian Somerhalder okay?). This may also be the reason why I do not read, write, have much of a life outside of my TV and my HDDs anymore. Ugh. 


Much love,
Annie. 
P.S.: There were obviously a lot more learnings, but in the interest of time, reader sanity and dying laptop battery… :D
______________________________________________________________________
Now Playing: Unbreakable | Jamie Scott

Oct 28, 2014

Quirks (some)

Honestly, I could not get a decent word for 'Q', and then halfway through a LOTR post on 'Quest', I wrote 'quirk' and that was it.

Quirk #1: Unless, I am absolutely satisfied with it, I will never publish a blog post. 

Life has been pretty hectic lately. My sleep schedule is all fucked up, thanks to a new job that is the farthest away from home I've had to travel (including the time in college!), so I leave home at the odd hour of 8.00AM. Seriously, I've spent the last 5 years of my work life, waking up at 10.00... so this was hard to do. Thankfully, I manage to get home at a decent hour, so I have been OD-ing on some pretty good TV series.

Quirk #2: I cannot do the watch-one-episode-a-week thing with TV series. I have been known to watch entire seasons back to back, not knowing what to do with my life anymore once it has all ended.

Also, a couple of weeks ago, I was out grocery shopping (ugh, so... domestic), and I happened to notice the absolute bane of my existence sitting pretty in a display window. I went in and got ...5 pairs. And then came home and started a new series.


New Series: The fascinating Californication, which I religiously avoided all these years because someone told me a long time ago, I should totally watch it, because I will understand Hank in a heartbeat. Which obviously, I did. Sigh. 
Bane of my existence: SOCKS! I am a sock whore. Period. I mean look at that pair, thats my new favorite one. Isn't that yellow adorable?!

Quirk #3: I must wear socks, all the freaking time. I would attribute the lack of any kind of scarring on my feet, thanks to this quirk. 

Someone on my TL shared about the FRIENDS movie. Come on people, just Google things up when in doubt. Clearly a hoax. But FRIENDS. Its comfort series, just like comfort blanky or comfort food.

Quirk #4: I can recollect every dialogue, from every scene, every gag reel, from every single FRIENDS episode.  

Speaking of FRIENDS, I do believe I have the best ones ever. India is being a huge dick, and has banned my favorite FB page - God - so I was pretty annoyed and disgruntled most of today evening. I started a thread about #ManCandyMonday because really, hot men with hot abs and hotter smiles are my morphine to the idiocy that is the human race. However, friends decided to throw in this -

*Khokla - Marathi for coughing/wheezing :P 

I was laughing so hard, I was wheezing for breath. Think I can go to sleep smiling, as opposed to angry out of mind as I was 3 hours ago.

Quirk #5: Its not very difficult for my best friends to take my mind of tough times. Its only lately that I have truly come to realize the value of having someone like that in your life, because most people don't.


Much Love,
Annie.
P.S.: I think I will do a whole rant on how it sucks to be Indian right now, sometime later.
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Now Playing: Breathe Me | Sia

Aug 29, 2014

Pearl Jam

It's public knowledge how Pearl Jam is one of my very favorite bands. I have worshipped them ever since I heard the second track by them (the first did not catch my fancy too much).. and will continue to do so forever.  


Future Days 

One of their newest tracks. Now I am not too fond of it per say, because it is not the vintage Pearl Jam, its a bit too… soft? But. It featured on the HIMYM season finale, and some other show, and I was hooked. It reminds me of Ted & Tracy and all the happiness I had imagined for them… until.. argh!!!^&%*&!@# HIMYM rant for another day.

Black

Back in college, I had saved up what was a small fortune for me then, to buy a new mp3 player as a birthday gift for the boyfriend. I ended up using it more than he did haha! He put his music collection on it, and this was one of the songs - I have been hooked ever since.


Yellow Ledbetter

Many people do not recognize this song as the soundtrack to which Rachael chooses to get on the plane, after Ross tries to get her to stay, in the FRIENDS series finale. This song reminds me of that exact kind of sadness that transcends tears and heartaches and just leaves a hollow ache you do not know what to do with, in its wake.


Nothingman

I was unaware of this hugely underrated PJ song, until the aforementioned boyfriend passed me this video from Californication, of Hank reading a letter he had written for Karen. You have to see the video (above) to have your heart broken a little bit. Go on, give it a try.


Alive

This is my favorite Pearl Jam song. That guitar riff, its brilliance. I will never tire of it in this lifetime.


Annie.
P.S.: The first song that I heard of theirs which did not really wow me, was clearly the most overplayed, overrated Last Kiss. I've never been too fond of it, but considering every band in every college show HAD to butcher it.. it came to a point that I stopped liking it altogether. 
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Now Playing: Losing Your Memory | Ryan Star

Aug 25, 2014

Obituary

He was like smoke. 

Every once in a while, you'd think you could see him clearly enough to reach out and touch. He had a way with strings and words you know? He would balance his Fender on his knee and strum something ever so quietly. He would play for us sometimes. And when he was in the mood, he would sing too, in that beautiful deep voice. For a moment there, you'd think you could see him for the person he was, through all that obscurity. Just a blink, a heartbeat - you'd reach out, and he was gone. We all stayed there on the sidelines, strangers to him and his mysterious life. 

Aug 20, 2014

New List

Less than 4 months away from turning 27 (wow, when did that happen?!), I am far from “young” and since it is no secret I am an obsessive list-maker, its time I finally got started on my 30 before 30. There is not a shred of doubt that its been one hell of a trip so far. I loved my 25 before 25, and my 26 before 26 wasn't too bad either - the guy calls it my “boast list”, which I think is fairly accurate! What can I possibly put on my new list? 

I am in the middle of planning something SO exciting that it makes me weep with happiness just to think about it. So knowing fully well that at least one major item (and a few minor ones too!) of this brand new list is going to be crossed off soon, here is my new - and ridiculously ambitious too, for I will have to discover a treasure and/or trade a kidney for some of these things! - life list. 

  1. Go bungee jumping or sky diving. Heights are strange - half of me is pee-in-your-pants terrified, and the other half wants to scream with joy at the adrenaline. This should be… interesting. 
  2. Take a foreign language class. I have been putting this off since I was 22. FIVE years is a long time to procrastinate!
  3. Visit New York. I have been such a fan since FRIENDS, I cannot wait to actually be there, overrated as it may be. 
  4. Visit Paris. This beats NY, so thats saying something. When most people say Paris, they think of the Eiffel Tower or the Seine, but for someone who worships F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Camus, Paris is a whole new level of special for me. :) 
  5. Attend a concert / music festival. I have come close to doing this twice before, both times in college, and the opportunities have just vanished post college. I need to do this pronto before I actually get too old for such things! :/
  6. Attend a comic con. And meet Jared Padalecki, Jenson Ackles, Misha Collins & totally freak the fuck out during the photo op.
  7. Have enough savings to actually start generating interest on them. Seriously, its high time. Being in actual debt, can make a person truly understand the meaning of a penny saved.. 
  8. Go on a road trip. Live out of a car, drive endlessly, eat at diners and pick up lots of postcards. Whats not to love?
  9. Take a dance class. Any dance class. I have been meaning to do this since I was 15 (since everyone went nuts about Shaimak’s Summer Funk, which sadly I could not afford!)
  10. Sell something that I made. I have been making things for friends for years. Time to bring out my crafting things just to strike this off, if for nothing else. My 64-color-set of Copic Markers need using. 
  11. Get a new tattoo. Time to stop whining that my tattoo artist moved away, me thinks! 
  12. Do the Leh - Ladakh trip. Yet again, one of the few things I did not do on 25 before 25, so planned to do it before 26, but then the cloudburst happened and my plans (and tickets) went for a toss..  :(
  13. Make new friends. I want to be my 15 year old self again, who made & kept friends so easily.
  14. Throw a self-made cupcakes party. Love cupcakes, hate cooking, love throwing parties, again, did I mention, hate cooking. Must find a balance with this one. Strangely, I really enjoy cleaning. Weird right?
  15. Do ANY Project 365. Tried once before, did not make it past day 43? :P This is much more difficult than it appears, so I think I will have to get creative about this one.  
  16. Read 52 books in 52 weeks (or more) from my reading list. I think I’ve read most iconic books of all time, but there is still a ton to read, many of which are just sitting by themselves on my shelf. This is a book per week challenge that I am looking forward to starting anytime now.
  17. Design & code my own blog. I have designed many websites, and separately coded a few too (front end things, nothing too major, except my first project). This has been a dream project for too long, simply because the geeky me really really loves these two things thrown in together!
  18. Go on a trek / camp under the stars. I am a city girl through and through, even though I do enjoy the great outdoors.. from a distance. Mostly, because having a clean washroom around is a mandatory condition on which I travel. I have never trekked in my life (I realize that reflects very poorly on me..), though I have always wanted to.. 
  19. Character dress up. Maybe a Halloween party or Comic Con. Sadly theme parties and/or costume shops are so hard to come by in Mumbai. :( 
  20. Go watch a Broadway musical / ballet. I have seen too many Broadway / ballet performances online, and have always being left mesmerized. Imagining what it would sound like in real life gives me goosebumps. Cannot wait for this one. 
  21. Either start painting again or give away goodies to nieces & nephews (or people who actually paint!). I have not touched a paint brush in about three years now, and I refuse to part with all my lovelies. Result? My brushes, my easel and my beautiful messy palette gather dust under the bed. De-clutter. 
  22. Be absolutely happy & satisfied, career-wise. I had a great career start, and seen a bunch of ups and downs since then. The quest for the "one" has been on for a while now. Sincerely hope I get this part right by the time this list is done. 
  23. Visit a Wonder of the World. I have never even seen the Taj! Quelle honte!! :(  
  24. Learn to whip up 5 different cocktails. While both the guy & I exclusively prefer Glendfiddich or Merlot, every once in a while I enjoy a nice cocktail. It all started with the Black Russian at TGIF about… seven(?) years ago, and it has been something of a tradition ever since. I want to learn how to mix em’ all up like a pro at home now! 
  25. Study abroad. This has probably been one of my oldest dreams. Screwed up my chances the two times I came close to accomplishing this earlier.. thankfully life worked out okay. I am trying once again now, third time lucky hopefully eh?  
  26. Finish our photo wall. Renovations done, amazing colored wall ready, all that remains are the pictures. Between the two of us, we have about 5 TB of pics. Joy.  
  27. Pay it forward for someone. Just to see what it feels like. :)
  28. Teach again. Teaching was my first job. Giving it up was very tough, but I did it anyway…. but I have always wanted to do it again. Someday... someday.  
  29. Forgive. It is so much harder to close the door on a friendship than a romance or a family. A friend is supposed to be your family and your soulmate all rolled into in. Maybe, its time bygones were bygones? I dont know. This will need some soul searching..  
  30. End my 29th year in style. Taking a page out of my 25-before-25, bringing in my 25th was pretty fucking amazing, so this calls for a repeat. :) 
Annie.

P.S.: Browsing through other 30 before 30 lists is making me chuckle, because.. well, been there done that. "Kiss in the rain" seems to be a popular choice. Wow. Crossing that off with flourish (and raging hormones) at 19, I thought it was more of a broke-college student with hot new boyfriend/girlfriend goal... :P

P.P.S.: I fully expect this tag that I started in APRIL, to take the entire remainder of the year to actually finish. :/ 
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Now Playing : Back Where I Was | The Hereafter (OST Grey's Anatomy)

Jul 27, 2014

Miscellaneous Things ..

... I do when I am procrastinating. Like right now.
  • Stare into nothingness (I do this. A lot. #retardalert)
  • Excessively cuddle the boys. Case in point - 
Dusk's "HELP MOMS GONE ROUGE AGAIN" expression 
  • Write silly things.
  • Make lists. 
  • Watch a new series. Ended up watching TVD season 1 - season 5 in two weeks. Please do not judge me, I was undergoing serious TV series withdrawal because I had nothing to watch, and also, Ian Somerhalder is fucking beautiful. (Needless to mention, he gets a million addition likes for the fact that he is an animal activist and has an adorable Scotch-lookalike boy called Moke. Aww raised to infinity yes?)
So. Hot. 
  • Remind self that hot men will come and go, but Jensen Ackles' eyes will be greener than ever & he will always be the original A-bomb. 
Mm. 
  • Re-watch old TV series. Ahem-Supernatural-Ahem. 
  • Get a sudden spurt of creativity. Get crafting.
  • Browse through college pictures and get nostalgic. 
  • Invent scenarios about possible futures.
  • Wikipedia random shit. 
  • God help me if I get on Listverse....
  • Eat like a crazy person. Does binge eating have a nice-sounding disorderly name?
  • Read depressing news, watch depressing things, despair about the worthlessness of life (I am not kidding, if I get on the bad side of the internet, especially where puppies are dying, I cry. For hours..)
  • Read amazing news, watch inspirational videos, get freakishly happy about the prospect of being alive (If I get on the good side of the internet, I end up creating something beautiful. Usually a happy list or art..)
  • Clean the house like it is Diwali. It's not my fault, its my mothers genes.
  • Get an insane desire to call people I haven't spoken to in a while
  • Spend resultant next couple of days doing planned lunches, dinners, movies and unplanned hangovers 
  • Take a long bath. How this helps is beyond me. 
  • Secretly drink wine & smoke up while taking said bath.
  • Despair about how so much time has got wasted and now I do not have enough left to do the work I was supposed to.
Annie. 
P.S.: My mother once told me how if I would apply as much grey matter to studies as I did for things that had zero value in life, I would become really famous and earn a shit load of money. She lost me at studies.
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Now Playing: Broken (acoustic) | Lifehouse

Jul 22, 2014

Love - Part 3

[Part 1 here]
[Part 2 here]

How do we know that "the one" is, the one? Frankly, isn't it all too much pressure? Being a missing piece of a puzzle, magic and stars, confetti in the air et al. I do not believe in "the one". Atleast not in the romantic sense, no. I do believe in having a soulmate. Or many of em' idiots, if you are anything like me. Every single one of those soul sisters / brothers / friends / friends with benefits / ex's / that virtual entity you have never met, but felt a connection to. I truly believe in the magic of finding your own people - ones you can be completely insane & also uncharacteristically sane with.

- -

I was sitting at work, a wee bit tensed about a big presentation I was supposed to make. Ironically, it was supposed to be a "fun" presentation. In the middle of the day, I heard a guy coming out a cabin directly behind me say loud enough for me to hear ".... Nadal is the best thing that's happening in tennis right now!" Before I could stop myself (dammit woman!) I turned in my chair, to face this complete stranger, and add in what I think was a slightly annoyed voice, "Please! Nadal will never be Federer."

[Pretty much everyone knows this story, thanks to it being in my wedding card. No kidding, check this. We are awesome like that. Its pretty much the short version of how we got together. Continuing further, is the long version.]

I got back to my work, desperate to finish it within time because I did NOT want to stay back late that day. Earlier that day, this other guy I had been hanging out with over the last few months, had had flowers delivered to the office. Seriously. This was 2011 and I was getting flowers delivered for me. I was fucking thrilled. Said guy had formally "asked" me out for dinner that night, and I intended on not carrying my work with me when I met him. After all, this was the first time I was officially going to go out with someone in a long fucking time.

Know how sitcoms and well meaning books and magazines say, that before you find the "one", you have that one last romance that is a total and utter disaster? Yep. This was the one. Little is to be said about aforementioned romance, because it fizzled out soon. It was my second proper relationship, and at the end of it, I was.... really angry! I was so angry that sadness did not kick in for one second, before I wanted to throw something heavy around and break things. Which I think I did. Like what the fuck is wrong with the damn universe?! I was so done with rom-coms, and flowers (cringe), and chocolates and shit. So. Done.

So for a brief few days, I was no heels all sneakers, hair pulled up, barking into faces, getting more work done than ever workaholic. Did not take long for Nutties (tennis guy, for people who haven't yet caught the drift) to ask me over messenger why I looked like I was on a warpath, I said, and I quote, "Look, I am crazy. I have deep emotional baggage, I apparently drive the men in my life to near madness. I am so DONE with intense relationships, from now on, I declare that I am staying clear off men until I am like 30!"

About 10 months later? Engaged! Another 6 months hence? MARRIED. So much for sweeping declarations, right Marshall*? :P

*what up smooth HIMYM reference!

~

I have often been asked, why did I marry so young? I have always been told that I am by far the most-likely-to-try-comething-crazy, superbly impulsive, decidedly anti-family and annoyingly bratty wild child. After my previous trysts with romance, I was never too keen on commitment and all that jazz. So why now? Why so soon? Why this guy? What happens next? Why do we seem so perfect? (lol!)

We are not perfect people. Ours is NOT a perfect romance. We both are just so astonishingly different, that sometimes I wonder if this is what makes this work. We have many flaws, and there have been days when we simply cannot stand each other. But then it hits you. Remember all of your flaws that you were left to face all alone once the love of your life walked away? All those flaws that made you desperately wish you could have a do-over? A different kind of life? A whole new universe where none of the horrible things you have gone through that have ended up shaping you, never happened? Your flaws are no longer getting the better of you ... because this guy is with you through it all. This is not just a boyfriend, this is a guy that is so above the rest, that the others before him appear so ridiculously incompetent now. This guy is not just some random dude you are shacking up with, this guy splits the bills, cuddles the cats, watches the matches WITH you. This dude is the real deal. He is, your person.

Anyone who says marriage is easy, is probably not having enough fun. :P Okay kidding. Mine isn't easy. But through it all, here is this guy who has been my rock though so much, that I am an entirely new person. My best friend told me a while ago, that it looked like I had matured overnight. I laughed and said it was the side effect of being in major debt. :P (Buying a house is shit. Don't do it. Live off rent forever.) But its true.

We dance in hallways in the middle of the night. We crack lame jokes and watch sappy TV shows on Sundays in our jammies and eat left over fish curry until we pass out from bliss. We plan trips, we get drunk, ahem-high-cough with friends and party on like we are 16. We bicker like an old married couple of silly things like the laundry or his gazillion socks lying around the home that I like kept neat and tidy. We photograph together, late movies is our thing. He watches his matches and I write. We cuddle with the boys. On some nights, we act like a bunch of kids on a sleepover and talk about utterly random things in the darkness, ranging from religion to parallel universes. This is literally as good as it gets yes?

Nutties has done many amazing things for me - ranging from something simple like flowers to something so symbolic like holding me in the middle of the night, while I was having a mother of all meltdowns, sobbing like an idiot about how life is not working out for me (which it totally is, but I overthink everything!).. and telling me that no matter what, he will always, always, have my back.

In some ways, this moment perfectly describes us, so in conclusion, I leave you with this.




~ Annie.

P.S.: In short, I should be a case study for marrying ridiculously young, and doing it right. :)

P.S.S.: I have way too many people on my FB so I am not too worried about my name out here. If you are going to add me, do drop a message so I know who you are :P
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Now Playing: Never Let Me Go | Florence & The Machine

Jun 19, 2014

Love - Part 2

[Part 1 here.]

Engineering college. The time for epic love. 

Beginning of second year, cupid properly struck me with one of those damned arrows. I met and fell in love (the at first sight kind) with this amazing guy, not from my class, and by the end of college, we were one of the most well known couples in college. After many ups and downs, snogging ensued over out-of-city class trips from Goa to Shimla, through many valentines, traditional days, sports festivals, cultural festivals, one very eventful scavenger hunt, a hundred plus public displays of... rage :P (back in the day when I had serious anger management issues), making up over cheese omelettes and Iranian tea here (Best. Irani. Cafe. Ever.) .... by beginning of my last sem, my very first relationship had crashed and burned to the ground.

You know how they say that intense love has the capability to change you? Well it changed me. I was nothing like the person I was when I joined college by the time it ended. To be fair, it had a lot to do with the miserable time I was having in college (18-22 was probably the most difficult time I've had in my life). Out went the happy go lucky, carefree, ability to laugh at myself and in came the deeply cynical, sort of pathetic and doubt-ridden me. At the end of it all, my first relationship had stripped me down to my very core. When it ended, I couldn't breathe, because there are nothing happy and sunshine-y for me to hang on to. For the first time, I was faced with the prospect of examining every wrong call, every mistake, every hole in my life. It was hard getting to know me, and it was harder because no one told me how to climb out of the hole I had dug myself into, when the break up happened, and I was left dealing with this mess I'd created on my own. 

~

In the story of my life's greatest fuck ups, the year 2009 should be given an award. In the summer of 2009, I was churning out sad, cough-poorly-written-cough blog posts like nobody's business. On some of those very first mopey blog posts, landed the people who would end up shaping the rest of the year & a large part of 2010 for me. One of those first people was a guy, who was living away from home, seemed really nice to talk to and had a great taste in music. We started talking, and before I knew it, we were talking all the freaking time. This was before, the guy became Blogger celebrity and every single female blogger wanted to be his "friend". :D

Needless to say, this was a rebound. I was extremely lonely, and I had managed to push every single friend away by giving them all sorts of excuses. I spent all my time in this virtual world, and ended up depending more and more on this guy for some much needed humor and comfort. Within no time (and a huge telephone bill, ahem, this was ISD calling), I was pretty attached to this guy, who I was slowly considering to be one of my closest friends. I never told him anything, because I figured it was just a phase that was going to fade away, and I valued him too much as a friend.

Sometime soon after, I found out that this guy was in fact interested in this awesome girl on Blogger (who, funny story, ended up being great friends with me, and it all started with hate mail I believe hahahahhahahha... you know who you are, wink wink), that essentially put a stop to any feelings I had. Obviously it took some time for it to wind back down. It helped that I had just started working, so I was swamped with work and enjoying every minute of my new found freedom, making actual money :P ... and I was slowly reconnecting with my friends again.

Then before I knew it, this guy, this really nice witty humorous person.... changed into this completely different guy I did not know anymore. I do not know if it was all the internet fame or what... I figured it was probably best to let the drifting away happen, so our talks pretty much boiled down to music and maybe catching up once in a while. Then out of the blue, one fine day, out of nowhere, this person ends up humiliating me by calling me a variety of things. Here I am, minding my own business, listening to songs, talking about work.... and then suddenly... BAM!!! a whole barrage of abuses. It really really hurt me to hear those things, coming from a friend! It crushed me to hear this person say all these things about me, because I am almost ashamed to admit this, I DO NOT know the appropriate way to respond to meanness! I have never been mean to anyone in my life -  like the bitchy, mean just for the heck of being mean, mean because I am having a bad day so I will take it out on someone, kind of mean. (okay I did once joined in the laughter when the entire class was making fun of this girl in 6th grade, but I felt so guilty later that I went up to her and made lame jokes to make her laugh.... yes I am THAT nerd girl ugh) It sucked that I was being told all these horrible, judgmental things... from someone who had never even MET me!

That day, I shut down everything and seriously contemplated deleting the blog and everything else. I felt like all of my online presence was this disgusting thing that I wanted to get rid of... icky cooties! :P I was ashamed that at 23, I had acted like I was 10 and blindly trusted someone, and set myself up for this kind of hurt. I did NOT need this reminder that I am not "strong", considering some jerk from behind a computer screen could actually make me dissolve into tears & hyperventilation like that. I honestly believed then that everyone online was as fake as he had turned out to be.

Obviously, I am thankful I didn't go through with my grand plan. :)

Because eventually, I realized that this jerk was no reason to say good bye to everything I had actually gained here on Blogger. There are so many things that would not have happened, had I actually thought of turning away from everyone I had already met / was yet to meet. Those people who showed up on my birthday with a printout of an email, with a chocolate cake in tow, and random yelling over the phone most of which constituted "OMGOMGOMGOMG". Those people who I have spent hours talking to, and nothing changed when I actually met them in person (maybe we put the crazy a notch higher, by sitting on roofs of houses and scaring the shit out of random people at 3AM). People who showed up unexpected in the middle of the night at home (yes that has happened, the joys of living in your own home also come with unexpected arrivals at bizarre times), because a friend is needed, and I always have alcohol. :P Someone who gave me a shiny TIARA for my birthday and walked around the mall with a styrofoam sword with 'Hermione Granger is awesome' written on it, because just, we are crazy like that. The same someone who I suppose is responsible for making me pursue a serious relationship with the man I would eventually marry (A, this sound familiar? "Aw come on you so totally have the hots for him!!!" "WHAT?! NO!" "Yes you do. You are texting him now aren't you?" "WHAT?! NO! YES! I hate you!" you totally reverse psycholog-ied me you smartass!) People who showed up for my wedding, like one giant Bloggers meet :P People who helped my friends get ready for the temple wedding, and some others who explained why waiting for spoons or forks was useless. People who I helped shop for their weddings a day before the event, and ended up being treated just like family at their special day. I am so kicked that pretty much half of my very best friends are people I've met online, and when online best friends met real life best friends, whether its a wedding or playing a board game at my home.... it is always LEGENDARY! The awesome times we all have had, driving random people on Facebook NUTS with our antics! I am grinning like an idiot just thinking about things I cannot mention in here because of ... er.. reasons... :P

One bad experience vs a whole new family of awesome people is a pretty fair deal huh? :)

Love,
Annie.
P.S.: I love you guys so much, I will totally dedicate the book I will eventually publish to you all. :P
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Now Playing: Mahi Ve | Faakir (SUCH an old song.... what the hell happened to Pakistani pop?!)